Thursday 31 May 2012

May Memorised

Another month has gone by and I've put together my memories of May.  I've been using Carina Gardner's Design a Year digital kit templates for this project but changing the backgrounds to something more to my taste.  This month I've discovered some beautiful digit kits by Anna Aspnes at Oscraps.  Most of the elements I've used here are from Artplay Palette Jardinier

It seems the lovely weather we've been enjoying has changed and its clouded over this morning.  Sharp showers are forecast down south and I would like a couple of downpours for my garden too - hopefully the rain will arrive here tonight.  Last Sunday however we were still enjoying the heat wave.  We went up on the moors to cool down and sat in the heather for a while listening to the skylarks.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

More Felties

I made some more felt brooches this week - these are on their way to Aimee and her girls.  Aimee is one of the kindest people I have come across and she granted me a great favour a few weeks ago.  These are a very small thankyou.  I hope they like them.

I was rather pleased with how the ice cream cone turned out.  Its the first time I tried this design.  The die comes from Papertrey Ink.  A bit of embroidery makes all the difference here I think and French Knots are just the right size for sprinkles.  I like to package my brooches on button cards as I feel this makes them a bit more presentable as gifts - and I have to admit I LOVE making them!

Cutting dies have rather taken the papercrafting community by storm over the last couple of years and I've become quite addicted to them myself.  They will cut paper, card, felt and fabric easily, which makes them very versatile too.  I do have one tip though.  If you want to cut fabric with small dies you will get a much better shape if fusible interfacing is added before cutting. It also stops the fabric fraying and I find even tiny die cut shapes stay defined.

I buy my felt from Myriad Toys - its 100% wool and some of it is organic and plant dyed too.  Its absolutely lovely to work with.  In the past I've been lucky enough to nab their off-cuts bundles but these have not been available recently.  However the Seasonal Sample packs are perfect for my small projects and very reasonably priced too.

Supplies: Papertrey Ink dies - Sweet as Can Be, Tea for Two, Beautiful Butterflies, Heart Prints; Button Boutique stamp set and dies; Bitty Backgrounds stamp set and dies

Saturday 26 May 2012

Time for a Walk

Another of my favourite bloggers, Susan Branch, is on a visit to the UK at the moment and she is sharing her experiences with all her 'girlfriends' (her name for her followers).  Its fascinating seeing our country through her American eyes - she delights in the smallest differences between our lives and is in love with the British countryside.  She took us girlfriends on a country walk the other day.  It was such fun and in homage thought I would blog my walk by the river on Wednesday. I hope you want to come along - there are lots of photos!
Its hot and the sheep haven't been sheared yet but they find shade by the hedges to rest and keep cool.
There are buttercups and daisies everywhere in the grass - I must make a daisy chain soon.
I just have to have a paddle in the river to cool my feet - the water is lovely.  Crocs are just the best thing when you decide take an impromptu dip.
There is a weir and fish pass on this bit of river but there are containers parked on the other bank so its not very pretty.
But the wild flowers don't mind the view and there are lots of species growing here - Red and White Campion, Cow Parsley, Speedwell, Wild Garlic, Milkmaids, Coltsfoot, Forget-me-nots, Herb Robert - to name just a few!
And Hawthorn is everywhere dressing the field boundaries in white lace.
Here's a nice shady bit - there are shoals of little fish in the river and water boatmen scooting about on the surface.
Its time to turn back and these chaps want to accompany me but as always they are nervous..... all except one.......
Hmmm..... this is a stranger but I think she is friendly! 
The Mallards took no notice of me at all and carried on dabbling and preening.  I was slightly worried that I hadn't seen dippers at the usual spot by the road bridge but while I was snapping the ducks one swooped past. I managed a couple of photos from a distance.
I got a nice video too and (duh!) have just realised how to upload it via Youtube - my very first Youtube contribution! 
No time to dawdle now - I have to get home to make lunch.  But the weather seems settled at the moment so there will be another day.
I hope you enjoyed my walk - I did.  It really seems like summer has arrived at last.  Let's hope its a good one.

Friday 25 May 2012

Papertrey May Blog Hop Challenge

We have an advantage here in the UK when Papertrey Ink hold its monthly blog hop - we are 5 hours ahead in the day so there is plenty of time to get ready to join in.  This month's inspiration photo from Stone Gable is so pretty too. I'm looking forward to having a good look around Stone Gable later on.

I'm still on my back to basics kick with this card - although there is one extra layer as I wanted to echo the darker background in the photo.

The little hydrangea in the photo is, I think, one I have in my garden.  Its a plant I remember from our garden when I was small - I recognised those little pompom flowers as soon as I saw them at our local garden centre. Its at its best right now and has more flowers than ever this year.  I wish I could remember it's name.

Supplies: PTI stamps - Mehndi Medallion, Beautiful Butterflies, Think Big Favourites #2, Boxes Bags & Tags

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Roses are....... memories

It seems we are to have a heat wave this week - and about time too!  Along with September, I always expect May to be one of our better months here in the UK, but three quarters of the way through it has been very disappointing.  Let's hope its bucking its ideas up before it disappears into June next week!

The sudden warmth has brought one of my two David Austin roses into bloom.  This one is named Crown Princess Margareta and its a lovely apricot colour.  It looks so pretty with the purple Aquilegia nearby.  I just had to record it with a scrapbook page and found a digi-kit at Oscraps by one of my favourite digi-designers, Anna Aspnes.  It was the perfect colour for my layout and a freebie too!  So I've spent rather too much time at the keyboard this morning instead of getting out there with my gardening gloves on! 

Supplies: ArtPlay Palette Saffron Villa minikit

Sunday 20 May 2012

Back to basics

One of my favourite bloggers Lin is a prolific card maker. Every time I visit her blog she has created another half a dozen or more beautiful cards.  She's a great one for challenges and I thought I'd join in one of her regulars this week - the CR84FN colour challenge - this one being green, blue and a neutral.  I wanted to get back to rubber stamping basics and kept to my favourite one layer style, just using a beautiful mask from Balzer Designs, some Distress Inks and a set of silhouette stamps.  Not tried this masking technique before but I like it and will definitely be using it again.  I can see another mask purchase coming on!
We trawled the charity shops in the next town yesterday and although my haul was small I was very pleased with my purchases.  I love these Kilner jars with the orange tops - so very 70s.  They don't make them now but they still surface every now and then at boot sales or in charity shops.  I also found these pretty crochet mats which I want to turn into beaded jug covers.  I like the solid star centres which will keep even the smallest fly out of the milk jug!  And my last purchase was this lovely natural linen blouse at just £1! Now that's what I call a successful shopping trip!

Card supplies: The Crafters Workshop 6x6 template mask; Stampin Up Pocket Silhouettes stamps; various Distress Inks from Tim Holtz.

Saturday 19 May 2012

Garden update

While digging the plot for my potatoes the other day I disturbed this poor mining bee who got really fed up with my filling in his burrow every few minutes.  I do hope he found somewhere else suitable nearby.

I'm sure lots of gardeners are behind with their jobs this year as its been so cold and wet.  I managed to get a few tasks out of the way this week but there's still lots to do.  Here are a some things that are looking their best half way through this disappointing May - usually my favourite month.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Paper Patching

Another rainy day has given me a bit of time to make a card for another family birthday coming up this month.  I've made it for the Make-it-Monday challenge over at Nicole Heady's PTI blog - 'creating backgrounds from paper scraps'.

When I first started papercrafting I collected a fair amount of "designer paper" but I've never really liked it on cards.  I prefer to stamp my backgrounds.  But recently I was inspired by Kelly's lovely patchwork bee card  and I do love stitching patchwork .... so here is my paper patchwork background.  Kelly hadn't been able to find a hexagon die but I found this one from Joy Crafts - the smallest die is a perfect size for cards.  Strangely I couldn't find the dies on the Joy Crafts website - but it was available on ebay.

I left the card fairly simple as the background is so busy, and just added a birthday topper created with the Limitless Ovals dies and a sentiment from Damask Designs - both PTI.  When I laid the card out I filled the front with patches but once I'd got most of them stuck down I rather liked the effect of leaving my patchwork quilt unfinished!

Supplies:  Patterned paper from Stampin' Up

Saturday 5 May 2012

[inter]National Scrapbooking Day 2012

Another National Scrapbooking Day has arrived and I think we internationals can join in.  In my page today I want to give a shout to this album cover "mash up" my son created to accompany one of his tracks.  You may recognise it as a Led Zepplin but look closer..... did they really record with The Beatles???  Here's the original for comparison.

Ben's been making music for years under the name Soundhog, but like me has never had much success or recognition for his creativity.  He once described us as the 'dismal failures' of the family.  But he recently had a small hit on Youtube with this track after it was played on US music radio station.

I notice today Ben's blog post features one of his electronic music heroines Delia Derbyshire.  She died in 2001 but would have been 75 years old today.  If you've time you may find it an interesting listen.

Friday 4 May 2012

One Swallow.........

........ doesn't make a summer, I know, but yesterday from a back window in the small hotel where I work I heard and then saw the Swallows were back.  Their excited twittering reminds me long summer evening will soon be here.

These Swallows have nested in the semi-derelict building next door to the hotel for some years but since last summer it has been renovated and they have lost their nest site - but there are plenty of other suitable places nearby.  The miracle of migration never fails to amaze and delight me.

I don't have any swallow stamps but this is a favourite image from one of my copyright free books.  Just had time to make a quick card with it this morning to mark the occasion.  I don't think this little girl needs any embellishment so I just added a sentiment and some copic colouring.

I've very little time at home at the moment as my Mum is not at all well and I'm at her house until 10.30 pm every night.  So I don't have much time to myself and hardly any for visiting my favourite crafters' blogs to comment.  I hope one day soon things will get back to normal but in the meantime I send you all my apologies for being so quiet - I haven't forgotten you.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Happy May Day!

Will anyone be celebrating May Day today? Its not such a special day for children in 2012 (apart from a day off school next Monday) and I rather think little girls of today would run a mile rather than dress up in satin, flowers and silver paper crowns.  But in 1932 mid-Wales my Mum and her friends were chosen to represent their school at the May Queen Festival in Llandrindod Wells.

The programme of events included maypole dancing, music from the orchestra, a folk dancing competition and the entrance of the retiring queen's court (with a sword bearer, pages, Robin Hood, John Bull and Britannia amongst others) as well as the judging of the queens and crowning ceremony.  The winning Queen took home the Challenge Shield for her school to hold for 12 months and was presented with a gold brooch.  Mum came second and had a silver brooch, which I still have but can't put my hand on today.

The day came to a happy close with a May Queen Dance at the Grand Pavilion.  Dancing from 9.00 pm till 2.00 am to Macadam No 1 Dance Band.  (Refreshments at " moderate charges") :o)

And here is the May page from my vintage picture book series.  Today the blossom is still filling the trees but the daffodils are long gone - is this an indication of a changing climate?

Edit: Mum's just informed me I've got the dresses the wrong way round in the photo - the yellow should be green and the green should be yellow!   RATS!  Not changing it now though!


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