Wednesday 31 August 2011

Stuck on you .....

.... I'm still recovering from a really fun weekend at Shrewsbury Folk Festival.  Lots of great music to hear, dancers to watch, people to chat to - generally a fabulous time.  Apart from the weather!!  Autumn has officially arrived.  I think I spent the whole weekend wearing my rain mac and several t-shirts to keep warm.  And we did cheat a bit too - the festival is only an hour's drive from home and we decided to sleep in our beds and warm house on Saturday and Sunday nights!  Yes, I know - we're wimps!  But warm wimps.

I've not felt much like crafting since we got home - still tired, but I decided to have a go at this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge - CFC17 - to use stickers (rub-ons) in a clean and simple design.  I've left it very late to enter my cards - yes cards!  I've made two. 

I decided to use some gilding flakes on black flower peel offs.  I think this technique makes peel offs look really stunning - and it's such a simple technique.  You need double sided sticky plastic, some peel offs and gilding flakes.  First cut the double sided sticky to fit your peel off.  Then select a peel off and remove from the backing sheet, lay it face down on a smooth surface.  Next remove one of the protective layers on the sticky plastic and and put the sticky surface down on to the peel off.  Next put the sticky surface into your gilding flakes - they stick really quickly.  Then use a stick pad to rub off the excess flakes - work over the box of gilding flakes.  Finally, remove the backing protective sheet and attach the sticky side direct to your card or to a mat layer.  Here are my cards:

Spellbinders:  Scalloped Rectangles Lg (S4-133) #5
Accessories:  Peel off, gilding flakes, sentiment rub on and card from stash

Accessories: Peel off, gilding flakes, sentiment rub on and card from stash

I have gilding flakes in gold/silver, which I used for the Friends always card, and red tones for the thank you card.  These cards were really quick to make, but I think they have quite a dramatic impact.

I'm so pleased to have made a couple of cards this evening.  I've got a couple of cards in mind for two of my favourite challenges - Less is More and Waltzingmouse Sketch - and I hope to share them with you tomorrow evening.  Tomorrow is 1st September - and time for the new St Luke's Chairty Card Challenge - do drop by to check it out.  See you later.

Monday 29 August 2011

Stephen King - It, Review 3 ....

... here's another in my series of Stephen King reviews.  This is about as far as you can get from crafting, but one of my other big hobbies/loves is reading.  I found about the Stephen King Challenge while browsing the Internet - I came across Book Chick City where the girls review books.  They set up the Stephen King Challenge and I joined in January this year.  Initially, I thought I'd just go for six books, but I've already exceeded that by a few!  So I decided I'd go the whole hog and read twelve Stephen King novels.

I'm well on my way to reading a lot more than twelve!!  The reading is easy, the reviews take a while longer.  But here's Review No 3 - if you're not interested - I'll be back with cards tomorrow.  But if you're just a bit intrigued - read on!

These are the books I’ve read so far on my Stephen King reading challenge.  I’m writing my reviews in the order I read the books.

  1. The Stand - finished 23 March 2011
  2. The Green Mile - finished 28 March 2011
  3. It - finished 29 April 2011
  4. Desperation - finished 8 May 2011
  5. Bag of Bones - finished 10 May 2011
  6. Cell - finished 19 May 2011
  7. On Writing (non-fiction) - finished 27 May 2011
  8. Carrie - finished 3 June 2011
  9. The Gunslinger – finished 15 July 2011
  10. The Dead Zone – finished 20 July 2011
  11. Insomnia – finished 25 July 2011

Title: It

Author: Stephen King

Original Publication Date: 1986

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks, (4 Oct 2007)

Language: English

This is another HUGE book – my edition has 1376 pages!!  I got this book when it first came out – I admit to being a Stephen King fan.  I’d read pretty well all his books up to this one – even those under the pen name of Richard Bachman.  When I first read this story, I stayed up all night and read it at one sitting.  This was the first, and only, book that actually kept me awake and gave me nightmares!  I think it’s because I’m not overly fond of clowns – and “IT” appears in this book as a clown – ugh!  I took this copy of the story to Mumbai earlier this year – consequently, it took me a little longer to read it.

The story is set in Derry, Maine and covers two time periods; 1957-58 and 1984-85.  The story starts with the death of George Denbrough in 1957 and moves onto the death of Adrian Mellon in 1984.  Next we meet the main characters – the “Losers Club” – they were children in 1957, but in 1984 they are adults, and they don’t remember what happened in the summer of 1958.  They don’t remember that an evil that can change shape killed many children in 1958; they don’t remember that they killed IT!  The Losers Club were seven children from Derry – Mike Hanlon, Ben Hanscom (Haystack), “Stuttering” Bill Denbrough, Bev Marsh (Rogan), Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak and Stan Uris.

Mike Hanlon was the only one of the Losers Club to stay in Derry after the events of 1958 – he stayed and he remembered.  Mike is the local librarian and historian; he notices that strange events and lots of unusual deaths are occurring again.  And Mike realises that IT is not dead.  The rest of the Club left Derry and all have became successful in their chosen fields.  Mike calls the members of the Losers Club and reminds them of the promise they made when they were children – to return to Derry if needed and make sure that IT was really killed.  Stan commits suicide rather than return, but the rest come back to Derry to fight IT.

There are lots of other characters in the book, all involved in some way with the members of the Losers Club.  We never really know what IT is – we find out that IT can change shape and take on different forms – using childhood fears and phobias as a basis for the shape shifting.  IT is seen as a spider, a mummy, a werewolf and a clown.

As adults, the members of the Losers Club gather at a Chinese restaurant – they share stories and catch up with each other.  Mike brings them up to date with what has been happening in Derry and then suggests that they visit the town.  The group go their separate ways, and during their walks they all encounter IT.  Mike is injured in the library and is unable to go with the remaining five – Ben, Bill, Bev, Eddie and Richie.  Destroying IT is up to them – the group is now five – another magic number.  Ultimately, IT is destroyed, but another of the group dies.

Once again Mike remains in Derry and the others leave, all promising to meet up and get together.  But as time passes – they all forget!  The big but – we don’t know for sure that IT is dead.

It took me a little while to get into the story – but that might be more to do with trying to read it while laying in the sun in Mumbai!!  However, once I did, I couldn’t put it down.  The pain and angst of not being one of the “in-crowd” came through really well.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story – do give it a try.  But, be warned, you’ll never look at a clown in the same way again!

That's all for now.  I'll be back with some pictures of the Folk Festival and some cards tomorrow.  Bye for now.

Sunday 28 August 2011

CR84FN37 ...

... it's already the last Sunday in August and time for our new challenge at CR84FN.  This is a scheduled post - as I'll be at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival - so hopefully Blogger is playing nice!  Our colours this week are so cool - light blue, turquoise and neutral.

The beautiful inspiration photos are courtesy of Martha Stewart - just love those buttons!  And that's a fabulous quote too.

I've gone for a clean and simple card this week and my neutrals are black and white.  The flower face stamp is a bit different - it reminds me of a painting that my uncle did years and years ago.  I like the sweep of flowers over the girl's face, allowing an eye to peep out and a hint of a smile.  I stamped and embossed the image and then cut it out with my nesties.  I added some colour to the border with distress inks, and coloured the flowers with my aqua painter and then matted the image onto black and turquoise layers.  I stamped flourishes on the base card to match the flowers.  I like the little smile that you can see behind the flowers and found this lovely sentiment in my stash - so true!!

Stamps:  Funstamps - Flower Face (FM216); Waltzingmouse - Flourishes - Scallops & Dots; Hero Arts - Words of Wisdom
Inks: Stampin' Up! - Basic Grey, Bashful Blue, Tempting Turquoise, Marina Mist; Distress - Spun Sugar; Versafine - Onyx Black
Spellbinders: Standard Rectangles Lg (S4-132) #5, Standard Rectangles Sm (S4-130) #5, Scalloped Rectangles Lg (S4-133) #5
Accessories:  Card from stash

Full details of how to play along with CR84FN can be found on the challenge blog - we'd love to see what you make with these wonderful colours. If you want more inspiration - do check out the Design Team's blogs:

Thanks for dropping by to see my card.  Have a super weekend!

Friday 26 August 2011

Shrewsbury Folk Festival ....

This is a very picture heavy post!!

... no cards today, but I thought I'd share a few photos from last year's festival.  It was the first time we'd attended and it was fabulous.  There is so much at the Festival - music, song, craft, dance, families, fun - it's a great place to be and it's not just at the Festival site either - a lot of dancing takes place in Shrewsbury town centre.

And I was introduced to a musican called Chuck Brodsky - he's just brilliant.  He made me laugh, he made me cry - and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his music.  A few people recorded his set and put it up on U-tube - so here's a song that I loved - Armitage Shanks - really made me laugh!!

And this one - Lili's Braids - made me cry.  This version is not from Shrewsbury Fesitval, but I wanted to share the song - it still makes me cry - listen to it!  It's worth it.

That's all for today - we're on our way.  Keep your fingers crossed for half-way decent weather!  See you soon.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Things that move ....

.... I've finally managed to complete my card for this week's challenge at Less is More - LIM29.  Chrissie and Mandi set us a theme challenge - to make a card with "THINGS THAT MOVE" - now this could be interpreted in all sorts of ways - an image of something that moves, or, if you're feeling a bit adventurous - an actual moving part for example a shaker card, spinner, pop-up, etc.

It's taken me all week to get to make this card - but the idea came last weekend when my Aunt was visiting.  While I was showing Sue and Saffron my crafty stash they saw my lovely new stamps from Waltzingmouse - the ones of Gracie and Cecily.  They were delighted with the images, and then told me that my other Aunt - Jen (Dad's oldest sister), has a mad passion for witches.  She's got all sorts of witch images and ornaments around her house.  Sue asked if I could make a card for Jen.  Jen's off on a cruise around the Med in September, so Sue wants to give her a card - with a witch on it!  Yes!!! 

I tried to find a nice image on the net of a cruise ship, but they weren't quite right.  Then I found this image of a yacht on a lovely blue sea, and while not exactly what Jen will be doing, it's a much nicer picture.  I stamped the simple sentiment at the base of the card, attached the picture of the yacht and then a shadow stamp of Gracie on her broomstick.  I stamped several images of Gracie - one onto plain white card, and onto some patterned papers too.  I coloured the broom, cat, and Gracie with Promarkers and then cut out the clothing from the papers.  I made a couple of simple paper springs to attach Gracie to the the shadow image - she moves brilliantly!!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Gracie at Halloween; Penny Black - Sentiments
Inks: Memento - Tuxedo Black
Accessories:  Image from Internet; Promarkers and card from stash

Please excuse the photo - it's late and starting to get dark, and I never get good pictures in the evening.  But I have to do it now as tomorrow we're off to Shrewsbury Folk Festival.  I'm feeling much better than I was this afternoon, which is fortunate.  That's all for now.  See you soon.

Hip, hip hooray .....

.... I've managed to make my card for this week's Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge - WMSC61 - I've used the very bold and bright colours from this week's Colour Q challenge - cQc99.

The sketch at WMSC has been designed by Sarah Martina Parker - she gave us two options one for a card and one for a scrapbook layout.  I opted for the card version above.  When I saw the sketch my immediate thought was to use it to make a Christmas card - I've a couple outstanding for the Waltzingmouse Christmas Challenges - and one has to have stars on it.  So I thought I'd make the circles into stars - but I couldn't get it to work, and put it to one side.  Then I saw the colours from Colour Q - strong, bold, bright and, to me, quite masculine, colours - so I decided to make a card for Ben.

I've mixed several WM sets together to make a funky, grungy teen-type card.  I've been pretty faithful to the sketch, but I've had to play a bit with the colours for Colour Q, replacing Crushed Curry with More Mustard and Island Indigo with Pacific Point.  I've also made good use of my nesties for this card! 

Stamps:  Free Spirit - Boy, Off Beat Backgrounds, Vintage Banners, Vintage Circles Small
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Old Olive, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Pacific Point
Spellbinders: Standard Rectangles Lg (S4-132) #5, Standard Circles Sm (S4-116) # 1 & 4, Pinking Circles Sm (S4-172) # 1 & 4, Pinking Circles Lg (S4-170) # 1
Accessories:  Stampin' Up! card - Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Pacific Point, card base from stash

I made this card for Ben, as he gets his results today and I've left the post late because I thought he'd ring me with the result.  But Ben is working at the moment and he forgot to go to school and collect the result, so he'll have to wait until he goes back in September.  So I think the card is now for Ben becuase he's managed to get a summer job!!!

And my plans for this morning changed somewhat too - I had planned on taking the girls into Chester, but I woke this morning with a migraine headache.  So they've been as good as gold entertaining themselves - singing and dancing.  I'm still feel ugh!  Hopefully, will feel better later - we're camping tomorrow!!!

Wednesday 24 August 2011

We're going to the zoo, the zoo ....

... tomorrow - well today actually!!  The weather was reasonably good today - so I took Kathryn and her friend Charlie to Chester Zoo this morning.  We had a ball. 

When we arrived, we immediately headed for the elephant enclosure as there is a reasonably new baby elephant there - about six months old.  The crowd was huge, but we did manage to see the baby - but only just.  She was surrounded by other elephants and kept disappearing between their legs!! 

We spent ages walking around the zoo.  We saw the Orangutans playing, went to see the Dinosaurs, penguins, bats, butterflies - it was just great.  We saw lots, but there is still so much more to see - perhaps another day!   Here are some of the pictures from today!

You need to click on this picture to see it large - the expression on the baby's face is amazing! 

The last picture was taken in the Zoo Vet unit - explaining about vets and what they do.  The TV screen was linked to an infra-red camera and the girls stood in front of it - they were fascinated!

And our day was just as good at home - the girls got in and decided they'd like to make cakes - so Kathryn made a chocolate mixture and Charlie made the vanilla mixture and we had marble cakes - with chocolate buttons pushed in for extra goodness.  They were delicious - and all went very quickly.

I don't think the girls will be up early tomorrow - at least I hope not!  I want a lie in!  I'm absolutely shattered and am now off to bed with a nice cup of coffee!  And a good book.  See you all tomorrow.

Christmas snowflakes ....

.... and a blue bauble - feature on my card for this week's challenge at Jingle Belles - JB34.  This week Jingle Belles are teaming up with Clean & Simple Stamping - FTL154 who have produced a super sketch for us to use.

As soon as I saw this sketch I thought of snowflakes and Christmas baubles - so this card was easy!  I started with a dark blue pearlescent card base.  I found some lovely textured silver paper in my stash and punched out a bauble border. The main panel was made with some core'dination Gemstone card which has a really lovely pearly texture.  The bauble image is one of my favourite stamps from Stampin' Up! - I used Versamark, coloured ink and then stamped the image and embossed with Kaleidoscope embossing powder - which gives a really lovely sparkle.  I used the Stampin' Up! punch to cut out the bauble.  Using my stamp-a-ma-jig, I stamped a number of snowflakes onto the panel as well as the sentiment.  Finally, I added a silver snowflake and silver borders.  This card has a lovely frosty feel!

Stamps: Stampin' Up! - Scandinavian Season, Occasional Greetings, Delightful Decorations
Inks: Versamark; Versafine - Onyx Black; Stampin' Up! - Pacific Point, Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Stampin' Up! - Ornament Punch; Martha Stewart - Snowflake Punch, Bauble Border Punch; Kaleidoscope Embossing powder, card, peel offs from stash

I've taken a close up of the bauble and snowflakes so you can see them clearly - the texture and pearly finish of the gemstone card has made the dark ink, quite pale!  It's really pretty, but tough to see!!

And I'd like to thank Stef and Lauren for the big Shout Out for my sparkly Christmas tree - so pleased with that one - and might make another in a different colourway!!  I

I've arranged for one of Kathryn's friends to come over today - weather permitting, we're off to the Zoo for some fun and games.  I'll be taking my camera, so hope to have a few pictures to share too.  I'll be back soon - have a great day!

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Quick update ....

... I saw my knee specialist this morning.  He was very pleased with the way things are going - I've no pain in my knee, very little swelling and I'm walking fine.  He has discharged me!  Yea!  Sadly, the right knee is clicking quite a lot now!

Kathryn and I have had a quiet day since we got home - she's been reading and watching TV.  I've been reading my latest Stephen King novel - loving it!!  And I've also been in my craft room, but I can't share the cards I've made just yet as they're for Design Team stuff - you'll see soon enough!

It's been a really lovely day today - warm, sunny and gorgeous.  I think we might be getting the last few days of summer.  Hopefully, the weather will stay nice for the weekend as we're heading for Shrewsbury Folk Festival and we're camping.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!  If you do have a look at the website - you'll see that Jonathan has had one of his photos used for the banner pictures - I'm so proud of him.

Finally, I'd like to say Hello and Welcome to Therese - a new Blog Friend!  Glad to have you aboard.  That's all for tonight, but do drop by tomorrow - I'll have a card to share with you then.

A one for two ...

... card - this one has been made for two challenges.  I really like the colours for this week's Play Date Cafe Challenge - PDCC95, so I've used them again.  CAS-ual Fridays - CFC16  have a super challenge - they want us to use embossing - dry or heat - so I've used both!

I have lots of cuttlebug embossing folders, but for some reason I don't seem to use them as often as I should.  So the CAS-ual Fridays challenge was the perfect opportunity to get them out to play.  I spent ages deciding which one to use and settled on Diamonds in the rough.  I like the random layout of the diamonds.  I used cordinations whitewash card and selected a sheet with a green core, after embossing the image I sanded off the top layer to bring out the green.  I inked up my doily stamp with Versamark, added the coloured ink, stamped and then heat embossed with clear powder.  Using the same technique I used a darker shade of pink to add the smaller doilies. I found a large pink gem in my stash that matched the little doilies perfectly!  I didn't have any navy ribbon, so I coloured some white ribbon with a blue Promarker - works brilliantly!  Finally, I cut a thin strip of the green card and repeatedly stamped the sentiment.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Dainty Doilies - Large
Inks:  Versamark; Stampin' Up! - Night of Navy, Melon Mambo, Pretty in Pink
Accessories:  Cuttlebug folder - Diamonds in the Rough; Card, ribbon, gem from stash

I decided to have a lazy day yesterday - we were so busy over the weekend that I just didn't feel like doing much.  Kathryn and I had a great time messing around in the morning, I read several chapters of my latest Stephen King novel and I did get the washing done - so it wasn't a bad day.  Today, Jonathan is working in London - so he's got a really early start.  And I've got an appointment to see my knee specialist - all being well, I'll be discharged.  My knee is feeling so much better.  That's all for now.  I'll be back later this evening with a couple more cards - I've got a few to catch up on!

Oh yes, before I go, I've another new Blog Friend - so Hello and Welcome to QueenB - so glad you joined me!

Sunday 21 August 2011

Brilliant weekend .....

... you know, sometimes it takes a visit from friends or family to make you see the place you live in with new eyes!  Sue and Saffron, my Aunty and cousin, came to see us for the weekend - they've not been here before, so we took them out to see the area.  And it was fabulous.  Even the weather was kind to us!!

We started off on Saturday with a trip to Chester - a really beautiful city.  We did a ride on the river, then a trip round the city on an open-top bus and finally we headed to the races - just super.  We all had a great time - all of us - including the children, taking lots of photos.  So I'd like to share a few photos of Chester.

Jonathan, Kathryn, Sue and Saffron

 Old Dee Bridge - leading to Handbridge

Rowing on the River Dee

Ruins in the Roman Garden

A row of cottages in Chester City centre

First race on Saturday - the racecourse was packed!

Proving that Kathryn is still a big kid at heart - thank goodness!!!

Today, we had a bit more of a leisurely start and I was delighted to learn that both Sue and Saffron like to craft too!  Yea!  A good excuse to have a rummage in my craft room.  They are both quite new to crafting, so we had a play and I demonstrated heat embossing - one of the first things that got me hooked - and now I've got them hooked :) 

We headed into Mold - and took part in a Treasure Hunt organised by the camera club.  We were given 10 themes - eg time, transport, two colours, etc - and then we had to take photos.  We were left to interpret the names as we felt appropriate.  This turned out to be a great way to go around a town and have a fresh look at familiar places and objects.  I think it's also a great idea for keeping older kids occupied in the holidays!!  I won't show all my pictures from today, but I'll share a couple.

Category: Green - so I went with the colour, and I love this image!

Category: Two colours - off a shop name - just concentrated on the sun ray effect

Category: Time - I like this clock, it's at the local bus station - and that's time for me!!

I didn't win anything - but Jonathan came second in the Adult competition and Kathryn came second in the children's competition - we're so proud of her.  Sue and Saffron had lots of fun walking around with us, and have decided that it's a game they'll play when they get home.

Such a great weekend.  Kathryn has only got two more weeks left of her summer holidays - and we're going to be fairly busy this week.  Monday - we're all having a bit of a rest - and I plan to get into my craft room - I've a few challenges to catch up with!  Hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.  See you later.

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