Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Seaside sampler for Sandie

So much preparation and it’s all over so quickly. It almost feels as though we missed it this year, as I had a rotten cold so wasn’t feeling very festive, and it was a very quiet Christmas, just the two of us. We had been looking forward to it but I have to admit I felt miserable, and we were a bit worried over Christmas about Jon, too, as he was very poorly on his own in London instead of enjoying himself in Edinburgh. Still, we’re all feeling better now, and luckily we did have a good family get-together the weekend before Christmas – even had an impromptu Christmas dinner at Jon’s request rather than the lasagne I’d planned. Lucky for Jon as all he could eat on Christmas Day was a few veg mashed with gravy, due to a serious throat infection.

I feel at a  bit of a loss now, as the run-up to Christmas was a mad rush to finish various projects for Chrstmas presents – including the seaside sampler, above, that I stitched for my sister-in-law Sandie – and I don’t have any projects on the go at all. Sandie  and Alan have just bought a caravan down in Cornwall and decorated it in seaside style,  but I did originally start out to stitch a picture for them  rather than a wall hanging. It took longer to stitch than I expected, so I ordered a frame before it was done, and miscalculated, so a few days before Christmas I was frantically looking for a suitable frame that would actually fit when I had an inspiration and turned it into a wall-hanging. I managed to get some suitable stripey fabric and I think it probably worked better. The bit of driftwood they found to hang it from looks perfect, doesn’t it?
Now that my cold has gone I shall be looking for one or two new projects  –  some painting for a change I think, having knitted and stitched myself to a standstill with all  the Christmas presents. Although I did say I wanted to master knitting socks , so maybe I’ll be getting the double ended needles out to wrestle with once again.
Still New Year to look forward to though. We don’t usually do much, but as Mum was away with Alan and Sandie over Christmas we’ve asked her to come here for New Year, and having family here for tea on New Year’s Day.  So good job the cold’s gone- touch wood – and Jim hasn’t got it – touch wood! Fingers crossed!

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A while ago I designed some penguin  digital stamps for the Christmas issue of PaperCraft Inspirations, and the mag is published soon. Jenny, the editor, chose five of my designs and I said I’d make the other four available on my blog, so here they are!  Just click on the file names, and save them, then you can print them out and have fun with them!

penguin009        penguin001

2penguins   snowballpeng

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Edgar’s book

Gorgeous guy on the cover…

This is the fabric book I made Edgar for his 6 months birthday. I’d done a fabric scrapbook for ScrapBook Inspirations a few years ago, using some brilliant fabric sheets from Crafty Computer Papers that go through inkjet printers, and that gave me the idea. I thought Edgar might like a book that had pictures of himself and his family in.

I find the cotton fabric with an adhesive backing is the best, it goes through the printer more easily, and the adhesive backing is good for positioning the pictures for sewing them on to the backing fabric without them moving around.
Edgar loves bright colours so I tried to use a mix of plain and
patterned fabricsin cheerful primary colours, although I wanted to
       use fabrics from my stash – I knew if I let myself go in to a fabric
       shop to buy one or two extra bits it could get very expensive –        I’m terrible when faced with the temptation of any sort of craft
          I printed out photos of Edgar with each of the members of his close
          family, and some simple words, and I then created the pages with
          some extra fabrics, ribbons, ric rac etc. It was frustrating not to be
          able to use buttons, but I didn’t want to risk Edgar being able to
          pull them off. As it was, I made sure I stitched everything down
          really well using my machine. I used a lot of zig zag stitches,
          mainly in red thread, giving a good edge to the pictures.
It was fun trying to think of different ways to do each page. I tried
to give them some texture and add things for Edgar to play with like
ribbon loops, but I didn’t have enough time to try making pockets
or flaps to hide pictures – maybe  next time!  
The pages, put together, make a small book that Edgar can handle, but it was still a bit thick to sew together, and my sewing machine had to be coaxed. I bound the “spine ” of the book with fabric to neaten it, and made sure all the ends and edges were well finished off.   
Everything goes straight into Edgar’s mouth at the moment, so, although the fabric is supposed to be colourfast and washable I tested
a few scraps with some water – not by chewing it as some of the family expected! – and the colours didn’t run.  But I expect Ben and Tess will
supervise him with it until he’s old enough not to mangle it completely. 
I really enjoyed doing this – it’s been a while since I’ve done very much with my sewing machine other than things for the house, but I can see myself  making a few more things for Eggles before he’s very much older.   

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Eggles is 6 months old

There was a bit of a dinosaur theme, with hats and cups too

It’s a bit unusual to have a 6 months old birthday party, but as Ben and Tess aren’t having Edgar christened they thought his 6 months birthday would be a good excuse for a family get -together, so we’ve had a lovely party today at their flat. Four generations were there,  with his  two great-grandmothers , and the birthday boy was in great form. He didn’t seem to mind being the floor show – he’s nearly there with the crawling now – and was quite happy to be passed from person to person. His Mummmy and his Auntie Agata played Happy Birthday and his Daddy blew out the candle on the cake that I made. And, as you would expect, he liked the blue wrapping paper more than any of the pile of presents he was given!

He seems to like the book I made for him...

It’s lovely how a new baby unites the generations and brings such pleasure to everyone. And it was really good to have such a great get-together. Ben and Tess worked hard and gave us a lovely day.

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I’ve been experimenting with creating digital stamps from my drawings, and this is one of my first efforts. The bride and groom, and the rose used for the background, are my drawings, used in the same way as rubber stamps by printing them on to white card and colouring them with coloured pencils. This is a fairly simple card to show off the bride and groom, I cut them out and raised them up on foam pads then matted them on several colours before raising the mat on foam pads over a background created with lots of the rose motifs put together in Photoshop then printed out.

I’m going to put in two links that should enable anyone who wants to to download the digital stamps for themselves – fingers crossed, I’m not too hot on the technology so hope it works!



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Silver celebrations

My brother and his wife have been married twenty-five years this week, so have been celebrating their Silver Wedding. An occassion for cards and cake, of course! This is the card I made for them, inspired by some cute birds I have made before  using a leaf shaped paper punch. These are much bigger, based on a circle with a smaller circle  drawn in it, touching one edge.  The smaller circle gives the top line of the bird, with a little curve back up to the bigger circle making the tail, and a beak added.  I thought a couple of punched hearts made very appropriate wings. 

As well as the card I made them a special anniversary cake. I’d always wanted to try out those fabulous photos you can get printed onto icing to put straight on to a cake – available from www.icingpictures.co.uk  – so this was the perfect opportunity. We had a job to find a photo of their wedding – since we moved house  the photo albums are all over the place and that particular one must still be in a box somewhere. But in the end we found one lovely photo in our son’s album of pix he’d taken with his own camera,  I sent a scanned version off and just a few days later a sheet of 12 small circular pictures arrived.  I used one on a rich fruit cake, marzipanned and covered in ready-to-roll icing. I usually decorate this sort of cake with flowers and frills, but felt like doing something differnt, and as Alan is a musician , andIi wanted the photo to stand out well, anyway, I just piped pale blue music notes around the greeting and down the sides. It was fun. The photo was very easy to place on the cake. on damp icing so that they combine. It looked really effective. I used up the other 11 photos on some cupcakes, intended for anyone who didn’t like fruit cake, but I think we all had both in the end! They had a fairly low key celebration in Cornwall, where they’ve just bought a caravan, and we ende up having tea and cake on the beach at Widemouth Bay, in glorious sunshine, then back to the van for Pimms and a buffet in the evening.  A lovely, and memorable, day.

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handbag crazy

My neice is a great one for handbags, so I thought this beautiful patterned paper would make a super handbag for her birthday card, especially as there was another lovely backing paper in the same set to complement it .   I couldn’t resist  adding some adhesive gems on the flowers for a bit of glitz, and I gave the handbag a backing of purple card that gave a slight border to make the handbag stand out. I should have done that with the flap too, but I’d already stuck it down. I don’t think it looks too bad though.

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