Tuesday, 28 June 2011

WOYWW 108 - 3 Desks and a Dump

A Sunny Good Morning to everyone!
Blog Candy Results on my previous post and thanks to all who entered especially for the many funny stories. Maggie and Angie have received their parcels already!
 Three work desks and a dump today, as I am multi tasking, but first I'll add one of the stampboard tiles I made last week when I visited Donna. I was going to make some thank you cards in response to my birthday treats but I've decided instead to make more of these and add a little tag and ribbon.
Here's my main desk with a right old mess but several strawberries are still peeking through. The Mess Up Pixies have been at it again when I wasn't looking. They were rejected as Elves for the Elves and the Shoemaker job and consequently they periodically come and take vengeance on my desk. Why me?
 I am also working in the spare bedroom sewing HangAbouts and aprons....
Below is the new folding table I acquired in a charity shop for a couple of quid... it comes in so handy as an extra work surface and fits by the garden door perfectly. Because it blocks the door I have to use it and then tidy it away so things cannot pile up there. 
I am drying off the aprons I have painted. They were to be my original January PiF gifts but I ditched them and made bag bling instead. I looked again at the aprons and realised they are APRONS not works of art so on a practical level they should be used. I've played around with them again and now I will soon mail them to Tuire, Liverpool Lou, Kay and Sam to use and get painty and inky some more.  Carmen is promised a HangAbout and that too is almost ready.
This little dump, a gorgeous mess of stash, (below) is on the stool in the living room waiting to be stowed away. An accumulation of goodies I bought in Derbyshire last week in the fabulous Beetroot Tree Craft Centre and Pear Tree Crafts.
All this exposure of my working areas is due to our Amazingly Honourable Leader Julia who originated the crazy idea that we bare and share each week and now over 100 crafters follow the lead and thousands more who aren't brave enough just spy on us! Pop over to Julia's stamping ground blog for a nosey!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Birthday Cards & Blog Candy Draw

BLOG CANDY DRAW RESULT ALERT... Winners at the end of this post!
Woo hoo! This is my 300th post! 
Not bad for 18 months blogging and a good day to announce the winners of the draw.
First I want to show my appreciation and share the amazing collection of handmade cards I received last week for my birthday. I think it's a good idea to share them as they are inspiration for many styles and techniques. 
I have added names in clockwise order....
Thanks go to Carmel and Jacqui, Freyja and Janet W
Paul, Helen, Leo and Chris S
LindaBoots, Renate, Janice and Nicki
Jeannie, Linda, Anne C and Lisa
AnnA, AliCB, Angie and Smart Mary (Doesn't Tilda look better with a face?)
Mary G, Hazel, Lynne and Ann B
ATC and Mini book from Renate and Flowers from Neet's lovely cake
Min's swinging mouse
This lovely face, the original painted by Donna
Dot, Sam, Gill and Neet
Beaded Bag Bling from Dot
Thanks again to everyone who helped make my birthday unexpectedly special and now, in return, my thank you to the blogging world.
The Four Birthday Blog Candy Winners are...
    1st Maggie C address received  Monday posted
and smaller consolation gifts to...
 2nd  Angie address receivedMonday posted
3rd Larisa  .....waiting for address
 4th April address receivedMonday posted
Make sure you email me your snail mail adresses and I'll pop your gifts in the post asap. 
I have also awarded a gift to Lisandia as my 200th follower although it now looks like she is in a different position on the list as it altered by some cyber fluke! Anyhow I had already told Lisandia so she gets it as she was the original 200th name.
and for the best funny story...AnnB (address received) wins a little gift ....here's what she wrote!
Funny story - couple of years ago picked up my grandson in Bristol on the way to a week in Dorset. His Mum had provided him with a homemade smoothie to drink on the way.
It was a lovely sunny week and a couple of days into the holiday we parked up in the sun and went on the beach. Returned to the car to find the inside covered with some smelly stuff and couldn't understand what - until I spotted the smoothie bottle in bits on the floor. The remains of the drink had fermented in the sun and exploded, showering the whole (and I do mean 'whole') of the car in smelly gunge. It was on the windows, seats, floor, everywhere,
Wasn't funny at the time but we wet our knickers laughing afterwards, especially as I had convinced myself that someone had got into our car for the sole purpose of throwing up in it. We had a Honda Jazz at the time and by coincidence the car parked at the side of us was a same colour Jazz - I even went round trying our car keys on their car to see if we had the same lock. Must have been mad.
Anyway, hope that made you smile on your birthday.
Well it certainly did Ann and thanks to everyone else for all the funny stories!
Be sure to pay a visit to AnnB's blog Ann's Stamping Pad at anniestamper she's a newbie and a great crafter so as she only started her blog this week (and you'll love Sorrel, her dog) pop over and give her a welcome and say that I sent you!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


       Weeeellll, this week no strawberries to be seen on my desk at all, in fact it's not even my desk that I've been working on, in fact I'm not even at home..... the "pin up" you may recognise up there on the desk, pretending to be a bottle of Distress Stain, is Donna!!! The craft room is Donna's and the desk is Donna's and there she is to prove it! Pop over to see her desk and you'll be surprised who and what you'll see on her's! Click HERE!
I am on a short holiday in Derbyshire and the original plan was that we should meet up for a cuppa but this ended up being a crafting session and a lovely day of her hospitality, the warmest of homes and welcome, family, dogs, cat, good food, wine, chat, laughs, gifts, more chat and so it went on but we did go before we were kicked out or ate them out of house and home!!. It was the highlight of this holiday for sure, thanks to the dooings of doone. I'm looking forward now to them visiting me. 
Below you'll see some of the things I worked on, masking and stamping, and BTW, that is MY ATG gun although it was very hard to prise it away, get it back in my bag and out of the house as "you know who" really desires one.
This is my amazing birthday gift from Donna, a wooden board etched and waxed in her own inimitable style. A real treasure....my three little grandees flying free!
Here, below, we are at the Beetroot Tree Craft Centre...Donna was acting daft and out busting me! 
Here we are looking less crazy and Donna has kindly dipped down to my size...
Wondering what this WOYWW is all about? It's a group of arty crafters who every week show the amazing places where they create in all their glory. Want to see lots more? 
Well you can here, over at  our Queen Julia's Stamping Ground.
As I forgot that I won't be back home for a day or two, I will have to extend the closing date for my Blog Candy Draw, which means that you still have time to enter. There's a lot more on offer than in this picture.... so go on ... leave me a comment. You could be sorry! Full details on my side bar and on my 7th June post.
Thanks to everyone who left such lovely messages for my birthday... it really has been a great one and I still haven't cut into my beautiful cake that Neet made me (see previous post for pics).
Pleased to hear that my PiF gift to Shaz in Oz has finally arrived!! The bonus is that she loves it! Here it is below but why not pop over to Shaz's blog to also see some exquisite examples of her crafting.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Birthday Surprises & Blog Candy!

Tomorrow it's my birthday...and, I am really getting on in years, (multiply 3 x 9....add 8.....subtract 2... subtract the result from 100...EEEEK! YES! I really am THAT old... well check your maths to see if you get it correct tomorrow!) Even though I am of an age when I really don't want any more birthdays, they do make me realise how I am well blessed with good friends and family who do remind me and won't forget the date.
 The birthday has well and truly started! I have a basket full of cards and gifts, which have already arrived in the post, waiting to be opened tomorrow and a couple of days ago my friend Jayne treated DH and me to a lovely birthday lunch, a gift, and a great day out. Thanks so much Jayne.
Today my friend Neet, with her lovely fella Chas, drove over an hour each way to bring an amazing surprise for me. She had remembered something I said a few years ago about how I'd never had birthday cakes as a child so she decided it was about time I had a proper one. 
Pop over to her blog at Hickydorums for the full story and more pics.
Well, seeing this beautiful creation brought me to tears ... all hand made with every flower painted by Neet, just for me! I really don't know how I'm ever going to cut it but Neet showed me how the flowers can be removed in one corsage, which I will save, so the temptation of the yummy fruit cake beneath might just tempt me........ eventually! 
I also don't know how to say thank you enough to Neet, a woman of kindness and many talents...don't want to be too gushy but you must know how I feel... how would you feel? Well I feel more than that!
 THANK YOU for making me feel so, so, special.

Well the goodies can't all  go to me so remember, there's still time to stake a claim for 
my Birthday Blog Candy... 
full details on my side bar and on my 7th June post.
Lots more to win than in this pic below....so go on, have a go! You know you want to .. just to make an old lady's birthday a happy one.
I wonder what's in all those packets and envelopes for tomorrow.... watch this space........

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

WOYWW 106 & Sewing Machines

No strawberries to see today on my desk as I am temporarily barred from my craft room. The house is in turmoil whilst we have new central heating installed so I have decamped to the main bedroom with my sewing machine to stitch away, and to keep out of the way, whilst the men do their stuff around the house to help keep us warm next Winter. The radiator in this room is staying put so the room will be an oasis for me.... somewhere to escape.  
I must confess....I really dislike workmen about the house. I feel unsettled and insecure. I loath making them cups of tea and all the asking "how many sugars?" but I do 'cos I'm not mean, but I just hate having to do it. I always feel like saying...."There's the kettle, tea etc., so, go on, get on with it" but I don't! Why don't I?....I suppose because I think it's insurance that they will do a good job if I look after them and they might leave me with a leak if they don't get a nice cuppa and a bicky!. I just detest workmen! Anyone else feel the same.. . or am I alone in this? There's also so much tidying and cleaning up to be done afterwards which all takes up valuable crafting time. Aaaarrrrrgh!

My friend Jayne keeps telling me that I should share my really old "toy" sewing machine which she drools over each time she visits. It is now merely a keepsake standing on a window ledge..... however....
when I was aged around 13, many moons ago, I used to ballroom dance competitively and this (above) is the little machine I then used to run up my frilly net dance dresses (with the help of my Mum who merely turned the handle to leave my two hands free whilst I shouted "stop" and "go"). I didn't get a full sized real sewing machine until I was over 15, but at such a young age, I designed and made my dresses and worked wonders with this tiny lockstitch thing. I've photos of the dresses I made somewhere so really must find them. I still have an old treadle machine in our garage but I didn't get that until I was married.
Well, I've been asked to make some more HangAbouts so you can see a few of my fab fabrics ready to use.
Some great ones here... plenty of cupcakes 
This one is American Monopoly print
If you'd like to share many more wacky, work desks of the World nip over and visit our instigator Julia's blog Stamping Ground. It's all good fun! 
Don't forget that my Birthday blog candy (below) runs until 20th June so see the side bar for details... it's all on my 7th June post.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pop Out Card, Kite Fest & Blog Candy

I made another of these pop out cards for a friend's birthday last week and the theme of the images is just perfect for her. The background card is simply streaked with Distress Stains, (I love them) then splashed with water.
My original inspiration came from a class I took a few years ago at Katyscorner so thanks again to Lynne Wilky who was tutor. I cannot find my original instructions or card but it's so easy to make that I just guessed! 
International Kite Festival 
We had a lovely day yesterday, as another treat for DH's birthday, which was last week and I absconded to Vicky Stampers workshop (at his insistence!).
New Brighton, the seaside town, where we enjoyed wonderful day trips when I was a child, is just across the River Mersey from Liverpool. It is situated on the Wirral Peninsular which lies between Liverpool and Wales. There's easy access by car through either of the two tunnels, or on foot via the famous "Ferry Across the Mersey".  The place has been in such sad decline for decades, but it is now undergoing major regeneration, so we went across to see the superb new Floral Pavilion theatre and to have lunch in it's recommended bistro, with it's panoramic view, overlooking the river. 
(BTW, did you know, Liverpool has two tunnels under the river, two cathedrals and two football teams?!)
A lovely spot to sit and enjoy a meal and we had unexpected, hilarious entertainment with a bird's eye view when a wedding party arrived. The outfits were straight out of a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and I swear (and confess) that I would have taken photographs if my camera hadn't run out of memory.
As you can see by the mess I look, and definitely not suitable for the wedding, it was a really windy but sunny day but perfect for the International Kite Festival, over this weekend, which we chanced upon, just a short walk away from the Floral Pavilion. 
.... WOW! Hundreds of kites in two vast arenas in the area called "the Dips" and every shape and subject you can think of was there flying high.  Such a wonderful experience especially as today was perfect for kites, set right on the coast so there was a perfect wind level. 
There were new kites going up during the time we were there but I, frustratingly, missed out on photographing some of the most spectacular ones as my camera's memory card became full.

 Luckily I captured these amazing dragon kites, which were my favourites. The tails reached at least 100 feet into the sky and each section of the tail was a red paper disc with a wooden stick crossbar with feathers at each end. It was fascinating to see the dragon's eye's rolling! 
The presenter told us how fragile they are on the ground but how strong they are in the air. 
In ancient wars they were used not only to scare the enemy but could also measure the distance from oncoming foes as the long length of the tail provided a means of measurement.

I love the simplicity of this one... Debbie Harry maybe?!

Below you can pick out a clown, bottom left, and a couple of scuba divers.
 One man was stunt flying those top three delta winged kites at once. 

 This dragon was designed and made by a man from Germany. 
 There were kites and people from all over the world. Stalls and a little funfair for the children made it a good free day out for all.
Don't forget a chance to enter for my birthday blog candy below...
full details on my side bar and in the 8th June post.

Thanks to the World!
During the last 24 hours my live feed widgit tells me that I have had hits from Russia, Ireland, New Zealand, USA, Austria, Malaysia, Qatar, Finland, Poland, Canada, Iraq, Germany, Philippines, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi and lots of UK visitors. Thanks to all who call in but not everyone leaves a comment....so why not just say a quick "Hello" from wherever you live as I am really amazed that you even found me.

I am now swiftly gaining a new skill of identifying the flags of all your countries!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Bag Bling PiFs

I sent PiF gifts to celebrate WOYWW 2nd Birthday but didn't post any photos as I intended to keep the surprise until they had arrived at their destinations. The trouble is some arrived so quickly and have been posted on blogs by the recipients! Never mind eh! They are all different and so those people who are still waiting for the mail to arrive will not know which one they will receive. I also sent the PiFs I owed from earlier in the year (they had to be sent within 2011) to Kay, Liverpool Lou, Carmen, Tuire and Sam so quite a lot of bag bling was made and sent off and I was happy to make these gifts for such lovely people!
 Here's a sample range....
I made a variety of charms to hang on each key chain. The spooky faces were made in the meltpot from UTEE. 
I used shrink plastic for the tag with the little face, to the left above.
 Each chain has a bell for security which can be heard if anyone tries to take your bag. There is also a reflective strip for safety as it helps you to be seen after dark.
 The heart below is made from Friendly Plastic and the little turquoise barrel is an old knitting row counter
The WOYWW tiles were stamped on coloured stampboard which was then etched to highlight the letters... you can see the difference it makes below. I later embossed these tiles so the writing would not wear away.
Don't miss my birthday blog candy, below..... .
full details and sign up on my 8th June post
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd will receive a selection of craft goodies, some shown above and the 1st prize will include a key chain with bag bling as featured in this post.
A big thanks and welcome to all my new followers! Heading for 200 soon!