Saturday, 20 May 2017

Below Dashwood Lock, Oxford Canal

"Jolly was off at top speed heading to Wolvercote"  Presumably slowing down to tickover past moored boats.

A 6am start but still we had boats in front.  We had a great display of flying from a buzzard.

A nice easy card for a Thank You.  A white square panel with a grey strip on the left hand side and 5 coloured gems on the right hand side.  The sentiment is made from peel-offs.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Below Kiddlington Green Lock, Oxford Canal

The last day on the Thames and it was glorious.  I am always apprehensive on rivers, we seem to have done most of them in flood at some time or another and I don't like the idea of not being able to just stop and tie up (though you can't do that on some parts of our canals either).  But the Thames really is lovely when it's calm.

We managed to get through the arch on the right (it is skew to the river) and saw this lovely floating sort of shed/tent home.

The last lock for us on the river is manual, thankfully there was a lock keeper, though I quite like winding the great big wheels like on a ship.

We had shared several locks with another narrowboat  on the last stretch, when we got to Sheepwash Cut they turned off into the Oxford Canal while we went on the Dukes Cut.

Just as we were going through the last lock to get onto the canal it sailed past.  So that solved one question.  There is not difference in time whichever way you go.

For this card I covered the front of a white card blank with some floral paper, adding a diecut border piece about 2/3 down.  The decoupaged bear was fixed to look like it was lying on the border.

The sentiment was printed using a computer and matted onto pink and white card and several clear gems were added to the bottom right hand side.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Clifton Lock, River Thames

After an afternoon and night of rain, the top of the boat was covered with horse chestnut petal.

An early start as the weather was looking good, and we were on the Thames by 0615.

 Some boating scumbags left this mess on one of the Thames islands.

It was a lovely trip, got to ogle lots of lovely houses and even lovelier boat houses.

Saw a field of strange sheep!
Will he make it?
Yes he will!

Just coming out of Clifton Hampden Lock at 2pm we noticed new 24 hr moorings and dived in.  They were a bit expensive at £8.70 a night, but David was shattered and Abingdon seemed an age away.

We managed to moor up just before the rain started again.

Another simple card (I made lots for a shop in Edinburgh and this is one).  The pocket watch is die cut and the sentiment was done on the computer and matted onto gold card.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Outside the Gaol, Reading, Kennet and Avon Canal

One of the two "turf" locks on the K&A.  A bit daunting when you first come across them, but fairly straightforward.  They must be a real pain for single handers as the bottom locks gates will not stay shut.

We left at 0615, the weather forcast was for rain after lunch.  One one of the river stretches (though they are mostly river stretches now) we saw a deer poking its head up above the bullrushes.  It was quite calm and just watched us watching it as we sailed past.

Fobney Lock was almost sleepy after the rain, just a little spray walking past the bywash to get back on the boat.  An then it was through the Brewery Gut in the rain.  We moored up on the main stretch and I walked around to see if there were any spaces by the Gaol.  Surprise! Surprise!  There was only one boat there (and I am sure it was there when we went through last time).  By now it was pouring with rain.  So David lit the fire, and I went off shopping (of course!)

A simple Sorry! card.  The dog was die cut along with a read heart which I made look like it had in its mouth.

The Sorry! was printed straight onto the white card blank with the computer.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Theale, Kennet and Avon Canal

 Don't they know the towpath is unsuitable for horses?  AND!  Why do horse owners not have to clear up their horses shit like dog owners?

Off at 0545, but we had to wait at Aldermaston for the bridge to open so took on water and then stopped for a last DIY pump out at Tyle Mill.

When we were going into Padworth lock a young swan swam in, I tried to shoe it away, but it insisted.  It was a bit confused as the water went down, looking for a way out.  As I opened the bottom gate it shot out like a bullet.

By 12 o'clock we were moored up in Theale and then had dinner in the Fox and Hounds down the road.

 Thought I had better do a waterways card of the K&A.  A boat leaving Aldermaston Lock.  The photo is matted onto metallic card, white card and blue card.  The back panel was embossed using an embossing folder and blue dotty ribbon wrapped around it.  The whole thing was then stuck to a blue card blank.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Thatcham, Kennet and Avon Canal

Payment for help doing the locks.  A ride on a boat through Greenham Lock.
 Diesel from the boatyard at Newbury after a late start because of the rain.

Monkey Marsh lock slowly being de-watered and the mooring at Thatcham.

Here is a card for a dapper man.  An advert for men's shoes, matted onto gold, brown and handmade white card then stuck onto a blank card base.  The sentiment was made on the computer and matted onto brown card and fixed underneath.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Newbury, Kennet and Avon Canal

 One of those days when there are idiots on the
lock landings.

Two fishermen, a day boat having a locking lesson and a canoeist portering.

Apart from that, it was another lovely day and we got to Newbury at noon.  We moored up above the lock on the empty visitor moorings and they remained empty the whole time. 

I was too knackered to go into town, just went to bed for a couple of hours, got up for tea and then went back to bed about 7pm. 

Such a hard life!

A Thirtieth  birthday card (or maybe anniversary).  I die cut a semi circle from a piece of orange card and then wrapped some black and white dotted ribbon around it, tied in a knot then stuck it onto a white card blank. 

Before I added the orange card I printed the sentiment onto the card blank.

The 30 was made with black peel-offs.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Hungerford - Kennet and Avon Canal

 The railway line passing the lock at Little Bedwyn, the wind from the train blows a draft up your kilt as it passes.

 I do not know what the crop in this field is, it was a very pretty blue, I don't think it was flax, but it was too far away to tell.  It was certainly very pretty.

 Yet another early start, but we were on the visitor moorings above the lock by 0930. 

But first we had to get through Hungerford Marsh Lock with the swing bridge over the middle.  Don't quite know how you are supposed to close this bridge when the push handle is above my head.
We had a visit from my brother and lunch in town.  A lovely hot day

A "new job" card.  A stamped and coloured image matted onto blue card.  The sentiments were all done on the computer and each piece was fixed to a white card with dimensional foam (sticky fixers).

Friday, 12 May 2017

Great Bedwyn, Kennet and Avon Canal

Is this the winding hole????

Today I saw the first yellow flag, such a beautiful flower, but only lasts about a week and they are all finished.

It was up to the short summit and then down to Crofton.  We decided to go on to Great Bedwyn. We had rain and hail, but mostly it was dry.

This floating "thing" was moored on the lock landing at the bottom of the Crofton Locks.  It had come from the cottage in the middle of the next pound.  Presume they use it for shopping and have a car parked by Crofton somewhere.  Anyway, it was right in the middle of the lock landing and there was no room to get on or off the boat without difficulty.

Unfortunately when we got to Great Bedwyn there was no room on the visitor moorings and the pound was full of boats, so we had to tac onto the end of the next lock landing, using the bollard on the end and a spike at the back.

A simple Harry Potter card, can't remember where I found the picture, but I die cut it into an oval and matted it onto white card and then blue card which I cut with deckle edged scissors then stuck it onto a white card blank.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Wootton Rivers, Kennet and Avon Canal

Left at 0545 and arrived at Wootton Rivers at
0845.  Just as we arrived at the lock before the moorings the grass cutters arrived. 

We moored up and when they got near loosened the boat so that we did not get covered in grass cuttings.  They were very good and used a blower to get rid of any stray bits of grass.  When they had finished we tied up again.

Unfortunately, about an hour later they came back and the man with the big lawnmower flew past and blew up all the cut blades along the side of the boat.  Can't win!

Occasionally a card making magazine gives out free cards to make.  I made this one using one of these.  It is a heart shaped easel card.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

All Canings, Kennet and Avon Canal

 Really, really early David took the boat across to the water point to fill up the water tank and to empty the toilet tank (in that order), then backed the boat onto the moorings.  I took a bus into Bath for a bit more shopping - I've not been shopping for ages!  Honest!

I got back  at 3pm and we set off as the weather was so lovely and had a treat - an afternoon cruise.

PPS:  The two boats were still on the 24 hr moorings when we left!

There are a lot of continuous cruises on this stretch as there are 14 miles with no locks.  The canal was not built for mooring boats (they used little fat boats to travel to wharf to wharf and did not live on the boats like the narrowboaters did) the edges are all shallow, so most of them are moored like the one above and you definitely need a plank to get on and off the boat.  If it is a wide-beam boat then you end up taking up half the canal.

We got to All Cannings at 5.30 (missing the Long Barrow yet again) and found the last free mooring.
I am at home here.  My father's family came from Bishops Cannings and I was brought up to the south, across the next row of hills.

This card and bottle tag was made for a boating neighbour, he was 88, the skateboard was appropriate (he was called Ponytail Pete as he had a ponytail.  Unfortunately he died earlier this year.

The skateboarders are stickers, stuck onto card and cut out to use as toppers fixed with sticky fixers.

I used grungy background paper, matted onto silver card for the blue card and used peel-offs for the sentiment and name

The bottle tag used white card and I added a white panel with peel-off sentiments again onto patterned paper.

I think he liked the whisky, well he never offered any to us!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Devizes, Kennet and Avon Canal

 A rest day, that means the Launderette.  This time I got a service wash so didn't have to spend the morning there.

We popped into town and bought some new hose and 2 funnels (you couldn't get just one) in the new Wilkos (used to be a supermarket) and I finally found a stuffed parrot for our pirate mad grandson in a charity shop.

This lovely little steam powered boat tooted past, out for a cruise and back. 

PS:  The two boats on the 24 hour moorings opposite are still there!

A white card blank and strips of mauve card stuck onto a white card blank.

The "40" was die cut in glitter paper and added and the sentiment was printed onto the card blank before the rest was added.  (It is important to do that first as it mucks up the printer if you do it the other way - you don't need to ask why I know that!)

Monday, 8 May 2017

Devizes, Kennet and Avon Canal

 Slipped out of Honeystreet before 6 and the revellers were still in bed.  It was a beautiful sunny day, but with a sharp wind.  Under the Alton Barnes White Horse, through All Cannings (missing the new long barrow where we are going to have our ashes laid), missed the floating debris and arrived in Devizes before 9.

At 1010 I was on a bus to Salisbury for a nostalgia trip (I was born there) and David was going to change the oil in the engine.  (He couldn't, cos he couldn't find the hose and the funnel!!)

I quite like two tone cards (well 3 if you count the sentiment).  The sentiment was made using a computer, I made a space in Happy for the flower.  It was matted onto yellow card.  The larger panel was dry embossed in the Cuttlebug and matted onto more yellow card.  Some yellow ribbon was wrapped around the bottom and a bow added.  The whole panel was then added to a white card blank.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Barge, Honeystreet - Kennet and Avon Canal

 As usual we were off just after 6am and discovered one of the few disadvantages of being early.  An empty pound before the top lock at Crofton.

The centre was deepish, but I had to go and send some water down before David could get the boat through.

At the top lock at Little Bedwyn there was this sign on the lock.  I always find it baffling about emptying a full lock to leave it empty to save water, so I posted the question on  "The Friendly Narrowboaters" page on Facebook.  It was suggested that the top gates may drift open if the lock is left full and then water leaks through the bottom lock OR the lock is so badly maintained that water leaks through the lock walls.  Take your pick.

We carried on down the locks and onto the long pound and found  a fishing match, so what with the moored up boats and the fishermen it was a tedious run to the shiny new pilings at Pewsey.  Which were full to bursting, so we had to go on to Honeystreet, where we found a spot right outside the pub garden.

A slightly familiar face came walking up and we had found Keith who used to moor around Birmingham a couple of years ago, he has migrated down to the K&A.  Well it was a good excuse for a beer and a chinwag in the sunshine.

A picture I found on the internet which was matted onto black and red and white spotty paper.  A red and black spotty bow was added to the top left hand corner and a black and white spotty bow was added to the bottom right hand corner.  The panel was then stuck onto a white card blank and 3 red gems were fixed to the bottom right hand corner.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Crofton, Kennet and Avon Canal

 A sad sight at Cobblers Lock outside Hungerford.  A dead lock cottage.

As we were working up Hungerford Lock I saw a head swimming across the canal towards the towpath, it was a tiny muncjak deer, it climbed out of the canal and trotted right up to the lock, right by me before it saw me and ran back down the towpath.  Of course, David did not believe me, until we were working the top lock and it ran up past him too and into the field by the school.

We were hoping to moor up at Great Bedwyn but, unfortunately, the visitor moorings were full.  This has been the first time we have not been able to find room on a VM.  So we went on to Crofton where there was a lot of room.  But within half an hour they had all been taken up with hire boats.

Still, I like Crofton, there is always an excuse for a cup of tea and a cake in the Beam Engine cafe.

One of the stranger boats on the K&A, and that is going some.
While we were locking up the Froxfield locks a lady came running up to the boat and wanted to buy a birthday card.  She actually bought 6 in the end.  What a treat for me.  I had not been able to get out the cards to sell on this trip so far.  But I did get them out at Crofton, next to a boat selling brassware.  Didn't sell any more cards though.

This one has a birdcage topper which was matted in black onto a blue card base.  Some black ribbon was wrapped around the right hand corner and a bow added to the top of the topper.

The sentiment was printed by computer and fixed to a black, matted panel with sticky fixers and a black feather inserted into it.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Hungerford, Kennet and Avon Canal

 And yet another "Moored like a Twat".  What is it about the K&A that everyone thinks they can just use the lock landings for moorings.  This one had obviously spent the night there as all the curtains were drawn

We arrived in Hungerford to find a large Land and Water barge thingy on the visitor moorings and a wide-beam, so we had to moor up below the lock on spikes.

Heard another cuckoo today, and the May blossom is really blossoming and the perfume is wonderful.  I so love this time of year.

Got treated to a Chinese tonight.  Beef and Tomato, lovely.

Now for something a bit different from a card.  A tissue box cover.

This one was made with pink card and covered with pink and orange papers and surfboard themed papers.  Three tropical looking flowers were added to the top for decoration.

The box is made by measuring the sides of the original tissue box and then adding a lid with a hole cut out in the top.  The lid is actually fixed to the sides of the cover and the tissue box is inserted through the bottom.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Kintbury, Kennet and Avon Canal

Breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner by one of the locks.

We left Newbury at 0630 and arrived in Kintbury at 0945.  5 1/2 miles, 8 locks and 2 swing bridges!

I took a walk into the village to visit the lovely bakery there.  It was shut!  There was an "ultimate lardy cake" and some delicious looking almond croissants in the window too.

We passed this boat with a very dried out lawn on the roof.  Goodness knows what the weight is when it is wet and also, what state the roof is in with rust.

So, onto a card for Mum.  A digi stamp which I cut into a circle and matted onto a fancy pink circle.  Some zebra striped paper was matted onto more pink card and some pink ribbon with a bow was wrapped around it.

The panel was fixed to a white card blank and the circle added on top.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Newbury, Kennet and Avon Canal

There are lots of rubbish bins around the park and also at the moorings at the top of Newbury Lock.  But they have this sign on them.  Now I know that there are boaters facilities, but the one suggested we use in Newbury was full and they would not let us use it.  The other question is:  If I get off my boat and walk across the park, am I now a pedestrian?  Anyway thank you Newbury for being helpful and taking some of my rubbish.  Not!
A rest day!!!  Almost, spent the morning at the Launderette.  It would have been a lot less if I had not taken the wrong turning into the street and walked way out of the way.   Then I went shopping and bought a new hoover.  Hopefully this one will be better than the last one I bought which was too small and made my back ache when I used it.

An anniversary card?  Who knows?  I started with a pink card blank.  The decoupaged panel was matted onto pink card (with the corners rounded), light pink card and sliver card.  The sentiment was fixed with sticky fixers underneath with two small pink gems.