Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Crafters Bucket List ~ Part 1

Today, I'm starting an epic blog adventure exploring every nook and cranny of the creative and artistic world!
A little while ago, I was musing to myself about writing my own version of a bucket list with all the crafts I'd like to have a go at. This has developed over the past few months (very slowly, in the deep recesses of my mind, mostly at 3am when I can't sleep!) into a plan to write a series of blog posts about all these ideas. I am going to try out as many of the things on the bucket list as possible myself and share my successes and failures with you along the way!
In this series I will look at basic skills and techniques as well as some simple projects which should be fairly easy to try without spending a fortune on new supplies. At the end of the series, I will make up a printable bucket list for you so you can print it off and take off items when you've done them. I'm also thinking of doing something along the lines of the bored jar I made for the kids! A adult's bored jar or more realistically a "things to do instead of housework" jar!!
So to begin, we'll take a look at some basic skills.

#1. Knitting Basics
My knitting skills are very basic! I can do a basic stitch and could probably manage a scarf for a barbie doll!! But, I would love to learn how to knit other things too. This post gives you a run down of the basic supplies, some ideas of projects to start with and links to sites to help you. One of these is Knitting Help which has videos showing you how to knit.

#2 Crochet Basics
Here's a technique I've never actually tried! Click here for a video series on how to crochet. 

#3 Cross Stitch Basics
Here's another video series with all the basics you'll need to know to get started on cross stitch. 

#4 Sewing Basics
This site shows you 4 basic stitches to use in hand sewing. I'm starting with sewing by hand as you obviously need less new equipment. I will include some projects later in the series that require a sewing machine as well as hand stitching projects.

#5 Origami (Boxes)
This post shows you how to make these cute origami boxes. There are lots of origami projects out there, some of which I'll include in the list later but this is a good one to start with as it only uses simple folds and is you'll end up with something useful too! 

#6 Drawing Basics
Have you ever wanted to learn how to draw? If you're crafty already, then some basic drawing skills will be really useful to whatever you already do. This is a comprehensive article on drawing skills which will help you with getting started on drawing and also help you when planning out other crafts projects too.

#7 Watercolour Basics
Here's another technique I'd love to learn more about! This article goes over the basic techniques you'll need and the products required too. 

#8 Glass Painting Basics
These basic glass painting will be useful for lots of projects so well worth checking out here.

#9 Screen Printing (Really Easy At Home Method)
Have you ever fancied screen printing your own T-shirts but been put off by the equipment needed? Here is a great tutorial for screen printing with simple and small equipment.

#10 Polymer Clay
Here you will find a guide to the basic equipment and techniques you'll need to successfully work with polymer clay.

That's it's for this part of the bucket list. Next week I'll have another batch of projects for you to try out.

Take care and happy crafting 
Hugs Suz 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

I'm Back! And News On A Unicef Fundraising Campaign

Well hello there!
I've been a long time as I had an operation on my knee late last summer and have been taking time to recover from that and attend physiotherapy. I'm pleased to say that it finally seems to be improving although I still have to keep up with the exercises.

Anyway, onto fun and better things now. Together with padawan #2 who has started his own blog and Facebook page for his special dinosaur friend Niguel, I have decided to do some fundraising for Unicef this year.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice In Wonderland. So we thought it would great to celebrate this by hosting a charity tea party and I'd get to use my lovely Wonderland party printables and generally have lots of fun and raise money for a very good cause at the same time.
Theo and I then thought it would be great if we could get our friends, family, blog readers and Facebook fans involved too. That way we could raise even more money for Unicef to help children all over the world who are affected by war, disease, poverty and social circumstances. So if you would like to join in and help us raise some money by raising a cup of tea then you can download an information pack here or on the website. This pack has invitations, a poster, hints and tips and 2 printable games to use at your tea party. It also includes details of where to donate the money you raise.

We have set up a fundraising page with Unicef so you can donate your money here and every penny will go to helping children (as it's Unicef's own fundraising page, no commission is taken off).
I am also going to donate 10% of all sales of my Wonderland Tea Party printables through the website.
Theo and Niguel have some special plans of their own which I will be helping him with over the coming weeks. I'll keep you posted on that as things develop.

For any of you in the UK, we also have a Red Noses party set which you can use for any Comic Relief events you might be involved in or just to have fun at home and make a night of it while watching on the telly. Comic Relief is on Friday 13th March this year (so not long now). The set is £3 and includes invitations, bunting, cupcake wrappers, a bottle wrap, a popcorn box, a food tray and more. I will donate all proceeds from the sale of this set to Comic Relief.

Well, that's all for now folks! We'd love to hear from you if you join in with our Wonderland fundraising or Red Nose Day and see photos of your parties.
Take care
Suz and the Party Padawans

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tissue Paper Pom Pom Tutorial

Apologies for the long absence! I finally had my knee operation a few weeks ago and couldn't do very much work with the laptop in the first week or so after. It's healing well, although I keep trying to do too much and then it gets really sore again!!
Anyway, I got around to making some pom poms for the decoration at Padawan #1's party in just over a week and as they look lovely and are pretty easy to make I thought I would make a tutorial for you all.

Firstly, you will need about 8 pieces of tissue paper for a larger pom pom and 5 or 6 for smaller ones. You can make your pom poms all one colour or mix up the colours in differents ways if you like.
Now you need to concertina fold your tissue paper - as though you are making one of those paper fans I'm sure most of us made when we were younger! I found for the smaller sized pom poms, 1 inch strips worked well.
Once you have finished folding the paper, tie a piece of cotton or thread round the middle. You don't need to squeeze the paper together at all but make sure the knot is secure.
Now shape each end of the paper with scissors. I made my pom poms curved but you could do pointed edges for a spikier look!
Once both ends are shaped, open out the fan. Now you need to gently tease out each layer of paper. I did the top one on each side first to stop the paper slipping through the thread.

Tease out each layer on both sides and then ruffle to ensure an even look ball. I found that it was best to work as close down to the thread on the top and bottom layers as you can. Be gentle though as the paper can tear easily.
I hope you enjoy making these and have fun experimenting with colour combinations and styles.

All the best for now
Suz and the Party Padawans

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Bored Jar Activities We've Been Doing!

Hello, I hope you're all well.
We have been enjoying doing some of the activities from our bored jar over the past few weeks!
Here are a few of the things we have done with some links to tutorials!

Well, first I must apologise that is the only photo I have of the finished rock candy - they got eaten rather quickly!!
I honestly didn't think they would turn out so well. My advice to to make sure the sugar has cooled down quite a lot before putting the sticks in - I had to redo ours as the sugar on the sticks had just dissolved.
You really should try these! The kids will love seeing how the crystals form and can have fun mixing colours and flavours.

Photo Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Padawan #2 and I went on a walk around our village to do our photo scavenger hunt. Before we left, we both made a list of things the other person had to find. As you'll see we had to be a little creative with some of the letters!! 
We made a little video using Windows Movie Maker too which could be an additional activity for older children.

String Maze

This is a really good activity to help children with problem solving and cooperation! My two had a few disagreements and difficulties at first but after a little guidance and advice they got on with it and were both really proud of the end result. 

Build A Blanket Fort!

Who remembers making these as a kid? I used to use my mum's clothes dryer and an old blanket!! I have to say, my kids took it to another level!! They even had camping rolls down on the floor in case they decided to sleep in the fort (they actually didn't but spent most of a day in there!!).

The padawans also made meringues and doughnuts but I'll do another post shortly with recipes for those! 
I hope we've managed to inspire you to try out some of these fun ideas over the various holidays, long weekends and just normal weekends!! 

Take care
Suz and The Party Padawans xx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer Time Fun Freebie!

Hello there!
I'm feeling very summery today as the sun is actually shining!! Reason to celebrate here in Scotland!
So to help in the celebrations of the glorious sunshine and to keep you all going while I'm busy being run ragged by the Party Padawans I have made you all a little set of free printables.

I'll try to get some photos of them in action this week (fingers crossed the sun sticks around) as I don't have any small bottles of juice in at the moment! I'd put one on a bottle of Bacardi Breezer but I can't drink just now so there's not much point!! Oh well, hopefully I'll be off painkillers soon! :-)
Feel free to share any photos of your picnics, parties and lunches using them!

Take care
Suz and the Party Padawans xx

Sunday, 13 July 2014

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Padawan #2 wanted to set up his own ice cream shop yesterday! It's still up now!!

I secretly phoned my dad this morning to ask if he would like to come over and be a customer! It made padawan's day!! I think my dad was pretty chuffed too as he loves his ice cream!!
 Imaginative play at it's best!! What did you get up this week?
Take care
Suz & the Party Padawans xx

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pom Pom Shooters - Bored Jar Activity #1

Padawan #2 and I tried some activities from our bored jar today! The first one we pulled was tag which wasn't going to work as I can hardly walk let alone run! So we put that back in for when padawan #1 gets backs from holidaying with her friend!
The next one we pulled was "Make a marshmallow shooter". This caused the little one some confusion but he enjoyed trying to guess what it was as I got out the necessary supplies - which are:
paper cups
masking tape
pom poms or marshmallows
Our first attempt didn't work as we were using cheap plastic cups which are far too flimsy. We've moved onto some better quality paper cups but still fell foul! So I thought up a way to solve this problem which hopefully will help you if you get the same problem!
Get 2 paper cups and cut the bottom off 1 about 1cm down. Cut the second cup about 2cm down.
Now put the taller cup over the top of the shorter one. Use a pair of scissors to cut flaps in the taller cup down to where it meets the shorter one.
Once you've done this all the way round, fold each flap inside the cups.
Now tape the flaps down using small pieces of masking tape.
Make sure you push them down firmly so no sticky bits are exposed.
Now cut the rounded end off a balloon - about 1cm should do it. Tie the tail end (the bit you blow into to blow it up). Stretch the balloon over the end of the cup.
We put ours over the bottom but you could put them over the top if it will stretch (probably depends on the size of the balloon).
Now secure the balloon with tape around the outside.
Add in some pom poms or marshmallows and fire away!!
Honestly, these are so much fun!! The two of us giggled for ages as we fired them across the bed, hitting the light and the window a few times!
We hope you enjoy making these as much as we did!
I'll be back soon with a tutorial on making a CD hovercraft!
Padawan #2 has also set up his own blog and Facebook book with stories he is writing about his best pal Niguel, an adorably cute crocheted dinosaur. He would be absolutely over the moon if you popped along to have a look at both his blog The Niguel Chronicles and his Facebook page Niguel Inc.
Take Care
Until next time
Suz and the Party Padawans xx