2015-03-19 14.25.25

Introducing Lia and Lavinia the Lavender Bear-Stash bust project number 19

2015-03-19 14.25.25Lia is all of 5 days old and we didn’t know what sex she was until she was born. Since she has been home she has followed the time honoured tradition of keeping her parents awake all night and sleeping all day, although she has improved slightly of late! Its hard to know what to make for babies these days they get so much, but I did whip up a Lavender Bear for her to help her sleep ( at least that’s the plan ). The bear was adjusted from the excellent ‘Twenty to Make’ series, in this case, rather obviously, it was Twenty Knitted Bears. It really is a charming book and the bears are so easy, I would recommend it for all doting grandmothers.  This was Pippa but I thought it best to avoid some of the suggested embellishments. The eyes are sewn instead of beads, and unfortunately I didn’t think it was a good idea to add a little bunch of flowers. Shame, but better safe than sorry. Lavinia is stuffed with the usual bought stuffing which has been infused with Lavender oil and everything on the bear has been firmly anchored down! Lavinia was very inexpensive and an excellent stash buster – all of £1 50  ( just over a dollar), not that thrift was my primary objective!  Next on my list are some of the bootees from the same series and author.

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Frosted glass tree pendant.

This was made with a little piece of plain glass which I tumbled. I thought I would see if I could transfer a print onto the reverse of some frosted glass but was unsuccessful. It could be because I have an inkjet printer not a laser one, as all the info I could find suggested a laser printer for this sort of thing. In the end I had to settle for decoupaging it on the back as a compromise. The outcome was was a rather ethereal image and I sealed it in but I have no idea how durable it will be, particularly if it gets wet! Time will tell! Rather oddly, it is easier to see on a light background. The little tree was an image from the Graphics Fairy site, which is by far and away the best site I have found so far

http://thegraphicsfairy.com/search/

I tend to find visiting some American sites traumatic due to their historical inaccuracy. Hence  ‘Victorian’ or ‘Medieval’ is often used for the wrong era. It is most taxing. My son says it is used for anything old! Occasionally I succumb to the over- ridding temptation to write to them to correct the error! Fortunately most people are very polite and don’t tell me to get stuffed! I find watching many period Hollywood movies equally depressing. I spend my time zooming in on the roses in the background, and noting that they are modern varieties, or the hair is wrong………..or the material is wrong…………or worst of all the story itself is wrong!

The Graphics Fairy is one of the better sites, although the poor woman has been subject to one or two of my observations! ( I like history, you see).

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Upcycled Frosted glass picture frame. Stashbust(ish) project 16

I have wanted a rock tumbler for some time but they are pricey, over £100 pounds to get kitted out. I have noticed that they seem to be a bit cheaper on Ebay if you buy from the US, but that is more than compensated for by the high cost of postage.

Anyhow, I managed to persuade a couple of my kids to give me gift tokens as a pressie for Christmas, and this is the result. The total cost was about £2.00 ($3), with most of the cost being the hot glue and the frame!

The picture frame was from a car boot. The rock tumbler has been trundling along there now for nearly a week. I have only left the glass in for about 12 hours at a time and used Silicon Carbide F80. I will experiment to see if I need the grit at all if I am simply rounding off the edges. I have heard that ordinary sand will do to produce a frosted effect, but live nowhere near a beach, so will have to wait till I go down there! I will do some polishing in the next few days to see how that comes out. I may try frosting it first and then polishing ( recommended by the shop) and just tumbling it without grit and then polishing to see if there is any difference.

I have been very lucky to find someone who will give me the offcuts from her stain glass making, the same lady whose course I went to. Its all in a bucket and needs picking through carefully and cutting into a more pleasing shape but still, I am more than grateful to receive it. I am afraid it hasn’t reduced any of my numerous stashes very much,in fact I now have six buckets of glass outside! But I am working on it………

I could also work on my photography, I have no idea at all as to how you reduce glare, but did my best. The glare seemed worse against a dark background for some inexplicable reason. I suppose I should learn more about how to use different effects.

 

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Coat hanger Bauble wreath ( Sheesh)!

This SHOULD have been easy. All you need to do is to unravel a wire coat hanger, thread some baubles on and close it up, then thread tinsel around. Before you do that, may I suggest you thoroughly glue the baubles into their metal tops first? I didnt…with frustrating results, the baubles kept falling off, I would glue one in then another would fall off, plus the fact that they would put pressure on each other meant that even when they WERE glued, they still tended to fall out. If I were to do this again I would glue every single one thoroughly, leave them overnight and then thread then on. The other problem I had was because the baubles were different sizes they were quite hard to juxtapose…My grand daughter handed me the baubles, any irregularities are down to her sense of balance! We were supposed to be doing it together, which is why I didn’t start all over again.

The overall cost £6. If you stick them first I am sure it would not take a whole evening, which is what it took me.

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Offcuts mirror.- Stashbust ( ish) project 15

2014-11-04 11.58.35 Do you remember I went on a stained glass course a few weeks ago? I was lucky enough to bag the offcuts of glass. I had a mirror I got from a car boot sale so I mosaiced the cut down offcuts onto it. Originally I thought I would colour the grout, but I just couldn’t get the grout black enough, all I got was a grey colour. I added black acrylic paint, still no good. In the end I decided to paint over the top of the grout with acrylic paint and that seemed to work fairly well. It weighs a bit, my daughter, who is a museum curator thinks it will have no problem hanging from the picture rail, I hope so too, the last thing I want is it crashing to the ground! As I got the glass free, this was very thrifty, costing about five pounds in total ( approximately $8 ). It qualifies as a stashbust because the offcuts as now part of my stash! I still have some left, I am saving up for a stone tumbler, and hopefully will be able to use some more then.

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Stained glass making course!

I have always wanted to make stained glass, but it is not a cheap hobby. I eventually treated myself to a one day introductory workshop and this is the ( obviously) amateurish result. My sun was a little uncircular, but everyone else only tried straight lines, which are obviously easier. I went to http://www.abinger-stained-glass.co.uk/
The day cost £160, not cheap but there are only four people and I learned quite a lot. I really wanted to learn how to cut glass, so I can also use them in mosaics. My budget does not extend to buying all the equipment at the moment. I will buy some over the next few months. I also got some free offcuts, which I have used to mosaic a mirror. Will post up a pic of that later.

Its lovely learning different crafts. I love stained glass, its beautiful.

Arcticless decoupaged coffee table

Antarctic top and bottom.

Antarctic top and bottom.

 

Where’s the complaints department! I got this very heavy plain pine coffee table from the charity shop and decided to paint it up. I wanted something rather ornate, but which could be changed in future. I painted the sides and underneath with ASCP in Old Linen. Everything fine. I then chose some fabric by Prestigious Fabrics which had a map on. Everything fine. My first artistic dilemma was whether to cut the US and Canada in half or lose New Zealand in order to make it fit. I am afraid New Zealand got the chop because that meant I didn’t have to cut any country in half. It was then that I noticed that I couldn’t see the Arctic anywhere.  I could see the Antarctic, but nothing at the top, only the words, Arctic Ocean, then straight from Greenland up to a pattern repeat of the Antarctic.

Outraged I complained to the manufacturers! How dare they leave out the Arctic! Didn’t they know their geography? Sorry if being accurate meant leaving in boring bits, but a world without the Arctic was like a fireman without his engine.

Back came the sniffy reply. The Antarctic is there because it is a landmass, the Arctic is an Ocean.

Hmmmm…..I felt sure that when I was a child they always had the Arctic in white at the top and the Antarctic in white at the bottom. All my life I had a visual image of the globe in this way. Alas, it dawned on my that I was looking at a geological map…………and my childhood memory is apparently wrong.

I just don’t know what the world is coming to.

Rather crushed by the fact I have lived 60 odd years with no sense of geography (despite having had the benefit of a Grammar School education, one of the best you could get ) I mournfully pasted the fabric on with PVA glue. I have put some glass on, hence the rather poor pics I am afraid, and have yet to wax it and finish it completely.

How depressing. The Arctic has no bottom to it!  I stand corrected. I just goes to show you never stop learning.

The most expensive part of this was the glass. My God, its expensive. China doesn’t seem to export it here..yet.

Can someone cheer me up please?