Thursday, 22 January 2009


There is something afoot in my house....and i have an inkling as to who is responsible!!!

Today i was clearing out my outside shed. I moved a pile of wood, behind which was a heating pipe with lagging around it. However it would appear that i have had a tiny visitor over the recent cold weather spell.....

My first thought was "How cool is that!". A little mouse has obviously set up home next to a warm pipe in my shed. I had to take a piccy as it is the sort of house my girls would make over the forest for the fairies. So what has this got to do with Calvin Mouse you may ask?

Take a look at the door or window blinds that the mouse has made....he's obviously a paper crafter!!! I can't for the life of me figure out where he got the paper from, i might have left a bag of shredded paper in the shed, the paper looks quite neatly torn into strips doesn't it?

Surely a mouse can't nibble that neatly? This is exactly how i found the nest by the way, it hasn't been touched by me at all......

So i reckon i have stumbled upon a certain helper of Maddy's, which now leads me to wonder what he's doing down here!?

He could be on some covert reconnaissance mission, i have had some pretty cool crafty stash arrived recently, maybe he's after that?

Actually, Maddy said the other night that one of her Copic's had run out, I'm telling you now people.....if Calvin Mouse has been sent down here on a mission to snatch a'll be seeing the first use of a Copic and a mouse to make a washing up brush! I'm sure i don't have to tell you where the Copic will be inserted to act as the handle!!!

I know we made friends after that inking episode, but i have to be on my guard with Maddy, she's a sly old fox that one! :)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Made a card tonight.

I needed to do something crafty tonight whilst i still have any strength left in my arms. I have been very good and have been doing regular exercise since New Year, but my arms are almost falling off today as a result. :(

So tonight i made a card, no reason for it, mainly as a reminder to keep up with my resolution of writing to people more.

I'm not overly happy with this card to tell the truth, i think i need to give the flowers and lace a rest for a while, don't want to get that "same old" feel with makes.
That said, i did find this bit of lace by chance at a fair at a local community centre recently. An elderly lady was selling some lovely handmade lace items, and she had a bag of lace bits for sale.
So i bought this bit and thought i'd use it tonight.
Hope you are all well, thank you for visiting my blog. I am trying my best to get around all my followers blogs, so please don;t think i've abandoned you all, it just takes a while for an old man like me to get around the net lol. :)
Bye for now....

Saturday, 17 January 2009

A fun tag.

Hi everyone :)

Tonight i wanted to make something fun for a change, i really enjoy making the more dainty things for my kids, but sometimes it's nice to have a change.

This evening i laughed harder than i have in a long time! It was the ultimate belly laugh which almost stopped me breathing it went on that in honour of the funny, yet near fateful moment tonight, i did this tag......

My girls had finished their homework, and they wanted to play charades, so we did. Now my two, as I'm sure most kids do at their age, change the rules or get them wrong from time to time.

Well you know when you start off, you have to do the action for a book, a film or a song? Well my eldest was doing some kind of strange "pushing" motion with both hands, as if she was posting something through a letterbox or something?

She assured me it wasn't a movie, a book or a song...but kept "pushing something in". In the end i asked her what it was, to which she replied, "It's a DVD!" She was doing the actions of putting a DVD into the player lol. :)

That well and truly made me crack up laughing......i had tears streaming down my face. :)

I enjoyed this tag, it turned out better than i expected. First i stamped some paper with a fantastic new background stamp from Jennie at The Artistic Stamper. She'll probably clobber me for saying this, but i couldn't remember if it was a snakeskin or a cracked wall texture, so i decided it would go well with a "cracked" theme. *Edited to say, i just looked it Jennie's shop and it's "lace". I knew it. :)

Some blending with Distress Inks for a bit of colour, followed by a real hash job with Copics on the image. Maddy will shoot me when she sees this lol, she taught me some real cool techniques with Copics, but i managed to mess them up tonight. Maybe next time. :)

Best bit about this was the words, i drew them myself and thought the cracks did them justice. I thought they looked pretty cool.

So there you have it, one fun tag. Hope you like it.

Night all. :)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A vintage maths make.

As most of us know, when it comes to learning, children respond better to things that are interesting to look at. Whether it's fun, pretty or just different, i think it's good to try and capture a kids attention for learning any way you can.

My girls often use different tools to help them with their maths. They are getting on well with the tag board i made them, but another one they use is the multiplication grid. So i made them one which is probably a little nicer to look at than the ones at school.

I made this in this style because I've always been fascinated by the detail and delicacy of items made hundreds of years ago. I could imagine this being found in the loft of a Victorian house where the kids were educated at home, one of those dusty finds that would have been used by the children of those days.
I know my daughters will love this, and hopefully it will be more of a pleasure to use than the normal plain ones.
I used some new lace i bought the other day, and also used some metallic lace trim for the outside of the piece. Alas the writing is not my own this time, i cheated and printed it from the computer. :)
I hope you like it as much as i think the girls will.
Thanks for taking a peek. :)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Carry case for your Copics.

Just a quick post about my latest purchase, my carry cases for my Copic markers.

These are a great accessory to carry your pens in, the fold-up case is made from tough nylon and can house 24 pens inside.

What i love about these cases, is that they have an extra zipped pouch at the back. This means that if you are going on a journey, or to a crop, you can carry 24 of your fave colours plus some images to colour, all in one pouch.

Folded up the case measures 10 1/2 x 7 inches, so they are small enough to carry in your bag, but big enough to cary other pens that you may use for your crafting too.

They are only about £6 each, well worth it when you've just paid out a small fortune on the pens themselves. I got mine from here at Cult Pens, i got my pens here too.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Made a tag calender this evening.

Hi all :)

Tonight i wanted to make something quick and easy, main reason being because my eldest wanted to see me make something before she went to sleep tonight lol. She started the night in my bed as she wanted to chat about a few worries she was having about high a years time! :)

As my bedroom doubles as a craft room, she was able to chat away whilst i made this quick calender tag.

Real simple to make, i just die-cut a tag and covered it with the "wings" paper from the Prima "Angelique Collection", then blended some distress inks around the edge. Then i backed the distress inked mini calender with lace and stuck it on the tag.

A few white dots around the edge, one of the small paper flowers that i seem to be using loads of these days and some fibres to finish it off with, and hey calender tag.

Thankfully it was to my eldest satisfaction, so she's fast asleep now. All that is left to do is to carry her back into her own bed, they don't get any lighter as they grow up do they!?

Hope you like the tag, I'm going to do another one for my little one, it's such an easy project to do. They can even help do this themselves.

Thanks for looking. :)

Friday, 9 January 2009

Heart box for my girls.

Hi again :)
After making a box for Maddy, i thought it would just the thing that little girls would love on their dressing table. As luck would have it, i have two daughters that love anything girly, so today i made their very own little boxes. Here's the first one, I'll do the other one later....

Very simple to do, i also wanted to post this as an example of how the most basic make can be made from just a couple of items of stash, yet it still looks like something you'd buy in one of these shabby chic type shops.
This is just one of those small chipboard boxes that you can get for under a pound, painted with one coat of crackle paint, a couple of embellishments stuck on it and trimmed with lace. It's really as simple as that.

Quick tip with crackle paint, same as with crackle glaze, the thicker the coat of paint, the bigger the cracks. You can see here where i've done it thicker. I prefer the smaller cracks as they are less likely to flake off.
Anyway, a quick and easy project for the little, or more mature girls in your life! :)
Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Altered chipboard box.

Hi everyone :)

I haven't made Maddy anything for a little while, and one of my more secret resolutions was to do more of this, so here's a little altered chipboard box i made for her to put odds and ends in.

Very simply done, but the best bit about this was that i got to try out my new Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paints that i bought today. They are amazing! It's the uneven crackle effect i really like, and when you brush over it with colour, the crackles stand out even more.
Here i just coated the box in Tattered Rose Distress Crackle Paint, and when dry i lightly brushed over it with Tea Dye distress ink. A few embellishments and of course some lace to dainty it up a bit, and there you have a nice looking little box for a lovely gift.

Aren't these crackles just great?.........Cheers for that Mr Holtz! :) You can buy the paints here at Jennie's shop.

It's the first box I've altered apart from a tea caddy i did a while back, so i was pretty chuffed with the result. Hopefully Maddy will be too....fingers crossed! :)
Lastly, i have to give a shout out to a new craft shop i discovered in a nearby town today. Close to Southampton, theres a place called Swaythling, and there you can find a craft shop that's only been open a few months called "Craftin Delights".
Run by a lovely and helpful lady called Jeanette (hope i spelt that right), who makes a gorgeous cuppa btw, her shop is full of crafty goodies. I was made very welcome by Jeanette and her friend and fellow crafter Nicky, i had a lovely time there. Jeanette also runs workshops there too, so next time you are down this neck of the woods, it's well worth popping in.
Always nice to find a new place to get stash, and only right to pass it on to. :)
Bye for now.....

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Yes it's that time of year again when we all make those promises to ourselves......then break them two weeks later! :)

I'm not usually a big one for resolutions, but this year there was a need! So i thought I'd make myself a little resolution reminder board, something to hang up next to my bed so i see it every day.

A simple list, written on a journaling page and mounted on card. A few flowers dotted around for depth, and a guest appearance by some bits from my pot-pouri bowl, and there you have it! Oh, and some ribbon to hang it with.
I love the hemp cord, it has a real natural feel to it so i threaded some of that through some brads too.

I'm not a big fan of the large Hobbycraft stores here in the UK, as they are usually pretty overpriced, however me and Maddy went there during the Christmas holidays and got loads of these small flowers from the paper flower section, great for layouts.

As for the resolutions themselves, these are my main ones for this year. Firstly, my body seriously needs sorting out! I promised to do it last year, but somewhere that plan fell off a cliff, and what with the holidays and everything, lets just say i need to lose a bit of weight!

To "Write more", covers several areas really. Letters to loved ones and friends, little notes to my girls, and also a book that I've had in the making for the past few years. I enjoy writing, so why not do more of it?

"Raising my crafty bar", meaning raising the standard of my crafting. Instead of thinking that a project is finished, i want to say that it is at it's basic level, and see what i can add to it from there. Hopefully this will enable me to move forward in my crafting.
I thought about raising the standard of my crafting after what can only be called an "effort" with the Christmas fruit inking. All i can say is Santa is looking down on me and shaking his head in despair right now. I tried rescuing it with baubles and candy canes, but it ended up looking like someone had just decorated it with a shotgun!

Best we forget about that one eh? :)

Finaly, goal setting. Something i love the idea of, yet have rarely done it. Setting some realistic goals, writing them down and following through with them should hopefully ensure that 2009 is a little more productive than 2008!
So there are my resolutions. Now lets see how long they stay unbroken! :) Thanks for stopping by.

Happy New Year to you all.

Hi everyone :)

Firstly, i would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. I hope you all had a great Christmas, or whatever you do over the holidays.

I had a lovely time with Maddy and her daughter, they came to me for Christmas and New Year, so it was one big madhouse for a couple of weeks. We all emerged from Christmas stuffed from all the food, and raring to go with much needed health and fitness resolutions.

We shared the Christmas dinner table with Calvin Mouse, the furry festive rodent enjoyed himself on his new quad bike, almost losing control at one point after wheelspinning on a sprout!

I was lucky enough to get some lovely presents, Maddy got me a much needed paper trimmer and some other bits, and my dad gave me a slow cooker which i use all the time for stews and soups for me and the girls in this freezing UK weather. I also got a new Canon camera......and unlike my other camera, the video on it has sound on it!!!! That means you may be hearing a few crafty videos on my blog in the near future. (I bet Stephen Spielberg is sweating about the possibility of such competition!)

It appears that some very nice people have given me awards over the holidays, so this week i will be catching up with those and starting to get back into my blogging. I've missed it over Christmas, but the break has done me good and I'm looking forward to getting back into my crafting. I treated myself to a little something over Christmas, 72 Copic markers....and what with Maddy here to teach me, i can now look forward to using those more in my crafting.

So once again, Happy New Year to you all, i wish you all a very happy, crafty and smiley 2009. :)