Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Wedding Invitation Samples

This is the first sample pack I have sent my nephew and his fiancĂ©e to see what they think, after they asked me if I would “make” their wedding invitations.
Amanda sent me a link to a very expensive site in the US and asked me if I could come up my own interpretation on the basic theme/idea, wanting clean simple and very less is more.
She liked the idea of a band, a vellum wrap and a seal, but not necessarily all of them together, so I tried as many variations on the theme as I could, incorporating the rose gold mat card she had picked out from all the paper and card samples I had sent her from various companies and using a grey font.
As you can see there isn’t an awful lot of crafting to be done, it’s really all computer lead, except of the odd tiny flat back clear gem or pearl and the seals, made using my Ranger Melt Art Melting Pot, now discontinued!
So much of my time was taken up with experimenting playing an assortment of fonts, varying their size and style, be it capitals, regular and italic etc..
I am now waiting to see what they whittle their choices down to (if any) and what other variations, changes to wording etc. they want before I set up another round of samples. I think there will be an awful lot of too-ing and froing before we get to that final production stage, so watch this space. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Disney Countdown Drawers

OMG  ……….. IT’S FINISHED!!!!
Disney Countdown DRawers Disney Dress It Up Buttons
I finally got two days to sit down properly and get the final thirteen drawers, as well as the sides and top finished.
It’s been a long old slog, but I am so chuffed with how it’s all turned out, with the end result exceeding all my expectations in buckets!
Some drawers were a bit of a fiddle fart to get all the buttons I wanted to use along with the countdown number, like the Aladdin one, but the extra space over the drawer top and the dividing partitions gave me some much needed wiggle room.
I was also determined to use up all the buttons I had bought, as I knew anything left over would just end up at the bottom of a box, probably forever.
In all, I only had two Tinkerbells left over, but they are now “hidden”, one on each side of the box for Iris and Bertie to “search for”, as they will be lost among all the other stuff.
At first I wasn’t too sure about all the fuss on the sides and top, using all the left over bits and pieces from the Carpe Diem Say Cheese sticker book I bought, so that was when I called a halt at the end of day one and slept on it, returning next morning with fresh eyes, thinking “yes, it’s over the top but it works” and then continued to add even more bling to it …… with my less is more mantra well and truly out of the window
I have to admit to getting a bit bored of using flat backed gems and stars to “fill in the gaps” and then I remembered some tiny nail art flowers I’ve had for years, they were so perfect for the Winnie the Pooh and Chip ‘n’ Dale outsidey drawers.
I even decorated the sides of all the drawers with washi tape and stickers, nothing was going to remain unused and unadorned.
This wasn’t a cheap project, it was my choice to use Dress It Up Buttons, however it was during the collecting of all the bits where I found how hard it is to find legit/licensed Disney pieces, unless they were “knock off” like a few Frozen and Disney Princess stickers and to be honest they just looked cheap.  So on the very conservative side, the bits alone cost me around £60 ……and I say that in a whisper.  The drawers were from The Works, usually costing £15 each, but I got three when there was a 30% off offer which then worked out at around £10.50 each – although I have noticed that lately promo codes aren’t applicable on then now, so I’m not sure if getting another bargain would be possible. 
I have two other sets taking up far too much space at the top of my wardrobe, so they need to be done before too long ……. I am thinking one should be for Christmas 2018, using wooden snowmen and snowflakes which I already have and cost less than £10 through sales and offers, and there’s really enough there to do two or three sets of drawers!  The other set I think should be more eclectic and for me! I have a lots of key and lock embellishments as well as other interesting flat back bits and pieces which I am thinking about  ……… all I need now is the time!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Easter Sweetie Favour Jars

A bit late I know …….  but these are the little sweetie favour jars I made for Iris to take to school to give her nursery helpers.
Easter Bunny Sweetie Jars
The hexagon (?) jars I have had for ages, which I filled with a mixture of tiny Easter eggs and equally tiny chocolate rabbits that I found in New York.
They really didn’t take that long to make as the rabbit heads and flowers were party confetti from Poundland and just needed gluing on, the bunny tape round the middle of the jars came from Aldi last year and the self adhesive crochet edging from Home Bargains.
Easter Bunny Sweetie Jar
All I had to do was make the tags, using a scalloped edged square punch, with a thread that was tied round the top of the jar.
Easter in a jar  – done and dusted!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

What’s A Girl To Do?

The mug I always use for my morning coffee says it all ……….
I had thought my little flat was almost done, although one or two things had been mithering me like the mirror in my lounge …… I knew I wanted to go bigger with perhaps a change in style, but I just never saw anything I liked until ………..
…….. the other week when I was in town just to buy stamps and exchange my unused dollars back into pounds  ……. when there it, well, rather they were ……. in the Georgian House in Evesham ………
What’s a girl to do? …….  a stunning, very large, circular bevelled edged and etched mirror was just £10, I didn’t need to think twice, it was mine, for the princely sum of £10. 
I didn’t really consider it’s weight, and there was some doubt when it came to actually hanging it as to whether it might be a bit heavy, but after a tense half hour or so, it was safely attached to the wall using four mirror screws. via the holes that formed the centre of the flowers. It’s perfect, and when the light hits the bevelled edge it’s almost magical. I don’t think my picture,really does it justice …… neither does the untidy reflection, but I was in the middle of a major spring clean and in a hurry.
And, erm …….. there was a second mirror …… marked at £35, but which managed to get down to £30.  It’s also quite heavy, but was a lot easier to hang in my bedroom than the other.  I just couldn’t resist it, to find a mirror with candelabra, OMG, so Beauty and the Beast!!!!!  I don’t think there’s much age to it, but it’s the final finishing touch the room needed.
I am also having yet another re-think about my spare/guest/craft storage room …….. heaven help me, and I have Mr Pete my carpenter coming over sometime this week to look at my plan and give me the yeah or neigh  ……. so watch this space.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Posts As And When ..........

Oh my goodness ............ I have been soooooooooo busy and as a consequence Fiddle Fart posts have suffered, without notice, for which I apologise to all those lovely friends who always check in on Mondays and Tuesdays.

And I am afraid it's a trend that looks set to continue .....  I've had Marc over, then went to Marc's and then stayed on longer than originally planned, I had a flat full last weekend for Easter, followed by a two night sleepover this weekend with Iris and Bertie with Auntie Lu coming over to lend a hand and then there's another weekend away planned in Weston Super Mare with Bertie in two weeks time ....... and it's going to be pretty much the same throughout the year ............. as for crafting  ....... well,  it's all on hold as tomorrow I plan to start designing and then making up of a set of invitation samples for my nephew's wedding in September. With just three days to get the bones of them done, including getting out my melt pot as Amanda (the bride) quite fancies seals, I need to work with blinkers on.  There's not a great deal of crafting with the ideas put forward, but there is an awful lot of computer design.

So please bear with me. How I ever went to work, worked for The Duke, kept house and posted two blog posts every day and crafted I'll never know.  I will post as and when I can, I have photos all ready for a few projects, finds and outings, I just haven't had the time to put the words together to go with them.

I'll always be here, if only once a week  ............ it's just that life has a habit of juggling things around now and again.

There will be a post tomorrow and Wednesday.


Monday, 26 March 2018

Iris Roo’s Bedroom

I didn’t intend to have a post today after spending the weekend with Marc, but I thought I would just share Iris’s bedroom and art work with you, as Monday and Tuesday posts are such an ingrained habit!
Iris is a prolific artist, like so many children of her age and Laura has put little washing lines along two of her bedroom walls to hang Iris’s “works of art” up with little wooden pegs
It’s a display that you just can’t look at without smiling, especially when there is a memory attached to when some of them were drawn.
They are so innocent and drawn entirely from the heart ……and now “words” are beginning to appear in them too ……..
And my very favourite? The one above, because of it’s simplicity, the Big Bad Wolf with a tree in the background. Oh Iris, don’t grow up too soon and where on earth have those first years gone?

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Bertie’s Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Card

This card measures 21cms wide by 15cms tall and is made using a hand cut, white linen effect blank.
Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Card
I have made this card for young master Bertie’s 2nd Birthday, he is Hungry Caterpillar mad and can tell you the story off by heart, to hear him “reading out aloud”, always brings a tear to my eye as he uses such cute intonation.
It’s been years since I have made a card like this, manipulating free downloadable Hungry Caterpillar pictures using Publisher 2003 (a very, very old fashioned method these days) , and as a result I was quite rusty, and really had to think about how to do certain things.
I put together the main design and then decided to add more interest and texture using several decoupage layers on the head.  When happy I printed the sheet off on my faithful old printer that accepts card like a dream.
I mat and layered the main panel on black and then silver card, and then, as an after thought, printed off another strip of the Hungry Caterpillar print to use behind the main panel, again to add more interest and extra colour.
I cut out and fixed the various layers using foam pads and then fixed the panel to the main card.
I had a little Glossy Accents in the bottom of a bottle that needed to be used up so I applied some to the caterpillars eyes and to the print pattern, which made the colours pop. A scattering of three grouped dots here and there also helped to break up the solid white background.
If I were to make the card again, I would add another layer to the caterpillars body to make him stand out just that little bit more.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Great Excitement – Marc And I Go A-Crafting-O!!!

Wooooo hoooooo hooooooo, Marc is coming to stay at The Towers  ………. so I have the vodka, a freezer full of vegetarian fish fingers, a mega box of Maltesers and a couple of takeaway menus on hold!

download (1)

Marc has booked us on two “Create a Scrapbook Page” workshops at Crafters Companion, Evesham with Michelle Jackson Mogford. https://www.facebook.com/events/1948824978478378/  on Saturday which is very, very exciting.
We’ve never done anything like this together, and rest assured I will be taking lots of pictures of our day and what we create.
Then on Sunday we are off to Malvern for Crafting Live (in association with Create and Craft) https://www.craftinglive.co.uk/shows/malvern/ 
Marc is hoping to be there early so that we can book a couple of “make and takes” https://www.craftinglive.co.uk/shows/malvern/make-takes/
I quite fancy Stampers Grove and Crafty Devils and I think Marc will want to do a bit of Brother ScanNCut – but as I think it will be quite busy, we’ll be happy to have a go at anything. 
Marc and I have never done a “show” together before either, so another first! And, as there will also be a little retail therapy at both events, I feel sure that there will be several considered purchases made!
Anyway, with all this excitement I am going to change my usual Fiddle Fart posting days to next Wednesday and Thursday so that I can sort out my pictures and let you know how we got on.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Assorted Treasures From New York ……..

One of the things I really wanted to do in New York was to “do” a Flea Market to find a genuine souvenir to put on my shelves at The Towers.  Lu found one in Brooklyn and another just a few blocks from our hotel in Hells Kitchen, however both were on Saturday, the day we were due to return home, which meant that we were a little distracted in keeping an eye on the time and the day before New York was hit by a nor'easter, where we experienced strong winds, sleet, snow and heavy rain (which is why, by mid afternoon, we decided to retreat to the cinema), so we weren’t sure whether they would be on, but in the end we decided to try Hells Kitchen http://www.annexmarkets.com/hells-kitchen-flea-market/
Sadly, when we got there, although the sun was now out, unsurprisingly (as Nigel shows, there were only a handful of stalls, and I only took a few photos that didn’t include a flipping monkey!
But despite the poor show I was determined that nothing would remain unscrutinised and pondered over……….
Let’s just I loved the glass lamp stands, but they had to stay.
But this tiny figure did manage to pass the room in my suitcase test and cost me $5, about £3.50 in English money. She was just what I was looking for as the perfect memento of our trip, a bit kitsch and now standing next to a bottle of my late mother-in-laws favourite perfume on my boudoir shelves.  From my research I think she may be a 1940’s “made in occupied Japan ballerina figurine”.  I also think that originally she would have had a lace skirt, like the one below, I may add one, one day.
made in occupied japan
Pleased with my purchase I then moved on to another stall that was quite frankly real mess and I had to really to scrabble about to see things. I found a snowman brooch of no real age and in need of a good clean, but I thought was in just the right proportion to go with the balsa house I bought in Michaels (see yesterday’s post), I paid $3 for him, that’s about £2.10 in English money, a bit on the high side, but hey, holiday money doesn’t feel like real money does it?!!
I was about to walk away, but decided to mooch some more and found this ……..
…….. a clump of plastic animals, figures and objects, all kept together on a safety pin.  I asked the price – $20 (about £14), which seemed a bit much.  But as I got back to Lu, it was still on my mind, it could have been the one thing that I might regret not buying when I got home. It was pretty unique (to me) and if displayed in, perhaps a box frame, it would be a really original holiday souvenir.   I went back for a second look, loved it even more, so haggled it and got it for $18.  Lu thought I had gone mad!
On getting back home and doing some research, I think I safely say that they are charms made from celluloid, still with their original silk threads and date from the 1930s/40s.  In all there are 32 and all different, some are painted and some left “vanilla”
“Many novelty companies offered sellers a plethora of charms for them to use in a variety of different ways. Many charms were premium giveaways or were in gumball machines, etc. They were sold by the gross. So 144 charms could be purchased for a mere .70 to .80 cents back in the late 30s and 40s!”
IMG_7418The three above are my favourites.  I have also learned that there are a lot of collectors in the US for them -
I  looked on e-bay to reference them and found that the skull is available for £8.65 and on average most of the other charms are selling for around £5, so I in the end I think I had a bargain.  But it’s not really about their worth, when I look at them, I am transported to my last cold and windy day in New York and that deserted market in the middle of all those sky scrappers, the sounds, the smells and my aching feet!
My other souvenir shopping earlier in the week didn’t go quite so well ……… I have wanted a kitsch Chinese waving cat forever and a Statue of Liberty to go under a dome, so I waited until we visited China Town (and Little Italy) after we were told that the prices would be much cheaper there.  Well, the cat doesn’t wave ……. and the Statue of Liberty is too tall for my dome!
But, on the plus side, the dish-wash dispenser I found in Target is perfect in my kitchen and again, a perfect reminder of my holiday and the poor girl who had to look up the price online on her mobile phone at the till (can’t imagine that happening here) as it didn’t have a price on ……. but that’s a whole different story.
More pictures of our New York Adventure are available on Mums Monkey but as seen through the eyes (and stomach) of young Nigel!!!!