Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Cards From Christmas 2019 – Fiddle Fart Guest Crafters No.1

The handmade cards I receive, especially from the lovely friends I have made through this blog over the years are always the most special that arrive in my post box  They never fail to inspire me and why I always like to share them here for everyone else to see and enjoy.
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Am I allowed favourites?  This card is from Maisie, I think she must have started crafting as soon as she was born, she is a true inspiration and I have followed and exchanged cards with her since she was about seven or eight.  This card just makes me smile whenever I look at it, it’s just perfect and says it all!
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The next card is from Marc, again a stunner and so simple. He cut the reindeer on his Scan n Cut and then used a stamping platform to stamp the sentiment perfectly in position.  I can’t remember which stamping platform he has, I need to ask, because it’s something I think I need to invest in too. This would be an ideal project for my first forays into the world of my own Scan n Cut (thank you soooooooooo much Marc) so you might well see this card again!
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This next card is from Kraft Karen, not for me you understand, but for The Monkeys!!!! It’s beautiful. There is so much work to this card, all the delicate, fiddly twiddly cutting out and the subtle glittering and touches of Glossy Accents and the colours ….  I just love them. It’s a real treasure and The Boyz loved it as much as me!
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This final card isn’t handmade, it’s a charity card from Morrisons for CLIC Sargent but I just loved the simple design which I think you may also be seeing a Fiddle Fart version of in the coming months.  The star cut on my Scan n Cut and the tag changed to say You’re A Star perhaps?

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday - My First Two Drawers of 2019

Hmmmmm, remember all my best laid plans for my first 2019 Advent Calendar last week, well, they’ve not gone as well as I hoped, but at least I have got two drawers completed …….. and here be they!
Christmas Tree Drawer Advent Calendar
The first thing that went awry were the square frames I ordered from China, I found that they were really a bit too deep to attach the stickers I planned to use on to.  The stickers, are thick themselves and appear to be made of paper laid onto foam, but I don’t think they are robust enough to withstand little fingers over a period of time if used this way.  The thickness of the frame meant that if a sticker was attached to it there would quite a gap under the sticker and I could see it very quickly being bent and eventually torn, if all that makes any sense? So on this calendar at least, if I use the frames they will generally be in the middle of something like these two trees or too the side.
Santa Advent Drawer Calendar
The next stumbling block was that most of the designs in the paper pad I also planned to use turned out to be a little too busy for the stickers and other embellishments,  the snowflake pattern on these two drawers was about the easiest on the eye I could use. The plan now is to stick to using just 5 papers, one on each line of drawers, the next three I make will be with this design and then I think I will have to swop the pad for other papers in my box.
Going back to the squares, I think I will be able to use them on another calendar with wooden embellishments as they should be much stronger, so they won’t go to waste.  I have also ordered some more frames from e-bay and just need to see how they work out when they arrive …….. if only The Works would start re-stocking the original frames I first started to work with ……. aghhhhh!

Monday, 14 January 2019

60th Birthday Card For A Man

Men’s cards are always a nightmare but I think I have made something clean and simple for my brother-in-laws 60th birthday, which sort of pays homage to his artistic interests!
Random letter 60th Birthday Card.
The card measures 15.5cms x 10.5cms and is made using a white linen effect hand cut card blank.
Random Letter 60th Birthday Card
The resin frame measures 7cms x 5cms and came from a pack I found in The Range a while ago now. I put a white card backing behind the frame and then successfully managed to squeeze in the assorted random letters to spell sixty, embellishing the letter “S” with tiny, clear, flat backed gems, covering the “I, T, and Y” with glossy accents. A scattering of gold stars and black dots finished the effect.
Random Letter 60th Birthday Card..I layered the centre panel on silver mirror card and then put the frame in the middle of that, pretty simple really. 
Not the sort of card to post perhaps, as it’s extra thickness might take it into the thick letter category, but something a little different for a milestone birthday.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Iris and Bertie’s Hand Painted Plates & Choosing Presents For Each Other ………

These are the plates that Lu and I received from Iris and Bertie this Christmas…… I can’t tell you how much I love mine and how much it means to me.
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It seems that on a recent sleepover in Wolverhampton my sister in law squirrelled them both off to a ceramic place near where she lives to share in the painting a plate for each of us. Poor Bertie, bless him, never one to tell a secret to, had been constantly telling me in the weeks leading up to Christmas, that he’d made me a plate and not having a clue what he was talking about I now feel so guilty for dismissing what he was saying. I, for one, should know that if he tells me anything it’s generally true and right, it’s just that on this occasion I wasn’t cued in.
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Anyway, my plate is more precious than any other item on my many shelves and will be treasured and stroked for the rest of my life, as well as probably  being the source of much embarrassment to them both when I am 85, doddery and still pointing it out.
Iris and Bertie were also taken by Tom ( their Dad) to their favourite toy shop within Stratford Garden Centre and told to choose a present for each other, up to the value of £20, that they knew they would love.  It could have all ended in tears, Bertie is only two and a half and Iris 4 and a half ……. but what they chose bought tears to my eyes as they obviously know each other so well and were not chosen because they wanted it for themselves.
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Iris is all Sylvannian Families,  ever since September and starting school all she has wanted was the Country Tree School and Bertie knew that anything Sylvannian with a rabbit character would make her very, very happy.
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And in turn, Iris chose a kettle for Bertie knowing his love for all things of a domestic type nature. It was all very touching and a wonderful exercise in learning to think about someone else.  I am so proud of them both ……. sniff!!!!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Mini Frames And A Plan For My Next Set Of Advent Calendar Drawers

Some considered purchases today, both ordered from China from eBay.  Sometimes, when ordering from China  you have to be prepared to wait quite a while for your order to arrive, but both orders arrived surprisingly quickly within two weeks.
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Both orders were also made with my next set of Advent drawers in mind, frames to either house a picture or numbers.  Twenty white resin (feels more like plastic to me) frames measure 5 x 3.3 cm / 1.97 x 1.3 inch cost me £ 4.06 (£2.03 for 10) with free P & P and took 2 weeks to arrive, when I was expecting them to arrive at the beginning of February.
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The small wooden square frames measure 30mm and cost just £1.93 for a pack of 30 – I bought three packs so I knew I would have enough for three calendars at least. The frame sides are a little thicker than I would have liked, but they will still be fine for putting the wooden Hobbycraft advent numbers  I found for half price  (50p a box), several weeks before Christmas.
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The next calendar I have in mind is going to be (hopefully)  bright and light, with white being the outlining colour, with more of a children's theme going on.  One of my lovely followers, Paula, sent me some stickers just before Christmas which became the start of the idea and then Marc, bless him, also bought me a couple of very similar packs from Flying Tiger in Worcester, which are a perfect match for Paula’s.
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I also plan to marry the stickers with designs from the contemporary Christmas paper pads I found in The Works, on a buy one, get one free offer, working out at £1 a pad.  The patterns are in perfect proportion to the stickers and will, I think compliment them.
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Well, that’s the theory any way  …… I just need to get cracking …… so Tuesday Advent Drawers should be up and running, I hope, by next week, fingers crossed.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Mr And Mrs Scrabble Wedding Card

This card measures approx. 18cms x 13cms and is made using a hand cut ivory linen effect card (Papermill Direct)
Mr and Mrs Scrabble wedding card
Is could just be me, but are the cleanest, simplest cards often the ones that are the most time consuming and fiddly to actually put together?
The card was for my nephew’s and my new niece-in-law’s wedding, I didn’t want to do fluffy hearts and flowers and all that gushy stuff as that’s just not their style so I plumped for using some of the small, adhesive, cork scrabble letters I have had forever.
Mr and Mrs Wedding Scrabble card
I layered the centre panel on gold mirror card and then started to fiddle fart with the letters, oh my life, the spacing was a nightmare.  I was going to put the “and” in scrabble letters too, but whichever way I put them looked pants, so I then went hunting for an “&” amongst my various adhesive alphabet sets, and fortunately found one …….. perfect! 
As the card was very plain I thought I could get away with a few tiny gold coloured flat backed gems on the original spots on the “&”, that was all the glitz was really needed.
I am pretty chuffed with the end result, but boy did this card make me sweat!

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Fiddle Fart 2019 - Always With Christmas Lurking Somewhere In The Background!

As I said in my New Year post I think Christmas is going to feature throughout the year a lot on Fiddle Fart, if that’s OK, as I didn’t feel I had got everything done that I had wanted in 2018. I kept on wondering why that was and then realised that the wedding invitations I made for my Nephews wedding took almost six months to put together, with so many ideas put forward to be tried and then some rejected, before everything finally came together …… and after that I was pooped!
I plan to do a couple (or three) posts over the coming weeks featuring the lovely handcrafted cards I received from followers …… but today is my Christmas present from my daughter Lu
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It’s my beautiful Bertie mug!!  The picture was taken by me in the summer, with Bertie asking if he could have my camera to look at and I said “Sorry but no” and his hopeful little face fell instantly from “My Nanny never says no” …….. to “I can’t believe it…… she just did!”  The picture is my screensaver and it never fails to make me smile, so when I opened up my present, I just howled.
I have a coffee machine by my bed for my first morning drink and now I have a new mug sat sitting under it …….. so it’s guaranteed that every morning I start with a huge smile, an aghhhhh, and a chuckle.  Bless him.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Birthday Card With Mini Picture Frame Embellishment

This card measures 15cms x 11cms.
Birthday Card with mini frame
I made this card for my sister in laws birthday and to be honest there isn’t a great deal to it.
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I love the paper because the pattern is raised in such a way as it looks just like little raised gems (Dovecrafts Moroccan Spice), it didn’t need anything else added.

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The birthday sentiment is from Craftwork Cards and is simply stuck behind a very small resin picture frame.
Birthday card with mini frame.
Card done and dusted!  If posted the card would have to be sent as a large letter due to its thickness.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year - 2019

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So here we are again at the start of another New Year ……. my shiny, new, and, at present blank 2019 calendar is sat sitting on the table beside me and I’m wondering what exciting things I will fill it with over the next twelve months, all good things I pray.
I start the year 4 stone lighter than this time last year.  It’s been slow, very slow…… and believe me I have fought for every single one of those pounds,  but, is it awful to say that I absolutely loathe going to “fat club”? It’s just the thought of facing those scales every week that has kept me going. I have tried so many times to go it on my own, but I can’t. I only wish there was another way to get motivated other than sitting through an hour plus of members pondering as to how they are going to get through the next meal out, birthday party, wedding etc. and combing through our books or phone for an alternative to a full fat sausage roll or Cornish pasty! What am I like? My main aim now is to continue plodding but be in a size 12 for the beginning of June, when Rod Stewart is playing at The Molineux in Wolverhampton. 
I also plan to say goodbye to the colour black as my wardrobe staple, it will still be there in the form of trousers/leggings but for everything else I hope to be a blaze of eclectic colour like my new hero Iris Apfel (of her more in a later post).  I am now of a size where I can finally pick up quality finds in charity and vintage shops and it should become even easier as my size continues to go down.  I am already risking buying the odd item that is too good to miss that suits what I hope will become “my style”.
As for crafting and blogging ….. well, as I said last week, it looks like it’s going to be Christmas almost all the year round.  After a brief shut down I got my mojo back, helped also I think, by a break in blogging. I plan/hope to post on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays but without pressure, if I don’t, then I don’t.  Every second with Iris and Bertie is so precious …… that card I planned to make, it will just jolly well wait if they are around.
I will continue with my “Heads Up” posts, but need to make an effort to do something with whatever I find within a week or so, rather than put them away for months on end until the ideas I had when first getting them have almost been forgotten.
I will also continue to post my “Objects of Desire”  …….. most of the time it’s torture, especially when I know that none of the furniture I tend to drool over will ever see the light of day in The Towers, but it’s good to dream and let your imagination run wild.
I think that’s it ……. I just want a peaceful, healthy, happy year without any worries or stress  …… ohhhhh and a en-suite shower room that I can eventually use again after being out of action since the beginning of November, but that’s another story.

Happy New Year

Monday, 24 December 2018

It’s Here ……..

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Everything is done and if it’s not …. tough. The Towers is peaceful and full of anticipation for the days ahead spent with family.
I have to admit, although I posted an awful lot during December I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t get as much done crafting wise as I had hoped, I had ordered a whole pile of tiny bottles, among other things, to make some bottle within a bottle tree decorations, I just never got the time. I also never got to make any individual Christmas cards or use any of the triangle shaped jewellery parts I had been collecting for tags and cards ……… having fun with those Baby Grandies just got in the way.
But,  when all the hullabaloo is over and while I am still feeling this way I am going to get on my horse exactly where I left it and start Christmas all over again. A week or so ago I ordered a whole lot of reduced Christmas bits and pieces from Hobbycraft and Marc found me a couple of half price Aldi Santa Advent Vans to Fiddle Fart with so there’s no excuse …..
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Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas …… I’m taking the next week off from posting, but I’ll see you again, I hope, to celebrate the start of another New Year on the 1st of 2019. 

Sunday, 23 December 2018

My Festive Shelves And Christmas Tree

I have had a really good jiggle about with the festive shelves in my lounge this year, mainly because I think I put all the best bits in the guest room for Mr Marc’s Imperial State Visit!
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I seem to have put a lot less on them, using only one glass dome, where in the past I have used up to four.
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I also have to be mindful that the Ikea floating shelves won’t take that much weight……
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…… or my clumsy movements or bumps.
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I’ve included one of the two sets of Advent drawers I’ve made this year …… my original Tesco Advent House is in need of some repair – that’ll be one of my first jobs in the New Year, while all the Christmas stuff is still out, sadly I ran out of time to do it in the run up to Christmas this year.
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My Christmas twig tree has also undergone a major re-vamp ………
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I had gone off the idea of the chandelier drop/icicle effect of the past two years and instead have gone all out for much more volume in purple, turquoise and cerise jewel colours with a plenty of gold glitter (thanks to B M Bargains)
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I also found space for the boho style decorations I made and posted a little while back.  I wonder what I will be writing about next year?
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I have to admit I rather fancied a rainbow Christmas tree that I’d seen this year …… now if they had one in the sales, it could quite possibly come home with me!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Liverpool – City Of Sparkle …… And Objects Of Great Desire

I love Liverpool! Most years Lu and I usually pay an overnight visit in December for a show (usually Ross Noble) and to do some mooching of the shops …… and last week we made our latest annual pilgrimage …….
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With the sentiment on my “first coffee in the morning” mug ringing soooooooo true, Liverpool did not disappoint. I have never seen so many lovely “shiny things” ……… and naturally a considered festive purchase had to be made ……..
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Cinderella shall go to the ball!  My intentions was to get a pair of black glittery pumps or converse type boots to wear over the holiday, but when my eyes alighted on these beauties I was a gonna!  From Evans, reduced from £48 to £15 and in an E width (I have very wide feet) what’s a girl to do. I wore them for the first time when Marc stayed, when we went for a meal and they will be my footwear staple over Christmas …… talk about mutton dressed as lamb!
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Last year Lu and I missed visiting Taskers in Aintree because the weather wasn’t too good and we thought we’d better get home, but this year we made it!
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I was really happy with how I’ve got The Towers ……
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……… but that was before I travelled up that fatal staircase to the furniture showroom and then I became a helpless deer caught in headlights! 
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What can I say?
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If I could …… you know, I think I would …… but no, no considered purchases were made ……..
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…….. but just look at this chandelier! I did stand under it for rather a long time and  admit to stroking it very carefully, if only with one finger …… and no, I wouldn’t dare colour it in with any of my Sharpie pens!
IMG_9978The walls of The Towers are just painted at the moment ……. but can you imagine having jewel encrusted wallpaper? But what happens in Liverpool stays in Liverpool …… it was just an hour or so of pure girly fantasy …….
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…….. However, I have always loved Kylie Minogue bed linen …….  (as modelled by Nigel) and I am sorely tempted, perhaps for my festive bedroom next year? It’s another dream, but it wouldn’t hurt to see what gets put in the January sales, after a little research on how they wash etc. ……. and wonder if, when I wake in the morning, I’d find my face embossed by hundreds of sequins, never a good look!  What am I like?