Sunday, 26 September 2010


It was a beautiful day today - sadly we were a bit too busy rushing around to really take advantage of it. But I did manage a detour on the way back from the supermarket for a few minutes this afternoon...

Tomorrow I enrol on my Applied Art degree course. I am a little bit nervous!

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Remember Florence?  The not-very-attractive polystyrene display head I acquired from my Mum?

Well I have finished giving the poor girl her makeover and I'm quite pleased with the result.

I think she fits into my shop really well - now I just have to find time to rephotograph all my hairbands!

My eldest son has been following Florence's progress with interest.  For his current art project, much inspired by the work of Levi van Veluw, he has been using his own face as a canvas.

I am waiting to see what he does next...

Friday, 24 September 2010


I've just had a lovely couple of days - I sneaked off down to London all by myself.  I know that might seem a bit odd to some but having grown up around London I feel quite comfortable there and it is a real luxury being able to go and see just what I want.

So I had a mooch around the shops, including Liberty and Anthropologie, and went to the V&A (of course).
Framed - an installation at the V&A for London Design Week

But the main purpose of my trip was so that I could visit Origin - The London Contemporary Craft Fair.  I wanted to have a good look round to see what is considered 'the best' in contemporary crafts and to see if it would help me decide which direction I want to take when I start my degree next week.  The degree course gives you the opportunity to explore wood, ceramic, glass and metal before deciding which area to specialise in. 

The work I found most interesting at Origin was from makers who mixed materials (do click on the links), such as Sarah Thirlwell who mixes turned wood with recycled plastic to great effect, and Grace Girvan whose beautiful jewellery combines enamelled silver with found objects.  A very popular booth was that of Anya Keeley who makes whimsical creatures by combining brass wire with vintage papers.  And I was thrilled to see Debbie Smyth at work in her booth - the boys and I have been fans of hers since we saw her depiction of the Runcorn Bridge a couple of years ago.

Runcorn Bridge (detail) by Debbie Smyth

Last but not least, I treated myself to a lovely bag from Melissa Simpson - isn't it a great colour?

And did it help with my decision?  Well, yes and no.  I think I have ruled out specialising in ceramics (although I would like to experiment with porcelain) but I was very taken by some of the work in wood, which is an area I really hadn't considered before...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Re-Wired Flowers

I have a lot of things left over from various projects we did during my foundation course, including a whole pile of broken electrical items.  I was tidying these into a box the other day when I noticed the outer covering was peeling off one of the communications cables - so, always willing to be distracted from tidying I peeled it off a bit more...  Inside was a rainbow of thin wires all twisted together with a strand of bare copper - irresistible!

It took me a while to separate the wires - there is a knack to it which I didn't get the hang of until I had nearly finished, but it was worth persevering.  Of course my first thought was to try the wires as flowers and I'm pleased with the result.

I separated the rainbow of wires into 2 colour groups and also included the bare copper wire in the blue flower for a bit of added sparkle.

I think I am going to list these in my new shop even though they are flowers, as they would probably get a bit lost in my ffflowers shop.

Now what shall I do with the rest of the box?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

How to... post an image in the Folksy forums

There have been so many people asking how to do this over in the Folksy forums lately and many people, including myself, have tried to help out by posting the code in various forum threads.  The only problem with this is, that if you copy the code from a forum thread it simply does not work, even after you have edited it to suit your own requirements.  Why this is I don't know, but I thought I would try posting it here instead to avoid having to send the many explanatory messages and e-mails that I have been doing lately!

So, the code you need to post an image is

    <a href="link text"><img src="image location" width="250" /></a>

Copy this to a notepad file and save it for future reference.  Then when you want to use it, replace link text with the URL of the page you want to link to and image location with location of the image you want to display.  Leave all the quote marks where they are.

The width="250" part governs the size of the image.  Typically an image on folksy is around 500px wide, which can seem a bit like shouting in the forums, so I suggest you reduce the size a little.  You don't have to stick to 250, it just seemed like a good number to me!

To find the location of an image on folksy simply right click on the image and select 'Copy Image Location', then paste it into your code.

Don't forget that you can edit a post until you get it right - or delete it all together if it all goes horribly wrong. Which of course it won't!

I really hope that helps, I'm off to test it now!

Edit:  And it works a treat!

Thursday, 9 September 2010


I treated myself the other day to this lovely vintage wooden organiser from restlessgeneralstore on etsy.

It arrived this morning and I wasted no time in putting it to good use...


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

September morning

I love September mornings - they seem to be sunny more often than summer mornings. If I take the time to climb into the loft, stand on a box and poke my head out of the skylight this is what I see...

Earlier on there had been a band of cloud on the river so you could only see the very tops of the mountains but it had cleared before I thought about getting the camera out.

I find September to be quite a productive time as well.  This is what was waiting for me on my work table:

And this is what I had by the end of the morning (despite a few interruptions), all ready for my new shop:

Not a bad mornings work!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A new shop

I have had my original etsy shop for 3 years now and it has been rather neglected of late as the ffflowers have taken over.  So I decided it was time for a new start, a new look and a new name.  My new etsy shop hypsela handmade will still stock my handmade journals and seashore art cards but I hope to be adding new lines in time as well.  Please visit and show your support!

To get my new shop off to a good start I have been making a lot of my journals/sketchbooks, including several of the larger size, which I will be listing over the next few days.  These make a great present for those hard-to-buy-for arty friends and relations!

The books are filled with pages made from a mixture of different papers.  They are the sort of thing I looked for for ages without success - so now I make them myself.

This last book is a new style for me, covered with kraft paper ready for the owner to customise - an idea suggested to me by Maisy of OneLittleHouse on etsy.

Over the last couple of years I have been secretary (and acting chairman and refreshments provider and...) for a local group which has now given up the ghost - I have been left with a lot of paperwork to get rid of and a big pile of over-sized brown paper envelopes which I have no use for.  But they work really really well on the covers of these books!  Waste not, want not!

Friday, 3 September 2010

A new toy!

I discovered this new tool on the etsy forums the other day - developed by the man behind redrowstudio on etsy.  It enables you to post a copy of a real treasury on your blog, with clickable links and everything!  I have had to use the 'tiny' version to fit it in so the text is a bit small, but you should be able to click on each picture and be taken to the item listing - let's see if it works!  I'm testing it out with this pretty treasury by ScarlettRose featuring my Peach Melba Ribbon Flowers - thank you Scarlett!

'A Little Blush' by ScarlettRose

An adorable colour of pinkness!

A girl's heaven...

Blush Rose - Classi...

Beaded flower hair ...

3 Peach Melba Ribbo...


Dash of Blush Tissu...

Pink Button Necklac...

Tea Roses Blank Not...

Bubblegum 3-in-1 Co...

Pearl Blush- Freshw...

Strawberry Blush Me...

Peach Melba spacers...

Origami Coin Purse ...

Make Up Brush Roll

Gurumi 'O' ...

Blush Mini Skirt


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