Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Another update on fleece trials and canvasses

Hello there

It's interesting, as the other day when I first started cutting the fleece fabric up, Chris said "why are you continuing to do something which you clearly aren't enjoying?" It's easy. I have to. You can't let all challenges beat you. I put making this dressing gown on my Crafty Plan for 2012, so I have to give it my best shot. I'm achieving too as it's now got a collar, front facing and sleeves as modelled delightfully by my daughter below:
I have to tell you that she'd just had a shower - her hair is wet, not greasy :-)

It's hard to see much from this as I haven't sewn the inside seam of the sleeves, so they're just a flap of material at the moment.

Maggie has also been very productive tonight as she's done some black lined sketch drawings on her canvas. All that needs to be done now is cover it with pva. There's some stitching still to be done on the board she's created but she'll do that tomorrow in class; varnishing tomorrow night, then hand it in on Friday. I do hope that the teacher appreciated the amount of extra work she's done by completing the canvas. The teacher knows nothing about the canvas yet, so the element of surprise will be there too. I'll have to get a wriggle on and try to finish mine too.

Take care out there

Monday, 30 January 2012

Update on our African creatures and my dressing gown

Hello there

We've been at it again. We've been wafting a brush around. Yes, that's right my daughter and I have done some more work on our Eric Tournaire inspired projects.

I'm not sure if I should've coated the canvas with something first as I found that I had to re-do the border sections on my canvas as the paint wasn't 'sticking' so to speak. Thankfully the creatures didn't get affected by the pva glue we used to adhere them to the canvasses.
We just need to do some basic pen markings on them tomorrow and then coat them, either with pva or with Claudine Hellmuth's matt medium. I might have a little practise run during the day to check that it doesn't affect the paint; I doubt it will but I'd rather be sure in my mind.

I also managed to get something done on the dressing gown I'm making. I really didn't enjoy doing the pockets as I found the material too light and the nap gets in the way of the machine's needle sometimes and the pile... well, that gets everywhere! I was not a happy bunny so I looked online for any hints and tips... I know, I know, I should've done that before starting but I wasn't expecting it to be so awkward. Maeri from The Makeando Studio in Stockton Heath answered my plea for help on her Facebook page and she suggested the Coats and Clark website and I also found very similiar advice on Burda's website. It's all fairly straightforward advice but it boils down to me having to go slowly and have patience. Mmmm, if I must! Anyway, I got the pockets attached and the back piece is now attached to the front, so it's taking shape. I'm going to the Make and Do Studio's open night on Thursday February 2nd, so I'm sure Maeri will ask how it's going, so I'd better get it done!

Take care out there
p.s since writing this post, I've learnt that painting Gesso over the canvas before painting is a good idea to help the acrylic paint sit better on the canvas

I HATE this fabric!!

Hello there

Grrrrr! I've only just started on the sewing of my dressing gown and my blood pressure is up to, well, whatever high is on the blood pressure scale! Thankfully I've never had much to do medically with high blood pressure, so I don't know the proper terms. It's some kind of fleecy material. I didn't like it when I was cutting it up into the pieces but now that I'm trying to sew it, I CANNOT STAND IT!

I've come to the laptop to try to regain composure and relax, breathe and possibly look for some words of wisdom on the subject of sewing with whatever it is. I got it as it's the same material as my daughter's gown, which is so cuddly and nice to touch.

Look at me!
Blinkin' bits of fluff are everywhere!

When I sew, the material stretches so much it's hard to keep in a straight line and it's so light that the seams you make are very difficult to keep in place.

It's at times like these I wish I had tonnes of followers who would be able to give me advice on how to treat this fabric; other than throw it out of the window of course. I'll have to suffice with a Google search instead.
Here's a wonky pocket to show you what I mean:

Right, I'm off to fight some more with this stuff - if you have any flashes of inspiration, please do share :-)

Take care out there

Sunday, 29 January 2012

What? Me? Painting?!!

Hello there
Whoa! Breathe Diane! I have just spent some time this morning painting something other than walls and doors; which I have plenty of experience at.

Imagine the scene; dining table covered with colourful plastic cover, small canvasses at the ready, new Claudine Hellmuth 'proper' brushes laid out, acrylic paints in their gorgeous little tubes still in the box and lids un-popped open ( I love opening new tubes with the pokey end of the lid). Then in comes one rather intrepid Diane, who just puts some paint straight onto a larger brush and yes.... it's going to happen...onto the .....CANVAS!!! And then she's off.. the world doesn't collapse as we know it; explosions don't happen; the canvas doesn't collapse under the weight of the paint; the canvas just changes colour.

Maggie watches from the sidelines at first and then seeing the smile on Diane's face, gets her canvas and chooses a different colour and does the same thing. With the same result; her canvas changes colour.
This was the project half way through

My weird animal thing with some snakes
I know I'm making a joke of it but I've never painted on canvas before, so was excited and nervous to do it (as previously mentioned in a post), as I'm well aware of my rather large limitations as a artist. I'm going to have to use paints and canvasses on the BPC class I'm doing with May Flaum, starting next month, so I've used my daughter's art project as an excuse to practise beforehand and hopefully to inspire her as she's not confident either and nervous about showing it to her class. She doesn't have to do the canvas but I'm encouraging her to go beyond basic requirements and exceed expectations.
Maggie's brilliant creature with a snake

The project uses Eric Tournaire's art as inspiration; hence the mythological type characters with strong colours. As you can see we painted our creatures onto paper as a safe option, so that if we weren't happy at all with what we painted, we could just screw it up, throw it away and start again. We'll cut them out and glue them onto the canvas another day.

I've got to dash anyway as she's now pushing my boundaries by getting me to watch War Horse with her.

Take care out there

p.s. I've been to see the movie now - quite emotional and I couldn't watch half of it due to the extreme conditions both men and horses had to endure in the First World War.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Scrapping the house, again.

Hello there
Shock! Horror! I actually remembered to finish the first scrap page about the house.

I had to finish it on my own too as my friend and I had other things to discuss last night, so I've just finished it tonight before Chris gets back from London. I think I said in my previous post but I have been really surprised at what little inspiration I've been able to lay my hands on in relation to house/home projects. I know of various stamp sets which have houses on them but they're usually oldy worldy houses not modern day ones. I just thought that more people would've done layouts for the building of their new home or just about their home. Maybe this world is so sad, that nobody will put photos of their home online incase somebody comes to burgle them but burglars could pass your home on a daily basis- how the internet changes that is beyond me.... sorry I'm getting off the point here.

The brick affect could be achieved by a CraftArtist kit called 'Planet Pop' but since that's nearly £4, I didn't bother as the brick wall background was the only reason I wanted it. There are also masks with the brick wall effect but I don't own one of them either. In the end I got the brick pictures from a Google search for images. I edited it slightly so it wasn't so bold and bright.

It's not great by any stretch of the imagination and I will need to think about some other possibilities for house related papers and embellishments as I have many more house photos to scrap. I did it though; another scrap page is complete! I think my last one was January 16th, so it hasn't been weekly yet as my Crafty Plan aims for but it's another one done and it's alot more than I've ever done before, so I am achieving. So I am happy.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Scrapping the house

Hello again

Yes, I'm starting to do scrap pages about the house; I can't believe that we've almost been in it a year. There's still loads to do, even such things as light fittings but hey, ho, we're fine going along at a calm pace and not getting ourselves into financial difficulty as a result.

I'm using two photos from October 15th 2010. I took so many photos of the house when it was being built and they're all over the place; some on facebook, some on my old computer, some on Chris's various camera memory cards; probably some on my old digital camera; Maggie has some on her computer etc. Almost every technological thing can take photos these days, which I find, makes it hard to keep track of them all. It's the same with the dogs; the photos are all over the place.
Tonight I've cut out some images from the Heritage cartridge; font size 3/4" (with corresponding 'font shadow' function); house 1 and 2 cut at 3", lamp1 cut at 1.5" and house5 charm function cut at 4". I looked online for inspiration with layouts for houses but there was nothing that I liked.I also had a look at CraftArtist but there was very little indeed on there which I found rather unusual. I saw a great idea on dailyCraft using templates but none of them were for houses unfortunately. I suppose I could've just used a basic layout but I didn't want that.

The photo shows what I basically intend to do with it  (the title will go along the top) but it needs something to make it a bit more complete/interesting/layered. I'm going to a friend's house for a little while tomorrow night to do some crafting, so I'll see if she can inspire me with her artiness. I'll put the small amount of journalling I want onto that tag type thing on the bottom left; I thought it looked a bit like a fancy door.

If I remember, I'll post you the finished outcome.

Take care out there

Saturday, 21 January 2012

I'm much happier with colour

Hello there

I've just made two more of the 3D balls I made this morning. I've used some 'My Mind's Eye' Totally Girl paper. I forgot to mention in my previous post that these are so great as well because you don't use any  adhesive at all; you just slot them all together. The cutting out is made easier when you layer two or three together, so they can be made in next to no time.

I've attached them through some holes in my desk (it's an Ikea one - the holes are meant to be there -it's fate!). I had to use some jewellery wire to thread the ribbon through - KNEW that would be useful one day. They now adorn my desk - adorn is such a lovely word.

What a lovely way to spend time on a completely horrible weather day.

Take care out there

Wasting time is research

Hello there

I've just made this gorgeous little 3D paper ball decoration in no time at all. I subscribe to DailyCraft on Facebook and they link to loads of different projects every day. This project came from howaboutorange blog. I originally told myself " no, don't do that as it's not on your 'plan'". I fairly quickly realised that it won't be a waste of time to do it at all. Doing little things like this could bring my motivation back; it could give me an idea for a lovely home decor item; it could be the start of a whole new business for me. Who knows where little steps could lead to?

I must stop seeing distractions as bad things; I must see them as having a different purpose for me. The skill will come when I get my mojo back and I then must focus it on something I'm working on from my 'plan'.

The oil is in this photo to give some idea of the size of the ball

If I get a chance this weekend, I'll print out the template again on nice patterned paper. I'm going to put hanging storage in front of my desk (well, Chris will hopefully) and I could hang some of these from them, so that they'll be pretty as well as practical.

Take care out there

Friday, 20 January 2012

The fire went out

Hello there

It's now Friday 20th January and so much for me being on fire; think someone must've thrown a bucket of water over me as I haven't done a thing for last three days. The weather hasn't been great i.e pouring down with rain and windy, so that's possibly to blame. I suppose none of us know why these complete creative freezes happen.

I haven't done anything with the dressing gown as since it's been cut into the pattern pieces, it drops bits of material everywhere as it's a fluffy material, so that's a pain in the neck.

I've just realised, after looking around my room, that I'm not being completely fair on myself.
Fair enough, the dressing gown is still in the same state as it has been for a week but beside it, is a book a friend of mine has suggested I read for a real giggle; a Dawn French book called 'A Tiny Bit Marvellous'. Beside that is part of an art project I'm helping my daughter to do and over that is some tissue paper and the delivery note from an Art From The Heart order I received this week with loads of great goodies ready for my May Flaum BPC class which starts in February.
So all in all I've done more than I thought. The stencilling for the art project wasn't completely successful but since it's for the background, we're going to cover over some of the worst bits. We sprayed it outside on large plastic sheets, so as to stop it getting wet and to stop Maggie spraying it all over the furniture. It was freezing out there! Bless her, she goes along with these crazy ideas of mine.

I also practised a different form of stencilling with the actual letters which were created for the stencil we sprayed over. I created the stencil with my Cricut, cutting through acetate as I don't have the fancy 'proper' stuff. ( Lyrical letters cartridge, jumbo function size 1.5 inches).
 Maggie also needed some material letters to make the name Eric Tournaire, whose work her art project discusses; so I cut those with my Cricut, with some of the material left over from making the curtains for this craft room/guest room. She's going to sew them onto the project. I'm really quite pleased that she's trying so many techniques but also sees the need for things like the fonts to be the same size and style for continuity in the design. I'm also loving her enthusiasm for it.
I now feel much better as I have actually achieved things in the last few days; just not as much as I think I should be. I have achieved other 'none crafty' things today and yesterday, so perhaps it's time to stop beating myself up.

I also had treatment on my right foot yesterday, which is now quite painful to walk on, so that has probably affected my mojo.

Ok, enough is enough. There's only so much muttering I can expect anyone to read.

I'm off to start the Dawn French book to give myself a break and a giggle. Hope you can do something similiar too.

Take care out there

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I'm on fire!

Hello there

Wow! I am certainly doing alot of blogging lately, which means something good. That's it! I'm also crafting alot. I've just decided that I'm not going to publish this until Wednesday or there's just overkill for the poor dedicated 'Diane's Mutterings' follower. Yes, I am being sarcastic. It's mainly because it pans things out for me. If I leave this until Wednesday (date of writing is 16th January 2012), then tomorrow and Wednesday I'm free to continue with the dressing gown I'm in the middle of doing, rather than feeling a 'need' to do another page of my blog.I have another post scheduled for tomorrow - told you I've been a busy bee!

One of my Crafty Plan points is to make a scrapbook page once a week. I've just completed this week's page. Recently my daughter has been enjoying drawing Manga cartoon characters. She often goes through phases of enjoying drawing different things but this is the second time she's been drawn to the Manga style. I love it! .....

 sorry to sidetrack but it's so funny because as I'm typing here, she's in the shower in the next room singing her heart out to Lady Gaga.....

where was I?.. oh yes.. so I've used one of her drawings for this page. It just happened so quickly. I obviously looked to the picture for inspiration but didn't know what colour to use. I  looked through one of my craft shelves and found the handmade papers and thought that was excellent for this. I chose blue tones as the girl looks a bit sad. I then was able to know what colour base paper I wanted. I selected this My Mind's Eye paper as it looks like a notebook entry, which is exactly what Maggie used to draw this girl onto. I had to tear the paper that the girl is on to match the handmade papers to enhance the casual, sketchy nature of the whole drawing.

I used the same pen to write the journalling as was used to do the drawing.

I put ribbons on because there is a ribbon on the girl's top. I put the wavy border on to match the ribbon effect on the top too. Method in my madness, you see!

The parenthesis were just another lucky find in my stash. They're from a set I paid £1.25 for in a sale according to the label- bargain!

I've just shown Maggie the completed page and she seems happy with it, especially the backing paper, so I'm going to sleep tonight as a contented girl whose had a marvellous crafty day with some sunshine, exercise and definitely fresh air. I'm off to have more fresh air now as I take the dogs for their last walk of the day.
Take care out there

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

My poor sis

Hello there

I found out on Wednesday that one of my sisters needs to go for an operation on Monday. Hopefully she'll be in and out in a day but she'll need to rest afterwards, which is hard with two young boys. Mum and George are going down there to try to help out. I've made her a little 'get well soon card', which will put a little smile on her face with any luck.

The stamp I used is a Stampavie one called Ruffles puppy plaque. Before you say anything, I know the colouring isn't great with the pencils but I am still very new to all of that. I got my original inspiration for this card from the stamp itself as it's fairly new, so I hadn't used it before and I think he looks good for a get-well card due to that one patch over an eye.

For the layout I looked in a couple of places but finally I decided on Bev Rochester's card on the Stampavie blog.

I then chose the backing paper which of course decides the colour scheme. I inked the edges with a diluted version of 'worn lipstick'; I also used that to go around the edges of the toppers but for that I just rubbed the ink pad around the edges rather than using the blender tool.

Note to self- photograph cards and envelopes BEFORE the person's address is on the envelope!!!
 This is the second take with the help of white card and blue tack

I used Craft Artist to get the shaped toppers; actually remembering to measure the stamp first, so make sure that the toppers would be large enough.  The shape is from the Poppy Tots kit. The ribbon comes out of little slits I made each side of the smallest topper. The sentiment base was just created using a scaled down version of the large back topper. The sentiment just came to me as I was doing that, which I was really chuffed with as I hadn't got a clue which to use, other than settle with stamps I've got which say 'best wishes' or 'for you'.

The flowers were cut with the button function of Doll2 on the Paisley cartridge. I inked the red patterned flowers with 'worn lipstick' and the green ones with shabby shutters. The brads are Papermania pearls.

Take care out there

Date of writing: 13th January 2012

Monday, 16 January 2012

Yee hah!

Hello there

That's it, I've done it. It's finished! and it's 13.13 on January 16th 2012. After going to the Flower Shoppe cartridge workshop yesterday and not finishing the wreath, I've now spent the morning finishing it. Well, ok and a small bit of the afternoon. In all fairness to me though I didn't get started until 10.30.
The colours are not quite what I would've chosen but that's my own fault as Mel did give us the chance to choose different papers but since it was my first one, I thought it best to go with what she gave us, so that I could make sure I was doing the right thing with the right paper. It is quite a long process, especially doing it the first time. These can clearly be done in whatever colour mix you like to alter the effect. This looks a bit twee for me.

The main difficulty people had yesterday was point 7 in the instructions, which is cutting 4 of 'HEART1' (the centre of the pink flowers). It is a very intricate cut and many of the ladies' machines were chewing up the paper. Mel suggested to use pressure 4 and blade depth 4 and she always has top speed on. We were using a mixture between coredinations paper and Bazzill. I had a new mat which I think aided me too, as Pam did the correct settings on hers and it still didn't work, so I cut them out for her and all was fine.

Rolling the spiral pieces to make the centres is quite fiddly. The main thing I learnt from that was that I put the glue on the base of the wound up paper, rather than on the tab; which is at the end of the spiral- I found it easier to keep it all in place that way. It's just something you need to get into the swing of and then it could be done with much better efficiency.
To finish it off, I sprayed it with Crafter's Companion 'Spray and Sparkle' and put some gems/brads to the centre of some of the flowers. Mel had also embossed some of the pink base flower but for my first attempt, I just wanted to learn the basic skills/techniques rather than go overboard on small detail.

That's one thing ticked off my 'Crafty Plan'. I'm so chuffed that I knuckled down and finished this today. I remained focused and therefore achieve my goal in the time frame I wanted.

I'm rather pleased with myself, so now off to ground myself with housework and dog walks although it's very sunny yet also very cold here, so the walk will be fine.

Take care out there

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A flower wreath

Hello there

Today I went to a Mel Heaton Cricut class using the Flower Shoppe cartridge. I've wanted this cartridge for a long time, so I was so glad to learn about this class and you get the cartridge as part of the price - which is rather excellent, to put it mildly. I'd like to type that we made a flower wreath but that isn't completely honest. We went through all the stages of cutting the shapes  and then inking and dashing them but I only actually managed to put together 3 flowers. There are alot of shapes involved as you can see; 30 of one shape:

Let me put it this way; there was much heated debate on the philosophy of how to deal with difficult situations, husbands/partners; freedom and a few things inbetween with much laughing going on inbetween. Sufficive to say, the amount of crafting was sometimes limited. I must take this opportunity to publicly thank a lady called Jackie, who was a saviour as I'd forgotten my glasses and she let me borrow a spare pair she had in her bag and which just happened to suit my eyesight perfectly. I also need to thank the lady; Pam, on the other side of me, who let me use her pro-marker to dash lines around loads of my shapes as I didn't have a brown pen and it saved me having to buy one. How could I fail to have a good time with such lovely people surrounding me?!

This is Mel's version of the wreath I will eventually finish:

Please do visit her blog if you want a full set of instructions yourself to make one.

p.s I'm also a complete convert now to the heat gun - I love the way it dries so quickly, making the whole process quicker and easier.

Take care out there

Card for a 13 year old

Hello there

A quick card posting now. It's for a friend of my daughter's. All I was told was that she likes green and orange?! Yuck! but hey, we're all different.

I got the inspiration for the design from a Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine; in their 100th edition to be exact.Nikki Bowman was the designer. As ever, I make it my own by choosing from the papers I have and other resources. These were from my basic sets at the moment, i.e K&Co best of too (too is spelt like that on the cover) and 'My Mind's Eye' Totally Girl. The mistake I made with this card was that I put the orange word 'Happy' directly over an orange circle, so it's difficult to see. In defence of this card, I will say that it looks better in real life as this photo makes the cake look like it disappears into the background but it doesn't. I used the templates provided in the magazine for the cake but I used the 'Sweet Treats' cartridge for the candles. Fairly quick and easy other than choosing the papers, which always seems to take me too long.

I then decided to make a little bag gift box from the Forever Young cartridge. I've made a few before and I must say, I'm not that impressed with the fold marks or the cuts really. This bag for example didn't have long enough slits in the centre section to make the side parts stay together and the slit for the 'clasp' wasn't wide enough. I met Pam again today at a workshop and she had got 'All wrapped up' - I wonder if the boxes on there cut better. I could always cut boxes with my Ultimate Pro though; it's the handbag style of these boxes that I like so much. I'll just have to keep on making slight adjustments. Another issue I had with this one was when I went to cut the inner orange section, it cut at 'fit to page' as I needed for the main part but of course that was way too big. I had to go through all the motions of cutting the main part again (but not actually cutting it), just so that I could see the display show the actual size the bag was being cut at, so that I knew what size to cut the inner section at. Very annoying really but I should've remembered that as an issue from the other times I've made these bags, although in fairness it has been a long while now.
Other than the awful colour, I love this little gift box - perfect for girls her age with a small present inside.

Take care out there

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Who'd have thought?

Hello there

Small things can make such a difference. Alot of people buy these all the time yet for me, it feels quite unusual for me to actually own them.

What am I on about?

I'm on about canvases and tubed acrylic paint! Look, look!

They're just really cheap ones from Wilkinsons but I don't see the point in me spending a fortune on them right now. I'll wait to see how I get on but they are only canvases. I can just use it as a surface to decorate - it doesn't have to mean painting a masterpiece on. Nowadays with mixed media work being so popular, I'm sure I'll figure out how to use them. As long as I do use them, then it's well worth while. Just letting them sit in a box, afraid to use them; not seeing the light of day, isn't any use for them or me.

Take care

Friday, 13 January 2012

.... when she was good, she was good but when she was bad, she was very bad

Hello there

Well, I've been good for a change. I've resisted the temptation to join in a Facebook homemade items 'thing' and despite finding out about Maeri's Make and do Studio in Stockton Heath, I haven't been there to check it out. Ok, so I have looked at the website and the shop she runs as an off-shoot of that which can be found here: Folksy but I haven't strayed from my Crafty Plan with those things.

Ok, so here is where my halo slips slightly. I ordered a pile of things from Art from the Heart yesterday. Now that in itself isn't too naughty, as I do need a few things for my BPC class with May Flaum. I didn't order all the stuff she suggests because as she rightly states and is my belief with all craft; you don't have to have all the stash shown in demos to re-create your own version. In fact it's more creative if you have to think about replacements. I know it takes alot longer but that's better than getting into financial trouble over.

Ok, ok, I'm getting to the naughty bit (no, don't raise your hopes, I'm not going to make this site get all saucy :-) ). I also ordered yesterday some paint brushes because (you ready for this?! ) I said yes to going to a craft and chat with my friend Jackie, along with some other crafty friends on January 26th. There, I've said. It's out in the open. My wayward ways are now known to all. All jokes aside, a plan is great in itself but I can't cut myself off from the world because of it, or the only thing that will be achieved is loneliness. My Crafty Plan is by no means thorough anyway, as it doesn't mention all the cards I make.

I'm feeling really quite motivated, excited, nervous by these new activities but that's good. I'm alive!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I've swayed from the plan already

Hello there

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. Well, slight exaggeration there. All I've done is make a basic display for my Crafty Plan, which isn't actually on the plan. I think I can forgive myself that little discrepancy. I used it as an opportunity to test out a few cuts from new cartridges I haven't used before; they are 'Walk in My Garden' and 'Winter Woodland'. The larger bird in the left hand corner was bird2 on Winter Woodland and I was not impressed as it didn't cut an eye hole?!! That's crazy, especially since bird1 (the smaller birds) did have one. Easy solved of course, as I just drew one on but still infuriating. I had a little rant on the Cricut forum, so all's well :-)

There's tonnes more I could do to it, I know but I just don't have the time, so it'll do fine.

Job's a good 'un

Take care out there

Necessary addition

Hello there

In the shower this morning, I realised that I need to add one more thing to my 'Crafty plan' and that is the 'Me In My Moleskin' project by Kirsty Wiseman. I haven't even started it yet despite having had it for over 7 months. Tut tut. I now sincerely hope that I don't think of anything else, although over the 12 months, I'm bound to be shown projects that I'd like to do. I'm going to have to be strong and resist the temptation before I've completed my plan.

It'll be interesting to test my resolve. I might have to stop looking at blogs..... er, no, that's not happening.

Oh yes, and, exciting news! Well it is for me at any rate. My Christmas present arrived today (well, I bought them with some Christmas money), so that's all great news and can't wait to have a go but there's so many other things I need to be doing in the big wide world,, grr, I'll have to wait until later this evening.

Take care out there

Monday, 9 January 2012


Hello there

I've just read a motivational crafting article on The Crafty Network's site: Crafty Network. It is focussed at people trying to push themselves to achieve more with their craft related small business. I don't have a business plan (or a business if we're concentrating on detail here :-) )but it did inspire me to motivate myself; give myself a focus. I need direction in my life and nobody else seems to do that, so I do it myself. I suspect Chris mocks me for doing this but he also complains about lack of his own motivation but doesn't necessarily do anything about it. If I can try to make myself a useful person and satisfy my personal interests too, then I'll be happier and achieve more than just wandering along aimlessly.

It's pretty basic but it's better that way than making it too complex and therefore unachievable. All I have to do now is work out how to put a word document onto this blog, which makes me laugh as why can nothing ever be straightforward?! .............

....Blimey that research was a long winded way of just copying and pasting. I ended up putting my document onto Google docs and then copying and pasting it - complete waste of time and energy which is highly annoying when I'm trying to be more productive!!

Anyway, here it is. I'm off to mop the kitchen floor!! :-)

Crafty plan for 2012
  • Go to Flower Shoppe cartridge workshop with Melanie Heaton in January

  • Make my dressing gown

  • Do a Big Picture Classes class which will help me widen my scope of things I like to do and also inform me about doing scrapbook pages quicker.

  • Make a wreath with moss, such as the one I saw Kirstie Allsopp do on 2011’s shows.

  • Do the Photo 365 app and use them in scrap pages.

  • Try doing one scrapbook page a week.

  • Use page layouts to help

  • Buy a 12x12 scrapbook.

  • Colour in stamping images, which leads to either sticking with the Caran D’Ache pencils or buying some Flexmarkers or pro-markers and the relevant paper to do it on.

  • Make some more handbags with the Clover templates.

  • Also do some patchwork cushions etc for the decking furniture

  • Get some crafting goodies from America

  • Make the pin cushion project using the candle holder I’ve got now
  • Do the Me In My Moleskin project by Kirsty Wiseman

    Friday, 6 January 2012

    a 'ta dah' moment

    Hello there

    The calendar is done. The main thing about doing the calendar is always the boring bit i.e the template for the writing section. I've looked via Google; I've looked through Microsofts templates and nothing. I look every year, incase I missed something the year before but still nothing. I can't even get functions on Excel to make life easier. It's a family planner calendar and the way Excel displays dates of different kinds, just isn't the day/date style that I like. If you have the same problem, I will send you a blank copy of this year's template to save you hours!
    The fun bit is the pictures section, which I put at the top. The pictures I'm using this year are scrapbook pages basically, which I created in 2011 as part of the 12 little words challenge I did with Big Picture Classes. There being 12 just seemed to me to shout out 'calendar', so I listened! Last night I put some finishing touches to the pages; basically some background papers and the month words. I cut the words on my Cricut with Plantin School book - the shadow function made them thicker so making them easier to manipulate. I cut them at 2cm. The papers I used were a mixture of magazine freebies, My Mind's Eye- totally girl collection and 'Best of Kand Co too'.
    I'll only show a few of the months or you'll know more about what we're up to than my family who don't use it often enough :-)

    Take care out there

    Thursday, 5 January 2012

    So many things!

    Hello there

    Despite the fact that it's December 30th when I'm writing this post, I still haven't started my calendar. Every year I make a family planner. Unfortunately the formatted table that I use for the planner section is on my old computer which I currently don't have a monitor for as I threw that out as it was a big old bulky one and I need the space on my desk for more fun stuff. This means that I need a cable to connect that old computer to my laptop and that hasn't happened yet- tomorrow is obviously the deadline. I need to amend this years to fit with 2012's dates of course, so that takes a little while. I often have to do just January and February to start with as I don't have a clue what pictures/photos I'm going to put on each month. For 2012 though I have 12 8x8 scrapbook pages, which I did as part of a free Big Picture Classes class i.e Word of the day, I did this year and thoroughly enjoyed. One page though will need sorting out as normally I do the pictures on an A4 landscape page, and this one page measures 23.5cm in height! Fun and games.

    My daughter and I went to Burwardsley, Tattenhall, Cheshire to the Candle Making Factory and thoroughly enjoyed not only looking at brilliant candles and associated things but also made our own double twist candles and decorated the candle holders. It was a pig miserable day weather wise again with pouring rain and wind, so it was great to get out and about doing something nice together.

    Last night I was extra chuffed as I basically made four thank you cards in one night!! That's virtually unheard of for me as it usually takes me that long at least for one card. I got my inspiration from the Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine I get (thanks to my baby sister). They had a free set of stamps and some papers inside, so off I went card making. The mojo was definitely with me, and it was great fun. Machine stitching on card still feels rather weird but I like that when it's just strange doing something unusual. I used some Caran D'ache pencils I have already to colour the stamped images in, as this is the first time I've coloured in stamps, believe it or not. I don't have any fancy pens, yet! I always loved colouring in when I was young and it's so refreshing to do it again as an adult. I found the pencils quite forgiving too and easy to adjust pressure to get the effect I wanted or to merge together. The only thing I had to do tonight was finish embossing some little butterflies for the last card and make the envelopes, which didn't take long at all. I'm not going to get this post made public until next week as two of the recipients may read my blog and I just don't think it's 'on' to publicly display them before the recipient has had them. These are them:
    White embossing powder rocks!

    The stamp used for this is a stampendous one called ruffled butterfly

     Take care out there and I hope that 2012 is kind to you and your families

    Wednesday, 4 January 2012

    My word

    Hello there

    This isn't really a crafting post, it's a more personal one. I've been commenting on other people's blogs/facebook posts about 'words' for the year but haven't put anything on my own. So here I am rectifying that situation.
    My word is:


    I ummed and ahhed about which one but this came to mind first, so best I stick with my initial thoughts, as that often works out best. I had my doubts about it though, as it suggests that, yes, you are grateful for the smallest good things, even on a good day. The 'but' though is that it might make me accept second best, which I've done before and I don't recommend at all. I know sometimes we have to accept our lot but we can also strive to improve things, even if only in small ways.

    Thanks to Katrina Hunt's post on Facebook, I've now uploaded a Photo 365 app onto my phone. That basically encourages you (and reminds you, which is so helpful for me) to take at least one photo a day. That will help me to think of at least one good thing a day to photo; even if it's just one of the dogs lying at the bottom of the stairs with their chins on the bottom step, which is adorable.

    If you're happy to do so, please leave a comment telling me what yours is. I've never thought of one before, so I'll see if it can really act as some kind of resolution for the year. If I remember, I'll let you know.

    Take care out there

    p.s  today's photo will be of Maggie going out to her dance class but that's not till tonight, so I can't put it on here yet. Please do share yours if you have time.
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