Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Paint and gilding

For some time now I have been procrastinating about starting my art again. Well...I finally got around to it. I've been wanting to try this combination of watercolour painting with Tonic Studios gilding flakes for some time now too. I think the copper background looks quite effective with this Small Copper butterfly.

This is a pair of little frames that came from Ikea  with a pre cut mount. The first butterfly I painted was the blue one with the silver gilding flakes, then I decided that I would do away with the mount and go slightly bigger with the copper one. I have now turfed the blue one out of it's frame and am in the process of making another larger one with a copper background so I have a pair of little coordinating butterfly pictures.

This is another little artwork recently done. This time with coloured pencils. But I decided to add copper accents when it was finished.

It's hard to capture in a photo, but it shines nicely in the light. Such fun using the gilding flakes. I'll be doing more of this!

If any of you out there are a bit arty, I hope this inspires you to try something different.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Make your presents felt.

I was keen to test how the Tonic Tangerine Die Cutting machine handles felt. I was impressed. It cuts through it like butter. The felt I like to use is a wool mix felt, not too thick. I used the Kings Cross Case die to get the general shape for this bag. I trimmed off the flaps that are there for gluing and used blanket stitch instead to make this mini tote bag which is just the right size for a gift card.

The top flap of the bag I tucked in and used running stitch to hold down. The creases that are indented by the die make it easy to fold at the right places. I had fun embellishing the front of the bag with this little oak leaf design from the autumn leaves die sets.

I have a feeling this will become a handbag for my daughter's rag dolls.
Why not try cutting some felt with your dies. The Tonic Studios verso dies are perfect for this as you can use the outline dies to cut your felt.  I hope this gives you some ideas.

Have a lovely day

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Chair Addict

Hello, my name's Doda and I'm addicted to buying second hand chairs. Is there perhaps a group for those so afflicted? I find it hard to pass up a bargain. Doesn't matter if it looks pretty shabby, as long as it has good bones, I can't help myself.

I've picked up some pretty good bargains over the years. I usually don't spend more than £10 a chair. Most have been cheaper. My poor patient husband sighs when I tell him I've found another chair needing a home. Trouble is, many of them are still awaiting a makeover. Anyhoo, here are a few of my more recent finds....

I bought 3 of these chairs last week for £10 in total. Actually only 2 of them are solid, the third has problems with it's joints- (I know the feeling!), so I bought them for £5 each and the seller threw in the third one for free. I am sure I can do something with it. The two good ones will go in the kitchen as I have an ecclectic mismatched chair collection going on in there that these will work well with (I think I will cover them first though ;-)  )

Then I just got two of these absolutely lovely chairs for the bedroom, they were only £10 each and I am sure I can do something pretty with them...eventually.

 I have seen a fabric I really fancy that would work nicely on these.  I love anything with butterflies and beetles and bugs for some reason.

While we were parked under the most gigantic monkey puzzle tree at this amazing old house picking up the two bedroom chairs,  the lady who was selling them offered us another 4 mixed dining type chairs for free which she said were going to the dump if we didn't take them as she was moving the next day and didn't have room for them all.  Well, OK then ! They're not amazing but they are nice enough. Each one different.  So, that's another few to add to my list of projects. I also already have a couple of classy wooden armchairs in the garage awaiting my attention. So many chairs, so little time...I think there will come a point when I renovate and sell some of them. But we are still finding the right furniture for our new house. Juggling things around to see what works best for us. It's a process.

Right...I have a chair to upholster, got to go.

A little notebook

A decorated notebook makes a lovely small gift item and is a fun way to use your Tonic dies and embossing folders to create something special.

I was delighted when I saw that the Tonic Studios Kings Cross Case die included these little corner pieces as they make perfect book corners. The little label from the same set is so cute too. It works so well on a notebook.

I cut the Fallen leaves design from my old favourite craft material - tomato paste tube. 

And I love the Layered Leaves embossing folder . A really classic design I know I will use again and again.

So, don't pass by a plain little notebook in a shop because you can make it into a real beauty with your Tonic Studios dies.

Have fun.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A little project with die cutting tshirt vinyl

Hello Tonic Studios fans. You haven't heard much from me lately because I've been settling into my new home and been very busy gardening and other projects around the house. However, it was time for a little Tonic creativity. We have three lots of french doors in our new home, and they currently have bunches of keys with our home builders key ring attached. None too pretty. It was time to make something nice to look at for our bedroom door key. I fell in love with this gorgeous compass die. There are so many things it could be used for. This time,  I decided to use some T shirt flock vinyl for my little project.
I had a bit of a brainwave when using the vinyl this time. The vinyl has an adhesive heat activated backing and then on top of the flock there is a thick layer of heat safe clear plastic which you iron on top of ( it is really intended to be used in an industrial heat press) In the past I have either cut through the layers with a die cutting machine that has a metal shim, or have die cut it on the reverse, then it will cut the vinyl but usually not completely through the thick top layer, or just run it through my machine loads and loads of times to achieve a cut. I wanted to use my Tonic Tangerine machine, and I didn't want to cut the die back to front.  It finally dawned on me I could cut a square of the vinyl to the size I needed, then remove the thick plastic top layer before die cutting, then put the plastic back on top of my diecut to iron it to the fabric. It was so easy and worked a treat. It cut perfectly first time.

I've stuffed my little key fob with lavender so that every time it is handled you get the gorgeous aroma. It makes it weighty too so it hangs nicely.

I hope you like my little project. Why not give die cutting tshirt vinyl a go. It's great for adding a lovely accent to clothing, cushions and more.

If you'd like to see some past flock vinyl projects that I die cut with Tonic dies, here are some links...
Stuart the stag
Wedding ring cushion
Baby Vest
Tooth Fairy Pillow
Butterfly T shirt

Have a lovely day

Friday, 9 September 2016

The grass is always greener...

This was the mud patch that was my view all winter long.
A bit of a mushy muddy mess.
Then Spring came and it started to dry out a bit. Then our house builder came back and added another half metre of soil to the level like they should have done in the first place.
Starting to look a bit better...
 Then we employed the services of a lawn expert....he worked wonders on it using his mechanical rake.
And a bit of hand raking too...
And then he seeded it....and then...it rained big time.
Flash flooding....washed a lot of seed off in areas...but still...the grass grew
Lawn man also put a fence up for us....

And now we have planted up the central bed, you don't really notice the septic tank...I know...lovely!!!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Time flies

Time flies when you're having fun so they say. Summer holidays have now been and gone. We've been very busy, and the garden has been making progress. I hope to share some of that with you soon. Just dropping by to let you know I have not forgotten Blogland. I hope to be with you again shortly.
Have a wonderful day. (Picture of my younger daughter by my older daughter.)

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Win & Tonic June 2016

I have to say I am still feeling a little discombobulated in my new craft room. However, I  am sure that once I have made a few things I will get to grips with where I have stored everything  :-)

So to help get me into the swing,  I have joined in with the team on the Win and Tonic page. 

You can win a lovely Tonic Studios prize here by joining in with this months challenge which is...

(Take your pick from the list below )
Colour - orange (of course!!)
Technique - create your base card from any Tonic die
Product - use any Tonic flower die or punch
Theme - one for the boys / happy Father's Day 

This month's prize is..

I chose to use the colour orange, and theme Father's day. On my card I have used an old photo of my dad playing in a little band that he and some workmates formed. As they were all carpenters and tradesmen, they made their own bandstands. They must have had great fun. I believe they called themselves Miller's Merrymakers. Millers was the firm they worked for at the time.
Here's the picture a bit closer...It's a rather tatty picture, but the only record of it my dad has. My dad is the one seated at the piano.

I used a lovely selection of Tonic Dies to embellish my card. I love the music dies. They are so cool.
 Inside the card it says..."and all that jazz!"

My dad is away his holidays just now, but he doesn't read my blog, so I'm safe to post it here for now ;-)
I hope you'll join in with the Win and Tonic challenge.

Have a lovely day

Friday, 22 April 2016

...and now April is nearly through !

Hello...remember me ? Yes, I know. Not been so good at this blog thing lately. March kind of disappeared as I injured my back and was a bit useless for a couple of weeks or so. Very frustrating as I have so much to do!

I still have not got as far as doing any crafting due to the back injury but hope to get back to it very soon. Here is something I never got around to showing you though. A little needle book I made for my childhood friend Helen.

The cover was made using the Citrasolv transfer technique. I am sure if you do a search you will find plenty on this method.

For the felt pages inside, I used Tonic Studios square layering dies. This meant that every page is identically cut and the serrated edge is a perfect look for a needlebook.

There is a space for a spare button and some thread too.

My next job is to make some curtains for our bedroom as I am getting a bit tired of the bits of cardboard we are currently using.

My polymer clay is calling to me too....can't you hear it? No? Hmm..

Have a lovely Spring day !

Friday, 4 March 2016

And now it is March !

I'm still rather busy trying to sort out the new house, put up curtain poles, build shelving, that sort of thing. It's going to take a while to really get this place ship shape, but at least we are in. 

The grounds are going to take a whole lot more work. We are currently trying to get our builders to come back and rectify some major issues they need to attend to. Very frustrating. 

As I don't have a craft of the day to show you, I am showing you something I made just before we left out rental house. My older daughter is currently studying photography and sometimes needs props to go with her project themes. I was roped in to make a medieval herbal book for her to photograph....such a hardship...not!

I cut up an old leather handbag for the cover. For the pages, I  only  printed on the first four. I used thick cotton watercolour paper. They have all been distressed with strong tea ( no milk or sugar)  and for the edges I used a Tonic Studios distresser tool to age them. 

(See , I still managed to use a bit of Tonic Studios even when making a medieval herbal book ! )

If you are wondering, the book is supposed to be bleeding where it has been shot with the arrow.
It was for a Cadfael Mysteries book cover project. I really enjoyed putting this one together for her.

Have a lovely day whatever you are doing.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

What happened to January?

They always say that a mess looks worse before it gets better! Hope so ! This is my craft room!

January has been a month of viruses. I had just got over the first one, when I was hit by a second one which was even worse. It's now February and I am still coughing,  I think I possibly might be suffering from yet a third virus..although this one is mostly just a sniffle and a cough. As it has been making it's rounds, this has slowed down our progress somewhat with the house as we have not felt well enough to do things.

However...in the last week with the help of my husband and older daughter, we have finally fitted the shelving in the craft room so that it is now usable. After getting a price for someone to build custom shelving all down one wall, we decided to get 4 shelving units from Argos and pack out the 2cm space between them with wood. It worked out at at least half the price...and it is amazing how well it fills the space. I raised up the base with wood too,  so that I can now place a bit of skirting board at the bottom to make it look custom fitted,  and I will be using moulded trims between the uprights so I'm not finished it yet...but...I have unpacked  my craft boxes. (Only to find I have too much stuff and not enough space)...but I'm working on that.

So, as you can see, I  have a LOT of sorting out to do, I may be in here for some time!  I'll let you see it again when it is a bit tidier..I do hope that's soon!

Have a lovely day.

Friday, 8 January 2016

New Year, New House

We are finally in...it took a while longer and a lot more stress getting here than we had anticipated, but we have been here for 4 weeks now.
This is a view of the back of the house from the field behind. The house is lovely, the usual kind of little things needing attended to, the land is a whole other story. Our builder has left us with water logged sub soil and a variety of different levels that you cannot see from this picture. We are hoping that they will come and rectify at least some of the issues we have. However...I don't want to start of the year full of moans, so I am choosing to be thankful. Rather than going on about all the things still needing done, I will  now list ten things that I really love about our new home and that I am very grateful for....

1. It is bathed in sunlight...when it shines , (this is Scotland)

2. I love the Juliette balcony in our bedroom and the outlook it gives us from our bed.

3. I love the black door handles on our interior doors...(I'll try put up some pictures another post.)

4. I love having a kitchen peninsula unit and the space for preparing and serving food.

5. The showers work really well.

6. I love the dark wood flooring we have chosen for the ground floor. (well...wood effect actually)

7. We have a lovely large fridge freezer...our rental home for the last year had a tiny and poor under counter fridge that you could hardly fit a thing in. It is such a luxury to enjoy such storage now.

8. The air source heating is so easy to control and is doing a good job.

9. I can see sheep in the distance...I missed the countryside.

10. We are so conveniently situated for popping out to shops etc.

I am thankful!

So...there won't be much in the way of crafting happening at the moment. I am still waiting for shelving to be installed in my craftroom so I can unpack the large stack of boxes. I look forward to that very much.

Time for me to go put up some hooks. Now ...to find the spirit level...I know it is somewhere in the garage....among the boxes!!! Fun, fun, fun!

Have a lovely day