Wednesday, November 18, 2009

perhaps the least deadly mafia around....

As many of you know I regularily attend an event called Lo-Fi FIY which is run by Manchester Craft Mafia... its a fun and friendly night where you can go to craft and learn new skills.

I've been going for just over a year now... and led a skill swap a few months ago, showing people how I make my fabric and paper portraits.

Anyway, last month Mike from Wythenshawe FM came to see us and interviewed myself and Nico (who runs the events).

Check out Mike's blog for a clip of me and Nico talking crafts... as well, lots of clips from his work with Wythenshawe FM.

Monday, November 9, 2009

sunday craft-in on the cheap.

I must say, there is nothing better than a cold autumn sunday spent crafting and cooking a roast... and what better to accompany a whole afternoon of work than watching Gone With The Wind is all its amazing nearly-four-hour glory!

Ahh.... a perfect sunday in.

Now, make it even a little better because you are crafting and eating on the cheap!

The Meal: Roast Pork Neck Fillet (cheap from the butchers, and made from a Jamie magazine recipe)
The Craft: turn a few rolls of clearance sticky back plastic into a total flat make over.

Ta Da!

Here's how to do it...

Draw a rough design of what you want for your wall (I obviously have a fixation with trees and bird silhouettes and shadows, so naturally this craft lends itself to my own design interests....)... but you can do virtually anything. Basically if it has a recognizable shape and/or casts a shadow, you can craft it.

If you don't feel confident with your own drawing skills... cheat a bit with google images or... log on to fontface a site with tons of free fonts - many of which are not letters at all, but interesting shapes and silhouettes!

Then measure out your drawing, measure your wall, work out a rough scale, cut out the shapes and mount them on the wall.

Ok, so I glossed over those steps for ease - but really, it can be as easy or complicated as you want it to be. If you aren't very confident start with something simple.

For this craft I free-cut the trees as I mounted them piece by piece, measuring each end to make sure the pieces lined up - and then I randomly cut the holes and knots to give a birch tree effect.

The birds are a combination of images of birds I found online, and a bird font I found online as well... I then enlarged them to the right proportions.

Once you have gently laid all the pieces in the right place and you are happy with it, run your library card/credit card over the whole thing to make sure there are no air bubbles and everything is well stuck on.

Note: This is a temporary decor idea, which will stay up as long as you want it to (as long as you don't leave any huge air bubbles)... if you use the right products, they will peel off without pulling the paint... when you are ready to take them down, just use a hair dryer to warm up the plastic (as instructed on the packaging) and it will be far less likely to ruin any paint job.

all this for only £6.48? not a bad sunday afternoon in my books!

And if you are watching films and making nice food, why not share it with some friends who can lend a hand and advise on turning your ideas into a mock-mural.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

crafts to indulge with!

In prep for an opportunity to teach some courses with a local craft school, I've whipped up some little treats to prove that you don't have to go to high street shops and spend lots of money to indulge yourself.

PLUS, I think these little things are just plain nicer and better than what you can buy at poshy high street shops.

For less then thirty quid you can buy all the stuff to make these delights... it may seem like a lot to spend, but a little goes a long way and the recipes I've worked out, make quite big batches!

Here i've whipped a few cupcake bathbombs (scented with lavender), some body butter massage melts made with cocoa butter and coconut oil, and some orange scented tea cup candles... a whip through town and a trip to a charity shop is all you need to make these beauties.

I shaped the body butter melts to look like chocolates... to tie the look of everything together.

Plus as a varation in preparation for Christmas, I've made a few more scented with orange, ginger, cranberry and other nice spices to make Christmas Pudding bath bombs... although perhaps its just a little too early to be consumed enough by the Christmas spirit to bathe in the scent of a cheeky little pudding.