Monday, 31 January 2011

Wire Making

Thanks for your comments. As a treat after the invasion of the boys from Bath to celebrate a 5th birthday in my home I took myself off to Frome to do a wire making course. There is a lovely Art Gallery called the Black Swan that sells really good handmade art plus has a studio and gallery. One of the artists is Mel Day her website is who does amazing wire making. The one day course was to look at nature, but I fell back on a sketch the older child had done of a flying elephant and turned it into a 3D sculpture. Probably needs a little more work. Mel gets her wire from stripping down old electric cabling so lots of recyling going on plus she buys from a company called the Scientific Wire Company who are also on line and sell and amazing array of wire to makers. Might be useful address. It was just really weaving with wire and took less time to dry then papier-mache, but not as soft as fabric. Joanna

alot of rabbits

Its been so long since I have posted long since I even did anything vaguely crafty! Thought I would show you the awesome designs that my nephew drew which I then got printed onto canvas at spoonflower to make into a bag for his mum.....They did an amazing job of the printing.....the next challenge / competition is rabbits and here are some tentative designs to enter....although its very difficult to get away from the Beatrix Potter school of thought! more pics over on my blog....
Hope that you are all well and happily crafting away!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Budding Embroidery

On Friday, my niece Haiden (who is a 5 year old twin) was home sick and I stayed with her all day. Her sister, Cece, went to school.
Haiden and I did quite a bit of sewing.
Every few minutes she would say, "I can't believe that I am sewing, Aunt Jone"

She really did a beautiful sampler - she drew all the designs with a "magic" pen and then chose her thread. I helped her thread the needle each time there was a color change and she stitched happily away, asking for help only when there was a surprise knot, or something.

I'm so glad I got to spend the day with her - doing what I love to do so much.
I think that Cece is ready to work on a little sewing, too, now.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

A Few More Days....

Well gals, thought you might like to see what Mike and I have been up to recently, so here are a few colourful photos of our trip to the Far East to take the chill out of those cold western winds we hear you have been suffering from. Our last leg starts tomorrow with a visit to Bodhgaya (where the Buddha achieved enlightenment), followed by a couple of days in the foothill of the Himalayas. Then it's back to the tail end of a French winter and a little bit of reality.....

Friday, 21 January 2011

More Projects

I am late.
It happens often.... and makes me crazy.
Still, there is something about the pressure of the "deadline" that finally pushes me to getting something done.

These projects are for a wonderful online "inspire" magazine by Amy Powers. Check it out!

"wearing your heart on your sleeve"
These cuffs are made from the cuffs cut from an old shirt.
Adding goodies - fabric, embroidery, buttons, lace - to make something fun.

And then, there is the Nest.
Made from pipe cleaners, it is easy and useful for decorating in the Spring.

Step One: "the Spider"
Wrap two pipe cleaners folded in half and attach one more "half"
to make five "arms"

Step Two:
Bend (and squeeze tight) the end of a long pipe cleaner to the center of the "spider"
Start wrapping it, weaving it over and under the five arms of the spider.
Weave it firmly, close to the "row" before.
Twist another pipe cleaner to the end of the first when you need more
to make your nest as big as you would like it to be.

Step Three:
When the nest is as big as you want it to be,
there is a chance that there will be more of the "arms" left unwrapped.
These can become branches holding the nest.
You can cut leaves from felt and stitch them to the ends of the branches.

I think it would be nice to make eggs to go into the nest, but haven't done them yet.


Hello and Happy New Year everybody

Though i have not blogged in a while - i have not been idle! Here are two birds I made over the holidays ...
Broadly speaking they are like the Lesser Spotted Tattered but in different colours. The red one is using some of the seriously antique french linen i got from the antique fabric lady as LSA and some french general prints. The peach coloured one is a lovely vintage paisley - very tight woven and again french general prints. Both have leather beaks this time which i think works well. One has diamante eyes and one pearls.
I just bought a book called ' Little Birds' which has several interesting examples so expect more birdie news soon!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Still Point of the Turning World

Have only just looked at my photos and thought that this might be the best way to share them. You all seem to have been very busy with your handiwork looking at Panty Violets for the first time in ages so well done to you all. Happy New Year may it be a good one.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Antique Mall

On my way home from Los Poblanos yesterday, I stopped in at an Antique Mall.
I stopped there once before and found a booth where I really liked almost everything.
Yesterday, I took my camera and took a few shots to share with you.

Check out these plates. Unfortunately, they are priced at $75 each, which is over my limit.
But, aren't they great? Can't decide if I prefer the rusty one or the shiny one.......

I cannot believe that I had to pass up this cabinet! The painted glass windows are so beautiful and such an inspiration and the blue is nice, too.

Nice plates - more inspiration for things I hope to get to this year...

I collect horses. My dad called me "ponie" so I look for them everywhere. I am particular about the ones I decide to keep in my collection, though. I think this one would make it, if the price were right.

And, lustre ware. My mom loves this stuff. I like the delicacy of these two little cups and saucers with one plate. I think that it is the perfect little "tea set" for a couple of special friends.
Maybe it should go to Vintage Fairy Tales.....hmmmmmm......



As you can see - things are very busy round the manger! Here we have an accumulation of nativity feves - two job lots I've joined together to make my version of the Italian precepio - a nativity scene which is added to year on year, generation after generation in some cases. I remember hearing someone on the radio talking about precepios - inherited ones and more modern ones and I laughed out loud when he said the new character for whatever year it was was Monica Lewinski!!!! Can you imagine .....
The French feves highlight the difference between the continental epiphany story and the English nativity. In England all the emphasis is on Christmas and the Epiphany is neither here nor there whereas on the continent the Epiphany was the major celebration and the cast of characters included old women, knife grinders, millers and all manner of tradespeople.

As you can see here, we have an abundant crop of kings - rather than 3 there are 9!!! On the upside more presents for the baby Jesus!

There's also an extensive selection of shepherds and animals as well as a bevy of townsfolk!
I love the relatively crude painting and the dots which 'suggest' the features - some of the little people look like spooks! Faces which my Granny would say - only a mother could love!!

And finally! Our crazy Christmas cake! Made by my sister, decorated by me - it usually has fibre optic lights and shocking musical elements - but this year sadly they had expired - we felt their loss. A couple of years ago when my Mum gave up making the family Christmas Cake, Lynda and I went shopping and ended up completely hysterical buying all sorts of over the top and extremely unsuitable - shocking fibre optic miniature trees, musical christmas decorations were added as well as the nativity figures you see here! Sadly this year they refused to work - we will have to shop again - earlier next year!!

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and send you every good wish and much love for a healthy, happy and creative New Year!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday

Thinking about all of you today as the new year begins.
Hope your holidays were great!

Here are the birthday ladies for January 2011!
Happy Days to ALL three of you...

Katie - Happy Day to YOU on the 12th of this month.
Hope you're staying warm at Biancon and will have a wonderful celebration on your day.

Di, dearest Di! Your day is on the 14th. Knowing you, there is a lovely celebration planned for you, by you - surely doing something you will LOVE! You are an inspiration to me for making things happen! I want that in my life, too....All the best to you....

And Taylor - Happy Birthday to YOU on the 18th!
I hope you will have a great time on your day. I'll be thinking about you ......
Maybe you'll take a quick, fun trip somewhere to see a friend....what ever you do, I hope it is just the right thing.

Make those wishes and blow out the candles, girls!
Love to you all!