SORRY.....

OLD TEMPLATES AND FILES
I am sorry but I can no longer send out any templates, poems etc. that I may have previously offered in the past, the files were lost when my last computer crashed and I have chosen not to remake any of them them.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Riverside Towers Now Has A Tiled Kitchen Area!

I have to be honest, the kitchen area doesn’t really look all that different now it has been tiled, it just looks “properly” finished off and will hopefully be more practical to keep clean rather than when it was just painted.
retiled kitchen topps TilesThe cupboards are a very glossy pale cream colour so I went for a simple, off white, textured tile as a contrast.  Tiles from Topps TilesThe work took a little longer than expected as I went and chose small 10cm x 10cm tiles!
kitchen before tilingbefore tiling kitchen
So, that’s the kitchen done although I think a new built-in cooker and hob are on the cards for later this year, I just need a bit of advice before taking the plunge as I want to change the hob from gas to electric. I have never had gas before and it frightens me! It’s at times like this when I miss Ade who had helped me so much over the past four years getting The Castle ready to sell, he was so dependable and would tell me exactly what I needed to do or get in a language I understood!
retiled kitchen areaOnce tiled and back to normal I blitzed the cupboards again, paring everything down, questioning all the contents and how often I actually use them,  I mean, how many mugs does a woman living on her own actually need?
The flat was exactly six years old when I bought it, the kitchen cupboards should see me out ……. but if ever I had money too squander recklessly I would consider replacing them, especially for cupboards that went right to the ceiling, the gap is such a waste of storage potential and would, without said gap alleviate the need to climb up on high to clean the top. ……. but that’s me just being spoilt and picky!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A Double Festive Decoration Disaster.

Bum ….. my tiny toadstool fairy houses in a bottle never got as far as being given as fairing gifts or sold this Christmas,  instead they are languishing in a box!
Got to do these againThe reason for my angst? When I made them, I never thought about baking the fimo in the bottle first before adding the toadstool……..
Tiny mushroom in a bottle decorations……. I just assumed it would be alright, but unfortunately the E900 didn’t like the uncooked fimo and so never set ……..
fimo disaster…… and eventually the little toadstool houses began to topple over!
I knew I couldn’t waste them because due to their size I paid a little more for them than I normally would and all the work I had already put in them, so by hook or by crook I have to rescue them. Then sods law, the E900 I had used to glue the cork in place had set, so very careful extraction using a crafters knife was needed to get them out.  In the end I decided to just work with three bottles until I found away to put them right.  The toadstools were duly removed and they will need a little remedial help with a Sharpie pen just to recolour the doors and green detail.Fimo disaster.All was well, I put the bottles in the oven at a low temperature, when I took them out, they seemed OK, but me being me, decided to turn up the oven and bake them a little longer to be doubly sure ……. and forgot about them, resulting in very burnt bottoms! Aghhhhhhhhh
Thank goodness I only did three. But all is not lost, I hope, if I can find some tiny plastic insects/spiders or even a silver charm or two I may be able to turn them into Halloween bottles, but finding the insects/spiders might take time, so if anyone else has any other bright ideas?

Monday, 16 January 2017

New Home Gift Tag

This New Home gift tag is what I came up with using the wooden house element of the Aldi Christmas decoration (below) I showed you the other day.
Wooden House Shaped New Home Gift TagI have to confess that in this instance I used the plain side after I “cocked up” the painted roof side when I used a black fine liner pen to write New Home, it wasn’t centred properly and the black ink didn’t sit well on the painted surface, however I have since covered up my mistakes with a white corrector pen so the tag is now fit to go.
Aldi Wooden Hanging Christmas Decorations.Aldi wooden house Christmas Decoration
First, the brown gingham ribbon had to go!  I faux stitched around all the edges, window and door of the house to add definition and give it the “cute factor”
New Home House Shaped Gift Tag
“New Home” was written using a white gel pen.  To make sure the writing was pretty much centred I wrote it backwards, starting with the W.  I find if you deliberately write unevenly it covers up a myriad of sins, if I tried to write perfectly straight the end result would just look pants.New Home Wooden Gift TagThe wooden ladybirds were already on my desk from another project so it was a fortuitous coincidence that their proportions were just right for this project and the red colour was followed through with red wooden bead on the rustic effect string. The finishing touch was the key, added, to be honest, to make use of the hole, which I had forgotten would be there when I bought the decoration, as all the pieces were linked.
I would use this tag instead, perhaps of giving a card, something to hang up in the early days afer moving.  It would also look good, I think, on a plain red or kraft gift wrapped parcel, tied to a coordinating ribbon.
I have 8 small hearts left from the decorations now, I think I will keep to the idea of using keys in the bottom hole (key to my heart?) and the red beads, whether I use ladybirds (love bugs?) on them remains to be seen …..

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Ornate Beaded Heart Shaped Gift Tags

Following yesterdays post, this is one of the  ideas I came up with combining parts from the charity shop necklace and Aldi hanging Christmas decoration I showed you yesterday.
Ornate Wooden beaded heart gift tags……. and yes, I did it, I have started to break up the necklace, sadly the oval chain links were soldered/welded, so I can’t use them individually which is a pity.
Aldi Wooden Hanging Christmas DecorationBoho Style heart and bead necklace
I faux stitched round the silver heart with a white gel pen (memo to self, I need to get a couple of new ones as they are on their last legs). I replaced the original rustic string for a longer length, so that the tag has a little extra wiggle room when attaching to a parcel. 
Ornate beaded wooden heart shaped gift tagOnce the string was threaded through I attached a silver and copper heart from the necklace using  a couple of “salvaged” jump rings, my crafting nemesis (as I never seem able to open and close them cleanly, much to Marc’s bemusement) Once the hearts were in place, I threaded an original wooden bead onto the string, and tying a knot over the top of it to keep the hearts in place.
The trouble with using pieces that originally hung together is that they also have a hole at the bottom (which I had forgotten in my excitement on finding a bargain), however, in this case I was able to use the hole productively by attaching another jump ring and a drop of beads through it. 
Faux stitching on back of wooden gift tagThe final touch was adding faux stitching using a black fine liner pen to edge the back of the tag.
Now ……. what to do with the other wooden pieces of the decoration?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

A Charity Shop Find & An Aldi Bargain.

Marc has taught me well when looking at jewellery in Charity Shops, he can spot a piece that can be disassembled into a million pieces in a nano second, which, if bought individually or in packs from the jewellery section of, for example Hobbycraft, would cost an absolute fortune
LOng boho style heart and bead necklaceSo he would have been so proud of me as I scooped up this long boho style necklace for just £1, it is made up of so many components and had many, many possibilities.  I have counted 14 large, brass puffy hearts, 26 small silver hearts, and 35 amber coloured bead drops, plus over 100 large silver links.  I wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy this little lot in one go, so I am well chuffed.
Boho Style heart and bead necklaceHowever, I am not in any rush to take it apart just yet as I think it will look quite nice just hanging and adorning my spare bedroom for the moment.
Aldi Wooden Hanging Christmas DecorationAldi Wooden Hanging Christmas Decorations.
I have had my beady eye on these wooden decorations in Aldi since before Christmas, again with the idea of disassembling, but at £3.99 I was being mean, but when they reduced them last week to £1.99, well, it would have been rude not to have bought them, and when I opened up the pack, I got a surprise, as I thought it was all one piece when actually it was four, so that works out at 50p per piece.  Again, I couldn’t buy all the wooden shapes for £3.99 let alone £1.99, and I haven’t counted all the wooden beads, gold jingle bells and ribbon also included.
However, a bargain is only a bargain when I actually use it, it’s not a bargain when bought and then put in the back of a cupboard, so initially I am thinking that the large hearts could be made into gift tags, possibly married with a few silver hearts from the necklace (if I can bear to break it up …..), and the houses, I am thinking along the lines of Home Sweet Home …….give me five minutes and I will see what I can come up with.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Valentines Day Ladybird Matchbox

Valentine Lady bug MatchboxI was a little disappointed to find that only one chocolate ladybird fit comfortably in this The Works matchbox.  Two would have looked cute, but the top would have bulged and that wouldn’t look very professional, so I may just pad the box out with a little red tissue paper to make the ladybird look all cosy. I will look, but doubt if I will find any other suitable wrapped sweet that would maybe go with it, unless a small packet of Lovehearts would fit?
Valentines Day Lady Bird Matchbox with ChocolateThe box is lined with a heart patterned paper and then I  have simply mat and layered the top and bottom using scraps from a Nordic style Christmas Paper and silver foil, with co-coordinating scraps down the sides.
Valentines Day Ladybird MatchboxThe leaf and sentiment circle are punched, and the “With Love” handwritten and edged by me using a black fine liner pen.
Valentines Ladybird ladybug matchboxI thought putting the wooden ladybirds on the top would be a hint as to what lies within, and when the chocolate is eaten you still have a little box for treasures or buttons etc.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Moment Of Doubt & A Whole Host Of Festive Guest Crafters

I am sorry I haven’t bought you many projects in the past week or so, my mind is a whirl with ideas and I am really champing at the bit to get going, but after having the kitchen tiled last week, the flat is in complete disarray again as all the furniture etc. has come out of the spare bedroom while I have built in shelving put in.
 DisarrayPlastic underbed boxes
Last night I tossed and turned asking myself, why, after being so certain for  about what I had wanted for months, did I choose to have shelving, when cupboards would have kept everything hidden, all the time I knowing all the answers …….
Bedroom In ProgressParcels in Hall
……. cupboards would just be more blank wall space where shelves offer interest and a place to display “my finds” or makes  …… I know it will be perfect when it’s finished and all my craft stuff will finally have a proper home, where I can find everything easily, I have just had a bit too much time to think about it all.
Handdrawn robin cardSo today,  I thought I would show you all the handmade cards I received and that were all displayed in pride of place on my festive shelves.
From one robin to anotherIt doesn’t matter how many stamps, dies and embellishments you have, there is nothing quite as beautiful as a card a child has made, so the Robin card above just has to be my most favourite, in all its innocence.
Hedgehog posting letter ardJewelled Christmas Tree Card
These stamped cards make me think I really should try to persevere more with stamping this year. As I said the other day, I was very impressed by Marc’s Wonder Stamp Press and I have already bought a set of Dandelion Clock stamps from Forget Me Not Crafts in Evesham, they need using, otherwise what’s the point of me buying them?
snowman stamp cardsnowman stamp selfie time card
I need to start simple ……. the Christmas Tree Card is the perfect example of where I should start, less is more and so effective, it says it all.
Teddy bear and snowman cardMerry Christmoose Card
The only cards I made in 2016 were for The Monkeys, I really need to pull my finger out, which is why I am just going to continue Christmas more or less throughout this year, if that’s OK.  I missed out so much last year in the Christmas crafting stakes, I bought several paper pads and embellishments and I really can’t afford not to use them.  I was also offered a table at a Christmas fair but I had nothing to sell, well, if I start now, I would be able to say yes and put on a good show. The Merry Christmoose card is definitely an idea that I think I could put my own slant on ……. as soon as the bedroom is sorted of course.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Heads Up – Home Bargains – Chocolate Love Bugs

Just a quick post …….. with Valentines Day in mind……..
Home Bargains Love BugsI found these nets of 15 cream filled chocolate Love Bugs in Evesham Home Bargains for 69p.  I was a bit dubious about the quality and taste, but I am very impressed, nom, nom, nom, so it would have been rude not to buy a few more! I am planning on putting two ladybirds in a decorated matchbox for Valentines Day.  This idea came about when I found two packs of 12 matchboxes (the same as I used at Christmas) at the bottom of the craft sale stuff in The Works, reduced from £1 to 50p a pack, I was well chuffed.
Home Bargains Chocolate Love Bugs 69p
By my reckoning a matchbox with two ladybirds would cost approximately 12p to make, plus a few extra pence to cover the scraps of paper and embellishments used to decorate it.  It’s a no brainer!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Little Wooden House Christmas Tree Decorations

Following on from yesterday’s charity shop finds, I have started to use some of buildings I found in the bag of bricks I got for just 40p. 
wooden house Christmas Tree Decoration 3In all there were nine of these houses in the bag.
wooden house brickwooden brick house toy
As you can see from the first picture (above), the houses are quite small and what I was going to do with them depended on whether I could securely screw a tiny eye hook into the roof, which, as you can see was a success.
wooden house tree decoration
Wooden house Christmas Tree Decorationtiny paper house fronts
I started off by making new front and backs for the houses, using scraps from a Forever Friends 6” x 6” Christmas paper pad because the tiny proportions of the patterns were perfect for the house size.  I cut out and stuck down the doors and windows and then doodled on them with a black fine liner pen, but as I doodled the more detailed the design got, as I added curtains and a tiny weeny clear flat backed gem door knob.  When I was all detailed out, I glued a matching front and back to each brick using PVA glue.
Wooden house Christmas Tree Decoration 6When the front and backs were dry, I put translucent micro fine glitter on the roofs to give them a proper Christmassy sparkle.
Wooden House Christmas Tree Decoration. 1Then, I couldn’t help myself fiddle farting again, by adding a window to each side of the house. Et voila, all that is needed is a hanging thread, but I will leave that until nearer Christmas (2017!!!)
As there are only nine houses, I think all these will be destined to be put in a small pack along with other tree decorations I plan to make throughout the year.  I tend to make tree decorations to give instead of cards to family and friends, something they can keep, unlike most cards.  It is also something that is very important for me to do for Iris and Bertie, so that they each have a box of treasures made by Nanny Nell, collected over the years, which they will then, perhaps, put on the tree with their own children sometime in the dim and distant future.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Three Charity Shop Finds ………

I found this Christmas Tree decoration just before Christmas, costing just 99p, I am not sure what is is, it seems to be a little small to be a card holder.
Angel Christmas Tree decorationIt was the angels that I wanted, I certainly couldn’t find anything similar for just 99p for 16 in any craft shop, so it was really bought to disassemble.
bare christmas tree decorationwooden angel decoartion peg
But once stripped the tree also looked as though it had possibilities.  The angels came of their springs and pegs pretty easily to …. I am thinking, perhaps they could be put on a tag, in a tiny printers frame or in a small box, after a bit of a clean.  I am pretty sure the pegs can also be used on something.
wooden angel decoartion pegsmall craft peg
This year I am going to try and make a concerted effort not to just put away my finds “for another day”, so hopefully I will be able to bring you at least one project where I have used a few of the angels in the next week or so.
Wooden Christmas Decoration TagsWooden tag Christmas decorations
In the same shop I also found this pack of 48 wooden tags for £1.49.  I haven’t used my heat gun for ages, so I thought I might see how they would look if I just tried putting embossing powder on the front to cover the printed pattern, or failing that, simply covering them with micro glitter to help embellish some kraft gift tags like the one below, I think my printer will take quite thick card for the sentiment.
reindeer tagAnd finally, in another shop I found a bag full of small toy village blocks for just 40p. 
Wooden brick village toyI already have a seed of an idea in my head, so my first experiment was to see if I could screw a very small eye hook into one of the roofs ……
wooden brick house toy……. success! I am now thinking of a series of simple Christmas tree decorations (??????), so watch this space!