Monthly Archives: October 2012

Buy, Graphics

2013 Calendar brushes (For sale)

Am getting an early start on making a few calendars this year and really fancying art nouveau as the leitmotif for new year’s decor. So far I have made a month per page like the one above and a year at a glance without the side pattern:

All done with Illustrator then brought into PS and coverted into high-res (300-ppi) brushes. To make the year at a glance, I simply stamped each month, aligned the rows and columns then got a square eraser brush and rubbed the patterned sides out. If you have a binder like the Bind It All,  spiral-bind the pages to make a lovely calendar.

Print them onto quality stock, with or without your own photos/pictures and you’ve got yourself a nice 2013 calendar. Great for Christmas gifts and you can personalise  as appropriate.They rescale, are versatile and easy to use.

I’m selling this set (you will receive the brushes without the Copyright notice blatted  in the middle of each one!) for 3.50 euro. Payment is to be made through Paypal. Your brush set will be sent to your e-mail address once payment has been received.

2013 Calendar brushes for use with Photoshop. Photoshop Elements and other quality graphic applications.

Available to buy here, price = €3.50:
2013 Calendar brushes for PS/PSE (€ [price])


Chat, Tutorials

Lavender heart decoration

Look at the French Knots on this! Told you I could do them! Am using up all sorts of knick-knacks and notions at the moment. These hearts are perfect for using up those little bits of ribbon and beads. The beads are glass and the red one at the tip is actually millefiore with silver (an old pendant thing). Am enjoying practising a bit of hand embroidery. I like that it isn’t perfect and all slightly wonky. It’s properly home-made and will hang up somewhere this Christmas. Not quite a home-made Christmas but it will be nice to put them up and remember where I was and what I was doing when I made them.


Vintage paper posy

Here’s another paper posy made in exactly the same way as the one posted the other day (there’s a quick toot here: This time I used vintage paper from a book published in 1913. I sometimes wonder if the book could have been valuable and one day will appear on  the Antiques Roadshow with an expert peering over his pince-nez at it berating such wilful desecration. Done now though, (she said, with no remorse whatsoever).

I’m keeping this one as a decoration for Christmas. It will look  nice on the mantlepiece with the two wooden angels I bought from TK MAX the other day. A snip at a tenner each. I rubbed their faces off and gave them a ‘clinically proven’ facelift – they had a strange simpering ‘I’ve-just pinched -the-green-triangle-out-of-the-Quality-St-tin’  look about them and I wanted angelic serenity.  Again, done now.

While I’m on the subject, there is an ad on the telly promoting some miraculous face cream that claims it is ‘clinically proven’. Clinically proven to do what? It doesn’t expound its meaning – it is up to us, dear viewers, to do the joined up thinking and arrive at the conclusion that it is clinically proven to achieve the miracles of age-reversal and skin renewal that it tacitly implies. And spend hard earned cash on their pot of gold.

Bleh! Have to keep our wits about us at all times lest we be hypnotised by the seductive language of advertising; it always promises something better than before…

But I’m very cynical, as you know.



French Knots

Have been busy making some home-made decorations for Christmas and learning a few stitches on the way. I love this heart. It is stuffed with a mix of filler and dried lavender. I stitched on a few tinkle bells along the bottom so it would give a little jingle when it sits on the tree and the tree gets brushed. I love that sound. It says Christmas to me.  The stitches are straightforward but what I AM proud of is finally, and I do mean FINALLY – I can do French Knots! They have been a mystery to me for many years and now I can do them. You know the expression ‘To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail’? Well that’s me. What would improve with a light dusting of French Knots?! What wouldn’t?!

Just don’t stand still too long if I’m around with some embroidery floss and needle….

Crafts, Tutorials

Paper Posies

Lots to post if I get some time. Is it worth mentioning the weather? I don’t think so. Least said is probably for the best! They say Ireland would be beautiful if we could put a roof on it, ha ha.

I’ve been making some paper posies. They don’t take long and don’t cost much in the way of materials – most crafters have lengths of ribbon lying around and we all have glue! Bet you’ve tried every brand on the market; I know I have.

The first one I made, I used hot glue. How I didn’t end up in ER I just don’t know! The ends of my fingers had lots of little blisters by the time I’d finished – and the hot glue didn’t half hurt.

1. The pretty frill is a little posy maker from a florists. Get one of those as the mount for everything else.

2. Take a longish rectangle of newspaper – just folded and torn, no need for finesse.

3. Dampen it with a plant mister or sprinkle with wet fingers so it becomes soft and pliable.

4. Fold the sides-together until it is about a centimetre wide.

5. Twist it into a ‘rope’. Get it taut without over- twisting (so it doesn’t tear).

6. Form the twisted ‘rope’  into a circle – make sure it fits in the shape of the florist’s posy maker-and press the rope ends together. If it’s too big, you can always cut it shorter later. Just don’t make it too small.

7. Put it in the microwave (just the ‘rope’ ) for about 30s to 1 min or just leave it to dry naturally.

8. Glue the ends together so you have a hoop.

9. Get your paper for making the flowers together. I got two to three out of a sheet of A4. I like to vary the sizes to add interest. The templates are all over the internet – just Google till you find the ones you like. Most are extremely easy! Mine are made from spirals that are rolled from the outside in.

I roll them then bounce them in my hands a couple of times to relax the curl until I’m happy with the shape. Then glue the end of the spiral onto the bottom of the flower to finish them off. Make a whole bunch of them!

10. Get your rope and glue the flowers on the top and sides, make sufficient to hide the newspaper underneath – newspaper showing underneath is not a good look – and arrange them till you’re happy.

You could just make a floral wreath and not stick them to the posy maker at all – just add a fat ribbon bow and a ribbon loop to hang it up with, glue them on and you’re good to go.

11. If you’re making the full posy, glue the rope onto the posy maker.

12. Get some thin ribbon, form a loop and glue to the back of the posy maker.

13. Get some fat ribbon, make a bow and glue in between the floral arrangement and the posy maker. You may need to glue a tab of ribbon to allow the bow to sit a little below the flowers (I did).

14. A quick spritz  of spray glue and a shower of glamour dust for pazzazz and sparkle and you’re done!

Floral wreath or pretty posy!

Hope you like and have a go at making some yourself. You can always show me your pictures; I would love to see them. Any questions, just drop me a line.


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