Monday, 30 September 2013

Viva Las Vegas …… A Trip To Walmart ….. Of All Places!!!

Fortuitously,  the retail park where I went to Michaels also had a Walmart and a 99c Store ….. but as I said in my last post is was sooooooooo hot just walking across the car park was a major effort ….. and believe me,  I can pick up speed when I spot a shop I want to go in …. but on this occasion, I really had to pace myself via Raising Canes for Chicken Fingers, as recommended by our taxi driver, to get to Walmart!!! 
An odd place perhaps to have on a Bucket List for Las Vegas …. but Lucy and I wanted to do something “ordinary” …… and on “The Strip” in Las Vegas nothing is ordinary!  We wanted to find and try some of the snacks etc. we’d seen in films and on the tele, because we could!!! All I can say is OMG ……but, in the end we put very little in our trolley, we just walked round mouths agape ….. the choice and range of everything was just too much to take in!! 
Craft wise, my interest was primarily in the confectionary, with sweetie bags in mind ….. and yes, I found some Rainbow Twizzlers …..
…… but no ideas, yet as, on how to use them. A 12.4 oz. pack only cost £1.17,  as opposed to silly money in UK. It would have been nice to have bought a few more packs, but they were heavy and weight was always on my mind when buying anything, especially as I had already paid for extra weight in both England and in Las Vegas and still went over …. but the lovely lady at Las Vegas airport erm ….. overlooked it! 
Looking back through my photos I didn’t take that many pictures for this blog ….. Lucy and I were too busy ohhhing and ahhhhing, but there are a few more over on Mum’s Monkey!
The one thing I couldn’t get over was the extraordinary range of Duck Tape, OMG …. I was so tempted to buy some, but Duck Tape craft was/is a mystery to me. I have since spoken to Marc ….. and now wish I had taken the risk, even if I just used it to jazz up parcels …. at £2.11 a roll it should have been a no brainer.
……. With the weight issue always on my mind …. I did take a few pictures during our trip of the objects of desire that I had to reluctantly leave behind …
Like this candle holder ……. £4.92!!!  So me, but it ran the risk of being smashed to smithereens if put in my case!
My favourite purchase from Walmart?  A mahooooooosive bag of the biggest, sweetest,  most gorgeous cherries (my fruit of choice), I have ever tasted in my life …… eaten on my bed while watching Hoarders, late into the night  …… such a guilty, guilty pleasure!!

Monday, 23 September 2013

OMG ….. My Jewelled Boudoir Mirrors Finally Finished ….. Nine And A Bit Months On!

Warning:- some of the photos in this post contain great globules of drying glue, such was my rush to get everything written up!!!
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled
I can’t believe that I started my pair of “Boudoir Mirrors” back on January 4th this year, my longest running project, ever ….. putting them on What’s On My Desk Wednesday last week certainly gave me the kick up the backside I needed. I only challenged myself to finish one ….. but in the end I finished both!!!
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 1
This is how they started out, measuring 35ins x 12ins with a frame of just 1/2” wide, bought from a “bargain discount” shop in Wolverhampton for £3.99 each.
Using E6000 glue I attached two old wall sconces that I’d had either side of my bed for years,  but had grown tired of ….. I wasn’t sure if it would work and wasn’t sure either about the colour of the glass tea light holders, but once stuck on, there was no turning back.
Progress was very slow, I had a few bits and pieces left over from other mirrors I had made for Christmas presents, but when Primark went and completely changed their style of jewellery, my source of cheap, large, jewelled or enamelled flower bracelets, necklaces and earrings to disassemble disappeared and I allowed myself to be temporarily scuppered!
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 2Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 3
Then Marc helped me out with a huge pile of flat backed gems and other bits and pieces ….. and I managed to source some large flat backed flower gems  and metal flower embellishments on e-bay.
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 5Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 6
I also asked WholePort for a variety of plastic/resin cabochons and fimo flowers to try, but was fearful that with a more diverse range of materials, some of the effect could be lost or the overall look would just look tacky. At this stage, after more hopeful but fruitless trips to Primark,  both in Wolverhampton and London my enthusiasm waned ……. until last Wednesday, when looking at the half done mirrors finally got on my nerves …….
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 7Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 10
On Friday night I started and finished the first one …. I had had a rubbish day at work and needed something to take my mind of it.  In all I think it took about three hours to fill all the gaps in. 
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 8Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 11
And then on Saturday morning I got up at about 7.00am and started on the other one, which didn’t seem to take as long, as I didn’t need to experiment quite as much in finding where things would fit.  The mirrors are not identical, but follow a similar pattern ……. and all the garish plastic/resin that I wasn’t sure about because they broke my rules about mixing materials actually worked!!!!
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 13Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 9
It seemed to take an absolute age before all the great globules of the various types of glue I had used had set and it took almost as long to remove all the straggly bits and blobs and smudges before I could finally hang the mirrors in situ, complete with tea light holders.  Now my “boudoir” is finally complete, tastefully over the top and “me”!!!  I am not discounting adding a few more bits to them if/when Primark get their act together again ….. but for now I am absolutely THRILLED with how they have turned out despite my original doubts.
Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 14Jewelled Mirrors Upcycled 15
Last time I was down in London in August, London Lounging with Marc (of that more in a future post) he suggested incorporating a set of small battery operated LED lights into this sort of mirror ……. hmmmmmm, now where can I find another suitable set?  Will I ever learn?

Can’t believe that I left the Windolene visible at the end of my bed in a couple of these photos !!! Aghhhhh!!!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Las Vegas - One Thing Ticked Off My Bucket List – A Trip To Michaels

About 2 years ago now my very special “Blog Friend” Dianne in Florida sent me an amazing parcel containing lots of WONDERFUL bits and pieces from Michael’s AND a black Michaels shopper ……
I kept that shopper in a very special place ….. dreaming that one day I would actually be able to use it in “real life” on a shopping trip to a branch of Michaels, but in my heart of hearts, to be honest,  I never thought I would.
But as you know,  life has a nasty habit of biting you on the bum ….. and turning your world upside down …… but last September I decided that I had to keep Andy’s promise to Lu to go to Las Vegas for her 30th birthday, a year early, because life is now too short to wait,  on the proviso that there was a trip to Michaels and a Dollar Store on the itinerary!!!!  Let’s just say she didn’t put up a fight!
So,  on our fourth day in Vegas,  we booked a taxi, a day when the heat was just unbelievable …… just taking a few steps was exhausting and almost unbearable, like nothing we had ever experienced before …… and we thanked goodness for air con every time we entered a shop/hotel/building. ….. but I digress ……
I adored all the Industrial Chic jewellery findings (above) ….. but being “newly” sensible, just bought one glass locket!
Where do I start …….  except to say OMG!!  It could have been soooooooo easy to get carried away  ……., I got a trolley, but knew I had to be mahoooosively restrained, although Lu did helpfully suggest that if I did make too many considered purchases to fit in my suitcase,  I could always post a few parcels  back home !!!
My reasoning for buying anything was that I would only buy things I hadn't seen before and would probably not see in the UK or were silly money (too expensive for me) in the UK. They also had to be things that I could already envisage using on a project, that they were value for money if I was using them on things to sell (cards/sweetie bags etc.), and naturally, because I loved them!   BUT IT WAS SO, SO HARD, especially when comparing what you’d have to pay in UK compared to the US and where the ranges, like Smash Book were what we can only dream off at home!
It was only the beginning of August …. but Michaels already had their Halloween stuff out, aisles and aisles of it  ………… OMG …. I could have bought soooooooo much ….. but I reined in my passion and only bought two reels of spider and spider web ribbon, a pack of felt spider sticker and some skull cameos embellishments.  I can hardly look at the pictures above now for fear of being reminded of some of the other wonderful bits and pieces I left behind, things that we just don’t see here, and now have ideas for.
I must have been in the shop for over two hours (poor Lucy). I would say that I spent the longest time in the paper and embellishments/sticker aisles …..
…….. there were so many, many beautiful Jolees stickers, the stickers I cut my crafting teeth on all those years ago  …..but I had to be sensible …… and from the Christmas section I only purchased “all” the small penguin embellishments they had,  that you can just about see in the picture, working out that I could get 12 cards from each pack and that I could make the cutest cards with.
In all,  I spent about £86 ….. which was enough,  but doesn't look at lot when all laid out!!
911I mainly bought embellishments ….. which included a lot of birds ….. the black metal ones in particular (above right and below left)…… were a “must have”, as were the Jolees crows in cages (above right) which were a steal for 99c (65p) a pack.
I treated myself to some Martha Stewart air dry clay and one of her moulds (the one with the small bird) after seeing them on Create and Craft for silly money and were one of the few things I purposely looked for.
My one HUGE indulgence was a large, black glittered crow from the Halloween decor range, (sorry, no picture) which now sits on my desk at work  ….. and has been much admired …… as he is very beautiful!
There were a few things I sadly had to leave behind, which I would have bought in bulk if I’d seen them in UK  ….. like these jars ….. I wanted them sooooooo much!  You all know I have a huge thing for jars …. and the jar aisles in Michaels, yes they have long aisles just for jars, ….. OMG ….. I could only bear to go down them once ….. as I knew I couldn’t buy any of them and that was just too painful!!!
And now I am home …… all my swag is put away safe in a separate "My Las Vegas box" ….

Monday, 9 September 2013

My First Card For Christmas 2013 ….. Noel

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and used a hand cut blank made from Kraft card, mat and layered on dark blue.
Kraft Christmas Card
Woo hoo hoo, my first card for Christmas 2013, done way back in April!
It’s very plain in a typical FiddleFart less is more sort of way! The letters used came from a game bought at the village Easter Fair for just 50p, I just cannot resist the opportunity to buy a set of cheap letters to put away until the right project comes along.Once I had got the letters centred and balanced, all that was needed was to add a few punched snowflakes with pale blue flat backed gems and a layer of Ranger Glossy Accents to lift the letters and add dimension and texture to the overall effect.
Kraft Christmas Card.1
Looking at it now, although I was aiming for a “shabby chic” effect, I wonder if it’s just a little too austere?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Christmas Badges

Ok, ok,  …. so I have started Christmas already!  In the past I have done projects way before time when the mood and/or inspiration took me but then scheduled them for Sept/Oct onwards, but this year I’m just going to publish them,  as I do them, it’s much easier for me that way, and if you are anything like me, you are probably already on the prowl looking for new ideas anyway!
Christmas Badges
So, this is a badge I made using my “Bandai Badge-It”,  in it’s packaging.  I think if you are selling handmade items at Fayres etc. in the run up to Christmas, how they are presented makes all the difference.  It might take a little more time, but a packaged item, like this badge,  seems to attract more attention when it’s “all dolled up” rather than just “thrown” into a box with a lot of others. It looks a little more professional and helps people look at it as small gift they could give … especially as you have sort of done half the gift wrapping/presentation for them already!
Christmas Badges.1
I started by stamping a few snowmen on a sheet of paper using an Anita’s snowman stamp, (sorry there is no serial number), and then created a little scene of snow and sky around them,  but within the boundaries of the Badge-It template, colouring it in and then adding a little Hunkydory Diamond Sparkles micro glitter.
Christmas Badges.2
After cutting a snowman circle out,  I put it through the Badge-It to create a badge, I know it’s “a toy” but I think it’s brilliant, as I must have told you a hundred times by now!
Christmas Badges.3
All I then needed to do was make the card to attach the badge to, using a bit of “fiddlefart” writing and faux stitching and a small self adhesive foam pad to keep the badge in place,  before popping it all in a small cello bag …..
Christmas Badges.4
…….. done and dusted and simples!