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?

Sunday, 5 October 2008

in the beginning ......

... where to start? I have always loved creating thing but I can't pin down where my addiction to bag books actually started .... my first adventures with "paper crafts" begin when my online friend of many years, RJ, introduced me to rubber stamping. Over the years I have blamed (and thanked!) her for many things - including finally having to move to a bigger house so that I could have my own craft room as my obsession with paper craft, and all the things that go with it, has grown.

I made my first "book" as a present for a friend, in return she made me a paper bag book (pictured) and from the moment I saw it I was hooked, absolutely and totally. I loved not only the way it was made, but all the pockets and tags that she had filled it with ..... it was so gorgeous that it even had to carry a Government Health Warning!! I started to make bag books as presents, for weddings, births etc. My early bag books were none too great (I guess that many of us look back and shudder at our early creations!) but over time I have learnt better techniques and I am usually fairly pleased with what I create. For me, its all about the details, finding the right flower, charm, brad or button ..... I dread to think how much I've spent on the right flowers, charms, brads and buttons! Especially those saved for best, the ones I will never use but like to look at!!

So, here I am .... addicted to paper bag albums. I guess it could be a whole lot worse ......