Tuesday, August 9

Creative Chemistry 103 - Day 1 part #1

I've dug out the long neglected craft supplies and tried 2 new techniques from Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 103, day 1.

I'm quite excited because they are both new to me and straight away I love them.  Note - both should have involved grid blocks which I don't have, but are already on order!!

Distress highlight stamping 

Distress off-set stamping (Paula Cheney you are a genius)

Love, love, this one and am totally inspired to try it with lots of different stamps.  If you want to know the techniques you will need to sign up for the course(s) at Online Card Classes

More good things to come.


Creative Chemistry 103

Returned from a camping trip and on a major catch-up to complete Creative Chemistry 103 by the end of the week.   Now where did I put those manilla tags????


Friday, April 8

Travel Planner Revelation part #3

Well not exactly a revelation, but little me was quite excited by this discovery.  I'd been looking at full size travellers notebooks, the long thin sort, and thinking about how I might set one up.  I like the look of the new version from Websters Pages with pockets and slots in it, but they aren't available yet and I was growing impatient!

A quick search on the Internet showed up lots of possibilities and then started showing results for travel wallets, the sort of thing you carry you documents and tickets in, well I have one of those.

It's a very old one from Quicksilver and Travelers Times had the inserts to fit, including a vertical planner, be still me heart.

So now I have a big wallet of travel goodness to play with on my next long trip (which sadly may not be until later in the year.)  I've put some washi tape onto little thread holders, added some clips and slotted in my minimalist note book plus the April sticker kit from Sea Salt and Paper.

I've covered the planner with some Amy Tangerine paper and used the bear sticker to co-ordinate with the Paperchase mini book.  I did buy a plain book in the tall thin size which I can swap out if the mini book is full by the time I need to use it.

There's room for plenty more and all contained nicely in a zip up wallet. Along with this I will take a big bag of goodies.  My supplies are currently in a Victoria Green bag I found at Debenhams similar to this one, but I may look for something that opens out a little more.  Included in it will be pens, sketch pencils, watercolours, a small water colour paper pad and mini ideas book, as well as extra washi and stickers I'm sure.

There you have my travel planners all set up.  You can find part#1 the minimalist here and part #2 with weekend version here.


Wednesday, April 6

Travel Planner set-up part #2

Carrying on with the set-up of my travel planners - see part #1 here for my minimalist set-up.

Planner #2 is for short breaks where weight of kit is less of an issue, but you still don't want to be taking the kitchen sink with you.

I ordered some inserts from Travelers Times on Etsy to fit inside my passport sized Lyra and Co fabric cover. 

I've been decorating them with old scrapbook papers and new stickers from the Sea Salt and Paper April kit.

The text has been stamped using Wendy Vecchi Archival inks and old stamps mainly from Pink Paislee.

A planner combined with a notebook allows me to make a few notes related to each day and then expand on anything when and where I have time in the blank page book.

I would take a small pencil case with this containing washi, stickers, twine and pens, whatever I have room for.

I've started setting up inside the planner for my 1st weekend trip in May.  The cute little hedgehog clip was also from Travelers Times.

Of all my travel planner set-ups this is the one that I'm going to be heading out of the door with 1st.  I'll take some pictures to show what I took with it, although it will still be quite minimal as I will be camping!


Tuesday, April 5

Travel Planner Set-up Part #1

A dreadful cough has put all thoughts of tidying on the back burner.  The minute a speck of dust heads my way I cough uncontrollably and gasp for breath.  Isn't it always the way when you are in the middle of something?

In the meantime, a video from Mrs Brimbles this morning reminded me I was going to blog about my travel planner set-up for 2016, so here I am.

In previous years I have taken a small (A6 or A5) notebook with me each time I went away for notes and sketches.   This meant quite a build up of little notebooks, many of which were only half full.  Fast forward to 2016 and I already have 7 trips booked in and I'm hoping there will be more.  It made sense to plan some sort of perpetual notebook, but life's not that simple.

My trips are quite varied so I am trying 3 set-ups:

  1. Minimalist
  2. Weekend away
  3. Longer trips (with room for a bigger kit)
Today I'm looking at #1, my minimalist set-up.

This is for when every bit of space and weight counts.  It isn't my ideal set-up, but it's better than nothing.

The Paperchase notebook has some washi taped inside wrapped around pieces of card.  I always stick any tickets, leaflets or receipts in with washi, it's prettier and less messy than glue.

I have a small Zebra Pen and propelling pencil, a sharpie ( I love orange) and my trusty book light.

This may end up being may favourite kit, I will be seeing how I get on with each one.  Kits #2 and #3 to follow, just waiting for some stickers I ordered to finish setting them up.


Monday, April 4

Bedroom Revamp Update

It's a dull start this Monday morning after the last week's beautiful weather.  Sunday has been and gone and with it my deadline to complete the bedroom revamp.  Needless to say to I haven't finished it.

I did manage to get my bed moved into its new position yesterday and then had a dreadful night, hopefully this is a one-off or I will need a major rethink!

Lots of larger items that I was donating were also picked up yesterday - underbed storage drawers, a huge rolling holdall and the Personal Impressions rolling tote which has found a new home holding my brother-in-law's fishing supplies.

My shopping order has just been delivered for the week so I really have no excuse not to get back there and get on with it, sigh.


Friday, April 1

Gluten Free Mini Donuts

I found these on my latest visit to our out of town Tesco and thought I'd give them a try.
  (pic from Twitter, forgot to get one of the box)

They can be found in the freezer aisle and I like the way they are easily packaged to allow 2 or 3 to be taken out and defrosted at a time.  It's 30 minutes until they are ready, short enough to just take one out when you fancy.

There's no mistaking that they are gluten free, they have the usually slightly gritty texture found in lots of gluten free bakes and are quite dry.  They have a nice dusting of icing sugar/glucose powder on top which adds to the flavour.  The family felt they needed a bit extra though.

We do have sweet tooths and as they are just teeny, tiny treat size a teaspoon of strawberry jam seemed in order.

I will definitely pick up another pack next time I see them and keep them in the freezer ready for when the house is devoid of gluten free goodies.


Photo Catalogue and a quiet day

As one of the boys was ill yesterday I had a rest from the full on decluttering.  The weather was gorgeous but, as we were unable to go out, Branston Pickle and I spent our time relaxing in the sunny garden whilst the Small n Grubby one slept. (I need to update photos of these guys, they have grown so, so much.)

I catalogued some photo disks I had found, so a small bit of tidying did take place.

Later in the evening I started to tackle my jewelry supplies and I've continued with that this morning.  I'm not sure what shape my jewelry making will take, which makes it hard to decide what to keep.  I have reduced things from 4 large boxes to 2, which I hope will eventually become just one box once I have discovered my new niche.  The huge Personal Impressions rolling bag full of jewelry class supplies has been reduced to a holdall, another win! 

A sunny picture to end.
A bunch of daffodils have been on my windowsill since Easter and are still looking lovely. The centres are an amazing peach colour that I just had to capture on film.


Wednesday, March 30

Decluttering Panic!!!

My bedroom floor is completely covered in bags, boxes and piles of junk, but I keep coming back to the fact that this is mainly things I want to keep. So, I decided my next move should be to turn out the wardrobe and other storage areas to see what space I could free up. As the piles of stuff started to hit the bed, that's when the panic set in.

I don't know how I will fit it all back in, or how it all ever fitted in the first place.  My only solution is to keep getting rid of more stuff, but the more I seem to lose the more the piles seem to grow.  I have this massive urge to just ram it all back in the wardrobe and forget I ever started it.

Please tell me this is just part of the process you have to go through or I am in danger of losing my nerve.


Tuesday, March 29

Easter Holiday Decluttering

It's the school holidays again and that means time for some more serious decluttering. I'm tackling the whole of the bedroom, which includes the majority of my craft supplies (as that's where they live!)

I am tacking a 3 pronged approach:
  1. As I'm sorting through stuff immediately get rid of items that I know I will never use.
  2. Move everything into position where I want to keep it.
  3. Take a Konmari style look at what's there and see if all the items are things I love, need and will use.
The items I am getting rid of are going to local Scout and Guide groups, family that like to craft and new items (like unopened packs of craft stuff) are off to a charity shop that raises funds to support people with learning difficulties (so they can use the stuff or sell it.)  Absolutely no guilt there for me, although there are a few items I may struggle with, I'll get onto those in another post.

Here are some bags ready to go (excuse the blurry pictures, that's how I feel this morning!)
 That tub of flowers in the top has to have been there 10 years plus!

And here is a whole pile of boxes full of Blue Moon Beads that I am yet to sort.

I'm off to empty my wardrobe now and see what's lying in the depths.  This is my inspiration and target photo from Pinterest.
IF I'm successful in my mission I may even add a video tour to my blog post.


Tuesday, February 23

Memory Box - Plush Heart Pocket

I'm blaming Jennifer McGuire for my latest crafting obsession.  She's been posting beautiful pictures on Instagram of her felt creations using dies which not only cut out the felt shapes for you but also provide all the guide holes for sewing.

I didn't need much more persuading as I love hand sewing, although my stitches are never neat, then she posted a really helpful video and my finger was on the pay button before I could stop myself.  In fact I made a quick list of things I could make with the heart die and once I got to 5 I realised it was really going to work for me with the added bonus that I already have everything else I needed to go with it.

Here's my 1st attempt.

I used some leftover felt to experiment and make a holder for needles and threads ready for the next project.  My stitching still isn't as neat as Jennifers, but it's much improved from my normal free-hand stuff.

The die I used is from Memory Box and is called the Plush Heart Pocket.  I ordered it from Crafts U Love and Simon Says Stamp have them too including their own exclusive Easter ones ( I love the little basket!)

YEEEEEEESSS I am back crafting!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, February 22

Tackling Magazines

My decluttering plans for the weekend were totally derailed.  Before Christmas I was using my Sizzix die-cutter a lot with Bigz dies, mainly making those gorgeous little houses that Tim Holtz brought out.  I impulse purchased a thin die a few days ago and decided to treat myself to an hours crafting to test it out.  After all, the readon I was tidying was to give me the opportunity to get back in touch with my creative side, wasn't it?

Well someone somewhere is conspiring against me - no base plate for the die-cutter.  It hads to be somewhere and its not exactly small, but could I find it - NO!

Any spare time at the weekend was spent in the fruitless search and I have been forced to move on to a new tidying category in the hope that it might bring the results I'm looking for...................MAGAZINES.

The floor was covered in them and I was convinced the base plate lay amounst them.  This morning I've cleared as many as I could get my hands on and put them all on the bed in piles according to different categories....

Crafts, work, colouring, kids, Guides, Photography, food/health and home decor.  My plan is now to move the piles to the dining table and work my way ruthlessly through them.  The reason for this is time.  If I leave them where they are and don't complete the mission in a day I will have to return them to the floor and the cycle of mess will begin again.  On the dining table we can eat around them and they will be ready and waiting for me when ever I can spare them 15 minutes.

Oh yes, I did find the base plate.  Tucked in a box beneath the debris.  Now, if I set myself a tidying target for the day, maybe I can be rewarded with some die-cutting play this evening .


Friday, February 19

Ink Pad Storage with Artbin Quick View

Whilst researching the tidying and decluttering experience, I've read in several places that you shouldn't buy any new storage until you've sorted everything and know exactly what you want to put where.  This makes complete sense, of course, but as soon as I saw this container on Pinterest I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.  

It's the  Artbin Quick View case and it fits all my large ink pads, after a little pruning, which thankfully was far less painful than my attempts with the stamps the day before.

Completely portable and completely full, but as I only buy small pads now when ever possible that should be fine.  Please don't ask why I didn't colour the labels before I attached them!  I think it was because back then I used them so often I thought I knew them all. 

There's room inside for a few sponges and they help keep everything in place too.  The unlabelled and unopened ones are new releases from 2015 before I stopped buying them and bought the mini multi packs at the end of the quarter.  Picket Fence is in there too so nothing more to add, except my Versamark is missing.  It might be with the embossing powders, I haven't tackled them yet.  If I find it that blue Memento can probably be sacrificed to make some room.  One in, one out from now on.

I bought my case at Jackson's Art.  You need at least the 14inch/36cm one for the pads to fit. 

Onwards and upwards.


Thursday, February 18

Rubber Stamps To Go

I think I picked a hard category to start my purge with, or may be I'm going to have great difficulty with everything!

This is the pile of stamps ready to go.

But, it's not nearly enough.  There are still far more here than I need.  It's been easy to look at the unused ones, leaving the issues of expense firmly at the back of my mind.  For most I remember why I bought them, sale being the #1 reason, and the projects I thought I would make.  For the majority I can say "If I had an hour to craft would I make that project?" and the answer would be no, so they can go.  

The used ones are harder, looking through I remember the projects I made and the number of uses I had from them and it's too easy to say "Yes, I would use that again."  

Thinking of the Konmari principles, there was one, just one, box that I opened and a smile of pure joy instantly lit my face.  Does that mean that should be the only box I keep?  I can see why the answer should be yes, but I don't know if I'm ready to take that step. 

For now I am taking a stamp break and turning my attention to ink pads.  Surely that can't be too difficult, can it??


Wednesday, February 17

Tesco Free From Madeira Cake

I found a mini gift cake reduced to clear in my local Tesco last night.  I decided it was worth an extra, late, little valentines treat to myself!

It tasted great and I nearly forgot to take a picture.

The labelling is gluten free and wheat free, but it does contain egg and milk.  There was quite a short date on it so hopefully that was the actual reason for the price reduction as it is not the sort of thing Tesco needs to discontinue.

It would make a great gift for the gluten free individual in your life or if you are making/buying a birthday cake for someone else in your family you could pick one of these up as an on the side item for yourself!

Now do I go back and pick myself up another one?!?!


Tuesday, February 16

Why I'm reducing my craft supplies by three quarters

It's the half term holidays and I am on yet another craft purge and tidy.  BUT, this time it's different.  I've decided to reduce my supplies down to a quarter of what they were, here's why.

I don't craft anymore........... 
Not because I don't want to but because I can't.

Can't reach anything
Can't find anything
Can't find the inspiration and joy in all the mess

Alpha stickers, adhesives and mini books

I'm no longer running craft stalls............  
I loved running a craft stall, meeting new people, chatting to like minded creative souls, but it meant finding time in the evenings and weekends just  at the same time when my family needed me.
My desk is under here somewhere

I'm crafting for myself...................... 
Not what someone else would like to buy
Not the the details specified by the latest competition
 My jewelry supplies with other stuff heaped on top

I'm no longer...........
Making complex cards
Quilling, hand embossing, parchment crafting etc, etc
Mass creating jewelry
Altering random objects that I don't know what to do with

Cling stamp storage

BUT, I am looking forward with excitment to............. 
Photography projects
Home decor projects
Creating individual jewelry pieces for myself, family and friends
Memory keeping in what ever format that takes
More planners and art journals

I'll document here how I'm getting along, what storage ideas I find and what I'm getting rid of and why.  I have homes for a lot of the items I'm letting go of with childrens clubs and charities, but if you make cards for charity let me know, I could have some things to send your way.