Tuesday, 30 April 2013


My desk this week is outside on the garden table, making an inky mess. A big mess in fact and I enjoyed every sunny, warm, moment of it. The weather has been lovely now that the cold winds have eased somewhat and it was a joy to work alongside the lovely camellia, the daffodils and scillas and other Spring flowers, which have rushed to catch up. 
These photos were taken at 9pm on Tuesday evening just as I was clearing up. I can't show you exactly what I was making as they are for gifts. Most of my makes this week have been for gifts so you'll have to wait until they are all given.
The last of the sun is still there, top RH corner!
 The previous day I started off in the garage, working on the floor, but I realised that it would be far easier if I decamped outside to the table!
Here's a view of my garage floor covered in waterproof cloths and a hint of what's in store...It reminds me that I often say that "people who don't make a mess, don't make anything"!
Does a big mess therefore mean that I make a LOT???
 9pm... amazing evening
 DH spent some time clearing the central flower bed, where our lovely apple tree used to be, and planting a bed of heathers around it's stump. The next job is to re-set those edging bricks around the path.
Indoors or out, there will be so many more crafting places shown over at our lovely leader's blog, that's Julia's place at the Stamping Ground. Check it out!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Friday Smile No 15 & More Fancy Dress

The sun is still shining and I am happy for that and many more reasons. I'm back on track feeling well again and at last getting so much accomplished this week. 
I made a pale blue Merida outfit, which is in my last post, for my grandee in Brighton and I've just finished this one for my grandee in Germany so now all three will have similar dresses.
I love making the head dresses and I managed to make up a practical, soft crown with elastic at the back to keep it in place. There's also a veil to wear under it. The gold trimmings are plastic and come by the yard so cheaply but really do look so effective.
Here's the dress.... just needs to be hemmed when I check the length.... they are all growing so quickly.
There's a head band which doubles as an optional  belt and the medallion is removable so it, and the belt,  can be used with other outfits.
I also made all this!
It's a fancy dress costume ready in advance for Halloween... a witch's skirt and cape, and here's the quirky hat ...
It's Friday Smile Time, thanks to Annie, and I'm so glad she does have something to smile about after a traumatic worrying week for her and her family. After being rushed to hospital, little Sam is happily on the mend so pop over to hear all about it on her Friday Smile 
Warning! Skip the next bit if you have an aversion to rodents....

This was going to be my smile.....We spotted these two amazing creatures in the pet section of our local garden section....... I think they are more of an Eeeew....yuk! Wrinkly hairless rats..... who on earth would want one of these as a pet? Sooooooo, instead....
I thought I'd better give an "oooooh!" too, so this morning I took a pic of my lovely Camellia to share, which DD2 bought me in a tiny pot, for £1.99 in Woolworths (Ah, I miss Woolys, don't you?) about 20 years ago! I think of her with love and give thanks each time it produces it's abundance of beautiful blooms. It is now a substantial tree of about 10 feet high which is such a pleasure to see from our living room window, flowering for weeks and weeks.

Keep Smiling 
and if you haven't got one of your own at the moment, pop over to Annie's to share everyone else's.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


I've been on a roll this week, catching up with blog entries of all the quilts received for the Lilly Bo Project from whilst I was on my travels. Lots of sewing related projects, but nothing inky until I get started on my WOYWW ATCs for the 4 year blogiversary.
My arty desk is still exactly the same as last week as I haven't been near it as I've been sewing in the guest bedroom.
I've been making tote bags for a batch of quilts which are due shortly, you can see them to the left of my sewing machine.
tote bags in progress...
I've made several head dresses for children's fancy dress wear....
some little girls will get a surprise soon....four will be going to a blogging buddy for her grandees to fulfil a promise I'm sure she will think I've forgotten!
and I also made a Merida fancy dress for the younger of the Brighton Belles and she will also receive one of the head dresses. At 3 years old she loves to wear anything that sticks out, that's sparkly, and long, so I think this will be just right. 
I'm also almost finished making a teal coloured Merida Dress to take to my little fraulein soon but here's the pale blue one, finished, which will soon be going to Brighton in the post. With the wonders of Skype I will be lucky enough to see her open the parcel.
Everyone seems to be so much cheerier since we've had some long awaited sunshine, hope you've had your share wherever you may be.
We know our lovely leader Julia has been in Spain, enjoying her share of sunshine, but is home now in time to get us organised for this week's WOYWW. For full info, all the tales and gossip, and lots more work desks pop over to the stamping ground.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Zig Zag Cards Instructions & Template

At the show in Holland recently these Zig Zag cards samples proved to be very popular and I was constantly being asked how to make them. I gave out all my template/instruction sheets pretty quickly so I promised to post details here. 
 I must apologise that I am a bit late but I'm only just getting back to normal life again after the busy hectic times over the last few weeks.

To the person who "permanently borrowed" one of my samples from the dem desk (which I willingly allowed people to deconstruct and construct to help them understand how it was made) you are most welcome, I hope it helps you and makes you happy. No problem for me as I will make another but it did mean that lots of other interested visitors could not try it out and learn how simple it is to make this card. 

I'll add the instructions at the end of this post but here are some close ups of my samples and there are also lots of photos of another one I made HERE on my post of the 28th March.

For this first one, I coloured my own background card using Distress Inks and Stencils and cut out the butterflies from spare pieces of the card.
The small front panel and greeting tag keeps the card in it's required position.
The next card was made using a pad of Graphic 45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe printed 6x6 papers. 
I like the effect of placing a die cut piece behind the two back points as overall it gives the card a better, balanced, shape and an added point of interest. 
It is effective to leave a little of the surrounding, lighter, area when cutting out motifs as they highlight them very effectively.
I also decorated inside and added small hanging tags inside and outside the folds.
Here's another version I made using some Crafty Individuals small face stamps and my own decorated papers. 
I love the way the little mounted pictures tumble off the edges of the card. 
Just a flash across the front with "Memories" stamped on it holds the front panels together.
Another idea...note that one side of the card is decorated and one side plain.

Here's my template for making the Zig Zag card from a piece of A4 cardstock.
Cut along the diagonal line to acquire the two pieces for the card. 
Trim off and discard the small areas marked at one end of each piece.
Score and fold along all dotted lines.
All of the lines are scored at 1 7/8 inch intervals as marked on the template.
Starting with the two longer ends, interlock the slits at the top of one of the pieces of card into the slits in the bottom of the other one.
The longer ends will form the back section of the card.
Open out the folds into the positions shown in the card samples.

Decorate according to your preference and style and there are several little details and ideas amongst my samples to play around with.
The card will lay flat when folded so shapes can be adhered to front and back when closed and this serves to decorate it and also to fix the sections together.
Be sure that any protruding motifs, eg., butterflies, do not stop the card from closing flat.
Any problems please leave me a message and I'll do my best to help.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Friday Smile!

Here's a Friday smile to join in with Annie's idea to start the weekend off happily. I'm pleased to hear that her little grandson Sam is now out of hospital and home and after all the worries Annie still finds time to SMILE so I'm sure we can too!
We are always talking about the weather in England and lately we have had a lot of it to talk about so I remembered ......
When we were in Slovenia we saw this sign outside a restaurant at the top of a mountain and my lovely friend Dolores (Cardarian) translated, telling us that the donkey predicted the weather by the condition of it's tail! I do think this one may be a little rude but only she ( and other Slovenians) will know.

Here are a couple of other weather forecasters which do the same job but will be more understandable to English speakers!!

Must admit that I have made these for crazy birthday gifts!
If you set one up in your garden please make sure it isn't near the windows incase you get windy weather.
There were dozens of versions when I looked on the net but I think I like the donkey best!!
Keep smiling and why not pop over to Annie's blog for more....

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Shock horror!!! Yes it's me again and I'm back with a vengeance. 
I've been missing in action due to a whole lot of stuff going on in my life.... as it does.... but I've never missed so many weeks of WOYWW ever, ever, ever. I've not joined in since week 197 in fact! I've popped in out and left the odd comment in between all my travels and visits but it wouldn't have been fair to post and not be able to reply to responses, so I opted out for a while. 

I've been to Brighton, and to Germany, then the Brighton family wing visited us here, then we went to Holland for the big Art Specially show in Zeist. (look at the last but one post if you want to spy on the show). Amidst all this I had a nasty stomach bug thanks to the Brighton Belles sharing theirs and despite their lovely Mummy catching sick in her hands on the train (until kind passengers proffered poly bags) all the way from London to Brighton she, amazingly, escaped the dreaded lergy and I got it!
Glad to be back and missed you all! Our Boss Lady seems to be enjoying herself on hols but I'm sure she will sober up and put the G&T down for Mr Linky to set up this week's WOYWW!.....
 Ducking and diving as I say it! Sorry Senora Julia!
Check out what it's all about on her blog...here at Stamping Ground 
Now... what IS on my work desk this Wednesday?
In the wings are two nicec quirkily shaped, fabby wooden birdhouses I bought today in Poundland (other £ shops exist) and there they are poised ready to be altered.
Poundland also had quite a few crafty items in store including these micro beads... just like Accent beads but they were in the fingernails section, (wouldn't fancy these on my nails). These 12 small phials, for just £1, would be handy to provide a good range of colours and the little containers will be handy when empty.
Leading up nicely or nastily....warning... you may react badly to the following shock of a mess.......
To the dumping ground which has built up to mega mess proportions during all my "doing other things".
There's a huge pot of gouache tempura powder on the right which was reduced to 99p amidst all the guff I unpacked from my travels. 
Now, dammit! I've got to tidy it all up for next week just to show you I can and to give myself a place to craft.
Have a good week and I hope the sun is shining where you are!

Giethoorn, Holland

A great adventure was had after the show in Zeist .
We made a detour before we headed to the return ferry in Rotterdam and Fred kindly drove us all for a lovely day out in the quaint village of Giethoorn. 
It is called the Venice of Holland as there are no roads for cars, just footpaths and canals.
We parked the car next to this row of little boats, all with electric power.....
We had to head across this lake to get to the one way system of canals so we could tour the village.
It was sunny, but bitterly cold with a strong wind making the lake really choppy so the water was washing over the sides and soaking us.
The hats came out and the guys had to turn the prow of the boat to the wind and take the long route by first sailing into the middle of this enormous lake to face into the wind as we were really being hit by the wash... it was just a wee bit scary as I cannot swim. 
The man who hired out the boat just told us to phone if there were any problems... never gave us a number, probably realising the phone wouldn't work anyhow if we capsized. No life jackets or safety instructions. Am I a wimp? Eeeeek!!! No one else to be seen pursuing this mad adventure. Well he did tell us that we were only the 3rd boat out this season due to the weather.!!!! 
Eventually, and thankfully, we arrived to the relative safety of the little canals and bridges and just a few people were strolling along the footpaths.
Soaked through we took refuge in a fabulously quaint Jazz Bar and had a welcome hot coffee (along with a jar of sweets which we were told is customary there) whilst Carol sat on a radiator to steam off her wet jeans!!
The cloakrooms were tiled floor to ceiling with blue and white Delft style tiles!
Lots of thatched rooves
Even more bridges in this duck's paradise.
The snowdrops were just coming out, even later than in England.
I think this little house has such a cute "face"!
The museum
Which way next? 
No traffic lights...
A beautiful place to visit, so peaceful and pretty. Lots of lovely little shops, cafes and bars and just under the bridge above there are floating restaurants too.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Art Specially Show in Zeist Holland

I've not been too well (system out of sorts, not really ill just not well) since I returned from the Art Specially show in Holland where I demmed for stampattack but at last I'm feeling much better and I've managed to upload some photos of the trip. 
It was a great show and I'd love to go again just as a visitor so I could take advantage of all the workshops and Make & Takes over the two days. It was a really vibrant atmosphere, busy but spacious and for us as retailers it was non stop all weekend but the people, both stall holders and visitors were all so lovely and friendly.
Carol had the great idea that we should decorate top hats for the show, mine was Steam Punk and her's Alice in Wonderland themed. We never planned to wear them, they were just to be decorations for the stand, but when we put them on for fun it really created so much interest and people were coming to take our photograph and thus visit the shop so we left them on most of the time! I know I look daft but I'm good for a laugh!
It was so lovely to meet so many new people and make new friends.... 
here's Mariette (of Stamping Mariette) a lovely talented lady who demonstrated new stamps designed by her friend Ellie Knol on the Magenta Stand. We got along so well and I know we'll keep in touch and meet again one day.

 Tine on Hobbycompleet "De Duif" was really lovely and friendly and sharing with her work and ideas. Tine made some stunning cards using Pan Pastels really effectively.
These are so beautiful!
We met up with Michael Strong and also the lovely Hettie of craftchaos who was helping on his stand. Michael is just a lovely guy and as he was in our hotel we had breakfast with him and some good fun together.
Everyone who stopped by for our various Make & Takes seemed to have fun.
However I didn't have time to take many pics once we got going.
Here's the Art Specially stand at the entrance to the show...
All their fabulous books were on sale...
We met up with Linda of Lost Coast Stamps (and I bought more of her quirky stamps) but forgot to take photos. We did really miss seeing Mary Kay of Stamp Camp who we'd expected to be there.
So many different stands I'd never seen before....

I took the photos before the show opened and it was the only time it was quiet!
There were so many workshops and make & takes at the show that most visitors came for two days to take up everything on offer. 
There were rows of areas just like this below and the whole length of the balcony (which you can spot in this pic) had so many workshops and make & take tables. 
We met up with friends Wezz and Jan, from Belgium, for a fabulous Indo Chinese banquet in the 
Tong Ah restaurant, just a short drive from the show. 
We can certainly recommend it as, whilst the main menu was quite pricey, they had a set meal for 20 euros per person of soup, crispy wantons and spring rolls then 3 huge main dishes with fried rice or noodles. Followed by ice cream and fruit with coffee or tea.
The waitress took the photos of us all together then insisted on taking another of me with this amazingly grotesque huge wood carving.
I think it was an excellent show and so very different to those in UK. So many more dems and workshops. I would say that the catering could have been better as the only food available was greasy fried stuff but I suppose we should have taken our own!
Before we came home we visited Giethoorn an exceptionally quaint little village of canals, with no roads, accessed only by boat! Known as the Venice of Holland. 
Photos tomorrow!