Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Now I know my ABC

And my D, E and F!

And my G, H and I!

Each letter is about 5½ cm tall.

You can even write words with them by using a crocheted chain for the rest of the word.

The letters are to go with the numbers and punctuation for a "Scrapping Journalling" crochet pattern.

I think I need a design team for this lot!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Make Your Own Designer Labels

My new iron on t-shirt transfers arrived this morning to I made more labels. I need some to do on the back of the new Winter and the Dragonflies.

I thought, that as I was doing them anyway, I might as well take some pics and post the instructions.

All you need to do this is some cotton tape which is readily available from most haberdasheries and some printable iron on t-shirt transfers.

First of all, buy your cotton tape so that you know what size to make your label.

Next, design your label. Keep it as simple and clear as possible. Remember it is going to be quite small so it need to be easily read. The height of it also needs to be just a little smaller than the cotton tape.


Remember to flip your label over before continuing.

Fit as many of them as you can on to an A4 sheet. The more you fit on, the cheaper it works out. Don’t forget to allow for printer margins.

Alternatively, if you doing it in a photo program, fill the whole sheet then use the “fit to page” option.


Cut the labels into individual pieces.



Following the manufacturers instructions, iron on to the tape. Make sure you leave a gap between each label to be able to fold over the raw edges to sew on.

Remove the backing.



Cut into individual labels.

You can download a pdf version of this here.


And I couldn't be so cruel as to make Mandi Jane wait any longer so......

Here are some pictures of what I did with some lovely hand made beads Mandi Jane sent me as a pressie.

I used black crochet thread so that they will match the new t-shirt I am working on.

The finished set..

Close up of the necklace.



Close up of the earring.


And me wearing them!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Things can only get better!

And they did!

I managed to sort out some of the web site mess, even if it did mean redoing half of the page. However, now that it is done, the book marks work on the scrolling banner and I am really pleased with it. I now have to sort out the other pages.

Then my friend asked me if I would like a trip out to Tesco. Not that exciting really, until you know she was planning the one that is only a short drive away from CTM! Well, of course, I said yes.

I didn't buy anything there but I did get a mag in Tesco.

I also started the Dragonflies so here is a sneaky peak!

I decided on the brown thread with the bronze filament for the body and the light rainbow thread for the wings. I did start adding beads in on the wings but they didn't look right. I will finish quilting them then see where to add the beads.

And to nicely finish things off, my new magnetic catches arrived in the post this morning. Considering that I only paid for them Thursday evening, that was REALLY quick delivery!

This means that I have finished the choker and now need to do the earrings. I am sure Mandijane is waiting very impatiently to see what I have done with her beads.

Atlier East Presents.........

EJ Curtis – Fur & Feathers

An Exhibition at the Angles Theatre, Wisbech, Cambs.

Fur & Feathers is the title of the forthcoming exhibition by EJ Curtis at the Angles Theatre Wisbech. Curated by Fur & Feathers is a collection of stunning portraits, painted, printed and drawn, of domestic and farm animals with particular attention to rare breed poultry!

As a self-taught artist living on a smallholding in Norfolk, EJ Curtis’s love of art has grown with her love of chickens and ducks. Inspired by her first six hens Emma now has many animals and not only does she use them as her inspiration, she also takes commissions from other animal lovers.

Emma has an incredible ability to really capture the beauty and personality of her subjects; this has to be because she really appreciates and enjoys working with animals. Anyone who loves animals is going to love this exhibition!’ says Karen Harvey of Atelier East.

Obviously a very talented and skilled artist, already achieving a very high standard of work that many other artists would envy, Emma still feels that she is learning and has more to learn. She is currently studying for a diploma in pet portraiture with London Art College.

Fur & Feathers by EJ Curtis will be showing from 4 - 30 May at the Angles Theatre.

On Sunday 4 May from 6-8pm there will be a free opening reception and, as always, everyone is welcome to come along and meet the artist.

For more information on exhibitions at the Angles Theatre contact

And, just in case you haven't managed to go yet, mine is still on!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yesterday was Just One of Those Days

It all started of with an email from Blogger to say that the new blog I have set up has been marked as spam!!!!!

I ended up doing another on Blogger as, after trawlling the net and signing up for loads, I couldn't find one this good! Maybe it was too much like this one (which was the idea).

Then, I did some work on my site. I needed to add bookmarks to the pages for the scrolling banners to work properly. I managed to completely mess them up so now have to redo them!!!!!!

Then my day out got cancelled.

Then my magnetic catches arrived. A bright spot at last! However, they were no good for what I wanted because the loops to attach them were too small!

When the going get tough, the tough go shopping!

So I went on eBay. Which happened to be on a go slow yesterday afternoon. But I did manage to buy the iron on transfer sheets I need to make more designer labels. And I found some other catches with bigger loops - but I emailed her for the size before I bought them!

I figured, with a day like that, today has got to be better! Especially as I have finished the new "Winter" and can start on the Dragonflies now.

Incidentally, you were not much help with choosing the colours. I think I am going to go with the Brown/Bronze and Silver - and let the beads do the rainbow bits.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stash Diving!

I know when I mention "Stash" most of you immediately think of papers!

However, my stash constists of yarn, thread and beads! And lots of each!!!!!

I was looking for something to do the dragonflies with. I know I had some bronze filament somewhere which, combined with brown thread, would look really good on the body. I wanted something shiney for the wings to go with the irridescant beads.

I remembered that I had bought metallic threads to make Christmas Cards a few years ago, so went hunting for them and found a nice silver one for the wings.

But I also found these!

Now I can't decide what to use!

Brown/Bronze and Silver?

Light and Dark Rainbow?

Brown/Bronze and Light Rainbow?


What do you think?

On another subject!

I totally wasted yesterday looking for a new blog. I was so pleased to find that one, only to discover that I can't add pictures and html to the side bar!!!!

So I went hunting for another one!

I must have signed up for about 50 - because you can't see what they do properly unless you actually have one!

Only to find that none of them are any where near as good as Blogger.

I ended up signing up with a new account to Blogger. This means that I now have to go the long way around to transfer everything over and alter it all so that I have links to my site on it.

At least I can make it identical to this one - apart from the links.

Unfortunately, I can't copy the comments over as well.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ooooh! I am all excited!

I had my first sale on Etsy!!!!!

I sold a Tilly Tangfish puppet.

And it is no coincidence that she looks like Dory! LOL

I have another one of these so will have to relist her.

I learned some new html and can now link direct to a part of my page and not just the top of the page and have to tell you to "scroll down".

Now I need to learn to make the scrolling banner like the one on the left.

I have set up a brand new blog and was able to transfer all the posts and comments over. I think I can do that every time I get a new comment or make a new post. I need to check that bit out.

I need to customise it now and add links to my site. I plan to use it more in conjunction with my site and hopefully increase my sales.

However, whether I get any of this done today is another matter. The sun is out, the sky is blue and I might just go out on the bike with the camera and find another letter for my A-Z photo journal of Chatteris.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More Flowers!!!!

I never really thought he would do it but I spent most of Sunday listing Marks Koi on eBay.

He has been on about it for a while, saying that the fuel bills are getting too expensive and he is getting fed up of spending most of his weekends cleaning the pond.

He has things that he would rather spend his money on than loads of electricity to run the pond.

The pond currently takes up about 1/3rd of the garden. It is about 14' x 10'. That big brown thing at the bottom is Marks Bungalow, although he calls it a shed!

In some ways, I am a bit sad. Most of these fish we have had from babies and they all have their own characters. Hoover - named because he "hoovers up" the food from the top of the water - is one of the best. He plays with you. He loves a tickle under his chin and is first around when he thinks there is any food.

Also, unlike the others who grab the food from your fingers, he expects you to hold it for him while he nibbles on it.

But the up-side is - more flowers!!!!

I have always insisted that I am not a gardener and I don't want a garden. However, I LOVE flowers. And, I figured the easiest way to get them was to grow them.

The "garden" started off with a couple of pots.

Then a couple more pots.

Then I insisted that we really need something to cover that horrible fence. I wanted Jasmine and Honeysuckle but we ended up with Clematis. I didn't realise there were so many colours.

There is just a little bit of ground down beside the path that is behind the pond. Perfect for planting climbers in. And, covered with weed membrane and slate, provides a perfect environment for Clematis.

I have tried to find ones that have different colours and flower at different times of the year.

This lovely purple one is coming up strong and has loads of buds on it already.

Unfortunately, the white one isn't so strong and the winds which whistle along the fence continually damage it. I might end up cutting my losses on that one and replacing it.

I am sure I can find a new home for it.

But my pride and joy is my trough.

It is an old animal trough and is about 30 years old. And it looks it!

I really love the natural look to it and have tried to plant it with flowers that will enhance it.

White Violets!

I didn't know you could get these until a friend gave me some.

And the traditional Violets.

Which are spreading all over the trough. But I don't mind, they are so pretty.

These are Daisy type flowers. I think they are a Chrysanthemum. The first year I had them they flowers for ages then died in January. That was when I found out that they were supposed to! It took me ages to find them again!

This year I took cuttings and kept them on the kitchen window sill. I cut it back when it started dying off but now it is sprouting again!

This is Felicia. Also known as Blue Marguerite. It was supposed to have died over winter as well but is flowering again.

I also have a load of other little flowers in there, hopefully for colour all through the summer.

The pea gravel helps stop the compost drying out and provides a lovely background to the flowers.

I am sure you noticed the Mushrooms in the first one. Mark makes them for me. These are the small ones. I have lots of little ones in the pots, mostly made from Laburnam.

That big one in the earlier picture is 22 inches in diameter and big enough to use as a stool!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Too Early to be thinking about Christmas?

I decided to take the plunge and list a couple more things on Etsy. One of which is Christmas stockings.

I wasn't sure if it would be too early but, as the listing is for 4 months, I figured that by the end of it, we would be a whole lot closer.

I dont actually want to sell the listing as I make them personalised to order but I couldn't figure out any other way of showing them. I hope this works out!

While I was there, I decided to have a sort out of what is in the wardrobe and have listed some bridal bits as well!

Next, I need to sort through the jewellery!!!!

The majority of this stuff is what I have made while designing the actual patterns.

If I could sell some there would be room in the wardrobe for more stash!!!!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

About that Orrery.............

Ok, where do I start??????

I need to not only learn but, also understand, how gear ratios and trains work.

Anybody know?

Anybody know anybody else who knows?

There is a very nice man who made this Orrery. I emailed him, not really expecting an answer and he has been in contact with me.

Of course, wouldn't you know it, he doesn't have plans or anything for it. That doesn't really surprise me, the man is an artist not an engineer. You really should check out the rest of his site. Some of his stuff is a bit wierd for my taste but some of it is wonderful!

However, he is planning on making some more and has been emailing me with gear ratios and other useful info.

Not that I know what to do with them!!!!!

So, rather than drown in this wave of panic, I decided to google for "gear ratios and trains". Its amazing what is out there!

There are loads of site aimed at schools and colleges - just my level.

So now I know what a gear ratio is, does and how to use it!

Next step is how to use it in relation to the Orrery.

I did the weekly challenge on UKS this week. My Team will be pleased with me!!!!

Actually, the theme fitted very well with the next page of my Silk album. I did have to go rushing around to see Lesley to find out how to ink some edges and beg some blue brads - but I did it.

Makes a change from digi ones.

And, shhhhh - don't tell anybody, but I am quite liking this "real" scrapping!

Friday, April 18, 2008

New Silks

I have been working on some new silks. The first one isn't really new, its a copy of "Winter". A bit boring really, I don't like doing the same thing over.

However, I was daft enough to price the Four Seasons separately and sold just one of them. I have decided to make a new one for the sale and keep the other so that I can (hopefully) sell the full set at a later date.

The other one is "Dragonflies". This one is a surprise for a friend and she doesn't "do" computers, so I know I am safe in posting it on here!

I thought I could show you how I do it, just in case you fancied having a go your self.

I "drew" the outline using bronze gutta.

Then I painted around them with water. That is why they look a different colour in the photo.

Next I painted the colours I wanted around them. The water helps the colours blend together.

Unfortunately, I didn't make sure the lines were solid enough around the wings, so some of the colour seeped through.

Adding water after the paints have dried a little has a "bleaching" effect. This was how I did the moon.

I also added some water in the wings to lessen the colour in them.

Finally, I added just some small amounts of brown for the grasses.

When it has all dried, you need to steam iron it to fix the colour. A t-towel on the iron board is advised, otherwise you end up with a multi coloured cover!!!!

The colour you choose for backing makes a big difference to the overall colour of the silk. I chose a cobolt blue. It brought out the purples in the paints without being too dark.

I cut a circle of white for the centre of the bleached area for the moon.

And I carefully cut white to go behind the wings, which I tacked into place.

I didn't want any heavy quilting on this one.

I used I used navy, teal and violet threads for the background with paler versions over the moon.

The dragonflies will be done by hand when I bead them.

I have some bronze filament stashed away somewhere, which I will combine with (maybe) brown thread for the body.

And I will use white with the irridescant seed beads on the wings.

On a completely different subject.......

Last night at Craft and Lace group, we had a talk entitled "My Textile Journey" by Bev Mayo.

She has done some stunning work over the years and I was quite fascinated.

I also learned that I do not need a quilting or walking foot for the machine. The way I use the machine would not work with one.

I picked up one of her leaflets and looked at her site this morning. However, I was a little disappointed to see that it is purely about her latest business endeavour and does not include any of her earlier work.

She is now making Memory Cushions, which you can buy ready made or as a quilt. And there is a competition to win a free one!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Learning to crochet

I can't remember learning to crochet. Not surprising really, it was nearly 40 years ago!

I do know that my Dad taught me the basics as he had a lot more patience then Mam. She took over later when we could do the basics.

I remember making "Tank-Tops" that looked like string vests. And ponchos that were all the rage. And waistcoats, long lacy ones.

The problem with Crochet is that people tend to think it belongs in the 70's. Not at all true! You should see some of the things I have seen crocheted!!!

You have to visit Patricia Waller. Its really wierd and most of it not at all my taste but the crocheter in me appreciates the the innovation and work that has gone into these pieces. But I love the Rowing Monkey.

Here is another of my favourite sites. Sylvia Cosh and James Walters made a formidable team. And they are British! Sadly, Sylvia died from cancer in 2000. James built this site about their work.

I have a few of their books which are now out of print. Sometimes you can get lucky and get them on eBay but they are so popular they go for rather a lot. They are far more interesting than some of the modern books you can get.

And this is good for a giggle!

Most of the information around is US based. However, I have a Tutorial in UK terms on my site.

And once you have mastered the basics you could try out this Mini Flower Tutorial.

When you get more adventurous, there are a whole load of Free Patterns on there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sunflowers and Pink!

Thank you for the comments on my snowdrops. Crocheting is more than a hobby for me, its a passion!

And, some day, I hope to be able to earn a reasonable amount of money from it.

Although I don't think it will ever earn me a living and certainly not the Aston Martin DB9 I have promised Mark when I become rich and famous!

Here are some more pages from my Silk Album.

This is the Sunflowers.

I used pieces of the backing and framing fabric on it.

I added the crocheted sun in the corner and Lesley said it needed a stem. So it got turned into a sunflower with a button centre, a wooden stem and some crocheted leaves.

The beaded flower was made from beads used on the actual wall hanging and the ladybirds added a bit of colour.

Pink was a bit more difficult to scrap as I really don't like the colour.

It seems strange that this one should have turned out to be my signature piece for the exhibition.

It doesn't have a whole load of my own handmade embellishments on it.

Just the butterfly and flower made from the beads.

But those stitched handmade papers where so pretty that I just had to use them!

And I bought those quilted flowers months ago!!!!

I did save files of all the journalling blocks as I went and have uploaded them for you to use.

PSDs here. PNGs here. The PSD file is rather large!

And just one more thing. This Blog is addictive reading. Terrie has an autistic son and she has been blogging about her struggle to get him a decent education.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Back to Hooking!

In the nicest way possible of course!

The problem with not crocheting for a while is that all the ideas start piling up so that when you do start crocheting again they all want to come out at once.

This means you start at least 5 things in one go and don't get any of them finished.

And, as you start something new, something else springs to mind that you really NEED to do!

I started working on the pattern for the t-shirt. But, as it is black, I need some light relief for the evenings.

So, I made these!

They are inspired by Bee who is about 7 months at the moment. They are only 2½ cm from toe to heel and will make a great "New Baby" card!

I also made a frame for them which you can thread blue or pink ribbon through.

Then I started working on the patterns for the crocheted punctuation I used in some of my Silk Album.

However, I remembered that I had promised to make something for somebody else and, while finding the pattern I needed to adapt to make it, I saw the Snowdrop earrings pattern.

Which reminded me............

Some time ago, Mark made me this vase from a Banskia Nut.

Mam tatted the Sunflower and the leaf which is in it.

I put it on top of the TV.

But it looked lonely so I told Mark it really needed another little vase to keep it company.

He made me this one from a very pretty piece of elm.

This picture makes it look huge but it is only 10.5 cm tall.

This picture really doesn't do the colours and grain justice.

I was going to make Snowdrops to go in it.

That was about 2 years ago!!!!

However, last night, I did!

I had to finish them off this morning but I am really pleased with them.

They are a bit bigger than real snowdrops but I didn't have finer thread in green to make them smaller.

The whole of the head, including the green bit, is about 4cm.

I may redo them in thinner thread at some point.

And sell these on Etsy! LOL

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Love Bargains!

While this beading frenzie has been on, I bought more beads than I used!!!!


So this meant they didn't all fit in the little plastic case (a reject from Marks shed).

Then I saw this lovely vanity case in the local charity shop. And it was only £3

A bit smelly and dirty but some Flash and Fabreeze later and it has come up lovely

There is room for all my beads, findings, wire, bead tray and the tools I "borrowed" from Mark - well he has loads!!!!!

What's more, there is even room for more beads!!!!!