Friday, 28 May 2010

No time to do much craft this week!

It's over a week since my last post, but that's no surprise considering how busy I have been! Now that my mother is living with us, I am having to clear out her old home in order to sell it - and this has been a huge task! Over the past ten days, I've been selling furniture, packing things into boxes for a charity shop, cleaning, tidying and painting the walls - all hard work, but it's got to be done. It should all be finished by the end of next week, but I'm afraid there won't be much time for my crafts until then.

All I've managed to do this week is these three cards which I made for a customer at our regular Friday market. She wanted blank cards without a message inside to use for any occasion, which is actually quite a good idea - I'll make some more as soon as I get time, as I think they will sell well. Meanwhile, I'm due to visit some beautiful gardens on Sunday where there should be plenty of good photo opportunities - I'll definitely be on the look out for new backgrounds for my quillings.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sea shell card inspired by the beauty of Herm Island!

Here's the second card in my new 'Herm series'. I've photographed it open from above, so that you can see the full width of the photo background. I took this picture as we walked towards Herm's famous Shell Beach, and came across a row of brightly coloured kayaks lying beside the path. I love vistas like this - they add so much interest to a general view. Anyway, once we had got down on to the beach, I switched into full-on shell collecting mode, and three of the treasures I found are glued on to the card to complement the quilling. The tiny little red-tipped one at the top is called a Pink Top; the one on the right is a small but beautifully patterned Scallop - and the one on the left is a Cowrie (which I found in amazing abundance on Herm).

I have a fascinating book entitled 'Fifty Sea Shells from Herm Island' by Jill S. Kendrick in which she describes many of the treasures to be found on Shell Beach. And I just love this line which she wrote in her introduction: "... [shells] are a casual suggestion, strewn on the beach, of the teeming population of marine creatures which inhabit our seas and shores". That sums up perfectly the way I feel about sea shells - they truly are little treasures, cast up by the ocean for our delight.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Quilliance receives a Sunshine Award!

What a wonderful surprise to log on this morning and find that my blog has won an award!  My kind friend and follower Susan placed the nomination on her own award-winning blog, and I am delighted to accept this very special honour. Thank you, Susan.

So now it falls to me to nominate twelve other blogs "whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world" - and I've actually decided not to do it all at once! Every day, I come across blogs which please and inspire me, so I'm going to take my time and share the links with you as I discover them. That way, each one of them will receive the special attention it deserves. So, the search starts today ...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

A new card ... a quilled seagull ... and the magic of Herm Island

It's been a while since I last posted anything on Quilliance, for a very good reason - I've been away, to the magical island of Herm in the English Channel Islands. It is beautiful there, especially at this time of year when the island is literally covered in wild flowers. The sea is blue, the beaches are spectacular and the cliff walks absolutely stunning! Herm is a place that you can easily walk right around in two or three hours - but there is so much to see. We watched the comings and goings of numerous nesting sea birds, including puffins. We breathed in the clear sea air - such a tonic! And we collected hundreds of fabulous sea shells on the island's famous Shell Beach, including cowries, painted tops, scallops, wentletrap shells, golden periwinkles ... there are millions of them. In fact, one end of the beach is literally nothing but shells - layer upon layer of them - I was in paradise!

We got back last Thursday, and I couldn't wait to get started on creating some new card designs using some of the numerous photos that I took. But I've been so busy! I had craft markets to attend on Friday and Saturday (selling my quilled cards and jewellery), then there were special orders to fulfil from customers who met me there. But finally, this afternoon, I've been able to make my first Herm card, featuring a quilled black back gull flying over the cliffs surrounding the island's wonderful Puffin Bay. I hope you can see all the colours of the wild flowers on the cliff side - they were fantastic.

There's so much more to say about Herm, but unfortunately it will just have to wait for another day. When I get time, I'm hoping to use some of the tiny shells I collected in conjunction with my quilling. Watch this space!!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Quilled wisteria from an English country garden

It must be nearly Summer ... the wisteria is out, and none more beautiful than the one growing on the wall of my friends' delightful cottage garden. I've created two new cards from the photographs I took last weekend: one a close-up of the cascading purple flowers, and another showing the gorgeous backdrop of a lovely old red brick wall.

Quilling the wisteria flowers was more of a challenge: it took several attempts to get the flower shape right, and even now I'm not sure that I've really done it justice. But there's no doubt that trying to quill something like a flower forces you to look at nature's original in very fine detail - and helps you to appreciate it even more as a result!


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