03 August 2015

Make a retro local postcard

Here's a fun way to celebrate your home town, by making a postcard. It's fun choosing photos to either make your town look lovely, or to make fun of its less beautiful features.

Here's what I did:

1. Choose some photos and put them in a folder together.

2. Using Picasa, create a collage, making sure to leave some white space between the photos by altering the grid spacing.

3. Use Photoshop to add a white rectangle with the name of the town.

4. Follow this tutorial to give a creased effect if you like.

Blogger Tricks

01 August 2015

My collections: Postcards

One of my most loved collections is my collection of postcards. I've been collecting them most of my life. Some I've bought myself, some have been sent to me, and many were collected for me by my grandparents from their friends and neighbours. Above you can see some of my favourite postcards bought on my last trip to Japan. And I must apologise if the word "favourite" is a bit over-used in this post, because they are all my favourites in different ways!
I decorated my room with postcards when I was at university, as you can see from the photo above. I love looking at this photo and trying to spot postcards that are still in my collection (I thinned down the collection a bit after that).
Here's how I store my postcards. I keep them in a couple of boxes designed for holding photos, which tend to be slightly smaller than postcards, but most postcards fit just fine. Those that don't, I keep in the box shown on top.
Did you know that the Royal Mail release postcards of (most of) their stamps? (The reason I say most of, is that I wanted the Royal Wedding ones a few years back, to match the two sets of Royal Wedding ones I have from the 1980s, but they didn't release them as postcards this time). Back in the 1980s you could only buy them in the post office, so I would go down and queue there on the day they were released, hoping they would be in stock. I got every set that was released over a number of years. My mum also has the Halley's comet ones, framed along with the matching stamps. You can order the Stamp Cards online these days, and in fact I've just ordered the Christmas 2014 ones as I loved the style of the illustrations.

Scientific Stamp Cards

Retro illustrations on postcards from my grandparents and the Hummel ones bought secondhand

Some early (and favourite) postcards from my collection, showing clothing from around the world

The first two postcards in my collection, one from my parents to me, and the other from their friends to them. I did have another postcard at that time, a circular one of a beach scene with palm trees, that looked the same when you turned it upside down.

Some favourite postcards bought on childhood holidays. And a bit of a theme going on there!

Some favourite scenic postcards

Some favourite postcards of Edinburgh

One of my strangest postcards, it's a jigsaw!

Two letterpress printed postcards, the one on the right is my favourite ever postcard, bought a few years after I started collecting postcards.

A couple of arty postcards, of Hundertwasser's art, with gold highlights on them.

I could spend all day showing you my postcards, and telling you the stories behind them! I hope you've enjoyed this little look at them. Postcards are a great form of affordable art, and collecting them is a great way of gathering together images that inspire you - it's like the original Pinterest!

31 July 2015

This month on emuse

This month has been pretty much all about my obsession with the Clangers! I got the month off to a start with the first post of my series on how to create Clangers miniatures from polymer clay, and this continued all through the month, with ten projects in total!
6. Clangers logo
7. Eggbot
8. Soup tankard
9. Blue string pudding
10. Froglet
And I reviewed the new Clangers toys!

There have been a couple of other arty/crafty posts:
Retrocraft: Art
Elasticated bracelet
Double exposures (travel photos)

Some Sunday self-portraits:
Double exposures
Totally tropical
Summer pastels

And I posted about my love for my local libraries, and my first Birchbox.

30 July 2015

This month I have been mostly...

The Clangers, Cordon, Hair, University Challenge, Only Connect. And I tried Hive Minds but didn't like it.


After a few months of reading very little, I got going again. I'm reading the Brunetti novels by Donna Leon, which are a great substitute for the Montalbano novels which I've been reading for the past few summers. I have also read The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and Bossypants by Tina Fey.

Pens. Lots of pens.

29 July 2015

The Clangers in Clay: Froglet

As the end of the month nears, finally we've come to the last post in my series of Clangers craft tutorials - I hope you've enjoyed them. I've left one of the best for last, as I've always found the Froglets really cute!

Over the course of July I've been showing you all the techniques I used to make my Clangers scene. Please remember that this is an ornament for nostalgic adults or older children - it's not a toy as it has many small and breakable parts. If you did want to make it for a young child's room, I'd recommend gluing the pieces together and mounting the scene in a box frame which could hang on the wall.
Here's what you need to make a Froglet (or why not make three!)
  • Black and orange clay (e.g. Fimo or Sculpey)
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Black paint

1. Make a piece of orange clay into a flattened egg shape.
2. Use a pen lid to make a semicircular marking as a smile.
3. Make two holes in the bottom using a cocktail stick.
4. Make two small balls of black clay, and flatten them. Make them slightly narrower at one side, and make an indentation with a cocktail stick at this side.

5. Make two small balls of orange clay.
6. Flatten two tiny pieces of black clay, and use a craft knife to cut slits into one side.
7. Place the black eyelash pieces on top of the froglet's head, and add the orange balls on top.

8. Bake!
9. Cut two lengths of cocktail stick and paint them black.
10. Glue the black foot pieces to the cocktails sticks, then glue them into the holes at the bottom of the froglet's body.

11. If you like, varnish the froglet for a glossy look.

And here's a roundup of all the other projects in the series! I've really had fun with this, thinking of which items I wanted to make, and working out how I could make them. I have to admit that the scale is a bit off on some of them, with the container of blue string pudding, for example, being far too large to fit down the craters, but I hope that adds to the charm of it!

1. Clangers' planet

27 July 2015

Elasticated bracelet

I'm loving peach and rose-gold this summer, so I made this bracelet in those colours.

1. Form a bead shape from peach polymer clay, and use a sharp knife to cut facets.

2. Bake.

3. Cover part of each bead with masking tape and spray paint with gold paint.

4. Thread the beads on elastic, tying knots in between. If you like, hide the knotted ends of the elastic inside one of the beads.

26 July 2015

Sunday self-portraits: Summer pastels

I'm really getting into pastels this summer. There are some beautiful peach and mint tones around this summer that remind me of some of my favourite summer outfits from the 1980s. This dress was quite a cheap one from Peacocks, and the print has a bit of a 1980s look to it.
I also got myself some pretty peach nail polish, Resort Fling by Essie, and I made use of some of the gold temporary tattoos that came in my Birchbox. I also wore a peach belt and mint shoes that I've had for years. And I got pink bands on my braces this time - which are now going a nice peachy colour!