Friday 16 August 2013

Xpress Delivery!

This week saw us filming a few more episodes of Creativity TV and this time I was lucky to be joined by some lovely friends, namely Becky James, Lou Collins and Sarah Linda. Excitingly we have a lovely new studio with plenty of space to get crafty! It's even got a fun cafe downstairs for a well deserved lunch break! Here's Becky prepping for one of the shows... the eagle eyed among you might spot the focus of this episode!

Yes, we were very excited to be getting to grips with the fabulous new A4 die-cutting machine from Xcut -  the Xpress! I'm pretty lucky to be among the first to play with the awesome bit of kit, and it doesn't disappoint.

My favourite thing is its clever dial that lowers and raises the rollers so you don't need umpteen shims and plates to cut ANY die or to use any embossing folder you care to think of. It also satisfies my love of soft craft as I've not used any machine that cuts felt and other fabrics as well. It's going to be perfect for patchwork! It also looks pretty darn sleek and takes up very little room when it's all folded up - rather surprising for an A4 machine.

There's only about a month or so until it's in the shops so keep an eye out so you can get your hands on one!

Thursday 15 August 2013

An age old problem... tangled headphones.

I mentioned yesterday that I've been doing a little bit of sewing recently, and one of first things I made was this Earphone Tidy. It's one of those projects that uses the teeniest scrap of fabric but is actually a project that you'll use again and again as I bet that you share my frustration of tangled headphones!

I also made a little video that you can watch below - I'd love to hear what you think of it so please do leave me a comment here and on YouTube! If you subscribe to the docrafts channel you'll get notified when I make something new too!

Wednesday 14 August 2013

First steps - refashioning.

I've been doing a few bits of 'soft craft' recently. An iPad case here, a camera strap there but when I stumbled across the Refashionista blog I knew what my next endeavour would be. I've binge read the entire blog and while our UK charity shops seem to be nothing on a par with US thrift stores I will find time to get out there and find a few bits! In the meantime I stole this frankly hideous top out of Mother's bag of clothes that she'd earmarked to go to the charity shop and made a pledge to have a go at making SOMETHING out of it.

It looks even worse on... not flattering.

So I laid it out on the floor and set about working out what bits I needed to change to make this top a skirt... before I made much of a start, I did have a bit of a setback... Lola seemed to think It was only fit for making into a dog bed.

Once I'd booted her off, I ruthlessly sliced off the whole top part of the top, down to the bottom of the neckline.

Then simply sewed up both sides to make a skirt shape that fitted my arse. I hemmed the top voila... one skirt! 

It's not perfect, and I won't be winning any prizes for my sewing skills, but here it is! Now I just need to find somewhere to wear it!

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Telling my story.

I’m all for personal expression and the thing I love most about scrapbooking is that I’m doing it totally for me and to that end I’m of the school of thought that there are no rules. But plenty of people cite creating memories for future generations as their prime scrapbooking directive. Whichever camp you fall into though there is one aspect that I’m noticing more and more is absent from many layouts. 

The story.

With any photo there is much more to be said about the event, the person, or the place than you can glean from the image itself. If when you show someone your album you tell additional snippets of info and fun anecdotes you are missing a trick. This is just the sort of rich content you should be including on your page. Once you are gone there will be no one left to recount these stories as your descendants flip through the albums you've put your heart and soul into creating. If your only aim is to leave a precious vault of memories for your family but you are not adding the story I’d say you are missing a trick.

This is especially true of scrapbooking about yourself. The only thing that 20 beautiful decorated pages each simply featuring a photo of yourself, but without a story to go alongside, can tell your descendants is that you loved to craft. And aside from that one simple fact that’s no more than a simple cardboard box containing the same 20 photos could tell.

The issue is most evident in many published layouts. (I guess that because those are the ones we all see!) A recent feature that I read had some lovely pages about the designers themselves, but only one featured any sort of journaling  However alongside in the magazine copy each designer had written a short piece about their inspiration behind the layout. This information enriched the page and told me so much more about the story behind the photo, and was exactly the information that future generations would cherish. These were the stories that should have been on the scrapbook page, without it they are just pretty pages.

Of course I’m not innocent in all of this and if pages without words are your ‘bag’ then that’s cool too. There are of course occasions that my journaling is certainly limited or even non-existent, but the wonderful impact of reading others’ stories has galvanized my pledge to ALWAYS include a story (no matter how short) on every page I create. Even if it’s only there to jog my own memory to those fun little facts we forget all too soon. 

Tell me what you views on journaling are... I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Three Things - Spotted

These are three things that have caught my eye recently. Love.

1. Birds are still a hot trend and some of may favourite birds are definitely ducks and geese! I'm just loving this duck and goose pattern mug by UK designer Stefanie Pisani. I wonder if I REALLY need another mug?

2. Like Converse? Then you'll want these amazing hi-tops by Cath Kidston. I know because I do too.

3. Life is Beautiful. I just adore this Tumblr. It's everything I love about photography. The textures and lighting are just stunning.

Until next time...

Monday 25 March 2013

Three Things.

I refuse to leave a year between blog posts. Refuse. But apparently I'm good with leaving 10 months.

I know busy isn't an excuse, and when your best friend is a PRing, blogging, one-woman dynamo it's hard to tell them that you don't have time for a quick blog post here and there, when they clearly fit it in among 2 (nearly 3) kids, work and so much more!

So here are a three highly recommend things (apart from work, work and work) that have been keeping me entertained (and probably distracted from blogging) in the last few weeks.

1. The Walking Dead. Once February hits this 'squee' inducing work of art is priority number one. If you follow me on Pinterest, probably with the expectation that you will see a cornucopia of crafty inspiration, then you'll most likely be disappointed, as the large bulk of my pins are slightly geeky (and proud) references to TV and film, with the current barrage being Walking Dead and therefore Daryl Dixon related. If you're already a fan of this series you'll SO get this.

2. The Great Outdoors. While I'm just getting to the point where I NEED some sunshine in my life, I'm not one to shy away from getting out and about in the winter months. With two Newfies who never feel the cold it would be a little futile if I was!

3. Goats. If you've not seen this you must be the last person in the world. I'm REALLY not a Taylor Swift fan, but I do like a good screaming goat. Enjoy.

I promise not to leave it another 10 months. Promise.