Friday, 10 June 2016

Make & Take in June

So a few years ago, I did a project where we traced round one of our hands and then embroidered and embellished it with buttons, beads, felt shapes and embroidery.  
Everyone loved doing this project and this is the hand I made back then.

This month I decided to revamp this project and mindful of the ladies I am working with I have been thinking a great deal about what meaning there could be behind it.

I know I would be lost without my hands....they feel, they touch, they tell people you care, you use them to create things, make music, express your emotions, speak without words and for some they are a means of identification. I have created a handprint of my own hand, cut out of felt and embroidered with symbols that mean something to me. This is what we will do in week one of this two-part workshop using felt, buttons and embroidery. The second week we will attach it to a piece of felt and embroider positive words or affirmations that will encourage you whenever you look at it.


The words I have chosen are ones which I have a particular affinity with.  
Empathy: I care very much for the people around me and those I work with.  Particularly at the moment with the ladies I'm working with at Petrus, who have very challenging lives.
Creative: Creativity plays an important part of my life, so that word of course has to be there.
Peace: Well, we all need some peace in our lives.  We all live very stressful, hectic lives these days, but I am mindful that I need some peace and quiet to create a balance.
Kindness:  I am often appalled how nasty the world has become.  People use the excuse they are "just being honest". when actually they are just being extremely rude and ill-mannered.  I make a point of being kind and saying postive things to the people I meet, as sometimes it's been said I've been the "only person who's had a kind word for them all day".

It takes very little and costs nothing to say "hello" and smile at someone 
and you never know but it might make all the difference.

Make & Take Art at Horse Carrs in May

Craft group was relatively quiet at the last craft group as it was the start of the bank holiday weekend.  I knew who was coming so we did a "how to draw a face" session.  
It was really nice to have a small group  for a change, 
so that we could all chat, create, drink coffee and eat cake. 
Our faces all turned out very differently as we all have different styles....
but it seems we all have a "thing" for pinky red hair!!! 




Not much time for my own art, but....


I've been so busy, I've not had much time to do any art of my own.  However, I found two canvases that my daughter had retrieved from the "throwing out bin" at Uni.  So I recycled them to create two pieces of art....one is unfinished as I've just not had any time.

The art work that was originally on these canvases was very abstract and mostly blocks of colour.  I toned it down with some gesso and painted a face.  I added "hair" using collaged napkins and then doodled on them with a white gel pen.  The colours are alot more vibrant in reality.



My unfished picture shows more of the background that had been previously,  
I will add hair at some point.  I really like adding collaged flowers for the hair, 
but I can't decide how to add them to this painting as yet.


This is a painting I did a while ago but instead of tissue paper I recycled some floral wrapping paper I'd received with a present.  The butterfly was cut from a glossy magazine.
I think this is one of my favourite paintings I've done.


Busy! Busy! Busy!

It's been weeks, if not months since I blogged, I've just been so busy.  A while ago I was asked to put together some craft workshops for Petrus, a local homeless charity.  So every week for the last couple of months I've been working with  some of the lovely ladies who attend there.  Some of these women are vulnerable or need extra support and it’s been a real privilege to work with them, getting to know them and gain their trust, helping them to learn new skills and to see their creative confidence grow.

The first week, was rather nerve-wracking as we got to know each other and I brought along a project which wouldn't overwhelm them and  so I could assess their abilities.  I think they did really well and it was lovely to see what they achieved.



During this session, we chatted with what they would like to do over the coming weeks and it seems they all like "upcycling"!!!  So for the next couple of sessions, we brought in old clothes so that they could alter them into something new. I was so impressed with their creative vision and their ability to carry out, which for some would be quite a daunting process.

One lady re-vamped this colourful top into a bag, but then decided it would be better as a scatter cushion.  I like that she was bold enough to change her mind about what her finished item should be and that once finished it was impossible to know what it started out as.  She incorporated all the main features of the original garment and used them really creatively in her finished cushion.  She also added a loop and fringe detail from another garment which works perfectly.  Well done!


Before my class, the ladies have a zumba session.  This lady decided to re-style some clothes so that she could wear them for exercising.  She's chosen some very bold prints and designs and they work really well for their new intended use.  On the top with the tiger she chose to keep the original design but added rhinestone embellishments which work really well. The Zumba outfit was embellished with felt letters, buttons, bows and chains.  This lady has a real flair for creativity and each week she brings me photographs of items she has made for her home from recycled objects.  It's so lovely to see how she is blossoming week by week.

One week, we recycled old jeans to make these cute coin purses adding decorative buttons to finish them off.  


Now that we have bonded and I have got a good rapport with some of the ladies, I have started to incorporate some of the projects which I like to do in my other craft workshops.  These often have a meaning behind them and show not only their creativity but also their personalities.  I'll talk more about this in my next blog post.  However, this is one of the samples I made.  




Sunday, 13 March 2016

Easter Chicks


These are our Easter "Chicks" in progress last Friday.
We had a lovely relaxing morning, sewing with felt.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Marching On!!!


Do come and join us on Friday, 11th March for our friendly Make & Take Craft Group.

This week we are going to make a gorgeous Easter Chick which will hold a small chocolate egg from felt and thread. These are super easy to make, so don't worry if you're out of practice with your stitching abilities. For those of you who have more confidence, you can really go to town with embellishing these with a variety of stitches and decorative techniques and the option is there to turn into a brooch if you want to. Keep it for yourself or give it as a special hand crafted gift.

For just £5, all crafting materials and expert tuition is provided and each time is something different that you can make and take home. 

Don't forget to bring along something to Show and Tell...this can be something you've made, a new crafty magazine or book or a craft shop or exhibition you've enjoyed.

Refreshments are available from the Coffee Shop if you wish.

There is free on site parking and disabled access.



Please note that there will be NO Craft Group 
on Good Friday, 25th March, 
but we will meet again on the 8th and 22nd April.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Make & Take in February


Our next Make & Take Craft Group session will be on Friday, 26th February from 10am -12noon.

We will be continuing our doodly drawing theme which we started this month when we made Mandala drawings (see post below), but this time we will be making decorative doodled lettering.
As usual I will go though the whole process with you and as usual they are much easier to do than they look, but the end results are really stunning.  Here are some of the designs I came up with as I was preparing for this workshop.  I can't wait to see your take on this,



In my personal creative life I've been working in my art journal and experimenting with different styles.  Here are some of my pages, that hopefully will inspire you to get out your paints.


This page was going to be a "whimsical" girl, but she ended up being quite a realistic painting with a watercolour landscape, which I've never really done before, in the background.  
She reminds me of Anna in Downton Abbey!


I found a tube of neon pink paint, which reminded me of all those Mrs Slocombe ladies in the 70's who used to have a pink or blue rinse.


Intuitive experimental painting...I didn't look to closely at the paint colours I picked up and just used whatever came to hand...to a certain extent. 


I went back to my whimisical girly roots....I think she turned out really sweet.  Her little gold friend was recycled from a Christmas Card.

If you were wondering, the art journal I'm currently using is the large Dylusions journal by Ranger.

So far in February...

It's already the middle of February and I really don't know where the time has gone.  As usual, despite all my planning, things haven't gone to plan, but as a good friend of mine always says "there's always Plan B".  Unfortunately, I've had to postpone my sessions in March at Mafia Makes as life has taken over and so...I've had to go to Plan B...and I will do them later in the year. However, fortunately the Make & Take Craft Group tends to just organise itself so they will continue as normal.

In our first session in February, I taught how to design and draw Mandala's.  I must admit that I've found them quite addictive and got a bit carried away by drawing them.  February, so far has been quite stressful and drawing Mandalas and doodling on them is really therapeutic...and anyone who knows me, knows that I am a great fan of anything therapeutic!!

Here are some of the Mandala's I came up with when I was preparing for my class.



I really enjoyed experimenting with different styles and doodles.
I eventually came up with a template which I printed out for the group and here are some of their designs...and for their first attempt...I am sooooo impressed!  Well done, my lovely ladies!!!


Here are some photos of their works in progress, helped along with coffee and cake courtesy of 
Horse Carrs Coffee Shop on Shawclough Road, Rochdale, 
where we meet every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month,



What We Made In January 2016


We got very creative in January.  


We made some New Year Decorations with a secret message inside that we'd written on a piece of paper and then rolled into a bead which we wrapped up with decorative washi tape.  The decorations were made by firstly decorating an A4 piece of card using my favourite Caron D'ache Neo-Color II water soluble wax crayons and then stencilling with Tim Holtz Distress Ink or doodling with a Black Sharpie.  We then drew a shape pattern which we traced around 10 times and then cut out.  Each shape was then folded in half, glued together to form a "round" and then the bead was fixed inside the centre using embroidery thread and a couple of buttons.  


In the next session we made collaged buildings using decorative papers.  These would make lovely greetings cards. I love making these and they feature alot in my art work.  I love to doodle on them and add other elements.  

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Christmas Make & Take

Our last Make & Take of the year will be on Friday, 11th December at 
Horse Carrs, Coffee Shop, Shawclough Road, Rochdale, OL12 6LG.  
The cost is just £5 and includes all craft materials and tuition.
Refreshments are available from the Coffee Shop if you wish.

We will be making a Willow Star Decoration.
It will be similar to this 
but we will add some festive bits and pieces to make it look Christmassy.