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Friday, September 27, 2013

Poisonous Spider Warning UK The False Widow

Hi guys

well those who know me best know that this is NOT my favourite topic!
But as FG has just pointed out to me on the phone..........NOT everyone does facebook, or reads the newspapers or catches the news, for one reason or another, so she suggested that I posted this to Blogger for those that have missed this like she had!

There is a spider in the UK whose bite is very poisonous Called the False Widow, and although it is mostly confined to the SOUTH of ENGLAND, it seems to be spreading north, and there are isolated cases in the North of England.
This is what it looks like:

DO NOT TRY to catch it with your hands or try to kill it, if it can it WILL bite you! If possible try to capture it with a jar, what you are supposed to do after that I dont know, but dont try to touch it!
Its bite is venomous, and can cause tingling and swelling around the bite area, and it is suggested that those who maybe allergic to it, could be killed by the bite and the amount of venom injected. How you are supposed to know if you are allergic I dont know, but apparently it has caused a couple of amputations.
If bitten, attend the nearest A&E, or your GP asap, and tell them you think it was a False Widow bite. They say DONT phone 999, but I suggest that if you are struggling to breathe or are having chest pains then phone 999, and get an ambulance.
Apparently this spider prefers being up high, so the First floor, normally bedrooms and bathrooms would be its favourite place, and it may move indoors to get out of the cold.
Right I now have to go calm down, and try to get the goosebumps OFF my skin as my hair is definitely standing up on end here! Horrible things, and yes I do have Arachnophobia, and seems my Arachnophobia is well and truly placed! So dont take the Mickey out of me for getting out of the way as fast as I can!

Keep your eyes open,


Sunday, September 22, 2013

still at it...........

Although I have been quiet its because I have been hard at it since my last post.
Well okay I took some time off to read 4 new books, (Yes I am a speed reader, comes of learning to read at 2 yrs old, by all accounts I was a Nightmare child, and Mum had to do something with me....) but I needed a days break in all honesty, so here's another from the New Craft Nouveau CD which will be on C&C on the 1st of October.
The problem I have is choices choices, I have 5 more to show, and having taken a break I am ready to go again! So for today I think it will be ....................................

Now if you get the Cd you can hunt high and low for the items to make this card, and you probably wouldnt spot them, lol.
This is one of the inserts and one of the sentiments.
Luckily I have a Laser printer in addition to my workhorse A3 Ciss printer, and I also have a foiler from Patsy May.
Now the boys are putting inserts on these CDs, but I see no reason why they should just be an insert.
So , Thank you Mike and Ian, they have put some lovely inserts together  AND there's even one in plain Black and White, which is ideal for foiling.
In order to get a good foiled image you need something to stick the foil to the image, or where you want it to be , and really theres only 2 ways to do that.
One is something called Hot stamping, which uses a hot plate to create the image like the Craft Dragon or Hot foil Wizard. You need a foil which has glue on the back of it for hot Stamping, so that it melts the glue and transfers the foil to the project.
Or you use a laser printed image and a foil without glue. The toner which is heated onto the paper or card is able to be re-heated and form the glue for the foil.
There are pluses and minus to both forms of foiling.
For the laser printed foiled image you need a printer that will take all your card weights, not easy for most printers, and a good heavy toner so that there is plenty of glue. You also need a means of heating the foil and toner together. Admittedly I have a proper foiler which I can adjust the temperature settings on, as I can also foil Acetate, but most people get away with either a laminator, or even an Iron. They may not give the most perfect results, but they arent half bad, so dont knock it!
The other form, using the glued foil relies on a very steady hand, or buying plates with designs on.
Now I may be a bit like lindababyus
in that buying things Makes Me Happy, and if you watch the video, and are a crafter you will understand, but I aint daft enough to keep having to buy dies that have to be made for me to  Hot stamp designs with, sorry!
So I went down the laser route, cheap printer, foiler, and shed loads of foil. But of course to add highlights I also have the Hot Foil wizard, which is basically a soldering iron, so I can add touches when I want to.
But it Makes Me Happy!
So printed the design on the printer. Foiled it with Purple foil. Yes Purple! I am a crafter you know and its widely accepted that Purple is Our colour.
Any way, Then I debossed the foiled image with an Embossilicious dotty embossing folder, and then distressed it with Vintage photo, and then applied some Speccie Noirs to parts of the image.
Next I took some Cream Lace and ruffled it slightly down the gap between the 2 women, and added some distress to that as well, as I didnt want white, and I didnt really want cream.
Then some Purple glittery ribbon down the middle, and matted it onto some gold Mirri.
Next I took a large Go-create die, cant remember the name of this one, as I only have half the set, but its a nice shape, and cut the card base by leaving some of the die overhanging the folded edge of the card bas.
And cut a layer from some card from the disk that had been part used on another card, and created a smaller matt.
Edged both with a Gold Paint pen and started to assemble the card.
It just needed a little bit more, so out came some purple Mulberry Paper and I cut small circles and created some small rolled flowers, and cut some flourished from Gold Mirri.
To high light the edges of the flowers I used the Gold paint pen again very lightly, added it all to the card, added a sentiment I had also foiled in purple, and some gems and I like it!
Different to my usual style, and I enjoyed the challenge as I dont normally flourish my cards, but am getting into the habit of it now!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

ANother peak and I didnt mean to use it!

okay well for today I have this:
An 8x8 scalloped Craft Nouveau card.
This caused me some really hard soul searching, once I discovered what I had done!
But before I get to that part, lets get on with the sample shall we?
This is one of the circular pyramid toppers from the disk Craft Nouveau by the boys at Kraftyhands, one of my set pieces, so I had to do something with it, question was .........What exactly?
So I started to look through the papers on the cd, thinking shaped card? easel card? hanging frame? small card? big card?
Okay, big card, so now how do I make this small topper fit onto a big card?
Still rummaging through the papers I came across the Palm Fronds, hmmn...............
So printed it off, and then put the card base, paper and topper on the table together and looked at it.........hmmn, okay needs something else, a matt, okay so rummage through the stash for just the right colour, nope, nope, definitely not, mmnnnmm maybe, nope, nope, aha!
Okay so the matt colour is good, now what else? needs more!
Topper still looks small on the card base, so need something to decrease the visible area..................Ribbon! What colour? oh dear! I needed to bring the picture and card base together, so need to find something that was in the picture,and the background............................skin tone! Most Art Nouveau images are ivory skinned, so Ivory ribbon, and ideally quite wide, aha! got it, actually the last of some ribbon I "recycled" from a Bridesmaids Bouquet some years ago. I had washed it, and rolled it and put it in the draw.
So now I had a ribbon, and it needed a bow, okay, now the bow needs something..................This one caused some real searching in my stash, nothing seemed to suit, until I came across a tattered flower which had been inside a Pound shop craft pack! Yep the flower was from the pound shop, see what you can find when you hunt around?
Okay, so far so good, the flowers on the fronds paper had centres so to bring the matt and the paper together, I cut out the centre of the flowers. And then used a lot of glue pen covering sections of the frond paper, and Crystal glitter.
Now you know how you can get a metallic paper? It doesnt feel like ordinary paper, and has that plasticey coating on the top? Thats what I thought I had, so I stuck the backing paper onto the matt, and then proceed to cover the holes I had made with some glossy accents..
Okay, Mount the topper onto some of the same matt with a tiny edge showing.
Fine, then I cut a couple of corners using and old spellbinder die set, Shapeabilities Floral Doily Accent, its one of the Brown die sets the older ones.
Now at this point, I did actually think that the matt layer was incredibly poor quality, as the paper separated through the middle,  not cut or torn, or damaged on the surface, but as if the back of the paper had come away from the front, and bear in mind that these are small corners....................so I didnt realise until the second one what was going on!
I had only used a sticky backed sheet! If I'd known that I'd have gutted it!
So then comes the soul searching...............do I pull it all apart and rescue as much of the sticky backed paper as I can? Do I leave it? Will it fall apart on screen, with the backing paper coming off the sticky bit?
What would you do?
I hadnt stuck the matt to the card at this point, but I had stuck the circle to the backing paper, and the backing paper to the surface of the sticky backed.
Well If I had removed the backing paper from the sticky backed, I would have left marks all over the sticky backed so there was no point doing that, as it would have been unusable, and I would have had to re-glitter another sheet, and re glaze. Okay cut my losses, remove the carrier sheet and stick the matt to the front of the card then.................boy did it take a while for me to get the back off!
That actually made me feel much better in all honesty. It was such hard work getting that backing off, that it meant I didnt have to try to remove the topper , as its pretty darned solid. When I had cut the dies, I must have stretched the sticky sheet which allowed the backing to come off. The matt on the circle had been cut by hand, not by dies, so the stretching hadnt occured, and I cant get it to release anyway!
So the card was finished, print off the insert, which are on the cd, , stick the bow down, a couple of Pearls, and some glitter and glaze on the main image and jobs a good 'un, as my Dad would say!
Yes I have put the sticky backed in a very safe place now, thing is can I remember where I put it when I need it again?

Right off to create another one!

Have fun,


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Busy Busy

So what shall I show today?..............................

Decisions decisions! Normally I leave my favourite piece till last, and now I have 4 stacked as favourites..............
And I'm making more today, so I have to choose between 4 in order to post.
okay decision made, I think.....................................

Actually I just changed my mind!
Cor this is hard........................
right, enough prevaricating Lou, get on with it!!!!!

A clock, well you werent expecting that now where you?
Craft Nouveau is the soon to be released CD from the Boys at Kraftyhands, and when it says "Craft Nouveau" I think you can see from the variety of samples, exactly how Craftable this CD really is. I have had sneaky peaky's at some of my Teamies samples, and boy, have we all come up with something different! We have some new Teamies on board, which raises the bar for the rest of us, and I think we are all stepping up to the mark.
This was inspired by Les over at HP support here in the UK. Again my printer started playing up, just as the disk arrived, and I shot off to the phone with the images on screen. Eventually I had to unlock my computer, I dont allow remote access by any means, biggest way of having your privacy invaded, and virus' installed, so I had to unlock all the security measures to let the man do his job by remote access.
Les saw this image and said, "Wow that's stunning, I'd love that on a plate!" Now Les is in his late 30's, as he was in school later than me but not too late, so that should show the appeal of these images across a wide age range, so if in doubt that you'll ever use it, well I think you're wrong. This disk isnt just for those like my 73 yr old Dad who has always loved Art Nouveau, but also for the younger generations.
So I took one of the round pyramid toppers, and used the snap shot tool on Adobe reader to just take this image , the base layer from the page, and printed it on Photo paper 3 times, fitting the image to the page, so that the image is just shy of 8", instead of 3 1/2", so as you can see the quality of the artwork is very good.
Then I took my clock pieces, figured out where the centre of the image was, and how far the hands would extend from the centre so I knew where to start on the next layer.
Using a circle cutter I cut the other 2 sheets leaving me with 2 rings and one whole picture. Stacked with Silicon glue, and centred, the next job was to mark the acetate front, and make the side covering. Then add the numbers and assemble the rest of the clock, and hands, making sure to cut the hole in the right place on the sheet to cover the back.. Because this is a Mantle clock as opposed to a hanging clock, I needed stiffness and support both on the back, and sides, and obviously something to stop it rolling along the mantle!
The base support was made from some of the excess card I had left over from the sides, and was simply scored in 2 places and the excess curled around a pencil.

Thank you Les for your inspiration, xx

Right off to create more, while the creative juices are flowing, have fun, and dont forget about this CD, or the current challenge which you can find here

right off to sort out kids, not my own, but other peoples, and get some more creating done, hope you liked it, xx


Monday, September 16, 2013

another sneaky peaky

Well just a couple of weeks to go, the boys have sent out an email allowing pre-order, and I will say here and now that this CD is TRUE to Art Nouveau, so if you know anyone who is an Art Nouveau fan then this cd is a must have!
To illustrate the point, I am hoping this card wont make it to the screen.
Yes you read it right, I dont want this shown on tv.
Because it is true Art Nouveau!
Anyone who knows Art Nouveau or grew up around Art Nouveau will be aware that Art Nouveau was a very sensual portrayal of women. Yes there were lots of images around at the time, but Art Nouveau touched on the naughtier side of nature. I suspect in a reflex reaction to the strict morals of the Victorian era. They werent in your face explicit, but they were a lot naughtier than the Victorians.
So to the card.
True Nouveau appreciators will know what to look for......................
This is one of the card sets, one of the rectangular pyramids, with a backing sheet and envelope strip. Yes I did say envelope strip. A strip intended to decorate your envelope.
So obviously the pyramid topper, a mat which I punched the edge of with an Xcut looped edge punch, in duo cardstock.
The intended Mat, again punched and then threaded with some dusky Rose organza ribbon, which was tied in a bow and distressed with a heat gun.
The strip for the envelope I placed sideways on, punched some flowers from a tonic punch with the remains of the duo cardstock, and added rose brads to the centres.
Some of Pinflairs Magical colour changing Cream Pearl drops, for the tiny flowers on the strip. Then emboss the front of an 8x8 scalloped card base, Embossilicious Falling Leaves, and then brushed some TH Bundled Sage to lift the embossing.
I would have done more, but as there is a chance this will get shown on Tv, I am not willing to draw attention to certain areas of the image, so I have left well alone.
Suffice to say that this CD is a must have. If I was asking someone to make me a card for my Dad, then I would expect an image like this if I said Art Nouveau as a favourite era. My Dad loves Art Nouveau.
So if there is a chance someone will ever ask you for a card from the Art Nouveau era, then you need this CD.
You can pre-order yours here, and dont forget to catch the shows on Create and Craft on the 1st October.
So while I have your attention, have you entered the Kraftyhands Challenge for this month? Its a sketch Challenge, and you stand to win £20 of crafty goodies.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

the build up for the new disk

Well its getting close to the time when the Boys at Kraftyhands are getting ready to release the New disk on Create and Craft, on 1st Oct so we are all busy working on samples for the show.
The disk itself is called Craft Nouveau and is available on Pre-order on the Kraftyhands Website.
For those of you who truly know Art Nouveau, then I have one thing to say, the disk is true to Art Nouveau!
My Dad is a huge Art Nouveau fan, which lead to a bit of embarrassment when I was a child. Admittedly only one image is true Art Nouveau, and it fell to me to do it, but knowing Art Nouveau it was something I was watching out for! So if you have a True Art Nouveau fan in the family (as in huge fans of people like Clarise Cliff) then yes the image is there, but for general appreciation the disk is a lovely starter in Art Nouveau.
The disk itself has some lovely kits on it, the boys try to bring something each time, and this time we have the kinetic swing card.
Here's one of mine:

 Print out the 2 sheets, one on plain white cardstock and one on photo paper, and then cut around the lines. To cut a good cut on a circle, then dont look where your knife is cutting, look a bit behind the knife where you want the blade to go and you'll get a better cut, and a smoother and more accurate cut.
I had some rather citric Gold mirri in my stash, and it fits this design perfectly. I used a spellbinders Ironwork Motifs die to create the brackets.
So a lovely Art Nouveau card, dont forget you can pre-order your copy from the website, and do look at the other samples which will be appearing on my teamies websites,



Friday, September 13, 2013

Just to prove I dont just hoard it...............very photo heavy

following yesterdays revelation of my guilty little secret, I thought I had better prove that I dont just hoard it............................ I just buy too much, lol

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guilty secret!

well it would seem I have a guilty secret......................I mean I know I am fond of Christmas and winter time.............but really I never knew it was that bad!!!!!!
 This isnt a WOYWW picture! This was done at the urging of my FG who decided I should be more organised..................In my defense I dont separate my Christmas stock out, because I make Christmas cards for most of the year, but the tower in the middle of the pic is MOST of my Christmas stash in one place, oopsie!
Theres 3 large storage boxes, a cardboard box full of Christmas Stamps, and the boxes of card kits and ribbons etc, so how big is your Christmas Stash?
So I have finally put my foot firmly down, (well until something else that catches my eye) and no more craft stash!!!!!!!!!!!
Erm who do I think I'm kidding?
This one is the final bits of embellishments, Christmas glitters etc, that filled my work desk.
So come on be honest..................how big's your Christmas Stash?

Saturday, September 07, 2013

First Saturday of the Month and.....DT Call

Yep its that time again. Time for a new challenge over at Kraftyhamds, this month its a Sketch!

So a little bit more difficult, but of course easy if you have the Kraftyhands Boys disks, anyone will do, or a kit. Dont forget if you use Kraftyhands products then you stand to win £20 of physical crafty goodiness, none of this "Digi Download" stuff from the boys, but proper touchable gear.

So now to my entry,

From an Oldie but a goodie, Team Santa!
I printed off the topper onto some photo card, then split it into 3 and mounted them onto some silver Mirri. I printed off the backing paper, and on some plain cardstock I printed the topper set I had taken the main image from , and used the small border as my bottom ribbon design.
This bit was a bit fiddly, as its the waste from scallop punch and I had trimmed it before I realised I neednt have so I had very little left to hold in my fingers, DOH!
Then Add some silver glittery ribbon, make a multi looped bow instead of the flower in the sketch, and use one of the stoppers fro the middle of my "flower".
3 drops of Cosmic shimmer Red Berry pva glue, and as my Dad would say "It'll be right", and most Kiwi's out there will open their eyes wide, lol.
Right off to finish off on this blooming machine, bloomig Microsoft, and I'll update when I am back up properly, I havent forgotten you all just having issues,

see you all later, and hope to comment on your entries,

Now for those of you who have read all the way down here there is currently a DT call over at Kraftyhands.....running till 6th Sept, find the details here/:http://www.kraftyhands.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/dt-call.html


Edited to add if anyone knows the reason this was scheduled for 2014 instead of 2013 I would love to hear from you! Blooming Blogger!

Monday, September 02, 2013

My woes and trials! "We like to think of every customer as our only customer, and hope we treat every customer in that way.!"

Boy what a few months I have had!
its been non stop, first Doncaster and Lupus knocked me for 6, then Pc decided it was slowly loosing the will to live, so new motherboard required then Microsoft sent out a dodgy update, which I found out about AFTER fresh installing 3 times!!

So where I am now. Finally the pc is behaving properly, NOT FUNNY microsoft! One of the security updates on 13th Aug started playing havoc with some computers, all sorts of issues, I didnt own my own files anymore, I couldnt print to the printer, I couldnt scan to the printer but could print, cor it drove me NUTS!! Apparantly it activated built-in errata data in some processors, in some machines it allowed root kits to run, crashed Games on Gamers computers all sorts of issues. But uninstall the offending update and everything works fine....................wish I had known about it before the 3rd fresh installation..........oh boy was I cross! 15 pages of complaints at Microsoft over that one!
So to new-ish pc, well actually the important bits are new, courtesy of a fabulous company I found AWD-IT!
Building your own PC from scratch isnt really something I relish, well its been a long time, computer world wise since I last built one, and my Heat-sync fluid was as dry as a bone, so I went hunting for some alternative and came across this company AWD-IT.
Now I am a computer engineer, qualified etc, but  have lapsed with my current health situation, which lets face it now is NOT going to get better, but I have had about 30 yrs of being active, so cant expect too much from this body now-a-days.
But back to subject, well sort of if you know me, lol. So I do know what I am doing, but in all honesty setting up a bios for all the relevant pc parts leaves me with a big weight in my stomach, not something I look forward to at all, and something I try to avoid. So its one of those things, dont want to do it, lets see if I can avoid it...........and you know what ..........................I DID!. AWD-IT send out a complete and tested motherboard!
lets see if I can explain this in layman terms:
A pc really relies on 4 things: Power supply unit (PSU), this is where it plugs into the wall, there is a box inside the pc that splits all the power from the socket up into different cables. If its a really old pc then you may need a new PSU. A PSU is NOT something to play with! Its the most dangerous part of the PC! If you're in doubt about the PSU in your machine, BIN IT! And get a new one! They can KILL! Do not fiddle or try to repair a PSU EVEN when its not plugged into the wall! It holds a charge like the inside of the old TV's, enough to KILL!
The Motherboard is where it connects all the little bits that we plug into the machine, and what allows information to flow from the keyboard to the Graphics to the Processor,  to the speakers, its all interconnected. Think of it like a sat nav or Road Map, directing the bits to where they need to be.
The processor is the Brain of the computer, its what tells every other bit what it should be doing, just like the human brain. Without the processor it wont work! So the processor is important. The more powerful the processor, the more it can deal with at any one time. The way to think of this is your Great Grand Fathers Brain verses a genius' Brain 100 years from now. Obviously you want one of the more powerful Brains.
Lastly is the Random Access Memory (Ram). The easiest way to explain this is imagining Ram as Hands! You know those things hanging off the end of your wrists? Hands. If you have 1 hand you can do things pretty slowly, if you have 2 hands you can do things pretty quickly, but if you had 100 hands you would be super fast! Ram is the bit that passes things around, and holds them while it waits to be told where to put it, and obviously the more Hands/Ram you have the faster things can be done.
So with that info in mind, building a computer from bare components can be tricky. So what if you could get most of it done for you? Thats what you really pay for in a pc, someone who will put it all together and make sure it works.
So I got the pre-built Motherboard from AWD-IT, and a new PSU, and I now have an up to date pc which should go for years for £200, with the option to upgrade to 32gb ram, (I actually remember pre-windows home computing when it was IBM or Amiga, the pc didnt have a memory built in it did it all off floppy disks)!
I must admit I did have to phone up once to check something but I was that impressed with their knowledgeable help that I complimented them on their service to which I got the most astounding answer: "We like to think of every customer as our only customer, and hope we treat every customer in that way.!" You know what? What a company statement that is! Well done AWD-IT.
You are only the third Company who I have come across who operates in that way, along with MTC and KNK, well done all 3 of you!
So the pc was re-built using the new bits, and the old bits like screen HDD's, dvd players etc. The old bits are going down the line to eldest son, and his pc will go to youngest son, or eldest daughter, who is actually quite able to build her own pc, but probably wont get round to it, so I'll have to do it for her.
So up and running pc wise, then the update from Microsoft hit, after 6 days of sitting there thats when it decided to play up, and I'm generally on my pc quite a bit, I even watch C&C on here 24 hrs a day, so yes I use it a lot, and boy was I confused with the issues that were occurring. I didnt relate it to the windows updates as that was 6 days ago, and no issues.........After the second glitchy failed attempt, I found out about the update, and now have a working system provided I dont go looking for updates, which tends to be one of the first things you do when you do a fresh installation!
so now to what I have been doing in between the pc issues...............

Picture frame, 

S for Santa by Kraftyhands Penny slider

another picture frame

erm well obviously a Thank you card!

a Crafts u Print card

last years Snowman card kit

Embossilicious folder

last Years snow man

Last years snowman

some free Christmas decoupage, dont know where from

Another CUP Kit

last years snowman

another Embossilicious Folder

Some Dufex

another of the unknown decoupage

last years Snowman, Again!

More Dufex

Another Embossilicious folder

Yet more Dufex

Christmas card kit from the £ shop

and another Cup file!
Photo's courtesy of youngest and I have just noticed I havent put my watermarking program back on!
A quick reminder if you have got this far: Kraftyhands are having a DT call, so check it out:  http://www.kraftyhands.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/dt-call.html

hope to see you soon,