Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Milk n Coffee

Sooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for another sketch challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and this week we are sponsored by the lovely peeps over at Milk N Coffee:

MilkCoffee Stamps is a digital image shop specialized in cute and girly images.There are 2 people behind this shop, Esmeralda and Nathaza. We are best buddies from our childhood with a common thing that we love so much: drawing. What we try to do is drawing various styles that suits different kind of tastes, so a lot of people with different style can still play along with our image for their cards.
Right now we have 8 talented DT ladies who always help us to have fun together with our weekly challenge at our challenge blog here. Also we have monthly colour challenge at our main blog. You can check it here. It's very nice to see a lot of people join and have fun at our challenge.
In the future we still want to make more cute images that is loved and used happily by many people.

And we have a great and easy to use sketch for you this week:

Now, first off, I have to say that I love this sketch - I think it is easy to use and the creations by the rest of the team are amazing, but I have to be honest . . . I don't like my card.  I like all the elements of it, but in my head it was supposed to look very different to the finished product:

I don't think it helps that I took the picture using the camera on my phone and it always takes photos quite dark.  I can't figure out why or how to fix it.

Normally, I would make another card if the one I have made is a bit rubbish, but I had my nieces all weekend and they sleep in my craft room, so I couldn't get in there to redo.  I cannot object to having the nieces though - they are as good as gold for me.   I also have my sewing machine out at the moment making myself a dress, so cardmaking is a bit difficult without packing everything else up.  The dress just needs hemming now, which I can do by hand, so the sewing machine will be put away and cardmaking can once again resume - I think I am going to make a start on my Christmas cards.

Anyway, enough of my moaning.  As I've already said, I love the different elements of my card.

The image I have used is darling and I used a mixture of inks and promarkers to colour it in.  I then die-cut it to a scalloped circle and added some faux fur stitching with a red fineliner in a circle.

My paper, which I love, is from a set I got free with a magazine, but I can't remember which, and the ricrac was from my stash. 

Happy Crafting!



Soooooo, I think given the serious change in weather we have had in the UK over the last few days, we should all be sporting some very fetching shower caps whenever we venture outside.  I can't believe how much the weather has changed.  I am not complaining though, as I do like a good thunderstorm, and (ever the optimist) I am hoping they will clear the air to bring lots more sunshine for the rest of the summer.  I do, however, think that my arms and face are the brownest they are going to be (which is not very), but my legs need some serious work, despite me actually letting them see the light of day quite a bit this year.  I am beginning to think that this is one of the perils of having a soft-top car - no matter what, when I am driving around enjoying the sunshine and the breeze driving around in the car creates, my legs are still covered.  Now, I supposed I could take to walking, but I love my car so much that I live to drive it at every opportunity, especially with the top down. 

Anyway, back to the rubbish weather and the need for shower caps when we step out of doors, luckily, I have been putting together some make your own shower cap kits, which are now available in my Etsy shop.

I was inspired by the make your own knickers kit my darling hubby bought me a few months ago, and the shower cap kit idea has been bobbing around in my head ever since then.

I currently have three different patterns of fabric available for the kits at the moment, but more will be in the pipeline if these prove to be good sellers.  There is also a choice of binding.

The kits contain everything you need to create the shower cap, bar the sewing machine and some thread:

Waterproof fabric
Bias binding

I am hoping the instructions are very clear, but as I have written them for me, and I am useless when it comes to following instructions, they should be pretty simple.

I am putting them on a special introductory price for next two weeks of £5.95, and then they will go up to £8.95, so get your orders in now.

If you do buy one, please send me your finished product.  I love to see other people's creations.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 29 July 2013

Friday, 26 July 2013

French Beaded Flower

Sooooo, this is my first completed project from the Crafty Creatives box I got at the weekend (please see Tuesday's post to find out all about this).

This was the first project that caught my eye when I opened the box and I just had to make it.

It looks really complicated, and the instructions in the box warn that it takes a while to make, but it is well worth it.

From the Crafty Creatives box I needed a pack of seed beads (I chose to use the purple) and the 0.4mm florist wire.

I must admit, I was a bit confused when I first read the instructions, but then I noticed that Crafty Creatives has a YouTube channel which has video tutorials for their projects.  Here is the video tutorial for the french beaded flowers.  Once I watched this, it all became so much clearer and, other than a little time consuming (I'm sure I will get faster with practice), these pretty flowers are actually quite simple to make.

First, you have to make the petals.  Starting this was where I had first struggled, as I didn't realise you had to string all the beads onto the wire first.  The video tutorial cleared this up for me.  The instructions warn that this is time consuming, but I found that it didn't take nearly as much time as I had thought.

Once this was done, I made the petals.  They need making individually, but are all made from the beads already strung on to the wire.  Here is my first attempt:

I made five petals in total.  I found that each one I made was bigger than the last.  I realised this at the fourth petal and made the fifth one a bit smaller.  You can see in the picture below that I had done this.  This is them in order from left to right:

Once I had done the petals, I made three stamens from some of the blue beads in the box.  These are made simply by using five beads and twisting them into, effectively, a ball.

sorry the picture is blurry - I just couldn't get the camera to focus

I then arranged the stamens, twisting them together and then arranges the petals around the outside of the stamens, twisting the wires together with the wires of the stamens.

Once I had finished the flower, I decided to attach it onto a blank hair slide, which was also in the Crafty Creatives box.  The slide was actually for another project, but I decided that I would prefer to use it to make this gorgeous flower into a hair slide for myself.

I think I could develop quite an addiction to make these.  I think I shall make a blue one next and buy myself some more beads in many different colours.

I'm going to try some of the other projects from my Crafty Creatives box at the weekend.  I can't wait!

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Paper Addictions

Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for another sketch challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and  this week we have a good sketch for you to try your hand at using:

This week we are sponsored by Jackie at Paper Addictions:

My name is Jacqueline Mathews and I am a crafter and designer.  I love paper, pens, doodling, stamping and above all designing.  I have a degree in fine arts with an emphasis in graphic design.  I worked in the graphic design industry for many years and quit 15 years ago to become a stay at home mom for my 3 kids.  Now that the kids are older and don’t need me as much, I am reinventing myself and have decided that I wanted to create my own line of digital stamps.  I have dabbled in rubber stamping and became a “Stampin’ up!” demonstrator and had a blast, but thought it would be more fun to create my own stamps.  I decided digital was the way to go.  It is affordable for the customer and for the designer.  I now have a digital stamp shop on Etsy called “PaperAddictions”.  I would love to create my own line of rubber stamps someday, but for now I am testing my designs out in my shop to see if anyone likes them.  I am pleasantly surprised that I have gotten a good response to the images I have designed so far.  This positive response has motivated me to create more images in the future.

And we have and amazing prize of 5 free digis from Paper Addictions for the Grand Prize winner.

I thought this week's sketch was great to use.  My youngest niece (aged 5), who stopped with me at the weekend, helped me to create my card for this week:

I coloured my image using water colour pencils, but didn't add any water, so they just have a pencil coloured look.  I then die-cut my image into a circle and then layered it onto a scalloped circle die-cut from orange card I found in my stash.  

My coloured card stash is starting to run very low, so I need to stock up.  Does anyone have any recommendations for decent quality card, not too expensive?

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, the backing paper, which I love, is from a Papercrafter paper pack I think, which I layered onto some more orange card.  I also used some orange grosgrain ribbon, topped with some yellow gingham ribbon, both from my stash.

To finish my card, I used a yellow flower from my stash and a tag from my stash, which I think went perfectly with my colour scheme and brought everything together.

I really enjoyed doing this week's card, and it was nice to have the help me.  She only comes to my house so she can make a mess in my craft room - she even has her own box of crafting goodies!

I can't wait to see what everyone else creates this week.

Good luck!

Happy Crafting!


Crafty Creatives

Sooooo, I have been waiting patiently for about two weeks for my first Crafty Creatives box to arrive, which it finally did on Friday last week.

For those of you who have not heard of Crafty Creatives before, it is kind of a subscription service to receive a box of crafting goodies each month.  The boxes are £10 each plus P&P (which is £2.95 in the UK, but they do post overseas).  You never know what you are going to get each month, and the contents are kept very secret until a few days after the boxes have been posted to give everyone chance to get their goodies.  Each box has a theme, and for this months (which is actually box 13), the theme was florals.

This is the 'birthday box' as Crafty Creatives is one year old this month and they decided to go with the theme of their first ever box, which was also florals.  I can't believe this company has been going a whole year and I have only just heard about it.  I think I am already addicted and that is just from this first box.  Definitely worth the tenner a month I think.  You certainly get your money's worth.

In this box, the goodies included are:
  • a birthday balloon (well, what's a birthday without a balloon
  • green card/paper
  • yellow card/paper
  • pink felt
  • yellow felt
  • crepe paper roll
  • pink stocking material
  • 0.4mm florist wire
  • copper wire
  • florists tape
  • blank hair grip
  • polystyrene ball
  • pretty wooden floral buttons (I want more of these)
  • blue seed beads
  • purple seed beads
  • red flower stamens
  • purple diecut flower shapes
  • tag
  • cream resin (I think) heart charm
  • metal hummingbird charm

I think I have got everything, sorry if I've missed anything, but do you see what I mean about getting value for money?

It all comes wrapped in some pretty paper and packed in a little brown shoebox, which is great for keeping all your bits and pieces in, and once I have used everything/sorted it into my craft stash, it will be great for storing bits and pieces of my stash.

This month there are also instructions on how to make five flower types:
  1. felt flower
  2. stocking flower
  3. french beaded flower
  4. paper rose hairslide
  5. crepe paper flower bunch

I probably won't try all of these, but I have already made the french beaded flower with some success (I will blog about this later this week).

I certainly want to try the stocking flower and probably one or two of the other items.  I can't wait to try everything and see what else I can make.

As always, I will keep you updated with what I make.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 22 July 2013

Review: Papercrafter - Issue 63

Soooo, after having a tidy up of my craft room with the major help of my hubby (I basically just supervised and sorted out my fabric - it's too warm for cleaning up and tidying) I have finally sat down to write my review of Papercrafter.  Fingers crossed my internet doesn't die on me - it is running so slow at the moment :-(  Mr internet man is supposedly coming to look at it on Saturday and it had better get faster.  It's driving both me and hubby insane as he relies on it for his work and I rely on it for the blog and my Etsy shop etc.

Scrap that, internet gave up entirely while I was writing this, so sorry for the delay in posting this.  Mr Internet man did come to  try and fix the internet on Saturday - turns out it was a problem with the phone line, and the poor man had to go all the way to the telephone exchange to fix it.  Then we have had intermittent power cuts all weekend, affecting the wireless, so this has been written in bits, as and when I had internet access.  I finally got it finished last night (Sunday), so I could post it.

Anyway, enough moaning and grumbling from me, shall we get on with the magazine?

This issue has actually been out for a week already, but I have had other magazines that came out first to review, and in all honesty it has been far too warm to be doing anything other than sleeping this week.  I;ve also had a super busy week at work, so writing has been the last thing I have wanted to do when I get home.  In fact, sleeping has been my preferred option all round.  I think (according to the BBC anyway) it is supposed to start to cool down from the weekend, but we shall see.  I do like the sunshine, I would just prefer to be able to sit in it all day, rather than have to go to work, as the heat is oh so tiring.  Basically, I need to be a lady of leisure.

This issue comes with the usual cardmaking kit and paper pack, some of which I put to use straight away to wrap my boss' birthday present up, as we had bought her a present, but forgot the wrapping paper.  As luck would have it, I threw the magazine, pack and all in my work bag to read at lunch, so we used some of the paper from the paper pack.  My boss commented on how lovely the wrapping paper was.  Little does she know . . . .

I adore the little beach huts in the first project in the magazine, which has a distinctly nautical theme.  Unfortunately, other than decorative, I can see no use for them, so it is unlikely that I will make these.  Even decorative things have to have a purpose in my house - I don't have room for purely decorative items.  The seaside decoration wall hanging I could make, although only decorative, I would make it for one of the nieces for their bedroom.  there is also a quilled artwork, some cards, a mobile and some little hanging decorations in this project feature.

Having spent the best part of one evening and anticipating another tidying my craftroom, I have a great appreciation for the little crafty caddies featured in the magazine.  I'm thinking maybe a selection of stackable ones would be just what I am after (as long as I don't knock them over).

The origami clock is interesting, made from an old map.  I like the 'differentness' of it and in fairness it does look pretty.  It can also be easily adapted to other papers to suit other decors.

Other projects this issue include:
  • Quilling masterclass, featuring quilled cards, decoaration and elaborate artwork
  • Calligraphy
  • lots of cards
  • hand bound journal
  • paper cutting
  • beach-inspired scrapbooking layout
  • beach hut photo concertina album
  • sunny greetings
  • Dad birthday card
  • stitched seaside themed tags, cards and pictures
  • dreamcatcher
  • embossed makes
  • crafters' guide to wedding stationary
  • granny purse tags
  • wish pockets

Giveaways this issue include:

  • Berisfords ribbons
  • Past Times Quilling goodies
  • Stampin' Up! goodies
  • tickets to the Sincerely Yours craft shows
  • Affix It Super Sticky Sets
  • tickets to the Young At Heart show

The next issue is out on 16th August and the pack has Christmas stuff in it.  This starting to prepare for Christmas thing is really starting to concern me.  Mind you, maybe it is a good thing, last year I was so disorganised that I am determined to be sorted and ready this year.  In fact, I plan to have pretty much everything sorted before I go on holiday at the end of August.  Too organised you say?  After my running around like a headless chicken act the week before Christmas last year, I think there can be no such thing as to organised this year.

Anyway, now that my craft room is tidy(ish) once more I'm hoping to find time and inspiration to do some more crafting.  There is loads that I want to do, so hopefully you will start to see some new projects from me very very soon.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

How To: Make Your Own Lavender Salt Scrub

Soooo, I have been finding loads of tutorials recently, so I think I might have to share two each week for now.

So, today, something a little different - beauty products:

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for another challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and this week we are sponsored by our regular sponsor:

All images/designs are created and copyright owned bySally-Ann Hancock. My work means the world to me - it allows my passion to draw and create, to fit with my family life too - often the inspiration for my designs. Hope you enjoy as much as I enjoy creating.

It is also my turn to host, so please head over to the SSW for some more of my ramblings:

And here is this week's sketch:

My card this week was actually a quick one, as I have been so busy I didn't have oodles of time to think about it, but I did make it with someone in mind.  I'm not sure if she reads my blog (probably not), but just in case I won't tell you who it is for:

I made my card using 'Blooming Lulabelle' from DSB and coloured her using promarkers.  I then diecut the image using some frame dies I really don't use often enough.  I also die cut a lager frame from plain purple card, which I chose to match my blank.

The papers are both from my stash.  I've had them that long I can't remember where they came from.  Finally, the little stork embellishment is from a load of things that my old boss gave me.  I finished off with a little bow made from a scrap of spotty ribbon in my stash.

I hope you like it, even if it was a bit of a rush to make it.

Happy Crafting!


Review: Cardmaking & Papercraft - Issue 120 (August)

Soooooo, this has probably already been out a few days (I can't remember which day it hit the shops this month), but I have been a very busy bee (working, orders, sitting in sun etc.) that I just simply have not had time to get around to writing about it.  So, sorry that this is late, but better late than never eh?

Anyway, this month's issue comes with some pretty papers and coordinating toppers as the freebies.  I love the papers, but I'm not too sure about that toppers, but that is just because they are not really my style.  I'm sure other people will love them.  As always, one of the first projects in the magazine is some ideas on how to use your freebie.  This month, they seem to be all cards.  I'm sure they could be used for things like gift boxes and bags though.  the papers would also make for some very pretty pinwheels too.

I love the designs in Riviera Style.  They are what I would describe as 'grown up cards' made with some very elegant Penny Black stamps - I now want them all.  How I wish a magic fairy would just give me an unlimited budget for crafting stash - I would never ever be bored.  Mind you, saying that, I have stuff at home that I have had since March that I have not got around to using yet.  I plan every week that this will be the weekend that I will finally get around to doing it, but then something comes up, or the sun shines (and you never know in the UK how long that is going to last so we have to make the most of it), or a million other things prevent me from making it to the craft room.  I think I have even forgotten how to use it now, but never mind.  One day I will get around to it and blog all about it.

Anyway, as usual, I have deviated from the matter in hand - the elegant Penny Black cards.  The papers and embellishments just add to the elegance of these cards.  There are also a few techniques to use, such as masking, colouring, inking and silhouette stamping.

I adore Sharon Armstrongs daschund card and may have to make this for my Auntie Jacky, who has a little wire-haired daschund called Madge.  She is the cutest thing.  Anyway, I'm interested in these because not only do I have a recipient in mind, but they are made using fabric scraps, so are a great way to use up my stash of fabric scraps.  I usually keep these for my youngest niece to make 'pictures' from, but if I can, I might as well use them myself.  There are also instructions and templates for a matching gift tag.

The card in the subscribers only section is soooooo sweet.  I love the Penny Black fairy stamp which ist is made with and I may have to add this to my wishlist (along with everything else).  The bright reds and other colours used would also lend this to being a pretty Christmas Card (please, shoot me now, thinking about Christmas so early!).

Quick makes for August has some LOTV blue and white creations, vintagey looking cards and a fair few butterflies.

The Masterclass this month has some gorgeous paper floral decorations, ideal for weddings, but also useful for other events and occasions.  My favourite is the large kissing ball, and had I been getting married in the summer, I would have made these.

Other projects this issue include:
  • 10 ideas with baker's twine
  • 3 ideas with Pebeo
  • five cards for under a fiver have blooms of joy this month
  • crafting with kids has some ideas to keep them entertained during the upcoming holidays, including pinwheels, a pencil pot and a secret diary
  • Paula Holifield shows you how to make your own washi tape
  • Leonie Pujol has ideas for using the Inkadinkado Stamping Gear system
  • 6 ideas with background stamps
  • how to make your own glimmer mists
  • crafter's guide shows you how to use the Gelli Arts gel printing plate
  • upcycle with lollipop sticks
  • 10 minute makes has a nautical feel

Giveaways this issue include:
  • tickets to the Stitch, Sew and Hobbycraft show
  • Spellbinders die sets
  • Bramley Hedge goodies
  • tickets to the Crafts for Christmas and Hobbycrafts shows
  • Tilda goody pack (subscribers only)
Sorry this hasn't been as comprehensive as I would like - I've had to rush as I am writing this in my lunchbreak and unfortunately ended up with only half a lunch break as work is that busy.

Anyway, the next issue is out on 8th August and comes with a free vintage stamp set with some ready-stamped greetings and verses.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 15 July 2013

Review: Sew - Issue 50

Soooo, I was excited about getting this month's issue of Sew, as I knew that it had a gorgeous maxi dress pattern with it, that I intend to make for my little sister.  She's away for a few months, and asked me to make her some maxis for when she gets back.  She seems to like the one I made her last time she was home, which I've just realised I never blogged about.  I shall rectify that soon, so please keep an eye out on Teapots and Tantrums.  In the meantime, here is a little picture of it:

Anyway, back to the pattern . . . not only is it a pattern for a maxi dress, but also for a 3/4 sleeved tunic, which I think would suit my other sister, so I could be really mean and make them matching . . . mwahahahaha . . . or I could be nice and make them non-matching.

There are also loads of examples of maxi dress patterns if you fancy doing something a bit different.

Dressmaking SOS has advice on sewing sleeves.  I read with interet the bit on cuffs as I would really like to make the hubby a shirt or three - his are all getting a bit old and he never does any clothes shopping.  (For the record - his will be French Link cuffs)  However, facing a sleeve hem totally confused me.  Maybe it is just my blondeness showing through, or maybe it will make more sense should I ever get around to making said shirts for the hubby.

I read with great interest Around the Block.  I would love to one day be able to design my own patterns, and I know that this is the starting place.  For a funny shape like me, it is probably essential and would save me having to do lots and lots of fitting.  There is loads of information.  I am still a little confused, but I have read it a few times now and it makes a little more sense each time I read it, so maybe a few more times and it will make perfect sense for me!

I also enjoyed reading Steph Durrant's trials and tribulations when making her own tunic at a Dress in a Day course at Homemade London.  The fabric she used is so very pretty and it seems that she had a very successful day.  I think to be able to make a dress in a day is a feat in itself - the first one I made took four days in total I think.

I adore the girl's t-shirt dress and want to make one each for my nieces (different colours of course).  I don't think these would be very expensive to make either - a plain t-shirt (I think you can get them for about £2 for kids), some white cotton and a couple of fat quarters of patterned cotton and some bia binding . . . voila!  one very pretty dress any little girl would love.  Maybe when I find time I will make one of these each for the nieces, although it is likely that once I find time, they will both be far too old for them.

I think I might have to make time to make myself the gorgeous laptop case as my now not so new laptop still doesn't have a case for me to carry it round in, and it tends to go all over at the weekends, just perched on my car passenger seat.  A case would be so much better.  I don't think I have the patience for tie-dyeing anything to get that effect, but would instead just use some pretty patterned fabric, lots of which I have lying around at home. 

I also might have to make Elisabeth Cockrell's clutch bag out of some pretty patterned fabric, rather than cross stitching the design - I don't have much patience (or time) for cross stitching.  I like the pom pom edge though.  It looks pretty simple to make and I do like my clutch bags.

I love love love the eBook reader cover.  My current Kindle cover is getting to be a bit on its last legs, so this is something I need to consider making in the future.  I love that it has pockets (my current one does not and I think it is a very good idea).  I also love the ode to penguin fabric that it is made from and I am going to have to buy some of this.  I might have to buy enough to make myself a dress too, as it is perfect for a bookworm like me.

Just realised how much I am going on on this review - surely it is the sign of a good issue?

Anyway, moving on . . .

I loved the wendy house so much that I took a picture of the magazine page and sent it to my sister whilst I was on the first read through of the magazine.   Now, we had blanket dens when we were kids (usually over the washing line or the backs of chairs), but they were nothing compared to this one, which has windows, a door and lots of detail appliqued to the blanket.  I think my sister was hinting at me to make her one for the girls, but  we shall see.  I have so much on my to do list that I'm not sure I will have time to fit this on for this summer.  Maybe it can be a spring project next year in time for summer and fingers crossed we have another lovely summer like this (although it did take long enough to arrive).

The embroiders director's chairs, embroidered with poppy and floral motifs, are so very pretty.  I think that once I have decorated my kitchen in the style I would like (this could take another five years!), these would be go perfectly.  They would also make a great outdoor set.

Other projects and features this issue include:
  • liberty baby vests
  • sewing holidays
  • Emma Curtis and Elizabeth Parnell of Hamble & Jemima discuss their bags designs
  • sew a fabric beach hut
  • marmalade quilt
  • laundry set, including a peg bag and laundry bags
  • applique rug
  • oilcloth picnic set including floor cushions and picnic mat
  • monster book bags
  • Tilda dolly
  • explorer bags, including a belt bag and notebook bag made from map-printed fabric

As always, there are lots of pretty fabrics.  I think I want them all!!!

Tutorials this issue include:
  • How to create a cut-out back
  • How to attach lining to a sleeve
Finally, the giveaways this issue are:
  • Purelight 4-in-1 magnifying lamp
  • Valori Wells Cocoon fat quarter bundle
  • tickets to the Stitch, Sew and Hobbycrafts Show
  • eXperience 600 sewing machine.
I can't wait for next month's issue, which comes with a free applique cushion pattern and a downloadable gorgeous dress pattern.  It is out on 9th August.  First though, I'd best get working on some of the projects from this issue.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Review: Simply Homemade - Issue 32

Soooo, we're coming up to about a year I think of me getting this magazine, and unfortunately, it has to be said that this could be my last review, as this is one of the magazines I am losing in my subscription cull, as I very rarely make anything from it, I think there are magazines out there more suited to me, and I've come to think that each issue if very samey.  Don't get me wrong, every now and again something amazing is featured, but otherwise projects seem to be recycled in a different colour.

Gosh, I sound grumpy today don't I?

Many apologies - I don't mean to.

Anyway, shall we see how this month's issue faired?  See if it can change my mind?

So, this issue comes with a free pinwheel template, together with some brads and some patterned papers with which to make your pinwheels.  Personally, I don't think that you need a template to make pinwheels - they are easy enough to make from a simple square of paper, but for those that like to be guided or have never made them before, I suppose its not really a bad idea.  I like the papers and the brads are pretty.  

The first project in the magazine is a step-by-step on how to make the pinwheels, which also features some ideas for putting them to use, other than as mini windmills, which although traditional will keep the kids (actual and older) entertained for hours on end.

I like the Doodle Art feature, which has pumps and cushions decorated using fabric pens.  The freedom to do whatever design you want is great on these projects.

I also like the projects in Piece By Piece, which are little works of art made using digi products, i.e. stamps and papers, manipulated using computer software and then printed to make some gorgeous gifts.

Other projects and features this issue include:
  • beach bags, windbreakers and picnic blankets for the beach
  • granny square blanket
  • vintage-inspired paraphernalia for your sewing room, including needle cases, storage and pin cushions
  • Interview with Gillian Harris, owner of Gilliangladrag
  • Felt bag
  • crocheted scarf
  • mixed media projects, including a pen pot, bookmark, note card, photoframe, sticky notes cover
  • baby girl gifts, including frames, a mini chest of drawers, gift bag, treasure boxes and letters
  • apple-themed kitchen goodies, including a tray, quilt and fabric apples
  • knitted mouse toy
  • Battenburg recipe

The one thing I always like in Simply Homemade is the sheer amount, and quality, of giveaways.  This issue include:
  • £500 of Paper Cellar goodies
  • Sew Easy ascending square templates
  • Geekly Chic fat quarter bundle
  • book, How To Start a Creative Business
  • Little Dress Kits
  • book, Fabric Surface Design
  • CD-Roms, Wedding Cupcakes & Baking and Decorating Cupcakes
  • Heritage Crafts cross-stitch set
  • Gutermann HT2 glue kit
  • Springwood House Designs Ring of Hearts
  • book, This Belongs to Me
  • Seek It Out Union Jack Tea Cosy kits
Sooo, I don't think that this issue has managed to change my mind and there is not a project that I really want to do.

The next issue if out on 8th August and has lots of freebies.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: A Day for Daisies

Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is once again time for another sketch challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and this week is the turn of regular(ish) sponsor - A Day For Daisies:

A DAY FOR DAISIES provides themed categories of over 1000 fun and whimsical digital images, including fairy tales and magical mermaids, cutie kids, vintage illustrations, sentiments and lovely designs for all occasions!

And here is this week's sketch:

To make my card this week, I coloured my image with promarkers, using the special ultra-fine nib attachment.  I then die cut it into an oval and backed it onto a slightly larger oval.

My papers are from my stash, as is the ribbon the sentiment and the pearls.  I attached the image section with sticker fixers to give a bit of dimension.

Really, this was a pretty easy sketch to use and a simple card to make, so you should all have a go this week.  I can't wait to see what you all create.

Happy Crafting!


How To: Make Your Own Minion

Sooo, I know you have had loads of tutorials just recently, but I couldn't resists sharing this tutorial I found on Facebook, inspired by Despicable Me (one of my favourite films):

I'm currently in the process of getting my older sister, Kay, to knit me my very own minion.  After all, I decided a long time ago that I could really do with a few minions to help me out.  I'll let you know if I'm successful.

In the meantime, if you can knit, why don't you make yourself one.  Everyone needs a minion or two after all.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 8 July 2013

Review: Homemaker - Issue 8

Sooooo, I seem to have had a magazine drought recently.  They all seem to be arriving at the same time these days.  I think I have three all due out this week.  I would much prefer them to spread out a little so I always have something to read, so thank god for Homemaker, which seems to always arrive a week before the rest, giving me something to read for that week.  And it really is a magazine that can keep me going for a few days, as it is full of interesting articles and not just lots of pictures, and this issue has not disappointed.

It hit the shops on Friday, and although I got my copy a couple of days before (my first subscription copy - woo!), I have taken my time reading it all from cover to cover and then re-reading some bits.

I like the freebie that comes with this issue, but I feel that I may have lost it to my hubby - he spent ages looking at it.  He even took it out of it's packet without asking me!!!!!  It was nearly divorce then - I like to keep my  things pristine until I'm ready to make them.  You may want to know what it is actually . . . it is a little owl doorstop kit, which is perfect for me, as I keep thinking I should make myself a doorstop or three as the doors in my house either refuse point blank to stay closed or to stay open.  I've never made a door stop before so this one will be a good beginner's project, unless Phil beats me to making it, which is highly likely.  Instructions are in the magazine, so if my magazine disappears, I know that Phil has it and is making up the doorstop.  It does look as though it can be handstitched though, so I might sneak it to work and make it up as a lunchtime project when the weather turns and I don't want to go outside.

One of the first things in the magazine is a gorgeous table decoration made from flowers and floating candles in a mirrored bowl.  I think this is absolutely gorgeous, and once I am posh and sophisticated enough  to have a large garden in which to hold summer dinner parties, I now that these will be adorning my table.  I also think that these would make great centrepieces for a summer wedding.  Leave the candles unlit during the day and change the ambience by lighting them at dusk.

This issue encourages you to 'Make Your Hallway A Destination'.  If only I had a house big enough to have a hallway.  i do agree though, hallways are often neglected.  I love my gran's hallway as photos and pictures adorn the walls and she has some storage cupboards at the end which are always decorated.  We often congregate in her hallway, spending hours saying hello or goodbye in there.  This issue has some ideas for decorating your hallway, including an embroidery hoop picture, a notice board and some vase cosies (knitted).

I enjoyed reading Wayne Hemingway's column this time round.  He talks about resident-led development, and in particular how it has worked in Middlesbrough.  I think I took interest as I don't live that far from Middlesbrough and have friends from there, so I could relate a bit to it.

I am inspired by Decorator's Diary, which features Crown Vintage paints.  I keep thinking about painting various rooms in my house.  I think I have my ideas for my bedroom pretty much sorted, so I am now thinking about my kitchen, and some of these paints would be amazing.  I live in a very old house (built in the 1700s we believe) so I am thinking that the vintage look is going to work very well.

Sticking with decorating, Linda Barker shares her knowhow on cornicing.  I think this would look gorgeous in my house, but as it is rented, as much as I can decorate, I think putting up cornicing may be a step too far for my landlord.  I've yet to ask if I can paint the fitted wardrobes - they are a horrible brown colour at the moment and will look so much better a nice crisp white as far as I am concerned. 

I adore the little felt rabbit toy in Bunny Boo.  I'm not usually one for making toys (they might encourage children to like me and I am quite happy with my reputation - according to one of my niece's friends - as the child catcher) but this is so sweet that I am tempted to try it out should I ever find time.  It does look a bit complicated for a total beginner like myself though, so I should either try something simpler first, or maybe seek supervision.

I like the curtain with pockets and flowers, which is so very pretty.  I worry however, that should I make something like this, I would make use of the pockets and forget that I have put stuff in there.  I am one of those people who is forever losing things after putting them in a safe place, so this could be very dangerous for me.  For example, I lost my driving licence for two years after putting it in a safe place.  About a month after applying (and paying) for a new one, it re-appeared - in my jewellery box!  I am also currently looking for my sunglasses and have turned the house upside down.  It is important I find these, as they are my last pair after losing another two pairs over the last year.  See, I'm hopeless!

Eric Lanlard has a scrummy looking dark chocolate moelleux, which unfortunately I can't eat, due to the dark chocolate content.  Not even for something so delicious looking am I willing to risk a migraine.  Luckily, my hero, Mary Berry, leaps to the rescue with her Victoria Sponge recipe, which is very similar to my great-grandma's recipe, which has been lodged in my head for as long as I can remember.  I might try Mary Berry's version though, which just has one small added ingredient.  Somehow, I think I might always have to be loyal to my grandma's recipe though.

Staying on the food theme, I am going to have to try Pete Evans' (apparently) no-stress blood orange sorbet with champagne.  Now, I have loads of champagne left over from my wedding, so me and my friend have decided that we should have a champagne cocktail party in order to drink this champagne, and this would be a perfect little addition I think, plus something a little bit different.  Also, I just love sorbet!

Other projects and features in this issue include:
  • revamp a vintage wardrobe with antique book pages
  • feature on Magpie founder, Nicky Sloan
  • The Great Glitz shows you how to add some Gatsby to your home
  • Break the Mould has some ideas for vintage jelly moulds - if you can get your hands on them
  • napkin decoupage
  • Helen Mulley asks why knitters and knitting are yet to get their fair share of the limelight
  • feature on self-taught knitting extraordinaire, Joy Bates
  • patchwork bed cover
  • advice on re-stuffing an old chair
  • linen coasters
  • DIY serving tray
  • paint some zesty bowls
  • hints and tips on vintage cameras
  • Jo Wheatley, winner of The Great British Bake-Off shares her heart-warming success story and shares her triple chocolate cookie recipe
  • 5 paper projects
  • papier mache serving bowl
  • paper cut plates
  • Calson & Co owner, Andy Rouse, us how it all started and where it is going
  • printed cushion cover
  • Kiane Mellor also tells how it all started and how she got to design for Liberty
  • DIY bird roost

The next issue is out on 2nd August, and I can't wait, as I am very interested to find out what this 'floweretti' is.

Happy Crafting!

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