WOYWW week 16

I can’t believe a week has gone by since my last WOYWW post. I am so busy just now, as you can see by my worktable today. These WIP pieces are almost ready for their first firing.
P1200121The weather has been fabulous over the past few days, we had a walking break with frends in Swaledale. There are some things I really love about Yorkshire, the landscape, especially the barns and stone walls, the buttercup meadows, and the sound of the curlew. The Dales are one of my most favourite places in the world.

Here are some barn photo’s which I’d love to paint one of these days.
This one especially really cries out to me ‘get the watercolours out and paint me’

Happy WOYWW, I’m off to Stamping Ground to see wat everyone else is up to.

Hop back next week to see the finished vases and bowls before they go to the gallery.

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WOYWW week 15

Hi deskers, not much on my worktable today, but you might have noticed my table has grown. Finally OH cut some mdf to extend the top when I need more space, well I don’t know about you but I always need more space!
P1200017Today I’m thinking about summer, I have beach huts on my work table. These are for a seaside themed event in a couple of months.
P1200016I’ve been a bit distracted by my latest garden visitor.
P1200014It’s a greater spotted woodpecker, you can tell the greater from the lesser by the red under it’s tail.
P1200015I’m doing some spring cleaning this week so not many makes, although I did make a new headboard from recycled materials, it’s all in the post below if you would like to read more.

I’m heading over to Stamping Ground now to see WOYWW

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Making a recycled headboard

I’m busy sprucing up the spare room, the draylon headboard looks a bit tired so I decided to have a go at making one myself. All I bought was a piece of mdf, the memory foam padding was cut from my mattress topper, my back no longer likes the soft hug of memory foam unfortunately. The cover is a mattress protector I no longer use, and the fabric is a piece left over from curtain making.

I cut the foam a little larger than the mdf so I could get a nice rounded edge along the top.

Then the mattress protector was stapled to the mdf, sandwiching the foam. Then trimmed, this is when I tried to cut off the tip of my finger!
P1190998The  fabric is just a bag basically, but the material wasn’t quite big enough so I had to piece the back but no one will see it up against the wall.
P1200004I had to do something with those corners, my mother was a dressmaker and I could hear her in my head telling me what to do. And it worked.

P1200011OH screwed the struts from the old headboard onto the new one. I’m really happy with the results and it cost me next to nothing.

I’ve some new curtains to make next, and a bit of painting to do then my spare room will be ready for my visitors next month.


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Inspiration and signs of Spring

There are days when I have to get out walking to find inspiration and recharge my creative energies, Friday was one of those days. It was quite warm but the air quality wasn’t so good.

There were so many signs of Spring, not just lambs. The air was full of the smell of coconut sun tan cream, or at least that’s what the scent of gorse flowers remind me of. I associate gorse with Easter as we used to dye paste eggs with the flowers. The larch trees are coming into leaf and even the butterflies were sunning themselves.
signs of spring CollageI found myself looking at everything through painters eyes, how I’d paint the scenes around me.  I imagined the different techniques that I could use to paint these rich and varied trees and bushes.
painting inspiration CollageBecause of the air quality, and aerial perspective there was some great recession going on, and details lost making the landscape look so much easier to paint. If only I could find the time to get the watercolours out again.
landscape CollageI must remind myself to down tools and have more trips into the countryside, I feel the Yorkshire Dales are calling me now. I love the British landscape.



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WOYWW week 14

Hello deskers, I’m playing with clay today, buttons for Etsy and some large hearts.  You are probably wondering what the pile of pasterboard is doing, basically it helps the ceramic pieces stay flat while they dry, and it also absorbs moisture.
ceramics collage
I will be glazing the buttons but the hearts will be bisque. I’ve been experimenting with scenting the hearts with lavender and rose geranium oils but I’m having a problem getting the scent to stay more than a couple of days. I have tried glycerin as a carrier but that didn’t work so if you have any ideas I’d love to hear from you.

It’s been a busy week, I got my blanket finished , it’s huge and I love it, but my wrists need a rest. I’ve ordered a jacket pattern that has a yoke with one large button, I’d like to add one of my own buttons.

blanketHere are the earrings that were waiting to be fired last week, I’ve made them into pairs with just a couple needing grinding and a few odd ones which will join the other dichro cabs that I have in my shop.

P1190962Now I’m off to Stamping Ground to see what everyone is up to.

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Homage to the hare

Homage to the hare – a collection of beautiful Etsy finds, click on the image for more information.

homage to the hare

hares in art and craft

I found this amazing video by Steven De Vere on Youtube.

Happy Easter



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WOYWW -week 13

It doesn’t seem like a week since my last WOYWW post. I gave myself a bit of a break from making last week to do some boring housework, it had to be done as I’ve family here for the next couple of weeks. I did manage to have some playtime on Sunday and make something just because I wanted to. I have wanted to play with some new copper enamels that I have had for ages, and some frit experiments, I love fritty effects. There was another pair of fan earrings but one flew off across the studio, I’ve pulled everything out but it hasn’t been found yet.
enamel earringsThe copper enamelled earrings are still sitting on my work table waiting to be finished, I need to make some ear wires but I have had a rush on my dichro stuff at the gallery so that’s what I’m making for the next couple of days. Thankfully I can work in the evenings now the nights are lighter so when the family are fed and watered I will be heading up the garden to play.

The photo on the left is what greeted me when I opened the kiln this morning, the centre photo is what’s gone into the kiln today, and the picture on the right are some earring cabochons that will be fired tomorrow, the pendants are being made a bit larger with the addition of more glass. I’m always amazed that these little squares will become nice little round cabochons, I just hope I’ve some matching pairs or they will have to be ground and fired again.
dichro collageI’m now off to Stamping Ground to see what everyone is doing, Happy Easter everyone.

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My blanket grows

I’m now onto the third colour repeat and my blanket is getting quite large now. I’m hoping to get it finished before the warmer weather as I don’t much fancy the idea of being swamped by it on a sunny evening crocheting. Squares will be much better for summer.
Ripple blanketIt’s touch and go if I have enough yarn left in each colour to finish the row without the need for buying another ball of yarn, so I have a tip for future projects at the bottom of this post. But first, some colours had enough yarn and others have been short so I decided to weigh the balls to see what was left as some are obviously much less than others, some weighed 35g which is enough to do the row and some weighed as little as 22g. This I don’t understand as they were all new balls when I started.

So my tip for starting a stripey blanket would be weigh the new ball of yarn, chain and chrochet the first colour repeat, then weigh the ball and work out if there will be enough, if not this would be the time to decide to lose a few stitches so there would be enough yarn for the project.

I can’t wait to start my next blanket which may be hexagons, but I haven’t decided just yet.

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WOYWW – week 12

I’m having a restful week this week, my work table is tidy, I’ve even taken off the ‘work’ cloth and picked some flowers from the garden. I think Spring has sprung in my studio.
Kiln Fired Art 24th March 2015 CollageI’m supposed to be catching up on housework this week, well not quite spring cleaning but I’m doing a bit more than usual. I HAVE to do something creative though so I nipped out to the studio this morning. Do you like my tidy table?

The lovely bunny card is from a lovely blog reader, the pretty little picture by Daisy Florence Design is going in the guest room, I had this frame lying around, it wasn’t very nice so it’s had the Annie Sloan treatment. I just need to paint the backing board and mount the picture.

The hare pendants need bails gluing on and they are off to the fair on Friday.

I’ve had quite  few visitors on my feeder this morning including this gorgeous great tit, and as you can see I’ve finished my house sparrow vase, he’s quite a cute little fella don’t you think?

I hope the sun is shining where you are, enjoy your day !

Mow I’m off to have a look at other WOYWW blog possts


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Hot buttered crumpets for brunch

I’m having a slow day today, it’s good to slow down once in a while.

I have wanted to try to make my own crumpets for ages but I didn’t have any rings, I saw some the other day when I was shopping and today was the perfect day for lazy crumpet making. Not knowing how long they would take to rize and cook didn’t really matter today, and once they were grilled we ate them, fresh and hot, yum.
I made half the mixture from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook as there are only two of us and I knew we would want to eat them all. This is a really good cookbook full of great recipies.
P1190806Instead of beating vigorously for 5 minutes with a wooden spoon I used a stick blender , then I left the batter in the sun to rise, it doubled in size in half an hour, well done sun for deciding to shine today.

The rings and pan have to be well greased and hot before pouring in the batter, I found that they did stick a bit but they came out the rings once I’d run a knife around the edge.
homemade crumpets
P1190812A couple of things I’ve learned making my first crumpets is don’t put in too much batter or the bottom will get pretty brown before the characteristic bubbles have burst, and if you grill them before the bubbles have burst they may still be a bit pasty in the middles.
hot buttered crumpetsThey did taste good
P1190814As you can see the texture inside is like a traditional crumpet , but homemade ones are less rubbery and lighter than bought crumpets.

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