Saturday, 30 January 2016

Sewing Machine Covers - Sew, Hem and Serge

Hello. I'm very low on cards to blog so I'm alternating them with sewing posts. Barbara is on Hochanda next Sunday though so I'll soon have some more that I can share.

As my sewing obsession has grown so has my sewing machine collection. I now have machines to sew, hem and serge (more about that word later) and they all needed pretty covers.

The fabric used on them all is from the Sew Retro range by Makower. They have fusible fleece stuck to the main fabric to give it a bit of body and are lined with white cotton.  

Sew - Janome DC3050. I have already blogged about making this and where the ideas came from here but since my collection and my skills have grown I've tweaked it a little bit, adding the "SEW" appliqué. I used my Sizzix Fun Serif dies to cut out the lettering and they're attached with Heat n Bond Ultra as I wasn't confident enough to sew around them.  The blue oval they're on was cut out with a Spellbinders die. I attached it with Heat n Bond Lite and then blanket stitched around it on the machine - I figured I couldn't really mess up an oval.

Hem - Janome CoverPro 1000CPX. This was a bit of an extravagance but it was my Christmas present and I love it! I've started sewing jersey and this is perfect for hemming it. This one did actually come with a decent vinyl cover but it didn't want to be left out.

The patchwork panels (front and back) were done with June Tailor's Quilt As You Go Pre-Printed Batting.......

.......which made it really easy. Although since then I've had a go at the real thing and I'm enjoying that too.

Serge - Janome 9200D. Being English I do usually call this an overlocker but the American name "serger" is shorter and I thought it worked better in this case.

This one didn't come with a cover so I had great fun working out a pattern for such an odd shape. I'm really pleased with how it turned out though.

The only problem is that after all that work I guess I'm going to have to stick with these machines. Hubby will be pleased to read this!

I also made a few really useful accessories. The mug caddy is from a pattern by Simplicity (2450). I'll do a separate post on that sometime as I also made Hubby one for Christmas for his desk at work. The thread catcher bowl is from Debbie Shore's Half Yard Home book and the wrist pin cushion is based on one I found here. I didn't have any flowers so I used a circle of fabric instead, it's not as pretty but I was impatient. 

I guess I'd better go and finish my Clarity samples. Happy crafting.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

CAS Rainbow Card

Good evening. My mojo is back and I've had a lovely afternoon in my craft room. I have two samples for Clarity in progress and so far so good.

Today's card is one I made for Paul Church's show on Hochanda. I do love CAS (clean and simple) cards..........

.......and they don't get much more simple than this.

I guess it suits a CAS blog post so here it is - I used my Spectrum Noir pencils to colour through the stencil.


Stamp and Stencil Used


Monday, 25 January 2016

Going Tartan for Robert Burns

As it's Robert Burns' birthday today I thought that I'd go a bit tartan. It was a name I dreaded at school due to Tam O' Shanter which we studied in English Lit (not one of my favourite subjects). However, in recent years I've discovered Burns Night in the Mess and he's suddenly become a whole lot more interesting!

I was so pleased with my first Bobbi Bow Clutch (blogged here) that I decided to make a tartan one for Burns Night. I wore and old black dress (nobody ever remembers them) and for less than £5 (the cost of the fabric including postage!) I had a nice new look. 

As I had ample fabric I even used it for the lining and I still have some left. I love the fact that I can just make something like this so cheaply and quickly.

My blog is mainly about cards though so I thought I'd see if I had a tartan one of those to share too.


 I made this 5 years ago for a Scottish friend. The lettering was done with my Cricut and the reflection with a brayer (they're so much easier now we have the Gelli Plate).

Stamps Used

Happy crafting and if you're going to a Burns Night have fun!


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Tumbling Blocks Card

Thanks for the warm welcome back and "Hello" to anyone new who has visited from Barbara's blog. My Crafty Little Blog has been bit neglected recently - I can see from the stats on the right that I did half as many post last year as I did in the previous two but I will try and do better in 2016. Hopefully by adding my sewing as well it will keep it a bit more active.

Talking of sewing, this card was inspired by the Tumbling Blocks patchwork design as that's what the stencil reminded me of. It's real blast from the past as it uses some of my "antique" supplies.

Does anyone recognise these papers? They were from an old QVC TSV. I think I started buying QVC craft stuff around 2001 and these were one of my early purchases, so they're at least 10 years old! The small scale of the patterns makes them perfect for this project though.

The design works with a light, medium and dark shade to give the cubes an almost 3D look. I put the stencil on some scrap paper and worked out which each piece would be, then I cut them out of the appropriate paper.

Then I stuck them all in to place with the help of the stencil.  

I decided to cut it back to a rectangle to make the card but it needed something to finish it off. I rooted through my stash and found these "antique" brads which were the perfect colour. I don't know how long I've had them but they were from Lakeland when they sold craft goodies. I used to get some really great stuff from them, it's a shame they stopped doing it.

I know if I keep something long enough it will come in handy and this card has proved it - Hubby if you're reading this!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stencil Used


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Claritystamp Elegant Corners

Hello. Well it looks like you don't get rid of me that easily after all. Some Clarity stamps are on their way to me for next month's show. I just hope I can remember what to do with them...............

So back to business, it doesn't get more classic Clarity than the corner stamps.........

......................and that's what I've used for this card, only I've put them side by side to create lines.

To make it I measured the width of each stamp and cut a strip to that size. I then stamped along each strip rotating the stamp as I went. Cutting the strips before stamping made staying in a straight line really easy. Please ignore the odd way I'm holding the mount - it's just to keep my fingers out of the way for the photo.

Once I had them all done I gave each one a thin black mat and stuck them on the base card.

To finish it off I made a frame with one of the corners and stamped the sentiment inside. I must confess that I cheated a bit here - I stamped the sentiment in black then I drew in the hearts myself with a red pen - My first couple of attempts at doing it all with ink went wrong and it was starting to annoy me, so it was either that or throwing it in the bin!

I hope you like it.

Stamps Used


Monday, 18 January 2016

Love Is In The Air

Good morning. How was your weekend? I had a fun one - It was Burns Night in the Mess on Saturday and that's always a good night. A room full of officers and their partners doing The Dashing White Sergeant after spending a couple of hours at the dining table drinking wine, port and Atholl Brose (love it!) is a sight to behold! Then on Sunday morning we had a surprise visit from my sister-in-law. She's not been up here before so it was lovely to show her where we live and she's not seen Maya for a few years. Happy times.

Today's card is an anniversary card that I made for Mum and Dad back in November. It sums up why I love stamping so much (you can make such personal cards) and is classic Clarity. Mum and Dad love bird watching and their anniversary is on the 11th November, hence the poppies. 

I used the edge of the Clarity A4 Blending Mat to create the hills. The poppies are coloured in with ProMarkers and I went around the edge of the scene with one of the brown Distress Inks.

To finish it off I gave it a thin black mat and mounted it onto some kraft card.

Stamps Used

Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a great week. I wonder what next weekend will have in store for us?


Friday, 8 January 2016

Janet Clare's Artisan Apron

Good evening. I may not have got any Christmas cards made but I did make a few presents.

One of them is this apron that I made for my mum; I thought it was such a clever design when I saw it on TV. Mum wanted a new one with "Cute animals on it" so I thought I'd make it for her.

I found the perfect fabric in a local shop - Fletchers Fabric in York. It's lined with cream cotton lawn also from there.

Here's Mum modelling the back. It's great that there's no ties to worry about - you just pop it over your head. It was quite amusing watching her put it on for the first time though!

As it's quite a busy fabric I thought I'd do a spot of pattern matching on the pockets (I didn't worry about the back).

It takes a bit more effort but I think it was well worth it.

To do it I traced the pocket pattern piece onto a sheet of vellum (it's more substantial than tissue and I have lots in my crafty stash) and positioned it where it would go on the apron, matching up the notches. I then marked where the animals were using a pencil.

Next I matched up those pencil lines to the fabric and cut the pocket out. 

By turning it over I was able to use the same piece of vellum for both sides .

Lovely job! I think I'm going to have to make myself one too. A Labrador one would be fun.


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Am I Late or Early?

Hi there. It was very strange watching Barbara at the weekend, not being part of the team anymore. I still have a few DT samples to blog though.............

................and this is one of them. I had intended to blog it before Christmas but you could say that I'm getting in early for this year!

I probably made it more complicated than it needed to be but this is the sort of stamping that I love. It may be a bit of an epic post but for once I remembered to take photos as I went.

The stag is done with Grunge Paste. As I wanted to keep that clean I did that step last....... I started off by marking his place with a pale Distress Ink brushed through the stencil.

I didn't want the scenery showing through him so the next thing I did was mask him off.

I stamped the cabin in place and did the same with that...................

.............before stamping the trees...............

................and brayering the sky. I used Denim and Black Adirondack ink for this.

Next up was the snow. I kept the stag masked off and used Weathered Wood Distress ink on a make-up sponge for this.

It's getting there and I've not made any mistakes............yet!

I put the Stag mask back in position and added the Grunge Paste. 

When that was dry I added the colour with several shades of Distress Ink on a make-up sponge.

I was really chuffed with how it was going, so I went to wash my inky hands before I messed it up.

Unfortunately my cuff was still wet and I ended up with a mark from the ribbing. I won't say what I said but I wasn't happy!!!!!!

I couldn't exactly stick a butterfly on it but the word "Christmas did the job. Phew!

As it's Christmas some glitter and Frantage finish it off. 

Stamps and Stencil Used

Before I go, I've turned comment moderation on as I'm getting a lot of spam at the moment. This means that your comments won't appear straight away but I'll add them as soon as I can.

Thanks for visiting,


Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year, Some News and a Big Thank You

Happy New Year everyone. I've been meaning to write this post since before Christmas but I kept getting distracted. Anyway, I hope you had a good one. We've just had a fun week down in Norfolk visiting family and I want to get this written before I get distracted again.

It was a really hard decision to make but I have left the Claritystamp Design Team. I've had a fab 3½ years but I feel like I need a break. I've not been making any of my personal cards recently (I didn't make a single Christmas one) and I really want to get back to that and just have some fun without worrying if what I've done is good enough.......or original......or if people will like it.  I know, I worry too much!

I'd like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been so lovely to me over this time. I've met some great people through it - the rest of the DT, fellow Clarity fans on Facebook and at the shows, and of course Barbara herself. Your kind comments on my blog have meant so much to me.

I have a couple more Clarity samples to blog but I'm not sure what I will do with my blog after that. I'm not a prolific card maker so there could be big gaps between posts, or I may just add them to Facebook or my Pinterest boards.

This cards seems an appropriate one to add for New Year's Day.

I hope you weren't celebrating too hard last night!

I used a Tim Holtz technique to create the background - I pressed Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks onto the stencil, spritzed them with water and then pressed the stencil onto the card........... get this. Tim uses the mini pads but I don't have any of those so I had to use my regular sized ones. I was worried that they wouldn't work as well but it ended up quite colourful. It needed something else though.

So I put the stencil back in place and went around it with a black pen.

Much better.

I then removed the centre part with a craft knife and matted it onto some black card.

Some Stickles glitter glue in the centres of the stars and the word "Celebrate" finish it off.

Stamps and Stencil Used

I'd better go and get unpacked and put up my beautiful 2016 Claritystamp calendar. I hope it's a great year for you all.

Lots of love,

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