Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Tuesday Tag-Along - a bit of fun!

I found this through today's post at Kerry's blog It seems like fun, so I thought I'd join in.

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Here's how it works (copied and pasted from Twee Poppets blog):

Create a new Tuesday Tag-Along blog post. Include the Tuesday Tag-Along button by copying and pasting the code above.

Add your blog name and the URL of your TTA post to the MckLinky below.

Follow Twee Poppets, the hostess blog listed in the first slot. Leave a comment saying you've followed, and Twee Poppets will follow you back!

If you can, please follow the blogs in the three slots before you (e.g., if you're number 20, follow numbers 19, 18, and 17). This is not mandatory, but it will help ensure that everyone who signs up gets a few new followers!

Follow as many other blogs as you want. The more you follow, the more that will follow you back! Be sure to tell them that you're following from Tuesday Tag-Along! You may also want to leave a link to your blog so they can return your follow more easily.

When you get a new follower through Tuesday Tag-Along, be sure to follow them back! It's just common courtesy. :)

The weekly Tuesday Tag-Along post and MckLinky will be posted every Monday night at 8:59pm Pacific Standard Time (that's 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time), and the MckLinky will be open to add your blog until 11:59pm Tuesday night. You then have all week long to visit blogs and return follows!

There is a new list every week. The link you enter one week will not carry over to the next week's MckLinky. Please link up again each week to join in the fun!

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Just for a bit of fun then... why not join us and "meet" some new people?

Monday, 26 April 2010

A Productive Day

Today has been very productive. I have put four new listings in my Etsy shop, of things that I have made:

Green and Orange Flowers and Bunting set.

Paper Flowers in green, white and blue
A6 Butterfly Notebook / Journal with Japanese Stab Binding

I feel really pleased with myself today - it was great to list four items all at once - I haven't done that for ages! 

Tomorrow I will be going Paper Shopping, to find the perfect paper for a commission book. A lady has asked me to make a Wedding Guest Book for her son's wedding. I'd normally use a good quality medium/heavy weight paper; however she has said that she'd maybe like to stick tags in it, written on by the guests, so I think the pages really need to be stiffer - perhaps a good, smoothish cardstock instead.  I am off to see what I can find (wish me luck)!  

The butterfly book above was a bit of a "practice piece" actually, as the customer has asked for her book to be bound in a Japanese style too. I need to get some things straight in my mind, regarding measurements, methods, stitching patterns - oh, lots of stuff... so I'm making books.  However, I did buy some lovely papers while I was away in Cheltenham. This butterfly paper was one of those, but there are some more too...

It makes me happy to be creating again. I seem to have had a creative lull over the last few months - perhaps because of the crazy building project last spring and summer... then all that decorating, organising, furniture building, tidying, organising (again), decorating (again), laying floors, shelf fitting, furniture building (again), shelf fitting (again)... you get the idea!
Also, it wasn't a great winter for my mum and her health, so I was very busy with her... I do hope she will have a few months of good health - she could do with a nice, warm summer (but not too warm!) and some stress-free, healthy days, to set her up for next winter! (and so could I !!).

I want to get on with making lots of stuff now - books, more books, scrap layouts, scrap supplies and embellishments, soft toys... On Sunday our Scrapbook Club is meeting for our monthly Crop, so I should get a whole day's scrapping! I am looking forward to it.

"Watch this space", as they say!  

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The View From Here...

Hello all Blog Friends!

This week, our show comes to you from the Georgian Spa Town of Cheltenham....

Well, you've watched shows like "Antiques Roadshow", "Minute Makeover", "Location, Location" etc... That's how the presenters always seem to start the show.

But, in fact, I am in the Georgian spa town of Cheltenham (albeit out on the edge, in a non-georgian modern estate!).  I'm here visiting my very bestest friend of 30 years (yes it amazes me how long we've been friends, especially as we didn't sit next to each other in nursery school  and didn't know each other existed until secondary school!)

I came to see her for a couple of days, as she's in the middle of a rough time just now and I thought I could lend some moral support. Besides, for various reasons, it's been a year since we were last over to see her.

Right now, this is the view from the bedroom windows:

The bedrooms at the back of the house look out over meadows (and the lane) and the Cotswold hills. It's lovely here.

Even the view from the front is pretty okay! Cheltenham sits in a bowl, within the Cotswold Hills. It is a very pretty place, with lovely buildings and great countryside. I like to visit here.
Yesterday I took this photo of the Wishing Fish Clock, in Regent's Arcade. This was designed by the artist, Kit Williams (remember the book, Masquerade?)
It's such fun - it plays tunes on the hour and half-hour, and on the hour is does a little show, with figures moving etc, and the fish blows bubbles for the children. See a video here (this is a mobile phone video so not best quality, but the clock plays "I'm forever blowing bubbles" and you may be able to see some of the bubbles coming from the fish's mouth).
There are other Wishing Clocks, by the same artist - I have seen two, both with a frog - one in Milton Keynes shopping centre, the other at Telford. Such lovely art-work!

Telford Frog Clock - Sherwood Place, Teleford Shopping Centre  
(photo from Wikipedia)

I've been busy here, helping with packing (my friend is moving very soon) and cleaning, buying birthday presents for her and her daughter (hence the trip to the shopping centre), cooking dinner etc.  However I did find time to do a bit of crafting - I'm part-way through another dog toy for my shop and I finished the House for Rinda's blog project, but you'll have to wait to see that! 

So, I've just seen my friend and her two elder children off to school and work. Now I have to tidy up my stuff, pack it away and head for home. Back to a busy life in Bedfordshire!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Bon Voyage and a Bean Feast!

Hello Blog Friends,

Well, J. went off to Normandy this morning.  We walked round to school, towing those two bags behind us (and no-one complained that he had 2 bags, rather than one - no problems at all!).  We met up in the hall and the children went to their Groups that they had been given last term. Everyone was excited and it was really rather fun.  Then the coaches arrived and we parents spent a very chilly half-hour standing outside, watching our kids loading their bags, getting on the coaches and messing around, waiting to go.  Just after 9am, off they all went, with lots of mums and dads to wave them off!

So it's been a quiet day.  For the first time in ages, I have had an entire weekend day all to myself... very strange.  I have been busy - after all, what does a Scrapper do when she (or he!) has a whole day free?

Shimelle has been hosting a Blog Scrapbooking Party all weekend.  I decided to join in, so I printed off a few photos and got to work.  This is my take on her Sketch Layout Challenge.

You'll probably notice that I've shifted the whole thing upwards a bit, to fit in the big luggage tag for my title. I spent a looong time working out this layout. It was supposed to be a quick page - but it took me hours!  The main issue was the background. 
I found the various elements for the page and put them together, quickly decided I needed to mat things onto kraft cardstock, worked out most of how the layout would fit in with the sketch... but I couldn't decide on the background!  I tried all sorts of colours of Bazzill cardstock. None of them looked right.  I was getting really fed up, because I thought I would never find the "right" paper for the background.  Then I remembered this lady's fondness for patterned paper backgrounds (which always work amazingly for her!)  So, I got out my patterned papers (some of them!!).

Half an hour of faffing around later... lo! A lovely sheet of Chatterbox paper (double sided - this is the plain side)... It was just the right colour and had just a little bit of texture in it, to set of the design as I wanted.
I was a bit surprised that this deep turquoise worked so well, as I had tried every shade of brown, moss, red, charcoal, black, white, cream, sand and grey... then I started with the blues and voila!

I trimmed off a quarter inch and matted it onto kraft cardstock, partly because it was paper, not cardstock, but also to make it work with the other elements.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this; but it took me so long to do! I must get speedier at my scrapping! This is the fallout from being a perfectionist - it has to be "just right", or I won't do it!

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And while I was working away, it was lunch time.  I went in the cupboard to look for some tuna, but found these:-

I don't remember the last time I ate Beans on Toast! It was super-yummy!

Off to do some more scrapping - I still have 6 photos left!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sneaky Peek...

At last I have finished this commission book!  I've just finished posting a special Page, just for the book's new owner, so she can see what I've made for her, and I've put the custom order in my shop (so she can pay me, hee hee!).

I can't show you the book yet - that wouldn't be fair... but I don't think she would mind some sneaky sneaks...

I am so pleased with this book. I've had a lovely time making it and it looks really good.  It's similar to the baby album I made for my niece  - see this post from March (scroll down a little bit!), or this listing in my Etsy shop!
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And the other news...

The sun has been shining on us... the garden looks lovely...
our willow tree is coming into leaf...
and some of my favourite flowers are blooming in the borders!

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and lastly:
These two bags belong to J.  He is off on a school trip tomorrow, for a week in Normandy, France.  This is the first school holiday he has been on. Up til now, he has always said he didn't want to go away without his parents.  However, last October, when the letters were sent home, J. asked if he could please go on the Normandy trip!  So we said "Yes, of course!" - rather surprised, but pleased he had decided all on his own (especially as, in the summer holidays, he had been adamant about not wanting to go!).

So tomorrow morning, at the crack of dawn (well a bit after, but not much!), we will be walking round the corner, so he can get on the coach and go to France! 

Luckily for everyone, they are going there by train, so no problems with cancelled flights. Phew!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Flowers, Bunting and Fun Finds in Etsy

Okay, this post is unashamedly Etsy! If you don't want to see some fun, fabby little items that are for sale in various Etsy shops, then look away now!

Firstly, I was busy last night, making a sweet little set of scrapbook or card embellishments, which I have posted in my shop today. 
Three teeny Bunting Banners and nine paper Flowers, all in lovely Vintage-feel Rose Garden papers by Papermania
Titchy, teeny weeny little flags...
Paper-strip flowers on scalloped circles
Cut paper strip flowers
Paper Strip and interleaved flowers.

I'm really rather pleased with these. In fact, it's just so tempting to keep them for myself... but I've got more paper and can make more of them, so they're in the shop!  It was such fun making these.

I've made lots of bunting strings recently, for the book commission I'm working on (nearly finished now, one last big effort later I think...); they looked so nice that I thought I'd try some more with these papers, along with a few pretty flowers too.
I used my scallop punch to trim the edges of some of the paper strips, to give that interesting curved effect (above). I may do some more and try a corner rounder on the paper strips.

And how about a few nice things from other Etsy shops?

This little guy was listed today, by a shop called "7stitches".  I think he is adorable. He has a friend too, in golden coloured yarn, with white wings.

Nerdnest - Hair Bows, Earrings and Funky Things

There are lots of these bows, in several colours. I think they're really funky!

What a cool idea, to make earrings from old record sleeves!

This is also rather inspired use of old records!

Kneesup and Party!

Finally, some Real fabric bunting
I thought this was so pretty and the shop name made me laugh!

So, a photo-heavy post today, just about pretty and funky things. Makes a nice change, I think...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Progress on The Project book

Well, I've been having a busy few days again.  It's great having J. home for the school holiday.  We took his Grandma to the dentist on Friday morning, then had our elevenses in a lovely cafe in town.  In the afternoon we relaxed at home (and J. worked on his Geography project).

Yesterday was a good day. D's mum came over for the day.  We haven't seen her for a while, because I haven't been able to manage the drive to Wiltshire & back in one day and she can't drive, so depends on friends for lifts etc.  Also, her husband and Dave's Nanna were both ill and she was very busy with their needs. However, Nanna died about 3 weeks ago and the funeral was just before Easter.  Her husband is in a care home, so she doesn't have to care for him full time now.  She was offered a lift here and back from a friend, so decided to come and visit us.  We had lunch in the garden and a walk to the local park, all in lovely sunshine. It was a really lovely day. No photos available yet - they are still on D's mobile phone...

Today has been a relaxed day too.  I got my jobs out of the way this morning and managed some scrapping this afternoon.  I have been working on the commission Photo Album, but took a break from it, to work on my "Project 2009" mini-album.  I already posted the first two pairs of pages, but it was in January, so here are all the pages so far, including the 4 I have just finished. I'm up to Day 10 now... Still quite a way to go!

Click on the photos to see a larger version.

A double-layout for Day One
Days 2 and 4...
Day 5 - the silver writing on the left says "Rain, rain go away; come again another day!"
Day 6 - the writing reads "tho' the rain it raineth every day"
The left hand page is for both Day 8 and Day 9, but Day 10 has its own page - Jeff installed the big steel joist by himself, as the brickies were not working that day.  He used a pulley and managed to lift it and fix it in place. I kept out of the way... I was afraid of distracting him at a crucial moment and making him drop it!

I aim to keep going on this now.  There's a fair way to go and I need to get on with it, if it's ever going to be finished!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

All The News... Right Here!

Well, it's been ages since I posted anything on my blog, though I've been busily reading and commenting on others' stuff every day.

I haven't had any lack of things to photograph, talk about or write about - I've just been busy or tired.  So, as they say on TV : "Here is the News"

This young lady came to visit.  So did her mummy and daddy, her auntie, her nanny and great-grandma... Our house was a busy place!

We had a lovely roast turkey lunch, with apple pie or chocolate flan for dessert. Yum!
After lunch we gave out our Easter presents, played on the trampoline and went to the local playground for a walk, and to play.

18 Months old now!
E had such fun on the trampoline

Here are four generations of our family - Great Grandma, Grandma, Mummies and Daughters

D. was home for the long weekend.  Sherlock was pleased to see him (as were we).

Blissed out cat...

D. and J. had a game of Warhammer - on the very small board in my studio. It didn't last long - D's forces were surrounded by J's and were soon wiped out!

The weather was lovely.  We did jobs for Grandma, then had a "homework session", as J. has a Geography project to do over the holidays.  He has to produce a report all about where he lives.  We had helped him with some planning over the weekend, so he started to gather his information together.

We had a go at tidying J's bedroom.  Once the Lego and soft toys were picked up, there was a bit of floor visible! Swept up a great heap of dust and fluff - J. got a lecture on health and hygiene!

In the cause of gathering information for the Geography Project, also because it was a fine and sunny afternoon and we were fed up being stuck inside, we went for a walk round the village.
The fields are all green, the trees are beginning to grow leaves.  The daffodils are all out (at last!).
and the Blackthorn blossoms are coming out!
Spring is here!

More homework. J. worked very hard and got some writing/typing done.  More bedroom tidying - this time we put all the books away, cleared his model table and sorted out the boxes under the bed.  It is looking much better. More piles of dust and fluff...

It rained most of the day, so no walk. We enjoyed playing with our computers. I did housework and laundry, worked on my current book commission and my Etsy shop. J. did some drawing and painted his models.  We ate yummy stuff for tea and did that vegging thing in front of the tv. It was a good, lazy old day. 

Jeff, the builder came, to have a look at the new shower, which seemed to have a leak.  The tiles under the shower controls have developed a mottled appearance.  He made a hole in the wall and found all the plaster was wet and mouldy.  Yuk!

The sun shone again. It was so warm, it was like summer already! 

More homework - much progress is being made.  We took a break from tidying the bedroom though.

The garden chaps came and tidied up a bit, mowed the grass and did a little pruning. The garden looks lovely, but I didn't think to take a photo! Maybe tomorrow.

We finished our tour of the village, taking photos of different types of housing, the post office, hairdressers, quilting/needlecraft shop, a bus, the schools and pre-school, churches, old rail station (now a garage), farms etc. 
It was a lovely walk in the sunshine and we enjoyed ourselves very much. We came home and ate ice cream!

Jeff came back and repaired the pipework for the shower. He has left the tile cement to set and will come back to finish tomorrow afternoon.  As usual, he's doing a great job.  The leak wasn't really his fault, as it is from the screw fitting where the shower hose attaches, but it caused damage because of where the fitting was positioned - the pipe came out between the little square border tiles, which meant he hadn't been able to seal it properly.  The water had seeped in behind the tiles. He has moved it down a bit, so it can be sealed with mastic and won't leak through again. Hopefully we can also cure the leaky shower hose too!

So far this has been a lovely week.  Tomorrow will be a bit busy, as my mum has a dentist appointment in the morning and Jeff is due back to finish his repair.  I'm sure I'll fit in some relaxing, crafts and blogging somewhere along the line!


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