Crafted from Caravans: The Christmas Collection

IMG_6545_wThe floor, tables and just about every other surface in the studio is currently covered with a fine layer of shredded wool polishing wheels and jeweller’s rouge… I’m also going to have to do a thorough wipe down of all the aluminium filings that didn’t hit the bin beneath…

I’ve been working in a production line over the last two days, making these hanging tree decorations. You may remember my ‘sit and be wind chime’ was made from the sidings of my grandfather’s old caravan – these are too. All are hand cut from the sheet aluminium, cleaned up with wire brush and wet’n’dry sandpaper, hand drilled and hand sawn, hammered, punched, filed and polished. Ok, I did use a Dremel for the polishing.

If you’d like a set, let me know – I will make them to order for £10 each including p&p to UK addresses (international orders extra), so if you’d like them in time for Christmas please order by the end of October.

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Family Circle 1901

This is my final project as a member of the WOW! Embossing Powder Design Team. This family project published today, here, features my great great grandfather and his eight children. I’m in a black and white phase at the minute, and wondered if the whole frame looked a little funereal, but then others have said it’s quite gothic and in keeping with the end of the Victorian era. I’ll go with that 😉

CC102: Day 1

Day 1: Distress PaintsThe longer-term followers of this ‘ere blog will probably vaguely remember that I did Tim Holtz’s Creative Chemistry 101 online class last year. He’s only gone and started CC102 today – there’s thirty more techniques he’s sharing – and of course I had to sign up. So here’s Day 1: six things to do with Distress Paints. I’m not allowed to share the techniques, but you won’t need to look far elsewhere on my blog to see where I have used them with conventional acrylics. That is, all but the first – the marbling effect is unique to Distress Paints because of their make up.



Twelve Tags of 2012 – December

It’s the last Craft Club of the year tomorrow, and thus the last of my twelve tags of 2012. This one incorporates WOW! Embossing Powder, die cut tattered pine cone, a cocktail stick, hot glue, dry glitter and the special secret ingredient – an upcycled orange juice carton! There will be the option to add holly sprigs as well.

Twelve Tags of 2012 – September

I’ve been playing with various options of putting colour onto metal – here are the results! I’ll be showing how to do them at the Manic Stamper Craft Club on Saturday.

The tags are first covered with metal foil tape (really thin foil – serves me right for going to the local poundstore!) and then I used a small embossing ball tool to emboss the outlines. Rub over the whole tag with black acrylic paint, and then wait for it to almost dry before rubbing off the paint from the tag – it should catch in the outlines. Add colour with acrylic inks (I used a paintbrush), Promarkers or alcohol inks (I used the Adirondack alcohol ink pen filled with blending solution to pick up dried alcohol inks from a palette). I love the aged look to the metal caused by the black acrylic, and the translucent colour from the Promarkers/alcohol inks. The acrylic inks are more luminous due to their opacity. By the way, alcohol seems to denature acrylic, so if your black coating doesn’t work out, wipe over with alcohol hand gel and try again!

And as a bonus, I’m publishing the forget-me-not doodle as a tangle pattern 🙂

College Week 6 – a complete basket case

I’ve just finished work on my jewellery project! And I have a very big blister on my thumb to prove how much work I did on it too… The brief was to make a wire basket using natural form as our reference. The wire had to be designed around a repeating motif and for bonus marks we could attach pierced and hammered metal pieces. And here it is:

I think it has taken around 20 hours to make, with the binding of the inch and a bit square motifs taking about half of that. Each of the five metal sections took around 40 minutes to pierce using a jeweller’s saw, and the blister resulted from hand sanding them this morning. And it all started from my drawing of a hollyhock seed head in Week 1.

A little bit of history…

Whilst sorting out the dining room, I had to go under the floorboards and found sections of the Leicester Mail and a Daily Express from Wednesday, 5th May 1937. The country was gearing up for the coronation of King Edward VIII a week later, and it was the day before the Hindenburg disaster. Fascinating reading! And whilst changing the radiator, I scraped off several historical layers of wallpaper. I’ve incorporated both, and the new wallpaper, into three art pieces to adorn the newly painted walls:


Each canvas panel is 12×12 inches, with the centre area painted in the room colour (Dulux Barley White) and edged with quarter inch brass tape from Ranger. The ageing was done with brown Neocolor II wax soluble crayon. Each section of newspaper was scanned and stuck down with matte multi-medium. The same was done with the wallpaper samples. The flowers are cut from the new wallpaper, Sanderson’s ‘Sweet Bay’ (Pattern No. DPFWSW102).