Tuesday, 27 November 2012

WOYWW 182 with Gorgeous Gloria

Join us on our weekly jaunt around the work desks of the Universe and nosey at all we have been up to, where we craft, all the mess we've made and even take the chance to hop on board the fun train and show us yours. 
Julia of stamping-ground is the driver, station master and chief controller of this wonderful world wide tour.
I'm back on the floor again for WOYWW this week, as I've been die cutting scores of gingerbread men for DD1 to make into bunting as an extra for her forthcoming craft shows. 
It's far to cold to be in my workroom so I decamped to warmer climes.
I didn't think I'd be here to show my work desk this week but I don't fly off to Germany until this afternoon so, as you can guess, this is prepped the night before. I'll have my ipad with me so I may even be able to hop around for a nosey later.
Aren't they sweet!

DD1 also thought it might be a good idea to make this Pirate, Jolly Roger style, bunting too so I'm just experimenting here making a few prototypes for her approval.

Angel Update
Gorgeous Gloria fluttered through my letterbox .....and she's causing trouble already... See! I just caught her getting stuck into my cakes. We had visited our favourite Chantilly Cafe & Patisserie (which I blogged about a while ago) for lunch as a treat for DH before I leave him home alone whilst I'm off enjoying myself. Lunch of ham and chicken pie, with salad for me plus chips for DH, was just so delish and filling that we couldn't manage dessert, so we bought some to bring home and that there Gloria thought she's get in  first! It must be the influence of her previous home and maker...... I'll split... she came from LLJ via her fabric frenzy emporium, who told me that she's looks like she's already been around quite a bit as she has a "knowing face". For an angel, I think she's so beautifully dressed and quite a sophisticated dish, ....knowing face and cake robber or not! She has gone to join the chorus of angels I posted on Friday.
Thanks so much Jan for adding to my Heavenly Host.

The lemon cheesecake was my indulgence and the Bakewell Tart was devoured by DH. Kissed by an angel!
My previous post has the templates and info for the chocolate wraps so don't miss it if you requested it from me. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Chocolate Bar Wraps

I've had several queries about the various candy bar wraps I posted a couple of days ago so I thought I'd give some info to help those who'd like to make some, incase they are needed  soon for a school or church fair or just for gifts. They'd make excellent little teacher gifts or teachers' projects and are simple enough for children to make with very little help.

A few extra bits of info to help in making Frosty the Snowman, Pingu Penguin, The Sleigh and other chocolate bar wraps.

I buy chocolate bars from Aldi, it's lovely choc, and cheap at 5 bars for just over £1.
They also have candy canes for £1 but these are also available in lots of other places for around that price, in fact, I saw them in Home Bargains for only 75p!
For hats & scarves;
They are best made out of fleece or felt as neither will fray. 
Cheap option, buy a pair of Father Christmas pants in the 99p shop,  cut them up and you'll get lots of hats and scarves. They are made from a synthetic type of felt and do very nicely. 
To make hats and scarves; 
Cut fabric approx 4 ins height x 4.5 ins width to fit around head,(check fit of your choc bars) sew up about 2.5 ins at side, make cuts into top of fabric approx 1 inch from top into fringe. 
Turn inside out, tie at the top below the cuts to make a bobble and pop onto head on choc bar. 
Tip... add a little 2 sided tape to top edge of bar to stop hats coming off.
 Cut a long thin strip with fringed ends to tie around neck of each character as a scarf. 

My template template with the penguin and the snowman's broom (below) should be printed onto CARD and each piece cut out. 
As you can see there are other characters on this sheet which can be just stuck onto wrapped bars with trimmings added to suit.
Rudolph the Reindeer
 For the reindeer wrap the chocolate bar in brown paper. Add a lighter shade for the fringe, Add shaker eyes and a punched out red disc for the nose. A strip of card makes his collar with a tag and a bell. The little wrap of straw around the bottom is optional.

 To make the sleigh, first wrap up the chocolate bar in coloured plain or printed paper. Wrap up little empty boxes which can hold gifts , or wrap up packets of sweets, mints. chewing gum or tictacs, adding a ribbon with a bow on top.
Then stick the canes, with red line or any strong double sided tape, along the side of the chocolate bar in the position in the photo.
Stick the base of 2 or 3 little boxes, stacking them on top of sleigh.
Tie a length of ribbon around the base and right over the top to hold everything in place and add a gift tag and a bow. A sleigh bell is a good idea too if you have some.
You'll find similar versions of this on the web, but here's mine.
Pingu Penguin
This one is entirely my own idea.
For the penguin;
Wrap the chocolate bar in black paper. 
Stick on the cut out penguin card shape from the templates and stick on shaker eyes. 
Fix on hat and tie on a scarf. The scarf here is just a piece of tartan ribbon.
Add punched snowflake/s to trim as in photos.
TIP; It would also look even better with a wrap of cellophane over the paper wrap before adding trims!!
Frosty the Snowman
This one is available all over the web and this is my modified take on it.
Print out wraps (below) onto PAPER

Cut out card broom
Stick wrap around a chocolate bar.
Add hat and scarf, snowflakes and broom as in photos.

Ollie the Owl
Inspiration for this came thanks to Roni from instainswithroni blog where she made a simpler, similar one from felt. I have added to it and modified it quite a bit and I made it out of coloured card.

The details for making this are written on my template sheet below.

Any queries just leave me a comment and I'll do my best to help but otherwise I hope you have fun if you make them.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Angel Landings!

The first flock of my host of angels fluttered in this week with more, I'm told, already winging across the heavens as I write.
They have gathered to hover above my fireplace and have already gained admiration from all who have laid eyes on them. 
I love that they are all such very different characters, a part of their creators. Thanks so much to all who took part in the fun and next year I plan to host another swap (but on a different theme), as so many bloggers are now really sorry they didn't participate having seen what they are missing.
In order of receipt....
Here's Neil's (of http://neelzexpressionz.blogspot.co.uk/) classy, stylish, slim line beauty,
named "Celestia", she is a Heavenly French Angel, Ooh, La, La! for elegance! Lovely techniques there Neil!
All the way from Canada here's Famfa's of busybutterfingers cute softy, in pretty, beautifully crocheted, swirly tutu and beaded limbs with a swirl of a halo above her golden locks!
Dusty by name but not by nature!
This dainty curly girly (a tiny Shroppy Lass) below was created by Jo Twiglet and is so pretty in her ribbons and starry skirt.
Named "Joy" and that's what Jo hopes she brings. She certainly has but I'll have to keep her out of reach of the real curly girlies!
I bet you didn't know there are angel bears around..... well, one flew in, see those dainty wings, from Shropshire courtesy of Annie Wipso who makes the cutest dumfed (felted) bears all with individual characters.
This one is called "Eolande" and her name means quite aptly "Violet". 
My favourite colour and Annie's too.
Today this fabulous, quirky, felted and stitched angel character  arrived from Chris of pearshapedcrafting. I think she's been singing in Chethams College in Manchester by the music on her wings. 
It's thrilling that there are still more to fly in but, in the mean time, thanks again to all the talented creators of this little host of beauties.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Today it is What's on Your Floor Wednesday, from me, as that is where I'm busy sorting out some projects for make and takes at Vicky Stampers forthcoming party. These will all be packed into kits ready to make in a jiffy. A few really useful ideas which I originally wasn't going to show before the party but then I realised that most of those attending don't look at my blog and I'm sure the couple of people who do see them won't mind!
I also thought that it might be useful to some of you incase you fancy having a go at these simple wraps for chocolate bars as it will be a while to wait until after the party and you could have them made. They'd make good craft fair sellers, I'm sure. I use the packs of bars from Aldi, which are lovely chocky and so reasonably priced.
Some came from ideas on the web and as there are lots similar out there I don't need to give direct credit but I have drawn and printed, altered and adjusted all the designs, some are my own, and I will give instructions for making them over the next few days. I have some other designs too but my scanner/printer is playing up, so watch this space if you are interested.
Why am I showing you my work place at all ? Because I do every Wednesday, just as nearly 200 others from around the world do too. All because of the crazy idea by our lovely Mrs D, (that's our Julia at stampinground). Interested? Get over HERE PDQ and see the rest or join in if you've got a desk to show us.

Above you'll see my penguin candy wraps... entirely my own idea, this one, and so easy to make. A really quick attractive table gift or decoration.
Below are the kits for my reindeers.
A close up of the little penguin.
 This, below, is a simple sleigh made from a bar of chocolate and two candy canes as the runners. These would decorate a table and look great.
 Frosty the Snowman keeping the chocolate from melting!
My swap angels have been landing and I will post pics soon of those that have arrived in their new homes. 
I am still awaiting contact details to send angels out to Vicki Okie Nurse, despite leaving messages for her. I really do hope she is OK and wonder if any other WOYWWers have heard from her recently? 
I'm off to Germany next week, all on my ownsome leaving DH to fend for himself... aaaahhh!!!! Going to visit my lovely family and the Christmas Markets will be on so it's a double treat.  I'll be missing next WOYWW but I'll have lots to show and tell about when I get back home. 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Mitton Hall/Samantha Murray

On Friday I had the honour to attend a presentation to one of our Olympic Team GB medal winners, Samantha Murray, at Mitton Hall. This was a very special venue to honour an exceptional young woman who is a real credit to this country and to herself.
On a cold November day, we gathered in the main hall with a welcome roaring log fire, for a delicious afternoon tea and a champagne toast to Samantha. 
Mitton Hall near Clitheroe in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, is now a beautiful country inn, but was originally a manor house dating from the 15th century and it has been lovingly restored.
Check out Mitton Hall here

This gallery wraps around the entrance hall.
Here is Samantha wearing her medal which she won in the pentathlon. My DH on the left presented her flowers and our friend Reg presented the award.
She is such a lovely charming person and such good company, generously sharing her medal around giving us all a rare opportunity to handle it. (It amazed everyone by how heavy it is!) 
I really feel that she will go far in life with her qualities but first let us wish her the best of luck for at least one more medal in Rio 2016.
The cakes were delish!
Part of the main hall.
In the bar the superb, ornate, carved panels were salvaged from a Methodist Church in Clitheroe.
Samantha, to her credit, is spending all her spare time visiting schools giving motivational talks to pupils and has also become president of a children's charity.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Here's the last leg, or perhaps I should say wing, of my host of angels for my swap.
Shown on my desk for the weekly dose of WOYWW... a real tonic prescribed for crafters and snoopers by dear Dr Julia  to cheer us up each week.
Here they are, all 16 ready and waiting to wing their flight o'er all the Earth. I've purposely taken a poor photo so they aren't too clear but no one in the swap will know which one they will draw/receive.
Most swappers are making two and I will announce the draw of where to send No2  as soon as the last couple of people email me with addresses and let me know if they will be making 1 or 2.

Now that Caro has safely received her Box of Bits & Bobs Blog Candy prize, I can show the bag bling gift I made for her and sent along with her little parcel. The 2 sides were stamped onto card, coloured,  then stuck together and sandwiched between two clear "Fragments"using Glossy Accents as the adhesive. I also laid a couple of double strands of fishing line through the middle, making a loop at the top and leaving long ends onto which beads and charms were threaded to dangle on the bottom. 
The edges can be coloured with Krylon metallic pen but I attached adhesive metal tape to mine.
This is a nice, quick and easy, useful gift to make... have a go!
The face stamp was a freebie in Craft Stamper a while ago and the quote is from a plate of small Tim Holtz clear stamps. 
What a short post for me!! There's more to come maybe tomorrow! 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Linocuts with Left Handed Lucy in Lancashire

We had a super day at a workshop with Lucy Bishop of lefthandedcrafter and "Woad Butterfly" as our fabulously good tutor in Rochdale, Lancashire.
It was organised for us by Lynn of Doodly Birds and, as Lynn had already been on Lucy's course, she spent most of the day looking after the class, kindly providing us with  tea, coffee, her delicious home made cinnamon swirls and even run to the bakery for some wonderful hot pies for our lunch.
So Thanks to both Lucy and Lynn!

It was far easier to create exciting things with the help of Lucy's expertise than I ever remember when doing linocuts at school. First, I chose to make a sketch of an Olive wood angel figure that I love, then I recreated it to print. I was so excited and pleased with my initial attempt. 
Lucy demonstrated the rudiments of cutting, inking and printing along with the important safety factors, so we didn't lose parts of our fingers. She then expertly guided us through our own endeavours.
She had some super examples for inspiration and a library of books on the subject for us to browse.
I moved on to design and create a quirky dragonfly which I coloured at random
Here's my lino cut and the first magic print.
I love the somewhat imperfect effect when we printed on fabric
The rest of the class were such good company and they all produced some excellent prints.
Carol of carolcsstuff and stampattack cut and printed a super house and a lovely little bird in a cage....
Anna's seed heads, above.

Below,Annette's lovely butterfly made a really effective shopping bag.
Here are Lynn's famous Doodly Birds and the texture panels she made last week.
Barbara made lots of  fabulous gift tags.
Falling leaves on Barbara's Tea Towel
John's classy trees worked so well
John even made a cute little owl

Line up with Lynn, Annette, Carol,Barbara, Jo, Lucy, John
and here with Anna on the left....
I thoroughly enjoyed the day course, one of the best I've been to in ages, and I am really inspired to continue and hopefully increase my skills. Lucy is an excellent teacher and I would recommend her classes if it's something you'd like to learn. Good fun, good results and a most enjoyable day was had by all.
Amazingly FIVE of us were lefthanded... just like Lucy!!

Last, but certainly not least, here is the ATC I made for last month's Vicky Stampers challenge. I waited until the 11th day of the 11th month to post it! We all have someone in our families who should be remembered today so here's my poppy in REMEMBRANCE....
Lest we forget
I stamped the poppy onto vellum, distressed it, then attached it to suitably worded old dictionary print. I must admit that, after the photograph was taken,I did write in the missing letter "r" on the word "remember"! 
I drew this poppy as one of the designs as part of a plate of Japanese stamps for stampattack, a couple of years ago.