Sunday, 28 April 2013

A new journey

First I'd like to thank Elizabeth and Karen for their wise and kind comments,  knowing others have been down this path, and are at different stages is very comforting.  So thank you both your words helped a great deal.

I've just been hunkering down this weekend, not doing much but crafting.    I had 3 frames, large frames with a mount,  and I wanted to use them to frame the Crafy Individual quote stamps.  Any stamp with a quote is a must,  well for me they are.  I've got quite a collection now, but always want more.  These stamps lended themselves nicely to the rectangular shape of the frame and the mount, all that was needed was some decoration.  Sadly I didn't use this mount, having stamped and embossed it, it wasn't working with the final design.   I was pleased that the black detail powder had picked out all of the words clearly.

But as you can see I changed my mind completely!  I left out the mount, instead cut a mat using a spellbinders die,  stamped the sentiment in rusty hinge,  then gilded the edge.  I used the inner frame as the guide so I didn't smudge the paste, and used cut and dry to put it on.  I painted the frame a pastel yellow,  and used some muted orange cardstock for both the flowers and background.  I left the whole thing mat,  one can get a bit tired of glazing everything.  I wanted a clean look,  undecided about the butterflies,  think there may be too many!  It is easily rectified as the paint will just wash off.   I had thought about stamping onto the frame,   but went with flowers.   Was wondering how I managed before I got my dies and calibur, they've both made such a difference.  Sorry Bug lovers, but I am now a convert to the calibur.   I even keep the boards in order,  embossing board last, tan mat next, cutting plate, then base plate, so they are ready to go!  And with my sore wrists it is easy to use, not much effort needed at all.

Here's frame number two, using the Hope quotes.  I used my new flourish die and the cosmic shimmer powders.  I dunked the flourishes in versamark,  then lobbed on the powder,  I used white and black card and the purple powder.  I wondered what colour it would be on the black, it was a dark purple, very luscious,  I gave them two coats and they looked as if they'd been enamelled.  I'm also making use of my paper mania card stock, purchased about 2 years ago from The Range.  I didn't use any gilding paste on this, but think I may add it. 

I have now got three projects that will challenge me,  a wooden clog, a fruit bowl and a wooden disc, which I hope to turn into a clock.   The fruit bowl is also wood,  but it was badly stained,  so I rubbed it down then gave it a good few coats of gesso, so now it is ready for me to do something with it.  The clog was something I bougth as a gift for mum, no idea why,   it has been sanded and gesso'd.    I will start with the clog,  I have absolutely no idea what to do with it, so watch this space.    I think the Hope frame may qualify for the artful times challenge.

Now time for a glass of red,  well it is the weekend!   I hope you've all had a lovely weekend whatever the weather was like.  Have an enjoyable week.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Wobbly moments

The latest project, all the bits together just waiting to be put together.  I used the new flourish stamp on the frame with the cosmic shimmer powder.  Was wondering why it was taking an age to emboss when I realised I had the heat gun on low!   Then I dropped the darn thing, luckily it didn't break.  I picked up another 3 frames, larger ones which I think will work nicely with the new dies.  That was during my the shopping for the next decorating project.

Which is my bedroom.  Spotted in the local rag that one of the DIY stores had bargains on carpet tiles and paint, well too good an offer to refuse.  The tiles were half price, as was the paint, so job done for half the cost.  I went for powder blue, and a starry night blue carpet tile.  I wasn't much in the mood for looking around, I had a wobbly moment this morning.  I was up early,   6 a.m., having had a panic attack.  So put some washing on,  faffed around, then spotted mum's handbag which was waiting to be checked for stuff, so did that and bang, wobbly moment!   It was finding little notes,  then a pic of her and dad in her purse that did it.  Right at the bottom I found a tag, it said 'best friends', it must have come off a key ring I guess.   I put it on my own key ring,  but it all got too much and the tears came.  So I wasn't really in the mood for anything, but there was stuff to be done, more recycling,  and going to the DIY store, plus the supermarket shop.

I was watching a programme yesterday and a character said how hard it was losing a parent, that its effect on a grown up child is often underestimated, and that struck a chord with me.  Mums and dads just go on forever, don't they?   We sort of know that yes they will die, but we never really think about it or what it will mean.  We're grown ups after all, we have no use for parents,  well other than as advisors,  carers, as our mum or dad,  as the person who is always there for us, who helps pick up the pieces.   I knew mum was dying, but it doesn't take away the shock, or the huge sense of loss.  As a carer you have a unique role, part child, part parent and carer. There is no denying it is stressful,  not actually the caring bit, but rather sparing their feelings,  helping to maintain their independence,  trying not to be too pushy or too weak when it comes to encouragement.   Then one day it all stops,  there isn't even a period of notice.  

I would like to have a good nights sleep,  but I don't seem able to snap out of the pattern of waking up between 2 and 3 a.m.,  I go back to sleep, eventually but then I'm awake again between 5 and 6.  It is just becoming very tiring.  I'm not starting the decorating this weekend,  that can wait.  I'll just be pootling about,  might even manage a lie in?  

I wish you all a lovely weekend,  enjoy it whatever the weather.   Many thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

New stash!

Another rubbish nights sleep, but managed to have a lie in and a very lazy morning.  My plan was to go to the craft fair, only...  got there and it wasn't on.  I had checked the internet, and checked it again when I got back, so no idea what was going on.  So feeling miffed I went to the craft shop... more about that later.

I did finish off the small picture frame, I bought the cosmic shimmer powders from CnC,  and thought that the orange would go perfectly on the frame.  Well the powders arrived today and yep, the orange did the trick.  Very happy with this,  I took my time with it,  just to make sure I got it right. So one frame done, two to go. 

So back to craft shop.  I spent some money!  Chose 3 dies, well it was buy two get one free, seemed like a good bargain,  got this lovely frame and more butterflies, and a two flourish dies.  Then found I had four dies,  two were the same,  checked the receipt and saw I'd only paid for two so....  can only assume that the other die must have been stuck under the frame die.  I'll take it back tomorrow.   I've already cut these dies, the frame is lovely, and of course there is the 'waste' which will be very useful.  They also cut very easily.

Then I spotted some new Crafty Individual stamps and dies, they sort of fell into my basket, as did an embossing folder.  I'm collecting the sentiment stamps,  and well just couldn't resist the flourish.  So I have my cosmic shimmer powders,  only used them on white card so far, can't wait to see what they do on black. I have noticed though that they leave a residue,  which is a tad annoying. I'l have to see if some talc will stop it happening.

So I had a happy afternoon playing with everything.  I will be a bit more creative tomorrow,  just wanted to finish the frame, and then do some cutting, and stamping.   I find that its best to get the stamps going so to speak before trying to use them on a piece. Same with the dies, the first cut is usually tricky,  though it wasn't in this case.  Was talking to the assistant and she said she'd found the spellbinders to be the most awkward,  I've only got a couple and one is very detailed so I expected it to be a bit tricky.  But I am loving my calibur,  no more need for shims, or faffing around, nope it just cuts, then embosses.  And more cutting machine companies could follow Calibur with the idea of giving you all the boards and tan mat.  I thought I may still use the bug, but it is now just on the shelf, so think it can now go on ebay. 

I feel better for a restful day,  though the back is definitely dodgy,  getting sharp pains and a lot of pain in my right leg, it does not bode well. 

All for now, thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Well the lovely spring weather continues,  I've managed two very slow hobbles round to the high street,  just nice being out and feeling the sun on my face. 

The decorating is done,  as my aching body can testify it was hard work, a bit harder than I thought it would be.  But it all went to plan,  woodwork was done on Saturday,  then Sunday I did the walls, they needed two coats, but I just took my time.  Thank goodness for rollers, I got one of those adjustable rollers which made life so much easier.   The last bit was the carpet tiles, they went down without a problem,  I found the DST,  so they are firmly stuck down!   It all looked so pretty when I'd finished,  mum would have loved it. I rearranged the furniture,  today I replaced the caulk on the window frame and put the curtains back up.  I found a nice lampshade for the bedside lamp.  So it is all done and dusted.

Yesterday I played a bit more with the inkadinkado frames and gears,  I'm improving!   I'm glad that CnC let some of the presenters use it, those that had never used it before,  as it was obvious John had practised a lot!  I think I'm almost ready to actually use the kit to make a frame or picture.  In the meantime...

I picked up 3 small frames for 99p each, can't argue with that price!  They started life as above,  dark stained wood, then I gave one a few coats of gesso,  a coat of pale yellow, the glue then white, and gave it a blast with the heat gun to get the distressed effect.  Then I used a stamp,  a recent purchase, Kaiser Craft,  using the rusty hinge from the TH collection.  Topped it with a coat of lacquer,  just to help seal it. Next I had to decide what was going to go inside.  The frames are for some friends who've been helping me through this bad time.

So for the first one I chose a Clarity stamp, a favourite I have to say.  And the right size for the frame!  I used gold heat embossing powder,  though I do have some cosmic shimmer powders on their way, so it may change.  I used a small piece of bazzil cardstock,  it is from a sample pack that came with something, can't remember what now.  And then cut a small butterfly,  but think it may also need a couple of flowers in the other corner to balance it, we'll see.  A very enjoyable afternoon's crafting.

I've also managed to get all my paperwork in order,  bought one of those expanding file thingies,  so for the first time in my life things are in order - amazing!   I got some new pans as well,  mum refused to let me buy new ones as she kept saying that there was nothing wrong with the old ones, well except that the non stick had long gone.  Dunehelm Mill had some on offer,  nice heavy pans with a long guarantee.  Also got some vac bags, one is a vac tote,  the plan is to put all the extra bedding in them.   So tomorrow it is into the black hole aka the cloakroom!   I had a bit of a tidy up the other day, so it isn't as bad as it was,  it just needs things putting in place. 

I had another trip to the recycling centre on Monday,  took the old carpet,  and loads of other stuff. Amazing how much clutter we collect,  I am being ruthless, not even daring to think the 'that might come in useful' thought!  No time for that,  things have got to be sorted out.  I'm doing what my sister advised me to do, which was to make the flat my own.  A very good piece of advice, mind you she did help by sorting out a lot of stuff while she was here,  we rejigged the kitchen cupboards,  though it has taken a while to get used to where things are! 

Now I'm having a break from decorating,  next project is my room,  wasn't sure what colour to go for, fancied a change then last night I was chatting to a friend on skype, she was in her kitchen and I took a liking to the turquoise on her walls!   The aches and pains are now easing up, yesterday I could barely move,  my back is really sore,  as were my wrists.  Well more tidying tomorrow, and more crafting.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Painting and stamping...

A goodish night's sleep... and I thought a lie in, until I looked at the clock and saw that it was 8 a.m. and not 9 a.m.!  Oh well. 

Painting:  a ceiling.  At last I got going on mum's old room.  My washing of walls and ceiling paid off I'm glad to say,  the ceiling is white once again.  I gave it two very good coats.   Just gave the woodwork a wash and rub down,  and that was it for today.   I do not want to end up as stiff as a board tomorrow, so it will take 3 days.  Woodwork tomorrow,  I am grateful that the window frame is plastic!  I hated painting it before the put in the double glazing.  I tried out the wall paint,  it is a very pretty spring green.

So after all that exertion, and a much needed cheese sandwich, for once I was hungry, it was back to the Stamping Gear kit.  I'd watched Leonie this morning on CnC and was happy to see her make a few mistakes.   Today's efforts are much better.  The top one was just the last play of the day, so it isn't lined up properly, but it has given me more ideas.  This one I went too far with the stamping, should have stuck with the centre.  It does pay to have some sort of plan. And I have a tip,  if you are using one of the smaller stamps at the end of the paddle, then put another small stamp at the other end, it helps to get an even result.  Just thought that you could probably line two up,  the smaller stamps.

This is the one I am most happy with,  only one slight mistake.  I used the large square gear, and then the small square cog for the outside stamping.  They are easy to line up, if you watched CnC you will have seen Leonie and Nancy point out that the gears and cogs do have markers on them.  I think if there is one improvement they could make it would be to make the fitting for the paddle a bit more snug, there is an allowance, so if the paddle isn't in then your stamp may be slightly out of kilter with the rest.   Other than that it is easy to use and results do come quickly.  Not yet tried it with the versamark stamp and powders, or gilding flakes.   Just wanting to get a bit more practice in.
I also realised it is the Aintree Craft show next week - yippee!   I can stock up on card and glue, plus look for other goodies.  I thought I may have missed it as I'd not seen it advertised anywhere. 

Well all for now, enjoy the weekend,  isn't is nice to have sunshine and warm weather?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

New toy

My latest toy arrived today.  It has lots of lovely stamps,  and is quite quirky.  It comes beautifully packaged, just a shame that you have to ruin the packaging to the stuff out,  it would have been ideal to store it all in.

So out came the copy paper,  well it is best to always try out new things!   It is very easy to use,  self explanatory really.   It is worth drawing some guidelines, you can put it onto the card and hope it is in the middle but... 

It also came with an inkpad, but while the ink is okay the case is a bit flimsy,  I switched to my black versamark. Also got out some adirondiacs.  But where to start?  There are so many stamps it was hard to know which to use first.

This was the first attempt,and as you can see I managed to move the gear slightly,  I was also being lazy and not moving the card.  Lesson learned.  Even so I loved the stamp,  it has a very soft feel to it.  This was with one of the TH distress inks.   I also misjudged the distance I needed to move the stamp on the applicator. But it is all about trial and error.   Even though it is a bit of a mess I still enjoyed myself.

Second attempt,  this time I took a bit more care, and I moved the card.  A different stamp, in fact I used two, a smaller one to get the square in the middle.  I just added the butterflies cos I felt like it. 

I had a couple more rough attempts,  which are not fit for viewing as I confused myself and messed up the spacing.   But there were definite signs of improvement. 

This is also out of alignment, again due to carelessness on my part.  I am tired,  didn't have a very good nights sleep.  So it was time for a cup of tea.

I was just working my way through the stamps, wanting to see which worked with which.   The cup of tea did the trick, as did a spot of Sheena watching,  she is so chaotic,  but I do love her work. 

The last one before it was time to make dinner. This one I am very happy with,  I got things lined up nicely,  took my time, moved the card and it all came together.   I'll be having a lot of fun with this over the next few days.

Today wasn't a good day,  messed up my lunch,  did some shopping but forgot the milk!   And I ruined my dinner, didn't cook the gammon for long enough,  so just ate the outside bits.  The mash was lovely,  good jog I had some plain yogurt,  mixed it with some fruit. 

The tenancy stuff is now all finalised,  the Housing Officer called again, went through my HB form,  he said it was the best he'd ever seen,  I did tell him that I had worked as a CAB advisor at one point.   Funny how quickly it all came back,  though my speciality was DLA.  There were only a couple of questions I wasn't sure about.   When I am able to think a bit clearer I'd like to explore the possibility of going back to the CAB, and then move on to Welfare Rights work.

I think I can finally get on with the decorating.  I know I'll feel better once mum's room is looking pretty.  

All for now, many thanks for the comments, they are always much appreciated.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


The housing officer came today,  he was very nice and was trying to make life easier for me.  I was very touched by his kindness.   All the forms were filled in and the tenancy was approved, so the flat is now mine.  Just negotiated the housing benefit form, love to meet the person who put it together, plain English it isn!   Anyway it is done, and housing officer is picking it up tomorrow, and he'll check it for me.  Of course I am landed with the ruddy bedroom tax.... grrrr Thatcher would be proud of her offspring!

Left the decorating,  and got out the stamps. Started with this,  it took my mind off everything. 

This is a corner stamp,  I drew guidelines,  then carefully began stamping. 

My pattern stamp kit is on its way!   It could arrive tomorrow, which would be nice. 

More decluttering today.  The housing officer needed some proof of ID, and other stuff, so that forced me to sort out my paperwork.  Everything is now neat and tidy, and can be found, which makes a change.  I'm realising how stressful caring was,  you don't realise at the time, you just get on with it, but then you have no energy or time for anything else.   Even if I put time aside for things like paperwork then something would always crop up.

This was me just messing,  stamped the image with my grotty versamark,  then used some clear embossing powder.  This is just for the art journal.  I can see I need some white detail powder, and more adiorondac inks in different colours.  Most of my small inheritance is dedicated for sensible stuff, but there is a bit put aside from craft stuff, and a holiday.  CnC have got capped P&P at the moment... mmm.  

I made myself a roast dinner tonight, I'd  not eaten much during the day and realised that I was quite hungry.   So it was a roast chicken breast, roast spuds and veg,  and very nice it was too!  Meals are a battle, most of the time I don't feel like cooking, but I do make the effort.  The roast tonight was a good and bad idea, good because it was nice, bad because it was one of the last meals I'd cooked for mum, and which she'd really enjoyed. She hadn't been eating much, but she had made a real effort to eat that night.   Most of the stuff in the freezer is sorted out for two people,  just have to use it up, then it will be easier.   

And of course there was 'that' funeral,  I found it nauseating, how many services does one dead woman need in order to rest in peace?    The whole thing was OTT, and it was our money being wasted,  the government have so far refused to say how much has been spent.   She was not in the league of Churchill or Atlee,  she espoused the very methodism I rejected, as did the rest of my family.   Meanwhile they are cutting funding cancer drugs,  cutting the NHS budget, and attempting to privatise it by the back door. 

On that note...  off to get a glass of wine.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Got a new flat mate!

At last Sergei arrived!   He seems to like the recliner, could be the old bones.   He was a very nice surprise after a bad Monday.   I'd had a sleepless night, woke up early,  gave up on sleep at 6.30 and so put on some washing, then did some dusting,  decided not to vacuum at such an early hour.  I had a few things to do, pay a bill, pay in a cheque, get some shopping.  Was all done by 11 a.m. and then I ran out of steam, wasn't helped by a crass email from a 'friend' who waffled on about her broken down car, like I care?   This 'friend' has just been insensitive since mum died and has continually put both feet in it,  enough was enough so I told her not to contact me again.  Everyone else has been lovely, all my crafty friends, those from UK paper crafters,  fellow bloggers,  my friends on FB,  all except for this one woman!  Not once has she actually asked how I am, or how I'm doing, she's just banged on about herself. 

Two friends told me I was trying to do too much, so today I had a rest day and just crafted.  I started this piece on Saturday, but as usual the design plans changed.  I picked up the little wooden arch from the craft shop, £2.50.  I gave it a couple of coats of gesso.  Then mixed acrylic paint with some dylusions.  The photo doesn't show it but it has given me a nice streaky effect. For once I took my time,  I'm usually eager to get the piece finished and so end up making mistakes.  

For the back I did my crackle effect, using PVA and acrylic mixed with the dylusions,  it gave a much better effect than just using acrylic paint.   For those unfamiliar with this technique you need, some PVA (cheap stuff),  and acrylic paint.  Put on the colour you want to show through,  then add the PVA glue,  you don't want too much or too little,   too much and you won't get a good crackle effect, same if you use too little, so play around.  Then put on the top coat of acrylic, while the PVA is still wet,  then use your heat gun, on a low setting to dry it.  As it dries the PVA shrinks and takes the paint with it. 

Also found another trick, I made a mistake with the colour so had to wash it off, not wanting to wait for the wood to dry I put it in the microwave for 10 seconds,   it needed another 10 to get it completely dry, but times will vary depending on what you want to dry. 

For the two front panels I just painted them.  I cut some panels (spellbinders),  and then two butterflies. The die was a freebie from 'Simply Cards and Papercraft', and it cuts beautifully.   I stamped round the edges with a flourish stamp, just catching the edges.  I also did the sides as well.

I chose the Hope sentiment, by Crafty Individuals, to go inside, again using a die cut frame to highlight it. 

This will be in my room once it is decorated.  Got mum's room to do first, it is now all prepped,  washed the walls and ceiling yesterday.   So once the housing officer has been tomorrow I should get the ceiling done.  I'd not heard anything from the Housing Association about the change in tenancy, so called them again today,  and discovered they'd phoned the day of mum's funeral.  They weren't to know, even so I thought it was a bit odd that I'd had no letter from them.

But it has been sorted now, just have the paperwork to do. That will be the last bit of paperwork regarding mum, everything else has been switched to me. 

Last picture shows the back,  I used a Kaiser Craft stamp, some little butterflies, and a few flourishes.  

Feel a bit guilty for not being out in this lovely weather.   It has at last warmed up here,  but it has been rather windy!    I'm having real problems with my left knee, which was the good knee,  and my back has also been very painful.  If I don't move I'm fine... !   I should get my Inkadinkadoo thing by the end of the week.  I've also ordered something more boring, but very important, the new anti virus program,  Norton wanted £60 odd quid for a years protection,  I went Amazon and just bought the 2013 version, which is what I do every year. 

I did catch the new Clarity Stamp show on CnC, I remembered Barbara saying something about it, some nice stamps.  And some interesting techniques from Maria (I think that was her name, missed the start of the show).   A bit too much CD crafting on today for my liking,  I did succumb to a CD once, but have hardly used it, found the quality wasn't very good, which is why I'm not mentioning any names!  Though I do like my craft artist studio,  that has made a difference to my crafting, I can make some nice inserts now,  and I have done some scrap pages as well. 

Well that is all for now,  decorating tomorrow, crafting again on Thursday, but not sure what!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Geilli Plate fun

Today was Gelli Plate day.   I had a voucher for the craft shop so popped up to get a couple of masks.   I did watch the video on the Gelli Plate web site so I would know what to do.  Then it was time to play! 

I've got two brayers, the speedball and a harder brayer, so I used the latter first.  I put some paint onto the plate,  just ordinary acrylic paint,  around a teaspoonful, spread it out and applied the mask, pressed the mask down a little then took it off, put on the paper,  pressed that down and got this result.   I cleaned everything, it is best to have some kitchen roll, a spray bottle (just water) handy.  Then  I used another colour.

For this piece I used a mask, and made the wavy lines with a comb.  Anything that will make a pattern can be used.   The plate comes with instructions as to what you can use and not use in terms of paints and inks.  I remembered Barbara Gray's tip of keeping the plate in its original packing,  a very good idea as it has to be kept clean and of course stored flat.

It is a question of experimenting, so I was using copy paper.   I have the smaller plate so you can fit two patterns on one piece of paper if you are feeling frugal.  It is messy, so make sure you have plenty of cleaning kit handy.   If you like making your own backgrounds then this is a very

handy piece of kit.  For the last piece I used a stamp,and a butterfly die.  I really do like this, it shows how you can progress in a very short space of time.   I'm looking forward to using this plate more,  I can see it becoming a well used piece of kit. 

I also succumbed to the Inkadinkadoo special purchase on CnC.  Was watching it again this morning and thought... mmm, shall I, shan't I, oh what the heck,  the stamps alone will be well used, so I got it. I'm guessing it can be used also with the gelli plate - watch this space!

And here is my completed frame, the photo imaging program has rather enhanced the green!  Not sure if I like the picture i the middle, but that can be changed.  I'm pleased with the flowers,  I used a soft yellow and green card. 

Today was a 'not so bad' day.  I felt as though a small cloud had lifted,  it helped that when I woke up the sky was blue and the sun was beating down,  it felt warm.  I threw out the flowers from the funeral, they were past their best, and got some fresh roses,  I love fresh flowers, so did mum, we always made sure we had some each week.  Took down the cards as well,  I'll keep them as such lovely things were written about mum.  I've also put out some of my own stuff in the living room, sorry mum but the brass just had to go!   She knew I'd get rid of it and often said so.   I used to clean it as a child, that was how I earned my pocket money.  I also managed a fairly good nights sleep,  woke up twice but did get back to sleep, even had a small lie in.   I braved the supermarket as well, a treat of some nice cheese and crusty bread was in order, and some cheesecake.   It seemed the balmy weather had broutght everyone out, so the roads were busy, as was the garden centre.  The craft shop had a demo, but I'm not that interested,  unless they are teaching something unusual, this one was just Do Crafts,  no longer up my street.  I decided to take the country route home and by the time I got home it was cloudy, windy and raining!   I'm sure my garden is appreciating the wet stuff. 

I hope your weekend is going well. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Aches and pains

I seem to ache everywhere, back, knees...  think I need some WD 40.  

On Tuesday I decided it was time for a treat,  so a trip to the craft shop was in order.  I spotted these X cut dies in the form of a luggage tag, there are two luggage tags, a strap, two buckles and an ordinary tag.  All for £12!   Well I couldn't resist,  and I bought two new stamps from Crafty Individuals.   I cut the dies when I got home, luckily I had some suitable brown card, as you can see they look pretty realistic.

And this is it almost made up, I still had a bit of gluing to do but the light was fading and I wanted to take a pic.  I found the buckle a bit fiddly,  I cut two of them and stuck them back to back to strengthen it.  It will be perfect for journalling, and scrapbooking.  They cut like a dream as well, thanks to the calibur I could cut the lot in one go.     You can also stitch the two bits together, although I used some glue as well, couldn't find any suitable thread so made do with some very thin tan coloured raffia.  I used Bazill card stock.   I can see me making good use of this die. 

I had been tempted by the spellbinders on CnC but only wanted the celtic dies, which had already sold out by the time I logged on.   I would like some flourish dies, seen some at the Craft Barn...   should I?

This is one of the Crafty Individual stamps I got, both are sentiments,  and you can never have enough sentiments!  Love this one as it says so much, and I have been blessed with so many good friends.   I stamped this then used the Tag die to cut it out, of course more stamping and inking had to be done. 

While out shopping, and paying bills, the last of mum's bills.  I spotted a cheap frame in Home and Bargain, just £2, a bargain,  I knew what I wanted to do with it. Sadly I couldn't find the wooden spoons, which I'd needed - oh well, you win some and you lose some.   I also got a decent sized rug for mum's room,  which I had hoped would be useful in the living room but it was too small. 

This is the frame,  now distressed.  I cut the flowers,  but they're not stuck down.  Still got a lot to do to it, including deciding what goes in the frame.  I gave the frame a coat of gesso, then one coat of dark green, followed by PVA glue, then the light green on top,  then blasted it with the heat gun.  I then left it to settle overnight.   I'm going to put it in mum's room once I've decorated.    I got some paint today, and some carpet tiles, that grotty carpet is going!   Yesterday I was washing lampshades,  didn't think the one in mum's room would come clean,  it is cloth so I dunked the whole thing into some oxi powder, to my surprise it came out as good as new.   It must be something to do with Spring, I do love this time of year,  when the colour is coming back into the world, everything looks so fresh and new, so you are compelled to start cleaning.  I have nice clean windows,  very white net curtains and clean lampshades! 

Last photo, my Gelli Plate!  It arrived at last.  Can't wait to play with it.  This is going to be so much fun. 

I've been watching the CnC birthday bash,  I caught one show where this chap was making patterns, but with a gizmo, a very expensive gizmo.  I use a pair of compasses, a ruler and stamps,   and get the same result.  There is an Indigo Blu show on Sunday, so I'll tune in to that.  Well I hope to if Freeview has stopped messing around, I've had to retune 3 times, and do a manual retune as they've altered the channel settings.   One poor chap in the paper shop was completely confused saying he couldn't get any channels.   Well that's me for the night,  off to make a cup of tea and go to bed.  Who knows  I may NOT wake up at 2 a.m. tonight. 

Thanks for stopping by, have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tuesday tidy up

Today I had a massive declutter of my stash.  I was pretty ruthless,  a lot is going to the carer's craft group.  The rest has been sorted out, at least now I know what I have.  Still got a bit more to do, but the end is in sight!

I also wanted to do a challenge, so opted for MYM as I enjoy making my own backgrounds. I'd found this shaped cardstock during the declutter, makes a nice change from the usual square/rectangle etc.  I used some dylusions, then did a dylusion wash,  next came the plastic bag trick, then some stamping, finally I inked round the edges.  So one background and...

I needed something to go on it. I'd come across some vellum and backing papers,  but wanted to get away from the usual type of flowers so used my poinsettia die.  I put some UTEE on the paper flowers.    For a picture I used the tree stamp that came with the Get Stamping mag, but I wanted it to have green leaves... ?  I used versamark and copper powder, then used by versamark pen to pick out the leaves and added the green tinsel powder - it worked!  A little inking, and some random stamping, for the mat I used a die cut fram

I chose the Friends sentiment,  seemed fitting after all the support I've been receiving these last two weeks. I stamped the sentiment then lay the tag die on top and voila!  The set of tag dies is coming in very useful.

I can't beleive how much paper I unearthed today,  it had just been stuffed in any old place.  I'd really not had the inclination to carry out a declutter/tidy up.   Having got rid of mum's clothes I'd freed up a chest of drawers, so all the stash is now living in there, in order for a change.  I've also started to rearrange what is in my craft desk, just keeping the stuff I use all the time.  My add on table now has a bits box and I think the large tool box will be a thing of the past soon.  The carer's craft group will think Christmas has come early!  I know I could put some of it on ebay, but I'd rather donate it to a good cause. 

Here is the finished piece.  Just need to do the edges and it will be complete. 

Mum's ashes were also delivered today.  Not sure I was expecting such a large box!  Couldn't think were to put it until I scatter them so I put the box on her chair.   Initially the family said they all wanted to be there to help scatter the ashes, but one by one they've backed out.  I'm going to scatter them at her favourite places, and maybe put some around the rose bushes!  No reason to be morbid,  just being practical as mum would wish.  Just wondering how she feels about being joined by Maggie Thatcher, who she loathed, as did I.

Tomorrow is an out and about day,  have to go to the carer's centre and sort out a few things, and see if anyone needs a walker.  More trips to the recycling centre as well.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Drfting along...

Another beautiful sunny day,  and a little warmer.   I had a mountain of ironing to do, bedding mostly,  so did that while I watched Barbara Gray.  I wasn't going to buy anything but, I saw the Gelli plate in action and somehow I ended up buying one!   I was enjoying Barbara's demos, but was getting irritated with the presenter, just wished she would shut up. With the ironing done, there was some sorting out to do, mostly stuff for the recycling centre. Then I had brunch, two poached eggs on toast while watching CnC! 

Then it was time for some crafting.  I went back to the project I'd started yesterday, after my declutter I'd found more coloured cardstock, and some shaped cardstock.  After some faffing I gave up on the project and did some pattern work.  I did a large piece and two smaller pieces.  After finishing the stamping I decided to ink the cards, then liking that I added some UTEE to the blue tile,  it really brought the colours out.  I also used the distress stamp on both using some coloured ink.   By this time I was feeling very relaxed, and pleased with my work.  It's always nice to complete something.  I've prepped a frame that I want to use,  and did some die cutting.   Of course I want the gelli plate to arrive NOW!

This is the larger piece, which I'm not so happy with,  I colour washed it.  The pattern isn't quite right, however this is what these pieces are all about, experimenting with stamps and shapes.  I like the stamp, but it needs work.

Bit of an up and down day,  in spite of the sunny day I didn't feel up to facing the world so tucked myself away in the flat.  I said to my sister yesterday that it didn't feel 'real', and she said she felt the same.  So much goes on after a death that you barely have time to think,  or let things sink in.  I felt it a bit more today as I was fixing brunch it hit me that I was now cooking for one.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, have to contact the housing association to see when they are coming to see me,  then take stuff to the recycling centre, the first of many trips!  And get some shopping.   I'm developing a new routine, that was helped by having my sister here,  they have an odd meal routine!   But that was good as it stopped me brooding,  and let me fall into their timetable.   I've lost half a stone,  and that is without trying, but then I do need to lose some weight, with not being able to get much exercise the pounds have piled on.  I am eating,  just need to adjust the portion sizes.  Sleep is rubbish,  I go to sleep then wake up,  start worrying,  so can't get back to sleep, then calm down and drift off by which time the sun is coming up! 

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, 6 April 2013


These last two weeks seem to have dragged by.  The first week was a blur, then my sister arrived and some order was reinstated.   Of course we had the usual business to attend to and arranging the funeral.  We'd chosen a local firm, purely because my dad had known the owner,  and they'd organised dad's funeral.  We now wish we had shopped around,  the service we got was appalling,  it was as if we were choosing a carpet, the chap just ticked a load of boxes, tapped on his calculator and then showed us the 'quote'!  There was no small talk either.  We then told him what we wanted, no second car,  no expensive coffin, no minister (his fee alone was £160!).  We now all wish we'd just said no, that we would look elsewhere, but you don't because that means dragging out the agony.  We are making a complaint, and if I have my way some of that money will be coming back to us. 

You may be wondering about the odd pictures!  Well my nephew in law came up with the whacky idea that we put one of mum's coats on an Iron Man on Crosby Beach,  we all thought it thoroughly daft and very apt, so we did.  My sister and I felt that we should really put mum's dressing gown on the Iron Man, so we did.   The chap sneaking away is my brother in law,  he left me sinking in the mud! 

Today I had a plan,  my sister was heading back home, she was planning to leave by 11ish,  CnC had a Barbara Gray class... so perfect timing - Yes?  No,  as my sister in law appeared like a grey cloud,  fortunately she had got rid of the sour face she had for the funeral, even so her arrival through all plans into chaos.  So I missed the BG class...  phooey, will have to catch up online.   Then I ws on my own, me, myself and I...   with a lot of washing up to do.  What is it with men and cooking, why do they have to use every pan?  All my brother in law cooked was two bacon butties and 2 poached eggs on toast, yet the kitchen looked like a disaster area.   After dealing with all that I...

finally got to my craft desk,  such a relief,  though I can't say I've been wanting to craft.  I was up at 4 a.m. one night messing with patterns,  but other than that the craft has been on hold.  Today I got out my stuff,  and plan to turn this lot into something nice tomorrow.  Not sure what yet, but no doubt something will emerge.   And fingers crossed I will get to see Barbara Gray tomorrow morning. 

A funny old day,  Grand National day as well,  I did watch the race.   Then I had to cook,  a bit of a shock as my brother in law has been in charge of the kitchen for the last two weeks.   I had sausage, mash and gravy,  mum hated mash and gravy, so we never had it.     Just been chatting to a friend on skype, showed her the Iron Man photos, she thinks I am bonkers, but loved the idea.  And my bed is now calling me, so think I best hit the hay. 

Back to crafting tomorrow,  before I disappear into the black hole otherwise known as the cloak room!  It needs sorting out.  

Thanks for stopping by,  enjoy the weekend.