Sunday, July 16, 2006

Time to play catch up!

No photos today, I'm afraid - just some of my ramblings! It has been a seriously busy week! Having spent last weekend with my mum, just chilling, being looked after and watching huge amounts of tennis, I felt really rested - so what did I do? I used my 'spare' energy to start de-cluttering the house! I thought a good place to start would be with the paperwork that has accumulated. I spent the entire day on monday sorting, shredding and burning paper - no way anyone is going to steal my identity!! (They would likely regret it if they did!!) Would you believe, I found bank statements going back to 1993! I hadn't realised how much bank statements have changed over the years - an odd trip down memory lane, but strangely enjoyable. I rediscovered things like my children's school reports, drawings etc, as well as letters and cards from friends I've not seen in many years - I also found the order of service for my Uncle Franco's memorial service last July. He died in Italy from a particularly virulent cancer - the funeral was held on Sicily, but a memorial service was held in the village in Wiltshire where he and my aunt had settled. He was a hugely popular figure in the village, and the church was jam packed on the day of the service. My aunt asked me to do a reading, which I did - but only just managed to get through without disgracing myself, anyway, as I was saying, I found the order of service along with a photo of my uncle - bought more than a few tears to my eyes, needless to say, that has been filed away safely - some things you just don't get rid of, do you? Monday evening was spent delivering furniture to my daughter at her flat - yet more clutter de-cluttered...

Tuesday, I decided to clean the house from top to bottom - I just couldn't stand the muddles any more! By the time the children finished school, the house was immaculate and we had a new and efficient filing system. Strange how having things organised makes you feel better, isn't it? The human mind is indeed a strange and wonderful thing.

Wednesday was spent filling the cupboards and the freezer - strangely enough, my family insist on being fed at least 3 times a day, every day!!

Thursday and Friday were spent recovering from all the activity at the beginning of the week!!!

Yesterday, Saturday, we took a trip to Fishguard for a scrapbooking demonstration - I had a brilliant time, met some lovely people and had a good giggle as well - not a bad way to spend a morning. It's so great to be able to spend time with people who share your passions. I've not yet met any crafters who stick rigidly to one particular craft - many of the ones I've met do lots of cross-over crafts. I was so inspired by the mornings demo, that I completed 3 8x8 pages when I got home - I have to admit to being seriously pleased with the end results. Although I didn't really learn any new techniques etc at the demo, it did give me the confidence to just get on and do it! It's odd how daunting a blank piece of paper can be...I really must stop buying stash, though, and start using what I have. Every time I sort out my craft stuff, I find stuff I'd forgotten I had - some of which I know I'm never going to use, so I'm going to have to decide whether to sell it, or to swap it for stuff I will use, my particular passions at the moment being chipboard embellishments and ribbons - you would not believe the range of ribbons and fibres that are available - they are, though, highly addictive. I know for a fact that I'm not the only person in the world to sit and stroke my stash of ribbons and fibres - strange people us crafters!

Well, I did warn you that this was going to be a ramble, but I think enough is enough! I have been crafting, just haven't taken pics of the results yet, but will do so over the next few days and will share them with you.

Bye for now. xxx

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I'm on a roll!

Following my productive day on Tuesday, the creativity has continued to flow! Above are some pictures of the jewellery I made last night. This lot is all for myself, not for sale. The dragon is a set of lampwork beads, and was made by a friend of mine. I've had them for some time, but hadn't been brave enough to use them yet! I finally decided that they were wasted hidden at the bottom of my bead box, so bit the bullet and this was the result. I've used a memory wire choker, onto which I threaded the beads - the dragon and 6 complementary red glass beads. I then wound silver cord aroun the memory wire and through the pendant, then the same with some narrow red ribbon. The red ribbon only extends about half way around the pendant, where I've tied it off - leaving a tiny 'end' to give a bit of contrasting texture. The earrings were made using lampworked beads made by the same friend. The beads speak for themselves, so I simply added a tiny seed bead top and bottom. I think I can safely say that the result is a funky collection, and not one I'll see anyone else wearing!

The other necklace uses some handmade ceramic beads, coated with copper and polished. They were made in Greece and are incredibly heavy! These beads are truly amazing - not only to look at, but to feel as well. I love the combination of green and copper, and found the two round green glass beads at the bottom of a box - threaded them onto some green, silky cord, and hey presto! another striking necklace - I think it's going to look fab with all the gorgeous, vibrant colours that are around at the moment.

The final piece is a handbag charm - I simply picked out some glass beads and metal charms in complementary shades of orange, added a few seed beeds, some head pins and jump rings, and finally a lobster-claw clasp for security - and there you go! A rather gorgeous handbag charm!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A fab weekend followed by an incredibly productive Tuesday!

This past weekend was our annual convention. The convention is a 3 day event, held this year at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. The weekend is jam packed with information and reminders, as well as being a chance to catch up with friends we haven't seen since the last convention! Fortunately for us, given the amazing temperatures over the weekend, the roof of the stadium was closed, which kept the temperature a good few degrees lower than it was outside! On Saturday, 39 new brothers and sisters symbolised their dedication by water baptism. This is always a very moving occasion, and it was brilliant to see so many baptized in one go. This year the baptisms were actually held in the stadium, whereas in previous years they've been in a local swimming pool, so most of the 10,000 or so in attendance didn't actually get to see the immersion - there aren't many swimming pools that can cater for those numbers!!
There was a new release - a 192 page book concentrating on the 12 so-called 'Minor Prophets' and what there prophecies mean for us today. I've started reading it, and it promises to be absolutely fascinating. The only downside to the convention was the travelling - it meant being up at 5.30 each morning - not something I'm very good at! However, we all managed it, the kids were brilliant - it always amazes me how well behaved the children are at these events - not just mine, but all of them! They manage to sit quietly and remain well-behaved, despite the heat etc. I really enjoyed the weekend, but it was a shame that our oldest son couldn't be with us because of his health, and neither was our eldest daughter.

Now to the art! The first two cards are for group swaps, and have now been posted to their respective recipients. I don't know if it's because of the weather, or because I had such a fabulous weekend, or perhaps it was a combination of both, but I was definitely in a 'sunny' mood when it came to my card making today! The mauve card is a monthly challenge card. I absolutely love the colours that Liz (who provided this months' packs) chose. I opted for a very simple matted and layered design with added eyelets and organza ribbon.

The ATC's. The first 3 are on the theme 'Vintage Travel' and are really self-explanatory! The next 3 are on the theme 'Beaches'. For two of these, Footprints and Bathing Belles, I used photos of one of our local beaches. The Footprints card is a digital ATC which I then printed onto white card. I used an image of my youngest daughters footprint in the sand, then superimposed the legend 'leave only footprints'. Simple but, I think, effective! The Bathing Belles card uses an image downloaded from the net of 3 young ladies standing outside a bathing machine - why ever did they get rid of those? - superimposed onto a picture of the jetty, again at our local beach. The 3rd of this set is set on a sandpaper background and is a collection of images which remind me of holidays!