Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show - Alexandra Palace

I had a brilliant day out yesterday at the above event, with my Mum and my friend Helen. If you haven't been this show, it's well worth a visit. I haven't been there for a few years and wow, has it grown! It was absolutely heaving - but very exciting!

For the first time at a show, I didn't really have a shopping list, I just wanted to browse, watch some demonstrations and get some inspiration. I was thrilled to be able watch the brilliant Dyan Reaveley, from Art from the Heart, create one of her masterpieces. She creates truly inspirational , vibrant art journals. Check out her blog here and her website here .

Obviously I couldn't go to a show and not buy anything so here are my goodies (I think I was quite restrained, although some might disagree!).
I added some new colours to my Promarker collection, as well as some useful storage boxes, so that I can store my pens in colour families.
Another shape from the Nestabilities range was added to the basket - I thought a flower would be quite useful so I bought this Dahlia.

Mum and I both thought these alphabet stamps from Creative Expressions would be really useful. They are a perfect size for cards.

I am never able to resist pretty ribbon, and it's so hard to find such a good range, and at such a reasonable price. Have a look at the website here .

Even though I don't want to think about Christmas at the moment, I did still buy a couple of Christmassy things, like these stamps from Paula Pascual.

It wouldn't be a stamp show without my favourite shop, Craftwork Cards. Again I was reasonably restrained (I was quite proud of myself!). I bought a pack of paper and some doilies from their Ice Cream Parlour range - beautiful colours. I am feeling quite inspired after watching their resident card making queen, Julie Hickey, demostrating her card making skills. Watch this space for some new cards!

More Craftwork Card goodies - greetings die cuts, both for birthdays and for Christmas. As well as some Christmas tree die cuts.

And finally, LB Crafts. I invested in some beautiful Paper Artsy stamps - gorgeous images, I really love them. I can't decide which is my favourite - I'm leaning towards the owl and birdhouses.

And because I spent a certain amount of money, I became the proud owner of a limited edition pin, made by Linda Brown - a very clever, creative lady.

So that was my day - and a very good one it was too. I was so tired when I got home and just wanted to chill, but things did not slow down. Emily had a Night Hike for Brownies, Guides and Explorers and didn't get home until 1.40am - I am feeling so tired today! Have a good day everyone.
M x

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A little bit of crochet

Look at my gorgeous new stash of wool! It's for my new project - a Granny Stripe blanket as designed by the lovely Lucy at Attic 24 (pattern found here). The wool is Style Craft Special DK found here - a snip at £1.35 per 100g ball.

The colours I have chosen are violet, bright green, raspberry, pale rose, pomegranate, fondant, lipstick, green, turquoise, sherbet, bluebell, lavender, lemon, saffron, jaffa, apricot, meadow, aster, spring green, aspen and cloud blue.

I may add a couple more colours - I think I need a couple of deeper colours like a grape and maybe a darker red.

The tray below shows my recent crochet work - lots and lots of flowers. These are going to be brooches and they just need finishing off now. I was assessing my range of colours and I obviously favour pink, red and purple. Think I need to add a few more colours - what do you think?. I am hoping to sell these flower brooches at my school's Christmas Fair.

The other crochet project I am working on is hair clips. These are mainly finished - just the blue, pink and green ones at the bottom to finish. I am using up my Rowan Cash Soft on these as they don't take much wool at all.

I am still working on my other project of note cards/thank you cards, but that is a whole other post!
Take care and hope your week is going well.
M x

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Summer Card Making

The fruits of my summer holiday card making - I generally make two or three of each design with a view to hopefully selling some. The first four cards are made using the Blossom, and Spots and Stripes papers from Craftwork Cards. These are truly beautiful papers - I love the colours and how they all work well together.

The next card is similar to one I posted yesterday using the Tiffany papers from We R Memory Keepers, I just changed the message and reversed the position of the flowers.

The next batch of cards are some more from the Cupcake kit from QVC. There is a pink version of it as well but it got overlooked in the scanning (Mark was very confused by all the cards, bless him!).

I've had another productive crafting day today. I made another two sets of note cards and have also been finishing off some of the hair clips - managed to get five sets finished before the tingling in my fingers got too bad. I feel like I'm on a roll now, so maybe I'll get some time after work this week to carry on - I'll keep you posted!
Have a good week if I don't get to speak to you before then. Take care.
M x
P.S. Have been having a play with my Promarkers today and I love them so much. Plus I've been working my Cuttlebug SO hard - one of the best pieces of equipment I ever bought!!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Peaceful Saturday

Hi Folks - hope you are all having a lovely Saturday. I am! The sun is shining, I am feeling chilled after a busy week, I have no obligations today and I've been doing a spot of card making. A very unusual Saturday indeed! Normally there is so much to do - I'm making the most of it while I can.

I am busy making things to sell at our school's Christmas Fair (sorry for mentioning the "C" word in September!). I have been making sets of note cards/thank you cards which I am going to sell in packs of 5. Hopefully I'll get them scanned tonight and I can share them tomorrow. So far I've made three packs.

I've also been doing lots of crochet too - making flowers for brooches, which I am hoping to sell too. I've gone a bit crazy and made loads! I've also made some smaller flowers to make hair clips.

Hopefully I will be able to share some of the cards I made over the summer holidays soon. Again just waiting for them to be scanned.

These three cards are recent cards - two September Birthdays and a Good Luck card for Edward. The cute elephant punch on the first card is a Martha Stewart punch which is hard to find in this country but my lovely Mum managed to track it down. The papers are DCWV.

This nine square card is a favourite of mine - I love the colours. The papers are Tiffany papers by We R Memory Keepers.

And finally Edward's Good Luck card. My clever husband was responsible for the image (it's the school crest).

Enjoy the rest of your day. Strictly Come Dancing is launching tonight - I'm very excited!!
M x

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Back to School

Yesterday was Edward's first day of his new school. He looks so smart in his new uniform (I confess to shedding a few tears!).

Emily has entered Year 11 - her final year in uniform and GCSEs in the summer. It doesn't seem 5 minutes ago that she was in Edward's position - where does the time go??!!

This was such a sweet moment - Edward climbed onto Emily's lap to show her his new homework planner - that made me feel emotional too!

They both had a good start back at school. Edward loved his first day and was buzzing about it when he came home. It was such a relief to me - I felt all the tension from the last few days leave me and now I feel much calmer and more relaxed. Fingers crossed the rest of the term passes like this.
Hope you have had a good day.
M x

Monday, 6 September 2010

Back to work today

It wasn't so bad even though I was full of trepidation. But tomorrow . . . tomorrow my baby starts secondary school! That means another sleepless night for me. Edward has been brilliant all summer but now is getting slightly twitchy. He's had a lovely relaxing day today with my parents while I was working, but tomorrow is crunch time.

Everything is ready - uniform all freshly washed, ironed and labelled. Bag is packed with a pencil case bursting with new goodies. Shoes are polished. Edward is bathed and has washed his hair. We are ready!

M x

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Day 6

After a couple of long days we decided not to go too far afield. We drove up to Bamburgh Castle (didn't go in) to have a look round the outside. It's rather impressive. The beach there is gorgeous and reminded me very much of the beach at Mont St Michel.

After Bamburgh we followed the coastal route down to Seahouses, which I found a bit disappointing. Every other shop was a fish and chip shop and there were lots of touristy tat shops. We did have a lovely lunch in a tea room though.

Mark couldn't resist the seafood stalls and treated himself to some cockles. He did manage to persuade Edward to try them, but he wasn't terribly impressed!

After Seahouses, we carried on to Alnmouth and spent a couple of hours on the beach. It's a very pretty beach and yet again Edward was straight in the water as soon as we got there. It was a bit more brisk than the afternoon we had on Druridge on Sunday, but still very pleasant and relaxing.

M x
P.S. Sorry about the mega postings today, but I meant to blog more this week and I ran out of time. Hope it's not too boring - only one more day to go! I am back to work tomorrow after six weeks off so who knows how often I will get to post!
Day 5

This was the day we decided to go to Alnwick Castle and Gardens. We'd been waiting to do this, but had to pick a day where the weather was going to be kind to us. It was a bit fresh but otherwise OK.

Emily and Edward decided to wear their ridiculous glasses for this visit, which guaranteed that we would get some strange looks!

We are fans of Harry Potter so it was very exciting to visit the location for Hogwarts and to see where the flying lesson scene from The Philosopher's Stone was shot. But aside from that, it is a truly wonderful place to visit. The State Rooms (no photos allowed) are magnificent, and staff were so friendly and very informative.

The Gardens are beautiful too with lots of water features, as well as gorgeous plants.

The Tree House is the largest one in the country and the children had a great time exploring and running across the rope bridges. I wasn't too thrilled when I was on it and they started bouncing up and down on it and making me feel sick!!

And finally, The Poison Garden. We had to queue for access to this part (and we queued for approximately 45 minutes!). You are only allowed to go in there with a guide and they only admit parties of about 20 at a time. It was, however, fascinating. Lots of unusual plants as well as common plants, but our guide gave us an insight as to how fairly innocuous looking plants can cause problems. Did you know that Laurel can let off Cyanide gas if not treated correctly?! I recommend a visit if you get the chance.

We had a brilliant day at Alnwick, if exhausting! There is so much to see and do. It is well worth a visit - I would certainly go again.
M x
Day 4

Cragside. A National Trust property. A beautiful house set in magnificent grounds. The house was the first house to be powered by hydro-electricity and was very progressive for it's time. It's well worth a visit and there is lots to see.

M x

Friday, 3 September 2010

Day 3

After such a glorious day yesterday, we woke up to a dull and overcast sky. We went to visit Warkworth Castle, an English Heritage castle about 2 miles from where we were staying. Edward had a great time exploring the castle and we hardly saw him!

After that we parked up in the village, which is very picturesque - lots of pretty buildings - very picture postcard. Unfortunately before we had time to explore, the heavens opened, and boy did it rain! We dived into a nearby tearoom - The Courtyard Cafe - which was lovely, full of little knick knacks and lovely Cath Kidsonesque table coverings. My mum was particularly taken with the pink paper lamp shades. Food was yummy too - Mark and my parents had "Singing Hinnies" - a cross between a scone and a teacake - they were enormous!

The rest of the day was spent back at the house as the rain was set for the day and it was pretty torrential. It did ease up briefly and we went out for a quick walk to the supermarket, but it soon started up again. So we spent the afternoon reading, playing cards and scrabble and cat-napping!
M x