Tuesday, 31 December 2019

A Bit Of A Disaster New Year Card!

This card measures 5ins x 5ins and uses a hand cut, silver mirror card blank as it's base.
This card was just an experiment really, some bits were a success and others were not, but I thought I would post it anyway, as a way of resolving my problems with it!
I had bought these two sets alphabet stamps from The Range for just £1 each and thought after my success in using my Tim Holtz stamping platform I might be able to do something with them. 
It proved a little trickier than I anticipated because, for me, the letters were a little too distanced apart for my liking so a bit of careful trimming of the stamp surrounds ensued until I was, reasonably, happy.
The the random lettering was duly stamped with a clear embossing ink and again I was very impressed with how the stamping platform worked. I then added silver embossing powder to the stamping which I "set" with my ancient heat gun.  
Then things went a little awry.  The heat gun warped the paper, a problem I need to experiment with, but as a result of the warping, the paper would not lie flat on the card and wrinkled, aghhhhh.  I also mat and layered it on silver mirror card, goodness only knows why, as it added nothing to the card, it should have been on fuchsia pink to accentuate the stars. I then went overboard with the doodling using a white gel pen and stars ...... but given the occasion it sort of works

I have kept the card as a reference for how not to do it, there was no way I could have given it anyone, but I intend to work on the idea some more as I have left the stamps as they were on the platform ...... so watch this space!

Monday, 30 December 2019

A Choice Piece of Christmas Tut For Marc

Writing posts between Christmas and New Year isn't an easy task, we're all pretty occupied and although, perhaps, champing at the bit to use the crafty presents we may have received, I don't think anyone is really up to writing about or making anything over this period, so instead I hope this post simply brings a smile to your face .........
As you all know both Marc and I belong to the Charity Shop S*** page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/1859022770846350/?fref=nf and earlier in December I wrote that I had found something " really special" for him to go in his Christmas Stocking to make him smile too, but couldn't reveal all until he'd actually unwrapped it, for fear of spoiling the surprise .......
Well, today ..... here it is ......  in all it's unadulterated and wonderful glory!  Can I add that this was before I gave it a beeping good wash because when I found/rescued it, it was absolutely filthy! Made of resin, without any makers marks or indication of possible age,this beauty cost me all of 50p from the Vale Wildlife Charity Shop in Evesham ...... and yes, the antennas on both of the caterpillars heads are very springy and full of erm....... movement!!!
I have a very strong feeling that if The Antiques Roadshow turns up near Marc or I in the coming year we will feel compelled to very carefully wrap said object up in cotton wool and bubble wrap and then queue for hours in order to have it correctly identified by an expert and naturally valued!  Who knows, this time next year one or both of us could be millionaires ...... in our dreams!

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Happy Christmas

Hope he's been ......
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas 
with lots of love 

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Illuminated Christmas Fairy Door

Following on from my earlier fairy door post ........
...... as I put it in place against the skirting board in my lounge area I remembered some tiny wire lights I had, so I carefully wrapped them around the trees, door and fence  with this result.  I then looked along my festive shelves and found this little ceramic figure  of Mother Christmas, who was in perfect proportion to the house.  I was so chuffed with the how it all came together, which further added to the enchantment when Iris and Bertie saw it ........  I am sure I can add more to the scene, perhaps a street lamp, a robin etc. but that will have to wait until next year!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Crafty Christmas Charity Shop Finds

With not much crafting going on at The Towers at the moment,  I thought I would show you the contents of a couple of goodie bags I got from the Sue Ryder shop in Evesham, all ready for next years crafting!   I have been on the look out for old, retro, kitsch type Christmas bits and pieces, but they are either few and far between or extortionately expensive.
Sometimes looking through a sealed bag you can't be entirely sure what you are actually getting, but I have to say I was really chuffed with these three Santa's and two snowmen. I am already thinking diorama's, perhaps in globes or small bottles to hang on a tree.
..... a bit like the one below from Hema https://www.hema.com/en-gb/kids/kids-party/balloons-garlands/glass-christmas-jar-4.5x4.5x7-25104845.html
The bag cost me £2.50 for the five quite substantial embellishments, working out at 50p each which is a no brainer really.
The second bag of goodies at £1.50 and was (without any real ideas in my head) not such a good buy. It was the robins I spotted first, again thinking dioramas, however, everything else is a bit kitsch and I am sure I can work them all into some sort of retro type project, when I have a Ulrika type moment!
This tiny plastic box also caught my fancy at just 25p from St Richard's Hospice shop also in Evesham.  
Again it is quite solid, with potential and in perfect condition on the outside  ...... it's just shouting out to have a tiny scene put in it .......
..... I have some tiny snowmen somewhere that might just fit the bill  ...... with Christmas upon us followed by the New Year, it's quite a nice feeling to think that I've got a few ideas to start a new crafty year with, when sometimes you can just feel past it and not in the mood!

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Iris's Little Christmas Display......

This is Iris's little Christmas display in her bedroom .....
...... again, like Bertie's Christmas list, it makes me both shed a tear and smile at the same time.
It's soooooooo full of childhood innocence......
...... with bits and pieces made both this year and in the past .......
...... and things with a special significance like the Wolves monkey .......
...... or given to her by the special people in her life  ...........
..... all very carefully arranged by herself and all treasured, hopefully for many years to come with all their associated memories.
It's impossible to say which memories and what, if any of the small things she will take with her into the future, but the foundation of love and caring that continually surrounds her and Bertie will always be there. 
It breaks my heart that Grandy Andy has never been there to physically hold their hand and hold them so close it hurts ........
......... but I know he is in their very DNA by the things they say and do, and has his gentle hands resting constantly on their shoulders protecting them, keeping them safe and whispering in their ear,  I love you and you can do it ..... and this Christmas, as always, will be very much in our hearts.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Bertie's Christmas List .......

This is Bertie's Christmas list, it moistens my eyes a little and makes me smile every time I read it, it just sums him up perfectly ........
It's the plastic fruit and the salad spinner ............. that's Bertie all over, everything has to do something, I lay bets that when he grows up he will be some sort of engineer or inventor.  

Friday, 20 December 2019

My Festive Shelves

I don't think I have single spare inch of space left on any of my festive shelves in my lounge this year ........
I didn't think I'd added that much since last year, but said shelves appear to tell a very different story.
I've not put my Tesco Advent house out this year as it is in need of some tender repairs, but managed to replace it with some of the Christmas themed frames I have made during the year.
I could have also sworn that I had another of the tall, metal glittery trees from Home Bargains (£5.99), I feel I could do with another one as they give the "displays" a bit of extra height, but have so far have resisted actually going out to another one.
I have added tiny wire lights along the shelves and in domes (balanced on several Poundland faux, mercury glass candle sticks, also for extra height) to give the twinkle factor when the main lights are turned off to make the room cosy.
I really don't think I need to buy much more new stuff, but, if I do come across any old retro/vintage bits and pieces in any charity shop in the coming few weeks, as this is a time they seem to put it all out, I need to donate something back!  Well that's the theory anyway.
I also need to keep these pictures in a safe place to use as a reference for next year to give me some idea when I unpack the boxes once again of what goes where.
My sofa has also had three new additions, as if I don't have enough cushions on it already.  The navy snowflake ones came from Shepherds Bush Poundland, when I stayed with Marc earlier in the month. 
Poundland cushions are usually pretty pants, but these were quite well stuffed for a change and have the potential, if not this year, certainly next, to be zhuzhed up with perhaps a few clear flat backed gems, we shall see.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Fiddle Fart Guest Crafter - Bertie's Framed Works Of Art

Unlike Iris, Bertie isn't naturally drawn to arty activities, unless it's Play Doh .........
....... however over the half term holiday I managed to entice him to the crafting table........
....... with a lot of praise and much oooooooing and ahhhhing, as well as being allowed to use "the very special big boy pens" from Uncle Marc's that even Iris isn't allowed to use, at £19.99 a pack, I nearly passed out when I saw how much they were when researching this post.........
......... he became quite an enthusiastic artist, however creating one masterpiece per day was his absolute limit!
He used the Arteza pens first, they really are proper paint brushes at the end of a pen!
Then he added squiggles and diddles, as we like to call them, over the paint using a black fine liner pen (I am teaching him well!).
....... before finally adding a few sequin stars or spiders, and on the bottom picture, black bead glitter.  

These beautiful works of art will now  be carefully wrapped  and given to special Granny's, Granddads and doting Aunties as Christmas presents. 

The white picture frames came in packs of 3 for £2.99 from B M Bargains.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Christmas Elizabeth Shaw Mint Table Favours

I've made a little pile of Elizabeth Shaw Mint favours for Marc and Iain to help set the festive table at the cottage this Christmas.
My very first Christmas present to Marc was a box of blue, snowman themed favours about seven years ago, before we had even met "in real life"!  We finally got together seven months later in July 2012, when I was in London for the Olympic Games. Andy had died, very suddenly at work, about six weeks earlier, he was only 56 and far too young, and I had decided that life had to go on BUT was too short and precious to put anything off for another day. So I messaged Marc, we arranged a rendez-vous, he bought his friend Stephane (who I also adore) for support and although we'd never exchanged pictures, we recognised each other instantly .....the rest is history and we've been very dear friends ever since. 
But I digress ......Marc still has the front and backs for those original mints, which he puts together each year, with everyone under pain of death not to tear them when they are opened, so this year I decided that he really could do with some more.  As per usual I used my trusty, old plain and scalloped edge Stampin'Up punches which are now showing their age. They are temperamental about the papers they punch, nothing to thick and the edges are not as crisp as they used to be, but hey ho, they still work, and I would be lost without them.
I used foiled Christmas stickers left over from last year (I believe they were from Flying Tiger, but I could be wrong), and simply added a little faux stitching, doodles and clusters of three dots using a black fine liner pen.  The white dots were made using a white, 1.3mm bullet shaped Posca pen.
I then sandwiched the mints between two of the embellished scalloped circles with just a little double sided tape to hold everything together.

Such a simple idea (first seen at a Stampin'Up demonstration at The NEC Hobbycraft Show years and years ago), but such a staple for any time of the year.  I have a few mints left over that I am going to use on my New Years table ..... I just need to see what new yearsy type stickers I have to put on them.  Happy Days!

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Blinged Up Poundland Tinsel Wreath

I needed something on the one wall of my festive guest bedroom to replace the two bejeweled mirrors that didn't quite go amongst all the other Christmas frou frou ........
...... and this is what I came up with, a bit in your face, but when can you go sooooo over the top other than Christmas?
I took two Poundland silver tinsel wreaths (£1) and added some small red baubles with either a glitter, smooth or shiny finish to them, removing the gold hanging part and using a glue gun to fix them into place. 
The wreath still looked a little sparse .........
........ so I then added even smaller red baubles with the same finishes to fill the spaces in between.
I'll be honest, I am not entirely sure about them, they are rather garish and not entirely to my taste, however perhaps after Christmas, when the sales are on, I might try to find some other similar sized bauble sets in different colours and see if I can tweak them a little.  If not they might find themselves donated to a charity shop next December, we shall see!