Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Paper pieces - and a little beauty.....

Sharing a few Christmas cards from this year's bunch. My criteria is that they must be flat enough to mail without extra charges, and fairly quick to make - so these fit the bill. I went in for paper piecing in a big way, saves all those hours spent colouring.....




 All the stamps are by Woodware


and here is our new treasure, little Molly age 3 days. Isn't she adorable?


Sunday, 27 November 2016

It's been a while...

 I must say sorry - time has slipped away with me again and left me with no time to blog, I need to make an end of year resolution to do better.

Here are a couple of things I have been busy with - I collected some jam and pickle jars, coated them with mod podge, and rolled them in Epsom Salts (available from any chemist/drugstore). They dry to a very satisfying chunky snowy glitter, and make great Christmas table decorations.......I used the LED tea lights inside....





Now my really exciting news, and one of the reasons why I haven't been crafting much. We have been anxiously waiting the arrival of our daughter Alex's first child. The due date came and went. I had a call from seven year old Milo:
Auntie Alex's baby is coming out today....
Well, maybe not today Milo
She came here for lunch yesterday, I thought the baby might come out while we were having lunch, but it didn't come.....will you be the baby's Ma?
Yes
Will my Pops be the baby's Pops?
Yes
Long pause.........I expect I will just be the baby's Milo

So eventually after ten days of waiting, baby Molly arrived on Saturday morning, healthy and utterly gorgeous. Mummy, Daddy and baby are doing well!  We are going down to see her tomorrow, so expect a few doting photos to pop up here...


Sunday, 30 October 2016

What's this? Bake Off?

 Pinterest will be my downfall. Have you seen all these posts showing photos of beautiful cakes, and the hilarious fails as people try to copy them?

Well there could be a whole album of my Pinterest fails. So I was intrigued to see a recipe for salt dough Christmas ornaments. Now I need more Christmas ornaments like a hole in the head - over the years I have collected enough to light up a small town, but hey, homemade sounds good, right? Something else for the kids to say one day 'but we can't throw these away, mum spent a whole day making them.......'

So out came the ingredients




and two hours of my life I will never get back again....



and after all that effort, I don't even have a photo to show you of the fail. They were so horribly out of shape they went straight in the bin. But because I am an idiot, stupid, deluded,  determined, tomorrow has been earmarked as salt dough day take two......this is my Pinterest inspiration photo -

 - but you must understand that this second time around, I am not aiming for such perfection, anything that doesn't look like a blob of raw pastry hanging on a bit of string would be considered a success. Watch this space, or if you have a nervous disposition you may be wise to stay away for a few days... 





Friday, 14 October 2016

Autumn Leaves

Here's one I had fun making, I punched the Fiskars intricate shape leaf out of card, and used the negative space as a stencil.....




I cut three layers of card, each one 1/2" smaller than the one below and stacked these together with some repositionable glue, then temporarily stuck the stack to my card front. Then, using my home made stencil. I inked some leaves all around the edges, making sure I inked over all the layers...



I separated the layers by adding a mat of orange card behind each layer. The sentiment is by Woodware


Today saw me chase around trying to match up a navy blue paint, a dozen tester pots later and I think I have finally hit on the right colour. Who knew there could be so many shades of navy. Some looked purple, others had a definite teal hue and some dried looking more like a cornflower blue. I do find the process of getting paints mixed fascinating though - you know the drill, they take a can of white paint, the machine squirts random blobs of red, black etc etc into this, and another machine shakes it all about while you have a nice chat with the very helpful fellow who is helping you. Then voila, like magic, out comes a tin of navy blue paint. I wonder if the computer that doles out the colour additives ever crashes/freezes/acts like every other computer in the world by throwing a wobbly - knowing my luck with computers, I'm surprised my navy blue didn't come out as a hot pink. But the decorator comes tomorrow to paint a couple of external doors, so we shall see...

We have friends from Yorkshire coming to stay for a few days, so time to spruce up the house and do a bit of food shopping, see you tomorrow x 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

It's creeping up.....

Christmas is coming....rather more quickly than I thought, time to get a bit serious now about these Christmas cards

Here is one I made using simple punched circles, some punched stars and the Fiskars bird lever punch that I punched in kraft card, then dabbed with a bit of red ink to turn him into a robin - I really like this little bird, expect to see more...




 We have been down in Surrey looking after Max and Milo for a few days while their parents flew out to Rome for a break. After two days, the running total was a scraped elbow, bruised forehead, grazed knee, shredded nerves (mine), then Milo decided to go for the big time. He took a spectacular tumble from a hoverboard, taking a chunk out of his knee in the process. 'I'm damaged' he howled as I failed to find any more plasters (band aids) having used them up on the less dramatic injuries. So Mike and Max were despatched to the chemist to buy industrial quantities of wound dressings, and arrived back in a scratched and dented car where some idiot had pulled out as they were passing!

So I cuddled the wounded soldier, mopped up the tears, dirt and blood, and settled him down on the sofa covered with a cuddly blanket. After ten minutes I went to check on my patient. He announced that he felt fine, but was feeling very left out because the other kids were playing, could he join them please? So out he bounced, leaving me shattered and shaken and with about a dozen grey hairs that hadn't been there an hour earlier

Boys will be boys I guess...we are back home now, it seems very dull here! xx

Monday, 12 September 2016

Why are men so difficult?

There's a provocative blog heading!

I mean difficult to make cards for of course. Unless it's for the sort of chap who disappears every weekend with his golf clubs slung over his shoulder, or fishing rods in the car, or even a football scarf fluttering from his car window (why do they do that? Is it vital for other people on the motorway to know that they support Manchester United?), birthday cards for men are a nightmare to make. Lots of the commercial ones available seem to think that all men are well on the way to becoming alcoholics, another obstacle if you have a fellow who prefers a nice cup of tea to a glass of beer....

So here's a couple of ideas for men. The first one assumes that the guy has an interest in music....

I used the Fiskars shape cutter to cut a wavy line... 



and the shape circle template to cut  a hole....


then I messed around a bit with bakers twine to make some strings...


voila, a guitar card...


This next one used the hexagon punch by Fiskars with some holes punched out of the centers to make screws. 



So I had a lot of parcels to wrap for a Facebook Fiskarettes promotion held this weekend. Off I trotted to Poundland, dutifully carrying my extra large save the planet carrier bag, all ready to buy their entire stock of padded envelopes. I trawled the shop for half an hour looking for them, fighting my way through all the Halloween spiders and plastic skeletons, down the next aisle it was wall to wall Christmas decorations. Really Poundland? It's only September. I found an assistant and asked where the envelopes were. Apparently they are off the shelves now, there is no room with all the Christmas stuff. In the board meeting where they decided this course of action, they hadn't had their morning coffee obviously. I mean, didn't anyone stay awake long enough to think that if people buy all their tacky  nice Christmas gifts for a pound, they are hardly likely to spend £2.50 at the Post Office for an envelope to mail it to grandma.

See you tomorrow xx

Friday, 9 September 2016

Shades of Blue

I love blue flowers, Agapanthus must be my favourite, and delphiniums.....and a bluebell wood is my idea of heaven. So although this stamp by Woodware is called Clivia (which are orange flowers, I had to call Mr Google), to me it looked as if it was crying out to be blue.

So here it is.....I really like it, what do you think?


Our friendly electrician has been today doing a few things. We have a lovely old lamp post in the garden which wasn't wired up to any electrical supply. Which raises the question, who would go to the trouble of hauling an antique cast iron lamp up the garden, embed it in a concrete base, made sure it was level, then not bother to make it work? Maybe they were exhausted from all that effort of getting it in place.....anyway, it's fixed now, looks great....I always think there is something magical about a illuminated garden at night


So while all this was going on, I finished off some stuff in my den, took photos then went to upload them onto the computer. It took me about fifteen minutes of frantic pressing of buttons, crawling around on the floor to check wires were connected before I realised that the power had been turned off. Honestly, the time I waste by not thinking things through

An update on our young YouTuber Max, he now has a magic total of 50 followers on his channel, has gained huge respect and superstar status among his friends, and is very very delighted with all of you, his new best friends! Thank you all so much xx

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Quick Little Video

Here's a video I made for Fiskars, on using the stamp press.....







Quick? Did I say quick? Ha (hollow laughter....) This video took me about two days to make. First of all I shot it about three times, making massive mistakes so that I then had to tear it up, get everything ready again and start over. Finally I got it, and settled down to edit it. Looked okay. But when I did the voiceover, Donald Duck had appeared from somewhere and was quacking away in the background - oops, I forgot to delete the original soundtrack, which, because I had speeded the video up (so that it wasn't like watching paint dry,) now sounded just like Donald on speed.

Mind you the original soundtrack went something like this:

Hi everyone, it's Enfys here with a quick video showing you the stamp....(!!****@@@@) ah here it is, sorry, just dropped my inkpad on my foot. Where was I .......as I was saying (cough cough splutter splutter)......and it really is the most fantastic tool  (ring ring MIKE ANSWER THE PHONE!)....and you can easily wipe it (dash, darn, and @@*****!! dropped the inkpad again), finish by adding a few sequins (Ring Ring MIKE< THERE'S SOMEONE AT THE DOOR), Thank you so much for watching...(oh ***@@@@!!!!)

Steven Speilberg, rest easy, your job is secure, no chance of a takeover by me. It does make me wonder how these professional crafters do it though. Their voices are so unhurried, they never say Umm, or ermmm......and I bet they never say ***!!@@@@ either! 

Catching up.....

I have already started my quest for the perfect quick and easy Christmas card. I want something without bulk, and quick to make. Even when I find it, I know I will be bored after half a dozen

This first one used a memory box stencil and Sissix snowflake, sprinkled with a little frantage embossing powder


This one was done with a Memory Box die......far too fiddly for mass producing although it looks simple....



While I was having my 'lazy August' I did Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 103 class, now those of you who know my style know that mixed media type projects really aren't my scene, but I thoroughly enjoyed the class, what an excellent teacher Tim is. I messed around a little and was really pleased with this next card that I showed on the Fiskarettes UK Facebook page, where we have a regular Friday feature on cards for guys. 





I must thank so many of you who took the time to subscribe to Max's YouTube channel. He was over the moon, his subscribers have jumped from a paltry three to 39. you really did make his day - and mine too actually, thank you all

On the Fiskarettes facebook page, which I run for Fiskars, everytime I post, it shows me as 'Fiskarettes UK' not Enfys. A lot of people over there know it's me however, and if I post one of my projects, they often mention me by name in their comments - 'love this Enfys' etc. So last week, a person asked rather plaintively 'Who or what is an Enfys?'

This led to quite a conversation after I posted a photo (the new one on the sidebar here of me with Kiki and Monty) and said that it's me, Enfys, pronounced Envis

The long and short of this is that apparently IKEA have a product called an Envis. What is it? A gorgeous sparkly chandelier? A really comfy sofa to curl up on? A snuggly feather duvet to cuddle up to at night? A stylish new fabric?

 No, it's a pair of silicone pastry brushes. I feel quite insulted 

See you tomorrow x

Monday, 5 September 2016

AWOL - Forgive me!

Oh dear, there has been a bit of a hiatus in the blogging department, I have had a very busy August, and to be honest I was feeling a bit burnt out, so decided to give it a rest until September, hoping that the mojo would return and things would be a bit quieter....

So the first visitors to arrive were my daughter in law Annabel with Kiki and Monty - they loved feeding the horses that live in the field opposite our house every day - the horses soon latched on, and stood waiting patiently at the fence every day waiting for their apple and carrots


- here we are on a day out in Stratford upon Avon where I took them to the theatre to see Wind in the Willows


Next to arrive were Max and Milo with daughter in law Lidia. The boys are very keen on crafts, and when Milo saw this card I had made......


he wanted to make one for Daddy, so with a bit (!) of help, here he is proudly showing the result.....


He also made one for his mum, here is the message he wrote inside....

In case you can't see it, it says (with some corrections): Dear mum, you're a very good mum but not good enough, you need to play more. best son Milo

Max was also in competition for best son, he made his mum this.....we drew around his hands and he cut them out and decorated them


we added the message 'love you mum' onto concertina copy paper


I have a BIG favour to ask of you, those who go to YouTube, I would love it if you could go here  and subscribe to Max's you tube channel, called Max Gaming. He was working so hard making little videos and  voiceovers, and was getting very downhearted that he only had three subscribers (his parents and me!). So if you would click on subscribe it would make a little boy very very happy. Thank you xx 

Right, that's got you all up to date with my summer break, I promise I will be back with some crafty stuff more regularly now I am refreshed and raring to go.... xx

Monday, 25 July 2016

Gatefold Card with a twist - Tutorial

Here's a little project to use all those double sided papers you've been hoarding - you get two cards from one 12 x 12 sheet, so perfect for quick and economical mass producing. I have given the instructions on the photos......









Now your card will look like this.....

 Now fold the score lines on the little left over pieces, and glue onto the card as shown below (fold so that the other side of the pattern paper is on top......


Stamp or write your message on the insert....


Finish with a punched flower attached to just the left hand side of the card. Here's what it looks like folded....



This card would make great party invites, or even wedding invitations - you could add printed details onto the insert.

The horses in the field opposite my house have had two little foals, they are so sweet. I have been trying all day to get a good photo of them. I wish I had had the camera out when one of them tried to reach a tempting leaf on a branch just out of reach, those wobbly legs just weren't up to it, and she fell over in a ungainly heap of lanky legs. Mummy mare nudged her up with a toss of her head, as if to say 'KIDS!'

Talking of kids, I have some news I have been hugging to myself for a while now. I am going to be a grandma again! Our daughter Alex is expecting her first baby in November, I am so excited, rushing in and out of baby shops like a woman possessed. We won't know if the baby is a little boy or girl until the birth so at the moment he/she is just our little Peanut! 

See you tomorrow xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Art in Action

I thought you would enjoy seeing photos taken at Art in Action - a huge summer exhibition of all sorts of art, held at Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire. So many talented people were exhibiting, from potters........



 I loved this huge bird bath......


Artists who work with glass........


Artists who work with beads - can you believe that this portrait of Alan Turning (inventor of the Enigma machine in WW2) is made entirely of beads!





Artists who compose pictures using fabric and thread.........




and these next two were Batik......read the description of the process below, and marvel at the talent that created these pieces......




and fabric....


These scarves were made from silk organza and were all hand wired to create the ruffled shape - can you imagine how long that would take! 



and no, I didn't buy anything - the prices reflected the quality of the work and craftmanship, but I mentally spent about £200,000! I hope you enjoyed my little 'Summer Exhibition' today, see you tomorrow x