Friday, December 30, 2011

My wish for the new year..

The challenge at stampotique is "wish for the new year".
I decided to decorate a bauble with the Happy Definition from stampotique. This can then go on a bottle as a gift for a new year party host. I like the idea of giving decorations at new year, as people still have their trees up.

I stamped the definition repeatedly onto creamy/brown tissue paper, then tore it up (to remove the birthday bit of the definition. I attached this to small bauble with mod podge, left to dry and then sprayed with varnish.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

perfect present for Grandma

A couple of years ago we bought my Mother-in-law a digital photo frame, and put some pictures onto a card for her. I thought it would be a nice idea to give her an SD card with some more recent pictures.

but then the SD card looked like such a boring (and small) present!

So I decided to make a box. To make it more personal I made the lid from photos of the children. I easily made this on "my craft studio" software by dropping photos on resizing and tilting. I printed this onto card to make the lid and made a base to fit in plain card. I then made a little niche (I will work out some proper measurements some time for how to do this, but I just made this up as I went along). I then decorated this up like a scrapbook page (my MIL is a scrapbooker)

Monday, December 19, 2011

it's not too late to make your own Christmas Sweater

I love the current trend for proper Christmas sweaters, they seem to be everywhere.
I wanted one, but
a) I didn't want to buy one, it had to be "homemade"
b) I didn't have time to make one.
c) I'm skint after all the Christmas Shopping.

The answer to this dilemma?

.........Swiss Darning!!

I had a rummage around my cupboard and found a plain thick knit jumper that had seen better days. Then I had a rummage around my wool stash and found some perfect red yarn.
Then finally I had a rummage through my knitting magazines and found an intarsia/fairisle pattern, to swiss darn onto my jumper.

if you fancy giving it a go, then you need to know that swiss darning is EASY. You do not need to be able to knit, and you barely need to know how to sew. This video calls it duplicate stitch but it's the same thing. If you can cross stitch, then you can do this.

You can use any chart designed for fairisle or intarsia knitting (do not use cross stitch patterns as they will look squashed.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crochet Mistletoe Bauble

My work Christmas do had a competition to make our own baubles. I decided to crochet mine.

I got the pattern for the mistletoe from a book (but made it smaller). The ball is made using prinicples of arigurumi (check out youtube for techniques). I hope that the photos pick out the lovely sparkle in the white yarn. I finished with some beads from a broken bracelet (I say broken..... to be honest I cut it up just to make this, but in my defense it was a really cheap one)

Friday, December 16, 2011

gingersnap challenge: Wax

I took the gingersnap challenge of wax quite literally this week. I remember I used to be fascinated when I was younger when restaurants had wine bottles with candles in and the wine bottles were covered in dripped wax. I know they are a bit tacky but I like them.

Candles don't drip like that nowadays, so to create this effect I had to drip the candle myself down the side of the bottle.
To add a little bling I embedded iridescent bubble beads from penny wise arts into the wax (just heat gently with a heat gun and then push them into the wax)
Finally I heated the wax on the front and pushed the crown coin stamp from this crafty individuals stamp plate into it. leaving the stamp unmounted makes this really easy to do.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quick Crochet Gift.... it's not too late.

I originally got this idea from pinterest (an evil site that steals hours of your life without your realising)

And it's not an original idea (you can buy something similar here), but I loved the idea of making an "indoor snowball fight" for my kids for Christmas (just in case it doesn't snow this year). Each ball takes about 30 mins, so it really can be a last minute crochet gift.

I had recently crocheted a bauble (to be blogged soon) so knew that it was easy to crochet a ball.
-basically crochet a small ring, then dc (note I use british stitch definitions - not US) 6 into ring, continue in spiral, dc 2 into each stitch for first round, then 1 dc into 1 stitch 2 dc into next for one round, the dc into next 2 stitch, 2 dc into next, continue in this way until you like the size, then continue without shaping until the size looks right. Then start to decrease, reversing the procedure, but dc 2 tog, where you did 2 dc into one stitch before (basically this is amugurumi and there are much better instructions on the internet)

The problem with using fluffy yarn is that you can't see the stitches so there is a lot of guesswork, but the fluffiness hides any mistakes. all the balls may end up different sizes, but that makes them more like real snowballs.

The balls are stuffed with toy stuffing and then crammed into a nice jar. (from poundland). Decorate the jar to finish.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I love odd buttons

I made this cute jumper with buttons on the shoulder for a friend's baby. I couldn't resist using mismatched buttons. I love the effect

last minute gift for Happy Daze blog

To fit in with this month's challenge of gifts, cards and tags, I decided to share my last minute gift ideas. I often give Amazon vouchers as gifts, but any voucher that prints out onto an A4 sheet of paper will work.

I simply fold the voucher into thirds both ways to create a "z-fold" and then add covers (8cm x11cm) (be aware that the cover is attached to the top left corner of the voucher so make sure that there isn't any important information there.

The covers can then be decorated anyway you like. I have used Stamps from Stampotique.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

GCSP10: Once in a Blue Moon - Thank You Notes

The current new theme at gingersnap creations is Thank you notes.
I made this simple card with lovely paper, but I finished it with some white acrylic paint.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

less is more: green

I find it really hard to not take part in the less is more challenges, they are just so tempting! For this green challenge, I simply stamped a christmas greeting (that came free with a magazine) with forest moss distress ink, and then added vintage christmas flower soft along the bottom of the letters (this is definitely one of my favourite flower soft colours, it just shouts "Christmas"!!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

last minute gift knitting with just one ball of yarn.

I have previously shown the pattern for this mini hot water bottle cover with a lavender bag in the pocket. This pattern fits a mini hot water bottle from poundland (my local poundland still has plenty in stock). I decided to make these extra two with some left over yarn (there was just less than 50g of DK yarn left on each ball, and this was enough). The fabric was also leftover from some bags I made.

I didn't do these ones stripy so they were really quick to knit up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rogue Redhead/technique Junkies blog hop

Welcome to Stop #9 on the joint Rogue Redhead and Technique Junkies Blog Hop! We are all having loads of fun with the new Technique Junkies' 3D and Fun Folds CD!

The Technique Junkies team has joined us to showcase the numerous great techniques on this new CD. As you may know, the Technique Junkies Newsletter has been publishing rubber stamping technique tutorials since 2002. The 3D and Fun Folds CD contains 70 step-by-step technique tutorials in PDF format – perfect dimensions, perfect directions and great pictures for every step. Visit for more details about the CD and the Technique Junkie Newsletter.

A fantastic group of design team members from both Rogue Redhead Designs and the Technique Junkie Newsletter, have helped put together this fabulous Blog Hop to kick off the 3D and Fun Folds CD. Not only will the talented Technique Junkies team be hopping with the Rogue Crew today, they started hopping yesterday with Classy Cards N' Such and will be hopping again all the way through Friday one day each with PaperTemptress, Mark's Finest Papers, and Sweet n' Sassy Stamps. Check the The Technique Junkie Newsletter Blog for more details.

After visiting me, you can head off to see Chris Dickinson at Creating with Chrissy for your next stop.

I made a little gift bag using one of the fabulous techniques from TJ. I used a "love your style" quote stamp from Rogue Redhead Designs.

If you get lost along the way, here's the whole list of hop stops for your convenience.

1. The Technique Junkie Newsletter Blog

2. Rogue Redhead Designs Blog

3. Jackie Kalchert

4. Beverly G., Rogue Crew

5. Jean Franks Beck, Rogue Crew

6. Holly Brown

7. Jane Bosi

8. Laura Liddell, Rogue Crew

9. Joanne Wardle, Rogue Crew

10. Chris Dickinson

11. Stephanie Severin, Rogue Crew

12. Sharon Briss, Chief Rogue

13. Pat Huntoon

Have fun along the way!

On Saturday, December 3, Pat from the Technique Junkie Newsletter will announce the winners from each company. Be sure to hop along on each day! There will be FIVE WINNERS! On Monday, December 5th, Pat will announce ONE LUCKY WINNER with a GRAND PRIZE with a bundle of prizes from all of the participating businesses.

If you have been following along already you should have come from Laura Liddell.

If you are only starting here, please head back to the Technique Junkie Newsletter Blog and go from there otherwise head on to the next stop.. Chris Dickinson
You won't want to miss any stops along the way – in order to win you will need to comment on everyone’s blog AND Pat Huntoon's blog. There will be an additional chance to win by playing along in her Blog Hop!

Monday, November 28, 2011

a non-traditional christmas

This week at the Stampotique designers' challenge we challenge you to use non-tradional colours in your christmas card.
When I first saw this snowman stamp from Jo Capper-Sandon's range at stampotique, one of the first things that I thought was it would be perfect for football (soccer) fans with that stripey scarf. Here in Leeds, our local team is Leeds United who play in white, yellow and blue. So this card is for all the Leeds United fans.

I have coloured the image with whispers markers, including a little grey picked up on a blender pen for shading. I finished with some stickles glitter glue.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We Three Kings for the happy daze blog

As Christmas rapidly approaches, I find the need for quick and easy cards gets more urgent.
Here's an easy one made with one simple stamp from stampotique.
I have coloured the card with pencils, highlighted with glossy accents. I have also used some gilding flakes to accent the bands around the crowns. I finally finished with some gold cord.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

less is more : a bit of bling

The theme at Less is More this week is "a bit of bling", so I am entering this engagement card which I made for a friend. The single gem is meant to represent the engagement ring.
I've also used a stamp from paperarsty, some patterned papers and flowersoft.

Friday, November 25, 2011

gingersnap creations red, yellow and brown.

Here's my piece for the new challenge at gingersnap creations.
I've used torn post-it notes to create the frame and distress inks to colour. The stamps are from PaperArtsy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Fancy Way to Present a Voucher

I've previously presented my scroll box as a way of presenting a printed out amazon voucher, but this year I decided I needed a new method.
This is also for the gift challenge at the Kraft Journal

This is what I believe is called a "Z-fold" The A4 sheet of paper is folded into thirds to make a DL size (in a z) and then the other way.

two pieces of card are cut (8cm x11cm) and the corners rounded. One of these will be the front and I concentrated all of my decoration on this. I used tea dye distress ink around the edges with cut n dry foam and then stamped in the same ink with a selection of PaperArtsy stamps and a rub-on message.

Check how the fold opens so that the front of the fold is in the front left hand corner of the certificate. Fold up the certificate and then attach the front and back pieces.

The certificate should now unfold and fold easily, just by pulling apart the covers (it's quite clever)

I kept the back very plain

The finished item easily tucks into a card

or can be presented as a gift.