Sunday, 29 August 2010

bank holiday weather!

It has been a typical August bank holiday with rain on both days, but at least there has been some nice weather alongside it for once.  Yesterday we went to the North Anston Butterfly Farm and falconry centre where we had a great time watching the Meer cats,
stroking guinea pigs and rabbits, handling a barn owl (Alex got scared when she flapped her wings near his face and decided he didn't want to have a go),
stroking the goats,
playing with the air ball
and riding on go-karts. It was great fun and the rain held off until just after we left! In the afternoon while Tim had his nap we tried to go to the park, but got so wet we changed our minds and headed for the museum instead.
Today it was wet in the morning, but in the afternoon we went to Millhouses park where we met up with one of my best friends, Julia and her family and played in the splash area. 
Alex thought it was great, and inevitably soaked his trousers...just as well I was prepared! 
Crafting wise I made this card for a friends little girl who is going to be 3 with the new stamps from the CM&PC magazine.  The stamps are supposed to be Christmas stamps, but I decided not to stamp the snowflake and replaced it with a present.  I coloured the fairy in using pencils and my sakura stardust pen on the wings (this photo doesn't show the sparkle unfortunately). This card therefore fits with the stamp with fun card for a girl challenge, the sparkle and shine challenge from creative card crew, the pink and green theme from Penny's challenge, the sketch from paper play, the fairies theme from lots to do and the lattice challenge from Crazy 4 challenges.  Have a great bank holiday Monday everyone.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Ready for the weekend

I don't know why but I am really tired today and feel so ready for the weekend!  Alex is in great form so I am looking forward to spending some time with him.  Not sure what we are doing, but I am sure it will be fun as he is being very funny at the moment! 
Crafting wise I made this little thank you card for my parents following this weeks CPS sketch.  The shells were made with shrink plastic and the train stamp is from Stamps Away. I used distress inks for the two different backgrounds.  This card fits with the transport theme for creative craft, and the no die cuts or punches challenge for CTT.
I also made a scrapbook layout following this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch.  The colours I used of blue and green fit with the CCC challenge, and as I have finally got round to scrapbooking Alex's 3rd Birthday for this page it also fits with the Meljen's Birthday challenge.  The journalling reads 'Presents in bed, new toys to play with and a chocolate smartie cake = one very happy Alex'.  That is all from me for now so have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


I must admit I like 4 day weeks...they go nice and fast and before you know it, you are over half way through.  Alex came home from nursery today covered in green paint (above his left eyebrow and in his hair!) and as happy as a sandboy having played with messy gloopy stuff - his phrase.  I have no idea what he meant, but he certainly sounds like he had fun.
As it is Wednesday it is time for WOYWW and mine is very neat at the moment with most things put away. This is partly to allow space to use my heat gun on the three shrink plastic shells that you can see stamped, coloured and cut out. The pencils I used to colour them, as well as the stamp, inkpad, scissors and acrylic block are all visible.  I really need to replace that broken Purple Ronnie mug with something less dangerous, but I can't bear to throw it away as it was a present from friends at University all those years ago!
This scrapbook layout follows the Creative Scrappers sketch for this week as well as fitting with the stamp something 'digital' and Bee crafty 'ribbons and digital image' challenges.  The digital image is the african drum.  This layout is entitled 'drum fun' and also fits with this weeks Scrap it with a song challenge.  I took the line 'just a bit of a break from the norm' as my inspiration, as my journalling reads 'It was a break from our normal trip to the park when we discovered an African drumming workshop being held. Alex loved being allowed to hit the drums and make as much noise as he wanted. Endcliffe Park 1st May 2010'. All papers on this page are from the Cosmo Cricket Cogsmo range.
This card fits with the elegant ladies challenge from Ooh La La, the 3-2-1 challenge from PTW (3 gems, 2 patterned papers, 1 stamped image), the card for a girl challenge from stamp with fun, and took inspiration from the Lady Gaga video (red dress, silver, big eyes and bling) for Crafty cardmakers. I would love to know what you think.  Have a great rest of the week.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Fantastic Weekend!

We really have had the most wonderful weekend down at my parents in Somerset.  It was a mixture of gentle family time and fun trips out. 
Alex loved running round Grandma and Grandad's garden and playing with Juno, their extremely gentle and friendly dog.
He especially enjoyed picking and then eating the fresh raspberries.
My brother and his family arrived late at night on Friday so on Saturday morning the two little boys woke up to discover that they were sharing a room together.  This caused much excitement as I am sure you can imagine.  We then went over to Watchett where we spent some time walking round the Marina - Alex and Daniel are pictured here with their Great Gran who came with us.
before going to catch the steam train to Blue Anchor beach.
The steam ride was only about 15 minutes,
but that was long enough for the boys to feel that they had had a ride without getting bored by it.
The beach was without doubt a great success.  Alex and Daniel had such fun filling buckets of sand and emptying them into the 'motorboat' that they were apparently making.
We then found a rock pool for them to paddle in,
although they quickly decided that they didn't just want to paddle, they wanted to properly sit down, lie and generally run in and out of!
The other great adventure was going to my Aunt Daphne's where the boys were allowed to ride Rolly, her 40 year old pony.
They both thought it was great fun, and took it in turns to ride and lead the pony.
Even 7 month old Nicholas got in on the act!
No trip to Grandma's would be complete without a walk across the fields to see the trains, so it was boots on,
walking Juno on her lead (which Alex was especially fond of doing)
Then waving at the trains from the top of the bridge.  We were lucky enough to see two trains and both drivers waved back to the boys who were extremely happy about it.  Needless to say Alex was exhausted by the time we came back to Sheffield, but we had had a wonderful time.
Obviously I didn't manage any crafting while away, but since arriving back I managed to complete this scrapbook page of Alex in Grandma's garden in April.  This layout has adapted two different sketches, this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch, and the Unscripted sketch #69. I have also followed the recipe of using 3 different patterned papers (green background paper and yellow matting cardstock both patterned and by Fancy Pants, and orange patterned by MME), 2 stamped images (Penny Black), 7 buttons (6 of mine are tiny and in the bottom right hand corner), ribbon and something clear (top left corner, a little clear plastic flower) from Pile it on. The layout also fits with The lots to do 'buttons or beads' challenge, the stamp simply pleated ribbon challenge (I made my own), and the scrap something you love (Daffodils and my son!) challenge from Scrap and Stamp. The title is 'Daffodils' and the journalling reads 'Alex loves daffodils as much as I do, so was very happy to be allowed to pick some daffodils in Grandma's garden. 4th April 2010'. It is back to work for me tomorrow, so have a great week everyone.

Thursday, 19 August 2010


We are off to Somerset tomorrow for a long weekend and I can't wait.  I just hope that the weather is decent as we have lots of lovely things planned.  Alex is highly excited about the whole thing as well and can't wait to see Grandma, Grandad and Juno.  He has been funny recently about wanting to do things in the he is in the boot with his Dad, inspecting the light switch!
Crafting wise I have made a couple of very simple cards.  This first one uses a Penny black stamp which I stamped using versacolour inks, then highlighted the flowers with my sakura stardust pen to give them some sparkle.  The ribbon has sparkly edges and I added little gems to it.  I then mounted the image onto pink then purple card and added the butterfly sticker.  This card therefore fits with the butterflies challenge from Crafty Creations, the Glitter and glitz challenge from MTTC and the Sparkle and shine challenge from Creative Craft Crew.
The second card was made using a forever friends 'present' stamp. I doodled the frames round the edge and coloured them in using my Whispers pens, added the gems and then stamped the Crafty Individuals Happy Birthday message.  This card therefore fits with the celebrations themes of both Simple Doodles and Challenge up your life.  Have a great weekend everyone, this will be my last post until Monday. 

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Looking forward

I am so looking forward to Friday as I am off down to Somerset for a long weekend to see my family.  Alex has been talking non-stop about seeing Grandma, Grandad and Juno so he is excited and looking forward to it as well.  The only part I don't like is the long drive (over 4 hours), but hopefully he will sleep for part of the journey and stay happy by watching the different vehicles.  For a car obsessed boy I suppose motorways aren't too bad!
Well it is Wednesday again and time for another look at my desk as part of the WOYWW phenomenon!  My desk is really tidy this week as after my crafting bonanza at the weekend I just had to take some time to put things away and start again.  Thank goodness for decent storage is all I can say!  Just a shame I don't have the room to fit any more Artbins in as mine are overflowing somewhat. On my desk you can see a half drunk mug of tea (still warm), my craft mat, whisper pens, a stamp that I had just used and a half coloured in image which will be part of a quick and simple card.
The brown and blue craft bucket at the back of my desk was a Christmas present and I have to say it has proved to be most useful for all those little bits and pieces you need available but don't easily stack anywhere...the pockets on the front are especially useful for things I usually lose (pritt stick, tweezers, pencil sharpener, eraser etc).
The wooden tray beside it (a gift from my mother who got it with a hamper) stores my distress inks, sponge pads, applicator, PVA glue, double sided sticky tape, acrylic blocks and some of my most recent stamps (mostly crafy individuals).  Att he back of it is a magnetic block for storing craft knives, scissors and my metal ruler.  You can also see a stack of ATCs at the back waiting to be filed.
Crafting wise I have gone back to work on an altered book of nature I started simply ages ago!  I have completed another page, this time on small carnivore mammals.  The page fits with the 'tree' theme from both DCM and CCT, and the little poem is by Enid Blyton and reads ' The stoat can be easily told from the weasel by the simple fact that his tail is blacked and his figure is slightly the bigger'.  The other creature on this page is a pine martin.
I have also completed a scrapbook page from my childhood using one of my school photos.  I used the Basic Grey recess papers and embellishments. The title of the page is 'Kings House 1985' and the journalling reads 'I went to school at Kings House, Taunton from Oct 1983-June 1987 and my brother went there for one year. This is the only school photo of us both together and I love the fact that we have the same smiles and our glasses at the same angle'. This layout follows the Creative Scrappers sketch for this week, and fits with the Pile-it-on challenge of shapes (I have circles, rectangles, squares, stars and leaves on my layout), the stamp simply challenge of using ribbon scraps, and the stitching challenge from both Pollycraft and Practical scrappers (as I can’t sew for toffee my stitching is fake!). Enjoy the WOYWW and have a great rest of the week.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Crafting weekend

Having had a busy and somewhat stressful week we decided to have a really relaxing and peaceful weekend, as much as that is possible with a 3 year old!  We did the usual jobs of shopping, cooking, cleaning, tidying etc and as the weather wasn't great yesterday Alex and I decided to bake rice crispie cakes. 
Easiest recipe in the world and a very happy and sticky small boy! We also had to go into Sheffield so Alex had the treat of going on the tram which he loves. 
Today we played in the garden and then decided to go swimming again this afternoon. I managed to sneak this photo of Alex all ready to go into the pool.  He didn't like me taking the picture as he was impatient to get into the water! He loved it just as much as before, but decided not to go underwater this time, preferring to try and float instead.  We also went down the waterslides several times which was great fun.
Apart from those trips out I have alternated with Tim in  looking after Alex which has left me with a reasonable amount of free time in which to craft. Yippee!  This card was made for the Quirky Crafts challenge, which was to use shrink plastic, one piece of ribbon, at least one eyelet and two different patterned papers.  The shrink plastic was used for the pint of guinness, although as this was my first attempt with shrink plastic it didn't work terribly well.  I have also discovered that printer ink doesn't really work on shrink plastic as it never dries!!
The only scrapbook page I made this weekend also fitted the Quirky Crafts challenge, and followed this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch, but combined the double page layout into a single one.  The photographs feature my Italian Pen Friend 'Francesca' taken in 1987 and fits with the 'summertime blues' theme from Simon Says stamp, and 'seeing double' from Meljen's (I used two shell images on shrink plastic as well as two shell corner stamps),
I've been catching up on the swaps I have joined in with so made some inchies for a swap on 'childhood' using old fashioned images and inking, stamping, writing, and adding gems to them. As most of these involve moving around I am entering them for Paperplays 'Bon Voyage' swap.
I also made some ATC collages of my favourite things for a swap on CM&PC forum, run by Lyn.  My favourite things are tea, Musicals, and chocolate. The musicals ATCs also fit with the 'music' challenge from Crazy 4 challenges this week.
Finally I had to make a leaving card for work.  The person who is leaving is an Italian scientist hence the Italian flag in the background and the crazy scientist image in the foreground.  The card follows this weeks Friday Sketchers design and takes inspiration from the Pollycraft photograph (circles, stars and bright colours).  That is all from me for today.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 13 August 2010


I am completely exhausted this evening having had very little sleep this week through worrying about a presentation I had to give at work today.  I was presenting on behalf of two groups, trying to cram information on lots of different areas of research into a 10 minute presentation which was a total nightmare.  In the end the presentation went well and I had positive feedback about it so that was a relief. I am so glad it is the weekend now!  Alex is also very tired as he has a nasty cough so he hasn't been sleeping well either.  I just hope we recover over the course of the weekend. 
I have been too tired to do much in the way of crafting, although I did make this scrapbook layout following this weeks Pencil Lines sketch. Ever since Alex was born we have taken a photo of the two of us on Mother's day and I have made a scrapbook layout of it.  This photo isn't the strongest, but it was the only one that we had so it just had to be scrapped.  The title of the page 'With you...' is taken from this weeks Scrap it with a song, and flows into my journalling so that it states 'With you, my life is complete. Mother's Day, Leeds Tropical House, March '10'. It also fits with the CCC 'Lace' martha stewart lace punch has given up the ghost so I had to resort to this one, so I hope it still counts. Have a good weekend everyone.