Saturday, 23 September 2017

Another Change In Post Schedules

I know I have only just made changes to my blog schedule, but life still continues apace, and I have decided to make another change but for exactly the same reasons as my last post. Exciting times just seem to be getting in the way of my sitting down and crafting, like going off to London to be in the audience of The Great British Bake Off Extra Slice, long weekends in Dawlish and Bude, plus having family around with accompanying trips out.  I found that before accepting invitations etc. I was actually worrying and thinking about how I could keep posts going as those scheduled began to run out, and that to be honest was madness! I also discussed these feelings with Mrs A and Dianne on our recent meet up in Swindon, Dianne has had similar conflicts, but said that cutting down her “obligation” to post was liberating.

So, for the time being I am now going to post on Mondays only for the next little while, I may add the odd extra “newsy” post, but looking at my diary until the New Year I feel it’s a do-able target without getting the panicky feeling of having to “do something” just to get a post done.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Halloween Spider Craft Stick Tags

I am so pleased with how these tags turned out, bit fiddly, but worth it.
IMG_4737I started by sticking odd sized googly eyes on to some small black buttons, the odd eyes help to give the spiders a bit more character.
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I coloured the small craft sticks with orange, green and purple Sharpie pens, aghhhh boring and fiddly, before sticking the frames together.
IMG_4721I drew the spiders legs and added the writing before I stuck the backing paper onto the back of the frames, as it would have been even more fiddly to do it after.  I used tiny, glossy, round stickers for the spiders feet.
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I glued a flat bail in the middle of the back of the tag, so that the tag can be tied evenly round the neck of a sweetie bag. I then covered it up with another scrap of paper, adding the writing and a scattering of bronze coloured stars.
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Then I added all the fiddle fart, tiny buttons, a few more tiny round stickers, tiny flat back gems and a wooden bead, with a face drawn on using a fine permanent pen. I used a co-coordinating waxed string for the tie.
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I started off using a black fine liner pen for the faux stitching round the edges (front and back) of the tag but then changed to a white gel pen because it lifted the whole tag and drew the eye in much more than the black.
IMG_4739I also added a few white dots to the background, again to make it “pop”. The frames are a little squewiff, it was really hard to keep them straight and even while they were drying, but I think it adds to the Halloween charm.
Top recent purchase? A set of three fine nib permanent pens, brilliant for putting the faces on the beads, I now think I might make a couple of Halloween bracelets doing the same sort of thing……..watch this space.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Craft Stick Reindeer Tags

Following on from the other day, I just couldn’t resist getting another packet of the wooden gold glitter reindeer embellishments from The Works, and after today….. I think I will be back for another couple of packets as the ideas are still flowing!
CRaft Stick Reindeer TagsI decided to make a frame tag using some small coloured craft sticks (7.5cm x .6cms) I found in The Range.
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I glued the frames together using PVA.
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When the frames were dry I matched them and the reindeer heads with a suitably patterned and roughly in proportion Christmas paper.
IMG_4701Adding faux stitching round the frame using a white gel pen really made it pop.
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To neaten the back of the tags I covered the backing paper with a scrap of white card edged with a black fine liner pen, so that a message can be added at a later date.  I also drilled a hole in the top corner of the frame for a jump ring and tying/hanging thread.
IMG_4698Craft Stick Reindeer Tag
Apart from adding googly eyes and a red flat back gem nose to the reindeer, I also drilled a hole through each antler to accommodate a small gold jingle bell attached by a jump ring.
Reindeer Tag using Craft SticksAnd that’s it really, apart from a length of red and white Butchers twine to attach the tag to a parcel or the Christmas Tree. Voila!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Guest Crafter – My Aunty Beth

Just one picture today showing my Auntie’s jewelled picture frames made using many of her charity shop finds of beads, shells and charms.
Beths CraftsI will be popping down to Bude for a long weekend in a couple of weeks time, so I am hoping to find treasure of my own in those same charity shops, as well as the holiday type shops as I am wanting a few select shells of my own to “play” with

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Gold Stags Head Christmas Tags

These tags came out as a real surprise to me, I got them wrong first time in using a Christmas tree print paper as a background, but the minute I changed it to a star print they took on a whole different look.
Stags Head Wooden Christmas TagI found the Origami Super Paper Stack in The Works, the paper isn’t quite as thick as scrapbook paper, but the designs are in perfect proportion to the scale I usually work with, so it was a done deal.
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I used children’s wooden picture dominoes for the tag base, wooden gold glitter stags heads (6 for £1 from The Works Christmas range), and my trusty old Dynamo label maker.
IMG_4370While I was experimenting on how to put things together, I forgot my “less is more” code and just piled it on, adding jingle bells to the stags antlers by drilling two small holes and then fastening the bells with jump rings.
IMG_4372I also layered the Dynamo printed sentiments on gold mirror card.
IMG_4374It was very tempting to add a red nose too, but I think I will go down that path if/when I can get another pack of the stag heads next time I pop into town.
Gold Stags Head Wooden Christmas TagI originally edged the tag with a black fine liner pen, but it didn’t show up very well, so I braced myself and used a white gel pen instead, and I think it worked without being too overpowering.
IMG_4381And finally I added the stars, I did wonder if it might be a bit too much, but again, I think I got away with it.  I am dead chuffed with the results for what I think is quite a masculine design for me!!!!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Little Bird Told Me …….. Tags

These tags seemed to come together pretty easily, I’d had the birds for long enough and they needed to be used!
A Little Bird Told Me Framed TagsThe tags are a marriage of  four of the plastic patchwork bird embellishments from The Works (£2) and some wooden frames, which, I think came from Poundland.
IMG_4382I had hoped to get away with leaving the frames as they were, but none of the papers I tried to match them and the birds with worked, so in the end I turned them over and used the back, as the front, if that makes sense, colouring both sides with a turquoise Sharpie pen.
IMG_4384I then used scraps of a yellow striped paper for the background.  Getting the writing in just the right place took a couple of attempts before I was happy.
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As tags it was important to me that the back was as neat as the front and there was ample space for the sender to add a message, so I covered up the reverse side with a piece of white card with a doodled edge to finish it off.
A Little Bird Told Me Yag.The bird embellishment was then ready to be added.  That would have probably been enough embellishment for me, but with Marc’s words about other peoples tastes ringing in my ears, I added a beaded link taken from a disassembled charity shop necklace that I had bought specifically for the said links.
A Little Bird Told Me TagI drilled a hole in the corner of the frame for a jump ring to accommodate the link and the tying thread. A little faint faux stitching using a white gel pen finishes off the whole effect.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Christmas Hearts Parcel Charm/Tree Decoration.

This Christmas tag/ornament was just an experiment, but I loved the finished result so much I now need to make a whole “batch” of them.Heart Christmas Charm Parcel CharmI have had a collection of East of Eden wooden tags for ever, at first I loved them too much to use, but over the years they have become in danger of becoming even more “shabby chic” than they were intended, and at the end of the day, what’s the point of having a bag of “lovely” bits that never see the light of day, let alone get used?
IMG_4328To start with I decided to see if a text style rub on would adhere to the tag, it did, woo hoo! The space between the writing was a little too large for the effect I wanted, so I simply filled in the gap again with another line of transfer.
IMG_4332Then I added a few clear flat backed gems to give a little extra bling and texture.
IMG_4333I had already removed the twine thread and replaced it with my crafting nemesis, the humble jump ring, but I didn’t go too cross eyed and managed to add a snowflake charm and a dainty link of beads taken from a disassembled charity shop necklace without too much swearing.
I was initially thinking of using this as a Christmas tree decoration but it could also be used as a plainly wrapped parcel as a charm in addition to an equally plain tag, which in turn makes me think that I really need to get some small boxes wrapped up to try out and illustrate my parcel charm ideas.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Heads Up For Early Christmas Crafty Bits

While I was in Swindon for the weekend I popped into Primark to stock up on my reading glasses as they really are the best, (well, for me anyway) and at between £1 and £3 it doesn’t really matter if I lose the odd pair now and again, as I invariably do, as I tend to wear them on the top of my head most of the time!
IMG_4716But, I also noticed that they already have their knitted gloves in, which are a staple for making my snowman chocolate bars, using the rolled up fingers as hats.
Chocolate. Candy Bar SnowmenAt £1 for two pairs it’s a no brainer, that’s 20 snowman hats!!!  The colours, I admit aren't brilliant, they also had pink and beige, but perhaps other colours will be available in other stores as the cold weather hastens, but a button or sprig of holly will soon brighten them up.
IMG_4717The Works do have tiny knitted bobble hats in stock, I bought one pack to play with, but they are £1 for just two.
IMG_4558Also from Primark, a card of 8 bracelets/anklets for £2, working out at just 25p each (other sets/designs available), but separated and used individually these could be put in crackers, table favours, Advent Calendar drawers or even in a small clear bauble on the Christmas Tree.   Just a thoughts and heads up!

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Possibility of More Mice In Walnut Shells (Below) ...........

At the moment the only mice in a walnut shells I have are the three below and they are reserved for Iris.  However, due to their reception, I am now currently looking for some similar and more reasonably priced mice, in, hopefully, a larger quantity .......I may have to "look" at China to find them.  I am also waiting for the festive walnuts to hit the shops ...... if the mouse search proves to be successful, Rebecca I will get in touch, if you could perhaps drop me your e-mail sometime, but no firm promises that any more will be available.

Little Mouse Walnut Shell Christmas Tree Decorations

I had Iris in mind when I was making these little pink mouse Christmas tree decorations .  The mice are from Dress It Up and so weren’t cheap. I made six ornaments in all (using two packets) and I will probably try to sell a couple, but at present I am not sure how much to charge, £1.25/£1.50?
Little Mouse Walnut Shell Tree OrnamentAfter halving and cleaning out the walnuts I decided to experiment by baking the white fimo base in the shell, not being sure if it would stick or drop out the minute they came out of the oven, it stuck, woo hoo, win, win!
IMG_3964Before baking I made an impression of the mouse’s bottom (oooo-wer matron) in the fimo to help the mouse fit in the “snow” snuggly.
IMG_3972Once baked I covered the fimo in a light dusting of ultra fine white glitter to give the shell a more Christmassy feel, and disguise any less than white marks my grubby mitts may have left!
IMG_3975I also experimented with a tiny eye screw by which to hang the decoration.  The shell was too tough to just screw in directly, so I drilled a hole and then applied a little E6000 glue to the end of the screw to give a real secure fix.
Little Mouse Walnut Shell Christmas OrnamentThe last thing to do was fit in the mouse, she went in perfectly!  I am so chuffed with how well they have worked out, though nothing was complicated, just fiddly due to the size.
Little Mouse Walnut Shell Christmas Tree OrnamentI would make more, but at £2.99 for a pack of three, plus cheese and flowers, that I didn’t use, they are a touch too expensive for my Poundshop ways, but I am now on the look out for similar but more economical embellishments.
LIttle Mouse Walnut Shell Ornament Tree Decoration Christmas