Wednesday, 30 July 2008

This is the lock narrows that has caused all the fuss and this is the letter that David wrote to The Times

Dear Sir,

The Inland Waterways are not as tranquil nor as successful as your leader article and report would suggest (24 July 2008). I fear you have fallen for the British Waterways PR punt.

Three things inhibit the good life afloat - vandals, drunks and British Waterways

The ills of Society reflect on the canals with youths attacking boats. I doubt that not a day of the summer holidays go by without a boat being targeted by children and youths. Bricks, air pellets and urinating from bridges are the favourite pastime of unsupervised youngsters.

Would the town planner who thought that bars and waterways mix please step forward? Great strides have been made in improving many town and city canal areas but the industrial hinterland of canals has been replaced by bars turning out drunks until four in the mooring. Ropes untied, boats rocked, occupants awaken by thumping on the windows are the present fate of boaters moored bestride ‘Entertainment Areas’. Here in the wonderful Gas Street Basin - lock
jumping is the norm. Attempts by drunks to jump seven feet fail, normally by six inches. Injuries are sustained, ambulances summoned, police interviews conducted. We campaign for a fence to prevent injury and perhaps a death but are ignored by British Waterways.

British Waterways are disliked and distrusted by many of its customers. Their constant and continual prices increases way beyond any inflation figure has driven away the poor, the young and the needy. We are left with the heavy of wallet, the grey-haired, and the wealthy needing
another status symbol. The latest BW scam is the tendering for moorings. In the past one could join a waiting list for a mooring now they are tendered to the highest bidder. The result is the rich get the pleasure of a mooring whilst the poor get the blame for illegally mooring.

You can see that we have got some flower boxes, but there are gaps and that is where they jump.

I have just got a free subscription for an Australian e-magazine here: and I promised to pass it on.

I saw some lovely paper toppers the other day and managed to get three cards from the pack. This one I made on pink card, matting it onto pink card and blue card and cutting out a photo corner in the blue.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The Famous Gas Street as Seen on TV

Well it was all happening here yesterday!!! Though it didn't have the outcome we had hoped for. The local BBC station came to interview us about David's letter in The Times. When they edited the film it had no relation to the letter at all. But here it is anyway, courtesy of Tom who sent it to us this morning. Thank you Tom. It went out on Midlands Today just after 6.30 last night.

Unfortunately the heavens opened dead on 6.30 last night and the satellite link went down; so I never saw it. David had to rush next door onto Chanel to watch it with Peter. He was so disappointed when he came back he vowed never to write to The Times again!

We were also interviewed by the BBC West Midlands Radio and they interviewed David live!!! at 7am this morning. That was a much better interview and I think we got our points across.

It is really strange hearing your voice on the radio. I didn't think I sounded like that!! - though David sounded just like himself, so I suppose I must.

Also, after making Jon Oaks famous (he was on TV 3 times in almost as many days, and on the radio today) telephoned us to check on what was happening!!

So, as it's the only card I can find using a Gas Street photo -here's your first Christmas Card for the year.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Gas Street

I am typing this whilst listening to Nigel Kennedy playing Elgar at the Proms. Beautiful! Just right for a lovely warm Saturday evening.

Jumping the lock this afternoon. He did make it, but his mate in the yellow t-shirt wasn't so lucky.

David had a lovely surprise when he read the letters page in The Times this morning. His letter about BW was printed right in the centre, and there was a photograph of boats in the basin. He was so cross about all the hype and PR that was sent out (and also a BW interview on local TV) that he felt compelled to write to the newspaper.

Then he got an e-mail from the local BBC office asking for an interview. ...and they are coming to speak to him tomorrow !!!

Another easy card using a photo, some backing paper, ribbon and a bit of matting. Sorry, but I made quite a few the other day with some free papers and I wanted to send off pictures of the cards to the magazine that gave them away.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Gas Street

Albert (up the ladder) and Grant (holding the ladder) fixing a MOST IMPORTANT SIGN onto the bridge. It is a laminated piece of paper with the name and number of the bridge on it. One of BW's finest. NOT.

The weather has been glorious and we spent most of the afternoon out on our new bench and table, chatting to passers-by.

No TV cameras today, but apparently Peter on Chanel was filmed yesterday afternoon with four young girls on the roof of his boat and he kept getting telephone calls from people who saw him on the local news.

I walked past Sanity this evening but was too shy to speak. I also notice we have a boat opposite tonight called Walkabout. I hope it's not as noisy as its namesake bar tonight.

I even sold three cards today!!!
Though this was not one of them.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Gas Street

What a day! We started with Alan being rushed into hospital. Then we got a visit from two policemen (well one policeman and one policewoman) looking for a maniac on a boat. Then we had Albert and Grant putting up a really useful sign on the bridge (pic next post). Then the BBC camera team arrived to film Shifali doing the weather. It quietened down a bit after that until ITV Central came and did a broadcast from the very same spot. What can possibly happen tomorrow?

I got an order today - done in less than one hour as they were just visiting! A card for a 70 year old lady who used to look like Betty Boop and loved/s red lipstick and high heels.
I think this fits the bill. Betty came off the Internet (of course) with some rose backing paper, red ribbon and name tag tied with red ribbon and a sparkly 70. I also added some glitter to the dress.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Gas Street

We have finally made it onto Google Earth. If you type in B1 2JT you get to see Mr David in all her glory (well the roof, anyway). We are the blue boat that is facing in the other direction from all the others in the lower group and with a white blob on the front of the roof (at the pontoon end) - that's our satellite dish. We are also on live on the ITV Central web site though it's not very clear and we are three boats in (on the right hand side)

We had a visit from Roach and Gifford for the night. I like the juxtaposition of the old boats with the new buildings surrounding them.

I've been nominated for this award by Debbie on Heartfelt Stamping. Thank you Debbie.

The rules for this award are:-
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you've nominated.
So here goes

Nickie on Curvy Cards by a Curvy Woman (from Britain)

Ali on Paper Piecing (from Britain)

Anna on Paper Posies Card Designer (from Britain)

Amy on Stamping Stuff (from Australia)

Valita on Valita's Designs and Fresh Folds (from Australia)

Godelieve from Stamping Mathilda (from Belgium)

Angela from Angela Sgro Designs (from the USA)

Now for something more mundane. Today's card. A photograph which was matted with a piece of ribbon stapled with a butterfly brad and the backing card has hand-drawn dashes and crosses. Nice and simple.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Gas Street

I know, I know. We are as far away from the sea as you can get in England. But that doesn't mean we can't have a beach.

I also saw the most depressing poster today. "Search for Santa". It's only the middle of July for heaven's sake!

We have moved one of the benches along the pontoon and bought a table for our "parties". All we need now is some sunshine.

It is Pete's birthday today. I posted another card for him on my last post. This is the one from us. Someone has told him that he has featured here and he asked what a "blog" was. His grandchildren should be showing him now.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Gas Street

As sad day in the basin. Europe and Dragonfly were towed away by BW to be sold/broken up. Joe's time was finally up and it is the end of Second City Cruises.

It has been such a lovely day and the Last of the Summer Wine group were out in force, drinking and chatting on the pontoon (and watching a young couple on a bench by the lock. I hope her father doesn't know what she gets up to!

Andy Denny on Granny Buttons gave me a lovely "puff" on his blog on Sunday (even though I messed up the links on my blog and directed everyone to the wrong place). Since then I've had loads and loads of visitors. So welcome. Hope you like my blog and please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you all. ... and thanks again Andy.

A birthday card for Pete (on the right) from Alan (on the Left). The picture was taken a couple of years ago while they were decorating Dragonfly for the Boat Light Parade. To make the card, I first stamped the flowers and butterflies in grey ink and then on top with black ink so that it looks blurred (no I really wanted it to look blurred!) I made a faux ribbon with red card which I cut with scalloped scissors and blue card. I added dots and dashes to the card. I then matted the phot0 onto blue, silver and red card and made the sentiment on the computer and matted that on blue, silver and red card.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Gas Street

I have opened a new shop on the Web. It is at and you can reach it here. It is just like Ebay but for papercrafts. My cards can be purchased from there using PayPal. Please take a look - any comments (good or bad) will be welcomed.

This Caraboat arrived yesterday. It is the first one I have seen for real. Andrew Denny on Granny Buttons often mentions them.

It is quite cute, but I am not sure if it isn't a bit of a pig in a poke and neither a boat or a car and looked even tinier than the little Otters.

This is the new baby card I made for a boy. I used another hair band only this time a white one and just added a sentiment at the bottom.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Gas Street

The wall that holds up the gate and keeps the "yobs" out at night was hit by a boat today. I didn't see it, but it must have been going pretty fast - or it is a rubbish wall.

I suddenly noticed I didn't have any new baby cards - so here is a new one. Pink ribbon down the right hand side. A silver mat behind a pink bear and pink marabou feather (it was originally a hair band). I then added a tag with a pink organdy ribbon.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Gas Street

On Thursday BW turned up to remove the large skip which had been sunk in the basin by a couple of drunks about 2 years ago! Two drunks to push it in and 5 men and 2 boats to remove it.

The gentleman seemed a bit surplus while I decoupaging it - so rather than waste something (or safe money - skinflint!) it just stuck him to a green card with sticky fixers.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Gas Street

Damn!! I managed to miss the skinny dipping early Sunday morning. David said that he was quite a large lad. Damn! Damn!

I caught the end of the Veterans' Parade on Sunday and managed to catch this. I thought it was only the French Army that set out to make their soldiers look silly. Here they have put the tallest and the smallest next to each other. The poor girl was almost running and taking extra long steps to keep up, but still couldn't keep in step.

Alan bit off everyone's head while he was here last week and he asked me to make a card to say sorry. They are his words.

I got some clip art and printed it onto shiny brown paper, stuck it to cardboard and cut it out before adding it to the card with sticky fixers.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Gas Street

Birmingham's answer to the "Last of the Summer Wine". Who knows what they were trying to achieve.

We had lots of excitement yesterday. Around 0930 we got a call from Lyons Boatyard to say that they had had a boat stolen. Ian gave David the details and as he was letting everyone on the pontoon know the boat actually came up through the lock. David asked them to stop and phone the boatyard, which they did, but then they set off again. The next thing there are policemen and a police helicopter above chasing the boat down the Main Line. The people on board were apprehended and we await further developments!!

I made this card using backing paper, fancy edged scissors, a peel-off and two photo corners I cut from my CraftRobo. Nice and simple.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Gas Street

I think this one got left behind after the jollies of Saturday night/Sunday Morning and this picture was taken at 10am!

This morning we had another casualty in the lock - several Asian boys this time. One didn't make it across and hurt his feet.

Lovely weather, David has finished painting the boat for a bit. Tom turned Galley Boy" around and polished the other side.

Alan is visiting from Hockley Port and Marston has gone off to Alvechurch.

Another card for the boys. A decoupage again. I just stuck her down onto a buff coloured card and then added lots of cut out spanners and nuts around the bottom.