Saturday, 27 September 2014

Following a tutorial

Usually, I am pretty useless at following written instructions, even with pics. I am much better having somebody sitting right opposite me and showing me how to do it. BUT, Sandy from QUILL COTTAGE has the knack of making really logical, beautifully presented and easy to follow tutorials that even somebody like me can follow. Remember the wrist cuff tutorial she made ages ago, which I managed to follow and produce these -



Well, a few months ago, she made another tutorial, this time for WIRE WRAPPED FABRIC BEADS and they looked so gorgeous, I really wanted to make some myself. It has taken me a while ( a looooong while, lol ) to get round to it, but I finally started on them last night and made the basic beads. I used some scraps of a lovely 100 year old hand loomed French linen. They dried out nicely overnight, so this morning I got together a few tiny scraps of lace and scrim and a few odd beads I had in my odd-beads tub and dug out some jewellery wire. 

I had so much fun! There were a few mutterings as well. Trying to hold everything together whilst starting the wire wrapping takes some practice, lol, and getting fiddly little seed beads on there wasn't easy either. But I was loving it! Using up the tiniest bits of fabric and lace this way is such a very satisfying thing to do. And here are the results, nothing spectacular, but I am happy with them for a first try -







A huge thank you goes to Sandy for her fabulous inspiring tutorial.

I must say that I also got a huge amount of inspiration from Suzy, as she also made some amazing fabric beads and showed them on her beautiful blog. You have probably seen them already, but just in case you haven't been there yet, HERE is the link. The beads are at the bottom of the post.

And while we are talking about Suzy, this wonderful artist has just started filling the shelves in her Etsy shop again ( long overdue ), and oh my, the offerings there are just so delicious! You can find her shop HERE.

Thats all for now, I have to get some orders ready for posting tomorrow ( yep, on a Sunday, the only good thing to have come out of the privatisation of the post offices, the local post office is open 4 hours on a Sunday ).

Wishing you all a terrific weekend! Toodlepip xxx

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Masked Beauties ATC swap and a dangerous tag

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Kimberly is currently hosting a Halloween swap with the theme MASKED BEAUTIES. I took some time out yesterday to make the ATCs so that I can get them in the mail. You can never tell how long a little package will take to get to its destination.






I used some of my precious vintage Swarovski trim on them and a little bit of gold paint under the cut out corners. It wasn't until after I had taken the photos that I noticed that I hadn't used enough of the gold paint on one in particular, lol, but I have fixed that now.

I also made a tag for this week's Tag Tuesday theme, which is DANGER. Difficult theme and it wasn't until after I had watched a horror film that I knew what I wanted to do -





I started by colouring the background with different blue inks. Then I cut out a spooky old castle. Had to cut the pic and rearrange it because the tower was too tall, so I cut a piece of the right side and glued it on the left side. Next was the screaming lady, which I hand coloured with Spectrum Noir and Promarker pens. The lightning wasn't easy to do, my white pen wasn't very co-operative, so I used a glittery jelly roll pen as well. A bit of a large moon in the top corner, and a flock of menacing birds completed the scene. All that was left was to add the words. 

She is definitely in danger of being pecked to death by that flock of birds of maybe even of being torn to pieces by the walking dead in the castle............
Lol, I know, I should stop watching horror movies!

Toodlepip xxx

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A rare visit to the local boot fair

Boot fairs in our part of the UK are a summer thing, and as we spend most of the summer at our cottage in France, I don't get to visit them very often these days. But I did manage a quick visit the other Sunday and these are the little treasures I found - 

This is a really beautiful 19th Century Victorian powder box, laquered and hand painted  papier mache, and I so adore it -






A few lovely little metal bits -


This two-handled silver plated bowl is gorgeous -



Not sure what this tiny little thing is, but it is so adorable -


This is a face powder compact, and it has a very precise patent date on the side, Dec 19 - 1916 



I was really attracted to the shape of this box. It is rather solid and heavy, and I had no idea that it was made for cigarettes. Love the elegant, understated design. I couldn't get the colour right when taking the photos, it is much nicer in real life -




I had never seen a soap dish like this one before, I love it, even though the silver plate need a heck of a lot of elbow grease -





Apart from the above, I also bought a few bits of fabric, but I haven't photographed them yet.

I took some time out from Etsy stuff and made the ATCs for Kimberly's new ATC swap ' MASKED BEAUTIES '. I'll post the photos tomorrow.

Until then, toodlepip xxx


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Two weeks? TWO WEEKS???

Good grief, we have been back in the UK for two weeks already and I am only just getting around to doing a blog post? The days have just flown by. First, there was all the unpacking, and let me tell ya, there was A LOT to unpack, lol, all the brocante finds from the summer! Then the hospital appointments, family visiting us, us visiting friends, trying to get some sort of order into my craft room after unpacking my craftavan suitcase, tons of laundry, and keeping up with my Etsy shop. I have done very little in the way of crafting, I regret to say, just a couple of Tag Tuesday tags and some more customer tags. 

Shame on me, I have also neglected the Our Beautiful World blog, so before I miss the deadline again, I am going to post a photo for this week's theme, which is SMILE. I took the photo of our neighbours' son the day after the big party, he has the biggest, sweetest smile, don't you think? - 


Handsome lad, he will break a few hearts when he grows up!

The Tag Tuesday tags I haven't shown you yet are FAIRY TALES from last week, and STENCILS from this week.

For Fairy Tales I picked the story of THE SNOW QUEEN, which I have loved ever since reading it when I was a little girl. -



And this is my STENCILS tag -



This was a difficult one. I have two stencils, snowflakes and clock faces. Which one to go with? I really didn't want to do another wintry kind of tag, so I decided to go with the clock faces. Just the clock faces didn't look all that good, far too little showing on the tag, so I made a stencil for the word TIME, hand cut out of some thick card. The red ink makes it stand out nicely. But I still wasn't happy, it still looked too empty to me, so I raided my watch parts box and stuck a few bits on :-).

The weekend is going to be really busy as well, so I have no idea when I will be able to do some of the projects I would so dearly like to get on with. Might have to pull a few midnight sessions, lol.

You gals are so patient with me, thanks for hanging in there!

Toodlepip xxx

Monday, 1 September 2014

Awww, my poor craftavan!

Stripped bare, devoid of all the beautiful creations from bloggy friends I had on display, and without all my bowls and boxes full of craft stuff, it looks so empty and sad!

It is that time of the year again, when I have to pack up all my stuff ready to go back to the UK. But I did get a couple of hours of crafting in before I locked the craftavan for the very last time this summer - I made the Tag Tuesday tag for tomorrow and a bunch of customer tags as well -

The Tag Tuesday theme is SILHOUETTE, which presented me with a bit of a problem, I didn't have a single bit of black paper anywhere in the craftavan or the house! Nor did I have any punches or dies suitable for silhouettes, lol, so I had to draw a silhouette and you can probably tell that drawing is not my forte -



I coloured some card with my black pen for the silhouette and tried the same on a butterfly I had, but not very successfully, as you can still see the print underneath. I used a piece of gorgeous black beaded trim, which was one of many my darling friend and neighbour Annick had gifted me with.

These are the customer tags I made for any orders going out this week -




Tomorrow I have to face the daunting task of trying to pack up as many beautiful French brocantes finds as I can fit into the car on top of all our other stuff AND all my craft stuff. Yikes! So much stuff and so little space, lol. Wish me luck!

Oh, ooh, before I go, I have to tell you about one absolutely wonderful brocante find - a STANHOPE rosary! 

They are so rare and this one is a beauty, it has a micro photograph of a young girl and a young boy in their Holy Communion outfits in the tiny lens in the cross. I'll try and post more pics of the rosary on the vintageland blog later on tonight, but of course I can't show you the teeny tiny photo seen through the lens.

Toodlepip xxx


Friday, 29 August 2014

This n That

Will I ever make anything else in my craftavan apart from tags?? Hmm, my time in there has been severely limited this summer. When the weather was good, the veggie garden needed attending, when the weather was bad, I couldn't use the sewing machine in my sewing room, which is the field outside the craftavan, lol, and having kept my Etsy shop open and shipping stuff from France has also taken up quite a bit of time. Imagine, all those brocantes I was forced to go to to find lovely new treasures ;-) !

Anyhoo, here is the Tag Tuesday tag for this week. The theme was INDIA. I used an Indian pattern paper for the background and stamped some Indian motifs. Because I adore saris, I had to have a lady dressed in sari on there. I also love using recycled sari ribbons and Suzy's recent post showing off here gorgeous sari ribbon roses inspired me to make some tiny ones for the tag -


Most of the time I forget to photograph the gift tags I make to go with customers' orders, but I did remember the last three I made yesterday -




I have been busy in the kitchen as well. Made lots of tomato, apple and green pepper chutney, just finished another batch of onion marmalade and also pickled some chilli peppers from the garden -



Kirsty had posted a fabulous recipe on her blog HERE, towards the end of the post. Thank you so much, Kirsty!

My poor DH had a really bad case of tonsillitis recently, so bad that he had to go and see a French doctor. It was our first experience with the French health service in 11 years and it was a really good one. Very nice doc, and the medication he prescribed worked very well indeed. However, DH firmly believes that it was our Poppygirl who was mostly responsible for his recovery, as she cuddled and snuggled with him for the whole week he was really poorly! -



Aaah, doggy cuddles work wonders!

It has been pretty miserable for a while now, cold and grey and almost autumnal. Lots of rain, which is good for the well, of course, but also high winds, especially last night as we found out this morning when we found our lane blocked -


And of course our beautiful view disappears on days like this, to be replaced with a thick layer of cloud. Apparently half way down the hill it was all clear, but up here we couldn't see much at all -


We are slowly getting ready to go back to the UK for a little while. We'll see how long we'll last there, lol, before we miss our cottage here in Bourgogne too much. I am hoping to get one last brocante in before we leave though, fingers crossed for good weather this weekend.

Toodlepip xxx