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Monday, 31 March 2014

Monday Zen - Monday 31st March 2014

Hello Friends,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and the sun shone for you where you are, as it did here. Saturday we took ourselves 'up the road' to Cirencester, one of our favourite places for a Saturday browse around the shops. A Festival started this weekend and it resulted in a few photos that I can tie to something I have made and plan to post later in the week. 

We also went for a walk locally at the weekend and oh my, so many little bunnies darting about across the path and back into the woodland, Spring really was in the air!

I hope those of you who are Mums had a wonderful day yesterday, Tom's Mum was thrilled with her card, I'm pleased to say.

Whilst we were in Cirencester, we happened by an artist's studio that we'd never seen before. It was a small studio in a courtyard and the guy was inside working, but he also had another visitor so I didn't get the chance to speak to him this time. His artwork was very colourful and modern and I loved it...and a lot of it featured tangles, which really interested me, so next time we go back I will make a point of lingering longer.

This made me remember that I still have some Zentangle cards to share, so today I have a two Zentangle creations, that I made when we were teaching a Zentangle workshop in January.

The first one is a simple little card made using a little fox Dreamweaver stencil: I matted and layered on black and white card, embossing one of the layers of white card and simply added two die cut leaves, a button and twine.

Secondly I decorated a little wooden bird with a Zentangle design. First of all I painted the shape with  Pantry White  Cottage acrylic by Indigo Blu. I just added some ribbon and a button to finish.

When I posted my last Zentangle cards, some of you asked about how to get started and I agree, that is the hard part. When we took it to our group, most of our ladies admitted they were scared by it, but once you start a doodle you tend to get hooked for a while. Everyone was so quiet whist they doodled away! It does help to have something to copy when you start off. There are officially registered tangles (though I admit that although I use them to get started I tend to make it up as I go along now, probably using some that I have memorised along the way. I'm afraid I'm not one to conform to strict rules in crafting). 

Stencils are a great way to start, especially ones that make a picture such as the fox above. The Rooster too, that I have used so many times in cards and always sell at craft fairs. Also have a look at these sites...

There is the Zentange website and blog:

Dreamweaver Stencil site and blog - Lynelle Harlow really was responsive for bring crafters the art of Zentangle through these stencils
 and Mel Heaton is also a Zentangle expert, check this out for great examples:

Don't forget Pinterest as well, there are some great tangles on there.

I got a couple of books a while ago, just to get me started on designs; they aren't at all expensive and I do find them useful. They are the ones in this series and I have this particular one, which I refer back to often:

I hope you find this useful..go on give it a try! Thank you so much for stopping by,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mothering Sunday - Sunday 30th March 2014

Good Morning Friends

.... and a very Happy Mother's Day to those of you out there who are Mums! I hope you all have a lovely day.

Today's card is the one I have made for Tom's Mum...

It's made from the box Easel Card template, which I have used before (by House of Zandra). The base box was covered with Vintage Rose paper in washed cream downloaded some time ago from Pink Petticoat (I think the design may have  now been retired) and I made the roses using Spellbinders Blossom Five, which I die cut on cream card and then inked with several different shades of pink and 'honey'colour distress inks. The leaves and Flourishes were made using Spellbinders Foliage Two.

To finish I added a sentiment from Pink Petticoat, lace, beads, buttons and a large bow!

Hope you all have a wonderful day,

Love and Special Hugs,
Carole  X

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Workshop Photos - Saturday 29th March 2014

Good Morning Friends,

Workshop Photos

A quick post today, just to show you some photos of the cards created by my group of crafters at this week's 'Out of the Blue' workshop...I'm still feeling so blessed by all your comments and wishes over the last few days, but not surprised as I already knew what  caring, understanding and lovely people you all are and I promise this is my last word on the subject X :)

These are their gorgeous creations:

Once again some lovely 'takes' on the original design.. four of the ladies were new or nearly new to our group as well!

Thank you so much for stopping by and following my blog...I have just realised that I have a new follower, so I would like to welcome Pumpy -
Thank you very much for choosing to follow my blog!

I'l be back tomorrow with my Mother's Day card for Tom's mum,

Love and Hugs,
Carole Z X

Friday, 28 March 2014

Tim's Tag 2014 - March: Friday 28th March 2014

Hello Again,

It's not often that I post twice in a day, but I had this scheduled for earlier this week...

I finished my Tim's tag for this month at the weekend, but this is my first chance to post. I didn't have the stamps etc the he used, but I was able to follow the techniques and improvise and I enjoyed making it.

This is Tim's version:full details here...

And this is mine...

I won't go into any details as they are all on Tim's blog. The nest stamp I used is from Tim's  Easter Blueprint from last year and the words are from the same stamp set. Instead of using the metal word tag, as none I had seemed to fit, I just added a tiny wooden bird and egg, which I had previously painted.

Thank you so much for stopping by, I'll be back tomorrow with workshop photos,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Thank You Everyone!- Friday 28th March 2014

Hello my Friends,

First of all a massive thank you to those of you who left a comment on my last post, I was overwhelmed by all the love - it is so wonderful having all of you as such caring and supportive friends on here. Sometimes, people have dismissed the fact that you can get emotional over a pet(and I still get people looking at me very oddly when I explain the hens are pets!), but to me a pet is a pet - no matter what kind of animal, we still regard them as part of our families. I grew up with dogs, cats, budgies, my gran's parrot, rabbits and taking care of horses (for local stables); I'm nuts about animals, but I can truthfully say that since we started keeping hens 7 years  ago, I have never got so much enjoyment from a pet! I know some of you also keep hens and will know what I'm talking about.

I'm so pleased that Penny, in her short life introduced us to the Buff Orpington breed and I am sure that in the future at sometime, our garden will once again be home to this beautiful and gentle breed of hen, but that's a long way off...we still have our three other ladies to love, hopefully for a long time yet. My friend has a hen that is 10 years old and still laying the occasional egg, so we can hope.

Sunday Stampers - Week 300: Dream

This is the 300th Sunday Stampers and I wanted to create something special.. then of course, the week took a down turn and other things got in the way of crafting, so to lift my spirits, I quickly made this little fun card. I liked the idea of the little hedgehog dreaming of getting on the 'big' pony!

 The theme this week is 'Dream' and I really like this Sam Poole 'Dream Big' stamp: I've used it a lot on inspirational type cards, so thought it deserved a 'fun' outing!

The pony stamp is by Penny Black, as soon as I saw it I had to own it - the pony reminds me of the Thelwell books I used to read as a pony mad child. I coloured the image with my Inktense pencils and die cut using Spellbinders Labels 17. I also added glossy accents to the mane and tail to give them a gloss! 

I heat embossed the sentiment using Ranger Copper embossing powder - on the actual card it really shows up, very shimmery. I also added faux stitching to the pennant.

So that's my little card for this week - congrats Hels on running this fab challenge every week. I love that it's a no prize, just for fun challenge - there's no pressure to enter as it's not a competition and yet, it's the one challenge I try not to miss! Deets are here

I have a few posts backed up now that need to be posted by the end of the month, plus photos from last night's workshop, so I will be back soon!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Post for Penny - Wednesday 26th March 2014

Good Morning Friends,

Today's post is written with a heavy heart, because yesterday we lost our beautiful Buff Orpington hen, Penny...

Many of you were already my blog friends when we brought her home for the first time, along with our Speckledy, Lacey - to join our girls Bella and Cara. All four hens are looked on as quite robust breeds, expected to live a good number of years (our lovely Bluebelle, Buffy was 5), but it was soon clear that Penny, had major problems in the egg producing area and we only ever had about five normal eggs from her and somehow, I knew that we wouldn't have her for as long as we would expect.

Baby Penny on her first day in the garden, August 2012 aged 12 weeks

She had her little operation last year and had been fine ever since; Tom and I keep the hens as pets, we aren't bothered by how many eggs we get and to be honest, I was happy as long as Penny wasn't laying, because whenever she did it stressed her. She showed signs of being poorly at the weekend, but she was still eating and looking good - there was just something not right. I was home on Monday and she seemed better again: I checked her for obvious signs such as being egg bound, but all seemed ok. Yesterday morning she didn't want to come out of the nest box, so I took her out whilst I did my daily clean, gave her a nice long cuddle and put her back, leaving water and the lamp on. I can tell you that yesterday at work was hard, because I just knew what I was going to come home to...

I've never shared this on here before, but I do get times when I feel very low. I have lived with it since I was a teenager and never let it overcome me; it has occurred a bit more often since we lost my Mum in 2007, but having the hens with their funny little characters and antics in the garden is a massive boost to your wellbeing. Of all our hens, Penny, our big bundle of honey coloured feathers was the biggest 'therapy' of all.

If I sat on the bench in the garden, she would come up alongside, look up, jiggle up and down and I would pick her up and cuddle her - she would happily sit on my lap for as long as we both wanted. Any of the others could have just jumped up, but Penny was too big for jumping.

helping me choose a blog candi winner last summer

Just last week, on my birthday I was playing about with 'selfies'..

She was bottom of the pecking order, with Lacey next..Bella and Cara will peck Lacey if she annoys them, but she doesn't care and just comes bouncing back. I noticed quite early on that they didn't bother to peck Penny much, she just stayed out of trouble and minded her own business.

So, Penny, I want to thank you for all those cuddles and the immense pleasure you gave us in your short life. I hope you are now at the Rainbow Bridge, scratching away happily with our other girls, Buffy, Willow and Martha..sleep peacefully Babygirl

Penny, June 2012 - March 2014
Sorry for such a sad post today, but I know that you have all followed my hens and their garden antics with me, thank you for stopping by,

Love and hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 24 March 2014

Quack! Quack! - Monday 24th March 2014

Hello Friends,

I'm pleased you liked my little tour around the Cotswold Farm Park at the weekend! If you get the chance, do's great for children of all ages and adults too! I've always been nuts about animals, so thoroughly soak it up! The animals seem so well cared for, it's clean and bright and happy! This was the first time in a number of years we haven't actually see Adam Henson himself, but he was up in Scotland for the new series of 'Lambing Live', which started last night.

I thought I would stay on the theme of animals today...well birds really and share some little ducks that I made recently.

 The ducks are inspired by a pattern in a Tilda book and was great fun to make. The above ones were made to sit in baskets or on shelves, but the ones below are on sticks - fun Easter decs or to place in a plant pot.

 Looking at my list of makes to blog in the coming days, I have quite a few animal or bird themed posts!

Thank you so much for stopping by, I really do appreciate your visits!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Spring is in the air! - Saturday 22nd March 2014

Hello Friends,

A very quick post today as we have been into Bristol all day and are now back home a short time before popping out again (so will catch up with you all later)...

I thought you might like to see some photos from Adam's Farm yesterday...for my friends from abroad, Adam Henson is a farmer and presenter on a BBC TV programme that aims to bring the Countryside into our homes every week - Countryfile. His farm is a working farm, but also a rare breeds centre in the Cotswolds. In fact, the Centre, run by his Dad, was open (on a much smaller scale), when I was a child.

We try and get there on or around my birthday every year (it's just over an hour's drive for us). It coincides with lambing, so is a special time to visit.

This young pig was enjoying a contented nap

These are pullets (hens before they come into lay for the firs time) These are between 12-16 weeks old. The Buff Orpington below is just like Penny when we got her

This is a close up of the kid in the photo below. They were having a lovely snooze under the lamp! There;s another close up of the one right in the middle, below

This little lamp is just a few days old

Above and below, my British friends may recall the TV series "Lambing Live' and the lamb that presenter Kate Humble delivered on the first series in 2010. The lamb, named Humble, was pretty weak to begin with, but survived and was presented to Kate. She is homed at the Centre and we see her every year. This is her four years on, looking very contented. She isn't in lamb herself, because of a weakness they don't risk it, but she keeps the other ewes company in the lambing shed - by the way, Lambing Live is back next week, this time from Scotland

Here we are being given a lesson in lambing with the help of a one day old lamb- he couldn't hold her for long because Mum in the stall next to him wanted her back

This is a Cotswold Sheep, I just love their fleece
A little Gloucestershire Old Spot piglet with his mum

An Exmoor pony
and here I am feeding the goats

Hope you enjoyed this quick trip around the farm, there was so much more obviously...must fly now, be back with craft tomorrow!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 21 March 2014

Craft Group Photos - Friday 21st March 2014

Good Morning Friends!

The sun is shining, so we are going to go ahead with our plans for a day at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm, really looking forward to it as well!

Today, a quick post to share photos from last night's Out of the Blue craft workshop. I think all my ladies enjoyed making the triple layered card, especially creating their own backgrounds and here are some photos with their finished cards..unfortunately the lighting in the room doesn't do justice to all the lovely colours they created!

 This is Sharon (above and below with close up of card): Sharon also has a blog,  Saffrons Crafty Creations - do pop over and have a look at her gorgeous designs..not just paper craft, but also stunning jewellery - click here

Many thanks for stopping by! Have a great Friday,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X