Category Archives: #CraftBlogClub

Guest Post – DIY Photography Tent

Well, today seems like as good a day as any to post this lovely guest piece from Fiona – who co-hosts #CraftBlogClub with me and is hosting tonight’s chat about photography – which runs in line with this great post about a cheap and easy way to get great photos for your blog! Thanks Fiona!

Hi!, I’m Fiona from fizzi~jayne makes…. and I also co-host #CraftBlogClub with the lovely Emma.  Over on my blog (fizzijaynemakes.blogspot.co.uk) I have been doing a photography season with lots of hints and tips for taking great photographs.  I reviewed the book “The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos” by Heidi Adum and in this book there is a tutorial on how to make a light tent from a cardboard box.

If you have a blog or sell your products you know how important it is to have professional looking photos but not everyone can afford a professional photographer or have all the gear, so I wanted to see if this cheaper alternative does the job.

You will need:

1. ingredients1

Required

  • A Cardboard Box.  The larger the box/tent the more the light can bounce around.
  • Semi-transparent paper such as tracing paper or baking parchment
  • Stanley knife or something suitable to cut through the box
  • Sellotape and Double-Sided Tape
  • Thick white paper, I used wallpaper lining
  • Natural light bulb and lamp

What I used in addition to the instructions:

  • Cutting mat to protect your surfaces whilst cutting the box
  • White paint (I used some white emulsion left over from decorating last year)
  • Have parcel tape on hand in case you get carried away with cutting, like me!

Hopefully most of this you have stashed away or you can easily get hold of them cheaply.

The camera I used is my Digital SLR, a Canon EOS 600D. I took all the pictures on shutter speed 1/125.  ISO was on auto.

How to make it

Take your cardboard box with the opening facing you and cut out large pieces out of the top and side panels.  Leaving enough of the edges to keep the structure and keep the base and back intact.

I painted the inside of the box white, allowing light to reflect more.  Light picks up colour and could cause a colour cast on your product.

2. box cut and painted3. box with sides cut outReplace the sides and top with semi-transparent white paper, I used baking parchment. However, being waxy it didn’t stick well so I would advise using a strong double sided tape or use tracing paper instead. 4. Box covered in parchment inside

5. completed box from outside

Create a runway from the back of the box with the wallpaper lining. Make sure there is a curve at the back to create a seamless background.  I attached the paper with double-sided sticky tape.

6. completed box insidePlace tent near a light source such as a window, outside or lamp.

Place your product inside the tent so it is within the three papered walls.

7. product in box

As with all my photo shoots I took these pics in my conservatory, depending on the direction of the light and time of day I use a lamp with a natural light bulb to balance the light and remove dark areas. On this particular day I did not need additional lighting.

So does it work?

I was pleasantly surprised! I took the following pictures and the only editing I did was cropping the image.

Here is the image of one of my custom orders that was ready for its portrait before being delivered….

8. card image taken in box

And then I took a picture of my favourite mug….

9. mug in box

The lighting was particularly good when I took these pictures and I know not everyone has a conservatory and not every day is a heatwave! So I took more photos of my favourite mug in a darker room.

10. lounge shot I thought I might need my lamps for inside.  I took a photograph with the lights on….

11. mug inside with lights And without the light….

12. mug inside no lights The lights did help but some further tweaking of the brightness would be needed in post-production, however, this is what I would expect from taking pictures in my lounge.

Overall I think it did work as a light tent.  The problem I have is it won’t fold flat so I am not sure where I will be able to store it.  The box is also fragile, you may have seen the amount of parcel tape I ended up using, so I do not think it will last long but as a short term solution I am happy with the results.

If you fancy making your own light tent I would love to know how you get on and see your photos.

fizzi~jayne x

fizzijaynemakes@blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @fizzijayne

Facebook: FizziJayneMakes

Guest Post: It’s Hip To Be A Granny Square

image 9Have you ever been keen on trying crochet?  It’s something I’m determined to master, but I’ve always been put off by the notion that you’re either a knitter or a crocheter.  Today on the blog, the lovely Kelly from Bibble Dibs has written a wonderful beginner’s tutorial for learning to crochet a granny square, so whilst I’m up to my eyes in research, unleashing my inner Bronte and Nazis, why not have a go using Kelly’s easy-to-use instructions!

I have been crocheting for about 3 years now, starting off with simple colourful rows of double crochet and half double crochet, but my discovery of Granny squares has led onto a more adventurous crocheting life!

Granny squares have been around for a long time and can be used to form many crocheted lovelies, including blankets.  I am currently working on one that will be big enough for a double bed (once iv finished it!) and is a colourful jumble of love.  Crocheting is my way of relaxing and taking some time out for me, recently some research has shown that Crocheting is as relaxing and calming as yoga and really helps to slow your heart rate down.

So, back to the granny squares.  This pattern is not designed by me but I will take you through the steps so that you too can create something big or small using this basic pattern

For this pattern I will be using a size 4 crochet hook and style craft yarn, which is super soft and lovely to use.

This pattern calls for the following stitches…chain stitch (ch), Slip stitch (sl st) and treble stitch (tr) and I am using US terms

What to do…I am writing this in the simplest way possible, but if you are still having trouble then I am happy to help you, you can contact me at www.facebook.com/BibbleDibs

 So, fasten your seatbelts, here we go…(good luck) image 1

Make a slip knot on your hook, this is the first thing you are required to do in any crochet pattern.  Wrap the yarn over your index and middle finger with the end of the yarn up toward your index finger

Next, put your hook under the second strand of yarn and pull through

image 2 Keep pulling the hook away from your fingers and you have slip knot, make sure it’s not too tight, so it will slide up and down the hook with ease.  And breathe…you did it!

Now, Chain 4 and join to make a ring. To do this push the hook through the ch st furthest away from your hook, pick up the yarn and pull through that ch st and through the ch on your hook, it should look like this

image 3Now, ch 3 – this counts as your first treble stitch. If you need help on the treble stitch check out www.littletinbird.co.uk for super help

image 4Next, Make 2 tr into the ring and ch 2

Now make a cluster of 3 tr and chain 2 and do this twice more, join your ch2 to the last st of the ch 3 at the start of the round with a sl st.

image 5You now should have something that looks like this…

image 6Hooray, congratulations, pretty hey? but no time for a break, now onto the second round

Ch 3, 2 tr st into the first ch space (where your chain is coming out of), ch 1 and then 3 tr st into the next ch space. Now to make the corner ch 2, 3 tr st into the same ch space. Like this…

image 7Continue around…so ch 1, 3tr st into next ch space, 2 ch, 3tr st, 1 ch, 3tr into next chain space, 2 ch, 3tr.  When you get to the first ch sp, 3tr, 2 ch and join to the top of the original ch3.

And there you go, you have done the second round…loving it yet???

image 8 Ok, onto the third round and once you have done this a few times you will be able to continue working round and round to make the square grow.

So this time, ch 3, 2tr st into the ch space, ch 1 and move to the next ch space, 3tr and ch 2, now the corner, remember this? 3tr, 2ch, 3tr, ch1, continue round until you get back to the first ch space, where you started round three make 3tr, 2ch and join to the top of the ch 3.

image 9 If you are stopping there, pull the yarn through and snip it off. Darn in the ends with a darning needle. You can find some brilliant Granny inspiration from Lucy at Attic 24 http://attic24.typepad.com/ her crochet is truly magnificent and the choice of colours are lovely…trust me, you’ll be hooked!

You have now completed three rounds and have done very well. I hope you didn’t have too many glitches along the way, if you did shout and I’ll try to help. I would love to see your makes, you can find me over at Facebook and if you pop over to www.wordpress.com/Bibbledibs i will be doing a blog about joining colours.

I really hope you found this tutorial useful, I have so enjoyed writing it. Happy hooking,

 

#CraftBlogClub – ‘You Complete Me’ Challenge Reveal…

craftblogclub badgeSo, I have a little confession to make before I get into trawling your wonderful makes!  I haven’t completed my project :(.  I feel like the worst host ever, but I was inadvertently left without a table on which to use my sewing machine for nearly three weeks, which has inevitably left me very little time to complete ANYTHING I need to.  I’m behind with my sewing projects already BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Here’s my WIP so far…

The Scrappy Patchwork Chair

chair 1The purpose of ‘You Complete Me’, was to bring to light just how many WIPs us crafty lot have and really take the time to get ONE thing finished.  I blame external incidents for my unfortunate half-finished masterpiece, that and a particularly nasty delivery driver.  BUT, it has been fabulous to see so many of our #craftblogclub crew working so hard on projects they had near forgotten about, over the last few weeks – my Twitter feed has been littered with lovely WIP photos and posts and I can’t WAIT to see some finished projects.  So please, do link up below and share your work!

For my ‘You Complete Me’ challenge, I decided to challenge myself with some new crafting ideas and creating something of a statement in my lounge.  These old chairs were given to us me by some relatives who had no use for them anymore.  Though they were specifically ‘conservatory chairs’, at the time I really liked the shape of them and the comfort too – plus the footstool would be a great added extra for lazy knitting evenings sat in front of the TV.  They did, however, need a lot of TLC and I thought our ‘You Complete Me’ challenge would be the perfect time for me to get to grips with covering them.

patchwork close upAs I’m in the midst of painting and DIY-ing my house at the mo, I decided to try and make this chair a real statement in my lounge.  I had already painted a red accent wall and decided to trawl through my fabric and see how little I could spend patchworking the chair.  I had a lot of teals, turquoises and blues, which I felt would blend in really well with the red.  To finish, I decided to contrast the footstool by knitting a stripy cover using the same colour palette.  This would blend in with the blue hues on my sofa cushions and I even have a couple of knitted squares, ready for a sofa throw in the same palette too.  What could go wrong, thought I?  Well, to be honest, I’ve never patchworked a thing in my life.

Being the renegade crafter that I am, I thought starting off with big patches measured, ironed and sewn into place, couldn’t be too difficult – luckily I possess a lot of the ‘how hard can it be’ attitude, so the effect is already really starting to look great on the chair.  Being quite the sewing novice still, I decided to sew each of the top cushion sections and leave an open end on both.  I’m toying with the idea of hand-sewing press studs to secure the cover in place, but it does seem to fold and sit quite nicely without, footstoolwhich I’ll be thankful for when it comes to washing the covers!  I’ll get there, just not this month.  I did have to purchase a little more fabric, but the total spend on this project was just £11.98 – though I should replace the foam at a later date too.

I’m planning to get this baby finished as soon as I can, then I’ll post some finished photos and updates on my new lounge.  It has been a great way of working with patchwork and I do feel I’ve created something really unique for my home too.  I think it has a charm to it, the not-so-perfect patches, there is something quite fairytale-cottagey about it, which I think I quite like!  Just nod and smile.

So what about you guys?  What have you been up to and DID you manage to complete this project on time??  Stay tuned, I’ll be setting up a #CraftBlogClub makes board on Pinterest to showcase our wonderful work!

armchair 1Stay Peachy x

Come Join Us..



Sherwood Art Week and A Crafty Meet-Up

bannerLast weekend sort of flashed by in a yarn-bombing blur and, to be honest, much the same is to be said for this week so far.

On Saturday, I had the great pleasure of finally meeting my wonderful two #CraftBlogClub co-hosts, Katie and Fiona, in Nottingham.  Since the two lovely ladies hopped on board the good ship Craft, they have been such a huge help and it was lovely to finally meet up and talk big plans for driving #CraftBlogClub forward.  More on that to come, in the meantime we were all busy updating the Twitter account and brainstorming new challenges and topic ideas for our weekly chat.

We spent the majority of the day at the Nottingham Contemporary – a perfect gallery venue with a cafe bar, freshly prepared food and child friendly too.  We chatted about all things craft, business and The Tudors (that was mostly me, lowering the tone).  It was so wonderful to meet the ladies I have been chatting to, and who have provided such great support for my idea, in ‘real life’!  Both Katie and Fiona are passionate about craft and passionate about the community we have built, I look forward to sharing more information with you all soon – but a huge thanks to Fiona and Katie for such a lovely day and, if you haven’t already, please check their blogs out!

CraftBlogClub ladiesSundays in Sherwood tend to be pretty quiet, but with the lovely weather and the tale end of Sherwood Art Week, Little D and I decided to take a walk up to the community centre to check out the Remarkable Recycling Gala; a fab day featuring recycling workshops, lots of interesting info and some lovely craft stalls.  D was a little young for most of the workshops, but it was fantastic to see lots of local children getting involved with craft projects and learning new skills.

Sherwood WIFor me, the real magic of Sherwood Art Week lies in the installations that pop up along Mansfield Road – this year there were some amazing Yarnbombs and some wonderful installations celebrating local artists in the shop windows.  So, with that in mind, what kind of renegade craft-blogger would I be if I didn’t share some of these with you?!  Check out some of these lovely images from our stroll on Sunday – I can’t wait for Sherwood Art Week next year!

benchyarn bikebike close upcaterpillar

Stay Peachy x

#CraftBlogClub June Challenge – ‘You Complete Me’!

craftblogclub badgeWith May well and truly out the way, it’s time to dust off those sandals (not that I own any) and look forward to a Summer of Love…and Crafting…mostly crafting in my case!

We had a staggering amount of wonderful challenge entries for the last challenge – the Spring Clean Gift Swap, so I thought it was high time to set up another challenge, to keep our crafty fingers ready in the sun!  Fancy joining in with this one?  Read on….

‘You Complete Me’

Whilst the Summer air is busy blowing away the cobwebs and sending us fresh motivation and ideas for home, hearth, wardrobe and whatever else, my lovely co-host Fiona, came up with the idea of trying to finish something we have left!

So….let’s take June to dig out those Christmas presents you’ve stashed away, pick up that knitting that’s gathering dust, or get on with that home improvement project you’ve been dreaming up.  Summer’s here and the time is right…for finishing things!  Starting today, go forth and finish, then drink a cool glass of Pimm’s, or five, and bask in the glory of your crafty triumph!

Them’s The Rules…

1. Not much to this one, pick a project you’ve been meaning to finish in, well, forever, and use June to finish it!  If you’re one of those commendable types who has, in fact, finished EVERYTHING, why not pick a dream project to do, or something you’ve not tried before but have always wanted to? (Within reason, I don’t want anyone getting all Belle Du Jour on my watch)!

2. Present your lovely project in a blog post by June 30th…as ever there will be a linky set up on THIS BLOG to showcase your makes – and do take some time to have a gander at the other posts, it’s lovely to see some of the amazing creativity we have in our #CraftBlogClub!

3. Let us know how you’re doing throughout the merry month of June – use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag to keep up to date and also #YouCompleteMe – you know, just cos!

That’s about it..what are you thinking of doing?  I’m pushing myself to the limit for this challenge, I just hope it turns out well!

Stay Crafty!

x

Hello June!

mainThis is it…my Frugally Fabulous Year is hitting the halfway mark – and WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN SO FAR!  I guess, like everyone, there have been some great bits and some not so great bits!  But I’m really excited to see what the rest of the year brings…

May: The Month That Was…

So that was May – a month of accent walls, true colours, larking back to my teenage years, wanting to be Mrs Emma Reznor all over again, the world’s biggest knitting needles, DIY Gardening, lovely bloggers, big changes and exciting developments!  I often find myself holed up making big plans and half-starting them, May was definitely a month for that as well!

I got back into the reading flow this month too – I’ve set myself a challenge over on Goodreads to read 20 books by the end of the year (not including such avid titles as ‘The Little Go-To-Sleep Book’, ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ and ‘That’s Not My Fairy’) – which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be difficult to squeeze some time in for relaxing and reading – but it remains one of my most favourite ways to wind down!  Anyway, May saw me complete my 6th and 7th titles this year:

booksThe World According To Bob by James Bowen: Having had the pleasure of meeting this loveable and unlikely duo, I was really excited to follow more of Streetcat Bob and James’ journey from Big Issue sellers to stars in their own right.  A heartwarming tale of hope, survival and the most incredible journey for a most unlikely pairing.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Zafon is, without a doubt, a huge influence as an author.  His poetic writing and magical stories are second to none.  The Prince of Mist was his first published novel, written for a YA audience.  Zipping through this in just a few days, I found the gritty and fantastical story of Max and his adventures that lead him to the grimacing and frightening Prince of Mist.  Moody, atmospheric with a tale of innocence and love interwoven in the reams of fright, this is a must-read.

Currently Reading: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran: Hilarious, poignant in places and a most unglamorous interpretation of a seemingly glamorous career – Moran keeps it real, whilst keeping it hysterical!

I’m definitely feeling as if the blogging mojo is returning a little, after a slumpy period, I’ve started making plans and even getting more creative!  I launched my #Project34 last month – an opportunity to get back some creative time and start making bits and pieces for myself and the home.  Check out my mini tutorials for the Novice Drawstring Bag and Rustic Garden Tealight Holders, not to mention my Cross Stitch Poetry.  Not only that, I embarked on a little secret project/challenge that I’ll be able to share more of later this month!

I also got to grips with some advertising space on the blog – if you fancy being one of my ‘beautiful people’ check out my sponsor page and get in touch!

And to top off a fantastic month, we had another amazing turnout for our latest #MidsBlogMeet.  What started off as a conversation between the wonderful Kelly from To Become Mum and I, has led to us organising and hosting two fabulous meet-ups with some wonderful bloggers from around the Midlands.  Our latest was a beauty-focused meet which took place in Birmingham, read all about it tomorrow.  A huge thank you to everyone who came along and to our lovely speakers Jo and Suzie for their informative and wonderful talks!

May: The Month That Was….Instagrammed

I’ve been keeping myself so busy lately, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll be aware that I was on a NIN-countdown for most of the month (my absolute favourites) and, let’s just say they didn’t disappoint!  Totally worth the 15 year wait to see T-Rez live!  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d take my favourite Insta-pics from the last month and let them speak for themselves!  If you’re on Instagram – be sure to give me a follow!meanddaisy

leanoradrzhivagomeladybirdninttingT-rezSo…June?

Well, this month I’m in full swing with making and shaking for the wardrobe and the home.  Plus, I’m very excited to share with you that I am going to be part of White Tree Fabric’s Blog Team.  Keep your eyes peeled for more posts and info about this coming up – but I’m excited to be working with them and I’ll have my first White Tree Fabric Post coming shortly!

Not only that – a new month can only mean one thing, a new #CraftBlogClub challenge! All will be revealed TOMORROW EVENING!

That aside, I’ve been getting stuck into some interesting articles, falling back in love with my sewing machine (though I think she needs a name…) and getting more creative on a tiny budget.  Fancy it?  Then be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin to be kept up to date with all the latest Frugally Peachy news!

I’m also planning to take a break in July to complete #PeachysWritingMarathon, and I’m still looking for a couple of guest posts – fancy it?  Give me an email at missemmaberry@gmail.com with your ideas!

I think that’s about it for now folkies – as ever thank you for reading, let’s smash the hell out of June, shall we??!

Stay Peachy x

#Project34 Week 2 – Beginner’s Drawstring Bag Tutorial

floral bagDisclaimer: Tilly Walnes I am not, elatedly proud of making friends with my sewing machine I AM!  If you are learning to sew too – make sure you follow my Peachy vs the Sewing Machine posts for mini-tutorials and progress updates!

#Project34 Week 2: Drawstring Bag

Time Taken: 3 LONG hours of practice

 30 Minutes Prepping, Cutting and Controlling Shaking

30 Minutes Sewing and Making!

Ok, I’ve been pretty excited to share this news with you!  Last week, I ACTUALLY sat at my sewing machine and decided to master the basics of my sewing machine!  Week 2 of #Project34 was going to be about pushing my own boundaries and FINALLY overcoming my fears!

I forced myself to sit for three hours, whilst Daisy was spending the day with her dad, and follow lines on a tea towel and I can’t tell you how ELATED I felt when I finally felt I’d got it!  I’m sure lots of people reading this will think this is no big deal, but to me, a few straight lines and decent bobbin winding, had brought me much closer to my dreams of learning to dressmake!  With that in mind, I set to work on a small project to keep up the momentum of what I’d managed to master!  Introducing the beginner’s drawstring bag!

fabricI found this gorgeous floral fabric in my stash and already had the matching organza ribbon too.  I thought a drawstring bag to keep plastic bags in my kitchen would be a great first project.  As the cotton was quite thin, I cut four rectangle pieces (approximately 35cm by 45cm) out and practiced my simple sewing by stitching two pieces together.  Once this was done, I simply followed the edges of three sides (leaving one smaller side open for the top) with my sewing machine, stitching in a simple straight stitch.

Then, taking each section of the open top end, I folded it over to approximately a centimetre and stitched across, to create the fabric loop, through which I then threaded my ribbon!

And that, is quite literally it!  Much like cushions and machine covers,sewing machine the idea of a drawstring bag is simple, a great way to practice very simple techniques and the ‘drawstring’ feature hides a multitude of sins if you find your stitching goes a little wonky!

I was so pleased with my bag, I immediately set to work making bag number two – a laundry bag for Daisy’s room, using some beautiful Jemima Puddleduck fabric I bought to make a cot bumper with originally.  I also had a go at two-toning my fabric with this nautical I made for a very special 1st Birthday present!  This one was slightly longer and thinner, more of a pillowcase size but using exactly the same renegade measurement and sewing techniques!

francis bag 1

francis bagSo, if you fancy a go at something this afternoon and you’re pretty confident with the very very basics, why not brighten up your home with a floral drawstring bag?

Stay Peachy x

Frugally Peachy: Jam Jar Tealights Holders!

fairy flirtIn keeping with my love of all things DIY, I’ve been experimenting with some simple ideas for lighting your garden space this week.  Having seen a rather inspiring and tear-jerking post from the delightful Hodge Podge Craft on DIY Wedding ideas, I was really taken with the simplicity of some large rope covered vases that were featured.  Needless to say….the mind started ticking.

Now I happen to be in possession of about fifty million recycled jam jars.  I love them.  I love to dress set, drink and bake all sorts of weird and wonderful concoctions with them.  So, when it came to thinking about cheap, cheerful and rustically-fabulous ways to light your garden, should you be sitting out at dusk, sipping on a cold beverage (from a jar), I grabbed some garden jute twine and set to work on these bad boys!  Great little tealight holders for sitting in situ in your garden and a snip of the price of a fancy tealight holder!

how toYou Will Need…

A selection of (clean) Glass Jam Jars (lids not necessary)

Garden Jute Twine

Some Super Strong-Hold Superglue – suitable for use on ceramics, glass etc.

Now Do This…

finished!To make a simple sitting tealight holder, glue a thin long line about a cm up from the bottom of your jam jar.  Unravel your twine and glue into place, ensuring that the end is sticking securely.  Once the bottom line is firmly in place, continue to wrap around the jar in an upwards movement, ensuring your glass is completely covered.  Be sure to add a little bit of glue every fourth wrap or so.  Keep wrapping until you reach about 2 1/2 cms from the rim of the jar and repeat the glue line, cut your twine and secure firmly in place.  Leave to dry for a couple of hours before using.

Now you’re done, I think this calls for a cheeky homemade cocktail and a makeshift BBQ, don’t you??

Stay Peachy x

Wilf...you flirt!

Wilf…you flirt!

Review: Sizzix ‘Big Shot’ Die-Cutting Machine

sizzix mainAs I’m a something of a Frugal fiend, I don’t tend to say yes, very often, to reviewing products on this blog.  I see my blog as depicting my journey from, quite frankly, a renegade crafter of sorts to adored self-sufficient seamstress (ahem), so product reviews just don’t really fit the bill!  When, however, I was contacted on behalf of Hobbycraft and asked if I wanted to test out the latest die-cutting machine from Sizzix, I jumped at the chance to have a go and, in the process, add another string to my frugal crafty bow!

The Sizzix ‘Big Shot’ Die-Cutting Machine is available from Hobbycraft priced £74.99.  It is a table-top slide machine that allows you, the avid crafter of paper and fabric wonders, to cut intricate dies and embossing patterns effortlessly.  Impressed so far?  You will be!

Sizzix overviewFrom a ‘mechanical’ point of view, the Big Shot not only looks pretty, but on receipt was incredibly easy to assemble.  The machine comes pretty much in one piece with just the washer and crankshaft to screw in place – you are then ready to go!  The Big Shot comes with two cutting mats and an Extendable Multi-Surface Platform – for use depending on what sort of dies you are using.  Being completely new to this, I was really pleased that Hobbycraft sent me a packet of this trio of Tattered Lace Owl Dies to try out, available from Hobbycraft for £22.  The next thing was to actually TRY it out!  Which, in turn, happened to be pretty easy to follow too!

Whilst the instructions were easy to follow and clearly stated which dies are suitable to use with the Big Shot (I can be accused of getting a bit ‘faffy’ when it comes to new machinery), it was fairly self explanatory to work – once I’d chosen which colour paper I wanted to use – I simply popped the die in place with the paper, sandwiched between the two cutting mats and placed on the platform. sizzix and papercuts Turning the washer, the platform guided the sandwich through and the results were wonderful!  Each little owl was perfectly formed and intricately cut – I instantly got the bug for more.  I tried cutting fabric too – which didn’t work as well with these intricate designs, but would be a lifesaver for prepping fabric patches for patchwork and quilting projects.

So, what did I do with my little owl experiments?  I have a couple of very special Birthdays for very special little people coming up, so I decided to use these designs to make up some Birthday cards – I used basic glue to hold these owls in place, but they would work well in 3D form also if applied with sticky foam.

Birthday cardsOverall, I was really impressed with the machine and with my first go at die-cutting,  It all sounds so simple but I’m excited to try other dies in the appropriate ranges and also try my hand at a bit of quilting now that I have a machine that can make life a little easier!  I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good machine that is both simple and effective – I think it is going to become a regular little devil in the craft room and I can’t wait to try some more bits and pieces with it!

Stay Peachy x

Birthday Cards finished

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine and the Tattered Lace Owl Dies for the purposes of this review.  I was not paid by the company for this post and all views are my own.

 

#CraftBlogClub – Spring Clean Gift Swap REVEAL!

craftblogclub badgeSo….this one is a little late, I fell out with Linkytools – but we got there in the end!  May I proudly present our latest #CraftBlogClub challenge!  Read on to find out more!

Back in March – a staggering 22 people signed up to be involved with the next #CraftBlogClub challenge – a Spring Clean Gift Swap!

The aim?  Create and send a gift to a fellow #CraftBlogClub-ee, using only what you have lying around at home.  I don’t know about you, I’ve had a real urge to have a good clear out recently, so I thought we could all channel our creativity and send a big load of ‘Happy Mail’ too!fiona card finished

 

fiona stampI’m so excited to see everyone’s gifts….I received this INCREDIBLE crocheted gift from the wonderful Fiona, from Fizzi-Jayne Makes, in the post today! crochet daisy Fiona recently decided to teach herself crochet – one on my crafty wishlist also!  So, armed with a fabulous flower crochet book, she created this gorgeous Daisy card AND made a retro Daisy brooch for me!  What a gorgeous idea and a great chance to show off a new crafty skill – Fiona I LOVE it, I can’t wait to wear it with pride, providing the real Daisy doesn’t grab it first!  I hope Fiona loved her handknitted teapot I made for her – who wouldn’t love a cosy teapot made from bits and pieces from my yarn mountain stash?!

fiona teacosySo, what are you guys waiting for?  The linky below is LIVE for your Spring Clean Gift Swap posts and I will keep it open for 2 weeks – I know how the post can be!  I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with!  Our next challenge will start in June – if you have any ideas I would LOVE to hear from you!

If this sounds like something you would like to be involved with – why not join our Twitter community on Tuesdays 7-8.30pm GMT – lots of crafty chat, blogging inspiration and more challenges to come – 2014 is shaping up to be exciting for us!

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