About Me

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Hi, Welcome to my Blog. I'm an avid crafter; Scrapbooking, Cards, ATCs, Tags, Altered Books, Art Journaling, Décopatch, Knitting, Crochet, and Embroidery amongst other things. I live in Surrey, UK with my husband and son. For exercise I play badminton and I have been Geocaching since 2009 and now and again Pokémon Go. Recently I got back to Ballroom and Latin Dancing too. I run a UK based on-line papercraft group.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bees

Honey Bee
Only a few days left of May for the Great British Bee Count.

Not sure when or where my love of bees came from but I noticed some years ago that going past our Cotoneaster bush was like "running the gauntlet" due to the multitude of bees visiting it at certain times of year.

Tree Bumblebee
The great British Bee count has been earlier this year and I was so hoping the Cotoneaster would be in full flower for the count. The fact that the flowers are so tiny and inconspicuous didn't help either!

White-tailed Bumblebe



The beginning of the month didn't show many bees but now towards the end of the month it has come into its own and the "running the gauntlet" game has started again.

Fortunately the bush is right outside our window so we can watch safely from indoors, but as bees tend not to sting unless attacked it is possible to stand outside and get close to them too.


One for the Rhododendron
We have a Rhododendron bush in full flower too and despite the big brash flowers it doesn't entice far as many bees as the Cotoneaster.

Early Bumblebee 












I have been trying to identify all the different species which visit and have managed these photos.
Hope I have identified them all OK.

Red-tailed Bumblebee
Solitary Mining Bee

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Harp Stool - Upholstered

I started with a £7 pine stool from Ikea - Oddvar.

My husband made it up then chopped some 12cm from the legs to make it a good harp height. He then removed the top and varnished the base/legs of the stool for me.


He also supplied me with the staple gun although I was equipped with tacks, hammer and the like from doing an upholstery evening class half a lifetime ago!

I got some foam £6.75 from Cheam as someone had mentioned this foam shop on Streetlife. I took my stool with me so I could try the thickness of foam and the guy in the shop kindly cut the foam square to size for me.

I also got a remnant of cherry red chenille fabric for a fiver from there (enough for a second cover or replacement should I need it).


I got to work..... so far so good but what about the corners?

Hmmmm, the upholstery book was required for a little refresher. But where was it?

I finally located it in the loft, so glad all the boxes are sorted and labeled so it was only the 4th box of my books before I found it! Phew!


I used my tacks to stretch and re-stretch the liner fabric (from an old sheet!) which had the effect of rounding the corners of the foam which was decidedly square before. When the liner was stretched sufficiently I secured it with the staple gun. Don't think I have used one much before, enjoyed that bit!





Then to the cover, which I did in much the same way as the liner but didn't have to fight with the foam this time around. The corners are a bit bulky so I hope my husband can reattach the legs/base OK later!

So there we have it, one cherry red chenille stool top, fit for a princess!

And there it is on top of its legs, in the conservatory with my harp.

Just need to clear up and do some harp practice now.

How satisfying. I feel I have really achieved something today.

Charlotte In Spring - 3D Box Card

For our SWAP this month the theme was to make a 3D box card.

The optional theme was pink/baby in honour of Baby Princess Charlotte.

I went with pink, a splash of green and the title of my grade 1 harp piece, "Charlotte In Spring".

Didn't want to part with it, but that seems to be the way with all the 3D box cards I make!




To date, I have made 7 and only parted with 2!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Freebie - Art Journalling

Yep - succumbed to the old freebie on a magazine yet again.

Papercraft Essentials have a stencil and stamp set this month.

Thought I'd try and see if the stamp of the dandelion stem would straighten up and make like the Allium I have in the garden.

I got out my journal which has been gathering dust since February. I'd last done the calendar pages for February and then nothing. I guess I was a bit disappointed about how the stamping had shown through to the other side of the page but who knows.

Anyway I went ahead and stamped the blooms and inked and coloured and it came out OK. There was still the matter of the facing page with the ink showing through, so I covered this with a book page and couldn't help myself but ink and stamp on that as well.

Nice to be back journalling but how long will this last?

Oh and the last couple of owl/icecream cards from craft club last month made up at last.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Grow Wild Seeds

Yay I got some of the free seeds from Grow Wild offered by Countryfile and Kew.













I have just sewn them in a few pots as my garden is a bit too wild for them really!


Hope the birds don't take a fancy to them!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

WOYWW #309 - Blast from the Past!

Gosh, it has been about 9 months since I came to visit you all!

Looking at my messy desk (so unusual for me)
I thought you'd all like to see that I too can get into a pickle.

My desk still displays the punched out shapes from LAST WEEK'S craft workshop! Oh My!



The craft workshop was themed on different ways of using punched shapes, here's their examples.




I have just made up a 2nd birthday card for my Godson's daughter with some of the ice-cream shapes. I made a couple of owl cards at the workshop last week. So not very adventurous really.

Here's the presents I got and them all wrapped up - just waiting for the glitter glue to dry before I pop to the post office.












Oh and in case you are all wondering what I have been up to, I have been doing a lot of harp practice. I posted a video of me playing "Charlotte In Spring" here.

My husband recorded me again https://soundcloud.com/thechrisgregory/billy-playing-her-welsh-harp-next-to-the-garden-door-charlotte-in-spring-by-fiona-clifton-welker

Happy WOYWW everyone.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Charlotte it is then!

Excellent, our new baby princess is named,

HRH Princess Charlotte, Elizabeth, Diana.

Just perfect.

Best go play "Charlotte in Spring" in her honour.

Harp Accessories

My harp is made from Cherry wood so some time ago I crocheted some cherries for it!

Also, I have been quite conscious that I have been perched on the edge of our sofa to play my harp and if I ever took it anywhere else to play, would I find the same height "sofa" to sit on? Could I take the sofa with me? I think not.

I have pondered getting a Harpist's Bench as sold by my harp maker Telynau Teifi, but at 12" high they are an inch too short for me really and they are jolly expensive too.













So I had a look in Ikea and found the ODDVAR pine stool. At only £7 each and with 12cm chopped off each leg, it is a perfect alternative.

Pondering making an upholstered cushion top, but for now the garden cushion is just fine.

The acoustics in our conservatory are great for harp playing too.

New Baby Princess!









I was so hoping the Duchess of Cambridge would have a baby girl.

So I bought some pink plants whilst I was out on Saturday before returning to hear the news of the Royal Baby Birth.

It's a GIRL!

Our Camelia is also full on pink and my sweet peas are ever getting taller.