Well, both ourselves and the summehouse survived the “big summerhouse move” last weekend. I was dreading it crashing down and falling apart as it was moved from it’s old home onto top of a raised deck down to the main garden. However, with some fantastic spacial awareness skills from the men and great team work the job was done in about an hour with no casualties and the summerhouse still in one piece! I’ve been able to put everything back in it’s place and leave a nice space for a new crafting table (hint, hint Phil!). The space left by the summerhouse will now be used by Phil to extend the existing brick shed into a more spacious woodworking workshop. We’ll keep you update on that project.
Phil has finished two lovely chopping boards which are made from Sapele and Maple, with one of them going into the Christmas raffle at work. He’s also made another of his unmistakeable pint sized mugs at the request of a colleague. The two snowmen turned out really great and the customer was very happy with them. There is no rest for the wicked as he’s got a number of orders for pens and pen boxes which always sell well at Christmas time.
Chopping board made from Sapele and Maple
Tankard made from Oak
I’ve been relaxing by creating a some more dot mandala designs. Really like how the “hippy” style one came out (on the left). The middle one just sort of evolved as I went along. The one on the right was a snowflake design which I adapted and it has gone off with Phil’s chopping board to Christmas raffle. I’ve discovered some lovely Dovercraft 3D paints and glitter glue items in The Works/Hobbycraft that I’ve been using for that added splash of sparkle.
My hippy star flower
Signing off for now so take care and pop by soon.
Sue & Phil
We haven’t been ignoring you for the last 7 months but we’ve been busy with life “stuff” and of course our hobbies. Since we last posted; we have had a small extension built, been on a fabulous holiday to our favourite location (Walt Disney World in Orlando), had a great time on a wood turning course and made lots of new things which will be on display in the photo gallery.
I have found yet another new hobby which is keeping me busy during my spare time (as if Stained Glass, Paper Cutting and Glass Fusing wasn’t enough!). I was browsing YouTube, like you do, for some crafting inspiration and came across a tutorial for how to paint Dot Mandalas. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was off to The Works, Hobbycraft and Wilko to source the materials needed and get stuck in! Boy did I learn fast that it’s actually harder than it looks to create a perfectly formed dot using acrylic paint, let alone get them all uniformly the size you want. However, with a little more investment in dotting tools, the right consistency paint and lots of practice I’m finally producing something I’m happy to share on social media. I’ve found lots of people on Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube to follow and get inspiration from.
As I write this, Phil is busy beavering away in the shed. He’s got a few orders to fulfil from colleagues and friends such as some snowmen, pens and pen boxes and a mug. He really needs some more space as the shed isn’t very big so we’ve had the bright idea to move my summerhouse into a new position in the garden which means he can extend out from the shed. The base is laid for the sumerhouse and I’ve packed all my things away ready for the move. We are just waiting for 4 big strong men to be available and then apprently we’ll be able to just lift the summerhouse into it’s new position. Hmmm, we’ll see how that goes and let you know the outcome!
Signing off for now but we’ll be back soon so keep checking back!
Sue & Phil
Now that the English weather is getting warmer it was time to get back to doing what I love the most – Stained Glass 🙂 After much deliberation over which pattern to do I finally settled on a free Spectrum Glass pattern called “H-O-O-T Owl” but decided to just make the owl rather than have it as a panel as per the pattern. During soldering I came to realise that my soldering iron wasn’t consistently keeping at temperature so I’ve had to order a new one. I’ve upgraded from my usual 80watt to a Weller 101d 100 watt as it got really good reviews. I was really pleased with how he turned out, although he does need some proper eyes. He now hangs in my kitchen window alongside my butterfly. As it’s spring, next I plan to do a floral pattern 🙂
You can download the pattern from here.
I really enjoy paper cutting as I find it relaxing. This template is called “Infinity Moon” and it’s a Paper Panda design. Took me about 3 hours to cut but I certainly did have a sore thumb afterwards 😉
I watched some more great Microwave Kiln Glass Fusing YouTube videos yesterday. One of these was really helpful in explaining how you can break up and reuse any of your previous glass fused creations that you were, well lets say less happy with!
Being a newbie to this craft I’d got a couple of these and because I already recycled some of my stained glass into my mosaics I’d already got the tool for job ahead. So, out came the wheeled nippers (photo below in case you don’t know what these are), a large old plastic sandwich bag to stop the small shards of glass flying about the room and plenty of muscle power! I then used the wheeled nippers to cut up the old fused pieces and was pleasantly surprised to reveal some lovely layered glass that I could reuse.
In the photo below you’ll see the glass stacks I made with the pieces I’d cut up and I also experimented with some glass on it’s side to see how the layers came out. I was really happy with the results and they look so much better now than how they started out their life. My favourite one of them all is the tiny one in the middle right column as it reminds me of a ladybird 🙂
This started as the left hand triangle in the before photo.
This started as bottom stack in the before photo.
This started as bottom right stack in the before photo.
This started as top right in the before photo.
This started a top middle stack in the before photo.
Our youngest son has been seeing me have fun so he asked to make one. He chose the glass, the millefiori and orang stringer. His creation is shown below and is in the photo above of all todays pieces. His piece we’ve called “bullseye”!
I’ve been back in the workshop to make another single stem vase (it’s a present) and am pleased with the shape of the vase and the grain of the wood.
I thought I’d do some more experimenting with the Microwave Kiln today. I had a root through my stained glass and picked out quite a few bits of opal, rippled and transparent glass. I have read that Stained Glass can be troublesome to fuse so I stuck with the advice to only fuse 2 pieces from the same sheet. I made 3 stacks of 1″ squares that were 2 layers high. I was pleased with the blue transparent (left photo) and the orangey opal but less pleased with the green rippled as that came out with a very matt finish.
More experimenting tomorrow 🙂
Blue transparent stained glass. I like this one.
Top is the rippled glass and that came out matt finish. Middle is blue transparent and bottom is organey opal.