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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Veg i inked today!!!

Good evening good people of blogland! Another Thursday evening is upon us, it's almost the weekend so what better to get you through that final couple of days that reading about the biggest waste of alcohol ink you'll ever see? :)
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I've been struggling recently with which beg to ink, i am quickly running out of options and i even thought i might have to resort to real crafting!!! So off to the grocers i went today, scouring the shelves for something that might make nice viewing. Tucked away at the back was a veg which i personaly feel should be banished from the world, a veg that tastes so horrendous that it makes me icky just thinking about it....but as i was going to ink it and not eat it, i took the plunge and went with.....the COURGETTE!!!
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As expected, it inked like it tastes.....not good! It held it's colour ok, but the green skin of the courgette made for a nasty background.
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I have to say though, the new Raspberry alcohol ink looks gorgeous in the flesh, all the new colours are nice but the raspberry is so vibrant, you just can;t help but add it to whatever you are inking.
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I used a little Pearl mixtative too, it gave the inks a shimmer (hasn't come out too well inj the pics though) it left the blue with lovely pearlescent swirls in it.
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So there you go, one altered courgette to satisfy your need for inky edibles! Now then, time for the veginkability rating. Not a great veg to ink, but i'd be happy to give this weeks veg a 6
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Thanks for tuning in again this week everyone, you may sit there wondering why you do this every week, but just think.....one day you'll be explaining to your kids why it's good to eat veg, and you'll say...."Did you know....i knew a man once who inked veg to make them look nice!"
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Till next time, take care all. :)

I got an award!

It's always nice to hear someone say nice things about your work, so i want to say a big thank you to Sandra over at "Pink Sandra" who gave me this award.




As is the tradition of awards, i have to pass it on, so here's a few great blogs i would like give a shout out to....

1. Hannah and Zoe over at Crafty Monkeys. I think it is so cool that not only kids are taking part in crafts these days, but are encouraging others to join in too. Well done girls, you are an inspiration to us grown ups! :)

2. Chris over at Blin-kin-eck. Chris is such a talented lady who makes all sorts on her blog. Her recent jewellery makes are nothing less than stunning!

3. Debbie over at Arty Crafty. As well as always making me laugh, Debbie is a dedicated Fiskateer who always has lots of different projects to show on her blog, with lots of tutorials and new things to look at.

So a big thank you again to Sandra for the award, and thanks to those I've given it to for making me smile on my journey through blogland. :)

Now then.....off to find a vegetable!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Back with a card!

Hi all :)
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I've had a bit of a break recently, had a few things to sort out and wanted some quality time with the girls, but i have returned with a card and a matching box.
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I figured it was high time i did some crafting, so i made Maddy a card,
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then made a little box to go with it. I'm sure i can fit some choccy in it. :)
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I used an Crafty Individuals inchy thingy, edged it with Vintage Photo distress ink and covered it with Crackle Accents. The glaze brought the distress ink colour out nicely.
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I made an embellishment using my seal and wax....
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I also used a paper doille for part of the card. I bought a pack of 75 assorted sizes from Poundland, they are great as they already have that delicate lace effect. So i coloured it with Broken China to break up the vintage browns.
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So there you have it, one card and a mini matchbox.
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Hope you like. :)
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Ooh before i forget, i had some lovely news yesterday, Fabrizio, another male crafter (fantastic crafter and real nice guy) emailed me to say that my blog had been mentioned in issue 24 of "Lets Make Cards"! :) I was well chuffed as i've never been in a magazine for anything crafty before. Fabrizio was featured in the mag, and i think they mentioned a couple of other male crafters...including me!
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So a big thank you to Fab for the info, i've yet to see the magazine, but i will get one for a momento to tell my grandkids about! :)

Friday, 22 May 2009

Apologies for the lack of veg.

Hi all :)

I just wanted to post a quick apology for the lack of inky fruit and veg lately, i've not been that well to be honest. Then last night i was going to do an episode, but an elderly neighbour of mine had a nasty fall so i had to bandage him up and went to the hospital to keep him company for the night. Didn't get back till midnight.

So i have a decent excuse this time. I promise to sort my life out this week. :)

Talking of which, you may notice at the side there a weight loss ticker. I am very out of shape compared with what i am used to, so my goal is to lose a few pounds over the next couple of months, and get back in shape. Wish me luck! :)

I hope you are all having a good week, smiles to everyone in blogland, and i'll speak to Rotty about not keeping his blog up to date.....and mine in my absence! ;)

Take care all,

Calv.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Someone is going to be in BIG trouble i think!

Hi all, looks like Rotty is all dressed up for a fun night out...."Hi Rotty, that's a cool looking mask you have on there, are you off anywhere fun?"



"Hi boss.....umm......well yes in fact i am.....it's a fancy dress party, yep that's what it is, fancy dress!"
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"Wow that sounds like fun Rotty, is that your costume then.....just a mask?"
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"Yes boss, but that's all i need, I'm going as a "rat burglar"....get it?....Instead of "cat burglar? I borrowed a bit of your ribbon, hope you don't mind?"
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"Oh very cunning Rotty, you sure were first in the que when they were giving out bright ideas weren't you?"
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"Sure was boss hehe....now i have to go....can't stop ok.....don't wait up!"
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Oh well bloggers, there he goes, off on his big night out.....bless him.....
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*A few hours later in Leeds, something is going on at Calvin Mouse's house......
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"Why on earth did Maddy make Calvin's roof so steep? It's pretty inconsiderate you know, theres me awaiting a new house, and i have to furnish it. How on earth am i supposed to pinch Calvin Mouse's furniture and get it back to mine when the roof is so steep?!!!"
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"Good job i did all that rock climbing training a while back in my boss's garden, this is hard work. I think I'll be safest going through the skylight"......
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"Ok, almost there......just a few more steps......now then, time to secretly negotiate Calvin's window......."
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Uh oh! I think Rotty has some explaining to do when he gets home don't you folks?, we all know how much of a little grass Calvin Mouse is, Maddy is sure to find out soon enough!
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Stay tuned for Rotty's roasting of a lifetime! :)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A challenge card and a birthday surprise!

Hi all, :)
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Today i am officially a big boy! Yes it's my birthday today, 37 years young, feeling like i'm 87, i blame the company i keep! ;)
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Firstly i wanted to show you a card i made last night for this weeks Copics Colour Challenge. Maddy set the sketch this week, and i thought i'd try a male card for a change. The plan was to try my hand at the "Extreme Punching to Distress" technique, used to great effect by the very talented Irene Tan on her blog. I think i over did it though and it needs some work before it looks like Irene's ever does lol...
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It was fun making a different effect with the Crop-a-dile though, and a bit of embossing powder splashed here and there gave it a hint of metal effect.
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The sketch this week was this....
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The image was the fantastic Mikey, and the round bit's on the sketch were just screaming out for a pair of music speakers...the card didn't turn out quite how i wanted, but i learnt a lot from my mistakes during it...
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So thanks for the challenge this week Maddy and the rest of the ladies at Copic's Colour Challenge.
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Oh look who it is....."Hi Rotty.....did you know it's a special day today?"
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"Excellent! You've finished my house then yeah?"
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"Umm not quite Rotty, it's my birthday....or had you forgotten?"
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"Your birthday?!!! Me? Forget your birthday? Thats funny.....be right back!!!"
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"Aww bless him, must be getting me my prezzy".
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"Right then, quick....what rubbish can i wrap up for the clumsy one? Ah i think that will do!"
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"Here you go boss......a little something for you...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
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"Aww cheers Rotty, what a little star you are! Tell you what, i'll let you unwrap it."
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"Oh joy....thanks boss.!..here we go then......DADAAAAAAAA!!!!!"
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"Wow Rotty, a new inkpad!!! Hmmm....looks very much like my inkpad that should be sat in Inky Cottage?"
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"Well i don't know about that boss".
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"Hmmm well i do Rotty, i think you forgot about my birthday didn't you?"
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"Well maybe, possibly.....actualy completely. Sorry boss, but Calvin Mouse said he'd remind me, so it's his fault if you think about it. Tell you what boss, you sit back and i'll show you a crafty technique you can use."
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"Are you kidding me Rotty? YOU......a craft technique?"
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"Yep, we used to do it when we raided peoples bathrooms, sometimes after taking a wrong turn up a toilet u-bend, we got into bother with some of the cupboard contents, and learnt a few things along the way......so watch this...."
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"First get your shaving cream, doesn't matter if it's shaving foam or gel, now spray a pile on some card."
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"I'm not so sure about this Rotty...."
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"Oh stop worrying boss, whats the worst that can happen? Now give it a stir until it's creamy like ice-cream"...
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"Now get some of your alcohol inks, and sprinkle a few drops of different colours in the cream..."
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"Then give it all a stir....."
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"Now take a tag or whatever you want to make a mess of, and place it on top of the cream, pushing it around so the card is covered in cream one side.....like this....."
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"You should now be left with this mess....."
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"Rotty is this actualy leading anywhere? Our readers are busy people you know."
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"Calm down boss....now get a spare bit of card and scrape the cream off.....you'll be left with the swirly ink prints on the card.....DADAAAAAAAAA!!!"
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"Wow thats fantastic Rotty, it looks like a marbling effect in sweets doesn't it!"
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"Sure does boss, now do your stuff with those ink pads and other rubbish you have in here, and do something with it!"
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"Sure thing Rotty...here goes, a bit of distress ink, embossing powder, a few stamp images, some UTEE.......what do you think?"
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"Thanks ever so much Rotty, that actualy turned out to be a great birthday prezzy my little creamy mate!! Does that mean you'll be joining Calvin Mouse for craft sessions now?"
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"Boss.....know this one thing......you will see me wearing a dress before i have cosy craft sessions with that mouse!!! Happy Birthday!!!"
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Well bloggers, hows that for a suprise, a crafty tip that despite being the messiest i've ever seen, could be of use one day.
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Have a great day all, i'm off to prepare a party tea for me and my girls, then it's a dvd and popcorn tonight.....YAYYYYY!!! :)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Veg i inked today!!!

Thursday night again folks, time to get yourself a cuppa, take the weight off of your feet and spend a few minutes of your week in the capable hands of a guy they said would never escape! :)
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This week has been a bit of a difficult one for me as far as the veg inking is concerned. Believe it or not i am running low on veg that is good to ink. There are some veg that i could ink, but know from practise runs that they are rubbish, and not even worthy to be seen here.
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So today i just hoped for the best during my visit to the grocers and something little. So give a warm welcome to......the SUGAR SNAP PEA!!!
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The pictures just don't do these peas justice! They did dry out quite fast which always leads to dulling, but they did well to retain at least some colour.
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Maybe not the best place to try out my new Brights alcohol inks, you can't see how totally cool these new inks are on a pea....but i cannot recommend them enough for those of you who don't have them already.
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The most common question i get from bloggers is simply "Why?". Well i like the fact that you can take something that we don't usually look twice at, and turn it into something that is worth a second look.
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This one below reminds me of a big fish for some reason. :)
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Veginkability for the sugar snap peas? Well they didn't ink as well as expected. but then again I'm definitely seeing a pattern in what makes a veg good to ink. The shiny skin. This just doesn't fit the bill.....then again it did result in at least some colour.....so i think I'm going to go with a 4 this week.
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I am a bit disappointed that the Brights didn't reveal themselves as well as i would have hoped, they really are the most gorgeous of colours. Next week i will endeavour to give you something much brighter to view!
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Thanks for looking everyone, I'd better go and check on what Rotty is up to, you just never know with him these days!
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Night all. :)

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

What next?

I give up! Guess which little man has gone and got himself a blog?



He's just posted his first post, and found himself a bit out of his depth amongst fellow creatures by the sounds of it.....i'll let you read it yourselves here!

I need to lie down, i thought it was hard enough looking after two kids.....let alone a third!!!

First morning on the "building site"!

"Hi Rotty, you are up bright and breezy!"
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"Certainly am boss, this is a major project you know, something as important as my house cannot be taken too lightly!"
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"If you say so Rotty....so whats the latest on the build?"
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"Well boss, word on the site is that you're a totally clutz and have messed up the measurements! I've gone over the drawings and it appears as usual this gossip is right, so I've amended them...otherwise i would have been living in something the size of a matchbox!!!"
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"Oh, sorry about that Rotty, but lets face it, you are only little after all."
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"Hmmm, that may well be boss, but i have big plans, and with that comes a big house! How am i to achieve world domination with a tiny house eh? EH?!!!"
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"Ok calm down my ickle Dr Evil, I'll see what we can do. How far have you got so far?"
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"Well you cut the sides of the ground floor yesterday and primed them, cheers for that, i am going to be focusing on the oak beams today"
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"Oak beams Rotty! My that sounds expensive....we may have to settle for some oak effect wood stain."
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"Ah come on boss....don't be a cheapskate, all the famous rats had oak in their houses!"
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"No they didn't Rotty, most of you came from the sewers so don't try pulling that one!"
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"So is there anything i can do today?"
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"Well boss, we do seem to be missing one of the most important things on a building site, it's from the "1875 Rat building regulations, section 2, paragraph 3b".
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"Oh my Rotty, that sounds important...whats that?"
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"Well you may have heard of it....what comes after the letter "S" in the alphabet?"
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"T" Rotty?
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"Oooh go on then boss....mines milk and two sugars.....thought you'd never ask hehehe!!!"
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"Oh very funny....here you go, one cuppa for an attempt at humour! Now on you go with your work matey!"
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Well folks, thats him quiet for the day....i hope! Stay tuned for regular updates of how his "house/lair for world domination" is going....heaven knows what he'll get up to next!!!
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Meanwhile, i think i'd better go and put my legendary toddler-like Fimo skills to use and make another Rotty, this one is looking a little battered!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

A high tech use for one of my makes!

How cool is this?!!!



I recently had an email from a guy in Utah in the US who had seen my times tables tags on the net. He had made an iPhone application for learning times table for his children, but was in need of a nice graphic for the kids "totals page". So he kindly asked if he could use the picture of my tags. :)

I love the fact that something that i made to help my children, is being used somewhere else in the world, albeit in a very small way, to make a childs learning more attractive.

A big thank you to John for letting me have this example pic of what the application looks like, i'm just glad it came in handy! :)

Saturday, 2 May 2009

One for the little ladies...girls "secrets purse" tutorial.

Hi all....what do you think of my "girls secrets" purse?
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As the gents gift wallet went down so well, plus the fact that i have heard about nothing else from my two young daughters....i felt it only right to balance things out and do a tutorial for a girly make.
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I wanted to make my girls one anyway, but the inspiration for this particular theme came from a fantastic scrap booking LO i recently saw over on Toni's fantastic blog. Amongst Toni's many stunning LO's, her "Secrets" LO featuring her two daughters whispering to each other, reminded me so much of my two. Like any little girls, they love their secrets, and any little cute pockets to keep things in.
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So that's how the idea came about......now how about making one yourselves? Here is an easier tutorial than the gents wallet, giving you more time to spend on the fun decorating bits.
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Ok, firstly cut a piece of card 8 x 5 inches. *Please note these measurements will be different to the wallet, i have adjusted them slightly to make them less fiddly.
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Next, like with the gents wallet, pick two pieces of patterned paper. Here i have used the "Wings" patterned paper from the Angelique Collection by Prima.
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Now cover both sides of your piece of card, remembering that one side will be the inside of the purse, and the other the outside. Place your covered card in front of you, inside looking up at you.
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Mark your purse folds with your scoring tool at the measurements shown, for a larger image, please click on the picture.
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I find this a good time to give the front some decoration. All i have done here is used some lace, eyelets, distressed an inked the edges, added some fibres, a bloom with a fabric rose, and finally the word "Secrets". As you can see, i have used a simple Velcro dot for the closure.
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Flip it over, and you are ready to do the inside. I've added a little lace again here already....
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Now you need somewhere to hide those secrets. We are going to make a simple pocket, but you can use a pre-made envelope if you wish, maybe even a pretty little organza bag or similar?
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For this pocket, cut yourself a strip of card 8 inches long. The top inch is for the pocket lid, and you can see that i have added some flaps at the side of the bottom 3 1/2 inches. The dotted lines are score lines which will be folded.
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Cut some patterned paper the same shape, and cover the card. Score the fold lines.
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Fold this pocket over in half, gluing the tabs inside to make the pocket. I have used a border punch on the flap, and some fibres and a ribbon and brad closure to pretty it up.
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Add some more decoration if you wish. My eldest loves music, so i made a simple LO involving a handmade miniature wooden recorder, and a scroll of music. Instead of this, you could think about having a few journalling pages there, or a notebook to write the secrets on.
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Just be careful of making the inside too bulky or it will not close. If you do envisage a bulky load inside, just slightly increase the distance between the the fold scorelines.
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Thats it finished! One purse fit for a princesses secrets. :)
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I hope you enjoyed it, thanks for looking and i look forward to seeing what you do with the design. :)
Thanks for looking.