Thursday, 29 September 2011

Phew what a scorcher....

So where has this weather been hiding?   I've had to dig out the fan from the cupboard just so I can stay cool. 

Well yesterday was one of my better days!   I popped down to the Carer's Centre to volunteer as a therapist,  it was very busy but I was the solitary volunteer therapist, felt sure that there'd be more.  But it was good to see a large turnout, think the Centre manager was chuffed.  I've filled in all the forms, had a brief chat with the chap who organises all the therapies,  he told me that they have a waiting list for reiki, so the sooner I can get my CRB clearance the better.  Just had to get permission for two references.    All the stuff I need will be supplied, that was a great relief,  treatment tables can be pricey.  Just got to organise some insurance.  It will be nice having something to do, a routine. 

I'll also be doing MBS fairs with a friend,  we just thought we'd give it a go. 

Think it is time for a cooling shower...    another hot night ahead.

Monday, 26 September 2011


So what is a Mandala?   Well look at the picture!  They are used in meditation as a focal point,  they are usually symmetrical,  and religious symbolism from Tibet.  I just spotted a kit at the MBS fair yesterday,  I had great fun putting this one together, all with coloured sand,  would have liked a few more colours but you have to work with what you've got.

It was very enjoyable to do, and then I remembered my spirograph,  remember them?    Not sure how many Mandalas I must have made back then, all accidentally.   I did love my spirograph, one of my better Xmas pressies.   Just had so much fun with it.

There is another reason to be happy, summer is back!   I do love our crazy weather, never makes any sense.   Last week they were saying that for my bit of the country it would be a wet and windy weekend,  and it was the opposite.   Today was glorious,  sunshine all the way.  Not yet packed away the summer gear.

I've also been busy decorating more candles,  these are the Buddha candles, all come with  a pertinent proverb or quote on the reverse side.   Finally got to grips with the decals,  realised I hadn't been using enough of the varnish on them, so gave the new batch 3 good layers, that made them much more stable and easier to put onto the candles.  Very happy with the end result,  also tried the same with the clear decals, they also became much more stable and easier to position.   Phew....  my plan has worked!  Now just trying some other forms of decoration,  picked up some stuff today,  jewellry stuff,  beads, wire and fixings,   the idea is to make a decoration for a candle, then see which my niece wants for her wedding.  Not the buddhas!   Nooooo, the candles which have a flower design on them.    Also have to put together the flower creation,  just need to make them first....    The folding bit is easy,  just getting the vellum to stick together,  takes a while for the pinflair to set.   May also use some embossing powder on them. 

Still doing a lot of sketching,  rather nice really to just doodle.  No more birthday cards for the moment, not until November.  Guess best make some sort of start on some Xmas cards.  

Thanks for stopping by, your support is much appreciated.   Enjoy this lovely weather

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mind, Body and a boosted spirit

Just had a rotten couple of days, nothing I can put my finger on,  no-one or no one thing responsible for my miserable mood,  it just landed on me.  

So today had to be different?   Well I had no choice,  I'd agreed to play my Djembe along with my drumming class at the Mind Body and Spirit fair,  so had to be up in good time to make myself presentable, and that does take a bit of time.   Alarm was set,   but no need of it as my own internal alarm went off before it.   I was a bit bleary eyed at 8 a.m.,   some breakfast,  cups of tea,  cigarette.... needs must.    Hit the shower,  and wash hair,  leave bathroom feeling slightly more human.   Now will hair behave itself?  Will I manage to blow dry it and the have a hot flush and end up with flat hair syndrome?   Keep fingers crossed...  hair looks half good,  bit of work with tongs...   before and after  hot flush - knew it would raise its ugly head.   Slap on some make up, yep that is a definite improvement.   Now just need mother to get her act together,  have to get her organised so I can leave flat.    Feel a sense of rising anger,  mum is being slow, not her fault so trying not to blame her or hurry her up...  patience exhausted.   Off to MBS fair,  Mind Body and Spirit, for those that don't know,  holistic/new age stuff... my thing.    Meet up with drumming buddies,  we're all relieved to see one another,  think we all presumed we'd all bottle out of it.   We all hope to have a quick practice before our performance,  that was the plan... fat chance,  Kevin is late joining us, and he is the only one who knows all the patterns - oooer,  it has started!   Yikes,  hear pattern and I'm off.... phew.   Only stuff up on one pattern,  that was cos I got all tense for some daft reason,  relaxed again and managed the rest.  Audience loved it.   Wish to be handed a large drink....   just get water - sigh. 

My ordeal isn't over yet, I've been fernangled into taking part in a psychic art workshop talk.  Why do I agree to these things?    But I have, and supplied paintings,  think I'll just be a side show,  paintings will be background material.  How wrong can you be?   I end up centre of attention,  not what I wanted.... want to find escape route out of room,  damn why didn't I sit closer to the door?    So I am stuck,  but I eventually realise I am amongst like minded folk and it is okay.   Sense of relief is enormous.   They were all looking at my paintings, such as they are, from the pyschic art workshop, and seeing stuff that I hadn't seen.  All very interesting.    By now it was after 3pm,  and I suddenly felt very tired.  My plan had been to have another wander round all the stalls, but felt too tired and in need of a nice, home made cuppa.   So that was me - plus knee was objecting big time,  wasn't using crutch so my right and knackered knee was very sore by this time.  Think I may have expected a bit too much from it.   So home it was, to a much needed cuppa.  And to examine purchases,  a gorgeous silver Angel,  an Owl bookmark,  and a Mandalas project kit...  I shall explain over the week what that is, hopefully with the results.  

All in all a good day,  tiring,  but hugely enjoyable. 

Thanks for stopping by folks,  enjoy your weekend and take good care

Friday, 16 September 2011

And the weekend approaches

I've spent all week waiting for delivery of 3 items,  two of which were ordered LAST week.  Was at the verge of contacting sellers to complain, as both had sent me e-mails saying that goods had been dispatched the day after order.   So today I head off to get weekend shopping and come back to find two of the purchases have finally been delivered.   Not what you expect of internet shopping, not when the item is in stock...   

The delivery of these items meant I could get on and complete some projects, though one arrived too late for me to be able to get it to the recipient by hand.  Annoyed about that,  or is it Royal Mail?   Poor posties seem to be overloaded with stuff to deliver,  our postie is now using a trolley, which is choc full of post.   Like to see some of these flash managers out doing the job! 

So finally managed to finish my swap card,  just wanted to use a different font on the Slice machine.  Second delivery was the clear decal paper,  dispatched to me last Saturday....   arrived today.  That is ridiculous considering what I paid in postage! 

I had to do some cropping to make image fit the required candle,   thank goodness for photo shop!  This is the end result,  it has had two coats of acrylic varnish, just needs one more.  Made sure that I did some draft prints on paper to check the measurements,  just needed a few tweaks here and there to make it fit.   Also added names and date, think god daughter will like that,  well her mum thinks she will!  

Got my second psychic art workshop tomorrow,  just felt I had some unfinished business.   But will enjoy just letting rip onto a canvas.   Had a great time at the last workshop. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend...   thanks for stopping by

Monday, 12 September 2011

And another weekend bites the dust

Bit of a soggy affair our weekend,  weather was just unpredictable.  Mum headed off to meet her friends for coffee on Saturday,  and no sooner had she left in a taxi than she was back!    Felt a bit mean,  sort of resented her coming back,  I like my Saturday afternoons,  I can just potter about to my hearts content. 

Then Sunday arrived, had the lie in I had desired the day before!   The usual mixed bag of weather, a surprise phone call from a friend to say she was in the area and she'd pop round in the afternoon.   Wasn't happy, mum had 'stolen' my crossword!   Cheek of it.   But no need to worry as she'd not managed to answer any of it.    Well yes I did worry as she'd also not managed to complete the easy crossword, which she always does.  Aged parents are a worry.  

Of course it was also the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, so was watching that when friend arrived.   The images of the planes smashing in to the buildings are still hard to believe even now, ten years on.   I hope some will now find closure and move on.    A very moving ceremony nevertheless. 

Did manage a few more decals,  getting better at fixing them onto the candle.  They are tricky,   they can move so easily, so you have to keep checking that all is straight and that there are no air bubbles.    But sent pics through to a friend, she loved them.   Some will be Xmas pressies, but got an idea to sell them as well. 

Very windy here,  last bit of that hurricane is working its way across the country,  just been watching a crane being rocked by the wind - very alarming. 

All for now, thanks for stopping by.   Oh, just working out Blogger's new settings, will restore my favourites soon and be visiting other blogs. 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

A soggy Saturday

Very humid,  and windy,  a taste of what is to come if we believe the Met office, as we are supposed to get the tail end of some hurricane. 

So what to do on a wet afternoon? Play of course :-)  I mistakenly ordered the white decals - rats, but all was not lost.  I felt that with some careful cutting they'd still work.  So today was play day,  just seeing how much varnish to use,  how big the designs need to be and practising how to put the decals on.    This was the first attempt, found some copyright free images,  once downloaded I arranged them in a Word document, I got four images on the page, probably could get more,  depends on size.   Had some decal paper left over... but more of that in a minute!   Once the image has been printed on the decal paper it needs to be 'fixed',  hence the acrylic varnish,  I'm using plastikote clear acrylic varnish,  the 'fixative' needs to be flexible.  The instructions say to give it 3 light coats,  'light' being the important word,  and then leave it to dry between coats.  It takes about an hour to dry completely,   so you can see this is an activity that needs planning.    Once dry I used a shape cutter to cut out the image.  Then you soak it in some cold water for about 30 secs,  then gently slide it off the backing paper and onto the candle, or whatever it is you want the decal to go on.  Next comes the fiddly bit,  you need to smooth it down, but gently, it takes a few minutes and then you can leave it to dry.  

But what about those left over bits?   Well...  if you have a die cutting machine, or punches, some alcohol inks, then you can use them up!   The decal paper will take the alcohol inks,  there is not need to 'fix' it either as it is not water soluble.   So once you have your piece of coloured decal then start punching or cutting.  I used my Slice machine,  I was using a small candle so the designs had to be no more than One and a Half inches.   This really was an experiment but I was very happy with the results.  With the wedding coming up I wondered if the Slice Wedding SD card would be useful,  didn't fancy paying full price for it, but found it on Amazon for half price!   Result. 

This is the 'other' side of the candle.  You could put anything on it, including letters or words,  so you can make bespoke candles for any occasion.  Considering how much decorated candles cost in the shops these work out at a fraction of the price. 

Now need to source some wholesale candles - and do some designs.  Well that festive thingymebob is happening in a couple of months! 

Getting so clammy here,  and it was really warm last night.

Not sure what to do tomorrow,  I should make my swap card,  or make a start on my scrap challenge?  May make one more candle using the white decals,  should get delivery of the clear decal on Monday.

Enjoy the weekend folks.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Bit of a rubbish day

Today started badly,  managed to sleep in,  weather was crap, hard to get myself going but I  needed to be out of the house by 10.15 a.m. to make it to a funeral.   I made it with minutes to spare,  after worrying about mum, who was still in bed, very unlike her.   The funeral, short, to the point and poignant.    Bit of a reunion as well, all the old face,  many I'd not seen for a few years, so we had a nice catch up.  Not at the pub, it wasn't open,  didn't pubs used to open at 11.30?   Anyway we headed off to garden centre and enjoyed a coffee, plus a lot of conversation.   It was odd seeing everyone again, none looked as if they'd changed one bit,  and none of us thought that it would be Jillian who's funeral we would be attending. 

Then had to head home for quick sandwich, check up on mum and back out for hospital appointment.  I feel like I've spent the last 3 years at that hospital,  even the staff know me!   Well the knee replacement bit is okay,  what is still causing problems is the ruddy kneecap, which they said they'd replace, but didn't!   So why were they so surprised when I told them I was still having problems?   Also got some scar tissue issues.    So no discharge, just come back in a couple of months.   Cowardly consultant avoided me,  I did have a few questions for him, wonder if he knew?  Most pertinent was: why didn't you remove that knackered kneecap?    But did manage to walk without crutch outside, a break through, it felt liberating,  but also felt nervous and the right leg got very tired. 

Looks like my niece has decided upon the above design... relief.   Also printed out the first two decals, BUT, my beef is that the website didn't state that the acrylic varnish was an essential part of the kit!   Dumb or what?   You need that it seems to 'fix' the ink,  so I had to go look for a can of the stuff.  Luckily found some in B&Q,  but was annoyed at website, they need to make it clear that the varnish is necessary.  So I should be able to make the first proper candle tomorrow using the decal. If it works I'll be chuffed as it will also mean I can make up my own advent candles, which I prefer to the calendars,  but which are not easy to find, well the nice ones.  

The day ended with a nice roast dinner, mum, to my surprise had managed to prepare the veg for me,  so we had roast chicken, with stuffing and veg,   just about saved the gravy!  Must have been okay as mum cleared her plate. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

Wedding fever

Had to find thinking cap and start coming up with ideas for my niece's wedding stationary, only she's not given me much to go on.  Sent through a few ideas,  which she likes,  so will keep going till she says which one she wants.  Also have to come up with table decorations.   That had me stumped,  thought candles would be nice, but how to decorate them?   Found some free stuff on the Martha Stewart site,  and one design used a decal,  well moved on to Google,  searched for make your own decals, and sure enough you can - yippee.   These are the waterslide decals, ordered them through Amazon. 

In meantime I've been knuckling down to the invites,  this is the latest.   Had a look round for pics of wildflowers or spring flowers,  saw this pic and loved it.   I can print these as well, so saves a bit of time, the squiggly bit is a stamp,  tho I'm also thinking of ribbon. 

This was another card I came up with,  similar idea,  using a printable design,  mat and layer it, then used the left over bits from a punch plus a stick on pearl.   But that would mean a lot of fiddly stuff to do, luckily it will only be 48 invitations,  if it were 200 I'd be just looking at printing them!

Then today as I am making these cards I get an e-mail from a friend, my first thought was that I'd not heard from her in a while,  so thought it would be a catch up,   and instead it was giving me news of the death of an old colleague.   It was such a shock,  she'd only retired in 2008,  and was only 64, which is no age these days.   She was the person who trained me and whom I worked with the most.   My other colleagues told me she was a bit an of an odd bod, and she was, but in a nice way.    I got along very well with her,  and we did eventually become friends,  she wasn't an easy person to get close to,  reluctant, or shy, I'm not sure, but she seemed to prefer her own company.  Well in her later years,  as in her youth she was a go getter.  The news really did knock me sideways,  I sort of felt she'd go on for a long time,  becoming ever more endearingly eccentric.  

Rest in Peace Jillian.