Saturday, 1 February 2014

Ever wondered where I like to crafty shop.....?

Ok.....a bit of a strange blog post, admittedly.  But I know that I always love to see what new crafty bits and bobs people buy, where they buy them, where the best deals are, best customer service, what crafts items are up and coming etc., etc.  So, for exactly that reason, I have set up a "Places I Love to Shop" page here on my blog.  You may have seen it, sitting up there at the top of my page, you may not have seen it.  But, now that I have added a few of my favourite places, I thought I should give you a heads up about them.

Now, before anyone starts thinking that these shops have paid me in craft supplies or that I am on a Design Team or something.........I'm not.  And in any matter what, I would NEVER recommend a shop for either of those reasons.  If a shop goes up on that page........its because I have received excellent customer service, great prices and I think those shops or sellers warrant having their businesses getting a great big 'ole shout out from me.  However, should there ever be a time that I end up recommending a shop that I happen to be on a Design Team for or have reviewed a product on their behalf, I will always be up front and tell you.  But as I said.....I don't care if someone pays me in Prima Papers from now to the end of days......if their shop is not one that I think should go on my ain't going up on my page.  If I recommend a shop, its because I wholeheartedly feel confident in them so much so, that I will gladly promote them on my blog to all my Crafty Friends and Followers.

So, click on the link on the left top of my blog, titled "Places I Love to Shop" or click HERE to go straight to my favourite shops page and have a wee read.  And, if there is a shop that you would recommend or think I should try out.....let me know.  This page will constantly be up-dated and added to, so let me know your recommendations and please do pop over every so often to check out who I've added.  And if you do place an order with any of the shops that I recommend, don't forget to tell them Crafty Loops sent ya!

Have a beautiful weekend and be safe.....whatever the weather is doing in your neck of the woods.  Northern Ireland has snow!  Oh the joys!!

Toodles Noodles.....Loops xx

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

How to make an inset window in a Wedding Photo Album

Hi everyone.  A very Happy New Year to you all.  We have just had a lovely quiet day today at home.  Its blowing a gale and pelting it down outside.  It looks like the sun didn't even bother to come out today at all.  Looks like it popped its head up, saw the wind and the rain and decided to hide back under the covers!

Anywho, I promised that I would come back with the tutorial showing you how I did the window in the wedding photo albums I made for my brother and sister-in-law.  It is really very easy to do and really quick.  But I stuck the camera on whilst I was making it, so I thought I'd share it with you too.  Of course, like everything I make, I had never done anything like this before.  So these 2 albums for my brother were my guinea pigs, lol.  But they ended up looking really nice.  And both sets of parents loved them once Karen had them full to the brim with gorgeous wedding photos.

Without further ado, here is the quick wee video showing you how this was made....Happy New Year.  I hope 2014 is kind to you all.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Wedding Photo Albums

Hey my little Loopy Loo's. is not an illusion.  Yes....I really am here to show you something.  A project....a real live project, Yippeeeee!  I have said in recent posts (not that bloody recent Loops....Jeez) that my brother, Jay got married to the beautiful Karen at the end of July this year. Well, my gift to them both was to make, well......... everything that could possibly be hand made, lol.  Everything I made was mine and Scrubby Loops's present to them.  Mind you........I don't exactly remember Scrubby Loops adding double sided tape to hundreds of metres of ribbon or embossing 100 favour boxes....not once, but twice.  He got out of that one easy, didn't he? lol.

But.....yet being me........I forgot to take photos of everything I made.  So that is why I have yet to put up a blog post about their Wedding makes that was away back in July.  I am a little numpty and a ridiculous blogger.  Honestly, what sort of blogger/Crafter forgets to take photos of their creations?  Crafty Loops........that's who.

Anyway, I'm gathering what photos I can find and doing my best to come up with some sort of blog post for everything I 've made.  But in the meantime, I can show you the photo albums I've made.  These 2 albums are gifts for my parents and Karen's parents, from Jay and Karen for Christmas (my wee Mammy better not look at my blog!!).  Karen wants to add wedding photos to a photo album for each set of parents, so she asked if I'd make the albums.  I made both albums the same, so Karen didn't have the uncomfortable task of choosing who gets which one, lol.  I just hope she likes the one I did make, lol.  Here they are......

I made a recess in the album cover and inserted a black and white photo of both Karen and Jay and protected it with acetate. The photo was taken by Melissa Johnson who was their photographer.  She was amazing on their big day.  Click Here for her site.  I simply edited the photo on my laptop to make it black and white. I felt the black and white looked much better against the white of the album cover. Again, I used Black card stock from the Paper Mill Direct.  Jay and Karen's Wedding Day was extremely sunny and warm so I thought the black card would really show off the beautiful bright photos.
I love the gorgeous Skivertex that I used to cover the album with.  It has a leather grained type texture to it, its stunning. And it is a very sturdy material so it should last for years and years.  It comes in 130cm long by 42 cm wide lengths so you get a tonne for your money.  It's a perfect material to use in bookbinding and mini albums because the back takes wet glue really well and I have had no problems with the glue seeping through to the front.  The material is a lovely thickness and very easy to cut too.  I have loved using it. If you want to get your hands on some, click here. Its from an Ebay shop called "the velvet paper shop".  You can also find Elaine's online shop here too.  I'm not associated with any of the links or shops I've mentioned.  I just like to buy from them, lol.

The die cuts were from the Spellbinders Labels 28 die which I purchased on Ebay.  I used black cardstock from The Paper Mill.  The Purple Card stock is from PDA cards and Crafts.  The gold lettering believe it or not, is a gorgeous set of rub on's I bought from The Works.  Sadly they don't appear to have them in stock on their online store right now, but they may be in your local store.  The purple ribbon was bought on Ebay and the gold ribbon was in my stash (in fact I think Maddy may have given it to me...Thanks Madster, lol!).  The flat back pearls are from Meiflower.
I was conscious of the fact that these albums would most likely be stored on a book shelf or something similar so I didn't want to heavily embellish the cover because being taken in and out of a shelf would mean embellishments might have a tendency to fall off or get tatty looking.  Plus, Karen likes clean, modern and simple so I tied them in with everything else that I made for the wedding.  I promise....the Wedding creations post will be coming soon...most likely in the New Year.  Sorry about the glare on the photo but its impossible to take a photo when there is acetate involved, lol.
All wrapped up...I wrapped the albums in beautiful thick crepe paper and then twisted the purple and gold ribbon around each other and tied it in a bow around the albums.  Voila.  Merry Christmas to both sets of Parents!
Yippee!  And that is it. My job is done here, lol.  One Wedding......Done.  I have a video tutorial coming up shortly just to show how I made the cover and inserted a recess window in it.  It's very simple but I know that I will get some questions about how it was made.  So as soon as I get that edited, it will be up on here and my YouTube channel too.

Have a very Merry Christmas or whatever holiday it is you like to celebrate and I will see you all in the New's hoping anyway, because this year I was abysmal at creating and blogging...please forgive me...blub blub...

Toodles Noodles......Loops xx

Saturday, 21 December 2013

What'cha looking at?

Hey folks! I want to wish all my Followers a very Merry and Happy Christmas and hope 2014 is a kind and wonderful year for you all. And who knows.....maybe I may actually make an appearance in Blogland this year instead of being absent like I was this year, lol.

 I thought I'd show you a little photo of my rather large fluffy torture of a cat, Nimbus.  Like all cats, she's obsessed with boxes no matter the size.  If I could have put a Christmas hat on her head, I would have. But she would be even less amused than she looks right here.  She's so funny.  She keeps us entertained every day.  That little face says to me "Hey....whatcha lookin' at weirdo? Go on about your business, can't you see I'm very busy being a cat in the box??  Sheesh!"

A very festive Merry Christmas to you all.  And if Christmas is not what you celebrate....well, a very Happy Day for you, whatever it is you are doing.  Have fun.  See you in the New Year....

Toodles Noodles.....Loops xx

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Quick Tip on how to straighten stickpins and Jewellery wire

Hi folks.  Just a quick wee video tip today.  When I make my stickpins, I usually buy them in bulk from China on Ebay.  Problem with this is, you always end up with bent, wonky stickpins that you need to straighten.  Also, when you use jewellery wire, we have to muck about with the wire and jewellery pliers in an attempt to straighten something that has been wrapped tightly in a can see my dilemma.   Well, here is a quick tip which won't result in you cutting the hands off yourself, whilst struggling to straighten the wonky little blighters!

I hope to be back soon with a few Tim Holtz Embellishment Kits for sale.  They'll be a mixed selection of Tim Holtz goodies.  So instead of having 18 hanger paper clips when all you need is 2, or 1 set of box corners instead of paying for 3 sets, I have put together various sized kits to cater all budgets.  Also....a Miss Congeniality Giveaway will be announced soon.  Ohhhhhhh!

Toodles Noodles....Loops xx

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Lions and Tigers and Bears....Oh My! Dorothy Gale Halloween Outfit

Hello my Pretties (Get it??  "My Pretty".....from the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz??).  Long time no see.  I'm such a disaster pants!  Really and truly.  I haven't made anything this year!  Except of course the million and one things I made for my Brother's Wedding....which I have still to show you!  But on the bright side, I got published in a Wedding  Magazine....Yippee!!!!!  Well, my Brother and his lovely new Wife were in the magazine but my blog got a mention as I made everything for their big day.  So I'm very chuffed to see my wee blog in glossy print.  I promise I will have photo's of some of the things I made, but because I had so much to make, I forgot to take photos of a lot of the things I made.  So I'm in the process of trying to gather photos from friends and family who wisely did take photos!  I'm such a numpty!  You'd never believe I was a Blogger!

Anyway, as I haven't made anything all year, I thought I would cheat and show you something I made last year!  So, last year I got an email from my sister, T saying something like this.....

"Look at this fabric I found.  Its really cheap and I bet it would make a really great Dorothy Gale outfit for me for Halloween.  I'm sure it would be really easy to make and it would be cheaper than buying the outfit from the Halloween shop".

Now......Here comes the complicated bit.  T doesn't own a sewing machine.  In fact, I'd be amazed if T has a needle and thread in her possession.  And she has NO sewing machine skills whatsoever.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not attempting to slag my sister off or insult her in any way (she knows me by now, lol).  I'm in the same boat, haha.  However, I DO have a sewing machine AND a needle and thread, BUT like T, I also have NO SEWING SKILLS WHATSOEVER!!!!  And I'm not being modest here when I say I have no sewing skills.  I honestly don't!  I took a fancy one day and decided I wanted a sewing machine (just one of many whims).  Christmas came and Scrubby Loops kindly bought me said sewing machine.....and that was it......there it sat, gathering crafty dust and taking up space on my floor.  And why?  Because I'm 33 years of age and have never even plugged in a sewing machine in my life!  The last time I used one was when I was 12 years old in Home Economics class.  But because I had been off sick with the flu, I was behind in the sewing class so I managed to give big Doe eyes and a pouty lip to my HE teacher and she pretty much made my wall hanging for me.  So to say that I have no sewing machine skills at all would be a MAJOR understatement.

But, thankfully (and now all modestly goes out the window, heehee) I manage to pick things up pretty quickly.  No, I don't have a photographic memory where I remember each and every detail and I couldn't tell you what a dart is or how to whip stitch, but if I see something once or twice my brain seems to make sense of it and I can somehow fumble and fake my way through whatever it is I'm attempting and manage to make something that is recognisable......most of the time, lol.  Believe doesn't always work out that well, heehee. So.....numpty here gets all excited about removing the dust cover off her sewing machine and replied to little Sis saying....

"Ohhhhhhh thats a great idea, but I think I can find the fabric cheaper.  I'll have a look and get back to you.  I'll also see if I can find any tutorials on how to make this outfit and we can have a play with my sewing machine".

 How do I get myself into these things??  I'm telling you, I sometimes take my role as a big sister too seriously, lol.  And those little suckers of siblings of mine have me wrapped around each of their little fingers......and thats 4 little pinkies to be wrapped around!  That's a lot of wrapping, lol. Ack well, what else are big sisters for, eh?

And having never even plugged in or threaded a sewing machine before, I was in need of major help.  So I went on a search and luckily I am a subbie to the very talented Whitney from Whitney Sews on Youtube and I just happened to watch her video on making her Halloween Mini Mouse Costume.  Thank goodness for Whitney, lol.  I didn't do the top part the same way as Whitney did, as T wanted a back to the top too.  So I had to modify the design and seeing as I had NO idea what I was doing, I think I pulled it off quite well, lol.  If you want to check out Whitney's tutorial, here it is

Here it is!  Dorothy Gales dress.  It has a simple white shirt style top under it (which I didn't make....obviously) and has a beautiful belly band that goes around the waist and ties in a pretty big bow at the back.  There were 2 big white buttons added where the strap meets the front but they were added after the photo was taken. The skirt part of the dress is a circle skirt and I even put in a zip!!!  A ZIP....can you believe it?  Ok, I put it in upside down, lol....but come on........that's a pretty damn fine dress for someone who has never sewn anything in her life and the zip may have gone in wrong, but it was perfectly sewn in, lol.  The dress still worked though, regardless of the upside down zip.  I like to think of it as a quirky Loops touch, lol.  It's certainly one of a kind.....Move over Dolce & Gabbana.
My sister is pretty tall.  In fact she is the same height as me  (how, is a total mystery considering our parents are wee short arses...sorry Mammy & Daddy, but you are, lol).  So at a lanky 5Ft 8", she doesn't like wearing tall heels as she doesn't like to tower over her fella.  Total opposite of me of course.....I'd have been wearing 6" heels with no concern of who I was towering over, lol.  Anyway, I managed to find an old pair of reddish coloured kitten heels that I bought years ago and never wore (because they were too low, lol).  To decorate them, I bought red sparkly sequins trim off ebay.
 So, these sparkling beauties were made by hot gluing the sequins trim round and around the shoes.  I started at the top back seam of the shoes and went from there, working my way around and down the shoes.  I had to ensure that each layer overlapped the prior so there were no gaps.  Any little gaps that did appear were simply filled in by cutting off individual sequins and gluing them over the gap.  I made the shoe buckles using black sequins, added some tinsel like ribbon made into a bow and glued on one of my wee blingy buckle sliders to the centre.  They look incredible when the light hits them.  I wish you could see them in  real life.
Look at those beauties sparkle.  So pretty!  Sorry there are no photo's of T wearing the outfit, but she didn't want any photos taken until she had her whole get up on, including a brown plaited wig, make up AND her tiny miniature Jack Russell, Luna, in a basket.  Yes, she was putting her dog in a basket.  So, I have asked for the last year for photographic evidence of the whole outfit......and I'm still waiting.  Oh the cheek, lol.
And as I always round up my blog posts....that's it from me folks.  I will try to be a better blogger, I promise.  I'm still destashing and doing out my room, so I will have more things up on Ebay soon.  Oh and I still have to do my Freebie Frenzy too.  I have stuff that I don't want to bother putting up on ebay....all perfectly good crafty bits and bobs.  But its a mix of this and that and its too much bother to list on ebay.  So, provided you are happy to pay the postage costs.....I'm sticking them onto a blog post and offering them for free on a first come, first serve basis.  I will do a "Heads Up" post letting you know the rules and giving you an idea of when the Freebie Frenzy will be posted.  Also, I may be doing a Miss Congeniality Giveaway very soon too.  If you have no idea what a "Miss Congeniality Giveaway" is, check out near the bottom of this post for details.

Laters Gators.....

Loops  xxx

Monday, 16 September 2013

Drumroll.....And the Winners Are........

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!  I'm going straight into it, so I won't torture you all.  I have the results of my "Cause I loves ya", Giveaways for the 7 prizes.  So, as you know, you all had a chance (UK'ers anyway) to get your hands on 7 Prizes.  So with that said, I do have winners from the UK, Spain and across the pond too in the USA....AND someone won more than 1 prize!  Now, grumbling.  There were 7 prizes and 7 chances to win.  And the names were drawn fair and square by Scrubby Loops, so there was a very good chance that duplicates would be pulled.

So without further ado.......The Winners are:


If you could contact me WITHIN 48 HOURS in the message box at the top right, indicating you are the Giveaway winner of Prizes 1 and 3, and send me your details please, and I can get your goodies off to you.  Also, please give me your email address so Susan from CVC can send you the code you need to redeem your voucher with Countryview Crafts.  A big Congratulations to you.


If you could contact me in the message box at the top right, indicating you are the winner of Giveaway Prize 2.  Also, please give me your email address so Susan from CVC can send you the code you need to redeem your voucher with Countryview Crafts.  A big Congratulations to you.


If you could contact me WITHIN 48 HOURS in the message box at the top right, indicating you are the Giveaway winner of Prize 4, and send me your details please, and I can get your goodies off to you.  A big Congratulations to you.


If you could contact me WITHIN 48 HOURS in the message box at the top right, indicating you are the Giveaway winner of Prize 5, and send me your details please, and I can get your goodies off to you.  A big Congratulations to you.


If you could contact me WITHIN 48 HOURS in the message box at the top right, indicating you are the Giveaway winner of Prize 6, and send me your details please, and I can get your goodies off to you.  A big Congratulations to you.


If you could contact me WITHIN 48 HOURS in the message box at the top right, indicating you are the Giveaway winner of Prize 7, and send me your details please, and I can get your goodies off to you.  A big Congratulations to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway.  If you ladies could contact me within 48hrs please with your details.  If I don't hear from you, Im sorry, but I will have to redraw another name.

To all those who didn't win this time, please don't be disheartened.  I've decided that I am going to do little Surprise Giveaways regularly.  These Surprise Giveaways won't be planned on a particular day, and in fact, these won't be Giveaways that you can actually enter per say.  These giveaways will be totally different and I'm calling them my Miss (or Mr) Congeniality Giveaways.  The Miss Congeniality Giveaways (or Mr) will be me picking a follower to receive a small gift from me.  You might be a loyal follower who leaves me lots of comments, or just leaves me one message that I really liked, laughed at or just needed to read on that particular day, lol.  Or it could be from a follower who maybe contacted me through an email or was kind enough to mention me in their blog when they made something they'd seen on my blog.  Or it could be someone completely random off my follower list because I awoke that day to a beautiful sunny morning. lol.

So, the Miss (or Mr) Congeniality Giveaways will be done whenever the notion takes me.  No grumbling please about me picking the winner myself instead of it being random.  Its called the Miss Congeniality Giveaway for a reason.  But "Normal" Giveaways will still happen too and you can all enter those and they'll be drawn randomly by Scrubby Loops, as usual.  And if he isn't about, I'll get my fur ball baby to dive into the bowl and she can rummage about in there until she chucks one of you out of the bowl.....All's fair in Crafts and Cat's paws!

Toodles Noodles......Loops xxx