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.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

A little bit of Christmas

A lot of folks are showing their lovely Christmas trees on the blogs and Facebook.  I do have a bigger tree which is a fibre optic variety, but these two trees have much more meaning to me, because Geoff and I put in the work to put them together.

The individual days are a kit from a company in Birmingham - their name totally escapes me at the moment, but as soon as I remember or excavate it, I will post it.  They came as tiny pieces of aida, with the paper patterns and needles, threads and frames.  I cannot remember if the ribbon was with them or not, but I think it was.  They did not take long to cross stitch, the ideal project to take away in the caravan over the summer.

Once the stitching and framing was complete, then it was deciding how to best display them.  The suggestions that came with them did not suit our purpose so a bit more thought was required.  The idea for the two wooden trees actually came from another friend who had made one for his wife to display some other little cross stitches.  They were made from some offcuts of wood lying around in the shed.  I think the trees were painted with Humbrol, but it might have been ordinary emulsion, I cannot remember.  The trunks were painted with Sadolin outdoor treatment because that was what we had.

I have not put much in the way of decorations up this year, partly because the decorators have only just finished, but these had to come out as they were hand made as a joint effort between Geoff and me.  So they have great sentimental value.  

Christmas to me has always been a mixture of old and new.  I have several tree ornaments that are certainly from my childhood, and some that are older than that.  We always tried to buy something new each year, even if it was just one bauble.  We have never colour co-ordinated in any way, preferring the more gaudy bright colour mixes

I will show you another historical treasure tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I am off to do some dinner and relax after finishing and getting rid of the last few cards.  Never again shall I do 130 cards in one slow panic.  I hate doing more than one copy of a card, let alone 130, so I shall start early and just play with all the stamps I have, keeping a list for who each card is intended for.  I just need to find room this afternoon for the Sainsbury's delivery and then Christmas will be here.  I am not shopping again apart from filling up with diesel, until New Year is over and done with.

Google is having fun with my photos all by itself.  Look what it has just done with this one.  I still have no idea how this is working.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Plans - what plans?

Plans, what plans?  I did have a plan for today, but by 9am, I just threw that up in the air and started again.  I hope Santa's plans are doing better and maybe he can put one or two little things in my stocking.

Having been told last night that one of my headlights was out, that became a top priority, but had to be done before 1pm.  Then a phone call  came to say that my new glasses were ready, and also needed dealing with before 1pm.  

So I cancelled my massage and dental appointments and set off to get my lights sorted.  The bulb was fine but someone had messed around with it and it was barely in the holder and any vibration was enough to interfere with it.  

Then it was back, past home in completely the opposite direction to collect my new glasses - I can see road signs now and the tv is no longer fuzzy.  

Then I collected my Christmas meat from the butcher, who was packed out, and got moaned at by a stupid man because I had not parked between the white lines.  As I pointed out to him, if I had done that, neither he nor I could have opened our car doors.  Two land rovers do not fit side by side in narrow parking spaces.

I do have plans for the rest of the week, but no real expectation of getting any of them done.  Tomorrow, I am waiting in for a delivery and intending to cook a chicken, then boil up the carcass to make some fresh mushroom soup (the mushrooms need using up).  Then I need more stamps to send my cards, and once my delivery has arrived, I can go out round the local area and deliver those I can by hand.

Sainsbury's are due to deliver on Saturday and once that is done, whatever I have forgotten will be done without.  Apart, that is, for filling up with fuel.  Hopefully there will be a voucher for money off fuel with my shopping. After that, I am not going out again until Christmas Day, except to give the dogs a run.

My next plan is to take the dogs out now  and then go to bed early.  Do I stand any chance...........

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

WOYWW - 237

I cannot show you a desk again this week for several reasons - it looks exactly the same as last week, with a slight movement of the heaps to make room for another heap of the same.  So I thought I would show you a pretty picture instead.  It is not this year's snow, but I do like having the falling animated snow added to my own photo.

This is the very last time  I am going to deal with the Christmas cards this way.  I will never again mass produce 130 cards - I will never send 130 cards again.  If I never see another Christmas card again, it will be too soon. 

To be fair, I left it all to the last minute, but I did have a good excuse.  After spending a lot of time and a lot of money on having the house and garden done up, I finished off with having the hall, stairs and landing painted, and the kitchen, and the dining room.  Two weeks before Christmas - I must be mad.  In the middle of all the paint fumes, I also went down with a rotten cold and cough.

As this is going to be a scheduled post, written on Tuesday afternoon, I am off now to do another pile of cards, then down to the post office for more stamps and to send the foreign ones (bit late, those), before getting ready for visitors this evening.  Then I must do my shopping list for Sainsbury's to take account of the fact that I need things to make a lemon meringue and a raspberry and hazelnut meringue for Christmas lunch, and I suppose I should make some mince pies for anyone who braves the wrapping paper and the fingerlift tape (I have lost the Sellotape).

If any of you have time to sit with a coffee or a stiff brandy and have a quick nose round desks from all over the world, then just follow the link to our Julia's place where I am sure she will find time to welcome you.  I suspect that most of you are in a similarly disorganised state - please, if you are not, then don't tell me. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

WOYWW - 236

Not perhaps a desk as yet, but it still needs a lot of work.  I have a load of plants to put in, but just have not got round to it so far.  The fence is not curved, it is just the effect of the panorama setting on the camera.  That small fence has made such a difference to my life.  No longer do the dogs come in fro the garden covered in mud which they leave all over the house.  No longer do they dig up my plants or eat my fruit.  No longer can they eat the bird seed or dive into the bird bath. 
I cannot wait to get all these beds filled over the next twelve months.  I am aiming for a good mix of flowers, shrubs, vegetable and herbs, and loads of wild flowers for the insects etc.  A lot of the pots lying around will be emptied and their contents given a permanent home in the raised beds.  That should cut down the watering for next year.

I like the idea of being able to go out into the garden and pull enough baby carrots etc for that day's food with lots of flavour and vitamins, cutting just enough salad leaves for that meal without the rest going off in the fridge.  The greenhouses are intended for tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries, just for a start, and the new beds below are for my soft fruit, gooseberries, blackcurrants etc. 
The big strawberry pots on the left will probably be turned over now to flowers to brighten things up, and hopefully encourage more insects to come along.  I think there will be more paving under the trees where the lawn is presently covered in leaves, where the grass will never grow again, perhaps with a nice seat around the tree for relaxing, maybe even a small table for outdoor crafting, perhaps with nice perfumed plant around for inspiration.

As you might gather, I have loads of ideas, which are gradually being turned into plans and followed through.  However, my plan for Wednesday is to take a large box upstairs, and fill it with all the stuff on my desk which needs sorting and clear it all off so I can get enough space to do some proper crafting.  that is the plan but it depends on where the decorators are working.  On the other hand, I must just get painted into the only room downstairs that is not being painted  before Christmas, in which case I will finish the Christmas cards.  Either way, I have a plan (to quote Barbara Gray). 

Sorry, there is not a lot of crafting going on here yet, but I am sure a lot of you are also caught up with the rush to get Christmas sorted.  However, do take the time to have a cup of coffee and a tasty biscuit while you wander round some of the lovely desks on show each week over at Julia's Place.  You will be made very welcome.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

WOYWW - 235

I have not done any blogging for several weeks.  Someone keeps stealing my weeks and before I know it, I have missed yet another Wednesday.  This is not even my proper workdesk, but I am working here today because it is nice and warm down here.  Some kind person has passed their cold on to me and I am just at the feeling sorry for myself stage today.  So I am occupied in trying to break the back of the Christmas cards, while indulging myself watching and listening (at high volume) the Shadows Final Tour on YouTube.  They really were fantastic musicians and entertainers.

I have faded out most of this picture so that the design of my cards is fairly well hidden until I get them all sent out.  Although I like the design, Gelli plate and Clarity stamps, I detest mass producing cards.  However, I don't have the time or the inclination to make the individual cards I would normally do.  I also have to produce two different letters this year, one for those who know that Geoff died in April and one for those who don't know.  So mass production was the only way.  I thought of actually buying cards this year, but I could not face trying to find cards I was happy with.

Excuse me but I am off now to make a large mug of hot Bovril (wonderful for a sore throat) so I hope I might get round to visiting at least some of you later in the day.  I am sure that Julia, our esteemed leader will have loads of germ free desks on show over at her blog this week.  Why don't you nip over and take a peek?