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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

**cough**, **splutter**...

...I really wasn't expecting that!

I've just logged on to do a bit of catching up with my blog reading and there were a couple of posts from a blog that hasn't had any activity for quite some time.

However, upon seeing the thumbnail images in the reading list...I wont be following the site any more and have gone in and deleted the web-address from the list.

It was a site that related to a range of super cute animal images - the two main characters both had the names of wild flowers beginning with a "D". What I saw in my blog reading list certainly wasn't anything of the sort.

Scantily clad females taking 'selfies' of themselves came as rather a shock.

I hadn't deleted the item previously because I thought it would be a handy link back to the craft blog so I could refer to some of the creations to give me inspiration but after almost choking on my coffee it would seem that the web address has been re-used by a totally different kind of site...no, I did not go and look...the thumbnails were explicit enough.

I think perhaps I should check some of the other in-active listing in case they now hold some rather nasty surprises too...........................................................................

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A short while ago...

...I won some lovely goodies over at Kath Stewart's blog.

You might remember this lovely bundle...
 ...of lovely Craftwork Cards deliciousness.

Well, it has been sitting on the coffee table near the sofa 'glaring' at me since it arrived. I have picked it up a couple of times and flicked through the beautiful papers and die-cuts. I've even taken a couple of sheets of PP out of the stack...looked at them...stroked them...and put them back.

I just could not think of something to make with all this loveliness.

Then I found a small tatty looking spiral bound note book in the drawer. I'd only used a page or two but the cover looked very sorry for itself where it had just been thrown in the drawer and forgotten about.

In no time at all, the wire binding had been prized open and the covers removed...covered in PP...and returned to the note book and the wires bent back into shape.

A bit of decorating with blooms...
 ...pearls and ribbons...
 ...one of the die-cut tags with Anita's glitter letters spelling out "Notes"...
 ...a close-up of the blooms & pearls...
...and another close-up of the ribbons attached to the spine.
One handy little bag-sized note book...
...now in a condition to be used rather than discarded in a drawer.

Thank you Kath for this lovely bundle of goodies and I hope you like what I have finally managed to make with a very small amount of it....................................................................

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Playtime...

...and time to try one of my new toys.

At the last members weekend at Pinnacle Crafts I managed to grab the We R Memory Keepers...
...Gift Bag punch board - something that I have wanted for a while. I already had the box making board but after seeing the gift bag board demonstrated it went onto my 'wish list'.
I thought I'd have a bit of a play as I wanted to make some small jewellery size bags...
 ...and I also wanted to try some different materials to see how the bags turned out.
This bag was very straight forward...
...a sheet of 12x12 gold CS (Papermania Christmas Stack) cut in half made the perfect size bag and I was able to decorate it with a digi image (Bugaboo Stamps) and some pretty wire-edged ribbon. The ribbon not only adds to the decoration but also closes the bag. The colours match very well with the cuff bracelet that will go inside.
I wanted to try some fancy acetate and see if I could adjust the sizing...
...I made a bit of a boo-boo over the size that I cut the acetate but with a bit of fiddling, I was able to come up with a bag approx. half the width of the gold bag. A bit too much faffing about for my liking although I was pleased with the result. I think I'll stick with 12x12 CS and acetate as the bag size is just right for what I will be putting inside.

As you can see, I've also been making a few more Loom band cuffs. I really do like the aqua colour gel-bands mixed with the white solid bands.

I have to say, I'm pleased with my Gift Bag Board. With the stacks of CS I have I'll be able to make plenty of bags and hopefully make a bit of a dent in some of the stash that I probably wouldn't use for scrapping or card making (you know the stuff I mean - had to have it at the time but never used it and now can't understand why I bought it in the first place). Yes, I have to say that this was a purchase that was worth the wait and I will be making good use of..........................................................

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Loom Bands as closures...

...for journals, notebooks or Smash books.

Since my last post about Loom Bands (here) I've been rather busy.

I've been playing with colour combinations and also become quite adept at the 'triple fishtail' that can be turned into the most pretty cuff bracelets...
 ...these are just a few of the ones I've made...
 ...I really love the rainbow ones and so it would seem do several of my crafting friends as I've had to make more to share. My Mum is starting to build a bit of a collection too. Every time I show her my latest creation, I end up having to make one for her too. Even my sister has a cuff that I made in her favourite football team's colours (and I forgot to take a photo - doh!!!). With the Summer holidays upon us, these cuffs make pretty jewellery that is perfect for beach holidays. A couple of packs of bands that are "Cheap as chips" and you can make some colourful accessories to wear on the beach and it won't break the bank if they don't survive the sun, sand & sea.
Yesterday (4th August) was the 100yr commemoration of the day that WW1 started...
 ...I wore this camouflage cuff with a black bow to mark the occasion.
In my previous 'band' post, I mentioned that they could be used to make closures for mini-albums and journals that had started to expand. MaryAnne kindly mentioned this in 'Blogbits' this week over on UKS so I thought I should show you what I meant...
...this notebook is held closed with a long 'fishtail' band in colours that I've picked from the cover of the notebook. I've kept it very simple with no trims, charms or embellies of any kind.
However, I'm really having fun with the 'triple fishtail' bands - especially since I picked up a Mega-tail loom...
 ...they fit comfortably in the hand and are the perfect size for this style of band...
 ...and you can make them as long as you like without any problem.
Here is a band that I've just completed for this kraft journal...
...the journal was given a bit of a rub over with a white stamp pad...
 
...and the closure was created using bands in white/gold/silver then decorated with a burlap broach that I bought at one of my local craft shops (yes, I know I could have made one myself but I was being lazy LOL).
 
So you can see, Loom Bands don't have to be something just for the kids - you can actually make some pretty crafting accessories - so go on...have a play............................................................. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

We have fish in the trees...

...at the end of our road.

Don't you?

Before you think the heat has finally gotten to me, here's the proof...
 ...lots of chubby little knitted fish hanging in the trees in the church grounds at the end of the road.

I have no idea how long they have been there - as the church is on my regular route to the station I tend to go into auto-pilot mode and don't pay much attention to my surroundings. However, one evening last week something caught my eye in the lower part of the graveyard and as I looked closer on the way up the hill I saw more dotted all around.

Each one has been knitted and decorated...
 ...then hung from a branch...
...some are more elaborate than others...
 ...but they are all different colours and create a novel interest in the church grounds.
There are even fish attached to the church gate...
 ...and each fish has a message attached announcing the Parish Weekend event taking place later in August.
The fish are even in the shrubs...
 ...some are a little bashful...
...whilst others hang boldly...
 ...for all to see...
...and as the days have passed, the numbers have grown.

What a lovely way to express the Sermon on the Mount and the tale of the Loaves and Fishes...although I'm still looking for the loaves........................................................

Monday, 4 August 2014

Aurora Wings...

...Sprite challenge.

"Sprite Delight" is challenge #5 over at the Aurora Wings challenge blog and the lovely folk over there have even provided a lovely Sunflower Sprite for folk to use.

Here is my coloured sprite...
...waiting to be made into a card.
I haven't made any 'fussy' cards for a while but felt this image would work...
...with a bit of embellishing and layers.
The background paper is some handmade paper containing petals & leaves that I had in my stash...
...and I added some burlap behind the image. The bow was made from the strands that I removed from the fabric to give it a frayed look.
This card will need a box as there is plenty of layering on the decoupage...
...I had seen lots of sunflowers at our local country park and they were surrounded by beds of daisies and other cottage garden flowers so this wheelbarrow full of flowers seemed to fit the bill.
A bit of ribbon, some vintage leaves...
...and there you are - one little sunflower sprite at home in the garden.

The Aurora Wings DT have made some lovely samples to inspire folk so do hop over and take a look. Better still, why not have a go yourself..............................................................

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Hot Town...

...Summer in the City.

("Summer in the City" by Lovin Spoonful - number one on the Billboard top 100 in 1966)

Now I've got you all humming away **giggle** - yep, even the youngsters amongst you (despite its age, this song is currently used in an advert on our TVs here in the UK).

The last couple of weeks have been extremely hot and sticky, especially at work as we are without any aircon at the moment and being next to a demolition site is not fun with all the dirt & dust but it does make these lyrics very apt...

..."back of my neck feeling dirt-n-gritty".

But I digress...

Last weekend I took Mum shopping to get some new net curtains for her new windows and we popped into The Range. Now, I've been saving for the Spectrum Noir pencils and guess what - they had some of the sets in and at a very good price of £14.99 instead of £19.99...I was tempted but refrained. Good job too as when I went into Pinnacles on the Saturday they had all 5 sets - Joanne had been keeping her fingers crossed that they would arrive in time for the Members 30% Weekend.

So I've been keeping everything crossed this week that they would still have all the sets on Friday - and they did...
...this is my haul of goodies.

Now I'm hoping you are all sitting down because this is going to come as a shock to those of you who know me well.

I made a list, checked it twice (I think the Christmas in July event is still fixed in my brain) - actually remembered to take it with me - and stuck to it...well...sort of...the Graphics 45 pad was the one thing that I forgot to put on my list. Soooooooooooo, if I had remembered, then I would have only bought what was 'on the list'. I think my friend Hilary was quite impressed that I didn't get tempted like I usually do.

We both popped into Sugar & Spice before heading back to our cars and it was a good thing too. The heavens opened and boy did we have a downpour along with all the sound effects (thunder, lightening cracks - screams of folk running for shelter as they got soaked). 'Mummy' Barb put the kettle on and we all waited out the storm sipping tea.

We had two storms fairly close to each other on Friday but it still didn't clear the air and I'm still finding it hard to concentrate on crafting - but I have been doing some colouring and here is a little peak at the Aurora Wings "Sunflower Sprite" that I have finished...
...I just need to drag 'mojo' back from wherever he is lazing in the sun and actually make something with this image. I do have a couple of ideas - just need to see if I can get them from the brain, past the 'leaky elbow' and into a finished item...........................................................