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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Nearly Christmas, don't panic!

I am panicking as usual, cards not ready to give or post, shopping to do, labels for presents, wrap some presents, and it will all be over in a few days time!

I have cards to write and I know I need more, so here is the first one. Marshmallow Snowman from Meljen's Designs (on offer at $2 right now), coloured with Promarkers and Graphit's, and die cut with Spellbinders rectangle. The very pretty paper is by My Mind's Eye called Winter Wonderland, and I just had to turn the corner down, and secure it with a Papermania brad, so the other pretty polka dot side of this double sided paper showed up too. The stack came free with a magazine, gifts have got so much better.
Ribbon from Crafty Ribbons. The small stamped greeting in the corner reads Warm Winter Wishes and is from a Marianne set.

I have entered this card in the following challenges:
Chocolate Coffee and Cards - Christmas (any of the cards here) (Fri 26th Jan)
Pink Gems - Anything Christmas (Jan 3rd)

A batch of quick-ish cards, I had the Hero Arts reindeer, trees and snowflakes stamped, heat embossed and die cut for ages (sadly the snowflake dies have gone missing from the set so I will need to hunt for them and hope they are still in the room and not the trash). So all I had to do was stamp and emboss the background also with a Hero Arts set, and I used tri-coloured Brilliance ink in pink, blue and purple.

I added the embossed panel to a panel of pink metallic card cut with a Spellbinders card creator die, added some Let it Snow ribbon from Crafty Ribbons, and adhered it to a purple metallic card blank.

A leaping reindeer on this one, and more trees and snowflakes. This ribbon is Papermania.

This is a Spyder Lyn image (and is just 99p), I had them coloured and die cut already (with a Spellbinders deckled long rectangle die) so simply had to add them to a card blank and add a bit of Crafty Ribbon ribbon.

I made three, and each image was coloured differently and one was a smaller size. I did wonder if I should add something else but these went off in the post today so it is too late now!

I have entered this card in the following challenges:
Cards Galore - anything goes (Dec)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

WOYWW #289

It's official desk nosy day today, just about still Wednesday! This is not on my desk but I was so amazed by the size of it compared to the butternut squash. It came in my veg box this week, with some free mistletoe as well, and it is a spagetti squash. I just need to work out what to do with it! The striped squash is now a year old, I wonder if it is still edible?

On my desk yesterday, I treated myself to a whole set of new crochet hooks by Knit Pro, loads of people swear by them and I thought they might be easier on the hand than the straight ones.
Also sitting there is a set of stamps I won from Visible Image, part of their new release - I'm so lucky at the moment (well in some ways)! Still not had a go at fixing the handle on the die cutter.

What should be on my desk is last minute Christmas cards, I still have loads to make, not even started the labels or list or writing any yet!

This is my crochet jumper WIP which has grown a lot since last week. I know hooks can vary but I couldn't resist trying out one of my new hooks on the last sleeve, bad idea, I only did a couple of rows but it was a lot smaller than the first sleeve so I abandoned that idea (and began to wonder if my purchase was such a good idea) and went back to the vintage plastic hook I was using. You can't really see it here but the yarn is full of pink sequins so has a sparkle that will be good for Christmas (if I don't look like a mad teletubbie).

On the plus side, I told you I was going for a big declutter of craft stuff at any price. Well I put it all on ebay, some bundled, all at low starting prices and the majority of it sold. Most of it went for the lowest price or not a lot more except for one alphabet die set which went for far more than I expected. Now I have a bit more space and thinking about what else I can get rid of!

Edited to say: I forgot to mention that instead of taking the faulty washing machine to the tip I put it on eBay, I have seen parts for it go for silly money and figured someone might buy it to sell the parts. It did sell, for £29, so that can go towards the cost of the new one, and it was a nice man who wanted to repair his Sister's machine!

Also we went to Bath in order to spend a £5 Debenham's voucher that they sent me, which had to be redeemed by Christmas Eve. As well as petrol, it cost £3.10 for parking, but I spent that £5 - on a salt and pepper mill tray to catch the bits. Shaun decided he wanted something in M&S and wanted to get the Oxfam voucher that you get for donating M&S clothes. There was a pair of my too big M&S linen trousers in there, we stopped by the local Oxfam only to find they were closed for a few hours, so set off on a route march to try and find a shop in Bath. Mission accomplished we headed back down Milsom Street to spend the vouchers. He bought socks, I bought some thermal leggings and some PJs, I don't normally wear PJs but wanted to try them, I normally wear a nightshirt/nightdress alone. Getting older and feeling the cold I guess.

If you want to go desk hopping or find out all about it, head on over to The Stamping Ground where Julia will explain all!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Reminder to Quirky Shake it up.

This week I made the Mitten Shaker card from The Cutting Cafe, and decided that it would be best mounted on a larger card because it didn't stand up alone, I am much happier with my efforts this week. I decorated the mitten border with snowflakes from Fun with Frosty the Snowman, and the background with Christmas Banners colored. I added micro beads and sequins once more.
This is an 8"x8" card, and I used Bo Bunny and My Mind's Eye papers that were as close to the colour scheme as I could get them, with the grey provided by the dull silver card and stitching.
I got the machine out as you can see and stitched round all pieces, the mitten is in a pocket.
Christmas ribbon is from Crafty Ribbons, and looks a bit crooked, I think the pocket must be a little crooked!
I added some snowy buttons and jingle bells, and the mitten cuff is flocked with Polar White Flower Soft.

Side view of the card.

Inside the card.

Here is the mitten removed from the pocket ready to hang on the tree. I wanted the card to look nice still.

 Close ups of the mitten.

 Inside the mitten I used the offcut from the middle of the mitten outline. Waste not, want not....

Here is the mitten hanging up by the ribbon, but not on my tree which isn't up yet.

Why don't you hop on over to Quirky Crafts Challenge blog to see what the talented team have done, and to play along.

You have until Saturday 20th Dec midday to enter.

I have entered the following challenges:

Christmas Cards Challenge - Christmas (Thurs)
Cute Card Thursdays - bells or bows
Daring Card Makers - Shake it off (Thurs)
Glitter and Sparkle - glitter and sparkle (Sun)
Coffee, chocolate and cards - Christmas (Fri 27th)
Fussy and Fancy - snowflakes and ribbon (Jan 8th)
Crafty Card Makers - Christmas (Jan 12)
Creative Fingers - #60 anything goes

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

WOYWW #288

Eeek, it is Wednesday again and time for a nosy, and I know I still owe a few people visits from last week!
This is my work in progress, a sparkly warm winter jumper (sweater) for me, crocheted in King Cole Galaxy in fushia, I love fushia, and it has little sequins all over as well. The sequins are pretty but make it very difficult to unpick if you need to. I have had two really bad balls of yarn so far with mega thick parts followed by mega thin parts, and I ditched one ball completely. If there is a "good" ball it still has knots and the odd thicker/thinner part so I have ended up with loads of ends. I tried to get them so they are at the side now, so I can work them into the seams - going to be thick seams! There are loads in the body of it too, I crocheted them in as I went but with this being a fairly open stitch I am afraid that it shows too much and I might have to pull them all out and try darning them in better. The problem with this is that darning is hampered by the sequins, and on the shrug that I made with the DK version of this yarn, which also had one really bad ball, I had to snip the sequins off carefully so as not to snip the thread they are on! Not looking forward to all of that work.
This is also frustrating, because although I got this yarn at maybe 2/3 price or a little less, it still cost me £40 plus postage for one garment, and that is more than I am spending on any single item at the moment, when I lose more weight it will all be too big! I don't mind a bigger jumper (sweater) though.

EEEEK, it is so very nearly Christmas - it snuck up again!! This is the bottom of the Really Useful Box which has sat on my desk under a pile of printed images, and I remembered I had a pile of printed and stamped images that I had coloured and die cut so they are ready to go on cards - I really need to get them on those cards! I do have a heap of cards but not enough and I should be posting some by now!

On the desk, a few dies I used on the last card, a heap of the Crafty Individual stamps waiting for me to create laminated sheets to file them away. Then there is a white Zipecut folder, this is my first ever die storage, when I bought my first die cutter the Zipecut. I still use it despite the fact it split and is duct taped together. On top is a Meljen image ready to use, and some Cutter Bee scissors. Next to that is a handle, a washer and a tube of glue from Samuel Taylors, sent for me to repair my new die cutting machine. I think from the email, which is from Crafts Too who supplied Samuel Taylors, that Crafts Too expected Samuel Taylors to repair the machine for me, not for me to do it myself which is what Samuel Taylors expect. The "new" handle supplied is not very clean and makes me think it is not "new" at all. I have some photos and instructions, which don't mention what to do with the glue, not had a go at this yet. It isn't very good really, I think I should have insisted on a brand new machine, as mine isn't fit for purpose. The longer they hang this out the better for them.

Anyway this is much shorter than last week, you will be glad I am sure! Also I can report that I have started putting my surplus craft stash on ebay in bargain bundles, I just want it gone - I am sure I will feel much better when it is gone!

If you want to go desk hopping, hop over to The Stamping Ground and start with Julia Dunnit who runs the whole peep show!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Puffin away and candy redraw for the 3rd time!

I am puffin away! I suddenly got the cleaning bug, fed up with mountains of paperwork and stash I have set to work to clear it!

I have redrawn my blog candy for the 3rd and final time, and the winner is HEIDI! 

Congratulations Heidi!

Heidi contacted me via Facebook, she cannot comment on this blog, but she is over the moon with her goodies.

My card today features a Meljen image called Bundled Little Puffin, and I bought him in the December 50% off sale that Meljen is having, couldn't resist this little cutie!

I coloured him with Promarkers and Graph'it pens, and added some Stickles glitter glue. Cut him out with Spellbinders dies, added some In My Mind's Eye paper, and some ribbon and mounted it all on a gold card blank.

This card is Puffin' into the following challenges:
Meljen Designs - Holiday (Thurs)
Moving along with the times - Christmas climate (Thurs)
Fussy and Fancy - Holiday (Thurs 11th Dec)
Daring Cardmakers - red and blue (Fri)
Allsorts - Animal magic (Sat)
Through the Craft Room Door - anything goes (Dec 15th)
Pile it on - anything goes/Christmas holidays (Wed 17th Dec)
Creative Fingers - #59 anything goes (Fri?)
Crafty Cardmakers - Christmas - (dec 28th Jan 12th)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Quirky Shake it Up

Monica set us the challenge to Shake it Up, over at Quirky Crafts. I used the Snowman Shaker card set from our sponsor The Cutting Cafe. I don't have a working electronic cutting machine right now so I printed off the PDF versions and cut it by hand. There is a reason I don't do this - I am rubbish at cutting by hand, either with scissors or knife, and I used both here.
I also used the Fun With Frosty the Snowman set, and I picked one of the sentiments to use in the snowman's tummy. I coloured the elements using the computer. The shovel is not attached! He is quite cute, if very imperfect!
I didn't fully understand how to use this file, now I have seen Monica's fantastic version, which I wish I had seen before I started, I will do better next time. All I can say is Sorry Regina :(.
Maybe I should have just done the colour palette, see below. You can choose the colour palette, the shaker element to your project, or combine the two.

My conclusions: 1. Should have used the colour pallette and avoided any hand cutting.
2. I so need a new electronic cutting machine!

Hop on over to Quirky Crafts to see much better examples, and to join in the fun!

Frosty is shaking it up into the following challenges:
Papertake Weekly - anything goes (Tues)
ABC - Y for Yuletide (Dec 15th)
Crafty Boots - Merry Christmas (21st Dec)
Pile it on - Christmas holidays (Dec)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

WOYWW #287

Edit: I just remembered I better mention that I am finally over the virus which lasted exactly three weeks! Thanks for all of your well wishes during the last two weeks, I appreciate it!

 Sorry to mention the H word on WOYWW, but when an old friend like this dies I feel I must mention it. I don't name my machines, I know folk who do, even cars - they are machines! But I have had this Dyson washing machine for somewhere between 8 to 10 years I think. It was desupported by Dyson a few years ago, when they kindly sent a £50 voucher to go buy a new machine - from Comets! Comets went under the same weekend the voucher arrived haha! Anyway Saturday when I had maybe overloaded it with towels to try and save water and power, it declared it had an F11 fault. I googled this, pressed the buttons that would clear it - yes I could open the door (that was a blessing), but as soon as I tried to get it to wash, or just spin it told me to ring Dyson - who no longer want to know. So that, and the fact I have had to keep a screwdriver to open it since the handle to the interior door broke for the 10th time, never to be replaced - I did find one for £29 online, and didn't bother, meant the machine was on the way out of the door.

 Had to find me a new machine quick, before that we had to visit the only self service laundrette in town to wash the very soggy towels. Now this was not the machine I imagined I would buy, or had ever even looked at but it seemed to have every feature I required, so got AO to price match it because they could deliver it quicker than the other place, and have been worrying in case I should have gone for my first choice ever since. Anyway I got a phone call at just before 7am, when I was just dropping off to sleep again for maybe another hour or two - we are 10 minutes away! I had to leap out of bed and dress, no time to shower, and sort the dogs out, and here it was. I couldn't use it until Shaun came home to fix it up, I couldn't even get the bolt things out of the back, and I can't get down under the counter to the socket and water supply.
Now the first wash, and the machine is sticking out into the middle of the utility room while we ran it to check there are no leaks, resulted in hot sheets. Funny, thought I, they normally come out cold. I remarked that very thing to himself. Then I had a thought, had he hooked the machine up to the cold water? The old machine had hot and cold fill, and normally we look for that to save money, but forgot because the old one had lasted so long. Anyway I had this feeling that when the utility room was built himself did the plumbing and might have got the pipe end things the wrong way round, and said he wasn't going to (or couldn't) change them, but never mind we knew! The second wash was underway by then but I cancelled it, and later he changed the hose over - yes now we have cold water!

Here is the desk, finally after all the H trauma! That lovely bit of curved polystryrene came with the machine, now what can I make with that? You can see  Meljen marshmallow snowman I have coloured, and was meant to enter in a mini challenge but I ran out of time. There is a wooden heart and some tissue to cover it, well a couple of hearts, that I came across the other day, must do that! Behind the snowman is a Fiskars punch I also came across in one of my punch boxes while I searched for snowflakes - and I thought I don't use this punch maybe it can go. But I tried it out first to make sure it was ok, the last one like this exploded itself on my desk before I could advertise it! This particular punch does a very pretty corner, and then embosses it and I have never used it before. I think I will keep it for now. Various ink pads scattered round, and tools and glues, and a pile of stamps and folder of stamps I was using on the left and behind. The Crossover machine still has no handle. I told Samuel Taylors that this was taking too long to sort out and I thought they should replace the machine, they then told me that their suppliers were going to send me a new handle and link to a video on how to put it on, should be interesting - if it ever arrives! UPDATE: Samuel Taylor's rang me today, they have a handle, they have a washer, and they have pictures to help me fit them, and they are sending them.
Last week I showed you my Pan Pastel prize and a couple of people asked how I found them, as they haven't used them. Well I am now the proud owner of 3 "pans" of colour, orange, yellow and hint of sienna, and they seem too precious for me to actually use! I got a load of sponge applicator thingies with the orange and yellow, I will try them soon and let you know what I think.

Here are the results of my crochet efforts for presents. I have made three hats, three pairs of hand warmers, and seven Scarfatis, the thin infinity scarves that you wear alone or together. All of this is supposed to be for my neice and SIL and I hope they will like them. Thinking of the purple hat for my neice, with matching hand warmers, and the orange for SIL, and also the brown. Three "Scarfatis each, brown, orange and green for SIL and purple orange and green for 15 year old neice - what do you think?
They are modelled here by Aunt Sally and her friend and now she has got rid of her bonnet I might have to give her a make over - or is she fine as is?
Well I had to try it all on didn't I, so look away now if you don't want to see!

 NOW the watermark finally shows up way too big! Been messing about with watermarking in PSE and not really seeing it!
Here are three colours of Scrafati twisted up and doubled, should be nice and warm, think I will make some more for me.

I love the purple marbled yarn.
 Not sure orange does a thing for me, but this orange is burnt orange and almost looks red so isn't too bad, apart from making me look sunburnt!
The orange has a strange shiny thread in a very dark orange running through it.

 Here is the hand warmer. I definitely need some of these! I had another photo with the purple handwarmers, not sure where it is but I won't inflict it on you now. One of the purple handwarmers has come out smaller than the other, I have no idea why!
I think I will have to rework it. I found that the purple and greeny marble yarn was thicker than the orange or brown and I had to go down a hook size, but was sure I made the two hand warmers with the same size hook - maybe I didn't!

I haven't made a green hat or hand warmers, or do you call them wristies, wrist warmers, hand cuffs (oh that is funny, maybe not), or wrist cuffs?
 Scarfatis not twisted up double.
I had happy post today, a voile bag with a huge ball of yarn to make a particular jumper for me, except I bought some fushia sequined yarn to make the same sweater and not go to that yet, but this seemed to be selling out and it will be cheaper than the fushia sequined one - even though I was sold that at an offer I couldn't refuse price!
Now if you want to go on a tour of lots of other people's desks - just because it is Wednesday - hop on over to The Stamping Ground where the talented Julia Dunnit started this revolution on her own!
By the time this posts I will be on my way home from a very early hospital appointment, well very early start for me again, two in a row! 
I will link up when I can.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Snowing round in circles.

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas - just like the ones we used to have.....

My last card for the Quirky Crafts reminder for the Quirky going round in circles challenge.
I won the gorgeous Winter Cottage stamp from Crackerbox Palace a couple of years ago, and thought I would use it because I need more Christmas cards! Can you see the little snowman with his ear muffs and scarf?
This first photo shows the shine on the acetate on my shaker card. I saw something on shaker cards in a recent magazine article, and one method was to cut out 6 frames and glue them together, then you don't need foam. I thought I would try it. The size of the image dictacted that I use the Grand Nestabilities scalloped circles for this.
The stamped image was first coloured with Promakers and Stickles Ice Diamond glitter glue, then cut with a scalloped circle die.

You can probably see that I haven't managed to line up the 6 frames perfectly. I added acetate which was also cut with the scalloped circle die, to the top of the glued frames then added the Papermania paper cut to a frame on top.
Then the frame is turned onto its face and sequins, glitter and beads added. Then the image is glued onto the frame and seals the material in.
I made a card base to add to the back, then punched a hole through the top of the frame to thread some glitter "ribbon" through so that it can be hung on the tree or a wall if required, and kept for years maybe.
The sentiment is die cut with Xcut dies, they are quite large words.

This is how it hangs.

Inside the card, I used the middle part cut from the paper frame to add to the card, the blank side (well blank for now) is for writing on although it might not be necessary as I could have written on the back and not made a card. This way it can stand like a card, or be hung, and the back part could be cut off for future use.

This is the shaken up effect. Pretty I think.
Now all I need is a big enough envelope - or maybe I will make a box as it is quite thick.

I'm going to shake my way into a few challenges:
Stamping Sensations - Simply Christmas
I love Promarkers - #247 Frosty the Snowman (Wed)
Simon Says - anything goes (Wed)
Addicted to Stamps - Holiday (Wed/Fri)
Bunny Zoe's - snow (Fri?)
Winter Wonderland - dies and punches (Fri)
My time to craft - snowmen (Sat)
Pile it on - Sprinkle it (Wed)
Glitter n Sparkle - 113 Use some Snow (Sun)
Vintage Stamping - A Christmas song, White Christmas (Mon)
ABC Challenges - Y is for Yuletide (Mon)
Cards Galore - anything goes (Mon)
Creative Fingers - #58 anything goes (Fri??)
Bearly Mine - Christmas Ornament, anything but a card (mine can be) (Dec, last ever challenge).
Country View Challenges - nostalgic Christmas (Dec)
The Artistic Stamper - anything goes (Dec)
Die Cut Diva's - snow (Dec)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Quirky circling around.

It is Quirky reminder time again, and we have gone round in circles for this challenge, any sort of circles will do - on the project, a circular project, clever circles - whatever you want to play with.!
I have slightly cheated in that I had the card made with the tissue box on it already, and blogged about it being work in progress a while back. Now it is finished, I have added the stamped sentiment and bugs, all die cut in circles. Then I doodled with a paper white pen, one corner got a little messed up, and was not correctable, but hey it will have to do!
Our sponsor is Crackerbox Palace, and the bugs and sentiment are here, and the tissue box here. Of course you can choose to have them as digi images for just $3 by contacting Crackerbox, or winning them! My tissue box was a digi image, and the rest are stamped this time.

I used Get Well Soon... and don't let anyone tell you soup will help, great sentiment I think. I put it in a circle too, and changed the colour to purple to match the card.

I also have another sentiment stamp, which says "hope you are back on your feet soon", I thought about using it inside, but it has vanished from its laminated sheet!

The bird and egg are Crackerbox Palace stamps, which you can get as digi images too. I though this would be a funny new baby card, the bird looks like it is wondering what came out of  it's rear, what could have happened, and there on the floor is the hatching egg it produced!
The sentiment is made from a Kars set, and I added gingham ribbon from Crafty Ribbons and two different ric racs. 

I'm working on another card, but you will have to wait, the stickles are drying and I have to go out for a while.

I have entered the following challenges:
Left of Centre - babies (Fri)