Monday, 23 January 2017

Silver cards

 So at the WOYWW crop the lovely ShazSilverwolf brought her dies with her and I cut a TON of these (I tried purchasing the die at the NEC show but none of the stalls had one for sale-good job as now I have lots in different colours!!).

I thought that these would be suitable for both male and female cards (and both silver since they were inspired by Shaz!).
The top one is in silver and on a plain white card.  I am not great at doing plain cards but I think this one works ok.

This one is on holographic card and backed with a slightly metallic grey card with some bradless brads just to add some dimension.

That's it for now,
Happy crafting

Friday, 20 January 2017

First batch of Christmas cards!

So, the one thing I try to do each January is to make a start on my Christmas cards using old cards, calendars, wrapping, adverts etc.  I know that if I wait until later in the year I will be too busy making presents and so it wont happen!

I know some people aren't keen on this, but personally I don't like waste and am a big fan of upcycling and reusing rather than landfill.

I start by selecting the images (often only part images) and then sort them by colour group (as it makes it easier to match up backing papers and embellishment by colour).

I also add my own sentiment stamps, glitter and gems and there you have it, my first batch of 9 cards already made!

Off to polish my halo (or at least fetch it out of the huge pile of ironing that its probably be languishing in recently!).

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Hello peeps, it's hump day again so that can only mean one thing..time to share our workdesks of shame!  

Over at the queen of desks our lovely Julia presides over "What's on your Work Desk Wednesday" where we bare all!

My desk this week isn't too bad (though it has looked like this for a couple of days!!) as I am cutting up last years Christmas cards and calendars to see if I can upcycle them into cards, tags etc for the coming year (not the handmade or 'special' cards-they get saved). 

My 'Man Bites Dog' cards really were drawn like this-honest, these were the first random 5 I drew from the pack IN THIS ORDER!!!!

So, who is singing at his ceremony this week then?! 

Happy crafting

Monday, 16 January 2017

Street art in London

 I recently spent a few days up in London as my husband was playing in his band 
The Setbacks at the 100 Club in Oxford Street (where the Sex Pistols, Lemmy, Rolling Stones, Metallica, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney etc have all played).

This was an ideal opportunity to abandon some of my  tags and check out the street art.

This tag is sprayed with inks and dyes and the image I carved from lino, adding some white posca lines for definition and a bought sentiment stamp.  I abandoned this down by Blackfriars bridge and hopefully someone found it and took it because they liked it.

All around the city (if you know where to look, usually back streets) are some amazing pieces.  This one was on the pavement under a street light and during the day it was hard to see, but when the street light came on it really lit the image up!  

The piece below was just below a bridge, no label or plaque, just a really unusual piece of street furniture!

I also stumbled across this whilst out searching for art-never noticed the building before.

Of course, there are lots of small pieces dotted all across the city for you to find by chance, however, street artists like Invaderwashere also have interactive maps where you can track his pieces in different cities across the globe-instantly recognisable for his mosiac space invaders.

Then there are pieces that are SO colourful

Like this pedestrian crossing we found!!  I must admit I really love this idea and would like to see more of them across the country.

 Only a small selection of the art I found across our capital and because it is always changing with something new to find.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 14 January 2017

A production line of tissue holders

There is a story behind these pocket tissue holders.
I struggle with sewing.  To be honest I am not great with measuring, cutting or detail but I do actually enjoy sewing.  I mentioned to Fiona (Staring at the Sea) that I was looking to make something small and she kindly sent me a link to her blog where she makes these.  Now, Fiona is a sewing genius, seriously, she has the ability to make something with relatively difficult instructions into something clean and simple to follow-it is a true skill.

So, for the first time in AGES (and I mean years) I followed instructions for sewing and not only made one (which I have no issues with) but replicated them MANY times (and that is my issue-I struggle to replicate and produce something with a consistency).  In fact I kept replicating them!!!!

They are great for using up smallish pieces of fabric and are perfect for keeping one in each handbag, desk drawer, pockets-yep, I did make quite a few!

I sent one over to my auntie in New Zealand and also made her a glass pendant for Christmas (as I am unable to send over items such as the elderflower cordial or lavender bags due to quarantine and infection regulations).

I think I will keep making these little tissue holders as they are sweet little gifts to keep handy in the present drawer for those moments when you need a small gift.  Do you have any small crafting gifts you make in advance for those "just in case" moments?

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


Another Wednesday and this time I have an almost empty desk!

On it are some of my paper die cuts from the WOYWW crop that I used the lovely Shaz Happy Birthday die.  Sadly my die cutting is not great and I have quite a lot of 'bits' I need to pop out or nick with a blade.  It is taking a while but is the perfect job for those moments when your mojo has decided to wander off and you are paying more attention to the radio than what you are doing!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Devoted Dog Snubs Cruel Czar'.....well I dread to think what that could mean!


Sunday, 8 January 2017

A year of walking

I haven't blogged recently, this is mainly down to several things. 

 First I have been making Christmas presents so cannot show what is on my desk!  

Also my Rheumatoid Arthritis and the drugs I take for it means I have a compromised immune system and after 6 weeks of feeling sick with two lots of anitbiotics, working full time, yadda, now how it is, something had to give!

However, one thing I did continue was my instagram account and my daily walks. I thought I would do a roundup of how they came about and some of the highlights-so grab a cuppa and settle down as it is quite photo heavy!

So how did it all being? 
Christmas last year my husband bought me a Withings watch. 
 Now, I rarely wear a watch (timekeeping is not high on my list-I tend to turn up sometimes early, sometimes late.  Although if I am chairing a meeting at work I know it infuriates some people!) BUT I did use a pedometer but it kept falling off my belt etc so he bought me a classy french activity tracker. 
 It looks like an analogue watch but also connects via bluetooth to your mobile device and tracks activity-but as it looks like a watch no one else knows!

So, Boxing day 2015 I started a DailyWalk challenge with myself.  I thought I would walk everyday.  I started short and worked slowly up.  Some days with my RA in flare I struggle to walk unaided to the bathroom and some days I work very long hours without a break so I was realistic.  I would try to walk most days, regardless of weather for a year.  I didn't set myself any other goals (those that know me know I am NOT goal or target driven).  I didn't take a photo everyday but most times I did.

Some days I walked around town.  Now I am very lucky that I currently live near Bristol.  A beautiful city full of wonderful architecture, street art and lots of different cultures whilst having some amazing parks and open spaces and being surrounded by countryside and a working harbour.

Some of the walks were around my work or from home.  I am lucky (again) that I live very close to the shared Bath/Bristol path and also a working stream railway (both in the photo above), the dramway (an old industrial network of paths) and near a stream that flows down to the river.

 In the past couple of years a local group has placed some sculptures around some of the more popular pathways.  This stag is full size!

 Sometimes the steam railway has special events such as this vintage transport day  which makes my daily walks much more interesting.

 Some days the walks are just round the local area at work or in the parks

 Sometimes I time it for a coffee break or sometimes even lunchtime.

 I saw lots of spring flowers this year and several sorts of local wildlife.

I even continued my daily walks whilst I was on holiday

and on wet and muddy days too!

The Weightwatchers weekly newsletter even published some of my instagram photos!

I came across areas I didn't know existed and found some positivity in the strangest of places!

On my walks I also found a bounty of foraging opportunities.  From hazelnuts,

Blackberries and sweet chestnuts and 

 even more blackberries...

 to fabulous plums and apples

 so many I was able to fill my freezer with produce and make lots of jars of chutney to see us through the winter months!

Some walks were just round the estate or to the local supermarket (searching for reduced yellow sticker goodies, another pastime on mine!)

 either way, a year later come rain or shine I am STILL doing a daily walk!

Personally I think it has helped me.  After flares it helps me stretch out gently, gives me time out  helping mentally to clear my mind as well as fresh air and exercise-all for free.

Will I continue?  You bet I will. But its not a new years resolution-after all, I don't like goals!


Friday, 6 January 2017

Screen Printing

 So I can finally start sharing some of the Christmas presents I made.

Last year I bought a selection of Dinky Screens.  This is a local Bristol independent company run by two young ladies who created a small and compact screen printing kit (it all fits in the tin-how great is that for storage, including the paints!).

I bought the Bristol themed set.

I screen printed in gold the world "Bristol" and heat set the print using an iron.  
Then cut out the shapes, sewing them on the machine and adding some personalised ribbon (it says handmade especially for you by Kyla) and stuffed them with polyester filling and a good handful of lavender from the garden I picked and dried earlier in the year.

There you have it, some fragrant but stylish lavender bags that can either be hung in the wardrobe or placed in a drawer.  I find they are also really useful to keep in suitcases whilst being stored out of season or gym bags!

I hope the recipients liked them....I need to remember next time to make more so I have a few for me!  I added these to the gift baskets I made which also included items such as spiced sugar (with lots of bay, orange etc), homemade elderflower cordial and sloe gin plus a few extras that I will post over the coming days.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017


Hurrah I am back in the driving seat and cracking on with 2017!!

So, its the first Wednesday of the year so that mean we all join Julia (link over in the side bar) and show What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

On my desk this week is the start of my next 365 Journal.  A few days late but I have been doing these for about 6 years.  I noticed they are starting to take up precious room so I thought I would try and cut back on their size and use the final pages of my 2016 journal but only A4 for each month rather than a double page spread.

This means that one journal will cover two years.  In an attempt to get ahead of the game I thought I would decorate January and February (mid decorating when this photo was taken).

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Romantic Actor Sues Hubby'-watch this space eh?

Happy crafting

Sunday, 1 January 2017

One year ends and another begins

So, on New Years day 2016 I covered an old coffee tin in gaffa tape and whenever something nice happened (a gig, coffee with friends, I heard a new joke etc) my husband and I made a short note of it and stuffed it in the tin.

The idea is that a year later you sit down, read through them and remember all the nice things, those moments of elation, that happened throughout the year.

Small, quick and at no cost-but to remember those moments of joy felt really good.
I think I will do it again in 2017.

Happy new year