Friday, 26 November 2010

Some things that made me happy recently




Christmas Craft No.1 - Stamp it out

I worked out a way of making super-quick stamps just using a cotton reel and a piece of foam sheet, which you can buy in most art and craft shops, they only cost about 50p a sheet, all I did was cut out the shape of stamp I wanted in the foam and glued it onto the cotton reel - you could glue it onto a wooden block, but I didnt have one to hand. I used the stamp to stamp on cloth and paper and its worked out pretty neat - think that's my xmas wrapping paper ideas sorted for this year!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bobbin along

An old clipboard, some paper doilies and a few cotton spools (and some PVA and No More Nails) is all you need to create this natty little jewellery hanger - or you could use it to hold things in the kitchen and utilise the clip at the top to hold your shopping lists etc. Cut the paper doilies to size and coat one side with PVA, stick them onto your board and then coat the whole board with a layer of PVA to seal it. Then simply get your spools and add a dab of no more nails onto the bottom of each spool and put in place, leave overnight and your jazzy little jewellery hanger will be good to go.

Its a cushy job!


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I had an old, unflattering long grey cardie which I originally bought in a charity shop in a moment of fashion madness. It was languishing at the back of my wardrobe for months when I decided to revamp it into this woolly cushion cover. I'm not 100% on this revamp - I'm not sure whether it just looks like a fat tummy! But you can keep your remote control in the pocket I guess!

Christmassy Challenge

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30 days til Xmas (If I counted right!) and I havent done any xmas decorating or present making as I've been tied up with other stuff 'til recently, and moreover, I keep putting it off coz there is so much to do! So, I have set myself a wee challenge to make and blog about something christmassy I am making as a present or to decorate the house every day 'til xmas. I am putting this idea 'out there' because it's the only way I'm going force myself to do it. So, I had stop scoffing mince pies and start stitching, gluing and cutting.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Michelle McClelland






I had an email from a lovely lady called Michelle McClelland who has recently started her freelance company offering a surface pattern design service. Michelle has previously worked as a designer for 6 years working on kidswear, nightwear, underwear and more recently, homewares. She has always been passsionate about print and decided to become freelance to pursue her dream. Since freelancing Michelle now designs prints and graphics for greetings cards, ceramics, interiors and fashion. She is looking for potential clients to work with who like her style. You can visit her blog at http://michellemcclellanddesign.blogspot.com/ to see some more examples of her work.

Wise purchase


I found this wonderful feathered beast in Oxfam the other week, I bought him for the princely sum of £3.00 and I had purchased him with the idea of getting him home and giving him a good spraypainting, but I became rather fond of him in his natural state and decided to give the spray paint a miss this time - the shade (which is probably a bit too big really) was another charity shop find earlier this year - only £3.99.

Tape it up...




Making your own fabric sticky tape for xmas is super-easy - all you need are some large scraps of cloth and some double-sided tape. Cut a strip of the fabric the same width as the double sided tape and stick it on to one side of the tape. Wrap the tape around an old cotton reel until you need to use it. To use just remove the protective backing from the tape and stick it to your present. Easy peasy and super cute!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Flare up


Before
After

I was on one my regular bargain hunts, when I sniffed out these bellbottom/flare style jeans (excuse the bad pics). I loved the colour of the denim, but not the style. I often feel that short, plump little ladies like me can't really pull off the bellbottom look, plus I dont often wear heels, which means that these bad boys were not only too flarey but also far too long. Anyway, encouraged by the colour and price (£3.00) of these charity shop jeans, I took 'em home and refashioned them into the current trend skinny jean. I just took them up and in (from the outside seam of each leg) and now I wear these natty little troos all the time!

Dawn over England

I went to Wales on Monday for work. It was such a glorious morning, and despite getting up at 5am to catch the train, getting to see dawn breaking over England on a morning like that made me very happy. Worth getting up early for!

Typewriter tags


I just found this old pic of one of the tags I made for my brother's wedding favours. Dead easy to do, providing you have access to an old fashioned typewriter (I picked one up in the charity shop for £5). I just scrolled the fabric into the typewriter, the same way you would with paper and typed away. I hole punched the holes in the cloth and added a little scrap of patterned fabric to brighten it up.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Isle be seeing you


in all the old familiar places!!....Why not use an old vintage tea-towel to re-cover an old chair pad, like this one I made last summer, using one of my Grandma's tea towels featuring the Isle of Wight. I just liefted of the seat pad, drew around it directly onto the tea towel adding an extra 1 1/2 " all the way round, cut it out and used a staple gun to attach the new fabric to the underside and then put the pad back.

Belle Jar


I love bell jars, cloches or specimen jars, whatever you want to call them, I love them. But I cannot afford the pricey tag of an expensive bell jar, or a taxidermy crow which I would love to have inside one of my imaginary bell jars, so I looked online at DIY ways to make bell jars. Many people had used old domed carriage clock cases, removing the clock part and painting up the base of the clock, and that works really well, but I don't have a carriage clock and its raining hard today so I didn't want to traipse round the charity shops looking for one. I've been keeping lots of empty jars recently for various crafty projects and I was looking at an old pickled onion jar which was stacked upside down and thought it could make a sort of DIY version of a bell jar, which a bit of TLC. So I knocked up this little version. Its nowhere near as good as the real thing but it'll do for now, although I might make a couple more as collections often look better than single objects. (This afternoon, I was scrolling thru my blog and came back across this post, so my idea wasn't original after all, and they have a crow!)

baby bunting


OK, so this isn't really for babies,and its a shocking pic - couldn't find a remotely good way to display it in the dark attic! It is mini bunting. I made this for a project I'm working on, but it struck me you could make this to add as pretty decoration on christmas presents or wrapped around jars of christmassy stuff this year. All you need is a bit of thick thread, some double sided sticky tape and a scrap of fabric. Lay a strip of double sided tape along the scrap of fabric (on the wrong side of the fabric) and cut out a diamond shape, peel off the backing of the double sided tape and fold the diamond shape over the thread. Its a little bit fiddly as they were so tiny but looks pretty cute.

Pretty Plates

Christmas is coming and this goose (me!) is getting pretty fat and I dont have many pennies to put in anyone's hat, so I'm on another handmade Christmas presents tip this year. Sorry family and friends - you'd better start practicing your 'what a lovely present' faces. They'll probably be a bit sick of my handmade wares by now! Anyway, if you are in a similar boat this year why not create some cute dinnerware or decorative plates, like these.



The first one is an old plate which has been knocking about the kitchen for some time looking plain and boring I found some porcelain/ceramic pens at Hobbycraft which cost less than £3 each (If I remember correctly) and you can use these to draw directly onto a ceramic surface of your choice. You can hand draw your design onto the plate in pencil (use a soft pencil for this) and then simply draw over the top with your pen. Why not create a set of personalised plates or cups for christmas.

I was inspired by a decorative plate display I saw on the wonderful Yvestown blog ages ago, but I didn't have any cute vintage plates with big floral designs so I decided to make one. This one is simply a decoupaged plate - I found a couple of images from a recent Country Living magazine and cut them out and using PVA glue, glued the images on and put another coat of PVA over the top to seal it. I did this in a hurry using images I found quickly, but if you hunt about for better images, I'm sure you could do a better job. These obviously can't be eaten off, unless you want a meal flavoured with PVA! But you could make cute decorative plates, I think I'm gonna make a heap more of these then I can display them in the house - or give them to unsuspecting family members!



Bobbin along


...singing a song (that I made up about how much I love old wooden bobbins!) I'm always trying to think up new ways to repurpose wooden bobbins as I think they are such pretty little vintage finds. I previously made buttons from them (see link here) and more recently saw a blog post about cutting a little slice into the side of a bobbin to create a photo holder, like the one I made above (I'm afraid I cant find the link to the original, if you know where it comes from plese let me know so I can credit the original post!). They are easy to make, you just need a junior hacksaw, just be careful of your fingers.

Wristy business...



I love fabric covered bangles, but I can't justify spending over £10 on these, plus they always look better if you wear a couple at once, and that is easily £20 out of my near-empty purse. So I got a couple of charity shop plastic bangles for 50p each and re-fashioned them into something I'd be happy to wear on my wrist. All I did was cut a strip of pretty fabric slightly longer than the circumference of the bangle and twice as wide, then smothered the outside and inside of the bangle with PVA and stick the fabric onto it, tucking the edges into the inside of the bangle, then I gave the fabric another coat of PVA to seal it, left it to dry overnight and it was good to go.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Wedding bells

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I know its approaching the festive season and there are lots of things I keep meaning to blog about festive-wise, but I am also in the beginnings of planning our wedding which we have booked for next July. As with most crafty bods, I'm hoping to make as much of the wedding 'handmade' as possible and am always on the lookout for inspiration. Our wedding reception is taking place at an old barn in the Peak District, hopefully we are going to a sort of fresh, wildflower, handmade kinda theme - although I just keep looking at nice pics and not planning anything-as usual. Anyway, here is some of the many pics I found over the last few days. Be warned, there is likely to be alot more wedding talk before the big day next year!

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