Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sorry, Only One Fiddle Fart Post Per Week ………

Sorry, for yet another change to my blog schedule …. for the next few months at least, I think there will only be one Fiddle Fart post per week, on a Monday ….. I am having a bit of a mojo malfunction …… but with all good reason, as my mind has been on other things!
images (3)I said a week or so ago that I had handed in my notice at work …….. but what I didn’t say was that at Christmas I suggested to Tom and the Lovely Laura that perhaps they might consider my helping to look after Iris a bit when the said Lovely Laura goes back to work in June. Well, to be honest there wasn’t much debate, and none of it was in the slightest bit heated!!!!!  So, from mid June I will be splitting my week, spending three days in Evesham and four days in Wolverhampton, but with the long term view that eventually I will move to Evesham permanently within the next eighteen months/two years!
downloadBut, before I start the drama of selling and buying houses, I hope that during my days/evenings spent in Evesham I can gradually start to make new friends and build up a social life, so that when I “really” move, it will feel like I am already settled, if that makes sense?
images (1)So as you can see, my mind has been rather occupied and I am afraid not a lot of crafting has been done, Chez Greysquirrel ……. but I still think I want to keep things ticking over blog wise  ….. it’s been too much part of my life to give up completely, and I can see how it might take on new angles …. Tom says he already has visions of coming home every night and finding Iris covered in paint, Decopatch or some sort of dressing up affair  …. perhaps I could go down the “Crafting with Iris” line!!!!!!!
KT05-Evesham-Abbey……. I still plan to craft at the weekend when I am at home in W-ton, but when I am in Evesham it could be a way of  taking my crafting back to real basics as I won’t be surrounded by my mountain of materials and tools.  Initially I plan to take a supply of white card, mirror card, and a few embellishments, and basic tools with me and see where that leads me ……. perhaps planning projects ahead for the evenings at the weekend or exploring the delights of Evesham for inspiration and a source of new materials.
images (4)I hope that Evesham, being a “touristy” sort of a place, could provide a source outlets for me to perhaps expand and sell more of what I make, which is something I know I don’t do enough of, maybe playgroups, gift shops, craft markets etc.  
images (2)So there you go ….. a lot to think about, but hopefully if I take things very slowly it will prove to be the right move and the start of a whole new life!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Lucy’s Birthday Card 2014

This card is A5 in size.
We were on holiday in Greece for Lucy’s 30th Birthday and this is the card I made for her, which I squirrelled away in my suitcase. Nothing fancy and very, very simple, but setting the mood and holiday theme. Believe me, Lucy wouldn’t  have thanked me if I had plastered 30 all over it!
The letters are self adhesive and from my huge collection of alphabets   …. and the embellishments, well sometimes you just can’t beat a pack of 3D stickers (UK Discounts 2 for £1) to make a very quick but effective card!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Leaving Card

This card is A5 in size and is made using a hand cut, white linen effect blank
It’s another year …… and as with last year I am really going to make a concerted effort to use up a lot of the stuff that I have had for far too long, and needs to be used up, like these assorted self adhesive letters and the paper flowers that came from the days when Lakeland used to have a craft department!
There’s a whole lot of mat and layering going on here on silver mirror card
…… plus a liberal smattering of faux stitching.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Twig Christmas Tree

This is the “Christmas Tree” I put together on the spur of the moment for my “festive” landing.
The branches used to belong to a small, shaped box tree that we had at the front of the house which seemed to die very slowly, no matter what we did to it, and to be honest in the end I just left it abandoned in its pot for months at the bottom of the garden until I had a final tidy up in the autumn, but something made me keep what was left of the, by then bleached branches, all be it in the garage shoved into a piece of oasis.
But about a week before Christmas, I saw some packs of twelve small gold/silver vintage style baubles, reduced from £12 to £2.80 in House of Fraser, and  I got to thinking about the branches again, deciding to spray them with an off white coloured paint and while the paint was still wet, sprinkled it all over with diamond dust micro glitter.
When dry, I arranged them as best as I could into a Christmas tree shape, putting them back into the oasis, placed in an off white pot, with ornamental blue glass chippings (Ikea) sprinkled over the oasis to hid it.
It took two packs of the vintage baubles and a box of twenty tiny, clear baubles I got in a HobbyCraft sale a few years back to cover it, before adding a string of Poundshop battery operated LED lights ….. which I realised I should have put on before the baubles!!!! The lights look blue in the picture, but they are actually white.
IMG_0009 (2)If I say so myself,  it did look very pretty, delicate and ethereal sitting on my landing windowsill ….. and has now been put away very carefully to come out for next year as well. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

New Year’s Favour Using Tim Holtz Matchbox Die

New Years Eve is an occasion that I as a crafter I feel I neglect greatly, all those parties and celebrations are such an opportunity to get all creative yet I do very little for it …… so in 2015 I am hoping to try and come up with a few more ideas, to even up the score for other occasions.
For this idea I used one of the die cut Tim Holtz matchboxes Marc sent me …..
….. and made a false bottom for it, using some of the New Year rub-ons Marc and I found in Home Bargains in the summer, which I think only cost us 29p, and embellished it with a bit of doodling and star confetti.
I then threaded some alphabet beads to spell ‘Happy New Year’, to go in the box, hiding the end of the cord under the false bottom, which I also lifted slightly using three layers of foam tape.
I decorated the matchbox sleeve with scraps of star patterned paper and an assortment of stars, and that’s it really. 
This idea could be adapted for so many other occasions, using the beads to say all manner of things.  I can’t wait for Marc’s visit, as I know we will be bouncing other ideas, left right and centre ……. I already have one for someone who had just passed their driving test!
I know I keep harping on about matchboxes and I think they are going to feature quite a lot in the coming months  because they just inspire me so much and you know how much I love tiny things, but if you don’t have a die, there are plenty of templates available for free on the internet,
They are also pretty easy to create using a score board ………  or you can buy blank ones from various craft suppliers, like Baker Ross

Monday, 19 January 2015

An Office Get Well Card

This card is A5 in size using a handcut white linen effect blank.
This card was brilliant for using all the random letters I have in my box of alphabets letters.
I originally matted all the words on a contrasting colour ……..
…… but it didn’t just didn’t look right, but adding the purple background made it pop!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Birthday Matchboxes Using Tim Holtz matchbox Die

I am having a glorious time looking through my embellishment boxes looking for anything that could “work” in a matchbox!
For this idea I have used some of the Tim Holtz matchboxes Marc cut out for me and a pack of birthday cake embellishments from Paper Cellar that I must have bought at least five years ago, I think they have gone unused for so long because, for me, they were just a bit too deep to put on a card I put the sleeves of the matchboxes together first, using scraps of paper, sentiment circles from CraftWork Cards, my scallop edged circle punch and silver peel-off corners, plus a bit of faux stitching.
Inside the box was simple, matching it to the box sleeve I simply cut a base for the bottom, fiddle farted with it a bit and then added the cake embellishment in the middle.
So, at last, another pack of my old embellishments are finally used up ….. goodness knows how many more packs I have to go!!
I am always on the look out for matchbox dies and templates as I know I will be featuring them a lot of the coming months  ……. and I found this one below …….
…… which made me realise how out of touch I am with new and not so new box dies …. I could be tempted, but in my being out of touch, I couldn’t believe how expensive some have now become!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Iris’s Improvised Ball Pool

Iris did have a very lovely inflatable ball pool, but it was strongly suspected that Jupiter the cat may have given it a slow puncture with one of his paws, and so the ball pool was no more! But over Christmas, with so many boxes around Laura hit upon the idea of making a new pool, by cutting the front off a shallow box.  I then took over, and securely taped all the corner flaps down on the inside of the box, and then going round the outside and cut edges for good measure.
If Andy had been there I know he would have found some of that foam, pipe lagging stuff to go round the top edges too.  We then put a soft touch blanket to line the inside and cover the sides and a support pillow to fill one corner and two sides to support Iris ……et voila, a new, improvised ball pool!
*Only to be used under strict supervision.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


Just to give you the heads up that Fiddle Fart posts will be every other day for a little while …… but with perhaps the odd, occasional extra post thrown in here and there. My life is about to take another turn …. let’s just say, that on Tuesday (yesterday) I handed in my notice at work ….. and I feel ten ton lighter and look a million times younger already,  though still prone to slight exaggeration! 

Pendant Tray Monkey Keyrings

I have been experimenting with the inch pendant trays and keyrings that I treated myself to just before Christmas. 
They came from Etsy via China and cost me £13.72 for 50 antique effect silver trays which work out at roughly 27p each.  I had bought them initially with the intention of making Christmas Tree decorations and key chains.
Dress It Up Monkey ButtonsWith that in mind I will be going through all my stacks take-away boxes looking for suitable embellishments etc. that will fit into a one inch square, and these four Dress It Up monkey buttons (sent to me from Dianne my special friend in Florida) were just perfect. 
I cut an inch square of paper, faux stitched it round the edges and glued it into the bottom of a tray.  I then cut the shank off the button and glued it in the prepared tray, using E6000 glue, which is really strong and I know once cured will not budge. 
When the button was set in position and a silver peel-off added to two of the corners, I added “Aleene’s Jewelry Pendant Gel”, to the pendant. This was the first time I have used this product and was curious to see if it was an equal substitute to Glossy Accents or Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss Finish, I have used previously, which indeed it proved to be, setting in approx 4 – 5 hours, however to give the pendant a deep and full look I added a second layer, as one looked a little flat. I also painted a little on the monkeys face to give it glossy, slightly enamelled look.
I am really pleased with the results,  I might have to wait an extra two or three weeks when I order from various companies in China, but as I have learnt from past experience if I buy in bulk, I end up paying at least half of what I would pay in UK for the same thing.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Birthday Matchbox Favour

For Christmas I gave Marc the Tim Holtz Matchbox Die (for more information:-, as we have loved using my Stampin’Up one over the past few years.  However, when made up, Marc found that the Tim Holtz box is quite a bit smaller than the finished Stampin’Up matchbox. The tray was considerably shallower, still ideal for Marc’s earrings and other bits of jewellery, but not so good for putting sweets in, like my Christmas matchboxes where I was able to fit two Lindtt teddies in perfectly.
But having not seen the box “in person” as it were, I was curious and got Marc to send me a few of the die cuts so that I could play ….. which got me wondering as to the possibility of making a birthday matchbox to perhaps give instead of a card.
After making up a box tray I decided to marry up a pack of Paperchase stickers (Birthday Bunting Stickers £1) to the matchbox, as they seemed to be in just the right proportion for my idea…….
…… and created a bottom for the box using a 6cm x 4cm scrap of card, which I mounted on three layers of foam tape so it stood slightly away from of the base when I stuck it in.
I then decorated the sleeve of the matchbox using matching scraps of paper, two Craftwork Card circle sentiments, gold corner and strip peel offs, and scallop and plain circle punches to mat and layer the sentiment circles.
It was then when I put the matchbox together that I realised my error …… doh…
…. the sentiment circle was facing the wrong direction, but it was an error that could easily put right! (as in first picture).
I am now on the look out for wrapped chocolates that will fit neatly into these boxes, Cadbury miniatures would be perfect (but hard to find other than online), and I have found that one mint crisp will fit (but not two!) ….. which is probably enough when put with a sprinkle of birthday confetti.  I have an idea that for a little while I will be wandering round town with a box in my bag looking other chocolates that might be a perfect fit ….. and in doing so getting a few suspicious looks in the process no doubt !!
If you don’t have a matchbox die, there are plenty of simple templates on the net and if you have a Silhouette there are downloads available there too.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Cow Cards

These cards measure 6ins x 6ins.
You're Udderley Fantastic. Cow CardMarc nearly took these wooden cow embellishment back with him after his visit for “his girls” to craft with. I’d tried in the past to do something with them but nothing looked quite right ….. and so after they’d been lying unused for at least four/five years I thought it was time to pass them on ….. but then Marc said …. “Nooooooooo,  you could make a “sorry for being a cow cards” and that got me thinking all over again!
wooden cow embellishmentsSo, first of all I dressed the cows up, adding googly eyes, tiny flat backed gems and flowers, eyelashes and rouged cheeks, plus arms and hands (using a leather thread and black wooden beads), and a handbag.
Udderley Fabulous. Cow Card. Card EmbellishmentsI then sat and googled “cow cards” to see what sort of sentiments I could write on the front of the cards …… I couldn’t believe how many there were …… so I must have a different one for each cow.
Putting the card together the was a doddle, all I had to do was to glue the cow to a card blank with a little doodling, and then the sentiment ….. simples, and I am afraid Marc’s ladies loss!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Fluffy Snowman Bauble

Just as I predicted the Christmas sales are throwing up one or two little things that have inspired me for Christmas future, and so I put up no resistance.  Wilkos started to reduce their Christmas stuff by 50% a week before Christmas.  Last year their range was inspired, but this year it was not so hot.  I kept popping in and although I liked some bits and pieces, not enough to fork out full price for them …..
And so that’s how two boxes of six snowball baubles slipped into my basket, reduced from £2.50 to £1.25 ……. as I immediately knew they would be perfect for snowman baubles, much more realistic than the one I blogged earlier.
To make sure the eyes, nose (made from Fimo then baked) and mouth stuck I had to trimmed away a little of the fluff …… I then used E6000 glue to make sure everything stuck securely (and didn’t dissolve the polystyrene under the fluff as I had feared it might).
Perfect!  I used tiny black buttons for the eyes on this “trial” run, but I think for the eleven others I will use the same black flat backed gems as I used on the mouth instead.
I also availed myself of two felt sock Advent Calendars (£2.50 reduced from £5), perhaps not to craft with, although I can see the potential for a little more bling on those pegs and perhaps a button or two on the zig zag sewing  ……
…… plus a box of nine wooden houses (£3.50 reduced to £1.75)
…… which may also have the potential for a little glittering and a few tiny flat backed gems before being used as gift tags perhaps.  So watch this space!