My Crafting Story and Other Jolly Robins, Abridged

All crafters have a crafting story to tell, and this is mine. Abridged.

I grew up in a family of crafters: my dad worked with wood and would build anything for the home that my mother asked. Sometimes more. 😉 My mother, nana and various aunts were all dressmakers, with a little knitting and crochet on the side. I learned to sew at around seven, by thirteen I was making clothes both for myself and my four year old sister.

Later in my teens I stopped crafting for a while, as the topic of relationships grew altogether more satisfying. It was during one such relationship that I was told I would “never get anywhere in life …” because I had a “head full of jolly robins”. This didn’t sound good and I came to the conclusion that the only place I wanted to be was somewhere else. I took custody of my Jolly Robins and moved out. I mention this only because that was as much a beginning for me as an ending and the Jolly Robins have become an integral part of my philosophy on life.

Life should be joyful; it should be loving and giving and it really should include doing things that make you happy. So I chose the name Jolly Robins for my blog because I could and because it made me happy to do so.

My crafting passions have led me down many paths. My bulging craft cupboard and its overflow, the garage, will bear testament to my many experiments into pyrography, encaustic art, pastel painting and other such happy diversions. But my main loves are papercrafting and dressmaking, with a little bag making on the side.

I love to work with wood, turning basic wooden blanks into little treasures that give me delight to create and the recipients an individual gift made just for them. Last year I decorated an Advent House for the very first time, and now I’m decorating a second one.

I always come back to cardmaking as my go to craft. There’s little I enjoy more than being ankle deep in paper and glue and a folder full of cutting dies to choose from. Such a happy dilemma! The joy of giving that specially made little act of creation to a loved one is pretty special.

In January, I promised myself (and my generous critic and long-suffering husband, who gets to witness first hand my crafting projects in all their glory – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) that I would not buy a single card this year.  I am on track and although a spate of birthdays throughout April put the Christmas cards on hold, I am back on the case.

So, patient reader, I decided to recreate my blog. I’ve been blogging for a few years, and although Jolly Robins is still in its infancy, I have a couple of other blogs out there. I will post the links for those who haven’t drifted off to sleep or left the webosphere, if you care to check them out. 😀

And that brings to me the here and now. Reading through my posts, I have realised that they are woefully short on substance and about as useful to a crafter in a rut as a chocolate fireguard. So I decided to remedy that and try to make my happy place a more helpful  resource to other demented crafters in need of a little inspiration or simply a friendly crafting hug at the end of a long day.

Oh, by the way. Here are two pictures of me, drawn by my granddaughters. I think you’ll find they are an excellent likeness, although in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a little older now. 😉

So that’s it folks, thanks for staying with me.

Big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

Ready, Steady, it’s the Easter Egg Hunt!

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I made these cute bags for my grandies for their Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday. We love having them here for their annual chocolate chase, the faeries are sure to have hidden them lots of little surprises – but what should they collect them in?

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Nana to the rescue! In my craft stash I happen to have a stock of Kraft Lunch Bags – they make great personal gift bags and can be put together in a matter of minutes.

I got to work and using my Tonic Studios Harrop dies I cut out a large scalloped rectangle to decorate the front of each. I cut two large ovals for each from my new Mixed Edge Oval die set, also from Tonic. There are 13 dies in the set, with alternating scalloped and plain edges, so they will get used over and over, but the shape made them perfect for this project.

I finished each mock-choc egg with a ribbon. Some cut bunnies using a gift die from Papercrafter Magazine, and the name, cut using a Sizzix Thinlits alphabet set, finished each bag.

Cute huh? So easy peasy and they take no time at all. So cute I decided to enter them in the Anything Goes Challenge over at Win & Tonic.

Big crafty hugs – Sandie