Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Holiday Wednesday!

I am sure I am not alone in taking advantage of the numerous bank holidays and having these three days off work!  I had a lovely long holiday weekend with 4 days of being outside and playing with Alex (see earlier posts for more details). We finished the long weekend on Monday with swimming in the morning and then a trip to 'Our Cow Molly' to see all the animals, bounce on the bouncy castle and of course eat some delicious ice-cream!
Alex was particularly taken with the rabbit which he fed grass to, and with this lamb who came over to say hello to him.
Alex went back to nursery yesterday leaving me free to continue with the great spring clean.  This was the room I tackled. It is an extension to the kitchen where all the toys are stored and, yes, it was a complete tip.  We had some new shelves put in a few weeks ago, ready for me to organise Alex's toys, but in the interim it looked even worse than usual.
Here is how it looks now!  How much better is that!  It was somewhat back breaking work but the improvement is huge.  I am so pleased with it and the shelves are working really well. Alex will now be able to find the toys he wants without having to pile everything all over the floor and I have easy access to the cupboards, my books and the garden.
As it is Wednesday it is time for WOYWW and here is my desk!  As well as tidying the house I have been crafting and this is the latest thank you card I have been working on. You can see the pile of written cards propped up against the drawers, a Martha Stewart punch, the stamps, papers, glitter glue and double sided sticky tape I have been using to make this card.  My mug of tea is here I promise, just hiding out of shot!!
Here is the finished card which I made using this weeks Unscripted sketch. The card also fits with the Delightful challenges 'Paper piecing', Stamp something 'flowers, buttons & Sparkle' and Simon Says stamp and show 'buttons' challenges.
I have also finally got back to scrapbooking. I am over 7 months behind in my scrapbook and know I will never catch up!  Therefore I thought I had better crack on with it before it gets out of control completely.  This simple page is the first page of my holiday album from last year.  Flora Dora was the name of the little cottage we stayed in in Filey. This layout followed the sketch from Lasting Memories, uses my first ever bottle top for the Crafty Cardmakers Spotlight challenge, uses three different papers (all from Doodlebug designs) for The Crazy challenge and uses a brad for the Tuesday Throwdown challenge. That is all from me for now. I wont be posting on my blog until Monday now as I am off down to my parents in Somerset tomorrow for a long weekend. Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone and I hope you have had a lovely Easter weekend.  We have had a great time with a trip to Tim's parents today for Easter lunch with his family, including some of his uncles, aunts, cousins and their children (6 boys ranging in age from 5 weeks old to 12 years old).  Considering the age span the 5 older boys played really well together in their den, with the football and doing the various Easter Egg and treasure hunts.
We had a lovely buffet lunch outside (I ate far too much) with the adults sitting round the tables
while the children had their lunch on a picnic blanket.
We all had a wonderful time and had to have the obligatory group photo (I don't have a copy yet) and photo of all the boys together before coming home. It was a perfect Easter day.
Crafting wise I have made my DT entry to this weeks Quirky Crafts challenge. The Challenge is 'A Right Royal Affair' so you have to use Red, White and Blue and anything that reminds you of the Royal Wedding. We have two great sponsors this week (please check out the challenge blog for details) and I was lucky enough to be able to use images from each of them.  I decided to make a Commemorative Tag using the technique of clear embossing with Tim Holtz distress I learnt this technique from one of his videos this tag is also being entered into the Simon Says Stamp and Show 'Tim Holtz technique' challenge. The cardboard I used to make the tag with is from a Mr Kipling cake box and the gold ribbon is recycled from a present I received a few years ago and therefore this tag fits with the Creative Card Crew and Tuesday Taggers 'recycle' themes. The tag also fits with Crafty Cardmakers 'Royal Wedding' and Spoon Full of Sugar 'celebrate something' challenges.
I also made a Birthday card for a friend following this weeks Less is More challenge of 'Off centre'. I originally made the card without the decoupage but it looked a little plain so I decided to decoupage the litte birds to make them 'pop' a little more.  This card also fits with the Birthday themes from Stampavie and The Pixie Cottage.   That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday fun!

Well It makes a wonderful change to have such sunny weather on a bank holiday!  What a great way to start a holiday with fun in the garden. Alex spent the morning playing with some rocks, his boats, submarine and a tank of water in the garden while I did some gardening.
I am loving the way our garden looks at the moment (provided I don't look too closely at the so called grass!) as I have lots of lovely flowers out.
Including tulips, daffodils, flox and grape hyacinth
and various interesting varieties of daffodils - these smell beautifully
and these have an unusual colour in the centre.
The weather was so nice that we had a picnic lunch in the garden
and then went round to a friends house where the kids had a massive water fest ending up completely soaked...great fun!
I have even managed to do some crafting by making a card for a friends retirement. She loves Whitby, red wine, gardening and nature, hence the theme of the card.  The card also fits with the CCC 'lots of layers', Ooh la La 'Aqua, bling and sentiment', Tuesday Throwdown 'polka dots', Crafty Creations '1 technique (stamping), 2 embellishments (flowers and gems) & 3 patterned papers' and Pile it on 'stamping' challenges.
I also made this card for a friend who likes Oriental styles.  This card fits with the Spring challenges from Fussy & Fancy and Pixie Dust, the 'No text' challenge from CCT, the 'pink, brown & blue' colour scheme from Colour Create and the embossing challenge from Simon Says Stamp. That is all from me for now. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Well I am cheating a bit today for my WOYWW as this is how my desk looked on Sunday evening and still looks this morning (except the mug of tea has moved) as I have been at a conference in London since then.  I arrived back home late last night so no time for crafting since Sunday.  On my desk you can see 2 Adirondack inkpads and the tapestry stamps I have been using with them.  The Acetate card I made for this weeks Less is More challenge (see my last post for a close-up and details), a couple of Easter baskets, double sided sticky tape, my craft mat, knife and double sided sticky tape, and of course my lovely mug of steaming hot tea!
This is the most recent of the Easter baskets...they are all different and this one was made quite simply with only tapestry stamps as the embellishments. Doesn't it look good with all the eggs in it...yummy!  I am entering this for Crazy4Challenges 'Easter gift' and OCC '3D Easter project', Fussy & Fancy's 'project for a child' (this is for Alex). That is all from me for now.  Have a great rest of the week.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Happy weekend!

We have had a lovely happy Spring weekend of mostly sunny weather with the odd dark cloud. Alex has been on great form and we have had a lot of fun running round the house, garden and park.  Yesterday he and I went on the tram to the centre of Sheffield so we could buy him some new trousers (he only has three pairs left that haven't gone through at the knees!). While we were in Sheffield we came across this bouncy bungy/trampoline ride and Alex loved it. He was pretending to be Batman and Spiderman and bouncing as high as he could with a huge grin on his face.
On the way back home we spotted a man selling candyfloss. This was supposedly a small portion!! Needless to say Alex loved it and we both got rather sticky!
Today we went to one of the many parks in Sheffield where Alex had another go on his bike. He is doing really well with it except he is so nosey about everything that goes on around him he forgets to look where he is going so is inclined to crash into things!
I haven't had time for much crafting this weekend as I am off to a conference in London tomorrow and had to practice my talk and pack.  That said I was determined I was going to at least make one card for the Less is More challenge...I didn't expect it to be Acetate! I hate that stuff!  My only attempt at using Acetate before was about 2 years ago and it was disasterous so I did not find this an easy challenge. Nevertheless I was determined not to be beaten.  In the end I used white staz on on the acetate with a Tapestry stamp outline flower and mounted a promarker coloured Whiff of Joy image on the front. I colour matched the card stocks to the dress colours and used a Martha Stewart edging punch and there you have it - a feminine acetate card.  This is definitely better than my previous attempt! I am also entering this for the Creative card crew 'Spring challenge' (the colours remind me of Cherry blossom) and Fresh Brewed 'cute and sweet' challenge.  That is all from me for now. I will be back from my conference late on Tuesday so will post again on Wednesday. Have a nice week.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Friday exhaustion!

I don't know why but work has gone completely manic at the moment and I have reached the end of the week in a complete state of exhaustion. I don't have energy to do anything apart from veg in a heap with a book tonight.  I think I will treat myself and have a soak in the bath at the same time LOL!  In the meantime I thought I would share with you the little Easter basket that I made this week. It is based on a very simple Origami basket made in yellow paper with a green handle, yellow gem stones and flowers on the handle and with multi-coloured egg images for additional decoration.  I am not sure how well the picture shows off the basket but hopefully it gives you the general idea.  I am entering this for all the Easter challenges that there are out there at this moment; Ooh La La, Pollycraft, The Crazy Challenge, Penny's challenge, Delightful challenges, and Daring Cardmakers.  I am also entering it for DYSU 'scallops' challenge as the handle is scalloped, and Tuesday Throwdown's sparkle and bling challenge.  Have a nice weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Mid-week chaos!

Well this week is turning out to be really busy both at home and at work.  I have only 5 more days at work before the Easter break as I am going to a conference for some of next week, and as a result I have a lot to try and complete by then.  At home I have been busy trying to sort out the chaos...we are getting some shelves put into our back room/garden room today so I have had to clear the relevant area of the room for the shelves to be put up. Meanwhile do you remember this? This was the state of the study that I share with Tim a few weeks ago.
In contrast here is what it looks like today...a noticable improvement.  The pile that remains are things that Tim needs to sort out and put away (I am not holding my breath!) and the cable needs to be put ontop of the book shelves.
This is an alternative view of our shared study with his and hers desks. Can you tell which is mine!  The central desk is supposed to be for things that both of us need, but in reality it is a dumping ground which is mostly used by Tim so I haven't attempted to tackle it yet...give me time and I may manage it, but Tim will have to be feeling a little stronger first.
And finally here is my actual desk, which I am showing you as part of WOYWW.  It is really quite tidy with a production line of thank you cards being made. I am somewhat behind in thanking everyone who sent Alex a birthday present and needed a quick set of cards. Most importantly you can see my hot mug of tea and the promarkers I am using to colour in the robot.
I used Robbie the Robot from the very talented Lyn as the basis of these cards.  As I think that Robbie is suitable for a teenage boy as well as little boys I am entering these cards for the crafty cardmakers Spotlight challenge as well as Fussy and Fancy's card for a child.
I have also had another attempt at this weeks Less is More challenge which is to focus on the sentiment.  My previous attempt had the sentiment tucked under a bridge which worked well for the card, but not for bringing the sentiment to the centre...hopefully this will fit with the challenge a little more. I printed the sentiment on the computer lining it up to fit around where I intended to stamp the poppies, I then stamped the poppies in versa fine ink and coloured them with promarkers. This card also fits with Fluorishes 'flowers' challenge.  That is all from me for now. Have a great rest of the week everyone.

P.S. Sorry I haven't visited as many blogs as usual so far this week...we have been without internet since will hopefully be fixed sometime today.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sunny April Weekend

How unusual, but how welcome, to have such wonderfully good weather in early April! The sun has been shining all weekend and we have made the most of it by spending much of the time outside including gardening, picnic lunches, trips to the park and general fun in our garden. Yesterday Alex and I went to spend some time with friends who gave him yet another birthday present and a cake with candles and then we went to the park where Alex and Katie went down the slide together, played racing games and generally had a wonderful time.

Crafting wise I decided to make an Easter basket for this week’s Quirky Crafts challenge. The challenge is Spring or Easter with punches and sparkles. I used my Martha Stewart edging punch on glittery card for the handle, then also added sparkly flowers. The images were from the sponsor this week ‘Digital Delights’. I am also entering this into the Simon Says Stamp ‘Spring colours/Easter’, Fresh Brewed ‘flowers’, Meljen’s Easter inspired, Papercutz ‘bunny, lamb, chick or Easter eggs’ and Sew Many challenges colour scheme of ‘blue, purple, pink and green’.
I also made a single layer card for this weeks Less is More challenge which was to focus on the sentiment. I made the sentiment on the computer using three of the standard word fonts and made it to fit around the bridge stamp and then added a bird for the full effect.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Sunny Friday

Well the end of the week is here and what a glorious day it has been with brilliant sunshine and blue skies, just a shame I have been stuck inside marking exams!  I am hoping we get nice weather over the weekend so we can get out in the garden and enjoy it.  There isn't a lot to show you in todays post as I have spent what little time I have in continuing the great study tidy.  The next set of book shelves have been sorted and the books are now in sets and in order with less stuck on the shelves in front of them (always a bonus if you actually want to find a book LOL!).  However, the pile of 'stuff' in front of the shelves seems to have grown since the wiring was fitted in our study (I don't know how or why) so there is still a mountain to climb in here.
That said I got fed up of tidying and decided to make a little card following this weeks Colour create challenge of black, white and pink. I decided that my new (unused) cherry blossom stamp would work, combined with other oriental symbols.  I even attempted to draw some words (Spring Love) and a crane silhouette (don't laugh!), so this fits with the DCM 'draw a bird' challenge, and the spring challenge from Tuesday Throwdown. That is all from me for now. I will be back as usual on Sunday evening. In the meantime have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Look who is 4!

My little boy turned 4 this week and he had a wonderful birthday starting with presents in bed (don't laugh at how rough I look!).
Then a trip to the Deep in Hull to see the fish (he is obsessed with Octonauts and fish!). 
We had a great trip out and he enjoyed all of it, including seeing the sharks, nemo fish, rays and countless others.
After getting back he had his first ever go on his new bicycle, with mixed success, but a lot of fun
and then played with his new toys...especially his Playmobile underwater and submarine sets (pretending they were Octonauts!).
The day was finished with a cake! 
As it is Wednesday it is time for another WOYWW. This is my desk as it was first thing this morning...with a nice hot cup of tea to kick start my day, my Mother's Day card from Alex (lots of monsters!) and a home made batman outfit ready for Alex to wear to nursery now.
Having confessed to the huge amount of mess that is elsewhere in the study last week, I decided to make a start on tidying shelf at a time!  This is the set of book shelves that hold my crafting tools and stash which have always been reasonably tidy.
This is the set of shelves next to it before
and after improvement can clearly be seen! I will continue round the rest of the room until I finish it, but this is a long term project!
Crafting wise this week I have spent my time making this batman outfit for Alex, cutting out and making the mask and sewing the logo onto his top so I am entering this to Simon Says stamp and show anything but a card challenge.
I have also had time to make one card using my Lavinia stamps and Martha Stewart punch.  I used sakura stardust to add sparkle to the fairy's wings and petals of the poppies and then glitter glue to represent fairy dust that she is sprinkling. This card therefore fits with Pixie dusts fluttering wings challenge, Kaboodle Doodle's let's get girlie challenge, the crazy challenge 'flowers' and PTW anything goes (with something Lavinia poppy stamps were new for Mother's Day!). That is all from me for now. Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone.