Tuesday, 30 September 2014

WOYWW Sunny Birthday & JOFY Good Day !

Well it was a busy & very enjoyable weekend !

On Saturday Lynda & I made an early start and headed up to Wantage to The Stamp Attic - a lovely craft shop & workshop room opposite.
Wendy the owner made us very welcome - and even got to do some crafting herself as her Much Beloved manfully manned the shop !

Jo Firth Young took us through the making of five different cards - using her lovely sketchy style stamps and different techniques with the Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints - even though I have used these paints for several years on lots of projects, I learnt lots of new things - using them to stamp with, to create chalkboard effects and making a master-board to use in other designs.

We had a really fun day, Jo was a great teacher & very generous in sharing her knowledge & creativity, and I am looking forward to playing with the new techniques at home now.

Here's the full haul from Saturday !

Sunday dawned with clear blue skies and sun-shine. Perfect for my birthday !
As we drove to our weekly swimming session a huge Dragon decorated Hot Air balloon hovered over the Towy Valley - just a perfect moment as it drifted over the stunning scenery in the still air & strange luminosity of the Autumn morning.

Later in the morning we headed down to The Mumbles for a stroll along the prom as the tide receded to its almost impossible nadir and treated ourself to a delicious lunch In Patrick's - followed by a very naughty ice-cream from Verdi's as we strolled down the pier to see the new Tamar class lifeboat in the brand new Lifeboat House they have built for it.
I have never had such a hot sunny day on my birthday in the UK - just proving what an Indian Summer we have enjoyed !

So on my desk tonight are a couple of pages for Journal 52 - one is "My Favourite Foods" - I have been looking for a use of this scrapbook paper for ages !

And the other is "Texture" - this was just me playing about with the textures of the grunge board & the mulberry paper and it made me think of how our lives run through so many textures of experience ..

And also here are some goodies I bought at The Stamp Attic - well who could resist !

I love these stencils - JOFY showed us how to work with the flower stencils and well I can never resist a seedhead - hence the teasel stamp too !  

Lynda bought me the new JOFY stamps for my birthday - looking forward to playing with these !!
Lots here to enjoy !

Hope you enjoy crafty your week too !
Ali xx


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

WOYWW - Back To Reality !

So after an amazing relaxing week's holiday in Turkey -sun-bed, delicious food, warm swimming pool, delicious food, drinks, delicious food, Kindle & books, delicious food, pool, delicious food, walking in the gardens, delicious food, blue skies & warm sunshine, delicious food, amazing electric storms, delicious food - oh and did I mention the delicious food ! - here I am somewhat heavier but very chilled out !!

And after unpacking and 11 machine loads of washing and a mass watering to try to revive the dry garden I did actually squeeze in a bit of crafting !

I am up to "T" on Lynda & my ABC ATC Challenge - I decided to do the theme of "Time" and had a happy hour reacquainting myself with some old Paperartsy stamps !
Hidden behind are some other ATC's - they are hidden for today as I have just sent a couple things off to Bella in Cape Town today and I have popped one in !

Lynda & I are very excited as we are off to The Stamp Attic for a class with JOFY on Saturday - really looking forward to it - and it's my birthday treat as it's my birthday on Sunday !

A few months ago Much Beloved decided we couldn't live without a new broadband hub - and on the box it arrived in it said "Please recycle this box" - well who could refuse an instruction like that !

So here is a work in progress using some of my JOFY stamps to get me in the mood for Saturday !

Just one slight hiccup - I put my thumb out of it's socket in that well known extreme danger sport of moving sunbeds !

Had to be my right hand too !

So I am strapped up and wincing each time I have to grip something - I can't believe how much I use my thumb for all manner of things !

 I enjoyed a new book on holiday - Jill Berry's Map Art Lab - and even had a bit of fun designing a cartoon style map of our hotel !

Have a great week !
Ali x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

WOYWW - Lest We Forget

Well it has been a hectically busy week and sadly no crafting done whatsoever !

I spent 3 days in Poland on business - what a beautiful country - oh but how flat it is !!
I was amazed - we drove for 5 hours through lush fertile countryside - all as flat as a pancake !
The houses & farms were very much in the Northern European style and reminded me of Holland or Northern Germany.

Then on Saturday drove to London & went straight to the Meatopia event being held at Tobacco Dock in London.

This is a big BBQ festival - we went for work to see all the new products but as we had our other halves with us - we had fun too !!

The venue is in a restored warehouse complex in the Docklands - a real urban renovation - and it made a great venue - open roofed so the billowing clouds of BBQ smoke could escape !

We were staying near Tower Bridge and I very much wanted to see the Remembrance Project being installed at the Tower of London so we walked up early Sunday to get a good look.

In commemoration of the Centenary of the start of the Great War in 1914 they are creating over 888,000 ceramic poppies - each one to commemorate a British life lost in the First World War.

They are installing them in batches from 4th August - when war was declared - to Remembrance Day on 11th November - and even with what they have installed so far it is an amazing sight - a sea of red poppies in the moat of the Tower.

The poppies are cascading from windows and down the walls and massed in undulating drifts the moat ...

The display boards explain what the project is all about ...

On the early Sunday morning we were there, they were preparing to "plant" a new batch of poppies, the ceramic petals are sent down from the ceramic workshops & kilns in Derbyshire.

The metal stems have the black centres added and the the ceramic petals are added to complete the full poppy.

You can see the white bags of stems & centres ready to create the poppies.

The organisers were marking out areas of the grass with red spray paint to indicate where the next drift of poppies are to be "planted".

My Great Grandfather - serving in the Royal Engineers- was killed in Belgium in 1915 - it left my Grandmother an orphan and changed the whole course of her life.

This is of course very personal to me but it struck me it was just one of nearly a million stories.

And that was just those killed - not the additional thousands maimed or emotionally drained by the horrific fighting'

Every poppy in the commemoration had just such a story, a family changed for ever, a life path skewed into a new challenging direction for those left behind.

It made seeing the poppy display very moving.

I was so glad to have seen something that is a once in a lifetime event.

Do go to see it if you can ! Or at least look on-line to see all about it !

To complete my hectic week I am off on holiday to Turkey tomorrow - so may be a bit late visiting this week !
Have a great week
Ali xx

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

WOYWW - It's Starting To Look A Lot Like ???

Well it is September (not entirely sure how that happened - a minute ago it was mid-summer !) and so even I have given in to the temptation of Christmas stash !

But still on my catch up mission for my Journal 52 too !

On my desk this week are some new Christmas crafting goodies !! To the left there are Clarity stencils - the Christmas Lights wreath is fun !

Then in the centre are some other Clarity stamps - Funky Foliage - not Christmas but you know how I love a seedhead (or two !!) but the Christmas Doves & Reindeer are well and truly Festive !

Then some Chloe stamps on the right with a couple of Poinsettia dies behind them !

 Not entirely sure what the cards will look like yet but it will have to wait a few weeks until I can have a good old mess about !
I did take the goodies down to Lynda's on Saturday and we played with texture paste and glitter ! I wasn't feeling too well with an upset tummy and Lynda was lovely looking out for me !

I did get 2 more Journal 52 pages done - the topic for this was "Inspired by A Book" - I have loved "The Secret Garden" since I was a girl.
I took the photo of this garden door at Picton Castle at Easter because it made me think of the story - and used Dylusions stamps and my new Clarity funky foliage stamps to make the page.

This challenge was "Gratitude" - I have so much in my life I give thanks for - and got to use this cute envelope from my stash too !

Just wanted to share these photos from my garden tonight - the amazingly bright & summery Rudbeckia  
 And these vivid Echinacea that always make me smile !
Well must scoot off to bed as have to be up at 4am to head for a flight to Poland for work and I'm away for a few days so apologies if I am late visiting this week !
Take care Ali x