Saturday, 12 August 2017

Boxing Clever



I am not a fan of getting ready for Christmas too early.  Summer is all too short here in the UK and I prefer to enjoy it without looking at images of snow and ice.  I do realize that some people have a huge amount of stuff to make and some of this has to be sent overseas so I have made a start designing.  Here is the first entry in my new series of boxes shaped like buildings:



You can buy this here  It is simple to make up; cut out and score along all the dotted lines then fold them inwards and apply glue on the tabs.  This means both side of the roof if it is going to be a card, and only the side where the tabbed side does not rest for a box.  If it is a card you can also lose the foldover tab and the tabs along the bottom.  But wait, there is something missing!

It is a base.  Sorry folks but if this is all going on one sheet with a lower price tag there is no room.  But don’t worry, all you have to do to construct one is rule a rectangle 6cm x 7.2cm and attach it to the bottom.  Actually you don’t even have to do that as here is one:



Or a whole sheet of six of them:

 
This is for those of you who want more than one to use as favor boxes.  They look great beside a plate and can contain a small gift or some sweets.  If you want a whole village of buildings when the other boxes appear (there is a sweet shop coming up next) you could use them for this.  They would look good standing under the Christmas tree (full of goodies of course).

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Cut & Create Cards

I know, I know I am a truly terrible blogger.  I ought to be here every day thumping out ideas on recycling and being green but I'm not.  Yet here I am now with a book (well sort of book) review and what I think is a good idea, or at least one possible solution to a new(ish) problem. 


You can buy a copy of this wonderful and innovative item right here if you live in the UK.  If you don't it is available elsewhere such as in the US here and is well worth looking for.

Why?  This is not so much a book as a kit comprising a booklet and everything you need apart from scissors or knife, hole punch and glue to make nine beautiful paper mosaic pictures.  I have done a lot of papercrafts but I have never tried this one and was keen to have a go.  It comes as an A4 sized folder with a booklet on the left and a wallet on the right filled with the papers and bases.  The instructions are simple to follow and include diagrams showing how to make up each picture.  These are arranged into beginner, intermediate and advanced with three pictures of each and all depict scenes from nature inspired by the author’s Japanese background.  These include a night time jungle at night, a fox in a forest, birds flying home, an egret posing in the water and my own favorite showing cherry blossoms. The materials are all good quality and I would give this set five stars for originality, beauty and user friendliness.  Suitable for a variety of ages as it is not very large and you only need a few additional items you could even take it on vacation.  

So how is this green and what fairly new problem would it solve?  I don't know about your council but last Christmas mine said that they could no longer accept greetings cards for recycling.  Whether you buy or make them they do tend to bristle with glitter, bows, gems and even if not often have a plastic coating to make them shiny.  These things block up the recycling machines and break them so you have to think of other things to do with them or they go into landfill.

Surely making paper mosaics with them is one such idea.  I've made tags with them, cut out bits of them for cards, used them as postcards with the backs cut off and one Christmas even used the shinier and more water repellent ones as coasters, cut into squares.  Trouble is I have have tags coming out of my ears, people think I am cheap making cards with them, I bought some lovely Fair Trade coasters and no longer send postcards.  I am due a new idea and this is possibly it.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Fun With Office Paper





You are probably thinking that office paper is not a lot of fun but that depends on what you are going to do with it.  Office work is not that amusing usually but all those sheets of rather pretty pastel paper invariably make me think of spring and Easter.  My grandmother used to make them into paper flowers when her sister in law gave her some sheets from the office where she worked and I have made some iris folded cards by cutting them into 2cm strips.

You can buy this card pattern and make your own by visiting https://www.craftsuprint.com/card-making/iris-folding-patterns/easter/easter-chick-iris-folding-card.cfm

Of course you can also use patterned paper and spring colored wrapping paper, seed catalogs or anything else including scraps of fabric or ribbon.  There are two other patterns in the Easter Iris Folding series and these are shown made up patterned.  Check out the bunny at https://www.craftsuprint.com/card-making/iris-folding-patterns/easter/easter-bunny-iris-folding-card.cfm


and the egg at https://www.craftsuprint.com/card-making/iris-folding-patterns/easter/easter-egg-iris-folding-card.cfm

Note the cheeky chick peeping out through the hole!


Blooms For Bees

A while ago I signed up for the Blooms For Bees project.  I did not expect to be lucky enough to be chosen so imagine my surprise and delight when I opened a mysterious brown envelope last Saturday and found that I was on board!  You can read all about the project here but in a nutshell it is about discovering whether a new bedding plant (a compact habit dahlia) is attractive to bumble bees, and which color flowers they prefer.

This is something near to my heart that I am always going on about.  As it says in the accompanying leaflet there is a discrepancy between the flowers bees and other pollinators will visit for nectar and pollen and the flowers people grow in their gardens these days.  Garden centers and catalogs are going for flowers that are ever showier, brighter and more artificial looking that appeal to humans (although not usually to this human) but not to anything else in nature.  Thankfully the RHS has put helpful "Perfect For Pollinators" symbols on some plants but not everything has been tested and there are new cultivars out all the time, hence this project.

I planted my seeds out in seed trays last Sunday according to the instructions and now have to wait and see what comes up.  The dahlias are going to be white, purple and red so it will be interesting to see which colors the bees like best and what bees visit my garden.  I imagine honey bees will like them too and who knows what else?  I will keep you all posted.


Until then here is what they look like now!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Keeping Mum

It is now officially spring here in the UK and time for making some cards.  There are so many occasions for them in the first four months of the year: Valentine's Day, St Patrick's Day, Mothers Day (if you are in some countries) and Easter.  I made this card kit for Valentine's Day that can be bought here


This has banners that say Be Mine, Happy Anniversary, I Love You and Happy Birthday as well as "blank for your own special message" as they say on shop cards.  I was daft - why did I not include one that says Happy Mothers Day?

I am going to remedy this right now and here it is for download into the graphics program of your choice:






This is the same size as the others.  Just right click to collect, then save and use.  So now the card looks like this:



 Now, why did I not think of that before?!