Thursday, 18 October 2018

Spotted In Worcester - Marc Would LOVE This ……

I saw this in a knitting shop in Worcester …………………
knitted Halloween wreath
……. and thought of  Marc, who absolutely loves a festive knitted decoration.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Quick Halloween Trick or Treat Favours

I put these favours together very quickly for Bertie’s nursery autumn fayre ……
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……. using the delightfully named Twisted Guts marshmallow twists that I found in Home Bargains ….. yuk!
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There’s not a lot to them, I simply tied two together with a green bow with a rubber bat and a tag, left over from the Halloween pots I made the other week …IMG_8987
….. but hopefully they will help raise a few extra pence towards some much needed equipment etc.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Advent Drawer Tuesday

Another two Advent drawers today ………
Advent Drawer 1
….. as you can see I am still struggling with using blues and greys, but hey ho, I’ve given in and am just going with the creative flow.
Advent Drawer 4
I don’t like to clock watch while I am working, but so far I reckon each drawer has taken me approximately an hour, but that’s starting with a blank canvas each time and lots of fiddle farting getting everything in the right place and then often changing this and that, no matter how small, until I am really happy with how it looks, before finally the gluing can begin.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Boho Style Christmas Tree Decorations

After two years I am considering injecting a bit more oomph into my twig Christmas tree this year, it’s all been very tasteful so far, but now I think I am done with the less is more chandelier drops and small balls effect, if you’ll pardon the expression.
Crystal Christmas Tree using Chandalier Drops_thumb[3]
So with that aim in mind I have been experimenting with some boho style decorations using some of the rectangular plastic drops I have put on the tree in the past.
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However, the idea proved to be a lot more fiddly and long winded  than I first anticipated and as you know I am not blessed with much patience when things don’t go as well as planned ….. and so I got a bit bored with the project, but I did persevere.
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I started by covering the flat side of the drops with various  decopatch papers and then gluing two together back to back, well, that was the theory, but the drops had a little bit of a curve in  them so would not stick together flat without a fight!
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It was a full on battle to keep the mini bulldog clips in place without them pinging across the room every five minutes but once settled I left them over the weekend for the glue to cure properly.
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I coloured all the joining beads and drops with Sharpie pens, again a bit fiddle farty for an impatient me. Flat back flower gems were then stuck on both sides of the decoration for extra bling.
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Not that I intend to attempt to make them again, but if I did I  might add a little ultra fine silver or iridescent glitter to the papers before I glued them.  Whether they end up on my tree I am not to sure but I will find somewhere for them.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Heads Up Christmas Shopping

I was thinking “snowballs” to go in a few of the mini mason jars I showed you last week as table favours …….. but the Cadbury snowballs I had thought about proved to be a little expensive at 99p per bag, not making it that cheap an exercise …….. so I went delving a little further along the Home Bargain shelves ……..
cadbury fooballs
…… and found these Cadbury footballs for 39p per bag, the same weight as the snowballs but these don’t have a dusty sugary coating …… but who’s going to know? Well, with a saving of 50p per bag it would have been rude not to make a considered purchase. My jars should now come in at just 79p each plus a couple of pence for a tag and attached snowflake.
mini mason jar glasses Home Bargains
Just to be on the safe side I did check the sell by date on the bags  but that’s not until April 2019, I am well chuffed!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

STOP PRESS - HEADS UP - THE WORKS WOODEN DRAWER SETS

The Works drawers I have used for the project below are currently on offer in The Works at just 2 for £20 which is a saving of £5 per set, making the project a little more economical.  I understand that this offer is until this coming Sunday but don't quote me.

I have looked online but the drawers are not reduced on there - so it may be available in the shops only.

I was disappointed to miss out on a Flash Hobbycraft sale of 25% on everything last week ....... needless to sale the Advent House I posted last week had sold out when I got there!

Another Advent Calendar Started

I have finally got off my bum and started another drawer Advent Calendar using the last of my wooden drawer blanks from The Works (£15) ….. and my crafting area has now been declared an official tip!
CRaft Table
I am hoping to get two drawers done a week, while still working on other Christmas ideas.
Advent Drawer 2
My intention was also to work mainly in blues and greys so this set of drawers is quite different from the first one, however I have to admit it’s a hard shout as I am already finding that I am automatically gravitating towards background papers that are red and green, the idea of blues and greys just isn’t gelling.
Advent Drawer 3
But these first drawers have turned out pretty well, although I can almost guarantee that I will go back to them at least once to add a tiny bit of  something else, even if it’s just a sprinkling of glitter or a dollop of Glossy Accents before I am 100% happy.  Less is more is a rule that goes out of the window at Christmas!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Heads Up – Mini Mason Drinking Jars & Mini Christmas Paper Pads

I spotted this mini mason jars in the wedding section of Home Bargains. At just 39p each it would have been rude not to buy a few. £3.90 for ten is about the same as a latte and a piece of cake, so in making this considered purchase I was really saving myself from an unwise choice along my Slimming World journey!!!!
mini mason jar glasses Home Bargains
I am thinking “Christmas” …….. along the lines of chocolate jingle beans, red and green ones would be perfect (M & Ms?) and then attaching a cluster of small bells tied with ribbon to the handle or perhaps Cadbury snowballs  with a snowflake and ribbon on the handle.  I need to study the various festive sweets as they come into the shops.  Chocolate foil wrapped snowmen could also be an option ……. any other ideas/suggestions very welcome ………
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I also spotted these small 10cms x 10cms design pads (5 x 20 designs) in The Range for £1 each.  They had quite a few different themes and colour ways but I went for the blues and greys because I need to get a wriggle on and start putting together another set of advent drawers, but where my last one mainly used red and green patterned papers, I thought blue, grey and white would give me a completely different look as I get very easily bored if I have to repeat a lengthy project.
The Works also has this size of paper pads for the same price but NOT with Christmas designs (yet).
IMG_8965I like these pads because the proportions of the designs are scaled down and so perfect for small projects. I have been caught out too many times buying the smaller size of a 12 x 12 design pad only to find that though the paper is smaller  the design is not! One sheet from these pads would perfect for the centre panel on a simple square card, so, in theory no cutting and wastage. I love the knitted design, perfect for a patchwork card?

Monday, 8 October 2018

A Tale Of Two Cards

My sister-in-law asked if I would make her a wedding card using the flower design that I’d used on the vellum sheet at the front of the invitation pack I’d made for her son’s wedding.To be honest, I’d lost my love for the design as soon I’d put the invitations to bed, so admit to keep putting the job off until it was almost the very last minute.
Initially I thought I might be able do a very simple decoupage with it, but the design was too delicate with airy fairy petals, leaves and stems overlapping with nothing real to grasp hold of and the lines for my usual version of decoupage need to be definite, as well as basic.
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In the end I simply took the picture and mat and layered it on white and silver mirror card on a hand cut white linen effect card and then painted over it with a Crystal Clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen for an extremely subtle glitter effect, so subtle that I couldn’t pick it out to photograph..  Any tiny, flat backed gem or pearl I tried just stuck out like a sore thumb. I don’t really feel that this was my finest crafty hour.
picture frame card
After sleeping on it, I decided to think outside the box and be a little quirky, miniaturising the flower design and then putting it in a small resin frame. 
IMG_8725miniature picture frame card
This second design is much more me, but in the end it was the first card that made the final cut as far as my sister-in-law was concerned.  However it’s an idea I like, so intend to experiment some more for a couple of Christmas cards I already have in mind.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Hobbycraft Advent House

I went a bit mad and purchased a Hobbycraft Advent House

https://www.hobbycHobbycraft Advent HOuse.raft.co.uk/wooden-pre_primed-advent-house/637476-1000
It cost me £15, so not a cheap project and to be honest I am not sure if I will even actually make a start on it this year, but you never know.
Hobbycraft Advent House
I particularly like the top section where you can make up little 3D scene. I have a couple of resin snowmen and some bog bottle brush trees that I think could look quite good there. 
Hobbycraft Advent HOuse..
I am not sure how to approach the doors of each compartment as they don’t come off, which means working with the house as a whole for a lot of the time.  The knobs don’t come off either, so I am a bit loathe to colour them just in case I slip with my Sharpie. 
However at the moment I am thinking that I will make a small 1.5ins x 1.25ins scene on a piece of card for each door which I will then glue on and then over lap the edges nearest the knob with an advent number or other embellishments like a star or snowflake to draw it all together, well, that’s the theory anyway, if I ever do get started!
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I also love Hobbycrafts LED gingerbread house, but at £25 it would be a very extravagant purchase, however I have promised myself to keep a daily eye on it once December comes just in case it gets reduced.   Although the drawers come out I think decorating the attached tree/santa panels could be a little tricky.  To be honest I would prefer to work on a completely blank canvas, but hey ho that’s me!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

An Object Of Desire – The One That Got Away

I admit, I have “a thing” about mirrors and I have really tried to train myself not to look at them any more as I just do not have a single space in my flat to fit even the tiniest one in.
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So imagine how I felt when I spotted this beauty, even Lu said “That looks like a you mum!” – it was love at first sight, but I daren’t even move it to get a closer look, because if I’d have made a physical connection I know I would have been a gonna!  My mind was racing through all the rooms in my flat hoping against hope for an Ulrika moment when I would suddenly realise I actually did have the perfect place for it,  …… alas, it was not to be …………… humoungous sigh!
……. And then, when I got home I had to ignore a niggling thought …… wondering if I could have removed the mirror whether it might have made an eccentric sort of wreath for my front door!?!?!


Monday, 1 October 2018

Halloween Favour Pots.

Halloween Frankenstein Favours pots
Following on from last weeks shopping, I have to admit in some disappointment with the pumpkin pots, the opening at the top proved to be much smaller than similar pots I have used in the past and as a result I can’t really fit the chocolates I intended inside with any great ease and in turn that would be fiddly for any child who received one. 
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The hole was also too small to put in a battery operated tea light, so another crafty bum! So ……. back to the drawing board ……and after a mooch round Home Bargains I found some chocolate foil wrapped pumpkin balls to put in them.
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The tops of the Frankenstein pots are bigger and I was able to put in a satisfying amount of Celebration sweets plus a few Halloween chocolate coins.
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Once filled I put the pots in a cellophane bag, tying the top with a ribbon and adding a bat and tag.  The bats cost £1 for a net of 12 from Poundstretcher.
bats and door wreathIMG_8939
I was originally going to put an eyelet through the hole I punched in the bat wings but thought it would be much safer not to add any small elements that could come adrift.  There were no small parts to come loose on the pots either, you have to be so careful!
Halloween pumpkin pot favours
I didn’t put “Trick or Treat” on any of the tags because the  event the pots were made for was a few days after Halloween, but since the evening included a pumpkin trail through the nursery meadow I thought some of the elements of Halloween would be still fresh in the little ones minds.
Halloween Frankenstein favour potIMG_8951Halloween pumpkin pot favour
The Halloween stickers came from Aldi last year, but as they always seem to have really useful stickers for Halloween and Christmas I will be on the look out for them again this year.
And the ribbons? Well, can you believe I am still using the ribbons left over from making the bouquets, table flowers, button holes etc. for Tom and Laura’s wedding, who would have thought that five years later the ribbons would be used again in part to raise money for their babies wonderful nursery school!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Considered Purchases For Halloween And Christmas

I thought I might not see these Halloween pots this year, they’ve been around for years but like the nets of boney hands and skeleton garlands of yesteryear I wondered if there would come a time when they would disappear too, BUT after visits to  the Poundstretcher stores  in Worcester and Evesham I found them! They also do a skull pack, which I may also get.
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I wanted them in particular this year because Bertie’s nursery has an Autumn Fayre where they organise a trail of pumpkins in the school meadow, it is both a magical and entrancing evening especially for the little ones (hopefully pictures to follow as and when it happens),  but funds are tight and I thought I could decorate and fill a few pots with sweets to help raise a bit more money. Pictures below are from my 2012 efforts …… I think I can do better now!
Poundworld Halloween Pumpkins_thumb[7]Poundworld Halloween._thumb[8]
Christmas Photoframe Sampler_thumb[6]
I also visited Poundland to get some more photo frames for my Christmas Sampler Frames, the design has now changed from the ones they had before, …….. typical ……..
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….. but I think I can achieve the same sort of result/affect with the frame turned vertically.  I also think I can use the patterned background sheet as a template and or base on which to stick my festive background papers making it a much less fiddly effort than my original one.  I prefer the old frame with its circles but  as soon as I have had a play I will post the results. The frame comes in black or white ……. I am thinking a black one could also be used for a Halloween themed decoartion with appropriate embellishments if I can find some.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Finished Sharpie Chandelier

Following on from last week I have finished my Sharpie pen chandelier! I am so unbelievably chuffed you wouldn’t believe. I don’t think the pictures really do it justice but all the lovely positive comments  from my various visitors have helped reassure me that I haven’t just gone and ruined a perfectly good light fitting, even young master Bertie was totally entranced when he saw it, he thinks Nanny lives in Elsa’s castle!
sharpie chandalier.
As I said last week I have made sure I have kept all the drops I took off and replaced for those I coloured, just in case I ever go off it, so putting the light back to it’s original state would not be a problem.
sharpie pen chandalier..
I also raided my twig Christmas tree decoration box to add the now coloured pointed glass drops to the chain links plus the small square beads to make the drops on the candle holders and top fitting a little longer.  The final thrill was finding that I had a glass ball centrepiece to put the finishing touch to the bottom.  The chandelier now consists of both acrylic and vintage glass drops.  My only slight concern is whether the colours will fade over time, however it’s nothing to pull the blind down  on bright day and wait and see.
sharpie pen chandalier
I am going to live with the light now for a month or so and then may possibly consider getting some coloured chain links ….. we shall see. At the moment I have a dark Next purple, green and teal paisley design duvet set on the bed , but I also have a very bright BHS patchwork set that I am pretty sure will help give over the top bohemian look I am experimenting with a more vibrant appeal.
garland
I have left the box of drops out because I think I will make the chandelier in my own bedroom a little fuller too, but  will definitely be leaving it clear. This also means that my twig Christmas tree will almost certainly be getting a whole new look this year, so I may also need to invest in a new pack of Sharpie pens.

EXTRA POSTS
I am going to add extra posts here and there as it's my favourite time of the crafty year with Halloween and Christmas fast approaching! I thought I would give you quick heads up to some of the things I have spotted and making considered purchases of.