Wednesday, 28 May 2008


Finally, I have some photos of Alex walking...he can now walk up to 12 steps without collapsing and stands for nearly a minute at a time unaided. He is so pleased with himself whenever he does it that it is lovely. I have been back at work these past few days trying to catch up with various admin jobs that need doing and spending most of my time trying to make two posters for a work conference in Sheffield. They take hours to make and then blinking microsoft goes a loses half your work - talk about frustrating! Never mind, I got there in the end and have had some fun games with Alex in the evening to make up for it. The poor little mite is very fed up with this weather as he is so used to going outside with me everyday that when he can't h looks most miffed! We have had fun chasing round inside though playing lots of silly games that make him giggle. I just love that infectious laugh.
In the evenings after Alex is in bed I have gone completely trading card crazy. I was given a booklet about the links between China and the Royal Society when I last went down to London and being the good crafter that I am I cut out every usable picture from it to make trading cards with. Combining these really different and authentic images with oriental writing and coin stamps has generated lots of ATCs (all available for swapping). I am quite pleased with the way I have managed to use these images as they are relatively unusual.
I have also made a set of blue butterfly ATCs using different K&Co backgrounds and doodles drawn with a sakura stardust pen, and a blue vellum butterfly mounted on top.
Finally I made these two ATCs for Jo Walker who I owe two. They are very different from each other, although both use K&Co backgrounds. As usual I would love to know what you think of all my artwork. More soon,

Monday, 26 May 2008

Bank Holiday weekend

Don't you just love a long weekend! Three days of playing with Alex, crafting, visiting relatives and going to the park. Wonderful! Alex has been a bit off colour following his MMR injection, off his food, not sleeping well at night and therefore being tired and moody during the day. Despite that we have had a lot of fun and he has been practicing his walking more and more. Yesterday we spent the day at Tim's parents and unexpectedly were joined by Tim's brother and his family. It was lovely to see the three boys interacting and having so much fun charging round the house. Sadly we had to leave shortly after lunch because Alex was so tired (most unusually he fell asleep within 2 minutes of being placed in the car), but at least we got to see everyone. We keep saying that we must arrange to meet more often, but never seem to manage it.
Saturday and today were spent doing little jobs that needed doing round the place (hoovering, emptying bins, washing etc), taking Alex to the park (he enjoys it so much that he cries when I put him in the pushchair to come home!), watching Tim messing around with Alex (makes all of us laugh out loud) and crafting (I have had fun!).
Crafting wise I have made two cards using Penny Black stamps (from a stamp swap I did on the CM&PC forum), coloured in with watercolour pencils and mounted on Nanna's kids card. This first one, the elephant, is for my nephew who will be 1 in June. His Mum loves elephants hence the choice of image...I can't decide whether I have managed to colour it in OK...not great with shading, but I don't suppose he will notice!!
The five bunnies are for Aysha, my Goddaughter who is a very girly girl loving all things pink! I am happier with the shading on this one, but would love to know what you think as I am still an amateur when it comes to this type of art.
Finally I have also completed a layout of Alex (surprise surprise!). This one is a fairly simple layout entitled 'Crafting with Mummy' and uses a photo taken in November, and a flower cut out of one of Alex's drawings. The patterned background paper with all its swirls on reminded me of crafting so I didn't feel that I needed to add anything else to it other than the ribbons and flower. The journalling reads ' Alex loves sitting'crafting' on my lap. Anything that he can bang against the desk is always a big hit as well as bits of paper that he can scrunch up. It does make it a little more tricky for me to craft, but is very sweet!' More soon,

Friday, 23 May 2008

Having so much fun...

...being a Mum! It is the best thing ever. Alex is so entertaining, interested in everything, trying out new things each day including trying to feed me, giving me his phone to talk into, saying words that sound a bit like 'updown' to indicate which game he wants to play, and clambering all over me to name but a few things. Yesterday evening after his supper we went out into the garden for half an hour before bed which was lovely...I have to confess, our 'lawn' has only been cut once so far this year so it looks more like a meadow with dandelions etc growing in it. Alex though it was wonderful crawling through the long grass, trying to walk (very tricky on the slope and uneven ground) and generally chatting to me non-stop.
Alex was very funny with the Dandelion seedheads as he couldn't work out what they were, everytime he grabbed them they disintigrated in his hands and floated away!
This evening we have been playing for about the past hour, he has been off his food so didn't really eat much in the wayof supper, but playtime has been fun. He has been trying to get the hang of his shape sorter with some success, knocking down bricks, giggling, walking towards me (6 steps so far before collapse into my arms), and walking round with his baby walker which he now really enjoys! Tim and I have had some debate about what constitutes a first word...Alex has already said 'Daddy', 'Mummy' and 'biscuit', and Mummy and Daddy have been repeated on occasion, but yesterday he said 'Teddy' when he had dropped his teddy and then when we gave it back to him. In fact throughout yesterday evening he would put teddy down, then go and do something else, then say 'Teddy' and go and fetch it. A first consistent word I feel.
I haven't done much crafting in my time yesterday or today as I have been getting together a massive snapfish order for scrapbooking photos. However, I did manage to make this card which I am pleased with, again using the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady papers. More soon,

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Alex is so funny!

He has finally got over his cold and has been on wonderful form. He really loves to interact with everything and is constantly experimenting to find out what things do. We have had the greatest of fun these past few evenings and I have loved every bit of the time spent with him. One of his latest hilarities is to put his face down onto the floor/table top/toy/highchair etc and to test what it feels like with his nose, to sort of give it an open mouthed kiss and to try and suck at it or lick it. Not the greatest of things for him to do in the park and I am trying to teach him that certain things are ‘dirty’ and he isn’t to lick them or eat them, but I have to say at other times it just makes me giggle. He has also discovered that he really likes toasted granary bread with a little bit of butter smeared on it and will sit happily munching his way through this while we eat our meal (he has his lunch earlier than us). He chatters away constantly and smears the toast in his hair and generally gets good and mucky but loves every minute of it.
He is practicing his walking, but so far I haven’t managed to capture it on film...this is mostly because he walks/totters/lurches towards me and I have to catch him, and he only walks a few steps at a time (5 is the record so far!). He is so funny with his walking though as he will only do it when he is in the mood, not when we want him to, and if I am too far away from him he goes ‘forget this for a game of soldiers’ and crawls towards me instead when I say ‘come to Mummy’! All good fun. He had his MMR injection this week and we are waiting to see whether he suffers with any side effects, so far not too bad. He is a real little boy with an interest in cars, trains and buses etc and today his favourite toy has been a big red bus which he has spent pushing around the room to his great satisfaction hence the picture above.
I have managed to do a little crafting in the evenings after Alex has gone to bed and completed my 4 ATCs for the May technique swap on CM&PC forum. The technique this month is heat embossing and so I have made these four ATCs using a mixture of different stamps and embossing powders. The autumnal leaves one has used clear embossing powder over a brayered background and then coloured in green ink on top. The rose hasn’t really achieved the effect I wanted as the embossing and the colouring are too close in looks better in ‘real life’.
This card was made using the ‘Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’ papers that were designed exclusively for Cardmaking & Papercraft. I am really pleased with the effect and hope to make some more using the other designs later this week.
Finally, I made this scrapbook layout of the first time Alex met his Uncle Ben, Auntie Jenny, and cousins Sam and Tom when he was 7 weeks old. The layout is based on a sketch from Pencil Lines and the journalling reads 'Ben, Jenny and the boys came to meet Alex and Sam was fascinated by him telling us all "Shush, Baby Alex is sleeping". Tom on the other hand wasn't that impressed!" I would love to know what you think. More soon,

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Alex is walking!

Well it is more a semi-controlled lurch with steps in it, but you get the idea. He took his first unaided steps across the corner of a room yesterday evening before bedtime, three steps in all and looked so surprised and pleased with himself that it was priceless! He then repeated the act by walking from me to the bookcase (two steps) just before his bedtime yesterday. I was so ridiculously proud of him and amazed and happy, especially that I was there to see it. Apart from that bit of major news yesterday was fairly uneventful except for the fact that I spent most of the day doing housework and some crafting (see later).
Today was a wonderful day...we went for a family walk this morning along the river, tried to feed the ducks who were lazily still asleep and not interested, and took Alex to a different park. He had a great time on the swings with Tim pushing him, and enjoyed going down the slide, but this park isn’t as baby friendly as our usual one so we didn’t stay long. Alex and I made up for that though by having a lovely long time in our usual park this afternoon which we both enjoyed. Alex didn’t want to come home although food on the way back helped resign him to the idea, and not long after we arrived home he was walking, again about 3 steps at a time. It is a great start and I look forward to the added chaos of having a toddler in the house!
This weekend has been a major craft fest as well as a major cleaning fest. I have made two cards, two ATCs and loads of inchies! This card was for a boy who turns 10 this week and loves cats and dogs. The animal stamps were freebies from one of my magazines and the patterned card was a gift from Kerry Knowles. I don’t usually leave as much blank space on my cards as this but it seemed to work.
This baby card is for Tim’s cousin and was quite a simple card to make using various boy bits and pieces I had for Alex’s scrapbook...I can’t decide whether I like this one, but don’t have time to make another so it will have to do, I hope they like it.
This first ATC is for the Papercraft Inspirations swap which needs three ATCs in total. The peel off in the centre is mounted onto alcohol ink background, and then the ATC itself is brayered and stamped with Tanda Stamps. It is very similar to ones I have made previously.
This second ATC is also for the swap and has used the resist ink technique with Adirondack ink. The pagoda has been stuck to an alcohol ink background, then cut out and mounted onto the ATC.
Since making the black and white inchies for the CM&PC swap I have been thinking about making other inchies and this weekend went totally inchie mad! These inchies are all up for swaps with anyone who is interested. This first set of seven very simply used abstract patterned card and a fun animal sticker and are called ‘funky animals’.
This next set used a background of alcohol inks (wild plum, butterscotch and gold) and then either peel offs or an oriental stamp and are an Oriental set.
This next set are the Medieval Fantasy set using some stickers I got from the post office and plain card coloured with Whispers pens.
This set of 5 flower inchies used a freebie stamp I got about 2 years ago and were embellished with glitter gel pens and sparkly stickers.
Finally this autumnal set uses Hero Arts mini stamps (leaves and butterflies) Kaleidacolor inks (creole spice) and Tanda Stamps. The background card is textured Bazzil card and so the images are not complete, which in a way adds to the feel of these inchies. I would love to know what you think of these as I haven’t made many before. More soon,

Friday, 16 May 2008

Finally finished it!

I have been back at work these past couple of was a bit of a shock to the system and no mistake! Going through over 300 e-mails is not my idea of fun, but it had to be done. I have also started to write an article on the role of blood vessel formation in wound healing. As a pleasant contrast playtime with Alex in the evenings has been wonderful...he is learning more and more each day at the moment. He has just learnt how to stand up in the middle of the room from sitting although he can't stay up for very long and falls down plop back onto his bottom very quickly. He is also just starting to be able to put a cube into a close fitting square hole...he doesn't always get it right but has had some complete successes today and yesterday for the first time.
And now for the main part of this post...I have finally finished my mini book of our holiday. This was made using a colorbook Miniscrapbook kit for the base book, some scraps of card and paper, peel offs and a few stickers that I took away with us on holiday...everything else was taken from leaflets and postcards of the places we went to visit. This is the front cover of the book.
This is inside the front page and shows photos of Itchenor harbour.
This double page spread is of Fishbourne palace and the two diagonally cut postcards are pockets in which the ATCs fit. On the back of the ATCs is my diary of our day at Fishbourne. This same theme of pockets and ATCs with journalling on the back follows through the entire book.
This is the page and ATCs from the Wear and Downland Open Air museum.
This is of Arundel castle and the page on the left has a pocket in it as I used two leaflets with identicle photos to make the page. The left page is outside the castle and the righthand one is inside.
The centre of my book is the page about the beach we went to every day, although the postcards make it look pebbly the area we were in was very sandy.
This page is about half of the Portsmouth Historic dockyards, the buildings and Naval Museum and HMS Victory.
This one is of the Mary Rose and HMS Warrior, and the coins are replicas of ones found within the Mary Rose wreck.
This page about Tangmere was the most difficult to do as there was very limited literature on the place and they had no postcards of the exhibits, however, it seems to have come together OK.
And finally, the final page of the book. Not bad for something made with very limited supplies! I would love to know what you think of it. More soon,

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

A strange few days

The past three days have been somewhat unusual as I have had two days off (Monday and today) and been on a day's conference to London in between. Monday was spent catching up on general organising and sorting out after our holiday, doing a bit of crafting and going to the park. Alex was so funny at the park chasing after some of the bigger boys and girls and then sitting about 2 feet away from them watching their every move!
The clock tower (commonly called Big Ben) with the London Eye in the background The House of Lords where I had lunch.

Yesterday was Mother's 60th Birthday and the Breast Cancer Campaign's conference in was a great opportunity to combine both events as the conference was held at the Royal Society and had a two hour break for lunch which meant that I could dash across the park to have lunch with Mother, Dad, Gran and a friend in the House of Lords. Not exactly something you get to do every day! The food was wonderful and we had a fabulous time catching up...the conference was pretty good too, so all in all it was a great day, if somewhat tiring!
Today I have spent gently lazing around, shopping, crafting, taking Alex out to the park, rolling around on the floor playing and generally having a nice time.
Crafting wise these few days have been a great success...I finally finished off my Mother's card. You may remember that I designed the digital elements of it a while ago, well I finally got it printed out and then mounted it and added the embellishments to it. She was delighted with it which is a relief as she isn't always easy to please.
Alex also made her a card...and yes he did attempt to do the stickers although they mostly ended up stuck to him!
Tim's nephews Tom and Sam also have birthdays this week so I used some stamped images that I was given through the CM&PC forum and coloured them in using watercolour pencils before mounting them with Nanas kids card kindly given to me by Kerry Knowles. I then included the childrens ages. This first one also uses ribbon and a star for added interest.
This second one uses shading techniques on the penny black teddy which I am quite pleased with having never done that before. All comments are welcome as usual. It is back to work for me tomorrow so more soon,