What’s on your workdesk (this) Wednesday? I have to say there’s not much on mine, because I’ve been too exhausted recently to sit up in my ARTHaven studio, and have decamped downstairs so I can be creative with my feet up! My poor hubby, what he has to put up with. Look at the state of our sitting room.
Zooming in where I am doing most of the actual “work” (if you can call it that), here is what my table looks like when I’m busy.
I have two things on the go at the moment. I always find the smaller the project, the more stuff I need to make it. First of all, I have started a project using my new Stampotique Originals stamp “Kitty Squad.” I bought this last year, and because health issues overtook me in the New Year, this is the first time I’ve used it.
The first thing I do with Stampotique Originals stamps is to unmount them from their wood blocks. I hate wood-mounted stamps. They take up far too much room, and it’s difficult to see exactly where they are going to stamp. So I broke out the adhesive remover and found some EZ-Mount Foam and set to work. Very sticky job, and it gets all over my non-stick scissors from Tim Holtz, too. Anyway, job done, I started to stamp whole sheets of card with this stamp.
Then I fussy-cut them out. What a job. I still haven’t finished. Here are some of them laid out randomly on my brown masterboad/background sheet. (It can only be called a masterboard if one intends to cut it up and use it in projects, something I can never bring myself to do.)
They look a bit like bugs… More photos later, when I reveal what I’m going to do with all these kitties. It’s an experiment and I have no idea if it will work. Still, fussy cutting is quite therapeutic!
My other project is to make little lavender sachets for all my fellow chemo “cows” sitting patiently in the milking parlour, chewing the cud and waiting for their chemo infusions to finish. It’s a bit of a glum experience, and my friend Maria in the US has told me about her cancer-survivor friend who started “Happy Chemo!” by giving people small gifts. I felt inspired by this and thought what nicer than to give each person a lavender sachet to sniff. Lavender is so calming and healing and lovely, and last year, our neighbour gave me a whole armful of clippings from her lavender hedge and there is still masses left over after making quite a bit of infused lavender oil.
I’m good at pretty, but not so good perhaps at the more manly style, so I decided that alongside the pretty ones, made with scraps of lace and ribbon and pretty embellishments, I’d make some plain calico ones for the chaps. I have never stamped on fabric before (except for a brief experimental foray into stamping on teabags), so I used sepia archival ink, using my other new Stampotique Originals stamps, “Medium Bee with tiny bee.”
I love the look of the sepia on the unbleached calico.
My plastic tray full of goodies for making the bags. I’ve also got several large boxes and quite a few smaller ones littering up the place (see first photo) with all the stuff I “might need” for this project!
These are the seven bags I’ve finished so far. Each one has some form of embellishment, and each one has a tiny heart charm sewn on which reads “made with love.” You will notice that each bag has a little loop. You can hang this over your thumb for sniffing purposes, and later you can hang the bag on a clothes hanger if you want.
I have a lot of recycled embellishments, including bits and pieces from sabotaged cheap jewellery from the village fete. Some of my little bags have a disc of abalone shell from a necklace I took apart. The iridescent colours of these shiny shell fragments are beautiful. I’ve also got a couple of plastic “charms” that came out of a Christmas cracker – bright red plastic – which I have painted with black gesso with the idea of rubbing gilding wax on them – great for this project.
I couched some white cotton cord (which I smooshed in some Gathered Twigs distress ink on my craft sheet) around the edges of the calico bags, and frayed the ends of the loop to create tassels.
I’ve still got a lot of them to make. Eventually each one will be tucked into a little box – I found the design online and downloaded the template – a pretty box cut from a single piece and assembled in such a way that it remains closed until the recipient desires to open it. I am going to use thick watercolour paper to make these (probably) and they will be embellished with mixed media – each box will reflect the design and/or colour of the sachet within.
It was my birthday on Saturday, but as with my hubby’s birthday on 19th and our 29th anniversary on 24th, it was a low key affair as I didn’t feel up to celebrating. Let’s hope that we will be able to celebrate big time next year! My friend Marlene sent me a box of crafty goodies for my birthday which I unfortunately put away before I remembered I hadn’t photographed it, but there were lots of fabby embellishments, gems, rubber stamps, die cuts, etc. etc. What fun! Some will be incorporated in the lavender sachets project.
We went to a stoma open day today (yes, such things DO exist…) – see my Gutless Bag Lady blog if you are interested (link top right of this blog). My stoma is now settled enough for the nurse to set up a prescription for me (saw her last Friday, when I also saw the surgeon, who is well pleased with my progress). Oncology appointment tomorrow, and then my next chemo on 12th June. It’s all go. I am now feeling a lot better after the first treatment’s effects are starting to wear off, and I’m trying to take full advantage of these “good” days.
Sorry not to be able to take part in the WOYWW 6th anniversary ATC swap, but I am hoping to send one to each of the people who have very kindly sent me an ATC to cheer me along my road to a cancer-free life!
Happy WOYWW, everybody, and may chaos reign in our creative spaces, and may God grant us enough of His creative spirit to enable us to bring a small modicum of beauty out of that chaos during the coming week.