Saturday 31 May 2008

Better weather today

When we got up the sun was shining! and continued to shine until about midday, when it clouded over and looked quite stormy for a while, but that passed by and the sun came out again, although it became more overcast as the afternoon went on.

We caught a bus along to Shoeburyness this morning - took some pictures of the beach area and some gorgeous plants. We then caught the bus back to the Kursaal area (didn't go in - not sure it's even open) and then strolled along towards the pier, stopping to have lunch. We got the train up the pier (now that we're both OAPs we didn't have to pay as much - and we can also use our bus passes here, which is a great saver). We stayed at the end of pier area far longer than we realised. We had intended today to also go along to Westcliff, but we didn't get that far - we're hoping to tomorrow.

I took quite a few photos today - thought I'd put some of them in a slideshow. I'm not expecting anyone to look, but I've come to the conclusion that using this blog like this will be a good photo record of the holiday.

Friday 30 May 2008

A calm evening

Today started off cool and dull. We went for a walk to the Thorpe Bay shops area - much further than we thought it would be - then bus into Southend - had a wander and a look in one or two shops, including The Works and Stationery Box (bought some more pencils, because I haven't got a pink with me - good excuse!) - had lunch and then took the bus to Rayleigh. It's amazing how childhood memories come back once you see somewhere again, although, of course, a lot of places have changed over the years.

When we got back about 5 o'clock, the sun was trying to come out and by the time we had dinner (which was delicious - I had a gorgeous fish pie) the evening had become calm and sunny.

So, when we got back to our room I took some photos of our view:

Thursday 29 May 2008

A little light crafting

A little light crafting - if you can call it that - I brought with me some stamped images and Inktense and pastel pencils, a bottle of Sansodor and some stumps:

Dry morning, wet afternoon ...

When we got up this morning the weather seemed to be more promising. After breakfast we had a little walk along towards Southend - chose a turning to the left and came across Southchurch Park, bringing back memories of childhood - after a coffe, we went back to the seafront and caught a bus into the centre of Southend and then wandered down to the pier area - some of which is as it used to be and some of it completely different - the addition of a modern lift is certainly helpful. I remember as a child the amusement area near to the pier, which is still there, but the rides are a bit more dare-devil than they were in my day. The need to find a loo took us into the edge of the Adventure Island, which was when I saw one of my childhood's delight - the crooked house was still there!!!!

It now looks a lot smaller than I thought it was when I was a child.

We then enjoyed a good lunch, unaware that it had started to rain - when we came out of the restaurant it was pouring, so we caught a bus back and haven't ventured out again.

The forecast for tomorrow does look better - we are hopeful. At least the wind dropped last night.

TV was (sort of) put right - a little while ago the picture went again, but has returned - it is obviously temperamental.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

We are here!

This is not in any way my crafty outlook, but just a few photos to show that we are here! We got to Thorpe Bay (just along the seafront from Southend-on-Sea) about 3 pm this afternoon - a bit of a hold up at the Dartford tunnel, but, apart from that, the journey was fine.

We have a family room (although just the two of us) and it has a lovely sea view. However, the wind has been blowing hard and the sea is looking far from calm, although actually by now it has improved a bit, and, in fact, while we were having our dinner the sun actually came out for a while.

View from our window (it has a sliding patio door, so, when (if) the weather is nice enough we could sit out on the bench overlooking the sea):

Another view from our room:

Did you notice the TV on the wall - it slopes downwards and is on one of those brackets that you should be able to adjust, but can't. When we switched it on we had a picture and then it went - so we only had sound. Someone came to look and said that it obviously needs replacing but can't be done till morning and that the bracket is broken anyway. Lots of apologies all round - and a free bottle of wine at dinner. When we got back to the room we put it on and the picture came back again (but blinked a few times). The wine was very nice! We were told to choose anything from the list - great temptation to choose a really expensive one, but resisted!

Btw, I can't edit the photos because I had forgotten that I don't have the same software on this little laptop - I used to know how to crop etc in windows photo editor, but can't be bothered to remember how to - well, after all, I am on my jollies!

Tuesday 27 May 2008

HS:MS beast, mouse and duck

This is a mini HS:MS catch-up:

Beast - one of a set of napkin holders that friends brought back from Africa:

Mouse - a wireless one that I bought thinking I might use it instead of the touch pad on my main laptop, but it just lives in the drawer, neglected:

Duck - you have seen these before, but they seemed appropriate for today. Soon after we married, dad bought us these ducks. If all is harmony in our relationship, then they face one another. The idea is that if one of us is disgruntled with the other, we turn one of the ducks the other way. In practice, however, because of John's impaired vision, he wouldn't realise whether they were the right or wrong way! I have to say that most of the time I wouldn't consider turning one anyway:

Monday 26 May 2008

Today's cards

I decided today to make some cards from some of the bits and pieces that have been stashed away in a box waiting for a day like today. I had some ready mounted pictures, stamped images etc - it was a question of putting them all together to actually produce cards. I managed to make 17 in total.

So here they are in a little slideshow:

Tanda Teaser 'flowers in the round'

This week's Tanda teaser has been set by Sheila: 'With the beautiful sunshine we have been having my thoughts have been wandering out into the garden and towards flowers. I love flowers and I love the softer look circles can give to a card so this week I am going with those thoughts and I challenge you to make a card incorporating flowers and circles in some way.'

I stamped a circle of leaves - a Magenta stamp and then scattered flowers over. The corner paper is DCWV (I think) - trying to use up some of my stray 6 x 6 papers:

DCM beads

This week's dare, set by Sue H, is: 'We have our 'Beady' eyes on you!' - to use beads in some way.

I'm not good with beads, but even worse this morning with eyelets - I nearly gave up in the end - using my new crop-a-dile big bite - found it so, so fiddly - I got there in the end.

Paper is DCWV. The Happy Birthday sentiment isn't as dark irl - it has a sheen on it, which has come up darker in the photo.

Sunday 25 May 2008

HS:MS stitch

When I saw what the prompt was on HS:MS today I knew what I'd do. 'A friend of Lilo's from outer Space - show us Stitch in your space.'

This is very apt on our wedding anniversary to take a photo of a lovely cross stitch piece of artwork that was given to us as a wedding present - it hangs in our bedroom.

The photo was taken at a funny angle to avoid the flash reflecting on the glass - or my reflection getting in the picture!

Bubblyfunk Di-Ro challenge

First of all, thanks for good wishes for our anniversary here and on forums etc. We managed to get to church this morning - to the church where we were married - met up with lots of friends who still go there - and mum was able to get there too. We then went out for lunch - here's a picture I took of John:

btw the wine glass looks bigger than it actually was irl!

We just relaxed this afternoon - and for quite a few hours I did nothing (even had a sleep which is very unusual for me during the daytime).

We have been very blessed to have enjoyed 17 years of marriage.

Eventually I did just a little bit of crafting:

On Bubblyfunk forum Rosie set a challenge: 'I'll set the first challenge with the colour theme of black and white to use the following:

Printed paper
Chipboard word

You can choose what you want to make.... a card, an altered item or a scrapbook page, but you MUST include these four items.'

So this is a very simple card, made with DCWV papers. (I'm not sure whether the chipboard word should be black and white - but I hadn't got one and I like the bit of colour it adds:

Thank you for stopping by and for the many lovely comments that are left for me - they are much appreciated.

Saturday 24 May 2008

CBC May challenge 16: scrappin'

'so ANOTHER EASY challenge for beginners and the experienced just tailor it to your needs

so you can EITHER

make a LAYOUT (LO) any size normal sizes are 8 x 8 or 12 x 12 using this template. As with all our templates you can rotate it, flip it whatever you like so long as we can see the original template on your LO somewhere

or you can

Make a LO again any size with the theme of CHRISTMAS - and we KNOW you ALL have Christmas piccies for extra brownie points challenge yourself to use NON CHRISTMAS coloured papers!!!'

So I went for the Christmas LO with non-Christmas papers. I used AMM and Imagination project Center City papers, stamped swirls and dymo lettering - and, once again, a picture of Josey, opening a Christmas present.

CBC May Challenge 3: a project

Last Saturday, Sue gave wonderful instructions for making a match book to begin a project as part of the special challenge weekend on CBC. Throughout the weekend, further instructions were added for the remainder of the project.

I decided to leave this towards the end of the challenges.

As it's our wedding anniversary tomorrow, I thought I'd make the match book for John.

Most of those who read my blog (and I am grateful that you do) will know that John's guide dog, Josey, returned to Guide Dogs because of the problems John was having with his feet and other health issues - she is now early retired.

So this a special little book all about Josey (and one day soon I'll make one about Oscar - John's guide dog before Josey).

I'm not sure that I made the book exactly to the instructions. I put the brads inside to hold the pages and I put some velcro on the front to enable the book to be closed.

We were asked to incorporate a star into the 1st or 2nd page:

And a heart into the 3rd and 4th page:

and a button into pages 5 and 6:

Pages 7 and 8 had to incorporate wording:

I added a picture to the underneath piece:

Sue asked us to make a pocket and tags, on which we could do some journalling or other photos. There is some journalling on these tags (a bit soppy, so I'm not showing it):

and the back is very simple:

I mainly used papers and wording from K & Company Brookfield, plus other bits and pieces.

Thank you, Sue for such a wonderful challenge that enabled me to make something a little big special for John about his special friend that he still misses.

I have to confess that I couldn't wait till tomorrow, so I gave it to him a little while ago. It's not something he can easily see, but with the help of a magnifying glass or his CCTV machine he can appreciate it - and it's something he can keep and come back to.

Friday 23 May 2008

JB challenge 4 prize

Sarah had set challenge 4 - take one envelope - and randomly picked a winner for a prize - and it was me!!

I received my goodies this morning, together with a lovely card from Sarah:

And this has arrived on a difficult day, so it was lovely the postie bringing me such lovely goodies - thank you, Sarah.

Thursday 22 May 2008

CBC May challenge 12: and again

'And this time a quickie a set of 2 tags for gifts'

Mmmm - these were meant to be a tag within a tag, but didn't turn out as first intended. Not one of my best efforts, but nevermind.

Salt: Walking in love

It was Kimberly's turn to choose the Salt challenge this time and she has chosen 'walking in love'. She says:

'For this week's challenge I (Kimberly White) have chosen Walking in Love. There is so much that God has said to us in his Word about Love. God is Love. Faith works by love. The greatest commandment given to us by Jesus is to love.

Jesus replied, "' Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind'. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22: 37-40

But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him; Whoever claims to live in him, must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6

This week, consider your love walk ... and join us in creating art that glorifies him.'

As it's our wedding anniversary on Sunday, I was remembering our wedding service and the passage we had read from 1 Corinthians 13 - the chapter about love. So I've based my LO on this:

Background papers used are DS papermania wedding sentiments and victorian. Flowers are from a pack from ELC - colour was nearly that matching bridesmaids' burgundy dresses.

As we celebrate 17 years of marriage, we not only celebrate our love for each other, but also our love in Christ, conscious of his great command to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbours as ourselves.

HS:MS Something gorgeous: beauty

Today on HS:MS: 'So we've finished with Dwarves, where next I hear you ask. Well, onward to someone lovely, whether we're talking about the Sleeping variety or the one that was coupled with a monster like chap, either way we're talking....

Beauty. Show us Beauty in your space.'

These are part of my gorgeous bouquet I received from John:

I nearly dismissed this one, because it's caught the sun shining on it, but I think I rather like it:

Wednesday 21 May 2008

CBC May challenge 10: lovely tags

Sue said: 'We all love tags yes? What do we do with them use them on a gift or add them to card NO NO NO not this time I want you to use tags to make ANYTHING other than what I have mentioned – let your imagination go wild'

I decided to cut tags, emboss with cuttlebug swiss dots folder and make a fan with them. The papers (more like card) are Making Memories:

CBC May challenge 14: downloads

Challenge 14: downloads: 'and the fab Carolyn has designed 4 papers and a sentiment for you so as she has made it THAT EASY!! we also require that you add a HANDMADE embellishment to your creation. You DO NOT have to use everyhing in the download pack you can pick and choose the elemnets you like BUT you do HAVE TO ADD that handmade embellishment.'

A big thank you to Carolyn for the downloads, as well as Sue for another great challenge.

I enlarged a flower from one of Carolyn's papers and printed it in two different sizes on to DCWV blue cardstock - for my own handmade embellishment.

The scan isn't wonderful - the ribbon looks much more orangey than it really is:

HS:MS sleepy

Today on HS:MS: 'Last but not least, our final dwarf - you all knew today's prompt didnt you? Sleepy - show us Sleepy in your space.'

This is a cheat - not actually in my space today - in fact quite a few years ago - our oldest granddaughter (who is now nine):

Bumbleberries CJ

In an attempt to avoid last minute panic, I decided to get my DLO done today on Kathy's fab flower CJ. I mainly used DCWV pocketful of posies papers, a few flowers and bits and ribbons. I inked the edges of the pages with a mauve cat's eye chalk inkpad. Kathy provided chipboard flowers for us to sign in (nice idea, Kathy) - so I covered mine with coordinating DCWV paper and inked edges.