Summer Holiday Crafting

While I’ve been off my feet for a while this summer and since the end of the Olympics, I’ve been encouraging Alice to get a bit more creative. To be fair, it hasn’t been that difficult as we’ve had a few rainy miserable days here and it’s always fun to empty the making box all over the kitchen table.

Alice traded in some of her lizard cards from Explore Learning for a set of t-shirt graffiti pens, so we ordered her a couple of cheap white t-shirts to have a play with. They arrived earlier today so she had a great afternoon finding her inner fashion designer.

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I love how she put a design on the back too!

I’ve also encouraged her to start making cards for her friend’s birthdays. Her friend Daisy was seven at weekend and she wanted to make a bird card like the ones I’ve been making recently, so I gave her a choice of some of the girly floral papers to make one with. This is pretty much all her own work with the exception of the mounting for the happy birthday flag. Her friend loved the card and I do too.  I think it’s great how she made the bird fly, adding in a second wing behind.

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Another craft I’ve tried to do with Alice is some basic sewing.  I think it’s a skill everyone should master, even if it only means being able to sew on a button.  I know it is a skill that will help with her Brownie badges.  So on a recent trip to Clark Crafts in Ramsbottom, I found this little kit.  As she loves cats at the moment, this looked like the ideal kit to start with.

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It’s a pretty simple kit and comes with everything needed to make the cat, including stuffing and a needle (plastic).  It took a few goes, but she finally mastered the basic running stitch to put all the pieces together, then spent a good half hour deciding where all the embellishment pieces would go.  She loves the finished cat and it has slept by her bed every night!  I need to make sure she doesn’t lose this liking for sewing and get out some of the other kits I have hidden away that she hasn’t been interested in up to now.

Well it’s back to school next week, so it’s time for me to get on with some more sewing – name tapes in uniform!  And I must remember to get a new dance uniform too.

Happy crafting
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Birthday Crafting

Today is my husband’s birthday so we can finally give him all the things we’ve been making this week.

Alice made him a card in her own special style! I think he’ll love it when he gets home from work later. The envelope is a complete delight and makes absolutely no sense to anyone that hasn’t read ‘Danger in Everywhere’.

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And later it will be time for cake too! I made this sponge sandwich yesterday. It’s a simple all-in-one sponge mix with cocoa powder and Alice and I filled it with peanut butter! We then topped it with chocolate spread and flaked almonds (we’ll put a candle on it after tea tonight).

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I don’t think it’s my best ever cake and I’m really not sure about the peanut butter. I think this could end up very dry, so we might be eating it with ice cream.

I’ve also made a batch of biscuits which he’s already got and taken to work. I hope they go down well amongst his colleagues.

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And here’s my card. It took me ages to find some inspitation for this one. I’ve done so many bike racing cards over the last few years I wanted to do something different. I struggled to find a picture of a camera, so went with his other interest – red wine!

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So Happy Birthday Mr B.

Have a great day
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It’s the Olympics

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am obsessed with the Olympics.  I always get swept up in the whole spectacle of it and nothing will ever come close to the enormity of London in 2012, but this year is just amazing.  It has certainly helped cure the boredom of resting my broken foot!  Mind you, it’s also making me itch to get moving again and looking at my wasting calf muscle is making me think I might give my bike another go (once the Robocop boot has gone).

I’ve been trying to spend some time on making things for the house.  The summer is always a bit quieter for making, so it seems the ideal time to do some home décor upgrades.  My problem is I can’t concentrate on anything but the amazing performances of all Team GB over in Rio.  Every time I start something, somebody does something incredible again and I can’t take my eyes off the tv!

I was watching the diving the other night and had to undo three rounds of crochet, so I gave up in the end.  I didn’t even get anything out yesterday. I was far too nervous watching Max Whitlock, Justin Rose and Jason Kenny to even pick anything up.  It’s so fantastic how all the athletes are doing and across so many different sports too.

Cyclist Birthday Card

I’m missing the ‘dancing horses’ this afternoon as I’ve managed to tear myself away from the telly and hobble my way to town so Alice can attend a creative writing workshop.  And I’ve just discovered I’ve left my phone at home!  So I’m itching to get home to find out how the Team GB representatives have got on.  I don’t know how I’ll go on next week when it’s all over if I’ve got withdrawal symptoms now, and I’m only missing a couple of hours!

Being out for a bit has made me remember the 2012 Olympics and how I was obsessed with red, white and blue in my card-making.

Red , white and blue birthday bunting

As Team GB are doing so well again, it may be time to resurrect the patriotic colour theme, although I’m not sure if I can concentrate for long enough this week to make anything!  Hopefully I will get a little bit of time to think and pull some designs together.  I haven’t done any bunting for a while and I’ve just bought some new wash tape, so that could be another theme to follow through.Birthday Bunting Card

There’s also the Olympics theme to carry on, and sports isn’t something I’ve ever really done anything with (except a few bicycles for hubby’s birthdays or an occasional football).  I’ve always stayed away from the traditional ‘male’ style cards, so it might just be time for a change of focus – at least for a little while.

P1250047Actually that reminds me, I only have a few days to make hubby’s birthday card, and then it’ll be time to turn my attention to Christmas makes

But there’s still plenty of Olympics to watch yet, so

Come on Team GB
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Birthday Draw Winner

July went by really quickly so today it was time to put all the names into the cup for my fourth birthday prize draw.

Thank you to everyone that ordered and purchased from me this month.  There were fourteen names in the cup and the winner is ……

Kate Treadwell.

Congratulations Kate.  I hope you like your prize – a set of five bird and owl cards.

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Happy crafting
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School Summer Fair

Just as I started to see some time ahead for a weekend off, I received a text from school, asking if I would like a stall at the upcoming school summer fair. With only a weeks notice I was going to decline, however, Alice talked me into it as she loved to help set up. I’m not so sure she’ll be able to as she should be in class, but I’ve said if she’s really good all morning she can ask her teacher if she can come and help.

So it’s been all systems go again this week. I decided to make up a collection of mainly thank you cards, specially for this fair. I’ve gone back to some old favourites and there will be groups of ten cards in each design. I’ve gone with owls, birds and apples as my main ideas.

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I will also take my now dwindled stock, along with some fruit keyrings and rose brooches.

Rose Brooches

Rose Brooches

Keyrings

Keyrings

I’m also toying with the idea of running a raffle to win a collection of five ‘dangler’ cards, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time to make them beforehand, so if I do go down this route I might raffle one of my knitted cats instead. Actually I could do a ‘name the cat’ and donate the proceeds to the school. They are raising money to do some work on a rather neglected wildlife and pond area, an area I reckon my two naughty kittens (Lily and George) have begun to frequent (and the less said about that the better).

Well it’s back to my desk again for now, these apple cards are not going to make themselves!

Happy crafting
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My First Shop Order

Following my successful meeting with Kerry at ‘Hearts for Homes’, she placed a significant order for a further card selection. So over the last couple of weeks I have been working my way through the list occasions. This always looks easy at the beginning, but I was also left to my own devices regarding colours and design. I don’t know if it’s just me, but having no input isn’t always a good thing. For the most part I have been following my current obsessions and have included several of my ‘dangler’ cards (there really must be a better name for them).

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And with the end of term fast approaching ( I really do need to make a start of Alice’s things), I have also added some of this year’s most popular make – the apple blackboard thank you card.

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I also had a yearning to make some more handbag cards. I haven’t made any for quite some time and I realised why – they take ages and need more desk space than I have available in my little craft area. Next time I will make up a few and use the kitchen table! Having said all that, I really have enjoyed putting the handbags together and I’m pleased with how they turned out, in particular the 40th birthday one.

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The papers are so sumptuous. I think it almost looks like velvet.

I thoroughly enjoyed putting the six wedding cards together, although it’s getting harder to make each one unique. I’m going to have to find some time to do some more research and development and see what designs are the most popular.

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The last cards I made were for engagements and get well soon. I always find these occasions difficult and they certainly took longer than the others in terms of designs. But I managed to use my new hexagon die for some of them and I really like the effect, so I might be doing a little collection in this style in the future!

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Time for a brew now they’ve all been delivered.

Happy crafting
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Hearts for Homes

I mentioned a few days ago that I had been asked to supply cards for a craft gift shop in Ramsbottom, so I thought I’d introduce it. It’s called ‘Hearts for Homes’ and is on Bolton Street, Ramsbottom. The proprietor, Kerry, opened the shop a couple of months ago as a place to sell her own handmade homewares. She now also sells work by several local artists and craftspeople.

Green Floral Owl

Green Floral Owl

Having visited the shop I can honestly say it is filled with gorgeousness. There is a lovely homely feel as soon as you walk in and you can feel the love, care and attention that has been put into every item. It’s a haven for unusual and unique gifts for others and yourself, covering all ages from baby blankets to wedding gifts and home décor. It really is a lovely place to be.

Thank You Berry Much

Thank You Berry Much

My cards are on sale there now and I am busy making more to add to the range. As always, the cards are all handmade and although some may be similar designs, all will have at least one element making each card unique.

Natural Love

Natural Love

If you are in Ramsbottom or are stuck for somewhere to go, do visit the town. It’s a haven for foodies with a number of independent cafes, restaurants and food retailers. There is an abundance of chocolate (hence the annual chocolate festival) and plenty of independent shops from toys to music and from fabric to antiques. Plus you can arrive in style on the ELR steam railway. It really is a great day out, so what are you waiting for? Get down to Ramsbottom and don’t forget to pop into Hearts for Homes!

Happy crafting
x

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It’s Father’s Day

I hope all the Dads out there are being spoiled today.  That’s if they let you spoil them that is.  My Dad really doesn’t believe in Father’s Day at all, so it’s always difficult to do anything, but he still got a handmade card and a visit from me this morning.

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It’s also his birthday next week which means I can indulge him with another handmade creation, along with a new golf glove and a book.

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We’re all going up to visit as well next weekend for a buffet, which is all he really loves – food and family – simple pleasures!

Well, it’s Father’s Day here for my husband and he has been inundated with handmade gifts from Alice – cards made at school and Brownies, a mini toolbox filled with ‘Dad’ bars of chocolate and the obligatory pack of new boxer shorts. What more could any Dad want?!

I hope Father’s Day is filled with food and family, as it should be.

Happy crafting
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Busy, busy, busy

Wow!  What a week.  They say when you’re waiting for a bus you can wait ages and then two come along at the same time.  Well, so it would seem do orders for handcrafted items!

I’ve been running Handmade by Katherine for around four years now with my blog and website, and at last the hard work is starting to pay off. I have been asked to write a blog for a summer tips calendar and I have been approached to supply a new local craft gift shop with handmade cards. So its all go around here this week.

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Of course, it’s also fast approaching Father’s Day (this Sunday) and the end of term, so my usual Saturday dance session with Alice has also turned into a bit of a frantic market over the last couple of weeks. This year my blackboard apple thank you cards have proved very popular along with the knitted fruit keyrings. When personalised with a teacher’s name they make a lovely little keepsake. So I’m busy making apple themed cards and gifts. I go to bed with apples dancing in the head, like the hippo’s in Fantasia! And I haven’t even started on Alice’s for her teachers yet…

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Best get back to the apples.

Happy crafting
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Personalising Cards

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking more about personalising cards and what sort of cards to make in order to have some to show as examples. So, with a neighbour’s birthday party around the corner, I decided to sit down and work through the various ideas in my head.

As I’ve been obsessed recently with the ‘dangler’ cards I thought I’d set about making them into frames into which I could add a sentiment or number depending on the celebration or occasion. My first one was for my neighbour’s birthday. She didn’t want any presents, just donations to a charity that she is very close to, so I thought an individual handmade card would be a great gift for her. I decided to have a change from mostly white card and made this one with some Create and Craft topsy-turvy cardstock in shades of turquoise. I also had a real play with my small die collection. The frame was made using spellbinders scalloped circle nesting dies and the layered flower on the acetate dangler is from a sizzix die set.  I added some little punched flowers with clear gems for centres and a tied a piece of co-ordinating satin ribbon into a bow.  To finish off the front of the card I used a tonic number die set for the ’70’.

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The card was very much appreciated and several other people have since asked for a similar style of personalising. So I have set about making up a few cards in different colours ready to add numbers to. I have again used the topsy-turvy cardstock as the colours are lovely. I think the bright yellow paired with the softer pastel yellow make a great combination, so sunny.

Yellow Heart

Yellow Heart

Orange Frame Card

Orange Frame Card

I also made a white and turquoise combination card……

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This has now been personalised for a horse-loving 21 year old’s birthday. I hope she likes it!

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I was also recently asked for a 50th birthday card for a man. I always find men’s cards difficult, even when I know the man in question. But these age related quotes in the Hunkydory little books are proving popular. So I added some 50’s using my tonic dies and Hunkydory adorable scorable cardstock.

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I really love these styles of cards and they lend themselves to some personalising. So I think I will set about making up another batch in different colours to add to my stock at the local newsagents and to put into my box for the craft fair later in the year!

Happy crafting
x

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