Sunday, 5 July 2015

Oh Dear, Oh Dear - and a winner.......

Sorting out stuff that hasn't seen the light of day for years does make you wonder exactly why you need it. I know with certainty that if I throw out some obscure paint/bottle of unidentified pink stuff/spray bottle containing something that looks like the contents of a newborn baby's nappy, that the minute that stuff reaches the black sack, all of a sudden someone will discover some clever new technique that sweeps through the craft world like a virus. All of a sudden, everyone is searching everywhere for bottles of pink stuff. You can't find it for love nor money, it fetches huge sums on Ebay.................yes, that's the stuff I just threw in the garbage. Happens to me all the time

I was obviously in some sort of craft buying frenzy at the NEC craft show when I bought these letters which were going to be beautifully and artistically altered, then displayed on the bedroom wall (except that I forgot I bought them - until now.......)


LONE? I thought in my feverish craft crazed brain when I battled the crowds at the MDF man's booth at the show that I was buying the letters to spell out LOVE! But no, LONE is not a sentiment many people would want on their bedroom wall I suppose. All is not lost,  I could do EN for my shed ! Or NOEL for Christmas.....or there again, they could just be put into a cupboard again for another few years

And I don't care if I'm boring you - I want you to feel my pain



On to the winner of the FlexMarkers. The name that came up on random.org
was:

Jane
who said:

 Thank you for the chance Enfys (I love your name by the way) have a great weekend too. Hope to craft a bit but jobs around the house need to be done, sad face! Love Jane x

Congrats Jane, email me with your address and they will be on their way - be quick before I pack them!

I hope all my friends from the USA had a great 4th July xx

Friday, 3 July 2015

Painting - and packing

Some boxes have arrived - the removal men are packing up the house for us, but I asked for a few boxes so that I can pack up my craft stuff - they bought two dozen large boxes. Surely I won't need all those.............or will I?


Then, as if I haven't got enough to do, I clambered up into the attic again and found this old chair that we have had for years. I know just the spot for it in the new house, so down it came, and the first coat of grey chalk paint is done, just a second coat then a wax and it will be ready to be used again after years of neglect


The problem is, that at an age when some of our friends are downsizing, we are upsizing a bit, the number of times over the past few days that I have thought 'why on earth did we get rid of that'............the truth is of course that this house has been perfect while we needed to lock-up-and-go during our years of owning a second home, but now that we are here in the UK full time it seems a bit cramped  - and I love moving! I love the planning, seeing rooms coming together, hunting down the perfect paint/blinds/accessories

See you tomorrow x

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Ombre Butterflies...

Those of you who follow the Fiskarettes page on FB will have seen this, but I'm sharing it again for those of you who haven't seen it

First I took some paint chips, and a butterfly punch.....



I stamped some of the butterflies with background stamps to add interest....


Then just added a flight of ombre butterflies to a white background and framed in a simple frame


The house move is back on track, but the legal guys are taking their time, so instead of this Friday, we don't have a definite date yet, maybe two weeks? Maybe three? Who knows.....

But in the meantime, I have lists of lists - enough scraps of paper to wallpaper a room, and I am knee deep in paint colour charts and samples of curtain fabric. So in the near future, I reckon this blog will morph into a home decorating frenzy - there isn't going to be a whole lot of time for cardmaking that's for sure!

I will have a dedicated craft space though - in the new house there is a shed in the garden, one of those pretty sheds painted a pretty duck egg blue and with window boxes. It has light. It has lots of plugs (outlets), It is insulated. It measures 10' x 16' - it is perfect......I think I will make a sign for the door. Any ideas? I am thinking 
En's Den...............but one of you will have the perfect sign I'm sure

Ikea, here I come......

See you tomorrow x  

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Time for a Giveaway

I have a set of lovely Flexmarkers to giveaway, you get six markers in this pack, Berry Red, Sunflower, Forest Green, Cadet Blue, Wild Orchid and Rose Pink - so a great mix of colours



If you haven't tried Flexmarkers, they have the same high quality alcohol ink as Promarkers, but with a brush nib instead of the bullet nib of the ProMarkers. They will blend with any other alcohol inks as well, so if you have a few Copics or Spectrum Noir markers on your desk, you can blend right in!

Just leave your name under this post and I will draw a winner next Saturday

This week has flown by, I can't believe it's almost another weekend - whatever you are doing, have a great time. See you tomorrow x 


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A different way of doing it.....

 I don't seem to have much spare time for crafting in the last few days, so this card was made with bits and pieces of experiments that I had lying around on my desk

First, I found a base card that I had covered with die cut happy birthday words over and over again - I wanted to see if it would give a faux embossed sort of look, I tried it, liked it, but never did anything with it until now.....


Next, I found some roses left over from a Fiskars project - I made the roses using the XL Daisy squeeze punch, and the leaves were cut using the Petals punch......


I added a MFT stitched circle, and here is the finished card....


This one will definitely be a card for one of those 'meeting up with the girls for a birthday lunch' sort of day - those roses would need a box all of their own to go in the mail

Talking of mail, I ordered the stitched circle dies that I used in todays card from Blitzy in the USA

They didn't turn up for ages - weeks in fact. So I contacted them and they said they had been delivered safely to Chicago. Chicago? I live in the UK! So eventually they sorted it out and they were on their way again. Just these dies - two flat little packs that would fit into an envelope without a problem. Did they do that? Of course not, a huge box arrived, well huge compared to the contents, it was the size of a large shoe box. Why oh why do companies do this? I find it so irritating when I have had to pay over the odds for postage then find it was totally unnecessary. To cap it all, I had ordered the wrong dies, what I thought I was buying was simple stitched circles and squares. These cut out frames. You may see a few shaker cards in the near future! I really need to look before I click on that little 'buy now' button...

See you tomorrow x 

Monday, 22 June 2015

AGE - is only a number....

I do like embossed cards - there is something about them that looks so clever..... 


I embossed the base card, then cut out a label shape using a Sissix die and ran that through the same embossing folder, with a bit of careful lining up, I was able to pop the label on to exactly match with the embossing on the base. The AGE letters were cut with the Cricut, and the sentiment was computer generated


Mind you, the sentiment very much depends on exactly what the numbers are. The bigger the number, the more likely it is that bits are going to wear out! At the moment, I am radioactive - apparently I have an overactive thyroid, so had to go to a lead lined room, to swallow a radioiodine tablet from a lead container which makes human contact for the next month a bit dodgy for anyone who is a short  distance from the invisible force-field that apparently surrounds me at the moment. Various ribald comments from my totally disrespectful kids of course 'can you come to stay Mum, we could hook you up and save a fortune on electricity' and 'don't bother to buy new batteries for the torch Dad, you can use Mum as a searchlight when she glows in the dark'

The worst thing about this inconvenience (and it is just that, I don't feel ill in the slightest) is that I won't be able to see the grandchildren for a few weeks. Last week there was great family excitement, Milo submitted a drawing of 'Super Ed' (his daddy) into a competition run by Cadbury and he won first prize. Here he is with the drawing, and surrounded by the mountain of chocolate he won. Well done Milo (it was compensation for him coming last in the sports day race at school, we can't be brilliant at everything can we!)


Thank goodness I have you all to chat to - I may be a bit short of friends to chat to this month....
See you tomorrow x

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tags and Butterflies

So what else have I been up to for Fiskars? Well I made some tags with the Tag Maker Punch (fabulous gadget by the way)


I glued one to a coffee stirrer and used it to dress up a little plant gift for a friend....


I stuck some plumbers tape to white cardstock.....



and punched out some butterflies, which I dabbed with alcohol inks,


and added some florists wire for anntennae - they look really shiny and pretty, so they will make their way onto a project soon


But here at home it's been a non stop washing and ironing session - I always make the same mistake, I take far too many clothes with me, don't wear half of them on holiday, but when I bring them home they look so scruffy after being in and out of a suitcase two or three times, they have to be washed and pressed even though I didn't have them on my back once. I do make work for myself.... and my new year resolution to do a daily planner has fallen by the wayside. I did find it (in March!) but it just sits on my desk empty and unloved. In the meantime, I carry on scribbling lists on little scraps of paper that I keep losing. Will I ever learn? Probably not, old dog, new tricks......

See you tomorrow x 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Making Tulips

 I haven't had much time for crafting obviously, so I am sharing with you one of the projects I made for the Fiskarettes Facebook page - I know not everyone goes to FB, so here it is...




I made the flowers by punching circles, then scored them, inked and folded over...




and the base of the flower was made by punching a scallop circle, I inked it in the same green as the flourish stamp (which is a really old stamp by ???)
Then cut off about two or three scallops to form a stamen, The sentiment stamp is by Inkadinkadoo 


A few of you have asked how the house move is going - it was going swimmingly, then just as contracts were on the point of being exchanged, along came one of those stressful hiccups that seem inevitable with house moves in this country - you are so dependent on other people selling their houses in the chain, getting a mortgage etc, that if they fall at a hurdle, so do you. So at the moment, we are well and truly snookered, hoping that in the end all will be well. So in the meantime, the stuff in the crafty cupboard is staying firmly on the desk instead of in boxes, and I shall carry on as normal - a bit blue, but it will all be okay in the end......

See you tomorrow x

Monday, 15 June 2015

Beautiful Barcelona.....

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without a bit of Gaudi - the architect whose influence is seen all over the city, but never more than in the unfinished Sagrada Familia church - building started in 1882, and completion is estimated in 2026. Now I have no idea if this man was eccentric, a visionary, or just plain bonkers, but his work is like a Gothic fantasy..... 



One facade of the church is based on the story of the nativity, as well as the usual chorus of angels, there are unexpected carvings of geese and hens pecking their way around the columns, and a canopy of metal ivy winds around the doors.....


complete with ladybirds.....



 and a few spiders.......


Inside the church, apparently Gaudi wanted the columns to represent a forest.....







and the light from the stained glass windows really is extraordinary.....




another facade represents the passion of Christ


on this side, the carvings are much less joyous than on the nativity side, the columns represent bones - all in all, a most wonderful building.....


After this we took a long walk through the city, of course I spotted a few things that could be useful inspiration for crafting in this shop selling baby and Christening favours.....




and at every crossroads you wind your way around elaborate monuments - not sure who the guy is on top of this one - he has a fine view of the city though!


Those of you who are longtime readers of this blog will know my addiction to Dunkin Donuts coffee - if it can make it's way over the Atlantic to Spain, why on earth can't I have one in my town?


But as it's in a market, I was able to admire all the produce - these adorable marzipan sweets....


and the real fruit....


and watch the action at the butcher's stall.....


So there you have it - a potted version of my holiday, I hope you enjoyed it. Now back to some crafting, see you tomorrow x

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Pompeii and Tuscan Villages.....

So I'm going to talk about history today - click away quickly if that bores you silly.......... Some 500 years BC, a thriving little sea port in Southern Italy grew and grew until it became a center of commerce and an important city - and in 460BC  the Romans came and started building roads, amphitheatres, public baths, and all the other stuff they were so good at. They called it Pompeii

Can you believe looking at the next two photos, of the amphitheatres where gladiators used to fight to the death that they were built around 300BC....... 




But the folk that lived in Pompeii weren't that lucky really, in 62AD there was a huge earthquake that flattened a lot of the city, and they had just rebuilt it when Mount Vesuvius erupted and the whole city and it's inhabitants were buried under thousands of tons of volcanic ash and dust, and there it lay, under it's protective covering of volcanic ash for hundreds of years

Then in 1748 some archaeologists started excavating and found this extraordinarily well preserved city, houses of rich merchants, brothels with rather graphic frescoes on the walls (and some very uncomfortable looking stone beds, I do hope the poor things had a mattress back in the day), streets of shops..............quite extraordinary and they are still excavating to this day



 The frescoes on the walls must have been amazing when they were new and vivid



Just a couple more photos, shot as we meandered around some Italian villages - I do love Italy



all that walking deserved an ice cream break - this was the real stuff,  a heavy duty fix for an ice cream addict......





Back on the ship it became obvious rather quickly that lifts (elevators) that were supposed to hold a maximum 18 people, would only hold about eight. This wasn't because anyone was hugely fat, but because when you get six Italians and two Brits in a lift, the Brits huddle in the corner muttering thank you, excuse me and ciao when appropriate, and the Italians fill the rest of the space by all talking very loudly, at the same time and waving their arms at full stretch to emphasise the point they were trying to make - honestly, it was like sharing a lift with six windmills in a hurricane. As I said, I love Italy!

See you tomorrow with a last holiday blast - we'll take a wander around Barcelona shall we? See you then.... x