Sunday, 21 January 2018

Denim Teaser Toy For Cats - Handmade Monday

As a follower of several craft blogs, I'm constantly inspired by the wonderful creations I see.
  There are so many talented, creative people in the blogosphere and although I do like to dabble in a few different areas I know my limitations.  I'm not great with a sewing machine for instance....I need reading glasses these days and trying to thread the minute needle of the machine is always a challenge!
However, after seeing a fantastic denim dog bone posted on PillarBoxBlue, a blog bursting with denim delights, I was inspired to get the machine out again.

Not having a dog, I began to wonder what I could make for my foster cats and an idea began to form.

Here's what you need to make this denim fish cat teaser.

Small scraps of denim
(Some while ago I bought an outsize pair of jeans (size 28) at a jumble sale ....that's an awful lot of denim for 30p, but only a small amount is needed for this particular project.)
Soft toy filling 
Cord or String

(I forgot to photograph some of the steps as I was making this, but it's simple enough to create.)
Make a cardboard fish template. Trace around template twice onto reverse side of denim.

Cut out two denim fish leaving small seam allowance and pin right sides together.

Sew around fish leaving gap for stuffing.
Turn right sides out, insert knotted cord at mouth end and stuff fish with toy filling/cat nip.
(I used a knitting needle to get into all the fiddly areas.)
Close up the opening with hand stitching.  
Sew on two button eyes
Cut dowel to required length with hacksaw and sandpaper rough end until smooth.
Drill small hole one centimetre from the end.
Thread cord through hole and knot either side of dowel.

......Amuse your cat for hours!

Pickle, my current ward is a playful puss and loves her new toy!

Linking to Sum of Their Stories for Handmade Monday #59

Monday, 15 January 2018

Anything Goes With Lots Of Layers

It's another craft post from me as I braved the craft room this weekend to make a few more cards....I really need to have a blitz in there!
The first two are similar in design and were intended to be one layer as I masked off the surround.  All was going well until I smudged a tiny amount of black ink onto the white area!  I've lost count of the times I have done this...you'd think I'd learn.  However I managed to salvage the card by cutting around the design and mounting it onto a clean card...after first washing my hands!  The image of the second card was made using the back of the card blank that I'd spoiled.

Stamps used: Wee Foliage - Clarity Stamps
                     sentiment - Inkylicious 
Inks : Tim Holtz Distress Inks & Versafine


I'm linking my card to the following challenges
Addicted To Stamps & More - Anything Goes/Clean & Simple

From clean and simple it's anything but for the Sweet Stampin' Challenge
where they want to see Lots of Layers... the more the better.  I count seven here.

Stamps used: sentiment - Paula Pascual
Can't remember where the foliage came from...it's a rectangular background stamp and I cut around the individual sprigs...Possibly Hero Arts.

Also linking up with Sum Of Their Stories for Handmade Monday #58.

In other news Bess, the cat I've been fostering for the last three months (seen HERE) was adopted at the weekend.  I'm so sorry to see her go as she's a gorgeous girl, so very affectionate, but of course I'm thrilled that she has a lovely permanent home now.  As of this morning, Pickle is now in residence, another black and white moggie, so far we seem to be rubbing along together fairly well.  

 Isn't she a sweetie?

Thanks for reading and have a good week.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

A Paper Crafter Returns

Happy New Year to all!  Did you have a good Christmas ?  Mine was spent at Gatwick Airport although I wasn't bothered about that, but when my car conked out in the staff car park after a 12 hour night shift it was a bit of  bummer. Fortunately a new battery was all it took to fire into life, phew!

There's been a paper crafting hiatus on my blog lately which I'm now remedying as I spent the afternoon in my craft room knocking up a few cards  I'm linking this one to the following challenges.

Less Is More - Purples
Alphabet Challenge - U (use three of something)
CAS(e) This Sketch  #253 

Sentiment-Stampin' Up
Flower stamps-Stampin' Up
Embossing Folder-Cuttlebug
Embellishments from my stash 

I had intended to make cards this morning in order to grab the available light for the photograph, however my foster cat's tummy upset put paid to that (possibly TMI?) and I had to dash to the vet for a probiotic.  By the time the cards were made, the daylight had disappeared and artificial light had to suffice, hence not a brilliant shot.

Thanks for reading....and stay warm.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

A Peeved Puss - Sunday Photo

 Bess, my foster cat has been here for over two months now.  She came to me with some skin problems which will be with her for life, but back at the start of the year when she was found as a stray, they were severe.  After months of trial and error medication there have been huge improvements but also set backs. Currently we are doing quite well but her treatment requires a weekly bath and medicated shampoo, luckily for me she is a dream cat and tolerates them with fairly good grace, despite much miaowing.

I love this photo of her as she looks thoroughly disgruntled....notice the blob of cat food on her nose, a result of wearing a buster collar and not being able to position her face in the usual way over her food dish.  

Linking with Photalife's Sunday Photo 
and Animal Tales at A Green and Rosie Life


Monday, 4 December 2017

Bus Trip To Bruges

Last Saturday morning found me jumping on a coach at 0600...destination Bruges. (or Brugge as the locals call it)  A trip had been organised at work and being ridiculously cheap it would have been daft not to go.  Save for one night in Oostende back in the eighties, I'd never been to Belgium so I was looking forward to this trip.  Unfortunately when we drove out of the Eurotunnel in Calais we were greeted by dense and freezing fog which continued into Belgium meaning our first glimpses of Bruges, a UNESCO heritage centre were somewhat eery.

Not for me were the Christmas market stalls, I just wanted to soak up the history and the ambience of the place, which admittedly was a tall order in the four hours we had there.

The town was swarming with tourists and it was difficult not to get swept along the cobbled streets. Unsurprisingly, people everywhere were stopping for selfies as the town is incredibly picturesque, even in the mist!  The 400 foot high spire of The Church of Our Lady was enveloped in a blanket in fog.

The ornate Flemish architecture of the area is exceptionally pretty and a photographers delight, although I'd have preferred blue skies the overcast weather did not deter me from snapping away.

14th century City Hall or Stadhuis

Of course Belgian chocolate is world renowned and plays a strong role in the country's economy.  There are over two thousand chocolatiers in Belgium and the streets of Bruges certainly have their fair share with windows boasting chocolate in every form imaginable.  

Bicycles were parked everywhere, although heaving crowds prevented an easy passage on two wheels.

Noticeable in Belgium were the espaliered trees everywhere and the use of boughs of fir to decorate the shop fronts which I thought particularly tasteful, unlike some of the dreadful, garish tat seen in my nearest town.

After a couple of hours wandering the bitterly cold streets my hands were so numb I couldn't feel the camera shutter button beneath my fingertips so we dived into a restaurant for lunch and a fortifying glass of warme wijn.  (Did I get that right Ann?)

We were attended by a rather sullen-looking elderly waiter, who we all thought should be at home with his feet up, not racing around a restaurant that was bursting at the seams.   The fish soup I ordered (a local speciality) was delicious and my choice was envied by colleagues who'd played safe with boring omelettes.

After lunch we walked back past the canal, more visible now as the fog had lifted and all agreed that a return visit to this beautiful city was in order as we just couldn't do it justice in the few short hours we'd had.

Founded in the mid 12th century Sint-Janshospitaal is one the oldest sites for health care still in existence in Europe.

En route to the coach park I saw this groovy Sister overlooking the park from a top floor restaurant window.  

An homage perhaps to another, more famous Belgian nun?

After that trip down memory lane I'm off now to catch up with the ironing and the latest episode of Witnesses/Les Témoins BBC4's new gripping French drama.  Who else is watching?

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Scavenger Hunt - November

Another month has flown by and the end of November is upon us.... my collection this month consists of snaps taken within the last thirty days and some from my archive.
I've enjoyed this challenge in 2017 and hope it will continue next year.


These cerise hollyhocks looked so striking against the peeling azure paint of the garden gate beyond. 
Captured on Île de Noirmoutier this summer.


My father recently came across this slide image of my family in the garden at Studleigh, my grandmother's home in Crowborough. I imagine it must be about 1972/3  I am the dark haired urchin-like child, pulling a face as usual! 
In front my cousin Corinne, behind me my mother (reading) with my brother behind her and aunties and uncles all deep in conversation.

 Starts with a ...... W
I couldn't resist snapping these eye catching windmills, displayed outside a souvenir shop.... the riot of colour just drew me to them.


 One from a couple of years back at work when I was training to drive snowploughs on the airfield.


 I can't remember the name of this church in Oxford, perhaps Gisela can enlighten us?


 These old cars are still in the toy box at my parents' house even though my brother is now fifty two....my Sindy's there too!


I was scratching my head about this one and then I remembered the magnifique pain au raisin that I demolished for breakfast in France this year.  The boulanger created a perfect and very tasty swirl.

I wish I had a Basil to share but instead I have Bess 

Its not an easy task to take a photo whilst brushing an animal!


 All these and hundreds more are to be found in a tin in my kitchen drawer.

 My own choice

 Another photo from my recent day out in beautiful Oxford. 
 The Tower Of The Five Orders taken from the Quadrangle of the Bodleian Library

Linking with I Live I Love I Craft  

Monday, 27 November 2017

Road Trip Scarf - Handmade Monday

Hot off the hook here's my latest make, The Road Trip Scarf.  I saw similar scarves featured on Jo's blog here and here, the latter crocheted by her ten year old daughter.  That must be an easy make... I thought to myself.  How wrong I was.  It took three attempts to get Row 3 right but once I did, I was hooked. (excuse pun) 

 King Cole's DK Riot was my yarn of choice, an acrylic/wool mix.  It was the first time I have used variegated yarn and I found it hard to put down so keen was I to see how the next colours in the ball would look crocheted up.

 Even after blocking the long edge is still very wibbly-wobbly... nothing I make is ever perfect!
I probably should have pinned it all the way round instead of just the three corners.

The pattern photos show a lot more flowers and dangly bits, but I decided that my yarn was busy enough without any floral adornments at the front so just added one and a dangling bell at each end.  I also omitted the border as it was too fussy for my liking and finished with a row of dc.

(I cropped my head out of this close-up selfie as it revealed more lines than an A-Z)

These are super quick to make and would make great xmas presents.

Linking up with Sum Of Their Stories for Handmade Monday