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Friday 26 February 2021

Practicing with pencils.......

I have been enjoying colouring with Polychromos pencils this week, I especially liked the soft look of the pencils on kraft cardstock. You do have to be patient and build the layers up slowly, but at the moment it's my favourite relaxation. Do you use pencils? Because the Polychromos are oil based, you don't get that waxy finish that lots of pencils give. 

So my online grocery order was unpacked and put away, but not without a few surprises. Frankly, I am rubbish at grocery shopping online. In 'normal' times, I trot happily around a supermarket, rarely using a list, just picking stuff purely on appearance and impulse. The problem with an online shop is that you can't see the size of the item you are buying and I am a dinosaur when it comes to metric measurements! Having been schooled in imperial, I suppose I have been lazy and I still, 40 years after the UK became metric, mentally think in pounds and ounces! This does not work when you are buying a joint of meat online (or anything at all in fact).....so the hunk of beef that I confidently reckon will be big enough for at least three meals for the two of us, morphs into either a tiny little sliver of beef, or a chunk that would make an excellent display at a banquet. 

Then there is the sheer frustration of remembering just as you are about to checkout that you need furniture polish.....in real life you would just dash to the cleaning aisle and throw one in your basket. Now I have to navigate through about six different menus to find the stuff. The other thing that I miss is bumping into people you know and having a chat for ten minutes next to the cat food. Somehow an automated message chattily asking me if I have forgotten tea and coffee this week does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling. So I am pretty sure that this online food thing is not going to become a regular part of my life - even though Brian in the mask in the raspberry van seemed like a very nice chap

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Love was in the air!

Another Clearly Besotted little birdies card - I meant to post this before Valentines Day, but somehow it got lost!

I used a MFT die cut over a distress ink background. I do think these little birds are sweet

 It is 10 p.m as I write this, and I have just had an Ocado delivery - the only slot available this week. There is something rather bizarre about having a weeks groceries dumped on your doorstep by a masked man at 9.30 p.m. 

Ocado amuse me by giving me plenty of warning that the van arriving will be the raspberry/strawberry/cherry van (they 'wrap' their vans with images of fruit or vegetables). Presumably they give me plenty of notice so that I can peer out into the darkness and check that the van outside my door is indeed the long awaited raspberry van, instead of slumping back onto the sofa muttering 'no, it's the cherry van, not mine'.

I mean, how many fruit covered vans are likely to pull up at your door in one day? Still, it's nice of them to warn me to expect raspberries. Enough waffling......now I have to go and unload the stuff before bed    

Sunday 14 February 2021

Happy Valentines Day!

 Happy Valentines Day to all you romantics out there! Here's a card made with the Some Birdie Loves You stamp set by Clearly Besotted. I love those little toucans. The aperture was cut with a MFT die - I stamped some leaves on the 'waste' of the frame and slotted it onto the back

I guess that after playing around with techniques again, my go-to comfort zone is still clean and simple cards..........

 Following on from my musings about lockdown, have you noticed that our expectations when watching TV have totally altered - I am by no means a lockdown fanatic, but find myself tutting when people are interviewed without any social distancing. Nowhere is my newly conditioned mind more alert than when watching a soap - I admit to watching Coronation Street, the only soap I follow. Those poor script writers and actors! They try so hard to be current, but as the rules change frequently according to the spread of the virus, they now have children going to school, people going clothes shopping, on holiday........all things that were probably perfectly possible when they recorded the episode some weeks ago, but are now illegal. Actors who are living in the same house in the soap, now stand awkwardly at opposite ends of a room, even when one of them is in tears and clearly needs a hug.  It must take special acting skills to appear sympathetic at those times. Then there are the people who bump into neighbours on the street, you have a group of three holding a casual conversation standing in a sort of triangle miles away from each other. My advice to the script writers would be to avoid any budding romances for a few months - it's hard to convey pent up passion when the actors can't get within six feet of each other. 

In fact, screen writers really need to think ahead a little - one character in Corrie gave birth to quads last year, did nobody think of the problems this would cause in the future? Since their birth, only two babies have been filmed at a time, most of the time the actors playing the parents are seen dashing upstairs with armfuls of nappies to their invisible offspring. These kids must be about nine months old now, in real life you would have four little humans crawling around or tucking in to bowls of sieved veggies, but these babies are miracles, they have spent nine months confined to their cribs, and sleep all day. I can only imagine the conversations that must take place behind the scenes on the soap. 'Who had the crazy idea of FOUR babies? You're fired!' 

Now I am off to watch more TV and put on my pandemic critics hat.....see you tomorrow

Friday 12 February 2021

Miss You - for Daring Cardmakers

This is the first card I have made for months for the Daring Cardmakers Friday challenge - I needed a break to concentrate on Mike's health. 

Today Dawn has set the challenge of 'Share the Love', see what the team has come up with here , as always we have all interpreted the challenge in very different ways, it's always fascinating to see....

I used a rubber background stamp by Ton Stamps, a US company. I stamped it on white with Peacock Feather distress ink, using my Misti. Then I reinked a bit randomly in various distress colours, just dabbing each ink here and there on the stamp before moving on to the next colour. I used about six different colours, and then very lightly sprayed the whole thing with a fine mist of water. When that was dry, I filled in some of the details with a clear Wink of Stella pen, so in real life it is nice and sparkly 


Thursday 11 February 2021

Lockdown musings.........

I am almost out of my favourite 6 x 6 white card bases, but rummaging around uncovered this shaped edge card base from years ago - I stamped and coloured the flower from the Make a Wish set by Clearly Besotted then cut it out. The shape of the card seemed to lend itself to a simple easel card (score the front of the card at the halfway point, and fold)

I couldn't find any cardstock to exactly match the colour of the flowers for a sentiment mat, so coloured a piece of white card with the same colour ProMarkers

 This lockdown business is strange - for non-UK friends, our whole country is in lockdown for the third time. People who can are working from home, pubs, restaurants, non essential shops and schools are shut. You can only travel from area to area for specific reasons, and can't have visitors inside your home, or even in your garden - although who would want to chat a garden table over a cup of hot chocolate on a freezing winters day is beyond me.

So when friends drop by to return a borrowed book or jigsaw, you stand inside the house (with your coat on because the front door is wide open), whilst your masked visitor stands a dutiful 2 metres away, and you chat awkwardly about the weather and other trivia until they climb, teeth chattering, into their car and drive thankfully away

This goes entirely against the grain for me, raised as I was by a hospitable mother who put the kettle on for a cup of tea as soon as your feet crossed her threshold. So for all of my grown up years, the window cleaner, odd job man, boiler servicing guy etc barely have time to unload the tools of their trade before a cup of tea or coffee is thrust into their hands. The problem now is that all those years of nursing and infection control have left their mark on me, I am indoctrinated in the extreme measures needed to fight the pesky virus....... So let's face it, anyone working for a couple of hours in your house with frequent refreshments provided are going to ask if they can use the bathroom before leaving. So a whole new can of worms is opened. Not only do I have their mug to gingerly place in the dishwasher, treating it with as much respect as if it were a radioactive bomb primed to go off and destroy the whole neighbourhood, I now have to clean the darn cloakroom as well. So it's easier to smile and wish them a cheery good morning with no mention of the tea word. This means that when I am desperate for coffee, I have to smuggle it unseen into a random corner of the house where I can't be discovered, and furtively gulp it down before my inhospitable actions can be witnessed by the thirsty workman....  

Monday 8 February 2021

Reveal Wheel Cards

Whilst sorting a bit aimlessly around in my craft room, wondering what to make, I came across the Lawn Fawn reveal wheel dies and stamps that I purchased over a year ago and had never used. So I made this fun little card using a dragon image from MFT stamps, a sponged sky and some die cut hills. 

I photographed three times for you to see the different sentiments that pop up as you turn the week........


But I wanted to see if I could come up with something for an adult birthday, so came up with this, using a Fuschia stamp set by Clearly Besotted. If I make this one again, I think I will position the stamp so that it is complete on the top layer - I am not very keen on the way the flower by the wheel looks chopped off - I live and learn!

A friend from Florida posted a photo of Manatees huddled together for warmth on the Crystal River in Homossasa, apparently they are having a cold spell there. It still looked pretty appealing to me,  sparkling clear, turquoise, water.....and bought back lots of memories as this is where we used to go canoeing. All our friends who visited from the UK were taken for a day out on the river - a lazy paddle down crystal clear water watching the birds and wildlife, and stopping to picnic and swim . Our friends still talk about the experience when we get together, and they all remark on the friendliness of fellow boaters standing on the banks as we paddled by. Their friendly greetings usually turned to concern as they saw the hot, red faced Brits paddle past them, the usual greeting was 'hey, do you guys need water? Sunscreen?......' Clearly the pale, unused-to-sunshine complexions of us Brits stood out like a sore thumb. The peace of the river was often disrupted as well by exasperated expletives as someone (usually me) crashed into a tangle of trees on the banks. Happy days.........

Friday 5 February 2021

Another Brag Book!

I did say yesterday that I would start showing cards again, but. Totally forgot about this little Christmas album, given to a friend who has a new baby granddaughter 

Made with the gorgeous WinterSparkle papers by Dovecraft for Trimcraft, I had made a video clip and really wanted to work out how to post it on here - I had to Google to see how to do it! But here it is.....just a quick post today


Thursday 4 February 2021

Work in Progress Mini Album

The last mini album for a while! This is one I am just finishing and is for a friends birthday - again it will be a Granny brag book. She has two grandsons, so I wanted to use papers that were not flowery or too childish. I think this Moroccan Tile pad by Papermania fit the bill perfectly - and it was a bargain price as well! As you see it is all in shades of navy, cobalt blue, white and a soft jade, I really enjoyed working with them

I used a design by my pal Cal Summers called the Floating Spine Mini Album for the basic build of this book, but then I went off piste and did my own thing on the internal pages

You can find supply lists and links to her YouTube video on building the album on her Paper, Scissors, Story Facebook page

But the big news is that I have actually got over my big crafting slump and made a couple of cards. TA DA......

I will obviously share, but today has been one of those miserable grey rainy days when the light makes it impossible to take decent photos

I have had so many lovely emails and messages from fellow crafters who read this blog welcoming me back - thank you all so much, it is humbling to know that so many of you enjoy Going-Buggy. Disconcerting though that so many mention they love reading about my adventures, I hate to tell you that this page may be a little short on amusing anecdotes for the foreseeable future, unless I start burbling on about the robins I spotted in the garden today, or what time I eventually climbed out of my pyjamas into my newly purchased 'lounge-wear'. I never knew there was such a thing, but yes, you can now lie around on the sofa watching Netflix for hours in your lounge-wear. Basically they are pyjamas without cute snowmen or kittens on the front, so that when the Amazon guy comes, you can fling open the door with confidence knowing that you are the very epitome of a pandemic woman, clad from head to toe in stylish kitten free pyjamas lounge wear. 

Sigh, it can only get better...... see you tomorrow x

Tuesday 2 February 2021

Birthday Mini Album

Another of my lockdown makes, this time an album for my sisters birthday. I decided that instead of opening it like a regular book, this one would open from the top, stand on the spine of the book and be easy to display. So you lift the magnetised flap, and the book flops open........

Again, there are loads of pockets etc to explore. In the photo opposite, on the page lying flat you can see some tabs in the peach paper. The whole thing is actually six black envelopes glued together to form a concertina type file folder to take lots of photos

 All the papers are from the Bloom and Wonder paper pad by Trimcraft. I apologise for the quality of the photos, I was not thinking of the blog when I took them, just shot them quickly to show my nieces why I needed the photos they had to raid family photo albums to get! It was worth it, my sister loved it......... 

Monday 1 February 2021

Mini Album

One of the things I have loved making during lockdown are mini albums. This one was for my friend Anne (who has given me permission to publish the completed pages) and is all about her grandchildren.

I built the whole thing from scratch, it's a long time since I made one of these, I made a couple back in my Florida crafting days. I do love them, and try to make them very interactive with loads of flaps - and magnet closures, I love magnets!

So I went a bit crazy with flaps, waterfalls and it was nice to use stuff like border punches and dies. I even dusted off my Cricut! They do make lovely gifts, I have a couple more to share tomorrow.

If you are new to mini album making I can recommend my friend Cal Summers, who is a mini album genius. She runs a Facebook group called Paper, Scissors, Story and does live demo's each week

So if, like me, you are a bit jaded with cardmaking, have a go at one of these, there is something very satisfying about starting off with pieces of chipboard and card and ending up with a very personal gift for special people - I also made one for my son's milestone birthday, and a couple for Christmas gifts