Monday, 31 January 2011

Just a quickie

Was having a blog wander yesterday and found a wishing well.  I think it might be one of Meljens again.  If you know differently,  please feel free to correct me.    
I would like to enter this for the Water challenge on MSE card making thread.

I lied, it was not Meljens, it was Beccys place   Lots of absolutely fabulous digistamps.   thank you very much

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The black ball

Some people are aware that I have a colleague who has recently had an operation.  It was suggested I make a card for him, but not knowing where to start, the colleague himself suggested an american "8" ball.  It took a while for further inspiration to strike, but I decided to attempt another new (to me) technique.   I am sure most cardmakers who read this are well familiar with the idea, whether or not they have attempted it, but I first saw it on Create and Craft when the Crafters Companion Ultimate Pro was being demonstrated.   I think it's called a pop out card.

My prototype attempt was with some fairly thin card, and I think I was a little enthusiastic with the scoring tool and went through the card in 1 or 2 places.  So I covered the folds with paper strips which were free with one magazine or another, but thinking it looked a little plain, I left it for a while whilst I decided what else to put on it.   After doing a bit of exploring in blog land earlier I discovered a site by an american artist called melissa jenkins  Using some of the fabulous freebies she has generously provided I added 2 bears to the front.

There is a hearts challenge out there that I wanted to enter this in, but I can't remember what it is, but as soon as I remember I'll be back to enter it.
I would like to enter this card into Challenge no 43 - Put your heart on it at

Being fairly pleased with the prototype I progressed to the American Pool card.   For this, I was not quite so adventurous and cut out a square hole, and rather than attempting to cut out a circle, I used 2 circular gift tags and stuck them back to back.   I also used some images from a free colouring page.  It's quite plain, in fact it's very plain but considering it's really only a sample, then I'm ok with that.

Finally - I put together a card I've been messing about with for a while.  Still not sure what I think about it, but they we go.  It's from a MCS image, can't remember whether it's from Pure or whether it's the free download called Church Window.
I'm sure there is lots more I could say, but I'm all worn out now.

I may not get the opportunity to post again before next weekend, so have a good week everybody

Friday, 28 January 2011

The weekend again

Been a bit of an odd week.  As I may have mentioned before, the organisation I work for is currently undergoing consultation for closure.  The 90 days has been and gone and been extended by another 2 months.   So we still don't know what's happening.  When I went into work on Tuesday I discovered there has been a Voluntary Exit Scheme announced.  Those who apply and are accepted will be gone by the end of April.  So most of the week has been taken up with people discussing it.   And of course, more meetings.  I have pretty much decided not to apply, and will stay for a little while longer.   And in the meantime I will practise my craftiness

Earlier this week, I bought some Derwent Academy watercolour pencils which were on offer (£7.49 for 24) and also a little canvas on an easel.   I was having a bit of a practice and created a little masterpiece, well it would be if I was a 5 year old.   But I quite like it and it's currently sat on top of my TV.

I am still waiting for ink for my printer, and whilst I've been waiting I've been exploring my various MCS CDs.  I am very excited about making cards using them.   I also have Beatrix Potter CDs, which don't have the same level of designability within the CD, but the images are lovely and I can imagine making lots with them as well.  

I did have an image I printed with the new printer, but given that the red ink wasn't working it didn't quite come out as  planned (baby pink) it's a funny yellowy colour.  One of the images I printed was just a teddy outline so I changed my planned design and made something else.   Results below.

I am very pleased with the result, although my silicon glue patience has yet to reach the required level.   The scalloped edge pink and green is part of a scrapbook paper from a christmassy pack bought from QVC, as are the chipboard letters spelling "baby" and thee 2 little snowflake/flowers.  Washing line made with a wooden skewer cut in half and some yarn.  Pink peg from a selection at The Works, and ladybird backing papers from a selection that came with a free with a Scrapbook magazine about a year ago.

I had great fun making it, and the people who have seen it were very impressed.

Hope you like it.

Hopefully some more tomorrow

Sunday, 23 January 2011

turning into my mother

On Saturday, I found myself using the word tiresome.  I cant say that it's a word commonly used as part of my vocabulary, but having been on the phone to the bank for 45 minutes - spoke to 4 different departments trying to sort out the free overdraft that should have been set up when I upgraded my account.  By the time I spoke to the last woman, I was getting a little irritable.  Now I know it's not her fault for the system, and I didn't get cross, but I did tell her that I thought it was very tiresome having to hang about for so long. 

The main reason I was so p*'d off was that I had a parcel to collect from the Post Office and they shut at 12.00 on a Saturday.  So I got into town, collected my parcel,  sent off my last ebay parcel, wandered round for a while, and came home with a new printer.  Yes, I can tell you aren't sure how that happened.  It's quite simple, my printer had just about run out of colour ink, and so, what with the full price for a Canon colour ink cartridge about £25, and black about £20 (about £25-£30 for both online, slightly cheaper for compatible inks) it works out cheaper to buy a new printer.  

So tonight - I set it up, got myself all sorted to print out the elements to make a lovely baby card, only to discover, for some reason, it's not releasing any red ink.  So I did it all again, did automated deep clean of the cartridge, and ran a diagnostic, followed by a further test page.  Nope, it still doesn't work.  So I've packed it all back up, somehow managed to mislay the driver disc (but it could be in with my crafting CDs) and now need to cart it all back to the shop.  I will get my money back, send for new cartridges from  and save up for an A3 printer, so that I can make lots of lovely big cards and matching envelopes with my soon to be delivered Ultimate Pro Crafteres companion thingummywatsit.

Anyways, the last papers I printed with my Canon printer were dinosaur ones (from one of the MCS CDs I won on ebay).  And what's more, I did something with them.  Haven't cleaned the house though.

G'night folks

My craft studio

No, not "my" craft studio, because the place where I do my crafting tends to be all over the living room floor.  It starts of a bit neater, but I usually end up on the floor.  I'm actually referring to the CDs sold under the name of My Craft Studio.  In my last post I said I might have become a CD crafting convert, and I think there is no longer any doubt about it.  I've made another couple of cards using background papers printed from the CDs, and I have printed out bits to make a dinosaur card.  But, much as I want to do it tonight, I think I should really go to bed.

My friend "Nelli-Lou" nominated me for some blogging award, and as my "prize" I get to tell you 15 things about myself (it might not be 15, it could be 7, or perhaps 10, but it's certainly some things) and award the prize to another pile of blogs.   But I haven't had the chance to do much about it, but by all means go and read hers.  She's got a lovely husband apparently who keeps buying her flowers!!!!  It's the blog called "My Life Diet"

I'll write some more tomorrow, but for now I'll leave you with the cards

The outside of the card is one of the donated digi-stamps via I coloured him in with promarkers, and then added a bit of a background.  The "shrubbery" to the right of the card, was a bit of a accident which turned out quite well, after a bit of a rescue attempt.  I was trying to do the distressed edge thing, but I went a bit mad and ended up with a "splodge" on the edge.  So I turned it into a bush (of sorts).   Matted it on some dark brown and then gold.  The background paper was one from MCS.
The inside of the card, I used an insert from MCS, then added a couple of the images from a different disc.    Unfortunately, due to all this usage, the ink in my printer is now very low, and like it does the ink starts to separate on the printed image.  So on this, there was a faint pink outline, so I got out a promarker and drew over it.   It's the first time I've put an insert in, and it did go a bit squished at the bottom, but you can't see that.
I also made another card, but this time I printed the background on to a small piece of watercolour card, then added some of the toppers from one of the current cardmaking magazines. There is no insert in this one.
I have spent nearly all my earnings from last weekend's ebay success on crafting CDs (also from ebay) but was tempted by the Beatrix Potter stuff on Create and Craft yesterday.
Frugality for January is no more.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Blue Monday

The experts reckon that today is the worst day of the year.   So if today is as bad as it gets, the rest of the year should be quite fabulous.   I did knock my small tub of buttons and little sparkly gems over though.  And discovered my library books were a week overdue, so owe a fine of £9.20.   So I renewed them online. 

Over the weekend I sold all of my ebay items and have spent most of my winnings on craft stuff.  Having always said I didn't particularly like CD crafting, I explored the "My Craft Studio" CD I had, just for the cost of postage with Making Cards magazine in November or December, can't remember which.   Then I found the website (  and found FREE downloads to add into the CD I had.   Well, the word FREE, just sums it up.  I had to download them and then had a bit of a play.   I was rather impressed with some of the stuff, and so printed out a couple of bits last night whilst watching some TV (probably the recorded episode of Larkrise)

And then, having a bit more of a think, and a bit of an explore round ebay - as you do, I found quite a few CDs, and so put in a couple of bids - so far I've won 2 with bids on another 2.    IT'S AN INVESTMENT!!!!!!!

Anyway, here's the card I made with the printed out bits.


Saturday, 15 January 2011

Doing quite well

I am so chuffed.  As many of you will know, I'm trying to be a bit frugal, and thrifty, and money neutral, blah di blah di blah - for those of you who don't know, being money neutral involves earning money to pay for things you want to buy.  Which many people would think is what they do by going to work.  But it's oh so much more than that - it's things like using the points on clubcards to buy gifts, it's selling stuff on ebay, it's mystery shopping, it's using cashback sites, it's doing online surveys - some of these activities reward you in cash (such as ebay) others reward you with points which you then convert into vouchers for various places (eg amazon) where you can buy gifts, and then there are others, whereby if you are fortunate you can get free gifts.    It all makes sense in my head but when I try to explain it I get a bit confuddled - a far better explanation can be found here  (post 1 although if you are new to MSE, then go have a bit of an explore whilst you are there)

So with money neutrality in mind I listed 5 items on ebay last weekend when it was free listing weekend which means I didn't have to pay extra for asking for a starting bid over 99p.  At the time of writing 4 of those 5 items have bids on.   I sold a book on hopefully I will sell some more but it's a start.  I have, as blogged before, done a bit of bulk buying, with free delivery by  using a discount code and got cashback via a cashback site. (so far up to about £50 ready to claim back on there).   Shortly before Christmas a friend offered to buy me a magazine subscription, and not only did I get about £15 via the cashback site, I got free gifts for subscribing, and due to joining (and subsequently cancelling) a magazine club thing, I got a check for £15 in the post this morning.

And yesterday, with the remains of my chicken (although the carcass is still well covered in the fridge, but might need to be disposed of) I made a chicken pie by adding a tin of condensd mushroom soup (about 50p) and half a packet of ready to roll pastry which I bought when it was discounted recently.

The most exciting thing of all (for me) is that I sold 2 cards today.  Plus I asked whether I could have a table at our quilt xhibition which is planned later in the year.   I have done a bit of colouring, but no assembly so I will show you the 2 cards I sold

Later folks

Friday, 14 January 2011

1 month til valentines........

I am half expencting a card from the man who has sent me a Valentine's card for the past 3 years.  Unfortunately I somehow managed to get myself into a bit of a pickle and fell for a man I should never have fallen for.  So after struggling with my emotions and my conscience, and my common sense for almost all that time I finally called it all off just before Christmas.  It's really amazing the amount of stuff some of us women (and probably a fair few men) let themselves believe, when they have little self confidence, low self esteem and just want to be loved.  But fortunately, for most of us, eventually common sense kicks in, the sense of self esteem returns and the strength comes from somewhere to scramble back to the path of straight and narrow - ok, so it might not be so much "fun" at times, and it might hurt like hell for a while, but if you know deep within yourself that you've done the right thing, then it will all work out for the best.   Sometimes you have to close a door before a window opens.  

And talking of doors and windows and all that kind of thing, with thinly veiled references to opportunities, I went to a meeting in work today about the consultation period around closure of our office.   The 90 day period is up next week, and most of us expected to know something definite later that week.   But no, then there has to be various to-ing and fro-ing betweeen people and so we are unlikely to hear anything before early March - so that will be a lovely birthday present for me!!!!! (8th just in case anybody wants to buy me gifts)

So I came home, was tired, considered going to bed, but somehow discovered I was colouring in at about 11.30, and then i couldn't just leave it, so then I had to make a card.   The stamp is one of the digi stamps from the "Help for Katie" collection, and the background papers are free dowloads from a site I was led to from lili of the valley.

There is a flower card challenge on the MSE Making Cards thread, and I would like to enter this card for that.

More tomorrow, or maybe even later today - I'll try get round some blogs and do the commenting thing over the weekend


Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Good evening - turns out I didn't make it to work early today, but am hoping for better things tomorrow. 

Tonight, I roasted a chicken from my local butcher who is award winning,  And I have just discovered that they have an online facility - the last time I looked it was just a picture of the front of the shop, admittedly that was a long time ago, so here you are  It is a very scrummy chicken, and I've stripped it of as much meat as I can, and left the carcass in the microwave (so the cat doesn't attack it) to cool down, then tomorrow, for the first time ever I will attempt to make stock or soup or something with it.

And because I want chicken sandwiches for work tomorrow I had to make bread as well.

You might wonder where Sprouts come into this  - well yes, I am partial to sprouts, although many people do not understand my liking for them but it's not that kind of sprouts.   The sprout in question is the Mo Manning digi stamp I mentioned yesterday.  I have new "super smooth" paper from Create and Craft and printed off 2 images  coloured them in with Promarkers, then not really sure what to do with them, just matted and layered them with coloured card which was the offer of the week from Lidl, so if they have any left I can highly recommend it, and some "linen" silver and gold card, also from C&C

Suppose you want to see pictures now - both these cards are going to be used for birthdays tomorrow  I did also us small stamps on the edge of the flower pot.

That's all folks


Monday, 10 January 2011

First day back

Today was my first day back in work this year, and boy do I feel it now.  I am so tired, so won't be here for long just a couple of things to say, but due to the tiredness, they might be a bit disjointed.

Tonight was my last day of my prepaid 12 week Slimming World countdown.   And I put on a 1lb.  Which doesn't sound too bad until you realised that in the last 12 weeks I've lost a grand total of 2.5lb.  that 40 ounces - sounds so much better like that.  So I have decided, that I will not go anymore, and the £5 a week I would pay, I will save.   I am not doing very well at the whole meal planning thing, the "diary/planner" I made at the beginning of the year has not had very many entries but I've hardly bought any food., so my frugality is doing fairly well.   Except for craft things but more of that later

This time next week the organisation I work for will have come to the end of the 90 day consultation on whether to close the regional office where I work.  If so, then sometime in the next 12 months I will, no longer be working for the company I signed a 3 month contract for in 1994.

It's just as well I've gone back to work, because I only get myself into trouble when I'm at home.  I have had Create and Craft on in the background most of last week, and I am very much afraid that I have on a couple of occasions, succumbed to the sales patte and "invested" in craft materials.

And then tonight, I was looking at my Facebook page and noticd that Maurie J Manning (Mo Manning) had posted a new stamp called "Sprout".  Now I have a bit of a soft spot for Mo Manning designes, so I had to go and investigate.  Turns out there is a crafter out there who's name I forget, who has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer.   Some of her friends in the crafting community have donated their artwork to raise funds for her and her family.  So, not only loving "Sprout" I was rather taken with some of the others as well, particularly the sewing ones, the fishing one, the flower one, the shoe one and the dove, not to mention the cooking on, and the loveseat and the 3 little boys with a loveheart, in fact, most of them, decided I needed to contribute (£15 for all the downloads)  - these can be acquired from Jak Heath, (the crafter's name is Katie)

I have already printed out Sprout, but haven't done anything with it  yet, but I did make a couple of cards over the weekend with some of my other stuff - still haven't played with the new sizzix stuff.

The 2 cards above were made using La Blanche stamps purchased from QVC on their craft sale day

This card ^^^^ is made using the freebie Mo Mannning stamp that was available on her FB page at the beginning of the year - "friend" cut out from "Let's Make Cards"

And this one, just about sums m up at present - the pic was downloaded from -peel offs also from QVC sale (along with 4 brass embossing templatese)

But on the plus side - I didn't buy the magazine with the free Mollly Bloom stamps on - ah well there's always tomorrow.  Speaking of which I said I'd be in early, so best get going


Friday, 7 January 2011

She sewed so she can play

Today I made a waistcoat for my friend's daughter's dance show.  The fabric was given to me, ready cut out, however I think part of the instructions were missing as there was no guidance on finishing off the armholes.  Apparently there are no sleeves to be inserted, so I've left it unfinished for now.

And now, having done that, it means I get to play with my new toys.  I might be back later with some of the results

My next "investment" might have to be some ribbon.........

Oh sorry, I forgot - I MUST BE FRUGAL

Back in a bit xxxx

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Button Success

I've managed to add a button to the side of my blog. This is how I did it
I saved the button I had copied from another blog to my computer.  I then uploaded it to photobucket (apparently it works with other photo hosting websites such as flickr, but I've not tried that)

When you look at the photo in photobucket hover the mouse over the picture and you should get a range of options, one of which is "share".    Select share and the option "post to website".   The third tab along is "get link code"   This is the one you want.

Then select "HTML for websites and blogs" and the option "clickable thumbnail.  Highlight the code in the box - it is a long code - and then copy it.

Final step is to return to your blog design page, add a gadget, and choose the one which says "HTML code"   paste the complete code in, and save. 

Hopefully that should work for you.

Not much to say

Today I should have been sewing, but I was too tired so that means I will do it tomorrow  It is only 9.00 pm at the time of writing this so I could still do a little bit.  I put my sewing machine on the table and got the iron and ironing board out, so I am prepared.   I did, however, make a valentine's card for a challenge on MSE making cards ideas forun.   The challenge was set by Artydoll and her blog can be found here

Here's the card from 3 angles

It's a very different type of card to the ones I've made before. The card blank was from "What" and apart from the "love" sticker (which was found it TK Maxx all the embellishments were from "Let's Make Cards" magazine.

I did have a go today at adding a button/badge to the sidebar, but failed dismally.  Better luck next time


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sleeping patterns

My sleeping pattern is really not very good at the moment. I'm awake half the night and then when I do get to sleep I can't get up in the morning. But today I made myself get up about 8.00 am and despite being really really tired, I managed to get though the day without sleeping partly prompted by the fact that I wanted to try and make a card similar to one they demonstrated on Create and Craft yesterday. It was really simple but very effective, although it did use a technique I had not used before.

But before I could do this, I decided I had to tidy the living room, or at least make a big indent into it. I have bought a few storage boxes with the intention of storing my craft stuff tidily. And I don't just have card stuff, I have knitting stuff, sewing stuff, quilting stuff, photography stuff, and about a squillion books relating to all of the above. But I've made a start, which is just as well because I somehow managed to order a Xyron Design Runner - it's like a little portable printer gadget that will print onto all sorts of materials - including ribbon.

Anyway here's the living room from 2 angles - the tidy end, and the not quite so tidy end.

And here's the card I then allowed myself to make. The new technique (for me) is using a mask - if you've not done this it's quite straightforward, you stamp your image onto the cardstock, then stamp it again on a post-it note or similar. Then, you cut out the image (in this case the houses) on the post-it, and place it over the image on the card. For this card, this was necessary so that I could flood the card with colour without it affecting the main image.

I am rather pleased with the result, and, in fact, my eldest son couldn't believe I'd done it. He thought I'd printed it out, and I said no, I stamped it and coloured it. "What with?" he said - "The promarkers you bought me for Christmas, that's why I wanted them" He thought, when he bought them they were a lame gift, now I think he's rather impressed with his old mum.

See you soon xxxxx

Monday, 3 January 2011

It's only 2.5% Mum....

This was said by my sons when they came home today to a hallway full of toilet rolls. And in order that they could get further than the hallway, said toilet rolls are now residing in my living room (in the space recently vacated by the Christmas tree) till I find them a proper home. I just thought that I would take advantage of the fact that the VAT has not yet been increased and get a few supplies in. And I still have till midnight to order more. . . . . . . .

On a totally different subject, although paper is involved, so a very tenuous link, I made another card last night. I have been pointed in the direction of a very talented designer who is generous enough to occasionally offer her designs for free, to followers of her Facebook page. Her name is Maurie J Manning, and I took advantage of this. She does have a blog, which I'm pretty sure is one that I follow, but, not sure if it shows on my blog. I need to work out how to add those button things that are at the side of most blogs. More information about Mo's designs can be found here

And here's the card

I printed the image onto a piece of plain white card, along with the sentiment (also provided by Mo) which says "If we are ever to enjoy life now is the time, not tomorrow or next year. Today should always be our most wonderful day - Thomas Dreir" I then coloured it in with a slection of ProMarkers, used a wavy blade to cut it, and the sentiment out. I used Tim Holtz distressed inks to shade them, along with the plain white card on which they are mounted (card from QVC). I then added 2 felt flowers and a crystal. I am happy with the concept and the overall result, but the distressed ink technique need a bit of work, because it's too "dabby" despite my attemps at circular movements.

See you soon folks.....

PS - Can't remember if I said who provided the image for the Engagement card. I will check and if I omitted them, I shall provide them next time I post.

Sunday, 2 January 2011


I was fortunate enough to receive £100 for Christmas which I used to buy a coat. Yes, every single penny, and then some. It was, however, a marvellous bargain - reduced from £450 to £116. However, I was daft enough to believe that an online shop would actually send you what you ordered. I ordered a size 18, and when it arrived, I nearly cried, yes it was a lovely coat, and no doubt would have lasted me for years. In fact it would probably have lasted forever because I couldn't even get my arms in it. I did panic slightly thinking I'd put on far more weight over Christmas than I could have ever believed possible. Until I looked at the label on the coat - it was a size 10. The packaging and the receipt stated size 18, so I breathed a huge sigh of relief, but was a little bit miffed, that this marvellous coat, was not so marvellous after all.

So I went to the shop from which I ordered it, and replaced it. And I came out with about 20 items in it's place. Yes, one was a coat------->

But in addition to the coat I came out with 2 pairs of trousers, 2 dresses, 1 top, 2 pairs of thick tights and various other items that will be used to make presents/card throughout the year, and others that will be gifted. I paid an additional £8.93, so I consider this a marvellous result.

The theme for Christmas 2011 could be stationery.
I think tomorrow's post could be about the technicalities of blogging because there is lots I want to do, but I don't know how to do it. But the girl will learn..........

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A domestic goddess I could be, but a fly lady I aint.....

I'm not entirely sure a domestic goddess would stay in bed till tea-time, but that's what I did today. I then cleaned out one, but only one, of my kitchen cupboards, made a list of all the food that was in there, then made tea. Today we had fishcakes (my mother's secret recipe) and rice pudding made with arborio rice because it wouldn't all fit in the lock and lock container I wanted to put it in. And even if I say so myself, it was very lovely. I even managed to pretty much clean the kitchen after me. Just waiting for one of the sons to wipe up.

Most of you out there will have no idea about my ineptitude when it comes to cleaning. To be honest it's not so much the cleaning, it's the tidying before the cleaning. I think it's safe to say I am a hoarder, and not only that, I have, in the past, suffered with depression, which is mostly under control nowadays, but still get the "odd" moment. And for anybody out there who has been unfortunate enough to go through a similar thing you'll know what I mean when I say that you often just don't see the mess. And then by the time you see it, you just don't know where to start. The pic you see to the right (hopefully) is the living room AFTER I've tidied for Christmas. The crafting might help the sanity, but does nothing for the clutter.

And talking about crafting - I did make good use of the time I spent in bed earlier. I took full advantage of the "up to 85%" sale at and despite losing my complete shopping cart at one point, I perserverd and managed to save myself nearly £200, having ordered some embossing stuff, stamps, and dies. I have the next week off work so hopefully they will arrive during the week so I can then play to my heart's content. (I do have to do a bit of cleaning as well) My intention is to follow in my sister's footsteps who makes 20 cards in 10 different designs ready for Christmas which she then sells. If I could do that then I should break even for all my purchases. Perhaps even make a profit - that would be good.

Some stuff about the stuff in the blog


Very new at this blogging lark, so forgive me if I get a bit befuddled. User name is derived from my maiden name of George and the fact that by the time the Olympics are held in the UK in 2012, I will look as if I could compete. And not as a sumo wrestler.

For starters there is only one blog with contain my thoughts, but this might evolve into 3 or 4 when I work out what I'm doing.

In the main it will cover my slimming journey, my quilting exploits, my get fit and stay fit campaign, and my photography. Not forgetting my recent TrollBead obsession.

Should I ever get a lovelife you might get glimpses of that as well.