Making beachcomber hearts

Aren’t these hearts just adorable? The base is a heart shaped MDF plaque. You can get these on our website.

The next time you are wandering along the beach, in the countryside, park or anywhere that you might find interesting natural bits and bobs – start collecting! There, you have official permission to collect bits and pieces… as if you didn’t already if you are a crafter!

Once you have a collection then sit down at your craft table or kitchen table or wherever you prefer to work, and start creating. It’s rather like doing a jigsaw! If pieces are too big, you can cut them up, but once cut it is worth sanding or smoothing them so there are few rough edges. You can use pieces of cork from wine bottles too (now they’re fun to collect!) but if you don’t drink wine you can try asking at your nearby pub or restaurant they will often oblige with used corks.

You could add little shells, pieces of dried sea weed, mini cones, even tiny pieces of sea washed glass… the sky’s the limit and I think it’s a lot of fun!

The key obviously is strong glue. My choice is a hot melt glue gun, but you could also use something like Pinflair glue gel – just be a little patient while it dries overnight.


Father’s Day is nearly here!

Father’s Day is Sunday June 16th this year and I want to make sure I am way ahead of the game and card is completed and done! I have used one of the sheets from the Jayne Netley Mayhew Spring decoupage set. It appealed to me as it shows a parent bird feeding three youngsters which seemed apt for our family!

This is made on an 8 inch white card blank, with a Grand Nestability labels one cut out and some dotty red backing paper. Obviously there are loads of other options you could use. The main focal point of the card is the decoupage and as always I have built this up using Glue Gel.

Although many people bemoan the lack of available card images for men, I do think if you look carefully there are ideas on almost everyone of our CDs and much of our decoupage – you can tone things down by using more masculine colours and embellishments and any Dad would appreciate something made by you on his special day!


My life in colour…

I was in Exeter recently in a pretty area on the outskirts of the town where there is a small parade of shops. There’s a couple of cafés, a jewellers, a clothes shop and more – all of them independent and slightly quirky – just my sort of place for a browse among lots of pretty bits and pieces! None of them sold ‘essentials’ but hey – you never know what you might discover for use in a project or to spark some creative idea… so I felt justified having a good rummage!

I spotted some lovely old buttons in one shop window and went inside where they had an amazing collection of old ‘recycled’ buttons of every shape, colour and design you could imagine! They also had a small selection of dress fabrics hanging up. Now I am no dressmaker, but these were lovely and reminded me of frocks my mother had worn. They even had dress patterns – remember the ‘Simplicity’ and ‘Butterick’ brands? – with shirt-waisters and 1960s shift dresses.

Everything seemed terribly familiar and ‘comfortable’ and I started chatting to the shop owner. It was then I discovered I was in a ‘retro’ shop! It seems my childhood era is now on the verge of being ‘antique’ and is classed as retro and therefore very ‘on trend’!

I have to say this didn’t do much for my ego, but rather than feel huffy about it, I just found it fascinating. Looking round this little shop was like stepping back in time and I felt about 12 again, and it was really rather lovely and comforting.

They had games and puzzles that I hadn’t seen for years. Remember how we all used to do jigsaws or play Ludo in the days before playstations and ipads? They also had lots of old cream and pale blue enamel kitchen bits and pieces – now called ‘kitchenalia’ apparently – and all carrying impressive price tags despite being chipped! 

What struck me most of all was how the colours then were so different from now. Not exactly more muted, just different shades. One big change is in the quality of print and packaging. Today we can print photos and patterns and pretty much anything on our home printers – look at all the lovely things we print out everyday for our card and craft projects – but back in the 1950s and 60s, most designs were drawn illustrations involving little photography, and the colours were much less ‘natural’ that we expect today.

While I wouldn’t swap our multicoloured hi-tech modern world for the 1960s, it was wonderfully nostalgic, and a little bit sad, to feel I was back in time to an era when life seemed slower and more innocent and it brought back lots of happy memories.

So tell us… What iconic images bring your childhood back to life?


Special Holly Pond Hill Notes

This is such a pretty present to give someone and apart from your time (that is priceless obviously) it is really inexpensive and would be oh so treasured!

The base and lid are made using a Grand Nestabilities die – Grand Labels One, but remember you can tweak the project to use any suitable die that you have. Layered onto the cream 300gsm card used on the base are some smaller sized labels one – these are made from backing papers from the Holly Pond Hill CD that have been stuck onto plain grey board that you would get on the back of pads of paper or in your orders if you order card or paper from us!

The little topper is made from the CD too and layered onto some cream card that has been embossed with a Swiss Dots embossing folder – but again it could be any that you own.

Assemble the ‘box’ by taking the base and the lid – cut a long strip of card about an inch deep and score it so that it makes a square shape. Decorate (and disguise the overlap where you sealed it) with swiss dot embossed paper. Glue this onto the base allowing two pieces of ribbon to stick under this square, they will be the hinges.

Remember to add the loop of ribbon between the cream lid and the smaller backing paper piece of the lid and hide the ends of the ribbon hinges between these layers too.

Finally cut a stack of paper/thin card to fill the box and add a ribbon and a pen or pencil.



Fear not – misting is easy!

This card is one of the projects in the Tom Mielko Project Book and CD – so I won’t go into the nitty gritty of creating it, but I thought it would give me an opportunity to talk about the Cosmic Shimmer range. It’s a massively popular range of spray misters that come in a myriad of colours – all of them super wonderful.

For those of you that are already converts – you might want to look away and skip the rest of the blog! However there are so many people that are afraid of this product – not sure what it does, not sure how to use it  – that I thought this was an ideal opportunity to hold forth!

The first thing to know is that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with the end result of your playtime. The joy of the misters is that it’s quite impossible to replicate the same thing twice – every piece you make will be unique – which can be a tad frustrating when you create a really special one! 

I usually place a sheet of newspaper (tabloid size is quite big enough) onto my kitchen or craft table as this protects the surface from over-enthusiastic misting! Choose around three of the colours, one of which I would recommend to be a metallic. Lightly mist one colour after another and between each stand back and look. When you feel you have misted enough colour then leave it to dry. The piece of card can then be cut up and used in strips, as a large backing piece – or in any other imaginative ways you care to think of.

Play and have fun – and you will create a piece of art that’s unique to you!