Monday, 15 August 2011

Glass and Willow...

Hi all, where did those few days go?! 

I was musing today, I do that a lot, about various crafts and skills that I admire, and crafts that I really admire but know that I wouldn't be able to do in a million years!

I suppose top of the list is glass, I absolutely love glass, I have a special interest ever since we visited Paris years ago and spent all our holiday money on a piece of art glass we found in a gallery there. When it comes to brands Kosta Boda has to be one of the most well known, although now they are a multi million pound empire, they have some fantastic designers producing limited collection art glass, I though these were fabulous:
Ludvig Lofgren    'At The beach'
Ernst Billgren 'Birds in a Nest'
Kjell Engman
Sometimes I look at hugely talented crafts people and wonder what I'm doing in my little corner of the craft world crafting away in my Hobbit like den, however there have to be superstars in all walks of life for us to aspire to, although I don't aspire to be a designer for Kosta Boda, I can nevertheless gain inspiration from the beautiful works of art they produce.

You could say from the sublime to the ridiculous I  would love to learn to weave using Somerset willow, this is my area geographically so not far for me to go on a day course, so it's definitely on the list of achievable crafts to learn. My partner was born and brought up in the Somerset Levels, a wetland area in central Somerset where willow has been cut and used since man first settled in the area, I'm from North Somerset so it seems right that I should learn this ancient skill. You may have seen or heard of The Willow Man, a statue in celebration of willow by Serena de la Hey, it's situated near Bridgwater, Somerset
As far as products go, I know the shops are full of very pretty basket ware which is very popular now, especially in bathrooms and for storage of all types. However as with a lot of things, it's mostly imported, UK grown and crafted basket ware is fantastic, and has a smell all of its own, not one of preservative or whatever these cheaper baskets smell of - I personally would rather have one hand crafted Somerset basket than 4 from China. No, I'm not working on behalf of the Somerset Willow Trade, I'm just temporarily on my support local crafts people soapbox! ;-)
Somerset Levels, home of Willow growing for centuries

I remember having written this that I've blogged about willow a year or so ago, however it's worth repeating I think. I'm very interested in traditional crafts as I'm sure a lot of you are. If you would like to read more, here is a link to The Heritage Crafts Association.

Thank you for putting up with my ramblings, a bit random this week... from Kosta Boda to Willow weaving down the road but hey, life's like that isn't it?, you start off on one path and veer off onto another :-)   Di x

Friday, 12 August 2011

So Excited...

I have been in a state of heady excitement ever since my mother and I spent the afternoon going through a very aged and gorgeous leather suitcase jam packed with old family photographs. the case belongs to my Mothers brother who lives in Kenya and is sadly unlikely to return to this country due to ill health so he has given this suitcase to Mum, as she has been storing it for the past 40 years for him.

It is an absolute treasure trove of finds, of which I'll share a few here and more when I've had chance to scan them. They are all family, these are Great Great Grandmother and Great Great Aunts, they all look very posh, I believe the family was wealthy back then but something went wrong by the time it came to me! Here are a few of them, aren't they lovely ladies?

I'm wondering if I could use them in my crafts without offending them, that sounds ridiculous I know but they look like such 'ladies' I'm sure they would look down their noses at 'trade' and the thought of them being on the front of a card would probably have them spinning!

Anyone have any ideas what use I can make of these gorgeous photographs, we will obviously make a lovely album from them, maybe that should be enough and I should honour what I imagine their thoughts on the matter would have been!

Hope you enjoyed them, I'll have to post some more soon, including ones of the servants, now that would have been me!

Thanks for reading, bye for now

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Vintage Cards and Distressing...

Well, best intentions and all that, I meant to blog at least once a week but don't know where the last month or so has gone. I'll try a new resolution to blog more often and see how we go :-)

I have been busy mostly with Card making and Jewellery using semi precious gemstones. I've decided these to use whenever possible becuase I love the feel and the 'naturalness' if there is such a word, of them.

Right... cards, I treated myself to some new Tim Holtz inks and stamps, and have been having an experimental time. These are a few of the cards I came up with using mostly Ranger products, and no, I'm not on comission but don't mind saying if I find a product is good!

These were the first ones I did with the new 'stuff'. I love vintage and these came close to what I was trying to achieve. The pictures I already had on some old sheets, and the backing papers, which I stamped over a bit and used distress inks on the edges. I cut out all the shapes on the trusty Cricut and again used distess inks and Perfect Pearls on both to highlight. the photo's don't show it but using the Pearls on the acual picture gave a really nice aged look.
These are the two I did yesterday:

I love the Vintage travel theme, I think I was born in the wrong era, I would loved to have got all dressed up and set off with my entourage for Egypt or somewhere exotic. Knowing me I'd have been carrying the cases though! Again, on these I used distress inks, Tim Holtz stamps and Perfect Pearls to get the effects I wanted. they may be a bit 'too busy' for some but sometimes I don't know when to stop. Anyway I was happy with the final effect but will enjoy continuing to experiment!

I also made a few sets of gift tags just because the fancy took me. I used some older stamps I have this time, as well as some of the fancy stamps from Tim Holtz Christmas set (last years), again I used distress inks and lots of Perfect pearls to get some shimmer, loving the shimmer! I also used Glossy Accents for texture and alcohol inks to highlight.

 The actual tags again I cut out on the Cricut, I also used the paper distresser to rough up the edges a little. Thanks for dropping in - I'd love to hear your comments if you have time to leave one, even if it's just to say hi! Will be back again soon, I won't be leaving it so long next time! x