Saturday 21 September 2013

Summer Scavenger hunt Round Up #3

Squeezing in under the wire, with the last of my scavenged photos.

12. A cloud in the shape of something


I’m going with the disappearing dragon as I’ve found nothing better. Not for the want of trying!

16. A windmill


At Bristol airport.

17. Candles


My boy on his sixteenth birthday

18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop


A favourite Sixth Form hang out recently revisited.

19. A fisherman


He’s caught a fish in his hat. Does that make him a fisherman?

20. A dinosaur


The rarely seen Gromitasaurus.

21. A photo of you with an artistic tool


I don’t do much without this!

That’s it. Almost a full set. I’m not counting the dodgy fisherman. Thank you Rinda for keeping us entertained this summer with your brilliant Photo Scavenger Hunt. Looking forward to the next one.

Friday 20 September 2013

A Friendship Quilt ~ The Basics

I can’t tell you how delighted I am that so many people wanted to join this project and that some of you are giving patchwork a try for the very first time. There aren’t many rules involved, only that the finished blocks need to be 6 1/2” square. They can be made to any design you like and that will depend on the individual stitcher.


I’m (fairly sure) that I’m going to stick with the basic Nine Patch for everyone. My plan is to make two blocks, one for the person whose month it is, in their chosen colour scheme, and a second matching block to keep myself. I’ll then have 24 blocks at the end of the year, which will make a larger quilt.


You could choose to go a little simpler and make a Four Patch block. You would need four 3 1/2” squares for this one and in each case the seam allowance would be 1/4” to give you a 6 1/2” block once it was sewn together.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me their address details and colour schemes so far, there are some lovely choices among them. I’m already dreaming up a few ideas. I’ll get the list together as soon as I’ve heard from everyone. As for me, I’m going for the pot luck option and trust that it will be wonderful when it’s all sewn up.

I’m putting together a couple of tutorials for these basic blocks. Showing how I would do it with a ruler and rotary cutter and how it can be done just as easily with a pencil, scissors and cereal packet templates.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #224

It’s going to be very short and sweet from me today. My girl has kindly allowed me to share the drawings I mentioned last week. For her Art homework she had to produce three A3 portraits. One of herself, a friend and a family member.

Here’s my girl….


….and her friend.


Both produced at the kitchen table, just not by me! My boy was not keen to have his portrait shared as he thinks he looks like a girl in it!

Head over to Julia’s place if you’d like to see what everyone else is sharing today.

Monday 16 September 2013

A Friendship Quilt Around the World

I’ve been toying with an idea for a long time, after seeing the many beautiful patchwork quilts, made by sewing bee groups, on Flickr. I’ve wanted to have a go, but all the participants seem to be experienced and the blocks they contribute are often quite intricate designs, as specified by each member of the group.


All a bit scary for a novice. They must have started somewhere though so I came up with a plan for a virtual sewing bee of my own. I sent out a few emails to blog friends just to see if there would be any interest in such a project. I didn’t want to blog all about it and then find nobody wanted to take part. To my surprise almost everyone said, “Yes!” and we now have a group of twelve ready to begin this year long venture.

Abi ~ Creating paper Dreams

Alexa ~ Trimming the Sails

Alison ~ Life in the Slow Lane

Amy ~ Over at Our Place

Beverly ~ BE Glorious

Deb ~ Paper Turtle

Deb ~ Debs World

Fiona (me!) ~ Staring at the Sea

Jacky ~ Scrappy Jacky

Jo ~ Buckingham’s Palace

Jo ~ Sugar and Scrap

Sian ~ From High in the Sky

The idea is that everyone in the group will be assigned a month and will choose their preferred colour scheme. During that month everyone else will make a block for that person to their own design. Allowing for the fact that we all have different levels of sewing experience. Many of us have never made patchwork before. I didn’t want anyone to feel put off by that. We all have to start somewhere, right?


You don’t need any fancy equipment. A pair of decent scissors, pins and some neutral coloured thread should suffice. I imagine most people will sew their blocks on a machine, but they could be sewn by hand if that suits you better. The blocks can be anything from the simplest four patch to something a bit more challenging. Whatever you feel comfortable with. I want it to be fun, not stressful.

For now all I need you to do is decide on a colour scheme. This could be fairly specific eg blue and yellow or shades of blue, more general eg Autumnal or Summery colours, or you could just embrace the hotch potch nature of patchwork and go for the ‘pot luck’ option. Your choice entirely.

I also need an address from everyone so that I can make up a master list to send out to all the participants. If everyone could contact me by the end of the week with posting/mailing details (including surname) and a preferred colour scheme, that would be great. I can’t wait to get started.

I’ll be back soon with more info, useful links and some tutorials that may be of help.

PS If anyone reading this post is interested in the idea of a virtual quilting bee, I’d be happy to organise another group.

Saturday 14 September 2013

Summer Scavenger Hunt 2013 Round Up #2

Here I am with a second set of shots taken for Rinda’s scavenger hunt.

8. A tower….


….fit for Rapunzel.

9. Someone or something out of place.


A sofa beside the River Avon.

10. A bench that is outside.


A memorial for unknown seafarers in Bristol.

11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium or nature preserve.


A ‘dog fish’ at Bristol Aquarium.

12. That pesky cloud still eludes me!

13. A fence…


….around Vincent Van Gromit.

14. A stained glass object or a mosaic.


Golden Gromit at the Victoria Rooms.

15. A fire truck or police car.


A hybrid?

Still two to find and only a week left now. I’d better get a move on.

Friday 13 September 2013

In 20 Words….

Abi from Creating Paper Dreams challenged her readers to tell the story of a photo in twenty words. Here’s my attempt.


“Press the button.”

“What will happen?”

“I don’t know.”

“You press it.”

One doesn’t like surprises, the other likes reassurance.


It’s trickier than it looks! Why not have a go yourself. I’ll be back tomorrow with another round up of shots for Rinda’s Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt.

PS In case you are wondering. They did eventually press the button and the result was music composed by Jools Holland.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #223

Nothing much crafty has been happening at the kitchen table of late, which meant I didn’t join in last week. I thought the same was going to happen today, but then my girl came home with an art assignment to do. A self portrait in pencil. She was doing a great job of it, but having a bit of trouble with the nose.


I got out some of my own sketches from school days, to show her a few different approaches to shading/drawing in noses. Sadly, she wasn’t keen for me to show hers, once it was done, so I’ll share my charcoal drawing instead. I look at it now and can’t imagine being able to draw like that. It’s been a while.

Head on over to Julia’s place for a boat load of folk sharing their work spaces.

PS Mine is definitely not a self portrait! I think I saw her in a magazine.

Monday 9 September 2013

End of Summer Blog Hop ~ Treat Box Tutorial

Hello. If you are visiting as part of the blog hop and have arrived from A Trip Down Memory Lane, then you are on the right track. If not, you may want to go back there, as it is the start of the hop. How ever you have come here, welcome.


Today I have a gift box tutorial for you….


….using a few supplies….


….and tools….


….that most of us have as part of our scrapbooking kit.

You’ll need a piece of cardstock measuring 7” x 4 3/4”.


Score it lengthwise at 3/4”, 2”, 2 3/4” and 4”  then turn….


….and score at 1/2” and 1 1/4”, turn and score the opposite side at 1/2” and 1 1/4”


Cut away all the areas shown to form the tabs and ends of the box. The white card underneath is the same size as the original rectangle of coloured card and I have pencilled in the score lines to give a better idea of where to cut. Punch out a semi circle as shown with a 3/4” circle punch. Turn the punch upside down and line the edge of the card up so that it cuts across the middle of the circle.


Crease all the scored lines using a bone folder and fold the box into shape. Add PVA glue where shown in the previous picture and stick it together. I also added a tiny dab of glue to the flap on the end (without the punched circle) which will stay closed, but you don’t have to. Wrap a doily* around the box and glue in place. I used Herma here. Pop a treat** inside and close the box.


Gather a few small embellishments or make your own, with stamps and punches, as I did. Take a piece of Bakers twine approx. 20” long and tie around the box to keep it closed. Keeping the bow towards the opening end of the box.


Arrange the embellishments and glue over the twine to hold it in place. Trim the ends of the twine if needed and you’re done.

I hope you found the tutorial easy to follow. If anything is not clear, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help. It can be easily adapted to make other sizes and decorated in lots of different ways. If you make one I’d love to see it. Be sure to pop back and let me know.

Your next port of call on the hop is The Artistic Stamper. Check out the beautiful marbled backgrounds using colourful ink sprays.

If you visit (and comment on) all the blogs taking part in the hop, don’t forget to drop by UKS and post in this thread for the chance to win a prize.

* I got mine from Sarah’s Cards.

** A Kinder Snack size bar fits perfectly in this box.

Saturday 7 September 2013

Summer Scavenger Hunt 2013 Round Up #1

Over the next three Saturdays I’ll share my final shots for Rinda’s brilliant Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. Some you will have seen before, but there are a few new ones and some alternatives.

1.Open Air Market


St. Nicholas’ Market. The oldest market in Bristol established in 1743 in the streets surrounding the Corn Exchange.

2. Theatre for performing arts


Bristol Old Vic

3. City hall, Capitol or similar civic building.


Shaftesbury Town Hall

4. Airplane


Blue Finch. A ‘Flying Flea’ built by Bristol engineer, Harry Dolman.

5. A sunset


Taken during our exam results celebration picnic. Stonehenge was behind me.

6. Someone or something taking a nap


A mallard by the lake at Stourhead.

7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny


Hot dogs, Wallace and Gromit style.

It occurred to me (too late!) that I probably could have taken all 21 shots, during the course of our Gromit hunts, in Bristol and the surrounding areas. I have two more things to find, including that pesky cloud and a self portrait to take, which I’m leaving until last. Then I’m done. How about you?

Sunday 1 September 2013

Storytelling Sunday 3 ~ Pebbles

The first Sunday of September falls on the first day of the month this year. There is something nice and neat about that. I’m joining up with Sian at From High in the Sky and all the other tellers of tales. Big and small. The tales not the tellers.


Mine is of the small kind this month. The objects and their story. These three pebbles sit stacked on my kitchen window sill. They were collected from the beach at Broadchurch West Bay. I’ll look at them, when I’m standing at the sink washing dishes, in the coming months, and remember all the fun we had this Summer.

It’s not quite over yet. We’re off Gromit hunting again today. I’ll be looking forward to reading a few more stories this evening, when I get home.