Wednesday, 22 May 2019

How Did I Not Know About This?

Is it just me or did the existence of this wonderful little tool just pass me by .......?
I am always wary when I post a card in case it's a little too layered and embellished and subsiquently falls into the "large letter" category. This almost happened  when I was in the post office the other day when one of the assistants took another look at the card I was sending and said ooooo this feels a bit bumpy I'd best double check it, luckily it passed muster.
I then asked, expecting the answer to be in the negative if it was  possible to get my hands on a measure like hers ....... to which she led me over to the shelves and handed me this!
At £3.27 a considered purchase was made. I must have been on planet Fiddle Fart for far too long as I never knew you this existed. DOH
I tend to give really embellished cards in person, but this will definitely keep me on my toes when it comes to cards that I intend to post.  I would hate someone to have to collect and then pay well over the odds for a card that I'd sent that was found to measure a large letter.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday – Little Angels

I am not sure about this drawer ………..
…….. there’s something missing/not quite right (or is it just me ….??? ) I think it might be the angel’s wings …….. I wonder if they should be covered with white glitter to hide the blue and their hearts made a little more dimensional with the addition of a tiny gold/silver nail embellishment?  I always go back to each drawer before I finally put them in the drawer frame for the last time, perhaps inspiration will hit me then?

Monday, 20 May 2019

Nine Square Card Gardening Card

This card measures 5 3/4ins x 5 3/4 ins and is made using a hand cut white linen effect card blank.
The box of 72 small, wooden, garden themed, laser cut embellishments was a chance find, for just £1, from a discount type shop in nearby Pershore, perfect for this nine square gardening card.

I coloured each shape with my now ancient Whisper pens, followed by gluing them onto 1 1/4 ins scrap white squares.  They looked a bit stark so I added doodled lines round the edges and clusters of three dots using a black fine liner pen. To accentuate the edges of the shapes I also used a little white gel pen but it sort of absorbed into the wood, but I quite like the effect.
I then cut a 4 1/2 in white square, which I mat and layered on silver mirror card to put in the centre of the card blank, before adding the embellished small squares.
The finished card looks OK, but, if I were to do it again I think I might cover the front of the card completely with a subtle green, patterned paper to make the centre panel pop a little more.  I think I am right off using white at the moment!!!

I think there is also a single card to be made using the bird shapes, either in a small frame or stuck over the wooden heart.  Lots of food for thought so watch this space.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Easel Card

This "card is a HUGE thank you to Paula ..........
....... who very kindly sent me these wooden photo frame embellishments from Hobbycraft, as soon as I saw them I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to do with them, especially with Iris's 5th birthday coming up!
I always tell Iris I love her to the moon and back, to the stars and beyonds and to the bottom of the deep blue see, so when I saw her "Guess How Much I Love You" book beside her bed my idea was confirmed.
I found an illustration from the book that  I wanted to use (not sure of copyright here, but this project is a gift, not to be sold and never repeated, if I have infringed any rules, I will take this post down).  I reduced the image to fit the frame embellishment and added the text using Windows Publisher before printing.
I coloured the frame to as nearer match to the sky as I could.  I also added a little colour to the sky and a more grass in order to fill any white space in the sky and cover behind the hearts.
I glued the frame over the picture and waited for it to dry before cutting it out.
Filling the hearts with tiny gold nail embellishments (Poundland) was just the perfect touch, I wasn't sure if they would fit, but when they did I was soooooooooooooooo pleased.
It doesn't show very well in the picture, but also I went over the background of the picture with a Spectrum Noir Crystal Clear "Sparkle" pen so that the picture sparkles in the light, it really does so pretty.
Then, thinking about Iris's great love for drawing and anything arty crafty (she wants an art desk for her birthday)  I glued the picture on to one of the little wooden easels I have had for forever.  I do have some tiny pencils that I would have loved to have added to the easel shelf, but the proportion was not right, however, I still have a couple of weeks left to perhaps find something meant for a dolls house?
This easel will be instead of a birthday card, something hopefully Iris will treasure for many years to come, where perhaps a card would be long forgotten.  


Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday - Let It Snow

I love this drawer, it’s one of the few that I have used a sticker other than the Flying Tiger ones.  The “Let It Snow” came from a pack of sentiments from Hobbycraft.  The proportion of it was just perfect  with the penguins, numbers and snowflakes.
Talking of the snowflakes, I finally used the last of the small, plastic snowflakes I got from The Works last year and I was getting desperate, especially with several other ideas whirling around my head where I wanted to use them.  In the end I decided that I couldn’t wait to see if The Works would have them again this year so I looked on AliExpress as recommended by Marc  and after a bit of a search I found them, minus the diamante for just 100 for £1.04 (as opposed to about 20 for £1), needless to say I bought four lots ……. I am thrilled. 
These snowflakes are just so versatile, the size is perfect (17mm) for so many ideas and can also be layered on some of the larger wooden snowflakes I have for extra dimension.  It will be interesting to see how many of the 400 I have left by the time Christmas comes this year.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Random Alphabet Framed Birthday Card

This card measures approximately 5.5ins x 5.5ins.
I always struggle making cards for men, is it OK to admit I often just buy one?  However, this is one I made recently for my brother-in-law.  I simply covered the front of the card with a wood effect paper I got for free from The Malvern Create and Craft Show last year.  The card Kraft frame was a recent purchase from The Works, it measures approximately 3.75ins x 2.75ins at it’s widest and longest pints.  Forgive me as I have a hazy memory of how many frames were in the packet, I think there were probably 8 for £1.50.  I only got one, but I think I may go back for a couple more, with  Christmas in particular in mind. 
I glued a scrap of brown paper behind the frame and then added four different types of “random” letters to make up the sentiment.  A few clusters of three white dots and a little doodling on the frame with a white gel pen complete the design. 

However, when I looked at the card again, it needed a little bling, but not too much, so I added two bronze coloured stars over the y and under the i and then left it at that.  However, if I made the card again I think I might use a brighter, more busy design of paper to cover the card as I think, although I like the card, it is rather severe.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Doing The London Poundlands With Marc

I said a couple of weeks ago that I was off to London to see Marc and that we planned on "doing" the Poundlands of London ....... well, we indeed did that.......and said Poundlands were not found  to be wanting!

As you also know Marc has always been something of an illusive phenomena far as posting any pictures of him is concerned, but on this occasion he was well up for posing for me!! What is he like?
Anyway, we did Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith and Portobello Road and they did not disappoint. In the past I have said that the Portobello shop is dire, considering it's in one of London's main tourist destinations, but for once they weren't that to badly stocked, and several considered purchases were made, particularly by Marc in the gardening section.
When I got to Marc's flat at the start of my visit I almost cried with laughter as he'd carefully placed four of the zebra head vases with a few daffodils in each around my room after my saying that I really didn't get all the fuss that was being made about getting them on the Poundland Appreciation page on Facebook and that I really wasn't that keen on them ........
Needless to say, I was won over and one zebra head sort of found it's way into my basket, as well as a (flattened) zebra trinket dish..... what was I thinking?
Marc took a fancy to several of the crackle effect giraffes, but the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no  evil rabbit garden ornaments remained firmly on the shelf.
I found a few frames for Iris and Bertie's art work which I will probably share with you when I come to use them and a pack each of the silver and gold washi tape. I was also hoping to find a couple of their lustre ceramic Easter bunnies and/or at least one of their floppy eared soft toy rabbits but they proved to be much more elusive.

I love shopping with Marc as he really does look at everything and considers all their possible uses, where sometimes I can be accused of just quickly scanning, especially if I think I am already familiar with most of the stock.  Happy Days!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday – Christmas Contemplation

Today, I bring you a contemplative penguin and polar bear.
I don’t think it needs anything else, this drawer is cooked!  I love the tiny wooden frame as it houses the numbers perfectly, I just wish I had bought more at the time (Ebay) as they are no longer available and I can’t find a suitable alternative either, bum, bum, bum!

Monday, 6 May 2019

OMG ….. NO Excuses - My Sock Zebra

This post combines a recent Charity Shop Tut acquisition and my complete lack of any recognisable sewing skills ……  it also gives you all a good laugh for a Monday morning.
What can I say?  What on earth possessed me to buy anything remotely related to  “an art” that instantly gives me itchy gums?  I think because it was only 50p and as the little ones were coming over perhaps helping Nanny sew might be be an “interesting” diversion!
Well, I saw the task out right to the bitter end, yes my gums itched and yes I hated every single moment but from my labours Zebra was born, with Iris insisting he slept with her that night and me telling her to be gentle with him as I didn’t think he would stand up to much handling.  Needless to say, he appeared at breakfast minus one eye and both nostrils.
I will leave you to compare and contrast just how successful I was in replicating said zebra pictured on the box!

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Heads Up - Lidl Silvercrest Vacuum Sealer

Just a heads up ....... Lidl currently have a Silvercrest vacuum sealer on offer for £24.99.

I can't believe I have had my own Elitech sealer since 2009, but still wouldn't be without it, even though I don't really make that many sealed "sweetie bags" these days, for anyone who does, this type of sealer is just brilliant as you can make your bags well in advance without the freshness of the contents being compromised.

If I didn't already have one I think I would be tempted by this one, the price is certainly good as I am pretty sure I paid around £18 for mine ten years ago. 

Below is a link to one of my posts dating way back when .........

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday – Festive Owls

Two owls today from the woodland creature set of stickers from Flying Tiger (Christmas 2018)
Hmmmm,  this drawer will have to stay as it is, I am not going to attempt to rehash it just in case things get damaged, but those owls would have stood out a much more on a different coloured background, the red is definitely not doing anything for them! Oh well, all I have added to them is their googly eyes, at least they stand out.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Three Cactus Cards Using The Works 3D Cactus Stickers

These cards each measure 5 3/4ins x 5 3/4ins and are made using hand cut blanks.
I am so chuffed with how these cards have turned out. Cactus’s continue to be very en trend, but when I first saw the 3D stickers in The Works, I only bought one pack, not having a clear idea of how I would/could use them.
Then I remembered the 12ins x 12ins Mexican Madness paper pad I got in Hobbycraft reduced from £10 to £3.50 and that was it!
I kept things very simple, as is my want these days, covering the whole of the each card blank with papers from the pad. The proportion of the designs was just perfect, something I have a “thing” about.
I  mat and layered a scrap of white card onto silver mirror card before adding two of the cactus stickers and clusters of three dots here and there using a black fine liner pen.  Two cards in a matter of minutes and suitable for either sex and a whole variety of occasions.  Needless to say I have since returned to The Works for a couple more packets after seeing their versatility.
They also have packs of 3D pineapples which I originally dismissed as not being “my sort of thing”, but as there is also a pineapple design in the paper pad, it was worth a pound just to experiment.  I find with The Works you should buy something you fancy when you see it.  Stock varies from store to store, and where some crafty products seem to stay on the shelves for ages, others disappear quickly never to be seen again. I use their online shop an awful lot especially when there is a 30% off offer on  to buy things I know the Evesham branch doesn’t have. 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Hunkydory Review - Steampunk Grab Bag/Cogs & Gears Embossing Folder – Steampunk Plaque

This steampunk plaque is what Marc and I came up with using the Steampunk Grab Bag (Product Code SPGRAB - £5.99) and Cogs  & Gears embossing folder (Product Code EF107 - £4.99) which were part of a bundle of products sent to me by Hunkydory to review.
This project took me completely out of my comfort zone, I adore steampunk, but whenever I have experimented with the idea nothing ever seemed to come together as I had envisioned and to be honest everything looked pants!  But this time I had Marc to help steer me through and persevere.
The grab bag I received contained 33 assorted shapes made with 3mm MDF each approximately sized 1.2cm x 2.3cm.

I need to apologise for the lack of photos taken during the various stages of this plaque’s making, but with Marc and I going backwards, forwards and upside down so many times, with pieces being put on, taken off and then put back on again, we were just too too absorbed to interrupt the creative juices to get the camera out.
It was also very spooky but fortuitous that Marc had bought a few packs of his LaBlanche embossed puffy stickers with him because there was a clock face I had wanted and he’d bought everything he’d got because he wasn’t sure which one I had meant.  The screw heads, flower and small clock face from these packs couldn’t have been more perfect.
We even used part of the packaging for the background, which we mat and layered on gold mirror card that we’d embossed with the Cog and Gears embossing folder.  

I think it’s just about visible amongst all the layers and embellishments!
The wings were lightly dusted with gold micro glitter and then Ranger Glossy Accents was applied over that, following the folds in the wings.  The original cog in the middle of the MDF wings didn’t look quite right, however, with a LaBlanche flower and clock face added it began to take on the sort of look we were aspiring to.
The four cog corners were coloured in, the cogs in a kaki colour, followed by a layer of Glossy Accents and when dry, edged with a permanent black fine liner pen with a screw head sticker in the middle.  The surround of the cog was coloured in black and then left matt, with rough thin white lines using a white gel pen to help accentuate the colour before adding three more screw heads.   
We left it for a while before I decided to add yet another matted layer in black which I then painted with a thin layer of Crackle Accents and that’s where its been left the time being.  For photographic purposes I put it on a picture frame (first picture) and I quite like the effect, so when I am out charity shop shopping I’ll be looking out for something similar or perhaps a tatty metal frame to mount the plaque on.

As I said this project was well out of my comfort zone ……. and I definitely think I will go back to it …… there’s still something missing, I just don’t know what! There are more unused cogs and roman numerals left in the pack, perhaps I need to play with them some more, and even think about spraying them gold or silver???  We shall see …… so watch this space.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Hunkdory Review – The Little Book Of Wonderful Wintertime - A Christmas Shadow Box

The exciting parcel of lovely bits and pieces from Hunkydory for me to review has finally arrived and rather than doing just one long post I thought I would much rather put together a series of posts over the next coming little while featuring the products as and when inspiration takes me.  If you’re anything like me when you’re working with something new one idea quickly gets hijacked by another and I really want to give what I have been sent my best shot, especially as, although I am familiar with the company I have never actually used any of their products.
So, my first project is this  Christmas shadow box was made using a Poundland, glass fronted  bathroom frame which has a little depth to it, when I saw it I was pretty sure, if done carefully, I could get the back off and then use it for a all manner of 3D festive type projects…..
….. especially when teamed up with pages from the Hunkydory Little Book Of Wonderful Wintertime.  £9.99 (or buy 3 for 2)
This A6 book of 150gsm papers contains 144 pages featuring 24 designs – 6 of each and with nothing else done to them, they would make a perfect card topper, but that’s not really my style, they demand to be embellished, but that’s another post or two.  I am a bit fussy about Christmas designs, especially snowmen and Santa’s, but given one or two of the Santa’s, I would be happy to use almost all the designs in one guise or another. The paper is glossy which takes me a little out of my comfort zone as I am very much a matt girl, but with this particular pad, because of the designs, I am happy for once to overlook the gloss.

The plastic Poundland frame measures approx.  7 3/4 ins x 5.3/4 ins with a working depth of approx. 1/4 in.

After carefully removing the hardboard backing I set about covering it completely with a light wood affect paper (from an assorted box of A4  papers, given as a free gift from the Create and Craft show Marc and I went to last year) to create a border that went with the rusticy/country feel of the designs

I then mat and layered my chosen design on matt red and then silver mirror card and placed it in the middle of the wooden effect paper.
I added three small plastic snowflakes (from The Works last Christmas) over the larger printed ones   …….
…… put three red flat back pearls over the holly berries on his hat, tiny black dome stickers over his eyes and applied Ranger Glossy Accents on his scarf and nose ……
….. plus a tiny blue button, just for the devil in the detail.
The final touches were added using a very sparkly, white, iridescent micro glitter on his hat, trees and on top of the wording.
I was so chuffed with how it looked, but the proof of the pudding was putting it back in the frame.  If I may say so myself, perfect!
Once in the frame I faux stitched round the outer and inner edges with a permanent, black fine liner pen and clusters of dots using a white Posca pen.  Adding two large wooden snowflake in the adjacent corners with one of the plastic snowflakes in the middle and another by the side with more dots.  The frame stands up on it’s own (I removed the ribbon hanger) so would be fine to display on festive shelves etc. Voila!
I am so pleased with how this idea has turned out  that I have decided that this will be my Christmas Card  of 2019, as you know I always give family and close friends something that they can keep/use from one Christmas to another rather than a card that is more often as not thrown away after the event.
I am hoping/praying that I can find some more frames (if you find any I would happily pay for them plus P & P), but if not I do have an alternate frame I could possibly use but without the depth but with which I would probably remove the glass altogether.  I will have a play and hopefully post what I come up with using this frame and another design from the book.
I have been sent a selection of free products to review by Hunkydory and have not received any additional financial payment for writing said review.  The opinions I have given are my own honest findings and are not in anyway influenced by the company involved.  I do not receive any commission for any products that might be purchased as a result of this review.