Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Hints and Tips

I am convinced that there are little spy cameras all over our house, 'cos every time I get what I think is a good idea, I see it instantly somewhere else.  It all goes to prove that there is nothing really new anywhere, just adjustments of old ideas.

1. Cutting blades
a)I have been having problems recently with blades, cutting types of all kinds - craft knives, rotary cutters, die cutters - you name it and it needed help.  I have an excellent scissor sharpener (Fiskars) which deals with those instantly and returns all scissors to scalpel sharpness (not sure about curved parchment scissors though).
b)My Westcott rotary cutter was beginning to chew paper rather than cut it, then I looked at the channel the blade runs through - totally choked with glue and other gunk.  The end of the tweezers soon dug that out, but the cutting did not really improve until I found a tip on several other web sites about kitchen foil.  It needs to be the strong turkey type foil.  Run your blade through that a few times and you do not need to hunt out an expensive replacement.  The same type of foil works just as well for that apparently blunt blade on your Silhouette / Craft Robo etc.  Just lay a sheet of the foil on your carrier sheet and set your machine to cut several straight lines and that really helps.  I am told that it also brightens up your punches, although I have not personally tried it, and Shaz Silverwolf reminded me today that punching through wax paper helps them to run more smoothly (Thanks, Shaz).
c) My Fiskars finger tip blade was beginning to chobble the card, rather than slicing nicely.  Eventually, I looked at the blade itself and found the whole tip was worn right away.  thee was no alternative but to fit a new blade.

2. Using your own photos
a)  If you fancy making use of your old photos and transferring them to your cards or scrapbooks, try Barbara Grey's tip, get some nail varnish remover (from Sainsbury's - apparently that works where others may not), a make up sponge.  Do a copy (black and white) using your inkjet printer / scanner (you may need to flip it horizontally to get the final image the correct way round), lay that image on your desired media face down, dampen with nail varnish remover on the make up sponge, rub over with the back of a spoon, carefully lift the paper to see if the image has taken.  If not continue rubbing until it does, then remove the paper from the top and allow to dry.  Again, I have not yet tried this, but it is next on my list, although I did something similar as a centrepiece for an anniversary cross stitch, but that was done using a special kit.

3. Silhouette carrier mats
a) Don't splash out loads of money buying new sticky carrier mats for your die cutter, just give it a quick blast with something like the repositional Stick and Spray from Crafters Companion, or some other repositional glue.
b)  If you have been cutting out lots of tiny bits, get rid of them off your carrier mat by sliding a thin kitchen spatula under them.

4.  Xyron
After you have run something through your Xyron, lay it edown on your table, \give it a quick rub, and run your nail round the edge to break the glue away, and cut down the amount of unwanted glue from the edge.

5. Baby Powder
a) If you do get glue in the wrong place and cannot remove it withour damage, just sprinkle a tiny amount of baby powder over it and shake off the excess before rubbing it gently.
b) Baby powder also helps to destick your hands while you are in the middle of a job.
c) If you are trying to knit/crochet/cross stitch in a hot place, keep the baby powder close and sprinkle a little on your hands to absorb the excess moisture.
d) If you sprinkle a little over card and brush it off gently before you stamp and heat emboss, it helps to prevent the annoying extra sprinkles on the card from embossing powder that lands in the wrong place.

6. Kitchen paper
Kitchen paper is one of those things you cannot do without, in copious quantities.
a) Mopping up spillages of all kinds.
b) Taking excess moisture off water brushes

7. Baby wipes
You need to buy these as a multibuy item.  Some of my uses are
a) General cleaning of surfaces of all kinds.
b) Cleaning leather furniture.
c) Cleaning marks off carpets and most other things.

8.  Tumble dryer sheets - the dry ones
a) Rub over any surface you intend to heat emboss, before stamping and sprinkling the powder.  It helps to avoid too much scatter from static and you end up with a cleaner, sharper image.
b) Dust your computer and other electrical items with them, again reduces static and helps to cut down dust layers.

9. Crafters Companion Stick Away
a) Magical and so efficient at cleaning up all that adhesive that gets everywhere you don't want it.
b) If you buy any item with a sticky label on, spray with Stick Away, and it will remove the sticky residue.

10. Pinflair glue (the silicone type)
There are so many uses for this miracle product apart from it brilliance as a crafting item such as in decoupage.Things that I have done with it (apart from crafting) are
a) Mending broken Christmas ornaments

b) Repairing my broken irreplaceable flip flops

c) Re-gluing edging strips

I believe it has been used to fix broken shower screens and loads of other things.

If I think of anything else I have found out, I will post it here.  Now I am off to try to fit everything else into my lovely new craft room