Monday, 29 December 2008

after Christmas ....

.... and I've still got a whole week before I go back to work! It's been lovely having a long holiday with just "us" .... it's how I like it best! The boys have been spending their Christmas money and playing with whatever it is they bought with it, we've sharpened up at Guitar Hero and I'm sure any day now I shall be moving off beginner!

I made some new stuff (of course!) - the first thing I made is a Mermaid Bag Book with some graphics from pcCrafter.

I decoupaged the mermaids and added a tiny bit of glitter, I designed and paper pieced some shells, starfish and a couple of jelly fish .... I also used some lovely seashell rubber stamps that I'd forgotten I had ... they look lovely embossed with a verdigris powder.

I'm rather pleased with how it turned out and I can't believe I managed to make the whole book without the aid of Prima flowers!!

I've also made a heap more felt brooches - I've really enjoyed the hand sewing, especially doing blanket stitch (something I haven't done since leaving school!)

I think the cupcake ones are my favourite! They do take an age to sew though ..... still, gives me something to do whilst sitting in front of all that Christmas television!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

I got felt ....

.... so I made felt brooches! I've been wanting to play with felt for ages, here's what I've made so far:

I'm off to make more .... if only I'd realised sooner that my sizzix cut through felt!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

I love .....

..... my postman. He has brought me the most amazing things this week! I really look forward to coming home from work and seeing which of my packages is waiting for me (although I do dread seeing the "we couldn't post it so we've taken it to the sorting office" card). I've had a bit of a spending spree over the last week or so, mostly on felt, ribbons and buttons.

I found this wonderful ribbons on MISI, from Crafty Moments - she is selling it at £1 for 15m. I bought three lots and it arrived earlier this week - it is so lovely that I have ordered another four lots! I also bought these buttons from her:

I then went on to buy a whole lot more buttons from ebay ...... I got to spend Friday afternoon sorting them into colours - bliss! And, if that wasn't enough, my latest purschase from my friend Chloe (the Paper Fairy) came - 100 brown paper bags, which takes my bag stash to something in the region of 500. I think I should stop there ..... for a while at least.

I also got lots of beautiful handmade cards from my
very talented friends - so I thought I'd show some of them off here:

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Make it ....

.... sell it. I've discovered a new uk based website for selling handcrafted items and supplies called MISI (Make It Sell It) and I've just listed my first item on there. It's a lovely site with all sorts of handcrafted goodies available .... I wish I found it before I started my Christmas shopping! I think next year I shall try to either make all of my presents or buy presents that other people have made.

Anyway, I'm not sure how many people are using MISI so keep your fingers crossed. that my book sells! Here is a link to my MISI shop and here is the front page of the album I have for sale.
I'm going to spend the rest of the day working on my Secret Santa for our office - we each have to make a present for the person who's name we drew out of the hat. I'm making a "movie night" bucket with movie tickets, home made popcorn, popcorn boxes and some chocolate wrappers .... I've also bought the "it's a very merry muppet christmas movie" dvd and replaced "muppet" with the surname of the person I am making for. As soon as it's all done I shall post photos. I think this is one of the best things we have thought of so far for our office - my favourite is still the complete office party we had last year when there was just the two of us sharing!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

last minute makes .....

..... next week is my "open house" week so am frantically trying to make sure I've got enough things to sell. I've been avidly reading this thread at Splitcoaststampers, it's a few years old but there are some great ideas on there!

I made bookmarks from giant paperclips:
And some photo holders from giant bulldog clips:
I also made these little beauties - zippers! When Jack was at primary school he was always (and I do mean always!) losing his fleece, I put an alligator charm onto the zipper to help him identify it and so the "zipper" was born!!

It was a great post week too, I got a parcel from Artymiss with another load of Papermania cards, a DCWV Valentine card stack and hundreds of foam pads. Artymiss is just the best website ever (but I really shouldn't visit there too often, it's not good for my bank balance!!)

Friday, 21 November 2008

a sneaky peak ....

.... at my craft room

I found a blog this week that has the most wonderful picture of, well, the most wonderful craft rooms and I don't mind saying that each and every one of them made me rather jealous! Now, I know I am lucky to have a craft room .... but we've only been in the house a couple of years and getting my room "just so" hasn't been high on the list of priorities. Anyway, I have spent hours and hours tidying and reorganising and thought I'd post a picture of two:This is some of my ribbon storage, it was originally a towel rack that was in my en-suite but I decided that it would have a happier time holding my yummy ribbons! I hope you can see what a beautiful pink colour that wall is!! It's the only pink wall in the house .... but that's what you get for having boys I suppose.This is where I sit to work, the desk goes under the window which looks out onto the back garden. If you look carefully at the top of the photo you will see my beautiful sequinned slippers (never worn!) and the first pair of jelly shoes that each of my boys had ..... also at the top of those cube shelves is a wedding photo of me and Devin.

That rail thing on the right all of my tools that I use everyday are in the white pots (from Ikea of course) ..... there is a lot of Ikea stuff in here :-) The boxes on the desk hold mostly tags, there are also tags hanging on the smaller rail .... I do have a "thing" for tags!

Most of my papers are in these drawers, divided into colours. I keep my smaller sheets in these, and any paper that has been cut up .... smaller pieces that I can use for punchies are put in zip lock bags. That plastic box on the top has my current "favourite" sets of papers, the ones that I need to be able to get my hands on quickly! My 12x12 papers are awaiting a special storage area, at the moment they are in pizza boxes. These drawers are right next to my desk - so on top of them are the two things I use the most, my bind-it-all and my sizzix. Even though I have a craft robo, the sizzix is still my favourite cutting machine!
This is how I organise my embelishments .... there are two rows of these plastic boxes. The back row contains more of the bigger boxes, this front row is mostly smaller ones. They are sorted by "theme" - each big box has stickers, rub downs and larger embelishments .... each smaller box has brads or buttons or charms etc. On the right of these boxes are my four boxes of flowers.

So that's a quick tour of some of my stuff .... I'm hoping for some custom built shelving and a laminate floor in the not too distant future!

I thought I'd finish with a photo of my stall from one of the recent craft fairs .... I need to get some proper stands for some of my items ... but on the whole I was very pleased with how things looked.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

today I am .....

..... tagtastic! Not that such a word exists, but if it did then that's what I would be! I've spent a very, very happy morning making tags. I love using the original big red Super Scallop sizzix tag as it give lots of room to decorate.
Isn't this bear cute? My friend The Paper Fairy sent me some lovely bears to play with .... I love swapping things with her!! Here are some more tags I made using these cute bears:
Whilst I was rifling through my sizzix dies, I made some snowmen and some bitty people and then used them on some tags too:
Earlier this week, when I was walking to work, I had an idea for a "message in a bottle" using some bottles that used to contain Prima flowers. I was so excited, that it was all I could do not to turn round and walk back home to start making them. Anyway, they had to wait until I finished work but by the end of the night they were finished! I made a long, slim album held together with a ball chain loop and put lots of embelishments, ribbons and fibres in - and the message in a bottle is all ready to come out and be decorated!! I think they are fab (far better than they look in my pictures!) and am hoping they will sell!

Monday, 10 November 2008

and even busier .....

.... my whole world has turned into making things for craft fairs, pamper parties and home sales ..... I love it!! This weekend, the boys were out pretty much the whole time, playing rugby or working and so I had the house pretty much all to myself. I didn't leave the house at all but, to check I wasn't going stir crazy, my friend Janet came round on Sunday afternoon. I roped her into helping me get my prices sorted, I am totally useless when it comes to deciding how much I should be selling for.

I did get 40 more Christmas cards made along with a load of zig-zag tag books. I've never made these before and I was very impressed by how quick they are to make. Here are some of the ones that I made:I really like the holiday themed one (the blue and orange one right in the middle) but I think my favourite is the pink girly one on the left.
I love this picture - it almost looks like it was a sunny day .... the truth is it was raining really heavily. Anyway, this is the inside of the girly zig-zag book.

My first sale is 12th November at a local bar, they are having a "ladies evening" and I'm having a stall along with my dear friend Vanessa. Vanessa is a very talented dressmaker specialising in bespoke wedding dresses - have a look at some of her creations here - but she also makes fabulous handbags and tooth fairy cushions amongst a whole host of other wonderful things.

I'm still hoping to make a lot more before Monday, including some more zig-zag books, perhaps another mini bag book or two and some earrings ..... if I'm lucky I may get to sleep somewhere along the way!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

busy, busy, busy ....

.... this week I've been very busy indeed. Early in the week I got a fab parcel full of things I'd bought from the Artymiss website. Some lovely Blossoms and Butterflies card and a box of chipboard shapes that I got as a "buy one get one free". I am absolutely in love with this range of card - some of it is glittered and some is foiled and all of it is bright and colourful!! This is the cover of the paper bag album that I made with some of it:

I also got a box of Papermania pre-printed cards to decorate and I spent a lovely afternoon with Laura, my God Daughter, doing just that. It was great to spend some time catching up with her but, I have to say, that I didn't realise anybody could talk that much - it took a day or so for my ears to recover! Anyway, we made 5 of each card and here they are:

I love this snowball picture - it's part of a clipart set from the pcCrafter website (I am a big fan of their downloads). I printed this out onto vellum and Laura used my sizzix to cut photo corners to hold it in place.

Another graphic from pcCrafter - I used my craftrobo to cut this out and Laura glued the buttons on.

Yet more graphics from pcCrafter!! I think this is my favourite out of all the cards that we made. We printed these and I cut them out, Laura used a corner rounder on them and we used foam pads to raise them slightly from the card.

This was the easiest card to make - Laura used my punchies to cut out the circles and the snowflakes. Then we glued them on, using foam pads to raise the snowflakes up a little bit.

All in all, a very productive afternoon!! Laura also made some cards to give to her friends. She told me it was the best afternoon she'd ever had .... I'm looking forward to doing it again, but not for a little while!!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The trouble with making jewellery ....

.... is that it wrecks my nails. This is purely because, more often than not, I am too lazy to pick up both pairs of pliers when I need to. Normally I'm not too bothered about this, but I'm due to have a manicure this week and I was hoping to have a decent set of nails to take with me .... I wonder if she will notice that a couple are so short that they are almost not there? I've had to cancel twice already .....

Anyway, in a last ditch attempt to save the rest of my nails, I have returned to the gentler art of paper crafting. I spent most of this morning decorating band aid tins to sell at the upcoming Pamper Party and my yearly home sale - here are some of them.
I've made my own templates so that cutting the paper to the right shape for the top no longer takes forever (and far more patience than I possess). I managed to do seven before lunch - but I did get an extra hour crafting because the clocks went back!!
I can't decide whether to include some gift tags with these - I spent the longest while cutting tags this afternoon and have decorated a few (no photos yet) but I think they may just be too nice not to be out on show.

I love the button background in the photo above so much, I took another photo without the tin! I love my button collection - many of them are vintage, from my nan's collection and I save those for very special projects. I recently spent a whole afternoon sorting them from the large plastic box that stored them all into one of those storage units with the drawers in .... bliss!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

To bead .....

.... or not to bead, that is the question. Well, it's not really as this week I've spent ALL week playing with my beads. I've been asked to have a stall at a "pamper party" and thought that it would be nice to take a load of hand made jewellery as well as all my usual paper crafts. Of course, this has meant having to buy loads of new beads and charms from my favourite on line site - I can't wait for them to arrive! Anyway, I now have a huge notice board that is slowly filling up with my creations .....
This bracelet is one of my favourites - I love using buttons in my paper crafts and was really excited at being able to use them in jewellery too!

I love this bracelet too, it makes me think of summer sunshine. I often feel the need to make patterns, so that my creations tend to be very "regular". However, I'm learning (slowly) to love random!

Another one of my favourites - I am very partial to pearls and the long pearly beads I used here are particular favourites of mine. I was very lucky to find these on a stall at the Blandford Steam Fair a couple of years ago - these lovely beads made all the rain worthwhile!!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

How many bags .....

.... is too many bags?

I have just realised that, somehow, I have amassed over 400 brown paper bags. Is that bad? It does feel rather obsessive especially because I know that, given the chance, I would quite happily buy more! Admittedly, 300 of these were bought on my recent holiday to Orlando during my, all too brief, holiday romance with Walmart. Still, I've put six of them to good use this week - firstly by finishing off the Indian Summer album and secondly by making another album this morning (more of that later!).

I am really pleased with how this album turned out - it made the quadruple embossing on the photo mats worth while (even though it did take an absolute age to do it). I wanted to book to have an exotic, warm feel to it and I think I've managed to achieve that. I listed it on ebay this morning - fingers crossed that it will sell!

I had in mind another book that I wanted to make in yellows and greens and trotted off to my local craft shop to get the makings for it- but I fell in love with some girly themed paper from Dovecraft (along with an irresistible mix of Prima flowers) and "Sweet and Sassy" was born!! I had great fun making the paper piecings to match the papers - one for each double page spread. I found some great girly charms in my stash, along with some picture frame charms that I got off ebay ages ago. I used the fancy corner die cuts that RJ sent me to decorate some of the photo mats - they look great. Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Tell me why ....

.... I don't like Mondays.

Actually, I know why I don't like Mondays .... and it's probably the same for most of us. Monday means going back to work. Much as I love my job, I don't love the start of the working week. No cup of tea brought up to me in bed (along with breakfast - I am spoilt, after all), no morning time TV (I love Diagnosis Murder!!), no lounging around in my pyjamas etc etc.

However, going to work means that you get to come home from work and coming home from work is always good and today was even better because I got SWAPS!! One of the yahoo groups I belong to is running a bag book page swap - 26 flower pages, one for each letter of the alphabet. Here is one of the pages I got today, from Robyn, D for Daisy. I love it, the colours are beautiful. (my photography really doesn't do it justice I'm afraid). I also got L for Lantana, a flower I'd never seen before and T for Tulip. I'm waiting for 3 more pages and then my book will be complete.

The second swap I got was from RJ for our die cut swap - ten cuts from three dies. I chose to have these sizzlit die cuts .... arent' they lovely? I am planning to use these on photo mats in my next bag book.

I started another bag book to sell on ebay yesterday, so far I have the first page done and I have all the photo mats cut ready. I wanted to do more of it today,but I have ordered some bright pink flowers from one of my favourite suppliers and I am waiting for those to come. This book will be called "Indian Summer" and will be orange and bright pink .with touches of gold and black... not that we are going to have an Indian Summer but there's no harm in hoping is there?