Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Bunnies and Buttons

I sometimes crave a trip to London just to mooch around and look at beautiful things! I don't get to do it very often these days because I am so busy with teaching and making class samples but when I do do get one of those magical days I have to visit my favourite shops!

You can see from one of my previous posts that Liberty is very special but there is also another shop that is completely divine!

It has the most innovative displays of wonderous art made from recycled hardware, vintage type face blocks and crazy amazing things hanging from the ceilings. And those are just their shop displays!
It is just nectar for the creative soul!

Look at this little Easter bunny tray that I found at Anthropologie! So perfect for guarding my buttons.

 They have a really inspiring range of merchandise including clothing, household, jewellery, shoes and lots of  little gorgeous things! All really quirky and fun!

So although I do know that the true message of Easter isn't  about bunnies or chocolate eggs I do want to wish you all a happy and blessed and healthy Easter and I hope that Springtime and lots of sunshine will come very soon.

Button Box LOVE!

The last couple of weeks have been a horrible coughing fest! Having dodged the lurgy for nearly a year, it finally caught up with me and got me good!!

When I was a little girl and I was poorly there were always three things I wanted. My darling Mum, a bowl of home made chicken soup we used to call 'Pishpash' which had all kinds of little vegetables and chicken and rice in it (very yummy and nutritious!), and my Mum's button box.

Well, today I started feeling a little better and although my darling Mum is gone and I had grown up home made Chicken soup last night, I did get to play with my button box! 

Don't you just love, love, love a Button Box???

I am slightly crazy about al kinds of buttons and love collecting beautiful ones. Just sorting through them is bliss. Whenever I get too many I take some to work and we have a lovely time making  bracelets and jewellery with the kids and adults and I have noticed something over the years...

That adults who have never had a button box to play with as a child are mesmerised when they start to look through them. Choosing colours, seeing which ones they like best, making piles and layering  with them. some people can't bear to put them back in the tin afterwards!

There are parts of growing up, like making mud pies, blowing bubbles and  climbing trees that make lovely childhood memories and I think that playing with a button box is just like those.

The buttons that I love most are vintage Mother of Pearl shell buttons. They are so hard to find but some of the old ones are hand carved and even in sets they are all slightly different. They have a beautiful iridescent sheen and are little works of Folk art!

I do use them to make things with and I will post some pictures soon of some of those things, but mostly I just keep them for making me happy!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Love Art?

Then you are going to love all the wonderful new art techniques that are just waiting for you to play with. We have been developing some new ideas, products and courses for the Spring and Summer.
Are you are a textile lover or you dream of wallowing in felt and fibre? Does yarn drive you crazy or playing with paper crafts makes your fingers tingle? We have got some great courses coming up after Easter!

More Fabulous Felt: Beginners and  Intermediate. There is also going to be a Family Fun Felt day in the Easter holidays. This has been requested for years and I have never found time to do it but we have one on the 4th April in Watford. Contact me and sign up quickly if you are interested.

 Paula's Paper Crafts: We will be playing with all kinds of exciting paper crafts including making our own backgrounds using all kinds of paints and techniques. We will be using the wonderful Crafters Workshop Stencils too. We can then  use what we have made to make our own cards, boxes, collages and pictures.

CLP will also be running Patchwork and Crochet courses at our Heavenly Arts and Crafts Cafe in Watford.

I am putting together some wonderful Mixed Media Mixage resin jewellery courses too. We will be using the  newest, lovely, products which have just been released in the USA. I am just waiting for supplies to arrive and then I will show you some photos.
There may be some tasters during the summer so let me know if you are interested in being on our waiting list for these.

So I am going to be busy all through the Easter holidays  making samples and gathering  materials for a season of exciting new art making.

Monday, 11 March 2013

My first Blog Award. Hooray!

My first Blog Award Hooray!

I would like to thank Dawn from www.dawnthe who has very kindly given me a Liebster Award which my very first Blog Award and has made my day!

It is so nice to know that people read my blog and enjoy reading my posts. It is also very nice to be able to pass on the good will and have a chance to give recognition to others.

Indeed it is a condition of an award acceptance that you pass it on to five other blogs who have less than 200 followers who you regularly visit and that inspire you. It is designed to encourage others to visit, comment and hopefully follow new blogs.

So here are two of five of my favourite blogs that I regularly visit. They are fun, beautiful inspirational informative and a very good read. I will add the others soon.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Crochet and Felt

At last week's Fabulous Felt course one of my learners was our Elizabeth, Director of the Community Learning Partnership. I have been running the course for a few years and she loves to see all the learners work but she has never really had the chance to make any felt herself. She is slightly addicted to wool though; the colours, its softness (its SMELL!!??) and all the amazing things can be made from those lovely wool tops! 

However, Elizabeth's greatest current addiction is Crochet. Whenever I go into the office she has crocheted something new or bought more delicious wool for our learners to use on our crochet courses. So it shouldn't be a surprise that she had been wondering if you could combine crochet with handmade felt.

The answer is, of course, YES!

Felt making is such an amazing adventure that we never stop learning how many different things you can do with it. The wackiest things work if you know the basics of how felt is made  
and you can embed all kinds of things into the fibres as they felt.

So this week, on part 2 of the course, she is going to bring some pieces of crochet to experiment with. In the meantime I had a little experiment of my own.

I found some gorgeous space dyed merino yarn in my stash and crocheted some circles of different kinds and sizes and added them to the bottom of of my seascape panel that I was using to demo felting to the class. As the felting was barely started the crocheted motifs adhered really well to the pre felt and moulded the bottom of the panel with some lovely curves.

I added shells and some stitching to finish it all off. I love adding crochet to felt! Thanks Elizabeth and lets see how our experiments turn out on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to seeing how everyone's felt turns out. It is always wonderful to see beginners turn into Fabulous Felters.

I will post some  photos of the class work next week.