Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Grace's Search for Spring ~ American Girl Doll Photoshoot ~ AGPS

Grace's Search for Spring ~ American Girl Doll Photoshoot ~ AGPS

Today we had lots of fun taking Grace, American Girl of the Year 2015 AG Doll out for her first ever photoshoot in our local park, searching for signs of spring. Of course, she had to wear some comfy boots and hand-knitted jumper as it was still quite chilly.
Full photoshoot can be viewed on my CraftsAdore YouTube channel

Monday, 2 February 2015

I'm downsizing my crafting... to 18" dolls

I'm downsizing my crafting... to 18" dolls

As the first month of the New Year came to a close, I have been busy planning what to do this year. I have looked back at my last year of crafting, and with a great sadness as I have to admit that I have not done as much as I wanted to (many projects still sit unfinished, craft room overflowing with craft supplies not even used yet, I bet it it all sounds familiar...) so decided that I needed to seriously downsize.

I love all manner of handmade crafts, but there simply isn't enough hours in a day to do everything I want to do ! And with 5 kids in tow, one of them being a very boisterous toddler boy, I don't have as much time to sit down and make stuff as I used to. So with a heavy heart, I decided to downsize my crafting... to dolls.

Last Christmas we discovered the joy of playing with 18" dolls, mainly due to Santa bringing one of my daughters a "Hair Play" doll from Smyths Toys UK by Our Generation / Battat . Now all my girls all wanted a doll, including me!

As much as I love Our Generation Dolls, they mostly look the same, with the same face mold but different eyes and hair colour, and I think they are mainly suitable for children rather than an adult collector. So as I researched what other 18" dolls are available, I discovered American Girl dolls. I fell in love with them there and then. There is SO much variety in American Girl dolls and I adore them all (well, quite a few).

So it's time to come clean: I am now officially an AG doll collector and proud of it :). The possibilities and crafting opportunities for my dolls are endless, so needless to say, I'll be even more busy. My girls all want to join in the crafting so that's great news for family crafting.  At the moment we are starting slowly, with some doll opening videos on our YouTube channel and some dress up fun. But I couldn't resist making a quick "Frozen-inspired" Swarovski necklace for my beautiful Caroline:


And of course, I couldn't resist a few knitting and crocheting projects, most of them inspired by Ravelry free knitting patterns for dolls, as modeled by my lovely Rebecca:

This year, I'm planning to concentrate more on smaller projects for my dolls, and few bits and pieces of home decor in Tilda fabric for the house. And more photography, featuring the dolls of course!
If I can achieve that, then my crafting year will be a success. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Addicted to Bead weaving

Gosh, where did the time fly - I've been busy this last month working on a new skill and a new range for my Etsy shop - I am ashamed to admit that I have now truly become addicted to beading - and not just any beading but bead weaving with Swarovski™ Pearls and Crystals.

Being in love with white colour, I have now expanded the shop's range not just to handmade wedding cards but handmade wedding jewelery too. Starting with bead woven bracelets in a range of colours, I have done several necklaces and bracelets.

As soon as I finish one item, I want to start on the next one - and there is so many different designs I want to make, there's just not enough time in the day :) Which of course also means that the housework gets totally neglected and the children are having to learn the art of "self service" in the kitchen whilst mum is happily busy bead weaving...

Handmade with Love, and lots of Swarovski Crystals and Pearls


Friday, 10 October 2014

"I Do" love wedding cards

"I Do" love wedding cards 

For the past couple of weeks I've been making some more cards for my CraftsAdore shop, in between the colouring projects.

I do love white die cut cards, so there's now a range of monochrome cards in my "Wedding Cards" section, featuring Centura Pearl in Snow White with Gold flecks, backed on black cardstock. Many of my cards feature Tonic Studio Affections Dies, which are simply indispensable when creating wedding cards, but I am also partial to glitter, so there is a few cute cards featuring Stamps by Chloe too.
All Glitter - Stamps by Chloe
All Monochrome - Tonic Affections Dies

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Home is Where the Heart is

Home is Where the Heart is

Today I'm attempting to do some simple home decor using Tonic Affection Dies. I adore anything heart shaped, so these are my favourite set of dies and I've used them before individually on my cards, but never as a full set on one project. I've been meaning to do it for a while but never had time to do it. It was quite time consuming to die cut all the layers. I used Centura Pearl Snow White with Hint of Gold, plain black card stock (if I had to do it again, I would have chosen some silver mirror card instead to soften the look) and some "bling" hearts, as well as sentiment stamp from Crafter's Companion.
The hearts are layered on foam pads, to give 3-dimensional effect. All three hearts are then glued onto wide ribbon and are now proudly hanging in my corridor, welcoming us back home after a busy day. I'm not sure about all 3 of them being together, as the design is quite "busy" so I may split them to be displayed individually in the future. 






Monday, 6 October 2014

Shhh, don't tell anyone but I love my Spectrum Noir pens

Shhh, don't tell anyone but I love my Spectrum Noir pens

I am still only at the beginning of my crafting journey, but one of the first purchases I have made last year was a full set of Spectrum Noir alcohol marker pens, along with the tutorials DVDs. I have never coloured before in my life, so that was a big leap of faith for me, but Leann Chivers from Crafter's Companion made it sound so easy that I just fell in love with it and had to have them all :).

So here I am, a year or so later, having done quite a few handmade cards using the Spectrum Noir pens, I am starting to feel more confident. However, I never had the courage to actually try to colour in the "Shhh" digi stamp that included on the Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir tutorial DVD, as it seemed to be a more "ambitious" project.

But I could procrastinate no more, as my daughters kept pestering me to make something for their room. I have more or less followed Leann's instructions, but improvised on the flowers. And of course, as I love a touch of glitter on my cards, I had to add that in too.

The "Shh" picture took several hours to complete, mainly because I printed it in the original large size, with the intention of framing it for display. I am quite pleased with the result, and in spite of few minor glitches, it will go onto the wall in the girls' room.
Shhh Spectrum Noir pens
Shhh, don't tell anyone but I love my Spectrum Noir pens
I can honestly say that I would have not been able to do it without my Spectrum Noir pens (and no, I don't work for Crafter's Companion :)).

Friday, 29 August 2014

Celebrating Michael Jackson in Cross Stitch

I am a life-long Michael Jackson fan, but I don't actually have much of MJ memorabilia on display around the house. However, I recently decided to make something to celebrate his life, and have on permanent display in my craft room.

Since I cannot paint, I decided to cross stitch - this was only my first major cross stitch project, and one tip I can give you if you are a beginner too - cross stitching is quite a slow craft, so choose a subject that you really love to make, as you will be spending a LOT of time cross stitching it before it is actually completed.

Therefore Michael Jackson was a perfect subject for me to learn to cross stitch. I found this pattern free on a website (sorry can't remember where) and armed with a 14 count white Aida, several skeins of black embroidery floss, I was off. I decided to double the "squares" (where each cross stitch covers 4 squares on the Aida) and stitch with all strands of the embroidery floss to make the picture large so it fits a 10"x8" frame.

Celebrating Michael Jackson in Cross Stitch
Celebrating Michael Jackson in Cross Stitch
I am very happy with the result, and my cross stitched Michael Jackson picture now proudly sits on a top shelf in my craft room, looking down on me. Today, on what would have been Michael Jackson's birthday, I'd like to believe that he is looking down peacefully on his fans and smiling with one of his beautifully brilliant smiles. Happy Birthday, MJ!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Scruffy Little Cat Absolutely Adorable Birthday Card

Today I'd like to share my latest birthday card made for one of my daughters.

This one is made using a Scruffy Little Cat "Amy" stamp from Crafters Companion, which I got via Create and Craft TV when it was originally launched, and it is coloured in with Spectrum Noir pens ("Absolutely Adorable" sentiment was on the same stamp). This is only my second attempt at making a card with a Scruffy Little Cat stamp.
Crafters Companion Spectrum Noir Scruffy Little Cat Birthday Card
Absolutely Adorable Amy Scruffy Little Cat
It is mounted on an embossed Centura Pearl card (both also available from Crafters Companion) and a Spellbinders die cut frame. The finishing touches included Parchment butterfly (embossed with Stamps by Chloe glitter), embossed Parchment quilled flower (again, from Crafters Companion) and a simple organza ribbon bow.
Crafters Companion Spectrum Noir Scruffy Little Cat Birthday Card
Coloured with Spectrum Noir Pens Birthday Card
The Spectrum Noir Pens used:
Hair: TN2, TN1
Skin: FS2, FS4, FS6
Dress: TB1, TB2
Cupcake, Bag & Bottle PP1, PP2, and IB1

Friday, 22 August 2014

Fimo Clay modeling fun

Today we've been having fun with the kids learning how to do clay modeling.
Fimo Soft Clay
Mummy, Daddy and Baby Bear

After starting with normal play dough, we moved onto cheap modeling clay from a pound shop.
The results were ok, we've made some Despicable me Minions, frogs and general random stuff, but I like to save kids' crafts (a mother can't just chuck it away, can she?), so we've moved onto polymer clay so it can't be baked in the oven.

I got a few Fimo soft clay kits from a local The Range shop at a bargain price, and off we went. It says it's a "soft clay" but it is still quite hard, if you compare it to some air drying clay, which seems like butter. On a plus side, it makes less mess than play dough so I love it already...

Anyway, we did some flowers, butterflies, love hearts - the usual, and some creations were better than others. We still have a few Fimo soft clay kits left - princesses and fairies, but I feel we need more practice on cheap play dough before we give it a go.

However, one kit I really fell in love with - the family of bears. Out of one kit we managed to make mummy bear, daddy bear and a baby, and still quite a lot of pink and white clay left. They are so cute that I just HAD to share them - and they're even more cuter for the fact that they were made by my 10 year old daughter - she's got a natural gift, I think. I especially love the daddy bear.
Fimo Soft Clay
Cute first attempt at Clay modeling

I don't think I can match her skills, but I am keen to learn to make more things with Fimo clay - I'm hoping to make some flowers and other simple stuff to go onto cards.  

Friday, 8 August 2014

Loom Bands Craze Summer 2014

Summer 2014 is officially loom bands crazy, and if you can't beat them - join them. I have resisted the craze as long as I could, but in the end, since we're having yet another stay-at-home vacation, I've invested in a several looms and literally thousands of loom bands. But the truth is you only need a couple of forks, and it probably is much easier than using the looms.

The kids are spending hours on YouTube searching for best tutorials, not just bracelets, but 3D mini toys and bag charms  - so far we like OlgaCrafts best, as sometimes talk-free tutorials are the easiest to follow.

At the end of the day, the technique for making loom band bracelets are very similar to loom knitting, so once you've mastered the "hooking over" then you can knit anything. I am partial to flower designs, so I have joined the kids in doing a few starburst bracelets. Making loom band bracelets is surprisingly fun, and highly addictive! Each one took me just over an hour so that's about a day's work here:

Starburst Loom Bracelet

Hmm, which colour should I wear today?
I predict this loom band summer craze will last awhile, and I bet there will be lots of Christmas Decorations made this year out of loom bands.
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