Needle-felted Butterfly

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I hope you're all enjoying the holidays! I received some needle-felting supplies for Christmas along with some fabulous books. On St.Stephen's Day my mom, Isabelle and I all got around the kitchen table and spent the afternoon needle-felting, it was really nice for us all enjoy the same craft! We all made something different and I made this large butterfly!

It's a Peacock butterfly and it wasn't too tricky to make. I did have some help from these gorgeous books though! My attempts at wet felting weren't so successful but I'm going to give it another go, needle-felting I will definitely recommend though! It's lots of fun and great for all ages! : )

That's all for now! Enjoy the rest of the holidays and I hope you get to have some creative time! Stay warm and dry wherever you are, we're awaiting the arrival of another storm today, we could do without the rain, a lot of people are at risk from flooding. Fingers crossed it won't be too bad!

Lino cut Christmas card

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I decided to do a lino cut for my Christmas cards this year. It's been nearly 20 years since I've done any lino cutting, my last taste of it was back in school and I remember it being very hard to carve! I found some soft cut lino online and had my fingers crossed it'd be easier to work with! Thankfully it was!

I had a little scene in mind that I wanted to create, with a blackbird in a hedgerow (some festive foliage mixed in) some snowy hills and something local, I went with the wind turbines on the hills across from our house. So I sketched it out, scanned it in, tweaked it in Photoshop to give me an idea of what it would look like printed (I just inverted it!). Then I scaled it to fit the card blanks I had and printed a copy to transfer to my lino. I traced over the lines in pencil, placed it face down onto the lino and rubbed the back to transfer it.

Then I started carving. I still had my old tools from school, they weren't that sharp but I did have some new tools that I bought for stamp carving that worked really well. It took under an hour to carve out and it wasn't too hard.

I don't have any block printing inks yet so I just used some of my stamp ink pads and they worked pretty well. I tried out a few variations in black, red and a coffee brown on different coloured and textured cardstock.

This was the first batch I printed and they turned out better than I was expecting! Although I think I'll invest in some block printing inks and some new blades for future lino cuts just to make life a bit easier for myself! : ) Better go write the last of the Christmas cards!

Felting fun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I mentioned in my last post I was taking part in a felting workshop at the weekend, well I had such a great time! It was a two hour workshop in my hometown of Tralee at Craft Makers which has just recently opened, it's a beautiful building with a craft shop on the ground floor and workshop space upstairs. We did some sculptural needle felting, I made this little bird ornament and finished him off at home with some beads!

We also learned how to do wet felting and made some Christmas baubles. It was great to try both wet and dry felting, they're both so completely different. I couldn't pick one over the other!

I just loved how tactile the whole process was and I've already ordered some materials so I can do some more! I'm only just getting familiar with all the different types of wool you can get but I do like the slightly more coarse wool. Can't wait to visit Kerry Woolen Mills!

That's all for now, I'm just finishing off my Christmas cards. I did some lino cutting for my card this year, will share in my next post! Hope you're nearly ready for Christmas, I still have some shopping to do! : )

Kinetic Cards - Snow Angel and Gingerbread Man

Thursday, December 10, 2015

In the Christmas edition (issue 150) of Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine I was commissioned to design some really fun kinetic cards! These were quite the challenge to figure out and I played with several prototypes before I got the mechanism working right. It was tricky to get both the arms and legs moving at the same time and with a good range of motion. I also illustrated the little girl making snow angels and the gingerbread man for this. Both the templates for the mechanism and designs for the illustrations are at the back of the magazine.

That's all for now! I hope you're more prepared for Christmas than I am, I don't know where the time goes to! Oh, I'm taking part in a needle-felting workshop at the weekend, I can't wait to try it out! I'll let you know how it goes! : )