Friday, August 31, 2012

My (soon to be) new Obsession

It's at about this time that I ask my husband if he's ready for the obsession that is to become a part of our household. An obsession so ridiculousy messy/untidy for a beginner that he may just have to hide from the aftermath of a fabric explosion....

Yes, you read right. I have embarked on a journey of Mammoth proportions (for me anyway). I am going to learn how to sew! With the help of one of these:

The Singer Talent 3321
I purchased this terrifying monster last Saturday and have yet to unpack it from it's straight jacket. You must by now realise that I am scared of the thing and even more so of hurting myself in the process of operating the jabbing, threading, sewing needled machine. At the same time, I am extremely excited at the prospect of teaching myself something new.
I am excited about the idea of mending all my and hubby's work trouser hems, as well as skirts (mine, not hubby's, his are well looked after...just kidding) and such. Not only this, but I'm looking forward to making sewn gifts (read: throw pillows, clever Pinterest ideas etc Because I totes don't know what to list here right now) and (wait for it) clothing. My very OWN clothing, to wear. Everyday. Am I being a bit too optimistic? I also think it could be handy to sew on a few cards.... or scrapbook layouts.... I digress. Wanna see some inspiration? (just click on the picture to take you to the original source)
Source: Tilly and the buttons. LOVE her clothes, she does vintage sooooo well*

Source: makeit-loveit. Gorgeous, too gorgeous.

Source: Aesthetic Nest. Can you just imagine giving a baby shower gift like this? And no, husband, I am not hinting at starting a nest...well, not yet anyway ;)

Source: ModaBakeshop. Ag man, I want a craft apron like this, I could wear it all day long.

I am also set on making this.... for my first project......compliments of Brett Bara
And, as with all things crafty, I'll be blogging my sewing journey here. One thing I can confidently say, is that I've just stepped up on another rung, on the ladder to becoming Suzie Homemaker, and I am in my element :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

5 Tips every crafter should know

I hope this doesn't count as plagiarism, but I saw these tips in a magazine and couldn't help but think that I needed to share with my followers. I know about 95% of you all craft and that the info will come in handy (if you don't already know it).

So, without any further ado, here are 5 tips (plus my added commentary, couldn't leave you to read in peace without my two cents):

1. Keep your stamps clean - most ink will wipe off with a baby wipe, but permanent ink can only be removed with a solvent cleaner.
(the magazine mention StazOn stamp cleaner for the solvent cleaner - advertising much? lol! I personally didn't know about the baby wipe trick, it is one I will put into use from now on as it is a huge schlep to trot to the bathroom with a dirty stamp every time, in order to wash it off with soap and water)

2. Sharpen your punches by folding a sheet of foil several times and then punching through it.
(this is one I knew, but then forgot about. It really is a clever little trick and saves you from wondering how on earth you are going to afford 'another' punch)

3. Use non-stick scissors for cutting through tape and other sticky items, or clean scissors with alcohol wipes.
(I must admit that I have been blessed to have owned non-stick scissors from the start of my scrapbook and card making love affair so although the tip is a useful one, the 'problem' has never really been a 'problem' for me. I hope it helps you?)

4. Store your ink pads upside down to prevent them from drying out.
(what a great tip! I have had sooooo many ink pads dry out! going to turn all my ink pads upside down tonight)

5. Keep a pin in the end of your glitter glue to prevent blockages.
(well, I say forget about just the glitter glue, what about all your glue? I'm sure this could work for more brands? will try and let you all know, though I am sceptical as to how the pin will stay where it is if the nozzle is larger than the head? and if so, what to do as an alternative)

Hope you got some use out of the tips, I certainly gained a lot of knowledge I didn't have before.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

My little Shadow

I really am getting into this whole inspiration thing today. One card and one scrapbook page done and dusted. Though I must admit that the pressure really does heighten when one knows one is going to enter one's work into a challenge somewhere. I can usually finish quite a large number of cards in one afternoon, not today. I must admit though, that I have never been a particularily fast scrapbooker.

I used the sketch from the scrapfit blog that was posted on the 15th of this month, and the current inspiration word over at Bird is the Word challenge blog. Links can be found at the end of this post.

I utilised my silhouette again, using a cut file called 'four vintage frames' and you can find it in their store here. I imported my photos into the silhouette program and placed them within the frames. I then printed them out and placed in the machine to cut. I really, really, love this function of the silhouette. It just makes life so much easier :) I also used my silhouette to cut the title. I made my own title using the text and welding tools.

I think many will surprised to find that the washi looking tape on my page is actually ribbon. I've had it for ages and use it so little due to the unique colour and pattern. The one consolation I have for this is that it will last a very long time! You'll note that I frayed the edges somewhat, I like how it looks.

The journaling is somewhat hidden, I've tucked it behind the set of photographs. I originally planned to have it sitting right beneath the title but thought that the white print looked a bit stark in contrast to the paper, and very out of balance with the rest of the elements. Quick thinking had me adding a punched out circle with a blue coloured staple to match.

And, if anyone is actually interested, because really, how many of us care what paper line is used unless we design for a specific company? The paper used is KaiserCraft - PS27 - Voliere from the Le Chateau collection. ha! and the pretty swirls are by Recollections and are called Boutique Fleur (distributed by Michaels).

Challenges: (Workout #74 A sketch by Diana)


Inspiration by Anne-Marie

Sounds like a perfume or even a clothing line doesn't it? It may as well be, because my friend Anne-Marie has some skills in the design department... the card-making department that is. I mosied on over to her blog today and found not only a delectable card, but a bunch of challenges to enter too. I haven't entered one in quite a loooooong time, so I thought I'd play along. Thanks AM :)

I used a cut file from silhouette called 'outline frames set' for the purple frames and inners, the link will take you to the location in the store if you would also like to own it. And just in case you were wondering, no, I am not paid by Silhouette to advertise for them :) LOL!

The heart stamps actually come from a scrappy cat set I have called All Girl (Item #427), the ribbon from a re-purposed gift bag (go me!) and the chipboard flowers from the set I bought last year sometime to make the felt flowers (tutorial here).

Did you know you could turn a toothpick into a flag? I put glue on one end and placed (read: Shoved) a bead over it. This took care of any nasty points and of course, my favourite word in the craft blogosphere...... added 'dimension'. Really, have you noticed how many of us use this word on our blogs to describe our work? Can we not think of anything better? It's starting to sound so boring. (please note I am probably the MOST guilty party when fingers are pointed regarding the use of this word, sigh*)

I know that my photo's have been really 'loud and proud' lately. It's because of the Blog design change I underwent that now allows me more space in the actual blogging part of the blog. That, and the fact that I recently discovered the magic that is Picasa, in free photo editing tools. I downloaded it during the week and I love it's versatility. I would recommend it if you're looking for something like it.

Challenges entered (courtesy of AM's blog): (Challenge 50 - Lots of Layers) (Rich and Earthy Colours)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This and That

I have had a lot of fun recently, making cards, baking, playing in the snow....and savouring a papmering spa day (technically only 2 hours, but who's counting?) with some of my work colleagues.

I still make commissioned cards for my MIL's work, regardless of giving up on the full-on stationery business thing (for now*). I count it as doing a favour for family/friends and still enjoy doing it as the pressure is not much. Apart from the card I made below, I am in the process of making 30 odd birthday cards for the birthdays they missed at the end of last year/beginning of this year. More on those in another post though...I whacked them all like a mafia hitman in one afternoon. You can pass me a noddy badge right about now.

The cake was made using a box mix, could have been Blue Cloud? All I know is that I do not enjoy the pilsbury box cake mix so I avoided it with all my might when we were looking at them in the store. I did add a twist, and used buttermilk instead of regular milk...remember my failed ruby red cupcakes? I had left over buttermilk* works like a charm in keeping the cake extra moist, feel free to use the tip! Hubby loves caramel, so into the centre a whole entire TIN went.

The 7th August 2012, will forever remain an epic day for me. The beautiful, yet often dreaded, white stuff fell in Johannesburg. It started when I left for work in the morning, not even 2km from home, and carried on sporadically throughout the day and in various areas in Johannesburg and surrounds.
I have freakishly, squeeling, high pitched video recording of the snow fall...guess who's voice in the background? Too embarrassing, but oh so fun.

Thursday, 9th August, was Women's day here in South Africa. I think all my brainwashing at work, worked. I've been telling our bosses for month's that they should send us all on a spa day, and send us on a spa day they did! Thank you Bosses for a wonderful celebration of Women's day! I had a back massage, facial, manicure and pedicure all in the space of two hours. We closed it all off with a brunch and got given the afternoon off. How spoilt were we all? and, ahem, please note that all the photo's were taken by yours truly*


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Simple Savers & Caft Pal Gifts

The two are one and the same. I recieved a gift from a craft friend, who seems to come from the USA by looks of the postage stamp? The reason I do not know who she is, is because we are part of a group called Secret Pals...the same one I was part of last year. I will not find out she is until the end of the Secret Pal Term, which is still a couple of months away.

The aim of the group is to send a person (pre-assigned by the co-ordinators) anonymous cards throughout the year. Gifts are optional to send but not necessary. The aim of the group is to pass on a little kindness to someone else and get to know someone new :) We have ladies from all different parts of the world in our group. The group in question can be found at the site under the Anything Goes logo.

I have so far recieved a box filled with craft goodness, and two envelopes filled with same. My Secret Pal's 'name' is Sea Hag. Interesting name. In her most recent envelope to me she included two card kits and a couple of embossed blocks of vellum. How nice of her to make crafting so easy for me :)

See the aqua coloured card with the pink and white accents in the middle? I got to play with that this morning....

I added a couple of items and techniques...

And got this....

I stamped and wet embossed an image from a stamp pack I got from my Germany-based friend, Maria - for my birthday, called 'Cameo Image' by My Paper World. Ink used was Micia. Not a well-known brand I don't think, but the sponge is deliciously juicy and full of ink. The flat backed pearls were bought for R4.00 a pack of 50...Bargain.

The sentiment is from a set my American friend, Bridgette, sent me last year. Forgive me B, but I do not know the company name? It is mounted the same as Angel company rubber stamps, so that would be my best guess. Stamp pad used was Pretty Color, also deliciously juicy.

I made a matching bookmark, using a border image from the same cameo stamp set, the same ink, and the same embossing method. The sentiment is, I am assuming, an Angel company stamp and is from the My Inspiration set (T2390).

I will be thanking you in the group forum, but, thank you  Sea Hag for providing an awesome craft session for me. What you are will truly show in what you do, and your kindness and thoughtfulness proves you to be a kind and thoughtful individual.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Crafting = Business? or not?

I know that many a crafter wish that they could make a business out of what they do. Be it papercrafts, sewing, knitting etc, many of us have dreamed of making it into some sort of business and earning an income from it.

I was one of those crafters.

I am no longer (well, at least not for now).

I tried to go the wedding and party stationery route, but I have since realised that the added pressure of trying to market a business, thinking of all the loop holes in your costing sheets (and how to fix them), how to order and purchase stock when the supplier is quite a long stretch away from your house and you only have weekends to so, how to deal with a customer that is indecisive and changes their mind a million many times before deciding on the final product. All the above and more.

I realised that my sanity is not worth giving up for the sake of a small start up business, that started because I love what I do in my spare time. Let me just clear the air on one thing, I have a full time job. I am a financial administrator for a fairly large company and I am kept busy throughout the day. When I get home at night, I am like so many others. I want to relax. I cannot do that if I am constantly having to work on orders, quotes and business plans (on paper or in my head).

I like my hobby, in fact I would go so far as to say I love it. I love the fact that when I craft I get to forget about the things that bother me. The only thing that matters is the sound of the paper being cut through by my stanley knife. The sound of the glue as it gets squeezed within an inch of it's plastic life, because I try to get every last drop out. The sound of the scissors as they snip away at unwanted wire, string and paper. The sound of my Silhouette machine as it slices whatever design I recently purhased. I don't have to talk, I don't have to keep quiet. I can do as I please. I havn't felt like I could that lately.

Maybe one day I will give it another go. I am not sure. For now I'll stick to doing favours for friends if they need anything craft related, and shy away from any sort of formal orders.

I don't like to think that I failed. I think I gave it a go and realised that it wasn't for me.