Saturday, 28 December 2013

Birthday goodies

Busy packing for five days on the Rhine, or near it anyway,  but thought I would just post a picture of my Birthday goodies.  Almost want to stay and play instead of going on holiday, but not quite.
Plenty of time in 2014 to play when I have had a good rest
Happy New Year all

Thursday, 26 December 2013

WOYWW 238

Well a bit late for Wednesday, so Happy Boxing day.
My worktop contains my rather limited haul of craft bits, but Birthday on Saturday so hoping for some more goodies then. Trouble is OH refused to buy me much in the way of craft stuff 'because there are cupboards full already'. Of course, but I still need new things to inspire me and the stuff in the cupboard is wonderful insulation on the outside wall!
So there are only a few distress ink, a mask and an embossing folder and at the back is a beautiful pergamano Christmas tree I was given by Margaret from Glitter and glue.


Better pic of the tree here, it is very beautiful and must now go back downstairs and take pride of place on the mantelpiece.
On the right of the main pic are two masks for the masked ball we are going to on New Year's Eve in Remagen in Germany, at the end of a five day holiday, so won't be here next week so will wish you all a Happy New Year now, and then go and make turkey soup.
PS if you have just arrived at this page and are wondering who 'all' means, just pop over to Julia and look at all the desktops on show there and you will see who the 'all' are, my wonderful WOYWWer friends.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

WOYWW 237

Well having been away delivering pressies to daughter and family in Cardiff. The doll house is now under wraps in their garage and we have our dining room free for Christmas day. However having been away,  the work top has nothing exciting on it except clutter.


So for a bit of interest I'll show you a card I made for a friend, carefully edited to remove any identifying detail like his full name under the train.



Anyway as my desk is so uninteresting I suggest you pop over to Julia's party where you can probably see lots of more interesting desktops than mine. 
Happy Christmas to you all
Chris

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

WOYWW 236 again

I'm sure this is cheating and headmistress Julia will tell me off, but for all those who were stunned to see my worktop clean and clear at 8 am this morning, it didn't stay like that for long. As some of you said, it is a wonderful wrapping space. By three this afternoon this was the scene, it is improved a bit but still more pressies to wrap, but now waiting on the Post Office for deliveries.
So a double WOYWW from me this week, but this one's not poetic.
Thanks for visiting
Chris

WOYWW 236

A POME  
with apologies to Pam Ayers

The cardmaking frenzy is over,
They're all finished just in time
There's tall ones and short ones and square ones,
And some have a corny rhyme.




So I've put away the glitter, 
And I've tidied up the glue,
The holly dies are neatly filed,
The festive paper too

The Christmas stamps all cleaned, 
Are organised is their store,
And the inkpads, gold and silver
Stacked neatly in their drawer.

The Christmas box is back again, 
beneath the spare room bed,
I've finished all the Christmas cards
I'm ready for my bed.

So that is why there is nothing on my desktop today, except of course the picture was taken Tuesday evening and by Wednesday lunch time it will be covered in wrapping paper, and string. 

Welcome dear surfer if you have arrived at this page by accident, please feel free to read and comment and visit other desks at Julia's

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

WOYWW 235

Oh the days are flying by and I am nowhere near ready for Christmas. Still more cards to make and pressies to buy and
We were away from Sunday until late Tuesday, visiting an elderly uncle of OH, nearly 300 miles from home, so no crafting done for several days, therefore my worktop has a few scraps of play, nothing really exciting.
A tree made from aged paper and the start of a card made by inking the inside of an embossing folder, done in a hurry and not done very well.
Downstairs in the hall, however, is 'dolls house' that OH has made, mentioned last week, it is 1/6th size, designed originally for Sindy dolls, but I think my grandson will have teddies in it.



Two weeks ago I offered a Christmas pudding as a giveaway for any of those folk who are not familiar with the concept of British Christmas pud, and Sandysewin was the name I picked. I am still trying to get PO to clarify if my offer was made in vain or whether I can send to USA, but I will do my best.
If you have just caught this blog by chance and wonder what it is all about, pop over to Julia's and you will be able to snoop on far more interesting worktops and blogs than mine is.
Must rush.
Blessings
Chris

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

WOYWW 234

Wednesday is here again and once more we are meeting under the auspices of head mistress Julia.
My desk today is slightly tidier than its was last week, I had to make room for making a card for DB whose birthday is Friday.
There on the left is the Mr Fixit card for my human doing of a hubby. On Sunday my daughter said her son wanted a dolls house for Christmas so by Tuesday morning he was buying paint for a fully handmade 1/6th size teddy house. Also the is a half made Christmas card and some bits of paper I found in my stash while I was looking for something else.
At the other of my worktop are some things that I am preparing for our interactive Advent Calendar at the Cathedral on Friday evening. 24 activities, with a Christian theme, for the children to do. Here you see baubles and camels and angels for them to colour and assemble.
And in advance at least 100 of each needs to be cut out, and the baubles taking 3 pieces each. Very sore hands.
Well that's all for now.
Chris

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

WOYWW 233

Late again. And not much of a post. that will please Julia who patrols this community of crafters and sends us to the naughty step if we write too much.
My worktop looks very much like it did last week and that is not busy but abandonned. I have not made a single card since last week. What I have been doing is preparing stuff for an interactive advent calender in the cathedral. We always do this at the same time as the Christmas shoping evening, try to put a little of Christ into the Christmas celebrations and it give people soemwhere warm and dry if the weather is not good outside. At the far end of the worktop you can see a pile of strips to make friendship bracelets and some crowns and other bits and pieces.

So I covered up the craft mat with a piece of card so that I could show you the wonderful prize I received from Twiglet last week, they are absolutely gorgeous. I haven't had time to do anymore than admire them at present, I keep getting a daily fix of lavender from that heart shaped beauty and the tissue bag is destined for my handbag, when I can bear to put it out of sight. I'll keep the pot in full view, probably with my crochet in it.
Piece of cardboard still in place, this is my giveaway. A couple of weeks ago I posted about making Christmas puddings and got several responses from folks across different bodies of water who said they had no idea what a Christmas pudding was, so I have a small one to giveaway to someone who needs to be educated about the joys of Christmas pud. I hope I won't be castigated for limiting this giveaway like this. I can see nothing on the Royal Mail site which suggests that I will have problems sending this to any country so I will choose a name by December 1st and get it in the post in time for Christmas.
Not such a short post after all, and I will do some snooping laterin the day or tomorrow.
Blessings
Chris

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WOYWW 232

Oh dear! Why did I not get a single tidiness gene? I never seem able to keep my worktop tidy, but by Sunday afternoon I was struggling to create anything as it was such chaos. So I decided that I just had to something about the mess.

Actually this was about half way through the clearing up because I was so embarrassed by the mess at the beginning that I didn't dare take a pic of it. That was the second bin full of junk I put in the recycling.So by Monday morning this was the scene.Unbelievable.

The bits on the windowsill are bits of work in progress and odd scraps of glitter or mirri to die cut flowers out of.
So Monday afternoon I made a birthday card
for my brother in law and then started back to make more Christmas cards and by Tuesday evening.....
Guess what? It is just as bad as it was before.
Why do I bother?
And it is going to stay like that for several days because I have not got any card making or tidying up time until after the weekend. I might just fit in a bit of WOYWW visiting later, if I get other things done quickly.



For those who are wondering what WOYWW is about, pop over to Julia's, and you will encounter a wonderful 'ether'eal  community of crafters.
And it really is a wonderful community, I am  thrilled to have just received an email from another 'WOYWW'er saying I have won a wonderful giveaway from her blog. I am absolutely delighted and will show what it is when I have it proudly displayed on my worktop.
And finally, thank you to all those who commented on the Christmas pudding last week, I put up a full entry about the making of it here.
(I do hope that link works.)
Oh dear this post has got rather long, I never seem to manage a short one!!!
Blessing to you all, have a wonderful day
Chris




Friday, 8 November 2013

The adventure of the Christmas pudding

Following my comments on WOYWW I was prompted to put up pictures to show the progress of the Christmas puddings.
I'm not sure how interesting this will be, but here goes.
Picture in cookery book
 For those who are unfamiliar with the idea, a Christmas pudding is a mix of fruit, with a small amount of flour eggs and a fair amount of alcohol, for flavour only. It is cooked very slowly for a long time and produces a very dark rich pudding which is served with cream or custard or brandy/rum butter or demerara sugar; or all of the above.
It is very indulgent, very full of calories and by the far the best part of Christmas dinner for many people. Other people dislike it intensely and prefer something tame like trifle after their Christmas dinner.




The mixture in a washing up bowl,
The bananas are just to give some idea of size.
Usually it is made well in advance of Christmas as it improves with keeping, hence I am making it at the beginning of November. Some people would say that I am rather late making it as many think it should be made at the beginning of October.
It always seems to be large quantities too.
As a family we often find that we can't all be together on Christmas day so we make more than one pudding and have them available for second or even third 'Christmases'.
For that reason I doubled the mixture that Delia gave for one pudding, and mixed it in a washing up bowl.



And these are the five bowls filled
And of course it made far more than the two puddings I had planned. It made one large, three medium and one very small. I was rather limited by the bowls I had. Once cooked the puds will stay in the bowls until we are ready to eat them and I couldn't sacrifice all my standard pudding bowls for three months.

Ready to cook
 



And here they are all wrapped up ready to be steamed for 8 hours. I normally put them in the pressure cookers, but couldn't get 5 in two cookers, but had read on the web that I could steam them in a bain marie in the oven.

 

 So I loaded them all into the largest oven tin I possessed, half filled it with boiling water and then found that I couldn't lift it. Very dangerous with all that boiling water in it.
So then I had to transfer it all to two smaller baking tins, cover them all with foil and put them in the oven for eight hours, all except the tiny one which came out after 4 hours. Ooh the house smelled wonderful, I set the timer on the oven and went off to bed and lay there getting fat on the delicious smell.



Sorry the pics ran out at this point, because there wasn't really any more to show. when they came out of the oven this morning they looked very much like they had when they went in. Because they are wrapped up adn stay that way there is nothing more to see until Christmas day.





However for those who really have no idea about Christmas pud, I have included a picture from Google images, just to show you what one looks like when it is served. I've no guarantee that my pud will look like this, but it will be pretty similar, I hope.

And does anyone know where the title of my post comes from?

That's all for now
Chris






Wednesday, 6 November 2013

WOYWW 231

Well there I was, still in bed,  at 9am after a busy Tuesday during which I was out all day, earning money, until 10pm. Suddenly it dawned on me that it was now Wednesday and I hadn't done anything to show fellow deskers at Julia's , so you have got a hastily taken pic of my desk with the goodies I bought in The Range yesterday (before my meeting) and some stuff that came in the post.
There are a couple of dies from Dies to dies for, and some free die cuts she sent with the order.
The green die is a holly frame so i am looking forward to using that.
Then there are a couple of Tim Holtz embossing folders and some flower die cuts spilling out of the bag.
Further over are a couple of paper pads, from the Range, that 'I just had to have because they were only £1 each'!!! Well I couldn't leave them there, could I?
On the window sill behind are a butterfly die and some butterflies that I cut out for a card, and then didn't use and the poinsettia and holly dies that I have been using for many of my Christmas cards.
Well I have designated today to make my Christmas puddings and having been out all day yesterday I also have to pretend to be a housewife and do some washing and cleaning, if I can't remember how! I will try to visit when the puds are steaming away gently.
Have a great day
Chris

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sunday Afternoon

Well it is Sunday afternoon and I just felt like putting a few words on here or to be more precise, some pictures.
Yesterday we were invited to the 90th Birthday party of a lovely lady who is quite a character. She's seen off two husbands and now has got engaged to another very nice gentleman. So next year we will be going to her third wedding!!
Anyway I made her a card which she was thrilled with.

I have also been making lots of Christmas cards, I still have 11 birthdays to make cards for before Christmas, so I knew I had to get on top of the card makes, so here are just a few of them.

Unfortunately 5pm on a winter Sunday is not the best time to take pictures so they are not brilliant, though actually better than I thought they would be.
the left hand one I am particularly pleased with. Silver stamping pad rubbed over the inside of an embossing folder. emboss the card and just add the sentiment and the flowers. I've don't it in gold as well and it is amazing how classy they look.

 The red one with the Christmas tree sentiment is the same embossing folder without the addition of ink.

 And these two with very simple stamping just speak for themselves. The gold one I am particularly pleased with, I embossed the black card and then rubbed gold gilding wax over the surface.

 And this one was mounted on a small scrap of black and silver card, and I can't get any more of it which is a shame.








Well it is now dark and rather cold upstairs so I am going down to a nice warm fire and crumpets for tea.

Thank you for reading, if anyone does.
Chris




Wednesday, 30 October 2013

WOYWW 230


Well this is going to be short cos I don't have the energy to write a lot, not been 100% today.
Desktop is full of Christmas cards,  a production run, more or less all the same. I knew that if I tried to continue to make lots of different ones. I'd never get 100 done. So I got out the stamps and did several alike and varied the embellishments, so I managed 12 in the time it had taken to do 2 previously.
With luck I will have another go with different colour ink later in the week and get another dozen sorted.
These are the last of the hats too, they have to be in the offices of Innocent drinks  by Thursday so they went in the post today.

If anyone is wondering what I am rambling on about, pop over to Julia's where she will explain it all and you can peek at lots of other worktops.
All for now.
Chris

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

WOYWW 229

Hello All and welcome to my blog. If anyone has just arrived and is wondering what WOYWW is all about, pop over to Julia's and you can see what is on the worktops of over 100 crafters.
It is supposed to our worktop on Wednesday but as most of us write our posts on Tuesday, our pics will be taken on Tuesday. And Tuesday here in North Wales has been grey and dark and I have had to take 20 pics before I got anything useful of my worktop.
So my worktop is full of Christmas cards, I try to make at least 100, some of which will be as simple as the stamped one on the mat, and some will be more elaborate like those on the window sill. What I aim to do with all my cards is to ensure that they reflect my faith and are not just robins and reindeer and snow.


The other thing I have been doing is the hats for the Big Knit and I have done another 13 plus the two green and purple ones that my daughter did.












This clearly is not my worktop but the bedroom window sill so that you can see the autumn colours outside.



And I have taken a bigger pic showing the whole vista from the window. Isn't creation wonderful!
 (Which is more than can be said for Blogger which won't let me do what I want with these pics.)


And as I walked into the bedroom with the camera I just envied the complete relaxation demonstrated by a lazy Max so i thought I would share it with you.




Hope you all have a great day and enjoyed having a peek into my creative life.
Chris

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

WOYWW 228

What's on your worktop Wednesday is an opportunity for crafters to open up their private worktop to the scrutiny of other crafters and it is all hosted by the wonderful Mrs Dunnit.
My worktop
is complete chaos and has been for four days as I was making Christmas cards before I came away.  I am currently over at my daughter's in Doncaster, while hubby is in hospital in Sheffield having lots of tests and checks following his major surgery in June.
So I am having a rest, NOT!
She has just had a new kitchen so I am helping her to put things back. Utterly exhausted both of us.
However in the few minutes break I have been allowed I have managed to get some knitting done.  Just a few hats forthe big knit. This is not all of them but
the first ones I got pictures of..
Well that's all for now or I won't get this on display at Julia's.
Happy WOYWW to you all.
Chris

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

WOYWW 227

Good morning all.
Well for once you really are seeing my worktop on Wednesday.
I woke up and it wasn't until I was in the bathroom that it dawned on me that I hadn't done a WOYWW.
So hasty pic, quick comment, post it and rush out.
So what you are seeing is the mess of now having put everything away from after our holidays and a very quick card for a birthday tomorrow. 
I have a feeling that this is not going to be a beautiful blog page but at least it will be there. 
That's all for now. 
Happy WOYWW 
Chris

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

WOYWW 226

Well my worktop today has something a little bit different. This is a blanket for our bed . My daughter made all the squares and then made rather a poor effort of  assembling them so I am now reassembling them.
Unfortunately they are 3 1/2 to 4 inches square so there are an awful lot of them to put together. Those on the table are just a very few of them, there is also a bag full of them and a few more still at home.
If anyone has arrived at this page wondering what WOYWW is all about, just pop of the wonderful Julia's
and find out all about it and have a snoop at other people's workdesks.
 There was also a more familiar thing on my worktop earlier yesterday. Trying to get a card done in a hurry for my brother in law and I had some furry assistance. In the foreground you can see the card I made for my grandson who loves puffins.
Well this is going to be short I have had a very busy few days and exhaustion is rapidly approaching.
Happy Woyww everyone
Chris


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

WOYWW 225

So what is on my worktop this Tuesday evening as I prepare for WOYWW.
What you see are the only two cards I managed to complete this week. You also see two of the reasons why I have been unable to get much done. On the right, the blue Dahle cutter packed up on me after I had cut the glitter card for the tree card and OH has had it apart 4 times over the past week and couldn't make it work. Eventually he got it working yesterday evening but I have been too busy today with locks, baking cakes for a friend and sorting out all my craft stuff.
On the left, the red Fingerguard cutter is a brilliant piece of kit. It takes cutter discs and can cut all kinds of wavy edges. It relies on a replaceable self heal cutting mat strip to make it cut properly. Guess where my three replacement strips are? At home in the cupboard, so I had so couldn't use  the Fingerguard either. Making cards without a reliable cutter is very slow!
We have tried to find a craft shop selling them and have come to conclusion that Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Birmingham are completely devoid of craft shops. Searching on the internet gives me lots of names of  craft shops and when we try to contact them, to see if they stock Woodware, rather than making a long trek to find them and being disappointed, we discover that they no longer exist. Please can I ask other WOYWW'ers to support their local shops when ever possible rather than resorting to buying on the internet all the time, otherwise they will all disappear and there will no shops for those without internet access or a permanent address for delivery..
There are other demands on my time on the canal too, ten minutes picking yielded two bowls of these
which needed de-stoning and freezing and we also have a carrier bagful of apples to deal with and lots of blackberries as well. And they are all free so I can't possibly leave them unpicked.
I have also knitted another 10 Innocent hats for the big knit, so am not idling!! my time away.

Well that is all for today
Happy WOYWW everyone.
Chris


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

WOYWW 224

First of all can I thank all those lovely peeps who left comments on my WOYWW last week and I am sorry I wasn't able to visit you all.  If any of you looked at our boating progress on Saturday you will notice that I commented then that I had had no internet for several days and by the time Saturday had arrived it was a bit late for visiting then.
Well on my worktop today, yesterday, is the tally of cards I have made so far, since we left home, 16 of them which is not bad considering that we have also travelled 145 miles and opened and closed 100 locks.
(For those who don't know what is involved with operating a lock,  go to YouTube and look for How to get through a narrow lock. Sorry I can't give a URL, can't work out how to do it on my tablet,  but there are plenty to choose from.)
Then add in some rain,  some wind, an absence of lubrication on the lock gear making it stiff, and you might get some idea about why I have only managed 16 cards.
I have also made some hats for Innocent's Big knit. If you are interested look at the website. They give money to Age Uk for every hat sold.
I have actually knitted a couple more but not got them in the picture yet.

We are now plodding up the Stratford canal and I will post some more piccies later in the week but it has been so wet I couldn't take any of the canal today.

For anyone who wants to know more about the trip and the boat, I have some previous postings with pictures of our trip.



Anyway Happy WOYWW
Chris









Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Avon and Stratford Canal



Sunday we went to church in Evesham and then on through two locks and the rain to a  lovely place called Offenham.
Lunch was ready and the and the sun was shining so we decided to call in a day and have a restful afternoon reading and making cards and enjoying our roast pork.

Monday we continued up the locks to Stratford upon Avon. The river was more picturesque as we went further north and there were some lovely parts for me to take pictures of.

Monday night we moored just below the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, ready to go into the town
 see if we can find Will Shakespeare, although Adrian tells me that Will died a few years ago, so maybe we won’t find him but we will see what else Stratford had to offer.
Tuesday we went to Stratford and found that it had very little to offer apart from the usual shops, BHS, M&S, Lakeland and other High Street chains. Not however the craft shop that I found on the website, so no money spent there, but a bit spent in the Works.

 After a quick cup of coffee we set off on our way up the Stratford canal. At long last we were back on narrow locks, after the wide ones on the Avon and very wide ones on the Severn, but it was also raining so we got very wet. Eventually gave up after doing 18 locks we moored at a place called Wilmcote to dry out and have supper and let the cat out.