Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

 We have been on this mooring for almost two years now and as there was nowhere to tie the boat at the front we used the metal railing on the end of the next pontoon.  It was supposed to have been on our pontoon, but that is yet another story.

Anyway, during the high winds over the past few days the weight of the boat pulled it down.  It was 2am in the mooring and we reported it to CRT on the emergency line.  Our two trusty workers were around next morning and they fixed it.

We are too scared to used it again for tying up the boat, so now we are waiting for a new cleat thingy to be put onto the end of our pontoon so that we can tie the boat more firmly.

There should be fireworks tonight - I saw some men on the roof of the House of Sport.  It's usually a good sign.  We didn't get any last year, so here's hoping.

 I haven't made a new year card for ages, well 2009 actually.

So here is one I made earlier.

Hope you all have a happy and prosperous year ahead.  Give us a waive if you see us on the cut.  We are planning the Llangollen, Liverpool, York and back this year.

Monday, 23 December 2013

 Merry Christmas everyone.

And a happy New Year!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Gas Street Basin. BCN

I  don't know how the Trust has the cheek to publish this poster.  Just remind me.  Who closed more canals than anyone else?  Who put concrete into locks?  Who sold off reservoirs?  Who tried their best to stop local associations from re-opening their canal?  Who let canals fall into decay and stagnation?  
Oh! Just call me a sad old git.

"To my beautiful wife on our 1st Christmas"  A lovely decoupaged card with lots of glitter.

And "To my wonderful husband on our 1st Christmas.  Decoupaged and lots of glitter.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Gas Street Basin, BCN

 I must walk over this bridge at least once a week and it wasn't until yesterday that I noticed the rope marks in the stone coping.  The bridge goes over the entrance to Regency Wharf.

Then, blow me, as I was walking by the Malt Shovel there were more.  This bridge is over the entrance to that tiny wharf with the little boat and reed bed.

And the moral - keep your eyes open!

 Fifty Christmas cards for Susan who runs a "spa" service.  I made 50 of a lady having a massage in the summer.

I cheated slightly by using the stamp digitally and colouring it on the computer to save time.

Every one is slightly different.

Here are some close-ups. 

This one has a glittery snowflake with two smaller paper ones.

A couple of die-cut holly branches.  The berries are made with glitter glue.

Notice some of the fairies have brown hair and others are blonde.

This card has holly leaves and gold berries (they were "retrieved" from crackers one Christmas).

I used holly leaves and glitter glue for this card too.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Gas Street Basin , BCN

 I have made an early New Year's Resolution.  I am going to blog at least once a week even though I don't have much to say boating wise.

I'll just have to fill in with stories and pictures I haven't already blogged about.

The view from the front of the boat.  Jurys Inn getting a facelift.

We got back from the Bonfire Meet without any alarms or excursions.  We went the long way around, down Spon Lane locks.  Never done them before.

Apart from that we have been moored up here in Gas Street except for pump outs at Sherborne Wharf.  John and Jenny Jackson came and delivered our coal for the winter and David has got several wooden pallets from the Hyatt for chopping up, so we should keep nice and warm.

I have branched out from cardmaking and made this lumiere.  I made a sort of box type card, cutting a hole in the front and backing it with some vellum.  

Two holes were punched at each spine and ribbon threaded through and tied in a knot.

Various silver, sparkly, peel-off were added along with some sparkly Christmas trees

A battery operated candle is placed in the centre of the vellum panel to shine through the window.

Then, of course, I had to make a box to put it in.

I used the same colour card that I made the lumiere from, cut a hole in the centre, added the silver peel-offs, and that was it.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Galton Pump House, BCN Old Line

 After a surprisingly quiet night we woke up to a dry morning, which was a relief after all the rain last night.

How I miss not being out in the country (?) all the time.  The trees are beautiful, there were birds tweeting in them and ducks in the water.  But on the other hand, I also love living in the centre of Birmingham and having everything close at hand.  And David likes being in Birmingham too - no need to get down the weed hatch!

I did my stint in the refreshments tent and managed to to gorge on the lovely cakes, but had to hang onto the tent during the gusts of wind.

I am publishing this before the bonfire starts, so I have something for tomorrow.  It is raining now.  So fingers crossed.

Another birthday card for a guy who works on our moorings.  It was for his sister.  I used a photograph taken on the Llangollen, which is a canal he know well.  I matted it using Nestabilities in yellow and pink (colours matching the boat).

I used another square card blank and matted a Cuttlebugged yellow panel over some pink card which I edged with a Martha Stewart punch and wrapped some pink ribbon around it before sticking it onto the left hand side of the card.

To finish off I added some green swirls and leaves and three pink blossoms and a pink bow.  The sentiment is a silver peel-off

Friday, 1 November 2013

Gaton Pump House, BCN Old Line

It was just a short run.  A trip to Galton Valley for the BCNS Bonfire Meet.  Just over an hour away and only 3 little locks.

Everything was fine till we got to the bottom lock.  David put the boat into reverse to stop it and got something around the prop.  We got the boat into the bottom lock and David went down the weed hatch.  Something nasty. 

We pulled the boat through the bottom lock and a hire boat (which had water in the bilges up to the engine - who had the worst problem?) came down the middle lock.  Mike Rolfe was following us, so he took the next lock and I helped him up to the top.  He then came down to help in the weed hatch.  To no avail. 

So, we hauled the boat up to the lock mooring at the top and called River Canal Rescue.  It took the guy 3 hours to reach us and had the offending wire out of the hatch within 15 minutes!!  You just need the right gear.

By this time all the bank side moorings had gone and I didn't fancy breaching up and having to negotiate wet cratches so we moored up on the visitor moorings by the pump house.

"It's my girlfriend's birthday on Wednesday, can you make her a card?  She loves cats and cute.  Oh! and she is busy on Wednesday, can I come and pick it up tomorrow morning?"

I printed off the cat three times, coloured it in with pencils and then decoupaged it.

A square white card blank was covered in pink floral paper, some pink ribbon tied around the bottom in a knot and a panel of green floral paper matted onto silver card was laid over the this.  The circle was die cut, as was the silver surround and the whole thing was stuck on with sticky fixers.  I added the sentiment and name which was matted onto the green paper and some white roses with die cut leaves and a swirl cut from the green floral paper.

Of course, the card would not not fit into the envelope, so I had to make a box. Time was getting short, so I just matted another piece of the pink floral paper onto silver card and stuck it to the top of the box and added a strip of silver peel-offs along the sides of the lid.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Gas Street, BCN

 Another lovely day and lots of people, but the awful singing finally got to us at 2pm and we set off for home.  There were out of tune singers, wailing singers, religious singers and nearly all were appalling.

We followed Tony on Trent down the locks and traveled back in glorious, warm sunshine.

 We have an ongoing problem with our bog.  It all started exactly a year ago, while we were at Tipton!  We had a new LeSan HeadMaster toilet fitted a few weeks ago, but it is absolutely useless.  It will flush away only intermittently and even then there is a back flush so it never goes away.  We dare not do anything serious and are  having to use the toilets in the Hyatt Hotel.  There is talk of a warrenty, but the firm don't seem to think it an emergency.  (Southampton Boat Show).  They are getting back to us.

This is the card that I made for Richard the first time we had the problem.

I dry embossed some brown paper with a bark folder and cut it into 4 panels, sticking three on the front to look like planks in the outside loo.  I made a mini toilet roll using a sheet of loo paper cut into strips and wrapping it around a small tube.  String was threaded through the tube and knotted then fixed to the front of the card with a brad.

The fourth panel I stuck inside the card adding a cream matted with gold sentiment.

I thought about making it a "smellie" card, but decided against it.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Tipton, Wolverhampton Level, BCN

 What is the world coming to?  We have just passed 8 fishermen and each one similed and spoke!!

Apart from trips to Sherborne Wharf for jobs and pumpouts we have not been anywhere on the boat, so i haven't had much to blog about. 

David let me buy a metal box from Steve to put all my card stuff in.  He was fed up of having the boat full of boxes and stuff. Steve makes the most wonderful boxes.  We have two now, and Pete and Peter have one each; so along with Steve's own box for Frederick there 5 on the moorings - each one made specifically for its owners.

We set off for Tipton at 0730 this morning, arriving 3 and bit hours later.  Wayne had left us a mooring on the towpath side so that I could sell cards and there were several other traders there, including the cheese boat which was doing a roaring trade.

As like last year the sun came out and it was warm and sunny.

I used 5 photos to make this card, cutting out and using the centres which got smaller and smaller.  I then used sticky fixers to constrsuct a 3D type picture which was matted onto gold card and then onto the white card blank.

I saved the frames a an did an inverted pyramid on another card.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Gas Street, BCN

More trees lost to the canal around Birmingham.  The NIA has been denuded too.  Notice, though, they have not cut down the ones on the corner which can actually be a nuisance - yet!

David set off at 0630, I stayed in bed with a cup of tea.

We were back by for 10 and kicked the squatters off the mooring.

I really enjoyed my weekend out.  Can't see us getting away again until September at least.  Still, we have a grandson to look forward too.

One reason why we came back early was that Pete, our neighbour, celebrates his 83rd birthday today and there was a party and boat trip for him.

I went with a skateboarder theme, for no reason, just thought he might like it.  The card was made with a blue card blank, a brown panel matted onto silver card and the sentiment and name picked out in silver peel-offs.  The two skateboarders were stickers which I mounted onto card and cut out. 

The bottle tag was made with white card and I matted some patterned paper onto silver card and stuck it down on the front, then I cut out a white panel which went on the top and added the peel-off sentiment and name and the skateboarder was added to the bottom.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Hopwood, Worcester and Birmingham Canal

 This mooring is up for auction!  Is there a prettier spot?  It is at Lower Bittel Reservoir on the Worcester and Birmingham.  Not many utilities, electricity, water and rubbish (I think), but nothing else, and you'd need a car.

 We set off for Alvechurch and finally caught up with the others just before Tardebigge tunnel.  There was no room for us to join them as the bank was too shallow, so we winded and came back here.

Lunch at the Hopwood Arms and a quiet afternoon in the sunshine.

Cathy (a fellow moorer) always managed to pose a challenge when she needs a card.  She handed me a badly photocopied photo of her grandchildren with the Simpsons.  Could I make a card for the Grandson, and Smudge (the dog) needs to be there too.

This is what I did.  I cut an aperture into the front of a tent fold card and added a strip of peel-off around the edge.  I scanned the picture and David twiddled with it to enhance it a bit and I had a copy made at Snappy Snaps.  It is not too good, but better than the original.  I matted this onto silver card and stuck it to the back of the card blank through the aperture.

I found a clip of the Simpsons and printed it off onto card, and also the sentiment and name which I cut out by hand and die cut using black "dots" to looks like brads.  Smudge was cut out and added to the bottom of the aperture to look like she is peeking out.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Hopwood, Worcester and Birmingham Canal

 The first Saturday that we had sunshine and the stag parties were jumping the lock and swarming over passing boats as they negotiated the narrows.  I think the police must have had a word with the owner of the Canalside Cafe because several signs have appeared (though only one seems to remain at the moment).

We have actually taken the boat out of the basin (apart from pump outs).  We visited Sherborne Wharf to get the windows finished and sealed off and then set off down the Worcester and Birmingham.

Hopwood is about the first decent moorings a good run from Birmingham so we moored up by the bridge.

Three fellow moorers passed on their way to Alvechurch and we arranged to meet them tomorrow.

It was so nice to be out.  I have missed so much of Spring this year.  We saw ducklings and moorhen chicks, lots of butterflies and dragonflies, roses, foxgloves, meadow-sweet and the last of the yellow flags.  And best of all, the sun shone all day!

Poor Richard at Sherborne Wharf had the joyous job of fixing our toilet.  I managed to drop a wet wipe down (though I have no recollection of doing so!)  Consequently the macerator came to a grinding halt.

This is the third time that he has had to play with our outpourings.  I made this card as a small thank you.

I printed off the stamp about 4 times, coloured them in with pencils and markers, then decoupaged them using sticky fixers.  I was really proud of myself as I managed to get the pig to peek out of the door.  I did this by sticking the hinge end of the door directly to the shed with double sided tape, cut a flap at the side of the pig and stuck him behind the door with sticky fixers.

The sentiment was done on the computer and I matted both onto gold and green pearl card.

This is a side view showing how the pig peeks out of the door.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Gas Street Moorings, BCN

Two more Canada geese goslings.  Still looking cute, but not for long.

The adults are particularly annoying at the moment, honking all night.

It was back to Sherborne Wharf today to get two of the three leaky windows fixed.  Of course, the weather turned cloudy and chilly again - especially with no windows!

Three new baby cards all made with the "bobble" of a hair decoration and a feather.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Gas Street Basin, BCN

 Last night I perpetrated the ultimate sin on a boat.  I managed to drop a "wet-wipe" down the toiled bowl.  Consequently the macerator died a death.

So it was round to Sherborne Wharf and to beg Richard to fix it for us.

Bless him, he managed to fix it for now, but we need a new toilet.  So yet more expense!

Coming back from the boatyard we saw that the bridge at Brindleyplace is being repainted from the contraption slung from the railings.

To say "thank you" and "sorry" to Richard, I made him this card.

I printed out the pig in the Khazie four times and coloured them with pencils and markers.  I then decoupaged them, using sticky fixers and glue (I glued the hinge side of the door down and used the sticky fixers on the open edge.  I then cut out the pig with a tab on the left hand side and stuck the tab to the door with double sided and then sticky fixers on the right hand side.  The topper was then matted onto gold and green pearlised card.  I was really pleased with the result.

The sentiment was matted and stuck down with sticky fixers too.

Inside I grovelled my apologies!

A side view of the card showing the layers.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Gas Street Basin, BCN

 Remind me again, what is the date?  Apparently it is the coldest Spring for 30 years.  You're telling me. 

We are not exactly fine weather boaters, but we are waiting for a bit of better weather before we set off.  It would be nice to be able to spend a couple of hours on the move without getting wet and/or cold.

Lots of visitors passing through Birmingham.  Not everyone is as timid as we are, obviously.

I made about 40 cards using this stamp.  Here are the pink ones.  Promise I won't publish any more for a bit.

Used die cut labels etc and embossing folders, ribbons, flowers, gems and feathers on these.

The pink one at the top left hand corner was made from card taken from a bag that once held a bunch of flowers.  Don't throw anything away if I can find a use for it.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Gas Street, BCN

 You never know quite what is going to happen in Gas Street.  We have had a week of visitors and David going off to a couple of CRT meetings .  Then this evening, after a lovely sunny day spent sat out on the moorings there was a commotion.  Some idiot drunk was swimming in the canal and lots of people on the balcony of the Walkabout shouting and howling; and there were over 12 policeman standing around watching him.

He was eventually coaxed into the hatch of a visiting boat and the ambulance took him off to hospital to pump the canal water out of him.

The Police were very effective.  No plan, no one in charge, couldn't lift stuff out of the canal 'cos it was dirty.  Just when did they become such wusses?

And yet another card for the spa.  I stamped out the toppers onto white card and ran the towels and gown through the Cuttlebug to give it some texture.

The gown was matted onto a white square with sticky fixers and then matted again onto a pink scallop square.  This was stuck to a dark blue card blank.

Two flowers were added to the towels and the pot of cream.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Gas Street Moorings, BCN

And this is what was around the propeller.  (will edit later)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Gas Street Basin, BCN

 We got a message via Callum and then Kathie to say that Pete had broken down on the Soho Loop and could we go and tow him back.

So off we went with Kathie and Smudge for a second trip around the Soho Loop in as many weeks, and the third time this year!

We found Pete with Alan opposite the prison, stuck with something around the prop and brought them back to the basin.

Another of the cards made for the lady who does massages.  I stamped out the image twice onto white card, die-cutting one in an oval and fussy cutting out the other one after colouring them with pencils, and gold pen.  I added the cut images with sticky fixers and added a gem in the girl's turban and some sparkle on the candle flame.  The oval was matted onto a die-cut scalloped piece in blue.

I cut a panel of white card and cut the edges with a Martha Steward punch, then adding a strip of blue card and covered the edges with ribbon.  This was then stuck to the blue card blank and the topper added in the centre towards the top.  Three glass gems finish off the panel.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Gas Street, BCN

 The big day!  New electricty posts.  We won the jackpot and got the one with the keypad which everyone else on the moorings will have to use too.  The system is being set up for the whole country and we will eventually be able to pin in our own numbers to pay for the electricity.  That's if it all works, which is a but dubious.  The best part is that you pay through the internet.  We have two moorers who have no idea what the internet is let alone have an account. 
 And, the even better bit, we are going to have to pay for the privilege!

Some time ago I bought some toppers using handmade papers and dried flowers.  I used this one on a white card blank and just added three yellow gems.