Monday, 10 November 2014

ZIZO - Poppies

For weeks I have planned to go to London to see the poppy sculpture 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'.  I have seen so many photos, breath taking images that moved and made me want to go even more.  I knew I would always live with regret if I let this spectacle and stunning tribute pass.

And so today I caught the train, joined the mass of people who were of the same mind, and took my turn to pay my respect and take photos.


It was just as I imagined, I'm so glad that I went.

Joining in with Helena's weekly neme, ZOOM IN ZOOM OUT.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

5 in 5 - November 2014 - MELANIE

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography. Every month Melanie has taken part in this monthly neme and we managed to find a way round her not having a blog by posting here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part so once again Melanie, a big thank you, and over to you:

Already November and another fifth of the month.  I had been thinking about the subject/place for my five in five photos and was very tempted to take zoo photos as on Friday I am going to Adelaide Zoo with my daughter and grandson.  However Friday is not November 5th and I do really like my 5 in 5 photos to be taken on the day.  Then the thought came to me why not use my daughters chickens as the subject for my photos?  This is what I have done.  I do have chickens of my own but only four whereas my daughter has seven chickens so I thought seven would offer more choice of photos besides one of my chickens already featured in my very first 5 in 5 back in July 2013.  You can see her in Sandie’s blog of Jul 25 2013.  Anyway here are some shots of my daughter’s chickens. 

When I entered their hen house they all gathered round my feet and begun pecking my shoes but they quickly tired of that.  A couple decided the grain in their bowls was tastier and the others just wandered around.  The seven hens consist of three black hens which are the breed Australorp, an Australian breed, two white hens which are a leghorn cross, (the leghorn is a breed originating in Tuscany) and the brown hens of which there are also two are an Isa Brown cross.  The Isa Brown is not actually a breed but a hybrid.  It was difficult to decide which photos to use and I have done a bit of cropping in order to fit five photos into my collage. Hope you enjoy seeing my daughter’s girls.
I thought perhaps another time I will use my girls  in a photo but then I realised I’d like to show them off at the same time as you see my daughter’s girls so hope you will forgive a photo outside of the 5in5. I have one Isa brown girl who is the boss, one Brown Leghorn girl and two golden laced Wyandottes girls who I think are beautiful with the gold trimmed black feathers. Here they are:-
As always, a big thank you to Melanie and if this has inspired you to take part in this challenge you have until 25th before this months link closes. It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give other information that you need.

Links for this months posts are here and hopefully I'll be back with more photos from Melanie and myself next month.  I hope you will join us!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

5 in 5 - November 2014 - MY WORKSPACE TODAY

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
 each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes. 
This month I thought I would share some of the projects I am working on. I am a messy working and flit from one thing to another so my workspace is covered and the floor around me too! Let's take a look:
I had hoped to finish these Halloween projects that are in various states of progress.... 
But no... other things were more pressing and so these still sit in a pile on the corner waiting for attention. I wonder if they will just be put away again until next year because that's what usually happens as Christmas overtakes. One day I will finish what I started, especially as I have ideas of what I want to do with these laser cut shapes from That Craft Place.  But as I said, Christmas is coming and so I thought I would make a Christmas project.....

I don't usually go for cute but each month as part of the Laser Cut Design Team I send off two projects to be displayed in the shop. And this snowman kept poking me saying, "Come on, see what you can do with me!"  And so after playing around I came up with the idea of putting him inside a glass snow globe. Having cut the hole and base on my Cameo silhouette I decided he looked a bit lost, and so I stuck him on the outside instead with the quote 'Why fit in when you were made to stand out!' I added ribbon so that this could be hung as a wall decoration and the snowman is ready to be posted a long with an upcycled box that I made using laser cut shapes.  You can see more of the box and a tutorial here
I have also been busy preparing for classes that I run. We have made advent calendars and a variety of books using different constructions and the next class is a day of making papery Christmas projects. I'm super excited, I have lots of ideas and one involves large letters. I decided the best way to make these is to cut them myself and so I took my silhouette from the back of the shelf and pushed myself to experiment. You see I don't use it enough to become familiar with it's working and so each time I have to relearn. That can take so long that I resort to other ways of getting what I want (or not!) So for the past week my machine has taken up much of my workspace a long with my laptop and I have been really happy with what I have achieved.  Yay!! 
Later this morning I am taking my silhouette and laptop to my friend Pauline's house where we plan to set up both our machines and help each other to master more.  We did this once before and was blown away by what we achieved with one of us watching a YouTube tutorial while the other followed the instructions. We're hoping for another successful play!
Here's more of my mess and some pots of glue. I have used so many different types of glue this past week as there was a request to make books with fabric covers as one of my classes. I spent a whole morning experimenting to find the right medium and sometimes what you think will be simple and quick isn't. Still, much learning was achieved and some lovely books made. There is also some stickles in the  background. I didn't realise I needed these until the other day. I'm not a sparkley girl as a rule, but I discovered sometimes there is a time and place for everything. 
Other books are also piled on my workspace. I am in the process of setting up an online 'stall' at CRAFTfest and event that runs for the next five weeks. I hope to have some of my handmade items on show by the end of today and that you will pop over to take a look. I'll add a link as soon as this is available.  Meantime I need to take make more to add to my stall and I'm thinking books (of course!) journals, cards and decorations to start. I'd best get going then!! 
As always, thank you for visiting and any comments are always warmly appreciated.  And
 this month I am linking to Julia over at WOYWW - why not pop over and see? It's always fun to see what others are working on. 
If you are inspired to get out your camera and join in the '5 in 5' photo challenge here is the plan:

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (I use my mobile phone).

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool below.
     You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.

There are more details here.

And one more thing - when you use the link tool, please click on your post title.  This will show the web address. Please right click, copy and paste this as your link.  This will take readers directly to your '5 in 5' blog page and be easier for them to find.

And don't forget, you have until 25th to post your link!


Monday, 3 November 2014


I thought I'd share one of my recent makes, a giveaway that I offered to celebrate the 1st anniversary of my monthly 5 in 5 photo challenge.  Melanie's name was chosen in the random selection and she had mentioned to me that she wanted to make a book using the photos from her monthly posts but that she hadn't found the time.  I was wondering what I could send as a giveaway and I loved this idea...  in fact, I couldn't think of anything more perfect! 

It's been a secret and Melanie doesn't know that I have made this book.  At least, not until now, if she reads this post!   Hopefully it will still be a good surprise.

Each page shows Melanie's photo collage, one for each month of the year that she sent me.  And I designed the pages with a side pocket that would hold a tabbed insert. 

I wanted to include the story that Melanie had sent me with each photo collage and I love how her writing fitted perfectly onto each side.  I also love how these can be tucked away so that the focus is on the photo, but how the tab invites you to pull them out and read. 

I experimented with a new construction that seems to have worked well.  I didn't want to use a hidden hinge as these take space inside the pocket and this design allows the pages to open flat and for the inserts to fully fit inside.  I taught this construction at a recent class and it was well received.  Now I plan to make another of these books for myself because I loved seeing Melanie's photos in this way and I decided I want my own copy!   I also plan to use the same idea for my own 5 in 5 photos as there's nothing like the feel of a book and turning pages.  I hope Melanie will agree! 

It will soon be time for another '5 in 5' post so I hope you will come back on 5th.  And if you want to join in this monthly challenge, you'd be very welcome.  You can find out more here. Meanwhile I'd love to hear ways how you have shared some of your photos, thanks for popping by.

Saturday, 1 November 2014


Another Halloween has passed and another night of hococ pocos.  My daughter and her family love an excuse for some fun and much of their day was spent preparing.  And as always we joined them once it got dark.  We were greeted by strange looking small people.

The big one had a very serious face but I learnt that a zip had been glued onto her face (literally) and this made face movements difficult.  The effect was so clever I thought they had bought the mask, but no, they had made it by hand.  What's not to love about that!! 
And of course there was trick and treats. 
And children would be offered the cat litter tray.........
 Actually, these were shaped chocolate brownies in Rice Crispies and we loved seeing the  response they received!  There was polite hesitance and the odd refusal, but there was a huge bucket of sweets on offer for the not so brave or the very small.

And then it was time to go knocking on doors ourselves......

Some looked amazing and it was wonderful to see the effort and the way that some neighbours played along. 

And then there was this one...... 
As we approached smoke appeared from the front door, there was eerie noise and a huge white lady standing facing the door....

Then as we gingerly approached she s-l-o-w-l-y turned round.....  and walked towards us!!!! 
Boy did we SCREAM!! 
The little ones (and ones not so little!!) all ran back to the road leaving me in hysterics and grappling with my camera.  I SO wished I had caught this on video!!

There was reassurance, trepid footsteps back, and the white lady went out of her way to be friendly and explain to the little ones that hers was just a costume too.  She offered to pose for a photo.   

The very little one refused to look.... however she did agree to a high five with the white lady before we left.   And then it was back home, with the last laugh on us! 

Time to remove make up and retell the tales of our Halloween. 

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