Friday, 19 June 2015

Hilary's Craft Competition 2015 - My Handmade Rag Doll Entry

Rag Doll hand made and designed by Crafty Loops, June 2015
A bit more detail of the dress, with the rag doll's hair behind her shoulders
Look at her pretty wee dress as she's standing.  So cute.

Isn't the wee dress pretty?  The fabric is called Daisy Pistachio from Hilary's.
Hey Folks.  When Hillary's recently contacted me and asked me would I like to take part in their Craft Competition I of course said yes.  How could I not?  Just take a look at that fabric I was given to make my project with, its called Daisy Pistachio.  So of course I said yes.  If you'd like to read about the Competition please click HERE.

As you all know, I haven't been sewing long.  In fact, since I've had my sewing machine, this project will be my 3rd sewing machine project ever.  So I'm a little nervous to say the least.  So, I sat thinking long and hard about just how I could do this beautiful piece of fabric justice.  And then I thought....."AH HA!".....I have been wanting to make my Auntie Fiona a fabric doll and when I saw the fabric I'd chosen from Hilary's, I knew it was the perfect fabric for this doll.  There is a story behind this gift so bare with me, lol.

When I was around 10 years old, my Auntie Fiona decided to leave our little corner of Northern Ireland for pastures new in Malta.  To say I was going to miss her was an understatement.  It broke my little 10 year old heart.  My wee Mammy and I went to her apartment to help pack up her things.  She gave me her black and white posters from her bedroom wall and asked me to "look after them" for her.  When her apartment was pretty much all boxed up, we sat on her living room floor, picnic style having ordered a takeaway from around the corner.  I remember that night vividly, right down to the plastic red topped salt shaker my aunt had to borrow from the Chinese Takeaway as she had no salt left in her apartment, lol.  Well, the time came for my Aunt to leave Northern Ireland and off she went to begin her new life in Malta.  I wrote to her every few weeks and when it came to her birthday, I wanted to make her something special.  Now remember, I was probably only 10 years old at this stage, I didn't have a sewing machine and certainly didn't have any sewing skills at all.  But I decided to make her a Pot Pourri Doll.  Yes, you read that correctly, a pot pourri doll, lol.  I basically took a piece of fabric, cut and hand sewed it into some form of doll shape and stuffed it full of smelly Pot Pourri.  It wasn't a very pretty looking thing, needless to say.  But, being a 10 year old little girl, I was so pleased with it.  I wrapped it up, placed it in an envelope and off I went to the Post Office to send the little Pot Pourri doll on its long journey to Malta.  Of course, with it being a lumpy bumpy smelly thing in an envelope, Customs were a bit suspicious about the package and opened it up to make sure I wasn't sending anything dodgy, disguised as a handmade doll, lol.  Anyway, it eventually arrived with my aunt who was so delighted with it.  She phoned me to let me know it had arrived and how much she loved it.  Of course, I was so overjoyed and beaming from ear to ear.  Obviously years went by and the little doll never really entered my head again.  I assumed that after a certain amount of time passed, that the doll would have eventually lost its pot pourri smell and sooner or later would have made its way into the bin......after all, its was a dodgy hand sewn doll stuffed with Pot Pourri, lol.  But, that was not the case.  Many years later when my Aunt decided to leave Malta and come back home, there she was on a flight home with her young daughter, her luggage........and the Pot Pourri doll I had made her.  That doll is now 25 years old, and to say it is in a bit of a state would be putting it politely, lol.  But she had kept it all those years, even though it is a little worse for wear now.
Anyway, I thought it was time for a doll upgrade so decided I wanted to make my Auntie Fiona a new doll to replace the one I had made her all those years ago.  Hopefully this doll will be made a little better and won't be filled with smelly old pot pourri or have a strange odour to it, lol.  Thanks to Hillary's, I have been able to make my aunt a much more appropriate looking doll, that doesn't contain 25 year old, mouldy Pot Pourri, lol.  Here is what I have created, using the beautiful fabric provided to me by Hillary's.  I hope you like it and I certainly hope my aunt likes it too.
In order to repeat history to a degree, I felt this doll had to be entirely made by me from scratch, just like the good ole days.  So no pre-made template or ready made doll body was used.  I made everything myself.  I drew a quick sketch of the dolls body on some good old printer paper.  I cut out the doll shape and this became the template for my dolls body and dress.  I pinned the template to some soft, buttermilk type fabric I had in my stash and cut out my doll shape, leaving a bit of room around it for seam allowance.
Once I had the basic doll shape cut out, it was just a matter of putting the doll together (she says like some sort of expert....Puhh!).  I sewed around the perimeter of the torso and limbs, leaving a sizeable gap unsewn so I could stuff the doll with doll stuffing.  I used a straight stitch as well as a zig zap stitch to help prevent fraying as the material from my stash tended to fray.  So I wanted the stitching to hold up well once I stuffed the doll, etc.
It's Aliveeeeeee!  Well, nearly, teehee.
I stuffed the doll with the toy stuffing and closed up the gaps.  I then sewed the arms and legs onto the doll.  She is already beginning to take shape.  Isn't she pretty?
Now for the fun part. Dressing the doll.  Remember the rough template I drew for making the doll?  I used it for making the doll's dress....no patterns here people.  Remember......I'm a very big novice to sewing, lol.  Obviously because the doll has mass and volume and a great big wad of stuffing in her, the template was going to be a bit too small.  So I simply added a few inches to the initial template and it worked out great with a bit of clever adjusting.  I cut the lovely Daisy Pistachio fabric that Hilary's supplied me with and whizzed it through my sewing machine.  I gathered the dress in at the waist to give it a bit more shape and volume.  I kept the front of the dress pretty flat with the sides having the volume from the gathering.
I added this lovely gold trimmed lace and gold ribbon from my stash to embellish the dress.  I think the gold colour really compliments this Daisy Pistachio fabric from Hilary's. 
And of course, no dress is complete without some bling.  The green belt bling is actually an earring that I had in my stash.  I think I bought it from Primark's.  The little bling around her neck was another stash staple.  You might be able to just catch the glistening gold in the lace trim. The dress was so much fun to make.  This fabric is so playful and colourful.
Now, the big job......the dolls hair.  This was the most time consuming part of the doll but honestly, it was completely worth it in my opinion.  Boy was that a big job though.  Each strand was hand torn pieces of fabric as I wanted that frayed look on the 'hair strands', rather than straight cut, regimented lines.  I wanted this Rag Doll to look, well, raggy. I also added various beautiful narrow laces and trims to add texture and interest to the dolls hair.  I had to hand sew each and every little bundles of the hair onto the dolls head in rows.  I think there is around 4-5 rows of hair with about 6-8 bundles of hair (maybe more) in each row. 
The hair is so big, raggy and textured.  I think it looks gorgeous.  But you can tell me what you think.  Sadly the photo isn't showing all the layers of laces and trims.  But I added gold, green and grey eye-lash trims to match the colours in the fabric.  It's layered throughout the hair and is stunning when looking at it in real life.  Sorry I couldn't pick that up better in the photos.
And then the pretty little face.  I used some Mica Powders to give her little blushing cheeks.  Every little rag doll needs blushing cheeks, lol. The rest as you can probably tell, was badly drawn on by me, lol.
A photo of the completed Rag Doll with her hair down around her face.
And a photo with her hair behind her shoulders with a nice clear view of the pretty Daisy Pistachio fabric dress in all its embellished glory.
And the doll is complete.  A special thank you to Hilary's for kindly asking me to participate and for sending me such pretty fabric to play with.  The Competitors entries are really incredible and so professional looking.....and then there is my wee rag doll, lol.  The final will be down to 10 entries and then through Social Media and a decision made by Hilary's Competition Judges, the Winner will be announced.  So, if I'm lucky enough to make it to the final 10, I may need your help to get me some votes by Pinning, Liking and sharing through Social Media.  However, I have to get to the final 10 though and the entries from everyone else are amazing. The competition is pretty tough and my sewing skills are pretty limited, teehee.  But I can only keep my fingers crossed, lol.  Have a look here to see all the Competitors entries.  Wish me luck!

Toodles Noodles.......Crafty Loops (aka Lee) xx

Friday, 29 May 2015

Guest Book Wedding Album



I am the worst kind of person.....to quote a certain English accented toodler called Stewie (all Family Guy fans will know.....if you truly are a fan, lol).  My Brother is married almost 2 years and I STILL haven't showed everything I made for his Wedding.  I'm terrible.  But because I had so much to make and as you know, when it comes to weddings a lot of things are left pretty much to a week or a few days beforehand, I was a little under pressure.....and Numb-nuts here forgot to take detailed photos of everything made to share on her blog.  Sure I took some fleeting photos just before they were about to leave my door....but really Lee, what kind of a Blogger doesn't take proper blog photos?  I've disappointed myself...tutt, tutt, tutt!  I am such a numpty.

Whilst I tried to salvage photos from here, there and everywhere, I wrote a post with everything I used for the Wedding with links to where I bought everything.  But I didn't have all the proper photos.  The post ended up being pretty long because I did everything paper related for their wedding and I didn't want to bore you all with my ramblings, especially considering I didn't take decent photos.  Oh and yes, his Wedding Invitations were gorgeous if I do say so myself.....did I take proper photos that weren't done in the spare of the moment?  No, of course not.  But I will try and sort something out to show you those soon.  In the meantime, I may show bits and pieces every so often to show you the items I actually do have photos for, even if they aren't the best quality **Smacks oneself on the forehead**.

I made the Guest book for their wedding and this is how it turned out.
I was overjoyed with the Guest Book.  I think it turned out so well.  Karen didn't want anything too plastered or over the top girlie.  Just elegant and modern.  I think I achieved that ok.  After much Pinterest browsing for some inspiration, this is what I made for them. Sorry you can't quite make out the colour, but that embossed card is a deep purple colour.  I used my Zutter Bind-It-All to bind the book using Antique Gold coloured 3/4 inch O-wires.  
This purple card and embossing folder was used throughout the Wedding Stationery and other items (using Sizzix Swirly vines with hearts embossing folder) and Ivory pearlescent paper with a hint of gold in it.  I printed the purple hearts motif to either side of the "Guest Book" section, as that motif was also a running theme throughout the Wedding Stationery.  This was covered with white Bookbinding Skivertex.
The inside page was simple and again kept to their colour (deep purple & gold) scheme and heart design.  Again I'm sorry the colour is so bad on the photos.  I used the same deep purple cardstock from PDA card and crafts. I decided not to add gems or pearls to the corners of the inner page's thank you note as I didn't want them restricting the albums ability to close properly or making pearl sized dents on the cover page, so the inside cover was not embellished at all.
I added this beautiful Guipure lace down the side, along with some flat backed pearl trim.  I added all the individual flat back diamontes onto the front of the book also.  Although they were self-adhesive, I was aware that this book would be handled a lot throughout the wedding day and beyond. So I didn't really trust the self adhesion on the diamontes.  Therefore, I added a little bit of Glossy Accents to them also and those gems were going nowhere, lol.
 To protect the first writing page from smudges or marks, I added a piece of light purple vellum to the book.
Again the Guest Book carried on the heart theme and the same font was used throughout the wedding.  I kept the actual book very simple with plenty of pages and lines for people to write on.  The pages are actually 300gsm super smooth cardstock which was nice and sturdy to write on.  I want this book to last.
And as always, that's it from me folks.  Apologies for only showing the Wedding items now.  But I will eventually get around to showing everything.....or as much as everything as I can manage to salvage from rough and ready photos, lol.  Any questions, just give me a shout.

Toodles Noodles......Loops (aka Lee) xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Ruby Slippers Video Tutorial


It's an oldie but a goodie.  You know those days when you are randomly going through your laptop, looking at old videos and photos and then you come across a half edited video from 3 years ago that you forgot to post?  No?  Is that just me?  Well, that is what happened here.  I forgot to post the tutorial on how I made these Ruby Slippers shoes.....almost 3 years ago.  So without further ado.....and waffling much more, because it could end up being another year before this is posted.....here is the video of how I created a pair of ruby slippers for my wee Skin and Blister (that's good ole Cockney rhyme for Sister).



And as always, that is it from me today Folks.  Hope to see you around my Blog neighbourhood soon.  Any questions, please leave in the comment section below and I will do my best to help you.

Toodles Noodles.......Loops (Lee) xx


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Just because it's handmade, doesn't mean it's cheap

This is going to be a bit of a different post.  I have no creations to share, no crafty altered project, new flowers or new sewing items to share.  This post is in support of all creative people out there and a little "heads up"so to speak to all non-crafter's that request we make something for them.

Now don't get me wrong, there was no incident that lead me to write this post.  I haven't been given an unreasonable request or asked to make anything for someone.  It is just something I have been thinking about lately, particularly since I've become really interested in sewing lately and was glued to my laptop watching The Great British Sewing Bee.  For example, I always assumed sewing was a cheaper alternative to buying your own clothes.  Boy was I wrong.  With shops popping up like Primark, H&M and Forever 21, it is almost impossible to personally make yourself an outfit cheaper than what these companies charge for their clothing.  In fact it will most definitely cost 3-4 times more for materials alone than what you could buy pre-made in the aforementioned shops and that's before factoring in your time and effort for making the item.  But then, with homemade items you are putting a great deal of time and effort into your unique pieces of art so you know that the quality of the item is not only impeccably well made but is also a unique one off creation.  So although it may cost more to sew your own items, the quality does shine in comparison to "off the rack" clothes.  And this is not just relevant to sewing, it covers all crafts.  And let's face it, I dabble in a bit of everything.  What am I?  A Bookbinder? An altered artist? A flower maker?  A Sewer?  Mixed Media Artist?  What?  Just what am I??  I like to think that I am a Jack of All Trades (and Master of none, teehee).

But I digress.  I think the reason I wanted to write this post was to make all the Non-Crafty people out there realise and appreciate that just because something is handmade, does not mean it is automatically cheaper for you to buy.  I know for sure that there are crafter's out there that sell their handmade cards and in most circumstances are happy enough to just cover the cost of materials (just about) and don't think of giving themselves anything for the time they've spent designing and creating those cards.  As Crafter's and artistic people, we are extremely generous and in most cases are just happy to make an item for friends or family.  If my sister ever found out just how much it cost to make her that quilt for Christmas, she would kick my arse, lol.  And I won't even go near the subject of my Brother's Wedding stationery because he too would be kicking me and my butt does not need multiple kickings from my younger siblings.......so I'll never tellllllllll, heehee.  Simply because anything I have ever made for anyone close to me has been about making them happy, regardless of what it costs me.

I don't have a shop or craft to make a living.  If someone wants me to make them something that's fair enough, I will gladly do it.   But there is a difference between making gifts for friends and family and making items to sell whether it is to help fund your crafting endeavours or actually help earn you some living money.  Making things to sell is a completely different ball game from making items as gifts.  I think a lot of creative people, crafter's and artists are almost afraid to insult a customer by charging the appropriate amount of money for their work and therefore end up undercharging.  I think of it this way......if a customer wanted to buy off the shelf, generic items that everyone can have then, they would have done so.  If a customer comes to you asking to have an item handmade, its because they want something unique and of a certain standard of quality.  Therefore, they are willing to pay for exactly that.  If you are embarrassed or shy about charging for your work and do not charge the appropriate amount to include your time spent, designing and creating the item for that person then you are setting a precedent for yourself and that is when people will take advantage of you.  Because you have underestimated yourself and your work, they will inevitably expect you to do the job for cheap because that is how you've priced your work.  And lets face it, we all love a bargain so no customer is going to tell you that you've undercut yourself.  It's not the purchaser's fault persay simply because they don't know what it costs to make the item.  You haven't told them or charged them appropriately to not only include your inventory costs but also your time spent.  You are entitled to a wage too you know, lol.  So what does that say about us as Crafter's and Creative People?  By not pricing your items and work accordingly to include your own precious time, you are basically belittling the work you do and not giving yourself the respect you have wholeheartedly worked for and deserve.  You need to be confident in your work and be able to say "I am an artist and if you want my unique piece of hand made art, it is going to cost you".  And I'm not saying to charge £20 for a card or extort money from customers.  I am merely saying, give yourself the respect you deserve for the time and effort you have put into your work and don't just charge for materials alone.

So, if someone comes to you and wants you to make something handmade should it be a dress or a box of birthday invitations, you have to be willing to tell that person that not only will you be charging for your costs but your time also.  If they want a uniquely handmade item then they are going to have to be willing to pay for it.  And in most cases, the fact that that person has come to you in the first place means they are genuinely wanting something unique and handmade.  So in most situations they will completely respect that you have a right to earn and not do things for cost alone and they'll happily pay your fee.  But there will always be those people who will want a lot of product for virtually no money.  And these are the people you need to weed out of your life.  If those buyers are not willing to pay then they are not respecting you and the work you do.  You should never be willing to lower your prices and your worth to meet their tight purse strings.  Non-Crafter's need to realise that handmade does not equate to inexpensively made.  In fact handmade means more time, thought, and work has gone into that item than any item you could ever buy off a shelf.

Therefore......my advice to all Crafter's and Artists who sell their wares - be fair to yourselves.  Allow yourself to earn money as you've been the one who has spent the time on your customer's project.  A plumber wouldn't fix your sink and only charge for the parts.  He or she would charge for their time.  So you have just as much right to charge for your time too.

And Non-Crafter's and Customers - please don't expect something for nothing.  You are asking to have something made for you because you obviously want something uniquely designed to your specifications.  Therefore please respect the Artist and understand that handmade does not mean it will cost nothing.  Afford the Artist the respect they deserve.  They have as much right to earn a living as anyone else.

I hope this didn't end up being a preachy post folks, that was not my intention.  It was just some thoughts in my head spilling out onto my blog, lol.  I hope if anything this post will make Artists and Customers alike respect and appreciate the industry of Arts and Crafts and give those Artists and Crafters the recognition and respect they work so hard for.  But likewise, maybe help Artists and Crafters realise that if they don't educate Customers and show them just how much work actually goes into a hand crafted item, that the customer can't be blamed if they aren't aware of what items cost and tend to expect a lot for very little in return.

That's it from me for now folks.  I'll have something that is maybe a little lighter on the reading front next time, teehee.  I hope I haven't bored you, lol.  Have fun all my Crafty friends.

Until next time....Toodles Noodles.......Loops  (aka, Lee xx)




Saturday, 27 December 2014

My First Patchwork Quilt

Don't look at it too closely!  It's my first attempt at anything like this and only my 2nd ever sewing project...so be gentle with me.  It's a bit wibbly wobbly and not the straightest looking of quilts.....but its handmade with love which excuses me from all flaws and mistakes made....teehee
Do you remember a few months ago I showed you my first ever sewing project?  It was a Halloween costume for my sister that I made a couple of years ago, a Dorothy Gale dress with a pair of sparkly ruby slipper.  Well, that was my first attempt at sewing anything.  And I honestly mean that.  I didn't even know how to turn on a sewing machine or thread it....but I still managed to make my sisters dress by learning as I went.....thank goodness for YouTube!  So since I was able to do that, I thought to myself, "Why not try something that experienced, well established sewers do, something that has taken them many hours of sewing and years to master as my second project" and that was, make a patchwork quilt!

What was I thinking, lol??  Who did I think I was....Martha Stewart?  So my sister seeing that I took to sewing and could sorta, kinda do it (even though up until that point of making her Halloween costume I'd never so much as sewn a tea towel before) made a request that I make her a patchwork quilt for her 21st Birthday!!!  And what did numpty here say (obviously full of great confidence in her non-existent sewing abilities!), "Yes of course wee sister, I can do that no problem".  So I bought the fabric, watched loads of tutorials on YouTube from incredibly experienced sewers like The Missouri Star Quilt Company, Whitney Sews and Gourmet Quilter to name but a few.  And after watching these wonderfully talented ladies do tutorials on how to make quilts, I was confident that I could make T a quilt for her 21st Birthday.

But then life took over, T's 21st birthday came and went, Family life was hectic, my Brother got married and I did all his stationery and wedding "Stuff", we did up my craft room which took me over a year to do (and its still not completely done).....yadda yadda yadda.  And my little sewing machine sat un-touched.........for 2 and a half years!!!!  YES......you read that correctly!  T is now 23 years & 8 months old and is only now getting her quilt, teehee.  Don't worry, I did get her other Christmas presents.....as this is not the most amazing looking quilt ever made, teehee.

Don't judge me!  I know, I'm a terrible sister!  But you know how it is, life takes over.....you've only ever made one other sewing project in your life etc,.......and a quilt was a bit daunting.  I'll say it again.....WHAT WAS I THINKING??  But, finally I made it!  YIPPEE!!!!  It took me forever, but I made it.  I'm not quite sure it was really worth the extremely long wait mind you, lol.  I should have started with a simplier design and tried a rag quilt first, but oh no, I had to make a patchwork quilt.  My craft space is tiny, my sewing machine is very small, my walking foot wouldn't walk (I think I bought the wrong foot for my machine!), I didn't pin enough, iron at all, use adhesive spray and despite all that, I managed to make a double bed sized quilt (its a bit smaller than a double) with absolutely no sewing experience at all.  Obviously with said skill levels being, well zero, the quilt inevitably has flaws.  In fact it probably has more flaws than redeeming features.  Therefore, it was destined to look like ....... well ................. this.........  Please be gentle with me.......This is only my 2nd ever sewing project.

I didn't take any photo's of the back, sorry.  But its just plain old red fabric.   I even quilted the thing too.....boy was that a hilarious experience that had me in tears of frustration!!  Just a "stitch in the ditch" quilting technique which was harder than I thought.....how many times can I reiterate that this was only my 2nd ever sewing project??  I sewed all the squares together, then sewed them into rows until it was one big piece, did white with red polka dot boarder, then the wadding and backing.  Quilted the whole sandwich of materials together and then lastly did the red binding around the edges.
And here is my wee sister, T on Christmas morning all wrapped up in her Christmas present, making a silly face as always.....well she is my sister after all.  And she even said that the quilt was her favourite Christmas present, after apologising to everyone else and saying she still loved their presents of course, lol.  Mind you I did have to warn her that if she saw any straggler bits of thread, not the pull them but cut them off as one good tug on a stray thread and the whole thing might end up in little squares again.
OK, so it's not the most offensive looking quilt ever.  I like to call it the "Monet Quilt"........looks nice from afar but go and look at it up close and personal and its just a jumbled mess of colour, teehee.  It's a bit lumpy and misshaped, the binding is atrocious and the back of it....well don't even ask me about the sewing on the back.  Notice there is no photographic evidence of the back of it?  Yeah, there's a reason for that....it looks awful, lol.  But you know what, its handmade with more sisterly love than you could ever imagine.  It's certainly unique that's for sure.  And it was made for my wee sister from the heart.  And considering it was my 2nd ever sewing project (ahem, did I mention that already?), I am pretty damn pleased with myself.  Mind you, I think I need to master the simple sewing projects now like table runners and placemats, before tackling another one of these bad boys, teehee.  Mind you, knowing me I will most likely take on some other ridiculously complicated project all because I've seen a YouTube video and I think to myself "I can do that".

That's it from me for now folks.  I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas.  We had a smaller than usual Christmas this year......only 18 for dinner!!  Yes ONLY 18!!  And a 27lb Turkey.....nommy noms.  That is a small year for us, lol.  I have a very big family needless to say.

Toodles Noodles........Loops xx

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hey folks.  I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy, healthy and fun 2015.  I know I haven't been about much this year but I will do my very best to be a better blogger next year, I promise.  And as a Thank You for all your support and sticking with me, in the New Year I am planning on doing a Giveaway.....or two.   You know me, I never like to give away crafty goodness to just one person.  So there will be a few goodies up for grabs after Christmas.

Anywho, I hope you all have a safe and fabulous Christmas.  See you in 2015!!

And just like I shared last year........here's a photo of the perfect furry Christmas Present, teehee.  So cute!  And just before you freak out......I did not receive my cat, wrapped in a box, lol.  This was an order that arrived to my home and no sooner had I the box opened, Nimbus was in there like swimwear, jumping into the box before I could even get the order out of the box.  Such a wee weirdo!


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Clean and Simple Birthday Card


Don't judge me!  Cards are nowhere near my forte but alas.......here is one anyway.  I am going to put my hands up, wave them frantically around in the air and admit that this design is not mine.  I do not make cards therefore have no imagination or any semblance of creative design that magically pops into my noggin when making them.  So I rely on the creativity of others to inspire my cards, lol.  In fact, I make it my crafty mission to avoid card making at all cost.  But an unfortunate few do get through the "No card making" barrier every so often and some poor sod ends up receiving one of my disastrous card creations (Maddy..... you know all about that... remember my button Xmas tree card??).  More often than not, it's usually Scrubby Loops or my poor wee Daddy who ends up getting one of them for some reason.  And oh how I laugh when I watch them try to make a surprised "Oh wow that's so good" expression on their faces.

Anywho, I was browsing around Pinterest (my favourite place on web earth) and came across this gorgeous card.  So kudos to Alberta and her beautiful design because without her, Scrubby Loops wouldn't have received a birthday card.....although he might have preferred that, lol.

So, here is mine!  Heyyyyyy don't give me a hard time, I've admitted that cards aren't my thing.  And I did change one of the strip colours to blue....and, and, and...oh, and my stamp is different too!  Let's face it, even with following Alberta's card almost to the "t", it still isn't great, lol.  But its a "Lee card" as they have become affectionately known in my family.  And with that title comes strict instructions to leave all expectations of grandeur and creative wow factor at the door.  It's a "Lee card".....enough said!

Here's a nice little side view for you.....trying to be arty farty, lol.  There really isn't much to say about this card really.  All products are listed below for you. 
Oh and here we are face on but this time.....with a white background as opposed to the black background in the top photo.  Jeez, I can't stretch this out much longer, there's not much to explain really. Any more clean and simple and Scrubby Loops would have received a folded piece of card. 
And that is it from me folks.....for now anyway.  Now that my craft room is sitting all loverly jubberly and I can actually open the door and enter the room without tripping and falling head first into a pile of craft products (which is always an added bonus in my mind) I will hopefully be a bit more frequent in Blogland.

Until next time.....(sing it with me....) Toodles Noodles .........Loops xx

"Stuff" used to make this magnificent piece of modern art (Mwahhhh)

Kraft cardstock from Payper Box Ltd (its fab card to work with) - Click HERE
Coloured Cardstocks, Black, Red & Blue all from Papermill Direct - Click HERE
The matting and card strips were all stuck down using ScorTape (I LOVE ScorTape)  Every time they have it on sale, I get mine from Blitsy HERE
Happy Birthday stamp was just a generic wooden block stamp that had 4 different fonts of Happy Birthday on each side.  Sorry I don't have a brand name as it was bought as a package "thing" with a storage box and loads of other stamps and bits and bobs in it.  I have a strong feeling it was a Papermania storage doodaa..  However, if the stamp is not from Papermania it may be from Anita's or Whispers Stamp!  If that is any use to you, lol.


Monday, 3 November 2014

How to make a soft cover wrap around book

Doth my eyes deceive me?  Is that a Crafty Loops blog post I see?  Yes, yes I can hear you all from here, lol.  But finally, my gas heating is now installed.  Yippeeeeee!  Which means my house was turned upside down and there was dust and dirt that would make the Sahara Desert blush!  Our attic had to be emptied because we needed new loft insulation, which meant the majority of my house sat in the back garden whilst the work was carried out.  Who knew we had so much crap up there!  Out of sight, out of mind definitely applies to my attic.

As if having our house turned upside down and sitting in my back garden wasn't enough, there of course needed to be a little drama added to the mix - this is the Loops Household after all.   When the guys were installing the new gas pipes in the attic, one of them slipped and his leg came thundering through the roof!  Scrubby Loops said all he could see was a leg dangling from the hall ceiling.  Then another guy nearly went through the front door after an "electrical mishap".  I tell ya, it was just as well that I spent the day with my parents, because Scrubby Loops said I would have been chasing them around the house telling them off every two minutes, teehee.  They weren't even in the back door that morning and I was warning one guy about smoking, teehee.  It was ok though, he gave off to himself too and chastised himself for smoking......so really, I was only agreeing with him....mwahhh!

Anywho, it is finally done and the house is back to some semblance of order, much to fur baby's delight.....Nimbus does not like having strangers in her house, particularly 15 burly big builders.  So once they were finally finished and gone, she spent the next few days jumping at the new gas boiler noise and scenting each and every corner she could rub her face in.  She's such a wee weirdo!  Well they do say pets take after their owners.   My craft room is now finished....STAND UP AND SING "WOOWHOO" WITH ME.  Well, its almost done, it's sitting in the layout I want and everything is organised in its allocated spot.  But we want to put wooden floors down in there and maybe a new paint job on the walls.....if I can push my luck, lol.  So the room is temporarily put back together until the coffers replenish, lol.

So with all that waffle out of the way, I do have a very quick video tutorial for you today.  This video was recorded over 18 months ago now (hangs her head in shame!).  I know, I'm terrible.  I have been asked tonnes of time about binding on leather, fabric, soft covers etc., so I did in fact do a video on it at the time I was asked.....and then forgot all about it!  It wasn't until a month or so ago that I found it on my laptop and I had a bit of a "Slap on the forehead" moment.  I quickly edited it and did a dodgy voice over on it, so without further ado, here it is.....



For links to the tutorials mentioned in this video, click on these links:

3 hole pamphlet stitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Ru6bkfsqM&list=UUy1ecE39OsmJw3Q7S-etK3A

Signatures - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtSxGuNB2gs&list=UUy1ecE39OsmJw3Q7S-etK3A

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Altered Extendible Cutlery Tray - Made into a Storage Unit



BEFORE I GET STARTED:  You may have noticed that when you come over to my blog that the address may redirect to www.craftyloops.com.....that's because I bought the domain name.....Yippee.  However, nothing has changed.  If you put in my blogspot address, you will still find me.  It just redirects the name to my dot com address.  But I'm still a blogger girl.  Everything I do is still run by Blogger.  And in case you want to know where I was able to buy my dot com domain name from (for just £2 a year), I got it from godaddy.  I have not been sponsored to advertise for them....this is simply where my 13 year old brother told me to go and buy my domain name......and if he tells me where to go and buy it from, then I listen.  He's a child prodigy, lol.

I haven't been crafting as I'm sure you are aware by my distinct lack of attendance in Blogland.  I have been doing out my craft room.....new furniture going in, tonnes of re-organising, destashing, rehashing etc., etc.  And after all that......the whole lot needs to be pulled out again because we have decided to get gas installed in our house.  But numpty here thought it was an easy peasy lemon squeezy job to do and I wouldn't have to rearrange or move anything in our home.  Boy was I wrong.  Because our house is a golden oldie, all the piping and radiators are as old as the hills, so all the radiators are coming off and being replaced.  But instead of the new radiators going back where the old ones where, the new ones are being placed on different walls in all of the rooms.  So not only do the guys need to get at the old radiator in my craft room, they need to get at the replacement radiators new home .........which means I need to move a lot of the furniture out of the room.....AGAIN.  Well, when I say me....I mean poor Scrubby Loops, teehee.  However, all this work won't start until some time next month or possibly September as the actual Gas line hasn't been hooked up to our house yet......so we kinda have to wait for that to be done first.

Anywhoodles I was fishing around my photos and came across my very first Altered Art Project.....MY VERY FIRST ONE.  I don't know how I managed not to show this to you, as its on my craft room wall so I see it all the bloomin' time.  But anyway, here it is.....my first ever altered project from 2010.  Go easy on me folks.....it was my first altered project attempt, lol, so its by no means perfect.

This isn't the actual one, but its pretty much the same.  I bought mine from Argos I think.  It's made from bamboo and it opens up surprisingly wide.

Taa-daa....this is how it turned out.  I painted it a light blue colour then used my distress ink to grunge it up a bit and used a script stamp to add some messy text over it.  The paper is actually from a Wallpaper sample I had from B&Q.

And here it is with some goodies in it.  The long sides are used to store junk jewellery.  I simply hammered in some tiny tacking nails at different heights and the jewellery hangs from those.
So there you have it.  I am thinking of re-altering it again though now that my room has been redesigned.....and will most likely be redesigned again after the builders leave my home, lol.  I think I want to add little shelves into the long panels which will make better use of the space and I can actually store items in that space.  What do you think?  If I re-alter it, you will be the first to know, I promise.

That's it from me folks.

Toodles Noodles.......Loops xx

Friday, 2 May 2014

Photographer in the Making.......Sorry I've been MIA

DO NOT ADJUST YOUR PC, LAPTOP, SMARTPHONE OR TABLET SCREENS (Phew!!).....This is indeed a Blog Post from Crafty Loops!

I realise that when you see my name coming up in your blog roll, that it may cause some form of whiplash as you spin around to take a second glance at your blog post viewing apparatus and actually check if what you saw was indeed a blog post from me.  All I can do is sincerely apologise for any harm you may have come to whilst reading this post.  Teehee.

Yes, I will hold my hands up, arms up......ears up and even my pig tails up (yes I have multiple pig tails.....my hair goes down to my waist, I have to do something with it) and admit it......I have been a TERRIBLE blogger, not only this year but half of last year too.  But I was busy with my brother's wedding last year.  Still......that's no excuse for this year now is it??  Did I promise to show you the stationery I made for my brother's wedding that was in July 2013?  Yes, indeed I did.  Have I blogged about said stationery?  No, of course not.  And WHY? I hear you ask.......because I am Mrs Disaster Pants.  I'm totally comfortable in the knowledge that this may be my only title in life.  No, Lady Loops or Duchess Loops for me.  Oh No.  I will be forever known as Mrs Disaster Pants.

And my excuse for this year??  Well, for one we have gutted out my craft room and I mean GUTTED!  We didn't get the floors down which MUST be done at a later date, so for now I am stuck with the most awful deep, pinky, yucky colour of carpet which catches every bit of paper, headpin and staple possible.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were a couple of lost children bundled up in the fibres of that carpet.  It does my bloody nut in.  But not to worry, it won't be getting comfortable and "bedding" in for a lifetime in that room!  I WILL get my wooden floor down, but just not right now.  Is that a good enough excuse for my absence?  Probably not, but because my room has been packed up for the last 5 months....I kid you not, I haven't anything to show you.  So between that and life generally keeping me away, that is why I haven't been blogging.  So my absenteeism (yes that is a word) wasn't down to anything exciting,  tragic or even remotely interesting, I'm afraid.  Sorry.

So to make up for being MIA, I thought I would do the next best thing.....I'm going to show you part of the beautiful Country in which I live.......Northern Ireland.  BUT.....I am going to be completely cheeky (and honest) about it and admit that these photos were not taken by me.  They were taken by my 13 year old brother........on his tablet.  OMG.......I am amazed at how fantastic they are, considering they were taken on a tablet, never mind by a 13 year old child (he will not appreciate the "child" reference).  And again I am holding my pigtails up and admitting that one photo (the last one) was taken by Scrubby Loops (my Husband) on his mobile phone.  So really, I'm being a complete cheater by pinching their photos and stickin'em on my blog, teehee.  I do have their permission of course.......I'm not that awful......not totally......ok, maybe just a bit.

Anywho, enough of my ramblings (I know how you've missed them.....**Cough**).  Here are some photos of where I am extremely lucky to live very close to.  The photos are of the Mourne Mountains which are maybe half an hour from my house.  I know how lucky I am to live in such a magical, mystical and historical place.  Essentially....this is my back garden!  (All of these photos, except for the last one were taken by my 13 year old brother).

***I suggest to get the best view of these photos, click on them to make them bigger.  They look much better.***

This is up in Rosley, Scenic Loop.  I'm afraid it wasn't the sunniest day when these were taken, but still, its a breathtaking scene.  Oooo, hello Mr Sheep!
Rosley
Rosley
Rosley
This is Silent Valley, Scenic Loop.  I am telling you, it is difficult to drive this route simply because as the driver, its hard to keep your eyes on the road and off the picturesque surrounding landscape.  Isn't it STUNNING?  And look....Sunshine.  This was taken Summer last year (2013) when Northern Ireland had its hottest Summer in 30 years.  It was amazing.  Constant sunshine and extreme heat (well, for us anyway) for almost 6 weeks straight.  Our Summer's average around 17 degrees C (if we're lucky) and are usually pretty soggy and grey.  But last year we were hitting very high 20's, low 30's degrees C and THAT is an anomaly, believe me. It was an incredible Summer which we probably won't see a repeat of for another 30 years, lol.
Silent Valley Scenic Loop
Silent Valley Scenic Loop
Silent Valley Scenic Loop
I put these last 2 photos together as its the same spot.  My wee bro took this one.  This is Spelga Dam up in Silent Valley and this my friends.....is where our drinking water comes from.  Now this was a more over cast day, but I LOVE this photo.  It hasn't been altered or enhanced at all.  This is it straight from the tablet and I simply added my copyright to the corner, but that was all.  Look at the reflection of the mountain in the water!  That is how crystal clear and pure our water is.  If only it had have been a bit sunnier.....ohhhh look.....
My Scrubby took this one on a Sunny Day in July 2013. This is a view again of Spelga Dam, you'll see its much sunnier and takes in both sides of the dam.  Although it was a little windier this day so you can't see the mountains reflecting off the water because of the ripples. Isn't this beautiful though?  And this is off a camera phone, could you imagine how stunning it is in real life?  So if any of you are ever around my neck of the woods (or should that be Mountains?!), I wholeheartedly recommend you get yourself up the Mourne Mountains.  Take a drive, a pit stop and a picnic and soak up the scenery.  Its a beautiful place to see.
And there you have it folks.  This is where I live, or close to where I live.  I tell you what though, I am not one for camping but if someone told me that I could pitch a tent at the edge of that Dam and live out the rest of my days there......I'd seriously consider getting me a sleeping bag.

I hope you all can forgive me for my absenteeism.  My room is ALMOST, nearly there.  Just a bit more organising to do and then I will be back in that room to......well....... make a mess of it again after 6 long months of cleaning it up and clearing it out.  Scrubby is gonna love me....Mwahhhh!

Toodles Noodles........Loops xx