Friday, 29 December 2017

Mini Painting: Patch the Cockatiel

Just last month we were devastated to lose our beautiful cockatiel, Patch. Having previously painted him in watercolours (check out my cockatiels tag) with his partners Georgie and JayJay, I wanted to do a small acrylic painting of just him. It's been a while since I had my trusty acrylics out - so long in fact that some of them had dried up! But it was good to get back in to painting, and my husband was thrilled with this small gift to remember a very handsome boy.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Post Pals: Mrs Claus

I'm mainly sharing this little creation to inspire. You may have heard of a wonderful little charity called Post Pals? They send post to seriously ill children (pals) and their siblings all year round. At Christmas time, they ensure their pals get extra post, from Santa's Elves, Santa's Reindeer, and Mrs Claus herself! I couldn't resist signing up to be a Mrs Claus this year. I love the magic of Christmas, and had so many ideas to share with children!

I began by finding a free letterhead on Google, which I printed out on some lovely thick sketchbook paper, before hand writing my letter. I also found a free printable for a recipe card, which I printed out and handwrote a recipe for Gingerbread Playdough on. (The pal I was assigned to cannot eat, so I thought this would be a nice festive alternative.) I also printed out some free printable Christmas designs on to card, and put them through my Cricut to create these cute stocking decorations. I found the SVG for these free over at Fleece Fun.

I had a lot of fun decorating the envelope! The internet has lots of "elf mail" free printables which I was able to use to make the envelope seem like it had traveled all the way from the North Pole!

I sealed it with my wax seal. I'd love to grow my collection of wax and seals, but this is all I have for now and it gave that special touch. It was fun to use too, though I did cause a bit of a splatter!

And then, as happens in the North Pole, Rudolph had to add his mark. The hoof print is made with acrylic paint, and applied with lots of texture so it really seems muddy!

It may be too late to send a pal something for Christmas, but January can be a very slow time for post after the craziness of Christmas. If you could send a pal a simple card or letter, a drawing, or even a small gift, it will put a smile on a seriously ill child's face. It might be the thing that makes them smile after hours of chemotherapy or ending up in hospital again.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

LOTV Snow Bears Card

Have I mentioned my Lily of the Valley obsession?! It was helped by a recent win on their Facebook page allowing me to get even more of their beautiful Simply Prints, including this one, Snow Bears! I made it into a Christmas card for my husband, as we're both a bit bear-crazy! I added glitter to the falling snow and round the base of the snowman so that it catches the light. The maroon corrugated card and the cream card came from my stash, and the lovely beige tartan was a free printable I found online. I really love the colour scheme for this card!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmassy Cat Card

I made this card for a recent Secret Santa I was involved in, for a guy who had a cute black cat! I found the SVG for this card over at LoveSVG, and I altered it a little bit to fit what I wanted. I based it on the grey cat in the file, but changed it's colouring to black, changed the eyes, skipped the whiskers (though this was partly an accident!) and simplified the sweater a lot. I also cut out a nice big gold star to make it all a little more festive :) This was quite quick to make - I love the abundance of SVGs out there!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Winter Teddy Bear Decorations

The Cricut Explore Air 2 has pros and cons. One of the pros is they have a huge number of templates and projects available to you as part of their design space. One of the cons is that to access it you need a subscription! I bought myself a months subscription in the Autumn in order to get lots of little projects made, including these cute teddies for the Christmas tree.

These teddies are from the Cricut range 'Teddy Parade', and it features these adorable teds in a range of different outfits! I mixed and matched a couple of them to get this hat and scarf look, before cutting out in the colours I wished and attaching coordinating thread! I cut an extra teddy shape out and glued it to the back so that the thread is enclosed and the bears are a bit more sturdy. They're super cute :)

Friday, 15 December 2017

Little Angel Cross Stitch Decoration

When I saw this free Little Angel cross stitch pattern online I knew I had to make it! I used clear plastic aida and various threads from my stash. I changed the hair and the bird so it was only one tone, changed the halo so that it would be easier to cut out, and outlined the wings in the same gold thread as the halo for added sparkle. I made the cord by twisting cream and gold thread together, and backed it with white felt. It was quite a quick and easy pattern to do, and there are so many colour options! The pattern comes in a few designs too, so it's worth having a look.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Crochet Giraffe

This year, my husband and I are participating in a Secret Santa over on Imgur. If you don't know it, it's a social image sharing website whose mascot is a giraffe with a monocle and top hat. Unsurprisingly, he looks rather like the one I've crocheted here! I made this one to go to our Secret Santa recipient...

This giraffe was made using double knitting wool and a 2mm hook, following the Yoga Giraffe pattern on Ravelry. Although, I stitched the markings directly to the body rather than crocheting discs, I added some extra details, and winged a top hat!

I also added a monocle using a disk of acetate and some gold thread. He has a couple of extra stitches in front of his eye which the monocle rests on to stay in place.

He has a fully wired skeleton, which means he can bend. A lot.

And the top hat is removable to show off his beautiful ossicones (that's the fancy word for a giraffe's horns). When I first started this giraffe, I was thinking about a whole army of them. But this pattern is so tiny and fiddly, I may need some time to forget it's difficulties before I return to it!

Monday, 11 December 2017

LOTV James the Bear Christmas Cards

And so my obsession with Lily of the Valley continues. I bought these Merry Beary Christmas card toppers for my Christmas cards this year. I just fell in love with James the Bear, he is SO gorgeous. I realised a flaw though - I'm sending these to hang in other people's houses, but I want some beary goodness in our house! I will have to see if I can make some Christmas decs. Maybe bunting?!

I spent a while trawling the internet for free printable papers, specifically red and Christmassy. I found lots, and printed my few favourites out to pair up as appropriate. (A Google search will lead you to plenty!) I've organised all my free printable papers on my computer now, so I can search for what I want by colour/texture/theme - really useful!

I also pulled some cream card and various different gold cards from my stash. Confession: I used to really dislike the colour gold, but this year I've really come round to it. I think I even like it.

And of course, it's me, so the cards needed some extra sparkle! The top card, with the yellow star, got some pearly paint. Most of the cards got Stickles glitter on the furry trim and pom pom of the hat - so cute! And this little one above got lots of red glitter all over his tinsel.

Oh, and I mounted the James the Bear toppers with 3D foam, just so he stood out a little bit more. Doesn't he look cute all wrapped up in the snow?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Colouring: LOTV Bunny Stocking

I love all the freebies being given away as part of Advent Calendars this December! This freebie came via a group called Kit and Clowder on Facebook. Behind the door of their Advent Calendar yesterday was this gorgeous stamp by Lily of the Valley (who you may have noticed I have been slightly obsessed with lately!) and I just had to colour it in right away. I used my ancient WHSmith pencils because they've got much softer leads than their newer pencils. I used white acrylic paint to add some fluff to the stocking and pom poms, as well as Liquid Pearls White Opal on the stocking trim and a Stickles glitter glue on the pom poms! They look so cute :)

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Purple Butterfly Card

Yikes. I made this card so many months ago that I barely remember anything about it! Saying that, blog posts for my cards are never the most exciting, but I do like to use this little blog to have all the cards I make in one place. The butterfly stamp and flower embossing folder came from someone who was destashing - I believe they were originally free with a magazine! They're very pretty :)

What I do remember, is who this card was for. A wonderful girl who fought chronic illnesses until her last minute on earth. <3 br="">

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Tunisian Crochet Blanket + Edward's Menagerie Sheep

A good few years ago I bookmarked a pattern for a reversible Tunisian Crochet baby blanket. I eventually bought some lovely neutral wool earlier this year, only to discover that as a complete noob to Tunisian crochet, the pattern was well beyond my ability! Instead, I dug out some instructions for basic Tunisian crochet, and set about leaning a new skill. The result is this wonderfully squidgy drapey blanket, which is being put safely away in hopes of a future baby. I finished the edge with basic single crochet, and added a final row with a blanket stitch effect, as I thought it tied in nicely with the Tunisian crochet stitch.

I used James C. Brett's Supreme Soft and Gentle Baby DK in shades SNG9 and SNG10. Despite it being so soft and lovely, I found that if I worked with it for too long my hands would become sore and itchy, I think this is because of the 30% polyamide in the yarn mix, so sadly I won't be buying it again.

Also earlier this year, I treated myself to a copy of Edward's Menagerie! It's such a beautiful book - my husband joined me in looking through it and kept pointing out who I should make next! I wanted a teddy to go with the blanket, and given the colours of the wool, the sheep stood out to me. The "wool" look was pretty fiddly, but otherwise came together really nicely. I think we'll end up with our own menagerie!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Industrial Birthday Card

When I inherited a large craft stash a couple of years ago, included were a wonderful collection of industrial themed papers and toppers - great for masculine cards! I particularly love this wood texture - it would actually look great on my doll's house renovation... Paired with the metallic/chalkboard style topper it made for a quick but awesome Birthday card, and I added some metallic silver pen to the bolts for a bit of sparkle - I just couldn't resist!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Star Wars BB-8 Card

I made this card months ago for a friend's son who likes Star Wars. I found some free printable BB-8 paper on Google, which meant I could print it out in different scales as both the background and the feature! I wish I could give you a link to it, but I can't seem to find my bookmark... If you recognise it, feel free to comment and I'll update this post with the source :) I added some Glossy Accents to his central "eye" - it's basically a liquid which sets completely clear in a slightly domed form - it's great for things like this!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

LOTV Kitty Card

I received a few sheets of Lili of the Valley's die cut characters when I inherited a stash a couple of years ago. These cute kitty cats don't seem to be available for purchase anymore, even on their eBay store, but the sheet includes this cat celebrating his birthday, feeling a bit poorly, and other such occasions. I used this die cut for a birthday card earlier this year, paired with some lovely purple striped paper, and purple pearlescent papers from my stash. And of course, I added some sparkle to the bow!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

"Thanks a Bunch" Cards

I made these card several months ago to say thank you to a couple of people. I used these free printables from Cardmaking and Papercraft, and they came together into quick cards. I added hammered ivory card from my stash, and some interest using my favourite Liquid Pearls. I was really pleased with how pretty these turned out, especially for a quick make.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Cockatiels Watercolour II

I did a watercolour painting of our cockatiels, Georgie and Patch, a couple of years ago - you can see it here. Sadly, in 2016, Georgie passed away, and we subsequently welcomed a new cockatiel to our little family, JayJay. This, of course, meant we needed another painting! This painting is more informal than the last one - I wanted to give the impression of feathers rather than using precise brush strokes, and I wanted some splatter going on! Despite this, it really captures the two of them nicely.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Hedgehog Pumpkin!

When my husband came home with a pumpkin, I knew straight away I was going to do a street of topsy turvy houses. That was until my husband cleaned out the innards for me, and I became completely indecisive! Eventually, I settled on a cute little seasonal hedgehog - scarily cute, right?!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Forever Friends Baby Card II

A family friend welcomed another gorgeous little girl to the world recently, so I put together this little card for them. I coloured in the stamped Forever Friends teddy bear using Whisper Strokes pens, before cutting it out with a circular punch and mounting it on one of these gorgeous marble papers and some brown parcel paper. I added a pink paper flower and small silver gem from my stash too :)

You can see the previous card I made with this stamp here.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Crochet Butterfly Snuggy

I've made quite a few snuggies over the years (you can check them out here), but this time I wanted to mix things up a bit! I began with this crochet star pattern, but made six points rather than the stated five. (It doesn't sit flat, but it works find when folded into wings.) I then used basic amigurumi techniques to create a body for the butterfly, that I thought would be a good size for little fingers. I (securely!) added some antennae and eyes, before folding the star in half and stitching the body to it. It's not like a traditional snuggy, but I think it still fulfils everything you want from one? I'd love to hear your thoughts! (Colours are all from my stash.)

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Daisy Card

Since getting my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, I confess to spending a lot of time trawling the internet for free cutting files! One resource I found is Bird's Cards, and this daisy cutting file stood out to me as an appropriately neutral card for a family friend going through a difficult time. I've always been reluctant to hand write words on the front of cards - one little mess up and it just ends up looking unprofessional. The brilliant thing about the Cricut is that it can write an array of fonts for you, so I was able to add this little message to the design. (Just don't talk to me about placement issues in Cricut design space, it's been the source of much stress!) I then added some shimmer to the centre of the daisy with some pearlescent paint from my stash.

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