Saturday, 17 May 2014


This week we went to Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming, Surrey. It's a National Trust place that was planted over a hundred years ago by an enthusuastic tree and plant collector, and has since grown into a beautiful woodland with a variety of walks descending slopes to a long lake with a gorgeously peaceful boat house at one end.

It was bluebell season and the woodland is full of traditional British bluebells (smaller and more purply than the Spanish ones that abound, big and blousy, in my garden).

Here are some of the pics I took...

People talk about a sea of bluebells and it so WAS!

In some places the light fell on them and turned them a deep lavender colour.

If you're interested in visiting the place follow this link: or if you want to try out the National Trust for a year and visit loads of places, try .

We've found it really good, with a lot of different places and friendly people running it. Apparently membership also entitles you to visit some places in other countries with historical British links, so if you're reading this in a different country, or going on holiday abroad... you might find somewhere more exotic to try it out!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Encaustic Art: more applications

Here is (probably) the last post on Encaustic Art (unless I get bitten by the bug all over again and do some new stuff).

Other techniques you can explore with it are painting the background and then scratching the detail into it...

Then there's slathering so much wax as a background or picture that you can turn the card over and iron it off the card onto fabric...

This leaves two images, one on the fabric and the original on the card with a fabric imprint in it. This one above is the left over card image that then had the detail added as foxgloves and wild flowers in the foreground. The card used is very shiny so the wax stays on the surface rather than being absorbed. In that way it transfers very easily.

The one below had the image of a sea horse stamped onto the fabric, then the waxed background applied over the top by ironing. It was then embroidered to complete the picture and add texture...

It is a bit crumpled cos I found it at the back of a box of Encaustic things and, as it is wax, didn't dare to iron it in case all the wax came off!

I have also applied the wax to pressed cardboard boxes (like you find in hobby and craft shops). It absorbs quite a lot at first but gradually build up until it is a shiny rich surface. All Encaustic surfaces (being beeswax) can be polished with a soft cloth to make them shine beautifully but are soft, can be scratched and affected by heat.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Encaustic Art... some more

A couple of days ago I said I'd show you some other pieces of Encaustic Art so here they are.

These were made with the iron at first to get a rich flowing background, then embellished using the stylus (like a soldering iron) to add detail.

You never know exactly what you're going to get with the ironing part so you have to learn to go with the flow (literally). At least I never know. Those of you with incredible control and skill will know EXACTLY what will happen, I'm sure!

There are another couple of techniques to show, so look out for another Encaustic session soon.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Eurovision 2014

We like a bit of Eurovision in our household: the fun, the fashion, the flags and the FOOD!

Often we have people round to share the evening but this year it crept up on us and we only just caught it in time. A quick scurry to the supermarket to ferret out foods from around the Euro-zone and a crafty flag-creating session produced the following in time for the event!

Tiny flag emblems from Google images, cocktail sticks, double sided tape and scissors at the ready.

Flags cut with a flap of white paper extra to bend over at the back with tape on it.

Flags at the ready...

and inserted into the corresponding food from that country


We thoroughly enjoyed the proceedings and the accompanying meal  = )

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Encaustic Art

Sounds like the mess you might make on a table top when playing with dangerous chemicals...(caustic)... but its not. Its a modern take on the ancient art of painting with melted, coloured wax. Hundreds of years ago icons and important or political figures figures were painted with pigmented beeswax heated over a flame or in a little 'kettle'. This one is from the Roman era.
( )

Acc. no. 5381 © Paul Cliff

Nowadays its much easier and more high tech, using a little iron, similar to a travel iron but staying at a constant temperature rather than going up and down, or with a heated stylus. The artworks are rarely as detailed and perfect as they were then, but some people get remarkable pictures from it.

I saw it at a craft show over 20 years ago and, like most craft, had to have a go and got hooked for a while, buying all the kit and taking a day course in different techniques.

These are some of the pictures I managed to do on the training day:

Japanese water, grasses and rocks,

a landscape with sky, hills, lake and foliage at the front,

and a waterfall.
There are loads of examples on Google images and the like. I'll show you some of the others I did another time.

Monday, 5 May 2014

3D cards: Footballers and Flowers!

As promised, here are the other themes my Mum-in Law has done using the 3D principle I showed you yesterday for her 'girl pirate' card.
This is the football themed one, close up.

In it's entirety as a box card...

and from the side showing the layers. The net at the back is made from paper tubes like drinking straws and the netting from a bag of oranges.

This is the flowery one close up...

in it's entirety...

and showing it's layers too.

It's a very versatile structure, just needing the choice of theme and accessories.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Girl Pirates! a 3D card

My very talented Mum-in-law saw this form of card on a TV programme and, instead of being sucked into spending lashings of cash on a kit, figured out the mechanism and made some for herself using stuff she already had.


It's SO hard to show a 3D card in 2D. This is what it looks like when it's flat...

Then when it's pushed on the sides it opens up into a box (like a long square tube: cuboid I suppose), and the side flaps fall down, thus...

That was a side view. The picture is built up of layers of smaller pictures at different depths like so...

The finished front image is this

and each falling flap has its own image too: main image flat at top, side images at the bottom.

The photos really don't do it justice, but I hope you get the idea.
She has a machine that cuts out the images using different dies, but you can use your own images, photos, bought sheets of accessories etc.

She's made another couple in a different style completely and I'll show you those another day!