Back to a Crafty Challenge

After a very stressful and distressing week last week, I’m pleased to say I’m feeling a little better. It’s been tough to get refocused as my craft space looks over the devastation, but I am calmer this week . So it’s back to some crafting!

A few weeks ago I discovered a lady on YouTube doing some crafting challenges. I found her when Hunkydory were doing their goody boxes and she had posted some unboxing videos. I watched several of these on the internet so I could decide if I wanted one (or more) this time around. The ones I enjoyed watching most were by a lady named Lauren, so I subscribed to her channel (Lauren M & Co) and found she does lots of unboxing of craft orders, as well as some crafty makes and challenges set by her partner/son/subscribers. Anyway, I was really struck by her weekly challenges set by her partner and I think I might have to have a go at something similar in the future.

One of her other challenges though is to work through an entire kit / paperpad and see how many cards she can make with it. This is something I really need to do as well. I have so many papercraft kits and embellishments that I’m running out of storage space. I’d made a card for a friend’s daughter using some toppers from a very old Hunkydory kit and decided that this would be a great kit to use up. It’s the Dreams of Spring kit and it’s been in my cupboard since around 2013! So it’s well overdue using up.

Peach Flower Rocker Card

It’s a massive kit and I have used some of the concept cards from it several years ago (baskets and rocker cards pictured). There was still a lot left though – 5 foiled aperture cards, 3 foiled decoupage sheets, 3 collage elements sheets, 10 sheets of toppers and 14 sheets of cardstock – so plenty to go at there!

I started out with the aperture cards, just to get me back into the swing of crafting, simply adding a few gems, bows, flowers and sentiments. One of these as already gone to celebrate a young lady’s birthday.

Next I decided to work through each die cut sheet as they came out of the pack. I also set myself the challenge of using up some of my stash of card blanks ( I have lots in a range of sizes) and I wanted to make some different style cards as well. It’s taken me a few weeks so far but I’m almost at the end of the kit (does that mean I can restock?!) It’s been quite good fun to use up so much co-ordinating card, colours and patterns and I’ve really enjoyed finding matching gems and ribbons to add some interest.

To help me on my way I used the inspiration sheet for a few of my earlier cards. What do you think? They’re quite large cards and so used large pieces of the card and papers. I’ve liked how this kit is foiled in silver as I usually use gold, so this has also helped to reduce my stack of silver mirri card.

Once I was into my stride with the cards and what to do with the toppers, I was able to make quite a few cards reasonable quickly Looking through my cards and envelope drawer I found some aperture cards and twisted easels, both of which I had never used before. These were trickier to use as they required some precise measuring (Cat Hollis over on Hunkydory has a trick for doing triangles to fit, but I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it is). I enjoyed making these and choosing the stoppers but they do leave awkward pieces for the scrap box. I’m quite please with how they turned out for my first attempt.

There were also three sheets of florals in the kit which I thought would be perfect for making flower boxes. So that’s just what I did. I hope you like them. They are all ready to be personalised for an event or person. I particularly like this one with the floral panels.

I’ve really tried to use up everything and stretch the kit as far as I can , so I’ve made quite a few smaller A6 cards with a variety of styles. These sizes are great for using up smaller pieces of card and also a way to incorporate some ribbon strips. I used an idea from Laurens’s recent project, putting a couple of card patterns together with a ribbon stirp across the join. I think they work well, although I can’t help being reminded of wallpapering with a dado rail! Is it just me?

I’ve also made a few panels using the card scraps I had leftover. I love making this type of card. I die cut ‘Happy Birthday’ sentiments from some more scrap pieces and I think the extra gems really finish them off well.

My most recent make was made using the sketch challenge in the latest Hunkydory magazine (issue 77) and I really like this style, so I can see me making a few more.

Well I don’t have very much of the kit left, just one piece of printed cardstock, a bag of scraps, a few sentiments and a couple of patterned paper shapes. Time to get my thinking cap on – or I could just move on to another kit maybe? I plan to ask Crafty-teen to pick me something to work through next – wish me luck!

I’ll update with the final card total from this kit soon – how many do you reckon I made?

Happy crafting


(Parkrun was at Worsley Woods, time 47:05)

Spring sunshine

Today I have taken the plunge! I’ve coloured my hair. I fully appreciate this isn’t a major event for many, but I’ve only ever done it once before (in my twenties – a very long time ago now). It wasn’t as complicated as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t that easy with hair as short as mine is – fingers crossed I don’t end up with dye all over my face!!

So I’m taking this opportunity for the twenty-five minute relax (while the potion works its magic) to sit outside in the sunshine. The garden was looking very tidy after my afternoon’s weeding, pruning, planting and collecting fallen magnolia petals, but the wind has rendered the petal collecting pointless – I think there might be even more on the ground now. I might wait a couple of days before clearing up this lot.

A non-alcohol beer in the sunshine

I’m pleased to say there are plenty of lovely signs of Spring taking advantage of the April sunshine with me. I’ve been serenaded by a pair of blackbirds, squawked at by a starling and enthralled at the majesty of a pair of goldfinches and a pair of bullfinches. The first orange tip butterfly of this year (that I’ve seen) has flitted around, joining the countless ladybirds basking on my hebes and geraniums. Oh, I think this really does have to be my favourite season – I hope my sunflower seeds germinate and don’t get eaten by slugs!

My first flowers on my rescue clematis

A short pause to deal with my hair! I must mention I have very dark hair with a few (very obvious) greys, so I’m not sure I expected much from this colouring. However, if anything it looks even darker now- so much for the deep plum/red tones I was initially hoping for! No visible grey though (but I forgot to wipe my ears before leaving the potion to work – oops!) The real test will be if anyone notices when they get home from work and school!

This last couple of weeks I’ve been crafting away as usual, lots of little knitted chicks which I sold to buy some books for my local primary school (Springside where I’m a governor too). I was making some little knitted baskets to put larger Kinder surprise eggs in, but the reports of salmonella meant I didn’t actually finish them even though I had some eggs ready to put in them. The eggs I have weren’t in the affected batches but I though better safe than sorry. So I think I’ll be adding the surprises to my geocaching swag box and I’ve taken the hit on the eggs. I’m just pleased I didn’t spend a fortune on them.

Right, I’d better get on with making tea for the workers!

Happy crafting

K x

PS – 3 days in and no-one has commented on my hair yet!

Garden joy

Over the last few weeks, I have been spending lots more time in my garden.  We saved up a couple of years ago and last year had the garden re-landscaped to a design of mine.  It had been devastating over the last few years as the amount of rain increased and the time taken for the water to drain increased with it.  At some points I think we were flooded for several months at a time.  We even had a regular heron visitor, but the icing on the cake was when we had a pair of mallard ducks swimming around where the lawn had once been!

We took the decision to do something which had to include some drainage solution and I put together a few sketches of ideas we could work with.  It was certainly a big plan and one we couldn’t have done ourselves, but our landscaper was fantastic and he was able to do all the drainage works and (with a few modifications) put my sketches into place.

The garden has now been put into zones.  We have a patio (using stones from the original garden), a border, a wildlife area and a grassy arbour with seat (daughter’s zone).  And I love it.  It’s such a great space to be and somewhere I’m thrilled I have in the current times.

We reused as much as we possibly could from the garden -well what had managed to survive the constant waterlogging anyway and it’s been great since to see what is popping up around the place.  Some of the offcuts from the sleepers used to raise the zones were used to make a seat and a little raised bed which we planted with strawberries and they are doing fantastically this year – we planted the runners from the original plants and they are obviously happy.

Equally happy are the cats.  This is Lily enjoying the sleepers, we often find her hiding under the plants or rolling about on the lawn, which is also doing well now we have better drainage.

My wildlife pond looks good too.  I’m amazed how much life there is in it considering it’s only been there for a year.  We have found several frogs and newts too, as well as lots of little bug life – pond skaters, water boatmen and whirly-gig beetles are a regular sight.

I have taken the time to plant some seeds this year too.  We have a patio up by the house and the rest of the garden is down a few steps and as we face south it is a fabulous sun trap.  So I have decided to see what comes up from several old packets of seeds from the garage.  I love poppies and I was pleased to see this little beauty pop up in a trough of seeds for the bees – although not much else seems to be joining it at the moment.

Before we ended up in lockdown, I bought some seeds from Aldi which had several different vegetables and herbs in.  I only planted these broad beans about a week ago and they are already showing their faces.

I am so pleased with the way everything is growing so well this Spring.  And I hope I will see some more flowers soon as well as the blossom on the trees.  Fingers crossed we also get some rain to add to all the sunshine as I could do with a few days indoors catching up with all my indoor projects too!

Stay safe and happy crafting


New style cards

I’ve been looking around for some inspiration and ideas to make a new range of cards for this year. While watching one of the shows on Create and Craft tv, I saw one of the crafters make what they called a dangler card! I’m not sure of the name, but I really liked the way her card was put together, so I decided to have go myself. With My Mum’s birthday, Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary and Valentine’s day all coming up, I thought they would make a different card. It’s also been a chance to use some of the enormous stash of coloured card in my craft room!


P1240823I’ve never been particularly confident using embossing folders.  Don’t get me wrong, I know how to use them, but I’ve never really found a use for them in my cardmaking.  So it was great to finally use one of the background embossing folders for the birthday cards.  I love how it gives some extra interest to the backing.  I used some linen card on these and adding the embossing just gives it a bit more oomph!


P1240821I thought I would take it a step further and use one of the heart dies I have.  This intricate one is from Spellbinders and I’ve only ever used it as an embellishment, so to use it cut out of the main card elements was something totally new for me.  I really enjoyed making these cards, the blue one is for my Mum and Dad’s 45th wedding anniversary (sapphire, hence the blue).  The red one is for my husband for Valentine’s Day.


Finally I changed the shape of card and went for a square card with circular aperture.  This time I used the delicate heart die to make the ‘dangler’ and added a tattered lace die cut butterfly.

All of the dangler pieces are attached using acetate, so they almost look like they are floating.  I’m not sure whether a ‘floater’ card is better or worse than ‘dangler’, but name aside, I like this new look and think I will be using this style as my focus for cards this year.  It’s a great way of using up the plain coloured cardstock I have and can’t wait to get going on Christmas cards, I can see floating snowflakes everywhere this year!!

Time to think about Mother’s Day though first.

Happy crafting

Finished Cushion

This is a project I’ve been sitting on (literally) for ages. I was using up some pure wool I have had for ages and covering a cushion that my dearly loved cats pulled to pieces.

So here’s the cushion I’ve been sitting on for months



It didn’t need much to finish it off, sewing something into the flower centres and then sewing up the edge. I plumped for adding coloured buttons to the flowers and raided my button stash for different styles and colours to co-ordinate with the living room.

So here it is finally finished. I think it looks lovely on the settee.


The only problem now is that I need to make some more to cover the other cushions!!!!

Happy crafting

Summer Holidays

Well the school holidays are well under way now and of course, following the trend of the year so far, we have all been ill! I’ve had to have a week off doing anything with a bout of conjunctivitis, which having never had it before, I never want again. It has meant being unable to craft, read or use the computer as I couldn’t see very well. I spent an entire week wearing my sunglasses, which is not great when you’re inside the house.

Anyway, inspite of the set backs, I have managed to get my daughter crafting to a certain degree. I have been collecting up boxes, tubes and pots as usual, which will all be donated to the local nursery school when they start back in September. I love this as it’s so imaginative and is the ultimate recycling of re-useable rubbish. It certainly trims our bin and gives the school loads of things to use too. I really don’t know why more people don’t do it as it’s such an easy way to recycle and for the children to be creative. In the meantime, they make great model building materials at home.

My 6 year old is really enjoying making at the moment so we’re making the most of this. Here’s one of her larger makes, a city for some of her animals and figures.


This was later populated with lego people and adorned with lego flowers, trees and bridges.

We’re also taking part in the annual Summer reading challenge at the local library. This year the theme is record breakers. As she managed over 30 books last summer, I think it will be a tough ask to beat that record this year, but she’s game for a try. The aim is to read 6 books before the end of the holidays and there are stickers to collect. We can’t wait to see what the first ones are. The fun books being chosen this year seem to be ‘Rainbow Magic’ fairies and ‘My little pony’. (A bit of a change from all the pirates and dinosaurs from the last couple of years).

As I am now on the mend from minor illness and my surgery we are hoping to get out-and-about a bit and maybe do some different types of crafts. We did get a lovely surprise in the post last week, as I must have entered a giveaway in LGC Knitting and Crochet magazine. I received a set of mini flower looms, so I can see these being found all over the place. Here are our first attempts, so I just need to find (or make) something to put them on.


I can see them being added to some of my current under-construction projects, but we shall have to wait and see. They may be added to one of my previous makes that are currently residing in my daughter’s bedroom!

Well I see it must be time to get back to make some lunch before having a look at what we can do this afternoon – I can see paper, card and pens coming out of the making box!!

Happy crafting

Winter Garlands

Over the last few weeks I’ve been making garlands to hang around the house over Christmas.  It’s been a great way to practice my crochet and I’ve been spoiled for choice with all the gorgeous patterns out there at the moment.

My first one is made using some King Cole dk yarns and was from a pattern on Craftseller magazine.  I started this whilst I was in the hospital recovering from my second foot operation.  The fairy lights appealed to me as there’s no need to change bulbs or batteries and the garland can even be put in the washing machine! It measures well over a meter in length and drapes beautifully from the fireplace.

Crochet fairy lights

Having really caught the bug for crochet I found another pattern in an issue of Knitting and Crochet magazine. This time for a shorter garland, which looks lovely over a door. With my daughter being mad on Frozen still, I thought the stars looked quite like snowflakes.

Star garland

I’ve made a few of these as they look so pretty over the doors.

I’ve just recently finished another couple of garlands, as I discovered a stash of cotton in my yarn bag. The cotton is lovely to crochet with and it really holds the shape of the stitches well. I’ve made a little flower garland in cream and a dark turquoise.

Flower garland

Finally I’ve made a 3 metre long garland, ideal for the hallway, using red, green, cream, white and beige cotton for the stars.

All of the garland pictured are available for sale, so be quick if you want them as these are all one-offs!

Happy Christmas crafting

Crochet Baby Comforters

At Bury Show the other week I had some very positive comments to the crochet comforter that I entered into the craft competition, so I decided I should maybe look at making some more. I posted the picture on my facebook page and had even more comments which has sealed the deal and I have been working on a couple more of them, one for an order and one to look at some different colour combinations.

My original blankie was yellow with alternate blue and pink shapes in the granny squares and edging.


My first order for one, is for a baby girl, so it’s in yellow again, but this time with two shades of pink for the shapes and edging.

Baby blankie 2

I’m currently working on a pink blanket and rabbit, with darker pink shapes on the granny squares. I love the flower motifs best and I think I will try one with just flowers on.

I would really love some feedback on these, just leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Happy crafting