Saturday, February 28, 2009
I've never done a card challenge before and only ever tried one sketch which as you recall Linda did a few months ago. I don't really understand how sketches work-sometimes people change so much it seems unrecognisable to me, so I have no idea if anything can be changed, if you can add additional elements and so forth!
Nonetheless Jeannette's role as guest designer on Cupcake Craft Challenges has motivated me to try this weeks sketch myself. Last week I did try to do an altered piece but wasn't happy with the finish (to say the least!). This week, I am going to be brave (I think) and send the link off to the challenge blog. Not entirely confident about doing this but it's good to try new things. I just hope I've followed the rules properly and my card doesn't get escorted off the premises! The sketch I need to follow is shown above. The blog states that you can't move the elements around though you can change the size of them. I think I'm pretty accurate regarding the sketch, fear and inexperience means I dare not try and do anything else in case it's not allowed. I like the sketch as it is though and enjoyed doing the angled matting and layering bit as I've never tried that before.
I first saw this Ophelia stamp on another blog a couple of years ago. I adored her at first sight and still do. I searched long and hard for her-there's not many stamps I've seen and wanted more than 'Ophelia'.
As far as I am concerned the stamp does all the talking-there's nothing I can do to make the image any better than it already it and I thought a monochrome card would work really well. I'm quite pleased with the result actually-it's not overly vintage, not overly feminine either, but the striking beauty of Ophelia means that this stamp can be so versatile-I must get her out more instead of being afraid of not doing her justice.
I enjoyed making this card and I'm pleased with the result. I see a great many challenges on various blogs and think I should try and tackle a few more and hopefully gain a bit of confidence along the way.
Ophelia stamp from Stampsmith
Dream stamp by Anna Griffin
Anna Griffin card
Whisper White card from Stampin Up
Papermania glitter brads
White textured mulberry paper
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
At last I have been able to tick the 'Crazy for Cupcakes' Stampin up set off my list! I have a confession to make-when the catalogue first came out I just didn't' get it'. As usual it's blog and forum hopping and seeing what people with incredible talent can do with this set that brought me back in sync with the rest of humanity and wanting in desperately!
Once I 'got it' I adored this set and I'm beyond happy to have it in my collection. I decided to use the same stamp in two ways in order to show myself how useful this set will be. I have always struggled with birthday cards. For each persons birthday thus far I have done a themed card reflecting their hobbies and interests which is often very hard work, although, it barely needs to be said, is always well worth the effort. However, I longed for something easier and fun, something that shouted out 'birthday'. I did really like the Big Bold Birthday but this set is so pretty and girly and yet can be for boys too-or at least I've attempted to make a card suitable for a boy!
The cards are both A6 size though made by folding an A4 piece of card lengthways and then cutting in half. The fold therefore is at the top and I think it's nice to have a change. I made each card using the same basic recipe and used the Stampin up scalloped punch to create the scallop on the smaller piece of paper (surprisingly enough!). The pink card I used markers to watercolour the cupcake whereas the blue I simply coloured the cupcake in as I wanted a bolder look.
Not too bad for a first attempt although I couldn't get the bows right no matter how hard I tried! I'm really looking forward to lots more playing with this particular set and plan to make a few birthday cards for my card box. I'm hoping that birthdays that are in future 'sprung' upon me, are no longer such a mess of desperate and rushed cardmaking through the night as far too often has been the case previously!
Ingredients:(all items Stampin Up unless stated)
Petals & Paisley designer paper
Tea & Crumpets designer paper
Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip & Bashful Blue inkpads
Whisper White card
Very Vanilla card
Pretty in Pink & Bashful Blue taffeta ribbon
Diamond stickles glue
Monday, February 23, 2009
Here in the UK we do find the Atlantic can be a HUGE gap between us and the big craft heaven that is the US. It's great to visit American blogs and forums and believe me I do far, far too much in truth. Having sites that relate to the UK market though are much nicer and more relevent in terms of card sizes and so forth, and with this thought in mind the wonderful Kate and Steph have created a special Papertrey blog especially for us UK and European fans!
They'll be all sorts of things going on including fortnightly challenges and PRIZES! The first post has been..well..posted and I urge you, in fact I must insist that you head over and have a look. Now! No off you go, I've nothing else interesting to say, sorry, but do go and see this new blog as it's gorgeous and the first challenge is awaiting you. Have fun!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Remember how Jeannette as guest designing on the Cupcake Craft Challenges blog? I said I'd take part and I need to get it done by today officially. It's been a disaster. I've really messed it up, it looks awful but hey, I'll show it to you anyway! This is essentially a post about how NOT to cover a box!
I had the best of intentions, cover a post it note or whatever they're called holder, embellish it and then decorate the blanks pieces of paper to co-ordinate with the outside of the box. The original box is as above.
I decided to use the same paper as I used to make the cat card on my post about The Cinnamon Trust. Too late in the day I realise that covering the box would be a bit tricky due to the lid lifting. This means of course that the paper will bunch up a bit and I was worried this may be a problem.
Anyway, I persevered and in hindsight covered the wrong sides in the wrong order. It's ended up being a real mess but I promised I'd get something done for today so I've kept at it (through the tears! sob!) and this is the result. If you think you can see poor edging-yep you can. The lid needed a much thicker bit of paper to stop the underneath showing through and in handling it, I nearly dropped it and any edges that had been vaguely acceptable were scuffed by my fingers although I didn't realise that of course until I had taken the picture in the rapidly fading light! I'm sure you can all point out many other things wrong with it-finding something right is much harder-nigh impossible! Sigh!
Never mind, you can see my master plan at least! It could have been nice, it just isn't. As usual the whole hindsight thing comes into play and I'm sure the next one would be alot better. The thing is I'm never doing this again-it's been horrible! I know when I'm beaten!
Seriously though, it is awful but I realise what went wrong (all of it) but at least I kept going and finished it. It's really hard continuing with something you feel gutted about but I'm glad I did as I can see my idea was OK, just the logistics went a bit awry. Just realised I haven't even taken a photo of the lid on the outside! It's too dark now though perhaps that would work to my benefit and trick you all into thinking it looks amazing, it's just a bit dark when really it looks as awful as the rest of it! Never mind, it didn't work, hey ho, there's always tomorrow's project to try and get better.
Tom cat stamp unknown as no mark on wood
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Jeannette has kindly given me this award and in doing so brought a tear to my eye. The internet, forums and blogging enable me to 'meet' all sorts of people and every so often I'm lucky enough to 'meet' really special people. Jeannette falls into this category.
This is a beautiful award and I will do my very best to work out how to post it down the right hand side-the blog equivalent of a mantelpiece! Thank you Jeannette. It is much appreciated.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I did a ribbon share a while ago and highly recommend it. With this being still Sale-a-bration (until the end of February), many demos are offering the chance to win a sale-a-bration stamp set-Jeannette has an amazing offer on her blog with the taffeta (read must have gorgeousness) and linen thread (fab for buttons) and a sale-a-bration set if I am reading right! I sound slightly uncertain as the deal is so good it's almost too good to be true! All that for £16.50 including P+P!
Jeannette is nothing if not kind and generous though so it's all true-the deal to break all deals!!-go and see! If you're lucky Jeannette may still have a space left on her other ribbon share for the card makers favourite grosgrain-be quick!
I've decided to join in on Joanna's silver hodgepodge share. I like the look of the hodgepodge but at nearly £25, I can't afford the whole box and doubt I'd manage to use it all. Joanne is offering shares of a fifth of a box, just a good amount to get a real feel for the product and at an affordable
£4.65 plus 65p P+P. For the non SU addicts, hodgepodge is the name SU uses for a gorgeous collection of plain brads, frames and the most beautiful patterned silver brads.
There's a few paper shares going on too. The SU designer paper is fab, a good thickness and double sided of course. To get a pack of each would cost a fortune Julie is offering the opportunity to get a 6"x6" piece of EVERY design-that's 84 6"x6" sheets, which should keep you going for a while!!!
I'll let you know if I come across any other shares like this. I know I find them invaluable. Now I'm off to plan what cards I'll make once I've got my eager hands on some silver hodgepodge. With Mothers Day not far off I'd say taffeta ribbon and silver hodgepodge are a must providing the final little details that make a gorgeous card an extra very special gorgeous card!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
It's a lovely birdie, really makes me think of Spring, so follow the link and download it and get creating!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"Can you see him yet Tom?"
Have you ever heard that joke? Me neither. This isn't a joke though-I'm living it!
Today I have plumber number 2 coming to look at the taps. My dear Mother/landlady is rather unhappy about having to buy two new taps as per the advice of the British Gas plumber. She's prefer they needed new washers which is cheaper of course. This means she's trawled the Yellow Pages and found a plumber who'll do a free quote and the poor man has to come out and in a deja vu experience have a look at the taps and for the second time, diagnose the problem. I can't abide strangers in my home-I get very anxious and especially men. I don't like men coming here who I don't know when only I'm in but my Mum thinks I'm being over dramatic and won't come round to be here too.
I therefore have to have these people round, they tell ME what the problem is,I tell Mum and she doesn't believe me/doesn't want to believe me and then another person is sent round and the experience is repeated.
This chap said on the telephone that he thinks it's washers. Oh, well, it's not my money I suppose, I just want to be able to have a wash in a sink and not hanging over the bath!!
I Will try to post a more interesting post later though I can't promise it'll be more interesting! I do have to go into town between now and the plumber coming round and my town though small is often very strange-perhaps small and strange go together! I don't come from here originally and I'm therefore known as an 'outsider'. People say that to your face. Oddly, most of the people I know and get on best with are also 'outsiders', somehow we seem to find one another. The 'outsiders' are usually the people who have got things changed for the better here too, created popular clubs and societies and so forth.
Why this stigma remains is beyond me but when I lived in Bournemouth, there was a very high percentage of people who had moved into the area. Several had literally visited Bournemouth on holiday and then stayed! One family I knew, came on holiday then the Mum and children stayed (never going back 'home' again) whilst the husband went back to work and sold the house etc before re-joining them back in Bournemouth!! It was such a beautiful place and I miss it beyond words. Can't talk about it anymore as tears already in my eyes.
Right, best get organised, hoover up rabbit poo and food, pick up Basil's hairball (again-Persians are so troubled by them), hoover downstairs of cat hair (moulting says something about the central heating situation methinks)and shut Basil, Jacob and Humphrey into my bedroom again for health and safety reasons. Poor Basil hates strangers more than I do, and my anxiety is increased by Basil's genuine terror when strangers are in the house. To have to go through this again, and possibly again if new taps are needed upsets me and also makes me cross. I'm very protective of my guys-they're my children after all.
"Shush, I'm hiding!"
Monday, February 16, 2009
It involves altering something but it doesn't have to be all weird and 'altered art', just a re-use of something.
There's some fab ideas, why not try the challenge yourself-I am-though not sure if there-s a timescale as I'm a bit useless at hitting targets nowadays!
Still, wht they say about 'it's the taking part that counts' applies here for sure so have a go-it's alot of fun judging by the designers creations and see what you can re-cycle!
This is a very clever Mr. Blackbird!
Excuse the photos-they're taken through my kitchen window. Outside my back door I have an area that's sort of roofed with corrugated plastic. It's very ugly but extremely useful-more useful than ugly if you see what I mean! It provides shelter from the elements and also a frost free area for my plants in pots to overwinter. In the Summer the large sandpit outside is a fab bunny digging box and this very special couple are The Beautiful and very brave Sophie and Humphrey sunbathing happily in it.
The sandpit also has a canvas roof and in Winter is crammed full of plants apart from little corridors that are provided for my cats Tom and Basil and also the cat from next door but one Macaulay. I also have put a chair out ther with lots of snuggly bedding underneath it too-bunk beds!
Macaulay like to come into our garden and eat the catnip, lie on the grass, sit on the tables, use the facilities (!!) and in Winter snuggle up with an array of plants in the sandpit! Macaulay is most welcome-he used to be King of the Jungle and an absolute nightmare for attacking cats. With the passing of years, now he's the victim. Macaulay likes to come into our garden and hide and be safe I think, he also adores cuddles so daily I'm at my computer or in the kitchen when I hear frantic meowing and it's Macaulay desperately in need of a cuddle!
When I get outside Macaulay meows happily and then jumps onto a nearby table or possibly the St Tropez sun longer (look at this photo and guess why it's called that!).
I can't bend down very well and need to lean when standing-sitting is my preference and Macaulay knows that! It's so sweet that he feels so safe here, though Tom has recently become inclined to give Macaulay the odd biff (yikes-no claws though as Tom is a pacifist really)and try to 'encourage' (i.e. biff and hesitantly and very slowly chase) Macaulay to 'get orf my land' (I used to love Viz magazine when I was a student and remember this phrases so well).
Anyway, lost my thread as per usual!
Essentially, Mr. Blackbird has found a stash of apples that are also overwintering outside! The apples are there and not in an outhouse as the outhouses are occupied by a rather large commune of mice I fear! The mice and I have a deal-stay out of the house and you'll be OK!
My poor apples are thus not in an ideal location but nonetheless they have been keeping well and when I've (eventually) emptied the freezer of stewed apples, I had intended to make many a crumble and pie from the overwintering apples. Alas, Mr Blackbird has used all his cunning and found them and now every approximately minute and a half he comes, has a munch of apple, flies off and then returns to repeat the experience!! Astonishingly it remains only Mr. Blackbird-no one else has spied this initiative and joined in but I feel certain it's only time before a huge flock of birds descend to the apple delight!
What's really weird is that I am always putting apples out for the birds as I always believed them to be a good food (and fluid) source for many birds. I've always done this but this year the apples remain untouched and simply slowly rot. Mr. Blackbird clearly prefers 'pick your own'!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I'd mentioned to Jeannette about doing a cat card next as it's been a while so here we are! I also thought it a useful link to something I wanted to mention. I don't know if any of you have heard of The Cinnamon Trust? ( www.cinnamon.org.uk). Mrs Averil Jarvis MBE is the Director and Founder with Paul McCartney, Sir Peter Sullevan, Katie Boyle, Nerys Hughes and Virginia McKenna being patrons.
As an animal lover and more importantly animal carer I know all too well the concern created by thinking about what would happen to my guys should anything happen to me. It is something that concerns me greatly. For people who are elderly and/or very ill this anguish causes additional upset and distress and there may not be an immediate answer in terms of possibly family or friends offering a home.
The Cinnamon Trust provides the answer to that problem and more. Anyone of any age who is terminally ill can ask the trust for help. The help offered is a 'forever' home for these much loved animals either within someone else's home or at one of two 'home from home' sanctuaries that the trust owns. Foster care is also offered, long term if necessary whilst someone is in hospital or residential care. The trust can even provide help with animals by way of dog walking or any other aspect of day to day care becomes a problem. Over 8,000 'community service volunteers' throughout the country and able to offer help in this huge variety of ways. The trust also campaigns for more residential homes to allow animals and has a guide available which contains the details of 'Pet Friendly Care Homes'.
It's impossible for me to fully explain the work The Cinnamon Trust does. One of their newsletters is a joy to behold, detailing how various long term animal residents are, friendships that have been made and so forth. Particularly touching are the tales of people who need to go into residential care or hospital where their animals are unable to join them. The trust 'matches' animals to people (at the owners request) and so another person who may have just lost an animal and be desperately missing that companionship and friendship, could be matched to an animal in need of a home. The exchange of letters and photographs are encouraged-it truly is such an important service The Cinnamon Trust offers.
I really would urge you to look at the site of The Cinnamon Trust and see the work they are doing. If you know anyone who could benefit from the services the trust provides please do pass on their details.
In the meantime I leave you with some links for more information and/or to offer donations should you wish and also a volunteer detail link should you feel able to offer the trust some practical help. If you are having a car boot sale or thinking of raising money for charity it would be wonderful if you could consider The Cinnamon Trust-all the care and help they offer is costly and many, many animals and their human carers desperately need this often overlooked help.
I hope you don't mind me mentioning this. I've wanted to for a while-I am so touched by the work The Cinnamon Trust provides and the work these people do needs to be made better known-particularly in terms of their ability to offer help to people we may know ourselves facing the issue of worrying about what will happen to a loved pet if residential home or hospital admittance proves necessary.
If the links don't work (no idea why they will or won't please cut and paste or follow The Cinnamon Trust and you will find all the information on their site. Thank you.
Donation and Gift Aid form:
The Cinnamon Trust:
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Well I've finally made a card! In honour of it being St. Valentines Day I did one with hearts, no suffering involved though as the Stampin Up set 'Happy Hearts' is just gorgeous. I used nice fresh Spring colours and actually today is a gorgeous sunny day so extra spot on there!
I've been following (as best I can) a sketch that was in the April 2008 issue of Sheetload of cards'. I promise I haven't had it since April last year-I came across it just a couple of weeks ago and loved it and I've done my best to do it justice.
I think in hindsight I used the wrong paper design. The paper is supposed to be two pieces but with this stripe although it is two pieces and I've inked the edges and so forth, you can't really tell as you would had I used a floral for example. I love this paper though and needed some colour after all this grey and snow!
I survived the British Gas man coming round yesterday you'll be pleased to know! He spent about 3 seconds in my houes-no he can't mend taps, yes you'll have to find someone else. What a waste of time! Now I've got to wait and see if I actually get some new taps-both do need changing! My Mum owns this house, (I rent it off her) and she's not the best in terms of maintenance, repairs etc. If repairs and maintenance were free and there was no effort involved I'd have a beautiful home, alas both time and money are required and my Mum is notorious for not being prepared to spend either if she can help it! Now if you could get repairs done via QVC I'd be OK...must have a word with them-she loves QVC and TV per se-it's a shame 'telly addicts' isn't on anymore as my Mum would have been great-whenever you phone she's always watching the television and it's her 'favourite'!!! I get really annoyed to have the TV chosen (yet again) over me!! My brother insists she'll never change though and I need to just accept it but I struggle. I'm just a stickler for manners-and they don't cost anything after all!
I'm the same with call waiting-you know when people are talking happily to you and suddenly say 'oh hang on, I've someone else trying to get through' and disappear. You're sat on the end of the phone thinking 'are you coming back?' and sometimes they do, sometimes they don't! Actually my Mum used to have that too, but couldn't work it properly. She used to just say 'there's someone else trying to get through, they might be important' and put the phone down! I would be incensed! Thankfully she stopped getting that-it's not free and it's not QVC!!!
Right, moan over, it's a day of love so I'll finish with a picture of my guys, my family together. It's taken at night and I can't use a flash with animals eyes so it's not the best but to me it illustrates love and today is, after all, the day of love.
Humphrey, Jacob, Basil and Tom. Tom is nearly hanging off the chair as Basil has an annoying tendancy to oversniff Tom! However annoying this is, Tom still wants to be close to the others-my heart just sighs when I see them cuddling one another-it means the world to me that they're friends and love each other as they do.
So Happy Valentines Day. Whomever you love, love them some more today and then tomorrow and the day after. How blessed we are.
Stampin Up 'Happy Hearts
Stampin Up 'Wild Hearts' background stamp
Stampin Up Pretty in Pink, Certainly Celery and Old Olive inkpads
Stazon hot pink ink pad
K & company paper
K & company sentiment sticke
brads, gems, and other cardstock from stash
Friday, February 13, 2009
Yesterday, just after lunch it suddenly went really cold and got darker too. The forecast had been for bright sunshine all day. I looked out the window a while later and it was snowing though very gently and with very wispy flakes. It gathered momentum but still didn't look capable of settling. I needed to go to see Ernie and Bobbi though so got my stuff together and headed out. As I opened the front door this is what faced me. HUGE flakes of snow. I walked a few paces down the road then headed back for my camera in an attempt to capture the size of the snowflakes. it wasn't easy, nor entirely successful and I was terrified I'd kill my camera as the snow was getting increasingly heavy.
I stopped round the corner to take these-it was so incredible-not just due to the size of the flakes but the silence and beauty was breathtaking. It was truly magical. I'm not sure if you can see the size properly but I've tried. A girl from further up my road stopped as I took the pictures and commented on the silence of it all. I said it was like Narnia and she agreed. Snow normally creates a quieter world but this was more than that. It was absolutely silent, as though all the senses were mixed up somehow. Our vision was filled with these enormous flakes which were mostly vertically heading towards the ground-the swirling seen in the photos is of the flakes twisting or dancing perhaps in mid air-it wasn't a blizzard-the snow was falling straight to the floor which rapidly covered.
I fed Ernie and Bobbi, changed bedding's etc and then searched for Ernie as I couldn't find him and I worry. Eventually I did find him and he was all upset as he doesn't like the snow. I headed back to the greenhouse and he happily followed at top speed. I wiped the snow off him so he was all dry and then left them to it as the snow was getting deeper by the moment.
I popped into Lens (my neighbour who is the official carer for Ernie and Bobbi) on the way home. I was staring to get worried about the feasibility of a vets visit-Bobbi needed to be re-checked after her initial abscess treatment and no doubt another antibiotic injection would be necessary. Len said we'd be fine (although I have to do all the carrying, talking etc so it's not as though in truth Len participates hugely in this!). I was worried about slipping as the ground was covered both pavements and roads.
We agreed a time to meet and between then and 4.00pm when we were to set off it snowed constantly and heavily. It had become a blizzard now and hard to see. My neighbour who will drive us to the vets if required is also old (mid 70's) and I didn't think the conditions suitable for him to drive in. Consequently that meant I had to carry Bobbi all the way-both ways. Much of the way we had snow in our face which was horrendous. Bobbi was in her carrier on bedding that had been on the radiator, with a heat pad and with the carrier covered with a blanket with paw prints on (I deemed this appropriate!). When we got to the vets I had to take my scarf, coat, hat and gloves off as otherwise when I held her she'd have got wet from me! Bobbie needless to say was very warm and dry throughout!
I was terrified walking in the snow as it was very slippery. Len insisted we walk in the road (it's safer apparently despite the cars!). he kept going when cars slid towards us whilst I (always the coward) hid behind parked cars and prayed they'd skid back the other way and not hit us. The land at Len's is horrendously bumpy, it's a true miracle I didn't fall and today my arms hurt me so much from holding little (but weighs a tonne) Bobbie all that time!!
Anyway, Bobbi did well at the vets, just needing one more antibiotic injection, and the free packet of treats seemed the least she deserved after her ordeal. She actually also seemed to enjoy the journeys to and from the vets-glad someone did and upon arriving back home she gobbled up two plates of food in record time. Stress=comfort eating may exist even in puss cats!
I wanted to take more photos of how deep the snow got but I didn't dare take my camera back out again and then unhappily (though typically) I forgot before it got dark. We had quite a bit though, the umpteenth time in the space of a couple of weeks.
Oh well, best get some lunch. I'm waiting for a British Gas person/plumber to take a look at my taps which are being iffy in the bathroom. Both hot and cold in the sink died then cold was somehow resurrected (am i being blasphemou saying this, or can resurrection be used other than in the Jesus sense? Apologies if I am-I am a Christian and would hate to be rude). Now just the cold works (albeit remaining a bit of a diva) and so my Mum insisted that I call British Gas to get someone to look at them under the maintenance agreement she has with them(Mum owns my house). There's a couple of major snags. Firstly British gas 'don't do taps' so this is 99.9% likely to be an utter waste of time. Secondly they are supposed to come between 12pm and 6pm (no you can't have a life and need to go out shopping, feed stray cats etc) and thirdly my neighbour just told me that at 11.00am a British Gas man knocked on my door. I was no doubt hoovering up rabbit poo and desperately opening windows as Basil decided to use his tray not long before the person was due!
My poor bunnies are now shut in my bedroom so they can't poo over the landing before the person comes (many people seem inexplicably to object to treading in rabbit poo whilst in a house though they do love the bunnies that commit such a heinous act) and also they won't get trodden on which is a hideous occurance threatened all too often by those unaccustomed to rabbits in a house. Happily no one has actually trodden on any bunnies (though I suspect my dad may once have come terrifyingly close-best not think about that too much or I may disown him for good!). What tends to happen is people stop suddenly, there's this huge silence as Humphrey or Jacob come into view looking, well like the rabbits they are; people stare a bit then say 'is that a rabbit?'. 'Um, yes, the big ears are a big clue' I say. Then they stare some more and say 'In the house?'. We're usually in the dining room-you know walls, ceiling, carpet on the floor, windows etc with one or two furry creatures with big ears hopping towards us. I never know how to answer this really and therefore end up saying something totaslly ridiculous like 'Yes, they're houserabbits'!!
So the bunnies are under bedroom arrest for everyone's safety and sanity, Basil is in with them as he knows something is going on and he's terrified of strangers. I meanwhile am thirsty but dare not drink too much in case the BG person can mend the taps but it takes ages and the loo is in the bathroom! I can't feed the birds again in case I miss the door. I can't craft in case the man bangs the front door really hard and I slip with my scissors and cut off a bunny's ears or the stem of a flower!
I am a worrier if you hadn't realise by now and now I'm worrying in case the BG man came at 11.00am as he thinks he was due in the morning NOT the afternoon and thus won't come now. I didn't say morning as it's between 8.00 (what!!!) and 12.00pm and 8.00am is not a target (bearing in mind the great hoovering and logistical rabbit nightmare that was necessary) I could meet. I think I'll phone them. I hate this and he's got to come now-I've hoovered for goodness sakes and cleaned the bathroom!! We look like a show home! (Well OK we don't-we still have rabbits pooing on my bedroom floor which isn't usual in show homes and neither are cat litter trays and hairy, moulting cats everywhere. may not be a show home but it's our home. Let's make that call.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Well, disappointingly Jonathan Ross can't be with us today as he's busy learning a whole new vocabulary that doesn't involve swearing all the time. Between you and me I think he should give the book to Gordon Ramsey when he's finished with it assuming it works. I say 'give' as opposed to the usual 'lend' as I think Gordon Ramsey's need is so great that it's going to be long term dictionary reading can save him from his verbal diet equivalent of junk food (swearing, swearing and swearing a bit more).
Anyway, I'm doing my usual bit of getting sidetracked though as I say 'sidetracked is my middle name'.
Right so I'm in a beautiful dress-not too OTT, not too short, just perfect and that means I can't breathe very well, eat or sit down so best be getting on with this as breathing, eating and well sitting down are fairly crucial to the human body!My hair also looks fabulous, I'm wearing jewellery so expensive security guards follow me around and the paparazzi are driving me mad!!
After the wonderful Jeanette gave me the lovely award, if you remember I have to choose five more blogs to give the said award to that show attitude/gratitude.It's been alot of furrowed brows (ie when I get wrinkles I can blame you Jeanette as frowning leads to wrinkles or so I'm told)!
In the end I've chosen blogs that are varied and interesting, regularly updated and personal-you can really believe there is a human behind the blog! If you haven't been to these blogs then 'be free'and go exploring-you won't regret it and I promise you'll be hugely inspired and entertained no less!! The recipients need to (should they desire) copy the award from this post and add it to their post or blog. Then choose five more blogs that they believe show attitude/grattitude, post these blogs as I have done and let the new awardees know by posting a comment on their blogs.
So the awards go to: (visualise a gold envelope here (no doubt the instructions to make it are on SCS (!)-scalloped edge, pretty ribbon, lots of glitter etc etc):
Stamps, Paper, Scissors (this is a MUST GO TO blog. Jan Tink is so funny and certainly shows attitude-I adore her blog)
Anna's Girls (Anna has a fab craft room and her blog is a great mix of craft and real life and getting a new car sorted showed real attitude!)
Cardmaking & me (Tassy is a very talented creator of all sots of gorgeous things and a very personal approach to crafting too- a really nice person)
(The Crafty Butterfly is a fantastic stampers blog by Wendy.Absolutely full of different techniques, styles and ideas it's well worth a visit and another and another-there's so many things to see)
Little Cotton Rabbit ( just about the first blog I ever went on, many moons ago. I think I was attracted by the 'rabbit' mention and of course subsequently rubber stamps were made of the aforementioned rabbits! It's primarily about knitting but also a bit of life and a fab list of blogs to then blog hop to as well).
Well hopefully all the recipients are overjoyed to receive such a prestigious award. I'm off to the aftershow party (Elton and David are holding it the darlings but I did tell them no Liz Hurley! If they've sneaked her in I'll be furious!. Need to change before of course-can't wear the same dress can I. The next dress is a stunner-inspired by all the snow it's white and sparkly-perfect. Just need to find the Stazon cleaner as noticed that I still have some ink on my hands from cardmaking earlier-chipboard letters are a pain to ink-the ink goes everywhere and I always only remember the gloves when I'm trying to scrub the ink off my hands!Hope it doesn't take off my St Tropez fake tan-streaky hands are so 2008!!!
Normal service will be resumed shortly!!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Yum..Lemon Meringue Pie!!
Actually I had a surprise today as I found out that I won some blog candy!!! Whoopee!! I was the name drawn out on Sarah's blog this morning and win some gorgeous papers and lots of stamps! Very exciting indeed!
Sarah's daughter drew my name out and it's her 10th birthday today so I'm not the only happy person today! I remember being at school and in the queue for lunch when I overheard two girls in front of me and my friend discussing birthdays.
'I'm double figures now' announced one girl proudly and I remember feeling so in awe of this older girl who seemed so grown up! At that moment I too got very excited about being double figures and when my 10th birthday eventually did arrive, I'm sure I bored everyone to death by continually announcing the fact that I was now double figures and how special that meant I was!!
Back to the blog candy. Poor Sarah is poorly at the moment so I've told her not to be in any hurry to post my goodies. When they do arrive I'll post a picture on here and get crafting with them! It's horrible being poorly though so best wishes and lots of get well soon hugs to Sarah.
I still haven't sorted out my blog candy award have I? Useless me. I will have a ponder and be back either later or tomorrow. There are so many fab blogs out there-in fact I'd get much more crafting done if I didn't spend so much time blog-hopping! It's irresistible though isn't it?
Monday, February 9, 2009
Well, a challenge in itself and I can't get Spice Girls songs out of my head now-must be the 'attitude' bit, I keep thinking of 'girl power'. A bit sexist that possibly, though thinking about it I don't frequent many male blogs apart from Tim Holtz course! My Spice Girls songs are all very brief I hasten to add. Spice Girls weren't really me (to say the least) I was a bit old and more into Nirvana than wondering what Scary and whoever the others were, were doing!
I'm hungry and shattered-poor Bobbi (puss cat) hasn't been 100% for a couple of days which has been very worrying of course. I've suspected an abscess and tried to check her over to accompanying hisses and yeowls! Anyway, I went down earlier and an abscess has well and truly made itself known-all weepy, red and very painful looking. I've just been to the vets with her-poor Bobbi was very brave but it clearly hurt alot to have the wound cleaner. She's been given a 48hour antibiotic and back again on Thursday for a deja vu visit (ie another antibiotic, clean etc) no doubt!
Jeanette will be on the at Cupcakes Craft Challenges blog next Monday (16th February I think) so pop over and take a look. This is well deserved and I along with her many other 'fans' are chuffed to bits!
I'm sure Jeanette won't mind me adding a teeny bit of blog candy news to this post especially as Jeanette's just had a fab blog candy delight on offer herself!
Elusive Images are to release two new plates which are stunning as usual and butterfly inspired. Glenda Waterworth is offering the chance to win a plate so check out the blog and see what you need to do (it involves somersaults and cartwheels by the way so best not bother....!).
OK, it doesn't, I just think the less entries received the more chance that I will win!! Worth a try!
A little (A6-seems small to me!) birthday card here. I'm right on trend here stampwise with a Rachelle Anne Miller stamp from the Lily & Milo collection-this presumably is Lily!
It's a gorgeous stamp I think and involves lots of colouring in which is definitely my preference. When I get a stamp with little or no colouring I feel short changed and a bit of a cheat actually!
Anyway, I've been really struggling with this thing we call 'Mojo' lately-my mind being willing and my body weak hasn't helped either. Nonetheless I was determined to have a play (I'd done some hoovering-come on I EARNED some play time) and play I did.
In all honesty, mixing papers has been something I've longed to do but been too scared/rubbish to manage myself. Jeanette's blog is full of cards where she's mixed papers, different colours and textures, shapes and sizes etc-I've been so inspired since I found it (or should that be her?)!
So I sat down, got out some papers, got scared, looked at Jeanette's blog again and felt better and this is the result. I'm really pleased actually-just what I had in my head and what's in my head doesn't often end up on the card in front of me I can assure you.
My only reservations (yep, I'm my own worst critic) are that I struggled ages with what to put in the bottom left-I'm not entirely convince the flower is right but nothing else seemed to work. The sentiment is too feint too; that's Pretty in Pink ink being overwhelmed I think! Never mind!
Rachelle Anne Miller (Lily & Milo) stamp
'Wild Hearts' SU background stamp
'Birthday Bunnies' SU stamp set for the sentiment
Basic Grey chipboard
K and company diamond paper
Papermania spotted paper
Barely Banana SU cardstock
Pretty in Pink SU ink
Stickles on image and brad
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Well, at long last I've summoned up the courage to try and create a mini book! It's not completely finished-I need some different stickers to spell 'Ernie' (the tabby and white cat who is next to 'Bobbi' in the book. White stickers as used in the rest of the book don't show up properly thus requiring a desperate search for some blue-and a wishing for the upteenth time that I had the ability to plan things rather than just dive straight in and therefore alternate between white and blue stickers rather than have to mess about as I will now!
Aren't my guys gorgeous? The book's pretty rubbish-attaching paper to swirly edges isn't something I have a natural gift for it has to be said! Also, my first time working on such a small scale and being a 'more is more' person, I found it tough not having acres of space! Still, I kept at it despite catastophe after disaster and it's just for me and anything with photos of my guys in is good enough for me!
This is now in it's maybe 5th day and I am really struggling. I knew I used my printer alot but I am totally reliant on it it seems! What can I do? I did attempt the whole 'DIY' approach and went into 'My computer' and pretended I understood exactly what it was saying and doing and all would be fine, I could fix it easy peasy. In reality I nearly cried with frustration, got cross and the feeling of being totally thick was overwhelming.
I wonder if I should (listen to this-all my own ideas!!!!), uninstall the printer and then re-install it and then maybe it'll work again. (Impressive use of computer words there you've got to admit).
The idea is one thing, the actual logistics are a bit iffy as not sure how to re-install anything let alone the printer. On a more positive (though this is debatable) note, I feel confident that I can do the uninstall bit as have a strange gift for removing things (oddly always vitally important) from my PC yet being unable to conjure them back from the black hole to which they were magically transported.
Anyway, back to the mini book! With the final two pages I obviously ran out of space and so Bobbi and Ernie can't have 2 facing pages each. What I've done is have the photos as being able to lift up so the journalling is underneath. I wanted Bobbi and Ernie in this book and wanted everyone to have individual pages and not 'Erni and Bobbi together' pages, and this is the only way I could solve the issue of not enough pages!
Now I just need some blue stickers for Ernie, my printer to work so I can print out the journalling and ideally be able to swap some of the white name stickers for blue to be equal between the white and blue!
A fair number of problems arose during this, but it's all a learning curve, next time will be better and if companies could make proper bunny rabbit stickers and phrases as they do dogs and cats then life would be even better!
K and company exposed mini book
Stampin Up designer paper
Stampin up ribbon
American Craft felt Thickers
Making Memories alphabet stickers shimmer white
Sandylion fuzzy bunny stickers
Karen Foster cat embellishments
American crafts chipboard stars
Cat themed buttons
Metal bunny embellishment from Scrapz
Saturday, February 7, 2009
What I will post about is an incredible conversation I had with my neighbour yesterday.
As I arrived at his house to medicate Rat the cat, the news was on his television (he's early 90's so it was VERY too!). The news was full (as always at the moment) of the snow everywhere and horrendous stories of people being stuck in their cars for 5 hours etc.
I did a few 'oh no that's awful' and alot of 'why are people climbing mountains when there's blizzards and 20 foot of snow?' when Len managed to find the mute button (to my great relief) and announced 'you don't know what snow is'.
I found a seat (Len is a great and lengthy storyteller) and Len told me of the time in 1947 when it snowed for weeks very heavily. I've heard about this snow event many, many times-snow piled above telegraph poles, not being able to open your front door, not able to get to work etc. It sounds utterly horrendous and we'd never cope nowadays in truth-Len is right.
Apparently the snow in 1947 started on the Thursday. It snowed and snowed and people tried desperately to carry on. It's incredible how well they did manage to carry on-the train service (Dr Beeching deprived my town of) managed to keep going even when nothing else did. The buses did their best, initially managing to keep going, then small villages and minor roads were removed so the bus just stayed on 'major' (major in 1947) roads. On one day the snow was atrocious. It had piled up so high at the sides of the roads it was higher than houses. The wind did part of this and people clearing the roads contributed to this incredible sight. It was Monday and the bus set off from my town, managed to get to the next and eventually the next. It began it's return journey and got just over a mile outside my town when the snow became simply too high to keep going. There was the driver and about four or five passengers. It was a desperate situation and they must have tried so hard to keep going being only a mile or so from home. It was not possible to continue so the driver and passengers had no alternative but to head to the two cottages nearby.
Thankfully the cottages were occupied and took in the desperate travellers. It took until Thursday (from Monday) for people to dig through the snow and find the bus!!! They must have been so relieved as with no mobile phones, limited landline use and cables down due to the deluge of snow, it must have been a very worrying time indeed for the families of those involved when the bus failed to return to depot on the Monday as expected.
Can you imagine how that incident would have panned out in 2009? Army helicopters, TV crews, Prime Minister's statement etc. Afterwards the driver and passengers would have had counselling and they'd probably have sued the bus company who would have sued the Council for not gritting properly and so on and so forth. The newspapers would have been full of 'exclusives' by 'terror snow hell bus passengers' and the cottage where they stayed would have become a local tourist attraction! Back in 1947 people just got on with it.
When Len said that we don't know what snow is, he was clearly right. I post these pictures of the primroses/primulas as way of proving how nature is 'getting on with it' and under trees and hedges there are lots of signs that Spring is on it's way, with flowers and shoots galore and snowdrops rather appropriately too!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Pop over to have a good look around-Jeanette also is an SU demo and has a great ribbon share on the go at the moment too if anyone is interested where you get the chance to try every colour and type of ribbon available from SU in the Uk for alot less than having to buy whole reels of each. I got my ribbon via a ribbon share and I highly recommend it-it's great having every colour and makes cardmaking alot more interesting than if you only have only one or two reels-pink or very vanilla with yellow-it's a no no, so have a think anyway.
I also noticed that Jeanette is offering free Saleabration SU stamp sets if you join her swap-absolute deal of the day, week, month?
How many reasons do you need to go to Jeanettes blog then? Offf you go-I don't mind-have fun and don't make too much noise when you return! (We all turn into our Mum's/Dad's one day-it's inevitable!).
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
How bad am I!
You'll feel a sense of deja vu here but Steph on her 'Much ado about nothing' (name isn't accurate by the way-her creations are stunning) has MORE blog candy on offer!
As I recall it ends tonight at midnight-TUESDAY night so hurry and then get those fingers crossed. you'll thank me for doing so whether you win or not as Steph has created an amazing blog with a variety of projects all stunning! Pop over and be inspired to make some beautiful things and you never know-you might even win!
This is the best example of snow I can find today! It's been a glorious day-very sunny and bright, totally unexpected but most welcome!
Yesterday we still had plenty of snow both on the ground and falling-it snowed virtually constantly all day. I watched the news and weather, as we all did, with a sense of fear, more snow was forecast, very heavy in places and today (Tuesday) was supposed to be even worse than yesterday due to the added ice element which would be treacherous according to numerous weather forecasts.
In reality, it started to rain yesterday evening and didn't stop before I went to bed at least and I was up late watching Newsnight and then more doom laden news and weather!
I opened my bedroom curtain for a sneak peak this morning not knowing what I would find had happened. To my amazement and relief I saw no sign of snow, no rain either, just a bit wet on the road and pavements really as would be expected.
I went over the road to medicate the neighbours cat and felt my usual sun affected cheerful self! I really do feel lively and hopeful when it's sunny-it's so hard when my body so stubbornly resists all encouragement and finally begging from my mind to get moving! I'm very M.E'y as I call it-my M'E' has been awful for a while now-acute for much of it which is very tedious indeed. I long to make cards, scrapbook, all sorts of projects but struggle to even have a wash. It's at the awful stage where a shower is too much so my poor hair is not looking it's best-thank goodness I have no one to impress. My pain is always worst at these times too, my sleep disturbed with awful and very vivid nightmares and sleep sweats are a real problem too. Gosh, I sound very attractive don't I? More like Loretta Slob from the Harry Enfield show!
Joking aside, it's really hard living like this and it's hard to keep my head calm and not plummet itself. The sun shining does help my head but increases my extreme frustration when my body says no ala the computer in Little Britain:
Me:'Shall we try and hoover a room'
Me: How about having a shower?'
Body: 'You'll never make it and feel like death afterwards'
Me: 'What about sweeping up the bird seed-we'll get rats otherwise'
Body: 'Is that a serious question?'
Me: 'A card needn't take up too much energy..'
Body: 'No, No, No, No, No!'
Me: 'I have to go and feed Ernie and Bobbi though'
This is my life and even with the sun shining it's hard to stay calm. It gets me down, I look at other blogs and they're full of amazing things and mine is useless and empty. I look at all my craft stuff and I'm too tired to even find the materials to make a project let alone make one. I'll regret spending so long writing this, even with goodness knows how many breaks to rest!
Never mind, I didn't want to post all moany and melancholy. Let's get back to the planned post shall we?
This is Ernie this morning having a wash outside his igloo-one of his many beds. By his I mean that is what Ernie would call all the beds he and Bobbi have avaiable to them. I would say 'the' beds rather than 'his' beds but let's not split hairs
It occurred to me that I speak of Ernie and Bobbie but haven't shown the beds I've sorted out for them to get them through the Winter.This igloo was on ebay and is actually for a dog-a spaniel size I think. It's fantastic, so sort of futuristic and everyone who's seen it has been very impressed. It came with a clear plastic door that a dog could push easily to get in and out. I felt this wouldn't work with Ernie and Bobbi so I removed it and hunted on the internet for ideas. I managed to find the answer on a Canadian Site ( I think-should check actually and provide link)who have all sorts of advice regarding keeping animals warm outside. The answer was to get a couple of rolls of bubble wrap which holds the heat in well. I attached it to the door with double sided tape and cut it nearly all the way through to form the strands you can see. I gradually added it bit by bit, not covering the whole door to begin with and moving into covering the door and adding a few layers.
Inside the igloo is a fairly large area and I feared it wouldn't be cosy enough for a single cat-Ernie and Bobbi aren't great friends so they'd never share. I have used every old blanket, jumper etc I can find plus some bought gorgeous soft fleeces which hold the heat really well. I cut up a couple of old duvets and seemed them to make little beds that will fit into a pillow case and use them aplenty. With Bobbi's small cosy bed I cut the duvet smaller and cut up a fleece to make bespoke cases which she loves!
Just inside the igloo I have a bolster cushion I cut in half and that is right against the side to narrow the entrance. I also have a couple of towels (to dry wet feet) just inside the entrance and then have built up the bedding so the cats need to climb into their bed as it were. The bedding inside then drops down so with the entrance higher than the sleeping area any cold air that does sneak past the bubble wrap door will go over their head. It's very popular so it must be good!I will take some photos of the other beds soon so you can see what's else on offer!
This is Bobbi in her high bed right by the window and a fantastic suntrap. It was really warm in the greenhouse today, as always when it's sunny. Bobbi loved it up in this bed-she has a warm 'Bobbi bed' but Bobbi does love being outside so when it's a bit chilly to be out or too wet for puss cat feet, Bobbi will happily snuggle in this bed for hours catching the suns rays and warming her bones.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
What weather forecasters are calling the coldest winter in 13 years certainly is very COLD isn't it!
Today, mindful of the fact that snow was due later, I went to my neighbours at midday as planned so i could medicate his cat and hoped to get down to Ernie and Bobbi soon afterwards as I really wanted to get some Dandelions and Sow Thistle for Jacob and Humphrey. Once it snows it's obviously very bleak and almost imposibble trying to track down teeny baby dandelions hiding from the elements! I therefore had decided that if i could get a good few goodies for the bunnies today, it would last for a day or so and of course they have plenty of fresh supermarket herbs, veggies and fruit-the dandlions and Sow thistle are merely for variety's sake.
As I left to go round my neighbours I caught the weather forcast on 'Country File' It stated that the snow would arrive at about 2.00pm. Earlier than I had expected but fine-I was well within schedule.
I went to my neighbours, measured out the medicine for Rat the Cat, ensured she ate it all, had a quick chat to my neighbour and left. As I opened his back door, the snow appeared almost as though it had been waiting for me! It was wispy and light, it was still perfectly possible to carry out my dandelion quest and I wasn't unduly worried.
I nipped into my house, told everyone I was off and would be back soon and picked up the bag with food, water, spare bedding etc in for Ernie and Bobbi. Literally a couple of minutes had passed since the wispy snow began, but to my horror as I openened my front door there was now a blizzard! I couldn't believe all this snow had suddenly appeared and the walk to the cats was awful-I couldn't see, snow kept hitting my eyes which really hurt and I wasn't feeling very positive at all anymore.
Arriving at the cats, i quickly fed them and had a speedy kiss and hello and then went outside to begin the dandelion and Sow Thistle search. Already snow was covering the ground and it was hard to see anything let alone teeny dandelions. As I desperately tried to track down the incredibly elusive bunny delights, I realise what an utter madwoman I must look like as I scurried around looking for virtual needles in a haystack in a blizzard! I love my bunnies though and if they want dandelions, then they get dandelions-I wasn't giving up so soon after beginning. I managed to get a few bits of Sow Thistle and dandelions but still needed lots more so set off for another part of the garden to search there. That was when the hail started. It was literally snowing an absolute blizzard AND hailing all at once. The hail was bizarre-if you've ever seen the small round polystyrene balls you get in beanbags that go everywhere, you'll know what this hail looked like. The effect of the hail on the ground was exactly as though a beanbag had spilled everywhere.It was really weird as I honestly couldn't get out of my head the idea that there were balls of polystyrene everywhere. they didn't melt or change shape, but remained as perfect circles littering the ground.
Now, there's love anddedication and there's insanity, so at this point I decided that retreat seemed like the sensible plan! I fled back to the greenhouse, not before looking in the window and seeing Ernie and Bobbi looking all dry and happy staring at me in confusion. Bobbi even gave a big meow at me through the glass!
As I went into the greenhouse I realise that I was now spreading hail everywhere inside as the tiny balls were apparently as light as polystyrene too and kept dropping off my hat and shouldersd and even my gloves. I felt like a one woman weather machine! The door to the greenhouse doesn't close properly and thus enables Bobbi and Ernie to be able to come and go as they please. Bobbi, Ernie and I all stood in awe as the hail poured through the opening and piled up inside. It really was extraordinary to see.
I stayed a while fussing them then noticed the snow had abated so thought it a good time to leave-while I could. As I got to the gate I became aware of something, looked round and it was Ernie. He was meow, meow, meow. I fussed him, dodged numerous attepts to scratch and bite me (as you do with Ernie) and eventually walked a particularly scary walk back to the greenhose with Ernie who was afraid of the wind and the funny noises and kept going for me again and again and again.Note:Jeans and boots do not only offer protection against the elements!
By the time I got home my hands were really hurting (you can't wear gloves when picking dandelions or stroking Ernies)and I still had to go down the garden and refill the bird tables, feeders etc for the birds.It's endless this looking after business!
I've warmed through again now and will NOT be venturing forth again until tomorrow (Oh, well apart from to top up the bird tables again as they get up well before me in the morning and need breakfast!. I'm not the only one less than enthralled with snow. Basil won't entertain the idea at all and Tom is pretty disgusted by the whole idea of it too. As the snow only settled latterly after the wind eased off a bit I don't have any photos of Tom today but this one at top of this post was taken a couple of years ago and says it all really.
More still to come so keep warm everyone and keep safe.