Tuesday 27 October 2020

Saved up for and done!

Kitchen, small bedroom and bathroom windows changed. Before:

And afterwards:

Not cleaned at this stage as it was pouring down but they did remove greasy marks after these pictures were taken. 

They were also kind enough to leave us a couple of very long strips for us to fix at a later date, above our electric sun blind, where the rain drips down onto the windowsill and keeps us awake.

Sunday 25 October 2020

Colouring on Kraft card

 Having seen a few examples online (and it being my favourite card stock), I thought I would use my pencils on some to see how it went.

I was watching someone colour online and noticed after colouring, that they re-stamped their image - what a difference. Luckily, I have a good stamping platform (like a folded book), rather than one on four bouncy legs. By cleaning the stamps insitu, they can be left in place. This allows you to see exactly where you were and can easily overstamp - providing nothing moves.

Herewith a kraft sample card, coloured in - this is how most people colour their cards:

After restamping:
Apart from a flower stem moving and the flash going off, which has overlit the bunnies bottom right, it makes such a difference don't you think?

Saturday 24 October 2020

Colour and swing

I have been attempting some general colouring on some old gnome stamps whose dies don't quite fit properly. I have sent for some new ones and hope they are better.

Shading is mimimal as I don't yet understand the concept or how to do it properly but hopefully, I will improve. Although the colouring is basic, I also hope to learn how to blend the colour by melting it slightly with oil brush cleaner - apparently, the technique makes the colour more intense - watch this space!

Never to just do one new thing at a time, I also came across a tutorial on how to make an element on a card swing (rather than slide which needs a die), so have also done that with the gnome on an old bit of card to create a sample:

Onwards and upwards...

Friday 23 October 2020


Part of developing my card making skills is to learn to colour better. Despite doing a BA in Fine Arts, Fine Art was not my strong point and I moved very off piste in my development!

Also, my biggest problem to date has been making myself spend money. Having been frugal for so long, and now having more money available, I was finding it very difficult to make myself spend it.

I want to colour cards (and other things) without just being able to use stamping ink. I have been looking at alcohol markers, looking at each make in detail, couldn't make a decision. Some are refillable, some aren't. The unfillable ones are cheaper but that means throwing them away once done. Some can be ordered individually to replace empty ones, others in sets, some, would need the whole set replacing just to replace one!

Then, watching a video on colouring cards, I came across wooden pencils with a wax crayon interior. A whole other ballgame. In the end, I settled on Derwent Coloursoft.

Next dilemma - how many to buy. They come in 24, 36, 48 and 72. I looked online at the colours that are in each set and went for the 72. Most sets just didn't have enough of the colour range I knew I would be interested in. This make also sells them individually for when a certain colour runs out. They are not cheap. On the makers site they average £148. On a well known online site £116. However, I carried on searching and found another online site, dedicated to pens and got them for just under £97, quite a saving overall:

I have begun my journey and so far, am enjoying myself. Better get a move on though as I still haven't begun my Christmas cards:(

Monday 19 October 2020

Still here but cheesed off!

Nothing much to say this last week as I have just been so angry with Covidiots! Drinking like there is no tomorrow in pubs before spilling out onto the streets to hug and party. Pouring into local shops, off licences and supermarkets to buy yet more booze with no masks and no social distancing. 

Why oh why wasn't there a complete 10pm shop shut down curfew. Are they so desperate for booze they have to go buy more and endanger themselves and everyone around them.

Covid cases are rising quickly now. I reckon quite a lot of them, are related to all the protests a few weeks ago, but we won't ever know. Now, partying on the street, more protests and ignoring local restrictions will see another surge in a few weeks time.

I think the next thing will be another lockdown, can't see any way of avoiding it if numbers continue to rise and people keep doing what they want rather than what they should. Then they will all moan about Christmas and New Year being cancelled. I don't have any faith at the moment in those events being allowed to happen so yet more missed time with granddaughter:(

The thing that has cheesed me off the most though is yet again, missing out on seeing her. They should have been here this coming weekend but have been put into a higher level tier than us so that is out the window - again.

Its very difficult to feel like grandparents when you can't see and hold your grandchild! They keep us informed with video chats etc but it just isn't the same. Mind you, she did decide to tummy shuffle backwards on camera yesterday so that was lovely to see. Slow but sure but she did it. She has been teething for quite a while but no sign of any yet.

Finally got invited for my flu jab, well, to be put on the list for when the next lot is ordered. They seem to be struggling to get enough for those that should be having it, let alone for all those 50 and over. 

Ah well, hope you all continue to stay safe and well.

Saturday 10 October 2020

It's fair to say...

That from a clothing point of view, we were caught on the hop when our total lockdown happened. Foodwise, not so. I had a bad feeling from mid January. Already having two Brexit boxes, I slowly built them up further each week. I must admit though, I still got caught out regarding flour, yeast and bicarbonate of soda! Being busy doing that and sourcing things required for mask making, I completely forgot about clothes. Brexit boxes are still getting added to.

From a clothes point of view, we buy only what we need, rarely what we want and make do for a lot of the time. Our clothes go year to year only being replenished when required. We are not fashion conscious, comfort beats looks every time. Buying new underwear happens more often because items nowadays, seem to shrink at an alarming rate with frequent washing!

Not wanting to be caught on the hop again, autumn, winter and spring clothing has been looked at. Replacement items went onto a list. Yesterday and today we went shopping. Two items from Friday were returned for refund today.

New pyjamas for both of us, underwear for both of us (now put away until required). A couple of jumpers and lounge pants for me. I have never had any before but I know they will be comfortable and keep me warm in the months ahead. Coats, hats, gloves, shoes and boots all still fine from a few years ago. 

Are you prepared just in case?

Friday 9 October 2020

Last of the 'giant' pears

Our mini pear tree, a Comice, had the biggest pears it has ever had, each one weighing in at just under 380g - huge. Here is DB holding one of them:

I left them on the tree as long as possible but now we are having cold nights, didn't want to risk losing them to frost. This little tree gave us 11 of these, fantastic!

Unfortunately it is now getting attacked by some sort of bug inside the leaves. Hardly surprising as it lives in gravel and doesn't receive much attention. However, I shall rake the gravel back and give it some soil improver this autumn, see if that helps it.

Although it was supposed to be a very good year for apples, ours were rubbish, we got just one to eat! The red pears and this one did well, as did the plums. I have ordered and await delivery of a nice crab apple tree later in the year. It will go in my new back border.

Thursday 8 October 2020

Green Tomato Chutney

The tomatoes we picked to avoid the bad weather, have been inside long enough to start turning red. I just managed to get 1lb of green ones to make a batch, probably about 2-3lb when done. 

Other than forgetting to chop the raisins, I followed the recipe. It is one from my mother in law, hand written by father in law. I don’t know where she got it from. I love flipping through my folder to see their recipes and writing now they are long gone.

Started out like this:

After 3 hours we managed to get about 2 1/4lb. The two 1lb jars have already clicked into place but the small one, with such an air gap hasn't. No need to worry, it will be ready to eat early December and will be the first one we use.
I still need to make picalilli and some more marmalade then I will be done for this year.

Sunday 4 October 2020

We have been lucky!

 So far, we have been lucky regarding the weather. Normal wind and rain, no gale force blasts nor extremely heavy showers. We still have to get through the next few days but hopefully it will pass without incident.

The water butts are all connected and the excess water is gently dripping into the pond. In our front pond, our very small flowered lily is the best it’s been, guess it has reached maturity.

That’s all for now, nowt else to say.

Friday 2 October 2020

Storms a-coming!

Here in the mid and southern parts of the UK, we are due to be embraced by Storm Alex. That will hit us this afternoon and blow for quite a few hours. Tomorrow, whether its the same storm or another one, we are in for even worse weather.

The breadmaker is cooking us a loaf of bread now (just in case of a power cut), the oven is on roasting overripe tomatoes, a pepper and onion to make some soup for lunch. Normally I wouldn't use the oven for just one item but as we are watching what we are eating, so no cake or pudding will be cooked.

DB is outside finishing off the water butts. We still need to move the black dustbin one but it is currently full so will have to wait. When he has finished doing that, he has a long list of other things that need doing over the next few days. 

I really must try and get on with making us new style masks. It is on youtube so I will post the link if it works okay. I need to watch the first bit again to get the measurements correct. Our Christmas cards haven't been thought about yet, let alone started. This time last year, being new to card making, they were almost finished!

Have a good day everyone and batten down the hatches if you are due the dreadful weather today and tomorrow.