Saturday, June 30

Hedgehogs

Wow, spent a few hours crafting today, a good effect of the bad weather. Mainly worked on my 'secret' project which was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Finally cracked it though and just need to add a few finishing touches before photographing it, when the weather allows. Another good effect of the rain, put it aside for a couple of days and then look at it again before deciding if it is finally finished or not.

Needed a birthday card in a hurry. One thing I love about Penny Black stamps is you don't need to do much to them to get a lovely image.

Stamp it 2 or 3 times, colour it in, layer it up with a bit of sparkle and mount it on a long thin card, and your done.

Looks like there's a few good competitions going on in July so time to get those creative juices flowing before the school holidays start and the peace and quiet ends! - wouldn't have it any other way of course ;)

** Kate **

Friday, June 29

Flower Power

Dinky Diva had a teacher training day today so I got a small lie-in and no hike up the hill to school - hurrah. She came along to toddlers and was beautifully behaved as always. We did end up leaving early because Small-N-Grubby had a tussle and ended up being scratched by a baby! He demanded to go home after that saying 'why do they have to let all these babies in' like they are some anti-social section of society.

Just about time for a small bit of jewellery making. Found these pretty flower beads at my local store, they're sort of clay or resin pretending to look like clay, I'm not sure which.Been to Rainbows tonight so I'm now done in. Big weekend planned as Silly-Mid-On has his annual cricket charity event on Sunday. Fingers crossed please for minimal rain (I think no rain would be too optimistic!).

** Kate **

Thursday, June 28

Pooh!

Didn't have much fun clothes shopping yesterday and came away empty handed. Its hot, its crowded and shop assistants are .... (you fill in the blank!). Came home and spent some time on the Internet with my feet up and a cuppa. Ordered a few things, why didn't I just do that in the first place?

Thursday is always a good crafting day for me as I get the house to myself for nearly 3 hours. Although I made myself complete some paperwork and household jobs before I got down to the crafting. This didn't leave me enough time to finish any of the projects I'm currently working on and I really felt the need to complete something today. So with this in mind I worked on a fresh layout choosing a fun picture as the start. There's a hidden message on the reverse of the tag which explains that I have had the Pooh Sticks picture and the stamp set since I was about 10! So now you can see I have been a stamper for quite some time! I remember the catalogue coming round school with loads of different stamps in. Loads got ordered, I don't think stamps were half as easy to get hold of back then. Proof that if you look after them, stamps will definitely last.

More good news - Simply Cards and Papercraft has printed another of my competition entry cards in the gallery this month. How chuffed am I!

** Kate **

Tuesday, June 26

Time to read

Small-N-Grubby had his 1st visit to infants school today. He let me trim his hair before we went, but I only really know how to do little girls haircuts. I tried to shape the top layer in at the back and he anounced that it was very smart. He tripped off to school quite happily giving me an unexpected hour and a half free. Another mum invited me for a cup of tea. This was great but it meant we walked to school and back 3 times in total today. School is at the top of a biiiig hill!!

No time for crafting today with all the school trips but I did have a book in my bag in case I had to sit and wait for a while. I don't quite know how I find the time but I do like to read - and not just craft magazines, although they are my #1 choice! I've just finished A Short History Of Tractors In Ukranian by Marina Lewycka. A very funny book each section flowed easily into the next so I found it quite hard to put down. Definately gets the thumbs up from me.

Was just watching a bit of Gillian McKeith whilst I waited for the kids to go off to sleep. Am I the only one who feels really hungry when I watch that programme. When 'plenty money, meanie husband' comes home I might have to send him out for a takeaway!

Hoping for good weather tomorrow as I have some shopping planned. I hope you're sitting down for this - NOT craft stuff, I need some clothes and make-up. And perhaps I should just check there aren't any reduced bargains in the craft section at Lakeland.

** Kate **

Monday, June 25

Paint Can

What a miserable day. Rain, rain go away. Got soaked on early morning school trip and again on lunch time pick up from pre-school. SMO collected Dinky Diva in the afternoon, but of course it had cleared up a bit by then. Jammy so-and-so.

Working on deadline stuff today so won't be able to share for a while. When the light improved this afternoon I managed to snap some pics of my paint can I altered yesterday when I was in mega-crafting mode. I found it at my local store, above eye line so I hadn't noticed them before. I think this one is going to be borrowed for the shop so I will need to do another one, and I need one for lots of loose flowers I've acquired. Used peel-off pens on the plastic and the tin lid, really pleased with how well they worked. I might try doing some of my own acetate overlays.

Busy day tomorrow, Small-N-Grubby's first official visit to school. Have to go and type up a great long list for his allergies now. Should still get some crafting time in the morning though.

** Kate **

Sunday, June 24

Gift Boxes

Spent most of today crafting......bliss. The weather was too bad to do much else. There wasn't much light for pictures so I will see if its better tomorrow. One thing I did photograph was the gift boxes for the jewellery I blogged yesterday. I had to give them to my sister this evening so I won't get another chance.
Went with everyones initials so I wouldn't have to worry about the spelling. Also meant I got to use my new Heidi Grace alphabets that I bought on QVC. There was only 1248 of them in the pack, so I guess I have a few to spare! Hopefully these will be small enough to fit in the luggage. Spent quite a while attempting to translate a sloppy, sentimental saying I had found into French in the hope that the groom would be able to read it. I've warned my sister in case I've managed to write something really silly. There was one word I kind of made up, so it should be interesting.
Back to the school routine tomorrow and another busy week. Am trying to do some crafting before I get on the computer, it seemed to work quite well Thursday so I think I will try it again. Have some deadlines to meet for competitions so I will be disciplined.
Hope you had a good weekend.
** Kate **

Saturday, June 23

Wedding Gifts

Kept myself busy today making wedding gifts for my sister and her new in-laws. Dinky Diva helped me while Small-N-Grubby had a nap. DD is much better now.

For the bride I have made something simple and hopefully elegant which she can wear on the wedding day if she wishes and if Tunisian tradition allows.


I had some ideas for something a bit bigger than this but I think it would fight with the dress!
(Its a big traditional dress, I think we'll be lucky if we see any of the wedding photos!!)
Then there's the mother of the groom, who I haven't met. I think she probably likes her bling, I couldn't get the jewelled handbag charm I was after so I went for a big bit of blown glass instead.



Finally there is one sister of the groom for whom I have gone with my trademark charm bracelet.
I couldn't resist the cute little ladybird charm, do you get ladybirds in Tunisia? Also spot the little fish on the tie charm (I think there is something about dragging a fish around at a Tunisian wedding, so hope the charm will mean good luck).

This evening and tomorrow I want to make the gift boxes, a card, and a little mini-album of embarrassment that I can't resist mwhahaha!

Must get the kids to bed before Dr Who starts.

** Kate **

Friday, June 22

The Best Made Plans

I suppose this is really a very late Thursday blog! Spent Thursday morning sorting and tidying as you could hardly walk across my bedroom without craft stuff attacking and tripping you up. Made a list of the most important things to do before the end of the weekend. All feeling very good and organised. Went to check mum was OK before picking up Small-N-Grubby from pre-school. Stopped back in at mum's on the way home to collect a bag (and some microwave crisps!), that's when the phone call came. Could I collect the Dinky Diva from school she has a temperature. This of course throws everything in to disarray, bless her.

Her temperature raged overnight but she was quite chirpy with it and scoffing ice cream! Its practically normal this morning, but I have kept her home to recuperate.

Any way this means a quick blog from me this morning as I won't get any other me time today.

Found a link to an inspirational scrapbook site on Sea Breezes. Its all about multi pic LOs and will be a good one to check if you have scappers block. Have a look here. Also on Sea Breezes Jane has made a great towelling beach cover-up. This brought back childhood memories - traumatic ones. We had these for the beach in the 70's, they looked a bit like those outfits the Von Trapp family made out of the curtains! Being the youngest of 3 daughters I had to suffer the trauma the longest with the unending hand-me-downs. I guess the all-in-one kids sunsuits you buy are todays equivalent. Will get pics from my mum this weekend and scan them on - if I can bear to!

No crafting due to sick DD, so here's one I made earlier. Its from a magazine idea, Craft Stamper I think, not a recent one. Garden gate with brad handles, open up and it leads you to the new home.
Really up against the clock for the rest of the weekend and there's an online crop at the Fisk-A-Teers. Might drop in but I doubt there will be time for any challenges!

** Kate **

Wednesday, June 20

Strange Parcels and A Hospital Visit

First of all I must start by saying all is well with Small-N-Grubby, tests came back at normal levels. Feeling a lot happier now, almost enough to erase the stressful morning that got us to this point. Now for a little rant.

It started with strange parcels. Although I should be getting ready for the hospital you can't just leave them, can you? Anyway, I opened them. There was a new credit card I hadn't ordered, a magazine I already had and some toppers generously sent to me by Hobbycraft (more about them later). I wished I hadn't opened it now, the credit card was worrying me, had someone been attempting to order things in my name? Half an hour until we are being collected and I decide to ring up and check - bad move. I am informed that the card is to replace my existing one (which I am perfectly happy with and have refused to have replaced in the past) and that it is necessary as it contains up to date security measures. Apparently it is also necessary for it to have a completely new number, so I now have to contact anyone who is authorised to claim on it (anything paid in instalments or where you buy phone credit etc etc).

For good measure I then get a lecture about identity fraud and how I can pay them £X a year to take all the worries away. When I refuse she attempts to put the frighteners on me "you do know what can happen if your identity is stolen don't you madam?"

I continue to refuse and by now its time to go and my sister is here to give us a lift (thanks for ferrying us around big sis.)

We know its going to be busy as the doc is away at the end of June and trying to see everyone for their regular appointments. In fact everyone is double booked!! We get there at 11.15 for an 11.35 appointment (well you never know what traffic/parking is going to be like do you?). The board (which hasn't been updated since yesterday) says there is a 35 minute wait. So I guess we won't be seen until around 12. In between rain showers I take Small-N-Grubby out to play in some nearby gravel. I tell him its like being at the beach and he seems happy enough!

By 12 I suggest we should stay inside, we could be called in at any minute. We do colouring and read some books (there are no toys in the waiting room - I think we will have to donate some). We do Colour I Spy because he can't spell, but eventually there is nothing left in the waiting room to spy apart from getting personal about the other patients.

The lady opposite asks when my appointment is and tells me hers is 11.30. When she is called in we become falsely optimistic. We think we might be next, but then another lady says she has 11.30 too. Next a man is called in before either of us and we wonder what time was his, 11.32?

My sister has come to pick us up and we make a group assault on SMO's crossword. Our progress is pitiful. There's some sort of medical clue about orifices (I kid you not) which he whispers across to her and then thinks she says 'arse' is the answer when she actually says 'oss'.

Well it lightens the mood, until the other 11.30 lady is called in and we are the last ones left in the waiting room.

If only we had known we were last, we could have gone off and just kept checking to see if the room was empty yet. eventually we are called in at about 12.35 and told that all is well. We only need to go back now as an emergency if/when he gets a rash again. I really mustn't complain (although I guess I just have), all this pales into insignificance when you read Kirsty's blog about her appointment from hell.

All the waiting leaves me plenty of time to figure out about the extra magazine I was sent. I think its the one that unexpectedly printed my Autumn card. They enclosed a nice little pile of Bazzill with it, so thank you - very much appreciated. The toppers from Hobbycraft were very much appreciated and also very, very bright!

The only way I can think to use them is mounted on plain white cards with a little message - unless anyone has better ideas???

Oh and this afternoon my big pack of DCWV Far East arrived from QVC - yummy.
Off to see mum this evening, she was in hospital today too, but I know she won't want me to blog about it!!

** Kate **

Tuesday, June 19

Never Ending Story

Wasn't that the film with that really big fluffy dog like creature, the story was never ending because they kept making really bad sequels. Anyhoooo.....

I couldn't resist having a try at the never ending card in this month's Card Making and Papercraft magazine. I quite enjoy projects with a bit of paper engineering in them. Here is the first attempt :






The idea is really fun and would make a great card for a very special occasion or even a mini book. I just used some spare card and the stamps I had to hand. As a first attempt I didn't pay too much attention to which pages would appear next to each other once they were flipped, so there are some strange combinations. Now I know roughly what I'm doing I'm attempting another one to send off to the magazine.
Wish me luck for Small-N-Grubby's hospital appoinment tomorrow, will probably do some craftingin the evening to try to relax.


** Kate **

Monday, June 18

Funky Fibres

Worked on some more cards for the shop today (as well as some housework so I am feeling very virtuous). There's lots of my previous designs that need reproducing but I find it hard to concentrate on them, I want to try out new ideas. Making half a dozen in a batch but I didn't finish any of them. I needed some silk flowers and ended up having to sort them all out.

I'm overloaded with certain ones so I've put some in the
shop as well as a few extra bits like these funky fibres.





Tomorrow I must work on my project that I have a deadline for. All the ideas are in my head, I just hope they come together once I start working on them. I've got a box I've been gathering up bits in but I dare not give a sneak preview!

I haven't looked at my wish list in ages. There's a couple of competitions over on Justbex I need to add. Also saw a 'never ending' card in a magazine. I can't figure out how it works and I do like a challenge. Talking of a challenge, there's the first divider for my craft file to finish by Friday, if I want to catch up with everyone else!

** Kate **

Sunday, June 17

Craft File

SMO played cricket yesterday and as a Father's Day treat played again today. So today just feels like a repeat of yesterday.

Finished the craft file for JustBex. Front cover -


Inside front page (and a bit of the inside back page) -

Back cover -




Didn't quite turn out like I thought it would and about halfway through I wasn't happy with it, but pressed on and now I'm quite pleased with how it finally ended up! Green papers are Melissa Frances, all others are HOTP Garnet, DCWV sticky ribbon, Hambly overlay, Autum Leaves swirl stamps, little love birds are Anita's and all the letters are K&co.


Off to dinner at mum's this evening and then get the kids to bed before Dr Who starts on BBC3 at 8pm.


** Kate **

Saturday, June 16

Craft Day

Actually got some crafting done today in between amusing the kids and watching QVC craft day. (I've resisted the TSV so far but 'resistance is futile'. Have ordered a DCWV kit though it appears to contain practically all of the Far East range for a fraction of the combined individual prices.

Finished a card competition entry, but I suppose I had better keep that to myself for now.

I've also been working on a craft file as part of a challenge on JustBex . I'm way behind with it as the challenge only caught my eye when everyone else started posting their completed ones!

Here's a peak at a couple of bits of it.


I'm really pleased with the little birds on the front. They were one of the half-price stamps I bought on Wednesday. The text 'love birds' was written underneath them, but I chopped it off with a craft knife. I think I will get a lot of use out of it now. Hopefully I'll finish the whole file tonight whilst watching the last of craft day, then I can blog it tomorrow. I'll have to get straight on with the first section inside or I'm not gonna catch up!

** Kate **





Thursday, June 14

Maze Book

Had a good mooch around a craft shop yesterday. Bought a few practical things like boxes and some half-price stamps.

Was already to update my shop site today following an update last night, but its now being done alphabetically so I will have to wait for them to reach the N's.

This did give me a bit of unexpected time this morning to craft! Got to grips with the 3" maze book I have been working on. I was struggling with the size, it felt like there was no room for anything else once I'd put on the picture. Made some real progress and started looking at it as mini two page spreads 6" x 3", with journalling details about everyone's relationship to the bride. Here are the results so far.




Once I've finished and know how thick the book will be I'm going to make a little box to keep it in.

As usual Friday brings the start of another busy weekend. I'm determined to sneak some crafting into the evenings, will post the results here as soon as I get
the chance.

** Kate **

Tuesday, June 12

Dress Toppers

First bit of news is that I am involved in the hush, hush thing I can't mention. More than a little nervous about it now that its happened, but the bones of the idea is there I just need to flesh it out. I will be blogging full details just as soon as I can (and once I've actually done something, lol).

I've been busy making toppers for the shop, thought it would be fun to make them for other people to incorporate in their work instead of putting them straight onto cards myself. Of course, if no one buys them I can still make cards myself!









You can't get the same picture quality on the shop, so its good to link a few extra pics here.


My sister is taking me to a craft shop tomorrow. A local one I haven't managed to get to yet.
Too bad about the stash diet. Did last 8 days, but a trip out to a craft shop with my big sis is too good an offer to miss. Although Dinky Diva has been complaining of earache all evening so I might not get there yet!

** Kate **

Monday, June 11

Die Cuts With A View

What a c**p weekend. Not going to blog about it, particularly Sunday, would rather erase it from my memory.

Found something far more cheerful to blog about. On my shop front it says that I won the Die Cuts With A View category of 2006 Card Maker of the Year (held by Card Making and Papercraft Magazine), so I thought I would dig out a pic of my winning entry.



I am now a complete DCWV convert and use their stuff in lots of my projects (not least of all because they sent me a huge box of it for winning!). I also love the newer lines they have out like the Far East and Olde World stacks which I have bought. Would definitely like the 'Once Upon a Time' to add to that, saw it in the flesh the other day and its really stunning.

I've been asked a couple of times about why 'noseycritters'. Well its not without reason, several actually.

  • If you Google it ('noseycritters' no spaces, no caps), you basically just get everything to do with me! - my blog or my shop. Which I thought was quite handy.
  • I can use sad comments like 'Have a nosey at my shop!!'
  • In the grand plan for world domination stage 5 (or is it 6) I have designed some critters to use on my crafting. Gonna get the proofs off and have some stamps made up. Then I can stamp 'em and sell 'em to my hearts content.

Should be sorting out paperwork, bills and tax stuff this afternoon, so that probably means I'll get some crafting done instead!!

** Kate **



Friday, June 8

Autumn Leaves

Bit of an odd time of the year to be blogging this but I have just discovered one of my cards in a magazine. I sent some cards into Simply Cards and Papercraft at the beginning of September last year for a competition. I didn't get through to the final of the comp (think Jo did), but there's one of my cards in issue 33 readers' gallery page 71! Here's the card (I always photograph everything!) :



I even took some step by step photos of this one.


I've stamped some leaves in black onto spare card then embossed over them with parchment thick velum. I used the velum and some copper pearlescent paper to make a jacket for the card. Then set the card with eyelets to hold it together. There is a little bit of ribbon as a tab at the top, I made this finish before the 1st eyelet otherwise the whole thing was too thick to set.


Next I stamped a large leaf and the same smaller leaves with Versamark ink onto white card. I then heat embossed with Silver Pearl (my favorite) embossing powder. Fluid chalk ink pads were rubbed over the image in different colours to give a mottled look. Buff them off with kitchen towel once your done and the embossed areas really pop out.

Rounded the corners of the main image and stuck it across all the layers. For the smaller leaves I cut them out individually and used 3d foam to place them randomly all over the card front.

I did step by step photos for my other entries for that comp, I'll have to dig them out and blog them!

** Kate **

Thursday, June 7

Flippity Flip

Got an e-mail today made my flippin stomach go flippity flip. All very hush, hush so will say no more for now. There is still another stage to go so wish me luck! For those who also have e-mails and know exactly what I'm talking about, please don't let on. I'd like to be famed in the papercrafting world but not as someone who can't keep their big gob shut! lol ;)

Most of this morning was spent at the immunisation clinic for Small-n-Grubby to have his 4 year old's jabs. He was very worried having only recently had a bad experience at the hospital so as you can imagine the whole thing was a bit yuk.


He had Lego City Fire Service with his birthday money, so when we got back I spent some time getting another couple of bits done (still 2 more buildings to go!). Love just sitting about building Lego, not a bad life huh? Of course I can get it don't really quickly because, unlike men, I just follow the instructions! There must be a job 'Lego Instructions Tester', I want that job, me, me, me.


Hoping to get the crafting juices flowing tonight. Will have to limit myself to 1 hour playing with my shop so that I get time for crafting!

** Kate **

= Edit = You won't believe what has happened this afternoon. No not the BB thing, I don't have the facts about that and so I am not qualified to comment!
I got a call from the clinic to say that out of all the vaccines they'd given this morning one had been out of date, and guess who got it!!! The children's health authority have been contacted. We have been assured that there are no possible ill effects. It was just a few days too old (or so I'm told). However, there is doubts over its effectiveness, so the poor little blighter will have to have it done again in 4 - 6 weeks. He is not going to be a happy bunny!

Wednesday, June 6

noseycritters

Had a disaster yesterday evening trying to upload more stock to the shop. I have boxes of finished cards that I take to craft fairs so I chose a dozen and photographed them along with my jewellery stock for the shop. I've got a couple of programs to rotate and re-size them, just free stuff nothing fancy, so I merrily edit them all. Then I notice that anything I have cropped or rotated is now 1 to 2mb in size. My site provider was not gonna be happy with that! So I ended up deleting them all and starting again. This meant my plan to actually do some crafting yesterday totally failed. Got them finished this morning and have uploaded about half to the site, so I guess no crafting for me again this evening.

I was really pleased with my business stationery from Vistaprint you just pay for postage so for 250 business cards its about £3.56 including vat. Once you've ordered you're bombarded with other offers. So for less than £10 I've ended up with - a copy of the business card on my

e-mails, 100 glossy postcards and 50 large postcards all printed on both sides. Just gotta get handing them out and sticking them on office notice boards.

I went for a quirky image to go with the noseycritters name.

Hopefully it should get noticed!!

** Kate **

Tuesday, June 5

Orange Inspiration

Here's the fab holiday stash I bought.


I tried to stick to things I had been wanting and couldn't get hold of rather than impulse buying all over the place! Did get one impulse buy though.


A half-price BoBunny 2007 calendar kit. As we are in June already and the year is half gone (when did that happen!) I shall be using it to make a lovely year book. Its made up of 12 6X6 double page spreads with a calendar on one side and room for a pic or 2 on tother. Will try to get started and pick a memorable event from each month to feature. I wouldn't put money on me getting round to starting it before the end of the year though!

As I have bought all this stuff lately and I keep promising to reign in my spending I thought I would make a LO with it all. It's orange inspired, I think you can blame Emine for that, check out her blog.

I've seen some don't buy any new stuff challenges and US sites about buying nothing new for 6 months (except food and toiletries). I think its a good time for me to have a try at this. My plan is that every time I have the urge to buy stuff I make stuff instead. So 05.06.07 is day 1, lets see how I don't get on!

My Lemon Pie Dreams is now up and running if you want to read about all my special foody news.

** Kate**

Sunday, June 3

I'm back ...........................

Its been a funny couple of weeks. Really got to grips with Small-n-Grubby's new diet (he's doing really well and hardly a complaint from him). This included a week away on the Dorset coast at half-term. Quite hard work as the usual holiday spontaneity was a bit lost by having to continually return to our lodge and cook! But we got through it and with the help of my my mum I now have lots of recipes and ideas to keep us going while we reintroduce foods to his diet. As there's quite a lot to talk about with diets and all I have decided to start a separate blog to record our progress along with any interesting info and recipes. Although all aspects of my life are part of my Craft Life it will help to make things look a lot less muddled. Anyway, have a look for it on my profile it will be there soon.

Back and raring to go I have had a tidy up on my blog and added a new header. I have also put a handful of items for sale in the shop just to get it up and running. Its here if you want to have a nosey.

Loads (and I mean hundreds) of holiday photos to sort through here's a taster.



Two birthdays this week as well Small-n-Grubby - we bought him a scoot bike:



and I did some crafting for my niece's birthday - bracelet and card:



Also managed to visit a few craft shops on holiday so lots of new bits and pieces to craft with. I guess there's no stopping me now!

** Kate **

Tidy up