Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Charity Shop Bingo!!!!

You may remember me saying that I had joined a couple of Charity Shop pages on Facebook that never fail to bring a smile to my face every single day, well someone has come up with a Charity Shop Bingo challenge where you have try to find everything on the card when you are out and about mooching.
Now ………I have friends staying over at the end of the month and we are planning a mammoth trawl of the Charity Shops of Tewksbury, and well …… it would be rude not to partake ……… and what is more, delight of delights,  I hope to bring you pictures of everything we cross off . Happy Days!!!!!

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Message for Pamela

Pamela could you send me your e-mail please ........ xxxxx Thinking of you

Advent Drawer Tuesday - Two Christmas Trees

I still find it strange as to how easy it was to move from my usual rigid less is more approach to crafting to the desperate need to fill every single space, no matter how tiny ,with frou frou on my Advent Calendar drawers. 

Today's drawer features two foam on cardboard stickers from Flying Tiger, set on a wooden frame that I coloured with a red Sharpie, two tiny green buttons, a wooden number 9 (from an Advent set from Hobbycraft) and a holly embellishment from The Works, all brought together with a little faux stitching and doodling using a white gel and black fine liner pen. 

Monday, 25 March 2019

Re-Vamped Bedroom Chandelier

I think by now you’ll have all realised I have a huge thing for lights, especially chandeliers, but my yearnings are much, much bigger than my purse will ever be!
The light (above) is in my bedroom.  It is one of the very few things I bought from my old house, it was only about £30 and for convenience sake it would have been easier to leave it behind and simply get another one, but on this my heart ruled.  When the Duke died my bedroom became a bit of a sanctuary and the changes I made in there, without sounding heartless, showed me that I could move on.
When I changed the way I decorated my Christmas tree  for Christmas 2018 I had quite a large collection of chandelier drops that I had taken off the various charity shop lamps I had bought,  but having said that, I had already decided to revamp the light with them, but had never got around to it …… until a huge spring clean in February made me get my finger out.
First I made sure I had enough matching prism shaped drop sets (20 in all) to replace the old ones already on the candle “saucers” 
I then went about lengthening the existing drops in the centre of the beaded chains between the saucers with the last of the prisms and faceted glass beads. The final touch was to take and lengthened the original oval drops from the saucers along with their beads to go either side of the prism drops on the chain, if that makes sense (?) making the light far more elaborate and fuller looking.  I am not sure if the pictures really do the finished result justice but I am sooooooo pleased with how it looks now you wouldn’t believe!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Off To London and Into Marc's Welcoming Bosom

Rick, Marc’s partner is away in China on business, so while the cat is away, them mice are going out to play, so as you read this I will probably be already well on the way to London.
It’s been ages since I’ve been to London (to visit the Queen!!!) to see Marc (same thing), it’s just easier to go to the cottage in Worcester these days, however on this occasion it’s London ….. wooooo wooooooo.   Now central London has it’s many pleasures but we have chosen to stay a little nearer to home, we’re off to do the charity shops of Hammersmith to see if we can find any suitable ***p to post on our favourite Facebook page, followed by a trip round Poundland, Flying Tiger and possibly Primark and anywhere else that takes our fancy.  If we are up to it, we may also do Shepherds Bush.  I know, I know, we really know how to live …… but I have never been there and why not!!!!!  Not sure if there’s anything on in Portobello Road on a Sunday, but as it’s only about five minutes away on foot we might go for a mooch and a pint perhaps.
If we strike charity shop or Poundland gold I promise to put our joint shopping haul together for a post. We might do a bit of crafting, but if we don’t you can bet there will be much exchange of ideas and inspiration.  We will probably sup a cheeky vodka and coke but we are both trying to be good to get into tip top bikini like shape for the summer, though we might share a box or two, or three  of Maltesers (Poundland £1!!!!!) while watching awful films on YouTube in the evenings.  Happy Days

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Charity Shop Tut–A Very Dubious Cruet Set

Oooowwwwer matron, I don’t think this cruet set has any redeeming features apart from being complete and unchipped!  I think it’s meant to be a charming and romantic yellow rose bud confection, but to be honest it just makes me feel just a bit queasy!
It’s all rather crude and so, as you might already have guessed, a considered purchase was definitely not made ………..
…… especially with its over ambitious £2.50 price tag!

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday - Christmas Stockings

Just one drawer today ...... I think this may be the way I  continue for the next little while, as at the moment I  always seem to be short of one drawer out of two when it comes to posting for this regular Tuesday spot, hopefully by doing so I will give myself the time to catch up on the making.
This is the second drawer featuring Christmas stockings I have made for this particular calendar, except in a different colour way.  A bit of repetition doesn’t hurt now and again and with twenty five drawers on different five levels it’s easy to, if you’ll pardon the expression, slip an extra one in. The stocking card on foam stickers are from Flying Tiger and the gold glitter numbers Hobbycraft.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Simple Iris Card

This is the card I made for Laura’s birthday.  I forgot to measure it, but I think it’s something like 7ins x 5ins, using a hand cut, white linen effect card blank.
So far this year it looks like I have gone for a very simple, less is more, safe approach with my cards, partly due to the constraint of time and then to see how far I can take myself away from my usual format of mat and layering on white and then silver.   
I think the design is pretty OK. The scrap of background paper works perfectly with the irises which are the the very last of the huge bags of themed buttons I used to get from Create and Craft in the days of Alan and Barry ……goodness how long ago that was now.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

World Book Week

Well ...... what can I say ...... last week I went back to school after being asked if I would like to read a story at Bertie's nursery for World Book Week.  I was thrilled to be asked, but as I replied I did wonder what I had done as its been around twenty years since I've actually read a real live story to a group of very young children.
Sadly, because of the windy weather the mini circus tent that had been put up especially for the week had to be taken down, but a small room in the school was transformed with cushions, rugs, fairy lights and a draped ceiling, so there was still a special feeling for the little ones as they entered.
I read the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and I think it was pretty well received. It was a story I knew the children were familiar with so they knew what was coming and could help me if I got stuck. Bertie didn’t volunteer to come in and listen, Nanny storytelling is rather lack lustre when compared to playing with “the cars”  ……. however Laura made him the most wonderful Hungry Caterpillar  outfit for dressing up day (sorry no pictures at the moment) when he certainly made the most of channelling his “inner hungry caterpillar” and looked so unbelievably cute. Happy Days.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Charity Shop Tut – Howard Holt Kitsch Kitty String Holder

I love a bit of kitsch and this particular cat head seems to have been following me over the past couple of weeks.  Originally I photographed on the shelves of a local Charity Shop as a potential contribution to one of the C**p Charity Shop Find Facebook pages I subscribed to …… then I saw it again in a shop in Exmouth during a recent visit ….. I remember picking it up, hmmmming and then putting it back thinking “….. I bet you wish you’d bought that when you get home madam!”
On getting home, would you believe it someone posted the same cat found in another shop …… I felt that the stars were truly conspiring against me, so it was inevitable that my fate was well and truly sealed when I found “Francoise” as I now like to call her  in yet another Evesham shop priced at just 99p …… it was a no brainer, she was duly purchased as I think she is rather cute.

I then decided to do a little research on said Francoise.  She dates back to the 60’s and was made by Howard Holt, Japan. She is in fact a string holder but there are quite a few variations on the cat theme from salt and pepper pots, jugs, spice jars, to teapots etc.. There are also many collectors of Howard Holt out there, mostly I note in the USA, where prices are interesting!  Back in the UK, on Ebay asking prices for my head vary from £19.99 to £39.99.  Who was to know?  This find has really turned out to be more treasure than tut!

I couldn’t help also noticing the 1960’s Howard Holt Christmas ceramics any of which I would love ........
…… now what are the chances of me finding one of them?

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday

Two gingerbread inspired drawers today.
I’ve been holding back from using these Flying Tiger stickers for a while, I don’t know why, I wasn’t sure if they’d fit into the Advent calendar drawers I am currently working on and then I thought ….. get over yourself ……. overthinking all the time ……it’s Christmas, anything goes ……. just get the them made ……..
I think they’re cute and worked out ok.  When I go back to them when I pull the whole set of drawers together I think the house just needs a few tiny weeny flat backed gems here and there and the little gingerbread girl and boy definitely need to have proper bows, little black dome stickers for eyes, red pearl gem noses and tiny buttons on their clothes….. which I may have to order.  I now need to do another three drawers in similar style so there is a “ginger”, as Bertie likes to call them, on each row.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Lighthouse Card

This card measures approximately 5.5ins x 5.5ins using a hand cut, white linen effect card blank.
I just cannot believe how this card came together!  The wave and small embellishments came from a pack of Jolees stickers sent to me so many years ago that I forget by my wonderful friend Dianne in Florida, but I knew one day I would use them.
The lighthouse came from a pack of cheap and cheerful metallic stickers I have also had squirrelled away for some time.  I wondered if the metallic effect would work, I was so thrilled when it did.
As for the paper, which came from  small paper pad from The Works, the sun ray effect couldn’t have been more perfect.  All I had to do was lightly colour over a tiny part with a Promarker pen to give the illusion that the lighthouse was on land.
I love the card so much, made for a gentleman for his eightieth birthday, I am going to try and recreate it again but put it in a shadow frame in my guest room. I am just praying I have another lighthouse somewhere ………

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Iris’s Paper Dolls

I got out my very old, original, red Sizzix Bitty Body dies out for Iris recently, you’d have thought I’d given her the moon, the stars and the sun on a stick!
She created and played for absolutely hours, reciting the names of all the dolls (Ticky and Tacky and Jackie the Backie ….. And Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow) from one of her favourite books The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and if you haven't read it, it’s a real tear jerker at the end.
She had such a lovely time, it’s now one of her favourite things to do with me when she comes over that I decided to invest in the girls outfit die from e-bay which for some reason I never got all those years ago.  It cost me £8.99 with free P & P and has been worth its weight in gold for all the pleasure it has and will continue to give.
I know you can’t keep everything children make, but next time she asks if we can “do paper dolls” I’ll make sure she makes a picture for me to frame and put in pride of place, it will be worth more to me than a million Mona Lisa’s.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Personalised Poundland Gingerbread House Tree Decorations

I have finally got round to personalising the blank Gingerbread tree decorations I found in the Poundland sale for just 25p each.  There were millions with names already printed on, but I had a good ruttle round to see if there were any blank ones as Iris and Bertie are not that common a name.  I struck gold!
I simply used a permanent fine writer pen, to first put the middle letter of each name in the centre of the given space and then added the other letters to each side so that the whole name was more or less equally balanced across the middle ….. if that makes sense?  A cluster of my customary three dots on either side also helped fill in any empty space with a little extra frou frou.

I then added a tiny red button to the sweetie at the top of each house and a liberal sprinkling of iridescent micro glitter to the snow on the roof …… sorted!

I am now kicking myself just a little bit for not finding a few more blank houses, at 25p each they work out much cheaper than a “posh” Christmas card and I  could have personalised them for Iris and Bertie’s friends to give as a gift that could be bought out for a few years to come ……bum …… severe case of shudda, wudda, cuddame thinks!

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday

A Santa and two reindeers for your delectation today.
I think Santa needs a little careful grooming with a cotton bud to remove some of the excess micro glitter from his beard, hat and boots.  Me thinks he also needs a small clear gem on his green snowflake embellishment.
I think I am happy with the reindeer. It’s always nice to find the occasional matching left and right embellishment, especially for a project like this.  Can’t see that I need to add anything else to the drawer …… except ….. perhaps two pairs of tiny googly eyes?

Monday, 4 March 2019

Jewelled Pendant

I have had these Ranger 2ins x 2ins, antique copper effect Memory Frames forever, I don’t think they are available anymore, but I could be wrong.
I cut out a square of text print paper first and stuck it on a scrap of card to give it a firmer base. I then proceeded to add the tiny weeny pieces of broken jewellery to the centre bit by bit.  The pieces were so tiny I almost made myself cross eyed in the process.
I used E6000 glue to secure everything as I didn’t want anything to come astray over the passage of time.
I also had to be careful that all the pieces fit perfectly under the dome, anything placed too high had to come off …….
……. and nothing could stray beyond the the edges otherwise the cover would not sit neatly within the frame.
I was really pleased with how it turned out, despite the squinty eyes and the lady who received it as a present to mark her eightieth birthday was going out to find a chain on which to wear it, which thrilled me as I thought she might have just display it on a shelf.