Sunday, 29 August 2010

"Of the Sea" Torso ATC

The final week's torso atc challenge at SCD is "Of the Sea" and I was quite pleased when I read this, because I'd already created a sea-themed torso (1) because I was having so much fun making "torso" cards and (2) because I was already creating some sea-themed cards for the seaside swap on my blog.  This is the card I made and which will be joining the other torsos to be swapped out by Carol from "Something Completely Different".
I inked up the background and stamped text from Crafty Individual's new seaside stamp set CI-278 onto it.  I stamped the "bather" from the same set onto white card, then coloured it with some Pro Markers and layered it onto the card with the stamped sun.  I finished by adhering some frayed hessian, shells and stickles to the bottom of the card and around the edges.

I created another torso atc with a vintage seaside feel, in more muted, sepia tones, this afternoon - but haven't taken a photo of it yet ...... I haven't made my mind up yet whether it'll be going out as part of my Seaside ATC swap or whether it'll be going into my own stash of cards for swapping.

I'm pleased to say that I've now received all the cards for this swap - and some beauties there are too! - so I plan on sorting these out over the Bank Holiday and posting them out soon as I can.  Don't forget I'll be posting the new monthly ATC swap sometime on Wednesday (1st September), so pop back then if you want to see what the theme is!

Hope you're all enjoying a lovely extended holiday weekend, whatever you're doing - no big plans here, just general pottering about and doing a bit of art when I can. 

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Red and Black Torso ATC

Well, after my lovely day out yesterday and then popping over to see my parents this morning, I've been able to spend a bit of time this afternoon making my torso atc for this week's Red and Black challenge at SCD.  I already knew the kind of card I wanted to create and had found a suitable image - it was just a case of putting it all together and hoping it turned out okay ..... and here it is .......
For the background, which you actually don't see much of in the finished ATC, I used some black velvety card cut from a cologne box that my son had finished with and asked if I wanted (the family are so well-trained nowadays - don't throw anything away till they've checked with me first! *LOL*).  I then attached a luxuriously soft red feather and added the image of the young lady, at the same time wrapping part of her body with some lacy red fabric.  I also added a lacy flower, button filled with silver stickles and a red heart, plus a black gauzy flower with a red gem centre and another red gem in the top right corner.  Stuck the word "pose" across her back and added more silver stickles around the edges and under the flower.

Hope you like it!

Birthday Thanks

It was my birthday today (well, actually, as it's now well-past midnight, strictly speaking it was yesterday) and I took the train over to Manchester for a girls day out with Lindsay - we had a lovely time together - Starbucks for coffee and toasted fruit bread (delicious!), a lot of (window) shopping with a bit of actual shopping thrown in (I picked up a couple of blank books, including one with Indian handmade paper from recycled cotton rags, for some future art journalling) and a yummy lunch (chilli king prawns for starters and meatball spaghetti) at Bella Italia in the Arndale Centre.  The day began very, very wet and windy - in fact, it was really horrible - but by the time we finished our lunch, the sun had come out and the skies had turned blue.  By the time I got home in the evening, I was feeling pretty tired (and I know my feet certainly were!), so I've just chilled out all night with my feet up, a sip or two of wine and a few chocs. 

And I have to say a big thank you to everyone who sent me a birthday card - Gez, Hazel, Chris and Joanne and Terry (with a beautiful bouquet of freesias and carnations too) - I don't know who the naughty little birdie was who told you all it was my birthday *LOL* !  Once again, thanks everyone for making today (yesterday) such a special day! 

Now I really should switch off the computer and go to bed or I'll be too tired to get up in the morning!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

"Memories" Torso ATC for SCD Challenge

The theme for this week's torso ATC for the SCD Challenge is "Memories".  I struggled a bit at first with this one as I had an idea in my head what I wanted it to be about, then when I began, nothing seemed to work - it was all a bit of a hotch-potch and I wasn't very happy with it.  However, I played around a bit more with the card until now I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out.  My torso is a remembrance of all the wonderful and different cats that my family and I have had the honour of sharing our lives with over the years.

The background was some Crafty Individuals paper, inked and edged with a gold Krylon pen.  The stamped cat heads are from a Hampton Art Stamp - Kitty Tiles 4578 - coloured with Promarkers and pencils, edged with gold.  I used rub-on words on the background, plus other word stickers, covered with Glossy Accents and Beadazzles.  I love the little "heart with wings" charm which I inked with Butterscotch alcohol ink as it was originally silver.  I finished by wrapping some wool fibres around the "cherish" sticker - rather appropriate as cats love playing with wool.

Hope you like it.  I'm really enjoying the challenge of creating cards with this torso shape, to the extent that I've made one of my "Seaside" swap cards with a torso and plan on making another one.  Looking forward on Friday to seeing what the subject of next week's torso will be and to swapping all of them out at the end of the month.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

"Out of Africa" ATC Photos

Now that everyone has received their cards from this swap, I thought I'd post pics of them all (yes, I remembered to take photos this time!) so you can all enjoy seeing them.

Ali Brandist
Chris Bedford
Gez Butterworth
Joanne Parkin
LuAnne Boyce
Sheila King

As you can see, lots of wonderful-looking cards and it was interesting to see all the different interpretations of them. 

(For anyone who wants to, there's still time to make and send cards for this month's "Seaside" themed ATC swap - they're not due to me until 31st August - and I can promise you, I've received some very gorgeous cards for this swap already)!

Finally -

A Bit of an Update:  The teenager who attacked Graham was in court again last Monday and we've now been informed that he will be appearing before the Youth Court (he's only 16) on 31st August for his case to be dealt with.  Graham does not have to attend (unless he wants to - he doesn't) so it looks like the "little darling" has decided to plead guilty after all.  I'll post again about this when we hear what the outcome is, but as he's only 16 years of age he's not likely to get as heavy a sentence as if he'd been an adult.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

SCD Challenge - A "Bling" Torso ATC

I decided to join in the challenge over at Something Completely Different (link in sidebar) - it looked so much fun, I couldn't resist having a go.  The challenge theme for August is "Torsos" - we have to create and decorate a torso-shaped ATC, this week it has to have "bling", so this is what I made:-

I drew my own torso-shape to fit an ATC then covered it with paper from Crafty Individuals' "Travels in Italy" book.  I stamped the female image in Staz-On Vibrant Violet and the "Goddess" word in D.I. Dusty Concord (both stamps from Invoke Arts).  I edged the torso with more Dusty Concord and a Gold Krylon pen.  I stamped another script flower (a freebie from Craft Stamper mag) in the top right corner, using Brilliance Cosmic Copper ink, brushed with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls.

I stamped sript in black ink over two paper flowers, then attached them with a gemstone brad, then rubbed a bit of Rock Candy Distress Stickles over them.  I added a feather, a bit of glitzy rik-rak, dictionary words, a small heart gem and finished off with more Stickles in gold and lavender, sprinkled with Beadazzles.

What do you think?  It's quite sparkly in "real life" so I hope it's 'blingy' enough for the swap at the end of the month.  I really enjoyed making this so will be looking out for next week's challenge - this is the first time I've joined in an SCD challenge (or any online challenge actually), but I don't think it will be the last!

Oh - and before I go - I thought I'd just mention that Lindsay has created another blog where she - and you - can let off steam and have a good rant (with a little bit of humour thrown in as well) about anything that's "got you going" recently! 

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Wow, that was quick!  No sooner had I posted that there was a place available for the Grunge Chunky Book swap than I was emailed by two people wanting to take part.  So congrats to Hilda for being the first person to get in touch and sorry to Elaine for missing out by 10 minutes - hope you're not too disappointed, but would love to have you join in any future challenges I post.

For all those of you in the Grunge Swap - please make a note that the new deadline for this is now 7TH SEPTEMBER, which I'm sure will be appreciated by those still working on their pages !

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Unfortunately, one of the ladies who originally signed up for the "Grunge" chunky book swap has just let me know that she is unable to participate due to unexpected personal issues.  I know this is very short notice now as the pages are due back to me on 31st August, but is there anyone out there who fancies the challenge of making nine pages (each with a particular theme) for this swap?  I promise you will be in for a treat with the finished book you receive back, judging by the pages I've received so far.  If it makes it any easier, I can extend the deadline by an extra week, but must restrict it to people in the UK due to the time factor.

For those already in this swap, I'm sorry for this bit of disappointment - if I can't find another person to participate, you will each be receiving one set of two pages created by the same person (if that makes sense?).  Here's pics of my latest pages, which might inspire someone to have a go:-

"Take Flight"

"The Timekeeper"

So - if anyone wants to take part, please email me ASAP - it will be a case of first come, first served - and I will send you full details of the page size, themes, etc.  You will find brief details in the sidebar on the right, but please ask, if you have any more questions.  

Now - have I tempted anyone?

Monday, 2 August 2010

Quick Update

Just a quick update to say that I took Graham to the doctor's this morning and he was given a thorough checking over - relieved to say no cracked ribs, "just" severe bruising all down that side over his ribs, which is causing a lot of the pain, so has been given some anti-inflammatories (I think that's right!) to help with this.  Apart from that, nothing more serious lurking that we hadn't spotted.  He also had a call from the victim support people today to check how he is.  We won't know what happened at court this morning (only the initial appearance) for a few days unless Graham rings them up later on to find out about it.  He's still shaky but at least today he's managed to walk down to the shop again and back - he suddenly decided that he need to do that now, the longer he left it the more likely he'd be to not want to go out again.  So that was a good sign. 

Sunday, 1 August 2010


Okay, after all the excitement of the last couple of days, time to concentrate on the new ATC swap for this month.  As we are now into the month of August and the summer holidays are in full swing, I thought it would be fun to create some cards with the theme of the "Seaside", one of my favourites and I hope will appeal to you too - you can create with any technique and in any style you like - I rather like adding those vintage bathing beauties to my cards and "here's one I made earlier" *LOL* .........

Funnily enough, after I had decided that this was going to be the theme for August, I received an email from Crafty Individuals with all their newly-released products and would you believe, they've brought out one of those wonderful little 6" x 6" books of decorative papers with the theme of The Seaside, plus a new plate of rubber stamps with a seaside theme (including the phrase "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside"), so I think it was meant to be, don't you?  Go check these products out by clicking on the Crafty Individuals link and don't blame me if you're tempted to go shopping!  :o)

Looking forward to seeing what you all create.  Full details of how to join the swap are in the sidebar to the right.  Oh - and a quick update on last month's swap, Out of Africa - I'm just waiting on one set of cards to reach me, the post office has been slow delivering them and hopefully they should be with me tomorrow and then I can swap them all out in the next day or so.

Update on Yesterday

Thank you, everyone, for your supportive and concerned comments about what happened to Graham yesterday.  Today, he's feeling the aches and bruising a bit more, but there don't appear to be any deeper serious physical problems and, yes, I have tried my very best to persuade him to go to the hospital or the walk-in centre even, but he's a stubborn old so-and-so and has a big fear of hospitals, so has refused point-blank ..... short of giving him a knock-out punch myself, there's no way I can get him there!  Just monitoring and keeping a watchful eye, but it's emotionally that it's hitting him now, the shock has set in, he's feeling shaky and not wanting to step outside the house right now ...... can you believe he actually said HE felt ashamed because he couldn't defend himself!!!!  Put him straight rightaway about that!  It's just going to take time to recover.

We had another call from the police today, the photos they took yesterday weren't professional enough for the courts, so someone from CID is coming along in the next few hours to take fresh ones (photographer has just turned up now as I type).  Apparently, the lovely little thug who threw the punch is appearing in court in the morning, being charged with "actual bodily harm" - he's sort of admitting it, but was trying to say that it was self-defence because Chad had a stick and that Graham approached them first!  Can you believe it?  But there are too many witnesses corroborating the truth and that that is just a pack of lies.  So let's hope he gets put away somewhere for as long as can be.  Will keep you updated!

Generally, where we live is fine, it's not a rough area, the neighbours all get along, and there's not usually any serious trouble - it's just every now and again, you get these troublemakers turning up - these weren't from round here, just happened to know someone who lives nearby unfortunately.  I hope they get all they deserve!

Right ...... well, enough of all this nastiness ...... time for something a lot more pleasant.  Today is the first of the month, so it's time for a new ATC swap ...... will go and post up details now.

A horrible thing happened today ........

....... My husband was attacked.  He and a friend had just spent a pleasant couple of hours down at the Mere, doing a spot of bird-watching (the feathered variety), and on the way home stopped off at our local corner shop.  The friend stayed in the car whilst Graham went into the shop ....... meanwhile, three teenagers were gathered nearby, hurling abuse at everyone who passed by, making threats to "cut or knife" someone, etc, etc, obviously out of their heads on something (this was at 4.30pm in the afternoon!).  As Graham came out of the shop, they started shouting abusive remarks at him - the next thing, they came over and started to attack him - the most vicious of them gave him a hard punch to the side of his head and floored him to the ground (luckily he didn't bang his head on the kerb) and he lost consciousness for several moments.

Luckily, our friend Chad saw what was happening and leapt out of the car to help, carrying a walking stick he keeps in his car for hill walking, and waving it around to ward them off (he didn't use it on them at all as a weapon) - I think he did elbow one in the face who was coming at him though - these cowardly thugs then started to try and provoke him to "come and have a go", but were backing off at the same time.  The assistant behind the counter in the shop saw what was happening and called the police, then returned Graham's glasses to him which had been knocked off in the attack (fortunately they weren't broken); several other people including the shop owner witnessed the whole incident.  Chad meanwhile managed to get Graham back into the car and drove him home. 

You can imagine what a fit I had when I heard what had happened and saw the state he was in ...... Graham is not able to walk any distance at the best of times, he has a lot of constant pain in his back, hip and leg, and is not very steady, has to take things slowly, so stood no chance against these yobs ...... his elbow was all bloodied and scraped open, also his knee, with scratches across his right temple, and the worst of it being a lot of bruising developing over his left ear where he had been punched ..... despite all our best efforts, he refused to go up to A&E to be checked over (concussion, etc) so I've had to keep an eye on him all evening to see he is okay ....... the pain is subsiding a bit, but his arm and shoulder are starting to stiffen up with the soreness, so I imagine he may feel very tender by tomorrow.  He's also feeling pretty shook up emotionally, of course, and realising he can't hold his own the same nowadays as he might have been able to do in his younger days. 

Two policewomen visited shortly afterwards to check how Graham was and to say that they had two of the attackers in their van and were taking them into custody.  They would be back later to get a statement from Graham and photos of all his injuries, which they did.  It was about 9pm by the time everything was done.  At the moment it looks like the main offender is going to admit to it all (at one point they were trying to plead it was self-defence because Chad had a "bat"!!!! - a complete and total lie!) but if he changes his mind Graham will be asked to attend court if necessary. 

So ....... not a very pleasant way to spend an evening, but it could have been so much worse - if Chad hadn't been there, I'm certain they would have all laid into Graham and kicked his head in whilst he was on the ground and that would have been that, one kick would've been enough before anyone in the shop could have got there to help - how many times have we heard about these kinds of incidents in recent years and how often innocent people have lost their lives because of these teenage gangs?  It's such a terrible thing to happen and a big knock to one's security and confidence.  I just hope Graham recovers his sooner rather than later.  But it makes you worry about going outside, wondering if you're going to meet up with them again or other violent teenagers.

Let us hope that these yobs get their just desserts and the maximum punishment they can be given for what they did - too often they get away with it, but enough is enough!  It just makes me so mad!!!