Thursday, 29 November 2018

Completing the Flowers and Leaves for my Altering Project

WOYWW visitors – please scroll down to previous post.

I have now finished making the flowers for my mystery project, and I have also made some leaves.

I made a selection of single-piece flowers and layered some of them for a bit more interest.

43 Single-Piece Turquoise Flowers

I used Orange Peel and Turquoise Stickles for the centres of some of them, and for the rest, I added a nice big blob of hot glue and sprinkled this with orange Flowersoft equivalent – this stuff is called Soft Magic from Carole’s Crafts, in light orange – I’ve had the set of these for ages and can’t remember where I got them. I don’t use it very often and it does make rather nice flower centres. It’s one of those supplies that lives in a drawer and gets forgotten about!

Here are all the turquoise flowers I have made.

44 All the Turquoise Flowers

Moving on to the leaves, I cut them all with the left-hand die from this Die’sire Classiques set, “Assorted Leaves.” I don’t much like the second die and haven’t used it yet, but I bought these dies at a craft show early this year, for the first die which has proved very useful.

45 Die-Cutting the Leaves

I cut all these leaves from scraps of American Crafts white cardstock so I didn’t have to break into another whole sheet. I then hand-embossed them all with two sizes of embossing tools into a piece of fun foam.

Colouring two sets of leaves, one to go with the turquoise/terracotta flowers and the other with the brown flowers.

For the terracotta ones I coloured them with Rusty Hinge Distress Stain, painting on the ink in a random, blotchy way, and then repeated the process with Gathered Twigs Distress Stain, and finally distressed the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink, using a home-made ink blender.

46 All the Leaves Complete

For the brown ones, I used the same method, first with Pumice Stone Distress Stain, followed by Gathered Twigs, and finally with Antiqued Bronze Distress Stain for a subtle shimmer, and again, distressed the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

Here are the brown leaves, together with a selection of brown flowers.

47 Brown Leaves with Some Flowers

These are the terracotta leaves, together with a selection of turquoise flowers.

48 Terracotta Leaves with Some Flowers

I am now ready to continue with the rest of the project – I have already made good progress – and I will be able to show the finished results in a couple of weeks’ time.

I have made far too many leaves and flowers for my immediate use, but will use up the excess for other projects – most probably when I alter the little frames that my hubby gave me recently.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

WOYWW 495–Lots of Flowers

I am sorry I didn’t get to visit many desks last week but I’ve been so busy this week. We’ve had a lot on, and I’ve also been making lots of flowers for my current mystery project which has a fairly tight deadline, as well as working on other parts of it which can’t be revealed yet. My stuff arrived from Ebay so I can crack on now.

WOYWW 495 27-11-18

I’ve made mostly roses, and a few single-piece flowers, in three colour schemes – dark purple, turquoise, and brown. Here is the complete set so far – I am hoping to make a few single-piece turquoise ones as well.

50 Three Tubs of Flowers

Individual sets.

26 All the Purple Roses on Light Rose Wallpaper

32 All the Turquoise Roses

40 All the Brown Flowers

Please scroll down for posts with further details of these flowers, and more pictures.

These little embroidery frames also arrived from Ebay on Monday – I had used my last one a while back.

01 New Woodgrain Effect Clip Frames from Ebay_thumb[2]

They are an ideal size for small cross-stitch projects for gifts.

02 New Clip Frame Disassembled_thumb[2]

The outer ring is rubber and clips into the inner ring, and you can work in the frame, then back it, and hang it. You can get them in lots of colours – you can see my other ones – but I like the woodgrain effect best. Smashing little frames! I like to keep a few in stock. A few months ago I got a new cross-stitch programme for the computer as my old one does not work with Windows 10.


Some of my best sourdough this week! Following some online advice about shaping the loaves twice at the end, instead of once, they ended up with a lot more tension and didn’t collapse. Apart from this final shaping, I have found that the less I handle the dough during the day, the better the result. Developing too much gluten makes the dough wet and sticky and causes it to collapse.

59 Excellent Sourdough 25-11-18

60 Excellent Sourdough Cut 25-11-18

On the top photo, you can clearly see the ridges made by the bannetons. This shows up more on a white sourdough loaf.

Health Update

Partial good news on the pants front! My tirade on the phone evidently bore some fruit, because despite them telling me the second pair would not be sent out till Friday, they arrived on Thursday! What’s more, they fit. So at least I was able to put a clean pair on and I can just about manage with two pairs until they get on with the remaining ones. After the GP’s prompt response to my email, promising an instant further prescription, I am hoping to receive the third pair (and even a fourth if the GP has indeed written me a prescription for two more) sooner rather than later.


We’ve had more problems with Ruby getting out. My hubby was out on Monday morning – fortunately only locally, and I looked out of the kitchen window to see Ruby on top of the inward-sloping mesh on top of the garden fence, which is supposed to keep them in. She was clearly distressed and couldn’t get down. I went out and called her but she wouldn’t jump, and I was terrified of her catching her paw again, as she did a couple of weeks ago. I immediately called my hubby on his mobile and he came home straight away, went into next door’s garden armed with Dreamies and enticed her down, and carried her home. She was very subdued for the rest of the day.

He had a good look along that fence to see if he could discover where she was getting out, and found that one of the fence panels is quite rotten, and she’d forced her way between the top of it and the bottom of the mesh where he hadn’t put in enough staples. I suggested he looked for forensic evidence in the form of “hair and fibre” (I watch too many detective series!) but he couldn’t find any of her fur on the fence. It was an extremely small gap and I was surprised she could get through, but my hubby said kitties are like octopuses and can squeeze through the smallest holes. They are as curious as octopuses too. Both kitties are now temporarily banned from going outside at all until he can get this fixed. He ordered a new fence panel straight away, which has been delivered, but he will have to work on it to make it fit the space.

Amazingly, each time Ruby has got out, Lily has come to tell us! She was extremely distressed that time Ruby got her paw stuck. Earlier on Monday morning, she was sitting on the windowsill outside the kitchen window, crying plaintively, and I thought she was just asking me to let her in through the window, which I refused to do. I think that Ruby was already out, and Lily had come to tell me, and I was too stupid to realise what she was saying! She gets very distressed if her sister is doing something wrong or is in trouble. She is like the responsible older sister who cares very much about her naughty little sister, and Ruby isn’t nearly as bright as Lily, and she never learns! You’d think that after she got her paw stuck, she would have learnt that she is likely to get hurt and frightened if she goes over the fence. So far the kitty defences have been very adequate, and hopefully the new fence panel will do the trick – she’s only been out that side of the garden.

04 Identical Positions in Flat Sitting Room 21-11-18

Some friends of my hubby’s in the village where we used to live, who recently lost the second of their two elderly black kitties, have just got two new kittens – tabby and white this time. Next time we are over in their direction we shall call in – I can’t wait to see them! I remember when they got the other two, and I completely fell in love with the little one who has just died, and was tempted to put her in my handbag and take her home! She was always the smaller of the two and utterly adorable. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and those two darling little black babies are now no more, having lived a good long life. It’s so devastating when they go, isn’t it. They grow up so quickly and you don’t want to miss a moment of their adorable kittenhood.

Have a great creative week, everybody.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Brown Flowers for the Altering Project

Third and final colour scheme – naturals and browns.

For the lighter coloured roses, I began by painting the flower pieces with Antique Linen Distress Stain. I discovered the quickest way of doing this was to prise off the dauber top from the bottle with a knife and just dip the brush in. Too much faffing around daubing it onto the craft sheet or onto the flower pieces which tend to rip if you rub them when they are wet. I really hate the dauber tops on the Distress Stains!

33 Small Roses with Antique Linen

Half way through this, I managed to tip the bottle over… I managed to scoop most of it up with a palette knife and then used the flower pieces to smoosh up the rest. I decided that I was too clumsy to be trusted with open bottles of Distress Stains on the desk, so from now on, I am standing the open bottle in a plastic bowl in case of accidents! A simple matter to pour it back into the bottle if I knock it over.

The other day online I saw some flowers with petals that were half-and-half in two colours and the effect was lovely, so I thought I would try this. The second colour was Pumice Stone. I painted this on fairly roughly as before.

34 Small Roses with Pumice Stone

Here is the set of light brown roses with the half-and-half petals. I am really pleased with this effect.

35 Light Brown Roses

36 Light Brown Roses Close Up

The other thing I discovered, doing these, was that it was quicker to distress the edges of the petals once the flowers were assembled. I discovered this because I made up the small roses and then realised I hadn’t done it. The result is just as effective, and done in less than half the time – a quick swipe back and forth over the flower with the blending tool and it’s done. For this I used Tea Dye Distress Ink.

Moving on to the darker brown flowers, here are the cut out pieces for two sizes of roses and some single-piece flowers. I used Gathered Twigs and Tea Dye Distress Stains for these.

37 Dark Brown Flower Pieces

The roses complete. They needed a little something extra so I lightly rubbed a little gold gilding wax over the petal tips and they positively shimmer! As usual, the photos don’t do them justice.

38 Dark Brown Roses Complete

39 Dark Brown Roses Close Up

All the brown flowers. I’ve added a little gold gilding wax to all of them, and I layered some of the single-piece flowers.

40 All the Brown Flowers

The final touch was to add a tiny dot of gold Stickles to the centre of these flowers.

41 Single Piece Dark Brown Flowers with Stickles

I’m not sure there’s much more I can show you on this project for a little while, apart from making a few single-piece turquoise flowers, but keep watching this space – I shall be working away in the background to get things finished.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

More Flowers for my Altering Project

I have made a few more roses to go with the first part of this project, details of which remain under wraps for now.

I wanted to make some to co-ordinate with the dark purple roses, so I began by adding some Hickory Smoke Distress Ink to the flower pieces, using a home-made ink blending tool.

18 Small Roses with Hickory Smoke

After this, I stippled on some Silvery Shimmer from my collection of Delicata ink pads, using a stiff paintbrush. As usual with shimmery/reflective surfaces, this doesn’t show up very well on the photo, but they do have a subtle silvery sheen.

19 Small Roses with Silver Shimmer

Some time ago I transferred my Dusty Concord Distress Stain into a spray bottle but this wasn’t very successful as this cheap little bottle doesn’t spray very finely, but with quite large spatters. In this case, this was the effect I wanted, so I proceeded to spray the inked pieces, and only realised too late that the spray had wandered a bit, and most of the spare white flower pieces lying on top got a generous sprinkling of spots! Never mind – once inked, they don’t show up too much, and if they do, hey, it’s extra texture!

20 Small Roses with Purple Spatters

After this, I used my home-made spray booth. I thought the resulting sprayed kitchen paper was worth keeping! It might come in for another project.

27 Spray Booth After Use

Distressing the edges of these flower pieces. I decided to do some with Dusty Concord Distress Ink, and to keep the others slightly less purple, by using Black Soot Distress Ink.

21 Small Roses with Distressed Edges

The difference is subtle, but still noticeable, giving a bit of variety.

22 Small Silver and Purple Roses

The distressed edges on the flower pieces does show up more once the flowers are made up.

Here are all the purple themed roses together, large and small.

23 All the Purple Roses

Here are some pictures of them on the different wallpaper samples.

24 All the Purple Roses on Dark Rose Wallpaper

25 All the Purple Roses on Silver Wallpaper

26 All the Purple Roses on Light Rose Wallpaper

As yet, I am undecided which I shall use.

Moving on to the next part of the project, I decided to make some turquoise/terracotta coloured roses.

Here are the small rose pieces being painted first with Peacock Feathers, and then Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks, smooshing the pads on my non-stick craft sheet and spritzing them with water, and picking up the ink with a soft brush. I deliberately kept the painting blotchy and random.

28 Painting the Small Turquoise Roses

Once dried with my heat gun, I distressed the edges first with Rusty Hinge, and then with Tea Dye Distress Inks.

29 Distressing the Small Turquoise Roses

The small turquoise roses made up, together with their Distress Inks.

30 Small Turquoise Roses and Distress Inks

And again, in close-up. Quite a pleasing result, I think. I was a bit worried that the orange colour of the Rusty Hinge Distress Ink was going to blend with the turquoise and make the flowers go too green, but adding the Tea Dye seemed to help a bit.

31 Small Turquoise Roses

I made a couple of the larger, shabby roses to go with this set.

32 All the Turquoise Roses

I can’t show you any more for a while, except for the final colour scheme roses which I hope to make tomorrow. I am also planning to make up some of the other flowers, each made from a single layer, and I also need to make some leaves, which I shall probably die-cut rather than using the machine, as I’ve now got quite a nice collection of leaf dies.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

An Altering Project

There are a few things I need to make over the next few weeks, so it’s studio time again. I can’t reveal too much detail yet, but later I will be able to tell you more. In the meantime, I can safely share the early stages without giving away too much.

Recently my hubby bought four small frames and then realised they didn’t have any glass, which he didn’t like, so he gave them to me, and I thought they would be lovely to alter.

01 Four Small Frames for Altering

I took them apart and pulled off all the embellishments for use elsewhere. Each frame had a tiny clothes peg with a message attached, and the whole thing tied onto the frame with some gorgeous jute string which is definitely going in my stash! The shiny card can also be used for something else. Not much gets thrown out chez Shosh.

02 Frames Taken Apart

The next step, when I get time, will be to paint the frames with gesso in readiness for altering.

I am awaiting the arrival of some supplies for this project from Ebay, and can’t make real progress till they arrive. I also have several wallpaper sample sheets,  and I have decided to use one or more in the project.

03 Selection of Wallpapers

The patterns are quite large, but there are some lovely bits I can cut out, and some nice texture for backgrounds, and the colours are gorgeous. I decided to make lots of paper flowers, mostly roses, and to try and match up the colour to co-ordinate with the wallpapers.

I spent a long time cutting several 12 x 12 sheets of flower pieces on Sheba, my Cougar cutting machine, using American Crafts Cardstock in white, which cuts beautifully with Sheba, and although less strong than watercolour paper, is strong enough not to disintegrate when wet, and thinner too, which is ideal for the flowers that I make. Here they are, all laid out ready for colouring. The pieces in the bowls are individual flowers, and the others on the desk, stacked up in piles, are the pieces necessary to make individual roses in two sizes and styles. All these flower patterns are svg files from Penny Duncan, and I use them regularly – easy to resize as necessary in Inkscape, and then cut out.

01 Flower Pieces Cut

For this flower factory, I began with the roses. I selected a variety of different colours from my collection of Distress Stains. The idea was to produce a nice subtle mix of colours to co-ordinate with the wallpapers, and I knew it would take several layers.

I began with Worn Lipstick, smearing some on my non-stick craft sheet and spritzing it with a bit of water, and roughly painting both sides of the required number of flower pieces to make some roses.

02 Colouring Small Roses 1 - Worn Lipstick

The next colour I chose was Victorian Velvet.

03 Colouring Small Roses 2 - Victorian Velvet

After this was Seedless Preserves.

04 Colouring Small Roses 3 - Seedless Preserves

You can see how the colour is darkening, and with subtle variations. It was all looking a bit pink, so the next colour I chose was Weathered Wood, which is a lovely slate-blue colour verging on grey, which I thought would make them more purple and dull the colour down a bit.

05 Colouring Small Roses 4 - Weathered Wood

It needed more of a brown look, so I chose Pumice Stone, which is a very useful colour in the Distress range – added to any colour, it has the effect of dulling it down.

06 Colouring Small Roses 5 - Pumice Stone

It still needed to be duller, and more grey, so the final colour I chose was Hickory Smoke. I do not have this colour in my Distress Stains collection, so I smeared the Distress Ink pad on my craft sheet, spritzed it with water, and used that instead.

08 Colouring Small Roses 7 - Hickory Smoke

This was the effect I was looking for. At each stage, I dried the flower pieces with my heat gun, before proceeding to the next colour. When the pieces are wet, they are very fragile, especially the ones with the slit. The final step was to distress the edges with Hickory Smoke Distress Ink, using a home-made ink blender.

09 Distressing Edges of Small Roses - Hickory Smoke

Once they were fully dry after the final colour, I hand-embossed each petal, some cups and some domes after deciding which side of the piece should be on top, according to their eventual position in the rose.

10 Hand-Embossing Small Roses

The first of the small dark roses completed. Each layer is stuck with hot glue.

11 Dark Small Roses Complete

Time to move on to the larger, shabby roses – what Penny Duncan calls her “Grungey Rose” pattern. These have more interesting tips to their petals, and the roses are more open and natural looking. Each flower requires the same number of pieces, and the method of construction is the same. Here are the pieces in the middle of being coloured, using the same succession of colours that I used before.

12 Colouring Shabby Roses

The pieces after embossing.

13 Shabby Rose Pieces Embossed

Here are the three dark-coloured shabby roses that I made.

14 Dark Shabby Roses Complete

Having documented the colours I used and how I coloured the pieces, I can refer back to this post and repeat the process, should I need some more.

Both sizes of rose together.

15 Shabby and Small Dark Roses Complete

I really like this subtle, dark and dusky purple – actually not purple but a mixture of colours to give interest and depth. Laid on top of a couple of the the wallpaper samples, they are a pretty good match, I think.

16 Dark Roses on Light Rose Wallpaper

17 Dark Roses on Dark Rose Wallpaper

I shan’t know how many of these roses I shall need until my supplies arrive from Ebay, but that shouldn’t take more than a few days.  At least I’ve been able to get ahead a bit. Watch this space!

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