Hello folks, that is, if anyone is even reading this....after going awol for a couple of weeks it wouldn't surprise me if nobody is there now! It's been a very fraught few weeks, with the death of my brother in law, Graham, and, along with having to get lots of work done, it has led to me having a break from blogging and emailing - retreating into my shell for a while as I do when life becomes overwhelming.
It's time to get back on track though. It's Sunday and I'm heading back to church shortly for a special All Saints day memorial service so I thought I'd take the chance to share a few photos. Talking of church, I've set up a new blog now, called My Rambling Spirit, which you can find a link to in my left sidebar. I sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about the more spiritual side of life on this blog...after all, I know that some people visit just to see what I've been making and maybe read a few exploits of my two pusscats or the garden! So, the new blog is where I can just ramble on about how I feel about things.
Anyway, back to this blog! Hello to everyone who I met at recent demonstrations at the Leigh show, Card-io and The Paper Warehouse. A special thanks for all the lovely messages and cards for Heather and myself which were very much appreciated. I'm getting round to thanking everyone slowly but surely.
For the month of November I'm concentrating on demonstrating ideas for Christmas decorations and gifts - with a little stamping thrown in too along the way! I've been really enjoying working with the WRMK envelope punch and a range of Sizzix dies. I didn't expect to be so bowled over by an envelope maker but it really is terrific and makes much more than just envelopes. I've been making boxes and shaped tags too.
Not the easiest thing to photograph and the background doesn't help! The papers I used were from the MME Vintage Christmas range, along with some Bazzill card stock.The envelope punch has certainly proved to be a big hit and it does mean that you can make odd shaped cards which is good if, like me, you often decide to make something using bits and pieces of cardstock that are lying around.
All inkiness has been put to one side this week and I've moved from the Doo Lally workroom and into the lounge where I have been spreading card, papers, dies, embellishments and my Big Shot over the floor with a "me" sized space in the middle! I just needed the extra space to work in and I've been watching the old classic films in the afternoon while cutting and sticking which has been rather enjoyable.
Two new favourites have to be the TH Luminary die and the 3D Birdhouse Scoreboard die. The scoreboard dies allow you to cut and score heavy weight chipboard or mount board in one pass, though you can also use them with standard cardstock too of course. Below is one of the bird houses made up and decorated...I used a natural twig to push through the base of this one, so it could be used within a festive floral arrangement.
The dies are really easy to work with and I like the fact that they can be used throughout the year, not just for Christmas projects. Although Halloween is now over, I couldn't resist making a spooky, gothic Luminary with one of Tim's battery operated lanterns inside....
I used Graphic 45 papers for the Luminary itself - it's amazing just how strong this piece is even when made from paper. I cut out a few bats and cats and added some black gem spiders with wire legs as well as some wispy fibres - all great fun!
A certain someone has been keeping me company whilst I create, albeit from behind the net curtains at times....he still likes to keep an eye on me though....
....what a cute button nose! He won't be very happy, nor Tara, when I leave them for most of next week while I'm at the NEC though. My neighbour will be coming in twice a day to feed them and let them in and out, but they don't like their mum not being here at their beck and call. Poor little sweeties!
At least I haven't been missing out on nice sunny weather whilst I've been chained to the Big Shot machine! The view through my front window has basically been like this....
.....but at least nothing has been blown down or swept away...yet!
Heather and I were lucky on the day we had in town last week and we spent a sunny day wandering around the art gallery and shops for a good many hours. It helped to blow some of the cobwebs away and did us good. The exhibition at the gallery "creeped me out" though, much to Heather's amusement, as it was based around fairgrounds and Coney Island in particular and featured, amongst other things, lots of images of weird waxwork figures accompanied by old soundtracks of music hall performers and slightly eerie laughter. Made me shiver!
I was glad to get into the "normality" of the streets and shops again and we had a nice lunch followed by some retail therapy where some new fleecy pj's were one of the must have purchases to combat the increasingly cold evenings. Don't let me get started on the cost of fuel and the fuel companies though.....and since when did it become the norm for them to harass customers by phone only a week after sending a bill? Gone are the days, it seems, of the polite reminder letter a couple of weeks after a bill - now it's straight onto demanding money over the phone....swines! Sorry, I did say don't let me get started!
So, I hope to see lots of you in Birmingham next week. I'll be on the Card-io stand and both Wendy and myself will be demonstrating - Wendy will be using her wonderful Tapestry stamps and I'll have my Christmas stamps, various inks and mediums and the gorgeous dies. I'll be there for the whole show from Thursday to Sunday inclusive.
It's now going dark - how miserable at 5pm! So, I had better get myself organised for my second trip to St Chads of the day. Take care everyone and keep warm!