Wishlist Wednesday: And a Crafty New Year

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Full disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. When you make a purchase on Amazon after using the links in this post, Roxy and I get a little kickback, helping us keep the website running.
So, Christmas has been and gone for another year. I hope you got lucky and found everything under your tree that you asked for! Maybe you got a little money for Christmas but you’re not sure what to spend it on? Don’t worry, I’ve got some ideas for the crafters out there to lighten your purse – whether you’re looking for a big budget item or just a little treat! Just read on below.

1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine (Affiliate)

I’ve talked about my desire for a Cricut before, and that desire hasn’t waned. If anything, when I spotted the new colours it’s available in, my need for it has grown. I have a huge thing for mint green, so I really had to restrain myself when this beauty popped up in my Black Friday deals.
Beyond appearance, this equipment is a workhorse. Gone are the days when your cutting is restricted to how well you can hand cut or which die-cuts you own. With a Cricut Explore Air 2, your imagination is very much your limit. It’s not just for cutting either – attachments mean you can also get it to draw or write for you. Just think about it – calligraphy style writing without the hand cramp? That’s the dream! The only thing that’s holding me back is that price tag – I feel like I’d need to be doing a lot more papercraft than I currently do, but fingers crossed for the future!

2. Big Shot Plus Starter Kit (Affiliate)

A Big Shot Plus was my first die-cutter, and honestly, I would still be using if it wasn’t so big! When I moved into my tiny studio, the Big Shot went to my sister and I took my Cut’n’Boss. But the Big Shot, in my view, was a much more reliable piece of kit. At most, I would put things through twice to get a clean cut. The system is simple, with pictures on the plates to help if you forget the order. The larger size (compared to the original) means you can cut bigger dies (duh!), but it also copes well with smaller more intricate dies.
The only drawback is that it is hand operated (an electronic version is available), so this needs to be considered for those with bad wrists like me! However, I only found it to be a big problem with high GSM Card. All in all, it’s perfect for a die cutting starter, especially if you go for the starter kit. When I first bought it, I used the starter kit contents to make a series of Easter boxes for my family, which out having to use anything else from my stash.

3.KnitPro Symdonie Rose Interchangeable Needle Set (Affiliate)

This set of circular needles was top of my Christmas list a couple of years ago, and since receiving it I haven’t used anything else (even for non-circular projects!) The needles themselves are a gorgeous mahogany colour, with rose gold-coloured metal for the attachments.  The kit comes with a needle gauge (for when the numbers inevitably rub off) and a range of needles and connecting cables. They are the perfect size to sit in your hands, and I’ve found using circular needles like these for all my knitting helps support the weight on my wrists better, leading to less pain. Like other wooden needles, I’ve found them easy to knit with, not too slippy and not too sticky for most yarns. The ends are sharp and stay sharp.
 There are a couple of things to be aware of before purchasing. The connections may gradually unscrew as you are knitting, but as long as you keep an eye on them and screw them back up as you go, you shouldn’t have many problems. I have also had one needle break at the part where the wood connects to the metal. However, I had no problem purchasing needles to replace it, and it was one that I had used a lot! Overall, I would absolutely recommend these to any knitters out there!
When I first saw gold plated needles recommended for cross stitch, I brushed it off as just silly. How much difference could a bit of gold plating really make?
The answer is a lot. I picked some up on a whim a year ago and haven’t looked back since. It glides through the material, making even the little movement of making a stitch feel seamless. They also feel a lot easier to thread than the standard needles you get.
They also look really fancy.
pony-gold-plated-knitting-tapestry-needles-sewing-size-18-26
Experience it for yourself and pick up a pack today. You honestly won’t regret it.
And that’s it for the last Wishlist Wednesday of 2017! Be sure to check back in 2018 for more recommendations and to find out what else is on my wishlist – this is just the start! And in the meantime, comment below with what’s on your list!
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Christmas Card Challenge Day Nine: Sparkly Christmas Tree

Nothing says Christmas like a sparkly Christmas Tree. I’ve seen many cards going around on Pinterest using Washi Tape, and this seemed like the perfect chance to try it out! I love just how easy this was to put together, and think I might make a couple more to send out to friends!

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Christmas Card Challenge Day Eight: Folding Card

It’s been a very stressful week, and whilst I love crafting and cardmaking, I just wasn’t feeling it today. Still, I pushed on through and tried out a style of folding card I’ve wanted to try for a while. Then my mental demons raised their head and stole my creative energy, but luckily I found a couple of toppers from Papercraft Inspirations that finished it off nicely.

As I continue through this challenge, I’ve realised just how difficult I find it to put what I want in front of everything else. Plus, even if I want something, that doesn’t always give the motivation to actually do it. I want to do this challenge, I want to make time for my crafts. Now it’s something I’ve told myself I have to do, it’s twice as hard!

Now I’m into the final stretch, here’s hoping some inspiration will hit me!

Check out the other cards in this challenge here!

Christmas Card Challenge Day Seven: Stamps Only

I kind of like this? Every time I look at it, I change my mind. In hindsight, I think it might have worked better with a combination of ink and embossing powder, but there we go.

Just to add; life is crazy busy at the moment, with three days of assessments at university, a new job starting next week and two essays on top of that! As a result, we’ll be having a little break from my 12 Days of Christmas Cards until Saturday. See you then!

Christmas Card Challenge Day Six: Black Card

As my university work starts to pile up, I’m getting less time for crafting, which means simpler cards. I’m still super happy with this one though! It needs a little bit of refinement before I’m completely happy with it (I’m considering changing the moon to mirror card, for a start, and maybe having it on a layer above rather than behind the sky) but it’s a good start. It doesn’t feel very Christmasy, but I think that could happen with a change of skyline, and it’s good to have

Christmas Card Challenge Day Five: Box Card

I feel like I’m slowly, slowly, pushing the edges of where I feel comfortable crafting, taking creative risks and trying new stuff out. This is one of those cards that’s pushed me a little bit further. It still feels really simple, but I’m happy with how it’s come out and I’m keen to try this out again in the future!

Christmas Card Challenge Day Four: Non-Traditional

I don’t really know what I was going for with this prompt, other than I didn’t want it to be your stereotypical ‘Winter Scene on a Card.’ It took a little bit of fiddly, but I’m really happy with the overall look of this card.

Of course, I went and ruined it with the sentiment on the bottom. A few months back I bought a Memory Keepers Heatwave Foil Pen, and after the first play put it in a box and haven’t looked at it since. So I thought I’d have a play with it today. Rather than actually try it out on scrap first though, I got over excited and just went straight for writing on the bottom of my finished card.

Long story short, it was a waste of money that I just can’t get to work, and I hastily stuck a stamp over the top and called it done. I just wish I’d read the reviews before I spent my money. Still, I think I’ll be revisiting and refining this card later – and I’m glad to have finally found a use for my pile of coloured acetate.

Christmas Card Challenge Day Three: Panels

I feel like this is a such a lazy design. I pretty much just found two papers I liked, stuck it through the die cutter and put them on paper. Still, the paper has so much detail that it feels like to add anything would be too much, and as the saying goes, ‘Less is more.’

That’s my excuse anyway.

But for a card that took less than ten minutes to make, it looks a lot nicer than some of the stuff I’ve made in an hour, so I’m going to leave it as is and send off to a relative with a nice greeting inside.

Christmas Card Challenge Day Two: Reindeer Card

Unlike with yesterday’s card, inspiration just didn’t strike today. After a couple of tried and failed attempts at what I originally had in mind, I ended up just sticking down a couple of stamps and coloring it in. I don’t completely hate the result, but I can’t say I’m over awed with the result either. I’m probably going to continue having a play and revisit this prompt later on, just to see if I can produce something I’m actually happy with!

30 Cards in 30 Days Challenge: Flip Card

I’ve really fallen in love with card making recently, but I’ve found myself with a couple of problems:

  1. All my cards are looking the same.
  2. I have so much in my stash, completely unused.

Searching the internet for some inspiration, I found this video from Gabrielle Pollacco, demonstrating a type of card I haven’t attempted yet.

Inspired by the video, I set about making my own, including these adorable stamps from Lawn Fawn – one off my ‘not used’ list.

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But then I got thinking about the rest of my stash, and decided to set myself a little challenge – thirty cards, thirty days. My adventures into my craft stash will be posted daily over on my Instagram, or you can look out for the weekly round ups each Sunday.

If you fancy a peek at what’s to come, check out the list of prompts I’ve created for myself below!

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