Saturday, 12 July 2014

Catching up and winding down!

One more week left at work before the Summer Holidays, it's been a long and tiring term.My health has not been great and Chris has been working and travelling more putting more pressure on us all as a family. We are ALL ready to start winding down a bit.

After playing catch up on most of my housework yesterday, I have had a lazy day today. I have pottered around the garden and Chris has tried tidying up a few plant in one of the borders. (The contorted Hazel has gone mad!) We are gradually treating ourselves to a few new plants to try to introduce more colour into the garden.

The pots on the patio are looking quite colourful, I love our new lilies!

and the sunflowers make me smile every morning as I open the kitchen blinds, 
they are sunny whatever the weather!

Our old hydrangea is doing well, absolutely full of buds and flower but the blooms are not as large as usual. Not sure what I am doing wrong but love the colour. We have just got another pink one which is sitting in a pot on the patio and a lovely cream one waiting to be put into the borders.

Now this is a plant I need to investigate. We remember planting something there years ago but it has never flowered until this year. Until it flowered I thought it was a hollyhock but now I don't know what it is! LOL

We still have a few areas of the garden which need attention. The top corner by our little shed  has never been finished and we are looking at getting a slightly bigger shed before we can finish planting up the border. We also have a small area on the patio where the BBQ sits and the are is used as a bit of a dumping ground. Long term I would love a little arbour seat there, perhaps with a nice climber rambling over it and a nice cushion, and some pretty little lights...and...and...and....

My heart wants the arbour seat to come first but my head tells me it makes more sense to get the shed sorted first!

Hey ho!


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Good Luck Card

Despite a very long and hectic day yesterday I did challenge myself into making 2 cards. I cheated and made them both the same as time was against me! Not sure the colours are quite to my liking but quite pleased with the overall effect. All I need to do now is to personalise them both.

Sorry for the dodgy pics, I took the photographs out in my conservatory but the lighting is very hit and miss. Perhaps it's time for a new camera, after all, as much as I love it, it is now over 8 years old.(Time to drop a few hints!LOL)

My card/s meet the criteria over at;
Totally Gorjuss - Flower Power
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper - June
Craftitude - Flowers and/or Lace
Sisters of Craft - Anything Goes
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes

Right, waffle over, best get busy. Got Osteopath this morning!

Bye for now.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Catch up blogging! Little Book of Love.

It's been manic this last week or so. Parent's Evening for Jack, reports at work, Sports Day for Amelia, Children in Need Respite meeting today, the list goes on and on. It hasn't helped matters that Chris is working all over the place, in fact he set off at 5am this morning for Cheltenham, on to Liverpool at 1.30pm, last heard of around Birmingham and homeward bound back to Kent! 
We are all fighting flu and absolutely shattered, roll on the Summer Hols!

Thought I'd spend a few moments to catch up and share the last few pages of the little book I made for Hubby's Birthday. I will happily admit, I didn't really finish it, I could have made loads more pages but just didn't have the time.

I know the little verse is a bit corny but I had so much fun making this book and all the little tags, which I colour coded; Amelia had little blue tags, Jack green and I had red. We all hand wrote our own ideas of why we love him so much.

Hubby loved it, so I suppose I should be pleased with the outcome!

My pages meet the criteria over at;
Crafty Girls- Anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper - June

Bye for now.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Book for my man, another page complete!

The process is sloooooow but day by day I am starting to feel a bit more human. I will be so glad to see the back of this rotten flu bug! Earlier in the week I managed to get another page of my little book complete, and today I have almost done a double page spread. Just as well it's starting to come together as it needs to be finished for Friday!!!

Kept it quite quick and simple; used one of my new embossing folders then inked the paper and high-lighted a few details with metallic rub-on. Unfortunately my pics don't really pic that up! The little car embellishment was cut from chip board and heat embossed with a nice black glossy finish with a little bit of metallic sparkle for good measure!

Can't wait to get this all put together, I absolutely ADORE making things for the ones I love.

This page meets the criteria over at;
2 Sisters - Make your own!
Rhedd and Rosie - Anything Goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper - June

Bye for now.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Ooops, I did it again!

Tee hee hee! This is the second part of my crafty delivery which arrived this week! I have taken them all out of their wrappers, tried most of them out, then stored them safely on my shelves. I cannot resist a bargain and, after all, I need to play a bit of catch up! Think of the last few years overall, I have hardly spent anything on crafting! (That's my excuse and I am sticking to it!)

I thought this weekend would be spent mainly in the garden but instead of sunshine today we have cloud, came out of the dentist with Jack an Amelia and was surprised that it was raining. It hadn't been forecast at all and it wasn't enough to put anything in our empty rain butts and now it's trying to brighten up.

I have most of the day to myself now, perhaps I could even fit in some craft time!


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Gift Book for my man, page 2!

It's been an awful week, full of colds, restless nights and loads of sessions at work. I feel shattered and cannot wait for the weekend.

Today, in between a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, I did manage a short time in my craft room to, very quickly, play with some of my new crafty stash!

Only page 1 and 2 lots to do before it's done and time is once again against me!

This meets the criteria over at;

Totally Gorjuss - Embossing
Aud sentiment - For a Guy
Papertake weekly - For the boys

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Knit 1, purl 1.....out in the sun!

It been a lovely day here in Kent. Chris and Jack cut the grass, then Chris planted out a few new shrubs and plants. I tried to get my housework done early so we could spend some time in the garden. I do struggle to just sit so I decided to make a start on a little baby cardigan for stock, using the most gorgeous blue baby merino wool. It knits beautifully, so soft.

The day was finished off with some chicken and pork salad, garlic bread and a large jug of Pimms! Feeling very chilled now and have promised myself a manicure and a pedicure tonight too....very self indulgent!!!


Saturday, 7 June 2014

Changes ahead and New crafty stash alert!

It's been a really funny week. Amelia is still not right, her cough has caused many sleepless nights and now it seems I have got a cold too. Chris has unofficially started his new role at work and the 4am wake up call on Wednesday had a knock on effect on my body clock for the rest of the week! 

With all the changes ahead of us and taking my back and health issues into consideration, I have had a little chat with my Manager at the Pre-school and asked if there was a possibility of cutting my hours in September. If not, I will be packing up work completely!!!! EEK!!! Either way I NEED more time, energy and motivation to dedicate to my family, our house and our home lives. 

It feels selfish, it feels wrong but I need something to give and I don't want "that something" to be the type of mum or wife I am to my loving family. 

My life is upside down at the moment, so in times of uncertainty BUY STASH!

Here is the first batch of my new goodies! (Does a happy dance)

I hope that whatever my "new life" entails, I will definitely be able to have more time to get creative, get organised and plan ahead rather than the attitude I have had to resort to over the last few years.

Only time will tell!


Thursday, 5 June 2014

A little book card for my man! Cover page!

Two weeks ago I started making some embellishments for a little book for my darling husband. They have sat on my desk ever since and I have had little time to do anything. (I am afraid it's report writing time at work but I am up to date now...for the moment!)
Now yesterday my (ahem) first parcel of goodies arrived and as today was my day off, I made it a priority to get up into my craft room and try some out.

This month I set a challenge over at Crafts by Carolyn and I called it Patterned Paper + 
My idea was to take a piece of patterned paper and add to it; emboss on it, ink it, doodle on it, sew on it, mask it.........make it unique, make it your own.

Here is the paper I started out with.


 I inked the edges, embossed swirls of opaque white, spritzed it with glimmer mists, made a mask with my new harlequin die and attacked it with more ink....and last of all sewed around the edges!

Not sure I am 100% happy with the finished effect but it was fun.

My cover page meets the criteria over at;
Rhedd and Rosie - Vintage
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper - June
Totally Gorjuss - Stitching
Sweet Stampin' - Father's Day/ for a boy/man

That's all for now, luckily I did also have time to make a few more embellishment for the next few pages so hopefully I have a bit of a head start! 

Bye for now.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

First Camping trip with Guides!

Well, yesterday we collected Amelia from her first ever real, stay away from home, a Guide camp. Apart from staying over with Nanny and Grandad, and the one night sleepover she did in the school hall with Guides before Christmas, this is was a first experience for us all.

I have been walking around feeling like my arm has been cut off, just feeling a bit lost and unable to settle with anything. Not consciously worried about her, but obviously thinking of her at certain times, like when the heavens opened, again and again. I wondered if it was more of a sailing trip than camping!

Amelia slept well last night, in fact she slept in until 9am this morning, absolutely unheard of!!!! Shame I was awake with Chris for yet another 5am start!

Anyway, this afternoon I was sat in the conservatory having a cuppa with my mum and we were laughing at the antics of a wood pigeon, strutting up and down on the playhouse roof then precariously balancing on the bird feeder stuffing its beak! Amelia watched with us for a while before she nodded off to sleep all twisted around the sofa with her glasses balancing off her tiny little nose!

I eased her around and she is still curled up on one end of the sofa with the cat curled up the other end! I do hope it's just lack of sleep catching up on her and not that she is coming down with a lurgie! 

Obviously Guide Camp was good, despite the appalling weather.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

More crafting for men.....

....Well, THE man in my life I think I may have actually found my long lost crafty mojo. Shame really as I have had to work this afternoon and I am working again all day tomorrow! I'll probably have lost it again by the next time I get some do some crafting. LOL

This morning I didn't actually make anything, but I did start compiling a few papers and embellies ready for my next little project. I had great fun, playing with some inks and embossing powers. I am also loving some of my newly organised stash storage. I MUST be strict with myself and tidy up as I go along. The only problem with actually crafting again is that I am never going to finish organising my craft room.

When organising my room I cam across a few little chipboard wings. I had already painted some of them so this morning I decided to attack a pair with a music sheet stamp and some sparkly embossing powder. Then finished off with some inked edges.

I cut myself a chipboard heart using the Sizzix Primitive hearts die, and then applied several coats of rich red embossing powder. 

Just as I was leaving for work Mr Postie arrived with a few new crafty goodies for me, including some white embossing powder. SO, as soon as I got home  I tried it out and embossed a few white flourishes on the backing paper. 

Last job of the day was to make a quick start on some of the wording I want to use.....but then hubby arrived home earlier than expected.....well, he did leave at 5am this morning!

Cannot wait to get back into my craft room to play some more!

Bye for now.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mish mash Father's Day card.

Got a hectic week at work this week so, as today was my day off, I ignored the housework and paperwork and hibernated in my craft room for a few hours. I shuffled around some more of my unmounted stamps then I set down to "actually craft!"

The next cards I needed in my diary were Father's Day Cards , I have 3 to make and this afternoon I made two of them. How organised am I? LOL, makes a change from the attitude I usually adopt.

A total mish mash of stamps and styles but hopefully they all work together. I did enjoy working with these colours, once again I used a snippet of recycled ribbon of of some packaging.

My card meets the criteria over at;

Crafts by Carolyn - Time to Create, something for a man.
ABC Challenge - L is for lots of layers
Rhedd and Rosie - No flowers/nothing floral
Open Minded crafting - Use some ribbon
CraftyHazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - May
Crafting at the weekend - #1 Anything Goes

It's been a long time since I have really crafted so today was a real treat and some much needed me time.

Bye for now.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Vintage Card for a Man!!!

Please don't fall off your chairs, BUT.....(drum roll please) I have actually made a card today!

A colleague asked me to sway sessions with her so I had an unexpected day to myself. I was a good girl, did a bit of housework first, then sat down to do some work records. I had a light lunch and spent some more time organising and re-shuffling "stuff" in my craft room then I set to work.

I really cannot remember the last time I made a card, it must have been months ago!

I have recently treated myself to a few new stamps, some from Lili of the Valley, which I was eager to try out. I had already stamped out several image so I thought they were a good place to start my creative journey again!

Yesterday I organised all my ink pads and embossing powders and seeing as they were so accessible I thought I'd dabble with a little bit of heat embossing. I have never really done much, or been that successful but I have a few new embossing powders on my crafty wishlist so I had to justify them. It does help add dimension and texture too.
I would have loved to have got my sewing machine out and sewn around the edges of this card but I just ran out of time.

The background stamp and tags are from Lili of the Valley, the little frame and sentiment are from a very old set, possible Anna Griffin...and the dragonfly is from the recent freebie IndigoBlu set.

I recycled the ribbons, the striped ribbon was some packaging from Next, the textured crinkly red ribbon probably needs no clues, especially if you are partial to a bit of chocolate.

My card meet the criteria at;
Crafts by Carolyn - Something for a man
Open Minded Crafting - Use some ribbon
Rhedd and Rosie - It's all about texture
Totally Gorjuss - Don't be square

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Coconut bird feeders!

Now almost a year ago, at a Summer Fair, we won 3 coconuts! They have been sitting in our garage waiting for us to "do something with" since then.

Chris drilled a circle out of the front of the coconut shell and we cleaned the shell out. Next he drilled a few holes out of the top for hanging and a few small at the bottom for drainage. I used twine doubled up for hanging but not sure how long this will last, then I threaded the cut out circle through the hanging twine to form a little "roof!"

Amelia loved helping out and we mixed together some suet and a mixture of bird seed then spooned and pressed it firmly into the shell.

When we moved into this house 16 years ago the garden was beautiful, a country cottage garden, crammed with flowers and shrubs, no lawn, just stepping stones and rockeries around an old oak tree stump. Beautiful but not easy to maintain or child friendly. So over the years with all the changes we have made the birds have visited us less and less. When we fill the bird feeders all it seemed to attract was collared doves or wood pigeons.

We now have all 3 coconut shells out in the garden and I am delighted that the little blue tits are already putting them to good use. 

Little things please little minds! 


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Craft Room progress....or not?

Spent some time over the weekend sorting out my craft room again. We took down a shelf underneath my long workbench and relocated a big A4 storage unit that had, until recently been taking up far too much space alongside my small worktop.  As if that didn't cause enough chaos, somehow it led to us gutting out the deep cupboard over the stairs! Several bags of  outgrown uniform later I clambered into the cupboard to give it a few coats of white pint to freshen and brighten it up. I then eagerly relocated yet another large storage unit that had been making the room feel very claustrophobic. By doing these crazy tasks I had wrecked ll the good work I had done previously.

Like every aspect of my little room, the inside my cupboard still needs an awful lot of de-cluttering and organisation, but considering it was one of those cupboards that jumped out at you when you opened the door, I am very happy. 

ESPECIALLY happy that I have now claimed it as a new crafty zone!

I was lucky enough to win a new chair on Ebay, it's just screaming out for a new hand made cushion, and luckily enough I found 2 cushion pads in the depths of the cupboard!

PLEASE NOTE- I HAVE A FLOOR! Something I have not seen in here for ages!

In finding the floor, my desk ended up like this again! 

I did sit down with Amelia and while she re-painted her birdhouse, I decoupaged a few old A5 storage boxes. One more to go then I need to re-shuffle the card and paper, decorate and label them. 

I moved our new printer and dusted off the PC, I hadn't used it for ages as I just didn't want to even go into my room, it was so cluttered and depressing. 

BUT in tidying the PC end of my long worktop, this is what happened at the other end! LOL 

Hmmm, Progress or not?????


Saturday, 19 April 2014

A day in the garden ......

.....but seem to have achieved very little. A bit of weeding and tidying, planted out some tubs and baskets, had a visitor who sat on the roof and gave us a little display.

I have some unidentified plants, so I am not sure exactly where to plant them out.
I THINK this may be an astilbe???


This one, perhaps a peony????

Haven't a clue but hope it's a hardy fushia????

I attacked the funny old pom, pom box tree and tried to form it's shape. We have had this box for years and saw the idea on TV years ago. It still has a long way to go before it looks like the one on TV but in the following picture, taken in 2011, you can see how it was when we rescued it from it's root bound pot.

The box tree, yes, that twig in the corner!

We made a start on cleaning up the old Belfast sink that Chris rescued from one of his work sites. Hmm, now what shall I put in it??

I cannot believe the Easter Holidays are almost over, still so much we would have liked to do. Never mind, they will have to wait for another day!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Back home with a bump!

Got back from our hols on Friday feeling well rested but certainly not ready to end our little break! 
Could have stayed a lot longer!

Saturday saw me rushing around like a lunatic, organised as ever. Amelia had a party to go to and no fancy dress costume to wear. I rummaged around our wardrobes, found an outgrown shirt of Jack's, I stole a red silk handkerchief from Chris's Bow Tie set and sent Chris off down to Argos to pick up a cowboy hat! A few plaits and VOILA! One very happy little lady!

On Sunday we decided to strip out the play house and start claiming it back. The multi-coloured walls are long overdue for a change after all it was almost 4 years ago we painted it last! HERE 

Progress is slow as it's going to need at least 3 coats. I lost motivation and drive half way through and really need to refocus. I am struggling with what I want it to look like VERSES what needs to be stored in there. It was so frustrating, running out of time and having to load the play house up again with baskets of garden toys and general clutter, but it was either that or leave it all over the garden! 

I have however started revamping the old dartboard.

and also a little table.

 Not sure what to do with myself really, got so much to do I don't know which way to turn first. I'd better make some decisions and fast, or else I'll be back to work again! In need of a push in the right direction!