Sunday, 27 April 2014


Recently we stayed with friends and as always we  went out and about and I took lots of photos.  After a day or two I noticed there was a red theme going on, completely unplanned, and I thought I'd share some of them:

I have no idea what this is, hanging in a tree!  Since there were other obscure objects in the grounds that appeared to be part of outdoor game equipment we decided this might be a target... your ideas welcome!
The above photos fit well with Helena's weekly neme 'ZOOM IN, ZOOM OUT' so I am playing along and I have other photos I keep meaning to include.  They will have to wait, because right now there are a couple more red-themed photos to share:     
Thank you for visiting.
Can anyone guess where we were?! 

Thursday, 17 April 2014


Saturday saw me at Alexander Palace for the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show. As always I came home with bags bulging and some lovely new rubber stamps.  One of my favourites was from PaperArtsy, Tops & Tails 1.  This stamp needed mounting to use with an acrylic block and I thought I would share the technique that I use:
As I don't like waste I always cut my design from the rubber sheet first taking care to keep my scissors straight.  This ensures the edge of the stamp is supported by the rubber and not overhanging as this would spoil the print.
Next I lay each stamp onto the adhesive side of Repositionable Cushioning, such as Kling-On.  I fit them fairly close with enough space to cut around neatly - this saves wasting the cushion backing where there are gaps in between each stamp on a sheet.  I then cut off the unused backing and replace the waxed sheet to protect the adhesive.
Before cutting each stamp out I cover the backing sheet with talc.  This stops the blades of the scissors becoming covered with adhesive and allows a neat and easy cut.   I have discovered this after many clumsy attempts of peeling the sheet from my blades and having to keep cleaning them! 
Once you have cut the stamps from the adhesive backing sheet, simply wipe the rubber with a wet-wipe. 
When using this stamp I decided I wanted to mask the face from the bottom part of the design.  After one or two attempts I decided to cut it carefully to make 2 separate stamps.  Once done the bottom part reminded me of a dragonfly and with a couple of antennae added it looked the part.  Don't you love it when  things work out even better than you planned!  I'll be back soon to show how I used this stamp. 
Meanwhile, it felt brave to cut the stamp as it was finely detailed.  But the risk was worth it and I plan to revisit some of my other stamps and do the same. 
How about you? 
What risks have you taken with your stamps and stash?
Have a good Easter and thank you for popping by.  Any comments or ideas to add are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

5 in 5 - MELANIE April 2014

Those who follow my posts might know that Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia. She loves photography and every month she has taken part in this monthly neme.

Melanie does not have a blog and so each month I post her photos. I love that we have found a way for her to take part!
When I began this photo challenge last July I did not anticipate that this partnership would develop. It was not planned but I am SO glad that it happened because it has added something unexpected. I am so excited each month when I open Melanie's email with her monthly photos. So once again Melanie, a big thank you, and over to you:

"This month I finally made it to Blair National Park for a 5 in 5 shoot and walk.  It was a glorious morning with a beautiful blue sky.  Only 11®C as shown by the temperature gauge in our car but the sun was shining in all its glory, the birds were in fine chorus and the water of the Playford Lake glistened.

Click here to find out more about this national park.

I had hoped to see wild life as well as bird life and was rewarded by seeing two koalas.  Neither were in particularly easy spots to photograph but I saw them while near the lake so my five minutes starting with koalas could take in water birds as well as those in the surrounding trees.  So many photos in five minutes that it is difficult to select just five but here they are:-

Top left a pair of sulphur-crested cockatoos.
Bottom left an Australian Magpie
Top right a duck whose name I cannot find
Bottom right the shy koala
And the middle photo is of a rainbow lorikeet

Other times while walking in the park I have seen kangaroos and emus but guess they were all dozing out of sight during my walk today.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed my walk".

I am pleased that Melanie finally got to visit Belair, it has been promised for sometime and was well worth the wait. And Melanie
shared some exciting news today, she has become a grandparent for the first time. Congratulations Melanie! 

If this has inspired you to take photos to add to this challenge you have until 25th before the link closes. It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give any other information that you need.  Thank you to Melanie and everyone else who has taken part. Links for this months posts are here and I'll be back next month with more photos from Melanie and myself.   



Saturday, 5 April 2014

5 in 5 - April 2014 - THE GLASS SUN

                                         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'd share photos taken on a retreat.  I'd gone outside in the sun for a brief break and there are always good photos to be had by the water.  But today I was in London and just last evening I learnt that there was a 'sun' sculpture made of glass in one of the parks.  I didn't know where this was in relation to my meeting, but as luck had it, I discovered it was walking distance.  So I set off full of anticipation and I was not disappointed!  So this month, no photos taken in the sun, but a sun sculpture instead.  I love the unexpected, don't you!

I loved how it flowed with the branches of trees

and had wonderful shapes

and even more detail when you looked closer .

And I bet it looks even more amazing at night when it is lit up.

Here is more information about the sculpture and the artist.  If you have a chance, it is well worth a visit.  And there is more of Dale Chihuly's beautiful work to see in the Halcyon Gallery nearby.


Thank you for popping by and to everyone who has taken part in this monthly challenge.  I really look forward to seeing your photos and I hope you are inspired to get out your camera and join in. Here is the plan:

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes.

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.
   You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.  
And if you want to know more there are details here.

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!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


I was really touched by the encouraging comments I received following my stand at the recent Book Art Fair.  Thank you! It is wonderful to feel that I am being cheered on.

I did not have time to unpack afterwards because I was busy making a commissioned book and getting ready for more making at this weekends retreat.  What joy!!  Creating from dawn until dusk is my idea of heaven, especially when I share this time with my blog friends Alexa and Ruth, and other special friends who I see more often.  And then there is home cooked food served to us with no thinking about
preparation or washing up.  What can I want, except more of the same!  But that will come soon as other retreats are booked and looked forward to.  Lucky me!! 

As well as admiring and being inspired by other people's creativity I used time this weekend to make a book using file folders. I bought a pack of these last year and the idea has been growing since.  I have learnt that I work best under pressure or promise, and so I let others know that I planned to do this and invited anyone who was interested to join me.  Friday night I played, and next morning the idea had developed.  There was more response than I anticipated and after showing my example and the construction everyone went off to create their own book.  I loved how each one was so different and unique, and how everyone can start with the same design and make it their own.  Here's mine:

Each page has a side pocket and I made the insert extra wide.  This folds and creates another page, creating extra space for photos and journaling.  The file folders are really strong when covered with paper and form a great base to work from. I'll be using them much more in future.  Seeing these photos reminds me that I planned to share the story of my solo Road Trip.  This was an adventure that led on to other things, including more road trips planned for this year on my own. So I'll save that for another time, a long with more photos of my books at the Book Art Fair.  

While on my retreat I took the opportunity to take photos for 5 in 5, another month passes and it's nearly time for a post. Where does the time go?  At least the clocks have gone forward and we are enjoying lighter evenings and a splash of spring.  Thank you for popping by....
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