Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Duvet Covers Of Desire

I have a bit of a thing about bright duvet sets …….
Fab bedding 2
Fab bedding 3
These sets were on Achica the other week and you will never know how much I lusted after them ……
fab bedding….. especially the last set ……If I had such a set (fortunatley or unfortunatley, well out of my price range) I would have been forced to linger and lounge in bed ….. perhaps forever …… feeling (if not looking) absolutely fab-uuuuuuu-lush!!!!!!

Monday, 29 September 2014

One Of My Rare Display Boards

Part of my job is “doing” displays, but these days I very rarely have time to do one as I would really like, as the paperwork element of my job just seems to have taken over, and “arty” displays are just not a priority. I’m afraid it’s a sad case of just wang the work up, I’m not proud, but at least I try and get it done in a vaguely symmetrical way.
However, I did have some time during the summer holiday, when the school was empty to spread myself out, make as much mess as I liked, without any time restriction …… my brief was to “recreate” the Skogafoss waterfall which we were fortunate enough to visit during our A Level Geography trip to Iceland at Easter. 
The board I had to fill must have measured approximately 5ft 6ins x 4ft 6ins (it may have been a little bigger) and I had a budget …… but I decided to do my own thing and use suitable bits and pieces I found round school.  So the gravel at the bottom of the falls was made from a collage of newspaper and the sky, similarly made, using scraps of blue copier paper……
…… and the water fall was made using layers and layers of white bin liners and shredded plastic sheeting.
The cliffs either side of the fall were the hardest to do, I am rubbish at perspective and I was doing this all by free hand and eye, constantly looking at the pictures I had ……
…… So I just got several lengths of black and green poster roll and cut them roughly to the shape of the rocks and then screwed them up to create something that resembled the texture of the rock.Next followed lots and lots of chalking and charcoaling and rubbing out, again trying to capture the texture.  It was at this stage I began to hallucinate!!!  Sometimes when I am working really close to something I need to just walk away from it and then come back to it, standing back and seeing it with fresh eyes.
And when I did, the next day, I could see where I was going and realised there wasn’t that much more to do.
I added a few very basic figures to try and give it some perspective
And then I had to try and get it onto the board in one go, single handedly!!!!
And, if it didn’t fit or look right, I didn’t have a clue what I would have done.
But it did, and I was dead chuffed.
If I may say, the pictures do not do justice to the depth and flow of the water ………… all those layers gave it a sort of fluidity and life …..
….. well, that’s my opinion any way!!!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Problems With Silhouette

Today I thought I might just get my Silhouette out as Marc is always nagging me to use it more and after seeing what The Equally Lovely Denise makes with hers …….  I was going to look at what I have in my library and perhaps make a simple card or two …….

Picture1….. well, it all started well and I saw all the files loading …… then it started to initializing and that was it!!  I last downloaded some files from the online shop in mid April and all was well then!  I researched any problems and fixes, and gathered there had been  …. and downloaded in turn the latest two software programmes from Silhouette  - the Legacy being the one that seemed to be the most recommended from forum/blog posts etc.

SILHOUETTE STUDIO® VERSION 3.1.417 (RELEASED 8/4/2014)
SILHOUETTE STUDIO® VERSION 2.9.45 (RELEASED 1/10/2014) LEGACY

…… but still nothing!  Agh … I know I don’t use it as often as I should but it’s a handy piece of kit to have lurking in the background …. I have messaged Silhouette, who have always been quite helpful in the past ….. but at present it is most annoying …. is it a problem anyone else has had.?

A Couple Of Heads Up …….

I have to say that the Poundshops of Wolverhampton are disappointing on the Halloween front this year with regards to stickers …. not a one!  I think this is going to be a duff year for finding interesting stuff to alter and craft with.  I would have liked to have found some skeleton hands as I had an idea or two for them  …….. but it’s all a bit same old, same old, and a little bit uninspiring.  But there’s still time and I’ll keep on looking.
However, it’s worth having a look in Wilkos  as they some nice little bits and pieces, especially as they are priced up at 65p-ish a bag for spiders, bats and skeletons.
0334938_lAnd I am wanting this lantern (£5) which would look great at the bottom of my garden sitting on a gnarled tree trunk stump! http://www.wilko.com/halloween-decorations+lights/wilko-halloween-spooktacular-pumpkin-tealight-holder-terracotta/invt/0334938
Primark Light Up Christmas Tree JumperAlso ……. Christmas jumpers are now rearing their head in Primark (men's dept.) I wandered round with the light up Christmas Pudding for about 20 minutes before putting it back …. as I kept on reasoning that I really do have enough Christmas jumpers ….. and the ones with lights were £18.  But ……. I might, just might have to go back!!!!
Primark Light Up Christmas Pudding JumperThey had a other designs priced at £9 which were musical …….. and this year the designs aint half bad!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Merry And Bright Christmas Cards

These cards measure 6” x 6” and are made using a hand-cut plain red card.
Bright Red Christmas Card, Christmas Colours Christmas Card. Nine Square Christmas Card. Faux StitchingAs I said the other day this Christmas I am determined to make a HUMUNGUS dent in my Christmas embellishment collection and in making these cards I managed to use up all the HobbyCraft foil stickers I had left over from last year, plus the last of the smaller snowflakes from a disassembled garland I found in a charity shop (also last year).
Nine Square Bright Christmas Card Snowflakes. foil Christmas stickersI haven’t made a nine square card for ages but Marc has been nagging and I have to admit although fiddly they are a brilliant way of using up all your odd, small stickers and embellishments etc.
Nine Square Bright Christmas Colours Christmas CardI’ve also gone up a size on my cards to 6” x 6” which are a little out of my comfort zone, but again, I have a pile of larger envelopes that need to be used up.
Nine Square Christmas Card. Foil Christmas Stickers. Faux Stitching Christmas Card. Bright Christmas CardThe squares on the card each measure 1.25ins and are mat and layered on red and white panels, finished off with white faux stitching using a white Uni-ball Signo gel pen.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Look What’s Fallen Into My Poundshop Basket This Week ……. And Ended Up In My Craftroom

This week a pack of nail caviar sort of dropped into my basket while I was browsing the shelves of Poundland!
Poundshop Nail CaviarTwelve phials of caviar ….. or, if you are a crafter, micro-beads, but I was looking at them for possibly using them as charms on jewellery or as an embellishment on tags (I am still working on that idea),  The only thing I need to do to them is take out the stoppers and spray them gold as the plastic just aint working!
Whats on my desk wednesdayWith my mojo currently in overdrive my craft room is now being given a right old bending, for a while, when my mojo was flagging,  I admit to only using it to use my computer to write my Monkey blog.  Working in such a small area has taken some getting used, I confine a project to the turquoise mat,  with my tools etc. around me. When Marc was with me, we worked in the front room (as I do for large projects) and all the crafty stuff has to follow!
work deskBut, it does keep me disciplined and on track, I can’t get everything out and lay stuff all over the floor like I used to in my old room and I have to make sure everything is left tidy at the end of a crafting session …… that way everything feels fresh to start or continue a project the next day …..
003I do find having my A4 card/paper in stacks on the shelves instead of in drawers frustrating though, sometimes finding a sheet of card can be such a palaver, but as far as I can see, at the moment that’s the only way it can be done.
Columbo My Guilty PleasureBUT ……. since I discovered that I can indulge in my guilty pleasure Columbo on my tablet on demand ….. I can spend even longer in my craft room and crafting. Usually, on a Saturday afternoon rain stops play when there is a Columbo double bill on 5USA and I’d have to go downstairs to watch it ….. but now ……. now I can do both!!  Life just keeps on getting betterer and betterer!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tea Light Snowmen

This idea has been around for a while now, I believe it originated from a Stampin’Up project, but somehow over the years I’d missed it …… until now. I first found it here:- http://inkingidaho.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/snowman-tea-lights.html, but just Google “tea light snowman” and a whole plethora of snowmen turn up!
Tealight snowmen...So …… what you need to get started is a pack of battery tea lights from any Poundshop, they usually come in sets of four.
Because I didn’t have any of the punches used for the original snowmen I took the basic idea and changed it to suit the materials I did have, deciding not to use a scalloped circle on the back or the plain circle for the face which went over the front of the tea light. 
Tealight snowman .It took me quite while to work out a basic set of templates for the hat, but got there in the end …… and once I got that right, decided to go the whole hog and added confetti holly and flat backed pearl berries!
Tealight snowman. facesThe face was easy, as I had just bought a couple of packets of black flat backed pearls for my  gingerbread men from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Lardysticks-Larder?_trksid=p2047675.l2563 – size 4mm for the mouth and 5mm for the eyes. I glued the gems straight onto the tea light with a woodwork PVA.
tealight snowmantealight snowman. 
The scarf is made from a 23cm length of ribbon. I used a blob of glue gun glue on the top of the snowman's head to keep it in place while I tied the knot and then trimmed the ribbon with pinking shears when I was happy with said knot .
Once I had the first snowman under my belt (above) I could then decide on a colour theme based on the ribbons and Bazzill card I had already got.  I embossed the hat card for extra texture using an old fashioned ribber ….. something crafters used to use before there were embossing folders!
Craft Ribber. Blast from the pastI could have added a magnet to the back of my snowmen to make them fridge magnets but in the end I decided to stick a pendant loop on the back of the bobble so that the snowman could be hung.  I have visions of one hanging in the front window of a car.
tealight snowman. hangerAnyway, that’s my take on a very popular idea ….. as I said at the beginning, just Google the idea to see the different variations.
Hanging Tealight snowmanI was thinking, wouldn’t they look lovely in the gaps between Christmas bunting hung by a small peg or what about on a wreath??????

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Scrapbook Page

I am soooooo, sooooo, soooooo rubbish at journalling, the only one I have ever managed to follow through religiously was my Las Vegas Scrapbook ….. and I still haven’t shown you half of that yet …… perhaps I should do that over the Christmas Holiday …… when postings generally go quiet!My doodled ScrapbookBut ….. although dated 11th January 2014 …. I thought I would just add this as an extra post ……. especially as I believe The Boyz are still there!!!!!
What are they like?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Tealight Lanterns

I am sooooo pleased with how these tealight holders turned out, as they were just made on a whim …..
lace tealight holder. craftsLace effect tealight holder
I’d found a few empty coffee jars in the staffroom at work and thought Halloween ….. but I thought I might be able to do something a bit more special else with a couple of the Douwe Egberts ones as they are such a lovely shape and have a plain top as they have a stopper rather than a screw top.
lace effect paperThen, a voice in my head reminded me of some lace papers that I know I have had stashed away, untouched, since I bought them at least ten/twelve years ago …… if only I could remember where …… after about 15mins I found them, if my idea worked they would be perfect ……….
lace tea light holderI cut a piece of each paper to fit each jar, and then sprayed it with a little adhesive spray and gently eased it round each jar as carefully as I could praying that it wouldn’t tear …….
lace tealight holder……… but, despite it’s fragile appearance the paper was quite robust . Once in place I then painted the paper with a layer of PVA. This was when I started praying as it all looked awfully thick and lumpy …. I knew that PVA dries clear ….. but I hoped the delicate effect of the paper wouldn’t be lost.
lace tea light holder..lace tealight holder..
It wasn’t …… but no matter how I have tried to take a “decent” picture, none  do justice to the finished effect, made subtly sparkly by rubbing translucent micro glitter all over just after they felt dry, and miraculously it stuck.
Lace effect tealight holdersI then added some fluffy rustic twine round the top with a mother of pearl button, I am so, so, chuffed!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Object Of Desire

I know that most of you will take one look at this and go “Oh my Gawd, has that woman got no taste?!?!?”
8042-6H-MC_1…….. But if money was no object and I had a house that would take such a lamp/s…… I could be sorely tempted!!!!!! 
8042-6H-MC_3But, as it is, my bijou and humble Wolverhampton mansion is, for the moment, safe from (in some peoples eyes) such atrocities !!!!!!!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Gingerbread Men Tags/Tree Decorations.

My work desk is currently covered in these little beauties …….
wooden Gingerbread men tags. tree decorationsThey are the wooden gingerbread men I bought from HobbyCraft last year but never got round to using, except for one.  They came in packs of 4 for £1, which I thought was brilliant enough, but they were also on a 3 for 2 offer  – so in the end I ended up buying six packs, 24 gingerbread men – working out at about 17p each, bargaintastic!
Gingerbread man wooden tag[4]As I said, last year I only “played” with one (above) but I wasn’t that happy with him, the proportions of the ribbon, eyes and buttons I used were just not quite right http://itsallfiddlefart.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/wooden-gingerbread-man-tag.html, so this year I was determined to get them right …. using a narrower ribbon and sourcing better flat backed gems for the eyes and mini buttons for the body.
Gingrebread man tag. tree decoration.….. and I think I much prefer this years version, which can either be used as a gift tag or tree decoration.
Wooden gingerbread man tag. tree decoration.Gingerbread man tag packaging
They are now all packaged up and waiting for a new home ….. and another few bits of my humungous Christmas stash are finally used up!!