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:)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I first heard of ACEOs a couple of years ago but just hadn't got around to ever having a go.

ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions Originals. You can use any medium you like to create these miniature works of art, but they have to be 2.5" x 3.5".

As there's a recent trend on Folksy with lots of artists giving it a go, I thought I'd show you my first attempts:

Wonky Alphabet. I messed a couple of the letters up a bit.

Wobbly Orange Jelly. This was inspired by my wobbly jelly glass painted photo.

Flowers at Sunset.


I did make several polymer clay ones but they didn't turn out too well. I've got a couple more planned which I'll try to do tonight.

Did well at the craft fair weekend before last. Made a profit anyway! My polymer clay bookmarks and earrings seemed to be most popular. Sold some buttons and bag charms too.

Went to visit Father Christmas at the weekemd. The miniature train ride through the forest was nice, especially as there was still snow on the ground, but the 'grotto' was more like a fairground stall! Oh well, Little W enjoyed it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Join in the Craft Carousel!

The craft carousel is a fab idea set up by Maryann from OneStopPamperShop on Folksy. I'd been wanting to join in for ages, but, although there have been many many wonderful items I would have loved to buy, I could only really afford to get something as a present. This morning I finally found something from Silver Birch Crafts. Which means I can now replace the item I bought with something of my own:

If you're looking for some unique handmade loveliness, then take a look at the craft carousel and join in the fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

French Memo Boards!

My latest crafting 'thing' is French memo boards. I love them! They look ever so cute on the wall and it's so much fun choosing all the fabrics and ribbons. I make the buttons myself out of polymer clay.

I've sold one already, within days of listing on Folksy:

I've got two left in my Folksy shop at the moment. This retro cupcake one:

and the Winnie the Pooh board at the top of this post.

I'm busy making others to send up to the Gift Gallery. I also need to get some more prints sorted out to send as well. I'm hoping there'll be a big Christmas rush!

Other good news is that I won a free ad in Creative Crafting mag today. It'll be in the Christmas issue. I've entered this weekly comp a few times now, so it's wonderful to win!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Philosophical Ramblings about Time

I’ve always been fascinated with time. I know that’s a slightly odd fascination to admit to, but I can’t help it! When I watch something like the X-Factor I’m always working out how old I was when the contestants were born or thinking, “Wow, they didn’t even exist when Take That had their 1st number 1” or something!

On Saturday it was mine and Mr W’s 15-year anniversary (not wedding anniversary, just ‘being together’ anniversary) and the following day was Little W’s 3rd birthday. So my thought process went something like this... It feels like yesterday when we first met, but in the same amount of time prior to us meeting I was the same age our son will be tomorrow and those 15 years seemed like a lifetime! How weird it is that time goes so so much quicker the older you get.

Anyway, I’m constantly working things out - dates and how old I was when... and then looking at famous people and thinking they wouldn’t even remember such and such an event. Not sure why I’m so obsessed with this!

I’m also really good at guessing the time. For instance, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I’ll guess the exact time within a minute or two. And often during the day I can get it spot on! I know, I’m a genius.

As blog posts are so much more interesting with pics, I’m going to show you one of Elibee’s wonderful CD clocks:

Monday, September 27, 2010

My stuff's in a shop with walls and everything!

Yep, the day's here at last. The Gift Gallery York is opening today! From what I've seen and heard, Kate's done a fantastic job getting it all ready, as well as getting married!

Some of my photos and cards are for sale here, plus one notebook. Yes, just the one. I simply had no time to make any more.

Anyway, it's really exciting to have my things for sale in a real, proper shop. There are loads of other Folksy sellers stocking their fantastic items as well. It'll be the perfect place to buy a quality, unique gift from talented folk in the UK and Ireland.

You can join the shop's Facebook page and see a pic too. And if you're in York, why not pop in to have a look around? 19 Shambles, YO1 7LZ.

And other promotion news... I just joined Crafters R Us which is a growing online directory of crafters. Take a look!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Buried Treasure!

It was Mr W's birthday the other day and we celebrated by spending the day at the seaside.

We were somewhat lucky with the weather; left in a heavy downpour and came home to one, but we had sun at the beach! It was a typically British trip to the seaside mind you. In other words, we took rain jackets, suncream, swimming trunks, blankets... you get the idea.

I decided to make a treasure map for Little W, which I buried in the sand:

He was so excited to find it! He had to face the sea, take 5 steps forward, turn right, take 3 steps... The treasure was buried under a small pile of rocks. Luckily, I only buried coppers and not pound coins as one was never found - maybe it will be some other kid's treasure one day.

It was Baby W's second trip to the seaside and I think she was pretty much oblivious to it all. Little W enjoyed taking my mum for a half hour walk up and down the water's edge! The rest of us played with a huge balloon ball thingy, which kept going in the water, of course. Finally, we all had a lovely picnic. Little W sat down and opened his new Buzz Lightyear lunchbox as soon as we got there!

On another note, I'm just finishing off my redesigned website. It should've been finished earlier today, but there's one bit I can't get right and it's really frustrating me!

Also, hello and thanks to my new followers. I will try to follow you back but find it really hard to get to others' blogs sometimes! If you can leave a link below, I'll happily follow you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to make a polymer clay Klimt cane dolphin

So... this is how to make a polymer clay Klimt cane dolphin. Now, that’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it?! This process of course, can be used to make anything out of a Klimt cane, not just a dolphin. I’ve followed the instructions of a few different people and combined them based on what works best for me.

The term ‘Klimt cane’ is used because the patterns made look very similar to the style of the artist Gustav Klimt.

You will need:
  • Between 5 and 8 colours of polymer clay. I used 5 for this project.
  • A tissue blade
  • Clay extruder with square disc
  • Rolling pin
  • Small circular cutter (not essential depending on method used)
  • Cutter shapes, like a dolphin (not essential)

So first of all, condition your polymer clay (I use Fimo). It needs to be pretty soft to that you can extrude it easily. Then roll out sheets in your chosen colours, about 2mm thick:

(Instead of rolling out flat sheets, you can also roll each colour into a sausage and cut slices off the ends to create the circles, but I find they go a bit squishy.)

Then, using a circular cutter, cut out circles, about 10 of each colour. Exactly how many you need depends on how many colours you’re using and the thickness of your sheets.

Next, make a stack of circles, varying the colours:

Roll this lightly to stick the circles together a little better:

Load the stack into a clay extruder. I use Makin’s green one! And fit the square disc onto the end. Then extrude:

Once your clay is all out, cut it in half with a tissue blade and put the two halves next to each other like so:

These should be the same size. Not sure why they look so different in this picture!
Cut in half again and put together:

Do this a few times until you have a size you’re happy with:

Make sure you check both ends when you cut and put together, as each end will probably have a different pattern. Choose what you think looks best.

Smooth the sides of the cane by lightly going over the edges with your rolling pin. Be careful not to distort the pattern though.

You can stop here if you wish, as your cane is finished. Cut thin slices and cover scrap clay to make pretty much anything! Pendants, earrings, charms, magnets... whatever your imagination comes up with!

To make the dolphin, roll out a sheet of blue clay and lay slices of the cane on top:

Once you have covered enough of the blue clay, lightly go over with a rolling pin to smooth any bumps.

Then, taking a dolphin cutter (or whatever shape you like), press into the clay:

Voila! I think I’ll make this into a hanging decoration with some blue ribbon. I'll list this on Folksy soon, but if you'd like to buy it now, please send me an e-mail: victoria@carefordcreations.co.uk

Here’s something else I made with another Klimt cane: Retro ‘70s magnets!
Hope you find this tutorial useful. I’d love to hear what you make!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Handmade Birthday!

OK, so it was nearly two weeks ago, but better late than never to tell you about the wonderful handmade birthday I had. I was lucky enough to go on a Folksy shopping spree, courtesy of my family and these are the delights I found...

A busy bee organiser from AskingForTrouble:

Perfect for keeping me organised. I love to make lists! There’s a magnetic strip on the back so it sticks nicely to the metal brackets on my craft shelves. Marceline also sent a postcard of some of her other kawaii designs.

Then there’s these funny face magnets I’ve had my eye on for ages, from Glassprimitif:

I love covering the fridge and freezer in magnets! And these have certainly brightened them up. Jo also sent a cute little notebook.

I also bought this bag from Purpss:

This is just right for summer. It’s a really unusual design and such lovely, bright colours! Also included was a little free bag, which was very thoughtful.

Then, from Ellie’s Treasures I bought this gorgeous Patchy Pockets keepsake wallet:

I fell in love with the little bear; what a cutie! There are two pegs inside as well, to clip little pictures. I love things like that! I’ve got some photos of my children in there already and need to think of some more mementos...

Lastly, I finally bought some wonderful prints and a pocket mirror from HiddenEloise, which arrived in the most delightful envelope:

I’ve wanted to buy something from her for so long, but could never decide what to choose! Eloise included a little personal note, tag and some stickers as well, which was a lovely touch. (By the way, it goes to show that handmade is really best, as the frames I bought for these prints from a well-known supermarket said 7” x 5”, but when I got them home they were actually half an inch smaller both ways!)

So, all in all, a perfect birthday! Finished off with a family BBQ in the evening and a mountain of cupcakes made by my brother’s girlfriend. They were truly delicious! Lemon, strawberry and chocolate – mmm. There must be something about cupcakes at the moment, as these were very similar to my 'Naughty But Nice' cupcake print and also one of the birthday cards a friend sent...

And not quite handmade, but to help me make handmade, I bought a clay extruder. I’m having so much fun with it! These are some retro ‘70s magnets that I’ve made already:

And last night I made some interesting rope twists, which I think I’ll make into earrings. I’ll post a ‘how to’ soon I think.

Anyway, that’s my longest post in a while, so better leave it there!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First new glass painted photo set in a while...

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on some new glass painted photos. I really need a name to describe this technique, as it sounds a little odd - glass painted photos! But that's what they are, after all.

Anyway, my second new set after 3 Funky Flowers, is Naughty But Nice. This is a set of four delicious-looking (I hope) images:

A chocolate cupcake covered with sticky strawberry icing and a cherry on top:

Awhite-coated doughnut sprinkled with hundreds and thousands:

A wibbly wobbly orange jelly:

A triple-scoop ice-cream cone with strawberry, vanilla and coffee ice-creams plus flake:

Now the set's for sale on Folksy, I'm getting to work on my wild animal set. I'm hoping people will buy them for their kids' bedrooms or nursery.

Other crafty stuff... I sold one of my polymer clay bookmarks the other day through Facebook. Facebook seems to be working well for the promotion at the moment. I've also signed up to Twitter, but haven't got the hang of it yet. Will I ever??

It's nearly my birthday and I've ordered a few lovely items from Folksy which I can't wait to open! They're actually from my husband, but you know how it is, it's often easier to buy your own gifts! I'll make sure I blog about them next week. I'll also be able to make a start on those bag charms as I'm waiting for a letter stamp set which my mum and dad have bought me!

Completely off-topic... just looking out of the window at my washing blowing gently in the breeze and thinking how wonderful it is to be able to get 3 or 4 loads done in a day at the moment!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back to the Fimo and other new creations

I ordered some bag charms today and am looking forward to playing with the Fimo again to make something a little different. I don't know why everything always takes me so long, but I've had plans to make these charms for... a year maybe?! I designed them and everything and then, well, maybe it was just toddlers and babies and little things like that keeping me occupied...

Here are some pics of phone charms and bookmarks that I may also make into bag charms:

I'm also starting to sell my photos in sets, as I have a feeling that grouping images on your wall is the 'in' thing at the moment. I've listed two sets on Folksy:

I'm also in the middle of drawing/glass painting some new animal images which I'll probably sell as a group of 4. If they work out I think they'll look great on a kid's bedroom wall or nursery.
Anyway, I'm off to enjoy the sunshine...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A fun comp to win lots and lots of little interesting things!

I found out about a really fun competition yesterday from NoodleBubble. It's called The Envelope Project.

Basically, all you do is fill an envelope with lots of little interesting bits and pieces. Anything from sitckers, inspiring pictures from a magazine, a piece of ribbon... whatever is light and won't really cost you much to post.

Then you send it all to the organiser and the winner will be sent all the envelopes. There are 140 entrants at the moment. Sounds fun to me!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting the creativitiy going again

I feel as though I've disappeared from the crafty world for the past couple of months. I've no idea where the time has gone, but I now have a nearly 7-week-old daughter. She's an absolute delight and my son adores her. He's so good with her, which is somewhat of a relief, seeing as he can be a rather boisterous 2 and a half year-old! You should've seen our living room the other day. Two words: shredded paper.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get back into things soon. I'm looking forward to getting some of my photos in a new shop in York. More details of that soon.

Also trying to sort my own personal photos out. I've so many I want to display in the house, so I'm trying to organise them creatively and get them printed and framed. I've also been trying to do my family tree in photos for many years now and the longer I leave it the more additions that come along!

Oh, before I go, just want to say a hello and thank you to my new followers!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interview with Flutterbies!

Another lovely Folksy seller has offered to interview people for her blog, so again, I just couldn't resist the temptation to have a nose into someone else's life by returning the favour!

This time it's Katherine from Flutterbies who makes gorgeous jewellery...

1)First things first, please tell me about yourself.
By day I work in a chemical laboratory, by night I make jewellery :)

2) How long have you been making jewellery for and have you ever tried any other crafts?
I've been making jewellery for about six years now (can't believe it's that long!). Before I started making jewellery I tried every craft under the sun - knitting to pyrography to silk painting, you name it I've probably got a kit for it stashed in a cupboard somewhere! I just love anything creative, making something that didn't exist before.

3) What crafty thing would you like to try next?
I've been looking into resin and making resin jewellery, but I'm not sure I've got the time to invest in it at the moment.

4) Something all creative people like to know – where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere, I'm always looking at what jewellery people are wearing to try and get an idea what's popular at the moment. I also get a lot of inspiration from the beads themselves, just playing with the colours and letting the jewellery grow.

5) Apart from crafting, what else do you do in your spare time?
Sport! I love to be active; I play netball for a local team and love to go climbing, I'm also doing a couple of sponsored events this year, including a swimathon in April and the race for life in July.
6) On to non-crafty things... Where is your favourite place in the world and where would you love to visit?
I love mountains :) Switzerland was my absolute favourite holiday. I would love to go to Peru and walk the Inca Trail :)
7) What’s your favourite season and why?
Autumn, and not just because my birthday is then! I love the colours of the trees as they change, and the chance to dig out all your wooly jumpers again!

8) Is there anything that you’re secretly expert at?
Erm.... that would be telling ;)

9) If you could live a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be and why?
I'm not sure... but I think it would be someone really famous just so I could see what it was like.

10) One of my favourite things... food. What do you love? What do you hate?
I love my vegetables, any kind (including sprouts!), and think they should be a compulsory part of every meal! I really really don't like mashed potato...

Thanks Katherine for an insight into your life and jewellery-making!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Fatcat Felt

Tracy from Fatcat Felt interviewed me recently for her blog, so I thought I would return the favour. I love delving into people’s lives anyway! So here we go...

1) First things first, please tell me about yourself.
Hi, I’m Tracy Markey, I was born in London and I now live in Perth with my lovely partner. I work part-time for a whisky company which helps me fund my felting obsession!

2) How long have you been making felt items for and have you ever tried any other crafts?
I’ve been felting for about five years now and got into it totally by accident – we were out cycling when we passed Twist Fibre Crafts shop in Newburgh, this is a great shop which introduced me to feltmaking and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve also tried my hand at a few other crafts: paper-making, which was great but a totally different experience: instead of working with warm, soft wool I was working with wet, cold plant fibres! I’ve done a couple of pottery courses too and am hoping to do some more this summer. And I’ve recently completed a couple of weaving workshops at Stirling Castle which have been great, just wish I had more time to practice!

3) What crafty thing would you like to try next?
I would love to learn glass making or how to work with cane – my granddad was a chair caner, my mum still has a chair he made and it’s a work of art.

4) Something all creative people like to know – where do you get your inspiration from?
Oh gosh, from far too many places! I can’t really complain but I seem to have so many ideas and not enough time to make everything. Anything can spark an idea – a costume in a film, a painting, colours in the landscape, a pattern in tree bark … I’ve now started to try to capture them all in a notebook so that I can start working my way through them as time allows.

5) Apart from crafting, what else do you do in your spare time?
We love to get out into the great outdoors, camping, birdwatching, cycling, hiking, bat surveys and have just started to get into astronomy! Last year we tried our hand at gardening and now have a veg plot where our lawn used to be. We’re also in the middle of starting a small publishing press which will allow us to publish poets just starting out, which I’m really excited about.

6) On to non-crafty things... Where is your favourite place in the world and where would you love to visit?
I love the Isle of Lewis, I lived there for just under a year and still miss it. The landscape is amazing, massive skies, beautiful beaches, lots of wildlife, there’s nowhere quite like it. I would love to visit Mongolia, it would be great to visit a place which has inspired me so much and which, to me, is the home of feltmaking. I’m planning to visit soon (too soon!) to celebrate my 40th.

7) What’s your favourite season and why?
Oooh that’s tough, I like each season apart from winter! Hhhhhm, probably spring because everything starts to wake up again after winter and it’s so great to see plants come into flower again.

8) Is there anything that you’re secretly expert at?
Wouldn’t it be great if I could reveal a super-hero secret power like flying?! :)

9) If you could live a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be and why?
I can’t think of anyone to be honest, I’m quite happy being me! The only ‘someone else’ I can think of is me in a few years: a successful textile artist with her own shop and gallery, who has exhibited to great acclaim, and runs very popular feltmaking workshops.

10) One of my favourite things... food. What do you love? What do you hate?
I love love love food, as long as it’s veggie. I have a real weakness for cheese, there’s no meal that can’t be improved by the addition of cheese! Hate: meat and any food which has animal products sneakily added, like gelatine in sweets!

11) Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or your felt making?
All of my work is made from felt which I have hand made. It’s really important to me to make items which people are happy with, I put a lot of time and love into creating each piece individually and no two items are ever the same. If you would like to know more, you can visit my blog at: http://www.narkeymarkeysblog.blogspot.com/ or if you would like to see more of my work you can visit my online shop at : http://www.fatcatfelt.folksy.com/

Thanks Tracy! Good luck with the publishing – sounds really interesting. And I hope you get to visit Mongolia very soon – that would be amazing!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Turning Photos into Outlines

I've been experimenting lately with Photoshop and seeing what I can do with my photos. As it's coming up to Mothers' Day I thought I'd have a go at some simple flower outlines. Here's one of them:

I've put four different flower images on one sheet, which look good. I'll list them on Folksy shortly. Probably a little too late for Mothers' Day, but never mind!

Also just tried outlining some animals.

I thought about turning these into colouring pages for children, but I don't think they're simple enough. I might have a go with my glass painted photos and see what they turn out like.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Heart Swap

I recently took part in another Folksy swap, organised by Lisa of NoodleBubble. This time we were swapping hearts! I made this for Jacky of Jacksknits:
It's made from Fimo - pink underneath with slices of a white and translucent cane on top. And received this from Amy Macpherson of Macpherson's Miscellany:

How lucky to receive three gorgeous items - a brooch, a card and a bracelet! Thanks Amy! And thanks Lisa for organising another great swap.