Tuesday, 29 November 2011

More cards to share with you

Some time ago I went to a craft fair and picked up a pack of paper, card and bits for card-making. I used the pack to make up some birthday cards. There's a red, pink, black & grey theme to these cards.

It's amazing how a few glittery stick-on gems, the odd punched flower or butterfly can make a card look so pretty. Short lengths of ribbon are nice additions too.

I also found a cheap pack of doillies in a local kitchenware shop and cut bits off to paste onto my cards. Pretty, aren't they?

A lot of it is just layering paper and card on top of each other. I use double-sided sticky tape a lot and double-sided sticky foam tape under the little messages. I also discovered these wonderful little things (described as brads without legs) called Card Candi. They're the little round red and white dome-shaped things on my cards.

I've made more cards than I need this year. So I took a bunch of cards into work and put them into a box on my desk. My colleagues can come help themselves to handmade cards if they want to and leave a contribution in the box in return. My colleagues are quite happy with this arrangement and some have already helped themselves to some cards from the box. All good!

It's a cold blustery day here in Birmingham and it looks like it's going to start raining any minute. Hope you're having a fine day where you are, friends.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

My creative space

I'll be spending the next few days making up Christmas cards for my friends and family. My creative space is littered with bits of card, small bottles of glitter glue (I love the name Stickles!), marker pens, bits of scrunched up tissue and my lovely Japanese water-brushes.

I need to get them done by next week. Royal Mail tells me that the last posting date for countries outside Europe are 5th and 9th of December if I want to make sure they get there in time for Christmas.

To see what other creative peeps are doing around the world, visit the home of creative spaces here.

Have a creative day, friends.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A handful of Christmas cards

Here are the Christmas cards I made a couple of days ago using some freebie stamps that came with a craft magazine and a couple of other stamps I bought at a craft fair last month. The stamps are inked in black and I then coloured them in with watercolour pens and marker pens. The red patterned paper was another freebie in the magazine. Don't you just love freebies?!

I have many more to make and must do them soon if I want to be able to send family and friends abroad their CraftyAdy Christmas cards this year. I have no idea when the last posting dates for Royal Mail are. Note to self - need to find out asap!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Cute button paperclip bookmarks

I recently bought some metal cover button kits and some giant paperclips. The cover buttons are metal buttons which can be covered with fabric. Dritz do a kit which comes with the plastic tool you need to make the buttons up. I used scraps from my stash and a small round circle of wadding to cover my buttons.

I then hot-glued them onto some giant paperclips which I found on etsy.

These make great little gifts. I have a few around the house - either as bookmarks or paperclips to hold my sheaf of bills together. They're a quick make and make good use of fabric scraps which might not be useful for anything else.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A few cards

In my last My Creative Space post I was showing you a birthday card I was working on for a young boy. It turned out quite nicely I thought.

I used the same range of papers and cutouts to create another one for my card stash.

Here are a couple of other birthday cards I made.

I love these next two cards. The bunting in the card on the left is stuck down with small bits of double-sided foam pads so they stand out from the card. I nicked a few small star-shaped stickers from Missy Moo's sticker stash to use on the bunting.

I've not made very many cards which would be suitable for male friends. I realised recently that my cards are all very 'girlie'. This card is a lot less 'girlie' than many of my cards.

I have a few more cards planned and laid out on my desk - all ready for an evening of sticking and colouring in. There are a few Christmas ones in there too. I hope to be able to show them to you soon.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Chain maille jewellery for a friend

A couple of My creative space posts ago, I blogged about some chain maille I was working on. I made a necklace and matching earrings for a very dear friend of mine who was taking early retirement.

This is a variation on the Byzantine weave and has additional rings on each side. I think it worked really well. I didn't make a full necklace. I personally find them slightly uncomfortable to wear. So I made 8 inches of chain and used a length of silver fancy-link chain to make up the rest of the necklace.

I was very pleased with the finished pieces and my friend was delighted with her leaving present. I quite like this weave and might have to make another one for myself sometime soon.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

My Creative Space

The creative space is full of bits and pieces right now - mostly card-making type of bits and pieces. Here's a birthday card for one of Dinoboy's best friends.

I have a stack of cards to make up and have started on a handful of Christmas cards.

My friend was very happy with her jewellery which I made for her (see my last My Creative Space post here) - I did take some photos but have not had a chance to upload them. Sorry! I will try to post the up soon.

Visit the home of creative spaces to find out what others are doing around the world.

Have a creative day, friends.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hat number 10

I finished all my hats in time for the date my work colleague had set for the making up of the office shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child Project. Whew!

This is hat number 10.

Made on my green Knifty Knitter round loom with half a ball of leftover Rowan Big Wool yarn. It turned out to be a lovely warm hat with a nice little rolled brim.

Missy Moo wholeheartedly approved.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My creative space

A slightly early My Creative Space post this week. I wanted to be sure I didn't miss it like last week! Doh! There are a few projects on the go in my space right now. The most pressing is this one.

A very dear colleague and friend of mine is taking early retirement and she finishes this week. I wanted to make her something nice and since she likes jewellery, I thought I'd make her a chain maille necklace with matching earrings. I don't know if there is a name for this particular weave ... it's a Byzantine weave variant. The accent rings are smaller in diameter than the silver rings and there's a single accent ring locking the box together at the top and the bottom - forming a little cross of sorts.

Visit other wonderful creative spaces around the world here at the home of Our Creative Spaces.

Have a creative day, friends.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Lip balm making in time for winter

The kids and I get chappy lips a lot during the colder months of the year. So I normally buy a lot of lip balm aka chapsticks etc. This year I thought I'd have a go at making our own. It was actually pretty successful - we ended up with 4 little pots and 10 sticks and I had leftover balm mixture left to half fill an old small lip balm tin.

I used the following:
15gms of cocoa butter
25gms of shea butter
20gms of bees wax pellets
roughly 10gms of mango butter
40mls of sweet almond oil
a few drops of peppermint flavouring oil

If you search for lip balm making supplies on Google, you'll find lots of shops online which sell these. Normally these online shops also specialise in soap-making supplies too (next year's craft perhaps??)

I melted it all in a heatproof container in our microwave in short 20 - 30 second bursts. When it had all melted together, I poured the liquid balm into my containers and put them into the fridge for an hour or so to set. I was a bit slow in my pouring and the balm mixture actually started to set in my heatproof container. I had to return it to the microwave a couple of times to reheat. I had read somewhere on the internet that shea butter can go grainy when it gets too hot and I think the reheating of the balm mixture made this happen in my lip balm. In hindsight I might omit the shea butter altogether in future recipes and perhaps use more mango butter or more cocoa butter. Ours was a smidgen grainy but the grainy feeling dissipates really quickly when the wax melts on the lips.

I was very cautious with my flavour oil and the resulting lip balm is not very minty. It can stand a bit more next time.

Have you ever tried making lip balm? Do you use shea butter and if not, which other type of butter do you use?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Ending Halloween on a happy note

31 October fell on a Monday this year. Normally the kids would have been at school but this year, Monday 31 October was a teacher-training day so the kids were not required to attend school. They got the day off to hang out with me and got all excited about a Halloween party they got invited to.

I had one last pumpkin left and asked Missy Moo what type of pumpkin she wanted me to carve for her. She immediately declared that she wanted a 'happy' pumpkin. I think she's probably had enough of scary pumpkins this year. So a happy pumpkin it was.

I didn't hollow out this pumpkin - I just carved into it. I also did not break into the middle bit. I'm hoping that the rest of the pumpkin might still be OK in a couple of days as I intend to cut the face bit off and roast up the rest of it to make a bit of pumpkin soup!

I hope you had a fun Halloween. My two certainly did - they probably ate far too much junk food and sweets and spent most of the evening running about scaring each other and their friends to bits.