Category Archives: Other Stuff

Crafting Cheaply – Bag A Bargain

I thought I might do a few more ‘useful’ posts that other crafters might be interested in.

I’ve found a few craft things recently that have been surprisingly cheap. So…I thought….are they any good?

Cheap cutting dies:

Now, I’m not an expert in dies. But they are EXPENSIVE! I can’t afford to be spending £15 on a set of dies I might only use occasionally. So I did a bit of hunting around. I found a couple of places where you can get them MUCH cheaper. I don’t want to spend more than £6 on a die set.

These are the ones I found.

The Works‘ (a shop in the UK) have brought in a load of new die sets. I bought NEARLY ALL of them. You can sign up to the email newsletter and get 10-20% off online. Individually the sets are all £6 or less. The bundle set (link below) is out of stock at the moment, hopefully they will all come back in. I am very glad I bought them when I did. To find the M & C ones you have to search for ‘metal dies’. If not, a lot of them seem to also be on ebay.

M and C Boutique Metal Craft Dies Set

I’ve also bought dies from Amazon (UK). I wondered if they would be naff as they were so cheap, but so far they have worked fine. They seem to have the same die under all sorts of different Company names. I’ve checked the US Amazon and they do seem to have a lot of the same ones available.

tag dies

Metal tag dies

Cheap stamps:

stamps for wordpress 1

So I also bought some stamps while I was doing my Amazon order.

A variety of stamp options

At some point I’ll show you some of the things I have done with these stamps and dies. I’ll add a link. I have to pace myself…I haven’t got the attention span to do such a beefy post all in one go!

In the next Crafting Cheaply post I’m going to share some research I’ve done about different websites to buy branded craft products from to get a good price without paying a fortune for delivery.

You can also view my post on a cheaper alternative to Chameleon pens (if you already have alcohol markers in your stash) here.

I attempted to make my own DIY gelli plate, which I blogged about, but I gave up and bought a real one! Sometimes you have to spend the money on a tool which will last you a long time.



Patchings Art Festival 2016 (England)

Well I really enjoyed my day at Patchings yesterday, despite the rain!

I’d never been before, but a friend suggested it and said I’d love it. It was quite a drive from me, but I’m glad I went.

There were a number of marques. A large one housed art materials from a variety of companies. I was quite good and didn’t buy anything from there, but it was great to chat to people about new products and to try some out. I also took part in a Derwent Workshop where I had a go with Charcoal and Graphite blocks (who knew they were water soluable!?) and it was interesting seeing the textures you can create with them.

My favourite tent (another large one) was the one with the craftspeople in. I was able to have a really good chat with a variety of makers, including a calligrapher, a felt-maker, a watercolourist and glass carver, a jewellery maker  and a textile artist.

I think it was a really inspiring day. I’ve got lots of different things I want to try and courses I want to do. I don’t know how many other artists try as many different art forms as I have, but it meant that inspiration was literally around every corner!



Hurrah – 100 followers!

I’ve been stuck at 97 followers for a while and finally it’s skipped to over 100!  I don’t know how many followers everyone else has, but 100 feels good to me 🙂

blog post header black and white 1

I’m going to attempt to take part in the blogging 201 challenge. Today’s challenge is to come up with 3 blogging goals. Quite a tricky one…here are mine…for now! 😉


  1. Update my ‘about me’ page so it’s a little more personal. I want to keep my blog pretty anonymous, but  want people to know enough about me that they can relate to me! I’ll do this by the end of April.

  2. Change my word of the day to ‘words of the month’ because I am clearly not very good at doing a post every day (sorry about that)!

  3. Think of a new feature to bring new interest for my followers.


Any feedback is most welcome!

My New Steampunk Character: Wren

My New Steampunk Character: Wren

I am working on an art journal page with her in, but this is the first proper sketch of her 🙂

Liebster Award Nomination


Sorry Craftmaniacmommy, I totally forgot about your  post about the Liebster award! Thanks for the nomination!

I was nominated for a sunshine award not so long ago, so I probably haven’t enough new ideas to renominate people yet, but I thought it would be fun to still answer the questions.

So here are the questions I was asked, and my answers:


1. What do you think is MOST interesting fact about yourself?

Hmmm….I’m an identical twin? People are usually interested in that.

2. Ten years ago, did you think you would be where you are in life presently?

Most definitely not! Ten years ago I was just graduating from my first degree and since then I have completed another one and I’m no further along with my career really than I was then! I kinda thought I be married with children at my age too!

3. Favorite Holiday Memory?

I loved New York, going to a show and coming out at Time Square for a taxi and a stretch limo pulling up!

4. What kinds of details impress you when you buy something online?

I think it’s price and how different the product is. It’s got to be just what you expected. They should state the size/colour/weight etc. I also love new products to try out.

5. Do you have an Etsy Shop or have a favorite shop in general? Share!

I don’t really. I like Country View Crafts, an online shop in the U.K and I get stuff from The Range, or The Works.

6. If you knit, are you a picker or a thrower?

Not sure what pickers and a throwers are! I’m more a carver and a stamper than a knitter!

7. What’s your style? i.e. bohemian/hippie/chic/”mom” lol

Hmmmm I don’t know. I like tunic style tops and don’t really follow current fashion, not sure what ‘style’ that is classed as!

8. How would you describe your personality in 5 words.

Hmmmm that’s tricky…….independent, passionate, approachable (hopefully), forgetful, crafty (that’s into crafts rather than sneaky!)

9. What is one thing you would like to learn but haven’t had the opportunity?

I’d like to learn a language, maybe Chinese? Oh and British Sign Language….there are loads of things I’d like to learn!

10. Do you get to craft everyday?

Most days, when I’m in the mood.

11. What’s your dream vacation?

Well I really want to go to Venice during the Carnival! 🙂


Thanks for the nomination and the interesting questions 🙂

Lots of New Toys!

I went to a craft show in Exeter yesterday called Craft4Crafters. It was really good and  bought quite a few nice things to experiment with. I got a lovely pack of friendly plastic, a texture sheet, mini cutters (for when I get round to trying out my silver clay and UTEE), some rubber stamps, some card blanks, shimmer spray, embossing powder and more! I also did a great needle felt workshop and watched a very interesting Big Shot machine demonstration and have decided that is what I want to save up for now! I think it’s great that you can emboss with things other than the shop-bought folders. I have so many ideas now, but that will have to wait, I have plenty to play with for now! 

Hand-Made Birthday Card

Hand-made Birthday Card

A Few Days Off!

Well I know it’s been a bit quiet on the old ‘word of the day’ front. I have been away at an interview and now have a really important set of applications to do, but I still have a list of words, so stay tuned, they will start up again in a couple of days 🙂 Plus I have some new Tim Holtz stamps to mess around with so some more crafty posts will follow that! 

Further Sunshine Award Questions

As very kindly nominated me for a second sunshine award, I decided that I would just answer her questions instead of doing the whole thing again!

  1. What’s your passion?

I have a few passions! Speech and Language Therapy and helping people with communication and swallowing problems is a major passion of mine. I also love anything art and crafty and to experiment with different techniques and materials. I write poetry too when the urge takes me!
2. Are you pursuing it?

Well I am still going to interviews for that first elusive job role. The craft stuff is a compulsion, so yes!

  1. Fruits or veggies?

Hmmm well both I guess! Veg with dinner, fruit (sometimes) with pudding 🙂
4. What inspires you?

Everything! Seeing other peoples work and the techniques they have used, hearing about new products and sudden ideas which pop up into my brain! Oh and of course trying things out for myself!
5. Do you have a cool crafting or life tip to share?

Hmmm well I think one thing  would say is that crafting can get expensive. I try to hunt for bargains, whether it’s buying make-up sponges from the pound shop or getting items to alter from charity shops. There are often alternatives for general stuff (a good one is using white emulsion instead of gesso) which allows me to spend more on the specialist products 🙂

  1. How do you feel about the 7 or less items shopping lane?

I haven’t really got strong feelings about it 🙂 I guess it’s useful, I prefer it to the stupid self-checkout machines!
7. What’s your go to dinner meal?

A Vietnamese red curry fish soup 🙂

  1. Favorite Quote?

Feel the fear and do it anyway (more of a motto really). It’s the title of a book too 🙂
9. What is one thing that you want to learn that you haven’t had the chance to get to yet?

Oh there are HUNDREDS of things! I want to learn British Sign Language, counselling skills, a foreign language and LOADS of craft techniques! I have some silver art clay I am dying to work out how to use.
10. Do you think you’ve found your purpose in life?

Yes! I just hope I can get the job after all the training!
11. And most importantly: do you want fries with that?

Hmmm no, I’d rather have spicy potato wedges!

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