Wednesday, 29 July 2009

I'm off again!

Megan and I are going to Stoke on Trent today. She has a Uni taster session for two days on Thursday and Friday. We are driving up tonight so that she can register early enough tomorrow morning, and we are staying in a Travel Lodge. I have a lousy headache today, so it will be a toss up to see who will be driving I think. I've had this headache since yesterday, and it just won't go away. I suffer from hormone related migraines, and am on medication which barely controls them most months. Occasionally one breaks through, and I have 'emergency' tablets to take. My migraines are truly frightening, and floor me completely. Any noise, smell, light, makes me physically sick, even someone talking to me. We live in a house with oak floors and latches on the doors, (not quiet) and I have two teenagers. I spend alot of time being sick with my migraines. I am normally wiped out for two or three days and take a week to recover from a migraine. Hopefully this will not develop into a migraine.

It's my Dad's birthday on Friday, so we are driving to see him from Stoke and I have made him a birthday card using a digital image. It is from an artist called Mo Manning who is a children's book illustrator. She has a blog called Mo's Digital Pencil She has some brillant images for sale on Etsy of which this is one called 'it's all in the accessories' but also has a freebie on her blog called 'Sinatra' a cat with attitude which is on the other card I have made. I have printed the images on 200 gsm watercolour paper through my printer which doesn't jam, hurray! Then I have used Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor with paper stumps. I love the effect that this gives. I don't know the name of the papers that I have used as they came in a card making kit with the names cut off. Hope you like them anyway, Judith x

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Home again - just temporarily

Well, Terry and I arrived home again yesterday eveningto the wet weather. We had a good break in The New Forest, where it was dry and warm nearly all weekend. The traffic was terrible travelling down on Friday, and the journey took seven hours instead of about four. The M25 was awful. We relived some old memories from our schooldays, as we went on a camping holiday to Brockenhurst when we were about 14. We knew each other then, but weren't boyfriend/girlfriend.

My friend passed away on Friday morning, it was expected, but very sad, as she has left two devastated children behind. When I had last seen her, she had been most relieved about not having had a long painful illness, and so because her deterioration had been so quick, she had not suffered for a long time. However, I look at my two children, and I feel for her children very much, as they are the same age. Her son is spending the day with my son tomorrow, and I'm glad that he can offer him a break from what must be a sad time at the moment.

I have made a very simple sympathy card.

On a lighter note, Kat has given me The 'Circle of Friends Award' and I would like to say a big thank you to her, and everyone else who sent me such lovely comments to cheer me up last week. You are good friends. I now need to pass on the award to five people and let them know. They are:

Jo my Graphicus Guild buddy with the wicked sense of humour who wants me to join the POT Noodle self help group

Anne so busy joining in all the challenges, with a great talent an eye for colour and a love of stamping to match my own

Lynne K who is a faithful follower of my blog, a lover of butterflies, and tries to use her old stash up like I should

Lisa a great photographer who loves her flowers and follows my blog faithfully and is always there for me

Lesley a fellow Graphicus Guild member who looks out for me on my blog

Thursday, 23 July 2009

My friend

No cards today, I just don't feel like making any I'm afraid. A friend of mine is dying of cancer, she has two children the same ages as mine, they grew up together, and we lived around the corner from each other when the children were little. My friend was in the year below me at school. She is 44, and it is no age to die. Her children are 17 and 19, and I look at my children and think that although they are not tiny, they would be lost without me, as they still need so much advice and guidance. I helped another friend make a sympathy card yesterday because we know that she is dying, it sounds morbid, but there are no second chances for her I'm afraid. It's just so sad. She was diagnosed last summer holidays, and her family have now been called to her bedside.

Terry and I are going away this weekend to the New Forest, leaving our two behind. They're okay, we've done it before, and the house was still standing when we got back. As long as they feed the animals, don't break anything, and don't antagonise the neighbours, that's okay. Hopefully we'll have a good trip and come back refreshed.

The chickens are all still fine, the kids have named the remaining two little hens Pudding and Strudel, (they must have been hungry at the time). It's only marginally better than Paxo and Stuffing, but never mind, it was their choice. It's almost time to find homes for the little cockerels, as they've started to try to crow, and soon the noise will become intolerable. We need to rehome them before that point, before we upset the neighbours, and lose sleep.

Well, that's all for now, back next week, Judith x

Monday, 20 July 2009

Graphicus Challenge

I'm really sad about The Next Level not running anymore , due to Anne being ill. It's a fantastc blog, full of inspiration and ideas, so hopefully, it will start up again some time. Mondays just won't be the same without it.

I'm posting a card today made using Elusive Images stamps. I have stamped and masked a dragon, then stamped and masked a tree from the Tall Trees set. I have then used Distrss and Adirondack Inks to colour my background. I then coloured my dragon and the tree base with Inktense pencils and ran a waterbrush over them. I edged my picture, my sentiment, and my paper, which came from my Graphicus Guild paper pack with Brushed Corduroy DI. I love the sentiment 'Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup' awesome or what?

I thought I might enter this card into the Graphicus challenge for July as I have used shades of brown and green within the same third of the colour wheel, therefore falling into the 'Harmonious' category. I might be pushing my luck a little bit, but I really like this image, so I'll give it a go.

Anyway, hope you like it, Judith x

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Home Alone!

Everyone is out, and I'm crafting, hurray! I'm doing the washing too, but that takes care of itself. I just love this sketch from The Next Level, so I've made another card. I like to disprove the old adage ' Blue and Green should ne'er be seen' especially if they are acidic like these flowers and that ribbon, fantastic! I have slightly distressed some of my papers with peeled paint DI this time, and again used Promarkers for the skin tones, and Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor for everything else. I probably won't post any more cards today, but I'm gonna keep playing!

Judith x

Next Level Challenge

I decided to enter the challenge on The Next Level this week, because I really liked the sketch for the challenge. I think that I will use this sketch a lot, I've already got several more cards ready to make up using the same layout! For the challenge, I have used a Gorjuss Girl, as she fitted the size of the front circle really well. I did look at several other stamps, including a couple of Tilda stamps, but this one looked just right. I looked at the papers first, and then coloured in the stamp to match, using a couple of Promarkers for the skin tones, and some Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor for everything else. I then used a white opaque pen to highlight her stockings. I have layered her up using silicone, a bit whiffy, but it does the job, I hate the bits left over from foam pads. I have used a Martha Stewart punch for the foliage, and the flowers are from my stash. I have received scrapbooking kits through the mail for a long time, but not done any scrapbooking; I just use all the bits for cardmaking. A large piece of cardstock makes four square cards, why not? Double sided cardstock makes two lovely cards, or you decorate the inside too. Therefore, I rarely know where my papers came from, I'm afraid. Anyway, hope you like the card! Judith x

Monday, 13 July 2009

Card for My Brother

It's my Brother's Birthday this week, and Men's cards are notoriously difficult to make. I decided to take inspiration from this month's Graphicus Guild newsletter, and make a card very like one of the samples in there. I used two of the stamps from the Tall Trees set, and a mixture of Distress Inks and Adirondack Ink pads to create my background. I then used two of the birds from the new bird stamp sets to ink around the edges of my base card with weathered wood DI. The sentiment is also an Elusive Images sentiment. I hope my Brother likes this, as it's a bit artier than I normally send him, but he always gets a handmade card, or he would think I couldn't be bothered.

My second card is not so hand crafted, but has a story behind it. It is a retirement card for a French teacher at the school where I work on a casual basis. She taught me, my husband and both of my children, how about that? She is a lovely woman, I always got on with her, and I'll miss her no end now that she is leaving. She is not old enough to retire, she's only 54, nine years older than me. She was straight out of Uni when Terry and I started at the school. If she caught us snogging in the corridor, she used to hit us over the head with a newspaper! Those were the days. I work in the French dept with her now, so I will feel her going very much.

I have printed a picture of her second home in France onto photo paper, and then printed 'on your retirement' in French onto acetate, to overlay onto the photo. (I do this a lot for personal cards, printing personal messages, or names for family members.) I have mounted the photo twice onto pearlescent card, and then used some Prima flowers and a Martha Stewart foliage punch to create a floral edge to the picture. It is not a fussy card, because the person in question is not a person for that kind of card, and I really hope she likes it.

I am hoping, time permitting, now that the holidays are looming, to try and start to join in with some of the blog challenges that go on. Ryan will not need running to and from school all week, which is an hour round trip twice a day. I am a genuine stampaholic and have a huge stash of stamps which are used by my card class, but they only scratch the surface. Besides which, they are MY stamps! So, it's about time that I got on with using them, and created a bit more. Fingers crossed, anyway! Judith x

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Gorjuss Girl for a Gorgeous Girl

Well, it's Michelle's birthday today, she's 17, remember that birthday? She's coming over this evening to spend the evening with Ryan, so we'll give her her cards and presents then. I've made her a birthday card with one of the Gorjuss Girls set 3 which she hasn't seen, and I bought her a print from the Gorjuss Etsy shop which I've framed for her. I also got a little Gorjuss pendant which I've put on some black and lilac beads, (there's a theme running along here!) She loves the Gorjuss Girls, no surprise there. For her card, I've used Sei Bridgeport papers in a lovely lime, magenta, and plum colour scheme. I've coloured the image using Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor, which I used for the first time today. I really like using pencils anyway, and with a little practice, I think that I will love this way of using them. I have used an Elusive Images sentiment and Distress Inks, a couple of buttons, and some ribbon from my stash to finish off the card. I also then just had to make another card in a different colour scheme while I had the pencils out, because I spied a lovely aqua pencil just calling to me, and one of the sheets of Sei paper is double sided in silver tones. So I was halfway to making another card already! Again I have used Distress inks to edge my image, and used a lovely crochet flower topped with a Papermania brad, and a silver plated flower from my jewellery making stash.

The last card that I have here is a sample that I made up for the class to make on Thursday evening. It is a criss cross card, the template can be found on the Splitcoast Stampers website, which is great for templates. The paper that I used was from a Digital download, the source has eluded my brain for now, but the kit is gorgeous, and I will try to remember to look it up for you, because it is full of beautiful papers and embellishments. I've now edited this post after looking up where the paper came from. It's the French Linen Collection from Scrap Girls. I saw it on a card example by one of the two organisers of The Next Level (Madgesty) she has made a lovely blue and cream card on her blog this week. You can get to her blog by going to The Next Level which you can find on my sidebar.

Just to let you know, the chickens are all doing fine, no more losses, we are even thinking of naming the last two surviving hen chicks, so things are looking up. Judith x

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

My clay offering

It's been a busy week this week for us. We went to Windsor on Saturday morning with a heavy heart, because some of our chickens had been dying. We had lost three chicks and our Frizzle hen Dizzy. One of the chicks was only two weeks old, so it was really sad. To top it all, on Saturday morning, Poppy, my favourite chick, was barely alive when I opened up the coop to feed the chickens. We had realised that the excessive heat recently had caused the red dust mites to multiply to enormous levels, and they were literally sucking the blood out of the chickens, killing them smallest first. Dizzy had been vulnerable because she was sitting on some eggs and so had not left the coop.

I left Poppy in the downstairs bathroom, (emergency chicken ward), after syringing some water into her. Megan, my daughter then looked after her until I came home Sunday tea time, and she pulled through miraculously. Terry and I picked up some white all in one protective suits, an old hoover, some gloves, and some Jeyes Fluid from his workplace on the way home. We hoovered out the coop, and dusted every chicken with mite powder. They obviously had some way of communicating to each other that they should not come into the compound from the garden, because we had a devil of a job to catch them! They were all making a terrible din, I'm sure the neighbours must have thought that we were having cockerel pie for tea one night this week!!!

On Monday, because we were exhausted by then, and I needed a whole day for the coop to dry out, I scrubbed the coop from top to bottom with the Jeyes Fluid solution, yuck. So, hopefully, the dust mites are contained for this year at least. We have had no more fatalities, and Poppy has made a complete recovery, thank goodness.

Last night I went to Art Club; I go once a fortnight, as a social event, not because I'm any good. Anyway, this week we were doing gothic sculpture in clay, like you do. My attempt is not great, but the kids thought it was hilarious, and have christened it my 'Migraine Gargoyle' because I am a migraine sufferer. Saying that it looks like I do when they are making too much noise. Probably right, that's all for now folks, Judith x

Friday, 3 July 2009

How cute!

Just a quick post today, as I have to go out soon to take my son Ryan shopping for summer clothes. He is seventeen, and way way taller than I am, with enormous feet. He is still growing, which means that he is constantly growing out of everything (still). When do they stop?
Last night's card class went well, the girls really enjoyed making the cards, and I am posting one that Michelle, (Ryan's girlfriend), made. She is very new to card making, but has really picked it up well, but she is studying A level Art and Textiles at school. She uses a lot of my stash for her courses, so we are often sitting at the kitchen table crafting at something or other. After the class last night we were making lollipop flowers for her textiles scrapbook. She is going to have a go at making them with calico too. I enjoy working with her on her courses, I wish I had had the opportunity to do something like that, but at least I get to play with all this stuff now.

I've also made a silver wedding card this morning for my Brother-in-Law and his wife. I went to school with Carol, we are the same age, and she ended up marrying my hubby's brother. It's a small world. I didn't want to make a fuddy duddy card, because they're not an old couple; I've used a House Mouse stamp coloured in with Graphitint pencils. I've used Tattered Rose DI around the edge. I've used the Swiss Dots folder on some coordinations grey card for the very first time and I love this folder. I'm going to use it a lot. I've then used a textured Doodlebug white card from my stash that I've had for a long time. A patterned brad completes the card. Hope you like it, Judith x

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

It's been a while

Well, the blog hop seems such a long time ago now. I haven't been well, again, hence the gap in posting. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to visit my blog and who left such positive and inspiring comments. It was awesome to see the number of comments that I received, and I'm not used to getting that much attention! I would also like to say a special thank you to Rowena and Penni as they both gave me an award on the back of the blog hop. It is so exciting to get recognition from a fellow crafter for what you do, especially two girls as talented as these. If you take a look at their blogs, you'll see what I mean. As this post is a bit long, I will deal with the awards tomorrow guys, but thank you again for thinking of me.

I've got a card class tomorrow night, and I though I'd get the class to have a go at masking. Also they could do a bit of stamping on acetate for fun as well! So I've used an idea that Judy used for the blog hop, using a Diane Duda stamp. I've also used a rabbit stamp as another example, and then created a couple of samples without acetate if they don't want to add the acetate. We might be too hot tomorrow evening, and all that effort might be too much for them! I thought Judy's idea of a field of flowers was inspired, and if you look at her blog her other work is great too. I've used Inktense or Graphitint pencils to colour my images and then used Distress Inks to shade the backgrounds. These are just quick samples, intended to show the class what to do, but hopefully it shows the sort of thing that we get up to, Judith x

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