Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Sharpie Chandelier – A Work In Progress

As you know I have “a big thing” about chandeliers, especially, at the moment, coloured ones.
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My flat is pretty much finished, but it doesn’t stop me from pondering upon and fiddling about with the “fripperies” which really put my stamp on the place, love them or loathe them.
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And as such I have always wanted to give my spare/guest room a colourful bohemian/gyspy feel to it, but at the moment it remains, in my eyes, very conservative, so I have been looking towards the el cheapo (mostly acrylic) chandelier that’s in there as a stepping stone to becoming more flamboyant, wondering if I could adapt it to look like the coloured ones I have been lusting after.
I have looked on various websites to see if I could buy coloured drops, but I would have been limited to just a few colours as they generally come in sets of 5 or 10 and to be honest at the price they were I could have simply bought a new colourer chandelier for around £50. I even pondered buying two really cheap coloured shades for around £12 each to dismantle, but again that would limit me to one or two colours and could prove to be an expensive fiddle fart if the idea in my head didn’t actually materialise.
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Then last week completely unconnected so I thought, I found this light shade in a local charity shop for just £1.50, well it would have been rude not to buy it especially at that price, thinking I would take it apart to make some Christmas tree decorations, I definitely wasn’t thinking bedroom chandelier at the time.
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But then, I had an Ulrika moment just as I was nodding off to sleep …… I wondered if I could colour the drops with Sharpie pens, well, I may now have a very discoloured thumb and index finger, but it worked!
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There was only one thing to do then and that was to see how the first four looked on the existing chandelier ……. OMG, I was so thrilled I can’t tell you.
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The drops turned out to be exactly the same size/shape etc. as the originals but I have carefully replaced and put them in a safe place just in case I ever want to put them back in the future.
Sharpie Chandalier
This is as far as I have got so far, I think it could still take a bit more colour, but I need to get into my Christmas decoration box where I know I have some of the smaller link bead chains and, am pretty sure, another large, round centre ball to finish it off.
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On the £1.50 shade, in total, there are at least 100 drops, they are a bit of a fiddle to remove, but I reckon I could add a few more drops evenly on the linking chains…….. post will be continued when this has been done.
Crystal Christmas Tree using Chandalier Drops_thumb[3]
Then, I plan to colour and use some of the remainder  on my twig Christmas tree. For the past two years it has been all very twee and tasteful and I am sure I would get that “same old same old” sort of feeling when I come to decorate it, so this year I hope to bring out it’s inner gyspy as well ……….

Monday, 17 September 2018

Bride’s Wedding Day Heart

Following on from last weeks jewelled heart that I couldn’t let go of, this is the one of the replacements I made for either Iris or Bertie to give to bride.
Wedding Day Heart for Bride
The base is an MDF heart which I covered with layered, punched daisy flowers and leaves.
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Putting together the four layers (three large and one small daisy punch) to make each fiddly flower made my gums itch by the end, I am not good with repetitive tasks!
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A flat backed gem or tiny pearl rose was then added to the middle of each flower with the odd punched leaf interspersed between them. When thoroughly dry this was followed by a bit of fluffing up to separate the petals and add some extra texture.
Wedding Day Heart Gift
The ends of the ribbon were hidden on the back using a piece of contrasting paper which I faux stitched round the edges of with a black fine liner pen to finish the whole project off.
It was a fiddly job, but someone had to do it. It does look incredibly pretty, and if the ribbon was removed the heart could then be framed in a shadow box as a lasting memory of the wedding.  

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

A Wonderful Bag Of Treasures

I’ve been working on Bertie’s pirate mirror, it’s taking me a lot longer than I anticipated but hopefully now he should get it for Christmas …… sneaky, tantalising pic below.
Pirate Mirror ..
I had a real good run on it a couple of weeks ago and thought I was almost done until I started to run old pearl and chain necklaces between the large gems and round the gold doubloons.  I loved the effect but then realised I didn’t have enough to finish and so needed to go hunt the charity shops for more, the mirror was then sadly returned to the cupboard.
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I found a couple of suitable necklaces in the YMCA shop in Cheltenham and mentioned what I wanted them for to the lady who was serving me when she said she had a big bag of bits in the back if I was interested.  I gave a tentative yes, but when she bought it out and said that she would normally sell each piece for about £2.99 I thought I really couldn’t afford to make an offer ……
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…… but when she asked me if £5 for the lot would be OK, well, it would have looked rude not to snatch her hand off.  Poor Lu went pale as I paid my money and she put the humoungously heavy bag of swag in her backpack.
It now needs a very careful going through, some bits I will use, Marc will probably be on the receiving end of a lot of the beads and other bits will probably find themselves back to another charity shop.  Treasures like this don’t happen my way very often so I was like a kid at Christmas as I looked through all the goodies within ……. and yes ……. give me a free weekend and Bertie mirror will finally be finished and posted.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Jewelled Wedding Heart

Oh dear ……. this jewelled heart was meant for either Bertie or Iris to give to my nephew’s bride Amanda at their coming wedding ………..
Jewelled Wedding Heart - old brooches
……. only I decided that I couldn’t bear to give it away and want to keep it for myself!  What am I like? I can just see it now in a shadow box frame on one of my shelves!
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I knew as soon as it was almost finished that I couldn’t be parted with it, so with time ticking I now have to come up with another couple ideas for the said bride so that she won’t be found empty handed after the ceremony!
IMG_8707jewelled Heart.
I used a MDF heart as the base and started by placing parts from a cream flower necklace in prominent areas and then building up the layers and filling in the gaps with bits and pieces from my box of broken jewellery. The only new “bought” bits used were two types of plastic, white rose embellishments from The Works. I was really surprised how much stuff I had that just seemed to really go together.
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I used E6000 glue to keep everything in place and I now just need to remove the odd, stray, dry glue strand, as the pictures show, before I frame the heart  (the ribbon needs to go too).  It reminds me of something the Victorians would have done with seashells.
Luckily I have another couple of the spare heart bases so that I can have another go at making something that I can actually bear to give away.

I am also hoping to now post on a Tuesday for the next little while, objects of desire, heads up for what's crafty in the shops, the odd charity shop find, and drawers that will make up my next Advent Calendar,  the long crafty blog break really seems to have paid off.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Christmas Sampler Photo Frame

I have to admit that of late I have been very much a stranger to inspiration, but then suddenly out of the blue my brain went into crafty overdrive when I spotted this multi aperture photo frame Poundland in Worcester.
Christmas Photoframe Sampler
All those barren months and then ping, I couldn’t wait to get home with my find, knowing exactly what I was going to do with it.
Poundland Aperture Photoframe
The frame is made from a good quality plastic, and has some weight to it. All did not run as smoothly as I’d hoped because when I removed the glass (now in the recycling bin) as there was very little edge round the inside of the aperatures on which to glue each patch of background paper ……….IMG_8550
…… so the inside the frame is a bit of a dogs breakfast, but, when I repeat the exercise knowing what I know now I will be an awful lot neater, but there again, who’s going to take the back off and look at the mechanics?
Christmas Photoframe sampler.
It was then time to reek havoc on my embellishment boxes to find something to fit in each of the backed apertures. 
Christmas Sampler in MUlti photeframe
I’ve used a right mixture of laser cut wooden pieces, resin, and plastic.
Christmas Sampler Photoframe..
……. and then embellished them some more with Enamel Accents on the two Christmas trees, Glossy Accents on the wooden pieces, plus glitter, stars, flat backed gems and small buttons, it was hard to stop.
Christmas Craft Sampler frame
The finished article turned out even better than I had imagined.  If I can find any more of these frames or similar on my travels I will probably invest in at least another five.  As you know I prefer to give a lasting memento at Christmas instead of a card, something that can come out over the years. This first one will probably go to my sister-in-law.
As I already had all of the embellishments and papers collected over the years I reckon in all this frame has only cost me about £2.50 at the very most to make, considerably cheaper than an awful lot of individually sold Christmas cards.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Drawer Advent Calendar 2018

Yes, Christmas crafting has already started at The Towers with my first Advent Drawers of 2018 already under my belt. Not sure where this one is heading yet, but as I am planning to make a couple more I am considering looking at Etsy to perhaps sell them.
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The drawers came from The Works a couple of years ago, they cost £15 (but are currently out of stock online), so this wasn’t a cheap project.  However, I think if I decide to get any a couple more sets for this year  I will wait until I get a 30% off code before I order them.
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I used various Christmas papers from my collection but made sure all the designs were roughly in proportion to the embellishments I added.
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The laser cut Advent numbers cost £2.75 per set (with free P & P)  came from e-bay which I found I could colour and/or glitter according to each drawer design. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3mm-MDF-Advent-Numbers-Arial-Bold/272435612759?hash=item3f6e6d8c57:g:cAkAAOSw3XlbWXRQ
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To embellish the drawer fronts I just rifled through all my boxes of bits, trying to cover as many themes as I could …….
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…… including blank and painted wooden shapes, resin and plastic embellishments ……
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……. which I would then mat and layer or framed ……….
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….. and then embellished some more with flat back gems, pearls, stars, buttons, glitter, googly eyes and Ranger Glossy Accents etc.
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I reckon each drawer front took me at least 30 minutes to put together before putting to one side to dry …….
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……. before going back again  to embellish some more, sometimes several times over the days until I was 100% happy with no viable space left unfilled.
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The small frames I think came from The Works a couple of years ago, but haven’t seen them in stock for a while.  I only have a few left now and really I wish I could get some more as the proportions are just perfect to use either as a frame for the numbers or the embellishments, but so far my search for something of a similar size has proved pretty unsuccessful.
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However thinking toward my next calendar I did find some that are a little larger  on e-bay which I can mix and match with the remaining few, which will certainly change and dictate a new style of drawer front design, but then that is never a  bad thing as I get easily bored doing something over and over again to a formula.
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The last drawer front turned out to be the plainest, but after all the anticipation of the other drawers I thought I would let the day speak for itself.
So ……. give me a couple of weeks and then hopefully the next calendar should be ready for your perusal.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Plain And Simple Wedding Invitations

This is the wedding invitation pack I “made” for my nephews wedding this coming September.
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As you can see there isn’t really any crafting to them. The bride was very specific in her desire for an invitation made up of several layers of cards, that were plain, simple and classy, which probably accounts for them taking 3 months from the first moot to my being able to finally pack them in a box (with spares in case of accidents) and posted!  It also didn’t help that I am in Evesham while the bride and groom are in Stockport and that we never actually spoke in person throughout the whole procedure other than texts and e-mails.
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The band was always a requisite, and probably the fiddliest part as it needed an extra bit added in order to fit round the completed invitation pack including a hidden paper clip, with precision folds.
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Before arriving at this final white linen effect band (the card used throughout the project from Papermill Direct) I sent samples in pink and grey, also making pink, grey and white stamped seals using my Melt Pot. These ideas were quickly cast aside, as were the subtle placement of the odd “posh” flatback pearls and gems and requested vellum wraps.  We also toyed with putting the name of the bride and groom on the band but Amanda also discounted this because they couldn’t be centred aesthetically, Joe having less letters than Amanda.
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The rose coloured paperclips (Paperchase) were originally meant for the Save The Date cards that I had made previously, but they didn’t really go with the grey card used, but happily worked a treat under the band ….. so much attention to detail!
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The font was also an important consideration, there were two in the running, but in the end it was Cochin LT that made it through, sourced by the bride and groom and then downloaded by me. I had never seen or heard of it before. 
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The main headings of the invitation were set out in capital letters with a space between each letter and then the body of all the cards were in smaller italic.
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To be honest the whole exercise reminded me of my working days when I used to spend a lot of my time creating forms, leaflets and work sheets in Publisher 2003.  It’s all about hidden text boxes, spacing and then centring.  The Response Card took me the longest to put together for that reason.
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The final piece of the puzzle (everything came in bits over the months) was right at the end with the cover design (again sourced by Amanda), printed, after a little experimentation  on Crafters Companion printable vellum.  Then when everything was double checked and then double checked again, I was able to start printing and then cutting all the components parts to size before putting each pack together, this took me a weekend to do.
Did I enjoy the process? Perhaps not …….. but it was my wedding present to the couple.  It didn’t particularly get my creative juices flowing and to be honest could have easily been done at a printers, however, as a spin off my sister-in-law (the bridegroom’s mother) has asked if I can make her a wedding card incorporating the floral design and then a framed version for a keepsake …… so perhaps I can add my own touch of fiddle fart somewhere along the line, if not wholly endorsed by the happy couple!