Wednesday, 16 April 2014


It's that show and tell time again courtesy of Julia at The Stamping Ground where you will find out all about the wonders of WOYWW!  
So here's this weeks mystery - how does this happen??!!
I have organised my craft room to give me more space on my desk - my shelves are directly in  front of me - so how is it that I end up working in a space of 10" by 8"(I measured it, the ruler was out for measuring up the card I'm making for my grandson)????
Do you spy my new TH die by the way - ordered from Country View Crafts on Monday - arrived today!! Free p&p too, what a service! Can't wait to get using it! Otherwise it's just a pile of stuff to put away!

Hopefully I will get around to visiting later - bad connection while we were away prevented me from getting back to a couple of visitors here last week so hope to remedy that today

Thanks for looking, Chris

Sunday, 13 April 2014


For a while I haven't been able to get much playtime and when I have it's been a case of 'what to do?' Having been away for a few days finally a couple of afternoons I settled down to play. So....can you tell what it is yet?
Here's a clue - I started with these
Well, three to be precise, with a vague idea about what I wanted to do. 
Last year I was lucky enough to get a place on a Tim Holtz workshop where goodies were set out on the table so having limited resources at the caravan I dug out these

Now as you can see this is just a pile of scraps,a bag of bits and a set of stamps that I bought on the way to the caravan a few weeks ago and that now live there! These were to be my main resources! Nothing like the goodies last year but limited and thinking on last year used stencils, stamping and embellishments to get where I wanted to!
First thing I did was coat the envelopes in gesso then added some paint, using a baby wipe.
While things were drying I started on some tags (can you see where I'm going?)

 I keep a selection of tags - some of which have been run the through the cuttlebug and thought they would be ideal for this.Lots of cutting out, stamping, distressing and tearing involved!
Then back to finishing the envelopes.

Here is the finished tag holder complete with tags
I don't suppose I kept you guessing at all!
I did have a lovely discovery while making this - Gesso plus copper acrylic paint gives a lovely shade of pink, not what I intend but I do like it!

I would like to enter this in A Vintage Journey's challenge this time - 'A little bit French' Take a look at their blog for loads of inspiration.

Thanks for looking, Chris

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


Wednesday seems to have come around rather quickly this week! After a fairly busy time I am here with my view of sheep and birds as I type but with a photo of my desk at home with my crafty goodies from Italy - is that cheating - I hope our fantastic host Julia at Stamping Ground will forgive me(pretty please?)
Of course I went into that Moleskine shop(see previous post),just couldn't resist a small landscape sketch book and some small journals in colours I'd never seen before. The lady in the shop pointed me towards an area where they had stamps and ink pads built in and invited me to use them on my new purchases so I'm all set for a return visit to Rome! lol!
The packaging looks pretty useful too!

Also on my desk is a collection of mini calendars - half price - that I will use to cut up...eventually, a couple of wooden hens from Florence's version of a pound shop(99c) and a brooch from a women's co-operative craft venture in Rome.

This little collection came from Signum in Florence, lovely papers, including some blank paper that I hope to make some little books with and a calligraphy book that I bought for hubby. Hubby bought  few pens and nibs - he seems to be taking the calligraphy seriously(fingers crossed - he needed a hobby!!) 
We had visited two shops but couldn't buy blank paper so we were sent to the shop near Santa Croce that is attached to the workshop where they make their notebooks(Oh! bought one of those too but forgot to put it on my desk)
Do you like the patterns in the tiles in the Vatican museum?

A bit like some zentangle patterns don't you think?

Finally, this plant holder in our hotel was interesting, especially to fellow dumfers - its an old carding machine
Look at the spikes - health and safety issues??? Not in Italy - I suspect that it would have a rail around it in an English hotel!
So, that's it folks, I may have a few journal pages, but I hope you have enjoyed seeing my photos. I waited long enough to go to Italy and it didn't disappoint, this trip was a lot more relaxed than last Autumn's early rises, I would love to go back someday........

Thanks for looking, hope to come visiting later, Chris

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Florence and Rome - the window shopping version

If it hadn't been for the luggage allowance I could have spent a fortune - the window displays are so tempting!
Food - of course, some of which I did take advantage of!
Deli near the Galleria Academia
Two shots of a market we came across in Rome

Florentine gelato shop
Gelato van in Rome
Choccie shop in Florence

There were also beautiful displays of all manner of other items - especially in Rome!

and this fabulous shop at the station not far from the hotel
Did I dare go in, bearing in mind I have a bit of stock here already? 
I'll show what I bought tomorrow on WOYWW!

Thanks for looking, Chris 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Florence and Rome - the "arty" version

Well, not THAT arty......just an attempt at some unusual views of the cities! This comes with a warning - VERY photo heavy!

First Florence
From the terrace at the Uffizi
We followed this group, that had obviously been somewhere else, back to their headquarters but they wouldn't answer another chap's questions so didn't even attempt to ask in English. The camera was a bit shaky as I had only just switched on and realised they were going to disappear quickly!
The back of David on Piazalle Michaelangelo where he stands looking over the city
    I think hubby may have been pulling a face but I quite liked the silhouette 

Spotted this while waiting to go into the Academia
This cat was asleep in the ruins at the Colosseum 

This cat sanctuary is in the ruins of an place called Largo de Torre Argentina - cats are rescued from around Rome by volunteers - we counted 22 but I have read that 250 are housed in the caves underneath!

                          Monument near the Forum
           Piazza Navona -through the middle of a statue
 It was cloudy when we went into the Pantheon but when the sun came out we saw this
This was painted on a wall in Piazza Navona

Up a side road
                  A view of St Peter's from the Vatican museum

    This was quite close to our hotel - they were still working on it

Okay, if you are still here, there are a few more pictures but they are for another day!

Thanks for looking, Chris

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Goodbye Florence.....

......Hello Rome! After our 3 nights in Florence we caught the train back to Rome! Both journeys were fantastic and a great way to see the countryside!
We had read reviews about the hotel, mainly good but a couple were really bad so didn't know what to expect - we needn't have worried - the people who wrote the bad reviews had clearly been to a different hotel!
On our first walk we walked down towards the Colosseum but finding more interesting sights on the way didn't make it that far! The Rome Marathon had just finished so there were men clearing away near the Forum area. 
We passed down theses steps little knowing that we would end up eating at the Trattoria two nights later and have the best meal we had in in Rome!

It had a lovely atmosphere with lots of what seemed like regulars in  and the food was delicious!
We did of course go to the Colosseum and to the Forum the next day, both fascinating places!

 We were quite lucky weatherwise although we did have a little shower but on the way back we saw this lovely sunset over the city!
The next morning when I looked out of the bedroom window I saw this - a gold statue of Christ above a church whose main doors were on the main road a block down - sadly we never got to look in the church! 
Well, that's it for now - I hope to get back with more before too long!
Thanks for looking, Chris