Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Spring Borders

It is a bit late in the year to be thinking about Spring, but more than one of these colorful borders is suitable for summer too.  Print them out and add them to your cards and scrapbook projects, or use them in other papercrafts.  How about napkin rings, borders on party crowns or even print them onto inkjet fabric for some wearable art?  Find them here

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Bow Box

I'll kick off this new feature with a craft themed box, Bow Box from Eliza Henri Craft Supply.  Bow making is in right now and there are quite a few sites out there selling supplies for it and this is one of the best.  If you are new to bows and aren't sure what to get why not opt for a bow box?  Each one contains fabrics including one full-sized sheet, either a template, bow holder or large embroidered item, smaller sheets of felt, glitter, printed fabric etc and other items all on a theme.  I bought the March one which was Queen Bee and here is what the postman slipped through my letterbox:
Says it all, doesn't it?!  An attractive and fairly sturdy card box that will fit through a standard letterbox and is delivered with the mail.  I didn't have to sign for it and my address is on the other side.

Now for the unboxing!
That looks nice.  I love the way the contents are packed in their own tissue paper with a seal.  Not ojnly does it look good but it also helps stop the items moving around in transit.  The writing says that you can enter your creations in their monthly contest on Instagram or Facebook.  Now let's see what is inside:
Looking good!  To itemize:

  • A4 yellow fabric with black lace overlay
  • A5 yellow wool felt, bee printed white fabric, pale yellow, gunmetal and gold with black lines glitter fabric
  • Queen Bee bow topper (or crown)
  • Clay figure
  • Honey Bow template 
  • Slip of paper explaining the contents
 
These are the fabrics and yes, they certainly are on trend as yellow is the color of 2020.  Bow fabric varies a lot in thickness and quality and these all get my vote as being some of the best quality I have seen with a really sturdy, firm thickness and texture.  The glitter does not shed and both the lace and patterned bee fabric are securely bonded to the backing.  The felt is not the kind you buy in most craft shops that you can "shoot peas through" as my mother used to say but 100% wool.  Anything you make with these beauties will last and it doesn't have to be bows; I reckon any of this will do just fine for a new sunglasses case or wee coin purse.
The Honey Bow template comes in its own packet (the "baggie" type with a clip top would be easier to use than this which has glue on the back).  Itis made of wipe clean plastic and the small photo shows you what it should look like with a simple instruction as to what goes where.  It is easy to make up and looks good. 
I could have either had the crown or the topper and I got the latter.  I suspect most people did, the crown being a more premium item that only the luckiest person receives and sadly this was not me.  It is part of a new range so can be bought separately if you want one.  The topper is the same excellent quality as the rest of the items being stitched onto glitter fabric backed with felt.  Just cut around leaving a small margin of about 1/8" and you have a lovely topper that looks like this:
Next comes a surprise in a pretty bag labelled Treats Inside...
The bag is paper so can easily be added to your recycling and inside is:
A wee polymer clay topper!  It is  beautifully handmade and measures 1 3/4" x 1 1/8".  As a lover of all things kawaii I think she will be made into a lapel pin for my jacket.  She was packed inside a small plastic packet so every effort has been made to ensure that even more fragile items arrive intact.

I can see why this is the #1 craft subscription box in the UK.  The website tells you all about the boxes (without spoling the surprise) and explains how all the items are not currently available but brand new items and all on trend.  There are discounts for people who want to sign up for 6 month or yearly subscriptions (6% and 12% off) or you can just order a single box.  Join the customer group on Facebook and enter the competition and you might win back the price of your box.  Shop on the site and get Glitter Points as you spend to use on purchases and check out the wide range of items on the rest of the site including Fiver Friday where you can get a bundle of fabrics for just £5 every Friday. 

It is a pretty user friendly website complete with blog, items grouped under what they are as well as themes.  The site gets updated regularly with new stock which taps into current trends and changes with the seasons.  It is certainly one of the best sites if you want to make bows.

RATING
Quality: No complaints here, everything of the best 10/10

Value For Money: £10 charge plus postage is about what I would expect.  Not a huge bargain but not overpriced either 8/10

Delivery: Worldwide and delivered with your other mail, no signature and it fits through the letterbox.  Apparently they usualy require a signature but I got lucky!  Sturdy and well packed 9/10

Versatility: Not an issue here altough I have a wool allergy and wanted the crown!  The boxes sell out fast and aren't customizable but this category is not really applicable.

Green: Card box, paper bag, leaflet and tissue paper can all be recycled.  The rest is for wearing and is not biodegradable or made from anything that helps the planet.  Maybe one day...8/10

Customer Service: This company has a lively presence on Facebook and is easy to contact.  I haven't needed to about the box but have posted about other things on their page and had replies. 9/10

The Whole Nine Yards: Such a prettily packed box filled with carefully chosen items.  I reckon they deserve 8/10

So pretty impressed overall.  Would I buy again?  Yes!


Boxing Clever

One new trend that is getting more and more widespread and popular is the subscription box.  Many sites now have this feature where you sign up to receive a box of goodies every week or month.  I've subscribed to Graze for several years and this was one of the first but now you can sign up and receive boxes of just about anything!  We are living in a mail order world and who doesn't love the idea that a box of surprise items is going to land on your mat regularly?  From now on I am going to be featuring reviews of some of these boxes including some one-off options.  Each box will be graded thus:

  • Quality - No good me telling you how much I love/loathe something as this is down to personal        taste.    It is more important to rate the items according to their quality
  • Value For Money - Is it worth the price and cost of postage?
  • Delivery - Choice of courier, cost, time it takes to arrive
  • Versatility - Do they cater for allergies, offer gift options, trial box and delivery instructions?
  • Green - Is the packaging recyclable?  Does the company have policies regarding this?
  • Customer Service - User friendly website, presence on Facebook/Twitter, are the people easy to get hold of?
  • The Whole Nine Yards - Little extras like pretty packaging, handwritten note, free gift etc

Flamingo Fantasy

Its over two years since my last post, during which I have had a bereavement and a change of circumstances.  I hope to be fully back here now and filling the blog with more posts on all aspects of how to be green, crafty and more.  Nobody in the UK can say that we haven't had a phenomenal spring and summer with very warm weather even in March, something which is very rare.  It is still June but I keep thinking that we have had the summer already; hopefully we have much more of it to come.  Flamingos are very in right now so here is a card that features them:
How is this card green?  Because it consists of just a sheet of card and if you omit the optional paper tole pieces as I have here no glue or foam squares are required.  I used to use a lot of the latter but they are not biodegradable.  Now I am more into finding ways of making cards 3D without them, like this one.  It folds obligingly flat (Operation Pancake again) and fits into the envelope supplied with the kit and will only cost you letter rate.  

Also included with the kit are several banners saying Happy Birthday, Happy Retirement and Bon Voyage plus three blanks, three gift tags, four envelope seals and a sheet of patterned paper for whatever you like.  Print it onto a thin paper and cut a 6" x 6" square from it and make an origami model to enclose with your card.  There are some simple instructions too and the whole can be bought here

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Apple Blossom Time

It might almost be apple blossom time and there is blossom on some trees but it is also pretty cold here in Devon.  Alexa told me that it was only 47ยบ which is low for the end of April.  The sun might not be shining but indoors it is always crafting time and here is my latest kit to put you in the mood for some better weather:


This comes with a full complement of items to make it up into a four layered paper tole creations plus a matching envelope, tag, seals and other items.  You can buy it here

I made it up like this but you don't have to.  Here are two other options to get you started.  First up is this:


To make this you need this kit plus a blank white 5" x 7" card and some lime green card or paper.

I) Cut a 2" x 7" wide piece of lime card and stick it to the right side of the card.  On top mat a piece of the patterned paper 1¼" x 7" and attach a suitable label at the top.

II) On the left side cut out three lime squares each 2" x 2".  On top mat slightly smaller cutouts from the relevant patterned squares.

III) On top of the middle square attach a cutout piece of blossom.  You could use foam squares to raise it up or just leave it flat for a card you can mail.

It won't fit the envelope but you could always make your own.

Or you could make a card like this:





For this you need a white card blank 5" x 5" and the lime card again.  You would have some left over if you made the earlier one and I just like the color!

I) Print out another envelope and cut off the back part, then attach it to the card front.  Then cut out a 4½" square and cut out a 3¼" square from the center.  Attach as shown.

II) Cut out a 4¼" square of the patterned paper and cut out a square 3½" from the center.  Mat on top of the lime shape.

III)  Cut out four envelope seals and place at the corners.  In the center attach the blossom second layer without the shaped frame.  Place a greeting at the top.

This card will fit the envelope!







Sunday, 18 March 2018

Spring Has Not Sprung

It is past the middle of March and here in the UK we are having some of the coldest, snowiest most unseasonal weather ever.  As I type this it is snowing as it has been all day and most of yesterday too.  Looking out of the window I can see this view:



Some people might dream of a white Christmas (I am not among them) but nobody dreams of a white Easter!  Better batten down the hatches and get down to some serious crafting. 

I forgot to post the link for the chalked background project in my last post Poppies Iris Folding Card.  You can buy it here   Also new is this Spring Cottage Window Card, the first in a new series which looks like this when made up:




It is not obvious from this rather flat-looking image but the front has a round aperture and the cottage view is inside.  You can get this here

Next up is the Easter Bunny Pop-Up Box Card. 

You can get this here




So even if you are gazing at snow out of the window at least you can make something to put you in a spring mood.





Friday, 16 March 2018

Talk About Chalk

I've posted quite a few iris folding patterns up on Craftsuprint and they are probably my best selling range.  Fun to make and a wonderful way of using up all sort of oddments they must be the ultimate green cards.  Usually they have plain backgrounds (ie whatever color card you have chosen) but this is a bit boring.  How about some backgrounds?  

There are a great many ways of doing these of course.  You could paint (or crayon, or pencil) one, stick dow some patterned paper, use patterned card...or use chalks.

You can buy sets of chalks inexpensively from many places and they come in sets and remind me of eyeshadow palettes.  Here is one:


A basic set similar to mine.  You can also buy sparkly ones and I keep meaning to do so!

You will also need some cotton wool to apply the chalk.  I usually tear up one of those flat round pads and use a third per color.  

Now you need a blank white greetings card (this one is 7" x 5") preferably non-glossy and some templates.  If you buy one of my Poppies Iris Folding Card sheets you will get four.  Two clouds, a treeline and a line of grass.  Trace around them, transfer the tracings to card and you have your templates.  If you want to use them lots of times you could make the templates from one of those thin plastic sheets used for glass painting.

Fold the card in half and work with it landscape style.  Chalk up a piece of cotton wool with pale blue chalk and lay down the two clouds.  Apply chalk around them until your card looks like this:



Note that you haven't chalked all the way down, just over halfway.  Now lay down your treeline template and apply some mid green chalk to another piece of cotton wool.  Rub chalk onto the trees until you reach just where they stop, then apply lighter green chalk below this, and finally yellow chalk below that.

Finally lay down your grass template at the bottom of the page and apply some darker green chalk for the grass.  The finished background now looks like this:

Ta da!  Now you have your field where poppies are going to grow.  Or any of my other floral patterns.  The chalk is (as far as I know) environmentally friendly and you are using up oddments for the iris folding, so behold one green card.