Friday, 22 May 2020

Face Masks with Filters


Hello Folks.  Long time no see......for everyone, I suppose.  These are strange times we are living in and I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

I thought, as everyone and their garden gnome are making masks, I thought I would share 2 designs that I have made. These are not my designs, and I will share the links to the original posts.

I decided to go with 2 styles, as I wanted to ensure that everyone in my family got at least 2 that would fit them perfectly and safely.  I did change some of the features in both these masks but I will explain what I changed and why I did, below.

Firstly, was the Olsen mask that was recommended by a Hospital in the USA.  It comes with a detailed video together with the link to the pattern.  Now, this pattern is a lot more involved in that it isn't just a rectangle of pleated fabric.  You have to cut out 6 pieces of fabric to make one mask.  But its a great design and a really great tutorial.  Here is the link to the Olsen Mask, made by Gail Kollmer on her YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StMPYZ-waso&t=283s

The second design I made was a pleated mask.  Although this mask is basically a rectangle of fabric, I found that this one fits the majority of faces as the pleats allow room to fit the contours of each individual face.  And its so quick to sew up too, so if you need to make a lot of masks for a big family...like me....this might suit you better.  This is the link to the pleated mask made by Kim's Kitchen Affair YouTube channel.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K4dH3-LHLQ

SMALL DISCLAIMER:  I am not a professional sewer....or even a medium sewer....I am new to sewing and am pretty useless at it.  But I managed to make these, wonky sewing lines and all.  So please don't judge me on my sewing skills.  I wanted to make masks to keep my family safe and I don't think they care that the lines aren't straight and the pleats are wonky, teehee.

These are the Olsen Mask design and the first ones I made.  I don't think I changed much in the design of these as they fit pretty well.  The only thing is, these may need adjusting at the ear ties as not everyones face is the same size, so just keep that in mind.

I used polycotton and some 100% cotton fabrics.  And the over the ear elastics were just hair ties that I had.

Each mask also got a proper face mask nose strip to ensure the mask could fit around the wearers nose.  I did buy HEPA filter fabric from Ebay but to be honest, I didn't use it as I felt the 4 ply wasn't enough protection (Im sure it is, but I'm overly cautious when it comes to my family, lol).  Plus it cost a fortune for 5 tiny pieces of fabric.  So instead, I bought Meile HEPA filter hoover bags.  I cut them up and sewed around the edges with a zig zag stitch to ensure it stayed together.  These HEPA filters are 5-ply, super strong and thick.  I didn't just decide off the top of my head to use hoover bags.  It was recommended by a doctor on YouTube, who's wife was making them for him to use at work.  If it's good enough for a doctor, its good enough for me.  They simply slip into the inside pocket on the masks and can be removed and re-used when you need to wash your masks.
Sorry I'm not showing my whole face, but I think you get the idea of the fit from this photo.  It fits really comfortably.  The only issue I have with these masks is, that they aren't great if you are talking.  As there are no pleats, therefore no give, as soon as you start talking, the mask tends to move up and down a bit.  Which isn't complete protection in my opinion.  But great for a quick run out to the shops, without chatting lol
These pleated masks are my favourite as they expand and move with the contours of your face and allow for movement when talking.

In the original tutorial, the lady made these as over the ears masks.  I decided to make my design over the head.  So these masks wrap around your head and neck, rather than just over the ears.

I felt that I got a much better fit by making them over the head rather than just around the ears.  They are very snug and secure but comfortable to wear.  These masks also have the wee bendy nose wires in them together with a pocket for filters.

I added a full 1/2 inch to the original posters pattern as I felt they wouldn't be quite big enough, particularly for men.  I'm glad I did.  The fit is great.  I also came up with my own medium size and 2 children's sizes patterns and they also are great.

I didn't download Kim's pleat pattern, but she has the link there if you feel you need it.  I just freehanded all the pleats...which was probably a bit haphazard of me and resulted in a few wonky pleats, but they all turned out great and fit really well.

I couldn't forget about the wee people in my family, and I made teeny wee masks for my 4 year old nieces too.

These masks also got HEPA filter inserts too. These are a wee bit more fiddly to insert simply because of the pleats and the filter isn't pleated.  But its simply to fit in and adjust it once your mask is on.
The one thing I have told everyone to remember is...REMOVE your HEPA filter from your mask before you put them into the washing machine.  The filters can be reused over and over again but they will most like fall apart or disintegrate in the washing machine.  I haven't tested this theory, but I'm pretty confident that they should be removed.

Once your mask is washed at the recommended 60 degrees C, just pop your HEPA filter back into your mask and you're good to go.

That's it from me folks.  I hope this is helpful to some of you.  If you have any questions, leave a comment of send me a wee message through the link at the top right of this blog.

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

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Design your very own personal stamp



I don't do this very often, in fact, Im not sure I have ever done a particular post like this.  But in a world that is filled with people happy to complain about poor customer service etc., I think it is just as important to shout out the incredible shops that provide fantastic products and customer service.  I wanted to come on today to introduce you to a shop that I really love.  I have added this shop to my "Places I love to shop" page above, but I felt that I should do a little extra, as the customer service is second to none.

Discalimer:  I haven't been asked to do this post or sponsored in any way.  I just wanted to let my followers know about a fantastic company.  

Have you ever wanted to have your very own personal stamp that you could add to the back of cards or projects?  Or even a stamp to advertise your own blog or shop?  Well, Nicky at Stampingallday is the place to go.  I bought my very first personalised stamp from Nicky years and years ago and its still going strong.  I recently bought new, updated stamps from her, and honestly, her products and service are a cut above the rest.  If you don't find exactly what you are after on her incredible website, Nicky will be more than happy to work with you and design the type of stamp that you want, if she's able to do it.  And if you look after your product, her stamps are beautiful quality and will last you for years.  And the price point on her stamps are the best I've seen on the internet.

I couldn't be happier with my new designed stamps.  So, if you want to make your own, get on over to Stampingallday and grab yourself a bargain.  If you do pop over and buy a stamp, let Nicky know that Crafty Loops sent you.  She'll be delighted to make a stamp for you.

Have fun shopping.

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

Sunday, 16 February 2020

More items for sale on Ebay - laces & flowers galore





Hey folks, Im back again to let you know that I have listed more items up on Ebay.  The last sale went really well, thank you to everyone who bought something.  Click HERE to see what I have up for grabs.

This sale is fantastic for anyone who loves laces, flowers and embellishments.  I have put together massive kits of beautiful items for you all to enjoy.  Here are just a few of the items listed for sale.

Once I have finished with the sales, its time for the Art Studio makeover.  I can't wait to have a fully functioning art room that isn't cluttered or filled to the brim, lol.  I might even share some of that process too....I haven't decided yet.

Anyway, enjoy the sale.  I hope you find something you like.  Here's a sneaky peaky of the items for sale....

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Thanks again everyone for having a look and to anyone who bought items previously.  I'm hoping this will be my last big sale - there might be the odd straggler listed next week.  But soon the space will be re-decorated and ready for crafty action.
 Noodles .....Lee aka Crafty Loops

Monday, 27 January 2020

Selling Craft Supplies on my Ebay

Hey folks!  I know.....who is this?  I hear you cry.  I have been a terrible blogger, but i'm hopefully getting back into the swing of things, once I get my Craft Room sorted.  Its a process.

But honestly, I have bought way too many craft supplies over the years and there seriously isn't enough hours in the day for me to use it all.  I NEED to purge.  Cluttered House leads to a cluttered mind and I can't be having that, lol.

So, if you would like to grab some bargain, please have a look on my Ebay page.  The majority of the items I am selling are brand new, unused or if they have been used, it'll most likely be a stamp that has been inked once of twice.  I hope you'll take a look.

There is a tonne of Tim Holtz stuff, the majority of which is all new in its packaging.  A lot of it, Tim Holtz doesn't even make any more.  So if you want them....go get them.

Heres a few photos of just some of the items I'm selling.  I will be continuing to list more items over the next few weeks too.

By for now....hopefully not as long a goodbye as the last time, lol.

Toodles Noodles.....Lee aka Crafty Loops

CLICK HERE to go to my Ebay listings
This isn't everything Im selling, just a little taster sample to whet your crafty appetite, lol.

Click Here to go to this listing

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Click HERE to go to this listing



Thursday, 23 March 2017

Baby Rag Quilt

Rag Quilt Time......
Hello there folks......remember me?  I know, its been a while.  A lot happened in 2016, some amazing and some tragic.  But its a new year and I'm determined that 2017 is going to be a hell of a lot better than last year.

One of the amazing things that happened in 2016 was the birth of not one niece but 2 nieces, 6 weeks apart.  My brother had his wee bambino, Jessica in February and then my sister had hers in March, little Lexi Morgan.  Jessica is lucky because her Nanny from her Mummy's side is an incredible seamstress and people seek her out from far and wide to have her sew projects for them, so little Jessica will no doubt be showered with the most miraculous and beautiful handmade quilts ever.  However, on my side of the family, little Lexi Morgan has........ME, who has only made a few sewing projects in her lifetime and most definitely does not have people demanding my sewing creations.  So, Lexi is stuck with me and my very dodgy sewing skills.  And although Im not terribly good at sewing, I certainly put my heart and soul into everything I make.....even if the finished specimen comes out a little wonky or ski-whiff.

I have promised this poor child a handmade quilt from even before she was born.  When I found out my sister T was pregnant, I quickly stated that I would make her a beautiful handmade quilt.  The actual quilt topper itself didnt take any time to make.....it's just the actual backing and quilting that I haven't completed yet....almost a year on.  So I felt bad about not having it finished, so 2 days before Christmas, I decided that I could at least throw together a wee rag quilt and have something handmade to give her for Christmas.  Listen to me......throw together a rag quilt!  I've never in my life made a rag quilt!  I see a few videos on YouTube and instantly think I'm a professional sewer, lol.

So there I am, 2 days before Christmas sewing together 5 inch squares of flannel fabric and batting to make Lexi a rag quilt and my sewing machine appears to be doing dodgy things.  It's pulling the fabric all off and refusing to sew straight and as I am nearing the last few rows of sewing...BANG!!!!!  My machine makes this almighty noise and just stops working.  MY MACHINE DIED!  I sat there in disbelief looking at the final 2 rows that needed sewing and my stagnant sewing machine that wouldn't sew and I start crying like a big baby!  I was so frustrated.  It was only a tiny wee rag quilt and there I was crying because my cheapo £90 sewing machine died on me...2 rows from rag quilt completion.  So obviously, poor little Lexi Moo didn't get her big quilt or even her tiny rag quilt on Christmas Day.  But to be honest, I think she was happier with her Tombliboo doll and carousel anyway.

However, I was VERY lucky to be given some money for Christmas, so I bought myself a new sewing machine.  I bought a Janome QXL605 sewing machine from the wonderfully helpful Russell from Sewing Machines Direct, based in Wrexham in the UK.  Here is their link to their website HERE (Note* I have not been paid to shout out this company or anything.  It's just a great company that I believe deserves a shout out).  Russell was extremely helpful and sent my machine out that same day and it arrived promptly to my door, packaged and protected that not even an elephant could have damaged it.  I was able to finally finish the smaller rag quilt for Lexi.  Now, because I did the majority of the quilt on my older dodgy machine, this quilt did not turn out quite as straight and flawless as I had hoped.  But its just a wee rag quilt, so they are meant to be a bit raggedy looking.....so the wonkiness of it merely adds to the rag quilt charms.....that's my excuse and Im sticking to it, heehee.

I used a beautiful flannel fabric charm pack that I bought from Ebay, called Moda Charm Pack in Sweet baby flannel by Abi Hall.  It was 42 squares and 5 inches in size.  I wanted the flannel to be on the back as well as the front as I wanted this quilt to be soft and huggable so I bought two charm packs for this quilt.

Ok, I realise its a bit ski-whiffy and wonky but I did go in after these photos were taken and cut off the longer section on the top row to make it look more even, lol...So it looked more symmetrical when little Lexi Moo got her wee mitts on it.  The quilt is approximately 24 inches by 28 inches or thereabouts and it is incredibly soft and cuddly. This Flannel Fabric by Abi Hall is just perfect for a little girls cuddle quilt.

Rag quilts are so incredibly quick and easy to make.  The seam allowance is actually the raggy part of the quilt so instead of hiding your seams and sewing right sides together, you want your seams exposed so you sew wrong sides together.
The back side of the quilt is just as cute and soft as the front.  This flannel is fantastic quality and I highly recommend it to anyone.
The first step in making a rag quilt is to sew all your square fronts, backs and wadding together.  This is simply done by sewing a simple straight stitch with an "X" on your sandwiched squares.
Then you simply sew each square together, wrong sides together with at least a 1/2 inch to 5/8th inch seam.  You can go bigger if you wish, but whatever seam allowance you go with, stick with it.  This will determine how long your "rag" part of the quilt is, as you can see from above.  Then take a strong pair of scissors and snip or rag the outside seams you created. Make sure you DO NOT snip or cut into the sewn seams as you'll undo your threads and the quilt will fall apart.  
Also, there is no binding or edging on this quilt.  You simply rag the edges too and they are left beautifully raggy and fluffy too. You then wash your quilt with no fabric softener and the wee raggy parts become even more raggy and soft.  HOWEVER....BIG TIP....This quilt will get rid of a tonne of threads and fluff from the wadding and quilt.  I did not want all those fibres clogging up my new washing machine.  So....I took a large piece of cotton fabric and I actually sewed it closed on all sides....with the quilt inside it.  It needs to be big enough so the quilt can move around inside to get the seams all raggedy.  This meant that I could wash the quilt inside a makeshift fabric case and all the fibres were caught inside the fabric bag.  Then....No Fibres in my washing machine and they are all inside the fabric bag.  I then just used my unpicker tool to open up the fabric bag and gave my quilt a good shake outside to get rid of any remaining bits of fluff.

Once the quilt was washed thoroughly, I threw it into the tumble dryer to dry.  It again helps make the quilt seams fluffier and raggier.  I didn't use a dryer sheet though.  The back is left just smooth with the "x" pattern in each square and the outer edges ragged.  The great thing about these type of quilts is that the more you wash and dry them, the more fluffy and soft they become.  Perfect for baby soft skin.
And here is Lexi, who just turned 1 a couple of days ago (21st) with her quilt.  It was hard to get a decent photo as she's just started walking and every photo is an action shot as she's flying about the place now.

And of course a photo of said quilt on her head, as, why not?  Where else do quilts go?
And that is it from me folks with my first project of 2017.  Hopefully I'll be back with a few more projects and many more tutorials.  I have a request list from Blog followers and YouTube subbies that should keep me going a lifetime.  So I'll hopefully get those tutorials done shortly.  Thanks for sticking with me folks.  I know I haven't been a very good Crafter or Blogger.  

On a more personal note, I just want to share a photo of my lovely wee Granda (or Grangra as we called him) who sadly died on Boxing Day.  He was the heart and soul of our family and will be missed like no other.  He loved greatly and was greatly loved in return.
1930-2016
This is my perfect wee Granda a few Christmas's ago wearing every cracker hat he could get his hands on, lol.
Toodles Noodles.....Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Craft Box Unboxing March 2016

Hey Folks.  I cannot believe it is a month already since I did the last unboxing for my Craft Box, but here we are again.......in March!

Anyway, here is the video of me unboxing it, if you want to see what I got.  Ohhhhh such lush goodies.  You can get your own subscription on a month by month basis (so you decide when you want to buy it) or by 3 or 6 months in advance.  Simply go the Anna's site, at craftbox.co.uk.  You better run quick if you want April's box, as the pre-orders are running out super fast.

OHHHHHHHHHH, and keep an eye out.  I have ANOTHER GIVEAWAY coming up very soon.  It's pretty similar to the last one, with a few wee differences like the stamp and I'll add a few extra goodies into the prize too that I won't show here on my blog.


I am not affiliated with Craft Box.  I bought this with my own sponduclics.....just in case that is somehow relevant (which I don't know why it would be!).  I just love this product and think for all us UK Crafters, its a fabulously beautiful and high quality gift to give yourself every month.  And its about time us UK Crafters could get a monthly subscription box that is affordable and jam-packed with lovely crafty goodness.  I love getting a little bit of everything and it all co-ordinates so well.  And let's face it folks, as much as we all love a bargain from Ebay.......are you really going to use all of those 300 identical bronze charms that you bought for 99p from China?  We are all guilty of it.....me included (hangs head in almost shame, teehee).   I love Craft Box simply because I get a variety of beautiful items.....and a lot of them too for a great price, plus a beautiful box to alter or store craft items in too.

And that is it from me folks.  DON'T FORGET, ANOTHER GIVEAWAY IS COMING VERY SOON - See last months for an idea of what is to come.

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

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The "Bad Blogger" Giveaway Announcement



Hey everyone.  Boy did that 2 weeks fly by!  Well, my Birthday has been and gone and as promised, it's time for me to announce the winner of my first "Bad Blogger" Giveaway.  And the winner is.....


As stated before, you have 5 days to get in touch with me through the contact form at the top right of my blog.  Simply fill in your details (don't worry, it will be private) with a message giving me your full name and address.  As soon as I get the message I will reply to let you know that I've received everything I need and let you know when I post your prize to you.

And to everyone else.......don't be discouraged.  I bought pretty much the same items again, so I have another 2 giveaways coming. The items are slightly different, like the stamps and a few other bits but they are for the most part, the same.  So look out for the next Giveaway, coming very (very) soon, lol.

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

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The "Bad Blogger" Giveaway

It's my Birthday this coming week so.....I'm giving you a present.
 I know I have been a bad Blogger and Crafter this Year (and last year....Shame on you Loops!), so I decided to reward you all with some goodies.  And since it's my birthday this coming week, I thought it would be nice to give one of you a present.  In fact, I have 2 more Giveaways after this one....so keep watching.

I wish I didn't have to state this, but those that are "Prize Poachers" will not be welcome to join these giveaways, and I will be checking you out.  Also those people who join blogs for a giveaway, only to disappear when they don't win are also not included.  I'm sorry to be harsh but its not fair on my regular and loyal followers (of which I have a print out of you all, so I know who my long time followers are.....I'm sad, I know, lol).  If you happen to win and then unfollow, I will take a note of your name and blog and you'll be on the "Bad Blogger Blacklist"......Oh yes......I have one of those too, Mwahhhhh!

Old and new followers are more than welcome.  One random winner will be announced in 2 weeks time from today, so that will be Saturday the 27th of February 2016.  As I said, new followers are more than welcome.....provided you are a genuine follower.  I want this to be fair for everyone who does stick around therefore, I want only genuine followers.

The only thing you need to do is be a Follower of this blog and leave a comment below.  No need to advertise these Giveaways and no need to add it to your blogs or sidebars.  I'm the one doing the Giveaway and asking you to be a follower and leave a comment therefore I don't think you should be jumping through hoops in order to enter.  This is only my personal opinion on how I do my giveaways and is not meant to offend anyone who does their Giveaways differently.  But for my Giveaways, you only need to be a Follower and leave a comment below, that is it.

If you don't win this time, don't worry.  I actually made up 3 almost identical prizes, so there are another 2 very similar prizes to give away after this one is through, so don't despair, you might win yet.  Plus, I haven't shown it in the photos....but I've thrown in a few extras too as a wee surprise for the winner. So you will be getting more than what you actually see here.

This Giveaway is open Internationally, so anyone home or abroad can enter.  Just follow the simple rules....leave a comment and be a (genuine) follower.  Don't forget to come back on the 27th February to see who the winner is.  Once I announce the winner you will be given 5 days from that date to claim your prize.  If you don't claim it within that time, I'm sorry but I cannot wait around for you to contact me.  A new name will be redrawn and the prize given to the new winner.  And if you don't claim in time, please no sob story emails telling me how your Great-Uncles parrot escaped from its cage and you were attempting a rescue mission by camping out in the woods, away from civilisation and an internet connection, tirelessly searching for Great-Uncle Henry's talking Parrot....Philip (I'm just making this up as I go, lol) and you were unable to see that you won.  5 days is adequate time to get back to me and if not....it will go to someone else.  That's just how I do it here.  I never ask for you to promote my Giveaways, only to be a follower and leave a comment.  So please respect my right to redraw if you don't get in touch.

So without further ado, here is what's up for grabs prize.
Everything is brand new of course.  One 6x6 Vintage style Paper pad, 32 sheets. 1 package 9 Resin Flowers, Bunch of mixed Flowers approx 23 in total, 3 Large Binder Rings, 1 Package of 5 mixed Ribbons, 5m total, 1 Skein peach coloured lace, at least 2m, 4 Cabochons, 1 Lillibet Stamp, Washi tape,1 full roll, 4 Bronze coloured box corners, 4 Arrow shaped corners, and lastly a bag of mixed doo-dad blingy goodies which include heart ribbon sliders, diamonte style ribbon sliders and all the blingy bling you could want.
A closer look at the 6x6 paper pad, washi tape, resin flowers
A closer look at the 5m ribbon, cabochons, box corners, arrow corners, flower, lace and washi tape
A closer look at the binder rings, lots of bling and the Lillibet stamp.
Thanks for stopping by folks.  Sorry I've been so absent.  Oh and on a side note....this is kinda one of the reasons.....My Brother and sister-in-law had a wee baby girl just 5 days ago AND....my sister and her boyfriend are due their baby any time from next month....Ahhhhhh baby madness, lol.  So it's all babies, babies, babies around here.  Finally, I'm an Auntie on my side of the family, lol.  I'm going to teach them all the things that I know will send their parents crazy, teehee.  That's the joy of being the big sister of one of their parents.....I know what drives Mummy and Daddy nuts, Mwahhhhh!  I'm going to love being an Auntie to them both, lol.  
Toodles Noodles.....Lee aka Crafty Loops x