Sunday, 30 October 2011

Gentle weekend at home

We have had a gentle weekend catching up of jobs etc.  Yesterday Alex and I went into town on the tram to get him some new clothes.  While we were there he also wanted to explore the cathedral so we spent a happy 30 minutes going into every nook and cranny.  I was surprised by how much he enjoyed it.  The old gentlemen were collecting for the poppy appeal and allowed Alex to sit in their 1944 army jeep much to his delight.
Today we went back to our new church (Alex loved the Sunday school) and this afternoon we headed out to Alex's school 'Pumpkin party' with Alex dressed as a viking! It wasn't what you would call a great success...Alex didn't really like the party because the music was too loud.  We survived for a little while with him alternating between being grumpy and manic and then went to the park with some of his class mates instead which was much more fun.
Crafting wise I have had a busy few days making Birthday cards for family and friends, some Christmas cards and a scrapbook layout.  Here is the layout which follows this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch and gave me an excuse to use up some pink scraps from a previous project.  Having only boys in my family I don't get to use pink often!  I am therefore also entering this layout into Speedy the cat's friends 'use your scraps' challenge as only the doily and background card are not scraps.
What is the first thing that I do on a saturday morning? Check out the LIM site of course!  This time the challenge was stars so I made this Christmas card. First I used Adirondack colour wash inks (butterscotch, terracota and eggplant) and gold shimmer mist to make the central panel. Once it had dried I stamped the three wise men in black and then hand drew a star in versamark ink and heat embossed it with sparkly gold embossing powder. I then mounted this panel onto a dark red mat and then added this to the cream card.
The next card used some of the same orangey, shiny hand made background paper and a craft individuals image mounted onto cream card which had been embossed with a cuttlebug embossing folder.  I am entering this one into Delicious Doodles 'good vs evil' (I chose good with these cute angels', SCSC 'spooky or whimsical' (definitely whimsical!) and Flutterby Wednesday 'halloween colours' (orange and black).
The first of the birthday cards is for my Gran who will be 87 next week.  I used tapestry stamps for the stamped oval and a crafty individuals stamp for the centre as one of her joys is watching the birds flying past the windows of her flat.  I am entering this into Paper Cutz 'fall leaves, no green or blue', the autumn leaves spiralling round the cake in this weeks Cupcake Inspirations and Crafty Creations 'leaves and fall'.
Finally I made a birthday card for a little girl who turns 4 this week. She is into all things pink and fairies.  For this card I followed the sketch from The pixie cottage; the cupcake is cut out of wrapping paper and the fairy is from Lavinia stamps. That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Sunny Friday!

This birthday card, with its bright yellow and blue reminds me of  the sunny day we have had today with brilliant blue skies, and I couldn't resist using this very cute Whiff of Joy dragon stamp. It makes a great little boy card.  This card therefore fits with cards for men 'animals' (OK, so a dragon is a mythical animal but surely it still counts!), CCC 'denim and lace', Pile it on 'Be happy' (this dragon looks happy to me), sew many cards '2 different background papers' and Simon says stamp 'anything goes'.
I have also made a one layer, clean and simple Christmas card using masking, crafty individual stamps and distress inks. This card therefore fits with Meljen's 'Christmas'. Crazy4challenges 'one layer CAS', Simon says stamp and show 'one colour' (in my case blue).  That is all from me for now.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wonderful autumn family weekend!

What a wonderful way to start the autumn half-term.  My parents rented a holiday cottage for a few days near us (we don't have any spare rooms in our house) and arrived on Friday evening joining us for a lovely dinner.  As this was the first time they had been to Sheffield in 2 years, this was a really special evening. My brother and his family arrived on Saturday lunchtime and we joined them at the holiday cottage for lunch followed by a lovely walk in the nearby woods. It is the first time that they have been up here, with the exception of Andy, in 4 years, so it was very exciting all round. On the way back from the walk the boys were fascinated by the well in the village of Midhopestones.
On returning to the cottage the boys asked if they could play with the cars outside and made good use of the sun and the patio before getting too cold and coming in for the evening meal.
On Sunday morning Mother and Andy took Juno (the big black dog) for a long walk (about 6 miles) while the rest of us headed up the lanes to meet them from the other way, the boys armed with their scooters to help them walk further.
After a lovely lunch at the cottage we headed out for yet another walk, this time through the woods where the boys pretended to be aeroplanes, armed with sticks that had pine cones attached to them for jet engines.
We discovered a 'troll' bridge where the boys decided that Juno must have scared the trolls away by bouncing into the water,
and a marvellous pretend 'shop' where we could buy anything we wanted! The boys were pretty exhausted after the walk and played quietly back at the holiday cottage until teatime, after which it was time for an early night.
On Monday everyone came round to our house so that Daniel could see where Alex lives and play with Alex's toys.  There was a request to go to the local park so we headed off there to let everyone run around and play, whilst Mother and Dad took Juno to stretch her legs across the hills. 
The park was great fun, until Daniel spent too long on the roundabout and went decidedly green!
Then it was back to our house where we squeezed everyone round the dining room table for lunch
followed by coffee
and games in the garden
before heading out to the woods nearer us for another walk!
During this walk the boys learnt how to scramble up and down banks, using roots for support, and really enjoyed going off the beaten path.
The best part however, was probably the stepping stones, which fascinated both boys so much so that they had to go across several times!
All in all it was a wonderful few days and we were very sad when everyone had to go back and life was back to normal again.  Alex was not impressed at having to go to holiday club for the rest of this week...he wanted to go to school instead! I guess it shows he is enjoying school which is a good thing.
So after all that excitement here we are again and it is Wednesday so time for WOYWW. My desk this week is in the midst of making a Christmas card so there are scraps of Christmas scrapbooking paper that I am cutting up for the card, my craft mat, knife and trusty mug of tea.  The little wooden box sitting there is my sewing kit...I had to do an emergency repair on some of my trousers!
I am VERY late with showing you all my DT entry for Quirky crafts this week, although my entry was on time on their challenge site, I am relieved to say! The challenge this week is Autumn/Fall leaves and colours. I used two images from our sponsor, stitchy bear digital stamps, the woodland and Brr...its cold, coloured with promarkers to make this ATC. This ATC also fits with Flourishes Timeless Tuesday 'Trees and leaves', Kaboodle Doodles 'halloween or fall', DYSU 'Trees', OCC 'faces' and SCSC 'wrap up warm' challenges.
I have also made a card for this weeks Less is More challenge which this week is Polka dots (all of these trees have polka dots on them!). This card also fits with colour create 'burgandy, gold, green and cream' colour scheme (that large circle in the background is burgandy in real life I promise!), MTTC 'quite white' (lots of white space on this card, albeit cream coloured!), and Meljen's 'red and gold' challenges. That is all from me. It is now time to catch up with work, which is sad after such a wonderful weekend.  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Getting ready!

Well it is Wednesday today and I am mega excited!  My family is coming up to see us in Sheffield for the first time in simply ages.  My brother's family hasn't been up here for 4 years and my parents for 2.  Needless to say I am getting the house ready, but more to the point I am using it as an excuse to do all those jobs that I have wanted to do for ages.  On that note I now have new curtains up in our study, both in the alcove (hiding the filing cabinet and various storage boxes etc) as shown above.
And in the window behind my desk, replacing the awful patterned ones that were there before.  Doesn't it look so much better!
Here is my desk (not looking quite so neat) as part of WOYWW.  This time has caught me in the midst of Christmas card making so there is a pile of Christmas papers, images, peel offs and stamps on my desk as well as my trusty mug of hot tea and the latest card I have just finished making.
Here is the Christmas card which fits with Kaboodle Doodles 'squares or inchies' challenge, Ooh La La 'Let it snow', Aud sentiments 'Winter theme' and Crazy4Challenges 'Holiday' challenges.
I also made an almost duplicate of the card I made at the weekend, this time including pearls for a friend who has just passed her PhD viva.  I am entering this into Stamptacular 'You choose' and Lets ink it up 'think pink' challenges. That is all from me for now.  Not sure when I will next be able to update...probably after the visitors have gone! In the meantime, have a great week.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sunny October weekend!

I can't believe how nice the weather has been this weekend after the winds and rain of last week. I hope it is like this next weekend when my family are with us in Sheffield. Alex had a wonderful time yesterday following a treasure map and digging for treasure in the garden. He was most disappointed that he didn't find the treasure box first though!
Today he went to a party where he had the greatest of fun diving into the enormous ball pit and sliding down the very fast tunnel slide.  I enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the other mum's from school and to put faces to some of the names I have been hearing from Alex.
This afternoon we went to the park with Alex scooting round as batman.  Did Batman ever wear a bicycle helmet? My little batman did!
He also had fun on the slide, climbing frame and climbing his first ever tree. All in all we had a wonderful weekend enjoying the beautiful autumn sunshine.
The girls at Less is More have challenged us this week to make cards based on cocktails. Here is my attempt which uses an inkadinlado swirls stamp (twice) and a Katie and Co 'celebrate' stamp (my only drink stamp!). I coloured the drink in pink to resemble a cocktail I had at University all those years ago (I can't remember what it was called, only the vibrant pink colour!). I added clear glitter glue to the bubbles and circles in the swirl stamp for the final touch.  I am also entering this into Speedy the cat's friends 'seeing double' and SCSC 'white plus one other colour'.
They also introduced us to an on-line site (HERE) where you can find out what your personality is in terms of a cocktail.  Mine was 3 parts understanding, 2 parts beauty, 1 part bravery and a splash of fascination.
Sadly I had to make a sympathy card this weekend as well, as one of my on-line crafting friends died on 7th October. Many of you will have known Kath, also known as Lazy Kay. She was incredibly supportive and generous with her time and talents. Although we never met in person we had a lively e-mail and snail mail correspondence and I will miss her a lot. I am entering this card into Ooh La La 'sympathy',  and Daring cardmakers 'bird' challenges.
Finally I had to make a birthday card for one of Alex's classmates (this mornings party boy). I took this as an opportunity to use up some scraps, so this fits with DYSU challenge. It also fits with PTW 'three different shapes' and Papercutz 'stars, circles or diamonds'. That is all from me for now. Have a great week everyone. I will be spending some time getting the house ready for an influx of visitors next weekend so there may not be much crafting going on!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

First parents evening!

We had the first school parents evening today for Alex.  It was basically just to let us know how he is settling in and anything that he is struggling with. Apparently he is very popular and is making friends, always smiling and happy, never mardy, and is a live wire who is very enthusiastic about everything BUT and it is a fairly big BUT...he struggles to sit still and concentrate in class and is always fiddling with something so that his teacher feels like she is constantly on at him.  I am not surprised really, because he is like that at home, so it is something that we are going to have to work at with him. On the plus side he does like doing his reading with me at bed-time and is getting better at concentrating on that.
It is time for WOYWW and you will be pleased to hear that I have my new laptop and have almost finished setting it up...just a few things to sort out, such as printer drivers, and I will be there.  It is such a relief to be working on a responsive machine again and to have everything to hand.  Anyway, I digress!  On my desk you can see a lot of tapestry stamps and ink pads, including a Kaleidacolor Creola Spice ink pad which I was given years ago and is perfect for autumnal colours.  You can also see my trusty mug of lovely warm tea, some scraps of card and the card I am actually working on.
And here is the finished card, which is a one layer card for this weeks Less is More (hearts). This time I drew a heart shape, then stamped the birds and masked over them, before using the tapestry leaf stamps to make up the heart shape for an Autumnal take on the theme. As a result this card is also being entered into Kaboodle Doodles 'Lets see those leaves', Simon says stamp and show 'things with wings', Sew many cards 'colour challenge: burnt orange, yellow and brown' and, Fussy and Fancy 'Fall or halloween'.
That is all from me for now.  Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Busy weekend!

Yesterday, despite the wind and rain, we decided to go out on a family trip to celebrate my birthday.  As we were all tired we decided to go to Magna, which is indoors and not too far away from home.  Unfortunately, my favourite exhibit wasn't working, but the indoors tornado was very cool.
Alex had a great time; spinning wheels, pushing buttons, lifting levers, operating a full size digger arm, blasting us with air cannons and shooting the water pistols.
The best bit however, was probably being a miner, wearing a hard hat and blasting the rocks out, then wheeling them to a grader which he could operate.
Today we went to the harvest service at our local church, which was lovely; 300 people there including Beavers, guides and scouts who joined in with the service.  Alex found sitting in for the whole service quite hard, but did say that he likes church and wants to go back again so I am pleased about that. This afternoon we went to see friends where we did crafting with the kids which was fun.
I can't believe it is a fortnight since our last challenge at Quirky Crafts. This time it is Lyn who has set the challenge of spooky/Halloween or a recipe of black, gold and glitter.  Now, I am not a Halloween fan, but I was given some 'spooky' images to work with and was given a free spooky looking stamp with my last order from Crafty Individuals so decided to combine the two to make this tag.  The bats and poison symbols come from our sponsor, Limited Runs and I coloured the tag using distress inks and promarkers. As this tag does have a Halloween feel I am entering it into Stamp with fun, Tuesday throwdown, and Meljen's, all of which have Halloween as their themes this week.
As usual I had to check out Less is More this weekend. Their new challenge is a one layer card featuring at least one heart.  My first attempt was a disaster so I took inspiration from Mandi's card and cut out a heart to use as a mask and then stamped autumn leaves into the mask and added red gems for berries and a few sakura stardust sparkly highlights (sadly they don't show up in this photo). To me this feels like a pile of leaves, or a hand full of leaves thrown in the air by a child! I am entering this into Simon says stamp 'sparkle and bling', Stampin for the weekend 'Autumn colours', Speedy the cats friends 'no designer papers' and SCSC 'Anything goes plus sparkles'.
Finally, I made a scrapbook layout following this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch. This features Alex's 4th Birthday trip to The Deep in Hull.   I am entering this into sew many cards 'anything goes' challenge.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone...I am hoping that my new laptop will have arrived and been set up by the time I post next.