Sunday, 26 September 2010

Mini-Bouquets

Today I made this card:

Hazel & Nilly's Florist Ribbon Mini-Bouquet Card

I used some very pretty patterned paper given to me by a friend, and cut the window using a Spellbinders Nestability die, the edges of which I decorated with Fruit Punch Stickles. I inked the edges of the pale pink paper behind the window with Spun Sugar Distress Ink, and adhered a mini-bouquet of tiny flowers made from florist ribbon into the window.

I made these mini-bouquets yesterday:

Florist Ribbon Mini-Bouquets 25 Sep 10

I was trying to follow the instructions of the man at the craft show on Thursday but what he made look so easy really wasn't easy for me!! In the end I found my own way of doing it, rolling florist tape with the shredded florist ribbon to make it stick together a bit better, and dispensing with the barbecue stick up the middle altogether, as this left a big hole which made the ribbon roll unstable. After completing the roll, I continued wrapping the florist tape around the base of the flower, and continued twisting it downwards to create the stem. When they were done, I squashed the petals flat to open up the little flowers.

When all the flowers were complete, I bound them together with more florist tape, and incorporated a wax paper triple leaf behind each bouquet - I have had these for ages and don't like them very much for most things, but as a background to these mini-bouquets they work very well, as they are flat and stiff. I tied a thin ribbon round each one, and then they were ready to apply to cards.

I'm beginning to wish I'd bought that man's flower making kit and DVD after all! They were a real fiddle to make, and it took me a very long time to perfect any sort of technique that worked, and in the process I wasted a great deal of ribbon! That didn't matter too much as the ribbon is very cheap, but it was a bit frustrating.

Next time I'm in town I shall buy some more from our local florist. Florist ribbon is great for lots of things - it shreds well, and it is very good for doing iris folding with - if you choose 2 shades of the same colour (e.g. paler and darker blue), you get a lovely effect as the two colours relate to each other. (Time I did some more iris folding - haven't done any for ages!)

Friday, 24 September 2010

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Show - Continued - Fabulous Faberge

Because it made such an impression on me, and because I took more photographs here than anywhere else at the show, I thought I would devote a separate post to one particular stand.

This was the egg craft stand. I have always been fascinated by the work of Peter Carl Faberge and the exquisite eggs he produced for the Russian Royal Family, and all egg decorating has always delighted me. Years ago at the embroidery group I used to belong to, we had a visiting speaker from this group, and I bought one of her eggs. I was so delighted to find the stand at the show, and the two ladies there were very pleased that I wanted to photograph the eggs.

The Egg Ladies

This is the display of beautiful eggs, some of which these two ladies had decorated.

Egg Display 2

Here are some pictures of individual eggs which particularly took my fancy, although I could have photographed every one, they were all so beautiful.

This is a Christmas sleigh, and it's hard to believe, at first glance, that it began as an egg!

Christmas Sleigh Egg

Isn't it just exquisite? It even has some little gifts, and tiny bells.

This one is suspended from a swag of little flowers.

Floral Swag Egg

This pink fairy egg has a tiny light inside, which diffuses through the eggshell. It was beautiful, even under the bright lights of the show, but I could imagine how much more lovely it would be in more subdued lighting.

Illuminated Fairy Egg

This charming egg was decorated with applique'd lace, and through its heart-shaped aperture, you can see that the interior is filled with fine fluffy pink filaments of feathers!

Pink Feather Egg

This next one was the most fascinating of all. So much of the egg has been cut away that it's hard to realise that it is made from an egg! The remaining section is such an interesting shape, and as you move, the shape flows and changes against the spaces between. It has given me an idea for a paper sculpture based on a moebius strip, which, if suspended freely, would turn in the air and produce equally interesting shapes... In the centre of this egg is a tiny quail's egg, topped with a jewel.

Cut-Away Egg

Finally, there were a couple of eggs which were replicas of Faberge eggs produced for the Russian Royal Family. This first one is one of my favourites of all the Imperial Easter Eggs: the Imperial Rose Trellis Egg.

Faberge Imperial Rose Trellis Egg

It is shown here opened to reveal the interior. The lady who made it described how she made the little pillows for these eggs; she cut a baby sponge in half, and hollowed out the top, and then covered it with satin or velvet before embellishing the edge with braid. What a beautiful way to display such amazing, miniature works of art!

The final one I photographed was another Faberge replica: the Red Cross Triptych Egg, made in 1915 to commemorate the older two royal princesses becoming Red Cross Nurses during World War I. Here it is closed:

Faberge Red Cross Triptych Egg Closed

When it is opened, it reveals a tiny triptych, with the Crucifixion of Christ in the centre, flanked by icons of two saints, St. Olga and St. Tatyana, namesakes of the two princesses.

Faberge Red Cross Triptych Egg Open

Aren't these just the most amazing works of art? I am lost in admiration not just for Peter Carl Faberge and the fabulous treasures he created, which bring to mind one of the most tragic families in history, and symbolise a lifestyle of great opulence in stark contrast with their impoverished subjects, which was about to be lost forever... but also for the creativity and craftsmanship of modern-day artists, who continue to delight us with the beauty of their work.

Labels for Ink Pads

At the Craft Show yesterday I bought some more Tim Holtz Distress Inks, and I now have quite a collection. I always store my ink pads upside down, so that the ink soaks to the surface of the pad, ready for use, and when they are stacked up, I cannot read the labels, which means it always takes ages to find the one I want. Today I finally got round to labelling the sides of the pads for easy reference. I inked all the labels with their respective colours, partly for easy reference and partly because it made them look pretty!

Distress Ink Labels 24 Sep 10

Ed: I have subsequently read that with Distress Inks, it is not necessary to store them upside down.

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Show

Yesterday I went to the Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Show at Westpoint, Exeter - an annual craft show which I have never managed to get to before. It is a general craft show, but there is a heavy emphasis on card making and papercrafting because these are so popular these days, and those stands were certainly the most crowded!

I had a totally brilliant day. My hubby dropped me off, and went off for the day to do his own thing - he did some exploring, and also did the weekly grocery shop for us, which I was very grateful for as I was shattered after the day at the show!

There was so much to see. One of the first stands I visited was this glitter stand:

1 Glitter Guy in his Pirate Cave

I have never seen so much glitter! I told the Glitter Guy that he ought to be wearing a pirate's costume and an eye patch because he looked like a pirate king in his treasure cave! He said that was the idea, having the chests and buckets of loose glitter. He was selling it by the scoop! Isn't it a magnificent sight?

I was thrilled to meet Ziggy of luceting fame - I saw him a few weeks ago on the Create and Craft channel on TV and he came over as such a lovely man - and this was borne out when I met him in person. We had a lovely chat, and all the while he was luceting away, and must have made several inches of braid in the time we were talking! He has the most amazing shoelaces, which most people never notice, but I made a point of looking out for them after seeing them on TV! Luceting is an ancient Viking craft, a method of making braid with a tool that looks a bit like a two-pronged fork. Ziggy has elevated this to a new level and produces many different designs and colours.

At least 30 people commented on the flowers on my Rolls Royce - everybody loved them - as it was a craft show I suppose people were more observant about such things, but it was a great conversation starter! Talking of flowers, there was a man on one stand who was making the most incredible flowers out of florist ribbon, using a ribbon shredder and a barbecue stick, and wrapping the ribbon around. He was making dozens of different designs and sizes - the smallest ones he made into tiny bouquets which were attached to the front of cards. He was selling kits, including the shredder, quite a lot of ribbon, and an instruction DVD, but I decided that I was already spending money faster than I could keep up with, and I shouldn't really start yet another craft... But... today I've spent the day regretting not buying it! It was just so cool, so simple, quick to do, and very, very effective - the flowers are so realistic!

Florist Ribbon Flowers from the Show

In the centre of the hall was a magnificent structure created for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), made entirely of knitting! It was in the form of a grotto that you could walk through - I didn't go through because it was very crowded at the time, but I took a couple of photos of the outside:

3 Knitted RNLI Display 2

2 Knitted RNLI Display 1

There was also a display of vintage costume - ladies' undergarments predominantly, and this piece particularly took my fancy - a Victorian bustle made entirely of bras!

4 Bustle Made of Bras

Here is the Hat Lady on her stand:

5 Hats

She had a display of the most exquisite fascinators and some of the materials she uses to make them. Each one was a "one-off" and the attention to detail was amazing. They were all so elegant, and sure to turn heads - as she herself demonstrated; several times during the day she left her stand and walked around the show modelling a hat, and everyone was looking and pointing!

This was the sugarcraft stand. I am always amazed at what people can make out of cake icing - this is a skill beyond me, and I am lost in admiration for the artistry and beauty of the work.

6 Sugarcraft

This was one of several bead stands at the show. Unfortunately the Chinese lady on the stand didn't seem to understand when I asked if I could photograph her in front of her beads - she turned and walked away so all I got of her was a blur! However, the strings of crystal beads are so lovely as they catch the light and sparkle.

7 Beads

This lady is a textile designer specialising in devore velvet. She had many, many fabulous wraps on her stand, in the richest colours and opulent designs from floral to Art Deco. She was modelling different ones, complete with a selection of beautiful jewelled clips to hold them in place.

8 Devore Velvet Lady

9 Devore Velvet

Towards the end of my visit, I was delighted to discover the Stampin' Up stand. When I first started being seriously creative in the early summer, I learnt a lot from Youtube videos, and the first ones I came across were Stampin' Up ones - I thought the demonstrators were all so charming and friendly and fun, and I loved what they were doing. These young ladies on this stand were no exception! You can see from their happy smiling faces how much they enjoy what they do! I had a lovely chat with the two looking at the camera in particular, and the one on the right had recently discovered my blog, which was great! When I have sorted through all the leaflets and cards that I picked up at the show, I shall be looking her up, as she's got a blog too, which I shall enjoy visiting, I am sure.

10 Stampin' Up

Many of the stands had demonstrators showing different techniques and the use of different materials. I particularly enjoyed this aspect of the show, and all the stand holders were so friendly and chatty, and willing to share any information! Conversations sprang up between visitors as well, and lots of information was shared, and we all agreed that we learnt as much from each other as from the demonstrators.

Altogether it was a marvellous day. A day really wasn't enough to see and do all I wanted, especially as it was extremely busy and crowded until later in the afternoon - apparently whole coach-loads of ladies arrive on a daily basis to this very popular annual event, and these days everybody seems to be crafting!! It was quite hard to get around at times, and to see everything.

I shall definitely be going next year! In the meantime, there is another one in January, more specifically geared towards papercrafting rather than general crafts, so I think that one will be very interesting, and I look forward to it.

Shows of all kinds are great fun. Sharing the day with like-minded people, and learning what is available, and how it is used etc. is very stimulating, and it widens one's horizons. I have now bookmarked the Westpoint, Exeter, website so that I can keep up to date with what's going on! All most enjoyable.

Finally, here are the things I bought! (Well, most of them!)

11 Craft Show Purchases

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

26 Years a Believer!

Today, 22nd September 2010, is the 26th anniversary of my being born again and becoming a believer in Jesus and a child of God.

I had been brought up as a nominal Christian in a churchgoing family, and educated at church schools, and by the time I left school I had quite a lot of knowledge of the Bible and of church matters but it was all in my head and not in my heart. After I left school I went through a bad patch and walked away from any involvement with God for a number of years. Then my grandmother died and quite unexpectedly I found myself wanting to "fill her pew" in church, so I started going again. Several years later I moved, and began attending my new local church, but it was still all in my head and not in my heart. In this church, I encountered people who seemed to have so much more than me spiritually - I'd never met people like that before and part of me wanted what they had, but another part shied away, fearing the commitment I felt would be involved. As time went on, this tension deepened until it became almost unbearable. At that time, a couple who had recently moved to the area invited me to a big meeting in our neighbouring city. The preacher spoke in words of one syllable and it was as if he was speaking to me personally - until that time I had no idea the Bible could be so "real" and by the end of the evening I had repented of my sin and believed that Jesus had paid the price for it, and accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour. That was exactly 26 years ago today.

There have been many ups and downs in the intervening years, but whatever I have been through, I have never been alone - He has been faithful to His promise never to leave nor forsake me, and during those years I have had a hunger to study His Word, the Bible, and to grow in understanding of His purposes for me, for His Church, for His Chosen People the Jews, and for the world. It has been, and continues to be, the most incredible adventure!

I am thrilled to see the daily verse that has come up on my blog for today:

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Peter 2:9.)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Beehive Explosion Box Pt 6

This afternoon I completed the lid of my beehive. I had great fun doing this, because it involved some experimenting to get the effect I wanted. Having looked at some pictures of beehives online, I discovered that they are often covered with roofing felt against the weather, and I wanted to reproduce the look and feel of this material with its bituminous gritty surface.

In the end I used a mixture of thick matt acrylic gel medium and pumice acrylic gel medium to give the gritty texture, coloured with black acrylic paint, which I applied with a palette knife and allowed to dry before proceeding. The roof is constructed of double-thickness cardstock, the outer layer being cut from the recycled cover of an architect's specification booklet, which had a rather nice dull black hammered surface, which I thought would be good just in case the gel medium mixture did not cover it adequately. (I never throw anything away that might come in useful!)

Here is the completed exterior of the beehive, now just awaiting a base and final decoration.

19 Box with Lid

This is the lid from above, which shows the texture quite well:

20 Lid from Above

21 Lid

The ridge piece is made of cardstock which has been inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain. The nails are mini-brads, which I held in a pair of jewellery pliers and sanded to remove the paint, and to give a somewhat rough surface. After inserting the brads, I attached the strip to the ridge of the roof with double sided tape.

Finally, this is the inside of the lid. Using double sided tape, I attached a square of card which I had embossed with the beehive Fiskar's Texture Plate and inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Pumice Stone.

22 Lid Inside

To finish the box, I need to make a square base slightly larger than the box. Beehives have a projection near the bottom, to allow the bees somewhere to land as they enter the hive, and I am not sure how to do this yet, because anything sticking out is going to prevent the box from exploding properly. I also want to add some grass and flowers around the base, not thick enough to prevent the box exploding, but just enough to prevent the flaps falling absolutely flat - I like the look of an explosion box when the flaps are slightly raised when exploded, like the petals of a flower. I will probably also add some more bees to the outside, including a few on acetate strips.

So... a bit of pondering required until this project is complete!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Beehive Explosion Box Pt 5

Today I finally managed to complete the inside of the explosion box. I spent a long time cutting out the bees last night (oooh how I could do with a Cricut - the job would have been done in minutes, with no sore hands as a result!!) - after I'd cut out the first lot I realised they were too small, so I had to do some more. I am much happier with the result now. They are outlined with black marker and coloured with coloured pencils.

This afternoon I cut the pieces of acetate and attached the bees - these suspend the bees over the central flower, and when the box explodes, they move, making the bees appear to be flying around. I used this device on my previous explosion box, and I like the effect so much that I think it will probably be a signature feature on all future ones too!

16 Box Interior Complete

As well as making some of the bees fly, I have also stuck some on the flaps of the box, on the honeycomb.

17 Box Interior Complete

This final view is taken from the side, which shows the bees "in flight" above the flower.

18 Box Interior Complete

With the addition of some silk leaves around the flower to cover the base, this completes the inside of the box. I am hoping that when the outside is done, the flaps will not fall completely flat when the box is exploded - I quite like the look of it when they open more like the petals of a flower, because it gives the box more dimension when it is open.

I have several more bees, which are going to be used to decorate the outside of the box. Depending on how it goes, I may have some more on acetate strips, flying around the door, but this may not be practical when the box explodes, so I shall have to experiment.

Still to do: the lid, which will have more woodgrain embossing and distress inking to match the sides; and probably some flowers and grass around the base of the hive, which will help support the flaps as the box explodes. The whole box will be attached to a base which extends out a little from the base of the hive.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

God's Knitting

When I was clearing out my room to make my ARTHaven, I came across a piece I'd made years and years ago, to illustrate some thoughts I'd been having at the time about how God is in control of our lives, however chaotic they might seem to us.

I had the thought that our lives are like a piece of knitting that God is doing - a work in progress. For anyone who has done Fair Isle (multi-coloured) knitting, you know that the back can end up as a tangle of different coloured yarns that are carried along, to be picked up when you want a new colour in the row. What we see is the back of this knitting. God is in control of the design, which He planned before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:4) - He knows how it's going to turn out. While the work is being done, it can be messy on the back, which is the only bit we see.

However, with the eyes of faith, opened by the Holy Spirit, we may catch a glimpse of the right side of the work, but in reflection only ("through a glass darkly," 1 Corinthians 13:12) but when we are face to face with the Lord, we will see the whole picture, the right side, in all its beauty and splendour.

Throughout the work, the golden thread of God's love is present. Although I didn't think of this when I was making this piece, I did incorporate a cross into the design.

This was an experiment, really, and I didn't spend a lot of time getting a nice glossy finish on it - it's pretty roughly put together, but if you don't mind seeing the staples holding the knitting in place etc. I hope it means something to someone!!

Here is the piece closed, showing the "wrong" side of the knitting. I'd like it to have been a bit more messy than this, so that the design didn't show up quite so clearly:

God's Knitting Closed 8 Sep 10

Here it is, open, showing the right side of the knitting in the mirror.

God's Knitting Open 8 Sep 10

I hope this strikes a chord with someone, somewhere... If your life seems in a total mess at the moment, and without purpose or direction, and you can't make sense of it, remember that God, who loves you, has the design in His hands, and sees the final picture.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

May God bless you all.

Beehive Explosion Box Pt 4

I've now finished the tags for the explosion box. When I printed out the designs, they came out extremely dark on the laser printer, so I had to increase the transparency to over 75% and do some editing to make them work correctly. I was then able to colour them using colour pencils, blending the colours where necessary, and then picking out the detail with a very fine permanent black marker.

I then cut them out, and backed them with card which I'd embossed with the honeycomb Fiskar's Texture Plate to match the rest of the box. Then I discovered that the large ones didn't fit in the holders! Today I worked on those and they now fit properly. I also inked the backs of the tags with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Pumice Stone and Wild Honey.

Here are the finished tags.

12 Completed Tags 12 Sep 10

This is close-up of the small tags for the inner box:

13 Small Tags 12 Sep 10

and here are the larger ones for the outer box:

14 Large Tags 12 Sep 10

For details of the story behind these tags, please see my previous post, here.

This picture shows the embossed and distress inked backs of the tags:

14 Tag Backs 12 Sep 10

Finally, here is a mock-up of the box so far, with the flower attached in the centre:

15 Box with Tags and Flower 12 Sep 10

I am very pleased with how it is coming together so far, and with the way the colours have co-ordinated.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Beehive Explosion Box Pt 3

I've been quite busy over the past couple of days working on the beehive explosion box. I have made the panels for the outside of the beehive, out of strips of card matching the main structure of the box, which I embossed with one of my new Fiskar's Texture Plates, the woodgrain one. I then inked them with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, which has picked out the woodgrain pattern very nicely. To give the effect of the slightly overlapping layers of the beehive, which in real life are lifted off to expose the comb inside, I attached the top edge of each piece with hot glue from my glue gun (I don't want these coming off) and the bottom edge I attached with strips of double-sided sticky foam, to lift them away from the surface.

Here's a picture of the outer box in the folded position (i.e. not exploded) and held in place with an elastic band. You can see the added dimension given by the foam strips.

10 Outside 8 Sep 10

Here's one of the box laid on its side, to show the detail of the embossing a bit better:

11 Outside, Side View 8 Sep 10

I have spent a great deal of time since then designing the eight tags to go in the tag holders on the inside of the flaps of the box - I have made four larger ones for the outer box, and four smaller ones for the inner box. After a lot of thought about how best to do this, I decided to keep everything as flat as possible, to avoid too much bulk, and the problem of the flaps catching when the box is exploded. I have designed these tags on my desktop publisher (Serif PagePlus) with the help of my photo editor (Serif PhotoPlus). I have saved them as PagePlus documents as I can set the size exactly, and will print them on cream card and then cut them out. They will probably be backed with beige card embossed with the honeycomb design and inked. I will colour the tags in the same way as a digital stamp, probably using coloured pencils, keeping the colours fairly limited to tone with the general gold/brown/cream of the project.

I thought it would be fun to make tags to illustrate some of the many activities which take place inside the hive, which is in effect a self-contained city - a community of bees, each having their own role in the collective, but in a humorous way - very anthropomorphic, but I make no apology for that!

I have saved each tag as a jpg file so that I could upload them and share them. At this stage, they are still greyscale, of course, not having been printed out. Photos of the finished tags will follow in due course.

This is the Food Store, showing the honey which the worker bees have made, and which in real life they store in the honeycomb, not in jars, of course!

Food Store Tag

This is the nursery, showing the bee larvae in their wax cells in the comb - I like to think of these as little cradles! The larvae are all genetically identical, the baby sisters of the adult worker bees. Special "nurse" bees are appointed to feed them, and when the time comes for them to pupate in preparation for their emergence as adult bees, these workers cover the cells with a lid of wax.

The Nursery Tag

This is the "Drones' Club." Those of you who watched "Jeeves and Wooster" on TV, based on the novels of P.G. Wodehouse, will recognise this scene. The young men in that series were all rich, air-headed young men who lived lives of idleness and were only interested in getting up to silly pranks, eating and drinking, and falling in and out of love with young ladies. They congregated in a London Club appropriately named "The Drones' Club." In the hive, the male bees, known as drones, are vastly outnumbered by the workers. Apart from the Queen, they are the only fertile bees in the colony, and they do absolutely nothing all their lives to contribute to the life of the hive; the workers feed them, and then when a new queen arises, she makes a "nuptial flight," flying as fast and as high as she can, and the drones all chase after her. The strongest one reaches her and their aerial mating is followed by the death of this drone, and all his brothers. This tag shows them at leisure - relaxing, drinking, enjoying music, dancing, and fighting.

Drones' Club Tag

In the hive, the worker bees are not called that for nothing; they do not have time off, but I thought it would be fun to imagine them having "down time" and enjoying some entertainment, so I have given them a cinema where they can watch - what else - bee movies!

Cinema Tag

During the life of the colony, there comes a time when the Queen will lay eggs in special, enlarged wax cells, and the workers feed them differently from worker larvae; this special food enables them to develop into fertile bees, i.e. young queens, which will have to leave the hive and form new colonies. This food is Royal Jelly. In this tag, I have put the Queen in her royal palace, seated on a throne, surrounded by her royal jellies, with some jelly moulds hanging behind her throne.

The Royal Palace Tag

In this tag, "Food Inwards," the fruits of the outside workers' labours are shown. Worker bees have a structure on their rear legs which looks like a basket, and into this they can pack a phenomenal amount of pollen from the flowers they forage for food. You can often see bees with great yellow lumps on their legs! My hubby and I always imagine them going off shopping with their little wicker baskets and coming home with the provisions for the family! This is "first stop" back into the hive for them, where they offload their supplies.

Food Inwards Tag

One of the most remarkable things which has been discovered about life in the hive is the way the worker bees communicate with one another. Like many other communal insects, they use chemical communication, but in order to tell other workers where to find a good source of food, the returning workers do an elaborate dance on the surface of the comb, moving rapidly in a semi-circular pattern, waggling their abdomens as they do it, the size of the waggle indicating the richness of the source, and the angle of the dance the direction in relation to the sun where this food may be found. In this tag you can see the workers learning their dance routines in the "Dance Academy" - note the tutus they are wearing!

Dance Academy Tag

In the final tag, we have the Female Workers' Union building, showing their badge and motto.

Union of Female Workers Tag

I have not presented these tags in any sort of order, because all these activities are taking place simultaneously, producing a harmonious whole which is one of the miracles of creation. When I think of the complexity of the collective, and how it comes together to produce what is like a single organism of many parts, I am amazed at the handiwork of our Creator God. Add to that the fact that without the bees, we would not be fed. We depend on them for the pollination of many thousands of acres of fruit orchards and much more. Honeybee populations are in decline today, for many reasons which have yet to be fully explained, and the situation is serious. These wonderful little creatures deserve study and appreciation! I have never wanted to keep bees myself, but my grandfather did, and invented a queen segregator which may still be in use today. (Unfortunately my hubby is allergic to bee stings so we couldn't keep bees even if we wanted to!) This explosion box is a gift for a friend who keeps bees in London. When she visited last year, she brought a jar of the most delicious honey I have ever tasted. As well as being a gift for her, this project is a tribute to all dedicated bee keepers who do so much for us all.

Sorry this has been such a long post to read, but I couldn't just show you these pictures without an explanation and a reason for my appreciation!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Beehive Explosion Box Pt 2

I haven't felt well enough to get into my ARTHaven today (if I feel better later I might do a bit more tonight), but I had a good session working on the Beehive Explosion Box last night.

I have inked the flaps with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Pumice Stone for the edges, and a bit of Wild Honey (appropriate!) for the middles, and just Wild Honey on the tag holders. After that I did two layers of clear embossing on the cells with "honey" in them. Unfortunately, in this picture that I took this morning, this doesn't show up very well at all, but just makes them look green! The embossing pen is pale blue which does give the gold a greenish tinge, but it's not quite as bad as on the photo. Also, the photo hasn't picked up how shiny they now are. Subsequent photos may show this up better. It's really difficult to photograph these things well - you get a good effect with artificial light but that alters the colours. I think a daylight bulb will solve a lot of the problems.

09 Mock-Up with Inking and Embossing

Still to do: Decorate the outside of the flaps of the outer box, stick the tag holders down, make the tags and other decorations, assemble the box, make the lid and embellish it, make the flying bees on their acetate strips.