Saturday, 31 December 2011

Good intentions and all that ....

Right so last day of 2011 a time for reflection (no regrets though, they waste valuable time and energy thinking about) and the annual looking forward and what will I do differently, better?

Well one of the things I think I'm going to do this year is the calendar challenge.  I watched Kate's and others all last year and thought - I quite like that concept, a small square to record the best thing (notice best thing) about the day I reckon I could manage that.

So today I will create my January pages ready to start tomorrow - just need a quick trip to HobbyCraft ....
Click here to see Kate's explanation of what you have to do.

And the picture - part of a beautiful bouquet (it's got glitter on, so it's sort of crafty) that my husband sent me to celebrate our 22nd anniversary of when we first kissed - the old romantic he is!



Friday, 30 December 2011


Sometimes there just isn't enough time in December to actually think about Christmas, let alone craft about Christmas. Although I'm a great planner with copious lists and time plans for tasks I refuse to think about Christmas before December 1st.  

My family isn't big and they don't "do" Christmas (I haven't had a real present that was thought about, gone out and purchased and wrapped from my family for decades - just cash in an envelope), so leaving everything until December is manageable if somewhat depressing.

Given the general humbug mature of my family about Christmas you can imagine how joyous the actual day is.  My husband fondly remembers (as do I) the days of his childhood and youth when he and his family would sit around d the dinner table eating nuts and chocolates, sharing stories, playing games until finally it was tea time and the remains of lunch would be replaced by high tea.  Since his parents died over 10 years ago, Christmas have never been the same, my family will disappear from the table as soon as the main meal is eaten and have to be asked to come back to the table for the pudding.They all then go as soon as they can, usually around 4pm so no high tea.

Now I know it sounds like I'm moaning (I am I know), but it is their choice to behave this way and actually I respect that choice and it doesn't mean I don't love them - I do, it's just not mine or my husbands choice and it's not how we want to spend Christmas.

Next year we've decided it will be different.

Anyway as I said time disappeared before Christmas to actually make all the things I'd like to make (big plans again this year for Advent calendars, bunting etc, not achieved but I did make my Christmas cards) plus work was a bit manic and John was directing a pantomime for our local am dram group (Blackbeard a pirate panto which he wrote and it was jolly good fun, a real traditional family oriented panto. His goal for the coming year is to set up a website promoting all the panto he write and see if he can sell them).  But it was ok as I knew I'd got time off between Christmas and New Year as the Uni is closed to send time on some RnR which includes crafting.

I felt the need for some bright clashing colours as the house is decorated in muted shades of white, gold for Christmas so I went for some PaperArtsy fresco paints in citrus and red to make and 8x8 for my scrapbook.

I also had a play with some of the Portfolio oil pastels I bought from Leandra and Mark at NEC.  I like them, they give a hit of colour and add depth to the layers of colours. I sanded some of the colour away with a sanding block and sprayed on some dark red Glimmer Mist.  Tim Holtz snowflakes were added in cranberry ink over the top.
Christmas text was stamped in white. I cut out  some baubles from the carved ornaments die cut in pink Christmas paper and festive berries distress ink was rubbed directly to paper and then used to edge the baubles.

Scraps of paper to make the edging on the right, plus some stitching and a lonely fun foam snowflake who missed the garland to anchor everything both colour wise and elements.

All in all, good art therapy (goodness know what a psychologist would make of it but it worked for me - perhaps I should print out this blog and add the page in my scrapbook).

Right today I need to venture out of the house to go shopping to get supplies for lunch as friends are coming over. This means getting dressed, I've lived in my lounging pyjamas for the week ( just call me Norma darlings, Desmond not Major PLEASE!) and good as they are I'm not ready to swan around Sainsburys in them - yet.



Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Waste not ...

Where does the time go, I'm not even going to look and see when my last blog post was as it's tooooooooooooo embarrassing!

Anyway Christmas is here, well to be honest has actually gone.  I've done my commitments: decorated the house, sent Christmas cards, catered for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, got presents that on the whole everyone liked (my niece especially loved her cupcake baking goodies) and now the rest of the break IS MINE.

I intend to lounge around in PJ's, do some reading, watch some telly, eat SOME chocolate and do some crafting - oh how I have missed my craft room the past month.  So whilst I wait for some paint to dry here is something I did manage to make to decorate our tree with.

A snowflake garland!

I cut out loads of Tim Holtz snowflakes from white fun foam and stitched them together to make a garland. 
In my haste though to sew them I didn't really pay much attention to making sure they didn't get tangled so then had to spend 20 minutes with a helpful husband untangling them before we draped them on the colour co-ordinated (gold, white and clear glass) tree.

As I don't have a base plate for the mini die cuts (yet ...) I used the ATC die to put them in the cut out (thanks Lin - great tip) so not only do you get your snowflakes but you also get an ATC with the snowflakes cut out - result!

I stitched the ATC onto some brown card with brown thread and they are destined to be Christmas cards for next year.  I might even make them this year and get really ahead of myself!

Have a great break everyone.