Sunday, 29 January 2012

Flirtatious fabric-covered Journal with Fabric Flowers

I made this for a special relative, to record some important stuff as she goes through her cancer treatment.  I've made it pretty and girly, although it is a very plain and practical blank page journal on the inside.  It's so hard to think of what to give in these situations, but I think if it were me, a special place to record everything from diary entries to family recipes to hopes and dreams for the future would be useful.

I started with a hard-bound plain journal, and painted the spine bindings to make sure their black colour wouldn't show through.  I then added some Pellon padding to the front and back covers.  I removed the whole inner page section, so I could fully cover the bindings.  I used the purple Flirtatious fabric and Sticky Strip (super strong!) adhesive to attach the fabric around the bindings.  I used the wonderful iron-on fabric adhesive to back the dark pink fabric, and used this to line the end papers. Hot glue came in handy for re-attaching the pages inside, and I then ironed on the fabric endpapers to hold it all in place. 

Some Wisteria Wonder ruffled ribbon went around the outside to hold loose papers, and from the centre to make a page marker, embellished with some retired "Pretties Kit" beads and pearls.  I then cut several sizes and colours of flowers using the "Fun Flowers" Bigshot die, from the three Flirtatious fabrics.  But, to make it fast and easy, I used the iron-on fabric adhesive before I cut them, so they could be ironed straight onto the cover.  I made a little fabric 'yoyo' from a circle of wisteria fabric and added a button centre.  A monogram "A" finishes  it off.  It took a little while, but the result was worth it, I think. 

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Hand made gifts for some very special teachers

 My kids had some very special teachers last year, so I wanted to make some special gifts to thank them for their hard work.  Mr 10's teacher was able to appreciate his quirky character, like his useful ability to remember collecting notes and classroom organisational type stuff, while conveniently forgetting things like how to spell and times tables.  So, together we made Mr M a noticeboard to keep track of paperwork!  I built a deep rebate frame with some chunky moulding.  The insert is a piece of "Wonderwall" noticeboard stuff I chanced across at Spotlight one day, it is like the wall panel stuff that velcro sticks to, but with a thick EVA foam backing attached so it can be used with pins as well.  We used a papier-mache type technique to cover the frame with the school colours, using little bits and bobs of all kinds of patterned paper, some from my stash and some from now retired DSP prints packs.  The ribbons are Purely Pomegranate and Blue Bayou Stitched Grosgrain from in colors a couple of  years ago, and they are attached on with Build-a-brads and Corduroy brads.  I gave the frame a good coat of glue varnish to make it nice and durable.  I hope he finds it a useful tool, and remind him of one of his more challenging students!

 Miss 6 had a pair of teachers last year, in a 3/2 jobshare.  Mrs W was lovely, and I only found out that she is actually the sister of one of my lovely customers when I gave her this crafty gift - a very small world it is indeed!
I made a covered clipboard with some interesting adhesive fabric paper, and a wide variety of ribbons to match the colours.  The fabric paper isn't SU, but the colours were so perfect for Pool Party, So Saffron, Calypso Coral, Regal Rose and Chocolate Chip  The tin to match has a Calypso Coral and So Saffron ruffled flower on the top, and contained a stash of erasers, merit stickers, and some owl santa chocs.

Mr Mc was quite charmed by Miss 6 I think, and she had a ball in his class.  As Mr Mc moves about the school in his dual role as Deputy Principal, I thought he might find it useful to have a tote tray for some of his most needed supplies.  It's an MDF caddy, covered with some DSP in newsprinty style papers, and some lettering and a crown cut from some offcuts of black core gold matboard.  Mr Mc uses a crown avatar for the class blog, and is definitely king of his little charges, so that explains the decoration!  I sponged gold shimmer paint all around the seams, and added some erasers, merit stickers and Santa Owl chocs.

I had lots of fun making these, and the thinking cap is on again already for this year!  I'd love to read your comments and ideas for teacher gifts - always helps to start early with inspiration!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Stampin' Crop Day Saturday 28th January

Sorry for taking so long to set a date for this, the holidays have whizzed
by!  At times it seemed like I was never going to squeeze one into January, but I am determined, especially since I start an intensive full time uni subject
crammed into a solid month from 30th Jan!!

So, drumroll please!!!!!!

Saturday 28th January, 2012
Any time from 10am - 5pm
Bring - your basic personal tools and projects you wish to work on, if any.
Some lunch or plate to share - there will be the usual crusty bread and jam,
dips etc, and bottomless tea/coffee
Cost:  $15, includes use of my stamps and tools, refreshments and casual

There's also another great reason to come along, as Sale-a-Bration will be
on!  I'll have the catalogues available, and there are 6 choices this year,
including some delicious designer series paper and brads, ribbon to match
one of the 4 stamp set choices.  So, take an inventory of your supplies,
adhesives, cardstock, and check your wish list for punches or stamps you've
been wanting to own.  Each order of $100 will earn you a choice of a
Sale-a-Bration item, free!  For attendees at my Stampin' Crop, I am also
offering FREE postage and handling for Orders placed on the day.

Please let me know by email if you'll be joining us :)
The set of three little cards in the image was one of the projects I whipped up while my kids ran themselves ragged at Lollipops Playland.  They use the latest batch of In Colors, Calypso Coral for the bases, and accents of Lucky Limeade and Island Indigo.  The stamp set is "Fresh Vintage", my absolute favourite from the Sale-a-bration selection this year.  The postage stamp stamp (??) co-ordinates with the new postage punch from the Summer Mini, and this set also co-ordinates with the Designer Series paper and ribbon/brad SAB choices.    Quick, easy, and versatile.  I've seen so many gorgeous ideas with this set alone, why not add it to your collection, FREE!!
Workshop dates for Sale-a-bration are available, I'd love to show you and your friends the great range of beautifully co-ordinated products, and make your crafting time productive and enjoyable.  Lots of bonuses on offer, especially for SAB, so give me a call to book your free workshop soon!

Happy New Year!

Groan!  Yes, I know it is already nearing the end of January before I have gotten around to a Happy New Year post on my poor blog.  School holidays must have some kind of time-sucking vortex function, feels like it anyway.

I hope all my readers have enjoyed a peaceful and relaxing break over Christmas, or if not, at least nothing too stressful!  We have been pretty busy, doing the long-awaited exterior paintwork on our house.  Looks great, but not much time has been had for fun stamping stuff.  Luckily, I have managed to squeeze in a couple of crafting days masquerading as play-dates for my kids - Thanks to fellow demo friends Amy and Nicky for the inspired locations and great company.  I have taken some pics of what I made on those days, but still have quite a backlog from before Christmas to show you, so I'll get to that first :)

But, before anything paper-based, I feel compelled to show off my finished scrap quilt!  It's been a while in the making, given that I started it in the year 2000...  Here's the epic story.
When I was writing my science PhD thesis, I worked in Australia's biggest patchwork fabric shop for a mentally un-taxing income.  I've always sewn, having had a dressmaker mum, but I'd never made a quilt.  I figured that would be a good time and place to learn, and would provide a little light relief while writing.
Obviously, I haven't been working on it constantly, and the top was finished not long after my first child was born in 2001.  A while later, I added backing and batting, and basted it.  Then it sat, meanwhile I went back to work and then had child # 2, and did quite a few other things, like getting stuck into Stampin' Up!  I ummed and ahhed about the actual quilting, wanting to do it myself but not quite having the skills to do all that funky freemotion stuff.  Eventually, I just whizzed all over with nice straight lines of stitching. Phew!  Bundled away for a while longer.
Then, I thought I'd be brave and try some nice border patterns.  Every available different type of marking pencil/spray/chalk/paper pattern later, and quite a bit of unpicking, I've decided freemotion is something that I suck at.  So, it was decided at last to stick to simple, straight lines of stitching.  Decision made, and it was finished completely, bound and all, in a matter of the last few of days.  Did I mention that I stupidly decided to tackle 'something useful' like a king size bed cover for my first quilt?  No? (insert rolling eyes/facepalm smilie here).  I love it to bits, and am looking forward to dressing my bed with it, and passing it down to my kids as an heirloom one day.

It's very nice to have one of my "UFO"s (= Un Finished Object) done and dusted.  What do you think?