Wednesday, June 26

Google Reader

Just a reminder that I'm sure you will have all heard time and again that Google Reader is scheduled to cease from 1 July 2013.  What's more shocking is that's actually this Monday, it's July this Monday people, how can that have happened?!?!?
Random picture of a pair of doves in the garden
I started following blogs with Bloglovin quite a while ago as I reached some sort of limit with Google and I could no longer add anything and eventually couldn't take old accounts off either.  I've moved my Bloglovin button up to the top on the right in case anyone wants to join me there.  There's also the option to have an e-mail sent when a new blog post appears, let me know if you're using that one and have any problems with it.

Happy reading.

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, June 25

Swan-like

Yes gliding gracefully (??or maybe not ??) along the surface of the water, but little legs are paddling frantically beneath in order to keep afloat.

It's Tuesday and I'm only just sharing weekend news.   We had a packed day on Sunday.  Church parade which included the christening of one friend's baby girl and my first look at another friend's new baby boy.  Then on to a church picnic and family social afterwards with rounders, parachute games and some pointless stick throwing activity that the scouts referred to as kub??  Luckily there were also strawberries and cream. All is right with the world when you are sat on a picnic rug eating strawberries and cream.

Here are some shots of my little family.  Small-n-Grubby during the rounders.
Branston Pickle posing.
The Dinky Diva and SMO taking in the action.
I have an endless to do list, but there is some crafting on there so, who knows, I might manage to get creative this week, some-when!

~ Kate ~

Friday, June 21

In the back garden

My crafting mojo is a bit absent at the moment and I've been enticed away from the craft desk into the back garden.  This year's Springwatch was encouraging people to make bio diversity surveys of their gardens and that got me thinking.  I've often photographed wildlife and nature in the garden, but I've never got out there and looked to see everything I can find.  This sounds like a lovely long-term project for all seasons and yesterday I got started with a couple of the more obvious inhabitants of  the wasteland that I imaginatively like to call a garden.
There are a pair of blackbirds in residence at the moment.  There are a couple of places they might have their nest, although they might just be places they like to hide whilst searching around for food and the nest could be further off.  This is dad trying to camouflage himself behind the subtle colours of an old garden umbrella.  Mum is around too and I will try and lurk to catch a picture of her at the weekend.  She often stops on the gate with a beak full of food, so I will concentrate my efforts there.  She's woken me the last few morning as she likes to sit on the fence and trill her song.
The hebe is out in flower nicely this year.  It's in a pot, but the roots grew out through the bottom and into the ground long ago.  There were lots of bees on it yesterday afternoon so a literally spent 5 minutes snapping pictures before I headed off on the school run.

I think I will record more details with species etc on my wildlife blog, but I'd also like to write up a nature diary, the crafter in me is awakened now!  Anyone got any good links to nature themed scrapbooks or diaries?

~ Kate ~  

Wednesday, June 19

In a spin

I've completed a card this week with a fun spinner on it for my littlest person's upcoming birthday.
I've based the design on this months sketch at Kathy's Waffle Sketch File and punched out one of the squares to make the window for the spinner.
The spinning part is attached really simply with a brad and I've decorated it with various game images including the mini version of Game On Edwin.
The colouring is with various water based markers.  I started out with Distress Markers but the palette just wasn't bright enough so I added some Whisper pens into the mix.  I hope the newest colours from the Distress Inks come out as markers soon please Sir Tim!
I should have photographed the spinner before I put it all together but here is a little glimpse of it.
It shows the stamped arrows I've used between the images so that as the wheel turns the window is never empty.  I used a Dear Lizzy clear arrow stamp which I was able to curve slightly as I stuck it onto the acrylic block.

~ Kate ~

Thursday, June 13

My Craft Chaos and Create Daily

I've been busy, busy, busy here.  Small-n-Grubby is off camping at the weekend and I can't find his sleeping bag, anyone seen it?

I literally grabbed 10 minutes yesterday whilst catching up on Eastenders and made a little art journal page that needs pasting in somewhere.
I've used Neocolor II pastels for all the colouring in.  I discovered these over at Ronda Palazzari's where I was going to link up for this week's Create Daily, but I can't see a linky this week.
In addition to the pastels I've inked the page edge with Salty Ocean Distress Ink and splattered the page with Stormy Sky Distress Stain and Rich Gold Cosmic Shimmer Mist.  The stamps are Gorjuss - I found my family in a book and a Wendy Vecchi sentiment.

2 for 1 today as the 13th of the month is Creative Craft Photo challenge and this month's theme is 'My Craft Chaos.'  Anyone who knows me from WOYWW will know I am spoilt for choice when it comes to crafting mess to photograph.  I chose to record my area where the acrylic paints are stored.
As you can see they are in danger of taking a dive off the edge of the worktop.  Behind them is a box of stamps and 'bits' that need putting away and bags one with Vintaj supplies in and another with sachets of tomato sauce!

In the top left corner there's a glimpse of inking tools, here's a zoom in.
The tools are falling off their little spinner, then there are pots of liquid mediums next to that and then on the far left Distress Stains.  There's a bit of another bag showing on the left, this time filled with Whiff Of Joy stamps that I need to find a new box for as they have over flowed from their little allocated drawer in the cabinet below the spinner.

Crafting chaos, but all good.

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, June 11

12 Tags of 2013

I really liked Tim's June tag of the 12 tags of 2013 series.  I love the stamp set he used, it's been on my wish list for some time.  The challenge to use Distress Markers was too good to miss, so here's my tag.
I really think I need to play more with the markers as this was my favourite attempt yet.  I was particularly pleased with how the butterfly turned out.
Absolutely all of the supplies are Tim Holtz/Ranger products as details on Tim's blog post, with just a few substitutions for colours.  This close-up of the top corner shows the background stamping on the tag.  It's coloured using a Distress Paint, Distress Ink, Distress Stain combo, I really didn't want to cover it up.
You can also just see the tiny splatters of Distress marker which has given a great background effect  to the image.

~ Kate ~

Saturday, June 8

Birthday Boy

Just a quick update.  I did manage to get one picture of the Small-n-Grubby one turning 10.
He is building some sort of Dr Who contraption.  Ii I said the hairstyle improved by the time he was dressed and out of the door it would be a lie!

Here are his idea for birthday cupcakes.
Lemon with lime icing (just lime juice mixed with icing sugar and a little zest sprinkled on top.)  It tasted surprisingly good, sharp yet sweet.

~ Kate ~

Thursday, June 6

All that glisters - Blue Moon Beads

I was transported to secondary school days making this piece using Blue Moon Beads supplies.
 
"All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:"

Having studied Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice for the best part of a year I can still quote it, and what's more annoying is that the quotes appear uninvited in my head.  As in this case, where all is in fact very golden.  I've used a gold tone toggle clasp, chain and findings from the Blue Sky range as well as other Blue Moon Beads findings.
The gold beads and clear crystals are from the Grape Soda beads selection and the little blue crystal is from the PB&J set.
I've made some earrings to match with the same gold beads hung from matching chain.

~ Kate ~

Wednesday, June 5

Kathy's Waffle Sketch - June

I'm catching up with myself coming back the other way at the moment as life takes a new twist and employment, non-craft related, is on the horizon.

Yesterday was the first Tuesday of the month which means a new sketch at Kathy's Waffle Sketch File.  This time its a cute one with 3 tumbling squares encircled by dotty dots.  Lots of potential there, but I couldn't resist a scrapbook page.
I've used a few of the current trends here.  There's splatters of  neon yellow, but instead of getting an expensive spray, I just made a wash of 99p neon acrylic and splattered it on - as demonstrated by Melissa Stinson here.  Then there are the gold accent stars.  Ever since that vellum with the big gold polka dots appeared at Dear Lizzy, bright gold accents have started to creep in.  My stars are from an Accessorize puffy sticker pack.
The rest of the puffy stickers are from Amy Tangerine as are the patterned papers.  I meant to distress the edge of the white card, but it was only as I looked at the photo published on the challenge blog that I remembered I hadn't done it.
The page is about a charity fundraiser that the cricket club were allowed to hold in the window of a Marks and Spencer store one Saturday.  The Smash date stamp with 'This warrants a fist pump!' on it seemed like it was made for the page.
The boys did good!

Edited to add: Not only did I forget to distress the edges but I seem to have forgotten the title too!!!
~ Kate ~

Monday, June 3

Birthday Celebrations

My little blog has been neglected over the last few days.  Computer issues were resolved, but then my mum was feeling a bit under the weather and needed a hand.  Luckily she was feeling better by the end of the weekend ready to celebrate Small-n-Grubby's 10th birthday (or perhaps that means he should be Not-So-Small-but-still-Grubby - not just yet perhaps, he still seems little to me.)

The birthday involved lots of Star Wars Lego, cupcakes with lime icing (his idea, but boy did it taste nice) followed by a birthday dinner and a big cake at Grandma's.  I realised this morning that I had not taken a single photo all day and so he has agreed to pose with his Lego creations when he gets home.
I made him a Super Mario Edwin birthday card.  Just love this Game On Edwin stamp from the Magnolia 2013 Once Upon A Time collection.  He's coloured with Copics, cut out and mounted with 3d foam onto a Basic Grey Mellow background.
The rest of the stamps I've used are:
Prima brickwork
Hampton Art Studio G question Mark
Stampendous Birch Buddies mushroom
Papermania sentiment
A couple of squeeze punches and some old Sassafras numbers finished everything off.  There's even a little mini version of the stamp inside the card.  I have plans to use him to make a bigger version of the scene on another card.
Challenges:
Natalie and Amy #10 - Fantasy
Ali-Craft #1 - Open
Chocolate, Coffee And Cards #40 - Fantasy
BasicGrey #95 - Fun In The Sun, Mellow 6x6 paper
Tilda's Town #55 - Let's celebrate
Heck Of A Challenge - Bingo, Yellow, Punch, Green

~ Kate ~