Wednesday 24 January 2024

Due To Continuing Issues With Google Pictures .......

.... Fiddle Fart has now moved to :-

Yes, good news, if you see below .......  I have been able to gret all my photos back fix thanks to a fix on, (however, I'm not sure how long for ...... ), but I am still moving over to my new blog(s), because I just can't guarantee that this sort of issue won't happen again. ....... so hopefully I'll still see you on the other side! 

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Paris Inspired Thank You Tags

Before Christmas Iris went on a five day trip to Paris with school and we wanted to say a small “thank you” to all the staff who made this wonderful trip possible ……… so nine packs of Bear Hug chocolates were duly purchased from Marks and Spencer.  I think they cost £3 for a pack of 4.

But where to put a tag?  

Well, in pondering this, I’m afraid got a little carried away, after I also spotted a box of Merci chocolates ……….

There’s no great shakes to the idea, I just took large, plain tags and covered the front and half the back with some scrapbook papers I’ve had forever, depicting old Paris

On the back we put a message and on the front added two Merci chocolates using double sided tape to secure them …….

…….. and a length of red and white bakers twine to attach the tag to the top of the chocolate box.

I was dead chuffed, I love a theme to work with and this is an idea using Merci chocolates I’m sure I will use again in the coming months, perhaps even years.

Monday 22 January 2024

Rustic Gingerbread Bowl – Using IOD Ginger And Spice - Curtesy Of Made By Marley - Part Two

**** Google Issue - Just to let you know that if you see any pictures on Fiddle Fart and Pinterest etc. before I move to the new site - like my Christmas Day post and the past few days, it's because I inserted them solely using Blogger and not Open Live Writer.  It seems that Google won't accept pictures from Third Party apps. There may  be a fix being developed but it could take quite a while so I'm still planning to "move"  ....... Thank you so much for all your support xxx 

*NB: This is not my idea in any way, shape or form, I have blatantly copied it from a YouTube video made by the wonderfully talented Lel, who I am truly in love with (creatively). She has quite possibly changed my creative direction in so many ways, looking to the future and has kindly given her permission for me to post my version of her idea.

Made by Marley New 2023 IOD Ginger and Spice Mould

This is how I left you last week (above), at this stage I was hopeful………….

……… but as I painted on (it was easier to do it upside down because of the shape of the bowl) …….. my heart began to sink ………

……… until I got to the stage (below) ………

…… and that’s when the photos stopped. I really thought I’d messed up good and proper and it got a lot worse believe me, until I had to walk away. However, all the time I could hear Lel’s reassuring voice in the tutorial saying that she wasn’t being too particular with her painting, as she wanted it all to look aged and worn and that dry brushing would change things entirely.

Well, my dry brushing had me further in despair, I didn’t get any accentuated highlights, everything just turned grey. I was ready to chuck it all in the bin, but then I changed to a much smaller brush and a gentler hand and it started to look a bit better.  Buoyed up, I then used various pens to bring out the features of the air dry shapes, rubbing over them time and time again, until they looked suitably faded, it took hours and hours of flipping fiddle fart  (I wished I’d got more pictures now) ……….

………. but finally,  I got to the stage where I thought I might just be able to seal the “finished” bowl with Sparkle Modge Podge, plus a little extra of my own ultra fine glitter mixed in for good measure. 

I was really nervous at this point, as by then I’d also added stars and clusters of three dots to the background with a white pen that I thought might wash away (I later found that it was a permanent marker, from Temu, which I must order again).  Again everything worked and I couldn’t believe the results!!!!

When the two coats of sealer and sparkle were dry, I “worried it” all over again, eyes, ribbons, noses, checks and sweets, plus details on the flowers, were detailed again, until I had to say “Stop, no more, before you go too far!”

Then, it was onto the inside of the bowl with two coats of pink paint, followed by the same again in quick dry, clear, glossy varnish plus another fiddle with the bowl rim using white paint and sparkle sealer.  I used the white pen again to do a very basic pattern inside the top of the bowl

I am thrilled!  I am now on the look out for another similar bowl because I want to do it all again(????) with the know how I gained. I think next time, I would paint the outside of the bowl first, before adding the figures, as that was the fiddliest bit to do and then learn to be more patient, especially when tackling new things, well out of my comfort zone.

Again many thanks to Lel, we have messaged a couple of times and she is so funny, generous, down to earth and above all, supremely talented in a way I truly aspire to. She makes the things I once dreamt about but thought impossible, possible, her easy going, matter of fact manner has changed all that now, I can do tackle new ideas, as well as realise that there are no such things as mistakes creatively, just be fearless.

I now have another project on the go, a suitcase, based on another Made by Marley idea, but the basics are taking a little time before I can finally go wild with a bit of paper ripping………..

Wednesday 17 January 2024

After hours of research and time asking questions and picking up answers in forums, from what I can gather the "picture" issue is something to do with Google making changes to third-party cookies ........... no, I don't have a clue either,  I just blog!  

Google Chrome and other browsers have begun phasing out third-party cookies in order to better protect user privacy. Starting January 2, 2024, Drive will start serving downloads without requiring third-party cookies that are embedded on third-party websites. This is separate from downloading files from Drive. ???? All gobbledygook to me! 

This means that because I use a third party (?) Open Live Writer to format my posts (because it's a lot easier to work with pictures, adding watermarks, better sizing and position etc.) before transferring to Blogger, Google are no longer giving permission for those pictures to be published (seen) - Error 403!  So I and many, many others are scuppered, loosing years and years of work and 1,000's of pictures.  The only pictures that are still visible on either of my blogs are those uploaded in my pre OLW days and when there's been an occasional problem with said programme. 

So the chances of me ever getting the blogs properly functioning again are almost nil, which is why I (stupidly??) chose to start all over again, because I just couldn't bear to look at either one of them, especially The Monkeys, because let's be honest, it was almost a diary of my life over the past 12 years, with an awful lot of memories happy and sad packed in.  It was a record of how my life (and theirs) has changed unbelievably in that time and it was comforting to look back on certain events now and again...... I mean, who can forget Nigel going to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace! As for Fiddle Fart, that was a record of just over 3,000 projects, I could always reference on.  So, thank you Google! 

I know I could have just stopped blogging, but I just wasn't quite ready yet, I wanted to give Fiddle Fart another year at least and perhaps the same for The Boyz before retiring properly. 

This past week has been a very steep learning curve and if there's any saving grace, at least I know my brain is still working well enough to set things up all over again!

Such is life, but if it happens again, that's it!  

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Rustic Gingerbread Bowl Using IOD Ginger And Spice - Curtesy of Made By Marley - Part One

*NB: This is not my idea at all, I copied it entirely from a YouTube video from a wonderfully talented lady called Lel, whose work Marc introduced me to the last time I was with him, at the very end of November 2023.

I really, really hope this link works  for you so that you can see how she put together her bowl and why Marc and I were spellbound.

Made by Marley New 2023 IOD Ginger and Spice Mould 

On my side, this is going to be a two part post because of all the drying I’ve had to wait for and at the end of the post I am no wiser than you whether mine turns out well or not!

The bowl I used cost me £1.50 from my favourite Evesham charity shop, it’s quite a lot smaller than Lel’s, but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself.  Before I started I decided to give the bowl two coats of Gesso, inside and out, just to give paint and the air dry clay something to grip on to.

Marc gave me the IOD Ginger and Spice mould as an early Christmas present, I dusted it with cornflour first to stop the Crayola Model Magic air dry clay I was using from sticking to it.

For around the bowl rim I used the mould above from Temu (£2.68),  sticking all the small sections (straight from the mould, while it was pliable)  using Hard As Nails, as I believe from Marc, it’s what Lel uses.

I then stuck down all the gingerbread shapes, (straight from the mould so I could shape them to the bowl), again fixing with Hard As Nails

It seemed a bit more “crowded” compared to Lel’s bowl, but I was feeling pretty confident at this stage ……..

……… I also added a few more shapes using other moulds I had to help fill in the spaces.

When I was happy with what I’d done I gave the whole bowl a coat of white acrylic paint, but I’m not sure why ……..

…… before putting it on the bottom shelf of my dryer, among all my other washing to dry!

After 12 hours or so and a few cracks, it was time to start painting ………. 

...... which  is currently ongoing and the part I am most nervous of ………… all I’ll say at this point is …. I wished I’d watched the video again before starting this bit, instead of rushing headlong into it ………….. to be continued!

Monday 15 January 2024

Feeling Very Despondant ...... But Not Totally Out!

What can I say, where do I start?  …..... As you can see, I've “lost” all my pictures (on both blogs) from as far back as I dare to look and to make matters worse, I'd also lost all the pictures in posts that were already scheduled for the next week or so, I'm utterly bereft …… years and years of work gone, without a clue as to how to put it right and let’s be honest, you can't have a craft blog without pictures!

AGHHHHHHHH ……………. and that’s putting it mildly! 

What do I do? Accept this huge lost (hoping that I can find a possible solution in the near future) ......

 …… and then try to start afresh with a brand new blog, because I just can't bear to see old FiddleFart with all of her pictures missing. 

So, on January 29th I plan to start afresh with "What A Load Of Old Fiddle Fart", until then I'll leave you with three scheduled posts that I was able to salvage, tomorow (16th January) and then Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd January.

This has done little for my mojo as you can imagine, let's see how things go, but if I encounter any more problems of this nature again I know I just won't have the technical knowledge, will or energy to find the time to repeat the exercise and sadly that would be it!

On with the new ........

Wednesday 10 January 2024

Heads Up To Poundland …… Easter Rabbits

Easter seems to be a long way away, but the rabbits in this picture posted on the Poundland Appreciation Page on Facebook piqued my interest …..


I am really hoping they are made either of wood or some sort of ceramic, as  they could possibly have a lot of potential to be changed round completely with paint, collage, moulds etc. however, on looking at the picture more closely I suspect they may be fabric, but perhaps that could also be painted or patched? I need to see them in real life first, before I consider making a purchase.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Rejigged Mirror

This mirror re-jig was a bit of an experiment as it’s been replaced in the hall by my insect mirror.  I think it’s an original 1970’s wall mirror that cost me about £4 a few years ago, so it owes me nothing. I simply resprayed it as the paintwork was in a sorry state when I bought it.


I’d watched how you could use Iron Orchid transfers on glass with Marc back in the summer and when I saw rolls of  adhesive window stickers on Temu for just £1.78 I thought it might be worth a play, although I knew the results would not be as stunning.


The roll, when it arrived, measured 23.6ins wide by 11.8ins, so more than enough to go along the bottom of the mirror.


I simply fussy cut along the top of the design and carefully placed it on the mirror, using a craft stick to get rid of any bubbles or creases, which was surprisingly easy. 


However, as I suspected, unlike the Iron Orchid transfers, the design was not completely transparent, you could see, everso slightly, where the design ended and the unadorned mirror began.


But, undeterred I decided to cut out a few butterflies and a bee to help fill in some of the space above the design.


This was so easy, but if I were to repeat the exercise, I think I would cut even closer to the edge.


It looked pretty OK on the wall, but you know me, I just had to fiddle fart some more. I then sprayed painted some small cabochon flowers the same colour as the mirror ………


…… and stuck them using E6000, in the middle of the four flowers and at strategic points around the frame.


I think it worked.


The sticker sheets definitely have potential.  If I had wanted to put the mirror on the wall horizontally, I could have easily completely covered the whole of the mirror to give it a frosted effect, but perhaps the contrast works just as well. It might also work by applying the design to the glass, over a simple framed landscape ……….  or even ….. round a plain, square/rectangular vase ……… and what about a plain white box, tiles, coasters even, Hmmmmm, plenty of ideas to play with now I think about it, happy days!

Monday 8 January 2024

Diamond Angels

Before Christmas I had a mahoooosive sort out of my craft cupboards and drawers, because I found that having so much “stuff” that I knew I probably wouldn’t  use, really weighed me down, so I donated a lot to school and with the burden lifted, I didn’t give it much of a second thought, but then ……. one of the staff called me over to say she’d got something to show me ……..


OMG!  The angels I would have done something really boring with (Hobbycraft stock Christmas 2023) were being transformed with the jewels I’d also sent in!  I tell you what, I almost wanted them all back, this was such a game changing idea!  Large 3D diamond dots? 


They were being made, before school, by children who find coming into school difficult, the teacher said that they became so absorbed in what they were doing that they were able to put their anxiety on hold, while their sense of achievement soared knowing they were making something really beautiful.

I am hoping I get a chance to photograph them again, once they are all completed.

I tell you what, if I see any of these paper mache angels again, I will have to buy just a couple, because really need to make a few for myself, they are inspired!

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Upcycled, Faux Ceramic Mirror

I’ve had this mirror in my shower room for a few years now, but it wasn’t really doing anything for me, it was dull, uninspiring and just plain boring!


I think it may have been originally gold in colour before I bought it, but it was tarnished and I’d already spray painted it silver …… but it still didn’t really work where I’d put it, soooooooooo ………


I took it apart ……..


…….. painted it white and then roughly patched it, leaving white gaps, with part of a sheet of the decopatch paper below, (Ref C6290 – blue and white floral ceramic pattern paper) using Matt Modge Podge to glue it down.


It didn’t take that long.  I wanted it to look like a broken blue and white patterned plate cobbled together again to make something new, if that makes sense?


Then followed about 7/8 coats, perhaps more, using Wickes quick drying, clear, glossy varnish, in place of my beloved Wilko varnish ……….


………I’d say the results were as good as Wilkos.


I am really, really pleased with how it’s turned out …… was tempting to add a cabouchon flower or two or a few scattered pearls, but I resisted, telling myself, less is more.


However, I do wonder how a little crackle glaze might look?