Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Haven't you always wanted a special Christmas handbag?

This is my first ever handbag.  Not only is it a first, but it's made for hubby's and my annual trip to Germany for the Christmas markets.  This year it's Munich :-)

I found the bag making site U-Handbag ( and bought their "blank" Queen Bee kit.  It comes with everything you need to make a handbag except the external fabric, lining and glue.

The photo doesn't do her justice!  The felt snowflakes have Swarovski crystals and pearls on them.  The outside is a gorgeous tweed and she's lined with Liberty Tana lawn!  (OK, so the lining is a bit summery for the time of year, but who cares?)
I cut the snowflakes out using my Sizzix Bigshot and a Sizzlits die.  Because the cut outs are very delicate I used a double-sided iron-on interfacing (Bondaweb, I think) on the felt before I cut them out.  This meant that I could iron them on before adding the crystals and beads so it made life an awful lot easier :-)

I followed the kit instructions and it's not as scary as you might think!  After you cut everything out (decorate with felt and beads - my step) and start sewing together, it kind of falls into place and suddenly it's really obvious and you knew all your life how to make a handbag :-)

Materials used:
  • Queen Bee kit from
  • Harris Tweed from eBay Shop (Esplanade London)
  • Remnant of Liberty Tana Lawn for the lining
  • 100% wool felt from Michelle Good on Etsy
  • Snowflake die from Sizzix
  • Gutermann Textile Glue from U-Handbag
  • Swarovski crystals and pearls from Scatter Crystals

A note about the glue.  I've used it on everything - from felt to cotton.  It dries quickly by my standards and makes a really firm bond.  It could be a lot messier and smellier!  The gluey smell goes away after about 24 hours.  Some glues pong for ever!

Die Cutting Felt

I'm always on the lookout for new crafting ideas.  I recently saw some lovely felt pincushions and thought I'd have me some pincushion action.  The idea is to use felt flowers, embroidery, etc to decorate...

Now, the problem is, I am rubbish at cutting out!  I don't have the patience.  Worse still, I have no hope of cutting out anything in felt!  How does one cut out a felt circle with a pair of scissors?  So my little pea-brain had a think...  Can one die-cut felt?

Indeed one can!

So I thought it might be nice to share my experiences with die cutting felt.  Here are the dies I've tried and the results.  I will come back to this from time to time and update.

  • Sizzix Framelits - result!
  • Sizzix Sizzlits - Hmmm.....  Mixed results there.  I have a butterfly that came with my Bigshot and that failed miserably.  Other, less detailed, designs seem to work.  I had one that I used for a very specific project and I got a much better result after picking out the sponge.  I don't know if I've wrecked it for future use though.
  • DoCrafts - Yep!  Some of these are quite detailed, so to get a better result with felt I suggest putting some lightweight iron-on interfacing onto the felt.
  • Sizzix Bigz - Fantabulous result!  You can even do three or four layers of felt at the same time!
  • Sizzix Originals - As with Bigz - you can do several layers at once.
Just for reference, I only use 100% wool felt.  It's the nice stuff on sale here:
I will be showing my felt designs on here so you can see for yourself....

If you have any other results to add to this, please do!  Let's share our felt-cutting experiences :-)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Mothers Day Cards

Went to see the in-laws last weekend. I think mother-in-law liked her shawl :-) Fab! Mission accomplished!
While I'm here at the in-laws, I've taken the opportunity to photograph the Mothers Day card. Here it is....

I'm rather pleased with how it came out...  (Except that the card seems to have lost a rose in the post!)

Products used:
  • Kanban pearlescent card bought from an art shop in Tunbridge Wells
  • Kaisercraft "Sweet Nothings" stuff from Merly Impressions
    • Papers
    • Paper flowers in honey and dusty pink
    • Pearls in chino
Free Plug
Merly Impressions seems to stock the entire Kaisercraft range, and unlike other websites they seem to have the stuff in stock!  They also show all the coordinating embellishments for the ranges so you know what goes with what.  Very impressed.

You can also see projects on