Sunshine in a flower

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I support Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross

This world never fails to amaze me!

The news events that are happening,recession, mass job losses, war, disease, terrible weather, the election of a new President for the most powerful nation on Earth....

In the Uk the newspapers, TV and radio news, TV programmes, the internet, THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, everywhere the talk is of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.

It seems ridiculous to discuss the details of the event-it's everywhere, though as always the facts aren't necessarily as well known as the 'hype'. I just feel it's just ludicrous what is happening, and thus feel a strong need to express my personal opinion on the matter.

Jonathan Ross was a guest on the Russell Brand radio show on Radio 2 a week or so ago. Andrew Sachs (who with respect is best known as 'Manuel' in 'Faulty Towers') was due to be a guest on the show too but pulled out due to 'unforeseen circumstances'.

Russell Brand (the RISQUE comedian) and Jonathan Ross (the RISQUE and well paid TV and radio presenter) telephoned Andrew Sach's answerphone several times leaving increasingly silly and 'offensive' (thus deemed) messages. The most offensive, relates to Andrew Sach's grandaughter who Russell Brand has slept with (in common with most women frankly). The said grandaughter Georgina may have been attracted to the 'risque' side of Russell Brands personality as she is certainly that herself being a member of some very rudely named 'dance' group and a fondness for appearing with very few clothes on her You Tube site.(She maybe had a better Summer where she lives than we did, hence the lack of clothes!).

Max Clifford (words fail me) has taken the horribly wronged Georgina under his wing and is apparently now assisting her in making a fortune from selling her story to the 'news'papers. Presumably this is 'compensation' of a sort for the fact that her character has been violated by the oh so naughty Russell and Jonathan.

Andrew Sachs who was clearly horrified by the whole thing and did NOT get the 'joke'certainly deserves the apologies he has been given and I am sure the assurance that this will never happen again must be of comfort to him. According to reports, Andrew Sachs is satisfied by the apologies received and does not wish the matter to be taken further. However grandaughter Georgina who loyally defended her Grandfather, appears to have her watch set differently to the rest of the world (well the sensible ones weary of this 'story' dominating the news and wondering about all that life and death stuff that normally is on the news?) Georgina's watch appears to show that it's only 5 past the hour, which means she has a whole 10 minutes left in accordance with Andy Warhol's comments (read contract). A person can earn alot of money in 10 minutes and although it is unseasonably cold, 10 minutes isn't too long to have to be undressed, for 10 minutes can mean alot of '0's'or to be more accurate '£££££££££'s'.

Good old Max Clifford. The newspapers (even the red-tops) have been all too serious lately with all this talk of recession, job losses, negative equity and so forth. Dear Max is attempting to jump start the economy himself and in his own inimitable way. I suppose Max Clifford is in a 'prof-no, sorry 'job'
that is 'recession-proof'.The selling of souls (and along with it reputations, self respect etc) is absolutely recession-proof. It's just such a relief that something 'good' (barely dressed Georgina making all this money) came out of Andrew Sach's distress.I'm genuinely relieved he feels better poor man.

I really do understand that Andrew Sachs was upset by the stupidity of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross. It's just in my opinion blown up out of all proportion. Thousands have now complained-99.9% AFTER the media fuss developed. People dislike Jonathan Ross as he is on a huge salary. People dislike Russell Brand as he is successful with women (polite way of putting it!) and they don't understand his humour and people dislike the BBC as it's not only responsible for the licence fee which means it's beholden to ALL of us but also is inextricably linked to the Government.The BBC has to please all of us all of the time and it's frankly an impossible task.

I'm not sure if this is just a UK thing, but most of the time the media is raving on about Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross. Just as with everyone else it builds someone up and then beats them down again. It's ugly and vile and I'm sick of it. They went too far but they're not murderers or child molesters or terrorists. They're people working in the entertainment industry, catering for the more 'wild' and dare I say it 'younger' audience and the people shrieking and wailing aren't the people who would be part of the 'target' audience for either Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross (except perhaps on Film 2008/whatever!).

The media and certain parts of society are making noises that sound scarily like baying for blood. If we could all calm down, stop acting like pack animals with the whiff of blood in the air and get back to being supposedly 'civilised' people, I would feel a great deal better. I just have this funny feeling that I'd rather our Prime Minister concentrated on keeping people in work, with roof's over their heads and able to afford to eat and be warm, rather than pass comment on two people (in a population of 50 odd MILLION). I need you more Gordon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Record breaking card and 'catch'!

Thought I'd post this card I made recently for my Mum to give to her husband on his birthday. The said husband loves fishing (to the point of having a large pond dug out of a paddock in their house when they bought it-complete with island and little boat!) and I had spotted these in a craft shop one day and knew that they would be perfect for my Mum's husband.

Mum asked me to do a card a couple of days before his birthday and said she'd pick the card up on the Sunday evening. She then appeared on the doorstep on the Saturday (I'd literally just walked through the door myself) and asked if the card was ready as she wanted to take it now!!!

I am a terrible last minute person; I think this goes back to the days of being a student and doing my essays and even dissertation at the last minute!! I hardly need to say then that no, the card wasn't done. I had actually stayed up late the previous night to cut out the decoupage but other than choosing card stock, that was it. I showed Mum the sum of my efforts thus far-cut up decoupage and a couple of bits of A4 card. 'OK' she said. 'What do you need, say half an hour?'!!!

I managed to get an hour and got to work. Mum reappeared after half an hour and said not to worry about it not being completed, she'd sit and watch me finish it. I am not a demonstrator, never would be as totally lacking in confidence (and skills frankly). I have shaky hands at the best of times, with Mum right by me watching it was a nightmare just putting the decoupage on top of one another accurately. I had glittered the fish with Stickles in the hope it would dry in time and somehow I managed to complete this card and insert in super quick time.

Now, I'm sure opinions are divided on the whole 'Paper Nation/Jolly Nation' range which is where the Fisherman comes from. I like some of them, not all, but can certainly see their appeal and in truth I think the designers have done a great job and really captured the market with these designs. I think they're great designs for people with certain hobbies-there's a lady cooking, a little girl doing ballet, wonderful cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters etc, some unusual designs are covered, and for the more difficult cards-often cards for men, the hobbies covered are across the board and are such fun.

Having never used this range before in a card-(I have used the cat on a scrapbooking page for Tom), I was pleased with the result-especially under such pressure-both time-wise and with Mum watching!!

Hubby loved the card apparently-especially the glittered (and HUGE) fish! Thank goodness for 'stash'-the bits we collect for 'one day' that do come in handy and are card life savers when they do!

The card stock is part Europa (the blue) - I love this card! It's so thick and heavy and gorgeous marble colours. The khaki card is an amazing sort of linen effect card I found in my local craft shop-no idea of true identity I'm afraid but it's too thin to make cards but great for matting and layering.
Stickles glitter glue on the fish, Paper Nation for the image and background paper and a DCWV sentiment sticker.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two new techniques for the price of one! (Happy Birthday Mum)

(updated photo-a bit better anyway!)

With apologies for the poor photography (Mario Testino was partying in Brazil and couldn't make it), I present my return to the blogging world and a pretty card to boot. You will seriously have to forgive the poor photo-it is very dark and cold and windy and bleak and despite putting on every light I could, the photo still looks as though I took it in a cave. If the sun ever shines (Please not that SAD is my companion today!) I will try again to get a photo that allows you to recognise that the card and ink used for this card are Stampin Up's 'Pretty in Pink' and 'Chocolate Chip' (yum).

The marvellous
Splitcoaststampers (SCS) site has an amazing section called 'resources'. This rather boring title is in reality a veritable feast of techniques, amazing card designs, boxes...go see! I have decided to try a few of the tutorials for various cards out. It's slightly tricky sometimes as SCS is an American site and as you may already know, Americans don't have A4 as a size of card/paper. Basically this means that the cards made in accordance with the tutorials on SCS will not be in sizes we in the Uk are used to. The tutorials also use Stampin Up products in the main and not only do I not have a huge SU (Stampin Up) stash, but the UK does not have access to the entire range availability to US crafters. None of these issues are insurmountable (where there's a will there's a way'-many of the cards are so stunning you'd want to make a box for them anyway-so no worries envelope wise and with a bit of thought lacking the precise tool or product rarely means you can't tackle the project at all-just think outside the box a bit and off you go.

The above card is called a 'joy-fold' (nope, no idea why it's called that) and is a 'joy' to make and a 'joy' to give and a 'joy' to receive and a...oh enough of the 'joy'...oh OK, back to the card!

My very first attempt went reasonably well. 'Chocolate chip' cardstock with 'Pretty in Pink' works well I think and I felt no need for a third colour, especially as I used 'Whisper White' for the main image. The 'Pretty in Pink' cardstock was stamped on in the same colour ink using two of the most useful background stamps known to man-'Paisley' and 'Canvas'-both
Stampin Up.

The stamp set is the beautiful 'Best Blossoms', a US set which I am almost certain is retired. I love it. I stamped the berries and the 3 flower stamp in 'Pretty in Pink' onto Whisper White and the sentiment (from the same set) in 'Chocolate Chip' ink.

(trying to update this photo but computer is currently saying 'no' as per usual).

I left the images to dry thoroughly before cutting to the correct size to mat onto a 'canvas' mat on the outside of the small card. I then attempted the 'dazzling diamond dust' technique from
SCS. This technique uses an embossing powder we don't have available to us in the UK and so the need to improvise was apparent. Having posed a question on the SCS forum relating to tools and techniques, I knew that if I mixed equal quantities of clear embossing powder and a fine iridescent glitter and used this, the technique should work. I used Stewart Gill's ultraclear embossing powder and an unknown fine iridescent glitter. Simply cover the image sheet in Versamark and then emboss as usual with your heat gun using your DIY embossing powder and glitter mix.

It's essential to ensure that the embossing powder melts sufficiently in order to ensure that the glitter becomes part of the embossing and therefore won't 'shed' glitter everywhere. This takes a while, be careful not to go too close or remain too long in each area as you don't want to burn it and have to start again. I just took it slow, moved around and turned off my gun a couple of times and after waiting a few seconds to allow the embossing powder which has liquified) to cool, I would then gently touch the surface to see if it felt gritty or smooth. Gritty areas were re-done with the heat gun.

I was really pleased with the effect and so also did the single flowers in the same way. These were a bit fiddly to say the least as they blew about in the draft of the heat gun so you need to get a pair of tweezers or even a knife and hold down a tiny bit so the item stays still but you don't lose too much of the embossing by covering it up whilst you hold it. (No one ever said crafting was easy!).

The glittery shiny effect is stunning. This would be great with Christmas snowy cards and I can't wait to try it with a coloured glitter. I think if a light colour was used you'd still be able to clearly see the stamped images but with say a pinky hue or silver maybe.

The flower on the front left of the card enables the smaller card flap to slot behind it and keep the card closed. This isn't crucial but I thought it meant the card had more impact if the recipient opened it themselves and is so easy to do anyway so no trouble. I used
Stampin Up dimensionals (3d pads would be fine) to hold the flower in place. The card was finished off with a piece of 'Pretty in Pink' taffeta ribbon bow-ribbon courtesy of the most wondrous Monica who kindly sent me a few bits and pieces when I told her I needed to make a card for my Mum's birthday and running out of time and missing 'pretty in pink' ribbon! Thank you!

P.S. Gave Mum the card-she loved it. What's nicer than making something special for those we love? The best bit of crafting I think, are the smiles- even if people have no idea how amazing a technique such and such is, or how many times a particular image was stamped until it was absolutely PERFECT! We crafters know though don't we!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Candy that won't make your dentist cross!

Must quickly post about some gorgeous blog candy over at Linda's blog. Linda is a Stampin Up demo and has some lovely cards and projects on her blog.


I absolutely insist that if you follow this link through to the blog candy you hang around and look at her lovely cards and other creations! If you don't I will know! Big Sister is watching!

If you don't win it (sob) once you've wiped your eyes, picked up all the soggy tissues and peeled your loyal cat/bunny/dog/snake/child/whatever off your lap, follow the link Linda provides and make your own!! The site the instructions for this stunning creation come from is by Danni and well worth a look.

This is the wonder of blogs, not only is each blog amazing in it's own right (present company excepted!), but blogs are like the little windy streets you find in places such as York, Winchester, Oxford,Warwick, Cambridge etc when you're visiting for a day on a short break. Down these lovely streets you seem to find a mass of amazing and highly individual shops filled with an eclectic range of 'must haves' and 'I want it alls!'.

I love blog hopping/wandering, what is it called? Just remember to bookmark or put into favourites all these blogs so you can come back when you've a few weeks to spare!

Humphrey and Sophie

Humphrey and Sophie