Saturday, 30 March 2013

Gas Street Moorings, BCN

 Easter Saturday, the sun should be shining, the trees in bud, bulbs and blossom blooming, lambs gamboling, ducklings duckling and birds singing.  What have we got?  An ice bush ice in the water, yet again and a cruel East wind whistling through the cracks in the back doors of the  boat.

We should have been down on the Basingstoke Canal, pioneering its opening to the tunnel.  But here we are stuck in Birmingham.

I'm not sorry we turned around and came back 2 weeks ago.  There has been snow most days and the wind has been bitter.  We probably would never even have got onto the River Thames.  The red boards are only just coming down to yellow ones so we would have been stuck in Brentford anyway.  Not the most salubrious of places to spend a week or so at, even if there was room to moor (last year was pretty tight, if I remember rightly).

Anyway, I suppose we can dream of warm days and cruising with the sun on your back, the steel on the roof too hot to touch and a towpath that is not 4" deep in mud!

This lovely ballet dancer is foiled and decoupaged.  I just cut the edges of the panel with deckle edged scissors and matted it onto blue and pink card before fixing it to a blue card base.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Gas Street Basin, BCN

Snow, snow and more snow.

Two days before we left we were sitting at this table in the warm sunshine.

David has worked hard keeping a path on the pontoon and the towpath clear of snow, but it has been hard work.

The pavements are lethal.

The poor daffodils are suffering.  They have been in "bud" for 3 weeks now.

The flowers are encased in ice, with icicles forming on the bottoms.

The snow didn't stop our daughter and son-in-law driving over from Nottingham for her birthday lunch.

She is now 5 months pregnant and is expecting a boy.

The stamp is a Kraftin Kimmie and called Caroline.  So I had to use it didn't I?

I coloured her in with watercolour paints and cut it out using a die, the edge was coloured with ink.  I drew around the die and cut out another white label and then cut out another one in patterned paper.

The backing paper was stuck to a duck-egg blue card blank, leaving a small border.  Then I added the topper with sticky fixers.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Gas Street Basin, BCN

We set off at 7am as we were meeting Cathy at the bottom of Farmer's locks at 11am.

We got to the next lock and I went up to open the gates and was met with this sight.  It's a long pound so I couldn't just run a bit of water down; we had to call out the CART emergency team.

The were with us within the hour and sent some water down and, bless them, they opened the bottom gates to all the locks on the flight.  So we flew up the locks.

The water pouring down the bywash.

We sold Cathy that we would now be at the bottom of Farmer's at 1330, but were there by 1200.  I popped to the cafe across the road for a toasted sandwich and a coffee and when I got back to the canal the boat had gone.

David had set off and met up with Tony, the Volunteer Lock Keeper who helped us up all the locks.

Cathy met us as we were coming into the top lock!

So a trip into Sherborne Wharf for a pump out and diesel before going back to the mooring.

A Cuttlebugged panel in white with a black and white floral paper band across the bottom.  The sentiment was done on the computer, including the boxes and finished off with 3 black buttons.  This panel was stuck onto a black card blank.  Because it is a black card I stuck in a white insert for any sentiment.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Cuckoo Wharf, Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

Another cold day.  The driver of this car does not seem to be able to read a sign.  It is at the bottom of the Curdworth locks and was so close to the lock beam that I had to push against the bumper to get the gate open.  I was hoping that it would set the alarm off, but no such luck.

So, on up the pretty Curdworth locks, with daffodils trying hard to burst open and then the 3 Milnworth locks.

Just before the long factory bridge David had to get around this car.

We emailed the Fazeley office to report it and Rachel said we could have salvadge rights if we could get it out.

We finished up at Cuckoo Wharf.  We've never stayed here before.  There are visitor and long-tern moorings here plus a work boat mooring.  The work boat seemed to be partly on the visitor mooring, so we moored up on an empty long-term mooring.

Not very clear, but it s photograph of a moorhen on her nest made inside a tyre finder.  The photograph was taken by the Bishop of York's Palace.

I matted the photo onto white card, cut the edges with deckle scissors then matted it again onto navy, pink and more navy card.  It was stuck onto the front of a white card blank.

The sentiment was printed on the computer, cut with the deckle scissors and matted onto navy card.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Fazeley, Coventry Canal

More strapping posts than you can tie a strap onto.

At least 2 of them are round.

Cold day, we started down the Atherstone locks in a heavy frost.

Saw this sign at the bottom lock.

Some lambs seen by the side of the canal.

I started this card using a white card blank.  I Cuttlebugged a piece of patterned cream card and stuck it to the middle of the front before wrapping some thin green ribbon around it.

I cut 2 pieces of green card and decorated one edge of each one with a punch and then fixed them onto the front of the card.

Then I added a bow and a green button.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Between Bridges 27 and 24, Coventry Canal

 No, I don't know what happened to bridges 26 and 25, but we didn't go under them today!

Not too bad a morning, a bit cold for those out on the back of the boat.

 Hawkesbury Junction, where the boat has to do a 360 degree turn to get from the North Oxford onto the Coventry Canal, going North.

We stopped off at Nuneaton so David could get a warm and have a rest while I went off to find a newspaper and then we stopped just as it was beginning to start to rain.  Though the late afternoon has been rather nice, sunshine and a sunset.

 Two similar cards using lilac card bases. 

The first one has lilac spotty paper  stuck down the left hand side (wrapped around the spine of the card and stuck on the back as well) and a silver peel-off strip covering up the edges.

The bought toppers have paper flowers and are mounted onto handmade paper.  I matted one onto silver card and fixed it to the front of the card.

For this one I added the spotty paper along the bottom half of the card and used 2 silver peel-off lines to cover the join before sticking down the topper.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Ansty, North Oxford Canal

No pics today - the weather has been wet (as usual these days).  The towpaths are like sponges, or just plain quagmires.

We got here in three stints.  First to Rugby, for shopping in Tesco, then on a bit until the rain got too bad, and then when the sun came out this afternoon.

Added later: I found a pic.  We went past Rose Narowboats today and had difficulty opening their little swing bridge.  I had to get help from someone working on a boat there. 

The boat in the picture we saw somewhere last year .  Our "dent" is a Black Prince!

A Basset Hound on a towpath.  I matted the card onto white card and deckle edged it, then matted it onto green card.

Some green gingham ribbon was wrapped around the card front and tied with a knot and the photo was stuck in the middle, towards the top.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Bridge 68, North Oxford Canal

 Well, it didn't ice over last night, and it hasn't rained yet, so whose looking the idiot?

An early start, just in case it rained and a long, slog trog up to Hilmorton Locks.  I like these, there are two locks to chose from, so the chances of one being for your is greater than usual and the paddle gear is quaint and easy to wind.

Don't know what the contraption between the locks is for, it must have wound something in its time.

The moorings at the bottom of the locks were fairly full, and you can't get flush up to the bank, so we came on here, where we have a nice piece of piling and a very muddy towpath.
We came across this boat on the last of the 14 day moorings.  The sign says "GENERATOR RUNS TILL LATE NIGHT".  You can't miss it, so you've no excuse to moor next to it.  Or perhaps that is what they want, peace and quiet.
One of our moorers turned 60 in January and this is what I came up with.  I left the front fairly plain, just using the computer to write out the wording and matting it onto silver, yellow, orange and more silver card.  The base card blank was a sort of orange.

I printed out one of David's firework pictures for the inside and just added a silver "60" in the bottom right hand corner.

Braunston (We are not worthy!), Grand Union Canal

Mr David in the frost and ice, looking like a "continuous cruiser".

Thick ice this morning.  Around 1030 a working boat went through, breaking up the ice.  Then everyone set off.

Last night we decided to abandon our trip down to the Basingstoke Canal as the weather forecast is not looking good, so we reversed the boat back to the junction and headed back to Braunston. 

By the time we got to the top lock there were four, yes four, boats in front of us.  We had to wait 1/2 hour before we could begin to travel down.  By that time we were joined by another boat so got to share these horrid, slow, heavy locks for once.  I can see why there are complaints about queues waiting for the locks - its 14th March - not 14th July and already there are queues.

So it was 1pm by the time we stopped for water, and 2pm by the time the tank was full, so we moored up here for the night.

A winter scene, just like now.  What ever happened to Spring?

I used a white card blank and cut out 3 strips of green card of differing widths and laid them onto the card front.  I then added the picture which was matted onto silver, light blue, green and more silver card.  

A white paper flower with sponged yellow centre and a gem finished off the card

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Norton Junction, Grand Union Canal

 Left early with ice in the water and got to the Braunston locks around 8am.  The little shop at the bottom lock was open and I got some of their lovely, freshly baked, organic bread, some eggs and bacon and three bags of coal.

As usual, when going up the locks, I left David to close the gate behind him and walked on to the next lock.  On leaving the second one I rounded the corner to this sight!  

A dog walker, who was passing, said the boat had been there all weekend (it was now Wednesday).  I went on up to the next lock to try and flush some water down to the boat back to the towpath, but would you know it, the lock was empty (the only one on the flight!).  So I walked back, untied the boat and hauled it across, tying it across the towpath onto a post. 

There were several CART men at the next lock up, so I told them about the boat and left them to sort it out.  (They would have to do something because I had blocked to towpath for all their "customers" walking their dogs).

We reached Norton Junction with no further alarms or excursions and moored up for the rest of the day.  I took a bus into Daventry and then we settled in for another cold night.


This card uses a white card blank, a white Cuttlebugged panel matted onto orange card with some black and white gingham ribbon tied around it in a bow at the bottom and a plastic peel-off butterfly with detached wings so that they flutter.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Nimrod Bridge, Grand Union Canal

Signs of spring.  The blackthorn is out in places.
 Still ice about in the early morning though.

An uneventful day, though lots more boats about.  Must be getting near to Braunston!

Not seen any more lambs since our first sightings coming down Lapworth, but here is a "sheep" card anyway.

I found these tin sheep somewhere and made several similar cards.  I just stuck it down onto some torn, handmade, paper and then stuck that down onto the white card blank.

Nice and easy.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Bascote Bridge, Grand Union Canal

 Ice in the water and icicles on the lock gates.

It is lovely in the sunshine, if you can get out of the wind, and there are still snow flurries occasionally.

The canal is still very quiet, one or two boats passing each day.  Nothing seems to be going our way.

 This old chimney stands out by the canal before the leaves come on the trees.  The only remains of an industrial site, now left to Mother Nature.

This is one of my earliest commission cards.  You can tell because it is quite plain.  I would probably be a bit more ambitious nowadays.

I matted the photo of this much loved, sick and soon to die, dog onto white card which I edged with deckle scissors before matting again onto lilac card.  The panel was then stuck onto a white card blank.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Radford Semele, Grand Union Canal

We had a visitor whilst working Hatton Bottom Lock.  This black cat stalked all around the lock and then waited on the other lock gate while I shut the near one so that it could come across.

After going to bed, last night, at 6.30 I had to be dragged out of bed this morning to finish off the flight.  The weather has certainly turned and it was trying to snow as we did the last 10 locks.

Whilst doing the bottom lock at The Cape, two scruffy boats moored up on the bottom lock landing.  There was a lot of shouting and a couple of kids running around, but no one showed any signs of coming up through the lock, or giving a hand.  So when we went through I shut the gate behind us.  When we came through last year there was a boat moored between the locks with a rabbit hutch just on the edge of the towpath.  There are a lot of boats around here that do not have a home mooring.

Stopped off at Tesco and thawed out with a Costa Black Forest hot chocolate.  Loverly.

After a rest and discovering that the telly wasn't too good, David decided to move on here.  Of course it started snowing again.

The Radford Semele church has been re-built, or at least the scaffolding has come down.  It was too cold when we moored up to take a picture.

Caroline sent a text to say "Happy Mother's Day".  I hadn't realised.  So here is a card.

I cut a panel of brown and pink swirly card (from a cake box!) and glued it on the right hand side of a pink, tent card blank.  I added 5 glass gems down the inner edge.

A pink silk lily flower was stuck down with a glue dot on the top left and corner and the sentiment was done with peel-offs.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Above Lock 35, Hatton, Grand Union

 Only slight drizzle when we started out this morning.  By lock 19 they were putting up a net barrier to keep the fish in the side pond.  Apparently the fish are escaping the fishermen by swimming into the canal.  Can't say I blame them.

We saw our first lambs of the season though they were not newborn.

Lock 19 had a paddle that was stuck half open, so we had difficulty filling it and it needed the two of us to force the top gate open.  At least it had stopped raining by then.

We stopped for a rest before starting the Hatton Flight.  Lots of walkers about and saw the first primroses, though they were not completely wild, they had been planted along with some crocuses and daffodils.

By the time we reached Lock 34 we had had enough and moored up for the day.  It's just after 5pm and I am ready for bed.

Two other boats on the move today, again going in the opposite direction to us.

"Mikey" is a digital stamp, when I bought it I received a black and white version and a pre-coloured version.  I cheated and used the pre-coloured one here.

I started with a blue card blank and covered it with orange card, leaving a small border.  Then a white panel, which had been embossed using the Cuttlebug was stuck down on top, leaving another border.  A smaller, embossed, orange panel was cut out and matted onto blue card.  I stuck this panel on the left hand side of the card and then matted Mikey onto orange and blue card and stuck him down on the right had side.  Two die-cut and matted stars were then added for decoration finished off with two star brads.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Above Lock 4, Lapworth, Stratford on Avon Canal

 Mr David in the rain.  We left in drizzle and ended in pouring rain.  We only did 6 1/2 miles but it was miserable and the two lift bridges were absolute pigs.  I noted that one (the lesser pig) is being looked at on 14th.  Not before time; but what about the b****** pig?

I walked into Hockley Heath in pouring rain to discover a shop selling Rolls Royce and McLaren cars, another selling swimming pools and a poxy little One Stop shop which only had the usual suspects, eg: plastic bread.  Should have stayed in the dry.

The rain stopped, so we set off again only for it to start again.  So we moored up for the rest of the day.  Snow predicted for tomorrow!!!

Only seen one other boat on the move again today.

Yellow card base, butterfly patterned paper decorated using a Martha Stewart punch down both long sides and stuck vertically down the centre.

The decoupaged topper was matted onto a die-cut doily and stuck towards the top of the card in the centre and a pink ribbon bow with a yellow rose fixed underneath with glue dots.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Tyburn Farm, Stratford on Avon Canal

 SPLAT!  Passed this on the SoA this afternoon.

We are off!!!  A slight delay because it rained this morning, but that meant I got some extra washing done before we lost the electricity hook-up.

David got a bit wet on the way, but we managed not to get anything around the prop today.

Last night we went to the opera to see Madam Butterfly.  It seems that Lt Pinkerton of the US Navy is now a Sergeant in an Italian uniform and a bit overweight.  Madam Butterfly is supposed to be 15 years old too (not 50-odd).  Very off-putting, but I suppose you would have had to use your imagination when Pavarotti played him too.  The music was fabulous though, and I cried.

Last week it was Saima's birthday and she had a party.  This is the card I made for her.  I covered the front of a white card blank with green card, leaving a small white border.  I then added some white card to the top and patterned paper to the bottom of the green card, again leaving a border.  I wrapped some green ribbon around the panel to cover the join and tied it in a knot.  Two roses and a spray of yellow flowers with 3 leaves was tucked through the ribbon and stuck down with a glue dot to keep it in place.

To finish off I used three 3 gems in the bottom left hand corner.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Gas Street

 A pump out today.  With the new tank it seems we can only go 14 days.  At least the red light came on to warn us, we were not sure if it would still work.

We untied the ropes and David reversed 10 metres and there was an awful crunch.  A length of rubber hosepipe, firmly wrapped around the propeller.

The weather today was lovely, sunshine and warm and the wind has dropped.  Sat out at lunchtime - that's the second time this year.  Due to rain tomorrow and Thursday.  Great, we are off on Thursday!

 Walking to the Doctor's surgery the other day I walked past some student accommodation and noticed this original window decoration.  Couldn't resist a photo.

Mike needed a birthday card for Kim and wanted yet another picture of his boat.  I hope she appreciates them all!

I made a centre step  card that folds down and fits into a normal C6 envelope.

I matted the check paper onto gold card and put a strip down the two sides and another along the bottom.

The photo was then matted onto more gold card and the corners punched out.  I added red gems to the corners and one each side of the long, gingham, bottom panel.

I covered the back with a panel of gingham and gold and a smaller one above.  I stuck a "Birthday Wishes" peel-off on the top one and a die-cut panel in white card for the message to be written onto.