Friday, 31 October 2008

Are we ready???

To start my coundown to Christmas??? 24 fun crafting projects, using various techniques, from papercrafts, to sewing, to baking and altered art, let us have a fun filled November that will leave us with some great Christmas items once December arrives!!! I was going to do this throughout December, but I decided to canvas members of the do-crafts forum, to see if it would be more sensible to do it in November, as we are all so busy in December and the answer was a resounding Yes! November suits us best! We will then have more time to actually complete things!!! As some of the projects I will post have taken me more than a day to complete, I decided it would be the best for everyone. So join in and have some fun. Check in here everyday to find out what the craft project idea of the day is and if you want to join in the fun, just have a go at the projects you like the look of! I will try to post every morning, but I can't promise! I have yet to work out how to share some of my templates too. Tomorrow will be a revisit of making the advent calendar itself, a most important part of our Christmas countdown and a project that will take a few days to complete. I have added a list of items you need for the following day's project in the bar to the right, so if you want to make sure you have things, you can make a note the day before the project is posted.
Hope you like the new look of the blog, during our Christmas Countdown and lets see what we have to review by November 24th! Happy Crafting! TFLx
P,S. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Creativity Life magazine

Just ordered my copy from an online seller, because we can't get it around here, because I am in it!!!! It's all very scary now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time!!!!!! Will reveal more when it drops on my doorstep!Let's just hope I am up to the challenge!!!! I shall do my best!!!

Actually made a start on the Christmas shopping today! Yay!!! I always feel better when I have made a start!!! Hubby had a couple of days off so we went shopping briefly today, due to the horrendous rain!!! And hope to go to Meadowhall tomorrow! This cold is finally going I think, so am making a bit of a recovery!!! Been to the pub for tea with FIL too, who is also now recovering. Still not seen mum, with my nasty cold germs, as I dont want her to get this!!
DS2 had his first major success with the dance festival today! We now have one trophy on the mantlepiece to go with the two bronze medals so far! Another class tomorrow!
Did do a bit of crafting this morning, another project for my countdown to Christmas!!! So still a secret!!! Will reveal all tomorrow!!! TFLx

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

More Christmas cards

There was I thinking I would never make Christmas cards in pink when I first saw this trend earlier this year and here I am making some!!! Used some Anna griffin 'Bailey' papers and die cuts and I must say I am very pleased with the results. Saw an article by Anna Griffin in a papercrafting magazine recently, with some inspiration and I decided to crack on and do my own thing using some Anitas ivory cards as a base. Each card is lined with pale patterned paper too. Combined various techniques including decoupage, stamping and Anna Griffin fabric, but remember, most of these will have to post as large letter as they have dimension! Used some Anna Griffin stamps and a Stamps Away circle stamp, Bailey die cuts and ribbon from my 'Ribbon mad' kit. Makes a change from the silvery blue and cream ones I made a few weeks ago! I love how the fabric adds another texture. Used loads of Silicone glue and my threading water punch from Fiskars! This was the second set of papers and die cuts in a QVC kit I bought, there are two red and green sets left to use, so just the traditional styles left to make! TFLx

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Bird house

Here is a bird house I made from some corrugated cardboard I had from a box. I have been looking around for a tall bird house to alter, but been unable to find what I was looking for, so I decided to make one from scratch! It has proven a little more difficult than I first thought, but I am pleased with the end result. At times, I felt like I was in the middle of an 'Art attack' episode, particularly when I saw how much PVA and acrylic paint I had used, but then, it was all an experience! I used Dream Street birdy papers and I cut some birds out of one sheet of backing paper to go around the bottom edge. trimmed it with buttons and ribbon. Flash photo not brill, will try and get more tomorrow!Been quite productive with Christmas cards again today, but will post those tomorrow. TFLx
P.S. Got up at 6am and got my Hobson Grove add on and some of the Noah Stamps from the Studio Calico release! Phew! Cold much improved thank goodness. No pills today, but keep sneezing all the time!! Hubby got a couple of days of now, so hoping to go out and about. Staying well away from mum though with this stinker!!! last thing she needs is to be coughing and sneezing after her operation - that would certainly split all her stitches!!!

Monday, 27 October 2008

A quick post!

Sorry I am missing in action, I have the dreaded lurgy! A terrible cold and today a dreadful migraine! Hope to be posting again soon. here is another sneak peek of one of my forthcoming Christmas projects!

Don't forget to set the alarm early for the Studio Calico kit release at 5am tomorrow. Unfortunately I will not be there, if this keeps up. Off to bed with a hot lemon drink and fingers crossed I will be better in the morning! TFLx

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A Pumpkin wreath

Had this idea in my head for a while, as I love the way the Americans dress their houses for this season of halloween. I had this wreath ring in the loft, as it used to form the basis of my front door wreath a while ago, until it was superceeded. I have hung onto it waiting for inspiration to strike! So, along with the wreath ring, I bought 3 artificial ornamental gourds, 2 metres of organza ribbon and one spray of autumn oak leaves from the local florists. I wanted to use artificial gourds as I wanted to keep it for next year too! Somewhere I have a raffia witch when I find her, that I can add for halloween night! (Check out the pound shops for cheaper supplies of halloween goodies and artificial flowers!)

Other than that, all you need is a glue gun, but if you don't have one, you could wire the things on with florists wire.1. Make a bow using the organza ribbon double. (I take hold of two loops of ribbon and then just do the first part of the shoelace bow i.e. the knot!) Set this to one side.

2. With the remainder of the ribbon, thread it around the wreath ring, thread it through the middle, then over the edge, keep going until you have used the ribbon, then space it out evenly around the circle and glue the ends in place.3. Split the spray of autumn leaves into 3 using pliers to chop through the wire. Leave a stem so you can tuck the leaf spray into the twig ring. These I spaced evenly around the wreath, one at the top and then the others at roughly five o'clock and eight oclock on a clock face. Tuck the wire into the twigs but the add glue to arrange the leaves exactly where you want them and add strength.4. Decide which gourd is going where and experiment with the best way up to place them. Add two or three large blobs of glue from the glue gun then hold in place until the gue sets. Finally, glue the bow in place, just off centre at the top. use a large blob of glue to make sure it is secure.
5. Use a Christmas wreath hanger (widely available for £1.99) to hang your wreath on the front door, but be sure to wire the wreath to the door hanger securely to stop thieves pinching your handiwork!! (I once lost a wreath that way, when we were first married and have not been caught out since!) You could also use a length of florist ribbon to hang the wreath over the top of the door and drawing pin it to the top edge. Then you could lift the wreath to the inside at night or if you go out, to be certain it does not walk!!!! This wreath could stay in place until your Christmas wreath is ready to go up!

Happy Autumn!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Sneaky peek!

A sneak peek of my doggy advent calendar! One of the projects I am busy making for my crafty projects countdown to Christmas! (There will be other pet related items!) Someone suggested it might be an idea to do the Christmas countdown through November, as some of the projects are going to take more than a day to make and then people are not too busy to make them. By December, everything gets frantic!!! Some are papercrafts and some are fabric crafts, some might even be baking!!! (Martha Stewart eat your heart out!!!) Anyway, just a little taster of things to come!
Must also keep in mind my Bloggaversary in December and as nearly 20,000 people have read this blog, I propose a little celebration with some blog candy that week, for one lucky blog reader!!

What happened yesterday??

I promised to get back on here last night with some of my crafting projects from the day and guess what? I never got to craft!! Had a phonecall from mum to pop and do her big shop and take it over. Went straight from her's to the pub near work for tea with some of my work colleagues to celebrate getting to the end of a very long half term and when I got back, I just flopped! Did buy my materials for the dance costumes, but that is as far as it got!!

So far this morning, I have unpicked the side seams in a pair of pinstripe trousers to let them out for him, sewn them back together with a smaller seam allowance. Should give him just enough room to get through next weeks festival and I think he may change Song and Dance number by next may. Also, have cut out a vest top in turquoise Lycra for his 'Mamma Mia' costume and added two inches to the hem of his flares he wore last year!!! Not bad going beofre I've even had my Cornflakes! And all still in my dressing gown too! Barney needs a walk, so off to get dressed! Bought some more Christmas fabric yesterday for a couple more projects to start - so many ideas, so little time!!!

Look what dropped in my Inbox this morning!! Tomorrow is the 25th! Already!!! Does not feel like two minutes since we did the last one!!! So, putting camera on charge as we speak! The kids will duck when they see me photographing my breakfast!!! That's the cue for the groans!!! If you are joining in, Shimelle has a photo fact sheet on composition this month over on her blog (despite being on her honeymoon!) Composition this month.

Those fab Basic Grey 'Wassail' papers are appearing in a few online shops I noticed! Was seriously tempted last night, but so far, have resisted!!! I do still have lots of Christmas papers! Must try to get something made today. Want to make some homemade carrot soup too! Just fancy it on these windy autumn days!Here is a picture I took when walking the dog the other day! Thought these Fungi looked like little flowers on the forest floor! Catch up later! TFLx

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Coffee anyone?

Look at these fab coffee mats that my son Jonathan made using October Afternoon Fruit stand papers. He recovered the mats on his desk! I bought some normal coffee coasters with a cork backing, he drew around them and made two designs. We then passed them through my Laminator to make them waterproof. He then cut them out and stuck them to the mat using heavy duty, wide double sided tape from the DIY shop. He covered the whole surface with DST then carefully placed the laminated covers! They are fab! I may just have to copy his idea!!! I could make Christmas coasters!! Look great on his desk don't you think? Just need to train him how to bring his empty mugs downstairs now, rather than stockpiling them!!!! Lol! TFLx

Having a sewing day today on costumes, will post again later.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Another Layout

Two in one week? Hang on a minute!!! Is she well? I hear you ask!!! This is a layout about my sons new car which we have bought since he passed his test in August. We decided the 9 year old Corsa he had was not reliable for him to go too far and when he started taking friends around, we felt it safer for all to have a car with more safety features!! The papers are from my Studio Calico kit from a few months ago called Via Airmail. Some Basic Grey boxer paper and Tinkering Ink (I think!)
I am enjoying working on kraft cardstock at the moment! I halved the die cut and just showed a small amount to use for journaling. The tag and buttons are from the Making memories Passport line.
I broke up from school today, as I only work part time and wednesday is my last day of the week. This half term of 8 weeks, has been extrodinarily long! We are all tired and looking forward to a week off. DS2 is in the Hull dance festival every day next week, so I am sure we will still be hectic, but no work is going to make a difference! Got a couple of dance costumes to make tomorrow so will be making a trip to buy fabric in the morning. Yet another thing getting in the way of my crafting!!! TFLx

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

An Autumn layout

Finally got around to doing a layout last night. A photo I took the other day of some apples my dad brought me from his trees. He planted a small orchard in his garden when I was two and these are the fruits from those trees! I made a lovely apple crumble! This is a layout for a challenge over on Creativity! life. Challenge number 4! An autumn page. I really enjoyed doing this, using my Studio Calico kit from a few months ago that had the October afternoon fruit stand paper in it! The chipboard tree is from Maya Road and is covered in a fabric paper. The little picket fence is made from lollipop sticks and the title is in Vinyl Thickers. The little chipboard bird is inked with a chalk eye ink pad and has a jewel eye. The bobble fringing adds some texture. I inked all edges with a dark brown ink pad including the background craft cardstock. My team members over at UKs might be pleased to see me make a layout for a change!!! Some points ladies!!!! TFLx

Monday, 20 October 2008

Christmas cards

Here are my first batch of Christmas cards using some Anna Griffin papers in coffee, cream and ice blue! I made a range of cards of different shapes and sizes, combining some Anna Griffin stamps too. The kit I bought had some matching die cuts and ribbons included, so I have tried to use them in a variety of ways. My favourite cards are square cards, but the die cut trees lent themselves perfectly to the triangular card shape!

Not fab photo's with flash but it was dark when I got home from mums. The next set will be a complete contrast in red and green!!! Got to cater for everyone!!!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Shimelle album for September

Just caught up my September photo's for this class. This is the sixth month I have recorded this now, so am doing well to keep it going! half done! This month was tricky, as I was at the hairdressers getting my highlights done, so I decided t be brave and record that too! Quite brave for me I thought! The theme was reflrction this month. You had to catch a reflection in a mirror or shiny surface, so I have recorded myself in the hall mirror and the oven door! I also got a reflection of my living room in the mirror and in Jonathan's dance cups. The new printer I bought has got rid of the problem of ink rubbing off the images. last month's is looking worse, so I may ultimately have to reprint the photo's and redo the last two months eventually.

I listed some reflections in my journaling, to carry on the theme. You were invited to have two journaling blocks on this LO, so I used the top one to reflect on where we are now.

Busy day today. DS2 has his first day at the chocolate shop working today, last week was just a trial. We have an important meal date with friends from down south at tea time. I have not seen them for years, so it will be very interesting to catch up! Their daughter and my eldest son were best friends at playgroup and we parents hit it off straight away! It will be great to see them. Off to visit mum today and see how she is getting on. She gets her staples removed today, by the district nurse, so will try NOT to faint, or even better, not look!!!! TFLx

Friday, 17 October 2008


Here are some pictures of my completed photo cube, taking pride of place on my computer desk. This was a nice little project and could easily be made again using 5 squares of blank chipboard and a Cropadile.

Have been out shopping today to buy a dress!!! Meeting up with an old friend tomorrow night who I have not seen for years and you know how you have that last minute niggle that you have put on a good few pounds since you last met??!!! Got a nice dress in Purple and found myself buying Christmas wrapping paper and ribbon whilst I was there! You know how when you are queing for the till and they have all that kind of stuff to tempt you? Well it works with me!!! I don't often go out shopping now, so thought I might as well get it whilst I was there!!! I tend to do everything online these days!!! Anyway, it needed buying, so I got it! One less thing to worry about. Also managed to get DS2 some Russian Cossack type boots from ASDA in a size 8! Hope they are ok! The one's he wore last year for the dance festival, would not fit anywhere near when we got them out the other day!!! Just got to get some shoe dye and dye them red now! Thanks 'George!'
P.S. I decided to cover each photo on my cube with a piece of acetate to protect it, stuck down with four dots of Glossy accents. Was tricky to photograph with flash, so had to try without!TFLx

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Cosmo Cricket photo cube

Been working on my first project from my Cosmo Cricket TSV, the photo cube. You had blank chipboard net of a cube to decorate and add photographs to. Just leaving the Glossy Accents to dry, will photograph properly tomorrow. I have left the base with Barney's photo, without chipboard embellishments so it sits flat on the side. I deliderately put the photo's at all different angles so you pick it up to look at it.
Tip: used a darning needle to thread the waxed string through the corners. TFLx

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Card club triumph!!!

Here we have 14 results from card club at lunchtime! I went in early and cut all the mirri-card into 6x6 cards and drew around a circle on yellow paper 20 times! I laid out glue, foam pads, Sue's beautiful die cuts and glue. I cut 6x3 inch pieces of green backing paper for hills and printed off 20 Halloween greetings on the PC! The children thoroughly enjoyed it, in fact two forgot to go and do their duties!!! I love the way they followed my sample card roughly, but they had there own ideas where to site the ghosts and bats! Some had tiny ghosts coming out the doors, the chimney, some place a bat inside the card as a spooky fright, some used the googly eyes on the ghost rather than the bat! Each and every one was thrilled with the result and we even had two new members join! Boys and girls, those with special needs and the more able, all muck in together and have fun! Slightly less frantic than last week, as they were a bit more knowledgeable of the techniques, but I still could not manage without my TA helpers! Thank ladies! next week is halloween cards phase two!!
I showed them the trick or treat sack and told them how to do it, so they could have a go at home!
Thank you to the ladies from the craft forum who donated stash! Much appreciated! Thinking of having a card making table at the Christmas fair where people can pay to make a card. It could be manned by the pupils themselves by then! TFLx

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A halloween project

Just made a quick card for my school card club tomorrow, thanks to my friend Sue bubbles on the do-crafts forum - a frequent contributor to my comments list! I sent out an emergency plea for halloween die cuts, as I don't possess a die cutting machine yet!!! It is on my list for Santa this year!! Sue came up trumps with an envelope full of bats, ghosts and haunted houses for me to concoct a spooky card from!!!!! Bearing in mind we have only half an hour to make it, it had to be simple!! We had loads of silver mirri-card at school, so I cut some 6x6 cards and then drew a circle of bright yellow paper for a moon. I cut a simple ground shape out of green paper to 'ground' the haunted house to the floor and provide a little bit of colour. Each child can choose two or three die-cuts - I have some pumpkins on order, but they have not arrived yet, so they will be for the other half of the group next week! Glue the moon in the centre of the card and overlap the ground. Then glue the haunted house to one side, so all the window openings show the moon through the holes. To add dimension I glued yellow paper behing the ghost eyes and then raised them up on large double foam pads, to the left of the card. I used alphabet stickers to spell 'Happy Halloween' in a mixture of fonts. I added some white gell pen and used a chalk ink pad to add a bit dimension to the haunted house. To complete the card I coloured the ghost eyes and mouth and the haunted house windows with a clear 'gelly-roll pen' to add sparkle. The finishing touch was a piece of black ribbon, stapled in the top corner and paper string around the spine. To complement my card I made a trick or treat bag from brown paper. I wrapped a book in brown paper leaving one end open to slide the book out. I folded down the top edge for extra strength. I then covered the base with an oblong of paper and inside the bag I glued an oblong of card to add strength for all those sweets! The handles were made from garden twine, threaded through four holes punched with my Cropadile! The decoration was simple. Two die cut bats (from Sue Bubbles again!) and they were held in place with tiny silver button brads through the eye holes. I curved the wings slightly for dimension. Trick or treat was written with candy cane stickles! Happy haunting!!!! TFLx

Monday, 13 October 2008

Back online!

Here is the card that dad sent mum in hospital and it sums it up exactly! Nursing care to action, courtesy of my sister. I am still in shock that they could even think to send her home, my sister being stronger in temprement than I, is in charge, although no-one will be able to tell mum what to do!!! I got told off today and told to stop 'tweeting' just because I had the common sense to ask if they had tried her on stairs, as she has 12 steep stairs to climb to bed! I also had the sense to ask if they would be prepared to take her back if she had
any problems! Everyone is certain she will be fine, so I am leaving them to get on with it! You get into trouble for caring around here!
My PC has also been nursed back to health, courtesy of the computer shop. Apparently, despite me running every Mcafee available on the market at some fantastic cost, I had 2300 viruses!!! A new record for the computer shop! So be warned. Here we are thinking our costly internet protection is working, mine scanned files daily, and it doesn't!!!!! They have installed a free one instead, which apparently works better!!!!?????? It certainly is a lot faster!! So the moral of this story is don't enter into your junk folder to search for errant e-mails, it just gets you zapped by a Trojan!!!! Never open e-cards!!!!!!!! learn from my mistake!

Hoping to hear news!

I am hoping to hear some news of my poorly PC today and if it is repaired I can go and fetch it.
Also hoping to hear news from hospital as they want to send mum home today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets see; She had her triple heart bypass last wednesday; 24 hours in intensive care; Thursday night I fainted when I saw her, so lets send her home today?????????????!!!!!!!! Don't you just love our healthcare system!!!!!!!!! I may not be around for some time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

My computer is in intensive care!!

When they got it to the shop it would not open up at all!!!!!!!!!!!! They are keeping it and trying to open it up as a slave hard drive???????????? I should know more by monday. Please cross your fingers for me! I am lost without it!!!!
Mum making a little progress. Thanks to all who shared my worries. Had to spend last night, when i got home from visiting, making some Christmas cards!!! If you can't get on the PC you certainly get more done! TFLx

Saturday, 11 October 2008

My computer is ill!

Someone very kindly sent me an e card, which when I opened it, was not an e card but a virus infected my computer!!! I now have no computer, it is away to the computer shop. It was a Trojan which managed to disable my McAfee.
Be warned!!!!! Just what I needed this week! To be unable to communicate!!!!
I appologise for the lack of posts for the next few days.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Design inspiration

Recently, I returned from a holiday in France, armed to the teeth with design inspiration! In fact one morning whilst I was there, I got up at 7am to write down all the ideas that were racing through my mind!!! What have I done with them? Filed them for a later date!

One of my favourite sources of inspiration was the 'Castorama' catalogue - France's equivalent to B&Q! I sat one day and leafed through the publication, a bit like an Ikea catalogue, noting down all the unusual colour combinations and ideas for textures or designs from wallpaper! I covered a sheet of A4! Another great source, was shopping! Browsing all the lovely gift shop, trying to remember all the fantastic ideas of materials to use and shapes of objects and display ideas. I even photographed a few shop windows that I found inspiring! I leaf through Vogue magazine at the hairdressers and note down ideas in the back of my diary or on a Tesco receipt!! In fact you can find inspiration anywhere! I am suprised to learn that cardmakers often seek inspiration in the card section of their local store!!! Somewhere obvious I had never thought to look! Months ago I did a card challenge based on a magazine advert, both LO and colourscheme and it came out really well! Subsequently I took the M&S magazine and ripped out all the adverts I liked to make rough sketches of colourschemes and layouts! My ideas book is overflowing, it's just time to do a layout I am short of!!!

Most designers are magpies. They spot ideas and commit them to memory to re-hash and use at a later date. So if you are short of inspiration, reach for that free magazine or catalogue and take a good look at what catches your eye! Why is it working for you? What can you use as a springboard to a new design layout! We are sometimes original, but often we are reworking something that we saw somewhere, but adding our own little twist or interpretation. TFLx