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So here we are in a brand new year, what will be the creative challenge for 2014? Well as well as getting back to more art when my hands allow my new passion is for dressmaking. I tried last year but didn’t have the skills, so this year I have started again but with books and DVDs to help me learn how to create the clothes I’d like to wear and fingers crossed that will fit me. Now while it’s still dark n gloomy in the middle of the UK winter, what better time than to hunker down with some books and DVD and get learning. So here is my collection for this months stash dive;

Stash Dive: January 2014

Stash Dive: January 2014

I heard about the Threads DVDs thanks to a sewing forum that I’m a member of. Threads has a website and you can preview some episodes from the DVDs and purchase them for download if your internet is kind. I bought season one on Amazon and after finding out it would play on my TV/DVD set up got very excited and DH gave me season 2 and three for Christmas. The Dressmaking book is from him too, isn’t he wonderful.

Fear not, this is still a papercraft/art based blog and hands permitting there will be more of that this year but winter isn’t kind to my dexterity so actually ‘doing’ stuff has to wait for the better weather. So while I’m waiting I’ll be doing lots of research on all kinds of stuff, so I can share it with you in the form of reviews and hopefully more tutorials this year too.

How about you, what do you do with long dark winters? Do you create in the gloom or research to improve your skills and look for inspiration for when the light improves?

Lets hope 2014 will be better than the last four years.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Firstly I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. Regular readers will know that I don’t go in for New Years resolutions but instead for goals, things I’d like to try in the New Year. Stuff that will make me happy, rather than resolutions that always seem more about giving yourself a hard time.

So here we go, in 2014 I’d like to try the following

Dressmaking

Well making my own clothes. I’d like to make trousers that fit me as I can’t find them in shops, so if I make my own then I can get the fit I’m after, in fabrics I like. It would also be nice to try to make a few skirts as I seem to have reached the age/shape that can’t get away with wearing shorts anymore :( Bit of a dilemma, as I don’t have the feet that go with skirts but that is a whole different story.

This goal has started well, as I was very lucky to bag a dressmakers dummy on Ebay before Christmas so fingers crossed, that will help me sort out a fit for my clothes. I’ve also been collecting dressmaking books and later on last year discovered Threads DVDs, which are wonderful. Craftsy is superb but our internet connection isn’t strong enough to stream the video, so the DVDs from Threads and from Palmer/Pletsch have covered shirts, trousers and now upper body fitting too. Being a visual learner they have been fantastic.

Bring back Art

Doodling

On the art front, because I haven’t turned my back on that, just that my hands let me down last year, I’m having a go at doodling. Years ago I used to doodle quite a lot, but after seeing Zen doodling and Zen Tangle its renewed my interest. I’d like to find out a bit more about Tangling but it makes my eyes go funny, they remind me of optical illusions. That said, doodling shapes and patterns appeals and I fancy giving it a go. It seems to be a nice peaceful way of letting your mind wander and helps you relax. I still couldn’t quite get to grips with art journalling, either because I put too much pressure on myself, in the quest for the ‘perfect page’ or ended up with pieces I didn’t want to share online as they were too personal. So doodling it is, here’s to chilling out with art supplies. :) :) :)

Gelli Arts

The most burning ambition I have on the art front, is to try a Gelli plate. Other things kept coming up and taking the budget and I never quite got round to getting one last year. I had it in my head that I ‘needed’ the 8 x 10″ one, so I could make book covers and that the 6x 6″ plate would be too small. The price of the 8 x10″ one put me off, so round and round I went. I haven’t resolved those issues so when budget allows I hope to get a 6 x 6″ one and give it a go. In all honesty, I haven’t really the space to store a larger one anyway but it would have been nice to have more space on the plate to play on. There I go again DOH!!! Better a small space to Gelli rather than no Gelli at all.

In the meantime, until the light and my dexterity improves, I have my Christmas books n DVDs to read/watch so that will keep me busy. How about you, do you have creative goals for 2014? Do let me know what you would love to create in 2014.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of my creative Christmas gifts from my wonderful husband and friends.

Creative Christmas Goodies of 2013

Creative Christmas Goodies of 2013

Alison Smiths Dressmaking book has been on my wishlist for ages and there are some really good pattern designs in the back as well as all the helpful how too guides along the way.

The Threads DVDs are brilliant, I bought the first one in the series (ignore Amazon UK saying they are for region 1 only, our DVD player can’t play region 1 and they play fine.) They are NTSC but both our TV and DVD player can accommodate this. DH added to my collection with season two and three, have only had chance for a quick look but they are like the first season in that they take you from no prior knowledge of dressmaking and hold your hand along techniques and materials as well as a few projects to demonstrate the concepts they are showing. If you are new to dressmaking and feeling overwhelmed head over to Amazon or Threads magazine online.

The Calligraphy set is optimistic, I begged for the wooden box set when I first saw it as the inks work and dry over acrylic paint, so they will be wonderful for art journalling. The full on pen set is optimizom on DHs side. I used to do a little calligraphy but my fine motor skills especially after last years crochet incident make it beyond me (at least for now).

Really hoping that I can bring some art back into my life in 2014, I have sorely missed it this year.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Christmas pretty much summed up the year, we were battered by the gales and took some damage but we are still clinging on. Luckily we are on high ground so we escaped the flooding, but our thoughts and prayers are with those who weren’t so lucky and faced Christmas in the dark and cold without power or worse still to be evacuated thanks to flooding. It really puts things into perspective, when the biggest thoughts in your head at this time of the year are; ‘Will we keep the power on and how much damage will we get?

The gales are still going at the moment and more on the way for Monday, so we are holding tight and hoping for the best. Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas and that the weather was kind to you or alternatively that you could stay safe and warm in your alternative abodes.

We had a very quiet Christmas just DH & I, the original plan of going to MIL on Christmas day went out the window as  we have both had stinkers of colds and we didn’t want to inflict them on the others. Luckily DH sisters kids were bug free and were able to spend the day with her.

Lets all pray that 2014 will be kinder than this year.

Best wishes

Billie

Welcome Back

Wishing all my readers a Happy, healthy and wonderful Christmas. Your visits, comments and company mean a lot to me and I hope you have enjoyed what you read here and will continue to visit in 2014.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you in the New Year

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Just wanted to share another Christmas card I designed using Serif Craft Artist and Hears and Roses digikit collection. Simple but elegant :)

Created using Serif Craft Artist software and Hearts & Roses Digikit

Created using Serif Craft Artist software and Hearts & Roses Digikit

Best wishes and see you soon

Billie :)

Welcome Back

Just wanted to share another Christmas card I designed using Serif Craft Artist and Hears and Roses digikit collection. Simple but elegant :)

Created using Serif Craft Artist software and Hearts & Roses Digikit

Created using Serif Craft Artist software and Hearts & Roses Digikit

Best wishes and see you soon

Billie :)

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