Sunday, 31 October 2010

Shhhhh - I think I am back in blogland

I'm whispering this as I don't want to tempt fate and lose our connection again.  We have been back online again since Thursday after a visit from a very lovely BT engineer.  Before he arrived I suddenly had a connection again but it soon disappeared.  After much testing and fiddling with a new router the connection came back again and so far each day I have managed to get online - lets hope this is the last of our problems.  We still have 16 months of our contract left to run with our ISP so we will be off after that - not sure who with yet but several friends and family have mentioned that O2 are good and have good customer support so we shall see.

So what have I been up to whilst I have had no internet - well I have done loads of reading and read the first four Vampire Diaries books, I am now on book 5 and have book 6 in the pile ready to read.  I have started making my mince pies for the freezer though we have eaten quite a few of them too LOL.  I have an empty ironing basket - a rare achievement for me.  And I have done dreaded housework too.  We have had a five day break in the Lake District but sadly both of us had stinking colds whilst away so didn't enjoy it as much as we should have.

I haven't done any scrapbooking but have made loads of Christmas cards for my second fundraiser which I did on Friday - I will put up some photos of that soon.

We also went to see this band in Eastbourne

I was a big fan of Level 42 in the 80s but never got a chance to see them live so it was great to see them at last.  I had forgotten how much good stuff they had done and it wasn't long until the whole theatre was on its feet dancing.

It was also nice to see a band at our local theatre - we usually have to trek over to Brighton to see anything decent.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The future is not bright

Hello dear blog readers

I must apologise that I have not been commenting on anyones blogs at the moment - sadly we have had no internet connection at home for almost a month now and despite many phonecalls and letters and waiting in for engineers that do not show up we are no nearer to solving the problem.

I am currently having to hi-jack my dear brother in laws pc a couple of times a week to check my email and do banking and other essential stuff.  I do not want to take liberties and spend lots of time on his pc doing blog updates so sadly my automatic updates have come to an end.

I hope it won't be too long until we are back online properly again - though I am not holding my breath - the last three and a bit weeks have been a nightmare dealing with this company - their customer support is virtually non-existent.

A big thankyou to those that have been leaving comments - I have been reading and approving them whenever I have had access but sadly no time to look and comment on all of your lovely blogs :-(

Karen xx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Absolutely Fabulous - Anita's October class

This month we did a lovely layout using Bo Bunny papers.  My niece Milly has recently been on a cruise with her grandparents so I converted some of the lovely photos that she had taken onboard to black and white so that her lovely evening dresses didn't clash with the paper.

I think she looked absolutely stunning in all her different outfits.

Thanks for another lovely class Anita.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Debden weekend Part 4

As well as chucking in a pile of kits I also took the pack of what I have left of Basic Grey Euphoria and a pack of co-ordinating cardstock.  I love the Basic Grey collection packs but I have banned myself from buying any of the more recent ones as I have so much that I haven't used.

I did these two layouts using Euphoria

Sy had very kindly got a print done of this group shot for everyone who had been last year.  Thankyou very much Sy it was very sweet of you and I got on and used it on the weekend.

This layout will be for my niece Milly's album - I made her an album for her 18th birthday two years ago but left blank pages in it and each Christmas I add a few more layouts to it.  I have a feeling that I will have to get another album for her soon.

These photos are from when her and her best friend Harriet belonged to a local drama group. 

One of the fun things we do whilst away is a page kit swap - each participant makes up a page kit to the value of £5 - it has to contain two sheets of cardstock and two sheets of patterned paper as a minimum and matching embellishments.  We then randomly swap the kits and try to make at least one layout from the kit during the weekend. 

This is what I did with my kit

I used a Technique Tuesday frame template to cut out the cardstock and patterned paper.  My sister's dog Toby goes barmy whenever Richard is around and tries to jump up and lick his face.   We think it is because he likes the Crabtree & Evelyn Sandalwood aftershave balm that Richard wears.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Debden weekend Part 3

These days when I go away on retreats instead of spending ages making up page kits before I go I tend to just grab some of my monthly kits and a pile of photos that I think will go with the kits.  It saves a lot of time with the packing.

I did these two layouts using Sarah's Cards August Kit - Kaiser Peachy Keen

I used a Martha Stewart deep edge punch to produce the blue lattice work and the title is cut on the Bigshot using Sizzix Santa's Workshop.  Last year we did a narrowboat holiday with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law and their three children plus another niece.  Being April the weather could be quite nippy first thing in the morning and various people sported these rather nifty knitted hats with ear flaps - a great idea for keeping the lugholes warm.

For the next layout I pinched the chipboard birdhouse that had come with September's kit.  I don't tend to use birds as embellishments and I was not sure how to use the sheet of Peachy Keen that had birds on it.  Then whilst looking at some really old photos I found some of my cousin Keith and remembered that my Uncle always use to tell him to watch the birdie when he was about to have photograph taken - all of a sudden it fell into place how I could use these items for a layout.

The title is cut on the Bigshot and is Sizzix Slobbery Kiss.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Debden weekend Part 2

Some more layouts from our Debden weekend away

This was from our Round the UK cruise that we did in August 2007, we had a lovely time but it was over so quickly and the weather was so rough for the first half of the cruise.  The company doing the onboard photos offered an option of having a collage photo highlighting all the places we had visited.  I have used July's Sarah's Cards kit - Pink Paislee Bayberry Cottage.

I used same kit again for this layout and just added blossoms and bling from my own stash.

This is Richard and I on our Arctic circle cruise last year on the final formal night of the cruise - the way the photo had been produced meant that I had little to do for this layout as the title and journalling had all been done for me.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Cross stitch cards

I love to craft when I go away on holiday but it isn't always practical to take either cardmaking or scrapbooking away with me.  So I always pack some small cross stitch kits to tuck into my handbag - they are very useful for when you are stuck in boring traffic jams or having to wait an extra couple of hours to catch a ferry because you have just missed the one that you were supposed to be on.  I use the small designs to make into cards - here is a small selection that I have done this summer.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Fundraising update

The little stall that I had at my parent's sheltered housing complex went really well.  As well as selling my cards I also had Avon at bargain prices, second hand books, bric-a-brac and a raffle.  I raised £93 and with donations given to me on the day was able to hand over £228 to Children with Cancer Fund.

I'm now busy getting ready for an open house Avon party at the end of October.  As well as selling my cards I will donate the commission on all the sales to CWCF.  I already have some specific requests for Christmas cards from some of my customers so I need to get a move on and get started with them.

Here are some other cards and the post it note books that I didn't get a chance to show on the blog before the fundraiser

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Flight of the Butterfly

I loved this class at the Cardinal Colours retreat - it was taught by the lovely Zoe Pierson.  I was keen to do this class as I already owned these SU products and I wasn't disappointed by the class at all.  I just need time now to play at home.

Easel card

Tri-fold card

I loved this one and have plans to repeat the design for some of my Christmas cards.

And the final card



Thank you Zoe for such a fab card class.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Debden retreat Part 1

Last weekend I spent a lovely weekend with some of my crop buddies and Dizzy Dot team mates for a weekend of crafting at Debden House

The weather wasn't that great but it didn't matter as we spent the weekend getting on with lots of crafting and a bit of eating chucked in.  The food as usual was lovely especially the waffles and icecream which I was lucky enough to have twice as I don't eat bread and butter pudding (there are advantages to thinking that sultanas are the food of the devil LOL!!!!)

Thanks Tara for taking a lovely group shot at the end of the weekend

So over the next couple of weeks I will have lots to show you as I managed to do 9 layouts and 6 cards.

I did this layout for the challenge that Ali set last week on UKS.  Her requests were panoramic photos, altered alphabet and stamping.

I used Sarah's Cards September monthly kit (Jillibean Soup - Old World Cabbage).  I used plain chipboard thickers for the title, painted them with acrylic paint and stamped over them with a swirl stamp.  The journalling block was also stamped.  The photos were taken from our balcony on our Round the UK cruise on the Black Watch in 2007.  Our final stop before returning to Dover was Fowey in Cornwall and we were there for the regatta week - we could see so much of this delightful Cornish harbour town from our balcony.  I hope Ali doesn't mind but I loved how she had overlapped her photos to get one panoramic shot and did the same with mine.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Sarah's Cards Monthly Challenge - September

This is the sketch that Sarah's Cards Ltd  set this month

This is my layout based on the sketch

I used some old photographs from 1989 of my nephew Antony who liked to run around with his toy wheelbarrow on his head.  I used the August monthly kit - Kaiser Peachy Keen and added some foam thickers and My Little Shoebox alpha stickers for the title.  I stamped a border around the edge of the cardstock - not sure what brand the stamp is as I borrowed it - thanks Tara.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Monochromatic layout

Another challenge at the Cardinal Colours retreat was to do a monochromatic layout.  I loved the beautiful blues in this Bo Bunny paper so had to treat myself to a sheet.

I made the flowers from an EK Success retro flower punch and a woodware grass punch.  The flower centres are turquoise blue dewdrops.  This photo was taken on our cruise last year to the Arctic circle and on an evening when we had persuaded my parents to stay up really late to appreciate the midnight sun.  It would have been about midnight when we had this photo taken out on the Lido deck of the Black Watch.  And before you shout at me that I have made a typo in the title - I haven't LOL!!  Just before the photo was taken I happened to look down and notice that Richard had changed into his slippers.  We couldn't stop laughing - talk about make yourself at home!!!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Use your scraps challenge

One of the challenges at the Cardinal Colours retreat was to use leftovers from a class to make something.  I did a layout with my leftovers from Laura's Cosmo Cricket 'Delovely' class

All I had to add to the layout was the base cardstock the rest came from the page kit.

This is my sister Lucinda and I in her back garden on Father's Day this year.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


The weekly challenge for week 2 in September on UKS was to scrap about either a guilty pleasure or an obsession.  So it was an absolute no-brainer as to what I was going to do my layout on.  You also had to incorporate the colour brown and a circle.  I used some DCWV Rockstar paper that Sy kindly gifted to me, the circle is cut from brown coredinations and distressed to reveal the blue cardstock underneath.  The chipboard swirl and alpha were coloured with Promarkers and then covered with lime green glitter glue.

And Wendy took a piccie of me modeling one of my many band tshirts

Friday, 1 October 2010

Christmas in September Part three

The last couple of Christmas cards that I managed to make in September

I am loving my new Martha Stewart snowflake punches
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