Monday, 31 October 2016

Bunny Birthday...

Hello everyone!! :)

Happy Hallowe'en to all those who celebrate it... and to those who don't, I hope avoiding the Trick or Treaters hasn't driven you mad!! ;D 

I cannot quite believe that I missed posting in September and had to say goodbye to my 'One Post A Month' goal... I just didn't actually realise it was the end of the month- thought I still had at least a few days left!! :( That's this year in a nutshell though, isn't it?! It has just flown by soooo fast!!! :/ I'm still really disappointed, to be honest, to have got over halfway and then let it slip... but I still intend to make one a month for the rest of the year... hence this *very* last minute post again tonight...

This is the card I made for my lovely Grandad's birthday a few weeks ago... I did planes for Father's Day so I thought this time I would go with a bit of cute fun... and no-one does that better than Lili of the Valley!! :) 

It's been a while since I did much colouring and I feel kind of rusty lately every time I try but, so long as you don't look *too* closely, I think this feela came out looking just about okay!! lol

I've not had a huge amount of energy going spare for cardmaking lately so I kept him pretty simple... some dotty paper, an old-skool label-maker sentiment (another purchase made after a Skype session keeping Jen company while she crafted!!! lol), some glitter, sequins and of course, a glossy balloon... thankfully these images lend themselves perfectly to CAS cardmaking as well as more involved styles!! :)

{The List}

Cardstock - Papermill Direct - White Smooth
Stamps - LOTV - Balloon Bunny
Dies - Simon Says Stamp - Stitched Shapes
Colouring Medium - ProMarkers and FlexMarkers
Inks - Memento - Espresso Truffle
Papers - Simple Stories - Sn@p! Color Vibe (an amazing pad of spots, dots, stripes and chevrons... soooo useful!!!)
Tools - Cuttlebug, Label Maker, Guilloutine
Embellishments - Little Things from Lucy's Cards Sequins in Fairy Lights
Finishing Touches - Clear Wink of Stella, SU! Crystal Effects

Challenges I'm entering: SSS Wednesday - Anything Goes

Okay... now I'm off to bed before the Witching Hours strikes!!!! ;) Thanks for reading and I'll hopefully be back before the 30th of  November... I'm not sure why I always leave it so late since I have so many things I'd love to share!!! lol Have a great week, folks!! :)

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Crochet and Cross Stitch For A Cause :)

Hello Everyone!! :)

I'm here for a flying visit tonight as I'm really not feeling well enough to be on the computer but I am determined not to let my 'One Post A Month' streak go!! So, to save my eyes and painful head, I have a quick share with some pics I already had edited of a couple of items I donated to a charity craft auction earlier this month in aid of Post Pals, a fantastic charity which sends post and arranges treats for seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK :)

First up is a crocheted baby blanket... I've made a fair few baby blankets but this has to be one of my absolute favourites!! :) The colours were insipred by my love of the film Frozen... not intentionally- I just picked some of my favourite colours and then wondered why I had 'Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?' in a loop in my head while I was working on it... had to laugh when that one finally clicked!! ;D The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK and the pattern is the simply gorgeous (and free!) Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket by Celeste Young on Ravelry, which my fabulously talented crochet friend, Heather, of The Patchwork Heart introduced me to through her instagram feed... I've made this in several colourways now and it always looks wonderful!! :)

The second item I donated is something that will be more familiar to my papercrafting followers as it's from the wonderful Lili of the Valley... but with a twist as it's not one of their adorable stamps but one of their adorable Cross Stitch Designs!! :) You may have seen me mention giving Cross Stitch a go again after twenty-something years in this post... well I loved stitching this sweet Odd Dog Picking Flowers design so much that I decided to make another for the auction!! :) I didn't take any pictures of the back, but for those who are interested, the aida is trimmed and gathered with a running stitch then all the ends and edges are covered by a circle of felt (hooray for papercrafting tools, my Grand Calibur came in useful for this!! ;D ) which I handstitched to the aida :)

I was so happy to be able to contribute to such a good cause by doing something I love!! :) There will be another craft auction in time for Christmas (which will be advertised on their Facebook page nearer the time) which I hope to be able to join in with again :)

Okay, I'm off to bed now to see if I can sleep off this headache... not that I'm really complaining... I only feel this ill because I did something amazing on Monday- I went to visit Jen at her house for the afternoon... the first time in 15 years that I have been able to visit someone else's house as she and her wonderful dad have made the outside/downstairs accessible for me in my wheelchair!!! :D :D Hope you all had a great Bank Holiday Weekend, too?!! See you soon!! :)

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Balloon Celebration!

Hello Everyone!! :)

Well, this has been a busy month and I very nearly missed my 'One Post A Month' for July merely because I hadn't registered that today was the last day of July!!! Seriously... who hit Fast Forward on the world lately?!?!!!! And whoever you are, I need you to hit Rewind asap, please!!!!! ;D ;D

Anyway, back to the point... I thought I'd share this little celebration card made for a friend's 50th last month with some lovely new goodies (okay, so I've had them a while but it was the first time I'd used them... we've all been there, right?! ;) ) ... I really enjoyed making this one... probably because of the colours... all my favourites!! :) :)

I stamped the string then stamped and masked the balloons and their dotty layers in turn, added the sentiment, die cut the panel, mounted it on a lovely SSS Audrey Blue card blank and added the sparkle!! Et voila!! Probably not quite as quick or simple as that sounds, knowing me, but, as brainfog is making it so I can't actually remember right now, I'm going to imagine that the process went like clockwork... for once!! ;D ;D

{The List}

Cardstock - Papermill Direct - White Smooth; Simon Says Stamp - Audrey Blue
Stamps - Stampin' Up! - Balloon Celebration; Lawn Fawn - Milo's ABCs ('50')
Dies - SSS - Stitched Rectangles
Inks - VersaMagic Dewdrops - Spring Pansy, Pretty Petunia, Purple Hydrangea, Aquatic Splash, Turquoise Gem; Memento - London Fog, Tuxedo Black
Tools - Mini Misti; Cuttlebug; Heat Tool
Other - Crafter's Companion - White Embossing Powder
Embellishments - Little Things By Lucy's Cards Sparkly Shaker Selection - Glacier, Amethyst, Phosphorescence plus Swimming Pool 8mm; Anita's 3mm and 2mm gems
Finishing Touches - Wink of Stella - Clear

Well, thanks for stopping by and reading today!! :) Sorry to be short and sweet but I'm going to hit publish and run so I can go and give my gorgeous dog, who's not quite feeling herself today, a cuddle!! Hope you're all well and see you in August... yikes, I think I probably need to start on my Christmas cards!! ;)

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Watercolour Father's Day...

Hello Everyone!!

Just flying by with a very quick post as the end of the month has snuck up on me but I am determined to keep my 'One Post A Month for 2016' goal alive... this is the card I made for my Grandad for Father's Day this year...

My Grandad used to be in the RAF so planes are always a good idea for his cards... this one is a new SU! set from the Sale-abration sets... all it needs is a little ink or embossing powder and you're good to go!! :)

I created a quick and simple background with my new Molotow Masking Pen (purchased, like so many things, after seeing the uber-talented Debby Hughes using it a while ago!) by drawing in some sketchy clouds and then washing some gorgeous Gansai Tambi watercolour in blue over that... I've used the Molotow pens and fluid a few times now and I'm loving what they let me do!! :)

I cut the panel with and SSS Stitched die and then added a sentiment and a few perfectly-coordinated sequins to finish this simple but effective card off just nicely!! :)

{The List}

Cardstock - Simon Says Stamp - Fog
Stamps - Stampin' Up - Sky's the Limit Sale-abration Set; Winnie & Walter - The Big, the Bold and the Happy; Craftwork Cards - Typewriter Alphabet
Dies - Simon Says Stamps - Stitched Rectangles
Colouring Medium - Gansai Tambi Paints
Inks - Versamark
 Tools - Cuttlebug, Heat Tool
Embellishments - Little Things by Lucy's Cards Sequins - Forget-Me-Not Sparkly Shaker Selection

Challenges: SSS Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes; Addicted to CAS #91 - Fly

Right... it's 11:38pm so I'd better get this published and linked pronto!! ;) Thanks for stopping by... I'll hopefully be back with an 'In My Crafty Life' post for June before we get too far in to July as I really enjoyed doing that last month!! Have a great weekend, folks!! :)

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

In My Crafty Life :: May 2016

Hi Everyone!! :)

I hope you all had a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend and got some of the sunshine that's been bouncing around the UK!! 

I'm very late with my post for May (as part of my goal to post at least once each month through 2016) and I don't really have the time or energy for editing pics of any finished projects today... so instead I thought I'd share how the month of May has looked in My Crafty Life via some pics I have shared on Instagram, both on my personal account and on my MCL blog account...

Early in the month I rediscovered a lovely little pre-printed embroidery kit of cute woodland creatures (a free gift from Mollie Makes a few months back) and, since I fancied trying something new as well as using up some of the stash of crafty goodies that are overtaking our house, I decided to have a go...

I learnt a few stitches (Satin Stitch and French Knots) and had some furry company... and I enjoyed it all so much that I decided to have another go at Cross Stitch and ordered an adorable LOTV kit...

I used to do loads of Cross Stitch as a child but gave up when it started to give me headaches (and probably when I grew to old for the childish kits but to young for the boring adult ones that were around back then! ;) ) so haven't done any for twenty-odd years... I wasn't sure if my muscles would handle it with my M.E. now but happily I've found, so long as I'm careful about how I sit, make sure to stretch my hands regularly and generally don't get carried away(!!), that I can do it and I'm very much enjoying it... so much so I ordered another couple of kits and have now started on my third of the Odd Dog set... they will be gifts for a special little girl in the end!! :)

I managed to make it out in to the garden several times during that lovely warm week a week or two ago and I love to take photos when I can...

At the end of this blissful sunny Sunday I even managed to help make tea in our new Rachel/M.E.-friendly kitchen (lowered workspace so I can sit down, pull out shelves for easier access to ingredients, etc.) :) Brainfog did leave me a little confused as to what I had planned to make with the ingredients we had, however, and a salad with warm balsamic and herb veg turned into a kind of Mediterranean Stir-Fry of all things... lovely though and we've already had it again since!! ;)

The next day was another great one for me as I took advantage of both my Mum and Carer being here to try something huge... I led on our grass!!! :) This may sound like a very silly thing to be so excited about but I have not been able to sit or lie on the grass for about fifteen years...

I'll copy and paste what I wrote about it on Instagram and Facebook for M.E. Awareness Week to save me the energy of writing it again (I don't normally share much about my illness here and if you're not interested in reading it then do just skip past it, but this is my attempt to contribute to #MEAwareness Week/Month and I'd love if you took the time to read it- thank you!): 

As it's M.E. Awareness Week/Month I thought I'd share this pic from yesterday again with an amended caption to explain a little more of the reality behind the happy picture:
'This is me actually lying on our grass!!!! 😀😃😀😃😀😃😀 I've wanted to do this for almost 15 years and today my carer is here as well as my mum to help me get back up (unfortunately always the most important factor in stuff like this!!!!!!!) so I decided to go for it... bit lumpy! Lol ... but I just keep looking around at the sky and the upside down trees and cannot stop smiling from the middle of my own blossomshower!!! 🌱🌷🌿🌻🍃🌸'
It did take both my mum and carer, along with a stool, to get me back up off the grass and today I am very sore and very tired from both the lumpiness of the grass and getting down to it and back up again, even with all that help... as with so many things I am managing to do again for the 'first' time lately this is something I am incredibly happy about and want to celebrate and share with the people who care about me, however it comes with a price and means the next few days will be harder even than usual as I try to let my body recover- so not something I will be able to do every day, or even every week or month, as every thing I do means I must go without doing something else, even very basic, everyday things.
I don't normally post things like this (and the more I write, the more anxious I feel about people's reactions if I find the courage to hit publish on this) and I am definitely not writing this to complain, just to do my bit, along with many of my much braver friends, to shine a little more light on the 'behind-the-scenes' aspects of M.E. (even when things seem to be getting better) that most people never see because we naturally don't normally share the painful, exhausted, mostly bedbound days of recovery after the photos of beautiful, happy moments and M.E. Awareness Week/Month struck me as an apt time to show a little more of my truth.
Thank you to everyone who has liked or commented on my original pic and shared in my joy!! I hope, even with all the hard days of recovery it will inevitably bring, that there will be many more happy 'firsts' to share this year 💙

I also made the most of my unusual, low vantage point to take a couple of pics of my gorgeous girl, Cassie... what is it about dogs' paws (and noses) that make them so irresistable?!! :)

Cooking is yet another way to be creative as far as I'm concerned and I'm loving that our new kitchen adaptations mean I can enjoy it again (albeit, it still makes me much more ill and I still need a huge amount of help... but it makes me so happy!) :) I have also been baking and trying to learn cake decorating this year and put those skills to use making a cake for Jen's upcoming birthday (which we celebrated early as she will likely be away at the time!)...

... a giant cupcake with Mini Eggs as requested by the birthday girl!! :) Due to the M.E. this was at least four days of work (with twice as long of recovering in bed afterward) and it didn't quite go to plan but came out okay in the end... I had fun and, the main thing, Jen loved it so it was more than worth it!! :)

And now we are nearly there as I just have my Bank Holiday Weekend Project left to share with you... I'm am crochet obsessed but for some reason haven't done much lately... being bogged down in ends to sew in (not my favourite part!) and too tired to cope with manhandling my two ongoing double bed-sized blankets, along with just too much else going on, I think! But I decided a new and smaller project would help get my crojo back so I played with my Stylecraft DK shade cards and came up with this...

Originally, I planned a nice little baby blanket...

 ...then I thought a toddler blanket might be nice...

... but this bit of alfresco crochet in the sunshine was my undoing... I am now planning to make a lap/wheelchair blanket for myself!!! ;) So much for a quick, small project but I have just fallen so much in love with these colours and this oh-so-lovely Little Doolally Bertie pattern that I know I won't be able to part with it... crochet enthusiasm and confidence duly restored!! Hooray!!! :) 

Well, this post ended up longer than planned as I kept thinking of other photos I wanted to share with you, even if it did mean deviating from the strictest definition of 'craft' a tad, so thank you if you've read this far... I'd love to hear what crafty and creative things you've been up to during May!! :)

I've enjoyed writing this Month In My Crafty Life... I wonder if I can make it a regular thing as I do enjoy reading other people's posts like this... would anyone be interested if I did??


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