Tuesday, 30 October 2012

WOYWW 178 & Swap an Angel?

My work desk is pretty clear this week as I'm only just getting back to crafting time due to all my recent wanderings around the country.  I will be attending a Vicky Stampers workshop on Saturday and we always have an ATC swap, which is in progress on my desk, but I can't show the finished result until after the swap. We have a secret vote and the winning ATC becomes the leader picture for the group site.
Why am I even showing my desk I hear you muttering?..... because I had an invitation from Julia of Stamping Ground. Mind you, she invites the whole wide world each week to join in this mega blog hop of spying on creative desks. 
Spy  OR show or spy AND show.. 
it's entirely up to you, but one thing is sure, it's FUN!
My hit counter has almost at the magic number 99,999, as I write this post, so I am offering a small gift to one of my followers.How wonderful that so many people from so many places have popped in and out of my blog in almost 3 years. 
I'll send an item I will make specially, plus this tiny box below which hold lots of little treasures tidied from my desk over the weeks. 
I'll add to it and fill it to capacity but you will get all the bits and bobs already in it that I can't be bothered to put away into their individual pots. They are all too interesting to just throw away and they have accumulated to quite a little stash!
I'll draw in a couple of days from anyone interested who makes a comment on this post...
 just mention that you'd like the BOX of BITS! 
This RED snowflake trimming below is from M&S 3 metres for £3. It will be a challenge to use it as I've never seen RED snowflakes! I think a piece will squeeze into the prize box above.
Last year I made lots of Angel Decorations... here are a few examples. I'm going to think up some different ideas this year so now I am wondering if anyone would like to do a one for one swap with me?
I'll set some easy guidelines if enough are interested and if  more than I can manage want to join in then I'll draw, say 10 names. 
Doesn't matter what they are made from but I'm thinking small angels for tree decorations.
To all our friends and visitors over in America....I hope these little angels will watch over anyone who is in the area of the hurricane and that they see you through safely with no damage to you or your homes. Stay safe and I hope it passes away really soon.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


See all the fun of the desks via WOYWW and join in if you dare! Just go over to the blog of our inventor Queen Julia at Stamping Ground to discover all about this weekly wonder of craft desk exploitation.

I'm away from home staying near Lewes, near the South Coast of England, so we can easily pop over to Brighton to visit our family and see 2 of our curly girlies. 
My desk this week is a hotel bed so I have to be really careful that I don't splash paint and mess up the pristine white bedding!!. 
I made good progress on the 6 hour journey with my latest crochet blanket 
(No 5 since March) which is almost ready for one of the girlies. 
 I've also managed some scribbly free sketching of the Brighton Belles, the curly girlies, with a permanent fine liner pen as I haven't yet found my pencils in the few crafty items I've brought with me. I might add some water colour tomorrow. I'm so very tired after the drive so the results aren't wonderful but I did enjoy the freedom and fun of just scribbling knowing I could not erase any errors. A pencil would be so much easier for shading too.
I'll try to get around as many desks as possible this week but it mightn't be until the evening as I will be otherwise pleasantly occupied during the day with tiny little people! At least we have good free internet connection here which makes a welcome change.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

WOYWW 176 /Crop Aftermath

I haven't even turned the key in the lock of the door to my work desk as I only returned home from Wiltshire last night after a night with Donna in Derby. 
I spent what little time I've had posting photos of our fabulous trip to the
 Wonderful Weekend With WOYWWers in Wiltshire and thanking all involved.
I'm only just winding down......
I've just decided that I had better unpack my bags, but I started thinking about the mini challenge (below) that Julia included in our goody bags and also admired my fabulous pincushion which was in the bag courtesy of the nimble fingers of LLJ.  
Did I really take all this gear all the way from Liverpool to Wiltshire via Derby and back? There was a weekend case of clothes etc., too!!
Well I will KNOW I did when I finally get round to putting it all away but it can wait a while whilst I relish my lovely weekend of (to quote Zoe) fun, friendship and food. Oh, the food... the cakes.....the fun... the crafting...
Lots of photos of Saturday in my previous post (and also in the blogs of most of the WOYWWers who were there) but if you missed it, make sure you are there next time. If my lovely, special friend Dolores can get there from Slovenia then most people should manage it.
Hope, Carol, that you are better and it was such a shame you were poorly sick so couldn't manage it!
Thanks to the brainchild of Queen Julia at Stamping Ground so many people have made so many online friends and now a happy band of us met those friends for real. If you too would like to share in the fun pop over for a visit.

WOYWWWWC (that's Wonderful Wiltshire Crop)

WOYWWers in Wiltshire met up for the first ever gathering of the group which, all thanks to Queen Julia, has introduced so many crafters to so much friendship and fun.
LtoR standing.. .Jo(me Jozart) LLJ, Morti, Janet(Fairy Thoughts), Mary-Anne, Kyla(Li'l Pidge), Dolores(Cardarian), Di (Pixie), Pam, Donna (Doone), Sam (Hettliecraft), Helen, Julia.
Seated- Kate, Cindy, Lisa, Zoe
Queen Julia looking terribly efficient
Princess LLJ
Mary Anne and Janet
Helen, Di and Sam
Pam and her flock of flutterbies
Kyla and Donna
Kirsty, Kate & Cindy
 Lisa & Zoe

Morti by the freebies and sales tables
After all those yummy cakes we were spoiled rotten with delish hot food
So well looked after.....
Dolores, who travelled the furthest, all the way from Slovenia!
So many thatched buildings around this beautiful part of England and thanks go to Morti for such wonderful hospitality in hosting Donna and me in her home in this pretty  village. It's the first time I've slept under a thatched roof! 
No pics of Morti's for security heh, heh! as there would be a queue of people wanting to stay there!
Note the squirrel on the rooftop. 
We loved sharing time with these huge furry babes
and I was thrilled to be able to handle this gorgeous Californian Corn Snake.... loved the experience!
Thanks to Donna for driving me there, to Morti and her lovely family, to everyone for all the fun and to Julia and LLJ for organising the day for us, to the guys G3 and G for  guiding and welcoming us but just THANK YOU, THANK YOU,  THANK YOU for a magic memory!
Dolores taught a lovely saying to Donna and I when we stayed with her......phonetically, as I can't spell it in Slovenian, it is "coochy, moochy, 
peay va yoo chi" and it  translates as "go home singing"  .... (as we all do when we've had a great time) AND WE DID JUST THAT! 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Rolf Harris Exhibition

Recently I visited the wonderful Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool to see an exhibition of art by Rolf Harris. I can remember the large scale fast sploshings with a decorating brush that he did on TV when I was quite young and it was always fascinating to see the finished result. Rolf used to ask... "Can you tell what it is yet?" as the huge free style painting progressed.

I was really impressed at the exhibition to examine close up the quality of his work, far removed from his free work performed on TV. The detail of his wild life pictures was superb.
Photography was not allowed but I snapped away until I was made aware of this fact and luckily managed to capture some of my favourites.

Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King
I was able to have a pic taken...... with his cardboard cut out !!!.
His famous portrait of Her Majesty fascinated my little fraulein grandee..... just look at those gorgeous curls.....No! not the Queen's!
I felt as though I should step in and start painting in this reconstruction of his studio.
His palette was a work of art!
It was one of the best exhibitions I have visited in a while with his music, excellent videos and support material. A joy for all ages.
Shame you missed it! My fault as I was too busy to post it whilst my family visited and I've just found it unpublished in my files. I wish you could see the rest but if it comes within reach be sure to GO!!!.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

WOYWW 175 & New Brighton

I've got to be good this week because on Saturday I will be meeting "the Boss", "the Queen of the Desks", our own dear lovely Julia... grovel, grovel.... I hope it's enough to get me in her good books before (Woo Hoo!!!) I see her in person at the WOYWW Crop.
Maybe I should have tidied up for some brownie points but I really haven't had time and I'm busy sorting out all I need to take with me to the crop......besides the kitchen sink and all.
It's worth calling in on Julia's blog Stamping Ground to discover all about the goings on at crafty desks around the World via.... 
What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday
Here on my desk you'll spy the green remnants of Saturday's Victoria Workshop given by our club member Gill who always treats us to fab projects. I haven't yet finished my "Anything Goes" book but I love it and will get back to it as soon as I can. 
All those new stamp acquisitions need to be filed away. I was lucky that my friend (Thanks Helen!) kindly snapped them up for me at a bargain price at the QVC outlet shop.
On my other desk I am sorting out the bits and bobs I need to take to do the projects I intend working on at the crop with Cardarian. I can't wait to meet up with special old friends and meet up with WOYWW friends I have never before met in the flesh. I'm really excited wondering just who will be there and a huge thanks goes out to Morti who is kindly hosting Donna and me.
Here's a great find.....You may not have spotted these washi tapes which are a recent addition to the range of gift wrapping materials in IKEA... available in 4 colours they cost £5 for 4 reels.  
This week, recovering nicely from a cough and cold, I wanted to have a walk by the seaside for some fresh air so we crossed the River Mersey, through one of our two tunnels, to visit New Brighton. This is a seaside town which was once booming as a holiday resort, long before package holidays, in the days when the Queen was newly crowned. We would often go there as children, crossing the river by ferry, for a day out. It became so dilapidated until it was regenerated over the last few years and, whilst it is nothing like the traditional old time seaside place it used to be, once again it has developed into a pleasant place for a day out.
The seagulls faced the wind as our sunny day turned to rain....
but it had the reward of a double rainbow and the seaside breeze certainly blew away the cobwebs of being housebound for days.
We drove further along the coast of the Wirral Peninsular to Hoylake and visited Chantilly, right opposite the railway station, which had been recommended for lunch.
Wow! what a place to know about!!! It's bookmarked for a definite return as the food is superb! All local produce cooked on the premises by Les, the owner, who greeted every customer and gave us such a warm welcome which made our visit so special.
Daily, he makes these mouthwatering, wonderful, cakes and pastries. Just look at the height of the lemon meringue top left and the depth of the apple pie bottom right.!!! There's a blackcurrant topped Bakewell Tart bottom left and I intend to go back time after time just to sample all of them. The trouble is that  the delicious main course of Chicken & Ham Pie with salad only left barely enough room for us to share one piece of cake!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Secret Message Card Instructions

I had so many requests at the Port Sunlight show on Saturday, also in comments and emails, for instructions to make this simple Secret Message Card. It looks complex but once you try it you will realise that it is quite simple and has a variety of options to make it your own style.
There is a sample in my previous post and here, in this one, I used printed card and stamped the quotes on the reverse blank surface.
There are many examples out there on the web of this fold so I won't credit anyone in particular and I have added lots of ideas of my own to the original one I spotted somewhere ages ago.  
 The cards are really effective when standing opened 
 The front
 To make the card cut an oblong piece of card... any size as desired. I generally use an A4 piece of cardstock and cut 2 or 3 inches from the length. Concertina fold it into four sections. You can make a smaller card with just 3 sections. 
Make the sections a minimum of approx 1.25 inches (3cms) for stability. I never measure, I just judge it.
Fold in half and cut through the centre two sections to create the slits. 
These do not have to be measured unless you REALLY prefer to have have four even flaps. 
You'll see here that they are irregular and when complete you'll see that it doesn't matter.

Cut two pieces of card slightly smaller than the quarter sections.
You can use printed card or a good quality 2 sided scrapbook paper 
or you can decorate it yourself. 
Remember to decide where your quotes etc., will be stamped.
If they cannot be on a light coloured surface then they can be stamped and mounted onto plain card.
The quotes/ messages, images can go on to the main body of the card, instead of or, as well as on the inserts.
Weave the inserts alternately into the slits.
If they are too narrow they will slide out.
If they are too wide they will not slide in.
The surfaces can be stamped and decorated before inserting them and, if it helps, you can make a pencil mark to indicate their positions.
I often stamp them in situ and if I make an error I stick a mounted item over the mistake!
If you prise open the centre the card opens to reveal an inner section where your secret message can hide. This will happen on both sides of the card.
Cards can be presented gate fold style with a mounted front stuck on to the left hand side. Remember to trap a ribbon sandwiched behind the front layer of card and the mount if you want the card to fasten.
The cards can also be presented fourfold giving a slim line finished result.
Some options....
The card can be cut with pointed tops on the main card and/ or on the inserts.
A ribbon can be added to the tops so it looks like tags.
This black and white one has been stamped alternately "black on white" then "white on black"
Ribbons can be tied to the slits without impairing the mechanism of the card.
If you add brads then you will need to add something to cover their backs, eg., a stamped, mounted quote,or a toning punched out shape, as all surface will visible at some stage of opening all the sections.

Acetate was layered on the front panel and inserts for this "Time" themed card were made very effectively from good weight acetate, coloured and stamped. 
Have fun if you try this out and please shout out if anything is not clear to you.