Christmas Crackers

christmas crackersHi there. Christmas day came and went off successfully and we are all now very happy and very full. Hope your Christmas was equally successful.

The only hitch we had was Christmas crackers, as in some body forgot to make any, eeep. Luckily the kids came to the rescue and said give us some ”stuff” to make them and well do it.

I had hats, wrapping paper (from the many now opened gifts), toilet and used wrapping paper rolls (from the recycle box), a small box of wrapped chocolates and a small packet of cracker bangers. I put them in a small pile in the middle of the room and left them both to it.

This is what they made. No fancy ribbons paper or even dies. Just made the way we used to make them when we were kids (all those years ago).

We didn’t have jokes to put in so decided to all tell any joke we could think of, yes the jokes were terrible, worthy of any Christmas cracker we’ve ever pulled. We had so much fun doing this I think we may do the same thing next year.

Thank you for dropping by again, wishing every body all the best for the holidays. Till next time, have fun xxx

Snowflake Gift Toppers

Snowflake Gift ToppersHi there. How are you. I’m not panicking yet eeep!

This week I have been making gift toppers, lots of gift toppers. The big wrap is coming and I wanted to get everything ready.

I used white gold and silver card plus some items from my recycling box (old wrapping paper and coloured envelopes from a recent birthday.) No point in throwing that stuff out when I can use it.

To start with I die – cut lots of snowflakes. The snowflakes were folded along the centre and the “arms” (if that’s what they’re called?) it gives them a little more dimension and shape. I stack them biggest on the bottom to smallest on top and the colours alternated so they stand out better. They are glued in place and put aside to dry.

The bases of the toppers in the first picture is a spellbinders Persian Motifs die cut in white card. The little stack of glued snowflakes are then added to the top.

these were the simplest to make and the largest. I also made some with smaller bases.

Blue Concertina Gift ToppersThe base of the second set were made out of a piece of wrapping paper cut with a spellbinder strip die and a peace of blue envelope that had been folded into a concertina in line with the points of the die – cuts and cut at roughly 1 1/2 inch lengths diagonally so they are pointed at one end and straight at the other.

The two strips were layered on top of each other and glued into a circle which in turn was pushed down into a small rosette about 3 inches in size. To stop them from pushing back up again I glue a small circle of card on the bottom and weigh them down with a small coaster till they dry.

The little stack of glued snowflakes were again added to the top.

Craft and Gold Gift ToppersThe third set were made from a craft coloured envelope cut with the same spellbinder strip die made into a rosette, a gold/silver die from the same set(Persian Accents), and a paper poinsettia on top. I explain how to make the poinsettias here, the only thing changed are the colours.

I put little gems in the centre to finish them off, cos you have to have bling at Christmas, that has to be a rule doesn’t it?

That’s another thing off the list of jobs to be done. I always think I’ve started early enough and it just gets away from me but “determined” is the word, have to get my head down and get on with it!
Thanks for stopping by, till next time, have fun x

Dies used:
Sizzix Bigz Die – Tattered Poinsettia
Sizzix Movers and Shapers – Mini Cardinal & Poinsettia
SpellbindersVenetian Motifs
SpellbindersPersian Accents
Spellbinders– Create a Flake #4
Creative Expressions Sue Wilson Festive Collection – Snowflakes
Embossing Folder used:
Craft Concepts – Budding vine
Spellbinders– Create a Flake #4

Sharpie Background Techniques

Green Yellow Tags

Blue and purple tags made with sharpies

A simple way to make backgrounds with sharpie pens

Hi. How are you? The eye-sight debacle has been sorted and finally I can now see what I’m doing, Whoot!

I have been looking at my stuff and trying to make something different out off what I already have.

You see I kind of made a deal with my daughter, that we would use up all the stuff we have, before we buy anything new, because we have lots of stuff.

Truth is I’m rubbish at this, she is sticking to it, mostly but I just can’t help myself. There may at some point have to be an intervention.

So I try. I look at my stuff and try to do something new with it.

I found a lot of sharpies, the coloured kind and tags with a glossy coating made from left over packaging. I wanted to see if I could make some backgrounds with them.

I tried scribbling and blending directly onto the card, the results were not good. The ink dried on the card too quickly and didn’t blend out.

Plan two. I scribbled two or three colours onto a glass mat, dripped surgical spirit on top allowing the inks to blend into each other then quickly press the card into the ink. It’s a bit like using distress ink only smellier and permanent.

The patterns are random and unrepeatable but are lovely to look at.

This has given me the inspiration to try this with other inks and paints. It will be interesting to see what effects I can get.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by, till next time, have fun x

Butterfly Tag

Butterfly Tissue Tag

Butterfly Tissue Tag

A lovely tag made with oddments and leftovers found on my crafting table.
Hi there. How are you?

I was sitting at my table in a blurry haze.(The weekly trip to the opticians continues and is the running joke here at the moment). I couldn’t decide what to do, so I started to tidy up. Usually this clears not only the table but also seems to clear my head too.

I found tags, unused die-cuts and bits of kitchen roll that had been used to clean stamps and mop up ink

Then as they made their way to the bin, hoarder me suddenly popped up and said noooo surely you can make some thing out of these!

Hoarder me is normally best ignored. I have far too much tat as it is but this time she could be right, hmm…

Out came the P.V.A glue and the butterflies were stuck to the tag and the kitchen roll glued on top. The tissue was had some colour from the inks but I added a little extra watercolour and picked out the butterflies in red and yellow.

For a touch of sparkle I mixed a drop of gum arabic with a drop of water and some mica powder. The gum arabic binds the mica and stops it rubbing away when you touch it. To make sure though I gave the whole thing another coat of P.V.A.

I finished the tag off by backing it with a piece of pink card, I even found some ribbon for the hole. Normally I wouldn’t bother with ribbon because the tags I make are used on gifts and I like to match the ribbon with the gift wrapping but this was pretty so I went with it.

Considering it was made from all the tat on my table I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The colours turned out well and it is quite tactile.

That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by, till next time, have fun x

Dies Used:
Sizzix movers – and shapers Flower and Butterfly Set
Sizzix – Tags #3A A

Seed Packets / Gift Card Envelopes

Gift Card EnvelopesHi there how are you.
It’s spring! Yes yes it is, the sun came out and the gardening began. I say gardening but what I really mean is tidying up, cleaning out the old pots and stuff. Planting a few herbs.

Then I remembered that last summer as the days got shorter and the seed heads dried out that what I really needed was some little seed packets to save them in. I did make some but they were very crude, serviceable yes but not too pretty.

I found a book of templates (Folding Ideas for cards & envelopes) inside there was a card with an attached envelope for gift cards.The perfect size. The book has a CD in the back with all the templates from the book so I put the one I wanted onto the computer. It was the right sized envelope but the opening was on the wrong side and it needed a little adjustment.

I now had two templates and they both fitted onto an A4 sized page so I printed them both off. For strength I glued the copy paper down onto cardboard (an old pizza box) with PVA glue, They’re quite sturdy. I drew around them cut them out and folded them up.

Envelope Templates

As you can see in the top picture I have tried several closings and I think it depends on how they are folded as to which style suits the best. For the seed packets I’ll maybe go for two buttons.

The first envelopes I made were made out of copy paper, old wrapping paper and scraps, decorated with whatever was on my desk at the time.They are far too pretty for seed packets so I’ll be using these for birthday gift cards maybe and make planer envelopes for my seeds.

Thats all for now. Thanks for stopping by. Till next time have fun x

Dice Bags/Drawstring Bags

Dice Bags f

Hey there, how are you.

I had been asked to make two small drawstring bags for the Other Half. He was playing a game and needed something to shake dice in that was also big enough to put his hand into and take said dice out again.
I didn’t have any thing suitable in my normal stash and had to look else where for fabric.
Eventually I spotted a small pile of T-shirts on their way to the recycling pile. I picked out two with designs that would suit the game he was playing and cut a wide rectangle from each.
T Shirt UpcycleSewing jersey fabric is not easy because of the stretchiness of the fabric. I dont have an overlocking machine and using a straight stitch doesn’t allow for any stretch in the fabric.

I do have an overlocking stitch on my sewing machine though so that is what I used for the seams, then trimmed a few millimetres away from the seam edge with some sharp scissors.(I could have sewn over the raw edge but sometimes I find it puckers and pulls too tight giving it a very untidy appearance.)

The seam on the dragon bag was placed in the middle back because I wanted the whole dragon sitting on the front of the bag. The robot bag was at the side, the design looked much better this way.
Dice Bags 2bDice Bags 1b

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lots of messing about I have finally mastered the buttonhole foot and can now make lovely automatic buttonholes. Whoot whoot! (this has taken me almost ten years to master!) I put one buttonhole into each side to take the string before using the overlocking stitch for both turning down the top and as decoration on the outside.

I didn’t have any ribbon or cord for the strings so I cut two 1/2 inch strips from each T-shirt and pulled them lengthwise till they curled around each other then stitched across the top using a wide zigzag stitch. This made a nice cord strong enough to be pulled and with enough give in it to prevent any breaking. There is a small knot at the end of each to secure them.

I know these are just two simple bags but I have learned quite a bit about working with stretchy jersey fabrics and boosted my confidence along the way. (also I learned to use the dreaded buttonhole foot)

Thanks for stopping by. Till next time have fun x

 

Poinsettia Gift Topper

Xmas Bow

Hello. I hope everyone is well rested and having a happy New Year.

Instead of putting the usual shiny bows on this years gifts I decided to make something a little different. I have lots of very good card lying around but gift toppers are fleeting and once used are destined for the rubbish so I decided to raid the recycle bin and found some old packaging to fit my needs.

I used a die to cut out some poinsettias out in varying sizes and ran the shapes through an embossing folder. There were a few issues. The white card was only coated on one side and after embossing became a little fragile. The problem was fixed by painting a little PVA glue onto the back and letting it dry. The PVA made them a lot stronger and easier to mould into shape at the end.

With some leaf dies cut leaves out of silver card left over from another project and embossed them with the same folder. This is my favourite embossing folder, it can be used so many ways, for male or female items and always adds just the right amount of texture.

To assemble I used small circles cut from various boxes. Spread out the leaves then from the biggest to smallest poinsettia bending and manipulating them as I went. A small gem in the centre to finish.

I’m really pleased with the way they turned out and for almost no money too. I’m also pleased with the photo, sometimes the lighting is off and everything is dull and lifeless but for the first time it all worked beautifully. I know I shouldn’t be patting myself on the back but it just makes me so happy.

Till next time take care and have fun.

 

Inks used:
Distress Ink – Broken China
Dies used:
Sizzix Movers and Shapers Mini Tattered Leaves Set
Sizzix Bigz Die – Tattered Poinsettia
Embossing Folder used:
Craft Concepts – Budding vine