You may have noticed that my blog has been a little garden-focused this year. This was pointed out to me by a friend who said "Another garden post?" in a voice which implied it would be nice to have something else instead. So, I thought I would do that today. Above is a memory wire bracelet I made as a commission, but I think I will have to make one for myself too. I used lapis lazuli, sodalite, rainbow moonstone, pearls, and blue fire agate. I have also made myself a pair of rather baggy long shorts to wear around the house and in the garden (not to go out in!), but haven't got a photo to show you.
In other news, I have been experimenting with Flitterglu (Flake and Glitter glue, in case you are wondering), which can be put onto a stamp, then stamped onto baked polymer clay, then gilding flakes applied onto the glue, then wiped off, to leave a pattern. The glue is a bit like PVA, but stays tacky, so it doesn't matter if you need to go and do something else as you can come back to it. It can also be used on lots of other materials such as wood or card, and can be used on fabric, although if gilding flakes are used, the fabric can't then be washed.
I particularly liked the writing, which has worked very well. A lot of detail can be picked up by the gilding flakes, which creates some lovely patterns.
Apologies for the flash glare in this picture - but it does show the gilding flakes well.
This was an experiment on a white background, which I didn't think worked as well as the darker colours.
I'm doing reasonably well with my reading challenge (to read all the books in the photo above before I buy any more books). The reading has gone well, but the 'not buying any more books' has not lasted!
I haven't yet read The Last Pre-Raphaelite, but have read and really enjoyed the other books shown here. The Lost Pre-Raphaelite began as delving into the history of the author's recently bought house, but developed into a mystery about the life and family of a painter who lived there and it was an engrossing hypothesis.
The Beverley Nichols trilogy was a joy and delight - houses, cats and gardens, with various odd acquaintances putting in an appearance throughout.
I have also read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was unsettling but an incredible first novel and a cleverly created parallel world. I have also enjoyed the BBC adaptation of the book, despite some small divergences from the story, but I shall definitely read the book again.
I am currently on 'Colour: Travels through the Paintbox' which is fascinating. For instance, did you know that the colour 'Mummy Brown' actually contained ground up Mummies? No, nor did I until I read this book! I had been putting it off because I thought it looked a little hard going, but, in fact, it is easy to read, well written and really interesting. I wish I could remember a few more of the fascinating facts the author reveals...
I have also been very busy with a 'Christmas in July' swap (three handmade Christmas things from a list), which is also a Secret Santa, where the recipient does not know who is making gifts for them. I shall be posting my parcel this week and on the 25th July, or thereabouts, we will all be opening our presents, so I shall share my makes and what I received then. It is exciting to think that somewhere in the world, someone is busy making gifts for me too!