Monday, 31 October 2011

Chocolate Bar Snowmen

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I hope you don’t mind me revisiting another idea from Christmas past today ….. but I have gathered a few new followers since the last time I did it and it is something easy that you could do with your own children or with a class/Brownie/Cub pack etc.  …. And,  if you are like me, you begrudge paying silly money for a hollow chocolate novelty with very little substance other than a fancy foil wrapper and eaten in seconds.
Snowman Chocolate Bars
I found multipacks of 6 for 4,  233g Cadbury chocolate bars in B & M Bargains for £1.69 (which works out at 28p each).
Cadbury Choclate Bar Snowman
I cut a piece of good quality white paper 12.5cm x 11.5cm to roll the chocolate bar in. In the past I’ve been posh and have used felt, but that obviously will cost a little more.
Snowman Chocolate Bar Favor
Then I cut the finger from a pair of gloves to make the snowman’s hat (Primark is the best place for buying cheap gloves, this year they have two pairs for £1.50, which gives you 20 hats!)
Snowman Chocolate Bar 1
I’ve then cut two felt strips, one measuring  approximately 12cm x 2cm and the other a little shorter to make the scarf, which when arranged decoratively and stuck down can be fringed. After that, all there is left to do is to punch some eyes and buttons from black card, cut out a nose, and doodle the mouth. You can use real buttons and black flat back gems and a fancy ribbon for the scarf and really go to town, the world is your lobster…. but for today I have done an economy version!

My Very Happy Halloween

Halloween Spider Booch
This absolutley mahooosive brooch was a present from my very favourite follower Marc, who I have spoken about before, I am so lucky, I have met so many wonderful people since I have started blogging,  but Marc really is one in a million! He is a constant source of information and top tips, what he doesn’t know about crafting and showbiz can be written on a postage stamp. He is so encouraging and has become a bit of a mentor to me,  whenever we speak I come off the phone desperate to get in my craft room to put into action some of his ideas. He is also generous to a fault!
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On Friday I came home to a wonderful parcel …. containing amongst other things, the spider above, plus this BRILLIANT silicone gingerbread man mould …. I love it and can’t wait to start melting chocolate and making up little sweetie bags of them! I have a thing about faces, and their little faces are perfect.
Laser cut gingerbread men.
……plus a big bag of these laser cut gingerbread men …. I don’t think I can bear to use them …. but I have promised I will! At the moment I am thinking of using them on a remake of the gingerbread man tree I posted a week or so ago and some wooden tags …… and I must make some brooches with them too. Thank you Marc, you are too kind xxx

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Poundland Paperweight ….. Just £1…

I like to try and do something with my Poundshop finds as quickly as I can, otherwise the moment/excitement of finding a little gem is lost and the item soon forgotten.  ….. ….. and I just can’t tell you how thrilled I am with what I have done with the Poundland paperweight I showed you the other week!
Mr Fiddle Fart paperweight
I love to watch Mr Fiddle Fart (The Duke) fishing and thought I would use one of my favourite pictures of him from our holiday in Brixham this year to use with the paperweight, which measures approximately 10cm x 7cm.
Printing it to size didn’t take more than a couple of minutes,  I then used the faux velvet backing that came with the paperweight as a template to cut the picture to fit exactly.
I used Ranger Glossy Accents to stick the picture onto the glass, and then glued the velvet on top of that ….. all done and dusted! It’s now on my desk at work to remind me of the long, hot, lazy summer days, especially with the prospect of a cold winter looming ominously over us.
….. And I’ve been back to Poundland to buy a couple more as this has given me a few more ideas…….

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Make Believe Tea To Celebrate 11.11.11

Sizzix Gift Card Holder
My sister asked if I could make something to put a teabag and poem in for her “Make Believe Tea” for 11.11.11. I believe the original idea came about as different way to fundraise for charities.
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To make the gift card I used my Sizzix Bigz XL Gift Card Holder (BigzXL 05) …. and I confess I’ve had it for at least three years and have never used it until now (…..hangs head in shame) … but needless to say it now my favourite die!
Sizzin BigzXL Gift Card Holder
I’ve used papers from Stampin’Up and the small stickers come from Paperchase (I think!)
The only thing missing from the cards is the teabags to slip into the pocket, I’ve got most things in my craftroom, but not those!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Hobbycraft Cotton Christmas Gift Bag

Gift bags seem so expensive for what they are, so this year I have decided to make a few using Hobbycraft cotton bags, they normally cost 99p, but I took advantage of the 3 for 2 offer they had in the summer, so they actually worked out at 66p each.
HobbyCraft Cotton Bag Christmas
I’ve also used computer transfer paper for the image.
Let It Snow Transfer Paper
The digi images are from a set from Sweet Shoppe Designs called “Little Joys” by Zoe Pearn  but I’m not sure if  it is available any more and the font is from Two Peas in a Bucket, (details as per yesterdays post)
The ironing bit was simple …. the only big thing I almost forgot to do was reverse the text on the image!  There was almost a disaster …… but I twigged it just in time!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Let It Snow Canvas Christmas Tags

I think these are my most favourite things I have made so far this Christmas!
Let It Snow Canvas Tags
I’ve used A4 canvas paper,  the results are brilliant, the images are so sharp and clean!

let It Snow tags
The background snowman are from a digi set from Sweet Shoppe Designs called Little Joys by Zoe Pearn, but I am not 100% sure that it is still available. I have fiddle farted about with it on Publisher to make a rectangles in roughly the size of tag I wanted and then added the text using a Two Peas In A Bucket font called 2Peas High Tide by Jennifer McGuire in a dark brown.
Let It Snow Canvas Tag 1
I then cut out the rectangles, trimming the top corners to make the tag shape.  The final touches were made with faux stitching in brown pen round the edges, setting the eyelets with my Crop-A-Dile and a length of ribbon.
Let It Snow Canvas tag
I am always wary of making tags because of the difficulty in matching up colours/patterns/images with shop bought Christmas paper but this years it will be easy as I will be mostly using Kraft/brown parcel paper, as is a lot cheaper and easy to tart up …. I bought rolls of 8 metres from Hobbycraft this week, which were on offer for £2.99 a roll or 3 for 2, which with my 25% off  voucher from the Daily Mirror was bargainstatic!
I have left the back of the tag blank, except for some faux stitching to write messages. I have experimented with a variety of pens including felt and they don’t bleed into the canvas, brilliant!  But …. it’s going to be hard for me to put these on parcels as I love them so much!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Withdrawl of Snowman Soup File

I have had an e-mail from a concerned follower and I think I need to take what she has said very seriously.
I have always stated that the art work I have used was not my own and that I had purchased sets of images from a number of digi sites on the internet, however what has pointed out to me is that as I haven't created the artwork myself or have the artists permission to give it away,  what  I’m actually doing is stealing someone else's intellectual property and just like a CD being copied  and given away, it's actually copyright theft.
I don’t have the  artist's permission to “share” the artwork I have used as part of my soup inserts and I feel that though it was done in all innocence,  the right thing is to to withdraw the file completely.
This has been wake up call for me, and I realise now that I need to do some serious research on intellectual property and copyright.  But in the meantime can I point out to you that if you download graphic images they DO NOT become your property, you are not allowed to share them, and they are only intended for your own personal use.  Also always check a download sites “Conditions for Use” very carefully
Can I now ask that you in turn do not pass the file on to anyone else and request that you do not use any part of it for any sort of enterprise.

Snowman Soup Packets And A Word About Food Sealers

I have changed this post slightly and have withdrawn the offer for my snowman soup inserts for reasons that I will explain in my next post …. but for now I thought I would show you how you could package up snowman soup packs.
Snowman Soup
On Sunday I went to buy the bits and pieces to make up my soup packets for this Christmas.
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I found boxes of 6 sachets of Maltesers hot chocolate in B & M Bargains for 99p, the red packet is perfect for the Christmas theme. I also found boxes of 12 peppermint candy canes for 69p.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find any mini marshmallows anywhere, so this year I am going to use mini flumps instead! (99p)
Elitech Bag sealer
Whenever I use unwrapped sweets I always wear my pink disposable gloves and work in a clean area.  Because I want to keep everything as fresh and scrupulously clean as possible when dealing with food stuffs  I invested in a vacuum food sealer a couple of years ago (which has been proved to be one of my best buys ever), this means that I can make my soups and other sweetie bags well in advance.
Elitech bag sealer 1
I tend not to use the vacuum part,  I just put my cello (card) bag across the sealing wires, where the bag is sealed and and excess plastic cut off.
Using a bag sealer
As I precursor to this post I did some research but cannot the particular model sealer  I have, which is an Elitech, however I did find a very similar looking/sounding JML sealer available at Tesco, Asda, Amazon etc. however it’s up to you to research and it’s only a suggestion, I cannot help/advise you further.
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A bag sealer isn’t absolutely necessary, especially for a one off project like this,  it’s just my personal preference to use one. Marshmallows are an option for the soup and can be easily replaced by all manner of other wrapped items including  chocolate snowmen etc.
The cello bag I put the soup inserts etc. in measures 14.5cms x 14.5cms (plus self adhesive flap) and the marshmallow bags measure 12.5cm x 7.5cm
Always check on the sell by/use by date of all items you use.
I can’t advise you on small hand operated battery sealers, I’ve had a couple and have never had any success with them.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Chalkboard Advent Calendar

Gisella Graham Mini Chalkboard
Another idea today using up bits and pieces  I’ve had for a while.  The chalkboard is from Gisela Graham, I bought a job lot of them from e-bay a couple of years ago and have just a couple left, I love them but doubt if I will ever find them again once the last one is used up. It measures 15cm x 9 cm.
Advent Chalkboard
I’ve married the board up with an old wooden Santa that I found at the bottom of a box, some resin snowflakes plus a couple of lengths of East of India ribbon.  The writing is done with a white Posca pen  which is brilliant on chalkboards etc. and the small stars and dots were done with a white gel pen.
Done and dusted!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Gingerbread Men Tree Decorations

Gingerbread Men Tree Decorations
I really do have too much time on my hands!  These mini gingerbread men are from  Marks and Spencer.  All I’ve done is add two tiny red buttons to their fronts and used black Glitterati stickers for their eyes. The final touch is a loop of narrow red gingham to hang them up by.
Gingerbread Man Tree Decoration
Simples, and soooooo cute!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Last Halloween Make Of The Year

That’s it ….. I’m not doing any more Halloween stuff after today, as per usual I think I’ve done it to death, pardon the pun! Halloween Frog Trick ot Treat Bags
…. I’ve used up the last of the chocolate frogs I found in Marks and Spencer a while back, made the toppers using  my nestabilities label die, added a few foam frogs and wobbly eyes …… done!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Lonely Snowman Card

This card measures 15.5cm x 10.5cm and is made using white linen effect card.
Lonely Snowman Card
I just adore this (unmounted) stamp, but I have to admit I can’t remember where it came from. I bought it online from a shop that was closing down, I intended just to buy a gingerbread man stamp and ended up with this and a couple more in my basket!!!
I’ve kept things pretty simple because as you know by now stamping isn’t really my thing.
I’ve used Stampin’Up Dazzling Diamonds glitter on the snow and tiny blue metallic stars to add a bit of extra bling to the sky.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Simple Stamped Christmas Tree Card

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and is made using white linen effect card.
Stamped Christmas Tree Card 1
The stamp I’ve used for this card was free a couple of years ago with Craft Stamper magazine and has laid in my stamp drawer unused ever since …. until now!
Stamped Christmas Tree Card
I only intended to use Anita's 3D clear gloss finish on the trees,  but I was impatient and it ran all over the image, however I am pleased with the result as it looks like a little pottery plaque now. I’ve also used Stampin’Up Dazzling Diamonds glitter on the snow and tiny nail embellishments (from Poundland) on the trees.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Gingerbreadmen Mould

Lots of Gingerbreadmen moulds here on etsty

Gingerbread Men Christmas Card.

This card measures 14.5 cm x 10.5 cm and is made using white linen effect card.
Gingerbread Man Christmas Tree card
How cute is this????
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I’ve made fimo gingerbread man using the tiny mould I bought on etsy last year.
Gingerbread Man Christmas Tree Card 1
Placing and gluing them was quite tricky as they are so tiny.
Gingerbread Man Christmas Tree 1
But I just love it!

Brain Freeze - Any Ideas?

These chocolate casino chips were a bargain in Tesco a couple of weeks ago, there’s 400grams in a net (that’s almost a pound in weight in old money!), and they were on offer
Tesco Chocolate Casino Chips
But now I am a bit stuck …. my mind has gone blank …. has anyone got any ideas on how I can package them up, the sell by/use by date is so I have scope to use them well into the New Year …. one idea from follower Nellie Dean was “Are You Feeling Lucky?” which I am going to use but after that I ain’t got a clue!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisp Halloween Tokens

Elizabeth Mint Shaw Crips Halloween Trick or Treat
I’m not sure if I have done the whole Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisp thing to death ….. but people still ask about the punches in various forums so here I go again ….
Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisps
Nothing much to explain really … just punch out two of each shape to cover both sides of the mint, decorate and then attach to the mint using double sided tape.
To be honest, they do look cute but in terms of cost they can be dear, it really is worth hunting for offers in the run up to Christmas, at the moment they are in Tesco BOGOF for £3.50 until 24th October. This year I not putting mine in packs, I’m just putting them in a dish in the middle of our Halloween  table and by the door.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Halloween Trick or Treat Bags - Apple Bobbing Bon Bons

Mr Simms Apple Bon Bons
I really, really, really wanted to call these something really gross like snotballs but I didn’t want to offend anyone …. so in the end, finesse got the better of me and they will hence forward be known as Apple Bobbing Bon Bons! 
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I prefer to use wrapped sweets for my projects, but with these it was not possible so I have donned my pink plastic gloves so they remain untouched by human hands.
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I’ve used my Stampin’Up punches to make the tags and a few of this years Halloween stickers from Accessorize (£1.75)
The apple flavoured bon bons come from Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and cost 99p for 100grams.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Halloween Bath Bubbles

Call me sad, but I love to “work” a theme on special occasions and seeing  if I can carry it out throughout the house!
Halloween Bath Bubbles
So these are my Halloween bath bubbles … I have used old oil bottles found at a carboot sale for 20p (the lot) and filled them with different coloured bubble baths, which I have found tend to keep separate when put in the same bottle, especially if one is of a cream variety.  The colours that I have used are weaker than I would have liked, but the effect is quite pretty.
Halloween Bubble Bath
I’ve cut the labels out of self adhesive paper using a nestabilities label die and have handwritten the names. The finishing touches are made by wrapping coloured string round the top of the bottle with odd filmo beads attached and a few embellishments stuck on with a glue gun.
I think I am going to try this again at Christmas with red, green and white bubbles …. I

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Halloween Trick Or Treat Bags

Trick or Treat Bags Candy Sweets
I have put off and put off making my Halloween Trick or Treat bags for ages…. but I have finally gathered up enough bits and pieces together to get them done.
Halloween sweets candy
I’ve made full use of the offers in Tesco and the Co-op for nets of themed chocolate sweets priced at 2 for £3 and then made up the bulk using Black Jacks from Poundworld, 5 pks for £1 and the genuine packets Thornton's Rock (sell by date 2012) from Poundland and my favourite ….
Halloween Lolly
….. fruit flavoured skull lollies also from Poundland, with 25 lollies in a pack!  Halloweentastic!
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I’ve used a different Poundworld sticker on each tag so there is plenty to choose from.Halloween Tags 2
I’ve made half cute and cuddly for little ones, as I don’t want to be held responsible for nightmares and slightly creepier ones for older children and adults.