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Too busy to blog!

It’s just been crazy around here and I have simply not had the time to do anything even remotely crafty.  But my FIL sent me this little gen this morning and I thought it was so fabulous I thought I would share a couple of the geeky  goodies.

First, for the steampunk fans, this USB typewriter.  Type on the keys and it shows on the screen.  Genius.  Expensive, but a DIY kit can be had for $74.


Read about how it works here.

And while I know sme people hate the idea of re-purposing books, I liked this idea of taking an old book (or even a new one) and turning it into a charging dock for the iPhone.  I wonder what Siri would say?

and this one is ALMOST scrappy, pixel tape.

So maybe just the thing for the geek in your family for Christmas.




No crafting yesterday!

We were busy with a house full of people, all here for a big BBQ and air rifle shooting competition.  And DD is still off school (inset day) so not sure if I will get to it today either.  Plus there is still a bit of clean up needed from the  festivities <sigh>

The BBQs are all in a row – the new design of our favourite big Friar Tuck BBQ, awaiting christening, our old workhorse, that has seen 100s of meals prepared over the last couple of years, the old and the new Mini-Q (perfect for taking to Womad and Cropredy) and the Weber we brought over with us, specifically for beer-butt chicken as it’s the only one with a lid. The vegetarian mini-grill is on the ground – this was perfect so we could use the same grill for meat and non-meat cooking, with no cross contamination (one vegetarian in a sea of meat eaters is always a challenge!)  Genius.

Somehow I suspect that altering the BBQs with rubber stamps is NOT something DH will approve.  So a quick tidy today (I’ve let my room get into a bit of a state again, dragging out things for a variety of projects, none actually started yet, just piled up ready to work on) and some quality time with DD as she is back to school tomorrow and Thursday, then off again Friday and Monday, Which makes for a totally fragmented week for me. Combined with some very dodgy internet over the last few days, it’s been an …interesting few days!

Not being able to creatively play makes me a bit tetchy, and I need to sort out projects for Julia’s crop on Saturday, not to mention something for the pot luck!


DS is 18!

Oh lordy, lordy.  I am the mother of an adult today!  How did that happen?

While I do have a crafty bit of my own to add, it’ll have to wait as today I have to bake peanut butter cookies in lieu of a birthday cake.  And there are a few other things going on that will keep me from making a proper post.  Since I missed out on the Sunday-someplace-else for a few weeks, I am going to drop this little gem on you, by Marie Darby.  I love the idea – it reminds me of the door curtain made from old slides, but perhaps easier to do as all you need are digital photos.

There are details on how to make on yourself on Under the Sycamore, and the supplies list is quite small: a lampshade (apparently you can get self-adhesive ones), glue, vellum, cutting tools, photos and a printer.

If the photo version doesn’t float your boat, there is another version using text.


Napkin Craft

DH went to Tokyo recently and as always was on the lookout for something papercraft for me.  I have a good stash of origami papers and fabric from past trips so this time he got something a bit more unusual.  I am struggling to think of something fun to do with them:

Paper napkins!  I have never done anything with napkins, although there was that great YouTube video for ironing them to cardstock with cling-film to then use for cardmaking.

I am trying to come up with something interesting, but at the moment my head is way too filled with dollmaking bits. I did see another video for putting them on canvases with Mod Podge, I think, and I happen to have three, so maybe that is a good fit. I love the sushi one – maybe kitchen art?

Any ideas for me? Leave them in comments, and links are hugely welcome if you have one, to your blog or another you found in your travels.


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Someplace else….

Somehow I messed up the Friday post so here I am, on a Saturday (not very common, I know) posting about what kept me busy last week:


Stockwell Farm is a lovely old stone farmhouse in Powys.  It was rustic, and remote, and made for very lazy days.

On the way back (well, “on the way” is a bit of a misnomer – more like we made a detour) we popped in to Stourhead Gardens.  WOW.  Wish we had gotten an earlier start and had a slightly drier visit, but it was stunning.

In any case it was a pleasant and relaxing week with very little getting done.  Just what was needed.

Back to normal services next week, I hope, once the doll gets done!

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Unpleasant day

I am not a blogger who unloads buckets of personal detail on my blog.  I know there are those who prefer a craft-info-only craft blog, as well as those who prefer the mix of craft and life but that really isn’t a factor for me and my handful of readers – it’s a personal choice as I just don’t feel comfortable sharing all the ins and outs of our family life with (potentially) anyone who stumbles on this place so I don’t.  But my DD had 5 teeth pulled yesterday (hence the no-post) and the timing couldn’t be worse as there was a last minute scheduling of a BBC film crew coming to the house (I’ll pause while you look around YOUR house, which is perhaps like MY house, clean, comfortable, but not in the pristine state you would wish it to be if you knew it could potentially be seen by the nation on one of the biggest fundraising nights on TV, Children in Need, and then go O M G!) on Thursday.  DDs skating group, SPICE (Special People on Ice) gets funding from CIN and they nominated DD to be the subject and there we are.

You can just about see DD in the red trousers in the middle.

So I will not be posting much, because I will be cleaning, esp. my scrap room.  On the upside, my WOYWW post is likely to be a real shocker LOL! A clean desk, after months of chaos?  That should be interesting.

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This week’s SSE is Knock-off Wood.  What an amazing blog.  The owner, Ana, is a SAHM, a IT type, and builds amazing stuff, completely self-taught, from what I can gather.  Lots of her projects make use of standard size (ie as you can buy them from the store) bits of wood, and her plans (never having made any of them) look very simple.  Two of my favourites are the loft bed for her daughter:

and the garden daybed (ok, perhaps less than practical in rainy England, but what bliss it would be to lie swinging gently on a warm and sunny day, under the apple tree, with a good book and a monstrous jug of iced tea.

She also has plans for some fab raised garden beds, an adorable toddler day-bed, a really  gorgeous farmhouse bed, made from scraps, and an amazing garden playhouse.

You may need to do a bit of converting of measurements and some of the US standard size as sold bits of wood may not be the same in the UK but in general I think even *I* could make one of these designs.


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With summer holidays looming, finding fun things to do with the kids is always a priority. While my DD wouldn’t really get on with these, because of her foot brace, other kids might find it a nice diversion for the afternoon.

From the Disney, site, it’s PAPER SHOES. OK, so not hugely practical in often wet England, but it did make me smile. I wonder if a good coating of Mod Podge would weather proof them a bit and maybe a bit of fabric or rubber rather than paper on the insole would make them more comfortable – although to be honest I can only see these as a bit of fun for a day, and I can see a gaggle of tween girls having fun making and modeling them.


iPad cover, made with love

So we got iPads. And we got two of the “official Apple iPad covers”. Two problems – first, we need three of them and second they are not perfect for using the pad upright. They are marginally better landscape but in portrait they are def. a bit like Weebles except they do fall down (sing it with me now “Weebles wobble and they do fall down….”)

The first iteration was for me, because DS demanded that he get the second of the two covers as he uses his on the go more than I do at the moment. They are pretty utilitarian, if I’m honest, so it wasn’t too hard to say OK and set about making a pretty one.

It is a simple cover, with not really a lot of padding, so fairly thin. I may add a bit of felt to the inside at some point but as it is really meant to protect the screen when I put it in my handbag it works perfectly. Not sure how much protection it would be against a full-on drop from a height but I have no desire to test it to see.

The corner bits were tricky due to the positioning of the buttons on the sides – only the left side is clear of any ports or holes or cooling holes. The elastic works pretty well as it is easily shifted if it covers a bit of the screen I need to see.

So DH like that well enough (maybe not the chaos of roses, but the design) and after listening to him moan about needing a stand of some kind, I set about trying to sort his problem.

The second iteration is a bit more complex and still needs refining but works well, he says.

What he likes best is the tilt adjustment using velcro and felt.

There is an opening behind the base of the triangle formed by the pad-rest and the support flap that will house the little extra support so the pad can be used portrait orientation once I work out the angle and experiment with how best to make that adjustable as well.

I will def. refine this more and the act of making them, much like with my mini-albums, taught me a lot about better ways of construction and design.


Paper doll banner

My banner is coming along. Here are two more, templates from the same link from yesterday. These are a blast to make, I must say, and I can’t wait to get them all strung up!

First, one that reminds me that “life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes” – I am all about comfort over style, I’m afraid. Right now I am wearing sweat pants (what do they call them here? joggers? track suit bottoms? something like that!) and a flannel shirt that was last in “fashion” (and I use that term VERY loosely) when the Seattle grunge scene and Nirvana hit. Soooooo comfy. The doll has clock faces stamped on her body (time, get it?) and the shoes are a pair of Yves Saint Laurent “cage shoes” that I grabbed off the net, reduces, then flipped one and printed on patterned paper. It’s hard to tell but the arms are stamped with a two-step dance diagram and there is a shimmer of glimmer mist over it. Hair is obviously a flower, folded in half.

The next one is a reminder to always, always Make Time For Art!  The face is a vintage image of Louise Brooks, reduced and printed on cardstock (printer setting for MATTE PAPER really helps) and she has tiny little Scrabble letters (another ancient bit of stash) around the clock face (time again!) behind her head.  The body is a collage sheet from some old issue of Somerset Studios (possible 4 or 5 years old!) and the legs are covered with little snips from a Starbucks flyer.  Shimelle used them to great effect once, many years ago, and I grabbed some the next time I was in Starbucks – they have sat in my collage drawer ever since.  What better way to get wired for creativity than lots and lots of coffee?

You can just about see the wings (from a monarch butterfly colouring page) and the shimmer on it.

I have a third on the go, a reminder to just say NO to hats, even when going to a wedding since hats in no way suit me, and another planned which I will likely use the wartime Keep Calm poster for the body, and which will remind me to keep my temper.  I imagine my window would fit at least 6 but maybe as many as 10.  We’ll see if I run out of ideas or interest after these.

I think I MAY try to string letters in there too, saying maybe NOTE TO SELF or something like that.  We shall see…..