Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Crafter's Bucket List ~ Part 2

Welcome back to the crafter's bucket list. In part 2 we'll start on some actual projects you can get stuck into. 

#11 Crochet Flowers
So #2 on our bucket list was crochet basics, and now you can put that knowledge into action and make these cute crochet flowers. Scroll down the page for the instructions in English. 
Or you could try these triple layer flowers if you're feeling confident! Click here for the instructions.

#12 Mod Podge Decoupage
You can decorate almost anything with mod podge and pretty papers. Firstly, check out this guide to mod podge. And then, why not have a go at this simple coaster project to get you started and trying out the techniques.

#13 Bracelet Weaving
Click here for a step by step tutorial on weaving a bracelet. The process made me think of french knitting. Make sure to read the instructions which are further down the page as the photos are a bit confusing on their own. 

#14 Recycled Cereal Box Magazine Holder
Here's a simple upcycling project you could probably do right now! All you need is a cereal box (a nice large one is best - the one I used is a bit too small to hold A4 sheets), some patterned paper - you can use scrapbooking paper if you have some or wrapping paper (brown parcel paper would be great for the kraft look), scissors, glue (a glue stick is probably best), double sided tape is helpful but not necessary a pen and a ruler. 
1. First, select a suitable cereal box. If you want to store paper or magazines then choose a large box.
2. Use a ruler and pen to mark out a wedge shape to cut away. Make a mark about 1cm from the top of the box, then another at the other side between 15 and 20cm from the top (it's up to you what measurements you use). Turn the box and mark the front part 15-20cm down and then repeat the first part on the back of the box. 
3. Cut away the wedge at the top of the box. Your box should now look like this.
4. If you are using a thick paper like a scrapbooking paper, then it's a good idea to crease the paper before glueing down. Carefully lay the paper on the box nice and straight and gently crease the paper along the edges of the box. Take the paper off and fold again. 
5. Now you can apply glue to the box, making sure you cover all the edges. Only cover 2 sides at a time to keep it neat. Apply one piece of scrapbooking paper at a time.
6. Trim the excess paper off, leaving about 1 inch overhang. Fold the overhanging pieces over and glue down inside the box. If you ever covered your school books with paper when you were young you'll remember having to cut away triangles to make the corners neat. Use the same principle on your box. 
7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the second piece of paper if using.
8. Line the inside of your box. I never got round to this on mine but I'll get it done soon! Lay the box onto some paper and trace around it. Do this for all 4 sides and the bottom so you should have 2 wedge shapes and 3 rectangles. Cut these shapes out just inside the line you have drawn. Check that the pieces fit before glueing in place. You can also add decorations to the holder.

#15 Origami Butterflies
These beautiful butterflies would be perfect for decorating your magazine holders or other projects. You could use any kind of paper, including newspaper or old book pages so they are pretty cheap and easy to make. Find the tutorial here.

#16 Quick Fabric Bookmark
This tutorial for a bookmark looks pretty simple and you could easily sew it by hand if you don't have a machine. I love that it should stay in place well (not counting my kids getting hold of it and just pulling it out to have a look!!). I think this one is going on my list of things to do very soon and I think the padawans could give it a try too, so watch out for a post on our attempts! 

#17 Cross Stitch Picture
The Crafty Guild has some lovely free cross stitch patterns so if Olaf isn't your thing, there might be something else here you'd like. They also have crochet patterns. You will need to register with them to download the patterns but it's simply a username and an email address.
Here are other sites where you can get hold of free charts - some require registration.
There are loads out there but these should keep you busy for quite some time!

#18 Paper Cutting
Paper cuts look fabulous when they are done and with some simple tools, a steady hand and a whole lot of patience you can have a go too! This site has a good guide to the history of paper cutting, some tutorials and some ideas of where you can go with this amazing craft.

#19 Frosting Cupcakes
I love cupcakes and they are so popular just now for all kinds of occasions from birthdays to weddings and just as a nice treat with your afternoon cup of tea! This link has some tips for getting beautifully decorated cupcakes and some links to cake recipes so you can craft your own scrummy cupcakes and treat yourself, your family and friends! Enjoy, and let me know when you're making these so I can pop round and have a taste! 

#20 Altered & Mixed Media Art
Whilst researching ideas for this blog series I have fallen a little bit in love with altered art and mixed media art. I'm not a skilled artist by any stretch of the imagination but with this kind of art it really doesn't matter! There doesn't seem to be any rules to what you can use or the techniques you can employ for this art genre - just let your imagination run wild. Use Pinterest to find inspiration if you need it and then hunt around the house and the craft cupboard for things you can utilise. 
Click here to see the post on how to create something similar to the picture above. And I also found this page with some history on altered art and an attempt at a definition.
Below are some photos of mine and my 12 year old daughter's altered mixed media art. We used old coasters as our base and raided my supply of buttons, ribbon, peel off stickers, papers and gems and combined them tin foil, kitchen paper, sizzix cut letters and paints.

I hope you have fun trying out some of these ideas. If you share any photos of your creations on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook use the hashtag #craftersbucketlist so we can check them out! 

Take care and happy crafting
Hugs Suz x

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