Thursday, May 29, 2008

An award!

Deb gave me an award. How exciting!!!!

It was really difficult to chose which ones to pass this on to as there are so many which inspire me.

However.......

First of all, Terrie. Her blog is so inspiring, both the layouts and the posts.

And I love the photos Jo takes.

What Vron can do with photoshop never fails to amaze me.

And I couldn't not include Mandi, even if she does use far too much pink!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Loads of Brads!

Look what I got in the post today!

Loads of lovely Brads in exchange for some crocheted Ladybirds.

Rebecca asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted, so I told her I always have to go and raid Lesleys brads.

There are also some rather pretty beads.

Also, I am in Scrapbook Inspirations this month!

Somebody entered a layout using my crocheted Rainbow. Unfortunately there is only my UKS user name and not my site addy, but at least I am in there!

Now to find a copy......

And finally, I had an email from Photobucket, telling me about their new Group Albums.

So I decided to set one up!

If anybody has made a layout from any of my crocheted stuff, I would be delighted if you could add it to the Rainbow Valley Gallery.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I couldn't resist!

Mark asked me to do dinner at lunchtime yesterday, as he needed to go and see a friend after the Grand Prix and it would be easier for him to have it before he went, rather than rush back for it.

This meant that I had some unexpected time to spend online and decided to have a look around UKS. While I was there, I checked out the weekly challenge.

I haven't done one in ages - and my points showed it!!!!

Imagine my surprise when I found out it was Alphabet Themed

I just couldn't resist!!!!!!

Its a digi LO and is here if you want to leave me loads of lovely comments!!!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Stash!

I have been getting loads of lovely stash in the post.

No, I haven't been on a spending spree! Would I? This is from my crochet embellishment swap.

Mandi sure knows the way to my heart. Loads of lovely beads and buttons for me to play with.

I am seriously tempted to take up this Fimo thing to make my own, they are so much more fun to crochet with than the stuff you can buy.

I would also be able to make the holes a bit bigger to make them easier to crochet with.

And look at all this stash Tinkerbelle sent me. Far too much but I am not complaining.

I love the hand made cards but I doubt very much that they will end up being used for cards as they are perfect for my Silk Album.

I have another swap to get done and in the post for next week. I did tell her Monday but, of course, its a Bank Holiday so it will have to be Tuesday.

I have finished the lower case letters. And what is more, they are all added to mys site, including the doodling!

The page still needs a bit more work as I need to add the numbers to it and the link for the free pattern.

I also plan to convert this lot to digi and add the downloads to the page.

I redid the "Exhibition" for my Silk Album.

I had to squash it in a bit because the new letters are bigger than the old ones.

I am still pleased with it though.

And I need to add a "?" to this page so that I have all the punctuation on one page.

Just like British Rail, I am getting there!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Free Crochet Pattern

Remember the Crocheted Doodling?

Well, I have finally written the pattern and it is on my Free Crochet Patterns!

It is really simple to do so there is no excuse for not trying!

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I have finally finished the upper case letters. I am now working on the lower case set. I am up to "u" so, with a bit of luck, I can get them finished today and blocked over night ready to photograph on the weekend.

I am hoping to get all of these, along with the punctuation and numbers, on to my site for sale this weekends. I can sell the finished items before the pattern is ready as I can use my notes to make them.

Then I have to remake everything to check that I have written the pattern properly. I do this in a different thread which I use for the photos for the pattern. Unfortunately, the thread I started using is only available in the UK as it is manufactured by a UK company. Also, they have changed a few of their lines and I can't get it as easily as I used to.

This means that I have to write the patterns using a different thread that is available in the US as well. I am slowly building up a stash of this in different colours and, as soon as I have a decent colour range, I will swap everything on the site over to the same thread as the patterns. It will save taking twice as many photos!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bloomin Lovely!

Well, after the "Pattern Fiasco" I decided I had had enough on the puter and went out into the garden.

My trough is looking beautiful! It is full of flowers and loads of buds. I was especially pleased to see some buds on the Icelandic Poppy. It is delicate like the Field poppies but comes up in a variety of colours.

Monday, one of the buds opened and another looked as if it was about to.

But Monday tea time I looked out to find that all of the buds, except the original one, had disappeared. There was also hollows in the gravel on the top and stones all over the floor. Cats had been in my trough!!!!!

There will be more buds later so it isn't a total disaster. Just really disappointing.

This is Sisyrinchium "Californian Skies". Most of the plants in the trough are Alpines because it is in full sun at the hottest part of the day. And now it has been moved, its in the sun for even longer.

This was only very small last year. Mam was after a cutting but I wouldn't let her. This year it is about 10 times the original size with loads of flowers. Unfortunately, she still cant have a cutting as she is having work done on the house. At least next year it will be loads bigger for one!

I also have this in yellow but it isn't as big yet and not as delicate as the blue. It also flowers later so I have only had two flowers on it so far. But there are loads of buds just waiting to come out!

And I have a few things just coming into bud.

This is Lemon Thyme and it smells gorgeous!

Lavender

And Mimulus in both "Highland Yellow" and "Highland Orange". Also known as "Monkey Flower" because the flowers are supposed to look like monkey faces.

You are supposed to plant them a certain distance apart but I put them close together in the hope that the two colours would mingle.

And finally, my Clematis. It is "The Vagabond". It is a lovely colour and already has has a few flowers. There are loads more buds and it is supposed to flower all through summer.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Bad, the Good and the Terrific!

Yesterday started off quite well, I sold a pattern. I also had an email to say that new crochet thread had been despatched!

Thats enough to put anybody in a good mood. Right?

Well I was. For all of 5 minutes. Right up until I went to find the pattern to email out to the customer. It wasn't there. Whats more, another wasn't either.

Major panic. I finally worked out what had happened.

When I finish a pattern, I write it to disc then put it in the "finished Patterns" folder on the desktop. That way I have a copy of it which is easily accessible if I need it. During the reformat, I didn't save the Finished Patterns folder, because they were all backed up on disc, weren't they?

No, they weren't!!!!!!

Both of my Scrapbooking patterns hadn't been written to disc. The thing is, my writer doesn't work and it is such a palava to transfer them over to Marks puter to use his burner. I was going to get around to it eventually!

So, when I came down from off the ceiling, I had a think.

I have both of the patterns in hard copy. That means I can scan them in with OCR which will mean I don't have to type them all up again. However, the pictures are not good enough so I have to remake everything to get new ones

During a visit to CTM we were looking at my Silk Scrapbook and realised that I had use quite a few bits in there. That would save crocheting them.

Also, while I was there I realised that I have pictures on my msn group so there is very little I am actually going to have to make.

When I got home I emailed a couple of customers, explained the situation and asked very nicely if they could help out. A US customer immediately sent me her version of the pattern. And a UK customer has promised to look for it after her weekend away. This means that at least I will have saleable copies of that one, even if I have lost all of my work

The problem with the other one is that I haven't sold any.

When Mark came home and I told him he was very matter of fact (typical) and just said "We will try that program on it."

"That Program" is one he bought when something went wrong during his format and he lost ALL of his files. It found them. It doesn't cost anything to download, install and run. However, if it finds the files you want, you have to pay to register it to be able to save them. It cost him $59.95 but was worth it as some of the files he had lost were programs (including Norton) and their key codes.

So, the good news is that it found a whole load of files which I now need to wade through. I have done some of them and found the publisher versions of the one pattern in both UK and US terms. As this is the one I haven't sold any of, this is the one I most needed to find.

Although I don't think I am going to get all my work back, I will have enough to not have to do any work (apart from converting the publisher files to pdf) to have the patterns available to sell again!

And what has happened to my cutomer in all this?

Well, she has been very understanding. I offered her a refund of a text version on a temporary basis. She opted for the text version. As I managed to get the US version back, I sent her that instead. As soon as I get a UK version sorted out, I will send her that as well.

In the mean time, I am sure I can find something else to send her as a "Thank you."

And some really good news is that one of my Silks at the Florists sold!!!! I was shocked.

I went around to take her another one and pick my cheque up! Too late to bank it today but I will be waiting for them to open Monday morning.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spoons and Dragons

Last night was Craft Club. This is the one that meets once a month and we get to try out new stuff. I always look forward to it.

Sometimes is is just a talk but the best ones are where you get to have a go.

Last night we made beaded spoons. They were fun to make and not too difficult.

However, the smell on the glue was something else!!!!!

And now the moment you have all been waiting for!

The Dragonfly page for my Silk Album.

I used the thread I used to stitch it to crochet two of the Dragonflies and the beads I used on it to make the other one.

And, on the Silk subject, I had a good afternoon yesterday!

The lovely man in the gift shop took all my posters advertising my patterns for both the Chatteris shop and the one in March. He also took a pile of business cards.

I was careful to put on the posters only the stuff that uses DK as that is what he sells. I figured if he was good enough to promote my patterns for free the least I could do would be to promote the ones that use his yarn. He also knows somebody who may be able to help sell my silks.

Next I went to visit the flower shops.

Both of them took a silk to display and business cards. And the best bit is that neither have asked for commission!!!!! One did say that if she sells loads for me I could make her one. I have to go in and swap them over every 3-4 weeks so that they have a change.

I have listed them all on my site and just need to finish listing them on Etsy. Then I just need to sell some.

Here's hoping!!!!!!

The Crochet Embellishment Swap is still on. I will accept anything in exchange as long as it isn't pink.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Great Weekend!

We had a lovely time away!

I didn't enjoy the Model Engineering Show too much but that was for Mark. Also it took us well over 4 hours to get there as the A1 was closed and we had to take a detour.

However, we didn't stay there too long. Mark is one of these people who doesn't like shopping and once he had seen everything he wanted to and bought the bits he wanted (including an A2 sized cutting mat for me), we left.

It didn't take up long to get to York. The B&B was easy to find as well. However we had a bit of a shock when we walked in the room!

I have never seen decor quite like it. I thought my taste was a bit eclectic, but this was amazing! Some walls Lilac, others Lavender. Blue blinds on the window and deep purple curtains.

There was a bright purple canopy over the bed, burgundy velvet covers with hot pink cushions and even bright pink sheets.

The Landlady called it the "Indian Room" and it was decorated with Indian style pictures and sequined elephants!!!

The bathroom was even bright!

It had a "Primrose" bathroom suite. Mark manages a plumbers merchants and I am surprised he didn't leave her a business card.

However, it was clean and smelled nice. The Landlady and the brekkie was lovely and, if you can cope with the decor, I would recommend it.

We had a rest for an hour or so as we were really tired after getting up at 5am that morning. Then we contacted our friends. After a snack, we went for a stroll around York.

That city is amazing! It is a glorious combination of new and old, with the Minster appearing from above the other buildings keeping an eye on things.

And the Minster itself is stunning.

I was lucky enough to get this picture as the sun was going down and the building reflected the colour.

We went for a meal in a place called "Kennedys". You can always tell how posh a place is by the size of the meal. Just as well we had had a snack before we went out!

They had a meal deal on which included a bottle of wine with two meals. So, as Mark and Steve were drinking beer, I had a bottle of red amd Sue had a bottle of white.

Just as well the camera was on auto focus because I would have never been able to take this one otherwise!

We went on a bit of a pub crawl after that. I was good and stuck to soft drinks after all that wine.

In one of the pubs we saw this charater who kindly posed for us.

He is one of the "Ghost Walkers". They take people on walks around York telling them all the ghost stories.

The next day we spent the morning with Sue and Steve before leaving for home about 1pm.

The drive back was pretty quick and we called in to see some friends on the way as Mark wanted to borrow his enormous sledge hammer.

After a relaxing evening and early night, we got up and demolished the pond.

It was sad to see it go but at least the hard bit is done now. Luckily all the walls that were above ground have fitted into the hole in the ground.

Mark still needs to knock down a little more below ground level so that we can pave over the top to the same level as the rest. I told him not to bother with the path that ran along the other side and is a little higher. My flowers will look nice on the raised bit!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Crochet Embellishment Exchange.

My Penny Black Stamps from the exchange still haven't arrived and I am really disappointed. I wanted to use them for some birthday cards this month and an anniversary card for Mark.

I know it isn't Clair and Sharnis fault. I have had a few things been delayed for unknown reasons. A letter I sent to York arrived two weeks later having gone via Liverpool! Bearing in mind that our sorting office is Peterborough, why did it go there?????

Also, a parcel I sent for an eBay sale took nearly a month to arrive.

However, despite all this, I have decided to do a crocheted Embellishment exchange.

First of all you pick a set from the ones shown here.

Each set contains 3 daisies, 3 leaves, 3 bugs and enough chain to go around the edge of a 12 inch layout.

You can chose from Butterflies in a peach and cream theme, Ladybirds in a pink, red and white theme or Dragonflies in a lilac, lavender and sky blue theme.

Use the "Ask me, I might button" to email me with the set you want and your postal address.

If you are having problems with the button, you can email or pm me through UKS if you are a member, or leave a comment on here with your contact details and I will get back to you. Of course, I won't publish the comment.

Then, when you get your stash, send me some stash in exchange.

Send me anything you like, whatever you think the exchange is worth.

There is only one stipulation with this - NO PINK!

The first person for each set will get it sent out straight away. However, as I will be making the rest of them as they are requested, it will be 7-10 days before they are sent.

The time will all depend on how many are requested. I will be making them in strict order of requests and will email you to tell you roughly how long it will be.

Just one more thing. It is our 5th anniversay tomorrow. We are going away for a couple of days, leaving early tomorrow morning and coming back late Saturday. So any emails received during that time will be answered on my return.

Also, any comments will be approved on my return.

Now I need to go and make the journalling blocks for my Dragonfly LO and see if I can set up an advance post for tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I can do Joined Up Writing!!!!

I wasn't really happy with the chain for writing the words. And I wanted something different for this LO. So I decided to play!

It took a little bit of fiddling but I managed to do it.

I haven't worked out how to do the rest of the letters, just the ones I need for this. However, I plan to do the whole alphabet like this and put it all in the pattern.

I was thinking that maybe it would be far too big for one pattern so I might put the letters in one and the numbers and puntuation in another, with a discount for buying both at the same time.

Then I couldn't decide how to finish this off. Lesley suggested crocheted swirls, which ended up as crocheted doodling.

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I was quite pleased with the result and they are so easy to make.

I am going to add them to my msn group as a free pattern. I will let you know when it is up.

So the finished LO looks like this!

Not a particularly good picture but I took it at 7.am this morning in the bedroom and I haven't sorted out the RAW plug in yet for Elements.

If you want some of my crocheted embellishments, watch this space! I am "borrowing" an idea from Clair & Sharni.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I hate reformatting!

I always mange to lose something!!!!!

This time it was half of my emails. I thought I had saved them. In fact, I know I saved them! But then I messed up putting them back into OE and lost a load.

However, at least I remembered the Address Book this time.

I thought Mark was going to do it on Sunday for me. Instead, after hogging the puter most of Saturday, he asked me if I was ready for him to do it. Of course, the answer was "No!"

Then I had to save everything all of a rush! I am surprised I didn't lose more.

Still, its all done now and working fine. Although there are things I keep remembering that I need to do. Like find the RAW plug in for Elements.

I went to pick up all my Silks on Saturday morning.

All that work I did on the new "Winter" was wasted. She said it was too different from the original. So now I have a set of "3 Seasons" and an odd "Winter". I am going to have to list them all separately.

However, I did sell "Gerbera" as well. It wasn't one of the Lilies like she told me. But at least it was a sale.

Something else that happened this weekend is that all our fish went. I was really sad to see them go and the garden looks so desolate with an empty pond.

I know Mark is a bit down about it which was why I encouraged him to spend some of what he got for them on a kiln he wants for hardening steel.

I figured that if he got something he wanted he might not feel so bad.

It is going to be filled in and paved over. It will give us loads more space out the back, especially when he builds the conservatory.

Something else I did this weekend was two more LOs for my Silk Album. Neither are quite finished yet. I am not sure what to do with one and the other just needs the journalling done.

And something I didn't do this weekend, was list all my Silks on Etsy!

Best add it on to my long list for today.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Dragonflies finished!

Well, almost. I still have to finish backing them which I will do today. Then, this evening I have to staple the backing on.

Then I need to scrap them to go in my album. I have some off cuts of silk from putting them on the frame and plenty of thread and beads to use on the page. I might even try to make a beaded dragonfly to show the beads I used.

I suddenly realised this morning that I had not made the desktop calender for May.

So, as I was editing the pics of the dragonflies anyway, I decided to use them.

They look really good on my desktop. If you fancy them on yours, just click on the pic on the left to download.

And I had some good news yesterday. I found out that one of my smaller lilies has sold! That means a total of two. I have (almost) finished the new winter. That just needs backing as well ready to staple tonight.

I have to go to the Angle Theatre in Wisbech and pick up the others tomorrow morning. The friend who was going to take me phoned me really upset yesterday. Her car got stolen so she can't. However, she has asked her hubby to take us all up and he has kindly agreed. I am even more pleased I decided to do this silk for her now, it will cheer her up!.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I have been Tagged!

Yes, Rachel has tagged me!

So now I have to come up with 7 random facts.

The problem is that little known facts are generally that way for a purpose!!!!!

1. I am related to Henry Morgan on my mothers side and Princess Di on my fathers side. Brings a whole new meaning to "The Princess and the Pirate"!
2. I have never learnt to drive so I don't have a driving license.
3. Apart from a school trip to Paris, I have never been abroad. So I don't have a passport either.
4. Because of 2 and 3, it is a nightmare trying to get a CRB check done!!!!!!
5. I can't skate.
6. But I can, on a good day, not only touch my toes but also put my palms flat on the floor.
7. Oh, and did you know I love crocheting????????

Now 5 people to tag!

Lesley
Terrie
Debby
Fi
Juliet

And, just to tease you all, another sneaky peak of the dragonflies.

I need them finished by Saturday so I had better get off here!