Tuesday, 31 January 2012

WOYWW 139 & G-ART-en

My DD in Germany made this novel piece of ice art for her garden, from an idea she saw in pinterest. Simple to make, it is so effective. Greenery, berries, leaves and a string (for hanging it) were added to water in a large plant pot saucer. It was then just left to freeze. No doubt it will last a long time as the temperature is consistently much colder than it is has been here in England. 
Mind you from all reports it looks like we'll soon be having a spell cold enough for me to try this out!
Congratulations to, (and I'm first in line for an autograph from) our lovely, famous Julia, founder and instigator of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday over at the Stamping Ground. Julia created this weekly Wednesday blog hop around the world's crafty desks, otherwise known as the Big Global Snoop, and she has been featured in this month's Craft Stamper magazine. I agree with, and quote from the article that her blog "is generally a mixed bag of craft loveliness, craft irreverence and day to day opinion" 
Rock on Julia, we love you!
So here's my contribution for this week and there are so many more if you pop over to visit Julia and see for your self, just click RIGHT HERE!

Despite a full crafting week my main desk is staying tidy, which I am sure will bring gasps of utter amazement from so many who asked just how long it would last after my big New Year purge.
Ner, ner, ner ner ner!!!!
The sink area has been transformed ......
so now the taps are accessible and I can use the draining board for messy matters.
Just look below at how Eeeeek! it was last week.... 
Still not completely there so I've got confessions to make in the form of a file box overflowing with UMs waiting to be cleaned and filed.
These red files hold my cardstock and ribbon stash but I've still to move the stuff "filed" on the floor.
Quite a flow of crafting has been achieved in my place this week, some to be revealed soon and some in my previous post and I also managed to make another 3 scarf/shawlettes using time which would otherwise have been wasted. It is so satisfying to produce some gifts whilst TV watching or as a car passenger. My easy knitting goes everywhere with me!
My DH is having a gallstones operation so apologies incase I don't get around to visiting too many desks this week.
Have a good week and stay warm!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Tiny Tin

Our lovely Chairwoman of Vicky Stampers, Neet, wants to make sure that we aren't idle, whilst she is lapping up all the creative ideas at CHA in America, so she set the group a challenge.
We were all given one of these tiny mint tins, empty of course, which Neet challenged us to alter.
I coloured mine with Alcohol inks then added a coat of Glossy Accents to stop it wearing off.
I decided to add a mini book inside so I coloured light card with Distress Inks and stamped over with a script detail.
Crafty Individual's range of little face stamps were just right.
A few smudges of watercolour linked the images to the background, 
and some accent beads and bling inside the lid (rather than on the outside where it might come off) gave some added interest.
Watch out anyone buying those mints as they contain Sorbitol so don't eat to many. You probably already know what that makes you do and I hope Neet knew! 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

WOYWW 138 & Flag Tag Book

The hyacinth is growing and I'm quite proud of myself that my desk is staying reasonably tidy as, despite a few messy crafting sessions, I have tidied up. 
I've made the February pages of my diary. It's not a journal, just a diary to use for dates and notes but I'm adding a "word of the month". Last month as it was January, I chose J for Joy in a positive effort to think of lovely things and instil some Joy into this bleak period after Christmas. 
This next one for February is F for Family, especially as I will soon be with my, much loved and missed, far off family members.
Here's a reminder of the nightmare
 that was the window side of my craft room

and can you believe it, here it is now and it's amazing what crafty treasures I found within the above dump. 
Don't think all is sorted..... confession time comes  below as I still have the window in front of the sink to clear, but I'm almost there, and the stack of boxes to the left are full of all my card offcuts, all colour coded ready to go on a shelf.
This week my lovely DD2 had her birthday and I made a  special card for her holding lots of family photos, which I printed with my Pogo mini printer. It's such a great little piece of equipment which would be so handy for scrapbooking and journalling. It connects with your camera or mobile phone to print credit card size photos so quickly, fits in a pocket or handbag and is only a bit bigger than a mobile phone. "Zinc" Zero ink required as it works by heat and I absolutely love it!
With so many tags in the Flag Tag book 
I had lots of surfaces to cover but with
 all my mini prints it was a doddle.

I'm so pleased that DD was really touched to receive it.
WOYWW is our weekly time to share our crafty workspaces, courtesy of Julia, our Honorable Guardian of the desks of the world....  If you want to see so many more, then you can, at her HQ Stamping-Ground. All good fun!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Kung Hei Fat Choy
Happy Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year of the Dragon starts on Tuesday and at the weekend here in Liverpool there will be fireworks, dancing, music and dragons. In fact great celebrations in Chinatown. 
We have the oldest settlement of Chinese people in this city and this has really enhanced the culture of the city. Our Chinese Gate is beautiful and the largest outside mainland China.
 If you want to know more and even find out which is the animal of your birth year click here on Chinese Zodiac.
 I'm a monkey... enough said!
A day long deluge of rain kept me in today so, as I continued the big clean up in my workroom, I found various stamped images and part finished projects from the dark ages so I've made a few into cards.... influenced by the Chinese New Year here are the first cards I have made in a long time. 
The Japanese geishas, below, are stamped in Versamark and embossed in white to create a resist. I then sponged ink over to give quite a subtle colour to the characters.
This piece is a small waxed collage I made at a Katy's Corner Stamp Camp quite some years ago and never finished.... till now!
I found this pendant I had made and left to dry before Christmas. It's well dry now and I love the effect of the alcohol inks and a tiny touch of superfine holographic glitter under the Glossy Accents glaze. I'm pleased I found it. 
You couldn't imagine that it's just a bit of tin underneath!?!
Here are my two finished Angelina Ballerinas, especially for Carol who asked to see them before they go off to their little owners. It was such a fiddly job making them and I think I'll stick to my scarves for a while!
Have a great weekend and a good New Year!
he Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

WOYWW 137 & Didn't I do Well?


The morass was a monster out of control. I couldn't face it and thus couldn't get to craft on my table, so I've just been knitting instead. I finished Angelina Ballerina and almost another and made this shawlette/scarf for Donna.

 Somehow knitting is a cosy occupation this cold weather but the state of my craft room has given me nightmares. Today was blitz day. 
This was the start of something BIG and scary! Look under the table at the top too... Eeek! I'm sure I get the coconut for the messiest desk this week... any competition? Any contenders? I doubt it!!
If you'd like to check out lots more crafty desks there will be over 100 this and every Wednesday, all joining in one of the biggest blog hops in the crafting world. Just visit Julia's Stamping Ground to join in the fun!

Half way there and I'd also started to clear out those cupboards to free up extra space for storage.
Even under the table is now amazingly clear..
Hurray!!! Didn't I do well to get to this stage?..
It was my late Mum's 100th birthday on Monday...so I bought an Amaryllis (one of her favourites) as a memento and also a hyacinth for my table (one of my favourites). You can spot it below.
Such a relief.....
My reward was to take a break and I enjoyed the clear space to make an inky mess and two pages of my 2012 diary.
This shelving looks neater and is far better organised with the Ikea boxes now installed to hold ink pads, reinkers, dyes, Stickles etc., instead of them all being out on show.
Don't be mislead as I'm not completely tidy. It really is confession time as I have not yet fully cracked it and I now have to own up to this work surface, in front of one of the windows, which is a Tsunami ready to surge! Guess it will wait until tomorrow as I've done enough for today!
This time I really have to stay tidier and better organised. I know I've said it before, but there is no option now as I want to get back into silversmithing and jewellery making, so my craft room needs to be safe. I have retrieved all my tools and equipment from DD1, who had borrowed them for a course, and the area needs to be clear and tidy before I set to with a butane torch.

Thanks to all you lovely folk who visited last week and I managed to reply to all who left comments and quite a number of others too via Mr Linky.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

WOYWW 136 & Angelina Ballerina

All 4 of my my Blog Candy prizes have been claimed and were posted off yesterday, to Elizabeth and Shozzy in Scotland, Rosalee in Canada and one to the Midlands of England to Crafty Womble... Congratulations and I hope the winners enjoy their gifts.
WOYWW 136?? Yes REALLY! Say no more! 
Here's evidence of what's on my various work areas this week as my main desk is piled high with so much stash MESS. (Prepare for the shock exposure near the end of my post) 
I've decamped to the spare bedroom to sew Angelina Ballerina's tutu.  
I'll make two, one for a tiny Brighton Belle and one for my little German Gem, two of my grandees who both adore Angelina. 
Angelina looks so funny before she is stuffed!
Here, wearing her tutu, awaiting the important finishing touch of a face!
I really never thought that in my life I would ever knit thumbs for mice and I've still got two long skinny tails to knit!!!!!

My friend was going to throw out this little retro Colour TV, but I fell in love with it, and it is now rescued and in my craft room. It has a perfect picture and is so very cute. Thanks Viv!
My travel journal case from Vicky Stampers Saturday's workshop is still awaiting it's final touches. I covered it with pages from an old Atlas.
This great storage carousel,below, with 24 pull out containers, was in the Hobbycraft sale... originally around £20, it was a snip at only £3 to me! They may still have some in stores around the country but the Warrington branch has sold out. 
I'm hoping it may just help get all my tiny beads organised. 
You've seen the organised tidy side of life.....well, here's what you really came to snoop on... it's own up time to my real mess which is waiting for the big clear up, hopefully tomorrow. No space there in which to create and Nathalie's Creative Jump Start is really getting my mojo active. Check it out as it could be just what you need to get you creative for 2012.
Lots more desks to spy on over at The Queen of WOYWWers blog, that's Julia's over at Stamping Ground. Join us and make it your guilty passion, just for fun!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Blog Candy Winners

Apologies that I'm a day late announcing the winners of my Blog Candy draw but I was out all day yesterday at Vicky Stampers having fun at my first workshop of the year. It was a great day, as ever, and we made suitcase boxes with Jayne as our fab tutor. I never quite finished mine as I, (as always) gabbed too much, so nothing yet to show.  I sat next to Jane's daughter, Alicia, who joined us for her first ever craft class and she did so well. I often sit next to Paul who was poorly sick and thus was sadly missed yesterday, so I hope you are better soon Paul. We were also joined by Debra and Sarah, two of Neet's blogging buddies (Sarah P of WOYWW), who both fitted in really well and seemed to enjoy their day with us. They said they'd come again and I do hope they do!

Drum roll..... fanfare, distant jingle bells etc.,  here are the
 Winners of the Blog Candy Draw
in celebration of my two years of blogging.

1st Prize drawn ...Elizabeth (Silver Scrapper) who wins craft goodies and a choice of one of my pendants.
The following prizes are my choice as I asked for traditions or funny stories connected with your Christmas.
2nd prize Angie (Shozzy) ... For her funny story. Angie wins a small pack of craft goodies and choice of a pendant. Angie says....
"Fav carol was one from school days...'Adan lay y bounden'
Traditions of old ...when the kids were at home they still had a stocking and a cuddly toy left out side their room, well into their 20's. 
The Christmas story connected with this is that when my 'head banging' 18 year old son stumbled home in the early hours he obviously found his stocking and opened it... because when I went in to wake him he was still dressed ... surrounded in choccy coins ...tangerine skins ...and was cuddling his Xmas teddy ....how I wish I had had a camera ...I could have blackmailed him lol."

3rd prize Craftywomble wins a pendant just for her Spice Cake recipe which I made and adore! Thanks so much Wendy, it will now be one of my traditions!

4th Prize Rosalee wins a pendant. Rosalee told of her Christmas tradition which remembers the true meaning of Christmas. She says....
"A Christmas Tradition in our family is one we do ever year. We all gather together on Christmas eve and relive out the manger scene. The kids dress as the shepherds and wisemen and the couple with the youngest acts as Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. The rest of us gather around then and sing Christmas
Carols and read the Christmas story."

Will the winners please email me with your snail mail addresses and let me know your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of pendant so I, hopefully, can send one you will like.
Some of the prizes
Thanks so much to all who entered to celebrate my two years of fun blogging.
I appreciate every visit and comment and it's lovely to be able to say a big thank you to everyone in return.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Our House & Betws Y Coed

Before Christmas I won a Blog Candy Prize from Twiglet of  sisterscraftycreations and it is quite an amazing prize to win. I was thrilled that she made it so quickly! I had to send some photos to Twiglet who then collaged and embroidered a picture of my little house! As it's Winter, and the front garden is decidedly sparse, she took artist's license and brought it into bloom for me. The lovely thing about it is that she magically managed to get the Spring daffodils, forget-me-nots and cushions of geraniums in exactly the right places just as they will be in a few months time. Roll on Spring!
I also received one of her lovely dumfed felt cards in my favourite colour and now I'm thinking hard how I can put it to good use as a box lid or a book cover.....I'll come up with something as it's too good to be stored away. 
Thanks so much to Jo, aka Twiglet, for such a lovely prize....our new family treasures!
Jump Start
Here's the first card I've made in simply ages and it was spurred on by Jump Start (see last post) when I was inspired to mess with colour as a warm up. The tags and papers I coloured were useful to make into a birthday card for a friend.
Betws Y Coed
We have a great way to start the New Year, in fact it has almost become a tradition that we drive into Wales to Betws Y Coed. The entire place is always open as it is a favourite haunt for walkers and climbers, but we just take a leisurely stroll these days. Afterwards we always visit the Royal Oak Hotel for an excellent 3 course luncheon.
 These two pictures were taken at the bridge in the centre of the little town and here we are.... two old dudes all wrapped up for our day out!! 
Further down river there are the spectacular Fairy Glen and Swallow Falls. 

We cancelled our planned New Year's Day trip as the weather was torrential rain all day but decided to go on Monday and were so lucky to enjoy sunshine all the day.
It looks a very dour place but inside is lovely and has recently been refurbished and the main thing... the food is excellent!
People were even sitting outside the Saddle bar at the side of the Royal Oak