I am sorry but I can no longer send out any templates, poems etc. that I may have previously offered in the past, the files were lost when my last computer crashed and I have chosen not to remake any of them them.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Little Bird Wish Bottle Christmas Tree Decoration.

I think Marc sent me these tiny silver bird beads a good few years ago now and finally I got to wondering, since I was on a “bottle roll”, if I could put one in a bottle
Tiny bird in a bottle wish bottle 2Lets just say it was fiddly, as I had to thread the eye pin through the cork and then put the bird bead on the end, very carefully bending a short length under the bird to prevent it from falling off, without showing too much of the pin end, if that makes sense.
The small “wish” charms, wrapped round the bottle neck with two small beads measure 12mm x 9mm and came from e-bay costing £2.35 (inc P & P) for 20.
Tiny bird wish bottle.The beads on the thread are particularly twinkly and came from a necklace bought for about £1 from a local charity shop, and disassembled, the iridescent colours going perfectly with the wish theme.
The ornamental hanger is made using a silver, metal spacer bead with a tiny eye pin screwed into the cork,
The bottles are available from The Works, £1 for a pack of 6 or in bulk online for £10.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

I Love You To The Moon And Back Tiny Bottle Christmas Tree Decorations.

Following on from my White Christmas bottles I had another idea, every time I say goodbye to Iris, I always ask her how much Nanny loves her, and she now knows that the answer is “… to the moon and back”, after one goodbye I wondered if I could use it to make a special Christmas tree decoration for both her and Bertie to hopefully, in time, treasure To the moon and back tiny minature bottleThe first thing I had to do was source some moon and back charms, and all I can say is thank you very much e-bay!  The ones I eventually bought cost me £1.70 for 10. They were excellent quality, just perfect for what I needed them for and I really need to buy some more before they all go.
I love you to the moon and back tiny bottle decorationTo the moon and back tiny bottle decoration
To go with the theme I then put a mixture of tiny blue and silver stars in the bottles.
to the moon and back wish bottleThe ornamental hanger is made using a silver, metal spacer bead with a tiny eye pin screwed into the cork, with silver or milky coloured glass beads to bling up the hanging thread.
The bottles come from The Works, a pack of 6 for £1, but are also available online in bulk (72 bottles) for a discount price of £10 – if you like a bargain that’s approximately 13p per bottle.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Knitted Dishcloths - Christmas 2016

A couple of people asked if I would be making any of my knitted dishcloths this year. Originally made in 2011 and 2012 most, except for Marc’s, which is still in his kitchen, unused, with the linen gift tag attached, have long since worn out and sadly although the original post remains on the blog all the images have since mysteriously disappeared.
Basic knitted dishclothNeeding something to do in the evening other than eating Maltesers while watching my programmes of choice; The Apprentice, I’m A Celebrity or X Factor, I thought why not.  So I bought a pack of 10 balls of Pegasus Craft Dishcloth Cotton Crochet Knitting Yarn from e-bay which I reckoned would make about 25 or so dishcloths.
basis garter stitch knitted dishclothesI also had to buy some new knitting needles as I gave all mine to a charity shop when I moved, deciding that my knitting in the future would probably be pretty limited.  So a new pair cost me 20p from yet another charity shop.
Using size 5 and a half mm needles I cast on 35 stitches and knit in garter stitch until the cloths measure 10 inches, a size that fits in your hands quite comfortably when scrunched up to wash/wipe whatever with.
At first, like the first pancake you cook, my tension was a bit squew-wiff, so the first one is going to be mine, but when I got into the swing of it my tension became a lot more even.
basic knitted garter stitch dishclothesIn all I have made 27 dishcloths, with just one more to go.  Then comes the bit I absolutely hate, a couple of evenings spent sewing in all the ends, it has to be done but aghhhhhh!
scrubby yarnAnd for next year?  I have since discovered that they now make Scrubby, a  “textured yarn that will make scrubbing dirty pots a lot easier than a regular dishcloth”. Well, it would be rude not to try just one ball at least. It comes in a whole rainbow of colours, so colour boredom shouldn’t rear it’s ugly head and there are hundreds of patterns out there to try, so watch this space!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Tiny Jingle Bells In A Bottle Christmas Tree Decoration

To justify my buying so many mini bottles in bulk from the Works, I really had to come up with a few more ideas to use them up this year and soon found I was on a bit of a roll.
Jingle Bells tiny bottle decoration wish bottleI made a sheet of tiny “Jingle All the Way ….” labels using the Ed vivi font, which I believe came from Silhouette Designs, but I am sure there are a lot of similar fonts out there.
Tiny Jingle Bells Wish BottleI put about fifteen mini, mixed colour  jingle bells in the bottle, but if I were to make them again I would certainly add at least double that again, the contents on reflection look a little sparse and mean.  Then to add to the Christmas theme I wrapped a small, plastic snowflake charm on strong,white thread round the neck of the bottle.
Tiny jingle bells wish bottle.The ornamental hanger is made using a silver, metal spacer bead with a tiny eye pin screwed into the cork, with a pearl bead to add something to the hanging thread.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Snowman Picture Frame Decoration.

I wanted a couple of different style Christmas decorations to adorn my festive shelves this year, my first proper Christmas in Evesham……
Framed Snowman Picture Christmas Shelf Decoration…… and when I saw this teal coloured, plastic picture frame (24.5cms x 9.5cms)  in Home Bargains for just 99p I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I took the glass out and made a very simple, snowy background using spotty red paper to make a snowy sky and plain, white paper for the snow.
snowman picture frameI found out this wooden snowman with felt embellishment that I bought a couple of years ago in The Range Christmas sale, for just 25p. He measures 11cms by approximately 7.5cms at his widest, the perfect size and proportion for the frame.
All I had to do then was glue the snowman in the middle of the frame with PVA glue. The snowman is about 3mm deep so he stands everso slightly proud of the background, which adds a little extra dimension.
It’s tempting to add a just a touch of iridescent, fine, white glitter to the snow, so far I have resisted, I quite like the plain effect, however I think, in the end I will give in to the lure of the sparkle!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Experimenting With ChalkOla Premium Wet Wipe Markers

painted glass bowl ChalkOla Markers
Miseltoe chalk painted bauble
It’s weird, a couple of weeks, before I had even thought about returning to blogging, I got an e-mail from ChalkOla asking if I would like to try their Wet Wipe Markers. Well, what’s a girl to do, especially as this girl used to trail blaze chalk markers to add a certain je ne sais pas to school displays boards years ago when I went to work and I was curious to see what was new, and keen to experiment.
ChalkOla Chalk pensI was sent 2 packs of bullet tip pens  one with 5.5mm nibs in 8 Earthy Colours and the other a pack of 10 – 3mm nibs in Party Colours
The instructions for using the markers for the very first time are clear and very easy to follow.
It would have been easy to just get out some black card and make a few simple tags for the first trail, but I decided to think outside the box and took the blue and purple markers from the Party Colour pack to fiddle fart on a pressed glass bon bon dish I found in an Evesham charity shop for £1.50.
IMG_9265All I did was simply follow the pattern on the reverse side of the dish and on the bottom of the stand.
IMG_9268I was really pleased with the result, I know it’s no great shakes on the creative front, but because the ink/chalk is not permanent, and washes off easily, I can chop and change the colours and add my own twiddly bits to match a room, theme etc. as the mood takes me, but always knowing that in the end I can revert back to the plain dish. Also, because I don’t have a great deal of storage I can just have a few versatile bowls or vases that I can paint over and over again for various occasions throughout the year Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc. 
chalkOla painted christmas baubleI then thought I would try the sage green marker,  also from the Earthy Colours to “paint” some mistletoe. on a clear glass bauble, and what I really love is that if you make a mistake you simply wipe it off and start again.
The chalk ink in the pens flows beautifully and despite my shaky hands, for a first experiment, it turned out pretty well. When the ink was dry, I added a few tiny weeny flat backed pearls for the berries. 
I’ll be honest, I am not sure how durable the ink will be, it is definitely liable to scratch, but with gentle care and careful storage, I see no reason why the bauble couldn’t be used for a few years to come.
I think there is still much to explore and try with these pens, one, I want to see how Iris get’s on with them, I want to try them on wood and see what would happen if I used chalk paint finishing wax over the ink on wooden projects, so for these reasons, I will be keeping the pens on my desk for inspiration, so it’s a case of watch this space over the coming weeks and months as I find different materials and projects to work with them on.
If you would like to try these pens for yourself there is a  20% flat discount on all Chalkola Products on Amazon.
Coupon Code - 20OFFSTR
And now for a bit more blurb….. what you can and can’t use the ChalkOla markers on……. The markers can be used on non porous surfaces only, so it’s best to test a small area first before using them - they work best on chalkboards, whiteboards, glass, plastic and windows.
They do not work so well on porous surfaces because these surfaces tend to have small holes that can absorb the liquid chalk ink, which in turn means that it may be difficult to completely remove them when used.
The markers can be used on also be used chalkboard paint, however a lot of people have found it it is difficult to remove the chalk as the paint tends to make the surface porous and thus absorbs chalk ink.
Chalk markers as a medium use high density chalk ink, so when using new pen for the first time it takes about 2 to 3 minutes to prime before using – once used the ink flows smoothly.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

My Lounge Area

I think I have managed to divide the main room, which runs across the whole length of the back of my flat, into four areas which all work pretty successfully; the lounge, dining area and kitchen plus the work/crafty area at the side of the kitchen that I shared with you the other day. It’s weird, when I am in each part it’s as if the other areas aren’t there, if that makes any sense and I achieved it without using any furniture as dividers, it just came together, leaving the room to feel open and light. 
Lounge Area So, this is the lounge area as it was when I had just moved in, with just an airbed, and stool!  I bought the white TV bench from the seller, as it was from the Ikea Hemnes range which I liked, but if I found it didn’t work it wouldn’t really matter, it was a sort of starting point. I had only seen the flat twice before I moved and that was only for about 15 minutes each time when it was piled high with so much stuff.  When the big day came I could barely remember what was where and just spent the first few hours  wandering from room to room, without a clue what I was going to do it it! 
Once I had gathered my nerve, the first thing I did was get the room painted in calico and white gloss, which was followed through to the rest of the rooms and quickly freshened the whole place up.
The Range Rose ChandalierI then decided to start at the top with the light fittings, choosing two cream coloured, rose chandeliers from The Range to go at each end of the room, my first “executive” d├ęcor decision, and from there, worked my way down and around, spending more hours measuring than I ever dreamed possible.
The cream carpet had to go and was quickly replaced throughout the flat by a lovely wooden oak floor, quickly followed by cream, linen effect blinds, fitted to the inside of the window to add depth and maximise light.
whole roomA humungous order was then duly placed with Ikea, enough to furnish the whole flat, plus a three seat corner sofa and footstool from DFS, something I had set my heart on years ago, but despite my long felt want, I had a couple of very restless nights worrying whether it would fit or not,  despite all my aforementioned hours of measuring.
lounge area DFS Shout Corner Sette and pouffeWhen it arrived all my worries were unfounded, it all fit, with plenty of room room to spare!
DFS Shout patchwork 3 seater corner unitTwo Hemnes sets of drawers were then put on either side of the sofa, up went two floating shelves and a mirror that originally came from the bathroom of The Castle, plus a standard lamp and a coupe of table lamps.
DFS Shout 3 seat corner unit PatchworkHowever, after about six weeks later I decided that I still had a bit of space to spare, without it looking too overcrowded.
DFS shout armchair patchworkDFS Shout Corner Unit
So, I ordered the Shout armchair to go with the sofa and footstool, which arrived last week and brings everything together.  I never dreamed it would all turn out so well.
I also had another floating shelf fitted over the TV, at first I wasn’t too sure about it, but now it’s like it has always been there.
original Ikea drawer knobcrystal knobs
There is one small touch I added to all the doors and drawers on all of the furniture, it had to be done! All the boring brown Ikea knobs had to go and were replaced by beautiful, sparkly glass knobs from Home Bargains, costing just £3.99 for four. The price is ridiculous, in the past I have spent triple that for just one knob (if you’ll pardon the expression), lets just say I bought copiously, when faced with all things glittery what’s this girl going to do?
DFS Shout Patchwork armchair and pouffe DFS shout armchair and pouffe
I have never put anything together like this before, to be honest The Duke always used to take the lead, as I never really had a clue, but I have to admit to feeling rather chuffed with myself!

Monday, 28 November 2016

Revisited/Revised Tiny Let It Snow Bottle Christmas Tree Decoration.

I was asked a month or so ago if I would be making any of my tiny bottle tree decorations, I wasn’t, but then thought why not?
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas tiny bottle Christmas tree decoration 3The original version was made in 2014
tiny I'm dreaming of a white Christmas bottleBecause I had used up or let go of so much stuff, I had to change the original smaller metal snowflake for a large plastic version, the styrofoam balls for iridescent flakes (The Range) and the beads.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas tiny bottle Christmas tree decorationI had also lost the original sheet of labels, so redid it, using a fancier, more flouncy font.  But the basic idea was still there only revised.
Tiny Christmas Bottle 3Tiny Christmas Bottle I'm Dreaming of a white christmas
The ornamental hanger is made using a silver, metal spacer bead with a tiny eye pin screwed into the cork.
Tiny Christmas Bottle
The bottles came from The Works - a pack of 6 costs £1, but I bought in bulk online which saved a considerable amount of money.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Retro 60’s 70s Genie Bottle Charity Shop Finds

retro 60's 70s genie bottlesI seem to have started a bit of a collection of 60s/70s genie bottles. It started when I was looking for bits and pieces for my bathroom (before I finally decided to go with decanters). I found the amber one first for £1.99 and then the other three followed in very quick succession, at equally wonderful prices.
genie bottle collectionAt the moment the shelf looks a little sparse, but perhaps one day it could look like the one above, however, that would mean an awful lot of very fortuitous finds, so far I have paid no more than £3 for any of them, but I have seen the prices they go for on e-bay, and I certainly can’t afford to pay that sort of money.
60s 70s Genie Bottle.60s 70s genie bottle
Finding a bottle with the top intact is also a bit of a find.
60s 70s Retro Genie BottleIMG_9065
Green and amber seem to be the most common colours, it’s the blue, red and purple ones that seem to command the highest, and so, out of reach prices. For me though, it’s the fun of the find, so I just need to be patient and keep my eyes peeled and when I have a bit more time I intend to do some more research to find out more about them, shapes, patterns etc.
Next Genie BottleThe funny thing is that almost as soon as my interest started I noticed this modern version on sale in Next, perhaps genie bottles are the next decor trend, I must ask Marc!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Another Jewelled Mirror

This was the first crafty project I started about a month after I moved and will be a Christmas present for my stepmother Marcia.
Jewelled Mirror Old JewelleryI found the mirror base in one of my favourite Evesham charity shops, The Vale Wildlife Rescue Charity Shop, ( I must pop in there at least two/three times a week, there is always a quick turnover of stuff which is always interesting and the prices are always very reasonable, which is why I have been able to find and furnish my flat with so many bits and pieces, which I hope to show you in following posts.
jewelled mirror 2The mirror, which measures approximately 18ins x 14ins cost me just £1.50 and because of the finish I found that I didn’t have to spray paint it as I have done on some mirrors in the past.
Jewelled Mirror 1A lot of the old, broken jewellery used came from Marc a while ago, along with bits and pieces that I had before.  The pink, plastic roses came from elasticated Poundland bracelets, and whenever I see them I always buy 5 or 6 at a time.
jewelled mirror 3As per usual, I used E900 glue to stick on the broken jewellery and gems to the mirror frame.  It is a little on the expensive side, but it doesn’t help that I am so very heavy handed with it, however it sticks even the heaviest piece of jewellery with rock solid firmness.
IMG_9056jewelled embellished mirror 1
I estimate that the mirror took me about 6 to 7 hours to complete, it’s filling the little gaps that always seems to take the most time.
jewelled embellished mirrorjewelled mirror upcycle old jewellery
I need to start collecting jewels again with renewed vigour as I now want to make a couple more mirrors, one for my spare bedroom and another long, narrow one for over the bed in my bedroom, so several trips to various Primarks, Poundlands and charity shops are firmly on the cards.