Saturday, 5 May 2012

A New Start

I know I've not been blogging for many months and there are several personal reasons for that. Mainly, I was finding being online very time-consuming, time I enjoyed, looking at other people's blogs and commenting now and then, but I felt I couldn't keep up and hadn't much to contribute.
Also, my mother's Altzheimer's got very much worse and my father couldn't look after her. She was in a nursing home in Milton Keynes, and I needed to visit her and my elderly father more often. Sadly, she died in August 2011 and now my father is on his own in his house, with my sister, who lives nearby, keeping an eye on him. He is very frail at 88 and is also losing his memory.
Anyway, paper crafting has suffered immensely over the past year or so. No-one in my family now sends/receives cards from other family members (a money-saving exercise) and it's not worth me making them any more. I've also run out of photos to make scrapbook pages with!
Because I cannot sit and do nothing, and love to make things, I've taken up knitting again and (would you believe it?!) sewing. That's another reason I've not been posting lately, as this blog is meant to be about card-making and scrapbooking.
So, if you still want to see what I've been up to, I have a new Blog (link in the previous post) and I hope to see some of my old friends there occasionally.
Happy crafting!

My New Blog

Here is the link to My New Blog which, I warn you, is not about paper-crafting but instead shows my recent sewing, knitting and crochet projects. I am enjoying a revival of all these crafts. Should you follow the link, I hope you like seeing the things I've made.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Tea Break Layout

Taking inspiration from The Scrappiest Sketch 109 but changing the theme from 'Valentine's Day' I've made a layout this afternoon featuring a very old photograph of me working, or rather, taking a tea break at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury. 
It was my first job after qualifying as a Radiographer in 1980 and this photo was taken about a year later.

The shot was taken by a colleague who was a keen photographer and he developed his own photographs in the x-ray darkroom after hours. If you look very carefully you will see my wedding ring on my right hand. He obviously reversed the photo by mistake before developing it.
I've included a tag, attached to the clock face cut-out, which can be pulled upwards to reveal the hidden journaling, highlighting his error.

For the layout I used K&Co and Tim Holtz papers and stamped clock face images over the background. 

As I am determined not to increase my scrap-booking stash this year, I delved through my many boxes and found some items I had forgotten about. My collection of punches hasn't seen the light of day for ages so it was past time that I used them again on a page. 
Can you spot the three I've used from Martha Stewart?
I think it's as much fun rediscovering old techniques as it is in using new things - or am I just trying to convince myself?! 

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Simple Knitting And Crochet (Or Not)

Having spent my spare time lately, not paper-crafting, but busily having a personal knitting and crocheting revival, (I've just finished another scarf, the pattern in this month's 'Inside Crochet' ) I thought I'd tell how I first came to learn these crafts and am taking part in From High In The Sky Storytelling Sunday.
I used to watch fascinated as my Grandmother knitted in her armchair, and must have been about 7 when I asked her to teach me how to knit. With the occasional input from my Mother, she willingly tried to teach me the age-old craft that she felt every young girl should know. It wasn’t long before major problems surfaced! Not with my aptitude or keenness to learn you understand. No, the problem was my left-handedness - or cack-handedness as my Mother always called it. 
However hard they tried neither woman could teach me to knit left-handedly. They couldn’t work out how I should hold the needles or which way to wind the yarn around. It was probably quite amusing to watch but I became very frustrated at the lack of teaching going on! Eventually I decided that in order to learn something that I really wanted to do, I would have to learn it their way. And so I held the needles as they did and learned to knit exactly as they did. In no time at all I was knitting and purling happily.

Next came my desire to learn to crochet, but neither my Grandmother nor Mother could face teaching me. I had to wait for my Great Aunt Hilda to pay us a visit from London. Although she had been primed in advance about my left-handedness, she was totally unable to show me how to crochet with the hook in my left hand. Having already learned that compromise was required on my part to learn new things I watched and learned how to crochet ‘her way’.

I remember being told that in my Grandfather’s day it was not permitted to be left-handed and he was forced to sit on his left hand at school. Although we are not so strict these days, the majority of people are right-handed and it’s still difficult to find teaching materials or tools specifically for people like me, although the Internet is a valuable new tool for left-handers. Over the years right-handed tasks have become easier for me and I could probably call myself ambidextrous in some things, but I doubt that even I could teach someone left-handed knitting or crochet if I were asked! This raises some questions for me; are left-handed people more easily able to adapt to this right-handed world than right-handed people are to a left-handed world? Or do we left-handers all give in and use our right hands? 
Scientists know that the brains in left-handed and right-handed people are different. Perhaps there was a genuine scientific explanation for my female relatives' difficulties teaching me simple knitting and crochet.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

First Scrapbook Layout of 2011

Some of you spotted this layout on my WOYWW post this week. I had started with a sketch from Scrap-A-Little and produced my first scrapbook layout of 2011. My first page for months actually.
Having no new photos to play with has really affected my creativity and I need to get out with my camera and take some more. Unfortunately, I do tend to be a 'fair-weather photographer'!

The layout features photos of DD2 at a Halloween party. The photos are taken from Facebook and had already been put through an ageing process before being uploaded there, so they are not the best to use for scrapbooking. But as I've already said, I'm lacking new images to play with so these were better than nothing!

Using Tim Holtz paper, I drew a large cobweb starting from the top right-hand corner. Some black velvet ribbon, buttons and jewelled brads completed the page. Before I actually saw the photos, my daughter informed me she had dressed as a Victorian Vampire (whatever one of those looks like!), hence the words in the poem I made up instead of having hand-written journalling.
I must admit I'm much quicker making pages with a starting point like a sketch. If I'm trying to make my own design from scratch I can take hours to finish one layout! 
But I'm sure I'm not the only one with that particular problem.


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