Monday, 28 February 2011

Up, Up and...


This is the Country Companion cross stitch picture that I mentioned to you - a cute littl mouse hanging on to his balloon.
If you look closely you will see just how long ago it was that I completed this - 1994.

If I remember rightly, this was stitched on the plane going to and from our holiday in the days when you were allowed to carry needles and pointy scissors on a plane.
It was quite a quick & easy piece to stitch as there weren't that many colours involved (the hedgehog pics are far more complicated as the 'prickles' involve a technique called tweeding - having more than one colour in the needle at a time).

DMC re-released this kit more recently. It still had the title "Up, up and Away" but instead of just one balloon there were 3 (I think) in different colours.

I still have a number of Country Companion kits that I haven't started on yet but this was one range of goodies that I didn't have any UFOs for...surprisingly, at the time I was very good at stitching these through to completion.......................

Not an ideal environment...

...for reading.

I decided that as I had already read Lady of Hay the extra chapter could wait and I really should read the two books that I hadn't started upon. So I made a start on The Warrior's Princess.
One of the main problems I have with trying to read books is "when & where". As a commuter it would make sense to utilize that time traveling to and from work on public transport...not as easy as it sounds.

Last week with it being Half-term the trains were rather busy with folk taking their children on trips to London. So unless I was able to get a seat it wasn't really ideal trying to enjoy the story that was unfolding in my latest read. However, today wasn't much better. Folk that had taken time off to be with the kids were now back at work so the trains were just as packed. Hopefully things will settle down and I'll be able to get into my book more comfortably...........................

Sunday, 27 February 2011

And the day started so nicely... look at it!!!

Or rather, don't, it is so depressing.

This morning started so bright and crisp...yes it was a bit chilly but the sky was blue and the sun - you know, that thing that we are told exists but we rarely see at this time of year - was bright and cheerful. A lovely day, or so I thought.

The daffs that I bought yesterday as tight buds were fully open when I came down this morning.
Don't spring flowers look so lovely and cheery.

Popped over to Mum's to take her shopping and whilst out we decided to have a spot of we sat there, we could see the sky turning dark and then the heavens opened.

Lunch was lovely but it's not much fun trying to dash for the car afterwards without getting too wet...

Having dropped Mum home I've come home to find that it doesn't look as if the rain hit here but it isn't anywhere near as nice as it was this morning. Oh well, another day and it will be March......................................

Country Companions...

...again folks.

DoCrafts have more of these lovely designs in their new promotion and this time the colours and everything are quite gentle and Spring-like. Their launch range were vere much 'love is in the air' with lots of hearts, roses and...RED. Afterall, they were aiming at the Valentine's market. This new range is lovely and very adaptable for many different occasions beit Birthdays, Mother's Day or even Easter.

Here is a card I have made and I think I'll be using this as a Mother's Day card...
I love this image and the decoupage sheets held lots of extra 'bits' that will be saved for using on other cards.
As there were flowers in the image I added a Prima rose and some organza ribbon. I think I need to stock-up on some pretty blooms as I seem to be going through a flower phase again LOL

There were some lovely clear stamps available in the new range which just jumped into my basket, so I'll have to have a play with those.......................

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Look what arrived... Ranger freebies.

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be a winner in two blog draws, one was for some of the new Ranger goodies (Ranger blog) and one was for some digi stamps from S.J. (Caz's blog).

Well, today I got the first of these goodies...a parcel from Ranger.

I heard the postman whilst I was upstairs and as I came down the staircase I was so excited to see a parcel sticking through the letter box. It had to be the Ranger goodies as I wasn't expecting anything else.

Then I saw this...
I was so upset - for a moment I couldn't even bring myself to open the poly bag that the Rail Mail had put the parcel into.

When I did open the poly bag I was soooooooooooooo angry. The parcel wasn't damaged - it had been opened. Now if it had been opened for Customs purposes, I would expect something to state that is what had happened and I wouldn't be fussed but this was clearly someone having a nose at the contents and then pretending that it had been 'damaged' in transit.

Well, whoever the nosey person was, the contents were obviously not to their liking...perhaps not their shades **rollseyes**

Luckily the full contents were there and this is what I got...
I was very impressed that the products have all been chosen to colour co-ordinate. The post on the Ranger blog had said a random selection of the new products so I wouldn't have been surprised to have received a mishmash of items. As it is, they all go together and although not a colour scheme I perhaps would have chosen...I have seen some lovely cards in these colours lately so will have to have a play.

One goodie to go.....................................................

A couple more...

...Christmas cards.

Black - White - Glitter...

I'll warn you now, these are not the best photos in the world - I always struggle with black and sparkly stuff.
Whilst I was thinking about Christmas cards I did another couple of 'easily postable' ones.
I do like borders - whether they be punched, stick-on...whatever, and whilst playing the other evening I found the snowflake border that you see at the bottom of this card. A few peel-off snowflakes dotted around the place and a simple sentiment and there you go - one completed card. So quick and easy and nice and flat for posting.
Another border on this one but this time I found some holographic stickers that included a row of snow/icicles. Although the photos aren't great, the twinkly bits really do show up against the black card. Again, a nice flat card to help keep the post costs down.

Isn't it sad that we now have to think in these terms. Yes, from a business point of view Christmas is the busiest time of the year for the postal service so you can see why they want to 'cash in' but it just seems such a shame that these soring costs make us crafters stop and think twice about what we are making if there is going to be post involved.

On the plus side...I have made these (and the 3 in the earlier post) from stash I already had so I am making an effort to be good and use some of that mountain that seems to have taken over the house LOL.........................................

Friday, 25 February 2011

Happy memories...

...of a previous obsession.
This was a quick card I made using decoupage from the new DoCrafts range "Country Companions".

I can already hear you questioning - if it is a new range, how can it be a previous obsession...

Well it may be a new range to paper crafters but these design characters have been around for a very long time in the world of cross stitch.

DMC brought out a small selection of cross stitch kits which soon grew.

I fell in love with these cute characters right from the start and I would await each new DMC catalogue to see what new kits were available - needless to say, as they came out and were available in the shops I bought them. There were so many lovely designs and there were lots of Christmas ones too.

I have a cute little mouse with his balloon framed and hanging on the wall in the upstairs hallway. But most got given away (rarely framed, mostly made into cushions).

I hope DoCrafts will be expanding their quite small range of these characters as it is great to have them back...this time in a different craft format................

Not to be eaten...

...chocolate it isn't.
From time to time I come across bits from past crafting. These were some ceramic bisque shapes that I found when I was looking for my pencils at the weekend.

I couldn't make up my mind whether to paint these in bright colours to resemble brightly wrapped eggs or to go with the bare chocolate and icing look - I think it's clear what I finally decided upon LOL
A couple of thin coats of brown acrylic paint, some white "icing" and pale green "sugar dots" and then the whole lot was covered in ceramic sealing spray.

When this was dry, the little heart shapes were painted with white Dona's paint and gently dry-brushed with either pink or lavender. The chalky effect of the Dona's paint makes the hearts look like little sugar hearts have been applied.

I think I might attach these to some 'lolly sticks' and use them to decorate some of my pot-plants during the Easter period................................

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Have you started on your Christmas Cards...

...after all, there's only 304 days to go.

Every year I am determined to be better organised with my Christmas cards and every year I'm panicing at the last moment to get enough done LOL

Well I've actually got three done...
I found a couple of card blanks that I'd been playing with - I had lightly brushed a Broken China Distress Ink pad over the surface to create a sort of marbled effect. What I wanted was some quick and easy ideas for cards and ones that wouldn't cost a fortune to post (especially as postal charges are set to jump this year).
A bit of playing with some patterned stickers, peel-offs, hand made paper, snowflake brads and of course some stickles and I have 3 cards ready to go in the box.

I must try to do at least a couple a month in addition to any of the more dimensional ones that I will be making thoughout the year. Best laid plans................................................

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Are you a PING...

...that's a "post-it note geek" just incase you didn't know LOL

One of the ladies over on UKS just posted this acronym and looking at my desk...yep, I'm a PING. I have them everywhere with bits of info on. To be honest, at work I don't know what I'd do without them.

So go on, admit it, are you a PING?................................

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

An Award from...

...the lovely Laura of Airing Cupboard Crafts / Stamping (yep, she's got two blogs LOL - I struggle keeping one on the go**he he**).

I always find it difficult to post these awards as there are normally things that one is required to do - this one is no exception groan.

I have to let you know who was thoughtful enough to have given me this award - done that - Thank you Laura...that was the easy bit done LOL

I now have to tell you 7 or 8 random things about me...this is the hard took me ages to think of stuff to write last time I was lucky enough to be given an award. I'm just gonna have to 'go for it' otherwise you could still be waiting this time next year...

1. I love books - now there's a surprise considering some of my recent posts LOL
2. I love pasta - but I prefer it in tomato-based sauces rather than cream ones.
3. I try to treat myself to 'lunch out' at least a couple of times a month. I've recently found a Pie & Mash shop fairly close to Barleylands so when I have a Monday afternoon lesson I treat myself to Pie & Mash first - yummy.
4. Coffee - I can't do without my coffee. I normally drink it black but I do love latte and during the Christmas period I just have to have a few of the Starbucks Gingerbread lattes - very fattening but oh so scrummy.
5. I do not add salt to my cooking and I don't add salt to my food - the only exception to this is CHIPS!!! If I buy a portion of chips to eat on the way home from the station I have to have salt and vinegar on them.
6. I hate being cold - I don't think there is much that could make me more grumpy than being somewhere where I am cold.
7. I love music - at school I played the recorder & was learning the clarinet (I so wanted to be able to play Stranger on the Shore...but I wasn't very good). I would have loved to have learnt the piano but I couldn't quite get to grips with both hands doing different things on the keyboard LOL I don't follow any one type of music - if I like something it doesn't matter to me whether it is classical, swing, R&B, Hip-hop or Punk.
8. I am not a good patient - if I am ill, I don't want to be fussed over but I do want someone to make me feel better - I don't like being mollicodled but then again I like to know someone cares...fickle, ain't I...LOL

The next bit is even harder - pass this award on to between 7 & 15 other folk.

I have decided that as I am celebrating over 10,000 visits to my blog I will invite the lovely folk who visit to help themselves to this award with the proviso that they link back here so that I can go and visit and find out 7 or 8 random things about them.

So there we go folks, do drop by and let me know if you have decided to play along as I would love to find out a bit more about the lovely folk that drop by.....................


...and a big thank you to everyone who has dropped by since I started this bloggy thing.

I have now had more than 10,000 visits and these have been from folk all over the world...ain't the web amazing...

I'll have to do something to celebrate this milestone but I'm not sure what so until I've made up my mind let me just say once again - thanks folks.

Big hugs to you all.................................

Monday, 21 February 2011


...with Distress Ink.

Poor Pauline wasn't well today so Andy took the class. Instead of watercolour pencils Andy's project used Distress Ink pads.
The image of a Cherry Blossom Tree is a digi pic printed from a website called "". There are hundreds of outline images that can be printed off in just the same way that you would use a digi stamp. To colour the image we had a sheet of acetate and we stamped onto this so that we could use it like an artists pallet. The colours I used were Worn Lipstick (flowers), Crushed Olive & Pine Needles (leaves), Walnut (tree and ground shadow). I highlighted the various parts of the image with the stronger colour straight from the acetate with a damp brush and then using a clean damp brush spread the colour to fill the area, beit the flower, leaves or tree.
As you can see, the tree has quite a range of shades despite only one colour of brown being used.

The trim along the bottom of the card is a Martha Stewart trim punch - think it is called Blossom. I shaded the centres lightly with my Inktense red pencil (after all...I did go to a lot of effort to take them with me LOL) and then blended it slightly with a damp brush.

A bit of matting & layering, some foam pads and a few flat-back pearls and there you have it - a pretty card...the result of an hour and a half 'grown-up' playtime...

Thank you Andy...and get well soon Pauline................................

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Why, oh why... I so dis-organised?
Tomorrow I am attending a Watercolour class at Pinnacle Crafts and whilst I know that all the materials will be provided, Pauline did mention that it might be easier/quicker if folk had their own pencils and brought them along...that way there wouldn't be the unavoidable wait whilst everyone 'shares'.

I have my own box of Inktense pencils but I have spent most of today hunting high & low trying to find them **grrrrrrrrr**. I was so certain I knew where they were but of course they weren't...

I did manage to find one of my Cricut carts **Andy you are spooky - how did you know one of my carts would be "Speaking of Fall" - even I couldn't remember what carts I've got**

After searching all the places I thought my pencils would be I decided on a different tack - look for the stuff I use when using the pencils i.e. the foam board that I pin the paper to so that the paper doesn't wrinkle too much when wet...found that at first look in a bag behind the sofa and guess what was tucked in the bag next to it - yep, my tin of pencils...panic over.

I really must save some money and get some storage units for my craftroom this year so that I can finally get a bit of organisation where my stash is concerned.............


...on My Fair Lady.

Mum loved it **happy dance - big sigh of relief**.

She asked me to pass on her thanks to those of you who wished her well on her special day.

Thank you everyone....................

Saturday, 19 February 2011

My Fair Lady... blue.

Tomorrow is Mum's birthday and she loves the colour blue so when I saw this decoupage I knew it would be perfect for her birthday card.
The design sheet is by Kanban and so is the background card but I wanted to 'pretty it up' a bit.

The edge of the backing card was punched with the Martha Stewart doily border punch and I followed this through on the inserts. The decoupage topper matt had a silver swirl design so I used some silver border peel-offs inside along with some gold ones as the ribbon I had was edged with gold.
The bottom corner was blinged-up with some roses and ribbons as I wanted to add more dimension to the card. I must admit, I've seen so many pretty cards lately with beautiful flower sprays on them that I felt I had to do something similar on Mum's card,

The flowers already had crystal glitter on them so they are really sparkly...I added some flat-backed pearls to the ribbon.

Materials used: -

Kanban - My Fair Lady A5 Decoupage in Blue
Prima Flowers
Anita's Festive ribbon
Crystal Stickers - pearls
Gold & Silver border peel-offs
Pinflair glue

I hope she likes it.........................


...this seemed like a good idea at the time.

Andy has produced some lovely cards using the House Mouse decoupage sheets and I just love the images - but why do the bits look bigger on Andy's cards??? When I came to cut these out they seemed sooooooooooooooo teeny - can you guess, I'm a die-cut girl when it comes to decoupage normally.

It has taken me ages to cut all these bits out...and NO!!! I haven't cut out the coffee beans - talk about microscope job...
So now here they are, all nicely cut out and ready to...what?...mind has gone blank.

I was going to use them to make a card, then I was thinking of using them to decorate a scrap page of my Christmas Starbucks photos, then I thought of making them into a picture in a shadow box. Oh dear, all the effort of cutting those fiddly bits out and now I'm stumped.

Even worse, I have another 19 sheets of these lovely designs...**groan**...and I was nearly tempted to buy a second pack LOL

At the moment, the shadow box idea is winning so we will have to see what I eventually come up with............................

Friday, 18 February 2011

Did I mention that...

...I've got a few books LOL

This alcove in the study made a perfect location for a big chunk of my collection but there are more. There are still some boxes in the loft that have books in that haven't been brought down because of the lack of shelving.
I have to admit that the upper shelves here where the bulk of the paperbacks are, actually consist of a double depth of books - I was running out of space so what was I supposed to do **chuckle** I also have to have a bit of a 're-arrange' as you will have noticed a few books slotted in on top of the rows. There are alsorts here...gardening books, cookery books, sailing, woodworking, herbs, crystals, classics and a few odds & ends thrown in for good measure.
This set of books is a treasured collection. Not quite encyclopaedias but something similar - Books of Knowledge. They were bought shortly after I was born. They are beautifully bound and it is lovely to have something that was actually printed not far from where I was born in London. I can remember referring to these a lot for homework and projects...and despite the contents being so very out of date they are still an amazing source of information.

The Internet brings us so much information these days at just the touch of a button but there is something to be said for thumbing your way through these hefty old tombs...........................................

Thursday, 17 February 2011

New read...

...sort of!

I really enjoyed reading Barbara Erskine's book "Time Legacy" - I had forgotten just how much I love her books so it was really great that the first book I have read in ages was one of hers.
Probably her best known novel is "Lady of Hay" and I dread to think just how long ago I read it but that was what got me hooked on her books. I have in fact read all but two of her books now (I have both - just need to get around to starting on them). "Daughters of Fire" I have in hardback so that will be read at home as it is too heavy to lug backwards & forwards to work - as well as the fact that I don't want it spoiled. "The Warrior's Princess" I have in paperback but for the life of me I can't find where I put it so I need to have a search around for that...I obviously put it somewhere safe LOL
Today whilst in WHS picking up the latest Papercraft Inspirations, I noticed that they had a 25th Anniversary edition of Lady of Hay...which apparently contains an addition to the story. So I now have a copy of this and will be making a start on it tomorrow. It will be like revisiting an old friend but finding out something new...

I love books, whether they be paperback or hard bound and I can't bear to part with them as I was brought up to think of books as something to treasure and look after. It makes me squirm to see folk folding back the corners of pages and I used to get so angry if I had books from the library where folk had written in them or torn pages out. I have pretty bookmarks to keep my place and if there is a page that I want to keep I ask the library to copy it for only costs a few pence and does no damage to the book so doesn't prevent others from gaining enjoyment from it.

As a child I would spend hours in the library - sitting on the floor reading the books before deciding which ones to book out to take home. I had Ladybird books that my parents bought me and I would spend ages sorting them into their sets and arranging them on the bookshelves in the correct order.

Now I have shelves in the study crammed with books and more shelves in the bedrooms housing others. My reading choices can be quite varied from Mary Stewart to Kathy Riechs, David Hewson to Dan Brown, Brian Jacques to Wilbur Smith - it doesn't really matter as long as the story is good.

I am so glad I decided to sit down with a book again.............................

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Meet the Hoonds...

...a couple of recent pics of my niece's little fur balls.

Kristy (Mrs Elmo) posted some new photos on her blog and these were amongst them.

How could anyone not love this little chap.
Russel was a rescue dog - his previous owners couldn't afford to keep two dogs any longer so he became a member of our family. Despite being a 'wee' little chappie he took to protecting Kristy right from the start and was soon well settled in. It used to amaze me how he could hear me arrive at my sister's house when he was upstairs and he would almost launch himself into mid air before he was even halfway down the staircase.
Russell does love his chews.

When Kristy & Dan got their first married quarters Russell was in his element - he was king of the castle and certainly made himelf at home straight away. Unfortunately this didn't last long and it was clear that he missed his playmate (my sisters cat) so they decided to get him a 'brother'.

Jack was obtained from their local Dogs Trust. Whilst this organisation may do a lot of good the branch near Catterick turned out to not be a good representative. Their animals were not well cared for and details of the animals they had on offer was sketchy and in many cases very wrong. Jack was not in the best of conditions when they got him and although they were told he was fully house trained - he wasn't. They had a lot of problems with him to start with but Russell loves him and they get on really well. Considering they are both Jack Russells they look so very different.
The look on Jack's face here is a picture in itself.

They are both lovely little dogs but I will continue to have that soft spot for Russell as he was part of the family first. He also decided right from the start that my car was his LOL you never had to ask twice for him to get in the car...the back seat was all his and he was never a bit of trouble as long as you didn't clutter 'his' seat with any bags of shopping LOL

So now you have met both of the hoondies. Cuties aren't they....................

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


...finally completed.

How naughty am I...this project was almost completed at an Artbase crop over a year ago. All it needed was a few more embellishments attached but like a lot of things it got put to one side and forgotten.

It was only talking to my niece Kristy at the weekend that reminded me about this project. I had given her the Kaisercraft bare wall-hanging kit amoungst the goodies that she took back to Germany with her just before Christmas and she was telling me that she had done it as a Valentine's gift for her hubby.
I had used mine to display pics of Russell (Kristy's dog) that I had taken of him when Dan & Kristy got their first married quarters up at Catterick.
The piece is decorated with a variety of Kaisercraft PPs and the embellies were all cut from the PPs. I had cut everything out and it was only a case of sticking the last few bits on...but you know how it is LOL something else comes along and good intentions go out the window and another U.F.O. joins the pile.
Although Dan & Kristy have a second dog now (Jack) Russell will always have a special place in my affections. He is such a good tempered little fur ball and what a sweetie. I am so glad that I have finally completed this project. It has to be said...Home is where the Hoondie is......................................................

Monday, 14 February 2011

Oooo, forgot to tell you...

...I was lucky again.

If you go and have a look here on the blog belonging to Caz you will see what I've won.

Isn't it exciting when this happens **big grin**.........................

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Something I haven't done for a while...

...sit down and read a book.

I think the last book I actually sat and read was the last of the Harry Potters - so you can's been a while.

Last weekend, Mum had a new Barbara Erskine book on audio from the library - I love this author and her style of writing. Mum offered to lend me the audio book but they just send me to sleep LOL
On Monday I popped into WHS before going to my Hougie class and they had the paperback at half price as one of their books of the week (if you don't enjoy, you can take back & get a refund, deal).

I didn't get a chance to start on it until Thursday but now I'm finding it hard to put down.

I actually have another two of this author's books that have been sitting on the bookshelf. Perhaps now I'm back in the swing of this reading lark, I might actually get around to reading them LOL

Not a lot of crafting going on at the moment but I am really enjoying just chilling out with a very good book.................................

Saturday, 12 February 2011

At last a piece of kit...

...that reflects crafters.

We've all come across stamps/punches/dies/embossing folders and embellishments for various hobbies & passtimes. Sports, cooking (plenty of cupcake stuff around at the moment), shopping, photography and travel to name but a few. But I have to ask...where are the things reflecting the crafters?

Well something has finally arrived - an EK Success punch that I have been waiting for since last year when I first saw it advertised in a magazine. I didn't have to think twice, the moment Andy mentioned they were in one jumped into my basket almost unaided LOL
Needles & Buttons as an edging strip has so many possibilities so I will need to have a play...but if there are any manufacturers passing by...perhaps we could have a few more craft themed bits-n-pieces. How about a border punch of open scissors, some yarn & knitting needles - something to think about............................................

Friday, 11 February 2011

What's new...

...Pussycat - NO!!! pleeeeeeeease don't burst into song.

Although if you are anything like me you have the tune rolling around in your head now - sorry.

I found some more cute buttons so made another 'hug' and when I sat down to write this post all I could think of was that Tom Jones song...LOL
I thought these buttons were lovely - a set of 4 paw prints which if you look closely you will see the pads are shaped like flowers & hearts.
The puddytat herself is so elegant with her sweeping tail and her little diamonte to twinkle and catch the light.

I'm not really a cat person but I couldn't resist these..............................

Did you know...

...that Comic Relief (the charity behind Red Nose Day) has been going since the 1980s

For anyone interested in knowing a bit more here is a link

(the noses from 2009)............................

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The countdown to...

...RED NOSE DAY continues.
With just over a month to go the donations for our RED themed tombola have started to trickle in. Going on past experience things will be a little slow until nearer the time but we like to give folk plenty of time so that we don't get comments like "Oh, if only I'd known sooner..."

This morning I took this photo of the two "Hugs" that I had completed and already adorning their mugs...
By this afternoon they were suitably packaged for the event.
I thought I would also take this opportunity to show you the 'Nose' collection that lives on my desk.
As you can see, I have quite a variety, all from past years (I'm sure if I was to dig around in the back of some cupboards at home I would probably find some even older versions LOL). There are 3 versions this year and one of each now lives with their fellow Noses on my desk but I think I like the Pirate the best...he's the chappy in the main pic at the start of this post.

Our manager has agreed to dress in red during the week and has even promised to get a red wig.

The area where the tombola will be held is already decorated with bunting and some of the posters that we downloaded from the RND site and I sent out a general email to everyone in the building inviting folk to donate and join us in doing Something Funny for Money. We are moving in the right direction............................

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Today has been...

...a wonderful day (if you forget about work, that is LOL).

After the excitement of the previous post...still doing a happy dance **big grin**

Becky over at The Girlie Blogger has sent me lovely goodies.
This parcel was waiting on the mat when I got home from work.
...and these are the goodies that were inside. True to her blog name this was a lovely 'girlie' gift and I am so pleased with it.

Thank you so very much Becky...lots of cyber hugs to you...........................

Oh Gosh...

...I'm so excited **happy dance**...**bounces up and down on chair**

I just had a quick look at my blog reading list and there was an announcement over on the Ranger Blog...they picked some winners from a recent post and guess who is amongst them...

ME,ME, MEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Can't email them until I get home from work...ooooo, hurry up hometime.

**happy dance, happy dance**..........................................

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Tomorrow is...

...the weekly reveal of "What's on your Workdesk, Wednesday".

The weekly event supervised by Mrs Dunnit where a miriad of crafting folk share pictures of what is on their workdesk with the rest of cyberspace.

I don't participate but I do have a snoop around to see what interesting stuff folk are making at the moment - there really is some wonderful stuff out there.

As I've already said - I don't do WOYWW but I thought I would share a view of what is on my sofa when I'm in 'knitting mode'...LOL
I can assure you that this is reasonably tidy for a 'full on' knitting session......................

Monday, 7 February 2011

If you can...

..."plain" & "pearl" you can knit a hug.

This little book provides 20 knitting patterns for a variety of Mug Hugs.

If you are near a HobbyCraft you should be able to get a copy from their book section (RRP £4.99) but I think you might be able to get it a bit cheaper on-line from WHS or one of the other book websites.

If you can do basic know...garter stitch (every row plain) or stocking stitch (one row plain, one row pearl) then you shouldn't have any problem following some of the more simple 'hug' instructions.

I've had a play with some of the designs and come up with a pattern that I like, can knit fairly quickly and can adapt quite easily to make matching coffee pot & tea cosys.

So if you have the basic skills, why not give it a go...or if you are learning to knit these are small, quick & easy - something that you should be able to get to grips with and have a finished item in no time. Go on, give it a try....................................

Do you have one of these...'s a Hougie Board (in-case you didn't know).
I have to admit that this was another piece of kit that I've had for some time (probably around 10 months). I saw it demonstrated at Excel last year but thought it was a bit expensive considering I already had a Crafters Companion Ultimate Pro and a Martha Stewart scoreboard (oh, and not forgetting the little scoreboard that I won in a raffle many moons ago). However, temptation raised its head a short while after as Pinnacle Crafts had them in just as they were having a 30% off Members Weekend - well I ask you - what is a girl supposed to do...

Today I had a day off work so that I could chill a bit after a quite busy weekend and also take myself off to a 'Hougie' class. Pauline was doing the class at Pinnacles and I had decided to grab a copy of the Hougie book that I had noticed hanging next to the boards. One of the things I enjoy about the Pinnacle classes is that you often get to play before you embark on making something. We had fun playing at scoring and creating hand embossed designs on CS and Miri card.

Then armed with some measurements and instructions we created the base for a double-sided stepper card. I've made a few 'steppers' before but the "steps" have either been to one side or in the middle - this was going to be a bit different.
Miri card was cut to cover each of the steps and the central panel. Before attaching the pieces to the steps we were allowed to play at creating designs. Pauline had suggested a few patterns on her sample card but we were given free-reign to come up with what ever we wanted.
I decided to do some of the scoring from the miri-side and some from the white-side...thus creating embossed & debossed patterns. Staggered dashes, brick walls, checks (straight & diagonal) and then I thought I'd get flash and try a sunray...not bad for a first attempt LOL
With the patterned panels atteched to the steps we were given some decoupage to decorate the central panel - mine is a twisted pyrimage.

One of the things I like about the Hougie is that you have both metric & imperial on one board so it will cater for most things.

Will it replace my other scoreboards?...I don't think so.

I don't think you can beat the Ultimate Pro for quick and easy box making (I should know - I made all my niece's wedding favours) and it is great not having to worry about measurements for some of the most popular card styles.

The 'Martha' board is in imperial and has smaller increments than the Hougie so that too will have its place in the scheme of things.

All in all, the Hougie is handy because it will take 12x12 sheets and this means I'll be able to use it with my scrapbooking as well as my other paper crafts...........................................