Tuesday, 19 June 2018

WOYWW - They're nearly here!

Hi :) 

Welcome to another visit to my chaos... linking in to the other Deskers via Julia at Stamping Ground.

My family is arriving from Canada on Saturday.. my Mom, brother, sister in law, nephew and Fr Jack (My Mom's best friend and special part of our family). I've not seen them for quite a while now as they were supposed to come last year but plans changed.

I'm excited as this is the first time my brother and sister in law will be here.. and I've been living in England for 19.5 years now!

Anyway I digress.. here is the all important desk shot.


Close up view as it is still not tidy... but I have Friday off!
The most prominent thing on my desk is my lovely mini distress inks holder which I bought flatpacked from Candy Box Crafts. I had a great time decorating it with stencils and paste and I use it for a lot of essential things. I'll post you a better blog all about it in the near future :)

The stamps are new ordered from Pinflair... can't wait to try them out!

As you know, the biggest project has been trying to get the garden finished.. and we have mostly been successful.. as you can see here.

Lastly, no post is complete without a visit from my kitties... this week is Petal's turn :)


Petal trying out the new Astroturf 

I may not be around much over the next two weeks... but you never know...

Sumbunneh hugs x 

Erika 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Our Garden.. 6 year transformation

Hi!!

In October 2011 we moved into a new build house which we loved. It has a beautiful view out the front, and had a big back garden... which was left with just a few paving slabs.

The company we bought from did offer to turf it for us.. but the garden slopes a lot.. so we knew it would need terracing.





We came up with a 5 year plan.. and most of the work was done by Ian, with the help of our neighbours. In fact, only the lighting was done by an external electrician.

I would love to post the various stages the garden has been through.. but instead I will just show the NOW photos.

This is a panoramic view. On the left we have a raised veg bed (against the house we have cucumber and tomato plants in tubs).

We have a beautiful cedar half shed, half greenhouse which we bought a couple of years ago. The back terrace has fruit trees and bushes. We have a cobnut, bramley espallier, apple tree, crab apple, plum tree, espallier pear, orange pippin apple tree, cherry tree, gooseberry bush, red and white currant bushes, blackberry and a raspberry.

The middle terrace is Astroturf.. and the front is paved in Indian sandstone. We have blueberries and strawberries growing in pots and tubs.

On the left is a swim spa (or 11 person hot tub) and some beautiful composite decking. I also really love the blue fence!


At night, the lighting really makes everything look beautiful. I can see us using the hot tub late into the night.


Lastly, no post is complete without a cat photo.. this one courtesy of Jasper vs. the ping pong ball... I think he likes the turf!


Don't worry.. we have left the cats a patch of real grass on the top tier near the cobnut... so the have some to eat and hide in!


Jasper is enjoying the turf


Petal and I are happy too!

Sumbunneh hugs x 

Erika 

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

WOYWW - How did the tidy up go?

Hi, welcome back for another Wednesday! Where did the time go?

As usual.. you can join in this lovely blog hop hosted by Julia at Stamping Ground.

Last week I mentioned that my family is coming and I needed to tidy my craft room... so how did that go...

I'm glad this isn't a panoramic view of my desk.. it gives the illusion of tidy!
Ok..ok.. so my desk is a little more clear, but that was mostly because I needed the space to pack for a Pauline Butcher Inky Workshop which I went to last Sunday, and a place to put my makes when I came home.


Inky Workshop makes using crystal technique and lolly sticks 
I really enjoy the workshops as not only do I learn new things but I get to see the lovely Inky Crew who are a huge part of my Crafty Family.

I mentioned that I participated in an art montage for our local YMCA. Mine is the small Community Spirit circle in this post.

My company are running a Wellbeing Week and have left us a pile of squishy Lego to play with.. want to see what I made? Click here :)

Lastly, as the kitties stole the show last week.. and the fame went to Biscuit' s head.. here is another snap of her being.. well.. her!


Biscuit is tired out from reading all her fan mail from last week's post!
Next week I will show you the garden... it's finally almost done after 6 years of graft!

Sumbunneh hugs x 

Erika 

Monday, 11 June 2018

Wellbeing Week - Squishy Lego

Hi  :)

The company I work for is hosting a well-being week for staff which kicked off today with the arrival of squishy Lego blocks for us to play with during breaks.

Look at the scale of the blocks
We have been challenged to make things with the blocks... and as I was alone for lunch today.. this is what I came up with:


My interpretation of Stonehenge (although others thought it was the Colosseum)
I took photos and sent them to the challenge, but also asked my team to join in with me on Wednesday to build something together... should be great fun!

Wellbeing is something which I find very important for my life balance.. and challenging people to stop for a break and make some memories.. to step away from worries and phones and desks for half an hour to just relax. It makes you more focused and productive in the long term.

I'll update you with what we have come up with soon :)

Sumbunneh hugs x 

Erika 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Let's go Outside...

After work today I spent a couple of enjoyable hours looking through the blogs of my fellow WOYWW contributors. I loved seeing comments on my own blog and left a comment for everyone where I could.

In my Top Ten Makes post, I mentioned making a circle for a local YMCA montage project, and promised to get a photo for you.. so here it is...


Mine is the small greenish circle on the right just under the tree of hands. 

I go to two Zumba classes a week, one at my local Community Centre on Mondays and one at this YMCA on Wednesdays. Same instructor and I love going and dancing and letting any bad feelings melt away.

Tonight, it was so warm that we took the class outside.. which was so much fun! It was almost like we didn't take it as seriously and we even had a slight giggle fit near the end... you just had to laugh!


Thursdays I return to my local Community Centre where I "run" an adult only (16+) bring your own craft club called Chatty Crafters.

We are a non-profit gathering of like minded people who like to get together to have a cuppa, a chat and 2 hours of crafting time. We have people who knit, crochet, felt, draw, colour, cross stitch, make cards through various forms of papercrafting.

Some weeks we craft loads.. others we just natter... but it's nice to enjoy being creative with others.

Sometimes we teach/learn new things.. but mostly we get on with our own projects.


 Unfortunate we have dwindling numbers and the price of our room went up in April.. so we are now charging £15 for 10 weeks.. which is still an absolute bargain.

Have a great evening and thank you for visiting me :)


Sumbunneh hugs x 

Erika 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A return to WOYWW

Hi, remember me?

Most of you will probably have found me via the WOYWW Mr Linky hosted by the lovely Julia at Stamping Ground. If you have found me through another route, please feel free to have a nosey at all of the blogs linked to Julia's page.. there are some clever people out there and please feel free to join in.

I started my WOYWW journey in 2017, but didn't last very long for a few reasons. If you want to know what I have been up to during my roadbump just click the link.

As you can tell, my desk photo was taken last night (Tuesday) as I  knew how unlikely it was that I would remember to take it when I awoke at 6am for work.

It's not like it changed much overnight... the cats seem to leave the room alone unless I am in there.


Not a very tidy desk.. but a happy one!

The first thing you will notice is mess (or rather the trail of creativity which has yet to be returned from whence it came.

I did have a big tidy up a month ago and donated some of my unused bits to my friend Lynda for her childminding kids to play with.. but alas making anything causes a mini explosion of ideas.

So what exactly have I been making? Well I wrote another blog post about my Top 10 Makes of 2018 (so far). Click the link if you are curious :)

My family (5 members of!) will shortly be arriving in the UK to visit.. so by next week my desk should be very tidy! No really.. it will... maybe... please... HELP!

Before I go I wanted to remind you that Father'sDay is the 17th June.. just in case you need to start/finish your cards. I need to make one for my Father in Law... but I think this one would be ideal for Ian... don't you?

 

With love from his cat babies


Biscuit

Jasper
and of course


Petal
Sumbunneh hugs x

Erika

A catchup on Crafty 2018 :)

Hi, me again! 

2 blog posts in one day... how amazing am I! 

Well, actually I have a lot of catching up to do, and I wanted to give everyone the option of skipping through all of the background leading me back to blogging.

Although I've not been blogging, I have been creating... so let's take a little journey through my top 10 makes of 2018 (So far).

1. Community Spirit

I created this mdf circle during an art day at our local YMCA. They asked for volunteers to paint a circle to be put up as a montage in their reception area. We had to use kiddies acrylic paints... which I have to admit... aren't my forte. However, I had a good play and made my background grungy with baby wipes..  and then relived my 80s love of bubble letters! 


Quite a few people turned out and our circles, along with some painted by students at local schools, have now been mounted. I see my circle every Wednesday night when I go to Zumba.

I will post a photo of the montage next week (I will get a photo tomorrow night).

2. Birthdays Calendar 

I coloured this mdf birthdays sign using Sharpies. The smaller lettering is in a beautiful chrome pen and the glittery touch on the bigger letters is from applying Gellitex.


I've started adding the hearts with the dates on.. but it is taking me a long time with the little silver links.. but I will finish it soon.


3. Body Shop Cards

My friend Charli started a venture with Body Shop at Home and hosted a Body Shop evening at her hair salon. She asked me to bring along a selection of cards.. and I quickly knocked up some shaving foam, ink, stencils and paste cards for her. This was a "whilst drying" photo. The tree at the top left sold before I even got to the party (work friend saw it and bought it!).


4. February Inky Workshop with Pauline and the Inky Crew

Loved learning how to make these beautiful cards and spending time with the Inky Crew :) 

If you click the link above you can look at what everyone else made too.


5. Snow Day Play Day ATC Challenge

In March Debbie, Lynda and I were all set for an Inky Workshop... but unfortunately we got snowed in. As we couldn't get out to play, Pauline set us a challenge to make ATCs using 3 colours, 2 stencils and a stamp.

I really enjoyed it!


6. A play day with Rebecca 

Rebecca is one of my neighbours and is a very crafty 11 year old. Her parents asked if she could hang out with me for the day when they were off for a brewery tour, so of course I introduced her to shaving foam and ink. Most of the photo below were made by her.. and I now know that every one of my spray inks has been used! I also introduced her to stencils and paste.. she went home buzzed with ideas.. and I learned a lot from her too.

Next time I will teach her heat embossing!


7. April Inky Workshop with Pauline and the Inky Crew 

My first time playing with alcohol inks, yupo paper and making a clock! So much fun and if you click the link above you can look at what everyone else made too!


8. Inspired by Eileen Godwin

Visible Image and MISTI hosted a blog hop and I loved seeing what everyone had made... but when I saw Eileen's blog, I fell in love with her makes.. and had to try some of my own. I gave these away as raffle prizes for Zumba's first birthday party.

Link above will take you to Eileen's original blog post.



9. Jess' Birthday Card

I made this for one of the lovely ladies I work with. She reminds me of vibrant colours and being Australian, I really wanted to make something with a native Australian feel. She loved it! I love it.

10. Adam and Gemma's Wedding card

I worked with Adam for many years before he left to join another company.. but we kept in touch, and when I found out he was getting married, I just had to make this for him and his beautiful bride Gemma.


 A special finale - Pulled Inky String Art!

I have been seeing videos posted on Facebook and wondered if I could recreate it. It was so much fun and quite addictive once you get the hang of it! Most of the ones in the photo were made with 2 strings pulled at the same time.


That's all for tonight!

Sumbunneh hugs x

Erika