Monday, 31 October 2011

Still here!

Whoops! Haven't posted since last weekend, better not start neglecting the blog again already! In truth it's been a busy week, but actually I've been posting over at The Scrappy Tree and not got around to duplicating that here; we've been running a series of Halloween posts in the run up to tomorrow so feel free to come visit us there and see what we've been up to  :)

So what has this week been about?  I handed in my second assignment at the beginning of the week and I've just finished the second placement of my nursing course (only seven left to go!) and while I'm pretty sure that I don't want to be a health visitor(!), it was a really interesting placement nonetheless and certainly gave me food for thought.  Besides which, my mentor was absolutely lovely and it was a very pleasant six weeks :)  back to uni again this week for another block of theory in the run up to our exams in December - eek!

Now that the wedding is out of the way (because however much we loved the day the preparations take over your life!) I'm feeling much less guilty about spending time in the craft room so am hoping whatever mojo I have keeps me company for now so I can have some fun!  I have a few days off this week where I was going to book in some shifts but I seem to have picked up a virus from somewhere (health visiting is bad for your health!) and I can't really risk working on hospital wards until I'm better again; to be honest the sore throat/ear/jaw is making me a little cranky ;) but time at home is good for study/crafting time anyway (there's always a silver lining!) especially given the extremely wet weather we're getting.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead :)

Gayle xx

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Head over to the Halloween party...

Just wanted to invite you all to a Halloween party that The Scrappy Tree is taking part in - we're giving away some Halloween treats (a photo of my 'treat' is below') visit The Scrappy Tree for more details!  Have a great weekend :)

Gayle xx

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Cupcakes and champagne

Yesterday I went for a cupcakes and champagne day in London!  Lots of fun :) it was a late birthday present from my friend; we had to cancel the first time because of the riots in London.  We travelled on the train to Paddington Station...

 ...and then caught the tube to Regent Street so we could visit Hamley's, the big toy store.  It was such a beautiful day! Like summer all over again :)

This camel really reminded me of visiting FAO Schwartz in NY :)

While we were there we saw 'The Queen'...

 ...someone's mad auntie....

...a lovely bride...

...and some of the British military!

I always forget how expensive Steiff bears are!  The contents of these shelves cost more than I earn in a year.

Loved this rocking horse, so gorgeous!  £1800 of gorgeous!!

Also loved this Harry Potter marauder's map; may need one of these in the future!

They had some great Lords of the Rings stuff (love Gollum!)...

...and I positively drooled over the Harry Potter displays!

We had some lunch at this nice little bar (mushrooms in white wine on bruschetta)...

...and then we travelled to Waterloo Station...

...where this street under glass just fascinated me, it was so beautiful in the sunshine.

We left the station and walked out into Clapham Junction...

...and took a stroll around the corner to the venue.

After some fancy dress and champagne...

...we got on with pouring some chocolate and other yummy things into moulds.

When we'd finished, we moved on to decorating cupcakes.  Everyone concentrated really hard on this and were it not for the 60's music playing in the background there would have been complete silence!

The lady running the afternoon made it look very easy!

These are some of my efforts! I was really feeling the blue icing for most of them :)

And these are the six I decided to take home.

Everyone had a lot of fun decorating the cakes and there were all sorts of colours and designs going home with us.

Some of the cakes were piled pretty high with icing!

After we left the cupcake venue we headed for Covent Garden to meet a friend for drinks.

These were so welcome!  It was really hot!

We left Covent Garden and caught the tube back to Paddington Station to catch our train home...

 ... - I actually love Paddington Station, makes me think of Harry Potter and Platform 9 and 3/4 :)

When we got home we checked our cakes and...
 ...disaster happened!  It was really warm all day and maybe...
 ...we hadn't managed to keep the boxes as steady as we'd hoped!  Oh well :)
All the same it was a really fun day, and we had a great time!  Definitely something we would think about doing at home now too!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Gayle xx

Friday, 14 October 2011

Happy birthday!

This is a big happy birthday to my stepdad who is 54 on Sunday!  I know he won't see this which is why I'm sharing this with you two days early ;) although without giving anything away, it's possible he'll be visiting the internet a lot more from Sunday onwards ;) ssssshhhhh!!
We have all clubbed together to get him a bigger gift between us, and so we each made a gift tag to attach to his gift :) I made a gift tag and birthday card to match. The birthday card looks a little crazy(!) but the tag seems to balance it for me a little :) Great way to use up those number stickers!  I have sheets and sheets where most of the letters are missing and the numbers are untouched :)  I wrote some more about making them both in my post at The Scrappy Tree today; I had a lot of fun playing with some of the scrappy goodies I picked up at the craft show the other week (wrote about this here.)

I am off to London tomorrow as I'm being treated to a late birthday gift involving cupcakes and champagne!  As yet I don't really know where I'm going or exactly what I'm doing, but I'll be boarding the train to London in the morning armed with my camera so should have some photos to share soon.

Have a good weekend!

Gayle xx

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Wednesday waffle!

Look at this little face I had to leave this morning.  Seriously.  Cuteness!!! Love my kitty :)

Anyway! lol!  Spent today and am spending tomorrow with midwives as part of my placement; kind of strange for me and somewhat out of the comfort zone of anything I've done before, but I won't deny this nursing course is certainly a learning experience in all sorts of ways!

So.... I haven't been running in ages.  I mean at least 3 months.  And in the last week I couldn't if I wanted to, because I picked up a stomach bug (perils of nursing placements!).  But I got to doing a bit of blog surfing while I was sat on the sofa and I saw this post by Jennifer Welbourn which reminded me that I really need to start again!  Jennifer wanted to run so much that she's had to work really hard to overcome some major health problems in order to do so.  Her post shows some of the beautiful scenery where she goes jogging, and I got to thinking; where I live really doesn't look like that.  But you know what, maybe I need to get out there and take some pics, and actually appreciate what's around me.  But first I need to find my camera charger! lol

Today's post at The Scrappy Tree is by the very talented Diana - what that girl can't do with some craft card is nobody's business! ;) Check it out here.

Last but not least, Shimelle has a new class out, and yes, I am already signed up for it even though my to-do list is longer than my 40 mile drive to work!  But how can you really say no to a Shimelle class ;) and besides, there's always time to do things in that magical period called 'later'. ;) Check out 'Pretty Paper Party' here (either I have plenty that I can use in this class, or I will need to buy some more to make sure - either way, win-win!).

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

Gayle xx

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Scrappy chest of drawers

 I've been waiting all week to be at home while there was some sunshine so that I could take some less  dreary photos but eventually had to give up! I prefer the look of this project in real life anyway :) I've also shared this over at The Scrappy Tree for my Friday post this week.
This project is based on a piece in an article by Morag Cutts in the July 2011 issue of Craft Stamper which my Mum saw and immediately fell in love with!  She asked me to make it for her birthday which is at the end of August, but has been very patient in waiting for it until I finished it recently; time just ran away from me in the run up to the wedding!
I did make it with a few changes from the original in line with Mum's preferences; I ordered the same chest of drawers by Eco Crafts and started layering with blue and cream acrylic paint and clear crackle paint, but when Mum saw the blue chest with the cream drawers in it, she decided she wanted it to stay that way!

The 'handles' on the front are Graphic 45 button brads; I snapped the brad part off at the back, and glued the button part on to the front of each drawer with a glue gun; there were two designs in the pack so I used one of each in turn.

Mum has some of the sewing themed Tim Holtz supplies so I used these along with a few others that seemed to fit; stamps, die-cuts and a scrap of Tim Holtz paper :)
I played around with a few different things to go with the thread reel and the dress form but in the end went for this Prima flower with some matching thread for the real, and found some buttons in my stash which seemed to contrast well :)

It looks completely different in sunlight so I'll have to see to see if I can replace these pictures when the sun comes out; it's so grey here at the moment!  The sun only seems to shine for short periods while I'm away from the house so it will have to be well-timed :)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Cardiff Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts

On Saturday, me and my Mum went up to Cardiff for the Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts exhibition.  It was being held at the Cardiff International Arena which is in central Cardiff, so after a Starbucks we took a leisurely stroll over there :)

I only took my small camera with me so that it wouldn't be too intrusive, but the CIA was quite dim inside so the pictures didn't come out too well!
 There were several stalls there, mostly for stitchcrafts but also a few for papercrafts and a few other things (such as a stall for cheeses, one for pies and one for roasted nuts!).
 As you can see, most of the people at the show were ladies!  I did spot a few harassed looking male partners following their ladies around but it was mostly us girls ;) although actually several of the exhibitors at the show were men - guess Timmy isn't the only talented male crafter out there!
 In addition to stalls representing businesses, there were also stalls representing certain guilds to do with stitchcrafts - the picture above was a large woollen tent made out of lots of different pieces (in real life it appeared in different shades of blue, grey and white).  The theme was the seaside; there were knitted seagulls, starfish, seashells - it looked amazing!

There was an exhibit showing entries in different stitching and quilting competitions - we were really impressed by these! So wonderful to look at up close.  We particularly liked the Wizard of Oz...

...and Alice in Wonderland.

There were also classes running that we noticed as we walked around, but they appeared to have been fully booked in advance.  We only found out about the exhibition quite recently, so maybe next time :)

We certainly enjoyed looking at the papercrafting stalls, and picked up a few things to bring home and play with  :)

The show at the CIA wasn't all that big, but it was great to look around and it's certainly made us interested in looking at attending a few more shows, even if we have to travel a bit longer to get there!

Happy scrapping :)