Thursday, December 30, 2010

Inspired in Savannah...

There was so much amazing art in Savannah! Here were some of my favorites...

The Elvis picture was made out of Christmas ornaments :).

My New Year's resolution is to paint something BIG!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our new farmers market!

We have a new, lovely farmers market on the first Saturday of each month now at Wiregrass Mall from 9am-2pm. Not only did they have all kinds of very cool and interesting crafts but also fresh produce including an English guy who sold Mike his very first Scotch egg :). I felt all earthy and craftsy when I got home and started a new sewing project!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pilgrims Cake

Maddy and I have been obsessed with Cake Challenge and Cake Boss lately. I used to hate getting up on Monday mornings but now that the new Cake Challenge is on each Sunday night - we get up an hour earlier and watch it together on Tivo while we get ready for the day. I have to admit, Monday mornings are now one of my favorite times of the week (and watching 'Dallas' reruns as a family on Monday nights :)) Anyway we decided to give it a go for ourselves, did a bit of research online and were really thrilled with our first effort for Thanksgiving!

Some lessons we learned...

* Fondant cracks and dries really quickly - zap it in the microwave to make it easier to work with but for no longer than 5 seconds or so since it becomes really gooey and sticky if it's heated for any longer than that.
* Wax paper stops fondant from sticking to the table but makes it difficult to roll it out. Try flour, icing sugar or confectioner's sugar instead and you can wash it off with water afterwards.
* Keep your equipment on a separate counter so that you can grab whatever you need quickly and still have a large work surface. We were drowning in 'stuff' and really struggled to stay organized since we had no idea just how much space we would need!
* Making a fondant cake takes a lot longer than you may think (2-3 hours for this one but we were very slow). That said, the good news is that the cake itself is good for about 3 days if refrigerated and you can always freeze them too so you don't have to make the cake on the actual day.
* Enjoy - we thought it was a lot of fun!!

It's a small, small world!

I noticed some extra traffic to the crafts site lately from Italy and poked around a bit to try and figure out what was going on. Turns out an Italian lady with over 650 followers did a post on her crafts blog about diaper cakes and linked to my blog post (My Diaper Cake post) on here about the one I made for Liz! Isn't that funny? Two moms crafting and blogging just in different languages. It makes me appreciate just how similar we all really are :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Give fleece a chance...

After I lost two hours of my life last night trying (and failing) to get the brand new (and hardly inexpensive) sewing machine to sew fleece, I woke up this morning and decided to call a pro. Mum had no idea and then I remembered the internet. Apparently this is a fairly common problem and if you don't want to waste time with an extra foot or a new wheel or something, you can just put tissue paper under the fleece fabric and simply tear it off afterwards. It worked like a treat and we made our first fleece toy today which Madison hasn't put down since :).
Good times x

And another a couple of days later...

Maddy's fashion designs

Maddy spent hours designing paper clothes. She loves buttons like I do :). Aren't they adorable?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thriller pumpkin!

OK so here's the stencil if you fancy having a actually wasn't half as difficult as it looked...shhhhh!!

MJ pumpkin stencil link

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bulk Card Production...

OK I'm going to have to change the name of this blog to "Clare really isn't so craftsy after all" if I don't get my act together soon :).  I can't seem to commit to a good Halloween project at the moment. I did however manage to go through my enormous stockpile of craft magazines and pick out all of the Halloween ones instead of buying a new one for inspiration. There were eight! Just for Halloween!

By the way - please don't tell Michael I have spent literally hundreds of dollars on craft magazines. It's my guilty shame. What's that you say? He'll find out when he reads this? I'm pretty sure he's not reading my crafts blog girls...let's do an experiment to find out shall we?? Mike if you're reading this it was me that deleted Lost on Tivo...I'll keep you posted...

Anyway - I have managed to make some generic cards for birthdays and events that come up between now and the end of the year. I always feel like birthdays at this time of the year get lost in the Holiday shuffle so I thought I'd plan ahead. I was actually really happy with how these really simple designs came out... back to the magazines to pick a project...:)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The birds have landed!

You may remember that I signed up to participate in a swap to handmake a bird-themed item?? Noodle's Bird Swap was my first one and I had a totally amazing experience!

For my gift, I decided to make a funky folk art-style birdhouse to celebrate the spirit of the people of New Orleans (who made me feel so welcome on my first trip there earlier this year) and as a tribute to the birds that have been suffering so dreadfully from the oil spill on the Louisiana shoreline. Some of the beads I used were actually from Bourbon Street! I was totally thrilled to get an email while I was away that my 'folk art' birdhouse had landed safely in Kent, England and my swap partner,  Jen loved it! It was so fun to see my creation appear on her blog over 3,000 miles away! (Jen's blog entry)

I just knew that a treat would be waiting for me when I got back and sure enough I was totally blown away with my handmade birdy mini-quilt! It is absolutely beautiful - even the wrapping was exquisite (Ricardo in the mail room at work did mine and I'm pretty sure mine wasn't as elaborate - I've seen his work before)...

And the box was jam-packed full of goodies - gorgeous paper, stamps, tissues, a candle and genuine English chocolate!!!

And look at my new treasure! Made from the heart and especially crafted for me! I absolutely love it!

Here's Jen's blog entry about how she made it and where she got her inspiration (Jen's blog entry). How amazing that I have such an adorable, intimate and personal gift from someone I've never met and who lives half-way across the world :). And even better that that I have a new BCFFL (Best Craftsy Friend For Life:))! Thank you Jen!

Western inspiration

I feel all creatively inspired after my trip out west! Some of the artwork we saw was so distinctive and unique. I really loved these contemporary southwestern photos on canvas by Chris Brock, an artist/photographer from Kanab:

As you would expect there were a ton of Native American indian crafts in Arizona. I've never seen so many dreamcatchers!

We carry this stuff in Florida too, but it seems to be more popular up in the Wyoming/Montana area. It's so gorgeous and you really can't have too many decorative chip clips...

The town of Jerome is full of unusual craftsy stuff...

These collages were made using genuine vintage pictures from the old ghost town...

Now I just have to come up with my next project...:)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Diaper Castle Cake

I haven't really been living up to my claim to be "craftsy" lately so I thought I'd make something for Liz's baby shower. After a bit of research on line I found some diaper cakes and had a go at my own version of one. It was actually a lot more straightforward than I thought it would be and only took a few hours (with some help from Jen:)). It did take almost 100 diapers though but I was really pleased with how it came out. Most importantly, Liz said that she loved it!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Maddy's Big Cat Bedroom

I finally managed to finish up Maddy's Big Cat Rescue bedroom with a picture arrangement of her favorite rescued cats to match her new bunting! It was actually a lot more of a finicky and problematic project than I ever imagined so here's how I did it in case you ever decide to try something similar:)

Firstly I took some old pictures and frames and laid them out on the floor. From there I was able to figure out which size frames to buy to fill in any gaps to give a nice, balanced display. Then I bought some mats and wrote down all of the photo sizes that I would need to fill the frames. I bought photos in varying sizes of Maddy's favorite cats directly from the Big Cat Rescue website and sent them online for printing to be picked up at the local pharmacy in an hour.

While I was waiting for the photos to be printed, I bought frames and a handful of spray paints to match the bunting fabrics and pull everything together. My first problem was the fact that some of the spray paints I bought were glossy which looked rubbish and detracted from the photos so I had to repeat this step:(.

After I had spray painted the frames, I ran into trouble for the second time when I realized that I hadn't figured out what orientation (portrait or landscape) the photos needed to be! So I laid out the pictures one more time and took a photo to use for reference later to be able to match back up the correct photos, frames and mats. I reordered some more photos and then had to wait for 3 days since problem number three happened when the pharmacy photo printer went out of service :(.

I covered each mat with ironed fabric left over from the bunting project and used fabric glue to keep the fabric stretched out enough to minimize any ripples.


Then I used my reference photo as a guide to hang the pictures. Phew!

I'm thrilled with the results and now Maddy has a themed bedroom that can be transformed into whatever she is 'into' next by simply changing the bedding, bunting and photos. I would really prefer that she sticks with this for a while just won't look the same with Justin Bieber pictures:).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NoodleBubble's International Handmade Bird Swap!

My dear friend Lisa from England has a fantastic blog about her crafting passion. She has been a total inspiration for me! In her words..."She sews, sticks & scribbles...reads profusely...rarely throws anything away. Come on - pop in and see what's new in noodleBubble world today..." She is currently hosting a 'Handmade Bird Swap' with her many followers. Basically you make a bird, or something featuring a bird. It can be sewn, moulded, beaded, carved long as it's HAND MADE and it's something you'd be happy to receive yourself. I am working on something as a tribute to our beautiful birds that are suffering in the Gulf at the moment :(. To join in on the fun, go to her blog and check it out!

Maddy and I started work this weekend and Maddy made this beautiful bird house in preparation for her very own crafting swap for kids one day:)