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My name's Jen. This is the place where I share my love of art with the world. Please stay a while, and leave a comment if you wish :)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

My Latest Crafting Obsession: Felt!!

I found this little book, "Countyside Softies" by Amy Adams, at our new Michaels store shortly before Christmas. I love all the patterns in this book and I can't stop making them!! It's very rare to absolutely love every pattern in a craft book, but this one just rocks!! The badger below is my favourite I have to say. I love his snout!! I've been using cheap acrylic craft store felt and quilting fabrics to make them as this is my first foray into the world of felt and didn't want to make a huge investment just trying it out, but plan to purchase some real wool Merino felt in the near future. If you're looking for felt inspiration check out GingerMelon on etsy.com, loaded with felt cuties and felt supplies. If you're reading this honey, don't blow a gasket!! I've discovered a whole new crafting genre, and don't you just love it when that happens!!

Benjamin Badger

Great Book!!

The Felt Family. So far!!

What did the fox say??

Meet Betsy

Happy New Year everyone!! This year's resolution is to get off my crafty butt, re-organize my craftroom and work on my blog!! I believe there are two types of crafters. Those who are neat, tidy, totally organized and never purchase more craft stuff than they need. Then there's my type. Chronically disorganized, always has 20 projects on the go that may or may not ever see completion, bags of buttons and baubles all over the floor and always scrambles but works well under pressure to complete deadlines! This is MY year!! A fresh start, I can do it!!
I thought I'd start the year with a little blog tribute. My mother, who is a robust and healthy 76 year old life long crafter, lives in a nanny-flat attached to our home. We bought her an American Girl doll of her own for Christmas this year. She'd had her eye on one ever since our neighbour came over to show off her doll collection, all sporting handmade outfits, this past fall. Meet 'Betsy'. Mom decided to dress her in a 1940's style, similar to what children and dolls wore when she was little. I think she's doing an amazing job!!
I was a figure skater as a young girl and Betsy now has her very own skating outfit! The skates were in Mom's stocking and she looked like a little kid when she opened them!!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

I Spy with My Little Eye...

...something that will keep the kids busy for hours!! No batteries, no computer, no noise! I've been making these toys for about 15 years now and still find them fun to make and even play with. The front of the laminated tag lists what's hiding among the pellets. The back of the tag details information about speech and language development as well as different ways to play with the toy that encourage learning the alphabet, and developing concepts like, bigger or smaller than, sounds like, starts or ends with the sound, rhymes with and can you find what I'm describing?
These bags are a little complicated to make, but I love a good craft challenge! I make most of the items found inside the bags from Shrink-It, Fimo/Sculpey, wood, fabric and fun foam. I add to it with little items I find while shopping like mini erasers, marbles and dice. The bag itself is made from polar fleece, with is made from recycled pop bottles. Bet ya didn't know that! The window in the bag is made from a square of 10 gauge vinyl, and the tag is laminated then secured with nylon cording.
I make several different themed bags, the two in this post are the ABC bag for children ages 2-5 yrs and the Celebrate bag for older children. Although, I occasionally catch an adult engrossed in the search!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Apple of My Eye


Well, summer is over. It wasn't much of a summer weather wise, but I had one of the best summers of my life regardless. Traveled, visited friends, made lots of stuff that I forgot to post on my blog and now it's over. I decided to spend the day in my art room and get it together. This is one of the cards I made today whilst puttering and cleaning getting ready for the fall. The card features a Stampin' Up! Sweet Treat Cup full of cherry mini jelly beans.
There are tons of instructions on the internet describing how to create a very complicated sliding trap door that uses a bijillion foam dimensional dots. My advice? Don't do it! I made a very simple trap door that is obvious and self explanatory to retrieve the candy. Punch a 3/4" hole in the card and use a 3" x 3" square of card stock, scoring one end at about 1/2", apply adhesive to the scored flap and adhere to card. Punch a small heart and use a brad to affix it, creating a twisting little mechanism which holds the door shut. It can even be refilled in you have a child to entertain! Good to be back!

Twist heart to open flap!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

First Willow Basket of the Season

 Well, the snow finally melted and the pussy willows are out. I went for a big walk last week and cut some of them to make my first willow basket of the season. This one has a willow rim, handle and ribs with mixed fibres under the God's Eye 4 point lashing. The body is woven from 1/4" flat natural rattan. I made it for an old friend who I haven't seen for 28 years. A hand crafted basket is a unique gift, and if course he told me he loved it. I think he did. Now to locate some elm, dogwood, alder and a few spruce and/or cedar roots...

Monday, 22 April 2013

Twin Sisters

I am going on a little trip to visit family and friends next week for a few days. Yeah!! One of the friends I will see has two very special 'tween' twin daughters. Those of you who know me know that I love to make toys and stuffies for kids, so I crocheted these twin sister monkeys to tuck into little bags of girlie junk for them. When crocheting stuffed characters I always use Bernat Satin yarn and a 'G' sized hook. I like the tight stitching this combo of yarn and hook provides, especially when using a single crochet stitch. Be generous with the poly stuffing as well. I use a chopstick to make sure the filling gets into all the nooks and crannies. Even though the girls are old enough that choking on small parts is not an issue, I always use safety eyes that have a locking mechanism on the back to prevent them from becoming a hazard. I also avoid beads or buttons unless they a firmly double stitched with extra heavy poly wrapped cotton thread. Hope they like them! I think they will, if there is one thing I do know, it's cool girl junk! Have a great day crafters!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Fare Thee Well Outlines :(

Outlines is, or was, an amazing little stamp company and it looks like they have closed their business, if I have read properly on their website. Their stamps are so unique, full of detail and for someone who loves to colour (like me!) they are perfect for card making. This stamp is one I purchased at Michaels not too long ago, it's number is PS0579. It's just the right size to fit an A2 card front, and as it is quite a 'busy' image I made it into a simple easel card.
I would love to own a delicious set of Copic markers, but sadly they are not in my budget, so I use Prismacolour pencil crayons and odourless solvent to achieve a similar effect at minimal cost. I was a bit unsure of what to do with the birdcage. I tried cutting it out, but the lines are just to detailed. I stamped it onto ivory paper using Versamark, then embossed it with Antique Gold powder by Tsukinek, by far my favourite brand. The powder is very fine and gives a smooth finish, and it comes in tons of different colours. I then used Distress ink in Vintage to add dimension making the cage appear to be rounded. And of course, every card is better with a bit of Stickles! Sorry to see you go Outlines, I will treasure my stamp collection that much more!