Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Farewell to 2014

Farewell to a year
I thought was my last
I'd really rather
you didn't ask have
Ok then...just for you
I'll tell the tale
that made me blue
(red actually!!)

An allergic reaction
to pills prescribed
Left me in a state
I'll now describe

Covered in wheals
itchy & sore
My eyes, my mouth
Need I say more?

for days on end
Antihistamines became
my very best friend

So I'm rather pleased
that I'm still here
and able to wish you
a Happy New Year

Friday, 12 December 2014


For anyone who has been following the progress of my cross stitch, here it is framed by my lovely husband.

Cards for those special people

Recently, my Kindle, one of the original 3G ones, broke down. The screen froze on the page of a novel I was reading, and nothing I did could unfreeze it. I was so upset, because reading has become so vitally important to me. Anyway, my lovely brother rang up and told me to order myself another and that he would pay for it. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. I ordered it Thursday afternoon and it was with me Saturday.

Needless to say, I have got him a special present for Christmas and wanted a card to go with it. The one I chose is from the Hunkydory Elegant Christmas kit from a couple of years ago. The topper is in the shape of an open book.

I also made Rod's card from the same kit, with the appropriate sentiment!! I love that the 2 hearts lock over each other.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Today's cardmaking

I managed to make 2 cards today after my final counselling session.

The green and pink card is another acetate domed card. I wasn't sure about the colours at first, but it all came together as it was made.

The blue card has the picture behind snowflake acetate with a cute robin stuck on afterwards.

Monday, 8 December 2014

A batch of Christmas cards

It's the latest I have started my Christmas cards because I needed to make real progress with the cross stitch of Dad first. I'm also knitting a couple of outfits for Harry.

I have had to choose cards to make that wouldn't take a great deal of time. I've been through my stash and here are some of the ones I've made in the last few days. I won't write too much about them...just haven't got the time!!

These cards were made quickly for younger members of the family from a Dawn Bibby collection of a few years ago.

These are from the same collection, but using card blanks from a different set. I really like the way the mince pie sits behind the aperture. The card on the left has a folded base too.

I love these cards from a kit I bought at Lakeland years ago (the shops have been closed for years now, so it must have been a long time ago). The decoupage elements all had to be cut out by hand. I embellished the cards with flowers from Sweet Lilac and with glitter glue.

This is the type of card I have decided to make for older family members this year. It is from a Kanban kit of a few years ago. The pictures have a matching domed acetate over the front.

And, finally...this is the card I will probably give Mum. It is based on a card in the Crafter's Companion Christmas magazine. It involved a great deal of work to cut out all the poinsettias and holly leaves and then they were sprayed with glitter.


Cross stitch completed

I've finished the cross stitch of Dad with plenty of time left over for hubs to frame it.

I am so thrilled with the final result, I am sure that Mum will love it.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

First Christmas Cards

I made the first 2 Christmas cards that I will give this afternoon. I have used ideas from the Crafters Companion Christmas magazine and CDROM and then completed them with what I had available in my craft room.


This is a (almost) copy of a piece I wrote for my Facebook account yesterday, which as far as I know was read by one person!

It is about how I feel at the moment, and why I am not online as much as I would like to be. I am also writing this in case others feel like this too and to let them know they are not alone. I hope I don't come across as indulgent.

A couple of months ago, I had an insect bite that got infected. I went to the doctor's for the first time in years and was given antibiotics and dressings. A week later, after a non stop upset tum, I was signed off. The next day it was weeping again. I literally went to pieces. Anyway, long story short, I was diagnosed with PTSD from an incident at school between me, a pupil and a pair of scissors. (I lost all my confidence after that. I took early retirement but it obviously didn't help)  I was also found to have high blood pressure (surprise!). So I was given BP pills and a version of Prozac, and the number of Let's Talk to arrange counselling.

So far, so good. By day 3 of taking the pills, I came up in deep red welts all over my skin. I felt like I was being stung all over. I missed my first session of counselling with 3 trips to the doctor's surgery to see various people. I now have new BP pills which I was too scared to take at first, but nothing for my depression/anxiety. I obsess constantly about my health. My leg still hasn't healed, my blood pressure pills have left me woozy and lacking energy for parts of the day, and a blood test has shown me to be borderline for diabetes so needs to be repeated this week.

I have managed to get to one counselling session now, and I am reading a self help book. I have better days among my bad ones. The last 2 days have been particularly bad. But I do want this to end and will do whatever it takes.

If you managed to read all of this, thank you.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

New cross stitch photo

I took another photo of my cross stitch project, as the one yesterday was so poor!

Monday, 20 October 2014

December birthday cards

There are 4 family birthdays in December, so I though I had better get on with making the cards before the Christmas rush. It has also made a nice change from the constant work on the cross stitch and knitting projects.

Here are the first two.

I made this card for my grandson Bradley, who has spina bifida. Just after he started school, Bradley lay on the floor just like this to write me a story!

I made the card using images from the Docraft Boofle CD. I designed the main image and then decoupaged some of the elements. I finished it off with a coat of glaze on the buttons and glasses.

This card is for my daughter in law, Rachel. She has just holidayed at Brean Sands and this reminds me of the beach there. It also brings back fond memories of Camber Sands which is where I took the boys for holidays when they were young.

I took the elements for this card from the Joanna Sheen Tom Mielko project book and CD. I more or less made the card as it is in the book. The striped ribbon is my own touch.

Cross Stitch Update

I try to do a couple of hours cross stitch every day, sometimes more. Now the light is fading earlier, it is getting more difficult to work at the dining room table. I still have so much to do before Christmas.

I want to put the 3 photos I have taken together to show my progress.

I apologize for the quality of the photography. The aida is not's just the poor lighting in the room. But I think you will be able to see the progress I am making.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Working on canvas

I decided to have a go at stenciling and stamping on canvas.

This is an 8" by 8". I prepared the canvas with a pastel green acrylic paint, going around the sides too. I then used Tim Holtz sage green distress ink to sponge around the edges and then through a leaf stencil all over the canvas. This worked very well.

I then decided to stencil around the edges with a sparkle medium using a palette knife. I think I was a bit ambitious starting with a flexible canvas, but nevertheless, it (sort of) worked. Once this was dry, I used a navy blue ink to stamp the main image in the centre of the canvas. The first time, only the edges stamped, again because the canvas flexed! So I put a pile of mount board underneath, and tried again. Fortunately, using an acrylic block and see-through stamp meant I could perfectly line up with the previous effort! I finshed the stamping with a sentiment and a couple of small dragonflies.

I always meant to complete the canvas with a selection of paper flowers. Their positioning was dictated by the mistakes I had made with the sparkle medium!!

The completed canvas looks much better in real life than it does here. The only thing is, I have no idea what I am going to do with it!! I think I will make a series of them in different pastel colours and perhaps persuade hubs to hang them somewhere in the house!!

Knitting baby clothes

Because the cross stitch is so demanding, I have not had time to do much else, craft-wise. However, I do sometimes manage to watch a bit of TV in the evening, so decided to get a couple of knitting projects done at the same time.

Harry's parents have said they do not need clothes or toys for him at Christmas as they have had so many donated by friends with older children. But Rachel does like to see Harry in hand knitted clothing, so I decided to make a couple of items.

This is the first I am knitting, a smart little jacket in natural. So far, the back and left front are finished. It is very quick and easy to make.

I think this one is more for me! A cute teddy outfit!  The wool is so soft.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Cross stitch update

I have been spending at least 2 hours, often more, in the afternoon on the cross stitch of Dad that I want to get finished by Christmas. I am finding now that I have to swap to artificial light much earlier, so I think I will start stitching earlier and do other things later in the afternoon/early evening.

I have now completed 2 pages of pattern completely, and a bit more besides. It is not easy going. There are lots and lots of colour changes in just one small area, and rather than feeling challenged by this, I am actually starting to feel bored. There are some large areas of just one colour in 3 out of 4 of the remaining sheets so hopefully I will progress a bit faster.

Over a third completed now.

The first 2 pattern sheets. I highlight an area as I complete it.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Free tickets to craft show

Unfortunately, I will not be able to use these.

Anyone in the UK who could, please let me know. I will post them to you ASAP.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Mum's birthday present...part 2

Well...I've completed the task. All of the cards are now packed in cellophane bags and in the big bag.

I have photographed all of them as I went along. I will just put the pics on here with no explanation of how I made them like I usually do.