Friday, 30 July 2010

Warwick, Grand Union Canal

Picture to be uploaded later

A long run today and 20 odd locks. I seem to be living in a constant haze. Up at 5, lots of locks, sleep all afternoon.

Today we passed Sara from Lyons Boatyard on her way down to a music festival and then Mike who used to moor in Sherborne Wharf when we did. We really are getting near to home.



A pretty photo of boats in the early morning on the Bridgewater Canal. I matted it onto silver card.

Then I Cuttlebugged some white card and matted that onto silver card and stuck it down onto a blue card blank over the bottom 2/3 of the card. The photo was then stuck down over it on the top half of the card. A white silk flower with a blue brad centre was then stuck to the bottom right hand corner of the photograph.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Tomlow Bridge, Grand Union Canal



We were off again before 5am, passing a really low pound, and thenWanderin' Bark in the next full pound.


New balance beams on one of the gates on the Napton flight.


Then it was on to Napton Junction and onto the Grand Union and through the three Calcutt locks.

Just before we moored up Wendy and Peter Hook passed us by going in the opposite direction. The Graham from Gas Street went past with two of his boats full of Girl Guides. Must be getting near home.
A simple card using a peeloff which I matted onto some blue card and cut around leaving a wide-ish border. Two strips of blue and white spotted ribbon were wrapped around the card and the bottom one tied in a knot.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Knotts Bridge, Oxford Canal






I know the "Veg Pledge" has gone to the dogs. But how are BW's walking and cycling customers going to traverse the towpath?




Sunrise on the Oxford. An early start to get through Cropredy before everyone got up. Heard there was a 3 hour wait for the lock yesterday.
David managed to drop his windlass in a lock but managed to retrieve it with the Seasearcher.
A face we knew went past, going south, Vic who is now working for Land and Water was on his way to Oxford with his push-me-pull-you and a skip.
Then we were moored up in the sunshine by 1030 and I went back to bed for a sleep.

Here is a pretty green card. I stuck some ribbon down the right hand side and added the bought topper which I matted onto some silver, green and lime green card. An "Anitas" butterfly (with wings that flutter) was stuck to the top of the panel and a flower to the bottom right hand corner.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Bourton Lock, Oxford Canal

Starting them young.

Up and off early and waiting outside Morrisons at Banbury for them to open at 0800. The up through Banbury (there were actually moorings free!).

Then the rain started, so we moored up at the end of the lock landing.

Lots and lots of boats and reports of waiting 3 hours for the lock at Cropredey and chaos in Banbury. Thought this was supposed to be a tranquil life.



Started with a green base card. I stuck the sticker onto some white card and cut it out leaving a border. I then matted it onto blue, orange, red, blue and gold card before fixing it to the card.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Haddons Lift Bridge, Oxford Canal





River on the right and weir on the left. Safe moorings before the bridge.



Well, they were Australian!

The plan was to stop when we got to NB Acres and the pig farm. But when we got there there were no moorings left. So we backed up and moored on the pilings.
The canal is really busy. Lots of boats and a long wait to get through Nell Bridge Lock - three boats in front and 4 coming down.



Another photograph of boats. I love being able to chose the colours of the card from the boat liveries.
This one began with a green base card. I matted the photo with silver, blue and more silver card and stuck some blue twill tape across the bottom quarter of the card, stick the photo over with sticky fixers. The three blue gems were then added to the top right hand corner. They don't look wonky in real life!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Lower Heyford, Oxford Canal

Found yet another loose boat. It was an old one with a big high bow and the bank was horrid, so sorry, but we left it hanging by a thread from the stern rope. I'm not falling in the cut because someone can't secure their boat properly before they leave it.

Thrupp, as usual was very busy. We have not tried to moor up here overnight for several years. The good news is that the bridge is now electrified and it was working. Having been reading Maffy's blog recently it seems to be very hit and miss.

We came across the usual problems today, low pound, tree stuck through lock gate needing to be sawn off, idiot boaters. It was with relief that we moored up in Lower Heyford for the rest of the day.





Boats on the Oxford canal. The picture was matted onto silver, yellow and blue card.
I Cuttlebugged the red card and matted that onto blue card then wrapped some blue and white stripy ribbon around the bottom before sticking it onto a white base card. The photograph was then added with sticky fixers.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Kidlington Green Lock, Oxford Canal


Great fun leaving the mooring this morning. We were quite aground!
Instead of going into Oxford via Isis Lock as we usually do, we took the longer route via Dukes Cut. The difference in the river above Iffley Lock is quite marked. It gets really rural and the huge flood meadows are full of cows, horses and proper geese.

Then it was back onto the canal and winding locks and lifting bridges.
One of my "Big Wishes" cards. I love these. I put a piece of yellow handmade paper onto the white base card then added the decoupaged lady and the sentiment.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Abingdon, River Thames




One of the vintage beauties cruising down the river. This one is Sabrina.








We began locking at 0700 when the electricity comes on at the locks and, again, almost got through Days Lock before the Lockie took over. They don't like you using the locks by yourselves do they?

The weather was a bit better and eventually the sun came out, but it was a slightly tedious trip up to Abingdon. The moorings were packed and we just managed to squeeze in on to the end of the bank with one ring at the front and one in the middle and the back tied on a spike.

Then at 5 o'clock the Swan Uppers caught us up again and the skiffs went and touched the bridge and the men all stood and drank a toast to The Queen. Then it was all over for another year.
This is Her Majesty's Swan Marker. Quite a uniform.

The toast to The Queen.


For some reason I had to make this card again
for publication in a magazine and I had already sent the original away. So this is the other one made like the last one, but with a different colourway.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Goring, River Thames

A dull, grey start to the day and it was through Blakes Lock and onto the Thames by 0630. We managed Caversham, Mapledurham and almost Whitchurch locks without lockie help, so we had to stop and buy a 3-day licence from him.

By this time it was raining, but we were moored up below Goring lock by 1015.

Later, in the afternoon, we were visited by Anne and Bob from Amber Moon and while we were still on the boat the Swan Uppers came past.

This is a tradition that has been going on since the 12th Century. The Swan Uppers consist of the Queen's Swan Keeper (in a red jacket and white had in the far boat) and representatives of the Vintners' Company and Dyer's Company (why?) (in navy) plus assorted rowers and followers-on with liquid refreshments.

They row up river from Sunbury to Abingdon and catch the swans to ring them. Though the swans must have known they were coming because they all scarpered before their arrival.

After all that excitement we went to The Miller of Mansfield for a meal. After a shaky start when we were ignored for a bit; then the barmaid couldn't get the order for drinks right (Bob had to remind her 4 times!); and then there were no tables for 4 so we had to move the furniture around; the food was surprisingly good.


A card that I actually stamped, embossed and painted. I stamped the figure 3 times and coloured it with watercolour paints and then cut it out decoupaged it in three layers. I added crystal glaze to the raindrops and puddle to make them sparkle.

I used scalloped scissors to cut out the base and matted it onto blue and pink card, adding 2 brads to the top corners. The panel was stuck down with double-sided tape. Some pink ribbon was then stuck across the card and bottom of the panel and tied in a knot.

I printed out the sentiment on the computer and matted it onto pink and then blue card and tied some more pink ribbon around one end before sticking that onto the card with double-sided tape.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Reading, River Kennet

We have something living in and eating our plank!!!


An early start today as we wanted to try and get to Reading in one go. There were lots more boats about, all going towards Newbury, maybe going to the water festival there next weekend.
We reached Theale and David asked if I wanted to stop. I wasn't tired, so said to go on. 1 swing bridge and 1 lock later I wished we had.
After the dredded Fobney Lock (which was almost a pussycat today) we were confronted with Duke and Dutchess breached up coming in the opposite direction (on a blind bend of course).
Still we were on the Reading moorings at 1pm and then it was back to bed to get over the 12 locks, 6 swing bridges and 1 lift bridge. Do the bridges count if they are electrified?


A card with a picture taken on our way up last month. Mr David is just about to enter the lock and the two boats coming from the lock are travelling towards the lift bridge at Aldermaston.
I matted the picture onto gold, yellow and lime green card.
The card blank was white and I added a yellow strip of card which I Cuttlebugged and wrapped some lime green ribbon around it, tying it in a knot.
To finish off I added 3 cardboard circles which I covered with Diamond Glaze to make them shiny and slightly raised.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Woolhampton, Kennet and Avon Canal

Left Newbury quite late so that we could say goodbye to Geoff and Bev and thank them for their hospitality.

There was work going on in the pound between Widmead and Monkey Marsh locks - you can see where the water went when we came past on our way to Bath.

Thankfully there was lots of water there today.

It was quite an uneventful trip to Woolhampton and we were moored up by noon.

A picture of a pretty watering an full of flowers on top of a boat. The photo is matted with silver and pink card, the pink card decorated with scalloped edged scissors.
A narrow card strip which I Cuttlebugged with dots is placed on the left hand side and the photograph added with sticky fixers.
A large pink "gem" is then added to the bottom, right hand corner.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Newbury, Kennet and Avon Canal


One of the leaky locks on the K&A.

Left Kintbury at 6.15 and reached Newbury around 9am. We moored up to wait for the shops to open and discovered a Farmers' Market in the market square. Lots of goodies and we spent lots of money there.

Then it was through the lock and on to Bev and Geoffs' Pitstop for a pumpout, diesel and water. They have, kindly, let us moor up here and we have got an electric hook-up for the night, so I got the washing done.






Four cards today. Again the first attempt and "improved" version.



A bought topper, matted onto silver and lilac card and stuck at an angle onto a lilac base card.








I then added a lilac ribbon, tied with a knot, on the left hand side of the card. Finished off with 5 lilac sequins in the right hand corner.

This one began with a light turquoise card. The topper was matted onto silver and white card and stuck down at an angle.
I cut the card up with scallop edged scissors. Using a white card base I wrapped a turquoise dotty ribbon around the front and tied it in a knot fixing the topper over it with sticky fixers.
Then I added three white sequins on the bottom right hand corner.









Saturday, 17 July 2010

Kintbury, Kennet and Avon Canal

Some of the boats on this canal have so much junk. Sorry! Flowers on them it must be really difficult to move them. Which is probably why they don't move very often. Still this one does look rather pretty.

Having stopped for 2 days in Hungerford we got lazy and decided to stop at Kintbury, travelling a whole three miles. Then of course, I said, we had to stay and see the horse drawn barge which was due past on Saturday.
So it turned into two days.



This is Bonnie, enjoying herself enormously. First she walked for one hour downstream, then the boat winded and she walked back to Kintbury. She had an hour for lunch before setting off upstream for another hour's pulling to Hungerford before returning back to her stable.

Mind you, her handler also walked all that way, but he also had to jump up onto the roof of every boat to get the rope over any obstructions, do the locks, polish the tack and feed her.

Walking into the village for a newspaper I found a fab bread and cake shop. Only open on Fridays and Saturdays. On a nearby empty shop there were signs saying that it was going to open as a chocolate shop next week. Darn! Missed that one.

To make up for it we had a rather disappointing meal in the restaurant of the Blue Ball at the top of the village.


Three cards on the same theme.








This was the original card, the bought topper matted onto blue corrugated card and fixed to a white card blank.

A blue gingham ribbon is stuck along the bottom and three blue buttons fixed over it on the right hand side.







The original card got a bit "old", so I cut the topper and ribbon out using deckle edged scissors and fixed them to a blue card base.





















I used the other topper and matted it, again, onto blue corrugated card and white card which I edged with small scalloped edged scissors.







A blue organdie ribbon was wrapped around the card and tied in a knot on the left hand side of the card and a blue button was fixed to the bottom right hand corner.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Hungerford, Kennet and Avon Canal

I meant to publish this photo days ago, but what with the stoppage etc. The heron had a rat/water vole in it's beak!
We came on from Bedwyn without too much hastle. David's bad hip meant he couldn't climb onto the top of the boat to help with the locks, so I had to manage as best I could.
There was a BW man at Hungerford Marsh lock and he set it for us and swung the bridge (the beam to push it closed from open is at my neck height, so is difficult for me. He then let us go on and closed the gates and swung the bridge back.
At Hungerford Church swing bridge there was a boat coming through, so I didn't have to do that one and then at Hungerford lock there was a boat coming out, and then another one waiting to come in at the bottom, so I didn't have to do that one either! We bought a lottery ticket.
We managed to make appointments for both of us to see a Chiropractor in the afternoon and were sort of seen too, better but not right yet and decided to spend another night here so that David could go back again today. It was a good plan as it has rained most of the day.
This stamp came free with a stamping magazine and I have used it often. I embossed it with black ink and then coloured it in with watercolours. I matted it onto brown card and then onto green hand-made paper and torn yellow card.
Some yellow ribbon was tied round the card and knotted and the panel was stuck over it. Three large green gems were added to the bottom right hand corner.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Great Bedwyn, Kennet and Avon Canal

It rained just as we were approaching Great Bedwyn and there was a space on the moorings. So we stopped for the day. I caught a train to London for the day and spent some money while David stayed behind and nursed his sore hip.


I covered this card blank with some checked scrapbook paper with a leather trim printed down two sides.
The words were cut on the Craft Robo in blue card and the china elephant (which I bought in Hungary) was stuck to the middle of the card.
Finally I stuck three blue buttons in the bottom right hand corner.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Crofton, Kennet and Avon Canal

Travelling up the Wooton Rivers flight of locks we noticed that the water was getting lower. The top pound was about a foot down. Then on the way down we found boats stranded in the mud.

We let some water down to float them and they went on their way up the flight while we went down. I have no idea whether they made it to the top.

By the time we reached lock 81 by the pumping station the water was running over the top lock gate. What was going on?









Blue boats on a blue canal under a blue sky with lots of blue card and ribbon.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Lady's Bridge, Kennet and Avon Canal

Back to the early starts. A pumpout before we set off at 0630 and a stately cruise along the long pound (it has to be stately, there are so many boats moored on the bank that you can hardly get out of tickover).

We had planned to stop at The Barge at Honeystreet, but the moorings were jammed packed and they all looked like they were staying for the weekend, so we came on here and have had a lovely peaceful day in the depths of rural Wiltshire. Perfect. Of course, there is no internet connection.



It is Caroline and Curtis’s first wedding anniversary today and this is what I made for them. I cut a an aperture from the base card with a Nestabilities labels die and backed it with some pink handmade paper which has been sewn with gold hearts. I then wrapped some white handmade paper with tiny hearts in it with some pink paper raffia string and fixed it into the aperture. The sentiment was made with rub-ons and glittery gold chipboard “1” and matted it onto gold card.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Devizes Wharf, Kennet and Avon Canal

This is the culprit lock.

We were finally given the go-ahead to do the flight this morning and then discovered that the boats in front of us had been allowed through yesterday afternoon!!!

It took us 6 hours to get from Sells Green to the wharf here. Because there were so many boats going in both directions there were lots of holdups while we waited for boats to get ready in locks and then manoeuvre through the pounds.

Still we made it and are now breached up as the wharf is really busy



This is the penultimate lock in the flight proper, the were so many gongoozlers.









We spent a lot of our time in Sells Green watching the wildlife. There were about 6 baby rabbits who were eating all the cherries that had fallen to the ground. They really must have liked them because they became quite brave and only hopped back into the bank at the last minute when anyone went past.

We also bashed the bus passes and visited Salisbury, Swindon, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Melksham, Bath and Bristol, and Devizes of course.




While we were there there was a horse show one weekend. David took this photograph and I made a birthday card for the horse's owner.

I matted the photo onto gold and two shades of brown, card and stuck it to the card with sticky fixers. I added three brown gems on the top right hand corner and brown ribbon, tied in a knot across the bottom of the card.







Inside, the insert was printed with the same photograph (in draft to make it a bit washed out) and the sentiment on the other side.

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