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.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday Smiles

My special smile came a little late today, in the form of this photo of my youngest granddaughter.  She had obviously had a busy day.

Message to SarahS

If you see this, Sarah, I have been trying to leave you a message in return for your visit to me and for joining as a follower.  For some reason, Google and Blogger have conspired to stop me.  Do you have a blog or a Facebook page I could find you on?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WOYWW 151 - Post NEC - now broke!

OK, it is time for our weekly meeting, hosted by Julia Dunnit, who lives over at Stamping Ground, and hosts a huge gathering of like minds.  We all have different ideas in crafting, but we all enjoy taking to each other each week and having a good nose round to see what is going on on our desks.    How else could so many chat in one day and have a really good ferret on so many desks except through the medium of the internet blog meeting.

Last week, I promised some pictures of  the goodies from the NEC Craft Show.  I chose to go on the first day, being the quietest, usually, with less traffic on the roads too.  So, early Thursday morning, I was in the car and off for the 20 minute journey up the M42, armed with purse and credit card and shopping bags and a LIST.  That list will appear later in the story.

I had already had a look to see where my favourite stands would be, so first visit was the the Clarity Stamps stand - where else, I ask you?  It was like being a kiddie in a sweet shop.  Although the show had only just opened, the crowd round Barbara Gray and Maria Simms was already several deep, all desperate to gather more hints and tips.  (If you want to see what we were all desperate to get at, just look at Barbara's blog at http://barbaragrayblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-moment-of-clarity-at-nec.html)

I started very well following my list, then it slipped a bit when I spotted something lovely that I NEEDED.  At that point, the lovely Heather took pity on me and took my list in charge and found everything for me.  Then, still with the list in my hand, I fought my way to Dave to pay for my goodies.  That is where things fell apart.  I lost my list (I still blame Dave for stealing it so that I would spend more money).
 The other problem was the amazing special show offers, and it would have been rude not to take advantage of them, wouldn't it.  Not to mention the £20 voucher I had won from Clarity and the £5 voucher printed off the website.  Storage was my main aim, for my remountable stamps and for the growing number of stencils in my collection.  I got that, then proceeded to fill a new stencil storage file.  There were so many brand new beautiful ones brought out as show introductions..  They are not even on the website yet.  Just look at the fabulous butterfly in the folder, and you get the outie as well as the innie.  Then you might be able to see the fabulous gilding flakes, another brilliant offer with all the things you need to start playing, including the stamp of your choice.

I did go elsewhere in the show, including the Pergamano stand, where the lady was demonstrating a new type of embossing mat, and giving us a chance to try before we bought.  She also had good storage, a zipped folder type of bag to carry all the tools you need and pens as well.  So that was two more things that were not on my list that just fell into my bag.

Another stall good for demos was the Derwent stand, where I did pick up a lot of useful hints and tips and ways to extend the uses of all the lovely Derwent things I already have.  I did not actually buy from here, but only because I have most of what they do anyway, being a crayon/pencil addict from childhood.

For me, it was a better show than the November one, more room to move and I think most of the stamping companies were there, and plenty of card and paper etc as well.  Even the dratted Scan and Cut was there with Mel Heaton demoing it.  I did find a quiet moment to ask the question I have wanted an answer to since it was launched - what can it do that my Silhouette Cameo can't at about half the price?  In the end, I think she really could not find anything that I would want that the Scan and Cut could do differently.  Some people seem to think that it is an advantage to not use a computer, but I cannot see how it is better to try to edit on that tiny screen rather than a large colour computer monitor.  We agreed to differ, very amicably, but I did feel that it was the first time anyone had asked that question.

I was a little disappointed not to meet any WOYWWers at the show, and I had my badge on.  Perhaps you were all going on the other three days.  However, it was good to meet up again with Barbara, Maria, and meet, for the first time, four other lovely ladies from the Clarity team, Theresa Pace, Jane Barber, Yvonne Frohlich, and Jo Rice.  It felt to me as though I had always known them, a result of chatting so much online.  Being with them did take me back to the Clarity stand as you might imagine, and as my list had vanished for good, needless to say, I fell for some more goodies, so much so that when I got home and realised I had forgotten to get one particular stencil, I did debate, very seriously, going back the next day to get it.  Then common sense took over, and I realised it was much cheaper to ring Clarity and ask for one to be added to the order I already had in.

I will show you more of what I have once this next weekend is over - the weekend when the collapsing shed is to be emptied, and the good stuff put in the garage and the rubbish removed to the tip.  I also need some things returned into the caravan ready for my first ever solo trip very soon.

 I think I must finish right now, otherwise Julia will put me on the naughty step for going on too long.  Sorry Julia!   I will try to get round to visit as many of you as possible, but that will depend on garage clearing etc.  I am sure you all understand.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday's Smiles - and it is a test!

This is my contribution to Wipso's Friday smiles for this week. I have been going through a load of old files on the computer and came across this one, an old one, but a gem.


Below are four questions and a bonus question. You have to answer them instantly. You can’t take your time, answer all of them immediately.  Try not to cheat.  It is more fun to do it properly.

Let’s find out how clever you really are...

Ready Go..

1.    You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?

If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second. Try not to screw up next time. Now answer the second question, but don’t take as much time as you took for the first question.

2.    If you overtake the last person you are...?

If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the Last Person?  You’re not very good at this are you?

Next very tricky arithmetic! Note This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use a calculator or paper and pen

3.    Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total?

Did you get 5000? The correct answer is 4100.

If you don’t believe it check it with a calculator. Today is definitely not your day is it?

Last question

Mary’s father has five daughters: Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono what is the name of the fifth daughter?

Did you answer Nunu? NO! Of course it isn’t. Her name is Mary - read the question again!

Okay now the bonus round

A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is done.

Next a blind man comes into the shop who wants to buy a pair of sunglasses, how does he indicate what he wants?

He just has to open his mouth and ask...

It’s really very simple.... Like you!

Oh yes, I got them all wrong, and I had read them before, so what does that say about my brain power?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

WOYWW 250 - Getting ready for the NEC

Not too much to show this week, which is one reason why I am so late posting today.  I wasn't going to post at all, but now I am stuck in the area of the computer while waiting for a delivery that might come today or not?  Very annoying as the weather is right for gardening today, and is forecast to turn wet tomorrow.

I have just been putting my Clarity stencils into the made-to-measure storage folders, and then added another couple of the folders to my shopping list for the NEC this week.  My list is now complete and all I have to do is to have the strength to stick to it.  I have found two of the badges I need, just have to retrieve my WOYWW badge from Scottie dog upstairs.

I wonder how many of you I will see there.  If you see me wandering around in my buggy (mobility scooter) do stop me and say hello.  I will try not to run you over.  That reminds me - I must make sure the batteries are fully charged.

Short and sweet this week as Julia likes it.  She will be waiting for you over at her Stamping Ground to show you loads more desks.  Why don't you pay her a visit and join in with this great blog hop.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

WOYWW 249 - My outdoor desk

Well, it is Wednesday again, the day when we are supposed to show the world our desks, and all that we have been doing over the past week.  We display them over at Julia's hub at Stamping Ground.

As you can see, the only desk getting any attention at the moment is my outdoor desk, i.e the garden.  After all, when you get beautiful sunshine after such a soggy period of time (can't really call it Winter, more like a monsoon), you just have to get out there and do as much as possible.

 I had been out and about and round some of the local garden centres at the end of last week, and these beauties were the result of that shopping trip.  Most of them hold happy memories for me for differing reasons.  The lovely blue scabious was chosen because it attracts insects various, but also because it reminds me of so many holidays in the sunshine down in Cornwall, where they grow wild everywhere.
I love daffodils, but I cannot have the tall elegant ones in this area as the wind swirls madly round my patio area, so I have to be satisfied with the miniature version, but they are still so pretty.
 Pansies have always been a favourite flower.  When I was young, I managed to plant the whole or our front garden with pansies of all colours.  I would collect the seed and sow that in any gaps, so they interbred and produced a fantastic variety.  Their faces are so lovely and take me back to a book I had when I was quite small.  It was a story made up about pansies as characters.  I do wish I could find that again, but no-one else seems to have heard of that book.

Just looking at the vivid blue of this one makes me happy.  I have also found a strain of pansies which are perfumed, so I am waiting for those to arrive and add to my collection.

Proper wild flowers are special too.  Real native cowslips and primroses are so evocative of my childhood.  I know there are loads of lovely colours of polyanthus, but I don't like them in my garden.  I prefer the true soft colour of the primrose, the flower that should be given on Mothering Sunday.  If you want to know about how Mothering Sunday came about, go to my post from last year on its origins - Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day

 I have been out again today to a different garden centre and found a load of cowslips and primroses - tiny plants that can be slotted into a small space to settle in ready for next year.

Another old favourite of mine are the old fashioned anemones, the ones that look like a bundle of rags until they open in the sunshine, and turn into the most beautifully coloured open flowers.  I bought those as a trial to see if they would grow and settle into the raised beds.

I have loads more plants on order to fill these beds and the ones you cannot see, and the extra ones I am having built.  My intention is to fill the beds totally and plant so tightly that there is no room for weeds to come through.  That might eventually give me extra crafting time, always a bonus in my book.  All I need now is another couple of dry days and I might get the lawn cut.

While I am doing that, you might like to pop over to Julia's and see who else has lovely things to show this week.  Have a good week, wherever you are.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

WOYWW 248 - Spring is coming, what happened to Winter?

Sorry, no desk again this week.  I do have a valid excuse, honest I do Julia.  I can't actually get to my desk again, but it is not my fault.

I went into the kitchen last night and glanced over into the corner, did a double take and, yes, it was there - water marks on the ceiling and two walls.  They weren't there earlier.  Needless to say, panic set in, what should I do?  Well, it wasn't running down the walls, so I decided to watch and wait, after ringing my builders, who know where every pipe is.  It had not got any worse by bedtime, so I tried to convince myself to ignore it.

By morning, it had diminished a bit, and when they came, we could not decide where it was coming from, so there will be more investigations in depth tomorrow.  Now you are saying what has all this to do with my craft room.  Well, that is directly above the kitchen, and we could not decide whether a section of that wall was damp or just cold.  So cupboards had to be moved, and the carpet may have to come up partially to allow a hole to be cut in the floor boards tomorrow.  Boo, hoo!

Anyway, rather than leave you with a blank page, I spotted these celandines brightening up the roadside, when I was on the way home from having the tailgate lock on the Disco replaced.  There was no-one rushing to get past me on this very narrow lane, so I just grabbed my phone.  They quite cheered me up.

Apologies to all those I did not manage to get back to this last week.  Every time I settled down for a good blog, life took over and pinched my time.  I have read all your comments and love them all, so thank you.  I will try to do better this week, but I cannot promise.

Do visit Julia at Stamping Ground and follow the links to loads of other fantastic desks and crafts.  You will be made very welcome.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

More rotten scammers - Police warning

Do make sure that your elderly relatives understand that this is a scam, and they must not respond.  They are the most likely to be targeted.

It has been publicised on TV too, but not everyone takes notice.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Rotten Scammers strike again - be warned

It does not matter whether you live in the Worcestershire area. This scam has been around in other parts of the country. Check it out for yourself - it is a genuine post from West Mercia Police. Pass the info on to anyone you know that has a phone.

If you want to keep up to date with things like this and other happenings in your area, most police forces have a system whereby you can get this info sent direct to your inbox,  As far as I can see, each force has a slightly different system, so you will have to navigate round their web site.

The more we can pass these warnings on, the fewer people will be taken in by the thieves and villains.