I am sorry but I can no longer send out any templates, poems etc. that I may have previously offered in the past, the files were lost when my last computer crashed and I have chosen not to remake any of them them.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Framed Old Jewellery Collage

I have decorated the frames of old mirrors with old jewellery before, but have never done a collage (?), so this is my first attempt.
Framed jewellery collageI’ll be honest, I am not 100% about the black background.  It might look better on some velvet fabric.  Perhaps one day, when I’ve nothing better to do, I might look for some suitable fabric and change it.  I am not sure how much of the main body of the piece would fall apart, it should be pretty tough as I used E900 clue, but it wouldn’t be too hard to put together again, and maybe add some more bits.
The Ribba shadow box frame came from Ikea, it measures 23 x 23cm and cost £3.50.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Keeping The Momentum Going …………

I hope you don't mind that my posts won’t be all about crafts in the run up to Christmas or over New Year. Coming back to blogging came as a bit of a surprise to me, it really was a matter of one day sitting down at the computer and starting again from scratch. But it's that time of year when there's a lot things going on do, so rather than keep stopping and starting, I thought would fill the days by showing you a bit more of my new home, posting more of my charity shop finds, as well as a couple of crafty ideas.
Cottage Garden
Plus …… I am off to spend a few days with Marc next week at the cottage in Worcester, this place is a constant source of inspiration to me, so I am hoping Marc will allow me to share a few pictures of the things that I love so much there.  I am not sure if we will have time to craft, between pints of vodka and coke, boxes of Maltesers or watching reality TV, but you never know! 
gardenI promise the crafting will start with vengeance in the New Year, I have already ordered a few bits and pieces, but if you could just bear with me!

Matchbox Christmas Tree Decoration.

I bought a couple of packs of  8 white craft matchboxes from The Works (£1) last year, I was hoping to buy a few more online this year, but at present they are out of stock, so I have had to make do with what I have got.
Matchbox Tree Decoartion. ReindeerThe matchboxes are quite small, measuring 5cm x 3.5cm, just enough to put in a small chocolate or perhaps some Christmas money.
Matchbox Tree decoration from sidematchbox tree decoration. top
The Christmas sentiment down the side of the box is cut from a roll of Washi tape from Dovecrafts North Pole range (bought from The Works £2).
North Pole TapeThe wooden reindeer head was from a tray of wooden Christmas shaped tags also from The Works,  (I can’t find them on their website sorry), to which I added a pair of wobbly eyes and a bit of a fringe.
Reindeer Matchbox Christmas Tree DecorationThe matchbox is lined with the same paper as the outside. 
I punched a hole in the top of the box and threaded through a hanger using striped red bakers twine and matching red wooden bead. A tiny amount of faux stitching using a black fine liner pen finishes off the box.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas Just Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without At Least One Elizabeth Shaw Mint Post!

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one Elizabeth Shaw mint favour post!Elizabeth Shaw Mint Christmas Table FavoursThe starting point is always what Christmas stickers I can find to fit the centre circle.  This year they were all ready made for me, coming from Hobbycraft (26 stickers - £1). All I have had to do is back them on a white punched circle.
christmas stickersAs per usual I used my trusty Stampin’ Up 1 3/8 circle  and scallop punches to make the front and back of the mints.
Stampin Up Elizabeth Shaw Mints for Christmas TableI simply bagged up the mints with a red gingham ribbon and tag to take to my Tuesday night Slimming World class, where we had been asked to bring something “red” to put in a red Christmas hamper which was then raffled off. IMG_9277

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Two Mini Christmas Printers Trays

I only had two mini trays to use this year, originally packaging from wooden laser cut shapes, I wish you could buy them, if you could I would buy them in bulk as I love making this sort of thing.
Mini Christmas Printers Tray Decoration...I had to scrabble about a bit in my Christmas box to find enough little things to fit in the compartments and then put them  all together.
Christmas Mini Printers Tray DecorationI have two larger oblong boxes from The Works that contained small Christmas tree decorations which I plan to decorate when I have more time after Christmas. The slightly larger compartment size in these, I think, should give me a little more scope to create a more detailed picture in each.
mini christmas printers trayI just need to keep my eyes open for some more tiny bits and pieces to go in them.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The One That Got Away, A Couple Of Charity Shop Finds and Complete Disaster.

Charity shop shopping seems to have become such a huge habit in the past six months. In Wolverhampton my “fix” was a 20/30 minute bus ride away, in Evesham it’s just a 10 minute walk (if that), so it’s a no brainer to go mooching once or twice a week.  Evesham also has two largish “antique” type places, plus The Georgian House, which I think does clearance, but the clearance seems to come from some wonderful old places.
the one that got awayIt will always be the shop where I had to let my dream mirror get away, I had to see sense as it was absolutely mahoooooooooosive and was so heavy that it would have undoubtedly pulled down my lounge wall had I attempted to put it up!!! I admit to going all glassy eyed when I saw it, as it’s very much like the mirrors I had admired (and secretly stroked) in Marc’s London flat. 
Huge ornate mirrorThe ornate gold frame was also mirrored, it was gorgeous!  I so wanted it and I had even got the price down everso from slightly from £180 to £160 with free delivery, before I got sensible and with regret, let it go!
beaded tealight lampI now keep my finds small! Like this beaded tea-light lamp above, which cost me £1.  Not everyone’s taste I know, and in the past I wouldn’t have looked twice at it, but in the New Year, when I am having compartment shelving built  at each end of the spare bedroom, it will be perfect, as I want it to have a eclectic “Bohemian” feel, hark at me (!!!) with, hopefully, many more colourful finds.IMG_9254And, as you can see it, it’s perfect with the bedding I have already bought from Next.
bedside carafeBecause I am planning the room, probably more than any other room, I have been going out with a list of things to look for, a bedside water carafe and glass was on such a list and the above couldn’t have been more perfect for just £3.50. The small, pressed glass tray was bought on an earlier “expedition” to the same shop for 50p, just the marriage I wanted.
On my list at the moment is a strip of rich purple velvet to go across the end of the bed, but I think I may have a long patient wait for that and some tall, old, purple glass candlesticks to go on, what the moment is my only disaster (for now).
  • IMG_8949The mirror for the room came from Dunelm, I loved the shelf and the fact that you can also hang things on it, like a guest towel, toiletry bag etc. (the original plain, white knobs have since been replaced by my trademark “diamond” ones), but the colour was wrong ……… oooooooo-wer
So……… I painted it with some chalk paint from the bottom of a tin, surplus to The Lovely Laura’s requirements that had seen better days.  NOT A GOOD IDEA.  The paint had got thick and the finish was absolutely awful, it had gone well beyond it’s use by date!!! I should have stopped after the first few brush strokes, but no, I preserved till it was all covered, aghhhhhh!
Fortunately, being chalk paint it comes off pretty easily, I have just got to do it!!!! Hopefully I will get it done before Christmas when I have a free afternoon.  Then, I am planning on painting it “properly” in a similar colour, but in a matt gloss.  Fingers crossed it works this time.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Crystal Chandelier Drop Christmas Tree

My old Christmas tree and almost all of my decorations were further casualties  of my ruthless downsize.  I knew had to be brutal, but I was so cutthroat at times I think it even made my eyes water now and again.
Jewelled Christmas Tree with Chandalier glass dropsI moved without a single idea in my head for any room, but it didn’t take long to realise that there really wouldn’t be a place in my lounge/dining/kitchen area for a traditional Christmas tree, so it had to be on with the new! I had always fancied one of those bare, pre lit, twig type trees and found just the one in the lighting department of The Range in June, and bought it there and then, before I had even bought a stick of furniture for the flat!
crystalsI had also saved the picture above in my “Inspiration” folder and set about scouring the charity shops of Evesham and e-bay for glass chandeliers (as below) and lamp shades that I could take apart for the drops.
It didn’t take long and probably cost less than £25  to put together about glass 50 or so drops, of varying shapes and lengths.
vintage chandalier drops christmas tree decorationsWhite Branch Christmas Tree with jewelled glass chandalier drops
I also added about 20 small silver hearts into the mix (also from The Range),  but against the calico coloured wall it needed just the tiniest splash of colour to make it pop. I already had a few very small, gold, glass baubles that I couldn’t part with during the move and they looked good, but the final touch of colour came from a box of small baubles in purple, cerise and turquoise from The Works, they bought it all together.
Crystal Christmas Tree using Chandalier DropsThe tree stands on a Ikea Hemnes set of drawers to the side of the sofa and next to the door.  It is different, but just seems to go in the modern room setting.
I’ve tried my best to capture it, but, if I may say so,  the pictures really don’t do it justice.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Little Bird Wish Bottle Christmas Tree Decoration.

I think Marc sent me these tiny silver bird beads a good few years ago now and finally I got to wondering, since I was on a “bottle roll”, if I could put one in a bottle
Tiny bird in a bottle wish bottle 2Lets just say it was fiddly, as I had to thread the eye pin through the cork and then put the bird bead on the end, very carefully bending a short length under the bird to prevent it from falling off, without showing too much of the pin end, if that makes sense.
The small “wish” charms, wrapped round the bottle neck with two small beads measure 12mm x 9mm and came from e-bay costing £2.35 (inc P & P) for 20.
Tiny bird wish bottle.The beads on the thread are particularly twinkly and came from a necklace bought for about £1 from a local charity shop, and disassembled, the iridescent colours going perfectly with the wish theme.
The ornamental hanger is made using a silver, metal spacer bead with a tiny eye pin screwed into the cork,
The bottles are available from The Works, £1 for a pack of 6 or in bulk online for £10.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

I Love You To The Moon And Back Tiny Bottle Christmas Tree Decorations.

Following on from my White Christmas bottles I had another idea, every time I say goodbye to Iris, I always ask her how much Nanny loves her, and she now knows that the answer is “… to the moon and back”, after one goodbye I wondered if I could use it to make a special Christmas tree decoration for both her and Bertie to hopefully, in time, treasure To the moon and back tiny minature bottleThe first thing I had to do was source some moon and back charms, and all I can say is thank you very much e-bay!  The ones I eventually bought cost me £1.70 for 10. They were excellent quality, just perfect for what I needed them for and I really need to buy some more before they all go.
I love you to the moon and back tiny bottle decorationTo the moon and back tiny bottle decoration
To go with the theme I then put a mixture of tiny blue and silver stars in the bottles.
to the moon and back wish bottleThe ornamental hanger is made using a silver, metal spacer bead with a tiny eye pin screwed into the cork, with silver or milky coloured glass beads to bling up the hanging thread.
The bottles come from The Works, a pack of 6 for £1, but are also available online in bulk (72 bottles) for a discount price of £10 – if you like a bargain that’s approximately 13p per bottle.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Knitted Dishcloths - Christmas 2016

A couple of people asked if I would be making any of my knitted dishcloths this year. Originally made in 2011 and 2012 most, except for Marc’s, which is still in his kitchen, unused, with the linen gift tag attached, have long since worn out and sadly although the original post remains on the blog all the images have since mysteriously disappeared.
Basic knitted dishclothNeeding something to do in the evening other than eating Maltesers while watching my programmes of choice; The Apprentice, I’m A Celebrity or X Factor, I thought why not.  So I bought a pack of 10 balls of Pegasus Craft Dishcloth Cotton Crochet Knitting Yarn from e-bay which I reckoned would make about 25 or so dishcloths.
basis garter stitch knitted dishclothesI also had to buy some new knitting needles as I gave all mine to a charity shop when I moved, deciding that my knitting in the future would probably be pretty limited.  So a new pair cost me 20p from yet another charity shop.
Using size 5 and a half mm needles I cast on 35 stitches and knit in garter stitch until the cloths measure 10 inches, a size that fits in your hands quite comfortably when scrunched up to wash/wipe whatever with.
At first, like the first pancake you cook, my tension was a bit squew-wiff, so the first one is going to be mine, but when I got into the swing of it my tension became a lot more even.
basic knitted garter stitch dishclothesIn all I have made 27 dishcloths, with just one more to go.  Then comes the bit I absolutely hate, a couple of evenings spent sewing in all the ends, it has to be done but aghhhhhh!
scrubby yarnAnd for next year?  I have since discovered that they now make Scrubby, a  “textured yarn that will make scrubbing dirty pots a lot easier than a regular dishcloth”. Well, it would be rude not to try just one ball at least. It comes in a whole rainbow of colours, so colour boredom shouldn’t rear it’s ugly head and there are hundreds of patterns out there to try, so watch this space!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Tiny Jingle Bells In A Bottle Christmas Tree Decoration

To justify my buying so many mini bottles in bulk from the Works, I really had to come up with a few more ideas to use them up this year and soon found I was on a bit of a roll.
Jingle Bells tiny bottle decoration wish bottleI made a sheet of tiny “Jingle All the Way ….” labels using the Ed vivi font, which I believe came from Silhouette Designs, but I am sure there are a lot of similar fonts out there.
Tiny Jingle Bells Wish BottleI put about fifteen mini, mixed colour  jingle bells in the bottle, but if I were to make them again I would certainly add at least double that again, the contents on reflection look a little sparse and mean.  Then to add to the Christmas theme I wrapped a small, plastic snowflake charm on strong,white thread round the neck of the bottle.
Tiny jingle bells wish bottle.The ornamental hanger is made using a silver, metal spacer bead with a tiny eye pin screwed into the cork, with a pearl bead to add something to the hanging thread.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Snowman Picture Frame Decoration.

I wanted a couple of different style Christmas decorations to adorn my festive shelves this year, my first proper Christmas in Evesham……
Framed Snowman Picture Christmas Shelf Decoration…… and when I saw this teal coloured, plastic picture frame (24.5cms x 9.5cms)  in Home Bargains for just 99p I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I took the glass out and made a very simple, snowy background using spotty red paper to make a snowy sky and plain, white paper for the snow.
snowman picture frameI found out this wooden snowman with felt embellishment that I bought a couple of years ago in The Range Christmas sale, for just 25p. He measures 11cms by approximately 7.5cms at his widest, the perfect size and proportion for the frame.
All I had to do then was glue the snowman in the middle of the frame with PVA glue. The snowman is about 3mm deep so he stands everso slightly proud of the background, which adds a little extra dimension.
It’s tempting to add a just a touch of iridescent, fine, white glitter to the snow, so far I have resisted, I quite like the plain effect, however I think, in the end I will give in to the lure of the sparkle!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Experimenting With ChalkOla Premium Wet Wipe Markers

painted glass bowl ChalkOla Markers
Miseltoe chalk painted bauble
It’s weird, a couple of weeks, before I had even thought about returning to blogging, I got an e-mail from ChalkOla asking if I would like to try their Wet Wipe Markers. Well, what’s a girl to do, especially as this girl used to trail blaze chalk markers to add a certain je ne sais pas to school displays boards years ago when I went to work and I was curious to see what was new, and keen to experiment.
ChalkOla Chalk pensI was sent 2 packs of bullet tip pens  one with 5.5mm nibs in 8 Earthy Colours and the other a pack of 10 – 3mm nibs in Party Colours
The instructions for using the markers for the very first time are clear and very easy to follow.
It would have been easy to just get out some black card and make a few simple tags for the first trail, but I decided to think outside the box and took the blue and purple markers from the Party Colour pack to fiddle fart on a pressed glass bon bon dish I found in an Evesham charity shop for £1.50.
IMG_9265All I did was simply follow the pattern on the reverse side of the dish and on the bottom of the stand.
IMG_9268I was really pleased with the result, I know it’s no great shakes on the creative front, but because the ink/chalk is not permanent, and washes off easily, I can chop and change the colours and add my own twiddly bits to match a room, theme etc. as the mood takes me, but always knowing that in the end I can revert back to the plain dish. Also, because I don’t have a great deal of storage I can just have a few versatile bowls or vases that I can paint over and over again for various occasions throughout the year Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. 
chalkOla painted christmas baubleI then thought I would try the sage green marker,  also from the Earthy Colours to “paint” some mistletoe. on a clear glass bauble, and what I really love is that if you make a mistake you simply wipe it off and start again.
The chalk ink in the pens flows beautifully and despite my shaky hands, for a first experiment, it turned out pretty well. When the ink was dry, I added a few tiny weeny flat backed pearls for the berries. 
I’ll be honest, I am not sure how durable the ink will be, it is definitely liable to scratch, but with gentle care and careful storage, I see no reason why the bauble couldn’t be used for a few years to come.
I think there is still much to explore and try with these pens, one, I want to see how Iris get’s on with them, I want to try them on wood and see what would happen if I used chalk paint finishing wax over the ink on wooden projects, so for these reasons, I will be keeping the pens on my desk for inspiration, so it’s a case of watch this space over the coming weeks and months as I find different materials and projects to work with them on.
If you would like to try these pens for yourself there is a  20% flat discount on all Chalkola Products on Amazon.
Coupon Code - 20OFFSTR
And now for a bit more blurb….. what you can and can’t use the ChalkOla markers on……. The markers can be used on non porous surfaces only, so it’s best to test a small area first before using them - they work best on chalkboards, whiteboards, glass, plastic and windows.
They do not work so well on porous surfaces because these surfaces tend to have small holes that can absorb the liquid chalk ink, which in turn means that it may be difficult to completely remove them when used.
The markers can be used on also be used chalkboard paint, however a lot of people have found it it is difficult to remove the chalk as the paint tends to make the surface porous and thus absorbs chalk ink.
Chalk markers as a medium use high density chalk ink, so when using new pen for the first time it takes about 2 to 3 minutes to prime before using – once used the ink flows smoothly.