Saturday, 31 December 2011

2012 Jar Lantern

It’s New Years Eve and I have a spooky sort of Derek Acorah type feeling it’s going to be quite a year!
2012 Jar Lantern 
And for my final post of 2011 I have made this lantern for my sister Jan who has been working so hard for many years towards being  part of the 2012 Olympics Games in London as a Games Maker.
 2012 New year Jar Lantern
She is going to be part of the "Swimming Team" at the Pool, Village and Swimming Training Centre and then followed by a stint at the Paralympics.  It has been made with love to show that her dream will burn brighter and brighter with each passing day until the time for her to shine is finally arrives!

Friday, 30 December 2011

For Auld Lang Syne – New Years Cards

I have never made New Years cards before, but with the ever growing popularity of the characters in my other blog Mum’s Monkey,  I needed something to send to a few of their top fans, and when one of those top fans sent them a Scottish outfit each, I knew exactly what to do!
New Years Card
The cards are A5 in size and the blank is made using white linen effect card. I’ve had the A4 tartan papers for years and have never really been inspired to use them, they have nearly been given away so many times, but I am so glad I kept hold of them as they are perfect for this project.
For Auld Lang Syne Card
I’ve mixed and matched them in a couple of cards, I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it has. A bit of mat and layering on silver and a bit of faux stitching …… it’s sporrans away!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Little Bird Calendar

With Christmas done and dusted I have turned my thoughts to making a few small calendars to give to friends as small New Years gifts.
Always have a song in your heart calendar
…. but I think this one is mine!  Very less is more, I’ve used a bird sticker from K & Co’s Poppy Seed Range and a branch using my Stampin’ Up bird punch, plus a few flowers.  I've attached a ribbon, but have also applied a few foam sticky pads on the back, as I think I will probably stick it to my computer at work.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Mermaid Peg Doll Calendar

Remember the peg doll mermaid I made back in the summer?  Well I didn’t want her to stay in the cupboard used, so I’ve put her on a calendar so that she can be with me all this year ……
Peg Mermaid Calendar
I love the crab … I got it along with a few lobsters from a seashell shop in Brixham while I was on holiday for 20p each.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Bit of Fun, A Bit About Me And A Bit About How I Blog ....

Writing up a post can either be a quick affair when it obvious what I have done or take ages when the devil is in the detail!.  
Duchess of Fiddle Fart 1
First I copy all the photos from my camera onto the computer, select the best, edit and crop them and finally name them (which makes them more easily accessible on a Google search etc.and help bring new people to the blog) .  I do all this using Microsoft Picture Manager.
Although I could write my posts directly into BLOGGER I don’t find it at all user friendly so I prefer use Window’s Live Writer
I am sorry but I cannot answer any technical questions about Live Writer and don’t pretend to understand it … but I’ve just learnt to use it through trial and error and I know it works for me.  I can position text and pictures far more easier than in Blogger. When I have finished editing a post  I just press the send button and it somehow miraculously appears in the drafts section of my blog, all I then need to do is schedule it! Live Writer also backs up all posts so if Blogger went down (and it sure has been playing up lately)  or I decide to change my blog provider I have all my posts saved.
Duchess of Fiddle Fart 3
The things that take time when writing a post are all the details, the size of a card, the name, maker, code, price of a paper/embellishment/material used, where a product came from, putting in links, etc etc. I try my best to include everything because  as sure as eggs is eggs someone will ask about the one thing I haven’t put in.
Duchess of Fiddle Fart 2
My sister is my proof reader, once a post is published she will text to tell me of any spelling mistakes/errors I have made.  I’m glad she does, because nothing annoys me more than seeing mistakes on other peoples blogs … it just looks shonky!
You may have noticed that on a lot of these pictures I have black smudges on my face and my make up looks decidedly dodgy ….. the truth is that I laughed so much while we were taking them, via a webcam, I couldn’t stop crying with laughter and was having serious trouble breathing, as a result my make up ran everywhere! It a miracle that any of these pictures actually catch me in vaguely serious light, oh my life!  You should see the ones I deleted.

Monday, 26 December 2011

A Bit of Fun, A Bit About Me And A Bit About How I Blog

I think most craft bloggers have a day or two off over Christmas, but I’m such a creature of habit,  I don’t like the thought of  an empty page on my blog, so I thought I might open up a little and tell you a bit about how I blog. DuchessofFiddleFart4_thumb2
I started “Fiddle Fart” on 20th August 2009 , after a few false starts, (though I had blogged Mum’s Monkey for a year or so before that, in fits and starts, for my own amusement). It was my old pal Craft Fairy Lisa who kept on nagging me to do something and in the end I relented and have been hooked ever since …. (I see my craft room was a lot neater back in 2009)
However, I soon discovered what a time consuming activity blogging  was and realised that I couldn’t keep it up a daily basis without being very organised and always one step ahead, so the greatest thing I ever got to grips with was the “scheduling” facility on Blogger, which I also use on Mum’s Monkey, although not so far ahead, as I have to keep their activities more current with the news, TV, special days etc. But for Fiddle Fart I always make sure I have at least a month of ideas in “the can”, allowing me time off for holidays, and crafters block etc.
I do most of my “making” at weekends and the school holidays, (a lot of my Christmas posts were done in August!).  Sometimes, when I am on a real roll, I can come up with 8/10 ideas in a day, so it’s not too hard to stay ahead.  Once scheduled I can jiggle the days for a post around, for example, I might have all my posts done for October, but then all the Halloween stuff arrives in the shops … so I’ll move some of the ideas I’ve scheduled to a later date in order to accommodate my Halloween ideas (if that makes sense). 
Some posts I have scheduled are always being moved about  …. mostly because I’m not that happy with them, I have some fiftieth birthday cards that have been moved constantly for about a year and have still not been published!

I photograph everything I make from all angles and then post the best.  Until about three months ago I used a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W310 which was very simple to use but unfortunately died on me in September and though Sony offered to repair it for me under guarantee, the cost was an awful lot more than I had actually paid for the camera, plus I had to pay up front for the repair and then invoice Sony, which I just couldn’t afford at the time,  it all seemed a lot of  trouble, for a camera that was already “dated”,  so I decided to bring out my old faithful Olympus FE-120 out of mothballs until Santa bought me something new.  (of that, more later) …… it may be old, but it has taken some cracking pictures since it has been out of retirement!


My big problem is taking good photos during  the dark winter nights and dull days in a craft room where the lighting isn’t wonderful, all my photos seem to take on a yellow tinge!   I would like a really good (photography) lamp/light, but at the moment I don’t have a clue what I am talking about or what I would need, so that’s on the back burner until I have done some more research.

The pictures of me are a just bit of festive fun … I wanted something to break up all the text and thought it would give you a good laugh to see how this mad woman looks when working on her ‘puter!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Saturday, 24 December 2011

It’s Christmas Eve ….

….. and I’m done crafting!  I started making stuff way back in June/July and after 80+ Christmas posts to quote Bugs Bunny “That’s All Folks!” for another year. To celebrate I have planned a small indulgence ….. and yes, for the eagled eyed amongst you ….. I do like to mix my normal Maltesers with packet of white ones!! Nom, nom, nom!
Christmas maltesers
If I were truthful I haven’t done everything I had hoped to …. like the Christmas tea light chandelier, made from a round cooling rack and baby food jars …..I just didn’t have the time …. and there were a lot of card ideas that again just didn’t get done ……
Thank you for all your cards and presents for me and those Monkeys, they all mean an awful lot and will be treasured for always xxxxx
I shall be taking tomorrow off, but over the next week I have some posts planned that you might like ……
Have a wonderful Christmas ….. with much love Helen xxxx

Friday, 23 December 2011

Sewn Christmas Card

This card measures 5ins x 5ins. I know it’s an awful photograph, but the main colours are quite a subtle green but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get a good shot.
Sewn Christmas Present Card
I’ve had the parcel embellishments for a couple of years, they are the leftovers from packs and this year, with my economy run, I am determined to finally use them all.   It’s very simple mat and layering, but instead of my usual faux stitching I’ve gone for the real thing!

Thursday, 22 December 2011


I hate to look rude and ungrateful but at the moment I am using a computer that takes an hour to do the simpliest thing and I've lost so much stuff lot including e-mail addresses .... so can I say Paula ... thank you so much for your parcel ... I haven't opened it, its under the tree and I am so sorry I haven't been able to e-mail you personally as yours is one of the addresses I have lost.
And another Thank You to Donna (again another address lost) for your card and beautiful christmas beading .... I just love them xxxx
What with my computer and dodgy camera I am blogging on a wing and a prayer .... but fingers crossed I will be able to show you some of the lovely cards I have recieved in the next day or so.

It’s Christmas ….. And I’m In A Frivolous Frame Of Mind …..

……at Chateau Fiddle Fart it’s a family tradition that we have new pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve ….
Primark reindeer pyjamas
…. well yesterday I popped into town to get mine …. (Primark £7)

I’m a bit gutted that me and my sister missed out on the reindeer jumper (also from Primark) …. however I think I have located a very similar pattern …. so guess what I’m planning on knitting sometime next year!!!

Christmas Teabag Card

Not a new idea, but this is the first time I have made my own Christmas “cup of tea” cards.
Christmas teabag
I’ve made the card using my Sizzix Gift Card Holder die and a strong double sided paper I found in Paperchase a couple of years ago. 
Christmas teabag 1
I think double sided paper is perfect for this idea. I’ve mat and layered the verse on silver and the patterned side of the paper.
Christmas teabag poem
And then just added a bit of faux stitching.
Sizzix Gift Holder - Xmas teabag
I couldn’t decide whether to embellish the front of the card, and in the end decided not, the pattern was enough,  less is more!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Guest Crafters Spot – My Brother Stephen - Bulbs, Soil and Baskets Akimbo

Is it the most beautiful Christmas hyacinths arrangement in the World?


As most of you know my brother Stephen is very profoundly handicapped and looked after by my 78 year old mum. He goes to a Day Centre and at special times like Christmas  he brings something home for my mum that he has madeNow we know that his only contribution was probably holding a bulb for a second or two before throwing it, but he sat at the table and watched while the staff put it together with/for him and of all the presents in the world ….. this is the best and most wonderful of them all!

Tasting Snowflakes Card

This card is A5 and is made using a fine white ribbed card.
Tasting Snowflakes 3
I can soooo remember doing this when I was little. The image I’ve used is a actually the letter M from a font from Two Peas In A Bucket by David Walker called Let It Snow.
Let It Snow Font tasting snow
I’ve blown it up to a huge font size and then saved it as a jpeg, so that I can insert it into various projects without all the fiddle fart!
Picture 155
(This picture was taken before the dimensional paint had dried)
I’ve coloured the image with Promarker pens and then added some snow effect dimensional paint to the bottom and a touch of Stampin’Up Dazzling Diamonds on the snowflakes. This is the sort of card I would love to get.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Baby’s First Christmas Card

I made a very similar card to this a couple of Christmas’s ago, but when an idea turns out so well, it’s always worth trying it again using slightly different colours/papers etc.
Picture 962
The papers are from a download called Little Joys by Zoe Pearn. I’ve certainly had my moneys worth, as I have used papers and elements from the set over and over again - but sadly no longer available. It’s the simplicity and cuteness of the snowman that I love.
Picture 964
I’ve added a simple decoupage layer for the snowmen’s scarves, small black Glitterati stickers for their eyes and mouth, and a bit of Anita’s 3D clear gloss finish (about £2.99) to add dimension to the buttons and noses.  The self adhesive letters are Forever Friends “Cosy Christmas” alphabet stock (FFS 803100) bought in a sale a while back.
Picture 968
As this was a special card, I have also decorated the front and inside of the envelope too.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Monkey Christmas Card 2011

Monkey Christmas Card
With the ever growing popularity of my other blog, Mum’s Monkey,  I now make Christmas cards for the “Boys” to send to their fans, who have been so kind to them throughout the year!  I haven’t been able to show this years card until now when they have all been sent out, as I didn’t want to spoil anyone’s surprise.  I must be mad!!  Mad enough to think about making a set of birthdays card to send out too!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

My Nativity Scene

Crib in a suitcase
I found this tiny old suitcase on a market stall a while back and just had to have it.  It was marked up at £3 but I haggled and got it for £2.  It has sat on my shelf doing nothing until my mum sent me a little nativity set ……perfect!

Alphabet Block Names

Building Block Names 1 
Remember the alphabet blocks I got for 50p at the village carnival in the summer?  Well I have finally used some of them.
Building Block Names
I went through them and made up a few names and a 2012 which I then glued together.  When they were dry I gave them three coats of paint to cover the other pictures that were on them and then went over them with a bit of sandpaper to shabby them up a bit.
Alphabet Block Names
I’m going to give them as silly presents on New Years Eve.
I have quite a few letters and numbers left over so I thought that if I see any more similar blocks at other carboots etc. I would buy them and see if I could do a bit of mix and match and make up a few more names, random words etc.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Patchwork Christmas Card

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and is made using white linen effect card.
Christmas patchwork Card
This card is such a mismatch of bits but I think it works.  I’ve cut 1.25in squares from three different scraps of paper and then doodled some faux stitching round each one.  All the chipboard shapes came from a parcel from my lovely follower Carly, so I don’t know what make they are, but they are so brilliant on a card like this.  I’ve added small, clear flat backed gems on the middle of the snowflakes and on the trees.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Red Gingham Christmas Tree Tags

Gingham Wooden Christmas Tree Tags
More wooden tags today made using children’s wooden dominoes found on e-bay.  I’ve added gingham Christmas trees from Craft for Christmas embellishments (Hobbycraft). 
Gingham Christmas Tree Tag
The red was a nightmare to match up, so in the end I decided to go for something completely different and have used a green spotty paper which works really well giving a modern, fresh look.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wooden Christmas Tags With Angels

Wooden gift tags today made using old children’s wooden dominoes found on e-bay.  I have covered over the domino pictures and have left the back blank except for tiny faux stitching round the edges so that a message can be added.
Wooden Christmas Tags with Angels
The background paper is gift wrap that I have had for years and never found quite the right project for.  The same goes for the angels, also bought several years ago, I've tried using them before on various cards etc. but nothing seemed to gel,  plus all the wings dropped off, which didn't help things!!  But now all 30 of the little blighters are used up and adorning Christmas parcels left right and centre ..... hooray!!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Santa Door Hangers/Signs

Christmas Santa Door Sign
This year I am having a crafty Christmas where I am really trying to use up all the Christmas bits I’ve had for a couple of years, money is tight and it seems daft to buy new stuff,  no matter how tempting, when I have a couple of boxes crammed with embellishments I haven’t used yet.
Darice Door hanger 1 andys nokia 546
So these festive door hangers are made using Darice wooden blanks squirreled away for ages …….
Christmasd Door hangers Santa Door hanger
……. plus some large printed, self adhesive fabric type stickers from Poundworld. I’ve used a denim effect paper for the sky on which I have added faux stitching and snowflakes using a white gel pen.
Santa Door hanger 2
I don’t think either of them took me more than 20 minutes to make … they are destined to grace my festive bedroom door knobs on Christmas Eve, so Santa knows where to leave our presents!!!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Marc's Guest Spot ......

Picture 001
On Saturday the postman bought me two wondrous parcels from Marc ….  one I am forbidden to open until Christmas Day and it’s now hidden at the bottom of my wardrobe emitting wonderful lavender smells, the other was full of crafty stuff, it was like Pandora's Box  (but more of that in a later post in the New Year ….)
Picture 005
But I was allowed  to open the box that my Christmas card was in,  just how beautiful is it?  I admit I went all unnecessary and had to blow my nose several times ... to maintain a certain level of dignity!
Picture 004
It’s more than a card, its a labour of love……. …. and after Christmas I shall have it framed so it will be with me everyday on my desk at work.
I can’t believe the detail ….. the papers, the lace and the beautiful, beautiful handmade pins …….
Picture 007
...... and I thought I was the Queen of the Flat Backed Gem but Marc has positively usurped me!
Picture 013
Even the inside is exquisite, but the silly whatsit wouldn’t write inside it because he says his writing is pants!  What is he like …..?  Thank you Marc, I adore it xxxxx