Friday, 21 July 2017

Craft Stick Christmas Gingerbread Men Tags

Not a lot to these tags made using mini craft sticks frames and self adhesive gingerbread men stickers.
Craft Stick Gingerbread Man Christmas TagsThese tags came about when I was just mooching through my Christmas box of bits and found some small craft stick frames that I had put together but didn’t know what to do with. 
IMG_2633I then found the foam gingerbread men and started to wonder if I could put the two together ………

IMG_3553For me gingerbread men and gingham are a must together and fortunately I had some small scraps of red gingham card that fit perfectly at the back of the frame.  From here, I knew where I was going with the idea, faux stitching using a black fine liner pen all round the frame edges
Christmas Craft Stick Gingerbread Man TagNext came the gingerbread man, followed by two tiny green buttons to sort of balance the design.
I then drilled a small hole in the top corner of the tag, put a jump ring through it and then tied some red butchers twine so that the tags could be attached to a parcel or hung on the Christmas tree.  The back was finished off by edging with a fine liner pen again, so that a greeting can be added when/if needed. Viola!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Foil Embossed Snowman Tags.

I thought I would try out my new White and Gray Big Shot with a little embossing to make this tags.
foil embossed snowman tagsI’ll be honest, I don’t think the pictures do the finished tags justice, I tried from every single angle but to no avail, I couldn’t seem to show the edges and the top to their full advantage.
IMG_3523The foil came from a ginger beer can that I had cut up and flattened.  From one can I could get four embellishments.
I glued the embossed sections onto children’s wooden dominoes using E6000 glue as I needed a strong bond, and don’t think PVA would have been strong enough.  When dry, I drilled a small hole in the corner for a tying thread/wire.
IMG_3526I covered the edges of the dominoes using a narrow self adhesive aluminium tape which really made the tags come together, and look much more professional.
IMG_3529 I then coloured in the nose, arms/hands and eyes with assorted Sharpie pens …….
IMG_3531… and added tiny, clear, flat backed gems to the snowflake part, although, to be honest, I don’t think they add that much, perhaps if I added some white Ranger Enamel Accents instead, it might have had more punch.
IMG_3534I added a wire thread with a red bead for extra colour as a tie and then went round the edges on the back with a black fine liner pen as the final finishing touch.
As I said, I think these tags look much better in the flesh, but could be fine tuned just a little bit more ……. so perhaps it’s a case of watch this space!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Twas The Night Before Christmas Tree Decoration.

This idea was originally going to be a Christmas card, but then I got side tracked by other bits and pieces I found in my boxes ………..
Twas The Night Before Christmas Tree Decoration…… but after four years I finally say that I have to used the Martha Stewart Crafters Clay I bought in Michael’s in Las Vegas!
 Martha Stewart CraftsIMG_3449
I was crafting with Iris, and we went halves on the clay, she wanted to make gingerbread men and when I had a mooch through her cutters I decided that I would make some mice, thinking I could make a card along the lines of Twas the Night Before Christmas ……..
The clay was very, very light and I think is made from some sort of paper product(?). I started with the mouse, adding a nose, and eye, whiskers and ribbon. I had a card blank ready, but then  I found some craft stick frames I had made a while ago and got to thinking ……..
IMG_3538I roughly fitted things together and worked out the area where I needed to hand write the first line of the poem so that the mouse fitted neatly over it.
IMG_3539Once happy, I glued the paper behind the frame.
IMG_3544I edged the frame with faux stitching using a black fine liner pen. Deciding that the mouse didn’t look right left white, he took on a completely different character when I coloured him  using a brown Promarker pen.  I then glued him onto the frame, holding him in place with a few small pegs while the glue dried.
I used red bakers twine to hang the decoration by, covering the ends over with a scrap of white card and edging again with a black fine liner pen.
Twas The Night Before Christmas Tree Decoration.The finishing touches, to add a little more colour and extra Christmassy flavour, were made by adding holly leaf confetti and red flat back pearls in three corners of the plaque.  I am so thrilled with how it turned out, considering it was meant to be a card ………

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Iris’s End Of Term Sweetie Bag Presents.

Iris completes her first term at morning nursery in a couple of weeks time and I said I would make a few sweetie bags as a Thank You to all the fantastic staff. 
Ice cream sweetie bagsI had bought the ice cream sweets from the Co-Op a little while ago thinking that they would be perfect for a some sort of summer project and at 3 bags for £1 it would have been rude not to buy them.
IMG_3581I am always careful to use plastic gloves when taking sweets out of their original bags and then seal them immediately in clear cello bags using my ever faithful, but of late, under used  bag sealer.
IMG_3582I cut out the bag topper with my new White and Gray Big Shot, using a largish Spellbinder label die, going back goodness knows how many years.
IMG_3584I folded the topper in two and the used double sided tape on both sides of the reverse to securely fix the topper to the bag.
IMG_3585I then used plain and scalloped edged punches to make three layered circles, sticking them together and then handwriting two parts of the message on either side, adding a spare ice cream in the middle to continue the theme.
IMG_3586I have to be honest, the tops did take me quite a while to work out, using just one circle, as I had originally intended, just looked unfinished and a bit lost, however three circles together just seemed to finish them off perfectly. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Craft Stick Jewelled Christmas Tag Charms

By rights these jewelled tag charms should have ended up in the bin on the day I started them, but the more time I invested in them the more loathe I was to give up on them, hoping against hope that these sows ears would somehow end up as silk purses, put simply, …….they did not!
IMG_2715They started out as small craft stick, measuring 7cms in length, glued together to make a snowflake shape.
……. but as soon as I started sticking the gems on the first side I knew they spelled disaster, as they just didn’t seem to want to stick, and the more glue I added the gungier everything became.  But, not to be beaten, I added a small pendant bail fitting, before adding gems to the second side. so that they could be hung or tied.
And after that,  I just kept mithering with them, with gems not lying or fitting right until I finally gave up, deciding not to fill any of the small gaps with smaller gems but let the stick/wood show through.  I added a narrow, red ribbon to each, and although these were intended to be Christmas tree decorations I think, if they stay stuck until then,  I will use them as charms on my plain, Kraft paper wrapped presents this year.
jewelled parcel tag charm ajewelled parcel tag charm
I’m done with them!!!!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Halloween Satsumas/Clementines

This was not my idea at all, I found it on Pintrest and it was just too brilliant not to have a go at ……. all I did was draw the faces using a Sharpie pen on a clementine/satsuma, I don’t have a clue how to tell them apart! It took seconds.
Halloween SatsumasIris Roo will definitely be finding a couple in her lunch box this Halloween, anything that gets little ones to eat their fruit has to be a good idea!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Two Covered Notebooks

I like to have a notebook either on my desk for my “jobs to do” lists or, if I am going away, for roughly putting posts together for The Monkeys blog.
Decorated Notebook CoversBut, I don’t like lined paper and I like a good quality paper, so I tend to go for an artists notebook, and, as I had too much time on my hands just before I went on holiday, I decided to cover two that I bought from The Works.
IMG_2806The red A5 sketch pad cost £1 and the plain black one was £2.  The paper quality is perfect.
IMG_2808I covered the front and back of both books with a patchwork of scrap papers using Modge Podge. There is something about Modge Podge I don’t like, so I am glad I used all I had on these books, its the slightly crumbly feeling it has when it dries on your fingers, it just feels too strange!
When the first layer was dry I added assorted punched foliage and flowers in the same papers, for a subtle finish on the fronts only.
I did wonder if the foliage and flowers might look better edged in black, I tried a small area in a corner, which thankfully came off, as it looked pants.
Instead I tried some Ranger Enamel Accents in black and white for the first time, in the centre of the flowers and in lines here and there.  They were pretty easy to use,  but a quick up and down dab action was best to stop the Accents from trailing.  I am really chuffed with the solid enamel finish, something a bit different from 3D pearl effect paints etc., I am already thinking about looking at what other colours are available with possibly decorating Christmas baubles in mind.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Craft Sticks – A Bit of a Shout Out

I am really into projects using craft sticks at the moment, mainly tags and tree decorations, but who knew that they come in so many bewildering sizes!
craft sticksI only discovered this fact when I ran out of, what I would call my half size ones, I thought I would be able to just pick up another couple of packets from e-bay, how wrong I was!  After much searching, I did make a considered purchase, but imagine my surprise when my order arrived only to reveal a bag of even smaller sticks ….. I don’t think measuring has ever been one of my strong points.
Now, I am really thrilled with what I got (bottom sticks in picture), with another batch of ideas forming in my head as these are quite dainty!  But, I still need some more of the half size ones.  I didn’t buy them that long ago, and I thought they were from Hobbycraft, but can’t find them on the website so I could be mistaken(?)
It’s really flummoxed me!  In the end I have resorted to Amazon and the US to source them, I think they are a pretty close match in size, but I will have to see when they arrive.
So, what I am asking is …….. if you see any on your crafty travels could you give me a heads up please!

Friday, 7 July 2017

My Holiday Souvenirs.

As I said, I have to be pretty restrained these days with regards to my souvenir shopping as my flat is pretty much sorted and any space for fripperies is tight ………
IMG_3513……. but I this year, even before I went, I had set my heart on finding an icon of the Madonna. I had seen hundreds of them last year when we visited the cathedral in Zakynthos in Zante, but at the time, though I had put in an offer on my flat, I was more geared up for chucking things out rather than gathering, but ever since I have driven Lu mad saying how much I wished I had bought one.
IMG_3514I found this one in Corfu Town, I made the poor woman climb up on a chair to get it down and ermmed and ahhhed, and then I said I would think about it and come back, to be honest I knew I would have it, I just didn’t fancy carrying it around for the rest of the evening in all the heat.  But for the first time ever I got my credit card out …. on  holiday!
I put the bottle of Holy Oil I got from the church in Kassiopi under a small Ikea dome …… it sort of looks right and goes with the icon.
IMG_3519And my final purchase was this evil eye, I have quite a few of the usual round glass versions around the house, but I have never seen anything like this one before, so it would have been rude not to make a considered purchase. Perhaps it’s a bit creepy, but it’s a reminder that I hope there are a few people “up there” who are keeping an eye on me.
So that’s it, other than a few bars of nougat and some Donkey Milk shampoo and conditioner.  Things might get moved around in time, but while the memories are still fresh and a bit of my tan remains they are OK where they are for now.