Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Kitty Squad, Lavender Sachets and WOYWW 313

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.

WOYWW 313a 3 June

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.

WOYWW 313b 3 June

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.

01 Kitty Squad Stamped Sheets

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.

02 Dish of Kitty Squad Cut-Outs

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.)

03 Kitty Squad Cut-Outs on Background

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.”

01 Bees Stamped on Calico

I love the look of the sepia on the unbleached calico.

02 Large Bee Stamped on Calico

04 Small Bees Stamped on Calico Cut Out

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!

05 Materials for Making Lavender Sachets

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.

06 First 7 Lavender Sachets Complete

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.


  1. Happy Belated birthday Shoshi....I hope you managed to celebrate a part of the day at least :-)
    What a lovely idea to make those little lavender bags for the chemo patients....lavender is such a healing herb, it can only help.
    Hugs, LLJ 8 xx

  2. i love the bees! what a lovely idea with the sachets sending you lots of well wishes :)
    Happy WOYWW
    Charlie #1
    or find me here

  3. I am so glad you feel like giving your craft a go. I'm sure your husband will not mind a little mess if this makes you happy! I love the idea of the sachets and just know everyone is going to be so happy to receive one. Anxious to see what you do with the kitties! Glenda #36

  4. Love everything.
    I think your little gifts are perfect and will go down a treat.
    It is very kind of you to do them and very therapeutic for you as well I should imagine.
    Happy belated birthday and anniversary :) #31

  5. It's so good to visit your blog again after so many weeks. I haven't been blogging regularly for the past couple of months due to my hectic schedule. I am also excited to see that you are back to your creative mode with those sweet little lavender sachets that your making for your friends receiving chemo with you. This seems like a very rewarding and therapeutic endeavor. I am also intrigued by the intricate kitty master board that you are working on. Blessings to you and your family, my friend! #37

  6. wow you have been busy, cant wait to see whats coming next with the cats, very intrigued !! love the way the bee stamps on the material that looks really good, Thanks for the snoop
    Jac x
    N0 24

  7. Hi Shoshi, those bags look amazing! Love the idea that they can be used afterwards as wardrobe hangers.Perfectly true, the smaller the project, the greater the amount of stash needed, lol. Glad you are starting to feel well enough to craft, this chemo lark is all ups and downs, isn't it? Lots of love to you both, Hugs, Shaz xx

  8. I think you must be feeling a bit more like your old self, so much going on here. Love the results too. Thanks for the visit to mine and have a great day and happy woyww, Angela x 27

  9. What a lovely idea Shoshi, I'm sure all those people having chemo will really appreciate the generous and thoughtful gift - I'm sure the scent of lavender will lift most people's spirit. I'm so glad to see you getting into your projects again - you have amazed me with how straight and even your little bees are stamped - I'm very impressed! Happy Birthday for Saturday, I hope you managed to celebrate even if only a teeny bit! Thank you for the earlier visit and I hope everything goes well for you with your next session. Keep enjoying the good days - Diana xx

  10. and when you have finished all this (phew! you are busy even though resting) I hope you can get some zentangling done. I loved your work that you did and would love to see some more.
    Take care, good luck on the 12th.
    Hugs, & Thanks for visiting me - Neet xx

  11. A late Happy birthday and Anniversary ( mine was 21st :)) Hopefully you will feel much more like celebrating big time next year xx
    I adore the idea of the lavender bags and happy chemo - such a lovely idea. I am also looking fdorward to seeing what you do with the kittens.
    Soojay 52#

  12. You are keeping yourself busy Shoshi. What a lovely idea to make those lovely gifts. I love the calico ones with the bees on.

  13. Hey missus to say you are not doing much there's an awful lot creating going on.
    You think your hubby has problems Shoshi you should see the state of this place. I've managed to invade every room.
    Take good care of yourself. Till next time, bye for now
    Lynn xx 17

  14. You are officially a crazy cat lady. I love fussy cutting. It is therapeutic indeed. Love all the little lavender sachets. I laughed at your realization that the smaller the project the more stash it needs to make it. I have to admit I never realized that truism before! Judy #56

  15. I'm glad you are up to doing a bit of crafting, and such a nice project it is! Prayers continue that all goes well for you!

  16. the bee's on the fabric is so freakin' awesome... :) those are my favorite shots :) its great that you are feeling well enough to play ~Stacy #54

  17. Hi Shoshi. It's lovely to catch up with you and I'm glad to see you crafting very industriously there. Wow all that fussy cutting. Your little gifts are a wonderful idea and I'm sure they will really help your fellow patients along the hard journey you are all travelling.
    Sending you hugs and I hope everything goes well for you.
    Hugs Lisax #20

  18. Your living room makes me feel quite at home!! I don't blame you for decamping downstairs - hope the treatment continues to be successful. Happy belated birthday, and to your hubby too later on. Love all that cutting, it's keeping you very busy ... not sure I could do quite that much! Happy WOYWW Helen 3

  19. How amazing are those little baggies of lavender? I am sure they will be much appreciated.
    I am so ashamed when I read your post. Here I am, feeling sorry for myself when my life is a little hectic, and one of my dear WOYWW friends is going through real health issues. I am sorry I have not been around to support and say a prayer for you. That is already done now and I really wish you a complete recovery.
    Happy belated WOYWW!
    Tertia #60


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