Saturday 7 November 2015

Back on the high street!

For those who remember when I spent a lovely few months two years ago selling my wares at the Handmade Boutique on Drury Lane in Solihull well my next new venture is starting again today!

I am again in a local designers shop this time called Naissance De which is a collaboration of local artists selling our products which range from pictures, sewn items, a lot of bridal items and, of course, my infamous Christmas Tags!  The shop is located in the exactly the same one as last time which is on Drury Lane - right next door to Regis and between the High Street and Mell Square (just up from BHS).  The grand opening is today so if you are in the area please pop in and say hi - there will be a live band and we also have local reporters visiting.

This venture will be lasting six months this time so you can imagine how busy I have been behind the scenes preparing all my new stock!

Thanks for looking - Off on an adventure in Solihull (All very, very exciting!)

Friday 30 October 2015

Tims October tag

Just a quick post as I have done Tim's October tag this month - I love any excuse to create anything halloweeny or spooky so this was a must!

I used resist kraft cardstock to cut out a coffin shape which I then inked with vintage photo with black soot around the edges, I then inked over with black soot using a bat stencil to highlight certain areas.   I don't have any of the dimensional dies yet so I went for a silhouette and frame which are mounted with 3d foam so they are slightly dimensional but it doesn't really show on the picture.  The frame was cut from kraft cardstock and coloured using Antique Bronze distress paint and then some bronze inka gold - the silhouette is plain black cardstock.  To give a bit more dimension I decided to add a bloody flower - this was harder to create than I thought!  I melted red UTEE in my melting pot and held the flower up so that it dripped down to look like blood - I then heated it with a heat gun to finish and managed to melt a great globule but hey ho it still looks like blood so I left as is and finished with a black leaf again tinted with bronze inka gold for a bit of sparkle.  The ticket is stamped on kraft card and swoosh through Antique Bronze paint the same as the frame and I finished the whole thing off with a fabulous skull and crossbow.

Thanks for looking - Feeling spooky from Solihull

Saturday 26 September 2015

Tims September Tag

I got a chance to have a play day a couple of weeks ago so thought I would play along with Tim and here is the outcome:

Thought I would go with a Christmas card as that is what I need to get started on!  I didn't realise Frosted was different from Frosted Film so got in a bit of a pickle but when I realised I stuck the Frosted Film I had stamped and cut out onto Clearly for Art modelling film so that I could mould it and keep the frosted look on the tree.  As for the transparent texture paste what a wonderful product! I don't know how I have lived this long without it!  I seem to have made a load of these backgrounds now although that could be that my long gone papercrafting mojo has suddenly returned!

The background was done with a few alcohol inks, stamped with the tree and then the transparent texture paste was added whilst that dried (doesn't take that long - you certainly don't need to leave your creations over all the windowsills overnight as you do with the other texture pastes I use!) I made the holly leaves using glassine paper and alcohol inks and the pearls are from a Primark necklace again coloured with alcohol inks.  The pinecone and other bits and pieces are cut from sizzix dies with the pieces then being inked and stamped to finished.

This then spurred me on to create a couple of scrapbook layouts last weekend!  Something I haven't done for about three years - I might share them on the blog soon, we shall see as I have suddenly found myself really busy as I am taking part in another pop up shop in Solihull next month for a whole six months, gulp!  Am so excited!  Details are here: my details will be added shortly.  Only confirmed my space yesterday so have been busy planning already and looking forward to spending the next couple of weeks getting organised!

Thanks for looking - Getting creative from Solihull

Monday 31 August 2015

What a Hoot!

Well I have to say we did have a hoot when we nipped into Birmingham to see the all the lovely owls displayed around town.  We managed to find 43 in all - not bad as we were winging it without a map! These were my three favourites (don't know why!):

"You can call me owl" - what a fab name too!!!!

As you can see I have left sneaky clues on the photos as to where they were found!

I have to say we had great fun trundling around and we didn't have to go far as a lot of them are situated together.  If you get chance go and take a peek - I think they will be around until the end of September.

Thanks for looking - City Girl at heart from Solihull

Friday 28 August 2015

Tim's August 2015 tag

Finally a blog post!  I am still having a break from my pc hence no blogging for a while although I am still busy crafting away.  I planned to spend  most of the summer holidays sewing when I could and with less than a week left I have done well, erm, none!  I am still working on my next crochet blanket and some other bits and pieces but have been having far too much fun with my boys to get my machine out.

I have, however, suddenly found the urge to get inky and messy again this week - finally!  It seems like an age since I have played with my papers but I have learnt now that if I am not in the mood it's not worth forcing myself as I really don't enjoy it and that's definitely not what playing is all about is it!  So now I just go with the flow and play when I fancy.  So where do I turn to for inspiration when I feel the need to get inky??  Tims blog of course!  So here is my entry for the August 2015 tag:

I have used some Lost and Found paper, a Sizzix Journey die, some ephemera that I got in one of Tim's classes - Journeys of the past, Ticket Sizzix die and matching stamp, the mini car is a chipboard Guy Thing miniature by Gina's Designs coloured with Black Soot ink, chit chat stickers - I was thinking about Duran Duran when I was making this as they are touring soon so I went with the saying "is there some place I should go" - bet you will all sing "Is there something I should know" now!!  I used some photo slide tape with letters spelling out travel, the vial label is inked with Old Paper and has a Special Delivery remnant rub on it.  I used a Tim spinner and not sure about the compass as to whether that's one of Tim's but it was in my Tim treasure chest!  The background inks used were Shabby Shutters, Broken China, Squeezed Lemonade, Black Soot and Vintage Photo.  Tag was then splattered with Picket Fence distress stain and finished with a lovely wool twine.

All in all a fun afternoon!  Am half way through July's tag now too!

Thanks for looking - chilled out from Solihull

Sunday 14 June 2015

Well its done!

Finally - 315 stitches, 160 rows and two lots of edging:

Really pleased with it!  Its been on the settee since Friday and still hasn't had anything spilt on it! Quite a result really.

Also I did mean to blog during the last couple of weeks the graffiti lesson DS2 and I had whilst on holiday in Boscombe, here is mine:

had to be a cog! It should have been the two greys in the middle with the purple edging but as I was painting onto a grey wall it didn't work out well so I borrowed B's pink paint and used that instead.

Here is B's:

So look out Solihull skate park as we might go add our tags to the fabulous graffiti there.

Thanks for looking - all crocheted out from Solihull.

Saturday 30 May 2015


can you believe that not only am I writing a blog post but I have done Tim's May tag this afternoon too!  The past few weeks have been hectic for me but I have made some decisions on what I want to do with my career, life and everything and am now a lot clearer in my mind so hopefully my mojo might be returning!  Even if it doesn't I have been sleeping a lot better recently so it just goes to show changes were needed!  Or it could just be the excitement of Aston Villa being in the FA Cup final this afternoon!  It was lovely walking around Asda this morning getting in our beers and crisps ready for the match seeing lots of Villa shirts been worn - I didn't have mine on as its a few years old and I am worried it might be a tad snug (no idea why!) but I will have it on in a couple of hours time and will hide any unsightly bulges on the settee under my crochet blanket as I am sure I can crochet and watch the match at the same time - right???? we shall see....

Anyways here is my quick version of Tim's May tag:

I used a bright green hessian background from Poundland which I toned down with Tea Dye ink. Then I applied texture paste through Tims Cargo stencil and when dry the ink from underneath had bled through which I liked so I left as is rather than adding more ink.  All the other bits had already been cut out and prepared and were in my "to be used when time is short" box apart from the nib and bottle which were both already cut out but I added the rubons and tea dye ink to the bottle and Pewter paint to the nib, edged it with Walnut Stain and added a bit of twine.  The tag was finished with two bits of muslin which I inked with Broken China.  Took me all of a couple of hours and I am hoping that this will be the new start of my papercrafting sessions again! (Not that I have lost my creativity as I have been busy sewing, knitting and crocheting but obviously there are only so many hours in the day so papercrafting has been on hold for a while).   Oooh edited to add that I forgot to say the Picket Fence spray stain, that I bought a couple of months ago and had not been yet opened, was also used on this!  Whoop.

We have just spent a lovely half term week in Bournemouth where my youngest son and I went on a Spray Paint Workshop - basically we got to graffiti on a large wall with spray paints in cans!  Great fun and I promise I will blog all about it soon (I now have a tag and everything!)  Also the huge crochet blanket for my four seater settee is coming along nicely (even that went on the trip to Bournemouth!) and I will post an update on that soon too.

Anyway gotta dash - important telly viewing about to start!  Come on Villa.......

Thanks for looking - keeping everything crossed for the Villa to win from Solihull

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Have a Latte Blog Hop

It's my turn for the Have a Latte blog hop hosted by the wonderful MdmSamm and cheerleaded on by CalicoJoan over at MoosestashQuilting.

I love the material that was supposed to be used in this hop but it isn't yet available in Europe and I didn't want to pay the shipping bills that would have occurred if I got it from Canada so I decided to join in and use up some old coffee themed fabrics I had in my stash - I used a charm pack called Java by Moda.  I have to confess that inspiration completely left me in the run up to this hop (particularly as I had got confused and thought I was also in the bird hop and had spent a while making a bucket bag only to realise I wasn't and was too late to join! doh), then I got a general idea of what I wanted to do but then lacked the enthusiasm to get going until a couple of weeks ago - so unlike me but I guess I have just been preoccupied with other things at the moment.  However when I did get going I thoroughly enjoyed making these placemats:

the odd background you can see there is my London themed dining cloth!


all of the backs are like this:

I didn't really want to put them onto black backgrounds but rather than go out and buy more stash I decided to make do with what I currently had and I must say I was pleased I did as they look quite striking in real life.  I aim to make three more but with a tea theme.

I also had two long strips of fabric both with 11 coffee images on so I made these quick coasters:

which are all the same back and front apart from one of each colourway which I have just put a plain back on.

Hope you have enjoyed a nice coffee whilst visiting my blog and thank you for passing through!  The other participants today are:

April 21
Sunshine Reflections  (you are here)

So pop on over to their blogs too.

Thanks for looking - Full of caffeine from Solihull

Monday 13 April 2015

Blogger Fun Day

Well I had a lovely day Saturday out and about in Stratford with some lovely new blogging crafty friends - we all had to meet in the Deli Cafe at 11am wearing flowers of some type so it was all very exciting!

I would just like to say a big thank you to all the bloggers who bought gifts for me - they were all so thoughtful and lovely and it was lovely to meet all of you and can't wait to do it again soon.

I myself will be taking part in a Latte Blog Hop next week, however the hop itself actually begins today so if you would like to join in and hop through and see some of the wonderful creations my fellow sewers make then today's link are here:

April 13

Be sure to check them out for some inspiration.

I had a lovely break with the children and other half during the Easter holidays where we spent a great week in Torquay.  On our first day trip out on the Monday we went to Totnes and as I visited a lovely wool shop there (as you do!) I came across this lovely bundle of wooliness:

all made up ready packaged to do the granny stripe quilt over at attic24 so I decided to purchase it all as it was only £26 and I thought would make a lovely cover for my expensive fabric four seater settee that has already had coffee, pizza and, just last Thursday, an Easter Egg all spilt on it in some form or another!

I added three more balls to the collection:

as I wasn't sure how much wool the original blanket used up and then obviously I couldn't wait to get back home on Good Friday to get started on it!  This is as far as I have got to today:

Isn't it already look fabulous!  What with this, my Christmas Quilt (basically almost finished now - it just needs the binding hand sewn onto the back) and my Latte blog hop exhibits its all stations go here.

Am now off to do a bit more......

Thanks for looking - busy hooking in Solihull

Saturday 28 March 2015

Long time no blog!

Lots have been happening here but I am still keeping my blogging to a minimum in order to try and be more creative!

I have had a go at basket weaving (no laughing please it is a first attempt!):

and a couple of weeks ago I had a lovely trip to Bramble Patch in Northampton with the girls where I told them I was in a bird themed blog hop and as I had so much bird material to use up (the reason for joining the hop) I did not need to buy anymore, anyway I fell in love with this new material:

so I bought a bag pattern (thought it would be quicker than designing one myself) and got busy free motion quilting all those yellow birds on the red material - the same is on the birdcage material but in cream so its not so noticeable.  Anyway I was half way through making the bag when I saw the bird hop advertised as starting on 13th March as I thought my schedule was for 13th April I rechecked and discovered that I am actually in the coffee blog hop and not the bird one (yes I have loads of coffee related fabric piling up here too which is where the confusion probably came in although lets face it I am rather ditsy so it was probably just that!).  I was then too late to join in the bird hop but have finished this bag anyway so I can now keep my latest crochet project in it.

I have also bought and knitted these adorable pixie boots:

I bought the pattern and wool at the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC last Saturday and had them finished on Sunday morning at my crop!  Such fun.  Can now jingle around the house although DS2 keeps trying to pinch them!

Anyway that's it for a bit from me now, looking forward to meeting up with some new crafting buddies in a couple of weeks and also taking part in the Latte blog hop the week after!

Thanks for looking - enjoying life in Solihull

Saturday 14 February 2015

Love is in the air

The Knit for a Bit girls have been at it again and a love seat has mysteriously appeared in Solihull this morning:

If you would like to come along and join in our crazy shenanigans and have lots of fun and giggles whilst knitting for either yourself or for a worthwhile cause then see or for details.

Also whilst on my travels around Solihull this morning I picked up this bargain from Maplins:

A set of security scissors - used mainly for shredding sensitive paper - for £1.99!  They are ideal for papercrafting but you will have to be quick as the Solihull store only has six left in stock and you will need to ask for them as they are not on the shelves!

Also I don't know whether you saw my Eclectic Elements blog hop post earlier this week but am very excited to say that all three of my projects were pinned by Tim!  How cool is that.

Thanks for looking - Feeling the love from Solihull

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Its the Eclectic Elements Blog Hop!!!

I am sew excited!  Have been waiting for this day for what seems like ages now!  A big thank you for joining me to see my creations with the lovely Tim Holtz range of fabrics.  First up:

I designed this bag using the new range of fabrics:

I have wanted to design my own bag for a while now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  The bag has a front flap which when opened displays:

I wanted two front pockets to be able to throw last minute bits and pieces in such as a car park ticket and I also wanted a secure area in which to keep my purse hence the zipped compartment - here is a closer view of the top:

The bag is fully lined and inside there is a further zipped pocket and two normal pockets.

Here is a view of the back of the bag, again with another pocket (can you tell I like pockets!):

the pocket is secured with a loop and Tim Holtz fragment which I have made into a button using matching paper.

Here is a close up of the handle to show the quilting:

It says Smidge as that's what my OH calls me - I have also put my age (but am not showing that!) and the year on the handle - all other letters are random throughout.  All of the bag is quilted using Tims Word Play sizzix die as a template - I cut out lots of letters with freezer paper which I then ironed onto the bag front, back pocket, the handle and the main bottle cap pieces which make up the basic bag and then I free motion quilted around each letter.  I spent a lovely day making this!

I then decided I needed a new Things To Do organiser in which to keep my notebook, pens, spare bits of paper and other useful stuff that I like to have handy, so I spent a few happy hours using some of the older range of fabric and hand sewing lots of hexagons and then hand sewing them altogether to make this:

as you can see it is big enough to hold an A5 notepad and various bits - there are three pockets on the left hand side and two on the right.  I finished it by machine sewing a binding on the inside and then hand sewing it onto the front to give it a nice finish.  Again it is held closed with a loop and this time a Tim Holtz muse token.

Then last Saturday I decided to add to my Eclectic Collection of finished items and made this in which to keep my Surface (type of tablet for those who don't know!) - here is the front:

I cut up the fabric into 2.5" squares and machine sewed them together into strips and then into two blocks, added some wadding and lining to make the case.  It is bound using the same method as the notebook holder and again finished with a loop (I like these loops too don't I!)  and this time a clear button with some matching paper glued onto it.  Here is the back:

I still have quite a bit of the new range of the fabrics left so am going to see what other inspiration there is on the next blogs in the hop.

Please join in with me and visit the following participants of the hop:

A big thank you to all the girls in taking part in this hop with me - can't wait to see what you have all made!

Thanks for looking - An Eclectic Sewer with sore fingers from Solihull

Sunday 1 February 2015

CC3C Technique No. 21

Well it looks like my papercrafting mojo is well and truly back as not only did I make a piece for Tim's January challenge yesterday but today I have done a piece for CC3C!  This is the first time I have taken part with CC3C that is how long I have not been playing with papers as they are on the 21st one!

The challenge is based on pg55 of the third volume of Compendium of Curiosities which is Rock Candy Distress Glitter.

Here is my take:

True to my task of trying to start using old/unused stash the decorative strip bird die has had its first outing on this tag despite being bought last September and also the rock candy glitter has only just been opened and I have had that for even longer!!

The tag uses the artful birds stamp set with the birdcage following the technique on pg 55.  The tag was inked with Victorian Velvet and Dusty Concord with all stamps inked up with Walnut Stain.  The bird is handcut out and also inked over with Victorian Velvet and then given a covering of glossy accents for a nice finish.

The pink flowers are Tims tattered floral die done up in 3d - if you want to see how to make them I have a YouTube video showing you how on my sidebar - the book page flowers are from a sizzix die that I won last year.  The garden greens are coloured with Peeled Paint ink, stamped with a script stamp and then have a light dusting of heirloom gold perfect pearls so they are a bit sparkly too.

If you would like to join in with the challenge the details are here over on the awesome Linda Ledbetters website.  You could not only win a fabulous prize from Tim and Mario but you get entered into a random draw for a fabulous $50 prize from The Inspiration Emporium.  How exciting is that!

Have had a lovely morning making this - might just go and do another one now.....

Thanks for looking - Feeling crafty from a slight snowy Solihull