Welcome to my creative online journal

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

50th Birthday Surprise

Ssshh! I can't show you what I'm working on at the moment because its for my sister's 50th birthday and she sometimes reads my blog.

Whilst researching for her present I found these three fabulous 'gems' for just £1.50 each in my local charity shop:

What great covers on these girl's annuals, fabulously illustrating the 1960's and 1970's.  

It's another lovely sunny day here in the Midlands and by rights I shouldn't be here on the computer, I should be out in the local park,  where I went yesterday:
(Loving this Photosynth app on the iPhone to create panoramic pictures)

Back to getting on with making this birthday present, as usual I've left things until the last minute.
Thanks for stopping by and for any comments,

Monday, 26 September 2011

A Scissor Storage Rack & Bookmark

In case you were wondering, I haven't left the country, I've just been encountering a few personal problems at home.  Nothing too drastic, more to do with jobs, or to be more precise, the lack of.   Tomorrow I'm even being 'sent to Coventry' (literally!)  to do a word processing course that will be for a few hours a week.  I'm not totally convinced it's what I need, but it will be a start to get me 'out there', I suppose...

I've just done a couple of mini crafts this week, the first one being another one of those personalised photo bookmarks.  This is one that I have made for my friend's daughter:
The individual coloured letters can be found on flickr (in sets) for free.  You just import them individually into any graphics program, such as Word, resize them and when done, print off and stick onto a card background.  After laminating, you punch a hole in the top of the cardboard, thread a ribbon through and tie.  This was a simple craft that didn't take very long.  I found that choosing, and then rechoosing, the letters I wanted to use from flickr is what took me the most time.

The other craft I made was this:
A scissor/tool rack for my craft room wall. 
  For this I simply bought a new cake rack (charity shop, £1.25), and hung my scissors and other tools onto some Ikea hooks that I also managed to purchase from a charity shop for just £1.   I'm sure, after a good rummage, I would be able to find lots of other crafty tools that would  also benefit from being hung onto this very simple, but also very useful, storage rack.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend.
Thank you so much for stopping by today,

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Alcohol Ink Coasters

Last night for my artistic activity I decorated some metallic coasters using alcohol inks and blending solution. 

It's a very simple technique to do but not easy to photograph whilst you are doing it!

First of all you squeeze out some of the blending solution on top of the tiles:
(Tiles were £1 for 6, charity shop)

And then you simply add drops of various coloured alcohol inks on top.

Here are the finished tiles:

To fill in the gaps between the colours I used a thin wooden craft stick to push the colours around.  I also added more drops of the blending solution for further blending.  It's a very unpredictable technique and, sometimes frustratingly, the top colours ended up obliterating the ones from underneath.

For these tiles I used my limited collection of Ranger alcohol inks but I spotted on the crafting grapevine that Kuretake have brought out a range.  I would love to have a go with some of their brighter colours.

These look great as they are but I think they need a protective coating of some sort. Does anybody know what type I need to use? 

Thanks for looking and for any help/comments,

Friday, 16 September 2011


I've done another page in my collage journal tonight and its got an emotional feel about it.  A sad theme that is oh so true...
This is the full page:
(but doesn't include a bit of private journalling that I've added to the bottom)

I wasn't sure whether to share this information with you because it is a bit personal, but decided to in the end, because it explains why I created this piece.  What happened was, during the Summer Holiday, we found out that my children's ex-Headmistress (last year's) had been in a tragic Bank Holiday car accident.  She was very seriously injured and her husband (who was driving) died.  Their three children were also in the car too but thankfully sustained only very minor injuries..   I created this journal page because I can't stop  thinking about them and felt that the title illustrates just what I wanted to say.    The images were chosen (leaf, butterfly and polar bear) because they fit in with the 'precious life' theme.

Incidently, a good tip for writing messages on magazine pages is to use a Corrector White Pen like I have done here, it really makes the lettering 'pop' out of the page. 
Thank you for popping by today,

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

School Organisers

I am gently easing myself back into crafting after my rather long Summer break.  This project that I have done today came about after both my sons came back from school with various homework assignments, vague plans of things that they need to bring in on certain days and other stuff that they mustn't forget.

So I made them each a wipe-on-wipe-off list of what they need to take in each day using picnik for this one:

I wasn't terribly happy with it though, the sizing was a bit out and the proportions weren't great.  So I made another one, this time handwritten and handmade:
I had a stamp set with this font but didn't want to go to the trouble of stamping each individual letter so just copied the letters onto the sheet instead.

Being happier with this one I went ahead and put clear sticky back plastic on top.  In theory, the boys should be filling in their own details, but at the moment so far its been me, lol.

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Legoland Denmark - Part 3 - Place Models

 Here is the last selection of my photos from Legoland, the 'model village' buildings, modelled on real places.

 What made them extra clever was that they had moving parts - the boats would float along the water (using a pulley system under the water) and would go through locks on canals:
The lock gates really opened and filled with water, just like the real thing. They were fascinating to watch.
This model of an oil rig in the North Sea had lots of moving elements, including a crane that could be lowered to put cargo on a boat.

Hope you enjoyed viewing this fascinating collection of creative models.
I will be continuing with my normal crafting posts next time,

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Legoland Denmark Part 2 - The Models

This is a collection of pictures of some of the 'general scene setting' models that were found around the Legoland rides in Denmark.
All of them very impressive and they must have taken thousands of bricks to make.  Imagine doing that every day for a living! 
One of the advantages of the wet weather (see middle picture of montage) was that there was virtually no queuing for the rides. This is what I always find the worst part of visiting popular theme parks in the Summer, so yay!

Apologies for the slight delay in these posts, but this week I've been getting up a lot earlier to help this young man:
...get to his new High School everyday!
Consequently I've been falling asleep at the computer late at night!

In tomorrow's post, I will show you some of the clever 'model village' type of lego models which are really, really impressive!

Have a great weekend,
Thanks for stopping by and for any comments,

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Legoland Denmark Part 1 - Star Wars

Got boys?  (or maybe some girls?) Then they may be interested in this post showing the very creative Star Wars models that we saw at the Billund Denmark Legoland Theme Park. 
The models were new to the theme park this year and they were very impressive, even to none Star Wars fans like myself.

Here is a slide show of the Lego Star Wars models:

To pause a photo, move your mouse to the bottom of the slideshow and click pause on the left hand side.

You don't need to be a 'fan' to appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into creating these models and they must have taken ages to make.  They also must have been (super)glued together to stand the very inclimate weather conditions that we experienced when we were there in Denmark.  Not to mention the young visitors to the theme park that may come wanting to play with the models!   Strictly not allowed!  Although there are some indoor areas for making your own models when it rains, which it does, a lot!  Have I mentioned that?....  (Don't be fooled by that blue sky on the top picture, we were and even put suncream on! ☺)

Hope you don't mind but there will be other Legoland posts to follow shortly...

Thanks for stopping by and for any comments,

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Invitation to the Creative Flourishes Gallery

...of sculptures and paintings found in Legoland Country, Denmark.  Specifically, all at the Legoland Village and the danish village itself, called Billund.

As a disclosure, I should mention that the creativeflourishes 'signatures' on the corners of each picture were put there for the photographs that I've taken (& modified) and not because I have created each of the pieces of art.  Just thought I'd better clear that up!☺

Just a short walk from our Legoland Village apartment, there was a tarmaced path leading to a woody area.  We used it a lot to get to the local village on the days that we didn't go to the Legoland theme park.  Every single time we went, rain threatened to drench us and unfortunately, equally frequently, managed it too!  We were so grateful that there were trees because they offered us shelter and some protection, at least. 

The great thing about this path though was that it was full of lots of very individual sculptures (one of which is shown above).  This was one of two figures that stood on the top of very high poles planted into a small lake.

More pictures (click to enlarge):
(I shall do some research and add details of who made these and add it here when I have done so)

This piece was very different and caught my eye:
It was called 'Pentagonia'
and was made by
Gunhild Rudjord and Esben Lyngsaa Madsen

Each of the clay panels had amazing colour and texture and some of them had a lovely crackled glaze. 

This GIANT egg sculpture was found in the village itself:
with its fabulous translucent glazed colours:
The name of this piece, I have found out, is called
'The Drop /Egg/ Universe'
and is by Jan Balling

This one:
 and this one (digitally framed by me):
..were close ups of a picture hanging up in the Legoland Village games room:
Not sure of the artist but
I love the sketchy quality of the lines and the effect of the white on the black.

Finally, these abstract paintings were found on the walls of the Legoland Hotel that we visited yesterday:

Again with no details of the artist.  What attracted me to these was their creative use of a minimal colour palette and beautiful brush work.

Hope you have enjoyed your virtual 'art gallery' visit today.
Thanks so much for stopping by and for any comments,

NOT Legoland!

These pictures are of where we stayed in Denmark, at the Legoland Village, just a 5 minute walk from the theme park:

(See handwritten comments on photos)
As I've written, we did arrive to bright sunshine! Didn't last long though...
There was an indoor (computer!) games room with Playstations that was suitable for them, especially when it rained!  The day spent at the  Aquadome (shown in the background) was also lots of fun.

On a grey day we also walked past the fantastic looking Legoland Hotel.  As rain looked imminent we popped in for a nose:
These pillars (above) were outside and these interesting models were in the downstairs reception and  hallways:

A Lego Mona Lisa was framed on one of the walls:
 ..and these models were on the stairways:
The big pieces of Lego embedded into the walls looked so cool!  As was this model found in the Games Room:
(They also had a stash of Wii consoles and Nintendo DS's for their mini guests.  My son has recently bought himself the 3d DS so was proudly showing it off)
Apparently, some of the bedrooms are Lego character themed, pirates, princesses, etc.  What a treat for the little uns.
We did decide that this hotel was likely to be very expensive to stop at.  We bought ourselves just two Mars Bars to snack on...:
..and then worked out how much they had cost us in English money.  We found out that they had cost us an astronomical £2.80!!

Thanks so much for stopping by and for any comments,
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