Sunday, 16 April 2017

New Camera, New Inspiration!

Two posts in a week!  Can you believe it!!
I am back to report that I have a new camera, and I am all inspired to take more photos again!  My old Nikon SLR is over 10 years old now, (and it was an old model when we bought it!), and is so heavy to lug around over my shoulder.   I wanted a lighter camera that was a bit better than a 'point and shoot'. My new phone has a fairly decent camera for that.  So we went into Jessops, and had a really lovely assistant who spent ages with us looking at the small mirrorless cameras.  I chose the Panasonic LX100, as it has a decent size sensor, and lots of dials and buttons for manual adjustment.  It looks a bit retro in the silver too!

It has its first outing up to London on my birthday on a really sunny Sunday in March.  We  were headed for lunch in the Shard!  Here's some photos:

The Shard is the tallest building in London.  We were headed for the 32nd floor for the restaurant, about half way up.


We were so lucky with the weather!  Bright, sunny and clear.  Here's a view towards the financial district with the 'walkie talkie' and the 'gherkin', other iconic buildings.


Looking to the East, with Tower Bridge in the foreground, and Canary Wharf in the background.


That is St Paul's Cathedral in the centre of the photo.

We had a lovely lunch, lovely food, well presented and brilliant service.   I thoroughly recommend the restaurant.  It was so lovely to spend the day with my family on a day out!

From left ro right, Danny (Lucy's boyfriend), Lucy, Nicholas and Maurice.


Finally, here's me and Maurice by Tower Bridge.  


So now I am all inspired again, can you suggest photo memes or challenges that I can join in and post on  my blog?

Friday, 14 April 2017

Decorating China with Transfer Papers

My crafty friends Burnice and Tash bought me a china decorating workshop for my birthday!  You will know that we like a workshop.  This one was run by Elaine at Made and Making in Ditchling, East Sussex.

WE had the choice of a plate, a small tray or tiles.  Tash and Burnice chose the plates, I chose the tray.  We were able to choose from lots of pretty transfer papers.  You cut out the shapes you want, then soak the paper in water and the transfer slips off the backing and sticks to the china.  Easy!

Here I am tracing off the beach hut shape.  I chose 5 different patterned papers and then cut them up and rearranged them on the tray.


Here's a picture of Burnice playing with the placement of her papers



Burnice and Tash hard at work!  You can see that the workshop is really cute!  Lots of lovely things hanging around for inspiration.



Here are my beach huts ready to place on the tray




The final products (well not quite, they have to be fired now).  Aren't these plates cute with their washing lines?  Tash did the clothes and Burnice did the quilts.

We had a great day, and are all keen to go back and do a Christmas plate later in the year!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A pier on a lampshade

My friend Tash and I went to a machine embroidery course a couple of weekends ago.  Burnice was supposed to come too, but unfortunately she had a fall and broke her shoulder so can’t sew at the moment.  We went to Lara Sparks Embroidery just a few miles from me.  Lara makes lampshades and cushions with her distinctive coastal, meadow and homely scenes.  We had seen her at a craft fair back in the Spring and decided to spend the money we would usually have spent at Sandown Quilt Show on the course.

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Lara’s workshop is in her lovely home and is filled with lampshades, pictures and cushions that she has made and shelves overflowing with fabric!  After a bit of practise we were encouraged to decide on whether we wanted to make a lampshade or cushion, and to look at her stencils to decide what scene we would like to embroider.

I chose the pier scene.  First I drew round the stencil onto my linen to get the basics of the pier, then began to embroider!  It is such fun!  It doesn’t matter if you go a bit wobbly – in fact, it looks better if you do!  I  did each section of the pier at a time, embroidering the shape of the buildings, and then the understructure and legs of the pier.  Next, I chose some fabric to make the domes of the buildings.  They were fused on to the linen and then embroidered to make the lines of the roofs and to keep them on!  Lara is a fantastic teacher, keeping a watchful eye on us at all times!  She drew the big wheel and roller coaster for me, which I then embroidered.  Final touches were the blue lines of the sea and a few seagulls.

Tash chose to do a lampshade with foxgloves and bluebells, and she did more applique that me.  There were 2 other students there, one of whom made a lampshade with grasses, and the other made a cushion with flowers and seed heads.  Lara was really keen that we had a finished product to take home so spent extra time with us showing us how to make up our lampshades and cushion.

Here is Tash’s lampshade being tested with a lamp.

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And here’s mine, in pride of place on the sideboard in my hall. I am so thrilled with it!  I think it is the best thing I have ever made!  I absolutely love it, and have to keep looking at it!!

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Tash and I can’t wait to go back for another go!  We are looking forward to when Burnice can sew again to take her.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Silk Screen Printing

A few weeks ago, I went with my crafty friends Burnice and Tash to a silk screen printing course in Brighton.

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The course was held in a shop called MADE – Make, Art, Drink, Eat.  At street level it is a very nice cafe and gallery, but go downstairs to the basement and there you will find classrooms for all sorts of art and crafts!

Have you ever done silk screen printing?  I hadn’t and had no idea what it entailed! 

First we drew our design on paper, being careful not to make it too small or draw a shape within a shape, such as an ‘O’.

Next we cut out the design with a scalpel.  Here’s mine.  It is supposed to be grasses and seed heads, but I think I took her advice not to make it too small too literally and made the cut out bits too big!  I think it looks like fireworks now.

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Then came the fun bit!  Place the fabric down on plenty of paper, then the stencil, then the silk screen.  Pour some paint on at the top of the screen, and draw it down over the screen with a window wiper.  Great fun!

Here’s Burnice doing her pink heart.

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And mine as I lifted up the screen and stencil.

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Tash did a chicken.

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We decorated a tea towel and a linen bag.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My (not so) new Craft Room




I’ve been meaning to show you my new craft room all year!  We decorated and bought the furniture back in the Spring, and I even took photos back then.  Anyway, without further ado, here it is.

It’s nearly 2 years since our son moved out to live in his own flat, so of course I purloined his room as my craft room!  It is so nice not to have the dining room cluttered.  It is easy to clear up now if someone is coming for dinner.  Here’s what the dining room used to look like, with craft stuff piled up in all 4 corners of the room:


I still sew on the dining room table, but most of my craft stuff is now upstairs, either in my craft room or on the big Ikea unit on the landing.
We decorated the spare room , after having some plastering done on the chimney breast wall. We painted the walls white, and bought white furniture from Ikea.
Here’s my work desk, joined on to 2 4x2 Kallax units.  I am not sure that I really have them organised the best for scrapbooking, but it is nice having everything within reach!  The first column of cubbies house my Etsy shop patterns and other goods for sale.  The curtains are from Next.
 Going around the room, this is the chimney breast wall with a small wardrobe from Ikea which houses my out of season dresses and my dressmaking fabric stash.  The table is our old kitchen table, with cardboard drawers which hold cardstock and paper scraps.  Underneath the table are the vintage patterns I have yet to upload to my Etsy shop.

The gorgeous picture on the wall is from an Etsy shop.  My daughter bought it for me for Christmas.  (Sorry I can’t find the link to the actual shop now)


















In the corner recess I have shelves for books and sewing patterns, and my chrome trolley.  You will laugh, when I tell you that when I bought this trolley, this was all the scrapbook stash I had, and intended to have for the future!



























Further round (so behind me when I sit at my desk, are the plastic drawers from the dining room, and shelves above.  I sorted my large collection of old (I hesitate to call them vintage!) buttons into colours for display on the top shelf.  I intended this worktop to be where I used my cricut machine and bind-it-all etc, but I really haven’t used them since I moved up here.








I hope you’ve enjoyed a tour around my room!  I love sitting up there doing my scrapbooking.  I will be back soon to show what I have been scrapbooking lately.


Sorry about the formatting, live writer and blogger are really not playing ball this morning!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Memorandum Monday–Monday 10th October

In an effort to get back to blogging, I am joining in with Sian’s Memorandum Monday.

Mine was a slow weekend.  It started off not with Boot Camp at the gym (as is usual on a Saturday morning), but queueing up at the doctors for my annual flu jab.  So of course, as the weekend wore on, my arm began to get that heavy feeling you get afterwards.  If that’s the worse I get then I am thankful.  A small price to pay for not getting a nasty bout of flu this winter.

There was a short walk to the post office to post some sales from my Etsy shop, followed by our first visit to the new Costa coffee shop in our local parade of shops.  The unanimous verdict is that it is very good!  We had a lovely long facebook call with daughter Lucy, who is working in Connecticut, USA for a few weeks.  She has been helping out at a local fair, ‘seeing the real USA, with tractor pulling and pumpkin competitions’!  They got her directing the traffic!  Not sure that was a good idea seeing as they drive on the other side of the road!

Sunday saw me sewing up a storm!  But, first a dog walk and coffee. DSC_9551

We have put our patio table and chairs  away for the winter, so it’s Sunday morning coffee in the summer house now.DSC_9549

I made some bunting from vintage fabrics to sell on my Etsy shop, and continued with my dress.

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I then cut out a skirt with this lovely autumnal fabric.

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And then of course, it was a Strictly sort of weekend!  We are loving Strictly Come Dancing, this season.  Some great dancers!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Rinda’s Scavenger Hunt–Adventure in the Rocky Mountains

We spent 2 weeks in August motorcycling round the Canadian Rockies!  We were on a guided tour,so that meant everything was booked up for us, including rental of motorbikes, hotels, etc, and there was a back-up van for our luggage!  We met some great people on the tour and saw some awesome scenery. 

I decided to try and do the Scavenger Hunt while we were on our trip.  I didn’t get them all,but here’s what I did get:

1 a wild heart

2 foot print or paw print.  There must be a paw print somewhere in this quilt- mustn’t there?

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3 skeleton bone or x-ray

4 book or magazine read in 2016

5 porch or deck.  We were lucky enough to have lunch on the patio/deck at Banff Springs Hotel, and the weather was perfect!  Must be one of the most scenic places in the world to have lunch!

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6 camper or RV.  I was fascinated by the HUGE RVs!  They were everywhere!  We stayed overnight at this RV park – we had a wooden cabin – in Clearwater, BC.

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7 family gathering.  These guys were brilliant!  They certainly felt like my family while we were on the trip.

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8 drawing art journal scrapbook page etc made by me

9 someone playing in or around water.  Canoes on Moraine Lake.  So pretty!

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10 bicycle.  Rental bicycles in Vancouver.

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11 fresh produce.  Granville Island Market in Vancouver

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12 window. I found this window in the Chinese garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown

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13 the moon.  How about this moon face on one of the totem poles in Stanley Park, Vancouver?

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14 buffet of food.  Maurice felt like he was eating a whole buffet of food when he was served this humungous burger at Whistler, BC.

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15 team logo.  The Whitecaps FC team store in Vancouver.

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16 map showing trip

17 twins.  Maurice and Stewart hired the same BMW motorbike rather than a Harley.  They are BMW R1200RT’s with twin cylinders.

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18 supermarket trolley full of groceries

19 seasonal cocktail

20 someone laughing.  We really did laugh a lot on this trip!  Here’s a great picture of Aussie Pam laughing(who rode her own Harley Davidson Fatboy!)

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21 photo of me with newspaper or calendar from period covered by hunt

That’s it for this year from me!