New Shoes…

At the end of last year, one of my co-workers managed to fall over in high heels, breaking two bones in her ankle. Although she’s recovering very well, she will not be wearing those high heels again…thank goodness!

So, being a true crafter, I simply had to snap up the chance to revamp those heels, to make sure she was never tempted to put them back on. Here’s a quick slideshow of the process to go from glitzy glam heels, to grungy steampunk!

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This is just one of those heels. For the other one I intend on using such lighter, prettier shades, and lots of florals…check back soon to see that one too!

Tattered Lace Blog Hop

Welcome Crafters!! I am so glad you’ve popped along! Hopefully you have joined me today for the Tattered Lace Blog Hop, but if you weren’t aware of it, you can get started back at the beginning on the Tattered Lace Facebook Page. Today we will guide you through some of the inspirational Blogs and Facebook pages of the Tattered Lace and associated brand’s Demonstrators, allowing you all to have the chance to win a £50 Crafting Voucher at the end too!

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So lets get started!! I have chosen to show you today the amazing Fleurs Flower Forming Tools. This includes Flower Shaped Dies, Spritzes, Shaping Tools, a Flower Forming tray, Specialty Papers, and even an instructional DVD to watch and follow. I featured these quite recently on Create and Craft TV, and they will be coming soon to Crafting.co.uk!

Just here is the necklace that I made for you today, using some flowers, all created using Fleurs Flower Forming tools! (and my beautiful little mini-me modelling it!)

These amazing blooms are so easy to put together, and here’s how…

Firstly, You will need a die cutting machine. Any sized machine will work, but cut 4-5 layers for each of the flowers you would like to makimg_2340e. I have used the speciality card stock as it withstands the shaping and inks really well.

Within the die sets, there are lots of sizes, ranging from large to small, so you have the freedom to create almost any size you desire! img_2341

Next you may choose to add colour. I used the Fleur Ink Sprays, as the mica content in these is unreal!! So much shimmer, and the spritzing bottles never seem to clog up, which is just another bonus!

I placed my petals into a washable tray lid to spritz, so that my desk didn’t get any messier than it needed to. I allowed the ink to soak in for a few minutes, before I started shaping them. You couldimg_2399 also at this stage, scrunch up your petals a little to give them more texture.

So here’s the part that really brings these flat die cuts to life…using the moulded flower former.

Whilst they are still damp, use your adjustable ended tool to press each petal into one of the inverted domes. You can use any one of the domes, depending on the look are you going for, so it is worth having a play and experimenting.

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Once all your petals are shaped, you could either leave them in the tray to dry naturally, or you could lift them out carefully with tweezers and finish drying them off with a heat gun.

Next, you will need to glue each of the layers together. I prefer hot glue, but if you have more time to wait for the adhesive to dry, you could use a cold wet glue. img_2471
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You can then add extra detail such as stamen to the centres. Again, these are available along with the Flower Forming kits! I finally finished each of my flowers off with a light brush of white acrylic paint over the tips of the petals. This really adds to the shabby chic look!
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Now my flowers were together and looking beautiful, it was time to put them together. Usually these would go on a card or scrapbook page, maybe an altered piece, but today I wanted to make a piece of jewellery for my daughter.  She loves to be fashionable, but finds childrens accessories too childish, but adults too large, so cue ‘Best Mummy Award’!!

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With the addition of some smaller blooms, metal embellishments and some lace, I jazzed up a simple pearl necklace. She absolutely LOVES it, as do I!

So now you’ve seen my make for today, please do continue along our hop to the next wonderful crafter, Debbie who will be showing you some wonderful Parchment Craft techniques!  Please don’t forget to follow on to the end, where you will have the chance to win a wonderful prize!

Any glitches along the way, here’s the chain of posts to help you along the way 😊
Myself http://www.loucollins.blog

Gwen http://stamp-pad.blogspot.co.uk

Debbie https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009147296823&fref=ts

Corrine http://www.corrinespapercrafts.com

Hels http://www.pinkleart.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Crafting ’til the wee hours…

How many times have you found yourself accidentally still up in the early hours of the morning in the name of craft? I’ve lost count personally. Isn’t it wonderful to get so submerged in a project that time flies and you loose hours? Now that is true passion for something!

I am lucIMG_2323.JPGky enough to be able to craft into the late hours around once a month, although its not exactly in the same way. Tattered Lace has an inspirational magazine full of paper craft projects, around 30 each issue, and as a subscriber to this magazine, readers have full access to a library of videos on how each of these projects are put together, and guidance through some of the more complicated techniques.

Only each video needs filming, and at a time when the Create & craft studio is not doing live shows. So that’ll be somewhere between 10pm and 8am then! As this filming takes approximately 5 hours to complete between myself and one of my fellow Tattered Lace demonstrators, such as Corrine Robinson or Nancy Watt, we set a date each month and roll into the studios, ready to start these back to back 5 minute long videos at 10pm, or soon after. IMG_2326.JPG

Loaded with snacks of the unhealthy variety, time does still fly and we zoom through each segment, breaking only briefly to change the tapes used and to make jokes in order to keep our fellow Producer, Director, Camera person and Floor staff awake! Last night we also had the lovely Barry upstairs in the gallery, but I have no idea what he actually does…sorry Barry!!

Around 3-4am we complete all the videos and waste no time in packing up and heading home, or in my case, to the hotel. If we are lucky we get a day off the next day, but not this time for me! Im just about to head back to the studio to do some sample cards, and I will be back on air tonight at 8pm with a new Collection called Paisley Parade that launched yesterday! I hope everyone has a wonderful, Crafty weekend!

 

 

Finding Dory…

WE FOUND HER!! Well at least in paper form anyway!

Yesterday I was honoured to have been asked to do my first Disney’s Finding Dory shows in Create & Craft TV. I’ve been guesting Disney shows since last year, from Mickey to Frozen, Princesses to Winnie the Pooh, but Finding Dory just might be a favourite of mine.

So today I wanted to share with you how I created the background to one of my card demonstrations. I had so much fun creating watery themed backgrounds, and enjoyed having an excuse to play.

Firstly, I masked off a panel on my card base, wide enough to accommodate the width of my distress ink pad. I used reposition able/removable tape for this, and overlapped the ends onto my mat to help it stay in place whilst working on it. I was using a green called Peeled Paint. I dragged the inked a couple of times down the masked panel to give almost full coverage.  I then used a turquoise bee called Peacock Feathers and blended in with a brush, over the areas that still had white showing through.

img_2303Once I was happy with the colour, I lightly spritzed the panel with water. I was not concerned about getting water on the white, unlinked areas of my card, because it will dry clear anyway.

I also took the entire top off the water mister and flicked some larger droplets onto the panel. Within a few seconds, we could see the colour changing under the water drops!

I waited almost a minute before pressing a clean kitchen towel onto the wet panel. I only held it down, rather than rubbing it, to soak up any excess water, and also, this lifted up some of the ‘dissolved’ ink too…

And TA-DA!!!!!
 

I then carefully removed the masking tape and set it aside to dry!

Now my background was complete, it was time to play with the Disney Finding Dory dies and Colourful Creations pads. I love how accurately the dies cut out the coloured images! And lastly, we showed my finished card. I think the inky, watery background fits in really well with the theme, and I can’t wait to try this technique again using other colours! 

It’s not all glamour…

This is something I’ve been thinking about putting out there for a while. A behind the scenes glimpse of a tv demonstrators job.

Let me just jump back a little.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times either myself or one of my fellow guest demonstrators has had to endure comments, very often on social media, stating that we are very lucky that we get to make cards all day. Full stop.

YES! We are all extraordinarily lucky, and I do not know of a single one of us that doesn’t appreciate that daily…BUT, as with any job, there are the downsides too.

So I’m thinking that maybe a bit of an insight into a snippet of our regular week might change a few of those opinions. 

Please do not take this as a moaning groany post. It really
isn’t! It’s just nice to be nosey sometimes and maybe it could open a few people’s eyes as to the hard work and commitment that goes into bringing you those few 5 minute
paper crafts demonstrations in each show 😊

So as an example, let’s cover the past four days of mine. Saturday to Tuesday. Half a week. This includes my first weekend off in months.

So after my sons football on Saturday morning (yes he scored!!!) I go home to prep for my shows. 8 straight hours with 5 kids and a cat and dog running around (and over) my work.

Then Sunday. The day of rest. Or a day of another 13 hours prep. I love the products, but inspiration can start to wear a little thin by the 7th or 8th hour. A quick break in between to eat a roast dinner and back to it.

I then try to get an early night on Sunday night. Set my alarm for 4am Monday morning, and my daughter has a tummy ache. My son has a wobbly tooth and can’t possibly sleep until it falls out in around a weeks time. By 11.30pm just as I’m drifting off, I remember that I haven’t yet loaded up my car and will need to do it in the dark in  the morning. Reset the alarm for 3.50am and try to sleep.

After a cold, wet 2 hour drive to the studios I drive at 7am. Everyone is always so cheery, even at this time of the morning, and we begin our day. img_2287Tea first, obviously, then shows. We have to arrive two hours before each show, so theres plenty of time to iron out any issues, and plenty of time to get prepared.

Between shows you may well have seen pictures on social media about the chatter and antics that go on in the well known ‘Green Room’? Yes this happens. we all mingle and catch up and it is very often a fun place to be. But also very often, we need to use this time to re-prepare demos due to product changes on our following shows.

Often also, there are schedule changes. We may be thinking we have a five hour break, until we are informed that our show has been bought forward to an hour away! It happens and we deal with  it, but when it is an additional show, this means we need more prep for later on.

After my early start, I finally left the studio on Monday at 7.30pm. Time to have dinner and go wash all this make up off. We have to wear enough makeup to not look washed out on air, but we need to do this and our hair ourselves. It is not something that we have stylists or make up artists for, as much as we would like to have!

After a quick check in and shower at the hotel, I can reply to emails and get in contact with home. The kids are slowly getting used to me being away a few nights a week, more so than I am. As a parent, even just being away a little, I find I miss so much. My sons school football tournament, helping my daughter with her school projects…little things that don’t last long while they are little. Thank goodness for video calls!

Today, my alarm went off at a better time of 5.30am. By staying a 10 minute drive from the studios, it cuts out the 2 hour drive home, and then back again the next day, and also means I can sleep in for 90 minutes longer! A quick sleepy cuppa with other guests or presenters is the norm until we can get in the studio and set up.

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Setting up includes putting out the example projects, making sure they look good, organising the demos so that that they are in order, all the tools are ready to go, and electrical tools are PAT tested, and we know as much as possible about all the items that are out, including pack quantities and contents, what works with what, and which we can demonstrate if something else sells out. This is very often a last minute decision if it happens, but we need to be prepared. Occasionally, we will come in and find out that in the past few hours, a product has already sold out, even more that one maybe, so we have to completely alter or change our demos.

After setting up in the studio, we need to prep with our producer and director. They usually come and find us, and we will go over demos, the general flow of the show, and what we will do if/when items sell out.

We get to go into the studio around 15 minutes before our show unless there is more setting up to do. We will have one of our lovely talent management ladies pop down and make sure that what we are wearing to go on air is appropriate, i.e.. not too patterned, and that our hair, makeup and nails are done correctly. Don’t even get me started on the regular upkeep of manicured nails!! Haha!!

So as I sit here typing this on Tuesday morning, just after my first show of the day, I have a wait of 5 hours before my next show. However…that is not 5 hours of blissful snuggling on the sofa chatting with crafting celebs! Ohhh no. That is opening this humongous box and getting demonstratioIMG_2288ns prepped ready for tonights two hours of USA shows.

I will be leaving the studios at around 12.15am tonight/tomorrow morning. By the time I get back to the hotel and into bed, it will be at least 1am. My alarm will be set to get up at 6.30am, ready for my 10am show tomorrow…..and so it continues. Wednesday night I will be home, but only to return Thursday evening for overnight filming until around 3am or later….

So…as amazing as this job is, and I honestly know how very, very lucky I am, it is a lot of hard work and commitment. I hope this has given you a little insight into the general flow of our work, and this is without other magazine commissions, social media posts, research and general crafting for pleasure (haha!) xx

 

 

 

 

 

Crafting Live in Doncaster

Hi Crafters! Have you heard that the next Crafting Live Event is in Doncaster on the weekend of the 25th-26th March? There’ll be all your favourite Create and craft presenters to meet, Make and takes and so much more! It’s not long now, so who fancies a pair of tickets?

I have a couple of tickets free to give away to someone selected from random from those who share this blog or post! Simply share on any social media platform you prefer and leave me a comment below to say you’ve entered!

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Next week I will announce a winner and get the tickets sent to you 🙂 Good Luck!!