Friday, 28 June 2013

Exhausted smiles!

It is Friday and therefore time to join in with Annie's smiles and Rocking your world Friday. I am utterly exhausted having had a rotten week sleep wise, but I am smiling lots because I have finished my grant is just waiting for Research Office approval before final submission on Monday.  That aside, one of the things that made me really smile this week was a new camera, a slim-line, Panasonic DMC-TZ40 complete with 20x Optical zoom (my wedding anniversary present) - here is one of the photos I have taken with it.
This is another photo taken with the macro function on it - the first half-way decent shot I have ever got of a foxglove!
Another thing that made me smile was a steam train ride...
I adore steam and we go on at least one train ride a year.
It didn't matter that it was raining, we all had a great time
Finally, I had a surprise parcel of a knitted crab, known as Great Aunt Crabitha, who has come to stay for a little while... Alex wants to adopt her and keep her, but she is still enjoying her travels and will be leaving us again at some point soon.  That is all from me for now.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Grant stress and WOYWW!

OK so it is that time of year when I have a grant to submit and I am mega stressed as a result.  Anyway, you didn't come here to listen to me moan so here is Alex busy crafting at my desk using a stencil with stippling effect for the first time.
And here is his final picture!
For my entry to WOYWW this week, this is my desk as it was on Tuesday evening (it hasn't changed much since then due to work).  You can see my trusty mug of lovely hot tea, my smash book with a  list of pages to do sat on top of it, a pencil, spare SD card and random post it notes. Rather dull today I'm afraid!
Here are those pages from my smash book... Alex's first tooth fairy visit and fun in one of our parks.  I am gradually catching up!
This is a card I made for one of the PhD students who is leaving us.  In case you couldn't guess she is into snowboarding!  I am entering this into SSSS 'stripes' (I hope that the dotted rays count), CCC 'CAS and no flowers' (I hope this is CAS enough!)
This is the card I made for Tim for our anniversary.  I am entering this into Creative Card Crew 'no designer papers' as I decorated the background with stamping and inks entirely,and Flourishes Timeless Tuesday 'create a splash' (water colours and ink splats etc). That's all from me for now.  Have a great rest of the week everyone...I will visit when I can, grant permitting.

Friday, 21 June 2013

A day off!

It is Friday and therefore time to join in with Annie's smiles and Rocking your world Friday.   The things that made me smile this week were celebrating Father's Day with my husband... he is a wonderful father despite his illness (he wont let me put his photo on here!).  To celebrate we went bowling (Tim just about managed one game) where Alex used a heavier ball than either of the adults!
...don't you love the cheeky grin on Alex's face!
Sheffield had a domino run of VHS tape boxes as part of the children's festive...Alex was fascinated.
He then had a go with wooden blocks.
One of the parks also had a mini rollercoaster ride set up which Alex loved!
Other things that have made me smile this week are having a day off today to celebrate 12 years of marriage.  We went to the cinema to see Star Trek Into Darkness and are having a nice meal tonight.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Busy Wednesday (WOYWW)

As the title says I am extremely busy at the moment so who knows when this WOYWW post will actually be posted and linked up, even though I have started typing it on Tuesday!  Here is my desk as it was on Tuesday morning...occupied by Alex who was making a sign using gold card and some of my washi tape and stamps.
Here is the completed sign...I think he intends to put it up in his room somewhere!
This is my desk as it was on Tuesday evening just after I had put the finishing touches to a page from my Art Journal. The pens have been safely put away in the new mug sat at the back of my desk so all you can see is my trusty mug of tea (yes, I like weak and milky tea!), the washi tapes from Alex's crafting session, some post it notes and my art journal.  Towards the back of the desk on the side of the white drawers are all my lovely ATCs on display.
Here is a close up of them with my little knitted octopi and the charm from Jo in the foreground.  I love them all, so varied and beautiful.
This is a close up of that journal page made with Adirondack colour wash inks, and distress inks for the stamping followed by glimmer mist for that added shimmer.  I am not entirely happy with it, but I guess it is only about the 6th I have ever done so there is definitely room for improvement... I think it is the writing that I don't like. That's all from me for now.  Have a nice week everyone.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Better late than never!

I am running late for Annie's Friday smiles and Rocking your world Friday.  Both of these blogs make us appreciate all the good things in life and the things that have made us smile during the past week so I didn't want to miss joining in.  The things that I am grateful for this week are best friend moved away a few years ago and we don't get to meet up anyway near as much as we would like so when we do it is really special.  This was a picnic lunch last week in a park half-way between where we both live.
Three children playing on a log is the simplest of pleasures and lovely to see.
There were donkeys at the park so we treated the kids to a ride...only snag was that I had to lead Alex's very reluctant donkey round the track!
This week I also bought a second hand climbing frame for Alex and put it up.
Alex was delighted by it and has been playing on it whenever the weather permits - Just look at that happy smile!    That is all from me for now.  Have a great week.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Crafting and WOYWW!

Alex and I have both managed some crafting time this week!  Here is Alex taking over my desk on Tuesday morning while playing with the cuttlebug to make a picture of 'Alligator Man'!
For my entry to WOYWW this is my desk as it looked on Tuesday evening whilst making my Father's Day cards.  You can see distress inks, pads, craft mat, the paper that I patterned with stamps and inking effects for use as a background (see below), cards, stamps, sequin waste and of course my trusty mug of tea.
I received some more wonderful ATCs from the anniversary swap...these were the overseas ones.  Top left in blue is from NanG, top right in pretty feminine colours is from Sandra De, bottom left in bright colours is from ScrappyMo, and bottom right in gold and black is from Shaz in Oz.  Aren't they all stunning! Thank you all so much.
Here are the finished Father's Day cards.  I made very similar ones for both Dad's (mine and my DH's) as they are both into gardening and birdwatching.  The background paper on the card was made by me using distress inks with various effects, and stamping using stamps from Hero Arts (birds), Lavinia stamps (leaves and stars), Creative individuals (ferns, dragon fly and small bird) and JustRite (lettering).  The main panel was made using a sentiment stamp I picked up at a show years ago with the text layered onto different cards and then finished with either a heart brad or a button.  I am entering these into SSSS 'buttons', crafty cardmakers 'Father's Day', Kaboodle Doodles 'for your favourite guy', CCCB 'its all about him', PTW 'hello boys', Tuesdays Throwdown 'You're the man' and All Sorts 'in the garden'.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Zorbing, Chatsworth and Archery fun!

It is Friday and time for Annie's smiles and Rocking Your world Friday.  There have been plenty of things to smile about this last week, not least the sun and Alex having his first ever zorbing adventure!
It was wonderful watching him fling himself around the place inside the ball... he was fairly good at staying upright for little runs before falling over again... it was very funny to watch!
For Alex's back to school treat he chose to explore Chatsworth gardens... who was I to argue!
We explored pretty much every single water feature, but Alex's favourite was the cascade which he clambered up and down actually standing in the water.
He also enjoyed the maze which was really quite challenging and the greatest of fun.
I actually had a girls night out last night (a rare treat) in which I got to do archery with the ladies from was great fun and I actually managed to shoot a few bulls eyes!
Here is the evidence if you don't believe me (the other lady is another Carolyn and she shot one of the arrows - I shot the other two!). That is all from me for now.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend...I am looking forward to more fun in the sun with Alex.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What! Wednesday already?! (WOYWW)

Where did this week go?  I am loving the fact that it is June and we have actually had some sun... 4 days of picnic tea in the garden much to Alex's delight. 
As it is Wednesday it is time for WOYWW again and here is my desk in the process of making a card for my nephew.  Apologies for the terrible photo... the camera didn't like the sun streaming in through the window. Propped up against my mug (sadly empty) are the wonderful ATCs I have received so far from the anniversary hop... there are more to come from abroad which is very exciting.  The open drawer holds my promarkers, then there is the image I am about to colour in, the die cuts I was going to use to cut it out and some possible background papers.
This is a close up of the gorgeous ATCs I have received.  The top left gorgeous green is from Redanne, top middle vintage stamping and washi tape  from Julia (our erstwhile leader), and top right amazing stitching from Wipso.  The bottom row consists of the pink heart (and the gorgeous tag) both from Ria Gall, the stunning zentangle from JoZarty, and the stitching from Twiglet. Thank you all so much... they are gorgeous!
JoZarty also sent Alex a special ATC which he loves.... he has now decided that he wants to make them and was happy yesterday after school and this morning making a couple.
Here are the ones I sent - I hope that they have got there by now!  The background was made using my gelliplate, a stencil and a mask, and then stamping over the top and colouring using promarkers. I am entering these into SSSS 'things starting with S' (Summery colours, Stamping and Stencils).
This is the finished birthday card which loosely follows this weeks Unscripted sketch, and fits with the creative card crew 'punches/dies', Kaboodle Doodles 'for the kids' and PTW 'anything goes' challenges.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.