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.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Iris’s Little, Wooden Decopatch Bike

I’ve done it …….
……. as I told you last month, thirty odd years ago Tom had a little, wooden Galt bike for Christmas, it “did” for him and Lucy for five/six years and then it was put away. 
IMG_6365Several years later a nephew and two nieces came along, it was duly done up, and “did” for them too, but when they had all outgrown it, I had the foresight to ask for it back and it has been sat sitting in the garage ever since for about twenty years.
Then, Iris came along, and my thoughts again returned to the little bike, “if” I could get some new wheels, “if” they still did them after all this time, then I could “do” it up yet again for Iris’s 2015 Christmas present, and as I also said last month, when I contacted Galt they still had the wheels so for just £10, I was rock and rolling!!!!! My plan was coming together!All I had to do was get my brightest Decopatch papers out and start gluing.  It was fiddly, there were hardly any straight lines and there seemed to be so many little steps and round bits to work round, but in the end I would say it took me about three hours, from start to finish, including tea breaks.
This was then followed layer upon layer of clear, quick drying varnish …. so many I lost count, but I wanted it to be as durable as possible.
Et voila, it’s now all done and dusted waiting for perhaps an  little L Plate and for Santa to deliver it ……. I am soooooooooo chuffed with it, you’ll never know!!

Fiddle Fart For Sale!!!

After sooooooooo much nagging from Marc you wouldn’t believe,   I have finally decided to sell off some of my unused/surplus crafty bits and pieces via Fiddle Fart from January 1st 2016.  It might be a bit hit and miss to start with until I have a system going, so you will have to bear with me ……..
What I think I will do is put up a picture of the item(s) I want to sell, with a description, what I want for it, plus P & P costs.  All payments would be via Pay Pal ……. The first person to e-mail me would be “the winner” with 24 hours to pay – and as soon as an item is sold I would delete it from the site …….. all proceeds would then go to my moving fund, to help with all the fees etc. I am certain to accrue!
The best time for me to list & sell would be a Friday, when I can post items on a Sat. Mon & Tuesday – so it may be worth you popping by on Fridays in the New Year.
If any of you have any experience in selling this way I would be grateful of any advise ….

It’s Christmas ……

Well nearly ……. and to celebrate, I thought instead of one long post incorporating everything I’ve been up to this past month, I would give you eleven separate posts over the next eleven days.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

A Bit Of A Disappointing November Update ……

I am afraid this is a bit of a disappointing November update, I have been very busy, but not of a crafting type nature! I have only made two cards, one for wedding ........ (below)
All you need is Love wedding cardIt measured 5ins x 5ins and used a handcut blank of white linen effect card. I used small Papermania adhesive Scrabble Tiles for the wording.  I have had these tiles for years. They were quite expensive at the time, but I bought them up whenever I saw them reduced, once at the HobbyCraft Show at the NEC and in shop sales, as I knew they were a timeless embellishment and could be used on so many things.
The letters were set on a navy gingham card and then mat and layered on navy blue and silver, with a little white faux stitching using a white gel pen. I then added a few punched red hearts to add a splash of colour, fill some empty space and add to the romantic theme.

And the other card I made was for my Dad's birthday, which was A5 in size, using a white, ribbed effect card, which is very similar to quite a few I have posted of late in an effort to use up all my old alphabet stickers.

But ...... then Marc came to stay with me for an all too brief weekend in September to visit the Scarecrow Festival in the nearby village of Pattingham, accompanied, naturally by Hugh his monkey!

Needless to say much vodka was quaffed accompanied by much laughter.
We also had a little time to “do” all the Poundshops of Wolverhampton, where, as you can see, Marc played me up something rotten and in the end I decided that the only way to cope with him when he’s like that, is to treat him like a naughty boy!!!!!
Sadly, the Halloween stuff for using on Halloween projects was even more disappointing this year than last ….. and last year was pretty dire!  Seems shops are stocking up on the big stuff, but small skeletons, stickers, packs of large black spiders that can be glittered and bejewelled and skeleton hands ….. forget it!!!  As I have always said, when you see something you can use buy it, and buy it in bulk for other years and ideas, because the chances are you’ll never see them again.
Marc also helped me cut and sort some old music papers into packs to sell on e-bay and then punched out 100’s of birds for the same reason.  I have only just started listing my craft stuff on e-bay, it’s all a bit slow as listing takes quite a while and I wait for free insertion offers as I am only selling most things, at the moment, for about £1.50 so it’s not in my best interest to pay a 35p fee just for the pleasure!
IMG_5464The above picture is just like me and Marc when we’re out fine dining …… Marc is a bit dyslexic so this is typical of many of our conversations!!!

Marc’s partner Ian has also asked me to help as a Design Assistant/Stand Dresser at the January Furniture Show in January 2016, like I did last January  It is very hard work, not at all glamorous, and very, very, very cold and there is so much running about you wouldn’t believe, I am sure I wore about an inch off my leg length last year! But it’s yet another opportunity to work with such a wonderful and talented interior designer, Ian has taught me so much and is incredibly generous with his time and tutorage, and if I cock up, he’ll tell me!!!  I just need several pairs of sensible shoes, a scarf and my own trolley!!!
Needless to say, I shall be asking for Ian’s advice, (at mates rates) when I make my eventual move to Evesham when I will have a new house to decorate and furnish. After going round the Antiques and Collectors Fair at the Three Counties Showground earlier this year I think he’s got a fair idea of my style …. a bit eclectic, which he summed up as being mainly Edwardian and some industrial and a touch of 60’s retro, so I think he has got his work cut out!!!!
 edwardian inlaid mahogany dressing table
For Christmas I am going to decoptach Tom’s first old wooden Galt bike for Iris.  It’s 30 odd years old, and did for Tom and Lucy, and then all the little cousins that followed in turn after that, before being returned to me, where it has just been in the garage for the past 10 years.  It’s still as sturdy as ever …. all I have had to do is buy a new set of wheels from Galt (couldn’t believe they would still be available for only £10) and the decopatch papers, well they’ve been in my drawers for a while now, just waiting for a project.

It doesn’t matter to Iris whether her presents are old and re-hatched ….and I am hoping that when it’s finished I’ll have created something that can become an heirloom for yet another generation …… like the toybox I “did up” for her last year, which originally was Andy’s first fishing tackle box, which he made when he couldn’t afford a “proper” one.
I also want to make some more mini printer frame type Christmas decorations like I did about 4 years years ago. I want to give them instead of a Christmas card to special friends, as I am always aware that most Christmas cards end up getting thrown out, where something like this will, hopefully, come out year after year.  I’ve got quite a few tiny bits and pieces put aside and I’ve also managed to buy some tiny resin Santas, snowmen and Christmas trees from Forget Me Not Crafts in Evesham at bargain prices …….. so all I need is the time.
Picture 092As a heads up, there are some interesting bits and pieces in The Works and it’s worth looking at their website for online offers.5052089182363_M I thought this set of 25 drawers would make a great base for an Advent calendar (£12) and I am intrigued by the wooden briefcase, I would like to see it in real life to work out its potential, and am sorely tempted, despite my best efforts towards frugality!!
5052089182226_MI am not a great die cutter but I also notice they have begun selling dies, don’t know about all their designs or quality, but again. might be worth a look (below 12 Days of Christmas £10)
Sorry, not the most brilliant catch up post this month ..... I promise to work harder for next month!!!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Fiddle Fart Future Updates

I am going to try and put a Fiddle Fart update on here on the 1st of every month ....... just to post any projects that I have completed, heads up to crafty things in the poundshops that catch my eye, and anything I may happen to gave got up to ..............

Friday, 9 October 2015

……. They all said "Hallo" and felt awkward and unhappy suddenly, because it was sort of a goodbye they were saying, and they didn't want to think about it. So they stood around and waited for someone else to speak, and they nudged each other, and said "Go on"……… A.A. Milne

It’s a bit of a sad day today, because I have decided to put  “Fiddle Fart” out to pasture! It will still be here, hanging in the ether, but after 5 years and almost 2,000 posts, I think I have done my bit in the blogging world. However, I still hope to post occasionally, whenever I feel the urge to “create”, to keep a record of that idea, so on the first of every month I think I will do a bit of a catch up...... as I have plans in the pipeline, like taking Tom's 30 year old wooden Galt bike and decopatching it for Iris for Christmas.
My life has changed so much in the past four years, and especially in the last 4 months, since leaving work, to be in Evesham for part of the week  to help look after Little Iris, which has left me with little time to craft, other than the odd family birthday card ........and ..... there's another baby on the way!!!!!
11889442_10205416578028813_7958093421656969358_nAs you know, I plan to move to Evesham permanently, fingers crossed, by the later part of 2016, and in an effort to be sorted and ready for that move, I have been spending most of my spare time sorting out my loft. This is a deliberately slow process as it is proving to be a valuable source of income (to help towards moving costs etc.), so I am e-baying an awful lot of the stuff I am finding up there, and in the process giving up the time where I would have once been crafting and blogging. At the moment, the pennies this activity is bringing in is “sadly” more important!  I have to be sensible and practical.  If I leave it until I move, it would probably all just get dumped in a mad rush, this way, I can do it with careful thought, especially, as I am rapidly finding, almost everything has a value to someone!
loI am also doing the same with my craftroom, slowly, surely and considered. I will keep all the tools and equipment and basic materials, but I am looking very carefully at all the embellishments etc. I have and questioning my need for them in the future. I have given myself about  6 months to get this all done…… and that is why I have to let “Fiddle Fart” go........
Face of MarmiteI shall, however, continue writing “Mum’s Monkeys” …. I owe those fellas so much, keeping me on my toes and making me see the funny, whimsical and poignant side of life, even on my “down” days. Whatever they get up to, they lift my spirits, no matter what, and they are a reflection of my life! However, I think that the number of posts may also have to change too, to take in the considerations of above. 
So ..... can I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has called by on a Monday and Friday and also those who occasionally drop in via Google, in particular:-  Pharmacy Michelle, Cheryl W, Tilly, Dianne, Di, Carol, Roni, Silvia, Mrs P, Pamela, JC2711, Krafty Karen, Susan, Marc and not forgetting Anonymous, for leaving so many comments, and I promise each and every one has been very much appreciated and never taken for granted.I will also always pop by and post a little something whenever I’ve been to London or Worcester to spend time with Marc, as our times together always send me on a mahooooosive roller coaster ride of creativity ……
…….. And that is the one thing that I will never be able to thank “Fiddle Fart” enough for, in bringing Marc and me together, the most special person I have ever known, we are true soul mates, and without “Fiddle Fart” there is no way on God’s Green Earth  we’d have ever found each other …….. and that’s one hell of a wonderful legacy for any blog to leave!!!!!

Monday, 5 October 2015

24 Days Of Books – Iris’s Alternative Advent Calendar

I’ve seen this idea several times now on the internet and thought what a wonderful idea it would be for Iris, who already loves books …….
Christmas Books Advent Calendar. GiftSo I’ve been nipping in to the charity shops of Wolverhampton and Evesham looking for books with a Christmas story or a wintery, snowy tale featuring penguins, stars, polar bears etc., so her little brain isn’t entirely swamped by all things Christmas, but hope to find a nice copy of the “Night before Christmas” for Christmas Eve.
When I have gathered a pile of 24 books, I will wrap them all up separately in different papers, attaching a big number tag on each, so that we can have fun searching for the right story for the right day in December. If I have time, I would like to embellish each tag to make them just that little bit more special ….. but that all depends on how the time goes.
After Christmas, the books and tags can be put away for the following year and hopefully many more Christmas’s to come. I would love think that perhaps the tradition will continue until Iris has her own children, but we will see! 
…….. As I write this, one idea leads to another, I am thinking that perhaps I should find a sturdy wooden box and decorate it suitably to keep the books safe from year to year …… hmmmmmmm

Friday, 2 October 2015

Random Lettered Men's Birthday Card

This card is A5 in size and is made using a white linen effect, hand cut card blank.
This card is a bit of a dogs breakfast because I needed to make it in a hurry and it looks like I have thrown everything at it!  I know I could have just gone out and bought one, but I am being very tight at the moment and why spend a stupid amount on quite a plain an ordinary shop bought one, when I have a room full of bits to make one ….. so, in the end my meanness made me find the time!!!
I used a plain blue paper for the background and simply edged it with faux stitching using a white gel pen.  The self adhesive letters are just a random selection from my box of alphabets, quickly assembled in the hope that I could fit them across the card when backed on the Papermania text printed paper, it was a squeeze, but I managed it without too much fiddle fart!
Once the letters were placed, the “empty space” annoyed me ….. stars were an obvious choice, but large metallic ones looked flat and lacked texture, so in the end I plumped for some wooden stars from Paperchase, and then added the small metallic stars after, which I think worked.
With a little more time, I think I could have done it a little better, some of the letter colours are a little bland and sort of blend into the background …… I think I could have possibly gone round them with a black fine liner pen to make them stand out a little more ……. but as I said, time was of the essence!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Sandcastle Holiday Birthday Card

This card is A5 in size and is made using a white linen effect, hand cut card blank.
Lucy and I are always on holiday when it’s her birthday in July and so most of the birthday cards I have made her in the past have had a holiday/beach theme, and my 2015 effort is no exception.
I had a rummage in my drawers and found some old tags that I thought would pass muster for holiday colours and some felt, self adhesive seaside theme stickers I’ve had for ages, I can’t remember where they were originally from, but would not have cost be more than £1, but saying that they are really excellent quality, as you can see from the close up pictures, having been machine stitched, slightly padded, with button embellishment and other extra bits.
sandcastle Birthday Card..I mat and layered the background on plain blue and blue gingham papers and then edged it all with faux stitching and a few random doodled shapes.
sandcastle Birthday CardThe plastic, self adhesive letters, came from E-bay and I think they originally were meant for putting on cars (??) but always come in useful when I want to make a card on the hoof.
I guess in all, this card took me about half an hour to put together, and as per usual it’s always the working out where to place everything  first so the card looks balanced that takes up at least 60% of that time!

Friday, 25 September 2015

“Happy Days” Leaving Card

This card is A5 in size and is made using a white linen effect, hand cut card.
Another of my big, blousy cards today, even the person I gave it to was a little taken aback by how in your face it was, after being, in the past, a recipient of my usual restrained, less is more affairs  ….. but when it comes to making cards at the moment it’s still all about trying to use up as many of my self adhesive alphabets as I can !!!
I decided on the “Happy Days” sentiment to celebrate Sarah’s leaving teaching to help her artist husband with his admin and the birth of her first grandchild …… “Happy Days” indeed!
Over a pale green gingham background, I added the word plaques and then embellished with flowers and leaves using my EK Success Retro Daisy punches and Woodware “LeafMakeBeech” punch, which also embosses the veins on the leaves.
I’ve then gone totally over the top with the faux stitching, and assorted flat backed gems ….. but if you can’t got over the top for two such occasions rolled into one, when can you?

Monday, 21 September 2015

We’re Going To Miss You – Leaving Card

This card is A5 in size and is made by simply scoring and then folding a sheet of white linen effect card.
Ooooooowwfffffff, nothing subtle or less is more about my last “Leaving Card”, it’s well, very erm…… very pink!!!! It was made for one of the many staff at school who were leaving at the end of the summer term and to help pay off my “staffroom dues”, as well as to help use up just a small part of my vast pile of self adhesive alphabets! 
I had perhaps one of the leaving English staff in mind when I chose to use the printed text paper as a background and for the flower centres. To bring the design together, I’ll be honest, I think  I’ve gone into  pink “overkill” using a little too much Bazzill for the layered punched flowers with flat backed gem centres, and some of the  mat and layering!!!!! A little faux stitching and strategically groups of three dots helps to finish off the design ….. but it just too over the top foe me  …..  looking at the pictures with fresh eyes, I wish I had substituted a little lime green for some of that pink!!!!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Happy Birthday Card

This card is A5 in size and is made using a white linen effect, hand cut card blank.
Please forgive the quality of the pictures in this post, I didn’t realise that there was a smudge on the camera lens until I went to edit them.
This was the card I made for my Brother in Laws birthday.  The pictures makes the colour of the letters look a little pastel, but in real life I think they looked much more “masculine”!
I like the idea of using lots of texture, hence the corrugated card, mat and layered on silver to help accentuate and define the edges.
My self adhesive alphabet stash is going down …… if only on the vowel front, I am going to have to start being more inventive when it come to the making up of words for other cards, if I am going to make any more headway in using up the other consonants, as Marc keeps on telling me, time to get my Silhouette out.
I’ve added coloured wooden stars from Paperchase and tiny silver confetti stars here and there.  I put metallic brads in the corner of each word plaque but I am not sure if they add anything.
I don’t use brads enough, and have got quite a few that really do need using up, any ideas on how to use them on a card in bulk?