Saturday 29 November 2014

It's Chriiissstmassss!!!…...

…and it's not just creeping nearer - it's less than a month now and guess who hasn't made nearly enough cards!!!?
I have been determined that most of my cards will fit into an envelope to go through the post without extra cost.
This time I've used a stamp by Inkylicious that I bought at a show.
I stamped it three times and then coloured in the leaves, birds, flowers and buds using Sakura gel and sparkle pens plus a gold Pentel.
Lacy grass at the bottom and a hand cut stamped Woodware sentiment.

I must say I'm quite pleased with this as it's not my favourite way to make cards!

I would like to enter in -
Stamping Sensations Challenge -  "Simply Christmas"
and Try It on Tuesday - "Christmas is Coming"

Thanks for looking, Chris

Monday 24 November 2014

Dreaming with an 'X'

Oh boy! When I saw the title of this challenge at Dragons Dream I had a panic moment until I read that Julie Ann wanted an 'x' somewhere in a word! The challenge is 'The letter x and the colour purple' - well you must know by now that I'm happy with purple in any of it's shades!
Once I knew the letter x could be anywhere I don't know what made me think of it but the word 'Elixir' came into my head - so now what??
Well, at that point my Mojo upped and left me in the lurch. I still had the word going around in my head but not a clue what to do! A few outings and I had only been in my craft room to poke at things - nothing came to mind - should I think of a different word?! Over Saturday and Sunday I decided to sit at my desk and prepare a few die-cuts….and that's when I thought of this(of course by now the place was covered in bits poked out of holes and lots of mess to clear out of the way!)
I started by rubbing a combination of purple shades of Distress inks over the tag and then used a water soaked sponge through my TH 'Rays' stencil. I wanted a bit of the 'Elixir' splashed over the corner of the tag - a little bit of runny black gesso, and then when it had been heat dried to make it bubble a bit I rubbed in a combination of magenta and aquamarine Inca Gold hoping it would make a shade of lilac(it did!) The bottle is an Artistic Stamper one that I've had for ages - doesn't get used nearly enough!I stamped it onto a piece of kitchen roll that I had been using as a shim - it had totally flattened it! The edges were torn and had just enough texture around the bits that hadn't been under a die!I coloured the bottom part of the bottle to give the impression of something being in it. A Crafty Individuals perfume label was stamped by picking out the edges with a distress marker and I hand wrote the label.
At this point I didn't feel it was finished so used a small text stamp around the edges.I also added some 'Brushed Pewter' Distress Stain to the lid and dried off the brush by painting over the bottom of the bottle.
I left it over night and then this morning gave the elixir something to run across the tag to 'cure'….some crackle paste tinted with Dusty Concord Distress!

So here I am on time again (it won't last!!) with my entry for Dragons Dream 180 "Letter X and the colour Purple" 

Thanks for looking, Chris

Friday 21 November 2014


I know November is nearly over but I clean forgot to post this despite it being ready on time - I blame my two GD spots - think they addled my brain!!!
Doh! I'm talking about my 365/12 calendar journal - Kate started all this a few years ago now and it's something I love doing.
Here is November - before I started to fill it in - as you know if you've seen my blog it's been a busy month!
There's more on this page now but you'll have to wait!
Octobers all filled in!

We're out tonight for our Scrabble challenge - we play with  small group of friends here at our retirement complex. We say it's for fun but we can get quite serious especially when you find yourself losing against 90pluses!!!

Thanks for looking, Chris

On the move again!

Warning!!! I will ramble!!!
We decided to check out early so that we could see the station area and pick up a sandwich to eat on the train.
This turned out to be good idea as I was able to find some crafty little bits in a shop right next to our choice of sandwich maker!!
I was rather disappointed to find that we only had a view from one side as we were right by the luggage rack.
The views were interesting as we travelled away from mountains and into quite a lot of flat terrain.

We reached a border town…. by this time we had been joined by two Swedish girls who had been travelling through Europe for nearly a month - it was great to hear about their adventures - in perfect English - put us to shame!!!
Finally our destination - Budapest! This was to be an overnight stop  - Richard, from Cities Direct, who had booked everything for us had found that a flight to Manchester was cheaper from here so we had a bonus!!
Here was a chance for a very short experience to visit somewhere that had never been on any of the lists we had made of places we wanted to visit!
We came slightly unstuck when we came across road works and took a wrong turn but were soon put right by a cafe owner when we stopped for a coffee!
The hotel was quite modern and very close to some beautiful buildings so off we went to make the most of our 22 hours!
The entrance to the State Treasury

This shop drew me in for a better look (and a table runner!)
We went to St Stephen's Square and were able to go inside the cathedral.

One of the most beautiful cathedrals we have visited!
Time flew and we were getting hungry, there are lots of international eating choices in Budapest but we wanted to try typical Hungarian food!

A lot of people were eating outside - it was very warm - but no room for us!
I was so glad we went inside - the vintage touches around the room were fabulous!
The food was delicious - we both chose the same - 

I have found a recipe for this and made it at home too!

While we were eating a party of people came into an adjoining room and a while later I looked through and saw this….
We, and the group of Mexicans beside us, had a sneaky peek at a strudel making demonstration! (The strudel we ate there was delicious too)
The treats weren't over though, I had to visit the toilet, hadn't noticed on the way in but when I came to wash my hands this was the hand basin

Okay so I'm weird!! I don't know if you can see, but the whole room seemed to be devoted to film stars

We headed down to the river and the Parliament buildings, 

This over the other side of the river…
and this on our side

I bet this looked great from the other side!

Then it was time to walk back to the hotel

We had plans for the next morning…

If you've got to here Thank You so much for staying with me, I'll be back soon with last installment! Chris

Wednesday 19 November 2014

WOYWW 285 A desk and two meetings!!

I had intended posting this before we went to the cinema today but then felt - well I'll say weird - because I feel fine again now but just couldn't face the cinema! My desk (and for those who don't know anything about WOYWW, details are here on Julia's Stamping Ground blog) has been tidied ready for action but unfortunately hasn't seen any today!
 The pile of 'stuff' sitting on top of my acrylic blocks may get sorted today in front of the TV!

If you saw my post the other day I gave a hint about meeting someone….and here we are at Farfield Mill near Sedburgh in Cumbria..
Hubby and I met up with Jo of Jozart and her hubby Dave on Monday and had a great day out! Jo and I were in our element (Jo had never been before)and the men sat on a comfy sofa and chatted. We had a lovely lunch and got back in time to see the sun set over the lake where Jo and Dave were staying just down the road from us.
It was also just as a group of starlings were heading their way to join the murmuration at Leighton Moss.

I had another meeting with someone too…

…lovely Ray Winstone was filming at the top of our road last night!
One of the crew saw me looking and asked if I'd like to meet him -err….YES PLEASE!!!! 

Film review from last week if you are interested … "Fury" with Brad Pitt - being in the week of Remembrance Day, was particularly hard hitting with some quite graphic war images, probably best waiting for the DVD or for it to be on a movie channel but definitely worth a watch!

So that's it for now, I don't know who I will get to visit today but  we are home with a decent(ish!) connection so I'll do my best tomorrow for sure!!

Thanks for looking, Chris

Monday 17 November 2014

GD spot for Country View Challenges

I was honoured to win a top 3 and be asked to take up a guest design spot on Country View Challenges - it meant getting my head around the topic 'Bugs, Bees and Butterflies' while we were away in Austria. Time to think and plan on our train journeys! 

I decided on a reverse canvas piece using neutral colours
I started by adding a coat of Gesso followed by some texture paste through a stencil around the frame.
Added some paint(Paper Artsy Snowflake and Nougat Frescos), stencilling, ribbon, twine, lace and beads
 Then the butterfly element….

 Added stamped butterflies(Tim Holtz attic Treasures) on to layers of corrugated card, gauze and Hessian (burlap)
Some other bits and pieces and it was time to assemble.

The little spray in the corner contains some seed heads picked on a walk - gessoed quite heavily!
This is going to be for a certain little girl who likes butterflies!!

I hope you will take a look at the fabulous inspiration from the Country View Design team and be inspired to take part in the Bugs, Bees and butterflies challenge this month

Thanks for looking, I would love to read your comments if you have time to leave them, Chris

Saturday 15 November 2014

Vienna !

Okay, so I know I wasn't impressed at first but Sunday dawned and the sun was shining - time for an early start - a metro train to catch and palace to visit!

Schonbrun Palace - the most visited attraction in Austria we knew there would be queues - fortunately not for too long - they were very organised!                                                     The palace was beautiful and interesting! No photos inside!!

The gardens were amazing - and although we wanted to go somewhere in the afternoon we spent some time wandering around in the sunshine
I have never seen such a tame squirrel or birds, this squirrel kept going back to some children with nuts
We had a simple lunch and saw this advertised on a card on our table Kaiserschmarrn - couldn't resist - it was (apparently) Kaiser Franz Josef 1st's favourite dish
I could see why - delicious - loaded with sugar - we shared and hubby did his best to eat most of it!!

Then it was a metro ride back to the city centre.
We decided to walk to our next destination.
Past this..
Minecraft you could move yourself (I have grandchildren - I've seen their games - that's all I know! lol!)
Down the road to…
…beautiful Belvedere Palace
I wanted to see the Klimt exhibition- hubby wanted to wander outside.
What did I see? 'The Kiss' - couldn't get a photo, 
some lovely decor

some interesting faces
by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt who did these based on himself while receiving treatment for an illness - each face contorted in a different expression - fascinating!
I also took this view from a window
Hubby took some fab photos outside

Then it was a tram back into the centre again for another highlight!
The Sacha Hotel cafe!

Happy! Happy! Happy!
This is the one my Diabetic nurse said I shouldn't miss - bless her!!! She had been earlier this year and enjoyed the Sacha Torte!
From here we went for a walk, thought I'd better!!

Then it was time for something to eat and back to the hotel to pack!
I have no idea what blogger has done to the text at the top of this post - it looks fine while writing it!!!

Thanks for looking, Chris