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How to make Tartan baubles...

Bored with last years baubles?  Tree looking bare?  Here's a quick and easy bauble idea.  Cut 2 cm wide strips of fabric.  Preferably cut diagonally across the bias of the fabric to make them stretchy.
Then simply wrap the strips around a polystyrene foam ball until it's completely covered, securing each end of the strip with glue.
Make a hanger with a length of narrow ribbon pinned into the foam ball with a pin.

The tartan I've used is Culloden Ancient Light Weight from Lochcarron of Scotland .   You can visit their website on this link and feast your eyes on their huge range of tartans on their tartan finder page.

Disclaimer:  I was gifted the tartan by Lochcarron of Scotland but wasn't paid to write this post.   Opinions and content are my own.

Chalk Pens offer code...

I've been sent some chalk pens for free from Chalkola.  I've had a quick try of them decorating these chalkboard baubles from Hobbycraft.  I found they work better than traditional dusty chalk, There's much more staying power but the chalk can still be easily erased with a wet cloth.  I haven't tried any other chalk pens so cannot compare or review them properly.
Check them out for yourself on the Chalkola Website

They're available to buy from Amazon, both sets include a white pen.

As well as the free chalkboard markers I was sent an offer code to share with my followers so if you'd like some then feel free to use this offer code (valid at time of writing) that gives you 20% discount on Chalkola products.

20% Off on Amazon - Coupon Code -> 20OFFSTR

For ideas to use chalk pens and chalkboard paint checkout my Chalkboard Art board on Pinterest

Disclaimer:  I was gifted these pens and voucher by Chalkola for free.  I was under no obligation to write this post and didn't or will not receive any payment or commission.  Opinions and images are my own.

Tartan Tablet sleeve...

Looking for a handmade gift idea?  How about a quick and easy padded tablet/gadget sleeve?  It's so easy to make.  All you need is a lovely fabric, a bit of felt/fleece and some basic sewing skills,  Takes just minutes to stitch on a sewing machine but you could stitch it by hand.

I've added a tab closure with a button and buttonhole and used the selvedge edge of the fabric as a feature .  But a closure isn't absolutely necessary if it's a snug fit the gadget won't slip out.
I've not had time to photograph a step-by-step tutorial to make my sleeve but I'm planning to add it later.  In the meantime there's a link to a very similar one on this Pin

The tartan I've used is Culloden Ancient Light Weight from Lochcarron of Scotland .   You can visit their website on this link and feast your eyes on their huge range of tartans on their tartan finder page.

Disclaimer:  I was gifted the tartan by Lochcarron of Scotland but wasn't paid to write this post.   Opinions and content are my own.

#PHWinterWorkshop A box for @GOSH ...

Parclehero's Winter Workshop  is a Christmas charity campaign now in it's second year raising money Great Ormond Street Hospital.
I was one of the craft bloggers approached to decorate and fill a wooden box with a handmade gift to be auctioned off on eBay.
You can read all about it on the campaign page here

I covered the box with paper, decorated the lid with a paper bow and filled it with a pair of handknitted (by me!) cotton wrist warmers.
I'm pleased to say my box got quite a few bids and is now sold.  But, at the time of writing, there are still some more boxes available to bid on. Check them out on this link

Christmas Cardmaking tricks with basic craft supplies...

Featured in  issue 132 of Quick Cards Made Easy
Working against the clock to finish your Christmas cards?  Supplies running low ? Worry no more I've three card designs to share that are all made with just basic supplies that most card makers will have in their craft box.
Two pearl buttons, a piece of bakers twine and paper scraps become a cute little snowman that's dressed to impress.

Featured in issue 118 of Quick Cards Made Easy
Bakers twine, gems and sequins become a sparkling Christmas tree.

Featured in issue 43 of Craftseller 
Ribbon bows and punched paper circles become stylish 3D baubles.

How to make tartan Christmas decorations...

These rustic Christmas tree decorations are so simple to make. Stitch them by hand, with a sewing machine or for the no-sew option, stick them with fabric glue or iron-on hemming tape.

First make a triangular template from card, lay it on your fabric and cut out two triangles.

Place one on top of the other and pin in place trapping a short piece of ribbon at the top for a hanger.

Stitch/stick together leaving a small opening to put in the stuffing and cinnamon stick. Cut back the seam allowance with pinking shears.

Place a small amount of stuffing and a cinnamon stick inside and stitch up the opening.

This beautiful tartan fabric is Culloden Ancient Light Weight from Lochcarron of Scotland .   You can visit their website on this link and feast your eyes on their huge range of tartans on their tartan finder page.

For more tartan craft ideas check out my Tartan Talk Pinterest board

Disclaimer:  I was gifted this fabric by Lochcarron of Scotland but wasn't paid to write this post.   Opinions and content are my own.

Christmas cardmaking colour tricks...

Featured in Quick Cards Issue 146

Bored of the traditional Christmas red and green?  Why not be brave and try something new this year. Basically anything goes, just use a strong Christmas motif in your design and there'll be no mistaking the occasion.

But if you're not quite ready to give up on the red and green palette completely. Then go for an updated take on the classic combo with hot pink and vivid green.

Free gifts with Papercrafter magazine...

Issue 101 of Papercrafter magazine is in the shops for just one more week with a bonus gift of 9 festive papers from Docrafts.  Here's a peek at just one of the cards I made with them.

This issue also comes with a free 35 piece alphabet die set worth £24.99 and I have a copy to give away,  Just leave a comment on this post and I'll pick a winner at random on Friday 18th November.
UK entries only please.

Edited 19th November:  The winner is Fiona.  If you could email (link in sidebar) me your address I'll get the magazine sent out to you.

Embroidery with hochanda part 2...

An update on my beautiful Rowandean embroidery kit from Hochanda.  As you can see it's really beginning to take shape and I've reached the fun bit - stitching with the organza fabric (all part of the kit!).

I love the texture the organza adds to the design and all those french knots - stunning!    I can't wait to finish it.  I'm hoping to have more time to stitch now that the nights are drawing in,

Since part 1 I've had more thoughts on what to do with the finished piece.  Make it into a bag, rather like this one ?

For the love of Yarn...

I was lucky enough to see a preview screening of this fab new film...


Available in UK cinemas from 9th October

Officially selected for SXSW and Goteborg Film Festival 2016, YARN is a poetic documentary which follows four international artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet, bringing yarn out of the house and into the world. Reinventing our relationship with this colourful tradition, YARN weaves together wool graffiti artists, circus performers, and structural designers into a visually-striking look at the women who are making a creative stance while building one of modern art's hottest trends.

The film introduces us to the unique stories of characters from four different countries that use yarn in very different ways. Their view of the world is reflected through their passion with yarn as they travel around the world spreading their work. The characters all have one thing in common - they all work by hand and their work is in one way or another interacting with the environment; as part of architecture, the streets, nature and people.

It's an interesting documentary celebrating yarn as an art form rather than a craft hobby.  Focusing on a handful of global artists whose work explores the endless possibilities in a skein of yarn.  The film proves that knitting and crocheting can produce absolutely stunning works of art. As a knitter and crocheter I found it extremely fascinating.
To coincide with UK Wool Week (10th - 16th Oct ) there are screenings throughout the UK, to find a screening near you and for more information about the film you can visit the website here

I got 99 problems...

Octopus Books sent me this lovely cross-stitch book to review.  As a counted cross-stitch novice, my first impression is it's a perfect place for a beginner, like me, to start.

The first three chapters describe the materials to use, how to cross-stitch and framing your finished work.  A complete beginner's guide, each step is clearly explained with photos to illustrate every point.  The remaining chapters feature 20 easy cross-stitch pattern charts all with attitude!

The author, Genevieve Brading, is an experienced cross-stitcher and the brains behind Floss and Mischief, an online emporium of all things needlework.

I have my supplies ready, my design chosen and I can't wait to get stitching!  I'll be back with the next instalment as I start to stitch.

Disclaimer: I was gifted this book to review for free but was under no obligation to write this post. Opinions are my own.

Do you do vintage ? ...

I do, so I thoroughly enjoyed making 7 vintage inspired cards with the lovely new Bo Bunny Soiree collection, all for the current issue (99) of Papercrafter magazine.
As well as 50 cards to make there's a very handy free gift with this issue too, a 5 piece nesting die set of 3 stars and 2 tags perfect for your Christmas makes.

Easy card with washi tape...

Put all those rolls of washi tape to good use by making a quick and easy card that will work for any occasion just by changing up the colours and the sentiment.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Doodle around the edge with a fine black liner

  • Be bold with colour - neon works well against a white background

  • Use different designs and thickness of washi to add interest

  • Go large with the sentiment

  • Add depth to the design with three coordinating buttons

If you're looking to grow your washi stash I've found these lovely ones on Etsy.

 Orange stripe washi tape - The Lovely Desk

Embroidery with Hochanda part 1...

I've been sent a really pretty embriodery kit from the craft channel Hochanda to review it's from Rowandean Embroidery.  My kit is called Cornflowers and it contains printed fabric, coloured organza fabrics, threads on numbered organiser card, fully illustrated step by step instructions, and plastic wrapped chenille needle.

 It's all part of this campaign Hochanda are running.

I'm kinda wondering how I can transfer the finished design from the calico onto denim but I'm working on that and I've added some pins to my Denim Craft Pinterest board to inspire me.

I'll be reporting back with updates throughout the project to let you know how I'm getting on.

Disclaimer: I was gifted this product to review for free but was under no obligation to write this post. Opinions are my own.

How do you attach ribbon to card ?

Featured in issue 150 of Quick Cards Made Easy

I use ultra clear tape it comes in various widths, it's acid free and the most reliable and neatest way I've found to attach lengths of ribbon to card.  I'm not surprised it was Stix 2's most popular product in April.

What do you use?  I'd love to know...

A DIY Father's day...

This centre step card features in this month's issue (152) of Quick Cards Made Easy it's just one of the makes in my DIY Father's Day article.  See the tutorial post on how you too can create the card fold here.

You'll find this concertina toolbox card in this month's issue (95) of  PaperCrafter magazine.

A great idea for a DIY lovin' Dad and much easier to make than it looks.  Father's Day is on 19th June this year so still more than a month left to get crafting

For more Father's Day ideas check out my DIY Father's Day Pinterest board

Celebrating National Stationery Week with Hema...

I'm celebrating National Stationery Week with a fashionable card created exclusively from stationery products.  It was very quick and easy to make with just some sticky notes and stickers from Hema.

Not familiar with Hema, well it's a Dutch brand with 5 stores in the UK selling home-wares, clothing and beauty products as well as a very trendy and affordable stationery range that I love!
Read more about the brand here on the HEMA website and you can browse the online store here,

Disclaimer:  I was gifted these products to review for free but was under no obligation to write this post. Opinions are my own.

How to make a centre step card...

Give your handmade cards the wow factor with my favourite card fold - the centre step card.  It's oh so easy to create using just one piece of card and stands up beautifully for display.
Finished card measures 14 x 14 cm and folds flat for posting.

How to make a Centre Step card

Cut card to measure 28 x 14 cm.  

Make a 2 cm long score line at 2, 4 and 16 cm then turnover and repeat along the opposite side.

Cut from the tip of the 16 cm to the 2 cm score line.  Repeat on the opposite side.  

Now score in half (at 14 cm) between the two cut lines.

Fold all score lines and there you have a centre step card blank.

Sizzix Bigz Die -Tribal Florals
Sizzix Thinlits - Intricate Tribal Florals
First Edition 12 x 12 Paper Pad - Love Story

Origami dress card topper...

Whip up a quick and easy card topper with a page from an old book and this easy to follow 'How to make an origami dress' video tutorial.

Team it with a retro style typewriter font, I used Hand TypeWriter from, and a ribbon rose for a clean and simple vintage-style Birthday card.

Reduce ♥ Reeuse ♥ Recycle