Monday, 31 March 2014

Review: Papercrafter - Issue 70

Soooo, this hit the shops on Friday, so you should be able to get your copy today, if you so wish.  

This issue comes with an Spring & Easter-themed kit with:

  • card blanks
  • twine
  • raffia
  • die-cuts
  • papers
  • decopatch papers
  • decopatch shapes
  • mini kraft photo-albums.
I have already used a little bit of raffia, and I will be sharing that card with you soon.

Anyway, on to the magazine . . .

There are loads of project this issue, including lots of Easter makes:
  • egg mobile
  • cards
  • easter basket
  • decoupage eggs
Non-Easter projects include:
  • decoupage mobile
  • laced purses
  • concertina greetings
  • gift boxes
  • rafia pom poms
  • envelopes
  • mini shaker baskets
  • quilling
  • pinwheel wreath
  • decopatched safari animals
  • and of course, lots and lots of cards

Happy Crafting!


p.s. Happy Birthday to my little sis!xxx

Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Very Pink Happy Birthday

Sooo, this is a card I made earlier in the week, but it has been a very busy (and somewhat stressful) week, so this is the first chance I have had to sit down and write.

Anyway, this is a card made for a colleague, whose birthday it is tomorrow, but I doubt very much that she reads the blog, so I think it is safe to share on here.  My sister's birthday is also tomorrow, but I do know that she reads the blog so I can't share her card just yet - you will just have to wait for that.

I started this card by using an LOTV stamp to stamp 'birthday' in worn lipstick distress ink onto white card.  I then cut this to size and layered it onto some mesh that I had in my stash - I guess I got this free with a magazine at some point but I'm not too sure.

I then layered some spotty and some stripey papers from my stash behind this and attached the lot onto some pink card.

I wrapped the finished panel with some sticky back lace and made some bows from some pink spotty ribbon.

I added some pink gems, a butterfly metal charm and, finally, some glittery foam letters to spell 'happy'.

It turned out much pinker than I ever intended, but I do quite like the pink.

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

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 27 March 2014

How To: Make A Diamond Fold Card

Sooo, it has been a busy week and I haven't had much time to write blog posts, so today I have a quick tutorial for you from Polkadoodles:


I would love to see some of your creations.

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2 - Dilly Beans

Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for a new challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2.

This week we are sponsored by Dilly Beans:

and as it is the last Wednesday of the month, you can use any of the previous SSW2 sketches, but we have a twist - this week we have a theme of mermaids and fairies.

Here is my offering, using the sketch from two weeks ago:

I coloured my image using a mix of promarkers and spectrum noirs.  I chose to go with spring fresh colours.

The papers are from my stash - I decided to use up some scraps for this one, the yellow ribbon for the banners was kindly donated by my Auntie Jacky and the blue ribbon was provided by Crafty Poodles.

To finish, the gems were also from my stash.

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

Crafting From The Heart - Spots and Stripes
Artistic Inspirations - Anything Goes
Hobbycutz - Girly But No Pink
Glitter & Sparkle - Use Some Blue
Crafting By Designs - Anything Goes

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 24 March 2014

Review: Homemaker

Soooo, sorry for not being around the last few days - I was in hospital for some tests on Wednesday, and even though I only had sedation, I felt rubbish for a few days after.  Feeling back to normal (or as normal as I get) now, so normal service can resume.

This issue hit the shops on Friday and comes with a free Cat cushion set.

Easter is prominent this issue (but I didn't expect it not to be), with table decorations, stamped eggs and birds nests in the first project.

There are also some decopaged easter eggs, which would be a great project to keep the kids busy during the school holidays.  Cost effective too, as they are decoupaged with tissues, rather than expensive decoupage paper.

I am likely to use the instructions for making some tab top curtains for my new house (if I ever get moved).  I think every room will need curtains, so that is a lot of work for Holly.  Not sure whether to just go buy some cheapies for the time being?

Once again, I wish I could knit and crochet (wool mystifies me), as there is a great pompom tea cosy, which I would love to make for my new kitchen and a cute daisy chain, which I'm sure my nieces would love.

The lovely Eric Lanlard has some chocolate fondants with orange and muscat compote.  Oh, I can't wait to get my new oven which will mean I can bake again.  Then there is also a coconut and custard pie with a passion fruit curd and Rosemary Schrager has some profiteroles (my fave) and some doghnuts with raspberry sauce.

Other projects and features include:
  • Wayne Hemingway tells the story of how Red or Dead started
  • jazz up a plain bench with stripes of colour
  • decorate coffee cups with marker pens
  • DIY stencilled tea towl
  • retro stencilled memo boards
  • Julie Dodsworth has some lovely ways to present your easter eggs
  • Naida Redgrave reflects on why her childhood Easters were so special
  • papercut Easter decoration
  • easy-sew seat covers
  • sew a bean bag
  • applique a cushion
  • feature on Emma Block
  • Linda Barker has hints and tips on exposing your floorboards (oo-er).
The next issue is out on 17th April with a free plate art kit.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Review: Cardmaking & Papercraft - Issue 129 (April)

Soooo, I received my lovely copy of Cardmaking & Papercraft at the weekend and sat down Sunday afternoon to have a read through it well indulging in some much needed catch up TV.  I am pleased to say that I am now caught up on the 'rubbish American dramas' that I like to watch when hubby is not there and that I haven't watched for the last few weeks.

Anyway, I am already digressing.  Just to digress further, I did a personality test at the weekend, which told me I tend to go off topic.  I really don't know what it was talking about!!!

Right, so back to the original topic.  This month's issue comes with a free background stamp and papers set.  The stamp is not too dissimilar to the last background stamp, which I still haven't used.  I have added it to my stash though as I may find a use for it, especially with mother's day coming up soon.

As always, the first feature in the magazine is ideas for using your freebies.  These are mostly cards, but I do like the little favour gift box and I may be using the instructions for these to make some little gift boxes for my jewellery and small items.

5 Ideas For Fabulous Fellas has some great cards.  They use a CD-Rom but a couple of the ideas can be borrowed and adapted if you don't have the CD-Rom.  My favourite is 'perfect gentleman' which looks like a jacket and waistcoat and opens to reveal a shirt and tie on the inside - amazing!  I am going to store this idea away for father's day.

Hens and chickens seem to be haunting me (and telling me I need some chickens) as there is a chicken-themed clipboard, a tea towel and a cook's scrapbook.

April's quick makes has ideas for doilies, an amazing card with a quote from the one and only Coco Chanel and some more lovely cards.

Other projects include:
  • Dawn Philips has some LOTV cards in Stamping Knowhow
  • 10 ideas with ribbon
  • Parchment craft
  • Triple embossing
  • Marbling effects with Leonie Pujol - my recent attempt at marbling cannot be described as 'successful' and I will share with you one day
  • Easter crafting with kids including bunny ears and an Easter basket
  • upcycle with knitting yarn (pompoms a-plenty)
Prizes to be won this issue include:
  • £1,000 worth if Katy Sue Designs (I really want this!)
  • Eastern Promise set from HunkyDory
  • Devine digi kits
  • Sizzix Big Shot and dies.
The next issue is out on 17th April and comes with a cutie bear stamp and embossing folder.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 17 March 2014

Review: Sew Magazine - Issue 58 (April 2014)

Soooo, this hit the shops on Friday and comes with a gorgeous free dress pattern with neckline pleat options, sleeve option and belt options.  This would make a lovely work/formal dress and I'm currently trawling Etsy for some fabric to make myself a work dress.

I am also hunting for some fabric to make the gorgeous double layer silk organza evening skirt, which is a downloadable pattern this issue and I will be making it for myself once I decide which colours.  I'm thinking my signature colours of blue and grey/silver, but maybe I should be more adventurous and I am thinking black/hot pink, although not sure which way round.  May have to wait until payday to buy the fabric though as I want to make it as luxurious as possible with shot silk dupion and silk organza, so it won't be cheap.

There is a Great British Sewing Bee (or as it is known in my family, the Patrick Grant Show) special with contestants from last series telling us where they are now and how the show has affected their lives.

Easter kicks off with a How to Make Your Own Bunny Ears.  I think this could be a good make to do with the kids as no sewing/glue involved, just adhesive felt and a hairband.

Dressmaking SOS! is all about collars this month with a Peter Pan Collar tutorial and a gorgeous Peter Pan collar project.  If I was a collar kinda-gal I would definitely make this for myself it is soooo pretty, but I'm not so I'm having to think of someone who would wear this do I can make it for them.

For an no-baby/child person, I surprised myself by love love loving the little baby set, which has such a cute stripey giraffe toy made using this gorgeous fabric and matching cushion, perfect for a nursery and perfect for a new baby gift.  I know a couple of people pregnant at the moment, but I don't think that either of them are the type to appreciate a handmade gift (more of the designer label kind of people) so I have no-one to make this for.  I might just make it and put it to one side for the next appreciative baby that comes along, which probably won't be long as my friends are all at 'that' age now where babies come along in quick succession.

This issues seems to be a toy special, as there is also Mrs Fox, made from old clothing and scraps, a plush bunny rabbit, and my favourite, which I am going to have to make - a unicorn!  I need to also make one of these for each of my sisters and my nieces as we all had a very surreal conversation about unicorns whilst eating lunch a couple of Saturdays ago.

I love the chicken doorstop and this could be a project for my new house, should the conveyancing ever complete (it feels like it is taking forever).  I'm toying with the idea of getting real chickens in my garden so I can have fresh eggs, so this just reminded me of that.  I already have the names for my chickens (and cockrels if I get them at some point), so I just need to convince the world that chickens are a good idea.  Anyway, I'm snot sure if I am allowed them as their status as 'domestic animals' could be a bit hazy (I figure if I'm not going to eat them then they are domestic) but this is an argument I am saving for later.  In the meantime, I might just have to settle for the chicken doorstop.

Other projects this issue include:
  • fabric vase covers
  • create an Easter bunny
  • Corinne Bradd has an owl quilting block
  • patchwork chair (slightly disappointed that I have already seen this is Homemaker)
  • advice on organising your craft room (mine is organised chaos)
  • applique bird cushions
  • stitched Easter decorations.
The next issue is out on 11th April with a free dress pattern and some great looking projects.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Seeing Spots

Soooo, hello there.  Ahead of tomorrow night's episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, I thought I would share with you the reason I have been so quiet recently.  Ta dah!

This is the dress I have been working on since Christmas, although it was actually pretty easy to make - I have just been queen of the procrastinators lately.

This is a dress I made using a pattern from last GBSB's accompanying book - it is the prom dress, with, of course, a 'Holly' alteration.  it wasn't a huge alteration though - I just didn't add the finishing ribbon around the waist that is in the instructions in the book, as I knew that I would be wearing it with the belt shown.

I was very nervous about making this dress, which might be why I procrastinated so much, because the bodice has boning, which I had never used before, so I put off doing that bit for a few weeks.  However, once I plucked up the courage, I learned that this was in actual fact really easy.  Possibly easier because I bought pre-covered boning and used a zipper foot.  I did wonder whether my invisible zip foot might be better, but it worked fine with the standard zipper foot on my machine.

This was also my first attempt at inserting a truly invisible zip as I bought myself the right foot with some of my Christmas/Birthday money.  I am tres tres impressed with the result and am now wondering why it took me so long to invest in said foot.  Please excuse the look of the pulling on the fabric on the photo.  I took the dress off Doris the dress form to try her on and couldn't then get her back on straight.  Please also excuse Doris' gaps.  It just proves what an awkward shape I am.

This dress is also the first time I have added a halter neck and a sweetheart neckline (very flattering for the larger busted lady).  I think, though, that both have worked out pretty well.

The pattern is a good fit.  I did have to add some bust darts to make it fit around my rather large nunga nungas, but that was the only fitting adjustment I had to make.  As the bodice is effectively princess seamed, there may have been a better way, but for a relative novice, I thought that was the best way.

I'm pleased to say that for this project, Doris did the job perfectly - I didn't try the dress on until it was finished, nearly giving me a heart attack in the process thinking it was going to be too small and a waste of time and fabric.  Luckily, she pulled through and even told me that since I set her up at Christmas, I have lost an inch on my way.  As a treat for being so good, I am going to buy her a cover to hide her gaps, but at the moment I just can't decide which colour/pattern to go for.

Anyway, this is the dress when it was finished.  

I decided that, for me, the skirt was not puffy enough and needed a petticoat to puff it out a bit.  I may have taken it a bit too far though.  I had intended to make a two or three layer petticoat, but when I had cut out the tulle, it worked out perfectly that I had four layers with no waste at all, and I can't really bear waste, so I just kept sewing and made a four-layer tulle.  

Not sure how well the dress is going to be to sit down in, but it does look a lot better, not that I think it looked bad in the first place, the petticoat just adds that extra bit of oomph.

I have two occasions already to wear this dress to - a wedding evening do at the beginning of April (you can wear black to an evening do can't you?) and then my future cousin-in-law's hen do in May.  As her theme is Alice in Wonderland, I think this dress will fit in perfectly - Queen of Hearts maybe?  Courtier at the very least.  I have a black faux fur wrap that will look gorgeous with it.  Very Marilyn Monroe, with some super high glittery red shoes (my Dorothy shoes).  Maybe this should be the Hollywood dress I can just managed to link it to so many films/stars?  I will come back to the Hollywood theme in a later post I think.

I already have  two orders from both my sisters for a dress of this pattern each, just in different fabrics, so I am tempted to see if I can make this dress sell amongst my friends and family.

Right I have a few little jobs to finish before I can start on my next projects - a couple of tops in the pipeline, one from the left over fabric from this dress and one from some gorgeous silk charmeuse I have just bought.  Best go get started.

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2 - Doodle Pantry

Soooo, it's Wednesday, which means that it is time for a new challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2.

This week we are are sponsored by the guys over at Doodle Pantry:

Hello, my name is Laurie.   I'm just a regular Joe crafter.  While trying to

find digital images that met my own crafting needs, I decided to draw some
of my own, as I had so many unique (weird!) ideas that I just couldn't
locate elsewhere.   I sincerely hope something I've done inspires you to go
create something to bring a smile to someone else and hope you enjoy
creating to your hearts content with some of my doodles.. ~Laurie

And we have a brilliant sketch from our very own Sally:

I found this sketch lovely to use and I even turned it on the side as I had chosen an image which is more suited to a landscape orientation rather than portrait.

I coloured my image using watercolour pencils, but I decided against adding the water, leaving just the pencil-coloured effect, as I like the sketchy feel it has now.  I then cut it to a rectangle and layered this onto some kraft card.

My papers are all from an LOTV paper pad, which I now consider my 'boy papers'.

To make the little banners, I made this as one panel using up scraps of kraft card and some spotty paper.

The twine wrapping the panel is from my stash and now nearly run out.  I can't remember where I got it from, so recommendations of places to buy pretty twine are welcome please.

This was a really simple card to make and I would like to enter it into the following challenges:

Allsorts - Sport (hope motorsport counts)

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Cath Kidston Cushion Covers

Sooo, today I would like to share with you some recent cushion projects, all of which are now available in my Etsy shop here, and all of which are one-offs.

I had some Cath Kidston duck fabric left over from other projects.  There wasn't really enough to make a bag, and I wanted something easy to make.  I also had a load of cushion pads lying around the craft room, so I thought that cushion covers would be ideal.

My first one was made using the very popular mushroom fabric, and I put a zip in this one.  I was very nervous making this because, believe it or not, I have never made a cushion cover before.

Anyway, I did my usual making it up as I go along and that seemed to work quite well.  I'm impressed with the finish. 

I then decided to try something a bit different.  Pillow back covers have seemed quite popular recently, so I decided to make one of those.

I loved this fabric I had got from Cath Kidston on my last trip and thought that it would make a lovely cushion cover.  I also had some vintagey-looking buttons, which I decided to use to make a button fastening back (or front).

Again, I made this up as I went along, and it seemed to go quite well.  I think that since I did my first buttonhole, I have become a bit addicted to them.  The only thing I found a bit daunting was the fact that the buttons didn't fit in my buttonhole maker attachment for my sewing machine, so I had to do it the old fashioned way and mark out the buttonhole properly.

Anyway, this seemed to work quite well, so I decided to make my final cover in the same style.  The problem I encountered on this one was that I thought I had three buttons - I did not, I only had two.  I worried what it would look like with only two buttons, but it seems to have turned out OK and I really like this fabric - I think it would appeal to the males of the world as well as the females.

Anyway, these are all now available in my shop.  To keep postage down, I have not included the cushion pads, but if you really wanted them, then I could arrange to send those too.

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 10 March 2014

Hair Accessories

Soooo, today I would like to share with you some of the goodies I made with my recent 'surprise' box from the lovely Crafty Poodles.  I asked for things to make hair accessories with and I got loads.  I haven't even begun to make my way through using everything, but I have managed to make some bits and pieces when I had a spare couple of hours a weekend or so ago.  I also used up some of the things from my stash.

This first make is all Crafty Poodles products:

Right in the very bottom of the box, so I nearly missed them, were two gorgeous white resin roses.  Now, I could have put these to one side to use on my cards, but inspiration struck and I decided to use them to make some pretty little hair grips. 

These were really easy to make - simply gluing the roses onto some blank bobby pins.  How pretty are they?  I was going to either bob these in my Etsy shop for sale or keep them for myself as they were so pretty, but the minute I put them on facebook, a friend asked if she could have them and I couldn't really refuse her.

I have ordered some more roses and bobby pins, so fingers crossed I will be able to make myself a pair and make a few pairs for selling.

My next make was made entirely from things from my stash, but I was on a roll with the hair accessories idea.

This unusal hair clip is made using a scissors charm which came with an old Crafty Creatives box, a blank barrette from my stash and a glue gun.

I made two of these, but have kept one for myself, just in case anyone doesn't realise that I am crafty and like to sew.  Not sure whether to put the other one in my shop or just keep it and see if it sells at the next craft fair.  Currently, I'm leaning towards the latter.

Finally, in my hair accessories session, I made this hairband. 

Again, this was pretty simple to make.  I used a blank hairband from my Crafty Poodles bos and some of the gorgeous wide gingham ribbon which was also in the box (I also have this ribbon in pink).

I wrapped the band with the ribbon, securing with glue, and then made a giant bow out of the left over ribbon.  I secured this with glue at the top of the hair band.  Again, I'm not sure whether to see this one or keep it for myself - I do have outfits it would go with, but I wonder if I am getting a little too old for such hair accessories.  Hmm . . . decisions decisions.

Anyway, I'm sure once I get over my current sewing bout (lots going on there) I will be making some more hair accessories.

As always, I'll keep you posted.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Button Badges

Soooo, today I would like to share with you some little accessories I have made and are now listed in my Etsy Shop.
These are quite simple little things and consist of large flower buttons, which I got from Crafty Poodles, with a badge finding attached to the back.

I had three buttons, so I made three badges - pink, yellow and blue.

If they get some interest, I will make some more.
Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2 - A Day For Daisies

Soooo, it is Wednesday, which means that it is time for another challenge over at Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2, and this week we have a great sketch for you to work with:

We are sponsored by one of our more regular sponsors, A Day For Daisies:

A DAY FOR DAISIES provides themed categories of over 1000 fun and whimsical digital images, including fairy tales and magical mermaids, cutie kids, vintage illustrations, sentiments and lovely designs for all occasions!

So, as is typical of me, my card turned out absolutely nothing like I had planned in my head (I was aiming for My Fair Lady, but didn't quite manage that), but I still think it turned out OK:

I coloured my image with promarkers, after choosing my papers, therefore making sure the colours matched.  I decided to go as decadent as I could for this card, as I think that the image required it, so deep colours with damask-style papers.

I made the grey card to layer the image and the yellow paper onto by using white card and just colouring the edges with a grey spectrum noir.

To finish the card, I added a purpley-pink satin flower to the bottom left-hand corner of the image, with a purple pearl to either side.  I also added a purple pearl in the opposite corner, with a smaller yellow pearl at either side.  I also added gems in each corner of the card.

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

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Review: Simply Cardmaking & Papercraft - Issue 121

Sooo, sorry this is late today.  I had intended on writing it at lunchtime yesterday, but lunchtime never really happened and it was far too late by the time I got home and sorted to sit at my laptop and type, so I am attempting at lunchtime today.

This issue is already in the shops, but I have just been useless at sitting down to write the review, but here goes . . .

This issue comes with a free 'Happy Birthday' die for using on your projects.  I've not used mine yet, but there are some great ideas in the magazine.  My favourite, and one I think I will have to make is 'distressed dots', which looks really simple and has some really cute pins.

The cards in For The Girls are really pretty and use papers from LOTV, which I meant to get when I went to the shop on Saturday, but totally forgot and got a different paper pad instead.  I might send my sister or I suppose I could get someone to take me on Friday when I have the day off work, or it could just wait until next month . . . hmmmmm.  I do wish they would open every Saturday instead of just once a month.  Anyway, I want these papers because I really want to make one of the cards - Star Birthday, as I love the simplicity of the card and the colours of the papers work amazingly for a girl's birthday card.

There are some gorgeous cards in Embossed Sparkle which uses heat embossing, with embossing powders, embossing ink and grunge paste.

Other projects this issue include:
  • Stampin' Up Cards
  • Eastern Promise from Hunkydory (which they were out of stock of when I tried to order a couple of weeks ago)
  • Fast & Feminine has some quick girly cards, but not too pink and pretty
  • Stamp your own medallion patterns
  • Quick and simple cards for men
  • 50th birthday cards
Giveaways this issue include:
  • Sizzix Big Shot
  • Clover bow makers
  • book, Joy of Cardmaking
  • Glitter Express sequins
The next ssue is out on 27th March and comes with some embossing folders.

Happy Crafting!

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