Sunday, 28 October 2007

Just a great night out

Went out last night for a friend's leaving party last night (she's going to Oz for 6 months) and had a really fun night (despite the sadness of saying goodbye). Here's a picture from last night of me looking a bit silly! I've just dyed my hair and I love it- it's a couple of shades darker than usual.

Me and a purple balloon!

Oh and apologies for the cryptic post yesterday, I really can't say anything more yet but it's been on my mind all weekend and will continue to be on my mind for a very long time while I decide what to do.

Hope you've had a good weekend.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Decisions decisions

I've got a big decision to make! I'm not going to talk about it here but believe me, if I decide to do the thing I'm thinking about doing, I'll definitely tell you about it!

The Decision by Mark Twells

Oh how cryptic I am this Saturday!

On another note, if you'd like me to make Christmas cards for you, either in the same style as the several I have already made or something completely different, send an email to christine.hembling[at]
I'd love to work with you to help make your Christmas great!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A magical evening

Went to see Stardust last night and I loved it- it's a magical, escapist, fantasy film with lots of good jokes, great effects and a local connection.

The whole cinema started giggling when the character Victoria (Sienna Miller) declared that her suitor had travelled all the way to Ipswich to buy her an engagement ring. Well of course, where else would you go for a ring?

The reason for the Ipswich reference is explained in this local newspaper article, the director Matthew Vaughn lives not far from here with his wife Claudia Schiffer.

Anyone else seen any good films lately?

In other news, I still haven't photographed my Christmas cards ready to list on etsy, will try and do later today. If you'd like me to reserve any for you, let me know.

Monday, 22 October 2007


That's me!

I've managed to double book myself for the night I was supposed to be doing my craft fair. I can't really change the other thing so the craft fair loses. So if you want to get your hands on any of the Christmas cards, tissue holders or button rings I've made recently, they'll be in the shop soon.

I'm an idiot!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Christmas crafting

I've been preparing for Christmas for a while but I have definitely got in to the swing of it this week with cards, decorations and gifts being the focus. Here's a little mosaic of the items being turned out by Santa's little helper (me) this week:

1. Christmas cards, 2. Christmas cards, 3. Christmas decorations prep, 4. Crochet scarf

Everything except the scarf are for the fair I'm doing very soon now. The scarf is for either my Mum or Step-Mum for Christmas.

So is October too early to be thinking about Christmas? Have you started your Christmas crafting yet?

Friday, 19 October 2007

How is it Friday already?

The week has flown by so far and almost before I knew it, it's Friday. This week has involved a couple of trips to the vet. Nothing to worry about, it was a planned operation as we needed to have Toby castrated. Poor little man! Whilst he was there he also had some baby teeth taken out, was ID chipped and had his dew claws removed from his back legs.

Toby post op

Look at the poor love, he is much perkier today, that photo was taken only a few hours after coming home from the operation so he was still sleepy from the anaesthetic.

I have made quite a few things this week but haven't had time to take any photos yet. I'm doing my first ever craft fair in just a couple of weeks now so I really need to get a move on with making some things including more tissue holders, Christmas decorations and cards.

Anyway, I'll try to catch up more at the weekend and show you some photos.

And before I forget, I've done the draw for the "What do you collect?" post. The winner is number 2- Charlotte! So I'll be in touch soon lovely for your address. x

Saturday, 13 October 2007


So far it's been a weekend of cleaning but I have also....

ordered this and this;
eaten green and blacks white chocolate;
made five Christmas cards (photos later);
finished five tissue holders (below);
started a new bag;
started my sketchbook course;
and finally
welcomed Ben home from Miami.

Tissue holders- done

Have a lovely weekend everyone and thank you for the lovely comments on the interview with Gillian, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Crafty Blogger Interview: Gillian of Gilfling's Designs

It's that time again, here's the third in my series of crafty blogger interviews. This month, it's the turn of Gillian from Gilfling's Designs. She has a wonderful blog and two beautiful shops. I first met Gillian via the etsy forums and the UK thread (a great place to visit to find more UK sellers) and then we met in person at the retreat in York. I'm really excited about this interview and I hope you enjoy it.

When & why did you first start writing a blog?
I first attempted to write a blog last year but it took a wee while to get used to the 'strangeness' of it. I am also a bit hit and miss in the world of technology and it was only when moving blogging sites to typepad at the dawning of the New Year that I really got to grips with the concept of it. Starting a new blog whilst reflecting over a year, which was ending, was the inspiration for finding a focus for writing in such a public way. I found that I really wanted to have a record of all that I felt I had achieved in that year, also to give myself a sense of time and place. I often get lost in my own thoughts. Working from home and alone in my studio is a wonderful thing and suits me down to the ground - however it can be terribly insular. Blogging is my way of connecting with the world, with other artists and artisans and like-minded individuals.

What is the first thing you can remember making/painting?
Oh, I made so many things! I think my first memory is of being only about 5 years old where I made a papier-mache swan - I remember it was quite large and for some strange reason, I painted huge big red lips on its beak. I gave it to my grandmother and I think she kept that thing for years. I also went through a real phase of building those kits of plastic dinosaurs and then painting them. My other dream job would have been a palaeontologist and it was apparent even then.

What or who is your inspiration when you create and also when you write?
I suppose one of my most used phrases in my blog is that I am a thinker and a dreamer. A daydreamer, I am so easily distracted and my mind is prone to wandering and drifting, circling and winding its way through the day. I love to write. I love the action of writing and my sketchbooks overflow with as many words as they do drawings. I am probably more of a thinker than a 'do-er'. When painting I spend an age mixing colours and staring at the paper or canvas. When making bags or accessories I get lost in combining textures and colours and finding the perfect button to set it all off. Every little thing takes 5 times longer than it should - but I guess that is my way and I savour every moment of it.
There are endless things that inspire me –I am passionate about anything with the patina of age, rust, scorched edges, the textures of nature, the contrast between decadence and decay. I graduated in performance costume and my costumes always had some elements of these things. Victoriana and the baroque, archaeology and fossils, antique gold and lace, the smell and feel of old book pages, old worn leather and leaves, which have partially crumbled to reveal their structure. Old medical aids and prosthetics, cabinets of curiosities, puppets and dolls feature heavily in my artwork. Artists such as Leon Bakst, Floria Sigismondi and writers such as Angela Carter - perhaps I should stop there!

What are your favourite materials to use?
When drawing, I consistently use the same buff coloured watercolour paper. I had a huge stock of it, which I got from the art college shop and am now almost coming to the end of. It is the perfect weight and feels like antique velvet. I will be devastated if when I return to Scotland on my next visit they no longer have it! I have bags of hand-dyed scraps of fabrics from my costume degree that were samples for my costume designs and I am adoring working with these now in order to create one of a kind bags featuring my artwork. Carbon paper, oilbars, and watercolours for my art; vintage embroidery thread, the texture of tweed yarns and vintage buttons and lace for my accessories. Anything with those muted colours, which I adore.

What do you listen to when you work?
Quite often, I have to have film soundtracks playing - the big epic movies such as Lord of the Rings, Gladiator or Master and Commander - it is the emotion and the imagery of the film scenes that come to mind that I find so inspiring when I am creating. I also am a (not so) closet fan of Bruce Springsteen!!! People make fun of me but I adore his music especially his recent albums. Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Ray La Montagne, Starsailor - anything that has a heart, where the artist is baring their soul! Almost as often though I work in silence, lost in my own thoughts - daydreaming.

What’s the one thing you’ve created that you’re most proud of?
I had to think hard about this one. I think as far as my art is concerned – it has to be this recent painting - Endlessly Waiting. I felt really inspired when painting it and felt it was a real breakthrough for me. I just need to follow it up with more now!!

What other crafty blogs do you read and why should we read them too?
Oh my goodness I read far too many!! I recently had to cut down as I was getting too little work done but I keep adding and finding more! My latest discovery is Suziblu. Her blog is amazing. She is an incredibly inspiring artist who lives for her painting and it shows. I particularly love her wonderful videos where you can see her work process and she inspires everyone to work in sketchbooks and journals.
I particularly love blogs that are a mix of art, craft and the real person behind the ‘image’. I like to know what inspires influences a persons work – the good and the not so good. Sometimes it just helps to know that even those whose work blows me away sometimes have their doubts too! We are all on the same page in a sense!

What plans do you have up your sleeve (if they’re not top secret)?
Oh gosh, the thing that I have been planning for so long and am only now beginning is to make art dolls. They are variations on the characters that appear in my artwork. With wire and wood and vintage fabrics, leather and found objects – they will be appearing in my etsy shop at some point in the near future – whenever I have the confidence to reveal them to whoever would like to see them! I have also just commenced an evening class in bookbinding and am really hoping to try some form of printing – perhaps lino cutting (which incidentally I have not done since high school) in order to make limited edition books with my own writing and artwork. However, as ever I have to do a whole lot of procrastinating before these things come to fruition. I always get there in the end though – no matter how long it takes!

Many thanks to Gillian. i hope everyone enjoyed the interview and if you're interested in being interviewed next month, please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

A few of my new favourites

I'm always discovering new favourite artists and new work from old favourites. Here are some of my latest finds...

Buy Handmade

Hope everyone is having a good week so far. x

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Crafting 365 Days 15 & 16

Happy Sunday everyone, hope you've had good weekends. Mine went way too fast as always.

On Friday I whipped up these cute little button rings:

Cute as a button rings

On Saturday I made this quick little collage from an old book and vintage newspaper adverts:

Women like men to be smart

What did you make this weekend? x

Friday, 5 October 2007

Crafting 365: Days 11-14

I've been really bad at taking photos this last week so here are days 11-14 of the crafting 365...

Day 11
New Christmas cards all finished
Finished Christmas cards

Day 12
Yet more crochet, I'm thinking I need more of this colour as I made this scarf a little longer than the last one!
The crochet continues

Day 13
It's a secret...
Secret swap time

Day 14
New work
Butterfly collage in progress

Thank you to everyone who answered about their collections, it's not too late to add yours as I won't choose a winner until Tuesday seeing as the strike means I can't post anything until then anyway!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Can you help me? What do you collect?

I'm putting a little something together about collections and collecting and wondered if you could help me and answer the following...

What do you collect (the more unusual the better)?
Why do you collect that?
Where do you keep the collection?
Anything else you can tell me about the collection?

I'll pick a commenter at random and post you a little something as a thank you.

Here are a few pictures of things that I collect:

1. Buttons!, 2. Vintage teacup, 3. Susie Cooper Trio, 4. Vintage teacup, 5. Green glass candlestick, 6. Vintage biscuit tin


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