Monday, 31 January 2011

A BIG birthday 2!

I thought I'd show you some of the beautiful cards I received for my birthday from some of my crafty friends.  Can't give you any details on what was used (well, some I could as I recognise odd bits used - lol!) but these are being posted just for the inspiration and enjoyment.  I'm the lucky one as I'm sitting here surrounded by them and, as usual, they look so much better in real life!  I'm not going to post them all in one go but a few each day so here are the first couple ....



Sunday, 30 January 2011

A BIG birthday!

Whose?  MINE!  When?  TODAY, 30th January.
The first day of my 70th decade and the first day of the rest of my life *grin*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Hmmmm! ...

... Monday posted, today's Saturday! Big failure and it was started with all good intentions but it's been a busy week.

Firstly, hubby made it home in time for tea on Monday. Pea soup went down a treat and the banana and pecan loaf? Delicious! Soooo much better than the muffins so will be looking for a different muffin recipe to give them another go with different ingredients. Hubby in severe pain and it's back to the beginning, where we were last year, after his first hand operation. 5 weeks in plaster than up to 9 months, or thereabouts, recovery. Time will tell if this is any more successful than last time but they've tightened up ligaments so there should be less movement on the thumb. Unfortunately it meant they had to cut up the arm to find them - eeeewww!

Tuesday was a normal visit to Dad and in the evening I was out with my old workmates, who are also friends. Several of them I've known since I was 19 years old.  We all worked for the same firm and were made redundant in 1993 but we've met up every 5 to 6 weeks since then.  A couple now bring their spouses with them so we've regularly a group of 10.  The first meet after Christmas is always around the time of my birthday so this one was in 'celebration' (if you can call it that), hence the balloons on the table. Lovely meal, reasonably priced, great atmosphere and it was busy!  We've already booked a table for our next meet.

It's hard work choosing from the selection offered *LOL*

My mate Cally.

Wednesday and I finally got the Moraccan shepherds pie made!  It was Amy's (youngest grand-daughter) birthday and she was the grand old age of  5!

Chillaxing day for Thursday and Friday made another visit to Dad.  It's  his birthday today, Saturday, but I was booked for a stint of babysitting ... having Zac while his sisters went to celebrate Emma's (middle grand-daughter) 9th birthday!  She shares her birthday with my Dad, her great-grandad.  She was born on his 80th birthday ... and yes, I did say her 9th - *LOL*

  Well, it's cold indoors - and Mummy and Daddy abandoned me!

Well, that's this week over and done with and now going to open a bottle.  Not something that's done often in this house but then it's not every day you see the end of a decade!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Busy birthday week.

Three birthdays this past week. Youngest grand-daughter was 5 on Wednesday. Middle grand-daughter is 9 today and Dad is 89 today. 3 cards to be made quickly as, with everything else going on no time to spend on making them. To the rescue ... Kanban Wobblers! Not what I class as crafting but none-the-less appreciated by the recipients. Dad's made him chuckle so job done! At least they're not cards that can be found in a shop.

Amy's card

Emma's card

Dad's card


Monday, 24 January 2011

ProMarker storage

UPDATE: I've put this update at the beginning as it's important and it should have been mentioned in the following post but a commenter has brought it to my attention (thanks Sonia) and I'm going to shout this .... PROMARKERS (& Copics or any other alcohol based marker pens) CAN BE STORED EITHER HORIZONTALLY OR VERTICALLY!  It is only waterbased markers, like Aquamarkers, Marvy Le Plume etc. that are better stored horizontally ie.  flat, on their sides.  I queried this directly with Letraset having read this so many times that ProMarkers had to be stored flat and being sure it wasn't the case.  On 7th June 2010 Martin Gibbs from Letraset replied to my question as follows .... " It makes no difference which way you store ProMarkers.  The confusion probably comes from the fact that the water based AquaMarkers are best stored horizontally"  The Copic site actually state the same for their pens and both Letraset and Copic sell storage for their pens which allows for them to be stored either way, which is not something they would do if they should be stored flat.  I hope this clears up any misconceptions and confusion and if still unsure of what I've said then please contact the respective manufacturers and ask the question, as I did, to have your mind set to rest.  Now, on with the post ...

The following was an idea I saw on a blog some while ago. Unfortunately I can't remember which blog so can't point you in it's direction but I thought I would show you my adaption of the idea. The original idea uses a much larger box, with 3 sections (holding around 240 CDs I think), which is ideal for a full set of ProMarkers however, I don't have a full set and at the moment have sufficient quantity for my needs. As such I went on a hunt for a smaller box and found one on eBay. One section only and it holds up to 91 ProMarkers - at a squeeze. I have 84 ProMarkers, blender pen, gel pens and fineliners in my box as well as a colour chart.

The boxes are aluminium DJ CD cases and come complete with the index cards and sleeves. The one I found suitable for my needs is one that holds 120 CDs ... this one

The sleeves hold 7 ProMarkers each and I've put a slip of paper with a colour sample and it's name in the back of the sleeve. The colour chart is kept in the lid with a list of the colour combos for skin, hair and colours that blend well together. The dots on the top of the ProMarkers are just punched dots, coloured and stuck on with glue dots but it allows me to see the rough colours at a glance (not true colour as they're not coloured onto the card I use). I also try to keep the colours in the order they appear on the colour chart I printed off of the Letraset site.

It's small and compact enough to sit on the top of the CD tower that holds my clear stamps and is easily portable.

UPDATE #2:  I now know where I saw this idea originally.  Thank you Nicky, of Stiggys Cards.  You actually helped me at the time as I asked you for measurements of your box to work out whether this one would work for me!


Well ...

... that didn't last long! Did my morning post on the forum then promptly forgot the blog! Anyways, here's what I put this morning on the forum ...

"Good morning from a dull and dismal south coast. Had a good day yesterday. Visit from eldest and partner then trashed the kitchen making banana loaf. Think I know why I haven't baked for so long ... the mess to clear up afterwards. Loaf took twice as long to cook as recipe said but house smelt lovely while it was cooking. Just hope it's nicer than the muffins were but it smells good (as did they) and looks good (as did they) so I'm hoping. Not tried it 'cos thought I'd surprise Paul when he gets home today. Proper cooking duty starts today so I'm making a Moroccan lamb shepherds pie later."

As I'm late posting I can update this a bit.  It's still dull and dismal and hubby still not home.  Moraccan shepherd's pie hasn't been made as he's lunched at the hossie.  Decided to make some yellow split pea soup instead.  We love it and I've loved it ever since I was a tiddler.  Mum used to make it regularly, boiling up marrowbones for the stock, which used to set into a thick jelly.  Soaking the peas and then cooking them in the stock pushing it all through a sieve when cooked.  It was so thick and full of goodness and really tasty without having to add a thing.  Served with thick crusty bread and it made a meal on it's own.  Unfortunately, today, marrow bones are difficult to get hold of.  The nearest I can get to the taste of Mum's is by using the water that ham is boiled in however, boiled ham doesn't happen often *LOL*.  Luckily Knorr do ham stock cubes so they're not a bad alternative although still not the lovely marrowbone jelly *sad face*

Banana loaf, well it's actually a banana and pecan loaf ... looks OK, will report on taste at a later date *grin*

Ready for the oven

Nearly ready to come out of oven ...

... and finished with vanilla butter icing (but not sprinkled with chopped pecans)!

I got the recipe from the BBC Good Food site ... here  I'll let you know if it's worth baking *grin*  I have to say I love this site.  I cooked a stunningly tasty soup from here the other day.  Leek and potato ... you got to try it!  So simple to make but it's so more-ish!
Thanks for dropping by .....

Sunday, 23 January 2011

A quiet Sunday ...

Good morning from a reasonably bright south coast. Did a lot of photographing yesterday and I made .... 3 cards! Nothing too strenuous though as they were all Wobblers! Youngest grand-daughter's birthdays this week and Dad's. Busy ... and expensive time. Having said that, I got the youngsters pressies when I was at Hobbycraft a couple of weeks ago. They're into crafty stuff and there were kids kits reduced in the sale so one's going to be decorating butterflies and the other has some sequin art to do. Dad - no idea about! When somebody does nothing and has no interests or vices, there's not a lot that you can get them *sad face* He's even stopped reading (apart from his newspapers) and I can only guess it's because he can't remember what he's read previously so the stories make no sense.

Anyway, it seems I've got some visitors coming this morning (eldest and his partner) but I could have gone to a 5 year old's birthday party. It's as well I passed on that as I had a bad night again and laid in this morning ... it starts at 10am *LOL*

Hubby is in hossie until tomorrow, as expected, so I'm taking the opportunity to do things that are easier to do when he's not around. Might even do some more baking this afternoon.

Here's a result of my photography yesterday ... the flowers that the girls gave me on Friday. They are so beautiful. The rest of the photography is for my other blog ... and some of it is already there *lol*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Clear and Unmounted Stamp Storage.

Warning .... long post and photo heavy *LOL* (click on any photo to enlarge for more detail if needed)

I've seen a lot of storage ideas for clear and unmounted stamps and tried some of them in the past that have lasted a nano second. I found ring binder files filled up too quickly and I lacked space to store them.   I've done the laminated storage sheets in binders or flat in boxes.  Yesterday I met up with some crafty friends and we got to talking about storage for different things and one was with regard to stamps, both clear and unmounted rubber. My latest attempt at storage is working well for me at the moment so I thought I'd pass on what I do. It's not new by any means and is one of the ways I've found in my blog travels but with my twist added. I'm sure somebody else has this twist as well but I've not seen it anywhere before.

I use a combination of CD cases and Multistorage cases (DVD cases without the inserts). Bought in bulk they are very reasonable and, if you don't need the amount of them that I did you could always share the costs with a friend. I bought the unassembled CD cases found here and the Multistorage cases found here.  My workspace shelves are CD & DVD shelves so these all fit well and within reach of where I craft.

I store clear stamps in the CD cases and generally you can fit 2 sets of stamps in one case.  Occasionally only one set will fit.  I label the spines with the make and set names and number it. (I was going to use peeloffs for that bit but decided against *hehe* but it is a way of using any number peeloffs you've got, especially if you don't have many cases)  The reason for numbering will become clear nearer the end of the post.

Rubber unmounted stamps (including those mounted onto Eazimount/Klingon or similar) I store in the Multistorage containers.  The only reason for this is because the spine is wider so gives room to take the thicker stamps.  Because there is a facility for adding a paper sleeve to these cases I made a template and I type the make and any detail that I can fit onto the spine area.  I then either stamp the image or go find the image on the internet and copy onto the sleeve (naming it if possible).  I print it off, trim and slide it into the cover.  I then add a number to the spine but you could add this at the time of printing details onto the spine area.

To finish and to make it easy to find the stamps I want, or to sit and choose what I want to work with, I either stamp the image onto paper or use the package images (pictures will give a clearer idea of what I mean).  I try to keep them in categories ie: Christmas, Greetings/sentiments, Female, Male etc etc.  I then put the CD or Multistorage case number that they are in next to that image/package image.  I put them all into plastic wallet sleeves and put them in a ring binder ... mine's an A5 one.  All I have to do to find a stamp is to browse through my 'catalogue', choose the stamp, take a note of the DVD/CD case number and go find the relevant one on my shelves.  Easy peasy and saves the grand hunt that I used to have.

I hope you find this of some use/help to you, even if it's only to take a few ideas from or points you in a direction that will work for you.

A Saturday ...

... good morning from a bright, but very cold south coast! Sun is shining but there's a bitterly cold wind. Had a lovely day yesterday playing at Jennie's and then followed with a fish and chip supper with youngest and his family. He even chauffeured me so I was able to partake of a few glasses of wine! Think I had as many last night as I had over the whole Christmas/New Year period - lol! Hubby had his op and now has his left hand/arm in plaster for the next 5 weeks so guess we're on the 9 month recovery programme he was on after the op last year. It's an age to know if something has worked or not, although he will get some indication before that.

Today I'm planning on sorting a bit more of my crafty corner out but only after I've put a beautiful bunch of flowers into a nice vase and photographed them. The girls yesterday presented me with them for my birthday (next weekend). A lovely and much appreciated surprise. Thank you, Jennie, Cally, Elaine, Debs and Kim who, even though she couldn't make it, contributed.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 21 January 2011

First of 2011 ...

... post, that is ... and a Happy New Year to everyone!  Hope you all had a great Christmas.

I've just done my 'good morning' post on the forum I belong to .... Crafters Reunited ... and realised that it was a snippet that I could have posted on here. I post every morning on the forum and they're all posts that could just as easily be made on here, rather than posting nothing here at all so, from today I'm going to do exactly that. It may encourage me to embellish the blog a bit more so some days there's likely to be more than others. Today's post goes like this ....

"Good morning from a cold south coast. Not sure if Jack's been around or not 'cos not looked as I was taken with the moon this morning. Thought of getting camera out but didn't! Too early to say what the weather is likely to be for rest of day but it's dry, if nothing else! Hubby had his CT scan yesterday afternoon and today he's off to hossie for the 2nd op on his left thumb joint. Hopefully this one will put the problems right and give him some grip as well as reducing the pain he has. Think I'll be back on cooking duties - those that have to be done and not those I've been doing because I wanted to :0(

Damnation! Just realised it'll involve the washing up as well ....

I'm off to Jennie's for a playday with her, Debs and Elaine and I'm picking Cally up on the way. Having an evening with youngest son, dil and the littlies (well, until they go to bed). Looking forward to that.

Year book is progressing but have ideas to improve it. Unfortunately it'll mean starting again *grin*"

There endeth the morning post but I've just realised that even that needs a bit of embellishment to explain what the heck I'm on about *LOL* See, it may start me blogging again and if I do I've a lot to catch up on!
Thanks for dropping by .....