Friday, 29 May 2020

The Return Of The Mojo

I don’t know how or exactly when it happened but it looks, touch wood, like my mojo has returned, perhaps not for making cards but definitely for making tranklements of a Christmas type persuasion that I hope to post in the coming weeks.


I think just looking at the mess my flat is now in is testament to my racing mind, where one idea spawns another in quick succession, which is also why I have so many half finished projects on the dining room table at the moment, but it feels good after all these barren months.


The mess has further confirmed my need to reorganise my spare bedroom into a craftroom with guest facilities.  The bed has already been bagsed by my niece Emily, who is in the process of buying her first house, and once this flipping lockdown is over, it will be quickly spirited away. 

The sofa bed I originally had my beady eye on is sadly no more, I read the companies reviews and I have thought better of it.  Argos also had one I really, really fancied, but it was 5cms too wide, which was gutting, so at the moment it looks like a grey two seater from Wayfair, who I have dealt with before and cannot fault. I can’t say grey would ideally be my colour of choice, however it does go with pretty much everything and can easily be hidden under a throw and some choice cushions.  I just need to be patient now, put up with the mess and pray that lockdown doesn’t go on for too much longer!

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Bertie Does Warhammer

This is one of my very favourite lockdown pictures of Bertie ………
…….. totally absorbed in painting the Warhammer tank he’d chosen all by himself to then paint along side his dad, being a big boy!
I really need to get some pictures of the tiny figures Tom paints, I think my Sam’s Study is tiny enough, but Tom’s figures are in a completely different league of tininess!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

A Visit To The Oxfam Superstore in Oxford

A while back, as a belated birthday treat Lu booked us a weekend in Oxford with the Oxfam Superstore as part of our itinerary.
Would it be awful to say we were a little disappointed?
It was beautifully set out, organised, clean and tidy, but it did nothing for us, perhaps it was the atmosphere which was so totally different from the usual high street shop we’re used to.
I'll be honest, you can’t beat the feeling of excitement as you have a really good mooch along a cluttered shelf of tut or through that mysterious box of bits on the floor, looking for that goodness knows what, that gives you a charity shop rush! I found the children’s section particularly disappointing, just the wrong day perhaps, but to be honest the charity shops of Evesham have more to offer.  Iris is developing quite an individual style, so I had hoped I might find an colourful tutu skirt, or something sequined, embroidered or multicoloured.
I was however taken by these two teapots, they were quite cute and dinky and at £3.99 each not a bad buy, but I have more than enough various sized pots in my Royal Doulton Minden collection,  so they remained where they were for another moocher to fizzle over!
I also rather liked this set of drawers, I can’t remember the price, but it must have been really reasonable for me to take a picture, perhaps £30?  It was heavy, solid and built to last, unlike the flat packs you buy from Ikea, if I have the space, it would have been a no brainer.
I quite liked this jug to, but alas again have no place to put it.
I did however make one considered purchase for 99p, something I had seen and really wanted a similar one in a posh shop while on my travels, but had balked at the price at something like £12, so I grabbed this one straight away and have been using it ever since.  I am afraid Lu left empty handed.

I think we both decided then that our very favourite rummage day out from now on has got to be the Flea Market at the County Showground in Malvern, with every stall being an absolute treasure trove of tut. Lu tends to look for cocktail bits and pieces for her kitchen shelf, whereas I like to look for religious kitsch, retro mirrors and vases in the shape of hands  ………
Lu is very good at talking herself out of something, she really fell in love with an Orville the Duck money box as it bought back memories of childhood and it being so crap it made her laugh, but despite much errring and ahhhing her purse remained resolutely unzipped and she has regretted it ever since!  When this flipping lockdown is over and we can go out and mooch in safety once again, I have promised myself that if we see another one, it will be hers, no arguments!!!!

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Simple Cactus Birthday Card

This card measures 6ins x 6ins and uses a pre-scored blank from a Hobbycraft pack.
Cactus Birthday Card
My apologies for such a basic and lazy card, it’s a bit of an insult really, but in an effort to get my completely flunked mojo back, I am making myself try to put at least one card together each day, no matter how easy, in the hope that eventually one idea will lead to another and waaaaayyyyy hayyyyyyyy it’s back!
Paperchase Cactus Stickers
Soooooooo, I simply covered the front of a card blank with a patterned paper from a Works origami paper stack that I thought would give the design a sort of retro feel to it and then added a whole pack of Paperchase house plant and cactus stickers (£1.25) to it.
Cactus Birthday Card.
In parts I just placed the stickers more or less how they were in the pack and then fitted the leftover ones round them, I told you it was a lazy idea.  The final touch was the birthday greeting made using my faithful old Dymo label maker. I think it works, despite being so simple, I just wish I could be more enthusiastic and inspired.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Countdown to Halloween Trick Or Treat Truck with Drawers

I have finally finished my Halloween truck, started on March 16th just as the country was preparing to go into lockdown and not a single toilet roll was to be had!
Count Down To Halloween Truck
I think you’ll agree, it doesn’t look much like the original truck, a present from Marc, from Aldi’s Christmas advent calendar range from, I think, 2018
It’s thanks to Marc it finally got finished, as I had just left it sat sitting, languishing by my work table, while again I was waiting for inspiration as to what to do with it next.
Halloween Truck - Count Down To Halloween
Marc said he’d seen my last Fiddle Fart post of it and loved what I’d done so far and then we spent goodness knows how long bouncing ideas off each another, my only idea at the time was to put some sort of tray/box on the top to put some extra sweets in …… but this is the result of our conflab.
Inspired by Marc I started on the roof, with the skeleton and the box. The box, originally brown in colour, was transformed using a thick, black felt pen with twiddly bits added with a white gel pen. 
Halloween skeleton with sunglasses and spiders
The skeleton was ever so gently bent until he was in a sitting position and then superglued with a 1lb weight resting on him to make sure he was stuck good and proper. His one hand dips into the box holding a mystical crystal ball (a marble), while the other holds his cup …… for his wine!
Spooky Skeleton Halloween Truck
Once these two objects were securely in place, I could then add all the extra fiddle fart, raiding my various boxes for any little bits I thought would go mwith the theme.
The wooden columns were originally fancy, tall cotton reels that I coloured black with again a white gel pen to add more detail. 
Halloween Truck.
The tombstones were the tops of small papier mache boxes, coloured silver and doodled on with an extra fine tip Sharpie pen.  This bit was so much fun.
Skeleton Halloween Truck It was Marc’s idea to give the skeletons sunglasses, and I thought, brilliant idea Marc, but where do I get the sunglasses from, would you believe they came from a pack of Paperchase stickers I just happened to find in a box while I was mooching, they are just perfect. 
Halloween Trick or Treat Truck with drawers
To embellish the wheels, I simple cut a circle out of some Halloween paper to put in the middle and then glued a spider over the top.
Spooky Halloween wheels with spider
I’ll be honest, once I started fiddling it was hard to stop ………..Halloween Skeleton with sunglasses and bow tie ……….. but apart from perhaps a top hat for the skeletons, currently on order from Amazon,  I think I have stopped  …… time to move on, I already have decorating one of the Hobbycraft Advent Houses I have had squirrelled away for a couple of years in mind.

I just can’t wait to see Iris and Bertie’s faces when they see it!  It’s soooooooooooo over the top.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Marc’s Beautiful Babies

Its seems to have become quite a tradition for me to enjoy all the pleasures that are Eurovision with Marc particularly as it also coincides with his birthday, plus the annual plant sale in Martley, a nearby village near Marc and Rick’s Worcester Cottage.  It’s always a lovely weekend, but alas, due this blooming Covid-19, this year it’s not to be, bum!
Sylvac Bassett Hound
With this in mind, it was really spooky that just before meltdown I not only found one but two ceramic basset hounds in the antiques centre in Evesham, let’s just say I pounced on them, pleased as punch,  that I had found part of Marc’s birthday present so well in advanced (and add to his collection) …….. especially with one (above) being Sylvac ……
….. and the other one, with his tail held up in the air, which, Marc tells me is a true characteristic of a basset hound.
Bassett Hound Ornament.
Sadly, I have had to put them in the post instead of enjoying Marc and Rick’s wonderful company, garden, out of this world food and ………….
3 Bassett Hounds on a sofa
……. fighting with these three reprobates, Hetty, Piccolo and Tilly …….
……. for just the smallest space on the sofa! 
What are they like, if not totally beautiful?

Thursday, 21 May 2020

A Parents Impassioned Plea

Oh, the joys and pleasures of home schooling ……….
Impassioned Plea
……. dirty rotten spoil sport!
I fostered Iris and Bertie’s love of all things tiny, shiny and preferably sticky oh so well, my work here is done!!!!!

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Objects of Desire In Witney

Shortly before we went into meltdown Lu and I decided to have a day enjoying the pleasures of Witney ...........
........ which included having a mooch round one of our very favourite shops there, The Old Pill Factory -
I didn’t make any considered purchases, but Lu managed to find a small, cut class ice bucket, something she’s been looking for, for at least 18 months, to go on her cocktail themed shelf in her kitchen, sorry no picture, doh, but it was perfect. However, although my money was safe on this rare occasion, I wouldn't be me without leaving with a few objects of desire and creative ideas. 
As you know I love a bit of religious kitsch, needless to say, I made a bee line for this statue of Mary, who looks a bit Lourdes-y to me. A fiver and I might have been tempted, but £25, I don’t think so, however, I really should know bu now that religious kitsch just aint going cheap these days!
I also LOVE a chandelier, this was so dainty with it’s pale, olive green droplets and naturalistic gold frame, beautiful, but way out of my price range, even if I had anywhere to put it!
I took the picture above initially to save the idea and then I noticed the price tag, but after a bit of research large, glass jars are again a lot more expensive than I had first appreciated.
At first sight this little box appeared to be decorated with wooden pieces …….
…… but on closer inspection it was covered with small squares of text, possibly from an old, faded book and then varnished.  I loved the affect and it’s definitely an idea I am going to try, especially if this blooming lockdown goes on for much longer.  I might try it on something fairly small first and then see how I go. 
And finally, a very looooooooong felt want!  When I was planning my move to Evesham I always imagined living in one of its many terrace houses, never a flat and one of the first things that was going to be on my shopping list was a vintage style shed, just like this, for the garden, that I could carpet, hang some retro curtains, furnish with Lloyd loom chairs, have shelves full of curios and old fashioned plant pots on the veranda ……… seeing this was like a dagger through my heart ……….. but never, say never! 

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Nature Continues It’s Cycle In Lockdown

When we first went into lockdown on March 23rd  I took this picture of my view as a sort of reference ………….
trees 27th March 20
I hadn't looked at again until yesterday ……….
...... when I took another …………… it seems as if a whole season has past us by.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Cactus Card

This card measures 6ins x 6ins and uses a pre-scored card blank from Hobbycraft.
cactus card
This card came together surprisingly well, despite a small change of plan in the middle.
I really love the cactus stickers from Paperchase, however they are so tiny, it’s hard to know what to do with them for maximum effect.
I started by covering the front of card blank with some green check paper that I thought suited with the proportions of the stickers and then punched out 16 scalloped edged squares to put in the centre……
……. but when the cactus’s were added, it just looked too open and bitty, if you know what I mean …….. so I cut down the front of the card, and then mat and layered the resulting panel on white, silver and then white again before adding faux stitching, using a black fine liner pen around the last white layer.
cactus stickers .
I think the card came together at that stage.
cactus stickers
A scattering of three black dots and a few doodled stars here and there complete the design.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Lockdown Blues ………..

Sometimes lockdown gets to even the best of us ……….
Bless her tiny, little cotton socks!