Saturday, 25 June 2011

Three Little Piggies

A couple of weeks or so ago, late one night the outside light went on and we spotted a rather plump-looking hedgehog troddling around in our back yard, hunting slugs no doubt, and then disappearing into our shed (through an arch my rather eccentric other half cut in the door years ago - in case any stray cats needed shelter)!!!  We kept a look out for another appearance, but apart from a brief glimpse the next night, that was it.

Yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon, Graham and I were sat outside by our little pond (it was a lovely sunny day) discussing things that needed doing in the garden, shrubs trimming, weeding, a couple of trees that have grown too big and have to be dealt with, when out from the shrubbery a couple of feet away from us appeared .........

not one .......
not two ....... 
but three baby hedgehogs .........
We were so thrilled to see them and I was able to dash indoors, grab my camera and get some pics - aren't they just so cute?  They were quite unconcerned by our presence, snuffling around for food and twitching their little noses.  Graham put out a bit of cat food for them and whilst two of the "babies" headed back off into the undergrowth, the first one we spotted (the cheekiest, boldest one) merrily tucked in.  A few hours later we saw him out again, finishing off the last of the cat food.  We feel so privileged to have a family of hedgehogs living in our garden, especially as they are quite a rare sight apparently nowadays. 

Here are a few more pics of our little "family" - a bright episode in the midst of a rather stressful week.

I'm afraid I've had no time at all this week to do any kind of crafting, a shame really as I was just enjoying getting stuck into the art journalling and had been making several ATCs - however, it can't be helped and it's just had to take a backseat for now. 

Meanwhile, I've had quite a few sign ups for my Bookmark Swap, which I'm pleased about - there's still loads of time to sign up for this if you fancy having a go (check it out in the sidebar under my profile and just email me if you're interested) - looking forward to seeing which books and authors everyone has chosen to  illustrate on their bookmarks.

Well, time to sign off for the night - it's been raining a good part of the evening and now the wind has got up a bit as well, not looking good for tomorrow - what a contrast to the lovely day we had yesterday. 

Friday, 17 June 2011

A New Swap (for the Book Lovers amongst you perhaps) ! .....

As promised, today I'm announcing a new challenge swap for you all .... but I thought just for a little change, we wouldn't do ATCs this time, but would create Bookmarks instead.  The theme would be "Books and Authors" and, as usual, you'll be making three, decorated on one side with imagery to reflect the book title and on the back, a little decoration and a few details about the author's life.  Although the bookmarks themselves will need to be flat, in order to make them practically useful, you can add plenty of fibres, ribbons, charms, etc, to the top edge for dangling outside the pages of your books.  There are so many wonderful books and writers to choose from (Will Shakespeare to Charles Dickens, Jane Austen to Catherine Cookson, JK Rowling to Roald Dahl - the list could go on and on) that you might have a hard time deciding which ones to select - just please make each of your bookmarks different (eg three separate books and authors).

I've added some details about the swap in the side bar on the right, under my profile, with a request that anyone interested in joining this swap, please email me first to sign up and I'll send out an information sheet containing full swap details along with where to send your finished bookmarks.

Here are some samples of bookmarks I made for a swap a couple of years back - they're quite simple, a bit narrower than the measurements I've given for my swap and the theme was a general one (I used 1920's stylish ladies in mine) - but they might give you some idea of what this swap is about (think ATCs, but just a bit longer!) ........

Well, I hope some of you fancy having a go at this one - you've got till the end of July to make them.  I'm sure there'll be some wonderful creations made and we'll all end up with some lovely bookmarks which we can use in our reading.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Just a quick post to say .......

..... thank you for the lovely comments about my ATCs; I enjoyed making them, and as the weather has been so yucky today, rain, rain and - guess what? - even more rain! - I carried on creating a card or two with the steampunk theme.  I've ideas for a couple more cards before I decide which three I'll be sending in for the Steampunk swap; the rest will be for general swapping.  (Still not posting pics of them though).

Anyway, what I really wanted to just say was that I've more or less decided what my next blog swap challenge will be, so watch this space - I'll be posting details later in the week - and I hope it's one that will appeal to many of you; I really need to have at least four people sign up for the swaps or else folks end up with some of their own work back.  So if you know anyone who's thinking about having a go at a swap or two and not sure, point them in this direction - it's all very friendly, newcomers and old friends, beginners and experts, all of you are welcome to join in the fun - and remember, it's purely for enjoyment!

Friday, 10 June 2011

This week I have mostly been making .......

...... ATCs!  The mood came upon me (at last) and I had a couple of sessions, making a mixed assortment of cards, some for a specific swap (no theme) and others to build up my depleted stash.  Nothing too fancy or complicated, but it felt good to be playing around with inks and papers again.  Here are pics of what I made.

These two cards were made for a monthly partner swap (no theme)

  The next few cards are an assortment I've made to keep for swapping out on a one-to-one basis:-

"Bird Call"
Background created with torn page from telephone directory and distress inked.  Stamped bird and word images.  Words cut from dictionary.  Finished with heart embellishment, paper flowers and Stickles.

"Dream Time"
Background created with alcohol inks using a "Spinart" machine.  Girl stamp (Craft Stamper freebie) tinted with Promarkers and extra circles stamped and adhered around card.  Time Holtz adage ticket (Dream) distressed and torn, with added eyelet and ribbon tie.  Finished off with adhesive stones and Stickles.

 "Gorgeous George"
Alcohol ink background stamped with Paperartsy image.  Embellished with paper flowers, buttons and fibre.  Word 'gorgeous' created with Dymo machine; 'George' from clothes label.

"Playful Days"
Background created using papers from Crafty Individuals mini books and seagulls from CI-278 rubber stamp plate.  Beach belle image from a Somerset Studio free sheet.  Embellished with inked fibre, shells and Beadazzles.

The last ATC I want to show you today is one that I've made for a monthly draw in one of my online groups.  Each month there is a draw for ATCs, the winner takes all the ATCs that have been entered that month and chooses the theme for the following month - this month it's "Pigs" and as I do like pigs (I absolutely loved the mother pig with all her squeaking little baby piggies in the Woodentops when I was a child - anyone remember them?) and I remembered I had a 'pig' stamp lurking somewhere, I just had to make one.  So this is my entry for this month  - won't know till the end of the month who is the winner - but it would be rather nice to have a collection of 'pig' cards:-

I really love all the Steampunk art that's around at the moment and was tempted to join a swap for Steampunk ATCs, so I've had a go at making a few in that style this week - been rummaging around in my stash for old watch parts, metal washers, tiny glass jars and bulbs, anything I can lay my hands on that can be interpreted in a steampunk style, plus going through old encyclopedias I have with Victorian/steam/industrial machinery image in them (I picked up a set of 8 very old but not rare cyclopedias - yes, that's what they're called - for £3 at a car boot fair some years back and they're full of line drawings and maps).  So far I've made four cards and halfway through a fifth, but the swap's not due yet so I won't post any pictures until they've gone out.

Look at my little cheeky madam Mia having a good rootle around in my bin just now - she's obsessed with bits of paper so she's in heaven rummaging about amongst all the crafty rubbish! (Note the stack of dictionaries - great charity shop finds and an endless supply of words).

And what's this fearsome creature with the sharp fangs and gaping mouth ..... is it a monster or is it a devil?  No .... it's Mia, leaping up and attacking the strap of my camera!  (What a good game that was)!

Hopefully, I'll be able to get a bit more crafting done over the weekend, one or two different projects I'm starting on, plus slowly adding some more pages to my art journal.  Might be time to run another challenge/swap on the blog too - if anyone fancies it and enough people are interested in joining in.  ATCs - or something different ...... what do you think?