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Merry Christmas!

Just a short, picture-free post to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I was going to post the craft stuff I have bought recently (and it's a lot!) but I thought it best to wait until I have actually made things with said items. Suffice to say I have plenty of new things to try out in the new year, which actually links with next year's resolution.
to speak without voice,
using intricate gestures
performed with your hands

Second to last of this year's weekly tasks, and I have always wanted to start learning a new language. New to me obviously, as there are no new languages as such. Anyway, if you haven't been able to guess from the haiku, the language is BSL, or British Sign Language. One of the few things I have remembered from primary school is how to fingerspell the alphabet, as well as a song, but I wanted to learn things that are more useful. It is true that there are so many things you learn in school that you never use in life, and so many life skills that you have to kind of discover for yourself. My cousin is teaching his children sign language, and I completely applaud him for it. The best way to learn is to watch videos, as the illustrations do not really show each gesture in its entirety. So far I have been learning basic phrases, but I think I might sign up to a proper course next year, or at least practise as much as possible. To be honest, I think the major problem is not being able to make the gestures, but to be able to converse with someone, reading their hands.



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....and I've run out of heart related puns....

First off, as always, the decluttering. All funkos this week (and next actually) They've gone to my brother.

Even my cute little Sauron!

Onto the makes. Haven't had a chance to make any jewellery yet and the stitch is not yet finished (on the final page now, which has the most french knots on) but I have made another heart.

I started by cutting two hearts out of some Tim Holtz paper. With the first I sprayed with green and brown Lindy's sprays, and glued it to the wooden heart. With the second I cut with a mixed media thinlit die on one side. It didn't work completely so I cut a bit away. I used texture paste with a brick stencil, then sprayed it with blue Lindy's sprays, adding a couple of drops of alcohol ink on certain bricks to darken it. 

I love Lindy's sprays - they call them magical for a reason!

I die cut loads of gears, painting them silver before attaching them to the heart. I added a couple of pieces of ephemera, a clock, and a wing I've had in…

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling,rolling.

I've completed a few things this week. The first is my cross stitch. Already started work on a new one too!

I had to substitute a fair few colours but it works I think.
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The good thing about the fairground one is that you can use one of the offcuts as an insert, which makes it easier when using black card. I used everything but the balloon dies in this one, adding a couple of wooden stars painted silver and some silver gems for the lights.

I should have done the deep orange card bit blue apparently, for the sea, but I didn't have two shades of blue paper! Oh well, it still works. Perfect for a card from the sunny seaside of Newquay, except the seagull isn't attacking someone. The best thing is the offcut from one of these dies is perfect for another card - which will be revealed once I make it.

I've also made a bookmark.

I think this…

Trying out some new dies

Well, one new die. I also tried out some black shrink plastic and butterfly dies to make some jewellery. The trick with doing this is to roll the shrink plastic and the die back and forth through your machine more than once. Black shrink plastic tends to be difficult to cut. Anyway, once I had successfully cut out the butterflies I shrunk them. The best thing to do is to shrink them on the lower setting. After they had shrunk, I painted them with the new Sparks paints I got just before Christmas, before assembling them into earrings.

The pictures don't show just how beautiful the butterflies are. It's a perfect way of doing a pair of earrings for someone.
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