Saturday 28 May 2022

Wishing you a day of sunshine ........

Happy weekend! .......

And what a fantastic weekend it's going to be.  
I probably shouldn't say this but .... the sun is shining, the skies are blue and the forecast doesn't look too bad for the next few days.  
And guess what!! ...... the Isle of Man TT is back ....... whoo hoo!!!  
Tomorrow (Sunday May 29th) the roads will close and the long awaited qualifying sessions will begin around the world famous 37.73 mile mountain course ...... excited or what!!

Things are already getting busy with the ferries full of visitors and motorbikes, and thousands more expected over the coming week.  The island is buzzing and I love it!!!
Our TT fortnight gets underway tomorrow ...... have I mentioned that we're off to The Big Stage @1886 to see Jessie J live ..... looking forward to that!

Before all that though, I've got a little piece of last minute inspiration for this month's Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils Facebook Challenge.
The challenge closes tomorrow so there's still a little bit of time left if you would like to play along.

The theme is Flower Power this month, and Sweet Poppy have a mahoosive collection of pretty floral stencils ......... which one will you choose?

This is the Lazy Daisy stencil .......

A beautiful large daisy head, which could be any colour you like.  I've gone for sunshine yellow and orange shades for my happy little card.

I applied Distress Inks through the stencil, blending the colours with the fabulous Sweet Poppy blending brushes.  These make applying ink sooo easy

I then used a piece of acetate to add the splashes of colour to the background.   

Simply swipe your ink pad onto a craft mat, spritz the ink with water, and then use the acetate to pick up the pools of colour and then lay it down onto your card.  
This technique gives a softer look to your ink splatters and you can control where the splatters go a little more than when you're just splattering the ink with a paint brush.

A little stamped sentiment ......

and a hand doodled frame around the edge, using a black fine liner, to finish it off.

There's a £40 gift voucher to spend on The Sweet Poppy Stencils website for the challenge winner but, you have to be in it to win it!!  Go on ...... get those stencils out.

Thanks for popping by ....... hope you have a great weekend.

Cheerio until next time .........

Stencils:  Lazy Daisy (Sweet Poppy)
Stamps: sentiment from Inkylicious
Inks: Distress Inks -  Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Brushed Cordroy; Versafine Clair - Nocturne
Other: Black Finer Liner pen

Thursday 26 May 2022

A little bit of Flower Power! ......

Happy Thursday .......

The weekend is fast approaching, and the sun has finally decided to show itself.  
However, that wasn't the case this morning when I had to go into town ....... lets just say it was a little wet and windy at 9am so I didn't hang around long!  I suppose a little bit of rain will do the flowers good though! 

Speaking of flowers, this month's theme for the Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils Facebook Challenge is ........... Flower Power.  If you'd like to play along then there's still time.  
Just follow the simple rules and you never know, you could be the next winner of a £40 voucher  to spend on Sweet Poppy goodies ..... wouldn't that be nice!

Sweet Poppy have loads of gorgeous flower stencils, the hardest part of this challenge is choosing which one to use.

This one was on my desk ....... Wall of Poppies, and guess what ...... it's currently in the sale, what a great bargain!

I decided to go with a rainbow of colour ..... well, poppies don't always have to be red do they!
I simply inked through the stencil using Distress Inks, blending the colours as I worked over the design

I added my sentiment on a strip across the bottom.  I used a tiny Happy Birthday stamp and simply repeated it across the strip of card and then attached it using foam pads, to add a bit of dimension.

I added a few ink splatters using one of the Distress colours ......

and finished everything off with a few co-ordinating enamel dots

The challenge is open until May 29th. 
Simply choose your stencil ...... it must be a floral design and remember, it has to be a SWEET POPPY stencil.  Create something fabulous and add it to the Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils Facebook Page

Happy stenciling!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

It's starting to get busy on the island, and everywhere is making preparations for the TT which starts this weekend ...... I am so excited!!!!
I went by the The Big Stage @ 1886 this morning,  which is coming along nicely.  They've got two weeks of entertainement going on in Douglas starting on Saturday with an opening party and the Champions Leauge final on the big screen.   Then on Sunday, we've got tickets to see Jessie J who's the first of a whole list of big names coming over for the event ........ TT is going to be amazing this year!!!

Cheerio until next time .......

Stencils:  Wall of Poppies (Sweet Poppy Stencils)
Inks: Distress Inks - Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean, Twisted Citron, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Picked Raspberry
Stamps: small Happy Birthday stamp 
Other: Coloured enamel dots

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Messing about on the river ........

Happy Tuesday .........

It seems like such a long time since I've blogged .......... that's probably because it is!!!! 
I did have good intentions over the last couple of weeks but, nothing seemed to come out. 

We've been away on holiday ..... again! 
Not in the van this time.   Instead we've had a lovely week on a boat, on the beautiful Norfolk Broads ....... it was fantastic!!!!

The weather was glorious, apart from one day when it rained a little in the morning, but as you can see the rest of the week was mainly blue skies and sunshine.

This was our home for the week ...... Explorer 1 from Broom Boats ....... she was lovely!!!   A nice big boat, with loads of room inside, three good sized cabins and a nice sun deck 

Here she is moored up on one of my favourite spots ....... Ranworth Broad.  

It was a bit of a new adventure this time.  We've only ever been on the Northern Broads before but this time we picked the boat up in Brundall, down in the South.  The Southern Broads are very different to the North, very quiet, but I suppose that could have been because of the time of year.  It was still fun to explore though.  
We sailed from Brundall down to Reedham, and then up to Great Yarmouth over the weekend, and we crossed Breydon Water for the first time onto the Northern Broads ...... that was a bit scary!  
It's all tidal, so to cross it you have to time things just right.  We had to work out our journey time to get to Great Yarmouth.  There's no real mooring points so you need to be able to go straight through.  We had to check the tide times and work out when it was low and slack water,  there are bridges to go under and we had quite a tall boat!  
We did it though ..... twice in fact!  Once up to the Northern Broads, which was a little choppy, and we were the only ones on there!!!  That was the morning when the weather wasn't great, which didn't help 

We survived ....... and the trip back to the South at the end of the week was a lot better.   Again we were virtually the only ones on there, but at least the sun was shining this time and it wasn't bumpy at all!

It really was a lovely week, very relaxing and the weather was fab.  The locals were friendly enough, 

 and I could definitely get used to evenings like this ........ 

and this ......... cheers!

I think we may just do it all again next year.

 Maybe we should try one of these next time ........ hmmmm  maybe not!!

We're now back on the island, for a few weeks anyway, and we've got the Isle of Man TT Races to look forward to, and of course the Jubilee celebrations.

For the first time since 2019 the island is going to be buzzing with the sound of motorbikes.  It's already starting to get busy.  We're so looking forward to it ..... I just hope the weather is kind to us.
It all gets underway this weekend and then it's Practice Week next week, followed by Race Week with Senior Race Day on Friday June 10th!  I'm so excited!!!!!  It's going to be a busy two weeks!

Thanks for popping by ....... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time ......

Monday 9 May 2022

A quick catch up before we're off again .........

Good morning!   Happy Monday.

May is flying by ...... it's a busy month for us, and ...... the TT is back!!!!  Can't wait.  There's a lot going on before that though!

Well, we're back home ........ for the next few days at least.  
We're off on our travels again on Friday this week.  Not in the van this time though.  
We're off to the Norfolk Broads, hiring a boat this time and spending a week on the water.  The long range weather forecast is looking good at the moment, fingers crossed it stays that way.

Last time I blogged we were on Lucksall Campsite, in a place called Mordiford in Herefordshire.  A lovely campsite, by the River Wye.  
We stayed 4 nights, it was so peaceful.  Hubby managed to work during the day and then we spent the evenings by the river ......... living the dream!!

It was a lovely spot, we walked by the river, and into the local village ........

As you can see, the weather was lovely, we'll definitely be back here at some point.

Our next stop was Tewkesbury ........ a busy little campsite right in the middle of the town, in the shadow of Tewkesbury Abbey

We had four nights here, so plenty of time to explore.
We went to see the Abbey .....

This was huge! ........ a stunning Copper Beech tree in the grounds

There was also this going on behind the Abbey ......


Every year in July, they re-enact the Battle of Tewkesbury (the War of the Roses) at the Tewkesbry Medieval Festival.  There's knights in armour, cannons, and soldiers.  Townsfolk in medieval dress, sleeping in traditional tents, cooking and eating typical food, and showing how life was back then.

What we saw was a prequel to all that ....... showing the amour and weapons used.  It was all very interesting.  Unfortunately we won't be back this year for the actual battle but, it's now on our to do list.

As always, we had to find a watering hole or two.
This place was a must ........  Stephen's mum and dad spent their honeymoon here, in 1963.  Looks like it hasn't changed much

And this place was a little gem ......

Good food, nice wine ......

Whilst hubby was working in the van, I took the opportunity to have a play in an art journal that I had with me.  Nothing too fancy, I had minimal supplies with me ......... coloured pencils and a few wax crayons, a couple of ink pads and the odd stencil.   Word stickers, a few pieces from my bits box (backgrounds, mop up cards, that sort of thing) and some pages that I pre-stamped before we left.

A bit of ink blending and colouring ......

A little bit of collage ...... love these Kate Crane images

Practicing with my coloured pencils ........

and a little bit of doodling on an old stenciled card.

I also doodled on a messy painted page from a workshop that I never got around to finishing

It's still not finished, but it's getting there.

I think this is going to become my version of a junk journal ........ my van journal.  
It's a ring binder so I can add or take stuff out as I go along.  I've already put a few more different pages in there, some that have been started, and some blank.   Lets see where it takes me!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.
It's time to start packing for the next trip now.

Cheerio until next time ........