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11  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: My huge, textured mermaid painting on: January 26, 2012 05:12:07 PM
Foxyblue I love you! To come on and find 2 paintings since I last looked has cheered me up lots. Thank you.
12  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 70 ENTRIES / Re: St Margaret's Church, Keddington on: January 09, 2012 08:07:12 PM
Fiance? Not quite!

He liked the lights and the cous cous/white chocolate path. I really wish I had better pictures, especially with the lights on - it makes the windows look really cool.
13  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 70 ENTRIES / St Margaret's Church, Keddington on: January 03, 2012 01:39:26 PM
    There is a story behind this, so I shall start there. My boyfriend is an architect. This year he finally qualified after seven and a half years of higher education. He has also finally got planning permission on this Grade II* listed Saxon church, which was under threat of demolition. As he has around 4 times my income and only really wants building materials and property for Christmas I decided to make his little church to scale in gingerbread.

    Here she is, with her new roof:

And here she is - in gingerbread.

Alongside the challenge of it all being edible I had a few extra challenges:
  • Avoid being strangled by my mother for obliterating her kitchen over Christmas
    Not make it too sweet, because then my boyfriend's family wouldn't like it
    Manage on a budget with no access to a proper supermarket

After last year's gingerbread nativity ended up being held together with bits of wire and lolly sticks I discovered that cookie gingerbread and structurally sound gingerbread are rather different. So I looked up a new recipe and found most of the ingredients. Unfortunately I didn't realise that I was meant to level off the tablespoons of golden syrup. So I ended up adding more flour until I had a spare mountain of gingerbread dough (which turned into a nativity for my Dad):

I was once again worried about the structural stability of my gingerbread. With the help of my Dad and his blowtorch I made candy cane RSJs to support the structure:

After lots of measuring from photos and the one plan I could find I worked out the scale of the building, made a template and made pieces out of gingerbread:

After making all 20 odd pieces I managed to spectacularly drop the box they were in onto the kitchen floor. Luckily the floor was clean(thanks Mum) and despite my scream that left me with a sore throat for 2 days and woke my parents only two pieces broke and I 'cemented' them back together.

I wanted to use boiled sweets for the windows but couldn't get hold of any(well, not in my budget) so I melted gummy bears, which look really good as Victorian glazing. The burns to my fingers weren't too nice though.

I also did some stained glass ones from coloured gummy bears for the right windows. I made the roof tiles as accurately as possible by using coursed(different sized slates, getting smaller as they go upwards) 'slates' from milk chocolate over the Nave to represent the Westmoorland slate and regimented dark chocolate slates on all of the other rooves to be Welsh slate. I also cut little crosses out of the brown part of square dolly mixtures for finials and put a jelly dolly mixture bell in the bellcote.

So here it is held together with RSJs and the Welsh slate rooves on:

There is also the only light we could find - a red tinged bike light that made the church look warm and glowing. Fixing it down was a challenge and we drilled a whole in the base to poke a pen up to switch it on. It also has a flashing mode that the children loved because they thought it looked like the church was on fire.

And here it is with the roof on...

You can see that I went over the white sticking icing with my fudge icing to make it look like lime mortar and round the edges of the windows with a piping syringe to make the window edging look like sculpted stone. I also did some 'leading' with black writing icing.

I had a bit of a job putting the cola drain pip on so I used breadsticks to act as acroprops while the icing dried:

There are some other little details like the dolly mixture and angelica tree ferns (his favourite plants) and the couscous and white chocolate path, which looks just like the new path he's just had laid.

Phew, sorry there's not pictures with the lights on. We had to put it out of reach of my niece quite quickly and I didn't get a chance. Christmas with an immediate family of 10 is hectic!

Hope you like it. It was rather a mission but I'm glad I finally have something that I'm not ashamed to post.

14  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Princess Cake on: August 01, 2011 10:17:30 PM
I always wanted one of these cakes when I was little (although with a Cindy, I always found Barbie a little plastic, lol). I remember being really disappointed when my Mum made this amazing mermaid cake instead. Awful child.

I used to covet the Jane Asher party cakes book. I hope your little girl was thrilled!
15  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: How long should I expect for a sale? on: April 29, 2011 06:03:45 PM
I must be doing something wrong.  I haven't had a single sale in months...

Is my stuff any good?


They are lovely. I've not started Etsying yet but I would say maybe try using labels like 'vintage' or 'kitsch' for button earrings - which I totally adore, or 'emo' for some of things like the black and pink.

There is also an app in the community bit somewhere for testing which pictures are more effective. Perhaps set them in a nice montage with eye-catching items in a similar style. I would also make sure they're all the same way up.

Just ideas. x
16  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Etsy shop is stealing from me & maybe you too!!! on: April 29, 2011 05:57:38 PM
Can you perhaps get her under trades description act(or US equivalent? I'm English). She can't be sending out what's actually in the picture when it's in your craft room can she?

It's so sad when this happens. I don't have a problem with people adapting and using my designs for inspiration but this is ridiculous. Etsy should do something though, they do say it has to be made by the seller and they are sooo obviously your pictures.

I'm considering doing Etsy but not sure how easy it would be being across the pond.

17  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Glass craft on the Cheap on: April 17, 2010 04:11:52 PM
Hi, my psychiatric nurse recommended that I try some craft stuff for relaxation so I enrolled for glass class.
...but I can't afford materials,so these are things made from a broken greenhouse and some bits from the communal class box.

A picture with wire and a broken necklace.

A tulip dish made from seed beads and blue confetti.
18  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / My first post on: April 17, 2010 04:05:23 PM
I'm about to move house yet again and want to put up a few of the things I've done before they get even tattier!

I'm afraid she's already a bit ripped. Sorry.
19  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / Where To Find Things To Recycle / Re: Excuse me?!?! Dumpster Diving on: April 06, 2010 02:15:09 AM
For the Brits.

Just a note that taking things out of skips is illegal. I'm not saying don't do it, just that it is polite to check to see if anyone is in to ask permission first.

Especially if it is stuff left in alleys, my boyfriend has had loads of things stolen from his alleyway in the few minutes he left it to go and get his housemates to help him carry it in.

I do love skips though, I got a wooden beaded door curtain once. Though as most people take everything to charity shops(and good on them for doing so) it's mainly hardcore and soil left. I do get jealous of you Americans with 'thrift' store furniture for $10 etc In Sheffield(England) charity shop clothes cost that, or more and you never get fabric for less than $5 a metre and that will just be plain or lining fabric. Hmmm, maybe I should go on holiday?

20  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: *NEW PHOTOS* pg. 6*PSEUDO TUTE* PAGE 4 *&* MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 2 Body casting on: April 01, 2010 04:26:16 AM
I had my face cast in modroc by a friend when I was at school. I had a straw to breathe through and she just moulded around it. We used cling film instead of vaseline or grease.

I love the couple cast and the finishes are just beautiful.
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