SORRY.....

9th March 2014
After a great deal of thought and taking in all the changes in my life over the past eighteen months or so, I have decided that for the the time being, at least, I will only be posting once a week on a Monday from now on.......

OLD TEMPLATES AND FILES
I am sorry I cannot send out any templates, poems etc. that I may have previously offered in the past, the files have been lost and I have chosen not to redo them

Monday, 28 July 2014

Over The Top 21st Birthday Card

This card is A5 in size and is made using white linen effect card
Oh good grief, you can tell I am a bit rusty!! I can’t believe that I have even forgotten my sacred rule of card making that less is more!!  Ye Gods!!
over the top 21st birthday cardThis is the card I made for my niece’s 21st birthday, I think I was panicking because time was short and I needed to get it done …… but then went completely overboard, there’s too many fonts, and far too many random colours and patterns …. and you can’t see the hologram silver background clearly in this picture, thank goodness.  My apologies for my assault on your card making sensibilities …… there is no excuse for my putting everything but the kitchen sink on a card!!! Major mojo overload!!!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Christmas 2014 – Christmas Stocking Cards

On my desk there is a small pile of Christmas cards I have received that I have kept as a source of inspiration for ideas …..
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I kept the cards below as I don’t think I use stockings enough in my cards,  but they can be very useful when you need to make a really quick card.  Then, as fortune would have it, I found a random pack of six 3D stockings while mooching in my drawers and I thought ……. hmmmmm, the proof of the pudding …..
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So, I started by cutting card blanks measuring 5ins x 5ins using white linen effect card.
Christmas Stocking Card 1I then used an old punch (sorry, I don’t know the make) to punch out shapes which when joined together made a fir swag. …… from which I hung the stockings with a little doodling.
Christmas Stocking Card
All I then needed to do was add a few clusters of red flat back gems for a little extra dimension and bling!  So simple and made in, I would say, less than ten minutes!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Christmas Cards for 2014 – Christmas Tree Design

Each of these white or red card hand cut card blanks measure 5ins x 5ins and use either a linen effect or plain textured cardstock.
Layered Christmas Tree Card
The toppers are made using the  Christmas Tree design from a pack of red foil gift tags (below), with the backs cut off and papers from the 6” x 6” Christmas paper pack from Wilkinsons Christmas 2013 range which I am praying they repeat with something similar this year.
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I’ve also added red and clear flat back gems on the tree and scalloped edges of the Spellbinder die cut square, plus a touch of faux stitching around some of the edges.
Layered Christmas Tree Card 2
There’s a lot of mat and layering going on, but I have been mindful, no matter how tempting, not to use any foam pads for extra dimension because if posted they may not fit through the post office gauge, and so cost extra to postLayered Christmas Tree Card 3

Monday, 7 July 2014

Covered Ikea Drawers

I’ve had these Ikea Moppe drawers for years and years and not done a thing with them except for filling them with my pens and dimensional paints …..
Ikea Moppe Drawers…… until I thought that they would be a perfect foil for my My Mind’s Eye Stella and Rose 12 x 12 paper pad, as they were looking a bit grubby ….
Ikea Moppe Drawers 4…… so templates were duly made and drawers fronts and box sides duly covered ….. and you will no doubt notice that I couldn’t resist doing some faux stitching round the drawer edges.
Picture56Ikea Moppe Drawers 5
…… I also coloured the box frame edges with a Promarker pen. I reckon all of this took me no longer than an hour, if that ……
Ikea Moppe Drawers 2Ikea Moppe Drawers 3
……. the laborious part was the varnishing, for which I used Wilkinson’s clear, quick drying varnish, which really does dry quickly between coats, it’s just that I am very impatient!!
I then did a bit of Googling for Ikea Moppe drawers and found this project for an apothecary chest  with the drawers turned round ……. http://magpiejaybirdandmew.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/diy-apothecary-box/
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I just love apothecary drawers, but never in this world would be able to afford an original set ….. but this has certainly given me food of thought as I want something different to go in my lounge fireplace ……
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……. and this could be it ….. by putting joining four together?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

World Exclusive News - A Baby Pic And Marc’s Coming To Stay With Me!!!

I was in such a hurry to get a post written yesterday that I didn’t have time for to introduce you to Iris …… my very, very beautiful granddaughter, not only has she inherited the gift of great beauty and intelligence …… but she can also poo for England, that’s my girl!!!!
And my other exclusive news??????  Well, Marc is coming to stay with me for nine whole days in the summer, he has finally been lured from London by the pleasures and bright lights of Wolverhampton!!  I don’t know who is the most excited, me or him!
I am going to treat this special visit as my holiday too and see Wolverhampton and my humble village through the eyes of an international tourist!  Can you believe Marc, a man who has travelled the world in showbiz style, is almost totally overwhelmed by the thought of being able to go into town on the village Banga bus with me!busI have so much planned …… we are going on shopping extravaganza to the only Tesco Express in the village, a cream tea at our new village cafe and a fry up in the greasy spoon ….. followed by a plate painting session in the next village, as well as “doing” all the charity shops in town, visits to Bridgnorth, Shrewsbury and Birmingham and a bumper trip to Bentley Bridge, a local retail park to “do” HobbyCraft, Home Bargains and BM Bargains! I know how to give a boy a good time!!!!!!!
On the days we decide to just stay at home to give Marc a bit of a rest from this mad, hectic social whirl we are hoping to put some projects together for the blog, hopefully using items purchased from said HobbyCraft, Home Bargains and BM Bargains …. I know Marc is counting the days ….. and I might burst …… the keys of Wolverhampton are about to become Marc’s!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Thank You …… Lost Photos ….. And Other Developments ….

What a to do!  Thank you sooooooooo much for all your help and advice and e-mails re: my lost photos!!
I shall attempt to explain the problem ….. I use Livewriter to create a blog post because it is much easier to manipulate pictures and text than Blogger.  When a post is complete I then send it “magically” to either one of my blogs to said Blogger, where, more or  less all I need to do is schedule a date for the post to be published.
But connected to the Livewriter programme is Picasa where all the pictures I have used are stored.  I don’t often look at Picasa, and goodness knows what made me look on Sunday, but when I saw I had albums containing 1000’s of old pictures I decided to have a “clean up” ….. not realising how everything was intrinsically linked! Not “only” did I delete two albums into the Trash Can, but despite the warning I also then went on to empty the Trash Can and that is when they all disappeared for good!!!!
I have never backed up my blog pictures ….. there are so many, once a story or project is over I don’t really need them, and like I said there were/are thousands of them after 5 years of writing two blogs.
I think I can salvage “Mums Monkey” in time, from what I can see I have lost six months of photos …… I can do this by retrieving the blog posts one at a time from Blogger, because, goodness knows why/how, the pictures, though they don’t appear in Blogger in any shape or form, still exist in Livewriter when retrieved, if that makes sense.  So by copying the pictures and then saving them again as a jpeg I can reinsert them back into the post …. and as before, return it to Blogger, talk about a Fiddle Fart!  However, I am a little mystified by the fact that few odd pictures remain, but never mind.
As I said, I think I may be able to do this very slowly for “The Boys”, but I think too much has been lost with Fiddle Fart ……. when I looked yesterday, there are pages and pages and pages without pictures …….. and that is my conundrum …… I think the days of Fiddle Fart were drawing nigh …. I craft so little these days …… and life, once more, if changing big time for me ….. not only do I have the most wonderful baby granddaughter Iris Amelia Geddes, who arrived on 20th June, and will be taking up an awful lot of weekends from now on ……….
BUT, redundancy has reared it’s ugly head at the school where I work, and I have “opted” to take voluntary redundancy ….. although with less than three weeks left before the end of term this has yet to be confirmed!  My old job no longer fits the new structure, and although there were jobs that were “ring fenced”, without going into too much detail, most jobs have been down graded, hours cut and responsibilities added to …….. so I have decided, foolishly or otherwise, to jump ship and not apply for any of the new positions. 
I have rambled on enough for one day  …… but I have more to add, so I will “divulge” again tomorrow

Monday, 30 June 2014

Patchwork Christmas Card

This card measures 14.5cms x 14.5cms and is made using a hand cut blank using a white linen effect card.
patchwork Christmas card
It’s time for me to make a new crafty resolution ….. to make sure that when I buy something in a great flurry of inspiration, I try to use them as soon as I possibly can afterwards and not put it them away …… for the inspiration and the ideas to disappear …..
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…… because that’s what happened when I found these Kaisercraft die cut shapes,  reduced to £2.75 from £5.50 in Paperchase, on the way home I was full of ideas ….. but when I re-looked at them a few weeks later  …… I thought ….. what was I thinking? And that’s money down the pan …. unless I can rekindle those ideas …. 
Picture3Patchwork Christmas Card 1
So, determined not to throw my money away, I did me some Googling and decided that patchwork was the way to go, using scraps of Christmas papers and faux stitching. The finished card has got a retro feel about it ….
retro Christmas Card
I have to admit I am not 100% sure about it ….. but perhaps things I’ll be more convinced and confident as I work my way through the rest of the pack!

Monday, 23 June 2014

RetroTag Christmas Card

This card measures approximately 15cms x 10cms made using a hand cut blank using an untextured red card.
retro snowman tag cardI like the idea of tags on cards, but it’s something I don’t think I have tried before ….. so I took one of the tags I posted the other day, not sure if it would work …. but ended up very pleasantly surprised.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Marc’s Primark Doorstop(s)

Animal door stops are so on trend this season (hark at me!!!!!!) and absolutely everywhere ….. but the prices!!!  Oh my goodness!  This tale goes back to February when I was staying with Marc and he took me to Hammersmith, he knows how to treat a girl! We did all the charity shops and Primark which is where Marc spotted these door stops for, can you believe it ….. £5 each?
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We were very impressed and ohhhhed and ahhhhhed,  but at the time didn’t make a considered purchase, because Marc also had his eye on a particularly snazzy pair boots and I was snapping up candles and London embellished souvenirs like their bags, purses, socks and  wallets for presents ….. and to be honest the doorstops were heavy …… but it wasn’t long before Marc started to regret it as they had artistic potential … and after I had gone he bought in bulk …… because they were a blank canvas to “do up”……..
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This is the one he saved for me on my next visit …… where  he simply added a ribbon ruff and very, very lovely and sparkly lead ….. which Marc tells me was once one of the belts from a “Material Girl’s” costume during one of her tours and Marc was designing some of her outfits…. but who are we to name drop!
Pug Door stop
Just a couple of simple touches and my pooch has taken on a completely new persona. From what I can remember Marc added various other neckerchiefs and ruffles to others and created a couple of pirates and clowns ……
Such a simple idea, but once you let your imagination loose the possibilities are endless … if you were giving one as a present you could match them to occupations, hobbies or occasions……
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I have to add here that my “Rufus” isn’t allowed to sit by the door, he might get hurt, so he sits safe and sound beside the fireplace,  with his lead very artistically arranged!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Christmas Cards 2014 - Retro Feel Snowman Christmas Card

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and is made using a hand cut plain red card blank.Retro Style Snowman Card 1I found several of these packs of canvas toppers in The Range sale for just 50p a pack, bargaintastic! But, what I am going do when I find any early Christmas “bargains” is to try to use them as soon as I can, otherwise they will just get put away and are then forgotten (well, they do in my case!).  This will also help me build up a good stock of cards way before I really need them.I’ve married the stickers up with some rather retro looking 8ins x 8ins  papers that I have had for so long I can’t even remember who made them.  There is a lot of mat and layering going on as you can see, with an equally amount of faux stitching.  The only thing that I really shouldn’t have added are the pearls ….. ugh!!!!  They really should be snowflakes …. but stuck so quickly that the card would have been ruined if I had tried to remove them, lesson learned!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Marc And I “Do” Crafting Together For The First Time …… Continued ….

This card is A5 in size ……..
Silver Sixpence for her shoe cardMarc wanted me to make him a card that incorporated an old sixpence to give to the bride whose wedding we had been working on ….
Silver Sixpence for her shoe card 1I had an inkling of an idea on the Saturday, but it took me until late Monday evening to put all together ……..
Silver Sixpence for her shoe card.I wanted it to take all the ideas and die cuts we had used on all the other bits and pieces we had done so that the theme flowed, but it took a couple of days because we were constantly throwing new ideas at each other, and trying things that sometimes didn’t quite work out.
blue birds sixpence cardI wish you could have heard us ….. debating, trying one idea, erming and ahhing, trying something else, and then more often as not going back to our original idea ……Picture14
I lined the card with a thin, plain, white paper and then added a red velum insert that Marc had punched a while ago for another project, and then a bit of loopy writing and a few tiny red flat backed gems finished the whole thing off,  done and dusted!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Marc And I “Do” Crafting Together For The First Time …… Continued ….

This is the pile of booty that Marc and I put together during my visit, and I think Marc has since added a few more things……… what is he like????
The matchboxes (below) are to put small pieces of jewellery or keyrings in made by Marc ……
Tattoo themed wedding crafts
……. but they proved to be the most frustrating and difficult things to put together ever, despite our using the Stampin’ Up matchbox die my son Tom managed to get from America ….. they look lovely when put together, but believe me, they would try the patience of a saint, and Marc said that for the first time he realised how impatient I can be!!  Needless to say, I left ALL the matchboxes to Marc, who fortunately does have the patience of a saint!!!
swallow gift box
After Marc had worked out how to put the insides together he then went on to emboss the outsides ….. and cutting even more blue glitter birds out (Sizzix Sizzlits Singles Die - Bird Swallow Patch Embellishment Item #: 12786329), which I believe may now be discontinued.
On it’s own the bird didn’t look right, so we added the flower, but had to fiddle fart with them because the stem was white and needed to be coloured green, and they were soooooo tiny ….. aghhhh,
writing on a sixpence
But something was still missing ….. first Marc added a plain flourish and then a silver flourish and then a glittered glittered ….. before finally wondering out aloud how they would look with a bit of writing and a doodle or two on  …….. and since he says I can write on a pinhead, guess who got that job ???????
My template and guide is at the bottom, marked so that I could compare and write the real thing in around about the same place each time!
winged heart fridge magnets
Marc then followed the idea through again with the fridge magnets he made, seen here backed on contrasting presentation cards.
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There were also packs of tattoos to put together and since I have got home I have made a card to go with some wish bracelets ………….
tattoo wedding favorTattoo themed wedding crafts..
That’s one thing about Marc ……. he knows how to make a woman work for her keep, but we had such a wonderful, wonderful time and there were huge hugs and a few tears when it was time for me to leave ………. BUT here’s an even more WONDERFUL thing …….. we are now busy making plans for Marc to stay with me for a week in the summer ……. he has a bucket list and visiting the delights of Wolverhampton is on there ………. now how brilliant will that be?????

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Marc And I “Do” Crafting Together For The First Time …… Continued ….

These are the place settings Marc and I put together for the wedding he is “doing” ……. I think they measure about 4.5 ins x 4.5ins. They are made using a pack of card blanks which we scored about half and inch either side of the fold so that they would stand up. 
Tattoo themed wedding crafts place cardWe then spent most of the morning die cutting all the shapes we needed, plus extra’s for other things,  Marc on his Cuttlebug and me on his BigShot.
Tattoo themed wedding crafts place card with pinsI typed and printed out a pile of pin poems, cut them to size and stuck them down using foam pads at the top of the inside of the card and used matching ready made toppers that Marc already had to fill in the space at the bottom. We then built up the scored bottom, using two layers of foam tape, plus another shorter one in the middle which was further embellished with a length of self adhesive ribbon to accommodate three of Marc’s beautiful pins.
Tattoo themed wedding crafts place card with pins..The final touch was a red ribbon tied through a single hole punched at the top and bottom of the card to bring it all together and help them stand up.
Tattoo themed wedding crafts place card with pins finished product
Et voila, a place setting and wedding favour all in one!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Working On A Project With Marc ….. For The Very First Time!

I didn’t see Marc at Easter because of my Icelandic trip, but it felt so awful and so strange, I was pining big time ….. so when I found out that Virgin were offering train tickets to London for just £5.50 at half term, well it would have been most rude not too make a considered purchase, wouldn’t it?
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So, I arrived at 7.30 just in time for supper and for us to watch Gogglebox, our Friday night programme of choice together for the first time  …… and enjoy an aperitif or two ……….. well, neither of us know how we did it, and I am not sure I should really be telling you this for fear of you feeling ill of me and Marc and our habits  ….. BUT these are our empties …… OMG ….  and I don’t even drink, except for high days and holidays, by rights I think we should both be dead ….. but we didn’t even walk funny, talk stupid, pass out or get into a fight ……. the room didn’t even spin, we just talked and talked and talked until it became light and then it wasn’t really worth going to bed!!  …. We had our last drink at 8.30 on Saturday morning and then started to work…..  because despite this awful, awful tale of debauchery we were on a mission and had much work to get through ……. Marc had a wedding to “do” and I was there to help.  He really didn’t have much of a theme/idea to go on ….. just the title Roman Holiday …. which Marc decided to link in with 1950’s style tattoos.
Tattoo wedding project 1Tattoo wedding project 2
My first job was to embellish a pile of white lunch bags that were to be filled with favours (also to be made by Marc) with tattoo designs that Marc had drawn up. The idea had been to simply print them out on his printer, but erm….. the ink was running low ….. and we were stuck, until I suggested that if I could find somewhere in Notting Hill that had a copier all would not be lost ……
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……. and that’s when Marc and I started bouncing ideas off each other that would continue for the rest of my visit! The colours were pretty flat and faded then Marc suggested that I went over them with ProMarkers before having them copied …… a genius idea, because when they were copied the paper took on a glossy texture and the colours became so much deeper and richer with what appeared to be a crude but perfect rough shading to them ……
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Each tattoo design, one for the front and back of each bag, then had to be mat and layered on red, glittered using translucent diamond dust which went everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and the names of the bride and groom and guests written in my best loopy writing!
Tattoo themed wedding crafts 1
In the end it looked like as if a whole herd of fairies had partaken in a wild and wanton party where fairy dust had been scattered with unbridled abandon  ….. my eyes were so sore, I was coughing up glitter and Marc and I were twinkling for England!
Tattoo themed wedding crafts aTattoo themed wedding favor bags 2At Ar first I thought the bags might be a little over the top or not quite as precise as I would have liked …..
Tattoo themed wedding favor bags….. but sometimes when you are working up close to something for a long time you can’t see the whole picture anymore and leave them for a while and then go back to them …….. and when I did I was soooooooo pleased …….. but there was more work to be done, as you will see tomorrow.