Monday, 31 May 2010

The Birds have flown .......

..... or at least, they will have tomorrow - the "bird" atcs in my blog swap, that is!  That's what I've been spending part of this Bank Holiday Monday doing, sorting out everyone's cards and packaging them up ready for posting.  It's surprising just how long it takes to do this and the number of times I check to make sure I've not sent anyone their own card back!  There were quite a few taking part in this month's swap, but sorry to say, I didn't get round to photographing them all this time ...... but here are pics of some that I made for this theme.

Tomorrow I'll be posting the theme for June's ATC swap, so check back then if you're interested in joining in. 

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

At the Windmill

Popped over to the Windmill Craft Centre in Thornton on Sunday to meet up with Lindsay as she was over there, demonstrating several techniques using distress inks, alcohol inks and stamping.

Lindsay did very well to keep going all day, considering she only had a small, too high area to work in and had to stand the whole time ..... as you can see from the pics.

Can you spot poor old Terry ("Pot Arm"), Joanne's husband - he broke his wrist recently whilst they were away on holiday.  By the way, "pot arm" is what Joanne is calling him now, not me being rude!
Thought you might like to see a photo of the old windmill (Marsh Mill) where the craft centre and other shops are located.  I think the mill was orginally built in 1702; it's now used for exhibition displays, craft fairs and workshops, which are held in a room at the top of the Mill.

I've received most of the "birds" now for the ATC swap and will be swapping them out after the weekend - check my blog on 1st June as I'll be posting the next new monthly swap then.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Tangerine Dreams .... do come true!!!

Okay, I admit it, I'm "out of the closet" now - I'm a football fan!  I'm really looking forward to the World Cup next month (much to the disgust of the men in my house, who both have no interest in the game) - I remember seeing England win the Cup back in 1966 (oh dear, doesn't that date me)?!?  When I was in my teens, I was a huge fan of Blackpool Football Club (we were in what was then the first division), my friends and I would travel to lots of the away matches too - mum and dad were big fans as well (only Lindsay who wasn't - and still isn't - a fan). 

At the beginning of this season Blackpool were on the cards to be relegated but today they've confounded all the critics by going down to Wembley (with their tangerine army in tow - Blackpool's colour) and beating Cardiff City 3-2 in a fantastic play-off final to take them into the Premier League of English football next season ..... I watched the match on TV at home, a nerve-wracking but exciting experience, which brought back many memories of the times I stood on the terraces at Bloomfield Road, cheering Blackpool on. 

WELL DONE, BLACKPOOL!!! .... it'll be great to see you playing against the "big boys" next season!

Temperatures have soared the last couple of days, even with windows and doors open it's been hot and sticky, so not much crafting going on - just bits here and there.  I have managed to complete another couple of pages for my chunky book swap though, so here's a look-see ......

"I Dreamed a Dream"
(I added one of my dragonflies to this page and took it with me as a sample for the "make and take" table I ran at the residential weekend)

"With a Little Flourish"
(I've added a few little adhesive pearls to the large flourish and side of the frame since I took this photo)

Well, I'm popping over to the Windmill Craft Centre in nearby Thornton tomorrow, as Lindsay will be there most of the day demonstrating a variety of products, including distress inks, stickles and stamps - I always like to see her demo if I can, as I learn new techniques and tips (not that I remember them all once I get home again)!  Hopefully we'll get the chance to grab a spot of lunch too.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

April Fool Photos

I thought I'd post pics of the April Fool ATCs which I received for last month's swap.  It was only a small swap but there were still plenty of different ideas of interpreting the theme.  Hope everyone enjoyed the cards they received back.

Joanne Parkin's

Louise Baxter's

Sheila King's


This month's swap "A Little Birdie Told Me" has attracted more interest - birds are proving a very popular subject this year - the closing date for this swap is 31st May, but there's still time to join in for anyone who's interested; I've already received some great-looking cards so you don't want to miss out on the chance to own one of them!

Since last weekend's residential (is it a week ago already?), I've been thinking about getting down to do some bead designing again and have been browsing the internet, books and magazines for some inspirational ideas ...... one or two things have caught my eye and now I'm letting the ideas "percolate" in my brain for a few days to see what bubbles up to the surface.  I'm thinking of new ways to combine my beads with the altered artwork, but it's too early to say any more just yet, have to see what I can come up with first!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Dawn Bibby's Residential Weekend

Well, I'm just getting back to normal after Dawn Bibby's Residential Weekend .... I was pretty worn out when I arrived back home Sunday night after a whirlwind two days.  I'd been invited at short notice to attend the weekend as one of the tutors for the "make and take" tables on the Sunday afternoon, plus (at even shorter notice) to help with demonstrating in the shop on the Sunday morning.  So I arrived at Topaz Crafts on Saturday morning, not quite knowing what was in store for me, as it was all going to be a new experience.

I met lovely Rena (Dawn's sister) in the shop, checked the supplies for my "make and take", then her husband Stephen drove me over to the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Blackburn, where the residential was being held. 

Everything was in full swing - Dawn was giving instructions out via a mike to the 70+ ladies who were attending the residential and each table of eight or so ladies had a helper with them to make sure everyone knew what they were doing (card and box making).  I joined Lindsay helping on her table for the rest of the day, Dawn kept everyone working at a rapid pace, but I think everyone enjoyed having a go and came away with some lovely pieces.

In the evening we had dinner, Bingo and a DJ/music at the hotel and didn't leave until well after midnight ....... the food was delicious, the games were fun and everyone really let their hair down dancing the night away, as you can see from the photos .......

Dawn really let her hair down and was on the dance floor for most of the night - wish I had as much energy (and less inhibitions)!!!

Lindsay Mason (my sister) with Paula Pascual (they were both tutoring over the weekend)

Dawn Bibby, Stephen, Rena and Amy (Dawn's niece)

The next day we were all up early (well, some of us were! ... the rest overslept, they shall remain nameless *LOL*) and down at the shop ready to set up the demonstration tables and await all the ladies arriving in a relay of coaches from 9am onwards so that they could indulge in some retail therapy and watch the various demos that were going on - I was working with alcohol inks and glitter so you can imagine the state of my fingers by the time we finished at lunchtime and headed back to the hotel to set up our tables for the afternoon "make and take" sessions!

There was hardly a moment to think, time for a quick lunch and begin to set up my table and then the ladies all poured in, eager to have a go at all the different projects available to do on the "make and take" tables.  Once again, it was a very busy few hours.  The project I was doing was a Beaded Dragonfly from my book.  Although not complicated, it was quite fiddly and we had a bit of a hiccup at the beginning when I realised the very tiny beads used in the project had too narrow a hole to allow the wire through (there can be a real variation in the hole size/shape of beads even if they are all listed as the same size), so I had to quickly swap them for a slightly larger bead and we started again .... after that, things went more smoothly and I hope that all the ladies who had a go at making dragonflies enjoyed themselves, they seemed to, and all planned to go home and create more of them.

Here are some pics of the dragonfly samples I had on display ......





The day ended at about 5.30pm and all that remained was to pack up, sit and relax with a drink for a short while, then catch my train home to Blackpool.  All in all, it had been quite an experience for me (but a positive one) ...... it was all new to me but turned out not to be quite so scarey as I thought it might be.  Big thanks to everyone for making me feel welcome and part of the "team" for the weekend!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Just to say .......

I'm going to be away for the next two days at Dawn Bibby's residential weekend over in Oswaldtwistle.  All packed and ready to go in the morning, back late Sunday night.  Never been before, so it'll be all new and exciting for me ...... pics and "report" after the weekend! 

I hope those who took part in the April Fools swap have received their cards by now, they were posted out Tuesday so hopefully they should all be reaching their destinations by this weekend.  Will wait till next week to post photos of the cards that came in for this swap.

Don't forget this month's "bird" swap - there's still plenty of time to join in with this one, even if you're posting from outside the UK.  I know there'll be some wonderful cards coming in for this swap, so you really don't want to miss out if this one takes your fancy!

So, whatever you're all planning to do with your weekends - enjoy! - and I'll catch up with you all again next week.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


So here we are again, first of the month, and it's time to post a new ATC swap - sorry it's a bit late in the day, but a friend dropped by this afternoon and this is the first chance I've had to get on the computer.

For this month's swap, I thought I would choose one of my current favourite themes - birds.  As in previous swaps, you will need to make three ATCs and as the title suggests, each card should have an image of a bird (or birds) on it plus an image of a person - you may create your cards in any style, medium or technique of your choosing.  Here is a pic of an ATC I made some while back, which has an image of both a bird and a face on it - but this one has long been swapped out .....

Details about the swap are posted in the sidebar - hope a lot of you are inspired to have a go at this one ..... I welcome swappers both here in the UK and overseas, the more the merrier!

Thank you to those who joined in last month's April Fools swap - I've now swapped the cards out, they're packed up and ready to go, but I'll wait until Tuesday, after the Bank Holiday weekend, to post them out - hope everyone enjoys their returns.