If some of you see links on this page (usually double underlined ones) which take you to advertisements - rather than to other blogs or different parts of this blog which I have set up - please don't think they have anything to do with me - somehow they appear without me knowing why and they are nothing to do with me. Sorry!
Abu Simbel - cut into the rock - absolutely breathtaking. We had to drive over three and a half hours into the Sahara desert to visit this - well worth the drive and the heat. It was moved several years ago (the move took years to complete) and re-built in a higher spot to prevent it being covered by water when they created the Aswan High Dam.
Franco and me outside the temple at Edfu.
A Sphinx in Memphis.
Karnak Temple in Luxor
The Step Pyramids in Memphis - older even than the Great Pyramids.
The Aswan High Dam - taken from above.
Salahadin's Citadel outside Cairo
We weren't able to photograph in the Valley of the Kings or the Valley of the Queens which was very sad but we have lots of postcards to remind us of what we saw there.
Hope you like this small selection.
We got back from Egypt on Thursday morning after a long 22 hour trip. The plane was delayed so we spent a long time in Luxor airport waiting to come home and were very tired when we finally got back.
It was a wonderful holiday and I can't recommend Egypt enough!
We were so well looked after by the agents and all the staff on the boat and in the hotels and although things in Egypt are very difficult for the Egyptians they made sure that we had a fantastic time. There are usually around 400 boats on the Nile at this time of the year but at the moment there are only about 20 working because people are frightened to travel there due to the revolution and have either not booked or have cancelled their holidays.
So many people have lost their jobs because the tourist industry is such a big area of employment for them and it is such a shame because it's still a really wonderful place to go.
Just to prove I was there, here are a few photos.
Luxor Temple - the avenue of the Sphinx
Party night on board the Nile boat. We entered into the spirit of the Egyptian evening.
Finally at the Pyramids - it was 45 degrees on this day - and most others too.
Sunset over the Nile - taken from our cabin.
I haven't even opened my craft room door since I got back! Hope I'll soon get crafting again.
Off on my holidays tomorrow morning - really early. We are going to Egypt which has been something I've wanted to do for many years.
We will be sailing down the Nile for a week and then spending three days in Cairo visiting the Grand Pyramid and the Sphinx and then we will have four days on the coast chilling out before flying back home again.
The restful day I planned for today didn't quite work out as I had a flat tyre whilst doing a last minute bit of shopping. It was the same tyre that I had a puncture repaired in last week! So - spent 75 minutes exactly in a car park waiting for the good old RAC - their estimate was 75 minutes so I was really impressed with the timing. lol Thank goodness I had my E-reader with me - pity I had forgotten my mobile phone though. lol
Tried my hand at painting a candle today using the paint fusion technique. Not too sure it has worked that well but thought I'd put it on here anyway - as a record of my first attempt at painting a candle.
Can you spot the 'deliberate' mistake? lol I put the light spots on the berries and only after I had finished did I realise I'd had the candle upside down!!!!
Oh well - so it has been lit from below!
Never mind - I'll keep this one on my craft room shelf and hope I can see my progress. I think I'm going to end up with a lot of candles on the shelf before I get one good enough to give away! lol
Hope you are all having a good weekend - I'm looking forward to my last week at work before I go on holiday on 31st!
No crafting for me today as we finally managed to book a balloon flight that wasn't cancelled. It was a Christmas present to my husband from his son and we have been booking dates ever since - only for the wind to be too high for the flight to go ahead at the last minute.
We were really surprised when last night - at 11.00pm - we heard the flight was on at 6.00am this morning and that the launch site had been changed due to the wind direction! That meant an hour's drive to get there and about three hours sleep for me by the time I got myself organised and worked out how to get to the new launch site.
It was quite an interesting experience but, if I'm honest, I'm not sure I would rush to do it again - certainly not if it meant all the booking and re-booking we have had to do this year. I don't want to sound ungrateful but it has taken up so much time waiting to see if the flight was going to take place or not and not planning anything else for that time - just in case. Some of the people on our flight had been trying to get their booking for over a year though so I guess our eight months wasn't bad after all. lol
In the end we were away from home for just over four hours and in the air for about 45minutes which passed very quickly. They took some photographs with a camera that swung outside the balloon on a boom - here we all are!
Franco and I are the two in the front left hand corner of the basket.
It was very misty as you can see and I was a lot less nervous than I thought I would be as there was very little sensation of moving. I wrapped up in several jumpers but it was really warm in the basket because of the flames over our heads so I felt very overdressed especially as the pilot was in a short sleeved shirt. lol. They were a really lovely group of people and we had a lot of laughs
Getting in and out of the basket was fun - I'm glad there aren't any photographs of that! I was tipped unceremoniously out of the basket which was laid on its side after we landed - that was easier than climbing in before we set off though I can tell you.
Once we were down in a farmer's field - with a bit of bump or two.................. the younger members of the group were comandeered to roll on the balloon to get all the air out and to help pack it away while I watched with a glass of Bucks Fizz - that was a good bit. lol. We then had to wait for the recovery vehicle to come and find us to take up back to our cars. It took us about 15 minutes to get back by road.
I haven't been very energetic since we got home though - getting up at 4.15 on a Sunday is not going to be a habit - bad enough having to rise at 5.30 three days a week to go to work. lol.
I'd be interested to know if any of you have been up in a balloon and how you enjoyed it?
I dragged my poor husband to a boot sale today for the first time in ages. I was half hoping I'd find some storage for my craft room but couldn't have imagined how lucky I was going to be.
First I found two sets of shelf type compartments that were perect for stacking on the back of my desk to keep all the bits that I like to keep at hand. I thought the seller was using them just to display the items that he had for sale and was really surprised when he said he would sell them to me.
It was just starting to rain as I bought them so we went back to the car to put them in - as the rain had stopped by then we decided to go back in and then I found yet another wooden rack with twelve small square compartments which I thought would fit on a second desk I use to keep my paper cutters on.
I then bought twelve little plastic boxes with lids which would fit inside the holes and headed for home.
I've spent the rest of the day re-organising my craft room and trying to sort out what could go where.
I can't believe my luck as they are just perfect. I've taken a few pictures to show you what I have done with them.
These are the compartments that I found first - they fit the desk perfectly. They cover the gap behind my desk where all sorts of thing used to drop down so they actually make the desktop a bit larger than before. When stacked on top of each other they make ten large square compartments - and there's still room to keep my MS punches and the desk light on top so now I actually have a bit of room on the desk to craft!
This is the second find - I wish there had been two! I'm hoping my husband will be able to make me another one to go next to it as I could fill it twice over. I can even store my Cuttlebug and tiny sewing machine on top.
This is part of the other side of the room which has a large Ikea cabinet on the wall (not a boot sale find unfortunately) - I can't believe I have filled it all and still need more space.
I paid £4 for the compartments on my desk and £1 for the other rack. The twelve little boxes cost me £6 so I have done all this for just £11
I would thoroughly recommend a visit to the nearest boot sale - who knows what you might find.
I'm now absolutley exhausted - my craft room has never looked so tidy but my husband says he doesn't hold out any hopes that it will last!
I have also finished off this card which was inspired by a mask I bought from Imagination Crafts.
I used black acrylic paint with a stencil brush through the mask. The white mat is a simple shaped piece of card on which I stamped an Accacia tree and zebra, both stamps from Barbara Gray and the foliage was also made using one of her tree stamps. I was pleased to see that when I put the elephant on the card, the white mat looked like a window against the black and white background - a very happy accident.
The elephant is a Jane Netley Mayhew stamp which I coloured with an Ice Grey Promarker.
I think I am beginning to be a bit nostalgic for Africa given that I have featured elephants in two of my most recent cards.
I have just finished another little cup cake card which I hope can be sold on my friends cake stall - along with the others I made earlier and which are shown below. I wanted to give her a selection of six so can now hand them over.
The main image is a sweet little Lilly of the Valley stamp.
I mounted her on a white scalloped shape and backed it with a round mirri card shape. The backing paper is from my stash. She was coloured with Promarkers in Cocktail Pink with Ivory, Vanilla and Blush for her skin and straw hat. I also used alittle Sky Blue and Ice Grey1 for her shoes and the shadow round her. Her hair is Sandstone and the cake stand is in Warm Grey 3.
The stack of cakes is a stamp I bought on Ebay and I'm afraid I can't remember its name. That was also coloured wit Promarkers - same shades as previously mentioned plus Berry Red and Lemon. The sentiment was also backed on mirri card and finished with a mirri card heart.
Nor sure how I have managed to complete these cards as I am currently on a strict diet to get ready for my holiday at the beginning of September.
This card was made using a lovely little stamp called, 'Are we there yet' by Little Claire's Designs.
I thought it might just fit in with this week's Promarkers Challenge - Animal Crackers.
I made the background using the Letraset Letrajet Airbrushing System again. The sky was airbrushed using a Sky Blue Promarker and I masked out some little clouds with a new product I found on E-bay, called 'Mask It.' It's a see through low tack paper so you can see exactly where you have put the masks and you can use the same mask several times too. I really like it as I am always losing my masks and it's easier to keep them now they are sticky.
The background hills were airbrushed with Apricot Promarker and the foreground with Marsh Green Promarker. I used torn paper masks to make the hills while I was airbrushing the hills and foreground. The Accacia tree and the birds are stamps from Barbara Gray and the grasses were also made using a couple of her little stamps. I used Marsh Green Promarker and Forest Green Promarker to stamp the grasses and the trees, elephants and birds were stamped with Black Memento.
I stamped the little family group of elephants out on plain white card and coloured them with Promarkers, Ice Grey1 and Warm Grey 2 with the little flower being Cocktail Pink. I then cut them out and stuck them into the foreground of the card and added a little shadow with Ice Grey1 under their feet.
The card reminded me of one of the many elephant photograph I took in Tanzania in 2009 and has brought back some happy memories.
I thought you might like to see the photograph too.
This was part of a really large group of elephants which passed in front of us -they were so beautiful and I just adore elephants!
I have been asked by a friend of my daughter to let her see a selection of cards featuring Cup Cakes.
She runs a a cake stall and said she thinks she could sell cup cake cards as many people buy her cakes for gifts. She makes the most scrumptious cakes and often brings us the ones she hasn't sold - hence my need to go on a very strict diet before I go on holiday!
Anyway - these are a selection of five that I have made today. I have kept them simple until I am sure they have a market. I'd love to know what you think.
The one with the silver heart has not scanned very well as it's a bit more 3D than the others.
I rediscovered this lovely little stamp while tidying my craft room - I must do this more often - who knows what I might find next!
I put her together with some little flowers from Wild Orchid to make this card which I thought I would also enter into the Promarkers Gingham challenge.
The sentiment is from a Barbara Grey stamp.
I stamped Daisy onto card and cut her out - that was fun! The flowers around her hair were very difficult to cut out I can tell you.
I used some paper from my stash to create the gingham and heart background. The image was coloured with Promarkers and the sentiment background was made using the Letraset Letrajet airbrush system which I have only just discovered and absolutely love! The colours used were:
Ivory and pale pink for the skin tones.
Ivory, vanilla, and gold for the hair.
Ice Grey 1 was used to highlight her white top.
Blossom for the pink tones in the jeans, the flowers in Daisy's hair and for the sentiment background.
The leaves were made by cutting petals from a paper flower and colouring them with grass green Promarker - highlighting the veins by using the new fine Promarker tips and the butterfly was from my stash -it was folded and stuck onto card with silicone glue to make it 3D.
The lace was also from a piece I bought from Wild Orchid Crafts.
I really enjoyed making this card which is a little more fancy than the cards
Marmaduke and Orlando my ginger twins are one year old today.
They are the youngest of our six - yes - six cats. They were never meant to be living with us but the family who took them in originally decided they couldn't keep them so they came to us at ten weeks of age to join our already large enough cat population. Now we wouldn't be without them but they are very naughty!
These pictures of them might show you why we love them.
They do everything together - even getting stuck up the tree in the garden.
This is an image I have had stamped in my bits box for some time. As I have been tidying up my craft room I thought I had better start to use up some of the items I had already started.
I saw that the Promarkers challenge this weekend was for a card using gingham so thought I'd enter this card.
It's a very simple card This is what I used.
Moss and Marsh Green Promarkers for the leaves.
I used the new fine tip to enhance the veins on the leaves and found they worked very well for this task.
The flowers were coloured with Gold and Apricot Promarkers with
Burnt Sienna and Apricot for the centres.
The image is backed, first onto a piece of green gingham card and then with a flower border square made with a Martha Stewart round the page punch - a small green gingham bow from my stash was added in the corner - and that's it.
Sorry but I can't remember where the stamp came from - if anyone recognises it I'd love to know!
I love sunflowers, they are one of my favourite flowers and I remember growing them when I was a little girl. They seemed to be enormous then but I don't expect they were - it was me who was smaller back then .............
in every way. lol
It's been absolutely ages since I've posted anything on here. I have been marking exam papers again so haven't been able to play with all my craft goodies for a while. In one of my breaks, a few days ago, I saw on the Docrafts Forum that people were talking about the Letraset Airbrushing system - called Letrajet. I remembered that I had bought this some time ago and had it in my craftroom waiting for a chance to play with it. Today I got it out and had my first go.
It is used with Promarkers and enables you to use any of your Promarkers like an airbrush - creating lovely shading and backgrounds. I can't pretend to be any good yet but the above card is my first attempt.
I used a butterfly mask that I bought recently from Imagination Crafts to create the background, using the sky blue Promarker straight on to the card. The image is a Sarah Kay digi stamp that I had coloured some time ago and I created the scalloped shading round her by masking her with a shape cut with my Cricut and spraying round the edges with the Letrajet in the same shade as the background.
I mounted the image on a piece of dark blue mirri card and added three, 3d silver butterflies to tie it all together.
I'm not sure how quickly the Promarkers will run out using this system - or how long the can of air will last - but I really enjoyed using it and can think of lots of different ways to use it in the future. I wore a thin plastic glove on my left hand as I was using that to hold the mask down and otherwise I think I would have had a very blue hand! It's also probably a good idea to wear something old in case the spray goes where it shouldn't while you are learning how to use it - but to be fair I didn't make much mess at all. I was just expecting that I would.
Hope you like my first effort! I'd love to hear from anyone else who has this system.
I can't believe my first grandchild has reached the age of 18 today!
I started to make this card for her on Thursday but, probably because I had been feeling a bit unwell all week, it proved to be a mammoth task and just about everything that could go wrong did - you know how it can be sometimes. Anyway - I managed to get it finished just in time for the BBQ planned to celebrate her birthday and I'm pleased to say she was very appreciative.
She is the artist in the family so her approval meant more than usual. lol
I wasn't able to scan the card this time as it is very 3D and because the scanner didn't close properly the light kept getting in so I had to resort to photographing it - hence the strange grey outline but I hope you can see it well enough.
The image is a digi stamp from Kenny K. which actually reminds me a little bit of Emma and the papers were from a batch I bought from C&C a while ago. The white mat was made with a MS round the page punch. The flowers are from Wild Orchid and I edged them with a blue promarker to tone in with the colour scheme and then edged the petals with frosty stickles. I also coloured the ribbon with a promarker and the sentiment label was cut with my Cricut and the words computer generated.
I found the little silver key and the butterfly charms in my stash box which completed the card.
I live near Southampton with my wonderful husband Franco and our family of cats - five now.
I am retired from a long career in teaching and teacher training and now work a couple of days with my daughter in her childminding business.
I started crafting as a child and have enjoyed many different forms of crafting but got into papercrafting when I made some scrapbooks for my children in order to preserve old family photographs. I then started making cards which I sell for the U.K. Registered charity of which I am a trustee. We raise funds for the building and running of a secondary school for the Maasai in Tanzania.
I love using different techniques when making my cards and admit to being addicted to my Cricut machines and also to stamping. I hope you enjoy looking at my blog and I'd love it if you left me a comment.
No offence intended - but I just don't have time to participate in blog awards.
I love promarkers
I was in the Top Five Passionista
Please click the picture above to see the website of Serian UK. which is a Registered UK Charity which is helping to build and maintain a school in Tanzania. All the proceeds from the sale of my cards are donated to this charity.
These four kittens belong to my little cat Badger. They are 18 days old in this picture. They were born in May 2010 so are much bigger now of course. One lives with me, one with my daughter, another with my grandaughters and the fourth with a family friend.
Thank you for respecting my copyright. All images and
words on this site are digitally copyrighted.
I would be very flattered if you liked my designs enough to want to replicate them and am very happy for you to do so for your own use to give to family and friends but please do not claim them as your own, use them for making cards which will be sold or submitted to magazines or other publications or entered into any competitions.