Thursday, 31 March 2011

Guess what...

...I've done a LO

Yep, I actually completed a LO at tonights crop. You might remember a post where I introduced you to my Mum...well, I got the photo that was used for that post printed out with a few others so that I had a selection of pics to consider for use with the latest crop kit. This is what I came up with...
The current crop kit consists of a selection of Prima goodies with PPs from the Reflections Collection.

I chose this PP because of the butterflies and because of their colour. Mum loves the colour blue and anything to do with butterflies (she has some pretty jewellery with butterflies on).
The materials used are: -

Prima Reflections Collection PP - Meadowlark
Cream & coffee paper blooms - locally sourced
Distress Ink pad - Broken china
PaperMania - Gem Brads
Artwork - pale blue gems
Kaiser - dark blue gems

The cream blooms were brushed with the ink pad to give a hint of blue and the design on the PP was cut with a craft knife so that some of the printed elements would overlap the photo.

Whilst I'm here, just to let you chat with the boss about my end-of-year assessment went rather well...not only did I get a top grading but I was also told that if a vacancy arose at the next management level I would be recommended for it. All out of the way for another year. Thank you to those who were kind enough to leave supporting comments (((hugs))) to you all..........................

Another coloured...

...digi image.
There wasn't much on the TV this evening so I sat and coloured another of the KennyK digi images using a different colour combination. The background is my usual location of just in front of the kettle in the kitchen LOL - this really is the best place to take photos when daylight has gone as there are a number of angled halogen lights in the kitchen that give a better 'all over' even light source.
I really am quite taken with this little Miss...just got to think of how I'm going to use this one on a card - and choose some appropriate patterned paper.

I quite like the square shape but wonder if I should try something different for this one - what do you think?

Whatever shape card I decide upon, I have to sort out some papers that will tone with these colours.

Off to have a rummage.........................................

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

I HATE this time of year... it means end of year appraisals.

I really hate the whole process of end-of-year - it reminds me of school exams...
It is bad enough as a manager having to hold performance chats with staff who really don't want to be bothered with the whole process but this year is even worse in the fact that due to the pay freeze (two years with no pay rises due to the recession) even those staff who have excelled will receive nothing financially for their efforts.

Our pay rises have never been very much and our performance linked amounts have been pitiful but at least it was something. As a manager it is very hard motivating staff when there is no carrot to dangle...

So far I've completed half the chats with my staff and all being well I'll have the other half completed by the end of next week. I am lucky that I have some staff who will perform well irrespective of the rewards (or lack of) but it is so difficult with those who are more than happy to just come in and do an ordinary days work and not really put a lot of effort into even that.

Oh, and tomorrow is the worst part - my chat with my boss **groan** So much preparation; a written narrative self-assessment of my year's performance & achievement, documentary evidence to support all achievements and a detailed discussion of the year past and a chat about objectives for the coming year.

I'll let you know how it goes............................

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Kenny K digi site...

...has some real fun images.

A friend's teenage daughter has a birthday week after next so rather than leave it 'til the last minute, I made this...
The image was coloured using my Copics. I did the colouring last night and I really do need to get a new daylight bulb in the lamp near the sofa as it was pretty hard going trying to ensure the shading was okay.
This digi image is super for a teen card and I think I will be colouring several more. Don't you think it is a fun image? Look at those huge eyes and all that hair LOL
Mind you...doesn't that skinny waist make you sick **snigger**

Materials used: -
Kenny K digi image.
Copic pens.
5.75 inch square white base card (smooth - 290 weight).
PPs - doublesided sheet from a Costco Collection.
Lettering - White glitter, upper & lower case.
Flowers - white glitterations.

Very simple construction with some matting & layering - coloured image is attached using 3D foam.

Well that's one card that I won't be panicing over.......................

Monday, 28 March 2011

A 'Me' Monday...

...a day off work and a bit of crafting.

After such a lovely Friday the weather has turned rather chilly again and the winter jackets are back in use.

I decided that I would have a wander before going to my Copic/Promarker class this afternoon but I didn't venture far because it was too cold.

Andy was taking the class today and he had provided us with a lovely digi image to colour. Something a little different that could be used as a 'New Home' card or with a change of colours and a bit of sparkle could be used as a Christmas card.
I think the image is super and now that I've found the website I might be paying them a visit after payday LOL

The cream coloured matt was edged with a Martha Stewart 'Round the Page' punch set that could easily be used for stitching.

Poor Andy was taken ill during the class so Pauline took over...hope you are feeling better Andy and thank you for creating a lovely idea for our class..................

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Ribbons & Bows...

...just a few finishing touches.

It was nearly panic stations when I went to get some more of the flocked ribbon. After finally deciding how I was going to finish off my basket, fate nearly threw a spanner in the works. Would you believe it...both ribbons were almost at the end of their reels so I only managed to get 1.5m of each.
After tying a couple of bows in each colour it was clear I wouldn't have enough for more bows.
I had to resort to some knotted ribbons rather than bows.
A scattering of knots and I think the basket has just enough of a finished look to it.
I re-did the handle to tidy-up the bows and make them look more presentable. Then replaced the minibooks back in their home.
I love this flocked ribbon, it is so pretty and I think the extra bows are just enough to complete the look.

They are due to get some more of these baskets in at Maisie-Moos so I may well treat myself to another one ...or two, and decorate them to fit in with other rooms in the house............................................

Saturday, 26 March 2011


...I think I frightened the sun away.

Yesterday was such a lovely day yet from todays weather you would never have guessed it. Solid grey cloud, drop in temperature and rain.

Perhaps in future I'll just take some pics and keep quiet about it as I really don't want this wintery weather back.............................

Friday, 25 March 2011

Today the weather has been...

...just beautiful.

Hope it was as good where you are.

Today was the start of 'members weekend' at Pinnacle Crafts over at Barleylands...unfortunately I can't show you what I bought because they had sold out and I had to order it. Never mind, at least I got my 30% off and I also managed to get myself booked onto Andy's next "Tim Holtz style" day.

However, I couldn't stay disappointed for long because today has been such a lovely day. The sun has been shining, the sky has been a lovely blue and I was able to go out without a heavy winter jacket...a bit of nice weather makes all the difference. After my bit of retail therapy I went for a bite to eat then I just had a lovely wander around the craft village.
The grounds are always so beautifully kept and it was lovely to see the blossom tree in flower.
My photography may not be very skillful but I had to have a bit of a play with some close-ups. The tiny little flowers were just so pretty.
I tried a bit closer still. Hopefully I'll be able to get these printed out and I might even feel inspired enough to make a LO of them LOL **please don't faint from shock - I do make the occasional LO**
Tucked away at the foot of the tree in amongst the shrubs were these cheerful narcissi (sp?)...another sign that spring is trying to get a hold.

I sat in the sun with a coffee for a while and just enjoyed the beauty of my surroundings. Whilst I was sitting there a cute little robin flew down to nab a worm that it had seen on the grass but it kept turning away before I could get a photo. Just as I thought I was going to get a good shot...the battery died. Oh well, perhaps another day.........................................

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Thank you all...

...for your lovely comments about my tin bucket.

I would also like to thank those of you who made suggestions as to what I could use the thing for and thought I should let you all see for yourselves why I wouldn't be able to follow-up on Sandra's idea...

Here are my acrylic paints & mediums...
The tray is a greenhouse planter tray (about the size of a cat litter tray) - as you can see, it is pretty full.

Oh, and as for brushes...
These are just the most used ones LOL

I think my poor little bucket would sprout legs and do a runner if I tried to put this lot in it..........................

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

How often do you...

...make something and then not know what to do with it?

I must admit, I often get carried away by the idea of trying something new or a new technique. This was just one such item...
This was something I made at a technique class learning to apply paint to different surfaces and creating different paint effects.

Just as in papercrafting you learn when to use one type of an ink pad instead of another - in painting you learn the best way of applying paint to different types of surfaces. This tin bucket had acrylic paint applied after it had been mixed with Multi-surface Medium to ensure the paint would adhere to the metal surface.
The crackle finish on the bucket was created using a crackle would think that using a special product would ensure the end result but I can assure you it can be just as hit-n-miss as creating crackle effects using PVA glue.
The garden designs all came from a decorated paper napkin and the words are 'Garden' in different languages painted by hand randomly over the bucket. The whole thing was then sprayed with a sealant to stop the crackle flakes getting knocked off.

I really enjoyed the process but then couldn't think what I was going to use it for so just put it away...

I came across it this evening whilst looking for something else (seems to be a habit of mine LOL) and I think it is quite cute but I still don't know what I could use it for. The 'finish' isn't really strong enough to stand up to much wear & tear and I don't want to coat it in varnish to make it more robust.

I think this is destined to be a display piece on my Expedit unit...when I eventually get around to obtaining one.........................................

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

How do you store...

...your minibooks?

I know some folk keep theirs on shelves or in drawers or even packed away in boxes whilst others stack a pile on the coffee table or display them in pretty baskets. It is something I have pondered for some time.

I quite liked the idea of a pretty basket but all the ones I liked were too deep and the books would be more hidden than on show. I then thought about a garden trug but most of the gardening outlets near where I live only stock those horrid plastic based ones...yes I know they are very practical for keeping clean but not very 'pretty' to look at. In the few places that I did find anything at least approaching what I wanted the price was just "OUCH".

Last weekend whilst over at Barleylands I found this in Maisie Moos...
It wasn't too costly and it is about the right size for what I need at the moment.
I bought some flocked ribbon in burgandy and green and wrapped the handle - finishing in a bow either side.
I think I might get some more of the ribbon to wrap around the top edge of the basket or tie randomly as bows over the wire framework...I'm not sure.

Something to think about but at least my mini albums have a home now.................

Monday, 21 March 2011

Making a start on...

I haven't made a Maze book for ages so when I found some sunshine yellow bazzill and some dark green mulberry paper (all very 'daffy-down-dilly') I thought, "Why not".
A couple of off-cuts of chipboard and a length of glittery organza ribbon and I was up and running.

There was only a small amount of the mulberry paper but there was just enough to cover the chipboard to create the covers. I thought this would be just right to decorate with some springtime photos as the weather improves and use it as a little Easter gift for my niece as a reminder of home (she's living out in Germany at the moment).
Whilst I was on a roll I thought I'd also make a couple of Easter cards using up a few bubble stickers that I found in my stash. Both cards have a punched circle as a matt for the image. The pink card has eyelet decoration and the green card has some ribbon decoration.
Both cards were created using scraps from my stash.

Not a very big dent in my mountain of stash but as they say...every little helps LOL....................................................

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Drum roll please...

...and the winner of my surprise freebie is -


Jules, if you would email me your address I'll pop your goodies in the post to you.

Thank you to everyone who dropped by and left comments - had a chuckle at Annette getting 'a mannie in' as her way of spending £10k and Paula, if only we had £10k...I would love to go shopping with you c",)

Thank you to my new followers, I am so honoured that you decided to 'keep an eye' on my little cyber world.

Oh, and before I forget - take a look at this...
Yep, it has more boat on the patio. It has gone to a new owner and a new home (shame I didn't get to do a bit of altering before it went LOL). So now I have a patio and that patch of grass should soon recover.

Now we just need to get rid of all the lumps of wood that were used to weight down the tarp....................................

Up for grabs...

...a surprise freebie.

**This is a fixed post - please scroll down for newer items**

On 22 Feb 2011 I announced that there had been more than 10,000 visits to this blog. Since that post I'm now up to over 11,000 so I thought it was time to get my act together and sort out a freebie to celebrate.
I have decided that the freebie is going to consist of some surprise goodies...there will be a mug hug, some decoupage and some other bits of stash.

So how can you get yourself included in the draw...simples.

1. 10,000 is a big number any day of the week but just think what could be done with £10,000...if you were to come into that kind of a windfall what would you spend it on. Leave a comment on this post sharing with us how you would spend £10k Just one post per person please

2. You could have a second chance at winning if you include a link to this post on your blog.

3. You could earn yourself a third entry in the draw if you feel that you would like to follow this blog.

So to go in the draw you must do "1" get extra chances you can additionally do "2" & "3".

This post will be fixed at the top of the blog until Sunday 20 March at which time a name will be pulled out of the hat (have to find a different hat this time LOL)

Go on - Let's hear what you would spend £10k on if you were lucky enough to have that sort of windfall......................................

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Do you remember this...

...set of dotty hugs?
Well look what I now have to go with them...
These pretty pot-holders were sent to me by Maz (see previouse post). Don't you think they are just lovely.
Maz makes such lovely things for her family and for her shop - which has just celebrated a year of trading. How super is this.

I feel very special that she was kind enough to think of me and send me this lovely surprise...................................

Watch this space...

...the camera is on charge at the moment.

Earlier in the week the lovely Maz of "Love Heart Home" sent me a lovely gift but the light has been absolutely 'pants' so I haven't been able to get a good photo.

The sun is shining and the forecast for today is cold but bright so you never know, we may have success.............................

Friday, 18 March 2011


...achieved by a week of fun & silliness **not to be sniffed at - get it - "sniffed at" - noses - okay, don't groan too loudly LOL**

These are just a few photos to show how some folk in the office decided to round off the week...

Meet Dave: -
Dave is my boss and can normally be found 'suited & booted' - just a slight change from his normal dress sense LOL

This is Chris: -
Chris recently was provided with a new chair via O/Health and for some reason they sent a red one (our normal office scheme is blue) - as you can guess it certainly sticks out. Chris, bless him, took my suggestion to heart about his chair having a nose of its own - he bought it a 'car nose'.

Say Hi to Anjani: -
She was dressed 'head to toe' in red - even her coat was red.

Now this is Darren: -
Darren had volunteered to munch his way through a 'Yard of Jaffa Cakes' - a total of 5 packs/60 cakes. Poor Darren arrived this morning feeling very much under the weather as it looks like he is developing a really bad cold...but all said and done, he was still 'up for it'.

Just after midday (once we had sorted out stop-watch facilities and ended up with 2 time keepers) - in front of a fair sized crowd - he was off...

Armed with a glass of water he got stuck in and munched his way very steadily through all 60 Jaffa Cakes - the photo was taken just as he was about to start on pack 4.

I think a lot of folk were a bit optimistic with their guesses and as he hit the 10 min mark - folk asked could they buy more tickets to have new guesses...

The total of 60 Jaffa Cakes was polished off in 20mins 17.8secs.

For those wondering - no he wasn't sick afterwards and even we were surprised that he wasn't bouncing off the ceiling due to all that sugar (and approx 2760 cals) - however, the combination of sugar and lots of water did result in a lot of trips to the 'Little boys room'.

Folk really got into the spirit of things this week and with the grotty weather and rotten news that has faced all of us I think it brought a little cheer into the workplace...and £340 more for Comic Relief........................

It's Red Nose Day... something funny for money.
These folk did...

Today is our - Wear your Nose day - I look forward to seeing what folk come up with as ideas for locating their noses other than - on the nose LOL

We also have the Great Jaffa Cake munch...60 jaffa cakes...yuck! We'll all be timing our fellow workmate to see just how quickly he manages this.

Have fun today folks...............................

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day...

...for those celebrating - have a great time.
Isn't it strange that the 'English' celebrate this Saint's day more than their own...although things do seem to be improving. I wonder, could it have anything to do with the fact that most folk associate St Patrick's Day with - fun - partying...and booze!!!

Whatever your reason for enjoying this Saint's day I hope you don't have a 'heavy' head in the morning.................................

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Red Nose Week...

...lots of fun & silliness.

This week is set to be fun as it is Red Nose Day on Friday. Because we have lots of part-time staff who do not work Mondays or Fridays we always organise events for the whole of the week so that everyone gets a chance to take part...

Monday kicked things off with Red themed quiz sheets going on sale along with tickets where folk can guess how long it is going to take one of our staff to munch their way through a yard of Jaffa Cakes (that's 60 of the things - we measured LOL).

Tuesday was "Wear red day"...just for fun. It was lovely to see an almost rosy glow in the office yesterday because so many folk took part. We also started selling Bonus Ball numbers.

Today was the biggest event of the week - a red themed tombola. Staff had done amazingly well with all the things they had donated - the items could be red in colour/name/packaging or very tenuous..."Ready brek". We had over 100 items ranging from a kitkat to a £15 iTune download card and everything that you could think of in between.
This is what the table looked like when we had everything labled up.
We have a decorated bag and box to receive the completed quiz sheets & guess slips and they are rolling in at a fair rate of knots...
This is a closer shot of the tombola goodies before the tickets went on sale.

At 10.30 this morning it was like a swarm of locusts had decended and everyone had fun trying to find what their ticket had won them. We do our tombolas so that every ticket wins (not just numbers ending in "0" or "5") beit a kitkat or a bottle of wine or a 3 disk collection of Beatles classics - everyone who plays goes away with something. By the end of lunchtime everything had gone...

Thursday will be a day when some of my staff go round the building with the quiz sheets etc. to catch up with folk who haven't yet had a chance to make their purchase.

Friday is the Grand Jaffa Cake Munch...we know the person concerned can polish off 3 boxes (36 Jaffa cakes) pretty darn quick but it might be a bit more difficult to get through those extra 24...

Friday is also the day we are encouraging folk to wear their red noses and we are waiting to see how creative folk can be rather than just sticking them on their conks......................................

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

What's on your...


Most folk have things like tubs of flowers, some ornaments or a nice comfy bench - not me. I look out onto my patio and see this...
...and 'this' has sat there for about two years.
It was obviously a 'must have' for hubby & his mate when they had their charter business but as far as I can tell it hasn't been used for about 4 years or more. It has moved - after complaining about the view from the lounge - or lack of, because this blocked it - it was taken to reside at my FILs. This was super, it didn't cause anyone any problems as it was on a side piece of ground next to my FILs bungalow and was not overlooked. Unfortunately my FIL passed away so it came back here to live...and here it has sat ever since.

The view did change slightly this winter as it was covered in a huge dirty white tarp to protect it from the elements but now it has been uncovered again.

I am so hoping that a new home can be found for this before the nice weather arrives as it would be really rather super to sit out on the patio without this shadowing everyone from the sun................................

Monday, 14 March 2011

Monday, Monday... bright but cold.

Another chilly start to a week and still no real sign of Spring.
This is what the surface of my car looks like this morning but before you get excited by the photography - I didn't take this (you didn't think I would be out there in these temps in my PJs just to grab a pic - well perhaps you did, I have been known to do such mad things LOL). It is a pic I found on the 'Net and it just seemed perfect.

The sun is really trying to make things seem more cheerful but the temps are still too low for my liking. Such topsy-turvy, dry, bright but cold after yesterday's wet, dull & yucky day.

Supose I should get myself wrapped up and off to work. Catch you laters.........................

Sunday, 13 March 2011

It's only Words...

...and words are all I have **continue humming and feeling glad that no-one can actually hear me** LOL

Do you ever get one of those know the ones...whilst doing something else an object catches your eye and all thoughts of what you were going to do fly out of your head. Well I had one of those.

I have a notice board just inside of the room that is sort of considered to be my craft room (dumping ground would be more accurate a description). On said noticeboard I have had some wooden words which were 'must have' buys but then I couldn't think what to do with them - they ended up pinned to the board and that is where they stayed.
I think if I rummaged more in the 'craft' room I would find some more but on the board were - Create...
...Dream...and Angel.

Also on the board are some pics of The Professionals (always had a bit of a thing about Bodie - Lewis Collins) and Robbie Williams. Seeing the pics of Robbie and the word 'Angel' a light bulb came on. I had some shabby blue & brown PPs and some rub-ons and odd letters & stickers left over from a project. I stuck the word to the back of the PP and once dry cut out carefully with a craft knife - I did consider inking the edges but decided I didn't want it that shabby. Some of the rub-ons were applied and a couple of stickers. I used up a couple of small bits of ribbon that I found in the scraps box to tie round the letters...and would you believe it - I found an "S" amongst the odd letter stickers. The enamel daisy hanging from the bottom is a Making Memories tote charm.

The finished item...
...Angels - very fitting don't you think.

Wonder what it will take to spark the imagination with the other words...............................