We’ve had quite a few of these pass through our shop over the years. Sewing has had something of a major renaissance in the past few years. Lots of talented people are even making an indie career out of it, selling on sites such as Etsy, Folksy and Dawanda.
*Isabel Hospice is a charity needing to raise nearly £4 million per annum to provide their free services to the people of eastern Hertfordshire. Their ethos is that they treat the whole person, not simply the illness. They offer a complete hospice service through their team of Community Nurse Specialists, a 16-bed, in-patient hospice, a day hospice, outreach day hospices, hospice at home and a family support and bereavement service.
Mosaic is one craft that I’ve always wanted to try out but never got around to doing. It’s fairly easy to do – or so it seems to me – and the financial outlay on materials isn’t huge. Mosaic can be made using pieces of wood, plastic, glass, stone or the usual ceramic. It’s been around for thousands of years BC.
Remember I said that I thought it was easy to do? Well, I scoured Etsy for homewares featuring mosaic and there was a lot of it available. But so much of it wasn’t terribly good! It looks like it’s not that easy to master after all! Here are some of the items whose quality of craftsmanship I aspire to be able to produce one day!
Last week we were glued to the new series of Stargazing over on BBC Two. It got us thinking about the popularity of the star as a motif in art, design and architecture. Just think of how many of the world’s flags contain one or more stars; the beauty of Van Gogh’s stunning Starry Night; and the 8-pointed star in Islamic architecture.
Here’s an Etsy List we put together of stars in interior decor & homewares.
It comes with all its accessories, instruction booklet and original box. I love the instruction where it says, “Thread cotton thus”! It’s available at the ‘buy it now’ price of £39.99 which includes postage and packing.
*CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people and their families. They provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They are there from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement.
We spent some time this week putting up our Christmas trees and decorations. We’ve got a glistening artificial copper tree on the top floor and a real spruce on the ground floor.
In addition to some shop bought baubles, I decided to make some home made Christmas decorations using salt dough, just 3 cheap & basic ingredients were needed. Plain flour, table salt and water – in easy to measure and remember volumetric quantities: 2-1-1. Two parts flour, one part salt, one part water. Measure out your mix using any cup, spoon, scoop or similar container depending on how much dough you want to whip up.
I used cookie cutters to make a few different shapes – stars, crescent moons, hearts, medallions. Before you pop them in the oven, don’t forget to use a skewer to make a hole in each if you want to hang them on your tree or wall!
I’ve seen instructions elsewhere on the ‘net that you can use either an oven or a microwave on its lowest setting to dry out your dough. I used both methods to compare & contrast. The microwave method was very quick – this batch was done in about six 1-minute bursts. The oven method was much, much slower – about 4 hours at 110°C/225°F/Gas mark ¼. You can see the difference between the two methods in the photo below – the microwave method made the shapes puff up (unevenly); I prefer the way the ones made in the oven turned out.
I had a few bits & bobs of shiny, crafty things stashed away that I thought I’d use to embellish – glitter, ribbon, beads and sequins.
I even had a spray can of gold paint – I can’t remember where or when I bought that – but it came in handy!
We have a copper Christmas tree that these will look great on!
But my favourite salt dough decorations I made are these two garlands – very Scandi!
We’ve just gathered some lovely holly with nice red berries on one of our dog walks – and our garden is full of ivy with the most beautiful seed heads that look exploding stars. That will bring seasonal nature indoors and provide the perfect finishing touch.