Sunday, 30 October 2011

What a lovely Surprise.
So much has been going on I dont really know where to start.

Hunkydory have such great quality crafting supplies, from their beautiful Silk Art Board to their Diamond Sparkles and everything in between. There’s just so much to choose from, they really do have something for everyone.
Making cards and gifts from their crafty goodies is always a pleasure and I still believe that it’s impossible to make a lovely card or project from one of their impressive card kits. They do produce the most gorgeous kits, these are always excellent quality & value but above all everything coordinates which make them a great buy for new crafters. And for the seasoned crafter, the sky is the limit.
My new HunkyDory Magazine arrived on Friday and I had a lovely surprise. Last month I sent in one of my cards for their competition, as I turned the pages I was amazed to find my card had a place on the winners page. It’ seems my luck has taken a definite turn for the better. I am incredibly proud, I can’t wait to have my prize delivered, how exciting.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

My Cricut Cutting Machine

This bit is about my Cricut Machine and how I came about buying one. Cricut is a range of cutting machines made by ProvoCraft. It’s cartridge based and will cut any shape, character or font that is on the cartridge being used.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I am an avid fan of the Create & Craft channel, it’s a great source of information for craft. It’s where I first heard about the different Cricut machines and what they did. I already had a Craft Robo, it does a fantastic job of cutting exactly what I want. In a later post I will chat about that.

At first I was dead against getting a Cricut machine, for a variety of reasons. I felt that the cartridge based system was far to restricting, that the cartridges were very expensive and didn’t have a lot of content. Luckily I happened to see a Cricut show with Melanie Heaton, who in the space of an hour dispelled all of these worries so I decided to try the Cricut Create. The Create is one of the smaller Cricut Machines. It’s a brilliant machine, as soon as it was out of the box, I was hooked. It’s incredibly easy to set up, so I was choosing and cutting allsorts within an hour of it arriving.

Rather than going into all the technical stuff you can follow this link for the Cricut Create.

I thought the Create was big enough for what I wanted, but within a week my mind was doing overtime thinking about what else I could do with it so I upgraded to the Expression 2, it comes with a 12x12 inch mat but you can also get a 12x24 inch mat giving you even more scope.

I could never thank Melanie enough, her advice, explanations and demos have made a lot of people extremely happy. I think it’s fantastic to know that you can trust someone to tell you what’s what. Without her knowledge and enthusiasm I would have let this excellent machine pass me by. I could kick myself for not getting a Cricut in the first place.

As soon as Melanie mentioned the possibilities of cutting fabric on the Cricut, it opened up a whole new area of crafting possibilities. To stabilise the fabric you need to use some Heat and Bond to the back of your chosen material, some fabrics work better than others but craft and life’s all about experimenting.

This is a photo of a card I made with cardstock and stitched felt. The felt doesn’t cut as cleanly as other fabrics but still gives a great result, for some effects that fact would come in very useful. I used the Gypsy Wanderings and the Cindy Loo Cartridges along with papers and Basil & Buttercup Decoupage by Trimcraft.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What an Exciting Day!!!

What a thrilling day for me. Let me explain! I’m a member of Create & Craft, it’s the worlds only 24Hr Craft channel, it’s brilliant and it’s become a sort of lifeline for me. ast month a lady from the publishers who puts together their Members Club Magazine got in touch. I was so excited when I was asked if I would like to be in the next edition, I was extremely flattered as like many other people I’ve never been ‘In Print’ so to speak.
Well the Magazine arrived and there I am on page 71, I’m ever so proud of it. So there you go, it’s my turn to have 15 Minutes of fame. I know it’s only a little piece but to me it’s the front cover or centrefold spread. Go on Humour me. LOL. The picture is a scan of the page and shows some of the pottery pieces I have made along with a couple of simple cards.
Cardmaking is so enjoyable but I never thought I would be able to make anything on the potter’s wheel, especially since my hands have got so bad. I was lucky enough to have the most excellent teacher, His name is Paul and he works at PotteryCrafts in Stoke-On-Trent. I was lucky enough to go to a 4 hour training session and came away full of enthusiasm. It’s so uplifting to be able to make nice things despite any illness or disability. You don’t need any force at all you just guide the clay.
If you ever get the chance to have a go, do it without question, you will be so glad you did. A potter’s wheel is such an expense and would normally be out of the question. However Create & sell them and offer a flexi payment scheme with no interest added. It includes the 4Hr training session and delivered for only £2.99……         WOW. By the way, I don’t work for either Create & Craft or Pottery Crafts, but it’s such a great craft and it certainly makes it easier to buy.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I Was Sidetracked !

Well so much for finishing the Tank top. I got sidetracked and spent most of the afternoon making photo polymer stamps. It's great fun and you can find some really great copyright free images in old magazines,newspapers and books. I made quite a few. I thought I would share this one with you. I still cant believe the detail you can get at home.
I've used the Teresa Collins Stampmaker and Imagepac sachets. It only takes about 10 Minutes from finding the image to stamping your finished project. I will add more as time goes by.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

How I started Crafting...

Since retiring from work a couple of years ago because of illness, I thought I’d go mad, but by chance and a lot of luck. I found The Create & Craft TV Station. That was the beginning of a wonderful journey of discovery. Every day I learn something new. It’s funny, but until finding Create & Craft I wouldn’t have described any of my projects as Crafts, just great fun.
Although I didn’t know it as craft at the time, as children we were always encouraged to be creative. In particular, I remember regularly playing with wax and Paper Mache. A book that springs to mind was a ‘Bumper Fun Book’ which was crammed full of crafty projects. I wish I could find it now. Since then I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands, I have my Mum, Dad and Nan to thank for that.
My main aim for today is to finish a knitted tank top, my first piece of real clothing. I've been using Rowan Colourscape chunky yarn by Kaffe Fassett. The pattern I have used is by Sarah Hatton from the Colourscape Folk Pattern Book.

A work in Progress

A few years ago a friend introduced me to Cross Stitch, I’ve really enjoyed it, I have an on-going project (a portrait of my Nan, it’s fairly large piece so it’s a work in progress, so to speak. The picture is of the section I am working on at the moment.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Thought I'd Better Start.......

It seems I should now start a blog, for months people keep nagging and I really don’t want to be left behind. I’m still sure that no body will have the slightest interest in what I do as my life isn’t at all exciting or dangerous. It might be funny as the older I get the more Victor Meldrew moments I seem to have.
But as I’ve decided to start this blog now, I’m hoping that maybe something I have to say or share will appeal to someone out there.

By the way, I almost forgot, I'd better introduce myself properly,I'm Nick, i'm 41 and live in Barnsley, in Beautiful Yorkshire.  Thank you for taking the time to read this. Im very new to blogging but hopefully over time it will become clearer to me and more interesting for you. Take care.