Handmade Ceramic Earring Charms

This week I have mainly been working on new listings for handmade ceramic earring charms, also some new pendants too. There will be more pendants and beads to follow.
ceramic earring charms

Etsy launched the new shop manager this week, so far I like it but just when I think I know where something is, it has moved . They are launching Etsy Studio next month, which is for craft supplies, so this is the perfect time to be listing ceramic jewellery making supplies. I have lots more jewellery pieces to glaze, all I need is more time to do it.

I have also had a few days painting tiles, and a couple of days hand building pots. I love the hand building process and the thought that some of me has gone into each piece, but I am thinking I need to get a wheel so I can find out how I feel about throwing, but it’s a big decision.

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Making a paint brush from a feather

I saw a video on Youtube showing how to make a brush from a feather, I love unusual mark making tools so I thought I’d give it a go.

My feathers from Patricia arrived in the post and I set to making a brush

Cutting the feather went ok
P1400029I soon found that getting a beautiful fine tip on my brush wasn’t that simple, but I think I know where I went wrong. The widest side on the feather needs to be the uncut slanting section. But as I like unusual mark making tools it doesn’t matter, it’s the quality / properties of the line which I’m interested in.

So here are my brushes, I do have handles to put them onto if I choose to do that. I was very keen to have a go so off I went to paint a little watercolour, but I’d forgotten one very important thing……..

………have you ever seen a wet goose? The phrase ‘water off a duck’s back’ says it all….

I will be using my overglaze enamels in the next few days and I’m confident that my brushes will work with an oil based medium. Watch this space.

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A cold day in Ennerdale

It may have been bitterly cold and quite bleak on Friday but there was beauty to be found if you look for it. Ennerdale was quite magical with brooding skies, snow flurries and views that can’t be bettered .

I thought these moss covered stones looked amazing, so very tactile, I wanted to stroke them. Some great inspiration for textile work.P1390939

I can’t wait to paint this, I’m loving the colours in the trees and the light on the wind disturbed water, and the reflections.P1390930

Again lovely contrasts in the trees.P1390928Even on a very wintery day there is inspiration everywhere.

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January 2017 Review

I can’t believe January is almost over, it’s usually a difficult month but once the end is in sight, the nights are getting a wee bit lighter, birds start singing and the snowdrops bloom it seems like the worst of the winter is over.

I intended keeping a design / ideas portfolio this year, but so far that hasn’t happened, but there’s time. However I have a new sketchbook of ideas and a notebook of ‘stuff’. This ‘stuff’ notebook has interested me the most, basically it’s divided into 3 sections:

Things I want to achieve – this includes custom orders,  things I need to restock, and gallery makes.

Health and wellbeing–  healthy eating, meditation and exercise, dry January.

Things to try out – During January I always like to venture down the path of trying something new, or picking up something I haven’t done in a while, this helps me recharge my creative batteries following the madness of December.

Each day I put a tally mark next to the things I’d done in each section, as you can see I never did get round to doing scrumbles, but there’s always another month.

I’m quite surprised to see what I have actually achieved this month.
I got a leatherworking book for Christmas so a tooled leather belt was my first make of the year.
I also got a digital textiles book, which has me totally hooked, I was very pleased with this piece. You can read about my digital adventure here.

I painted quite a few little watercolours, just for the joy of it. I love juicy watercolours.

Buttermere reflections

aceos 001

I made a few felt pictures too. I’m looking forward to doing some larger pieces.



I have been working with clay for the last week or more,  I have enough now to fire up the kiln. I am looking forward to glazing, that’s when they come to life, from mud to a glassy wonder, well if it all goes to plan that is.

Now I need to write a list of what I hope to achieve in February!

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Frosty Inspiration – Lord’s Seat Walk

It was such a lovely day yesterday we headed out for a walk up Lord’s Seat. However before we got to the summit we ran into snow and a gale force wind so strong I couldn’t stand upright. Just goes to show you need to be prepared for all weather when you go out at this time of year.

I found some wonderful inspiration for some digital / textile / mixed media work. Lot’s of frost and ice, even some quite thick snow on the north side of the fell.



This icy path twinkled in the sunlight like silver glassy jewels, the frost sparkled like diamonds where the sun had just caught it before it melted.



Wonderful green mossy banks , rocks, roots and lichens.




The weather was almost at extremes, warm and sunny with hardly a breath of wind just meters from the summit, but on the top it was so windy I couldn’t stand upright and it was so bitingly cold we didn’t linger.



On the way down the cloud over Skiddaw cleared giving us a wonderful view of her snowy cap.


And Grizedale Pike’s snow covered peak reminded me of Mount Fuji


So now the challenge begins, the hardest part for me is bringing all my inspiration together in a unified way. I never have trouble finding inspiration, but bringing it together is another matter. It’s time to get the sketchbook out and start exploring . I’ll keep you posted!

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Craft Britannia Winter Sale

The Craft Britannia team on Etsy are having a winter sale so why not pop over and take a look.

Craft Britannia Sale

Craft Britannia Winter Sale On Etsy

Have a look on the Team Page to see the shops taking part in the sale:

These are the sale sections of the shops that are participating :

SpinningStreak – http://etsy.me/2k9kd5L
Blucha – http://etsy.me/2kkkMNn
Stupidcats – http://etsy.me/2jirty1
KimsHandmadeCave – http://etsy.me/2jpzw9P
LaurasJewellery – http://etsy.me/2jpBirr
AnimalGlassDesigns – http://etsy.me/2kkgt4z
CheekyGeeky – http://etsy.me/2jR9Qpu
KilnFiredArt – http://etsy.me/2kkANPf
LittleConkers – http://etsy.me/2j6axXQ
Fabrilushus – http://etsy.me/2j6eRqd
DestaiDesigns – http://etsy.me/2k9lvxD
Mythillogical – http://etsy.me/2jYFbV9
Twinkknits – http://etsy.me/2jYML2k


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A New Adventure Into Digital Fiber Art

I try to learn at least one new technique in January, this past week I have ventured into digital fiber art with the help of a wonderful new book by Wen Redmond. I love this book, it’s opened up a whole new world to me, this is my first piece of digital fiber art.

P1390510I don’t have any fancy photo manipulation software but after a google I found iPiccy.com which is really quite easy to use.
IMG_9310This is the photo I started with, I did some manipulations and saved a whole host of versions that I liked including the ones below.



trees1zzI wanted to try out layering so I nipped out into the garden and took a few bush pictures.

P1390474 (2)Then I started out layering images.
merge17I decided to print this one onto my fabric, I think I chose it as I was reading a magical book called ‘The Snow Child,’ also I felt this image had an Arthur Rackham quality to it.
picture1After some painting, stitching and collage here is the final result, it’s a lot more sparkly in reality than it looks in the photo.

I can’t wait to start on another one soon, I think I’m hooked. Now if only I could get a better photo, I will have to get the light tent out and try again.


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First walk of the year

We had a walk on new ground this week, it was our first walk of the year.

Great Sca Fell is not to be confused with it’s more well known namesake, it’s a genteel  fell in the Uldale range, standing at 651 m.  The walk was 6 miles in total and as my back has been acting up it was a nice easy start to the year having spent the past couple of weeks as a couch potato.

Great Sca Fell is the high point in this photo.P1390234

The paths are pretty good most of the way.


Lots of lovely shots for painting inspiration along the way.


I love how the low sun and long shadows emphasise the topography at this time of year.



Almost there.


There were some lovely views towards Skiddaw.


You could just make out Scotland in the distance.

P1390278This walk is a great introduction to fell walking for those just starting out , it’s one I will definitely do again.

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My first make of 2017

I’m pleased to say my enthusiasm has returned, I’ve made something!

I have my Grandpa’s leatherworking tools, as you can see the box contains all sorts of interesting things, including a proggy mat hook, a fountain pen and a collection of pocket watches. It’s a box of treasure.
P1390211One of the fun things is trying to work out what the tools are for. I think the thing with the wheel is for marking the leather for hand sewing. I thought these other tools were punches but I have discovered a box with press fasteners, and the instruction sheet so now I know what these are for.

P1390209I really want to try hand tooling leather, as my Grandpa did, I thought making a belt might be a good place to start. I found a tutorial online, and bought a belt blank, buckle, dye, and everything else I needed to get started.

What I didn’t have I just improvised, I made the holes with an awl, but I think a punch would be better, I thought I’d inherited one but I can’t find it.
I found the damp leather much easier to stamp than I thought it would be. Once stamped the belt was dyed, then treated with neatsfoot oil, and waxed.

P1390213I thought the belt blank was very easy to use, but they are quite expensive so I plan to have a go at making my own and riveting on the buckle, watch this space.

I hope you have a creative 2017, Happy New Year!

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Using a Hague linker to sew up knitwear.

I finished knitting my jacket; it’s been a long time since I knit a garment on needles so I was pleased I actually got to the end. The merino wool was quite expensive so I wanted to get it sewn up straight away to see if I’d got the sizing correct.

This old Hague linker was sitting in my Dad’s loft, it hadn’t been used in over 20 years but I thought I’d give it a go, it makes sewing up very easy, neat and quick.

It’s all threaded up ready to go. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped as the yarn was too thick, but I can give you an idea of how the linker works, but it’s better suited to 4ply yarn.

This is the finished jacket , now I need to make some buttons, oh btw it fits 🙂

P1390201You feed the edge of the garment onto the prongs.P1390161Then with right sides together you push the other piece of the garment onto the prongs. It’s really easy to pattern match.
P1390162Then you weave in the ends.P1390163Thread up and you are ready to go. I’m doing this video one handed so I apologise for the quality, but it shows how the linker works.

You can sew up really fast with it if you are using 4ply and you aren’t holding a camera, there is even an electric version with a foot pedal.

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