Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Back again

Well, it's been a while since I was last on here.

I have had quite a nasty cold which gave me a tickly cough and I was virtually unable to talk for a couple of days. Now, I have congestion around my nose and eyes and have no energy. All I want to do is read.

I have just started to read the Psy Changeling series by Nalini Singh. These books have been on my Kindle for nearly 2 years and I have resisted reading them while I worked through her Guild Hunters series which is amazing. Anyway, the first book is amazing and I am hooked!

I have also caught up with Gena Showalter and have reread  Larissa Ione's Reaver in anticipation of Revenant which is released in December.

I have managed to do a bit more parchment craft, although I am aware that I don't work traditionally! What I tend to do is the embossing downstairs and then make the cards upstairs! I completed 3 yesterday.

The heart and butterflies came from a parchment kit pattern book. I mapped the patterns in white ink and then embossed from the back. The heart also has a pattern pricked from the top. Because I spilt some white ink on the parchment paper, I decided to cut the heart out. The card is one that I bought from Craft Creations bargain basement and I placed acetate behind the aperture. The heart and butterflies were then stuck to this or the card with Pinflair glue. I am still a bit heavy handed with the embossing and tore the parchment paper in one place, but it doesn't show.

I tried something completely different for this card. When Rod started to clean up the attic the other day, he found a box with some pearlescent paper in it. I tried embossing it and it does give a similar effect to parchment paper, albeit more muted. Anyway, I wanted to try printing a pattern out on parchment paper and embossing this, but the paper was not accepted by the printer. The pearlescent paper was.

I printed out a pattern from a My Craft Studio Parchment CD and chose a couple of suitable backing papers; one plain and one patterned. I could just about make out the pattern from the reverse side if I had a light above where I was working so embossed the pattern. Again it has perforations too. I cut out the pattern and mounted it onto the plain backing paper then mounted that again onto blue mirri card. The corners were rounded with a punch each time. A further piece of blue mirri was cut to fit and C5 card and the patterned paper stuck to this. I also made a butterfly from the same pearlescent paper to complete the look.

I used the printed pattern to complete another flower, this time on parchment paper. I placed some of the plain backing paper inside the aperture and stuck the parched flower onto this. I finished off with some butterfly stickers with raised wings.

I have to admit that this is my favourite card!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Little Nell

Rod came back from checking the boat on Monday very upset and told me that he had made the decision to sell our boat, Little Nell.

We had the inside of the boat replaced a few years ago and at the same time, all of the windows were taken out and resealed. For 3 years, we had no damp, but last year there were signs that water had come in over the winter and some of the new fascia had cracks and a bit of peeling. Rod spent weeks and weeks resealing and then repainting the outside of the boat. Then on Monday, he found yet more damp, despite all that hard work last year.

He has got to the stage now, where he wants to just sit on the boat and relax. When he was doing all the repairs last year, he got an infection and he just could not shake it off, and I am sure that was part of the reason...he just got too run down. I did suggest then that perhaps he ought to sell her, because it is so much work and expense when we have such a limited amount of time on her.

9 years ago, Rod had an operation to remove a benign brain tumour. While on the operating table, he had a small stroke. He also lost the hearing in his right ear and was left struggling to balance. Over the subsequent years, his balance has got much worse and with my health problems too, we have been limited to short trips on the Sharpness canal. So the decision makes sense.

Nevertheless, poor Rod is devastated at losing his "baby" and we are both going to miss our days just chilling and watching the world go by.

All in blue

I finished off the fourth parchamore card today and I was very pleased with it. I decided to stick the parchment to the blue card with a mixture of PVA glue for the edges and silicon for the middle. Unfortunately, the glue stained the parchment in a couple of places, but I managed to hide it all with the leaves, mini roses and butterflies!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Over the past few days, I have done some more parchamore. This time I used butterfly stencils.

For the first card, I just worked as is onto the parchment. I found an aperture card to mount it in that was almost the right size, I used a knife to cut round the top of the butterfly wing so that it could be pulled outside the aperture and also pricked through the card. It didn't need more than gems to finish.
Unfortunately, it is quite hard to see the detail,, but it looks elegant.

The second card was made in a similar way to the first except that I used watercolours to tint the parchment before the rest of the detail was added.
For the final card, I wanted to use a butterfly punch that I had bought for my birthday. I decided to mount the parchment onto red card so punched the top and bottom of the card. rather than stick the parchment down, I used brads, and knowing I was also going to use black card, I decided on black which in hindsight is a mistake. I then stuck the red card to black, then realised that the parchment was back to front!! Fortunately, I could just about life the card to sort it our!!
I punched 3 butterflies out of parchment and added them to 3 corners and then used gems for their spines. On the 4th corner, I attached a black flower. I then decided to add a few red gems to the parchment which I now think was OTT. The card was finished with black gems.

My blanket

I think I've said before how jealous I was of the baby blanket that Rod and I knitted between us. It was so soft and cosy and just the right weight.

When I sleep at night, I sometimes find that a duvet is just a bit too heavy for my painful joints and I kick it off. Of course, then my joints get cold and even more painful. So Rod decided he would knit me another blanket on the loom. He did all of the knitting and I sewed up the strips and finished off. He wanted brighter colours for my blanket and decided on a diagonal pattern rather than the random one that the baby's is.

Here it is!!