Tuesday, 21 July 2015

#CraftBlogClub Challenge Reveal....

It's time to reveal the latest #CraftBlogClub challenge - Pimp my Wardrobe!

The challenge was to transform something from your wardrobe. Full details and inspiration to the challenge can be seen here.

So what did I do?

I really wanted to revive a pair of shoes that were looking past their best which I'll still do but I also wanted to try crocheting with yarn made from a t-shirt and I was going on holiday so the crochet won as it is portable.

I used a top that my Mum was throwing out and gave to me.  It didn't flatter me but I thought there would be something I could do with it so it has sat in my wardrobe for about a year. 

I used this tutorial that I found on Pinterest to make the yarn.

Once I stretched the yarn it didn't roll the way I wanted, it went inside out, but I went with it. 

I didn't really have a plan with what I was going to make I just packed the top, scissors and a crochet hook in my suitcase. The lack of planning may have been my problem as what I have made isn't really a finished project more an experiment that hasn't turned out as I imagined!  

I thought I could make lots of small things to see what works.  I tried a flower, the more intricate designs were unravelled and I ended up with a simple daisy and well, um, its different....

I then just made a granny square, which could be a coaster but I may be clutching at straws with that idea....

This technique would work for a rug, I might turn to Pinterest for more inspiration.  However, more than one t-shirt would be required as the yarn soon runs out and one without seams may look better.

So, not my best project but it shows that not everything I envision works out but that's part of the fun, right?! 

Have you tried to crochet with t-shirt yarn or yarn made from other clothing?  I'd love to see what you have done, please leave your links in the comments.

What did you do?

Did you join in with this challenge? I can't wait to see what you have done, please link your blog post below and don't forget to mention #CraftBlogClub and link back to this blog in your post.

If you would like to feature your creation on our Facebook page please email an image along with a link to your blog or social media page to craftblogclub@gmail.com.

I hope you will join me in our Twitter chat tonight at 7pm (GMT) where we will share our creations.  I also want to see your crafting experiments to make me feel better about my challenge fail!

fizzi~jayne x

Monday, 13 July 2015

fizzi~jayne's crafty tips for stamping.... #1 types of ink

I've written about my love of stamping and if you would like to give it a go I thought I would write a series of posts to get you started, and I think you should as it's a lot of fun.  

I will cover:
  • different types of ink
  • basic materials needed
  • how to stamp
  • heat embossing  

In order to get perfect stamped results it's essential that you use the correct type of ink pad. 

My guide will take you through your options and hopefully will make the choice of ink pads available in your craft store less daunting....

Pigment Ink Pads

Pigment inks come in a wide range of colours.  They dry slowly which makes them ideal for embossing (more on that another time). 

You'll get bold colour results with these ink pads, you can also use them with a paint brush or water-brush to draw and paint with them.

However, they won't dry on non-porous surfaces such as vellum, glossy card and acetate unless they are heat embossed.

I use....
  • Ranger Adirondack & Tsukineko VersaColor are both great for creating colourful backgrounds.

Other brands available
  • Brilliance
  • Clearsnap ColorBox Cat's Eye & Queue
I've not used these, not for any particular reason. I'm not brand loyal, I buy based on ink pad type and colour needed for a project.

Dye Based Ink Pads

Dye ink pads are water-based and dry very quickly.  They stamp clear images and won't bleed when they come into contact with alcohol based products such as ProMarker pens (which are the alcohol pens I use). 

However, they are unsuitable for embossing and they will bleed if used with any wet mediums such as watercolours.

I use....
  • Ranger Distress Ink. I love these to create a vignette effect and inking edges to make a design pop! I'm starting to get a collection of colours now and they have creative names like Spiced Marmalade and Victorian Velvet.
  • Tsukineko Memento which I use to stamp images for colouring with my Promarkers.
Plum Preserve Distress Ink was used for the vignette effect around the edges.  Memento and VersaColor Inks were used for butterflies and sentiment.

Teddy bears stamped with black Memento and coloured using Promarkers
Teddy bear image stamped with Memento ink and coloured with Promarkers.

Other brands available
  • Tsukineko Kaleidacolour Rainbow
  • Impress
Oil Based Ink Pads

Oil based inks are ideal for stamping very detailed images and they dry reasonably quickly. They repel water so they are suitable for using with watercolour techniques.  However, they're not recommended for colouring with pencils such as Derwent or alcohol pens and they won't dry on all surfaces although heat-setting may help.

I use 
  • Tsukineko VersaMark, I'll go into this more when we talk about embossing because that is what it is perfect for as well as creating a watermark effect.
  • Ranger Achival which I use for watercolouring and detailed images.

Archival ink was used to stamp the washing line and watercolour pencils used to colour the baby cloths. Distress ink were used around the edges.
Solvent Ink Pads

Solvent ink pads are permanent, fast drying and will stamp on a wide variety of surfaces such as acetate and they leave a crisp, detailed image.

However, a specialist stamp cleaner is required to clean your stamps which can ruin some acrylic stamps, which I found out by accident!  They're not suitable for children to use due to the solvent base and they can't be used with alcohol markers as the image will bleed. They can, however. be used with AquaMarkers (which I still need to try).

There is only one ink pad I am aware of and that is Tsukineko StazOn.  I rarely use this as I mainly use it for Acetate and other similar surfaces.

I hope you found this useful and I hope you will enjoy the series of stamping top tips and techniques and enjoy it as much as me.

Also in the crafty tips for stamping series....

#2 Basic Materials Needed

#3 How To Stamp

Monday, 6 July 2015

June Craft Fairs

I attended two craft fairs last month.  I was back at Little Fox and tried a new craft fair "Made in Watford" at The New Watford Market.

Watford was a last minute addition to my schedule of events, I saw it advertised in the local paper.  It was the first one of its kind and I was excited to be a part of it.  However, this was the worst event I have ever attended!  I don't normally like to be so blunt and negative especially as a lot of work went into the event and the advertising beforehand.  In theory it should have been great but some of my fellow stall holders packed up and went at 2:30pm, I stuck it out until it closed at 4pm.

The new craft fair has been introduced to attract people to the market.  The new market reopened in Watford in a new location last year and according to the permanent stall holders it isn't getting the footfall and a lot have had to close their stalls.

When we were there a lot of the usual stall holders didn't open so it looked closed.  Part way through the day we decided to move our stalls out on to the High Street (we did get permission) and I wish we had thought to do that earlier.

I usually say that you need to give events a few goes before making a decision, but I have done enough now to know which are good ones with potential, and sadly I don’t think Watford has much potential.  I was also open to the elements, although the market is undercover it's not indoors. Thankfully it was a sunny, dry day but it was very windy and I needed to add ribbon to my display to tie items down, which isn’t great for customers browsing or the appearance of my stall. You can never guarantee the British weather and my previous experience with an outdoor event gives me another reason not to do this one again. Ah well, at least I tried it, I would have regretted it if I hadn’t.

Thankfully I was back at Little Fox the weekend after which was a more positive experience.  I attend this regularly and you probably have read many times how I enjoy it so all I'm going to say about it this time is, it was another good one.  You can read about my previous times at the Little Fox Market here.

I haven't any more craft fairs booked until August now when I will be back at Royston.  The organiser has done so much to promote this event, including yarn bombing the town, which made the local press and even the BBC news website! I'm looking forward to going back there as this is another one of my favourites.

fizzi~jayne x

Psst.... you can see the craft fairs I have booked for the rest of 2015 here.