Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Been awol!

I've had a few days off from blogging, and it would be nice to tell you that it's because I've been busy finishing all the ongoing crafting projects I have on the go at the moment. But I haven't! It's not normal for me to be quiet and not to have or find something to say so yes, it's been an odd few days!

My excuses are that Sunday was Sunday, a day off, and too hot for doing anything other than umm essential Sunday chores.

Monday saw Ian and I sitting in a hospital waiting room for 3 hours, having spent time traveling there too, when we're sure he could have been seen locally, as he has been before. My blog would have resembled more of a rant, so better that I didn't blog about it at all!!

Yesterday, well blogger's cramp had truly set in and I couldn't think of anything to say. Must be the heat, but I'm not really complaining...well only a bit... Why does this country run on extremes, either too cold, too wet, too windy or, too hot... well that's how it seems! So I'll follow suit and waffle too much today too... Just for the hell of it!

The yellow sea of buttercups has disappeared from the garden now the grass has grown higher. Hamish (our dog) is covered in grass seeds and we can't keep track of him in the garden, we just hear a rustling sound as he moves about! The ground will definitely be well re-seeded for next year!

Upsetting news from the garden is that all the bees have gone. We found some in the front garden, but we are sure they usually stay all summer by the Cotoneaster, strange! Hope they are OK, we miss them!!

I'm holding a workshop tomorrow, embossing techniques, it will include using fusible webbing as a background amongst other things, hence the pictures. It gives a lovely lacy effect. My first attempts with this quite a few years ago were disastrous, it ended up wound round the end of my heat gun like candy floss! So, I'm glad I cracked it and found the best way for me to use it. It's a good example of not giving up on a technique when it doesn't work for you straight away, keep at it and you will get there eventually, honest!

I often try to think back to how it was when I first started embossing with stamps, it was quite a primitive procedure back then, before art rubber stamping was even considered a craft in the UK. I'm so glad I stuck with it, if you are new to it, or still learning (as we all are), do keep practising. If you're a die hard stamper lacking mojo, here's a challenge, revisit some embossing techniques you haven't tried for a while, I've thoroughly enjoyed playing with the older techniques again.

Products have improved so much since we started, we didn't have the best fabby embossing pad on earth back then, ie the VersaMark Embossing Pad, or even heat guns, it was either a paint stripper, toaster, light bulb or a heated baking tin in the oven! My first public demos were using my gas cylinder Braun curling tongs (t'was without electricity in our humble show tent)!

Thought it was ingenious at the time to be able to emboss on the go! Forget the benefits of what the tongs could do for your hair, (or not as it turned out). But no-one really appreciated how clever that was at the time! Well, until they got addicted to stamping that is and reported back that in desperation for a heat source, they'd tried it too!! Those were the days.

That first major venue for us was the East of England show in Peterborough, little did I know way back then that IW & C & C would have me returning to Peterborough for the filming of craft shows years later! Funny how things work out...

We have much more stuff to use with embossing powders now and more variety of EPs than back then, it's easier to achieve the many techniques with the great products available. Time permitting tomorrow for all these techniques (I always plan too much stuff to do), we will work our way through the basic/best tips for embossing onto card, vellum, acetate, different types of EP etc. Then we'll hit the real fun... ultra thick, Jacob's coat, shrink plastic, style stones, noodle brush embossing, the hot pot and more....

Ian usually throws us out way past the time our workshops should end, probably a good thing as I guess we'd never stop playing. So much embossing, so little time...

Fusible webbing instructions... coming soon!


PS: Do pop over to Lesley's blog HERE to see what she made at Saturday's workshop, stunning!


  1. Oooh I wish I was back up there with you all tomorrow Jill. Bet you have a great time.

    Just to let you know I've posted my makes from last Saturday's workshop on my blog tonight.

    Hope you like the finished canvas.

    Lesley Xx

  2. Oh.. poor bees. I hope they're okay. We have a little nest under my shed - they keep little Holly amused for hours. They have moved on I think, although there are still a few hanging around.. whoops.. must fly... battery is about to die - bloomin' laptop cables developed a sadistic streak and decided not to charge me lappy!! Great fun eh?!

    Lovely to have met you at the Dome.. love to all. x

  3. Gorgeous cards! All my favourite colours. You're so right about revisiting earlier techniques. Seeing basic embossing demonstrated at a show was what started me cardmaking, about 20 years ago. How we've progressed since then! Still have fond memories of melting powder with the iron or toaster, but the heat gun is so much easier! Wonder what the next great innovation will be!

  4. I remember embossing with a paint stripper in the early days Jill, it was always so noisy and so hot!!!We are really spoilt nowadays aren't we. I love your fusible fibres. They always look so delicate like gold lace.
    It has been soooo hot hasn't it, but up until now not much sun, which seemed to make it strength strapping, I know exactly what you mean. Today has been lovely though, blue skies and a breeze, just perfeet!
    I can sympathise with the hospital waiting. I took my Mum for a 9.45am appointment on Tuesday and got out at 1.15pm!!!!! I'd just about lost the will to live!!!! Hope you don't have to go back again.
    Enjoy your workshop, it sounds great.



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