Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Thanks to whoever linked earlier when my internet connection was down.

WOYWW 147 and it's the best of work desks for me this week as mine is in the local park along with my gorgeous little Fraulein visiting with her Mamma from Germany. My old strawberry desk cover comes in handy once again and 
I sat in the glorious sunshine doing my crochet whilst we all enjoyed a dolly's picnic... Bliss! Hop over to stamping ground to see the product of Julia's original idea to share the secrets of our crafting spaces. The biggest snoop on the net!

I was so thrilled to receive my blog candy prize from fellow WOYWWer Vickie Okienurse and it was as good as Christmas! Thanks so much Vickie for your generosity and, as it can be seen from the picture below, there was so much in my box of goodies. Buttons, brads, matching papers, ribbons, trims,  diamantes, canvases, brushes, oil paint set, scrapbook pack, etc., etc., and a super card too. It really is worth a good snoop so I've made the picture large!
Vickie had a post it note inside stating "Grand Prize" and it certainly is just that!

Blanket update
I began, at the beginning of March, to crochet squares to make an Afghan blanket after reading how just one square a day will result in 365 over a year ... enough for a blanket. I take my crochet everywhere and make them in the car, waiting rooms, watching TV... all otherwise wasted time. I have as a result completed 95 (and a half) in 25 days... all bagged in tens ready for the mammoth task of joining into a blanket...... eventually!

With this magnificent magnolia overhead and the little one happy pouring our "tea" it was precious time in the park.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week knowing I couldn't return your kindness but I'll have a couple of days this week before the Brighton Belles arrive so I will be visiting as many as possible.

On Safari!

Link here to ...
and only 15 minutes away from our house!
I really don't like animals being kept captive in zoos but at the safari park they live reasonably free in conditions similar to game reserves so I feel far happier to visit. The whole experience of being so close to so many wild animals was amazing and such a good day out. 

Close your eyes now if you are squeamy.......
I'm pleased I don't have to clear up after these huge rhinos.... the mound below was enormous and each message was bigger than a huge turnip!!
Some animals were more inquisitive which was quite an experience for us.

The baboons provided so much entertainment and the little baby ones were so cute.
We did, however, opt for the safer outer perimeter route where they couldn't get at the car. We didn't fancy replacing windscreen wipers or wing mirrors but it was hilarious watching the brave folk who dared to risk it.
Travelling at snail pace meant we needn't belt up and the little 'un could be free to look at whichever side the animals roamed.
Simples! Well he didn't say it so I just had to!
 I love the real meercats but just cannot stand the creepy ones in the well known TV adverts.
There are lots of amusements, rides, cafes and animal enclosures at the end of the safari ride and  sealion shows throughout the day. All in all a great day out. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

WOYWW 145 & Our Beloved Tree

Time again to mooch around the biggest blog hop of desks via Julia at the Stamping Ground. The weekly weakness of the nosey people of the world.
I think you've become quite used to my clear and tidy desk, so today is a rapid change due to a major event in our garden. Things have hastily been dumped on my table, taken off the wall and  covers thrown over everything. Why, oh, why?
This mess was made in minutes to protect my stash from the Tree Surgeons as they came to treat our beautiful old apple tree, as access to the front from the garden is through my workroom, then through the garage.
This tree that has given such wonderful service during the 36 years we have lived here, and who knows how many years before we arrived. 
It has blossomed fragrantly each year...
May 2010
provided plentiful fruit for us, for our family, friends, neighbours, even for the birds, and so much joy for us all....
Autumn 2011
Now it looked so sad with it's withered branches and we dearly hoped it might be saved but it had gone too far... 
so sadly it is no more a part of our lives and I wept to see it come down. I never imagined that I would cry for a tree, but I did, and I wished that all my family could have been together to see it once more before the final cut.
Just a couple of pies and a few boxes of stewed apples still in the freezer to remember it by and lots of photographs through the years but I have kept a log as a souvenir.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Taste of Spring

A Host of Golden Daffodils
Just to cheer everyone on a dull Monday I thought I'd share a taste of Spring by showing the breathtaking display of daffodils in Liverpool's Sefton Park.
The Marie Curie Fields of Hope.
I have seen daffodils in swathes on roadsides and in many other parks over the years but nowhere have I ever seen as many as in Sefton Park.
Field after field....
after field.....
This is the biggest bouquet (I know, I'm a cheapskate!) to say a very
Happy Birthday to a very special person ... that's my good friend Neet whose birthday was Saturday but I know her celebration continues today. She had a wonderful arty week away and was too shattered on her return so pop over to her blog, HERE at Hickydorums, to see all the exciting things she was up to.

This is the Sandwich Board Swing card I made for Neet as she missed our workshop last Saturday.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Sudely & Philly

Sudely House is one of the hidden gems of Liverpool's Museums and Galleries but, as it is situated a few miles out of the city centre, so many visitors miss the opportunity to get there as there is already so much in the city centre to see and do. 
It is one of my favourite mini days out as I can see the work of so many artists and enjoy the beautiful home of George Holt the Victorian shipping magnate. Like all 9 of the museums and galleries of Merseyside, entrance is FREE and they all have good cafes too! 
It is one of the few Victorian homes, (and it really feels like a home not just a large house,) where the works of art are the ones which have been there since they were first acquired. 
This beautiful angel, by Burne-Jones, is one of my favourites but there are so many wonderful paintings by Turner, Millais, Goya, Alma Tadema to name but a few of the wonders at Sudely. The angel is carefully hidden for protection by a velvet curtain, so if ever you visit, be sure not to miss the opportunity to pull back the drapes in the hallway and drool. 
Here are just a few items from the fabulous exhibition of period costume on display.

This quirky piece of art in the grounds has been created by "artist(s) unknown" and I must admit to adding a feather to it myself!!
The main staircase
George Holt's daughter continued to live in the house, after his death, until 1944 when it was all bequeathed to the city. As a result it has remained complete and unchanged for us all to share.
Philadelphia Chocolate Cheese Spread
Just have to thank Julia of stamping ground for her review of the chocky version of Philly which led me to try it out for myself. Chocky Cheese???  It's like a Marmite "love or hate" thingy and whilst Julia loathed this .....Yum! I just adore it!!!
Thanks to Julia for my WOYWW badge... I'll wear it with pride at all the shows and arty gatherings!!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

WOYWW 144 & Sandwich Board Card

I was going to pretend that I had suddenly managed to become exceptionally, never before seen, tidy by just showing this desk. It is a new desk but it's soon going to be our new computer desk when the very nice man from Virgin installs a new connection tomorrow. Doesn't it look inviting and don't you think it would be so good for crafting???..... I'm sure I'll be decamping to it now and then. 
We are clearing out our small bedroom and changing it from our little office/ computer room to a bedroom for our little grandees. They are growing so quickly that they'll soon be out of their cot beds and into grown up beds.
This, perfect bargain find from a charity shop, is all set to be our new computer base in the dining room.
 Here's the real thing, the regular one, my stainless steel wonder desk, in my own room and I love it and must admit I won't forsake it! Not much going on there right now as I did all my crafting before the weekend for my workshop Saturday. 
On behalf of WOYWWer Carol, thanks for all your kind comments wishing her son well and I'm pleased to say he's home and improving every day.

"Why, Oh, Why?", I hear you say, "are you showing all this???".... well... just call in on our lovely Julia at the stamping ground, like so many do every week, for the maddest blog hop on the WWW. Don't miss all the fun!

Sunday I went to the Leigh "Sincerely Your's Show" run by Oyster Crafts and it was such a friendly show, well worth attending. 
Still some of my acquired stash is there on my desk waiting to be tidied away after I drool over it a while longer.
Here's the rest of all I never intended to buy.
Here are some of my samples from Saturday's workshop. We made a couple of projects and this one, whilst an old idea and so simple, is very effective and proved popular. 
It's a sandwich board style card with a centre panel slotted into the top which swings. 
It can be made any size as long as the lacy top is wider than the insert so it hangs on the top edges. 
The insert must hang about 1 cm shorter than the card (when closed) to allow it to swing freely when open.
It's an opportunity to make good use of die cutters and decorative border cutters.
This little cutie below is from my stamps of children "Freckles" I designed for stampattack. There is also a plate of quirky little girls called Tatty Heads.

I love this image from Crafty Individuals and we used an old technique to age the focal point picture. The image was stamped then clear embossed with 2 or 3 layers. It can then be cracked by carefully bending it about. A vintage colour ink pad was smudged over into all the cracks and crazes and, when the excess is rubbed off the surface, it looks like this ....
Side view of one in progress.
I recently read an article that pointed out, if you make a crochet square each day, then over a year they will all make up into an Afghan throw. Lately I've knitted so many scarves so, with the approach of Spring, I needed a change and decided to embark on this project for my "mindless" crochet or knitting. I always have something easy to do whilst travelling or sitting in waiting rooms, or watching TV. 
In 5 days I have made 29 x 4inch squares.... it should be at least one huge Afghan by the end of the year!!!
I must say how chuffed I am to have won Okienurse's blog candy!! Thanks to Vickie for her generosity and I look forward to receiving my prize packet.

Hope the new computer connection works perfectly so I can call in on some of you tomorrow.......