I have now moved - you will find me here :)
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
ok, not ENTIRELY sleepless, but not enough sleep was had all weekend due to WAY too much fun being had!
My Mam and I set off on Friday morning, finally leaving Blyth about 10.30am.It was a loooong drive but we broke it up with a couple of stops and some detours off the A1 to lessen the boredom and avoid the roadworks. First stop was supposed to be Ferrybridge services to eat our lunch- but the new road layout is very confusing and after ending up on the M62 briefly we decided to wait for the next services sign!! which turned out to be a truck stop greasy spoon backed by a trailer park.... hmmm. So we ate our sandwich in the car, used the Loo's, got a take-out coffee and got back on the road. Second stop was in services near Cambridge and we had a delicious coffee and a walk around to stretch our legs before taking a detour through Cambridge centre for a look! it was dark but everywhere was lit up lovely and was worth a look.
We pressed on from there to Suffolk and we arrived just before 7pm at the Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel and checked in. The hotel is fabulous, very posh - and the beds were fabulous, super king size, and my room could have hosted strictly come dancing in the corner it was so huge!! Once we had unpacked, eaten our last sandwiches and tidied ourselves up we headed to the bar to find Mel and Jill and everyone else who had arrived and spent the rest of the evening gassing, finally going to bed about 12.30am, everyone else had gone off to bed and left me, my Mam, Izzy and Janice having a good old natter! Its the first time I've met Janice and it was really good to be able to have a proper relaxing chat.
I was up at 6.30 and down to brekkie for 8am - food was fabulous - and then into the crop room for the welcome at 9am. From then on in it was just non stop fun, chatting, bit of scrapping, playing with new stash, shopping and more chatting. I met lots of fab people - some I've met before, some I haven't, including Lorraine and her girls, Janice, Dougie, Nets and Soo, Izzy, Katie Pepper, Debbie J, Kirsty, Mel and Jill, Hannah, Ann, Nicky R and Nicky B, Stacey, Rachel..... oh heck so many people and some I don't know names who were fab - just a fantastic fantastic weekend. The classes were top notch (not including mine in that btw!! they are a blur so I couldn't tell you how they went LOL), the company was amazing, the hotel was superb! the food! omg the food! The only complaint I have is that it ended too soon and I had to come home LOL.
I was too busy enjoying myself so I didn't really take very many photos - took some lovely ones of Katie, Soo and Stacey during the photo workshop,
and other than that just a couple of Debbies first class, Becks' 7gypsies class and the crop room, and despite having my camera actually on the back of my chair during dinner when *that* lamb shank was brought out, I didn't take a photo! bad scrapper LOL
I was very unproductive - 1 double LO for Mart and Clairs wedding album, 1 Christmas card, I stamped a few acetate images in the make and take and I covered Izzys panini footie cards album for her ATCs - and that was it! I did make a mirror and a LO in my classes too, but that hardly counts LOL and I didn't have any other classes booked (well no that's not quite true I did have Becks classes booked but I struggled to find photos so ended up not going sadly) but the amount of gassing I got done was well worth the weekend trip LOL Bedtime on Saturday night was later again at half 1 after several glasses of wine, and brekkie was again at 8am so not a lot of sleep had that night either.
We left after lunch on Sunday afternoon about 2.30pm and went to Long Melford hall and the church to make the most of the daylight before setting off to Oakham for the night. Dinner was a delish Chinese in the Oakham Chinese restaurant and it was YUM and then we went to bed - I didn't sleep at all well again, but felt fine on Monday morning, after breakfast pancakes in the little chef (mmmm delish) we drove to Melton Mowbray for a look round and to get some proper pork pies, picked up a sandwich each for lunch and then hit the A1.
By 1.30 we were ready for lunch and a stop off so we turned off the A1 at a roundabout that had Sherwood forest signposted and found a national Trust property called Clumber Park which is absolutely amazing. I have a feeling we chose the perfect time of year to visit too with all the colours in the trees.
We then drove straight home and arrived back in Blyth around 6.30pm, shattered and stiff and ready for a coffee!
It took me most of yesterday to recobver from the lack of sleep but I was up and at 'em this morning and raring to go. Caught up on all the DC stuff (thanks heather for doing a grand job with the mailings etc this weekend!) and the millions of posts on the pad!
Right now the house smells delish as I've got a pan of leek and potato soup cooking and a loaf in the breadmaker mmmmmm - it's parents evening tonight so we can come back from that and just dive into the soup and bread - yum!
Written by Clare at 12:05 pm
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I'm obsessed I know, but I just LOVE autumn so much. If you want to find out how the forests and woodlands near you are doing colour wise, check out the Autumn colour section on the forestry commission website, they list all their woodland areas known for colour and have a colour chart that shows where they are on the turn so you can be sure to go visit at the best time for the spectacular colours.
There's also a Colour Top Ten which is updated every day of the current 10 best forests to see for the best colour.
On the weekend of the 20th and 21st October at Wallington Hall there's a Food and Craft Festival, lots of seasonal local produce and local crafts people selling their goods too. The grounds should be in full autumn colour by then too so it will be a lovely day out.
Kielder is on the turn and so should be just perfect for the half term week! We are off up to Cragside that week too for some Halloween fun, so we could have run through the deciduous woodlands while over that way.
Last weekend we were up and about early on Saturday morning and off to Gibside for a walk in the Autumn sunshine and to collect some conkers. We were the first people through the gates, arriving bang on 10am just as they were opening. Being first meant I got lots of people free photo ops of the Long Walk.
The mist was still wispy across the fields and the sheep had only just woken up!
We walked the river path and saw lots of wildlife, squirrels gathering the conkers, deer gambolling across the meadow into the woods and a great big heron skimming up the river. Tom collected himself a good few shiny conkers, many of them we had to break open the cases and take them out, they were all glossy and such gorgeous colours.
Written by Clare at 5:17 pm
Friday, October 05, 2007
I love autumn, I love the colours, the scent in the air, the cool crisp and sunny mornings, getting wrapped up with my boots on and going for walks - lovely! Over at Collectively yours this week we are being inspired by all things seasonal. I made autumn leaf ATC's.
I used metallic paints (ranger dabbers copper and gold) on a terracotta coloured cardstock, applied quite thickly. I then pressed a rubber stamp into the paint to leave an impression of a leaf (it takes away the paint to show the card underneath - sort of like a reverse effect of stamping) and once dry I coated the leaf pattern with sepia accents for a raised effect - but still showing the detail of the leaf pattern underneath. They were then backed onto black cardstock to frame the piece. Very simple but effective, and they feel fab to touch!
Written by Clare at 9:54 am
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
It was Heathers birthday today, I knew this - but still managed to forget till yesterday when a timely reminder from Debbie early enough to do something about it got me working! I made her a canvas - it was already planned for heather for her birthday - just I let October creep up on me without realising it was there..... so it was made start to finish, blank canvas to finished article in 4 hours and posted at 3.30pm after I collected Thomas - not bad going! (although I admit I wrapped it in a plastic baggie in case the last coat of gel medium wasn't quite dry and stuck to the inside of the wrapping!!
Collaged paper background, lots of paints (Ranger Dabbers, Jo Sonjas tubes), Heidi Swapp chipboard lettering and Muckyfingers fab bare chipboard accents (painted with pebble dabber - which is exactly the same colour as bare naked chipboard LOL)
Happy Birthday to you!! xxxx
Written by Clare at 9:45 pm
Monday, October 01, 2007
I haven't got a copy yet (Im waiting for my contributors copy from SI) - but I know I'm in the £5 challenge this month! And this is the LO I did.
Its Emily having some problems with her shoes at her baby brother Bens Christening in June earlier this year - she had been dancing and her shoes kept flapping off the ends of her feet!
I used Jennie Bowlin papers and a bit of Dutch girl, some dotty ribbon from ATDML and printed my title direct to the paper.
Written by Clare at 7:51 pm
Friday, September 28, 2007
We recently changed the system of uploads and prompts over at CY - some team members left and a new one joined, we split into 2 teams to work on fortnightly challenges, and we have taken the prompts right back to basics so they are everyday prompts for people who make every day LO's. This is my Lo for the 'Back to school' prompt on Collective Yours from 14th Sept.
Ive been writing up a class on inchies for beginners today, and I made a few samples to go along with the class - from inky papers and some stamping - here's a couple of them:
And these are 2 of my halloween ATC's I've made for the pad swap - used the same inky book paper smooshed with dusty concord and spiced marigold distress inks (typical halloween colours!), then stamped a black cat over the top, and some swirls.
Going to start on my Christmas ATC's for the pad swap soon - and my Christmas cards too *big grin*
We are running a '12 weeks of christmas' special at the DC starting on 3rd october (takes you up to new year) with planning, gift ideas, cards, decor and much more along with or usual classes, and I have lots of things to prepare for that too! better get started!
Written by Clare at 12:40 pm