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, 29 May 2013

WOYWW - 208

No picture as yet as I forgot what day it was again (hope to put one up later), but I had to just say

Happy WOYWW 4th Anniversary.

Well done to Julia for her brilliant idea and her hospitality for all these many weeks.  It is a wonderful achievement and long may it continue.  I know I am not the only person to have received unparalleled support and encouragement from all you wonderful crafters out there.   Your generosity is wonderful.

Hopefully, I will be back next week with a photo, even if it is only the space where my computer was until it went for emergency treatment.  I also have another project to start, but more about that later.

PS I have just re-read what I wrote on my Kindle last night, and predictive text does have a lot to answer for, especially when you are half asleep.  Hopefully, it all makes sense now. 

PPS Sorry, folks.  I was going to take another photo today, but I seem to have spent all day on the phone or dealing with other things so I never got round to it. I got the estimate for having the complete roof done, and everything took off from that.  I accepted the quote which was the easy bit.  Then I needed to organise what to do with the caravan while the work is being done.  Part of the time, it is going back to the dealer for some warranty work, then one of our neighbours has offered to have it on his front garden until it can come back.  I am also trying to arrange to have an automatic levelling system fitted to the corner steadies so that I can just stand there with a remote, and position the caravan on site, then another remote will lower the legs with no effort from me.  

My chiropractor also told me that I needed massage on my shoulders and back to relieve the stress and tension there, and I managed to book that for the same time as my cleaner comes in, so that needs to be altered.  I would not mind but all this is on the calendar and I still manage to get it wrong.

I am also chasing an electrician who has been recommended to me to have a new door bell fitted.  I am totally cheesed off with these wireless units you buy from B&Q etc, which work beautifully for about a week and then die.  After five of those, I want to go back to a proper old-fashioned mains powered unit which works.  

None of this is craft related but that is where my day has gone so far.  I did manage to look up  the Travelodge at Nottingham which is just down the road from where my craft day with Clarity will take place in August.  I think I shall book in for two nights, one before and one after, so I don't have to worry about fighting the motorway traffic on the way there or going home after.  I can then relax and enjoy the day.

I did have a crafty box delivered as well, of which there will be more later.  Enjoy the rest of your WOYWW celebrations.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

WOYWW 207 - What a mess!

As the title says - what a mess!  Not surprising really, as there has been no work attempted in here for nearly two months, and anything that is crafting based has been aimed into there from the doorway. The only thing I have done in there was my personal card for the flowers, and squeeze past the heaps of stuff to put my Kindle on charge in the morning and to take it off charge at bedtime. 


OK, it will probably be a long time till I get back to real organisation, and settling down to working properly.  I need to clear spaces elsewhere in the house to store things like my CDRom's, which I do not need close at hand.  They are all downloaded on the computer to make them quicker and easier to sort through and use.  Once they are moved, I can use their space for my new Clarity stamps so they are easy to grab to use.

Having read Julia's post about poor quality stamps, I quite agree that we should not waste our time trying to work with companies like that.  Having had some cheap or free ones in the past, I tend now to stick to companies I know do quality.  There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours trying to create a design and for it to go wrong due to poor quality tools and card.  I also try very hard to stick to British companies, where possible, and I like my stamps to be see through, which helps if you are trying to create a landscape.

If you have had enough of the distressing mess that is my craft room, then just nip over to Julia's, where you will find more desks and rooms that are probably rather tidier and productive than mine.  I shall not be taking part in the ATC swap for the 4th birthday WOYWW celebrations, but I look forward to seeing what everyone shows.  Have a good week, all of you.  xxx

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WOYWW - 206

Still no photos to show you but I am now desperate to get back into my room and create something.  Just need to set up a barricade to control the dogs and stop them creating mayhem while I create masterpieces - I have a new stairgate for the purpose so I am just waiting for that to be fitted, although I think I can prop it in place for now.  Then the other necessary step is to clear a passage from the door to my desk, which could take longer.  I will take a photo of the mess to show you next week, hopefully with a photo of a much tidier room afterwards.

I am gradually rebuilding some kind of routine, which as many of you know is not easy, but it has to be done.  A trip to see my son and his family was something different, although it was hard to do it on my own this time.  In company with over 100 other officers and staff, he was presented with the Chief Constable's Commendation for the professional and efficient way they dealt with the rioters of 2011.  Apart from the fact that I was already in an emotional state, I did find that it brought back to me how frightened I was at the time for his safety, and how angry I was that the criminal rioters could make me so frightened in my own country.  Listening to the speeches and to some of the calls that came into the control room that night, I have a great deal of sympathy with Theresa May's call for heavier penalties for those who kill a police officer (Sorry, Julia, I am being controversial here).  Those rioters went out carrying petrol bombs with the express intention of maiming or killing police officers, even firebombing one of the Police stations - you can find video of that on the internet still

On a happier note, it was lovely to be greeted with such delight by his two little girls, especially when Rosie, who is two, told me I was pretty when I was "poshed up" for the presentation. 

Right, I am off now to my daughter's to help her sort through her craft stuff, so I am sure you will be off to back to Julia's place to see some interesting desks on show there.  Hope to visit some of you later.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Craft A Scene - Ships in the Night No 2

This is my second offering this month as member of the DT for Craft A Scene.  The theme this month is "Ships in the Night", meaning that it should be a night scene and have a ship in it somewhere.  I had been playing around and trying to draw what I wanted.  Sadly, I was only using cheap copy paper which did mean that the image was not as clear as I would have liked, but I knew I could not have redrawn the scene, so it was down to a bit of computer trickery and cleaning up to get rid of the paper imperfections.  Then I could print the drawing out again on to watercolour paper, ready to colour in.

My favourite summer holidays as a child were mainly down at Newquay in Cornwall, and I remember going on a boat trip round the bay on one of the fishing boats.  I also enjoyed mooching round the harbour when the tide was out looking at all the little boats moored in there.  That was what inspired this picture.  In fact, the numbers on the boats are the numbers that belonged to two of the little boats from that time.  

The moon was created by masking with a post-it-note before brayering with Adirondacks  The rest of the colouring was done with Derwent watercolour pencils.  I also added a few highlights with a Sakura white pen. 

I hope you are all going to enter your own creations this month, and have fun making scenes to show Ships in the Night.  Go on, have a go.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

WOYWW - 205?

No picture today - well, not yet, anyway.  My excuse/reason is that I completely forgot the day again.  Not surprising , really, as everyone seems to be conspiring to upset any ideas of organisation I might have aspired to.  I am not going to complain though, as I have a lot of very good friends who are all determined to do their bit to support me at this time.  Good family and friends are such a blessing, and something to be cherished.

I am still knitting and crocheting for all I am worth, and I will show you all the results when they are done.

In the meantime, thank you once more for all your wonderful messages of support, which mean so much to me.  I will endeavour to actually answer some of them this week.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Craft A Scene for May - Ships in the Night

 This is a scheduled post.
This is the first of my offerings for the DT for the May theme for Craft A Scene, which is Ships in the Night.  I took inspiration for this one from Anna-Karin's beautiful offering for the Tropical Shores theme, using only one stamp, although her colouring is far more dramatic than mine.  The stamp used is the Galleon from Clarity Stamps., a beautiful silhouette stamp.  The other two ships in the background are just sketched in after everything else was done. 

For the background, I used my brayer, Adirondacks and Big and Juicy inkpads,  and Splodge Away Mat, with a little masking for the setting sun.  The SplodgeAway mat is just so perfect to get rid of any stripes in your brayering.  It also allows you to go back to the ink you have stored on it to reload your brayer and darken your scene. 

The sun across the sea and the shadows of the ships was added using a make up sponge, just dragging the colour across.

I had to take myself in hand for this theme, having done another card with boats on that I intended to use, then I suddenly realised that I had not fitted in with the brief.  There were boats, but it was daytime not night time.  I had done exactly what I complain when others do it - I had not read it properly and thought it out properly.  So, remember, learn from my mistake.  Read the brief for the theme and then stick to it, and stretch yourself. 

It does not matter whether or not you have a boat or ship stamp.  You could use a digi stamp, a decoupage image or draw on for yourself.  Even just one image can make a scene with the way you colour your background.  Go on, join in and have fun.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

WOW 204

As you can see, this is not my normal desk.  As yet, I have not managed to get back to crafting in my normal way, but I needed something to keep my fingers and mind occupied in the evenings, so knitting and crochet seemed to be the answer.  This is a jacket for an imminently expected baby.  I chose to do a 2 year old size as they have so many of the new born sizes.  I am also ringing the changes by doing a ripple crochet blanket (thanks Jo for the pattern).

I am keeping this post short and sweet this week, but I do want to say to everyone how grateful I am for all the support I have had from so many of you.  It means more than you can imagine.  I know that I will never get over it, but with your help and the help of my family and friends, I can endeavour to cope and build my life in a different way.  I am sorry that I did not respond personally to all of you, but I know you understand, and I have read everything.
Thank you.