Easter Challenge

Like all crafters, at times I run dry on inspiration and when that happens it is hard to sit down and get creating. Something I want to try more of though is entering various paper crafting blog challenges as a way to try and get more creative and also to get me blogging more about my makes.

This is the first card I have made for a craft blog challenge - it is an entry into Papermill Direct's Easter Challenge - and for the challenge we had to create a card with a Spring or Easter theme, and to me, Spring is finally on its way when the Daffodils start to come out.

Daffodil card from Butterfly-Crafts.com

The card has been made using PMD white card stock as the base and then a daffodil head stamp from Woodware which I used as a mask on Bassil card and then inked with Distress Inks. The border is from a Tonic punch.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 | 1 Comment

A Quote I Love

Things have been a little bit crazy around here lately, what with moving back in December and now I am soon to be working in Cambridge and giving up my dreaded 1.5hrs each-way commute into London for a leisurely 3miles cycle along the river to one of the colleges in Cambridge. Life has taken me in a direction I wasnt necessarily expecting but oh boy it is a good one. With all the upheaval I have been having a lot of issues with anxiety and panic moments which I will blog about at another time if I feel I can, but, whilst searching for a inspirational quote to put on the wall in our work room I came across this on Pinterest and I think it sums up a lot of how I have been feeling lately.

If ever you are in need of an inspirational quote, I have a whole board of them called Quotes I Love on my Pinterest so stop by and take a look and see what words might inspire you.

Sunday, 10 March 2013 | 1 Comment

DIY Lavender & Rice Heat Cushion Tutorial

Recently a friend of mine had her 30th Birthday and to keep in with my challenge of only giving handmade gifts I wanted to make her something special. Being a hairdresser she often has a bad back and so I thought the perfect gift would be a heat cushion, and with Mothers Day coming up next weekend this would make a good gift for your Mum.

I used a pretty cotton fabric, a thicker linen fabric, rice, lavender and satin ribbon.

I am a beginner with my sewing machine but this didnt take much time at all to sew, the filling however took a bit of time...whilst watching The Waltons.

Step 1: Cut two pieces of fabric out 20cm x 40cm and lay together with the right sides facing, pin around the edges to sew leaving a 1cm seam allowance and a gap through which to turn the cushion the right way around and also for filling with rice.

Step 2: Sew all around the edges and leave the hole to fill the cushion up. Turn the fabric around the right way.

Step 3: The cushion needs to be divided into 4 sections, to do this measure where the centre is and pin; and then the centre of each of the two halves - dividing it into 4.

Step 4: Sew across the shorter sides of the fabric but leave about an inch gap at either end so the rise will get though.

Step 5: Mix up a bowl of rice and add either some essential oils, unused herbal tea bags or as I did - lavender seeds. Rice smells, well, of rice and once heated in the microwave you don't really want it to smell like a Chinese takeaway so its good to add something nice smelling. I used a ratio of apx. 2:1 (rice:lavender).

Then fill the cushion through the gap, I used a funnel with a long end and a chopstick to try and push it through to each section.

Step 6: Now for sewing up the hole. I managed to squidge the rice in the final section to one side so that I could sew by machine, but hand sewing would work just as well. In the sewing up, I added two lengths of ribbon (about 35cms each) which will wrap around the cushion and tie it up. Once sewn up, lay the cushion flat and push the rice around if necessary to make each section even.

If you are giving this cushion as a gift it would be an idea to add a tag with instructions - heat in the microwave a minute at a time until at the desired temperature, I would suggest a couple of minutes is fine. Some cushions I have seen on sale also advise to pop a cup of water in the microwave at the same time so the rice has a little moisture in the air and wont burn. The cushion could also go in the freezer for an hour and act as a cold pack.

If you make one, I would love to see what fabrics you pick!!

Enjoy x

Friday, 1 March 2013 | 1 Comment