Wednesday, 23 December 2009

To wish you.....

...all a very peaceful and happy Christmas, and hope the new year is everything you hope it to be.  Thank you all for being so supportive over the last few months....I really do appreciate it.

Friday, 18 December 2009

12 days of Christmas

What?...I hear you saying. Over at ATC Swappers Paul asked us to do 12 ATCs all the same for a mega swap. In return we got 12 ATCs all different, and a little extra from Paul. Thank you Paul.
Here's a pic of one of the twelve that I made..yep..Bentley and his little friend again.

Water coloured using pencils...polar white flower soft on his hat and snowflakes and glossy accents for his wellies.

Here are the twelve that I received. Aren't they gorgeous? My thanks go to all the following. From the top reading left to right

Jane Millard...SheilaKing aka She...GermanFerrao..Lorraine.....Pat.
Alison...Mette Reedman...Steph....Anesha.
Hazel Christison aka Dido.....Julie Long.....Paul Ford

All my ATCs, sent and received are on picasa .....the link can be found on the right hand bar. There are still a couple of swaps to arrive yet....hopefully. The November swap on ATC Swappers went walkabouts in the post, but you never know they could still turn up. (trying to be positive

Thursday, 17 December 2009

A long post.....

..for me anyway. Still got the cold, though it's more of a hacking cough now. Just hope that it doesn't turn to a chest infection. Getting a doctor's appointment will be be practically impossible now until after the new year. I woke up late this afternoon to a heavy snowfall. Thankful that I decided to venture out yesterday to the bank instead of leaving it until today, no way was I going out today! Anyway...seeing as all my Christmas cards are done..and the ATC's for this year thought I'd show you some of what I've been doing.

3 of the cards I've done for the grandchildren and young family members. I don't usually "do" cute but these images are soooo cute I couldn't resist. Square easel cards, I'm loving this style. The base card is wheat colour, matted and layered with red card and pattern paper. The paper is a download from Mad about cards. The first two images are from Pollycraft. The first image is Milly Singing.... the second one is Bronson and Beaker (love the little Robin especially) and the third one is one of my favourite stamps at the moment..Bentley. All water coloured, then a sentiment circle from Funky Fairy's and a charm added. I went with the traditional red and green for the colouring to co-ordinate with the papers.

Now this one is definitely a first for me. Cross stitch. (A kit from Cross Stitcher magazine) I did embroidery when I was much, much younger, and I used to make my children's clothes when they were little. Never done cross stitch like this though. Enjoyed doing it and there are a few mistakes..but I'm quite pleased with it on the whole. The best thing about it for me are the eyes. They are done with french knots and these are something I could never get right no matter how hard I tried. Can do 'em now though......Yippee!!! Well I made it into a card and it's going to one of my great nieces..she's only 3, so I hope she likes it and wont mind the mistakes.

Some of the quick small cards...great for using up the smaller pieces of your papers and card. I've done them tent style and I really like them this way.

Now for the last few. Although it wasn't intentional on my part, a theme has emerged, traditional colours and poinsettias.

I made this for my best friend Anne. The inspiration came from a floral punch tutorial by Jane Gill in the October issue of Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine. I've had to adapt it slightly because I didn't have the punches and I made it slightly smaller. The bauble stamp is by Paper Artsy, gems Papermania, Stickles glitter glue (stamens), ribbon and charm from stash.

Two cards done in the same style as above. The poinsettia and the pricked frame is from Fred She Said, scalloped circle using nestibilities and the pale green paper from someone who's blog I read regularly and I've forgotten who! If you know where from please let me know then I can give credit where it's due. The poinsettia and branches come B&W which I coloured using pastels and baby oil

Another poinsettia...this time dufex and decoupaged.

This one is a pattern from CraftsUPrint. I've used 2 strands of metallic and green. Mounted on to red then dark green card, then finished with gold peel-offs.

And finally.....not traditional colours this time....or Poinsettias.
A winter church scene kindly given by a member of the Imag-e-nation forum. It is a copy of a picture a friend painted and didn't like so she said it could be used. I glittered it up with Stickles, matted and layered onto dark blue, red and then wheat card. Added silver peel-offs.


Monday, 14 December 2009

I've finished...

...all my Christmas cards, except for the finishing touches to the last 2. Had a great day in town with Anne on Friday..but boy am I paying now. Was feeling tired on Saturday but I expected that and managed to get the Christmas tree up Sunday...after a lot of nagging from youngest son. (He's 20 by the way!) Got up today feeling very unwell and ended up by going back to bed. I've only been up for a couple of hours and I'm going back to bed after this. I've got a stinker of a cold..hopefully that's all it is... and will clear in a few days. Normally a cold wouldn't worry me, but on top of M.E. it makes it feel a lot worse. I'm drinking chamomile, honey and vanilla tea, with a little extra honey. It's so soothing to a very sore throat. Hopefully I will be back in a few days to update and catch up with my blog reading. There are so many of you that I haven't visited lately..and I do miss you all. Keeping up with all your blogs makes me feel that I'm part of the world when I'm unable to get out and about.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Nearly Christmas ...

..and I've been busy and almost finished preparations. This last week has been horrendous due to problems with the post office (card account) and my health. I will be back in a couple of days hopefully, to let you know what I've been up to and catching up with my blog reading list. Just too tired tonight after a mammoth shopping trip, which consisted of walking approximately 6 miles around Morrisons!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Stop the world....

...I want to get off! Not very original I know but it's how I feel right now. After last Thursday's shopping I'm only just starting to get a grip as it were. I think I've identified the problem I've been having concerning the vertigo and the late sleeping. I take a medication every Saturday for the osteoporosis, and have done for a while now. The side effects are listed and it does say that for the first few weeks these can be apparent but should wear off. Well I didn't have any side effects......but I think I am I'm going to try and get an appointment with my GP and see if she agrees with me.
Yesterday I went to meet my eldest son in town, outside one of our main craft shops because it is shutting down and everything is half price. There wasn't much left but I did get a few things that you just need. Now I've been to this shop a few times and it is just round the corner from the bus stop so no problems...or so I thought. Got off the bus OK then crossed the road and then the panic set in. I was lost and didn't know where the heck I was. Managed to pull myself together and phoned son. Luckily he was already there told me to stay where I was and he would come and fetch me.....which he did. I've never had this happen to me before and I felt so foolish....but at the same time scared to death.
I've managed to get the card orders done and was hoping to start my own cards today. I didn't get up until late..again..but worked out that I should be able to make a start tomorrow and get them done this week...but (there's always a but) youngest's friend asked me if I could make him 5 cards. OK....who are they for...what size etc? He doesn't know..just wants 5 "bog standard" Christmas cards. Crafters dont do bog standard! I'll probably make him 5 fairly simple ones and hope he likes them. Told my eldest about this and asked his advice what sort of cards...his answer.. "ask John (my youngest) what sort of cards he would like." No good..John doesn't "do" cards, of any type, so that idea is out.
Here are a couple of the cards I did for orders. I've done them both using free images and backing papers from Jak. I apologise for the quality of the pics....blame it on the lack of daylight and my hurry to take pics before they were handed over.

Punch used is Friskars. Round sentiment is Funky Fairy's. Rest of is from my stash.

Friday, 20 November 2009

What have I been doing?....

....not a lot. It's only the last couple of days that I've managed to get out of bed before lunch time. The problem was caused by the doctor's surgery messing up my prescriptions....yet again!! I put in a request for 4 items but it was only when I'd had the prescription filled and arrived home that I realised that there was an item missing. The missing item was the one I needed most...painkillers. I take 2 types of painkillers but the secondary ones are only a top-up so to speak....I had run out of my main ones. I phoned the surgery but was told that nothing could be done at the was almost closing time. The result was 4 days without them!!! I phoned again Monday morning to be told that I would have to put in a new request for them, and as normal would have to wait 48 hours. Sleep does not come easy to me (extremely common as any M.E. sufferer will tell you) and being in pain for most of the day and night makes any sleep almost impossible. Anyway..I'm sorted now and another complaint has been sent to the practise manager.
I've not been totally idle craft wise though. I had a play with my new toy (as you do) and rummaged through my scrap bits..(got a lot of those)...and came up with these 4, very minimalistic, cards and another gift bag. I apologise about the quality of the pics..the light was terrible.
Stencils that were free run through the die cutter and embossed, then matted on to gold mirri card and then mounted onto white card with foam tape. The sentiment stamped with clear ink pad and gold embossed onto white card, gold ink pad run round the edge and then mounted with foam tape.
Another gift bag made the same way as the first one with a poinsettia..from Fred..mounted on to gold then red card cut out with my nestabilities. The paper used is a hand made one from my stash.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Word verification.

Unfortunately I have had to turn word verification on...hopefully for a short while. I don't like having to do it but I'm getting so much spam. I do have comment approval, and I can delete the spam comments, but I'm so fed up of them in my email box at the moment.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Will blogger let me... the cards I've done?...YES!!! First up is the card I made for Anne..a new home card, but not a traditional one. The papers...Laura Ashley....were free from a magazine. The image is decoupaged and a little glitter glue added. The sentiment, again, free with a magazine, is mounted on a scalloped circle done with my new die-cutting machine and (one and only set) nestabilities. The edge of the card is punched with a friskars leaf border punch.

The following 2 cards I've used some more stamps, again, free with a magazine..and the little bear is called Bentley..isn't he cute! Coloured with watercolour pencils and an aqua brush (Think my colouring is getting better) and some stickles....used my nesties here again to matt and layer. The gorgeous papers are a free download from Martine.

This card I have cut out a circle aperture and attached a double sided hanging image

This shows the other side of the image circle.
Last ..a gift bag. I based this on a blog candy I won last year. I've added a charm (Free from a magazine...can you see a theme with a blue gem in the middle of the charm and the stamped snowflake. I've matted and layered Bentley with a plain red card and a Christmas sentiment punchem from Ffunky Fairy's. I didn't know if this would work as I had trouble finding white gusseted bags. What I have used though is the bags that my prescriptions come in and just cut them down length wise. I've got a lot of these bags and I am loathe to throw anything away until I'm sure that I cant find a use for them. Might make few more of these...handy for those small gifts.

So there you are .....2 Christmas cards made. Better get a move on now and get some more made.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

3 blog candies..

Debbie has some fantastic candy on offer...ends Monday 16th November.

Claire also has some gorgeous candy......ends Friday 20th November

Rach has fabulous candy ......ends Sunday 22nd November.

I've actually made a couple....

...of Christmas cards!! Only small ones but it's a start. Unfortunately I can't post them at the moment..... Google wont let me.
My week has been very tiring. Tuesday I went to town to meet my friend Anne. We didn't have a long as we usually do but i was shattered when I got home. Wednesday had to do the big shop as the buses were supposed to be on strike on the Thursday (usual day for shopping)..but the strike was called off Thursday lunch time...typical! Thursday I should have been able to have a bit of a lie in and recover.....but no. I had to pick up my prescription from the doctor's, and it was half day closing. Friday I got my lie in...didn't do me much good though..felt just as bad. Forced myself to get up this morning before lunchtime though...I need to get out of that particular rut I seem to be in at the moment. It doesn't help when the weather is cold and miserable..I just want to stay in bed where it's warm and dry!

Can you help....

...... Jak raise money for a very worthy cause? Please click HERE to go to Jak's blog and the relevant post.

Friday, 6 November 2009

I'm absolutely sick of those ....

...d***m firworks! Why do they have to be sooo loud, and at all times of the day and night?!! I remember as a girl that we used to "ooo" and "aahh" to a small ground based rainbow fountain. I shudder to think what the local wildlife is going through. As I live just across the road from a wood, I can only imagine what is happening to our local foxes, hedgehogs and squirrels and birds. Don't people think or care about the wildlife that we so selfishly share this planet with!!?? Ggrrrr!!
On a to a calmer note now that I've had my rant. I've still not got to actually making any Christmas cards yet. I will get there though. Got some images ready, and sorted out my card stock ready to cut to size etc. I've got a couple of orders to do and I don't want to leave them to the last minute and then panicking. I have got one Christmas card done entry for the Imag-e-nation forum challenge. The challenge could have been any sort of card as long as the focus was a here's and bling. Again the standard was very high and the voting was very close. Needless to say mine wasn't one of them. The image I used is from Craftsuprint.

Monday, 2 November 2009

I've been busy..and spending.... myself a set of nesties. I was going to buy a couple of big punches, but the nesties work out cheaper in the long run. I've been playing with them for the last couple of days. Last year I purchased some round birthday sentiment digi images...(I know I could have done them myself on the computer but it was easier this way!)...and I've got myself some Christmas ones as well now (Funky Fairy's). They look a lot neater being cut with the nesties than by hand...and great for a quick card, don't have to find the right stamp then the right ink.....etc. etc. Even managed to get a couple of cards done over the weekend as well. One for the Imag-e-nation challenge and one for my friend Anne...she's moved house least I hope she has and there hasn't been any hitches. Started..only started mind...making some Christmas cards. Not got very far.....just stamped some images ready for colouring. I think I'll spend tomorrow afternoon doing that. Think I've got everything I need now to make them. Card stock...check. Images....check. Backing papers..check. Embellies (charms, gems, beads, flowers)..check. Glitter (got to have glitter at Christmas!)....check. Colouring mediums...check. Ribbon....err..need some more.....oh and some envelopes!
I must update my blog list some time this week....I've found a few more that I like and there are a couple that have moved...(Toni's being one of them).

Monday, 26 October 2009

Yes, I know I'm posting...

...quite late in the evening. If I don't do it now while I think about it I'll forget...again!
Chris is raising money for the Papworth Trust.... click here to find out all about it.

Now for some SU blog candy......

Joanne has some great candy up for grabs......ends 31st October

Julie is celebrating her 2 year blogaversary.....ends 1st November

Saturday, 24 October 2009

I've been invaded!!! ladybirds (or bugs). The weather started a bit wet and windy this morning but then turned to torrential rain and really gusting winds. The leaves were coming off the trees in bucket fulls. Suddenly the wind stopped.....the rain stopped...and the sun came out. It was glorious. And then it happened....hundreds of ladybirds flying and settling on the walls doors and windows on the south side of the houses. It was amazing! My sons have been laughing at me 'cos I've been all round the house, carefully removing the ones that have come indoors through open windows and vents. I don't know what caused this strange behaviour but it was certainly a sight to watch.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Early Christmas presents.....

...or late birthday presents.....depends which way you look at it. Last week my electric bill was available to view online... (I opt for paperless billing where possible)...and I got a shock. I pay for my electric fortnightly with a budget account....and have received no communication that I might be paying too much. Well I phoned the company and asked for details of the amount. Apparently they have been estimating my bills even though my meter has been read regularly. I was £205 in credit! Well I got it credited to my bank account so I have been on a small spending spree. As I am a Halifax bank customer...(might not be for much longer though..simpler charges?..extortion more like!)... I have paid my small overdraft and I now have a healthier balance. I thought I would treat myself to a have been trawling the internet looking for good deals on the Bigshot or the Cuttlebug. Had just about decided on the Bigshot when I went on the Docraft site and what did I see?..a die cutter for under £40..and just under £5 for postage. Ordered it's arrived today! I'm a happy bunny. Only problem at the moment is that I have only got brass stencils to play with.....but I have been playing and I love it! Now I have to decide what to get next for it....I do have a limited budget. Also got another present....this time from son and DIL. A new wrist watch. I've always worn one but mine gave up the ghost and I have felt lost without one. I know I can use my mobile phone but I've never got into the habit with that.
I've been so tired this week and I'm just starting to feel human. Last Saturday I went with son and DIL to visit the river boat lights at Matlock Bath. It was an evening trip, again arranged by their local T.A.R.A., and it was fantastic. There was a fair, so spent a little, and to end the evening a fireworks display. I did get some pictures but not good ones I'm afraid. I spent the night at their house and had Sunday lunch before dragging my very tired self home.
What with postal strikes, bus strikes, fire service strikes..I think it best to stay at home and craft. I will be stopping off at the craft shop next week....well it is on the way to the freezer shop. The prices are a bit higher than on the Internet but the service is fantastic.....(free cuppa while you're browsing).... and they do have a loyalty points scheme.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

I needed that....

...a day out in town with Anne. It was great to get away from the house for a while. We spent about 3 hours gossiping over lunch..... a slow meander round a few shops..bought a few things but didn't spend that much (honestly, you can ask Anne..she was with me!) We went for a cold drink and a sit down then off home. I'm shattered but I enjoyed myself. It's not often either of us get out much but it's great when we do. Thank you Anne for your company..and the laughs.
I've got a fairly easy day tomorrow then the dreaded fortnightly shop on Thursday. I can see myself having to resort to Internet grocery shopping again soon, with perhaps a shop with son and DIL once a month. I really am finding shopping harder each time....and I'm dreading the Christmas shop! Never mind..will cross that bridge when I come to it.
I'm going to put on the card that I entered for the Craftsuprint challenge. Entry ends at the end of the month so you've got time if you want to try your luck.
The sheet I've used is one made by Angela...a very talented, regular contributor to the site.
The light has caught the berries on the card. I used a Sakura glitter pen on them. The corner ones are red holly berries and santa is holding mistletoe. I used polar white flower soft on santa's trimmings, and glossy accents on his boots.

Right....I'm off to bed now.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The last few days..

...have been very relaxing for me. I've managed to get into the garden and tidied up a bit. Lots of leaves have been raked and there will be plenty more no doubt. The squirrel has outdone me again and managed to eat most of the fat balls and nuts that I put out for the birds. There are very few birds coming now and at last I've figured out why. Not one squirrel...but three....two young ones and mom. I can understand why farmers consider them pests. The only birds that have not been scared off are the Robins, Blackbirds and Magpies. Got lots of Magpies..they come from the woods just across the road from me. If anyone knows how to encourage the other birds I would be grateful for any tips. I've been doing a bit of crafting as well. A challenge card and two lots of ATCs done. I've updated my ATCs to my Picasa which can be found by following the link in the side bar. A couple of the swaps haven't taken place yet though. I will update as I receive them. I've also entered the challenge on craftuprint site..a really good prize if you go check it out. Mine was on there but I can't find it now..will have to have a good look later on.
Last month's Imag-e-nation challenge called for a card using a sheet from the free printable gallery on the forum. The sheets are made by some very talented people and are given freely. I decided to enter as I wanted to make a card for my BIL on my sister's passing. I chose a sheet made by Jak. It's a lovely soft image and I thought it suitable for what I wanted.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

I'm starting to feel....

.....a bit more positive now after the shock of my sister's passing and the behaviour of my siblings. Didn't feel well the Saturday after the funeral but I was expecting that. My friend Anne phoned me and we decided to have a day in town on the following Tuesday. Unfortunately I couldn't make it. I woke up feeling unwell but thought that with some breakfast I would feel better, but no....the vertigo set in. I've spent the last week taking it easy and doing some crafting, ATCs and a challenge card for the Imag-e-nation forum. I was hoping to get out into the garden at the weekend and clear the leaves, but it was so windy it would have been a waste of time. Yesterday, because I was determined to get out there, it rained heavily all day. Shouldn't grumble though as after nearly 3 weeks with no rain the garden certainly needed it. It's dry today so I might be able to make a start tomorrow. Hopefully I will make the next lunch date with Anne next Tuesday.
I've also started to de-clutter. My house is being modernised early next year and some of our belongings will go into storage, so I've been collecting some boxes. These were just being dumped in my bedroom and I couldn't move in there. I started out intending to tidy so that I could store them out of the way. I ended up finding things that were years old and absolutely no use...the things we keep! I'm dreading the thought of clearing the "junk" cupboard. You know the one...that one that we all have that is full of things that we just know will come in useful one day.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Some mega, mega... candy on offer.

Jak.....this is awsome!

Bev....has some oh so cute! WOJ...and then some!

Caz.....has Squiggle Stamps candy to give away celebrating over 150,000 hits with a £25 gift voucher for her online store.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I'm downright disgusted.....

..with my so called siblings!!! Today was my older sister's funeral. It was a beautiful service and well attended by relatives, neighbours, care staff from the hospital and past work colleagues of my sister...except that myself, my eldest son and an aunt who I don't remember (my mother was one of 12) were the only relatives from "our side" of the family. A short explanation here. I am the middle one of 5..older brother and sister..younger brother and sister. When I was about 5 we were put into care. I still don't know the exact reasons...but that's another story. Elder brother and sister stayed with my father, gran and grandad. Younger brother and sister were fostered together. I was fostered separately. As young children we all saw each other fairly often. Later we drifted apart but still kept in touch. I haven't spoken to my younger sister for 20 years or so, and my younger brother for about 10 years. (yet again another story!) Anyway when my sister died I got in touch with them both. Brother wasn't interested...but my other sister did get in touch and intimated that she would attend the funeral. Well they didn't come, and they didn't send a card or flowers...nothing!! It didn't go unnoticed by several people. I am so angry with them..not only for my sister but also for her husband and son. Even if they felt that they couldn't attend surely a card or note acknowledging my sisters passing would not have gone amiss. My eldest brother wasn't there either, which surprised me, but perhaps there was an explanation for that. I didn't really like to ask at the time, not wanting to upset them any more than they were. I have been tempted to phone my sister and ask for some kind of explanation..but I've decided against that. I don't want to dignify their behaviour by responding to them.
OK..rant over.

Friday, 18 September 2009

The start was good..

The week started great. On Monday I went with eldest son and DIL to Scarborough for the day with their TARA. (Tenants and Residents Association). Thoroughly enjoyed myself....haven't been to the coast for nearly 20 years....where do the years go?!!
I arrived home to be greeted by my youngest telling me that David had phoned and would I call back. David....which David? My brother, BIL, grandson, other people named David that I know? It turned out to be my brother-in-law and I knew as soon as I saw the number that something was wrong. My sister had died. She went into hospital with a kidney infection and died of pneumonia. I am still a little dazed with the news. She hasn't had good health for a number of years (severe rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis) but no one expected this. She was 57 years old...16 months older than me. I suppose that it is a release for her knowing the pain she was in....but it doesn't make it any the moment I'm finding it hard to come to terms with it.

Friday, 11 September 2009

I'm still here...

First of all I would like to thank all you lovely people who have contacted me one way or another regarding Theo. Your comments and kind words are very much appreciated.
I've been busy. The weather has been glorious this past week so I have taken the opportunity to tidy up the garden. Cutting plants back and planting and re-planting some bulbs...especially the daffodils which had outgrown their space.
I haven't had much time for crafting.....(or blog reading....will catch up very soon hopefully!).... except a wedding card my friend asked me to make for her...and here it is. Hope you like it will be in the post first thing in the morning.(I apologise for the quality of the picture...mirri card is not the best thing to photograph even at the best of times.)
A cream card matted and layered with dark blue, gold mirri card and then cream again. The cream layer has been punched with a Papermania punch, and small pearls added to the centre of the punch-outs. The image and sentiment is Anita's, stamped and embossed with detail gold, matted onto dark blue card and the whole thing finished with dark blue ribbon.
Next are a couple of cards I made for the Imag-e-nation forum challenges. The first one was to make a card for a child up to the age of 12. As my printer wasn't playing nice at the time I had to go with what I had. The image is a digi from Dustin Pike....used foam pads to lift it a little. I know the colouring isn't too hot..but I am practising...and hopefully will get there in the end.

This one was to make a side-step card. I've never done one of these so it was a first for me. It's made from an A4 piece of card.

Decided to go with red and black for this one. The image is a digi from Jak's blog. I didn't have the right colour card, but I did have paper. I blinged it up by spraying it with silver spray and sparkle from crafters companion...I'm loving that stuff at the moment. I didn't have a red flower I used a pink one and coloured with an ink pad. I cut the centre out of black card using a punch and then sprayed the whole thing with....guess what?...yes, my favourite thing of the moment. Matted and layered the image and finished off with some black ribbon. The sentiment was free from a magazine. I didn't figure in either of the challenges but I did enjoy making the cards. Well crafting is better than housework any day. Just got to tidy up my crafting space a bit some ATCs to make.