Sunday, 30 December 2012

And that was...

...Almost 2012, a very soggy year.  Just one more day to go and we get to do it all over again.

I decided to start my Craft/Art journal,  I'd already made the front cover so it was time to move inside.   This is to explain what the journal is about, so thought I'd start with Art Room, and made a tag,  lots of stamping going on here using my new stamps, and some faux hinges which were covered with copper embossing powder.  Then lots of stamping on the page itself. I don't want too much white space this time round, and the tags or pieces will be kept as flat as possible.  This took a whole afternoon,  well 2 and a bit hours, with the inking and stamping, waiting for stuff to dry...   

Here is the two page spread,  still got to put in some writing,  think I'd like it to be a poem. This also had some stamping round the edges,  the 'room' tag is a mini tag that has been inked and stamped,  then I added the letters.  The red tag was going spare but I like it so much that I had to add it. 

My new stuff from crafty individuals also arrived on Friday. 

Very happy with it,  I'd forgotten what I'd ordered!   Lots of stamps, of course, and a carriage clock that has to be decorated.  That will be some project for me as I want to try lots of new stuff, like crackle glaze and other techniques.  I decided that the stuff from crafty individuals would be paid for out of my Christmas money.   They also sent me a few mini stamps as a thankyou for my order,  rather like the craft barn, but a lovely touch.  Just need the Umount now,  which of course I should have ordered at the time... I had enough to back two stamps.  Just hope my craft shop has got some in,  it is something they run out of. 

This tag is made up of another new set of stamps, all Paris orientated.  I used TH distress inks on the tag,  brown and red, don't ask me what silly name they have on them! 

Then I had an experiment...  with the UTEE and frantage powders. I melted some UTEE and then poured it onto a tag, made of thick card.  I spread it out with the heat gun,  then added the frantage,  a bit of everything, then heated it from below.  Once it had taken I could heat from above,  then I softened it all and stamped into it. I did take a photo, but it is rubbish so I'll have to retake it, but it did work!    I am now starting to get the hang of the frantage,  the chunky bits are also nice,  I'll add to my collection as and when I can. 

This is a grunge board heart, that had the distress ink daubed on it, not as messy as I thought it was going to be.  Then I left it to dry thoroughly and then embossed it.  I'm liking the effect. So now need more of those! 

It's never ending this craft lark.   I have been seriously tempted by the CnC sale, but had no pennies to spend.  There were a few bargains to be had if you were quick enough.   I also enjoyed the bloopers,  I did think that the Bibster had tempted fate when she said there were no bloopers of her, then proceeded to provide two in two days!    I've also enjoyed Leonie's ad hoc demos,  most worked, one or two certainly didn't and even she agreed!   Nice to know the experts can also get it wrong.

Well I've got a few bits on the go,  all needing to be finished off tomorrow... I hope.  My sister is here at the moment,  not required to keep her entertained,  but even so you do feel obliged to be polite (sort of).  She brought mum one of those scooters, which I frankly don't think is a good idea,  but the 'idea' is that mum will only use it when my sister is here.   I think that will be the case as I don't think mum has the confidence to go out alone on it.  It is also too cumbersome for me to put together, there is also the small matter of charging the battery.   I'm not entirely happy as they didn't consult with me,  and I am the one who has to deal with this stuff on a day to day basis.    There is also the thorny issue of were the thing will be stored,  it cannot stay in the bin shed,  that has the recycling stuff in it, plus the gardening bits and bobs.  They just don't think this stuff through.

I should be back tomorrow to wish you all a Happy New Year...   one resolution I do have - can it stop raining?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

And that was Christmas

I hope Santa brought you lots of goodies and that you had a lovely day.   Very quiet here,  and very damp - will this rain ever stop?

I got lots of vouchers, which as you can see I have put to good use and I still have money left over :-))   Todays haul included a new glass cutting mat,  in the sale,  string (reduced),  two new sets of stamps,  embossing folder and U mount - for stamps.  Oh and Creativity, Do Crafts Mag, cos it had some lovely stamps.

Here they are in close up,  just couldn't resist them.  Will come in handy for backgrounds.   The string is just well, string,  3 balls of it,  white, black and white, and some rafia, all for a £1.   The other stamps were from Crafty Individuals, and Creative Impressions,  the latter is a French set, but it had a nice postcard.  So very chuffed with that lot.  The new cutting mat is a dream,  smooth, flat, no lumps or bumps,  so stamping is now a breeze.  My other craft mat had seen better days,  it also had a few lumps in it caused by me using the heat gun on it - oops.   Was almost tempted by the two speed heat gun, but I'm slowly getting the hang of the frantage stuff so may just stick with my old gun till it packs up.   I've also got vouchers to spend on Amazon,  decided I'd get practical stuff from there, like craft mats. 

So with the new goodies, I began to make up the new cover for my new art journal.   I'd been working on the cover for a few days.   I got the journal from Dunhelm Mill, which does have a small craft section,  the sketch book was only £2.50! 

For the cover I used some white card,  that got well and truly daubed with Radiant Rain, the copper and gold.  I then used some ink on bubble wrap and plonked that on. Next was the crackle stamp,  then some random stamps.  Also added the new stamp from the Do Crafts mag.

So next was adding some interest!

Like this.   I used a stiff cardboard tag,  used two layers of UTEE,  then warmed the UTEE up and added some frantage, then slowly heated it from underneath till it 'took',  then finished off with a few blasts on top.  Then I daubed more versamark on and added some copper powder, then some black.  The flutterby is just two wings,  they were covered in black ink and left to dry for a day or so,  then using the crackle stamp I stamped on some versamark then added the copper powder,  smudged some versamark round the edges and added more powder. 

And here it is finished.  There is some music paper on there, plus some crinkly paper which also got a slosh of Radiant Rain gold and rusty hinge ink,   plus a strip of lace.  Used the last new stamp from Craft individual,  this time I stamped it on to a small tag,  then added a layer of UTEE.   Rosette was some left over paper I had,  just pleated and stuck together - plenty of tutorials on Youtube which show you how.  I chopped into it to add the jagged edge, in the middle are some old watch bits.   Add the sentiment, the chipboard frame, and the heart which has a music score on it - that was from another magazine I picked up last week. 

Very happy with my haul and my new journal.   It was also nice to get out today, been stuck in for last few days so I was starting to get cabin fever.   The original plan had been for me and mum to have lunch at the garden centre,   but mum decided she didn't want to go out in the rain,  by that she meant walk to the car!     I even went to the supermarket,  boy was it quiet!  Such a relief to be able to walk around in safety,  we just needed some milk and bread.   The turkey has all gone, used up the last of it in a stir fry yesterday,   I have to say it was delicious, the turkey, very moist,  I followed the instructions,   and let it rest for about twenty minutes.   Did watch Gordon's live cookery show... all that faffing, forget it!    We had a slimmed down dinner,  mum hasn't got much of an appetite these days, just a couple of roasties, one veg,    but even so she did actually finish all of her dinner and then polished off the pud.   It was nice not to feel bloated. 

There'll be more craftiness tomorrow, well I have all my new toys to play with!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

It's mad out there!

At 10.15 I was at the supermarket, yes - dangerous at this time of year.  But needs must.  And mad it was,  folk suddenly needing to debate what bacon they want... women dragging husbands with them, or kids, or worse letting kids drive trolleys.   There were the usual morons who think it okay to stop in middle of doorway/aisle to study list/receipt. Plus everyone believes they need to stock up with food/drink cos the shops are shut for one whole day!   I heard that the big stores wanted extended hours for today but it was refused,  how, they bleated would the public manage to get everything ready for Christmas?   You'd think that there had been some last minute announcement that we're having a holiday this week - who could ignore the fact that it is Christmas?   Two more sleeps and then the damp squib. 

Meantime back at the ranch... mum wasn't too good today,  she'd had another minor stroke and was very confused.   Yesterday we had lunch with my niece and her husband,  which was very nice in spite of the terrible weather.  They'd cadged one of those electric scooters for mum to use,  she almost demolished the restaurant!   But today she kept insisting that my sister is buying her one of these scooters,   even tho she was confused she seemed very sure about this.   I'm hopping mad,  we live in a first floor flat, there is nowhere to store a scooter and charge it up,  then there is the small matter of me being able to load it in and out of the car - impossible.   My sister seems also to have forgotten that mum is having these minor strokes, so suggesting mum could use one of these scooters is bonkers.   For the last 3 years my sister has been abroad,  and aside from the odd skype chat with mum she's had very little contact with her.  Now suddenly she is the expert at what mum needs and can cope with!   I was spitting feathers,   if we lived in more suitable accommodation, if mum were healthier then an electric scooter might be a good idea,  but none of those things apply.   So we are in for fireworks on Saturday. 

Mum is now feeling better, she slept most of the day, but has just tucked into some food.  I'm knackered, shopping,  ironing, washing...  stripping beds!    Just managed to squeeze in one quick card make, the one above,  yep it is that poinsettia again!   Also had a sort out of the desk, so it is now a bit more organised,  and got tempted to go spend money at Crafty Individuals.   So hopefully by the end of the week I should get my parcel of stamps and something very different!

Just had a pop over to ABAC to see what the new challenge is...  well it has whetted the appetite!

All for now folks, hope you are all ready for the big day,  and that you are all safe. 

Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, 20 December 2012


I'm hoping I've managed to fulfil the criteria for the ABAC challenge.

This has taken me all week!  I guess it might help if I had any clue as to what I wanted to do when I start  - like that will happen: NOT.

This has essentially been put together with bits and bobs that have been sent to me, at least most of the papers,  plus some inspiration from other sources, and two freebies.

I started with the stamp,  which is by Crafty Individuals, who can be found on the internet:   Though I got the stamp from my local craft shop, it really is gorgeous and quite versatile.

Here she is in close up,  I like the use of the word 'imagine'.  The little girls face is also delightful,  sad in some ways.  It was stamped and then I added some UTEE to give it a nice glossy enamel finish.

The the spellbinders poinsettia, the die I was trying to buy from ebay!  It arrived yesterday.  I made good use of it,  cutting some from red card for this and some in just white for my mum's card.  The red ones got a good coating of UTEE and then some thick white powder

Finally these cute little candles, which came as a freebie from the Craft Barn,  that was for placing an order over £25, but it was a lovely surprise and a nice touch.   I frantaged these,  all three had the same powders sprinkled on them but all have come out different.   Loving the frantage thing,  was very tempted to grab one of the melting pots from CnC last week.  You almost tempted me Hels,  loved what you were doing, but with Christmas coming up I had to say no...  oh well next time my order will go in!

Thanks for stopping by,  your comments are always appreciated.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


The marathon that was the Christmas swap is completed - I was even organised!    Cut the card,  blending,  then embossing each piece,  cuttlebugging them,  stamping, backing and the finishing touches...  no wonder I'm knackered.   Even sorted out the envelopes. 

I also managed, while the light was good, to take a better photo of that tag.  Sadly what isn't showing up is the white embossing :-(   But I do love my new stamp!   Was really spoilt for choice,  oh for an unlimited bank balance. 

Today was also an upsetting day,  mum didn't have a good night,  and had an 'accident',   which always leaves her embarrassed.  I had been hoping to meet up with a few friends for an hour or so,  but that was out of the question when I saw how low mum was.   So the usual boring Sunday,  broken only by the SBB, Sunday Bacon Butty - which is a must.   We'll have a nice roast in the week as I've got a very nice piece of beef,  and the following day we'll have scouse!   Just the sort of food you need on these grey days.

I also need to get my act together and complete the Christmas food shop,  been getting bits and bobs, the Turkeys will be in on the 19th,  we just need a smallish Turkey crown.  I'd prefer it not to last much longer than Boxing Day.    Just not been feeling enthusiastic,  I usually manage to summon up some eagerness,  but just a short way into the shopping my leg is really sore which isn't helping.  I had hoped for an immediate improvement, but it seems I'll have to wait till everything settles down.  Ho hum.   Got cards sorted,  just about,  see I said I was short on enthusiasm!   Just hope that bloody die finally arrives tomorrow,  never will I go back to that seller! 

Sports Personality is near the end,  my feeling it is going to be Wiggins,  a really tough field to choose from,  really I think Andy Murray deserves it for having ended the run of 76 years since a Brit won a Grand slam. 

More crafting tomorrow I hope,  enjoyable stuff...!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Jack Frost nipping at my toes...

... nose, hands, feet and everything in between!   I was shivering on Thursday in Chester - it was FREEZING.    I even resorted to wearing a hat, something I never do. 

But it has now warmed up thank goodness.  I had a friend staying for a couple of days which was really nice,  it  also helped perk mum up.  In Chester we, me and my mate Conny, enjoyed a lovely Christmas dinner at the Victoria pub,  and when I say delicious I really mean it. Home cooked and locally sourced produce. 

I've also been enjoying opening up some early Christmas presents in the form of swaps,  and everyone has included some extra bits and bobs which have come as a lovely surprise.   My own swap has been a bit delayed,  but it is now almost complete. 

Today it was up to the craft shop to invest in a new versamark stamp pad, the two I had were way beyond their best.  While I was there I

invested in a Stamps Away blending mat,  and I love it.  Already made use of it and I can say it does make life much easier when blending, not tried it with the brayer yet.  I also got a bargain, this Tim Holtz die reduced from £16.95 to £9.95.   This example has been embossed, frantaged and then coated with utee.   I'm still waiting for the other die to come,  the seller took ages to send through the postage details - and I went back to look at the original sale and it did say free postage!  Oh well, hopefully it will arrive on Monday, but I won't be bothering with that seller again.

In the above photo is the new stamp I got... can't resist stamps!  I used a mix of embossing powders, it  hasn't photographed very well sadly, will try again tomorrow. Sort of got behind today as my cousin called in,  but nice to catch up with her. 

And here is the Christmas tree!   Conny helped me rescue the decs from the loft and then assisted with all the putting ups.  So the flat now looks a lot cheerier,   even mum's mood brightened a little.   She's still not too good and is now off her food,   I was supposed to be going to a party tomorrow, but think I'll stay at home,   I'm not really in the party mood anyway. 

My knee is still very sore,  hobbling around Chester probably wasn't a good idea,  although we were taking time out to keep warm in various coffee shops.   I thought maybe I'd get in the mood for some Christmas shopping, but really didn't feel like it,  so it is the old Amazon vouchers again this year.

Will have to get cracking on a few things tomorrow,   mum's card, for which I need that new die!   And get Xmas cards in the post. 

All for now,  hope you are all having an enjoyable weekend.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Scraping away....

Uggh...  scraping time.  Car covered in heavy frost,  inside and out.   Old car took an age before it defrosted, new car was all toasty in a few minutes!   Sadly mum wasn't, she was still dragging her heels as she does every morning,  which then holds me up!    I had wanted to get to the supermarket early, but in spite of mum's early start I still didn't make it till nearly 11 a.m.  By which time she'd also talked herself out of meeting a friend for lunch cos it was icy.  I did suggest she delay her decision as the sun was beginning to melt the ice...   but she'd already decided.    Rather a depressing day all round really,  should I lumber you with this?   I was okay when I woke up,  felt happyish, sun was out, blue sky, yes it was blooming cold, but one of those lovely crisp days.    Left to my own devices I'd have had the supermarket shop sorted early,  then chosen to go have a hobble by the beach, then to have coffee with a friend.   Instead I end up twiddling thumbs,  listening to brother (who knows best) getting his way...  I'm just the hired help obviously. 

Then realised I'd forgotten that the Dec swap was red and green... ho hum, raspberries and all that.  Still needed a birthday card,  out of ideas,   then I had one!   Revamping Dec swap, first one was okay, then it all went belly up...   do I need this?    Nice Xmas card done, see pic,  looks much better IRL,  used some spray and shine on the poinsetta,  and ordered the die from ebay,  it said free postage so naturally I didn't pay for any postage,  half an hour later I get email from seller saying there was a cock up and there was postage to pay!  So paid it, hoping for acknowledgement...  nope, so no idea if die is on its way or not!    Brother's attitude still grating,  decide I am fed up of my family and wish to divorce the lot of them.    Look back at crafting and: I've completed two boxes for bookatrix cards, made Xmas card, and birthday card,  have some suitable presents...    just can't get to gift wrap which my stoopid sister decided to store on top shelf in cloakroom, I did ask her to take them off the shelf! 

So a decided lot of fedupness going on here,  got friend arriving tomorrow.   By 3pm we'll be knee deep in Xmas decs and I'll be laughing.   I hope.   December swap...  you may just get what I've made... tough if it doesn't match!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sleepy Sunday

Had the usual toss/turn night, then fell asleep and woke up at 8 a.m.,  so warm and toasty in bed that I stayed there...  well I took a peep out of the curtain and it looked grim... 

When I finally woke up the sun had come out!  So it was up, out and at 'em... I wish!   Had my usual Sunday morning,   reading paper with cup of coffee,   getting dressed,  then bacon butty time,  stretch brain with crossword... then off to crafting.

Got a fair bit done today.   Made some tags,  more cards and got a bit more of the Christmas/birthday present done.

This effort was from yesterday,  took me an age to put together.  Much faffing was necessary.  Used dylusions for the background,  then added more distress ink,  some stamping,  frantage... it was endless!    Then using the Slice glue, intended for the glass plate (to hold the card in place) I used a peel off with some gilding flakes for the nativity scene.   For the frantage I sprinkled some silver glass on,  I was then intending to heat it from behind the card, tried that it was taking an age so sprinkled on some UTEE,  just a light dusting, and it sort of gave the silver glass a 'key' to hold on to, and made life much easier.  I added a few more peel offs, the wise men and the stars, the large star was stuck to some silver mirri then cut out.

Next was some brayering.  I got this stamp set last year, a very simple set of stamps but so effective.   I got brave and used my pilot pen to add some interest.   Just happy that the super smooth takes the brayer nicely.     It is also good to keep my hand in with the brayer.  I am wondering what difference the splodge mat will make,  I've watched Barbara Gray use hers,  and can see that it does help, but then again she is the expert.  I've also tried just inking up the central bit of the brayer,  and that does make a difference, keeps the ink to a minimum. Brayering is really about adding ink in small amounts, not slapping it all on at once.   Never use a hard brayer, go for the speedball,  it is more forgiving.

And my Christmas cards!  More of the simple stuff.   The stamps are from Indigo Blu,  it is a lovely set.    I used peel offs for the sentiment.  Inside is stamped the sentiment at the top of the blog, also included in this set, so you can see why I bought it!   These will be the family cards,  need to make one for mum as well.  Or I may buy one - yes, shock horror,  but I often like the verses in the shop cards. 

I'm still wondering what I did with all my Christmas embossing powders, I had a tinsel range which were lovely to use, but they seem to have gone AWOL.  And I have now searched through all the Christmas stash.

This is a tag, and a mix of two sets of Indigo Blue Christmas stamps.   I wasn't sure if they'd work together, but they seem to.   Santa and his reindeer have been embossed, and on later versions I added the Merry Christmas.   No brayering,  just some cut and dry stuff.   Hey, whatever works! 

I do need a new craft mat,  mine is now on its last legs. 

The craft mat has also seen much better days,  and it was a fancy one!   May go for one of those glass cutting mats.   Well think that just about covers my crafty weekend.    Back to it tomorrow,  a few more cards,  and two in need of finishing touches.

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Saturday shivers

It was time to get out the snuggly boots and thick socks.  Some lovely sunshine but the temperature is definitely going down. 

Not a good night either,  sleepless in painland.  Not sure the knee replacement was as painful as this. 

I have been crafting, mostly the Christmas cards,  got half of what I need made.   Just kept to simple designs,  like this, which is for a friend.  I used the frantage stamped image,  and simply attached to a square scalloped card,  then added the white ribbon.  The two new indigo blu Xmas stamps both have nice sentiments on them,  the front stamp came from a set I forgot I had.

More crafting today,   managed some brayering,  more frantage and got messy with the dylusions.  Also found some further use for my Slice glue,  which is tacky and so great for the gilding flakes.  I also used up some peel offs that have been hanging around for ages.   No pics,  the light was going by the time I finished,  the sun disappeared to be replaced by a very dull grey sky, and then of course it began raining. 

More cards tomorrow,  in fact must really get a move on as I've got a friend staying for a few days this coming week. 

Hope you're all staying safe and warm.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Think Jack Frost has arrived, it is blooming freezing!   No snow,  but lots of frost and icy rain.    I do need to get something to keep the knees warm,  metal and cold do not a good combination make! 

No decs up yet,  they are still in the loft, awaiting rescue.   I may attempt it.  If I'm not around next week then you'll know it all ended in disaster.  

I had a play today with new craft stuff.   The Frantage arrived :-))   And yesterday I popped up to craft shop for more white supersmooth card stock,  and ended up also buying a background stamp.  I also spotted the splodge mats, the new heat guns and all the other new goodies....   my Christmas list is getting longer by the minute.

So here is my simple effort for today,  using the new frantage mix,  the chunky stuff,  got myself into a bit of a to do with the utee, but then sorted it out.   I do need a two speed heat gun if I am going to do this frantage thing properly, so it is on the wish list.   Or a melt art pot... I think that would be the better option really.   I used the new background stamp,  I'd call it crackle,  just used some versamark and silver powder - yes it looks like gold,  poor lighting I am afraid.    But it was fun just to mess, last few days have been a bit serious with getting some swap stuff done,   now I'm geared up for some Christmas cards, which will be tomorrow's task.   Not sure if I am up to it but next on the list is to come up with a festive/birthday present,  have the idea, just not sure I can execute it.   If not then I do have a plan B!    That nice Mr Tesco also sent me a voucher for £4 off a magazine,  so I grabbed a craft mag,  Papercrafts, as I liked the wooden embellishments. 

I have my car back with me,  she seems to be 'cured',  so far no bill from garage,  I'm wondering if they forgot to do something when they replaced the faulty part?  My mechanic was muttering something about how you need to 'reset' these newer cars, as you do with a computer, when you've replaced a part.  I'm lucky to have a good mechanic, and one who is also honest,  he's always admitted if he has made a mistake - I call that good customer service.  But lovely to have some freedom,  walking is out of the question right now, so having the car is a bonus.  Managed to hobble round the supermarket the other day,  so nice to just get out and about. 

More crafting tomorrow, and maybe more pics.  Stay safe and warm.

Monday, 3 December 2012

And it's Monday!

Just 22 days to 'you know what',  I've got two presents, no cards and the decs are still stuck in the loft!   But my Advent Candle arrived,  so we lit it tonight. 

I had my brother here breaking up a chair - don't ask.  He's crocked, I'm crocked, but between us both we managed to dismantle it.   Like to thank my nephew and nephew in law for being SO BUSY,  to offer any assistance!   Busy as in playing 5 a side football etc. 

Today I got to post my Advent pic on a FB group I belong to, so here it is!  Used three of the new set of Indigo Blu stamps.  Rummaged through the Christmas stash for the dotty paper,  also found some mirri board, and gold thread,  plus some glitzy ribbon, oh and some reindeers.  The latter will do for the two young nephews.

Had a quick look round the challenges,  think I can manage a couple this week.  The old mojo is flowing now,  best keep it that way.   Still no car, it is waiting for the computer to say yes... there is something to be said for old motors,  you can lock them when the battery is flat,  and the fault finding is easier. 

I have all the components cut out and stamped for the December swap,  just need to assemble them all now.     I do have some craft goodies on the way,  I'd forgotten that my membership for CnC was automated,  so I had ten quid to spend yesterday,  fancied more fran-tage,  and had a nice surprise when the bill came to £1.79!   The postage was only a quid. 

Hopefully I should have the blog suitable attired for the festive season by tomorrow.   All for now... stay warm

Saturday, 1 December 2012


I haven't had the best week and was feeling a bit down in the dumps.   Then the car broke down - again, same fault!   So I was pretty cheesed off.  I intended to enter the Simon Says challenge,   which was to include a heart.   I had my heart but no idea what to do with it,  so I put my down in the dumps mood to some use, turned it around and thought about counting my blessings. 

For the picture I used some canvas board for the base, some bits of paper,  die cut the music thingy,  stained some white lace with tea.    I coloured the big heart and after letting it dry then I stamped on it adding gold embossing powder.   Craft Artist came in handy to generate the 'blessings', which of course I can add to it as I choose.  I stained the canvas board, then while wet pressed some bubble wrap on it.  The other bits of paper were embossed and stamped on.

It felt good to do this.  It came about after I'd read a chapter in a book I'm reading,  the chapter explained the need for struggle and how we can emerge from it stronger and wiser.  It certainly banished the blues. 

I had quite a day on Thursday.    I had a hospital appointment,  to get a taxi there and back would have cost me £16,  so I wondered if I could manage to drive my car.   We'd had a hard frost overnight so the car did need to be defrosted and started up.  Once I'd done that I felt that my knee would be okay to drive, so I just did a test drive down the street, did an emergency stop and all was well.   I left for the hospital in plenty of time, in fact I made sure I gave myself extra time to get there and get a parking space.  At the hospital it was chaos, one car park had been dug up to be made into a heliport!  That means 200 LESS spaces...  it was mayhem,  the security guards overseeing parking were a joke and clueless,  the disabled section of the multi storey had plenty of spaces, but they weren't checking to see if anyone had a disabled badge,  I showed mine to one guard but he just shrugged.  It was now near my appointment so I rang the clinic and explained I'd be late.  So I drove round a few times, still no spaces,  then the car conked out!    Some chap shouted at me, so I told him why I was stopped and asked him to go do something useful like get someone to help push the car into a space - and he did! So rang my mechanic, we both knew what the fault was, same as last time,  something is causing a fuse to blow.  So I cancelled my appointment, even though I was just yards away from the clinic, without electrics I can't lock the car, so much for modern day techonology!   Got home feeling fed up and cold,  hence the down in the dumps mood.   But as I said that changed when I read the book,  plus the sun was shining,  my jeans are fitting much better (lost my appetitie since the op),  I've got good friends,  a nice place to live, money in the bank (not a lot, but enough), food to eat and I am cared for.

The Craft Barn cheered me up, my order arrived on Friday,  very fast service, and with a freebie, which left me very impressed.   The new stamp set is gorgeous,  so are my two new dies, one of which I've used on the above picture.  I'll put up some examples of my new stamps tomorrow. 

Right best post this on Simon Says!   Enjoy your weekend all.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The tired crafter

Yep that's me, the tired crafter!   Keep trying to work up some get up and go, but by the time I do it has got up and gone. 

Yesterday I had the clips removed from the wound...  verrrrrrrrrrrry painful.  But it felt so much better once they were all out.   I can move the knee a little bit better.  Got some rehab done today,  two ten minute sessions on bike,  and some walking - around the flat. The bike is the best as it works all the muscles at once.  Hope to have a short walk outside tomorrow,  now that the weather has improved.

As you can see I've been crafting,  the creative juices are pretty diluted at the moment, but I think if I keep plugging away then eventually they'll start to flow again.    I chose the quote first as I liked it, then had to find something to go with it.  So out came the Clarity Stamps, such a joy to work with, every image is clear and precise, the stamping blocks are also lovely to use.  Went with autumnal colours,  a spot of stamping, inking and embossing.  Plus ribbons and buttons,  not a bad effort,  it still needs a proper background I think.

Here is the finished piece.  It will do for my art/craft journal that I've been compiling.  Just nice to get stuck into something.  I'm now working on a piece for another challenge,  chosen all my pics, printed them, now need to put it all together.  Also been shopping,  well online!   Needed a nice Joy to the World stamp,  and good old Indigo Blu came to the rescue,  found myself at the Craft Barn, so popped a few other bits in the basket. 

Had a lovely surprise yesterday, a get well gift from a friend in the form of half a case of wine!  Sadly I've gone off wine since the op,  not a bad thing I guess, though my maximum was two glasses,  with water usually.    But it will come in handy for Christmas as it is a very good selection, she knows me so well. 

Really really happy with my Ottlite,  last few days it has been so grey that I wouldn't have got much crafting done without it.   The forecast is now for a spell of cold but dry weather, suits me fine.   Don't mind the cold stuff,  no snow please, that I couldn't cope with, not while I need two crutches! 

Thanks for stopping by and for the lovely comments, all are appreciated.  I will eventually get round to blog hopping at some point.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Post Op

I've finally made it back to blogging.  I'm still in a lot of post op pain,  but hopefully that will soon start to fade.  I've just felt pretty whacked since the op,  not done much of anything really.  I had a few stabs at crafting but really wasn't getting anywhere.   On Thursday I was glad of my new lamp,  it rained all day and was so dark it was more like night time.

So today I hoped I could bring together a few of the things I'd messed with during the week.  As you can see by my desk I certainly got stuck in!    This actually shows the beginning of another piece of work which is progressing slowly.

At least the weather perked up today,  we had some sunshine at last.  Feel so sorry for those who've been flooded over and over again, it really must be heartbreaking.

This is the piece I'm most pleased with.  I've been trying to work my way up to start some Christmas crafting all week.  I got out some of my Xmas stash and had a rummage and found this quirky Santa and tree.  I didn't want to make a card, so decided on a bookatrix creation.  I just used two panels,  the top panel was inked with red and green, stamped with various stamps,  bike, clock and snowflakes. I mixed some embossing powders and used PVA to apply it.  Then coloured the back card red,  and added the ribbon.
It just needs a box, I've already decided who will be getting it. 

This is more of an experiment,  I was playing with ideas,  fran-tage, lettering and stamping.  Not quite there with it yet, but not that far away either!    Not enough stamping on this,  needs a lot more oomph to it. 

This was early in the week when I really didn't have any energy.  My energy levels are now starting to sink.   Think it could be time to put my feet up and have a cup of tea. 

Yes, best I leave it there for the time being.  Definitely need to go have a lie down.

Stay safe.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday Mojo

A sunny day and a lie in...  spot of CnC watching in bed,  mind you find Phil's OCD with the need to balance everything a bit worrying.  Watched the Sunday Scrappers,  nice pages but nowt that grabbed the imagination.

I eventually settled at my own desk around lunchtime,  after the SBB  (Sunday Bacon Butty).  This is how the desk looked as I started,  all nice and neat,  well almost.   Don't worry there is an 'after' shot.   Had a mooch round the blogs to see the challenges,  I fancied the Sunday Stampers

as it involved birds and I found this little chap the other day while looking for something else.  It used to belong to my aunt, no idea why I have it,  or what it used to be attached to,  all the feathers are real.  So I had my basis for something... but what?    A tag came to mind, with some inking, a bit of stamping,  possibly some dylusions...   and, mmmm - best wait and see what the background looks like first.

So got cracking.

And this eventually emerged.   I inked the tag using the adirondiacs,  then lightly stamped a branch on it,  an ink, blot, stamp routine,  just round the edges.  The dylusions did come out, had this scrap piece of card, wanted it dark green,  dylusions are rather bright!  So added some blue,  then grunged it even more with the espresso ink pad,  then ran it through the cuttlebug,  inking the embossing folder.  Flourish was coloured with promarkers and then copper embossing powder,   used PVA and copper powder on edge of small card,  3 black flowers and a sentiment - and there you have it.  I stapled the ribbon to the tag,   and stuck the birdie on with lots of pinflair glue.  Well I like it,  much better than yesterday's disaster! 

ABAC also have a new challenge, Stitch in Time,  thought it would involve sewing, and it does but it is not compulsory.

Just as well as I have a severe allergy to sewing.  So will have to concentrate on the time element. 

This pic shows close up of the pva embossing, plus the inky embossing.    The PVA glue dispenser was bunged up,  so after unbunging it I cut the nozzle at an angle,  seemed to spread better.   Teeny tiny stamp is from a set that I've hardly used. 

Of course today is Armistice Day,  I was a bit too late to make it to our local parade,  so watched the ceremony in London,  it is always moving,  sadly there are far too many young faces there now.   Of course the Royals were all dressed up,  so Phil, Andrew and Will are all entitled to their uniforms,  but Anne and Eddie?   Didn't the latter bail out of the Marines?   Yet he has the gall to sport a very bright uniform, bet he didn't have to pay for his Diamond service medal!

This photo is showing a close up of the fran-tage powder.  I tried this yesterday but put too much on,  so today I mixed some up and then dabbed the area with a versamark,  then just lightly sprinkled it on and got a better result.   I think also the cosmic shimmer powder, because is is finer,  gives a better result for the heat embossing as it is easier to melt and to keep to a gloopy consistency.  Notice the use of technical words - gloopy! 

And here is the 'after' picture,  daren't show you what was to the right!   Even with my new craft desk I still manage to spread out all over the room!     The desk has made a huge difference,  I can get crafting a lot quicker,  and there isn't any need to pack stuff away.   Of course I still need to sort out my stash, something I've been threatening to do for weeks!   I may bite the bullet this week, need to unearth the Christmas stash,  no avoiding it I suppose.  Not making many Christmas cards,  just a few for the family.

Right, one challenge done,   ABAC is next on list.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A Hint of Black

Not sure this should go anywhere than in the bin!  Not happy with it and not happy with the flower, which was supposed to be red and black.   So much for Chinese red embossing powder!     The flower will have to be redone,   it does look red in natural light, but hasn't photographed well. 

No Ottlite either!   Got an email today saying it has been despatched,  which means it will turn up on Tuesday,  and guess who will be in hospital the next day - yes me!  Typical,  could really do with the lamp now.

I had a play with stuff today,  did some more of the heat embossing, but this time I used the cosmic shimmer UTEE powder, which is very fine and so melted far quicker than the other stuff I'd been using, and it is a bigger pot.

This is the heat embossing effort,  I used one of my Christmas stamps.  The mojo is definitely a bit flat right now,   think the operation is on my mind though I'm trying not to think about it.  Yesterday I managed to miss off half of the supermarket shopping list,  so my head is definitely somewhere else.   Had quick trip to craft shop,  needed more UTEE, and then I spotted the dylusions, so thought I may as well add to my collection.   The shop is just full of the Christmas stuff,  so nothing very inspiring,  well not for me.    I had a quick look around the Christmas decs,  noticed there are a lot of owls,  some cute and some very odd!    I wanted an advent candle,  yes they had some but they were not very nice,   and just not big enough.  Advent candles need to be chunky and slow burning.  They are also hard to find. 

Enjoy the weekend, off to look for my mojo!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Midweek Crafting

Having a frustrating time at the moment,  my mojo seems to be taking a break,  and it is too dark to craft!  We've had a lot of grey, dank weather,  so by 3pm the light is going.    I'd spotted on CnC that they had the Ottlites on flexi pay, even the cheaper ones,  that was on Tuesday but I'd not bothered to buy one,  yesterday I looked to see if they still had the offer on and they did, so one Ottlite is winging its way to me.

It was the same today,   got going crafting around 1pm,  but by the time I'd made my background, cut some shapes the light was starting to go again.  Grrrr...

Also had some car problems!  I bought a newish car in the vain hope of avoiding such problems.   On Tuesday the car wouldn't start.... :-( 

So rang garage, they said they'd get to me asap. They arrived with the jump start kit,  but car failed to start... had visions of a huge bill looming.  Then mechanic said he thought he knew what it,  said he'd be back after lunch.  And he was, with an old part they'd removed,  they'd fixed it and put it back on car,  bingo, car started - seems the new part is faulty, so mechanic went off to have argument with Nissan dealer.

In the meantime I crafted the above piece,  it's for a challenge, but now can't remember which one!   Will have to check.   I used some bits from a potato bag would you believe?   The red piece of paper was off the top of the spud bag.

Also had another go at the deep embossing,   I saved some tin cake containers, the small ones,  and used an oven glove to hold it!     This time I heated it for a little longer, and made sure it was molten when it was on the craft mat,  this time the powders were properly absorbed.  I got a much better impression this time. 

Hope my ottlite arrives soon,  getting fed up of not being able to craft.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Deep impressions

A happy Wednesday!   My fran-tage powders arrived and I couldn' t wait to start using them.  I melted some UTEE in a metal container, as Mel had done,  then poured it onto the craft sheet, and then in went the powders,  with such a dull day it was hard to see the result - note to self, get a good lamp!   Then I reheated the lot and stamped in the butterfly.   Chuffed is the word.  I did take note of what Mel said about the stamps and only used my Indigo Blu,  which are solid rubber. 

So tickled with the first success I tried again. This time I added the UTEE a bit at a time,  which made it easier to melt,   for this attempt I used a heart stamp which has a lot of detail on it. Well of course I now want loads of the fran-tage powders! 

No time or rather no light to make anything,  so that will have to wait till tomorrow.   I know a daylight lamp would be the best thing, but they are out of my price range.   I am going to rearrange the room,  put computer desk next to craft desk before I become immobile again.  

I made this yesterday, using the a grungeboard flourish,  which had been inked, stamped and embossed.   For the background I inked and dylusioned the card,  then embossed it,  the red flower is actually a piece of ribbon just wound round and stuck together.    For the mount I stuck on a page from a book,  then dragged a black archival ink pad around it. It is a possibility for the ABAC challenge,  not sure yet.

Aside from the crafting it was a rubbish day,  the usual boring housework had to be done,  mum was in moan mode the entire day!   I made a midweek roast,  waste of time as she only ate some of it.   Got fedupitis I think.   This caring lark ain't what it is cracked up to be.  The gloomy days aren't helping either, I prefer the cold, crisp but sunny days,  not the grey clouds and mizzly rain.   No sign of gold chain, have searched the flat and it isn't here...    I was starting to feel paranoid about posessions, I have a nice rotary watch, which needed a new battery,  so just in case I 'lost' it, I strapped it to my wrist when I went to get the new battery,   just used the nice cheap shop in the Strand,   and got a bargain on the new and longer ASDL cable I needed. 

More crafty play tomorrow,  after I've rearranged this room! 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

It's the weekend

The weather is just how I like it, cold but sunny.  Had some frost on the car this morning which was a bit of a shock.  Yesterday I had all my pre op stuff,  very boring,  and they've changed the system,  so whereas it took about 45 minutes before this time it took over 2 hours!  Most of that was spent waiting around

Today was stock up day,   have my op in a couple of weeks so need to make sure I've got the basics in.    So off to craft shop,   I was tempted by some stamps, but stuck to the list, sort of,  only veered away in getting the washables,  seen them on CnC, and was curious.    On the way out I looked round the Christmas display in the garden centre,  and spotted some owls...  well I couldn't resist,  I'm a sucker for owls,  so bought the little one.

Once back home I made this pic.  I got some grunge paper, which I hoped my thinner dies would cut, and yep it worked!  Didn't work with the slice, in fact I think it would probably dull the blade.   It took a few passes through the Bug,  but they were nicely cut.   The detail isn't showing up on the pic, but the flowers were stamped and then embossed.  The heart was dunked in flower soft,  the lettering came from the Slice, then coloured and embossed with the UTEE. 

I then inked a piece of card using Tim Holtz distress inks,  and embossed it with a sizzix folder.

I stamped it before the embossing,  wanted it to look as if it  had been graffitied.   I inked the brick work again to give it definition.   This is one of the Tim Holtz range of folders,  since it was a reasonable price I was happy to buy it.  After all that it was a case of finishing it off, so I used a piece of the washable card,  was interested to see how it would ink, in fact same as card really. 

Worrying time with mum,  she got her new bank card today,  good thing I was here as she was confused thinking they'd sent her a credit card and was all set to cut it up.  Found her sitting in her bedroom when I came back from shopping,   she was giving herself a pep talk,  she's still managing to dress herself, just,  she needs help with her shoes and socks.   Walking is now very difficult for her,  a wheelchair isn't an option as I can't push her as she is just too heavy.   We've considered the electric scooter,  I'm not sure she'd cope with it very well,  or if she bother using it.   She's at the stage where anything unfamiliar frightens her,   nor is she able to taken in instructions,  I've shown her umpteen times how to use the new phone but she still gets confused, the confusion then causes anger and so it becomes a vicious circle.   She was insisting that she could look after herself whilst I was in hospital,  it took some convincing for her to agree that she needed someone here with her. 

Bum side to the week, I lost my gold chain,  I've worn it round my neck for the last 20 odd years, only once has it ever come undone!   I've searched the flat but no sign of it,  can only assume that it came loose when I was out.  Really upset about it,   and its the only thing of value I have.   I know in the grand scheme of things it is a minor thing,  but I still feel upset. 

All for now folks.