Wednesday 17 August 2016

A Crafty Afternoon

I'm more of a bookworm than a crafter, but realising just how close Christmas is getting, gave me an idea of how to keep the kids (well the youngest, at least) occupied for the remainder of the holidays. A spot of DIY Christmas present crafting.

In the past I've made jewellery, but lost interest when it became apparent that my feline friend wanted to join in the activity, whilst causing maximum chaos. I wouldn't recommend stringing beads onto wire with a cat chewing the already strung beads; it's a little frustrating, to say the least. So that was beading crossed off the list of potential craft projects.

Looking for a spot of inspiration (not to mention, instruction) I headed to the one place I knew would give me a wide range of ideas whilst providing that, kid in a sweet shop feeling, Hobbycraft. I do enjoy a good browse of their website and their blog is fabulous for project ideas whatever level you're at. Moi? Well I am most definitely at beginner level. If we're talking sewing, I am at don't even bother level (I was politely kicked out of needlework at school; they considered it the best lesson for me to miss so that I could have my flute lessons).

After much browsing I decided there were a couple of things I could cope with. Neither included glitter (get's everywhere and seems to hang around for weeks on end regardless of how much you vacuum). A bit of decoupage, sold as being easy for children to do, bonus, we'll give that a go, and what could be easier than sticking buttons onto a canvas? So off I go to my local Hobbycraft store.

I pulled up in the car park full of excitement, went in to the store, picked up a basket and then proceeded to walk up every single aisle of both floors before putting a single thing in said basket.
What is it about stationery stores and craft stores that makes you so fascinated (or perhaps it is just me). Under ordinary circumstances I wouldn't find a ball of wool remotely interesting (unless I morphed into a kitten, then I may do), but leave me in Hobbycraft and I am enthralled by the displays of wool, and the range of colours and textures. I even found myself coveting a crochet hook and I am a complete novice at that!

Anyway, back on the ground floor of the store and I start my journey again. At least this time round the store I know where everything is, although I probably look a little suspect to the staff. Quite some time later and with a basket full of goodies I head off to the till to pay. The lovely lady confirms yes I have got the right glue for the decoupage and gives me a few helpful tips before packing everything away in the plastic storage box I've also purchased. Glad I did as I completely forgot to take a reusable bag with me. Oops, epic fail (again is it just me, or does anyone else feel hugely inadequate if they forget to take their bags shopping with them).

It was like Christmas morning when I got home. I knew what was in the box, but was still super excited unpacking it and couldn't wait to get started. Now I've not yet done the decoupage. I need to do a dry run before the girls get back from their holidays so that I know what to do but the papers are so pretty and I am really looking forward to decorating the mache plant pots I got. I will keep you posted as and when they are completed, but you must promise not to laugh at my efforts.

However, what I did do was the button canvas, well two of them. I wanted to make welcome home gifts for when the girls get back from their holiday (I miss them so much). It was a nice easy little project, although being super clumsy I did manage to accidentally glue my thumb with the hot glue gun whilst trying to apply it to a teeny weeny button, but no harm done. That said, I have decided that for the kids we will purchase a cool glue gun; don't want any burnt child fingers!

Phase one completed

Libby's gift almost done, I embarked on Lydia's. No pinks for her, so went with greens and blues. This in itself was a chore as I had to tip all of the pastel selection of beads on to the table and then pick out the colours I wanted. The bigger issue was getting them back into the bag. Note to self, next project decorate glass jars for storing buttons! Anyway, this second one was much easier to do as I was used to handling the little buttons.

And finally, the finished articles. I'm actually quite pleased with them. For a first attempt they are most definitely passable. Hopefully, the girls will like them and will know just how much I've missed them this week.

Next project, the decoupage. I'm saying nothing more than, watch this space ;-)

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