Saturday, 31 May 2014

May's See it, Pin it, Do it - a sorry tale of failure!!

It's the end of the month so just time to join in with Fiona's See it, Pin it, Do it

And sadly a big failure for me - I have had six attempts at it and still can't get the lovely results that so many people on Pinterest are getting.  It has certainly kept Mr P amused over the last two weeks and has confirmed to him just how bonkers crafty people are.

So what am I waffling on about???  Well I wanted to make my own enamel dots by melting beads - every pin and blog that I have looked at made it look so easy, so even I could do it - couldn't I???????

ATTEMPT 1 - failure, but might have been because I used non-branded perler beads and as I didn't have any parchment paper I used greaseproof paper instead.  They totally stuck to the paper and didn't melt down any further than this.

I then read on a couple of blogs that it was the branded Hama beads that worked best, so Hama beads were ordered and I got some parchment paper.


Right so now I am using proper Hama beads and the correct paper - what temperature to do them at???  Well every pin and blog seems to differ on this with temperatures ranging from 150 to 220 C.  I figured hot might be best so I plumped for 200 C.

This took about 35 mins and I managed to get a small handful to melt properly.

Still not as perfect as the lovely ones I had seen online but better than the majority which looked like this -

 Hey ho back to the drawing board.

ATTEMPT 3 - maybe 200C was too hot, so I turned the oven down to 170C, I also read on UKScrappers that you should lay them on their side, not stand them upright - ok, lets try a few of them like that (I can tell you that everytime I picked up the tray the little blighters that were laying on their sides rolled everywhere - never mind it is giving Mr P a good laugh to hear me swearing at beads in the kitchen!!!!!)

Errr so this how they turned out after 40 minutes - the ones on their sides just become an oblong blob!!

But I had put some of the unbranded ones in (I only have those in black, grey and white) and they were not too bad (still not as good as the ones being blogged/pinned everywhere)
 Hopefully you are still with me - I'm not a quitter you know!!

ATTEMPT 4 -  next bright idea - what about if the beads are smaller and I try to melt them really fast???  So I cut a load in half and did them for 30 minutes at 220C

Nope that isn't working either!!!!!!!

Now I am really beginning to get a bit cross with it all but I am still determined to make my own enamel dots!!!

ATTEMPT 5 - I wonder if it is the oven????  I have been using the top oven, but maybe the bottom oven would be better.  OK lets try again and with the oven at 200C as the best results so far seem to be with a hotter oven.

Very mixed results - the unbranded ones at the front have melted a lot slower than the Hama beads, so I am going to have one last attempt at cracking this!!!

ATTEMPT 6 - right this time I am going for a hotter oven (220C) with just the unbranded ones as they do seem to need more heat.

And again another big fat fail!!!!!  The white ones started scorching and none of them lost the dimple in the middle and they stuck to the parchment paper too!!

So I'm throwing the towel in for now and going to stick to what I do best with ovens and that is baking cakes!!!!!!!!  If anyone has done this successfully can you please let me know your secret!!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Meeting Fine Bear Ted!

Trying to catch up with blogging some layouts made ages ago.

This one was done for a weekly challenge on UKScrappers back in March and the criteria was
  • Use the sketch
  • Square photos
  • Use stars
  • Use chevrons
Sadly I can't show you the sketch as it looks like I didn't save it.

The papers used are a mixture of Echo Park, LillyBee and Crate.  The photos are from a lovely evening spent in the company of Fine Bear Ted!  He was out for the evening with his lovely Mum who we always try to meet up with whenever we are in the North East (don't worry we did get her in some photos too and I am sure I will use them on a layout soon).

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Beat The Christmas Rush - May

Here are the Christmas cards that I made for Sue's Beat the Christmas Rush challenge, they are also my Week 20 cards for the 52 cards challenge.

The theme for week 20 was Show and Tell - so I am showing off a new Woodware Christmas stamp.  The sentiment was included with the stamp and I coloured the images with Promarkers.

I keep my BTCR cards very simple so that I can take a production line approach.  I covered the card blanks with silver shimmer paper from my stash and added a small AB gemstone to each corner.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

My Month in Numbers - April

Yikes it is almost June and I still haven't got round to sharing my April numbers - better quickly get them blogged right now.  Month in Numbers is hosted by Julie Kirk

April saw the start of the decorating of the hall and the downstairs cloakroom.  Not a very big area but it is so bitty, that it is taking ages to do.  We have spent 6 days on it so far and now waiting for Mr P's next weekend off to get it finished.

1 gig this month - the fab Manic Street Preachers - a brilliant night!!

Easter saw me getting not 1, but 2 easter eggs.

I baked Mr P 1 Dundee cake as he didn't want chocolate this year.

I found out that I had been an Avon rep for 20 years.

Dad had 2 follow up appointments with the cochlear implant team in London - things are going really well!!

I sent 6 parcels of Tassimo discs to Terracycle - the parcels contained over 1,500 discs.  In the last 4 months I have sent 5,160 discs to them raising £57.99 for a local charity.

Crafting I have done -
  • 4 cards
  • 14 Christmas cards
  • 7 layouts
I have 3 countdowns -
  • 97 days to my big birthday
  • 321 days to the UK Marillion convention
  • 300 days to the Port Zelande Marillion convention
This is what we missed at last year's convention -

If you want to join in with Month in Numbers, you can find out how here

Monday, 19 May 2014

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

The week 11 prompt for the 52 cards challenge was something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

I made some sympathy cards using some Visible Image sentiment stamps which I had borrowed from Lisa

My new is the stamped and punched flowers (both Stampin' Up), my old is the patterned paper - scraps from a page kit and I think is Melissa Frances and well the blue is fairly obvious. 

I love both of these sentiments and once my self imposed stash diet is finished I will definitely get them for myself.

I also made some Christmas cards to fit the challenge criteria.

Once again a borrowed stamped image, highlighted with some very old bling - a pack of papermania gems that I found in the bottom of a drawer, the papers are new and blue

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Summer Bliss

A layout made for the monthly sketch challenge on Sue's Blog

I used a photo from our late summer trip last year to Guernsey to celebrate my parents' Golden Wedding anniversary.  A highlight of the trip was getting the ferry over to Herm and spending time soaking up the sun on beautiful Shell Beach.  I couldn't wait to get my shoes and socks off and bury my feet in the hot white sand!!

Supplies used -
  • Bazill cardstock
  • AC foam thickers
  • MFT cloud dies
  • SU chevron punch
  • Paper - American Crafts, Daydreams 'Great Day'
  • Martha Stewart border punch
  • Ribbon and buttons from stash
The challenge runs till 31st May so there is still time to take part.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Fabulous Freebies

The card challenge this month over at Scrapology is to use freebies.  I am very good at using the free papers that come with magazines but rarely ever use the stamps and images that are often included with the free paper packs. 

I started playing around with the free MME papers that had come with a recent issue of Creative Cardmaking and I cut out some of the images that I thought would work well together.  To make them a bit more sturdy I glued the images to white card (also a freebie as it was the back of an Easter card we had received), then cut them out and inked the edges.  I then remembered that I had a stamp that I hadn't used yet that had come as a cover gift with Creativity magazine, that would work really well with the cut out images.  I don't usually buy this magazine but whilst on holiday last year a craft shop had a load of back issues reduced to a £1 each and I had picked this one up as I quite liked the stamp and I don't have many male themed stamps in my collection.

Supplies used
  • Papermania Chronology stamp
  • MME free papers and images
  • Stampin' Up oval punches
  • Personal impressions sentiment stamp
Thank you Scrapology for a great card challenge - there is still just about time to enter as it doesn't close till midnight on 15th May.

Boxing Day Lunch

There is a lovely sketch to use this month at My Creative Sketches

I used a photograph from our lovely Boxing Day lunch with my parents.

The papers are Webster's Pages 'Sweet Season'.
Other supplies -
AC Thickers
Echo Park alphabet stickers
Sequins from stash
Hobby House pearls
Martha Stewart Butterfly punch

Friday, 9 May 2014

One Photo and Twenty Words

The 9th of the month means one thing - time to link up with Abi at Creating Paper Dreams and share one photo and twenty words.

What a mess, I hate the upheaval.  But it will be worth it when finished and looking lovely & new.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Beat the Christmas Rush - Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

It is time to share the cards that I have made in April for Sue's Beat the Christmas Rush challenge.  I always try to make some production line style cards for this challenge to boost the number of cards that I will need to have for my fundraising and for my own needs. 

I used a digistamp from DigiStamp Boutique, it was one of their monthly freebies.  It came ready coloured and all I needed to do after printing was add some glossy accents to give him a lovely shiny nose!!

I used four inch square card blanks and covered them with papers left over from kits - they are all Stampin' Up papers apart from the red paper with pink swirls (which is possibly Echo Park) so that has made a small dent in my scraps pile.  A little gem in each corner blinged them up a little.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

When Rodgie and Vern met the FBGs

Anita's April class was easily converted with the addition of some plain cardstock into a double page layout.  It was perfect for me to use with all the photographs taken of the FBGs (Fat Bottomed Girls and Guy) with Rodgie and Vern (Jessie's monkey and turtle) at our annual craft weekend in deepest, darkest Hereford.

The papers used are Scenic Route 'Charlotte' and the title was cut using Sizzix alphabet Round-a-bout and funky foam.

Here is a close up of the two sides -

Alison who couldn't join us this time round as she had returned to Australia didn't miss out on a photo op as her photo was taken on the Saturday morning when she joined us for a Skype chat.

I decorated the layout with EK Success punched butterflies, die cut butterflies (Cheery Lynn) and EK Success punched flowers.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Week 11 - 52 cards challenge

The week 10 prompt for the 52 cards challenge was
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Stickers
I used woodgrain paper, some Penny Black stickers and plastic embellishments (snowflakes, sequins and pearls).

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