Friday, 31 August 2012

Sew much fun

DSCF1135 We have enjoyed three wonderful days with our friends Karen and Phillip, lots of little trips out and about, material shopping, wining and dining and lots of crafting for Karen and myself.  A big thank you for having us.  Also a big thank you to Karen who finally got me started on the Craftsy BOM which I signed up for months ago.  I've managed to complete four blocks which were the blocks for January and Februaray - not many more to go - ha!  They are by no means perfect but considering most of them were completed using a tiny machine I picked up for £12.99 at Dunelm Mill and it runs on four AA batteries it did a fairly good job.  They are all made from old sheets and duvet covers as I didn't want to invest in really nice fabrics in case I made a complete hash of it.   I do think I will have to invest in a 'proper' sewing machine if I am really going to get into this quilting and stitching lark though.
We also made this adorable little bag which is the perfect size for fat quarters.  I picked up the fat quarters on one of our trips out and could have bought so many more as they all looked so lovely laid out in the shop.  I'm not even sure what I'm going to do with the ones I bought but I just loved the lovely bright colours.  This bag is also the perfect size to give as a gift filled with toiletries or baby items - who knows I might even make a couple for my DD and DIL for this Christmas.

There was no Fat Man SAL done on Monday - too busy getting ready to go away but the threads I had ordered from The Patchwork Rabbit for the months of the year were waiting for me when I got home so I will be able to start September on time. 

Lots to catch up with today and I've got work this evening but first I'll try and catch up on some blogs.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, 27 August 2012

You make me smile

DSCF1085 Saturday seemed to be a very productive day for me as not only did I get August completed I also managed to do this LO for the Being Scrappy 52 week LO challenge. The photos aren't the best but they are of my dad with Logan and have special meaning for me. Colette pops in to see my parents on a fairly regular basis so they have had the pleasure of seeing this little man grow up since birth too. When Logan calls in to see his great Grandparents he always goes over and sees my dad which really makes my dad's day - his little ray of sunshine. This LO once again was just using up some of my scraps and a few embellishments from my stash including some of the latest trend - washi tape.

Another wet day at the moment I am just hoping that it clears up later as we are driving up to our friends this afternoon - not sure who is doing the driving yet.  Hope you are able to enjoy the day regardless of the weather.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

August complete

DSCF1081 Yesterday was such a miserable day weather wise but I managed to cheer myself up by completing the month of August - if only all of the months were as quick and easy to do.  Only one minor counting error which was easily rectified and today I finished it off by adding the tiny buttons to the melon.  For the first time this year I am actually up to date with the months and all ready to start stitching September on the 1st September!  I need a couple of threads for the remaining months so will be placing an order with my favourite online stitching shop the Patchwork Rabbit as I know that they will be waiting for me when we get back from our mini break.

I'm working this afternoon - this will be my first Sunday afternoon shift so not 100% sure what it will entail but it will be fun finding out - I do know though that it won't be as manic on a bank holiday as it was in my old job.  Hope you are all enjoying and making the most of the bank holiday weekend.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

CASology–Cue card Green

DSCF1079 The cue card for the CASology challenge this week is Green and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for this challenge.  Fortunately for me Friday saw the arrival of two new punches by We R Memory Keepers that I'd ordered and inspiration finally hit me.  I've used one of the mini Lucky 8 punches to create a snowflake backdrop and when you use the punch you are left with four squares. The edges were inked with distress ink from the Tim Holtz winter collection.  I decided to use the squares and make them into little Christmas presents.  The bow came from a Stamps of Life set and so did the sentiments.  For a little dazzle I have added some green stickles to the bows.

DH is out all day today so I've got the house all to myself but I have plenty of tasks that need doing before we go away for a few days and I might even try and put a few stitches into the month of August.  I managed to grab a little bit of time before going to work yesterday and completed the A and one flip flop!

It's taking both DH and myself a little time to get used to the cupboard shift and we've both gone to the usual place when reaching for a cup!  We'll get used to it in time.

Friday, 24 August 2012

At last July is finished

DSCF1078DSCF1077 A huge sigh of relief from me today as I put the final stitches into the month of July.  It's worth the effort but boy was there a lot of frustration with this month.  Here is a photo of the month of July and also a photo of the other months just five more to stitch now.  At least I will be able to get a few stitches into the month of August before this month comes to an end.  I will have to try hard to get both August and September completed so that I can finally just have to work on one chart month each time.

It's an extremely wet and windy day here in Plymouth - poor Max looked like a drowned rat by the time we'd finished our walk through Plymbridge woods this morning.  It wasn't too bad on our outward journey but it got much heavier on the return trip but he would sooner that than have to stay indoors sighing as he does when he waiting to go out.

I have work later this afternoon but before that now that I have completed July I really must tackle the pile of ironing I have hidden in the corner of the kitchen.  I've already re-arranged some of the kitchen cupboards this morning just to confuse DH when he gets home from work later - did text him and warn him but it will be fun watching him go to the wrong cupboards for a few weeks - ha!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Christmas chocolate treat boxes

DSCF1076 As promised earlier in the week here are some of the chocolate treat boxes I have been making.  They are big enough to hold a couple of chocolate truffles such as Lindt - they would hold more smaller sweets but I wanted something that was wrapped and would stay fresh.  I used this tutorial as my guide. SU's Bravo Burgandy is the cardstock I used with some scraps of a Papermania Christmas patterned paper.  Just a couple of brads and some SU Certainly Celery grosgrain ribbon for decoration.  Not sure if you can see in this photo but I used a snowflake stamp on the cardstock to give it a more festive feel.

Today has been spent with Colette, Logan and Savannah - we've been shopping in town as I needed to buy Elisha a birthday present - I can't believe she will be three next week and starting nursery very soon.  David and Vicky have bought her a new born doll for her birthday and I have bought her a highchair for her doll and some clothes for herself.

Off to Moya's this evening with Jacqueline to spend some time chatting and maybe a little bit of crafting may get done too - I think I will probably take along my Prairie Schooler Christmas ornaments to work on.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Faster, Faster–Being Scrappy LO

DSCF1074 I was going to show you the chocolate treat boxes today but have decided to share the LO I did yesterday evening as I want to link it up to a couple of the Being Scrappy challenges.  This is the LO for June for Logan's album and fits both the 52 week sketch and Scraps only challenges on Being Scrappy.  I've used the same set of papers for this LO as I did for the DLO I did last week.  As I've probably said before the first thing Logan looks for when he comes to our house is the train set (which we initially bought for Connor).  The picture is of Ian trying his hardest to get the track set up for Logan to run his trains on but he obviously wasn't being quick enough as Logan was already running the train before Ian had chance to put the last couple of pieces together.

After I finished work yesterday I had to pick up a few edible items and as I'd wandered into work in the morning I spotted these gorgeous A4 boxes and I couldn't resist picking up three of them which will be filled up with some nice crafting goodies at some stage - just not sure what I want to put in them yet but as they were so cheap they had to come home with me.  As I was taking the photo Max decided to come and see what was going on so you can just see his head at the bottom of this photo - I think he approved of my purchase!

I've been putting a few more stitches in the month of July this afternoon but no sooner had I put them in I was unpicking them - I just couldn't seem to get the counting right so I have given myself a break although there are now more stitches in the piece than when I started, just not as many as I would have liked.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fat Man SAL update

DSCF1071 Although it might not look much I am quite pleased with the progress I made on the Fat Man SAL yesterday.  The snowflake border at the bottom is complete and I almost finished the cute little bunny which is one of the snowmans friends in this chart.  I think it will probably be at least another couple of sessions before this chart is completed so I don't think I will hit the mid September target I set myself last month.  I think I will revise this to be mid October now and if it gets completed earlier than that it will be a bonus.  I finally got round to cutting the piece of material down to size now that I know what it's full size will be so I have less fabric hanging around now which makes stitching a lot easier.  There should be enough fabric to make several smaller pieces some of it I might use to make into bookmarks for future gifts.  Can anyone recommend any charts/booklets for bookmarks?

I spent an enjoyable evening with my friend Jacqueline doing some crafting but probably more talking than crafting actually got done!  I've made some chocolate gift boxes which I will post a photo of tomorrow.  I have a lot of these to get ready for a craft fayre but I also want to make enough to use as an advent this year at home.

Has anyone been watching the craft programmes on QVC today?  I've been at work most of the day so am only now able to see some of the programmes inbetween getting tea ready.  I have some ironing to do so may just do that in front of the TV this evening so I'm not completely wasting my time.  DH will be out at his club and so won't get bored to death with my crafting programme.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Scallop envelope die notelet holder

 Here is another of the projects we made yesterday.  I found this great tutorial on how to make the notelet holder from the Sizzix scallop envelope die.  It's so simple and I think makes a great little gift idea.  We made the holder yesterday but I have just spent the last hour putting together the little cards to go inside.  They are just 3 x 3 inch cards and simply decorated with scraps of papers and stamps from the French Foliage set.  I've also used SU's border punch and oval punches.

It's Fat Man SAL today so I have managed to take the dog for his morning walk, have coffee with my friend Jill, put out two lots of washing and made the cards so now it's time to sit and stitch!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Triple stamping and photos from Flavour Fest

DSCF1066 It's been a fun couple of days and I've certainly made the most of the weekend.  Today was spent crafting with Lisa and one of the projects we did was this triple stamping technique card.  Last Thursday evening I spent watching different tutorials for projects and I found this technique demonstrated very clearly here.  I've used stamps from SU's French Foliage and SU Hunter Green cardstock (retired) along with SU's Hunter Green, Mellow Moss (retired) and Cajun Craze ink pads.  I've used SU's Very Vanilla cardstock to stamp on and a sentiment from Sincere Salutations and finished off with some of their linen thread. 

We made three other items during the day but I will post them throughout the week just in case I don't get chance to do any other crafting this week.

DSCF1058On Saturday DH and I enjoyed a day out enjoying the sights, smells and tastes of the Flavour Fest event that was going on in the city centre.  We also enjoyed a bus ride with our son who was on duty that day - one way of catching up with him!  During his break we grabbed something to eat for lunch, DH and David enjoyed chicken noodles from one of the oriental stalls but I preferred to try out the mushroom risotto from one of the other many stalls serving hot food and it was delicious.

The colours and smells were gorgeous and they had such a large range of stalls there selling hot food.  There were also stalls there selling meats, cheese, bread, spices, sweets, cakes and loads more.  Below are just a few photos showing some of the stalls.




Saturday, 18 August 2012

Daisy card

DSCF1053 After many months I have finally got round to using SU's Sizzix Daisies die #2.  I've used some scraps of pale yellow cardstock which I think is SU's So Saffron and inked the edges with some So Saffron.  I've used four of the large dies, three of the middle size and one of the small dies.  They have been gently scored down the centre of the petals before 'pinching' them in slightly to give even more dimension when they are layered on top of each other.  Finished off the centre of the flower witha large gem and then used a spellbinder leaf die (the closet I could get to looking like a daisy leaf) and added three from scraps of Sage Shadow (loved that colour, shame they retired it).  The sentiment comes from an SU set called Heard from the Heart.

There's a farmers market in the city centre this weekend so we are going to catch a bus into the city have a wander around and also enjoy some lunch together.

  I have been busy the past couple of evenings putting some samples together for Lisa and I to have a go at while she is with me tomorrow - Lisa loves crafting but doesn't have the time to 'play' that often so it should be a fun and productive day.  The daisy card will be one of the cards we will be doing, along with some gift boxes (love making boxes) and a couple more cards.

Yesterday went ok with it being my first solo evening, much quieter that during the daytime hours and a lot quieter than where I used to work.  Fingers crossed I remembered to switch everything off and locked up properly - no cashing up to do which was a blessing, everything is paid for on cards - makes life so much easier.  Had a slight moment of concern when my line manager finally gave me the letter for the offer of the job as it stated it was temporary for 11 weeks - when I asked her about she did confirm that it was a permanent position and would speak to the personnel lady and get back to me.  For one moment I thought I could be going into very early retirement in 8 weeks time!

Friday, 17 August 2012

CASology #6–School

DSCF1054 The cue card this week on the CASology challenge is School which gave me the opportunity to use some stamps from a Whiff of Joy set that was from last years Summer Stamp kit.  I found a scrap of SU grid paper to use as part of the background and stamped the sentiment directly onto this.  The main image was stamped onto a scrap of Whisper White cardstock and coloured in using my Promarkers (which have now been neatly organised and placed on my workdesk).  I then cut the images out before adhering to the card.

The weather is really miserable today just for a change, thankfully I didn't get wet taking Max out for his walk this morning.  It seems whenever I put on my waterproof leggings the rain keeps off but you can guarantee that if I didn't put them on I'd get caught in a heavy shower.

I've got work later this afternoon and it will be my first day of going 'solo' - a little nervous but I am sure it will be absolutely fine.  Two more days of training during the day next week and then I will be working my own regular set of days. 

I have a crafting friend coming to stay Saturday evening which means we get to craft all day on the Sunday - hooray!  I've found a few new projects that we can try so it should be a fun time.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A day out with Thomas

DSCF1049 Way back in May we took Logan to The Day out with Thomas event that is held at Buckfastleigh each year - we all had an amazing day and it was great to share in Logan's excitement.  I've actually managed to do a DLO to mark this event and based it on one of Niki's 52 scrapbooking layouts - Week 2.  The papers came from a pack I picked up at Kelly Bray last year and they are by Creative Imaginations.  Included in the kit were double sided papers, ribbons, epoxy stickers, alphabet and embellishment stickers and also rub on and I think some buttons which I couldn't find and have probably already been added to my button collection.  As with the other LO's Niki has provided I have used it as a guide to fit with my photos and embellishments.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Stitching updates

DSCF1043 Saturday was the first time in ages that I actually got round to picking up my stitching and it felt so good!  I've managed to complete quite a bit of the landscape picture from Yiota's cross stitch  What I like about this one is there is a nice variety of large sections of one colour and then areas of confetti so I can rotate it without getting fed up of one of them.  I have reached the top of the picture as far as the arch of the window is concerned so will be working my way across the other half very soon and have also completed about half of the trees/landscape on this side.  I've never worked with Madeira threads before and have to say I prefer them to Anchor threads and think they are probably on a par with DMC.

Yeterday I managed to join in again with the Fat Man SAL and finished the block that I had hoped to finish a couple of weeks ago but there is only so much you can do when there are changes going on in your life.  With any luck next Monday I will be able to work on it for longer and get a large portion of the Snow Friends chart completed and might just be able to catch up on some lost ground.

I did work on the Four Horses last month but only completed a small section of it so haven't bothered to take a photo of that.

On the months of the year I completed June and thought I was going to get July done to but then realised I'd made a mistake which couldn't be easily rectified so have had to unpick it.  The mistake was made near the beginning and didn't come to light until I was trying to match up the small border so I am pretty much starting over with July - fingers crossed I will get that done by the end of this month which will mean I will have to try and get two months completed in September so that I can get up to date again on that one.

No work on Christmas ornaments or the birth sampler which I really should try and concentrate on now that Savannah is here.  I also haven't done anymore on the Lizzie Kate Halloween mystery sampler and part 2 arrived in the post today.  I'm hoping that I can get into a routine again with my stitching once I am working my own hours with the new job so with any luck in September I will have much more to show.

We've been invited up to our daughters for tea tonight - Colette is cooking us spaghetti bolognaise which I am sure will be delicious if it's anything like her chilli.  Gives us both a night off from cooking which is always a bonus.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Jingle Belles challenge cards

DSCF1041 The Jingle Belles challenge for this fortnight is to use the sketch that has been provided.  I have flipped and rotated the sketch to work for the idea I had in my head.  I've used retired SU Christmas papers for the background and some SU ribbon to create the decorative trim down the side of the card.  The addition of the snowflake brad I think helped finish off the trim. The stamped image is from the SU set Sparkly & Bright and then cut out with a circle punch and matted onto some Baja Breeze cardstock and Real Red scallop punched circle.  The tiny sentiment at the bottom is from I believe Dimensions Stamps which I picked up at the Bodmin stamp show.

The next card is for the previous fortnights challenge which I did have completed on Thursday but have only just got round to taking a photo of.  Again the papers are retired SU papers, but the spotty ribbon is available from the current catalogue.  I've used a spellbinder buckle die to thread the ribbon through and then stamped the snowflake from SU's Scandinavian Season set (retired) and cut out the centre with a 3/4 punch.  The stamped image is from Pink Cat Studio and I've coloured it in using my Promarkers.  Both cards were kept fairly simple so that I could produce my usual stack of six for this challenge.

This morning we had the pleasure of looking after Logan for a couple of hours to give his mum a little break.  It was still sunny so he was able to play out in the garden in the sandpit which he always enjoys playing in.  We also took him down to see his great grandparents before taking Max for a short walk.  We let him hold the lead which he thought was great fun.

Well the Olympics are almost over just the closing ceremony left to watch - it's been a great success I think and we improved on our medal tally from Beijing so that is also a great positive for Team GB.  We watched Tom Daly win his bronze medal and I am so glad he came away with something - my claim to fame - I once served him!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

CASology challenge #5 and making the most of the sunshine.

DSCF1039The past two weeks have seen very little crafting.  I hadn't until today even picked up a needle to do any stitching so I am behind with my Fat Man SAL.  Today though I have managed to complete a card for the CASology challenge - the cue card this week is POND.  I have just made this card although the image I've used wasn't the one I initially had in mind.  I had in my mind to use one of the images from the retired SU stamp set Summer by the Sea and thought I would stamp it onto watercolour card and use my watercolour pencils for a change.  When I went to pull out a piece of card from the pad I found this image which I had stamped and coloured months ago so decided to use it instead.  The image is a Little Claire stamp.  Using my CM ovals I cut out the image and a co-ordinating piece of blue paper from my scraps box.  The hardest part for this card was trying to find a sentiment that I wanted to use.  I went through my Unity SOTW stamps and found this one which I thought tied in nicely with both the image and my idea of what the girl in the boat was  PONDering about while fishing!
DSCF1016It's been a beautiful sunny day today and we decided to make the most of the sunshine and the fact that this is one of the last weekends I will have free as with my new job I will be working Friday, Saturdays and Sundays every week once my training is complete.

I took us out to Foggin Tor quarry out on Dartmoor - a place I was introduced to by my dear friend Jill last year - thank you Jill.  This is the view from just a part of the now disused quarry which as you can see is now filled with water.  The veiws from the top of the quarry are beautiful and you can see for miles across the glorious Dartmoor countryside on such a lovely sunny day.  Although it was lovely and sunny today it was also very windy and I very nearly lost my hat as the wind caught it.  Thankfully it didn't end up in the quarry pool.
On our way back down Ian managed to fall down a hole that was well hidden by the grass.  In many ways he was very lucky that he didn't do himself any serious injury but I have to confess the initial reaction was great amusement on my part as he struggled to pull his foot back out of the hole.  By the time I got to take this photo he had already managed to get his foot out but when he first fell down the hole the bottom half of his calf was below the level of the grass.  It took him a great deal of effort to pull his foot out and I wondered if he would manage to get it out with his shoe still on.  For one awful moment I thought I might have had to walk back up the track and get another pair of shoes out of the car but by the time I'd stopped laughing both leg and shoe were safely out of the hole.

These photo shows the remains of the quarry managers office - only a couple of the walls still remain but again the views from his window are amazingly beautiful although in the winter I can imagine they would give a very bleak outlook.

We got back about mid afternoon and so I was finally able to sit down and pick up the stitching again.  I decided to work on the Landscape picture from Yiotas cross stitch.  I will hopefully take photos of all the stitching projects I managed to work on during July although I didn't get as much stitching done as I would have liked in July due to the early arrival of Savannah.  I've decided to not to set myself any targets for this month due to the change in jobs - once I get myself into a routine I will feel happier to set those targets again.

The new job is going well and I've spent two weeks with Ali learning what I will be doing on a Friday evening.  For the next two weeks I will go in on a Tuesday and Wednesday during the day to find out what I will be expected to do on the Saturdays and Sundays.  This Friday coming I will be working on my own so just hope I can remember everything.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Last Sunday

DSCF0934 I've finally got round to posting some photos of our time with Logan last Sunday.  I took him along to the Model Railway exhibiton and he had great fun going round with grandad and looking at all the different layouts.  Here he is waving as some of the model trains go by.  His favourite by far was the one which had Thomas the tank engine and friends on which we had to go back to on several occasions.

Outside the Guildhall where the exhibition was taking place they had some model boats being sailed on the pond outside the Civic Centre which Logan also enjoyed looking at.  He also desperately wanted to try and paddle in the pond - good job we had his reigns on!

We also went on the carouselDSCF0953

DSCF0954Intially Logan wasn't that keen on this - I think it had a lot to do with the load clunking noise and the sudden jerking movements as the horse went up and down.  Ian was trying to take photos and I was trying hard to keep Logan from crying - bless him.  He was fine when he couldn't see grandad but each time Ian waved at him he would start crying again.

After all that we took him for lunch and he enjoyed tucking into a huge sausage roll - keeping grandad and grandma amused gave him quite an apetite and also tired him out as within five minutes of being in the car he was fast asleep and didn't even wake up when I took him out and passed him back to mum and dad.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Bedtime cuppa

DSCF0984 Day off today so I've managed to catch up on some housework and I've also managed to grab some time to put this layout together which is based on Niki's latest 52 step by step LO's  This is week 9 and again I haven't followed it exactly but have used it as a guide to create this layout of some photos of Logan that I took when we babysat for his parents.  I've also adapted it so it's an 8x8 LO.  For the background cardstock which is SU's Not quite navy I have used a couple of star stamps to create a decorative background.  The papers are all retired SU papers that have come from my scraps and I've used my Creative Memories circle cutter to create the moon shape which replaces one of the scallop borders that is on Nikik's LO.  For the other decorative border I have used a Fiskars border punch and matted it onto some Night of Navy cardstock and added some stars from the same cardstock using one of my many punches instead of the bunting in Niki's LO.  I finally finished off the LO with a stamped star from the same paper pack.  I'm still planning to catch up on Niki's other LO instructions but that will have to be another day as I've now settled down to watch the Olympic tennis - fingers crossed!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

CASology # 4 Cue word Bird

DSCF0981 Not much time for crafting this week as I am juggling two jobs but I have managed to create a card for this weeks CASology challenge which is using the cue word BIRD.  Now you didn't have to use a bird image but could intepret the word however you wanted.  When I thought of bird I thought of flying and knew that I had a sentiment and an image that would incorporate that thought.  The stamps are from Queen Kat Designs.  Initially I stamped up an SU scalloped frame which is now retired using SU's Ruby Red ink pad and second stamped this onto my card.  I then inked up the image and senitment and added them to the frame.  Finally from my stash I added a gold heart charm (the stamped image has a key hanging from the critters neck).

I've worked two evenings with my new job and all went well, will be working there again on Saturday.  A couple more weeks training and then I will be flying solo in that job if I feel comfortable enough doing the job.  Initial thoughs are that I think this was the right move.  Yesterday, today and Sunday are my last days in my current job which I will miss, especially the people I've been working with but I certainly won't miss the early mornings.

I have managed to watch some of the Olympics during the week and have enjoyed what I have seen.  Pity there have been a few issues especially with the disqualification of the ladies in the badminton but on the whole I think it's going pretty well.

I will post some photos tomorrow of last weekends outing with Logan, tried doing it with this post but it wouldn't let me upload them all at once this morning!