Thursday, 11 December 2014

A bit about me!

Let me tell you a bit about myself.

I'm a self taught artist/crafter living Edinburgh with a lovely husband and two kitties!
I've always had a love of making things. I was born in 1973 and grew up in the highlands of Scotland. Since I was a 'wee lassie' I was always cutting things out, making clothes for my care bears, (remember them?!) and I knew I had a love for colour and nature.

My parents split up in my early teen years so with a change of school and a change of life, I left school with no qualifications to speak of really. But I got a job in my grandfathers butchers shop making pies! I've been fortunate to always have been in work. I also worked in a kilt making factory in Inverness which was really fun.
Me at 18 years old in Hector Russell kilt makers in Inverness.

I would say my creative journey flourished when I moved to the Orkney Islands. I got a job working for Jane Glue, a local water-colour artist. She had a lovely wee shop and gallery that sold her paintings, prints, cards and art materials. I learnt a lot from Jane in the way she ran her business. It was also up in Orkney where I first started to do craft fairs. I started out making framed boxes with balsa wood. I then went on to glass painting which I still love to do. I then went on to making jewellery with wire and beads then making my own beads with polymer clay. I've also done some card making in the past too. You know what they say, 'Jack of all trades, master of none!'. I'm like a magpie with my interest of craft.
One of Jane Glues watercolours.

Since then I have done many demonstrations and have wrote tutorials for craft magazines over the years. I even came first place in a polymer clay completion with crafts beautiful magazine! I never win anything so I was so chuffed!

Within the past number of years I got married, moved from Orkney to Edinburgh, moved to Forres in the Moray area and then moved back down to Edinburgh. I've loved meeting other makers with so much talent which has inspired me so much.

I think my inspirations are art deco and art nouveau. I've had the privilege to go to Prague and see works of Alphonse Mucha. He must be my favourite. I also love Van Gogh and the use of colour he uses. I think my next trip will be to Barcelona to see Gaudis work.

I lost my craft mojo and decided to have a complete change. Within the past year I had a massive de-clutter and decided to stick with the one craft. Simplify my life! I have found a new passion for mosaics! I use mostly vintage plates and cups that are found in thrift stores or other exciting places. I try my best to be sympathetic to the item and get the best of reusing it. I try not to waste anything. I love the colours in vintage ceramics which gives my mosaics a fresh and clean look. I work from a spare room at home. It limits me to the projects I can do because of the space. I have only being doing mosaics from late 2013 so I still have a lot to learn but I am enjoying the process.

I hope you enjoy my story.

All the best.

Carol :D
See my lovely mosaics for sale by clicking HERE!
Also find me on facebook and become a fan!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

How I make my mosaics and are they worth it. - Part 2

Hello to you all. Well its been along time since my last post! Since then I have moved back down to Edinburgh and have been involved with a lot of craft fairs here. I will tell you what I've been up to another time but I want to finish this post! Sorry its taken me so long!

After filling in the gaps with the glue I am ready to grout. I must say its the least of my favourite bits to do. It takes ages but with a small item its not to bad.

This but gets a bit messy and I use latex gloves for it. You can get a pack cheaply from most discount or pound stores. I use them because my fingers were getting cut up and the grout was drying my hands out like sandpaper!

I clean up the grout and leave it to dry a but before I use a toothbrush to clean of any excess grout and it picks up the features of any beads I have put it. I'm a bit O.C.D. about this.

Once its dry I paint the back with normal emulsion paint since it will be an indoor item. I just give it the one coat because the style is a bit shabby chic.

I then choose a ribbon which will bring the best out of the item.
And then I buff it down to make it shine and there you have it!!
So how much did it cost to make? Well this one was a tad more pricey because the butterfly shape was about a pound each which included the price of the postage.
So this is the interesting part. With all the little things like the tiles, glue, beads, ribbon, wooden blanks and the time to source and buy these things, many crafters DONT make their costs if you think about it. We are encouraged to cost everything, give yourself minimum wage, then double it and that should be what you should charge. So I should be charging about £18 for this wee butterfly but I'm selling it for £7 on etsy.
I think the moral of the story is, PLEASE BUY HANDMADE! As for me I love what I make. A bit of my heart goes into my creations. We are not mass producers and you are getting something special with a story behind it. I hope many crafters can relate to this and I hope you can take the time to comment because I would like to hear what you think.
All the best until next time!!

Wee butterfly on etsy. Click here to view.