Thursday, 25 September 2014

A few more cards ...

... from Clair's all day workshop back in July. All cards designed by Clair -
I made a bit of a mess of the shadow masking but added a larger matt layer to the greeting and glitter centres to the flowers, all in the hope of detracting the eye from the 'mess' - LOL

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Nothing of ...

... much interest has happened this week.  I've made a start on decluttering and reorganising the kitchen but it's not going to be done overnight.  I've ordered some new fittings for cupboards to make them more 'user friendly' - lol!  May be a few days before they're all together but in the meantime I'll continue to work on the areas that aren't being 'upgraded'.

OH should have had his 4 weekly Zoledronic Acid infusion on Friday but it never happened.  Transport never arrived so it's been rearranged for Wednesday.  Just hope those few days delay aren't to much of a problem as it's supposed to be given every 3 to 4 weeks and he's on a 4 weekly cycle.

It has been very hot!  Apparently it's the hottest September, so far, ever - well, since records began.  Thursday my car thermometer didn't get below 30c and, at one point, it reached 34c when I was moving!  We've had a better couple of weeks than we had in August - with the exception of the day I went to London.  Weather is really laughing at me and I'm not yet over it *sad*

Weight loss (have I mentioned I've lost a fair bit of weight since April???) - I seem to have reached a plateau.  So close to being in the normal range of BMI that body seems to have decided it just doesn't want to be 'normal' - ROFL!  It needs a kick to get going again but I'm at a loss as to what to do about it.  I'm not on a diet, just being more careful with what and how much I eat.  I don't think reducing the amount down any more is really on, or the answer, but what to do?  I'm not putting on so I guess that's something.  Maintaining is better than increasing.  Perhaps it'll start to decrease again soon.

I did have the fortnightly craft workshop run by Clair and we made a lovely card.  All Stampin' Up (I think) but we made our own embellishment using some WOW Melt It powder.  Certainly novel but don't think I can be bothered when a nice button would do the same job - lol!  May add some trails to the butterflies having looked at it again :)

The previous  workshops have also produced some great cards.  The following one was great fun - and messy :)  We made our own background on thick watercolour card.  Splodged (technical term) 2 or 3 inkpads onto a smooth service and misted with water until it started pooling then laid the card into it and swished it around a bit.  Then dried it and dabbed it back in again.  Repeated until happy with result.  Image stamped and embossed with white embossing powder.  A sheet of acetate cut to cover and matted onto the base card on dimensionals.  Insert was done to tone in with the remnants of the ink.  Love it!

This one - a great man's card.  Su's Lovely as a Tree stamp set and woodgrain embossing folder - all distressed and matted and layered.  Easy but very effective. First time I've done the reflection technique as well.  Impressed - lol!

It's been mentioned, in passing recently, that Jackie and I went to Sorrento, Italy in April 2013.  We did the usual touristy stuff and visited Herculaneum and Pompeii, did the Amalfi Drive and popped over to Capri, don't you know - lol!  Between us we took a lot of photos.  Not long after we got back I started the now obligatory photobook but it ground to a halt after a very short space of time.  I created a lot of photobooks last year and my mojo went on holiday and work on the Italian book ground to a halt until a few weeks ago when the mojo came back.  Photo book was finished and has been printed.  It was lovely reliving that holiday, especially as we've not had one this year (other than our group crafty week away).

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Friday, 19 September 2014

A crafty post ...

Eldest granddaughter is 18 at the end of the month.  I had an idea of what I wanted to do, sort of.  Idea came together when I saw a card made by a friend where she had cut a ring of 18s using a computerised cutting machine.  She was sharing the file but I don't have such a machine so she kindly offered to cut one for me and send it on.  As it transpired she cut me 2 and sent pieces of the patterned card she used to cut them from so I could use them if needed.  I'd decided I wanted to do a pop up box card but with a difference.  I'm not keen on these cards but I thought granddaughter would love one so I set about making my version of a pop up box.  Several pieces of card - no, make that many pieces of card - later I got the base sorted and the decoration followed.

It's a very blingy card.  When you're a very girly, girl and turning 18 you just can't have too much bling - lol!

It looks oval when open but closed it is a circle and it opens as a diamond, not a square.  No measurements, other than the height of 15cm to make it a 15cm square card and, because of the 3D of the flowers I'm not pushing the flaps up to close the card.  I'm also presenting it in a box.  I hope she likes it.  I'm sure she will :)

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Monday, 15 September 2014

I missed ...

... last Monday!  There was a 'bonus' post though through the week before - ROFL!  Warning for this one - photo heavy and no crafting ...

Last week was busy event wise :)  Sunday was middle step-grandson's 17th birthday and we were invaded by the 3 youngest grandchildren.  

Monday saw eldest grandson's 2nd wedding anniversary.  Tuesday was youngest grandson's 6th birthday and we had a visit from our little great-granddaughter.  

Wednesday the Italian photobook arrived on the doorstep (I'll share another time) and Thursday I took a trip up to London!  

I've not been to London for around 30 years, not for anything else other than work or health related anyway, and that doesn't count.  1997 was probably the last time I was there and that was because OH was in hospital there for a while so not exactly conducive to sightseeing!  I went to London mainly to see the poppies at the Tower of London.  I've bought one but wanted to see them in real life, planted.  There will, ultimately, be 888,246 planted, with the last one planted on 11th November.  From then they will be removed and sent out to those that have purchased them. Each poppy represents one British life lost during WWI and the installation is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the war and those lives lost.  More info can be found here.  It's an amazing sight and will be even more so once finished.  

While at the Tower the bridge was lifted - and it was lifted 100%  Not something that happens often but then it had to allow a cruise ship to depart and nothing but 100% would have been good enough.

I also took advantage of the trip to take a flight on the London Eye.  I've done it now - won't do it again although if the weather had been better I might have been tempted to go back for an evening flight.  It was overcast with low cloud so the view wasn't as far as it could have been.  

To visit these places I took a London, Hop On, Hop Off  Bus Tour.  While in Italy Jackie and I did one and this same company ran the one I used in London and, because I had my Sorrento bus ticket I got a 10% discount ... gotta love a bargain - lol!  The bus ticket also included a river cruise so I also took advantage of that from the Tower back to Westminster.  Quite a lot achieved, not quite as much as I'd have liked but I may go back at the beginning of November for an update on the poppies ... and a view from the Shard!

Not much time for anything else but fitted in my exercise class on Tuesday.  Busy week :)

I've still projects to show from workshops .... they will be shown .... eventually!

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Thursday, 4 September 2014

I know it's not ...

... Monday but I've promised a story that goes with this creation.

This was made at our week away - showcased in the previous post but there is a story that goes with it and it's that story I've promised and it's definitely an 'ooops' story.

This was Kim's shoebox card. The flowers are made with acetate (probably some form of packaging knowing Kim - lol!).  Tim Holtz Tattered Florals cut from acetate and then coloured with alcohol inks, in this case shades of greens and yellows.  Once done a heat gun was used to soften the acetate to shape it and, once shaped and cold they were stuck to the card - I used silicone - and fancy buttons used for the flower centres.  The story part of this comes with using the heat gun.  Holding acetate flowers, heating and moulding really requires more than 2 hands so it was suggested ... by Kim .... that we hold the heat gun between our legs to give us 2 hands free to work the flowers.  Excellent idea!  Or, at least it was until it came to my turn. 

Me and Trace were the only ones in the Refectory crafting.  I was sitting dealing with my flowers when I thought there was a strange smell.  Trace comments on how acrid the smell was and she'd not noticed it before when others had done theirs and me thinking it really strange as well.  Then I notice a plume of smoke and I suddenly realised that it was coming from the heat gun .... not surprising really as the nozzle was bright red and melting !  Definitely 'ooooops' big time!  The mistake I'd made was not in putting it between my legs (everyone else before me had done the same) but in that I'd not made sure the air vents were free and I'd blocked them!  Strangely, despite the damage, the heat gun still worked.  It was, literally, just the plastic nozzle that decided it didn't like being overheated but the rest of it was fine but I certainly won't want to be covering those air vents any more - lol!  Oh, and you don't really need both hands free to heat and mould the flowers.  As long as they're warm they will happily mould and you can always reheat and remould if they cool too quickly.

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Ooooops - Monday!

... nearly forgot :O
Been very busy this week working on a new photo book.  When I'm in the zone doing one of them I forget everything else around me!  I started it some while ago, I admit.  It's for a holiday that Jackie and I went on last April.  That's April 2013!   We went closer to home than normal and had 11 nights in Sorrento, Italy.  Beautiful place and, of course, full of history.  With Herculaneum and Pompeii on it's doorstep how could it not be?  Scenery?  Well Sorrento itself catered for that but then there was the Amalfi Drive.  Yep, I've been reliving it and the fun we had.  Anyway, book is now finished and I'm waiting for Jackie to confirm she's happy and then it'll be ordered when a good deal comes along.

Apart from that it's been a quiet week - well, ish.  Had the normal exercise class on Tuesday (my turn to make the tea - lol!) and Wednesday OH and I went shopping together.  Well, not quite true.  I went with OH and I did the shopping while he went to the optician.  He had the start of cataracts last year.  Seems they've got worse (he suspected they had, hence the visit) but they're not bad enough to be dealt with yet however he needs new long distance specs.  Think old age is catching up with him physically, even if not in how he looks.

The only thing of note that happened this week was a visit from somebody we'd not seen for around 15 years.  It was great to catch up and meet his new partner.  His wife died just after we last saw him and he's been with his new partner for around 10 years now.  We've had intermittent contact over the 15 years but no face to face.  They came down this way (they live in Co. Durham) for a holiday and it was the ideal time to play catch up.

Not too sure what's going on with my hair - lol!
Bit of a catch up.  Back in June I went on, what has become regular, a break away with a group of crafty friends.  Originally named Crafter's House Party, it's now called all sorts of things but mainly AM (for Appleby Magna where the break is held).  The first one was held as a jointly hosted, by me and Jak, 3 night House Party with invited friends.  It then became a 4 night one for the following 4 years, still by invitation.  This year it became a week and a great week was had by all.  I actually got out and saw the village close by the cottages.  Something I'd been promising myself for a while.  I've still not managed to get to the zoo but there's still time - lol!  I discovered very recently, that the National Arboretum, is within a short drive away so I'm planning on visiting there next year ... It remains to be seen if I get there.  Here's a rogues gallery and a few of the crafty makes ....

Back from L-R: Cathy, Trace, Debs, Greta, Kim, Jackie (with Archie over her shoulder ... don't ask!), Toni.
Front from L-R: Moi, Susan, Cally and Chris

Well, that's a quick catch up and a pretty much average week, with the exception of our visitors.  Just realising how much I could have blogged about in the desert that my blog became but mojo just wasn't there and it's a bit late to do details so long after the events ....

Oh yes, one thing that's happened - OH and I have booked a holiday for next year. We've booked to go back to Cyprus for our 30th (Pearl) wedding anniversary.  Bit of a step up from the Isle of Wight weekend we did for our Silver - lol!  We're going to stay at a brand new hotel that's only opening in June next year but it's a sister hotel to the one we stayed at when our eldest remarried in 2011.  This time we'll be staying in Paphos instead of Agia Napa and we're going to hire a car so that OH can get out and about and see a bit of the country.  Driving seems relatively easy - they drive on the sensible side of the road - lol!  Something to look forward to.

Think that's all for this week .....

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