Saturday, 26 May 2012

Stones and Roses

A few weeks back Aimee and I were at The Burrell with a couple of friends for a family workshop in the art of stone carving. We weren't quite sure what to expect and when we were handed a piece of soapstone 12mm x 115mm x 4mm we wondered what on earth we could possibly carve from it!!

With clipboards, paper and pencils in hand we headed down into the collection to look at some beautiful jade carvings and oriental ceramics for our inspiration. Knowing what we had to work with I chose a fish, Aimee and Sarah drew animals and shapes and Katie picked out patterns from some of the pieces. Drawings done we headed back upstairs for a quick masterclass from Louise before we began carving our own creations.

We sketched out a rough outline of our design on the stone before picking out carving tools files, sand papers and scouring pads to shape our stones. The soapstone is beautiful to work with and we all found the technique very relaxing and therapeutic. The trick is little by little and nothing too intricate, especially on the small pieces of stone we were using. I think Aimee and Sarah found it a little hard to create the shapes they really wanted so ended up playing with the tools, seeing what marks and cuts they would make. Katie etched some intricate patterns into her stone to make a keyring. Towards the end of the two hours, which just flew by, we finished our pieces by washing them and then oiling them. Louise suggested I wait till I got home and maybe rubbed boot polish into mine so that the scales I'd etched on my fish would stand out. As per usual we were last to leave and Louise let the girls collect any stone scraps to take home.

The day after Aimee and I did some carving in the garden with the soapstone leftovers, using emery boards, small drill bits and a craft knife. We made some very small fish and I finished off my fish from the day before with some brown boot polish.

Another lovely day and after looking at glittery stones in our new garden path Aimee created this fantastic picture of people dancing and a dog using stones.

As for the roses. It's been a while since I looked at the Attic 24 blog but Lucy had taken pictures of a walk she'd been on and I noticed a lovely crocheted corsage she was wearing. Mum and dad had invited us to tea later in the week and I thought the brooch would make a nice thank you for mum. The teeny tiny flower pattern is on the Attic 24 site and here are the corsages I made using small scraps of Debbie Bliss Andes, Ecobaby, Rowan Tweed and other bits and bobs.



and one for me

Quick, easy and fun to make.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Teddy Bear's Picnic

Aimee turned 8 on Sunday and to celebrate we had a few friends round for a Teddy Bear's Picnic.

I feel like I've had bears on the brain since we starting thinking about it a month or so ago but it's been great fun planning what we'd do and more importantly - what we'd eat!

It all started with the invitations. It's been a while since I've water coloured but I thought it would be the perfect medium and after several dreadful attempts I came up with the design above. Then I thought I'd make my own stamps to go on the envelopes. And once we'd decided we'd make teddy bears at the picnic I thought I'd do bags to put them in and adoption certificates. . . . oh, and I had a birthday badge made. . . and the card I made for Aimee had a bear on it! I nearly forgot - I drew some bears on the window too.

Given my recent penchant for amigurumi I just had to crochet a bear and surfed and surfed for a pattern that looked a little bit like the one I'd designed. With no joy I tweaked a pattern I had in my Ravelry Library - Angie's Art Studio Panda Bear. A few very minor alterations and Teddy Edward was ready for the picnic.

He looks a little annoyed. Maybe it's because his eyes are squint!

Last Saturday was baking day. Aimee was whisked away to Grandma's cottage to make crispie cakes while I made raspberry and white chocolate muffins and her birthday cake in secret. Shhh!

Ever since I was little my mum has made my brother, sister and I the same chocolate cake for just about every birthday we've celebrated. It's the most delicious chocolate sponge with a chocolate butter cream and a rich chocolate glace icing; the recipe never seems to fail and it's always enjoyed so why wouldn't we make it over, and over, and over again. I've made Aimee the very same cake for all 7 of her previous birthdays (whether she liked it or not) and this year I thought I'd try my hand at using some fondant to decorate it. Last year I used edible chocolate transfer paper and I was a bit disappointed with the results. This year I kept it simple and with some top fondant tips from my sister Nic I hoped I'd made the perfect Teddy Bear's Picnic cake.

Aimee and friends @ The Teddy Bear's Picnic