Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Notecards for Anna

Click on images to see them bigger!

One evening earlier this month, my partner and I had just walked in from shopping and he said "Ooops!" (or words to that effect) and explained that he should have got one of his sisters a birthday card. I told him not to worry, I'd make one.


It turned out to be more than a card; a little wallet containing 6 notecards. I didn't have a plan, I just sat up most of the night, playing with my carfty-stash.

Here is the front cover....

"Anna" is written with a blank embossing pen and then heat-embossed with gold embossing powder. The wallet is made from blank green card. I stuck a piece of pink card, cut out with crimping scissors, to the front and back. On the front here I've also placed a piece of patterned contrast paper, a skeleton leaf, and a single pearl. Green ribbon is attached with brass brads and trimmed with wooden beads to prevent fraying.

Here is the inside....
I lined the card with some handmade Indian paper, which is very soft, almost tissue-like. Then I cut the green card and folded up to make two pockets, using double-sided tape to stick it in place. I covered each side with more scraps of contrasting patterns.

Here is the back........
I covered the back with a tiny stamp of a flying bird, using a watermark stamp pad. I really like this bit! Here it is, close up-

And here are the notecards I made and put inside....
They are about 3inches square. All open up double and have the small bird watermark image inside. They are all stamped and embossed, apart from the shamrock, which is drawn with the embossing pen, then embossed.

I also made a tag to slip inside to say "Happy Birthday" and signed from us both.

She rang and said she really liked it! I really enjoyed making it! -and was pleased with how it came out!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Difficult choice! What would YOU do???

I went to the cupboard for the last square of chocolate. I unfolded the wrapper, and out flew a little moth. One of those little grey dusty ones. What would you do?

(a) wrap it up again and put it back in the cupboard for your other half to find and eat
(b) leave it out on the side for the poor moth to finish
(c) throw it away
(d) eat it

To find out what I did, read my entry under 'comments'. Don't forget to say what you'd have done!

Friday, 18 July 2008

21st Birthday card for Aimee

Aimee is one of two nieces I have, the other being her elder sister, Vicky. Their family all moved to Australia in 1996 so the last time I saw the girls they were still in school. It's hard to believe that Aimee will be 21 next week. Oh boy.

Well, I doubt this will get to her in time, but hope that when it gets there she likes it.

I think the 21 owls will make her smile, and a smile is as much as you can hope for from a card!

The card is one of a pile sent to me by Mrs Nesbitt, who had some spare and was having a clearout!!! I used a blue stamp pad to colour some sky, and tore some green paper for the grass. The wood of the tree is actually real bark.

The leaf and owl paper is from a range of new papers called "Secret Garden" by a company called "Papermania". They do matching stamps, too, but I couldn't afford to get them as well as the paper, so I just sat and cut out 21 owls!!

Tucked inside the card and just visible from the front, I made a bookmark and trimmed it with real feathers (though I can't be sure they once belonged to an owl). This inside pocket is made of folded paper from the same range... The bookmark is made from two pieces of patterned card stuck back to back. I wrote Aimee's name with an embossing pen and used red embossing powder: The back: no card from an aunt would be complete without a corny "life message"! Anyway, I hope she likes them. It kept me out of mischief for an hour or so.... ;^) By the way, if you are in the UK and use crafty stuff, take a look at Artymiss.co.uk - they have quite a lot in a sale at the moment so you might find a few bargains!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

ABC Wednesday......


This ZEBRA FINCH is one of many that live in a big butterfly house we visited a few years ago in The Cotswolds.

I didn't have a digital camera then, and I can't find all the other prints!! Aaagh! I had lots. I've scanned this one in and, I have to admit, brightened it a bit and cropped it. Hey ho.

This fella is a young'un, I think, and very cute. You'll just have to take my word for it that he had lots of cute pals, all flitting about between exotic trees and flowers, and drinking from little waterfalls.

For more info ABC Wednesday posts, go to

Mrs Nesbitt's blog

where you will see info on how to join in, and a table of links to those taking part.


Sunday, 13 July 2008

40th birthday keepsake for a friend....

I've known Jo since we were both about 8 years old. It's her 40th birthday this week. I've bought her card and a present, but I wanted to make something as well.

This was the only photo I could find of just her, i.e., no one else cutting across it anywhere or taking her attention. It was taken on her 23rd birthday. The pair of us went off to Chessington World of Adventure and had a great time on all the rides, just like when we were kids at a fun fair. The coolli hat was because it was so hot. I wore one, too. She's eating a very runny peach and I remember she ended up very sticky.
I scanned in the photo and made lots of small copies, including a couple of black and whites. I also cropped into the pink flowers in the background, and printed these off too, separately.

I used a few sheets of acid-free 120gsm card and just made it up as I went along, really....

This is the front-
....so this is 3 layers- card, then paper, then a photo of the background flowers, with a stick-on butterfly cut-out and a tag that I made from scrap paper and more card- it isn't stuck down so you can move it out of the way....

I like the leaves at the top right corner....
..... I have a leaf-shape hole punch and punched a few holes in a spare photo. When I emptied it I found these little leaf shapes, so I stuck them on. Bottom right of this close-up you can see a small pearl bead, too.

OK this is the inside....

"You're not really 40, you're 23 with 17 years' experience!"

The card I used was green one one side and black on the other. I didn't have any card that was the same each side. But this meant I could play with more colour I suppose, as I'm not sure that orange paper would have worked on the green...


The black and white close up of her face is framed by lots of tiny, tiny thumbnail photo crops of the pink flowers in the background, lined up and printed off as a border.....

.....here's more of the flower background, this time enlarged and written on....
- this photo is mounted on paper that I tore round the edges and then rubbed a stamp-pad on the rough edge. It puts in a bit of pink contrast, but it doesn't show up very well here.

Here's the back:Again, the paper is roughly torn and the exposed edges rubbed with an ink pad, this time dark blue.

(Notice the toggle on the right hand side? I used separate bits of card and orginally just held them together with the ribbon I used on the tags. But it was difficult to open and read. So I bound it at the side with elastic instead, and tidied this up with a plastic toggle.)
......Finally, because there was a butterfly on the paper, I added another, cut out of a bit of vellum. I used the rest of the vellum sheet to make an envelope.

Sorry to waffle in such detail, but I was very pleased with how it turned out, 'specially as I didn't have a plan, just wanted to pootle at something in front of the telly....
Hope she likes it!!!!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

ABC Wednesday......

Y is for YELLOW......

This is the laburnum tree in my front garden. I took these pictures in May. The yellow blossom has now gone, leaving paler bunches of seeds hanging down in their place.

It was lovely to look out onto this tree in the evenings. Even if it were stormy or overcast, it was like a burst of sunshine.
I could also show you yellow fields of rape seed oil growing in the spring, daffodils, or even the yellow walls of my living room and dining room! Yellow is my favourite colour. But I am feeling a little yellow myself at the moment, as I have just come back from the dentist!


For more info ABC Wednesday posts, go to

Mrs Nesbitt's blog

where you will see info on how to join in, and a table of links to those taking part.


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

ABC Wednesday......

This week's letter is X,
like the X in the trellis around my Sweet Pea!

And now.... oh, any excuse to show you them!
These flowers are very delicate, but you wouldn't believe how strongly scented they are! You can smell them from a few feet away.

I've never been able to grow these successfully before. These are all from one tiny pot which I spotted on the 'reduced' trolley on the way out of the Garden Centre. They were 49p. I took pity on them and bought them. I put them straight into this larger pot, filled it with organic compost, put the pyramid trellis on top and hoped for the best. I didn't imagine they will fill the space, as they were just a few tiny shoots, barely alive.

I love them. They have always been a favourite. It's very special to have some of my own.


For more info ABC Wednesday posts, go to

Mrs Nesbitt's blog

where you will see info on how to join in, and a table of links to those taking part.