Friday, 31 October 2014

My Garden

Do you remember when the bottom of my garden looked like this and I despaired …… never in a million years could I have done anything with it, I swear it grew even faster when I dared to make any feeble dent in it!Neglected Garden_thumb[5]And then I found a wonderful gentleman called Phil, and his wife Linda who have transformed it to this (below) ………
004I can’t believe how hard Phil has worked ….

….. clearing the neglected and overgrown vegetable patch
….. and covering it with purple slate, giving me a place to sit and have a mug or two of tea and ponder. I have bought a very simple table and chairs from Ikea but haven’t put them out yet!
And the edges too have all been dug over and covered with mesh and then  bark, and are waiting for me to decide what select few plants/shrubs  I want there ….. at the moment I am fancying lavender ….. but I have till spring to muse.
The shed has been moved back a few feet giving me a lot more room …..
009….  and I would have like to have painted it this summer and begun to turn it into my den, but the floor needs a bit of reinforcing after the move, so I don’t want to invest anymore in it until that is done, hopefully in the next few weeks, but when it is ….. it will probably transformed in baby blue or lavender hues.
008There’s still quite a bit to do, but after a little over two years I am no longer frightened or a stranger to the pleasures of the hoe and spade, having finally got off my bum and started to prune and dig like nobody’s business, excited and fired up for what next spring and beyond will bring if I keep on doing what I am doing now, each night after work…….…… despite gaining one septic and very painful finger …….. lesson learnt …. two pairs of gardening gloves from Poundland duly purchased.
010 I know it must have been worrying The Duke as he was the gardener, seeing me leave it for so long, but at least it’s getting done now so he can get on with his fishing!!!
There is a flower patch in the middle of our village shopping area that is now my inspiration for next year …… I don’t have a clue what most of the plants are, but if I can get my flower beds to look half this good I will be so chuffed!
I have planted a few new bits and pieces and split some of the spreading plants I already have, which seem to have taken ……. so after an autumn of annihilation and a very quiet winter we will see what the spring will bring ……..

Thursday, 30 October 2014

M’Lord …. I Have No Excuse ….. My Resistance Was Low!

Oh my goodness, I very rarely buy dies these days, (I go to Marc’s and use his!!!!!!). Dies have to be something really special to catch my eye and then ever specialer to open my purse!!!…..
Tim Holtz Birds in Flight So ……. when I saw this Tim Holtz Flight of Birds die in a Wolverhampton Craft Superstore you can imagine my state of abject flux and excitement …… it was akin to meeting Alistair Campbell in real life at the Olympics ……. pure lust!!! Well, it went straight into my basket ….. but then I hesitated, as I often do these days ….. £15 is a lot of money (it acquaints to at least 15 something's that I would have to make with it to get my money back) ….. which is why in the end I just took the picture to remind myself of the name etc. and then put it back on its hanger and walked away, my head glancing over my shoulder!
However, my prudence was justly rewarded …… as soon as I got home I managed to secure it on Ebay for just £8.95 with free P & P, result!!!! ….. I just have to wait for it to arrive now…… I can’t wait …. it’s so beautiful!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Large Thank You Card

This card is A5 in size and is made using a white linen effect hand cut card blank.
I don’t usually make cards these days, but I make this one for someone special at work. She had been given so many clothes and other bits and pieces for the baby she was expecting by her husbands work it had been quite overwhelming and she wanted to say a very special thank you…..
….. which gave me the idea of having a baby hiding behind one of the letters which were a jumble of capitals and lower case in an effort to use up odd letters, which were then faux stitched in black pen.
The flowers were already punched, they came from Lakeland when Lakeland had a crafts section, all I had to do was add the clear, flat backed gems.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Starting Iris’s Project Life Album

Project Life. My First CardI remember seeing Becky Higgins Project Life on Create and Craft, and to be honest, it didn’t really twig with me ….
Project Life. Dinosaurs……. and then when Marc came to stay and we saw the boxes in HobbyCraft he was very enthusiastic about it all and I became more curious. 
Project Life 1Well …….  to cut a long story short, and as you can see from the pictures,  I decided to buy an album, page protectors and a couple of core card kits as a first wedding anniversary present for Tom and Laura as it was their paper anniversary.
001But, before I gave it to them I shared out some of the core cards and page protectors with Denise, Iris’s equally proud, significant other Nanny, so she can add to the album too, as and when, like me. 
006My box of cards is now permanently on my desk in my craftroom so that I can just reach over and  “do” one whenever the mood takes me, ……
Project Life 015….. especially after special occasions or visits when my camera is permanently clicking anyway or when a memory suddenly springs to mind.
Project Life 007I also wanted Iris to know all about when her Daddy was a little boy and growing up ……..
Project Life 008Project Life 009
…… and about her Granddad Andy.…..
Project Life 010…… who would have absolutely adored her and been the most wonderful, wonderful, patient Granddad, who would have given her the moon on a stick if she’d asked for it!Project Life 011So Project Life also seemed to be an ideal way of revisiting old photos and telling the stories behind them …..
Project Life 014…….as well as stories of the present.
Project Life.I have always found the idea of filling a whole scrapbook page very daunting, the Project Life cards I have measure 3inx x 4ins and 6ins x 4ins which is just enough for a few words or story and a small photo or two.
Project Life Family TreeHowever, as I have a suitcase of photos in the attic to work my way through and so many happy family occasions in the future I think I have a Project For Life!!!!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Monkey Card

This card measure 5ins x 5ins
This is the card “The Boys” made when Iris was born!!!! Erm…. they used the self adhesive monkey stickers that I found in Michael's in Las Vegas.
Copy (2) of Keep BIg

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Shopping With The Duch …..

I think they had these in Marks and Spencer last year …… but I didn’t buy any as I wasn’t making any Christmas crafty stuff on mass ……
M & S Chocolate SproutsBut this year I just had to take advantage of their 3 for 2 offer ….. they are £2 a net or at the moment on a buy two get one free offer. 
There are 27 sprouts per net, yes, I actually counted them…..and I think I am going to use them in a matchbox tree decoration, as 8 sprouts fit in the box tray perfectly ….. so I have enough to make up 10 matchboxes, which is probably plenty enough for my needs. All  I need to do now is think of a funny tag line to put on the front/back of the box.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Halloween Monster Matchboxes

I think this is my last Halloween project of 2014. Finding interesting things in the poundshops to craft with this year has been tough …. I just can’t believe that there has hardly been any stickers to be had ….. thank goodness I had some leftover from last year.
So, for this final make I have decided to use the Halloween stickers sent to me by Dianne, my special blog friend in Florida.  In a way I was sad to finally use them, but they are no use in a drawer only to be admired now and again.
I have chosen to use them on some more Halloween matchboxes, using my Stampin’Up matchbox die and have also tried to use up as many of the other bits and pieces I have left over from this year and last, so perhaps next year I can start afresh.
I love working with orange, purple, black, green and orange, there is nothing subtle about them and they shouldn’t go together, but they do.
I am wondering if I can transfer the colours to Christmas ….. I am not sure if I have any embellishments or can find embellishments in these colours …. but perhaps it’s the perfect excuse to get my Silhouette out and make my own!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Halloween Trick Or Treat Party Bag

This follows on from the Halloween card I made the other day and uses a plain brown lunch bag (10 for £1 Home Bargains etc.) and the Halloween paper chains I found in HobbyCraft (120 for £1).
All I did was make a front and back panel for the bag by sticking four paper chain strips side by side on a piece of scrap paper and trimming them down to size, and then mat and layered each panel on black paper. I added another strip across each panel that said Happy Halloween, and faux stitched, using a white gel pen, around the black matting and across the middle strip to make the panels “pop”
I stuck the panels on each side of the bag, folding them across the crease of the bag so that it could still be stored flat and then, in the spirit of Halloween, hung two spare plastic ghostie novelties on a short length of cord, threaded through a hole punched in the handle of each side. 
So,  if I was having a Halloween party, for just £2 I could make 10 really cute bags …… adding a novelty or two would only add another pound (packet of assorted Halloween novelties £1 Poundland)  ….. much cuter than a printed plastic bag and taking all but a few minutes to make each one.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Creepy Spider Halloween Lollipop Holders

I have finally used up ALL of the 72 spiders I got for a pound, from a local poundshop!
….. and in the process found another use for the Halloween paper chains I got from HobbyCraft (120 links for £1) and a spare bag of skull lollies from PoundWorld (19 lollies in a bag), which I have to say tasted pretty good, as I sucked on one as I worked  …… as part of my market research!!!!!!!
So ……. for the cover I took a strip of purple card 6cms wide and scored it on my scoreboard at 7cms, 1cm and 7cm intervals.
I stuck a spider paper chain down the centre of the strip and trimmed as necessary, punching two holes at either end, holding both ends together so that they would marry up when a ribbon was threaded through, followed by a little faux stitching using a white gel pen
I put two lollies in each holder, sticking them together with a little double sided tape to keep them together …………. and glued the spiders on with a glue gun, trying to place them over a spider on the paper chain for a 3D sort of effect.
I am tempted to buy another bag of spiders away for next year as they have been so useful ….. and especially as Halloween bits and pieces to inspire me to craft with have been few on the ground this year …..

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Halloween Scary Spider Halloween Matchboxes.

Although I have used my Stampin’Up Matchbox die for this idea, there are plenty of matchbox templates on the internet that could be used instead.
I have used the adhesive foam spider and web stickers I got from HobbyCraft a week or so ago (£1) on these boxes……..
……. but I couldn’t resist sticking googly eyes on all the spiders before using them, it had to be done!
I cut the webs in half to make corners, used up scraps of Halloween borders that I’ve had for a couple of years and doodled away to my hearts content.
I also used my Stampin’Up scalloped and punches for the sentiments. Boo!