Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Flowers and fairy - Get Well Soon

Another of my friends from choir has recently had a serious operation and is currently recuperating and unable to come back to choir.  I'd got a lovely stamp that I'd found online, coloured and filed away some time ago so thought this might be the ideal card to use it on.

Hubby bought me a super little sewing machine for Christmas as I was really keen to try stitching on my cards.  I'm embarrassed to say that this is the first time I've used it.  Anyhow, I'm pleased with how my first 'stitching' attempt has gone but I think I could still use a bit more practise.

I used pink cardstock to layer my sentiment and stamp and the mats for the stamp were made using my Xcut dies.  The paper flowers were from my stash and the stamp was coloured using Promarkers.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Thursday, 18 October 2012

House Mouse Gingerbread Xmas

When I subscribed to Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine at the end of last year my free gift was a super House Mouse pack including 2 stamp packs and a set of decoupage sheets.  As it was a little late last year to use the Christmas goodies I've been waiting till now to get them out and try them.

The stamp is Christmas Gingerbread House from Joanna Sheen and I have coloured the image using Promarkers.  I fancied making something a little different so I looked to Youtube for inspiration and found a great card layout by DaisieMae12.  The papers I've used are Papermania Mistletoe Kisses and I've used my Marianne snowflake die with a button and bakers twine to embellish the bottom corner.

I am entering this card in the following challenges:

Thanks for stopping by! x

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Special Friend card

Mom-in-law asked me to make her a card for a special friend of hers recently and here is the finished result.
I love these papers from Pink Paislee.  They're called 'Spring Jubilee' and the chipboard tag matches the collection.  I've used my Martha Stewart punch along the yellow cardstock and then embellished with pearls from my stash.  The pink 'lace' butterfly embellishment (not sure what else to call it!) along the left side was in a collection from someone's craft clear out I bought a while back on Ebay.  I've been waiting for ages for suitable project to use it on and finally the colours matched perfectly.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Friday, 12 October 2012

Edwardian Lady - Thinking of you

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine lost her Dad who's been unwell for some time.   She's not been well herself over recent years and I do think of her a lot and hope that she's doing ok.  I made her a 'Thinking of You' card rather than the normal sympathy card.

I used paper and a stamp from my Edwardian Lady collection and coloured the stamp using Promarkers.  I've layered the paper and stamp onto green cardstock and also the sentiment which I found on online.  The ribbon and lace were from my stash along with the mulberry flowers, gems and pearls.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Monday, 8 October 2012

Craft Room Door Hanger

A while ago, after seeing an idea in a magazine somewhere I asked my 'handy' brother if he would be able to  cut some blank door hangers for me.  After some debate as to what material to use we decided to try first with some thin MDF.  He cut me a few blanks, most of which have been sitting in my craft room ever since, waiting for me to find the time to do something with them! However, a couple of months ago I decided to play around with one of them and here is the result.......

What you will need:

  • Mod Podge
  • Co-ordinating Backing Paper/s
  • Ink pad
  • Ribbon
  • Flowers / Letters and embellishments

I started by covering the door hanger on both sides using paper from my stash (I think it is My Minds Eye) and Mod Podge.  To do this I laid the door hanger onto the reverse side of my chosen paper, drew around the edge then cut out. I coated the door hanger with Mod Podge and then carefully lined up the paper and smoothed down.  (I don't have a brayer but this would be helpful for smoothing).  Once the paper was dry I then trimmed around the edge with a craft knife and lightly sanded the edges.

Once I'd finished adding paper embellishments I then inked the edges of the hanger.  I coated the whole hanger with a mixture of water and Mod Podge (about half and half) to help protect the finished article.  I added ribbon along the edge where my two papers joined, added Papermania letters and decorated with mulberry flowers from my stash to finish.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Friday, 5 October 2012

Macmillan Charity Cards

Last Saturday we held a Coffee Morning at our work premises in aid of Macmillan's 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' event.  I decided to make a few 'quick' cards along with selling a few from my stash to help boost donations.  Last year, sales from my cards were extremely successful so I thought it was definitely worth trying again.

A few of my cards were made using designs and a free gift from 'Quick Cards' and they certainly proved very popular.  These ones were snapped up first!

I also made a more detailed card with a 'Flower Fairies' stamp that I'd coloured a while back.  I only wish I'd had more time to make a few more as the ones I did make went really well.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Friday, 7 September 2012

Niece's Boofle Birthday

Our lovely Niece, Charlotte was 16 on the 2nd September.  Can't believe where the time has gone (or that our own son will be following closely behind with his 16th at the end of November!).

I wasn't sure what design to go with for a 16 year old but I hoped that I wouldn't be wrong in choosing Boofle.  I bought some lovely Boofle goodies a while back when we visited Crafters Cove in Llangollen.

I purchased a super decoupage pack but decided on the printed sheets that you cut out rather than the die-cut sheets.  The backing papers are all from the Boofle range too apart from the Kraft card.  Flowers and buttons were from my stash the red dotted flower was created using my Marianne die.  A small Dovecraft doily under the sentiment finishes everything off.  I was really quite please with this one :).

Thanks for stopping by! x

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A 'first' at 36

For a while now, 'A' has been driving me mad to go horse riding.  I have to say this is something I've wanted to do myself for as long as I can remember but I did wonder if at the age of 36 I was a little too old to be potentially 'falling off' a horse.  After a little discussion I finally decided to do a bit of searching online to see if I could find a suitable place for us to experience our first pony ride.  I came across a site called horsetreks.co.uk part of livetheadventure and after a few emails back and forth we booked a 45 minute hack.

The Ginny Hole centre was located in Stottesdon which was nearly an hours drive from home.  Far too much time, I have to say, to weigh up the pros and cons of why I'd finally decided to do this.  'A' was seriously looking forward to it though so I figured it was now or never.  When we arrived the staff that greeted us were so friendly they immediately put us at ease.  We discovered that I would be riding 'Apache' and 'A' would be on 'Thunder'.  We laughed when we heard the name of 'A's horse as I had mental pictures of a huge black stallion, rearing up and neighing!  It turned out that both Apache and Thunder were very lovely black and white cob horses that were extremely well behaved and calm and nothing like the the image their names conjured up.

As it turned it, 'A' and I were the only riders on this particular hack and as we'd never so much as sat on a horse before they decided it would be a good idea for us to each have our own member of staff to accompany us on the ride.  This was great as it filled us with a lot more confidence.  We were given directions on how to 'steer' the horse and get him to move and then off we went for our 45 minute walk.

We were told that the horses are extremely clever and that usually within 5 to 10 minutes they have a notion of what type of rider is 'onboard' and if they feel it's a novice then they decide to 'try it on'!  Apache tried this a couple of times by eating the hedge as we walked along and then doing some serious head shaking.  I never realised that it could be quite so difficult to control a horse.  You watch others doing it and it looks so simple, but even managing to keep your balance at such a height can be tricky if the horse decides to have a wobbly moment.  We did attempt a little trot on the way back up the lane which was fun but blimey was it knackering and we only did it for a couple of minutes!

I'm very pleased to say that neither of us fell off and both returned with our limbs all intact.  After seeing how high you are on the horse's back falling off would definitely be the last thing I'd aim to do.  We both had a fabulous time at Country Treks.  I can't see myself competing in the 2016 games but it's really something I'd like to try again at some point and 'A' has said the same.  Horses are such beautiful and intelligent creatures, it was a real honour to be so close to them even if it has taken me 36 years to get around to it.

'A' and I with 'Thunder'

Monday, 13 August 2012

Lazy days of Summer

After returning from holiday to 'not so great' British weather imagine our joy when the forecast was for the temperature to reach the dizzy heights of 24c!  Woo hoo!  As we still had a few free days from work we decided to make the most of the dry spell and headed off to Bidford-on-avon for a picnic and afternoon by the river.

A walk along the Avon

Arnold having a lazy afternoon


Arnold gets his own ice-cream

We arrived around lunchtime and tootled off for a stroll along the river to let Arnold stretch his little Border legs.  We ate lunch and then spent a lovely, lazy afternoon playing games, reading and doing the crossword.  And what trip to Bidford would be complete without a trip to the chip shop for tea.  By the time we left for home it was around 8.30pm which meant we were treated to the most beautiful sunset throughout our journey.

The following night, although cloudy, we enjoyed a smashing barbecue in the garden followed by an evening around the chiminea.  Many, many games of pictionary and uno followed then lo and behold the cloud shifted and we were left with an evening of star gazing.

'A' & 'P' enjoying a night in the garden

Saturday saw us taking a drive out to Mom and Dad's caravan as they'd decided on a short break near Enville.  Another leisurely afternoon ensued with an attempt at our 2nd barbecue of the week.  Unfortunately the wind had other ideas leaving us to use the small caravan oven to cook for 7!

I've only just realised that I've not yet told you of my new addition, so now seemed a perfect opportunity.  Her name is Glinda (as in 'Wicked'/'The Wizard of Oz') and she's a beautiful Ice Blue Mini Convertible.  She arrived just before our holiday so I'd not had much chance to test drive her.  However, Saturday's sunny trip to Enville was a superb opportunity even if it did mean we had to take two cars to enable us to transport all of our junk!  It was worth it though, nothing more exhilarating than powering down the country lanes with the wind in your hair.


Monday, 6 August 2012

A blissful break in the Balearics

A couple of weeks ago we headed off on our Summer hols to sunny Majorca.  This was our 5th year in beautiful Puerto Pollensa and as ever it didn't disappoint. You'd think we'd be bored with the Balearics by now but there's just something about the laid back lifestyle, the beautiful weather and glorious sandy beaches and scenery that keeps us returning year after year.  This year we took Mom-in-law and among her first comments were 'I can see why you come back every year'.

Puerto Pollensa, Majorca

Peaceful times on the Pine Walk

Having five on the Pine Walk

As ever, our holiday journey was anything but ordinary.  We set off from Birmingham at 6.20am and by 8am were making an emergency landing at Limoges Airport in France after a pressurisation problem with the plane.  We were informed later in the day that the Captains sudden and rather terrifying announcement of "May day, may day, emergency descent" to the entire cabin was actually intended for the surrounding air traffic rather than our panic stricken souls.  Not much of a consolation after having your pants scared off!  By the by, we landed safely but then had a rather long delay whilst awaiting another plane to safely transfer us onward to Palma.  I did vow never to fly again after our little incident but funnily enough, 12 sunny days later the whole experience didn't seem quite so bad :). However, I think it may be my last booking with Monarch!

Most of our holiday was spent lazing on the beautiful golden beach at Puerto Pollensa and swimming in the clear blue Mediterranean sea.  With the baking temperatures the beach was most definitely the best place to be as there was a constant cooling breeze.  We did do a couple of sight seeing trips during our stay, more than anything to show Mom-in-law the lovely Majorcan way of life.  We visited Arta and climbed the steps to the church of Sant Salvador and then took a stroll around the town visiting the convent on the way.  After Arta we headed on to Portocristo a little further down the coast.  Portocristo is such a scenic little resort with many yachts and boats lining the harbour and a charming beach and town.  We stopped for a ice-cream break on a bench over looking the beach and MiL commented on how it looked like a picture postcard.

Church of Sant Salvador, Arta

View of Arta

Steps from the Church of Sant Salvador, Arta

Harbour at Portocristo

'S' at Portocristo

Sunday was market day in Alcudia and Pollensa Old Town so we headed out early morning to miss the worst of the heat.  As normal the markets were bustling and alive with the Mallorcan vibe.  At Pollensa we scaled the 365 Calvari Steps to the little church although the heat was a little overpowering at times.  The view from the top over Pollensa Old Town and out towards Puerto Pollensa is glorious and well worth the climb.  Right near the top a local was playing lovely Spanish music on his guitar as we walked by.

'P' and 'S' at the market in Pollensa

Market in Pollensa Old Town

Guitarist at the top of the Calvari Steps

Calvari Steps, Pollensa

During our stay we spent many an evening at our favourite local venue, Palms Bar.  They remembered us from previous years and gave us a lovely warm welcome each evening when we visited.  We saw some fabulous entertainment while we were there including a Rod Stewart tribute, Michael Buble tribute and Abba Angels.  Rod Stewart (also known as Vinnie Scott) has a fantastic act and we were keen to see him again this year after being so entertained in 2010.  This year they had a new act, Michael Buble, who although was a little lacking in confidence and looked absolutely nothing liked the man himself, was an amazing sound alike and sang his songs with great flair.

'P', 'S' and 'A' at Palms Bar

Rod Stewart Tribute at Palms Bar

We had our regular visit in the town square to Jose at Bony's bar.  Again, it was lovely to see he remembered us and that he's still as colourful as ever.  We had a lovely take-away this year too from the Dragon Oriente.  Customer service was brill and the food was lovely.  In fact MiL liked the duck so much that it became a holiday phrase :).  In fact we ended up with many silly holiday phrases as we do on most holidays.  Such as "Hola, mi llamo A...", "Do you want to play Uno?", "That duck was just lovely" and probably most used of all "the RELAY!!" which was a send up of a rather enthusiastic British swimmer we'd seen being interviewed during the Olympics.  Absolutely riveting stuff I'm sure you'll agree ;-), but they all meant something to us lol.  Does everyone have 'holiday phrases' or is it just us?

'P', 'A' and me at Bony's

'S' and Mom-in-law at Bony's

For the first time ever after visiting Majorca I was actually happy to return home.  I'm never one to be homesick but I think a mixture of the hotter than normal weather and the fact I missed our lovely pooch was all the incentive I needed to get me on the plane home.  Not to say I didn't have a wonderful holiday as I really did and now feel thoroughly refreshed  .  'P', 'S' and 'A' would have been quite happy to stay even longer I'm sure, and 'P' has already said that our next trip definitely needs to be longer.  Arnold didn't seem too disgruntled at being deposited in kennels and judging by the fact he looks a little slimmer I think he perhaps had more exercise than he does at home!

Friday, 13 July 2012

May Day in Cowdale

Although it's been a while now, we spent May Day Bank Holiday weekend in a lovely little cottage in Cowdale, in the Peak District.  We found the cottage through Sykes Cottages but it really was a super 'find'.  'The Loft' was the top floor of a converted farm building in the grounds of Cowdale Hall which is home to the Morten family.  We were made to feel very welcome when we arrived and the cottage had been prepared with tea, coffee, milk and biscuits and all the lights and fire switched on to make us immediately feel comfortable and at home.

Double bedroom at The Loft

Twin bedroom at The Loft

The cottage had two bedrooms (a twin and a double) and was decorated in light neutral colours.  The lovely L-shaped sofa and footstool has to be about the most comfortable thing I've ever sat on and was wonderful to chill out on after walking the Derbyshire dales.  The kitchen was well equipped with everything we could possibly need and although it was May the weather was particularly cold, but this we didn't notice inside the cottage as the mini heaters and electric stove more than kept us warm.

Lovely comfy sofa at The Loft

Onsite there is also a small caravan area (5 van site) and there are also stable facilities where locals keep their horses.  At night we enjoyed the short 20 - 30 minute walk around the outskirts of the farm, talking to the horses and just being one with nature.  On a couple of occasions we stood and watched the rabbits hopping across the fields.  You only have to cross the road from Cowdale Hall to also reach one of the many local public footpaths.  We ventured a short distance on this walk but the weather wasn't great and being a little ill, we returned to the comfort of the cottage.

Horses at Cowdale Hall

Circular walk around the farm

Midshires Way - nr Cowdale

Midshires Way, nr Cowdale

Midshires Way, nr Cowdale

On Sunday we headed of to Buxton Country Park and then later along the Monsal Trail.  Can you believe that it even began to snow while we were at Buxton, but hey, that's British weather for you!  However, by the afternoon the sun came out and it warmed up a little.  The Monsal Trail runs from Buxton to Bakewell and is popular with walkers and cyclists.  We entered the trail at King Sterndale and walked a fair way, taking in the scenery, stopping for photographs and walking through many of the long tunnels that line the route.  We even stopped to watch some rather brave souls who were abseiling off the bridge at Millers Dale.

Me and 'S' at Buxton Country Park

The Monsal Trail

King Sterndale Cottages along The Monsal Trail

One of the tunnels along the Monsal Trail

Arnold having a dip in the river along the Monsal Trail

Monday we'd planned to stop off at Bakewell before heading home but as we got closer the traffic was so horrendous we decided to give it a miss.  Our next port of call was to be Dovedale.  We made a slight detour to our usual journey home but it was certainly worth it.  Despite the fact that the rain at some points was torrential, we zipped up our waterproofs and headed off to find the 'Stepping Stones'.  Even on a day like this the area was still very busy and I'd love to return maybe on a week day to see it a little quieter.  However, it didn't detract though from the beautiful surroundings.

Stepping Stones at Dovedale


We decided to make our way across the Stepping Stones which all seemed fine in theory until we realised that 'P' had absolutely no chance of walking Arnold across them!  The kids and myself precariously made our way across the rather wet and slippery stones and waited on the other side while 'P' struggled across carrying Arnold in a rather ungraceful fashion.  We later watched another potential stone walker give up on the idea after his German Shepherd refused to budge and I'm thinking the carrying idea was not exactly feasible :).

'P' and Arnold at Dovedale

We walked some way following the river and then eventually decided to do a u-turn and head back as we thought that the route we were on would take too long to come full circle and we needed to get home.  We decided to give the stones a miss on the way back and headed straight for the bridge.  On the last stretch we were dive bombed by swallows, obviously flying low looking for insects after the heavy rain.

All in all another very relaxing weekend that we all enjoyed.  Cowdale was just so quiet and away from it all we can't wait to return.