Review: Marabu Easy Marble on Glitter bunnies!

OK, I confess!

We’ve got a little addicted to our marbling craze and it’s led to finding the absolute best way to use the Marabu Easy Marbling inks which we bought a couple of weeks ago.  This is not an affiliate link, and you will find plenty of other similar products, but living in Germany, we’re awash with Marabu, and it was the only product on offer in our local craft shop.

Let’s get straight down to business:

You have very little time to work the Marabu colours after dropping them onto the water.  Marabu colours set on the water like nail enamels much like the tiny sample I made the other week (the pink one which looks a bit like a biopsy), and once that happens, all you will do when trying to swirl the colours is lift them out on whatever tool you are using (we unravelled a paperclip).  We watched several YouTube videos of people demonstrating the Marabu colours, and they all had the same problem – good to know that it’s not just us!

This need for speed is clearly a disadvantage for traditional marbling and the pictures which we would like to have created, although we were still able to make flowers and other complex patterns once we discovered a few product tricks.  It’s not that easy to marble something as large as a sheet of A4 paper, but we still managed a few feathered patterns, which you can see below.


A4 paper marbled using Marabu Easy Marbling – achievable if you are quick!

Continue reading


Embossed leather book cover – Part 2

Hello Begonias!

In part 2 of our book cover tutorial, we’ll be looking at the decorative elements which you can add to the plain leather covered book shown in Part 1.   Of course, you might already love the plain version of your book, so why not go ahead and make a second?

We've already completed this plain leather covered book.  Next stop, decoration!

We’ve already completed this plain leather covered book. Next stop, decoration!

OK, so if you don’t already have a covered book, go to Part 1 to create something like the one shown above.  Admire it and set it to one side.  You’re going to be working on a separate piece of leather for the next bit. Continue reading

Embossed leather book cover – Part 1

Hello Begonias!

Now that I have crawled out of the plague pit, I have completed my embossed leather book and want to show you how it went so that you can create your own.

In this part, we’ll just take a look at the basic plain cover, which is nice enough to leave without decoration, if you like.

You will need

  • book to cover (e.g. a notebook, preferably with a spine)
  • thin plywood or thick cardboard
  • string
  • PVA glue
  • contact adhesive
  • thin leather
  • wood stain
  • rounded modelling tool
  • scissors and/or sharp knife

Continue reading

New project coming soon: leather covered notebook with embossed design

I have edited the centre part of a book panel to make it easier to transfer the design.  You can find the original book cover alongside many other beautiful examples here:

I have edited the centre part of a book panel to make it easier to transfer the design. You can find the original book cover alongside many other beautiful examples here.

Hello Begonias!

It’s been a plague house here in Bavaria, but we are now almost fully recovered from a heavy dose of the flu (not man flu, not a mere cold, but full-on hideousness).  We send healing thoughts to anyone else who has been suffering the horrible bugs doing the rounds recently.

Tosh had been working on a notebook covered with leather to share with you, and has now been able to complete the basic work to create a plain, undecorated version.  It is quite easy to do, and I will post photos and guidelines for that shortly.  A follow-up post will include a decorative front panel based on the centre part of a 16th century book cover design and decorative (fake) metal hinges.  Although the original book is covered with embroidered velvet, the design also works well on plain leather, using a soldering iron to emboss.  In this way, you can do quite intricate designs with ease.

See you soon!

Project: Gerald the owl

Tosh calls everything Gerald.  It saves time, although the same cannot be said for confusion.  Thus, our first project for you is Gerald the Owl.  As time goes on, you may detect a theme…

Not high art, but he'll do.

Not high art, but he’ll do.

Gerald the Owl was my first ever needle felting project, subsequently inflicted on a friend as a gift.  Despite never stabbing wool in anger before, it was fairly easy to get something resembling one of those naive art owls which are so popular at the moment.  He’s definitely not high art, but I’ve got to tell you that needle felting is fabulous for de-stressing, and I plan to continue.

First, we’ll take a look at necessary and optional materials and tools. Continue reading


Is your life lacking in glitter?  Do you feel that it can sometimes be, well, a bit dull?  Do you want to try out arty things but are not sure where to begin?


Never fear!  We will bring you a small project each month to tempt you into an art or craft which could be completely unfamiliar to you (sometimes, it is to us).  But we won’t stop there; we will give you step-by-step instructions to create small projects in your spare time and give you some ideas on how to develop your new skills into something greater.  You will also find reviews of art and craft books aimed at beginners and improvers in various fields, links to online materials which have inspired us, and guidance on materials, tools, and where to get them.  Even if you are already good at art, it can be refreshing to try something new.  As our contributors show, we all have to start somewhere!

Our first project is a small needle-felted owl in completely unnatural colours which we hope will inspire you to try out a marvellously therapeutic craft which involves stabbing soft squishy things with sharp pointy things.