Soooo, it was nice to come home to Homemaker through the letter box. It meant I had something to read. I like to read Homemaker, as with some craft magazines, all you really do is flick through them to see which projects you like, but with Homemaker, I like to sit down and read it properly - the projects are interspersed with interviews and columns from crafty people.
Anyway, this issue did not disappoint and I sat and finished reading through it on my lunch break yesterday, so absorbed that I was totally ignoring everything going on around me in the office. Most unusual for me as I am super nosey and hate to think that I am missing anything.
This issue comes with a 2014 calendar featuring prints from Spoonflower. I will be putting this to good use on my craft wall with my DT project deadlines written it. I am getting really busy at the moment, but more about my DT projects later.
One of my favourite things this issue has to be the new knitting section and column by Ruth Cross. I love the idea of knitting (even if I don't do it) and there is a gorgeous knitting stocking pattern in this issue. I would really love to find time (and learn how to) knit these two-colour stockings featuring cute poppoms. There are also pretty gift bags and knitting news.
There are also some other non-knittng stockings this issue, made using silk dupion (tres luxurious) in very Christmassy reds and blues. Staying on this colour theme, there are also some sparkly glitter baubles, a Christmas cake band and a cushion featuring a cute felted robin.
Wayne Hemingway discusses the need to instill creativity at a young age, as starting in adulthood is too late. I am inclined to disagree with him on this one. As an academic child, creativity never really featured much in my childhood, it is something I have embraced in the last couple of years really, and embraced it with gusto I have. I have discovered that I am much more creative that I ever thought I would be and to boot I am actually quite good at some of the things I try to make and do.
I loved reading the feature on Kirstie Allsop, who is definitely a girl after my own heart with her love of tinsel - I feel that you can never have enought at Christmas - it is the one time of year where it is OK to make everything shimmer and sparkle, and it should be embraced wholeheartedly. Her Christmas sounds very much as I would like mine to be, should I have more time on my hands for preparations.
It is baking galore this issue, with the lovely Lisa Faulkner first up. She shares her love of cooking and even has a few recipes for you, including a chocolate tart.
Next up is Eric Lanland with tips for achieving the perfect roast potato and a chocolate and chestnut yule log recipe.
From the first series of Great British Bake Off (what am I to do with my Tuesday nights now?), Ruth Clemens has a spices orange chocolate finger recipe.
Other projects and features this issue include:
Christmas cake recipe
Kirstie Allsop has a gorgeous Christmas wreath
wax gild a charity shop find for a gorgeous antique finish
makes with vintage Christmas cards, including decorations, bunting and crackers
meet Sophie Allport, designer of beautiful ceramics
papercut a simple seaonal greeting card
make a feature of Christmas carol sheet music
wall hanging Christmas tree
Linda Barker has hints and tips on how to clean your fireplace (oh to have a beautiful old-fashioned fireplace!)
DIY Christmas hamper
chocolate brownie recipe
start biscuits recipe
peppermint cookie recipe
coconut ice recipe
Alice Palace sister, Alice and Liz, share where they find their inspiration and the tricks to working with siblings
glass decorating with Posca pens
a run down of the best German Christmas markets
gingerbread decs (non-edible)
glassblower extraordinnaire, Elin Isaksoon, explains how it all started
Competitions and giveaways this issue include:
a spa stay at Ragdale Hall
£500 to spend at Next Home
The next issue is out on 22nd November wth some more Christmas ideas.
Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for another sketch challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, design by our very own Sally.
This week we are sponsored by the lovely people over at Stamp Fairy, who happen to be one of my favourite digistamp companies.
"Stamp Fairy officially launched on November 5th 2010. Gerda Burghardt, artist and owner, creates cute and whimsical digital images for the young and old, inspired by her life, love and 4 cute cats. You will find adorable teddies bears, young boys and girls, fuzzy little bunnies and whimsical critters. Please visit the store and browse StampFairy’s wonderful images. We hope StampFairy’s images inspire YOUR creativity."
The prize this week is a $10 gift certificate. It is a great pity that I can't enter myself to win this great prize. I would have such fun spending it.
Anyway, without further ado, shall we move onto my card this week.
As the sketch would suggest, it is quite a simple one, which means that I struggled a bit with it, as I do like a fussy card, and always struggle with simple. I just wanted to add more to this.
I coloured my image with promarkers and die-cut it to an oval shape.
I layered this onto some spotty paper, which I think is from an old Papercrafter kit, but I could be wrong there. I had already wrapped three lengths of ribbon - two navy, one orange - around the paper.
To finish (and t o cover up the fact that I had tried to 'promarker' a border and it had bled), I bordered the image with lots and lots of blue stars - large and small.
Why don't you have a go at using this sketch yourselves.
Soooo, I am finally back from my holidays and I'm now trying to catch up. Luckily I had yesterday off work too, but I still don't seem to be getting anywhere very fast. Nevertheless, I did manage to find time in between doing my mountains of washing and dealing with my 200 and odd emails to have a nosey through the new issue of Papercrafter, which hit the shops on Friday I believe, and write this review. All done watching Saturday night's Strictly - it's a good job I can touch type really. I have a few more blogging bits and pieces to catch up on - reviews etc. and then I will be able to get on with some crafting again. I must admit - I did start to miss my sewing machine towards the end of my holiday, but I had bought some fabric in one of the markets and was dying to use it.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, shall we move onto the magazine . . .
This issue comes with the usual kit, which this month is (unsurprisingly) Christmas themed. It contains a paper pack, die-cuts, sentiments, card blanks, paper piercing templates and some embellishments. I think that this is the last Christmas issue.
Papercrafter Showcase has cards, Christmas decorations, including garlands and hanging decs, gift boxes and scatter stars, all made using just your kit.
I like Colette Smith's Delicate Designs cards. These are made using just the kit and a couple of extra basic bits and pieces that will be found in anyone's craft stash. The elegant baubles card is my favourite and I think I will have to recreate this. Add a name sentiment and it will make a wonderful special Christmas card.
I would love to have a go at the Super Zig-Zag Card, which can be easily adapted to other colour schemes and occasions. The template is can be downloaded from the Papercrafter website and the other bits required are already in my stash. Fingers crossed I get caught up before the weekend and can then just spend Saturday afternoon trying out all these projects I want to do.
Craft School has a festive gift bag made from an A4 sheet of papers. This is perfect for those difficult to wrap presents. My theory is if it isn't in a box or box-shaped, it can go in a box or a bag. This pretty bag also features some paper piecing using the template in the kit.
Other projects this issue include:
a birdhouse display
paper piercing projects
cards made using the sentiment stickers from the kit
Soooo, Wednesday has rolled around again, which means that not only am I now half way through my holiday, but that it is also 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!
This week we have a great sketch from Sally that I found really easy to work with for my card:
To make my card I coloured the image with promarkers and metallic markers, adding stickles glitter glue on the 'fur' bits and liquid pearls on the snow. I also stamped the 'From All Of Us' sentiment in black versafine ink. The stamp was from a set in my stash - I can't remember where it came from originally. I then layered the image onto a piece of red card from my stash.
The brown snowflake backing paper is from my LOTV Krafty Christmas, which I love. The red spotty paper is from my stash - probably a freebie from somewhere.
I used some snowflake organza ribbon and some red wire-mesh ribbon to hide the join in the papers. I then layered the papers onto some green card.
The sentiment at the bottom of the card is a white peel-off from my stash.
To finish, I added a gold and a silver snowflake from my stash in the top left hand corner and clear gems on the other corners of the image. Happy Crafting! Holly xx
Soooo, I am now (hopefully) sunning myself in Tunisia, having landed yesterday, so this week will be a tutorials week, and as it is Halloween next week, I thought I would start off with this amazing Halloween gift box, which I found on The Pink Elephant site:
Soooo, this started out as a card for my husband's Grandma, whose birthday it is while we are away. I like it so much though that I don't want to give it away.
To make this card, I used a LOTV die-cut and took my colour theme from there. I used kraft paper and some paper which, I think, came from an old Papercrafter kit, but I'm not really sure.
I inked the edges of all pieces of paper and the die cut with brushed corduroy distress ink. I then stitched all the layers together.
The lace ribbon is actually some self-adhesive paper lace which I wrapped around the panel before stitching the image on.
I have also used some craft gauze, an ivory heart charm which came with a previous Crafty Creative box, some blue ribbon to tie a bow around this and some paper flowers from my stash.
I had a wooden star lying around on my work desk, so I decided to add that too, as it went with the theme.
I also die-cut a Cheery Lynn small exotic butterfly from some blue scrap paper.
To finish the card, I added a flat backed pearl to each corner and added a silver sentiment. I love these sentiments, but have nearly run out. I have had them forever, so I don't think I will be able to get any more.
I want to enter this into the following challenges:
Soooo, today I would like to share with you my attempt at needle felting (I tell you now, it did not go well).
Meet Cotton The Guard Sheep (named by my hubby after I vetoed 'Shaun' for being common), who currently guards our front door:
Cotton the Sheep when first made - he was too drunk to stand
Cotton was made using the needle felting kit that came with Crafty Creatives Box 15, which contained black wool, white wool, a felting needle and a felting block. The block is apparently to stop you stabbing yourself with the needle. I can tell you from experience that it is not a very effective block.
Anyway, I followed the instructions that came with the kit when I was bored one Sunday night. Basically, you have to roughly shape your wool and then stab it repeatedly with the needle. You so the same for each separate piece (i.e. body, head, legs) and then to attach the pieces together, you stab the pieces where you would like them to join.
I hope that cotton is a recognisable sheep, but after many stabbings of my fingers (despite the block), I think I got bored of all the stabbing, so my wool was not felted enough, resulting in a slightly drunk sheep. Apparently, it could be much better and the only advice I have had is to keep stabbing the wool.
I have therefore concluded that I don't think needle felting is for me for two main reasons:
1. It is a dangerous hobby for someone as clumsy as me. I stabbed myself far too many times for my liking and my fingers just wouldn't be able to cope with it.
2. I would get bored. I simply do not have the patience to keep stabbing the wool to felt it correctly.
Cotton the Sheep once he had sobered up a bit and could stand
I still have some wool left, and I'm not trying to figure out what to do with it. I may just give the kit to someless less clumsy than me, who might like to try needle felting.
I love that I got the kit, as it was something different for me to do, and this is the reason I get the Crafty Creatives boxes. I'm looking forward to the next one, although I still have my kits from Box 14 - a dreamcatcher and rope basket. Maybe I'll get round to making them one day.
I will certainly be referring back to this in a few months when I move house, as my little footstool/ottoman is in desperate need to revamping, but I don't want to do anything until I know what the decor in my new house is like.
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, and one of my faves, 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.
The amazing prize this week is a £10 voucher for Digistamp Boutique.
What do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this I here you ask? Simple, all you have to do is create a card using this amazing sketch by Sally:
Looks amazing doesn't it?
I really enjoyed using this sketch for my creation this week, as I found it really easy, and here is my creation for you:
I coloured my image using promarkers and then added liquid pearls for snow bits and glitter for anything that should really be fur.
I decided to try out the technique of stitching my cards together. My sewing machine is pretty much constantly set up anyway, so it makes sense. It will also save me a small fortune in double-sided tape, which let's face it, is not cheap. I have still used double sided tape to layer up the card, but only used half that I would normally use, as each backing layer has been sewn onto the layer on top. I also really like the effect that the sewing gives.
Anyway, back to the card. The papers are all from an old Papercrafter kit (I think - they are from my stash anyway) and I decided to stick with a traditional Christmas colour theme.
All the embellishments are from my stash, and I have had most of them that long that I really couldn't tell you where I got them from in the first place.
I will be entering this card into the following challenges:
Soooo, a quick card to share with you tonight, which is actually my Grampy's birthday card. It is his birthday on Sunday, but as I will be flying to Tunisia in the early hours of Sunday morning, I thought that I had best get his card made so I can delivery it, and his present, before I jet off on my holidays. So, I decided to make it tonight before settling down to watch Bake Off.
Anyway, here is his card:
I made this by printing off a dot-to-dot of a plane and layering this onto some green card.
My colour scheme was decided by my papers, which are actually from a Christmas set, but I think that they make good 'man' papers.
I added a bit of gauze behind the bottom right-hand corner of the image. I also added a green button to the top left-hand corner, and threaded this with some blue and white twine.
I added a happy birthday sentiment to the top right hand corner of the image. I attached this with sticky fixers for dimension.
Finally, I added a blue star to the bottom right-hand corner of the image too.
I also added red stars in each corner of the card and then spelled 'Grampy' in peel off letters to the left-hand side of the card.
I hope he likes his card and enjoys filling in his dot-to-dot.
I want to enter this card into the following challenges:
Sooo, just a quick post today to share with you the gorgeous pendant I got in Crafty Creatives Box 13, which I have been mulling over what to do with.
Anyway, I have finally decided and I turned it into a pretty necklace using some narrow ivory ribbon.
I added a jump ring and a lobster claw clasp to the end of the ribbon et voila . . . one pretty necklace.
I have no one to give this to, and I don't think I have anything in my wardrobe that it will go with, as much as I love it, so I have decided to put in it my Etsy shop.
There is only one of these, as I haven't been able to find any more of these pendants, so it is unique and one of a kind.
I've decided I really love making jewellery, so this is a new hobby for me, and I need to build up my stash for that now (oh, and give up work so I have time for all my hobbies - can't see that happening any time soon though).
Sooo, tonight I would like to share with you another card made using some of the freebies I won from LOTV. I went to their Christmas Workshop yesterday, but unfortunately had to leave early due a migraine. I did manage to make two projects which I will share with you in a later post, as they have given me an idea, and the lovely Dawny P, who was teaching the workshop, kindly gave me the kits to make the other projects. I've not made them yet as it has taken me a long time to come round enough to be able to put my crafting head on again, and then tonight I got distracted by Strictly, that I will make them at a later date.
Anyway, on to my card.
This card I have made for my husband's nephew, whose birthday it is while we are away. There are loads of birthdays while we are away (hubby's included) that I am struggling to make all my cards, on top of all the cards I have to make for DTs etc. Being poorly yesterday has not helped. I planned to get loads done today to make up for it, but I had to go do my family visiting, and that took longer than I planned for - my nieces do make me laugh though, and I did manage to get some clothes for my holiday from the mother's and step-mother. I have three more cards to make for birthdays while we are away, which I am going to have to get on with. On top of the 6 I have already made for birthdays/DT projects. Birthday season has definitely arrived.
Anyway, once again I have digressed.
I made an easel style card as these seem to be popular with kids and I stamped the three bears (which come as a set and priced as one stamp from LOTV) with black versafine. I then coloured them with promarkers and die-cut into circles. I then layered these onto some die-cut scalloped circles. All papers are from a Dovecraft Back To Basics set.
I layered green squared paper onto the inside of a green blank and on the outside, I attached blue squares and blue dotty paper (on the 'back').
I used one of the bears as the easel stopper, attaching it to the inside of the card with sticky fixers to give dimension.
On the inside of the card, I also added my husband's nephew's name in sticky letters. I also added a wooden star.
On the front, I added the other two bears, with one sticking up over the top of the easel for dimension. I also added a 'happy birthday' sentiment, which I found in my stash. I stuck this with sticky fixers.
To finish, I added two further wooden stars. I was going to add more embellishments, but thought that it would start to look crowded.
I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Soooo, a couple of weeks ago, I won the weekly candy over at LOTV's Ideas to Inspire blog and as part of my prize I chose the gorgeous Together Forever stamp, which I coloured with promakers.
I then die-cut the image to an ornate label shape with a X-cut die. I then inked the edges of the image.
I also inked the edges of my papers, which are both from a Dovecraft Fairytale Princess pack (I think that's what it is called anyway), which I thought would give the card a 'garden' feel, as I think the little couple on the image are sat on a garden swing). I also think of these papers, as my romance papers. I also added faux stitching around the edges of the papers with a brown fineliner pen. I was tempted to ink the heart-shaped doily but decided against it in the end.
I made a bow from some peach satin ribbon and attached this at the left-hand side of the image. I then added a flat backed pearl on top of the knot to neaten it up a bit and hide the knot.
On the right-hand side of the image, I twisted three ivory roses together. I would usually cut off the excess stem, but I saw a card a while ago which had the wires twisted to make them swirly and decorative, so I thought I would try this. I really like the effect it has and I shall be doing this more often in future.
Finally, I added peachy-pink flat-backed pearls in each corner of the card and ivory pearls centre top and bottom of the image.
I set out making this for my grandparents-in-law's upcoming diamond wedding anniversary, but, as much as I like this card, I'm not sure whether it is saying 'diamond wedding' to me, so I may have to make another. I think this may make a better generic anniversary card, or even a cute engagement, or even a wedding card.
I would like to enter this card into the following challenges: