Thursday, 30 May 2019

Compatible Bandai Badge-It Refills

I had more or less decided that when the last of my Bandai Badge It refills was used up, that would be it, I wouldn’t buy any more as they are quite expensive and the machine itself would go to  a charity shop, Well, that was the plan ….. until Iris came over and excitedly asked to make badges for Easter, I explained that there were now only four left so we had best really enjoy them as I didn’t think I would be getting any more …..
……. but seeing the pure enjoyment of her planning what she was going to put in them(two Easter eggs and a bunny), followed by the anticipation of seeing how they came out of the machine …… aghhhh  my heart was pulled apart.  I could also see her being desperate to make badges for a few more years to come, so I did me some Googling ………………
I used to buy refills direct from Bandai UK but this source seems to have disappeared.  Original Bandai refills on Amazon and Ebay cost around the £15 plus mark for just 15 badges, that’s £1 each and to be honest no way worth it!
Then, I came across a pack 100 of what were claimed to be compatible badges for the Badge It for £25.99 plus P & P working out at £30.45.  Still a lot of money to fork out in one go but at 34p per badge it was tempting as they would last for quite a while. I looked up the reviews which were mixed, as always some saying they worked in the machine, others had problems.  It was a risk, but watching Iris creating like the best of them, what’s a nanny to do?
I ordered them and they arrived the next day, on a Sunday! I was so nervous when trying the first one out, what if they didn’t work?  They worked!  The pin, I have to say, looks much more grown up and “professional” if you wanted to sell them and as they  are sealed in the badge I would say they are safer.  I found that I needed to attach the pin to the base before I screwed down the clamp on the machine. I was so chuffed my investment was a success.  So it’s going to be badge making akimbo round at Nanny’s for quite a white yet!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Found - Poundland Bathroom Wall Plaques/Frames

Wooooo hooooo hoooooo, I am sooooooooooooooooooo flipping chuffed!

You may remember the shadow box I made using a one of the page designs from the Hunkydory Little Book Of Wonderful Wintertime I reviewed and a Poundland bathroom picture frame, well  after seeing how it turned out, with not a lot of effort,  I decided that it really should be my 2019 Christmas fairing keepsake (in lieu of a card which are almost always discarded after the event).  However, making more depended on my finding the frames again. I originally found the three I already had in the Portobello Road (London) branch of Poundland. I did wonder if they were just a one off or the last of range, because in the past it has been a very strange shop for stock despite it's wonderful tourist location.  I looked in Worcester, which has two Poundlands, but they are small and their range not brilliant.  I then worried that by the time I managed to get to a really big Poundland the frames would be gone anyway as is often the way ........ so I began to look at other options, none of which were as good.

So when Marc and Rick suggested a trip over to a retail park in Malvern that had a Poundland during our annual Eurovision Weekend it was a no brainer, although I have to admit I wasn't all that hopeful. 
However ...... BINGO ....... and I will admit unashamedly to clearing the whole shelf, poor Marc!!!  They even had two designs, one including seashells, which I am sure will come in useful for something as they are quite a nice size 
....... and it goes without saying that the ribbon will have to go, but really it's all about the depth of the frame that will allow for a 3D layered design to fit inside.  I now have enough to cover my Christmas needs plus a few extra for other ideas that will undoubedly pop  up ......... thrilled is not the word!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday – Dear Santa

Another drawer where I haven’t used the Flying Tiger stickers I have favoured throughout this project. Instead I’ve used an letter embellishment from a pack of foiled sentiments from HobbyCraft’s  2018 Christmas range, that I bought in the New Year sale when I finally realised their potential!
Again the proportion of the letter is perfect for the drawers.  All I have done is added a few red, flat backed pearls on the holly.  I think I need to see if I can find a teeny weeny “something” to use as a stamp to add a bit of extra dimension when I go back to the drawer at the end of the project. If I don’t find anything I don’t think it really matters, perhaps just a touch of Glossy Accents would suffice?   I am also thinking that this design might also translate very nicely into a card?

Monday, 27 May 2019

Christmas Shadow Box – Snowman Scene

As you know I like to give my family and other special people a small decoration instead of a Christmas card each year, something that can come out year after year instead of a card that is more often than not discarded after the event. So, following on from my Hunkdory/Poundland Shadow Box idea  I will be giving either a shadow box or three dimensional frame featuring some of the Christmas bits I already have or find in the coming months.
However, that being said,  I think this frame will probably stay with me because of the memories attached to the snowman.  He is “was” a resin brooch that I find found in a very small flea market in Hell’s Kitchen, New York back in March 2018. He was absolutely filthy and goodness know what I paid for him, probably a dollar, certainly no more.
I simply put him in a 10cm x 10cm Hobbycraft shadow box.  In March this year they were selling them at half price from £4 to £2 so I got a few to play with.
I created the background scene using a paper from a 10cm x 10cm Winter Wonderland paper pad I got from The Range (Christmas 2018) and a scrap of white glitter card.  I then added said snowman (with brooch back removed), adding three of the small plastic snowflakes I sourced from AliExpress. (100 for £1.04)
When everything was dry I put the completed scene in the frame and then went completely over the top, adding two wooden snow flakes (charity shop bargain, probably originally from Sainsbury’s) with a plastic snowflake glued on each to give even more dimension, plus three on the glass for snowflake overload.  The tiny doodled white dots were made using a white nail painting pen.
I will apologise now as I think you will be seeing several more versions of this idea as I find more frames and embellishments ……. but at least I will also be ticking off the people on my list to give them to way before Christmas begins, so hopefully no last minute panics this year

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

How Did I Not Know About This?

Is it just me or did the existence of this wonderful little tool just pass me by .......?
I am always wary when I post a card in case it's a little too layered and embellished and subsiquently falls into the "large letter" category. This almost happened  when I was in the post office the other day when one of the assistants took another look at the card I was sending and said ooooo this feels a bit bumpy I'd best double check it, luckily it passed muster.
I then asked, expecting the answer to be in the negative if it was  possible to get my hands on a measure like hers ....... to which she led me over to the shelves and handed me this!
At £3.27 a considered purchase was made. I must have been on planet Fiddle Fart for far too long as I never knew you this existed. DOH
I tend to give really embellished cards in person, but this will definitely keep me on my toes when it comes to cards that I intend to post.  I would hate someone to have to collect and then pay well over the odds for a card that I'd sent that was found to measure a large letter.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday – Little Angels

I am not sure about this drawer ………..
…….. there’s something missing/not quite right (or is it just me ….??? ) I think it might be the angel’s wings …….. I wonder if they should be covered with white glitter to hide the blue and their hearts made a little more dimensional with the addition of a tiny gold/silver nail embellishment?  I always go back to each drawer before I finally put them in the drawer frame for the last time, perhaps inspiration will hit me then?

Monday, 20 May 2019

Nine Square Card Gardening Card

This card measures 5 3/4ins x 5 3/4 ins and is made using a hand cut white linen effect card blank.
The box of 72 small, wooden, garden themed, laser cut embellishments was a chance find, for just £1, from a discount type shop in nearby Pershore, perfect for this nine square gardening card.

I coloured each shape with my now ancient Whisper pens, followed by gluing them onto 1 1/4 ins scrap white squares.  They looked a bit stark so I added doodled lines round the edges and clusters of three dots using a black fine liner pen. To accentuate the edges of the shapes I also used a little white gel pen but it sort of absorbed into the wood, but I quite like the effect.
I then cut a 4 1/2 in white square, which I mat and layered on silver mirror card to put in the centre of the card blank, before adding the embellished small squares.
The finished card looks OK, but, if I were to do it again I think I might cover the front of the card completely with a subtle green, patterned paper to make the centre panel pop a little more.  I think I am right off using white at the moment!!!

I think there is also a single card to be made using the bird shapes, either in a small frame or stuck over the wooden heart.  Lots of food for thought so watch this space.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Easel Card

This "card is a HUGE thank you to Paula ..........
....... who very kindly sent me these wooden photo frame embellishments from Hobbycraft, as soon as I saw them I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to do with them, especially with Iris's 5th birthday coming up!
I always tell Iris I love her to the moon and back, to the stars and beyonds and to the bottom of the deep blue see, so when I saw her "Guess How Much I Love You" book beside her bed my idea was confirmed.
I found an illustration from the book that  I wanted to use (not sure of copyright here, but this project is a gift, not to be sold and never repeated, if I have infringed any rules, I will take this post down).  I reduced the image to fit the frame embellishment and added the text using Windows Publisher before printing.
I coloured the frame to as nearer match to the sky as I could.  I also added a little colour to the sky and a more grass in order to fill any white space in the sky and cover behind the hearts.
I glued the frame over the picture and waited for it to dry before cutting it out.
Filling the hearts with tiny gold nail embellishments (Poundland) was just the perfect touch, I wasn't sure if they would fit, but when they did I was soooooooooooooooo pleased.
It doesn't show very well in the picture, but also I went over the background of the picture with a Spectrum Noir Crystal Clear "Sparkle" pen so that the picture sparkles in the light, it really does so pretty.
Then, thinking about Iris's great love for drawing and anything arty crafty (she wants an art desk for her birthday)  I glued the picture on to one of the little wooden easels I have had for forever.  I do have some tiny pencils that I would have loved to have added to the easel shelf, but the proportion was not right, however, I still have a couple of weeks left to perhaps find something meant for a dolls house?
This easel will be instead of a birthday card, something hopefully Iris will treasure for many years to come, where perhaps a card would be long forgotten.  


Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday - Let It Snow

I love this drawer, it’s one of the few that I have used a sticker other than the Flying Tiger ones.  The “Let It Snow” came from a pack of sentiments from Hobbycraft.  The proportion of it was just perfect  with the penguins, numbers and snowflakes.
Talking of the snowflakes, I finally used the last of the small, plastic snowflakes I got from The Works last year and I was getting desperate, especially with several other ideas whirling around my head where I wanted to use them.  In the end I decided that I couldn’t wait to see if The Works would have them again this year so I looked on AliExpress as recommended by Marc  and after a bit of a search I found them, minus the diamante for just 100 for £1.04 (as opposed to about 20 for £1), needless to say I bought four lots ……. I am thrilled. 
These snowflakes are just so versatile, the size is perfect (17mm) for so many ideas and can also be layered on some of the larger wooden snowflakes I have for extra dimension.  It will be interesting to see how many of the 400 I have left by the time Christmas comes this year.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Random Alphabet Framed Birthday Card

This card measures approximately 5.5ins x 5.5ins.
I always struggle making cards for men, is it OK to admit I often just buy one?  However, this is one I made recently for my brother-in-law.  I simply covered the front of the card with a wood effect paper I got for free from The Malvern Create and Craft Show last year.  The card Kraft frame was a recent purchase from The Works, it measures approximately 3.75ins x 2.75ins at it’s widest and longest pints.  Forgive me as I have a hazy memory of how many frames were in the packet, I think there were probably 8 for £1.50.  I only got one, but I think I may go back for a couple more, with  Christmas in particular in mind. 
I glued a scrap of brown paper behind the frame and then added four different types of “random” letters to make up the sentiment.  A few clusters of three white dots and a little doodling on the frame with a white gel pen complete the design. 

However, when I looked at the card again, it needed a little bling, but not too much, so I added two bronze coloured stars over the y and under the i and then left it at that.  However, if I made the card again I think I might use a brighter, more busy design of paper to cover the card as I think, although I like the card, it is rather severe.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Doing The London Poundlands With Marc

I said a couple of weeks ago that I was off to London to see Marc and that we planned on "doing" the Poundlands of London ....... well, we indeed did that.......and said Poundlands were not found  to be wanting!

As you also know Marc has always been something of an illusive phenomena far as posting any pictures of him is concerned, but on this occasion he was well up for posing for me!! What is he like?
Anyway, we did Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith and Portobello Road and they did not disappoint. In the past I have said that the Portobello shop is dire, considering it's in one of London's main tourist destinations, but for once they weren't that to badly stocked, and several considered purchases were made, particularly by Marc in the gardening section.
When I got to Marc's flat at the start of my visit I almost cried with laughter as he'd carefully placed four of the zebra head vases with a few daffodils in each around my room after my saying that I really didn't get all the fuss that was being made about getting them on the Poundland Appreciation page on Facebook and that I really wasn't that keen on them ........
Needless to say, I was won over and one zebra head sort of found it's way into my basket, as well as a (flattened) zebra trinket dish..... what was I thinking?
Marc took a fancy to several of the crackle effect giraffes, but the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no  evil rabbit garden ornaments remained firmly on the shelf.
I found a few frames for Iris and Bertie's art work which I will probably share with you when I come to use them and a pack each of the silver and gold washi tape. I was also hoping to find a couple of their lustre ceramic Easter bunnies and/or at least one of their floppy eared soft toy rabbits but they proved to be much more elusive.

I love shopping with Marc as he really does look at everything and considers all their possible uses, where sometimes I can be accused of just quickly scanning, especially if I think I am already familiar with most of the stock.  Happy Days!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Advent Drawer Tuesday – Christmas Contemplation

Today, I bring you a contemplative penguin and polar bear.
I don’t think it needs anything else, this drawer is cooked!  I love the tiny wooden frame as it houses the numbers perfectly, I just wish I had bought more at the time (Ebay) as they are no longer available and I can’t find a suitable alternative either, bum, bum, bum!

Monday, 6 May 2019

OMG ….. NO Excuses - My Sock Zebra

This post combines a recent Charity Shop Tut acquisition and my complete lack of any recognisable sewing skills ……  it also gives you all a good laugh for a Monday morning.
What can I say?  What on earth possessed me to buy anything remotely related to  “an art” that instantly gives me itchy gums?  I think because it was only 50p and as the little ones were coming over perhaps helping Nanny sew might be be an “interesting” diversion!
Well, I saw the task out right to the bitter end, yes my gums itched and yes I hated every single moment but from my labours Zebra was born, with Iris insisting he slept with her that night and me telling her to be gentle with him as I didn’t think he would stand up to much handling.  Needless to say, he appeared at breakfast minus one eye and both nostrils.
I will leave you to compare and contrast just how successful I was in replicating said zebra pictured on the box!

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Heads Up - Lidl Silvercrest Vacuum Sealer

Just a heads up ....... Lidl currently have a Silvercrest vacuum sealer on offer for £24.99.

I can't believe I have had my own Elitech sealer since 2009, but still wouldn't be without it, even though I don't really make that many sealed "sweetie bags" these days, for anyone who does, this type of sealer is just brilliant as you can make your bags well in advance without the freshness of the contents being compromised.

If I didn't already have one I think I would be tempted by this one, the price is certainly good as I am pretty sure I paid around £18 for mine ten years ago. 

Below is a link to one of my posts dating way back when .........