Friday, 29 August 2014

Celebrating Michael Jackson in Cross Stitch

I am a life-long Michael Jackson fan, but I don't actually have much of MJ memorabilia on display around the house. However, I recently decided to make something to celebrate his life, and have on permanent display in my craft room.

Since I cannot paint, I decided to cross stitch - this was only my first major cross stitch project, and one tip I can give you if you are a beginner too - cross stitching is quite a slow craft, so choose a subject that you really love to make, as you will be spending a LOT of time cross stitching it before it is actually completed.

Therefore Michael Jackson was a perfect subject for me to learn to cross stitch. I found this pattern free on a website (sorry can't remember where) and armed with a 14 count white Aida, several skeins of black embroidery floss, I was off. I decided to double the "squares" (where each cross stitch covers 4 squares on the Aida) and stitch with all strands of the embroidery floss to make the picture large so it fits a 10"x8" frame.

Celebrating Michael Jackson in Cross Stitch
Celebrating Michael Jackson in Cross Stitch
I am very happy with the result, and my cross stitched Michael Jackson picture now proudly sits on a top shelf in my craft room, looking down on me. Today, on what would have been Michael Jackson's birthday, I'd like to believe that he is looking down peacefully on his fans and smiling with one of his beautifully brilliant smiles. Happy Birthday, MJ!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Scruffy Little Cat Absolutely Adorable Birthday Card

Today I'd like to share my latest birthday card made for one of my daughters.

This one is made using a Scruffy Little Cat "Amy" stamp from Crafters Companion, which I got via Create and Craft TV when it was originally launched, and it is coloured in with Spectrum Noir pens ("Absolutely Adorable" sentiment was on the same stamp). This is only my second attempt at making a card with a Scruffy Little Cat stamp.
Crafters Companion Spectrum Noir Scruffy Little Cat Birthday Card
Absolutely Adorable Amy Scruffy Little Cat
It is mounted on an embossed Centura Pearl card (both also available from Crafters Companion) and a Spellbinders die cut frame. The finishing touches included Parchment butterfly (embossed with Stamps by Chloe glitter), embossed Parchment quilled flower (again, from Crafters Companion) and a simple organza ribbon bow.
Crafters Companion Spectrum Noir Scruffy Little Cat Birthday Card
Coloured with Spectrum Noir Pens Birthday Card
The Spectrum Noir Pens used:
Hair: TN2, TN1
Skin: FS2, FS4, FS6
Dress: TB1, TB2
Cupcake, Bag & Bottle PP1, PP2, and IB1

Friday, 22 August 2014

Fimo Clay modeling fun

Today we've been having fun with the kids learning how to do clay modeling.
Fimo Soft Clay
Mummy, Daddy and Baby Bear

After starting with normal play dough, we moved onto cheap modeling clay from a pound shop.
The results were ok, we've made some Despicable me Minions, frogs and general random stuff, but I like to save kids' crafts (a mother can't just chuck it away, can she?), so we've moved onto polymer clay so it can't be baked in the oven.

I got a few Fimo soft clay kits from a local The Range shop at a bargain price, and off we went. It says it's a "soft clay" but it is still quite hard, if you compare it to some air drying clay, which seems like butter. On a plus side, it makes less mess than play dough so I love it already...

Anyway, we did some flowers, butterflies, love hearts - the usual, and some creations were better than others. We still have a few Fimo soft clay kits left - princesses and fairies, but I feel we need more practice on cheap play dough before we give it a go.

However, one kit I really fell in love with - the family of bears. Out of one kit we managed to make mummy bear, daddy bear and a baby, and still quite a lot of pink and white clay left. They are so cute that I just HAD to share them - and they're even more cuter for the fact that they were made by my 10 year old daughter - she's got a natural gift, I think. I especially love the daddy bear.
Fimo Soft Clay
Cute first attempt at Clay modeling

I don't think I can match her skills, but I am keen to learn to make more things with Fimo clay - I'm hoping to make some flowers and other simple stuff to go onto cards.  

Friday, 8 August 2014

Loom Bands Craze Summer 2014

Summer 2014 is officially loom bands crazy, and if you can't beat them - join them. I have resisted the craze as long as I could, but in the end, since we're having yet another stay-at-home vacation, I've invested in a several looms and literally thousands of loom bands. But the truth is you only need a couple of forks, and it probably is much easier than using the looms.

The kids are spending hours on YouTube searching for best tutorials, not just bracelets, but 3D mini toys and bag charms  - so far we like OlgaCrafts best, as sometimes talk-free tutorials are the easiest to follow.

At the end of the day, the technique for making loom band bracelets are very similar to loom knitting, so once you've mastered the "hooking over" then you can knit anything. I am partial to flower designs, so I have joined the kids in doing a few starburst bracelets. Making loom band bracelets is surprisingly fun, and highly addictive! Each one took me just over an hour so that's about a day's work here:

Starburst Loom Bracelet

Hmm, which colour should I wear today?
I predict this loom band summer craze will last awhile, and I bet there will be lots of Christmas Decorations made this year out of loom bands.
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