Sunday, 29 April 2012

Hair cut!

This has been a busy weekend, but for the most part has been a lot of fun! Yesterday morning Tim gave Alex a much needed haircut, we did the shopping, washing, cleaning etc and then in the afternoon we went round to the house of one of Alex's friends from nursery.  Since the boys are at different schools they don't meet up much, but they have a great time when they do!  Today we went to church in the morning where the service was lovely; a mixture of traditional and modern worship music, a good message and some nice chats.  This afternoon we went to friends where Alex pretended to put on a kickboxing/karate show for us and had fun wrestling with me.
Crafting wise I have made this card following the sketch from this weeks Less is More. The main image is a stamp which came free with Crafty Stamper ages ago and I have actually paper pieced it.  Not sure how well that shows up on this photo though.  I stamped the image on yellow, pale orange (the centre) and darker orange (some of the rays), cut them out and put them all together.  Tim found it highly amusing and said it would have been quicker just to colour it in that way - he was right, it probably would have been LOL! I am also entering this into Delightful challenges 'paper piecing', and Crazy4Challenges 'Paper piecing' challenges.
I also made this scrapbook following last weekends sketch from Creative Scrappers.  The layout features my son and his best friend from nursery having fun in the park and in the garden. The papers were all scraps from Basic Grey sets. This also fits with paperplay 'monochrome + ribbon', Simon says stamp 'anything goes', Aud sentiment 'anything goes', and Speedy Fox 'blues' challenges.
Finally I made a series of simple thank you cards to send to Alex's friends. I used a digital stamp designed by the very talented Spyder and coloured them using promarkers. No two dragons have been coloured the same and I used the photo inspiration from Freshly Brewed to make them. That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Crafting with Alex (WOYWW)

Some of you have asked how I manage to keep my desk so tidy; well the truth is that most of the time it is a complete tip, but I have to tidy it on a Monday night, because Tuesday morning before school has become a time when Alex and I craft together at my desk...if I leave anything on my desk he wants to use it or play with it so I have found it best to empty the desk and then let him decide what he wants to do in a more controlled and less stressful manner.
Usually he wants to make a card for his girlfriend! He and Ella (who is not yet 5), decided about a year ago that they were going to get married, and he makes a card for her most weeks. This was the card he made yesterday morning for her using punches, stamping and hand drawing.  Inside it has a heart which he drew and the words "To Ella, love from Alex".  Aah, young love!
This is my desk, for WOYWW, as it looked at about 5.30pm yesterday evening when I had got as far as choosing papers and photos for a scrapbook layout. I had managed to trim the photos using the craft knife, metal ruler and cutting mat, and drink half my tea before I had to go and give Alex his tea, do homework, bath, bedtime etc. 
I came back to the layout later on, which features October half-term with my family here in Sheffield, and this is how it looked when I had finished it. The layout followed sketch #210 from Nuts about sketches.  I stamped some of the leaves and the others were made using home-made stencils from two different woodware punches.  I inked through the stencils with pine needles distress ink.  The papers used were Basic Grey and K&Co and the embellishments which have glitter embossed on them were left over from a Cosmo Cricket set I had a long time ago (not sure how well the glitter shows up, but it is there I promise!). The leaves and skeleton leaf add texture to the layout.  As a result this layout fits with Lasting Memories 'stencils', Cards for men 'texture', Tuesday Throwdown 'use some sparkle', Pile it on 'sparkle and shine' and Stamptacular 'loaded with layers'.  That is all from me...I am lecturing for most of the rest of the week, hence preparing this post on Tuesday evening.  Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

social weekend!

We have had quite a social weekend what with meeting friends at an indoor play area yesterday, where Alex and Katie spent the best part of 40 minutes on the bouncy castle, and then church this morning, followed by a visit to friend's this afternoon. It was great fun to see the kids playing nicely together.
This weekend it is time for another Quirky Crafts challenge and it was Diane's turn to set the challenge.  She chose a 'wiper card' (or 3D project for non card makers) which has to have the theme of animal antics.  This is the first time I have made one of these...they are remarkably easy to make and really effective.  I used the image and sentiment by our sponsor, Digital delights, coloured in with promarkers and glitter glue.  I am entering this card into OLL 'Bold and bright', Aud Sentiments 'Spring/summer colours' (these are definitely summer colours to me),  Paperplay 'Animal antics' and Stamping for the weekend 'sparkle and shine'.
I can't let a weekend at home go by without making a card for the Less is More challenge.  This week the challenge is 'charms'.  I don't have many charms, but decided that I could use this little bird charm as part of a stamped/inked scene. I masked the central panel and thne used distress inks for the hills and sky, and stamped the Crafty Individuals Tree, and the Penny Black sentiment in vintage photo distress ink before adding the charm. I am also adding this into Stampavie 'Spring' because the colours look like spring to me, and CTT 'Metallica' as the charm is metal. Sorry, the photo doesn't do this card justice as it is actually on cream card not white and the colours look a lot brighter!
Finally I made a scrapbook using the Design by Diana sketch for her 3rd Blogiversary.  As there is a lot of green on this I am entering it into the pixie cottage 'green and gorgeous' challenge, as well as Penny's challenge 'Anything but a card', Speedy Fox 'stitching' and Papertake weekly 'stitching'. That is all from me for now.  Have a really nice week everyone.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Back to school (WOYWW)

Alex is back to school after a great Easter holiday.  He is getting on very well with his new glasses and is really good about just wearing them without fussing or fiddling with them which is a relief.
These last two nights we haven't had a book to read for homework so instead I have been getting him to practice his writing which he isn't as good at.  As a result we have been doing diary pages of some of the things that happened over Easter - his favourite part was playing in the snow, hence this page (sorry the photo didn't work well - the coloured pencil he used was very faint).
My favourite of his though was this 'rainbow rat and rainbow'; nice and colourful.
For this weeks WOYWW here is my desk as it looked at about 6pm last night complete with a cup of tea and the makings of a double scrapbooklayout scattered across it. My trusty craft mat, craft knife and metal ruler are the most essential part of my crafting kit (along with DST and glue of some sort) as I never use a trimmer...they always seem to cut in the wrong place or not well enough for me. The papers you can see are all being used as part of the layout - for once my desk was tidy before I started. The trimmings and peelings from the DST are destined for the bin beneath my desk.
Here is the completed double page layout (about 2 hours later) which follows Nuts about Sketches week #209 and is of a happy time spent blackberrying last August down at my parents house in Somerset. I am also entering this into CCC 'In the deep end' (the leaves and buttons have structure and depth to them) and Tuesday Throwdown 'recycling' (the buttons and some of the leaves were recycled, some of the papers used were scraps from previous projects).
I also couldn't resist having another play with Less is More's 'doodling' challenge so I made this card with a 'Doodle Dragon'.  The original stamp is from Whiff of Joy, and I have to say it is the cutest dragon stamp I have come across.  I am also entering this card into Crafty Cardmakers 'Fantasy' challenge and SCSC 'Man's card'.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


The big news from us this week is that Alex's glasses have now arrived.  Someone says it makes him look even more like me, although I think he looks a lot like my brother did at that age. I still can't get used to them and have to be honest don't like them, but he is very happy and is getting on well with them. I hope it is only a temporary thing. It has been a typical Spring weekend with a mixture of sunshine and showers so yesterday we took shelter from the rain in the swimming pool where Alex went down the flumes by himself for the first time much to his enjoyment.
Today I woke up with an extremely painful shoulder/neck having pulled it somehow in bed, and I didn't think I would be able to cope with sitting at an angle in church this morning, so Alex and I went for a walk along the stream at Forge Dam instead.  We failed to catch anything in the net, but had fun in the process!
We spent this afternoon in Endcliffe park where Alex had a go on the bouncy slide, paddle boats and a tightrope (he couldn't stand on it let alone walk!).
As usual I joined in with Less is More's challenge this week - 'One layer doodling' - by stamping the image and then doodling patterns on the umbrella, feather shapes across the duck and water lines in the puddle.  To finish it off I added a gem on the duck's collar.  I am also entering this card into Speedy the Fox's 'Rainbow', Papertake Weekly 'April showers', SSS 'April Showers' and Paper Play 'Things with wings' challenges.
I have also made a scrapbook layout following Nuts about Sketches 'sketch #208' and SIWAS 'Beautiful Day' challenges. I used DoodleBug design papers and alphabet stickers, some free ribbons and buttons from an old button tin. I am also entering this layout into Delightful challenges 'Stitching', Delicious Doodles 'loads of layers', Pixie Dust 'ribbons'  and Crazy4challenges 'buttons'.  That is all from me for now.  I hope that you have a great week.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Perfect birthday/Easter celebrations (WOYWW)

Well Alex really did have the perfect birthday for a little boy!  Playing in the snow last Wednesday complete with snowball fights,
sledging and building a snowman,
Then, on Thursday, a trip to the Deep in Hull to see the fish
and most especially the sharks,
followed by birthday cake and presents.
Then down to Somerset to see my parents, Gran, brother and his family for the Easter weekend with fun in the garden with the Space Hopper (no snow here!),
and Frisby
As well as an Easter Egg hunt round the gardens at Hestercombe
Exploring the various temples, huts etc looking for the clues to make up the special word that would give them an egg at the end.
Church on Sunday morning followed by a treasure hunt
and then a more traditional egg hunt round the garden
which was accompanied by great squeals of excitement.
Great Gran also got in on the act!
The weekend was topped off by a fishing trip where Alex caught a baby crayfish and Daniel fell in the river (he was absolutely fine, although my brother's i-phone is not!).
Since coming back home there has been the usual round of washing, cleaning, shopping and cooking to contend with as well as a return to work for me.  I did have time to do a little crafting and to show you my desk as part of WOYWW. For once it is looking fairly organised with my craft mat and the card I am working on taking central space, 2 green adirondack  (pesto and lettuce), 2 green distress  (shabby shutters and pine needles) and versamark Olympia green ink pads ready for use on an all green card.  The various stamps scattered about have been chosen specifically for the card I had in mind and are a mixture of Lavinia, Crafty Individual and Indigoblu. My trusty mug of tea is there (half drunk and still nice and warm) and hiding behind it are a box full of stamps and a box full of versacolour ink pads.
Here is the finished card which was made for this weeks Less is More challenge to use three greens.  I have only used green on this card with the masked hills and grass stamped using Distress ink shabby shutters, the seed heads lower down using Adirondack pesto and finally the hares, tree, dragonfly and detail at the bottom of the card stamped using Versafine Olympia green. The background is completely white; the shading is just my camera not coping with the lighting I'm afraid. The stamps used were Crafty individuals (grass, seed heads, tree and sentiment), hero Arts (dragonfly), IndigoBlu (free Hare stamp) and Lavinia stamps (other grass!). I am also entering this card into CCC 'Spring is in the air' (hares remind me of spring as does the fresh green), SSDS 'things with wings' and Pile it On 'All about S' (Spring & stamping).
Finally it is time to show you my DT entry for Quirky Crafts.  The challenge this week was set by Cazzy and it is New baby/Pregnancy and must include gingham, ribbon and novelty baby buttons/eyelets/brads. We were given images by our sponsor Stitchy Bear digital stamps and I was given the 'Hush lil baby' silhouette stamp to work with.  I am also entering this into Kaboodle Doodles 'celebrate new life' challenge.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

April snow (WOYWW)

Can you believe that it is April and I woke up to this?  What is more it is STILL snowing!  Alex is most excited and wants to be out in it having a snowball fight, which I have promised him later, but the wind means that it is rather cold so we may not be out for long. For Alex it feels like a special birthday treat as he missed out on much of the snow earlier in the year.  I just hope it is cleared enough for us to go out on his birthday trip tomorrow.
For WOYWW I thought I would show you my desk as it looked yesterday afternoon when I was part way through marking Master's students exam papers.  I had to tidy the crafting things away (shoved in piles on the shelves) to clear the desk for the exam papers, the course book and my laptop.  Fortunately I got the marking done yesterday and now my desk is free for crafting.
This is how it looks now...not quite so tidy, but still not too bad! Note that there are a few things in common between the two photos - my laptop and my mug of tea.  Those who know me well will be able to tell you that I am never far from a mug of tea and a dainty cup just wont do! As it stands it is almost empty so time for a refill.  In this photo you can see a tag I am working on, my extremely grubby versamark pad and some gold metal magic embossing powder ontop of scrap paper. To the left of my desk is my crop-a-dile and my battered and bent craft mat, resting on a pile of scrap papers and card. You can also see a little pack of buttons, craft knife, rubber and DST (I don't do anything crafting wise without DST!).
Here is the completed tag which was made using Tim Holtz background paper and Studio 490 stamps (I had to stamp them, scan them in, resize them, print them and cut them out to get them the right size - I wont be doing that again in a hurry!). I also added gold embossing round the edge, lace, buttons and diamond glaze to some of the buttons in the background. I am therefore entering this into SSSS 'Studio 490/Wendi Vecchi', CCC 'sewing box', OLL 'Vintage', and PTW 'Anything goes' challenges. That is all from me for now.  I wont be back until Monday now as I am off to my parents for Easter.  Have a very Happy Easter everyone,
Love & God Bless,

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Party weekend!

Alex had his birthday party yesterday and loved every minute of it.  It was held at Jungle Mania in Sheffield and because it was nice and early the venue was relatively empty giving him and his friends plenty of space to run around and have fun in without any upset.
When the party food was ready they marched round to the cubicle dancing to the song 'I like to Move it' from Madagasca.
Although Alex was dressed as Anakin Skywalker he had chosen a Cheeky Monkey birthday cake, which to my mind was most appropriate.
He loved blowing out the candles, although as I had chosen Happy Birthday candles there were a lot for him to blow out and it took several goes before he succeeded.
Today we went to the Palm Sunday service at church where we paraded around outside the building waving brightly coloured flags and enjoyed great worship, and this afternoon we went over to Shire Green where we joined in an Easter Egg hunt.
Crafting wise I haven't had time to do much but I had to join in with the Less is More challenge which was a photo inspiration one.  The photo contained pink flowers, with pale green stems on a light grey background.  I used a Penny Black stamp which I stamped using a watercolour technique and distress inks onto water colour paper.  I then added the little eggs from 7gypsies to turn it into an Easter sceen (I would have used grey, but didn't have any so used pale blue instead).  I am also entering this into CCT 'Happy Easter', Paperplay 'Easter', Aud Sentiment 'Happy Easter', and Penny's challenge 'Easter'.  That is all from me for now.  Enjoy Holy Week.
Love & God Bless,