30 Jan 2011

Matchbox swap

For my first ever craft swap, I chose the matchbox swap. It seemed small enough to not be intimidating and I loved isabelchun's matchboxes. The idea was to decorate a matchbox and fill it with craft supplies and small crafted items.

I was partnered with the lovely sonjaboo whose matchbox I received yesterday. 

The outside is decorated to look like a camera. Isn't it cool? She tells me it done with paper clay although I'm not sure what that is. The inside of the matchbox is lined with a map.

Inside were a flower pendant, a couple of inchies, some fun rainbow buttons, some smiley stickers and a tiny envelope full of pretty sequins.

Here's a closer look at the pendant, It's made of glass with a real daisy inside. It's really fantastic - very three dimensional with lots of the detail of the flower visible.

Here are the inchies. I really love the one with the needle and thread. I'll have to put some thought into how to display them. I sure there will be lots of inspiration on craftster.

And finally, here's a close up of the teeny weeny envelope!

I'll post pictures of the matchbox I've made for sonjaboo once she's received it, so as not to spoil the surprise. In the meantime, have a look at the gallery for the swap.

25 Jan 2011

Aye man, I've been to Newcastle

Well, it's been a busy few weeks with little time for making anything.

Last week, I went on work trip to Newcastle, land of the geordies. So, I took the opportunity to walk along the quayside and make some images. Luckily it wa a beautiful clear day (although rather cold) and there was a lovely sunset.

I just love the Gateshead Millenium Bridge - it's both beautiful with its elegant sweeping curves and a wonderful engineering project. Unfortunately I wasn't there at the right time to see it tilt.


 I'm  less keen on the Sage Gateshead. It's a bit too 'blobby' and bulbous for my tastes.

 Some of the other bridges over the Tyne:

I popped into the Baltic, and saw Blackout by Dan Holdsworth - pictures of glaciers in Iceland. They had had their colours reversed so that the sky appeared black and the glaciers white- apparently they are black in Iceland due to volcanic ash. They appeared rather lunar as a result.

Blackout by Dan Holdsworth. Image Source: Baltic Mill

9 Jan 2011

Handmade Presents

My mother-in-law made one of our presents - a ceramic and fused glass door number. Isn't it lovely?

Here's a close up of the blue and green fused glass:

She has been attending a ceramics class where she made this. She also bought us this cat, made by her instructor. It has lots of character and will be going in our garden, once we choose a suitable location. We've named her Portia!

7 Jan 2011

More Christmas Crafting

I had a bit of time on Christmas Eve, so I used it to make a necklace of  hematite cubic beads.

I liked a similar necklace an old colleague of mine had but it has taken me quite a while to find some similar beads at a reasonable price. I finally found some on a trip to Sacramento, USA last November at a shop called Bead Fetish. I was kindly tipped off by sactownsue on Craftster.  It is great to have a network of crafty people to tap into when travelling.

I made another necklace like this a while back of black / teal AB cubic beads. I do like the simple shape of a cube.

4 Jan 2011

Christmas Crafting

I made a tea wallet for my mother-in-law for Christmas. It was based on this tutorial from Is it Naptime? which I modified slightly. The main change which turned out to be surprisingly tricky was adding a tab with a popper rather than a loop and button closure. Having stitched the tab inside out, I found that it was too narrow to turn. It took me three attempts to make one wide enough to turn but not too wide so that it looked wrong.

I added a raw edged appliqué of a teapot and free machine embroidered the text. The text came out pretty well, although I wouldn't usually 'join up' the capital letter when writing on paper.

My mother-in-law was pleased with the present - she often takes her own tea bags with her when out and about.


I used some time over the Christmas break to learn to knit. After several attempts and unravelling, I managed to knit a square. The problem I kept having was that my rows were mysteriously getting longer and shorter. This turned out to be due to me splitting the yarn. The goal is to knit a monkey which Mr Mango got me as a kit several birthdays ago. Next step, learning to increase and decrease the row length intentionally!

1 Jan 2011

New year, new start

I started this blog some time in 2003 and it petered out a few months later. I'm going to start it up again as my craft and sewing blog. Hopefully I'll be more successful this time...
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