Here’s One I Made – Bridget the Elephant

On Sunday, I shared my review of Kerry Lord’s Edward’s Menagerie crochet book and I said I would also share my first attempt at one of her animals. I treated myself to Bridget the Elephant. It took me a couple of weeks (the guide says 0-5 hours! yeah right :-)) but her she is!

2016_toft_elephant_01You can see where I started, the bottom of the body is err, slightly odd as I didn’t know really get how to do double crochet at first and one of the legs is bit odd…

2016_toft_elephant_02You can see that by the time I got the ears I was a little more confident in what I was doing. The whole elephant only uses double crochet, increasing and decreasing and I am really pleased with the outcome.

2016_toft_elephant_03You can buy the kit in two types, firstly with just the wool and a pdf pattern for £18.00 or you can add an A5 pattern chart, the stuffing, a needle and a 3mm crochet hook for just another £7.00 bring the total to £25.00.

Will I be doing another one? Oh yes I can’t wait, I am “hooked”.

Thanks for Reading

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Sunday Book Club – Edward’s Menagerie

I am back, having a couple of weeks off for a well-earned holiday (street art photos to follow!) and a couple of weeks off to catch up with the work that mounted up whilst I was on leave!

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have been wanting to learn to crochet for a very very long time. Over the summer I treated myself to a Toft kit with the aim of finally cracking this art form. I will share my attempt later in the week!

20161030_sbc_edwards_managerie_03In the mean time I want to talk about Kerry Lord’s book where she brings together a whole range of her patterns. Kerry has based her designs for her animals around a single base for all the bodies, legs/arms and head. It’s what you do with this base which is where the magic starts.

Each pattern using one of a couple of stitches (mainly double crochet, increasing and decreasing stitches) with some more complex stitches being introduced as the book progresses. To make it easier, Kerry categorises her patterns into three levels and if you are a complete beginner you start at the front and work through! There are also full instructions in the back of the book too.

20161030_sbc_edwards_managerie_01If that’s not enough, Kerry has made a lot of videos too where she talks about each of basic steps.

20161030_sbc_edwards_managerie_02Kerry has given each of her characters a back story, don’t think of a quaint stories about hip-hopping bunnies, these are fun, clever and will make you smile (well they made me smile).

I have fallen in love with these animals and I can’t wait to get her bird and monster books too.

Thanks for Reading


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Friday Feeling – The End of an Era

Happy Friday everyone. I couldn’t let this week go without discussing THE news story of the week. The once that shock us, got them talking in Rio and the one that has divided the nation (well as far as in on one side you have C4 and the Production Company and on the other – you have everyone else!) I am, of course talking about the move of Bake Off to Channel 4.

britishbake-off-675x400I have been a huge fan of the series since the first episode and although I don’t have the time to bake at the moment, I do still love the ideas (pancakes are on the menu this weekend!) and I have wide selection of the books. In fact I am prime watching audience, I don’t want talent shows but would clear my diary not to miss a show.

great_british_bake_offOver the last couple of years, my friends and I, run a Facebook thread to chat about the episode whilst it is showing, we discuss the “unusual” ingredient choices (often with the help of Wikipedia), chat about the mistakes in the making (just how hot does your oven have to be for Yorkshire Puddings?) and predict the star baker. And that is one of the things about bake-off – it invites discussion and analysis.

alaskagateWho can forget AlaskaGate? Did Diana do for Iain by removing his Alaska from the freezer? or CustardGate? When Deborah accidently used Howard’s custard… We have laughed at soggy bottoms and (certainly I) cheered when the lovely Dr James pulled off his haunted gingerbread barn in an early series (now that was performance under pressure).

And we were amazed when Paul (J) out-breaded Paul (H) with the make of all times – his Lion.

showstoppersI was one of the 13.5 Million who cheered when Naydia won last year but I was also one of the  2.7 who cheered when Ed won the first series. And now its moving…

So I how do I feel? Sad, the quiet general bawdy hour was a real break, I don’t want adverts, I don’t want product placing (although has anyone else noticed we have gone back to Kitchenaid this season..?) I manage change at work but I don’t want this to change.

In some ways I am glad that Mel and Sue are not going with the money, but that will change it a lot – anyone else will be just trying to be them. I wait to see what Mary and Paul decide.

And whilst I wish the team well – I am just a little sad and disappointed inside.

Thanks for Reading


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Here’s One I’m Making – Foxes and Fun

We have recently found out that our niece is into foxes, which is really good news as they are so “in” this year. I made this card to make her smile.

bj_gws_02It meets three challenges:

It also has dies from lots of different companies, from the base, to the grass to the foxes and to the tree and leaves.

Beth_GWS_02Beth_GWS_01I have used a side stepper for the base of this card, I find its a great design to tell a story with, especially when using animal stamps such as these foxes.

Beth_GWS_03As well as the fox stamps, I used the limited edition “Thoughtful Branches” dies and stamps from Stampin Up to make an autumnal tree.  I decided to stamp with the mixed media glue and “colour” the leaves by using gilding flakes.

Beth_GWS_04I love this technique but I do breathe a sigh of relief once I know the stamp is clean afterwards. This was a very detailed stamp so I made sure it was extra clean before putting it away.

Beth_GWS_05with such beautiful dies and stamps, I didn’t need to add much more to the design, just a couple of flowers and a wink of clear stella on the foxes themselves.

bj_gws_01(I will let you into a little secret – the fox at the front is only holding a flower because I was a little too generous with the wink of stella and the coral bled into the white belly!)

bj_gws_02Stash Used

  • Hunkydory – Adorable Scorable Cardstock
  • Oyster – Smooth White Cardstock
  • Tattered Lace – Side Stepper Midi Card Die
  • Lawn Fawn – Grass Edge Die
  • Stampin Up – Foxy Friends Stamps and Dies
  • Stampin Up – Thoughtful Branches Stamps and Die
  • Stampin Up – Calypso Coral Ink Pads
  • Honey Doo Crafts – Mixed Media Glue and Gilding Flakes
  • Prima – Paper Flowers
  • Zig – Wink of Stella Clear Pen

Thanks for Reading


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Sunday Book Club – GBBO Celebrate Christmas

To celebrate the return of the Great British Bake Off, I thought I would review of their recent books, Great British Bake Off Celebrates Christmas.

BC_BO_Chr_01This covers every area of Christmas, from sweet and savoury ideas for gifts (Mary’s Gingerbread or flatbread for Cheese), Warming meals for the family (Pies, tarts and loaves) to baking dishes for the big day (Yule Log and Brioche Snowmen!)

BC_BO_Chr_02Each recipe has clear ingredients (with very few surprises) and very easy to follow instructions, which don’t need too much expertise. In addition, there are hints and tips about when best to make and eat your baking, as well as suggestions for substitutions.

BC_BO_Chr_03I have lots of Christmas cookbooks and this one is a great all round book, both for cooking at Christmas and baking throughout the year. I recommend it for both experienced bakers and for those wanting to learn more about baking.

Thanks for reading


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Here’s One I’m Making – Christmas Cards 2016 (5)

As I work away in the week I do all my creating at the weekends as well as writing up all my blog posts. So although you are reading this in September, I can legitimately say “WooHoo I have finished my Christmas Cards in August”

CC_2016_Final_01I have really enjoyed having a target to complete over this summer and getting my Christmas cards completed in good time.  I am unlikely to have time for December Daily or Journal your Christmas this year but I am thinking about a Christmas Themed “Tuesday Tag” in November and December.

CC_2016_Final_03With the final stage of construction, I have now completed:

  1. Die Cut Window Frames
  2. Cut out Acetate for windows
  3. Stamp snowflakes on acetate (with white Stazon) and stick to windows
  4. Ink background cards and mask out snow and moon
  5. Stamp silhouette designs on to background cards (all different)
  6. Cut out the trims for the windows
  7. Cut out the word Merry for each card
  8. Emboss Snow on the background card
  9. Stamp the word Christmas
  10. Die cut the Christmas Banner
  11. Construct the windows
  12. Fix the background to the card
  13. Fix the window to the background
  14. Fix the decorations to the window with micro dots
  15. Fix the word “Merry” with microdots
  16. Stretch and Fix the Christmas banner with sillicon glue

CC_2016_Final_02Stash Used

  • Bazzill Cardstock – Light blue for window frames
  • Hunkydory – Purple Adorable Scoreable and Silver Mirricard
  • Crafters Companion – Centural Pearl – Hint of Silver
  • Oyster Card – White Background card
  • WH Smiths – Acetate
  • Stampin Up – Window Frame Die and “Merry” Die
  • Stampin Up – Falling Snow Embossing Folder
  • Tattered Lace – Christmas Trim Dies (Stars, Lanterns and Fairy Lights)
  • Stampin Up – Snowflake corner stamp and Time of Year Stamp Sets
  • Card-Io – Silhouette Stamps
  • Tsukineko – Stazon White Ink
  • Tsukineko – VersaMagic Purple and Blue Ink
  • Ranger- Archival Black Ink
  • Stampin Up – Rich Raspberry Ink Pad
  • Cosmic Shimmer – Acrylic Glue
  • 3D Foam
  • Blu Tack – Micro Dots
  • Stix2 – Silicon Glue

Thanks for Reading


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Here’s One I’m Making – Crazy Anniversary Card

Today is our wedding anniversary and to celebrate I made Mr BMB a card, which was a perfect opportunity to try out my new Spectrum Aqua pens from Crafters Companion. I have been wanting to invest in a good set of watercolour markers fora couple of years and as theses were on offer the other week, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

Wob_Ann_16_06I have also taken my inspiration from a couple of challenge sites:

It was also a chance to play with masking fluid (again). I love this stuff and I have recently started to use Molotow, a German company who put masking fluid in a pen with a fine nib, making it perfect for small stamps:

Wob_Ann_16_04These are the mini Crazy Birds so are half of the size of the main birds and stand just under 2 inches in height each! Anyway back to the masking fluid, it rubs off very quickly without impacting the details of the stamp.

Wob_Ann_16_01By using this fluid (which is extremely quick drying) is that I could keep the eyes and beak white whilst painting the rest of the body. The birds dried in about the same time I expect for alcohol inks but the colour combination is much more subtle than if I had used alcohol pens.

Wob_Ann_16_02I finished the cards off with a banner from the “Banners for You” stamp set from Stampin Up.

Wob_Ann_16_03Stash Used

  • UKCtraft – Card Blank
  • Hunkydory – Adorable Scorable Cream Cardstock
  • Hunkydory – 50 Shades of MirriCard
  • Lili of the Valley – Pattern Paper
  • Crafters Companion – Watercolour Pen
  • Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous – Mini Crazy Birds Stamps
  • Tim Holtz for Sizzix – Mini Crazy Birds Framelets
  • Stampin Up – Banners for You Stamps and Dies
  • Ranger – Archival Ink in Coffee
  • Crafters Companion – Spectrum Aqua Pens
  • Zig – Wink of Stella in Clear

Thanks for Reading


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