Friday, 5 September 2014

Little Sew n’ Sews, Epping

I’ve driven past this shop too many times to count but had never visited until I found myself needing to match a cotton earlier this week. The charity shops in Epping are always worth a quick nose about in so I thought we’d head up there for a change. Well, I have to say that the owners of this shop get a huge thumbs up from me. They were so friendly and their shop is brimming full of fantastic crafting essentials. So much so that it was a bit of a task to keep Jess from pulling all the exciting bits and pieces from the stands and shelves! This is definitely going to be my regular stop for thread, fabrics, ribbon etc. from now on. It was a lovely shopping experience. Thanks!

Click on the image at the top to take a look at their website.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Batik Card from Sri Lanka

I received this beautiful thank you card from one of my GCSE students from last year today. I’m sat enjoying the chocolates that accompanied the card whilst marvelling at the craftsmanship and patience required to create a piece like this.

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The centrepiece is a batik printed fabric mounted in an aperture open both front and back. It’s beautiful. Here’s what is printed on the back of it…

“You hold in your hand an original handcrafted Batik from Sri Lanka, a true work of art. Each Batik is individual and unique to it’s craftsman even though the same motif may be repeated. The cloth is neither printed nor screened but is the result of a lengthy process of wax application and dyeing. The craftsman draws a picture on the cloth and then applies by tool or brush hot wax to all but the area to be coloured. The cloth is then dyed and allowed to dry before the wax is removed by boiling in hot water. This process is then repeated for each additional colour and the number of colours in a Batik represents the minimum number of days taken to craft it. We invite you to enjoy and share the beauty of this traditional Sri Lankan art.”

… and so I am.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Funky Shelf for under £2

Katryn needed a shelf to put her TV on so I got another one of those cheap shelves from IKEA and funkified (upcycled!) it for her. Her bedroom is pink but I distinctly remember her telling me that she wasn’t a big fan of pink anymore so I went for something that would last longer. As it turns out, I couldn’t drill more than a centimetre into any of her walls so the shelf has not even been used but nevermind! This isn’t really decoupage because I didn’t use small bits of paper but the general principles are the same. I used PVC glue to attach left over bits of wrapping paper to the edges and then top and bottom before varnishing the whole thing to seal it. I’m confident that it would have looked great on her wall but c’est la vie.

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Melted Crayon Art

Finally for the big one. Melted crayon art! This was a lot of fun but took a long time and a whole lot of crayons (nearly 80 I believe!). I just wish I’d used the same type of crayon from the very beginning because it would have been beautifully uniform then with just the smartie like blobs of melted crayon rather than the very runny or particularly stringy patches that you might be able to spot on the close up shots. It was the first time I’d tried it though and I didn’t know just how differently the brands and sorts of crayons would react. I’d read that different colours melted at different rates but I suppose the composition of the crayons are different by different manufacturers too.

Anyway, here’s what I did…

I attached six photos of our wonderful (?!) children to a large canvas using double sided sticky tape first. Next I removed the crayons from their wrappers or plastic barrels and heated up my glue gun, which has rarely been used to glue anything ready to feed the crayons through. I found that by far the best crayons to use were Crayola twistables and I was glad that it’s “Back to School” time because the current deals saved me a fair bit of money. These were the best both in terms of controlled melting and size to feed through the gun as they are only fractionally narrower than the glue sticks themselves so the trigger mechanism still worked perfectly. Hours and many, many crayons later I was satisfied with the result and I’m pleased to report that my glue gun still works with glue sticks too, which was a bonus and I was fully prepared for it to become my crayon gun only.  I wonder how many crayons it would have taken to cover the whole thing…

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