Posts Tagged With: crafting

I know, I know, here I go again *rolls eyes*

IMG_2009It’s been so long since I’ve been able to sit down and get my ancient laptop to actually DO SOMETHING I ask it to do (Maybe I should have been TELLING it what to do all this time instead)

All I can do is hold my hands up (again) and apologise for my absence…and maybe blame a MASSIVE percentage on rubbish technology and joint pain but I digress…

I HAVE been busy with all sorts though. From ALMOST finishing painting the kitchen (photos soon eventually I promise) to starting a new job (yay me) – or a pretty intense health scare (thankfully all clear now) to a handful of new fur-babies coming to stay with us. It’s been a roller-coaster indeed but I’m still here and I’m still smiling 🙂

For now I just wanted to say Hi and also direct your attention to the “snapshots” on the right hand side —> That WAS linked to my personal instagram – click here if you’re an Instagram(mer??) & want to follow that account – but it has now been updated to share snapshots from my BritishChick account instead so hopefully that will let all you crafty people see the relevant things I’ve been up to…. rather than selfies of me and my dog…. *rolls eyes*

I shall return! (famous last words I’m sure but this blog is always on my to-do list so the intention is still there)

I hope you are all well and happy 🙂

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Categories: Desperate Housewife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Something (Navy) Blue

In January my husband and I celebrated an anniversary.

With the upcoming move we were both exhausted so I knew there wouldn’t be anything too exciting happening on the day but decided -in true British Chick fashion- to make him (us really) something special.

He changed jobs -and shifts- recently too so weekends are the only real time we get together as a family. Due to this we have dedicated Saturday nights to family only ‘game nights’. Usually board or card games to get us together without a TV screen shouting over us. Once we have spent time entertaining my son with his choice of game (he loves monopoly and game of life and usually beats both of us…he’s 6 by the way) my husband and I will usually dust off the scrabble board and attempt to overcome the Brit-American spelling divide.

Keeping with seemingly random tidbids of information….Our wedding colours were Navy blue and Ivory. It seems to be a growing tradition to give something in these colours each year – well for me anyway ha ha. I wanted a gift that would combine all of the above….

Navy Blue & Cream Personalised Scrabble Gift

Navy Blue & Cream Personalised Scrabble Gift

I bought a box frame -AND got 50c knocked off due to a tiny scuff WHOOP WHOOP!- I then painted it with Navy Blue acrylic paint, bought a bunch of scrabble tiles from ebay (link), warmed up the glue gun and hey presto his gift was created 🙂

Unfortunately I couldn’t remove the glass as I had hoped when painting the edges so its not as perfect as I would like (nor is it sealed) however for something that is to be displayed rather than handled I’m rather pleased with it…and so is he which is the main thing 🙂

 

As always below are some pics of the process – though to be honest it’s pretty straight forward 🙂 Also check out the related posts – I wish I knew how to add my own or change the search criteria in the app I use but alas…the ones linked all hold the ‘DIY/Creative’ theme in common so…enjoy 🙂

 

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A.E.I.Love U! Decoupage Letters ( <— Check ME out)

My sister in-law is expecting (yay) and asked me to make (or rather decorate) some wooden letters for his nursery – and some for her step daughter while I’m at it. She sent some photos to give me an idea of what kind of lettering/decoration she would like, along with photos of their bedding sets and colour schemes. Grey, green and a dash of bright blue for him – and purple, white with lovehearts & stripes for her.

*Deep breath * Let's do this

*Deep breath * Let’s do this

With the amount of pattern involved I knew just painting them wasn’t going to work so I decided to try decoupage, i.e. coloured papers glued onto pre-cut wooden letters (Yup this is where the Modge Podge experimenting started)

I set off to get materials such as letters, coordinating paint, papers & ribbons. The assistant at the craft store was very helpful, she gave me a few tips such as letting each layer dry before adding more and investing in a craft knife & sponge brushes – not just an up-selling ploy by the way.

I started with her Step-Daughters letters “KYA” – the babys name is a secret so I will just show you one or 2 of his letters in case this massively popular blog post gets leaked to the media * rolls eyes *

I decided to paint the wood first to avoid dripping on the paper when painting the back and sides – and also in case the paper didn’t cover 100% of the front. For Kya I went for a purple. Once dry, I drew around each letter, cut them out carefully and whipped out the ModgePodge. The assistant was right, a thin coat first, place the paper and wait for it to dry. THEN another coat to seal it, add any other papers or ribbons on top….let it dry….top coat…let it dry.

The hardest part was trimming the edges, it took some trial and error but I eventually figured out how to trim any overhang without tearing the paper (yup you wait till its dry and rubbery) There were a few slips but a dab of paint covered any mishaps and overall it seemed to work out well.

Taa Daa :)

Taa Daa 🙂

His letters were done even quicker and I’m really happy with them. My sister-in-law has seen Kyas but babys is a surprise, she doesn’t know I’ve started them yet, let alone finished, packed and posted them 🙂 I’m excited for her to get them, fingers crossed she loves them.

I love them more each time I look at them, at first I was stressing about a few minute imperfections but I need to remind myself that the things I make aren’t going to be perfect, the edges aren’t going to be completely flush every time because I’m human. This is work done by hand, not printed by a machine and mass produced…they’re unique and made by me, with love.

As always below is an album of the process and some other shots of the finished letters

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What’s love got to do with it?

Recently I made some superhero / comic themed magnets (made from mini canvas) for a promotional doo-dah. Their fate (and box) has been sealed and it’s now in the hands of USPS.

Last night I sat bolt upright in bed as the realization hit me – I forgot to sign them 😦 usually I sign the bottom right corner, I had also planned to stick mini “British Chick” stickers on the back of each one but forgot to do that too. Each magnet is in an individual bag with a business card so my information is there but I would have preferred something that would stay on them as a permanent claim and way to tell who made them (and where to order more) you live and you learn I suppose.

Valentine Collection :)

Valentine Collection 🙂

Those canvases inspired a Valentine collection, with Love hearts, burlap, the lot. I even dug out an old embossing set I was slightly obsessed with about 10 years ago. You stamp “glue” onto card, sprinkle with metallic powder & heat with a mini hair dryer type contraption– of course the UK plug/voltage was an issue but thanks to my converter I got there in the end (Even if it was a painfully slow process)

I made them in 2 sizes and each one is different. This time I used Modge Podge – basically a stronger version of PVA glue which sticks things together and glosses over them to give them a nice, flush finish. This stuff is typically used for decoupage and I had some for another project (details of that coming soon) so I gave it a try.

Again, it was a learning curve –

*Thin coats work best

*Leave each layer to dry before adding another/top coat

*Wash your sponge brushes as soon as you’ve stopped

*Wash you hands thoroughly at random intervals throughout– Modge Podge holds any residue and is easily transferred onto whatever you’re working on

Matching Cards FTW

Matching Cards FTW

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I think they’re quite cute AND they serve a purpose (I love practical things) I also made a few matching cards – Matching items for the win!

I would have liked to have spent more time on the back of them. I cover the wooden frame at the back with sheet burlap to hide any paint drips and basically make them more presentable. The wrapped twine on some of these canvases made them quite bumpy/bulky to cover AND meant some of them needed extra magnets to fill the gap. I tested them all before sealing and they are strong enough to stick on a fridge so that’s something and at least it’s the back that could use some tweaking rather than the front – again it’s another lesson learned.

I have already sold 2 (to a friend but a sale is a sale) and the rest are sealed and on display in the local “gift box” where I volunteer and sell some of my work. Again I forgot to sign them but luckily I have the chance to sneak in and change that on my next shift 🙂

Now I have ‘Superhero’ & ‘Love’ under my belt I will have to get thinking about my next themes to try – Of course I could just follow the usual holidays – Easter, Halloween, Christmas – along with Mardi Gras & St Patrick’s day etc but I need some general ‘year round’ themes too…feel free to comment with ideas 😉

Again, below is a few photos of the process & finished products 🙂

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

POW she’s back in the game  

Recently I opted in to a promotional “thing” set up by Cody of Lu & Ed . Cody sends out “swag bags” to existing customers. These bags contain samples from various other businesses -namely crafty ones who focus on items for children. It’s a sweet way of thanking the customers but also a great opportunity to get other small businesses out there, so I decided to go for it.

Most of my items are custom orders and for a while I’ve been wanting to branch out so I can turn up to craft fairs and events armed with ready-made British Chick items rather than a pen and paper to take orders (It’s on the resolutions list – well maybe not THAT list but shhh)

Superheros are always a hit...right?

Superheros are always a hit…right?

Being set the task of making 25 samples forced me to think about what kind of ready-made item I could work on.

I had shown Cody this canvas an example of what I do. Immediately she suggested mini versions saying POW or “BAM” Duh! How obvious! What better way to sample my painting than with a tiny painting? And what kid doesn’t like superheroes?

I set to work on them and managed to make some stupid mistakes along the way which longed out the process massively – for example:

  • I used basic acrylic paint despite knowing that outdoor paint has much better coverage – this meant painting each one 2 or 3 times
  • I painted Dark Blue strips before Red even though I know blue is going to be harder to cover up -and I would need to cover it up
  • I underestimated just how many paint pens I would need and about had a breakdown when Walmart ran out of stock
Super Fridge Magnets

Super Fridge Magnets

However, I also had a “yay” moment when I realised that with the simple addition of some magnetic tape these bad boys are not just mini canvases any more – they’re kick-ass fridge magnets Whoop Whoop! 🙂

After what feels like a lifetime (in reality about one week) I’ve finished 🙂 It’s definitely been a challenge and an experience where my feelings about them changed by the day – if not by the minute. Now they’re done I love them

I’ll be sending them off shortly and keeping my fingers crossed that the stranger I’ve entrusted them with does something other than sell (or set fire to) them – Wish me luck 🙂

Here are some photos of the process

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The day the Spray Paint almost won

Over the past few months my little man has learnt to read. I’m a big reader so I’m thrilled that he enjoys it so much and want to encourage him to keep at it. His growing library is rapidly outgrowing his book rack so I began the hunt for extra book storage I can cook-up ready for the move.

SandPaper is my friend - as is cardboard

SandPaper is my friend – as is cardboard

Sadly the majority of ideas offered by Pinterest involved sewing to make a “book sling” so they went out the window, basic shelves crossed my mind but that would involve some kind of spirit level and something stronger than drawing pins to hold it up…not to mention book ends *urgh* (I must state here that 90% of my wall-hanging objects are held up with drawing pins and/or bluetac)

I eventually decided on wooden crates. EASY! Just grab some Spiderman Blue spray paint, nail them to the SpiderMan Red wall (after trying and failing with pins no doubt) and the books can stay put regardless of how wonky they are 🙂 (yes I realise I could make my life much easier by investing in a spirit level – or just digging out the one that’s buried in the garage) BUT painting is my thing, DIY is not… This crate idea seemed to be a winner….

I found a crate/box in a local charity shop (I wish I had a “before” photo) and went to work on it. I don’t know why I chose a late afternoon to start this project… In the garden… And the wind but it happened.

Turns out paint and spray paint are two very different mediums.  The can wouldn’t spray colour unless is was pointing straight forward (like spraying a wall) but it simply dripped down the wood if sprayed at this angle. After adjusting and experimenting I seemed to have the distance, angle and speed worked out and managed to make my crate look “alright” until the wind blew my protective newspaper (yes Blue Peter would be proud) up and onto the wet paint.

SpiderMan Book Rack *Whoop Whoop*

SpiderMan Book Rack *Whoop Whoop*

The paint was just tacky enough to hold all alien materials to it so I was left with large chunks of some cartoon character seemingly immortalised on the box. *urgh!* To make matters worse, in my panic to remove the offending paper I had run inside in search of sandpaper; thus freeing the puppy who then ran around the garden, knocking the crate onto another of its wet sides…. MORE paper stuck to it.

I spent the rest of the sunlight sanding the whole thing down, chasing Toby (the pup) in order to retrieve the sandpaper he insisted on eating and vowing to start again tomorrow.

Tomorrow is here and I’ve finished. (Yay) I’m happy with it & can’t wait to see it against the red of his (future) wall. It’s a small victory but I’ve learnt a few things for next time…

1-Read the can! The angle/distance wouldn’t have been such a surprise if I’d done that

2-Cardboard is a much better surface protector than newspaper (especially on windy days)

3- Less is more (but less work ha ha) Light coats dry quicker and more evenly

4- Rushing is not an option– waiting 2 minutes between coats saves a few hours of sanding to fix a problem

5- Puppies & Sandpaper do not mix– Toby spent the rest of the night throwing up the remains of it (he’s ok now though)

6- If you’ve used most of a can of spray paint on one small item… You’re probably doing it wrong

And finally

7- Just because something LOOKS easy, doesn’t mean it actually is. It turns out people who make “easy” pinterest crafts have probably spent some time tweaking their methods.

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pipe Dreams

Well, it seems the weekly writing challenges are rather elusive these days – which kind of removes 50% of my blogging fodder – hopefully they will start them up again.

This week I signed up for a promotional “thing” where 25 of my samples are sent out with orders from another store so I will be working on those samples over the next few days. I’m thinking little tiny versions of these…

Superheros are always a hit...right?

“Superhero” is always a hit…right?

Obviously a little less detailed and rather than saying Lucy Lu they will say things like “POW”. When your focus is custom items it’s hard to find a happy medium for ready-made items but I think these will work well 🙂

We have started packing up the house ready for the imminent move and established that my little man wants a SPIDER MAN theme bedroom (It was either that or Pokemon) so I’ve picked up a few bits from the local charity shop and WILL be fixing those up (and posting pics to prove it). I have a feeling I’ll be dreaming in red and blue in a few weeks time.

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crafty Blogger

As you may know I’ve signed up for a monthly craft swap with some local crafty people – some vague details on that blogged here.

Well when I joined I did explain (to them) that I am in no way, shape or form an expert… Or that good lol but what I didn’t realise is that most of these people do their crafting for more than just a hobby. Many sell their items- some locally, some internationally! Some have actual walk-in shops and some display theirs at a local gallery….

I wish I had known that before I made that valentines sauce-bottle-vase which, if you need reminding, is blogged here *cringe* For the record THIS is the craft I was given in return…it’s gorgeous! It’s sealed… It even has glass… But most of all it’s not made from an old ranch dressing bottle. Even my husband -who doesn’t DO crafty- was impressed, He took one look and said “Are we erm… hanging that in the guest room….you know…hide the competition?” * sad face *

https://www.facebook.com/PinsandNeedlesPrimitivesLLC?fref=ts <_ hopefully this link works

Click the image to visit her (crafty) facebook page

I think I’m in over my head here! The closest I’ve ever been to having a “Sophie Original” commissioned was when my mother gave me £20 to buy paint and a canvas to do one for her friend (and she let me keep the change)- it turned out ok but a one off isn’t going to pay the bills lol. I don’t do crafting for a living, I do it because it relaxes me and because I’m too cheap to buy wall art for my house.

The theme for March is Mardi Gras – again my thoughts on this are blogged here– and I upped my game a little…

Let the good times roll

Let the good times roll

Before you say it I had already stocked up on wooden frames before I received her swap item so I’m in no way trying to compete in the painted frame industry. It’s not a masterpiece but hey I like it. It’s on theme, it didn’t break the bank… It’s got ACTUAL GLASS…and I used sealant this time which – for me- is pushing the boat out. Above all I enjoyed making it … Isn’t that the point?

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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