Archive for June, 2011

Printing inspiration

In advance of getting stuck in to year 2 of 52 crafts in 52 weeks I thought I’d have little wander around pinterest and blog-land to gather up some printing inspiration for us.

Potato printing

Crap at art pointed me towards this tutorial which is lovely – I hadn’t thought of using sweet potato.


I found several tutorials. This one is interesting, you really gently lay the paper on top of ink and then draw on top of it. And how about using gelatin?

Lino printing

Take a look at this video via CRAFT – lino printing explained in 60 seconds.


Lots of lovely screenprinted-goodness on UK Handmade. And here is a tutorial for printing t-shirts.

What are your favourite printing methods? What are you looking forward to trying in July?


Year 2 is here – won’t you join me?

It’s year 2 of 52 crafts in 52 weeks and this time I would love it if you got involved too. We’ll be crafting together and you can choose to complete 1,2,3 or 4 crafts each month to fit the theme. You can post your crafts in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #52crafts52weeks) or in the Flickr group (or all of them of course).

Here are all the monthly themes. It’s up to you which crafts you choose in the month but I’ll also post in advance which I’ve chosen so you can follow along – I’ve only finalised July so far but I’ll update with August soon so you can get organised.

We’re starting on July 1 with Printing

And I’ll be trying:
Week 1 (1-7): Potato printing
Week 2 (8-14): Screen printing
Week 3 (15-21): Lino printing
Week 4 (22-28): Mono printing

Future months:
August: Fibre
September: Embroidery
October: Making memories
November: Gifts
December: Christmas
January: Paper
February: Jewellery
March: Retro crafts
April: Home
May: Sewing
June: Dyeing

Let me know if you’re joining in and if you have any questions. I can’t wait to get started!

PS If you want to download a badge to show you’re taking part here is a selection of delights for you to choose from…


And the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who entered, the winner is comment number 3…

Congratulations Panya!

Maybe you can help me with crochet in year 2!

Don’t forget the giveaway

Less than 24 hours to go to enter my little giveaway. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow evening.

Giveaway closed – winner coming soon.

And then next week I’ll reveal the details for year 2.

In the meantime here’s a little montage of the last year’s crafting…

Big fat wrap party giveaway

I am feeling a bit giddy about completing 52 crafts in 52 weeks – there have been some tough weeks when I had completely no idea what to make so thank you from the bottom of my crafty heart for all the comments, support, ideas and encouragement along the way.

To say thank you and to celebrate the close of year one here’s a little giveaway for you. After a year of crafting, and the anticipation of year two, I’ve realised I can’t possibly keep everything I’ve made. So here’s what I’m giving away to one of you lucky readers…

First attempt at papercutting

Papercutting from week 4

My party garland on the dresser

Felt garland from week 5

Finished book

Book from week 7

Three pink and orange paper pieced blocks

Pieced blocks from week 10

Finished pendants

Pendant from week 16

Kanzashi flower

Kanzashi from week 23

Leafy canvas

Leaf canvas from week 22

Birdy made from vintage fabric

Assemblage from week 38


Kumihimo from week 45

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment and let me know your favourite craft from the last 52 weeks – or your favourite craft I haven’t covered yet. I’ll draw a random winner on Sunday 19 June so get your entry in by 17:00 UK time. Giveaway now closed – winner coming soon!

{week 52!} batik

Wow, here we are at week 52. I can’t quite believe it. I came up with the idea whilst recovering from back surgery last June and I’m so proud to have completed a craft a week for a whole magnificent year.

Another crazy idea I had a year ago was to take part in the Edinburgh Moonwalk. So I’m writing this post whilst resting my ridiculously sore feet. I walked 26.2 miles through the night for breast cancer and completed it in a very respectable 7 hours. Something else to be proud of I think. I hope all this pride doesn’t result in a fall. As I can hardly walk that’s very possible.

With my medal

Anyway, on with the craft. For the very last week I decided to try batik.

The basic principle is that you apply molten wax to fabric to create a pattern and then dye it. I used an Xxx to drip the wax in a flower pattern – the fabric is stretched tight over a hoop first. Then I decided to use coffee to dye the fabric – but you can use batik dye. After soaking it for ages I let it dry and used absorbent paper and an iron to (attempt to) remove the wax. You can repeat the process to add another colour if you like to make more intricate designs.

Batik - last week of 52 crafts in 52 weeks

As you can see, the wax hasn’t entirely lifted off yet so I need to give it another iron. But I think batik gives a nice effect with the natural dye don’t you? I’d like to add some machine embroidery to it and make it into a pillow or maybe a bag.

Stay tuned for a big end of year giveaway later this week. And all the details for year 2 and how you can join in.

Thank you for all your support over the last 52 weeks. Every comment, view, retweet, idea and subscription means so much.

Happy crafting,
Christine x

{week 51} polymer clay

When I realised that one of the last crafts I had left was polymer clay, or Fimo as people in the UK more commonly know it, I groaned a little bit. Not because I didn’t want to make something with it but all I could think of were buttons, beads, or pendants. But I’ve already made them with so many other means (see porcelain and shrink plastic) and I didn’t want to be boring.

So I did some internet searching as you do and came up with the idea to make stamps with the clay.

Polymer clay stamps
I made the stamps by rolling out the clay (using a brayer but anything would do like a good old rolling pin, but not one you use for food of course) and made stamps by adding details either with coils or balls, or by impressing shapes into the clay (can you guess what I used?)

Then I baked the clay for 30 mins at 110C.

I haven’t had time to use the stamps yet so I’ll update soon with the results. Have a crafty week. x

{week 50} needlepoint

Week 50 of a year-long project is really not the time to get sick. But sadly my body did not take any notice of this and decided to strike me down with a horrible fevery sore throat thing. So I decided to pull out a craft I have tried before – and it is one I started when I was off work recovering from surgery almost exactly a year ago. It seems quite fitting to be revisiting it now as it was also the time that I conceived the 52 crafts in 52 weeks idea.

Emily Peacock kit

Needlepoint does require a certain amount of concentration as you need to count the stitches and keep track of where you are in the pattern so it’s not good if you’re feeling really ill. But once my initial fever-fog passed I was able to get stuck in.

Emily Peacock kit

The kit is The Meeting Place by Emily Peacock (check out the Rob Ryan kit too) and is really lovely. However I have a feeling I’ll need a lot more sick days before I finish it.

1970s needlepoint book

I also had a look through a vintage book – The New World of Needlepoint, published in 1972 – that I picked up in an Oxfam book shop.

1970s needlepoint book

1970s needlepoint book

I love all the patterns and it made me think of Sister Diane’s plastic canvas project. I don’t have any inspiring wool to use (other than my Emily kit) so I think I may have to get hold of some and make some pretty pendants and brooches with the patterns in this book. But I had a little go with some dubious old wool I found in my stash anyway and it was very easy to do.

Plastic canvas

What’s your favourite sick-day craft?

PS Week 51 coming very soon.


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