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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Happy Birthday Suzie...

...have a wonderful day.

Today is a special birthday for my friend Suzie (Weasel) - it is one that ends in a zero.

I wasn't able to join her on Saturday at the Eastwood crop as I was picking up stuff from my Sister to take up to my Niece on Sunday...I missed the most amazing cake (sob).

Normally, most of the craft units at Barleylands are closed on a Monday but as it was Bank Holiday Monday, I had asked Andy if I could drop off Suzie's gift. She and another friend had booked a class to do on her actual birthday. So despite the grotty wet weather on Monday I headed over to Barleylands - heartened by the email from Andy that Pinnacles were going to celebrate the Bank Holiday with "Triple Discount" in store for their members.

Before heading over to Barleylands, I had to sort out some wrapping for Suzie's gift...
 ...the makings were gather together on my desk...
 ...a mix of Anita's Glitter stickers, a brown paper carrier, some Craftwork Cards PP & die-cuts and some ribbon.
This was the finished bag...
...a close-up of the tag & bow...
...some of the decoration...
 ...top and...
 ...bottom corners.
The card was one that I made a while ago with one of my Nicecrane digi images...
...and I thought it went perfectly with the gift wrapping.

As I was shopping in Pinnacles, two very cold hands came around my checks from behind - Suzie had also decided to take advantage of the additional discount. So the parcel was retrieved from Andy and after shopping we headed off for lunch and a coffee.

So Suzie had her gifts a day early but it was lovely having a chat and catching up...and getting to see photos of her fabulous birthday cake that Debbie had made.

Hope you have a fabulous morning crafting and have a lovely day....................................................

Monday, 25 August 2014

Are we nearly there yet...

...is how I felt yesterday - and I was the one driving.

My niece Kristy has been living in Germany as her hubby was in the army and that was where he was stationed. Unfortunately, Dan was one of the thousands of service personnel who were made redundant as part of the Government cut-backs to the armed forces.

He was shipped back to the UK to see out his remaining months of duty. The posting was to the Nuneaton area (not far from Birmingham). The local Council have at last allocated them a bungalow to live in and they are in the process of getting it ready so they can move in properly.

Of course, Grandma wanted to go visit. So 'Auntie Toni' had the job of collecting some of Kristy's belongings from her Mum's house...pick up Grandma...drive to Beckwith near Nuneaton.

When Kristy was at Uni in Leicester, I would drive up nearly every month (normally to deliver the famine-relief package put together by her Grandma - I'm sure my Mum thought she would starve without the added supplies LOL). However, since she has been in Germany there has been no need for me to do any long distance driving and as a result, the drive seemed very looooooooooong.

We almost got there without any problems but the change to the Internet directions that Kristy gave me for the last little bit of the journey after leaving the M6, were a little confusing and a telephone call later we were following Dan...we weren't that far away so we did pretty well.

The bungalow is a lovely size and it will be super once they have had a chance to make it their own.

Because they aren't yet living fully in the bungalow we went to a local restaurant for a lovely meal...I forgot to take photos of the lovely main courses but when the sweets arrived, I had to grab my camera...
 ...Kristy & I had these wonderful Mango surprise confections - vanilla ice cream, orange & mango sorbet, lime cooley, mango sauce and wafer tubes - yummy...
 ...whilst Grandma had a vanilla ice cream and orange sorbet mix...
 ...I think she enjoyed it.
Kristy certainly enjoyed her sweet...
...although I'm sure you would never have guessed LOL.

If you are wondering where Dan was whilst we were tucking in - he had to go to work (poor thing). Luckily he has managed to find a job and he is hoping that he will settle in to this new way of life fairly quickly.

The weather was beautiful so there were no problems with the journey there or back other than a few stretches of road works that slowed things down. However, it is such a long time since I did a 'there & back' in a day long journey, my hands were complaining this morning and it took a while to get my fingers moving (obviously too long holding the steering wheel).

I wish Kristy and Dan all the best in their new home and wonder when Grandma will want to visit again..................................................................

Saturday, 23 August 2014

As we head towards...

...the end of August - there is already a chilly feel to mornings.

Autumn seems to be arriving early here in the UK.

Many folk are getting their children ready to return to school after the Summer break and there are lots of crafters out there who are already in full "Christmas" mode (sorry Suzie, had to use the "C" word). However, there is another event that is only just over two months away - Halloween.

Now here in the UK we don't seem to celebrate this event to the same extent as our friends across The Pond but it has become more popular in recent years and whilst our British 'stiff upper lip' might frown on the knocking on doors 'trick or treating' part of the of the occasion, many folk now have Halloween parties...and not just for the kiddies - grown-ups (???) are having fun dressing up and attending themed parties.

Parties take a fair bit of organising when there are costumes and decorations to sort out so I thought I would show you a quick treat bag that can be used for kiddies and grown-ups alike.

Using my WRMK gift bag score/punch board I made a simple bag from a sheet of white A4 CS...
 ...I kept everything B/W for simplicity...
 ...the lovely image is from Nicecrane Designs (as is the bat) and is just one of a fabulous selection of pre-coloured or B/W images that Ignacio has available on site.
Oh, and if you are wondering what to put in the bags...
...Loom bands are just the right bit of fun for the occasion as they come in some super Halloween-type colours and many glow in the dark.
So why don't you make a start now...
...and that will be something that you can tick off the list ready for your spooky event.

The Nicecrane site has been down for updating but is now open again and there are lots of new items so do hop over and take a look here and whilst you are at it...pay a visit to the Nicecrane blog to see all the super things that the DT have been making..............................................................................

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.............................................................