Friday, 16 December 2016

Glass pebbles

I have had a fantastic time recently doing (another!) fused glass workshop and this time putting words onto glass. Most of the pics will have to wait until after Christmas but I can share with you some glass pebbles.

Great fun was had at the Glasshouse Studio in Knaresborough!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Making a calm jar - not only for children!

A calm jar, or mindfulness jar is the simplest thing, yet is very beautiful and effective. 
It is basically a jar full of water, with some glue and glitter added and works just like a snow globe.

When you feel agitated you shake the jar and just watch as everything settles (it takes a few minutes depending on how much glue is in the jar).
It's originally suggested as a tool for an agitated child and gives them a kind of time out,
but it's equally effective for adults who just need a few minutes to stop stressing about things.
It's also a really good analogy for the mind.
When you shake the jar and everything moves really fast this can be what the thoughts are like, non-stop, incessant and constantly whirling.
But if we intentionally take time out to stop, breathe and notice where we are and what is happening
our thoughts, feelings and emotions start to settle by themselves, just like the glitter in the jar.

This is what the calm jar looks like once it has been vigorously shaken.

And these are the next few stages, as the glitter (thoughts, feelings, emotions) start to settle.
You'll see in the next 3 photos how the glitter gradually sinks to the bottom of the jar.

Until it ends up completely still.

And it's so easy to make a calm jar!
This one is glass but if children are handling it best use a plastic bottle.
I used glitter glue (called confetti glitter glue from Hobbycraft) but you can add glue and glitter separately. You have to experiment with amounts depending on the size of the jar but you need enough water to nearly fill the jar. 
If using glitter glue use boiling water and put it into a bowl first and stir really well to make sure the glue separates and doesn't stay in clumps.
You have to be patient at this stage and I left it overnight.
Then add the mix to the jar and seal the jar lid with some superglue as you close it.
You really don't want the lid coming off as you shake it!
And that's it! enjoy!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cards, tea-light holders and fimo goodies!

It's been a while since I have posted anything on here because I have been concentrating on the
50 Books blog
but I wanted to share with you things I have been making recently that will accompany the
Open House and end of auction on Sunday.

As Sunday approaches Tim and I are working joyfully towards the final preparations and the end of the auction. This has been quite a journey from the decision at the beginning of 2015 to undertake to make 50 books in a year. At that point I had no idea if it was possible, or what they would be like. I began with 3 books, all plain and from those I got more and more ideas about how they next one could be. It has been an amazing journey that I have been happy to share with many people. I'm glad many people have been able to view the books in person as there is such a different quality to holding the books as opposed to looking at photos or videos of them. 
Here is what else will be available on the day - 

handmade cards

 tea-light holders made from driftwood and logs

Poetry booklets

beautiful fimo shapes

There will also be refreshments and a vegan cake! What more could you want?

Monday, 8 August 2016

Thich Nhat Hanh - This body is not me

I have been inspired by these words many times, and never more so than right now, when my dear friend is going through a difficult and potentially life-threatening situation.
I love this man and I love his words!
Take them to your heart!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Countdown to the closing of 50 books auction - only 3 weeks to go!

Sunday 21st August is the day when the auction finishes and all bids close for the 50 books. Make sure you have bid for your favourite!
You can bid up until 4pm on the final day but if you want to ensure your bid is successful please come along to the Open House to be there in person.
I will be contacting people by email if they are outbid but there may be bidding wars, as certain books are very popular.
Please browse the previous posts for details on the individual books and/or come along on the day!

Open House
Venue - 10 Garth End, Collingham, Wetherby. LS22 5BH.
Date - Sunday 21st August
Time - 12-4pm

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Fused glass-making

I'm very happy with my first attempts at fused glass-making, on a day with my sister that was a Christmas/birthday present from several family members. We went to sunny Scunthorpe to Hazel Burnham's for the workshop and had a fantastic time playing with lots of coloured glass. 

We started off by collecting together lots of pieces of glass from the various tubs around the room. I followed my usual colour scheme of blues, purples and greens.
There was already a fantastic collection of pre-cut pieces, so although we did learn how to cut glass we didn't need to very much, other than trimming the odd piece to fit.

This is what it looked like ready for the kiln and lots of heat. We lightly glued each piece into place (using the tiniest amount of pva glue per piece) to hold it and make sure nothing moves when it goes into the kiln.

 And this is the finished result, sitting on my window sill waiting for a hook to hang from. I'm really pleased with it! It was an excellent day, great fun, and we even had lunch cooked for us while we played!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Polymer clay shapes

I had a lot of fun yesterday with polymer clay (like fimo). I wanted to recreate something like the clay hearts I made last year for Christmas tags with bicarb of soda. These were very brittle so I wanted something more robust and less likely to break. The clay is ideal and I got a selection pack with small amounts of 32 different colours. What I love about them is they bend together well like marbling.
Just before Christmas my family and I did a silver clay workshop creating a pendant and the way we did this was using texture mats to create a beautiful and unique piece of jewellery. This inspired me to take things a step further with the ceramic hearts.
So as well as the clay I bought a few texture mats and cutters that are used for cake decorating.
And here are the results.
Lots of very pretty shapes just waiting to be attached to gift tags!
These are a selection of the clay blocks I started with.

hearts ...

leaves ...

and paisley.
I particularly like the ones textured to look like knitting! Inspired!