Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Halloween Charity Shop Bargains For Marc

Not to everyone's taste I know, but how I missed these in one of the charity shops in Evesham is a mystery to me. they lady said that they'd had them all over Halloween but hadn't sold very well.
I was very restrained as I wanted to but them all, but in the end I got one pack of each.






Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Missing Mojo ........

At the start of the new year I was really hoping to post three times a week, but at the moment I seem to be experiencing a really bad case of apres Christmas crafting mojo fatigue! I spent a whole day cleaning and sorting out my craft drawers and cupboards, putting a whole pile of bits and pieces aside for Bertie's nursery and gradually becoming more and more overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I actually have ...... and by my total lack of inspiration, especially after my really productive high before the holiday!  BUT ......... I know we've all been there!
So, if there's only one fiddle fart post in a week so be it and if it's a bit of a hodge podge of charity shop finds, objects of desire etc. bear with me ...... I know my mojo will be back, what with Valentines Day and Easter ............  when I will be away with two old friends from work, in Italy, in a villa on Lake Lugano with my Victoria Hislop!
A serene scene of the Italian shore of Lake Lugano
However, surrounded by all this stash I have now made it my mission (....... yet again!!) to have a 2020 absolute minimum crafty spend.  I could craft 24 hours a day, 354 days a year and you wouldn't even see a dent in my stuff, yet I still buy more.  There's the initial rush of excitement as something is bagged, but then it's put away when I get home and that's where most things tend to stay.  
Therefore, I am going to do my best to avoid the likes of The Works and Poundland (for crafty things) and be a bit more circumspect in charity shops, going with a list of things I want to look out for ...... I am not sure if it'll work ......... but Lu and I want to go to the US again next year, not sure where exactly, perhaps New England or off the tourist path in Florida.  We have a travel lady who has got our list of specifications and we are waiting to see what she comes up with ........ 
So that's my incentive, do I really need yet another pad of paper patterned, even if it is a real bargain,  when I have at least ten unused ones at home or would I prefer to put the money towards a wonderful  adventure in the US ...... and be happy with taking a few pictures for a heads up type post!  
As for my mojo ........ I just need to spend a little more time on Pinterest looking for inspiration instead of wasting it playing Candy Crush Saga type games!!!  Please bear with me ........... 

Monday, 13 January 2020

Re-Sprayed - Re-Vamped Vintage Mirror

Warning, warning ...........
I've been spray painting mirrors again .......aghhhhhhh!
Now, I don't often quibble the price of anything that takes my fancy in a charity shop, but when I saw the state of this retro, metal framed mirror it really wasn't worth the £5 they were asking. The black metal finish (?) was no longer visible, it was to be honest pure rust. However, as I have been looking for this style of mirror to go next to my front door so that I could check that I look presentable before I go out, I wondered if, like the three similar round mirrors in my bedroom, it could be rescued with a coat or two of spray paint.  
I reckon it dates back to the 60'/70's, but although I have seen plenty of round ones and one or two oval ones, this is the first oblong one I have found/seen ..... and as all the other similar mirrors I have in the flat are round, I thought it would be a nice contrast.
When I pointed out the condition to the boss lady of the shop and asked what her "best on it" was, she said £2.50, well at that price I was willing to give it a punt and I carried it off home, pleased as punch, but when I got it home and really looked at it, it was pretty horrific. I suspect originally it may have had gold highlights, it's hard to tell ....... and it took me a good few weeks before finally deciding to tackle it.
I already had two cans of Wilkos pale turquoise spray gloss from when I was experimenting with the mirrors in my bedroom (before deciding the colour wasn't right) plus some leftover white, so  I started by giving the frame three good coats of the white which I hoped would not only cover the majority of black/rust, but also provide an easier colour base for the turquoise to go over, if that makes sense?   It worked!
The mirror itself had also seen betters days and showed some age with a few spots here and there, but that just adds to it's character and again needed a beeping good clean.
The cord on the back of the mirror had also seen better days crumbling in my fingers and the ring fasteners were also well and truly rusted, but the brass and steel fittings were OK, so I just tightened them up and put a new cord through to hang it.  It also became apparent from the other holes in the back that the mirror can be hung either in portrait or landscape, with me opting for portrait for the time being.
After a day of spraying and fiddling the re-vamped mirror hangs resplendent in my hall .....
........ whether the rust will come through given time, who's to know.  I am sort of tempted to add a small jeweled flower from an old necklace to the centre of each of the four flowers, but I don't want to cheapen or over gild it,  so for the moment I am really trying to resist the urge.  It's  sooooooo me and am dead chuffed with how it's turn out  ....... and my patience!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Halloween Pumpkin Baubles

I can't believe I am already doing Halloween in January! I know Halloween is long way away, but I still found myself mooching in the baskets of odd Christmas decorations in various charity shops, while the opportunity was there, looking for orange baubles to make bits for my Halloween tree next year  (..... that's me always planning ahead)
Sadly, no matter how hard I have tried these very sparkly orange baubles, which cost me 25p each just look pants in every picture I have taken,  but, in my humble opinion, they look much better in "real life" than they do in this post, so my apologies.
I simply took the baubles and stuck Hema pumpkin face stickers on them ........ (£1 per pack from Hema, a shop very similar to Flying Tiger)
..... however, I didn't like the white bits, so coloured over them using a black Sharpie pen.
I also added black lines using the same pen to represent the ridges on the pumpkin.
On the back I put the word "Boo" and a few more lines.
If I find any more orange baubles on my travels I think I might miss out the stickers and simply draw a face or whatever straight on to them.  I was also on the look out for a few white, navy and black baubles as I have a few ideas for them too .......

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

My Fiddle Farted Kettle

This is a bit of a daft idea, that I didn't want to post until I was absolutely certain it worked ..........
I bought a small 1 litre kettle for my bedroom back in July as I like to have at least one coffee before I get out of bed in the morning, at just £8.79 it was a no brainer, but when it arrived I wasn't keen on the logo that was on it 
Then I remembered some very robust plastic stickers I have had forever from Hobbycraft but never used, with a bit of manoeuvring I was able to successfully cover up the logo plus add a little extra frou frou so the design flowed.  I love the positioning of the little bird particularly. 
However, how long would they actually last with a repeated change of temperature and wiping over, well it's now mid December and they are still going strong, not a single sign of them beginning to peel, in fact I think if I tried to remove them now, they would probably take the offending original logo with them.  Dead chuffed!

Monday, 6 January 2020

New House Card

This card measures 6ins x 6ins and uses a pre-scored, manufactured card as it's base.
Another very simple card today for a friend who has just moved to a new house.
I found the idea on Pinterest and then thought how I could put my own spin on it using some of the long lost embellishments I have squirrelled away.

I started with a self adhesive, 3D house sticker from a pack I must have had for at least ten years, I then matched it with a pink polka dot paper, which I used to cover the front of a pre-scored card.
I coloured the wooden letters (The Works) with a mid blue Sharpie pen and then applied a layer of Ranger Glossy Accents to them.
I also added Glossy Accents to the roof, windows, door and smoke on the house.  Glossy Accents has to be one of my top 10 "can't do withouts" when crafting, just adding a layer or a couple of dots here and there makes such a difference to any project, embellishments just pop and look much more professional and less handmade, if you know what I mean?
I positioned the house first and then added the letters on either side to make sure everything was pretty much centred and that was it ................simples.

Looking at the card in the pictures now I am thinking that it would look really lovely in an Ikea Ribba box frame ......... perhaps another idea for another day.

Friday, 3 January 2020

The One That Got Away .......

Before Christmas I was collecting various bits of silly "tut" for Marc and Rick to open on Christmas morning to give them a laugh .....  but I bitterly regret now leaving this prize beauty behind in a charity shop in Malvern .......... I could kick myself!
They are going to be doing some work on the cottage in Worcester ....... and this to an interior designer of Rick's calibre would have been the Holy Grail in downstairs bathroom accessories and at just £3 what must have I been thinking? And the chances of my finding another one ......... pretty slim ....... doh!!!!

Thursday, 2 January 2020

First Christmas Post Of 2020 - Simple Stamped Sentiment Christmas Card

This card measures 6ins x 6ins and uses a bought, pre-scored smooth card blank.

Is this card toooooooo early?  
Well, I think have a reasonably good excuse, despite my making Christmas cards more or less all the year round, when I finally sat down to write them I found that I was a few short! Since I bought my letter "pricing in proportion ruler" from the Post Office I have been wary of making cards with too many layers which would be classed as a large letter and so be even more expensive to post. My multi layered and much embellished cards are generally reserved to be given personally or included in a parcel.
Anyway, it was the thinner cards that I was short of.  To begin with I was all for just buying a couple of packs of cards just to get it done with .......  but then I thought that would be ridiculous, I was just being lazy ....... so I got to thinking.  I already had several packs of pre-score cards, so that was a start and I had a decent sized Docrafts sentiment stamp .........
..... plus, on the couple of occasions when I have actually used it, I have been very impressed by my Tim Holtz stamping platform.......
I had no excuse, I could run up a whole pile of cards in a matter of hours, jump to it girl ..... and yes, using the stamping platform was, again, an absolute dream.
I was simply going to stamp the sentiment, then I got all caught up in my wayward ideas and decided to emboss it using a clear embossing powder, something I haven't done for years!  I loved it, watching the powder "turn" still holds a fascination ...... but, and all answers/solutions gratefully received, the process did warp the red card, what am I doing wrong/how can I stop this?  If I hadn't been in such a hurry I would have put them under a book for a couple of days to flatten them.  However, in a rush, I simply got out my tape gun and although no one else would probably notice the "topper" didn't lie perfectly flat on the silver backing ..... it annoyed me, but not enough to put them all in the bin, as I would have done in the past!
Using a white gel pen I then doodled some stars in a formation that looked roughly symmetrical, although the temptation was to just fill up all the space.
I then added my signature scattering of clusters of three little dots, again I had to restrain myself from going overboard.
The final touch was putting a cross eye inducingly tiny silver flat back gem in the centre of each star.

I think the card has a bit of a retro flavour to it and was really chuffed with how they all turned out.  I love my Tim Holtz stamping platform, as a long time stampaphobic it's completely turned my frustrations with stamping around and as such I have decided to invest in a couple of new ink pads as my original ones are a now little old and not quite as juicy as they should be, so that I can continue my renewed interest ...... but if I also want to continue to emboss I need to learn how to stop the warping!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Fiddle Fart Posting For 2020 .......

With the festive season now over I am going to revert back to my normal three posts per week on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, this gives me a chance to build up a bank of scheduled posts to cover holidays etc. and also takes the pressure off me in feeling that I have to make something just to keep the whole shebang going, hope that's all right with you ...... 

Happy New Year - 2020


Another year ....... another fresh page in our lives ...... and another time to think ...... I am not making any resolutions that I know I won't keep, but Fiddle Fart wise, after a bit of a blog post overload because of Christmas, I will be going back to my normal "do-able" three posts per week with the occasional fourth one for charity shop finds, heads up and objects of desire etc.

I will also continue to "do" Christmas all the year round, whenever the crafty festive mood takes me.  I have Christmas posts that I still haven't published yet, I have blank Advent Calendars that have been under the bed for far too long and need doing and I still have ideas that I never got round to trying out, plus it's a good way to gradually build up a stock of cards, decorations etc. throughout the year without the crafty panic setting in in November/December.

However, I need to curb my crafty purchases, my cupboards are almost full to bursting and I don't want my hobby spilling into the other rooms in my flat.  I know there will be crafty things in the sales that I won't be able to resist, but a lot of the things I couldn't leave behind last year are still in the boxes I put them in, so, before I splurge out I need to think very carefully as to how I will use what I find and remember all the stuff I already have!

One of my first projects of the year (apart from the Advent Calendars) needs to be making up a pile of Christmas sampler frames (an idea from 2018),  using all the aperture photo frames I got for 25p each in the Poundland sale last year ........ they are taking up far too much room up under the bed in their  present unadorned state ...... when they are done however it will become a completely different, satisfying matter!
I had collected bits and pieces to go in them throughout the year, but never actually got round to putting them together, but thinking, probably too far in advance for most people, they will make decent fairing gifts for school and for those people who didn't get one first time around, there could also be one or two Easter ones to be done too.
It goes without saying that I also need to try and meet up with Marc a little more often, every six weeks would be lovely.  It's easier now that we can meet up for a day of charity shop and Poundland shopping when he is at the cottage in Worcester, but he really needs to come and have another week with me in Evesham, so that I can spoil him like he spoils me and treat him like the Princess that he is!!!!
And, on a more serious note ...... I am never far away from the memory of losing Andy (The Duke) eight years ago this coming May. It was sudden and without warning, one second he was busy at work measuring up for a new job and the next he was gone. The fragility of life has never left me for a single second since then, which is why I will now never go out without this plastic wallet, especially when I am out with Iris and Bertie ....................
It contains all the important contact telephone numbers/addresses should anything happen to me, including where to take them before anyone can get there.  It's an awful awful thought ........ perhaps I think too much, but heaven forbid, if anything did happen, can you imagine someone having to trawl through my phone to find out who I am and who my next of kin etc. are.

So, on that provoking thought ........

MAY I WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR. 
THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING ME ALL THROUGH 2019.
HERE'S TO A BRILLIANTLY CRAFTY 2020 .........
AND 
ALL THE ADVENTURES IT HAS TO BRING 
WITH LOVE
HELEN
XXX

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

A Bit Of A Disaster New Year Card!

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and uses a hand cut, silver mirror card blank as it's base.
This card was just an experiment really, some bits were a success and others were not, but I thought I would post it anyway, as a way of resolving my problems with it!
I had bought these two sets alphabet stamps from The Range for just £1 each and thought after my success in using my Tim Holtz stamping platform I might be able to do something with them. 
It proved a little trickier than I anticipated because, for me, the letters were a little too distanced apart for my liking so a bit of careful trimming of the stamp surrounds ensued until I was, reasonably, happy.
The the random lettering was duly stamped with a clear embossing ink and again I was very impressed with how the stamping platform worked. I then added silver embossing powder to the stamping which I "set" with my ancient heat gun.  
Then things went a little awry.  The heat gun warped the paper, a problem I need to experiment with, but as a result of the warping, the paper would not lie flat on the card and wrinkled, aghhhhh.  I also mat and layered it on silver mirror card, goodness only knows why, as it added nothing to the card, it should have been on fuchsia pink to accentuate the stars. I then went overboard with the doodling using a white gel pen and stars ...... but given the occasion it sort of works

I have kept the card as a reference for how not to do it, there was no way I could have given it anyone, but I intend to work on the idea some more as I have left the stamps as they were on the platform ...... so watch this space!