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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Cornflour And Chalk Paint

Saw Ally on Create & Craft make her own crackle paste with cornflour (cooking type) and chalk paint so I decided to have a go myself.  The results are actually very good.

The crackle background on this wall hanging was made this way and the image was stamped when it had dried.  With this method you really have to let it dry naturally and resist using the heat gun on it.  Will definitely be using this method again as it is quick and very cheap … which suits me.


Craft Tool Holder From Recycled Jumbo Toilet Roll

Hubby brought a few jumbo sized toilet roll holders home from work for me and I recycled into this craft tools holder.

The four items in the holder are what I am always searching for on my desk.  I use them so often and consequently they are the things I lose under other crafting goodies on my desk.  Now I have this little gem in front of me I am hoping they won’t get lost again!!!


Used papers, paints, inks, molding paste, dies, stamps, edging punch and gilding wax.

This shows how large the jumbo toilet rolls are and because they are for industrial use they are so much sturdier than the normal toilet roll.



Who Saves Old Toilet Rolls

 OK no jokes about the whiff please, Irene has said enough for everyone lol but finally … after not having a bath or shower for a week (because of the op on my leg) … I had a long, long soak last night so that the stitches would dissolve.  The leg now looks like the colours I have used on my box  (black and purple)!!!!  The stocking stays on during the day for two more weeks but it can come off at night, phew that will be a relief in itself.  Irene and myself have still been Skypeing and crafting which has been a life saver for me.

How many of you does this happen to, you reach over for a paintbrush, which happens to be kept in an old plastic mug, and they all fall over with brushes falling everywhere?  Got so fed up with this happening that an idea started to form in my head.  Plus the satisfaction of making something from start to finish without knowing how it is going to turn out is a real buzz.

These are some of the items which I started with, which I am sure you recognise, toilet roll holders and a block of wood getting a once over with black gesso.

Below is the finished make and also a few before and after pics.  No measurements are given because everyone uses different loo rolls so each make would end up a different size.  My box ended up being, 6″  x   5  1/2″   x   4 1/2″    Hopefully from the pics you can see where I was going with the plan and the block of wood at the bottom makes it very heavy which gives the stability to the whole project.  The ladies peeking out of the window remind me of “The Ladies Of The Night”, what do you think??

Paint BoxPaint Box 1

A bit further on with the project and the loo rolls were also painted black before adding to the block of wood.  Grey board sides were added (recycled from my bit basket, some far away project which never made the grade).  Starting to take shape now.


All frames are cut from the Tim Holtz Window Box die which I crackled and painted.  Paint colour is called Amethyst from the JOFY  Limited Edition  at PaperArtsy  and used with some black gesso.  Crackle paste was used with the Fluer-de-lis stencil mask.  Only a teensy tiny bit of stamping  and this was mainly on the odd bits of G45 paper.  I did stamp on the bottom of the box just to tie it all together.

Paint Box 3Paint Box 4Paint Box 6Paint Box 7

Entering into the challenge at Artist Trading Post called ‘Lets Celebrate’ – I am celebrating the fact that my brushes won’t be rolling all over my desk anymore … YAY!!!

Nikki from A Vintage Journey has chosen a theme of ‘Let’s Celebrate’ which is the same as the above challenge.  You also have to say for this challenge what influences you from Tim Holtz.  For me it’s always his dies, they are my all time favourite cutting dies.

Mr Brush Box is now sitting proudly on my craft desk and what a gorgeous thing it is to look at.


Birthday Gifts Galore

Another topsy turvy week has just gone by, which has been the way my whole year has gone so far.

I was due to go into hospital on 7th January to have an op on my leg.  First date they gave me was the 17th December.  Turned this down because it was too near Christmas so 7th January was suggest and I said yes.

The electricity went off for most of the day Monday and off again for an hour on Tuesday morning which didn’t put me in a good mood.  The phone went and it was the hospital to say they had a cancellation and could I go in the next day (Wednesday).  What the heck, it would be over and done with for Christmas and then I could start the New Year afresh.

So here I am sitting with a very sore leg on my birthday.  Only able to hobble at the best of times but managed to take a pic of a couple of my birthday pressies.

How gorgeous are these?  When I got the phone call I had already made arrangements to have a coffee and lunch with my crafty friend that day at Rathwood.  Whilst there she bought me these fabulous slippers for my birthday so that I could take them in with me the next day.  Because they were so gorgeous and comfortable I decided not to take them into hospital (in case they got anything yukky on them).  At the moment I can’t get them on my feet but will be wearing them soon lol.  Thanks Crafty Friend x x


Another birthday gift came through the post from my SIL Irene.  She sent me a handmade Chocolate Bar and Gift Wallet.  It is soooo pretty and very much me, I love it.


Inside pics of the chocolate bar and a little extra pressie of canvas tags.


Just in case you are wondering what Andrew got me … just what I asked for all the Spectrum Noir AquaTint Inks.  YouTube here.

What a little gem and he is spoiling me rotten.  So how lucky am I – who cares if the leg hurts!!!!


File Folder Playtime

Our Skype playtime this week (Irene and myself) was making this file folder.  You will soon be able to see Irene’s makes because I am pleased to say she is going to start blogging again.

Now I have seen these folders around blogland but this is a first for me.  It was I’s choice of what to make this week and this was it.  Soooo pleased with how it turned out.  Absolutely oodles of yummy inking and stamping plus oodles more artwork on the inside.  Elastic was needed and all I had was a white with an orange zigzag pattern so what’s a girl gonna do when she’s too impatient to wait and buy more … colour with a contrasting ink, that’s what.  It didn’t look too bad in the end.

Just typical … as I am on a roll to take more pics the battery runs out!!!! grrrrrr.

File Folder2File Folder1

Door Hanger For Lauren

Firstly I want to say thanks a million for all your lovely comments on my posts whilst I have been away on holiday.  All this week will be spent hopping around to your blogs seeing what I have missed and also to leave you some hugs and love.

 Fashionable Stamping Challenges this fortnight have a terrific theme of  “Child’s Play” which was picked by our wonderful DT sister Esther.

This is my first time of making a door hanger and it will be hanging on my craft room door until my granddaughter Lauren comes over, if she likes it it’s hers.  Amber is very arty and uses lots of paints with her work but Lauren, who is eleven, loves anything to do with needlework.

Used a few stamped images but the main is from Flonzcrafts called “Girls Sewing” which you can find here.  Used my watercolour pencils from Faber Castelle for the colouring in of the image.  The other stamps are from Stamping Up called Established Elegance.

Shirl 1Shirl

My crafty friend has a fabulous paper pad from Prima and I used a page for the background with various inks and stencils.

I would love it if you hopped on over to see all the DT’s work as they are simply stunning.  Also don’t forget that the winner of this challenge has $20 to choose anything they like from Flonz’s store.


Graphic 45 Design Team 2014 Audition

In it to win it.

Only just seen that Graphic 45 have a DT call and I think you all know by now that they are my fave papers of all time. Only problem is that I have to wait forever to get my mitts on any of the new designs they release. It’s a slim chance because I know there are going to be hundreds of entrants but as the title says … “In It To Win It”. Here goes:

First criteria is to create a blog post with a minimum of 6 projects. These do not have to include G45 products but they would prefer.

The first two projects are unseen before so lots of photos to show but the next 3 projects are older posts so I have just left links for these.

Loved this wallet so much that I decided to make another but this time with all Graphic 45 papers and stamps. The papers are from the Typography collection and A Ladies Diary. Also used the stamps from A Ladies Diary and the Secret Garden.

This pic shows what the inside looks like when the wallet is fully open. Covered the front of a flip over paper pad then covered the pen to match. Made a little tag pocket into which I inserted a stitched vellum envelope and again added a tag and another G45 pic.

The front opening has a magnetic disc behind the papers so it just snaps shut. Love all the stamps and fussy cut embellies – they enhance the project perfectly.

2 Note Book4 Note Book5 Note Book

It was so hard to choose a topper to cover the front of the pad but this is such an apt quote that I had to go with it. I masked off the Secret Garden stamp because I only wanted the word secret and the little bird on the pad.

7 Note Book6 Note Book8 Note Book9 Note Book

Onto my next make which is my file folder box. This was finished in January but only just getting around to posting. Made it to house all the cards I make in advance for my family this year. As you can see the Graphic 45 papers are out in force again and this time its the A Place In Time Collection. Made the box from scratch with a friend of mine and what a time we had banging our heads together with the measurements. Total chaos at times but the end result was worth it.

Used the grey board for the box which was covered with embossed cardstock then given a coat of dark blue chalk paint before gilding wax was added. Reinforced the back edges and the feet are cotton reels. The side bags are for any notes I might want to add about anyone’s card.

Box 1Box 2Box 4

The box lid has pics of the family which I printed onto tissue paper then added with mod podge. Placed the image of the boys together in the clock then ripped through the numbers.

Designed the box such that the front just drops down so all the folders, with the cards in, are easily accessible.

Box 5Box 6Box 7Box 8

Here are the links for the other four makes which are not totally Graphic 45 but there are papers or stamps used in probably all of them.

Graphic 45 Nuts & Bolts Album

Tag Holder

Trinket Box

Write Your Story

Keeping all my fingers crossed.


Here Comes 2014 – Just Go For It

Happy New Year Everyone

Whatever this year brings my advice is


Instead of looking back at my best makes of 2013 (let’s face it, you’ve seen them all before, why on earth would you want to take a second peek), I am going to share with you a trip down memory lane to show that you just don’t know what’s around the corner.

My very first post for 2014 has come about because of my last post in 2013 which you can see here.

A few of your wonderful comments made me smile. The lovely Sylvia-Anne asked if I had really worked at the BE in Kuwait and also my super DT sister Ellie thought I was telling porkies.

Well it’s all true, I worked at the British Embassy from 1994 – 2000 and Andrew worked for the Kuwaiti government from 1993 – 2001.

Kuwait happened for Andrew and I at a very low point in our lives. Andrew had been out of work for 8 months plus the UK was in a really bad recession. He started applying for jobs abroad and got work in Kuwait. This was such a scary time in our lives. To just up and go on our own to work and live in a foreign country, leave all our family and friends behind. Also the 1st Gulf War had just ended, well just say that I cried a lot. At our ages to leave the UK and all our loved ones behind was just unreal but needs must and off we went.

We were only going to stay for one year, get back on our feet and go back to the UK again. How wrong can anyone be … because we loved it so much we ended up staying SEVEN YEARS.

Sharing just a couple of pics about our time there. This is me having tea with Prince Charles (you read right … Prince Charles, all true Ellie) and a copy of the invite letter. Sadly Andrew wasn’t invited to this event.

Afternoon Tea With CharlesAfternoon Tea With Charles 1Invite Letter

Here are a few receptions that Andrew and I attended whilst we were in Kuwait. The best of these was when we were invited onto the Royal Yacht Britannia. She was making her final voyage before being decommissioned in December 1997. On board also was Margaret Thatcher. Great night but sadly Andrew again missed out because he was ill but we were lucky enough to get a private viewing, a few days before, of the Royal Yacht by some of the crew before the reception.

Met the Duke Of York twice and also met Princess Anne once. She only shook my hand, asked my name and said hello but she spoke to Andrew for a good 10 minutes about his work. Meeting Tony and Cheri Blair was another highlight of our time out there.

Duke Of YorkQueen's Birthday InviteNew Zealand Invite

At the time the first photo was taken I was showing around a visitor from the FCO who was taking photos of the new Consular section waiting room which had just been built (where I worked). As you do I threw myself onto one of the new seats and started posing. Me thinks he was going to delete the photo but low and behold a few weeks later a letter arrived in the diplomatic bag with this pic in it. Another pic of me at an evening reception in the embassy grounds with some of the crew of HMS Southampton. That was a great weekend and we also went aboard her.

Another fabulous time was when we were invited by the Ambassador of New Zealand and Commander Ross Smith of HMNZS Te Kaha to a reception on board ship.

The other two pics are of the Iraqi border and my son standing beside one of the patrol guards.

Consular SectionHMS SouthamptonIraq BorderIraq Border Checkpoint

The writing actually says:

U.S Military & Civilian Personnel
Kuwait – Iraq Border
3 Kilometers Ahead

Now did you notice that it only says US Military & Civilian Personnel, hey what about us BRITS!!!


Captured Forever

Each year on my birthday one memory always comes to mind … something that somebody said to me many years ago. It always triggers a picture of me holding my mum’s hand as she is standing speaking to a friend. I can remember the day as if it were yesterday.

It was my birthday, so I didn’t want to stand around chatting. I was doing the usual child thing, fidgeting about, bored and saying “Are we going now?”. Her friend laughed and turned to me saying “make the most of today because as you get older they will come around so fast and you won’t want them to”. I can remember thinking gosh it takes ages for a birthday to come around. As a child I didn’t realise the meaning of those words … I do now.

Who watches The Paradise, just love the clothes … especially what Katherine wears … and the era? Last week’s episode was the taking of photos. How stern did they look when posing, no sunny smiling faces in those days.

Used another freebie image from Astrid. Thanks for these, sweets, we really appreciate all your hard work in giving us these.

Made this 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ photo frame. Forgot to take a photo of the back but I used the Sizzix Small Easel Die which makes a terrific stand. Cut the Sizzix Scalloped Frame three times then layered one on top of each other so that I could recess the photo. How terrified do they look!!!

December’s main theme at Crafts-Too-Challenge You is The Natural World. There are two parts to the monthly challenge and today we are starting the first part which is add a flower.

Used a Crafts Too stencil with some molding paste to create the rose effect, the flourish die is also a Crafts Too. The larger flowers are a Stampin Up stamp called Flower Shop.


The rest of the design team have worked really hard to bring you some amazing inspiration so pop here to have a peek.


First Wall Hanging

This is my first wall hanging simply because not sure if this was my type of thing.

Had a play day yesterday with the melt pot, corrugated cardboard, paint, beeswax, napkins, mica powder, gilding wax, border die, stitching and ribbon.

This is the result after all the playing and I really loved how it turned out. This piece will be hanging in my craft room as of today and I just might be doing some more!!!

The stitching came about because I wanted a decorative edge at the top. Cut it out with an Xcut border die which had lots of little holes when cut.

Stitching and myself go hand in hand so out came the needle and thread to do a quick back stitch along the top.
Just didn’t want to glue or tape the ribbon handle so this was stitched onto the wall hanging at the same time. This appealed to the neat freak in me so the back also looked nice.

Wall Hanging3Wall HangingWall Hanging2