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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Crafty Catch Up


After being a little quiet on the crafting front I thought I might introduce you to my new love - felting. After flitting between all types of crafts I think I might have found the most therapeutic and enjoyable type for me.

Since I don't really have much space to craft (mostly because of all the crafting materials bursting the cupboard seams), I have found that felting is the perfect type of crafting to have on a small portion of desk. It's something I can even do using a lap tray which means it's even possible from a comfy sofa or bed - result.




When I first began felting I thought that using a premade kit with instructions would be the best way to start, yet as (probably) expected I really couldn't stick to the plan in practice. This really wasn't a reflection on the kit but more my own non crafting commitment issues: the kit I found was wonderful and I would recommend Bear Creek Design which I found on Etsy a few years back. The standard of the kit is great and it really did include everything I needed to launch a love of felting from.












The kit I chose was supposed to make a rabbit and included some good quality Romney wool which was lovely to work with and leaves a realistic furry finish. 













The Kit included two different size felting needles and a sturdy felting cushion.







You should also be careful not to start out felting with too much vigour as you might end up with a painful reminder not to do so in future.





Unfortunately for my bunny rabbit my mind was somewhere else and I soon realised that the felt creation I had started had other plans in who he wanted to be, so I just had to comply (this is completely normal being lead by some felted form..right?). In the end it turned out that my love for otters trumped my love for bunnies ... sorry bunnies.




And this was my end result:


Please bear in mind though that the kit had very clear instructions and pictures on how to make the actual cute bunny so you can't judge it by my otterly different result.

You can find the rabbit kit I used - HERE but I see there is now a very cute Thanksgiving Turkey one too.
Anyhow I hope this might encourage someone else to have a try at felting as it really is a lovely craft that sometimes looks a little daunting but is great fun once you just jump right in and not worry about how your earlier pieces look as long as it's enjoyed.






Sunday, 12 April 2015

Swapbox for CampNaNoWriMo - Part 2


Carrying on with the rest of the swap box (see part 1 for more details)

I really did want to include a folder in the writers survival kit as I think they are always useful to have around when you have a project or even just to scribble some notes in.

I did initially want to mock up a Lord of the Rings type folder however my printer was broken so that idea had to be scrapped. And although I was trying to be good and stick to the likes/dislikes list I went a little rogue on this one. In my defence it is violet and still adheres to the no pink n skulls rule so hopefully it will be liked still.

I had some inspirational type papers from a +Mollie Makes magazine which I thought would fit well as a cover. Yes, I also found some matching washi tape, this one was from Dragon Chant


The cute buttons come from Bluebell crafts


And the bow I made using some felt, a +sizzix Bow die and a Papermania brad  (which I notice are on sale, hmm excuse me whilst I shop)


Inside I added a shiny butterfly topper which I had in my supplies and decided to add a writing pad, plain paper, some note cards and a few plastic wallets inside. Along with a couple of cute clips and  purple marker (I hope this passes the non neon rule)


I also had some amusing Roahl Dahl notecards so I placed a few at the rear of the folder as a little extra surprise :)


Whilst thinking about other things needed for a writers survival kit, I figured that some kind of drinks were needed and we had already discussed our lack of love for coffee and I wasn't sure about tea. However since it is a Camp theme I got to thinking that some hot chocolate & marshmallows should at least be offered. 

So I found a chocolate style cup which would fit in the hot chocolate powder, and recycled a box that I had kept hold of. Using another +sizzix die to make some flags for decoration (the paper was from a craft magazine but not sure which one).


I added some tissue paper and a white ribbon not only to make it look nice but also to hope that it would travel the distance better being tied down and cushioned
.
I did have an issue though ....... the only marshmallows I could get were in a pink packet!
So I had to hide that :D


To finish up I used some cellophane and tied it with bakers twine from +The Works which is good value when you want a selection rather than whole reels. And the tag was made with a small framelits arch and decorated with Rangers liquid pearls in copper pearl. The cup stamp I am sure was free with another craft magazine that I can't remember (which was possibly the same as the paper used)



For the gaming theme I decided to practise a bit of sewing, I set about drawing an outline to make up a plushie. It kind of looks like a Mr Man in this form but it isn't I promise...


This was all free hand and hand stitched so it may be a little rough around the edges but at least it is definitely a unique piece *winks*

        

The feet were pushed through after being stiched and pinned to the inside to make the sewing around the edges a bit easier to do.


After filling him with stuffing though I had wished that I had started the stitching from the sides so there wouldn't be so much outer stitching on show. However once the outer later of felt was added it didn't look as bad as I feared it would, 


The face and markings were added using some embroidery thread, and here he is the happy little mascot ready to cheer his writer along :)


For those of you non Pokemon fan viewers may I present the original Togepi

Image source: http://pokemondb.net/pokedex/togepi




One last thing to put in the kit to help get through those long days and nights writing a novel, had to be something to keep the happiness levels in place -- of course it is chocolate!

Being close to Easter I had managed to pick up some Milkybar bunnies as my camp buddy had stated that she had liked white chocolate and they were going to just get wrapped and packaged. 

That was until it hit silly o clock and my brain went into crazy mode and I had this wonderful idea that I would put the bunnies in a camping scene ... Well it is for CampNaNoWriMo after all!


So I set about making a little teepee and decided that the bunnies would be dressed up as kids do playing cowboys and indians. The campfire was horrid to make as I didn't really have time to plan so I just used what was to hand which was a wood skewer, some felt and some glue. And more time than it should have to piece together...Please note future camp mates that I am really bad at setting up camp fires! 


Though I cannot tell you how much I was giggling whilst creating these little costumes for the bunnies. The moustache alone had me in a tiny fit of the giggles for a while  *grins*


Then I layered up the back of a box with some Milky bars (placed in with glue dots so the chocolate will be fine don't worry) and some tissue paper for the ground. My finished piece looked something like:



The writing was a bit shabby but it was early morning hours with no sleep by this point, and it's only a box to throw away anyhow. So I am letting myself get away with it :)

All I can say is I really hope that these items get shipped safely. The bunnies were packed out with so much but I think it may well fall apart upon the opening. Still at least we have some pictures now to show the original intention.



*waves a CampNaNoWriMo flag*











Swapbox for CampNaNoWriMo - Part 1


After losing a bit of motivation early this year I felt that I needed some kind of acknowledged commitment to actually persuade (or more rather guilt trip) me into doing something.
Which means that whilst my last set of craft goals were not met, the list itself was still adhered to, and I found myself reading and writing more often.

I also have since joined in with the CampNaNoWriMo fun of writing 500 words a day: it might not sound a lot but it is for me and trying to keep to the routine is a good challenge.
They also have a swap box where they match you up with a buddy and you try to create them a 'survival package'. you get a list of their likes/dislikes and I was very glad to get a friendly match up with similar interest so it was like making up a package that I would want myself.
The themes I chose to work with were:

Cats
Horses
Anime
Pokemon
Music/piano
Noveling memorabilia
Colours: Black, Violet, Red & Green

And the things to steer clear were:
Lavender (the scent)
Skulls
Colours: Pink & any Neon



For a start I knew that an arty Friend would be better suited than me for something in the Anime realm and sure enough he was happy to create a wonderful piece of artwork using the info and I soon had a base from which to begin.

Anime black & violet kitty by Alexander Stephen aka GreyScaleAlex


He also gave me a copy free from signature so I could make up a notebook with a printed copy.

First I covered the notebook in purple shimmer sticky back paper. Then I used Sizzix Framelits Die Set to cut out the print and also arches in green & black to add a kind of shadow effect. And also one in plastic to cover the design (which also made getting a decent photo a bit harder)



 The green outline was made using one my favourite craft items:
 Liquid pearls in key lime




For the embellishment I added an Emily Strange button, a Hello Kitty bead and a green star bead made by Jodysbeads (who also sells some really nice crafting beads if you want to check her Etsy shop out). I threaded these on some purple wire and attached them through a hole made with a mini star punch.


I also used some great kitty washi tape (that I had been wanting to use for a while) to cover the spine and also to add a note inside the cover to attribute the artist.


My next thoughts went out to some stationary that I could customize and I was very happy to still have some musical note washi tape from Joe & Flo that I used to cover some pencils, eraser & sharpener.


And since I didn't have a piano die cut then I decided just to use the black and white theme to create a type of music hall stationary holder using a Sizzix bird house die I already had.



The side figures were actually Victorian carolers but I think they matched well with the theme, and the side roof was pressed with an embossing folder.


The pinwheel at the front was made from paper from a copy of @CraftsellerMag and a black & white dotty button  


These can be made with or without a die. To hand make I use my scoring board from @craftsbeautiful & had previously watched this tutorial from CraftsDotCupCake.

Once everything was how I wanted and dried fully, it was wrapped with cellophane & tied with a ribbon, brab & hand cut musical note.


I just hope this lasted the postal journal.



Then I moved onto the next idea which was an quote jar, because of course we all need a bit of inspiration whilst we are attempting to write. I also had a writers ink die set awaiting a use too.
For the quotes I put together some pages of quotes from goodreads.com that I liked the sound of and set about staining some paper with tea. 


I probably should have used coffee for a darker look but we had already had a conversation about not liking coffee so I didn't want to risk the smell still lingering. After I had a few dried I began the lengthy task of trying to tear the pieces without tearing the words but not wanting them too straight. 


They also really dry your hands out tearing and rolling up so i made sure i put some hand cream in the swap box too. But each one was rolled into a scroll ready to be housed.


Initially I was going to cover a jar with some Shakespeare quotes and attach a Quill to the front however the one I had ordered did not arrive in time so I had to change my ideas. Instead I made use of some fabric paper by Madame Payraud and fitted around an metal container finished off with string.


At the  front I attached a die cut ink well & nib in black gloss card


And then had an idea to add an extra gift inside this jar as a reward for achieving our goal.

We shall keep the contents a surprise for now though.
The mystery parcel was placed at the bottom and covered with material so it sits under the scrolls.



When the scrolls were added I secured them with some white netting and twine but I forgot to take the picture ... oops


For the horse theme I had used a photo supplied by +Hels but taken (so he reliably informed me) by her partner Rob. Which I wanted to use to decorate a notepad. I didn't have a medium circular die to cut out the green shimmer sticky paper, so there is more paper and less picture than I would have liked but I do have some circles on order now so maybe next time.


Fabric washi tape(can you tell that washi tape is my very favourite craft item yet) was used to create a border and also a tab to lift the cover.




The wish stamp was a free gift from papercrafter magazine stamped out using Ranger archival ink in jet black.

Also I knew a sugar supply would be needed for that extra push during late night writing surges so I added in some sweets for an emergency.


I still have some other things added to the box but I think (looks at length of post) that this post is going to need a bit of a split.




Image source: And Sew We Craft