Publisher News: Still nothing and the whole Brexit/Recession/EU Who-ha has me concerned that publishers won't be investing in new writers. At least there are other alternatives and I shall wait and see what the next few months bring.
Writing Progress: I got distracted by my tax return but I've discovered that Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month's little sister) is starting again in July so I am going to use that to spur me on to finishing my next draft. I'm really excited about it. The countdown is on to 50,000 words in 31 days.
This week is very much back to reality. The summer feels as if it's on its way out, the long hot days replaced with cool, grey damp. I'm a little sad; but I enjoy the snugly, cosy-ness of autumn: hot chocolates, warm jumpers, curling up with a book. Okay so the last part I do all year round; but it feels different when it's dark outside, don't you think?
If you're a reader like me, then you're never happier than when you're immersed in a book. So I thought what could be better than getting to wear a book the rest of the time, you know when you have to do boring life stuff. That's why I thought I'd have a go at making some book jewellery.
I got such great feedback on my own necklace that I'm starting to do them to sell. Contact me to order one for yourself or for your bookworm friends. By that I mean humans who like to read, I don't think I can make these small enough for worms, though I'd be willing to give it a try.
This month my WI Craft Club, aka Grown Up Brownies, learnt how to do wet felting. It was a craft I had heard about; but had never imagined I would try. Fortunately one of our members has been making her own felt flowers and she offered to do a tutorial.
I went equipped with a very random assortment of items including -
I wasn't sure what I'd let myself in for. It didn't take long to see how the items would be put to use. We all got stuck in designing our flowers. I chose to use red and orange wool, so that I could make a poppy for my Grandma (who is hopefully not reading this post - if so, Surprise!)
Wet felting is an odd craft, you start out with tufts of wool, add water and soap, then roll the felt between the bubble wrap with a rolling pin. I now know why my wool jumper shrank - won't be making that mistake again.
It's hard work all that rolling. All the ladies were making a fair bit of noise, you'd have thought we were in some kind of gym session. We were worried the people downstairs might come up to find out what we were doing. I think we may even have worked up a bit of a sweat. I was certainly glad when the strands of yarn had come together and I could get on with shaping my flower.
It turns out wet felting is not very precise. It's hard to control how the flower will actually look and this does not appeal to the perfectionist in me. I tried really hard to just let go and just see what happened; but apparently I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to create and my felt just wasn't coming close. Saying that I'm not disappointed with my final flower, it's poppy like and pretty in its own way.
I did have fun and loved seeing how all the flowers turned out differently. I brought home the leftover remnants and I may give it another go; but I don't think wet felting is going to be my new passion.
I enjoy crafting; but I wouldn't have said I was particularly good at it - the perfectionist in me always comes out and I get frustrated that what I've imagined in my head never looks quite the same in reality. However I do get inspired by projects and sometimes I even get round to doing them!
I saw some amazing message boards on Pinterest that were sold in the US and cost an absolute fortune! I was doing a bit of research and discovered a tutorial on how to make your own and thought I had to give it a go. You can check it out here...
It looked fun and more importantly not too difficult, so I decided to have a go. I really enjoyed sourcing all the materials, I love buying craft bits; but normally end up never using them, they just seem like a good idea at the time then when it comes to getting creative I go blank!
I had most of the material already and some scrapbook papers, I went through my stash of crafts, mixing and matching to see what worked. I had to buy some 12 x 12 cork tiles which were about £9 for a pack of nine.
The tutorial used a clip frame which I thought was genius; but I wanted to do a square board, so on a trip round Hobbycraft we saw some canvases (100cm x 100cm) and I thought they'd work just as well. They were even doing an offer buy one get one free so I had them delivered - we'd never have got them into the car, plus my wheelchair.
Once I'd got everything together and had worked out the layout, then came the scary part - cutting the material! I always get freaked out about ruining it. It was actually really easy, I just used my cutting mat and quilting board/roller cutter, it just took a deep breath and a prayer.
I stapled the material on because I have bad experiences with glue guns, i.e. I always end up in tears with horrible burns. Don't ask about the Nut Wreath of '99!
I had a left over pot of magnetic paint - yes they really do make such a thing! I painted up two of the tiles (the checked squares) and then stuck paper on top - I found double sided tape attached to the tile and then Pritstick on the paper held them in place.
Once all the tiles were covered, it felt more real, all I had to do was stick them down. I did try with a mini glue gun I had, I thought it was the only thing that would hold the tiles, so I risked life and limb.... but it didn't work, the glue dried before I could stick them down, so I used UHU instead, my glue of choice. It worked and I left it overnight before standing it up - half expecting them to all fall off when I did!
It was a heart in the mouth moment; but the next day I stood it up and ta-dah! I pinned on some paper flowers and tags and I might add some extra bits; but all in all I'm really pleased with it. It's going to go in my Creative Room - office come craft room. Now all I need to do is work out exactly where I want it and arrange for our Handy Man to come and put it up. I can't wait!
I'm pleased I've actually seen this all the way through and not got distracted. I've got the material to do a second board for our spare room/sewing room, so that's my next project!
I won the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition. My novel, The Box, is going to be published on 25th July 2019, by Orion