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Saturday, 17 January 2015

The First Class...

...of 2015 - gilding.

At 9.15am this morning I had braved the frost & ice to meet up with my friend Hilary at the café over at the Barleylands Craft Village. We met for breakfast and to have a catch up chat before heading over to Pinnacle Crafts for Andy's first workshop of 2015.

The class was a chance to play with some construction and the new Creative Expressions gilding wax colours.

To start with we cut our CS to size for the project that we were going to construct and before proceeding with any embossing, I toned down the smooth white CS with some Memento ink...
 ...I used "London Fog" as it has a blue/green tint to it.
The panels for the back & front of the project were embossed with a Spellbinders 3D Em-bossing Folder - Labels 34 Medallion...
...then a little more "London Fog" was applied before I started with the gilding wax. The first colour I used was Graceful Peach and then I added Graceful Mint...
 ...one of the great things about these embossing folders is the fact that there are matching dies...
 ...which come in very handy.

The project for today was to create a box that looks like a book...
...something that we have done before but on this occasion we used slightly different techniques for the construction...
 ...I also decided that I wanted to be able to keep the book closed...
 ...so I added some ribbon between the embossed panels and the greyboard used to construct the box.

When I got home, I added some pearls near the spine...
...because I had also added some ribbon...
...to create a bit of interest on the spine.
I love the finished effect...
 ...and gilding wax gives the 'book' a lovely soft sheen.

What will I be using my book for...
...my secret crafting stash...
 ...of chocolate.
After all, seeing the book sitting on my desk...
...would you know that it contained lots of yummy chocolate?

Today's class was to make more than one book...
...and to play around with different "looks". This peek shows the same two gilding wax colours used on textured black CS. I'll show you what I made another time.

Hilary's book was completed in a lovely blue/lavender shade and yet, she too started off with smooth white CS.

We had a lovely day - watched the snow falling from the comfort of the classroom through the skylights (thankfully it turned to rain) - had a lovely lunch at the café (with more chat) - and enjoyed a messy but productive crafting day.

Thank you Andy - 2015 crafting has begun with a great start.........................................................





Sunday, 11 January 2015

There seems to be...

...a lot of recycling going on.

Folk seem to be getting the year off to a start with organising & re/up cycling and many are combining the two.

If you hop around Blogland (or for those of you who 'Pin') you will have noticed a lot of new pen holders appearing - mostly made out of beautifully decorated tin cans. I don't use a lot of canned stuff but we certainly got through a fair amount of...
...over the Holiday period. I mean; what else are you supposed to eat with all that left over turkey LOL.
So the empties have been saved...
...and duly scrubbed.
Yesterday was the First Eastwood crop of 2015 and as usual I wasn't scrapping...
 ...I was up-cycling a gerkin jar.
My burlap wasn't quite long enough to wrap right round the jar...
...but that was fine because I layered some gingham paper and a patch of burlap to cover the gap.
I layered some cream cotton lace...
...onto burgundy satin ribbon...
...and also made a triple satin bow.
Here it is put together...
 ...it will be the perfect holder for my odds & ends and will sit on my desk at home.

The saga of the missing diary & note book is on-going and I'll be blowed if I'm going to fork out for another lot just for the originals to turn up - so a bit more re-cycling.

I had an old Deco calendar in my stash awaiting me finding time to chop it up for the pictures - it has now been given a new life - as you can see...
 ...more of the layered ribbon & lace. Topped off with some die-cut panels with "2015" and a bow with some roses.
This was a very quick 'make-over'...
 ...some layered die-cut panels to cover the old days...
 ...and a pocket calendar page (with inked edges) layered over the top.
The crop was smaller than usual...
...but everyone seemed to have a very productive day.
To finish off the day I made a couple of easel style cards as desk calendars...
...they don't take up too much space but add a little bit of colour and decoration - this one will be taking up residence on my desk at work.

The crop was held in the classroom above In2crafting at Wickford as the usual location was not available. It is a lovely bright space but next time I won't take the kitchen sink...as the only access is via some quite steep stairs - thank you John for the assistance coming down.

John had a large bolt of navy leather that was heading for the skip and he said if anyone could make use of it they could help themselves. I have come away with a nice large piece and I have some ideas involving more recycling. Will have to have a think about this as I have plenty of suitable jars and boxes awaiting my attention.........................................................................

Monday, 5 January 2015

Okay...

...I give up!

I've hunted high.

I've hunted low.

I've turned this house upside down...and I still can't find where I've put my new Deco desk calendar and note book.

 
I had the bag containing them before Christmas - I took it out of the cupboard upstairs - I placed it on the bannister so that I would remember to take the bag downstairs...and that is the last I saw of it.

I was so sure that I had placed the bag on the chair in the study but it isn't there.

I've searched everywhere I can think to search and it seems that all I'm doing is making a huge mess and getting very frustrated.

I've decided to forget it for the time being and hope the bag turns up when I'm looking for something else. I've obviously put it somewhere for VERY safe keeping......................................................

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Getting organised...

...for 2015.

The aim being - if I can find it, I might actually use it!

So last night I sat down with a pile of dies and managed to discard this...
 ...a carrier-bag full of unwanted packaging. It's surprising the amount of space all this bulky packaging takes up.

What happened to the contents of that packaging?

I filled two organiser files...
 ...this polka-dot one is currently available from DoCrafts as are the refill packs of pockets containing magnetic sheets.
I have gathered together my collection of these Memory Box cuties...
 ...and have used some of them now that I know where they are (I'm sure I bought the mittens & stockings versions but perhaps that was just my wishlist coming to mind).
I knew I had quite a few Tonic dies...
 ...but I found some that I had totally forgotten about.

I still have my Sue Wilson dies to house - another organiser on the list for "Member's weekend" at the end of January.

Now when Ranger came out with these mini Distress Ink pads I thought it was just a fad and something to encourage us to buy even more stuff - how wrong I was. They are perfect for mobile crafting...these are so much easier to pack in your tote for a crop/class than taking a large box containing the full size pads (it's easier to fit these on the table too).

I love the storage tins...
 ...they keep everything together - all neat and tidy...
...and I do mean everything. The recess in the bottom of each ink pad houses a blending foam pad perfectly...
...so you have a pad for each colour at hand ready for use - how super is that.

My first crop for 2015 is on Saturday 10 January and I'm sure that I'll be more productive by having these things on hand...well...I hope so.

On my recent blog visits I've noticed that several folk have included de-cluttering and organising as a goal for 2015.

I've made a start - let's see if I can keep up the momentum...............................................................

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year...

...to you all.

Let us raise a glass to bid the old year farewell...
...and welcome in the new.
Wishing you all a...
 ...that brings you everything that you hope for and...


Happy 2015 to you all and I hope you all continue to enjoy your crafting in the coming year................

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Poodle yarn info...

...for those who asked.

"Poodle" yarn is made by Stylecraft and comes in 100g balls.

If you follow the instructions that are on the inside of the ball band - one ball will make one scarf.

The yarn is a mix of 74% acrylic, 16% polyester, 10% mohair and is machine washable at 30c.

To make a scarf is very quick and easy, even for less experienced knitters as you only cast on 3 stitches and it is all knitted in garter (plain) stitch. My first scarf using this yarn took me just over an hour as I was getting used to the feel etc. but subsequent scarves were polished off in about 50mins - yes, it really does knit up that quickly.

The ball band recommends 5mm needle but I used 6mm - my choice and I know how my knitting works up (I found the loops in the yarn a little loose on the 5mm so the 6mm held the stitches a bit more comfortably).

I don't know how wide spread availability of this yarn is (we have all lost our local wool shops over the years) but the ball band contains the following site details www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk

I'm hoping my local wool shop will be stocking up on this after the holidays as there are some colours on the colour chart that I would love to try............................................................

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Still boxing...

...clever.

I actually remembered to take a photo of this scarf before I packaged it...
 ...I am loving this poodle yarn (not cheap but one ball = one scarf) and it is so soft. It also knits up in just under an hour. Once bundled into a box...
 ...you don't know what it is until you open the package. Although my niece seems to have forgotten my tendency to save boxes for this purpose as she thought she had been given a box of coffee - Doh!
One little lady who had no problem unwrapping her gifts was my Sister's dog; Lexi. She was happily ignoring all the folk in the room and played with all her new toys - including monkey...
...as you can see, monkey is nearly as big as Lexi but that did not stop her...
...she was 'loving' her monkey by cuddling it in a choke hold and using it like a pillow.
This was a gift to me from Santa...
...I love it. A mug, tray and coaster - perfect for holding a cuppa & treat on my desk.

I stopped off at my local garden centre on the way to Mum's yesterday as there were a couple of plant pot holders that I wanted to pick up - the place was heaving. Folk were grabbing all the Christmas stuff that had been reduced to 50% of its original price - some families had trolley loads and the queues at the tills were a nightmare (no till set aside for quick purchases). As I had managed to park and find what I wanted I stuck it out but nearly 30mins in a queue seemed silly when I came to hand over my £5 for two pot holders...folk around me were spending several 100s of £ on trees, decorations & lights - you could hear the 'plastic' groaning (I dread to think what some folk will be faced with when their credit card bills come through in the New Year).

I have not 'hit' the sales this year and do not intend to - yesterday I queued and that is the only queuing I intend to do...there is nothing I need that desperately that will tempt me back..................