Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creative Spotlight - Lisa @ Oodles of Obliciousness!

Hey folks!
I have another "creative spotlight" for you today! Yay!
It's great chilling out at the weekend, and catching up on blogs and forums ... it's amazing how many fabulous peeps I read about.

Lisa is amazing with seed beads, she has been beading for a lot less time than I have - and she must have the pateince of a saint, because all the projects i see her working on with seedbeads require patience (that I know I have not got) and such an amazing creative eye.

 My most favourite project of Lisa's is one that has been very recent ... called Siamese Dreams.
Beautiful eh?

 I love following Lisa's BLOG, there's always a good read. She shows great pictures of projects in WIP as well as a sprinkling of life too!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Farnsworth Munsell Test

Have you ever had you eyes tested for colour?
I think most of us would have had experience with the "Ishihara / colour blind" tests ...

It's still quite amazing to think that 8% of all men have some level of colour blindness, whereas the percentage within women stands at 0.4% 

Well, where I work - colour matching and discriminating within the slightest shades of colour is an important factor of the leather that we create. Our product must pass colour tolerances, as the colour of the leather must match and/or compliment the other components in the car.

Have you ever thought about that when getting into a car? that each component has had not just its physical properties and appearance approved - but the colour too ... and each one is designed/approved with the others in mind.

So, in this industry - the colour tests we take are more detailed and designed to make us see where our weaknesses and strengths are. 

Recently, I took the "Farnsworth-Munsell" test. Not that I colour match as part of my job, but different eyes perceiving colour differently helps when we are submitting leather for colour approval. opinions are important at this point of the process.
Before the test, I really had no confidence in how my eyes saw colour. I was reluctant to give opinions because it is so subjective, so I took the test out of curiosity and to know where my weaknesses are so I could participate more in this subject in the future.

The test consists of 4 colour boards, each with little colour discs. the discs at the end of the rows are there as your start/end point ... and the other discs come out, get mixed up as mch as scrabble tiles - and then it is your job to put them back in the right place. The test is taken in Daylight, and you are against the clock.

Well, I have to admit - I was pleasantly suprised. I got only one wrong! Yes! just one ... on the "purple/blue" board. and I have been classes as having "superior colour discrimination" I am chuffed, I never had thought my eyes could have distinguised so well.

Here are my results ...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Talenthouse Competition - Shameless plug for votes and support!

Hey everyone!

Just a quick post to let you know that I have entered a jewellery competition through I have submitted my cluster pendants and put them forward for the vote! *chews anxiously on fingernails*

Click here to see my submission!

The voting does not start for another 43 days ... yes .... that seems like ages away ... but you can register your support now by clicking the "Support Nicola" button - and then you will get a quick reminder when voting opens so you can go back and register your vote for me (if you choose to do so of course ... did i say this was a shameless plug?! ah oh yes ... of course ... !)

Your support would be amazing, thanks so much!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to make a ribbon rosette brooch! - FREE TUTORIAL!

Today, I have for you just a very quick tutorial :)
How to make a ribbon rosette brooch!

What you need:
Glue Gun
Needle & Thread

Pleated Ribbon (You can also make your own - click here to learn how)
Brooch back
Piece of leather (or stiff piece of felt, laceys stiff stuff - must be nice and firm)
Button or cabochon for centre piece


First, cut your base material into a circle to use as the base of your brooch.
(remember, you don't need to use leather for this - felt and.or laceys stiff stuff would work great)

Sew on the brooch back, whilst you are heating up your gluegun
working from the outside in, run a rim of heated glue
and stick your ribbon around the edges. continue to glue and spiral
the ribbon towards the inside of the circle. Once you are close to the middle,
cut the ribbon.

if you are using a button with a shank for the middle focal. snip the shank
with pliers so then it will sit well in the middle
Glue the button on!

Simple eh? really really really simple!
remember if you do not want to make the pleated ribbon yourself, you can buy the ribbon already pleated from the internet! (like i did ... !)

Experiment with sizes, different ribbons, different buttons ...
use them as brooches, as keyrings, handbag charms ...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Creative Spotlight - Helen at Blue Fairy Designs

Ooooh what have I got for you today? ... Another Creative Spotlight! *yay!*
I have really been enjoying writing about my crafty friends and aquaintances - I adore their work so much and I rate them so highly!

So - another treat for you (and for me because I'm the one writing!)
Today I'm introducing you to Helen at Blue Fairy Designs!

Another outstanding glass artist, from making glass wall art ...

to beautiful glass beads ...

amazingly beautiful fused glass jewellery ...

and looka t this glass plate ... stunning design ...
with amazing details ...
so mezmerising!

If you want to become a fan of Helens ... you can find her on the webby at many locations :)


Operation Kindle #2 - How to make a hollow book! - FREE TUTORIAL!

I love my kindle (yeah you probably have already gathered this!) I have read so many books recently that it has become a comfort blanket for me. I nearly always have it with me - and when I can steal a moment for myself and my kindle, well then i'll take it.

I can be in the best of company - and I imagine I am becoming quite rude and unsociable, but OK, I don't mind being in the pub with my fella and his buds, but if the talk becomes too technical (about beer/football... etcetera) then whilst they're supping booze, i'll be more than happy to curl up in the corner, order a cuppa tea and start reading!!!

I think i am going to have to start separating myself from it ... leave it at home and go cold turkey on it so when I am out in company, I can concentrate on friends, regardless of how technical the subject may become. (!)

So, my previous kindle case project CLICK HERE TO SEE, is still going strong and indeed it is still getting compliments and doing it's job very well indeedy - but, you know ... I had the urge to create a hollow book for it too :)

Hollow books are to keep your valued treasures in, and my kindle may be replaceable, but it is still a  treasure. Also, it is kinda ironic ... a book ... to protect it's big bad nemesis.

Last weekend, I went to the Stuttgart fleamarket. They have one every Saturday in the city centre - so i went mooching for old books that would be a comfortable fit. Concentrating on thickness, width and length - I sized up my kindle so it would fit well within it. (I opened the book at it's first page and made sure that it sat well on it and still had a healthy border of book all around it).

It must have been a good day ... because I found 3 books!

  • Book (Hardcover) size suited to what you need/want
  • Paintbrush
  • Modpodge / PVA clear drying water based glue
  • Scalpel

When the book is closed ... start gluing the eges of the book - like so ... all the way round.

put pressure on it whilst it is drying. Using some form of weight, I used the door stop :)

Once dry ... Open book and mark out with a pencil the outline you would like ... do not go too close to the edge if you can help it.

and then ... get your scalpel at the ready ... start cutting, around the edges.

Keep on going until you have a hollow hole, as deep as you need it to be - in the right size. remember if you are making something to be a snug fit (like me and my kindle) - to keep that handy so you can check that you are cutting the right size and shape!

After a while - you will really see it start to take form.
Once you are happy with the size and shape. Glue the inside paper rims that you have cut and leave to dry. This will strengthen the pages more so.

So - really, then you are finished! Simple eh?
A hollow book, snug fit for your kindle (would be perfect for iphone, ipad too!)
or just a hollow book to hide some other treasure you may want to keep in an unsuspecting place.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Creative Spotlight - Jolene at Kitzbitz Art Glass :)

Today, I am doing a creative spotlight on Jolend at Kitzbitz Art Glass. Not only is she the chief boss woman of the amazing Craft Pimp - Craft Forum - she is also very talented on the crafty and glassy side of life!

Her glass beads are beyond beautiful ...
She is a pillar of the lampworking community, she runs tests and experients for "CiM" glass which are priceless guides and advice for other glass artists.

She also provides fabulous handmade glass supplies for lampwork artists too ... Check out her "FRIT N CHIPS" etsy shop for arraysof beautiful glass supplies in a rainbow of colours.

and she doesn't stop there ... her polymer clay creations are also to be admired, and my goodness she must have so much patience! *lol* For her polyclay and glass beads - check out her other Etsy shop kitzbitz.

Not surprisingly, she has a massive following on Blogger and Facebook, I recommend highly that you do too! I wish i could show you everything that she makes and creates, as she picks up inspiration from everywhere, and creates to prove it! To really get the jist of what she creates, and how amazing the range of creations are - her FLICKR album is a delight to see!

Thanks to Jo for being an amazing inspiration - it was so hard to select some of my favourite pieces to show (truth is there were so much more!)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Creative Spotlight - HazelB (Handweaver Extraordinaire!)

You know - sometimes I find it hard to believe how amazing some people are when it comes to crafts - sometimes I come across people who don't just craft ... they master an element of craft that I have never even pondered. Such as Hazel... Which is why I am so happy to run a Creative spotlight on her today.

Hazel, uses looms to create really exquisite scarfs, shawls and other weaved goods ... Click here to see an insight to her weaving sheds and how she works :)

Beautiful scarves ...
and beautiful silk scarves ...

really, honestly - simply - I am in awe!
Handwoven silk wrap using handpainted silk yarn and a co ordinating silk thread.

The inspiration for this wrap came from a visit to Lake Vyrnwy last winter. It was bitterly cold and the lake had partially frozen. The ice was reflecting an unusual blue colour.

Approx 22" wide x 73" long
Really amazing eh?
Maybe there is a green scarf that matches my shade of envy ... hehehe!
I am completely besotted with all of her creations.

Before I go ... let me tell you where you can find her and her lovely work ... so you can become addicted too!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Planes, Trains and Automobiles ...

Hey Everyone!
Well it's been a few weeks since I last posted ... that is because sometimes I get really distracted and I do fall of the grid and go M.I.A every now and again.
There is always a reason. This time - it was work.
I have been travelling rather heavily and frequently recently to Hungary - the company I work for has a factory there and I have a particular project that means I need to be there a lot at the moment. The project is nearing an end though - I have made great progress and I am hoping to be back into my usual swing by the end of May.

There's so much I haven't yet had the time to do ... I have not yet make my "stash challenge" piece, there are a few more "creative spotlight" blog posts I want to catch up on and tell you about some more wonderful artists ... these will come, I promise.  I also have a few more craft projects in mind that I need to get on with too - so i'll blog about these too!
I have missed you all, I will get as much back on form asap with all my favourite forums and blogs ...

but before I go - here are a few pictures that represent a travelling day for me ... they happen very frequently! I chose a "travelling-home" day ... they are always the happiest!

Get Up, go for breakfast ... Kindle and a cuppa!

Check out and say goodbye to the hotel

Get to work, soak up some sunshine rays before going indoors

work ... work ...

Leave work ... get into the hot wheels hire car

Get on the road ... bye bye Szolnok!

Get to Budapest Airport ... chill out and find my way to the business lounge

free refreshments in the business lounge :)

Get to Gate, read kindle whilst waiting to board

Get on plane, chill out, daydream out of the window

Stuttgart :)

Get the train home

It's probably going to be a few more weeks before my routine really gets back to normal, but I will be trying to get back into the habit of popping into blogs and forums more so in the evenings than i have been doing recently!

Love to all