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Tuesday 25 April 2023

Wood Burned Key Rings

I'm back with another edition of 'what can I do with the pack of 100 keyring chains I ordered?'
This time, we're reaching for the pyrography tool.

I've made some wood burned dog things in the past that turned out well so I thought I'd give them another go. I bought a pack of little wooden discs which may have been a little bit too small but I'm committed now.

I found that using the pyrography tool worked best for long haired, fluffy dogs as it doesn't give enough precision for short haired dogs. I tried a few but wasn't happy with how they turned out, with the exception of the pug. He came out ok, if a little bug-eyed.

Once I'd drawn the dogs I just needed to drill a little hole in the discs and attach the key ring chain, and now they're good to go.

Friday 17 March 2023

My Craft Room

This post is probably a year and a half over due, but everything takes longer with a toddler!
In 2021 we renovated pretty much the whole of the downstairs of our house, including turning the old garage into my new craft room.

The garage was cold and damp. The previous owner of the house had extended it at the back but the new bit of roof leaked and the brickwork was crumbling. Also the electrics didn't work!

Our builders gutted it, rebuilt, insulated and boarded the space, and added two windows and a door so I have a lovely view of our garden. It's also now attached to the house via a utility room so I don't have to go outside to access it. 

This was all going on while I was pregnant and by the time the room was ready to decorate I was very big!  But that didn't stop me from getting on a ladder (very carefully with lots of supervision!) and doing the cutting in. Initially I had wanted the room to be all white but once we'd done the first coat we went a bit snow-blind so I chose to add some colour with this duck egg paint and some simple geometric lines.

This is what my craft room looks like today. Note, I did tidy up especially for these photos. It definitely does not look this tidy all the time!

My 2 metre desk, which I've had since our last house, sits in front of the large window. We actually asked the builders to make the window wider to match my worktop. 
In previous set ups my Circuit machine has had to sit on the desk, which takes up a fair bit of space especially when it's in use, but I was able to repurpose a spare kitchen unit which fits it perfectly. I store my Circuit mats and large piece of paper and canvases in the cupboard.

At the end of the room I have a designated area for product photography. This is another thing that used to have to happen on my desk, meaning I'd have to clear it each time, and I was always having to move around my lights as they got in the way. It is so great having a spot for them which I can leave set up.

I already had a lot of the furniture in this room but I did add a few things, including these three Billy bookcases from Ikea. I wanted all of my supplies to be accessible and on display, as I'll often forgot I have something if I can't see it.

I also ordered an Ikea wardrobe which is mainly used to store all my felt.

I am so lucky to have this space. If my son is asleep then chances are this is where you'll find me.

Friday 3 March 2023

Harry Potter Fabric

A few years ago my sister gave me some scraps of Harry Potter fabric and since then they have just been sitting in my fabric drawers, waiting.

Then this past week I finally dug them out and made something with them!  

Here's what I had to work with. The pieces are very small and some have the house crest very close to the edge. And sorry Hufflepuffs, you don't get represented here. I don't know why there isn't fabric for all four houses, this is just what I was given.

The first thing I made was this Slytherin zipper pouch, as that was the biggest piece I had to work with. I used some black fabric, including some black leatherette, and matching green ribbon.

I then made a Gryffindor pouch but didn't have a strip of the fabric long enough to fill the pouch, so instead I cut out the crest, gave it a felt border and sewed it to some matching red fabric.

With a few more pieces of the fabric I made these hanging decorations. To make these I cut out the shapes using my Cricut and added some iron-on interfacing behind the fabric. Then I sewed the pieces together, adding in these strings of shiny beads.
I could see these hanging on a Harry Potter fan's Christmas tree. It's a shame about that missing Hufflepuff fabric as it would have been nice to make a whole set.

It was great to add a few more items to my craft fair stock using materials that I already had. The various fabrics, zips, felt and embellishments all came from my craft stash, which shows that I should never throw anything away as you never know when it'll come in useful!

Saturday 18 February 2023

Sweet Treat Keyrings

I recently bought a box of 100 key ring chains to start building up my stock. I want to do more craft fairs throughout the year, rather than just Christmas ones, so I need to make more non-Christmas items.

I've made donut keyrings before so I thought I'd continue with that theme and make some other sweet treats. I started with these felt ice lollies, featuring a real lolly stick.

Then I made some ice cream cones. This was a great little project because these treats can really be any colour so it gave me a chance to use some of the other colours in my felt stash, rather than the neutral colours I use all the time for my felt dogs.

For the ice cream cone I added some stitching detail with my sewing machine. I'm really pleased with how that turned out. I also really like this style of decorating with the sequins and beads.

 And finally I made a few cupcake keyrings, decorated with bead sprinkles.

So that used nine of the key ring chains. Now to think of something for the other 91...

Sunday 22 January 2023

Framed Minature House Commission

Today I'm sharing a recent commission I've just completed. It's a miniature framed house front.
I've made a front door like this before but not the whole front of the ground floor. The bay window was an added challenge!

And I was asked if I could possibly make a working porch light! This was quite easy once I found the right lights; a set of fairy lights with a slimline battery and switch. I only needed one light so the rest are hidden in the frame. 

All of the plants were another challenge which took a bit of experimenting but I ended up using a combination of bits of sponge, pot pourri, and dried mixed herbs.

I think my favourite thing about this piece is the hanging baskets. I found a couple of wooden beads that I was able to saw in half to use for the baskets. I built up bits of sponge for the plants and used an old necklace for the chain which I attached with small pins.

I cut a custom mount for the piece and found a shadow frame which had a bit of depth to house the porch section and keep everything neat. 

Thursday 22 December 2022

Making Christmas Cards With A Toddler

I promise I won't only post to this blog with each year's Christmas card, but this year has been a busy one looking after my baby-turned-toddler! I'm hoping to post more in the new year.

But anyway, here is this year's Christmas card, made in collaboration with my 14 month old.

My original plan for the cards was to do a foot print Christmas tree, but as soon as I went near my son's foot with the paint he freaked out. He wanted to paint with the paint brush instead. He doesn't need to use his feet anymore, he's not a baby!

So I moved to plan B and grabbed a few coloured sheets of paper and more paint, and let him artistically express himself. He was very opinionated about what colours he wanted to use, though he did get a bit distracted by the lids going on and off.

So far my only tips for painting with a toddler are wear something you would mind getting paint on, and have wipes to hand!

These are the finished paintings. Beautiful work.

I then made some templates and cut the shapes out of the three paintings to become the stack of presents.

After sticking down the presents, I added some gold ribbon and a bow, and a little Merry Christmas tag.
Like last year, I stuck a photo of my son doing the painting to the inside of the card so the recipients can see how it was made.

I really like how these cards turned out and it's a simple way to use your kid's more 'abstract' artwork.

Sunday 19 December 2021

Making Christmas Cards With A Baby

Today I’m sharing the Christmas cards I made this year with a little help from my almost 3 month old baby.

First I needed him to do some painting. I went for feet painting as that boy loves a clenched fist so hand prints were never going to happen. Also it meant the paint was further away from his mouth!
We got his Dad to help us and made footprints with blue, purple and silver paint. My tip is to tape the paper to the floor so it doesn’t move around.

This is the result. To make whole footprints I had to press his foot down, which we did a few times, but other than that I just let him make marks on the paper. It’s abstract!

Next I cut out circles from the painting. I drew around the inside of a sticky take roll which allowed me to see which paint sections I wanted. 
Then I used my Cricut to cut out some circles of silver card which were slightly bigger than the painted circles. Then I glued the two together, with the silver card acting as a frame for the painting and making it thicker.

To turn the circles into baubles I added a little strip of silver card to the top and attached a piece of silver thread. To stick them to the Christmas cards I used sticky foam squares so they would stand out a little bit.

I used blue and purple cards to match the paint and added a ‘Merry Christmas’ sticker at the bottom.

I also included a photo of my son doing the painting so the recipients know how the card was made!

I love how these turned out. I wonder what we'll come up with next year!

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