Tuesday, 30 July 2013

WOYWW - Drying in the Rain !

Hi there, just a quick post this week as work has been mega-hectic lately & I am trying to get an early night as I have to be on the train to London by 6am tomorrow - off to an all day food photography shoot for some of our products launching this Autumn.

So all quiet on my desk this week - just a few charms & large beads destined for something altered !
A couple of ATC's and a tube of paint.

The paint is clue to last weekend's crafty activities !

The weather broke & Sunday was rain lashed alternated with sunshine - so it was a day for dashing out into the garden in a sunny spell for some cutting back, harvesting (rhubarb & cucumber !) and the endless weeding !
Oh and planting out a lovely hot coral echinacea & a lemon flowered coreopsis which leapt into my arms in Carmarthen market & begged for a happy home!

On Saturday, Rich & I ventured into a bargain shop as he was looking for coat hangers.
We had never used the shop before & it was an eclectic mix of goods - but I did spot some great bargains that were just calling to me to be altered !

So as the rain came down on Sunday I was gesso-ing & painting some things to be altered further - starting next weekend !
Here they all are - drying in the rain !
A photo frame, a sign, a little clock - all for less than a fiver ! And a money box which I had had for ages.
Hoping to get more creative with these in the coming weeks !

My friend Lynda & I have a Journal Challenge underway - to create a page out of this stamp which we both love !

I have no idea why she reminded me of this song - the Whole of the Moon by the Waterboys.
I love this song & now I can't stop it keep playing over & over in my head !!!

So I took the opportunity to use a new embossing folder & to play with a brayer & use my new Kaleidoscope ink pad - both of which I bought at Newbury earlier in the month!

So here's my challenge page ...

And I have decided to put my small ATC collection on the side of my cabinet rather than shove them unseen in a drawer - so my little collection is here to show you !

And I have had a happy week booking a couple of classes - Lynda & I are going to a Kate Crane Junk Journal class at the Stamp Attic in October - and I have a place (which will be given to me as a birthday present !!) on Finnabair's Spell Book course at the Artist's Trading Post at the end of November - so really looking forward to them - anyone else going ?

Have a great week ! Ali x

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

WOYWW - Summer Days Linger On !

Well we have continued to have the hot weather here - but we are into our stride now !

Curtains remain closed all day to keep out the sun whilst we are out.

Get home, shuck off our work clothes & into the shower & cool baggy gear - fling open every window & then get watering the garden ... pick veggies & armfuls of sweet peas - who would have thought it in soggy old Wales !

We didn't even have the storms they had in the East of the country last night !

I was at a business meeting in London yesterday - just round the corner from the streets packed with TV film crews waiting for the Royal Baby to be born ! It was melting hot mayhem !

Our train left for home just about the minute the little Prince was born - so I was kind of there !!

They had spectacular storms in London last night I understand - I am sure if he'd been born in Medieval times the wise women & soothsayers would have had something to say about that as an omen & portent !!

On my desk this week is a clutch of projects.

Or is the the collective noun when crafting a clutter of projects !!

On Saturday Rich went to meet an old work colleague for lunch, so I had the run of the nearby garden centre with it's own branch of Hobbycraft inside ! I saw a pad of Tilda papers called This Seaside Life - not my normal style, but this appealed - me being a Seaside Girl born & bred ! So I made this collage journal page - to celebrate being a Seaside kind of Girl ! 
And this card also made from the papers is for my Sister's birthday next week - my first attempt at an easel card ! Just have to work out how its going to fit into an envelope now!
On Sunday after early morning gardening - 7am is only cool part of the day ! - and swimming, I got to do some crafting in the garden - sheltering nicely under our hitherto unused (3 years in its box !) parasol ! I tried the new Kromacrackle I had bought at Newbury the other weekend - but although the lady from Indigoblu made it look easy mine has hardly crackled ! I wonder if I mixed in too much paint with it - or it was so hot Sunday it dried too quick ? I am rather disappointed - so any tips you may have are very welcome !!
This is the box I was trying to make for my Sister with a driftwood style initial I found at the garden centre - hum - may need a big rethink with the crackle failure ! I have tried sanding it back on the right hand side as you may be able to see - but not much happening - so may be a repaint job !!
At club our embossing exploration was great fun - we all said we enjoyed just playing - but it wasn't not too successful !! The project we were following suggested in the magazine said we would be able to create one embossed layer, then stamp it & emboss that too - but nothing would stick to the shiny embossed tags ! Anyway I decided to play with a new stencil & created the steampunk winged mannequin tag instead ! Then I was just playing with a wheat stencil - sage & sepia was the final colour combo on the Summer of Colour challenge. Oh and with a some new stamps too - just a happy messy playtime !
My final playing tonight was in the garden - harvesting my first broad beans - all fluffy pods & shiny beans - was a bit taken aback that some were pink ! But they tasted lovely - I made a very simple tasty Spanish dish I had been served in the Rioja region years ago - shredded spring onions sauteed in butter, the beans deskinned & warmed through with Jamon Serrano - a delish summer dish ! 
Have a great crafty week & see you all on the blog hop ! Ali x

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

WOYWW - Sunny Family Weekend !

We have had a stunning run of sunny weather - totally unusual in Wales & oh are we making the most of it ! My parents have come over from Sussex for a long weekend & we have spent as much time as possible outside -  including eating every meal outside !!
Friday night we went down to the Mumbles for a stroll along the seafront - pizza on the terrace & naughty Italian style ice-creams !

It was the most gorgeous sunset !

On Saturday we entertained my Dad's cousin to a lunchtime BBQ  - with good food & lots of family history discussed too !

Sunday was down to Pembrokeshire to walk along the cliff tops at St Govan's Head (brilliant time except for loosing a tote bag I had put in the basket of my husband's disabled person's scooter - with my glasses, Kindle & a few other bits - so items to the grand sum of £650 lost forever ! boo hoo !) and then a meal at our favourite fish restaurant - The Shed in Porthgain.

Yesterday Rich made paella in the garden & tonight we had a meal at a local pub known for it's food as it was Mum's birthday.

So in all a lovely weekend - no crafting going on though !!
On my desk tonight some new stamps which are with a Stamping magazine & a very old book of family photos I inherited from my Grandma which we were pouring over last Saturday for our family reminiscences - oh and some chunky beads planned for a canvass or some such !

Sadly Mum & Dad are heading home tomorrow - so back to normal routines !
Where did the days go to ?

I have put together this crafty basket of stash for the "playdate with embossing powders" that we are having at scrapclub tomorrow. Last time we said we all had embossing powders but didn't really get to use them much ! So hence a good play session planned for tomorrow.

And just to finish, Mum & I have been picking armfuls of Sweet Peas -  and I can smell their sweet aroma wafting towards me as I sit here typing ! So just wanted to share them with you all !

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

WOYWW - Glorious Summer !

Well what a difference a week makes !
This time last week it was lashing down with rain & foggy - this week it has been 32oC today - and even now at 9pm - the sun is streaming down & we are well over 25oC ! Unprecedented for me since I came to Wales in 2007 !

I have a few yummy new things to share with you this week !
On Saturday I made an early start & set off for Art Stamps England - a stamp show about 2 hours away. It is a lovely show, not too big but every vendor has to bring different brands of stamps so you get a great variety to choose from.
Well with all that planning & organising it would have been just rude not to do some shopping, wouldn't it !!
So on my desk is some lush new stash !

New tapestry style stamps from Card-io- cute bird house & some other branches & flowers - they had some great cards on display made with these - and I asked them if I could take some photos for inspiration when I got home !

A couple of little JOFY stamps to go with my flowers & a Beach Hut from Stampasaurous (and my friends Lynda & Theresa had put in an order & asked me to get them a Lighthouse & a Garden Shed respectively !) Plus an unusually shaped tree die - don't have many shaped dies so this was a new departure for me ! And couple of background stamps - very good value for money at £3 each ! 
A leafy stencil (I started an Autumn project last year & am planning on actually finishing it this year !), a couple of Lavinia Stamps and seedheads (well it wouldn't be me without a seedhead would it ! ) 

And a lovely Indigo Blu stamp - hoping Lynda will do a Journal Page challenge with me on this one !

A seedhead embossing folder & some masks - I saw Ali Reeve demo-ing these through a die cutting machine on TV the other day - so really want to try this on my Cuttlebug !
And again from Indigo Blu - crackle glaze & some hearts the owner was demo-ing - hers looked stunning - if mine come out half as good I'll be thrilled !
Just wanted to share a couple of photos from my garden tonight ... my peony in all its splendour, two clematis, a couple of poppies Lynda gave me - and a gherkin plant - a new experiment & great fun !

And on Sunday it was fabulously sunny - so we went swimming early & then headed down to Burry Port & Ferryside - I can't express how beautiful our local beaches are when the tide is out - we have some of the longest tides in the world here - and the sandy beaches stretch for miles ! Stunning !

Those of you in the USA may know about Amelia Earhart - a pioneering American woman aviator - this first woman to fly the Atlantic solo - she landed at Burry Port in the summer of 1928 - and this buoy was where they tethered her seaplane !

Who could want seascapes more stunning than these views from Burry Port harbour ? And on the left hand side is Llansteffan Castle as seen from across the estuary at Ferryside. 
Well that's all from hot & sunny West Wales ! have a great week ! Ali x 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Summer of Colour - Red & Yellow

Well this is certainly a colour combo you can't ignore !

Nothing shy & retiring here this week !!

From what I have read looking at the views on challenge projects guys have entered so far your thoughts vary from "discordant" to "vibrant" !

I'll leave you to decide which end of the spectrum you find my entry !

We are finally having some hot summer weather here - the first in about 3 years - so it has taken us all by surprise !
Our house must absorb the sun like a radiator - well it is certainly sweltering in here tonight - too hot to think of sleeping yet - see the thermometer on our garden shed - half past nine at night & still 22oC - unheard of  in Wales !!

So when I opened this month's "Simply Homemade" magazine which arrived today & found this yummy yellow polka dot paper, I headed down to my craft desk for a bit of a play !

I used some of the goodies I bought at the Art Stamps England show I went to on Saturday - a new Dylusions stencil of various sized girls silhouettes, Barn Door Distress Ink from my stash and some new Card-io tapestry style stamps I bought Saturday.

I had no idea where this page was going as I played - but this phrase popped into my head as I worked up the page !

I think it is about this amazing "bloggy world" where I can meet & share my love of  getting inky & messy with people who understand & don't think I am mad !

This ability to reach out & make friends all over the world, see & be inspired by your work - all just unthinkable science fiction a generation ago - and now a wonderful reality.

So this is for you, fellow travellers in blog-land, my hand is reached out in friendship & in the hope & trust that something wonderful may blossom between us - even on this sultry summer night !!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Summer of Colour Challenge - Pink & Charcoal Grey

I really struggled with this week's colour combo !
It was all a bit of a flashback to 1980's fashion - guys in grey suits with pale pink shirts !

But a flit around some of the other participants blogs was inspirational & I tried to banish my prejudices !

Yesterday I went to the Art Stamps England show at Newbury Race Course.

Its a nice show - not too big & the organisers oblige the stall holders all to stock different stamp brands/ranges from one another - so each stand had something different to looksat & there are no duplications !

I was in stamp heaven ! And could resist everything except temptation !!

I bought a couple of the JOFY minis which compliment my larger stamp sets - and the fuchsia & funky grass on my pink & charcoal ATC are from these stamps.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

WOYWW - May Your Soul Thrive !

Hope you are all having a good week ?

Writing this on Tuesday night it is like a November night - I can barely see the house opposite for the thick low cloud & driving rain !

The forecast is for a hot weekend to come - but I have to say it's a stretch of the imagination sitting here tonight !

On my desk this week are my lovely new JOFY stamps - from Jo Firth Young's new range from Paperartsy. Click Here for Jo's Blog

I had great fun over the weekend stamping & painting them with Distress Inks applied with a brush ..

Then into action with a frenzy of cutting out !!

I found this quote from Sir Thomas More - when I was mooching about the internet the other day - and the two sort of clicked in my brain !!
And out came this page in my journal !

 Also over the weekend I finished off a couple of pages from our visit the RHS Wisley back in May - I really liked this photo of me with my Mum & Dad in the Orchard Fields - the blossom was gorgeous !

 I was happy with how this will look in my album with the other page I made last week - I don't get to spend anywhere near as much time with my parents as I would like - so all memories of times together are very precious to me ...

 The tulips at Wisley were stunning - some plain dazzling red - one with amazing spiky petals !
And some of the colour combinations they had put together were so "lush" as they say here in Wales - and I am keen to try them for myself next spring - so hopefully this page will remind me which bulbs to buy come the Autumn !!

Happily my parents are coming to stay at the end of next week - and Mum will be here for her birthday - so I thought I ought to get on with making her card !
She loves her garden birds and takes great care of those who come into her garden to feed at the many bird feeders she has ... so I thought this Home to Nest range would make a perfect card for her .. but I really struggled !

Somehow I couldn't get the papers and the toppers to work together - or maybe its that my card is too small ?

Anyway I'm not really happy with it - I think it looks a bit clunky - any thoughts from you card makers out there ?
Here's the inside - this works a bit better ! 
And one last project - a layout of the evening I went into Paris when I was over in France on business - on this hideous rainy night it is hard to remember what a hot Summer night was like !
Have a great crafty week ! Ali x