Monday, 31 October 2011

On to the background – hurrah!

After 85 hours of hard work I finished the red kite itself on Saturday…


I then somehow found another 5 hours on Sunday (neglecting all the school work that I probably should have been doing but hell I’m still on holiday!) to devote to beginning the stunning background…


The colours look a bit washed out in this photograph but I assure you that they are vivid and beautiful in real life. Good enough to get a very big “WOW” from David when he got home at any rate! I think my best guess for the completed piece is still 120 hours but we shall have to wait and see.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Crafting with Katryn

I’ve had a lovely half term holiday with Katryn. She was very good at humouring me and trying out lots of crafts that were quite new to her, and one that was new to me too.
P1040893 On our first morning, Katryn found my beads and decided that she’d like to make some ear-rings for her Mum. Sarah was surprised that they were actually quite pretty!
Next job was a touch of marbling. We played around with this a couple of times and decided that it definitely looks best if you only use a couple of different inks at a time. P1040903
P1040890 We spent the day in Hyde Park and took a quick trip to John Lewis on Oxford Street where Katryn bought a princess Hama bead kit. That evening she spent ages putting the beads on the pegboard only to pull the whole lot on top of herself and have to start again! More care required!!
On Monday we made this sock bunny that came in kit form from John Lewis. It’s from a company called Sock Creatures. Having had a quick look at their website I like all of the other creatures better but nevermind! We made this for Great Nan who was 87 that day. The kit came with an insane amount of stuffing so I’m looking forward to making my own toys in the future. Katryn was a great help cutting things out and helping me with the sewing machine.
P1040901 On the topic of Nan’s birthday we decorated her a cake and as you can see, we found time to do a little face painting too…
It was John’s 30th birthday this week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there to help him celebrate but Katryn and I made him this card and sent it to John via David. P1040902
P1040915 Back in Wales we organised a party to cheer Mum up. We made a gorgeous banner, tissue paper balloons, party hats, paper flowers, a board game and a pass the parcel. It was great fun!!
P1040927 P1040929

Sunday, 16 October 2011

75 hours 40 minutes and one other tiny craft

Can you get RSI in your thumbs? I’ve often wondered this after a weekend stitching but after a good night’s sleep they always seem to ache a lot less. Anyway, I’ve managed to devote another 11 hours to the wonderful kite this weekend, bringing me to 75 hours and 40 minutes worth of work on this piece…


I don’t normally pick up my pace on a piece until it’s nearing it’s completion, which this one is not. I’m quite impressed with my own motivation this time. However, I have Katryn here next weekend so I’m going to have to put it away for a week or two now.

I just about had time to do one other small craft piece yesterday for hubby’s 30th. The stitching that holds the three pieces together could do with thicker thread but it did take less than 20 minutes to complete so I can’t complain!


Marbled Cards

When I was much younger, I used to mess around with cheap paints trying to marble but this is the first time that I’ve ever owned and used my own marbling inks. I decided to treat myself when placing an order for my Brownies from Crafty Crocodiles. I’ve used them a couple of times now and really have to praise their service. They dispatch and delivery much faster than other large online craft retailers that we’ve used and the quality is great considering they’re significantly cheaper than competitors.

Anyway, down to the marbling… I’ve definitely not perfected the skill yet but you basically fill a bowl with clean water, drip the inks in one drop at a time and mix it up. I tried using a bamboo skewer to mix them up at first but that didn’t work so I ended up blowing the surface of the water to create the marbled effect. Next, drop the paper in, lift out and allow to dry. Simple!

P1040863    P1040862

I used quite thick paper to try to avoid it curling up when drying, which seems to have worked thankfully. I have then made a couple of the marbled pieces into simple cards to celebrate a couple of birthdays this week. The numbers are raised off the cards using small sticky foam pads. I’m sure I’ll get better at the marbling and I think I may generally avoid using the black because I think it just makes the papers look dirty but for now…

Happy birthday Paul and David!!!


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Am I half way through yet???

After another 8 hours stitching this weekend I’ve made it to a total of 64 and a half hours working on my red kite now. Whilst David was away I decided which bird cross-stitch I’d like to do next but that seems to be a very long way off at the moment. I have some easier kits stashed away that I think I might do first. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the current state of play…


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Happy Birthday Archie

Penblwydd Hapus i Archie!!!

My sister’s really not a fan of handmade cards but she’s going to have to lump it this year. I forgot to buy one at Sainsburys so hastily put this together on Tuesday for my gorgeous nephew who turns 1 today.

Wishing the whole family a lovely day and sending lots of love and cuddles…


Monday, 3 October 2011

Use of a different framer…

My laptop has returned so I’m feeling inclined to blog again. Whilst David’s been away I’ve done a few more hours of kiting but that’s not what I’m going to share today. I was up in Wales this weekend and finally saw the results of the cross-stitch that I’d taken up there to be framed for Archie. Up until this piece I’ve had everything framed at Frames in Loughton. I do find their service very good but they are a little expensive so I thought I’d try somewhere different.

Mum had spotted a new framers open up in Chirk (actually moved from elsewhere I think) so we popped in. I was really impressed with the framer, Michael Hill, who was very professional and knowledgeable. He had a huge range of frames and other options, including some amazing artists glass. I opted for conservation glass (high UV protection) for this piece, which kept the costs just below Frames. I was tempted by the expensive stuff but it’s so amazing that a tiny mark of highlighter pen on the canvas shone like a beacon! I’ll definitely opt for it when I finally get my red kite framed.

The colours aren’t wonderful in my photo but the frame was a perfect match for one of the reds in the cross-stitch. He did such a good job that I wanted to share his work and highly recommend him. He’s certainly earned my return custom. See what you think…


Thanks to Katryn for holding it up for me!

Should you have anything that needs framing and are within reach of Chirk in North Wales give him a try. He’s open 9am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday…

Compton Framers, 10 Station Avenue, Chirk. LL14 5LS.
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