Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

WOYWW - 121

No pictures of my actual desk this week, just a couple of cards just completed, done in rather a rush.  I am still in the middle of a major tidy up, so there is not a lot of space in which to play.  This first one is for the anniversary of our close friends.  Hopefully they will not see it before the day.  

I used a couple of the Big and Juicy ink pads to brayer the background onto a Clarity silk art card.  The brayering could have been better, but fortunately the stamp covered the worst faults.  The stamps were all from the Clarity range.  The couple in the boat came out better than I thought they would.  I did the reflection first, by inking the stamp and running the brayer up it.  Then I could position the reflection roughly in the right area, before stamping the main image just above it.  When the whole thing was dry, I used a white Sakura pen to add highlights.  The whole thing was mounted using Pinflair glue on to dark blue card from Paper Mill, and finally on to a A5 Clarity silk art card.
This second card was done in the same way, with the same ingredients, but for some reason the printing seems to be darker on this one. I really like the oriental feel of these stamps, and they really lend themselves to this blend of colours.  I do need a lot more practice again with the brayering to get the smooth blends that Barbara Gray achieves.  I still have a lot of Christmas cards to do so the brayer will be well used in the next few weeks, not to mention a lot of masking, embossing and stamping (not necessarily in that order).

I thought you may like to see one or two more photos from our flying visit to Spain.  The area was completely free from touristy rubbish, well off the normal trails, more of the real Spain.  This castle is Berlanga de Duero, so spectacular, and seriously dramatic in a thunder storm.  The wedding reception was held here, the canapes on this terrace, the main meal and speeches in the marquee, and the evening reception back out on the terrace.  The whole place is spectacular, especially when floodlit at night, and visible from quite a distance.

This is the church of San Juan de Rabanera in Soria, again beautifully lit at night.  It is classed as an ancient monument, with good reason, and really well kept.  The area around it was pristine, no rubbish anywhere.  In fact, that was one thing that struck us about the whole town - no rubbish lying around, the town square washed every morning.  The people were so proud of their town.

The last photo for today is not a wonderful picture but it intrigued me.  I took it from the plane as we were dropping down through the clouds coming home.  If you look carefully, you can see the shadow of the plane on the clouds.  It shows a phenomenon called a Glory, where you get a rainbow halo around the shadow of the plane.  Sadly, the rainbow does not show up as well as it did in real life, but you can see the brighter cloud around the shadow.  The science is that the sun is directly behind my viewpoint, so shining through the ice and water in the air to create the rainbow.

Maybe, next week there will be a bit more crafty stuff to show you, but till then, why don't you wander round to Julia's pad (http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/) to find the link to many really crafty people who give us the chance to take a sneaky peak at their desks.

PS Does anyone have any idea on how to get mica powders off a Versamark pad?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Beware of Unscrupulous scammers

This is not one of those mass produced scare mongering warnings.  Some of you may have come across it already, so apologies if you have heard this before. 

Friends of ours were having trouble with their emails and in continued "discussion" with Virgin on the subject.  Virgin could not fix it. 

The next phone call was from a "company" called Comantra.  The person talking was a foreigner, very quietly spoken, and led our friends to believe that he had been put onto them to sort out  their problems.  He then asked them to do a few things on the computer, and then said that they were not registered with Microsoft, and it would cost them somewhere around £80 to sort that out, then they would have no more trouble.

At this point they realised that this company was nothing to do with the problems they actually had and refused to pay anything.  The Comantra man got rather tetchy and hung up.

I have done quite a bit of research on the internet and found that this company has a website and claims to be a partner of Microsoft.  However, this claim is totally false, and there are loads of horror stories about how people have been conned into paying this money and then even more to pay for continued "support" from them.  Apparently once you have paid this money there is no redress, as no actual crime has been committed.  The office of Comantra is apparently in India.

If you have any phone call from anyone claiming that you have a fault on your computer or you have a virus, this is a scam.  All you need to say is that you record all calls for your protection and for the caller's protection.  Ask them how they know this, have they been hacking into your computer.  Ask for their details and suggest that you will check them with the police.  The chances are that by this time they will have hung up anyway.

Microsoft NEVER cold call people.  If you want help from them, it takes a lot of time and endless patience to find what you want from their website.

Check this out for yourself on the internet, and if you agree and find that what I have said is true, then pass it on to your friends and relatives in some way.  Microsoft have done some research and found that out of 7000 people, 1000 will have come across this scam, and out of that 1000, there will be over 200 who will have fallen for it and paid over money to these scammers.

We did sort out our friends' email problems in 5 minutes, and we ran all the protection software to ensure that no hacking had taken place.

Our virus software of choice is Eset Smart Security, which has been proved to be the best in catching new viruses and old.  In addition, we run Spybot Search and Destroy (free to download, update and use), and Malwarebytes, which picks up different problems and clears them.  These 3 programs seem to help avoid the dreaded "blue screen of death".

Another free but very useful program to run is CCleaner, which, if you run it every day, keeps your computer free from the rubbish temporary files and cookies etc that you pick up every day without realising it.  Getting rid of those helps to speed up your computer.

All this has got in the way of crafting this week, but maybe next week will be better, although we do have one more computer to sort out for a friend.

Take care and keep yourselves and your computers safe,  and once you have checked things out for yourselves, then please pass it on to others.  If we all communicate, we may cut down the numbers of those who are conned each year, taking away our valuable crafting money.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

WOYWW - 120

I am getting so lax about doing my posts.  My only excuse is that the time is flying by so fast that I cannot keep track of the days, and I am always too late.  I seem to have done very little crafting since we got back from Spain.  I thought I had finished doing all the DVDs and BluRays of the wedding when I found I needed to do three more sets for various people.  In the middle of doing that, I found that I could create BluRays but the same drive refused to play them. Doh.......  That should not happen.  A lengthy correspondence with Roxio resulted from that, but after doing all the things they suggested, with no result, I just uninstalled the lot, reinstalled it, and when that was working I was able to install the BlueRay bit over the top - and it worked!

I need to get back to my room now and actually find a space to work in.  While we have been tidying the house and clearing rubbish from the spare room (before getting the new carpet fitted) anything that could even vaguely be considered as crafting in some way got dumped in my room.  The result is that there is nowhere to sit or work - a couple of days serious tidying required there.  I am suffering from craft withdrawal symptoms, especially having watched Barbara Gray's Pick of the Week.  I cannot wait to set about some of the techniques she has demonstrated, but I must add the new DVD and the stamps to my wish list before I get stuck in. 

I can't wait till Monday when we actually get to see our youngest grandchildren again.  It is over 2 months since we met up, so they will have changed dramatically in that time.  We are lucky with our older grandchildren (the two we share with Shaz Silverwolf) as they live very close and we usually see them at least once a week.

I am off now to get a few things cleared out of the way before the Virgin engineer arrives this afternoon to change our TV box, but I do intend to wander through as many as possible of the lovely desks on view at Julia's place   http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/

Hopefully I will manage some crafting and some photos of my own for next week.   Have a great week all of you.