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My First Bracelet

Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share a picture of the first bracelet I made. It was a while ago now, before I hurt my hand.

My First Bracelet

My First Bracelet

Love these beads, they were from a box of beads from Edinburg wool mill shop. They tend to stock these bead sets around Christmas time, so keep an eye out for them.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I would like to introduce our Featured Artist, for May 2011

Liz Welch

I discovered her work thanks to seeing her demonstrate on Create and Craft, but for those of you who haven’t yet found Liz, here is a little more about her and her work.

As seen on Create & Craft

As seen on Create & Craft

Who you are: 

Liz; I am a textile artist and jewellery designer, tutor, author, guest presenter on Create and Craft and small business owner. I have two sons who are at university, a very supportive husband and a dippy-but-delightful dog called Poppy.

Where you are (which country you are based in)?

Liz; My home is in Nottinghamshire in the UK, although I increasingly feel that my network of family and friends extends all over the world because the internet and skype makes this possible.

What you do:

Liz; I am a Friendly Plastic Evangelist! My mission is to get as many people as possible as enthusiastic about this fabulous modelling medium as I am! To that end I write about it, teach it, exhibit work I make using it, make DVDs about it, present shows about it on Create and Craft, demonstrate it, and of course sell it (and all sorts of things directly related to Friendly Plastic) via my on line business Rare Bird Ltd. Because my background is in stitched textiles, I also try to weave Friendly Plastic into the textile art side of my life. This has led me to develop specific techniques such as Lacework and Oooze, and spurred me on to come up with new ways to change the appearance of Friendly Plastic but not its properties. Having worked with the material for more than 20 years, I am still discovering new ways to work with it, new ways to colour and change the appearance of Friendly Plastic and new ways to recycle it too. When I began this journey I did not begin to realise just how involved I would get, and how much it would take over my life.

In-suspense3 by Liz Welch

In-suspense3 by Liz Welch

What got you started in your creative journey?

Liz; Creativity was always encouraged in my family, so I grew up experimenting with things, but particularly fabrics and sewing. It was not until I began a family and I was almost 30 before I discovered Friendly Plastic. We were in New Orleans and I saw a pair of earrings that I liked but could not work out what they were made from. Eventually I found out and, as we were living in America for a year (Friendly Plastic is made in America) , I bought some and began to play. People I knew liked what I made and wanted to buy it – it went on from there, and escalated when we moved back to the UK. I began to work with the UK distributor demonstrating the product and this gave me the spur to come up with new ideas. Eventually when I dreamed up Lacework, I finally managed to bring my love of textiles together with my passion for Friendly Plastic.

What inspires you: 

Liz; People – the things they make, relationships, the constructive and destructive force of mankind, their energy, skill, determination and passions. When I look back particularly on my exhibited textile work I realise that much of it is based on all of these things; I love nature, beatiful scenery, sunsets etc, but somehow the sheer ingenuity of mankind makes me want to create art that celebrates something that is less visually obvious than a pretty flower.

My work rarely stays in two dimensions, frequently straying into 3D, and the challenge of varying the scale of things whilst working with new materials is in turns exciting and daunting. A recent project was a 6.5m “necklace” with “beads” varying in size from 5mm to 300mm, some of which were made of Friendly Plastic, and some made of other things. These other things required me to learn new skills and stretch my own boundaries, leaving my comfort zone way behind!

By Liz Welch

By Liz Welch

If money,time and obligations were no object, what you would most like to do?

Liz; Travel all over the globe to see the art and ingenuity of other peoples both past and present. By immersing myself in other peoples art, my own creativity and artistic thinking processes flourish and develop. I would need a dirty great sketch book, loads of pencils for sketching and note taking, plus a dictaphone and my camera with endless quantities of memory cards to record all the things that inspired me. I wouldn’t mind a sympathetic porter to accompany me so i didn’t have to carry it all myself. Although I wouldn’t want anyone else intruding on my thoughts as I worked, I would still want my lovely husband with me to share travel experience and help me enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day.

On the Beach by Liz Welch

On the Beach by Liz Welch

What do you enjoy most about your creative work/life?

Liz; Meeting other people. The more time I spend with other people whether they are creative or not, the more I appreciate that everyone has a story to tell, everyone has something to offer this world, and 99% of the time, their stories remain untold outside their immediate family. Women especially, get to feel that they have no creative talents, and do not have much to offer other than their standard roles of wife, parent, child, colleague. Given half a chance, many blossom when they get the opportunity to explore their creativity and are given the right encouragement. This newfound creativity can be a useful way of expressing a fraction of the experience and complexity of the person behind the hands. I get the greatest pleasure from seeing or even better, being the catalyst for this process.

Links

To find out more about Liz Welch and her work, please visit her blog and website, details below. 

Thanks to Liz Welch for being our Featured Artist of the Month for May 2011.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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What a Week!

Welcome Back

It’s been a week of firsts for me! My first published piece, then after starting to read Kelly Rae’s ‘Fling Lessons’ I decided I needed a button for the blog. With some help from tutorials and DH there is now a button over there on the right that you can grab and put on your own blog or website.

Last night I discovered that the wonderful people at WordPress have a handy little add in that allows you to add a favicon (the little picture you see in front of website names) to your blog. Well I couldn’t resist, back out with the Photoshop to make a tiny version of the bird from my logo and after following the instructions from WordPress, the magic has happened and my logo is now in front of my blog address. Thanks WordPress, that’s very nifty. Do have a go if you have a WordPress blog, make the image the same as your blogs header or part of it, if you can, so it will be recognised by others as being from the same place. Don’t forget to add an image to your profile too, then when you leave comments on blogs your image will follow you there too ;)

Have had a bit of a paranoia on the blog button, in case its a bit big :( Regulars will recognize the image from the header, and originally I was going to go with just a 3D version of the header, but once the button is on other people’s websites I thought a bit more introduction was useful.

What do you think? It would be bad to change the button now as it would break links for those who have already downloaded it. See told you paranoia! DOH

Thanks to everyone who has emailed and left me such nice comments about the Stampbord piece, its wonderful to hear from you and I’m so glad you like the project too.

Off to make some ATCs today and write a book review or two. For those following my adventures on Twitter, the racing pigeon is still with us, bless! He’s on the roof of the house and comes down to eat and drink, couldn’t catch him though as he flies off if I go near him or move. If I call him he peeks over the roof at me, if spooked he flys a circuit of a few gardens then comes back to our roof. If you missed the start of this story, I posted about it on the Stamping Mad Forum if you want to catch up.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back 

This is still a paper crafting blog HONEST!!! More paper crafting will appear very soon. 

In the meantime I would like to share a picture of my first Tote bag. 

First Tote Bag

My First Tote Bag

This was created from off cuts from a pair of curtains ;) Now that’s what I call recycling! I followed a blend of instructions between Debbie Shaw’s Sew What DVD and Sew What Bags ;) the box stitch to secure the handles was described in the Sew What Bags book and looks robust. 

The great thing about making your own bag especially like this, without a pattern, is that you have complete control of the design. I wanted nice wide straps for the handles, so they didn’t dig into my shoulder. The handle length suits me just right. I didn’t have any blue cotton at the time, so the white thread wasn’t ideal. To be honest this was just a practice bag, to learn the techniques, but it turned out much better than I expected. 

Maybe a series of these will become gifts for family and friends in later years, once I’ve had more practice. 

What do you think? 

Will get some paper crafting back on here real soon! 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon 

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Did you miss me yesterday? Sorry about that, its been one of those…well..years really.

I have now finished the project for Stampbord, they have all the details. Keep an eye on this blog and over on Stampbord for the project I made for them for September/October. It’s due to be published 1st September. I’ll post a link here, when I have it. I’m pleased with how it turned out, so be sure to have a go :)

I’m in the wars again! (An old phrase, used to mean I’m injured again). Recovering slowly from another stumble, still NOT fueled by alcohol as I don’t drink. Managed to give myself whiplash at walking pace???!!!! I didn’t see another step (DOH) kept walking and stumbled. Stayed on my feet but landed heavily on bad foot. Have taken everything to the osteopath and she is re-assembling me, in the right order. Good job she knows where it’s all meant to go, I lost the map a long time ago!

In the process of planning designs for projects that will be great for Christmas/Holiday gifts. Writing reviews and making Christmas pressies. It’s all go!!! Have got a bit sidetracked with Textiles and yarn of late, having had a sewing machine for my birthday. I’m a bit of a bumble bee crafter and like to try all kinds of things creative. My late mother would approve as she was a really good seamstress. Just wish I’d learnt more from here when I could.

Budgies are looking like pin cushions, having finished most of their body moulting they are re-doing their head feathers, they look like punks! All spiky heads, bless. Won’t embarrass them posting a pic, they look most embarrassed if I get near them with a camera.

Hoping to get more paper crafting back on here, don’t want you all to think I’ve lost the plot entirely! When I can sit at a table to stamp and play I’ll be well away and share the results.

Thanks for sticking with me

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I would like to introduce our Featured Artist, for June 2010.

Sherry Cheever

Sherry Cheever

I discovered her work thanks to a Spellbinders Blog Hop but for those of you who haven’t yet found Sherry Cheever, here is a little more about her and her work.

Who you are: 

SC: Sherry Cheever a/k/a BadSherry on Splitcoaststampers a/k/a Her Royal Badness

Where you are (which country you are based in)?

SC:  I live in Jeffersonville, Indiana, USA

What you do:

SC: I am a freelance paper arts designer and currently design for Spellbinders Blog Team, Just For Fun Rubber Stamps, Stamp Simply Ribbon Store

What got you started in your creative journey?

SC: I have always been a crafter.  I began at a very early age painting, knitting, etc. and in High School, Art was one of my favorite classes.  I went away to college majoring in Physical Education with a minor in art.  At the end of my sophomore year I wanted to switch to an art major and when I couldn’t get the classes I wanted, I threw my hands up and got married instead.  During the summers of my college years I painted watercolor pictures of the race cars at the dad’s race track and sold them.    I began rubber stamping in 1990 but with children on the run, I set it aside for some years. 

Around 2004 I started cross-stitching shadow boxes for friends and decided that stamping them would be more colorful and quicker.   It wasn’t long that I was full-fledged into making cards and totally addicted to the art.  I haven’t stopped since!

What inspires you: 

SC: This is a hard one to answer as my mind runs constantly and I can see inspiration in anything I pick up.  I simply see something, like an old wood box, and I know immediately what I can and want to make with it.  It’s just finding the time to make it happen!

If money,time and obligations were no object, what you would most like to do?

SC: What I’m doing now!  The only thing I would change would be having a separate house/cabin that I could use as a studio where I would have plenty of room for classes, work space and storage.  I find it amazing that I’m 51 years old and I’m finally doing what I have been meant to do my entire life  . . . make art!  It was a long time to get here, full-time jobs, raising children, part-time jobs, etc., but I’m here.  My secret desire is to have a private island, with all my crafty friends living on the island as well, and we would have cabana boys to see to our every whim.  Of course, this would mean winning the lottery, but one would have to buy tickets for that, and I can’t see wasting money on lottery tickets.

What do you enjoy most about your creative work/life?

SC: Working on my own time and not having to get dressed and leave the house every day.  If I want to sit in my pajamas and work, I can!  I can also work when the idea strikes whether it’s early morning or late at night!

Links

To find out more about Sherry Cheever and her work, please visit her blog details below. Her papercraft designs are awesome.

Sherry’s Blog

Sherry’s Favourite Links:

SC: My Favorite Shopping:

Eclectic Paperie

Stamp Simply Ribbon Store

Thanks to Sherry for being our Featured Artist of the Month for June 2010.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back 

The theme for The Virtual Crafting Challenge this month, is ‘D’. For those of you looking to get started in Distressing techniques with paper, this series is all about my favorite tools for creating Distressed looks. In today’s post; 

Acrylic Dabbers

Acrylic Dabbers are made by a company called Ranger, the colour pallet matches their Adirondack set of colours. I love these Dabbers, they are little bottles of Acrylic paint in a bottle with a special dabber in the top. The top looks a lot like the fluffy side of velcro and it has a valve inside, to regulate how much paint comes through. 

Acrylic Dabbers

Ranger Acylic Dabbers.

 

The dabbers can be a little tempremental at times. If you have left the paint to dry on the dabber top, you will need to dampen the sponge top, to get the paint flowing again. I tend to spray a little water onto a craft sheet and then swish the dabber top in that. After a bit of a press, the paint flows again. Personally, I quite like the hit n miss effect, that comes when there is some dried on paint in the dabber’s top. 

These paints work great on card and paper and also on metal and plastic too. Try them on Grungebord/paper as well. I love the versatility that these paints give. You can paint without getting extra equipment out, they also give a wonderful texture to projects as well. 

Here is a project that was coloured with Acrylic Dabbers. 

Distressed Box

Although this looks like an ancient metal box, it is in fact made from cardboard.

 

 

Links

Ranger Manufacturers of Acrylic Dabbers 

Acrylic Dabbers Link to a color chart of Dabbers from Ranger. 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon 

Billie :)

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