Monday, 23 November 2009

Dobby's first 24 hours

Yesterday we picked up our dog from the rescue :-) We've been through lots of ideas for names since meeting him, and finally decided upon 'Dobby' (he has enormous ears, just like the house elf in Harry Potter) while travelling to collect him. He's the first dog we've ever owned ourselves and, although he's 7 months old, he;s never been trained and has probably never been in a house or seen humans eat before. He's extremely good at our meal times, and didn't whine at all at night. We've only had a few wees to mop up from the carpets too. From a scrapbooking point of view, the dull days and his mostly black fur are proving a photography challenge. I think it'll be some time before I can disappear off into the craft room for a play anyway - not sure whether all my friends and relatives will be getting a handmade Christmas card this year!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Baubles, Blue Cross, beads, and blocked up noses

This week has been a busy one, with preparation for two demos and the arrival of our doggy.

The first demo was to a retirement club near where my parents live in Essex. A few of the club members are crafters, but most aren't, so I always try to choose things that will be interesting to watch, can be done with minimal equipment, but can be made a bit more complicated for people with crafting supplies. So, I showed ways to jazz up the cheap and cheerful baubles you get in big boxes from places like Wilkinson, as that's practical, economical, and would be fun to do with even quite young grandchildren. I had great fun playing with glitter and flock while I was preparing for the demo, and I think everyone enjoyed it on the day. Photos to follow soon.

Blue Cross confirmed on Wednesday that our house and garden are OK, so we can have the lovely doggy we chose last week :-))) So, while I was in Essex, I visited a big pet store that friends had recommended - Kingstown, near Billericay. They were really helpful, and I came away will all the urgent things we need for the doggy - crate, food, lead, brush etc. All we need now is the doggy! Oh, and a name - top of the list at the moment are Pip and Dobby (he does have *very* big ears!).

The second demo of the week was a jewellery demo at the Paper Mill in Spalding, and it should have been today. Unfortunately, this is where we bring in the last topic in the title. I've been fighting off Adam's cold all week, but it finally won on Thursday evening. Assuming anyone would want to come close enough to a sneezing, coughing demonstrator to see the detail of how to make jewellery, leaning over beads with a runny nose didn't seem a great idea! Nobody else was available to demo in my place, so the shop manager decided to postpone, rather than have me come with lurgy. This was the first time in over 120 demos that I've ever had to cancel. At least I have lots of samples ready for the rescheduled demo :-)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Doggy doggy doggy!!!

What I did today may not seem to have a link to crafting, but it's going to give me a whole new area of scrapbooking to explore, so I reckon it deserves a blog post :-)

Both our parents have doggies, but we've never felt grown up enough to have one of our own. Recently though, we dog-sat a friend's labrador for a couple of weeks, and have been in doggy-withdrawal ever since he went home. We've see-sawed between puppy and rescue dog for a while, but today managed a great compromise. On a trip to the Blue Cross centre at Lewknor we met this beautiful bouncy 7 month old collie cross, rescued from Ireland. We've reserved him, and will be spending the next few days dog proofing our house and garden ready for our interview. Fingers crossed we'll pick him up soon!

Friday, 13 November 2009

My first jewellery project of the week :-)

Over on the do crafts website one of my designs has been chosen as the jewellery 'project of the week', so I'm quite a happy bunny. Here's what I made, if you'd like to leave me some feedback, or have a go at the project yourself, the instructions are here.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

When you get behind...

... the thought of catching up is a bit daunting! So, here's a very brief summary of my summery activities.

I spent a lot of it yomping around the countryside and pushing old aeroplanes at the Shuttleworth Collection airshows. Thanks to the windy weather, too little of it was spent flying in our microlight though :-(

Craftwise, I've discovered a whole new obsession: jewellery making. I had some training for this a while ago at do crafts' HQ, but didn't really get hooked until I started to prepare for my first event. One of my favourite things about it is that it's so portable and, as no paper is involved, you can even do it in the garden! Summer crafting is always a bit unsettling for me: I know that, when the days are short and cold, I'll wish I'd spent every minute of lovely weather outdoors. Well, now I can satisfy my urge to craft without sacrificing my vitamin D input. Just don't drop any beads :-)

Bringing myself up to date - I made it to my first ever NEC public craft show on Friday. It was great to look round, and I had a go at two new crafts - decopatch and silk painting. I can see silk painting becoming a bit of an obsession too...

That's it for now, back to crafting!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Gardening, saussies and owls

Apart from tinkering with a couple of the huge pile of my not-quite-right projects, I've done no crafting over the last week. Every May there's a microlight fly-in on the Isle of Mull. Every May we plan to go, and then cancel because the weather forecast isn't good enough. Microlights can't fly on instruments, we have to be able to see where we're going, so we have to be in sight of the ground and free of cloud at all times. If the weather isn't good, this isn't always possible in hilly places, as the ground and the clouds join up. As we also don't fly very fast (our cruise is about 60mph), we need four days of good weather to make the round trip. And that's along the length of the country. Needless to say, we didn't make it this year either!

So instead, we had a nice relaxing long weekend. A bit of walking, some long-overdue gardening, and a lovely barbecue with friends. We finished our short break off with something we've been meaning to get round to for ages - a trip to the bird of prey centre at Old Warden. They do three shows a day with the birds there and it's great to see the birds flying fast and low. We had an extra treat too, as they have some baby owls that we were allowed to pet. I've never felt anything that soft!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Losing track of time...

So, another post, another shock that it's so long since my last one!

Things for me have been quite similar to my last update - we had another airshow at Shuttleworth (I rode a BSA Sunbeam in the parade), I had another demo, and we've done a lot more geocaching. One thing is new though, I just had all my long hair chopped off :-) Definitely an event for a scrapbook page!

It's not only with blogging that I'm losing track of time either - this weekend Adam and I have been married for 19 years. Gulp!

Anyway, here are some of the projects I made for my last couple of Do Crafts demos. I'd love to know what you think of them.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Busy, busy, relaaaaaaax

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, but now I have quite a relaxing week to start my samples for my next demo :-)

Over Easter we did a big Geocaching challenge - 100 caches and 22 miles of walking in a single day. We were surprised that we made it to 19 miles before our feet were *really* painful, and even more surprised that we had mostly recovered the next day. We did have a good lie in though!

We're volunteers at the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden, and the week after Easter is their pilot training week, where the pilots renew their display licenses on the various vintage planes that the Collection uses for the air display season. Most of them are fast jet or airline pilots, so don't spend much of their time flying pre-1940s planes! Our job in training week is to push the planes around, catch the really old ones that don't have much in the way of brakes, and to hold limbo poles and let go of balloons for the barnstorming practice. It's essentially crewing for 4 airshows in a row, so pretty tiring, especially as I'm not used to getting up early!

Last week I had lots of final prep to do for my demo for Grafton Projects in Huntingdon on Saturday. I was one of five demonstrators on the day, and I was showing mainly Woodware products (stamps, punches, chippies albums and the multi-trimmer). It was a great day - busy all day, and lovely to see what the other designers had made. And of course I found a few things I absolutely *had* to buy :-)

I'll load some pics of the album I made later, but here are a couple of the cards:

On Sunday I had a family birthday, and I totally changed my plans for what to make after shopping at the demo. I made my card at my parents' house, while helping Mum make her first card. I normally craft alone when not at demos, so it was a nice treat to be able to make it a social activity. Here's what I came up with - not a great photo unfortunately, as I forgot to do it during daylight:

Friday, 10 April 2009

Mmmmmm paper

One thing I'm not short of is paper. I had promised myself that I wouldn't buy any more for a while, but then those naughty people at Do Crafts added lots of extra Basic Grey papers to their sale. And of course I have to have two bits of each - one for using, one for hoarding :-)

On the other hand, I did use a small square of paper from the mountain today, and a stamp that I bought ages ago, for an unplanned Easter card. So I'm a good girl really.

Monday, 30 March 2009


I've had lurgy this week, and it's hard to make pretty things when your head hurts and you have to blow your nose every couple of minutes, so I have nothing new to show. Instead, I thought I'd share some of the first cards I made, when I made my first few crafty purchases from eBay and Lakeland in 2005. I started making my own cards partly because I didn't like many of the ones in the shops, but mainly because I really don't like the sickly verses in the bought ones. These three are from March to June that year. At that time I hadn't been in a craft shop or looked at a craft mag, and I didn't own any rubber stamps. My house seemed bigger in those days ;-)

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Coming soon to a scrapbook near me

A mothers day trip to visit Adam's mum in Surrey provided a perfect excuse to have a long weekend to fit in some geocaching south of London, and a visit to my friend and fellow paper-stroker, Miranda. The weather was fab, and the pile of photos to scrap has got a bit bigger. These are near the top of the list though.

Designer Doughnut Filling


It's Banania! Hmm, maybe you had to be there...

One for Mum

Uh-oh, one week in, and playing catch-up already. That's long weekends away for you!

As usual, I waited until the last minute to commit to designs for my mothers' day cards. In the end I decided to use it as an excuse to make a swing card, and to use a very lovely tulip sticker I've been hoarding for a while. Hope you like the result.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Cardmaking Beginners - Challenge #1

I recently managed to cajole my Mum & Dad into having a go at card making, but they are a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities. To help to get them started, I'll be setting them challenges that focus on individual techniques. I'll set these challenges on here too, and would love people to join in. It's just for fun, so there won't be judging or prizes or anything, but if you're a beginner, hopefully it will help you too.

The first one is nice and simple - to make a card conforming to the layout in this basic template, and with a stamped image as the focal point. You don't have to use straight lines or rectangles and you don't have to have a greeting if you don't want to, just make something with the basic elements in the template. Also, because it's the first challenge for brand new crafters, only basic techniques please - this is a confidence builder!

Deadline: 23rd March

I want a pretty blog too

Welcome to my new blog! My old blog was a bit dull, it covered everything, I shared it with Adam, and was exceedingly lazy about updating it. Recently I've been getting craft blog envy looking at friends' blogs, so I thought it was time to be a proper blogger, and have a pretty blog of my own, dedicated to papercrafting.

So, here it is. Nothing bespoke yet, but my first challenge is to make updating my blog regularly a habit. Wish me luck!