Sunday, 30 August 2015

Shopping for Crafty Sorts

I've still got the colouring bug but this time the result has been more productive - birthday cards. I was itching to get my hands on the Garden Grow stamp set from Altenew's new release and it arrived in the UK last week courtesy of the wonderful Make the Day Special on-line store.  This sketchy informal style is perfect for the Kurtake watercolour pens I've been playing with recently. It really doesn't seem to matter if my colouring is not perfect - in fact the more roughly I apply the colour the better I like the result!

I've also enjoyed a bit of 'me time' stamping these tags (using Knit Bits stamp set from Papertrey Ink) for my friend Jan who has been celebrating a special anniversary this week. Jan's Mum bought this tiny wool shop 50 years ago as a going concern from a Mrs Ceri Griffiths who at the time just happened to be our elderly next door neighbour. My Mum remembers Mrs Griffiths gave up her shop as she was finding the tiny staircase to the first floor difficult to climb.


Here is Jan with our lady mayor and in the photo you might just be able to see inside this Aladdin's Cave of delights. If you knit or crochet the shop is a must-visit when in the area.  As you can see the place is absolutely stuffed full to overflowing with yarn and other knitty delights.
And as from this week there is even more reason to visit as Jan has opened a small patio/garden area to the side of the shop through persuading the Police Station next door to sell part of their garden.  Now visitors can sit and enjoy a little yarn therapy in this secret space.... and might even be offered the cup that cheers!!!

So I would like to congratulate Jan on her achievement in keeping this fabulous resource open for us local crafty sorts. No mean feat in these days of internet shopping and vast shopping parks. I'm sure there are precious few local businesses can boast 50 years in the same family and even longer in the same historic building.

I pinched these pics from a local facebook page and hope they don't mind.  And you can read a bit more about the shop here.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

World Photography Day


Its ‪#‎WorldPhotographyDay‬ (apparently) so I thought I'd blog some of my Dad's photos. When we were young he was a keen photographer and developed his films in the bathroom - we were forbidden to enter when he was in there in the dark with his strange paraphernalia, spooky red lightbulb and those weird chemical smells. His photographs were often imperfect but I love them all, especially those he took of us when we weren't looking. Here we are on the beach - I think at Butlins Pwllheli circa 1956.

Here's another Butlins photo probably taken in 1954 - I swear it never rained when we were at our most favourite place in the world at that time. We so looked forward to our week at Butlins. I think I dreamed about it for weeks beforehand!

Its the moments in time caught forever that I love about these un-posed photos. Most Sundays we went for trips into the countryside - either just for a walk or a picnic in good weather.

Here we'd been given fishing nets and messing about near the water was always irresistible. This is the River Dwyfor near Trawsfynydd where our Uncle and Aunt lived.

Another of my sister and I - there were four of us but by the time my youngest sister came along in 1956 Dad had stopped developing his films himself so there are fewer photos - much to my baby sister's disgust. She is still put out that there aren't many pictures of her!

Here we are with Mum playing a game of chase in a daisy strewn field long ago.

And this was a birthday party in the garden - we'll never know what everyone was so interested in on the grass.

There are lots taken in the back garden. This is us with my Mother's friend Bessie's newly adopted son Peter - a much longed for child for her and her husband.

And another game in the garden - this time with Hazel from next door. We were always outside even in the winter - warmly wrapped up of course!

And with my cheeky cousin Dafydd - Mum says he was always a naughty boy.... something he vehemently denies now!!

And finally a much later picture of all of us with Mum. My sister will only moan if I leave her out! By this time (about 1958) Dad's pictures came as coloured slides which we viewed on a big white plastic screen through a slide projector. Some time ago I got the chance to borrow a slide scanner and scanned them all into the computer.  It took an age but I'm so glad I did.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Those Adult Books!

Hands up whose been sucked in by the current craze for adult colouring!  Add me to the list!  This week I've spent a couple of hours every evening sitting at my Mum's kitchen table with pencils and a pretty image colouring away. Took me back to my childhood when a new colouring book was a treat bought with my Saturday afternoon sixpence in Woolworths or W H Smiths.

But now in 2015 the queen of colouring is undoubtedly Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford.  Her first book, The Secret Garden, has sold over a million copies and has been translated into 14 languages! Already a very talented artist of course, Johanna's idea to turn her illustrations into a colouring book, and one for adults to boot, has shot her to fame. I came across her books when looking for a colouring book for my mum.  At 91 and in frail health, she doesn't go out now. I thought she might like something other than watching TV or doing crosswords to pass the time but I have to say all the adult books I looked at (and there are many!) were far too intricate for her eyesight. However I was rather taken by Johanna's second book Enchanted Forest myself.

Being a stamping card maker I already use pencils and markers but I was still reluctant to spoil the pages of my new book. After all its easy with cards - you just start again if there's a mistake or blot on the image. However I found some free downloads here and here and set to practicing.

I printed the pages on thin white card and found my Staedtler pencils gave a pleasing result. I also liked the effect of Kuretake Clean Color Brush Pens but sadly my Copics are out as they would bleed through to the other side of the page - disaster!

I finished my first page last night and, oh dear, looks like I've started another already!  Apparently I'm not the only one addicted though. Take a look at the Colouring Gallery on Johanna's website. Some pretty impressive work there! Hmm, might just add my mermaids to its walls.


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