Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Last Day of Freedom!

Yes, its the last day of term! I am out for my Christmas lunch with Craft Club today. I also have to get the tree up. And the kitchen cleaned. And the laundry done. And go to the library. And I am sure there is a whole load of other stuff!

Mark went up in the attic last night ant the decorations down. He also got me down two boxes for photos in frames. I am going to put them in albums and get rid of the frames as we just don't have the wall space here. I think there is still another box up there as some of my photos are missing.

Benjamin won a colouring competition at a local estate agents. We went there last night for a presentation of the prizes. He had a lovely sports bag and art set which were presented by a local celeb boxer called Dave. I can't remember his name but Mark says he was really good in his day. Of course, he is older now and retired but he does a lot for the local youngsters.

And, of course, I have been crocheting again! Journalling blocks this time. Pictures and freebies later!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I have been working on my site this morning to add the new frames I have been making. Its a set of Baubles in different sizes.

What do you think?

Free digi versions coming soon.

I was ever so good yesterday. Despite the power being off for a couple of hours, I finished the last of my Quilted Christmas Stocking orders. Now I just have to get them all packed up and posted!

The next job on the list is the Christmas cards. There are LOADS of them to get done!

However, there is a glorious frost out there and it is soooooooo tempting. Might just have to go out and play with the camera first!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Amost there!

After the panic of last week, things seem to be coming together at last! The OU course is finished and if anybody wants to see the photos I submitted for the ECA they are here.

And, what is more, I have used one of the for Januarys calendar. This is one of my favourites and I thought the frost theme fitted January - even though it was taken in November.

I managed to fit into my dress for Saturday night and my dearest looked gorgeous in his tux! I was careful about what I drank as I really didn't fancy being ill but the very late night left me feeling a bit like a zombie on Sunday. I even fell asleep in Top Gear so am going to have to watch the re-run! I was still tired yesterday and didn't go to C&C as I couldn't find the energy to rush about. We were in bed just after nine last night and I am feeling loads better for it!

Today I am at Chatteris Museum again. This is the second week of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition. If anybody is in the area it is open from 10 to 4.30 Tuesday and Thursday this week.

And on the crochet front, I am working on more Chritmas themed frames. I am going to release a pattern for just the Christmas ones as soon as I am able and then work on some more general themed ones after Christmas.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Still working!

Well, things still seem to be working this morning, so I have some more goodies for you! I have finished the 3 sizes of stockings, taken pics and convereted them to pngs. Whats more, I have uploaded them as well!

You can find them on the Scrapbooking Frames page.

Have fun and don't forget to show me what you do with them so I can put them in the Rainbow Valley Album.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Hello Stranger!

I have been trying to get in and post for what seems like months with no avail! I have no idea why. I have changed settings in IE numerous times and still haven't managed it. Today, I changed even more setting and have finally managed it, although what I have done, I have no idea!!!!!

On the OU front, the course if finished. I have had great fun doing it but did get a bit panicky at the end while trying to choose 10 photos for my ECA. Mark was getting a bit short tempered with me over it but it is all finally done. When the ECA deadline has past, I can post the slideshow to the photos for you all to see.

I have also been doing some crocheting. First, I had to make a shrug to go with my dress for this posh night out. Then I had to get some heads, hands and feet made for the Yo-yo clowns we have made for C&C. And finally, I have been amking more frames for scrapbooking.

I have decided to write this pattern for Christmas frames. So far I have the Christmas Tree, Stars, Baubles and Stockings. They are not all finished and I am planning a range of sizes in each of the designs. This means plenty of more work on them yet. All of the digi versions of the frames will be available as free downloads.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Morning Blues!

Why is it I never seem to have any "Get-Up-And-Go" on a Monday morning? I am supposed to be at C&C at 9.30am and I am still here. And, to be honest, I really don't feel like going but know I have to as they are expecting me to bring the clowns heads I have made.

It was Marks birthday on Saturday and poor thing had to work. Still, I hope I made up for by getting him plenty of beer in for the evening. I also invited some friends around and we had a Chinese. The problem with going out for a meal is that, as I don't drive, he can't drink. And now, with this law banning smoking in public places, he can't smoke either. So doing it all at home meant he could drink and smoke in comfort!

We went out Christmas Shopping on Sunday. Benjamin went to a car boot sale with friends and two bags of toys. He came home with one bag of toys and £10.80. He did quite well and was pleased with it. It was the easiest I have ever managed to get him to sort his toys out to make more for Christmas.

The idea of him going with them was to give us a chance to get his pressie. Thats all sorted now. We also had to get a tux for Mark and a dress for me to go to his posh Christmas "do" for work. Luckily, the dress I got goes perfectly with the shoes I got last year. One less shopping trip! However, having lost a fair bit of weight from last year, I need a new strapless bra to go with it. And the tops of my arms are all saggy so I need a shrug or something to cover them.

All this hassle for one night!

Still, best get off now and get to C&C.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I am pleased to anounce..

That all of the digi frames are now ready to download. You can find them all on the Scrapbooking Frames page. Have fun with them and don't forget to tell me about anything you have done with them so I can add them to the Rainbow Valley Album.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

When I am good....

....I am very, very good!

Here is the 10x15cm rectangle frame, complete with a bow. And whats more, the bow is a free pattern on Rainbow Valley. You can also download the free digi version of the bow.

I have been working on changing some of the other frames to pngs. The Flower Frame is also available on the same page. I will let you all know when the others are ready to download. In the meantime, have fun with the bow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And Now...

... I have been even better! I have finished converting the Star Frame into a png and you can download it here!

Don't forget to show me what you make with it and if you can send me a copy I would love to add it to the Rainbow Valley Layouts Album.

December Calender

I have been good! The December calender is up nice and early ready for you to download and have on your desktop on the 1st!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Scrapping Frames

I have taken pictures of the new frames and here they are. I was really pleased with the Christmas Tree, it took me ages to get right! The flower took almost as long as well and looks much nicer than in the picture, I really need to to that one again.

I have also made a 10x15cm rectangle. That one needs blocking before I can photograph it. I will also be doing square frames and other rectangles in different sizes. And if you want to turn them into pressies, I am working on a bow to go on the top.

All of the digi versions will be available as freebies when I finish editing the pngs. I was thinlking about selling them but there is soooo much gorgeous free stuff out there that I don't really see much point!

And talking of free stuff, have you seen Lilybelle Scraps? Go and take a look!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Playing Catch-up!

I feel like I am sometimes chasing my tail. I didn't have a good week from a health point of view. I didn't get any scrapping done. I left my OU studies till the last minute and haven't done the photo assignments. I have a few photos of Chatteris for me week 6 assignment, I need one more for the set. I suppose I could upload the 5 but wanted to do all 6 together. And it is raining so I can't go out and get the 6th one!I have only uploaded 3 from week 7 and the weather was far too dark to do the others yesterday.

However, the week wasn't a total wash out. I felt a bit better by Thursday and went out and had a lovely day with Valerie, the lady I met on the OU course. I got a couple of photos I wanted for other things but none for the course. And there was a terrific frost on Friday so I went out early and got some nice pics then. Not the ones I was aiming for but I was still pleased with them. I also got muddy knees, a couple of funny looks and rude comments because of kneeling on the floor.

And I finished a Flower frame, a Christmas Tree frame and a 6x4 rectangle frame. I suppose, all in all, not a bad weeks work.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Photo Album

I suddenly had a brain wave! Why not set up an album for all those layouts made with my crocheted embellishments? So I did!

Its here! If you have made a layout with any of my embellishments, whether digi or paper, I would love to include them. Please let me know.

Crocheting again.

I knew it wouldn't be long before the urge to get creative crochet-wise would take over. As much as I am enjoying this course and learning how to do all this stuff, taking photos just doesn't have the thrill that creating something with a hook does.

I am working on a new Scrapbooking pattern. This time it is frames. I did post the large heart one in a previous post. Here is the lovely layout by Fi.

However, now I have created a new smaller heart and two different sized stars as well. The large one is about 20cm diameter and the small one about 14 cm.

Mary has done a lovely layouts using a digi version of the large star. You can't see the true size on this as with digi you can make them any size - and use as many as you want!

I have just finished a flower and next on the list is a Christmas tree. If you have any suggestions for more shapes, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

I hope to have them all up on the site for sale soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I managed to get 2 weeks worth or reading and videos done last week with the intention of getting some free time this week to do some scrapping.

It started off well. I did the weekly challenge with the photos I took of the fireworks on Saturday night. using some newfound skills, I merged them to make a montage and found something suitably sparkley for the writing. I went to C&C, then came home and spent ages cleaning the kitchen to get rid of puppy hair etc.

Tuesday dawned bright and sunny so I thought I would go out. However, I got sidetracked with Christmas cards so didn't manage to get ready to go out til lunchtime. Then, just as I was organised, I had a call from the school. Benjamin had broken his specs. This meant taking his spare pair to the school and taking his broken ones to be repaired. And that was the afternoon gone. I did go out last night to try to get some night shots of Chatteris. However, there was one a particularly wanted and the light was off.

This morning, of to Tesco on the free bus. My photos I ordered were still not there despite having an assurance from online customer service that they had been re-ordered. The woman in the customer service in the store isn't very helpful. She managed to lose the email that I had given to the other lady last week. So when she asked for a slip this week, I reminded her she had lost it. I now have to email the online customer service yet again and tell them what I think of their photo service.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I have been neglecting you but I just have so much on at the moment that I don't know where the time is going!

This OU course is wonderful fun. I have learned loads. I have the perfect excuse to go out skiving and taking pics. And I am taking better pics. I don't use the camera on just auto any more. I play about with the settings until I get what I want. This months calender is one I took recently. Just look at those colours!

I would recommend it to anyone. As part of the course you get PSE5 and loads of videos to learn to use it. Of course, it doesn't suit everybody. It is totally online so you have to be proficient with the computer to get the most out of it. There are no tutors, you are expected to work through the sessions on your own. However, there are forums with professionals as moderators and you can learn so much from both their comments and those of other students. All of this means there is no professional feedback on the photos you post. However, there are plenty of other students both better and worse than you who comment. You can lean a lot from them. And you lean a lot from other students photos. The whole course is designed to make you think and look at your photos in a different light. It encourages you to take photos of things and in ways you would never have before.

It isn't for you if you want you hand held through it, if you can't cope with a lot of time spent on the computer and if you can't set aside some time each day to study. There is a lot of on screen reading (although I printed mine off and read in peace on the sofa) and activities. It isn't for you if you expect "expert" opinions and advice all the way through. And it certainly isn't for you if you can not share both your photos and experience (or lack of it) with your fellow students.

However, I am loving it! Can you tell?

On top of that, Christmas is coming. Orders are coming through slowly and I haven't started my Christmas cards yet! I am also puppy sitting - Why did I say yes????? Scrapbooking has taken a back seat, along with a quite few other things.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Winter is almost here!

It is dark in the mornings when I get up now. A sure sign that winter is nearly here! The days are still relatively warm but the ground doesn't hold the heat and the nights are cold.

But rather than a dreary winter desktop for October, I choase a summer shot of water. I was quite pleased with this one. I originally tried just using the automatic sports action on the camera but it bleached out the bubbles - which was what I trying to capture. So - I read the damn manual! I discovered that by using the creative settings I could get the camera to meter just a portion of the scene rather than the whole area. I managed to get it metering the water rather than the surrounding area which meant the bubbles were not bleached out.

However, I had forgotten that it was set on monochrome from when I had been playing about with the filters. So my "perfect" picture came out in black and white.

I still think it looks impressive though.

Just click on the small pic on the left to download the picture and directions to add to your desktop. There are also directions on how to add the link to your blog to share with even more people.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!

Is it really that long since I last posted????? I just don't know where the week has gone. I think that as you get older, the days get shorter!

But I have been rather busy. First of all, the OU course starts next week. The info and programs for it came through last Friday just as I was about to go out for my walk. Of course, I had to open it and ended up being late and missing it. The online stuff has been available from Monday. So I have spent a bit of time working on that. I have to read it all online as it is interactive but, as I prefer to read on paper, I have downloaded and printed off all I need so far and there is loads of it. I also have photo assignments to do.

However, photo assignments are just going to have to wait. I must be mad, but I agreed to look after a friends puppy for a few days. She is driving me loopy!!!!!! She doesn't know what "No" means and when you call her, she wags her tail and runs in the opposite direction! I end up having to chase her to catch her when I take her for a walk. Got no time to think about taking pics.

At least I got out on my walk this morning and my legs are aching! I used to go every Friday but lately "things" just seem to happen that stop me going. I have been cycling as much as I am able but walking uses different muscles so I am aching in different places! I ended up taking Millie with me, I figured on the "kill two birds with one stone" thing. However, she pulls a lot and so my back is aching as well.

I went for a job interview on Monday which, unfortunately, I didn't get. I am also trying to get an Aran poncho done. And it is the 1st on Monday so I need to get the newsletter done.







Of course, practising with PSE5 means getting plenty of digi scrapping done. This is another of the Ad Challenges. The little pic is the original ad. I learned to make a bsic template and then fitted the photos behind it. This was Benjamins first time in the sea at Porthkerry Beach in Barry.








Here is the original ad for this one.

These pics are from about the same time. I dressed him up as a Tiger so he could take part in the arena with the Brownies at the Scout and Guide Fete. He loved it. I know his face looks like he is crying but he was laughing! I didn't get exactly the effect I was looking for with this one but I did learn how to make the shaded gradient layer to go over the tiger paper.

And finally, this weeks team challenge on UKS.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

At Last!!!

I finally managed to sign in. Been having problems all morning and I wanted to post the link for my new freebie, a crocheted heart frame. You have already seen the lovely LO from Fi and the free pattern for it. So now here is the free download. Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Puppets!

I am so pleased, I finished my Jungle puppets pattern. This didn't take me long as, instead of starting something new, I was ever so go and dug something out of the wardrobe to finish off!!!!

So here are Arnold Alligator, Sidney Snake and Petula Parrot. This is my 11th set of puppets. I am thinking of making another set to round it up to 12 then call it a day. I have added it to my site but haven't sold any yet. However, I have had some enquiries as to whether I sell the actual puppets!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Scrap, Scrap, Scrap.

Learning to use a new program is a wonderful excuse for loads of digi scrapping!

I decided to have a go at another of the ads posted in the Ad Challenge. This one is a bit different to my usual style. I did learn where a few more buttons were though. The Denis outfit is one a made for Benjamin a couple of years ago. He was just getting to like reading and was encouraged with Beano comics! Well, whatever works. He didn't like wearing it much thought because people laughed at him. He couldn't get to grips with the fact they were supposed to!

I discovered how to "cut out" part of the photo in this one. I used free papers from Scrapgirls. The font is a long story which I have no intention of telling! However, if you really, really want it, you can buy it for £29 somewhere online!!!!!

And while I was on a roll, I decided to enter the House Challenge on UKS. Very different from my normal style. Paper and overlays by Dawn Inskip. A crocheted Sun by me. A handwriting font from a site that does a whole load of them that all start with "Pea" and I really should have bookmarked, and a "Raindrop Splash" free font filled with a free paper from Scrapgirls. I am sure there must be a much quicker way than the way I worked out how to do it though!

The Sun is a freebie on the Scrapbooking Elements page.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finding the Buttons

I have been finding where some more of the buttons on PSE5. I am finding it slow going as i keep trying to do things the way I did them in PI and it doesn't work. Sometimes I am tempted to go and do it in PI but that would defeat the whole purpose.

My latest creation is in response to an "Ad Challenge". An advert is posted and you have to use it for inspiration. Whether you stick strictly to the layout of the ad or just use the colours is entirely up to you.

Three were posted and this is the one I chose. I started with one of the pictures of the weir that I took. I decided to take sections of the photo and adjust the lighting to create the same sort of effect the blocks of colour had in the ad. However, the colours were just not vibrant enough to take having the light played about with. So I switched it for one of the fantastic sunsets we get around here. After spending far too much time on it, I managed to find out how to adjust the lightness, put borders around the sections and draw additional lines.

Do you like it?

If you don't recognise the song, its from "Fiddler on the Roof".

Monday, September 10, 2007

Getting to grips with it.

After spend nearly all day yesterday on here, I am starting to get the hang of PSE5. I have done another two layouts. I started the first one yesterday and decided to "go it alone" rather than a template or tutorial. I use a free digi kit called Twinkle Toes from Peppermint Creative and played with some of the tools on there. I managed to copy the stars from the backgrond paper and make them into a new layer. Took forever to get it right!

Then, for the UKS weekly team challenge, I found a template from Happy Scrap Girl and used yet another freebie from Miss Mint called Lilac Garden. I had to change some of the colours to fit the challenge.

Of course, all this made me late for Craft & Chat but at least I got there! Which was just as well as I sold some puppets. One of the newer ladies was looking at the ones I was working on last week so I took some others in to show her. As it happens, she was wondering whether it was cheeky to ask me if I would like to sell any. Cheeky???? Not at all. I was delighted to oblige!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Thanks to somebody on UKS, I found some really easy PSE tutorials by Misty Cato. Not only does that lovely lady write them so that any fool can follow them, she even supplies some of the digi elements used. I did her first two this afternoon. The first one was a "Quick Page" and she supplied the page. I have to admit that while I was not entirely happy as using somebody elses design, as it was my first attempt with PSE5, I took the easy way out. Not a lot of creativity involved either, apart from all the creativity it took to find the right buttons!!!!The colours on the page are lovely. I suppose that as she has a son she doesn't do much pink either!

The second was a template. Bit more creativity here. I used pictures of the weir from our visit to Llangadog. All in all, not a bad days work!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Learning Curves.

Life is just one big Learning Curve - no matter how old you are! And I have a few steep ones coming up.

The major one is an Open University course I have signed up for. As I have never done one before I am understandably nervous. It is a photography course and the idea is that I learn to use my camera better. I will also be getting a copy of PSE5 with the coursework - which I have never used. So, being brave, I downloaded a trial version of it from the Adobe site. However, being not so brave, I haven't attemped to use it yet! I think this calls for a giant google of PSE5 tutorials!!!!

Another one is Frontpage 2003. I have been using Frontpage 2000 for some time and have been getting reasonably proficient at it - with the aid of a great book form Peachpit Press by Nolan Hester. I borrowed this book from the library and renewed it 3 times before I decided that I really ought to buy it.Then I updated to 2003 and they have changed a whole load of stuff. I have to start learning it all over again. I have borrowed the 2003 verion of the same book but have yet to venture into its pages. I had better do it soon as lack of funds prohibits the purchase of it just yet!

Another thing I need to learn is to write begging letters - for a job! There is very little around here for a Mum who can't drive. I have a C&G Adult Tutors certificate but can't seem to use it. I have signed up to teach a number of classes since moving here - only to have them all cancelled "due to lack of numbers". So now I need to try a different angle. I fgured the worst people can say id "no" and then I won't be any worse off than I am now.

On a brighter note, I have finished designing the Jungle puppet set. I just need to finish writing the patterns then remake the puppets to check them. Then I will have another load to store in the wardrobe!!!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

"That" Auction Site!

eBay has a 10p listing day today. Great news for small time sellers (like me) and even better news for bargain hunters. I have been listing a few patterns and scrapping motifs this morning. Even thought I prepared most of the stuff in advance it is still time comsuming and pretty boring! However, I find eBay makes for good (and cheap) advertising even if I don't sell anything. I may put some more on later. Is it too early for Christmas stocking??????

Something else I really need to do is check out the OU site. I registered for the Photography course in May and had all the relevant paperwork through in June but haven't even tried to access the site yet. The course work will not arrive for another couple of weeks. Maybe I should get it out and look at it!

I have also been debating about downloading the trial version of PSE5. I will get a full version with the course but, never having used that particular software before, it may be to my advantage to have a go first.

Sigh! So many things to do and so little time! All of this and job hunting as well.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Getting organised?????

Maybe not!

My get up and go seems to have got up and gone. I did the weekly team challenge for UKS. Not one of my best but I just can't seem to get back into the swing of things. Maybe its because I haven't done it in so long. I tried making a new header for the blog but didn't like it so put the old one back with a caption underneath. Its a bit like that "Monday Morning" feeling but its lasting all week. It just seems too quiet around here.

I have been working on the parrot pattern though and its nearly finished so at least that is one good thing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Peace At Last!!!

I thought I would enjoy it! However, I am wandering around like a lost soul with no where to go. It is soooooooo quiet. And that isn't because I am deaf any more. My ear infection has not completely gone but at least I can hear now.

And it isn't even as is I have nothing to do. Apart from anything else, the dreaded housework awaits. I have got two loads of washing out and a 3rd in the machine. I have prepared tea - just need to remember to turn it on later and do the spuds to go with it. But I have a whole load more.

I decided, rather than start something new, to see what is in the wardrobe part done for my next pattern. I found a half made puppet set so am carrying on with that. I also found a whole load of scribbled notes to go with them. But it is so long since I did these in fact, its quite a while since I have made any puppets at all, that they are taking some deciphering.

Oh Well, best get on and try to make it look like I have done something!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Snakes and Ladders Finished!

At last it is finally done. And what's more, I updated my site as well to add it to the toy patterns page. Haven't I been good????

Now I have to go and get Benjamin some new school shoes.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Honey, I'm Home!

We had a lovely few days at my Uncles in Llangadog, a tiny village on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The weather was wonderful and the car didn't leave the drive! We had enough of driving to get there. There isn't much to do there except walk and take photos, so guess what I did?

I took hundreds of photos and then deleted most of them. I decided that it was the perfect time to try to learn to use some of the settings on my new camera. Of course, I had a whole load of disasters but, somewhere along the line, I got a few good ones. I wasn't disappointed. Disasters are part of the learning process so they were expected.

And one of the dafter things I did was to have a go on next doors 8 year old dirt bike. Now that WAS fun!

By the way, I have uploaded Septembers Calender. I have no idea what this flower is, I think it is part of the dandilion family. I just couldn't resist those colours.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What a week!

Apart from the mad rush to get organised in time, the few days my parents were here went well. We went to Storeys on Thursday while Benjamin was at Puppy Training classes and Joan then took him in to Ely so he had a day out with them. Mam enjoyed Storeys and spent a small fortune there! I got the yarn I needed to finish the Snakes and Ladders board.

We had a party for their anniversary on Saturday, it was their 45th. Joan made a lovely sponge in the shape of a 45. Because she had taken note of the various eating problems that Mam and Benjamin have, they were both able to enjoy it. Marks mother came as well. I have no idea what she thought of it all as we haven't heard from her since! The wine and beer was flowing freely so, at the time, I wasn't really bothered what she thought! LOL

Then on Sunday the puter threw a temper tantrum! I spent most of Monday, after Mam and Dad left, copying all my files on to Marks computer via my camera cards. There wasn't any other way to do it as none of my programs would open! Mark had to reformat it and then I spent half of Tuesday putting the programs back on. At least the network was working then so it didn't take too long to transfer all the files back. Unfortunately, I lost anything that was in OE, along with my address book, as it wouldn't open! I think everything is done now, I suppose if I have forgotten anything I will find out when I go to use it and can't!

However, despite all this activity, I have got the Snakes and Ladders board finished. I have also done the dice and one playing piece.

Three more playing pieces to go then I need some decent weather to take pics and finish the pattern.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Change of Plans!

Mam phoned last night to as if they could come a day early as their plans for today have been cancelled. This means all I had planned for today has undergone a major change. No trip to Tesco or Storeys. Instead, all the final stuff I needed to do for them coming tomorrow has to be done this morning. Mam will have to take me shopping this afternoon after they get here as I have no food for them!

However, I am quite sure we can fit in trip to Storeys either this afternoon or tomorrow. I am sure Mam will enjoy it. I have finished all the red squares for the board and almost finished the red playing piece. I have enough green to make that playing piece and I am making the dice in white (but haven't decided on the colour of the spots) as well so I have a few things to keep me busy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Unconditional Love.

Look at this beautiful layout by Fi, using the heart frame and hearts she bought from me. This just makes me want to crochet more of them! I am thinking of making more frames in different shapes and sizes. And it would make a great pattern!

However, the Snakes and Ladders have to be finished first. I have made all the red squares but now have completely run out of both the blue and yellow yarn. I hope the weather will be better tomorrow than it is today otherwise I will have a long walk in the rain to get my stash!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Snake and Ladder

There is only one of each at the moment, because it is only half done. But I thought you would like to see my latest project - and part of the reason for not getting any scrapping done the last couple of week! Each square measures about 19 cm (7 ½ inches) so it will measure about 1 metre 20 cm (just under 4 foot) when finished. My problem now is that I have run out of the yellow and blue yarn. However, that means Stash shopping!

I also have a fancy dreamcatcher to make for a friends daughters birthday. This just happens to be on Wednesday so, as usual, I have left myself loads of time. Oh, and there are 20 flowers to make for the crocheted flower exchange in UKS!

In between all this, I have to find time for housework as I need the house perfect for when my parents come up to visit this weekend!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Times flying by!

Normally I dread the school holidays. They drag, he gets bored and I get irrate! However, this year they seem to be flying past. Maybe its because he is older and more capable of amusing himself that he isn't giving me the normal hassle. Maybe losing weight has given me more mental stamina as well as more physical stamina. Whatever the reason, apart from a couple of minor incidents, he has been really good.

Last week we went out a couple of times. Once to Heacham with some friends. Have to admit, I am not really a beach person but it was nice to smell the sea again. And then on Friday to Hinchingbrooke Park. Now that I really enjoyed. I went with a couple of other Mums and their children so there was company for me and company for him.

In between all this gallivanting, I have been working. Here is some of what I have been making. I am in the process of updating my site to include all the embellishment designs. Because I use different thread to design than for the embellishments I sell, I have to remake the whole lot to take pictures. The thread I use to design is DMC and is widely available on both sides of the "pond". However, I only have a small range of colours in it. The thread I use to make the motifs to sell is Twilleys. I have a drawer full of that!

So, until I manage to use up the Twilleys and stock up on the DMC, this is the way I have to do things.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Patterns Finally Finished

Its been a long hard slog. Ok, maybe not that hard!!!! But certainly long. And, of course, changing my mind in the middle of things didn't help as it meant I needed more new designs.

However, the first of my "Scrapping the Rainbow Valley way" patterns is completed. Now I suppose you want to have a look? All of the individual pics are on scrapbooking pages.

And I promised some free patterns. The first of these is the Heart Frame. Its quite easy to make if you know how to crochet.

The second is step by step instructions on how to make the mini flowers. This is aimed at beginners. Both are with the rest of my free crochet patterns at Cwm Enfys Crochet. Although, Not quite where I wanted them as I have had a few problems updating things over there. Those of you who know msn know they like to play games!!!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Day out!

We went to the beach today. I can't remember the last time we did something like that. Not a sandy tourist beach anyway. I did spend a fair bit of time at the one near my parents at Easter, trying to capture waves for a "Moving Water" photo competition on UKS. But that is all pebbles. Its good for a walk but not much else.

The thing is, living in a place like Barry Island, you tend to shun the beach as it is far too full of tourists! Its much more fun in the winter. You can go paddling in your wellies and run the dog.

One of the results of that photo comp, was this picture. It is the fountain in the gardens of St Fagans Castle. I always seem to be looking for a calendar so I decided to convert this one to a desktop calendar. Then I decided I might as well let everybody else enjoy it.

If you click on the picture on the left, you can download it to use for your desktop. And if you would like to add it to you blog or site for other people to download, there are instructions in the "Terms of Use" document on how to do so. I hope you all enjoy it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Problems with Potter!

Just how are you supposed to concentrate on writing patterns when the new Harry Potter book keeps leaping into your hands yelling "Read Me!"?
So I gave in, sat down yesterday moring and finished the book. Ooooh, it was good! I won't give anything away but I really think she saved the best till last.
Now back to work.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


No, this isn't something you do to stop people contacting you, at least, not in crochet terms.

When you crochet a piece it all curls up. When working with acrylic, the easiest thing to do is to lightly iron it between two damp cloths. However, when working with cotton there is a much better way. Blocking.

As most of what I do is with small pieces, I use a small cork notice board with some kitchen towel laid over it. I just run the piece under the cold tap, squeeze it out then pin it in shape. Make sure your pins are rust proof! As the cotton dries it tightens a little. This pulls the piece into shape around the pins. Basically, you are ironing it without an iron, which flattens it and spoils the effect.

When working with larger pieces, it is easier to pin it into shape first, then use a spray gun to dampen it.

Happy Blocking!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter

When the last book came out there was a "discussion" with my dearest about who was going to read it first. So I went and bought it and hid it! By the time he realised what I had done, I was part way through it so he had to wait.

I had an email through from Tesco about this one, asking if I wanted to preorder it. So the "discussion" revolved around who was paying for it and who was going to read it first. We agreed that whoever paid for it, read it first.

Well, he didn't get around to doing anything about it, so I did. This meant it came with the postlady on Saturday morning and I get to read it first!

Of course, as soon as Benjamin saw it, he wanted to read it. You should have seen his face when I told him he had no chance!

"I am first, then Dad."
"What if Dad wants to read it first?"
"Then he can pay me for it!"
"Dad has to buy the book off you if he wants to read it?"
"No, only if he wants to read it first."
"Can I buy it off you?"

Poor Deprived Child! Does JKR realise what she has done?????

Sunday, July 22, 2007


It seems I have caused quite a stir on UK Scrappers and everybody is talking about either getting their dusty hooks out or learning to crochet.

I have been updating my lists down the side of the blog to include some crochet sites and lists. I run an msn group, Cwm Enfys Crochet, which has UK tutorials, lots of hints and tips (including "translating from US terms") and loads of free patterns. It also has a link library with even more free patterns.

If you are going to learn, I suggest you start with a 4.50mm hook and some DK yarn. This will be a bit loose but will make it easier to see the "holes" where the hook goes. The important thing to remember is that there isn't a right way to hold the hook and yarn. its what ever feels comfortable for you. Also remember, that it takes time and practise. Don't expect to pick it up straight away and have it looking perfect. And don't rush things. I saw a layout in a magazine with a crocheted chain and silk flowers, it looked great. So just practise a chain at first until you get some even stitches, then try working some stitches into it.

And for inspiration visit Crochet.Nu

Friday, July 20, 2007

Turning on the Heat!

Its amazing what you can do with a heat gun!!!

I went to my monthly Craft Club last night. Its held on the 3rd Thursday evening of each month. We have talks about various crafts, often with "hands on" demonstrations.

Last night we made fabric beads using a heat gun. After making one small one, I asked if they could be cut and, when I found out they could, mades another 3 long ones! I can just see these being crocheted into a very original choker and earring set.

I haven't done much in the way of new things this week. I have been too busy filling orders. I know thats a good thing really but I like the challenge of something new. When I have made it once it gets a bit boring. However, needs must! As I am not selling very many patterns lately, it looks like making scrapbooking motifs will fill the gap for a while.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All Chained Up!

Yesterday I decided to make a whole load of chains to add to my site. I have seen some LOs in mags that have used silk flowers with crocheted chains and they looked really good. So I thought it might be an idea so make some to sell. While I was taking the pics for the site, I thought it would make a terrific background paper. What do you think?

As usual, you can download it here.

I am always looking for suggestions for what to make, so if you have any ideas of what you would like to see please leave a comment.

I would love to feature on here some of the layouts you have made using my crocheted embellishments whether they are digi or "real". Please either send me your layout or a link I can download it from.