Home Sweet Home

This was designed as a new home card and it’s great to have something a little different to send out. Colouring in the crocuses and cyclamen is fun and of course you could choose to make them any colour that took your fancy, they come in a wide range of shades.

What do I need to make this card

How do I make this card

  1. Create a 15cm square card blank from white hammer card.
  2. Cut a piece of white card to measure 14cm square, emboss with the brick folder and shade with distress inks as shown. Stamp small sections of grass along the bottom edge using peeled paint distress ink and fill in with a paintbrush and the ink.
  3. Mat this panel onto green card and fix to the card front.
  4. Die cut the cartwheel in brown card and 3 flowerpots in kraft card.
  5. Use distress inks to age the pots, and then fix the wheel in place using glue gel.
  6. Stamp four bunches of crocuses and one of cyclamen.  Colour and cut out.
  7. Add the flowerpots to the card front and fix the flowers in place using glue gel.
  8. Die cut two ivy corners in green and fix in the top corners of the card.
  9. Finally, stamp a sentiment onto white card, age with distress inks and fix above the cart wheel. 
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A heart-felt calling…

Needle felting as a craft is growing hugely in popularity at the moment. When we met to work on the latest chapter of our new book, Julia mentioned that there was a felting studio near where she lives and she volunteered to go and check it out for the blog. Here’s what she found…

Bellacouche – which means ‘beautiful resting place’ – is the studio of Yuli Somme, a hugely talented half-Norwegian lady who makes wonderful things out of felt. The range of things she makes is startling – from quirky fun tea cosies to burial shrouds – no, seriously!

Yuli says: “Wool is my raw material, which is made into felt, and from this is crafted a unique range of lovingly hand-made products including bags, tuffets (seat pads), tea cosies, woollen insoles, hot water bottle covers, hats, little decorations, wall hangings, felting kits and Leafcocoons – a unique soft wool eco coffin, designed for natural burial.”

The pieces are all hand made, motifs are either sewn or needle felted in and dyes are always natural resulting in gorgeous subtle shades.

“Dartmoor is where I live and work – a beautiful and wild landscape – and this is a great source of inspiration. I am deeply mindful of our environment and the preciousness of nature, so everything I do or make bears this in mind and I keep my impact on the planet as small as possible.”

The needle tool she uses on the felt (pictured) is very sharp and each needle has small barbs on it so, as you plunge the tool in and out of the felt (taking care not to stab yourself in the process!), it tangles the felt fibres and enables you to join, or graft on, other colours and shapes. It’s incredibly simple and is a way of creating clothes, shoes and decorative items that go back thousands of years.

Yuli’s studio is housed in an old chapel that is somehow the perfect backdrop for the beautiful things she makes. Her tea cosies and hats are sold widely and are wonderfully warm and tactile, as well as beautiful. It was really inspiring to look around the Aladdin’s cave that is her studio, with beautiful things hanging up, draped over sofas and in the process of being made. Her small shop area is crammed full of lovely things, her chicken tea cosies being a firm favourite of mine. She even has a felt chest of draws – yes, seriously!

Yuli also creates and sells felt kits so if you feel inspired, visit her website and perhaps have a go at making something? I haven’t ‘felt’ so enthused by anything for years and will definitely be having a go…

 

 

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For someone special…

This is such a pretty card that it would be ideal for so many occasions… it would cheer someone that wasn’t very well, make someone smile that was a bit down – or you could just enjoy making it as a birthday card. I love our craft don’t you?

What do I need to make this card

 

 

How do I make this card

 

  1. Create a 7 inch square card blank from cream pearl card.
  2. Print two co-ordinating backing papers from the cd, cut a panel of one to measure 6.75 inches square. Fix to the card front.
  3. Cut a strip of the second paper to measure 3inches by 6.75 inches and mat onto pink pearl card.  Fix in place on the card.
  4. Using the masking technique, stamp and colour flowers of your choice from the stamp sheet and cut out.
  5. Die cut the hanging basket, chains and ivy corners.
  6. Mount the basket onto a piece of brown card and cut out.
  7. Die cut the doily, a cream pearl circle and the scalloped circle and mat together as shown. 
  8. Fix the handing basket, ivy die cuts and coloured flowers in place on the doily and add a brad at the top of the chains.
  9. Use foam pads to fix the doily panel in place on the card front.
  10. Stamp and add a sentiment of your choice to the card.
  11. Finally, add a flat backed pearl to each corner.

 

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Cupcake crazy!

We all love cupcakes – easy to make, bite-sized and fun! Decorating them is a huge part of the enjoyment and, while I adore pretty flowers and stencilled designs, there are some wonderful fun cup cake ideas out there…

My thoughts for this blog were inspired by this gorgeous ‘pup cakes’ photo that Richard spotted on Facebook – isn’t it hilarious? I don’t recommend putting the dog on the table (and let’s face it, if that were Wellington there would be no cup cakes left in sight!), but it needs to be there to show the resemblance! And what an easy, fun, design idea too?

So, this set me thinking and I had a Google for other unusual cup cake design ideas and I came up with some amazing ones!

There were lots of Halloween-inspired cakes and also lots of children’s characters and adorable animal designs. I thought the App phone icon cup cakes were absolutely brilliant!

We have a few cakey things on our website so have a look there as they might be useful for your design ideas.

So go on, do have a go at some fun designs and send me a photo if you like, I’d love to see what you come up with… happy baking!

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Knitting squares for a baby treat!

I am sure most of you have tried knitting squares over the years. My mother decided she would like to try again recently as something to keep her busy during the darker days of winter when she can’t get out into the garden.

I bought some wool and the right needles and she was away. However sadly her Parkinsons just wouldn’t let her knit for long and she became a bit downhearted with it all. So a family member stepped in, Sue Litchfield, and she took over and added even more than we expected.

Sue is a simply brilliant quilter and now I realise she is also a good knitter too! I thought it was a simply fantastic idea to connect the squares with the daisy at the junction of four squares. It adds such a lift to the design. Then, to complete the work of art, she has backed the blanket with some pale cotton, which will make it even nicer to lie on/under if you are a small baby called Grace!

Thank you Sue!

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