Archive for July, 2010
But before I get to that, I should tell you about the day that preceded, included and concluded after the crafting! Up at 7. Baking a cake at 7;30 ( that’s because I got so engrossed in a film last night that I nearly marmalized the previous cake destined to go with my girls to camp!). 8am- breakfast and sorting out all the usual ‘minor hitches’ that were following my ‘biglies’ around as they got ready for camp (like announcing that her shirt was far too small and what could I do about it? -very little really, you chose to deliver this information to me less than half an hour before going!). 8;45, ice the new cake and attempt to fit in into a tin that was too small for the whole cake whilst receiving instructions from another child about how exactly I was to feed her giant-sized hamster! 9;15- put all kids and their respective luggage in the car whilst balancing the afore-mentioned cake. 9;30- deliver 2 kids (AND the cake) to the bus whilst wondering how long I was to stand in the rain and were my other 3 kids fighting in the car whilst I waited. 9;50- drive to the hairdressers-or rather barbers and proceed to wait in a long queue whilst talking so loudly to the kids as to drown out the Jeremy Kyle show that was playing and thus ensure the kids didnt hear anything awful and I didn’t have to subsequently explain to them what they’d heard. 10;10- littlest son gets in the chair for the cut; -not good, he was unhappy that he had to sit still, was in no way ever going to have the ‘tickly machine’ on his neck and intended on making as much noise as possible. Meanwhile my Mum had had quite enough of Jeremy Kyle and asked the hairdresser if she could change the channel- oh dear- the remote then broke and the TV was stuck on one channel and then not even a proper one at that. Mum runs out to buy some batteries inthe vain hope that it fixes the problem. It does not. Second son gets hair cut and we all sidle out rather sheepishly leaving lady and slightly broken Freeview box.
11am- call for cake. Mum doles out rather large portions of choc cake and William nearly implodes with tiredness. I whisk him off to bed so we can get cracking on making some felt. 12.45- after a lot of tearing, placing, squishing, soaping, watering, rolling, re-rolling and flattening we all have gorgeous chunks of felt to be immensely proud of. 1;30. We go to town to search for more wool fleece (Mum needs some more, and suddenly so do I!). It’s pouring down, Will refuses to leave the car unless Nanny is with him and we all get soaked. Having bought the craft items, we then head for Liverpool Cathedral thinking it would be a nice experience for lunch. Wrong…. Parking=that’s fine. Finding food=not so fine, lunch has now ended ( have they not heard of summer holidays for kids?). We go in search in the upper ‘Mezzanine’ that serves food in what was a nice quiet area (until we arrived, that is). William decides that he now doesnt like turkey sandwiches and just wants crisps instead. I’m trying to berate him in whispered tones whilst he responds in not so whispered ones. The poor people who were enjoying the Cathedrals’ gentle ambience have now regretted their decision to dine in that spot. We make a hasty exit as soon as we could.
2;45- Kids and entourage head down into the Cathedral amidst the amazing throaty bellows of the cathedral organist playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue for all he was worth. At this point, my children were exploring and as the organist stopped to explain the finer points of the pipe system housed in the church, William explored his feet and met the hard, cold marble floor with his hands. Screams ensued and we all hastily exited another building this time being accompanied both by Williams pained shrills and Ian Tracey’s masterful rendition of Bach.
3:55- at this point, anyone with an ounce of sense would have headed for the hills. Me? I descended on two Chinese supermarkets to try and find bamboo mats for Mum to roll her felt in. The first one involved the kids pretending to speak Chinese and acting out Mum (Nan) unable to make herself understood to the lady in the supermarket. The second saw me having to severely rely on my parking sensors as I got rather stuck in an underground carpark. (I really love you, my parking safety-nets!!).
4;20- arrived home. William is now very out of sorts. The only thing in this instance was to call on ‘Fireman Sam’! . He came to my rescue and provided half an hour of very soothing entertainment whilst Nanny and Harriet tried slightly unsuccessfully to roll felt balls. We ‘You-Tubed’ our difficulty and found an extremely helpful video which gave us all the answers to creating tiny felted balls but showed us why the country presently has a ‘hose-pipe ban’ as gallons of water sloshed down the sink. I’m not known for being an eco-warrior but it was all I could do to resist shouting at the screen asking her to put bowls under the taps to catch all that water!
6;00- tea. Not the greatest of mealtimes. William was happy to eat the rice and the Nanny-cake, but less happy to scoff the chilli that went with the rice. He had no cake. He did, however, manage to spill an entire tub of buttons. 7;00- Nanny left to drive back up the motorway. I was left to drive myself slowly do-lally. Jamie could not understand perfectly reasonable instructions of how to wash his neck with a flannel and then realised that if you don’t wring the flannel out after soaking it in water, that will result in an extremely soppy pajama top. 7;30 littlest daughter is in tears because she is in her bedroom alone and is missing her big sis terribly. Child pacified, tea ready for hubby and I’m left looking at the ironing pile!
See- bet your day wasn’t as interesting as that!!
Friday again huh? School is nearly out, my teacher presents are still not complete and I’ve a ton of baking to do. I guess I should have been doing that today but Steve has an uncanny knack of making you avoid what you’re supposed to be doing. To be fair, I haven’t seen lots of him recently so it was quite nice just having a wander today with him and Will. I wasn’t intending on shopping particularly (as shhh, I don’t really enjoy shopping that much!) but as Steve had lots of pennies to spend from his Birthday this week, he wanted some shoes. I have eschewed Clarks shoe shops recently due to the fact that think they’re often overpriced and not alays that robust (kiddy shoe-wise)- BUT, allured by the promise of 75% off, I tiptoed in and came out with some beautiful shoes at a price I was more than happy with. Don’t get me wrong, my kids feet are important to me, but not enough to allow myself to be exploited on a termly basis! After all these years, I think I just might have a clue whether the shoes actually fit and have enough growing room! Phew, shoe rant over.. I’ll remain quiet now until in a few weeks when I have to get school shoes- then-don’t get me started!
I have had a fair few lovely evenings this week and been to one amazing restaurant. I’d love to rave about it so you could all visit, but I simply can’t remember the name and no amount of Googling or searching has turned up any clues. Needless to say, if you’re wandering about in the Old Hall Street area of Liverpool and come across an Italian restaurant- don’t hesitate, throw yourself through those impeccable doors and drink in the atmosphere. I could have sat there eating absolutely nothing- the ambience was incredible and the design was gorgeous (I know, the food is what you go for, but trust me, the rest of it completes the whole experience). We’d popped in (and rapidly out) of the new Jamie Oliver restaurant in town- just wasn’t inspired (sorry Jamie). Steve said he’d already been there that lunch time (!!!) and had the best chicken salad he’d ever tasted. Me?- I ate Mussels for starters and Lobster risotto at the undisclosed eaterie and it was sublime.
There. Finished ranting …and raving!!
Back to the craft- suppose you want a bit of info about that box. It was supposed to be for a class I’m doing- but its been sidelined as a pressie for a friend whose house I’m visiting tonight. The star stamp and swirl are actually from a Christmas set- but are versatile enough to be used for anything. The set is called ‘Spotlight on Christmas’ and it’s £18.95 with 6 stamps in the set. I love it and will use it loads over the next few months. Its a simple acetate band with two shallow boxes top and bottom, all secured with the Choc chip ribbon. The colour combo was a complete accident- it had to go with the bargain choccies I’d picked up. It should have been Bashful Blue with snowflake tags but maybe thats for next time!
Ok, better reduce the washing mountain that’s waiting patiently by the washing machine- bless it, there’s always a pile there and it’s always so very longsuffering!
Get in touch if you need any of the supplies to make the box! firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplies for box – Acetate (window sheets). Chocolate chip ribbon and cardstock and ink. Whisper white cardstock. Linen thread. Versamark ink. Brilliant blue cardstock. Rhinstone brad.
Everyone loves our punches- they cut through cardstock so easily. At one of my last workshops, the girls were amazed at how well they cut. They loved them so much they bought 4 between them! I wanted to use one of the colours that is retiring at the end of September. This is pale plum and goes really well with Kraft. I wanted to do something really simple and easy. The Bird Punch (£13.95) is the only punch I’ve used for the faux embossing.. all you’re using is punched shapes in the same colour as the base colour.
I’ve just ordered lots of lovely coloured ribbon for a ribbon share. I’ll show you them once they’ve arrived.
I was really inspired today after visiting ‘The HUB’ in Halewood village. I went for a coffee with some friends and the whole atmosphere was lovely and the colour scheme was gorgeous. Dark blue, light blue, a light turquoisey colour with wood and wicker. It made me want to get my cardstock out ! I bought a beautiful twig heart that I have plans for.
I’ve been busy in the kitchen this week. We went strawberry picking on Saturday with all the kids. It was great fun. We found a frog, lots and lots of strawberries and ate quite a few along the way. Part of the problem with having 5 kids was what they all wanted a punnet each, so by the time we’d finished picking, we had rather a humungous supply of fruit. We also got gooseberries, redcurrants and raspberries.
That evening I looked at the pile of glossy berries and knew we’d never eat that amount. So, even though I wanted to sit and veg on the sofa, I set to making strawberry jam. 5 big pots plus a massive helping of satisfaction later and we’ve been enjoying it ever since. However, even though I baked a vanilla sponge on the Sunday and used some of the fruit with that, I still had plenty left. My friend Gill brought me lots of gooseberries from her allotment so I then had even more fruit to use. I made a massive batch of strawberry, gooseberry and redcurrant curd, so I’ve been giving it away ever since. If you pop around, you might get a jar too!!!
See you soon!
Card recipe- Cardstock, Pale Plum, Kraft and Whisper white
Ink- Pale Plum. Punch, Bird punch, Tag punch. Linen thread. Stamp set- Tiny Tags
When I first started stamping, I used the stamps that I’d had given to me. I soon went in search of images that really appealed to me. I started off buying more ‘arty’ and abstract images. I bought all the Stampers Sampler and Somerset Studio type of publications. I was utterly smitten with the way that a card could be a work of art within itself. I learned so many different stamping techniques at that time- pouring over the magazines and trying to work out just how they’d created the different effects. I guess our tastes change a little, but I still love that genre and when I was playing around with ‘Vintage Vogue’ recently I decided to go back to how I used to craft!
I love the butterfly! You’ll have to get your eagle eyes out to work out how I’ve created it. I’ve ‘stamped off’ a lot which is just simply inking your image up and pressing it gently on some spare paper to remove some of the intensity of the ink and then stamp it again on the paper you want the image on. Inking the stamp with a couple of different colours adds depth ot the image. Just make sure that you start inking with the lightest colour first so you don’t get any transferance of colour into your inks.
Last Monday, I had an exciting trip from delivering some workshop orders to one of my lovely hostesses. She lives in a lovely place called Ormskirk and I’d taken my two oldest girls along for a small road trip!! Once we’d seen her and stroked her gorgeous chocolate brown labrador, we set off to do another delivery. All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, I saw the level of the tow-truck to the right of me, suddenly dip right down. Then we saw lights coming off it, smashing on the road, sparks and then two enormous tyres started careering straight at my car. We were very blessed not to have any cars behind us. I couldn’t swerve because we had a car to our left. Everything was fine- the tyres missed us and went free-wheeling off down the car. Wow! I don’t know whether the trucks axel had sheered in two or something but they weren’t going anywhere and my girls thought it was so exciting. I can do without too much of that kind of thrill, thankyou very much! It just shows you that the life of a Stampin’Up! demo is never dull!
Time is ticking away in July- the July hostess promotion ends on the 31st July, so if you want to earn even more freebies than you usually could at a party, book one in right now- if you do it quick, I’ve got a couple of days free towards the end of July.
Today we’re probably going to watch ‘Shrek’ and/or going Strawberry picking. I love doing pick your own and I reckon the kids will have a ball doing it too.
Here’s the full card. The ribbon looks more grungy than Stampin’Up! ribbon does because I’ve coloured it myself with an Always Artichoke marker and been careful not to colour it really evenly, so it has a slightly distressed feel to it. The large eyelets are great for hanging things through and add to the texture of the card.
I’ll be interested to see who works out how I’ve made the butterfly!
See you in a day or two with a ‘faux embossed’ card.
Card recipe; Stamp sets- Vintage Vogue, Tiny Tags and Dot, Dot,Dot. Inks; Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip. Cardstock; Always Artichoke, Kraft, Simply Suede and Very Vanilla. Gray taffeta and white grosgrain ribbon. Eyelet, Tag punch and Linen thread.