Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Happy 12th Birthday Blog!

Apples over my head
Love this fabric found in a charity shop this week. Good for masks.
Painted this for my son this week. Acrylics on canvas

Can you believe I have been writing this blog for 12 whole years?
I started sharing on September 22nd 2008 when I was frantically trying to make loads of stock for my stand at the Country Living magazine show in London. I had to make £60 worth of stock a day and as the date grew nearer I made £150 worth of stock a day. 

 Stands were expensive so the more stock the more profitable it became.
Anyone can click onto 2008 in the bar on the right to see what I was making then. Buttons, beads, dolls, Christmas stockings, cards. I made lots of different things then....Now, in the time of Covid, I make masks and write stories and and the blog has evolved into an appreciation of Nature with the occasional experiment with paints and paper thrown in.

Today I am planning new Christmas decoration designs out of habit. But I am confused by the woolly advice from the government and don't know where and when the next selling date might be. Somewhere outside maybe.

I wonder if there is anyone reading this who has been reading on and off for the last 12 years. If so I would love to hear from you.
In the beginning nearly all readers lived in the UK now it is mostly Americans who read this and in sufficient numbers to make continuing to write this worthwhile. Thank you and may you stay well.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Painting fun

This week I plan to make more masks like the one above. 

I've also been playing with paints and printing. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Birthday cake and thinking about making

Strawberry cake made for my daughter and decorated by her daughters!
It tasted good.
A
A Jenny Stacy doll.  Shall I make more now?
Beautiful crab apples

Bargain of the week. 5 metres of soft cotton at £3 a metre.


 Strawberries and thick cream in a Victoria sponge made with butter.It tasted good although it looked wonky especially after the little ones in the family added the candles! Family get togethers are the best! 

Dolly is having an airing because I'm wondering whether to make more dolls. I used to make lots and their dreadlock hair was something different. My incentive to make was always making to sell. The prospect of selling made me productive. Now I'm not sure I'll have a selling opportunity in 2020 so maybe I won't make much again until next year... Also I'm finding that painting (not to sell) and regular writing give me the same creative satisfaction that making used to... 

The crab apples were table decoration at the Harrow Inn where we walked to from my house on Saturday. It is so pretty there. My children loved it. This area is one of 'Outstanding Natural Beauty' and there are nice places to walk nearby.

This week I went to meet a friend at the wonderful Rowan's Craft Shop in Cowplain. This charity shop sells every sort of fabric, button, tool and book at very reasonable prices. Recommended.  I loved this soft cotton fabric and plan to use it to make a dress and quite a few masks. Watch this space. My plan is to use an old dress to cut a pattern from and I've not tried that before!

The car chose to break down straight after visiting that shop in the tkmax car park in Waterlooville which was lucky really! It could have broken down in the road. Suddenly it slipped into reverse and stayed there. The RAC man managed to move the gear stick into Drive under the bonnet but if I turned off the engine it would not start again so I had to drive to the garage immediately and that's where it still is! 
The car is an old friend so I don't want to give up on it unless I have to!  Time to start using the train again I think.. and I haven't been on a train since March. Have you?



Thursday, 3 September 2020

Printing from a gelli plate and painting zinnias.

My latest painting of zinnias. Jenny Stacy
First attempt at painting zinnias. Jenny Stacy
Grapes and quince growing in the Physic Garden this week
A print from a gelli plate
Pleased with this print from a gelli plate. Jenny Stacy


None of the Handmade Happiness events booked for this year are to go ahead.  I was hoping that at least the Christmas sale at the Physic Garden could happen. But I just got an email saying that the room would be closed for the rest of 2020. 
The question is what to do instead. It would feel strange not to sell at Christmas at all ...

I enjoyed trying to paint zinnias this week. One of my favorite flowers. I get them at the Harrow Inn at Steep where they sell all their cottage garden flowers in aid of charity. And the flowers are often spectacular! I have also noticed that zinnia last far longer in water than other flowers do.

A friend mentioned she had a gelli plate that she hadn't yet used. So she brought it over to my house and we experimented. What fun! We used acrylic paint, rollered on and tried spraying the paint with water and making marks with an old credit card plus printing with bubble wrap. Some attempts were successful and others weren't. But I can't wait to have another go! I plan to use the printed papers in collages for card making and pictures.
I also want to try printing from a tile base. Hopefully I'll have something new to show you in the next post.