Saturday, 28 April 2012

Chester & Special Occasion Cards

DD has safely received these celebration cards I made and sent to her in Germany and has kindly emailed me some pics  as I forgot to take any. Thanks Fluffy!
Today they will attend the 80th Birthday of one of my SIL's uncles so I made a concertina tag book for the guests to sign as well as a vintage style card with some gorgeous antique mother of pearl buttons on the front.

 Tomorrow they will attend the "Konfirmation" of the daughter of one of their neighbours. It's a very special occasion over there. There are two embossed gold angels on the left easel but they are a bit unclear due to the flash and behind the right hand easel there's a little pocket to hold a money gift and a card for a personal message.
 This fourfold card is for their friend's forthcoming wedding and has lots of flaps and hidden messages.

Despite a dull day we went out to Chester and although we enjoyed ourselves as we haven't been there for quite some time, it was mega busy, much busier than usual for some unknown reason,  as you can see from the throngs of shoppers from The Cross along Eastgate. 
The ancient Cross, (looking just like a pole), can be seen in the centre front and it's here that the Town Crier rings his bell and bellows out his messages throughout the day.... the forerunner of newspapers and even the internet!!!!
We love to wander away from the crowds on the less busy Rows which is an upper gallery of shops, cafes and pubs. Just further along on Bridge Street Rows, from where I took this pic below, is a fabulous fabric and trimmings shop for quilters.
DH studied in Chester at "The College" many many moons ago so it is an old haunt we know very well.
The Clock at Eastgate which was added to this Roman Bridge in honour of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. After Big Ben in London, it is said to be the most photographed clock in England. 
Chester has a cathedral well worth a visit and has a good refectory for a rest, food and a cuppa.....

and there is so much Roman History to see. We have often walked around the Roman walls which encircle the city and once did this with a group of friends
at 2am after a night out.
Here's one of the watch towers along the wall.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Aintree Racecourse Without Horses

Here are the only fillies out on the gallops at Aintree Racecourse today....
Carol carolcsstuff, Jo JoZarty (that's me!), and Neet hickydorums give an airing to the WOYWW badges at the Aintree Craft Show. No other WOYWW badges to be seen! A relaxing day, as it was not very busy today so we could look at leisure and even find seats in the food hall.
We met up with quite a few other friends, including Ann, with her fab new purple hair, and her DD Wendy.... those bags look stuffed!!!
Lots of exhibitions including the annual Madeira embroidery competition...
The well deserved Winner-Sally Wilson of West Yorkshire.
Highly Commended, Gill Kirk of Yorkshire
My top favourite by Christina Hudson of Lancashire
The Merseyside Embroiderers Guild had an excellent display and as I admired this exquisite goldwork geisha, I realised it was made by my lovely talented embroidery/textiles tutor from way back! Beautiful work June!

Some of the costumes from the Downton Abbey TV series on display
Liverpool Community College provided some examples of their fab fun extreme designs.... 
The front dress is made of Tesco carrier bags, the next from latex gloves
 The black outfit is made from bin bags!!
A few of the stands in the exquisite exhibition "The Art of Lace"
I spent lots of dosh for not a lot.... a standard daylight lamp for a bargain price, some new plates for my Vagabond, stocks of redline tape, and quite a bit of fabric but not one rubber stamp!
Still time for you to visit the show, if you are interested, as it's on tomorrow that's Friday, and also Saturday.
 An excellent mixed craft show with something for everyone, but most of all I really enjoyed the exhibitions.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Anyone going to Aintree Show on Thursday???.... there will be a few WOYWWers attending and wearing badges with pride!!! Look out for us and we'll be meeting up at the entrance at 12 noon.
A right mess to snoop on here this week and the worst it has been for months. 
It's time to scrutinise the desks of the world courtesy of our organiser and instigator Julia at Stamping Ground, where you can join in or just have a good old nosey and read some of Julia's happenings!!!
My desk is patiently waiting to be cleared after making a selection of special occasion cards for DD2. I sent them off to to Germany in a hurry so they'd arrive in time for her to take to the parties.... a double easel confirmation card, an 80th card and tag book for all the party guests to sign, and a  four fold wedding card but I forgot to photograph them so they  could be posted!!! It was the first paper crafting I've done in a while and I end up with all mess and no results to prove how I made it.
Dear Fluffy, please can you send me some pics when they arrive, if you have time???
Lately, I've been inspired by rabbits and hares, both on other blogs and bobbing around in the Norfolk fields when I was on holiday so I'm having a go at making one for each of my 3 little girlie grandees. 
To see some gorgeous perfect ones... pop over to millefeuilles or patchworkchickens, both really inspiring and interesting blogs. 
Here is my prototype which needs a bit of tweaking of the pattern I've plotted out,.... I'm just winging it as I go along! Don't know if this will be a girl or a boy character but, painfully, it sits with a needle through the nose waiting for the rest of its features and clothes. I can't decide how to do the eyes... might use buttons glued and stitched for safety, might just embroider them. I'll make a selection of dresses and knit some cardigans before I finalise their characters.
It would be great if I could just make a girl and a boy and leave the rest to nature!!!
No! I'm not showing my finished Afghan yet again.... this hare is cosying up on 55 squares of No2 blanket which I've stitched together as I go along so it isn't the mammoth task of No1 blanket, so here's desk No2.... a coffee table in front of the TV.
 My SIL gave me this knitted corsage and, as I have seen so many people wearing or making scarves from the same Jazz yarn, I thought I'd show it here.... it would be a good idea to make these with any spare yarn and they look so easy too.
Don't forget to tune in to the TV special all about the Titanic Girl which has been rescheduled to 8.30pm Mon next, 30th April. 
My previous post shows a little of the magic of this spectacular three day event which took place in my home city over last weekend.

Stand by your desks folks! I'm ready to whizz round the globe for my weekly snoop!

Monday, 23 April 2012

St George's Day & Walking With Giants

This weekend I've been walking with giants but first
Happy St George's Day
Proud to be English!
I'll wear my rose with pride today in honour of Saint George, the Patron Saint of England.
It might be a raggy old silk rose I've had for years but this period of cold weather means I cannot find a fresh one in the garden. 
I'm not Irish, Welsh or Scottish so I don't want to be classed as British.... I'm born and bred English!
Sea Odyssey
I'm also proud to be from Liverpool, especially after the amazing event which took place this weekend in honour of the centenary of the Titanic disaster. 
We walked with giants through the 3 day spectacle which brought hundreds of thousands into the city to experience Sea Odyssey created by the French street theatre company Royal de Luxe.
My photos aren't wonderful as, with the throngs of happy visitors, it was difficult to capture the best views so see lots more of the animation just google Sea Odyssey. I've added two press photos of the Uncle character but the rest are from my camera. 
Inspired by a letter from a little girl to her father on the Titanic (which is now in our museum) the story evolved of her search for him and how her uncle ( a deep sea diver) crossed the sea to help her.
The music was fantastic and it was stunning to see how the Lilliputian controllers in period frock coats absail the control wires, leaping and swinging around to give the giants expression, movement and character.
By the time I reached the front of the barriers the 35 foot giant little girl and 
Xolo her dog had stopped their antics and were taking a well earned rest near the River Mersey.
Xolo (pronounced Chollo) who became the star of the show, amused everyone with his antics including cocking his leg on many a lamp post!                      Here he'd had enough and took a well earned rest.

Below, the building to the right is known in Liverpool as the "Streaky Bacon Building"! It was the White Star Office Building, Headquarters of the shipping line who owned the Titanic and from their balconies the announcements were made of the survivors and victims of the famous ship's tragedy.
May, surrounded by her Lilliputian controllers, is very poignantly passing the building where her father must have signed onto the doomed vessel. 

Press photo taken as her Uncle passes through the crowds en route to the Pierhead in his search to find May.
A moving press photo of the 50 foot high Uncle reunited with May before sailing away down the river.
Said to be caused by the teutonic eruptions caused by the giants ... with a roar and rumble these spouts of water erupted, every few minutes to the delights of the crowds, high above the buildings.

Do take a look at some of the excellent coverage of Sea Odyssey on the net but make sure you
The full story of the three days to be broadcast in a special programme, Titanic Girl, on BBC1 on Wednesday evening at 7.30pm 
NB!!! Rescheduled to 8.30pm Mon 30th April 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

WOYWW 150 from Cromer

On holiday in Cromer, Norfolk and my limited workdesk is either the dining table of the apartment or the front passenger seat of the car where I'm making headway with Afghan No2 (34 squares completed) as we tour around this lovely area. It's raining a lot, just my luck, so hence the opportunity to crochet.
That's the latest Mollie Makes magazine in my basket... still to be read.
Right now I'm in the Saffron Tea shop of a craft centre (stamping stuff here too, yeah!) taking advantage of free internet access but probably won't be able to desk hop until after we return home on Thursday as I may not have internet in the Country Club where we are staying.
BTW... a big thanks to Neet for linking me this week.
I'm sure everyone must be sick of seeing my Afghan throw but I brought it with me to crochet 3 rows around the edge and I'm so thrilled that I completed it in the evenings. Now it is totally finished and whilst the edge rows were tedious they really give it a lovely quality edge. 
I'm sooooo glad that Elizabeth has started one too....pop over to read all about it here and the fun award she sent to me! I look forward to seeing it progress, Elizabeth!
This is the dining table of our holiday apartment with my lovely blanket and the little bag of art supplies I brought along with my art note book where I'm doodling some ideas for inspiration.
Love the windmills in this area and especially this one below. It is now someone's home but DH thought it was a visitor attraction and drove right down their drive.... oops! Sorry Mrs!
See you all soon....but pop over to Julia's at stamping-ground to see lots more workdesks from all over the globe.... great snooping on great crafters!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

WOYWW 149 & Patchwork of Scraps

After such a hectic week back and forth to Brighton after the whole family, children included, were ill here, I'm shattered but slowly returning to reality. Missed my first ever WOYWW since my first entry in June 2010 but as we all had our heads in buckets ....enough, enough! I'll spare you the the gory details.... I just couldn't manage to join in last week. It was lovely that I received some private messages so thanks for missing me just a little bit!
This week it was so cold that I brought my crafting to the living room and played away on the coffee table. I have been commissioned by DD2 to make a few special cards so I prepped the background for a "milestone" birthday card for one of her special work colleagues who is a patchworker. I have made a patchwork collage from scraps of art card backgrounds cut into tiny squares and triangles which I assembled  randomly. I will stitch over one piece to see if it is effective but will use the other piece if I don't like it.
They had to be cut really accurately before fixing to the background sheet.
 Close up of one of the pieces.
Next step of my crocheted Afghan... It's now joined together but still has lots of loose ends to be secured and I'm amazed that it is so much bigger than I expected from my final 144 squares. Here it is draped over an armchair and a coffee table and it measures approximately 70 inches square. Not bad for just less than 6 weeks of making one or two squares whenever I had spare minutes. I intend to crochet a nice neat border so it will be even bigger when completed. 
Another legacy to leave my DDs to fight over in the (hopefully) distant future!!! Maybe I'll make another and give them to my girls NOW!! 
I really do hope it inspires others to use spare time and not waste it! 
To see many more work desks of crafters from around the globe join in the biggest snoop in the stratosphere over at our lovely Julia's blog... Stamping Ground, but be warned that you'll want to come back again and again..... and why not!!??

Artful Times 1st Challenge

After a break from crafting for what seems ages, I found time to join in with the first ever Artful Times Challenge. A brand new challenge blog recently started by three lovely people, Neet, Sam and Von, so I just had to make some thing to join them at the beginning of their exciting new venture and their first ever topic is to make a tag.
I sneaked in the word first into my tag and used my first favourite stamp from Crafty Individuals. I think this little girl has such a wistful look and having three grandees aged four and under, I am quite biased towards little girlies.
The background is coloured with a combination of Adirondack ink pads and Glimmer Mist sprays. I swiped the fine lace along an ink pad to blend it in with the overall look. The tiny flowers were punched from card coloured to match the tag and shaped with a ball tool.
Pop over to ARTFUL TIMES to see lots more entries and join in if you can as there are still a few days left before the closing date for their very FIRST challenge.
I've now crocheted 144 granny squares for my Afghan blanket, thanks to all the travelling up and down the motorways ....It's looking good but now I just need to join them!
Do you waste time? I try really hard not to so it is rewarding for me to have something lovely to use and treasure as a result of converting waste time into this Afghan. 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
It's good to relax after the week we've had. The Brighton Belles arrived safely and stayed with us whilst their Mummy and Daddy went off overnight to a friend's wedding in Wales. I'm so glad they enjoyed it all and we enjoyed the girlies but over the following days, one by one we were all hit by a tummy bug so it was a really difficult week... hence no posts from me. We recovered in time to take them home to Brighton and spend a few more days with them in lovely sunshine, leaving the cold and rain behind here in the North.

Yesterday before our long drive home, we visited Lewes and I treated myself to a few more items of my favourite blue and white Polish pottery from the Baltic Trader. I could have bought out the shop and especially loved all their Easter items on display.
Above you can see, on the right, one of the cute tiny tea sets just like the one I bought for our little Fraulein's 2nd birthday, last year.
I can recommend the cafe/restaurant within the pottery shop.
Lewes is such a great little place for a mooch around with lovely old buildings, a castle and this visit most of the shops had Easter window displays...
Even in the Funeral Director's window, below!
The jeweller's Easter bonnets....

vintage toys and eggs in an Antique Shop Window......
I don't know how this bookshop still stands, it is so crumbly !
The Castle entrance...
Harveys Brewery
We managed to get some fun time with the girlies in the park...
 and in the garden and I'm missing them all already.
Back home now, too far away from them, up in our cold dull damp North!