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Top of the Mornin’ to Ya, Liebste Freind! or Yay! I have my very own Pocket Shrine®

I can’t believe the scheduled  posts I prepared to go out during my hiatus are out already.

I’ll be updating you on some of the things I’ve been working on in my next post, but today I wanted to share with you a beautiful gift I got from a dear friend 🙂

On Friday I received a package that brightened up my day.

Dear Guylty has gifted me with:

The first John Thornton Pocket Shrine®!

John Thornton Pocket shrine

In years to come my grandchildren will take it to The Antique Roadshow and it’ll be priced a staggering amount of money, but will never be worth as much as it does to me now!

John Thornton Portable shrine 2

In addition, I also received some Thornton’s chocolates that will NOT end up in my belly, but will grace my Shelves of Shame Admiration.

Heres how the shelves are shaping up:

Armitage admiration shelves 1

This gift brightened up my day and reminds me just how special the friendships I’ve made among our little community of friends are!

Now, Frau Guylty, I have my thinking /creative cap on, but I doubt I’ll come up with anything quite so adorable 🙂

Being on pins and needles about The Hobbit

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Hello my lovelies,

I’ve been MIA for the past few days but I have a good excuse.

As some of you know, I’m partial to the odd craft project, but I think I’ve found one that has been consuming most of my free time (not to mention relaxing me into oblivion…).

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Yes, I seemed to have slipped into middle-age and am passionate about cross-stitching, so don’t you dare judge me!

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For those who don’t know what the heck that is, I suggest you check out this tutorial that generally talks you through this easy, not to mention inexpensive, hobby.

Seriously, it’s the most fun I’ve had in ages, with or with out my clothes off and I’d prefer you think I was joking because the alternative is a bit disturbing…

It all started so innocently when I decided to cross-stitch some images I could then glue into a ring of brooch.

Then I moved on to larger designs and now I’m consumed by it.

Imagine me with my thread and canvas, with an Armitage audiobook playing in the background.

Sheer bliss 🙂

Anyway, you may wonder why I am boring you more than usual and this is the reason:

The Hobbit cross-stitch patterns!

It’s An Unexpected Hobby, the Desolation of Free Time, going There and Back agin with your needle and thread!

Check out this amazing pattern:

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I’ve been honing my skills in the past few days in order to try my hand and this snazzy design.

XStitchMyHeart is selling this amazing pattern of Etsy and I want it my precious!

If that’s not your tumbler of mead, how about this Hobbit design:

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Adorable, no?

Both cost around 3GBP and I don’t know which one I want, so I’m afraid I shall end up trying both… oh, just noticed the seller has a sale on- 3 designs for 6GBP 😉

If you don’t want to spend a penny on patterns, the internet is a wonderful resource for cross-switchers and  this Hobbit house stitch pattern is no exception:

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It doesn’t come with a colour legend, but then I think that’s what makes this project fun, although the amount of shades is specifies.

And for something a bit more challenging, how about a 28 different DMC color pattern:

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I’m not ready to slay this particular dragon, I’ll let it sleep deep in my hobby layer…

As I relax with my thread and Richard’s soothing voice, I hope you have a wonderful day too!

I saw Something Fine: Crafty Thorin Stockingface

RAflash event

Today marks the start of the RA Flash Fan Event that will run starting Monday 13th of January and last a week.

You can find the list of all the posts from this event here.

The theme is I Saw Something Fine which we can interpret whichever way we like.

I had already scheduled this post and teased Guylty that I have a little surprise for her today, so let’s pretend I heard “I Saw Something Fine” and the following project sprung to mind 😉

Let’s be honest, Thorin has inspired many others to create very beautiful (or very dodgy) stuff, and he sure is fiiiine, so I say it fits!

basic stuff

I’d been meaning to create a lil’ Thorin for some time, one that would complement the ever growing Thorin Book guards that see my off as I head out to work each day.

I had already gathered up all the necessary elements (yarn, felt and such) in autumn, but RL didn’t lend itself to arts and crafts.

With absolutely no plan in place and a very vague memory of doing cute little stocking faces when I was a child, I ventured into my very own Craft Mirkwood.

thorin stockingface

The process would have been much easier had I been able to locate my hot glue gun (last seen some time in 2011, a reward for any info regarding whereabouts…), so I ended up having to hand-stitch an awful lot.

And you need to know that I don’t sew. Nope, never ever…

Anyway, this was intended as a fridge magnet but I couldn’t get the darn magnet to stick to the back, so I quickly changed my non-existent plan and attached a hoop made of yarn so Thorin can be well hung… *cough*… moving swiftly along…

thorin stockingface 2Thorin Stockingface is in the company of gifts from friends 🙂

This Thorin is actually going to be shipped off to a certain portable shrine in Ireland (because, let’s be honest, EVERY shrine needs a slightly dodgy hand-made puppet head of an angry dwarf to brighten up the place).

thorin stockingface unfinished

Anyway, I started on a second one for myself and I was aiming for a more angry eyebrow Thorin, but I think I stuffed him a tad too much, so we’ll see how this one turns out.

I’m already asking a very dangerous question:

Hey, can I make a full-sized one, thunder thighs and all…

I’ll keep you posted.

thorin 2

 

Richard Armitage Silent Auction Coming Soon!

Richard Armitag Silent Auction big

Dear Friends,

There’s been something I’ve been mulling over, seeking advice about, and trying to figure out the logistics of in the past few weeks and today I can finally share the news with you.

I’ve decided to organise a Richard Armitage Silent Auction from the 29th of November till December 1st.

What’s this mysterious being, you may ask…

Well, the  auction will feature a number of goodies (many, but not all are RA related) that you can bid on via email (hence the silent part).

I will be posting the rules and guidelines shortly, but let me just outline the basic idea.

A bunch of items will appear in a post on the 29th of November.

if you wish to bid on a specific one, you are asked to send me an email with your bid, with the closing date being Sunday Dec. 1st.

The person who bids the highest wins.

Here’s the best part: ALL of the money raised goes to an RA charity that will be chosen by Armitage Admirers based on the results of a poll that shall be up throughout the auction.

The RA Silent Auction means that you will not only be able to get your hands on some pretty amazing items, but you’ll also be contributing towards a worthy cause.

RA Silent auction b&w

I will be writing more about the auction closer to the date, but today I’m looking for generous and kind-hearted people to contribute items that can be auctioned off.

And when I say items, your imagination is the limit 🙂

If you would like to donate anything, or help in any way, please email me at RASilentAuction [at] wp.pl or at my usual email address.

You can also leave a comment and I will get in touch with you shortly.

And a HUGE thank you to those who have already answered my  plea and have pledged awesome stuff for the auction or have offered their advice, assistance and wisdom 🙂

So, get your thinking caps on, start rummaging through your stuff, pull out the old DIY/ arts & crafts box,  and put aside a few pennies for the auction!

When in doubt, Craft It Out!

There actually wasn’t going to be a post today as nothing has really inspired me in the past few days and the only idea I had was resisting me today, but I will try to tackle it tomorrow.

I figured I might as well share what I’ve been doing and (unfortunately for some)  I’m still feeling crafty.

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As some of you may know, I’ve been trying out making cabochon and resin jewellery for some time, with mixed results.

I’ve been ordering elements from Beads.pl (a Polish online shop) and they’ve been accumulating at an alarming rate in my DIY basket (yup, that’s a thing!), so it was high time I rolled up my sleeves and got to it.

I decided to make a brooch that will be pinned into my new warn autumn coat, and who better to accompany me on my daily duties than Mr Thornton (I’m officially addicted to that image!).

I also opted for a ring with a Tamara Lempicka Art Deco image, a pair of Fairy Pin Up and Roy Lichtenstein earrings and other bits and bobs.

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I had a cabochon for the brooch, but the other pieces are covered with Diamond Glaze which is one tricky mother, let me tell you!

I’ve learned a lot from the last time I made jewellery for RA Vegas Week, so let me share some observations.

The process is quite simple so how can things go so wrong?:

I find the images I like, scale them and print them out on thicker paper.

During RA Vegas Week I used a cream cardboard with tiny ridges, thinking it’d look vintage,  but I think that was a bad idea, smooth is best.

Many sites recommend you seal the image with MicroGlaze before you tamper with it, however, it’s actually quite pricey and I question the necessity for it.

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Firstly, by applying it (I use my finger), you are already smudging the print a tad.

Secondly, fluff and dust cling to it, so you end up clearing it off with your finger.

Lastly, I don’t know how long it’s supposed to dry because after an hour (I am very impatient) it was still wet.

After the first batch I abandoned priming the image and there’s no difference, so I’d ditch this step.

Anyway, once the image is printed and primed, you can move on to the next step.

If you’re using a cabochon, glue it to your image, hold it down till it sticks and let it dry.

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If you will be covering your picture with resin, or in my case Diamond Glaze, it’s time for the ultimate mind f*ck, meaning cutting out the image to size.

I usually prepare a template beforehand and then draw out the rough size using a pencil.

It’s important to only trim little bits at a time, you can always shave off more if it doesn’t fit.

What’s important at this stage is to have a needle handy: once the size is almost perfect and just needs a tiny trim, it’s beyond annoying to pull the picture out again.

Once it’s perfect (or in my case, almost perfect) glue the image onto your jewellery.

I use Diamond Glaze, which is also quite expensive, but I heard that any glue that dries transparent will do.

If you’re making a ring, brooch, or anything else that doesn’t lay flat, make sure you think of a way to prop it up.

Seems like a logical idea, and yet last time I ended up applying the resin and THEN thinking how to keep it level (a lemon was the answer).

Now I usually make a tiny tube using cardboard and that holds things in place.

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Once your cabochon dries, it’s time to cut it out, although luckily the glass will cover up any rough edges.

Again, take your time carefully shaving off the edges.

Once that’s done, glue it to the jewellery and Voilà!! It’s done.

With the other jewellery the mind f*ck fun isn’t over.

Carefully pour the resin / Diamond Glaze onto your image, starting from the centre outwards in a circular motion.

You need to take it slow, but if some bubbles appear, pop them with a needle or, if they are stubborn, push them to the edge (and hope for the best).

Word of warning, bubbles may appear while the Diamond Glaze is drying.

I’d recommend not fiddling with it though, it’s easy to mess up the smooth surface at this stage and bubbles will be the least of your problems.

Once that is done, cover your pieces with a plastic cup so they protected from dust and fluff and wait 12 to 24 hours for them to dry and harden.

It really can be a fickle thing, but I guess that’s what makes it fun, but only if it works.

If it doesn’t it’s frustrating enough to make you tear your hair out!

My favourite from the bunch was the ring with a Tamara Lempicka image:

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On the whole, I think cabochon jewellery is a bit easier and the risk of messing up big time is much lower, having said that all my Thornton silhouette jewellery never comes out quite right.

There’s also something to be said about the glossy simplicity of Diamond Glaze, so it’s tough to call.

The earrings I made are adorable and came out quite well.

 I asked an old friend to model them for you 😉

I used a Roy Lichtenstein painting and cropped the image.

Remember that if you are sticking a cabochon onto a picture of a face, make sure it’s centred.

The cabochon edges are rounded and will distort even the prettiest features (I learned that on a picture of poor Thorin).

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I also have some other more RA/Thorin stuff done, but I’ll keep it a secret until closer to The Hobbit DOS première.

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BTW, while I was putting together this post, I actually got one more thing done from my crafty list.

I’ve always been frustrated at the quality of pictures I take to show stuff like jewellery on the blog, so I decided to make my very own DIY Photo light box.

I’ve been defending a cardboard box for over a month from getting binned, tried to get my hands on white tissue paper (for some unknown reason they seem to only sell it packed with all of the other colours of the bloody rainbow…), pulled out my craft knife (me and sharp objects don’t mesh).

Everything would be fine if it wasn’t a bloody gloomy day and there’s no natural light to speak of, so the images are either too bright (when I use the flash) or too dark.

Anyway, here are some other things I made:

The not quite right but good enough Thornton brooch:

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We’ve been reading more paper books recently, so a bookmark is very much needed:

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See, that’s why I always say that whenever I go DIYing, things turn out OK, but never perfect 😉

There may be not one decent picture for today, but one of these days, camera and photos, I’m going to have the upper hand!

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