Monday, October 30, 2006

Paula's Crafty Tag

Paula (mini book pixie) posted these questions on her blog, so I thought I'd take up the baton.

1) What technique would you consider to be your "trade mark" (what do you do most?)
I use beads quite a lot, usually tiny beads strung on gold or silver thread and added down the side of my cards, oh and I make cards with pockets on the front and then decorate tags to slip inside quite often too
2) Which technique(s) do you wish you could do/do better?
Like you (Paula), I wish I could draw, but there's also stamping, cutting out neatly and loads more things I'm useless at
3) What are your 4 favourite embellishments?
Brads, Ribbon, Eyelets, paper flowers
4) What are your 3 favourite gadgets?
Quickutz, mini xyron for fixing ribbons etc, pointy proddy thing for making holes
5a) What do you like to do but haven't done in a while?
Friendly Plastic
5b) And what have you done recently & forgot how much you enjoyed?
Shrink Plastic - I did a couple of cards for the last DCM Dare and that's the first time in about a year.

Right then, who shall I tag? I think I'll pass the baton along to Janine, Andrea, Rachel2 and Saffa

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunny Sunday

The sun is shining and it's a beautiful Autumn day.
Hubby was up and out early this morning (not sure I like 7 am starts on a Sunday...), he's gone on an archery "field shoot" - they appear to wander around a wood and shoot at various animals as they go - not, I hasten to say the real thing, but pictures of Bears, Deer and (I'm sorry to say this Kel) fluffy bunnies etc... Last year he went on this event and it rained all day so he was relieved to see it dry this morning.
Our visitors left mid morning and should be well on their way back up the A1 to Northumberland by now. Please Tracey and Clare give them a wave if you see a metallic blue Kia go past Blyth later on...

I've just spent a happy hour or two catching up with the 22 messages on The Daring Cardmaker
I've popped on to all the blogs to see the fantastic range of cards that our wonderful visitors have been making, and I've added links to all their blogs to make it easy for everyone to go and see all the fab, clever, inventive Kitcheny cards for this week's Dare. Let us know when you've made a card and your link will soon be there on the list :-) Everyone is welcome to have a go.

I've not had the chance to do any crafting since Thursday when I made the Christening card I showed on Friday morning, but I can show you my latest beady offering, the box I made for it and the card to go with it now. The bracelet is Swarovski crystal beads in clear, fuchsia pink and black, interspersed with sterling silver donut beads and findings.

I've used papers from the Making Memories Simply Fabulous "Brooke" pad

Maya Road ribbon plus some other bits from my ribbon drawer

Prima Hydranga flowers

The oval tag is from Bossktz and the letters are Katie Classic - I topped them with good old Glossy Accents

Friday, October 27, 2006

Use the Kitchen!

Jane plonked this scary challenge on us then went off to her bed on the other side of the world leaving us with our mouths hanging open in shock! If you've already checked the Daring Cardmakers blog you'll see that eventually everyone came up trumps though.

These two cards used the same stuff. The backing papers are glossy card, the sort you print photos on, I spritzed the pieces with water then dripped food colouring on one piece and placed another on top then squidged the colouring around a bit between the two. I loved the vivid colours, I'd never tried this before and was amazed at the results - and they dried really quickly too so no hanging around waiting.
The embellishments are shrink plastic coloured with Brilliance inks - I used cotton balls to dab the ink on and move it around as shrinking intensifies the colours so you need to be careful not to overdo it.
Normally I do SP with a heatgun, but this time I used the oven and it was MUCH easier. I put the SP pieces on baking parchment on a baking tray, another piece of parchment on top, then another baking tray to keep it all nice and flat. This worked a treat, no more wrestling with curly SP for me, I'll use the oven from now on. Karen's card has SP squares wound tih crinkly wire and a few beads, the "K" was SP just hand cut, shrunk then topped with Glossy Accents. The rest of the letters are QK Katie Classic alphabet.

The flowers on the 2nd card were cut from the inked SP with a giant punch, and ended up about4cms after shrinking. I used spare coloured card to make the tiny flowers in the centres. The gold crinkly wire is there just to add a bit of extra interest, the torn paper and the flowers are edged with gold krylon pen.
Using Hundreds and Thousands was my first plan, but the first effort went Disasterously, HORRIBLY tip is - Don't use Glossy Accents over 100s & 1000s! The prototype is still a squidgy mess and all the colours have run into each other. Maybe I'll add a photo to prove my point!
The 2ns attempt uses double sided tape to cover the heart pattern, then I sealed it with Plastikote sealent stuff - better, but I don't think I'd risk it in the post.
I used letters from most of my alphabets to add to the 100s & 1000s theme, they took ages to cut and arrange and tbh I'm not really happy with the result.
Still this whole Dare thing is about rising to the challenge and sometimes you win and sometimes you make a red, squidgy gooey mess.....

Right, now over to YOU!

Just a quickie...

Right, here's the first card for that order I mentioned. The backing card, the cross and the little flower brad are all actually silver but I took the photo late on and they look more gold coloured.

She's decided against having a box for it so that's one thing less I have to make, but it would have been much nicer to have a presentation box to keep it in, wouldn't it?

I'll be back later with my cards for the Daring Cardmakers challenge of the week, so get ready to have some fun in a place where crafters usually HATE to go.......

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I "do" guilt really well - it's probably the thing I'm best at.

So I have to confess that my "to do" list of the last posting was only written when most of it was already done (red-faced smiley in here please!)

BUT, I have now also written and posted the letter that was on the list and finished the other things (except the scrapbook LO) too. And I can't do that because the book I'm making is going to be a Christmas gift for the visitors who are staying with us at the moment - hopefully that excuse will let me off the hook on that one!

However, the cards I need to make for an order are still...well, not even on the drawing board tbh. Please feel free to shout at me next week if I still haven't shown any cards for this order.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Crossing things off the list

Food shopping done
Cards for new Dare done
Clean house sort of done
Make up Guest room done
washing forgot to get it out of machine
ironing not finished
wrap Christmas presents (sad, but true) not done
scrapbook page not a hope
Write the letter that's been waiting all week next on the list, I promise
Feed Hubby might have to be pizza
Clean mucky mark off lounge carpet done
Go to post box ok ok I've got to write the letter first....
Put bins out later alright?

I've been busy trying to get organised as we've visitors coming tomorrow for a few days stay.

So it's been a rush around doing shopping, house cleaning and the usual washing and ironing routine - plus getting ready for Friday's new Daring Cardmakers challenge as who knows what time I'll have to play with paper while my rellies are here. If you've not already shown us your card for the Friends theme, please give it a try, we'd love to see your work.

Must have been something in the air yesterday because I even managed to get another couple of Christmas cards made - the first for a couple of weeks - I'm really not doing well with these, reminder to self; must try harder.
I bought a couple of PaperMania Christmas paper packs (8x8, 100 sheets each) a week or so ago. The paper isn't as heavy as I like, but it's fine for Christmas cards and the colours and designs are nice. I used a couple on these cards. The bauble is a Bosskutz die, edged with silver krylon and topped with some of that wonderful Glossy Accents. I put a swirl of glitter on first for one of them but forgot that bit on the other! The silvery stuff was in a mixed pack of similar stuff - it's really pretty with a stitched swirl plus little dots of glitter.

No way will I get another scrapbook page done now, so that'll be another one to put off till next week.

Lovely sunny day here today - chilly but very bright. Next boring housey task - put the bins out. Gosh it's just a never ending whirr of excitement around here isn't it?

Any of you UK readers who know where I can get small plain silver cross charms (for Christening cards etc) or that thick handmade paper that usually comes in big sheets (wrapping paper sized) in white, please give me a shout!

Monday, October 23, 2006

After the Weekend

Friday was so exciting. The launch of The Daring Cardmakers Blog had us all hopping about in anticipation in our various homes in both the UK and NZ.
The reaction has been fantastic, we're thrilled to bits over the positive comments and delighted that so many Crafty Friends new and old have already joined in with this week's Dare.
If you've not had a go yet, please join in - we'd love to see your cards.

We went out with some friends on Friday evening for a fabby curry, it's been a while since we managed to arrange something so it was great to be able to catch up with the news and have a good laugh. We all had different meals for once, but I stuck with the house special of the restaurent which is too tasty to veer away from - boring, I know, but I just don't care!

We had a shopping trip on Saturday which proved tiresome and frustrating. We went to John Lewis to try and sort out some new curtains for our bedroom and the dining room. It started well as we saw some cushions which will be great on the new sofas (when they arrive), then we found fabric that we liked for both rooms. That was when the fun started and it's too long a catalogue of dead ends to bore you with so I won't. I had no idea that getting curtain poles would be so complicated....Back to the drawing board.

By the time we got out of there (without ordering anything) it was about 2pm and we'd gone right off the whole "shopping" thing so we went and had lunch in one of our favourite pubs to console ourselves.

I suppose Sunday must have happened, but can't think of anything to report - well except I wanted to start another LO and got a nice lot of paper out........then put it back in the box when inspiration failed to strike.

Can't even show you the pretty pictures hubby took at the weekend because I can't find them.

Might as well go and have another cup of coffee then

Friday, October 20, 2006

My cards for the Very First Dare

OK, so the first theme for our wonderful new Daring Cardmakers blog is FRIENDS - a good choice for a newly gathered group of crafting buddies. Some of us know each other already, but there are new friends on the team too, and of course we all hope that we will make lots more new friends from all over the world through the blog.

All our cards are shown on the new site, but we'll all be adding more info about them on our own blogs, so please check them out for the low-down on what we've used.

What is a friend?

Paper is all from Blonde Moments "Spring Fling" range. The alphabet is "Katie Classic" by Quickutz as are the teapot, hearts and rosebud on the tags
The quote tags are decorated with brass charms, eyelets, paper rose, ribbons and fibres from various suppliers

Friendship is like a garden....

Pink hearts paper is from the Blonde Moments "Sugar Dumpling" range and the striped one is Junkitz Pop Rock Skinny Stripes.
Pixie Press vellum, shaded with a chalk ink pad
Loads of Prima flowers (I feel quite brave having used that many on one card :-))
Brads and ribbons from my stash

Ohhhhhhhh It's live at last

Dare Blogs

The scrapbookers have them - lots of them, so why not cardmakers?

Today at 10am our Brand New Blog went live. I'd like to introduce
The Daring Cardmakers a wonderful new place for all crafty bloggers to hang out.
The whole thing started a few weeks ago with an idea from Jane - why couldn't cardmaker's have some fun with dares and challenges like the scrapbookers do?

So here we are, a team of Cardmaking Bloggers from the UK and NZ (next, The World!) keen to challenge each other and the whole blogging world to come and have a go at our Dares.

Our first Dare is up and running and our own efforts are now on show. We hope that you'll like the idea and feel inspired and challenged to get involved.

Looking forward to seeing your cards.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

You'll just have to take my word for it...

I've had a very productive day on the craft front.

Made something for a friend's birthday, and a gift box and tag for it, and almost completed the Birthday card to go with it. Pictures to follow at a later date - just in case she's being a Nosey Moo.

Hopefully tomorrow I can give serious thought to the next LO for the baby scrapbook - that's a scrapbook about a baby, not a teeny weeny baby sized one :-)

Also need to get started on my card order, I've got visitors next week so playtime will be limited.

One of the cards I have to do is an Engagement card. I'd forgotten about this one, made a year or so ago for a good friend of mine, I quite like it so I might do something similar for this order.

Sometimes it's good to go through the photos of the cards I've made in the past, more often than not I think "Crikey, did I really make that hideous thing" but every now and then you come across something you were really happy with and had totally forgotten about.

Haven't noticed many people taking photos of their messy craft rooms. So maybe it's just me and Paula who are the Messy Moos.....yeah right!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

ooops I made a mess

After yesterday's creative desert I did a bit better today and made the card I needed to get sorted. I can't show you yet - but I CAN show you the state of my desk after I'd done..........

Anyone care to join in and show what your desks look like at the moment? COME ON - I DARE YOU!!!!!

Ooooh and my visitor number is now well over 3900, wonder if I can make it to 4000 by the end of this week?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Any creativity I had has gone to mush.
I have sat down at my desk at least 3 times today, got an assortment of "stuff" out, moved it around and failed dismally to make the card I need to make.
Apart from that one, I have an order for three more cards which I could be getting on with. Maybe I'd have more luck if I did those - one is for an engagement card and I like doing those romantic ones - but that's a different sort of Mush. But they aren't so important, there's a time issue here which isn't helping.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Loose Ends

We got SUCH a lot done this weekend - you know, all those little jobs that hang around for months just waitingtill you get a Round Tuit.

On Saturday we walked along to town for lunch, then went to Argos and bought some curtain hold-backs for the room that had the recent paint job, and some wine racks to put in one of the understairs cupboards. We even found a clock we could live with. Came home then loaded the car with the bags and boxes of stuff that has been waiting to go to the Charity Shop since we moved in and got rid of that lot - lo and behold, another empty cupboard.

Up went the clock, the little cabinet in the cloakroom and the meccano set that were the wine racks were built. Now on a roll Hubby went outside and tidied up all the loose bits of wire and cable which seemed to be dangling all over the outside walls. I finally got round to taking up the curtains which we inherited with the house but were at least a foot too long, so now they are up and looking respectable and neat in their new hold-backs.
Even the photo of Gorgeous Niece which has stood by the bookcase for the last 3 months is now on the wall. Sadly we ran out of nails (picture hooks are no use in these walls....) so the barometer remains on the floor, and most of the pictures are still lurking accusingly in the cardboard box in the dining room. Maybe next week...

We moved stuff back into the spare room. it's going to be a "sewing-cum-scalextric-cum room for stuff without another place to go" sort of place. We'll move the sofabed in there once the new furniture arrives so it'll be convertible to another guestroom when required.

My Hubby says I make a mess when I do anything crafty. This weekend I got my own back. I think every hammer, screwdriver, toolbox, etc etc that he owns (and there are many) all ended up scattered around the hallways and rooms. Next time he tells me I'm messy I can remind him. I should have taken a photo.

Two cards to show you, the pink one is for my Aunt's birthday, the other was for a wedding - I saw this paper when I was out with the Bride to Be, I wonder if she remembers! I made another wedding card recently but forgot to do a photo - it's got a bit of a journey to it's destination, but hopefully when it arrives the new bride will kindly take a photo for me (wink)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Daddy's Girl

Yesterday would have been my dad's birthdy.
Even after more than 10 years I miss him so much.

I was doing OK yesterday - or maybe I was fooling myself. But in the early hours I woke and all the pain of loss came flooding back and the tears were there again. I wish he was still here, I wish I could see his smile and hear his voice. I wish I could talk to him and listen to his advice. To be safe in the knowledge that he loved me and would be there for me, whatever happened.

I met my friend Sue some years before Dad died. She'd lost her father not long before and missed him dreadfully - like me she was a Daddy's Girl. I distinctly remember her saying to me "Cherish him, because you're like me, and you are going to miss him if anything happens".

Yes, it does get easier to get through the days and weeks, but the real shock is that there are still times that catch me off guard, it's often a piece of music, or the simply the mellow sound of the euphonium which he played beautifully. Hearing Schubert's Serenade on the radio is guaranteed to make me cry for this was one of his solo pieces and is one of the loveliest pieces of music I know.

He was completely straight and certain in his beliefs - he knew what his life was about and what was right and what was wrong - he'd tell you if he thought you were wrong, but never ever reject you for having a different point of view.

This time of year is full of anniversaries and reminders and sometimes the sadness just overwhelms me. I try to blur the worst dates, the ones when my mum and dad died, but ingrained special dates are harder - my eldest nephew's birthday is at the start of September, I wonder if he even remembers the many hours he spent with his Grandad. My own birthday is on the 15th - and I was actually born on mum and dad's wedding anniversary so that's a tough one. Two weeks later on the 28th, well that's mum's birthday and two weeks after that it's dad's. Please spare me a kind thought if you can. I'm so sorry, this isn't fun is it?

So I'll just go now and try and find myself some peace and maybe some comfort in doing something practical. But before I go think on what Sue said. If you're a Daddy's Girl too, and you still have your beloved father - then cherish him because you can't begin to imagine what it's like not to have him there. Hoard your memories, Let him know how much he means to you and give your dad a hug - because I'd love to be able to do that to mine and I can't.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Things can only get better lalala

There are times when you're left wondering about all sorts of stuff that you thought you knew.

Then you play with paper, move and sort your craft stuff around for a while and hopefully an hour or so of crafty therapy will make the world seem right again. It doesn't always work of course, but it's worth a try.

Ah well, such is life Dear Readers, there are good days and bad days and although it was raining this morning the sun is shining brightly now, my beloved is on his way home and I love him to bits so all is not lost....

Anyway, here's a photo of the anniversary card I've just made:

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Playing Tag

I've been tagged by Jo
1. Do you have any middle names?
NO. Thank goodness - heaven only knows what I'd have ended up with. My first name is bad enough.
2. What's under your bed right now? We've got drawers under the bed filled with stuff like dovet covers, another with holiday stuff all ready for a quick getaway (I wish). I guess under that there's just dust!
3. Last time you laughed so much you cried?
Not so long ago - but why, I can't remember. Sometimes the mood just needs the smallest trigger and everyone is suddenly convulsed with the giggles. For some reason this often happens when my aunt and uncle are here........and they are visiting soon.
4. What age were you when you first drank Alcohol?
I come from a family of non-drinkers so I didn't really have much to do with alcohol till I was older. Even at college I didn't do the usual drunken student thing (that could be because I've never been one to conform, I'm just awkward!) Actually I don't think I've ever been drunk!!!!! tipsy, yes, but not drunk - I don't like to lose control
5. Porn Star Name (First pets name and name of your street - I've changed this one as everyone seems to agree it's not your mother's name!)?
Sparky Lytton - sounds more like a prize fighter :-)
6. What's your desk top photo on the PC?
It's one from last year's holiday in Santorini, Greece. (I'll post a pic when blogger is playing ball grrrr)
7. What did you have for breakfast?
OJ, yummy granary toast and coffee
8.Music or TV?
Depends. We usually watch something after dinner, usually something we videoed to watch when we feel like it (which is why we're still about 3 weeks behind with "Lost", I watch mindless afternoon tv when I'm doing the ironing. Music when I want to read etc, I also like to listen to stories etc on the radio - especially when I'm crafting.
9. Worst outfit you have ever worn?
Having read Jane's replies to this, I remembered the pale pink all-in-one that I had.......and also the hassles going to the loo when wearing it. I did have a penchant for really badly coloured socks - stripes of the worst combination of colours were a real favourite. 10 Where do you feel most at peace? Got to be when I'm by the sea. Preferably somewhere in Greece, sitting on a terrace or balcony looking out over the Aegean.
OK so I'll tag: Rachel, Kathy Pitt and the new bride Janine!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Creeping Christmaswards....

Agggghhhhh October happened and with it's arrival came the realisation that Christmas isn't actually so far away - especially if you've only made a grand total of 3 Christmas cards and you also intend to make at least some of the presents you want to give.

Anyway, one of the gifts is the Baby scrapbook - my first foray into scrapbooking. So far there are only two pages in it - I've shown both on my blog. Two pages does not a scrapbook make, does it?

So I've spent the better part of the last couple of days on my first double page jobbie. Not sure I've managed to do as I'd pictured in my head, but never mind eh?

The first page uses a lovely printed cardstock, the second uses the same design but the vellum version, I decided to tear strips and place them on plain cardstock, then I used a small piece of the vellum over the same words at the bottom of the other page to bring the two together. The little "booklet" on the right opens to reveal a concertina of paper with journalling about the pictures and how Sam resembles his older relatives in some of his expressions.

Right, my next task is my own 10 Card Challenge on CBC- the challenge is to make one Christmas card from each of the 10 templates that we've had so far. Doesn't seem quite right to set a challenge then be so lax in rising to it, does it. Gosh, I do guilt so well.

I'll get back to you with the pics if I manage to complete the 10.

There's a little bit of webworld whispering going on, something's afoot and you need to keep coming back or you might miss something exciting.....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

French Escapade; Arcachon pt 2

AyAy As usual Blogger didn't want to upload all the photos on one message (it's always the last one it doesn't want to know...)

So a second helping is needed to show Arcachon's most bizarre claim to fame. See the photo? It's not the Sahara, and it's not just a beach. These are photos of Europe's highest sand dune, the Dune de Pyla. It's about 3km long and apparently creeps eastwards by around 4.5m every year. My guide book says it's already swallowed up trees, a road junction and even a hotel

These photos were taken from the base of the dune - no way was I going to hike to the top like those tiny figures you can see if you look closely!

I took the third photo when we were on the boat trip around the bay. That big thing behind the trees isn't a ski slope but this mamoth pile of sand - it's not a brilliant pic but it gives a bit more of an idea as to just how huge the dune is.

Mad, eh?

French Escapade; Arcachon pt 1

Some more photos from our French trip.

Arcachon is on the coast, an hour or so from Bordeaux. I really liked the atmosphere here. The promenade is wide and long and there are a couple of white painted little piers to wander along. The weather was warm,sunny and breezy - which kept any clouds moving along nicely! What a fantastic beach, long and wide - reminded me just a bit of some of the huge beaches on the Northumbrian coast that we try to keep secret....

Arcachon is actually on the Bassin d' Arcachon , a huge bay accessed from the Atlantic by a 3km channel - it's almost a lake really. In the middle of the bay is a nature resort called Ile aux Oiseaux (Bird Island) . Here there are little houses standing out of the water on stilts - hopefully Hubby's photos will show some of these but he's not got through "developing" them yet (he likes to take his time and decide which ones are good enough to keep. Me, I want to see my photos asap!) . We took one of the boat trips round the bay which was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.