Monday, 29 July 2013

This and that...and the other!

I have been a big fan of making journals for several years  (Gratitude, Christmas, Wise sayings, Goals, Daily learning, Books and Films, Holidays and Trips...). I can honestly say that creating a journal is always an enriching experience; my past journals are incredibly precious to me, and one day I hope, to my children.

Friends have often been kind enough to say they admire my journals, but resisted taking the plunge themselves, saying they would not know where to start, and not have the time!  This is why I'm so delighted that StampinUp have just produced the most beautiful journal "This and That", with lots of lovely coordinating products to make your journal making quick and fun. Have a quick look at this cute video about it:

This simple style of "smash it in" scrapbooking is such great fun and is bound to look great given how pretty the pages are.  You could also use it for Baby Memories, Wedding Preparations, Special Photos, Family Tree, a Prayer/Readings journal, Book and/or Film journal, Autograph book, Leaving/end of school messages, Party guest book, event planner....seriously, I can't think of any teenage girl or woman who couldn't use this!

To make it completely straightforward for you, I've put together a special value kit, for you to enjoy or give as a thoughtful and desirable gift.

Your "This and  That, and the other" bundle contains

* This and That Journal - 30 gorgeous designer double-page layouts with cute pockets and two pretty envelopes (catalogue price £9.95).
* Perfect white signo gel pen (worth £3.50)
* Tombow glue - the BEST paper glue ever (£3.25)
* Pack of coordinating hexagon die cuts to help you embellish your pages
* Pack of 10 handmade journalling Tags to write your stories on
* Washi Tape and clips sample collection (alternative methods for attaching things to your journal pages).
* Beautiful handmade, handstamped drawstring bag to protect it and keep it all together when you're out and about, and for storage once it's finished.
(it's free to collect, and I will charge postage at cost)

All for only...£18.50! In fact, it's such good value you might want to upgrade your kit with some gorgeous coordinating extras from Stampin Up:

* Remember this Date and Words Stamp - £4.95
* Set of 4 coordinating sticker sheets  - £4.50
* Bundle of 3 rolls of Washi Tape Epic Day or Gingham Garden - £4.50
* Epic Day designer paper pack (12 double sided 12"x12" sheets - £9.95
* Double ended Stampin'Marker/s (use to write and to ink up stamp) - £2.95
* Ink Pad (full sized click shut pad) - £4.95

Look at the loveliness!

And here's a close up of what you get with the Rotary Stamp - basically, it's 12 scrapbook-friendly phrases AND perpetual dates for only £4.50!

And here's a (rather bad) picture of my own kit, all ready already to go on holiday with me!

Friday, 26 July 2013

What a treat...

...I took a class today, just for once, instead of running one!  I went for a one to one lesson in silversmithing with a lovely lady called Aileen Hamilton.  And I got so much more than I bargained for! My request was for her to teach me how to use silver solder, and how to make silver head pins with my sterling silver wire.  Well, in only two hours, not only did I learn these things, but I made a sterling silver ring textured with real lace in a roller:

Added bonus, Aileen very obligingly mended my daughter's Claddagh ring which is now even better than new!  I loved my lesson and will definitely be going back because I am going to bring the gold rings that I inherited from my grandmas to melt down and make something new for my girls.  Aileen works from a mind-bogglingly well equipped studio at the bottom of her garden in Redhill, and is an inspiring and very skilled teacher - do visit her website!

And I'm very pleased to announce that Aileen is going to join me at my Open Studio on August 31st, where she will be demonstrating some of her beautiful jewellery-making techniques.  I hope to see you there too!

Cake decorating...

...with a certain flair.

I don't often write cooking-type posts as I am not a cook by any stretch, but I thought you might be amused by my daughter's culinary efforts yesterday.  We bought a cake to celebrate all being on holiday at last, and she offered to decorate it.  This is what she came up with:

I'm calling it the drunken Freddo cake, I wonder if it will catch on.... 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Put the flags out...'s a boy! 

 Congratulations to our Prince William and his lovely Katherine on the birth of their little boy.

I have put up my new bunting in their honour! 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Did I mention....

...that there is a brand new super duper Stampin Up Annual Catalogue ?  It was released on the 1st July and there are some truly enticing new products to enjoy.  Over the next few weeks I am going to be introducing some of them to you.

I would like to start with brand new SIMPLY PRESSED CLAY.  Truly, reader, I am blown away by this stuff.  It's a paper-based, light weight clay that dries firm but flexible.  It can be coloured with any SU ink product before or after it has set. The feel of it is extraordinary: very light and soft, sticks strongly to itself without leaving sticky on your hands, and holds its shape well, whether from a mould and or hand modelled.  I like to think I have quite a good eye on the craft market, but yet again I am surprised by a wonderful product from SU. So I set to exploring what could be done, and have had a ball, come and have a look ------->

First and foremost, I guess this fabulous stuff was designed to make embellishments, so Stampin Up have also supplied a set of two silicone moulds: buttons and roses, and they are lovely!  You can mix in a bit of ink (optional), press it into a mould and gently pop it out. Leave to dry and you can then add other surface effects if you want.  Here's a great video illustrating this, take it away, Dawn...

I have also tried the clay in other silicone moulds and it works great with them too.  I even tried making a mould by pressing a charm into two part silicone,  and the clay worked great in that too.

I was already a happy bunny, but what I've discovered today has made me a Very. Happy. Bunny. You can put the coloured clay into your little piping bag and pipe it - just like icing.  Look!

I can see ice cream earrings, mini cup cakes, all sorts, just watch this space!

You can make cute little flowers with clay petals, anything you could make with icing, reader. Except it's less messy and has more coherence so can be even finer.

Once your piece has dried, you can cut it with scissors, colour it, glitter it, emboss it, make holes in it..., reader you can do virtually anything with it. Oh, except you shouldn't eat it, even though it is non-toxic.

Now I also recently saw a question about making millefiori canes with this clay.  These are the canes you can make with glass or fimo, a bit like candy rock, that you slice up.  I must admit I thought it would not be sticky enough, or firm enough to slice, but I was advised that putting the clay in the freezer for a while made it firmer.  So, very excitedly I made a really quick slapdash cane to see if it works... and Hooray!  it does:
There are lots of tutorials for making gorgeous canes - they use polymer clay, but I'm sure they would work perfectly with this clay too, and it doesn't even need baking (search for "polymer clay canes", but don't blame me if you're still watching an hour later!)

I love how Brandi has squished some clay into a framelit heart with a stampin block and then lightly stamped on it to produce a lovely heart embellishment or pendant, and here she is doing it...

I hope you can see now why I'm so excited about this stuff! It comes in packs of 68g which doesn't sound much but it is extremely light, and you only need the tiniest amount so it goes a long, long, way - I have barely made a dent in mine and have played a lot already. So pick up the phone, dial 01737 762078, and order some from me today:

130685 £6.25 Simply Pressed Clay 68g
131272 £7.25 Simply Pressed Buttons and Blossoms Moulds

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

I love being a crafter...

...and I was reminded why this weekend.  We were going to a 50th Birthday party (black tie and posh frocks), and I thought it might be nice to put some favours on the tables - the hostess seemed delighted with this idea.  Trouble was, typical me, it was two pm on the day of the party.  But, I have a Big Shot and a lovely smart handbag die (petite purse) and an old pillow box die, so within two hours or so, had produced 20 of each!

I was chuffed, and so was she.  As I said, I love being a crafter!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Our last crafty Monday...

...for a while anyway! This morning we explored "Cathedral Window" technique, making a pincushion following a Moda Bake Shop pattern I first spotted on Marelize's blog.  I love the way the fabric folds back making a crescent and the buttons are cute too:

I have even made a little progress towards finishing my cathedral window cushion.  I lost heart before because I didn't do it properly and it's not quite as neat as I would like, but looking at it again, it's quite pretty, so I am going to cover up the mistakes with some buttons:

It's been fun ladies, hope you enjoyed it too and see you in September.
x x

Join in with Marelize's sewing Monday blog party here!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Shades of grey...

...well, I guess I'm not a fan of the books or the colour, but the less is more challenge ("at least two shades of grey") has been in the back of my mind this week, and when I saw Kristina Werner's cut out card, my little brain cells started clicking.
Here's the picture...

And here's the picture that inspired her...

Aren't they great? I haven't got a Silhouette machine, or the skills to handcut but these two inspired me to try some cutting some letters using the narrow plates that I bought recently for my Big Shot.  I laid them over only half of the letter die and sure enough it half-cut some letters, then I used a craft knife to slice the excess paper off.  I have quite a way to go to perfect this technique, but I thought I'd show you my first attempt in the spirit of honesty (and a little bit to prove that you can do it without a Silhouette cutter!).

I wish I had not drawn the lines around the letters, they are not stuck on, promise!  The next version will be "ombre" style in my fave colour - pink!

PS I found out a tip today about the glitter paper I used to frame the card - if you're using your paper trimmer, cut it from the back as it's easier on the trimmer blade...

Friday, 5 July 2013

Little things...!

See, I'm not the only one to find stationery and office supplies fun!

Happy weekend. Helen x