Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BTC & G Red, White and Blue Challenge Mid month reminder

Just a quick post to remind everyone that By the Cute and Girlys Red, White and Blue challenge runs until the end of this month......and December is a long  month so you have plenty of time to get your entries in.   Details of challenge, rules etc see HERE

As usual we have some great prizes from our regular sponsors, Simon Says Stamp ( $20 gift certificate) and Joanna Sheen ( £10 gift certificate) while Crafts and Me have donated 3 digital images.


For a quick mid-month project which would also make a lovely Christmas stocking filler I covered some pencils with red/blue paper and added some crochet flowers as toppers.  Any crochet flower pattern is ok as long as you leave a small hole at the centre to slip the pencil through. You can use die cut felt flowers if you don't crochet.  Plus a bit of glue to hold the flowers in place.

I have added some beads for the "white" element of the challenge in case you're wondering what the blobs are!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Daybook (Amy Tan style) swap on Aideens Swaps

Have decided that I'm going to post some Christmassy makes regularly on the run up to the 25th...starting with an Amy Tan style Daybook I made for a swap on the Aideens Swaps FaceBook page.
I choose Christmas, Christmas Lists as my warning there are a lot of photos coming up!

Cover of Daybook with acetate and bead crochet wrap.

Inside of front cover...
 Flicking through.....
 Lots of different shapes/sizes of pages...great for using up scraps.

 Tags and Angels...
 Plastic pocket with some Snippety treats inside...

Inside of back page with the Naughty list!

Finally, the back cover!

Yes, Santa made it with a little help from myself!   All the embroidered embellies are my own creations.   If you would like some just leave a comment or visit my Etsy shop....
Feeling a bit more festive now?
Ger x

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Red, White and Blue December challenge at By the Cute and Girly

This month's challenge at BTC&G is hosted by Carol who loves red, white and blue colour combinations and who would love to see your creations using these colours.  Details of challenge and DT projects are Here

As usual we have some great prizes from our regular sponsors, Simon Says Stamp ( $20 gift certificate) and Joanna Sheen ( £10 gift certificate) while Crafts and Me have donated 3 digital images.

As it is coming nearer and nearer to Christmas (time is precious) I made a very quick card using Prima North Country papers, 2 snowflakes cut out with the Marianne die          Eline's Xmas star, a white Lora's flower, some buttons and pearl headed pins.  I stamped the sentiment on cotton tape with Versacraft ink.
Red, white and blue look so lovely and fresh together and all of us at BTC&G are looking forward to seeing your creations!
Happy crafting
Ger x
This post should have gone out hours ago but this is my 3rd attempt at doing it - somedays nothing goes to plan...

Friday, November 16, 2012

By the Cute and Girly mid month reminder and Free Star Crochet Pattern

Just popping by to remind everyone that BTC&G's "Twinkle, twinkle little star" challenge runs until the end of the month.  Details, rules, prizes and inspiration here.
Your entry must include a star or be based on a Nursery Rhyme, ok?
All crafts are acceptable so my mid-month make is a crochet star suitable for a Christmas decoration or for giving to anyone who is a star in your life....
Here is my Star pattern.
I am using European crochet terms (not US)
Picot is made by making 3 chains and slip stitching to 1st of the 3 chains (making a small loop on top of a stitch)
I used a 3.50mm crochet hook, cotton double knitting yarn and a curtain ring approx 2" diameter.
Tie the yarn on to your ring.
Make 50 double crochet stitches around the ring and join with a slip stitch to the 1st double crochet.
Make 1 chain, work* 1 double crochet into 1st stitch
Work 1 half treble into next stitch,
Work a treble crochet into next stitch
Work 1 double treble crochet into next stitch
Work 1   "            "          "         "      "        "
Work 1 treble treble crochet, a picot, and 1 treble treble crochet into next stitch
Work 1 double treble into next stitch
Work 1    "           "       "       "       "
Work 1 treble into next stitch
Work 1 half treble into next stitch
You have now made one point of the star
Repeat from * 4 times and join to 1st stitch with a slip stitch
Decorate with bells, pom-poms, bows....and don't forget a loop for hanging!
Any problems just leave a comment and I will try to help you.
Ger x

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Twinkle, Twinkle little star - By the Cute and Girly November Challenge

This month at By the Cute and Girly we are asking you to make a project using stars or inspired by a nursery rhyme.  This months sponsor is Crafts and Me and here is my star-studded card made using two of their digis, Irish Christmas and Christmas embellishment (the surrounding circle with the holly).

As usual we have some great prizes from our regular sponsors, Simon Says Stamp ( $20 gift certificate) and Joanna Sheen ( £10 gift certificate) while Crafts and Me have donated 3 digital images.
So why not get cracking and craft up some starry makes?   They dont have to be Christmas themed, just contain a star or stars.
For more details of this challenge and to see the DT's inspirational project please see HERE
Ger x

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Time for BTC&G's Birthday Blog Hop!

Welcome to By The Cute and Girly's 3rd Birthday blog hop celebration!
If you have come here from Tammy's blog then you are on the right track, if not, you need to start from the beginning at Lora's blog.
The design team have all been busy making something to celebrate our 3rd birthday and we would love for you to visit us all to see what we made.

The blog hop rules are very simple, all you have to do is visit each of the design team members blogs and leave a comment on each one, then finish up at our challenge blog and leave a comment there to let us know you have finished the hop.

Your name will then be put in a draw to win one of the blog hop prizes.

If you also enter our challenge this month, you will also be put in the draw to win one of challenge prizes.

You have the whole month to enter and you can enter the challenge as much times as you like, as long as each entry is a different craft eg: 1 card, 1 scrap page, 1 altered item, 1 knitted item etc.

And as always, you can enter with any craft you like, from paper craft to baking and everything in between. If you made it yourself then you can enter is, it's as easy as that :)

The theme is "Birthdays" so it's a nice easy challenge and we have lots of prizes up for grabs from some great sponsors! Please check out the challenge blog to see all the prizes we have to give away!
Each design team member is featuring a different sponsor today, so you will see images or other products from a different sponsor being used on each of the dt blogs. We also have other sponsors on the challenge blog, so there really are lots of prizes to be won :)

The sponsor I am featuring is Pink Gem  and I have used their Keep Calm and Eat Cake digi to make a birthday card suitable for anyone who dreads birthdays and getting older.  Also tried to keep a Pink theme going ie cute/girly and pink with some gems!

I used the Sizzix Framelits Fancy tags die to cut out the image and an overlay of pink vellum.  Background is embossed with Divine Swirls folder and edging is made with EK punch.  Ribbon is from local craft shop and the flowers are made with Memory Box Honeysuckle spray die.

The next stop is Uta's blog.
Remember to leave a comment on this post and on all the other design team members blog hop posts for a chance to win one of the prizes. Then leave a comment on the challenge blog post to let us know you are finished the hop and your name will go into the prize draw.
Here's a list of the blog hop order in case you loose your way.









And finally, there are 2 Little Snippets selection boxes on the list of lovely prizes!  You can visit Little snippets etsy shop to see more lace and crocheted lovelies...

Good Luck and Happy Blog Hopping!
Ger x

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Pink Gem card and Blog hop Reminder

Back again to remind everyone of By the Cute and Girly's Birthday Blog hop.  Details of prizes, rules and DT creations can be found HERE
I was lucky to get two images from my sponsor Pink Gem Designs and here is the card I made with their Steampunk Owl digi:
I used Bo Bunny Timepiece papers on Kraft cardstock, TH sprockets and gears die, a stick pin decorated with beads and wire and two metal bead caps that I hammered flat and filled their "petals" with black Stickles.  The grey/silver centres are Papermania Dewdrops (used them on owl's hat also).  The sentiment is machine embroidered on calico.  I have discovered how to do wonky writing on the emb machine so beware of wonky sentiments on everything!
Yes, it seems that I have had to make a lot of men's cards this year - this card was for OH's 60th birthday last week.  It would be lovely to sit down and make pretty pretty cards and stuff but life is not all lace 'n feathers.
Apologies for not blogging much recently.  I have been sick on and off for the last 2 weeks and can barely crawl at the mo...have had to shut down my Etsy shop for the time being....only doing this post 'cause I have to lol!
Finally, please don't forget to enter the BTC&G Birthday Blog Hop - there are 15 fantastic prizes to be won (including selection boxes of goodies from my Etsy shop!)
Ger x

Sunday, September 16, 2012

BTC&G Male Challenge Reminder

Back with my mid month make to remind everyone that there is a forthnight left to enter By the Cute and Girly's Men/Boys challenge.  Details of rules and prizes here
While we were beachcombing in Donegal I found the end of an old tobacco tin with the government health warning on it.
So I decided to make a present suitable for a man, maybe especially a man who smokes!

If you look closely you can see the word "bás"  which is the Irish for Death so I suppose thats the Smoking kills bit!
The background is an old IKEA mirror frame that I painted with pald yellow and orangey gold to get a rusty effect.  Then I glued the tobacco tin end over the mirror.
Who says Men are difficult to buy/make presents for? lol!
TFL and remember BTC&G is an all crafts challenge not just for cardmakers so go on - spoil some man you know with a crafty make! 
Ger x

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Result of Draw for Crochet Brooches

Sorry for the delay in drawing the winners but OH arranged a surprise trip to Donegal for a few days and everything has slipped backwards.   Anyway here are the results!!!!

The Winner of the Brooch, drawn from blog comments, is BABE!!!  Big Congrats!!  I have emailed you for your address.

Winners of Blog + FaceBook comments are CraftsbySabrinaBowden and NannyMaggie.  Sabrina and Maggie were the only people who left comments on blog + FB so they get a brooch each.   Congratulations ladies and well wear!  Will contact ye via FB.

Finally the winner of the FaceBook brooch is Lia, Congratulations!  Think I have your address already!

Thank you to everybody who took the time to enter and who knows there might be another Giveaway sooner or later!

Ger x

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Men/Boys challenge at By the Cute and Girly

Hi Everybody,
This  month our DT boss, Lora, has chosen Men/Boys as our challenge theme.

Make something for a boy/man or use a male image on your creation.Remember you can make anything you like, from a card to knitting and anything in between.

As always we have some great prizes up for grabs

Prize 1: $20 gift certificate from Simon Says Stamp 

Prize 2: £10 gift certificate from Joanna Sheen

Prize 3: $20 Gift Certificate from Fred She Said who has given the design team some fabulous images to use.  Please pop over to the challenge blog to see their creations and get some inspiration.

Well, I have been drifting away from card-making lately so I decided to alter a plain note book for OH to use at his Italian evening classes.  This is his 3rd year doing these classes so he should be at the stage of writing a bit down!

First I decided on a Red/White/Green colour scheme (the Italian Flag) and replaced the girly pink ribbon bookmark with some green ribbon with a white stripe.  Then I covered the back, front and inside covers with red paper.

 Front cover edged with Basic Grey "Out of Print" paper, Hero Arts stamp "Italy background" and various Prima frame stamps.
 Inside of front cover using  a Prima notelet with MENU stamped on it, more little framed words made with Prima stamps and the Trattoria image is cut out of the brochure from the local Italian restaurant.
Scooter is a Kanban stamp mounted on another Prima notelet to decorate inside of back cover (these little packs of notelets are very useful!)
Back of notebook is decorated with more Out of Print paper, a La Blanche stamp with what I hope is Italian writing and a Hero Arts border stamp.
Anyway, OH was delighted with it and as it is our wedding anniversary on 1st September that is my present to him.
So why not make the Man/Boy in your own life a little surprise present and enter it in our Challenge?   Details HERE
Happy Crafting
Ger x


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Just to relieve the general end of the summer blues I am having a little giveaway/raffle of some of my handmade crochet flower brooches.
Four brooches altogether: 
1 brooch will go to someone who leaves a comment on this blog post:
Next brooch will go to person who comments on my Facebook page.
Remaining brooches will go to two lucky people who leave a comment on both my blog and FB page.  Ok?
Brooches are my own designs and measure almost 3" diameter.  A decent size for pinning on your winter (sorry) woolies!
Winners will be announced on Sunday 3rd Sept.
Good Luck!
Ger x

Monday, August 27, 2012

Captured Fairy and other bits made for online swaps

This summer was a great time for making bits and pieces for swaps what with bad weather and general lack of holiday spirit!
First up are some crochet flowers made for Uk and Irl craft swaps
Wouldn't they cheer you up on a rainy day?

Captured Fairy in a Jar made for another Uk and Irl craft swap.

The jar looks a bit hazy because I sprayed the inside with some Crafters Companion gold glittery spray before I put the fairy inside.  The mushroom was made from some air drying clay, then painted, honestly it was so easy to do....(actually there are 2 mushrooms in the jar; the fairy is leaning on the 2nd one so you cant see it)
Finished off with a crochet trim using Twilleys Goldfingering for more glitter, a dangly charm and some die cut flowers on the lid.

Finally a mini-tag album made using Fancy Pants "Beach Babe" papers, yards of ribbon, Prima stamps (mostly Meadow Lark) and the good ol' Bind-it-all....


Thanks for looking!
Back tomorrow with a little giveaway...
Ger x

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Fruity" challenge reminder

Seems very autumny around here just now with lashing rain,wind and little piles of brown leaves along the streets.  Time to reveal my 2nd DT make for BTC&G's Fruity challenge:
The stamp I used is called "Fruity Foursome" from Dolphin Song.  I chopped up the design and mounted the 4 fruits on black card.  The backing paper is Bo Bunny Ambrosia and the ribbon is actually an orange and white polka dot but I turned it over and used the reverse.  This card reminds me of chutney and jam making!
So you have more than a fortnight left to join in the "fruity" challenge.  Details of rules and PRIZES here!   Good Luck!
Ger x

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings....

Lots of weddings going on lately.  Here are some of the cards I had to make.  I'll start off with the simpler ones...
Made with Stampendous "Wedding Couple"  stamp.
 Using Inkadinkadoo "Papercut wedding" stamp and Sizzix embossing folder.
 Using my own embroidered embellies; butterflies available here
Wedding cake and flower embellies also embroidered by myself.
Thats enough for today!
Ger x

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"FRUITY" August challenge at By the Cute and Girly

Here once more with details of the August challenge at BTC&G.  This month the theme, chosen by Celine, is "Fruity" - a great theme for August, the month the harvest begins etc
Hoping that this month we would be eating out of doors, having barbeques and enjoying sunshine I have made some little all weather coasters and a bag to store them in.
 The coasters are made from squares of plastic mesh fabric on which I machine stitched (zigzag) oilcloth squares with pictures of fruit on them.
 The oilcloth came in a bag of scraps I bought for €1 in the local fabric shop.  There was enough left over to make the little storage bag with its strawberry ribbon handles.  Oilcloth comes in lovely designs and colours.  It is enjoying a revival now with all things retro and vintage being in fashion.  My mother always used it to cover her kitchen table during the 1960's and 70's.  The coasters are wipe clean and very practical.  Maybe they wont be used outside very much with the terrible weather we have this summer but they do brighten up our dining table.

To see more fruity makes please visit the DT members blogs and get some inspiration.

Back to the challenge:  We would love to see your fruit-inspired projects for this month.  Prizes are a $20 gift certificate from Simon Says Stamp and a £10 gift certificate  from Joanna Sheen.
More details, rules etc can be found HERE
Happy Fruity Crafting!
Ger x

Monday, July 16, 2012

By the Cute and Girly mid-month reminder

Just popping in to remind everyone that you have 2 weeks left to enter the July challenge at By the Cute and Girly.  And the challenge is?  To create any project with the theme "A Day at...".   It could be a day at the races/funfair/beach...whatever you get up to on a day out!  See here for the rules and sample the DT's creations to get you going.  Great prizes  see below

A $20 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp

A £10 gift voucher from Joanna Sheen

And 5 digital images (your choice) from MayzyArt

 For my mid-month project I decided to scrap some old family photos that date from the 1940's (I think).  They were taken during a days haymaking on my Granny's farm in West Cork at  time when everything was done by hand. A few years later tractors and machinery took over.  No one bothered to note the date or who was in the photos but I recognise my Dad!  Its lovely to remember when summers really were sunny after the wet summer this year.


I used K & Co Ancesry paper and over stamped it with Hero Arts Wild Flower label and Inkadinkadoo's Meadow Flowers trying to give the effect of a hayfield.  Then the 3 photos were matted up and the bee and the jute ribbon added for a country feel.  Very fast and very easy.
That's all for today.  Hope everyone is enjoying the summer and maybe having a few days off work!
Ger x

Sunday, July 1, 2012

By the Cute and Girly - July challenge

This month at By the Cute and Girly the challenge, chosen by Brigitte, is "A Day at......".    This is a great theme for the summer months and it could be a day out anywhere, the seaside, the lakes, the country, the Zoo.... whatever you fancy.
This month BTC&G has a new digi sponsor, Mayzy Art.  Mayzy's images are brilliant, full of life and detail and suitable for every occasion.  Please pop into her Etsy shop and prepare to be aMayzyed!  I used one of her images, Steampunk Zilpha, to make a sort of girly/non-girly card....As you can see from the wrench in her hand Zilpha is heading off to the Science Museum or maybe the Young Scientists Exhibition to lend a hand!  I used Bo Bunny "Timepiece" papers,  Kraft card, TH idealogy sprocket gears, Spellbinders labels dies and some flowers from my Etsy shop.   

Recently I have been doing an online Crazy Quilting course and re- discovering my old hobby, hand embroidery, as a result.  So when I wanted to get the effect of chains around the image I stitched around the oval with cable chain stitch, so much handier that trying to glue on metal chains!
So why not enter this month's challenge?
We have great prizes up for grabs ie  
                     A $20 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp
                     A £10 gift voucher from Joanna Sheen
                     And 5 digital images (your choice) from MayzyArt
By the Cute and Girly is an all crafts challenge so it does not have to be a card..... rules etc HERE
Thanks for looking
Ger x

Thursday, June 21, 2012

By the Cute and Girly Reminder and Button Crochet Tutorial

Back again with my second DT project for BTC&G "Cute as a Button" challenge.  For details of the challenge, prizes, rules etc please see HERE   All the DT are looking forward to seeing your buttony makes!
Aren't buttons amazing?  There is so much you can do with them apart from using them to fasten clothes.   Here is a necklace I made from just cotton crochet thread and buttons
 I have made out a little tutorial in case you would like to make some button jewellery yourself.   The only crochet basics you need to know are how to make a slip knot and how to make a chain stitch and this YouTube tutorial explains it very well...

You need:

A small amount of yarn
A needle that will fit through the button holes
A crochet hook

For the example I used Aran weight yarn, a darning needle, a size 4mm hook and Boofle buttons.
 Thread the darning needle with your yarn.  Take a look at your buttons.  You will see that most of them have a definite back and front.  Pass the darning needle from the back, through the hole...
 and back down through the button from front to back...
 This is what it should look like.  It dosen't matter whether your buttons are 4 hole or 2 hole....then push the button down the yarn towards  the ball...
 Keep going, adding more buttons.   Always add more than you think you need for your project to allow room for manouver!

For variety you can stack 2 buttons on top of each other and sew through them....

Push the buttons down towards the ball of yarn
 Here comes the actual crochet bit...refer back to the YouTube video if you get lost
Make a slip knot and a few chains to start off
Push the first button up tight against your hook (and the last chain you've made)
 Try to ignore the button and carry on making chains...
This is what it should look like (Please excuse the state of my fingers.  I do a lot of gardening!)
 Crochet on, placing a button every 3 or 4 chains (or wherever you like).  Stop when your work is long enough to go around your wrist for a bracelet or as long as you want for a necklace.  To end off crochet enough chains to make a loop that will slip over your first button....

Darn in the loose ends and here is your button bracelet!

If you have any questions or need some help leave me a message in the comments section and I will try and help you.
Thanks for puting up with my crochet obsession!
Ger x

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