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Well, my week off is almost over and i have come to the realisation that i always over-estimate how much i am going to get done.

First things first, it is NOT a good idea to plan a spending ban that coincides with a week off. I crumbled, admittedly not spending much, but i did get some mica powders for use with polymer clay, and some glossy accents (which, as it is glue, is admittedly a necessity). However, it is a breach of the rules so as penance i am restricting myself to 10 episodes of Numb3rs a week maximum, thereby extending the ban till mid July. (Seven weeks from now).

Anyway, confessional over, i may as well review the inks!

These are seriously tiny! So much so, i was worried that they would run out quickly. However, they have a thicker sponge than the full size pads, and a lot of ink! I recommend these above the full size ones as you can buy them in four packs, so get a nice range of colours. Another plus is that they conveniently stack together for easy storage. 

Now onto the makes. I was really hoping that i would have either finished the cross stitch portion of the christmas cupcakes, or one page of the photo stitch by the end of this week. Neither happened; i found that if i tried to stitch for too long it brought on a headache, and caused me to make mistakes. Here is the update of the photo stitch.

One thing that is very difficult (and crafters will know this) is figuring out exactly what to do with the stuff that you have. We do not always buy crafty stuff with a clear idea of what the finished article will be. Case in point; i used my mica powders (the gold one anyway) and some watch parts to make this:-

It's a steampunk sun. Originally it was going to be a sun and moon, there were going to be two of them, and i was going to make them into earrings but my skill with polymer clay still needs to be polished, and this is far too big for an earring. I think i may use it in my configuration box.

I also dug out my Ranger's memory frames and glass. 

This is two frames, double sided. The first is a christmas decoration. Now, if you are planning to do this yourself please remember that the gap between the two pieces of glass in the frame is VERY thin. So thin in fact, that, as i had used two pieces of card and not two pieces of paper, the second bit of glass wouldn't fit, so i had to only use one. The cards were from the CC Christmas box (about time i dug through that), and i used snowflake stickers, a grungeboard star that i distress inked in scattered straw and then added gold glitter glue, and some cute little christmas buttons i got from a craft fair that i cut the attacher off of. I also used a christmas ribbon to tie it together.

The second could be either a necklace or a decoration, depending on what the recipient wants to do with it. Madam Payraud was the background for both sides; butterflies on one and Paris on the other. I then added a run-on with the word enchanted, two stars done in the same style as the christmas decoration, and a heart and crown that i had die cut from shrink plastic and coloured with promarkers. As a side note, die cutting shrink plastic is a genius idea (not mine obviously). You just have to be careful not to choose something too intricate, as it will have a tendency to either mis-shape or stick to itself. Embossing is another matter; unless you do something to highlight the actual embossed bits (ie colour with a deeper shade) the embossing is lost when the item has shrunk. I did emboss the patchwork Tim Holtz folder, and coloured each bit with a different colour which worked quite well, so it is still a good technique.

I've got a few plans in my head for things to do in the future, all using stuff that i already have instead of buying anything else! What i really need to do is concentrate on the cross stitch, so i will be working on that daily (time permitting of course) before i work on anything else.

One last thing before i go. This little cartoon has inspired me. It is such a simple thought, but so deep for someone who constantly thinks that their life is over. It is never too late to do something. To learn. To master a craft. To discover something about yourself. I like the idea of us all having a number of little lives, each which can be put to a different use. That way, when you think that your life is over, you can start anew.

Emma x


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