Project De-Stash

Sometimes I really wish that I had a room all to myself for my stash of stuff that I use to make things with.  The set-up I do have is pretty good though, everything is stored in the under-stairs cupboard in various boxes and I’m pretty good at storing like with like – the feathers are in one box, the jewellery in another, lace and little bits of fabric in another and so on.

For ages though I’ve been meaning to have a good sort out and (against my magpie hoarding tendencies)  sort out all of the things that I’m probably never going to use myself, get them photographed and get them up for sale, either on Ebay or on Etsy.

Over the last week I’ve sifted and sorted, and today I have taken many many photographs.  I don’t have enough time today to get them all edited, so that’ll be my job over the next few days – editing and describing and then getting them all up on-line and hopefully selling them.  All monies from project de-stash are going to be put towards a new tent for me and the kids so fingers crossed!

In the meantime, pop over to the 1st Unique Gifts blog to see what everyone else has been up to.

Christmas Crafting

….has not been done by me unless you count food 🙂

I’ve done very little except for think about things that are *in production*, and look at a bag of rhinestones to sort out in my minds eye the ones I want to use on a headdress that’s about a third of the way to completion….

Other than that the children have held sway over the creative realm over the Christmas holidays.  Here’s my tree, looking a little bedraggled:

Today was Art Day.  My daughter came in to my room at 6.30am to ask if she could get her paints out.  A (random) prize will be awarded to anyone able to correctly guess my answer to her (I’ll allow some room for creative license here)  😀

Anyway, once we were up and bathed and breakfasted and dressed I got out the paints.   They both spent about an hour painting/vaguely arguing over who should have artists rights over the colours available to them.

After a great many attempts my son came up with this…

I can assure you that it’s not as good as his previous series of works, The Sarah Jane Game On CBBC renditions, which mostly comprise of grids drawn in green crayon (my apologies for having nothing to show of this collection, it *appears* to have been recycled).  But it did take him almost an hour to create this piece from a selection of 12 colours.

Kid’s art is fabulous, especially for me as his mum as I can see daily how this new skill ebbs and flows from him.  His drawings of people are now more abstract than they were in the first two days of him drawing Father Christmas, but they are suddenly more populated.  Here’s one of me:

I’m the blob on the far left.  Next to me the two tall beings are him and his sister, top right is the sun and bottom right is, *just something, I don’t know what it is.*  So the milestone today was him drawing more than one figure on the page available.  Would it be too “cod psychology” of me to imagine that his realisation about how many people can exist in a space is working on both an internal and external level?  Is he beginning to distance himself from those he loves, maybe in readiness for his next external milestone, nursery?  Is that why he can now draw more than one person on a chalk-board? (And can I just say that the chalk-board has earned every penny of the 99p I spent on it?)

The last in today’s series of child art comes in the form of a diagram representing small, medium, big:

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas whatever you’ve been doing, and that the New Year brings us all joy and wonder and hope. xx

Picture of Santa

My son (aged three) has gone though a milestone I wanted to share.  This week he drew a picture of Santa.  In fact he has drawn multiple pictures of Santa.  What’s fabulous about them is that I can see they are a picture of someone.  To be honest they mostly look like Mr Tickle but I am loving the fact that he can now articulate more fully what is in his mind rather than it being a random scribble that to him looks fabulous and to me looks like random scrawl.

Santa has made an impact on him this week – we’ve been to two toddler group parties where Santa visited – the first was a pretty poor representation (although well meaning so I mean no disservice) and the second was a fabulous example of an amply proportioned man in a bushy beard and moustache with equally opulent costume, glasses and a cheery demeanour.  I recall being scared witless by my first encounter with Santa (when I was in Infants School at 3 years) and although my son’s general exposure to the man in the red suit has been less than favourable (understandable as per my own recollection) he has obviously been able to  compute his experiences this week and make meaningful marks.

To those of you who do not have children this will seem like a meaningless, boring and petty observation, but I can assure you; the point at which a child can meaningfully portray an image that they hold in their mind and that they can convey onto paper so that an adult can interpret the marks is a wonderful and meaningful one.


The body incorporates the head, but the head has eyes and a smile, arms have hands and fingers and has legs (no feet but I can forgive that!)

I hope that Santa/Mr Tickle makes you smile.  🙂


Busy waiting for Santa…..

…or rather, ensuring the small people in my life have some pressies from Santa to open on the big morning : )

My last post talked about the playing around with photography I was going to do and I did manage to get a couple of hours playing around.  Trying to use the natural light available to me is something of a mission – I live in an old Victorian terraced house and the way they are built pretty much ensures very little light seeps in through the windows.  There are certain times of day in particular rooms where it’s great for a couple of hours, but that very much depends upon the weather outside too – and this being the UK it can be a a bit dismal this time of year.

First up is the photo of a carnelian bead and glass lamp bead bracelet I made recently.  Not perfect but better than some of my other photos recently.  What I should have done (and will do in future) is tape a piece of semi-transparent paper to the window that was offering me the natural light.  That will hopefully get rid of the glare on the bottle.  The pretty perfume bottle is a nice way to show off the bracelet don’t you think?  I’m a bit distracted by the gap I can see in the frame that’s sitting behind the bottle too, so I shall have to make sure that doesn’t happen again either.

Next up is a picture of a choker.  Now, the colours in this are a little off, so I’ll have to tweak the photo again I think before putting it up on Etsy.  They’re only slightly off – the red flower is not quite as bright as this in real life, and the fabric is slightly more red than it appears here.  And I’m distracted by the marks on the bust – I had thought I’d cleaned her up but in my keenness to get some photos done I obviously managed to overlook these.

Something that I’ve been puzzling over is how dreadful my Macro photos look with this camera – I just can’t get close to an object.  After Googling the problem I discovered it’s one of the failings of the camera (as is the over-saturation of reds) so in the next photo I tweaked it with Picnik to get the look I was after:

Pretty don’t you think?  I’m going to play around with that little option a lot more – I love those arty shots of an item that have something in the foreground in sharp focus and everything looking all soft and fuzzy….

Last up is a pretty straight-forward detail shot of a second choker.

So although this may not look like much really, I think it’s a pretty good jump forward with regard to my photography.  In fact, I was seriously considering buying a new camera but realised that in the end it had to be down to me, and that as I can’t actually afford a swanky new camera I ought to just get down to being a little more clever with it.

What I don’t have a shot of is the light-box I made with a card-board box, some gaffer tape and parchment paper, but the next time I have a free weekend (not until after Christmas now) I shall be playing around with that.  So I’d best get to making some small items that can be placed inside it!

Getting busy….

Here in the UK the Autumn nights are drawing in and Winter is peeking around the corner.  As much as I want to curl up every evening with a book and a glass of red I am making an effort to *up* my game as a maker and seller of quirky jewellery and costume items.  “How so?”, you may be asking….

Well, photography is not my strong suit but I’ve been reading up and taking notes from various sources (ok, yes, that means I eventually read the same stuff over and over….) and recently I was inspired by some photos that were taken by a member of a craft forum I belong to, using just angle poise lamps and tissue paper as filters for the brightness of the bulbs along with his digital camera.  The pictures were great and it has inspired me to have a go this weekend.

Alongside this I have been spending a bit of money on some items to help display the jewellery I make.  I’ve got three nice picture frames and with a little shabby-chic paintwork and the addition of an inner of wadding and cream fabric I’ll have something new to place/pin items to, both for photography and for general display purposes when I’m at an event.

And I’m seriously considering buying a plain dress form too (although goodness knows where I’ll put it in the house….) so that I can get better photographs of costume items.

I’m determined to crack the photography problem!


Akasha, Queen of the Damned headdress

Little by little I’ve been working on a headdress for a customer who is attending a Hallowe’en party as Akasha Queen of the Damned.  If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about then you can see some stills from the film here and the headdress I’m doing a version of is the one with pendants and coins on it.

It’s been one of those projects that has required a lot of looking at pics from the film, has required a few coats of thinking about, and it’s underway and should be finished by the end of the week.

As usual, early on in the process it looked pretty ….bleak…. then I found some pendants that totally rock and even though they’re not actual Turkoman pendants (as they would have used up the whole of the customer’s budget before I was even started) they’re doing a damn fine job of looking cool.

And because I’m rubbish at documenting what I’m working on as I do it there are no pics yet, but you can be absolutely sure that once it’s done the pictures will be here.