Monday, 30 August 2010

Jupiter Artland

Well, my move to Mushroom Cottage grows ever closer and I am ashamed to say that I have not done one iota of packing thus far. However, I now have yet another week off work (part-timer!) in which to get all that sort of thing done. That's the plan anyway. My craft stuff will probably be last to go, but there won't really be much time for cardmaking :o( Or blogging for that matter. Sniffle!

Yesterday, Himself and I braved a cold and icy wind to venture to Jupiter Artland, which is a collection of modern artworks dotted around the grounds of a large mansion. We've been there for coffee before but never to view the collection. We're not much into modern art but there was something very surreal about coming across a weird sculpture in the middle of woodland and it provided many an exciting photo opportunity for me.

There were also cute animal like sheep, donkeys and a llama to coo over and we finished off with coffee and cake served from the retro American-style trailer that is the cafe.

All in all, an interesting place to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday morning!

Friday, 27 August 2010

New Lease of Life

These tags had been hanging about in my Etsy shop for a while:

So I decided I'd rather make them into a set of cards:

Now to see if there are any more of my creations that can be given a new lease of life!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

To Halloween or Not To Halloween?

That is the question! It has been a dilemma of mine for a few days, ever since I made a few wee "Scary" characters; should I put them on cards or not? After all, sending cards at Halloween is not really a big thing over here (feel free to disagree, anyone!), so, after some discussion with my work colleagues today I have decided that they might be better put to use on someone's scrapbook page, or a treat bag or gift tag.
So meet Bat, Pumpkin, Mini Mummy and Ghostie:

Ready to adorn whatever Halloween projects you fancy!

Monday, 23 August 2010


As the making and giving of cards is a big, big part of my life, I feel very uncomfortable when, for whatever reason, I forget, or am late sending, people's birthday cards. As is the case just now; whilst we were on holiday I missed two birthdays. One being my friend, Angela (sorry!!) and the other being my youngest cousin, Douglas. I spent a good part of the morning trying to come up with a card for the latter and I know he's vaguely into sci-fi, so...

I wanted it to look like a comic book page but I think now I should have written "space bus" or something on the UFO to make the scenario more obvious. Oh well, you live and learn!

Last night, to celebrate the last "proper" day of our holiday, Himself and I went to see this:

Despite not having seen Toy Story 1 or 2, I really enjoyed it, although I don't think the 3D was particularly obvious. Nice to be big kids for an hour or two and get caught up in the story!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

My Second Award!

Woot! It would seem that, in my blogging abscence, I have been bestowed with another fabby award, thanks to the lovely and talented Sharon ! So many thanks to Shazza for that!

In order to accept this award, I must follow these rules:

1)Thank the person who gave me the award - see above

2)Put the award on my blog - see above

3)List 3 things I love about myself - well, I love my ability to draw pretty much anything, I love being a cat owner and I love my blog!!

4)Post a favourite photo:

My wee cat, Corrie, who sadly departed for cat heaven earlier this year. I'm so glad to have this sweet picture to remember her by.

5)Tag 5 other people to receive the award - here they are, in no particular order:

Patterned Paper and All Things Pretty

The Crafty Nomad


Dots and Spots

Ellephantastic Cards and Crafts

I hope you enjoy checking them out!

Fab Holiday!

Howdy Folks! I'm officially BACK from a great holiday with Himself on the island of Jura, which is situated off the West Coast of Scotland. It's not a place to go if you crave buzzing nightlife and shopping sprees, but if (like us) you appreciate nature and scenic walks and peace and quiet, then I'd definately recommend it!

Of course, between us, we took millions of photos, far too many to put on here. I've chosen a select few, which, I think, sum up our week, but if you want to check out the rest of mine, please have a look on my Flickr page.

This ferry took us from the mainland to the island of Islay, where we then caught a wee ferry to Jura.

On the first evening, it rained continually but we took a walk to the main village, Craighouse, and had a very nice meal in the hotel.

On our first morning, the rain gradually eased and we saw this amazing rainbow:

This sign made us chuckle:

We parked our car as far along the road as we could go before beginning a 14-mile-round trip on foot to the Northern-most tip of the island, hoping to see the Corryvrechan whirlpool, but unfortunately it was just too far to go in one day and we had to abandon it before our feet gave out!

We did, however, get to see Barnshill, the house where George Orwell apparently wrote 1984:

And after taking a slight wrong turning detour, we were lucky enough to see seals sunning themselves in a secluded bay:

The thing that looks like a rock on the right is actually a seal basking, and there is also a seal poking it's head out of the water on the left!

All over the place we saw these amazing giant dragonflies that whirred around like insectilian helicoptors:

(Himself took this photo BTW!)

After a long day's walking there was nothing better than to come home and do a spot of BBQing:

Our wee cottage:

The next morning we took a walk to Craighouse and waited for the bread to be delivered to the one and only shop so we could buy some. The harbour provided a scenic waiting place:

Our next walk was a coastal one:

And we trekked to find this ancient burial place overlooking the sea:

I fulfilled an urge to paddle in the sea and walk on the white sandy beach:

Near to our cottage we discovered a very old graveyard:

And our final days' walking took in the "Paps" of Jura and this amazing raised beach of pebbles which stretched for a great distance:

As well as birds of prey, we saw a few of the 6000 deer that inhabit Jura and make it a popular place for stalkers; unfortunately I didn't get any good pics of those. And the midgies were as voracious as expected; even though we plastered on Avon's Skin So Soft, we were eaten alive each time we ventured out of the cottage!
And it seemed inevitable that every time we drove anywhere, one of these characters would be blocking the road:

We ate well, we chilled, we played Scrabble (!) and we breathed in fresh, clear air. Oh, and Himself banged his head about 85 times on the low doorways of the cottage! All in all, a brilliant, relaxing break away from the rat race!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Keep Every Scrap!

I know not everyone conforms to this philosophy; in fact, many a personage has scoffed, nay mocked, my decision never to throw away any piece of patterned paper, no matter how miniscule the scrap. Indeed, some of my scraps cannot even be seen without the use of an electron microscope! But last night, after I'd embarked on a project to create a gift box for a set of notecards that had been listed for a while in my Etsy shop, I was thankful for my hoardage rule!

This was the original set of cards:

Made using a firm favourite paper set - the Bloom and Grow range from My Minds' Eye! I felt they needed a little "tweaking" and the addition of some wording, as well as the creation of a little box to put them in.

I was aghast to find that I had used up all my B&G papers, though.
The box was made, but what would I decorate it with?

I was a-fret with worry.

Until I remembered my "unfathomably infinitesimal scraps" collection.

And lo and behold, some diminutive pieces remained!


Friday, 13 August 2010

Gherkin Surprise!

I've finally had the crafty day I was hoping to have during my week off - yay! I've done other useful things too, including coming up with some improvised recipes to use up all the bits and bobs in my fridge (potato and veg tortilla at lunchtime, sun-dried tomato and cream cheese pasta for tea) and a trip to the dump with the junk I amassed during my declutter. Best of all, the sun's finally been shining!

All the cards I made today had a distinctly "girly" theme:

I love making my own embellishments - it's a great way of using scraps!

Now to decide what to make for supper using the very last of my fridge contents. Any ideas what can be created using cucumber, toffee yoghurt and a gherkin? Even Delia might struggle with that selection!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Color Throwdown!

I've decided to enter a Color Throwdown challenge for the first time because I was in need of inspiration. And this week's colour selection was quite interesting:

The resulting card is, I feel, a little dark, but I like the details:

It's going in my Folksy shop now!

Just "Barge"ing In... say hello! Today is Himself's birthday. Happy Birthday, Himself!! At present he is away on a canal boat with his Dad and his Dad's friend, but because the canal is a local one I was able to join them for a brief time yesterday and it was a fabby experience! I found it completely relaxing, just trundling along at a snail's pace, watching the world go by and taking it easy. Our friends also joined us and so did my Mum and Dad so it was quite a party! I think the boys will be glad to get the boat to themselves today!

The two of us at the "helm".

A view from the "bow" (or, as I, not incorrectly, called it, the "prow") of the boat.

The canal "basin", where we stopped off at the pub!

I felt so inspired by this little adventure, that I made a card when I came home:

I think I'll keep this one for Himself's Dad's birthday!

Monday, 9 August 2010

A Blog Award!

I was very flattered to find that I'd been selected to receive the One Lovely Blog award by the nice lady that is BaggieAggie (check out her blog and gorge creations); it's my first such award and I'm delighted!

Only problem is, I now have the extremely difficult task of choosing 7 of my personal fave blogs to pass the award onto. I've sweated and cogitated and pulled out hair, but I think I've finally made my decision. So, here, in no particular order, are my choices:

Bird on Wire Studio - Abigail makes the most delightful little felted creatures and she also paints watercolours in her Vermont studio. Her creations make me smile!

Bonkers About Buttons - Sharon creates gorgeous cards using the most adorable stamped images, and, yes, she loves using buttons!

CraftyNess - Vanessa is a busy mum of three but she still manages to make innovative and fabulous cards, and has won several challenges!

Buttercup Boutique - I love the colour and attention to detail of Kate's pretty textiley makes, especially her bird brooches!

Quernus Crafts - Kirsten is a very talented lady who can work wonders with polymer clay to make the most adorable animal characters!

Kool Kitty Musings - Nat is a member of the Daring Cardmakers Design Team and I'm always taken with her bold, bright use of colour. Some gorgeous photography on her blog too!

Allison's Crafty Moments - Allison's cards always have a good use of shape and colour and a touch of elegance about them. A great source of inspiration!

I do hope you'll check them all out; you'll soon see why I like them! To accept the award those selected must agree to pass it onto 7 of their favourites. It's a great way to discover some great blogs!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Heavenly Holidays!

Morning all! I'm officially in holiday mode now, and have had a lovely "pottery" morning. I had a lie-in, then a lazy breakfast, caught up with some blogs and now I've made Rocky Road muffins(cheated though- used a Morrisons pre-prepared mix):

I'm quite looking forward to getting my gnashers round these! Himself might get one too, if he's lucky! However, whilst on Twitter I read that this lady had made some too. And from a proper recipe! So I'll need to try that next time!

Yesterday, H and I had a wander across to Waterstone's where we partook of cappucinos and big slices of cake whilst getting a good view of some poor chap having his legs waxed for charity in Debenham's doorway! We browsed the books and I bought a map of our imminent holiday destination,the island of Jura. I'm sooo looking forward to this trip, I just want to go there this very second!

In the evening I cooked dinner (fish finger, mash and bean pie - comfort food at it's best!!) and then we went to see this:

An entertaining enough all-action romp ( and I'd forgotten my "thing" for Liam Neeson, so it was an added bonus having him in it!)

Today the sun is shining and I'm hoping to clear off soon and enjoy it!

See you soon!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Golf Mad!

I apologise if my posts are a bit few and far between over the next few weeks, folks. I am eagerly anticipating a couple of weeks holiday from work (as of 6pm tomorrow - hoorah!) and will be flitting back and forth making preparations for my house-move at the end of the month. So it may not leave much time for crafting but I will do my best!

With Himself's birthday looming up, I needed a golf-related card. So I made two, and this one (the golfer bears more than a passing resemblance to Himself!) will be going in my shop as I know there are more than a few golf-widows out there!

Personally I find the game rather relaxing to watch - all that nice scenery! Do you like my golfer's fetching attire??

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Bargain Bin Time Again!

For some reason I've been convinced, all day, that today is Monday. Probably because I've been working and I'm starting to get twitchy about my upcoming holiday, so I'm wishing the days away! That Monday Feeling two days in a row - not good!

Never mind, I've had a nice weekend, starting with an evening of self-pampering on Friday (long bath, scented candles, smothering myself with pongy lotions and potions, yoga stretches and meditation - I think I've been reading too many women's magazines!). Yesterday Himself and I hit the shops and he went wild and bought two pairs of Skechers; I was more restrained and bought, er, zilch. We treated ourselves to an M&S Dine in for £10 meal and spent the evening watching trashy gameshows and Wallander. Not exactly earth-shattering, but I enjoyed every minute!

Another fabby item has arrived in the £1.00 bargain bin at my place of work:

These patterned card and envelope sets, ripe for the decorating! I can't wait to get my mitts on them!

As a result of my laidback weekend of non-crafting, all I have to show is this commissioned engagement card:

I just cut two little bird shapes out of patterned paper (it's all Cosmo Cricket), and added some doodling. The sentiment is printed on the computer. I suppose the design could also be used as an anniversary card.

That's all for now, folks, I'm off to do my yoga stretches and then eat a big piece of cake!