Thursday, 31 January 2013

Review: Sew

Soooo, sorry, this is another late one.  It has been in the shops since 18th January, but I have only just managed to go buy it.  Problem solved from next month though as hubby decided to treat me to a subscription.  This issue has definitely been worth the wait though.
First up, the freebie!  This issue comes with a sweet Folksy padded heart kit.  I’ve not made this yet, as I simply haven’t had time.  Should I ever find five minutes to get bored, then this is something I might dig out then and make.  It would look nice in one of my nieces’ bedrooms.  In fact, I might give it to one of them as a project. 
One of the first projects in this issue is a pair of day-time pyjama pants, which actually look really easy to make.  I don’t feel that I am one of those people who can pull off this style of trouser during the daytime, but I am one of those people who loves their jimjams.  Soooooo, I think I could have a go at this and make myself some new jammie pants.  It doesn’t matter that I won’t have a matching top, as I just sleep in jammie bottoms and a vest top anyway.  It also shows you how to make bias binding to match your pants.
Amanda Walker has a drape front cardigan for you to make, with the pattern downloadable from the Sew website.  This looks good in bright linen and would be perfect to brighten up your spring wardrobe.
Dressmaking SOS has help and advice on Zips this month, including how to insert a lapped zip, and advice on which zip is best.
There is a feature all about the Queen’s dressmaker (possibly my dream job), Angela Kelly, with advice on how to steal her Majesty’s style – thinking cute handbags, gloves and see-through umbrellas (which always match her outfit by the way).  There is also info on how they choose the fabric and colour for each outfit and where they find their inspiration.  Find out what is most important and what needs to be consider for HRH’s outfits and what heel height she favours.
I am loving the Male Grooming Set, which is made from a-may-zing moustache fabric.  I might have to make my darling husband some of these – I think the travel roll for his beard trimmer would be a good idea.  It’s not his birthday until October, so I have plenty of time.
Sticking with the cleanliness, there is also a cool shower cap, which is something I have been thinking of making for a while, so now I have these instructions.
My favourite project in this issue has to be the Clutch Purse.  It is sooooo sweet.  It’s amazing what you can make from a circle of fabric and tie with a ribbon.  Anywho, I am currently making plans to not make plans this weekend, so I may get my sewing machine out, finish off my friend’s dress, and make one or three of these.  I think these will fit within my current range of bags perfectly.  I also know two little girls that would love one each.
I really like the upholstered love seat and would love to try my hand at upholstering.  However, this is one project which will have to wait, because I simply do not have the room in my house to a) have the workspace to make it and b) have somewhere to put the finished article.  One day . . . .
Other features in this issue include:
  • Customise a stripy top to make a Breton top
  • How to add contrast sleeves to a top
  • Business bits has advice on how to use social media
  • Embellished notelets
  • Fabric-covered storage boxes
  • An embroidered handbag
  • How to stitch a romantic hanging decoration
  • Fabric-covered pinboard and quilted book cover
  • Photo holders
  • Flower heart cushions
  • Pot holders
  • Felt flower table centrepieces
  • A hanging quilt
  • A fabric plaque from Anthea Turner

I love this issue.  Probably because it has so much relevant to me.  I can’t wait to find time to get on with some of these projects.  I’ll keep you posted.
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Birdie Brown

Birdie Brown

Sooooo, this week's sponsor over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday is Birdie Brown, and I just love the image I was given to use on this card - I think birds are going to be big again this year.  Please check out their website - they have some great freebies on offer too.

I really liked this week's sketch over at SSW, as it meant I got to use my new corner punch - a bargainous half-price find at Hobbycraft after Christmas - everything that can be is currently being corner-punched - keep checking back for more corner punches.

Anywho, this is the sketch on offer this week:

I think it looks a bit more complicated than some recent offerings, but I actually found it really easy to use, but then again, I find most of their sketches wonderful to use.

I must say, and I don't often say this about my cards, I do actually like this one.  I love the bright colours I used.  I was feeling a bit down in the dumps when I made it, so decided to use bright colours to see if they would cheer me up a bit.

I coloured the image using my (fairly new) water colour pencils.  Blue is my favourite colour, so there was no doubt that the birds would be that colour, and I mirror imaged them, as a mummy and baby bird should be I think.  I then chose the brightest colours in my set for the flowers, which were orange and yellow.

I followed these colours through to my backing papers, which are all from a freebie paper pack I got from an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft.  I think it was called 'Surf's Up!'.  Anyway, it has now nearly run out, so I need to see if I can get some more, either straight from whoever designed it, or trawling ebay.

I'm going off on a tangent again aren't I?  Many apologies  . . .

I didn't have any orange paper, so decided to pick out the greens of the stalks with some green paper from the same set.  If you look closely though, you will see that this paper does have orange and yellow on it, so I'm still sticking with the theme really.

To finish off, I used an orange foam flower from my stash and some blue gems, which I think I got from Home Bargains of all places - they are getting quite a good craft section.  Maybe they can take over from Wilkinsons, whose craft section has been going downhill a bit of late I'm afraid.

Anyway, I don't know what I am doing with this card yet - I may sell it.  I've got a few I need to take down to my stepmother (non-wicked) to go through as she sells some at her work for me, and my brother in law has offered to put some in the shop he works at too, so I may take him up on that offer.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


Review: Simply Homemade - Issue 26

Sooooo, sorry for the lateness of this one - it actually arrived in the shops on Thursday, but I have been a very busy bee these last few days and this is the first chance I have had to review it.  I think it will be worth the wait though.
First off - this month's freebies!  This issue comes with a haberdashery inspired paper pack, a design sheet and some fabric 'Handmade with Love' labels, which I think will come in very handy for the dress I am making for my friend (and have in fact been making since last Summer, but just haven't got round to finishing it yet - as I say, busy busy busy!).
Soooo, without further ado, let's move onto the review shall we?
First up in this issue (as usual) are the freebie projects.  This month shows you how to make a star album using the free papers.
I really like Vintage Chic - a 50s style felt bag.  I'm not a huge fan of felt (nor do I actually know how to knit, and therefore felt), but I think this could be made in other materials, so I might steal the idea and make a few Cath Kidston bags.  Hmmmmm, one to think about.  I just love the fifties styling of it.
Another project I really like is the recipe - not so much a huge fan of the Carrot & Coriander soup, due to my dislike of coriander, but I do like the look of the bread rolls, and I believe I have everything at home I need to make these, so they could be a weekend project for me.  Touch wood, I am planning nothing for the upcoming weekend, so I can get on with a few of the projects I have been wanting to try out.
I have been inspired by Lipstick on Your Collar - shrink plastic jewellery items.  These are in the shape of little Scotty dogs in the magazine, but I don't have that die, so will be using the dies I already have in my stash, so keep checking back on the blog for updates.  I'm thinking little gifts for mother's day.  Anyway, as usual I digress.  This project has bag charms, hairbands, bracelets, collars, necklaces, earrings and hat pins.
I also really like Beautiful Brooches, which has loads of different takes on brokers, including kilt pins, crystal and pearl bows, button brooches, crocheted brooches and fabric brooches.  I think these are something that I could get my nieces involved in making, as some of them don't look too difficult, but they are all really pretty.
One of the projects I really want to find time to do are the floor cushions, cubes and beanbags in Sitting Pretty.  These are very 70s retro style, but could be made in any style, and you never can have enough seating really I think.
Other features include:
  • needle felting
  • CD cases, wine boxes, mirrors, pictures, jewellery and lampshades in Steampunk style
  • an interview with Hobson's Choice founder, Sarah Hobson
  • deco patch jugs, frames, trinket boxes, tables and trays
  • a family of soft toy bunnies
  • decorated stacking boxes and drawers
  • a heart-shaped wall hanging, decorated with paper flowers

Giveaways this issue are:
  • Forever Friends Supercast Kits
  • Japanese Folded Bag Kits (I want one of these)
  • Hemline goody bags
  • book, Scandinavian Quilt Styles
  • House-shaped shelving
  • book, Quick and Easy Pillows and Cushions
  • book, Jessica's Raw Chocolate Recipes
  • Sew Mintage Miniature Chests
  • book, The Gentle Art of Stitching
  • Jewellery making sets
  • Spoilt Rotten Beads tote bags
  • Sew Heart Felt baby slippers (these are soooooo cute)
  • sewing essentials sets
  • jewellery making classes

There are some lovely ideas in this issue that I want to try my hand at.  Not sure I will find time before next month's issue though, which is out on 21st February.  This issue is out now, so go out and buy it.
Happy Crafting!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Kay & Gilly

Soooo, today I would like to bring you some new bag designs.

These are the two bags I made for my sisters for Christmas.  The first one I made for my older sister, Kay:

She told me what size she wanted and I took it from there.  This is a medium or 'Evie' sized bag.  I added a small zipped pocket to the front and a pocket to either side.  This bag is lined with one zipped pocket and one non-zipped pocket.  I couldn't get lining fabric to match the oilcloth in the shop, so I went for a floral ditsy fabric instead.  This is available to order from my Folksy shop, or just email me.

My eldest niece, Georgia, has now apparently been complaining that mummy and Evie both have bags, but she doesn't, so I've got to make her one now.

This second bag I made for my little sister, Gilly:

I knew there was no point making her a small bag, because she is like me and carries a Mary Poppins bag around with her, so I made her a 'Jane' sized, or large, bag. 

She'd already told me that she didn't want florals, so I chose this cowboy oilcloth and managed to get the matching lining fabric.

This bag has five outer pockets - one on each side and one on the front.

It is also lined, with a zipped pocket and a non-zipped pocket. 

This is also available to order in my Folksy shop, or just email me.

Gilly tells me that she has used this bag to put all her Christmas presents in to take them back home with her after a month's leave.  She also promises to try and get some orders for me.

Both of these bags can be made in other patterned fabrics.

I have loads of left over lining fabric now, and no idea really what to do with it.  Any suggestions?  I was thinking maybe some cushions? But would like to try something a bit different.

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 25 January 2013

Birds Cards

Soooo, today I bring you not so much a blog as a website I find very useful:

I use Birds Cards mostly for the free papers, digis and sentiments made available on it.


Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Review: Cardmaking & Papercraft - Issue 114 (February 2013)

Sooooo, I was already excited for this month's issue of C&P before it even came through the post, which it did on Saturday, just in time to distract me from an invitation order I should have been doing.  I was very excited for the free all occasion stamps which came free this time.  I haven't had chance to use them yet (due to said invitation order taking over) but I have many plans for them, starting with the range of wedding cards and invitations I hope to introduce this year.  In fact, I am working on many wedding things this year . . . news coming soon.
Anyway, once again I am going off on a tangent aren't I?  as usual.  There are also some downloadable papers, and as always, the first project feature in the magazine is ideas and inspiration for your free gift - I think I might steal the idea for the new baby card.
I really like some of the ideas in 10 Ideas With Paper Strips by Bev Rochester, including a pretty bookmark, gift bag and a gift box, along with a few card ideas.  The 'Bookshelf' card would be perfect for me, but I can't send myself a card so will have to find someone else to send it to.
I also really like the 3 Ideas For Music Lovers, which includes piano, guitar and record player cards, as well as the monochrome Valentines cards in Quick Makes.  Andrea Willis also has some lovely bright paper-pieced cards in Quick Makes, and Clare Boswell has some floral and lace Mother's Day and Valentines cards.
I'm tempted to have a go at Dawn Phillips' Know How: Shaped Cards - Make & Bake!  This feature includes cards shaped as teapots, cups and aprons, amongst others.  There is a step-by-step guide for the apron card, and I don’t think that the others look too difficult.  Templates are included to make it that little bit easier.
One of my favourite features this month has to be Love and Marriage, which features 6 wedding stationary ideas, all of which I love, and all of which are easily adaptable to any colour scheme.  There are even tips on lining envelopes to make them that little bit more luxurious, without costing a small fortune.  There are stamped, foiled and papercut invitations, RSVPs and save the dates.  I can't wait to get started on some of these - and who knew that foiling was that simple!  You will, of course, have to buy the magazine to find out how simple, unless I can find an online tutorial to post up on this here blog.
Other projects and features this issue include:
  • Knowhow Stamping - To Mum, With Love - muted florals mother's day cards coloured with distress markers
  • Simply Charming - a pretty handmade gift bag
  • True Friend - a vintage-style swan greetings card (subscribers only)
  • Valentines ideas for your bonus papers
  • Masterclass Advanced:  Spectrum Noir Pens - Colour Me Cute - how to get the furry look using alcohol markers
  • 6 Ways With Washi Tape
  • Leoni Pujol has some embossed cards for you
  • A Cut Above - a papercut gatefold card, perfect for Mother's day
  • 3 Ideas With Butterflies
  • Upcycle with Road Maps
  • 10 Minute Makes has some retro springtime designs
  • Joanna Sheen has a decoupaged new home easel card.
  • Giveaways this issue include:
  • £1,000 Craftime goody bag
  • Lucy Cromwell goody bag (subscribers only)
  • Stampin' Up Easter goody bag
  • October Afternoon Farm Girl goody bag
  • tickets to the Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts show in Glasgow and Manchester
  • Digistamps from Papercraft Junkies
  • Woodware goody bags

This issue hits the shops today, so I advise you go out and buy it now. 
Again, I am already excited for next month's issue, which is out on 21st February and comes with a gorgeous floral paper stack and ready-stamped sentiments.
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Floppy Latte Designs

Soooooo, it's Wednesday, and it's time for another challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and here is my offering:

The image (coloured with promarkers) comes from this week's sponsor Floppy Latte designs, who have some of the cutest images on the world wide web.  I think the one I have used here is great for a Christmas card, but as it is only January, I decided to stick with a winter theme, but leave off any sentiment, as it would do equally well as a winter birthday, or a thank you card.  I think I will use it as one of my thank you cards (of the many I have to make).

To make this card I used this week's SSW sketch:

(I hope this sketch shows properly as I have been having some issues over the last couple of weeks with the sketches showing.  Hopefully that is all resolved now).

All the papers I have used have come from my Lili of the Valley Frosty Christmas paper pad, and I stuck with the snowy theme.  The snowflakes on the corners of the image are some silver snowflake sequins from my stash.

I hope you like it, and I hope whoever I end up giving this one to likes it too.  I still have about 25 thank you cards to make.  I really am thinking about just buying some, but I'm not sure I can bring myself to do it.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 21 January 2013

How To: Make Butter Mints

Soooo, today, for a bit of a change, I thought I would bring you a recipe to try out:


This recipe comes from Averie Cooks and is gluten-free and requires no baking.

They would make great gifts in different colours.


Happy Crafting!



Soooo, this is just a quick post today, but I wanted to share with you the fascinator I blinged up for my auntie for my wedding:

It started off as just a plain black fascinator, but she decided she needed some colour, so she turned up on my doorstep one Sunday, fascinator in hand and a bag of green feathers (so it could match her green dress).

It was actually quite simple to do really, just a case of choosing the nicest feathers from the pack and gluing them strategically onto the fascinator.  I did ink the edges of the feather with black ink a little, as they seemed to bright otherwise.  Doing this just softened the look of the fascinator.

Anyway, I enjoyed blinging up the fascinator so much and was so impressed with the results, that I am now saving up to do a Millinery course and learn it all properly.  I'll keep you updated.

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 18 January 2013

Another Day, Another Card

Sooooo, today I bring you Another Day, Another Card from Rosie Toes:

This is another card making blog - great for inspiration.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 17 January 2013

How To: Make PJ Pants (Pattern Free)

Sooo, this week's tutorial comes from my Twitter acquaintance, Sticky Tarts.  Not only has this lovely lady been full of advice for me, but then she posted this:

As my darling eldest niece has decreed that I have to make some pyjamas for her, this will come in very handy for me.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Digistamp Boutique

Sooooo, hopefully I have set this up to post at the right time this week - working out time zones has never been my strong point, but fingers crossed.

Here is my second offering for Sweet Sketch Wednesday:

I am still super excited about being a Design Team member and have spent may hours checking out everyone's entries whilst cowering on my sofa/in my craft room from the giant spiders that seem to have invaded my house recently.

Anyway, shall we stop going off on an tangent and get on to this week's challenge.  This week's challenge is sponsored by Digistamp Boutique, who are already one of my favourite digistamp providers and I took this opportunity to make a start on my Valentines cards, as I just love this image.

I think that this week's sketch is a great one, and it is this:

I am a huge fan of sketches as layout is something I can struggle with at times and the girls at SSW really do come up with some great sketches each week.  I thought that the sketch was very simple to use - straight edges are always easier in my opinion. 

The image I have used is Coco with Little Hearts.  I coloured it in with promarkers and added a wash background using broken china distress inks.

I used a red blank and papers from my stash.  I backed the image with red card and attached it to the card with sticky fixers to give the card an extra dimension.  I then added a red ribbon from my stash, as per the sketch.  I finished the card with two heart embellishments from my stash.

I am going to enter this card into the following challenges:

The Pink Elephant - Pink Red & White
Fashionista Challenge - Red
ABC Challenges - Inspiration
Glitter & Sparkle - Use a Digi

I could give this card to Phil for Valentines day, but I'm not too sure whether he reads this blog, and he will no doubt raid my card collection for a Valentines card and give me this card, even though I have told him he has free reign with my stash to make me a card himself, like he did last year.  I suppose we will just have to wait and see.

Happy Crafting!


Let's Make Cards - Issue 58

Soooooooooooooooo, I think I am finally up to date on my reviews - this issue only hit the shops on Friday, so normal service seems to be resuming.

Anyway, this dropped through my letterbox last Wednesday - I was shocked - first that I hadn't has to chase it at all this month and second that it was in actual fact early!!!!!  Anyway, I didn't have time to read through it on Wednesday - I was far too busy watching Tuesday Night's Stargazing Live (for the stars, not Prof Brian Cox of course.  Not!) and then I went to the cinema with my friend, Amy, to see The Hobbit.  So I finally managed to have a quick look through the kit and read the magazine on my lunchbreak on Thursday before settling down to write this review.

This issue's kit is Parisian Chic themed and contains the following:

card blanks - with envelopes this time
shaped card blanks
backing papers
flat-backed pearls
flat-backed gems
bird embellishments
chandlier rubber stamp
decoupage sheet

As always, the first feature in the magazine is how to make cards using just the kit.  My favourite is 'musical mini; featuring sweet butterflies.  I also like 'lots of luck' which also features butterflies.

The Crafter's Guide to  . . . achieving a distressed effect is a great guide for those wanted to get started with distressed effects, with info on wgar you need to get started, different techniques and even a tutorial.

Go Your Own Way is an interesting read - on how to not follow the usual rules.  It includes clashing colours, shaped blanks, layout and CAS cards.

Steampunk Style was quite a useful article for me, as I love this style, but have been a little unsure on how to get started, as it is such a different style to the usual flowery, girly cards I make.  Anyway, this feature has info on what kind of things you will need in your craft stash in order to get started.  There is a quick tutorial on how to make a trinket box and a fascinator, but the magazine is Let's Make Cards, so a card would have been nice!

Other projects this issue are:

4 ways with dainty ribbons, including bows and borders
Use the Graphic Silhouette CAMEO to make pretty notelets
shaped makes
top makes with your chandelier stamp
score crease and create folded cards
papercutting effects
never-ending card
love those layers

Tutorials this issue include:

ways with ribbon
how to distress a tag
how to make custom envelopes
how to get the looped ribbon look
how to use shrink plastic
how to stamp a valentines card
how to make a gatefold card
how to make a fringed flower

Finally, this issue, you can win:

a floor lamp from
CD-Roms from
iris folding kits from
tickets to the Make It & Knit & Stitch shows in Farnborough
Gutermann beads
ribbons from Berisfords

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 14 January 2013

Review: Crafts Beautiful - 250th Anniversary Issue (February 2013)

Sooooo, hopefully with this review I am once again up to date with my magazine reviews, but I am sure this one will be worth the wait.

So this issue comes with a free paper pack, which I have actually already put to use, and you can also download some free digistamps (not that I have figured out how to download these yet - it is not obvious on the Crafts Beautiful website, so I can't figure it out).

As always, the first project in the magazine is ideas on how to use the free papers, including a pillow box and cupcake cases.

I like the project in Card School, which uses background stamping techniques to great effect.

I also like the ideas in 7 Ways With Heart Motifs, particularly 'soft touch' and 'be mine', and Blooming Beauties, where the motifs can be downloaded from the Crafts Beautiful website.

Made to Cherish, a feature on scrapbooking, has been of particular interest to me, as I intend to try my hand at scrapbooking this year, in particular my wedding album when I get my photos.  There are lots of hints and tips in this article, all of which I will be paying close attention to.

For those just starting out in crafts and cardmaking, Birds of a Feather has some lovely, simple but effective designs featuring birds and blossoms.

I was also interested to read Fragrant Wonders, as this features a funky-looking candle, handmade paper and other projects using fresh lavender, which I love.  Strangely enough though, I generally don't like lavender scented sprays and the like.  I think this fits in with my love of chocolate but general dislike of anything chocolate flavoured - I swear they do not taste like chocolate, same as I swear lavender scented things do not smell like lavender.

I really like the decorated bird cage in Nostalgic Home, which is decorated using butterflies made from an old book and inked on the edges.  I would make this if I could bear to cut up an old book, but I'm not sure that I could.  There is also a decorated glass jar, which I think would look amazing with a tealight inside, and a heart plaque.  This project has inspired me for my friend, Mandy's, wedding in May, where the theme is butterflies.  These would also look good made from sheets of music too, as suggested in the magazine, and I think I would be more inclined to cut up sheets of music (photocopied of course) rather than a book.

I really like the designs in Tape It Up, which has some great beginners ideas for china painting.  The design used would be easily adopted.  This is also a craft I am considering trying out later this year - if I find time!

I am also like Chic Carrier - a little tote bag, which when flat looks like a little vest.  I may make up one of these from some Cath Kidston fabric I have lying around - when I find time that is!

Other projects and features in this issue include:
  • folksy-style cards made using punched shapes
  • cut out and keep has some ideas for using ribbon on your cards
  • love bugs has some funky valentine card ideas
  • Joanna Sheen has layered cards in nature's way
  • mapped out has some great card ideas utilising old maps to make houses, flowers and birds
  • say it with love has some 3-d valentines card ideas
  • quilling with claire has some thank you card ideas
  • sweet hearts has some more valentines ideas using heat embossing
  • stamp happy has more embossed cards
  • decoupage dream has some decopatched trays
  • hello petal has some cute fabric gift boxes and a thank you card, featuring sweet flowers
  • love folk has a painted plaque
  • cash in crafts has some business advice for all those thinking about turning their hobby into a job
  • bunny cuddles has a sweet bunny rabbit soft toy, perfect for the little ones in your life
  • also for the little ones in your life is a cardi and hat set in little lovely
  • snuggle down has a crochet and patch blanket
  • travel plans uses applique and embroidery to make document holders and cards
  • mixed bag has a cross-stitch and patchwork drawstring bag
  • in sweet success, Holly, the editorial assistant, learns to ice cakes
  • colour pop has some brightly coloured clay jewellery
  • silver sensation features some chain and mini bead jewellery - a necklace, bracelet and earrings
Giveaways this issue include:
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen pack
  • Daylight Freedom Lamp
  • fabric bundle from Westfalenstoffe
  • bracelet kit from Spoilt Rotten Beads
  • Soap Kitchen workshop
  • Miranda Mulberry jewellery
  • Berisford goody bag, with ribbons and crafty chest
  • shopping spree at Creativity Crafts
This really does seem to have been a bumper issue, with plenty of inspiration and ideas.

The next issue is out on 1st February and comes with a free stamp set.

Happy Crafting!

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