Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Help for Crafty Karen

A fellow member of the Crafter’s Companion forum that I belong to is experiencing severe difficulties at the moment, and our friend Wendy (also on the forum, and whose blog I follow) has decided to promote some practical help for her. I told Wendy that I would spread the news on my blog, and put a link to make a donation if anyone feels so inclined.  I believe that as crafters and artists we are part of a huge family community online, and that when one is hurting, then we all do, and we can show our appreciation for each other by helping as and when we can.

I’m going to paste below what Wendy has written on her blog, so you can see what it’s all about. She writes:


Please read the whole post some of it is Karen`s  own words

imageA crafting friend that I have been chatting to for a few years on the crafter companion forum is in need of some help.


This Is Karen (Krafty Karen)

She is in constant pain over the last few years and it is getting worse, I and the other girls on Crafters Companion Forum have heard about Karen s struggle to get doctors to listen to and believe in her symptoms and send her for testing.

She once said they made her feel as if it was all in her head and her imagination, well a year ago after Karen collapsed she found herself I hospital and finally the tests were being done.

Well she was given a diagnosis, and thought this is it ,help is on the way at last.

A year later she is still in constant pain .

I meet up with Karen a month ago while I was holidaying near her home, she invited both my husband and I to come and meet at her home for Coffee.

Meeting Karen was like meeting a long lost friend, and her kids were wonderful and polite( she has 5 ranging from 15 to 3)

While visiting I could see for myself how much pain Karen was in ,every movement caused her pain, her husband and oldest daughter are helping Karen with the younger kids and everyday life.

Karen was saying that any day soon she would be going to see her pain management consultant and that she would be having an Epidural in her neck that would help a lot with the pain and her mobility .

Well last week Karen phoned the hospital to find out that her pain management consultant has gone onto long term sick leave and all his waiting lists have been cancelled., She is devastated by this news.

I noticed that this week Karen has been listing lots of her crafting items for sale on E bay.

I also know that crafting has been Karen s escape thought all this trouble .

I asked her why she was selling her stuff.

Karen feels that the only option left open to her is to go to see a private consultant and is trying to raise funds for her fees.

That why she is selling her much loved crafting Items

This weeks I asked Karen for the first time about her illness, in depth, what it was and what were the problems it caused.


Here are Karen s own words As she Emailed to me a few days ago

I have Degeneration of the C spine... (My neck) The disks which are damaged by change so far are;-

C4/5 C5/6 C6/7. I also have narrowing to the Exit Foramina which is causing root nerve compression - all of this causes a whole host of nasties for me, not least of which is the pins & needles, numbness to my limbs, loss of use and weakness to my arm, hand, and leg. Black outs, dizzy spells, headaches, loss of vision to my right eye and so many other problems they are too many to mention here.

The biggest thing I live with day to day is the sheer level of constant pain. The pain I have is in my neck, my shoulders, my arm, partly in my back, and in my leg too.

I also get a lot of pain to the back of my skull because of the problems with my neck. I suffer from paralyses and have good and bad days with this.

I also suffer from something called Complicated Migraine, which causes separate issues of it's own, but this is being managed with medication. But it does mean that I am unable to take normal analgesic or over the counter pain relief.

So I go day to day without any pain relief at all.

I have been waiting for such a long time for an Epidural injection in my neck, to give me some relief to my symptoms, which the hospital have just put back - and I am now on an "active waiting list" - I am still awaiting a referral to a London Spinal Specialist - I have been waiting for this referral for a long time now, and again, this appointment keeps getting knocked back.

I am currently trying to raise the funds to visit a private consultant, so that I can get some straight, honest, unbiased answers on exactly what my problem is and what my options are for getting it sorted out., I also want to be able to have the Epidural done if I can raise enough money for this.

I am so desperate to be able to do things with my children again. The worst thing this summer has not been having one single day out with my kiddies. It's made me feel like I've failed them some how.

It is now two and a half years since these symptoms started, and a year since my diagnosis and I am still right at square one for getting any help. I am still suffering daily with no pain relief. I am still fighting to see the right consultant who is willing to help me and give me an honest answer with regards to what procedure is needed.

The only consultant who was honest enough to tell me my neck is in really bad shape, and that I need to go to London, and that I will need a series of operations in my lifetime, has just taken long term sick leave. He was my pain management consultant, and this is the reason why I have now been knocked back yet again, and I am now still waiting for my long awaited Epidural in my neck..

This is why I have been selling some of my crafting stuff in the hope of raising some funds to go and see a private consultant.

The thought of waiting maybe another year to be seen is unbearable

It seems to just go round and round and round in circles until I am right back where I started hun..



Wendy continues:

Well I just felt so angry on Karen s behalf and felt the need to do something.

This where I was wondering if you lovely crafters out there would be willing to help.

Karen has designed a few kits for sale at paper creator stores.

She is very modest lady and I did not know that she was doing this until a few days ago, She said its to keep her mind of her pain and designing has been a bit of a life saver for her this last year.

Well her kits are lovely and are available at paper creator stores,

I emailed Debbie at the PC store and she told me that Karen gets paid for every kit that is sold..( a few I have included in this post)

Well a light bulb went off in my head( it does not happen very often ROFL).

What a great way to raise funds for Karen s treatment.

If you buy a kit or two it will all go to Karen s private Consultant fund and get her the help she needs ASAP.

If you are feeling really generous how about buying the whole set,

This way we are all helping a fellow crafter in need and have a few lovely card kits to play with as well.

So please click on these links and take a look and help if you can.

These links will take you to Karen s Designs.

There are two site you can order from ether, Karen has a few extra kits to choose from on the USA site

Uk site

USA Site

These are the links to Karen s designs
The 5 kits shown on paper creator site and 9 kits shown on Paper crafts site.
If you are looking at the stores side bar to find Karen s kits they are listed under the title
"Karen works alongside the Crafty Gals and uses the Crafty Gals EXLCUSIVES logo at the two stores."

It would also be great if you could post some links about this onto your blogs , face book pages and forums that you visit.

Lots have emailed me asking for a donate button to be set up, for those who are not crafter`s but would still like to help.

I have added one at the top of my page in the side bar


If you do buy one of Karen s kits, I am sure she would just love it if you popped over to her blog and left her a link so that she could come see your cards.

That would be a sure way to help her feel better

This is Karen s blog, Some of you in crafting land may already know her.

Please pop over and say hello, she could do with your support,

Karen never moans Just gets on with it.

Well Lets all help Karen s Children Get their Mummy Back.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help and support




Well, I think that is wonderful.

Most of us would say, “Oh dear, how awful, that poor girl… I wish I could do something.” Wendy hasn’t just done that, she’s actually done something practical, to get the ball rolling, to help Karen get some much needed funds to help her on the road to recovery, so that she can enjoy her life again with her husband and their five children. I do hope there will be a massive response to this appeal so that she knows that the whole crafting community out there really does care when one of its members is suffering and in need.

Thank you for reading this, and thank you in advance for helping us bless this lovely young lady.


Thanks again to Julia for organising another blog hop around our messy desks midweek (some more messy than others, I have to say!) – link on my sidebar for anyone who doesn’t know what this is all about and who’d like to join in the fun.

Not much of interest on my table this week, I’m afraid. We had our village fete on Bank Holiday Monday and I bought a few bits and pieces for my ARTHaven (I may post about those another time as there’s some fun stuff!) and included was the little fabric caddy thing on my table that I’ve started putting my tools in. It’s a lot better, and a lot prettier, than my old jam jar!

WOYWW 117 31-8-11

The rest of the stuff on the table is as a result of my having a clear-out today. Now I’ve finished my painted ATC cards I want to start some new projects, and I’ve got a parcel of goodies arriving in the next day or two and will have to find homes for some new things, so today I started to tidy up a bit. Why is it that when one starts tidying, it always goes through a phase of being even more UNtidy?

I labelled quite a few boxes today and sorted things into them – I get my face creams mail order and they come in 2 sizes of small, strong cardboard boxes with a hinged lid, a bit like the open one on the table but deeper, and they are ideal for putting bits and pieces in. They are dark blue so can’t be easily written on, so I’ve temporarily stuck white labels on them and written on them, but eventually I am hoping to paint them and make them look more pretty.

I also sorted out my hand-made paper flowers and leaves and put them into the little jars on my pegboard over the table. You can’t see those in the photo unfortunately. I spent ages winding up all my florist’s ribbon so that it would take up less room and all go in one of my small boxes with the flower-making tools, and while I was winding and getting sore thumbs doing it, I thought of all those nurses in the hospitals in World War I (my grandmother was one of them) who spent so many hours rolling bandages. I wonder they didn’t get RSIs doing that!

So – nothing terribly productive this week apart from my nappy liner experiments which you can read about in a previous post.

Before I go, could I please ask you all to read my post of today, entitled “Help for Crafty Karen”? I’d be most grateful!

Happy WOYWW everybody!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Nappy Liner Experiments

This afternoon I started experimenting with my new nappy (diaper) liners which I had read were fun to heat treat and use in mixed media art.

I have read that for UK users, the best brand is Boots’ own brand, as other makes do not melt so well. Not sure about the USA.

01 Nappy Liners

I’ve got 2 packs of 100 each, and they are nice and big, so I’ll be playing for years!! They are quite cheap. I cut one into quarters and experimented with three of these pieces.

I used my Pebeo fluid acrylic paints as I thought they’d soak into the fabric quite well. I mixed the blue and green to form the turquoise colour, and used the other two colours neat.

02 Acrylic Paints Used

Using a fairly broad brush, I coated the first piece really well – so well in fact that it soaked right through onto my craft mat and made quite a mess!

03 Piece Painted with Acrylics

I kept some areas as pure colour, and deliberately mixed them up a bit where they abutted.

I used the first of the other two pieces (on the right in the next photo) to soak up most of the excess paint, not moving it around too much, so that the colours would remain separate. There was still quite a bit of mess after I’d done this, so I took the other piece and just cleaned up with it, not being careful to keep the colours separate, but deliberately mixing them up, to see what effect it had. In this photo, you can see that the paint has brought out the texture of the fabric a bit.

04 Pieces Used to Mop Up Excess Paint

I melted the original piece first, the one with the most paint on it, using my heat gun, and holding the fabric down with a wooden barbecue stick. The paint did seem to protect the fabric from the heat quite a lot, and I think in future, I shall not paint direct onto the fabric prior to melting, but apply it to my craft mat and soak it up, as I did on the second piece. Anyway, the melting was OK:

05 1st Piece Melted

There are some nice holes, particularly in the middle where there’s a bit less paint, and the surface has crinkled into a quite nice texture.

The second sample was the most satisfactory of the three. I am very pleased with how subtle the colours are, and how they’ve blended. There’s a nice overall pattern of holes.

06 2nd Piece Melted

The third piece is more subtle again, of course, because I made no attempt to keep the colours separate. It also melted and distorted a lot more quickly because the smaller quantity of paint protected the surface less than on the other pieces.

07 3rd Piece Melted

I laid these two onto a piece of scrap black card, and I really like this effect – I shall probably mount them on black, as it shows the holes nicely, and really brings out the colours.

08 2nd & 3rd Pieces Against Black Card

I decided not to mess with these two samples because I like them and didn’t want to spoil them, so I used the first sample to do some experimenting with, adding different surface treatments to see what they looked like. Here it is with different treatments on the different areas of the sample.

09 1st Piece - Different Treatments

Unfortunately the photo doesn’t do it justice – as always, it’s extremely difficult to get any iridescent, shiny or glittery surfaces to photograph adequately. I took several close-ups which I hope show it a bit better.

The first one shows the yellow corner with gold embossing. I took my Versamark pad and rubbed it gently over the surface of the sample, taking care not to press too hard as I wanted the embossing only on the surface. I then sprinkled on gold embossing powder and shook off the excess, and then heated it with my heat gun.

10 1st Piece - Yellow with Gold Heat Embossing

The additional heat didn’t seem to affect the fabric any further – I was careful to stop heating immediately the embossing powder started to melt. It’s quite a nice, bright effect.

Next, I selected the purple corner, and with my fingertip, lightly applied some gold Rub’n’Buff, taking care not to press too hard down into the texture. I continued rubbing gently until it buffed to a nice bright shine.

11 1st Piece - Purple with Gold Rub 'n' Buff

I continued with Rub’n’Buff on the upper green corner of the sample, using first gold, then silver, and then copper.

12 1st Piece - Green with Gold, Silver and Copper Rub'n'Buff

Finally, on the lower green corner, I did some more heat-embossing, this time with my Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder in the colour Aurora Crystal Sparkle, which looks like white glitter in the pot. When applied to colour, it picks up the colour of the sample underneath, and in this case it’s the most glorious bright shimmery glittery green surface, again just on the raised part of the texture. I wish the photos did it justice!

13 1st Piece - Green with Aurora Crystal Sparkle Cosmic Shimmer Embossing Powder

I took another of this part, from a lower angle, hoping to pick up the sparkle a bit better – it does show the texture of the sample, though.

14 1st Piece - Green with Aurora Crystal Sparkle Cosmic Shimmer Embossing Powder

This has been the most fun experimental session! Last week I received some Butterfly SoftSpun fabric from Chris Gray – you can read all about it on her blog: – you can order from her. This is a thicker fabric than nappy liners, and comes in A4 sheets. Before starting with that, I wanted to experiment a bit and see how this sort of material behaves, which is why I started on the nappy liners. I think I’ve got the confidence to go ahead with the Butterfly SoftSpun now!

I also asked Chris whether she’d be doing a tutorial on how to make the gorgeous beads she makes with the SoftSpun, and I see she’s done a blog post about it now – thank you Chris!! – unfortunately at the moment Blogger isn’t letting me see any photos grrr… but I can’t wait to learn how to do it!!!

This is soooo much fun…

Friday, 26 August 2011


After months of getting more and more fed up with my hair, today I went and got it permed again. I used to have it curly for several years and loved it, and after all that time, it started to take its toll and my hair was getting quite dry, so I let it grow out, and for the past couple of years have been allowing it to grow, and it got quite long, and latterly more difficult to manage – it was also getting quite lank and greasy and so eventually I decided to go back to my curls which I really loved. So easy to manage too!

This is what I looked like this morning – “Before” – taken by Wonderwoman:

1 Long Hair Front View

2 Long Hair Back View

and “after” – taken by my hubby:

3 Curls Front View

4 Curls Back View

It’s still a wee bit damp in these pictures. I love my currlzzzz!!!!!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Painted ATCs–Finished Thank You Cards

I’ve now completed the thank you cards for my volunteer carers, made from the painted ATCs. Here are the six designs mounted on the cards (A5 folded to A6) with the distressed matting and layering with a bit of rubber stamping, complete with the “Thank you” sentiment on each. The sentiments were heat-embossed onto small rectangles of card which were coloured with Tim Holtz Distress Inks, using my Inkylicious Ink Dusters.

22 Finished Thank You Cards

Now for the close-ups of each one:


23 Poppy Thank You Card

The background stamping on this one was using two of the three sizes of the same flower from my new Funky Florals set.


28 Strawberry Thank You Card

The background stamping on this one was using a small leaf from a set I’ve had for ages (can’t remember the name, I’m afraid) – I grouped them in 3s to try and make them look like strawberry leaves and they actually look more like strawberries!!

On both the Strawberry and the Poppy cards, the piece of card for the sentiment was inked with Barn Door distress ink, and heat-embossed with red embossing powder.


25 Ivy Thank You Card

The background stamping for Ivy was using another leaf from the same set as the one for Strawberry.


26 Daisy Thank You Card

The background stamping for Daisy was the grasses from my new Funky Florals set – I love this stamp – it comes in this (larger) size and a small one too, and I think I am going to be using this one a lot as it’s really pretty, and very useful.

On both Ivy and Daisy, the piece of card for the sentiment was inked with Bundled Sage distress ink, and heat-embossed with Lapis Cobalt Aurora Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder.


24 Vine Thank You Card

The background stamping on this one was done with the large swirl, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post. The piece of card for the sentiment was inked with Dusty Concord distress ink, and heat-embossed with Desert Ochre Aurora Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder.


27 Harvest Thank You Card

Here is the large grass stamp from the Funky Florals set again. The piece of card for the sentiment was inked with Tea Dye distress ink, and heat-embossed with gold embossing powder.

I’m very pleased with how this whole project has gone, and I can’t tell you what fun I have had making all these cards. I’ve also kept quite a few of the ATCs un-mounted, which I can either use for swaps, or which can be mounted on cards in future if I want. It’s always nice to have a few things in the stash! I’ve got a couple more birthdays coming up this year that need cards (the vast majority in our family and friends are in the first half of the year) so I have got something in hand.

Now that this is done, I really hope I’m going to have some time and energy to start experimenting with some more mixed media stuff. Pure research! I love it.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Thanks again to Julia for organising another WOYWW – for all messy crafting voyeurs lol! (See the link on the right of my blog.)

This week I’ve been working on my painted ATCs and yesterday started making some of them up into thank you cards to give the various volunteer carers who’ve been coming in each day to help me while my hubby’s been away. He’s home now, and today I’ve not had a good health day and I’ve been too exhausted to go in my ARTHaven except to take a photo of my table to show you what I’ve been up to.

WOYWW 116 24-8-11

On the table you can see the almost-completed cards on the left (they just need a sentiment) and on the right, some ATCs ready to be matted onto some paper which has been inked with distress inks, and which needs some background stamping. All these ATCs on the craft mat have been matted onto co-ordinating card, and the ones at the back of the table will be left un-matted as I want to retain them as simple ATCs.

On the far left you can see my new Rock-a-Blocks which came in the post yesterday – I’ve been aware of this wonderful tool for a while now, and finally decided to get some as I was ordering some larger stamps, and I wish I’d known about them from the beginning as they are brilliant! You can see some of my new stamps on the table – the swirl and 2 sizes of grasses, both of which I have used on this project. There’s a test piece just above the finished cards on the left.

At the back of the table you can see my Inkylicious Ink Dusters which are the best thing since sliced bread (but don’t taste quite so good). I never use anything else for inking these days. Also on the table are the distress inks I’ve been using for these cards, and my photo glue which I’ve finally settled on as the best thing for matting and layering for someone who’s incapable of getting it straight!!!

Hopefully I’ll be able to get these cards completed over the next few days.

Happy WOYWW, folks.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Making Cards from Painted ATCs

I’ve now moved on to the card-making stage with my ATCs. The first step was to do the first mat layer, matching the card to each ATC.

16 1st Mat

I love the effect of matting and layering, but boy do I hate doing it! I never seem to be able to get it straight. I’ve tried the trick of peeling off only the end of each double-sided tape strip so it’s easier to get them straight, and rubbing Pritt glue along the exposed double-sided tape, and usually end up making a mess. Today I was watching the Create and Craft channel and one of the presenters said that Photo Glue was brilliant for people who find matting and layering difficult – so I tried it! It’s so repositionable and the layers glide over each other so it’s a doddle to line them up properly!

She also said that as well as the excess rubbing away completely when dry, you can also apply it and rub it, and it removes any “booboos” you’ve made to spoil your card! I thought, “I must try that!” and soon had the opportunity to do so, as I put a great inky fingerprint on one of my card pieces! It worked like a charm (probably because I did it straight away before the ink had had a chance to dry) and it also cleaned the ink off my fingertips! I’ve always said I have a love-hate relationship with this glue, but the hate element is definitely in decline!!

Before I did the first mat layer, I thought I would try distressing the ATCs with Tim Holtz Distress Inks. I had no idea if this would work; I know that gesso acts as a resist to distress inks, and as it’s acrylic-based, I thought perhaps that acrylic paint might behave in the same way, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it worked! It doesn’t show up very well in the photos, but I chose colours to match the ATCs and it gave them a whole new dimension, and ties them in very nicely with the matting and layering.

The colours I used were as shown in the following photos: Barn Door for the poppies and strawberries:

17 1st Mat - Poppies & Strawberries

Bundled Sage for the daisies, which unfortunately doesn’t show up on this photo, and Forest Moss for the ivy:

18 1st Mat - Daisies & Ivy

Dusty Concord for the vine, and Tea Dye for Harvest. I was particularly pleased with the vine one, as I didn’t have any card to match the grapes, and they needed something extra to emphasise them, and this has done the trick.

19 1st Mat - Vine & Harvest

The second mat layer was done on 100 gsm white paper cut to A6 and then trimmed by 1/2 inch on one short and one long side, making it 1/4 inch smaller than the final card. I distressed these sheets with the corresponding distress ink to each ATC. Here are the Barn Door ones in progress.

20 2nd Mat in Progress - Strawberries & Poppies

I did all the distressing with my Inkylicious Ink Dusters. I really don’t use anything else these days! (I suppose I have now “arrived” in that I have got crafting equipment that I now no longer use!!) I love these Ink Dusters – you can distress the edges of paper with no fear of the paper catching and creasing up, because they are so gentle, and they are so easy to control. A while back, I promised to do a video tutorial on them – I haven’t forgotten and will do one eventually!

I didn’t stick these ATCs down before photographing this, because the 2nd mat layer is waiting to be stamped. I got some new stamps this week, which are absolutely gorgeous, and I’m using some of them for this project. I got a large A4 sheet of “Fantasy Florals” from Elusive Images, and the Large Swirl by Crafty Individuals; I have used the large grasses from the former on the Harvest card, and the swirl on the Vine card so far. Here they are, virtually finished – all that still has to be done is to put a sentiment on them. These are the only ones I’ve done so far. I suddenly got too tired to continue and I needed to rest before my hubby arrived home.

21 1st Cards - Harvest & Vine

I discovered another useful technique today. The cards themselves are made from white card, which really didn’t look right with the matting and layering I’d done, so I decided to distress the edges of the front to match. I am quite messy and knew I’d get ink all over the back, and probably in the middle of the cards as well, and came up with the idea of taking a piece of scrap A4 paper and folding it in half, and sandwiching it round my card so that all of it would be protected from the craft sheet. When I distressed with the Ink Duster, the mess went onto the paper, and when I moved the whole thing, any smudges went onto the bottom of the paper instead of onto the back of my card. Hope that’s clear! It really worked, and for the first time I had nice clean cards when I’d finished!

I love it that at the moment, I seem to be learning new techniques and tricks with every project I’m doing. The detail in this blog post will help me remember these ones – when I next do some distressing I’m quite likely to have forgotten.

Not sure if I’ll get the cards finished tomorrow because my hubby has just arrived home from his travels to Estonia to celebrate our nephew’s wedding, and we’ve got

some catching up to do.dbn   Ooops! Beatrice did that!! She just jumped onto my computer! Beatrice the Computer Queen.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Painted ATCs–Complete

I have now finished painting the ATCs, and as well as painting the leaves, I have added a few finishing touches such as some additional highlights and shadows, and the leaf veins.

I have made 27 in all – it may seem a funny number, but I can get 9 ATCs from a sheet of A4, and I used 3 sheets. I have made 4 or 5 of each of 6 different designs, and having done an ATC-sized drawing of each, I can replicate the ATCs in the future should I want to.

Here is the complete set.

08 ATCs Painted

Now for the close-up shots of the individual ATCs.


10 Daisies


11 Harvest


12 Ivy


13 Poppies


14 Strawberries


15 Vine

The following is a picture of one of each of the six designs together with some card I’ve cut ready for matting and layering and adding to some cards.

16 1st Mat

This has been an interesting project, and I’m very pleased with how these ATCs have turned out. However, the scale is really too small for the true “paint fusion” technique except for the larger elements such as the poppy flowers; I have had to do a lot of it with a fine round brush, adding highlights and or shadows separately as required, which is fine, but a bit more labour intensive!

Over the next couple of days, I hope to make up the cards to give my volunteer carers who have come in while my hubby has been away. He’s returning tomorrow! Yaaayyy!!!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Painted ATCs–Starting the Painting

Just a quickie post tonight. I spent some time today finishing the drawings on the ATCs, and I’ve been painting them this evening. I was hoping to finish them today, but it was getting very late and I still had all the leaves to paint, so I thought I’d call it a day. Here’s what I’ve done so far. I’ve done repeats of 6 different designs, but as they are hand done, they are all slightly different.

07 Painting oin Progress

I think all that remains is to paint the leaves, but I’ll have to check them over to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything!

When they are finished, I’ll post some close-ups.

Doing the “paint fusion” technique of painting is quite hard on such small pieces, even with the smallest flat brush in my set. I managed to do the poppies and the strawberries, but most of the painting was done with a fine round brush, laying down one colour first and then adding either a highlight or a shadow. They’re coming out better that I expected under the circumstances!

The Pebeo fluid acrylic paint is sheer joy to use. It goes on so smoothly, and it’s rich and creamy, and being more liquid than regular acrylic paint in a tube, doesn’t dry out so quickly. I can see myself using this a lot in the future.

When the ATCs are finished I shall mat and layer some of them to make thank you cards for all my wonderful helpers who have been in this week.

If I feel well enough tomorrow I hope to finish the painting.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


For the first time in more years than I can remember, I have got my crochet stuff out again! I inherited several boxes of crochet cotton in various thicknesses (mostly white, but some cream or coloured) from my grandmother, and I have a set of tiny crochet hooks. I used to make Irish lace but haven’t touched it for ages. My other grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 8 or 9 years old (50 years ago – can’t believe it!!) and over the years I’ve done quite a bit.

These are the motifs I’ve crocheted so far, together with the threads and hooks that I used; the thicker thread is 20-gauge, and I used a 1.5 mm crochet hook with this, and made the larger-sized flower motifs. All the smaller flower motifs and the partially-completed butterfly were worked with 60-gauge thread with a 1 mm crochet hook. Nowadays I cannot work this without magnification – when I was last doing it I’d take my glasses off and work close to my nose, but it’s a case of Anno Domini these days I’m afraid!!

01 Threads, Hooks and Samples

These are the simple flower motifs; very few rows and quick to make up:

02 2 Motifs in 60 & 20-Gauge Cotton

You can see the considerable difference in size, just working with different thicknesses of thread.

Having seen various people using small crochet flowers to decorate their work, I am thinking of making these up into embellishments, maybe with the addition of a pretty brad or pearl bead or a jewel in the centre, and a backing of ruched ribbon or a paper rosette, or perhaps a piece of decorative paper, or punched or Cricut-cut card. A collection of embellishments could be made up and stored in readiness for making up a quick card when needed.  I’ve already made more than enough to play with, and I may experiment with colouring some of them with inks. Being cotton, the thread should take up colour very well, and it would be easy to rub a distress ink pad on the craft sheet, spritz it with water and muss the little crochet pieces around in it to add some colour! I am sure that a spray of glimmer mist would work as well, and maybe a touch of gold or silver.

This is the first 3-D flower motif that I’ve made, also with the 60-gauge (fine) thread. It has 3 layers of petals.

03 3-D Flower in 60-Gauge Cotton

These are a lot more of a fiddle to make, especially with very fine thread, but worth the effort for the lovely dimensional effect.

Finally, this is a butterfly I am working on, from a vintage pattern book that I downloaded from the Internet.

04 Incomplete Butterfly in 60-Gauge Cotton

This pattern is quite complicated to follow, and I couldn’t stop half-way through the wing or I’d have got lost!! I’m thinking of making several butterflies and mounting them on dark-coloured card to show off the lacy effect. This particular design is really pretty, and has loads of potential for future use!

Looking forward to doing lots more, as this is something I can do while relaxing on the recliner when I’m feeling well enough to do something not too arduous, but not energetic enough to work in my ARTHaven.

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