Friday, 19 May 2017

Floating wood garlands

Lately I went with younger son down to the river and collected little pieces of floating wood and pebbles (those for a later project). In front of our house we are having a balcony under which we like to sit when the sun is too hot for terrasse, balcony or garden. My wooden birds are flying there all the year except for Christmas and wintertime. Early in spring, when I let them out, there had been also giant pin cones, but those are not really summer decoration, so I made some garlands with the floating wood and some other pieces I found in my stack.
The first garland is with red perls and twig balls. 

The next only with twig balls
And the last is very basic with only branches.
My husband says it's looking like pirates decoration. He says it's looking like bones on strings! I replied that I will make a bones garland for him for Halloween :-)
But if the wood are looking like bones, what is this looking like? A hanging man?
 

A bientôt,
Jane 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Pop art stamping

I played a bit with the horse stamps I carved last month (see here) and created some pictures. I had the idea of some pop art or Andy Warhol influenced stamping with lots of bright colors. This came out and is very much what I had in mind when I started:
I tell you, the biggest difficulty had been the layout! I wanted each color only once at each place in a row. And in the beginning I wanted to have the four different background colors to form the middle, but the red is too strong, when two of them touching each other at one corner. And it is impossible to have a red in the middle without it is touching any other red. Try it out! It took me ages! 
And now looking at the photo I think I shouldn't have glued the two white horses in the second row beside each other. There is always something to make better the next time. But I am anyway very happy with the picture. I already framed it and put it on the picture board in our living room.

While stamping the first horses for the above picture, I found out, that several of my stamp pads have been dry. I put a drop of water on one to see if it comes back to life. I worked, but in the first hour using the pad, it had been too wet and made bubbles! 
Looks funny, doesn't it?
I decided to print one picture in that style:
The only thing I can say is that the horses are very individual! But all in all, I don't like the picture too much.

From all the other tries, I only want to show you the black and white picture I made last.

A bientôt,
Jane

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A new association!

Today I will tell you my news that kept me busy the last months! 
I created a new association that organizes crafting classes! 
I really like to share my crafting ideas with others and I have always fun teaching my girls group on sewing projects. But I never could do much publicity for my courses as it wasn't a legal business, so it stayed a bit as a thing between friends. 
I also love crafting afternoons with my kids and their friends and I always thought it's a pity that they are not crafting at school as much as I did, when I was young. Apparently it isn't foreseen in the french school system to develop much their artistic sense. But I think it is so important for children to not only work with their head, but also with their hands. And whenever there is a child being proud of something created or build by hand, you see how satisfying it is to actually have a touchable result of your work. I think all crafters know that sensation! In our region there are not much possibilities for children to craft if their parents are not doing it with them.
Finally I decided my kids are old enough, that I can abandon them for some hours the week to teach other children in crafting classes. To make it officially and legal I founded an association. For now it's only me teaching, but I hope to find some others who likes to give courses for all kind of arts or crafts. The association is non-lucrative, even though we could reimburse the teachers, and the profit will be donated at the end of each year to a social project or a help-organisation.
I have been lucky to get heavily supported by all of my friends. A BIG THANK YOU to Elodie, Florence, Celine, Sylviane, Antje, Orlane and Alex. They all gave me mental support and encouraged me to get started. I also needed a lot of help with all written things. My french writing isn't good enough to write official documents or even homepage articles. So I am drafting everything and then one of my friends has to look over it and make corrections.
But now after a lot of organizing and administrative work I can finally present you: 

I created that banner for our web-site. It's the name of the association (Créa for creative and Farges is the name of our village) and every letter is created in a different way. Have a look on the development:
The C is painted in water color. Very easy the painting, but it took me ages on the computer to eliminate the background and replace it by another color. There had been several changes in the background so it works together with the other letters.
The R is stitched with yellow thread on a blue cardstock. Unfortunately it comes out very weak and isn't as visible as I wanted it to be. Maybe I will redo it one day with a thicker thread.
The É has been a problem letter. First I build it with needles and a little scissor and took a photo. I liked it, but it wasn't visible enough beside all the other stronger letters, so I followed the advice of a friend who proposed a composition with paper scraps:
I made the two first ones and my friend decided for the triangle scraps but in red, so I had to make a third one :-)
The A is a relaxing zentangle letter! It also took nearly no time on the computer, as it needed no retouch.
The F is the second letter that took a long long loooong time. It is in patchwork technic. You see above my first F as I am writing it. The colors have been to light and I tried to change the background color on the computer, but still everybody I showed it to, had problems to read it. I finally found out that here apparently everybody writes an F with only horizontal lines to the right, so I made a new one.
Again the background has been replaced on the computer.
The second A has been easy. I took a bunch of pencils and made a photo.
The second R has been fun. I poked needles in rubber foam and with dark blue wool I connected the needles in zigzag. Only after I took the photo I saw that I missed one of the needles.
The G is made of buttons. The most time it took me to put them back in my assortment box after.
The E is woven.
And finally the S is a knitted string.

It has been nice doing all those craftings and thinking of different methods of creating a letter (gave me directly the idea for a special crafting class), but the manipulations on the computer afterwards took way too long. 

The Easter vacation started today and I have to organize some materials, but in May I will start on the first classes for kids. One class calls "introduction to weaving" and the other "different craftings". 
I am looking forward to it very much!
And I am a little nervous too :-) 

Have a happy and joyful Easter weekend!
Joyeux Paques!

A bientôt,
Jane

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Lutins (dwarfs) looking for a home

Let me tell you the story of 4 lutins (french word for dwarf, that I like better) who were wandering around the garden this spring-time. 
One nearly got lost in a purple jungle, but he climbed up to look for his friends and found back.
Finally they all arrived on the patio!
I understand that they have been in search of houses! Fortunately they found some very nice ones ...
Look how happy he is!
Of course, he has a house with a view!
Those are best situated beside a blooming forest!
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You know I have a weakness for wonky houses (this blog is full of them). The idea for this lutins with the colorful hats I found on pinterest! All that has been a present for my mom who wanted to have some little houses for her garden too. Unfortunately the parcel got lost in the post! ... Or did the lutins escaped the package halfway to Germany? If you see them, tell them the garden of my mom is georgeous with lots of rare and different flowers! They should absolutely go there!

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It has been quiet here, but in my next post I will tell you what kept me busy the last month!

A bientôt,
Jane

Thursday, 30 March 2017

a little crafting

I just want to show quickly a little crafting I made lately, finishing off a knitted string that my sons started ages ago with my old eehhhmmm knitting-spool? knitting jenny? french knitting doll? (what's the common word in english?)
I saw lot's of examples that formed a shape with a wire inside and I tried it out for a cat!
Not as easy as it looks like to get the wire in and to form the shape, so it's not wavy but flat. Maybe my garden wire isn't that good for it.

A bientôt,
Jane

Saturday, 18 March 2017

3 horses on stamps

Today I carved 3 stamps that I am very happy with! 
No, I LOVE them!
The horse with the turned head I found here, and I liked it so much, that I copied it and made two others the same style drafted by myself.

I used the stamps directly to decorate the birthday presents for a little girl (containing horse books :-).
Aren't they cute?

A bientôt,
Jane

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Easter fabric tableau with rabbit

For my youngest niece (9month) I made a fabric tableau for her first Easter feast. The background and the base of the tableau is thick felt. The rabbit is very soft to touch as it's made from artificial fur. The daffodil is three dimensional and you can lift up the petals. 
To learn slowly the secret of egg-hunting I made some eggs from cardstock with fabric around. You can hide them in the grass around the rabbit and I think even a baby will have fun picking them out.
Easter is still 5 weeks away, but it already feels nearer.

A bientôt,
Jane