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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Fantastic ebay buy

Well I love my lever punches and found a fantastic buy on ebay - 38 punches for £40!!!

They are not the huge punches - but they give me a wider variety for my recycling greetings cards for swap-bot and my own crafting.

They arrived yesterday - but have not played with them yet as I am trying to decorate my room

First time in five years that I feel I have enough strength - with a little help from my friends - we will wait and see how far I get with the decorating before my health falters.

I will be doing it in stages - we have cleared half a wall and will hopefully be painting over the weekend - then a couple of friends will be moving the massive wardrobe - so that the next wall is ready to paint. I'm hoping it will be finished by the end of the month. Though that means I wont have much time for my recycling craft. But it will be a much brighter room for crafting in.

Sorry - no pictures today - though I will take before and after pictures and post when finished.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Recycling address label backing

I managed to ebay some of my recycled punched shapes to raise funds for the Uganda project - only a small amount - but - it all helps.

While I was packaging them up - I was about to throw out the backing of the sticky address label roll - and then I stopped - it was a nice and shiny surface - I wonder whether my punches would go through it?

I started punching - some of them caught on the more delicate designs - but the solid shapes cut brilliantly - maybe I will try sizzixing them next time.

Also as the label roll is perforated - could use the sheet as a silhoutte for cards (if I was in a cardmaking mood).

I would love to know whether anybody else has recycled these label backings.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Manic week

 What a manic week this turned out to be - hardly any time for crafting.

Though I did manage a walk and left an inspirational tag on a bench (with some blu-tac - so it wouldn't fly onto the ground) for someone to pick up.

I am a bit wary that some people might leave it as they think it might belong to someone who will come back for it - unlike the stones.

Though these are another way of uplifting people in the town that can't manage to get to the beach because of access problems.

These are easily made with hardly any crafting involved. A quick project to do with children or with non-crafters. Recycled from used greetings cards. The greeting cards are cut into different sections. The corners are rounded. A hole punch at the bottom. Some wool - sorry - funky fibres ;) are added with a handwritten uplifting quote.

Some more stones I managed this week

The beautiful view while I was writing the stones

I kept out of the wind, sheltering behind the beach huts
I also managed to do some punching for the local church. Craft punching of course! Using up scrap envelopes. Here are two pictures of bits of envelopes once I have attacked them with the punches.

Great way of  reusing coloured envelopes

Monday, 9 May 2011

Charity shopping

I love charity shopping - you never know what you will find.

Well today I got some real bargains.

Two wool blankets - one yellow, one PINK  for 99p each. I thought this would be good for felting - though when I got home and realised the pink was a double it was immediately put for my bedroom. 

The other items I keep my eye out for are old craft books and childrens character books. The old craft books I love reading and then recycle it usually through ebay or through the Uganda project. The childrens character books I use by making into envelopes for the children who visit to do crafting. Well today I got 3 vintage crafting books for 10p each and 4 childrens books for 20p each.

I also picked up a fantastic see through minature drawer set for £1. The image on the bottom of the first drawer is a reflection of the ceiling. I adore these little drawer sets, they are so useful for storing craft items

 This was a real good day - but then I should remember what John Cage (artist) says

"Every day is a good day"

More stones

When I made the stones last week - I then started thinking about how they could uplift people around the town.

So I started last week decorating (pen only) stones on the beach with uplifting sayings. Once I finish decorating it I turn the stone blank side up - so it is only by chance/coincidence that someone would read them.

These are ones I finished today

The blank side - nobody will realise unless the message is truly for them.

This new project helps me overcome the barrier of staying in all the time. It gives me a reason to go out. It also gives me a wonderful feeling inside knowing that those stones will be picked up at some time and the message will uplift and support that person. Hopefully over time I will get used to drawing and writing on stones and will become more flamboyant in my art.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Mending a broken expanding box file

When a shop was clearing out I found an expanding box file filled with craft items for £1. I immediately bought it - knowing full well the stuff inside the file was worth more then a £1. Since then I have used up all the craft items and have put the box file to use by storing all my clear closeable bags that I recycle. Though it started being a pain by keep opening all the time. I did try putting a rubber band round it but that was awkward getting on and off and was not sufficent.

The clasp was broken

 This morning I came up with a brainwave - VELCRO!!

So I found my velcro sticky pads (about 1cm accross). Firstly I took off the broken clasp and the handle. I knew velcro would not hold if I tried using the handle at the top and as I am forgetful I took it off.

Then I attached a few velcro to the plastic box - attaching both fluffy and grippy side - then closed the box and pressed down. The grippy side then stuck to the lid of the box file.

Now all I have to do is to decorate it.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

How to Make a Wire from a Plastic Bottle: 4 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow

How to Make a Wire from a Plastic Bottle: 4 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow

I've tried fusing plastic bags - some worked others didnt. I then sizzixed them for flower brooches and worked quite well.

Though making wire from plastic bottles for beading sounds brilliant. I will hopefully try it out this month - weather and health permitting.

Swap-bot pass the parcel

My recycling ethos goes hand in hand with swap-bot. I tend to join the ones that encourage recycling or emailing ideas.

My latest swap-bot venture was joining the British Birds Pass the Parcel - and I must say I am really pleased with what was received. The only down side to pass the parcel is that it does have a higher carbon footprint as the parcel journeys from place to place via royal mail.

Anyway here are the 10 items I  recieved

  • Ribbon flower embellishment kit
  • Embossing Greetings card book
  • Cards with vellum book
  • 9 small christmas stamps
  • Pair of mini flip flop embellishments
  • 3 postcards
  • A5 photo album
  • Greek snack
  • Pink beads
  • Pink pritt stick (with Green&Black organic chocolate bar stuck to the back)

I took out the greek snack (turned out to be Halva - something I used to adore as a child), the pink beads and the Pink pritt stick (which will be added to the Uganda school resources) but that also meant I had to eat the chocolate :) It was a very yummy parcel.

This is what I will be sending out to the next person

  • Ribbon flower embellishment kit
  • Embossing Greetings card book
  • Cards with vellum book
  • 9 small christmas stamps
  • Pair of mini flip flop embellishments
  • 3 postcards
  • A5 photo album
  • 6 metres funky fibres
  • 4 handmade fridge magnets in a metal mint tin (ready for altering)
  • 4 packs punched card shapes and die cuts

I think that is a good exchange. I would have included more punched shapes but at the moment everything is topsy turvy. There is always next time.

Martha Stewart flower punch review

I have just started using a Martha Stewart flower punch - I HATE it

I can quite honestly say that this is one of my worst punches I have ever owned.
  • It can only punch paper or thin card.
  • The paper/card gets stuck going in and out of the punch (the opening is too narrow)
  • The punch mechanism is quite hard to press down and you can't step on it like some other punches (not good for anyone with wrist problems)
  • Awkward for children to use as you need a lot of patience with this punch.
  • You can't see what you are punching and therefore there is a lot of wastage and rejects (or background flowers)
Quite honestly this one punch has put me off all the Martha Stewart punches - they may have lovely designs - but are they all this awkward to use?

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Naturally Me Creations: My Totally Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations Pledge!

Naturally Me Creations: My Totally Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations Pledge!

I'm going to make mine recycled too

Buttons and wool bracelet

I am a self-confessed button horder. I have a box of buttons that I have not sorted and then I have a shelf filled with (recycled) glass jars filled with different colour buttons. I thread my button sets together by reusing curling ribbon - I cut it lengthways and it is so easy to thread the button holes through rather then wool or string.

My sorted button horde

 Anyway back to my button and wool bracelet. I've been seeing them everywhere on the net and wanted to try it out. So I went through my blue button jar looking for four hole buttons. (I don't usually like four hole buttons - so this was a good way of using them up.)

I found a few medium ones and a large button and patiently threaded wool through a needle. Then threaded the buttons and tied a double knot on each length between the buttons - so they could not move around.

 To finish off I tied a loop so the buttons act as the clasp to close the bracelet. As this was a test run I thought it was okay - but I ended up with a bracelet a bit too long - though as the loop was big enough to go round most of the buttons it does not really matter. My solution = It is an adjustable bracelet

The loop can fit round most of the buttons making it an adjustable bracelet

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Decorating a heart picture frame

I obviously was in the mood for decorating items yesterday, after the stones in the early morning, I actually got round to decorating my christmas present my niece gave me.

My christmas present from my niece

 It has been sitting looking it me for four months now - and I had promised my niece that I would send a photo once I had decorated it.

As it would be sitting in my bedroom - the colour scheme was pink and purple. I wrapped some pink netting around the top and stuck some embellishments on the frame.

Due to the awkward shape I didnt put a photo in - rather I put my defination of "Love is...", a few things of what I do for my family to show my love.

I really like it  - though I need to add a few more definations into the empty spaces. It is sitting on my bedroom shelf next to pictures of my son and my niece's family.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Upcycling curtain track material

One of my friends comes round most Thursdays and we do crafting together.


We share ideas, what we have created during the week, if either of us are stuck on how to go forward with a project we come up with solutions usually, also we craft together.

Anyway this last Thursday (28th April 2011) my friend came round and went through a bag delivered from freecycle. In it was some of the curtain track material - she started ruffling it to make a brooch for the Uganda project we craft for - but then it turned into a wonderful necklace and she macramed the neckline. Oh - how ingenious - well here is a picture of one of the three necklaces she made.

Upcycled curtain track material necklace

Decorating stones

Well I have been up since 4am playing with stones. I had collected these stones when I was home educating my son around 3 years ago. In actual fact it was my son who collected them and insisted that we take them home as they were so big and unusual compared to the other stones on the beach. They have been collecting dust in the fireplace ever since.

I tried different markers at first - CD marker pens work fine and so do the sharpie black permanent pen I have. Though my sharpie coloured pens dont work on the stone - they just fade. Also writing with a tippex pen is just a mess - but good for flower centre. So here are the results of an hours play. They will be sitting on my stairs for a long time now instead of collecting dust in the fireplace

A bit lopsided - like all my other crafting - lol

This picture makes it look really nice

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Recycling greeting cards

How many of us dont know what to do with the amount of cards that are given to us - after all we can only keep so many. The answer is reuse and recycle.

Make them into fridge magnets

Make them into little gift boxes

Use your punches on them to get unique punched shapes.

 Twirl them to create flowers for your projects

Make them into tags and send them to your friends with inspirational sayings or prayers to lift them up
 Use the borders in your own designs

- Make them into bases for your own art ie inchies, twinchies, ATC's etc
- Use the plain white card on the back for your stamping (needs to be non-glossy)

Recycling old envelopes

 Can you reuse the envelope by sticking a larger label on?

If not - here are some steps to reuse that envelope
- use your craft stamps then cut out the image
- use your craft punches
- origami
- use as background for your cards
- make mini envelopes and embellish/craft stamp them and use for little gifts inside cards

Recycled security envelopes

Reusing security envelopes are fantastic with all the different designs

New Adventure - how long will it last?

My very first blog post.

I start quite a few things and then life takes over and I find I cant carry it on - but here is hoping I can share some of my craft and recycling ideas before life takes another turn.

I have previously put my recycling ideas on flickr, but I think it is about time I started blogging.