Friday, 27 March 2009


This week we are very honoured to have Patty Szymkowicz as our guest designer/challenger! Her blog is full of fabulous art, ideas and inspiration. I recommend you pay her a visit and whilst you're there scroll down the right hand side to categories then click on Altered Cutlery. You will see all the amazing things she has created with knives, forks and spoons.
For our challenge this week she has made a place-setting! (On her blog you can see close-up views).

This is what Patty said.....
The 'Celebrate' fork on the left has "wings" made of flattened champagne cages with silver and gold wire bullion wrapped around plus a Paper Whimsy face.
The 'Wings to Fly' knife is close to an example of not needing to bend or drill holes (altho there is one hole at the bottom), it's wire and bead wrapped with a loop at the top for hanging.
The flattened spoon pendant on the right has a bit of velvet wrapped around the top, the hand deco in the middle is an odd earring.
I always like an excuse to play with cutlery, I have not been the same since last January when I first discovered it! Thanks to you and Rosie for getting me going again!

They are all fabulous Patty - great fun and very inspiring!

I thought I'd better have a go too and found an old (tiny) mustard spoon which I decorated with gems, wire and a bird in a nest........ a vintage fork. I curled back the prongs with pliers and gave it the Mona treatment.

(Click on all pics for better views)
So.....there you are..... Patty, Rosie and I challenge you to alter a piece of cutlery! I hope you decide to join in; we can't wait to see what you make......

Linda xx

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Beauteous Birdhouses

This has been a great week...I have loved looking at all your birdhouses; each one is fabulous and inspiring. Thank you for joining in.

I really liked the way Genie used a chipboard stand from the back of a photo frame - it makes a great (and quirky!) birdhouse. I recommed a visit to her blog - and make sure you read the 'Crafters Commandments' whilst you're there!

Sue's version is such fun, I love her use of different materials (are those clothespeg trees?) Go visit her blog and see some close-ups.
Finally Maureen's birdhouse.....absolutely charming ..... and another example of a great use of materials.

I'll let you into a secret; tomorrow we have a Guest Designer!!!!!! Make sure you visit and see what we're up to......

Friday, 20 March 2009


I love that song .... (see my blog for a video clip later) .... anyway, with spring coming and the bluetits fighting over the nesting box in our garden I thought this week we could have a go at making birdhouses. I made this one from a very small 'blank' box. I cut into the sides of the lid and bent the top to make a roof. I got the nest from a local craftshop for 30p and made the eggs myself from paperclay. I used one of my favourite poems again for the inside .....hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul......

The (very lime!) one is on a block of wood cut out for me by my DH. I just collaged, gessoed and painted (my favourite things!)
Many of the images come from the wonderful Vintage Moth - where they are free! - thank you Abbie!

And finally..... 2 ATCs. Rosie made the cute one on the left and the other is one I did for a swap last year.
Hope you'll take on the challenge - can't wait to see what you get up to............
Have a great weekend!
Love Linda x


Well you all responded magnificently to the newsprint challenge, but I'm guessing Lay Hoon had the most fun getting messy and sticky - and showed the whole process on her blog! This bookmark is just one of the things she made.

Patty's work made me think of the sixties with that heavy mascara, and don't you love the way she has a bird's nest around her neck?? Great fun!

Jan's book cover is very striking with it's Picasso theme, I love how she's used the newsprint to tell a story. A record entry this week so thanks to everyone who took part, and a new challenge coming very shortly .....

Friday, 13 March 2009


You may well have noticed by now that we're very keen on recycling - and anyway, which of us doesn't enjoy making something out of nothing ... especially things that would normally be thrown away? Most of us probably throw away more newsprint than anything else, so your challenge this week is to use it to make something beautiful instead!! The paper flowers above were made by mounting newsprint onto cardstock, then cutting the shapes with a die cutter and curling the edges a bit. An antique brad finishes each off and they'll find their way onto a scrapbook layout very soon!

But to illustrate the possibilities I've also made an ATC and a bookmark, and as ever Linda's contributions below show yet another way to use this versatile and free resource, using lots of colour and adding Artchix images!

Now show us what YOU can do ....

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Brilliant Bookmarks

I loved this challenge! Thank you so much for your support and thank you everyone who swapped with me. I made lots of extra ones and managed to exchange with everyone who asked!
All the bookmarks were lovely... and hopefully will prove useful as well.
I thought this idea from Sue was very original - she used an old radio valve for the dangly bit!!

Rosie's colourscheme attracted my eye straightaway - and the way she attached the ribbon.
(Thats Rosie at alteredartandstuff...not our Rosie!)
Finally, a new friend, Lynn at - I love the shape, plus the richness and detail she has achieved in this bookmark. Check out her blog; there's a lovely wooden heart which would have been great for Rosie's 'blanks' challenge.
Great work everyone! Remember to come back tomorrow for a new challenge.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


The winner of our selection of Artchix goodies is JEAN for her beautiful box! Get in touch Jean and we'll get your prize in the post!!

Friday, 6 March 2009


Something nice and gentle for you this week....... I challenge you to make a bookmark.
I have made a few which are up for swapping if you want to visit my blog and send me an email or leave a comment there. You could use a quote for inspiration; I have put some at the end of this post plus there are loads here and

Or you might want to try an idea from Sarah Whitmire's Soul Journalling prompts to scan or photocopy some of your own work then cut it up and re-arrange it, as I did here......

Don't forget to visit my blog if you want to do a swap!

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. Chinese proverb
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. Jorge Luis Borges
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. Lady M. W. Montague
My home is where my books are. Ellen Thompson
You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. Paul Sweeney

And finally, two by Groucho Marx......

I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book.

Outside a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Well it's been extremely hard to choose my favourites this week, and what these three have in common is the vivid colours used. Liz's jewelled cross is just an explosion of colour, Hurley Murley's felt box is so simple but jumped right off the page at me, and Jean's beautiful box has the turquoise and green of my favourite colour combinations. You would never guess that they all started life as plain cardboard or wood. Linda and I get so much pleasure from seeing what you do with our challenges - and very often the results are much better than ours! Well done everyone and look out for a new challenge from Linda tomorrow!