Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

So here we are again, another New Years Eve,  and we're all waiting for midnight!   Which is a bit bah humbug and I'm not feeling in the least bit bah humbug.  Just wondering if I can stay awake till midnight cos New Years Eve telly is diabolical.  Yes here I am on NYE at home,  just like thousands of others.   I've done NYE,  in London,  in fact, here, there and other places.   I just now choose not to be walking home at 3 a.m., in the freezing cold. 

So what was I doing earlier on this NYE?  Housework, yes that is right, housework!   Well the place was begging for a spruce up, so washed windows,  nets and vacummed... rest can wait till the decs are down.   Before that it was a bit of shopping, got a laminator at Aldi, love a bargain, and at £12 that was a bargain!    But how come I ended up in Sainsburies buying the food?    Aldi had the basics, but that was it, and no loose fruit,  what use is that?   I don't need 12 satsumas!   Also indulged in a very nice red in Sainsburies, going down a treat.   Then on to cake shop, only they were short on cakes!   This was only 11 a.m.,  so the crowds must have been up very early today.    Well the shops are going to be shut for.. a few hours.  

I'd like 2012 to get off to a good start,  I'd like to be more organised, starting with my room,  and decluttering the cloakroom and airing cupboard.   Do not wish to dither anymore,  even I know I feel better when I get on with stuff.   Only one actual resolution,  and I'm keeping that to myself!   I don't usually make resolutions,  and I'm trying not to think of this as a resolution,  that way it may just work. 

I wish you all the Very Best for 2012,  I hope it is a good year for you.   Thanks also for stopping by,  it is much appreciated. 

Happy New Year

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

I've worked out that it is Wednesday...

Well maybe,  or possibly... who knows?     Once upon a time my life had structure,  I used to work...  so I'd know the day, the date in fact I'd know the date in four weeks time, that is what you get when you work in a library - always looking into the future.  But this year my old library is shut, just for the festive period, something we'd been wanting for a long time,  otherwise we were simply twiddling our thumbs and wasting electricity. 

At least I have remembered that I need to tax the car before the end of the year!    It shall be done tomorrow,  just 6 months tax,  only cos I don't have to face this next Christmas!   I will have a busy morning tomorrow,  tax car,  get shopping...  feed car with petrol,  though can't complain as she has a small appetite.  

More crafting,  how long can this last?    Candles, of course,  got to get the stocks up for the new stall.   Today I used the pearl ink with the colours,  I liked the effect, do you, see pic?   Decorated four candles,  will do another batch tomorrow.   Then I moved on to my brayering,  just experimenting with a sunset.  Sort of getting there..  I was also mucking with shadows on this one,  right idea, just got wrong angle!   And post box is a bit too red!   Need to tone that down.    I'm doing wheelies across the sun,  rather than on a piece of scrap.   I also covered the top part of the card with yellow ink, using the brayer,  just to give the sun some colour, then I used the mask before adding the other layers of colour.   What i am after is an incongruous image,  one that doesn't quite add up, hence me using the chap with the umbrella on a sunny day.   I just like how it all jars,  the lamps,  post box, sunset, umbrella and the birds.  The sentiment is part of a set of stamps by Lindsay Mason. A few more attempts at this I think! 

This is the sort of crafting I enjoy,  just to be creative,  letting the ideas flow,  and not being restricted to making a card.   I still do that and I enjoy making cards, but this stuff takes me beyond that.    Need to save up to take part in the Barbara Grey classes next year, that is a promise to myself.  I just love her work, she is a true artist, but such a lovely lady. 

Right, today is Wednesday, so I shall be shopping tomorrow on Thursday... and part is on Friday!  

All for now folks.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

What day is it?

I've completely lost track of the days,  they've all merged into one.  It was another day of crafty shopping, more vouchers to spend!  This time it was the local craft shop,  who were keen to off load the Christmas stuff...  which I avoided!  I wanted some alcohol inks, metallics,  a craft mat,  and some new stamps, got copper and pearl in the metallics,  a nice large stamp block,  lovely set of London stamps from Do Crafts,  some of which can be seen in the card what I made,  the set I got was called Portobello Road.  Oh and a kanban card kit, which frustrated me so much it nearly ended up in the bin!  Nice kit, no instructions!  It's okay when it is an easy kit, this wasn't and it really did need a sheet of instructions.  So turned my attention to the new inks and stamps,  made 3 more candles,  two using the purple, and one using the copper and orange,  all look spectacular!   Also sourced some clear labels, so I can start printing my own sentiments. 

For the stamps I got out the brayer,  done so many winter scenes felt it was time for a few summery scenes.  This one was a trial,  I wanted to get a lovely sunset effect,  think I am almost there with it,  used the edge of the brayer and did wheelies across the card using red and orange, not quite as I want it,  but almost. The telephone box and lamp came from the new stamp set, it also has Big Ben, a London bus,  clock face,  camper van and post box, plus some small stamps, very small... think they'll end up getting lost!  But I enjoyed the process,  just need to mess with the layout, and maybe use the post box rather than the telephone box.   I'll be having another bash tomorrow.  The sentiments are from Lindsay Mason,  got them from HobbyCraft. 

Nice that the mojo has returned,  who knows I may even turn my attention to scrapbooking at some point.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

And that was Christmas..

Not sure what happened but I managed to have a lie in till nearly 10 a.m on the big day.,  I had been awake at 5.30 a.m., but had eventually managed to get back to sleep.  Sleeping in so long on a Christmas morning is a luxury,  first time in er, well far too many years, that I've been able to do that.  Until fairly recently I had to go visiting the family on Christmas morning and could only really relax in the afternoon.

Santa was good to me,  loads of craft vouchers!   A book to read,  Patricia Cornwell's latest book,  she is one of my favourite authors,  some lovely perfume,  other bits and bobs, plus a Simon's Cat calendar which will keep me amused all year.   


I did watch Barbara Grey at 7 a.m., I always enjoy Barbara's shows, but that is when I fell back to sleep, sorry Barbara!   I did catch the full show at 4pm,   a pity they hadn't given her a 2 hour slot!  No crafting today,   no chance of that happening.   Dinner took longer than expected to cook,  cos the turkey crown I had bought had stuffing in it, it took longer to cook, that almost threw out all my timings.   But we were sat down by 2pm for the meal,  and very nice it was,  did less of everything,  so we enjoyed it more,  and it left room for the pud.   I hate that overfull feeling,  it is just so uncomfortable.   Instead I felt pleasantly full.   TV was rubbish in the afternoon, I'd enjoyed the morning stuff,  the church service,  carols... then the usual film fest!   All aimed at children, that is fine for one or two channels, but does every ruddy channel think that only kids are watching?     The kids are playing with their toys!   I would love to meet the idiot who puts the schedule together.

Today I decided to pay Hobbycraft a visit,  couldn't let those vouchers just sit there any longer.  Took mum, said we'd get some lunch at a pub.   To my surprise I didn't spend all the vouchers, in fact I was a bit frugal,  got some alcohol inks,  spotted a nice 12x12 pad,  a tub of crackle paint,  TH tissue tape and a set of stamps,  and that was that.   So got some vouchers left, plus vouchers for my local craft shop,  which is where I am headed tomorrow.   The one thing that HC didn't have were the metallic alcohol inks!   Just fancied some copper,  plus more silver and gold. 

Just put up a pic of one of the boxes I made using the inks,  that was the cranberry and gold,  then I added some dragon flies, I had also inked the acetate. 

I should be crafting tomorrow so may have some new pics! 


Hope you all had a lovey Christmas.... take care, and thanks for stopping by

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Well the big day is nearly here.  I personally think that it is Christmas Eve that holds the magic, that air of anticipation,  the wonderment of what will  happen,  will your wishes be granted, will Santa bring you what you've asked for...  until midnight you can keep dreaming.

I was disappointed today,  had to go to our retail park to get mum some new trousers,  I thought the place would be packed.  Well the car park was full,  but I have no idea where all the people where as they were not in M&S, that was quiet,  even more depressing was that the shops had all taken down their decorations, how very bah humbug of them!   When I worked in retail we would wait till the end of Christmas Eve before taking down the decs. 

I did do some crafting today,  more candles and boxes.  I made some candles as presents,  mum was very impressed by them.  So  I hope the recipients are.  I made some gold ones, which I think will be nice for next Christmas, with some suitable sentiments on them. Still fighting with glitter,  to remove the excess,  none seems to want to come off whatever I've put it on, or the paper it has landed on,  even if I use an anti static bag.  Ended up dipping a paintbrush into talc, that seemed to work. 

Not happy at all with the dragon fly stamp I bought,  it seems to be falling apart, at first I thought it was me being heavy handed,  but I left it on one of the blocks, then when I came to use it the next day another bit of the tail had vanished.  Think I will have to take it back,  I am not a novice crafter and I do know how to handle stamps.   


I'm hoping that tomorrow I get money or craft vouchers,  please!    I came close to buying a refurbed cricut today, but wasn't sure what you got with it,  a lot of the software was on sale but couldn't make up my mind. I thought they were only selling the large cricuts as refurbs, otherwise I'd have paid more attention.  It was a good deal and on 4 flexi pay.    I know they'll have the cricut on offer next year,  so I'll keep watching,  hope that the finances improve enough to get one. 

Think that is all for now folks.   I wish you  VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, hope Santa brings you lots of lovely stuff,  enjoy the day and all that it brings.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Good grief......

I expected the supermarket to be busy,  did not expect it to be jam packed with queues at ALL 30 checkouts!   It was nuts,  managed to grab one of the last boxes of mince pies.  Of course there were the usual dozy types,  like the woman at the kiosk who was getting her lotto draw tickets,  but hadn't filled any of them in properly!  Did she care that she was holding up 15 people, nope, she acted like it was a normal shopping day.   Next was the plonker that had waited in the queue to find out where Tesco kept tippex, I kid you not!   Two days till Christmas and this chap wanted tippex...  !  Of course the place was full of the bewildered, those who had just strayed into the shop unaware that it was Christmas!   Plus those who parked trolleys in middle of the aisle, those following behind trolleys. husbands, sons or daughters,  none of whom wanted to be there or who appeared to have ever graced a supermarket before.   Now I wanted a Christmas log, just fancied one, could I find one - no?!   Everything but a damn Yule Log.   Then I couldn't avoid it any longer, time to head for the check out...  in front of me were a lovely couple, who were NOT Christmas shopping,  he said to me that he'd picked the wrong checkout,  I said: no mate, you've picked the wrong day!  They only had a few bits.  A Tesco employee had then been sent to dispense sweets,  I told her that a glass of mulled wine would have been better, she agreed with me, but didn't rule it out later in the day!   I wasn't irritated by the checkout staff, they were doing their best,  it was the useless and disorganised customers,  as on my checkout, the woman at head of the queue had umpteen vouchers, but hadn't bothered to sort them so was just handing them over in the hope that she could use them...   we, plus assistant were all annoyed by her!  But everyone was shopping like the shops were going to be close for two weeks, it is just ONE day!    I heard one couple say that they hadn't got enough 'nibbles',  I looked at their trolley,  it was groaning under the weight of food and drink...  they had enough supplies to last them 3 months. 

When I got home mum wondered where I'd been, I reminded her that it was Christmas!   Luckily I had managed to get all the important stuff on the list,  the list I had written out and then left on the kitchen table!  Now I just need to get necessary medicines for me and mum tomorrow.   I'm having to second guess what mum needs,  as her memory is fast failing.  I had to remind her today, and yesterday,  of what presents she had bought and who she had sent cheques to.  I think if I hadn't been here then the grandchildren would have got double helpings.   She even made the effort to cook dinner tonight,   I had to help,  but tried to be as non intrusive as I could,  I knew she really wanted to cook dinner for me.  

Then you spend an hour talking to someone who thinks they know it all... sorry that is rather vague, but I feel better for saying it! 

Oh well, 2 more sleeps till Santa arrives.......  sweet dreams

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A very grey short day.  I guess the bonus was that it didn't rain, or rather it stopped raining early in the morning.  It is also a bit milder, keep thinking back to last year and all those minus temperatures we had!   Brrrrrr.    Looks like this year we'll just get the usual Christmas,  mild and soggy.   I'd prefer a crisp frost and sunshine.  And all too soon it will be January,  a new start, we'll all feel fresh for a few days,  hoping that the New Year will deliver much, maybe it will.    I always think that the best day of Christmas is actually Christmas Eve,  that is when everyone is still full of anticipation,  no dreams have been shattered,  those presents lying under the tree continue to tantalise us.  I remember one Christmas I'd asked for Sindy's car,  and what did I get,  her wardrobe!   Not quite the same...  And the magic of getting a bike for Christmas,  I had to wait till I was 12,  but it was the bestest present ever, think I spent the whole day riding round on it.   It was second hand but mum had spent ages doing it up so it shone like new, and it had gears and a dynamo to run the lights!  All mod cons - LOL.      That bike was well used,  it took me to school and back for 4 years, kept me amused during the school holidays. 

And now it is the 22nd December, the shortest day has come and gone.  Woke up this morning to sunshine,  such a lovely change.  Flat was like a greenhouse, went to investigate and found mum had pushed up the central heating to about 24!  No wonder I was melting....  but she couldn't remember doing it.   I only needed a T shirt and sweat pants to do the housework.   I've got some lovely jumpers but can't wear them cos the central heating is on so high. 

It didn't take long for the weather to return to its grey state,  by lunch time the skies were a shade of deep grey.   I'd picked up a few bits from the craft shop yesterday, some new alcohol inks and two stamps.  So decided to decorate a few boxes,  it was too dark to take photos in natural daylight,  and I'm not happy with the dragon fly,  will have to redo it,  hasn't worked out quite as I wanted, I love the box,  that was done using cranberry and gold alcohol inks. I'd wanted a purple ink but the shop didn't have any.    Also decorated another candle, then had a rummage and found some sentiment stickers which work perfectly on the candles.   I'll be making more tomorrow!   Love getting messy,  my craft table was covered in inks, glitter, glue and felt....  as was I. 

Yep a very satisfying day. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Done - I hope!

That's it, last Christmas cards have been sent, but forgot all about a birthday card!   Yet I had spent time on Sunday making it and telling myself NOT to forget to post it.   Also got last Christmas present,  got mum a book to go with her DVD,  she's is the only one who is getting a physical present, well aside from a friend,  rest of the family are getting Amazon vouchers. 

I thought I'd be in the mood for crafting, but didn't do anything yesterday, even tho I got all my stash out.  Same today,  I managed to decorate a box,  but then couldn't find the peel offs that I was using only the other day - I swear these things decide to hide somewhere!   So lost interest in that,  too blooming dark to do much else, don't like crafting in artificial light.  Tomorrow is the shortest day or longest night,  take your pick,  and forecast is for rain, so it will be truly dark all day!   Great.  It was extremely soggy on Monday,  just rained all ruddy day,   was dancing down by the time I left the barn.   Treated myself to a lovely Angel,  a CD and some new cards.  My Xmas present to me!

Didn't get my 'me' time today either,  mum and her friends decided not to meet,  meant a double whammy for me,  no time to myself and also had to cook dinner.   I kind of meandered around the supermarket, I had a list but wasn't really looking at it,  got most of the stuff on it, but left some of the heavy stuff for the next shop. Got a really horrible pain in my 'good' knee,  it was so bad I felt sick,  plus the bad knee has been really bad lately,  so which leg to limp on?  I took it in turns.  I had pensioners overtaking me!   Very deflating.    As far as Christmas is concerned I need spuds and sprouts,  got everything else, oh and wine!     Got some crackers,  didn't go for the fancy ones as the gifts are the same as last year, no point in getting the same stuff. 

Well may get up to some crafting tomorrow...  see what sort of mood I am in, and how dark it is! 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Yikes... a week to go!

Does life have a pause button, if so can someone press it?   Every time I think I have come to the end of making Christmas cards I remember someone else.   Mind you I seem to work well when desperate!   This was one effort today,  raided the Christmas stash box, found a few bits,  and cobbled this together,  sakura pen refused to work, so it was quickie glue pen and glitter. 

Also managed two candles,  think I've cracked the tissue paper method - at last.  Also had a bash at stencilling on to the candles, that worked quite well.   I am using the alcohol inks,  and I would use them on a very thin candles, I am sticking to pillar candles and not touching the top, just the sides.   Think it is working quite well. 

I've still got a box to decorate,  and line,  but not sure whether to use velvet or felt. The felt is easier to cut and fit, will see what the craft shop has, have to go there as I am out of 3D glue.

Need to get going on some scrapbooking as well,  really neglected it of late and got lots of photos piling up.   Got no appointments this week,  just the Christmas food shop, and get the flat tidy,  so may manage an afternoon.   Still not been into town, so not seen the Xmas lights, or continental market.   One of these days I'll get organised.  But it hasn't been an easy time,  mum is becoming ever more forgetful, which is worrying and at the same time draining trying to be patient,  which of course you have to be as I know it isn't her fault.   It is also the business of having to think for two people,  making sure she has what she needs before I go out.  My family are of no use whatsoever,  it is right under their nose but they choose not to see it. 

But I do have things to look forward to,  starting as a reiki practitioner next year,  and going  ahead with a business with a friend.  Not dared look ahead too much in the last few years,  every time I did something bad happened, or that is what it felt like.  This is the first year since 2007 that I've not had any surgery!  So maybe I've turned a corner, hope so. 

Thanks for stopping by,  sorry the blog isn't very festive, not managed to find any nice templates to use. But your company is much appreciated. 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Snow!

Had a shock yesterday just as I left the hairdressers it started to snow.  Didn't think it would add up to much,  two hours later it was snowing hard and was sticking.   Shades of last year but nowhere near as bad.  It didn't last long and melted away thank goodness. 

I was busy yesterday, the hair appointment,  then supermarket shop, other bits to do, then an afternoon of crafting and wrapping.  Needed to get everything done and dusted so it could be posted today.  Was stymied by not having addresses for two of my tags, I could have sworn that I saved the new address list for the group,  obviously not.  But got six away, and a parcel.  Then blow me I find a card that was meant to be in with the parcel lying on my table...  :-(     Now I have checked and double checked everything, nothing else to make or post....  I can now amuse myself.  

Made this card yesterday, I was going to make one of Debbi Moore's grotto cards but gave up trying,  no proper instructions anywhere.  I like the CD's got  no complaints with it, but not happy with lack of instruction for the grotto cards.  So just made an ordinary card,  blinged it up with some glitter and stuff,  also used alcohol inks to make the background.   Printed out one of the inserts as well, that was really nice,  it finished off the card.   So happy with the result,  it was just I wanted the grotto card!  

My festive mood keeps coming and going.    Was not happy yesterday at not being able to find a small turkey crown,  can these supermarkets remember that not everyone is feeding the five thousand!  I did get one in the frozen section with some fancy stuffing,  which I wasn't bothered about.    Of course the place was packed, shoppers with blank looks on their faces,  on auto pilot it seemed, while others were just wandering around.  Plus staff changing displays...  !   Dumb or what?   I'd also forgotten my vouchers!   So looks like we're in for two weeks of free shopping. 

I've promised myself a long lie in tomorrow.   Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Ground hog weather

I swear the same weather system has been put on a loop as it keeps coming back, more high winds today.  It lashed down last night,  was glad to be snuggled under the duvet. 

My crafty friends have admitted that they've been borrowing my mojo, no wonder I can't get much done in the way of crafting!   I did manage to find enough to finish off this box,  gave it a base coat of poster paint then applied alcohol inks,  plus a few peel offs.  Also had a bash at using the alcohol inks on a candle,  it has given it a lovely effect,  and yes I tried lighting the candle,  I'm still in one piece as is the candle.  I let it have a good hour plus for the alcohol to evaporate.   Gonna get more inks...  !    Well my niece has given my my hobbycraft vouchers early so.....  well may as well go get my present and play with it.    Sadly I've had to resort to shop bought cards this year, just had no inclination to make any Christmas cards.  Don't know what it was,  just never found the mood to start. 

I have permission to go get us a digi recorder,  just as well I think having looked at the Christmas listings,  I've found a few clashes.   Already know which one to get, spotted it in Best Buy, if it is still there as they are closing down,  not been open very long.  I feel sorry for the staff, it was a nice shop to go into as the staff were very helpful. 

Well all for now...  more bits and bobs of crafting to do over the next few days.  I'd also like some parcels to arrive, namely the one from CnC so I can get on and make some birthday cards! 

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Now suitably attired!

I dared to go into the loft to fetch the decs,   sent a shelf flying...  oh well that got rid of a few unwanted bits and pieces!    So box down,  put tree in place and wonder if I can face the task of untangling the fairy lights... ?  After half an hour I was ready to chuck them out of the window!   Had a brief respite as I gave mum a lift to post office,  headed back for round two then thought: stuff it,  and so headed to supermarket to get new set.   The old set had 100 lights,  about 40 too many for a small tree,  compromised and got a set of 80...  well didn't have a choice, 200, 100 or 80, after that it was 20s.    Really wanted white but they'd all gone, so it was the coloured lights. 

Soon had the tree done,  a single string of  lights, bliss, I hate those double strings I never manage to get them untangled.   Didn't take long to do rest of flat,   about an hour,  and so the flat is now suitably attired for the festive season.    Then blow me I forgot about the nativity scene,  I'd actually bought one the other day,  so fished it out of the box,  yep all is now done... well it would be if we could find 3 missing decorations.  Took pic of tree in all its splendour, rather like the new lights.

Then I managed to make a few Christmas cards, yes I know it is rather late,  but just not been in the mood,  just the family and a few friends will be getting hand made cards.    Found some pyramage stuff,  and a few other bits from last year,  seem to be out of silver mirri card, and would really like the CnC pick of the week to arrive soon as I need to make some birthday cards, thought a grotto card would be appreciated. 

Now need to head to amazon... and order some pressies.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Cor blimey!

I wasn't planning to venture out today, once again we had high winds and horizontal rain.  But found myself heading for the cathedral in town to pick up some tickets for my niece.  That was the last place I wanted to be in a high wind,  it is the highest point in Liverpool,  was really battling against the wind and that was in the car!   Wasn't sure where to pick the tickets up from so went into the cathedral, asked a guide and got given the wrong info,  luckily I wasn't taken too far away from the actual place.    But it was ugh weather,  I was glad of my hawkshead jacket, it kept everything out.   Tomorrow is more of the same,  I am supposed to be helping out at an outreach centre, will have to see what the weather is doing,  they say the winds will be really bad tomorrow, and then on Friday they've forecast snow!   If it does I'll put  up the decs. 

Just realised the pic has a date on it,   just reminded me that I was crafting one handed,    I had my arm in plaster and my knee in a splint!   Not sure how I managed to craft but I did.  This card was always a favourite,   a clutter card,  I do remember getting carried away with the glitter glue.  

Made more headway on my swap cards for December,   I've just chosen a technique that requires a lot of drying time!     Just got one more to do,  miscalculated how many I had to make.  Then they just need the finishing touches.  They will all be in the post on Monday. 

All for now,  think I should really make this blog a bit more festive!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

, Wet, soggy and very cold...

Okay so this time last year we had snow, well we didn't actually, ours came a bit later.  It was cold, colder than it is now, but what do we have this year:  rain, sleet, hail, snow,  winds that have one hell of a chilly bite...   not nice.   Woke up this morning to the sound of hail hitting the window, so that was me back under the duvet. 

This week is catch up week, catching up with all the stuff I kept promising to do for weeks!  So hence the mad dash to get the wedding invites done, next up was a wooden jigsaw nameplate for a friend,  only half done, plus tags for Christmas swap with group!  The result - a very glittery room/carpet,  silver, red, green...  and inky fingers and hands.  Paper cutter put to good use cutting stuff for invites,  managed to work out a production line that made life easier,  even surprised myself by getting them all finished in two days.   I thanked Google for providing the necessary inserts and rsvps,  many thanks to those who spend hours putting such stuff together and then uploading it to the web for the rest of us to use.   So quite a day.  Was sure the gas man was also going to call to service the boiler,  then checked letter,  doh,  it is tomorrow!   Promised myself to finish off the tags and name thingy this week, all before Sunday,  cos niece will be visiting then, so no chance of any crafting.   No chance on Thursday either,  the day of the Christmas shop, then off to give reiki for a couple of hours.   So just tomorrow,  Friday and Saturday afternoon,  Saturday morning I have to go pick up carol concert tickets from cathedral...   decided Saturday would be best as it will be quieter at that end of town.   Sunday it will be into town to show mum the lights and continental fair, plus some lunch.   Fingers crossed the snow holds off till Christmas Eve,  that is my wish,  it can snow all it wants then.... 

And did you know that some King way back declared that the 12 days of Christmas be a holiday for the ordinary man?  Yep, it is probably still law for all we know.   I mean why can't we just close everything down for a few days?   Including the supermarkets,  lets face it how many will be buying enough food to feed the five thousand?   Do we really need the supermarkets to be open so soon after Christmas Day?  No we don't.  Remember when it all shut down?   Bliss, sheer bliss.  No don't get annoyed that the shops will shut their doors early on Christmas eve,  think about the staff inside,  they would also like to get home. 

Right all for now...   thanks for stopping by, muchly appreciated.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

A lot of wet and windy stuff


Yep got rain belting down against window, wind is howling!   Lovely stuff!  

Yesterday I spent with a friend,  always nice to get out and about.  Drive over was fine, sunshine, dry,  for once no hold ups on the M6. Just took me an hour to get their.   We had a nice catch up then I took part in her psychic evening, paying no attention to the time... only when I went to the loo did I realise how late it was,  it was time for me to be on my way home.    Kept fingers crossed that the M6 would be clear... got my wish,  plain sailing all the way through,  traffic calmed down when I got off M6 and onto M62, then M57, but had to contend with that horrible misty rain, which is neither one thing or the other.

It took me a while to unwind once I got home,  I hate driving in the dark, and even more so when it is raining.  I saw to my outstanding e-mails and stuff, then hit the hay.  Even managed a lie in!    Didn't want to stay in bed too late,  as I wanted to catch Barbara's class on CnC, first tho I had to go pay the paper bill...  would you believe it just as I decided to go do that the heavens opened!  So I took the car,  sod it, wasn't prepared to get soaked.   Came back and got settled down with a nice cup of coffee and two hours of Barbara.   I just love her work.   Well as you can see I am IN to brayering!    I should have made a mask of the fairy, as her feet have got lost in the hills...  well we live and learn.    After that it was just a chill out day,  had to prepare the wedding invites for printing,    also want to use the tissue technique to get an image onto some candles,  tried again today then sought help on Youtube, think I have the wrong tissue paper!   Would just like this to work,  so off on a  hunt for tissue paper soon,  I'll check out the local shops now I know what I need.    Will get on with wedding invites tomorrow, I'd forgotten the RSVP bit! So had to design that,  oops.   Anyway just need to hit print tomorrow.  Phew,  one job sorted,  get the candles sorted and I'll be happy. 

I got some homemade Christmas puds yesterday, in the evening we paid a quick trip to the market that was on in town,  my friend's town, wasn't quite what I expected, bit of a damp squib really,  they'd advertised it as a continental market,  well it wasn't, and there weren't many stalls.   We also had a very chilly wind blowing,  but I also got to see a real Owl,  he was gorgeous,  I just stared in wonder at him,  I just don't like to see wild birds being contained,  they should fly free.  But this owl was so gentle, it allowed the children to stroke him. Such a fantastic sight.   I love owls,  I feel a rapport with them. 

Thanks again for stopping by,  hope you are not getting too swamped by Christmas stuff,  stay safe and stay warm. 







Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Arrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhh - December!?

No hang on, how'd we get here so soon?   I mean it was only a short while ago that we were welcoming in 2011,  and now Christmas is on the horizon?    I'm considering hibernating! 

Yeah I know I've been making these cards, which are sort of Festive, doesn't mean it has to happen so soon.  :-(  

I am liking these woodware stamps,  easy to manipulate,  see how I made the 'lines' fit the original line?  Genius or what?   No it wasn't good fortune, for a change it was planned, well up to a point.  I plan in my head,  I have an image of what I want to achieve, if possible, then I go for it - it either works or it doesn't.  In this instance it did, I even managed to cover up a mistake or two.

At least today we had some decent weather, yesterday was a write off,  no point in even venturing beyond the front door, vicious winds,  and horizontal rain,  not a good combo!   I stayed put,  sadly so did Mum, couldn't really blame her for not wanting to venture out it was so foul,  but that meant me having to cook on a Tuesday!   Unheard of!   Well mum usually meets up with old work friends, they enjoy a very long lunch,  so that means I don't have to cook us dinner.   Mum muttered something about eating out,   forget that,  paying through the nose for some over priced meal?   Nah,  liberated a couple of chicken breasts,  and we had a lovely stir fry, followed by...  mince pies!   Was hoping to resist till December arrived, but when you can get 6 for a quid...  

More crafting today,  think I have got a system going now for the brayering,  do that first,  make up X amount of cards,  let them dry, then go back and do the stamping. Worked a treat today.   Mind you I was doing the easy one, the sunset brayer technique is far more involved.   Will be doing some tomorrow.    Someone suggested making TH 12 days of Christmas,  I was in a ratty mood,  so they got a ratty reply, which was undeserved.   I like some of what Tim does,  but it is also drab,  the grunge thing can only be tolerated for so long.   I watched his blog video, okay for him, he has all of his products,  he doesn't have to buy them, we do, and they are pricey.   I just get bugged by this stuff,  TH is a nice guy,   but his stuff is pricey.  

Must think about scrapbooking as well, not done any for ages,  really neglecting it.   Best find out where I put my scrapping mojo...

All for now...  will take photos of new works tomorrow,  got too dark to take any this afternoon!   But did make 4 cards! 

Thanks for stopping by,  take care and stay warm....

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Yikes, December approaches

Last night was talking to a friend and she mentioned how much she was looking forward to our day together at the beginning of December,  not sure why but in my head December was still a long way off,  well it was till I checked the calendar - it is next week!  Oh blimey, best start getting my act together. 

With that timely reminder headed to craft shop for inspiration,  I'd got the lovely woodware set of Deer stamps, see pic opposite. So today I picked up the set of Xmas sentiments,  plus a nice jewellry kit,  it will make one necklace, two bracelets and a pair of earrings.  Cost me a fiver... but it will go a long way!   Along with the aromatherapy stuff.  It will be a cost effective Christmas this year, no less thoughtful,  in fact more thought is going into it all.   Also decorating boxes and the like.  Going to be very busy. 

Made the card, see pic, yesterday, managed to remember to use a mask for the deer!  Just like this set of stamps,  so easy to use and build up a picture.   May try it with some embossing powder,   just for a wow factor.

Not a very exciting day,  trip to see friend and support her charity,  next stop craft shop,  then home,  lunch,  weather rapidly closing in.  Mum did take notice of what I'd said to get out handy,  so she managed to have a few hours with her friends at the coffee bar.   Just getting out does her good,  fresh air,  change of scene, well it always helps.   She managed to eat all of her dinner, Hunter's chicken,  with chips and peas.   Then we indulged in a very rich chocolate cake.

Right, now in need of a cup of tea,  and to head to bed... got a load of new books to get through. 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.. many thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dark days

Always the same at this time of year,  how the day seems to get ever shorter, the sun lower in the sky,  daylight disappearing around 4pm.   So there is more appreciation for any scrap of sunshine.  It was light today,  not as grey as it has been, or as cold. 

Since I had spent yesterday cleaning the flat from top to bottom, I figured I deserved a treat.   I put myself back in order, shower, washed my hair,  felt more human.  Marvelled at the now tidy bedroom!   What a difference!  Had a declutter,  rearranged the furniture and gave it a damn good clean.  As in vacuuming under bed,  which doesn't get done too often.   After that I got into car and went where the mood took me,  which was the craft shop! 

I did need some photo glue,  my excuse for visit,  but I did need the glue, my last tube was almost empty. Had mooch about,  got the glue, and a green ink pad, one I can use with the brayer.  Then spotted some stamps...    saw a lovely set,  seemed to have all the extra bits and bobs I wanted for my other pictures!   It was a Woodware set, so very good quality,  3 deer, two bunnies, a fence, 3 trees and other bits and bobs.  I'd not spent my craft allowance for this month, so I could afford an indulgence!  

Of course I bought it,  see picture!   That was one of my efforts this afternoon.  My wintry moon,  and the new stamp set.  Very happy with results, they are a Christmas stamp set really, but they will work for other stuff, especially the trees, fence and stuff, yep they will all come in useful.   Not really enjoyed stamping until I got into brayering, now I can see how they can be used to build a picture.  It is funny cos my first ever craft kit was a stamping and embossing kit,  I'd spotted a starter card craft kit in a craft shop in Southport, when my mum asked me what I wanted for Christmas I took her to the shop,  it was in one of the arcades in Southport,  so while I finished off my coffee, my mum went to buy the craft kit.  Little did I know that she'd decided to spend more on me so she'd bought the next kit up, which included the stamps, inks, embossing powders and heat gun!   Think that pressie had to rank with one of my other best ever presents, my spirograph!  Remember those?   I loved mine,    I think I became obsessed with it.   The rare occasion when I've enjoyed maths,  rest of the time I hated it.  If only someone had made it fun! 

I was having a lot of fun today with the new stamps,  Woodware never fails to deliver in quality, the stamps are wonderful to use,  crisp, clear images every time.   No they ain't paying me!    More playing later this week, got an essay to write tomorrow.   No rest for the erudite...  

take care all, many thanks for stopping by

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Oops

Ever made a mistake with a date?   I did yesterday,  was convinced that the Mind Body and Spirit fair was taking place on Saturday, 20th November...  only cos usually it took place on a Saturday.   But not this time,   20th was today, Sunday, yet neither I or my friend noticed!   So she came over for nothing...  well I did treat her to an Uncle Ben's rice pot,  which were actually very tasty.   After we'd laughed about our mistake it was back to flat and lunch, the said rice pots,  as seen on TV,  wasn't sure what they'd be like but we were both pleasantly surprised.   So we ended up just having a natter, which was nice,  haven't had a catch up in a while. 

After my friend left I got crafting again, made up some more affirmation cards.  Got some new fairy stamps, by Do Crafts,  love them,   just used them with the wintry moon,  the set also comes with some mini stamps of grass, stars and mushrooms.   Made up about six,  well the brayering does take time.  Very happy with the results. 

So today I went to the MBS fair,  still giggling about yesterday,   it was a nice sunny day so I decided to walk,  need all the exercise I can get.   Had a nice time,  kept on bumping in to people I knew,  which was nice,  and getting lots of hugs, which was even nicer.   Just had a mooch round,  I wanted to get a reading done,  but wasn't sure who to pick,  the one card reader I was drawn to was busy, then I met a friend and she recommended someone else, so I went to her and had a very good reading.  Managed to get a book on chakra therapy,  it will help with my course.  Was tempted by many other things but no money to spend  :-(    Walk home wasn't as enjoyable,  it was very grey and gloomy,   and with a chilly wind blowing.  Back at home checked lotto results and nope, I hadn't won.  Mind you I did have two weeks of winning small amounts, which was very nice.   Did manage to see some of the tennis at the O2,  which is on all this week on BBC2.  Something to look forward to! 

Thanks again for stopping by,  much appreciated.  Take care and keep crafting.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Brrrrr.. cloudy and a cold wind

Not sure why the papers are saying it is 'mild',  not here is isn't!  Blooming freezing.   Really grey day today,  the sort of day that makes you want to snuggle up at home in front of a roaring fire.  Only there is no roaring fire here, just radiators,  which are not the same.
I did venture out though I could have done with another layer of clothing,  had my winter fleece, scarf, but neglected to put on gloves.   I thought I'd soon warm up with the walking,  but I didn't.    Took refuge in the carer's centre,  nice to sit down and have a cup of coffee.   Not sure who it is that bakes the delicious cakes, but I am glad they do!    Hobbled home,  facing the gloom again.  Managed to get a few bargains,  found a nice glass candle holder, it should hold 3,  for my niece's wedding decs, we have also decided on using some silk roses,  spotted some in M&S,   and I found more on ebay at a very good price.   Heard first Christmas song... Jingle Bells, so glad I don't work in a shop,  can you imagine listening to all the Christmas songs over and over again?   This year I am cutting back,  decided to make up some bath oils, creams and diffuser oils using my aromatherapy kit.    Still got a few Xmas cards from last year, so not going to go nuts this year.
Also picked up some nice storage containers,  just 2.99!   Need something large to take my ever expanding collection of inkpads.  This is all the fault of Barbara Gray,  I'm now addicted to brayering!   I think I may just need to purchase some of her stamps sets.  I'm half tempted to join her club.  Let's face it what she creates are works of art.  I do like it that she has someone doing the class with her on CnC,  one of the presenters,  at least then we can see what we will achieve realistically.   
I do have to mention that tonight's dinner was cauliflower cheese, one of the best I've made,  left it in the oven for over an  hour, so it was nice and brown,  also added leeks,  it was delicious.  One thing my mum can't moan about is my cooking,  we do eat well, and have plenty of variety.  Tomorrow it is stir fry!  Mum rather likes my stir frys,   dead easy,  one pot cooking, just how I like it.

Well all for now, thanks for stopping by.   I will get round to visiting you all soon.


Oops, forgot to mention picture,   used a Dreamweaver stencil, their embossing paste (silver),  made the background using a circle mask and some TH blue denim ink with a brayer.  

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

sums up how I've been feeling

This picture that is,  it sums up my feelings over the last few weeks,  a definite 'phut' feeling about it.  I'd been trying to make a swap card, the theme was - Fireworks.  Sounds easy enough,  black background, go bonkers with gel pens, glitter etc... oh how wrong I was.  Tried a few ideas,  all ended up in the bin.  My interpretation of fireworks with pens was well, a damp squib.  And from that came an idea,  how about a faulty catherine wheel, the one that didn't go off?   An idea was born,   out came The Slice,  got it to cut a few shapes for me, plus the wording.   Managed to find some string,   cut a circle of card, smothered that with pinflair, and....... well here it is!  Was hoping the Catherine Wheel would spin, but the 3 layers of card was too thick for that.

I also managed to get started on the Christmas tags,  was faced with, either buying a set of tags,  making them with all the measurements.. or using computer to generate the template.  Went with the latter,  still some cutting out, but using guide lines, so much easier.    Design is involved,  it includes a stencil,  embossing paste, glitter,  distress inks, and that is just one side, the other includes using a brayer and 3, no make that 4 stamps, plus masking...  why do I do this to myself?   Well made two, so 6 to go,  so glad this is not a large group.  Also need to work up enthusiasm to make some Xmas cards.

Not a bad weekend, better than the last one.  Mood is much improved,  new cream is definitely having some effect,  as is starflower oil tablets.   No drumming tomorrow, it is setting off my neck and shoulder problem, spent all week getting things to calm down.   Much stuff to do tomorrow,  course work,  tags... visiting a friend.   Plus the usual cooking and stuff. Ugh. 

Moving on to Monday...    cooking not appreciated!    A frustrating shopping trip, not getting what I wanted,  just wanted some aromatherapy bottles!   Found some on ebay in the end.   Mixed a few oils for a friend,  had one bottle I could use, but it is a bit big,  it will do for now.   Oh the bottles need to be dark in colour, brown or blue,  it helps preserve the essential oils.   Picked up some bits and bobs from a cheap shop, but all the bottles were clear,  but got some jars that will hold cream.

Now Tuesday...  need to do supermarket trip.    Seems extra busy for a Tuesday,  must be warming up for Christmas.   Stick to list,  discovering some of the cheap stuff is okay,  some of it is best avoided.   Sticking with Branston beans,  value beans are not worth the money.   Tesco's own porridge though is very good, so switched to that, saving over a pound.   This two for 3 lark isn't much good for two people though,  I'm learning not to be tempted too much by the bogoffs,  depends how perishable the stuff is.   Still have one petrol voucher left,   and it is  cheap right now...   but the garage is always busy there, couldn't face it today!  Will have to go tomorrow.    Managed a session of crafting, not intentional,  mum had asked me to make an 85th birthday card, so I did, A4 size as her intention was to hand it to the birthday girl, then she changed her mind and wanted to post it...  time for a quick resize!   So with all the stuff out I got on with my Xmas tags for the group, managed to make up 3 more,  it is a bit involved, brayering, stamping - 3 different stamps!  But just got a couple more to do, and then finish off the Xmas side,  which is even more involved!  Not sure why I do this to myself. 

Hoping to get back to my course tomorrow,  well that is the plan.. 

thanks for stopping by, it is much appreciated.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Pass it forward

Today I had a lovely experience.   Some yob had put a dent in the bonnet of my car at the weekend, and being the cowardly sort had not bothered to let me know.    So I looked around for those who did dent repairs, one that came up was Halfords,  they seemed reasonable.  So today I went to Halfords,  spoke to an assistant, told him about the dent,  he came with me to take a look at it,  then said that the firm they used to remove dents wouldn't repair any on bonnets, boots or the car roof.  I felt very depressed, it looked like I was going to have to fork out for an expensive repair at my usual garage.  Then the assistant asked me to wait, he had an idea... he went back into the shop, came back a few minutes later with a gizmo that pulled out dents,  he gave it a go and - the dent was gone!   I could have kissed him, he'd saved me a fortune,  it was his act of kindness, and it was much appreciated,  I wished him good karma.      So my car is back to being as good as new, well except for the wonky boot lock,  need to get that sorted while it is still under warranty. 

My second bit of luck was finding some bargains in M&S,  got mum a pair of trousers and a nice jumper, and me a pair of cargo pants,  all half price.  Chuffed.   Then perused the food bit,  they are overpriced but their food is delicious.   On my way to the food hall I passed the Xmas decs,  well you have to have a look, don't you?   Anyway it seems Owls are all the rage this Christmas,  indulged in their 3 for 2 offer,  got 3 very cute owls that light up.   Owls are my thing,  no idea why,  just find them fascinating.    Had planned a Lancashire Hot pot for me and mum tonight, from M&S,  but that turned into burger and chips...   just felt a fancy for some chips. 

The Pic: another brayered card,  did some trimming on the Owl stamp, so I could get it to look more natural.  Quite pleased with this one,  worked out well.    Just using super smooth card,  TH distress inks,  and stamps of owl and tree,  using archival black ink pad. 

 Now just starting to get to grips with my crystal healing course.   May do some crafting tomorrow, must start the wedding invites I think, and get some more candle decals done.

Thank you for stopping by,  take care

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Feeling rotten

I'm feeling a bit off colour,  had a flu jab today,  don't normally have one but the only way I could persuade mum to get hers was to agree to have one myself.   I am entitled to a free flu jab as I am her full time carer.  The nurse said we could experience flu like symptoms,  and guess which of us got the short straw?  Yes, me!   I was aching all over by the afternoon,  I was wondering what I was coming down with then remembered the flu jab.  So I gave myself a lot of TLC,  still feeling a bit rotten, but not as bad as I was. 

I hate not feeling right,  and I wanted to meet up with my aromatherapy course buddies today,  but had no energy.   Mind you I've pushed myself over the last few days, needed to get my essay back to BSY,  so forced myself to sit down to write it.  Of course other stuff needed doing, like shopping and housework,  mum's input is now down to a bare minimum,   I'm also now taking on some of the ironing as she can't manage it.   Her memory is worse, today she not only asked me what the date was, but also what year, she thought it was 2009.  So all in all a busy few days, and still have a swap card to make, can see that being a last minute job and probably quirky. 

Managed some crafting at the weekend,  made up this card,  the stamp is by Lindsay Mason, but I kind of cannibalised it,  as it did have a border around it,  but I cut that off.  I had been using masking tape but it was far too messy and fiddly.   Might just be me but I prefer the stamp without the border.

Short and sweet tonight.  Take care all.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

What day is it?

Totally lost track...  and was so cosy in bed this morning I had to make a huge effort to get up!   I'd switched to the duvet,  so was all nice and snuggly but the day ahead beckoned.  Even saw some blue sky for a while,  none of the rain that had been predicted.  Still mild,  it can't last, can it?   The Express has been forecasting a Siberian blast of winter in the next few weeks...   whatever.  It also feels like Christmas is sneaking up on me.  Normally I would have made my Christmas cards by now, but not this year.   Guess I'll have to summon up the festive spirit at some point.  As usual alls I want is a quiet and uninterrupted Christmas.  The snow last year was a blessing, it meant travelling was impossible, joy of joys.   Well it is when you've been the part of the family that has always been expected to do the travelling, even when you have a busted wrist and knee!   Yes, seriously,  even after my accident one half of the family expected me and mum to do the visiting! 



That year mum went off to stay with my sister and I stayed put to enjoy some much needed peace and quiet after a very hectic and traumatic year.   I really enjoyed it.  Had a few skype sessions with friends,  cooked the full Christmas dinner for one,  it is possible!  And just chilled out, it was bliss.   Last couple of years it has just been me and mum,  just as we like it,  we do still miss Mo, our neighbour, she'd always call in on Christmas Eve and spend time with us, same on New Years Eve, then she'd get me to let in the New Year in her flat.  I miss her so much.    One of my old colleagues at work once told me that she was jealous of my Christmas arrangements, as she seemed to spend the entire time on the move. 

Blimey,  it is only the 2nd November and here am I wittering on about Christmas, mind you I heard my first Christmas Carol on Monday at the garden centre!   Now the supermarkets are decked out... 

Few words on picture:  usual brayering,  the owl is a stamp,  which I have to admit has become a favourite of mine. 

Thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

What use is Tuesday?

Yeah you can tell I was in a stroppy mood today. But Tuesdays are neither here nor there,  not the half way point, or the start or the end,  just... there!   At least the sun was shining,  actually right into my eyes,  in the living room and car,   the sun is just too low in the sky at this time of year. 

So the day began with a hair cut, much needed,  reached the point where no amount of hair gel would do much for the mop on top of my head.   My hair dresser left his wife last year, and last year he was usually mute during the cutting and drying bit, now he is separated from his wife he wants to talk!   He's a nice chap, but then I get odd questions, as today: where can he learn how to use a computer... how long have they been around?   He's same age as me, so how did the IT pass him by?   Some 45 minutes later and hair has been restored to normal,  I look human...  for a while, till the next hot flush.  But not having hot flushes cos of new cream, just have a spike in temperature...  ugh, know what that is - reach for the powders.    Hair now flat as pancake.  Oh well... nice while it lasted. 

Lunch time... down sandwich, two mugs of tea...  don't want to go to supermarket but have to.  Talk myself round and go to said supermarket.   Suffer yet another spike in temperature...  take more medication.  Then wonder if I should attempt to wield a brayer?    Oh may as well,  it is a blunt instrument!    Hence the pic that  I have entitled Irony,  a chap with umbrella gazing at a sunset, as one does...    Well it amused me. 

Next was.... this, one of the stamps I bought yesterday, two budgies, so cute, though they do look as if they are suspended in mid air...  get over it.    I was trying to do one of those odd skies, where you get blue and then yellow...  not sure if this works.   But it is such a cute stamp. 

Think I was on a roll then, managed two more pics,   I felt as if I was fighting myself.   Very odd feeling.  Then dusk began to fall and it was only 4pm!   I hate crafting by lamplight,  much prefer natural daylight,  so I guess I need to start earlier in these winter months?

Weather is supposed to be crap tomorrow,  but I do have my aromatherapy course, and got to hand in CRB form.  Filled it in today,  a couple of bits I didn't understand,  so left them.  But rest is properly filled out and in black pen.   Need to take passport and drivers licence tomorrow...   heard someone say that the old paper licences are no longer valid?  Don't believe it, I am sure the DVLA would have told me to get a new one.   Not going to waste good money on getting something I don't need.  And got lucky with pre paid prescription,  this round I managed 4 prescriptions, saved me a fortune!  Pre paid runs out tomorrow,  but don't need to renew it till end of month! 

A very quiet Halloween,  someone in the street had a party for the kids,  many of the local youth centres also ran events, so the trick and treaters were very thin on the ground, as were the troublemakers.   Got really annoyed with my hairdresser, cos he admitted he'd given his son some eggs last night!  What the hell was he thinking?   

All for now folks, thank you for stopping by.  Take care

Monday, 31 October 2011

Did it!

It took me 3 attempts but finally made the reflection card,  not a bad effort,  room for improvement I think.  I popped up to the craft shop to get some ink pads, light blue and yellow, then spotted a small skyline stamp which I thought would work well on this card.

There are some terrific tutorials on Youtube showing how to do this technique,  but in the mean time here's how:   take A5 card and cut it in half,   now using the light blue ink and the brayer,  put down a couple of coats of the blue,  then using the dark blue working from the top gradually add more colour, so that it is darker at the edges, leaving a light patch in the middle, turn card upside down and repeat.  Take your chosen stamp and using a black archival ink pad stamp your image,    using a piece of acetate, stamp the image again using stayzon, onto the acetate, then match it up with the original image (upside down) and use the brayer to transfer the image to the card.  It needed be a solid image or perfect,  remember it is a reflection.  Always use good quality card when brayering, the smoother it is the better the result.   It does take practice, but you will soon get the hang of it, learn how much pressure to apply, how to ink the brayer, just take your time and don't expect miracles,  practice on some scrap paper till you feel you've got the hang of it.

And here's one I made yesterday,  but got remade today!   The glossy accents ran a little, so had to gently remove the Owl and cut away the excess, then make the background again.   I put some orange card behind his nose and eyes,  making him look a bit creepy!    This picture was done on a A5 piece of card,  you don't have to stick to small cards to do the brayering.  I also put down a layer of the light blue ink, it seemed to make a difference to the night sky effect, and then using a versamark white ink pad I dabbed on some 'mist' around the moon.

Tomorrow I need to concentrate on my course, need to get an essay written!  Also getting a much needed hair cut,  I've only managed to last this long with the mop cos of some VO5 gel,  got it at the supermarket and tried it,  it really does hold the style in place.

 I also need to get started on the wedding invites,  get the printing done,  then start the candle decorating.  And of course will have to think about Christmas cards!   Methinks it may well be a kanban kit,  don't really want to be messing about too much.

I hope you are enjoying a peaceful Halloween. 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

All Hallows Eve...

So things may go bump tonight - LOL.  I just hope it will be a peaceful night,  that the trick & treaters will do their rounds, act sensibly but have fun. 

It is time for the clocks to go back.  A bit confusing at first, lighter mornings but darker earlier in the afternoon.  I was surprised at how dark it had gone at 4.30 pm.  

I'd had a successful afternoon with the brayer!  Checked out Youtube for some videos on how to do sunsets and reflections. This is my take on one such video,  I had to use different coloured ink pads, and had no reed stamp, so had to draw them, but even so I was chuffed with the result, not bad for a first attempt.  This was a case of building up the layers, used orange for the first coat,  then ripped and tore some paper, used a brown TH distress ink pad to do the mountains,  just letting them become lighter the further away they were supposed to be,  then went back over the sky with pink and lightish red ink pads,  then drew the reeds,  finished off with the flock of birds,  Tim Holtz stamp, and the sentiment. 


So I then decided to have another go,  using the same technique, but used more of the orange,  the bird stamp is again a Tim Holtz stamp,  sentiment is from set from papermania. 

Just nice to do something different.  Also tried the reflection technique but using acetate to transfer the reflection onto the card. You stamp the image on to a sheet of acetate, then lay it over the card and use the brayer to apply pressure.  I used a stayzon ink pad for stamping onto the acetate,  it is a bit sticker so doesn't slide. Will post pics in a couple of days.

When I was at the MBS fair (Mind Body Spirit) quite a few of the stalls had these 'inspiration' cards, some claimed they were hand made, more like they came out of a printer,  but most were price around the £4 mark.   People do these cards,  so I'll be making quite a few!  Think it may be better to do a production line, do the base bit then add the different stamps later.  

I also found that my Slice Findings card has birds on it, so I get some die cuts and then a mask!   Cut out some Owls,  bird on a branch and swallows.  Cut out a large Owl, made up the card and then added some glossy accents,  which are still drying.

Feel a bit more livier today,  got a good nights sleep, and also had the benefit of that 'extra' hour.   Even managed a trip to supermarket! 

Hope you've had a good weekend, many thanks for stopping by, take good care

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Feel like a soggy balloon

All out of energy,  think I'll be heading for my bed pretty soon.  Last night's workshop ran over,  the host arrived late, she had got held up on M6 due to an accident, so we didn't get started till 7ish.  I was trying to stay conscious of the time as I was the locker up for the night, plus I had to be somewhere today pretty handy so I really didn't want a very late night.  And so guess what?  Yep, it was a late night...  we had our psychic workshop,  and there were 6 of us, so there was a lot of readings to do after we'd finished paintings, then suddenly I realised it was nearly 11pm,  yikes!   Two people had a fair way to travel home,  so felt obliged to remind everyone how late it was.  Most took the hint, but one didn't, she seemed to want to continue chewing the fat till the wee small hours.     I finally crawled into my bed around midnight,  and although I was tired I still felt restless, so it took me a while to wind down.   Then this morning the alarm went off and I really just wanted to turn over and stay put.  But had to get up,  but there was no motivation to move,  my body refused to speed up.   I was also sure that my friend wouldn't arrive at our meeting point on time, so I had plenty of time?  Wrong,  she changed her plans, didn't tell me and so got there early.   Then I managed to take a wrong turning, ended up on a dual carriageway that is almost impossible to get off... and arrived about 45 minutes late.    We were meeting up at a mind body and spirit fair,  it was a bit of a disappointment, we both thought it would be bigger than it was, so I won't mention location.  Fortunately the little cafe was serving some very nice food,  and they had chips...  so we got some,  lots of chips, hot and very tasty, made up for the disappointment of the poor show.   It still proved a useful exercise as my friend had done a lot of networking while waiting for me to get there.  Got a few nice bits and bobs,  not much tho as there wasn't much there!  Hardly surprising given the high rental for the tables. 

Came home via the motorway, rather than take Googles convoluted route once again.  Must invest in a decent map book.   The trouble with the M6  is that it does have more than its fair share of accidents,  it is all down to a few who drive like idiots and who have no concern for others.  Today it was a straight drive back home, no hold ups anywhere, but sadly yes, there were the idiots weaving in and out of traffic, undertaking people etc.   On my way to the fair I had a huge lorry come up right behind me,  he sat about two inches off my bumper, he was trying to scare me, it had the opposite effect, I slowed right down. 

Word about the pic: a brayer and stamps... limited the drawing to the fence!   A few of my none crafty friends have been fascinated by these cards,  quite a few think I've drawn the pictures.  Us crafters know better,  no fooling you lot!   Will be doing more tomorrow, can't think of a better way to relax - which is what I need right now.

Have a lovely weekend - and if you are in the UK, don't forget, the clocks go BACK!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

All clean and tidy

Blimey what a day,   woke up early and then drifted back to sleep, when I woke up again I was sure it must be quite late... wrong!  It was still early,   but I got up as I had quite a lot to get through: housework,  ironing,  cleaning windows,  and of course thinking about what to cook for evening meal.   Also need to check over the washing up, which my mum insists on doing, but isn't really doing very well, so I am finding myself washing up again, only trying not to let her know.  Such is the life of a carer. 

Yesterday I was with some carers,  of course we all had a moan,  but it is also nice to be with those who really do understand.   We also had a good laugh,  which is just as important.  

I also got some good news regarding my application to work as a reiki practitioner at the carers centre,  so have a few more forms to fill in.  So good to hear things are moving forward.  Will be having a chat with the manager soon. 

So today was exhausting,  and of course there was my mum,  who now takes all morning to get dressed, and so today was holding me up.   I just wanted to get the housework out of the way, and would have done had she not decided to sit doing crossword puzzles in her bedroom for an hour this morning,  and then wanting to get her shower when I was about to clean the bathroom.    I thought she was already washed and dressed, that she'd been waiting for me to finish the living room...  WRONG, she'd just been faffing about.    Then my sister skyped,  so mum settled herself in my room,  meantime the pile of ironing had reached topple state, so I tackled it.    Then filled the washing machine,  this week it seemed impossible to empty the washing basket! 

I did manage a bit of crafting on Tuesday,  went mad with the brayer and a couple of new stamps, mini stamps of birds on a wire, or branch...  the pic above is one of the said stamps.  There is no 'tree' on the stamp, I had to draw it,  but was pleased with the result.  I made about six brayer cards,  ended up with very blue fingers!  My brayer is also now a luminous green, made mistake of using wrong ink on it,  so it is now stained with green, but it still works and there is no transfer of the green ink.

Tomorrow there is another psychic art workshop,  should be intriguing.   Well this is the spooky time of the year, and the barn is a very spooky place,  though the spooks it has are generally very friendly.  Looking forward to it,  then on Saturday I'm at a Mind Body and Spirit fair, doing research for the new business... more on that at a later date.   It all suddenly seems to be happening!

Take good care

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Been one of those days

Some stuff went right, some stuff went wrong.  Wanted to try some of my Xmas stamps with the brayer,  had to ditch first idea as stamp wasn't going to work the way I wanted it.  Second almost worked,  just needs a few adjustments.

Finished off swap card,  saw a nice idea this morning on CnC, the presenter admitted she'd got the idea from a blog.  It is the faux stitching, but using a piercing tool, it looked okay will post pic as soon as it has reached its destination.    Then added some messages to a few pictures, like this one,  felt it was in need of something else, think the sentiment works quite well.

Now have the fine nibs for the promarkers,  the assistant said I needed a fine nib for every pen... blow that for a lark!  So today I swapped the fine nib from the brown pen to the green,  did a bit of scribbling till the green came through,  it worked fine.  I'm pretty sure I saw Barbara Grey do the same thing, or it could have been another presenter,  but they didn't say you needed a new fine nib for every pen you owned,  if you did it would cost a fortune.

This is a fresh card, used a Tim Holtz stamp,  had to do a bit of a cheat to make it seem as tho the branch stretched that far!  I wanted to just keep this very clean and simple.  I think I do prefer the Sapphire blue for the sky,  rather than the eggplant,  the sapphire seems richer.  Not sure if I should give the bird a red chest!

Felt sorry for the Welsh rugby team,  just pipped at the post,  I think my niece and her fiance may have been at the Millennium stadium on Saturday, as he is a keen rugby fan,  probably went out later to drown their sorrows.   And the Welsh team has not disgraced themselves on or off the pitch, unlike our moronic rugby lot.

Weather today was truly awful,  nothing else to do but to stay put!  Well after an emergency dash for vital supplies that is.   This weeks shop was the big one, had run out of stuff,  but got my 5p off petrol - so that was nice.  I wonder if those in power are in touch with the real world, the one that we all inhabit?   Do they know the price of anything?  Does that clot in ll Downing Street have any idea what putting VAT up to 20% has done?  It is okay for him, his nest is well feathered.  Time to rethink capitalism,  it is no longer fit for purpose. 

Got out some of the Christmas stash...  figured I couldn't avoid it anymore.  Got some flower soft freebies, so began with them.   May also experiment with brayer and stencils, using the dreamweaver paste.

Stay warm folks,  put on another layer.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A dark and Stormy night

Which is how Snoopy (Peanuts cartoon) used to start his stories!   Been very stormy here,  2 days of rain so far,  just that steady drizzly stuff as well, which I hate as it is neither one thing or the other. 

Yesterday popped down to watch the river,  it was at boiling point, waves crashing in,  got there for high tide so it was even more dramatic.  Took a short video of it.  The river seemed to be matching my mood,  just felt very restless and wasn't able to settle to anything, not even crafting.    Did have a go but gave up as it was definitely going pear shaped! 

Made this picture on Saturday,  back to the brayer,  wasn't happy with the first attempt,  didn't feel right.   Made the sky very dark,  cut a larger circle to get a bigger moon,   I also got some make up sponges so was able to make a better job of the sponging technique. I think it came together nicely.  The sponges work much better than cotton wool, it felt like I had more control.  Did follow Barbara's instructions to blot the sponge first,   it does take more time that way but it is also worth it.    Think the branch needs a splodge of snow on it. 

Also need to apologise to my 3 legged toad, which is supposed to attract money.   Well nothing had been happening, so threatened to chuck him out.   He must have been listening as I've had 5 wins on the lotto since last Wednesday,  small wins, but as they say every little helps!   Actually on Saturday I was feeling very nervous,  switched on PC, logged into e-mail account and there was a nice e-mail from the Lotto people saying they had good news about my Euro Lottery ticket... ooer,  was it me?    Nope,  just got £3!   Then got two tenners on the lotto later!    I ain't complaining.   Always nice to win something. 

Got second lesson of my aromatherapy course tomorrow, looking forward to it, it was so relaxing last week. 

Many thanks for dropping by, take good care all and happy crafting.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

What a difference a brayer makes...

We are always told not to blame the tools, but in this case I am breaking that rule cos using the speedball brayer I managed to do it like Barbara!    I really didn't think it would make any difference, but then I heard her say that the speedball was spongy, whereas the brayer I had was rock hard.   So here is the result with the speedball...  so easy.    Need to work on this pic it isn't quite right yet,  the stamp only gives some of the Owl, so may need to make the moon a bit bigger.    Got very inky and messy which was lovely.  Problem is with doing this stuff is you realise that you need a lot more ink pads!   I'm making do with what I've got, but I am going to have to get a few more.    I am finding this far more interesting than just sticking toppers on.  

There wasn't much else to do today,  weather is a compete contrast to last weeks heatwave,  cold, blowing a gale and belting down with rain.  Haven't moved far all day,   made it down the path to retrieve the recycling bins, so carefully tossed half way down street by recycling team!   Feel like complaining as this happens every week, our recycling bins are just slung down the street,  we're lucky sometimes if we can locate them.   They don't behave like that in the posh part of town!   We all complained earlier in the year at the disgusting state they and the bin men had left our street it,  rubbish everywhere, and it did improve, but they seem to be sliding back to their bad old ways. 

Also have neighbour issues,   new neighbour seems to have a penchant for slamming doors in her flat, as well as yelling at the top of her voice.  It's been like that for the last 3 nights, keeping a record of it all,  my thoughts are that if you give her enough rope she'll hang herself.  She's had one warning already. 

Still feeling excited over my aromatherapy course, got out the aromatherapy kit I bought off ebay, wasn't sure if it had any carrier oils but it has!   So now just need some empty bottles and I can make up a few lotions.  Wonder if my mate Elaine has any at her place?  Mmmm...   could take a couple of cup cakes and find out tomorrow. 

take care all, many thanks for stopping by

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