Friday, September 29, 2006

Just had to share ....

Well after another hour of hard work I just wanted to share my new clean and (almost) tidy desk. Ok so there are still a few bits and pieces hanging around but they will go soon too as next on the list for tomorrow is to tackle the shelves, and hopefully I can create some space for these last few bits then. But hey you can actually see surface again which makes me happy, so I'm off to reward myself with some lunch and then it's playtime. Doll making here I come!

Loss and other things

Well the great tidy up got underway yesterday as I spent an hour cleaning up under my desk and now as I sit here and type there is room for my feet under there too! Today the top of the desk will be getting the same treatment just as soon as I have finished here.

Well it wasn't all work yesterday I did get in my fix of creating too. I started on a set of rather personal paper ATCs. ATC friends around the world are currently hosting a word swap there is a list of almost 50 words to choose from so you pick a word and make an ATC using it. Given what has been happening this year I had to go with 'Loss' and here is the card I am creating as a tribute to my wonderful Mum. You might recognise this photo as I posted it here a couple of weeks back. I decided to keep it simple as the important thing is the message behind the card rather than the skill of making it.

I also made some cute beaded mermaids to attach to some more ATCs so watch out for those soon and started an online dollmaking class yeah I know as if I don't have enough to do, but I figured that alongside all of these swaps it would be nice to spend a few minutes each day working on something for myself. Here are the details of the class and I will let you know how it goes

Ok I just couldn't resist as I think these are so cute, here is one of the mermaids I beaded. I found the pattern in one of the old craft magazines that I dug out from under my desk yesterday! I just quickly stuck her in the scanner so not the greatest of images but you get the idea.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In Need of a new leaf

Anyone who has been popping in to visit my blog for a while will know that I have been suffering bouts of depression this year after the death of my Mum, and here I find myself in another. I've been trying to lose myself in creative pursuits but nothing feels right at the moment. I hate my job, I'm seriously overweight and my house is a mess. I have to now admit to be totally overwhelmed by all these things and haven't been able to go to work this week as the tears can come at any minute and that is not something you really want to put your colleagues through.

Today I have decided that something has to give, I can't keep going on like this. Baby steps it will have to be though. I'm going to start with a clear up. The desk that my computer is on is in the spare bedroom. It used to be my work desk when I did a lot of papercrafting and I had hoped to use it as my sewing desk too but it has turned into a dumping ground and is covered in bits and pieces of everything, no room for a sewing machine if I tried. Instead my sewing stuff has taken over the rest of the house leaving no room untouched (even the bathroom has a pile of magazines for reading while relaxing in the bath). Mark has been really good but I think even he is starting to lose his patience now.

Here is my desk in it's full glory .........but not only that under the desk is crammed full ........

.......and by the side of the desk

.... and under Mark's weight bench

Now don't get me wrong this isn't a large room by any means but there is also 3 totes full of cat fabric, 3 totes full of card and paper stock, shelves crammed with embroidery floss, glitter, beads and brads. Not to mention 2 book shelves, Mark's computer and a whole pile of bedding and clothes belonging to my sister that she should be collecting this weekend. All of this adds up to one giant mess and this is only one room!

It will be a mommoth task but I guess I have to start someone and pledging at least one hour of each day to the clean up won't be that bad I'm sure!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fun with ATCs

I have been having some fun making ATCs today, I think these will be my next big addiction, lol. They are so quick and lots of fun to make with plenty of scope for using up those tiny scraps that you're not even sure why you kept.

This first one is to trade with Julie for the wonderful surprise ATC that she included with the blackbird. Tigers are a special theme for me as they were Mum's favourite.

This next card 'Hide and Seek' I will be saving for the ATC swap that will be happening on Artsnthemail soon. Of course it was only a matter of time before a kitty cat or two crept in to my work. I knew I would find a use for that ridiculously small scrap of Laurel Burch that I couldn't bear to put in the bin.

Finally on the fabric front 'Floral Delight' made from some wonderful scraps of poinsetta fabric that I had left over from a christmas block swap last year. I didn't want to make it too christmasy though so I added a strip of green through the middle and a few flower sequins.

Secrets in the Bag

Recently we had a fun trade on the FiberArtistsIntl yahoo group called the Secrets in the Bag. We were all assigned a swap partner and had to send a bag of goodies to make a postcard from. Here are the wonderful fabrics and ribbons that I was sent by my swap partner Marie.

Here is the card I made for her in return. I hope she likes it. I love the colours she chose and would have loved to have added some seasidey embellishments as all the fabrics reminded me of the sea but the challenge was to use only what was provided :)

Fun by the Pool in Corfu

Time for some more holiday snaps, this time here we all are having fun by the pool. Actually Dad had a bit of a rough holiday. There were lots of mosquitos around and we all got bitten, but Dad's became infected and he had to pay several visits to the Doctor and had his legs strapped up for most of the two weeks. As you can see he also doesn't like having his picture taken, lol!

My brother Michael, spent most of his two weeks soaking up the sun by the pool listening to his Ipod. Here is is looking rather attractive with his shirt over his head, I'm sure he'd kill me if he knew I was sharing this photo!

Me and Mark having some fun in the pool, actually I think I am trying to duck Mark under here but with little success he has a tight grip on the side of the pool!

Here are Nan and Tyler having a swim. We tried to get Tyler to learn to swin through the two weeks but he just hates to get his head wet. Here he is with just one armband, but I'm afraid that was as close as we managed to get.

Finally here is a closeup of my sister, Emily. I think she must have taken this one of herself. Apart from Nan, no-one else had bought a camera so mine kept disappearing and I am finding all kinds of odd shots like this one as I go through them all :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I have had this postcard swap hanging over my head for a while. Don't get me wrong it hasn't been a chore I just couldn't make a decision on the design.

I finally just had to go with something as the swap was due at the end of July and, Julie, my swap partner has thus far been very patient with me.

The swap was for the advanced group and called partners choice. In the end only Julie and I signed up. She wanted her card to be 'funky, wonky mushrooms, using blue, green and purple' So finally here is my finished card a field of purple mushrooms.

This is definately the longest I have spent making any one single card. It took ages to cut and sew all of the tiny stems and heads for the mushrooms. I've also added some free stitching round the bottom of each stem for some grass but this doesn't really show up too clearly in the scan.

I hope she likes the card. Julie does some great work, here is an example, a wonderful mini artwork that I recently bought on her Etsy shop. A small pieced blackbird 2.5" x 3.5" with lovely stitching detail. Some of the fabric pieces are so tiny they have to be seen to be believed. Check out Julie's shop here

Monday, September 25, 2006

ATC's - Water and Air

Finally here are the lat pieces I made for the 4 elements ATC swap that I have been taking part in. Here are the water cards, not sure which of these is my favourites, probably the lady of the lake (yes it's that wonderful rubber stamp again).

Air was probably the trickiest of all to know what to do so I came up with a few abstract ideas and am fairly pleased with the way the cards turned out in the end. They are now on the way to the US to be swapped out and I'm looking forward to seeing what I get back in return.

Where we stayed on holiday

I finally started the process of downloading and sorting out my holiday snaps today. So no doubt this will be the first of many posts with all of the gory details. First off where we stayed the Amorossa Apartments, Roda.

The picture on the left is the view from the entrance to the apartment complex, as you can see the sea was right outside which was great, such a shame that it was a pebble beach though. On the right is the actual apartment we stayed in. You can just about make out my Nan on the veranda, and that's Tyler in the front with his SpongeBob bag. This was our very last morning.

This last picture is one view of the pool. Not too big but a nice size given that it was only a small complex. I have no complaints about the accommodation at all. The apartment was clean and a decent size for the 4 of us that were sharing (Nan, my brother Michael, Mark and me). It was cleaned 5 days a week and the complex as a whole was very well kept. A lovely place to stay.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Earth ATCs

Here are some more ATC's I've made for the four elements swap. This time earth. I'm particularly pleased with the Earth Mother card. I just love this face stamp (as you might already have guessed from my tribute to the seasons cards).

I have the others all ready too but the battery is dead in my digital camera and they are too lumpy to put under the scanner so they will just have to wait until tomorrow.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My first fabric ATC's - Fire

Here are my first proper attempts at Fabric ATC's. For anyone who doesn't know ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards. These are fun mini works of art that measure 2.5" x 3.5" and as the name implies are made for trading.

I have joined a swap entitled 'The Four Elements' and need to make 10 cards altogether, here are the cards I made for the element of Fire. One abstract and one more representational. I had loads of fun making these last night, they are a great way of using up scraps and come together really quickly. I already have the tops made for my earth and water cards too I just need to sew the backs on so watch out for pictures of them soon, maybe even later today if I get my butt in gear after work tonight.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Need To Bead

I finished up another one of my late swaps today. Another for the advanced group for a swap called the Need to Bead.

Unfortunately I couldn't get a good scan but this gives you the idea. I'm still pretty new to beading techniques and even though I think these have still turned out looking pretty simple they took me an age to do.

I am not sure if I am 100% happy with the way they turned out but I am going to send them out anyway and once I have cleared up a few more of my overdue swaps I might think about going back and surprising the other members of the swap by sending them another card at a later date.


The main reason for us all going on a family holiday to Corfu (there were 7 of us altogether) was to scatter the remaining part of Mum's ashes in a place that she loved. The Greek Islands were her favourite holiday destination. The last holiday that Mum and Dad went on together was to Roda in Corfu and Dad wanted to take her back one last time.

Aparently while they were there last they took several trips on the only boat that operates from a local harbour, operated by the fabulous Captain George. We went on his boat from Roda to Corfu town and spent a lovely few hours wandering round and exploring the sites. Ok so Mark & I went exploring and the rest sat and drank coffee and had a look round the shops.

We found this pretty little church on the way up to the entrance to the old fort. It was difficult to take a picture of as it was set off at and angle to the main street, but you can just about see the entrance. It is the church of the Blessed Virgin of Carmel and built in 1663. We went in and lit a candle for Mum.

On the boat trip back we stopped at a beautiful little fishing village called Kassiopi. Captain George pulled the boat up in front of a small bay just outside the main port and we scattered Mum there. I know she would have loved the place. Of course it wasn't really the right time to be taking pictures but afterwards I managed to find this postcard of Kassiopi taken from the air. If you look right in the foreground just before the land winds round into the main port you might be able to see a small bay with a tiny beach this is where Mum will forever be.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A tribute to the seasons

So while I was away it wasn't all sight-seeing and sunbathing, lol! As I am still far far behind with my swap commitments I took some supplies with me and made some postcard tops.

This set is for a rubber stamp swap on the advanced group. I had lots of fun making this tribute to the seasons. I love the stamps and enjoyed using colours which I thought reflected the different seasons. I used fabric which I dyed in my last microwave session for the backgrounds and am really please with the way these turned out. I think I will try and develop this combination of ideas for some more swaps that I have coming up soon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm back

Just got back from holiday yesterday and am feeling pretty tired as it was straight back to work for me today. Had a wonderful time on holiday though and have plenty of things to blog about over the coming few days.

It's getting pretty late here though so just thought I'd pop in quickly and make a start by showing where we stayed on our holidays. On the map here right at the top in the centre is a place called Roda and that is where we were, well strictly speaking our apartment complex was somewhere between Roda and Achravi but it was classed as Roda.

I have tonnes of photos to download off my camera so I'm sure I will be sharing some of the things we did and places we visited soon.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Blogging Break

Well I am off on holiday this weekend for two weeks in (hopefully) sunny Corfu. So I will be taking a break from blogging for a while but I'm sure I will have plenty to share when I get back so please check back in a couple of weeks :)

It should be a fun time, as well as me and Mark, my dad, sister, brother, nephew and gran are taking the trip. There will be some difficult days though I'm sure as we will be scattering the last of Mum's ashes in her favourite holiday destination so a piece of her will always be there in the sun.

See you when I get back