Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Early one morning . . .

 . . . just as the sun was rising . . .

Shhh, don't say it out loud, but I do believe spring might have finally arrived :o)
Just before 7am this morning, I took a wander round the garden. The sun was just beginning to shine & there seemed to be buds on almost everything. Some have started to open, some are in full blossom, but everything looked full of promise :o)
 The rockery needs some weeding & tidying up, but the tulips are now taking the place of the daffodils, snowdrops & crocus.
The heather is still in flower but is beginning to look a bit straggly. The pink rose bush has lots of new growth so hopefully, come June & July, I'll have a lovely show.

Delicate plum blossom in front of the flowering currant bush.

I love the forsythia. It's a great big, bright splash of colour, that can be seen through the kitchen door & when the sun shines on it, it's like a big ball of gold :o)

The Dog Wood covered in buds. The small pinky coloured flower below is Honesty.

Blossom beginning to open on the pear tree.

I have NO idea what this small blossom tree is. I bought it a few years ago when it was a 6 inch stick & it's label had fallen off !! I can't even remember where I got it from, but I do remember it was cheap & I felt sorry for it :o)

One of my Japanese quinces. In *real* life, this is a salmon pink colour & it's beautiful.

Looking down towards the house from the top end of the garden. There's lots of weeding to be done, the veg patch needs digging over & the pots need sorting out, but now that the weather seems to be improving, I'm hoping I'll feel like spending more time out there :o)
And lastly,  we all know that in the Spring, a young man's thoughts turn to . . well, you know  . . & it seems the same thing happens to our feathered friends :o) Yet again, we're going to have a seagull nest between the chimney pots :o)
Grandson 1a will be pleased :o)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Ahhh, traditional colours :o)

It's been a funny old week or two, what with one thing or another. A couple of  fab days & the rest of them all rather bleurgh. It's been a week since I ventured further than the pavement outside & appointments have had to be cancelled because Shaun's proper poorly, so I've been catching up on things that have to be done - mother in law's accounts (shudder !!) - & things I want to do. 
I've done a bit of family tree-ing, a bit of gardening - though I still haven't managed to cut the grass, dig over the veg patch, cut the bushes in the front garden, sow the seeds or dig up the raspberry canes - &, of course, I've made a couple of Christmas cards. I know many people still think it's far too early to be making cards, but come on - it's MAY next week & if the rest of the year races along as quickly, it'll be Christmas the week after !! :o) 
One of the cards I made will, I hope, be suitable for Hazel's *red & green must be seen* challenge this week.
The lovely little *House Mouse* stamped image & the glittery green card was in the swap parcel I received from Liz. Everything else was from my stash.

I'll also enter it into Hazel's April Anything Goes challenge. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Two more for Christmas :o)

Last night, I sat & made 2 more cards from Terri's parcel. I'm afraid the move away from my traditional red, gold & green didn't last long, though, to be fair, I can only use what I'm given & there was a fair bit of red & green in the parcel. (Picture me here, sticking my tongue out at Terri !!)
The first card is *sort of* non PJK traditional, because it isn't REALLY red, it's more of a burgundy with cream & gold :o)
 Everything on this card apart from the greeting & a few small sticky gold stars came from Terri's parcel. I added a few dots of Glossy Accents to the tree to help give it a bit of shine.
The second card is a real *in your face* red, gold & green splash :o) Apologies for the photo - when you use mirror card & glittery/shiny embellishments, you can't get a decent pic with or without a flash :o(
The red & green card & the Christmas present toppers were from Terri's parcel; the gold strips, stars & greeting were from my stash. I cut the toppers from a piece of Christmas cracker card that Terri had included & just ran the red & green card through my Swiss dots folder.
I may be able to get another card out of Terri's parcel, but there are a couple of bits that I really have no idea what to do with, so they will go into 2 parcels, one for Terri & one for Liz, for a challenge later in the year - a sort of *bits & pieces from all parcels received throughout the year*
Next week, I'll see if I can make a start on Liz's parcel, but judging by the diary, we have a very full & active week or so to come :o)

Friday, 12 April 2013

Red, silver & blooooo . . . not red, gold & greeeeeen . . .

Terri challenged me to do something other than my traditional red, gold & green Christmas cards for this month's parcel swap. This is what I came up with. The greeting, the blue spotty background & the blue mirror card were from my stash, but the red corrugated card & the little snowman topper were from her parcel. I didn't like the card being all white, so I just ran a blue ink pad over it.
There's a tiny amount of red, gold & green on the topper, but as Terri supplied it, she can't really blame me, can she ? :o)
By the skin of my teeth, I'm entering it into this week's challenge, set by Hazel - use the word Christmas & also her monthly Anything Goes challenge.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Crafty Catchings Up :o)

It's been a bit of hectic week this week, what with hospital appointments & a daughter having the audacity to have a birthday, but here we are on Thursday, with only one appointment left before the week end. I've still got to make a card from Terri's April parcel & enter it into Hazel's blog challenge, but I'm hoping to get that done either tonight or tomorrow afternoon & get it entered by the skin of my teeth :o)
In the meantime, though, as I'm trying to catch up with cards I've made, other than Christmas cards,  here are 3 Mother's Day cards, 2 birthday cards & 1 tea cosy :o) All made wiv me own fair 'ands, Guv. Honest :o) 
 This was my Mum's card.

I tend to get a bit stuck in a rut when making a few cards at a time. For some reason, the same style & colours always hit me & stay with me. It's almost as though I can't think of any other colour while I'm doing them, which is why my Mum & Mother in law's cards are the same colour & have the same toppers.
 This was my Mother in law's card.
My MiL & her sister live together, so I can't leave Aunt in law out, can I ? Not that I would, because she's lovely, just like MiL. Anyway - yet again, the same colours. Why am I so boring ??!! :o)
This was Aunt in law's card.
My daughter's birthday was yesterday & the strangest thing is, she is now at the age that I can clearly remember my Mum being when I was a little girl & whereas, back then, I thought it was very old, now, with my daughter, I think it's quite young :o) Funny how your take on things changes as you grow up, doesn't it ? Of course, my daughter IS young, because I am also young. It stands to reason, really.
Yes, I know, who am I kidding ? I'm a Grandma so I can't be THAT young !! :o)
 Anyway, this is her card. She likes pink & black, so I decided to stamp an art deco frame & figure, colour it pink & emboss black card with my divine swirls cuttlebug folder. The *daughter* bit is also a stamp.
Now, while I was making this card, I did something rather silly. I wanted to decoupage the figure, so I stamped it out 3 or 4 times, coloured it in & then decided that as it was a black image on white card, it would look better if I touched up the white edges with my black ink pad. So, there I was, merrily dabbing away & coming to realise that for some strange reason, the ink pad wasn't inking the edges very well. I tried again & then it dawned on me why it wasn't working. I wasn't using my black ink pad, oh no. I was using my black computer mouse !! :o)  OOPS !! Still, it was easily rectified :o)
 This sweet little teddy card was for a friend's 4 year old grandaughter. Little girl's can get away with cakes, balloons & teddies, can't they ? It's just us big girls that get frowned upon :o)
And lastly, a tea cosy :o) I just love, love,love this pattern :o)
My daughter doesn't drink tea, but she collects tea pots, so when I saw this gorgeous pattern, designed by Jenny Stacey , I knew I had to buy a little 2/3 cup tea pot & knit it for her birthday.
She absolutely loved it & I believe it's now in pride of place next to her chicken egg bowl thingy :o)
Jen has a fair few tea cosy patterns on her blog, all designed by her. Some are knitted, some are crocheted, some are free, some you pay for, but they are all just amazingly fantabulous :o)
And just in case you're wondering - no, I am not getting paid for saying this !! I just happen to love her designs & think anyone who wants a tea cosy pattern should check out her blog before going anywhere else :o)
Now, I'm off to sort through Terri's April parcel & see if I can come up with a card to go in Hazel's challenge. Wish me luck :o)

Monday, 8 April 2013

What to call this blog post

So many song titles come to mind with this post, including *It's a beautiful day*, *Sunday, Sunday*, & *Oh, what a beautiful morning*, that it's hard to know what to call it, so I'll leave it & let whoever reads this choose for themseleves :o)
We woke up yesterday to a most beautiful day. Jack Frost had been playing in the early hours & the garden was all frosticated :o)
 I had to take a photo because I thought it looked beautiful, almost as though the sun had fingers that  were reaching out across the fence & creeping across the garden.
We'd promised ourselves a walk into town & back if it was a nice day, so as it was still rather cold, we wrapped up warm & left home at 8:45am, me on Shank's pony as usual & Shaun on his chariot. Or should that be IN his chariot ?

 We walked all along the west cliff & I took this photo of the harbour from the end of Prospect Terrace, just before turning into Rose Hill. The bridge was up, so I assume something was either coming in or going out of the harbour.
 I've always loved this view - in the background you can see Albion House where Queen Victoria used to stay with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, when she was a Princess; the Royal Pavilion, built in 1903/1904 I believe & opened by Princess Louise - still empty & up for sale; the *Royal Toothpick* - the obelisk, built in 1820 to mark King George IV's visits to the town & the honour he bestowed by making the harbour the only Royal harbour in the country  - so many royals for one small area, eh ? And, of course,  the Maritime Museum - I wonder if it'll be open this year ? Such an interesting little museum, complete with our very own  Meridian line running through it :o) Ramsgate is the only town in the country that's ahead of Greenwich Mean Time by just over 5 minutes :o)
We carried on past the harbour & I sat for 5 minutes watching the waves crash onto the beach. There were people walking their dogs, taking advantage of the last few weeks before the annual dog ban comes into force on the main sands for the summer months. There are, or will be, signs up, telling people that dogs are banned from 1 May till 30 September, but to be honest, there are some people who ignore it.
 There were also a couple of jet skiers, zooming up & down. It looked like a lot of fun, but it's amazing how loud those things are, even when a fair way off the shore.
 At the bend on the west pier, there were a few fishermen, hoping to get lucky. If you click on this photo, it'll enlarge & you might be able to see a sail boat that started to make it's way out of the harbour & into the open water. It was a perfect day for sailing, I think. Shame I get so sea sick, really, or I might have been tempted to hitch a ride :o) Or should that be hitch a sail ?
And lastly - one of the most beautiful sights, in my opinion, you will ever see. The early Spring sun shining on the sea. One of the most relaxing things to do is to close your eyes, feel the warmth of the sun on your face & listen to the waves coming into shore & the seagulls crying overhead.
One of Mother Nature's most successful ideas, I think :o)
And now, it's Monday. Back to the daily grind !! :o)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree . . . Oh, Christmas Tree . . .

Here I am, back to making Christmas cards. Unfortunately, the weather is still cold & wintry - it snowed a bit this morning while we were in Canterbury for a hospital appointment, but it didn't last & as it was only flurries, didn't lay. However, the fact that it's still cold enough to snow in April, is a bit depressing. I love Winter, I really do, but I'm just about all wintered out - where is the sun ? A bright sunny day here & there is not enough. I want to get in my garden & hack through the weeds. I want to get my seeds sown, my veggies planted & have a good general tidy up, but it's so cold, I don't feel inclined to go out unless I really have to. After all, there's  more of me to get cold than there is of other people !! :o)
I just want to feel the sun on my face, watch the birds in the birdbath, play with grandsons 1a & 1b & just have some brighter, warmer days. It's not much to ask for, really, is it ? And I know I'm not the only one wanting Spring to hurry up & arrive :o)
Anyway - Hazel's challenge 118 is to make a card with a Christmas carol or song theme. I made a start on one the other day, but suddenly realised that *The Night Before Christmas* was a story/poem, not a carol/song, so I had to start all over again. I really am a PeaJayKay of little brain these days :o) 
 I decided to go with the song *Oh, Christmas Tree* & here it is.
The background card is quite sparkly, but it doesn't show up very well here & it also looks a bit darker than it is in *real life* :o)
I'm also going to enter it in Hazel's Anything Goes for April Challenge.
Now I have to get on with a couple of birthday cards, so TTFN !! :o)