Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas Day LO

It's amazing what can be achieved with a little motivation. Even better for clearing up than the kick up the jacksie of visitors staying, is the incentive of scrapping for getting my desk cleared. Here is yesterday's work, and proof of the work of the previous weeks.

See the labels and the pine-cones? Those are just some of the Christmas presents from my DH, bless him. I love my new Spellbinders!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas is over

Christmas is over, Mum and my brother have gone home, and that means that our race to get the house respectable in time has been won. My Mum and my brother arrived on Christmas Eve to stay until yesterday, and we only have one guest room, so the study/music/craft/general dumping room had to be cleared out so that Mum could sleep there. That really did take 6 weeks!

There has been a lot of church and singing in the lead-up. I played Mary in the parish Star Trail production for the whole of a precious week. I sang at several carol services, and DH and I both dressed up as carol singers in the town's Victorian Fair. We even had a wedding to sing at yesterday - a beautiful naval Christmas wedding.

I was the Server in church for midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and I was so worried about getting it wrong, or my brain freezing with nerves and not letting me add up the number of wafers required, but it went pretty smoothly. Less than 11 hours later, we had 6 for Christmas dinner: MIL, FIL, Mum and my brother, and DH and me. It was the first time we have hosted in more than 10 years, and I was using my new kitchen. No pressure then! I couldn't have done it without DH's help. It went well. The dinner, with everybody's varying diets catered for, was a success. I won't say that my lost sleep, jitters and panic were unfounded, but now I know that I can do it.

On Boxing Day SIL, BIL and our niece and nephew came over for their presents, and made so much excited noise that I think Mum turned off her hearing aid so she could have a little nap. Our nephew got nearly all the Skylanders Giants, I think. Our niece got a HobbyCraft extravaganza - a pink plastic box filled with card-making, scrappy goodies. At 9, her mother thinks she is old enough for a mini paper trimmer, although I was worried about the blade. She never does her crafting unsupervised though so she should be OK. I can't wait for her to come over and stay again, and bring her stash so we can make pretty things together.

I was lucky enough to get a lot of socks, shower gels, chocolate and scrappy things, which was what I wanted. I'm happy.

Normal crafting service will be resumed as soon as I have unearthed my desk, put away all my new things and the Christmas detritus. And...... come back next year to see the new ideas that we have for Scrap Whispers.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Home, sweet home

Just as I took over the job of making the choir cards from dear Pat, who has done it for the last 11 years, we discovered that we're losing our Margaret, a valuable soprano. It's just not good enough. She knows we need the voices, and she still chose a house 25 miles away. Pfft. Well she'll just have to commute back and sing with us, I say.

Losing her will make us pretty blue, so she's got a blue card to say goodbye and wish her well.

Basic Grey: anything goes (Oxford papers)
Charisma Cardz: feeling blue
Creative Card Crew: silver and blue
Sketch Saturday: sketch
Stampin' for the Weekend: anything goes

Thursday, 25 October 2012


I've recently taken over making the cards for the choir, and B's birthday is on Sunday. She and her husband keep chickens. We give them our used egg-boxes, and every so often she returns one with fresh, free-range, family pet eggs inside. A perfect barter, except that I think we get the better deal!

I found this adorable image on The Digi Street, and teamed with my new Bo Bunny Apple Cider papers, it made the cutest card I've seen for a while. Sketch Saturday's sketch and Simon Says Stamp's leaves challenge made a perfect combination. Cute Card Thursday's challenge of "scary" seems to fit too - this poor chook looks pretty scared.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A hodgepog for BIL

It's our brother-in-law's birthday tomorrow and I was stumped for card ideas. He likes hedgehogs, Bristol City and tropical fish. And posh watches, but I couldn't find a decent Tag Heuer die anywhere...

I did the red-and-white scarf last year, 6-year-old nephew is doing a fish hand-print as suggested to his mum by Auntie, and 9-year-old niece made an adorable red and white woodland scene card when she came to stay with Auntie last month, and played with all Auntie's toys instead of her own. Ahem.

Mind blank. Then the hodgepog Twinchie came to my rescue and grew into this:

Cool eh? Those dots are delicious chestnut-coloured sparking gems, and the leaves are smothered in frosty Stickles. I have to explain this because I had the choice of getting the card square or showing the sparkles, and I need the sparkles for Basic Grey's challenge. The leaves are punched from Bittersweet, Indian Summer and Ruby Lemonade amongst other scraps. I hope that counts? I've made this week's Sketch Saturday sketch into a masculine version.

I'm entering it into Simon Says Stamp's photo inspiration challenge as well - the leaves look a lot like the M&Ms and all the orange echoes the house and the tree background. My thumbnail is small!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Every cloud has a silver lining

The weather has been 'orrible this week; miserable, dark and soaking wet through the whole of the South West in particular. Poor Clovelly suffered flash floods with a red torrent rocketing down the steep streets where donkeys carry people's groceries. It has been double-speed wind-screen-wiper, and lights-on-by-4:30pm weather. Proper mingin', as they say around 'ere.

I've been thinking about Christmas - well you have to cheer up somehow, don't you? Less Is More wants silver this week, and Creative Card Crew are requesting birds, and I have some Hero Arts stamps which get trotted out every year because they're so cute and useful. I think I've found my Advent Craft Fair design:

Friday, 5 October 2012

Orange, you are so terrible that it's funny

I have never before used my blog to call out companies for shocking service. But this is so outrageous that it made me laugh. Does anyone else remember the That's Life saga with the "but I've got no gas!" craziness when British Gas tried to bill a customer for gas when he wasn't even connected? If That's Life was still on, I would be sending this in to them so that everyone else could have a good laugh.

Here is my original e-mail to them, using their own "contact us" e-mail system:
"I am no longer an Orange customer, although I am still receiving text messages from Orange about promotions which I am not able to enter, and I am unable to unsubscribe from them. I would like my number removed from your database.

I have tried to go into an Orange branch with my request, and they were unable to help. I have tried calling your Helpline, but not only was there no number to press for anything close to my query, but the recorded message told me that there was an hour's wait to speak to a customer service representative. There isn't even an option in the obligatory subject line above which is close to my query.

I shouldn't have to point out how unacceptable this is.

Please would you remove my number from your marketing database?
Thank you"

Today I received this response:
"Please accept our apologies, we are in the process of improving our e-mail service, and cannot deal with your e-mail enquiry at this time.

For the moment, can we ask you to use one of our alternative Customer Service channels, where our advisors will be happy to answer any question or resolve any enquiry you may have.

You can contact us, between 8am to 10pm by :- 

  • dialing 150 from your Orange handset or
  • calling us on 07973100150 from a landline*
  • If your abroad you can also contact on 07973100150**
  • You can manage your account online, 24 hours a day at Your Account
  • You can also manage your account and get answers to most questions, using our Your Orange app, available to download for all smartphones
  • You can talk to one of our agents using our Click to chat services on our website
  • Alternatively, our Orange helpers are always ready to provide support if you visit our social media sites @OrangeHelpers on twitter or search for Orange Helpers on Facebook
Apologies once again, but we hope to be back soon with an even better email service, so we appreciate your understanding at this time.

*calls are charged at local rates if you're a BT customer, but if you're with another provider it may cost more so do check
** calls are charged at international rates.

A-hahahaha! You've GOT to be kidding me!

OK. You goaded me.

They're so short-staffed at Orange that they've given the job of writing the official apology e-mail to one of their kids who hasn't passed an English exam yet. Advisors? Dialing? My abroad? Haha!

In addition, my complaint is that I am NOT an Orange customer so I can't do any of that stuff except the part about sitting in a queue for an hour being charged at local rates. But since they have suggested taking this to Twitter and Facebook, I might just do that....

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Was that thunder?

What a delightful day it is today! Grey skies, dismal heaving sea with white-tipped swells, and rain coming in parts of the greenhouse which don't normally leak. Lovely.

The new challenge on Show us your Twinchies is giving us free rein to do anything we like, so in defiance to the rain, here's my entry. I made it using Stickles, a copper eyelet, a black brad, gilding flakes and a stamp that came out of the clearance bin in my favourite LSS in Perth, Australia.

Take that, miserable day!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Frugal scrapping?

I have this rule, which I almost always follow, of not cutting into a fresh piece of 12"x12" patterned paper to make a card. I only use scraps wherever possible, or 6"x6" paper. As I had an idea for a card which needed fresh paper from my beautiful Basic Grey Sweet Threads collection pack which I have hardly used yet, that meant that I had to make a LO first. {grin}

Apologies for the rubbish night-time photo - I might take another one tomorrow if I get time. You get the gist though. This is our precious niece very carefully handling one of the two wild slow-worms that have been living in our greenhouse lean-to over the summer. How blessed are we?

And... (cue drum roll) here is the card which I wanted to make all along, using the backs of those mouth-watering papers:

It is for our friends in Singapore whose daughter turns 4 in a couple of weeks. I've given Whiff of Joy's Willow a dark complexion and the darkest hair I could manage with the Copics I have. I really love this.

Basic Grey: ribbon and lace (and Sweet Threads papers and sticker)
Whiff of Joy: shabby chic
Simon Says Stamp: anything goes
Stampavie: sparkling (Stickles)
Cute Card Thursday: letters/numbers (the Making Memories age sticker)
Stampin' for the Weekend: floral
Sketch Saturday: sketch

Friday, 14 September 2012


Less Is More this week has a one layer card challenge with the theme of foliage. Well you can't get much less than this, and that is just as well as having thought about it all week, I only just remembered it before the 11pm deadline. Oops.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Replacement Twinchie

I entered my pretty circular Twinchie into the "autumn" challenge last week and was told that they had to be square. Oops. Well, there was an opportunity to make another one!

I made this a couple of days ago but I've spent since then trying to think of a witty greeting. The best I can come up with is "roll up, roll up..." but there my inspiration runs dry. Never mind. It's cute enough without one. You think?

Now I'm getting really busy. Our church is holding an Advent Fair, with an Arts and Craft theme, and muggins here was rash enough to call the number provided and apply for a table. The lady asked what I had in mind, and was so enthusiastic that I'm now a bit scared that I may have bitten off more than I can chew! It's not for another 10 weeks, but I mustn't be complacent. There's scope for a LOT of work here.

On another note, it's a funny thing how competition winnings tend to come in pairs for me. I won the August ScrapJazz card prize with my three cat'n'village cards from the same stamp, and my blue penguin double Dutch fold card won the Stampin' for the Weekend prize last fortnight. How strange is that?

Thank you. Thank-you-verra-much. {bows head modestly}

Thursday, 6 September 2012


The current Twinchie challenge is "autumn". I used a Kanban stamp coloured with Copics and some punched leaves out of Basic Grey scraps, with the obligatory Stickles in copper.

While the Stickles was drying, I put together this card from the latest Sketch Saturday sketch. I wanted the card background to frame the Twinchie, but instead of cutting out an extra piece, I decided to experiment with cutting windows out of the patterned paper backgrounds instead. I know, I never make things easy for myself, do I?! But I think it looks a bit different. I rather like it. 

The Basic Grey paper is from the Bittersweet range (brown) and Green at Heart (the pink background), the pink tag from another BG scrap, and teeny scraps from Eskimo Kisses for the punched leaves - and their challenge this week is punches. Cute Card Thursday's challenge is also "autumn", Charisma Cardz wants "double", and Simon Says Stamp is asking for a stamp.

 Here's a simpler card for Less Is More's "pink and brown" challenge - almost my favourite colour combination. If Basic Grey can't see the small punches on the other card, then they can use this one as my entry!

ETA: Apparently Twinchies have to be square. D'oh! OK, off to try again....

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wishing my life away

No I'm not really. But on this glorious early autumn day, with the sun shining on the beech leaves which the sea wind has dried to that delicious rust already, to be thinking about Christmas seems as if I'm trying to hasten it. And I'm not! Autumn is my favourite season, and today IS all the reasons why I love it so much.

But challenges go as challenges go, and this one happens to be for Christmas.

Now isn't that pretty? It's called a Double Dutch Fold card. I had a practise run last week and made a birthday card for a friend which I can't show you yet, but it's very pink. This blue one has:
pearls and swirls for Stampin' for the Weekend
Christmas for Creative Card Crew
anything goes for Simon Says Stamp with about an hour to spare!

It is also a lift of a lovely card for a challenge over at in their Gallery Inspired Challenge. And for the same challenge, here is the LO which I started at the new crop I went to on Saturday. I love it, both the LO and the crop!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Working small

Today's offering is straight from my scrap box. These Kaisercraft scraps are so pretty. I had my usual fight getting the punched border right, but it did help that one set of 5 scallops is exactly 2" long. So there weren't as many rejects and deeps sighs as usual.

For the Twinchies challenge to "add a flower":

And made into a card for Less Is More's 3-2-1 challenge. I have here 3 die cuts, 2 scalloped circles and 1 brad. Or 3 embossings, 2 shapes with cut-outs, and 1 stamp. I just realised that the photo is pants, but think of it as subtly de-focussed and it works. You get the idea anyway.

Enjoy the ^delightful^ bank holiday weather everyone! {rolls eyes but at least I don't feel guilty about being inside crafting instead of outside gardening. ;-) }

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Sketch #2

OK I used the Creative Scrappers sketch again. I rotated it this time, for the ScrapJazz photo inspiration challenge:

I love the red and yellow with the grey and white, along with those blue photos. Shame I didn't have any flowers or Copics in quite that "subtle" orchid purple/pink!

Love this sketch!

Creative Scrappers have come up with a great sketch. I just kept seeing things I wanted to do with it. See what I mean?

I used Basic Grey's Life of the Party shapes which DH bought me, and the journalling is done on Papermania's Portobello Road paper with the matching flag ribbon.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Christmas stamp? Where?

For August's card challenge at ScrapJazz, Nora has come up with a truly challenging idea, and it has taken me this long to finish it. She wants us to choose one Christmas stamp, or a set, and create 3 cards with the stamps used in different ways.

Now as this is an American site, her terminology was actually "holiday" stamp. And silly me, having just got home from my summer holiday at the seaside in the sunshine, jumped to the immediate impression that she was talking about flip-flops, beaches and the sea. So I faffed around with masking and lighthouses (the only stamp I have that even remotely resembles a beach) for a while until I admitted defeat. At last the light-bulb went on. Duh. "Holiday" in American means "Christmas". And all the other religious and non-religious consumerism which goes on at the end of December.

OK, having got past my senior moment, I cracked open my box of Christmas stamps which hasn't seen the light of day for months, and considered. A stamp with multiple uses. Hmm.

How about this one? It's called "A Purrfect Day" from Personal Impressions. I've already shown you the first card I made. That's the complete stamp - no masking:

Now the next one is using the top part of the stamp only. I had to mask the border off as well as the sun and the cats. The copper star is a brad and the others are just made with a silver marker. My usual problem with photographing black doesn't show how vivid the copper ink is - you'll just have to take my word for it.

The third one also works for several current challenges:
Basic Grey: anything goes (I used paper from the 6"x6" Kissing Booth collection)
Creative Card Crew: script (the Cuttlebug embossing folder)
Stampavie and more: animals
Sketch Saturday: the sketch

See how I covered up the holly there to make it into a birthday card? Hehee. Not bad, all from one stamp. Me likey.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Animal antics

Simon Says Stamp's challenge for last week is Animal Antics, and I think I'm just about going to get this card squeezed in for it. I also made it for another challenge which was to use the same stamp or set of stamps in 3 different ways to make 3 cards. I was hoping to post them all together but I'm not going to be able to finish the third in time. Ah well.

Here's my versatile stamp in its first incarnation. The background paper is one of Basic Grey's, and their current challenge is "anything goes". I used my new-to-me Marianne Designs Creatables poinsettia die and quite a lot of Stickles "frosted lace" as well as my beloved Copic markers to colour the image.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Having a blue day

This has nothing to do with discovering that a local plumber has been advertising our telephone number as his fax number, and that the internet is peppered with it, and old ladies are calling me and wanting to know what a fax is. Honest.

No, I'm not feeling blue in the emotional sense. But blue is my favourite colour today. When I am asked "what's your favourite colour?" I can never answer because it changes depending on how I'm feeling. Yesterday I was all about green, today it is blue.

I've been wondering how people get those perfect sponged shapes (Mandi's beautiful flamingo circles, and Squirrel's effective oval) so this morning I've been playing. I die-cut circles and squares out of card scraps as a template, and sponged inside the shapes. I'm not getting that lovely crisp edge though. I suspect that my template may be too thick. I'll try again with paper.

But I also learned a few things about Distress ink, chalk ink and pigment ink, namely that you can't use Distress ink OVER chalk ink. Well there you go.

I also want to know what those masks are made of which you can use in embossing folders to get a non-embossed shape in the middle. It isn't craft foam or really thick card. I didn't want to use anything really strong in case I broke my folder. Or my Cuttlebug. Hmm.

As a result of all this playing around, I now have a handful of embossed scraps, wobbly shapes and wasted card blanks. And this one successful card.

Let's try and enter it into these challenges and see what happens:
CAS-ual Fridays (2nd entry) - square card
Charisma Cardz and Stampin' for the Weekend (2nd entry) - monochrome
Creative Card Crew - maps/newsprint/sheet music/script
Less Is More (2nd entry, first was fur now feathers) - fur/feathers

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Cartoon card

I've never been very good at cartoons. DH is much better than I am, so he's been advising with this card, although I'd already done most of it before he appeared. It's Monica jumping "Hooray" from House Mouse and Friends, and I've given her a pole vault. Honest, that's what it's supposed to be. If I feel the need to explain, it probably isn't very good!

I'm putting it in for these challenges:
Cas-ual Fridays (my first entry) - square card
House Mouse and Friends - Olympics
Less Is More - fur/feathers
Stampin' for the Weekend - monochrome

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Washed clean

Just a quick card which took longer than I thought. It's DH's best friend's anniversary on Saturday (as well as their eldest's birthday) and he's popping round later to drop off all the presents and cards while I get the tea.

I hope there's enough "white space" on this to count as Clean And Simple. Just, I think. It's busier than my normal CAS cards, but it kind of evolved that way. Maybe I should have used a long, thin card shape instead. Ah well, if it's not CAS enough then hopefully someone will tell me.

With that hope in mind, I'm entering it into CASology (pond) as well as my second entry for Less Is More (blue and green). Inside it says Happy Anniversary on another white rectangle with gold mat, and another of those lovely little dragonfly brads.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A crafty morning

I was "gently" awoken at 4 o'clock this morning by DH hearing a mosquito. When he turned the light on, there were about 30 of them whining around the room. They must have got in the window which I had left open on the security latch - just a crack really.

I don't ever remember having mosquito problems in England before. I know that there are 30-odd resident species here, but they have bothered animals more than people. But this year we have waved a thankful goodbye to the tropical and desert mozzies, only to find that the irritating little blighters have decided to move here too. For goodness sake.

4am is not the best time of day to go charging around the house energetically walloping a "feather" duster against the walls and ceilings for half an hour, and then expect to fall asleep again quickly. I am tired. But my body still woke up at normal time and only let me doze for a few minutes' lie-in. Again, for goodness sake.

Card-making is always soothing when the brain is tired but the body is wide awake.

Other god-son's 11th birthday is this weekend, and I understand he is getting a BMX bike. And some Lego, but I'm a bit Legoed out after his brother's card. So I concentrated on the bike.

Basic Grey are asking for "bright and bold" this fortnight, and Stampavie want Birthdays. I wanted to use a Sketch Saturday sketch, but they haven't put up this week's challenge yet, so I used one of their old ones. The image is a digital stamp from edupics, coloured with my faithful Copics. The BG Lime Rickey collection is just perfect for this, and I used the scraps to make a banner inside.

I missed Less Is More's pretty sketch last week which I had a load of ideas for (thank you holiday washing and ironing) but I'm up early for the new "blue and green" challenge. It also fits for Cute Card Thursday's "clean and simple" theme, and Creative Card Crew's "beach/sea" theme. Cute huh?
(ETA: that's a wave)

And here are this fortnight's Twinchies challenge of bright colours. These adorable little woodland stamps were embossed in black before colouring - and I STILL managed to smudge the black with my Copics. I really thought that embossing wouldn't do that, but you learn something new every day. These three will probably go on a card in another bunch of threes. I really like that look.

And now the forecast thunderstorm is breaking (this really IS like the tropics, except about 10 degrees cooler!) and I have to stir my stumps.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Lego card

Our god-son has always been crazy about Lego. He turns 7 tomorrow and we've got him a few more packs. I couldn't find a Lego card though, so I had to make my own. I never would have thought it would be so fiddly! Every little knob is punched using a hole punch and I inked the edges by holding it with tweezers. The back is done with the Swiss dots Cuttlebug embossing folder.

I'm entering this into the Simon Says Stamp challenge which, usefully for this week is "anything goes". I'm not sure a Lego card would really fall into any other category!

Think he'll like it?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


This week Creative Card Crew wants black card stock, and Less Is More is asking for a one layer card with the theme of "3". This card has 2 sets of three: stamping, gilding flakes and dry embossing, as well as the three birds. It's the first time I've tried gilding flakes and I have to say, I think the effect is amazing - SO much better than my photography in the light of this apology of a British summer's day can reproduce. You'll have to trust me when I tell you that this card is a million times more dramatic in real life. The black is really black not grey, and the metallics glow - I LOVE that combination.

I used the same theme for this other card for House Mouse and Friends and Show us your Twinchies, a new site I just discovered which only launched last week, both of which have a theme of summer. I presume it's OK to mount my twinchies on a card already? Hopefully someone will tell me if I've broken the rules already! Twinchies are tiny pieces of art, just two inches by two inches, hence the name. I like the idea of small. Small and clean and simple. That's me. :-)

This adorable House Mouse stamp is masked before I stamped in sections, coloured it with Copics, Distress Inked (on my brand new craft sheet - yes I caved and I'm glad I did!) and the Patina Stickles were applied with a brush. It's another "3" card. Nothing to do with forgetting that the LIM card was supposed to be one layer. Of course. Ahem.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

cards for niece and nephew

Just a quickie.

For our precious little Hello Kitty fan (Sketch Saturday and Stampavie):

And our delightful scamp who knows more about Ben 10 than anyone (Charisma Cardz):

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Have you ever played with Wordle? I love creating things with it. I used to use it for slides in church, and today it has come in very handy for this month's card challenge at Scrap Jazz, "to create your own patterned paper using card stock and printing on it using text. Then I want you to use your paper on two cards - each designed just a bit different."

Less Is More's challenge this week is "something shiny":

And I've used Sketch Saturday's sketch for the second card. I really like this effect.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Brother's card

My brother supports his local football team, travelling all over to watch them play. But I didn't want to do a football card for him, so I just choose the team colours instead. It's a nice big A5 size, with premium quality glimmer card-stock. The ink also has a glimmer to it, although the photo doesn't do it justice. I love working with top quality card-stock - it just feels so satisfying!

This is for:
Charisma Cardz: no flowers allowed
Simon Says Stamp: male
Stampavie: for a boy

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Well, we're in

The house is full to overflowing, and we're gradually working on getting things put away, but it's a slow job. I took an hour last night, and this morning while DH was catching up on much-needed sleep to make a few cards. My brother's birthday is on Monday and this will be late, but hey. His present will be even later because I'm still waiting for a copyright request to be replied to before I get his gift ordered. He should be used to this after 7 years of presents at all weird times.

We're also having a glut of babies being born around this time too. Liz and Colin welcomed Anna Mairi just 3 hours before my own birthday, and Fran and Dave are the proud new parents of Alice Hannah. My fellow alto in the choir, Ruth, has just become a second-time granny to Lucy Alice, and Diann and Andy are expecting their first boy any day now.

These cards are lifted straight from Chrissie at Less Is More where this week's challenge is a shaped card. If I had had more time and less guilt at playing, I would have used more imagination, but hey, less is more, right? ;-) Forgive me Chrissie!

It's just so good to be back blogging and crafting a little again. Having said that, we still have a LONG way to go, so I wont be indulging again for a while. Or not until that baby boy appears, anyway!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Scrap Whispers new format!

Our furniture is arriving next Tuesday. Probably. And that also happens to be my birthday, so no rest for the wicked here! But it will be SO good to have our possessions back again. I am just intimidated by the amount of work that has to happen in this final week, so this will be my last post for a while.

But I had to tell you about the changes that are happening at Scrap Whispers. With Kelly leaving the DT, me being all but out of action for a while and Georgina trying to launch her new career, it just couldn't carry on going the old way. Instead, Georgina has come up with some clever streamlining which I think is making it a better blog.

There is more going on, LOADS of challenges and inspiration. I've been given a whole bunch of beautiful sketches to put into our trademark purple format - and I will do that once I have a little time to myself. For the next few weeks, to quote my dear Aussie friend Glad,  I haven't time to scratch myself! So pop in and check out the new-look blog.

The latest game has started, and it is now being run as one big team of 15 people, each with a week to play. The forum is no more. All communication is being done by e-mail. You can read about it all on the blog HERE, where you can also find the contact details.

Must dash. I have to take up the hall/stair carpet/underlay and take it to the tip, and gloss paint the stairs skirting board so it is dry before the new carpet arrives on Thursday. Oh and I have to check in to the new hotel, as the old one suddenly got full between when I left the hotel and when I arrived at the house yesterday morning. And it's going to start raining by lunchtime so.... toodle-ooo

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Some more gorgeous pics

He really isn't bothered by me standing in the window taking pics of him, is he?

A stunning April shower cloud formation being blown over from Wales.

Thank you to Anmarie for this gorgeous "welcome home" rose. Isn't it exquisite?

Monday, 2 April 2012

Oh deer squirrels!

Just a quickie, as I'm supposed to be glossing windowsills and skirting boards. Yes, I know. That's why I'm here, putting that off! I've done the sanding and washing, and I'm just waiting for it to dry off before getting out the turps hand-dessicater.

DH is back at work today, leaving me free rein in the house. I have to share with you the friends who visited us yesterday.

This little chap had just had a fight with a greater spotted woodpecker over the feeder. He won.

I went outside yesterday evening to lock up the back cellar door and I heard a be-domp be-domp be-domp be-domp and two deer went cantering down the garden right past me. They must have been about 6 yards away from me. They didn't go far - I could see them at the bottom of the garden watching us. 2 minutes later they were back. Here is mum, looking very moth-eaten from her winter moult.

And here is her handsome son, possible last year's young, or maybe one of those spotty babies that I showed you 18 months ago. Hasn't he grown? See the beautiful velvet on those proud new antlers.

And mum and son together under the magnolia tree, hoovering up the fallen flowers. DH and I were standing at the open window above them, talking and clicking away. They kept looking up at us, but obviously decided we were no threat, and carried on munching. 

Seriously. Tell me why we ever left this place?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


OK folks, I'm just letting everyone know where we are with stuff.

We're staying in the local travel lodge, about 2 miles from our home, until our possessions arrive from Australia around the beginning of May. DH starts his new job on Monday after only 2 weeks of his expected 3 weeks off between jobs, because of the delay getting out of Australia. It's a shame he hasn't more time, but he does have two short weeks because of Easter. Also he'll be working sensible hours, at least until the new job gets under-way. He'll be home in the daylight!

Our air-freight arrives tomorrow. That will include clothes, my iron (YAY), the printer/scanner, some computer equipment, and some of my scrapping stuff. I'll be honest, I'm not 100% sure what got packed in the air freight in the end, so it will be interesting to see it again, even though I have no furniture to scrap on yet, or time to play. The Dyson vacuum cleaner is also in there, although DH has to mend the switch before I can use it, as it stopped staying on literally the morning that it got packed. DH had to carry the dratted thing around after me holding the button in while I vacuumed up some of the dust. Ironic huh?

So after he's back in work, I'll get to work on the decorating. I've stripped the paper off the box room walls except behind the radiator, which DH has to help me drain and take off before Monday. Then I have to seal the new plaster and then paint that room, ceiling and walls. I've chosen the palest pink imaginable, with light-reflecting particles. It should go well with mushroom-coloured carpet and be perfect for a tiny room.

Then we have the study/scrap room to do. That's the one which had a roof leak just after I left for Australia last year, and it still has a lot of drying out to do before I can paint. Thankfully it wasn't one of the rooms I decorated last year. DH discovered that the best way of getting the paint off the damp wall was with a vacuum cleaner! It obviously has never been sealed properly, and it was coming off with the most satisfying "fffffffthup, ffffffthup" noises. Buuuuut that wall really is pretty lumpy now, so we have the choice of getting someone in again to skim it (rolling eyes) before painting, or making the most of the current fashion of the feature wallpaper and just covering it up. Whatever we do I'm sticking with blue. I love blue.

That's all we have to do decorating-wise before the shipment arrives. But we also have to have a new boiler and one new radiator installed, and all radiator valves replaced. A minimum of two weeks after that, the new carpets can go in. Then the furniture can go back in, and finally the new kitchen will start to be installed at the beginning of June. So much to think about.

As far as crafting is concerned, I'm going to be taking a holiday for a while. I'm missing it already, but priorities are priorities. I hope you're all still there when I come back! Happy spring!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Scrap Whispers Challenge #125 - journalling

It's technique time at Scrap Whispers this week, and Georgina has chosen JOURNALLING.

I know this is a challenge in itself to many people. Even I, Mrs Chatterbox, often can't be bothered to include much more than the essentials: the who, the where and the when. I think a lot of this is because I often forget, after 4 years of doing this, to save a space in the design for the words. Yes I know - DUH.

I developed a method to get round this very early on, and I'm finding myself using it more and more to avoid cluttered layouts. For me the photos are nearly always the main focus. So I tuck the journalling behind the photos, and leave a tag at the top to pull it out of the top of the page protector. No messing about with cutting holes in page protectors, no having to pull the LO out to read the journalling. I like to be tidy! Have you noticed? Haha.

This is the other half of a double page spread. I showed the left side a few weeks ago for the red, orange and green challenge, and told you all about Wirra Wirra. This is the cellar door and the actual church block: the piece of land with the church on it (that tiny building at the back) where the very first grenache grapes were grown for the original Church Block wine blend. I made the labels to echo the label on the bottles, and the Wirra Wirra sticker is off the packaging - well-insulated with foam tape and several layers of card-stock because I'll bet my boots it isn't acid-free. Here is the double page. They definitely look better as a pair.

Do you have any good ideas for how to hide or display journalling? What are your pet methods? Maybe you don't journal - well here's your chance to try something new. Share on Scrap Whispers, link us up and link back to the blog, and you will be entered into this month's fabby prize draw.