Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Crafting Family History

Today I am going to share another canvas with you.  I really enjoyed my play with my first canvas so decided to have a go at another one.  This one was inspired by Linda Simpson's Mission Inspiration Journal Page. 

My great grandfather, William Davison, was born in the early 1850's and died in 1937.  He was a boiler builder by trade, but also something of an inventor too.  His house was the first in the area to benefit from electric lighting and family lore has it that he invented a sausage-making machine which he sold to a local butcher.

So with all that in mind I set about making a canvas.  The colours given for Linda's Mission Inspiration were orange, red and brown - and I love colour.

This is the finished canvas.

 I used an Imagination Crafts stencil, structure paste and inks again, and the cogs are die cut using a set of dies by Sheena Douglas.  I added Crafty Notions gilding flakes to some of the cogs before adding them to the canvas. The heart shaped padlock I made using a Katy Sue mould and paper clay, and I printed the photograph and all the text using the Steampunk Inventor digikit from DaisyTrail.  I finished it off with Pebeo gilding wax. 

I only have two photos of my great grandfather - one wearing his bowler hat and the one I used on the canvas.  Sadly the one wearing his bowler hat isn't good enough quality to use on a canvas.

And now I must actually spend some time working on boxes for Mr Tom, but I will be back as soon as I get some more time to play

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Catherine x

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Lots of Firsts ....

As some of you will already know, I paint/decorate boxes for Mr Tom of TC Crafts so I thought I might have a try at making some of my own embellishments from paper clay.  I have never worked with clay before so something completely new for me to try.

I started out working with white clay and some Katy Sue moulds.  The moulds are dual purpose because they can also be used in cake decorating.

My first attempt

Then I got a bit more adventurous and tried out the coloured clays.

I  mixed coloured clay with white clay to create my own colours and I found working the clay in my hand very therapeutic.

I also invested in some cutters, including rose petal and rose leaf cutters but haven't yet had a go at making a rose - I got too hooked on the moulds, and then I got sidetracked trying out yet something else new to me!

I've never attempted a canvas before but I decided to have a go and use some of my paper clay elements on it.

I started out using some Imagination Crafts crackle paste through a stencil, and when that had dried I decided to try out spray inks (a first for me too).  The ones I used were also from Imagination Crafts and the colours are good and strong - I love colour.  Then I added the paper clay embellishments I had made, and finished it off with a caption.

I really enjoyed doing this canvas so must do some more.  Incidentally, I haven't used any of the clay embellishments on a box - yet!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Catherine x

Monday, 19 February 2018

Oh wow - I can't believe that my last post on here was in 2015.  There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then, not least the fact that I was working long days every day, seven days each week and no holidays to speak of!  All that has now changed though and I vowed that this year I was going to find some time for me - to play and just do what I fancy doing.  So far I have managed to stick to that and have started experimenting with different crafty things so the next step is to start documenting them on here.

One of the first things I did was to hunt out all my parchment craft tools and grids and started to have a play - oh boy am I rusty!  But in the time since I last did any parching it has undergone a transformation with the advent of Barbara Gray's Groovi boards and grids - so of course I had to have a play with some of them too.

Then I got a bit more adventurous and started on some gridwork - of course I made lots of mistakes on the way.  It's quite hard on the eyes but I perservered!

And I got plenty of practice cutting using the above pattern!

Then I actually made a couple of cards.

Remembering that some years ago when I was attending parchment craft workshops, our teacher brought in some designs printed onto parchment - I think they were from Pergamano - I decided to print out a design and use it in the same way - embossing the back of the design before adding it to a card.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am really into digital crafting so this was a case of digital meets parchment.

The design I used for this, and also the background paper, is from MJM Design Studios.  The background is actually two papers from the kit which I blended together. It is a digikit called "Lilies and Light" - though I chose the poppies, rather than the lilies, for this card.

I used one of Clarity's groovi boards to do the sentiments on all three cards.

I am still playing with parchment - though not exclusively as there are so many other things I want to try during my playtime!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Catherine x

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Stepping Out

Afternoon everyone

Well I am doing my best to keep my blog updated - and I am definitely doing better than I have done for a while.

The challenge over at the CD Sunday Challenge Blog this week is "Stepping Out" and I immediately thought of a card I made for someone who likes walking..  The card was personalised when I first made it but I made it again a few weeks ago as a general card.

This is it

As always I designed the whole card in CraftArtist before printing onto gloss paper and layering the topper onto gold mirri card.  The image is from the Creative Crafting World cd "A Walk in the Countryside".

So I would like to enter this into the CD Sunday challenge this week.

Many thanks for visiting my blog.

Catherine x

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Photo prints, quilting, cardmaking, gluten free, babies and all things hadmade!

Evening everyone

Lev3l 3 Community Crafters have a busy week ahead this week so I thought I would just tell you a bit about what we are up to.

On Monday Roger from Far Horizons will be in The Venue all day with an exhibition of his framed prints, and lots of other items he makes from his lovely photographs. Roger specialises in landscapes, mainly from Northumberland, but also some from further afield.   This is his website:

Roger and hisl lovely wife Christine at The Venue

Buttermere Reflections


Low tide, early morning, St Mary's Island

Thursday sees Sheila from Sewing MANIA back in The Venue from 10am to 4pm demonstrating patchwork and quilting techniques.  Sheila makes the most beautiful quilts as well as other smaller items and is extremely knowledgeable about what she does.  She loves to chat about it so if you are interested in learning a bit more about this wonderful craft then Sheila is your man (so to speak!)

One of Sheila's beautiful quilts

This quilt is double sided
Sheila has been quilting for many years and is a member of the Quilter's Guild.

Close up of another quilt

Demo day at The Venue

Also at the demo day on Thursday will be Mrs Charlie of Charlie Cards - and for those of you who don't already know - that's me!  Many people have asked me how I make my pop-up box cards, including other cardmakers - so that's what I will be demonstrating.

Some of my pop up box cards

All of the pop up box cards I make are designed, printed, cut and assembled by me.  I use CraftArtist to make the original designs and use artwork from a variety of sources.

All ready to go at The Venue

Popular for the boys!  Football and footballer images from MCS

Flower and butterfly combination is popular.  Artwork by Victoria Nelson at DaisyTrail

Friday is something a bit new for Lev3l 3 Community Crafters - a weekday, themed, market day.
Our theme is Mums, mums to be, babies, toddlers and pre-school children, and all items available at this event will be made specifically to that theme.

All our crafters handmake their own products in their own homes and we aim to provide as wide a variety of items as possible on Friday.  Joining us for this market day will be

Heart n Sole with decorative hearts and fully tested and CE labelled sock monkies.

Ay Vee Jewellery Design with a selection of children's jewellery

Marcias memories with a selection of handmade fudge

Sewing MANIA with her beautiful baby bags, bags and other small items

Woolly Creations with a selection of handknit items including minion hats and scarves

Looby-Loo with a selection of baby bibs and hand sewn "bath buckets".

Rainbow Cakes and Bakes with a selection of gluten, lactose and soya free children's biscuits

Charlie Cards with a selectionn of baby shower, baby, children's greetings cards and party invitations.

Beautiful digi from Pink Gem Designs, background Victoria Nelson at DaisyTrail

Lovely artwork from Kate Hadfield Designs

Artwork from different sources including Eline at Cuddly Buddly

Saturday is our normal weekly craft market.  As there are around 30 crafters involved in Lev3l 3 Community Crafters, we use a rota to ensure that everyone who wants to attend a market day gets a chance.  So no two Saturday markets will give you the same experience.

This Saturday's crafters will be:

Rainbow Cakes and Bakes   Sue specialises in gluten free cakes, biscuits, scones and pies.  She also does a range of dairy free, lactose free and soya free products.

Far Horizons Roger will have a selection of his frames and unframed prints, as well as some smaller items eg fridge magnets and coasters with him on Saturday.

Sewing MANIA  Sheila will be there with a selection of her quilts, bags, sewing cases and other items.

Charlie Cards that's me.  Handmade greetings cards which can also be personalised on request.

Marcia's memories  Marcia hopes to have her handmade fudge again on Saturday, alongside her own patterns for bookart.  But if she runs out of fudge after Friday's market she will be there with her book art.  Either way she is happy to talk about and answer any questions you may have about book art.

Jennifer Kenyon  Jennifer is a local artist and this will be her first market day with Lev3l 3 Crafters.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Ginger and Purple?

Morning everyone

Well, true to my word I am trying to be good and post to my blog again so thought I would start by showing you a card I was asked to make for Mother's Day.

The lady who wanted this card was very specific - she wanted a particular handbag card using the purple paper I had used on a different style of handbag card, but she also wanted me to put a ginger cat onto it.   Hmmm ginger and purple together? 

I will let you judge for yourself - here is the finished card.

The purple paper is from Funky Hand, "Hearts and Flowers" and the ginger cat is from my Joanna Sheen cd "The Jane Netley Mayhew Collection Part 2".

I spotted that this week's challenge over on the CD Sunday Challenge Blog is "curious cats" which reminded me about this card so thought I might do something I haven't done for a long time and that is to enter the challenge.

Incidentally, the lady who asked for this card was delighted with it -phew!

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Sunday, 3 May 2015

Can't believe it's been two years!

Hello everyone - that's if anyone is still around!  I can't believe it's been almost two years since I updated my blog. And everything in blogland seems to have changed since then - for a start all the blogs I used to follow seem to have disappeared from my feed so will have to spend some time finding them again!

Two years ago I decided to try selling my cards - and my feet have hardly touched the ground since, I have to say.  I started out by setting up a Facebook page and another blog - also not been updated since late 2013.

In August 2013 I found a crafters market on the Fish Quay in North Shields and took a stall there for three days per week.  It wasn't ideal and not the best place for sales.  There was an indoor car boot sale downstairs and most of the customers seemed to think the craft market was also car boot - with the result that they also expected car boot prices.  But I did meet some lovely crafters who have remained friends.

Our original stall at Crafters Alley, The Fish Quay Fair, North Shields
 I was invited to have a stall at a Christmas craft fair in December 2013 - the venue for this was in a shop unit in Manor Walks Shopping Centre in Cramlington.  The shop unit was being used as a community hub and was (and still is) called The Venue.  I went along without any great expectations - and was shocked to find that I sold more cards there in one day than I did in a month down in Crafters Alley.  Because of the success of the craft fair in Cramlington it was decided to go ahead with plans to form a community crafting group - called Lev3l 3 Community Crafters - and I was invited to join them - which I did - and have never regretted.  Until March 2014 Tom (aka Mr Charlie) ran the stall in the Fish Quay and I concentrated on Cramlington.  Coming up to Easter that year we finally decided that the Fish Quay stall was never going to be financially viable and so we left there and now concentrate on Cramlington.  Sadly the Fish Quay Fair closed down in the summer of 2014.

The original Venue

 A bit about Lev3l 3 Crafters

From the time Lev3l 3 Crafters were formed at the end of 2013 membership has grown steadily in number.  We now have approx 30 local crafters who are part of our group.  

Charlie Cards at a Lev3l 3 Crafters Market Day March 2015
 In order to hold craft markets in The Venue we have to also provide community craft sessions/events - most notably for children.  We do this by holding Krafty Kidz sessions regularly - sometimes in the central mall of Manor Walks, and sometimes in The Venue.  Quite often these sessions are also linked to the release of a film at The Vue Cinema in Cramlington.  We had a really excellent turnout for Rio 2 during the summer of 2014.  We have also had events linked to Malificent and Paddington to name but two.  We usually charge just £1 for the kids to participate and the money always goes to our chosen charity for the year.  For 2015 this is The Guide Dog Association.  Part of the remit for joining our Lev3l 3 Crafters group is participating in the community crafting events as we are not a normal "craft fair".

Decorated Parrot for Rio2

Rio 2 finished project

Alice in Wonderland

Teddy Bear's Picnic

Mick, Director of Digital Community Youth under the influence of Malificent!
In addition to the kids' crafting we also have free weekly demo days each Thursday in The Venue.  These are drop in -drop out sessions and currently we have the lovely Sheila from Sewing MANIA who demonstrates patchwork and quilting techniques and more recently I have joined her to show everyone how I make my pop up box cards.  Another of our crafters, Kim from Vimbo Crafts also holds regular free sessions to show people the basics of crochet.

The lovely Sheila at one of the demo days
When Lev3l 3 Crafters were formed The Venue was based in a large double shop unit.  We started out holding one craft market a month but quickly realised that we needed to do more and so until the end of May 2014 we held twice monthly markets with 13 stalls in each.  In June 2014 The Venue had to relocate (a retailer wanted to rent the lovely double unit we were using) and so our current premises are only half the size - a single shop unit.  So from June 2014 we have held weekly craft markets there, with crafters taking turns to have a stall.  The two "fixed" stalls are Rainbow Cakes and Bakes and Charlie Cards (me) who are there every week - Sue from Rainbow Cakes and Bakes was the driving force behind Lev3l 3 Crafters (and is now Craft Director of Digital Community Youth Ltd, the organisation behind The Venue).  I'm not quite sure how it happened but I seem to be joint organiser of our events/crafting sessions and market days.

The (current) Venue on a Market Day
 As you can appreciate I am being kept pretty busy all round, and rarely get a chance to "play" any more, though I am determined to try and rectify that from now on - as well as updating at least one of my blogs!

So if anyone has actually managed to read this epistle, thank you for your patience!

Catherine x