Monday, 30 November 2009

A year in pictures

Yesterday I allowed myself an hour or two to craft for me!!! I have been so busy with the countdown projects and my craft fayre projects that I have not scrapped anything for me for a while!

Do you remember last year I did Shimelle's class "Scrap your day?" Well I enjoyed doing it, but decided that this year I would buy the same album again and so a year in pictures. As we finished Scrap your day in March it is running from April to next March! Well, I bought the Making Memories calendar to make it with, way back in December last year and I had set aside the Jenni Bowlin Calendar cards that came with my add on from my December kit from Studio Calico last year, but I had not got around to starting it. Friday night I looked back through my photos and made a start.

I always group my photo's on my computer in folders for each month. I have a pics folder and a craft folder for each month to keep them separate. So, on Friday, all I had to do was go back to April's folder and make a photo collage, using my selection of the best twelve pictures and print them out onto A4. I chose a layout that could be cut in two lengthways with the trimmer so I can easily mount the pictures on each page. I printed out the same for May right through to November. Yesterday I was all set to go!

I decided to dismantle the calendar to access each page more easily, I can reassemble it with my BIA later. The cover this year is chipboard with a scalloped edge. The pages are the same paper as last year, white, but I wanted to use vintage papers that had a cream background so I set about the edges of each page with Tim Holtz distress ink in "old paper" and the foam blending tool. Once the edges had been inked I started adding my background papers, by just cutting a 12x12 sheet in half and placing half on the page and half on the back of the previous page, so it opens flat as a double page of the same paper. (IYKWIM)
A pack of Jenni Bowlin journaling cards in black, also from a previous kit went perfectly with her vintage paper, so I have a journaling space on each month to record the events. I am only half way through, but I love the memories it has brought back already!! Things I had recorded with a photograph but forgotten!!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Getting sooooooooo excited!!......

about the start of the December daily project!! I am not a big journaling person, so for me this is not about what I will write as much as what I will record in pictures and ephemera too! I am a big collector of bits and pieces and I am sure this album will turn into a set of books or I will have to find enormous book rings!!last year I completed Shimelle's 'scrap your day' challenge where I photographed the 26th day of the month for a year and I liked the result. This year, I bought the Making Memories calendar again ready to complete my own version - a photo collage of snaps from each month with one or two items of journaling along the way. This will chronicle the whole year. As I completed Shimelle's project in March, bizarrely this will start in April 09 and go through to April 2010. Anyway, tonight I have been printing off my photo collages for April right through to November!! Just need to track down the album again now!!! Anyone seen it???? Today we finally got around to Barney's Christmas card photo shoot! I bought him a squeaky teddy in The Range the other day so I decided, in the absence of any fancy dress outfit, we would make one with that! Here are the best one's:I then nipped on to the Picnik photo editing site to enhance it with a Rudolph red nose and add some snazzy text! A quick edge with my photo editing programme and we are ready to roll!I have to tell you the little teddy is awaiting repair on the sewing table as the back seam did not withstand the squeaking Barney was giving it!! Lol!

Last night we wrote the 'bought' Christmas cards, (dare I say that???) so today, I really need to finish the hand made ones! You may think it is early, but with hubby's birthday next weekend, my sisters the week after, and DS1's the week after that, we like to get these out of the way early so we can carry on focusing on birthdays!!! TFLx

P.S. You will be please to here, I bagged a Studio Calico add on! Not so pleased that my stash delivery of last month's kit still did not arrive yesterday!! Bought a new bedroom TV though!!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

700 post RAK!

Can you believe it??? I am on post 700???? When I started back in December 2007, I was not sure I would keep up my daily blogging but I almost have!! Give or take a holiday here and there!! I have decided to have a RAK to celebrate, as I did at the end of the Christmas countdown last year. I am giving away one of my little easels that I have made for my Etsy shop that display a 12 x 12 page. If you would like a chance to win one, then please leave a comment on this post saying which project you liked best in this years Christmas countdown and I will draw a number using next Sunday! Good luck!

Roses are green?????!!!

Well, in my case they were! I think this was my favourite class from the recent UKs cybercrop by Pam (aka Wombat) and Angel Crafts. The original class had a wedding photo on it to compliment the roses, and I had this wedding photo of mum and dad waiting to be scrapped! I decided (as usual) to take a vintage theme! I used Cosmo Cricket as my backing paper and the roses were made from Pink Paislee "charming" paper. Add in a Prima Chrystal swirl and some other bits and bobs and I even did a bit of quilling!! Ink all the edges with an olive green ink pad and the vintage look is complete. A couple of bits of lace and a couple of punch out butterflies and the job's a carrot!!! Just loved making those roses! although we were supposed to have more on the page!!
Right, better get off, going out to buy a new bedroom telly! TFLx

Friday, 27 November 2009

Job's for today list!

(One of my layouts from the recent UKs cybercrop. Those tiny rolls of paper all down the left hand side, make this very 3D. The checked fabric adds texture too. Basic Grey Wassail papers.)

To Do List:
Barney's Christmas card shoot - very late I know and no outfit yet!!
Last weeks ironing done
This week's ironing done
Upstairs cleaning (Got totally sidelined last week due to DS1's washing and ironing mountain from Uni!) some of it done
Walking the dog done
Listing things on eBay done
Studio Calico subscribers reveal 5pm done
DS2 Haircut after school 5.15pm done
Cook something for tea done

Ok, I can't see any crafting on there???? Yesterday was lost to the queen as I ended up taking DS2 into town for his Tap exam at ten and did not get back until 2, then did a quick processing of washing and drying and walked the dog, before nipping off to school for a two hour twilight meeting!!! Fortunately hubby had managed to follow the pasta recipe to the letter, so tea was on the table when I got in, but after tea, everything went to pot! I was so cold, I ended up getting into bed at 8.30 with the electric blanket on and next thing I know it's nearly midnight!!! Well, I must have needed it!! At least I was not sickening for something, as this morning I feel fine!

I set off yesterday with scrapping in mind, taking my camera into town as we have a German Christmas market this year, but I never got to it!! I spent ages in TK Maxx and Debenhams trying to get a few presents sorted. It is hubby's birthday next week, so thought I had better pull my finger out and get something quick!! (If he is reading this, which he does from time to time) don't panic!! It's sorted!! Lol!

Did I tell you I managed to blow up the bedroom telly??? No? Well that was something!! On Saturday night, I retreated to the bedroom due to "wall to wall" match of the day down stairs and suddenly, part way through my program, there was a flash and a bang and the telly went off and then there was a strong smell of burning plastic!!! I suppose it is an old telly and we can't grumble, we have decided it was about 14 years old, not bad these days for an appliance!!! I know how old it is, because it was the replacement for a telly that DS2 broke when he was only 18 months old!!! Yep! That's true too! Another funny story! (This post is turning into a Ronnie Corbett monologue again!!) DS1 had done his first day at school and he had been sent a first day at school card by grandma. I placed it on top of the telly and DS2 decided he wanted a closer look. He must have pulled himself up and the telly on the shiny mahogany video cabinet, went flying and the tube smashed on the floor! How DS2 did not get hurt I will never know! Anyhow, that was how I know when we bought this telly as it was the insurance replacement!

Ok, rambling over, I know how you have all missed these real life posts! Not!!! I can put it off no longer, Ironing here I come!
Updated at 7pm!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Pen drives wash at 40 degrees!!

I know this for a fact, because in the mountain of washing that accompanied my son home from Uni this weekend, was a pen drive in his jeans pocket that has been "missing for ages" apparently! I was just about to iron it when I discovered it and spent an anxious few moments wondering if he had all his work backed up!! Fortunately for me, unlike phones that can't swim, flash drives apparently can!! Another delight for me this weekend was the three day old wet football kit that was in a knotted carrier bag that had started to grow mould!! Due to his lack of funds, he had been unable to afford a washing machine this week and so had just brought it home!!! Well , I have to say it's not as bad as his mate who has not washed his bedding since his mum put the sheets on, on September 20th! Well, the Christmas countdown is over for another year! Can't believe how quickly that has gone!! I have a few extra projects that I will be sharing with you over the next few days. What else have you missed? Well, there was a cybercrop over at UKs and I only had chance to do a few layout classes as I was a bit heavily committed that weekend including my first ever craft fayre!! I had a great time at the craft fayre and it was interesting to see what was popular and what I have still got left!! I also wrote one of my funny poems, for a friend who has undergone reconstruction surgery after her mastectomy and posted a hilarious account of her fitting for a new nipple! Yes that is true and she wanted a poem to accompany her page!! I admire her spirit, scrapping her journey! I will ask her permission before sharing it here!
So back to normal posting for me! Still some craft work to do before Christmas!! TFLx

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Project 25 - Biscuits for Santa!

Well, can you believe it, here we are at project 25 of the Christmas countdown, twenty five projects in twenty five days! I did worry when I started it again this year that I had committed to a lot of work, but I have enjoyed it all!! I hope you have too! Needless to say, just like last year, there are a few extra projects that will be appearing in the next few days, that did not quite make the top 25! I have tried to make it more varied this year and included crafts at various levels and abilities. I would also hope, that with my instructions, you could give any one of these projects a shot!! Christmas and it's preparations, still remains my favourite time of year, we feel stressed and under pressure, but somehow, we get there in the end! I am really looking forward to filling in my December daily album with you throughout the month and hopefully we can compare notes and ideas! So let's get cracking with the biscuits for Santa!

You will need:
Ready made ginger heart biscuits (mine were from IKEA)
Silver spoon Ready made Royal icing mix (just add water!) It is stronger than glace icing.
Small piping bags (I made them from a cone of greaseproof paper)
Star nozzle and straight nozzle for writing
Narrow gingham ribbon/Christmas ribbon
Small red sleigh bells (Paperchase)
Tiny Attacher
Scotch magic tape

1. Mix up the royal icing according to the packet instructions, make sure it is not too runny or it will not pipe easily. Pipe stars around the edges of the biscuits and write simple words in the centre of each one e.g. Santa, Ho, Ho, Ho, Noel, Joy, Peace etc Leave to dry overnight.
2. Cut a piece of cellophane roughly A4 size, turn under 1cm along one edge and crease. Fold in half to find the mid point and crease lightly on one edge only (like we did here.)
Roll around into a cone around this mid point, making sure it is a point at the bottom of the cone. Secure with Scotch magic tape.
3. Thread the heart biscuits on to a length of ribbon and knot. Place two biscuits, back to back and slide into the cellophane cone. Turn down the top point of the open cone and secure with more Scotch tape. Fold back each corner at the top and secure with tape.
Thread a sleigh bell on to a piece of twine, knot securely and staple to the cellophane, using the tiny attacher.
Have these biscuits at the ready to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve or hang them on the tree! If they last that long! A great little gift for any child. Not suitable for the under 3's as the sleigh bell is small.

A friend has made an arrangement of these biscuits, some scented hearts and a few hand made tags on some twisted willow sticks in a vase and made a stunning table centre!! Great perfume too! I use them to adorn my garland on the mantle piece in the lounge! I love the smell!

December Daily album - Day 25
This page is made from a large envelope, the one's that take a piece of A4 paper flat!! I folded it in half and kept it in one piece. I punched hole in the fold using the Cropadile, after I have covered it on all sides with patterned paper. It will be good to arrange photo's from the big day!!

In case I fancy carrying on after Christmas, I have added a few extra pages, maybe to add some special gift tags to or Christmas cracker jokes or even my thank you letter list! Who knows??!!
This page has an old leaflet from a parlour game that I have covered in patterned paper and I may use it to list the gifts I got this year!! Stash, stash and more stash, hopefully! Lol!
Thanks for playing along, and here's to the next Christmas countdown in 2010!!! Lol!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Project 24 - Coasters - teacher gift

I have to admit these are not a new idea, I have made them before on this blog, in fact it was my son who made them first here, however it suddenly struck me what a fab teacher gift they would make!! Take care with your laminating, she says, who managed to laminate one of these to the rollers on my machine and spent the next hour and a half taking it apart!!! If you put in something small, use the carrier sheet that comes with your machine!!! Lol!!

You will need:
MDF blanks in circles or squares
Paint dabber
Hot laminator
Laminating pouches
Patterned papers
Felt or similar for backing to coaster
Heavy duty double sided tape (DIY store)
Dark Brown ink pad

1. Using the paint dabber, paint the edges of your MDF blanks and leave to dry for a few minutes.
2. Choose your background papers and draw around one of the coasters as your template, cut out. Choose elements from other patterned papers and arrange a couple of things on the surface of the mat to see what works. Keep the layers minimal (or the laminating pouch wont go through the machine easily later on.) Ink any edges if required and hold in position with a small amount of tape. 3. Place the backing paper circles inside a laminating pouch and pass the pouch through the laminator to seal.

4. Cover the surface of the coaster with the heavy duty double sided tape, trim with a craft knife. Line up the laminated cover carefully and place on the double sided tape. You only get one shot at this so be accurate!!!!
5. On the reverse of the coaster repeat the process, this time using a circle of felt or cork paper. Ink the edges of the coaster with the dark brown ink pad to disguise any slight inaccuracies.
Great, simple teacher presents and very useful too! What about adding photo's or names or funny phrases? Possibilities are endless!
December Daily - Day 24
This is the pouch side of the photo wallet. I tucked the flap inside the wallet and then added several pages for photographs, made from black album pages. Some of them had patterned paper on and some have pleated ribbon under the edge. Lots of space here for Christ,as eve pics!!!
Pop by tomorrow for our final crafting project of the countdown to Christmas!!! Doesn't time fly when you are having fun!! TFLx

Monday, 23 November 2009

Project 23 - Laundry Bags

A great gift idea in two different sizes. You can use them to hang up in your room on holiday to collect all the smalls and keep them safe until you return home. I have done machine applique on mine again, but you could just iron on the design using Bondaweb or even embroidery. These are made from Linen tea towels that I have bought whilst on holiday! (Yes, I know I am strange!!) The blue one was a large tea towel from Italy and the red one was a smaller tea towel from a French supermarket.
You Will Need:
A linen tea towel
Scraps of cotton fabric
Vilene or Bondaweb to iron on the back of the scraps
Sewing machine
1. Draw some simple clothes or letters on to scrap paper and cut out. Iron Bondaweb on to the scraps of fabric, pin on the pattern pieces and cut put.
2. Fold the teas towel in half and arrange the clothing or letters centrally on the tea towel. Iron in place to secure. Open the tea towel out flat before sewing with a machine satin stitch as before. (Zig-zag stitch width 2 and length about one half.) Press it flat when complete.
3. With right sides together, sew the bag together across the bottom and up the side. Turn down a hem on the inside of the top of the bag, big enough to take the cord you have chosen, remember it needs to be washable!! Leave a gap to be ab;e to thread the cord in.
4. Using a safety pin, thread the cord through the channel around the top and knot securely. Check the cord will gather up, by drawing the bag closed. Your laundry bag is complete!
December Daily - Day 23
This date is my elder son's birthday, so I have made this page an envelope to store photo's inside. I took an old cardboard photo envelope and covered it with patterned paper on all sides. I added some large eyelets to stop the holes from tearing as there might be a lot in this page! I covered the folded edges on the wallet with ribbon - fabric and paper. I added a fabric tag from Making memories for decoration.
Pop by tomorrow fro another crafting project! TFLx

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Project 22 - Chuppa Chupps carry pack

Another one for the kids today!!! (Big and little!!) Apologies in advance for the poor quality pics!! These could be party favours, hung on the tree or used on the table!
You will need:
Sheet of thick paper I used American Crafts A La Carte papers
4 Gromlets
Big Bite
Large designer eyelet
Tissue paper
4 Chuppa Chupp lollies or similar
Double sided tape
1. Cut a piece of the patterned paper 10 cm by 26 cm. Score at 2cm from short edge then 12cm, then 14cm then 24cm. Score at 2cm up from one of the long edges right across.
2. Using the large designer eyelet and the Big Bite, make a hole in the front panel of the bag and set the eyelet for decoration. You could use something else to decorate if you don't have a Big Bite.
3. Set some gromletts in the top edge of the bag where you want the ribbon handles. These just stop the ribbon from pulling through and tearing when you carry them. Punch holes in the centre of the gromletts using the big bite.
4. Thread through two lengths of ribbon for the handles and knot on the outside for decoration.
5. To assemble the box, apply double sided tape along the inside of one of the sides. Cut up to the lower score line on the long edge at every vertical score line. Overlap the side seam and stick in place.
Complete the base of the box like wrapping a parcel, fold in the sides first and then one of the longer base pieces, applying double sided tape to each piece as necessary. Complete with scrunched piece of tissue paper in the base to support the lollies.
December Daily - Day 22
Very simple, piece of patterned paper on the other side of yesterday's black page.
Pop by tomorrow for anither crafting project! TFL x

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Project 21 - Voucher Vases

Last year I was looking for a novel way to give money or a voucher and I came up with money wallets. This year I decided to get a bit more creative and make a nice gift for a gift card that looked a bot more special, I came up with voucher vases!

You will need:
A small bud vase (mine were from IKEA)
Five bamboo kebab skewers
Patterned paper
Candy Cane
Ribbon offcut
Curling ribbon
Silicone Glue
Flower rubber stamp in large and small
Ink Pad
3" Woodware scallop circle punch (purple)
Smaller Woodware scallop circle punch (Blue)
Aluminium garden wire
Fine nosed pliers
1. Stamp the flower images on to the patterned paper in two different sizes. Pucn out using the scallop circle punches or hand cut if you prefer.
2. Layer the flowers up using silicone glue and add a button for the flower centre. Glue the flower to the bamboo skewers using the silicone and leave to dry overnight. Add leaves cut from green paper if you want, but not too far down the stems or they will not go in the bud vase.
3. Cut a long length of wire and curl one end around the fine nosed pliers to make a spiral, like we did for the photo holder. Flatten it gently and this will hold your gift card.
4. Tie a short piece of ribbon around the neck of the bud vase and knot or tie a bow.
5. Arrange the flowers in your hand in a bunch and add the gift card folder. When you are happy with the display, hold the stems together temporarily with some sellotape. Using a long length of curling ribbon, wrap tightly around the stems and knot it tightly. Curl the long ends that remain using the blade of your scissors. Feed the long ends into the bud vase and then the stems of the flowers. Check you are happy with the arrangement and then wedge them in place using the candy cane stick.
6. Cut a long strip of cellophane about 50cm wide, stand the vase in the centre and bring up opposite corners and staple. Make pleats in the excess at the sides and staple in place. Curl a long length of ribbon and staple to the top. All you need to do now is add a gift tag! Garden vouchers are great given this way!!
December daily - Day 21
Another spare black page from a mini album. Just add patterned paper and a couple of tags.
Pop back tomorrow for another crafting project! TFLx

Friday, 20 November 2009

Project 20 - Wreaths and Garlands

This year I have made an outdoor wreath an indoor wreath and a spice garland for the kitchen! All would make great gifts too!

Outdoor Wreath
You Will Need:
A plain wreath of green artificial spruce (Homebase or similar)
3 Christmas Ornaments that will withstand outside
One reel of wire edged ribbon
Nutmeg, Cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices
Felt star or similar
Welcome plaque made from Balsa wood or similar painted with word "welcome" and sprayed with spray varnish
Florist wire

1. Lay the wreath on the table and begin by placing items around the wreath to check the arrangement, remember odd numbers of things are best design wise!!
2. Tie a bow in the wire edged ribbon and place to one side, twirl the ends. Punch holes in the top corners of the sign and thread wire through the top to hang up. wind it around a pencil to get a twirl effect before threading back through the other side.
3. Once you are happy with the placement of the items, wire them on to the wreath using the florist wire. Hang from the door with a wreath hanger (I wire mine to this to stop thieves!!!)

Indoor Wreath
You Will Need:
Corrugated cardboard
Sheet music
Patterned paper
PVA glue
Foam spreader
Maya Mist - iridescent pearl
Heidi Swapp clear extras - runway

1. Draw a circle on corrugated card and cut away the inner circle to create a wreath ring about 8 inches in diameter. Cut a second one and glue them together for strength making sure the corrugations go in two directions. Leave to dry. Cover one side of the wreath ring with the patterned paper. Tie a loop of string around the wreath ring at this stage to hang up with later.
2. Cut the sheet music into oblongs of various sizes about six inches by four - some bigger and some smaller.

3. Roll each oblong of sheet music into a cone shape and spread glue along the edge to close the seam. Arrange the cones on the wreath ring and apply with PVA glue. Go all around the wreath ring in one layer and leave to dry.
4. When dry, arrange some extra cones of sheet music to cover any gaps in the first layer, so the wreath ring is not visible underneath.
5. Decorate the wreath with 3 clear extras and spritz with Maya Mist in iridescent pearl.

Spice garland
You will need:
6 oranges
1 pack of nutmegs (Mine were from Holland and Barrett)
1 pack of cinnamon sticks
1 box of bay leaves
scraps of fabric
4 mini wooden cotton reels
1. Slice the oranges and lay on a baking tray. Dry them in the oven on a low heat for a long time, turning regularly until they have dried out fully. They smell gorgeous by the way!
Meanwhile, drill a hole through each nutmeg using a cordless screw driver and a fine drill bit. They are quite soft!
2. Group the cinnamon sticks into bundles and tie up securely with twine. Rip the fabric into strips, with tatty edges.
3. Using a darning needle and some twine, start threading all the items on the string in groups, being random with the order. Ties scraps of fabric here and there between items. Make a loop in each end of the twine to hang it up with.

December Daily Album - Day 20
The other side of the jar shaped page. A small piece of patterned paper is stuck down on three sides to make a pocket. A card from some Anna Griffin ribbon makes a pretty tag with a ribbon pull added to the top.
Pop by tomorrow for another crafting project! TFLx