Wednesday 28 April 2010

Handmade Gift Exchange

Today was the day to exchange our gifts in the Handmade Gift Exchange organised by Mains restaurant in Suffolk.

I had been paired with Ann, a lovely lady who is a regular at the "sip and stitch" nights at the restaurant, and a knitter - one of the crafts I have never managed to master, so when discussing in our various emails what to make for each other, I was hopeful of something knitted :-)   I didn't want to know exactly what I would get, but sent a wedding photo to show my favourite colours and Ann mentioned that she liked to add beads to her knitting (beads in knitting, she must be some kind of magician.......)   And when I arrived home from work tonight there was a package sitting, smiling at me on the door mat, and inside was this beautiful creation.....

Teal is my favourite colour and makes up at least 50% of my wardrobe so this is going to go with so many of my outfits.  For once I am hoping for a cold weekend so I get the chance to try it out on Saturday night.  it looks like a lot of work to me and I really appreciate the time and effort it must have taken to make such a lovely handmade gift - thanks Ann!  :-)

For my part, I offered a variety of crafts and Ann was intrigued by the idea of a beaded watch and told me that she wears a lot of brown.  I lucked out and managed to find a lovely watch component with a brown pale face and took my inspiration and colour pallet from that.  The results are below - I decided to add a matching bracelet to make it more of a surprise and added a "surpriseabella" card to go with it.  I am really pleased with the way it turned out - the colours came out great and I got a lovely email from Ann who said she liked it very much which really made my day.
There was a bit of snag along the way though, as the brown pearls I'd bought to match the watch face did not have a wide enough hole for me to cross my beading thread through twice as the design requried, so I had to get out my trusty dremmel with a very fine drill bit, and with the aid of a lump of white-tac I had to re-drill every bead to make the hole a bit wider.......   

....there were a few hairy moments (luckily I bought more bead than I needed ;-)!) but much to my surprise it actually worked - phew - disaster averted and Ann could have a new watch!

This was my first gift exchange, but hopefully it won't be my last - it was a really interesting and worthwhile experience to be involved in - and gave me something to look forward to.  If you see another gift exchange - take part - it's like getting an extra birthday and the giving is great too...........

Monday 26 April 2010

Floral Fervour

Just a quick post tonight featuring my favourite floral stamps from Elzybels.  I really love these stamps as they are so versatile - here used for birthday, wedding acceptance and even a sympathy card.  In all these cards I've used a multi-coloured stamping technique - either stamping difference dew drop ink pads directly onto the stamp to give a patchwork coloured effect as on the daisy, or with a brayer and a big and juicy multicoloured ink pad on the dandelion clock.  I used Elzybels really useful word stamps, Martha Stewart punches and some simple matting and layering to finish the cards.


Wednesday 21 April 2010

The Boys

I decided to make a handmade gift for my friends birthday and wanted to use photos of her 3 boys which we took last summer when we went to Magna with them on a summer holiday visit up here.

I found this lovely tripple heart frame in a local gift shop which was perfect for the job but needed a little embelishment to enhance its' shabby-chicness.  There was a floral whitewash design on it which I added dots of liquid pearls to for a bit of shimmer and sparkle.

I then used two flowers from the Wild Asparagus Decoupage Pad from My Minds Eye although sadly I think this product has now been discontinued by them, but it may still be around in the shops somewhere.  I used a simple brown brad to hold them together and added sepia glossy accents to jazz it up a bit.  I also gave the same treatment to a chipboard butterfly, which I coloured with ink pads to match the brad, and then sat on one of the spare leaves from the decoupage page.

I'm really pleased with the results and so was my friend - its almost as cute as the boys themselves :-)

Saturday 17 April 2010

Blue Easles

Made a couple of easle cards, one for a boy, one for a girl but both strangely blue.  This is the first time I've had a go at easles though, so I am very pleased with the results.

This is a lili of the valley topper with some birthday ribbon and a lot of scraps from various DCWV packs.

The girls version is a sugar nellie rubber stamp, coloured with copic markers and pencils and blended with sansoder and paper stumps.  Embellished with Martha Stewart's fabulous daisy punch.  There is some glitter detail to the wings and wish and the buttons have sparkle from glossy accents from Ranger.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

A Crafty Easter

Had a few craft projects on the go this bank holiday weekend, one of which was supposed to be sorting the craft room, but that's another (ongoing) story ;-)

On Friday, I did my first ever "spangling" for my friend who has recently taken up lace making and bought some lovely lace bobbins from the lace fair in Harrogate last weekend. Spangling for the uniniciated (which until recently btw so was I!) is the process of adding "spangles" to the bottom of wooden lace bobbins to give them weight and some pattern so you know which pair you are working on. As a jewellery maker beading wasn't a problem, just learning how to do the right pattern and getting the tension right. This was our afternoons work.

This is a close up on my favourite pair - the wood was such an unusal blend of black, teal, purple and claret that we were able to pick up on in the bead selection. Some of the other beads we used were ones my friend selected whilst on a recent holiday to Cambodia so hopefully using these in her hobby will act as a nice reminder of her trip :)

I also made a couple of cards, one for my Aunts birthday and one for another friend who has just become a Great Aunt and wanted a new baby boy card for her nephew.

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