Monday, 20 November 2017

Guest Crafter – “Auntie Beth”

I recently spent a long weekend in Bude, staying with my “Auntie Beth”. 
Her house is a five minutes walk from the beach, and full of her seasidey craft creations that I thought I would share with you.
Beth has experimented with a few embellished, jewelled mirrors and picture frames, some of which I have featured in the past.
And while I was there she was also experimenting with decorated pebbles, decoupaging them with scraps from her completed colouring book pages and then varnishing over them.
beth stone
I understand that Hide and Seek Painted Rocks is the latest world wide craze that’s now hit the UK, in fact  I spotted a ladybird painted pebble that had been left on the beach while I was there.
The charity shops of Bude also yielded their treasures, Beth found this real porthole in one of them, it was ***** heavy but perfect for her seaside abode. I am not sure what she paid, but it was a real find, but I could see Marc taking real a fancy to it!!!!
frozen dress
My “find” was not quite so dramatic, a H & M Frozen dress for just £2  which made a certain little madam a very happy bunny!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Simple Lettered Thank You Card

This card measures 5.5ins x 5.5ins and is made using a hand cut white linen effect card.
The adhesive chipboard and domed letters came from packs of alphabet stickers from B M Bargains and Home Bargains (69p - £1.49)
I started by placing the A in “Thank” roughly in the centre of the card, adding the other letters on either side afterwards.  I also aligned the “O” on the row below with the “A” and repeated the exercise. By placing the letters in a higgledy piggledy fashion it looks less formal and saves having to try to make sure all the letters are level and equally spaced apart.
The design is brought together with groups of three doodled dots using a black fine liner pen and red flat backed gems. A quick card taking no more than 15 minutes to put together.


Monday, 6 November 2017

Save The Date Wedding Cards

As I have said, of late I have not been doing a great deal crafting due of other commitments, particularly at weekends, and it has to be said that this looks set to continue until the New Year at least, however, there has been one exception as my nephew and his fiancée have asked if I would make their Save The Date Cards for their wedding in September 2018.
I have to admit to being a little nervous about doing this as I know their standards and expectations will be high, however when Amanda sent me this picture (above – click for link) of what she had in mind, I relaxed just a touch as the basic idea appeared to be relatively simple and that I could leave them to source, create and then add the sticker pictures themselves when the cards had been made.
I went on the site and found that templates for 2017, 2018 and 2019 are all available -, however, knowing Joe and Amanda I wanted to be able to offer the option of being able to make whatever changes to the original design they may have in mind to suit their own wedding theme, be it the card size, wording, font, font colour etc. so I made my own template based on the original idea using my ancient but precious edition of Publisher 2003.
I was chuffed when I was able to download a free font that was as near to the original as I could muster from
There was then a lot of fiddle farting on my part in an effort to get everything evenly spaced and centred especially on the calendar section, but I reckon after about two hours I had come up with something I could quite easily alter to suit Joe and Amanda.
I then printed and cut the two sections out putting them together in a variety of different ways ……….
…….. I couldn’t help  a few mat and layering ideas on grey, navy and gold mirror on the Save Our Date section and as a backing to the whole card, which should fit a 7” x 5” envelope, but you will notice, NO faux stitching!!!
I  also varied the text colour and thickness of the text boxes and hearts, on a choice of white or ivory linen effect card, although, in the end, I think they will go, more or less with the idea they first sent me ……
Amanda had mentioned rose gold coloured paperclips, which I did purchase to try, but I have to admit I am not too sure about the colour against the ivory card, however before I can do anything else I need to wait for Amanda and Joe to come back to me, as far I know at the moment it’s between two of the above. Once I have had the say so, I will then make up the shortlisted ideas again but much more “professionally” and then perhaps do a little more research on other paperclip colours and designs available …… I have seen some arrows that could look good and I am thinking that metallic turquoise could also look stylish, but I need to be mindful of keeping costs down!  Anyway, as soon I as I have reached the next stage of approval and then production I will be sure to let you know.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Experimenting With Martha Stewart Molds

While I was in Swindon with Di and Mrs A on our first meet up a little while back, Di gave me a very generous collection of Martha Stewart flora and fauna molds.  I was thrilled as I had seen them before and was sorely tempted but held back!
….. And well,  after receiving such a lovely gift it would have been rude not to experiment with them.
IMG_4708I decided to have a go at making a couple of tags, using air drying clay and cookie cutters to cut out the main tag part.
IMG_4706 I coloured the white clay with a tiny amount of green and pink paper clay, which although I was a little  tentative, worked perfectly for colouring the moulded embellishment pieces.
The flowers and leaves were stuck easily to the tags with a little water, forming a very secure bond. I added a little edging using a cocktail stick just to finish things off and also to make a hole for a tie. All that was left to do was allow the tags to dry completely, which due to their thickness took quite a while.
Once dry, I simply added a thread tie.  I was going to add a wooden bead but on this occasion I didn’t think the wood of the bead and the clay made a good marriage, sometimes I don’t like mixing too different a type  of material on an idea …… 
…… however if I were to repeat this or a similar project I think I would probably make a few extra clay beads for that purpose, just in case.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Guest Crafter–Little Miss Iris And The Family Christmas Card for 2017

Young Miss Iris is proving to be quite an artist, but then I am biased! She was only three in June but every day I can see her little skills and attention for detail blossom and her thirst to draw at the moment is insatiable, but it was this last picture, drawn on Saturday, that really blew me away ……..
……. it’s Iris and Bertie opening their Christmas presents, and was drawn totally without any adult putting their four pennyworth in!
I have asked if I can scan it so that the details are really clear and then I am going to have a set of photos printed (Aldi photo processing is brilliant and only 5p a print) to go on the front of a card blank, eh voila, a gorgeous and very personal family Christmas card. We might put a tiny bit of glitter on the tree baubles perhaps, but only with the Artistes say so!!!

Monday, 16 October 2017

A Simple Lettered Birthday Card

This card measures 5.5ins x 5.5ins and is made using a hand cut, white linen effect card blank.

Simple Random Letter Birthday Card

A very quick and simple Birthday card today made for my son Tom’s birthday.


The self adhesive, chipboard letters came from B M Bargains and cost £1.49 a pack. I especially like the dotted letters as they lend themselves to being “encrusted” festively with clear flat back gems.  I am already planning on using them in the same way as above, but using Christmas words like Merry and Bright, Jingle, and Holly with accompanying small embellishments.


But I digress …….I started by sticking the middle P in Happy on first, as centrally as I could and then added the other letters by working outwardly in a higgledy piggeldy line. I then did the same with T and H on the second line, aligning them roughly with the P above, if that makes sense,  this means that I don’t have to worry too much about getting everything perfectly level and evenly spaced.  Adding clusters of three doodled dots and clear star gems bring the design together. A quick card made in, I reckon, under 15 minutes.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Simple 30th Pearl Anniversary Card

This card measures 5.5ins x 5.5ins and is made using a hand cut, white linen effect card blank.
Pearl Anniversary Card  30 years
I wanted a really quick but effective card for my sister and brother–in–laws 30th Wedding Anniversary, they are not a fussy, over the top sort of couple, so I knew a plain and simple card would fit the bill perfectly.
The wooden laser cut letters came from The Works (£4 a box) which I placed in a higgledy piggedly way because I am lazy and don’t really do precise, I find it a lot easier to have a casual approach when using letters and I think I got away with it.
The tiny flat back pearls bring the whole anniversary theme together. Simples!

Monday, 2 October 2017

Black Crow Frames

These frames were meant to be Halloween tags but from the start I wasn’t 100% sure I was on the right lines, in my head I really didn’t think that the mini craft sticks and the classic metal bird embellishments would work together and suspected that I’d end up with a mismatched codge up, but despite my misgivings I to decided to persevere anyway.
I started by colouring the sticks with a green Sharpie pen, and at that stage I was already thinking I was going down the wrong path, but again, I still stamped my Tim Holtz Components Time stamp onto a scrap of orange patterned paper to use as a background.
IMG_4746Cutting the background to size I glued it onto the frame and then added the birds, gluing them with E6000 for a really secure bond.
IMG_4747Hmmmmmmm, not too bad! I then tried adding other bits and pieces in the background, including stars, but all looked pants!!!!  I also found some very old Ranger Crackle paint at the back of one of my drawers and tried that, BIG mistake, but fortunately I was able to remove it with a damp cotton bud before too much damage was done.
I added a flat bail fitting to the back, but that was also removed, because I realised that the tag idea wasn’t going to work. It’s at this sort of indecisive stage of an idea that I start to “worry” it, trying this and that, but in the end I just get a mess and it ends up in the bin, so this time I am going to put the frames to one side and ignore them for a day or two or perhaps a lot longer.  I am thinking perhaps a card ………? But, to quote someone famous ….. “I’ll be back”

Monday, 25 September 2017

Spooky Halloween Faces Bracelet

Following on from my last post I had a go at making a VERY simple Halloween type bracelet, simple and very basic because I can’t do “proper” knots and loops and other complicated jewellery type things.
Halloween Spooky Faces BraceletReally, I just wanted to draw some more spooky faces on wooden beads using my new permanent fine liner pen!
IMG_4750So all I did was draw on said beads and then threaded them with some smaller wooden red beads onto some purple waxed twine.
Halloween spooky faces bracelet...……. giving a little leeway for beads to move, making a knot at each end to stop beads dropping off, then making another knot, red bead and knot again for a bit of extra fiddle.  It’s only meant to be worn for a night or two over Halloween so I didn’t (because I don’t know how to) put in those fancy loops that you find on some friendship bracelets.  It’s just me playing.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Another Change In Post Schedules

I know I have only just made changes to my blog schedule, but life still continues apace, and I have decided to make another change but for exactly the same reasons as my last post. Exciting times just seem to be getting in the way of my sitting down and crafting, like going off to London to be in the audience of The Great British Bake Off Extra Slice, long weekends in Dawlish and Bude, plus having family around with accompanying trips out.  I found that before accepting invitations etc. I was actually worrying and thinking about how I could keep posts going as those scheduled began to run out, and that to be honest was madness! I also discussed these feelings with Mrs A and Dianne on our recent meet up in Swindon, Dianne has had similar conflicts, but said that cutting down her “obligation” to post was liberating.

So, for the time being I am now going to post on Mondays only for the next little while, I may add the odd extra “newsy” post, but looking at my diary until the New Year I feel it’s a do-able target without getting the panicky feeling of having to “do something” just to get a post done.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Halloween Spider Craft Stick Tags

I am so pleased with how these tags turned out, bit fiddly, but worth it.
IMG_4737I started by sticking odd sized googly eyes on to some small black buttons, the odd eyes help to give the spiders a bit more character.
I coloured the small craft sticks with orange, green and purple Sharpie pens, aghhhh boring and fiddly, before sticking the frames together.
IMG_4721I drew the spiders legs and added the writing before I stuck the backing paper onto the back of the frames, as it would have been even more fiddly to do it after.  I used tiny, glossy, round stickers for the spiders feet.
I glued a flat bail in the middle of the back of the tag, so that the tag can be tied evenly round the neck of a sweetie bag. I then covered it up with another scrap of paper, adding the writing and a scattering of bronze coloured stars.
Then I added all the fiddle fart, tiny buttons, a few more tiny round stickers, tiny flat back gems and a wooden bead, with a face drawn on using a fine permanent pen. I used a co-coordinating waxed string for the tie.
I started off using a black fine liner pen for the faux stitching round the edges (front and back) of the tag but then changed to a white gel pen because it lifted the whole tag and drew the eye in much more than the black.
IMG_4739I also added a few white dots to the background, again to make it “pop”. The frames are a little squewiff, it was really hard to keep them straight and even while they were drying, but I think it adds to the Halloween charm.
Top recent purchase? A set of three fine nib permanent pens, brilliant for putting the faces on the beads, I now think I might make a couple of Halloween bracelets doing the same sort of thing…… this space.