Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I'm back :)

Well, it's been a while :)
A million things have happened since I last wrote, mostly nothing to do with this blog so I won't bore you with them :)
Suffice to say I now have an allotment that is providing us with all our veg and fruit. Except bananas, bit difficult that one.

Here is a piece of work I recently finished in my favourite colours, painted in oils.

I have a title in mind for it, but would love to know what you might call it - feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Clematis Montana

Today I have to go and buy a new car and put the old one to rest at scrap metal merchants.
Of course it is raining :)

Another Iron Lady gets put to rest today in a state funeral she didn't want. Personally, I did not like her policies but she implemented them with conviction that it was right for the country. Unlike our current government who seem set in tearing it apart. May she rest in peace.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those hurt by the Boston Bombings, victims and relatives alike. A tragic and senseless waste of life.

Janice x

Monday, 15 April 2013

Vintage Sewing Kit

Hello all,

Hope you had a great weekend and for those like me, in the UK, enjoying the gradually warming weather.

This Sewing kit was a free gift on the front of Homestyle Sewing. It included all the fabric, wadding, felt and tape plus some pins, needles and buttons. I've added some needles and the scissors. I was pleased with the finished result but the instructions were not so good. The fabric provided wasn't big enough to follow the dimensions given, so I had to reduce the size to fit. There is the opportunity for a little embellishment to make it your own, but I quite liked the emphasis on the different pretty prints. The magazine was quite expensive at £7.99 but I think the kit makes it worth the price. I'll be looking out for the next issue eagerly.
There are a couple of other nice patterns and projects although IMHO the templates could have been done better. The leg holes on the nappy covers for instance don't match and I have no idea what the diagram relating to the sewing kit means at all.
I love all things owly, so it was nice to see a couple of little projects with that motif on them. Also, you can't have too many bags, and the projects have given me some ideas for one based on theirs.














If you have a crafting blog, why not share your makes or ideas with us on the Show it Sunday page? You'll get some free promotion on twitter and pinterest through the week, letting more people seeing what you do.

Happy Crafting as always,


Janice x




And the Rain comes Pouring Down

They say it never rains but it pours and that has certainly been the case over the last week.

On Thursday last, my faithful old car decided it had run it's last mile and refused to start. A visit to the garage revealed there is a problem with the bit of computer brain that runs the diesel injection system. Unfortunately the car is so old the part isn't made any more except as part of the whole fuel pump which costs three times the value of the car and then some more to remove the old one and fit a new one. The only option is to find a reconditioned unit. Therein lies the problem. Apparently there are at least 5 different versions so we need a part number for the version we have. The garage can't find it. We have a part dissembled car and a whole load of places to go.



Yesterday we had tickets to see Meat Loaf in concert. We just had to get there - it's his Farewell tour. Public transport was no use as the last train back was 9pm and the last bus 7pm. The concert didn't even start till 8pm. We managed to move heaven and earth and call on a friend to borrow her car. It was exciting to see people starting to arrive as we did at the Capitol Arena in Nottingham. People of all ages mostly dressed in denim and leather. There was a real buzz in the air. Then devastation, with just an hour to go before he was due on stage, the concert was cancelled because of ill health. Our tickets would be valid for a rescheduled date in May. To add insult to injury, that's in the week we have booked our holiday!

Today there was some hope on the car front. We had found a supplier of reconditioned units. A large number of phone calls later and hopes were quashed as the particular unit on our car couldn't be verified. We may have one last ditch attempt to get the number following a suggestion on a forum. It makes it almost impossible to have the car ready for when we next need it though, which is Thursday. My OH has to go to hospital for an operation. The hospital is 75 miles away and unreachable by public transport.

We will have to wait until tomorrow to see how things go, but I think I may have to make a very quick decision on getting another car.

I'm hoping for a drier next couple of days :)



Janice x


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Robin Digi Stamp

Hello everyone, hope you've all had a great weekend.

This sketch of a Robin
is one I have done from a photograph of mine. It is the first in a range of Digi Stamps I'm planning to produce. They are all going to be accurate natural representations, except for the fantasy ones :).

I thought of selling them with a small copy of the original photo as a colour guide.

What do all the digi stamp fans out there think? Are there any subjects you would love to see?

For those of you who are not crafters, digi stamps are pictures that can be printed at home to be coloured in for paper craft projects. They can also be bought ready coloured. It is a great saving on wooden backed stamps both in terms of cost and space.


I'm off out shortly to see Meatloaf so may have some pics to show you of that tomorrow,



Janice x

Friday, 12 April 2013

Don't look back in Anger

Yesterday was not a good day.

First thing in the morning the car refused to start. It's a very old Vauxhall vectra and has done lots of miles for me with no trouble. But the timing of the breakdown is just not good. Firstly we have tickets to see Meatloaf on Sunday and secondly OH needs to get to hospital at the end of the week - 75 miles away!

Next, I got a message saying that a set of pendants had not arrived with a bride to be. They were for her bridesmaids and posted over a week ago. I am mortified that they haven't arrived for her wedding today :(

I found it really hard to do anything constructive with the rest of the day.

Today I'm going to bring back some positivity by looking at how far I've come on this journey in blogland.

Start at the beginning of this year and my blog was just a handful of pages over 2 years . It had been ignored for an age and had 4 or 5 visitors a month. I scrapped everything I had done except one page which shows how to make a photographic light box for next to nothing.

In January the Ultimate Blog Challenge seemed like a great way to get back to blogging on a regular basis. 31 blogs later and I have a bit of a following and about 20 page views a day. Little acorns .....

February saw the start of a regular feature - Tutorial Tuesday. It's not always on a Tuesday, life doesn't seem  to want to run to my programme :). Now up to about 30 views a day.

March came along and Craftfest with it. Loads of social media tasks meant I was really busy blogging, tweeting, pinning etc. I learned such a lot and by the end of the month my views were up to about 80 a day.

This month and a new project unfolds. A regular feature reviewing craft kits, which will be shown both here and soon, in an online magazine.

My following is gradually increasing and is getting closer to the point where the Give Away can take place. Why not pop along and have a look at what you might choose if your name was the one out of the hat?
Jangill Jewellery

Have you looked back and appreciated how far you have come? Sometimes it is easy to forget how much you have done :)

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this blog and especially to those who keep me going by leaving a comment.


Janice x




Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Weather is all my fault.

Honestly, the weather really is my fault.

Why? Because I decided to take on an allotment!








Since we took it over last September, we have hardly been able to get on it. Firstly it spent half the winter under water and then March left it under snow or frozen solid.

As the ground has not been properly used for some time, it actually looks more like a piece of field than an allotment. That means a lot of digging as we don't want to use a rotovator unless we have to. The ground is full of perennial weeds so rotovating would multiply our problem.
Honey Berries

The original reason for starting the allotment was to get our own fresh organic produce. My Dad used to grow a lot of his own, especially tomatoes, and they tasted so different to the shop bought items. Now with the increasing cost of fruit and veg, it may even be a money saver.

Potatoes are a case in point - they have doubled in price but the quality is poor. We were only going to grow a few, but now we will be growing quite a few! There is nothing quite like a few freshly dug new potatoes, no need to peel, just wash and cook.

Charlotte Potatoes




My own favourite though is fresh fruit. We have raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, honeyberries, rhubarb, strawberries and cherry plums.
The plums I am particularly pleased with. The plants are sold as hedging so they are just over £10 for 5. They can be kept to a bush size making picking really easy but can be grown as a small tree if you want to.
I will have to give them some protection to stop the birds getting them all :) The birds won't go hungry though as there are plenty of slugs about and we'll be growing some sunflowers to provide some seed.

We are praying for some warmer dry weather so that we can catch up with our plans.

Are you growing anything? Has the cost and lack of freshness made you think about growing your own?
Have you got any great recipes for using fresh fruit?



I love to read your thoughts and opinions, so please feel free comment :)

Janice x








Wordless Wednesday

For some reason, probably my connection to the internet, this didn't post yesterday., so here it is now :)


Today, I'm just going to post some photographs. I am going to say nothing about them now but just let them say what they are for themselves :)

What do they say to you?



Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Glass Tile Pendant 1

This is the first in a few examples of how to make glass tile pendants.

These pendants are very popular as they are so easy to make and can be very topical when using the printed paper method.

The glass tiles themselves are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit all tastes and can be finished with bails, glued into fittings or even wire wrapped.

There are lots of tutorials out there using slightly different materials, but this is my favourite method for the printed paper type with added bail. This method means your item is waterproof and shock resistant so takes a few more knocks.

You will need

E6000 glue
glass tile
Cleaning solvent eg white spirit, methylated spirit, nail varnish remover.
paper design - you can use a photo, printed paper or print your own design with a laser printer.

You will need to work in a well ventilated area.

1. Place your tile over the design, draw round it, and cut out roughly leaving a border of about 0.5cm or more.

2. Thoroughly clean the tile with a solvent such as white spirit. Complete the rest of the project wearing gloves to keep the tile grease free. Cover the back of the tile and the front of the paper design with glue, popping any bubbles with a pin. Use plenty of glue, any excess is easy to clean up.







3. Starting at one edge, gradually lower the tile onto the paper, allowing any air to be pushed out of the way. In the photo I have started at the top left edge and you can see the air bubbles being pushed to the bottom right.



If you see any bubbles or shiny areas, smooth these to the edge of the glass gently from the paper side. The tile should be floating slightly in the glue so take care that your design remains centred. (You can see I had to move mine lower after taking this picture :) ). When you are happy place the tile on a flat surface, glass side down. This helps the glue to cure better and lessens the chance of bubbles appearing. Leave to dry for 4 hours.


4. The glue will still be soft at this stage. You can now trim your paper with sharp scissors or a scalpel. Any excess glue on the glass surface can be rubbed off. Leave to cure fully.



















5. Coat the back of the tile with another layer of glue, thinly this time, and press your chosen bail into it taking care to make sure it is vertical with your design and centralised on the edge if using square or rectangular tiles. Leave to cure completely - I leave mine for 72 hours but it takes less time if you have a warm room.

I know this is a different pendant, but the one above isn't dry yet :)

To finish, just add your choice of cord or chain.

Next time I'll be showing you how to make these with your own painted design on.

Happy Crafting,

Janice x




Monday, 8 April 2013

Cathedral Windows Pin Cushion Review


I am so annoyed with myself. 
I know I have an unreliable connection to the internet, but persist in writing my blogs directly in Blogger. I just lot almost an hour’s worth of work because the connection dropped off and the post hadn’t saved when I hit the publish button. I am now rewriting in Word ready to cut and paste!

Today's review is of a pincushion featuring a Cathedral Windows design using a kit from the The little Lavender Patch.
The kit contains all the fabric you will need plus the buttons for embellishment. The stuffing was not included which was clearly indicated on the pack
.
On opening the pack, I found 3 lovely quality printed cotton and one plain white cotton fabrics, plus 5 buttons for embellishing. Instructions were included plus a very small picture of the finished project. Great value for a kit that cost £3

The instructions started off well but became less clear as they went along, referring to pictures and colours I did not have. In the end I resorted to the internet to work out the cathedral window pattern. A few photos of the stages and clarity with regard to optional parts would improve the instructions enormously. With a kit, I think you are buying it especially for the instructions for that piece, so they need to be accurate. Otherwise, you may as well buy the components yourself.

The project is just the right size to learn the cathedral windows technique before attempting a larger piece. You will require some sewing skills before attempting this project. I completed the decorative panel by hand, but it could be machined.

The finished project is very nice and it was a fun little piece to complete in an evening. The completed cushion is about 4.5” square.

Value for money is excellent, but I would have preferred to pay a little more and have more comprehensive instructions

Have you completed any craft project kits? I would love to hear about your adventures :)

Happy Crafting,

Janice x


PS I've shared this on Handmade Monday at Handmade Harbour. There are lots of other great posts on there every week.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Owl Bookmark Review.

I absolutely love owls and owly things so I was really pleased to get the chance to review this little bookmark kit.
The kit is produced by The Spellbound Bead Company who are based in Lichfield. I have bought kits from them before at their regular stand at the NEC Craft shows. I had yet to be disappointed.

On opening the kit, I found absolutely everything needed was provided, including masses of thread and a very fine beading needle. The tiny delicas were even and consistent and there was a range of opaque and translucent beads to add variety to the work. The instructions were produced on a quality printer with neat, colourful and informative diagrams. Alongside the instructions was a piece on how to complete the main stitch used, ie Brick stitch. The different parts were provided in labelled bags.

The beads in this kit are necessarily very tiny to produce all the detail required. I needed help in the form of a magnifying daylight lamp, but I am 50, need glasses to read now and live in a dark house :) You may manage much better than me but you will need keen vision and good light.

I have done some brick stitch in the past, but before starting had a practice following the instructions, both as a reminder and to get a feel for the tension.

The project got under way without any problems and I couldn't fault the detailed instructions with very helpful diagrams. The mouse is very easy to complete, the owl requires some patience and is best completed after some simple brick stitch projects so that you know where the first bead on each row will sit.  The quality of the materials really helps this project work, any unevenness in the size of the beads would have spoiled the effect. There was plenty of each kind of bead in case of any mishaps and a full reel of Nymo thread.

From this kit you will learn how to complete Brick stitch as well has how to make the owl and mouse. It also shows how to make a bookmark in a way that could be transferred to any small beading project.

This is a lovely fun little project which I really enjoyed. It could be completed in an afternoon, probably much quicker if you are a regular beader. The finished project is gorgeous, the tiny creatures measuring just over an inch each in length (with the mouse's tail :)).

The cost of the kit was £8. It isn't cheap, but what you get is a well sourced kit with quality materials and well produced instructions. It has been put together with great care and attention to detail. It is also a novel item you are unlikely to see anywhere else.

I have yet to find a kit by this company that I wasn't totally pleased with and am happy to say this one was no exception. I have no connection with the company and will earn nothing from this review. I am happy to recommend them just because I think they are so great. Why not pop along and see them at
www.spellboundbead.co.uk

Hope you are enjoying your weekend,

Janice x




Friday, 5 April 2013

Making It

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all geared up for a great weekend.
Tomorrow it's my OH's birthday. Having a birthday dinner on Sunday, and an evening out tomorrow. Next year is the big one :)

Today I just wanted to show you some of the things I've been making this week. Two of them are going to be the subjects of reviews next week as they are made from kits. It would be great if you could let me know what you think of them before I publish the review.

The first one is from the Spellbound Bead company not far from here in Lichfield. They are regulars at the NEC Craft show and this kit was bought from the show this March. I love owls so this bookmark just had to get done straight away. The tiny little mouse is a lovely touch. It has a home to go to on Monday.





The second kit isn't quite complete. The cathedral window panel needs sewing to a little 5" square pin cushion. I just need to buy some stuffing for it. A good excuse to pop into the Sewing Centre in town.
The panel is all hand stitched as it is quite small. I love that cathedral window design and have plans for a full size quilt using this technique.

Finally is this little crystal paperweight. It is an item I was hoping to add to my new WOWthankyou shop but it is stubbornly refusing to be photographed nicely. I think I will have to wait for a nice warm bright day when I can get the white tent out. I think I may be waiting some time :).
I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave one,

See you tomorrow,

Janice x



Thursday, 4 April 2013

Laugh in the Face of Fear.




I'm starting writing this post without a title because I want to think of one that is upbeat and forward looking and it just hasn't come to me yet. Possibly because I have reached a very scary point in getting my business off the ground.

Maybe I should explain a little back ground first and then let you know where I'm at and the current dilemma.
I've been crafting for many years, making clothes for myself at Uni, later for my children, painting, paper crafts and so on. It was a way to save money and an enjoyable past time.
As the children grew up I started to use this hobby to make a little money on craft stalls and by working freelance as a designer, demonstrating for a well known craft materials company. It meant I could go to work part time and be at home for the children as much as possible. Things were going nicely until we had to move back to Wales. I could no longer continue demonstrating and so went into full time work. It was a strenuous job with a strange working pattern and long hours. Thoughts of earning a living at my beloved crafting were put to the back of my mind.

Last year saw everything change. I was made reduntant in May and my partner in June. Fortunately my partner got a new job straight away and I spent the next couple of months packing and moving. I got a 12 week Lab job to cover while someone was off after an operation, from the end of September. Since then, the beginning of December, I have been working towards getting a business running. Without the safety net of a part time job.

Hand painted Swarovski Crystals
Now, I have suddenly got the colly-wobbles. I am unsure whether I will succeed, can I reach a big enough market for my work, will I be able to settle to a sensible ratio of work hours to free time? Will the business start to earn before financial pressures force me back to finding a job? Is the economic climate going to strangle the fledgling at birth? It is a fear that has kept me in work for years.

I have to beat this fear. It makes every sale harder because it comes across in everything you do. It eats away at your confidence and suddenly, the tasks that are easy and enjoyable become hard work and the tasks that were hard work become insurmountable obstacles.

How am I going to do that? My strategy this time is to take one small step. Find one new outlet, a new group of people seeing my work. Next week find another one. Get an honest friend to look over what I'm doing and give some constructive advice. Look back at the positive progress I've made so far. Laugh in the face of fear!

I know I'm not the only one to have this kind of fear, of feeling insecure. I know some people who positively thrive on it.
Have you had this experience? How did you fight through it? I would love to hear your story!

Janice x



Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Wire Wound Connector Earrings Tutorial

As supplies for jewellery making get more expensive, especially if made with precious metals like Silver, it becomes more worthwhile making your own connectors from a cost point of view as well as being able to design exactly what you want, creating something unique.

This connector could be used to make beautiful dangle earrings or the centre piece for a pendant. It also looks very chic pinned with a safety bin as a brooch.

I am sure there are dozens of ways of creating something like this, but this is the way I like to do it as it makes the challenge of matching earrings much easier.

You will need

8" wire of your choice 0.8mm to 1.0mm diameter
4 x head pins or an extra 6" wire.
4 x 15/0 seed beads or delicas
4 x faceted oval beads
5 x crystal bicones

Wigjig board, round and flat nosed pliers, cutters, file, hammer, steel block.

1. Set up your wig jig board with three pins in a row. wrap the wire round the centre peg roughly at the middle of your wire piece. If you don't have a board, you can use your round nosed pliers. Wrap each tail around the next peg on each side ( or make a loop about a centimetre from the first one on each side) so you have three loops in a row as in the picture.












2. Take the piece off the pins and form round a suitable shape. I used the top of a small bottle.


















3. Add extra pins to your board as in the photograph (miss one hole above the centre pin, add a pin to the next 2). Return the piece to the row of pins, the middle loop will now be under the centre pin. With one tail form a figure of eight round the top two pins












4. Remove the piece and use the other tail to match the shape of the first side. Wrap this wire round the waist of the figure eight. Adjust the shape carefully till you are happy and hammer gently with a stroking motion to work harden. This stops the shape from squishing with wear. Cut off the spare tails as close as possible, squeeze ends in to the wrap and file sharp edges if necessary.










5. You can now add beads to your own design. I made hanging beaded drops with spare wire by hammering the end of the wire flat and using a tiny delica as a stop bead followed by a faceted round and a crystal bicone. I then turned a loop as described in the simple beaded earrings project. The drops can also be made on a head pin in the same way.











6. Add a beaded drop to each of the loops using your choice of beads.














You can now make a matching one for a pair of earrings (just add jump ring and ear hook) or add a jump ring to use as a pendant.

I hope you have fun exploring this design. I would love to see what you make :)

Happy Crafting,

Janice x









Craft Kit Review - Wall Hanging


Stained Glass Wall Hanging Kit - Summer Colours

Completed size 24" x 11" approx

This kit is supplied by Perfect Patchwork who have both their own website and a presence on WOWthankyou.


First Impressions.

I saw this kit advertised on Craftfest and must admit to falling in love with it straight away. It’s just the colours I love and I have a soft spot for stained glass, which I thought this replicated really well.
I ordered on a Thursday lunch time, hoping to have it with me at the weekend. Sadly, it  wasn’t posted out till Monday and arrived the following day.
On opening, I was impressed with the quality of the fabrics, neatly cut to size. Backing fabric, wadding and binding were all provided, as well as embroidery thread, beads and charms for embellishing.
I was not quite so convinced with the instructions which could have had improved photography (better lighting, detail shots) and printing (double sided to save paper)

Skill Level.

If you are happy using a sewing machine, then as a first quilting/patchwork project this would be a beginner level. As a general sewing project, it requires some knowledge and is therefore intermediate.

Getting Started

The main panel of the project is made up in a quick and easy method with no need to sew the pieces together. The shapes are traced off the provided pattern onto Bondaweb which is then ironed onto the fabrics.  The fabric provided was just enough, so care needs to be taken to make sure you complete this stage correctly. The pattern pieces are ironed on to a calico panel, then bias binding used to cover the joins and give the stained glass appearance. Again, there was just enough binding.
The next stage is to baste the panel to the wadding and embellish. For me, this was the scary bit, because the only instruction was embellish as desired. The photographs were too poor to see any examples. However, once I got over the “fear factor”, I rather enjoyed doing exactly what I pleased.












Making Up


The next stage was to add borders, first a black one then a wider toning fabric. Both these stages were very straight forward. To finish, a calico backing is added and the quilt bound at the edges with black fabric. This was the only time I had cause for concern with the fabric provided, as the pre cut pieces varied in width along the length, sometimes to less than the 2” required. A piece of calico was added while binding to provide for hanging.

Instructions

Although I managed to complete the piece, I found the instructions a disappointment. A set of numbered stages would have been helpful as I found it easy to lose where I was up to, especially as the pictures were in pairs and not numbered for easy reference.  The quality of the pictures means that you can’t see the detail which would have helped to clarify the instructions. For instance when sewing on the bias binding, should one row down the middle be enough, or should it be stitched close to both edges?

Skills Learned

As I have never made a quilt before, or done any patchwork, this was always going to provide some learning opportunities. I was hoping to do some sewn together patchwork but this project uses a simpler method with the Bondaweb. This is quite a common method for decorative items and saves a lot of time. The project does, however, introduce you to putting a quilt project together, including binding. The methods used are not the most advanced (no mitred corners for instance) which makes this a great beginner project. This is slightly at odds with the lack of instructions or examples for embellishing.

Value for Money

This kit cost £14.95 plus postage.
I was impressed with the quality of the contents and considering how well the finished item turns out, this is great value for money. You could obviously get all the components together yourself for less, but care has been taken here to provide beautifully compatible colours and designs of fabric. You also get the design and instructions.

Finished Item

I am quietly pleased with my first quilting attempt and I’m eager to do more, especially with some proper patchwork. The hanging looks great on my wall. Because the components were of good quality, the piece looks eye-catching and bears up under inspection.

Time to complete

Complete in a weekend without too much trouble.

Conclusion 

Good points: Great quality components, good value for money.
Bad Points: Not informed that would not be posted for 3 days, instructions
Overall I really enjoyed this project and am keen to do more. If you don’t fancy having a go yourself, Perfect Patchwork sell completed hangings for a very reasonable sum.


Find them at www.perfectpatchwork.co.uk or on WOWthankyou.

I would love your thoughts on this review. Is there anything else you would want to know?

Happy Crafting,

Janice x 



Monday, 1 April 2013

Wall hanging completed :)

Hello everyone, hope you have had a great extended weekend and had some time off to do what you really like doing.
A few days ago I posted a picture of the project I was working on. It is, as you can see, now completed. I am quietly quite pleased with it as it is a departure for me from my usual sewing. Just recently my sewing machine has only come out for fancy dress costume making :)

I would love your opinion on the finished project, so please feel free to leave a comment. It is a kit that I will be posting a review for later.
The finished wall hanging measures 24" by 10.5" approx and cost £15 plus postage. Everything is included except general purpose thread. This colour way is called Summer Colours. 

By the way, I have joined in with Ultimate Blog Challenge again so will be aiming for a post every day for the month. Everyone is welcome to come and join in with the aim of improved networking, visitor numbers and comments. To all the visitors from UBC, Welcome - I hope you enjoy reading a bit about crafting, photography, art and gardening. Well the gardening will feature a bit more once the weather improves :)

Happy Crafting, blogging or reading,

Janice x
























Friday, 29 March 2013

Project in Progress

Hello everyone, hope you are having a great start to the long Easter weekend.
Central panel pieces laid out





With the temperature remaining stubbornly low and the ground still frozen, it's still impossible to get going with the allotment so I've still been crafting. I have a couple of projects on the go at the moment both of which I will be reviewing. Lots of companies are putting together kits to make an item these days, but how good are they? What do you learn, do they have enough materials, do they have good instructions, are they value for money, what skill level are they aimed at?
The two I am doing at the moment could both be completed by beginners at each craft but need a little general craft know how. The pictures are of a wall hanging bought from Perfect Patchwork. I'm hoping to finish it over the weekend, but this is just a taster for now.


Adding the Stained glass Leading.











Basting layers together










Adding embellishments.













It's a project that probably could be completed in a weekend, so far it has taken a day.

Have you got any projects under way at the moment? Is the cold weather a good excuse to stay home and craft?

Have a great weekend, and Happy Crafting as always


Janice x









Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Book Cover Inspiration





Hello all, This is my card make for today. It was inspired by a book cover in one of the challenges I spotted. The cover was so simple and grabbed attention.
It is made very simply using flowers made from double sided sticky sheet.
I peeled the protective layer off the top and added fine glitter to the exposed sticky surface. I then peeled off each flower and added it to a 5" x 5" square black pearlised card. In between I used pearlescent paint to doodle leaves and trailing vines. I was going to add the word Believe to the centre but bottled out and added a butterfly topper.




I would like to enter this in the following challenges

Make My Monday  Book Cover

Sprinkle n Sparkle snssc17  Anything with glitter

The Pink Elephant TPE192 CAS

Avenue 613 Create  Anything goes

CAS on Sunday  Flutterby ( CAS with Butterfly)

Happy Crafting, Janice x







Show it Sunday

Hi Everyone, I hope the week has started off well for you, unlike the British weather.

This is the third time I am writing this post. Hopefully this time it won't disappear into the ether. I have no idea why the last one isn't on here as I even got as far as sharing!

Anyway, I have been busy over the last couple of weeks, pinning and tweeting my shop and my stall at craftfest.  It was a much more comfortable experience to shout out someone else's work than it was my own.  I often wonder how much I can promote myself  without annoying someone or just losing any impact. I think I was brought up in an age where you were told to keep quiet and not attract attention!
I'm sure there are plenty of people like me though, who would like a bigger voice.
This is the idea I've come up with.
Every Sunday I will post a Link tool. If you have something you want promoted, just link it up and I will tweet and pin it for you.
The only rules will be
Maximum 2 items per week.
Must be suitable for family viewing
Must be hand made.
That's it.
Over the weeks the Pinterest board should become quite noticable, especially if everyone follows it and leaves the odd comment. With all the links, we should make an impact and spread the following.

What do you think? Are you a crafter looking for a bigger audience?

Happy Crafting


Janice x

   

Monday, 25 March 2013

Illusion Necklace Tutorial

Illusion necklaces are so called because the gems or beads you use are suspended on an almost invisible thread and appear to float around the neck without support. They make beautiful pieces for brides complimenting lace and veils. Using pearls gives that tradition look without feeling heavy.

This was a commissioned piece using pearls from a broken vintage necklace. The stringing had decayed and a number of pearls were missing. With this redesign the bride was able to wear the pearls worn by 3 previous generations. Pictured here against black, the illusion cord shows up, but against the skin it is all but invisible.

The demonstration uses tigertail so that it shows up better in the pictures. Illusion cord is clear and looks like fishing line but is softer and more flexible. Don't however mistake it for the elastic thread which looks the same. The basic instructions are for a single strand which is easily adaptable for more.

You will need :-

Illusion cord
Beads for your design
Crimp beads 2x Crimp covers.
Clasp of your choice

1. Lay out your design on a bead board or felt mat. Layout your complete design and make sure you are happy with spacing as changes are difficult to make later.

2. Start with the central bead cluster, thread these onto a 24 inch piece of cord. Add a crimp bead each end. Close the crimps with flat nose pliers or Crimp pliers.

3. Measure and mark on the cord the distance to the next bead cluster. Copy this exactly on the other side.










4. Thread on a crimp bead and use your thumb nail to hold it in position over the mark while you close it in place.



5. Thread on your next bead cluster, followed by a crimp bead. Close the crimp.

6. Repeat 4 and 5 on the other side of your central cluster.

7. Measure and mark for your next cluster, continuing as above until you have completed your design.


8. To finish, thread on a crimp bead, followed by one side of your clasp. Thread the end of the cord back through the crimp bead. Adjust the position of the crimp bead to create the length of necklace you want, pulling the excess cord through. Close the crimp and trim the excess cord. Cover the crimp with a crimp cover bead, squeezing gently closed.

To make a multi strand necklace repeat the procedure with cords reducing in size by 2 inches each time eg 22" then 20" then 18".


Did you know that the tradition of a white wedding was started by Queen Victoria? Prior to her wedding to Prince Albert, wedding dresses were traditionally colourful.

I hope this is a useful tutorial,

Happy Crafting

Janice x








































Saturday, 23 March 2013

You Can't Have too many Bags.

Today is the last day of the Spring Craftfest.
Spring. And here we are with a blanket of snow and more falling.
I was hoping to have made it to the NEC for the Craft show there, but it was not to be. My daughter has made it from Stoke however and she has promised to bring me something to make. She is under instructions to get something from a small British business. I like to show my support for real craft businesses when I can.

I've made lots of new friends at this Craftfest, and lots of new connections. It was my first attempt and I probably wasn't as prepared as I could have been. A lot more variety on my website is needed I think, and much better photography. It wasn't until I saw all the products side by side that I realised the variability. I knew some of them weren't great due to a lack of natural light, most of them being taken in mid winter!

It has been a great experience though, and one I can recommend. Now I need to concentrate on shows and fairs. If anyone knows any good ones in Staffordshire or neighbouring counties please let me know :)
Clutch bag in black silk fabric and handmade flowers, kiss lock clasp
Here's a last few pics to whet your appetite, you just can't have enough bags:)






The first one is from Kwur-kee, a lovely little clutch bag using a textured black silk fabric with handmade flowers in bright colours - lovely spring like design.





Orange Blend Melissa Bag One - £20Bring the sunshine in with this hot bright patchwork number from Gert Lush













Ruffelle Adele Clutch Bag in Poppy Red Leather £42.99


And finally a cute little clutch in Poppy red leather with a fab matching ruffle flower. This one is from
caramel designs.







I hope you've all enjoyed my little expose of some of the fantastic crafts around the show. I've certainly enjoyed looking through everything and grabbing a couple of things myself.

Whatever you are doing have a great weekend






Janice x