Thursday, 29 October 2015

Cards for Sale

 I'm selling Christmas cards.
Cards are R10 each or 10 for R90.
Starting with the card on the left this postage stamp design is available in brown (pictured) or green ink with a green, dark green or red background. The card in the middle is available in several designs and with a pink, green, orange or yellow background. The card on the right can be bought as pictured available in green or brown with backgrounds available in red, green and dark green.
Please note that as cards are handmade uniformity cannot be guaranteed.
If you would like to place an order please email me at I live in the Parktown-North area and am happy to deliver in this area or Sandton and surrounds.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Spray-painting Shells for Bathroom Decor

I've had seashells decorating my bathroom for a while. They had always looked messy; the colour's weren't uniform and they got really dusty lying in the open dish that they were displayed in. I saw this post on pinterest which suggested spray-painting sea shells chrome and using them as a d├ęcor item.
I decided to display them in jars and bottles of different heights. I had one pretty clear glass jar and I dug out a cordial bottle and a jam jar out of the recycling pile. After putting these through a cycle in the dishwasher I still needed to remove the labels and annoying sticky label residue. To do this I used the useful trick that I used in this post. It's really simple, I mixed equal parts of cooking oil and baking soda applied this mixture to the jar and left it for 30 minutes. Then, after a quick rinse the jars were clean and ready for use.
Spray painting the shells should have been really easy. I cleaned them and laid them on newspaper ready to paint. However, I had decided to buy silver spray paint instead of chrome spray paint. This was a mistake, The silver spray paint looked grey, industrial and dull. I went back to the hardware store and bought chrome. The shells now started looking really good. I thoroughly sprayed one side of a batch of shells, waited for it to dry. Then sprayed the other side.
Now I just had to place the shells in the jars and bottle. Filling up the bottle was time consuming and tricky as only very small shells could fit down the neck. If you decide to use a bottle to display your shells either make sure that you have a lot of small shells that will fit down the neck of the bottle or (and this my preferred suggestion) get one with a wider neck. The jars were simple though.
I like the cleaner, neater look.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

10 Tips for Scrapbooking on a Budget

It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the huge number of available scrapbooking materials and to spend a huge amount of money. Here are some ways that I avoid breaking the bank on scrapbooking supplies:

 1. Research materials before you purchase them:
When I started scrapbooking I was unfamiliar with scrapbooking products. A lot of blogs and websites speak about scrapbooking tools like embossing folders as though everybody should know what they are. I found it helpful to go to a specialist scrapbook store Scrapadoodles, although they have an extensive online store I found this a bit overwhelming and wanted to see the products. The best part of this trip was that the woman in the shop was incredibly friendly and helpful about explaining how to use any tool that I mentioned

I also found watching online tutorials and reading posts on tips for beginners really helpful. This particularly applies to stamps and stamp ink. From one tutorial I learnt that certain inks hold more colour and are better for scrapbooking. I now understood why my dandelion stamp was producing faint images. I found this really helpful and also this tutorial on clear stamps.

2. Plan
Have an idea of the overall feel and theme of your whole album before you start. This way you are less likely to unnecessarily spend on items that you will not end up using. Planning your pages also means that you can use your supplies wisely. I've found these page maps very helpful for this.

3. Look at the same product at different stores for price comparison:
This seems obvious but is quite important. I was shopping for washi tape the other day and the same pack of 3 was R30 more expensive at Cardies than CNA.

4. The first time that you buy a brand of product only buy one:
On the above mentioned shopping trip I purchased a pretty Washi Tape at CNA. This washi tape doesn't adhere properly and I have to stick double sided tape to it whenever I want to use it. Trial and error is a necessary part of scrapbooking but keeping costs down is good too.

5. The craft store is not the only place to buy scrapbooking materials
More and more stores are stocking scrapbooking materials or materials that can be used for scrapbooking. Often these stores can be a little cheaper than the traditional craft store. For example, at Typo recently there was a 10 cardstock for R20 deal (that's about $1.60), there wasn't a huge variety but I stocked up on some of the nicest designs. which basically sells everything, don't have a huge variety of supplies but they keep plain American Crafts cardstock which you can buy cheaply in packs of ten. As you can see, buying in bulk definitely pays off.
6. Dress up plain cardstocks rather than buying expensive ones:
Plain coloured cardstock are significantly cheaper than the fancy, decorated ones. You will need to acquire some tools for doing this such as stamps, washi tape (click here for some ideas about designing backgrounds using washi tape) and distress ink.

7. Wrapping paper is your friend:
Wrapping paper is a cheap way to buy lots of pretty paper. It's thinner than cardstock but you do get a large amount for your money. This is very useful for dressing up plain cardstocks and for adding embellishments and layers to your projects.

8. Make your own embellishments:
Embellishments can easily eat a huge portion of your scrapbooking budget. Making your own is generally easy and fun. See my previous post here. I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to this.

9. Use Free Printables
Free printables are the best. You can search for the perfect one and customize their size. All you pay for is the colour printing.

10. Recycle
If you see a pretty picture in a magazine, keep it. I have a whole file-box filled with images from magazines that I use for scrapbooking and other craft projects. If you happen to buy or be given a product with pretty packaging, save it for a scrapbooking project. Below is a card a made using a soap box and a champagne box:


Saturday, 18 July 2015

Upcycled Cassette Tape Box Storage

I'm trying to provide myself with a more efficient and tidy space to do crafts. The difficult thing about organizing craft supplies is the large number of small items which are difficult to store. I've seen a couple of posts on Pinterest where old cassette tape boxes are used for storage. None of this storage has looked particularly appealing. I thought that this storage solution could be both neat and pretty.

I found some old blank cassette tapes and boxes at home. They needed a good clean but were soon ready for storage. The only slightly annoying thing about this storage is the plastic spokes attached to the box can get in the way.

Items needed:
Washi Tape
Letter Stickers
Cassette Tape Boxes

I wanted to be able know what exactly was in each box. The paper covers inside the tape boxes were perfect for this.

For each cover I cut a piece of washi tape slightly longer than necessary. I neatly stuck the washi tape along the spine and trimmed off the edges. I wanted mine to look uniform so I used the same washi tape for all of them, but you could have some fun this. I quite like the idea of different styles in the same colour or organize your boxes in rainbow hued awesomeness.

For the writing, I chose to stick letter stickers along each spine describing my items. You need to check that your letter stickers are the correct length before you do this so that they fit neatly along the spine. I chose to use letter stickers because I really wanted the writing to be bold and easily legible. If, unlike me, you can write attractively you could very easily write on the spine. Alternatively, use this tutorial to put words on your washi tape.

Then slip the cover back into the box, add your items and you are done. You can also always change the label description or washi tape that you used at a later date.
All that remains to do is make something with the cassette tapes.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Upcycled Makeup Storage Jars

I needed some storage for my make-up brushes as they were all just lying in a shallow dish in my bathroom and looked messy.
My idea for a solution was to stand the brushes in a jar, they were also getting quite dusty in the dish. I wanted the jars to be pretty. I've seen so many lovely upcycled jars on Pinterest that I thought this would the ideal solution. I decided to spray paint some of the many old jars that I have at home.
The tools I used:
Rustoleum spray paint in marlin blue
Spray-Mate spray paint in silver
Old jars
Baking soda
Cooking oil

The first thing to do was clean the jars. I found a really great way to remove stubborn labels and jar residue on Pinterest. You mix baking soda with cooking oil and spread the mixture onto the jar and leave for about 10 minutes which works perfectly.

Once they were clean it was time to begin spray painting. There seems to be a general consensus that Rustoleum is the spray paint which works the best (it is definitely better than the Spray-Mate I've been using for other projects). I'm trying to theme my in bathroom in different shades of blue. So I decided to go with the shade marlin blue

I'm really bad about following instructions given on products, but the first jar that I spray painted didn't look so great. Then I decided to follow the instructions on the can and the second jar looked awesome. I also sanded the second jar between coats and this produced a lovely smooth finish. It also helped to cover up any mistakes. I left it to dry for the 24 hours recommended.

My make up brushes are all different lengths. To make them look nice and uniform, I thought that I would fill the jar with something to hold them in place. I had read that you can fill jars with rice. I had some pearl barley in the cupboard that was shortly going to pass its sell by date, this was my rice substitute. I spraypainted the barley, to prevent any nasty insects from taking residence at a later date. I used some silver spray paint for this which was leftover from another project. This process took ages! I didn't think of this beforehand, but barley is round and this makes spraypainting every surface very difficult. If I did this again I would use something double-sided like coffee beans. After several coats this was the result:

All that remained to do was put the brushes into the jar. I love the finished product:


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

From Glow-in-the-Dark Stars to Scrapbooking Embellishments

I keep finding different things to upcycle! I came across two different sets of glow-in-the-dark stars this week and thought about ways to use them. I needed to cover them with something pretty, especially as some had an unattractive yellowy sheen. I decided to cover them with some pretty toile tissue paper that I had lying around. Now I have a great new set of embellishments.

Tools needed:
Glow in the dark stars
Pretty Tissue Paper
How to:
First you need to clean the stars, mine were covered in dust and prestik. Then place your star on the tissue paper and cut a circle (a square or blob-like shape will also do) around it. Leave plenty of space around the sides of the star
Then cover the front of the star with a thin film of glue. Gently place your circle of tissue paper on the star. Move this around until you can see that the part of the paper you want displayed is stuck to the front side of the star. Press down and wait for this to dry.
Then trim away the excess paper from the outer sides of your star, the only paper left should be between the points of the star.  Then cut a slit between 2 points of the star and trim away excess paper to make a flap.

Then turn the star over. Cover the flaps in glue and press down, repeat this for all five points of the star. Leave to dry and then you should have something like this:



Sunday, 5 July 2015

Closet Organisation with Free Printables

I'm spring cleaning (decluttering all my junk) at the moment so look out for upcycling posts related to this in the not-so-distant future.
I'm trying to not only get rid of items and repurpose them but to organize them so that I'm less messy in future.
I already had some nice clear plastic shoeboxes that I use for storing small clothing items (like socks, underwear and purses). These boxes look very boring though and sometimes I forget what's in them. So I decided to dress them up with some free printable labels. All of the labels that I could find on Pinterest didn't include all my items and were mostly for kids. I did some Googling and came across free printable labels with fillable editable fields here. These also come in a variety of colours and I'll probably use them for other projects in the future.
I have a black and white only printer so I printed the labels onto some pretty paper that I found during my cleanup using the plain black labels (there are a variety of colours).

I used contact plastic to stick the labels to the storage containers, the clear contact plastic worked well with the clear boxes. I cut the plastic into squares using the handy grid at the back of the plastic. I considered using double sided tape but then I thought that the labels would probably wear a bit with age.



Cathe Holden the creator of these labels has some great other free printables on her blog and pinterest page, here.


Monday, 8 June 2015

Chalkboard Heart Tags

I bought the chalkboard heart tags used in this tutorial from Mr Price Home for a discount after Valentines day. Originally I wanted to write on these with chalk and attach them to gifts. However, when my 5 week teaching practical ended recently I wanted to give the teachers who had helped me so much something a little more permanent.
I have some white letter stickers that I have been using for scrapbooking and I stuck these onto the chalkboard with the word "thanks". I used a ruler to draw a straight line in pencil before I stuck these down. I ran out of "n" stickers halfway through the project and simply flipped some "u" stickers around. Really easy and pretty:

I think that it would also be nice to do this with peoples' names.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Book Cover

This book covering was a very quick and easy project. It looked so pretty when I made it that I had to share it.
I've been wanting to cover the book that I use to write notes during my teaching practical in something pretty. I decided after all off my Pinterest browsing that it would be nice to upcycle some old magazines. I went through the magazines looking for blue images, patterns and backgrounds. I then cut these into rough blocks (the washi tape covers the messy edges later) and arranged, then stuck them onto the book in my pattern. I then covered all the borders between pictures with washi tape. I stuck down the vertical pieces of washi tape first and then the horizontal pieces.

I think that this might look better if the main image (seahorse) was in the center of the page.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Silhouette art with old book pages

A friend recently wallpapered her study with old book pages, it looks fantastic. At one time, I would have considered tearing pages out of a book to be a terrible crime but now I think it's a great way of repurposing old books which are falling apart.

I decided to make an art work combining old book pages (from an ancient copy of Pride and Prejudice which I bought for R10) with the silhouette of one of my favourite authors: Virginia Woolf. I had an old canvas that I decided to use for this project but you can just as easily use (very) firm cardboard or a piece of wooden board. I covered the canvas in the book pages using mod podge. I spaced the pages quite carefully before I stuck them down, but this isn't really necessary. Then I waited for them to dry before beginning on the silhouette section.

The silhouette section needs to be quite carefully spaced and measured out. I decided that I wanted to have 8 faces on my artwork but this depends on the size of the canvas/piece of cardboard that you are using. I measured the canvas and marked it in pencil into 8 equal sections. For the paper silhouettes I chose 4 pretty pieces of paper that I had (it's better paper rather than cardboard, as cardboard is difficult to cut silhouettes into neatly). I made the silhouette by printing out my image in the right size on paper, sticking onto cardboard and cutting around this with my craft knife. Then I simply traced this onto my pieces of pretty paper and cut out the silhouettes. I stuck these on using mod podge. For the painted faces I stuck masking tape around the edges of the squares. I then placed my template on each square and traced around it. I then hand painted around these pencil marks using acrylic paint. I think it would be easier to place the template cover the rest of the artwork in newspaper and spraypaint it (repeating for each square).

This was the finished result:


I think that there are lots of ways that this project could be personalized, some are listed below:
1. By colour (gold could look great).
2. By theme (I could have taken the book theme a few steps further).



Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Chalk Board Tea Pot

A friend gave this lovely tea pot shaped chalk board from Typo for my birthday.

It's pretty and a great kitchen decoration but quite pricey. I decided to try and make my own. Thin wooden tea pot bases (which are sold for mosaics) are available at art and some hardware shops, I bought mine at a stall a Hobby X. Chalk board paint is now available in a variety of colours and brands. The great thing about making these yourself is the options when it comes to colours. For the twine/string to hang the pot from I used the handles from a fancy shopping bag.

I have given a few of these as gifts and people have really liked them. They are lovely kitchen or bedroom decorations.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Decoupage with Block Pictures

I first got the idea of decoupaging using block pictures from this beautiful vintage wrapping paper:

I loved this as soon as I saw it in the store. I knew that it would be perfect for a wooden box that I wanted to cover. I didn't want to just cover my box completely using the whole sheet, I find that this often leads to air bubbles forming in decoupage projects. So I decided to individually cut out the images and then Modge Podge them onto the box (I apply Modge Podge with a sponge so it spreads evenly). I neatly aligned the edges of the pictures and could also paste images over mistakes. I was quite pleased with the end result.

The idea of decoupaging using block pictures in a particular theme was one I liked. I wanted to decoupage an old box I had to store my hair accessories. I found some lovely paper with opera themed images for this project.
I realized that I could combine images from several different sources. I found some great calligraphy script wrapping paper which I combined with various images of pens and writing. 
I completed all of these projects using wrapping paper before I discovered the really fantastic free printables that can be found on the internet. The great thing about these is that you can adapt the scale to your decoupage project. Some of my favourite printables can be found here.


Friday, 17 April 2015


This is my space for blogging about all things crafty and craft related. There are some crafty things, like decoupage, that I have been doing for years and others like scrapbooking/journaling that I have started very recently. I have found that there are lots of fantastic blogs and websites by people in the USA but very few by South Africans (this may be because I haven't looked in the right places). It's useful to know where to buy things from at home.

I can never resist a pun and therefore the title is a play on words with the author H.P Lovecraft's name (I love books) and loving to craft.