Friday, 2 December 2011

New Creativity Essentials Now Availible to Pre-Order

Details have just been releaced of the new Creativity Essentials products due for releace in January.  Because of the Christmas holidays these products will be in stock from the end of December.

There's a lovley new range of modern outline stickers and gorgeous new Anita's Dimensions along with matching metallic and pearlescent topper sheets.  Anita's are also releacing a brand new range of ribbons including some grogeous glitter colours!

For younger crafters there's some fantastic pom pom and key ring kits at pocket money prices.

Two new Capsule Collections from Papermania.  Parkstone Pink and Burleigh Blue both are divine and feature some goregous new products like the new Blitters, like glittery flowers at an amazing price.  There's also the new Big Bloomers paper flowers also at fantastic value!

As a nod to the Olympics there's the Portobello Road Collection celebrating all things British.  Perfect for scrapbooking projects or decorating your party with style!  With party decor in mind there's also some DIY Bunting Packs which will suit the range perfectly.

We get a lot of requests for religous themed products, especially as we draw closer to Easter.  As usual Papermania have risen to the challenge and releaced their Moments of Faith range.  With Pearlescent Decoupage sheets and matching Toppers plus beautful Peel Offs to compleiment them, there's sure to be something to suit your needs for Easter and throughout the year.

Saving the best until last, there's Hot Diggity Dog!  You may have seen a sneak peak at this goegeously cute range in last month's Do Crafts Creativity Magazine.  Spring coloured papers, goregous decoupage sheets and must have clear stamps!  This range will fly off the shelves so make sure you're first in the que by pre-ordering your goodies!

There's the usual offerigns too, a new Goody Bag still at fantastic value and a new issue of Creativity Magazine packed with projects and ideas for using your new stash.

Fans of the layered dies will love the new Me To You Tatty Teddy layered dies, featuring Ted with a cupcake or a gift box.

I'm loving the new Papermania Stamp & Die Storage Folder, just what I've been after for my expanding stamp stash!  Definatley one for my Christmas List.

Four new embossing folders which are sure to be popular.  Two heart themed designs and two delightfully maculine designs featuring a checkerboard and a leafy background, just the thing for the men in our lives.

There's a new range of Papermnaia Typography Stamps featuring all the numbers and a sleection of useful greetings.

If you've been enjoying the new Designer Decoupage sheets the Xcut Ultra Fine Decoupage Scissors are a great investment.  Defiantly an essential tool for decoupage, particularly if you have dexterity problems.  They really do make intricate decoupage cutting (or general craft cutting for that matter) a breeze!

New decorative and nesting dies from XCut including Bunting, Tags and Bookplates and a modern heart design.  Oh and the lovely Glorious Gerbera which is sure to sell out fast, so make sure you pre-order to avoid disappointment.

All of these products are available to pre-order through our website and will be dispatched as soon as they arrive in stock which we expect to be late December.  Do take advantage of this option to make sure that you are one of the first the receive these fantastic new goodies.  New ranges do usually sell out not long after they are released and I'm sure these well designed ranges will be particularly popular. We know how horrible it is to be disappointed so please order early.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Tim Holtz Signature Products Now Easier to Find

We've noticed a lot of visitors to our website are searching for Tim Holtz products.

We display all our products by Category and also by brand.  All Sir Tim's Distress Ink Pads are with all the other brands of ink pads we supply.  His Alcohol inks with our huge range of pens, paints and other inks.  And his Dies under the Die Cutting section along with the rest of the Sizzix range of dies.

We realise that this isn't necessarily the easiest way for Tim Holtz fans to find just his signature products which is presumably why you've been using our search facility which displays every one of his hundreds of products.

To make finding your favourite Tim Holtz products easier we have added a new category under the srapbooking section of our website.  It contains not just Tim's own ranges like Ideaology and District Market but also his signature ranges manufactured by other brands such as Ranger, Sizzix and Coredinations.

We hope that this helps to make shopping on our website easier for all you Tim Holtz fans.

Forever Friends Spring Time Collection Coming Soon

The delightful Forever Friends Spring Time Collection is coming back by popular demand.  We are expecting stock to arrive in early December.

The range features gorgeous clear stamps, beautiful spring themed papers and stunning pearlescent decoupage sheets.  Along with matching ribbons, bows and card stock stickers.

  1. Easter crafting = sorted!

Daisy and Dandelion Lovingly Yours Just Arrived

The gorgeous new Daisy and Dandelion Lovingly Yours range has just arrived in stock.

Do Crafts are calling these design "clever"  because whilst the range is obviously designed with Valentines Day in mind featuring cute cuddly couples with floral and hearts motifs.  The emphasis is on cute and cuddly not specifically Valentines Day.  Making this range perfect for anniversaries and engagements too.  The delightfully cute characters will also appeal to little ones too, so they can be used to make gorgeous baby cards.

The Pearlescent Decoupage sheets are particularly beautiful, with a stunning sheen to add a real feel of quality to your card making.

I can't wait to use these products for our next free project!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Reverse Peel Off Cards

Like most of us crafters I'm incredibly thrifty. I just can't bear to see anything go to waste! So I thought I'd share this reverse peel off technique with you.

Once you have used a peel off remove the sticker that surrounds the peel off shapes and you'll be left with a "negative" of your design which can be applied to a piece of textured card stock using masking tape. This way you get two peel off designs for the price of one on every peel off you buy.

I find it easier to roughly cut out the design required instead of trying to avoid sticking the masking tape to other stickers on the same sheet. Use low tack masking tape and then make it even less tacky by sticking it onto your clothing and removing it. Stick strips of masking tape over the design and press them down very firmly with a bone folder. Instead of removing the masking tape from the peel off sheet, do it the other way round, peel the sticker sheet away from the masking tape - very gently!

When you've got your design stuck onto the masking tape place it sticky side down onto a piece of textured card stock. Don't try this on smooth card stock as the masking tape will remove the smooth surface. Run your bone folder over the sticker being particularly firm over tiny pieces of the design. Then very carefully pull the masking tape away one strip at a time. When pulling the masking tape away keep your fingers as close to the design as possible so that the masking tape is almost flat against the card stock.

And voila! You have a peel off negative for use in another project.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Floral Challenge Card

When my crafty mojo packs it's bags and takes a holiday I take a look at the challenges on the Do Crafts forum.  It's a great idea to let someone else challenge you to make something according to their specifications because it forces you to think outside the box, use materials in ways you wouldn't normally or to have a go at techniques and styles you haven't tried before.  After all that's how we learn new things and more to the point learn to love them!

My cards have been quite cluttered lately and while I'm loving the style it was starting to get a bit samey.  This simple design with only two colours, one flower and three gems is a world away but I really enjoyed the change.

The flower is one of the divine Anita's Glitterations stuck onto some scrap vellum and cut out then layered with a brad to make it 3D.

The ribbon is the fabulous Sheer budget ribbon.  It's such good value I've treated myself to a whole batch so you'll be seeing them on plenty of cards in the future.

I was thinking that this would make a perfect wedding invitation as it would be quite quick to reproduce and the finish is all the high quality stardream card rather than time consuming embellishments.

Daisy and Dandelion Halloween Inspired Card

I was inspired by Katy's photo challenge 4th - 10th October on the DoCrafts Forum. I have a quiet love affair with deep dark autumnal colours. But somehow something slightly cute always ends up creeping in! Like most of us crafters I can't seem to do masculine cards too well.

This one features a cute little puddy from the Daisy and Dandelion collection.  And of course my latest obsession - XCut Nesting dies and lots of them!

The papers are the stunning Harvest design by BoBunny, another love affair of mine.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Scrapbooking Christmas Cards

OK, confession time.  I'm a closet hoarder.  Every card or little token anyone has sent me in the past 10 years has been carefully saved along with pressed flowers, tickets, postcards etc.  I even have the flower picked for me by a lovely fellah when I was just a teenager.

Of course I'm a scrapbooker, how else could I give in to my OCD like obsession with everything being neat and tidy.  I love looking back over old scrapbooks and reviving old memories.

I'm a bit behind on my 'scrapping lately so have been making an effort to catch up.  This is one of my recent efforts which I was delighted with.

It's a very simple layout, for a very simple card.  I've used the new Coredinations Glitter card stock to great effect.  It really complements the glitter on this old Christmas card from (erm cough) 2008.

The main thing I wanted to point out is something I've been doing a lot of lately.  The gorgeous glitter card stock can sometimes be too overpowering.  And on a big layout with lots of space like this, a single colour background can verge on boring.  I've layered a sheet of glitter vellum paper over the background.  In this case it has added interest and texture without detracting from the wonderfully simple layout that I've chosen to let this lovely card shine.

I've been doing this with a lot of cards lately as I find it mutes a background whilst adding subtle interest and texture, leaving the main topper or stamping as the focal point of the card.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Knitted Headband

This is a great quick knit for keeping my hair out of my face while I'm at work.  I love to be able to let it down for a night out but it's so impractical for work.

I've used a freebie ball of wool from a magazine.  It's an acrylic yarn knitted in DK on 4mm needles. 

It doesn't really matter what type of yarn you use or what gauge as the width of the head band is not particularly important. 

The pattern uses a tiny amount of yarn, I think I used less than 20g so it's a fantastic stash busting stocking filler - yes Christmas is just around the corner!

Full credit to the pattern is due to Kusala Knitworks.  Click the link to download a copy for yourself.  Thanks for the free pattern Kusala!

Go To Baby Cardigan

This is a wonderful pattern worked in one piece in the round, so no seams to sew up - hurrah!

It knits up beautifully in Patons Fairytale Colour for Me DK.

It's so quick and simple that it's become my "go to" baby gift pattern. I'm trying to keep a couple on hand in blue and pink to save knitting into the wee hours when a friend makes a late announcement.

The buttons used are dish edged fruit gums in size 18 (11.5mm). I have a pack of 100 of blue and pink for this pattern, but the leftovers will make great embellishments for my card making stash.

Full credit for the pattern goes to Jacki Kelly at Complete Fabrication. Thanks for the freebie pattern! Jack also offers this pattern in larger sizes for a very reasonable $5.00. Pop along to her blog for full details.

Biker Neck Warmer

This is a simple little present for a biker gent who is no doubt bored of socks by now!

It's knitted in the round in 6ply Regia variegated yarn. For extra stretchiness I've used a 2 x 2 rib pattern.

It will stretch to fit over his head but bounce back around his neck to keep out those cold winds that seem to have a talent for finding any exposed skin on a bikers face and neck.

I didn't count the cast on stitches but measured a similar gents head at the widest point and cast on enough stitches to stretch that far on the needle.

Shell and Pearl Necklace

This beautiful pearl and shell necklace has been made by stringing alternate colours of real and glass pearls, each separated by a gold seed bead, with shell mop leaves for instant wow factor.

The clasp is a simple gold hook and loop clasp.

I've also made a matching bracelet and earring set to make this a lovely girly birthday gift.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Gorjuss stamps coming soon!

I've been admiring the (pardon the pun) goregous cards on the Do Crafts website made with the Gorgjuss stamps.  They are sooo cute!  I want I want!!

So I'm delighted to have the full range available to pre order for delivery in early September.  And at a fantastic price of just £5.49 for the clear stamp sets.  Including the brand new Christmas designs for 2011.  And all the decoupage sheets and toppers to match.

Personal Impressions products coming soon!

We've been looking to expand our already massive range of crafty goodies with some more of the big name brands like K and Co and Perganmano.

And of course we want more rubber stamps!!! Mostly because I've revived my stamping obsession but I'm sure you won't turn your nose up at the likes of Inkadinkado and Hero Arts stamps.  

And ink pads too, the Ink It up ones we currently do are all very well and good but a world away from the premium pads Ranger and Tsukineko (Staz On, Momento, Versa etc) have to offer.

With this in mind we have applied for an account with Personal Impressions who stock a crafters dream range of fabulous brands.  You are welcome to browse their products for yourself and take a sneak peak at some of the fabulous new products about to be released this Christmas. There's also lots of demos to watch and free projects to inspire you.

It's hard to focus on getting all the gorgeous products added to our website because I'm constantly being inspired by them.  I have an irresistible urge to get my inks out and disappear into my new craft room for a whole week - at least! I think I will have to content myself with making a very little inspiration journal, something I've been meaning to get round to for ages.  That way I can keep it handy and jot down the ideas as I'm capturing the new product information ready for adding to the website.

You'll be seeing the new products appearing on the website now. They are all available to pre order for our first delivery in September.  We need a minimum value of pre-orders so that sooner we reach that, the sooner we can get our order placed with Personal Impressions. If there's anything in particular you would like us to add to the website for you please let us know and I will "bump" it up the long and distinguished list of "stuff to add".

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

XCut Nesting Dies Back In Stock

The UPS delivery driver has just made me jump out of my skin!  He had a lovely big box full of XCut Nesting dies for us!!!

We've all seen the gorgeous cards made with the "Nesties" nesting dies.  We've all drooled over them.  Perhaps even had a good luck at the dies in the shops - along with more drooling!  And then seen the price tag . . . and promptly added them to our "when I win the lottery" wish list. 

XCut have seen our pain!  They have produced a large range of nesting dies at . . .  wait for it . . . less than a tenner!!!  Santa has come early to the crafting world!

But what about the quality? - I hear you cry.  Well it's such a hard part of my job, so tedious and boring . .  . but I've forced myself to test them . . . ah the things I have to do in the name of craft.  I have two words for you - SPOT ON!!  They are never going to cut through chip board and if you want to make thousands to sell on eBay you will be best sticking to thicker dies.  But for the vast majority of uses they are absolutely perfect.  I've been getting clean cuts every time with both paper and thick card stock.  I've tested them with a Cuttlebug and a Big Shot - both make perfect cuts. 

My cards have taken on a whole new dimension since adding these dies to my stash.  No longer are us budget crafters condemned to boring toppers. 

Do get them while you can, I do not expect these stocks to last for long!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Dishcloth Knickers!

This is a really cute gift idea that a dear friend gave me as a house moving present.

They are made using dishcloth cotton as it's cheap and cheerful but there's no reason you couldn't use a better quality of cotton yarn, like Patons 100% cotton.

CO 38 st

Rows 1 - 4 Garter Stitch

Row 5 - K4 (P2 K1) x 10, K4
Row 6 - K4 (K1 P2) x 10 K4
Row 7 - Knit
Row 8 - K4, P30, K4

Repeat rows 5 - 8 until you are happy with the length.  The pair in the photo are roughly square.

Garter stitch the last four rows and cast off.

Make 2

Fold each dishcloth in half lengthways and place them side by side so that the edges meet.  Weave a ribbon through the top of them both tieing a bow in the centre.  Weave ribbon around the bottom of each "leg" and tie.  Use a little leftover yarn to attatch the two cloths together in the middle with a little bow.

There is a poem to go with these:

Now don't get excited,
Don't be misled,
These aren't for you,
But for the dishes instead.

Just pull on the bows,
Take out the stitches,
You've gained 2 dishcloths,
Instead of your britches!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Katy's Sketch Challenge 14th June - 20th June

This is my effort. I'm egerly awaiting the new XCut Nesting dies so that I can have a "proper" circle. But for now this Lace die is the closest I have. It's made with Capsule Collection Liquorice Sherbert papers and ribbon with Capsule Monochome Sweeties and Gems.  The Lace Die is Jennifer by XCut.  The Leafy Lace border punch is also by XCut.

Double Irish Chain Patchwork Quilt

This is the quilt I made for a friend's wedding present.  The pattern is a double Irish chain which is apparently one of the oldest known quilt patterns. 

Monday, 30 May 2011

Wedding Plant Pot

My friend's upcoming wedding has quite a nature theme.  I'm honoured to have been asked to play a part in the ceremony and as part of that I have been asked to bring a plant pot.

I've been out shopping this morning for something very special, something the bride and groom can keep and enjoy for the rest of their lives as well as on their special day.

Having chosen this beaut fully made white plant pot with a rustic style handle, I wanted to keep the design very simple but still add a personal touch.  I've decided to go with Anita's Glitterations stickers in white which catch the light beautifully.

I've arranged them on both the front and back of the pot.  And finished with a white organza ribbon which matches the favour boxes.

Wedding Ring Cushion

I had a leftover quilt block from another project and felt inspried to make a quick ring cushion.  I really can't stand to waste anything!

It's made very simply form two equally sized squares of fabric sewn right sides together.  I've left a little opneing for inserting stuffing which has been hand stitched closed after the stuiffing was added.

The ribbon has been hand sewn in place with the stitches going right through the cushion. 

Handmade Paper Favour Boxes

Here's some favour boxes I've been making for a friend's wedding.

They are made form two 21cm squares of handmade paper.  Each has been scored using a score board an equal distance from all four edges.  The little squares made at each corner have then been scored diagonally form the centre out to the edge of the paper.  The boxes are then easily assembled with a little PVA glue.

Ribbon has been stuck around the edges of the lids using 6mm double sided tape.  A hole has been pieced using a piercing tool and a blossom threaded through it.  I have secured the blossoms in place with a little clear tape and trimmed off the excess wire.

These boxes could be made in different sizes but these will be filled with soil and seeds ready for the guests to plant in their gardens.  The bride has requested handmade paper which will compost relatively quickly so that there is no need for guests to remove the seeds and soil from the box before planting.

Stylish Stepstools

I have a bit of an obsession with these step stools.  They come from IKEA with a piddly price tag of £10. The thing about them is that they are really sturdy.  Like a lot of IKEAs stuff the term "built like a brick out house" springs to mind.  I have one in the shop and it's in constant use but still looks like new.

The trick is to add a couple of layers of varnish after the paint has completely dried.  Paying particular attention to the corners and the steps which will get the most wear.

This one is a very simple design in blank and white to match Boyfriend's kitchen.  I usually use rubber stamping techniques to great effect.

I make use of old paints and reduced tester pots of mat emulsion.  They make a great very cheap base coat.  For the black areas I have used Acrylic paints.

Use a mat clear varnish available from DIY stores.

Celebration Bunting

This is another quick and easy project that is great for using up leftover scraps of fabric.

Cut triangles from just about any fabric you like.  Mine measure 10 inches tall by 8 inches wide.  I love my rotary cutter and matt for this sort of cutting which would otherwise take hours!

Place two triangles right sides together and sew the two longest sides.  I've used a 1/4 inch seam allowance but it doesn't really matter as long as the seam allowance is the same for all the triangles.

I found a 25mm wide ribbon or tape is about right.  Be sure to leave about a metre at each end of the bunting for tying.

Place the ribbon flat on your sewing machine and place the first triangle right side up half covering the ribbon.  Fold the ribbon over the triangle so that the raw edges are covered.  Zig Zag stitch the ribbon in place.

A Little Project for Leftover Yarn

As a thrifty gal I can't bear to see anything go to waste.  I'm fanatical about finding useful projects for even the tinniest amount of left over yarn.

So here is my latest effort and also my new camera case.  I've cast on enough stitches to cover the front, back and sides of my camera.  Stocking stitch until my camera cosie is just a little longer than my camera. Cast off and sew the side and bottom seams.

To keep my camera safely tucked into it's cosie I've added a little button form my stash and a little loop of yarn to fasten it.  So now I can kiss goodbye to (any more) scratches on my camera. The only thing is OH wants one too . . .

Ahhh! Ive run out of yarn!!

We've all been there, we think we can push our luck, we're sure we've checked the pattern but when we reach for another ball . . . Horror! It's the last one! There's not enough yarn left to finish our project and all our hard work has to be ripped out and started again. Soul destroying!
It's almost impossible to buy a specific lot number of a specific yarn. Different lot numbers will have very slight colour variations. Although they can be invisible to the human eye it can show up like a sore thumb on a sweater.
The only good thing to come out of it is that we only make this mistake once in our lives, so devastating are the consequences.
Obviously my advice is to learn from the mistakes of others and ALWAYS ALWAYS check you have plenty of yarn to finish your project. But that's little comfort when we're faced with our ruined work.
However there is hope on the horizon. There are solutions and work arounds to save your hard work.
Firstly start as soon as you notice you are running short on yarn. The earlier you start compensating the less yarn you will use.
Forget about using the same yarn to sew up. A different lot number or even a different yarn can be used.
If you catch it in time, is it possible to use a different colour or yarn for the cuffs? If you don't fancy this look and manage to get a different lot number of the same yarn use the odd ball for the cuffs and collar. This will hide the change in dye lot.
Check the sleeve length. Can you loose a couple of Cm's off the length of the sleeve? Make sure that you make the reduction before the shoulder shaping.
Use the odd lot numbered ball for the last few rows of the sleeve. The change will be hidden in the seam.
I hope these suggestions can help you save ripping out a carefully knitted project. I'm off to hunt the interweb for one last ball of Paton's Smoothie in discontinued Chocolate! But what will I do with my hands while it arrives?!?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Me To You and Tulip ranges on their way!

I am delighted to say that the latest Do Crafts releases are now on their way to BGPayne Crafts.  They will be travelling up overnight and should be arriving tomorrow.

Many of you have taken advantage of our pre-order option and will be the first to receive these gorgeous goodies!!  We will be furiously packing parcels on a first come first served basis, aiming to get as many orders as possible in tomorrow's post.  I know you'll be keen to craft over the upcoming bank holidays.

The new ranges include the much anticipated Me To You Collection and the Tulip Collection designed by Andrea Evans. Along with some new masculine stamps designed by John Byars.

There's also some amazing special offers in the new Creativity Magazine.  Be sure to add a copy to your basket and the savings will automatically be added to your order.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Born to Shop Craft for Life Cards

I always make use of the leftovers from each fortnights free project.  But lately I've been struggling to find the time to craft - a sure sign that life has become too hectic and some serious crafty me time is in order.  I'm giving myself permission to justify it in all sorts of ways and Docrafts have given me one of the best excuses ever. 

I've got myself a big pile of Craft for Life baggies, the cost of which is being covered by Docrafts so they're completely free to us crafters.  Then I've got myself a bulk pack of C6 envelopes and I'm having a great time making a dent in my stash making cards to raise money for Cancer Research. 

I'm feeling great for taking time for myself and I'll feel even better when I drop the cards off at my local Cancer Research shop as they will be sold to raise funds for their vital research.

I hope these Born To Shop cards give you some ideas.  It's time to be selfish and join me in raising some money for a worthy cause!

Unique Embellishment Idea

A huge thank you to John for dropping off these very interesting ATCs.  I had to double take the embellishments, they're actual cogs taken from old watches!  What a fantastic idea!  And one that certainly needs to be shared.