Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Mad as a Hatter!

Opinions vary but I'm not mad... not yet! nor am I a hatter (or milliner to be more precise). This week however I find myself strangely drawn back towards Stephanie Ackerman's range of dies. You may remember that I featured some of her beautiful embossing folders a couple of weeks back.

The flower dies in the collection are big, bold and contemporary in style. I could make a card or a layout but these dies are perfect for fabrics, more specifically felt.

The Bigz die I used is called Flower #5 and is one of several dies in the collection which work equally as well with paper as it does with felt, cotton, denim, hessian, voile.... you get the picture!

I popped down to the shops and bought myself a cute pink ladies bowler style hat to decorate which is where the title comes in (I don't just make it up as I go along you know!)

I started by die-cutting 3 pink felt flowers, all in one pass through the machine, don't you just love Bigz dies. Next, I folded the flower in half and then half again. At this point you can secure it with a stitch or hot glue gun. I did this with all three flowers.
I picked up a bunch of stamen used in the creation of artificial flowers, please don't ask where I got them as I can't remember but I'm sure a quick web search will turn up a whole host of similar products! I took one from the bunch and threaded it through the centre of the flower and twisted the wire at the base before snipping it to size.
I next cut a 10 cm square of green felt, You could do this with a die but it doesn't have to be too accurate. I next cut the square in half on the diagonal which gave me two triangles. I folded them as shown below to create dimensional leaves which you could either tack at on end with a needle and thread or use a hot glue gun. I also made a smaller ivory leaf.
I inserted two of the flower into the hat brim and added the third in the centre before arranging the felt leaves as shown. Again, how you want to attach them I will leave up to you.

Now, a hat ain't a hat unless it's perched on someones head so last night I coerced my daughter Poppy into posing for the camera. It was wasn't really hard work, Anyone who has either been a 4 year old girl or has had a daughter will know that!

And here it is, If I made this from start to finish without having to stop to take pictures and using the glue gun instead of stitches, I could make it in about two minutes flat. 

Ah! the power of die-cutting!

I was working at Alexander Palace or Ali Pali a it is affectionately known last weekend and I had the opportunity to catch up with lots of people I haven't seen for for a while. I also got to go out for a Pizza on Saturday night with two of my favourite people in the world, Ms Paula Pascual and Ms Patricia Villas Boas who is the distributor for Sizzix in Portugal both of whom are dear friends, it was so nice to catch up.

When I got into the show at 8am Saturday morning after a four hour drive from North Wales one of the first people I bumped into was Paul Reeve. Many of you will know his better half Ali who is a regular on Create & Craft she is a clever lady full of inspirational ideas, tips and techniques.

 I was handed a packet which I have been looking forward to receiving for some time. One of the areas of Paul's business is creating a range of dimensional MDF kits, they are nothing short of fabulous and If you follow this link you will see what I mean.

The kit in question is a rack to house my Distress Inks which rose from the jumble of pre-cut pieces to the magnificent display rack you see before you on the right in about ten minutes, no tools, no glue and really easy to follow instructions too.

The kit also comes with a set of 48 Stickers which can be inked and labelled before attaching to your individual ink pads. I'm a happy bunny! thanks again to Ali and Paul.

Where have you been all my life!!!

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