artfully distressed

pictures of what I create and the places, people and ideas which inspire my art.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

cake and presents...can't believe its christmas day tomorrow!

This is my first attempt at making xmas cake and I'm quite proud of the decoration. I was going to do some piping on top but then decided to keep it simple. The real test will be when we eat it of course.

These are the homemade gifts which I made for friends this year. Lemon curd and biscuits. Yum!

Lastly this is the beeswax canvas mentioned in a previous post. All ready to wrap.
Shh...still a secret though, hope she likes it!

I should mention too I am loving this 'retro camera' app for my recently arrived android phone (samsung galaxy s2 for anyone who wants to know). Love the phone, love this app. Hope it doesnt detract from the post in any way? I thought it looked pretty arty!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Festive treats

Just thought I'd show you one of the reasons I am not spending as much time in the craft room at the moment. These were a trial run before I make up some batches for xmas gifts nearer the time. Mostly a great success but it did tickle me that the pinwheel cookies are literally bitesize. I used half the mixture but then rolled it up in such a way that it made a really thin sausage shape. Oops! Perhaps it's one of those happy accidents though because they are quite sweet at this size and certainly different! Might deliberately do the same next time.

Beeswax canvases

This year I have been introduced to the delights of using beeswax and there is no stopping me now - I really love this effect and it's so much fun to do. After seeing the article in Craft Stamper, ('Buzzing for Beeswax' by Hels Sheridan March 2011 issue), my friend Sharon and I could not wait to have a go at recreating the project. We were so pleased when Kay, (Halliwell-Sutton of Indigo Blu), used the technique in one of our classes at Louth as this gave us the confidence to try it ourselves.

This is the beeswax canvas that I made in class with Kay -

I used Tim Holtz and Indigo Blu stamps. We had the option to use photocopied pictures so I chose to use family wedding photographs. I wouldn't normally have chosen grey and red as a colour scheme but I felt like going out of my comfort zone that day and I'm glad I did because I love the finished piece. I thought Kay's technique of using pieces of beeswax sheets really added to the effect and I couln't resist adding the metal flower.

You can see Kay's version in this months Craft Stamper, ('Stamping Contrasts' Jan 2012 issue) as Indigo Blu stamps are featured this month.

This second piece is my version of Hels Sheridans 'Buzzing for Beeswax' project which I had fun making one day with Sharon. Hers is fab too. The original article was so amazing that I didn't change too much. I looked for watch parts for ages and then in the summer visited my friend in London and saw some cheap pocket watches for sale on a stall at Portobello Road market. The one I chose didn't work and the man on the stall thought I was mad when I said I wanted it anyway at a reduced price. Took me ages to persuade him but I couldn't explain to him that all I wanted to do with it was take it apart for the pieces! I think you can also get the same watches on ebay and places like that.

Our friend Felicity's husband even made us both a wooden frame so we could mount them like Hels did. Looks great don't you think? 

Last but not least here is a couple of sneak previews of a xmas themed beeswax canvas that I made last week. Sharon came over - she is definetly my partner in crime when it comes to beeswax - and we both did a xmas theme although I chose much brighter colours. It was actually lime green and a bright red but by the time the stamping and wax is added it has actually toned down to more of a yellow and red. I really like it but I can't show the whole project because I actually made two and one is for a xmas present!

Hope this inspires you to get out the beeswax. We used a melt pot but it can be done with tin foil containers or cat food tins etc to melt the wax. I'd definetly recommend the Melt Pot though, although I'm not sure for reasons of sanity that I would recommend attempting to make two large canvases on the same day...

Friday, 2 December 2011

Alternative christmas wreath

This is my interpretation of the christmas wreath that Kay from Indigo Blu showed us how to make in November at our Louth class. Having told us all to bring our favourite buttons Kay then showed us how to make lots of pretty flowers, some with wire and button centres. I couldn't resist using my favourite colour combination of blue and brown and so rather than make something with an overtly christmas theme I decided on a winter feel. Hopefully I have achieved that.

The button at the top of this picture matched my blue and white theme and is a lovely handmade button I bought in York.

I added a few special charms which I think add to the overall effect even though they are not winter themed: two clock faces, a key and cog (Tim Holtz) and a gorgeous bronze metal flower from Indigo Blu. I also decided to use snap fasteners on a couple of the flowers.

Once again this project also uses some of my current favourite things - my Tim Holtz tattered pine cones die and weathered wood distress ink (on the snowflakes). Well I couldn't resist could I!