Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Half Term Trip To London To See Marc ….

I didn’t say anything before because I didn’t want people of a dubious nature to know that I was away from home….. but on Monday I went off to London to stay with Marc for a few days …… needless to say it was WONDERFUL …. and I didn’t really want to come home!!
scraves Portobello RoadI really, really needed to see Marc …..  last Sunday I was struggling with the the idea of continuing to blog as I hadn’t got any scheduled posts in the pipeline or any inspiration, it looked like the end of the road, BUT I knew if I talked to Marc he would give me a “right good” kicking up the posterior …..
Shoes Portobello Road…… which,  believe me,  he did ….. he told me that I had become very good at “doing a very good job of doing nothing!!!!!!! ” … which was so true!  When the Duke was with me I was getting up at 5.00 to work in the office, do a days work at school and then come home to get tea and then another hour or so of blogging or crafting…. and now,  all I have managed to do since Christmas of note was a big fat nothing ….. except for Tom and Laura’s wedding invitations, but in the “olden days” those would have been done weeks ago, boxed up and ready to send out!!!
Painting SketchBut now, thanks to Marc I am back on track ….. after my aforementioned telling off.  We talked non stop craft, watched quite a lot of Create and Craft, going yuck or ahhhh in turn at the various items,  perused the internet for ideas, and drank mahooooosive vodka and cokes from pint glasses and posh coffee   …… it was bliss!!!! 
193….. And when I got home ……. I immediately started work on the mahoooosive canvas that I had for Christmas, sketching it out at about eleven o’clock, within an hour of my getting home ….. mad or what?? As you can see I am going about it in a very hodge podge way, but then I haven’t really painted anything “proper” since I was at school ….. many, many moons ago!!!
my first paintingHowever,  I am back on track, there will still only be two posts a week on a Friday and Saturday, but there is a renewed spring in my scoring board ….. all thanks to Marc…… xxxxxxx

Friday, 22 February 2013

A Quick Set of Notelets

I’ve never,  ever got any notelets for a quick “Thank You” so decided I ought to get few done, “just in case”
made notelet setI decided to use a WS Design envelope template that I’ve had for years,  which makes envelopes that measure 13cms x 13cms…..
006…. and some A4 papers that I’ve also had for ages, left over from the days when I was brave enough to force my way through the crowds and trolleys at the NEC Hobbycrafts show!
envelope templateThe envelopes were cut out and scored in no time …… and glued down with just a smidge of glue.
patterned envelopes…..  I then decided to add a label, mat and layered in either gold or silver mirror card to the front of each envelope.
handmade noteletsThe notelets measure 12.5 x 12.5cms and are just simply card blanks covered with the same paper as the envelopes.  I will use a couple of narrow strips of double sided tape to seal the envelope when I eventually use them. 
I think WS Designs has since closed and no longer available but downloads of their templates are available for a small charge from Cut and Craft (below)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Very Simple Desk Calendar Idea

A couple more ideas today for using one of my Masking Sticker sets from WholePort
Picture Frame CalendarThe first is a desk calendar I have made for my craft room as I am hopeless with dates and can never find a diary when I need one, so I thought if I one like this,  I wouldn’t lose it  ….
Masking Sticker Set WholePort….. all I used was a Ikea picture frame (measuring 14cms x 9cms), the stickers and a couple of coats of clear varnish …. et voila!!
Shopping List I also covered the front of a small notebook to make a shopping list pad to keep in my bag … not sure about the idea really, it looks better in the flesh,  …. but something very simple that a child could easily make for Mother’s Day perhaps.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Most Beautiful Valentines Day Card In The World

I don’t think anyone will receive as lovely a Valentines card as this one ….. made by my brother, now 50, at his care unit for my mum.  As always we are under no illusion that he did much towards it, but we are sure that he would have sat at the table watching the staff put it together for him, twiddling with his jumper sleeve and perhaps humming ……..
SAMSUNG            ….. We can imagine the struggle they had, just to get him to put his hand flat on the table long enough for them to draw round it….. believe me they must have been quick!!!!!  He may even have had the paintbrush put in his hand for a matter of seconds before he flung it across the room …. leaving a painty trail behind …..
SAMSUNG….. but doesn’t really matter how much Stephen put into it, we all love it all the more because we know how devoted the staff are to him and how very much he is loved and cared for …. I cannot express how WONDERFUL these people are, words are just not enough, but on this Valentines Day I shall be thinking about them all at work and thanking them for every tiny little thing they do, not only for my brother, but for all the other adults in his unit, some who have much worse problems than he has and saying “THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE YOU GIVE SO EFFORTLESSLY EVERY SINGLE DAY FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS” ….. true unsung heroes … THANK YOU”

Saturday, 9 February 2013

A Review - Using Masking Sticker Set From WholePort

Genius at Work WholePortI thought I would do a little review and have a little play with one of the Masking Sticker Sets (ver. basic) I received in my first parcel of goodies from WholePort.  The first thing I noticed was just how put the packaging was!
WholePort masking Sticker Set.Masking ASticker Set ver. basic WholePort
Each pack contains 27 different patterned sheets, made up of self adhesive paper 7.5mm, 15mm strips and 13mm dots.  My second impression was that the students where I work would love these stickers to use as page markers, to accentuate key words or just to embellish their work.   I’ve used a few on one of my Smash Book pages to stick down a couple of tickets and as labels.
Smash Book I’ve used them along with my old faithful Dymo label maker to make these gift tags,
Masking Sticker Set Gift Tags WholePortSomething very simple but effective, especially if teamed up with a plain wrapping paper.
012I added just one strip on the back of the tags and would also be tempted, if giving a card with the gift, to add a few stripes to the envelope to carry the theme through.

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Revamping Of My Craft Room ….

My Craft Room has been the tattiest and most battered room in the house for quite some time, it was the children’s room when they were small and has undergone many changes over the years, to suit a variety of purposes,  including,  at one stage,  being painted wall to ceiling in navy blue!!my craftroomAnd when I moved in … it just got a cursory and very rough lick of magnolia, which was then hidden by a whole variety of display shelves and pin boards.
So before Christmas I finally decided that enough was enough and that I would have it “done” …. a proper paper and paint job, nothing fancy, just very practical.
In preparation for this momentous event,  I started clearing out like there was no tomorrow, I have been soooooo ruthless, but I am hoping that the local charity shops will be pleased with the mountain of bags, full of bits,  that I decided ….. I didn’t need anymore, will never use again or didn’t have a clue what to do with …… this will now be an on going task,  as my intention is to continue to gradually pare down the stuff I chose, for now, to keep …..
Revamped Craft Room….. because I could craft 24/7 for the next 50/100 years and would still have paper and packets of embellishments left unused!  In away, having so much had become a bit of a burden …..  but now I feel some of that burden has been lifted, if that makes sense?
New Look Craft RoomI have changed my work area round completely, so that I now work  in quite an enclosed and compact space, with everything I use on an almost daily basis like my computer, printers, cutters and the contents of six sets of drawers close at hand.
craft room work areaI have also been ruthless with all the stuff that was on the walls and, for the time being,  will keep them pretty bare, until I decide what will eventually go back. It’s very much a blank canvas, but I want to avoid it looking cluttered and bitty again and becoming a dust trap. I was given quite a few shadow/memory boxes for Christmas …. so I think I am now going to work on finding a few special pieces to put in them.
Craft Room.There are still a few bits to do,  like fitting a blind and a new brighter ceiling light, and this corner (above) ……  where the shelves containing all my "bit boxes” used to be ...……. I think the shelves will go back, even though I have managed to contain the boxes, since my “spring clean”  in the cupboards below. But the work surface and the cupboard doors need some sort of attention as I don’t want to replace them at the moment ….. so I am thinking about Decopatching them …. which will add a lot of colour and a bit more “me” to what is, admittedly,  at the moment a very bland room …… it’s just making the first move and sticking the first piece of Decopatch paper down!!!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Card With A Very Personal Touch!

This card is A5 in size.
Favourite Things cardf
I don’t take many “commissions” for cards because in the past I have found that people were getting more and more demanding on what they wanted on a card and they were just too much work, though I hasten to add, they are usually thrilled with the end result.
work in progress
When I agreed to do this card I didn’t quite expect the number of photos and “favourite” things sent via e-mail to be included to be quite so erm …. plentiful, but felt obliged to use them all …….. Just arranging them and putting them together on the computer (using both Publisher and CraftArtist Professional)  took over two hours ….. but there again I am a perfectionist and for me it had to look balanced.
Favourite things card
Once happy with the design I printed it off six times on thin card, so that I could put plenty of simple decoupage layers in for definition.   I covered the bottles with Ranger Glossy Accents and Australian map, and Stampin’Up Dazzling Diamonds round the penguins to add texture and a bit of bling,  and finally a few punched hearts to bring it all together. Not my sort of thing to be honest ….. but I think I hit all the right notes and got the tone right!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Nail Art Meets Poundland Paperweight

Polymer Clay Nail Art Paperweight WholePort. PaperweightThis idea was a total, total experiment …. I loved the polymer clay nail art fruit wheel WholePort sent me, the fruit “slices” were sooooo cute,  but I just couldn’t see a way of using them on a card etc. as they were so small ….
WholePort …… then I remembered the Poundland DIY paperweights I still have stashed away and wondered what would happen if I filled the bottom with Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss Finish and all the polymer clay shapes (except the strawberries)……half hoping that it might turn out looking like a Poundland version of a posh millefiori paperweight!!!!!
Polymer Clay Cane Paperweight WholePortIt took several hours to set and until the cloudiness had cleared I didn’t know if it would be a success or not.
WholePort Nail Art paperweightWell, it did go clear and it did harden …. and then I got to thinking again … what it I apply a coating of Hunkydory Diamond Sparkles ultra fine glitter to the back to sparkle between the gaps in the fruit ……???  I was so frightened I was just about to ruin an afternoons “fiddle farting” …..
Polymer Clay Cane nail art paperweight WholePortBut it worked, and I am so chuffed with the overall effect.  The paperweight set came with a self adhesive velvet backing so all the "gubbings" can't be seen so it looks like a proper expensive paperweight!  I am now wondering if I could try something similar with other small,  thin embellishments …. perhaps some stars on a dark blue background ……