Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas Dioramas

I didn't know there was a posh name for them. I just thought I was making a scene in a box but NO, get me! I have been making DIORAMAS!!! That makes them sound like dramatic statements of art!

Enough exclamation marks. Here are the little Christmas scenes in boxes.

The frames are craft ones you can buy in places like the Range in Britain, either made of thick card or thin wood, already papered but they can easily be painted over.

The figures in the first two are from the box of junk china figures I bought from the French Flea market 2 years ago. They were a very mixed lot with Disney through to national and international figures, job related and historical oddments - none valuable but all fascinating to me as they were unlike stuff in our junk places. I made an entire crib set with the full set of figures last year so this was a chance to use up the oddments this year, rather than just play with them against backgrounds like I did last time.

And I have no idea where I got the glass snowmen from as I have had them forever. These all went out into the world as Christmas presents.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Adventure Time Figures

I got busy with the crochet needle again, this time to make some of the figures from the cartoon Adventure Time in Amigurumi and felt for my daughter for Christmas.

Here is the group shot

And here are the pairs with the backgrounds I downloaded and printed out, which stand up behind them if she ever gets the urge to actually play with them (at Uni so maybe yes?).

At this point I have to confess to never having seen the cartoon so I had a wild guess at who might be needed. I knew she'd want to boy and girl in white hoods and the yellow dog. She is keen to learn to make Amigurumi so if any more characters are needed, she can have a go at them on her own now  = )

Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas Skull

Husband has had a penchant for collecting model skulls for the last year or so. It started as part of a Vanitas Project he fancied... fashionable many years ago, considering ones own mortality. There are lots of examples on Google images if you want to see some - ancient and modern.

From that has come a collection of weird and wonderful skulls so I set out to find one as a present. This is the only one I could find and. although I liked its design, the shiny metallic colouring was a bit too biker for me.

So I painted it white to begin with, using a chalk-based paint so it was not too glossy for more paint to be added on top. The surface can still be scratched through unfortunately but its not likely to get much 'use' - more ornament!

Then I added colour to the already embossed detailing, using acrylics. I majored in orange as that is a fave colour for a gingerous man!

A big coppery flower on the top of the head

And a bit of vegetation round the side.

I liked it and, if it gets to take its place among the others on a future occasion, I'll post a picture of them altogether.

Merry Skull Christmas and a Crafty New Year!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Making a beach hut

In the summer I re-got the bug to make 3D structures out of card, so I bought a piece of mount-board and cut out the pieces for a beach hut.

With trusty steel ruler, pencil, scissors, scalpel and cutting mat assembled, I cobbled together the shapes that would (with a lot of glue and a bit of adjustment) make the beach hut shape.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Lego Brick Cake

Husband has recently got into Lego (architecture mostly) as a way to chill and unwind so I thought I's try a Lego brick-shaped cake for his birthday.

So I cooked a square cake and then an extra piece that I could cut circles out of.
Used jam to stick the pieces together and then covered it in royal icing.

Being a man who like the colour orange, I painted it orange with a mix of yellow and red food colourings, although having seen the shiny effect, I think it looked better white and not shiny but we live and learn (it made the lettering on top look rather like tinned spaghetti).
And I'm not sure if the colour doesn't give the raised circles a slight boob-effect... however, it worked as a brick cake.
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Pom Poms and Paper Chains

I thought you might like to see the entry some children made to the Christmas Tree Exhibition being held at a local church. The invitation stated that each organisation that took part should decorate their tree to reflect their group and what it stands for.

The children made pom-poms at Wool Club to act as baubles and then paper chains with the values of their organisation written on them.
The white lights on a white tree were really beautiful and really showed up the colours in the work the children had done.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Collage Letter Scrapboxes

Here are the finished scrapboxes full of holiday memories

The Harbour

The railway

Corfe castle

Island (Brownsea)

Dorchester: Tutankhamen exhibition


And all the lovely trashy seaside shops full of tat!!!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Shaped wooden Letters

I saw these at a local Hobbycraft store and asked for a set for my birthday, which I then crafted up like a cross between a configuration box (as Tim Holtz calls them when he makes/ sells them) and a 3D scrapbook of our holiday in Dorset this year.

They are made out of very thin wood- like the little round boxes you sometimes get Camembert in and, if you are like me, wonder what you can do with afterwards, keep them for a while and then give up and get rid of them 'cos you can't think of anything!

I arranged the collage objects I had hoarded over the years that seemed to fit the theme of each letter and added the things I had bought or collected on holiday and then painted up the backgrounds to match the themes I had chosen.
The letters spelt HOLIDAY so I tried to theme them so that the contents matched a word beginning with that letter if possible, but not stretch a point too far.
H for harbour
                 O was the steam railway
        L was Corfe castle
              I was Brownsea Island
      D was Dorchester
A was arcade 
  Y was shopping
I'll post the results of the collaging sessions soon!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Evil Eyes In the Fireplace

I love a good blaze and am lucky to have a fireplace in the living room to play with.

Sometimes it is filled with candles in jars

sometimes we build a proper fire and, on occasions, we just burn a few bits of paper for fun...

See how the evil eyes gradually appear over the next three photos as the paper starts to smoulder!


Monday, 23 November 2015

Frost Patterns

I have posted so many pics now that I can't remember if I've posted these before. However, they are beautiful, seasonal and very relevant to today... The first frost we softy southerners have had this autumn/winter.

This is the pattern on the car windscreen.

So I sat in the front seat and took the picture through the front window.

Blue sky (as is almost inevitable with a frosty morning, seeing as its a lack of the warm cloud-cover blanket that leads to the frost)

and the dark patches are the contrast with the hedge alongside the house.

Seemed a shame to scrape it off really but needs must... and at least it was immortalised forever and experienced a little world-wide fame. That's more than most of us will achieve. Not bad for frost!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Spiders' Webs

Autumn walking in misty mornings can produce some lovely webs.

These have had a little editing help to become clearer but look all the better for it. There were on railings, bushes and lock bridges down near the river.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Seagulls' Feet

This is the fascinating prints made by the feet of many seagulls on the beach at Swanage.

It's rather like those diagrams that try to teach people how to dance.

Like that.

Monday, 16 November 2015


You know a lot of Graffiti is the ugly kind you get alongside railway lines, where someone rushes to spray their bit of fame before getting caught?

Well there is a tunnel near Waterloo Station in London where Graffiti is not only allowed but positively encouraged.

It is called the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel and is well worth a visit if you're looking for an unusual place to go and take photos in London.

Here are the pics I took

Even the central railings are decorated.

Its huge enough for two lanes of traffic but closed to drivers.

Here's someone at work on their piece of the wall.

The defunct phone box equally decorated.

The jazzy floor patterns on the roadway.

The far end of the tunnel...

A monochrome wall...

Nearly out the other side...

and the outdoor area where work is still spreading along the walls.

Its not a threatening place to walk through at all, so if you get the chance and are near Waterloo Station, put it on your list of things to do.