Thursday, 28 February 2013

How To: Print On Shrink Plastic

Soooo, this is something I have been wondering about for a while, and it turns out it is actually really simple to do.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday - Bugaboo Stamps

Soooo, good morning! Hello all.
Today brings another sketch challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday and this week it is a good one.
This week it is also my first time writing the post for Sweet Sketch Wednesday, so please go over to the SSW website and find out what I've been writing about.
Anyway, without further ado, here is my offering for SSW this week:

This was made using this week's sketch:

The image is from our sponsor this week, Bugaboo Stamps.
Here is a little info about Bugaboo:
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 work of papercrafting by opening an online store full of her illustrations.  That was two  years ago.  Today Bugaboo Stamps is one of the leading companies in digital images, and we're still growing!  From seriously snarky to sugary sweet to sublimely soulful all the way over to the other side of the super sexy spectrum, you're bound to find all that you need and more to create your paper projects.  Jodie works very hard to provide New Releases and Freebies every week!
If your taste runs to rubber (and you know who you are), you can find Bugaboo Stamps stamps at Totally Stampalicious.  And finally, join the Bugaboo Stamps DT for weekly challenges at Catch The Bug.
I loved using this image and this sketch and for reasons I still don't know decided to go vintagey and use a sepia theme.  I am very impressed with myself as I made all my own backing papers as I didn't have any ivory/brown ones in my stash - shock I know and I shall be rectifying this at the first available opportunity.
Sooo, here is  how I made my card:
I printed the digi image onto ivory paper and coloured her in using Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink.  I made a (very) small nod to colour in her cheeks, using Victorian Velvet Distress Ink.
I then backed this with some brown paper, which I had made by rubbing Brushed Corduroy over some ivory paper and allowing it to dry. 
The two patterned papers, again, I made using ivory paper and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink.  One was stamped with small flowers and the other with a flourish.
I assembled all pieces onto a plain piece of ivory paper and then attached this to a kraft blank.
To finish off the card, I added three small ivory flat-backed pearls in opposite corners and diecut two large and two small flowers from ivory paper.  I inked the edges of each flower with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and then assembled them together, curling each petal to make it stand out.  I finished with a large flat-backed ivory pearl in the middle.
I really like this card, and it is not often that I like my own cards, and it has sold pretty much straight away. 
Isn't it amazing what you can do with one distress ink and some plain paper?
Happy Crafting!

The Boy Wizard

Soooo, I've not done an easel card for a while, and thought I had better correct that.  So here is my latest offering:

This card was made for my friend for her son's birthday.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:

Eclectic Ellapu - masculine
The Pink Elephant - anything goes

It was made using a black blank, a LOTV mini masterpiece and papers from my Dovecraft Back to Basics 'boy' pack.

I also used some gold stars and wire from my stash and some sparkly gold letters.

Hope you like it.

Happy Crafting!


Review: Cardmaking & Papercraft - Issue 115 (March)

Soooo, apologies if this review is a little short - my fingers are freezing and I am struggling to type today.  Anyway, rather than my usual rambling on, I shall just get straight on with the review:

This issue comes with a free paper pack and a pack of printed sentiments, both of which I have already put to use, and as always the first feature in the magazine is how to use these, including cards and gift boxed.

One of my favourite features are the circus-inspired cards - perfect for girl or boy.  These use some gorgeous stamps and some great papers, and I don't think I could choose my favourite card between them.  There is also a little (simple to make) matching tag.  These are all made by Bev Rochester, who has to be one of my favourite card designers.

Following this is the 10 Ideas for Easter, and I think I am in love with the bunny bunting - all made from the sweetest paper bunnies and pom pom tails.  there are also cards, boxes and decorations.

It was also very interesting to read 3 Ideas With Flower Soft.  I really want to try this product and the results in the cards in this issue have convinced me that next time I am in Hobbycraft instead of standing near it convincing myself to try it, I will just do it.

Masterclass Advanced:  Floral Flourish has the most gorgeous quilled flowers card, which I would love to try, but the fact that it is 'advanced' and my attempts at quilling so far have been less that successful put me off - I think it is one to master when I have a spare weekend.  There is also a matching tag to try your hand at.  In fact, it may be best to start with the tag.

I enjoy Sharon Armstrong's feature on how to use Pan Pastels.  I had heard of these before but had no idea how to use them, so have so far held off buying any.  I think these can now go on my wish list, as the effects shown by Sharon are lovely.

Other projects and features this issue include:
  • 3 Ways With Sketches has some fairies, birds and butterflies
  • Mother's Day Gifts has some gorgeous stationary
  • Quick Makes has pastel-coloured mother's day cards, along with bright butterflies
  • Dawn Philips has some concertina folded designs in Fantastic Folding
  • There is an Easter gift box in Box of Tricks
  • Leoni Pujol has embossing tips and projects for you
  • 3 Ideas With CraftGeek Stamps
  • 6 Ways With Embossing Stamps
  • Upcycle With String
  • 20 Minute Makes has some ideas for men - always difficult to make for

Giveaways this issue include:
  • Joanna Sheen goody bags
  • Penny Black goody bags (subscribers only)
  • Bazzill Basics goody bags
  • Katy Sue goodies
  • Paper Cellar goodies
  • Fancy Pants goody bag
  • Woodware goodies
Next issue is out on 21st March, but this one is in the shops now.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 25 February 2013

Keeping Mum

Soooo, Hello!  I am returning from my AWOL-ness of cardmaking and challenge entering.

One has been extremely busy with other things recently, and cards have taken a bit of a back seat.  However, a new challenge has come along that I couldn't resist from Lili of the Valley's Ideas To Inspire Blog.

I read this blog every day and this week they are running a challenger to celebrate LOTV's 9th Birthday.  Fittingly, the challenge is to make a birthday card.  I can see that I might have a few entries for this, and here is my first one - an order from my friend for her mum's birthday:

I kept this one pretty simple, so it may actually be too simple for LOTV's Ideas to Inspire blog, but I still think it is pretty.

I used a mini masterpiece (inking the edges in Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink), as I loved the colours, and carried these colours through to the rest of the card, using a kraft blank and brown papers.

The spotty paper is actually from LOTV's krafty Christmas paper pack, but I think this one is suitable for all year.  The gingham papers are from a Boofle paper pack.  I then matted this on to a piece of gold card, with my usual funky angles.

I wrapped the paper stack in gold and taupe ribbon, crossing them in the middle, and then made a bow from the two ribbons too to attach to the bottom right hand corner of the mini masterpiece.  I can't remember where I got these ribbons from - I just found them in my ribbon stash.

To finish, I added 'Mum' in sparkly gold letters to add some bling.

I will also be entering this card into the following challenges:

The Pink Elephant - anything goes
Sweet Stamping Challenge - for a special lady

I have another card already made to show you, but I think that this will be this week's 'Holly' challenge - to make as many LOTV cards as having to go to work will allow.

Happy Crafting!

Holly xx

Review: Simply Homemade - Issue 27

Soooo, today I am bringing you my review of Simply Homemade and there are loads of pretty things in it.
First up, there are two freebies this issue – a CD-Rom full of lovely papers and toppers etc. and a cross-stitch kit, which makes a lovely birdhouse picture, and which I hope to make a start on this week (I’m not promising though – my weeks have a habit of running away with themselves these days).  Anywho, as always, the first project in this issue is how to use your lovely freebies.
For the CD-Rom there are cards, canvases and button jars, along with calendars and scrapbook pages.
For the cross stitch kit there are bookmarks, canvases, frames pictures and a cushion.
One of the projects I was particularly interest in is the candle in a jar, as this is something I hope to have a go at making at some point this year.
I really like the Elegant Arabesque feature, which everyone probably thinks I would as I dance.  This feature has little leg crochet leg warmers (I will practice my crocheting and attempt these) and a bun cover.  I really like the ballet shoes bag, which feature on the front a pair of appliquéd ballet shoes.  This is definitely something I will be making in the future – it will fit into my range perfectly, and I may also have a go at the (apparently) quick and easy tutu.
Staying on my pink-loving theme, I am also very much in love with everything in Spring Fever.  The butterfly tea light holders in this are simply adorable, and look so easy to make.  I might make my mum one for Mother’s Day as she always has candles burning.  I have some pretty butterflies in my stash too.  The decorative heart would also make a great Mother’s Day gift, but I’m not sure I have the time or patience for that at the moment – that can be a project for a day off should I ever get one.  I also very much like the painted plant pots, and again this is something I would love to have a go at on that day off I might one day get.  There is also a little vellum vase, which would be great for decorative purposes or to hold your nick-nacks.  Finally, there is a decorated notebook, which is beyond pretty.
Possibly my favourite feature is Wedding Belles.  This feature has three very pretty wedding tiaras, all of which I want to make.  My favourite is probably the crown shaped one, but there is also a feather 20s-style fascinator
Other features in this issue include:
  • Gifts in Jars – display your photos, nick-nacks and sewing kits vintage style in cute jars. 
  • Rainbow Brights – a bright Afghan throw
  • Beautiful Beads – a gorgeous beaded necklace
  • Cover Story – fabric book covers – I like the peacock one
  • Easter biscuits
  • Caramel delights – beautiful caramel and toffee coloured earrings and a necklace
  • Happy Mother’s Day – heart garlands, padded coat hangers and a tissue box cover.

Giveaways this issue are:
  • Clover French knitters
  • Gutermann thread packs
  • MDF letters and numbers sets
  • Japan Crafts clasp purse kits
  • Dremel 7700 decorating kits (I want one of these)
  • Book, Carnival of Felting
  • Project Planners from The Little Wool Company
  • Hemline Tailor’s Chalk sets
  • Bead Café sets
  • Book. Rubbish Revamped, with a workshop
  • Wonderwool Wales tickets
  • Seek It Out Sew Sock Monster kits
  • Serif goody bag
  • Heritage Crafts cross-stitch sets.

The next issue is out on 21st March and comes with pearl buttons and rubber stamps.  I am very much looking forward to this as the advert for it has some cute little dolls, which I think the nieces would adore.
Happy Crafting

Friday, 22 February 2013

Sugar & Cloth

Soooo, it's Friday, and here is another blog hop for you:

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 21 February 2013

How To: Make Container Magnets

Soooo, today I bring you a new tutorial.  I really like the idea of these container magnets from Martha Stewart and they are so simple.

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review: Homemaker - issue 3

Sooooo, despite now being on the third issue of this magazine, this is my first review.  I had been waiting to make my mind up about it, and you can’t really do that off one or two issues can you?
However, as issue 3 has lived up to the expectations created by the first two issues, I think it is safe to say that I am pretty hooked.  I may even replace another magazine I buy with this one, which is more like a glossy for crafters.  It has lots of pretty pictures, design ideas and articles and interviews with various people, rather than just being a making magazine, which so many of the others seem to be these days.  I must admit – I only buy some for the freebies, but as I am on a self-imposed austerity period, I will be making hard decisions to not buy certain magazines – especially those I haven’t actually made a project from in recent months.  Homemaker, however, I shall continue to buy.
Anyway, instead of me rabitting on (as usual), shall I get on with my review?
Just a few pages into the magazine, you are greeted by a gorgeous floral decoration make using an egg box and painted egg shells.  I love this idea, and I may have a go at doing this.  Pity I read it after my baking extravaganza at the weekend (the magazine came out on Friday, but I didn’t get to the shops until Sunday) as I would have had loads of empty egg shells to use.  Never fear – I am planning another baking sessions this weekend and I will get hubby to buy me some flowers to create my own little floral display.  Not sure where I will put it in my house, which is not really designed for displays, but I will find somewhere – maybe on my ugly fire to jazz it up (oh how I wish we owned rather than rented and could make all the changes we wanted to – something to note -  I can’t even plug said ugly fire in – I’m thinking of replacing with some kind of display, although Hubby wants fish.  I’m not so sure).
Anyway, I am digressing as usual. 
Staying on the theme of eggs, you can tell it is getting near to Easter, as the next project in the magazine is some cute embroidered egg cosies, featuring little spring animals and Humpty Dumpty himself.  I really would love to have time to make these, but I’m not so sure it will happen before Easter – I have a variety of projects on, not least finishing my friend’s dress (it has been in a half-finished state for about two months now) and making the nieces some PJs for Easter (some off tradition that got started I can’t remember how) from some gorgeous vintage Thai silk I got give, plus everything else I will find to do in the meantime.
I really like the ten minute chalkboards feature, which includes place mats and utility boxes and look ridiculously simple to achieve.
I am also wanting to try (should I find the time) Gilding In Four Simple Steps – It actually is made to look very easy.  I just need to find things to gild now.  There is also advice on how to make plain boring modern glass look antique.
Other projects and features in this issue include: 
  • Cute felt rabbits
  • Embroidered tea cosy
  • Chocolate eggs and decorating them
  • Eggs decorated using papercutting techniques
  • Revamping a dressing table
  • A whole feature on crockery – what types there are, how to look after it etc. and how to make a cake stand from old (pretty) plates
  • Allsorts made from tea towels, including a roman bling, cushion and teapot cosy
  • Knitted storage file
  • Crocheted table runner
  • Crocheted tea cosy
  • Map makes, including plates, noticeboard, pinwheels, picture frame and envelopes
  • A laundry basket
  • Roller blinds
  • A fruit cake from Cake Boy, Eric Lanlard
  • Hot Cross Buns
  • Easter cookies, with advice on icing
  • An apron from textile artist, Chloe Owens
  • Calling cards and why they should make a come back
  • How to create a floral meadow
  • Cardiff:  The Arcades
I told you there were loads of projects

There are also interviews with:
  • Wayne Hemingway on the changing definition of luxury
  • Belle and Bespoke bods, Mark and Kathryn
  • Debbie Bliss, knitter extraordinaire
  • Anthea Turner
  • Sophie Dahl on her passion for cooking
  • Patrick & Duncan from the Thoughtful Bread Company
  • Chloe Owens
  • Paper & Cloth founder, Jennie Rivers
  • Bruno Tonioli

There are also loads of design ideas and pretty things to buy.
As I’ve already said, I am pretty hooked and can’t wait for the next issue – not least because it has Paul Hollywood in i
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Digistamp Boutique

Sooooo, it is not Friday, it is not 5 to 5, so that means it is not time for Crackerjack.  However, it is Wednesday, so that means that it is time for another challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday, and for my offering this week, I thought I would make a start on Easter:

The sketch this week is a good one (I think anyway) and I found it really simple to use:

The adorable image is from our sponsor this week, Digistamp Boutique, who actually sponsor SSW on a monthly basis, which is fine by me as I have been a fan of their digis for a long time already. 

I coloured this little guy in distress markers and chose to make him brown this time, as opposed to grey as I did in my last SSW Digistamp Boutique offering, which you can find here.

I decided to try and make the image as bright as possible, as I always associate Easter with brightness. 

I followed the image through to my papers, using a blue star paper from my stash (I can't remember where it came from) and some handmade, slightly see-through, yellowy-orange paper.  The blue ribbon is from my stash and I circle punched some blue paper and stamped 'Easter Blessings' in black versamark ink using my Lili of the Valley postmark sentiments stamp set.  Finally, I added a little gold star to the centre of the circle.  This is one of the many sparkles I pulled from my hair and wedding dress after my wedding, where my Auntie Jacky decided it would be put to cover me in sparkles.  I am still finding sparkles randomly turning up around the house nearly two months later.  Never mind, they all come in handy for crafting.
Happy Crafting!


Sew Savvy

Soooo, every now and again a magazine comes along that just inspires me and I want to make pretty much everything in it.  One of those popped up recently in the form of last month’s Sew magazine, and I have been busy making things from it ever since.
First up is this travel roll, in this amazing moustache fabric: 

I stuck very true to the magazine on this one, as I even used the same fabric as was used in the magazine as I thought it was simply amazing.  This is available to buy now in my Folksy shop.  It has six pockets to keep all your toiletries in and is tied with a grosgrain ribbon.

I also adapted slightly by using a different fabric – this Cath Kidston cowboy fabric:

This is also available in my Folksy shop.

The travel roll doesn’t yet have a name, so, the first person to buy one will have one of my products named after them and be immortalised forever.
I then took this design a step further and created the ‘Tootsie Roll’:

This is the same basic design, but has fewer pockets, each of which is filled with a foot product – foot soak, foot scrub, foot balm and a foot file/pumice stone.  It is so called as when I was a wee one, feet were known as tootsies.  I’m hoping these will prove to be a good seller for Mother’s Day.

My only problem is that I keep wasting fabric, as I keep cutting the pocket section the wrong way round, but I am thinking I might just make some the other way round . . .
Anyway, moving on, from the same article in the magazine comes this wash bag.  I didn’t have enough fabric to make one in the moustache material (but I do have an order for one and hopefully my extra moustache fabric will be arriving soon), so I made it in the cowboy fabric:

This is also a bit smaller than the one in the magazine, as I just didn’t have enough fabric.
My first order for one of these has come from my Auntie Jacky for her husband, Keith, so it will be known as the ‘Keith’.  It is available in my Folksy shop now in the cowboy fabric.
I also made a couple of these in oilcloth.  These are known as the ‘Jacky; as my Auntie Jacky was the first person to order one.  This is hers:

This is full size as per the template in the magazine.
This one has already been claimed, and I don’t have any more made up at the moment.  This means that unfortunately, there are none in my Folksy shop, but if you would like to order one, please email me fairy[dash]elephants[at]Hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk
And this is a smaller version I made – the same size as the Keith cowboy fabric one:

This is available in my Folksy shop.  This is the last one I will be able to make in this fabric, as I bought the shop out of everything they had of this one. I also made a handbag and a lunch bag from this fabric, both of which are available in my Folksy shop.
Finally, I spent the best part of last Saturday making these cute clutch bags:

They are yet to be named – I’m waiting for someone to buy one, but they have only been made two days at the time of writing this post.  They are in my Folksy shop here.

I used two different Cath Kidston fabrics for the outers and some coordinating fabrics from my stash for the linings.  I also used various ribbons and buttons from my stash, so each is unique.

These are only tiny – measuring approximately  14 x 10cm when closed, but I did find that they are big enough for your phone, money, ID and keys, or make a brilliant glasses case.  I’m hoping that these will also prove popular for Mother’s day.

At the time of writing this post, I haven’t yet got the next issue of Sew magazine (it will be my first subscription issue), but I am very much looking forward to it and hoping that it is as inspiring as the last.
In the meantime . . .
Happy Crafting!


Monday, 18 February 2013

Review: Sew Issue 45 (March 2012)

Soooo, I had high hopes for this issue of Sew, as the last issue was so simply amazing (please see tomorrow's post for all the things I have been making from the last issue).  Luckily, I didn't expect this issue to be as good as the last one, as it is very rare that an issue like that comes along, but saying that, there are some good projects in this issue - a couple of which I might try if I find the time.
One of my favourite projects this issue has to be the simple maxi skirt, which I will be trying for myself when I find the right fabric - I'm thinking a plain or patterned jersey would be good for  this or a beautiful silk.  Of course with my little legs (only a 26" inside leg) it would be a mini skirt on anyone else.
Dressmaking SOS! had advice on buttonholes, including how to decorate them, how to create on different fabrics and how to make bound buttonholes.  However, it does presume some prior knowledge, as there is no tutorial on how to make a basic buttonhole, which I feel would be quite helpful for beginners.
Business Bite! has advice on how to write a sewing book.  I didn't really find this that useful to me as a business woman, as this really isn't something I have considered doing.  Just getting my little business of the ground is my main aim at the moment.    For those who are quite established in business, however, this article may give them the impetus they need to go that step further.  I am looking forward to reading next month's Business Bite! which is apparently about independent pattern designing, which could be quite helpful for someone like me who has an unusual body shape.
I really liked Mary Jane Baxter's My Vintage Life piece this month.  I had just been commenting to a friend earlier in the week about how I wished women still wore hats (I am a definite hat person), and here is Mary Jane, championing that cause.  Mary Jane - maybe we should join forces?  It has made me look forward even more to starting a millinery course (hopefully after Easter if I can find the pennies to pay for it).
I like the idea of the hair clip holder in this issue.  Keep your eyes peeled as this may be a project I go with, albeit with a few changes.  The cuckoo clock design, although great, would not be suitable for my girly girly nieces, so I may go with a  different design.  I will have a think about this one.  I'm thinking hearts, princesses, flowers . . .
Other projects and features in this issue of Sew include:
  • A liberty print blouse, which can be adapted to a shirt dress
  • An embroidered make-up bag
  • A patchwork pin cushion and matching needle case
  • A floral brooch and card
  • An article on designing and making for babies.  I may have to purchase the Simplicity pattern for the nappy bag, as well as the vogue pattern for all the nursery pieces
  • Felt baby booties
  • A Tilda bunny - perfect for slightly older kids (buttons make in unsuitable for babies and young toddlers)
  • An Easter set including a linen bag and egg cosies
  • A simple Easter bunny
  • An appliqué cushion and picture
  • A posies quilt - I got a bit lost at the cutting guide on this one.  Maybe one to try when my skills are a lot more advanced
  • A memento canvas
  • A table set
  • Wall hangings - I like the idea of these, but they feature ducks, and I don't know the reason behind it, but I was always taught that birds in the house were bad luck.  Maybe it's just my superstitious mother, but the idea has stuck with me
  • A box pleat cushion, which I think, as suggested in the magazine, would make a great pin cushion when scaled down.
  • Plus the freebie this issue is an ideas book, including embroidered lampshades, wall hangings and many more projects.

Tutorials in this issue include:
  • How to sew a two-hole button
  • How to create a Peter Pan collar
  • How to create bound buttonholes
  • How to stem stitch
  • How to satin stitch
  • How to back stitch

The prizes to be won this issue are:
  • A Bosch TDA5070GG iron
  • Scissor sets from Klasse
  • Magnifying lamps
  • AEG 1714 sewing machine and sewing desk

There are also lots of pretty fabrics in this issue, which I have been eyeing up and am so tempted to treat myself to.
I'm already looking forward to the next issue, which is out on 15th March and comes with a free dress pattern, which I already have plans for, and loads of cute ideas.
Happy Crafting!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thursday, 14 February 2013

How to: Make A Strawberry Gift Box

In the spirit of summeryness (not that we have seen much of it recently), here is a cute strawberry gift box tutorial.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Sweet Sketch Wednesday: Saturated Canary

Soooooo, I know that it is Valentines tomorrow, and I should probably have done a Valentines card for this week's Sweet Sketch Wednesday offering, but I liked this Saturated Canary image so much, that I decided not to,  There are a couple of nods to Valentines on it though.

The sketch at SSW this week is an unusual one:

The girls have been busy designing new sketches and this is one of them.  I must admit, when I first saw it I did not know what I was going to do, triangles being an unusual shape to find on a card), but once I started, it came together very easily.

As I've already said, the image is from this week's sponsor, Saturated Canary, and I just couldn't resist this one, as it is very me - I used to have long flowing blonde locks (before I had my hair chopped into a much more manageable bob), and I am the biggest bookworm I know. 

I coloured this little lady using distress inks, and I am quite proud of myself for the effects I have achieved.  I do keep practising and I think I am getting better at my colouring - not bad to say I was the least creative person I knew not so long back.

Anyway, I cut the image into a circle.  At the time, I did not have circle dies, so it was a case of drawing around a glass and cutting very carefully with scissors.  I then backed the image onto a circle of green paper.

All the papers come from the same freebie paper pack I got with an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft.  The ribbon is actually a shoe lace, which my dad bought me, knowing I would find a use for it in my crafting.  I think there were six pairs in a set and I have one pair in my tap shoes and the others have been put in my ribbon stash.  Notice the nod to valentines on the lace - pretty hearts.  I also found some shiny padded hearts in my stash.  I had actually forgotten I had these and had originally planned to go with little flowers, but found these instead whilst looking for the flowers. 

Finally, the pink gems in the bottom right hand corner are also from my stash.

Happy Crafting!


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