Friday, 30 September 2011

Make and Takes at the Cardinal Colours Retreat

Jill had a great system for the make and takes this year - instead of trying to get on make and takes as they happened you were able to pre-book your places.  I thought this was great as at previous retreats I have been to I have often missed out on doing make and takes when too many people have wanted to do them and it has been the case that those that can run quickest to the make and take table get on them.

There were loads of different make and takes available and I booked to do two - beaded pins with Anita M and funky felt brooches with Perdita.

This is the lovely flower brooch that I made with Perdita

And these are the three lovely pins that I made with Anita

Thank you Perdita and Anita for two fabulous make and takes xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


One of the reasons I haven't had a lot of time for my own crafting recently is that it is the time of year that I do a little bit of fundraising for Children with Cancer Fund.  Yesterday I had a stall at the weekly coffee morning at the sheltered housing complex where my parents live.  We did a raffle, sold books, bric-a-brac, hand knits and handmade cards & gift tags.  There was a really good turn out as the residents are very supportive of this local charity and with the money donated from the sale of teas and coffees we raised £140.  I can't remember what I raised last year but it was nowhere near this amount so I am thrilled to bits with this year's total.

The handknitted toys sold very well - Mum and I have the perfect system - she knits them as I can no longer do much knitting as it causes me so much pain in my hands and wrists and I stitch them up and put their faces on as that is the bit that she hates doing.

We didn't make the teddies - they were kindly donated to us by my sister's MIL.

Mum setting up the stall

I didn't get any photographs once we started as it gets so busy I don't get a chance to come out from behind the tables.

A big thankyou to Mum, Dad, Lucinda, Melissa and Carol for all the help that they gave me with the stall - I couldn't have done it without them.

I now need to finish more soft toys and make more post it note books and cards ready for my next fundraiser at the end of October which I will do at home.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Mad About a Boy - SJs class at the Cardinal Colours retreat

The second scrapbooking class that I took was with SJ of Little Musings fame (if you scroll down to the end of the post you will see the three layouts that SJ taught over the weekend).

This was definitely an out of my comfort zone layout for me as it involved painting and not a blossom or butterfly in sight either but I really loved it.

And a closer look at each side -

We used Echo Park papers and stickers for the layout.

Thankyou SJ for a fab class!!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mmm Tiramisu - Sarah's Cards September Sketch

This month Jen has set a sketch for the monthly challenge - you can see it on Sarah's Cards Blog.

This is my take on the sketch using some photographs of me tucking into pudding whilst at the Marillion convention in Port Zelande back in March.

I used Bazill cardstock and papers from Basic Grey Lily Kate range - I still have a lot of old Basic Grey collection packs that I am slowly wading my way through.  The flowers are from my stash.

There is still time to take part as the closing date is 30th September.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A trio of challenges

I don't usually double up for challenges, but as I am really pushed for craft time at the moment I have had to combine some challenges.  Yesterday I made a card that fits the criteria for three challenges!!!!

The challenge this week over at Penny Black Saturday Challenge is Friendship, the monthly challenge at Penny Black at Allsorts is Get Ahead for Christmas and this week's challenge at The Penny Black blog is to use critters on your card.

I realised that I had the perfect stamp to make a Christmas card for special friends in my new T for Transparent set - Christmas Friends.  I actually bought this set because of this image!!

And a close up of the watercoloured image -

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Here is where our story begins - Canvas class at Cardinal Colours retreat

I have just spent a fabulous weekend at the Cardinal Colours 2nd Seaside retreat in Eastbourne.  There were a whole range of classes on offer including layouts, canvases, mini books and cards and we were allowed to choose 4 classes with the option to add in extra paid classes if spaces were available.

I kicked off the Friday afternoon with this fabulous canvas class taken by Anita MacDonald.  You can see Anita's canvas on her blog The Inky Blossom.  The class used Bo Bunny Timepiece collection of papers on a 16" canvas which was painted first in vintage gold.  I used some of my wedding photographs for my canvas and they fitted the theme of the canvas very well.  I stuck very faithfully to Anita's design.

And some close ups of the canvas -

The flowers were made using punched out scallops from book pages, which were joined together with a brad, scrunched up and then spritzed with glimmer mist

 The watch chain was made using bugle beads threaded onto copper wire

Thankyou Anita for a fabulous class, I absolutely love my canvas!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sweet Kitty cards

I love the versatility of Penny Black stamps especially those with multiple images on them.  I love this stamp -

It looks great stamped as a large image but it is also easy to split up the cats to make smaller cards

I made all three cards using scraps left over from kits or classes.  The scalloped mats are punched using two sizes of Woodware punch and the sentiments are a mixture of Hero Arts and Stampin' Up.

Some close ups of the watercolouring

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Greenland and Iceland Adventure - Last Days at Sea

Sadly our adventures at sea were drawing to a close with it taking three at sea days to get back to Dover.  Once again we got caught up in rough seas and had to endure another day of Force 10 winds.

The penultimate night is always the Captain's Farewell party - another chance to get really dressed up.  On this night there is always the Gala Buffet to look forward to, the staff cruise show and the Parade of the Baked Alaskas at the end of the evening meal.

All the waiters march around the restaurant carrying the Baked Alaskas and singing 'When the Saints come marching in'.  A small band play and we are encouraged to join in with the singing, clapping and stamping of feet - even banging your cutlery on the table in time to the music is quite acceptable.

And of course the baked alaska is always delicious but I always end up having two puddings this evening as my favourite pudding the Cherry Brandy sundae is also on the menu and I can never decide what to have!!!

The last night of the cruise is always very busy as we try to get all our packing done but we also want to see the farewell show and say goodbye to those crew members who have made our time at sea so enjoyable.  So once the show was done we popped up to the Lido Bar to say goodbye to Apple, a sweet waitress who had looked after us so beautifully over the 17 days.  She had a little surprise for me, my parents had mentioned that I would have my birthday a couple of days after the cruise and what a shame it was that I missed having it on the cruise.  Bless dear Apple she only went and organised a cake and the band and all the bar staff to sing Happy Birthday to me that night.

The cake was really yummy and it is the little things like this that the crew members do that make cruising on the Black Watch so special.  I am now counting down the days to our next cruise - December 2012 when we will spend Christmas and New Year in the Canaries on Boudicca, the sister ship to Black Watch.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Scrapology September Card Challenge

The card challenge this month on Scrapology is to use bunting on a card.   These are the little cards that I made as a guest member of the design team this month.

I stamped directly onto the card using a Penny Black T for transparent stamp from Critter Party set, the sentiment was also from that set and the bunting is a Molly Bloom stamp that was a cover gift of a magazine.

I watercoloured the stamped images with Derwent watercolour pencils and then lightly glittered the icing on the cake with Crystal Ice Stickles.  The candle flame was glittered with yellow stickles.

A close up of the watercoloured image

The challenge is open until 15th October so do have a go - there will be a fab prize on offer!!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Greenland and Iceland Adventure - Downtown Reykjavik

On our second day in Reykjavik we went into the city for a poodle about, whilst Richard went on a whale watching trip.

There were lots of lovely statues to be photographed, plus some icelandic seagulls for Wendy and I was exposed to yarn-bombing for the first time (I did have to come home and google why a tree was wearing knitted covers LOL!!)

Icelandic seagull for Wendy

Statues, sculptures and houses

And this place appealed to my funny sense of humour - it said it was an English Pub but was only selling Irish beer LOL!!

Sadly it was now time to leave Iceland after only two days - I really hope to come back here again one day and explore more of it.

We now had another three and a half days at sea to look forward to before arriving back home in Dover, so we made sure that we got a last glimpse of land.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Greenland and Iceland Adventure - Land at Last!!!

After four days at sea, three of them being very rough, everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief when we arrived at Reykjavik, Iceland.

We don't very often do the organised tours but decided that the best way to see a large amount of southern Iceland in one day would be to do a full day tour called the Golden Circle.  The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route that covers about 300 km looping from Reykjavik into central Iceland and back. 

Our first stop was Guilfoss the Golden waterfall -

After taking lunch at the restaurant at the top of the waterfall, we made our way to Haukadalur a geothermally active valley to see the geysers including Geysir (which gave it's name to all the others) and Strokkur the most famous geyser in this area.  Strokkur erupts about every 4-8 minutes, 15 - 20 m high, sometimes up to 40 m high.  Strokkur was first mentioned in 1789, after an earthquake unblocked the conduit of the geyser. Its activity fluctuated in 19th century, in 1815 its height was estimated to be even 60 m.   It continued to erupt until the turn of 20th century, when another earthquake blocked the conduit again. In 1963, upon the advice of Geysir Committee locals cleaned out the blocked conduit through the bottom of the basin, and the geyser has been regularly erupting ever since.  Geysir only erupts about four times a day now and sadly we were not treated to that eruption during our visit.  I watched Strokkur erupt about 5 times and every time it made me jump LOL!!

Haukadalar was an amazing place with all the geothermic activity it looked like the whole area was on fire -

One of my favourite geysers was Litli Geysir

It didn't erupt but bubbled away constantly.

We then made our way to Thingvellir which is a national park and the site of the first Icelandic parliament, it is also in this area where there is a rift valley caused by the mid-Atlantic ridge which marks the meeting point of the Eurasian and North American plates.  Sadly it was raining so hard by now that we weren't able to get any decent  photographs.  

Our final stop as we headed back into Reykavik and the ship was the Perlan (Pearl) where we enjoyed panoramic views of Reykavik.  The Pearl is a hot water storage facility that has a large viewing platform at the top and also contains shops, restaurants and a museum.  Outside the Pearl we encountered these sculptures which we decided were Icelandic bankers laughing at all those people who lost their money.

Of course when I got home I googled them to find out what they really were and they are four dancing musicians created by  Torbjorg Palsdottir (1919-2009). She created these alien-like figures in 1970.

Some of the views from The Pearl

We really enjoyed our whistle stop tour around the Golden Circle and I would love to come back to Iceland one day to explore it in our own time.
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