Friday, 15 December 2017

All Aboard for the UK Award!!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.

Firday’s blog a private peek, right?
So I wanted to share Wednesday evening with you.
We had a marvelous time, Dave, Sheila, Steve and myself.
It was a Murder Mystery on the Bluebell Railway.
We had to dress up to the nines and be at Sheffied Park Railway Station at 6.30pm prompt. There, we witnessed a murder.
It was pretty comical and very entertaining actually.

Then we climbed aboard the most beautiful old steam train, 
took our seats in the Christine Pullman carriage, and slowly chugged out of the station towards East Grinstead.
During the next 3 hours, we were served a fantastic silver service
 3-course meal,


 whilst being able to interview the suspects, who were completely in character and so convincing.
We got right into it it, I can tell you!
Blimming theories were flying around.


Did we get it right? Did we nail it?
Of course we did !!

With Inspector Gray pictured here, and Sheila - who went into note taking mode from the minute we got there - we couldn’t go wrong!
Our team, along with about 3 other teams, named the murderer, the weapon (down to which poisonous flower made him croak) 
AND the motive.

What a treat. What a treat indeed!

The ambience, the food and the entertainment were superb. 
I would recommend it to anybody.
It’s not cheap (about £95 a head), but worth every penny. 



It was fun to tog up in a long evening dress too.
Quite a caper finding bow ties which would go round the mens’ necks and cufflinks which didn’t have Mickey Mouse on them!
We NEVER do anything like this !


All good, innocent fun though.
The occasion?


Steve and Sheila have been together for a year, 
so we thought a special treat was in order.

Whilst you’re here, I have a big favour to ask you.
If you think that this here blog is worthy of a different blog award, not just a craft blog award, but a general UK blog award, will you go vote for it?
I know we won’t get even in the top 100, because now we are diving into the deep end of the pool with the BIG BOYS, but hey!
Who knows? There are plenty of us crafters who could make a splash too.
Would be great to get some recognition on a wider platform.

Speaking of Platforms, check this out.
Stepping back in time...


Love and Hugs
Barb
xxx


https://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2018/entries/barbara-gray-one-day-time



Thursday, 14 December 2017

Old Trick with a new Twist...Step by Step.

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
While you’re here, would you be so kind as to tell the driver to slow down? We are hurtling towards Christmas and we haven’t even got a tree up, or cards written. What am I saying? Written? 
I haven’t made them yet!
Ah well. It will all get done, but I do wish there were about 48 hours in each day just now. I said to Dave this afternoon,
“What I need is for everything to stand still for about a fortnight, 
so that I can catch up.”

So instead of all that stuff on my list, I decided to retreat up to my little haven above the garage and try something out.

When our Maria was on TV yesterday showcasing those superb Rennie Mackintosh inspired stamps, there was a particuler sample from Jane Telford which caught my eye, with gilding flakes.
Very lovely.
The roses were red, and Jane told me she had picked out the red flakes in her stash and placed them behind the rose.

So a thought occurred to me, since I’ve onlt got gold and silver flakes left. What would happen if I coloured in the design from behind with Promarkers?
Would the flakes still show through?

Answer: OH YES!!!
Really easy and really lovely effect.



Ready?


Cut A6 double-sided adhesive in half.
Peel off the backing on one side.
Stamp the stamp onto a half-piece using the Radiance Blackout.
Ideal for this.



Peel stamp off sticky. Perfect image.


Add word stamp. I blotted it lightly first, to prevent sliding around.


Lay the adhesive sheet inky side down on a piece of acetate.
Roll over with a brayer to squeeze out any air bubbles.



Trim with a blade and a Pergamano Ruler with the Groovi Grip on. 
NO SLIDEY!


Peel off the other wax backing paper.
Colour in the image with Promarkers, or other Alcohol pens.


I wondered whether adding the ink would mean the adhesive would lose its stick. Nope.


Next add the gilding flakes.


Rub it with a finger or a little sponge.



Mmmm. How to attach the piece to the black card.
Add the other half of the original A6 adhesive sheet (trimmed to smaller than) on the back.



Back on black, then on a white card.
Done


When you look closely, it is very antique looking, quite vintage, stained. The photos don’t do it justice.


Here are the stamps:


I am in love with these Rennie Mackintoshesque designs which Jim created. In fact, I’ve drawn another 4 myself, for a January launch!

Right.
Break over.
Time to stop procrastinating !!

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Bittathisbittathat...and a Creative Fix


Hi there.
Thanks for joining me.
No I know that Wednesday is usually the day we do some soul searching, but to be frank, I need a creative fix!
(Who’s Frank?)
Have you made all your Christmas cards yet? 
Yes? Well, Good For You!!
Ask me whether I have. Go on, I dare you ....
But rather than get into a spin, I decided to kick back and enjoy the day ahead. 

One card is better than no cards, so here’s a start!
When I got home from our jolly - not so jolly in Cally - on the Continent, Dave had put up the old sign I found in an antique shop in Lewes....

Hanging in the porch window.

See it?


Totally reminded me of the Ribbon Stamp we have.

Merry Christmas

So here’s a step by step using the fab sentiment stamp and those lovely stamps from Linda Williams, with the winter scene and the robins.
Christmas Carol 2 - Reindeer & Robins

Ready? Here goes.


Lay a tag down on a piece of white stencil card and stamp across it in black


See?


Have I got a plan? Do I know what I’m doing?
About as much as the French did yesterday at the Eurotunnel.

I want to use a piece of the Designer parchment, I know that much!
This is the front of the parchment facing up. The more muted side.



Colour in the lettering with blue and white Pergaliner pencils



Stamp across the tag and the parchment.


Mmmm. Add a tree? Or two?


Let’s emboss the parchment on the pink Excellent mat, using the smaller Pergamano embossing tools. Good bundle.

Tag next.
The brushes are brilliant for adding a subtle edge.




Now for the frame on the parchment. 
The Nested Squares Extension ABC Frame is a must have.



Add a pattern from Tina’s Straight Grid Border No. 2. 
Piece of cake this is!! 


Overlay the tag, so that it all lines up.


Add a matching ribbon, and mount on the same 
Rainbow River paper.


Lots of little details.




Enjoyed making this.


But now I must dash.
I am torn between being a crafter and blogging, 
and running a business.
But there you go! I’ve had my crafty fix for one day.

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx





Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Eurotunnel. Relax, we’ll drive...you mad.

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Very late this evening.
Just got in.

Boy oh boy. What a trip back from our little shopping excursion.
It was going quite well all the way through Germany, Holland, Belgium and France, despite the mental drivers, the sleet and rain, the wheel slurry from the juggernauts and virtually no visibility.
We made good time and were even loaded onto an early train at the Calais Eurotunnel.


Happy Days.
Until the hydraulics seized up due to extreme cold temperatures and they had to cancel the one we were on.
“All off, follow the car in front of you”
Now call me sceptical if you like, but I didn’t like the sound of that. There were about 100 cars in front of us, so we had about 100 chances of going the wrong way. 

Honestly, it was like something out of a Brits Abroad sketch. 
We lost the first 90 cars at the first set of traffic lights.
The remaining 10 of us went round a roundabout about 10 times before the car directly in front of Mum and me got pissed off, and took off down the Autres Directions route. She was a miserable looking Brit with a little dog in the boot; never did see her again. We did a couple more circuits, laughed till we cried, and then - against my better judgement - we, the remaining last gaspers, also followed down the Autres Directions Route. I KNEW it would take us off the Channel Tunnel complex, and it did. We were headed back to Brussels! 10 miles we went before we could turn around!! And by this time there were only 5 of us! It was like a blimming jeopardy game!! So one hour after we had been ejected from the train, we were trying to get back into the HOUSE !!! And the French at the entrance didn’t want to believe we had already been on a train in first gear with the handbrake on! This went on for another 20 minutes, and the little convoy of displaced Brits was getting intense. 
The French didn’t want to believe that we had been sent off with no marshal. Marshal ???? A martian with three heads and four tits would have been more useful than the French at the Eurotunnel today!!

Calm down Gray.....

So anyway, after 2 hours, a lot of arm flapping and plenty of gesticulating, we eventually managed to get on another train - a warm one - which had been sent over from England to get us. 
Quelle Shambles!


It’s nice to be home I can tell you. 

When we looked at the ticket, I couldn’t work out why it said 
Fr 12 Dec
“But it’s Tuesday, not Friday, Mum.”
we both looked at it, then at each other....
mmmmm...
Then Mum piped up 
“FRANCE, not FRIDAY!”

Maybe it was Friday. Maybe that was the ETA.
Maybe the poor cow with the little dog in the back will make it by then!

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xx