Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Peele Aqueduct - Macclesfield Canal

 The end of the tunnel!

We were waiting at the south portal of the Harecastle Tunnel ready for the opening at 8am.  For the first time ever we got to go through on the first run.  Usually we get there just as it opens and they let the boats through from the other side first.

There was one boat in front, a working boat on its way to Ellesmere Port

Monday, 30 March 2015

Westport Lake - Trent & Mersey Canal



James Brindley keeping an eye on us while we were moored at Eturia.

Because the clocks went forward on Sunday it was still dark at 0600, so David had to hang about before it was light enough to wind the boat.

We have decided not to go on up the Caldon because the weather is going to be unpredictable and we have to be in Macclesfield in a couple of weeks time, so David winded the boat in the wind and we got to Westport Lake before the rain.


Another stamped card.  I don't do that many of them, though I enjoy it when I do.  I matted this one onto a gold scalloped card.  A green panel was sent through the Cuttlebug and the edges were edged with green ink and then it was matted onto gold card.  The stamped panel was then added.

A spotty green ribbon was wrapped around the panel at the bottom and tied in a knot and a computer generated sentiment, matted onto green and gold card was fixed over the ribbon with foam sticky fixers. 

The whole panel was then fixed to the front of a white card blank.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Etruria - Caldon Canal

 Stayed put today, the weather is awful, rain and very strong winds.  So no photos and no news.

So a photo of Mystical Magic going back to its mooring after the breech by the Mailbox.  It was the first time it had been out under its own steam since the latest modification.


 Here is an engagement card.  I coloured in the stamped image and die cut it and matted it onto a gold scalloped die cut.  This was then matted onto some lilac and gold card.

A pretty lilac ribbon was wrapped around the bottom and stuck to the back of the panel and then die cut leaves and paper roses were added around the bottom of the panel.  The whole thing was then stuck onto a white card.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Etruria - Caldon Canal

 Third lock up on the Stoke flight.  I always look out for this one when I'm passing on the train.

Dislike these locks, the first two are dark, damp and slippery (not helped by being joined by a bloke with a can of beer and shouting on his telephone).  The locks are all very deep, and then the last three have heavy paddle gear (you always know when you are near a CRT yard.)

The top lock paddles made a really big vortex when both top paddles were opened.

We stopped off at the boatyard hoping to book in for the night for some electricity to do the washing (and for a safe Saturday night in Stoke).  We had to wait 1 1/2 hours then then they said there was no electricity available, so we bought some coal and winded the boat and came back to the Caldon, taking on water and then mooring up on the visitor moorings there. 

We have only been hit once by a Black Prince boat (so far), as there has only been one going past, that's 100%.  They come out of the marina with a member of staff to show them the ropes and he then get's straight off.  No help through their first lock or anything.

Tomorrow I have the 2 stair lock first thing.  Great!




Tie a yellow ribbon.....  I Cuttlebugged a piece of white card and stuck the piece of stick to one side.  I made 2 small holes near the top and threaded the yellow ribbon through and tied it in a knot.  Then the panel was stuck down onto a yellow card blank.

The sentiment was done on the computer and matted onto more yellow card.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Oldroad Br 104 - Trent & Mersey Canal

  Left Stone really early.  This swan kept flying up to the boat and then attacking the back fender.  Quite spectacular.

It began to rain, so we stopped just past Burselem for the rest of the day.

We planned to walk back to the pub for lunch, but decided it was too far.  Will I ever get my meal out?



A nice, simple card.  The white panel was Cuttlebugged and fixed to the white card blank with foam tape.

Blue ribbon was wrapped around the panel (before fixing it to the card) and threaded through the die-cut label.  The sentiment was printed on the computer.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Stone - Trent & Mersey Canal


 Another one of David's night pictures.  Didn't take any today as it rained!

Although we said we wouldn't go if it was raining, we did.  Three locks today and they were ALL for me.  Had to keep walking around the locks though as the beams were wet so I couldn't climb over them and they were too long to walk around them to get to the bridge at the bottom gates.

We managed to sneak into the last mooring in the town centre basin just as the heavens opened at 0830.

We visited the town later in the morning and were really disappointed.  Lots of shops seem to have closed down and there was not much left.  We remember a lovely "foody" town 15 years ago.

I was promised a Chinese for tea, but we couldn't even manage that - everywhere seemed closed or unhelpful.  So it was pate and bread and a slice of Simnel cake.





A pretty christening card.  The baby comes from Penny Black (I think) and was pre-coloured.  I cut it out with a die and backed it with a green one at a slight angle.  Then I added the leaves and flowers.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Near Salt, Staffordshire - Trent & Merseu Canal



 David playing around with his posh camera/  Not bad, only 1/2 a moon and one or two planets.

We left in a heavy frost, cloudy but no wind.  Just after we got past Weston the mist came down and it got really cold.  So we moored up and spent the rest of the day here.  Though it got better in the afternoon, and the sun came out, we still stayed put.

The first lambs of the year, but they are quite old, almost lamb chop time.

Here is a Forever Friends ballerina.  The bottom half of the card was covered in pink paper with a decorated strip at the top and the decoupaged bear was stuck on top.  A pink gem heart was stuck to the top right hand corner and the ballerina word stuck to the bottom right hand corner.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Bridge 69 - Trent and Mersey Canal

 Sunrise this morning.  Cold and frosty, but beautiful.
I hate getting up early, but when I do, it is usually worth it - and today it certainly was.  The other good thing with starting early is that after 4 hours cruising we are ready to stop for the day, and it's only 10am.

One of the three locks was for me today.  Is my luck changing?

We stopped off by the new Tesco in Rugeley where I stocked up on stuff and had to struggle with the trolly to get it near the boat as the wheel locks broke in half way up the drive.  And yes, I did struggle to take it back too.

Don't know what the excuse was today, but I had to have another snooze.  Perhaps it's my age?





I missed the snowdrops this year.  The disadvantage of living the a city centre.  But I did see three dying ones yesterday which reminded me of this card.

I matted the picture onto green holographic card and wrapped some white string around it.  It was then stuck onto a white card blank and four clear gems were stuck into each corner.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Fradley Junction, Coventry Canal

 Oh!  such a lovely morning, sunshine and getting warm - them bam!  the clouds arrived and by 0830 it was cold and miserable.

The contrast in traffic on the Coventry compared to the Birmingham and Fazeley is like the M6 and a byway.  Boats every whichway.

Tried mooring in Fradley village, but it was too shallow, so we came on to the junction.  We needed a few bits and bobs so I walked up to the shop, but it was closed.  Summer not here yet? 

Because there were no locks today I had an easy ride, but still, I had a nap this afternoon.  I blame the heat from the fire.  The boat is so cozy.





I canabalised a commercial invitation card for this one, cutting out the figures and splats from the front of the card.  Some white card was Cuttlebugged with a brick folder and I swiped several ink pads over it to give it a grungy feel, then added the happy birthday banner, the splats and the figures.  This was then fixed to the front of a white card blank.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Curdworth Bottom Lock, Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

 Don't know how long this sign has been by the lock (the bollards were freshly painted), but it definitely says "British Waterways"!  And there were several of them.

The weather was lovely today, we'll probably pay for it tomorrow.  So we left early-ish and did the 14 locks to get here.  We have done 38 locks in the last 48 hours and ONE was actually FOR us!!!  I had to have another nap this afternoon.

We have seen 2 boats on the move since we left, and not very many more moored up.








This is a teabag box.  When you remove the lid the box opens to reveal 4 teabags.  You can also add a few sweeties in the middle as an extra treat.

I made the base by gluing to long rectangles together, making it into a cross  The outsides were covered with patterned paper with the edges inked and decorations added to one of the sides.


More patterned paper was added to the sides of the lid and the top and a die-cut circle stuck to the top with a flower in the centre.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Cuckoo Wharf, Birmingham & Fazeley Canal


Left at 0915 after the arrival of our son-in-law who helped us down the locks.  He is a local man, but knows very little of the canals, and had no idea where he was most of the time, then we would get to a bridge and he recognised the road, so knew where he was.

He is well over 6ft and an ex 100m athlete and very fit.  He worked really hard and helped tremendously.  But still:  I am knackered.  We got to Cuckoo Wharf at one o'clock where he was picked up by our daughter and grandson, we had some lunch and I went to bed to sleep for 5 hours!  And woke up so stiff!!!!





This is another of the cards I sent to Edinburgh.  It was made from some free papers in the Card Making magazine.  You can't see from the photo but it is a "Z" fold card.  The front left hand side opens out.


Friday, 20 March 2015

Gas Street Basin - BCN

 Work begins on the railings by the lock narrows at the Worcester Bar.  With luck it will stop the idiots trying to jump them when they've had a few.  One idiot jumped and missed last year just in front of one of the trip boats.  He was very lucky he not to be killed.

So, after our sojourn in Gas Street for the last 6 months, with just the odd foray to Sherborne Wharf for pumpouts and work done on the boat, we are off tomorrow.  The plan is to start tomorrow traveling to Liverpool, via the Trent and Mersey, Caldon and Macclesfield, then back down to the T&M and up to the Leeds and Liverpool.  Then it is along the L&L as far as Skipton, before returning via the Shroppie.  Should be back in July some time.  Well, that's the plan anyway.

 The sun is shining today, and we had an eclipse of the sun (the pictures were rubbish), the front door is wide open and the fire has gone out.  We are raring to go.

I have been really busy making cards over the past few months.  I have been getting rather large orders from a shop in Edinburgh.  I will endeavour to to publish as many as I can, but there are hundreds!!

This is one of the Easter cards.  The chicks were stamped and coloured in with pencils and markers and matted onto a blue die-cut circle.  The die cut cartouche behind it came from a tissue box (don't wast it if you can use it) with some ribbon wrapped around the bottom and tied in a knot.  Three yellow blossom flowers and a green leaf were added to the edge of the circle with a computer generated sentiment stuck under the knot.  4 yellow gems in each corner finished it off.


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