Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It kind of looks like I haven't been making stuff recently....

...when actually I have, I've just been too lazy to blog them....

So here goes, a little round up of things I've made over the past couple of weeks...

First of all, I made a necklace for my best friend for her birthday.

It was my first attempt at wirework with sterling silver, and my first attempt at wet felting too (the base of the pendant - the swirls were needle felted on top afterwards), so it was a bit nerve wracking, but it turned out ok in the end, and Alison loved it, so that's all that matters :)

It's actually quite satisfying to make something completely from first principles from just wire, wool roving and some beads.

I took the first couple of not very good pics, Alison took the much cooler one below.

The beads are Labradorite (which I bought in Granville Market, Vancouver, almost 2 years ago, with the express intention of making them into something for Alison, I've taken my sweet time) and Aventurine.

While we're on jewelery, I also made a chainmaille bracelet for a very cool young lady that I know, called Lauren:

This was super quick to make as her tiny slim little wrists are about the width of my thumbs:)

Very girly, not like the stuff I usually make.

And neither was the Disney CJ layout I made last weekend - all pinks and purples and glitter and bling.... I barely recognised it as one of mine :)

But the theme was "the castle", and you can't really do justice to Disney's castles without a bit of fairy dust....

Excuse the bad photo, I had my lens on manual focus I think not auto:

It's a real pity the pic doesn't show the sparkle overload going on here, from glitter paper behind, to opal dust around the photos, stardust pen used on the title, glimmer mist on the metal rimmed tags, and jewelled brads.

Like I said, it's SO not me :D

My interpretation of the brief was to compare the Disney castles (I didn't include a photo of the Tokyo one as it's essentially a direct copy of the one at WDW anyway)

And inside the Oscar stylee gold envelope is my verdict as to which one is best.

I'll give you a clue - it has the longest name and the most dangerous inhabitant....

And last, but absolutely nowhere near least, it was Valentine's Day last weekend but one, so here's my card for the J-dude:

th-th-th-th-that's all folks!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A to Z year : January 29th-Feb 11th : the letter C

...it's time to blog what we did to celebrate the letter C....

First of all we went to Cosmo, the yummy all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet restaurant in town, it was the first time Connor has tried Chinese food, and I think he liked it....especially the barbecue pork, the noodles and the sesame prawn toast.

Both boys tried eating with chopsticks too, which was fun to watch :) But they sensibly swapped the chopsticks for spoons when it was time for pudding - what else could they choose in C fortnight other than chocolate cake?

The next day, we met up with our pals and fellow A-Zers Tracy, Michelle, Lauren and Callum, and also their pals Sannine and Molly, for a trip to the local park Coate Water. Michelle had managed to borrow a pile of circus equipment - diablos, plates for plate spinning, juggling balls.... - so we could all have a shot at circus skills. Sadly I had a stinking cold that day, and wasn't really in the mood for juggling, so I stuck to camera duty. The other all had tons of fun though.

Full of cold I may have been, but I wasn't going to miss out on the next activity...every Sunday at Coate Water the local model train enthusiasts open up their track to the paying public for rides through the woods. It's so much fun - especially as that little train goes faster than you might think! So we all went on the choo-chooooo :) And then the kids got to go on again, with a little train all to themselves, which was cool.

After all the fun at the park, Callum came back to ours to play for a couple of hours, and the kids had chicken, chips and coleslaw.

actually started this in "B" fortnight (when it was a bracelet, of course) - but during "C" I finished my chainmaille copper cuff:

For the second weekend of "C", we were planning to go to Warwick Castle for the day, but when the day came around, it was cold and wet, and the castle's webpage indicated that there was hardly anything going on there that day, so we had a last minute change of plans, and decided to go to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham instead:

Or, as we like to call it, the C-Life Centre :D Now, some people might say that's cheating :P

But as far as I'm concerned, it's a centre in Central England, by a canal:

And we saw crabs, coral, crayfish, clown fish and a treasure chest:

so that counts, right? :)

Check back in a couple of weeks to see what we did for the letter D

Monday, February 01, 2010

A to Z year : January 15th-28th : the letter B

So here I am blogging the brilliant letter B :)

We’ve had a ton of fun this fortnight, not least because we now have some fellow passengers on the A-Z journey – our pals Michelle and Tracy and family have decided to play along, and they have been coming up with some fantastic suggestions for alphabet-styled activities.

So – what have we got up to?

First of all, we went to our first away ice hockey game of the season –because it was in Basingstoke, home of the Bison, and we couldn’t ignore that opportunity to pick up two Bs in one go. Unfortunately, the Wildcats (our team) got beaten :( But it was a good, close game, and we enjoyed making plenty of noise to support our boys.

We also got to see Bud, who is Basingstoke's mascot. He's very cool (if a little scary looking), and I even got a Bud-cuddle :) Sorry for the horrendous pic, I didn't have my proper camera with me, and the lights were very dim at this point. Just imagine a minotaur on skates....

The next day, we took the boys to the local ten pin alley for a spot of bowling. None of us are exactly experts at this particular sport, but we had a laugh, and Jay even got a couple of strrrrrrikes (such a show off). I came last, rubbish, I can’t even win against children! I like Reece’s bowling action – he kind of cocks his leg up like a dog doing a tinkle :) made me smile every time:

(you'll probably need to click on these multi-pics to see the big version, as they come out teeny on the blog)

We also did a spot of baking on that first weekend. I figured we could use this excuse twice, actually, and bake biscuits for B, then cook chocolate chip cookies for C – any ideas how we can shoehorn it into D? :) They were delicious, anyway ... hmmm ... that begins with D ... getting there!

In the week, Connor had his hair cut, or, to remain in the spirit of the exercise, a buzz cut. The plan was to take him to the barbers, but in the end, his dad got the clippers out and did it himself. Luckily, his dad is called Bryan, so it still fits.

Before and after shots, he looks so much older without his mop:

During our second B weekend, we did our first joint A-Z venture with Michelle, Tracy, Callum and Lauren (you'll be seeing many more of these over the year).

A local shop called Buyology is, sadly as my eldest son worked there and is now out of work, in the process of closing down, and so they are selling off all their stock at ludicrously cheap prices. Michelle managed to pick up these brilliant bubble-swords for only 59 pence each! Bargain :)

So we all went up to the local park for an hour or so before this week’s home hockey game to blow ginormous bubbles. It was cooooold up there, but not too cold to have fun :) I love the way the camera flash bounced off the bubbles:

Then on the Sunday, Connor and I went down to my dad’s in London for a belated Christmas dinner (our third attempt – we were originally supposed to go on Boxing Day, but Connor was in hospital, and then the snow put paid to attempt #2 in early January). My dad got in the spirit (literally!) of B fortnight by burning some brandy on the Christmas pud:

That's all the main activity - but there were a few other random Bs:

I bought some Bavarian Blue Brie cheese to try, because I couldn’t resist that BBB triple whammy :) And I’m glad I did – it was delicious!

Connor got a new basketball (and I was planning to snap some piccies of him shooting hoops, but the weather’s been a bit too wet when we haven’t been busy doing other things).

As you can see from previous blog posts, I've made a few bracelets.

And Connor has also been practicing lots of tricks with his new Brain yo-yo:

Check back in a fortnight to see what we managed to do with the letter C!