Bumble Bee's Craft Den

I enjoy crafting and like to try my hand at different things. If there is anything that you see on here that you would like made, please feel free to contact me bumblebeescraftden@gmail.com or by going to my page on Facebook www.facebook.com/bumblebeescraftden. You can post on the wall or send me a message there. I appreciate any comments that people leave so please feel free to comment!!!

Monday, 28 February 2011

My Review of a Marianne Creatables Butterfly Die

I've admired Marianne dies for ages now and there are a few that I would like to own.  They do 3 different styles of butterflies which are all really pretty and Claire and Margaret over on MSE kindly cut me some butterflies from their dies which were both different to see how I liked them.  Well - I liked them so when I saw one of the dies on ebay for £6.50 with free postage I decided to buy it!

Marianne make gorgeous dies but the only thing with them is that the dies are very thin and unfortunately don't cut very well at all.  Everybody seems to have the same problem with this brand of dies and it's a shame that Marianne don't take note and do something about it.  They give instructions on the back of the packet for using the die with a Cuttlebug but to be honest this doesn't give good results at all. 

I tried to cut using the instructions on the packet and it won't cut properly so I tried using a silicon baking mat which was thin but I managed to rip the mat.  I then tried this

From the bottom, layer as follows:

Plate A
Plate C
Thin card shim
Die with cutting side facing upwards with antennae of butterfly facing left or right side of plates
Card to be cut
B Plate

I rolled it through the Bug twice and it cut perfectly.  It is quite stiff when you turn the handle but it went through my Bug ok - if you feel that it won't go through your bug, please don't force it as you could damage your Bug.  It should work though! 

The die cut will remain in the die and you will need to use a pin or pick to flick out the little cut outs.

I then used the pin on the top edge of the wing to ease out the die cut.  I got a really nice clean cut so I'm happy!

I've been told that if you stick ejection foam onto the cutting side of these dies they work very well also.  I tried to find another solution that wouldn't cost me any money!!!!

I do think that considering that the cost of these dies is not exactly cheap, Marianne should start including a piece of ejection foam with each die and revise the instructions on the back of the packet as they don't work!  If the Marianne die makers ever read this review maybe you could put that forward as an idea, it would certainly help us crafters!!

UPDATE - I've recently heard that Marianne have changed the die slightly and are now putting holes in the new ones to make it easier to remove the paper that sticks!!!!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

'Fabulous Giveaway'

Just wanted to tell you about a fab giveaway over at Corsets, Crafts and Cupcakes.  Sam has some yummy things on offer.

Head on over there to see how you can be in with a chance of winning.

Copics for Sale

I'm posting this on behalf of Heidi over at the Crafty Goat Girl - she has 83 Copics and one Blender Pen (brand new) for sale, colour numbers available on request. All brand new or used once. £160 if bought new, offers accepted.  Please pop over to her blog and let her know if you are interested or email her - thegreenies@tinyworld.co.uk

Some Lovely New Stamps and a few other buys!

Yesterday, I had a trip to The Range.  Their craft section is much smaller now and they don't have a very good selection of craft items anymore.

I still managed to spend some money though!!!

I saw these cute stamps and they were £3 each or 3 for 2 so of course I had to get 3!!  They stamp beautifully and I love them!!  They are part of a range called 'Pampered Pets' by Amanda Jayne Evans.  They had some other ones there as well but these were my favs!!!

I picked up this embossing flower punch as well, it makes lovely little flowers and they look great as it embosses little lines on the petals which give the flower a nice shape.  The punch was £6.99

and this stamp was in the bargain bucket for 99p and is quite large

and these lovely Dovecraft papers 'Teahouse' for £3.99

Now I just have to make some more cards to use them all!!!!!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Cupcakes and Bunting Card!!

I've made a card!!!  It's been a few weeks since I last made a card and I had one in mind where I wanted to make some tiny bunting to go on it and I wanted it in red, white and blue - how patriotic am I!!!!!

Anyway - I'd bought some fabric this week that was perfect for the bunting and I had a gorgeous cupcake stamp free with 'Simply Homemade' magazine so I made my card!

I've used October Afternoon papers, buttons, bow and cord from stash and the sentiment is from Pink Gem.  I used Anita's 3D Gloss on the cherry and I coloured the cake and cherry with promarkers.

I am pleased with the result and I love these colours.  The bunting will be featuring on more of my cards as I really like it!!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges
I Love Promarkers - Stitching
Crafty Ann's - Birthday Card
A Gem of a Challenge - Buttons, Brads, Beads and Bows 
Sweet Stamping - Oh So Girly
Secret Crafter - Sweet Treats
Do You Stack Up - Anything Goes
Cupcake Inspirations - Photo Inspiration
The Shabby Tea Room - Buttons and Bows

A Fab New Magazine!

Just wanted to let you know about a fab new magazine that I bought a few days back.  It's called 'Simply Homemade' and costs £3.99 - I bought my copy at Tesco but I'm sure W H Smiths will have it as well.

It is packed with all sorts of interesting ideas and tutorials on a variety of crafts.  I like the fact that it's not just about one craft and it certainly held my interest much longer than usual!  There are some great links in the mag including some interesting blogs.  They have tutorials on knitting, sewing, soap making, papercrafts, cardmaking, cooking and stencilling and lots of templates to use.

These cakes look lovely!!!

This months copy come with some free Molly Blooms Cupcake Stamps and some Kaisercraft papers.

Has anyone else bought this magazine and if so whch were your favourite articles??   I liked the 'Favourite Jumper Bag' tutorial where they made a bag out of a knitted hoodie, 'Bags of Style' - a lovely bag made out of the loveliest fabrics and 'Jean Genius' using a pair of jeans to make a bag, a bag charm, a purse and a corsage.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A Day Out Shopping With My Lovely Niece Issy!!!

Yesterday, I took my 9 year old niece Issy out to town shopping.

We caught the bus to town and first stop was Fabricland - this was abit disappointing as very few nice fabrics and no fat quarters.  Last week they had a whole table full of lovely FQ bundles.  Anyway - I just bought a reel of thread and some cotton tape in cream. (Look here to see what I wanted to do with it!!)
We then went to Poundland to pick up a few crafty bits for Issy.  We picked up some Watercolour Pencils for her to use on cards that she makes as she usually uses felt tips which are very heavy looking. 

We also had a look around St Nicholas Market which is an old indoor market and has been going for years.  It generally has a wide variety of stalls selling different things.  It's always good for a browse and Issy had never been there before.  There are also some lovely old buildings around there.  I found a new craft shop and a ribbon and yarn shop - they were actually the same shop but in 2 different units.    They had a big selection of ribbons and lots of cardmaking items so I was pleased to find this shop!

I noticed that there are lots of floral themed items of clothing and jewellery in the shops right now which is nice.  Looks like flowery may be the look for this summer.

Primark had lots of flowery things and I picked up this lovely bangle for £2

Primark also had a fab red throw that was in the 'Keep Calm' style and said 'Relax and Chill Out'.  I had to stop myself buying this as I have nowhere to put it but I just liked it!!!  I tried to take a crafty photo of it with my phone but it isn't very clear - it gives you an idea what to look out for though if you want one!!  They are priced at £7 each.  (Justine - I know you will want one of these!!!!)

Thanks for stopping by!

I Won Over at Lothian Crafts!!!!

I was lucky enough to win a challenge over at Lothian Crafts.  My prize was this lovely Tree Stamp.  It really is gorgeous and it stamps beautifully.  I've not made any cards with it yet but watch this space!!!

Thank you Kelly (KMS) for posting on MSE about this to let me know!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cupcake Card No 2

I made this card a few weeks back but didn't blog it as I made several cupcake themed cards so didn't want to bore you!!!!

I used the fimo cupcake again on this one as the topper and I used nesties for the matting and Dovecraft 'Piece of Cake' papers.  The middle strip is made using my MS Doiley punch and then I used Stickles on it to bling it up!! The sentiment stamps were from Pink Gem and a freebie one from a magazine.

I'd like to enter it into the following challenges

The Ribbon Girl - Pink, Brown and Cream
Cupcake Craft - Cake 'n' Ice Cream
Incy Wincy - Punches or Dies
Ooh la la - Pink, Pink and more pink
A Spoonful of Sugar - Birthday Wishes
Simon Says Stamp - Create Your Own Embellishment
Fussy and Fancy - Sweet Treats
Alota Rubber Stamps - Using Nestabilities
One Stop Craft Challenge - Cake Birthday Card

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A Little Retail Therapy!!!!

I've just finished 2 weeks temping doing data entry - apart from giving me lots of headaches and neck and shoulder aches, it also exhausted me as I had to get up mega early so that I could get a particular bus that doesn't run very often.  I was also finishing quite late and just missing my bus home most nights so I was getting home around 7.15pm after leaving the house at 8pm.  Now, I guess for lots of people that might be normal but as I've not worked for a while it absolutely exhausted me and meant I had no energy or time for any crafting and leisure time.

Anyway - I've tried to get out on the weekends for some air at least!!  Last weekend, I went to Bath for the day and yesterday I went shopping locally in Bristol to a retail park where Hobbycraft and other shops are.

I picked up quite a few different bits and bobs and was pleased with my purchases.  I thought I'd share them with you all!

In Hobbycraft, I usually only buy reduced/sale items as I find them to be expensive!!!  There was not much instore reduced yesterday but I managed to get some Liquid Beads for 49p a pot - I've seen them used on another blog and was interested in them!!

They are beads in a PVA type of mixture that you spread onto a project and the glue drys clear with the beads in a sort of pile!!!  I think I will try to make some of this with ordinary PVA and seed beads.

I also bought a cupcake embossing folder which was full price at £3.99
A Making Memories Magnetic 'Sayings' Set of Stamps - I love these as they are in a typewritten font so look rather retro - this was reduced to £1.99 from around £6.xx so a bargain!!!

Remember the 'Home' lettering that I bought the other day, well I wanted to paint the letters as I didn't like the colour.  I managed to find a gorgeous colour called 'Butter' made by Americana Deco Art and it was reduced to 49p.  I bought 2 of these as I want to paint a set of mini Ikea drawers in the summer!!

I then went into Paperchase and found some lovely thick wrapping paper for £1.25 a sheet.  The first sheet has a favourite of mine on it - birdcages!!  It has a lovely matt and glitter finish to it and will be perfect to use as design paper for cardmaking.  I also bought another sheet which had some lovely strawberries on it and I will again use this for cards.

Paperchase also had some lovely packs of tiny puffy stickers for £1 each so I picked up two packs!

Boots had alot of their Babyliss hair clips reduced and I picked up this gorgeous feathery leaf clip for around £1.40

Last but by no means least - I found theses fabulous socks in Tesco for £1.00 a pair or buy one get one half price.  I love gnomes so I got two pairs the same so 75p a pair!!!  These won't be being used for Sock Animals - they are for me!!!!!!

Anyway - hope you enjoyed seeing my purchases as much as I enjoyed making them!!!!!!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Start of My Patchwork!!

I've been wanting to make a patchwork quilt for ages but just haven't had the time.  I've been collecting fabric for it, some from the US, some from the UK and some of it free swatches!!!

When I was in my teens, I made a patchwork cushion and my mum found another half finished one whilst having a Spring Clean recently.  I made the cushion by hand and I cut out lots of newspaper squares which I then tacked the fabric onto, removed the paper squares and then stitched the fabric squares together using over stitch on the back side.  Probably not the way to do patchwork but hey it worked for me!

This time I want to make the quilt with my sewing machine.  I'm not very good at using a sewing machine and my latest one is a very old basic one that belonged to my Auntie Audrey who sadly passed away in November 2009. 

I'm hoping to improve, it does a nice simple backstitch in 3 different sizes and nothing else so should be easy!!!  Famous last words!

I spent all day Sunday sorting through my fabrics and cutting out squares with my new pinking shears that I bought ages back in Hobbycraft but hadn't used!!!  I still need to get some more fabrics so will have a look in Fabricland next week as they had some lovely fat quarters there a few weeks back.  I'll also have a rummage in the bargain bin!!

Here are the squares that I've cut out so far

It doesn't look many but they are in piles and there are more there than it looks!!
I'll update you with my progress - it might be a slow process though!!!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A Day Out in Bath

Today, I decided to have a day out.  I've been working this week and the hours have been quite long for me so I have not been able to get out much.

I've not been to Bath for several years and not since they've re-done the shopping centre so I decided to catch the bus there today.  I was shocked at the price of the bus fare though - it cost me £7 and it was only an hour's journey.  Bath is actually much closer but the bus takes the scenic route!!!!

I had a good wander around and looked at some lovely shops.  Bath is one of those places where you can just walk around and keep discovering little narrow roads of interesting shops that you didn't notice before.  Lots of shops selling hand sewn/shabby chic things.  It's a good job I don't live in a house of my own with lots of space as I would have bought lots of knick knacks today!!!!

There are some lovely buildings and pretty green areas around the city.  I always like to look up above me as well as around me as you sometimes see fantastic buildings that aren't at eye level.

Parade Gardens


Pulteney Bridge

Bath is famous for it's Roman Baths

So when I saw this building I thought it must be connected to the thermal waters from the baths.

I've just looked to find out more and it was founded in 1738 and known then as The Mineral Water Hospital.  It looked after poor, sick patients who came to Bath looking to be cured with the thermal waters. 

Whilst wandering, I came across this fabulous shop in Walcot Street which had lots and lots of birdcages and other Victorian style furniture.  I could have had a field day in this shop.  I was tempted to get birdcage but really don't have anywhere at present to house it!!!  I will keep this wonderful shop in mind though for when I do have room!!!

I then came across this shop on my way back to the bus station.  It's a clothing shop but all of it's windows are filled from top to bottom with old Singer sewing machines.  It looked absolutely stunning, sadly, my photo of this is not great as it was starting to get alittle dark.

If you live around the South West of England then I'd recommend a trip to Bath, I'll be going again as there is still lots to see there.