Lucky me, I had Mistress Jeannie in the recent return to hogwarts swap. She is very cool and very nice and I wanted to make something special. Plus she has an awesome pinterest board, so I was very inspired.
I decided, in a moment of insanity to make a teacosy in the shape of the sorting hat from harry potter. There were many occasions for profanity. I did an extensive search and found nothing at all like this online, so I was on my own.
To make it I cut a random oval shape out of brown felt, using some wadding at the back, I stitched and gathered, needle sculpting the face, to give the brow ridge and nose. Once I had the face done the rest was pretty easy. I cut shapes to turn the front half into the triangular shape, with folds to cover the seam, ditto the back.
padded it well and lined it with some brown cotton, after adding a brim.
I left openings for the spout and the handle, so you can pour the tea without taking off the hat.
It has to be admitted that I really love the way it turned out and it was hard to let it go. It was pretty time consuming, but totally worth it!
this is oil painting number three, from my weekly art group, we just sit around and paint. This time I went to our equivalent of the dollar store for three random items, inspired by the nerd games prompt good vs evil, I found these things and this group
I am actually pretty happy with this, but would welcome any comments and criticsm.
I don't know if it is just me, but I have learned over the years that it is a tiny bit hearbreaking to give handcrafted gifts to some people. They are the ones that really haven't a clue, or don't care about the amount of time and effort that goes into hand made things. they get shop bought stuff
but I really like making handcrafted gifts, and I love receiving them just as much. Sadly I am pretty much the only person that I know that makes things, so 99% of the gifts under my tree on christmas morning are from shops, which is lovely of course.
And then there must be some people out there in craftster land who don't have a lot of family, friends, and who are perhaps not going to have a lot of gifts under the tree
so I was wondering if there would be any interest in a christmas gift swap. Just one large nice item, gift wrapped to go under the tree, to be opened on christmas morning? your partner could choose from a list of themes, and/or pinterest, to make one lovely item.
This is my second ever oil painting, I did one and posted it on here ages ago, with the intention of doing one a week. Well we all know what the road to hell is paved with.
so I joined an art class, well it is more of a group than a class, a bunch of mostly older ladies, who meet for two hours on a monday evening, people bring along their work to work on during the 'class',, There is a woman there who gives some guidance.
I had three aims in going to the class. 1)do something apart from being roped into choir practice on monday nights 2)paint more, rather than just crafting 3)learn to paint with oils
oils are the devil btw.
I was faffing around on Monday, not sure what I was going to paint, not a clue. Then inspiration struck. I would go to the thrift store and buy three items and do a still life. And I would do the same the following week etc etc. The advantage would be that I would definitely be challenging myself and I would be helping charity.
turns out I couldn't have made it more difficult for myself. I was planning on a finished painting every evening, in oils, so wet on wet.....for someone who is used to painting in acrylics, this is really really hard.
then if that wasn't difficult enough, I picked three impossible items, a shiny tea pot, a transparent glass jar (with a shiny top) and a glass jug.
comments and constructive criticism is very welcome The picture below is a re-creation of what I was painting (I forgot to take a pic of the original one, this pic is at a little too high an angle)
and this is what I painted in two hours. I am actually pretty happy with it. There are obvious flaws due to the fact that I was painting with the board flat, so when I picked it up, everything was a little elongated.
this is it side by side with my first oil painting.
I bought this dresser in my local charity shop for 60e ($67) it was once brown and someone had painted it white. Nice but I figured that I could do better.
this is it part way finished, drawers discarded. in progress pix by daylight, giving a better idea of the colours.
finished tonight, I replaced the drawers with baskets, (I needed to put in a shelf to hold the top basket). I actually used two of the drawer bottoms (fastened together) to make the support for the basket.
To make the insides pop, I painted the door backs and the space that takes the baskets orange. I love the pop of colour.
I mix all the colours from some small tins of primary colours and white, bonus pic of how pretty it is!
I couldn't work out what category this goes in, so it goes here
These are essentially clove studded oranges, you see lots of pinterest versions of these at chrismas, where you stick a few cloves in an orange and leave in a bowl, pretty, but they don't last.
This is the original version and this will last years, it is to hang with your clothing and it smells amazing.
Medium to large oranges, relatively thin skinned Lots of cloves, I buy large bags at an asian store 1-2 teaspsoons ground cinnamon optional, but only just, Orris Root Powder. (about a tablespoon) this makes a difference to how long the smell stays, years, instead of a year or so definitely optional, 1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground allspice berries.
method Use a fork and in small sections, pierce the skin of the fruit, inserting a clove in each hole. This is a slow, time consuming process, so do it in front of the TV. It is also sticky, but it smells glorious!
Leave sections free so that you can put ribbons around the fruit, once it has completely dried and hang it up.
These are the spices I used, I used a grater for whole nutmegs and a pestle and mortar for the allspice berries, mix in cinnamon and orris root and dust the finished fruit with the powder.
Finally wrap loosely in baking paper, or other paper and store for a few weeks somewhere warm and dry, The orange will slowly dry out, it gets lighter and eventually rock hard.
Take it out and dust it off, put a nice ribbon around it and hang it with your clothes. These make lovely gifts, but they are a real labour of love, so only give them to someone who appreciates your handmade goodies.
the one below is about 8 years old, the smell is a lot fainter now, so it is time for some new ones. You can also skip the ribbons and just place them with folded clothing. Helps keep moths away too.
It was a number of years ago when i arrived back from Australia, via Bangkok, about 20 hours in transit in total, I was very very jetlagged.
the kind of jetlag that you don't know your name. Anyway for some reason, in a fit of insanity I had ordered a huge bag of fresh basil from a local farm, for when I got back.
So what else could I do but have friends around for some wine and make some pesto. I decided to see if there was a difference in taste between pesto made in a pestle and mortar, or in a food processor. I made both and it turns out that the pestle and morter one is better, but the difference is very slight. So use the food processor if you have a big bunch of basil.
Fast forward to today, I had a small bunch of basil and some roasted garlic sourdough and it was pesto time.
Salt, clove garlic 1-2 tbl sp olive oil 1-2 tbl sp fresh, finely grated parmesan 1 tbl sp fresh squeezed lemon juice large handful of basil leaves.
1-Take a pinch of salt and pound a generous clove of garlic, or two.
2-Add a large handful of fresh basil leaves and pound until you get a green paste.
3-Add a tablespoon of pine nuts (these are better if toasted in a dry pan first, I didn't bother) pound, but leave them a little chunky
4-Add 1-2 table spoons of fresh, finely grated parmesan cheese and 1 tsp fresh lemon juice. Mix together with 1-2 tablespoons of good olive oil. Taste and see if you want more garlic, cheese or salt, make it exactly as you want it
You will end up with a vivid green, incredible paste. Eat it just as it is on good bread, or added to cooked pasta.
Even if you buy bottled pesto, it is worth trying this out, there is a world of difference.
So my DD said to me, from the sofa, make me something...she is my stencil cutter in chief and so she does deserve to get something occasionally. I had saved this jack cutout, from a stencil that she had cut for me. This had come out in one piece and so I thought it could be used. And this tute was inspired by the fall nerd battles..I have never done them before, until now!
but how to use it, you can use this kind of thing with a bleach spray, as this gives a nice effect, but I wanted something more contained. So I thought I would use the cutout within a frame, but the colour of the tee shirt needed to be taken into account.
I wanted Jack to be white, so the background needed to be white. but I didn't want to waste paint and didn't want to have too thick layers of paint.
step 1, lay down the cutout--NB DO NOT IRON YET. Using masking tape make a border all around the cutout, getting quite close to it, remember we are trying to not use too much paint.
2, remove the cutout,
3 fill in the shape with the colour that you want the cutout to eventually be on your teeshirt. This will be the main colour
4 allow to dry,
5, fully dry, remove the masking tape
6 Iron on the cutout, in mine, this didn't stick as well to the paint layer as it does to the fabric, so you have to be careful with applying paint over this, use a dabbing rather than a brushing motion with your brush.
7 make another border outside of the cutout, This will be the final border around the design, so it needs to be regular and centered. I choose a square, but you could use any shape.
8. Paint your background colour, this goes over the cutout, and within the final border. In this design I wanted the eyes etc to be the same as the background colour. But it would be possible to mask off areas with more masking tape, and add a third colour.
9. peel off the cutout and take off the masking tape and enjoy!
I recently did a personal swap with the fabulous lindyV321. She had this painting on pinterest and I painted a copy of it, my version is not exactly the same as I modified the antlers a tiny bit. Unfortunately I cannot find the name of the original artist to credit her/him here. This is the pinterest link https://www.pinterest.com/pin/70439181642226464/
For the first time in ages I had the day alone, at home, no DD no SO, no work! And I got to print these lino cuts. I have been cutting them at odd moments over the last week and so I had a bash. I quite like how they turned out.
Corvids is the general family of crows, ravens, magpies etc. Did you know that their intelligence is equated to that of a 7 year old?
This fabric is an ikea one, with green and white banding, that is not a shadow along the bottom, it is a wash of darkish green..thought it might be interesting for this print.
They live in large social, hierarchical groups, the babies, get to be babies for a while and play all sorts of games to learn to use their huge (relatively) brain. Pairs often mate for years.
They make and use tools. They have excellent facial recognition and pass on information about friendly and not friendly humans to other corvids. Some researchers believe they have a theory of mind.
another IKEA fabric, red and white this time, crying out for some printing.