Sunday, 15 January 2017

Recycling into Cufflinks

A well dressed Gent

Always has the right accessories for his suit.

This little blog is about cufflinks.

I have been making cufflinks for a few months.

I mean really where would the well dressed gent be without cufflinks?

These are giving me the opportunity to recycle in a big way as I have over time collected some lovely old buttons, coins, earrings etc and they are now getting a new life as cufflinks.
For me recycling is very important, too much is wasted these days.
Old is not useless,
 It is valuable,
It is to be treasured,
It is often unable to be replaced,
So therefor it is to be recycled into something to keep.
Old coins, buttons even some earrings are a great example of this thinking.
Remember wind up watches and clocks.
Well the inners of these are fantastic when recycled.
I look everywhere for all sorts of goodies with an eye to making them into something new and useful.
 In the case of old buttons I am now replicating them as buttons, cufflinks, tie pins and centres for cockades.

Who remembers sixpences?
More importantly what we could buy for sixpence.
I could catch a bus to the movie theatre, see a movie, buy an ice cream, have bus fare home.
And still have change!!!

Half penny, today would be less than half a cent.
In the time we used them you could buy a pencil or small school book.
2 would buy you a penny bag of sweets! 
and that was a lot.


Watch bits set in resin get a special beauty, who thought the day would come when we would use them in such a way.



 Old buttons
Beautiful recycled as cufflinks or tie pins.
 With my replicas,
possible colour combinations are endless
I also make them as buttons,how's that for thinking out side the box!


Beautiful eagles to make the steampunk outfit complete.
Also available as a tie/lapel pin as well.


These are recycled buttons!
I added small cats eye cabochons as the original centres were either lost or damaged. 


These once adorned a ladies ears as fashionable earrings.
Now they can adorn a shirt cuff as cufflinks.


These recycled buttons are so very regal.
Perfect for the business executive or an airship captain.

Thank you for having a browse,
All comments are very welcome.


Friday, 22 April 2016

Recycling first day covers into greeting cards

Recycling first day covers into greeting cards.

First collect first day covers,

which I was doing in the early 1980's

Get them out and decide to make something unique with them,
 but not damage or depreciate their value in any way.
Now there was the question.
I believe I have come up with a way that I does both.
These beautiful memory capsules are presented,
 but in no way altered or damaged.
Framed and protected in a card,
easily removed and put into an album if wanted.
For many or the commemorative envelopes I have a variety of postmarks.
This particular first day cover was issued for the XIII International Botanical Congress on 24th August 1981
So many postmarks to choose from

 I made the inside of the card to follow the botanical theme.
The marriage of
Prince Charles & Lady Dianna Spencer.
I can still remember her wedding gown and tragically her death.
"The Peoples Princess"
she will always be remembered with love. 

This particular first day cover was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first official air mail between Australia and UK in 1931.
This has been carried from UK to Australia.
There is a choice of 2 Australian postmarks Maylands WA or Melbourne Vic
I have also shown the back of the cover which has details and 2 other postmarks
Choice of postmarks
 the envelope without a stamp or postmark

Ned Kelly never to be forgotten as one of our most infamous bushrangers.
This card was issued to commemorate the Kelly Gang siege of Glenrowan

This particular first day cover was issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of 1st Official mail from
Australia & New Zealand 

 Australia &New Guinea.

Where would we be without Museums.

This particular first day cover was issued to commemorate the International Museum Day 18th May 1980.
I do have the same envelope with different postmarks please see photo#2 if you would prefer one of the other postmarks please message me.
I also have the envelope without any postmark.

This particular first day cover was issued to commemorate the gold rush era in Victoria.
Post marked 20th May 1981

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch of the British Isles.

This particular first day cover was issued to commemorate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II in 1980
It is postmarked 21st April 1980

This particular first day cover was issued for Sydpex 80 for the Queensland Philatelic Exhibition in Brisbane and is postmarked 29 SEP 1980


This particular first day cover was issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester's flight across the Tasman.
Postmarked 23rd March 1981

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Recycled paper and books.



Recycling old paper

A paper trail going in ever decreasing circles.

I have always had a love of books, of the printed word, I suppose it started when I was at school and could never get enough books to read. the local library was like a second home to me.
I never really thought about what happened to books when they got "Old"
When you're young you don't think of old at least I don't think I did, for me old was the lovely old lady on my way to school that had the most fantastic roses growing in her front garden.
Anyway back to books or more precisely the pages, and the paper they are made of.
Paper has to be one of the easiest things to recycle and also the most wasted.
I started recycling paper many years ago making my handmade paper from old letters, junk mail even cardboard.
There is something relaxing about taking something old and normally thrown away and turning it into something new and usable. 

I had many disasters, many sheets that were only fit for being recycled back into the mix themselves, but I always liked the feel of paper that is handmade and knowing I had given it a new lease on life for a while.
It is only recently that I could bring myself to dismantle a book take out the pages and use them for something other than reading.
Dictionary pages have endless possibilities, they make for some very interesting reading as a background on a card. 

Now I am making cards and journals using pages from dictionaries and sheet music.
Old, removed from their covers but definitely not wasted.
They have a lovely aged colour and feel, a history like old coins, if only they could tell of who read them, who wanted them and where they have been.
Not even wasting the covers, these are getting a new lease as well, as revamped covers for journals.
I like to think I am giving old, often neglected books a new lease on life, a new purpose.
Yes I trim edges off, but no they are not wasted they go in my stash to be pulped into new paper. 
I love old sheet music it just cries out to be made wanted again, to be given that new lease on life.
Whenever I get the opportunity to get some sheets I grab them with both hands.
Not knowing what they will become but knowing that not a square inch will be wasted.
I think the music gives a wonderful lightness to a card, making it almost sing.
Dictionary pages and sheet music are perfect for Steampunk themed cards.
I often get books that have such interesting pages that they have to be seen as they are for themselves, these I carefully remove they make great prints for framing.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Steampunk Journals

Steampunk Journals

A new direction.

I am always looking for something new and interesting to try, and have always admired the beautiful Steampunk journals I have seen.
So I have decided to start making some myself for selling through my DragonzWench Emporium shop on Etsy.
Many hours of watching YouTube videos and looking at photos and now this new, and incredibly interesting journey has begun.
My first journal has started life as an old dictionary, that I have dismantled, covered, textured, and embellished to give it a real Steampunk look and feel.
Then came the choosing of a theme and making of the pages.
As I had some beautifully aged sheet music in my stash I decided on a music theme.
 An old Readers Digest dictionary getting ready for a whole new life.   
The pages will possibly become part on another journal and some Steampunk cards, but for now have been put aside for later use.   
Dismantled and starting to add some texture.
My first attempt at adding textures to make designs.
I am so enjoying myself, love trying and learning new things.
More texture and some old lace and first layer of colour added.
Now to line the inside covers before adding the signatures.
I chose this cardstock print because I felt it added just the right amount of aged look. 
While waiting for the cover treatments to dry, it was time to plan the pages.
I didn't want them to be plain, I wanted them to tell their own story as well, to be interesting, to be out of the ordinary.
Many torn edges, adding of embellishments, stamping of designs and much colouring of edges later and I am happy with the look I have created.

Adding cogs, lots of cogs.

I settled on using the sheet music as the outer pages of each signature, and decided to add some  plain art paper, (after texturing the edges of course), more almost clear space for notes or as a frame for a photo of that latest adventure.

I added pockets to some pages so photos, notes, business cards etc. could be collected

A typical spread of pages, although no two signatures are the same.

Notelets waiting for that all important note to be recorded.

Some stamping, where would a Steampunk traveller be without his globe, and pocket watch.

Plenty of pockets.

Another signature selection completed.


The finished back cover 
The selection of notelets,
waiting to be put in their selected pockets of given away as unique contact details cards 
The finished journal, many hours of learning but now completed.
Back and front views. 





 The Front cover




Waiting for a new home. 

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Coffee cosies and Book covers


Coffee cosies and Book covers.

I recently went back to my sewing days and started making coffee plunger cosies and book covers.

It all came about when I washed the cosy I have on my plunger and thought it about time I made a new one as my original is about 10 years old.
So off to the sewing room to make a new one, when I thought maybe I could sell them, so instead of making one I made several all different colours and then of course I had to paint designs on them which meant making stencils and instead of having a new cosy on my plunger in time for lunch, I had to wait until this creative urge had run it's distance for a while.
Choosing fabrics was important as they had to be hard wearing, washable and of course keep the coffee hot.
I have a lovely linen with a simple leaf design that I just painted over the leaves.
I chose three colours, but really I can paint them to almost any colour.
Then I got out my beautiful synthetic suede fabrics and these I stencilled designs on.

 I started out with some simple flower designs.
 adding a little embroidery for finish.
Then where would a coffee cosy be without the word "Coffee" on it.
So another stencil made and colours chosen.

Another lovely linen and another stencil.
I love dragonflies and thought, well so do many other people so dragonflies got invited to join the party as well. 
 I love making Steampunk themed jewellery and in general love the concept of Steampunk and all that goes with it, especially some of the beautiful fashions.
So of course another stencil and my Steampunk cogs came to life.
Then I am in Australia so had to make something to represent our beautiful outback.
I have some thermal cloth that works well for lining and then used acrylic batting as the middle layer.
My original had Velcro tabs which always worked well so I stayed with Velcro for the closures.
I have many more designs and colour schemes planned but first I had to use my stencils for more than cosies so Book covers came to mind.

Well the book covers happened but oh dear, had to make different designs.
Which of course meant more stencils as I needed different sizes and orientation for books as against long rectangular designs for cosies.
I did make a few with my lovely leaf design fabric, painting the same colours as the cosies. 
Hanging on the wall I have 2 papyrus prints, Tutankhamen and Nefertiti.
 I thought the cartouche would make a nice design, so that became my first book cover stencil. 
Then books are all around the world so why not a globe, and yet another stencil was created.
I made all these to fit a standard A4 diary, but not everyone has A4 diaries.
 I now offer covers to suit any size book

So many, many days later I had a selection of cosies and book covers for my DragonzWenchEmporium shop on Etsy.
Thank you for reading my ramblings about my cosies and book covers.
Please leave a comment if you wish and join my mailing list as I am always branching off  in different directions.