Thursday, 31 January 2019

A Confession ……

Now, you know how much I love a charity shop, well, I have a confession …….. I have joined a few groups on Facebook related to that said “love” …. but hope, in posting this I don’t offend anyone.
The groups I have joined are Random C*** You Find In Charity Shops, S*** You Find In Charity Shops and Charity Shop S***.
I tell you what, these groups really ought to come with a health warning before joining as I have almost suffocated myself from laughter, goodness knows what the neighbours must think ….. that poor lady ….. living all by herself …..

It’s the best way to end a day, going through all the posts in bed, tears streaming down my face.

I am hoping to contribute a few choice items myself in time ….. I might even make my finds a regular post on here …….well,  it would be churlish of me not to spread the joy a little further.  It could also be a new “interest” for Marc and I when we go on one of our charity shop jaunts, Happy Days!

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Object of Desire ………

If I actually had a space for this Mary who knows ………… at £120  she was a steal at Georgian House Antiques in Evesham. I think she was as tall as me (a shrinking 5ft 2ins)
Goodness knows what my kids would say, what with all my other religious bits and pieces scattered everywhere ……. blame my strict Catholic upbringing and a middle name of Mary! Sadly on this occasion all I could do was give her a longing stroke.
I know Rick, Marc’s partner would have absolutely loved it ……. he has a huge wooden Mary from church salvage, I think, in the hall of his flat which I oooooed and ahhhed embarrassingly at when I saw it.  Can you imagine my “new” millionaires home if I ever won the lottery ….. saints preserve us!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday

Another two drawers for you today, hope it isn’t getting too boring??!!

I am finding it much easier limiting myself to just using the five sheets or so of the foiled card and foam Christmas stickers from Flying Tiger.

I have ordered a lot of extra frames and other wooden shapes to use as backgrounds and frames for the stickers and numbers. They will also help to add a extra layers to the drawer fronts I hope.

I think of the drawers so far that the tree one is my favourite.  I have a long way to go so I expect there will be another couple of drawers that might surpass it …… it’s going to be interesting journey.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Jingle All The Way Christmas Card

This hand cut, white linen effect card, measures 5ins x 5ins.
Jingle All The Way Card 1
The sentiment and green patterned paper on this card come from Hobbycraft’s Snow Cool collection.
snow coolJingle All The Way Card
There’s a fair bit of matting and layering going on, but I think it works.IMG_0299
I loved the sentiment, but it looked a bit flat ….. so out came the big boys ……
Jingle All The Way Card .....
….. in the guise of clear, flat backed gems, Glossy Accents and a spring of beaded holly  (£1 pack from The Works), doused with a little extra Accents.  I’m really thrilled with how well this has all worked out especially as I am well out of my comfort zone with the colours!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Error 400 - The Remote server returned an error - Live Writer and Google Photos Problem.

There seems to have been a problem come up with Live Writer once every year or so but which has, thankfully, always been solved after a day or two.  I have always found it to be the most brilliant way to edit blog posts before publishing, with millions of bloggers using it all over the world. I am lost without it and so are they.

However, it is a programme that Windows decided not to develop/update any further a few years ago and so problems have occurred over that time when Google (???) have changed some of their codes/workings (???, forgive me, I am not a techie).  About 2 years ago after a huge problem left bloggers who used Live Writer up the swannie without a paddle, a team of very clever people took on Live Write to create Open Live Writer  and all has been well ...... until on 16th January (2019), when Google did something connected to Google Photos and/or Picasa which left bloggers once more unable to post from OLW to Blogger ......including me.

Finding out what was happening was a nightmare, so I added my problem to GitHubb and Blogger Help!topic/blogger/nJbedfynH7o

There has been one fix, but so far its having problems and as it's only a temporary fix until March, we'll all be scuppered again anyway

However, I through github I have found a work round, I'll not bore you with the details, see below. just in case if helps anyone else.

It's not as slick as just being able to use OLW but after a week or so I think it should become more comfortable. I can no longer add a copyright to my pictures, but that's something I can sort out in time.

I, as well as a many others users find editing on Blogger hard to manipulate, which is why we love OLW so much.  Along with many bloggers I am now wondering how long it will be before Google gives up on Blogger and stops updating it or tweaks something else that makes it too almost impossible to use.  I think, when I have time, I need to start looking for a new free blog platform, before I fear the inevitable happens!

Poundland Sale!

Is it me or has this been a phenomena that has just passed me by over the years ……since when has Poundland had a “proper” sale?  Yes, they have had reduced products after Christmas but never to my knowledge like this!  I recently joined the Poundland Appreciation Society on Facebook and that’s when I saw people posting their 50p/25p “bargains” and I got curious.
My nearest two Poundlands are in Worcester and are not, to be honest, the best, but there again, they are not as bad as the Portobello Road one near Marc, which believe me is dire!  Anyway, when I nipped into Worcester I only really picked up 4 boxes of the wooden Christmas jumper, hat and mitten tags (above) for 25p a box …… not bad for  a total of £1. I think individually they will look brilliant on a card or perhaps strung together for bunting.
Poundland Peg Photo frame
Then when I saw that people were posting the aperture picture frames that I had used at Christmas my mind went into overdrive thinking of Easter, Home Sweet Home, Valentines Day, Weddings etc.  A trip to Wolverhampton, to see Lu, not just to go to Poundland, proved pretty fruitless.  The things I bought were full price because there was very little in the sale and the items that I’d seen people paying 50p/25p for were still full price, so I don't know what was going on there.
Poundland Photo Frame
I got two picture fames (above) that I thought I might be able to do something with later on in the year plus two tag calendars (below)  that I think could be turned into advent calendars perhaps? 
Poundland Tag Calendar
As I said the sales shelves were totally pants, but I did have a little ruttle through the personalised gingerbread house decorations and did manage to find two blank ones that I can write Iris and Bertie on with a permanent marker (at the moment Iris and Bertie are not names you can ever find) but they were 50p each not 25p as I’d seen everywhere else.   So a bit of a boo to Wolverhampton there.
Poundland Gingerbread House tree Decorations
But all was not doom and gloom over the weekend because on Sunday Lu and I went over to the retail park in Tamworth as we like the John Lewis there and there is a place that does the most wonderful roast pork sandwiches, with crackling, stuffing and apple sauce that we have been drooling about since our last visit.
Poundland Aperture Photo Frames
In the Poundland there I found my frames but they weren’t marked down so I only took four with Easter in mind.
Poundland Cactus Vases
I found two of the cactus vases that I really really wanted (new stock, so £1 but soooooo worth it) and some bathroom plaques that were reduced to 25p each.
Poundland Bathroom Plaque
Now normally I would have given these a wide berth, but after a comment online  where else would you get a frame for 25p? The lights went on, all I need to do is cover the middle with white card and they will be perfect for Iris and Bertie’s works of art to then give as presents to doting nannies, aunties and uncles!  I got six, but will probably regret not getting a few more.
Anyways ……. I got to the till and asked the lady if the aperture frames were full price or if they’d been reduced to 25p …….. OMG they had ……. and at that price it would have been rude not to want to get some more  especially as I already had a lady in mind who was desperate for one (or more) of my Christmas frames after seeing one at my stepmums. So while poor Lu went to put what I had already bought in the car, I headed round the shop again, but could I find them, could I as heck as like.  I was crestfallen because now I was  in full Fiddle Fart mode.  Then as I stood where I thought I had originally found them I looked up and saw a box on the storage shelf marked ….. erm ….. aperture frames and would you believe it, there was a shop stool stood standing right next to me, it was meant to be. I climbed up, reached the box down and opened it …….. to find ten black and ten white frames, well finders keepers, the white ones were mine! £2.50 the lot.
I was so chuffed and as the days have gone on I have had more and more ideas of what to put in them. 
Poundland Christmas Hanging HeartsIMG_0347
I am not sure about these hanging hearts (25p), they will get painted, but I am not sure if the string will come away easily to re-string them individually …… time will tell.
I believe that most stores have now all but got rid of all their Christmas stuff, in some shops they put what was left by the check out for customers to take for free.  The household items are still reduced, but stock is dwindling. 
Poundland London Tree Decs
But a most excellent start to the crafty year, even if I had to hunt around to find some of my bargains.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Guest Crafter – Little Miss Iris’s Pass The Parcel Forfeits

Pass the Parcel is always a special part of Nanny’s tea parties and it falls on Iris to make the forfeits to go in between the layers of the parcel ……..
…….. these are her Christmas doodles, how cute are they?  Since starting school in September I have to admit to being a tiny weeny bit sad to see her drawings change as  she matures and is influenced by others styles, if that makes sense.  I still go all goose bumpy when I think of her first circle with its long, sticky out arms and legs …… and yes, I’ve got it all to come again with Bertie. He can draw a clear circle now, but doesn’t know where to go with it from there and he can also draw a most excellent snakes and drainpipes to boot
I love the way Iris has drawn squiggles to illustrate that Santa is speaking!
On this occasion she didn’t want to do any writing, there was too much to say, so Nanny was her scribe, but when she wants to ………..
…….. it’s all very, very beautiful!  I wonder when she’ll want to put fiddle fart dots on all her letter …… I don’t think I had better encourage her just yet, her mum and dad would kill me!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday

Two drawers featuring polar bears today.

On these I’ve used the foiled card and foam stickers from Flying Tiger and then a couple of frames to house the numbers, followed by a little Glossy Accents and smaller embellishments like the snowflake and flat bed squares.

I know when all the drawers are done I’ll go back to each one and embellish them some more, for example the polar bear could do with a tiny pom pom and a little extra glitter on his on his hat ……. then I think we may well be done.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Snow Cool Christmas Card

Roll of drums ……. my first Christmas card of 2019!  The blank is hand cut and measures 5.5 ins x 5.5ins.
This card was so simple to do, everything just came together so well, very less is more.
Snow Cool Card (Hobbycraft)
I started by covering the card blank with non shed, blue glitter paper/card from a paper pad from The Works.  The sentiment was from the Hobbycraft Snow Cool collection that I got in the sale just before Christmas. You'll be seeing them again and again over the following months as I attempt to try to use all of the card stickers in various guises. I mounted the sticker on silver mirror card to give extra depth and bling.
snow coolSimple Snow Cool Card
In the centre of the plain white wooden snowflake I have added another smaller (plastic) one from The Works (£1) These small snowflakes were so versatile and useful last year, if I see them again I will certainly stock up. I used a strip of silver peel off for the thread.
Snow Cool Card
I then mithered for a bit too long over to what to add to the sentiment, if anything, to give it that extra something …….  flat back gems and stars just didn’t look right, but then I looked at the festive Flying Tiger stickers Marc had given me and the snowflake circles were just perfect.
Snow Cool Card 1
The colour couldn’t have been a better match, with a tiny gem then added to the middle, the card was done and dusted. 

Friday, 18 January 2019

The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad Request - Open Live Writer and Google Photos Problems

The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad Request - an old loathed  "enemy" has reared his ugly head to put the spanner in the works when it come to my blogging!  

As you know I use the Open Live Writer programme to write my posts, which then I transfer to Blogger ...... sadly at the moment, many others, worldwide, as well as me find ourselves, once more, in the situation of not being able to transfer any of our pictures over to Blogger, there seems to be some glitch with Google Photos ....... aghhh!  So if you think my posts are looking a little different in the picture catergory I apologise.  I am hoping for a fix, but who knows.  I just know I hate using the Blogger interface to produce my posts which lacks so many of the features I love on Open Live Writer, like being able to put two pictures alongside each other and add a copyright stamp etc. It's so frustrating as I thought I had finally got my crafting and blogging mojo back ....... bum!!! 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Cards From Christmas 2018 – Fiddle Fart Guest Crafters No.1

The handmade cards I receive, especially from the lovely friends I have made through this blog over the years are always the most special that arrive in my post box  They never fail to inspire me and why I always like to share them here for everyone else to see and enjoy.
Am I allowed favourites?  This card is from Maisie, I think she must have started crafting as soon as she was born, she is a true inspiration and I have followed and exchanged cards with her since she was about seven or eight.  This card just makes me smile whenever I look at it, it’s just perfect and says it all!
The next card is from Marc, again a stunner and so simple. He cut the reindeer on his Scan n Cut and then used a stamping platform to stamp the sentiment perfectly in position.  I can’t remember which stamping platform he has, I need to ask, because it’s something I think I need to invest in too. This would be an ideal project for my first forays into the world of my own Scan n Cut (thank you soooooooooo much Marc) so you might well see this card again!
This next card is from Kraft Karen, not for me you understand, but for The Monkeys!!!! It’s beautiful. There is so much work to this card, all the delicate, fiddly twiddly cutting out and the subtle glittering and touches of Glossy Accents and the colours ….  I just love them. It’s a real treasure and The Boyz loved it as much as me!
This final card isn’t handmade, it’s a charity card from Morrisons for CLIC Sargent but I just loved the simple design which I think you may also be seeing a Fiddle Fart version of in the coming months.  The star cut on my Scan n Cut and the tag changed to say You’re A Star perhaps?

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday - My First Two Drawers of 2019

Hmmmmm, remember all my best laid plans for my first 2019 Advent Calendar last week, well, they’ve not gone as well as I hoped, but at least I have got two drawers completed …….. and here be they!
Christmas Tree Drawer Advent Calendar
The first thing that went awry were the square frames I ordered from China, I found that they were really a bit too deep to attach the stickers I planned to use on to.  The stickers, are thick themselves and appear to be made of paper laid onto foam, but I don’t think they are robust enough to withstand little fingers over a period of time if used this way.  The thickness of the frame meant that if a sticker was attached to it there would quite a gap under the sticker and I could see it very quickly being bent and eventually torn, if all that makes any sense? So on this calendar at least, if I use the frames they will generally be in the middle of something like these two trees or too the side.
Santa Advent Drawer Calendar
The next stumbling block was that most of the designs in the paper pad I also planned to use turned out to be a little too busy for the stickers and other embellishments,  the snowflake pattern on these two drawers was about the easiest on the eye I could use. The plan now is to stick to using just 5 papers, one on each line of drawers, the next three I make will be with this design and then I think I will have to swop the pad for other papers in my box.
Going back to the squares, I think I will be able to use them on another calendar with wooden embellishments as they should be much stronger, so they won’t go to waste.  I have also ordered some more frames from e-bay and just need to see how they work out when they arrive …….. if only The Works would start re-stocking the original frames I first started to work with ……. aghhhhh!

Monday, 14 January 2019

60th Birthday Card For A Man

Men’s cards are always a nightmare but I think I have made something clean and simple for my brother-in-laws 60th birthday, which sort of pays homage to his artistic interests!
Random letter 60th Birthday Card.
The card measures 15.5cms x 10.5cms and is made using a white linen effect hand cut card blank.
Random Letter 60th Birthday Card
The resin frame measures 7cms x 5cms and came from a pack I found in The Range a while ago now. I put a white card backing behind the frame and then successfully managed to squeeze in the assorted random letters to spell sixty, embellishing the letter “S” with tiny, clear, flat backed gems, covering the “I, T, and Y” with glossy accents. A scattering of gold stars and black dots finished the effect.
Random Letter 60th Birthday Card..I layered the centre panel on silver mirror card and then put the frame in the middle of that, pretty simple really. 
Not the sort of card to post perhaps, as it’s extra thickness might take it into the thick letter category, but something a little different for a milestone birthday.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Iris and Bertie’s Hand Painted Plates & Choosing Presents For Each Other ………

These are the plates that Lu and I received from Iris and Bertie this Christmas…… I can’t tell you how much I love mine and how much it means to me.
child painted plate
It seems that on a recent sleepover in Wolverhampton my sister in law squirrelled them both off to a ceramic place near where she lives to share in the painting a plate for each of us. Poor Bertie, bless him, never one to tell a secret to, had been constantly telling me in the weeks leading up to Christmas, that he’d made me a plate and not having a clue what he was talking about I now feel so guilty for dismissing what he was saying. I, for one, should know that if he tells me anything it’s generally true and right, it’s just that on this occasion I wasn’t cued in.
Anyway, my plate is more precious than any other item on my many shelves and will be treasured and stroked for the rest of my life, as well as probably  being the source of much embarrassment to them both when I am 85, doddery and still pointing it out.
Iris and Bertie were also taken by Tom ( their Dad) to their favourite toy shop within Stratford Garden Centre and told to choose a present for each other, up to the value of £20, that they knew they would love.  It could have all ended in tears, Bertie is only two and a half and Iris 4 and a half ……. but what they chose bought tears to my eyes as they obviously know each other so well and were not chosen because they wanted it for themselves.
Berties choice
Iris is all Sylvannian Families,  ever since September and starting school all she has wanted was the Country Tree School and Bertie knew that anything Sylvannian with a rabbit character would make her very, very happy.
And in turn, Iris chose a kettle for Bertie knowing his love for all things of a domestic type nature. It was all very touching and a wonderful exercise in learning to think about someone else.  I am so proud of them both ……. sniff!!!!