Thursday, 31 October 2013

Lisa’s Halloween Mojo Challenge Part 3

I think I have done justice to Lisa’s Halloween Mojo Challenge pack …….
download (9)Three tags today …. using Sizzix pumpkins, bats and spiders plus papers, ric rac braid and a button and a few bits from my box of tricks  There are still a few bits and pieces left to use …. so hopefully, give me a day or two there may be yet another post!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

What’s On My Desk Wednesday

What’s on my desk this Wednesday? Just a couple of bits of festive frippery…..
Poundland Noel decoration Christmas DecorationA rough and ready Christmas decoration from Poundland ….. but I reckon with a dab of gloss paint round the bottom and some fiddle farting on the letters, (not sure if they will actually need totally recovering)  and it could be miraculously transformed …… I also have a sort of feeling that I will wish I had bought a couple more!
Primark Gift Tags….. And a pack of 24 “luxury” gift tags from Primark (£1) …… you can’t buy 4 card toppers for that!
Primark Christmas Gift TagsThey are incredibly sweet and I don’t think it will take much other that a little mat and layering, and a few bits of bling to turn them into some equally sweet cards.  So watch this space! 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween Trick Or Treat Mints

Same old …. same old I am afraid, just different stickers!!!
Halloween Trick or Treat mints.This years stickers come from Hobbycraft, what I love about them is they are round and the perfect size for using with my Stampin’Up scallop punch, so no mat and layering, and some have wobbly eyes!!!
Hobbycraft Halloween Stickers Halloween Mints
For the front of the mints  all I had to do was punch out a few scalloped circles, plonk on a sticker and add a bit of doodling.Hobbycraft Halloween Stickers.The backs were made just the same but instead of the sticker I added a plain circle to the centre using my 1 3/8  Stampin’ Up punch with a bit of handwriting and more doodles round the edges.
009I then put a little double sided tape on the back of each stickered and written circle with the mint sandwiched in the middle.
Elizabeth Shaw Mints Halloween Trick or Treat
Cute and Spooky!
Elizabeth Shaw Trick or Treat Mints Hobbycraft also have Christmas stickers in the same style as these Halloween ones, which are incredibly cute.  Needless to say, I also bought a couple of packets and will be making a few small boxes of this style of mint to give to friends for their “after dinner mints” on Christmas Day.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Ikea and 99c Only Store Makeover - Glass Cake Stand and Stemmed Dish

I have waited a long time to do this post! 
Recycled Ikea plate standWhen I was in Las Vegas last summer I was able to tick off one of the (sad) things on my bucket list by visiting a Dollar Store ………
Picture31…… well, I didn’t quite manage a Dollar Store ….. but  a 99c Only Store was just as brilliant!!!
99c storeWell, Lucy thought I was mad when I bought these two glass candlesticks, but at 61p each they were to good to leave behind, and believe me I had to leave so much behind because of weight and luggage space! 
las vegas scrapbookIn my mind I already knew what I wanted to do with them, but I had to wait until a recent trip to Ikea to complete it.
99c store candlesticksThe candlesticks were fairly light, so I wanted a light glass plate and bowl to go with them, I’d looked in charity shops but nothing I saw was quite right …. then I found this Frodig bowl and side plate in Ikea for just £1.50 each.  Well, it was a done deal!
ikea glass platesAll I needed was some E600 glue, as recommended by Marc, because it sticks like glue to absolutely anything!!!
ikea plate standI am so pleased with the finished results  …. they are light and delicate …. made for just £2.11 each and a couple of dabs of glue, perfect for one of my exclusive soirees……..
ikea plate stand recycled
……. and exactly what I had in mind, all those thousands of miles from home in the most unbelievable heat!!
fiddle faddleOne regret of my visit? I wish I had bought a box of this popcorn, instead of just taking a photo of it!!!
However,  I have just found the 99c Only Store blog, which is well worth a look for some very ingenious craft ideas -

Playing With Marc’s Melting Pot and Utee.

I have been sooooooo slow at getting things blogged recently,  I stayed with Marc back in August and only now am I showing you what we got up to, how rude!
Firstly …… Marc introduced me to the art of cooking chicken in the “London Style”, you can imagine all childish giggling that ensued,  especially when I asked innocently how/where I should insert the onion (for flavour) and the accompanying stuffing, after giving it a good buttery massage, while being closely scrutinised by Marc …….. we are sooooo bad together!  And then, naturally I had to introduce Marc to drinking vodka and coke Las Vegas style ……. Picture42
I digress …… so,  back in August we decided to get Marc’s Melting Pot out, something I have always been curious about,  but never quite managed to get in my online shopping basket …..
Ranger Melting Pot 1Ranger Melting Pot
We both wanted to experiment with using it with coloured UTEE to faux solder  simple microscope slides decorations, especially as Marc had every colour under the sun to colour the UTEE, that’s so Marc!!!!
The idea was to sandwich a piece of decorative paper between two microscope slides and then dip each side into the UTEE to create a faux solder all the way round.
However, Marc and I are both very good at getting distracted by other things along the way and going off on tangents, we  are also TOTALLY undisciplined when it comes to getting things out when we are crafting ….. and before we knew it Marc’s lounge was covered with all the things he wanted to show me and that we oooowed and ahhhed over as only crafters do!!!!
There was stuff everywhere!!!! 
I was very impressed at our very first attempts , the UTEE was easy to use and the effect pleasingly “rough/rustic” …..
Picture52…… with more practice I know I could improve my “technique”. Once the “solder”  was set (almost instantly),  I fiddlefarted with embellishing the glass and wrapping coloured wire round the slides …. all very amateur …but this really was “playing on the hoof”, with both of us firing ideas at each other, ten to the dozen.
Since I have come home Marc and I have talked/planned a lot about what we want to try next time with Marc’s Melt Pot. I especially want to try making UTEE cubes that contain little treasures using an ice cube tray ….. so I think my suitcase will be full of purposeful bits and pieces now that I have a clearer idea about what I can do with UTEE, rather than clothes ….. but since we spend most of our time lounging in our pyjamas anyway …… I don’t think I will miss them!
And now,  going off on a tangent ….these are just a few of the decorative pins Marc has made, they are soooooo beautiful, and each one different ….. I have a few that I keep on my treasure shelf in my dining room in little bottles …… I love them so much.
And this is a card that Marc ‘just’ knocked up on his first attempt of using his new Karen Burniston  Sizzix Album, Accordion Flip 3-D die  Item # 658035.  Marc is very into his 3D and pop up dies/cards.  I am afraid they are a little beyond me ….. and too much work, all those sides to fill!!!!!!! I tell Marc that his need to construct is a “man thing”!!!
Oh, and how was the chicken?  …….. Nom, nom, nom …… although Marc didn’t actually have any as he is a veggie!!!  Happy, happy days!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

What’s On My Wall Wednesday

CanvasLast Wednesday my paints were on my desk, after asking the equally Lovely Denise, (The Lovely Laura’s mum) if she would consider swapping one of my “paintings” for some en-trend and de rigueur crochet cushion covers!  Well, they were making me feel a little nervous and a touch panicky, I hate leaving things to the last minute, and although I had a December deadline in my head for completion, I knew I would feel much better if it was  done sooner rather than later and my side of the deal/promise kept.  So on Saturday amid much trepidation I got started!
The first thing I did was look for a bit of inspiration, in my head I had English country garden, but then ….. I got very side tracked when I found some paintings/prints by Heather Galler ….. oh my, I just love her style!
This painting lark is all so new to me and I think I may have cheated,  because I noticed on my very first canvas, now hanging in the dining room that all my flowers were a little squiffy and on the lopsided side, so I decided to use templates,  well, a pile of plates and cups and containers to get my circles round!!!!
templates for my pictureAnother new addition in this picture was going to be a few birds ….. but I cheated again and made another template!!!  I guess I just paint like a crafter and old habits die hard!!
leaves painted Once all the basics were sketched out I began to fill in, starting with the leaves, and then adding one colour at a time. 
My picture.And this is when I started getting panicky again ….. I do love a black outline, I tried to resist but I couldn’t ……. it just confirms what I see in my mind’s eye, a couple of outlines and I am happy to see that I am going in the right direction. This is only my third canvas ….. it measures 46ins x 35ins, so obviously I like to work big!!!  However, I am now going to resist any further outlining until the canvas is completely painted (famous last words I know) because I want to keep them crisp.  On my first canvas I added the details in layers of colour and that sort of diluted the lines until they look quite grey and not fresh as I would have liked.
I am also not sure that acrylics really are the way to go for me either  …….but there again I don’t really have a clue about paint in the first place.  I don’t find that they layer quite as well as I would like (I want to mat and layer in my painting!)  …. I really am the blind, leading the blind …. so if anyone has any tips.
Anyway it’s all a great experiment, and I will see how I go, so watch this space!!!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Halloween Brew 2013

Oh my life I never thought I would ever get back my enthusiasm to make my Halloween brew again.  I lost all my files when my computer “died", so last Halloween I didn’t have the heart to “redo” them ….. but there is something about seeing all the Halloween bits and pieces in the shops that just nags at me to do something …..  So Ta Dah …… FiddleFart Halloween Brew 2013!
Halloween Brew.Inside each packet I have put in a sachet of hot chocolate,(Maltesers or Galaxy – 99p for a pack of 5  from Home Bargain etc.) some mini marshmallows (Home Bargains 79p or Poundland £1) which I have then divided into small cello pretzel bags and sealed with my Elitech vacuum bag sealer, two skull lollipops from a huge bag from Poundland (23 at least)  and a couple of plastic spiders left over from my sweetie bags.
Halloween BrewI have put together a poem, not a brilliant one I know   ….. but it goes with the contents I have put in the packs, namely the skull lollipops as stirrers and as far as I am concerned I am free to give my poem away to anyone who wishes to use it, as it came out of my head …… so copy away …. 
soupI am also free to offer you a download of the PDF file of the sheet of four cards to put in your packs as the doodled spiders and webs are also mine! I have left the bottom part of the card blank so that you can decorate it yourself with stickers etc. as I have done.  The font used is Chiller.
The cards were designed to fit a cello bag approx. 9cm wide  x 22cm long  (not including the fold over), however, if your bags are a little bigger you could do a little creative mat and layering to make them fit!  I sealed the completed packs with my sealer, which also cuts the excess cello bag off, but a transparent cell would work just as well.
Halloween Brew. skull lollyOnce downloaded the file can be printed on any colour card/paper – and embellished as you wish.
I bought my Elitech vacuum sealer several years ago, but don’t really feel qualified to offer any advice on buying one ….but if you are thinking about it  for crafting, have a look on e-bay or Amazon …. I think I would expect to pay anything up to about £40 perhaps – anything under £20 would be a bargain!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Two Graduation Cards

As you know my Lucy graduated a couple of weeks ago amidst much pride, she not only got a First Class degree but also two special awards for her work and disertation, which she was told was a unique achievement in her department, all that while watching out for her dear old mum!!!
Graduation CardSo naturally, a time for making celebratory cards. My card which measures 5ins x 5ins using ahand cut blank of white linen effect card was made using a pack of Jolees embellishments that I got in Michaels (in Las Vegas!!!!! ), …. that I bought especially with Lucy’s graduation in mind, so a bit of a cheat really.  The paper used for the background was chosen to reflect Lucy’s degree in Accountancy, but looking at the picture now I can see that I have used it the wrong way round …… doh, talk about lack of attention to detail, I should be so ashamed!!
Graduation Card
No cheating at all with this second card was made by the Equally Lovely Denise, the Lovely Laura’s mum (my new daughter in law!)  A very clever design that I plan to remember and copy in the future.  I always struggle with mortar boards, such a weird shape ….. I had never thought of a square with a tassel ….. yet another doh on my behalf, I really am rusty these days! 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Gingham Santa Cards

These cards measure 9.5cm x 9.5cm and are made using a hand cut white linen effect card blank.
gingham sticker cardI am not at all sure about these cards!  I really don’t like the green gingham or the red for that matter!! In fact they are really YUK!!!
red gingham santa sticker cardI’ve used stickers from The 99p Store that I got last year, but they just aint right!!!  Perhaps it’s because they have no dimension and have a peel off look to them!  Anyway I think they will be well and truly consigned to the “only use in an emergency box”!!!!
gingham santa sticker tagsHowever,  I am much happier with the tags …. perhaps it’s because tags don’t need that much dimension and the kraft card and bakers/butchers string add a Christmassy feel.
Kraft gingham sants tags I’d got some bits and pieces left over that didn’t quite suit the front of the tags, but were perfect for the back! Done and dusted!