Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Stitches Show 2013

Hi Everyone

What a great show! Everyone was so enthusiastic about the wet felting and of course Efco's fabulous new coloured wires! Here's a photo of the stand - the calm before the storm - as I was practically mobbed the first couple of days...

 I've lost count of the number of felt flowers and beads I ended up making over the course of the 3 day show! Everyone was so lovely and there was a really good buzz! I must say I think my felted poppy proved to be the most popular...

 If you want to know how to create your own check out the Felt Flowers project sheet or, alternatively, 'watch this space' as I will be filming a short video on how to make felt poppies very soon (in fact, just as soon as my new lights arrive!).

At Stitches Efco were also showing their new range of Papp Art alongside their EfcoStone acrylic paints which are great for creating fake stone effects!

This is the large heart bag from their set of three.
It has been painted with gold Efcostone and decorated with a felt poppy and leaves.

This is the large pot again from a set of three.
It has been painted with their crystal quartz Efcostone and decorated with an ivy vine & sunflowers.

The front of this 'LONDON' Papp Art has been painted with white Decoupaint whilst the rest was covered in Lava Efcostone. Efco coloured micro beads were then stuck on the front.

This Eiffel Tower Papp Art has been painted with black Decoupaint and then patches of metal leaf and anthracite Decoupaint Patina applied.

This is the small heart bag from the set of three.
Efco relief paste was applied in thin patches with a spatula. When dry it was base-coated with white Decoupaint. Pink Decoupaint was applied with a baby wipe to give it a patchy finish. The cupcake motif was taken from a napkin and stuck on with Matt Mod Podge.

For a softer, smooth finish apply several coats of Matt Mod Podge before lightly sanding with wet sandpaper.

This is the middle sized heart bag which has been painted with white Decoupaint before Efco Creative Paper Tapes were used to create the striped pattern. The embellishment was created by folding lengths of tape back on themselves and arranging them in a circle before sticking the button in the middle.
With jewellery making still very popular at the moment it was obvious that retailers visiting the show were going to love Efco's new wires but I was impressed with the number of retailers who also saw the potential of their Superfine Merino Wool Tops...

This is Efco's Diamond 2mm Wire which, being auminium, is easy to bend and also very light.
It is ideal for making caged beads - a felt bead has been used as the centre for this one - and with the little 'diamond' nicks in the wire, when viewed from a distance, it almost looks as though it has beads strung on it!

The featured product for next month will be Efco's new range of coloured wires but if you can't wait 'til then here's a little something to get the creative juices flowing...
Inspired by a Camille Sharon YouTube video, this heart pendant has been created using Efco's Embossed Light Pink 2mm Wire.
 Happy Crafting to one and all...

Fee x

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Merino Wool Tops

Hi Everyone

This month's featured product is Efco's Superfine Merino Wool Tops which are ideal for both wet felting and needle felting! They are gorgeously soft compared with normal wool tops and have long fibres enabling you to easily create some fabulous effects when felting.

There are 20 colours in the range, all of which are available in single colour 50g packs. Eighteen of them are also available in multicolour 50g packs: the basic assortment (containing natural (white), yellow, red, middle blue and green) and six other 3 colour packs - red, pink, blue, green, brown and monochrome mixes.

If you have never done wet felting before you may feel a little daunted so here are three small projects to get you started...

F/0012M - Felted Soap

TF/0002M - Felted Beads

F/0011M - Felt Flowers

All these projects are easy to do even if you have never felted before - so why not have a go! The felted soaps are so easy to do and they make excellent gifts as the felt acts as a loofah! Once you've got the hang of making felt flowers you'll find it's an easy step up to making a felt scarf. Check out the Product of the Month page for more info.

I will be demonstrating wet felting alongside Efco's new coloured wires at Stitches, the trade craft show at the NEC. So if you own a craft shop do pop by the Efco stand (G25) to see how easy wet felting is! I look forward to seeing you there.

Happy Crafting

Fee x

Friday, 8 February 2013

Valentine's Day

Hi Everyone,

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so here's a few Valentine themed project ideas for you...

This is an Efco plywood heart shaped box.
A stencil was used as inspiration for the pattern. It was traced onto the lid with a pencil and then a pyrography tool used to burn it into the wood. A touch of red paint was picked up on a baby wipe and lightly applied over the top, intensifying at the edges and in the hearts. A hint of gold was applied to the leaves and extreme edge. Several strands of gold thread were knotted through the 3 heart shaped wooden buttons befor they were stuck on.

The sides were coloured with a baby wipe and red paint (intense at the top, fading to the bottom). Gold paint was applied on top of the red to the side of the lid and a 5mm strip of red velvet paper stuck in the middle. Red velvet hearts were punched using a Grand Calibur and Spellbinders Scallop Heart Die. 2 small cuts were made in each one to allow a gold ribbon to be threaded through before being stuck to the side of the box.

You can easily create personalised mugs using Efco's Color Dekor 180ºC
Just punch out or cut your desired shapes, place them in water for a few moments to allow you to slide them off their backing sheet, position them on your mug, squeezing out the excess water and leave to dry for 24 hours. Then bake them in an oven at 180ºC for 30 mins to make them hand washable. The Color Dekor comes in a variety of colours as well as Chinese Calligraphy and Black or Gold letters.

Don't forget you can decorate the bottom of the mug as well - an ideal place for a surprise or fun message!

If you are planning on giving a small Valentine's gift this year then why not make your own packaging like these delightful little bags:

Mini Valentine Bags are easy to make if you have a Spellbinders Heart Die Set and Grand Calibur machine. Just cut and emboss 2 large hearts from card and decorate them as desired. Cut a strip of card 4 x 15cm. Score and fold this in half (ie 7.5cm) and 1cm in from the edge on both long sides (see photo). Cut a small triangle from either side at the centre to enable you to fold it slightly more than 90º. Use double-sided tape on the flaps to stick the strip between the two hearts and attach the ribbon handle.

If you can't find the perfect Valentine's card or just enjoy making your own unique handmade cards then here are a few quick ideas (all of which use the Spellbinders Dies)...

Run a piece of white card through the Grand Calibur in an embossing envelope and cut to size for your card. Run your card through with an Edgeabilities Die on the right front edge. (Make sure to open your card up first so you only cut the front of the card.) Take a piece of pink card and run that through with the same Edgeabilities Die and line it up with the front cut edge of the card before sticking it to the inside edge of the card. Use pale pink chalk to pick out a feature of the embossed card and attach a small piece of ribbon with a small pink brad. Stick the embossed card to the front and trim the edges. Stick a narrow ribbon down the left edge to finish.
You can use the heart dies to create small popups in your card. Punch several hearts from pink paper and fold them in half. Stick the halves back to back before sticking them in the middle of your card.
You don't have to go for a traditional folded card. You can create a pocket card by cutting out two hearts and sticking the edges together with narrow double-sided tape. Decorate the front as desired and punch out a smaller heart to write your message on before popping it inside.
You can use the Spellbinders Edgeabilities Inserts Dies to create patterns across cut out shapes as well as using them in conjunction with their border dies. Here Classic Decorative Inserts One has been laid across in two different directions and punched. A ribbon was then threaded through the holes and the ends wrapped around the stuck to the back before the heart was fixed to the card.
A very simple but effective card can be created by punching out a heart and then embossing it in an embossing folder. Punch small holes down either side and thread a narrow organza ribbon through. Tie 3 small bows and stick them over the top holes and the bottom point of the heart. Stick the heart to your card.

You don't just have to cut and emboss flat shapes with the Spellbinder's Nestabilities Dies either. The project below shows how, with a little simple paper folding before using the scalloped heart die, you can create a card with a difference. Perfect for that special Valentine's message! Check it out at:

Be My Valentine(CO/0004)

'til the next time... Happy Crafting!

Fee x