Thursday, 27 February 2014

Christmas Cards for 2014 – Snowflake Card Using A Primark Gift Tag.

The hand cut card blank for this card measures 5ins x 5ins and is made using a light brown, ribbed effect Kraft cardstock.Primark Gift Tags. Christmas snowflake cardThe topper for this card are made using the snowflake design from this “luxury” pack of 24 gift tags (£1) from the Primark 2013 Christmas range. All I have done is cut the front off the tag and then mat and layered it on a complimentary red and white patterned paper, and scraps of Kraft and mirror card. There is a very slight 3D element to the topper which adds just a touch of extra dimension to the card.
Primark Christmas Gift Tags_thumb[5]I have also layered using a Spellbinders scalloped edged square, which I have then embellished with small red flat backed gems, as I have the snowflake.
Toppers can cost so much, which is why looking for interesting 3D gift tags is a no brainer, 24 toppers for £1, brilliant, especially when crafting on a budget!!

Monday, 24 February 2014

More Pages From My Las Vegas Scrapbook ……… My trip To Michaels and Walmart ……

Once more, I am going to try and let the pages from my Las Vegas scrapbook/journal do most of the talking ……
Las Vegas scrapbook a
However, now, reading the pages back, I can see that when I put these pages together I must have been very heavily under the influence of the rather generous Las Vegas cocktails I was swiftly becoming accustomed to, judging by my spelling and poor sentence construction!!!!!!!!! Please forgive me …. I just hope you can make some sense of what I was trying to say …….
Las Vegas scrapbook 1
A couple of years ago I made friends via my “Mums Monkey” blog with Dianne, who lives in Florida,  and never fails to leave a comment each day and who I and “The Boys” love very much, even though we have never met!  Well, not yet!!!!!!!! 
Las Vegas scrapbook.
Anyway, I told Dianne of my dream of one day going to a Michael’s, but never ever believed I actually would, and with each parcel she sent a Michaels bag was always included.……
…….. and I kept them all safe, promising her that one day, if ever I got there, I would stand outside Michaels holding the very first bag she sent me aloft ……. as I did above!
Picture1
From Michaels, we had a little lunch in a chicken place as recommended by our taxi driver …..and then on to Walmarts …… oh my life …….. so many objects of desire ….. but so little room in my suitcase!
Las Vegas scrapbook 2
And finally, to a 99c Only Store, and another tick on my bucket list! I’ll be honest, by the time we got there, we were totally wiped out, never before have I been sooooooooooo hot, normally I’d have bounded across the retail park from store to store full of excitement and expectation ……
Las Vegas scrapbook
…..but the heat just sapped the strength out of you in a way I never expected. But I have memories that I will remember forever …… it was all so wonderful, I had to pinch myself so many times to actually believe I was there!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Ranger Melting Pot ….. Just Playing

The one thing that I noticed almost straight away when I started “playing” with my Melting Pot was how brittle the pieces I made were, if I dropped them, they invariably ended up in bits on the floor, which wasn’t that brilliant, especially as I had it in mind to make Christmas tree decorations, tags and perhaps some pendants, and for that, they needed to be a little more robust.
ranger Melt Pot
So, then I did me some research and “discovered” UTEE F-L-E-X, a resilient resin that makes Ultra Utee more durable and stronger.  Wooo hoooo,  I thought, I’ll get me and Marc some of that ……. only to discover, when I tried to buy it, that it had been discontinued!!!!! Aghhhhhh 
ranger Melt Pot 2
More research followed …. and I stumbled across a couple of links that suggested adding a small section of a glue stick to your Utee when you are melting it  ….. well,  it would have been rude not to try, wouldn’t it?
And would you believe it, it worked!  In fact I found the Utee a little easier to pour as well.
ranger Melt Pot 3ranger Melt Pot 4
I poured the melted Utee and glue stick mix onto my heat resistant mat and then “cut” into it with a plastic cutter (another experiment, which also worked, as I thought you could only use metal cutters with hot Utee)
ranger Melt Pot 5
When cool the star and the blob (above) had a degree of flexibity that Utee alone doesn’t have,  and then …. I threw both on the floor with a little force, and both survived! And when I deliberately tried to snap the “blob”, it certainly felt more resistant, although it did break eventually.  So from here on in, I think it’s just a matter of more experimenting with how much glue stick to add for maximum strength and flexibility.
ranger Melt Pot 6
I also tried stamping into the Utee ….. not so successful ….. but only because I pressed down far too hard!!!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Christmas 2014 – A Marriage Of Two Tags

I liked the idea of both these tags found on Google, but wondered if I could marry the two ideas, I love holly and I love using Dymo tape on projects ….. but couldn’t decide which I liked best!!!
Holly TagsChristmas Tag using Dymo Tape
And this is what I came up with …. I cut the Kraft card tags so that they  measured approximately 10cm x 5cm, setting a green eyelet round the punched hole to make them look just that little bit more “professional”.
Kraft Christmas tags with holly and dymo tapeI then added the Dymo Tape sentiments, two Kaisercraft die cut embellishments, a few red, flat backed gems and some white gel pen lines and dots to finish the whole effect.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Scratting About In Skips!

I can’t resist a crafty look in the odd skip or bin when I see one, so when I saw the bins at work overflowing, well,  it would have been rude not to have a mooch wouldn’t it……?
tins of mystery….. and I so glad I did! When I first saw these tins I thought “Well they’re coming home with me ….. in all their shabby chic, retro glory” ….. and then I shook them ….. there was something inside ….
vintage pen nibs…… Oh Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu, they contained hundreds and hundreds of pen nibs …. the handwritten stickers on the tins corresponding to the size of the nibs in the tin!
vintage pen nibs.I know pen nibs are big with Tim Holtz at the moment ….. and I know these don’t have fancy words embossed on them ….. but they are manner from heaven for altered art etc. I just can’t believe they were chucked ….
science flasksI also rescued these two flasks, they were completely covered in paint, but after a week in my dishwasher they are now completely clean …… I have always loved scientific bottles, flasks and test tubes since way before they became trendy, the glass is always so delicate and thin, and the shapes oooooo, don’t get me started! I am now thinking that this pair will look very lovely filled with small bath beads on my new glass shelves in my new boudoir bathroom, when it is done.
It would have been nice to have found a pile of wooden rulers, also very on trend at the moment, but I did however find a lone scientific measuring stick thingy ….. which I am sure will come in useful for a project in the future …… but,  leaving the best till last …… this was what was left outside in yard for a couple of weeks …….
rescued deskold table with drawers
IT’S beautiful! It used to be in the site supervisors office for years and is now surplus to requirements ….. but there was no way I could leave it …. so my name was put on it until it was “decommissioned”.  It needs a bit of tender loving care, but nothing major I don’t think ….. and I am just going to have to find a space for it, either in my kitchen or craft room ….. I need to have a think!! But a very, very happy day mooching!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tin Can Planters

This month I have been mainly collecting giant baked bean cans!
Tin can planters
The school kitchen must get through umpteen of these giant tin cans every week and after I had been talking to Marc about my plans for the bottom of my garden, I suddenly thought of all the cans that were being thrown away, when I could use them as planters, like the picture below:-
Tin can planters. 1
I could paint them, but I think for this first year and experiment, I am just going to let them age gracefully (as above).  All I am intend to do is drill a few drainage holes in the bottom and leave them at that.  My plan is plant each one with a lavender pup, which will hopefully attract the bees, smell wonderful and eventually create a supply of lavender for crafty projects when dried.  Well, that’s the theory. But is anyone has any other ideas for low maintenance pots, I am open to all suggestions.
I will also be packing a few of the cans in my suitcase to take down to Marc for his patio garden ….. and I’ll let you know what he does with his, when he has done it!!! 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Guest Crafter - Butterfly Wedding Invitations By The Equally Lovely Denise.

The Equally Lovely Denise has put me to shame!!!  I have had a Silhouette machine since time began but have never really gone past the basics with it, and there’s Denise who has had her Cameo for five minutes and has hit the floor running!!!  So confident was she that she offered to make a friends wedding invitations ….  and what she made are so truly stunning  I just had to share them with you.
The brief was a vague outline of butterflies/cream/silver diamante and gold, Denise made three samples for the Bride To Be who couldn’t decide which she liked best, so Denise went with them all!!!
All the template downloaded and available from Silhouette Online http://www.silhouetteonlinestore.com/
Butterfly wedding Invitation 4The corner butterfly design is by Daniela Angelova butterfly card ID: #45128
Butterfly wedding invitaion 2They were made using cream and ivory linen card from Papermill Direct (some reversed in colour) with 4mm flat back diamante gems, and 'peel off' sentiments.
Butterfly wedding Invitaion 1The sideways design is by Jamie Koay Butterfly card ID: #11772 and is also made using cream linen card and trimmed with ivory Offray feather satin ribbon, with a small punched and layered butterfly in gold
Butterfly Wedding Invitation 3And finally, the geometric card with butterflies is another design by Daniela Angelova ID: #46905,  trimmed with Berisford silver edged satin ribbon in honey gold.
All the cards had inserts made using cream paper from Staples.
Denise calculated  that the cards averaged at about £1 each including factoring in for a new mat and blade.
The envelopes were a job lot bought on eBay  for, can you believe, £6.50 + £6.50 P&P for 600 in ivory/gold/white by bidding right up to the last minute!  OMG, what a bargain!!!
As I said, all stunning and as I gaze across at my own Silhouette, just ten inches away from me,  I really should pull my finger out and get to grips with it and use it more, especially when I see what can be done with it!!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Christmas 2014 - Red Snowflake Tags

These tags measure approximately 10cm x 5cm and are made using a heavy plain red cardstock. Wilkison Christmas Craft Papers. Christmas Gift TagsI’ve hand cut the tags, using a template I took from an old Ikea tag, which, to me, is the perfect size for any parcel tag. I have then used scraps left over from the 6” x 6” Christmas paper pack I got from the Wilkinson 2013 Christmas range for the background, adding red punch circles that have been embellished with plastic snow flakes from a garland found in a charity shop a while back, with a flat back gem in the centre.  The whole design is then pulled together with faux stitching and a few dots round the edges, using a white gel pen from Paperchase.
Wilko 6 x 6 Christmas papers_thumb[9]I have set a silver eyelet for the thread, always a good look when making a “professionally” finished tag!!!!! The red and white butchers twine just finishes off the whole design.
Gift Tags using Wilkinson Christmas Craft PapersNow, planning well ahead …. I need a roll of plain silver or white gift wrap to set off and compliment these little babies!!! 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Birthday Matches

This idea was a very, very disappointing, so it’s a case of going back to the drawing board and trying again.
Birthday Matches.My niece's 21st birthday is coming up and I thought it would be nice to have some special “birthday” matches with which to light the 21 candles on her cake.
Birthday MatchesI will admit to being really lazy and thought I could just suitably cover a matchbox I already had ….. using a piece of sparkly hologram paper and a bit of doodling ….. however covering the box was a lot more fiddly than I thought, and my doodling was a far cry from the “cute and magical” I had envisioned ….
So I am going to get out my Stampin’ Up Sizzix Matchbox die and approach the idea properly ….. but am I right in thinking that matches will strike on sand paper???

Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Valentines Day

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and is made using a plain, black, hand cut card.
winged heart valentine cardHappy Valentine’s Day! This card is so me, but I think Marc will be getting it when I see him later on in the month. Made using one of the Utee hearts I made with my Ranger melting pot a while back.  All I have added are the wings, cut using a Cuttlebug Emboss Plus die - Vintage Collage, leant to me by the aforementioned Marc and a small label made with the Duke’s old and very battered Dymo label maker, et voila!!!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentine/Christmas Heart Decoration.

glittered heart valentines Christmas decoration
I have had these thick, die cut Kraft hearts for ages, but  I am sorry I don’t have a clue where I originally got them from. I’ve always had an idea what I wanted to with them, but never actually got round to it, until now…..
Picture5Picture6
They heart measure very approximately 12cms x 12cms. I started off by colouring both sides with a Ruby shade of Promarker, so that if it twizzled as it hung, it would look ok from both sides.
Picture7glittered heart valentines Christmas decoration 1
Next I stuck on a 12mm flat back pearl on each of the curly parts of the heart, and then covered it with a liberal layer of  dusty red micro glitter, before adding the ribbon hanger and bow.  Nothing to it really.  I’ve made four in all and they will now be put away until Christmas to give instead of a card to a  few special friends.  

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

I Finally Visit The Butler and Wilson Shop in Molton Street, London

I adore the style of Butler and Wilson jewellery, whenever they have a show on QVC I am ohhhhing and ahhhing like a woman possessed,  but have, as of yet resisted the temptation to get my phone out and order! Although I do a several very treasured pieces, gifts from you know who ……Marc, which, whenever I wear them, always draw admiring glances and compliments. Butler and Wilson bits are often very over the top and if I was a lady “what cruises” they would look wonderful with my Captains Table ensemble, but in Wolverhampton, while shopping in Tesco, perhaps not ….. but it doesn’t hurt to dream!
Butler and Wilson Shop in LondonAnyway, when I visited Marc last August I decided that I must finally visit a Butler and Wilson shop and have a good old moooooch, so I set off for the one in South Molton Street, off Bond Street. I’ll be honest, I nearly walked past …… as it wasn’t half as grand as I had expected!
Bulter and Wilson cclutch.Inside I found it overwhelming but in a slightly disappointing way…… there were racks and racks of necklaces on display, but to be honest in a manner not unlike a cluttered charity shop, there seemed too many put together, making it hard for my magpie eye to pick out any individual pieces I might have been “attracted” to for considered purchase! En mass the pieces also took on a rather tacky look, dressed individually they would have had the wow factor, less would have been so much more! But what do I know? I shouldn’t grumble as there was an awful lot of choice in a fairly small shop, where displaying everything must be a nightmare. If I was an die hard Butler and Wilson aficionado, who knew exactly what I was looking for, I would no doubt have found it!
Bulter and Wilson BagI wish I could have taken a few pictures inside …. however I sensed it would not be the done thing to do, and just kept to the window displays.
Butler and Wilson Can you imagine me on my way to work wearing the necklace above on the Banga bus, my bus pass held safe in the discrete clutch bag and then dipping the lower pieces of said necklace in my first coffee of the day as I stirred it ????   Me and my Marmite life with champagne aspirations …. I don’t know!!!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

With Love, Red Heart Card

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and is made using a hand cut, white linen effect card.
Black red and white heart valentine card
This card is made using scraps of the paper left over from the Wilkinson Christmas paper pack I got before Christmas …. and which I now wish I had bought a lot more of.  The heart I made earlier, using my Ranger Melting Pot, and has been calling me to use it for weeks now! The sentiment is made using the Duke’s old Dymo label maker and the whole card is finished off with my signature faux stitching! Done and dusted!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Quick Valentine’s Treat/Favour Bags

I have to admit to being very disappointed by the lack of “romantic” sweets available in the shops for this Valentines Day!
valentine treat bags
All I managed to get together were mini Love Hearts (£1) and some “cheap” chocolate hearts from Discount UK (99p) and a couple of nets of chocolate lips from Tesco, also £1 ……. nets of the incredibly cute Tesco ladybirds and Thornton's “love rock” seem to be a thing of the past ….. but you would have thought I would have found a few inexpensive heart shaped lollies at least!
Picture11
I did have these hearts (above) that I bought back from Las Vegas from a shop called LICK, but they were pretty awful, so I just added them to my bags as confetti.
Picture12
To be honest, I made them all very quickly, just as a little token gift for my friends at work, with a speedy, punched, handwritten tag. There’s not a lot of finesse to them ….. just cheap and cheerful, so everyone at least got one “Valentine”, even if it was from me!!!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Well Done Ed!

Over the past few weeks I have been corresponding with Ed, helping him with an article he wanted to write and then submit to InfoBarrel
infoBarrel
After seeing my posts on covering tables, teapots etc. Ed had chosen to write about Decopatch and I tried to give him as much information and tips as I could. 
infoBarrel 1infoBarrel 2
He went about it by introducing his children to Decopatch, covering pebbles from the beach and turning them into creatures.  The boys loved it, look of concentration on the little fellas face and look at how he is expertly handling the stone and glue brush…….. pure magic!
Crafting with children is so important, it’s a special time that they will remember forever, where toys are often broken or quickly discarded for the next craze/interest, what they make will be put in pride of place and treasured for years to come.  Ed’s boys will always have the memory of their time on the beach spent looking for the “right”  pebbles, choosing their camouflage and union jack papers in the shop with dad, and then coming home to do the “making” …….. I don’t think anybody ever remembers “special” moments when playing a computer game!!
Anyway, Ed’s very first article was accepted, a mahoooosive well done Ed!  And I hope it heralds many more successful contributions, leading to perhaps other new ventures and sorties into YouTube and Blogging and hopefully crafting!!!!
Have a look, see what you think http://www.infobarrel.com/Decopatch_paper

Friday, 7 February 2014

Pastel Easter Bunny Card

This card is only tiny, measuring 9cm x 9cm, made using a hand cut white linen effect card
Easter Bunny CardAgain, something incredibly simple and made very quickly (so quickly you can still see the wet glue behind the yellow bunny's ears)  using scraps of papers from a 6 x 6 Boofle paper pad and my bargain wooden Paperchase wooden bunnies. 
Paperchase wooden nrabbit confettiDone and Easter egg dusted!