Secret Seed Swap

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My other passion apart from illustration and crafts is gardening and when an opportunity arises for them to come together in some form or another I get pretty excited! So when I read about the Secret Seed Swap being organised by Lyndsey at What You Sow I knew I had to take part!

To make the basic packet I simply opened up an old seed packet to make a template and drew around it. The illustrations I drew in black pen first then coloured with watercolours. I added some handlettering using watercolours. (Excuse my scruffy work table!)

The instructions for sowing are on the back of each packet and I made little tiny envelopes for the seeds to go inside the packets to keep them safe! (labeled on the front!)

After I'd finished making them I thought I better wrap them up nicely since I put so much effort in creating them!

So I wrapped them up in some of my hand-printed wrapping paper made using some lino cuts and pigment ink. Which also led to making a little note card! I hope my swap partner likes their gift of seeds!

That's all for now! I hope you're inspired to make your own seed packets and give them away as gifts or take part in a seed swap. This project was a lot of fun to make and it'll keep on growing! ; )

Mollie Makes Doodled and Foiled Eggs

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I have to say it feels pretty great to have something you designed published in a magazine but it's always extra special when your work makes the cover! I was thrilled when I was approached by Mollie Makes (I'm a big fan!) and asked to do a project for this issue. I love Easter crafts, especially decorating eggs so this project was right up my street! I had to create doodle designs for some of the eggs and I had to foil some eggs too.

I used papier mache eggs (you could use real blown eggs too but they're a lot more delicate!) for my designs and painted them with white paint. There are so many possibilities with the doodles you could use for these and you could make them as simple or intricate as you like.

For the foiled eggs I was a little nervous about using metal leaf (I'd only used metal leaf flakes before) but I was surprised to discover it's not that hard at all! I did use proper size (glue) for metal leaf and applied that to the egg first, then I simply wrapped the metal leaf around it. It's really cool to buff your little golden eggs with a cloth! I love how the painted eggs with mottled foiling turned out too.

If you'd like to make your own doodled and foiled eggs, pick up a copy of issue 64 of Mollie Makes today to read more about the process, step-by-step photos included!  : )

Workshop at Craft Makers

Thursday, March 3, 2016

This Saturday the 5th of March (from 2-4pm) I'll be teaching a workshop at Craft Makers in Tralee, Co.Kerry. It's a beginners Block Printing workshop and you'll be learning how to make your own stamps from rubber carving blocks. You'll also learn the techniques of carving soft lino (much easier to cut than normal lino!) and printing your designs.

We'll be starting with carving the rubber blocks because it's very easy to carve, just to get you used to using the carving tools. Then we'll have some fun stamping with them before moving on to the soft lino and learning some more advanced techniques, showing you some of the creative possibilities, like making your own patterned paper, gift wrap and coordinating greeting cards.

Should be a fun crafty day for all. Hope to see you there if you're in the locality! : )

Quilled Easter Eggs

The March issue (154) of Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine is out now. For this issue I was commissioned to make some quilled Easter eggs! Purely quilled Easter eggs are quite a challenge to make and are not that robust, so the version I made still give the look and feel of a quilled egg but are still totally usable (to fill with yummy treats!) The base for the quilling is a split papier mache egg, painted with stripes and the quilled pieces are attached to this. I love how they turned out! There are full step-by-step photo instructions in the magazine, so pick up a copy today from your local newsagents to find out more!