Wednesday, 28 December 2011

'Tis the season

This year, I decided to go a slightly different way with my Christmas cards.  For years I've made my own Christmas cards, but this year, with working full time, it just wasn't going to happen.

I decided early on - in about October, that this year, I would do just one piece of art, using the She Art course, that I did earlier in the year.  Then, this would be printed out for my cards.  I finally got around to doing the canvas, which is actually 12" by 12", late in November. I got it scanned at work and set about printing them off at home.  I decided to go the easy route - and print straight onto the cards.  However, three hours later it just wasn't happening, and I even ended up with the printer spewing out dozens of copies onto ordinary printer paper, which promptly got put to one side.

About a week later, whilst considering buying cards, I decided to just go with what I'd got.  Although the prints were on very ordinary paper, they were printed at best quality.  So, a production line of cutting and sticking brought me a neat pile of Christmas cards in about half an hour - result!  Some doodling around the edge of each picture gave just a little bit more of a hand crafted edge.  And I also have a Christmas piece of art, as I said - Result!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A birdie told me

Ages ago, I made a papier mache boat. Do you remember?  And I wanted a bird to go in it.  But, you know how it is, I had in mind the perfect bird. And, I just couldn't find a pattern.

Every so often I'd look at the boat, and the bird that was looking after it.  And wonder, will I ever find the right birdie sailor? 

So, a couple of weeks ago, while wandering around the internet, something prompted me to go on a bird hunt.  And I found just what I had pictured in my mind. I bought the pattern from The Paper Shed, although this pattern doesn't seem to be available at the moment. But, there's an owl one! I may just have to go shopping there again!

The pattern arrived, and after about an hour or so, I had the sweetest little bird for my boat.

I think there may be a little flock of these on the horizon.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

13.1 miles

I did it.

On Sunday I completed the Great Birmingham Run. It was hard, really hard. But, it was a huge achievement, and I've raised over £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support, who do a brilliant job in the UK supprting people with cancer. 

I sort of aimed to complete in about 3 hours, and my official time was 3 hours 10 minutes.  Not too bad for a short, overweight, forty-something who only started running 8 months ago specifically with this goal in mind.  All of the people mentioned in this post ran as well, including my brother - who is happy and healthy, and ran a very respectable  2 hours 20 minutes.

I feel so much fitter now that I run, and I plan to carry on.  But only for a couple of miles a couple of times a week.  And, that last sentence still amazes me - I still can't quite believe that I'm a runner!

Monday, 17 October 2011

I'm a Winner!

 A couple of weeks ago, I was having a little blog hop - as you do.  I was visiting the lovely, creative blog
Efemera Ink when I was invited to hop on over to another blog.  So, off I went, to yet another inspiring blog, Scattered Scarlet .  Where I was invited to leave a comment, which I did.  And in return, I am now the very happy owner of "this little bit of nonsense".
Thank you, Effie.  It's so lovely, and is inspiring me to do something creative.
I'm missing my makings - but, I have less than a week now, until I run my half marathon - and then I can return to real life, and the long list of ideas I've gathered over the past few weeks and months.

One of the first things on the list is that  header, up there...

Monday, 3 October 2011

Strictly knitting

It's that time of year, Strictly is back on our screens.  Last year, I knitted a pair of wristlet/fingerless gloves mostly whilst watching Strictly. I knit while the chat goes on, then watch when the dancing starts. 

Just after last Christmas I bought another ball of the wool, cast on and knitted a few rows.  Then, put it away. After all, I didn't need another pair of gloves for the summer...  But now, my Strictly gloves are back on the top of my to-do pile, and by the end of the series, I should have another pair of wrist-warmers. It may take that long, as I am an extremely slow knitter.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Hello, anybody there?

Hello, anybody there? I know, I know, you thought I'd fallen off the edge of the blogosphere, didn't you?

Well, not quite.  I've been busy, busy, busy.  Getting used to working full time, and then when I get home it's all train,train, train for the half-marathon.  Which is in just four weeks... eek.  

Oh, and we're also looking at Universities for Luu for next year.  We just came back from Chichester this afternoon, then out for a 4km run, and now about to have dinner.

The pictures?  It's against my self-imposed blogging rules to post without any.  And I'd uploaded these to blogger in May (!) so, I thought you may as well see them.  Back in May we were very busy in the garden, and re-vamping the shed for Mark to go and "play" in.

Monday, 18 July 2011

outrageous cookie time

Last week, on this post, I was intrigued by the sound of Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies.  So I printed out the recipe, added a couple of ingredients to the shopping list, and on a rainy Saturday afternoon Phoebe and I baked.

We muddled our way through the American recipe, and baked some pretty good cookies.  We used crunchy peanut butter, which did give them a nutty texture, and half a bar of milk chocolate instead of chocolate drops.

I had mine with a glass of milk - American style. 

What have you tried out for the first time lately?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Busy, busy, busy

I know, it's been a while. What can I say? Things have been a-changing around here. The biggest, for me, is that I'm now working full time - which is really eating into my crafting time.  Added to that, my half-marathon training is eating up even more time.  And when the creating goes on the back burner, the blogging follows.  And as for scrapbooking? That now seems to have been relegated to the monthly crop at Bromsgrove.

But, you know what? If I take a moment and think about it, there's still a lot of creative craftiness going on around here.  So, that's what I'll try to bring to my pigeon hole.

Shall I promise to speak soon? I think it's better if I just say, hope to see you soon...

See you soon...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

new furniture

When I was a bit awol from this blog, over the Easter holidays, I wasn't busy doing nothing.  We spent a few days having a sort out and move around of furniture, which left us with nowhere to put the hamster cage in the living room.  Ikea was suggested for a unit of some sort - but I decided to keep my eyes open for something secondhand. 

Within just a couple of days I spied a pine chest of drawers outside a local charity shop.  It was no good, a liitle bit small, and with a big chunk out of the top.  But inside the shop I found another much more suitable, but very dark chest of drawers. 

A day spent sanding and re-painting, and Poppy the hamster has a lovely new place to reside...

And I have somewhere to store my crochet, knittting and hand-sewing stuff, as well as my "good" stationery - you know what I mean, not the functional, stuff - the pretty stuff.  And I prettied up the inside of the drawers with wallpaper samples, from the diy store where I bought the paint.

Oh, and I also gave the coffee table in the conservatory a face-lift.  It's a good shape, and very sturdy.  But had turned that orange that laquered pine goes. 

Now, what else can I paint?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

been a-thrifting

Earlier this week, Luu and I did our weekly food shop, and then popped into a couple of local charity shops.  There were lots of treasures, but only three for us.  This suitcase, which has been on the thrifting wish-list for a liitle while, although we did ponder, should we? do we really want it? But for the princely sum of just £2.00 and with some '80s Snoopy stickers it had to be.  Luu is going to use it in her room for storage.

She also bought this linen top, which she will wear as a dress, destined for those hot days, which are on the way back...

And the third item?  A 1990s road atlas for 40p, destined to be chopped up as backgrounds for some more of my pictures.  I've a couple I'm working on at the moment, I should be back with them later in the week...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

a running update

I've just found this post, that I actually wrote on the 12th April - and then left it floundering, as I had no photo to go with it.  So, I thought I'll let you have this, and then I'll update you a little more...

I haven't told you about my running lately, have I?  To remind you, I'm training to do a half-marathon later in the year - gulp...

At the moment I'm following these podcasts, and they're really, really good.  I'm just about to start week seven.  Which means that I start with a 5 minute brisk walk - followed by 25 minutes of running and then another 5 minute walk to cool down.  I did the same session on Sunday, with Mark and Phoebe along with me - on their bikes, and I did it!  I amazed myself when Laura, who talks you through the podcasts, said at 24 minutes - you've got a minute left, if you can, why not run a bit faster... and I did.  From my quite ploddy jog, I upped the speed - and ran.

So, with Laura's help - I should be able to do 5km in another couple of weeks, at the moment I'm doing about 4.2km.

Anyway, since then, I've been building on my time and distance, and last week completed my first 5km, in about 40 minutes.  I was SO pleased.  To be fair, I did it along our local cycle path and canal, so it was fairly flat.  But I wanted to achieve that milestone. I'm now back on the footpaths, so that means some hills are involved, and I'm working my way back up to 5km, and beyond...

Since I've started running, at least two people I know have started running, using these podcasts.  Because, if I can do this, anyone can.

Monday, 16 May 2011

April stuff

Sorry I’ve been gone for a while.  Here’s a brief round up of some of what I’ve been up to…
We’ve had this little one for a year
I turned another year older.  And so did Mark.
We went away to Cornwall for 5 days, just before Easter, and enjoyed the fabulous British weather, and had a great break.
We went to St Ives…
To Porthcurno beach…
To Mousehole..
And to Geevor tin mine museum
There’s plenty more, but I don’t want to get you too excited with too much in one post…

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tuesday Play

It's the Easter holidays around here.  So, today, Phoebe and I had a quick shopping trip out.  Then came back to do some art, based on the She Art course that I did.  Mine's finished, Phoebe's is still a work in progress.  Then we watched Harry Potter.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

a bit more arty stuff

A few more of my pictures following the She Art class

I “collected” the quote on the first one when we went to the eden project last autumn.  I think it was a “what I wish I’d known when I was at school” quote.  How true, and I wish I had known it…

This next one I’ve done for my sister’s birthday, I hope she likes it…

I’m trying to move these towards “my style” – not sure if I’ve quite got it yet, but I’m enjoying the journey

Saturday, 19 March 2011

…and another hobby

So, I have another hobby that I haven’t told you about.  This one is totally outside my comfort zone.  It doesn’t involve a creative bone in my body.  There’s no paper, no glue, no fabric, no wool, no paint… and definitely no scissors.
I’ve started running.  Those of you that have seen me in real life, or perhaps just had a tiny glimpse of a blogged photo, will know that I don’t have a runner’s physique.  I have been heard to say in the last few weeks, that the last time I probably ran, was for a bus, in 1989, and I probably missed it…
So why have I started?  Well, I had a conversation at a family birthday celebration at the end of January that, briefly, followed this train of ideas
  • my brother’s two brother-in-laws both ran the Birmingham Half Marathon last year
  • my brother, while he was in hospital,  said that he would run it this year
  • he thought that they would forget this conversation
  • they didn’t
  • Paul’s sister-in-law also got roped in
  • then they asked me
Obviously I dismissed the idea, and had another slice of cake.  But, after I got home, the idea played in my mind.
Could I? 
I did a bit of googling, and decided that it is do-able.  I have until October to go from sitting on my lardy bum, to running 13 miles.  The next morning, I put my trainers on, went to our local cycle route, and walk-jogged for half an hour – as suggested.  And, you know what?  I did it!  it was –3.5 that morning, with a beautiful thick frost, and I managed to go faster than my usual gentle stroll.
I’ve since found a series of podcasts, called C25K, that are really helping.  I have an intermediate goal of a 5k run in June, and then the biggie, the half-marathon in October.  I’ve registered my interest in it, and I’m telling more people that I’m going to do it, and you’re next on my list of telling people… 
I will be asking for sponsorship closer to the time, probably for Macmillan Nurses, but I’ll do what Paul wants – because that’s why I’m doing it, to raise money for the cancer charity of his choice.  And, don’t worry, I won’t be in anybody’s face asking for money, that’s not my style.  But, if you think you might sponsor me, let me know, and I’ll get back to you later in the year…

Thursday, 3 March 2011

she art workshop

Want to see what I've been up to this week? I've been getting messy with this workshop.  And I'm having a ball!!  Learning lots of techniques, and being inspired by a fabulous group of artists in the She Art Community.

I've been following the techniques outlined in the lessons - but I'm already starting to feel my way towards what is more my style.  I'm sure I'll have more to show you in the future.  But, if you fancy having a go, there are some tutorials on Christy's website, and I believe the workshop is running again soon.

I'm off now to get my bags ready for Saturday's 12 hour cropaganza at the Bromsgrove crop, with 3 classes being taught by Kirsty Wiseman

Monday, 28 February 2011

california gurls

I did these LOs a couple of weeks ago, but thought you might like to see them.  California Gurls is mis-spelt because of the Katy Perry song which we sang a lot when we were in California last year.  Mark took the photos on his phone, and there's not a "good" photo amongst them, but when all put together, they show just how much fun we were having at Disneyland, and it's not often that we get our photos taken together.

I did take a photo op - and made the girls sit in Mickey's car.  We had to wait a couple of minutes, because there was another family taking photos, we got chatting, as you do...  And the mom told Mark that he was really lucky to be married to me - because I have such a cute accent! Those of you that know me, as well as those that don't, are allowed to laugh at this point...
And, finally, a card that I made for my sister-in-law's birthday...
speak soon, sarah x

Sunday, 27 February 2011

i need another hobby like i need a hole in the head

Two posts in one day, wonders will never cease...

So, a couple of weeks ago, I came across this workshop, it played in my mind, I got some paints and stamps out and had a dabble, and then I signed up.  The workshop opens tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to it.  I'll let you know how it goes...

friday night project

It's been half term around here, the girl's mostly do their own thing, but on Friday I took the day off work, and we went to Worcester for a mooch around.

There are loads of charity shops, where Lou got a couple of items, and independent shops, including a couple of old-fashioned sweet shops, where Phoebe bought quite a few different types of sweets.  And, of course we had to pop into the scrapbooking shop...

I was very restrained, all we bought was a house/shelf thingy each...  We came home and started to decorate them straight away - instead of leaving them hanging around...  Three people sat around one table came up with three very different items.  

Lou painted hers - complete with stars in the night sky in the roof, and a garland of daisies.  She added some paper flowers and bling from my stash. And it is now home to one of her my little ponies.

Phoebe painted hers white, and then added some Amy Butler papers. We came up with the idea of adding some hooks to the bottom, for some of her necklaces, and she added some bits and bobs from around her bedroom.

I painted mine white and added some Sassafras Indie Girl papers, and some stuff from my stash...

hope your week's been good, as well...