Thursday, 27 February 2014

How To Make: Body Scrub

Soooo, I've been starting my preparations for Summer (still waiting patiently) and one of those preparations is to get my skin in as tip top condition as I can - it has also been horribly dry and itchy of late so I am trying to solve that.  

Before moisturising, I know that it is important to prep your skin with a good scrub to get rid of all that dead skin, so here is a citrus scrub for you:

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Heather Ellis

Soooo, it's Wednesday again, and that means that it is time for another challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2 and this week we have a brand new sponsor:

Heather Ellis is a Writer and Illustrator.  She lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and two children. Coming from a very creative family Heather loves drawing, painting and most of all creating cute characters.
Stop by her shop and have a look around, so many adorable images await you!

Also, as it is the last challenge of the month, we have a Twist - you can use any sketch from this year, but your card must be Monotone (i.e. one colour).

Anyway, without further ado, here is my card:

As you can probably see, I made this card using the sketch from a couple of weeks ago, where we were sponsored by Bugaboo.  My card,, and the sketch, can be found here.

As you can also see, I decided to go pink.  I have no idea why, but it just wouldn't leave my head.  So, my image is coloured with promarker and spectrum noirs.  I also added a spot of glitter on the bubbles and decided that I would slightly break the monotone rule to make the legs of the bath gold (no bath has pink legs after all).  I did, however, make my bubbles pink, but it doesn't show up too well on my photos -sorry.
I inked the edge of the image with worn lipstick distress ink.  I also added some craft gauze behind.

The papers I used are both from a Dovecraft pack, which is full of pink, girly papers, so perfect for this card.

I then added some lace along the bottom paper (although this is pretty much hidden) and made some bows from the same lace.  I admit, I'm not 100% sure about the bows, but I didn;t have any better ideas, and they do add to the girlyness of the card.

I die-cut letters to spell 'relax' from scraps of the papers I had used and layered these up so the dark ones were behind the spotty ones, so formed a bit of a shadow.

To finish my card, I added lots of gems - little gems to the corners of the image, bigger gems to the corners of the card and even bigger, square gems to the centre of each bow.

I think that this would be a perfect mother's day card, or a good girly birthday card, or even a just because card as currently it has no sentiment.

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Review: Homemaker - Issue 16

Soooo, this has been in the shops since Friday, but as you probably all know by now, this is not a quick flick-through magazine, this is a magazine you have to sit down and read properly, which is what I have been doing over the weekend.

This issue is, what I consider to be, a proper Spring issue.  It really made me feel that Spring could be on the way, which I have been hoping and praying for since about 1st October.  Winter's OK with the cosiness etc. and I don't object to a bit of snow and Chrismassy feel but this winter has been wet and horrible and miserable for many people.  I consider myself lucky to have escaped the flood, living in Yorkshire and on top of a hill for that matter, but I am still very ready for some warmer, slightly less damp weather.

Anyway, enough of my moaning . . .

This issue comes with a free paper pom pom kit, and as always, the instructions on how to make up your pom pom are in the magazine.  I haven't made mine - mine has gone into the nieces' craft drawer, as I think this is something they can make without really any supervision, and it also means they can take it home and clutter my sister's house that little bit more.  I'm trying to declutter as much as possible so I have less to move in April.

The first project feature in this issue, as you can probably guess, is all about Mother's Day, and this issue suggests setting the scene for an afternoon tea party.  I love this idea, but I'm not sure my mother would.  She is not the elegant lady afternoon tea type.  However, I think my step-mother (non-wicked) would like this idea, so I may do it for her.  I may even attempt the fondant fancies, the recipe for which is in this feature.  I struggle to say this but I will have to buy the sponge, as I do not for one moment trust my oven to cook it.  It is the two extremes with my oven - either it doesn't get hot enough to cook anything or it burns it (a la my roasties yesterday).  Not to worry, I will have a new one soon.  Anyway, this feature also has a decorated tea tray, bunting, cotton napkins, invote, tea bags and a gorgeous floral arrangement in a teapot (although this doesn't have instructions).  I really like this idea, so that may be a present idea for one of the mothers.  I think my mother-in-law would like this too.

Wayne Hemingway discusses whether the creatives moving away from London and staying local is a good thing or not.  Personally, I am undecided on this.  Wayne states that rents are cheaper outside London for a little shop, but my experience of exploring this avenue have taught me that they still aren't cheap.  Also, it can be hard to find your customer base.  His mention of the house for a pound scheme has, however, piqued my interest, and I may have to wait for this to come to Leeds.  This seems like a really good idea, but it is not well-known (probably just as well).

I liked the Crackle Paint a Dining Suite project.  I love the crackle paint effect, and although my current dining suite is metal and glass, I could do this to other items in my house.  I am particularly looking at my bedside tables and bedroom drawers, as I would like a parisian shabby chic look in my new bedroom.  Of course, being my plans, these may never actually come to fruition, but the plan is there, and if I am happy in my house, I may be more inclined to make it a home and do things.

I liked the print fabric with your own stamp feature, because although I do not intend to make my own stamp or stamp some pillow cases, it has given me an idea for a dress for the nieces (if I can get the eldest to wear a dress that it - it might have to be tops).

I read Sew A Sturdy Canvas Storage Holdall with interest, as I like the way the zip for the front pocket is done, and I may have to use this on some of my bags in future.

I enjoyed reading about Sophia Palmer, founder of Jessalli.  She looks about 12, but I'm guessing she is in her 20s, and I admire her for having such entrepreneurial skills and confidence so young.  I also like some of her projects and I can't wait to see her chick cushion in the next issue, although she does have a cute pin cushion in this issue.

Other projects and features this issue include:
  • five ways with vintage photos - photo box; printed pillows; picture frame; wall plates (I am aware that this is only 4, but the feature says 5)
  • Interview with the ladies behind Hayford & Rhodes, the Rhodes sisters, Joanne, Amy and Laura
  • Interview with Anne Hopkins of Beckford Silk on how to repurpose and draw inspiration from vintage silk scarves.  I now want to raid charity shops for silk scarves (and teapots - see above)
  • Upcycle a stool with a silk scarf
  • Spring cleaning feature on why we love spring cleaning (I don't!), decoupaging your dusters
  • Julie Dodsworth has some gorgeous packaged soaps
  • Patchwork a chair from scraps
  • Stitch a roman blind (I'm sure this is the third time I have seen this in Homemaker)
  • Knitted bed throw (I wish I could knit, even if it does take 40 balls of wool!)
  • Crochet folk-style cushion
  • Eric Lanlard (yum yum) has some chocolate and cinammon buns
  • Mary Berry has a delicious looking cheesecake, but it looks way more complicated that the Gwilliams-family recipe cheesecake that I usually use (I may share it with you one day, but I think I would need permission from the rest of the family)
  • Biscuits with sewing motifs piped on them.
  • Apple and Toffee Crumble and Lemon Posset With Fennel Biscotti
  • Linda Barker refreshes your kitchen for you
  • Interview with Nic Guymer about her company Seventy Seven Society and recycling candles
  • Turn teacups into candles
  • Floral beauty with rannunculus, possibly my new favourite flower, which I may have to have in my new garden.
  • Screen printing
Gosh, I didn't realise how much I've been reading through the mag and taking pictures of pages to send to my sister for inspiration for the house.  She seems to be ignoring me lol.

The next issue is out on 21st March.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 24 February 2014


Sooo, a couple of weekends ago, excited at getting some wedding invitations and hearing some engagements, I sat down to make some wedding cards.

This first one I have made for my friend's upcoming wedding.  I hope I have chosen the correct shade so that it matches her wedding theme.  A quick call to one of her bridesmaids told me that they were wearing 'grape', so I hope I have got it right.

This card was actually quite simple to make.  I used a 6x6inch white blank and made the grape layer by cutting a slightly smaller piece and inking with dusty concord distress ink.  This is the same colour I used to stamp the wedding motif on the main panel.

I also wrapped this panel with some satin ribbon, threading this onto a circular diamante-style buckle.  Both of these were from Crafty Poodles.

I decided that not only does this make a lovely, elegant wedding card, but would also make an elegant wedding invitation, so I popped them into my Etsy shop (click here) and do you know what, I already have my first order - for 70!

My second card is a rather extreme example of being prepared.  This is a one-off I think, unless there is a huge demand for it, but this is for my cousin's wedding in June (told you I was prepared).

Again, I hope that I have used the right colours.  If not, my Auntie Jacky is to blame (groom's mother), as she confirmed the colours for me.

I made this my covering a card blank with some papers from a paper pack in my stash.  The edges were already aged.  I think of these as my romance papers.  They are all so beautiful.

Again, I wrapped the panel with a burgundy satin ribbon, which had been threaded with a square diamante-style buckle this time.

To finish this card, and to just confirm that it is for a wedding, I stamped a wedding sentiment in black ink.

I really like this card, but I don't have many of this paper, so think that I would like to keep it a one-off.  I hope my cousin and his new wife will like it come their wedding day.

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 21 February 2014

Treble Clef

Soooo, this is a little project I worked on a couple of weeks ago.  And I really do mean that it is little.

I made this with a friend's birthday in mind (I don't think she reads the blog so the surprise shouldn't be spoiled).  When I was browsing through Etsy to find her a present, I came across a little cross stitch pattern for a treble clef.  As she is a bit of a music-boff, I thought that this would be perfect.

So I bought and downloaded the pattern and then took myself off to the sewing shop the following lunchtime to buy supplies.  I already had some fabric lying around, as the pattern is so small only scraps were needed.  I bought the embroidery floss, some embroidery needles and the little hoop, which is only 4inches across.  How sweet?!

I decided to go with a classic combination of black embroidery on cream cotton, as my friend's flat is mostly cream.

I must admit, as the pattern is so small, there was a bit of swearing and cursing as I tried to keep everything neat and regular, but I think this will be something that comes with practice.

After I had finished the cross-stitch (it took me a couple of days of lunchtimes and evenings), I remembered that I had no idea how to make the back neat.  Luckily, Google and a tutorial somewhere came to the rescue, and I now know how to finish off an embroidery hoop back - I think it looks quite good.

I have decided to put this in my Etsy shop (and I apologise for the picture quality on here - they look better in the shop, I promise.  The cotton is much smoother than it looks on this pics)  I am also going to take up cross-stitch and embroidery as a hobby I think as there are some brilliant patterns available out there, and if they are kept simple, like this, I think they can be quite effective, don't you?

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Review: Cardmaking & Papercraft - Issue 128 (March)

Soooo, sorry that it is late posting today - I was far too busy sewing last night (not quite finished yet, but I will share when it is), to be blogging, so I thought I would do it on my lunchbreak today, so here goes . . .

This issue hits the shops today with a free embossing folder set.  These feature damask rose designs and, as usual, the first feature in the magazine, is how to use these.  At first, I thought they were probably a bit old-fashioned, but studying some of the cards, I actually really like them.  I might have a go with them at the weekend if I get my sewing done.

I've been thinking of investing in some crakle glaze/paint for a while, so I enjoyed browsing the 6 Ways With Crackle Paint feature.  Even better, the examples in this feature use LOTV stamps - my favourite, and they are designed by one of the LOTV design team, Fleur.  Anyway, decision make - I will be purchasing some crackle paint/glaze.  Now, just to decise which one.

I love the blue cards in Quick Makes for March.  They are so very pretty and I have some similar papers in my stash, so I may have a go at these.  There are cards for all occasions in this feature, including good luck, thank you, burthday, thinking of you.

The ideas in 5 Ideas For Sympathy Cards are good, as this is something I really struggle with ideas for.  My only criticism could be that these are all a bit girly - what do you do for a man?

I loves the faux tile effect in the Crafter's Q&A and I am going to be having a go at this.  I just can't decide whether to sew or make cards this weekend.

Other projects and features this issue include:
  • Knowhow Stamping has some artisan cards and a gift tag perfect for mother's date or female birthdays
  • Feathered Friends has hen gift boxes, little chick gift bags and even a hen centrepiece
  • 10 ideas with tissue paper
  • Hidden messages cards in 20 minute makes
  • Easter Wonderland has some vintage-looking easter cards - not something we really give in my family and friendship group
  • Origami Easter Bunnies
  • Decorated easter eggs (not chocolate)
  • Leoni Pujol has ideas for using those giant 12x12 scrapbook papers
  • Upcycling with clothes pegs
  • 3 Ways With One Die
Giveaways this issue include:
  • £1000 of Hunkydory Crafts prizes
  • Starform stickers goody packs
  • Woodland Creatures and Book Art books
  • Tilda goodies
  • Marianne Design goodies
  • Woodware goodies
The next issue is out on 20th March and comes with a free stamp and paper set.

Happy Craftting!


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

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 2, 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:

Which is exactly what I did, after turning it on its side.

I coloured by digi using promarkers and spectrum noirs and die-cut into an oval.

I then die-cut a scalloped oval from some LOTV Cake and Candles paper, which is where the rest of the papers came from too.

I wrapped some bakers twine around a scrap of red card and attached this to the left side.

To finish, I added three red gems to the top right hand corner of the card, layered everything onto some red card and then onto a white blank.

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

Happy Crafting and Good Luck!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Review: Papercrafter - Issue 69

Sooo, sorry this is late.  I was going to write this last night, but by the time I had finished being (unusually for me) a domestic goddess, I just wanted to have a bath and go to bed, so I did and thought that I would write this at lunchtime (which I am doing while stuffing my face with the most amazing baking brought in by one of the paralegals, Emma, who is certainly in the wrong job).

This month, I think that the kit seems smaller - there certainly doesn't seem to be as much stuff in it, but maybe there is just less of the stuff I use.  For example, there is a quilling set including strips, tool and templates, which I will probably never use as this has not been a successful past time for me.

There are the usual papers, some card blanks, ribbon and this time there are chipboard letters and a rubber stamp blank on which to carve your own stamp.  Now, if I can be trusted to do this, I may have a go, but me and sharp objects are not usually buxom buddies, as my hands will testify to at the moment.

Soo, what's in the mag.  Let's see shall we:

Paper Showcase has lots Mother's Day and Easter projects, including cards, candy cones, and sweetie baskets.  Ther eis also a garland and a decorated (quilled) frame.

There are more cards in Glam Designs and Best Regards, some of which I like and may have a go at, especially the Superstar card.  In fact, oui, I shall make that one this weekend.  I also like New Home, and may make this one too.

There are also cards in Easter Greetings and Inventive Ideas.  Again, I like the New Home card, but the only person I know moving house in the near future is me.  There are even more cards in Stamping Success

Quilled cards feature in Stunning Showstoppers, and if I could quill some of these would be lovely cards, but I will not achieve the results that are shown in the magazine.  I would however like to have a go at the quilled dog card shown in the Ask The Experts section, as I have a recipient in mind for this card alreadt and there is a step-by-step guide.

Quilling also features in Spring Surprise, which not only has cards, but also a decorative egg and daffodil posy.  There are also some quilled frogs in Froggy Friends. 

The Quilled Masterpiece, which must take some patience but is stunning is a sprint artwork featuring lots of quilled shapes and some of the letters from the kit.

Other projects in the magazine include a recipe file, alphabet post, gift wrap and boxes, envelopes, note paper, petal charms, envelo-baskets and more.

I love the Spring Wreath and am wondering if this is something I could make with the nieces one weekend.  I think it woudl also be easily adaptable for other seasons by simply changing the colours.

Giveaways this issue include:
  • Punch set from Stampin' Up!
  • HP Envy printer
  • bespoke print from Milly's Cottage
  • binding machine
  • Papercut from The Crafty Calf
  • Doodle Duvet
The next issue will be hitting the shops on 28th March with decopague goodies, concertina albums and an envelope maker.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 17 February 2014

How To: Make Some Wall Storage

Soooo, I don't think I have given you all too many tutorials recently, and I have been a busy bee this weekend, so here is a quick tutorial for you - a brilliant storage idea, and so pretty too:

Happy Crafting!


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Happy Valentines (Belated)

Sooooo, I should have shared this card with you yesterday, but pretty much just fell asleep when I got in from work, and then never quite found the energy to pick up my laptop, so I would like to wish everyone a late Happy Valentines Day!

This is the card I made for my hubby:

I used a digi from Digistamp Boutique and coloured it in with promarkers and spectrum noirs.  How cute are these two elephants together - perfect for a loved up valentines card.

I then cut the image to a rectangle and layered this onto some red card.

I then stamped a heart I love you sentiment in red.  Unfortunately, I made a couple of smudges with the ink on the card.  I craftily managed to cover these up with some shiny red hearts from my craft stash.  You'd never be able to tell would you?

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

I fear this may be it for my craft sharing this weekend as I have the nieces staying with me, so I can't get into my craft room.  Next week, I will try my best to make it into the craft room and get on with some work.

Happy Crafting!


Digitally Sweet Photo Inspiration

Friday, 14 February 2014

Review: Sew Magazine - Issue 57 (May 2014)

Soooo, I believe that this hits the shops today, and I am glad because it has felt like a long time since I had a magazine to read.  I'm sure it has only been a week or so, but it feels much much longer.  

Anyway, this issue comes with a free Simplicity woodland creatures pattern to make five little woodland creature soft toys - an owl, a bunny, a raccoon, a reindeer and a fox.  I'm tempted to try some of these out with Georgia, the eldest niece, next time I have her for the afternoon.  I'm sure we are well overdue some crafting time together.  Anyway, the patterns make use of embroidery, applique and basic sewing techniques, so I think they would be good for teaching her.  As usual, the first project feature in the magazine is all about the free pattern.

There is also, if you are quick, a free Great British Sewing Bee pencil skirt pattern to download from the Sew website, with of course, full instructions in the magazine.  I have this pattern, and although I haven't made anything with it yet, it looks a good beginner's pattern, and once I get the right fabric, I will be making something with it.

I love love love the girls' t-shirt dress, which features a cute wrap skirt and even a little coordinating brooch.  I need to get myself to the shops and buy some t-shirts and some metre lengths of various pretty fabrics and make some of these, starting with one for the youngest niece, Evie.  I think Georgia is too big now for dresses like this, and far too much of a fashionista.  She is going to be a nightmare when she is a teenager!!  If Evie's goes well, I might even make some to sell at the next craft fair (or maybe the one after).

Other projects and features include:

  • Dressmaking SOS! has advice on hems, including blind stitch on your machine, but I still feel confused about this
  • Advice on buying dressforms (I love mine and would advise anyone to get one if you can afford it)
  • How to make a printed geometric print t-shirt
  • Retro apron
  • Embellished pumps
  • Shoe bag and matching card
  • Fabric bouquet
  • Printed vine leaf placemat
  • Coffee pot quilting block
  • Funky lampshade
  • Wash bag  and hanging bathroom storage bag
  • Cat basket
  • Tea and mug cosies featuring your child's drawings
  • Teatime cushions
  • Cat stuffed toy

Giveaways this issue include:

  • dress form
  • tickets to craft exhibition in Liverpool
  • machine bags
  • fabric design starter kits
  • teepee

Apologies for the shortish post today.  I could write so much more about some of the projects but my hands are aching from way too much typing (and not enough crafting) this week, so I'm trying to type as little as possible.  Only today to go until I can immerse myself in crafting for two days.

The next issue is out on 14th March and comes with a free New Look dress pattern.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Shoe Clips

Sooooo, this is a little experiment that I did, which turned out OK, and then I tried again, and it turned out better.

As a shoe addict, when I saw some zipper flower shoe clips posted on facebook, I knew that I had to try and make some.  I had a few zips lying around from a bumper back that I had bought and couldn't find a use for the last few, so all I needed to do was get some shoe clip findings.  A quick trip to ebay and a couple of weeks later they arrived from Hing King or somewhere similar, So I set about making.

These were my first attempt:

I followed a quick tutorial over on YouTube for these first ones.  A bit of neatening up is required, but I thought for a first attempt, they weren't too bad, but I also thought that maybe the whole zipper flower idea wasn't for me - too much faffing with a glue gun, and me and products that can burn is not usually the best combination - I'm suprised people let me loose with a sewing machine, let alone a hot glue gun - there's a reason I don't cook.

I then found some scraps of hot lips fabric that were the perfect size to make some mini bows and I thought these would be perfect.  I have already had lots of practice at making bow ties, and these are pretty much the same, just half the size.

These were pretty successful, the only problematic part really being that it was difficult to turn through the fabric tube which forms the centre 'knot' on the bow - a skewer and some patience was the answer to this one.

Less glue was required for these, so I would like to think that I was more successful (having not burned myself).  I also think that these look nicer.  They go really well with my pink shoes, but as they are a bit scuffed, the shows don't look too good close up, so I don't want to take a photo of the clips on the shoes.  I will dig out some other shoes and take some pictures.  I will also bob these in my Etsy shop.

I am going to make some more bows in various designs, and I am thinking up other designs.  As always, I will keep you posted.

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2 - Patties Creations

Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for a new challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2, and we have a really simple sketch for you to play with this week:

This week we are sponsored by Patti's Creations:

I am an Internet Technology Professional and an Artist. I always dreamed of being an artist, but I found out quickly that I needed another field to support my family so I pursued a Degree in Information Technology. I love to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks to enhance my work.

I created a character called Pattieboop and her cat named Allie. I have had so much fun coming up with different images so I also created a site to sell them. You can go to my store to find out more about Pattieboop & Allie. I know you will just love them when you see them.

Pattieboop is an 11 year old girl who is very opinionated. She was created by me, Pattie Gomez on September 7, 2009. Pattieboop is an average 11 year old and she loves dressing up. She is very petite in nature but stands tall because her mother always told her that “If you stand tall you will one day become someone important”. Pattieboop always remembers her mother’s words and makes sure she is noticed. 
Pattieboop has a favorite pet named Allie. Allie is a slender black cat and loves playing and spending time with Pattieboop. Allie spends most of her days napping and her nights are spent getting in to mischief

And here is my creation:

You might notice that I have got the sketch slightly wrong in that I have got the image shape slightly wrong, but never mind, the idea is still there and it is noticeably the sketch.

I coloured the image with distress inks and cut it to size.  I then layered the image onto some kraft card.

I then layered some papers from my stash onto red card, and wrapped all of this with some sticky-back lace, which I had coloured red.

To finish the card, I stamped an LOTV postmark sentiment in red, and punched it to a circle.  I also added three red hearts in the bottom right-hand corner, which I 'borrowed' from the nieces' craft stash.

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Pinspirational Challenges - photo inspiration
Stamp & Create - love is in the air
The Pink Elephant - valentines day
Paper Make-up - hearts

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Girl Cards

Sooo, as promised, these are the girl cards, which match the boy cards I posted about last week.  These are also available in my Etsy shop here.

They are made in the same way as the boy cards, i.e. 6x4 (ish) cards with a mini masterpiece, patterned paper and coordinating card and stamp, just with different colours and mini masterpieces.

Again, there are only four sets available, so these really are limited edition cards.

I was going to use a different, more swirly, sentiment on these, but as I was making these in one of my bouts of insomnia, I think I was half-asleep and only realised after I had made a few. 

Never mind eh?  I think they still look good and you would probably never have known if I hasn't just told you.  Will teach me to do some crafting at three in the morning - it can never usually end well.

Happy Crafting!


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