Saturday, 30 November 2013

Review: Homemaker

Sooo, sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days.  Life suddenly got very busy and I have not had time to blog.  Actually, that is a lie - I had two hours on Tuesday night, when I had planned to do all my catching up, but I got home to a gas leak, so spent two hours sat in the cold and dark as I couldn't turn the gas off, and I couldn't use anything electrical, so couldn't turn the laptop on.  It would have otherwise been the perfect opportunity.  

Anyway, it meant that I couldn't set up the posts for the last two days, and due to lack of spending time at home and lack of lunch breaks since, this is the first time I have had to blog, so you can have them both today, or maybe one today and one tomorrow, as the disasters have continued and when I went to photograph one of my DT cards yesterday, I managed to spill PVA glue all over it.  I left it to see if it was rescuable, but unfortunately not, so I Have to start that one all over again and it needs to be done today.  First though, I thought I would do a bit of blogging in an attempt to relax a little, as I am feeling extremely highly strung at the moment :-( and have so much to do I don't actually know where to start.

Right, I have waffled on enough I think.  This month's issue of Homemaker comes with a great freebie - a decopatch Christmas decoration kit.  I haven't made mine yet, as I simply have not had time, but I have added them to my to do pile and hope to get on with them before Christmas, although it may be before Christmas 2015 at this rate.  For those that have never decopatched before, there are instructions in the magazine.

I love the first project this issue.  It is aimed at New Years Eve, but change the colour scheme and it would be perfect for any party, or Christmas.  Let The Countdown begin has some gorgeous, elegant invitations featuring feathers, together with some feather drink stirrers.  There are glittery countdown tealight holders and feathery place names.  Finally, there are some glittery glasses with countdown numbers and some simple decoration ideas.

It was interesting to read Wayne Hemingways theory that the UK's consumer attitude towards thrift is changing.  I agree with him that although my generation is the first one in many to actually be worse off than our parents, the culture of mass consumption still seems to be there (fuelled by more and more expensive credit, probably and thrift does seem to be for the middle-classes as a bit of a fad.  However, as someone who is grouped within the working classes, I am one of the few that step out of the norm and I do try to be thrifty.  This is probably because I learned the hard way that living on credit is not the way to go.  Five years after getting myself into a big mess, I am still trying to pay various forms of credit off, and although I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, it has been a hard slog, I have learned my lesson, and as such I would be reluctant to get credit again.  I must admit, this is hard as everywhere I go I get offered credit cards.  Usually, a quick 'you wouldn't give me one anyway' suffices, but sometimes the people trying to 'sell' these things are really pushy and do not give up.  Anyway, having learned my lesson (and I know many who haven't and are getting themselves into the same mess over and over again), I have definitely become an advocate of the make do and mend.  I make as much as I can rather than just going out and buy it, and do you know what, there is a greater sense of satisfaction in doing that.  I also don't have to have everything new, and will buy/accept second hand of it is offered to me and I can make use of it.  People may think I am strange, but I do feel better knowing that the amount of money I owe to people is coming down, not going up, and now that I am nearing the end, seeing the extra money in my bank that I no longer have to pay out is oh so good.  I am now fighting the temptation to spend those pennies . . .

Anyway, small rant over. 

I like Kirstie Allsop's paper Christmas star decorations, and I think these could be something I could make with the nieces, as they don't look difficult to make.  It would keep them quiet for a while at least, use up those odds and ends of wrapping paper, and they look really good.

I love the quick-sew chair cover, and wish I'd seen this a year ago - it would have probably saved me a few hundred pounds at my wedding (although maybe added a little stress).  I still think these would be nice should I ever have a nice enough house/the cooking/mental ability to host a dinner party/do Christmas. 

There's a fair bit of baking going on this issue:

  • badger loaf 
  • viennese chocolate
  • jam star danish pastries
  • kugelhopf
  • pumpkin soup with chantilly and onion confit

Other projects and features this issue include:

  • interview with Cath Kidston
  • upcycled to home decorations with twine, including a table
  • interview with Sam Green, founder of Retreat Home
  • use up that button jar with a button artwork
  • learn all about wreaths and make your own bauble version
  • Linda Barker prepares you for winter
  • Decorator's Diary has some glitz and sparkle to your decor
  • spruce up s magazine wrack
  • quick Christmas cards
  • comfy cushions for cosying up this winter
  • table runner
  • knit a glitzy centrepiece (again - I must learn to knit)
  • knit a throw
  • interview with Julie Dodswoth
  • make a Christmas centrepiece
  • cloth and card crackers
  • interview with Ella Doran
  • interview with Lesley Pearse

The next issue is out on 20th December.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Eureka Stamps

Sooooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for another exciting Sketch Challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday.  Our DT always have some great inspiration cards for you, so why don't you pop over and have a gander.  While you're there, why don't you submit a card made following this amazing sketch by our very own Sally:

How great and interesting does it look?  

This week, we are sponsored by (new to me) Eureka Stamps and here is a little bit about them:

Finally, The Stamps You've been Looking for!Eureka Stamps offers a large variety of images and sentiments in many different categories for all of your stamping needs. OurPaper Sculpting stamps add an extra dimension to your creations. Or, Mix and match ourBalloons and Balloon Holders to celebrate every occasion. Our Stamps are available as unmounted, deep etched, natural red rubber stamps OR as digital stamps. If Eureka Stamps aren't exactly what you are looking for, Don't miss out on the sister companies: QKR StampedeBiblical Impressions Rubber Stamps, or the newest addition; Alluring Impressions.

I must admit, I struggled a bit with my card this week.  I think it is because I couldn't enlarge my image any more without it all going extremely fuzzy.

Anyway, I persevered and I am quite happy with the result:

I used an ink duster and dusty concord distress ink to colour the whole of the image.  I then  coloured the border with a promarker and picked out bits of the image with a silver gel pen.

To create my background, I used some silver metallic card and wrapped it top and bottom with some purple ribbon.  I then wrapped this with some different, narrower purple ribbon.

To finish, I added three clear gems to the bottom right hand corner and three snowflakes to the top left of the image.

Anyway, despite my reservations, I don't think that it has turned out too bad.  Why don't you enter yourself and show me how it's done?

Happy Crafting!


Crafty Creatives Box 17

Soooo, this actually arrived last Thursday, but I have been so very busy with various bits and bobs that this is the first chance I have had to write my post about it.

This is Box 17 and this is the Medieval box. 

Now, as a bit (lot) of a history geek, I was very excited when I opened the box to find out that it was a medieval one, and even more excited about all the goodies inside, which are beautiful and luxorious, evoking a time of fairytales and romance.

First up is a gorgeous Art Card by Luisa Kelle, and this shall be taking pride of place on my craft room wall with the rest of my art cards.  I am amassing quite a collection.

Then there are the pretty double sided papers.  I can never bear to cut these up, and these ones are no exception to that rule.  Same goes for the fat quarter of fabric.  The leaflet in the box suggests making a little cushion, but if I can bear to cut it up at all I with either make it into bow ties or maybe a pin cushion/needle book set.  I could do with a new pincushion - mine has nearly been stabbed to death through use.

The box also contains some silver Metamica fabric paint from Stewart Gill.  I am currently in the process of thinking up projects for this.  So far I am thinking of getting a plain black t-shirt and drawing silver stars on it, or maybe something more Christmassy and drawing a Christmas tree.  I am also wondering how well it would work with my stamps to stamp images on fabric and then use to make various objects.  I have a fair collection of plain fabrics collected that I could use. 

Next up are some metallic fibres.  These are similar to Angelina fibres, and although I have some, I haven't used them yet.  Basically, you take a few and iron them to fuse them.  You can then use them as backgrounds on your cards, die-cut shapes from them for embellishments on projects, or as I saw at a demonstration, die-cut shapes and make them into eaarings.  These can also be used with your stamps, and should I ever get round to using my little starter kit (which I have had since Easter), I will show you how!

The box also has some washi tape and lots of little charms - fleur-de-lis, crowns and pendants, which I am sure I can find lots of uses for.  There are also two metal filigrees which are extremely pretty and could be used for all sorts.  The box suggests as centre pieces on jewellery or clothes trims, which I may do with one, but the other I have cut in half diagonally and will use as corners on a card or two.

There is also a string of red beads, which I am thinking up plans for.  I could be tempted to use the instructions in the kit and make another kit item.

Unfortunately, the velventeen ribbon was not in the box, as CC have had supplier problems, but I am looking forward to receiving it next time.

Finally, the box contains a great kit to make a medieval-style bracelet.  I was going to make mine on Sunday afternoon (as it looks so pretty) but I fell asleep :-(  Anyway, the kit contains glass pearl beads, seed beads, a venetian glass bead, beading thread and a beading needle (which I couldn't find at first, but then found in amongst the text on the instructions - blonde moment!).

Anyway, the instructions look pretty clear and if I manage to do it right it should look really pretty.  Maybe this Sunday I will find time to make it.  I do hope so.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 25 November 2013

Crafting From The Heart - 1st Challenge

Soooo, today sees the start of a new challenge blog - Crafting From The Heart - and I have been asked to be part of their design team.

We have a few sponsors for this first challenge, which has an Anything Goes theme, and one of those is Sassy Studios, and I used on of their images to make my DT card:

This is Renaissance Sassy and I coloured her using promarkers.

My papers are all from a paper pack I bought to do my wedding album with, but as I still haven't started this, or even got some photos printed, I thought that I might as well use the papers, as it has been nearly a year now . . . ooops!  I will get the album put together eventually, but finding time is proving a problem.  

I tucked a heart-shaped doily behind the image and added blue gems to the bottom corners of the image and the corners of the card.

I made a bow from some Tilda ribbon and added this to the top left-hand corner of the image.  To the top right-hand corner, I created a flower using some die-cut petals and a little flat-backed pearl.  Behind this, I added layers of craft gauze and two heart pins.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Happy Crafting!


cupcake inspirations photo

Created With Love - Sympathy or Miss You

Soooo, it's Monday, which means that it is time for another challenge over at Created With Love, and this week our theme is Miss You or Sympathy.  As I have always struggled with sympathy cards, I decided to go with the 'miss you' element.

This week we are sponsored by Broken Box Stock, and here is my DT card:

I made my card by colouring my image with promarkers and then layering this onto some purple card.

I used two papers from a freebie paper pack I got ages ago with Cardmaking & Papercraft.  I used the lighter paper as my DP and then die cut the flourish and the butterflies from the darker paper.  The flourish is a sizzix die, which the end of which I tucked behind the image and the butterflies are Cheery Lynn I think.  The butterflies came as a set of three and I decided to use them all, as I haven't used them much since I bought them, but they are pretty.  Once die-cut, I curled the butterflies around a pencil to add some shape and attached them to the card by gluing only the centre of the butterfly and allowing the wings to 'flap'.

To finish, I added some self-adhesive kraft 'lace' along the bottom and  some self-adhesive flat-backed pearls in the top corners.

I will be sending this to my little sis next time I send her a parcel, as she is stationed abroad at the moment and I miss her terribly, so it fits in well with the theme.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

A Creative Romance - Vintage
Digitally Sweet - Anything Goes
Penny's Papercrafty Challenge - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
By Lori - Use Paper
Lacey Sunshine - Anything Goes

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Baby Bobbi

Sooo, tonight I would like to quickly share a card I have made for a colleague, whose wife had a baby last week.  I've made this for everyone in our department at work to sign.

I coloured up my Digistamp Boutique Bathtime Bobbi image using distress inks and cut the image into a square, following the sketch over st Sketch n Stash.  I have had this image in my stash for a while and I just love it.  I thought it was perfect for this card.

I also inked the edges of the image using victorian velvet distress ink and my ink duster brushes.

The papers are my new Raspberry Road papers, which I downloaded and printed last week.  I also used some kraft card to keep with the vintage-style theme I was going for.  I stitched my layers together, again to keep with the vintage theme.

I decided to keep the card pretty CAS, as the papers are quite busy, so I simply added flat-backed pearls in three corners of the image and in the top right-hand corner, I added a little disk I had made from some left over Premo clay after making one of my Mr & Mrs hearts, on top of which I added a little pink heart from my stash, threaded with twine. 

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Happy Crafting!


sketch from Sketch N Stash

Feather Boa

Soooo, I have finally finished my dress and will be sharing this with you soon.  I had hoped that this would mean that I could get on with some cardmaking, but that is looking unlikely at the moment as I just got a few Etsy orders, so I need to get on with them first.  I did however find time this morning to make a couple of cards, because let's face it, I can't make my orders until the supplies arrive.

Anyway, enough of my nattering on, here is the first card I made this morning:

This card is for my eldest niece to give to my youngest niece, whose birthday is on Wednesday.  I've not make the card from me yet, but everyone else's cards are sorted now.

I followed the sketch over at Tuesday morning sketches and used a LOTV die cut, which I matted onto some purple card  

The bottom paper is from a freebie paper pack I got forever ago with Cardmaking & Papercraft, and the top paper is from a Dovecraft Back to Basics paper pack.  I matted these onto some pink card  The purple ribbon is from my stash.  I also made a bow from the ribbon and attached a little charm to this.  The charm is from Crafty Poodles.

I added three flat-backed pearls in the bottom right-hand corner, as per the sketch and added a 'sister' peel-off to the image.

To finish, I added two little hearts in the corners of the image

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

LOTV Ideas to Inspire - Pink & White
Lacey Sunshine - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts - Add A Bow

Happy Crafting!


Challenges 4 Everybody - Bugaboo

Sooooo, today sees a new Anything Goes challenge launched over at Challenges 4 Everybody and this fortnight we are sponsored by Bugaboo Stamps.

I followed the sketch over at Sketch Saturday, keeping the design pretty CAS.

I coloured my image with promarker and then die-cut it to a circle.  I also die-cut a scalloped circle from red card.

I found this cute paper in my stash, and though it was perfect, so I cut to size and added a red card mat.

I stamped by sentiment using LOTVs postmark sentiments and black versafine ink onto a punch circle.  I then added red promarker to the edge and a red gem in the centre.  I attached this using sticky fixers for some dimension.

Finally, I added a little red bow.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Digitally Sweet Challenges - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts - Add A Bow
Penny's Papercrafty Challenge Blog - Anything Goes
Sketch Saturday - sketch

Happy Crafting!


Sketch Saturday sketch

Glitter & Sparkle - Add Some Snow

Sooo, it's Sunday, which means that it is time for another challenge over at Glitter & Sparkle, and this week our challenge theme is to Add Some Snow

I used an image from one of our sponsors, Crafty Sentiments, to make my card:

I decided which papers I was going to use before I coloured my image, so took the colours for the image from the papers, hence they are bright, as I used my Merry Magic paper pack, which I got last year, simply because I very rarely use it and I love the bright Christmas trees on the paper I have used.  I used promarkers to colour my image.

I chose a green card blank to match the papers and a blue satin ribbon, which I got from Crafty Poodles recently.  I also made a bow from the ribbon, attaching this to the corner of the image, where it overlaps the ribbon.  I then attached a coordinating button brad to the centre of the bow.

Finally, I attached a bright chipboard sentiment, which I think I got free with a magazine last Christmas, and flat-backed gems from my stash to each corner.  The photography hasn't picked up the colour of the gems very well, but they are green (on the DP) and blue (on the image) to coordinate with the rest of the card.

I am quite happy with this card, as although I have a full set that coordinates with the papers and could have easily used these, everything on the card comes from different bits of my stash, and just happen to go really well together.  I was intending to make a boy card, as I have loads of girl cards, but I'm not sure now whether it is suitable as there is a fair bit of pink on the papers, and I gave the snowman a pink hat.  Saying that though, pink does seem to be popular amongst the men in my life at least.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Digitally Sweet Challenges - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts - Add A Bow
Penny's Papercrafty Challenge Blog - Anything Goes
JUGS - Photo Inspiration
By Lori Designs - Use Paper
Charisma Cardz - Christmas
Inky Impressions - Hats, Scarves & Gloves
The Paper Shelter - Christmas is Coming
Crafty Sentiments - Christmas

Happy Crafting!


JUGS photo inspiration

Friday, 22 November 2013

What A Cracker!

Sooo, as promised I now share with you the other project I managed to get done at the LOTV workshop back in October, before I had to go home with migraine :-(

This was the first project we actually made that day and I really enjoyed making it.  So much so, that I have been hunting the internet to get the die to cut the cracker, but can't find this particular one anywhere.  Unfortuantely, it doesn't help that I can't remember what make the die was.  I also feel after making this and another upcoming project that I need to invest in some border dies.

The cracker was pretty simple to make.  Basically, decorate with the papers before assembling the cracker, and then add the rest of the embellishments.  All the papers are from the LOTV Classic Christmas pad.

The little pinecone embellishments were really easy to make and there is a tutorial online somewhere, but because I want to find it I can't!  Typical.  Basically, it is a scalloped spiral, stained on the edges and then curled up to form something like a pinecone.

The star deocration was made using some die-cut stars, a wooden heart, some ribbon and a teeny tiny red button.

Anyway, I hope you like my cracker.  I will track down the die (or something similar at least) before next Christmas to make some of these. 

I now intend to get on with the projects I didn't get chance to make, but which Dawny kindly let me have the kits for, so I could do them at home.

As always, I will keep you updated.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 19 November 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, 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.

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:

To make my card, I used Bobbi & Stocking to complete my Bobbi collection.  I also decided to stick with the same colour scheme as I had used on the other two Bobbi cards, which can be found here and here, so  that if I choose to sell them, I can sell them as a set.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my card.

I coloured the image with promakers and added stickles to the stocking and liquid pearls doe the snow.

I then stitched the image onto some red card and worked on the background.  The papers are all from the LOTV Classic Christmas pad, again stitched onto a piece of red card.  Each panel was stitched separately.

To finish the card, I wrapped the finished panel with green satin ribbon and made a bow from the left over ribbon.  I attached this and then attached a sentiment from my stash.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges:

Crafty Sentiments - Christmas


Hobbycutz colour challenge
Catch The Bug Bingo
I have used the middle horizontal line

How To: Make A Gift Box

Soooo, as my collection of Crafty Creatives boxes grow, I decided I need to do something with them rather than just pile them up in a corner.  Anyway, I came across this tutorial, and now I am inspired.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 18 November 2013

Created With Love - Anything Goes

Soooo, it's Monday, which means that it is time for another challenge over at Created With Love, and this week we have an Anything Goes theme.

We are sponsored by SK Digis, and here is my DT card:

I honestly couldn't tell you what inspired me to make a baby card, but my stash has been greatly reduced this year - there has been so many babies - and for some reason I decided to  make a boy card.

I coloured my image using promarkers, and tried to add a bit of definition to the stork using a satin promarker.  I'm not sure how well it has worked though.

I die cut the image and then inked the edges using broken china distress ink.

I used some of my new Raspberry Road vintagey baby papers.  I carried through the vintage theme by wrapping the paper with some wide blue lace, which I got from Crafty Poodles.  I stitched this panel onto some yellow card using a decorative stitch.  I don't think this shows up brilliantly in the photos though.

To finish I used a 'baby boy' tag from my stash.  I threaded it with some sparkly string.  I tried to tie a bow using this but failed miserably, as the strands kept pulling apart, so instead I used a little blue organza bow from my stash to hide the hole in the tag.

I would like to enter this  card into the following challenges:

Fab n Funky - Anything Goes
Sweet Stampin' - Use Tags
Digitally Sweet - Ribbon or Lace
Charisma Cardz - Vintage
CCEE - Stitches
The Paper Shelter - For Someone Special
Crafting For All Seasons - Stitching

Right, my hands are frozen and I can barely type, so I'm going to go get caught up on Strictly and some other telly I think.

Happy Crafting!

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