A wordsmith - dreaming & wandering along the highways & byways off the thoroughfare called Memory Lane. Sometimes stopping to take in the natural beauty surrounding me - making "stuff", taking inspiration from others, visiting friends near & far and trying to come to terms with the greatest loss I have ever experienced.
Hello dear readers and friends, I hope all is well in your world. I really meant to set this as a scheduled post for last Monday, but after all my hard work drafting it I forgot to hit the publish button!! I do have a lot on my mind - I was just beginning to get my sense of equilibrium back - but now I have stuff in my life going on that is very hard to cope with, - but enough of that.
On to happier things - -
We organised a "Die cuts" Swap at our Craft club at our last monthly meeting - and all
those ladies who wanted to participate cut some dies of their choice - a
set of Nestie labels, 5/6 of a "Topper" type die or a set from a
collection - and I cut a set of fans from my Marianne Dies as my
contribution - but when I was getting them out to cut them - to my
shock/horror - I discovered that I have 9 dies which cut fans! To be fair one
set are background shapes for the delicate lacy tops - but I felt so
guilty!!! As a result - I thought - I really ought to use them!! So here
are a few of the cards - in varying sizes that I have made using them. I am obviously an addictive purchaser of shapes/dies which I like!!! - I succomb to the same things time after time.
This card was made using a dies from Joanna Sheen - and it really cuts well - it is very dainty and delicate and a small die - but so pretty. There are 2 in the package - the other die has a heart as a focal point - it is also very delicate and dainty - as you can see below on the on the 3x3 cards - and the heart cut out is a very acceptable size to use elsewhere - so don't discard it!!
This die is also by Joanna Sheen and is one of her larger fans - also very dainty and delicate in design which cuts beautifully!
and finally I have a card made with with my Marianne fan dies
Thanks for stopping by, as always it is kind of you to "call".
Early in March this year I was invited to a "Baby Shower". Now this was something very new to me - as though I know " Showers" are very popular with our American friends across the pond - I felt quite out of my depth! What would be expected of me? Should I go? - J----- was at school with my Ben and she was a friend of my son's - a lassie I don't know especially well - yet she has constantly kept in touch since I lost my son. A friendly email, a quick text, a message on Facebook - often just saying she was thinking of us - and so I felt that perhaps I should go - It was their first baby - it was to be an Afternoon Tea ( a favourite with me!) and so I decided to make a Baby Album for them. I would liked to have made one for my son's first baby - but that can never be now - so I made this one for J----- & her husband instead, and as you know dear readers - "making stuff" keeps from falling apart too often. It did occasionally reduce me to tears when I was making it - but I am glad I did it.
As they knew their baby was a little boy - I used the Mother Goose collection by Graphic 45 - and used the only 8x8 pad and white card. The album is 6x6, I made a box for it to keep it nice and the pages are 5.5x5.75 inches. Here are a few photos anyway - I hope you like it - I think they did.
There are lots of flaps and pockets - and each page is a top loading pocket with photo mats in each, and I included an acetate photo template she can use to cut her photos to size.
A page to fill in the important details!
This page has two small pockets to add the hospital
bracelet and any other small treasures
she may wish to keep
The final photo is the lid of the box, which I made from 2 sheets of Bazzill cardstock - to strengthen the box slightly I lined it with smooth white card - which made a surprising difference to how sturdy it felt. The bright primary colours in this paper collection were a step out of my comfort zone - I really like vintage and shabby chic - but I was really pleased with the way it turned out.
Greetings my friends,
I do hope all is well with you all - and with your loved ones. I have been fortunate this Easter holiday time to have my both my girls home - so my family is as complete as it can be now, sadly there will forever be a hole in it, but I do the best I can to keep positive. It hasn't been easy of late, hence my neglect of you (and my poor blog) - my friends across the world - but I do keep trying.
It has been a beautiful Easter Weekend here in my little corner of the world. The sun has shone and the skies are blue - and even the wind was warm on Easter Monday. My cherry blossom is in full bloom - its delicate pink blossom and fresh green leaves bringing colour to the garden and is tempting me outside to actually do a bit of gardening for the first time this year and its ethereal beauty stirred me into picking up my camera - which has been largely unused for a goodly length of time - to my shame!
The fuchsia hedge has fat, bright pink teardrops appearing on the branches so soon I will have some little "ballerinas" as well! The blue bells are all out - not only in the Glen but in my garden, and I love it when they appear - reminding me that really my garden is a woodland clearing - on loan from Mother Nature, since I planted none of them - they just sprout and flower - always popping up in a different place. Sadly they are not our true English bluebells - they are very "upright" and don't have the same intensity of perfume, nevertheless they are pretty to look at. I did manage to find a few true "English" bluebells - though how long they will remain I do not know.
We have taken a few strolls through the Glen, it is always such a lovely walk, on the one side the sea with the occasional seal surfacing, and the Herring gulls in and out from the shore and across the bay soaring with such grace and beauty that one forgets what a nuisance they can be at times! Me and L---- stop to take advantage of the many strategically placed benches to just take in the stunning view towards the Sound and the Calf of Man. A Gannet circles round and round in an ever widening arc, endlessly
searching for the flash of silver beneath the waves which, once spotted
sends him plummeting to earth in a dive which accelerates with such speed that if you blink you
miss it - before plunging into the shimmering sea like a huge silver
arrow - and then just as suddenly - there he is on the surface with a laden beak! Out across the bay the Sailing school is in full swing - the little yachts skimming happily just off the shore - a sight that always brings sad smile as Ben had made plans to learn to sail.
It was such a lovely day on Monday that we took a little drive - the road over the Sloc climbs ever higher so that soon we are surrounded by moorland - It is a wild open landscape up here - not unlike Dartmoor, or the Lancashire Moors - with very different plants - heather, cotton grass and bracken - yet always looking bare. You can see a long way from up here - out over out to the south the sea shimmers through the haze - twinkling in the
sunlight and here and there I spy a stonechat on a spike of gorse, whilst inland the derelict chimneys of the old pump houses from the lead mines stand tall and imposing in the distance - the only sign of habitation in an empty landscape.
Signs of spring were everywhere - even though the trees still
sport bare branches - a misty haze of green is begining to make an appearence
in between. Golden gorse separates the landscape into a patchwork of colour, green and brown and some dotted with the white or cream or black of grazing animals - cows or sheep and others ploughed and planted or left fallow. Fields closer to the road are full of ewes with the newly born offspring gambolling happily - so gangly legged and waggly-tailed that I have to smile when I see them.
We drop down past the Plantation and towards Niarbyl - from this road I can see my very favourite view from my island home - out across a silvery western sea to the Sound and the Calf of Man before driving through Dalby then dropping into Glen Maye. This route is a favourite drive of ours - as the sea is often visible - and we all love coast roads. I wonder sometimes if I will ever get blase about living so close to the sea - some of those born here never, never, ever go to the shore!I don't think I will - but maybe future generations might - should I be lucky enough to become a nana someday.
Our destination is Purt Ny Hinshey - or our Sunset City - Peel - for a walk around the castle, a cup of tea at the Harbour, a visit to the Charity shops and antique centres and an icecream on the Prom - one cannot visit this tiny city without doing all those things! I have to smile when I think of Peel as a city - it is no Manchester or London - believe me, but it is the home to the Island's Cathedral - and cathedral are only found in cities I believe!
It was a very, very busy day - all through the winter we have had the carpark at Fenella to ourselves and today we struggled to find a park! Never mind - it was lovely to see so many families out just enjoying the spring sunshine. It is getting time for me to stop now to make our evening meal - so I will say bye for now.
I have just received a pack of the brilliant Plundered Pages from Julie of Notes on Paper - you know my friends - it is always like getting an unexpected birthday present when you receive one of Julie's parcels from her Etsy shop - just look at all this lovely spring goodness which tumbled out of the envelope when I opened it. Thank you Julie - not only are my Plundered pages just perfect - but already I have an idea to use some of this lush prettiness!
I seem to have been on a bit of a roll making cards recently - perhaps because I have had my Cuttlebug out as I did get the Tattered Lace Cats die and wanted to play or because I had a few family and friends birthdays all coming up during April. It did make me go to some of my favourite dies and do a batch of cutting, so I did have some stuff to "play with".
I chose my Butterfly dies by Memory Box and combined them with some stamps by Quietfire - I just love the quotes to be found in Suzanne's rubber stamps, and some older papers again - by K & Co, some left in a pad I have.
The embossing folder was from Joanna Sheen's Beatrix Potter collection and the Diecut background is by Anna Griffin. The quote is stamped on a Nestie - but I can't remember which one - (I don't keep the packaging as they won't fit into my die storage)
This card is combined with papers by Marianne Design, another Quietfire quote stamp, the same embossing folder and a different background die by Anna Griffin again.
I just added a few tiny pearls to both cards to finish them off.
Towards the end of March we held one of our twice-yearly Craft Days at my Craft Club and this time I taught a "box construction" which can be adapted for Recipes, Cards or photos as it is a 5x7x4 inch box. We used a Simple Stories paper collection - Homespun - which was perfect for recipes and everyone did go home with a completed box - which only needed finishing touches to make it really complete!
As usual for us it was a lovely day - even if a tad busy for me! I prefer to let everyone work at their own pace as I think it is less stressful for everyone rather than trying to "keep up", as we have a very wide range of ability and skill levels. It pleased me that everyone seemed to be very happy with their boxes even if they didn't get as "finished" as some of our faster working ladies.
My poor blog has been very neglected of late - so sorry little blog! I have had to try to keep myself together - and "making stuff" is the lifeline that I have hung onto since June 2012. I helps to fill not only my thoughts, but my days and so I don't have time to let the pointless thoughts go round and round in my head, that I have a constant battle with, and so can push them away. Anyway I felt it was time I shared a few of the items I have been trying to get a little creative with and actually finished!
To start - a couple of cards -
I have used some older papers - in fact I can't remember when I got them, and the Cats are cut from the Tattered Lace Dies that seem to be everywhere at the moment. I think this die set is exclusive to Hobbycraft. I don't often go for "cute" but these little cats reminded me of the Disney movie "The Aristocats". We had the video and it was a favourite, not only with me, but with all my children when they were smaller. They made me smile and I found myself thinking of "Scatcat" (I think) anyway - the Jazz player "Cool Cat" - hence Paris on the first card - with the Tim Holtz embossing folder. The cards themselves are step cards from a Cheery Lynn die.
I hope all is well with you all, dear readers, and my sincerest apologies for neglecting you so long.
I will do my best to get round to "visit" as soon as I can.
- - for the start of our year. The highest tides since 2002 - and perhaps our highest for 50 years according to the local news - - - but boy was it spectacular to watch - these are my brother-in-laws photos taken at 1.30 pm, one hour AFTER high tide!!!
Looking along Castletown promenade from Hango Hill! The sea defences were breached in the town and homes were flooded and without power.