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Saturday, 18 July 2015

What a Hoot! - Saturday 18th July 2015

Hello Friends,

I finally caught up with all your posts yesterday, I don't think there has been a time I have blogged less since I arrived here about 4 years ago...the only reasons are just so little time at the moment -and- I really need to learn to write shorter posts with less waffle....hmmm!

Before anything else I would like to welcome my new follower Helen R, thank you so much for following along Helen...I'm really sorry, but when I click on my followers list at the moment I just get a weird box pop up, so please let me know if you have a blog too. I've also noticed I have a few more bloglovin followers, so welcome to you too!

 I've been outside a lot lately: the weather has been mostly lovely, too nice to spend time at my computer! We have been doing a lot of work in the garden and this weekend are enlisting the help of some of Tom's family to help erect a new and pretty large pergola...gosh it will be like a barn raising :) We've been so busy, I haven't even had much time to spend in my little garden craft retreat this year!

Next month we are having a conservatory fitted(so no holiday last year because of the new kitchen and none again this year,ah well will be worth it...) and as I'm home more than Tom - and live close to work, it will be mostly me 'project managing' it,'s quite a big space, so will add a good sized extra room to the house. I"m looking forward to it, but they have said that from start to finish it will be about a month and then we have walls to paint and have to wait another month before we can have the floor laid...and of course it has to be it will be October before it's complete. It's been fun though, because as it's going to be large enough for a comfy seating area and our dining table, I've been making a mood board on Pinterest and am looking forward to the 'interior design' part of it, including plenty of Annie Sloaning :)...I just hate using blogger on the iPad but I can sit in front of the TV and Pin to my heart's content!

Last week and next week I'm in the office more than usual: we have a 17 year old IT student volunteering with us for a couple of weeks and he's been doing some excellent work and also this week I had my first outing with the Hawk and Owl Trust and it was great!

There was also another 'newbie' volunteer, who we had actually placed through the Volunteer Centre I manage, so it was nice to see Joanne and she had a good time too. We went out with a group of 6 experienced volunteers and visited 3 farms where they have barn and tawny owl boxes sited. The aim was to check each box to see if it had been or was being used. As we approached one box, a barn owl flew out. Apparently it is very unusual to actually see a bird, so we were extra lucky on our first day. When the guy inspected the box, there was one owl chick inside and one egg. The chick was quite an advance age, so although owls do hatch their eggs in stages it was unlikely the last egg would hatch.

This is me being taught how to use a nest box cover. When inspecting boxes, a couple of group members approach and cover the entry hole with this instrument. This stops any bird inside from flying out. It's really heavy and quite tricky to place and you hold it there whilst one of the others climbs the ladder to check the box, no owls in this one though.

We were out about 4 hours and when I got home I'd intended to craft, but instead I went out in the garden and pottered with the hens, it was such a gorgeous day and after a morning of walking around farms I just wanted to stay outdoors!

If you're still with is the craft part..

I'm sticking to owls for this post..this was my project for our craft group a last week...we made a hanger but I made this one so that it could easily be turned into a card, which is what I have done and shown below.

I've seen quite a lot of this type of artwork about lately, not stamped as these are, but having a similar printed effect. I deliberately left the tree plain and coloured the flowers with promarkers using a simple block colouring method, so it looks printed. The owl is the Mr Owl stamp by Sam Poole and is paper pieced.

This is the hanging decoration the group made: they all seemed to enjoy it, some hadn't done any paper piecing before or masking stamped images, which created the background, so it was fun for them to try these techniques.

For the tree I used a grand deckled oval Spellbinder die on white card, which I backed with blue card. I used the same Stampendous floral stamp set  as for the bookmark in my previous post, using the masking technique to overlay the images. I then inked the edges with salty ocean distress ink. For the tree, I simply drew it freehand and cut out in brown card. I've made a few cards, which will be in future posts, where I added markings to the trunk, but I wanted to leave this one 'clean' .

Here's one of the cards I made...I made about four of the decorations, so can make them all into cards! I just used plain linen effect blue card on a 7x7 blank and only slightly inked the edges with salty ocean distress ink.

 Well that's it (if you're still here...sorry it's so long and I still have quite a comical and poignant hen story to share, but we'll leave that for another day, I have a pergola to help put up!)

Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving a comment! I will catch up with you all tonight after a day in the garden.

Love and Hugs,
Carole X


  1. Hi Carole this wall hanging is gorgeous and so are the cards. Of course I recognise the stamps they are the reason we found each other. Are you going to Ally Pally this year? It would be nice to finally meet. Hugs Jackie

  2. It really will be so worth it Carole, I wish we had done our alterations earlier than last year, all the mess and effort has been worth it for us!

    I love your very newsy post today and I am so pleased you had such a great encounter whilst you were out with the other volunteers, it sounds like a once in a lifetime experience! We are off down south for a few days, looking forward to some nice weather! Thanks so much for your visit to Oak House Studio, I know Lynnda is very pleased with the response and I do love to support the smaller retailers in the UK! Thanks again. Hugs, Anne xx

  3. Morning Carole,
    Enjoyed you post, thans for sharing. Lovely card.

  4. Carole I just adore your love owl perching in the lush blue tree. It was so interesting to read about your contribution to protecting the owl specie and you were very fortunate to see the barn owl.
    Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}

  5. What a great card Carole, love how you layered all the foliage to create dimension. Sound like you had a wonderful experience, I have never seen an owl chick before, bet it was cute! hugs :)

  6. I did enjoy reading about your owl experience, how cool to have seen one. Your wall hanging and card is beautiful and I'm sure your ladies always have fun with you around, who wouldn't? Looking forward to the hen stories, they are my favorite!!

  7. Here you go with that gorgeous owl again! What a neat idea to transform a banner into a card - dual purposes! I love it! :) I hope you have fun bringing out your interior designer during this process!

  8. Hi Carole,
    yes you are right the weather has been too good to be crafting inside.
    Love your superb creation.
    That owl in the tree is so wonderful, and I love the card made with the design.
    Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

  9. Hi Project Manager

    Sounds like you are going to have another busy DIY session .. .. but I am sure you will be well happy afterwards.

    Our next project is much less adventurous .. .. we need to replace "fogged up" pains :-( Just awaiting the quote!!

    Loving your owl card - and how you have decorated the inside as well.

    Have a good week.

    Love Jules xx