Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Christmas banner...

... for a friend.  The idea for these came from Shimelle's blog ( a few years ago, and my friend Debby admired mine last year.  So this year, I have managed JUST IN TIME! to make one for her.  These are such fun to do, just look out for 12x12 pages divided up into 12 different journalling tags, chop them up and play.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The to do list... apparently never ending for many of us at this time of year, but I have been noticing this week how important it is to me to finish non-Christmassy things in time for Christmas!  Why is that, I wonder?  For instance, I decided I needed to finish a scrapbook page, unpick a logo from a sweatshirt that I didn't like, and complete and circulate some committee minutes today, just to get them out of the way before Christmas started.  And it isn't as if I've even sent all my christmas cards out yet.  At least my list is getting shorter at last, one way or another.

Here is the scrapbook page I did today, it was really, really quick because I had a lovely page from MME which was already the title and quite a lot of embellishment too.  I might add a few bits and pieces when I look at it again.  The occasion was when I met In Real Life someone I had previously only known through the internet.    What a super lady, you can check out her blog if you like, here.  I have to tell you that the photo of her is not at all flattering due to it having been taken at arm's length.


Michelle, this is my cop-out piece on the theme of connection.  Those two little birds look like they are on a telegraph wire having a chat, just like us.  And I feel sure we will meet up again soon!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

More Journal progress ... share with you.  I hope you're enjoying looking at them, and a special welcome if you're visiting from the  Journal Your Christmas forum.

My most recent pages:

I am making progress...

...with my Christmas Journal, in fact even though I didn't really feel like doing it at all until the 12th, I have managed to catch right up.  I find that just looking back over my finished pages is very good at bringing me round into a very Christmassy mood.

Here are my first few pages (warning, picture heavy post!):

Apart from the Manifesto at the beginning, I haven't tended to keep to Shimelle's suggestions for the day.  If something special happens, I journal that, otherwise I have a stock of little stories (like "Pant-o" below), or our general christmas traditions (like "all the usual suspects") which can go on more or less any day.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Have you met Mrs Jones...

... or more precisely "Me and Mrs Jones"?  I have been loving this Friday night rom-com on BBC1.  Basically, scatty and loveable 40-something Gemma Jones (Sarah Alexander) is drawn to son's new friend, perfect younger man Billy played by Robert Sheehan (all grown up after Misfits).  So far, there have only been a few thwarted kisses, but, seriously, who could resist this...

I have already asked Santa for the DVD of "Me and Mrs Jones" in my Christmas stocking and recommend it to you if you missed it!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Do you keep your Christmas Memories?

Whoa, it's December already!  Time to get sorted out...

For the last three years (since I started playing with paper) I have been doing a daily scrapbooked journal over Christmas.  I find it helps me focus on the positive parts of Christmas instead of getting into a panic about everything.  I get an email every day through a class called "Journal your Christmas" run by shimelle to suggest subjects, and I get ideas from this but mostly I just go my own way, doing what subject seems appropriate on the day.

In the past I have made books from scratch, but this year I'm using an album I bought at a boot sale a few years ago that was lurking in my over-large pile of stash.  I've covered it with some papers from a collection called "25 days of Christmas" from Simple Stories.  I think it needs some additional embellishments, just not sure what yet :



The book came in a little bag which I am going to keep to protect the book, and I made this little lampwork tree to hang on the drawstring...

How do you keep your Christmas memories?  Please put a link in the comments!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Are you funny?...

...He would probably think so!  Apologies if you're one of the 50 million people who have already seen this video, I had to share, it made my day, hope it makes yours!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Sunday morning quilts... the title of a quilt book I saw recently.  It's based on the fact that lots and lots of quilters have lots and lots of  leftovers - bits and strips that they don't know what to do with.  The quilt on the front of the book enchanted me: I set to chopping up all my pink fabrics: bits of left over binding, old shirts, tail ends of jelly rolls etc.  Jen-down-the-road kindly let me plunder her scrap basket (I think I noticed the odd moment of regret but she was kind enough to let them go anyway).  Then I trimmed them into strips of any width and a set of lengths (4", 5", 7" and 8" were my chosen lengths) and sewed up the strips into long columns that I trimmed and sewed together.  How easy!  I had green as my "highlight" colour, so I bought lime green gingham binding and some pink ticking for the backing from the Quilt Room in Dorking but recycled the wadding from an old duvet.

Up till then I was pretty pleased with myself, but then I attempted free motion quilting for the first time. Hmmm.  Quite a lot of repair work was required after that, and new needles.  And bad language was used, Reader.  Alot.

But all's well that ends well and here's my finished effort, complete with puckers!  It's quite a small quilt which makes it nice and light and ideal for just grabbing when there's a draught, but its charm for me lies in the fact that nearly every scrap has some sort of personal meaning: either a gift, a "find", part of another quilt, or a piece of clothing my children wore.  I'd really recommend this idea to a beginner as it's hard to go wrong with the piecing and doesn't take too long.  It's not crooked by the way, it's just the camera angle!

How do you use your scraps?  Do comment!

PS: Great quilter tip:  Avoid having seams in the exact middle of your quilt if you can, lengthways or widthways, because this is where you fold it, and folds put the stitching under extra pressure. Of course, why didn't I ever think of that?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Using up stash... a challenge to me, I do love to look at and stroke my favourite papers and feel so reluctant to cut into those lovely crisp 12"x12" 's.  But recently I picked a piece out and made these three cards.  Most of my cards are made with a "special" or unique design in mind, but I think sometimes that stops me from just producing something that someone would still be pleased to receive.  And the advantage is that once you've pulled out matching ribbon, ink, stamp etc, making three cards doesn't take that much longer than making one.  So go on, pull out a piece of one of your favourite papers and get making!

(This was a piece of retired Stampin Up from the "sew suite" DSP)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Like a chocolate teapot...

...this teacup would not be much use with something hot and wet, but it might work for nick-nacks or non-sticky sweeties?  I saw this idea in Susanna Wallis' book "Needlefelting for beginners" and felt that it had to be done.  It was fun, and easy enough to do in front of Friday night tv, although I must admit my arm aches a tad this morning.  Hope you like it.  If you'd like make one of these, come on a felting workshop, just get in touch!

I realise I haven't put up anything made of paper recently, so that is my next task! Happy Weekend.  xx

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Planning another quilt...

...even though I know there are more "important" things to do.  This is going to be a non-traditional quilt for my eldest daughter involving some beach-huts made of striped cotton, mostly from my DH's old shirts.  Cue some serious googling for other people's work: beach-huts and bunting, what's not to love?  My favourite find was this website, owned by Julia Gahagan, who has some great beach hut quilt patterns.  I couldn't resist ordering her beach hut mini-quilt kit as it was an incredibly reasonable £8, and when it arrived today, it was all so dinky and perfect that I couldn't resist getting started on it pronto.  And... surprise! ... I finished it too:

Trimmed, applique'd, stitched, quilted, embellished, embroidered, backed and edged, isn't it cute?  The photo doesn't do it justice really, I'll try to get one in daylight tomorrow.  Thanks Julia, I'm even more inspired to do the bed quilt now, and way better prepared - bring it on!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

This has been keeping me busy...

...over the last few weeks.  I have loved doing it, and although it took longer than I expected, I am very pleased with the result and the quilting went really quickly.  I love the tatty look of it, and the hand quilting and faded background fabric (an old duvet cover) has really added to this.  I am toying with putting little buttons in the middle of each "target" - what do you think?  Stampin' Up fans might recognise a couple of the "twitterpated" fabrics!

Here's a fragment that best shows the colours:
 And here's one half of it...

Finally, this shows the layout, but I have not managed to get a good shot of the whole thing, it's too big...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

I live on a street....

... 10 minutes' walk from a town...

... If there's a space people park outside my house for the day to go to the station or to work ...

... I don't like it, but hey, it's not against the law...

... Sometimes people from out of town park there for a week and get a taxi to the airport for their holiday...

... I like that even less, but there's no law against that either ...

... Yesterday, though, this whole parking thing went too far ...

 ... That's our house with the green door.  They've got to be kidding me!

... And it's still there now for the second night running. You're not telling me he's gone to the airport?????????

Monday, 1 October 2012

Tando creative are having a 3rd birthday blog-hop...

...with lots of inspiration and a really fabulous giveaway draw of loads of their products.  If you're interested, start here at their blog, and follow the trail, including the Craft Barn who are doing their own additional giveaway. 

Tando make laser cut 3-D card pieces which just let your imagination run wild.  For instance, this gorgeous christmas countdown "clock" is made from one of their kits.  You've got till Saturday to hop and sign up for candy, so "what are you waiting for"?

Happy Hopping! x

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Christmas hanging...

...copied from the Stampin Up Christmas Catalogue.  My 14 year old daughter made gagging noises when she saw this, but I like it!  I used a bauble die cutter and bauble and snowflake punches, SU's Mocha Morning paper (clearance 40% off), stickles glitter glue and lots of tombow glue (best craft glue I've ever used btw). Hope you like it, if you'd like some instructions, or a kit, get in touch via the comments below...

Friday, 14 September 2012

A little late to this party...

...I think!  You may have seen this video already, but if you haven't you're in for a treat (and it's very short!).

I have some projects to show you when I find my this space.

(Here's the link just in case the video doesn't work

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Renewed crafting energy...

...hit me last night after a friend called to say how much she loved the card I sent her.  So I rushed to my crafting post and made another one, just the same.  The photo's a bit washed out due to the bright sunshine (the what?!):

I used the Owl Builder Punch to cut out 9 main shapes from text paper, folded each in half longways and trimmed off the ears and feet. Then I stuck them together. I used "hint of pesto" teardrop to ink all the edges and stamped a panel of words in the middle of a 4x6 card, and inked the edges.  I stuck the "pear" on top of the word panel and added a little stalk.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

My best creation ever...

... my girls!  Sorry, but I am feeling so proud of my babies today.  Last night they swam THREE MILES!   EACH!  That's 192 lengths - a long way in anyone's book and further than either I or their Dad have ever swum.  We weren't allowed to take photos on the poolside and were too excited to remember afterwards but I just wanted to say to them:

Monday, 9 July 2012

Not boasting at all...

... today. Obviously, I try to show you things that I've made that I'm pleased with, but this time I thought I'd give you a laugh about something that went totally wrong today. 

It's my daughter's birthday and I thought I'd make a water-slide cake that I'd seen in a cake book.  This is what it's supposed to look like:

And this is how it turned out.... OUCH!

We've all agreed that it's the modelled swimmer that looks worst, as if she's drowned.  As my daughter would say: EPIC FAIL!!!!  May as well just eat it then...

Saturday, 7 July 2012

A new creative challenge...

...just in case you're in need!

Have you ever heard of self cling window film? It comes in lots of "stained glass" design panels, and you stick it on your window by just wetting it with soapy water and smoothing it on. I got it from here and have just fitted some on my daughter's window:

So where's the challenge?? Well, I have some film left over, and can't bear to throw it away.  I have just been experimenting and have found it die-cuts beautifully and you can punch out shapes as long as the punch is quite strong and it is still on its backing paper. You could definitely cut it into shapes and apply to windows (maybe spelling out a name?).  I think it would stick to acetate really well.  I was wondering what else my readers might be able to think of to do with it?  Put a suggestion in the comments, and I'll send you a piece to try it on!

Felting fun recently...

... with a group of lovely ladies from the Reigate WI.  We sat in my kitchen at the big table and everyone made a piece of flat felt that most people turned into a "rose" corsage.  I wish I'd taken some pictures because they were really pretty, but I was running around the table making sure everyone had a nice time (including tea, coffee and some lovely little cakes from Cullenders' Deli, which happens to be next door.)  As usual I learned plenty from my guests as well as them learning some stuff from me and we had a nice time.  I feel I should apologise for pouring water over Heather, though, I don't know what came over me!!!!

Several of the ladies were interested in a further class in one or more of the ideas below. If you would like to take any of these classes, do get in touch on 01737 762078 or see the sidebar for my email.

Felt pictures (2 hours approx) (uses needle felting, very simple and effective).  £12 for the class, including fleece and background and you need to bring along a frame with a passepartout for your design.  I will provide a felting needle but the best and quickest tool for this job is a sprung 5-needle tool, which costs about £14.  If you think you may do more needle felting, it is a good investment, and if you order one in advance, I can purchase it for you.

Little felt robin (ditto, just like Kirsty Allsopp's, see my previous post) £12, will take about two hours, all materials provided. I think this robin is quite realistic, but if you want to make a different bird, or a fantastical one, I won't be discouraging you!

Reversible, seamless bag, like this one, or smaller, for instance for a phone or a glasses case.  This project will take about 3 hours and cost £12.  The felt will be charged by the finished weight of the item, which should be no more than £5 for a smallish bag (this one is about 8"x6").

You'll be enchanted...

... by the latest StampinUp offer.  Do you remember these papers?
They're called Everyday Enchantment and they were so popular during Sale-a-bration that they are now for sale for a limited period only and limited stock for £9.95.

And to add to your papercrafting pleasure, this pack of delicious embellishments is FREE!  

You get one pack with every £45 you spend. This limited edition pack includes 30 brads and 2 x 9m spools of delicate organza ribbon in Lucky Limeade and Calypso Coral, worth a total of £15.95. These could be turned into lovely gift packs for your crafty friends combined with the papers... Call me to order soon, before they all run out! 01737 762078.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Reasons to recycle...

...spotted this today, really made me think about what I recycle, thought you might be interested (source was the environment agency).  My friends Jen-down-the-road and Jane-across-the-street have both called me a "Womble" (in the kindest possible way), due to my habit of collecting discarded tin cans and glass/plastic bottles from local pavements and recycling them.  At last I know why!

* One recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for three hours
* One recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes
* One recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for three hours.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Surrey Artists Open Studios...

...has come round again, can it really be a whole year?  In case you haven't heard about it, over the SAOS fortnight, hundreds of artists all over Surrey open their homes/studios to visitors who can see their work and their creative processes, often with demonstrations and opportunities to try and/or buy!   I'm not able to exhibit this year, but have already visited several.  One of the nicest things about SAOS is that you get to discover places in the area that you would never have known about.  For example, yesterday my daughter and I visited a barn studio that was only about 4 minutes' drive from the main A25 just outside Reigate.  We turned into the car park and ...

  More information about where and when is available here.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Yay, it's sunny... I decided to take advantage of the good weather, but, tragically, not in a sunning-myself-and-relaxing-with-a-pina-colada kind of way.  Instead, I took myself off to the local supermarket and hired a CARPET CLEANER.  Do I hear a YAY for me?  No?

So yes, I have had a very boring day, have sore hands and back, and the whole house smells of a cross between wet sheep and the Boots' shampoo counter.  BUT, will you look at some of the water that came out of the reservoir?  That was from just one room.

YUK!  I am ashamed, dear Reader, that I have not had the carpets cleaned since they were laid sometime in the previous decade, but it is very satisfying to know that that dirt is no longer sharing houseroom with me. No craft for me today (obvious) or tomorrow (I'm going to be doing the second half of all the rooms once they've properly dried off), but hope to be back with some crafty stuff for you soon. x

A sketch from Scrap365...

... inspired a scrap layout about my father-in-law's stories.  Here's the website, and this is the sketch that inspired me.

So I turned it around by 90 degrees and made a pocket out of the photos for a letter Grandad wrote.  I have been wanting to do a layout with "spiral" journalling for ages, so this seemed the perfect excuse.  Hope you like it!