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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Winter Skating Angel...

...by Kerryanne English.

 
 
Kerryanne loves all things 'Tilda' and this is her recent creation - isn't it sweet.
 
Each year Kerryanne holds a cyber event over on her Shabby Art Boutique blog called "Simply Christmas" and she shares lots of tips and ideas for putting the heart, home & family back into Christmas. She generously provides lots of free downloads to help you with your festive organisation and d├ęcor.
 

If you haven't paid her a visit before, please do - I'm sure you will find some lovely ideas to use this festive season................................................................

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

I'm still playing...

...with the LOTV images I bought.

I did buy rather a lot LOL...so it is taking me quite a while to work my way through them.

I have loved this image for quite some time so when LOTV had one of their super sales - it was a "no brainer" that this would be amongst my selection...
...I didn't go for a traditional colour scheme on this (although I do love the samples I've seen with this little miss in Christmas red) but went for blues & pinks. I still have some papers from the "Silver Bells" range that I think will work well.

I am still woefully behind with my Christmas cards but I think I have most of my presents sorted.

So better get a move on with my card makes otherwise it will be the usual panic session taking place to get them all done.......................................

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Poppy Appeal...

...and a bit more fundraising.

After having sent 150 mini hats to "Innocent" to help support this year's AgeUK fundraising, our Craft & Chatter group decided to make a start on some Poppies.

Patterns were obtained from a variety of sources (all supporting the Appeal) and we made a start.

Here are some photos of my early efforts...


 ...but since then I've become a little more adventurous ...
...and even made a few double layered ones.

I have more photos that need to be up loaded but to be honest, it hasn't been easy getting photos of the fabulous selection that everyone has produced as most of the poppies have sold before they even got to go on display.

Last week we officially put the poppies on sale to the folk in the office and on the first day the display was left almost bare. Resulting in the poppy 'fairies' working overtime to meet demand.

So...sorry for the lack of posts lately but as you can see there has been a good reason.

We have raised £140 so far due to the generosity of the folk in our building.

With the exception of the broach pins all the yarn has come from people's stash - along with an assortment of buttons.

Isn't it amazing how valuable all those crafting scraps can be................................................


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Some more...

...LOTV cuties.

I have been meaning to get some of the LOTV calendar fairies and finally treated myself during one of their recent sales. I haven't made any cards with the images yet but I have been playing with a bit of colouring.

This little miss is so cute playing around in the fallen leaves...
 ...she was such fun to colour but don't look too closely. I decided to add a bit of sparkle after I had fussy cut the image and horror of horrors - I dropped the Spectrum sparkle pen lid and it had ink inside which splashed all over the place (including my image). Most mopped off but my little miss has rather a 'glow' around her neck & chin area...oops.

With Halloween fast approaching, this little cutie is just perfect...
...I think she is destined for a treat bag rather than a card - I kept the sparkle pens away from this one LOL.

Autumn has certainly arrived in my neck of the woods. ......................................

Thursday, 5 October 2017

But I wanted a...

...playstation.

Don't you just love the expression on this LOTV image...
...you can tell that she is not amused.

Whilst colouring this little miss I was reminded of so many Christmas gifts from my gran. She always bought clothes for everyone and they were always too big - "so we could 'grow' into them". This might have been fine for the grandkids but she also did it with the adults...socks was the traditional gift for the men and my poor Dad (who didn't have the largest feet in the world) would receive socks that were so big that you could tuck the toe under the foot and it would reach back to the heel LOL

Did you have folk that gave 'strange' presents?

I would love to know if there are others out there that had family members who had similar mind-sets - I think with my gran a lot was to do with her up-bringing and the era that she grew up in. Things had to last so it was common practice to buy things bigger than needed so that you could in deed 'grow into them'.

Still, the thought was there and the gifts were always given with love - bless you gran................

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A little bit of...

...colouring in.

A short while ago, the lovely folk at Lili of the Valley had a sale and it was too good a bargain to miss. As a result I stocked up on quite a few digi images.

I love stamps (and have quite a few **rollseyes**) but I find digis so useful as you can size them to suit what you want to make.

I was very quick off the mark getting all my new purchases printed but that was as far as it got - there never seemed to be a spare moment to sit and just colour. That was solved when I went to Carol Whalley's crop at the Toby carvery. Here are three of the images that I managed to play with...


...these Christmas ladies are beautiful (I have yet to finish the 4th one in the set).

Christmas is fast approaching - yep, they are already advertising the Christmas Movie Channel which starts the weekend after next and then goes 'full-time' from 21 October - just where has the year gone to?

Every year I say I must be more organised for the Christmas season and every year we get to this point and I start to panic. Well at least this year my 'special' Christmas cards are all done it is just the batch cards that are lacking in numbers. At the moment there are...NONE...as I can't make up my mind on a design.

Well if anything is going to get done I need to get my rear in gear and make a start. I'll let you know what I decide upon - if the broadband plays nice.....................................................

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

My "Groovi"...

...little Gingerbread house.

I have had the Groovi Gingerbread house border plate since it was launched but had only ever used the little Gingerbread men (when decorating my "Twas the Night before Christmas" book).

I decided it was about time it was put to some use so grabbed some parchment and here was the result...
 ...the tiles on the roof seemed to take for ever...
 ...but the colouring of the candy-canes was pretty quick & easy...
...nothing too fancy...
...but plenty of glitter on the roof to give a frosty effect.

The house is only tiny but will be perfect sitting on the mantelpiece at Christmas with a battery tealight inside.

You would not believe how long it has taken to complete this post - two weeks ago the pictures wouldn't load and I gave up in frustration. Broadband speeds in this area have been awful and today it has taken 3 attempts to actually get into Blogger. Let's hope things improve......................................

Thursday, 17 August 2017

I can fully understand...





...why the UK appeared so far down the Broadband speed list.


This morning I spent a frustrating hour trying to get to my emails and then check my ready list on my blog - the second task was not accomplished as I gave up waiting for the 'blue ring of death' to stop spinning.


I appreciate that with the various "works" going on down our street at the moment this could be impacting on services...we seem to have holes and road works wherever you look.


But talk about rubbing salt into an already angry wound, when I did get into my emails this morning there was one from my service provider advising me that my monthly costs will increase by £3.99 from 1 November 2017. They then tried to soften the blow by reminding me of all the 'wonderful' things I have access to.


Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods when I finally managed to set off for work..........................................................................................

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Someone...

...wanted to say "Hello".

But then got a little shy.

This is "JJ" and he belongs to one of my colleagues. He wanted to show 'Lunch Lady Jan' just how smart he looked in his doggy bandana...
 ...but then had second thoughts and got a little camera shy.
However, it wasn't long before he got over the problem...
...and was getting up close and personal with the lens LOL.

JJ has certainly fallen in love with his bandana - doesn't he look smart.....................................

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

I am a naughty...

...blogger.

The lovely Lunch Lady Jan sent me another parcel of goodies for the RNLI fundraising and although I had taken some photos I hadn't loaded them to my PC - how bad am I; sorry Jan.

There were a couple of beautiful tote/shopper bags that I can't show you as they have been nabbed by a friend for gifts but here finally are some pics of the wonderful items Jan made...
 ...hanging padded hearts...
 ...lovely drawstring bags perfect for PE gear, ballet shoes...
 ...or even just a change of shoes if going out on a walk...
 ...sunglasses cases...
 ...and tissue holders...
...such a lovely selection and aren't those Doggy Bandanas cute.

Such a generous parcel of goodies - Thank you Jan.........................................................

Monday, 24 July 2017

Something a little...

...different.

Saturday was the monthly "all day" parchment class at Pinnacle Crafts but folk who are 'parchers' would have found it a little strange this month.

There was no scribing, embossing, pricking or snipping going on. In fact, there was some straight-forward tracing and cutting followed by lots of...WATER and ink.

Yes I know, shock...horror...water; dishes of the stuff.

There were lots of traced pieces...
 ...to cut out of our parchment.
Then we soaked each piece in an ink/water bath and applied additional colour around the edges...
 ...a process that had to be carried out quickly...
 ...and then the individual pieces were left to dry whilst we toddled off for a spot of lunch.
It is surprising how quickly the parchment dries and we were soon curling and putting together layers to create...
 ...pretty parchment-paper flowers. Here are the 3 completed but waiting for the glue to dry...
 ...so that each flower could be teased and shaped as wished.
This was the final result (sorry about the glare)...
...a pretty spray that can be used as a button-hole or as a floral piece in the home.

Thank you Joanne for a lovely class............................................................................

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

150 Little hats...

...will be winging their way to join the BIG knit.

From 11 May 2017 until Friday 14 July 2017 our Craft & Chatter group have produced 150 mini hats for 'innocent smoothies' to place on their bottles this Autumn.

This was the colourful heap that I turned out onto the table...
...so that I could count what we had made.
I even managed to add a  "4th of July" hat...
 ...actually knitted on the 4th of July.
Just look at all these pretty colours...
 ...don't they look cheerful.
"Ollie" octopus managed to join the collection...
...just in time for the big send off.

This batch will be heading off later this week to add to the ones donated by folk all around the country - here's hoping that the target of 2 million hats has been reached/exceeded.

As a group we have decided to continue with these fun little knits so that we can see just how many we can have ready for next year's event.

These little hats don't take long to knit and help to use up all those little bits of yarn that we crafters can never throw away (although I admit I did buy some more yarn when some pretty colours took my eye LOL). So I'd better keep those needles handy and busy - perhaps we can manage two boxes full by next year...................................................


Monday, 10 July 2017

My Happy Place...

...in the Sun.

My lawn will never be a velvet green patch that could put a bowling green to shame. To be honest the lawn looks more like straw with a hint of green.

I don't have loads of flower beds abundant with colourful blooms. The yucca is likely to have a mass of white bell-like flowers later in the Summer but for now the only colour is the purple of a wild buddleia.

However, when Mother Nature sees fit to bless us with glorious blue skies...

 ...it seems a shame not to sit outside and make the most of the lovely weather.

Problem was, until last Friday the only seats I had in the garden were a rather uncomfortable bench and some plastic white chairs (fine for sitting at a table but not very comfortable to sit in for any length of time) which are actually a little too high for me as I'm only 5ft 4ins on a good day.

A couple of years ago I saw the perfect chair for me in a branch of The Range but the colours on offer were not to my taste. Then earlier this year I saw the same chairs in just the right shade for me - but by the time payday came around they had all gone. I was sure it was not to be but then last week they had some more in but I didn't have space in the car. It looked like I was going to miss out again.

Just on the off chance, I called into The Range on my way home from Barleylands on Friday and luck was on my side. A chair and table were soon making their way to my car in the car park but oh dear - the chair would not fit. A length of rope, and the tailgate left open  (I was determined to secure my purchase) and I headed home - at a rather gentle pace.
 
As you can see, the grass leaves a lot to be desired but I love my new seat and table....
 ...the seat is just the right height for me...
 ...and for a moulded resin chair it is wonderfully comfortable. The perfect place to sit with a cup of coffee...
 
 ...and enjoy a bit of crafting outside in the sunshine...
...in the ideal spot in the garden. The place where I've set my table & chair is in a part of the garden that gets the sun for most of the day and is quite secluded so no-one is overlooking.

My garden may not be the prettiest place in the world but I now have my own little "Happy place" where I can sit and enjoy the sunshine and while away a few happy hours.

I'm now on the look out for a sun umbrella in a matching or toning colour then everything will really be perfect..........................................................................


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Today is our weekly...

..."Craft & Chatter" at work.

We will be doing a count up of the mini hats made so far.

At last weeks gathering we had a display table of the different types of craft that folk have been doing. This was in sup[port of a "Health & Wellbeing" event that was being held in the building and there were various talks & stalls set up in different parts of the office.

There were examples of cardmaking as well as the knitting & crochet...
...with a selection of seasonal and general cards...
 ...the mini hats were very popular...
 ...and the basic knitted squares seemed to prompt a few folk to consider getting their needles out...
 ...but surprisingly, these Christmas cards with images of the Bugaboo character "JJ"...
...seemed to catch more attention and we may have a few folk join us to make a few cards.

It will be interesting to see how many 'new' folk turn up for the group today.

In the meantime, the knitting needles are still clicking away and we will have to see what our total number of mini hats has reached as we will be packaging them up next week to send off.....................

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Not all ideas...

..actually work.

Whilst others do.

I wasn't sure about the "Minion" but other folk seem to think he is fine...
 ...and the "Ghost" (free pattern found on line by a friend) worked beautifully but a colleague suggested knitting a "TARDIS" (the Dr Who telephone box). This wasn't such a success a) because I didn't have the right shade of blue b) because the TARDIS is square and the innocent smoothie bottles are round so it looks rather distorted. Ho-hum...at least it is another hat to add to the collection.

Innocent Smoothies stated they wanted to achieve 2 million mini hats this year which means they would be donating £500,000 to Age UK to boost funds that help elderly vulnerable folk deal with heating issues during the colder months of the year. Around mid-May they said they had reached approx. 1.2 million (the deadline for submitting the hats is end of July).

Our "Craft & Chatter" group at work will be well over the 100 mark by mid-July when we will be packing them up and sending them on their way.

Here are a few more that have been added to the collection...
 ...the one with the multi-coloured bobbles at the back seemed like a good idea at the time LOL - let's just say there will not be a second one knitted.
The collection box is filling up nicely...
...and the good thing is, folk are getting to use up all those odds and ends of yarn that they have hanging around the place (you all know how we crafters don't like to throw anything away).

I've now cracked the 100 mark for little hats and will be keen to see just how many my final total amounts to when we have to send them off.

Our group have said that this has been quite a bit of fun and some of them may continue in between other projects so that we get a head start for next year.....................................

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

I've knitted...

...ninety-one mini hats; so far.

The total currently stands at 94 hats, three of which have been made by colleagues (one by Heather, one by Pam and one by Kristian). Lynn has been knitting away and promises her finished items when she has attached some bobbles and Francis has been knitting little character hats that just need some googly eyes attached.

I thought I'd done about 70...
 ...and just kept adding the finished ones to the box.
These little hats are so easy to knit - perfect for an evening in front of the TV...
 ...and the basic pattern can be 'played' with to create all sorts of designs. Here are a bunch of 'bell flowers'...
 ...in a variety of different colours.
Yesterday I added a few more hats to the box and decided to tip out the contents...
 ...this was the pile and it was quite a surprise to find just how many I have knitted over the past few weeks.
I had a go at making a 'Minion' type hat...
...but it didn't come out as I wanted (a touch of leaky elbow syndrome). Still, it's another hat for the collection.

We are aiming to send our hats off by the middle of July so there should be plenty of time for me to break that 100 mark......................................................................