Hello, my name is Dionne and I have been crafting for a very long time. As a very young child my mother tried to teach me to knit, it was a disaster. However, it must have sparked an interest in making things and, partly to prove that I was not totally useless and partly because I really wanted to make things, I taught myself to crochet. Over the years I have developed a love of cross stitch and all types of paper craft ..... I eventually even taught myself to knit.

I am married to a very understanding man, thank goodness, because I spend all my time either crafting, thinking about crafting or talking about crafting. I am hopeless at housework and dinner is often late!

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Friday, 26 June 2020

Lockdown 2020

I do not think I would be exagerating if I were to say that the past few months have been nothing like any of us have ever experienced.  This virus has affected most parts of the world and be it the truly tragic loss of family and friends, or queuing for hours to find toilet paper, or being confined to our homes for weeks on end, very few of us can say that it has not made some sort of change to our lives.

People here are trying to take control of their lives back but it is a slow process and does not always go to plan.  A few weeks ago there was a lot of speculation that we would soon be allowed to leave our homes but we would have to wear face masks whenever we went outside.  I had managed to buy us a few disposable paper face masks to wear but these had taken a very long time to arrive and would not last very long if my husband had to take a couple each day for work. 

I should say right up front that have have always been skeptical about the effectiveness of face masks and have spent a lot of time on-line reading up about their worth and whether home made masks were much use at all.   Having worn my paper masks a couple of time I can tell you that they fit very badly, they ride up, steam up your glasses, if you wear them, and they get very warm.  I can certainly see how they may be of little benefit to the wearer but perhaps add some protection to others around them.  However, I always come back to one question - if face masks are ineffective, why do doctors and nurses wear them?

With the expectation that we would be required to wear a face mask every time we left our homes, I decided it was time to look more closely at home made masks and I did a lot more reading, gathering tips from here here and there.   I am not saying that what I made were the best you could make or recommending that everyone wears one, it is just what I decided to do.  I had read that several layers of fabric work better than one, that using unwoven interfacing as a layer works like a washable filter, that including a nose clip may help and that 100% cotton works better than polycotton.

My first attempt at mimicking our paper masks were not very successful, I struggled to pleat the fabric in the required places - I think because I had too many layers, therefore the fabric just would not fold where I wanted it to. These masks also fitted just as badly as the paper masks and, to add insult to injury, they would not stay open once you put them on.  Back to the drawing board.

A good friend came to my rescue.   She had purchased some fabric masks for herself, they were a very snug fit and they had a pocket where you could slide in a disposable filter.  My plan was to buy a couple of these masks for us but to take one of them apart and use it as a pattern to make more.  As luck would have it she was friends with the person who had made her masks and she persuaded her friend to send me a copy of the patterns.   How lucky was that? I received two patterns - one for men and the other for ladies. At the time I could not think why you needed two different shaped masks, to be honest I still do not understand why that should be, but they certainly fit better.  My husband and I have both tried on the other masks and we both agree about this. 

I have a guilty confession to make, I am something of a fabric hoarder. It all started when I tried dress making as a teenager and I would keep any left over lengths and then, when I started making fabric covered boxes, I discovered the pure joy of quilting fabrics.  I really was like that kid in a toyshop and would buy fat quarters and put them away ... just in case!  As a result I have a lot of very pretty fabric stashed in boxes and bags all about the house.

In the beginning I intended to just make a few masks for us to wear, then I made a few for my sisters and then they asked if I could make some for their children and partners.  Before long I felt as if I had gone into production.  160 masks later I have declared that enough is enough and I am refusing to make them any more ... well, unless one of them asks me to of course.  Over the last few weeks I have used almost ten meters of interfacing, over 150 nose clips, almost 65 meters of elastic, more than twelve reels of thread, three sewing machine needles and I have put a huge dent in my hoard of fabric.

Sorry, I found it very difficult to photograph the masks, I could have done with a glamorous model - or failing that a 'wig head', but I had neither, so I did the best I could, here are just a few of the masks I made .....

And a few more ....

Some of the fabrics have gold threads or paint, some have glitter, which I assume will wash off eventually but will be fun for a while.

And a bit of a close up ...

I wanted to show you the difference between the masks intended for men and those for ladies but it is hard to see from a photo.  The men's are higher at the nose but have a slight 'V' shape under the chin.

These are for men ...

Whilst these are for the ladies ...

Oh, and these are a few more for the men ....

One of my sister's asked me to make masks for her grandchildren.  I feel I should say that all of the articles and reports I have read do not recommend masks for young children, they fiddle with their masks and are at much greater risk from cross-contamination than from not wearing one.  

Nonetheless, my sister was insistent, so I did my best.  The result was a super cute mask, which I have tried to show you here but it is not obvious how much smaller the mask in front is.   Of the white masks in the front of this photograph we have, from left to right, a daddy mask, a mummy mask, a mask for the older child and then, just in frony, the tiny mask.

I have even made everyone bags to put their worn masks in until they can get home and wash them, this is to help prevent cross-contamination, for instance, with anything they may have in their car or bag.

I suppose the real irony is that when the announcement about face masks was finally made, here in England, we are only required to wear them on public transport.

I hope that none of you have been badly effected by this virus and that you, and your families, stay safe and in good health.


Friday, 24 April 2020

100 Today

In these very worrying times it is good to have something to celebrate.  The mother of a good friend is 100 years old today, sadly she is in a nursing home, spending 24 hours a day in her room for her own safety.  Of course, she is not allowed visitors, and only has the telephone to contact her family.

I  felt it called for an extra special card to celebrate her very special day.  I'll be honest, this was not my first attempt at a card for her, but none of the other cards I made seemed to be special enough for this occassion.

I used an 8 x 8 inch Craftwork Cards card blank with red glitter card from my stash.  I made the lettering out of gold card using a couple of dies.  The roses and leaves are from Wild Orchid Crafts and the happy birthday sentiment was from my stash.

As you can see, it is rather thicker and larger than a 'normal' card.  I went all over trying to find an open Post Office  (making sure I kept well away from anyone else out shipping) to have it weighed and measured but all of our local ones were closed because of the lock-down, so I ended up putting half a book of my precious stamps onto the card and crossed my fingers that it would be enough to get it there on time.

Happy birthday Jean's Mum, have a wonderful day.


Thursday, 23 April 2020

A Few More Fairies

For the last couple of days I have been sharing with you some quick and easy Flower Fairy cards, which I made from an old Create and Craft paper set I have stashed at the back of my craft room.

I am back today with two more cards.

I hope you are not finding lock-down too tedious, as a crafter I am sure you have lots of projects you just wished you had the time to get on with.

 Take care and stay safe.


Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Flower Fairies

Thank you for popping by again, yesterday I told you about the old Create and Craft paper sets I have dragged from the back of my craft room and dusted off .

I have a few more cards to share with you today.  So little neeedd doing to these cards, I was tempting not to bother they are so pretty, but, I could not resist adding a few embellishments ... wouldn't you?

I have always had a soft spot for the Flower Fairies, they are so sweet.  The only thing missing from these sets are sentiments, so these ones, and the gems, came from my stash.


Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Lockdown Fairies

Most of my crafty friends are aware that following the suspension of Crafty Boots Challenges I took some time off from card making, I had a massive pile of unused cards which I neded to use up and I wanted time to concentrate on my knitting. However, my reserve of cards has gradually depleted and with lockdown in forced I cannot get out to the shops to buy birthday and anniversary cards.

Now, many, many years ago (before my time helping to organize Crafty Boots Challenges) I bought a lot of paper sets from Create and Craft - and I do mean a lot of these sets. I am sure many of you also bought them, they were very popular.  They are not quite the same as card kits, these sets consist of pre-coloured images, matching card blanks, papers, ribbons, peel-offs, stickers and charms, how you use them is entirely up to you. When I joined the Crafty Boots design team, I packed all of these sets away and have not looked at them since. However, they take up quite a lot of space in my craft room and I recently got them out and refreshed my memory as to what was in the boxes. I probably have enough in the boxes to make hundreds, if not a couple of thousand, cards.

I need a couple of birthday cards for later this month - so last weekend I raided one of the boxes and made a few cards.  The box I randomly pulled from the stack contained Flower Fairy papers. They have a lot of detail on all the papers and cards, so I felt that this a case where less is more.

Here are the first two off the blocks.

Every thing I used came from the set other than the card blank and the happy birthday sentiment (even the insert came from the set).

Between you and me, I wish I had discovered this set a few weeks ago when my small niece had a birthday.

More tomorrow.


Monday, 13 April 2020

Easter Egg Hunt

This is the last of my Easter card posts.  You may recall that on Friday I explained that it has been a long time since I last made Easter cards but, during these difficult times, shut off from my family and friends, I wanted to reach out to those I care most about. I found some very nice Easter card kits on the Hunkydory website and I ordered four sets.  However, when I sat down to make the kits I realised that I needed cards for more than four of my closest family and friends, so I had to get a little inventive.

Having made my cards I encountered another problem, I did not have any stamps to post them.  I have scheduled these Easter posts so I do not know whether I managed to get any stamps.  If you did not receive an Easter card from me, please do not be offended, simply choose your favourite card and imagine it sitting on your side, because most likely, I intended to send it to you, I just could not find somewhere to buy the stamps!

You cannot tell from these photographs but all of the images are decoupaged and, although I had to split them between the cards, there were still plenty of layers to go around.  This first card uses the backing card and sentiment from the Hunkydory kit, I simply added some flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and some flat backed pearls.

For this second card I used a paper from a K & Co stack of papers by Tim Coffey for the backing paper, such a beautiful paper, I love the stunning flowers and just look at that cute little bee.

All I added to this next card were some of the lovely flowers from WOC and some tiny pearls in the centre of the flowers.

Finally, more of those gorgeous Tim Coffy papers.  I added a bit of bling to the centre of the paperwhite narcissus using gold sequins.  Isn't that bunny cute?

Thank you for visit my blog, I enjoy reading all of your comments and thank you for taking the time to leave then.


Sunday, 12 April 2020

Easter Sunday

This year many of us are going to miss celebrating Easter in church, it cannot be helped, during this time it is more important to be safe now than sorry later.

Today I have some more of my Easter cards to share with you, these feature a country church in springtime.  My first card today uses the the backing paper, decoupage elements and image from the Hunkydory kit, along with some flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts, flat backed pearls and a sentiment from my stash.

For this second card I have again raided my K & Co paper stack by Tim Coffey for the backing paper.  The little mulberry flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts and the gems and tiny pearls are from my stash.

My final card today uses both the backing card from the kit, as well as one of the Tim Coffey papers, and flowers from WOC.

That's it for today, please come back tomorrow for my final instalment of Easter cards.