Friday, 28 October 2011

Good Mail Day

Lately I don't seem able to catch my breath...  
life seems to be moving at such a pace.
And I am doing far too much of this:

               .......... and not enough of this!

And so imagine my delight when I arrived home from work and found this amazing envelope on my doorstep! 
I was lucky to receive it, because Deb was desperately rather sad to part with it!! This is part of the Pass the Book exchange, created by the very talented and generous Sian.

I hope Deb is not tooooo... sad though.
  Because I have just looked at her
latest post and she has also
received a Pass the Book.  And what is more, it is one that I also received  and reluctantly passed on.  So this is a coincidence and time for celebration, and a reminder that what goes round comes round.

I am still dashing and have a hall pcked with boxes and bags.  I am off on a 3 day creative retreat, you see.  I am making books about Me, Me, Me!!!  Ideally it should include photos and I tend to delete more of myself than I save, so this should be an interesting project.  I am packing my Explore album,  there is barely 2 pages done and this fits in well with the residential theme.  Hopefully I will come home relaxed and creatively challenged satisfied.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Last week saw me at my monthly crop and feeling extra excited because Sue Plymton came to show us how to use Tim Holtz Distress Inks.  While I have started to collect a range of colours I have never learnt how to use them properly or how to create the layers. So, I was all attention and eager to experiment, this is how: 
1.  I inked a small piece of card using two complimentary colours, in this example I used Frayed Burlap and Dried Marigold:

2.  Using white acrylic paint, I stamped a scroll design.

3.  Then the next layer.
Now... this is where my learning took a leap, because although I have a large collection of inks and stamps I have never learnt techniques or how to be creative with them.  So learning about 'second generation' of inking was new to me.  If it is new to you too, here is a quick explanation:

First generation - Ink your stamp and stamp onto your project. 
Second Generation - Ink your stamp, but this time stamp onto scrap paper, and then onto your project without re-inking.  This creates a lighter image and you can use the first stamp for another project so nothing goes to waste!
You can go on to create Third or Fourth generation images by stamping multiple times on a scrap piece of paper before stamping it on your project. Each will give you a lighter image, and this is a great way of adding depth to your project.  It means you can use one colour ink but create different shades, brilliant!  Trying to match my colours was always a problem, but no longer.  From now on, just one ink will do!

So getting back to my project....  I added a Second Generation background stamp:

And to finish, a First Generation stamp.  You can see here how it is a little darker than the background image, using the same colour ink:

To finish I added a little ink around the edges.........  and I got the bug for more:

This may be a stamping technique that you are familiar with, but it was new and exciting to me, so I thought it worth sharing.

And while browsing the internet I found another stamping technique I thought I'd pass on.  It again uses generation stamping and involves inking the back and the front of an acrylic stamp.

Go here for the tutorial and if you have any stamping tips and ideas of your own, please do share! 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

WOYWW - Time to unwind... finally!

My workspace has been neglected, birthdays overlooked and cards sent late.  I hang my head in shame....

I'm trying I can get back on top of things and catch up with some creative work.  I have my monthly crop to look forward to and a three day residential booked at the end of the month.  The prospect of a week off work soon adds to my excitement because I so need time to unwind and catch up with friends!  Meanwhile I have made a birthday card (this one was delivered on time!) and pages for the Log Book that I have mentioned in previous posts.
So that's what's on my workspace this Wednesday, a long with two postcards sent by friends.  I LOVE receiving that kind of post, don't you?

Here's a few photos of our first trip in the campervan.  We didn't have time to go far, but we found a lovely farm, cracked open a bottle of champagne and were lulled to sleep by the hoot of an owl.  Next morning I had breakfast in bed and a walk along the estuary before driving home.  Much of the area around here is salt marsh and I love the way the sea makes inlets and sculptures the land.  It is a landscape rich in birdlife especially overwintering geese, with an assortment of boats that add colour and character.  I never tire of it. And finally I can  start filling out the pages in our Log Book.  Yay!!  Life is returning to 'normal' whatever that is.
And if you are interested, this post shows the campervan in it's making ......

Have you been having this wonderful weather?  If so  I hope you managed to enjoy it while it lasted.  It is forecast to be on the turn now but what an unexpected treat - 28 degrees in October! Just perfect for our first weekend away.

And to see what other people have on their workspace this Wednesday, go over to Julia's page here, and have a good week what ever you have planned.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Creating........ a CAMPERVAN

Where did September go? 

For me it was a month filled with frustration, with measures of patience and persistence that I did not know I possessed.  The promise of a campervan never materialised.  We made so many trips to the converters that our car eventually drove itself, and Mr Converter commented ‘if I see any more of you Sandie we’ll have to get married’.  My LSNED pages lay empty on my workspace, and most days were filled with the mundane and mediocre, exhaustion and exasperation.

But there were sprinklings of special days of course.... such as my husband & granddaughter's shared birthday.  So there was a gathering at the weekend and then a lovely day spent with my daughter, followed by roller skating after school.  And our much enjoyed holiday to North Wales.  Even the wind and the rain could not temper our spirits!

And while thinking about how to write this post I visited Julie Ann Shahin's blog.   And I wondered about serendipity again because she relates a wonderful story told by Andrea Scher, which I thought was just beautiful.  Andrea says that :

 "Buddists believe that when a lot of things are going wrong all at once,
it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born,
and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be
                                                                born as perfectly as possible"

Did this relate to our Campervan?

Because with September's passing we FINALLY have possession !!

And I can reveal the story of it’s making...

Take one van and dismantle........

Cut strategic holes

Spray colour of choice

          Then start to assemble.....

          Line with carpet for insulation
          & comfort

          add windows


and a roof.

                Build furniture......

                add a sink,


                toilet and


                                                                                                  And finally...........       
           fit seats, newly
           upholstered in rosy red. 

                                                                                And here it is!  

I could come up with a string of metaphores to describe our experience, and truth be told, this has been like a bad pregnancy and difficult birth.  But most parents eventually forget the trials and tribulations and soon become besotted with their new off spring.

At the moment I am trying to think of a name for our camper.  Something that will roll off the tongue and give rise to interesting ideas and projects.  I've already mentioned that I plan to have a Log Book to record our overnight trips and camps.  I'm sure a name will spring to mind when my mind is quieter.  But if you have any suggestions they'll be greatly welcomed, because I know there are a lot of creative and clever minds among my blog readers and friends.  And I will offer a small giveaway if I choose one of the names suggested.

We finally accepted the camper on Saturday and we lost no time in having a night away.  Hopefully we can start to get back into a normal routine again, and catch up on all the other things that have been neglected along the way.  At the moment our excitement is still slightly marred by exhaustion and the amount of effort needed to bring this together, but like new parents, we will soon catch up on sleep and I'm already making plans of where we shall go and what we will do.

Oh, and by the way, I'm making space for some creative stuff to take along.... of course!!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

One dark morning.....

Every month Sian tells a story. Sometimes I join in, mostly I just read other peoples.  But this month Sian's story immediately took me back to an experience many years ago and I thought I'd share it.
I had a horse that I kept on a local farm and while I was feeding him I suddenly felt a presence.  It was early hours and still dark, so I was surprised that anyone would be around.  But I glimpsed a man looking over the stable door and then he disappeared.   I looked to see who it was, and saw a  man walk down the yard and through a five bar gate.  I thought it might be my imagination or a trick of light, and just assumed it had been the farmer moving around.

A little later I saw the housekeeper and she told me that Mr Butcher had not been out yet this morning.  He  was feeling meloncony because it was his deceased son's birthday that day.  I never told them about my experience and to this day I wonder about it.  It felt so real, and too much of a coincidence for it to be my imagination.  I'm a pretty grounded sort of person and not one for flights of fancy, so I'm happy to think it was the farmers son, popping round to see his dad. 

If you want to read more stories, just follow Sian's link above.
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