Home of The Small Art Company and a bit of British all sorts about my family, kids, home, art, mixed media, craft, photography, illustration, travel, cooking, organisation, teaching... Good to see you:)

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Christmassy Weekend

Well, I've had a lovely festive weekend. Started on Friday with the snow I guess. We had loads here in Hertfordshire. I attempted to build a snowman with my son, but it kind of ended up like a pyramid and I just couldn't get the head right at all! Mr W came home from work and wasn't impressed. However, he realised yesterday when he had a go at building one that the snow was 'the wrong sort' and his was also pyramid-like. Ha! Here's Little W in the garden...

Saturday we went to a friend's wedding. The church looked lovely in the snow, although I did feel for the bridesmaids in their dresses. I turned up in my wellies and had a quiet chuckle at women in stilettoes! I did change into more suitable wedding footwear once in church though.

Yesterday we went to see Father Christmas. We'd been practising what Little W was going to say to him and of course, when the time came, not a word came out! He's usually such a chatterbox. He was probably overwhelmed; his face when he walked in the grotto and saw the Big Man himself was delightful! Then afterwards we went to the toddlergroup carol service. Hardly anyone turned up which was a shame. Things didn't look good during 'Little Donkey' when Little W started shouting "Donkey, no!". So Mr W and Little W went to another room and I was left by myself. Still enjoyed it though. Nothing like singing carols when there's snow outside!

As for crafty stuff, I'm really excited about some new projects I'm working on. I've got some photo gift ideas I'm planning and one in particular I can't wait to get made. It combines 3 things I've loved for a long time and is also more 'handmade' than just photos. I've nearly finished researching suppliers and hope to make a start early in the New Year.

Anyway, for now,

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Interview with Red Bird Jewellery

Serena from The Copper Swallow over at Folksy came up with the idea of doing an interview swap on our blogs. I paired up with Becky from RedBirdJewellery. I had lots of fun thinking of questions to ask her and enjoyed talking about myself too!!

After trying a number of crafts, Becky decided that jewellery making is for her. Becky designs and makes beautiful jewellery, which can be seen and bought here at her Folksy shop.

So here's Becky's interview:

1) OK, first things first, please tell me about yourself.

I’m Becky Pearce, I live in a teeny village by the North Downs, (although I’m originally a Derbyshire lass) and I live with my hubbie Richard, and 2 little girls, (5 and 2 and a half). I’m just about to finish working to become self employed to spend more time with the girls, and doing Red Bird Jewellery. Phew – can’t wait.

2) How long have you been making jewellery for and have you ever tried any other crafts?

I’ve tried every craft known to man, and stumbled upon jewellery making a year or so ago and absolutely love it. I think (and hope) I’ve finally found “my thing” but saying that I still love learning about, and trying other crafts.

3) What crafty thing would you like to try next?

I’d like to try decoupage, and pottery, but I can’t think when I’ll have the time to do something new.

4) Something all creative people like to know – where do you get your inspiration from?

I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I am a real country girl, and I do find most of my inspiration from nature. Colours, shapes and form. I also focus on people’s jewellery when I’m talking to them which is possibly just a little unsettling!

5) Apart from making beautiful jewellery, what else do you do in your spare time?

I don’t have spare time, I work 3 days at the moment in a pretty demanding job, and have 2 young kids, so most of my time is spoken for. I make jewellery and do all the business stuff in the evenings when the kids are in bed. So that’s my spare time pretty much gone.

6) On to non-crafty things... Where is your favourite place in the world and where would you love to visit?

I’ve NEVER been out of Europe, and would love to visit New Zealand, and Thailand. Closer to home I also quite fancy going to see the northern lights one day. My favourite place in the world is probably Alport Heights, back in Derbyshire, lovely and peaceful with great views.

7) What’s your favourite season and why?

Definitely Autumn – because of the colours, the warmth, the leaves, the start of the “new term” and new projects and the long countdown to Christmas, the new boots, and tights. I love it all!

8) Is there anything that you’re secretly expert at?

Nope. ‘Fraid not. Wish there was.

9) If you could live a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be and why?

Difficult one – no-one I can think of. Life’s pretty good.

10) One of my favourite things... food. What do you love? What do you hate?

Yum good question. But really hard to say as it depends on how I feel. I love a good curry, sausage casserole or even Japanese….I also neither love nor hate marmite – it’s just ok - which I think must make me a bit odd? (Maybe, but I'm in the middle with Marmite too!)

11) Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or your jewellery?

I love what I do, I get a real kick out of making jewellery and love trying out new things. At the moment I’m experimenting with brass and copper – gorgeous and affordable. I’m hoping to start on another design course in the new year so expect lots of new things from me!

Thanks Becky! It's been fun being nosy... erm, I mean swapping with you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some Christmas Decorations

I've been pretty pleased with these Fimo decorations I made. I was going to list them on Folksy, but I think it may be a little too late, so if you'd like to buy any of these, just send me an e-mail: victoria@carefordcreations.co.uk and I'll add them to my website for you.

These three are magnets:

A robin (can you tell I'm worried you may not be able to recognise what they are?!):

An angel:

And these cute snowmen faces are magnets too:

If you're interested in buying them, the magnets are £4 each including p&p and the decorations are £5 each including p&p.
I won't post pictures of the ones I made for the Folksy swap until the recipients have received them, which will hopefully be today...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Tree Calendar

Yippee! It's that wonderful time of year again - Christmas! Once the 1st December arrives, I feel I can officially talk about the festive season, so here we go.

I made this Advent calendar last year for my son:

As you can no doubt see, it's made from glittery green felt, some burnt orange fabric, some tartan ribbon, deep red felt, white felt for the numbers, bits of sparkly gold thread and some white buttons.
I'm certainly no sewing expert and have to say, I was quite pleased with the finished result. The decorations are made from Fimo. You can just see Father Christmas hanging at the bottom. I'll do another post when the tree's fully decorated in a few weeks!

Vintage Photographs

I blogged a few weeks ago about the Kodak Duaflex camera I won on ebay. I've now managed to make a 'contraption' and take some TtV photos. A 'contraption' is the black tube you need to put between the two cameras - the Duaflex and my usual Canon macro lens - to block out the light.

There's four shots I'm pleased with. Here's two of them:

You can buy them through my website and there's another one on Folksy.

I love the grainy effect of these images, although they're really not easy to set up. It took me a whole afternoon just to take these shots. That meant a whole afternoon of rearranging the furniture and getting into all sorts of odd positions - not easy when you're pregnant! Hope no-one was looking through the window!

I hope to get around to experimenting more with this technique and producing some more vintage images. Need to get thinking about some interesting subjects...

Photo Coasters - Perfect Christmas Present!

I'm really pleased with these 3 sets of coasters I've made. Well, I say 'made', but I guess I just put my photos in them! Hence the reason I won't be listing them on Folksy, but if you would like to buy a set, then I'll be putting them on my website. Just give me a couple of hours!
Here's the first set. These would make perfect additions to your Christmas table. They were designed using my glass painting and photographing technique:

Then there's this flower set, which would make a lovely gift for your mum or nan:

And lastly, a collection of my children's prints. I call them children's prints, but to be honest, I think many adults would love them too!

I've also finally managed to make and send two decorations in the Folksy Decoration Swap. I'll blog about them once the recipients have received them.

Other than that, am pleased the gift fair's out of the way so I can start on a big tidy up!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

At last - my website!

Yes, it's taken 5 and a half years since buying the domain name and about a year and a half since actually doing anything with it, but I've finally got a proper website up and running.

You can view all my photos here (well, quite a few of them) plus some other photographic gifts.

I've also been busy with the Fimo and made a load of Christmas decorations. I'll be taking them to the Winter Wonderland Shopping Fair at Hylands House in Chelmsford on Sunday and any I don't sell I'll be listing on Folksy and my website.

Anyway, off for a second baby scan in a mo...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shop Handmade Gift Boxes now for Sale!

Belinda at Shop Handmade UK has been working hard putting together some wonderful gift boxes. They're currently for sale on Folksy: http://www.folksy.com/shops/ShopHandmadeUK but will be taken to Oxford Handm@de Fair on November 29th, so hurry if you see something you like!

Each gift box includes a variety of handmade items which designers have supplied at discount prices, so the customer will save a huge 45%!! My items are in the turquoise, jade and purple boxes. Here's Frederick amongst all the other lovely things in the Jade box: Thanks Belinda!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vintage photos on the way!

After losing out 3 times on ebay auctions, I was delighted when I finally won a 'new' vintage camera the other day. It's a Kodak Duaflex from around 1950. Here it is...

I'm going to try a technique called 'Through the Viewfinder'. It's where you take a photograph through the lens of an old camera to produce images that have a vintage look. I love this effect and can't wait to try it out! I need to make a cardboard tube first, to block out the light. It all sounds simple enough, but we'll see...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Christmas House

OK, here it is...

This is my Christmas Fimo house! It's far from perfect, but it's the biggest thing I've made out of Fimo. It was quite tricky to keep it all upright. I think I should have baked the main structure first and then added the roof and windows.

The Christmas tree has lights that glow in the dark, so hopefully it should all look very festive when the time comes.

I'm not using my macro lens to photograph the house as it will show every imperfection!!

So now on to some Fimo decorations and those magnets...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time Flies

I am trying to work out how it's been nearly 2 months since my last post. I was going to apologise for not posting anything for a month, then I discover it's actually been two... How time goes this quickly I have no idea! Anyway, a few pics of what I've been up to then...

This is Little W on the pier at Southend. Obviously fascinated by the cracks and the water beneath!

For those not familiar with British seaside places, Southend has the longest pleasure pier in the world. The original pier I think was built in about 1830. It now goes out for nearly a mile and a half. Thankfully, there's a train to take you to the end or back again if you don't think you can make it!

Other happenings:

  • I'm expecting baby number two! It's due in April, on my parents' wedding anniversary, which is lovely, although the chances of baby arriving on time are probably fairly slim.

  • The porch and front garden are pretty much finished, at last.
  • I've been making some progress on my crafty bits. I've nearly finished making a Christmas house out of polymer clay. You know the sort, they sell them in gift catalogues and look very festive and traditional, but are a little on the expensive side. So I thought I'd have a go at making one myself.
  • The Fimo fairies and elves are coming along. They just need heads at the moment. I'm planning to use them to make an enchanted wood scene which I can photograph. We'll see how it turns out. It's a bit of an experiment, but something I've wanted to do for about 15 years!
  • Other clay stuff I'm making are magnets. I'm using the millefiori canes I've already made and I want to make some Christmas ones too.

  • Then there's the Folksy Christmas ornament swap I need to get thinking about (organised by Lisa of NoodleBubble), plus sending in some bits for the UK Handmade sample box.

Phew! That's enough for me to be getting on with I think! I'm off to read everybody's posts now. It's been far too long.

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Photographic Gifts!

I've finally got around to finishing some little polymer clay items I've been trying to make for ages. I've been wanting to sell my photos in formats other than just prints, so I've just listed 3 things on Folksy. There's a flower charm:

A magnet:

And a bookmark:

The bookmarks sold really well at Fun in the Park and were more popular with children than the mobile phone charms, which pleasantly surprised me!
Click on the photos if you wish to buy via Folksy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Down on the Farm

As promised, here are some pics of our day at the farm. We chose a perfect day to visit - lots of sunshine but not too hot! Here's Mr W. and little W. milking Daisy the cow...

Sheep show:

A little sign on the way to a maize maze. We didn't even attampt the maze, just looking at it wore me out! Mind you, this was at the end of a long and exhausting day. I really didn't feel like getting lost in there!

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Sites I've Joined

I signed up to two new sites this week: byhand.me and RedBubble. The former gives you space to link all your sites - Etsy, Flickr and so on, alas no space for Folksy just yet. You can also link your own website. And at RedBubble you upload your photography or artwork, which people then comment on, similar to Flickr, but the fabulous thing is, you can sell too. Even better, you don't have to do anything - RedBubble print and deliver for you! I think this will be a great way for me to get my work out there. Well, that's the plan anyway!

I'm also looking at premiergallery.co.uk and artgallery.co.uk. Would love to hear people's experience of any of these sites.

Sorry no pics again today. We're off to Willows Farm tomorrow, near St. Albans, so I'll be sure to take some then.

Oh, by the way, where have all my followers gone??? It seems to be a problem a lot of users are having at the moment. Hope it gets sorted soon. I like to see all your pictures so I know you're there! This would be a good time to say thanks for all your comments so far. x

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Funny things children say...

It was my last day at school yesterday. I've had a great two terms (and one not as enjoyable!) as a supply teacher and am now looking forward to a break and spending time with my son. Anyway, to celebrate the end of the year, I thought I'd share a few comments I've heard from kids over the past few years. Names have been changed!!

Michael, Year 5 - "Miss, when did we get colour?" Me - "Do you mean colour television?" Michael - "No, colour." Me - "I'm not sure I understand what you mean." Michael - "When did we get colour? You know, the sky and stuff." Me - "Oh. Well, everywhere's always been in colour. I suppose it's a bit confusing when you look at old photographs that are black and white." This went on a bit. It made me smile the rest of the day!

Sasha, Year 4, walking to the local Church for a Christmas activity, talking to a friend. Friend - "Do you know what direction we're going?" Sasha - "I think we're going north." Friend - "OK." Sasha - "That means it's going to get colder." Bless her, it was only a 10 minute walk!

Bethany, Year 3, class sitting on the carpet, a child from another class walked in and handed some Christmas cards to give out. I handed them out and then came across one with Sarah and our class name on the envelope. We didn't have a Sarah. Me - "Ooh, does anyone know a Sarah in another class?" Silence. Then Bethany says, "I know who she is." Me - "What class is she in?" Bethany - "She goes to high school." Me - "She's at high school?" Bethany - "Yes, she's my neighbour." Me - "Why does she have a card in the school post box?" Bethany - "I posted it to her." Me - "Ah, I see. Well, do you think you could ask Mum to post it in her letterbox on the way home tonight?" Bethany - "OK Miss." I laughed about that for ages!

Friday, July 17, 2009

How much more will we have to buy?!

Over the last couple of months we've had to buy: a new hoover, a new washing machine, a new mattress and a front door. On top of this, our landline phone's just started going funny and the little man decided to put Mr W's mobile in the toilet. Have been told it can't be fixed and isn't under warranty due to "water damage by the customer". Oh great! Okay, we didn't really expect them to fix it, but you can only try...

I'm also hoping that we won't need to put up a new fence too. Our neighbour's dog got into our garden the other day. Now, don't get me wrong, I love dogs. We used to have a beautiful yellow Labrador, Tiggy, who I really miss... But I don't want a strange dog coming in uninvited to play with my toddler! Oh and the shed's falling apart and the shower's either too hot or too cold, but I won't even start thinking about that.

Anyway, onto positive things... The porch is coming along. Here's my brother doing the brickwork:

Our veggie patch has shot up too:

Sorry, bad photo, but it's raining! Shh, photographers aren't allowed that excuse!

As for my online activities, I've now set up shop on Etsy. I found Etsy about a year ago, which then led me to Folksy. I've stuck with Folksy simply for ease in dealing with pound sterling, but I need to start promoting further afield and there are so many photographers on Etsy. Although that means more competition, it also means (hopefully) more people go to Etsy to buy photographs. Have joined Flickr too, but I'm not doing so well with that. Haven't worked out how to get any views yet!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Things I've learnt this week...

Had a couple of school trips this week. On Monday we took our Year 6 to a local secondary school for a Science Day. One of the lessons was about owls. I never knew that their eye colour tells us when they hunt. Orange eyes mean they hunt at sunrise or sunset, yellow during the day and black at night. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I really didn't know that!

Then the following day I went with Year 5 to a Victorian school museum and learnt how to add up pounds, shillings and pence. I'm very glad things have changed, although it was really interesting to learn how to add again!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun in the Park

It was Chico time on Sunday, when Fun in the Park got underway in aid of Fight for Sight. There were live bands, sports events, food and crafts and of course, Chico!

As for me, well, I was selling photos and for the first time, some polymer clay creations. I'm delighted to say that I made a profit! I also had lots of really lovely comments about my photos, which I was obviously rather pleased about. It makes it all worthwhile after all your efforts, when someone says something nice!

Here's my mum helping to arrange the stall. It had a few adjustments after this mind you. The cards were put further back and the bookmarks and mobile phone charms brought forward.

The weather was perfect in temperature terms, but as we were by the side of the lake and had no shelter, it was, let's say, rather windy. The stall next to us packed up and left early when her gazebo nearly took off and my mum and I were constantly taping things down and blu-tacking and holding on to anything loose! It didn't stop the twirly display thingy blowing over at one point though. Luckily, I came prepared with some extra pegs and some string and managed to secure it.

All in all, we had a good day. Hope to get a little bit of my life back now. It's amazing how much preparation exhibiting takes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I've been a bit slow with the blogs recently, so this is just a quick one about the rounders tournament the kids played today. Oh my goodness, it was so hot! We took a group of Year 6 children to take part in a local tournament. They were so well-behaved, I was really proud of them! But there was no shade whatsoever. What we would've done for a little gazebo and an ice lolly! Anyway, I'm nice and refreshed now I'm home and sitting indoors.

No work for the rest of the week. Looking forward to spending my birthday with my son and hubby in the evening. Then Friday I'll be getting ready for my stall at Fun in the Park on Sunday.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hats and More

Today I'm blogging about Anita from Hats and More. Anita is a fellow Folksy seller and was kind enough to feature me on her blog recently.

Anita knits and crochets hats and, well... more beautiful things. I love Mr Rectangle:

He comes complete with Mrs Rectangle:

Or how about this fantastic hand crocheted cake/pin cushion. It's an ice cream coffee bonbon! Raspberries and chocolate, mmm. Actually, rather similar to that cheesecake I blogged about...

Fabulous items Anita!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Alphabet Chart

Another package today. This time it was some prints I'd ordered for my stall at Fun in the Park (Stanborough Lakes 5th July). One of the prints is a new alphabet chart I made using the same technique as for the frog, sheep, jelly etc.

I really like the effect of these prints. For those of you who haven't seen them before, I draw an image onto acetate in outliner, paint with glass paints and then take a photo using my macro lens. I've never come across anyone else who does this, although I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who does!

Monday, June 15, 2009


We went 'home' for the first time in over two months at the weekend. I still say 'home' even though I haven't lived there for 6 years. And I don't know why we haven't visited for 2 months, as it's only a 40 minute drive. Anyway, my youngest bro made a raspberry and chocolate cheesecake and it was delicious!

Youngest bro really isn't the type you'd think would make a good cheesecake. He's a bricklayer/plasterer and doesn't look the sort at all. Well done bro, I think I may now prefer raspberry and chocolate cheesecake to plain cheesecake!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shiny new books

The postman knocked today with a big(ish) parcel for me. I knew exactly what it was and became very excited as I opened it. Hurrah! My new polymer clay books! And here they are...

I just love books and these ones are full of delightful pictures. I've been playing around with some ideas for clay photos (fairies and elves in particular) for a while now and they're not turning out quite like I'd hoped, so I thought I should get some books to help with the basic techniques. I always have little niggling concerns that I'm going to copy something and not realise so I try to do things on my own, but I guess there's no harm learning from others and adapting things to make them your own, is there? Oh, by the way, three of these books are meant to be from my husband for my birthday, but hey, I only had a little peek...

Also while I was out in the garden I tried taking some photos of roses, which my cousin's asked me to do. Only problem is, the slightest breeze and the photos blur. I really don't want to cut them and bring them indoors!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A different kind of play time

I took my son to a parent and toddler group for the first time today. I'm not sure why it's taken me nearly 20 months to do so, but anyway, it has. It was in a really nice setting, in some woodland, which I didn't expect living in a town. Okay, look, I'm still getting to know the area after 3 and a half years..! I should've taken my camera with me to post a pic on here, but I didn't, sorry.

Anyway, Thomas had a thoroughly good time and me... well, I was constantly trying to get him to stop crashing the walker into other children, to go down the slide, not up it and generally trying to get him to share. I guess these things come with time.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's Play Time!

Yesterday I had lots of fun with Fimo! It's been months since I've managed to do anything with it and I realised how much I'd missed playing with the stuff! Look at all these lovely colours waiting to be mixed...

I've got so many ideas of things to make but just need the time to make them, especially as I've just booked a stall at Fun in the Park in Stanborough Lakes, with special guest Chico no less! It's on July 5th so I'd better get a move on.
Here are a few of my Fimo creations anyway...

I think I'm most pleased with the decorations I made for my son's Advent tree last year, but I won't post those in June. Thinking... no, I can't, honestly, it wouldn't be right.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Housey Stuff

Our washing machine broke down on Monday. It's so typical, beautiful weather all week, loads of washing to do, no work this week... and the machine finally packs up. It's been on its way out for ages, but I was hoping it would last a little longer. We were planning to buy a new front door for the porch, but instead we've had to buy a new washing machine, which in my opinion, isn't half as exciting as a front door!

Anyway, the porch is coming along nicely. Here's Mr W. digging the foundations:

Onto other housey bits... We're growing our own veg again this year. We've just spotted the first shoots of either carrots, lettuce or radish I think. I can never remember what we're growing. The tomatoes and strawberries are doing well too. Nothing beats home-grown veg!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Orange on Folksy

Fiona over on Folksy has been picking a colour in the rainbow and choosing 12 items for her blog. Look at all these lovely orange things...

Thanks for including my wobbly orange jelly Fiona!

Talk about baby brain!

OK, my first post and it may as well be about blogging. I've been thinking about blogging for a couple of years, but have only definitely decided to give it a go in the last week or so, or so I thought. I just went to create an account and it turns out I'd already attempted to blog over a year ago! I had completely forgotten about it! Looking at the title of the (empty) post, it would appear to be about having a baby in the 21st Century, but other than that, who knows what I was going to blog about?

Anyway, let's start again. I guess I'll blog about my creative thoughts and processes, things I like, people who inspire me. I'm sure the mundane goings-on in my everyday life will sneak in too. Isn't it fascinating how we're so interested in all these little things nowadays? Erm, I hope that's not just me..! I also probably won't be able to help giving my views on issues of the day or week. So, that's what to expect from me.

Look forward to sharing with you,