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I have been sent this press release from HVA (Herts Visual Arts) This weekend, 1st & 2nd September, as a taster to the Open Studios there will be an Art Exhibition & Sale at Harpenden Public Halls
Don’t you just love wandering round exhibitions? That feeling of expectation as you enter. Then perhaps love at first sight with an original painting. Or that eureka moment when you find the perfect gift. If so, come and see local artists and designer-makers exhibiting a wealth of inspiration at the Art Exhibition & Sale at Harpenden Public Halls on 1st & 2nd September 2012.
Herts Visual Arts Members - who range from professionals to passionate amateurs - will be showcasing their high-calibre, affordable art work. In addition to oils and watercolours you will find sculpture, jewellery, textiles, printmaking, glass, photography and ceramics on sale. Something for everyone !
The event will be stewarded by members, happy to answer any questions visitors may have about the artists, or Herts Visual Arts – Hertfordshire’s largest arts organisation.
Students from Sir John Lawes School will be selling teas, coffees and cakes as part of their programme of fundraising activities towards a 4-week World Challenge in August 2013 (www.world-challenge.co.uk).
Location: Dates: Opening Hours:
Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd September 2012
Saturday 10am - 4pm, Sunday 11am - 4pm
The exhibition launches the Herts Open Studios season - this year running from 8th - 30th September. Artists across the county open their studios once again to invite the public to see art in action. It’s a great opportunity to interact with the artists, talk about their work and inspiration and buy or commission work from them.
For more information on this event and others run by Herts Visual Arts visit www.hvaf.org.uk
Work on this post credited to:
Suzy Taylor Folk Art Papercuts http://suzy-taylor.blogspot.co.uk/
Helen Brooks Silken Tent Prints http://www.silkententprints.co.uk/
Elspeth Keith Ceramics
Bridget Tompkins Painting
Wendy Hyams Paintings
Plastic beads that is, and plastic soldiers and werther's originals in fact anything really.
When I ran craft workshops I bought a lot of plastic beads, very useful for children's crafts, but what to do with them now. Well I saw a lovely idea on a Craftster forum for making light catches for the garden, it looked easy and it was.
In a 20cm (8 inch) loose bottomed cake tin I put one layer of beads, all touching each other. I placed the cake tin in a pre heated oven, gas mark 6 (200 Celsius, 400 Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes. I kept the kitchen door and window open to ventilate the room as the melting beads, being plastic, give off an acrid smell. Warning: I have been advised "It's really dangerous, as the fumes and such get all throughout the oven and the next time you bake food in it those fumes will be circling all around it. It's best to use a designated toaster oven that will be used for crafts only" So please ere on the side of caution, I do have one of those small ovens so will be using that next time.
Once the beads had melted and melded together I removed the tin from the oven and let it cool. When cold the plastic disc just popped out of the tin freely. To hang it I made a hole, I heated a metal skewer in the gas flame of my hob, when hot I pierced a hole through the plastic disc.
The discs remind me of the Ishihara test, the one they use to find out if you are colour blind, I can confirm there are no hidden numbers, unless I am colour bind!
Glow-in-the-dark stars mixed in with the beads seemed like a good idea, I thought they would add interest at night. Alas the stars and the beads were made from different plastics they didn't melt together. The stars popped out when cold, but I guess I could glue the stars in place. As well as light catchers you could make coasters and maybe even buttons
Now no plastic is safe.
I had a bag of cheap plastic soldiers, I just had to experiment and melt them, at this point my daughter remarked "You're like Sid, the kid in Toy Story, who mutilated toys" Dismissing the slur I carried on with my experiment and made a melted soldier coaster for my son's coffee table, he loved it.
I then turned my attention to melting sweets, Werther's Original to be precise (butterscotch really). I melted the sweets in the microwave then formed them into a bowl. I thought it would be nice to have a bowl you could eat but the next day it was very sticky so although the idea was good I'm not sure it would work that well.
When I saw a tutorial for a bride and groom cake topper, made from a clothespin, on the website Brooklyn Bride , it was so cute I had to give it a go and make some! I have designed and made my own pom pom fairies , but they were made from the one piece wooden pegs now I have to try a two piece!
I have to admit It was a bit fiddly painting the clothespins, I only had normal sized pegs, in the tutorial they used oversized, but I still think they look vaguely presentable!
I can see potential in this idea not just a cake topper, as the tutorial suggested, but also attached to a gift or card or even just given as a memento of a special day.
It would be a nice touch to paint them to (vaguely!) resemble the 'happy couple' it would make it more personal and could be given as a keepsake for an engagement, wedding, civil partnership, or wedding anniversary.
In the 99pShop, in the garden section, I spotted some tin lizards all brightly painted in vibrant colours. I liked the size and shape of the decorative reptiles, but the colours were too bright for what I wanted. I thought it would be worth buying the cut and pressed tin lizards, they would be easy to repaint. I already had some pots of Hammerite paint and decided red would be a good colour for where I wanted to put them. First I lightly rubbed down the gecko with sandpaper, to give adhesion to the paint. I then gave it one coat of Hammerite, I didn't want it too thick because that would conceal the embossing. The use of a single colour also helped to reveal and enhance the embossed design. I am really pleased with how they turned out
Tucked behind the main thoroughfare of St Peters Street, in St Albans, is the bijou (small but perfectly stocked) independent card shop Panda Cards. On the 1st of June it was taken over by my friend Mary. I can tell Mary is having a lot of fun sourcing her stock and it shows in the choice and mix of cards she has on offer! My particular favourite collection, gifts as well as cards, is a range by Waldo Pancake. To get a flavour of Waldo Pancake have a look at their Facebook Waldo Pancake's Facebook page The Father's Day card in the range made me laugh it shouted loud and proud "You're so much better than mum' now there's an interesting concept and point for debate! Next time you're looking for a special or unusual card/wrapping paper/gift have a look at Panda Cards. I don't think you will be disappointed plus you might get a fuzzy feeling knowing you are supporting a local independent shop.
Panda Cards can be found at 3 Waddington Road, St Albans (at the side of Boots). Tel 01727 857716
I made this cake to celebrate Alice's birthday, it was soooo good I made another one the next day!
200g (8oz) Greek yogurt
2 Large eggs
200g (8oz) Caster sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
100g (4oz) Ground Almonds
140g (5oz) Gluten-free self-raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
Ingredients for lemon drizzle syrup
140g (5oz) Icing sugar
The juice of 5 lemons
You don't need to do this but I made a lemon icing (lemon juice and icing sugar) to add to the top of mine, because it was a birthday cake
*If you don't need this Cake to be gluten-free replace the gluten-free self-raising flour with ordinary self-raising flour
**I like to make the lemon drizzle syrup just before I take the cake from the oven so the cake and drizzle are both hot.
Yesterday to celebrate a friend's birthday eight of us went for afternoon tea at Luton Hoo. The whole afternoon was just lovely, stunning house, picturesque gardens and the weather perfect. The afternoon tea was delicious served by friendly staff and when we were replete we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the gardens it couldn't have been better. I would highly recommended the experience. www.lutonhoo.co.uk/afternoon-tea-0
Situated in Apsley, a suburb of Hemel Hempstead, Frogmore Mill became the birthplace of paper's Industrial Revolution in 1803 when the first of what later became known as a Fourdrinier Paper machine was installed and operated here.
Now operated by the Apsley Paper Trail charitable trust, paper is still made here on a 110 year-old machine.
With a purpose built visitor centre, the site is open for visitors to learn about the history of paper and print, see paper being made, make their own sheet of paper and do lots of other exciting and interesting things. While visiting, you can also pop into the cafe for tea and cakes and browse in the mill shop.
For further details call 01442 234600.
The day we visited it was only my friend Ann and I on the Paper Tour, so we had the full attention of the very knowledgeable tour guide. It was right up our street as we both studied graphic design, so get excited about paper and typesetting, we had to know our paper and typefaces at Art College.
The tour starts with a demonstration of hand made paper then you are invited to make your own sheet, sprinkled with an inclusion of pulped £5 notes.
There's still a small scale paper making machine on the site, run as a viable business. At the time we visited they were making a special paper for a micro-brewery, the Darwin brewery in Sunderland, crushed hop flowers were being sprinkled into the paper pulp.
Don't expect a clinical museum it's unashamedly an authentic industrial building run with the help of enthusiastic volunteers. The tour takes around 1 - 1 1/2 hours, we found it all very interesting, by the end of the tour our handmade paper was dry and ready to take home. Before we left we had tea and cake in the cafe, over looking the canal, and bought paper from the mill shop.
The Paper Trail's own ferry, the Bryan Donkin, can provide trips along the River Gade and Grand Union Canal during the warmer days of the year. Short trips between Frogmore and Apsley are occasionally available for visitors to the mill on special event days during the summer months.
Currently we can organise mill tours which include a boat trip to and from the mill. Visitors will assemble at the Apsley Mills site and be brought to Frogmore Mill by the ferry boat (this takes about 15 minutes). After a tour of the mill, the group will be returned by boat to Apsley Mills.
The Paper Trail also run adult art and leisure courses, obviously paper making but also bookbinding, calligraphy, paper jewellery, batik, silk painting, life drawing and more just check their website for more information
I have just seen on the website, it is free this weekend as there is a Water Festival with lots of free activites!
Sunday 27 May 2012
DACORUM GRAND WATER FESTIVAL
FREE for all the family!
Frogmore Paper Mill
from 11.00am to 4.00pm
Free Arts & Crafts - papermaking, letterpress printing, canal art & more. Free paper mill Tour. See the Heritage Fire Engine, the shop, cafe & BBQ.
Parking in Durrants Hill Road car park (pay & display).
Free Ferry Boat service between Apsley and Frogmore