2nd Post of August 2013

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, A Card, Gardening, And Cake Decorating

If you don’t want to read all my babblings – then just jump ahead to the card photos and click on the thumbnail images for a good look.
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Well, first the good news – no more leg infection (let’s hope it stays away!).  Then the bad news – despite over three weeks of antibiotics the absus I’ve had on the root of one tooth hasn’t cleared, so to the dentist yesterday, who has put me on a week of different antibiotics and some anti-inflamitary gel to put on the gum.  I’m already on the waiting list to have one tooth that has a root cavity extracted, having already been to the hospital for a full mouth X-ray and consultation with the Dental Surgeon, so more phone calls by my dentist and this different infected tooth has been added to the list for extraction.  Arrrr!  That was yesterday.

Today it was car service and M.O.T. (wheel baring, and a few other bits needed), and Optitian (not a huge change in optical prescription but just enough that I needed a new pair of varifocal glasses) – so not a cheap day – and another ARRRRR!!!

So, with everything, I’ve not done a lot of crafting this week, but I have got one card and some decorated cupcakes (decorated with nephew’s help) to show you today.  I hope you like them.

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MUSINGS:

The last few days I’ve been wondering –

How did my crafting stash get into such a mess?

I’ve got lots of storage, some of it with spare spaces in it, but somehow I’ve landed up with lots of stuff all over the place again.

Well I suppose I do know how it happened.  It sort of crept up on me.  I tend to collect together what I need for a crafting session in bed, and have a bit of fun crafting.  But invariably my energy runs out before my ideas do, or bits of me become too painful to do any crafting, and when I get to that state I tend to put my crafting tote bag back on its shelf and then just bundle the rest either on the table by my bedside cabinet or by the foot of my bed.  And if I do that two or three times pretty soon I can’t get past to put things back properly or put newly delivered cardstock or glues in their proper tray and stuff just bundles up where they’ve been left.  Wpps! Plus, some of my stuff was put in cardboard boxes, and these have started to disintigrate now.

So I decided to invest in a little unit with shelves and casters to go instead of the folding table by my bedside cabinet.  Shelves will mean that stuff can be put flat in there rather than just dumped, and with it being on casters I will be able to push it to move it to where some of the stuff I’ve collected for a crafting session should go back to, thus saving me having to carry a lot of bits of paper, embelishments, and tools – which invariably manage to land on the floor if I’m not feeling particularly strong or I’m in a lot of pain.  The shelving unit arrived the end of last week and my niece put it together for me on Sunday.  The other thing I invested in were some different sized and shaped boxes.  I had ordered two boxes that would nicely hold my crafting DVDs and CD-ROMs, being the perfect width and height for them, meaning that the CD-ROMs wouldn’t be stacked and bundled on top of each other in cardboard boxes so that everything had to be removed for me to find them, but rather I could see at a glance which CD-ROMs were in each box.  Plus, the plastic boxes I’ve bought have lids and will stack tidily on each other and are narrower than the cardboard boxes that are disintigrating so wouldn’t stick out quite so much.  But when these two boxes arrived my mother suggested that one would be the perfect size for my large knitting board to be kept in with its working yarn – and it actually fit perfectly.  So now I need to order another one of that size for my CD-ROMs.  It’s good that the same box fits my large Authentic Knitting Board, but a bit of a bother having to put another order for another box.  I may wait until I actually start tidying stuff into the box and wheelable shelving unit – just in case I actually need two more, not just one more.

Of course, I’ve probably got enough crafting stash of one sort or another, to allow me to do crafting for two or three years without ordering anything other than Pinflair Glue gel and perhaps some wet glue.  – But I know I’ll still actually need some other stuff that’s new that I’ve not got in my stash of crafting consumables or equipment.  Who knows, some of the new stuff that comes out may be just the thing to help make my various crafting easier for me.  It’s surprising how people come up with so many things that I’ve just got to try isn’t it?!

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CARD:

(Clicking on the card brings up a larger image – clicking on the text links below the image takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

Challenges entered into:

1cup411416_1141 - card01C - Bug Catching Boys Digital Stamp

  1. Bug Catching Boys Digital Stamp by Angela Wenke (I printed the digi stamp out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock at smaller than the size provided.  I then coloured it in using my ProMarkers and some FlexMarkers.  The colours I used were: hair and skin – March Hare, Vanilla, Tan, Sandstone, Cinnamon, Black, Rose Pink; clothes, shoes, butterflies, eyes – Rock Pool, Celestial Blue, Cloud Blue, Sky Blue, Aegean, Pastel Blue, French Navy; shaddow around figure – Pastel Blue.  I trimmed around the the image and then matted matted it onto some cardstock from my stash, cutting a small border using one of the Perfect Layers rullers.  I took an A4 sheet of blue Adorable Scoreable cardstock, scored it using my Hougie Board, folded it in half, and then shaped the corners using a corner rounder punch. I took another sheet of Adorable Scorable cardstock and created a mat to put on the card front a little smaller than the card front, again rounding the corners and also used some of the same blue cardstock to make a second mat under the main image.  I then took some plain and spotted blue cardstock from my crafting stash and made a further large layer and some other layers for my card front.  Most of the layers are stuck down directly using roller glue tape, but the panel coming down partway on the left is stuck down using 1mm deep, double sided, foam tape, and the same tape has been used on the left of the main, matted and layered, image.  I used 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape to stick the right hand side of the matted and layered image, together with the tone on tone greeting panel.  I used a blue metalic marker and one of the ProMarker fine nibs and added faux stitching around the main card, around the digi-stamp topper layer, around the smaller panel coming down from the top left, and around the large dotted blue layer – although it isn’t very visible on this except in certain lights. I finished off by attaching some butterfly buttons, that has had some blue jute twine put through the holes, on as embelishment using glue gel.  I did use the same metalic marker as used for the faux stitching to put a touch on the butterfly buttons wings and around the edge of the butterflies on the digi-stamp.)

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GARDENING:

One of my young nephews came over on Monday and helped water the greenhouse and pick some of our minature cucumbers.

1Greenhouse 24C 2Greenhouse 23C 3Greenhouse 25C

  1. This is what the plants in the greenhouse looked like on Monday. Much more leavy than it was a few short weeks ago.
  2. This is what the cucumbers looked like hanging on one of the two cucumber plants.
  3. And these are the cucumbers after my nephew picked them on Monday – 10 of them.  That makes a total of 20 cucumbers picked off two plants so far in the last few weeks. (Add another 3 to that number – picked some more today – Wednesday.)

There are around four half grown minature cucumbers on each of the two cucumber plants, as well as several more flowers just begining to open, so who knows how many more cucumbers we’ll have off the two plants this year.

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CAKE DECORATING:

I’d bought some plain cupcakes on Saturday, and as one of the little nephews was over on Monday he got to help decorate them – well in reality he did the vast majority of the work, with just supervision and a few hints and tips needed.  I did get to do a couple of the roses and the two tone floral toppers for another two cakes, other than that the nephew did the lot.

1CakeDecorating 02 02C 2CakeDecorating 02 03C

  1. Half a dozen chocolate cupcakes decorated with brown chocolate fondant icing with daisies cut from white chocolate fondant icing using the Blossom Sugar Art daisy cutter and mould, and leaves from ordinary green fondant icing using little cutters with plungers.  The plain cupcakes were decoated using an assortment of roses, other floral elements and one even had a bird in a branch.
  2. A bit of a closeup of the choclate cupcakes and their decoration.  After putting on a circle of the brown choclate icing a band of gold edible shimmer was brushed around the edge.  Gold shimmer was also brushed on the centre of the daisy flowers made from white chocolate icing.

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

CraftingInBed02In my first blog post of August I mentioned that I’ve got a tote that holds a lot of the things I used every time I craft.  Well this is the tote ->

It is quite similar to this one here -> PAPERMANIA DELUXE CRAFT TOTE BAG Black Liquorice Dot Hobby Organiser Canvas Case – though the pattern on mine isn’t quite the same

I think most crafters, over time, find that there’s a core of “stuff”, be they consumables or equipment, that they use most often, so it pays to have these in a convenient place close at hand to where you craft.  It saves a lot of time and energy if all that needs to be hunted for in the extended crafty stash are the “extras” needed for any particular crafting session.

I do most of my crafting in bed, so don’t work at a desk where my most used stuff could be stored, so I use this tote.  It sits on a shelf near the bottom of my bed and is just lifted onto the bed to my side when I need it.

The really good scissors I use most often (see my “making things easier” section in – this post), that don’t clog up with glue when cutting foam or double sided tape, are not kept in the tote, but rather are kept in a drawer by the side of my bed so that I’ve got easy access to them even if I’ve not pulled my tote from the shelf to my bed – prevents the youngest nephews getting at them when crafting and means that I can do cutting out when I feel like it without fetching my crafting tote.  So I keep three pairs of good, but not non-stick, scissors in my tote so that they can use them when I have my tote out for crafting with them.

The large roll of non-stick, heatproof, mat that you see sticking out of one end of the tote is also used mostly for crafting with them.  It covers quite a bit of our kitchen table when I have to move there to craft with the boys.  I don’t tend to use it when crafting in bed as I don’t do a lot of messy stuff in bed, and if I do I’ll use my glass mat on my lap tray or sometimes my small SplodgeAway mat if I’m inking.  I’m not sure where I got this non-stick heatproof mat.  It’s like this one – here – but quite a bit larger.

So today’s tip for making things easier is to think about what you’ll be doing, and have something suitable on your working surface that will make it easier to clean up and protect what’s underneath.  It really is easier in the long run, especially if you run out of steam and don’t have the energy to scrub a table or tray afterwords.  (I’m afraid that, if I’m on a roll with crafting, I tend to craft until I can’t do any more – which means no energy to clear up any mess, so the easier things are to clean up the better.)

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at my whole shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.

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CUP UPDATE:

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Monday, 5th August – Here! – SPECIAL OFFERS, Best Selling Designers & Best Selling Crafters
  • Wednesday, 7th August – Here! – Crafty Bob Goodies, CUP Toolbar & All the Latest CUP News

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
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