Thursday, 31 March 2011

Booth's Swing Bridge, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

 The plan was to stay in Skipton for two nights but the wind came up and as the wharf has a curving wall we were banging against the stones.  So after lunch we moved out of town for a bit of peace and quiet.

Lots of signs of spring now, birds on nests, leaves budding and frogs croaking for all they are worth.  Haven't seen another swallow though!

This card has bee tinkered with several times.  This is the latest incarnation.

I covered a foam heart with some gold webbing and then added the gold rose which was then matted onto yellow card and gold miri card.

I wrapped some gold ribbon around a piece of white card and added some gold peel-off borders and stuck this down onto the white card blank along with the topper.

I used the computer to make the sentiment on white card and matted it onto gold miri card before adding it to the bottom of the card.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Skipton, Leeds & Liverpool

Rain was forecast today, so we decided to press on to Skipton. So the Bank Newton locks were done in the drizzle and then it cleared up a bit.

We came across NEW LOCK GATES!! Both top and bottom locks, and they were so new you could smell the new wood. Both gates were leaking already though.

Gargrave was quiet, three hireboats and two others on the moorings.

What can you do with the drunken paddle?

We managed to slot into our favourite mooring in Skipton opposite the boatyard in the Springs Branch and I collected the mail that David had so kindly sent us.

And now for a day's rest.

I covered a white card blank with a printed clipart of a race track and then added the car and a computer generated sentiment.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bad Leak, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

A day of leaks.

This one is a leak from the middle Greenbergerfield lock - the water was pouring down over the car park.

Diesel (83p ltr) and coal from the boatyard and then it was down the three locks.

We are no longer on top of the canal. The 4 odd miles on this pound follow the hills, winding around and back on itself with an embankment on one side. We soon noticed that about every 100 metres there was a temporary sign....

No wonder they had to close the canal last year because of lack of water.

A decoupaged flower fairy today.

A white card blank which has the left hand side covered in stripy paper. A pink ribbon is wrapped around the join and the fairy panel is fixed on the other side.

I saved the top bunch of daisies and stuck them in the bottom right hand corner.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Salterforth, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

OK! OK I get the message. Messages on one of the Barrowford locks

We stopped off at Morrisons in Nelson for supplies and then on up the 7 Barrowford locks. When we got to the top lock drooling for a bacon buttie we found another sign. I don't like carping on about the stupidity of BW but really...

We missed our time slot for Foulridge Tunnel where we had to wait 1/2 hour and as we came out the other side we noticed Cafe Cargo had opened up in the old wharf building. So we stopped for lunch and discovered we had met the proprietors on the Llangollen about 5 years ago. Anyway, lovely meal, friendly staff and highly recommended if you're passing.

Then is was on to the visitor mooring by The Anchor pub with its stalactites and stalagmites in the cellar.

I love Eeyore, he reminds me of someone.

I decorated one edge of some red spotty paper and wrapped it around a white card base. Then I die-cut a circle and scalloped circle which I then Cuttlebugged before sticking them onto the card.

Eeyore was added to the circle along with a couple of butterflies and a sprig of flowers.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Oliver Ings Bridge, Barden Mill, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

We have just travelled through Burnley and I don't think we have travelled through a grottier place. The whole canal from before Blackburn through Church and on to here is littered with every conceivable piece of rubbish. We scraped over goodness knows what around the Weavers Triangle and David had to go down into the weed hatch 5 times this morning and we only did 9 miles. We even got stuck just as we were entering Gannow tunnel.

And to top it all, we stopped for a pumpout at Rose Grove and even the boaters are leaving their rubbish. I wouldn't mind but the pumpout station is immediately in front of the rubbish skip.

I cut this little chap out of a party invitaiton. The base card is white and I matted some blue card onto silver and covered the front of the card leaving a small border.

Then I added the spaceman, flag and stars plus some gem stars for effect.

And no, it is no upside down - he's in space!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Fosters Swing Bridge, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

That swallow yesterday certainly didn't bring the Spring. The wind was bitter. Thankfully, we only had a short day, albeit with three swing bridges.

The first one, in the dirty village of Church was easy except for the landing. The sewage works is being refurbished and there is a temporary bridge parked where the boat is meant to stop.

The second bridge had an awkward anti-vandal spring and it took me ages to get it to withdraw so that I could wind up the brake before swinging the bridge.

The best part was that the bridges seem to have been refurbished since last time and they all "swung" beautifully.

We were at our moorings here by 0815 so I took a walk towards Clayton-le-Moors to see if I could catch a bus somewhere. I only had to wait about 5 mins and a bus came for Burnley. When I got there, there was a bus waiting to go to Manchester, so I jumped on and spent the day in Manchester.

For this card I covered the front of a white card blank with patterned paper. I made two slits into the topper and threaded through a sentiment banner before sticking them both onto the card.

To finish off, I added four blue roses which matched the outfit on the topper.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Cut Bridge No 107 (Norden), Leeds and Liverpool Canal

We moved off early to get to Riley Green for 0900 where we were meeting David's sister and two of her grandchildren. They were coming for a cruise and helping us up the Blackburn 6.

The area through Blackburn, as usual, is filthy. Rubbish in and around the canal all the way. By the sanitary station by lock 3 there is this horrid sculpture and some wag had left his empty tinnies in a plastic bag on the handlebars.

We stopped by Asda to meet David's niece who was picking up the guests and then it was a quick shop in Asda and B&Q (12 magnetic clips £5 - 2 magnet clips £8. Work that one out! Of course we only want one).

As we set off I swear I saw a swift/swallow swooping under the bridge.

A pretty little Pooh card. I stuck the topper onto a white oval which had the edge inked in green and matted onto some scalloped floral paper.

I cut a strip of green card and one of the floral paper which I had edged with a Martha Steward punch, these I layered up and then wrapped some green ribbon around it, tying it with a knot before sticking it onto a white card blank. I then added the topper with sticky fixers to make it stand out.

To finish off I added a couple of butterflies and a spray of flowers.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Engine Bridge No 84, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

I have noticed this year that the canals seem to be covered in some sort of gooey, slimy, scum. Are we discharging too much washing up water and having too many showers?

A lovely sunny day, though cold to start off with. We did the 7 Johnsons Hillocks locks without any trouble (ie: didn't lose the boat in the pound) and did not see another boat on the move until 5pm.

I have been recycling again. This card was made from one that I received as a birthday card. I just cut out the picture and matted it onto some gold card which has the edges decorated with a Martha Stewart punch. I stuck little red gems along the bottom and top and added a "Thank You" topper with a red ribbon.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Red Rock, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

We have travelled a whole mile today - and no locks for an excuse.

We are by the old Crawford Arms, then Bridge 67. We were expecting family and thought it would be a good place for lunch. Unfortunately it is now a dead pub. My brother-in-law, Joe, was barred from the restaurant some time ago because he complained about something so maybe it wasn't too good anyway.

Fortunately there was room in one of the cars and we were taken into Standish for lunch and then delivered back to the boat afterwards.

A white card blank, some backing paper, a decoupaged Forever Friends bear and sentiment and three glass gems. Simples.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Haigh Hall, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

The blackthorn is flowering!!!

A lovely, warm, sunny day just right for locking. And did we lock! 23 big, heavy, stiff, difficult locks. It took the two of us (with help from BW setting 3 locks) 6 hours and I was almost on my knees by the top.

The top lock still has a broken paddle (at least 5 years now) and two of the others were so stiff that David had to do them.

Still, we are in a lovely spot with a golf course on the off side and the view over 1/2 of Lancashire on the towpath side.

It is our baby's 32nd birthday today. I know, I know, I am not old enough to have a daughter that age, but there you go.

She was about 9 months old when this picture was taken while we were living in Poland.

I matted the photo onto gold card and yellow handmade paper with the edges torn. I fixed it to a white card blank and then added the jelly, sparkly flower to her hair and part of a hair ornament with another flower on the left hand side.

Dover Bridge, Leight Branch, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

An early start (David set off and I stayed in bed again!).

We stopped off in Leigh for a bit of shopping (Aldi by the pub moorings) and then it was on through Plank Lane swing bridge which is being redeveloped. There is going to be a 40 boat marina and probably hundreds of house by the look of the mud around.

We moored up by the Dover Lock pub (no lock, just a pub) and I caught a bus into Wigan for an explore.

Quite little cutie this one. Made for a kit which I got "free" with a card magazine.

I started with a square white card using some matted decorated paper as a background and a strip of white card with a decorated edge and some green rickrack along it. I made the flower by stitching through more rickrack and pulling it tight.

The round topper was matted onto yellow card and stuck down with sticky fixers and the sentiment was added below.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Worsley, Bridgewater Canal

We moved up into Worsley proper and moored up in the rain. In fact in rained most of the day.

Caroline drove up for the afternoon to help us with our tax returns. We had trouble doing it on line, so she had to take our main laptop back with her. In the rush we forgot to back up stuff onto this one, including the photographs and the boat log.

Still, David would not have had to go out and take this photo for me of the footbridge by the moorings.

A boat was on the moorings when we got back from the pub with Caroline and they happened to say that they were on their way to Birmingham. They did not know that the Barton Swing Bridge was closing at 4.30 and it was now 4!! They sped off and didn't come back, so I hope they made it.

Just before we left Birmingham Cubie asked for a Mothers' Day Card for her mum.

She wanted someone sitting drinking wine and her mum loved boats. So this is what I came up with. I used a photograph which I matted onto gold card, cutting the top and bottom edges with wavy scissors. I coloured in the stamped image and added it with sticky fixers.

To finish I added some sparkly flowers and a printed sentiment.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Broadoak Park, Worsley, Bridgewater Canal

Not your usual sight on a canal. This is a Mancchester University rowing team practicing along the long mile straight at Altringham.

While we were getting our pumpout the other day we were discussing our route and the man doing the pumpout said that Barton swing bridge was going to close soon for maintenance.
We got caught last time we came up here so I checked with the Bridgewater Company to discover that we had until tomorrow to get through.

So it has been a bit of a rush. But we made it with a day to spare.

We did a "first" today and moored up by the Trafford Centre for a look around. Mind boggling architecture!

Caroline is driving up to meet us tomorrow so we will hang around Worsley tomorrow and have a bit of a rest.

I have just printed out some Pink Petticoat toppers with a view to making some Mothers' Day cards. I made this one starting with a black card blank, some zebra stripy paper matted onto pink pearlescent card with a black ribbon wrapped around the top and a bow tied around it with a piece of jewellery stuck by the bow.

I cut out the topper with an oval Nestability and then cut out a pink scalloped oval for the backing, sticking it down with some sticky fixers.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Bollington Under Bridge, Bridgewater Canal

David wanted to get on and through Preston Brook tunnel early, so he set off at 0530 to get the 0600 slot!!! Once in the tunnel he soon discovered it was not such a good idea. It was too dark to see the entrance in the distance and he had nowhere to aim for.

A quick stop at Moore for a newspaper and some pate from the little shop there and then on to Lymm for ah hour's rest.

By then the sun had come out and it was rather pleasant. There was lots of activity at the moorings by the Old No 3 pub, looks like they are re-doing the water points and maybe even some mooring rings. This canal is a "spike" one - not many rings or bollards, which when you consider how fast the boats go past moored ones can make it fun to keep put. We did find 5 rings here though, which is why we stopped.

Here is the card for my Brother's grandaughter

A white card blank with the edges coloured with pink ink. A pink feather and a little hair ornament with the elastic taken off the back.

The sentiment is a silver rub-on on white card with the edges coloured with the pink ink.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Dutton Stop Lock, Trent & Mersey Canal

Always a sad sight this. The boat must have had either a wooden or fibreglass superstructure as there is only the metal hull left.

A quiet run into Middlewich. I left David at the bottom of the third lock and walked into town to Tesco for a paper and bits and bobs. I had caught up with him just as he was filling the Big Lock.

Then it was on to Anderton. I dropped in to the customer services to buy some pumpout cards. Not an easy transaction, but I'll say no more and I am sorry to the next person who needs a pumpout card, I bought all 7 of them!

My brother's eldest son and his wife were expecting a baby (a little girl). So I came up with this card.

The photo is not too good because I used a white square card blank. The pink safety pin was stuck to the middle and the rub-on sentiment was added below. The wording is "Parenting results may vary". This is their second child, so we'll see.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Normans Bridge, SU Middlewich Branch

We needed a pumpout, so we waited at Venetian Marina to open. Finally, someone turned up at 0915 and said that she really only did pumpouts as a favour for the moorers! So we went on to the new Aqueduct Marina where they were very obliging and we ended up spending £62. So sucks to you Venetian Marina. Mind you, the entrance to the marina was very narrow and tight and the services mooring was difficult to get into and out of.

Just a bit further on we saw Waterwich, so of course we had to stop and say hello. So, most of the day seemed to have disappeared when we moored up here.

Another floral card. This one is made from dried and silk flowers, handmade paper and paper ribbon. It has been matted onto torn card and then stuck onto a square, white card blank to which I Cuttlebugged the sides. To finish off, two glass gems were stuck to the bottom left hand corner.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Barbridge Junction, Shropshire Union Canal

A late start for us and then a stop at the bottom of Hack Green Locks. The SUCS were at work here, resurfacing the towpath, clearing up the picnic site, repointing the bridge and painting the locks in the distinctive grey and white of the old Shropshire Union colours. Who was it said that volunteering won't help BW? Good on them. David stopped for 1/2 hour to talk to them and take some photos and then we went on to Barbridge Junction where I caught the bus into Chester for an afternoon of retail therapy.

We had the pork and apple sausages from the farm shop at the top of Adderley Locks tonight. They were delicious.

I noticed lots of blossom on the cherry trees in Chester which reminded me of some cards I made of blossom some years ago.

I mounted the photograph onto silver card and then stuck it onto a white card blank.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Coole Pilate, Shropshire Union Canal

What a fantastic name - Coole Pilate - not got a clue what it means. Also, the Shropshire Union Canal Society (SUCS - love that too!) have made a great mooring area with tables, seats and barbecues.

You could tell that David was feeling better today - we set off at 0630 this morning in a heavy frost. This is the boat in Audlum top lock.

We passed one boat on the upper flight and then there were three Middlewich boats waiting to set off just as we came to lock 12. They let us go through, so we were not suddenly No 4 in the queue.

We managed to get water from outside the Shroppie Fly (the boat we past going up said it was frozen when they had tried earlier), and I popped into the Co-op for a newspaper and some bread, then it was down the rest of the locks in brilliant sunshine and on to the mooring here.

A cute little card using some papers from a card magazine. I used a square, white card blank and covered most of the front with blue card and then some blue flowery paper. Before I stuck it down I wrapped some blue ribbon around the middle and tied it with a knot.

The circular topper was also matted onto blue card and added onto the front of the card. Several white daisy type flowers were added with glue dots to the circle and a sentiment was added to the bottom right hand corner.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Adderley Bottom Lock, Shropshire Union Canal

This is Oinka and she lives in the farm at the top of Adderley Locks. Next week there will be a farm shop operating here, selling lamb, bacon (not Oinka), eggs and slices of Victoria Sponge - and that's just for starters.

If you are passing drop in for some super food.

We had a short day today, leaving Market Drayton at 0930 after the rain stopped. We then stopped at the bottom of Adderley locks for a lovely sunshiny day.

In the evening we walked back up to the top lock to talk to Simon and Alison who have the farm and are opening up the shop. David is writing a series of articles about people with small businesses on or by the canals - you will be able to read it in Canals, Rivers and Boats sometime later this year.

We are moored by this tree. We have been here before because I have used a similar photo for some Sympathy Cards.

And here is a card. The photograph is mounted onto black handmade paper and then gold card fixed onto a white card blank.

The sentiment is a silver peeloff stuck onto black paper and gold card and added at the bottom at a slight angle.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Market Drayton, Shropshire Union Canal

David set off at 0700 this morning while I had another hour in my warm bed. The the weather was almost balmy today, the wind seems to have dropped a bit. It was just a bit tedious having to travel at tickover past all those moored boats between Norbury and Shebdon.

We passed the landslide in the Woodseaves Cutting and as we reached the moorings above Tyrley locks one of the moorers warned us that a boat had just gone down leaving all the (double) bottom gates open. So thank you Eleanor May for your consideration. I'll do the same for you one day.

Market Drayton moorings were almost abandoned when we arrived so we had a choice. I chose close to the bridge so I didn't have so far to walk into the town, which has improved a bit in the last year. A Wilkinsons, and an indoor market! The grotty Morrisons is still the only place to get any food though and it is about as far out of town as you can get from the canal.

I've just realised why I am getting on better with this blog today, it seems to have gone back to the old system.

Here is an anniversary card that I made just before we left. A white easel card with red mirror card, silver lace edged paper, ribbon with hearts woven into it and a wooden rose. The sentiments are silver peel-offs, matted onto red mirror card and silver card.

Inside there is a strip of red gems stuck to a piece of red mirror card and fixed with sticky fixers to make it stand up and hold the card front in place. The box has a silver top and the edge is scalloped. I wrapped more ribbon around the side and stuck a bow in one of the corners with three red gems.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Norbury Junction, Shropshire Union Canal

Can't get the hang of this new blogger!  The text formatting seems to have a mind of its own.  I am obviously doing something wrong.  At least I've found the spell checker tonight.

We set off early and the weather was lovely, though the wind was still very cold.  We stopped at the sanitary station at Wheaton Aston intending to do a pumpout but none of the cards seemed to work, so we went on and filled up with diesel at 78p a litre.  It was £1.02 at the Junction!

Then it was on to Gnosall where we stopped for a rest and a very good meal in the Boat Inn, then it was on to Norbury Junction for the night. 

David said he saw two kingfishers today - that's nearly as many as we saw all last year.

 Here is a birthday card I made using a Forever Friends Bear that came from a tissue box!  I cut him out using a circle Nestabillity and then cut a red scallop circle for a backing.  The base card is white and I cut out the lacy borders with a Martha Stewart edge punch to make it look like ribbon, once in rose paper and then again with the same red card as the scalloped circle.  I stuck these down vertically in the centre of the card, adding a red and white spotty ribbon tied in a knot down the middle.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Huntings Bridge, Shropshire Union Canal

Left or Right?  Decisions, decisions.  Leaving the bottom lock of the Wolverhampton 21.
Blogger has been doing some updating.  At the moment it is driving me mad, but I suppose I will get used to it eventually.

We started down the Wolverhampton 21 at 0815, and had to wait at the third one so that the BW guys could fill the empty pounds.  We eventually set off 20 minutes later with help from that lovely lady who lives on a boat at the top lock and looks after abandoned dogs.  This one was a very friendly Staffie.  She always carries her windlass while dog walking and bread for the ducks.  The first 10 locks were for us and we stopped at lock 10 for a bacon and egg buttie from the stall there, then it was on - all the rest were against us and it seemed to take forever.  David had to clear the weed hatch three times!  Eventually we could smell horse so we knew we had only three more locks to do (Wolverhampton Race Course) and then a brief trip on the Staffs and Worcester and onto the Shroppie.

We eventually moored up on the excellent visitor moorings here along with Caxton and Matilda Rose who spent the end of last year iced in in Birmingham.

Now for what I did with the products from dotcomgiftshop
 I made a pyramid exploding box. 

 I covered the inside with some pretty flowery paper and on the outside I sponged a sky using a mask to make the cloud.  Then I stamped a row of trees from one of my Lavinia stamps.  I used green card for the bottom to represent the grass and a strip of Martha Stewart Fence over the join.  I finished off with some paper flowers and one of the rabbits from the dotcomgiftshop

I found that the sticky dot at the back of these rabbits had lost its glue, so I used a dab of PVA.

I used one of the "chicken" for the surprise in the box.  The instructions for this are very clear but I could not find any beaks in the packaging.  Also, they suggested using a heat gun which I don't have, so it was back to the trusty PVA which was a bit messy.

I think I might save the other pompoms for another project.

And now for the card.  A bit of recycling here.  I cut the picture of the snowdrops from a card that was sent to me some time ago and just stuck it to the front of another white card blank.

And now it seems they've taken off the spellcheck.  Sorry, too frustrated to check for mistakes now.