Thursday, 30 December 2010

Happy New Year Everybody!

Hi everybody, here's wishing you a happy and healthy 2011! Hope you all got through Christmas OK, and are ready to start into the new year tomorrow.
I have made this card for the *STAMPMAN BLOG CHALLENGE - ANYTHING GOES!*
I have been resting and reading a lot this past few days, tanking up some fresh energy ready for celebrating with my friends tomorrow. Strange to think that this is the last thing I will have made for this year!
Once again, many thanks to all those who have visited my blog, left encouraging comments and who have given me a lot of inspiration.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy Christmas & A Blog Award

First of all I would like to wish everybody who looks by a very merry Christmas, hopefully with some time to relax from the pre-Christmas stress, pleasant hours with family and friends, and all the best. I have been reading on many blogs about all the preparations and hard work people - mostly the ladies- have put into making this holiday memorable for their beloved families, and seen many beautiful cards and presents which have been made with phantasy and a great love of creativity, and hope that all these lovely things will be much appreciated by the recipients. Have a lovely time, and thank you all for visiting my blog and for all the encouraging comments you have left.

Secondly, I have been given a blog award by
Carole who got it from Kevin of McCrafty's Cards.

Many thanks to Carole, who for me is the Queen of hand-coloured Tilda Cards, for thinking of me. I don't really like Tilda at all (Hey, don't shout at me, all you Tilda lovers out there!), but Carole's techniques are worth taking a look, then this lady is good!
One of the conditions is to write 8 things about me, and the second one is to pass this award on to 4 other bloggers.

Hmm, what can I say without revealing too much???

1) I am not a good cook, but like eating and baking cakes and biscuits, such as shortbread, chocolate cake, Muffins, Waffles and....and....which probably explains number 2:
2) I am a little too short for my weight; well actually I am quite tall, but I do weigh a few pounds/kilos/stones/ perhaps tons too much.
3) I am NOT planning on making a diet in the new year, because I cannot afford to buy new clothes and lifting the sewing machine out of the cupboard to alter those I have would hurt my back and anyway I can't see well enough to thread the needle properly - and I could surely think of a few more excuses if necessary!
4) I like driving my little red car around, but NOT by ice and snow.
5) I love crafting, making scrapbooks, LOs, mini-books, cards, albums, tags etc.
6) I love reading books about crafting, making scrapbooks, LOs, mini-books, cards, albums, tags etc.
7) I do NOT like clearing up after I have been crafting, making scrapbooks, LOs, mini-books, cards, albums, tags etc.
8) I love reading, and spend most of the time when I am not crafting, making scrapbooks, LOs, mini-books, cards, albums, tags etc. reading everything that falls into my mostly sticky and inky fingers.

OK folks, I hope you now have a good idea what I (am) like!
I have to pass this award on to 4 other people, so I have chosen
Netty of Netty's Craftings,
Carole of Carole's Crafty Corner,
Sue of Scrapbook Susie &
Alma of Tassels, Tags and Teabags.
So Ladies, grab your award when you have time!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Lantern Waste is Everywhere - Remembering Narnia

I grew up with *The Chronicles of Narnia* from C.S.Lewis, and that magical land, where it was always winter and never Christmas, was something that impressed me very much. I used to have an old wooden wardrobe in my bedroom, too, but it had no magic door to another dimension. Snow was something we did not have much of in London, I have more memories of fog and rain, while snow was something on old fashioned Christmas cards.
I have been living in Germany since 1972, and up till now we never had a *white Christmas*, and to be quite honest, I never wanted one. The only one in the family who liked snow was my dog.
It's still a few days to go, but as we have had snow for a couple of weeks now, it looks as though the wishes in Irving Berlin's *White Christmas* song - made immortal by Bing Crosby - will be coming true for a lot of people this year.
Today it was extremely cold. I watched the sun rising, and the crows sitting in the tree waiting for me to disappear so that they could get to their *supplies* on my balcony. Later it snowed again, but it was still possible to go out for a walk along the Rhine and through our little town. Two joggers passed me on the Rhine-path, one wearing shorts and with naked feet! Well, it takes all sorts to make the world....Unfortunately I was not able to get my camera out quickly enough to get a pic of him.
The old fashioned lanterns along the path, and the snowy trees, reminded me of *Lantern Waste*, but I saw neither Lucy nor Mr Tumnus.
I did see some nice Christmas decorations again, and Santas climbing up several houses. And a snow-ball bush. And kids throwing snow-balls or being pulled along on sledges by their Mums and Dads. And had time to admire the beautiful windows and entrance to St Swidbert's Church, and the arch leading to the *Marien-Hospital*.
And after I had warmed up again at home, I watched the sun putting sparkles on the snow before setting in the west, and a few minutes later the moon rising through the trees.
Am I getting to actually like snow??
Have a nice weekend, take care, and thanks for looking in!

Friday, 17 December 2010

A Winter Walk through Kaiserswerth

Woke up this morning to a white, white world again. It always looks really pretty outside, I have a beautiful view over snowy fields and trees from my window, but don't usually like going out in it. Anyway, today I needed to go to the bank, and as I didn't feel like exhumating my car from under piles of snow, I decided to dress up warmly and walk. It's about half an hour to Lohausen, where the bank is, I walked along the road, as it's the shortest way. Then I decided to cut down to the Rhine and take the *Scenic Route* on the way home. There was just a light snowfall, and it was good to be out in the (very) fresh air. Walked along the Rhine, but never met anyone else today, nobody else crazy enough to go there in this weather! At the *Old Rhine Ferry* I stopped for a coffee to warm up, and then discovered that I had my little mobile camera in my pocket, and was able to take some pics after that. From there I walked further, past the ruins of the *Imperial Castle* of Emperor Barbarossa, through the ancient Church Close, and then down the main street, where there are a lot of old houses, some of which were seasonally decorated. By this time it was snowing quite hard, and as I got to the top of the street, it had turned into a little blizzard.
But fate was on my side! Just at that moment, I noticed that I was standing next to the Grill Take-away, where they make such delicious chickens and chips and....
So, what is a girl to do under those circumstances? - Clear thing - open the door and go in! The shop is run by a very friendly Greek family, with a sunny temperament whatever the weather, so after being warmly welcomed I sat down, ordered half a chicken, chips and a diet coke. I think the diet coke is important. After all, the meal had more than enough calories - but it was sooooooooooo delicious! I hadn't had any breakfast, apart from my usual 3 cups of coffee, so was really hungry and enjoyed it no end. The lady sitting at the next table was very chatty, so we talked about this and that while eating and strengthened ourselves before going out into the blizzard again. I felt really full and warm and well by the time I had finished and was ready to stagger on home. The last 20 minutes back home was a bit unpleasant, because the wind was blowing the snow into my face, and my glasses were so snowed up that my vision was rather impaired....Or was it because of the glass of *Ouzo* that I got before I left the grill??
Well, if I hadn't got back safely, I wouldn't be writing this, found my way back like a homing pigeon, but probably not quite as quickly.
Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the pictures!

Friday, 10 December 2010

2 *Snowflake* arches for the Gothic Arches Challenge

Brrrrrr! It's chilly here. Just been out on the balcony in PJs and dressing gown to take the pics of my arches, as the light inside was not so good this morning. Managed to get some pics of the mist, and then watched the sun slowly rising over the snowy fields, and now I feel like I have been deep frozen!
Made 2 simple arches this time. The blue one has been cut from some blue patterned paper from the *Taj Mahal* Stack, overlaid with some blue starry gauze material, and then I put an embossed and distressed frame round it. Added some snowflakes, a TH die cut, and some alphas, and that was it.
The second arch has been cut from different scraps of black and white card which were part of a calendar from last year, I added a silver border, the flower, 2 snowflakes and a text made with the Brother P-touch. Was fun making them, as always. Thanks for looking, and keep warm and safe!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

GC79: Random Redhead Challenge - Stitching

Although I used to love sewing,nowadays I find it more and more difficult because little things get in the way, like not being able to thread the needle any more! But I was determined to try the GC79 Stitching Challenge. I cut a large TH tag from some embossed paper, which I distressed with Victorian Velvet and Faded Jeans. The ribbon on the left side has been stuck on – OK, I cheated there, but it was sticky ribbon! *Live* has been cut with a large Sizzix die and the edges distressed with Faded Jeans again. Then I sewed it on with the sewing machine – it took ten minutes to get the silly needle threaded! – using a zig-zag stitch in dark blue. The lace flowers – which used to adorn an unmentionable piece of clothing! – have also been sewn on with the same stitch and additionally fixed with brads in a purple-blue tone. I added a medallion in blue to the bottom of the tag, and sewed a hanger on with pale blue ribbon – by hand!! Was fun to make, in spite of the little difficulties, but the problems in life are there to be overcome.
And as I looked at *Gingersnaps* this morning, I saw that I had been chosen again to be a *Ginger Gem* for my entry in the *sewing notions* challenge - woohoo!! Thanks a lot to the team for the great inspiration!

Monday, 6 December 2010

An Altered Drawer

Well, some time ago I started altering this little drawer made for sorting slides, and wanted to enter it into a challenge. It took soooooo long, that the challenge is long done and dusted, but I have managed to finish it, don't like leaving unfinished things in the dark corners of my flat - they are probably all full up, anyway! I started by removing all the *shelves* and supports in the drawer, sanded it off, and started painting - that's where the trouble started, as it just sucked up every coat of paint I put on it, and I was determined to use just things I had, otherwise it wouldn't have been recycling. Anyway, after a lot of work I got a coat of bronze structure paint to stick, which I roughed up a bit using an old washing up sponge. The inside has been painted with a remnant of sage green acrylic paint, which I then sprayed with some walnut sparkle spray to cover up the thin bits. Gave a powdering of perfect pearls in green and gold to round it off, and then hammered and sawed till I had got the dividers more or less back in where I wanted them, Then I filled it with different bits of mini - glass vases and other bits and bobs, and added a clock, which cost 1€ at the Euro shop. That was it. My neighbour saw it, looked at it rather critically, and said *It looked better before!* Never mind, he's a man, and I had fun making it, that's the main thing. Thanks for looking!!!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Busy doing nothing....

Well, not quite busy doing nothing - but busy. Had a few days away, with no time or opportunity to do any crafting, just had to be contented with things like watching *Harry Potter*, playing games, reading, snoozing, nattering, cooking and partying, so it was an enjoyable break from the usual daily patterns. It has been snowing a lot, so it was a good time to stay in and keep warm. Today it is is raining, and icicles are forming on the trees, look like big diamonds. The Harry Potter film was fantastic, but scary - glad B was there to hold the popcorn and comfort me at the bad moments. In the last couple of weeks we had made an advent calendar together for her Mum, who had to be sent into the bathroom to hide while we fixed it on the wall on Wednesday morning. She was really thrilled with it, too, so that was good. And on Tuesday evening, before we went to Harry Potter, B gave me a beautiful Calendar that she had made for me - in secret! and I was over the moon having something made expecially for me - thanks B! And I got another present, a beautiful gold bird with a winter hat, who came complete with his own travelling tin, and who now has a place of honour on my window ledge, so he can look out at his colleagues outside. And then on Friday evening, when we made our Channukah / Advent celebration, I got another bird from Inge, a red one with a crown and a majestic cloak. Now they are residing peacefully side by side on my window ledge, and no doubt have a lot of birdie tales to tell. Thanks B & Inge, for being so kind.Inge also has 2 of the lovely golden birds,who also seem to need to tell each other a lot!
All in all, some nice days, in good company. giving and receiving presents, and much more important, love & kindness.