Monday, 10 May 2021

Barbola Style Mirror Finally Done!

That’s it, I am not fiddle farting with this flipping mirror ever again!!!!!

Last time you saw it, it looked like this (below), it was too much …….


It was too much, too fussy and too many elements, the small metal flowers had to go!


I then just gave it another couple of coats of random stroked paints …….

……….. as I may have said before, I don’t really think the previous materials Marc and I used to change the colour of the original thick embossing powders that I moulded the flowers with “liked” the acrylic paint, and though I thought I daubed quite heavily, it seemed to disappear when I went back to the project.

Anyway, that's it!  If I am truthful, it still isn't quite right, perhaps I'm just being hyper critical.  I think it may be the metal flowers and leaves? Ideally, I think it would have been better if I could have moulded a variety of different sized flowers and then layered them ....... sadly not possible with the other moulds I have.

However, I still have quite a few flowers left ..... I am toying with the idea of a door wreath ...... but I am not sure I can face putting it together for a little while yet, this mirror, after almost a year of twiddling and diddling has really made my head hurt!

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Fiddle Fart Guest Crafter - Bertie’s Bookmarks

When young Bertie asks to “craft”, because of his nature, what he does must a purpose and where possible necessitate the use of one or two of Nanny’s tools.


So the other day he decided he wanted to make everyone a book mark, which would therefore need to be laminated to “keep them safe” ……..

Handdrawn Bookmarks

He has a style all of his own, I would love to know what BLVD means, he did tell me, but I’ve since forgotten.  However, it seems that the doodled edge on Iris’s may have been influenced by Nanny and he does love a bit of underlining.

Bertie's Bookmark

I also think that the shape at the top of Iris’s and Mummy’s is his version of a bulldog clip. What is he like?

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Finding Things To Occupy Myself ……..

Following on from yesterday and not having any crafty posts this week ……. life is changing. I am now only needed to do two school runs per week in term time, which means I am no longer walking half as much as before lockdown and Bertie starting “big school”. At my peak I was walking at least ten miles a week as I don’t drive and no Evesham bus ever goes anywhere near where I need to go. This also means that I have a lot more time on my hands, sooooooooo ……. I have started eBaying again, like I did to fund my trip to the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden a few years ago, with Marc’s partner Rick.


If successful at this revived venture I will need to go mooching and to the post office a least a couple of times a week, it’s not all that far away, but there is a pretty steep hill (well, for an unfit me) to negotiate.


I am planning on selling a lot of stuff I already have, The Towers is pretty small and I need to cull, things I no longer need, things that have served their purpose, things I have simply gone off, plus tranklements I have already bought from charity shops and perhaps even some of my crafts with Halloween and Christmas in mind.


I think I have a pretty good eye when out charity shop shopping for decent stuff, never, until now, looking for marks or labels, I have just bought things I liked but on coming home have found that I have got something that turns out to be “quite good”.


I’ll admit it, there is a little something that I know will prick my conscious now that I am consciously going out to find things to “flip for a profit”, but there are an awful lot of other people doing the same thing and when I think of all the car loads of stuff I donated when I moved to Evesham …… my goodness, I left Wolverhampton with about twenty boxes of the basics and clothes, in fact it got embarrassing as some shops said they couldn’t take any more, so I think, all in all, it evens itself up in the end.


All the research, writing up, photos, then wrapping and posting takes a lot of time and effort, but I need to be occupied outside Fiddle Fart and the Monkeys to keep my brain ticking over, as well as getting out and about, before I can finally volunteer at Iris and Bertie’s school, hopefully in September, Covid willing.


However, not all my “findings” are going to go on eBay, some will come to roost on my shelves, then there are my various sacks of Festive Tut at Christmas AND coming soon …… Marc’s birthday, oh my goodness have I found some stuff to make him squeal and gasp for breathe through his laughter ……… but that’s for another day.


However, to bring a smile at the end of this post, the one that got away …… a teapot, originally from Australia and priced at about £1.50, if my memory serves me well, yes, believe it or not, I did pick it up, there were no chips or cracks …… but, unbelievably, I know, I left it there!

Monday, 3 May 2021

My Mahooooooosive New Daily Notebook …….

I am so sorry, today is a Bank Holiday and I don’t think there will be any crafts this week, but you never know! It’s just that with lockdown restrictions lifting and the weather being not so bad I’ve been getting out more and dare I say beginning to book/organise a few weekends away later in the summer/autumn.


However, rather than have no posts at all I thought I would chill and show/tell what I’ve been up to.


Soooooooo, you know since moving to Evesham I have come to gradually love The Works, it took me a while to get into them, but as the only vaguely crafty shop I can get to personally, it’s now always one of my port of calls when I am in town and this week I found the most MAHOOOOSIVE bargain ever in there ……….


…… to wit this giant notebook! It’s huge and when I saw that it had been reduced from £35 to £1 it was a no brainer.  I think the bottom may have come off it’s box, but that was headed in the bin anyway as it serves no purpose. There are lined pages, blank pages, diary pages plus pages for recipes, big ideas, my family tree, but they will all probably be ignored ………


……… this tome is destined to replace my trusty old “Things To Do” notebook (Home Bargains £1.89), beside my laptop, on my desk. It’s contents are not going to be all pretty and neat, but everything’s going to be in there …….


……… ideas for crafting, ideas for monkey posts, bill paying, my daily to do list etc. etc. but in a far more glamourous wrapping. It’s also probably going to last me forever, so in turn saving a fortune in new notebooks.  A pound?

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair – April 2021

Oh my goodness, it was so wonderful on Sunday (just gone) to begin to feel “normal” again, when Lu and I took the plunge, going over to Malvern for the April Flea and Collectors Fair at The Three Counties Showground (entrance £5).


We were so excited we were out of The Towers  at just before eight o’clock, packed lunches at the ready, arriving just before nine o’clock.  It felt soooooo good and the weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold…….


…… and where I had made my one and only purchase of the day within 10 minutes of getting through the gates …….. spending all of £1 on this tiny ship in a bottle, something that’s been on my list of fiddle fart fancies for ages! I was chuffed and done!


Lu held on to her hard earned cash for a little bit longer, but finally broke her duck on this very cute, small, lidded jug that I found in a £1 box, she hivered and hovered until I pointed out “It’s only a pound!”, you can’t even get a third of a cup of coffee for that!


It’s perfect for the tray in her spare bedroom/current home office, in fact, after she had made her considered purchase I did wonder why I hadn’t bagsed it for myself!


A small enamel saucepan (for her hard boiled eggs) was also on Lu’s list,  and low and behold there was a pitch where the grass was just covered with Eastern European saucepans, jugs, colanders, casseroles, you name it, all with varying degrees of chipping, as you would expect with enamel, but Lu spotted this one with cherries (above), on finding it the gentleman then told her to “find your lid”, they were every where, but then I spotted a red one, and it only fit!  It’s not an original marriage but it works and the price paid? £4, Lu was one happy bunny!


There was so much to see, we walked around for four solid hours, hitting almost every stall. I admit I didn’t take that many pictures, there was so much stuff but nothing that really hit my “object of desire” spot.  There were plenty of ohhh ahhhh moments, Lu in particular was looking at 60’s/70’s old fashioned wheeled “drinks” trolleys and I, as ever, couldn’t resist the odd bit of religious kitsch.

There is another fair at the end of May ……. hopefully our feet will have recovered by then and we will be up for another adventure into the unknown, mooching and looking for prize tut!

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Halloween Pumpkin Pin Badge/Brooch

This badge/brooch was just all a bit of an experiment, an inkling of an idea that struck me in the middle of the night, but I have to be honest I am not sure about it, perhaps because it’s not my usual cutesy style?

The MDF badge base measures approx. 5cm x 2.5cms


I covered the rectangle originally with a black and white star patterned paper, but I decided I didn’t like it so coloured the stars over in black. I then covered the sides of the shape with narrow copper adhesive tape, thinking it might look more “proper and professional”


I coloured the small, wooden pumpkins with an orange Sharpie pen and then added a few lines with a pencil.


I replaced the coloured over white stars with small copper coloured star confetti,  then wondered if I could jazz the pumpkins up with a little Tonertex foil.  This meant applying a little glue with a “special” Tonertex glue pen, waiting for it to dry and then applying the foil to the pumpkins giving this random effect.  I think it worked.


Then I thought, in for a penny in for a pound and added a layer of Ranger Glossy Accents, I was so worried that I might have overkilled it all, waiting for it to all dry completely seemed endless.  I'm still not sure, perhaps its too glossy, perhaps I should have used black glitter paper as a background instead, or is it the copper tape.  I have to say it doesn't photograph that well ....... but something aint right!

I bought the Tonertex pen and foils when I went to the Create and Craft show in Malvern a few years ago with Marc, what was a day out with so many happy memories, we spent with gay abandon  ……

...... however after paying rather a lot for several pens, a pen holder, foils and glitter to my shame they haven’t really seen the light of day since ……. I also have a Create and Craft Tonertex programme saved on my TV box ……… unwatched ……. note to self:- get watching and get using, or else eBay the stuff you have!

Monday, 26 April 2021

Halloween Haunted House Decoration

This is my prototype for a hanging Halloween decoration using seasonal MDF shapes from BR Crafts.

I had hoped to make a few more  at the same time but I ran out of orange acrylic paint, doh!  However, I started off by painting both sides of the house white as I wasn’t sure, with the wood being so dark, how the orange would turn out.


This was followed by two coats of the orange paint I had.


I covered the MDF ghost and skeletons shapes with white Range Enamel Accents. The bats were simply coloured with a black Sharpie pen and the headstone with a grey one. I then added a few doodles using a black biro, however I am not sure if that was entirely necessary once the oozing green was added.


When everything was dry it was time to position the figures.  I could see at this point more colour was definitely needed.


I know I go on and on about the white Ranger Enamel Accents but I love it, however I am, for some reason having difficulty using the coloured range, it just doesn’t flow as freely as it should, I wonder if I just bought old stock, but the fine applicator always seems to be blocked and plenty of pin action is required to free it …… I also wonder if I need to warm the bottles up in hot water or on the radiator before use?  I used the green Accents for the oozing slime.

I could see that again more colour was needed …… so I added a few purple stars, everything was coming together.

Then I decided to go round the back, if something is to be hung I like it to look good on the back too. The first thing I did was coloured the back of all the MDF shapes that were visible in their appropriate colours.

I doodled a couple of spiders webs, outlined windows and edges as well as adding a few clusters of three dots here and there using a black fine liner pen and white gel pen. 

I know the Trick or Treat square isn’t quite right, it's too precise, when I get round to making the rest the paper should be torn with jagged edges.  However, the purple does add colour to the front as it backs two of the windows.  Three confetti spiders finish the “look”, before finally adding a small bail fitting from which to hang the decoration.

I am really pleased with the finished result, there is a little fine tuning to be done on the others I plan to make plus I have a few more different Halloween shapes that are also begging to be used ……. but first I need to wait until I can get my hands on some more orange paint.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Inspired Barbola Mirror

Some of my projects seem to stop and start and then do an awful lot of resting in between, as is the case of my version of a Barbola mirror …….. and don’t be fooled by the pictures, it’s not over yet!


I started back in June 2020 by making the flowers using thick embossing powders and Martha Stewart moulds.

Then in September I did an awful lot of work on the flowers with Marc at the cottage where we experimented with a whole lot of shimmer powders and paints, but when I got home …….. it all went into hibernation again ……..


…….. until last week when they started to niggle at me again ……


I went over the flowers again with very pale pink, yellow and blue and then gold acrylic paint.


…… before arranging them roughly, along with the metal leaves, (taken from a necklace and painted previously at Marc’s), on a 25cm x 25cm copper edged, chained mirror (£2.99 from Poundstretcher). I was originally going to use a big, vintage, wood backed mirror, however, it was really heavy and would have required a super strength hook/screw to keep it on the wall ….. plus I had no where to put it.


I was finally, ready to permanently stick it altogether, only trouble was I was a cheapskate and thought I would use my glue gun instead of E9000, big mistake, as the glue just didn’t stick solidly to the flowers or the mirror with any sort of gumption.  However, I carried on regardless just to see how a finished mirror would look. As I write this now several flowers have unceremoniously dropped off, the glue is just too brittle, doh!


I also added the small, cream coloured flowers (from a charity shop necklace) to the flowers that had a more defined sort of centre. I like them, but you can see the holes in them where the chain used to be and I can’t help it, my eyes are now constantly drawn to them. 

Mirror 2

So it’s back to the drawing board, it wont take five minutes to remove the flowers and leaves and then refix them, this time with E9000, when I get round to ordering it.  I think I might be able to cover the holes on the cream flowers with a scrap of tissue paper and then paint over it.  Looking at real Barbola mirrors I think I could go even more pastel on mine, plus add more colours to each flower, I have been subtle, but perhaps not subtle enough, so I am afraid on this third attempt, it’s still a case of watch this space!