Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Glass Painting

Glass Painting: Dolphin Vase.

Glass Painting.

It's actually bee quite a while since I did any glass paints.. 18+ months perhaps. This has mainly been due to moving hose but I must admit working on the update for took up a lot of time as well.

Any way after completing the update for Craftville the next obvious thing to do was update This is another site I have been running for a long time (just check and i started it in 2000 so it is now 15 years old).  Again it has always been a "help site" with designs videos and product reviews.

Whilst deciding to update the site, making it viewable on tablets and mobiles etc, it also became obvious that a lot of the content also needed updating. Whilst a lot of the writing was OK the images and videos were certainly showing their age. Digital photography has come a long way very quickly. My phone now takes far better images than my first very expensive digital camera!

When I first started making videos I recorded them on tape. I then had to be a special box to plug into the computer. I would attach the camera to that, play the tapes and record them on the computer in a digital format. Even then they were quite a low resolution.

Glass Painting: Outlining Video.

Anyway the glass painting site has now been updated and I am busy replacing the old content and creating some new stuff. I here's the crux of this piece.... I'd forgotten how much I enjoy glass painting and how relaxing I find it.  In a lot of ways it is even better now. When I actually worked as a glass painter and demonstrator full time it was actually quite difficult to come home and do some more for the site. Now I can do it just for fun I feel that I can start enjoying it again.

Glass Painting: 3d Framed Suncatcher.
So far I've re-recorded the video on outlining and created a completely new project, a 3d frame suncatcher.

One of the great things about glass painting is the range of items you can make. As well as redoing some more of the old videos I am now developing a few more new projects. At the two extremes of glass painting I'm doing a couple of "quick" projects using limited resources and a "big" project which looks like it will be my front door. I haven't done a really big project for a very long time so I am really looking forward to that!

So my advice is, is you haven't done any glass painting for a while or even if you've never tried it before maybe it's time to get give it a go. There is plenty of information on our glass painting site to help you get (back) into it, there is even a blog on recuing old paints.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Free Christmas Craft Papers

We have a good selection of free Christmas Papers to download now so this year we can be a bit more relaxed about them. You will probably have noticed that many of these are cartoon based, the Craftville Bears, which seem to have gone down very well. We started with three designs, Father Christmas, the Elf and the Fairy but then someone on Facebook asked if we were going to release a snowman. We hadn't planned to but though it was such a good idea we added it to the list.

What we didn't want was for newer users of the site to think that we only have cartoon style Christmas papers so this week we are reminding every one of the more traditional papers we have available for download.

We have a great selection of Christmas papers now and as usual the main problem has been to help people find the right ones for the project they are making. For this reason we keep on pushing the page we have which lists all the free Christmas papers. This is our sort of "one stop shop" for suitable papers and by far the easiest way to see the full range.

Friday, 3 October 2014

The British Craft Network

The British Craft Network

Well after a few weeks of promotion "The British Craft Network" was launched at the beginning of October. The network already has a wide range of participants, many of whom will be familiar names at least to British Crafters. Robert Adams, Ribbon Box, The Stamp Hut, Bee Crafty and Scrap Yard are just a few of the companies involved.

Now let me say right up front I am really glad the "normal"craft shopping outlets have a bit of competition and it's really nice to see that they are doing it in a different way, I do however think they have a few issues. This is early days so they may still be "finding their way" so I shall continue to watch and see if things develop in a positive way, I do hope so.

A Presenter

The programs I've watch so far have mostly been "presenter-less". Now this may be a concious decision by the British Craft Network to avoid presenters given their poor reputation on shopping telly. We are used to presenters interpreting the demonstrations with their sales pitches and cutting demos off short as time runs out.  Due to this I think many of us have taken against presenters. Having said that the presenter, when working properly, can play a very important role.

  1. They can be the "learner". Asking those questions which we might ask if we were there and asking for clarification for the difficult parts.
  2. Move the demo forward when it seems to be getting stuck.
  3. Adding a little banter. This can annoy when done badly but it really can "add" something when done well. You will notice radio programs, even when meant to be a single person, now often contain banter between the main person and another, I'm not suggesting they go to the level of "Alan and Barry" but I do think some chat would help.
Having said that I'd rather no presenter than a bad one! Whilst many people think they can present it is actually a remarkably difficult role which, when dome badly, can destroy a program.

Robert Adams: British Craft Network

The Demos

Whilst it's really nice to see fuller demonstrations I did find some of them moved a little "slowly". I prefer the "Blue Peter" type of approach with the occasional "here's one I made earlier" so we don't have to see every single part of every step, especially when an action is repeated several times. I'd much rather see more demos than what at times border on Instructional Videos. Again I assume this was a effort to get away from the speed demos on normal shopping TV but, for me, it goes a little too far and I found my interest waning at times.

Ribbon Box: British Craft Network

Technical Details.

There are some lovely little intro bits and "Adverts" which someone has obviously spent a lot of time on. Someone involved here has a good level of technical expertise when it comes to video. Unfortunately that wasn't matched by the technical details in the demonstrations themselves. I found the single camera view soon got a bit boring. It would be nice to see a couple of different camera angles which isn't that difficult to achieve

On the whole this is a great idea and I wish them every success. I know the above may seem a little critical but with the level of competition around I do think they are going to have to "up the game" a little if they are going to build on the launch.

If you would like to watch The Bristish Craft Network (and I would urge you to do so and give them a bit of suport if you haven't already done so) you can find them here:

The British Craft Network