Friday, 30 August 2013

How To: Make Your Own Bed Hammock

Soooo, I think that looking at the weather as I write this, this is a project that might have to be saved for next summer, but I just couldn't wait to share it with you.


Maybe you could make a start on it now, so that it is all ready for when the sunshine next makes and appearance.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Thursday, 29 August 2013

How To Make: No Sew Favour Bags

Sooo, these are a quick and simple favour bag.  I think they would also be great as little (or bigger) gift bags.


Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday - Bugaboo Stamps

Soooo, Wednesday has rolled around again, which means that it is time for a new challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and this week we are sponsored by (drum roll please):




Everything That You Ever Wanted to Know About Bugaboo Stamps: As if raising five children in the frozen land of the North was not enough of a challenge, Jodie Mackrell decided to dip her cold little Canadian toes into the world of papercrafting by opening an online store full of her illustrations. That was two years ago. Today Bugaboo Stamps is one of the leading companies in digital images, and we're still growing! From seriously snarky to sugary sweet to sublimely soulful all the way over to the other side of the super sexy spectrum, you're bound to find all that you need and more to create your paper projects. Jodie works very hard to provide New Releases and Freebies every week!
If your taste runs to rubber (and you know who you are), you can find Bugaboo Stamps stamps at Totally Stampalicious. And finally, join the Bugaboo Stamps DT for weekly challenges at Catch the Bug.
Our links are:
Store : http://www.bugaboostamps.com/
Catch the bug Challenge blog: http://catchthebugblog.blogspot.com/

And we have an amazing sketch for you to create with this week, designed by Arlana: 



The grand prize is 7 free digistamps from the Bugaboo store.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my creation:


I have made this with my gramps in mind, as it is his birthday soon, but whether he gets this card or not remains to be seen.  As is usually the case with me, I might make him another, or I might sell this one and need to make another.

I thought this image was perfect for my gramps.

I coloured him in with promarkers and backed him onto some red paper.  All papers are from a Wellington pack, which I often forget I have, but is always trustily there for man cards.

The blue twine is actually some wool I had lying around on my craft desk.

I struggled with the embellishments this week and could find no inspiration in my stash, so I cut a strip of the red stripey paper into squares.

I can't wait to see what you all create this week.

Happy Crafting!

Holly

Crafty Creatives - Box 14

Sooooo, how excited was I when my Crafty Creatives box was ready for collection from the sorting office - thank god for late night sorting office opening on a Wednesday!  It seems to have been a loooong month this month.

Anyway, this is my first 'usual' box - My first box was the birthday box, which was different to the normal boxes.  

The theme this month is 'Western', so is full of all things related to Cowboys and Indians.

First up, I love the paper that the crafty goodies are wrapped in - I will be putting that to great use.




There is a stunning Art Card, drawn by Anastasia Alexandrin from Philadephia.  Mine will be getting a simple frame and put on the wall of my craft room.  

I could be tempted the use the 1m of suedette floral cut trim, which is also in the kit, to trim the frame.  Or I could find a million other uses for it.  For example, I am looking for some new denim shorts for my upcoming holidays, and this would made a great trim for them.  Or, I could use it on some of my cards, or many other things.



My favourite item has to be the 5 feather charms.  These are silver coloured with pretty turquoise stone (my birthstone).  I am fully intending to make these into a pair of earrings and a necklace.  They will make a lovely present for a friend's upcoming birthday.  In fact, I have just got off ebay ordering some silver jump rings, as I have run out.  I don't think she reads my blog, so I don't think she will figure this out.

Staying on the charm theme (kind of), there is also a bear fetish pendant.  Not entirely sure what I am going to do with this yet.  Again, I could make it into a necklace for a present, or it could make a cool charm for one of my cards or other makes.

There are also some bronze star studs.  The CC facebook page suggest adding these to some denim, but I have other plans for mine.  These are currently top secret, but I will share with you once my project is done.

top to bottom:
denims (sorry the light one doesn't show up very well), felt and papers


There is also a string of turquoise beads.  I might use these to make my feather charm necklace.  There is some lovely printed fleece, which I am not sure what I am going to do with yet.  The 'what's in the box card' suggests making a phone case, which sounds like a bon et marvy idea to me.  There is also two pieces of recycled denim - one light, one dark - which I am still thinking about, and two sheets of printed craft paper which I am sure I can find a use for.

Finally, there are two kits in this box - first up a mini rope basket kit.  I will no doubt make mine up and use it as some crafty storage on my work desk.  The kit contains the rope you need and a needle and thread.


There is also a dreamcatcher kit, which contains a metal ring, suedette lace (thick and thin), embroidery thread, feathers and wooden beads.  Oh, and of course all the instructions needed to make your dreamcatcher.

I can't wait to get started on my projects for using up this box.  Until then, it can sit on my workdesk and I can admire it.

I also now can't wait for the next one and would advise anyone even in the slightest bit crafty to sign up (here), as these really are inspiration boxes.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Bob The Builder

Sooooo, tonight I would like to share a (relatively) quick card I made, following a request from my Pops' next door neighbour.

Her request was a card for a 3 year old, who likes Bob The Builder, with his name, Kieran, on.  And here is my card:



I think it fulfills the requirements.

This card was made using a blue blank.  The papers are all from a Dovecraft Back to Basics paper pack, except for the beige paper bordering Bob - that is from a Boofle paper pack.

I printed a black outline of Bob and coloured him in with my promarkers.  I don't think I've done a bad job if I do say so myself (which I do).  I was originally going to print a coloured version for quickness, but my printer has run out of Cyan, and there are no shops open at 9o'clock at night and I really wanted to get on with the card.

I followed the sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches.

I used some coloured letter peel-offs from my stash to spell out 'Kieran' and added a 'Happy Birthday' sentiment from my stash.

The '3' chipboard is also from my stash, and I finished off the card with three blue gems from my stash.

I hope it is OK.

I will be entering this card into the following challenges:


Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Friday, 23 August 2013

A Bit of Bias

Sooo, today I thought I would share with you a little hobby I have developed should a moment of boredom present itself.  Admittedly, this doesn't happen very often, but I have managed to make a few bits and I have more waiting to be finished.  I've even used some of what I've made on a shower cap I made.  Unfortunately, I can't find a decent picture of the shower cap, but this is the binding I made for it.




I don't know why I seem to be keeping so much mystery to this . . . I am only making a bit of bias binding.

more binding, as yet waiting for a project
This is a great way to use up those bits of fabric that are too small to make any further clothes from.  Now, the only problem is that I don't have one of those fancy bias binder maker machines, so I have to iron it all by hand.  I do have a binding tool folds it for you whilst you iron the fabric, but it still involves ironing, which is still a dangerous hobby as far as I am concerned.  Touch wood, I've not burnt myself yet, but one of those machines is on my wish list.

I'm still considering whether this will be worth adding as a line to my Etsy shop or not yet?

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Personalised Cushion

Soooo, today I would quickly like to share with you a project I didn't do all by myself, but did have a hand in:



This is a cushion that was a joint effort between me, my friend, Suzanne, and her daughter Leah.

Suzanne text me a while ago (despite the fact that her house is only across the road from mine) wanting some ideas for a unique present for Leah's grandma's birthday.  

I wracked my brain for a while trying to think of something good.  I had just finished making the Mr & Mrs cushion for my friends, Mandy and Danny, for their wedding and suggested that something similar would be a good idea.

Between us, we got the idea that Leah should draw a picture, and I would print it onto transfer paper, ready for Suzanne to iron onto a cushion (definite teamwork there).  And this is the lovely result.   How much more personalised and unique can you get?

I'm thinking about adding these as a line in my Etsy shop, but if you would like your own drawing on a cushion (or t-shirt, tea-towel or anything similar for that matter) before I get chance to add them to my shop, please just use the contact form at the right hand side of my blog to get in touch.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Digistamp Boutique

Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for a new sketch challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and this week we are sponsored by regular sponsor, Digistamp Boutique:



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.

And we have a wonderful sketch from our very own Sally:



For my card this week, I used a fairly new image - Bobbi Bathtime.  There are loads of cute Bobbi digis being released at the moment, but I just couldn't resist this one.  He is coloured with brushed corduroy distress ink, desert sand memento ink and blue promarkers.  The bubbles with glittered with some blue stickles.  I die-cut the image into an oval and inked the edges with broken china distress ink too.
To put the card together, I started by inking the edges of a white blank with broken china distress ink.  I used two papers from my Hunkydory Flutterby Wishes pack and hid the join with some white lace and thin teal ribbon from my stash.

I finished with three mother of pearl buttons from my stash.

I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with this week.  It would be great to see some Digistamp Boutique images used - they have a freebie each month, or, if you are like me, you will have a million of their images anyway.

I want to enter this card into the following challenges:

Crafty Creations - Shabby Chic
The Crazy Challenge - Animals
Challenges 4 Everybody - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts - Favourite Colour (and my fave colour is blue)

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx




How To: Make Your Own Captain's Mirror Art Frame

Soooo, today I have a nautical-themed tutorial for you.

http://melissaesplin.com/2013/07/captain-mirror-tutorial/

Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Monday, 19 August 2013

Advent Candles

Sooooo, I have now properly started with  my Christmas crafting.  Apologies in advance - this will be a very photo-heavy post.  



I had a couple of days off a couple of weeks ago and made my first Christmas line which I will be selling in my Etsy shop and they are advent candles.



I have made them for boys, girls and baby's first Christmas. 

My first one was actually this one that I made for my niece, who doesn't like pink!



I also made one for my friend's little boy and baby girl.




All can be personalised with a name and the boys and girls' ones can be personalised with colour too.

Each 18cm candle features a cute Christmas scene stamped on the front of the candle and the numbers 1-24 counting down advent on the back, in a coordinating colour  to the front image, naturally.

The candles are finished with a coordinating ribbon, glitter, liquid pearls and decorations.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx







Sunday, 18 August 2013

Strawberry Fields

Soooo, today I would like to share with you a dress I have made from a gorgeous Simplicity pattern.  It has taken me a while and it  has been unpicked a fair few times in the making, but I really like the finished product and will probably be making myself a few more from this pattern, hopefully a bit quicker and right first time.


I think this dress is one of those that definitely looks better on

The pattern has a few options - the dress I have made, a different neckline, a long evening version and sleeves.  I think I might make myself a sleeved version for winter and should I have an event to go to I might make myself a long evening version too.

I have had the fabric, which is just a simply polycotton, for this dress for ages, but other projects got in the way.  So, about six weeks ago, I had one of my many 'mad' moments and decided to just get on with it.  So, I sat one afternoon and cut the pattern papers out.  I then left it a few days, figuring that, as the weather was so nice at the time, it was far too warm to be sewing as I have nowhere to be sewing outside at my house.  

A few days later, I had a day where I was stuck in the house as my hayfever was so bad I couldn't  go outside - I could barely open my eyes inside.  I'm glad to say that it has not been that bad since.  I have got myself some hayfever tablets now, so hopefully I won't have another day like that.  

Anyway, some good came out of it, as I finally got my fabric cut.  I did my usual, cut a size too big as I have found up to now that the patterns are a little on the small side.  Anyway, the finished product has shown me that I could have got away with cutting my usual size.

I think it took me two weeks on and off to make the bodice bit.  I also think I unpicked it a fair few times before I got it right.  My excuse is that my B12 was running really low and as such I was tired and struggling to follow instructions properly.  I do seem to have had a period of struggling to follow instructions.  I've had my B12 injection now, so hopefully things will start improving.  The bit I got wrong the most times and really really struggled to understand was attaching the lining to the main bodice along the shoulders and arm holes.  I attempted this three times and sat and thought about it for the best part of a week before I got it right.  Anyway, get it right in the end I did.  I do love the cross-over sweetheart neckline, so it was definitely worth the struggle.  This shape really seems to suit me.

Not the best picture, but you can just about make out the cross-over on the bust

From there, the skirt was quite simple to put together.  I then attached it to the bodice.  I had tried to measure it so the lines ran straight from the bodice onto the skirt.  I didn't get it quite right, but neither did I have the energy to take it apart and do it again.

When it came to fitting, I was pleased to note that, although I could have probably got away with cutting a smaller size, not too many adjustments were needed.  I changed the shape of the skirt slightly so that it was more of a pencil skirt shape, which is my favoured shape as it gives me curves on the hips. It also gives the dress the look of a wiggle dress.  I also had to add some small darts on the armholes as they gaped a little.  This also stopped them falling off my shoulders, as although I am quite big all over (size 16), I have quite a narrow back and shoulders, so cutting the bigger size meant that the shoulder straps were quite far apart.  I know next time to cut a size 16, which should hopefully eliminate this.  

Anyway, I wore the dress to work last week and my boss liked it anyway.

Now, I just have to decide what fabric to make the next one out of and get practicing my set-in sleeves.  

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx



Friday, 16 August 2013

Review: Papercrafter - Issue 64

Soooo, it was nice to get my subscription copy of Papercrafter on Wednesday.  It had taken me an hour and a half to get home (20 minute journey if I have the car and drive myself, but I was on the bus, which was late as it is) so I needed something nice when I walked through the door, and I knew that I didn't have any chocolate.  So feeling slightly (a lot) downcast and not expecting my magazine to arrive until  tomorrow, falling over it as I tried to get through the door was a nice surprise. 

So this issue comes with the usual kit, which this time is Christmas themed anc contains the usual papers, chipboards and card blanks etc., some snow flakes, ribbon, lace and some heart-shaped doilies.

This issue seems to be a Christmas and origami special.  Not the two combined though, so there are still plenty of non-Christmas projects to keep you occupied if you think it is still that little bit too early to be thinking about Christmas.

The first project is the Papercrafter Showcase, which has lots of ideas for using your kit.  There is a doily bunting, which uses my favourite thing from the kit - the heart doilies, some decorations, some gorgeous origami bows, which I want to have a go at (and if successful will be found on all my Christmas presents this year), a wreath, gift boxes (again which I might try and if successful employ in my Christmas wrapping) and a card.

The Origami Special feature has some origami essentials, including the most popular bases, and some great projects.  One of my favourites has to be the flying hearts, but there are also butterflies, lights and mini wreaths.  There is also an origami mobile in Craft School.

Frilly Looks puts the heart doilies from the kit to god use, including a floral bouquet. pocket pouch, canvas and table runner.  These are perfect if you are looking for a slightly vintage feel to your decorations.

Other projects this issue include:

  • Feminine Embellishments has some teabag folding designs
  • practice your paper cutting with a Beautiful Bird Frieze
  • Luxe Spa Set shows you how to decorate your gifts
  • 8 Christmas Gems has Christmas cards, as does Seasons Greetings and Festive Joy
  • Floral Fancies shows you how to use stencils
  • Paper Bag Lanterns
  • Anniversary Scrapbook layout
  • Crafter's Guide to Grunge Paste


Giveaways this issue include:
  • Paper lantern kits
  • Scotch glue goodies
  • Ananya cards
  • Kyleigh's Papercuts goodies
  • tickets to GNPE (which I might be going to)
  • Hougie board and accessories.

The next issue is the Christmas special and is on sale on 20th September 2013.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Stocking Flower

Soooo, today I have another project I have made from the latest Crafty Creatives box.  I feel that I should really get a move on with these projects, as I do love them all, but I just haven't had time recently and the next box will be due any day now.

This is the stocking flower:



I found this really simple to make and I love it.

They are made from five individually made petals and some stamens.

My first petal

All the instructions were in the box, along with all the materials (wire, stamens, stocking fabric, florist tape), although I used my own florist tape, as I had a pack open and didn't want to open the pack from the box if I could use mine.  The pack from my box has kindly made its way to my stash.  All I had to add was some coordinating cotton, and which self-respecting crafter doesn't have some cotton lying around anyway.



I think I could really get addicted to making these so I am now on the look out for coloured tights, which is effectively what it is made out of, and I already have loads of wire, on top of that in the box, from various other projects.

I'm tempted to make some bigger ones and arrange them into a bouquet as decoration for my house.  Also, as I have been thinking about Christmas loads recently, I might make some Christmas themed ones too.

As always, I'll keep you updated. 

Happy Crafting!

Holly
ss


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Deirdre Mosher Designs

Sooooo, it is Wednesday, and that means that it is time for a new challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday.



This week we are sponsored by, a new designer to me, Deirdre Mosher Designs:

Deidre Mosher Bio
Wildly Whimsical and Seriously Sassy Art is definitely a trademark of Deidre Mosher.

I have been in the business of art for over 25+ years. Starting out as a fashion illustrator, moving into Art Direction, where I did everything from print to TV...and eventually I found my way back to illustration. My art is just plain fun and my love of color is clearly evident in the designs I create. I'm currently licensed with a variety of companies...my designs are used on craft products, greeting cards/paper products, kitchenware, business products and such.
I am first and foremost an...Illustrator and Designer. I am inspired by seriously sassy & bold colors, but also love the 'wow factor' of classic black and white designs. I'm crazy for stripes and dots, and they are a repeated theme in my work.
As an Illustrator, I work in many mediums and styles, ranging from the line art to pastels...having fun adapting them to the latest project. I am inspired by some my favorite artists ...Matisse's use of bold color, Klimt's knowledge of figures and lavish attention to detail, and Gauguin's wild approach to his subjects. They are all so 'awe inspiring'! I'm happiest when I am in my studio and starting a new project...making a mess, experimenting...and even throwing paint. 
Any day in the studio is a great day! 

I usually get an idea when I least expect it...so when the 'light bulb' goes off...I sketch and sketch and sketch...(hence the reason I buy tracing paper in bulk). I always begin with a pencil and paper, and it evolves from there. My favorite part of the process?? EVERYTHING...from beginning to end.

And the prize this week is a $10 gift certificate for the Deirdre Mosher shop.

We have a great sketch this week, which I think is super easy to use for all.  You will see from the other DT designs that we have all used it very differently for our cards:



I loved my image this week and although I did wrack my brains a little trying to figure out what to do with it, I have had loads of inspiration.  First off, I went to the seaside (Bridlington on the East Coast) with my Pops, Step-Mother (non-wicked) and the nieces at the weekend, which the image was perfect for.  My second lot of inspiration came from a dress that I am currently making for my big sister, which to me is very much a mermaid dress and just inspires pictures of the sea and beach.  The dress will be up on my other blog, Teapots & Trantrums, when it is finished (hopefully at the weekend once I have got some orders out of the way).  In fact, I have used some of the left-over fabric from the dress on the card:



All in all, it meant that my original idea went totally out of the window, but that is nothing new with me is it?

So, I coloured my image with promarkers and cut the sentiment off the bottom and moved it to the side.  I then added some blue stickles to the bubbles on the card.

My main backing paper is from the last issue of Papercrafter, which had a nautical theme kit.  The other patterned paper is from my stash and I don't know where it came from originally.  Finally, the sparkly backing (although it doesn't look anywhere near as sparkly as it actually is) is a piece of the iridescent chiffon I am using on my sister's dress, wrapped around a piece of white card.  How gorgeous is the colour?  Backed onto some gold satin it is (I hope) going to look amazing).

The blue ribbon and bow is from my stash and the little fish (how cute are they) are from the same Papercrafter kit as the main backing paper.

I think, altogether, you really could think that you are under the sea.

Why not head on over to Sweet Sketch Wednesday and have a go at using the sketch yourself?  I can't wait to see what you create.

I'm going to be entering my card into the following challenges:
Glitter N Sparkle - Summer Holiday
A Gem of a Challenge - Summer
Totally Gorjuss - Hot Hot Hot
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts - Summer Fun

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx



How To: Make Sigmund The Octopus

Soooo, a quick toy tutorial for you today.

This octopus is such a cutey!


Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!

Holly

Monday, 12 August 2013

Review: Sew Magazine - Issue 51 (September 2013)

Soooo, this issue fell through the letter box last Wednesday and I had a very big decision to make.  Do I sit down and read the magazine, or do my ironing, which is threatening to crawl out of the basket and make its own way downstairs to the ironing board.  If only it would actually iron itself . . .

Anyway, you can probably guess which won - I sat on the sofa and had a quick look through the magazine.  Then I got distracted and cut out the pattern for a dress I am making my sister.  Then I sat back on the sofa and started reading the magazine properly.  No ironing got done, and at the time of writing this, the ironing still hasn't been done.  As I am now running out of clothes though, I'd best get it done soon. 

So, this issue comes with a free Simplicity applique cushion pattern.  I am usually more interested in the clothing patterns, but these cushions are pretty, so should I ever find myself with some free time I may have a go at one or two of them.  The 3-D flower cushions are by far my favourite.  As always, one of the first projects in the magazine is some ideas and tips on using the free pattern.

I absolutely love the next project, which is a pleat front dress with the pattern downloadable from the Sew website.  There are sleeve variations available, meaning it can be perfect for the sunny weather we have been having recently, or for when the cold starts to set in an a few weeks (or days as this is the UK and you never really know).  I am not usually one for sleeves in dresses, preferring to just layer up with a cardigan, but I think this would be a good dress to practice setting in sleeves on.  I intend to have a go at this anyway, so I might as well add sleeves.  The dresses in the magazine are both made from floral fabrics, but I would be tempted to go for a plain fabric, maybe in purple or green, as I think the floral fabrics (or maybe it is just the ones shown in the magazine, or the styling of the dresses) are a bit 'old'. 

This project is followed up by a shift-dress feature with loads of different patterns to make the perfect shift dress.

I was very interested reading the swimwear masterclass.  I love the idea of making my own swimming costume or tankini (never a bikini with my jelly belly) as I usually have to pay a minimum of £50 for a costume as I need the extra support and underwire that you just can't get on the high street, so to be able to make my own would be amazing.  Although, before reading this article I had never even considered it.  Now, I may have to lose some jelly belly so that I can make the bikini with the free downloadable pattern.

It was interesting to read the stories of the George G21 Talent and Kidswear winners from London Fashion week.  These are really talented people and have some gorgeous creations that have been or will be in George collections.

I like the sewing machine cover made with printable fabric.  I may have a go at making this (minus the printable fabric) as my current sewing machine cover is a bit boring and plain white. 

There are a couple of tutorials in this issue, including:
  • How to make shoulder cut out
  • How to attach a bra slider set
Other projects and features this issue include:
  • Dressmaking SOS has advice on sewing lingerie, including edging, adding lace and corseting
  • Wrap skirt
  • Hexagon handbag
  • floral mug rug
  • patchwork teacups
  • Pearl Lowe tells of her love of vintage
  • Cath Kidston shares her story
  • nautical doorstop and sign
  • upcycled quilt
  • gypsy rose embroidered footstool
  • mixtape cushion
  • meet the winner of the Kettle Chips & Kirstie Allsop's craft challenge
  • lace pouches
  • vintage handbag
  • kids' wall plaque and 'keep out' door sign

Giveaway this issues are:
  • Janome 9300DX overlocker
  • Gutermann Ring A Roses fabric
  • book and CD-Rom, Draping: The Complete Course

The next issue is out on 13th September and comes with a free Simplicity Christmas decorations pattern.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx
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