Friday, 30 October 2015

Times have changed!


I noticed when looking through my blogs that the times were all very strange...I was talking about getting to bed and the cool autumn evenings but the blogs are time stamped morning! After some playing around, I finally managed to correct the settings on the blog...yay! 

I also had a little play with signatures which was fun and there was meant to be one on my last post but apparently I had saved the URL incorrectly! Looks like that's sorted now too as I can see a dancing butterfly as I am typing...yippee!

Thought I'd do a quick post just to show you this wee table I did for our caravan. It was an old table of my Mum's (one of two, and I do plan to do something to the other one in time) and I decided to give it a makeover. 
I tried the Rust-Oleum chalky effect finish paint in sage. The paint needed a few layers to cover this old table and although it says no sanding required, in hindsight I should have given it a light sand just to give me a smoother surface to work on. It needed a few coats but I really loved the colour. 
I had found a beautiful good quality gift wrap in Waterstones that I really wanted to use (it had a beautiful print that looked like water colour paint) so I drew round the table top on the reverse side of the paper then cut it out. I glued this with some PVA to the top of the table.
Once it was completely dry, I filed the edges of the paper with a nail file (a trick that a good friend showed me - check out her blog, - so a big thanks to her as I've used this technique a few times now) just to give it a smoother finish so that it appeared to be part of the table top rather than an addition to it. 
The Rust-Oleum chalky finish paint only requires a wax coating but I decided to varnish the table to give it a more hard wearing finish and to seal that table top well so that it was a usable piece of furniture. Before I did this I sanded the table a little on all the edges to give it a more distressed and aged finish. This little table looks fab now in our caravan by the sea!
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Flutterbies and heffalumps are as cute as a button!

Hi to all the crafters out there on this slightly cooler autumn evening.  

It seems all my issues setting this blog up came from trying to do it on a tablet. Once I booted up the laptop, things became much easier...lesson learned! 

So tonight I am on the laptop and hopefully I won't be spending two or three hours trying to figure things out as I have some crafting to do for an order I received...a 40th birthday gift!

I have been trying to do more craft fairs to see if there is any demand for the frames I do and if there is, to see if I can make some pennies for all the crafting supplies I just HAVE to buy! 

For the fairs, I thought I should come up with a name for myself which I could put on a wee card for folk if they were interested. After quite a few name ideas with none quite hitting the mark I thought about my love for butterflies and elephants. I've a small collection of elephants (given to me by my son mostly) and slightly larger collection of butterflies (not real ones) displayed all over the house. I wanted a name that was a little whimsical and my Dad, when we were younger, always used to switch consonants in certain words when speaking to us which I'm sure a lot of mums and dads do to entertain their children. (I used to love hearing my son say the word balloon when he was learning to speak as it always came out as cute!)  

Flutterbies came to mind instead of butterflies so that was part one of the name. However, for elephants, my Dad used to say ephelants but I also really loved the Winnie the Pooh stories and A.A. Milne's creation, the heffalump...there was part two of the name!

Now for the crafting portion...

I've been trying to come up with some new ideas for frames that I can sell on the day of craft fairs (previously I've only had some examples of personalised ones and an order book) and starting playing around with some ideas using idioms.

This was my first attempt...cute as a button!

I wanted it to look quite rustic (code for homemade) so I got some small scraps of fabric and sewed them together in a patchwork formation for the centre of the frame. 

I sewed some large buttons onto this in places then secured it under the mount. 
I used buttons for the clouds and the flowers. 
For the flower stalks and the sky I used some white hessian style fabric to make some strips with raggedy edges. I then used embroidery thread in green and a simple running stitch for the flower stalks. For the sky, I just did some random stitching back and forth with blue embroidery thread. 
I had some letter cubes (which I think I got from Ebay) which I used for the 'cute as a' part then for 'button' I had some letter buttons which I bought a while ago from Hobbycraft. I was fairly please with the finished frame (although for my patchwork I definitely need more sewing lessons from my Mum) and hopefully somebody will like it. I will be taking it along to the next craft fair I am doing on the 27th November so fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Blogging...apparently it's been going on for a while!


Amanda here for Flutterbies and Heffalumps!
I'm new to blogging - a friend of mine said to give it a try but it has taken me a while to figure out how to set everything up! I thought of myself as quite computer literate until I tried to do this!

There are certainly plenty of blogs and vlogs out there already - all I'm really hoping for with this blog, is to connect with other crafters and share some ideas. 

I guess I should start at the beginning - 

I've always enjoyed being creative and trying new things. Over the years I've done some jewellery making, glass painting, tried my hand at drawing and painting - the list goes on! I have always wished I was more artistic than I am (my godmother is a beautiful artist and I have always admired her ability of being able to put brush to canvas and create something quite breathtaking) but I've settled quite happily into creative and crafty instead. 

When I learned in February 2014 that my husband and I were going to be grandparents to a beautiful granddaughter, I wanted to give her a unique gift that I had made myself.  Little did I know at the time that this would develop into quite the hobby (with a few commissions on the side)!

This frame is now hanging in our granddaughter's room. It took me quite a few months (in between work and everything else that goes on in life) to complete. The cardboard letters were each decorated individually with fabric, ribbons, buttons, paint, decoupaged papers and other little decals. 

Fabric was secured inside the mount and butterflies were layered to create a 3d effect. The top butterfly was decorated with fabric and buttons.
Everything was carefully glued into place before I sealed the frame. The large frame is from IKEA. They are the best value frames I have found so far so I journey there on a regular basis to stock up! 
I've been learning as I go and some things have not worked as well as I'd hoped but how else do you get better at something other than by practise! 

I'm going to sign off just now to get some rest before work tomorrow but hopefully, if I remember how I did this, I'll be back later in the week!

Carry on Crafting, Amanda x