Saturday 28 August 2010

My first Blog Award

The wonderful Steph has given me this yummy award - my very first - and as I've never done this before, I hope I'm doing it right. The rules for receiving this award are:

1. Thank the person that passed it to you - thank you so much Steph - you always boost my confidence with your lovely comments.

2. Copy award to your blog - done that.

3. List three things you love about yourself - mmm not easy! I seem to have fairly green fingers; I've been creative for almost 60 years, and I strive to be thrifty now I'm a hard up pensioner - though its hard to resist adding to my every growing crafty stash!

4. Post a picture that you love to your blog - easy to do though not so easy to choose but, at the risk of being boring, I love this photo of my Mum and Dad taken either just before or just after their marriage in 1947. Mum looks so glamorous with her long red hair and Dad so handsome. A year later I came along and then three more sisters so they weren't that carefree young couple for long!5. Pass the award onto 5 others - there are so many lovely bloggers out there that its quite hard to choose but I hope these 5 lovely ladies will not mind me passing it on to them: Anja (for beautiful photography plus inspiring sewing and crochet); Lin (a prolific creator of gorgeous cards, a glimpse of Ohio and just look at those quilted flower pins this week); Linby (for some managing to create some lovely craftiness whilst at the same time studying for her MBA - don't know how you managed it Lynn!); Baukje (beautiful needlecrafts and wonderful images of rural France); and Emma (a fellow Welsh crafter - there aren't many of us Emma and you are one of the best!).

Steph also passed on this award where I have to name 10 things I like - this will be easier! My family and friends, crafting, gardening, reading, cooking, Wales, history, photography, my one remaining cat, and the beauty of Mother Nature.

I have to say this image couldn't be further from my own image of myself! I hate high heels, never wear makeup, and hardly ever dress up! Love that little bird stamp though.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

And the winners are.......

I'm pleased to announce the winners of my little celebration giveaway - I did the random number thingy yesterday and first out of the hat was Baukje. I'm rather pleased that my winner is in France as I have a sister living and working in Nice and I think Baukje is not that far away. Do visit Baukje's blog to see some wonderful images of French life. I picked four other winners who have each chosen something they would like me to make for them. They are (in no particular order) Linby, Emma, Barbara and Lin. All such talented crafters I am very flattered to have them on my follower list. I feel quite bad that you couldn't all win something and hope I can do this again sometime so you can all have another chance.

And just for a change, here's another sky photo - but this time its not sunset, its DAWN! I woke up before 6.00 am on Saturday morning and was rewarded by this view from my bedroom window. It looks a bit odd as the outline of the hills can be seen behind the chimneypots, giving a strange silhouette.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Jars and Jars and Jars

Can I just say I absolutely love Papertrey's Friendship Jars stamp set! I've really enjoyed the projects I've made with these stamps recently, whether its been cards, tags, or the small notepads I love to make. I can't wait for the Autumn fillers I've got on order to arrive and I'm really eager to see future sets - especially any Christmas images..... I know I will have to have them! Nichole is so clever at tempting us.

Here are some of the cards I've been making. This first one is a special card for one of my sisters who has a significant birthday at the beginning of September. I've stamped the image on kraft paper I bought at Paperchase this week and die cut the jar from a laminating pouch I ran through the rollers with nothing inside - I find it cuts much easier than acetate and sticks down better with vellum adhesive strip. I've made my card long and tall to fit in with the current A Passion for Papertrey challenge.

And here are three smaller cards I've really enjoyed making - I think I'm going to have a hard job stopping myself using this set for at least the next half a dozen projects!

My fishy card reminds me of the sticklebacks we used to try to catch in the river when we were children - looking back it was a bit cruel of us, but I think we used to let them go as we didn't have anything to keep them in. Tadpoles we used to keep in the hope they would turn into frogs though, and we could never work out why they disappeared slowly until there was just one big tadpole!!! Here's my sister and I "fishing" with our nets on sticks in the river near Trawsfynydd in 1954, photographed by my Dad.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

A visit from the House Martins

I went out to water my tomato plants last Saturday evening and found the local House Martins had decided to visit. A large group were swooping around the back garden feeding on insects that must have been flying low that evening. This lovely experience must be my reward for putting up with all those aphids and midges this summer! I hope you can see the Martins in this video I took on my basic digital camera. You can hear them twittering too. My son also recorded them on an old cinecamera but I will have to wait until he gets round to transferring it to DVD to see it. I tried to photograph them but they were way too fast so it was really just a matter of pointing the camera, clicking and hoping for the best - this is the best!

This post is for my friend in Hawaii as she always leaves me lovely comments when I post about the garden and the things I've found there. Hope you enjoy it Yuki! I must google Hawaii to see what exotic flora and fauna you have there!

Saturday 14 August 2010

I'm celebrating....

Yes, I know its a bit late but last week I wanted to celebrate 60 followers and 15000 blog hits with a little give-away - just to say thank you to all you lovely people who leave such sweet comments on my posts. So I've put together a little crafty stash package of bits and pieces you might want to use in your future projects. I've included felt die cuts, hand crocheted flowers, a little ribbon and twine, some vintage buttons, pieces of old sheet music and pages from an old French children's book for you to die cut or use as backgrounds.

If you are not a crafty person and this prize does not appeal, there are four more chances to be a winner. I've been creating these items recently to raise funds at a charity shop I'm involved with one day a week. The winners can pick any one of these little gifts and I will make one especially for them - you can even choose a favourite colour! They are: a spiral bound note book or sticky note holder, knitted and stitched lavender sachet, crocheted clip to wear in your hair, hat or lapel, and a bookmark and bookplates set.

To be a winner just leave a comment (including a way to contact you if you are not a blogger) on this post by midnight GMT on Sunday 22 August. On Monday morning I will do the Random Number thingy and let the picked winners know - if there are only five of you, you will all be winners! :o) Oh, and I'm happy to post worldwide.

PS - these photos were taken at the charity shop and the "gold" watches are not included in the prize (hee, hee!)

Thought you might like.......

I really loved Tiffany Pastor's post this morning featuring a vintage image from the fabulous Digital Two for Tuesday website. It got me thinking about all the vintage images I have collected in various forms over the years and in particular the collection of old labels for soft drinks I bought recently. They were produced by a company named Duckworth's of Manchester and from the look of them hail from the 1940s/50s.

They are so graphic and colourful I really wanted to use them on projects but of course don't want to use the originals. So I scanned them and thought some of my crafty readers might like to use some of them too. Right click to open the image and then right click again to save the full size image to your computer. You can then either print them full size and cut out, manipulate them to the size you like, or cut and paste into a digital project. I have printed them out myself and they reproduce really nicely.

And while I'm at it you might also like these pretty images from a cut-out book I bought some years ago. Its called The Jolly Miller and as well as these sweet characters there is a windmill to cut out and assemble - which of course I won't ever do. It would be such a shame to cut up such a lovely publication. Here are two of my favourite characters for your delight.

I'd love to see someone create with these images so be sure to let me know if you do. However while I'm able to share these files here on my blog, as with all file sharing they are for personal use only. Please do not post or sell the original image on the web, individually or in a group or collection.

As promised I will be posting my little give-away a bit later today so please call back.

Friday 13 August 2010

Where is the sunshine!

The weekend is here and the forecast is not good! Its cold and windy and it should be warm and sunny - but there has been the odd moment to enjoy this week and during one of them I photographed my sunflowers in the garden. They look so sunny they just have to warm you up! I love the way they are growing up through the branches of a small apple tree that sprouted from the root of an old tree my Mum had chopped down some years ago. Its bears lovely cooking apples that my son enjoys oven baked, smothered in butter, brown sugar and golden syrup.The garden definitely knows autumn is on its way and as far as I'm concerned I'm looking forward to (hopefully) warm quiet days with cooler nights when I can draw the curtains, light a fire and enjoy some crafty time without feeling I should be doing something outside!
If this has depressed some of my summer-loving readers I apologise and to make up for it I'll be posting a little give-a-way tomorrow to try to make it up to you! Hope you can call back then.

Friday 6 August 2010


Well making my WMS card last night has started me on another nostalgic trip - I couldn't resist another flick through my old Honey magazines. Most of you won't remember this publication but when I was a keen fashion student in the 60's it was my favourite. I poured over it every month. My favourite bit was Capable Kate - written as a diary page with great ideas for updating and individualising our wardrobes, mostly using the dressmaking, embroidery and needlework skills we all learned at school, and in my case at college, in those days.

So here are four pages for your amusement - I'd love to know what you think of them. I remember I was so keen at this time that I made a new outfit for almost every weekend - often from furnishing fabric, lining material or even old curtains and tablecloths! Of course there were no charity shops (thrift stores) then, which would have been my idea of heaven as an impoverished student! Its hard to realise these pages are 43 years old.... where has all that time gone! Honey is hugely collectable nowadays and rather expensive on that well-known auction site. I was lucky enough to buy these issues about 10 years ago when online collecting was in its infancy - how I wish I'd kept all my original copies.

And just to finish off this wallowing in the past, here is a scrapbook page I created some time ago from a newspaper cutting about my competition win when I was that keen fashion student - dolly daydream got me exactly right.... it was all just a daydream!

I'm linking Kate's little black dress to the Vintage Black Friday thread at The French Cupboard - black & white was de rigueur in 1967!

Girl Talk

I've been collecting old women's magazines for a long time and have a few duplicates that are in very poor condition. I've had the idea of using them in projects for ages and this week's Waltzing Mouse Sketch Challenge produced an idea for this card. I've used scraps from a page of fashion tips titled "Gay London Gossip" - one of my favourite reads. I love the elegance of 1950s fashions and as money was short for most families at this time there are always ideas for updating one's wardrobe one's self at very little expense. ;o) Here are a couple of charming pages from July 1952 and April 1953. Do click on this Gossip page and read the text - it will definitely make you smile!

I'll be editing this post in the morning when I've taken a photo in daylight - as usual I'm entering the challenge in the last couple of hours which is the middle of the night here - done that now!

Thursday 5 August 2010

This and that.....

I've a confession for my Hawaiian friend Yuki..... I ordered from PTI last month! I know - I said I would never do it as the costs are horrendous - but I really really wanted the All Booked Up set to make something for a good friend who is retiring and also for my sister who will be laid up for a couple of weeks after surgery - so I crossed my fingers and listed all (well almost all) my wooden block stamps on ebay and sold the lot! I have found I just don't use them any more as acrylic are so much more versatile and easy to work with. And with these funds I was able to order what I wanted. On Tuesday the order arrived and I have to say I'm absolutely delighted with this set. My first project is a straight copy of Nichole's countdown project and I love the way its turned out.

I have to admit that with shipping costs of £18 plus another £23 import costs at this end I felt really sick to think that I could have bought another two sets of stamps with that money but just have to remind myself that I haven't really spent anything as the money went into paypal and straight out again without actually getting to my bank at all! And I got to buy the dies I'd been wanting too. Sigh..... so I'm very happy - at least until the next release!

I haven't forgotten that I promised a giveaway in my last post and I have been working on it this week but its not finished yet. I hope to post it at the weekend. I've been busy in the garden again and had my first digging of potatoes as well as pulling some onions this week. There's lots of weeding needed but I'm still spending too much time wandering around with my camera - as you can see.
And Kyffin the cat looked so pretty sitting on the porch I just had to snap him!


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