Saturday, 19 June 2010

Easy on the Easel Cards

For my third catch-up post, I thought I would own up to a couple of new addictions. The first one is easel cards. They're so simple, and look so cool, I have to restrain myself from turning every card I make into an easel card! Here are a couple of my favourites, both made for friends' children. John likes trains and flowers, Meagan celebrated her birthday with a teddy bears' picnic.

The second addiction is beads, and the Stitches show at the NEC gave the perfect opportunity to indulge myself, as you can see from the picture! I went to the show with a non-crafting friend who was so impressed with all the displays that she came home with loads of shopping to take up cardmaking herself. Great news for me, as she lives only 10 minutes away - it'll be lovely having someone nearby to craft with!

March was also quite an exciting month, as Do Crafts invited me to take a screen test to be a guest on the Create & Craft shopping channel. Here's the card I made - ooh look, it's an easel card! :-) More on telly demos in my next post!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Pooches, pyrography and pizza

For part 2 of my catch-up, I thought I'd tackle January and February. I had no demos in these two months, which was probably just as well, as the time was dominated by snow and Molly, as we finally settled into a routine of walks and training with our new family member.

I did manage a bit of crafting, as several family members and friends had birthdays, and another friend asked for something combining Paris and ballooning for her sister's 21st birthday. At the start of February, I had lots of fun making a card like a pizza in a box for a friend addicted to round cheesy food. For the cheese and tomato, I mixed 3D gloss with acrylic paint for a glossy dimensional finish. The tub of sauce and the potato wedges are made from Fimo clay. I'd love to know what you think!

Also in February, my longest-standing friend Wendy came to visit for a couple of days of crafting, and I she introduced me to pyrography. It's lots of fun, and strangely addictive. It is a bit smelly for indoors in the winter though! I've used some alphabet and Basic Grey stamps on these plant labels to give me a design to burn in.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Well indeed. I started out putting off this update because I was so miserable, then it was because I was so bad at organising my time, and then it was because I've got out the habit. As there are so many new leaves in the garden, I thought it really is time to turn one over, so here's the first of a few catch-up posts. This one takes us to the end of 2009...

First the miserable bit... Within hours of my previous post, we started to have problems with Dobby biting us, and the problem quickly escalated. To cut a long story short, Blue Cross insisted that we took him back to be rehabilitated. Happily, we've since heard that he had a few weeks of one-to-one work, the biting has been fixed, and he now has a new home.

After sulking for a while we contacted the very excellent Heathlands Animal Shelter. They don't have kennels, but place the dogs in foster homes instead. After our experience with Dobby, it made us a lot more confident, as we could see dogs in a normal home environment. We quickly found the most lovely little doggy, Molly. The rescue think she's a border collie-sheltie cross and is just perfect :-) She loves to play and never seems to get tired, getting us up from our desks and into the countryside twice a day, which hopefully goes some way to explain my poor time management!

In between all the walks I did somehow manage to get all my Christmas cards made though. I made it a little harder for myself by deciding to use up all the half made elements and saved paper offcuts. It felt great to use up things I've been saving for so long, but it's scary to realise that I still have enough to do next year's cards! This one features an image I stamped for my first crafting Christmas!

The only time I broke this rule was for my Mum and Dad's card - I had my first go at silk painting at the NEC craft show in November and became well and truly hooked! I had to have another go when I got home, and here's the result:

Well, that brings us to the end of 2009. More catching up soon, err, hopefully!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Dobby's first 24 hours

Yesterday we picked up our dog from the rescue :-) We've been through lots of ideas for names since meeting him, and finally decided upon 'Dobby' (he has enormous ears, just like the house elf in Harry Potter) while travelling to collect him. He's the first dog we've ever owned ourselves and, although he's 7 months old, he;s never been trained and has probably never been in a house or seen humans eat before. He's extremely good at our meal times, and didn't whine at all at night. We've only had a few wees to mop up from the carpets too. From a scrapbooking point of view, the dull days and his mostly black fur are proving a photography challenge. I think it'll be some time before I can disappear off into the craft room for a play anyway - not sure whether all my friends and relatives will be getting a handmade Christmas card this year!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Baubles, Blue Cross, beads, and blocked up noses

This week has been a busy one, with preparation for two demos and the arrival of our doggy.

The first demo was to a retirement club near where my parents live in Essex. A few of the club members are crafters, but most aren't, so I always try to choose things that will be interesting to watch, can be done with minimal equipment, but can be made a bit more complicated for people with crafting supplies. So, I showed ways to jazz up the cheap and cheerful baubles you get in big boxes from places like Wilkinson, as that's practical, economical, and would be fun to do with even quite young grandchildren. I had great fun playing with glitter and flock while I was preparing for the demo, and I think everyone enjoyed it on the day. Photos to follow soon.

Blue Cross confirmed on Wednesday that our house and garden are OK, so we can have the lovely doggy we chose last week :-))) So, while I was in Essex, I visited a big pet store that friends had recommended - Kingstown, near Billericay. They were really helpful, and I came away will all the urgent things we need for the doggy - crate, food, lead, brush etc. All we need now is the doggy! Oh, and a name - top of the list at the moment are Pip and Dobby (he does have *very* big ears!).

The second demo of the week was a jewellery demo at the Paper Mill in Spalding, and it should have been today. Unfortunately, this is where we bring in the last topic in the title. I've been fighting off Adam's cold all week, but it finally won on Thursday evening. Assuming anyone would want to come close enough to a sneezing, coughing demonstrator to see the detail of how to make jewellery, leaning over beads with a runny nose didn't seem a great idea! Nobody else was available to demo in my place, so the shop manager decided to postpone, rather than have me come with lurgy. This was the first time in over 120 demos that I've ever had to cancel. At least I have lots of samples ready for the rescheduled demo :-)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Doggy doggy doggy!!!

What I did today may not seem to have a link to crafting, but it's going to give me a whole new area of scrapbooking to explore, so I reckon it deserves a blog post :-)

Both our parents have doggies, but we've never felt grown up enough to have one of our own. Recently though, we dog-sat a friend's labrador for a couple of weeks, and have been in doggy-withdrawal ever since he went home. We've see-sawed between puppy and rescue dog for a while, but today managed a great compromise. On a trip to the Blue Cross centre at Lewknor we met this beautiful bouncy 7 month old collie cross, rescued from Ireland. We've reserved him, and will be spending the next few days dog proofing our house and garden ready for our interview. Fingers crossed we'll pick him up soon!

Friday, 13 November 2009

My first jewellery project of the week :-)

Over on the do crafts website one of my designs has been chosen as the jewellery 'project of the week', so I'm quite a happy bunny. Here's what I made, if you'd like to leave me some feedback, or have a go at the project yourself, the instructions are here.