Yearly Archives: 2012


Bags and bits

Stayed in last night. The weather was horrible. Got woken by the wind blowing a right old hooley in the wee hours. Sounded as though a flash mob of wet sheet flappers had congregated under my bedroom window. That was around four O’clockish and though I did get back to sleep eventually, am knackered this morning. And am trying to get all the cleaning done and want to steam or shampoo upstairs carpets to get things ‘nice’ for Christmas and just don’t feel like I have the energy for it right now.

I don’t know why I’m bothered, really. It’s not like the carpet inspector is due to call or I’ll be taken away and made to sit through a day’s worth of JML  or QVC cleaning product demonstrations or anything. It’s just something us stupid people feel the urge to do at Christmas. It’s like cleaning the house from top to bottom before going away for a holiday. Why? So it’s nice should burglars break in?  ‘Ooh the state of their carpets!’ or ‘Nothing really worth the trouble of dirtying my jemmy for but it was ever so nice and tidy’.

Well, I have quite a number of pretty little drawstring bags all ready to be filled. The vintage prints are from the Graphics Fairy (see link in previous post about printing onto fabric). Am using the smaller ones for some Lush soaps wrapped in tissue paper – not the Lush stuff – tied with twine and the bigger bags are for a selection of home made bath bombs I made a few weeks ago. If you Google for them you’ll find the formulae very easily – there are lots of ‘recipes’ and the ingredients are all cheap and easy to obtain.

I still have plenty of paint in my tin of Rustoleum. Remember the expression ‘To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail’? That’s me with a tin of this stuff. The pic is of  a piece of driftwood given a light coating of Rustoleum white and decorated with one of my Christmas stuffy hearts. I like it. I have a white and red theme this year.

Finally, I used another one of my stuffy heart stash to decorate a willow wreath ring. I had a couple of pine cones left over from another project so they got hot glued in. I have no finger prints left now, btw.

Well, off out for a bit. We’re going to a local demesne or, seemingly incongrously named ‘castle’, for a wander round and some fresh air. The gardens are open to the public and are beautiful during the summer but have never wandered around them in the winter months. Am hoping that in the woods nearby I’ll find some holly or mistletoe to add a touch of greenery to the willow ring, it just needs that touch to finish it off.

Well, the fridge is fit to bust, the frozen turkey crown  is thawing away, extra bread is in the freezer for the one day the shops are shut (though we might not get a bread delivery round here!)  and I think the food and drink side of things is SORTED!

Am off for a merry jaunt and some get away from the noise and bustle for a bit.

Take care


Chat, Graphics

Fabric printing



Well, schnizzle my nizzles – found something today that has got me really excited! How to print an image from an inkjet printer onto fabric.  How? Check out this great tutorial on The Graphics Fairy website ( . I gave it a go and WOW!  it made me so happy. The vintage image is also from her website – she has lots and lots, and heaps and piles – all free – to choose from!

Well, this DOES open up a whole new world of possibilities. I made the little square sachet first and distressed it a bit with some extra Stazon to ‘age’ it a little more. If you look closely, you’ve see it’s a linen/cotton open weave mix.

Then I made the drawstring bag to keep small off cuts and fabric scraps in. This was made from calico – thinner but a denser weave.

Then I went back to the graphic and deleted the text and replaced it with the name and website of my friend who sells crafty bits and bobs and printed that onto some calico and made a drawstring bag for her.

Oh, and it was so much fun and so absorbing I skipped lunch and now have loads of images, text, beautiful typography, photos, etc.  to print out. Maybe they won’t all work, maybe there will be some hiccups and failures but it was success from the word go with this little project so am very, very happy and open to being a bit more adventurous!

It really is dead easy! Who’d have thought??! Imagine making personalised wrappings and bags for Christmas presents? Or cushion covers, pillows, pictures from images you’ve printed onto fabric! Photos, even?!

Well, I’ve used up a full year’s worth of exclamation marks so I’d better go easy or I’ll have none left for the next exciting project I come across.

Back to happy printing!

H x



Chat, Christmas, Graphics, Illustrator Tutorials

A winter’s verse

Came across this lovely verse on the net and thought it would be nice to type out for card toppers or inserts:


Snowflakes spill from heaven’s hand
Lovely and chaste like smooth white sand.
A veil of wonder laced in light
Falling gently on a winter’s night.
Graceful beauty raining down
Giving magic to the lifeless ground.
Each snowflake like a falling star
Smiling beauty that’s spun afar.
Till earth is dressed in a robe of white
Unspoken poem the hush of night.

by Linda A. Copp

Hope you like the art work. Created the graphic using Illustrator to produce the blended lines and Photoshop for the flowers (petals created in layers with varying degrees of opacity to give depth here and there).

Used a Bokeh effect background I made last year some time on one layer in PS.

The ‘Winter’s Wishes’ was a graphic I’d made earlier and used yesterday as the introduction to the post. It was placed into another new layer and the Blend Mode of that layer was set to 65% opacity. The Eraser was used to rub away bits of the graphic so as not to obscure the flower graphic beneath.

The ‘Winter’s Wishes with the snowflake’ was made  in Illustrator from a snowflake I made a long time ago welded onto the two words (converted to ‘Outlines’ ) to make one, single editable graphic.

I also filled it in with black and pasted it into a new document in Photoshop and made an ABR from it there so I could use it as a brush in future. That’s how it was done. Nothing complex or difficult.

Anyway, must get on. Chilly here – what a cold and wet year it has been. Not long to Christmas so no time to be sitting around getting cold, things to do, make, clean, buy, wrap… so much to do and yet getting them done feels like knitting spaghetti or nailing jelly to the walls!

Have a good one!




Digi stuff, Free, Photoshop brushes

Christmas lights with free PS/PSE brush

Thought I’d show you the lantern now that the pillar candle has gone down a lot and lights up the globe better. There’s something so very relaxing and mesmerising about candle light. I enjoy curling up on the sofa with a hot drink  when I get in from the cold of an evening. It gives me some quiet time to reflect and decompress. I am reading a lot of Louise Hay, Florence Schinn and John Kehoe at the moment and this is a good time for following their advice and weeding out stray thoughts of negativity and replacing them with strong, healthy thoughts of  growth and positivity.

I went to the Citywest Convention Centre for the festival of Diwali, or Festival of Lights a little while ago. It’s a tremendously beautiful occasion celebrating the triumph of good over evil, the joy of life, light over darkness, and enlightenment, that is,  knowledge, over ignorance.  It was a glorious and uplifting event. This is my personal Diwali but on a MUCH smaller scale!

This week we see the passing of that eccentric old astronomer, Patrick Moore. My son developed an interest in astronomy thanks this this chap’s lifelong passion and his programme, The Sky at Night. And I’ve bought a telescope or two…

A great sadness in his life was that his fiance was killed during a bombing raid over England during WWII. He never got over her death and never married or had a romantic interest in anyone after she was killed. He NEVER forgave the Germans. That kind of bitterness is nothing but poison. You cannot drink from a poisoned chalice and expect it to injure anybody but yourself.

Still, crusty old so-and-so that he was, his mind was sharp and brilliant and he illuminated the minds of many more with his passion for the stars and planets. And, in my romantic notions, I hope he and his wartime sweetheart are together now. May old bitterness and blames be forgiven.

And today I read that Ravi Shankar has passed also. I have a CD of sitar music by Ravi Shanker that is truly lovely to have wafting around my home. And I didn’t guess for one second that Norah Jones is his daughter! I have a CD of hers also!

But so Atropos cuts the thread of life and hopefully releases our energies to an infinite life of joy. Bless them both, bless all.

Anyway, I must get on. Thought you might like a little freebie – a Photoshop ABR (PSE) brush to ‘stamp’ your winter projects with:

Click here for your free PS/PSE brush:

Winter wishes free Photoshop / PSE brush


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