Free printables are now a regular feature of this craft blog and this week…

…I am pleased to bring you a colorful design depicting the sun, moon and stars.

Made with the two largest sizes off this week’s free sun moon and stars free printable.

Free printables are very easy to use (as long as you have access to a printer of course!)

Each week, I create a new page on here with a new free printable for you.

The page is always password protected, so you will need the password to get in.

This week’s free printable – Sun, Moon & Stars

To get that free printable password, you need to watch the YouTube tutorial that shows how I used the images.

In that video I will give out the password and all you need to do is write it down, come back here, follow this link and put in the password.

Simple! There is no catch to getting the free printable, the only thing I ask in return is that you watch the video and if you like what I do, perhaps subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel – that’s it! Not a bad deal really😍

Once you have your free printable, you need to print it off on good paper.

But should it be on glossy or matte paper?

Well that depends on how you are going to use your design.

If you intend putting a glass dome over the top using a medium such as Diamond Glaze or Glossy Accents, you will need to use a matte finish photographic paper.

Glass dome/cabochon
A glass dome fixed to a circular design with Glossy Accents – the design was printed onto matte paper.
Glossy Accents and Diamond Glaze are brilliant for sticking glass domes to designs printed onto matte paper.

As you can see above, using a special medium like Glossy Accents to stick the design to the glass dome is very effective when your design is printed onto matte paper.

But if you like printing onto glossy paper, as I do, what happens if you try to use a wet medium to stick the glass dome on?

The pendant design on the left was printed onto glossy photo paper and stuck to the glass dome with Diamond Glaze.

The same pendant design on the right was stuck to the glass dome with a special, crystal clear double sided tape designed to be invisible.

In all the years I have been making glass pendants, this is the fastest, easiest, least messy way I have found to fix glass domes in place on my designs for pendants.

When I first decided to experiment with using double sided tape to do this, I had all sorts of disasters. Most double sided tapes have lines in them that you don’t realise are there until you use the tape on something transparent, such as between a glass dome and a design.

Every single ordinary double sided tape I used from the craft store had marks in it.

And then I discovered a company online called SK Tapes and I found the perfect tape to stick the glass domes to my designs.

Design was fixed to glass dome with crytal clear SK Tapes double-sided tape.

This tape is made for commercial use for companies making signs and nameplates etc, however, listed in the description on their website, it does also say for use in arts and crafts.

It’s not as straightforward ordering this as it would be if you were ordering, say, on Amazon for example. You can’t just go and make a few clicks to order.

Don’t be fooled by the red appearance – that’s just the transluscent liner – the tape is crystal clear.

You have to go to their website and go to the products drop-down menu and click through to double-sided tapes (it’s at the top of the menu). Once you are on the double-sided tapes page, click on the one that says, Butt Cut Double-Sided.

On that page is an enquiry button and I sent them a message from there.

When they came back to me, I told them what I wanted, the 25mm one, paid over the phone and they sent it straight out.

It is expensive, but, this is a quality commercial product. Last year, I paid £12.96 for my roll but that included postage and Sales Tax. And it will last me absolutely ages.

USA readers may know of similar products stateside that we don’t have here.

And if you do, please scroll down and leave a comment to let people know what it is called. Or you can leave a comment under the video over on YouTube.

If you want any of the other items I used in my tutorial, such as pendant trays, glass domes, paper punches or ball chains, you can visit my Amazon shops and have a look through the items I have listed on there.

Paper punches do make life easier when cutting any shape accurately. And pendant trays (right) are ideal for making unique gifts for friends and family.

Here are the links to my Amazon shops:

https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/rainbowlane

Next week my YouTube tutorial will be showing you how to use the smallest design on the sun, moon and stars free printable to make a dainty little pendant that will appeal to those who prefer smaller, more delicate necklaces.

Come back next week and join me for that. And if you like my free printables, please consider subscribing to this blog and also my YouTube channel. In the future I will be giving free printable designs to my blog subscribers only, so make sure you sign up now so I know who you are.

It’s really easy to subscribe and I do not share your email address with anyone.

Enjoy your sun, moon and stars free printable – and see you next week.

Tissue paper light shades are quite simple to make and you don’t need lots of expensive supplies.

Tissue paper light shades are only for use with battery operated tealights or battery operated candles – they must never be used with naked flames.

tissue paper light shades
Some of my easy to make tissue paper light shades
Please note these tissue paper light shades are for battery tealights only. Never use them with a naked flame.

You can find the full tutorial on how to make your own tissue paper light shades on my YouTube Channel.

All you need is coloured tissue paper and lots of white glue. The trick is being able to cover the sheets of tissue with PVA glue without losing your patience!

In the tutorial, I show you two easy ways to do that without using too many swear words.🤪

When I was making my tissue paper light shades, even I had a couple of teeny problems.

It wasn’t all plain sailing – these are two failed tissue paper light shades.

The hardest part of making these shades is getting the glue onto the delicate tissue evenly and then drying it without it all sticking to itself or to the drying surface.

You will see my easy methods in the video.

You can see by the above screwed up pieces of tissue – I had two mess up on me. I use waxed paper taped down to a glass cutting mat as a base on which to work and then I just let the sheets dry right on there.

But even then I had to keep moving the sheets around a little throughout the drying time to stop the tissue from sticking in places.

Once you see the basic technique for making tissue paper light shades, you can start exploring ways to decorate them using your own ideas.

For these purple ones I used some round gold cord I had. I sandwiched it in between the sheets of tissue.

I used lace strips for another one and fancy wool on a third.

But you could do stamping or doodling on the tissue with Sharpies before you put glue on.

When you put battery operated tea-lights or candles inside these lanterns it gives you room a cosy glow. NEVER use naked flames in them.

Hope you have fun making lots of lovely lights to brighten up these strange times we are all living through.

If you aren’t sure where to get any of the supplies and tools you see me use in my video, do check out my Amazon storefronts by clicking one of the two Amazon links below.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

My Amazon Affiliate statement

If you made these tissue paper light shades, let me know how you got on by leaving me a comment on my YouTube channel.

Fun With Fabrics

Fun with fabrics is not a thing I ever thought I would be writing about on my website! Just ask my needlework teacher from school days🥴

Although I am into many different arts and crafts, fun with fabrics has never really been a part of my arty crafty repertoire.

I’m all about paint, glue, paper, pastels, inks – anything that makes a mess really 😆.

However, that all changed when I attended a class recently to learn how to make Art Quilts – now, I am truly hooked.

My very first art quilt made with tutor Anne Robson at Studio 2, Wooden Roots, Rendlesham UK

Having fun with fabric in an arty way is something I had never really considered until Anne Robson’s class came up at Wooden Roots.

But more about that in a later post when I hope to have finished a couple of Art Quilts made from my own paintings (which I have transferred to fabric).

I know lots of people wonder how they can do this, so I will be sharing with you how I have managed to print my own designs onto cotton and how you can do it too.

fun with fabrics
One of my pastel images printed onto cotton fabric ready to make an art quilt.

The possibilities for fabric art are endless when you start to dream up ideas of your own.

Until I discovered the arty possibilities of having fun with fabrics (when I took Anne’s four week course), I had always been envious of people who could sew really well, but didn’t think it was for me.

But last year, one of my YouTube viewers sent me a beautiful gift that she had sewn herself and, I did start getting a little curious about crafty possibilities with fabrics.

Leslie Gilbert is one of the 9.5 thousand subscribers over on my YouTube channel Rainbow Lane.

First she sent me a cute little Mug Mat and then, she very kindly made me some bunting with my channel name on.

Rainbow Lane Bunting sent to me by Lesley Gilbert
This mug mat may just have saved my wooden table from more mug rings!

Lesley is no stanger to fabric art.

After she sent me these beautiful gifts, I learned that she makes all sorts of things:- mug mats, gorgeous quilts, taggy blankets and amazing fidget lap quilts for people living with dementia.

Take a look at some of Lesley’s beautiful work in the slideshow below.

As you can see, her work is very neat, bright and colourful.

I absolutely love the personalised taggy blankets; I believe these ones were orders that Lesley had completed.

And the fidget lap quilts/muffs are a brilliant idea for those living with the effects of Alzheimers/Dementia.

Thanks to Lesley’s kindness in making me such a lovely gift (which I will be showing on my YouTube channel very soon), I did start to get the glimmer of an interest in sewing.

So when I saw the Art Quilting course that Anne Robson was teaching, I was way more open to having a go than perhaps I would have been and, I booked myself onto her course.

Although I am a very clumsy and inept seamstress – no, really I am! – I am enjoying adapting what I learned with Anne to present my art in a very different way.

It’s making me think differently about what I am creating and I’m loving it.

Anne and her helpers getting everything ready for the class.

As I said earlier, I am currently practicing the sewing skills I learnt in Studio 2 at Wooden Roots, Rendlesham, here in the UK.

I won’t be sharing the actual methods we were taught for making the quilts because that is something Anne has developed in her own style and is the best person to teach it. Besides, I will be learning this art for a very long time to come!

However, I will be sharing with you the trials I have had with my sewing machine and what I am doing to overcome them.

These are the two Art Quilts I am working on at the moment.

What you see below is a very different use of what I was taught on the course – for example, you will notice there is no layering of fabrics.

I’m not quite ready to start layering at home with no tutor on hand! So I am using my own printed art work as one whole piece to begin with and I will quilt the lines I have drawn.

Cheating? Maybe. Will it be as effective? No – it will be a completely different look. And it might turn out to be terrible! I’ll show you how it turns out – even if it turns out badly – I promise!

I have already had problems with what I want to do but think I have found the answer – so I hopefully, (finger’s crossed!) I will be back here with my results in a week, month, yearwhenever! But I will be back 👀 🤞

My artwork printed onto cotton and ready to start quilting.
Another one of my pastel abstracts printed and ready to be qulited.

Meanwhile, my fun with fabrics will continue in another of Anne’s classes.

She is teaching a 3 hour workshop on February 29th near Woodbridge in Suffolk, on how to make a tote bag.

Fancy learning to make one of these?

We will be supplied with the ready cut fabric in a choice of vibrant and exotic fabrics and given step-by-step tution in how to make a fully lined bag.

And as with all Anne’s classes, it will be a fun and sociable affair 😍

If you are local to Suffolk, click here for booking details.

Check back here in a couple of weeks to see how I got on with the tote bag class and hopefully, my two art quilts will be finished too.

And I would love to hear from anyone who is dabbling in the world of fabrics and making art – so if you are having fun with fabrics, drop me a comment below and tell me what you are doing – see you again soon!

landscape quilting

Exciting!

Landscape quilting is very much in vogue and in a few weeks, I will be behind a sewing machine, in a classroom, making art with a very talented fabric artist and tutor called Anne Robson.

Anne created the beautiful landscapes you see above and this week, I went over to Studio 2, where I will also be delivering courses, to see how everything is coming along.

Anne teaches in the same studio where I will also be teaching art and craft starting in January and I just love the space where all this creativity is taking place.

If you are based in Suffolk UK, then you too have the chance to come along to Studio 2 to dabble in some new arts and crafts with us.

Studio 2 is a beautiful art & craft hub over at Rendlesham, Suffolk.

Studio 2 is part of Wooden Roots, a music studio on the old American Air Force base known as Bentwaters. (More about Studio 1 on my sister website early in the New Year.)

In January, several of us will be launching our four week art & craft courses at Wooden Roots.

I will be teaching workshops in making beautiful art/writing journals from scratch – more about that in my next post.

Gorgeous art journals – learn how to paint covers, assemble pages and handbind the whole album

For now, I want to highlight Landscape quilting artist and tutor Anne Robson who will be leading the workshops on landscape quilting.

Anne has sewing in her blood. She made her first sewn item at seven years old and by her teen years, she was making her own clothes.

She later went on to design cuddly toys that were also night-dress cases in the form of dinosaurs, polar bears, lambs and koala bears.

Although Anne really only made these as novelty toys for her children, the demand for them was such that Anne and a friend had a small business selling the cuddly nightie cases.

She gradually moved on to designing gorgeous bags made from furnishing fabrics, while she was living in Spain.

Some of Anne’s more recent bag designs made with African fabrics.

Anne had discovered fabric art, back in 2006 in Santa Monica California, where she fell completely in love with it.

She didn’t know it at the time, but her love of quilting would eventually lead her into teaching others the art of Landscape Quilting.

Anne told me that seeing enormous wall quilts hanging in an exhibition at an Arts & Crafts house in Santa Monica made her want to know more about the art.

She said: “The wall hangings really left an impression on me – I was completely inspired by them and began thinking about how I could create my own fabric art.”

Landscape Quilting – One of Anne’s pieces

As Anne’s knowledge and experience of Landscape Quilting grew, the pieces she was producing attracted a huge amount of attention from people wanting to learn how they could do it too.

She often found herself being asked to show people how to produce the quilts and eventually, she decided to begin teaching workshops.

This has now grown to the point were Anne needs to be teaching in a purpose built studio where everyone can sit comfortably at sewing machines with space to layout designs.

Finding somewhere to do that wasn’t difficult because daughter Gemma, along with percussionist husband Marcus, already have a music based business where there was plenty of room for Anne to have her studio.

Left to right: Gemma, Anne and student Sarah-Jane looking at fabrics in Studio 2

Marcus, Gemma and Anne all lived in California for many years and it was there that Marcus started the very successful Wooden Roots, a business specialising in making high-end Djembe drums that are sold to musicians world-wide.

Two years ago, they all returned to the UK to continue developing the business and they moved into spacious premises formerly occupied by the US Air Force.

Studio 1 and Studio 2 nestle side by side at Wooden Roots in an atmosphere of absolute warmth and creativity, both musical and artistic.

This is the perfect place to learn something new. And as someone who is both teaching and learning at Wooden Roots, I can tell you this is the place to be if you want to explore your creative possibilities in a truly inclusive and supportive atmosphere.

I will be writing more about Marcus in the New Year and sharing my Djembe experiences with you.

I will also be reporting back on how I get on in Anne’s Landscape Quilting classes – so watch this space to see how I get on🤔. I’m sure I’ll be fine!

To be honest – I can’t wait to get started learning landscape quilting with Anne!

Although I know my way around a sewing machine and have made ‘stuff’ throughout my life, I’m not a stitchy, sewy kind of person – well I thought I wasn’t until I saw Anne’s work. Whatever happens, it will be enormous fun having a go because Anne is so passionate about her art.

Tutor Anne Robson explaining the do’s and don’ts of fabric composition.
Landscape quilting student Sarah-Jane gets some one-to-one tuition from Anne.

How can anyone resist boxes of neatly folded, colour coordinated fabrics to choose from?

This will be a compete departure from my usual creative environment which is an array of paints, inks, papers, glues and varnishes.

The boxes of beautiful fabrics that Anne has are so calming compared to my own tangle of art stuff in my home studio. It will make a change to have clean hands while I create!

Gorgeous Fabrics…
…to…
…choose from!

If you live in Suffolk, particularly the Woodbridge/Ipswich area, visit the sign up page and book your place on this brilliant four week course.

Fabric, cottons, pins and sewing machines. What more could a girl (or boy!) ask for?

What are you waiting for?

Places on this block of workshops are being reserved fast.

If you want to ensure you get a place – hop on the Wooden Roots website now to book and pay and then you will be guaranteed a place. For those who have only provisionally reserved with the office, remember, booked and paid for trumps reserved – yep, life is like that!😍

The course is over four Wednesdays from 1pm – 3pm – January 15th, 22nd, 29th and February 5th 2020.

If you fancy learning Landscape quilting – this is a brilliant opportunity to do it NOW – see you there!