Fused glass jewellery – dress up your holiday wardrobe this summer

I have missed blogging recently, I am still catching up with work after my week’s holiday, I thought I’d have time to add a lot of new stock to my Etsy shop, but sales at the galleries are going so well I’m having to send most of my supplies to them, but I have kept some for my shop.

I know the weather has been a bit of a let down this summer, but fused glass jewellery can brighten up any day. I love to wear my dichroic fused glass pendants and earrings on holiday, they work with so many outfits and get commented on quite often. These pendants can transform a simple T shirt.

I do have a few more to add to my Etsy shop but this is what I’ve added so far this week.

fused glass jewellery for your summer holidays

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Crovie – an inspiration

I spent last week in a wonderful fishing village called Crovie, (pronounced Crivie). To call it a village is an exaggeration, it’s a single row of cottages built below the cliffs on the rocky shore. These cottages were built after the highland clearances as the land belonged to no one. A fierce storm in 1953 washed away some of the cottages and most of the residents moved out. This, and the location means that Crovie has not been developed and is one of the best preserved fishing villages in Europe.

The place was such and inspiration, and left me wanting to get out the watercolours again. I love the cottages but I also love the light on the sea and those moody skies.













We saw lots of wildlife in the area including seals, dolphins, and lots of birds, more to follow later.


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How to make lined curtains

There are some things I have learned over the years that continue to reap dividends, one of these skills is the ability to make lined curtains. I’ve not bought ready made curtains in years. However it’s been a while since I made any and I wondered how well I would remember my mothers teaching, it all came flooding back and I found myself talking to my Mum and thanking her for passing on her skills.

First of all you need to know the finished size of the curtains, I measured what was already hanging there. Then out came paper and pencil and I drew a little diagram, adding 3 cm to the top of the 155cm finished length for turnings and 12cm to the bottom for the hem, so far this is just a rough guide.

As for the curtain width you need 1.5 to 2 times the window width, the exisiting curtains were 1.5 widths of fabric in each curtain so as long as my fabric is a similar width that should be fine.

Fabric samples were ordered and I worked out the quantity of fabric including extra for matching the pattern, I ordered pencil pleat heading tape and lining fabric too.

Fabric laid out, folded in half right sides out so the pattern is visible, then I measured 3 lengths and marked with a pin.

Making sure each length starts with the same point in the design.

One of the 3 lengths of frabric was cut along the fold line and each half was attached to the other fabric pieces. Phew the pattern matched!

Linings were cut and joined in the same way. Now it’s time to join the lining to the curtain fabric down the sides , you want the seam to be 2 or 3 cms in , not on the edge so starting 3 cm down from the top edge of the fabric lay the fabrics right side together, edges meeting along one side, and sew to about 12cm short of the bottom. Then lay the curtain out flat and trim the lining so it’s 4 to 6 cm less than the fabric width. Pin the edges together and sew as before.

Now it needs pressing, firstly turn down the top 3cm ready for the heading tape.

Press the edge of the curtain 2 to 3cm in as allowed.

This is the bottom where I didn’t sew right down, this makes hemming easier.

Now it’s time to add the heading tape, you need to free the ends of the cord and turn in a bit of tape, hopefully you will have the loops for the hooks near the edge but with enough tape to stitch along without going over the hook loops.

Here you can see how I folded the end in tucking it around the fabric and keeping the cord ends free.

Then you do the same at the other end.

Stitching is straightforward, I like to stitch both sides in the same direction, and don’t stitch over the cords.

Now it’s time to turn up the  hems, I hand stitch the curtain fabric one and a mitered corner looks very professional.

Then stitch down the sides.

Now the exciting part, it’s time to hang the curtains, after pressing of course. Pull up the cords and knot one end, then pull up to the desired measurement, a little over half the window with, then knot the other end. Don’t cut off the cord as you may want to undo the gathers one day. Instead twist the cords together

Then let them go and double up in length, now just tuck the twist into the cords  to hide it.


And here they are, the finished curtains, I’m very pleased with the result and it was very satisfying to make my own curtains.

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Hello deskers, finally I’m feeling better, and I’ve got caught up with my backlog.  I have missed doing my WOYWW posts.

So here’s what went in the post today, a personalized flattened champagne bottle with name and date.

flat bottle
This collection of handpainted porcelain and fused glass went off to the gallery.

And I’ve started making some focal beads ,which I will paint once fired and glazed.P1200357

Also, I managed to get out with friends at the weekend and get some photo’s of the bluebells.



If you would like to see what the other ‘deskers’ have been up to head over to Stamping Ground.

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I haven’t blogged for a while as I’ve been under the weather with a virus. I was trying to rest up but boredom steppd in, so I decided to play with my websites and update them and make a new banner for my blog, Etsy shop and KilnFiredArt.co.uk

This should have been a simple task but it took 3 days in the end, I won’t bore you with the details.

So here’s the new look Kiln Fired Art website, I do like the simplicity of it
kilnfiredartThe Etsy shop banner is the same but thinner, and while I was working over there I added some more items to my shop, here’s some screen shots. I’m really tempted to make some earrings for myself with those agateware jewellery components.
ceramic buttons and beads on etsy
ceramic jewellery components on etsy
kiln fired art on etsySo my shop is mostly ceramic jewellery components, ceramic buttons and melted bottles just now as the hand painted porcelain is in such demand that it’s selling as fast as I can paint it. I got a tweet yesterday one lady at the art fair bought 3 vases and some jewellery, how cool is that, and 2 more days to go!

I have plans to make some handpainted beads with miniature birdies on them so watch this space, hopefully I’ll be firing on all cylinders soon.

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Tile commission – the painting process

I’m now able to share the kitchen tile project that I was working on last week, my client said she was “beyond thrilled” with them which made me a very happy bunny.

My client sent me her tiles, and, after test firing first I set to work painting garden birds. Remember my last post, well this is what I was working on.

Here they are after the first fire, I’ve really just established things.
first fireI had to mix more paint so I decided it was time to clean my palette, it’s still not as ordered and pristine as most overglaze artists, but it’s going to get very messy shortly as I mix my colours.
overglaze enamels
Second fire, strengthening colour and form

Third fire, just refining.
P1200274I really enjoy painting custom tiles, but it is more stressful than just painting what I want to. I was so pleased that my client loved them.

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Tools of the trade

I have been working on a kitchen tile commission these past few days, it’s always a bit scary getting ready to paint them but I really enjoy the process once I start painting. Think white paper syndrome only worse as they are the client’s tiles not a bit of paper.

I can’t show you the tiles but I can show you my palettes and some of my favourite tools and brushes for painting wildlife.

Most porcelain artists keep a very neat and ordered palette, not me, I like to mix my paints as one would oils and this means my palette gets quite messy, however I do try to keep it dust and lint free , and I do wipe it off from time to time and put the enamels onto a fresh tile.

I have 2 ways of working, water based and oil based and so I have seperate palettes and brushes for each. I think I have a bit of a brush fetish actually when I think how many brushes I have.

These are the water based palettes
And my oil based palette as it looks today
P1200254I’m sure china painters are recoiling in disgust at the sight but this works for me.
I have a lot of tools for creating texture and mark making including a selection of sharpened twigs, the mapping pen and various sponges, pan scrubs and a loofah are used the most.

Generally when I’m using oil based china paint I want smooth coverage so I use soft hair brushes, a fan brush for blending, an acrylic hair brush and a cropped off hog hair brush for stippling. The pointed quill brush is one of my favourite brushes it’s a traditional brush which were known as a ‘pencil’ in the factories in Stoke on Trent.
I can’t finish without showing you my garden visitors who have distracted me quite a bit this week, a couple of little voles.

I hope to show you the tiles soon, have a great weekend whatever you are doing.


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WOYWW week 18

Hello deskers, today I have handmade ceramic buttons on my desk which means I can finally get my cushions finished.
P1200234I have a bit of a thing about buttons, and I do like making my own ceramic ones but they are a bit time consuming to make, it’s not just rolling, stamping, cutting, hole making, drying, cleaning, firing. Then glazing, cleaning, stacking, and firing, there’s a bit more to the process than that, these ones will have the holes cleaned then they will be matched up, and sewn onto cards that I print and cut on my Cameo, and then they will finally be photographed and listed in my Etsy shop.

So here are my finished cushion covers, and if you would like to read how easy they are to make I’ve posted my easy envelope cushion method here.
P1200233I hope everyone had a good weekend, the weather has been rubbish here so at least I will have time to read what everyone is up to over on Stamping Ground.

Happy hopping,



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Easy envelope cushions

These cushions are the easiest to make, no zips to worry about. Basically you cut a strip of fabric the width of your cushion pad plus 3cm for seams. The length of the fabric strip is twice the size of the cushion pad plus and overlap of 8cm, plus a hem of 6 cm, and a hem of 3cm.

Firslty zig zag the long edges of the fabric, then  hem the short edges by turning under a cm, then turning over the remaining hem allowance, the wide hem will be the one on show and where you stitch your buttons.

Fold the fabric right sides together, overlapping the ends as shown in the photo, the small hem should be on the top. Sew down the sides. Now turn right sides out and add your buttons. I’m making my own ceramic buttons so I will have to show you the finished cushions later.
easy cushion coversUpdated this post to show you the finished cushions with my ceramic buttons. I stitched press studs on the inside behind the buttons just to finish them off properly but if you have enough of an overlap you don’t really need to do this.

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Silhouette challenge #25

Here’s my offering for the latest Silhouette challenge #25 

P1200176I cut the little wrens for these fused glass light catchers from ceramic decal paper.

The Cameo is great for cutting decals, this one is my own design but there are loads to purchase on the Silhouette website.

There are so many uses for the Cameo, I cut the little tags too.

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