Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Month in Numbers - January 2012

Over on the Notes on Paper blog you will find the 'Month In Numbers' challenge, to document each month based on various numbers.

So for January 2012, my Month in Numbers is...

1,000's the number of pieces DH Kidney stone was smashed into when he had surgery at the beginning of the month - Thank you to all those who have posted good wishes for his recovery, he is doing very well and recovering nicely :)

6 lbs of weight put on over Christmas & New Year.  Now the work starts to loose the weight again

7 years since Holly, my first Barn Owl, died. She was 11 years old & like Ufo (read about Ufo here)she had her own personality, however in many ways Holly was the complete opposite.  Holly was very reserved and her relationship with us was very much on her terms. 

She came into my care when she was about 2 years old, she had been released into the wild by her previous owner (who was never found), we also know that she had been mistreated and suffered a broken hip which was never treated by a vet! 

Over time & with much love and kindness Holly trusted me (and later my DH) and allowed us into her life. 

16 New Stamps: During this month I have brought 1 Tatty Button stamp and 15 Lili of the Valley (although 12 of the Lili of the Valley stamps were in one pack).

47 People who attended the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Computer Group Meeting in January to listen to both DH & myself - DH was covering 'What is a Computer?' as part of the new Back to Basics series of talks. My talk was 'Explaining Blogs' and it went down very well - So a Big Hello to anyone from CFHS

10 Eddie Stobart vehicles that I have been able to identify by name - taking me to Number 3400 in the Spotters League Table!!  I know it is slightly sad LOL, but it is also fun :-)

6 1/2 lbs of weight I have lost this month.  I am so pleased that I have been able to loose all of the weight that I put on over Christmas/New Year, I can now start working towards my next 'Sliver Seven' :-)

8 Snowdrops in the Garden.  When we had the fence replaced last month I was afraid that my Snowdrop bulbs might have been disturbed.  Over the years I have put so many Snowdrop bulbs into the garden, but they only ever grow in one little corner (right by the fence!!)  However they have now burst into flower. I only ever would get a single flower, but the bunch has slowly got bigger over the last few years.

Less is More - Sketch (Take 2,3 & 4)

This week the sketch challenge over on the Less is More blog looked so simple, but very few of the ideas I had really looked any good.

This morning I have had several attempts, but I am only submitting 1 for the challenge, although I have included the others here.  Out of the 3 photos I have put them in the order in which I like them with the best one first...
A white card blank, with a Gold Mirror Card (Matt finish) and topped with 2 small images from Design House Crafts, the sentiment is a gold peel-off.

A textured card blank with the Gold Mirror Card (Matt finish) embossed with balloons, the sentiment is again a gold peel-off.

This time a red card blank, with an embossed strip of Gold Mirror Card (Matt finish) and a strip of flower paper from Do Crafts, the sentiment is a gold peel-off.

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions - You have until 5pm on the 1st February 2012 to enter, Good Luck.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Less is More - Sketch

This is a very quick post just before I leave the house...  The Less is More challenge this week is to follow a sketch...

For our challenge this week we have a SKETCH and we have a few basic ground rules.
We would like the card to be
  • rectangular
  • in landscape orientation
  • with the band remaining in a vertical position 
So after quite a bit of thinking, mainly at stupid times of the morning this is my 1st attempt...

I used a basic White A6 card blank and added a strip of Black card stock, the card stock had been cut using one of the cartridges from the Woodware Boarder Punch system.  I then threaded a sparkly gold ribbon through the holes and added a black Thank You peel-off for my sentiment.

A very quick & easy card to make and one which I do like :-)  The question now is will I be able to give it away????

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions - You have until 5pm on the 1st February 2012 to enter, Good Luck.

Sweet Stampin' Challenge - Animal

Over on the 'Sweet Stampin' Challenge Blog' the topic for this week is Animals.

Here is my entry for the challenge this week, I used a stamp which was free with a magazine a while ago, along with a Little Claire Designs sentiment.  The background paper is from Do Crafts.

This is quite a simple card and in some ways I found it difficult to create (especially where to place the zebra & sentiment), but I felt that the colours went together really well.

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions - You have until 5pm on the 1st February 2012 to enter, Good Luck.


Good morning all... this will be the first of several quick posts this morning (and it is not even 8am!!!)

Both today & tomorrow I am on a course, but as we don't start until 10am I  have about 1 1/2 hours before I have to leave home.  DH has left for work, so I have just finished his Valentines Card (but you will still have to wait until the 14th before you can see it - am I a tease or wot??) & I am adding a couple of cards that I have completed at the end of last week.

On Wednesday last week I had the urge to do some Decoupage, because I don't do the fine cutting that is sometimes needed for Decoupage I had spotted some Dufex Craft Products sheets featuring 2 die-cut decoupage images.

The only thing I find with Decoupage is that it does not take many layers to become very bulky (especially if being sent by post!).  With this in mind I created 4 decoupage images (alternating the layers), here are 3 of the 'toppers':

The other 'topper' was used on this card:

I added some white paper behind the image as it was just getting lost on the background.  The background paper is from a Do-Crafts paper pack, the sentiment is a sliver peel-off.

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions - You have until 5pm on the 1st February 2012 to enter, Good Luck.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Spring is in the Air

Well, as far as our European Eagle Owl (Delta) is concerned Spring has started & he is looking for a Girlfriend.

What he can't seem to understand his that DH & I are not European Eagle Owls (LOL) and every time we go outside he starts trying to woo us. 

Every evening when we give him his food, he tries to give it back to us, which is exactly what he would do with a female owl.  Boy is he confused!!!!

I have just been outside to photo the Snowdrops in the garden & decided to try and get a few pictures of Delta as well.  I did try to upload a video clip but I could not get it to work :-(

Here is Delta in his next box, he is doing his impersonation of a Chicken with his tail stuck up through his wings and hooting at me.
Sorry about the scary looking eyes - the flash on the camera turns them red/pink

Do I Really Need....

More ProMarkers????

This is a tough question - the difference between Want & Need?? 

The reason for the question is simple, I have seen on several Blogs & Forums about the new range of "Spring 2012" ProMarker colours.

•Budding Rose
•March Hare
•Daffodil Bloom
•Fresh Meadow
•April Shower
•Morning Mist

Apparently some stores are taking Pre-Orders, but does anyone know which ones???  or do I wait until I go to the show at the NEC in March???

Decisions, Decisions - The logical part of me is telling me to wait until the NEC, but the impatient part of me says I need them Now!

Which do I choose.... now or later...  that is the question, I just don't know!!!! 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

WOYWW 25 January 2012

I can't believe that it is Wednesday again... therefore it is time to have a look at the workdesks all over the craft world with Julia at 'Stamping Ground'.

My workspace is a bit 'Hush Hush' this week, and you will only get a tiny picture... why??? Well on February 14th it is a very big day for couples (need I say more!).

This year I have decided to make my Valentines Card for DH, the only slight hicup with that is that he does look at this Blog from time to time & I don't want him seeing his card before the 14th!

So here is a tiny sneak peak...

I got out my original sizzix dies & my Guilding flakes for this part of the card. As for the rest... well you will just have to wait until after Valentines Day.

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions.

Monday, 23 January 2012

White on White

I have created this card for the Sweet Stampin' Challenge this week, which is...
White on White
"All card stock & paper used should be white, but your image can be coloured any way you wish. Embellishments should also be mainly white.  See, we're not too strict as long as the overall card is mainly white, we're happy!  We just want you to enjoy creating."

This is the first time I have attempted a White on White card, and I must say that I am pleased with the card that I created.  This card also features one of the Lili of the Valley stamps that I brought a couple of weeks ago.

As many of you will know my shading skills with my ProMarkers are not very advanced, but I have been able to achieve a look that I am pleased with :-)

Ok so enough typing, here is the card:
Well, what else can I say, the embossing folder was a free one with a magazine (using the same 300gsm card used to create the card), the flowers are from Papermania & I have used White Candie for the centres (you can't see it in the photo, but the Candie has a slight glitter finish).

I am also submitting this card in the I Love ProMarkers Challenge this week "Anything Goes".

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions.

Cut it Out

No I don't want you to stop reading my Blog!!!! In this case "Cut it Out" refers to the Less is More Challenge for this week!

"Cut it Out"
For this we would like to see some kind of hole or aperture in your card!

I had plenty of ideas for this challenge, however when I sat down to start work I completed one, only to realise that it was NOT Less is More & I got a bit carried away!!!!  So this is take 2 - and it is LiM :-)

I used a Little Claire Designs stamp from the 'Window' set and coloured it with my ProMarkers.  After cutting the aperture in the card I knew that I wanted to suspend the image inside of the aperture but had to think about how I wanted to do this.  I then found a piece of acetate sitting on the desk, after cutting a strip about 1cm wide I placed that behind the stamped image and use the card cut from the aperture to back the image (& hiding the acetate strip).

This close up shows the image suspended in the aperture...

I am also submitting this card in the I Love ProMarkers challenge for this week, which is "Anything Goes".

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

How To... Make a Never Ending Card

Over the last month I have shared with you a couple of Never Ending Cards that I have made & I promised to create a How To...

So here is it... How to make a Never Ending Card.  First a quick recap for those who don't know what a Never Ending Card is.  All is explained (with pictures) on THIS Post.

The instructions to create the card base are very easy, however you do need to create the base BEFORE you decorate it.

My card when finished will be 14cm square.  The size you decide on is up to you as long as it is square & the length of any side can be divided by 4 it will work.

Cut 4 pieces of card 14cm x 7cm
Score each piece of card along the long edge at 3.5cm & 10.5cm; and along the short edge at 3.5cm - DO NOT fold the pieces yet (if you do it will make the next 3 steps very hard!!)
Place 2 pieces along side each other vertically - add glue to the 4 corners (I used Double Sided Sticky Tape)
Place another piece of card horizontally on top of the first 2 - Ensure that the outside edges are lined up.  Then add the remaining piece horizontally
Now you can start to fold the score lines until you are able to easily move to each side - See following pictures for more detail:
Fold outwards from the centre
Fold up/down from the centre
Fold outwards from the centre
Fold up/down from the centre

You are now back at the front again & you have completed one revolution of your Never Ending Card
Once your card is moving freely from one side to the next you can start to decorate each side as you wish.

Happy Card Making

What a Surprise!

I have just been looking at the various Blogs that I subscribe to and found to my surprise that I have won a Little Claire Designs stamp featured on their Showcase yesterday :-)

What a great start to a weekend.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Book of Me Pages

Something I started a number of years ago was a 'Book of Me' featuring Scrapbook layouts about me as a person and DH & I as a couple.

I had not added any pages to this album for a while, however I had decided that I wanted to scrap something that happened before we were even engaged.  At the same time that I was thinking about how to scrap this topic I was scratching my head about what embellishments to use on the page. 

Then Little Claire Designs issued their Blog Challenge for January... Anything but a Card...  After looking though both my digi & clear stamps I had made a decision.

The reason for all of this head scratching about the embellishments is this... DH & I were unwrapping fridge magnets from their bubble wrap packaging to put them on sale, I told DH "I'll Unbubble 'em & you hang 'em up".  I should say at this point that DH & I share a sometimes silly sense of humour, this conversation got sillier & sillier until we had created a place called Usngus (otherwise know as Us 'n Gus).  Before too long we had created a Map of Usngus... this map was what I wanted to scrap!!

I know it is a bit of a long story, but just in case you were unable to read the journalling on the photo, I though I would explain all here.  
Right hand layout
This pair of owls was from Little Claire Designs & coloured with my ProMarkers

I am entering these into 2 challenges:
Little Claire Designs - Anything but a Card
I Love ProMarkers - Anything Goes

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

One Layer Card - Birds

I have been busy this week and have completed a entry for the Less is More challenge Blog, the topic this week is:
with the subject of
Remember to add NO additional layers and to keep embellishments to a minimum.
My One Layer Card had a couple of false starts, I know what I wanted to achieve but it did not happen (I hate it when that happens!!)  So attempt number 3 is the one I was happy with:
I have used 2 stamps from Little Claire Design and decided that for once I did not want to colour them using ProMarkers (& yes I am feeling OK).  So after a bit of searching I found my box of chalks & using a few cotton buds & cottonwool balls I ended up with this card.
Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions.

All That Glitters

The topic over on the Sweet Stampin' Challenge is:
All that Glitters - The theme this week is "glitter, bling, shine, sparkle"...get the idea?? You can make anything you like as long as it fits the theme and has something that has been stamped.
For this challenge I have created my first Triangle Card (as seen in the 'Lets Make Cards' magazines) & I must say that I was pleased with the way it looks. 

I have added a stamp from Little Musings (coloured with my trusty ProMarkers). I also used some ribbon out of my stash & some split pearls.  As for the Glitter, well the photo does not show it very well... I have glitter on her wings & the flowers in her hair.  In addition the ribbon has a glitter edge to it as well.
Happy Stamping :)

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions.

WOYWW - 18 January 2012

Once again it is Wednesday & today I have this afternoon off work - Every year we are given annual leave, but I always seem to end up having a mad panic in January to use up what I have left, so between now and the end of March I have various days dotted in the calendar. 

So this afternoon my plan is....  To practise using my ProMarkers, I have stamped a number of images to colour (Including my new Lili of the Valley images and some Little Claire Designs Digi Stamps)

For WOYWW I am abandoning my desk for today and basing myself on the sofa, the TV will be on in the background, add to that easy access to the kitchen & kettle & I will be well away, however no Chocolate will be in sight as I WILL reach a Size 12 by August!!!!!!

I am currently watching the Michael McIntyre Christmas Comedy Roadshow (saved from Christmas), however, I have had to stop colouring because I was laughing too much LOL - My favourite bit was Michael singing 'Fairytale of New York' I laughed so much that I had to reach for the tissues ROFLMAO

Here is my attempts so far...

Happy WOYWW.

Don't Forget: If you want a chance to win my Blog Candy click here & follow the instructions.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Its a Good Day

As today is the 2nd Saturday of the month we have a standing commitment for Cambridgeshire Family History Society (CFHS).  Since May 2004 DH & I have been going down to Cambridge to deliver talks for the Computer Group.  This is now the most popular monthly event that CFHS runs.

This month 47 people attended and DH gave a talk about 'What is a Computer?' looking at the insides of the computer and trying to show people that they don't need to be scared of computers.  As for me I was talking about... Blogs. 

One of my loves is Training & until recently I was an IT Trainer at Work, now things have moved on & I now concentrate on e-Learning.  However today my talk has left me on a 'High', for anyone who has trained people and gets the 'Buzz' from standing in front of a group of people and training you will know what I am talking about.

Sorry if this post is a bit rambling, but I am currently so high and have not quite come back down to earth.  However I wanted to tell the world, and what better way than putting a post on "Helen's World".

Happy Satuday to everyone

Friday, 13 January 2012

Lili of the Valley & Tatty Button

My Lili of the Valley has arrived (cheer) the bad news is that I doubt that I will get chance to play during the weekend!

At the beginning of the week I also ordered a Tatty Button stamp which arrived on Wednesday, I did get chance (before going to Weight Watchers) to have a quick play last night.  Here is my first attempt, and I am quite pleased with my colouring using the ProMarkers.

All I need to do now is find the time to sit & play.

Spots & Dots

While on a recent Blog Hop, I came across the 'Sweet Stampin' Challenge' Blog and decided to join in.

This week the topic is: SPOTS & DOTS

The image is a Little Claire Designs digi stamp coloured with ProMarkers.  The ribbon & card stock came from a 'Lets Make Cards' magazine.

Weight Watchers - Celebration

Just a quick post to celebrate a good weight loss week...

I was very good this week and managed to loose 3.5lb

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WOYWW - 11 January 2012

I don't know about anyone else, but I am having problems typing 2012... it takes so long and I normally have to delete an extra 1 (I don't know why LOL) before I type the second 2!!!

Ok, back to the subject of this post... 'What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday' with Julia at Stamping Ground.

My desk this week is a bit untidy.  My "Handmade by:" stamp has arrived and I am in the process of stamping the details onto each card that I have made. So cards are scattered everywhere (even the floor) while the ink dries.

As for what my stamp looks like, here it is...

Now if my Lili of the Valley stamps arrive in the post this afternoon I will be set for hours LOL

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

10 Things... January 2012

Shimelle Laine runs 10 Things on the 10th of each month.  
This list of 10 things has been hard to put together, I have been planning it for 2 months but needed to find the right time to work on the list and find the photos.

On Saturday 19th November 2011, Ufo our Little Owl (the picture on the Right of my banner) died.  I had fed her as normal on the Friday evening and she was fine, on Saturday morning I found her in her nest box.  It looked as if she had fallen asleep and did not wake up.

So my list of 10 Things is month is...

10 Things about Ufo:

1. She hatched on 8 June 1996 along with a brother & sister
This photo was taken when Ufo was 6 weeks old.  It was the first time that I had seen her and I fell in love...
2. On 8 August 1996 she moved in to live with me & my parents

    Ufo at 10 weeks old, she was now starting to bond with me, she would even sit on the glove for short periods of time (plenty of patience was required!!)
3. Initially she lived in the Kitchen until she was fully feathered and could move outside to the aviary.  Back then I would eat my breakfast while sat on the floor with Ufo running around the floor.  One morning she found a current that had fallen on the floor (mum had been baking) and she ate it!!!  An owl is not designed to eat currents (only meat) and I was really worried about how her digestive system would cope.  Later that evening the panic was over when I found a pellet (the leftovers) which included a current!

4. When Ufo was 10 1/2 months old DH took her picture for the first time & she cast her spell over him too!
    Ufo's first photo shoot, and she behaved very well.  This was to be the first of many photos taken of her in various trees over the years
5. As Ufo started to show her personality we soon found that that she was no Angel, she would regularly get into trouble, but she kept looking so sweet and innocent...

After a quick flight she landed on this candle holder... luckily the candle had not been lit.  She was always getting into everything that a Little Owl should avoid!
6. When DH & I got Married in 1998 Ufo (& Holly, my Barn Owl) joined us at the Wedding. They sat in their travel boxes in the Registry Office and were present for the Reception - After all both Ufo & Holly were my babies!

This is not the greatest picture of us, but the only one we have with the Kids... when this picture was taken we were both talking to the kids!
7.  For Christmas in 1999 I asked DH if we could have a real Christmas Tree, he agreed (provided I cleared up all the needles LOL).  Once we had decorated the tree we needed a special Fairy...

Our Little Christmas Fairy
8.  Ufo loved to have a shower, but only when it rained (and the rain was not too heavy). We found it very difficult to get any pictures of her having a shower - as soon as she saw the camera she would stop!  But when she got wet, she really got very wet...

Is it a Little Owl or a Drowned Rat??
9. Each year Ufo would scare us, normally on 22 April (or within 3-5 days) she would start to lay her eggs.  This is one of the most dangerous things any female bird can do and over the years we have known several owls who have died while trying to lay eggs. 
Each year Ufo laid between 3 & 6 eggs, she would then spend 30-40 days sitting on them.  Not that the eggs would hatch!
10. Over the last 15.5 years Ufo has met and touched many people, even helping some of them overcome bird phobias.  Ufo loved to be the centre of attention, she loved to be hugged and stroked. All of our other owls preferred to be stroked on the tummy - Ufo was different!! She preferred to be stroked on the head & back.  To make life easier for Ufo if we had visitors who wanted to meet her we would sit them down and cover their lap with her tea towel, Ufo would then sit on the tea towel.  If you stopped stroking her she was even known to head-butt you to encourage you to continue!

In many ways creating this list of 10 things was easy, I have so many memories of Ufo, but there are too many to include here today.  In another way it was also very hard, especially to realise that she was 1 in a million and no other owl could ever come close to being the big hearted creature that she was. 

Over the last 10 months her health had started to decline, she had a cataract in her left eye and was starting to lose the sight in her right eye (if she had not already lost it completely).  She was also having problems keeping on weight and I had needed to increase the amount of food that she was given to keep her weight stable.

While writing this list I have rewritten it several times and cried many tears.  Despite this, Ufo brought so much joy into my life as well of that of so many other people. She was even partly responsible for getting DH & me together as a couple. How something so small could make such a difference in so many lives I will never know - but she did.

I will always miss her as she was so special, but I know that she is now truly flying free.

Ufo, Little Owl
(1996 - 2011)