Sunday, 20 July 2014

Pirates Ahoy

Today was our town's annual Pirate Day.....I may have mentioned before that we hold the official world record for the most pirates gathered in one place......over 14,000......Penzance again tried to break that record this year.....and they must have been pretty p*****d as they only missed by 77.....so no record attempt needed this year.....but there were still a few thousand pirates marauding in town.
a rather blurred DD1 ready for action
 there's a prize for the 'best dressed' retail outlet
 Johnny Depp was in evidence everywhere
pirates larking around all over town
 a pirate parade almost impossible to photograph due to so many people milling around
best dressed pirate competition
and even the odd boat....this one made purely from recycled materials.
A fun family day out.

Friday, 18 July 2014

It's that time of year again....

Time for my summer break.....and because I tutor courses in schools and Children's Centres......and finish before them....and start again after them....I'm lucky enough to end up with nearly 9 weeks this year.....though I should point out that I don't get paid when I'm not working!!!
It's very fairly easy for me to waste too much of my break faffing around doing very little.....so I need A LIST to keep me on track and get through some projects.
So this summer I want...
1. to complete Rinda's scavenger hunt.....I'm a bit late starting....though I have got one or   two in the bag
2. to completely sort my craft/study area......I've made a start this week.....3 bags to the charity shop......and drawers and shelves looking a lot tidier....still plenty more to do though.           
3. make more squares for Fiona's Friendship quilt ......it's my turn to receive squares this     month.....and I'm really excited as the first ones have arrived....there will be an upcoming   blog post on that.....this one was for Fiona and I was so pleased with how it turned out....I   want to make a wallhanging based on it this summer.
4. to finish my 2013 scrapbook album.....there's not too much to add to that one....though   this page reminds me I have another bloggers' weekend to go to before my courses restart....yay!!!!           
5. to finish my 2013 cruise album......I'm only about half way through......but I'm only going to do a limited number of pages.....and the other photos will go in divided page protectors             
6. to visit the beach regularly.....I live so close to it.....I should have gone today.....but with our temperature hitting 30.....I decided to stay indoors!!
7. to read a book a week.....I have a pile by my bed just waiting.
8. to sew a patchwork bag.....this has been on my list of things to do for ages.....and with my sewing machine out for the quilt squares.....I need to get over my fears and give it a try ....and I even have a book.....which is full of lovely bags.....and only £2.99 at Amazon
9. do my tax return......so that it's not a last minute panic....yuk.
10. sort and clean all the kitchen cupboards and drawers.....and remove any vintage food   lurking in the shadows!!
11. try and have a day out with a friend each week.....visiting places of interest.....nearby     towns.....renowned coffee shops etc.
I think that might be enough to get started on.....I'll report back each week....which may help me keep on track.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Using up freebies

If you buy papercraft magazines.....how often do you use the free papers which a lot of them have inside?
I too often pop them into a box and forget about them.....of course, some I just don't personally like and they get used in my classes.....and some aren't good quality paper and get used by the littlies.....but too many just get left.....while I'm paying to buy more paper pads.
So I'm on a mission to use some of them!!
I was asked to make some male cards......and remembered a set of 5 double sided papers that had been specifically put in a magazine to make Father's Day cards......so perfect for anything masculine.
They also came with a sentiment sheet....most weren't appropriate as they were for Father's Day....but I did manage to use one of them
The only thing I've added.....apart from some plain card......is the fish on the last card....and some blue candi.
A pretty economic set of cards.....now to dig out some more.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

There's a lot of excitement around here....

because we've booked next year's holiday......DD1 and her friend knew exactly where they wanted to celebrate their respective 30th and 25th birthdays.....and they asked us to come along with them.....how could we refuse such an adventure.
So next April we're spending 4 days in San Francisco......a week in Hawaii......and 3 days in Los Angeles......all booked through Complete North America who came highly recommended by Becky....[thanks for all your advice,Becky].

So now we are poring over guide books.....and DD1 has already made a list of all the 'must see' places to visit....and compared prices....and decided what needs to be booked in advance....and....and....possibly made us feel exhausted already!!!! But did I mention how excited we are.
Just after we booked the holiday......a package arrived for me....from none other than Becky herself.....with a blog prize I had won......and it couldn't be more perfect
I am absolutely going to love using this journal folder for our holiday.....so even more thanks go to Becky.
Now the saving up must begin!!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

By the Sea - altered box frame

At the boot fair last Sunday I picked up a few little treasures......including this box frame.....and although I like the quote in it......as soon as I saw it I had a little altered project in mind.
I'm getting near the end of my 'By the Sea' paper pack.......but I'd saved one of the 'picture' pages just for a project like this.
First the frame had to be painted......a little bit of metallic rub-on to distress the edges.....and then the picture cut to size.....and layered up with stamps and shells cut from the papers.....sadly the photo doesn't really show the 3D effect of it all......and taking a photo through glass doesn't do much for it either!! 
I then had great fun adding bunting.......real shells and glass beads and other beach flotsam....easy to collect when you live as near to the beach as I do.
Now to decide on a permanent home for it.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Today......in my garden

My garden is definately a June garden......though there are a few plants yet to reach their prime.......and a few that are now past it......so much is at it's best at the moment.
 the sweet peas need picking every day now
 the grasses are looking lush
this clematis took a few years to really get going.....but now clambers happily over a rather boring conifer
 the lavender are just coming into flower
the buddleia are reaching for the sky
the hydrangea heads are appearing
and roses are everywhere





and the edible garden is coming on as well
 mixed lettuce leaves being picked every day
the apple trees are covered in little fruit 
the blueberries large and swollen....but probably need another month to be ripe
and the British rain has migrated......so a lot of vegetable watering is happening each day....the flowers have to fend for themselves!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Friendship Quilt

Back last year when Fiona asked me if I'd like to take part in making a bloggers' Friendship Quilt I was a bit dubious......not because I didn't think it was a wonderful idea.....not because I've never sewn before.....not because I didn't want to be part of it......but because I have severe issues with precision....I find it impossible to be precise with anything!!!!
I can live with my own imprecision......but expecting someone else to is a whole different thing!!
In the end my desire to join in overcame my fears.....but I needed to hatch a plan where the only precision that mattered was the final size of the square.....so I came up with a sort of crazy,off centre, strip log cabin block.
One person each month receives their squares from everyone......and they have chosen their own colour palette.
[for Alexa]
Then I hit another snag.......my inability to remember to photograph them!!! I always remember to photograph my cards and LOs.......sort of on auto pilot,I s'pose......but most of the squares have been posted off unrecorded,I'm afraid.
 [for Amy]
[for Deb]
Deb wanted spring colours.......and as I had extra fabric I decide to make some little coasters for her as well.....though I didn't get time to bind them.
I also took onboard Fiona's suggestion to make a block for yourself each time you make one for someone else......so I've been making one a month in my chosen colours......which should give me 24 blocks in total when mine all arrive.
This exchange is such a lovely idea....thank you Fiona.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Keep it Clean and Simple

Jennifer's weekend extravaganza had a few challenges......including a 'keep it clean and simple' one......anyone who visits my blog will know how difficult I find that......'keep adding more and more' is more my mantra!!
But I had a card to make for a friend who is going into hospital to have a major operation.......and I thought keeping it simple was far more appropriate for this card.


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Challenge to use a sketch - Cyprus

Jennifer set up a few challenges during her weekend extravaganza.....and one of them was a sketch challenge.....I really like using sketches.....they give a good starting point for a layout.....I often veer away from them as the page develops....but this page keeps pretty close to the original.
I had 6 days in North Cyprus with my friend G at the end of last month......a very quiet and peaceful few days......actually I think it was a bit too peaceful for G!! I loved the opportunity to just relax though.
 Although these are actually SU christmas papers.......I really like them with these photos.
And considering I rarely drink....I'm amazed at how well I coped with drinking cocktails til one in the morning every day!!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Using Graphic 45


For my post in Jennifer's 'Refresh your craft and soul' blog hop I made some cards using Graphic 45 'By the Sea' papers......and was interested to read that some commentators don't usually like Graphic 45 or don't get how to use it.....so I thought I'd show you a bit more Graphic 45 today.
I love Graphic 45 [especially for drooling over].......but I'm very picky about what I use.....I've seen some beautiful scrapbook pages on their blog but their papers tend to be too picture orientated and ornate for my scrapbooking style.....so it's very rare I use them for scrapbooking.
But I love them for cardmaking......this means I mainly buy their 8 x 8 pads......and even then I'm picky......because their pads are always themed.....some really beautiful ones just wouldn't fit into the themes that I card make for......and too much of the pad wouldn't be used.
The 'By the Sea' pad has already been nearly used up [I'm actually tempted to buy another one].....because there's so much I love in it......this card uses one of the picture pages cut up and layered.There's always at least one picture page which is almost a work of art in itself.
 Their papers are perfect for lots of layering......which I love.
 Although each range has a theme......there's so much variety within the pad
I love the vintage feel to all their papers.
So if you've avoided using Graphic 45 in the past....why not have a go now......here's a few 'I made earlier' that might also inspire you.