Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Christmas Scene in A Stemmed Jar

I found this stemmed jar in Home Bargains last week (£1.29). There were only two, and I knew that it was highly unlikely that I would see them again, so I bought it, and then immediately regretted not buying both when I got home, typical!
Home Bargains Stemmed JarChristmas Scene in Stemmed Jar
I knew straight away what I was going to do with it, the red and white gingham screw top screamed Christmas. …… so, I put a layer of flour on the bottom to “make” the snow and then add a couple of bristle Christmas trees (from The Works) and a resin snowman (pack of two from Hobbycraft) ….. et voila! To make the snow extra twinkly I could have added a sprinkling of translucent micro glitter on top and a red ribbon round the bottom of the screw top could also have add an extra dimension.
Snowman Scene in Stemmed Jar.I love the idea of using jars as decorations, Christmas, Easter and Halloween immediately spring to mind, it’s finding the little things to put in them that takes the time, which is why my eyes are always peeled for something suitable when out mooching.
If you can’t find stemmed jars like this, you can always glue a glass candle stick, easily found in a charity shop, on the bottom using E6000 glue. Tops could be painted to match a theme, I.e green, purple, orange for Halloween, pastels for Easter, but I can see that this wouldn’t be too economical if crafting on a budget, so silver and gold would be best, perhaps “tarted up” with a ribbon.  
I have seen a couple of ideas on Pinterest for Easter, I just need to find the bits.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Gingham Jar Kraft Tags

Today I have fiddle farted with some Kraft gift tags ………
Gingham Jar Tags. CraftsThey came about when I found the packet of small jar tags (below) in the reduced box in The Works. I had quite liked them at £1, but I liked them even more for 50p, but as you know, my new mantra is that a bargain is only a bargain if I do something with it/them almost straight away, I can’t afford to let anything languish in my drawers any more!!!!!
The Works Jar Gift TagsKraft Tags
I used a sheet of slightly ribbed Kraft card for the tags.  The scraps of paper used came from a Forever Friends  6” x 6” pad and I couldn’t believe that it included  a gingham paper that matched the gingham lids of the jars perfectly. 
Jar gift tag craftsHandmade Gingham Jar Tags
I added doodled lines using a black fine liner pen on the back and front of the tag to mirror the lines on the jar
Little Gingham Jar Tags. Handmade TagsThe blank label on the jar didn’t look right so I found an old packet of Paperchase flower stickers that fit perfectly and also looked good dotted here and there, again on the front and on the back of the tag.
Reverse of Gingham Jar TagsThe final touch was a cream coloured wooden bead on the cream cord. Done and dusted.
I used all the tags in the packet, so including the Kraft card, stickers and scraps of paper I would say the tags cost approximately 25p each to make.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

My Hall - Framed Insect & Reptile Brooches Display

I have always been rubbish with pictures in the house, I think I am better with displays, probably all those years of doing them in various schools over the years. So, I have had this idea for displaying my collection of insect and reptile brooches, many presents from Marc, for ages, I’ve just never had the wall space …… until now!
Framed-Insect-Brooches-_thumb6The hall in my flat is L shaped, with plenty of space for one set of six Ikea Ribba shadow frames on each branch, if that makes sense …
….. I make no apologies, since moving I have become maddening symmetrical!
Framed-Insect-Brooches-2_thumb6I used a plain, medium shade of blue card as the background for each set or single insect.  I also used E9000 glue to hold the insects in place, as some are quite heavy.
I love all the brooches, but it seems sad to have them in a box in a drawer for the majority of the time, this way I get to see them all the time. The “display” is different, not to everyone’s taste, but very me ……..
…… and I am dead chuffed that they turned out just like the picture in my head.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Nordic Style Wooden Christmas Tree Tags

Yesterday I had an fairly easy job covering and embellishing the stockings from part of a pack of 4 x 2 designs from Poundland, doing the same with the Christmas tree tags was just plain fiddly, thank goodness there were only two to do.
Nordic Wooden Christmas Tree TagsAgain I used a Nordic style paper as the pattern was in  just the right proportion to the tree. I drew round the wooden tree once and then cut the shape out, but it didn’t matter how careful I was, I still had to trim sparingly and then trim some more, to get a perfect fit.  I then layered the middle and then a top paper piece on top of the original cut tree.
Nordic Christmas Tree TagI knew the star, cut from a contrasting scrap of paper, would be a nightmare to get right, but I got there in the end.
Nordic Christmas Tree Tag. Paper piecingThis was followed by some  faux stitching using a black fine liner pen round the edges, to define and add more detail, on the back as well as the front. I put small, red flat backed gems on one tree but decided not to do the same on the other, and finally a clear gem was glued on both stars. A red wooden bead was threaded on to the tying cord to follow the colours through.
As with yesterday, these tags are initially to be put on presents, however after I see no reason why they can’t be used as tree decorations.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Nordic Style Wooden Christmas Stocking Tag.

Following on from yesterday, and my “eared snowman” I found these wooden stocking tags much easier to work with (part of a pack of 4 x 2 designs from Poundland.
Nordic Wooden CHristmas Stocking TagI used the Nordic style paper because the pattern was  just in the right proportion to the stocking. I drew round the wooden stocking and then cut the shape out, but it didn’t matter how careful I was, I still had to trim sparingly and then trim some more, to get a perfect fit. 
wooden christmas stocking tag blanksnordic style wooden Christmas stocking tag.
The stocking top, heel and toe were then cut using a contrasting paper……. 
Christmas Stocking Wooden TAG…… and then I did a bit of faux stitching using a black fine liner pen round the edges, to define and add more detail on the back as well as the front. The small, red flat backed gems were an after thought that I think worked.
Nordic Wooden Christmas Stocking Tag. Paper piecingThe final touch was a red wooden bead on the cord.
Initially these are tags to put on presents, but after I see no reason why they couldn’t be hung on a tree as a decorations.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Guest Crafter – Iris Roo With Her Gary and Mary Scarecrows.

Today’s guest crafter is Iris Roo …….
IMG_0447This “work of art” came about the other Wednesday, on Wednesdays I pick Iris up from nursery, we lunch out, usually at Moos Moos and then go back to The Towers for some “our time”.
On this occasion Iris spotted some wooden coffee stirrers and after carefully studying them, decided she wanted to make a scarecrow when we got in, that’s my girl!!!
Those stirrers were never been held so tightly as we trundled home, this was a little girl with a definite idea in her head.
When we got home we sat at the table and I was “told” to make a scarecrow and madam watched patiently as I cobbled together a frame with the said stirrers and masking tape, and then I suggested the first thing he needed was a head, we were off and running, we were making “Gary”.
Gary need a mouth, then eyes and a nose (which I had to draw, because Iris said she couldn’t), this was followed by a coat, a hat, boots and gloves, bless her. It was my idea to add stickers, as stickers are a very definite activity of choice.
IMG_0441Iris has a huge concentration span and I could see Iris wasn’t finished, so again I suggested Gary needed somewhere to be, so we put him in a field. I suggested a sky and then some grass but couldn’t believe it when she added them …… and as for the stems for the flowers, again suggested, oh my goodness!IMG_0443And then, we had to start all over again as Iris wanted to make Mary. Iris watches very little TV, but she has seen a little bit of the Muppet Movie which has Gary and Mary as the human characters, and when Iris isn’t being Iris, she is being Mary.  Iris was also definite that Mary’s dress was left white
IMG_0447The picture was complete when Gary and Mary were positioned on the paper holding hands, and the spaces filled in with more “drawing” and flower stickers until she was happy.
We must have been working for well over an hour, it almost bought tears to my eyes. I am so glad I took the pictures as we went along, I have neglected The Project Life album I started when Iris was born, so I am hoping they will be the kick start I need to try to get it up to date.  Happy, Happy Days!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Wonky Snowman Gift Tag – Snowmen Don’t Have Ears!

Following on from yesterday I spent far to much time working on this snowman tag trying to get him to look right before realising it wasn’t me being ultra fussy, it was the wooden tag!
Wooden Snowman Tag - That went wrong. Snowmen don't have earsAt first, I thought, from the outline that the snowman was wearing a hat, but though I tried to cut several out they never seemed to fit or sit well on his head, so I gave up and gave him a self adhesive Santa hat (from Yellowmoon).  I then gave him a scarf using scraps of paper and that seemed to work OK ……..
Snowmen Don't have ears…….But trying to get a cute snowman face was a nightmare.  I used a fimo carrot nose (moulded and then baked) because I thought it would add character and extra dimension, but no mater where I put his eyes and mouth he always looked decidedly dodgy. I really thought I was losing the plot, then I looked again, what I thought was the rim on his bobble hat were ears, and I am sorry, snowmen DON’T have ears!!! I was trying to create a snowman face, but what I was actually seeing was a cartoon “human” face …… and, what made it worse, when I really looked, was the ears weren’t even level …..
So, this snowman is destined for the bottom of a box, to remind me, whenever I happen upon him, to look carefully an snowman blanks ……because, for me at least, snowmen don’t have ears!!!! ……

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

January Furniture 2017 – NEC Birmingham

I am sooooooooo cross with myself!
IMG_0513On Friday and Saturday I was with Ian (Marc’s partner and my Eurovision companion in Stockholm) http://www.furniturepresentations.com/ as part of his team  at The January Furniture Show 2017, and despite having my camera tucked into my bra at all times, I failed to take any of the “money” shots I wanted to share on this post,  I just can’t believe it! We never stopped in those two days, in my mind I was taking the pictures, but my camera says otherwise. We were so busy, getting my camera out, especially on the second day was the furthest thing on my mind, despite being in such a visual environment! 
I wanted to show you how Ian can transform a large, empty space into something so wonderful you actually believe it’s the real thing, this year he transformed the VIP hospitality areas into an American Speakeasy, A Glitzy Piano Bar and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory ……… and all I have to show are a few very basic “before” pictures…….. aghhhhh    
For these areas Ian had hired or purchased hundreds of props, too many to mention, from tables, chairs, sofa’s, desks, chaise longs, curtains, huge ice cream cones, flowers, plants, and the most massive and beautiful chandelier ever  …….. and what did I get? ….. ziltch!
All  I have got are a few pictures of the two stands that Fiona, Lynn and I dressed.
…… and these are not really the finished results, most of the flowers and plants hadn’t been added, the black bowls above were filled with red primulas and the catkins in white vases moved against the wall on a box not seen in the shot.
I would be really ***p as a insightful cub reporter!
What can I say ……
IMG_0497I am as useful as just one of the many huge piles of rubbish that filed all the gangways as furniture and props were unwrapped and before the cleaners came in to clear it all, ready for the carpet to be laid throughout the massive site, across five halls.
IMG_0508rug cleaner
The two three things I will take away with me this year are:- that I learned how to wire a gerbera and use a VAX ………..oh, and when I got to my daughter’s house in Wolverhampton on Saturday evening, I feared I might never be able to move again!
On Saturday morning before we left for the NEC, I did manage to take a few frosty pictures from the Cottage in Worcester as the sun was coming up  ………
IMG_0502It was looked so magical.