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


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