Wednesday 27 June 2012


If you think my desk looks a little different this week that's because it is.  Moved into the conservatory because the light is better and I need all the help I can get when it comes the threading a needle these days.

Managed to finish the stuffed owl I started last week and here he sits, precariously, on my table.  Not surprised as his feet look like they belong to a duck rather than an owl but I have told you before I can't draw and this was the best I could do at a drafting a pattern.
Sewing seems (no pun intended) to be my current addiction and I have another pile of fat quarters in the Really Useful Box on the left ready to start another Kindle cover for my sister.

Not a lot more done this week as Sorrel hurt her back on Friday (probably ran into something in the house when I was trying to amuse her during the wettest day for weeks here in the north-west.  Vet gave her painkillers and she is back to her normal, mad, excitable self today but it took all my time at the weekend trying to keep her 'quiet' - and no, I'm not letting her anywhere near my owl.

Short and sweet this week so that all you WOWWYers can get round the multitude of desks that make up this weekly bloghop, courtesy of the lovely Julia of The Stamping Ground - why not pop over and have a snoop.

Friday 22 June 2012

The owl went to sea - no pussycat though

Sewing day yesterday as I started on my doorstop owl.  I got a pattern from a website but it was too small and not quite what I wanted so I made it bigger, then made it fatter, changed the wings entirely, did the same with the face and beak so it looks more like what I wanted.
Here he is looking very odd at present as it seems he has one eye closed.  The material I'm using is at the top and the gold colour is for his eye area.

Think he is a little too fat as present but when he is stuffed that will round him out.  Have to work out how to cut a flat base for him to site on.  Tried yesterday to draw a pattern and failed to get my head round it so hope inspiration strikes me soon.  The other fabric in rich reds and golds is some I bought on Wednesday on the way back from a trip to Delamere Forest in Cheshire.  There is a great quilting shop just outside Frodsham so we diverted on the way home and I was spoiled for choice.

So that's the owl, what about the sea?  Well, earlier in the week I had the inks out as I'm in a journal page swap (2 pages per month to the next person on the list).  Posted on Tuesday and now they have arrived I can share them.
Backgrounds made with some Starburst Stains (remember them?), had them for years and keep forgetting about them.  Edged with Pan Pastels and overstamps with CI stamps.  The fish ones are a favourite by Fred Mullet.  I threw some salt over the wet ink but there must have been too much ink as it didn't draw the moisture as much as I wanted - still gave a lovely texture to the card though.

No dog walk this morning, it's not stopped raining since we got up and Sorrel refuses to go out in the wet so we are going to get out her favourite toys and have a bit of a play before I get the sewing machine out again.

Hope the weekend is better.

Wednesday 20 June 2012


Almost halfway through the year and still the great Wednesday blog hop grows and grows.  If any crafty person doesn't know about this - where have you been hiding?  Pop over to Julia at the Stamping Ground to join in, or just for a snoop.

A full-on mess today (or yesterday afternoon when I took the photo) as the postman delivered my summer distress inks, the ones I swore I would not buy, yes those.  I'm a sucker, but a happy one as I love the bright colours, just what I need now the sun has decided to poke out it's face and remind us that it doesn't rain all the time - that's put the kybosh on it now.

The ink pads are hiding a couple of journal pages, the card is one I made (and blogged) yesterday as soon as I could rip the packaging from the pads and get going - love that salty ocean blue, especially when it's mixed with the spring peacock feathers (yes I bought that set as well, double sucker).

As it's summer(?) the summer stamps are also out, beach, sun, sand and fishes. I have my autumn ones in reserve for next week when the English summer is over.

What else?  Fabric and pattern as I want to make an owl doorstop, some beautiful hand marbled paper that I'm saving up for a special project, and have been since I bought it in Florence 5 years ago, empty paper bag, pink glue gun, oh, and some new stamps in the centre, yes, more new stamps.

Some of you may know that the England Football team (I use the term loosely) are involved in a tournament, or were yesterday as I wrote this.  Today they are probably licking their wounds, complaining about the ref and making excuses for once again being bundled out of the Euros early....on the other hand?????.... we live in hope.

(EDIT: Well they actually won and it wasn't us who were complaining about the ref, the Ukraines were.  Still it's only a game, isn't it?)

Happy Wednesday all you WOWWyers

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Fish in distress

No, not my goldfish, although at aged 9 (or 10) he is looking a bit shabby these days.

This is the fish I'm talking about, on a card coloured with Distress Inks.
After saying I wasn't going to buy any more inkpads, I mean how many shades of blue are there in the world?, I gave in on the Spring colours because I wanted the peacock feathers one.  Repeated my 'vow' again when the summer ones came out but after seeing the bright colours, including a fab pink my resolve crumbled and I splashed the cash.

Parcel arrived today (thanks Oyster Stamps - and a double thanks for an unbeatable price) and as I already had the fish stamps out it just had to be a seascape.  Blended peacock feathers and the salty ocean from the summer set and stamped a bubbles stamp in water before wiping off to create the blotchy effect. The words stamp is from a Crafty Individuals sheet.

I added some Glossy Accents bubbles but these are still wet - what's the betting I forget and put something down on top before they dry, been there, seen that, read the book.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Spring DIs - birthday card

Don't know where June has gone, almost the longest day and hardly any summer to talk about so I thought I would cheer myself up yesterday, put away the sewing for a day and make a summer themed card.
Being a complete scatterbrain I forgot a forum friend's birthday so this needed to be done pretty sharpish.

Glossy card smooshed with Spring Distress Inks and stamped with Crafty Individuals stamps.  The 'sea-foam' at the bottom is made by melting wonderweb on the card until it goes into holes before adding and melting white embossing powder.  I do like the effect it gives.

Speaking of Distress Inks I swore that I wouldn't fall for the 'limited issue, get yours now' publicity but afraid I weakened when I saw the summer ones and ordered them yesterday.  The colours looked so vibrant on the video so I hope they live up to their looks when they eventually arrive - will let you know what I think.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend - looks like a brighter dryer week ahead thank goodness, maybe summer is on the way at last.

Friday 15 June 2012

Kindle cover

Thought I should try out my brand new, super duper lightweight sewing machine and seeing that I haven't made anything (apart from a pair of curtains) on my old machine for at least 20 years I was itching to get going.

Not for me the 'try out all the stitches and make a rough prototype first' school, so straight in and use some of that pretty fabric I bought a couple of months ago when I first started thinking about a new machine.

So here is is, my first 'proper' piece of sewing in I don't know how long - a cover/pouch/bag for my Kindle.
Got the pattern of the internet (where else) after trying, and failing, to get my head round drafting one of my own.  Just a simple two pieces of fabric lined with batting and bound edges.  Don't look to closely at the mitred corners, not mastered those yet and they aren't as neat as I would like but hey ho, it's a Kindle cover not the Bayeux tapestry.  So that's the first make done and dusted, what next, cushion cover, owl doorstop or some free embroidery (dying to have a go at that).  Onwards and upwards.  The only worrying thing is all the extra stuff I'll have to find storage room for.

Rain just starting here as I type and the forecast is not good for the weekend so my beautiful rose bush will probably get battered, again, and when that happens it bows down to the floor so here are a couple of photos of it in all it's present glory.
It must be 8ft tall so more like a tree than a bush...

....and a close up, complete with greenfly (I never, ever spray).

Have a good weekend everyone, despite the weather.

Wednesday 13 June 2012


These Wednesdays don't half come speeding round, doesn't seem 5 minutes ago that we were all signing up to ATC swaps but it is 2 weeks ago.  Thank goodness for Julia's long-term commitment to running the global phenomenon that is Whats On Your Workspace Wednesday. Pop over to the Stamping Ground if you want to know more.
Enough rabbiting on, you want to see my desk.
The photo was taken yesterday, when the sun shone, again, in the north-west of England and I was working on two pages for my deco book so the desk is covered  in metal, tools, stamps, and other 'essentials'.
If you want a closer look at the pages then I posted yesterday - see here.

I know Julia likes us to keep posts short and there are lots of desks to get round but I just had to share the ATCs that have been falling on my doormat this past fortnight, so here they are.

Mark, RosA, Toni, RedAnne, Jo, Helen.

Jill, Tuire, Princess Judy, Annie, Donna, Julia.

Hettie, Janet (FairyThoughts), May and Lynn. A fabulous collection - thanks to everyone for your swaps.

Finally, I bought a new sewing machine yesterday and am getting rid of my 40 year old one.  It isn't fit to pass on to anyone else but I do have a collection of feet that have different connections to my new machine. Not sure if anyone out there can use them but if you can then let me know and you are more than welcome to have them.  Here's a little picture.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Vintage deco book pages

On Sunday I showed the bare pages for my deco book, sprayed and background stamped ready to go. There are 6 people in our group swap, sending two pages per month and the swap will end next month when the last pages are sent out - for this year's swap at least.  Thought I had better get my skates on and finish my own pages for my book and boy does my table look a mess but I like the result.
The rest of the pages and the cover I made are mostly feminine and lace so I decided to go for a complete change and a bit steampunk.

I added more stamps to the backgrounds, bits of tissue and a metal butterfly that I distressed with Alcohol Inks - it started off silver.  The balloon image is stamped on copper coloured metal, embossed with 10-Seconds Studio tools and the puffed up bits filled with texture paste, so it doesn't collapse on the page.

Second page is similar, tissue numbers, a pen nib pasted with multi-medium, key charm and main image on metal.

This is one swap that I always enjoy, all the pages I have received have been different and all beautiful and the end result - a permanent reminder of what a talented group of people I belong to on Katy's Corner Yahoo group.

Have just realised that the theme of the pages links with the current challenge on Artful Times - men - so I'm entering these pages.  First time entry for me on a relatively new challenge site - more to come I hope.

Sunday 10 June 2012

At last....

.. some crafting done, not only that but no rain, and the icing on the cake - the sun came out and shone all day here in the north-west.
So after a bit of washing, walking the dog and tidying in the garden (you have to make the most of it) I settled down for a play.

First I made a card - rare event for me these days but I wanted to play with my Pan Pastels.
Not sure these are for me, as they are so messy - or is that just me - but I settled down with them, making backgrounds.  Then decided to play with stamps and my Versamark pad and this is the result.

I coloured a background piece with yellow  and orange pastels and stamped in Versamark with a sale bargain stamp (think it is Laura Ashley) before pouncing the red pastel onto the image.  So far so good.  The dress form was stamped onto similar card then masked so that I could stamp the flower through and pounce again.  Words stamped on vellum, roses coloured with pastels and a few buttons thrown on finish it.

Still not sure about the medium, would rather get out my sprays and inks - so that is what I did next.  I'm in a deco book swap on KatysCorner Yahoo group and as I only have one set of pages to make I thought I had better make my own set.  My theme is 'vintage' and I have some beautiful pages from the ladies in my group.  I was going to use a sewing theme but decided to go more industrial.  Sprays came out and although not finished you can see the first layers on the pages here : -

First picture shows the sprayed card.

Then I got out the sequin waste, metallic ink pads and some Inka Gold waxes in blue and gold.

Now all I have to do is decide where I'm going next with these - it's all part of the fun.
Watch this space.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Rain rain, go away..

...and it has, just.  Sorrel's complaining, well more like a big sulk, because she hasn't been able to get out for her usual two walks a day and the 48 hour rain we have had has just stopped so we went for a run down the old railway line.  I was more of a speed walker than a runner but she made up for my lack of speed.

Still no crafting but at least the eye's tons better so I may just get in there for the rest of the afternoon.
Meanwhile here are a few photos I took of my garden before the deluge started.

My 5 foot high poppies, before the rain and wind flattened them and blew all their petals off, good news is there are more buds to open.

A quiet corner and at least the rain makes everything in the garden shoot up - even the weeds.

Another tall plant that gets battered every year, my  6ft tall shrub rose, put in when we first moved here 25 years ago and going strong. Would love to tell you what it is called but I lost the label - doh!

My geranium border - posh aren't I?  Not really, the pink stuff seeds all over the place.  The blue came from my mother's and I remember it from when I was a little girl.

My garden is full of plants that remind me of my family, the peonies and lily-of-the-valley of my Grandparents, blue geraniums of my mother, the pink geraniums and my kerria japonica of my late elder brother and the whole garden of my father who helped me plan and plant it and taught me how to double-dig the new plot - happy memories.

Better go now before I start blubbing.

Back soon with some crafty stuff - I hope.

Wednesday 6 June 2012


Julia asks the question 'What's on your Workspace Wednesday, I reply 'Not a lot this week'.

Just a few Pan Pastels from my playing before the weekend, some ATCs I have received as part of the celebration of the 3rd anniversary of WOYWW and the pyramid box I made at the weekend class lead by Neet.

The ATCs are from AnneR, May, Doone, Toni, Jo (Twiglet) and Annie (Wipso), all different and all beautiful.

We went down to Bristol, in the pouring rain, on Sunday to stay with my StepD and family and we had our own flag-waving celebration tea for the Jubilee.

 Kitty (20 months) entered in to the waving with enthusiasm, almost as enthusiastically as she ate her pork pie.

We only stayed one night and were well and truly wiped out yesterday.  Not only that but the dog was sick twice and I ended up with an eye infection so no crafting for me for a day or so - hard to craft when you can only see out of one eye. Last week I managed to visit almost all the desks, and left comments on about half of them, not sure I can manage that this week, especially with my painful eye but I will try to get round some tomorrow.

Fingers crossed my eye problem clears up quickly and I can get down to some  serious playing and show you more next Wednesday.