Wednesday, 30 September 2009

My very first Blog Challenge Card!

Way-hey!! I'm no longer a Blog Challenge virgin - or at least I won't be once I've posted the link onto some blogs! Yep, SOME blogs! I've made a card inspired by my good friend Jackie. She's on the DT for Digital-Ink Co and they are running a challenge which I decided to take up. In doing so I looked for a sketch to follow and one think led to another - *LOL!*

One of my colourings has finally made it onto a card so this post is full of firsts. It's my first blog challenge entry ... and some. It's the first time I've used a proper sketch. It's the first time one of my coloured items has found its way onto a card and ... it's a rarity for me to have made a card at home. Only thing I shouldn't have done was use blue! It just never seems to reproduce to the exact colour by the camera or on the pooter but then I couldn't have entered the Digital-Ink Co challenge .... :0{ I can also now see where I could have made improvements although I think I'm getting the hang of this colouring business! I've kept it simple - too simple perhaps, but being my first I'm reasonably happy with it. Anyways, here's my card ....

~ Stamp from The Greeting Farm, Anya Dressy Collection ~
~ Coloured with prismas and Zest-it ~
~ Nail heads (Anya's shoes) ~
~ Flora Doodles Daisy Box Blend from Joanna Sheen ~
~ Quickutz nesting label for matting and layering Anya ~
~ Cuttlebug Swiss Dots A2 embossing folder ~
~ Papers from stash ~

Challenges entered:

Digital-Ink Co* - colours
Friday Sketchers* - sketch.
PaperPlay Challenges - Spot this (flowers and backing)
Pollycraft Monday Challenge - 5 's' words. I used Sparkle & Spots (matting, backing & flowers)
Creative Card Crew* - All that sparkles (matting, flower centre & nail heads)
Stamp Something Challenge Blog * - Your favourite layout (first layout so it's got to be my fave - *lol*)

So that's it! My first blog challenge and from one challenge it grew so that the card actually fits 6 *LOL* Guess it could be more but I think 6, for one card, is quite enough! Just got to go and enter it now .....

Edit: The more I look at this card the more the middle layer looks like a bandaid plaster - *LOL*. That layer should really have been a bit deeper and a contrast methinks. Wonder if I can do something about it - hhhhmmmmmmmmmm?

UPDATE: I've entered it for another challenge ...
Club Anya* - I {heart} punches (Quickutz labels for matting and corner rounders for other layers)
That's 7 challenges now from one card. Am I going for a record? Possibly - *LOL* Not bad for a blog challenge virgin!


Sunday, 27 September 2009

FREEBIE - Waterlily hexagonal pyramid

Another waterlily - and it is a different photo to the last one! We've been having such lovely weather this past week (with the exception of one day but more about that on Ramblings!) that another lily appeared on the pond and reminded me that I'd made this sheet a while back but not posted it. I still have no idea how the sizes work in practise. The topper, the borders, the greetings ..... I need somebody who's used 'em ('cos I haven't, or printed them) to let me know if I need to make any adjustments .... pleeease!

Please note:
These sheets and original photograph are both copyright to me. You are free to use the sheets in any way you wish for personal use and you may sell anything you make using them but please, do not share them in any way whatsoever but link to my blog for others to download for themselves. Please do not claim them as your own or sell the sheets in any form.

Click on any image for full size version and either print or save to your PC for printing at a later date.


One, two, three ...

... the fourth annoying, winding-me-up, glorious day since my balloon flight and how many days has it been since the flight? Yep, 4!! Wednesday really was the worst day of last week and this week is starting on a high weatherwise as well - *gggrrrrr* It's so, so stupid but it really is still winding me up! We're having a spell of weather now that we've not had all summer. A whole week - and some - of beautiful weather that was interrupted by that one day.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 25 September 2009

And the weather ...

.. today? The same as blooming yesterday and every other day of the week except Wednesday! Sunny, warm, cloudless and not a breath of wind! It surely is having a laugh at me and certainly doesn't make me feel any better about the rubbish weather on Wednesday and my subsequent disappointment! *gggrrrrr!* I guess I will get over it at some point, when it's all become a distant memory but, at the moment the weather has become the over-riding factor and the balloon trip has taken a back seat.

I actually took more photos than I thought and hubby took a fair few as well. Problem is, hubby doesn't know how to use his all-singing, all-dancing, now obsolete camera so most of what he took was useless - *LOL!* He did get a couple of nice crisp ones and I've sort of rescued a couple of others (good ol' PSP!) but they are a bonus 'cos there's no way I'd have got any of the photos that he got ... good or bad *LOL* Here's just a few ...

On our way
(new Brighton & Hove Stadium in distance near middle of piccie - looks like a bird cage roof at the mo)
grey skies and all - :-(

Click on any pic to be taken to the album for the choice of stills or a better slideshow

... and what was the weather like before and after Wednesday?
Well, this was yesterday .... on my way home from Dad's ...

... and sunset - doh!

Anyways, a bit of flight detail (or what I can remember). We took off from the grounds of Buxted Park Hotel, from an area commonly known as The Lawns I believe. We had an audience as hotel guests came out to watch - *lol*. We drifted in a north-easterly direction, over Buxted village, at an average wind speed of 3mph although it dropped lower but never got much above 5mph. Maximum height we reached was 1300 feet. The intention had been to make it to 2000 feet but a low cloud base foiled that idea! We dropped as low as 500 feet on some occasions (to interact with peeps on the ground mainly - *hehe*). The flight lasted around 58 minutes and we travelled approximately 6 miles, coming to land in a field roughly midway between Rotherfield and Mayfield. Unfortunately there were no real landmarks nearby to accurately pinpoint the area we landed in when I visited my good friend Google Maps - but I found it using the photos I took and a bit of detective work... *YAY!*

View Balloon flight 23.09.2009 in a larger map

The landing was good, clean and upright, although probably less fun than landing flat on your back in a pile - *lol*! By the time we'd packed everything away, watched ducks and geese flying overhead (too dark by then for my camera to take pics), had our champers and nibbles, ordered souvenirs and got back to base, it was pitch dark!

My souvenir came free & gratis! A cork from one of the champers bottles, fashioned into a balloon and decorated by the crew! So much better than a 'commercial' one.

Did I ever mention that I suffer from acrophobia? Yep, I have a fear of heights! I anticipated that I would be OK as long as I didn't look straight down and kept looking to the distance but was determined that I would do a flight. I'd read somewhere a while ago that acrophobia only presents if you are physically attached to the ground in some way. I have to say that is probably true 'cos I certainly wouldn't look down at those heights had I been in a building or a tower (don't even like a ladder) and tummy goes queasy just looking at the TV when they're showing pics from a height but I felt nothing by way of fear from the balloon and the photos show that I did look 'straight down' on several occasions - *LOL* I would say to anyone who suffers acrophobia but would love to do a flight - go for it! You won't regret it ....

I enjoyed my sunset flight. It was lovely but would have been oh so much better if the weather had played ball 'cos there was one thing missing .... the sun to have the setting of! (D'ya think I could get 'em on Trades Description - huh?)

Thanks for dropping by .....

Thursday, 24 September 2009

There will be ...

... an interruption to proceedings! I'm in no mood to go through photos as I'm in mega anti-climax, disappointment mode! Can't stop crying everytime I look outside today - bright blue skies, sunny, warm and barely a breeze .... my ideal day for flying and what did I get yesterday? Overcast, grey, low cloud and spats of rain! I think disappointed is an understatement. I'm angry! I so wanted - no, needed - this flight to be perfect in every way. I don't think it would have been so important to me if it hadn't been the last present that Mum had been involved in. I just feel so let down after waiting so long. I know I'm sounding like a spoilt child, who's not got her own way and thrown dummy out of pram and, in a way, I guess that's how I do feel. The flight was lovely but it could have been sooo much better had the weather played ball but no, I got the worst weather of the week and now it's laughing at me!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Well, booking #21 ...

... will NOT turn into booking #22. I FINALLY FLEW - yesterday evening!

Just a taster - more to come!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 21 September 2009

It's been ...

... a week bar a day since I last blogged here! Seems my life might be settling down a bit so there's less to blog about!

Dad is really starting to give the impression of being settled and more comfortable with his lot. He's enjoying his day a week at the Day Centre. His incontinence seems to be lessening and his mobility is more-or-less what it was before Rehab (zimmer is taking a back seat now and walking stick seems to be forgotten as well). From something he said last week I have a feeling that it was Rehab - again - that gave him the incontinence problem 'cos he never had it when he went in! He told me he's started getting up in the night, as he used to, to make himself comfortable. Trying to think as Dad does, I now think he was frightened of getting out of bed while he was in Rehab because they told him he'd to stay in bed unless somebody was there to help him. The same as he was told to call for help during the day when he needed to visit. Result- incontinence. So easy to create a habit ... really difficult to break one! I've said it before, I'll say it again - Rehab really screwed him up! Think I'm gonna cancel his respite bookings now he's settling. He doesn't really need to go now for either him or me and I can't take the risk that they'll keep him in again and move him into rehab. They've screwed him up once, they'll not do it again!

My hip/leg is a lot more comfortable so perhaps it is starting to right itself. I still can't walk properly, which is a problem as I'm compensating by using muscles you don't usually use when walking and it's giving me real backache (which I get anyway - just worse now) and hurts my knee ... which is dodgy! I've now got an appointment with the Orthopaedic surgeon so reckon I'll be referred to physio once I've seen him. I may also know exactly what the problem is but not holding breath on that one ...

I had a day out on Friday with my mate Cally. Should have been a day of classes at the Craft Barn but the afternoon was cancelled so we only did the morning class. Really enjoyed it. Only 3 of us in it so it was really relaxed although technique intensive. Piccies and details are in a separate post ... along with some samples of my latest colouring - with Prismacolors which seem to be 'my thing'! We followed the class with lunch and shopping. Well, you have to - don't you? Couldn't have done quite so much if the afternoon class had happened. Was really disappointed that it was 'cos it covered a stamp set I've got and wanted ideas for but the tutor had bought samples with her so I got some ideas, if not made any cards.

Balloon flight booking #20 yesterday morning? Saturday night, flight line message said 'YES!' Meet at 07:30am Sunday morning. Up we got at 05:30am so we could be ready and away to allow for any possible holdups on road. Not likely early on a Sunday morning but you can never tell when you're driving country roads. Left at 06:30am and arrived at meeting point just after 07:00am and we waited ... and we waited ... and we waited. Nobody else had arrived by 07:30am and suspicion set in. Had it been cancelled and they'd not managed to contact us? 08:00am and we gave up waiting and went for breakfast. Got home, message on phone timed 06:36am - flight cancelled! Seems we were the only ones they hadn't got hold of (by 'we' I'm talking me and hubby as, although he's not flying, he takes me). Now I'm becoming paranoid 'cos the last 2 flights I've been booked on have been cancelled for no obvious reason so what do they have against me? When I phoned this morning I'd just missed a vacancy for this evenings flight (although by the breeze here this afternoon it won't be flying) so booking #21 is now for Wednesday evening. Morning flights - bah humbug! We were so tired for the rest of the day. Wouldn't have minded had I flown but to get up early like that for nothing - NO THANK YOU!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Workshop with Carol Cockbain

... The Craft Barn, Friday 18th September. Relaxed, technique driven. Could be easily adapted for own style and ideas. 2 cards made, one work intensive and a quickie - a very quickie one - lol!!

Inkadinkadoo Penguin Pandemonium set
Versafine onyx black.
Clear embossing powder.

Background & frame:
Tattered Angel Glimmer Mists - various blues and pearl.
Scrunched paper and glossy card.

Colouring & embellishment:
Marvey le Plume pens
Quickie glue pen and Art Glitter.
Peel off greeting.
Brilliance ink (sky on front of main card)
Spellbinders Labels 4 (frame on quickie card)
White Fluffy Stuff


Saturday, 19 September 2009

Prismacolor, Sansodor, Zest-It ... Review?

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil and my colouring ... or at least, my attempts at it but I think I'm getting there *grin*

Still room for improvement but it's a learning curve. I've picked up lots of hints and tips along the way, combined them and have been doing my own thing with what I've learnt. The card these are done on doesn't lend itself to dragging colour from the edge towards the centre so the whole image is coloured very lightly then built upon. On the little ladies some white is left uncoloured to give highlight. The owls are blended with Sansodor (UK equivilant of Gamsol) and blending stumps but then I bought some Zest-It and the Anya's are blended with that. I have to say that there's little difference in performance for blending but Zest-It has quite a strong smell (although not unpleasant) but it is natural. Sansodor doesn't smell but is a chemical so not necessarily good if you have lung probs. Having said that I'm finding that the Zest-It smell is quite a problem for me and seems to affect my lungs more than the Sansodor does but I know it's not medically affecting them - if that makes sense - whereas the Sansodor might ... just quietly so. I shall be sticking with the Zest-It and I shall definitely continue with the Prismacolor. I've now got a 'need' to increase the colour range I possess .....

A note on the card. I've found that some card does allow for easier blending than others so the colour can be placed around the edge of the image and drawn in by blending but there's much that doesn't. The card that these images were stamped on didn't allow for that process successfully so I had to colour the image completely, albeit very, very lightly initially, and then build up the shading etc. which is why the colour is quite intense. Very small areas of white were left or a bit of white pencil added, to allow for highlight. Very smooth white card could lend itself to blending from the edge in. Unfortunately my card is all mixed up so have no idea what make or type of card it is so can't offer any brand recommendations but I experiment on the reverse before I decide what method I'm going to use. I am going to be more aware of my card stock in future ....

I have read, fairly recently, that you should not stamp with Versafine and colour using a solvent as it will smudge the Versafine. All images above were stamped with Versafine but they were not coloured until some days/weeks later. Whether there would be a difference if the colouring was done immediately after stamping I have no idea as I've not tried it but you can see the effect for yourself with these .... no smudging, so I can only say, if the Versafine is allowed to dry thoroughly, it is perfectly safe to colour using solvent.

All stamps are from The Greeting Farm. The owls are from the really cute Forest Friends stamp set and the Anya's are from the Miss Anya Collection, the new Miss Anya Dressy stamp set.


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

TUTORIAL - Insert template in Microsoft WORKS

Following the tutorial for the insert template in Word I've received requests for one in Microsoft Works. It's not a program I've ever used and assumed that the tutorial for Word could be adapted for Works. However, having received a request I thought that it would test my assumption to use the Word instructions to build a template in Works, charting the process and recording any differences as I found them so it would serve a dual purpose. As mentioned, I have never used Works before but found that the Word instructions did work once the equivilent tool was found. There are a few subtle differences but the basics are very much the same.

I built this tutorial in Microsoft Works Version 9.0 - Works Word Processor ... the only version I have access to .... any queries please either drop me an email or leave your question in the comments. The insert is sized for an A6 card (A5 folded in half). For different sizes change all the measurements used at each stage for the appropriate value.

Text is part of the image. Click on any image for a larger view.

That's your template made and ready for you to add pictures, clipart or wording of your choice in the normal way of Works and its table/template use. If you have any queries regarding use of the table/template there is comprehensive Help within Works. Click on Help from the Toobar, then Works Help. From the Contents menu select Create and Customise Tables and most queries you may have will be covered there. I will not be able to assist with adding content to the template as I've not tried to so I have no experience of using it in Works. I would assume that it very similar to Word ....


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Rotten weather ...

... not quite thunder and lightening but definitely very breezy and heavy showers so, guess what's been cancelled today! Yep, balloon flight booking #19 so #20 has been booked. This time, change of tack and it's gonna be a morning one ... or not! *LOL* Just to rub it in my health & beauty therapist (yep, I know, far too late but what the heck!) told me she felt really lucky that hers went. When? 19th August 2009. How many times did she have to book? ONCE!! Yep, she booked and flew first time of trying ...... *gggrrrrrrrr*

Just heard from eldest grandson who had his driving test this morning and that wasn't successful either. Seems it was the examiner not being clear enough with instruction as he was failed for being in the wrong lane on a roundabout. He was told to take one exit and then, while on roundabout instruction was changed to a different one and he was failed for it! Reckon he's got a good case for appeal, especially as it wasn't marked down at the time but put on sheet at end of test and after he'd been told he'd failed. The lad reckons she wanted to fail him from the minute they got in car and had to have a 'back up' failure reason if no other showed itself .... He's not a happy bunny and can't say as I blame him!

I've had another couple of bad nights - just when I thought I'd settled that problem and was back on track with my sleeping. Oh well, seems I was wrong on that score but at least I've had a good spell of reasonable sleep.

Thanks for dropping by .....