Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Bertie’s Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Card

This card measures 21cms wide by 15cms tall and is made using a hand cut, white linen effect blank.
Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Card
I have made this card for young master Bertie’s 2nd Birthday, he is Hungry Caterpillar mad and can tell you the story off by heart, to hear him “reading out aloud”, always brings a tear to my eye as he uses such cute intonation.
It’s been years since I have made a card like this, manipulating free downloadable Hungry Caterpillar pictures using Publisher 2003 (a very, very old fashioned method these days) , and as a result I was quite rusty, and really had to think about how to do certain things.
I put together the main design and then decided to add more interest and texture using several decoupage layers on the head.  When happy I printed the sheet off on my faithful old printer that accepts card like a dream.
I mat and layered the main panel on black and then silver card, and then, as an after thought, printed off another strip of the Hungry Caterpillar print to use behind the main panel, again to add more interest and extra colour.
I cut out and fixed the various layers using foam pads and then fixed the panel to the main card.
I had a little Glossy Accents in the bottom of a bottle that needed to be used up so I applied some to the caterpillars eyes and to the print pattern, which made the colours pop. A scattering of three grouped dots here and there also helped to break up the solid white background.
If I were to make the card again, I would add another layer to the caterpillars body to make him stand out just that little bit more.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Great Excitement – Marc And I Go A-Crafting-O!!!

Wooooo hoooooo hooooooo, Marc is coming to stay at The Towers  ………. so I have the vodka, a freezer full of vegetarian fish fingers, a mega box of Maltesers and a couple of takeaway menus on hold!

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Marc has booked us on two “Create a Scrapbook Page” workshops at Crafters Companion, Evesham with Michelle Jackson Mogford. https://www.facebook.com/events/1948824978478378/  on Saturday which is very, very exciting.
We’ve never done anything like this together, and rest assured I will be taking lots of pictures of our day and what we create.
Then on Sunday we are off to Malvern for Crafting Live (in association with Create and Craft) https://www.craftinglive.co.uk/shows/malvern/ 
Marc is hoping to be there early so that we can book a couple of “make and takes” https://www.craftinglive.co.uk/shows/malvern/make-takes/
I quite fancy Stampers Grove and Crafty Devils and I think Marc will want to do a bit of Brother ScanNCut – but as I think it will be quite busy, we’ll be happy to have a go at anything. 
Marc and I have never done a “show” together before either, so another first! And, as there will also be a little retail therapy at both events, I feel sure that there will be several considered purchases made!
Anyway, with all this excitement I am going to change my usual Fiddle Fart posting days to next Wednesday and Thursday so that I can sort out my pictures and let you know how we got on.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Assorted Treasures From New York ……..

One of the things I really wanted to do in New York was to “do” a Flea Market to find a genuine souvenir to put on my shelves at The Towers.  Lu found one in Brooklyn and another just a few blocks from our hotel in Hells Kitchen, however both were on Saturday, the day we were due to return home, which meant that we were a little distracted in keeping an eye on the time and the day before New York was hit by a nor'easter, where we experienced strong winds, sleet, snow and heavy rain (which is why, by mid afternoon, we decided to retreat to the cinema), so we weren’t sure whether they would be on, but in the end we decided to try Hells Kitchen http://www.annexmarkets.com/hells-kitchen-flea-market/
Sadly, when we got there, although the sun was now out, unsurprisingly (as Nigel shows, there were only a handful of stalls, and I only took a few photos that didn’t include a flipping monkey!
But despite the poor show I was determined that nothing would remain unscrutinised and pondered over……….
Let’s just I loved the glass lamp stands, but they had to stay.
But this tiny figure did manage to pass the room in my suitcase test and cost me $5, about £3.50 in English money. She was just what I was looking for as the perfect memento of our trip, a bit kitsch and now standing next to a bottle of my late mother-in-laws favourite perfume on my boudoir shelves.  From my research I think she may be a 1940’s “made in occupied Japan ballerina figurine”.  I also think that originally she would have had a lace skirt, like the one below, I may add one, one day.
made in occupied japan
Pleased with my purchase I then moved on to another stall that was quite frankly real mess and I had to really to scrabble about to see things. I found a snowman brooch of no real age and in need of a good clean, but I thought was in just the right proportion to go with the balsa house I bought in Michaels (see yesterday’s post), I paid $3 for him, that’s about £2.10 in English money, a bit on the high side, but hey, holiday money doesn’t feel like real money does it?!!
I was about to walk away, but decided to mooch some more and found this ……..
…….. a clump of plastic animals, figures and objects, all kept together on a safety pin.  I asked the price – $20 (about £14), which seemed a bit much.  But as I got back to Lu, it was still on my mind, it could have been the one thing that I might regret not buying when I got home. It was pretty unique (to me) and if displayed in, perhaps a box frame, it would be a really original holiday souvenir.   I went back for a second look, loved it even more, so haggled it and got it for $18.  Lu thought I had gone mad!
On getting back home and doing some research, I think I safely say that they are charms made from celluloid, still with their original silk threads and date from the 1930s/40s.  In all there are 32 and all different, some are painted and some left “vanilla”
“Many novelty companies offered sellers a plethora of charms for them to use in a variety of different ways. Many charms were premium giveaways or were in gumball machines, etc. They were sold by the gross. So 144 charms could be purchased for a mere .70 to .80 cents back in the late 30s and 40s!”
IMG_7418The three above are my favourites.  I have also learned that there are a lot of collectors in the US for them -
I  looked on e-bay to reference them and found that the skull is available for £8.65 and on average most of the other charms are selling for around £5, so I in the end I think I had a bargain.  But it’s not really about their worth, when I look at them, I am transported to my last cold and windy day in New York and that deserted market in the middle of all those sky scrappers, the sounds, the smells and my aching feet!
My other souvenir shopping earlier in the week didn’t go quite so well ……… I have wanted a kitsch Chinese waving cat forever and a Statue of Liberty to go under a dome, so I waited until we visited China Town (and Little Italy) after we were told that the prices would be much cheaper there.  Well, the cat doesn’t wave ……. and the Statue of Liberty is too tall for my dome!
But, on the plus side, the dish-wash dispenser I found in Target is perfect in my kitchen and again, a perfect reminder of my holiday and the poor girl who had to look up the price online on her mobile phone at the till (can’t imagine that happening here) as it didn’t have a price on ……. but that’s a whole different story.
More pictures of our New York Adventure are available on Mums Monkey but as seen through the eyes (and stomach) of young Nigel!!!!

Monday, 12 March 2018

…….. Back From The Big Apple!

Oh my life, my feet took a real pounding, never have two feet throbbed quite so much!  I am not going to bore you with loads of photographs of my week, but for someone who doesn’t do heights (well, more like edges) I think this girl done good, going to the very top of Top of The Rock https://www.topoftherocknyc.com/, which was also probably one of the highlights of our trip.
We did everything we planned, plus a bit more, but, not surprisingly, failed to find a Dollar Store/Dollar Tree!!!  Our hotel was five minutes walk from Times Square and right in the middle of all the theatres, but, if ever we were to do it all again, I think both Lu and I agreed we would stay on the edge of Brooklyn, which we LOVED, and use the subway to get into Manhattan and beyond.
We reserved the Wednesday for a little retail, I wanted to “do” Michaels and Lu wanted to do a few home shops like Bed Bath and Beyond.
I have to admit to being very, very reserved in Michaels,  as I don’t craft half as much as I used/ would like to now, I really didn’t want to add to the stuff I already have, that just doesn’t get used, but just looking, and ooooooing and ahhhhing was a wonderful experience in itself. I just hope it’s not too disappointing for you ………
I couldn’t resist these little 3D snowmen stickers, they all had such lovely faces, not a paint smudge to be seen ……..
I thought these penguins would also be versatile, but where once I would have bought a dozen of packets, one was enough …….
……. with these Day of the Dead stickers a present for Marc.
The range of Disney buttons was disappointing, the main thing I was looking for, I only bought a few packs, and it was back to e-bay once I got home.
And that’s about it, save for a few Easter treat bags …… I told you I had been reserved! My favourite purchase was this balsa house at just £7.50  English money. It’s going to be my next project when I have finished Iris and Bertie’s Disney Countdown Drawers, with a definite Christmas theme.   The store was huge, but I had to be sensible and despite my frugality it soon tallied up, however the lovely girl on the counter used as many vouchers as she could, saving me $20!
We found Blick Art Materials by accident, however, once again, I was very careful and only bought this pack of Easter erasers ………. with a project in mind.
It has to be said that New York is very expensive, with a 9% tax added to all purchases. If we had wanted to shop, properly, then we really needed to head to New Jersey, but time was of the essence.
But we did find a Jacks, where the American confectionary, to take back home as presents, was considerably cheaper than anywhere else we could find.
……. but it was all about the mooching, which we really enjoyed, it was also a break from all those tall buildings, bus and boat tours and all the tourist attractions. 
…….. A tiny bit more tomorrow featuring a few objects of desire.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Micky and Minnie Mouse Disney Countdown Drawers

Three drawers for Iris and Bertie’s Disneyland Countdown Calendar today all featuring Micky and Minnie Mouse. 
The pack of Dress It Up Micky and Minnie buttons proved to be a lot more economical than some of the other packs I’ve used, as I managed to complete four drawers with the six buttons it contained.
I’ve simply added stickers from the Carpe Diem Say Cheese Sticker book I bought for the project got, with large flat back gem stars and a few smaller stars gold and bronze stars scattered in between.
I now need to order a new lot of buttons for the other drawers, however I am hoping that a trip to Michaels in New York, if we can find one, might provide another one or two packs, you never know!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Two More Disney Countdown Drawers

Two very quick posts for today and tomorrow today, written ahead of time, because, as you read this, I will probably have just landed back in the UK after my week in New York to celebrate my 60th and heading straight back to Evesham. I hope I will be bringing back a case full of US treasure and a scrapbook of my week ……….. but we’ll have to see!
Progress has been a bit slow on the Disney drawers, what with flu and then preparing for my “grand hollybob”, but I do have until the end of April to get it all done.  This drawer features Tinkerbell (one of three I have to use).  The Magic Kingdom Castle is a sticker that I added Glossy Accents and a few flat back gems to.  I thought the background paper was such a brilliant find in my scrap box, as it looks just like fireworks.  Extra fine, translucent glitter gives the drawer the extra bling.
The next drawer is Beauty and The Beast, currently Iris’s very favourite film, having saved up her pocket money for a Belle dress to wear during a couple of her evening meals and the following fireworks while she is in Paris.
Again, not an awful lot of work, but I was pleased that as the drawers have a small gap at the top of their space so I was able place the chandelier perfectly between and slightly above the characters without it all looking a bit squashed.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Nanny’s Special Little Suitcase And The Rifling Of Her Drawers!

When Iris and Bertie come over to Nanny’s for the day or a sleepover the one thing they both fight for is Nanny’s Little Suitcase ………
It’s just full of bits and pieces found over the years and just bunged together, with crafting, i.e mini printers trays in mind, well, that was until Iris found it ………
…… and now it’s always asked for first, everything has to be taken out, carefully looked at and talked about and then laid out, for little games/stories to be created. 
In amongst all the  bits is a tiny blue flowered tray and cup, the only things remaining from a set I remember sitting on a shelf at my Grans when I was a little girl, so they’ve got to be at least 60 years old.  Perhaps it shouldn’t be in the case …….. but what’s the use of a treasure if it’s just left to lie in a drawer. If I can remember it from my own childhood, perhaps it will be remembered and even owned by either Iris or Bertie when they grown up  ……. it also ensures that my dear sweet Grandma still lives on in some small way.
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Another must activity when Iris and Bertie are around is rifling through the drawers in the lounge, particularly by Bertie, and if you can’t get away with such blatant rifling when you’re not quite two, when can you?
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I am not precious about much, if something is that special it’s removed before the little darlings arrive, but I do try to put a couple of things in there for them to “find”.  It’s all about making memories, you just don’t know what they will remember in the years to come …….. but I hope I have laid just a few.