Saturday 30 November 2013

Recycling Project - Mini's

From some of the projects that I have been sharing here and here, you would have realised that I have a thing about quinoa and textures as part of a creative project I thought that I would make a series of mini frames that you could use in different ways. You could use them in and on your journal or cards, or a range of other projects.

I wanted to create antique type look and having old photographs within the frames enables you to achieve this effect. There are many royalty free images that can be used that you can find on the internet.

I guess I have found the quinoa to be quite versatile in creating surfaces but also as edging as once it is dry it becomes really hard.  For the one below I tried out linseed's.

For some of the mini's I used a combination of polymer clay, stones, clay and friendly plastic.

There are so many beautiful things that can be made using recycled materials, the only problem I am finding is running out of space either from the things I have been collecting to make something else or the things I end up making. There will be lots of handmade gifts being given at Christmas this year:)

I hope you have a blessed weekend, and allow your creativity to push back the boundaries in order to allow yourself to really soar! 

Come back on Tuesday to see how I make the Mini's in Tutorial Tuesday. Do share creative ways in which you have used recycled materials and leave a comment below.

Friday 29 November 2013

Gratitudes and Celebrations - Week 21 -Support

Support - Gratitude's and Celebrations

When you feel like quitting, reach out to your support network

Who is in your support network?
The saying, 'no man is an island' reminds us that we were never meant to be in this on our own.  Here is a song courtesy of Dennis Brown.

We can isolate ourselves or feel isolated in certain circumstances but we have to make sure that we surround ourselves with encouraging and positive people who can not only keep it real, but also see further than what is in front of them - our cheer leaders near and far that encourage us to go another mile, take another step to be more than we ever thought we could be.

As we look to surround ourselves with encouraging people, let us also be the one who can encourage and shine the light on others.  Your words of encouragement to another could make the difference between them giving up or getting up and dusting themselves off and trying again. 

I celebrate the encouraging souls near and far that have been a source of strength along the way and I am grateful for another day to be able to encourage someone else.

As this week draws to a close can you think of the beautiful things in your life. Do leave a comment and have a blessed weekend!

If you want to see how I made the journal (click here)

Thursday 28 November 2013

In the News - Christmas Fairs, Concerts and Reviews!

There are two events happening on Saturday 7th December that will inspire, encourage and bless you.

EEC Christmas Fair

If you are in London on then come along to the EEC Christmas Fair and Carol Concert.  I will be there displaying some of my work, there will be other craft stalls, international food and more, starts from 1pm to 6pm.

For every item purchased on my stall on the day I will be giving 30% to charity for the Philippines disaster appeal organised by Oxfam, so come down and show your support.


There will also be a concert the same evening starting at 7pm at Tokyngton Community Center, St Micheal Avenue, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 6SA.  There will be a wide range of talented musicians sharing their skills.  My husband Alan will also be show casing one of the songs from his Ekidz album about internet safety for children. For more information on the concert at Tokygnton, email or call 07986893511

Book Review

DIY Gift Guide - Quirk Books

This book is one that I downloaded on my Kindle, I am always looking for mini projects to try my hand at and this seemed like a useful start.  The book was free on Kindle, so I didn't hesitate in ordering.  It has a selection of DIY ideas curated by Homemade Quirk, which is a place where people share their stories, ideas and they are not only craft based but have ideas of food gifts and treats.

The book is split into 6 sections - for the bookworm, for the lovebirds, for the kids, for the animal lover, for the foodie, for the geek, and aims to appeal to different needs has a total of 18 projects, 9 of which are food based.  The instructions are fairly straight forward to follow.

My favorite 3 projects were making the Tiny books, pink champagne cake which I intend  try substituting the wheat and dairy, and the mini candi charms using polymer clay.  My least favorite was the cat portraits made with real cat hair (never knew you could do anything with cat hair, although for those with pets this would be a great recycling project.  It is a nice book for kids to try their hand at trying to make some of the project, it could have had a few additional ideas or variations on the projects that were listed.  All in all as a free publication you can't go far wrong and it is definitely worth a look at least!

Katherines Corner

Thursday Favorite Things
Today is also Thursdays Favorite Things on Katherines Corner Take a stroll over there and visit some of the inspiring and encouraging blogs, If you have a blog you can leave a link to your post and show some support by visiting others who have listed theirs.

It would be great to see you at one of the events if you are in the location or even in the UK on Saturday 7th December, share what you are up to, and if you have a pet will you be giving the cat portraits ago?

Finally, have a great day and blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Ice Cream - Memories of Home

Ice Cream - Memories of Home

Welcome to Memories of Home, if you would like to find out more information about the series, Click here 

Being in a supportive environment is important to our growth as individuals, not everyone has had that opportunity and as adults we try and create an environment that will nurture and bless our children and indeed ourselves.

Ice Cream

When we were younger, about once a month my dad would take me and my brother and sister to an ice cream parlour - the old fashion kind.  It was called Marine Ices.  It was run by an Italian family with its recipes developed by Gaetano Mansi and they had a wonderful selection of ice creams and sorbets.

Our dad would allow us to have the pick of the selection available.  One of my favorite was knickerbocker glory with lashings of ice cream and their milkshakes were delicious along with their ice cream sundaes with a cherry on top.  I remember the chrome furnishings and the excitement of it all. 

Our trip to Marine Ices became a family tradition which would be followed by a stroll around Camden Lock which has become a very trendy place to be for millions of tourists each year.  When dad passed as kids we kept it up for a while fondly looking back at our memories and each building new ones with our own children.

Do you remember somewhere you used to visit as a child, please leave a comment and I hope you continue to join me on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and look back to the memories of home. I look forward to hearing about some some of your own memories. Blessings and peace to you!

Tutorial Tuesday - Tea Bag Treasure Box

Tutorial Tuesday

Where will your imagination take you?

It is surprising what you can do with an empty box an a bit of imagination.  As part of the recycled project on Saturday I shared with you the Teabag Treasure Boxes I had made, from the empty box once it had finished, here is the selection that I had made previously.
Selection of Tea boxes made into treasure boxes

Today I will be showing you how you can decorate your own box using a few simple techniques.  What you will need:
An empty tea box (or any box you have to hand, paper of choice, gesso or paint, stamps, embellishments of choice and imagination! 

Starting off with a box

Taking a box of your choice - this is one of my favorite teas and I do go through quite a few - it is spiced tea with a blend of ginger, cardamon, black pepper (yes) and a range of other things, it is absolutely delicious with some sugar and rice milk.  It is similar to Chai, but a bit more spicy, but that is for another post...

Cover your box in your paper of choice, this will help make it more sturdy.  Here I have used a brown paper bag.  I spritzed it with water which made it easier to scrunched it up which will add texture to the box.

As I applied each piece I have covered it pva glue and then allowed it to dry.
Once covered and dried your on the home stretch!

The box sets quite hard, I decided to keep my box open and then I painted it with gesso, allowing some of the colour of the paper to show through.

Add an encouraging word with lettering

I stuck on some letting - the word 'Create' and on the inside of the lid using handmade stamps I stamped a heart and added stamped flowers around the outside of the box..
Home made stamps used in decoration

I applied glue from a hot glue gun around the edges and around the heart.

To finish off I added some goldfinger metalic paste to the edging of the box and around the glue and it gives it a worn grungy look.

I attached one of the 'teabags' from the teabag treasure tutorial post I did last week.  You can cover your box with pva glue to seal it and then your ready to go and use it

I look forward to sharing next weeks project with you.

Monday 25 November 2013

Material Mondays - Chunky Button Fabric Journal

Chunky Button Fabric Journal
Ever one for making a journal, I had some material from some scarf material I had that is at least 30 years old....does that make it vintage?  The scarf formed the basis of the covers with 3 panels.  The journal measures around 5 x 5 inches.  I really love the size and feel of this journal.

I decided it was going to be an experimental journal, the inside page holds a crochet pocket to carry tools and equipment, I wanted to add as much storage space as possible so that you wouldn't necessarily have to carry any other supplies.
Chunky Journal - inside 3 panels

The central pages that form the signatures are made from my sons old school uniform trousers.  Once covered in gesso the pages become stiffer and easy to work with.  There are 12 pages, 6 of which have already been altered with paints and writing and will form the springboard for additional ideas.
Pockets of joy, with lace and crochet trim
I have really enjoyed adding the stitching, buttons and other elements
Love stitched on a piece of hessian allows for more storage underneath
 The Journal was made with love and is a reminder to me to take time out and show myself some love.
More buttons decorate the back of the chunky journal

If you are considering learning how to take part in creative activity check out Craftsy online courses, at the moment they are doing a special offer on some of their classes, and they are offering some free mini courses. Click here

Have a blessed day, see you tomorrow for Tutorial Tuesday.

Sunday 24 November 2013

Creating in Faith - Mothers

As a daughter there were expectations that we had of our mother, without questioning, mum was always there, she was a quiet strength.  you always knew if you were in trouble that mum would help you out.  As I grew up I never gave the role of motherhood any thought.  The nights I came home late, out enjoying myself never thinking of how much worry I put mum to and her waiting up to make sure I got back safe.

Mothers - Book mark holder of reflections

On my 18th birthday mum says I walked into the front room and declared that as I was 18 I would be leaving home and going to live with my sister.  I never realized that despite thinking I was an adult, I was still far from it, and while she treated me as an adult, mum still saw me as her little girl.  Her role of worrying even though I lived in my own home never ceased, being a mother wasn't something she switched off.  I do remember her making a comment to something I had said, probably something to do with me saying "I'm an adult now you know!"  her response in her wisdom was to let me know that just because I am big didn't mean that she would stop caring, and how I would understand when I became a mother.

I understand now that being a mother to a 'just turned 18 year old brings up many of the memories from my own teenage years.  I have to learn to give him space, to approach him as the young man he is becoming, I couldn't quite imagine him leaving home at this age, and know that even when he is in his 40's I will still worry about how he is getting on.  As our kids get older we are faced with our own mortality and begin to question where and who we are, and what we will fill that gap that is left when they decide to flee the nest.  I try to continue to look at my life still excited about those things that I have not yet tried, understanding that physically there are things that I can no longer or even want to do.

In caring for my mother it would seem as if the role have got reversed.  Looking after mums needs and making sure that she is comfortable has been hard to get my head around.  I had looked forward to the mother-daughter talks that we would have when I became an adult.  I cling the the things that she can remember of our childhood, in an attempt to halt the progressive damage being done by dementia.

The role of a mother isn't something that can be taken lightly for you have young hearts and minds in your hand that need to be nurtured and equipped to one day go out into the world and have adventures of their own with the confidence in knowing who they are. We guide them in their journey and show by our examples our unconditional love.  Think about your relationships with your mother and reflect on the lessons you have learnt that you have passed on.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you...let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.. John 14:24

Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him and he with Me..Revelation 3:20

Saturday 23 November 2013

Recycled Projects - Teabag Treasure Boxes

What do you do with the boxes from the teabags you recycle?

You would have got a glimpse last week of one of the boxes that had been altered below when I showed you the teabag treasures post 

There are some great ways that you can decorate the boxes and here are a few suggestions...

I wanted to create a home for the teabag treasures and what better place than the boxes they came from in the first place. Each box came to life with its own feel, not quite having an idea of how I wanted them to look,

I decided to spend time playing.  The one below is covered in quinoa which gives it a lovely texture and it has flowers hanging from the lid of the box.

This box had initially been covered with a gold textured paper, and covered in gesso to give it an old feel, then covered in some goldfinger paste.  The box also has some home made washi tape around the middle.

 This box was covered in sequins and decorated paper

All in all the boxes came out quite pretty and is a really easy project

I hope you have a blessed weekend, and allow your creativity to push back the boundaries in order to allow yourself to really soar!

Come back on Tuesday to see how I made the Teabag boxes in Tutorial Tuesday. Do share creative ways in which you have used recycled materials and leave a comment below.

Friday 22 November 2013

Gratitudes and Celebrations Week 20 - Attention

Gratitude's and Celebration - Attention
What has grabbed your attention this week about your journey?  I still believe I am on the journey, willing to experence and make the most of the opportunities that come along the way.

Will we ever arrive and know all there is to know about everything - I think not, that is what makes life so exciting.  There is still time to learn new things, venture to new shores and watch another sunset.

I celebrate being able to see my son get to an age I remember as if it were yesterday, it seemed as if I had all the time in the world to live my life.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be creative and for the resources I have at my disposal.

As this week draws to a close can you think of the beautiful things in your life. Do leave a comment and have a blessed weekend!

If you want to see how I made the journal (click here)

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Space - Memories of Home

Space - Memories of Home

Welcome to Memories of Home, if you would like to find out more information about the series, Click here

Being in a supportive environment is important to our growth as individuals, not everyone has had that opportunity and as adults we try and create an environment that will nurture and bless our children and indeed ourselves.


Growing up we were never limited with the amount of space we were able to have access to. While we lived in a 3 bedroom apartment with a small balcony, we had access to a very local park with lots of greenery, and an even bigger space in Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill fields. Our parents encouraged us to ride our bikes, scooters and even on foot to explore, engage and have fun in our environment.

As I have grown older, I have relished having space around me. My garden that I tend provides another living space that we can all enjoy whatever the weather. As my son has grown and his sister now with a home and family of her own, I was able to claim my own creative space, which I feel has enabled me to grow as an artist.
Space - Mixed media house
I would love to hear what creative ways you have made your space yours and I hope you continue to join me on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and look back to the memories of home. I look forward to hearing about some some of your own memories. Blessings and peace to you!

Space to Dream....

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Tutorial Tuesdays - Teabag Treasures

Tutorial Tuesday

Teabag Treasures
On Saturday I showed you my teabag treasures HERE.  Today I will be showing you how to make one of these decorated teabags to make your own treasures.  They are pretty straight forward.

Select whatever type of teabags you may have.  There may be some that got forgotten in the back of your cupboards that you can use.

Here are some of the tools that I used for this project.

Take the teabags and make a slit on one side and then cut along the top of the bag. Pour out the contents of the teabag.

Select from a range of things that you might have already or that you want to make, and encouraging word, an image that can go inside the bag.

When you are satisfied with the contents that you have cover the bag in pva glue and coat the back as well.  Allow to dry.  The glue helps the teabag to stiffen and has a leathery type feel.

For the frame of the bag I used quinoa and put a beading of glue then sprinkled the quinoa on to cover all of the glue.

Allow to dry and then add any additional embellishments 

You can either leave the edges as they are or you could put a coat of paint of your choice, alternatively you can rub 'goldfinger metallic finish' to give it a vintage look.

Teabag Treasures
Once complete give it a final coat of pva glue on the front and the back which will act as a sealant.  You could go on to use these bags in your journals, on cards as a gift.

I am looking forward to sharing next weeks recycled project.

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