Thursday, 21 November 2019

Heads Up - Poundland Paint Your Own Nutcracker

The only trouble with Halloween is that you have to wait until after it's all over before Poundland really gets to put all their Christmas bits and pieces out in full. Since the middle of September we've been getting tantalising glimpses but nothing like their full range, and as such I have tended to buy things when I have seen them or look for something after someone has posted an item of interest on The Poundland Appreciation page on Facebook.
This year their Christmas craft range is looking pretty interesting, so when I found these Paint Your Own Nutcracker tree decorations in the Birmingham shop, after first seeing them on Facebook, I knew Marc already wanted a couple and I thought I would have a couple too following that age old Poundland rule, if you don't get something when you see it you might not be able to find them again after.
I don't think I will be painting mine with the paints provided, I am thinking more along the lines of using Sharpie pens instead ..... I am also thinking that I could use my nail enamel pens or 3D Effect paints to add the little details, but before I get started I need do a little Googling to get a few ideas as to how I can really "pimp" my nutcracker .....  if you'll pardon the expression, as I feel there may be an element of competition between Marc and me when we get cracking!

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Guest Crafter Bertie And His Printed Nursery Christmas Card

Awwww, Bertie isn't especially keen on drawing and painting which makes this card extra special ........ plus I am just a very proud Granny, so please bear with me!
I am reliably informed that it's Santa in the middle of his "design" and one of the first "people" Bertie has drawn and I presume the background is a copy taken of one of his finger paintings.
It's all part of a fundraising idea where families can not only order Christmas cards with this design, but also gift tags, wrapping paper, notebooks, stickers and mugs, to mention a few.  It's the mugs that I have my beady eye on to give as gifts, but before I put in my order I need to stand back to see if Mum and Dad have a similar idea, but I am determined that one way or another a mug will be mine!  Did I mention how proud I am?!!??!!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Re-Blinged Rockin' Robin Christmas Cards

Is there such a thing as re-blinged?  I had an offer come through from The Works which included a festive free gift of a book, wrapping paper or pack of cards, I decided to choose the cards as I thought  Iris could make good use of them at Christmas to give to her friends.
Then.......I got to thinking, never a good thing, although the cards were plenty sparkly enough as they were, the robins would look even cuter if I gave them googly eyes ........
........ and then dear readers, I got completely carried away!  
Not only did I give said robins each a pair of googly eyes, I also decided to give their hats "woolly" trims and bobbles using 3D Snow Effect .........
....... added a little Ranger Glossy Accents to make their little rosy cheeks glow .......
....... not forgetting adding gold stars on top of the original white ones in the background and my customary scattering of three blacks dots here and there.  Talk about overkill! There's an awful lot of extra dimension and texture going on here!  I'll be honest, if the cards had been smaller I would have been very tempted to use the whole front as a topper, mat and layering it on red and silver perhaps!

Iris will be getting nine of the ten cards as I have kept one back because I think if I cut the front in two I could have two toppers to possibly work with  ...... I am not sure if the idea in my head will work out, but  watch this space!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Make A Wish Card with Pin Badge

This card measures 6ins x 6ins and uses a pre-scored, smooth, manufactured card as it's base.

I made this card for my sister-in law's 60th birthday, again, as is my want these days it is very plain and simple.
The badge came from a store called Hema (Birmingham Bull Ring) and cost just £1, as soon as I saw it I thought of Sarah and bought three (two for spares for other ideas)
I simply covered the front of the card with a paper of a suitable proportion to the badge. I then added  a scrap of white card to the back of a Works metallic gold card frame and placed the badge in the middle of it.
I then used the badge pin to pierce a hole through the card front and replaced its back.  Voila, another very simple card done!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

It Was Meant To Be .........

As you know I have a HUGE thing for 1950's/60s metal frame, fish eye mirrors and I thought with the three resprayed ones in my bedroom that I was done ......
However, to be honest, in the back of my mind I have always carried the memory of ".... the one that got away", a very colourful flower covered mirror I saw and lusted over at The Malt House Emporium in Tewksbury at least eighteen months ago.  I really can't remember at the time why I didn't buy it there and then, but it was most probably because I couldn't think where it would go as all my walls were pretty much covered.
Well, Lu and I returned a couple of weeks ago and half way round I said to Lu "I wonder if that mirror was still here and if it is I'm having it!"  .......
It was, ...... obviously no one else has my hideous taste!  It was still the same price and I couldn't get it down anymore as the lady said it had already been reduced (.....but still not moved for at least 18 months???!!!!) ...... however, I still bought it anyway. I'm not saying exactly what for, but perhaps a months worth of Costa coffees?
There is no age to it at all ....... it's just pretty and I have never seen anything else like it before, as Lu says it's very me.  Finding a place for it to live was hard as I had first anticipated, especially as I wanted to be able to see it all the time, I've put it in the hall, where I can pass and admire it often.  Happy days ...... it was meant to be!

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Mid Century Style Birthday Card

This card measures 6ins x 6ins and uses a pre-scored, manufactured card as its base.
I think I could becoming a bit of a lazy card maker ......or am I simply just cutting out all the fiddle fart in my old age?
This card was made for my brother-in-law who fancies himself as a bit of a mid century boff. All I did was find a mid century design for the background and download a suitable mid century font for the sentiment, putting them all together using Publisher 2003 and then printing it off.
I covered the front of a pre-scored card with the background piece, then mat and layered the sentiment on black and silver card and mounting it on foam pads to give the card a little more dimention in the centre of the card.
The final touch was putting a tiny, cross eye making, silver gem in the middle of the stars to add a little extra, but subtle, birthday bling.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Out And About With Marc In Worcester.

Marc and I were able to meet up in Worcester in the middle of October, when as far as we concerned Halloween was done and dusted and we were eager to move on to what the shops had to offer of a crafty type nature for Christmas ........ but, as per usual, we do tend to get a little distracted .......
...... especially by things that shine and sparkle ....... like this wonderful Christmas de-baubled jumper  in B & M Bargains, it was hard to walk away, but, no considered purchase was make, just in case we came upon something that was even better!!
But while we thought we were a little early looking for Christmas, Home Bargains already had their Easter Crafts stocked, I thought poor Marc was never going to be able to stop laughing, we all know they start getting the Easter eggs out in January, but in October, it's got to be some sort of record.
As per usual Marc only agreed to having his picture taken with his face covered, he is such a diva, but does have such lovely blue eyes!!!
But didn't mind me taking a couple of pictures of his new walking stick. Wherever we go people always remark on his various sticks, we still chuckle about the reaction he once got during a bus ride into Wolverhampton!!
Anyway, on this clear, acrylic (I think) stick he had replaced the top with a skull that he had first coloured using a chrome effect spray paint and then underneath glued real Swarovski crystals so that it really caught the light when he moved. It was quite stunning!
 And finally, rather than bore you with our usual crafty haul and what we plan to do with each and every I thought I would share this prize nugget with you instead, not only in a picture ....... 
........ but to get the "full effect", in video form ......... enjoy!!!!!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Christmas Snowman Dioramas

At last, I have been happy enough with my Christmas snowman diorama design to go into mass production and I have finally have a whole batch of finished ones sitting on my craft table.
How many I could actually make was all reliant on how many frames I could wrestle from the compartment trays I already had (originally manufactured as boxes for wooden embellishments).
In the end I managed to get sixteen because instead of throwing away the frames that didn't have any sides when the boxes were carved up, I cut new ones from the scraps and carefully glued and taped them together to create a new complete frame ........ 
..... with the intention of using decorative fabric tape, when the time came, to cover any/all the imperfections from all that butchering .......... I was so chuffed!
The frames were then lined with a small print blue paper and scraps from a printed Christmas ticket design that were in perfect proportion to the diorama embellishments.
The snowmen were then made en-masse, with each taking about a quarter of a pack of soft white Fimo to make.  Hats, scarfs and carrot noses were made using scraps of Fimo I already had.  The real twig arms were added to the snowmen before the baking process.
The 10cm Christmas trees (The Works) were not, how shall I say, the bushiest and most were a little squashed and flat in places, however this sort of worked to my advantage as I didn't have to trim them, by finding their flattest angle and fluffing the rest up, they fit pretty easily into the frame, after removing their base and plunging the bare wire, with a little glue into Air Magic Soft Modelling Dough and then left to dry.
Now came the fiddly farty stage when all the flat back pearls had to be attached to the trees with great dollops of PVA glue, thank goodness it dries clear .......
...... and the Dymo tape "Let It Snow" sentiments added.  I wanted to put them in between the tree and the snowman, which was easier to do before gluing the snowman in permanently and I wanted to add small snowflake confetti (Hobbycraft) and tiny gold stars to the background as well, at the same time.  By the time I had finished I was almost crossed eyed.
My best buy so far this Christmas was buying a tiny £1 holly punch from Hobbycraft making decorating the snowmen's hats so much easier than my first attempts!
With that, snowmen were finally glued into position and when I admit to starting to feel frustrated, as it seemed every stage needed time to dry before I could move on.
The "pelmets" for the snow had to be added ...... so while they dried I made the corner "believe" signs using the left over bits from the original trays, writing using a black biro so that the ink didn't bleed into the wood.
When the pelmets were dry I decided to touch up the snow and snowmen up with a little white paint as the snow, through handling wasn't quite as pristine as I had hoped, however once applied the paint also added a certain pleasing snowy texture.
Next followed all the twiddly didly bits, first 3D textured snow applied to the pelmets, edges and bottom of the trays, followed by the holly and berries, plaques that I added a little beige felt pen to to add some "age" finally a stars to the top of the Christmas trees.
After allowing the snow to dry I was then able to add the Snowmen's eyes and to a few a mouth, then their buttons and a tiny silver heart on their scarves which fiannly gave each diorama its own individual character.
I thought the final touch was adding a sprinkling of translucent glitter, but before I did that I decided to add faux stitching where there was a small gap between the ribbon and the tray edges to add more detail.
I am really, really pleased with how they have all turned out, but they were a lot of work ...... I reckon they took at least an hour each to make.
They have evolved just a little in the process, I really like the ones with the house stickers in the background but sadly I ran out of them ...... and I couldn't really wait for shops to get their Christmas stock in, but if I see any this year I will stock up for future projects.

I now need time to rest and recover before I decide whether I will repeat this operation for another year and really that all depends on whether I can gather up a few more trays in the meantime!

Friday, 8 November 2019

I said I wouldn't ....... But I did!

I don't think I ever completely ruled out buying any more chandeliers, rather it was more a case of trying to reign in my compulsion to buy them, ruling that they would have to have something a little morespecial for me to make a considered purchase ......... so what's a girl to do when she spots this beauty in the British Heart Foundation shop in Malvern ..... for just £4.  
I am afraid, dear reader,  it came home with me ...... the chains of clear beads are always useful ...... but it was the other larger beads that really took my fancy .....
All the beads were (sadly) plastic, however, I could see the large purple shapes replacing some of the amber coloured ones on my Moroccan style light shade in the bathroom.  The clear drops just scream Christmas, and the turquoise ones I am thinking about, but may make an appearance on my ornate shower-room light shade ...... and the red ones, I am thinking might go on my spare bedroom chandelier.  There were also some brown coloured drops, these also need some thought, but have the potential to be decorated with gold 3D effect paint and a flat back gem or two to make fancy parcel charms or Christmas tree decorations.

I need to have an evening taking the shade apart and then doing the calculations as to where they could be added or what they can be used for. I think there are possibly eight of each shape .....plus goodness knows how many clear chains ....... happy days!

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The World Is Your Lobster Card

This card measures 5.5ins x 5.5ins and is made using a hand cut, white linen effect card.
I loved these lobster stickers from Paperchase when I bought them, they have such cute faces, but what on earth to do with them? So I am afraid they have been languishing in my sticker box ever since I bought them. Then I got stuck for a card for Tom's birthday and I mean really stuck!  In a desperate search for inspiration in said sticker box I re-found them and got to thinking .... hmmmm "The world's your lobster"  I am pretty sure Arthur Daley said it in an episode of Minder, one of the Dukes very favourite programmes ......
...... Tom's card!  I took a silver frame (The Works £3 for 30 assorted silver, copper and gold) and backed it with a scrap of white card, adding two lobsters, some tiny weeny, cross eye making flat backed gems and hand wrote the phrase.  
I then mat and layered the filled frame first on red corrugated card followed by silver card, simples! I am so chuffed with how it turned out, now ...... what to do with the other twenty-eight or so lobsters! 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Baby Boy Shower Favour - Guest Crafter - My Ex Next Door Neighbour Sue.

This beautiful set of baby shower favours was made by my ex next door neighbour Sue in honour of  the safe arrival of my current, very lovely, next door neighbours Kata's little boy Kristzian.
Kristzian decided to arrive early, which is why the shower took place after the event rather than as more traditionally before!
Inside the card carrier type box was a whole host of lovely things, so beautifully put together, including a tea-light .......
...... some sunflower seeds ..........
....... a Wish braclet .......
...... and some blue sweeties.  
You know me, I just loved all the tiny details from the little charms to bows, bags and tags.  It was a gift to treasure ....... but I will use them all and remember a very lovely afternoon of Prossecco, cake and baby munching!