Friday, December 28, 2012

Week Six: New Year's Celebration

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and if you're like me the Christmas celebrations are still ongoing! I hope all of your celebrations are wonderful.

This week's project is in honour of the next special day we're all heading towards at a rapid rate, which of course is the New Year!

To welcome in 2013 I went for a cityscape with fireworks
I went for nice bright colours to make the fireworks nice and celebrate-y

So, I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you have a great time celebrating the beginning of 2013! See you next year/week for a project that might flutterby...


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A belated week 3: 3D Gnome!

So, as you may have read in my week 4 post, this post was intentionally not shared until now because I wanted to give this quilled item to someone on Christmas day, and I didn't want her to see it until then. So, now that she has him in her possession, I can happily share pictures of him with you all!

He's a happy little Gnome!

He's so tiny he's only just taller than the grass! His pointy little hat helps him to stand out though. I told his owner to make sure she doesn't add him to her outdoor collection, he's a bit to delicate for the work of a regular gnome. Maybe he can guard her desk?

I love his curly beard, and the thoughtful look on his face. I don't know if gnomes normally have pointy ears, but I thought maybe he could be a gnome-elf hybrid for the sake of Christmas.

He was worth the wait, wasn't he? Next week, we are going to see fireworks to celebrate New Years!

Merry Christmas everyone :)


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week Five: Nativity Scene

A day late, I know. I'm flakey. Let's move on.

This week's is short, sweet and simple, and is in theme for this week's coming special day.

It's simple but I think it does the trick. I added extra stars with a gold pen as I didn't want other quilled stars to complicate the scene.
I think the minimalist imagery is appropriate, a more detailed depiction of the scene would need to be done on a much larger scale to be done well.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, I hope you have a lovely week. Next week's project will celebrate the New year!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 4: Christmas Wreath

You may be wondering, 'What about week 3 Renata, you said something exciting about 3D quilling, and then it never showed up!'

Well, yes. You are correct, I have not posted last week's project yet. I did it, and it was successful, and adorable. But here's my dilemma: I want to give it to someone, and I don't want her to see it ahead of time. I'm going to give him (there's a hint for you) to her for Christmas, so I've decided I'm going to wait until after she has received him to post about it. It'll be out of order, I know, but it'll be worth it.

I considered coming on last week to explain all of this, but I hate putting up posts without any pretty pictures to look at, so I decided to wait for this one to explain.

Now, on to this week's project:

I've made Christmas Wreath cards before, and this is almost exactly the design I usually do, so it's not been an exciting new venture like the orchid or 3D quilling, but I'm happy with adding a Christmas classic to the stockpile :)

This time I added some mistletoe on top with a different leaf technique to my norm. What do we think?

Next week we're in our last week of Christmas Quilling for the year, with a nice little nativity scene card, nothing too fancy as I'll be busy getting ready for Christmas Day!!!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

52 Quilled Items in a Year, Card Two: Angel

As we are now officially in December, it's time to start doing more Christmas quilling!

This week our quilled item is this lovely angel:

I wanted to have her play some sort of instrument, but I struggled to work out how to do the one I wanted, but I've put it down as a possible future quilling project, and had her hold a little rose instead.

I'm also filling some orders for my paper snowflake ornaments this week, busy busy busy!

Stay tuned for next week, when I'll be taking my first step into the world of 3D quilling!!!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

52 Quilled Items in a Year, Card One: Orchid

Let's get the year of weekly quilling started!

So, as I mentioned, a customer commented on wanting to see me do a quilled orchid, and so as this was the first thing anyone suggested to me I thought I'd make it my first week's quilling project.

It wasn't easy, I had to do my research first! I'm really happy with how it turned out. Have a look!

 I decided it didn't need any scrapbook paper to embellish, it deserves all the attention.

I love it. I this might become part of my repertoire!

Next week we're going to a Christmas theme and we'll probably stay there for a few weeks, but we're kicking it off with an angel.


Monday, November 19, 2012

A Quilling Reprise

I've been quilling again!

When my lovely mother in law suggested I crack out the old quilling stuff and join her in a table at a Christmas craft market, I happily accepted.

my top seller: snowflake ornaments

But, I am a slow quiller. I don't know how long it takes other quillers, but to make a really nice card it can take me about three hours in total, and I imagine that would be slow. Maybe I just need more practice.

Which brings me to the point of this post: after weeks of scrambling to make as much as I could for the market, I ended up with 23 cards, 24 snowflakes, and a bowl full of gift tags, and that's it. Some of the cards were lovely, but several were definitely not up to my standard as I had rushed through making them. While the amount was plenty to fill my little space, if I was ever to take part in one where I had more space, I would be horrified to have had that little stock of such varying degrees of quality. As I thought about this a marvellous idea came to me: what if I had made just one card a week for a whole year before I do a market again?

I'd end up with at least 52 cards to sell, of a good quality, and I wouldn't have to panic or rush myself. Snowflakes are easy, quick, and fun, so I could handle making lots of them in the weeks leading up to a market, and not needing to spend nearly as much of that time on card making would mean I would end up with more of the snowflakes made too!

So that's what I'm going to do, starting this week: one good quality card a week, and I'll share them here on my blog.

I'm compiling a list of themes/subjects for these cards as a sort of 'inspiration bank', so that during the semesters next year I don't end up in a busy school week with no idea of what to quill, I can just make a withdrawal from my inspiration bank and get going. Is there anything you'd like to see me create?


I've already decided that one week I'll do a framed piece instead of a card, as one of my ideas is just a bit too complicated for a card, but framed items can go up for sale in a market too.

I hope you're all looking forward to watching this challenge unfold!

One customer suggested that she'd like to see an orchid, so I've popped that at the top of my list. Need to do a bit of research on that one. Please let me know, either here in the comments or on my facebook page, what you'd like to see in quilled form. When I've got all 52 card ideas I'll share it.

Stay tuned also to my Facebook page for a Christmas give away!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Beach Christmas: Invitation Design

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to find some way to incorporate beach huts into our Christmas theme, and I've come up with at least one of the ways we'll do it: the invitations!

I drew this in Paint (the computer program, not the artistic medium), and did a few of the tricky bits in Photoshop. Beach huts decorated with wreaths and Christmas lights! This will be on the front of the invites. It makes me smile :)

Inside will be a silly little poem I've written to explain (at least part of) the reason for our theme. I may use the beach hut picture in other ways too, perhaps I could turn it into little paper cutlery holders? Not sure yet.

Fiddling in Photoshop, as I like to do, I was trying different filters on the picture, and while this in no way fits my theme and I won't be using it, this one was just so cute I thought I'd share it with you.

Isn't it fun? So bright and magical, like they're made of brightly coloured rope lights.

I'll be back soon to share more fun with you. There's another Pinterest-related post on its way, this time of a foodie nature!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beach Christmas - Paper Ornaments

*If you have been directed here from my Facebook link blunder, click here to see the Christmas Wreath.

Yesterday I took the afternoon off from university to spend some time crafting, and I'm really happy with some of what came out of the day.

We'll start with my favourite:

keeping with my colour scheme, we've got the aqua/teal colour in the pinwheel at the back, with some flowers made of napkins (sticking to my attempt to avoid buying very much for these ornaments!), and a quilled circle centre. You can't really see the glitter but the pinwheel is edged with glitter glue and then the quilled centre is coated in glitter also.

A paper ornament honouring the land of the language I love so much, we have a Paris doily ornament, hung with ribbon.

Now this skinny number is made with a tassle I removed from another purchase that it just didn't suit (in my opinion). I made some little quilled beads, and added a little doily (current squished up against the cabinet there, but it won't sit like that on the tree), and a ribbon up top. I change between loving this and thinking it's bin-worthy. We'll see what happens.

I've already got about four other quilled snowflakes that I made a long time ago, but now I've got these two as well:


Loving the stripey peach paper I used for the first one. So bright and fresh.

I haven't made the rest of my burlap/hessian and lace placemats yet, but there'll be time for that in the near future, I'm sure, and I'll post photos of them when I have.

Have a lovely day,


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fairy Dust

I recieved a gift from the fairies!

Fairy Dust!

I'm so lucky! I'm going to have to save it and only use it for very special wishes. I think I should do something to thank them don't you? Perhaps a gift in return...

Today I've been crafting more decorations for my 'Beach' Christmas, and I'll post about that tomorrow when they're dry and pretty and have posed nicely for my camera. I really enjoyed making them; sometimes I think making things is a better therapy than anything else, don't you? Better than burying my head in a chocolate cake anyway.

See you tomorrow,


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fairy Magic Two - Adventures in Lilac Hollow

One day the fairies of Lilac Hollow were very lucky to have some visitors!

She of the not-so-green thumb introduced some friends to the fairies, and these friends brought the fairies some gifts.
...some beautifully scented lavender...

...umbrellas for the fairies to use when it rains...

...and some beautiful purple baby's breath. These gifts were all very much appreciated and enjoyed by the fairies, but the baby's breath was their favourite. She of the not-so-green thumb was relieved to see this gift, as she knew it would keep her fairies out of trouble!

You see, in another part of the garden is a large plant full of little purple flowers, and the fairies loved to go and pick them.

However, in that garden was the home of a grumpy old Goblin who didn't like it when the fairies took his flowers, and he'd chase after them with a stick!

But with their own plant of tiny purple flowers the cheeky fairies won't need to take the goblin's flowers anymore.

The End.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Christmas 2012: Baby-Proof Beach Theme!

I am the Mummy of a clever, mischievous toddler. And a small house.

For a moment, I considered skipping decorating for Christmas at all, but that was too sad. He deserves a magical Christmas every year of his life.

Plus, this year one side of our family will be having the Christmas gathering here, so we really couldn't skip decorations or a tree. So I have started planning...

First, how do we avoid the whole tree getting knocked over or falling on top of baby? Well, we don't have room for my prefered method of putting a play pen around it, so I'm using my own unique method. There is this weird banister thingy in our house, and the tree will be tethered to this. Problem one solved.

Next, I would be sad (not to mention panicked, stressed and possibly bleeding or being bled on!) if any of my glass ornaments broke. It's just a hazard I'm not willing to risk. So, how can I do christmas without my ornaments, and without spending lots of money on new ones?

As I was stewing on this, inspiration came from a random place - my new tablecloth.

I'd bought a matching table runner for the table on the patio, and some other knick-knacks to match. I loved the colour scheme so much I decided this would be the colours of alterna-Christmas.

Looking at those colours made me think of the beach. Theme found! That way, the majority of decorations are made from free things like shells and driftwood. That certainly fits my budget!

Note how this tiny collection that I already had includes pieces that look like angel wings? It's all coming together...

But, I don't want sand in or near my house. No thank you, so how could I incorporate the colour of sand without it? Hessian/Burlap!

Before I knew it, I'd come up with these hessian/burlap and lace placemats. Aren't they simple yet puuurrrdy?! And the best part - so easy to make, and they work out to cost about $1.20 each, if that :) so making 20 is no big deal!

I'm attempting to make it so that no two placemats are decorated the same.

I'll be using the hessian/burlap and lace and other ribbons and such within my colour scheme to make ornaments for the tree (though some lace will simply be tyed to the tree in bows), all of which I will share with you as I make them. There'll be quilled ornaments again too! I also have plans for lots of paper pom-poms, a paper lantern or two, our usual fairy lights, and a lighthouse :) I've pinned a million pinterest things too, and hopefully I'll find time to do a couple of those ideas too. Still trying to dream up a way to have old fashioned beach huts somewhere in the theme (not life-sized of course!).

Lovely candle holders and pretty smelling tealights will also be on the tables.

I am looking forward to doing some beach combing for shells and driftwood, but I feel weird about using real starfish, because it makes me sad to think people might collect and kill living starfish and seahorses just so I can decorate my table : / so I'm seeking a way to make them instead. Where there's a will there's a way!

I'm only about half way through my placemats, but I'm so glad I thought of it and could do it now, 'cause I really wouldn't have time in December!

Stay tuned for more Beach Christmas decoration prettiness :)


Fairy Magic!

Once upon a time there was a woman with a big garden but a not-so-green thumb, and she did the bare minimum to make sure her house didn't look like it was inhabited by cave-people, but otherwise ignored her greenery.

...But then one night, a brave fairy snuck into her house and came to her while she was asleep, and whispered a request in her ear. The fairy needed a new and beautiful place to live, and so did lots of her friends. They needed protection from dogs and lawnmowers and other people, but most of all from the goblins that live in the area.

And so,the following day she of the not-so-green thumb ventured out to her garden and searched for the right spot for such a haven. She took time collecting all the plants and things needed for the fairy garden, and spent hours digging and pulling out tree roots and rocks and putting in fresh soil and compost, and then she planted all the flowers she had collected, with the help of her assistant gardener Hilde.


She wondered what this little fairy village should be called...Lilac Hollow was the name chosen.

Then, only a day or two later, she was watering the garden when she spotted a tiny purple flower springing from a white flowered plant! She was surprised, but took this to be a message from the fairies that they liked the name.

After laying down a fresh bed of mulch and some little pebbles for the fairies to find their way, it was the fairies' time to set to work, creating a sign and a little house for them to sleep in when it is too cold to sleep on the flowers.

They were given a gift of some magical elf glue by a friendly family of elves that live near by, and some sticks by the pixies that live in the not-so-green thumb's front garden. Before long they had a cosy dwelling to sleep in, with room for plenty more, and even a bigger door than they needed in case the pixies (who are quite a bit taller) or other friends ever feel like visiting.

Finally they were all settled in to their new home, and look forward to caring for the garden and watching their beautiful flowers grow.

The End.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gone Vintage!

Yes, I know, I've changed the blog's image for like the 30th time. And I'll keep doing that until it's perfect. Now I think the background is too mod and I'll need to make a new one. Surely it'll seem right to me one day.

But for now I just plain don't have time to make a new one, so we'll all just have to live with this, okay? There are two important jobs I've been avoiding, and then there's my darn uni studies slowing this whole show down.

But, stay tuned as there is a reason for this vintage change! The next few posts will be decidedly vintagey.

I hate posting something without a picture of some sort. So here's a flower from my garden - Spring has sprung early here!

I wish you could all smell it, it is devine.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Ribbon and Pearl Bracelet Part II


I don't know who painted tiny little flowers and butterflies on every second bead of my new bracelet, but whoever it is, they are incredible and I love them. Just magical.

In fact, I quite like how they look together!


Pinterest - Pearl and Ribbon Bracelet

I may have been the last woman on the planet to join pinterest.

Okay, that's an exaggeration I know plenty of ladies that aren't on pinterest, and to you I say: hold out as long as you can - it's addictive as hell and lands you doing projects that have nothing to do with anything you should be doing. Except maybe dinner.

I've been on it for like a week and already I've pinned like two hundred things, made baby-friendly (ie edible) poster paint, a chicken dinner that put some sort of magic spell on me with its deliciousness, and made this bracelet. What next??

The bracelet had a link that I attempted to follow and it seemed to lead nowhere, so I typed in the link shown on the picture and I still didn't find it, but going by the website I'd say there were no written instructions there anyway. So I made it up.

Here is the link to the original pinterest pin, in case anyone wants to accuse me of not giving due credit:

My bead shop is so awesome I nearly bought enough glass pearls to make like ten of these, but then I caught myself and scaled it back to a healthy two or three. So only like double what I intended to buy. And this is why I don't go there very often.

As you can see I didn't go for the cream and navy look, it's lovely but not really me. I found these cool pale aqua pearls with a pinky shine to them, and found and old bit of pink ribbon in my ribbon box, and voila!

You'll have to excuse the ridiculous nails, I just see so many cool nail designs on pinterest that I felt like joining in, in the most pathetic and non artistic way possible. But they're pretty colours and some how I have had them un-chipped for over 24 hours, which in my world is a small miracle. But this gives you an idea of the size of the bracelet.

The only complication with this bracelet is the fact that you need to tie a bow to do it up, and I managed to do that, but it'd probably look better if you could con someone else to tie it up for you. I suppose you could forego this issue by making it have a normal, easy clasp, but I really liked the whole pretty bow thing. Too cute.

The other beads I've bought are lovely, some of them handpainted (by NOT ME, someone much cleverer than me), and if that one turns out well I'll sneak back to show you that one too. And if anyone needs instructions beyond looking at the pinterest thing and my pictures, just ask and I'll do a 'how to' post as well.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beautiful Rejects

Maybe I'm a little rusty at this whole art thing. Or maybe I'm new to this 'art to order' deal and I'm still fine tuning my ear to what people are asking for.

My first attempts at a couple of jobs recently have been things that I thought were lovely and enjoyed making, but they weren't what the 'client' wanted; they didn't suit the asthetic of the project. So I thought I'd share the rejects here to allow them their own day in the sun before they get put away to gather dust on a shelf.

The first one was my first attempt at my first illustration for the second book I'm illustrating. Thinking about it now I see how it really doesn't fit the book, but perhaps it would be the sort of thing that will fit other work in the future. Or maybe I'll just write a book to fit it one day.

The next two are the second and third attempts at a logo I'm making for a fabulous new business that I'm sure I'll be advertising here on my blog one day soon, and I really like these but what we've gone for now is better. These are just first drafts of course, I wasn't going to work at logo quality before I knew I was on the right track!

I'm sure there'll be more beautiful rejects in my future, so this will probably not be the last post of this nature.

The point is I had fun drawing them.