Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sand & sea

The card challenge between Liz, Terri & myself seems to be getting harder as each month passes. Whether it's because I'm completely lost for ideas or whether it's because life's problems interfere with my artistic (ahem !!) abilities, I don't know.
What I do know is that when I opened Terri's parcel, I went straight into panic mode & remained there for nearly a week. Every time I looked at what she'd included, ny brain just went completely blank. In the end, all I could come up with were 3 very plain & simple cards.
No. 1 -  
 I LOVED this little tag the minute I saw it &I knew all it needed was a sandy type of background. The glitter stripsm star fish stickers & yellow brad came from my stash, the tag & background pareer were from Terri's parcel.
No. 2 -
Terri loves to include recycled bits & bobs - this beautiful, peaceful picture was from a magazine. I just cut it down to size, matt & layered it & stuck it onto a card that I'd already stuck blue background paper to. Some peel offs supplied by Terri were added & then I found a greeting in my stash & stuck that on.
No. 3 -
This month's nautical theme was my choice & I'd also stipulated that one of the cards had to be an easel card. I really liked this tag & thought it ideal for such a card. However, because it had a strange grey/blue colour in it, I decided to stick to sandy brown & pale yellow, rather than try to add another blue to it.
I found the corrugated brown card in my stash & stuck it to the card blank. I cut the image to size, matt & layered it & stuck it on the top part of the card. I then added a greeting to a small piece of matt & layered yellow & white card & stamped 2 tiny dolphins on the greeting with brown ink.
Three very plain & simple cards to suit my very plain & simple mindset at the moment !! :o)
I have bits & bobs left from both Liz & Terri's parcels, so I might be able to make something else once the old brain box gets back into gear, but I'm not holding my breath !! :o)
June's challenge IS a challenge - Terri's choice this time & it's Christmas cards, but NOT in traditional colours. GULP !!
I feel a lie down in a darkened room with a cool flannel across my forehead, is called for . . .

Thursday, 16 May 2013

And so it begins . . . .

Gardener V Snails
It's that time of year again, when all the slugs & snails come out to see what goodies I've planted. For some reason, they seem to think it's all grown for their benefit, but THIS year, I've got news for them !!!

They might crawl up the husband hut door . . .

or congregate under the pear tree . . .
They might crawl up the greenhouse drainpipe . . .
or gather on the grass . . .
BUT . . . .
This year, early in the morning, I've started going out on SNAIL PATROL,
armed with my trusty *Snail Flinger*
& once my veg are in the ground, slug pellets will be used !!
Failing that - a well aimed boot !!
No, not really, I can't bring myself to stamp on snails, no matter how much I hate them :o)
I've never used pellets before - but after everything I grew last year was devoured by things other than human, I am quite determined to use them. They're OK to use around children & animals & they're organic, so that gets a huge tick from me :o)
 For a gardener, I'm very squeamish. I have to wear gloves before I weed, plant, pot on etc. My paternal ancestors would be ashamed of me - my grandad & great grandad were corporation gardeners & my great great grandad  & great great great grandad were market gardeners, so you'd think some of their ways would have filtered through to me, wouldn't you ? :o)
Anyway, because I'm squeamish, the flinger is perfect :o) It's actually an old picker-upper/grabber thingy of Shaun's that I swiped. All I do is pick the snail up by it's shell & fling it through the air into a hedge, onto the garage roof, or, if my flinging arm is feeling strong, over the house & into the road. Birds can then swoop down & eat them without having to break the shell first :o)
I'm beginning to wonder if the snails have cottoned on to what I'm doing.

This morning, there was only one, wending it's weary way back home, after a night on the tiles.
Should I be worried ? Are they all going *underground*, building up a Snail Resistance ? Are they communicating with each other in code ?
Are they gathering an arsenal, getting tanks & other armoured vehicles ? Are they busy sewing uniforms & parachutes ? Are all the snails I've flung far & wide making their way back again ? The ones the birds haven't eaten, that is. Will I be attacked by bungee jumping snails as I pass by the raspberry canes ?  Will they try to eat my stripy welly clad toes ? Will any of them be Kamikazee snails, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of snail honour ?
Well, no matter what they do, I'm ready for them.
The gauntled has been thrown. Let battle commence !!! :o) 
But before I go, this last pic is of a very welcome visitor to my garden.
 My robin :o)
Mind you, he is looking a bit thin - maybe I should make him snail porridge for breakfast every morning :o)

That'd show them who's boss, eh ? :o)
Happy snail patrolling to those of you with the same problem & if you've any tips to share, they'll be much appreciated :o)

Friday, 10 May 2013

All things nautical :o)

May's card swap challenge doobery with Liz & Terri, was the choice of yours truly & as I live at the seaside, I decided to choose nautical as my theme.
Because I am sadly lacking in imagination & inspiration, I was only able to make 3 cards from Liz's parcel. I'm sure I'll manage a couple more later, but for now, three it is.
One of the cards was supposed to be an easel card, but I think both Liz & Terri FORGOT that bit !! :o) Still, they both made some lovely cards, so I will forgive them :o)
I opened Liz's parcel first this month & here are my efforts.
First, an easel card. The only things from my stash were the star shaped buttons, Everything else was from Liz's parcel. I THINK she made the paper herself, but I'll have to ask. Using that paper as a background, I just cut it to size, stuck it on a card & then used 2 different coloured blue cards, each cut to the same size as the boat topper Liz had included. I staggered them & stuck them together, then attached them to the easel part of the card. I added the sentiment & 2 star buttons & that was it. 
The 2nd card is a Father's Day card for my Dad - DON'T LOOK, DAD !!!
The only thing from Liz's parcel that I used was the blue card with the sail boat stamped on it & the background paper, which I loved as soon as I saw it. It looked just like the sea & sky, with that lighter in-between bit that said *beach* to me. With that in mind, I knew I had the perfect stamp for it, so I inked it up, stamped it right in the middle of the paper & then die cut it with a circular die. I had an off cut of seashell cardstock so I die cut a scallioped edged circle, larger than the stamped image one & matt & layered them. I stuck the blue & white paper onto a card, covered up the hole that I'd made  - when I die cut the stamped image - with the now matt & layered image & I then stamped a sail boat on plain blue card & die cut it with a smaller scalloped edged die. I stamped a shell on to the seashell cardstock, inked the edges of that & the sail boat die cut, stamped the sentiment on to some pale blue card, matt & layered it onto the seashell card & stuck it on the card. Just to finish off, I stamped a small bird in flight in the top left corner.
I think the stamp is just perfect for Father's Day & I really like how this card turned out :o)  
The third card is also one I really like. I used the papers & the green card from Liz's parcel & I used my stamp, glitter strip & *happy birthday* stickers.
 I stamped the boat, coloured it in with pro-markers & then cut it out. I stuck it on paper that looked like sea & sky again, even though the colours were different & to give the impression of waves - I hope :o) - I used my Divine Swirls folder to emboss the bottom of the sea/sky paper & the bottom of the background paper. I added a glittery blue ribbon, cut the green flag/bunting/whatever they're called & added the *happy birthday* stickers & then stamped a few small birds.
I'm not sure where the person in the boat has got to, though. Maybe he's gone for a swim or a lie down in the bottom of the boat & that's why we can't see him :o) 
And now it's onto Terri's parcel. I have a couple of ideas, but nothing is really shouting at me yet. Let's hope I can come up with something :o)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Walking IN Sunshine, oh, oh . .

. . .  & yes, it felt good !! :o)
Yesterday, I felt the need to stretch my legs & get some fresh air, so we decided, as it was a lovely morning, to have a stroll along the prom, prom, prom, where the brass band USED to play tiddly om pom pom, way, way back in my grandparents & great grandparents day :o)
Having got jackets on, a bottle of water & my camera, we set off. As usual, me on Shanks's & Shaun on his chariot. Probably for the last time on this one, as he has a new chariot on order :o) 
This tree in London Road looked so lovely with all its new green leaves, so pale & golden.
First view of the sea. The wall on the right is part of Courtstairs Park.
Looking towards Pegwell & Sandwich. Richborough power station chimneys used to be part of this view :o) I can't believe they've been gone for over a year now.
Looking towards the port. The sea looked so beautiful with the sun glinting off it.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought lorries weren't supposed to park along here any more. Still, as the ferry service  went to the wall last week, I don't suppose we'll have many lorries coming through any more.  It's a shame, because we really do need something to bring people here from Europe. We have a lot to offer in this little part of Kent, but it does need investment.
The sea was so smooth & the sun was beautifully warm, I bet these sailors had a lovely time sailing about.
Setting up the fun fair at Government Acre. There were lots of people about & the Look Out cafe was open, doing business before 10am.
The blossom on trees in Ellington Park. I have many happy memories of time spent in the park, as a child, a teenager, a young Mum & now a VERY young Grandma !! :o)

I just love blossom trees :o) Mother Nature knew what she was about in the Spring :o)

Around the corner from Ellington Park is this lovely white blossom tree, on the corner of Ellington Place & High Street, St. Lawrence.

Looking up High Street, St. Lawrence, towards St. Laurence the Martyr Church. My great great great grandparents got married here in 1839.

There are 3 blossom trees almost in a row here, each a different shade of pink. The only one out at the moment is this one, the mid pink. I'll have to keep an eye out & see when the others open - the sight of the 3 of them together is beautiful :o)
The old & the new. The church has stood here for 951 years & on the left - Tesco Express, just 1 year old :o)  If walls could talk, I bet the church would have plenty of stories to tell :o)
Today is also shaping up to be beautiful, but unfortunately, no gallivanting for us, so I shall get on with what needs doing in the house.
Happy May Bank Holiday :o)