Monday, 28 September 2009

Moore, Bridgewater Canal

More nights out in the bondu, and even now the GPRS is a bit slow. So this is all you're getting for now.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Dutton Stop Lock, Trent & Mersey Canal

Yet again, an early start (for David: no locks, I can stay in bed for a while!). So we were moored up just before Dutton Stop Lock by 1045.

Started with a white card blank and covered the front with some sparkly dotty paper. The edges are outlined with black peel-offs.

To finish off, I added the skiing toppers which are slighly raised with sticky fixers.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Bramble Cutting, Trent and Mersey Canal

At Wardle Lock I posted this card for Maureen (the lock keeper). We had taken the photograph on the way through earlier on. She came out to help with the lock just as I was emptying it.
We stopped in Middlewich to do some shopping and then travelled on here. It is one of our "regular" moorings, as it is just outside town, relatively safe, has mooring rings and most importantly we can get the satellite to work here. It does not work in the actually offside cutting moorings.

Anyway, I wrapped some blue spotty ribbon around the front of a light blue card and tied it with a knot. I cut the photo and scallop mat with Nestabilities and stuck them down over the ribbon.
The leaves of the flower were made with a punch (a new toy) and I made up the flower with two prima flowers and a gem brad.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Church Minshull, Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union Canal

It really feels like we have been out in the back of beyond Internet-wise. We have had no Vodafone signal since I last blogged. It got so bad we took the computer and gubbins into a Vodafone shop in Shrewsbury, just to check that it was still working. It was.

Anyway, I will catch up eventually - please bear with me. I've had 83 emails so sort out!

We spent last night above Hurleston Locks, ready for the morning - but we were alone. The sun was just coming up as we entered the 2nd lock and the boat looked like it was on fire.

Phoned the Wigan BW office regarding our trip into Liverpool next month. Banged my head against the wall several times. The form definitely says (and I quote) "The maximum duration in Saldhouse Docks is 14 days inclusive". But when I tried to extend our stay up to 14 days, I was told that it was only 10 days and that included the 2 nights in Eldonian Village. Work that one out.

A cheat's card. Though sometimes it is nice to just pop a few pieces of card pre-printed and cut out and just stick them together with sticky fixers. It is a "twisted" decoupage, though it doesn't really show up in the picture.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Above Hurlestone Locks

Left just as it was getting light again - it's the only time of day when you actually get to see the sun, if only for a few brief minutes. So we were at the top of Hurlestone Locks by 11am and I was sent off to Chester, on the bus, once again. It is so hard having to do all the shopping!

No pictures taken today - but this is the off-side bank on the top of the Llangollen. The root systems are fascinating and I took loads of pictures.

The "Margaret Sherry" cat in a box is decoupaged about three times. I fixed it to an oval scalloped card made on the CraftRobo.
The base card is blue and I wrapped a striped blue ribbon around the front and tied it in a knot. The topper was then fixed over the ribbon on the left hand side of the card.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Below Grindley Brook Locks, Llangollen Canal

One of the many lift bridges on the Llangollen Canal.

We got to Grindley Brook just as a boat entered the top lock. So that was good. It meant two of the locks, at least, would be for us. A staircase must be the only time you actually want to be following a boat!

We stopped for the day just after the bottom lock and I tried to get a bus into Whitchurch. There was one every 2 hours and I'd just missed one. So I had a coffee in the little shop/cafe/off-licence by the staircase locks, bought some pate and jams and then walked back to the boat.

See. I can do complicated cards.

The meercat is a digital stamp (sorry not sure where I got it from, except the Internet - will try and find it). I printed him out twice, one slightly larger than the other and coloured them with watercolour pencils.

The card is called a "Wiper" or "Windscreen Wiper" card and is basically two pieces of card which are just joined at the ends. Inside you stick a little tab which folds down inside the two pieces of card and when you "pull" the two ends, the tabs pop up.

I covered the main front top half with stripy paper and the bottom with a check paper, covering the join with a black peel-off strip. The outside panel has a Cuttlebugged silver card panel outlined with black peel-off strips and the second panel has some of the green patterned paper layered onto gold card and surrounded with more black peel-off strips.
I did the same at the other end. I printed out the sentiment and added that with a border of the black peel-offs and the second SIMPLES was done with peel-off letters.
The second pop up tab says "let's celebrate" which was another peel-off which I matted and added the black peel-off strips again.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Greaves Bridge No 52, Llangollen Canal

One of the signs in the window says:

"He is moving in!





We took a bus into Shrewsbury from Ellesmere to reminisce and do some shopping. David was stationed there for just under 18 months about 26 years ago and we lived half way between Oswestry and Shrewsbury at Nescliffe, just off the A5. It is only the second time we have been back in all that time and seem to remember very little of it. I don't remember any castle and, even though I must have passed it as I went into Rackhams (as it was), I completely missed the covered market building! Even the Old Post Office pub, where we had Section lunch once a week was in a different street, in a different part of town.

I put it down to having Caroline in a pushchair and every shop had either steps down or steps up to get into them, so I had other things to worry about.

We set off again on arriving back in Ellesmere to be ready for Grindley Brook tomorrow. Oh! Goody a staircase.

I have been making complicated cards, honest. But once again, a realy easy-peasy one. Three "bought" toppers of butterflies adhered to a pink card blank.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Ellesmere, Llangollen Canal

Funny sort of day, really. We set off with the intention of going down the Montgomery Canal. I had got it into my head that the canal was now open right down to Newtown.

So we moored up above the locks and waited for the BW office to open so that we could book a passage down the locks. Needless to say, this took some time but they finally answered and we booked in.

But, when the lock keeper arrived he just mentioned that we could only get as far as Mastermyn (or however you spell it, haven't got the Nicholsons with me at the moment). So, as we have already done that bit already, it seemed a bit of a palaver to go down all those locks to get the The Queen's Head to get a bus into Shrewsbury, we cancelled and went on to Ellsemere.

We passed this hirer trying to get his boat into the wharf. The man on the boat in front was hanging on the bow rope so tightly (so they wouldn't hit his boat) that they couldn't manoeuvre the boat across the canal!

One more very simple card. A white base. I cut a pink circle and a scalloped circle with the Nestabilities in the Cuttlebug and stuck them down. I then added a "bought" topper and a butterfly

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Hindford, Llangollen Canal

Coming back across the Chirk Aqueduct. It seems like only yesterday...

A lovely, sunny day. We stopped here and had lunch at the Jack Mytton pub. I'm sure we've been there before, but I can't remember when, or who with, or with whom, or whatever.

This is a real cheat's card. The bear was cut from a tissue box, the scallop oval behind from an old cake box. The heart was prized from a broken hair decoration and the ribbon from a chocolate box. Cheapskate or what?

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Llangollen, Langollen Canal

Launching Mr David into the void - or learning to fly.
Me? I'm cowering inside, hanging on for dear life.
We left Chirk at 6.45 and still managed to be followed over the aqueduct and meet a boat under the bridge at the junction at Trevor!
We slipped into the moorings in the basin at 1015 and tied up on those silly little pontoons that are only half the length of the boat and wobble like mad while you are trying to tie up the boat.
Still, the electricity is useful and I got all the washing done, and dried.

I love making cards with unusual "toppers". This one started out with a wooden rosebud.
I covered a long (DL) card with silver paper, punching the right hand side with a heart punch. I punched another edge to red shiny paper and added that to the left of the card. Finally a silver panel was added on top.
The rosebud was fixed with glue dots.
I made the sentiments with white card and silver peel-offs which was matted onto silver and red card and added to the card with sticky fixers as angles.
Thought the photograph shows it as an anniversary card - it was eventually sold as a birthday card - so I removed the anniversary mat and replaced it with a happy birthday.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Opposite Chirk Marina, Llangollen Canal

The start of the retrospective blogs, trying to catch up on the days when we couldn't get any signal.
Trouble is, can't remember much now.
We have another photograph, almost identical to this one of Mr David travelling over the aqueduct at Chirk, but I managed to snap a train going over the viaduct on that one.
Lots of hire boats racing past all day - mostly Welsh Lady boats.

The first of many Christmas cards for this year. White card, blue ribbon, sparkly parcels tied up with silver string, matted onto blue, white and sparkly blue card and a silver Father Christmas Brad. I haven't decided on where to put the sentiment yet though.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Outside Ellesmere, Llangollen Canal

Hooray!! Internet connection and a telephone signal (if you stand on the roof of the boat).

Only one obstacle to navigation today - a lift bridge and a boat moored overnight on the landing. He wasn't too happy when we came up alongside him at 6.30 this morning while I got back onto the boat.

Ellesmere was heaving with boats. We managed to slot into a space in the arm (as the previous occupant backed out onto the main line).

The new Tesco at the bottom of the arm is hideous and the old wharf is almost derelict. Definitely not much of an improvement. Though David tried to buy some cheese in a local shop and got pushed out of the way, so we went into Tesco and did our shopping.

Then we backed up and tried to get rid of our rubbish but there were already three boats on the moorings, so couldn't get near the facilities. So we went on for a bit and moored up on some piling.

And the boats just kept on coming - most of them going at the speed of light, especially the Welsh Lady hire boats.

We came across Caspar outside Ellesmere.

We also passed Spruce the Stop and Shop boat, Spider Crafts (which seems to be 1 boat and 2 butties + another boat and then another one selling environmentally approved stuff (couldn't see the name as we were manoeuvring in the Ellesmere Arm).

Using my Cuttlebug and a Nestabilities oval and scalloped oval I punched out a pink oval and gold scallop.
Some cotton lace was fixed to the bottom of the card and wrapped around the card and fixed with double sided tape. The doll was fixed to the oval and stuck down to the card and finally, a blue heart is stuck down on the top right hand corner.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Platts Lane, Llangollen Canal

I do so love it when a bridge is provided for people to cross a canal - but of no use whatsoever to anyone travelling by boat. If you're not brave enough to jump the gate at the lock, you have to walk all the way around. A little gate would have been useful. Thanks for the thought.
We got to Grindley brook before 9am. There was one boat in the top of the bottom three and no-one in the staircase, so I set the locks for us.
By the time we got to the middle lock so much water had leaked out we could not get over the cill. So I put some water down. Unfortunately (with help from someone from another boat) we managed to overfill the middle lock. David did try to tell me, but I wouldn't listen. And of course, that is when the lock keeper turned up. So I had to confess.
And still no Internet. And now to telephone signal either. We really are out in the wilds.

A white card, some music backing paper, a silk flower, a white feather, a skeleton leaf and a paper butterfly. Oh, and a "window" frame. All arranged tastefully.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Wenbury, Llangollen Canal

You can tell we're back on the Llangollen. You can surf the by-washes!

Someone in this family said; "Why don't we do the Llangollen in September after the kids have gone back to school. It'll be quiet then."

Well! I got than wrong.

Still, the Dusty Miller is still selling great food and we stopped for Lunch. On the way to the village shop David noticed that the Cotton Arms was showing the football than night - so we spent the night there.

After lunch I popped into the Chandlers to see if the new Canals and Rivers was in. It was. It was quite a shock. There is a photo on the front of a couple of boats coming up the Caen Flight in Devizes. One lovely blue boat, and stood by the lock is this little fat person with her hands on her hips.

David even has 3 articles: Our new washing machine in the boat, the pub review and a news item. Then on the last page there is another photograph, this time the Hatton flight, and there is this little fat person again, stood at the lock.

Still not internet connection.

Here's one for the boys. A stamped and hand coloured couple of dudes and a skate board. I mounted them onto green and red card and them onto another green panel which is then fixed with a couple of brads onto a red panel. Two more brads were pushed through the other corners and this larger panel is then fixed to a white card blank.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Hurleston Bridge, Llangollen Canal

Dredging!! On the Middlewich Branch

An early start to try to get to the Hurleston Locks before too big a queue. Not possible. There were two going up already when we got there and 3 boats in front of us.

David, kindly, let me walk up to the main road at the top of the locks so that I could catch a bus into Chester for a bit of retail therapy, while he did the locks (with help from the man behind who was in a hurry!!!! and the lock keeper).

David moored up at the moorings just past the bridge at the top of the locks and I joined him later that afternoon.

Back on the Llangollen - just look at that bywash. You could surf that.

No Internet connection up here so this post is backdated.

Here is a card from the archives. The base card is purply-pink and I added a strip of white card which I cut using shaped scissors. Some silver, stringy type, ribbon was then wrapped around and fixed at the back with double sided tape. The panel and the ribbon was then fixed to the card. Two holographic die-cut cats were stuck onto the ribbon and a peel-off sentiment added below.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Bridge 22, Middlewich Branch Shropshire Union Canal

Mr David emerging through this mist this morning.

After a very clear, starlit night we woke up to a very thick mist which lasted until almost 10am.

David bought some relatively cheap diesel from the Kings Lock Chandlers while I nipped into Middlewich Tesco for some groceries and I met him just as he had the gates closed in Wardle Lock. Maureen was out helping with the lock and looking well. (We missed her both times earlier this year, so it was nice to catch up). She had a good old moan about selfish and unhelpful boaters and sent us off on our way with the words "Now you're proper boaters!" There's a compliment!

There are still lots of boats about, but it seems to be settling down a bit now. There are several of us on our way to Llangollen, leapfrogging each other during the day. David met one poor couple the other day who had a mooring 300 yards from the Shebden Embankment. Unfortunately it was 300 yards on the wrong side of the hole and they were having to travel right around the 4 Counties Ring to get back home!

I found some puffy stickers of these Disney Cars in a Pound Shop. The background is a clipart that I have titivated a bit on the computer before printing onto card and matted onto silver paper. And that's it!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Hassall Green, Trent and Mersey Canal

A short travelling day today. We set off at 0700 and arrived at Hassall Green at 0900. We had intended to stay here, but as we got to the lock we were suddenly 4th in a queue!!

David had reviewed Lock 57 for Canals and Rivers a couple of years ago, and we were intrigued to see how they were going, so we went for lunch. The review was framed (along with several others) in the hall. The food was lovely, the service, though, was very slow and they forgot my main order! Still, we got some lovely jams and cakes in the shop and ice creams too.

About 45 years ago, whilst on holiday in France I came across this particular Lemonade. Of course, we had to keep ordering it because it sounded rude. Whilst in Poitiers last year I saw it again and thought I could make a card from it.

Well, this is what I came up with. A photograph matted a couple of times and some peel-off letters.

The person who received it didn't get the joke - so maybe it's just my juvenile sense of humour!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Church Lawton, Trent and Mersey Canal

There were 30 boats at Westport Lake when we left for Harecastle Tunnel early this morning.
The plan was to take on water while we were waiting for the tunnel to open but when we got there, there were already 4 boats in front and only 8 can go through at a time. So we moored up to wait for the opening time of 8am.
Of course, they set off from the other end at 8am. It doesn't matter which way we go, they always start off at the other end! Still, we were through by 0930. Fortunately, 3 of the boats went up the Macclesfield Canal, so we all set to on the double single locks, then the single lock, and stopped at Red Bull for a pump out, water and rubbish disposal stop.
When we set off there was a Middlewich hire boat in front with 6 young men crewing. They were very helpful and set the other locks for us and stayed behind to help with gates and paddles.
We left them just before Church Locks where they were taking on fortification for the rest of the locks. They have to be in Middlewich for handover this evening!
I must say, it has been surprisingly quiet here this afternoon. After all those boats before the tunnel we thought it would continue to be busy. They must have all gone up the Macclesfield.
I started off this card with a picture from the side of a tissue box. I matted it onto gold mirror card and then red card. The two hearts were cut in red with a Nestibillities die, likewise the gold, scalloped hearts and stuck them to the bottom of the panel. The red hearts had been Cuttlebugged again.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Westport Lake, Trent and Mersey Canal

An incongruous sight. Two old bottle kilns in the centre of an estate of modern flats. Still, I suppose they haven't torn them down (the kilns).

Another early morning, but only managed 2 locks before we joined the queue and two locks later with were No 4. While there we were joined by two more boats. The couple on the boat immediately behind stayed with their boat and the lovely lady from the boat behind that came up to help.

Why do people do that? This miserable couple followed us through all the locks and sort of hung back and lurked just out of sight, only coming up to the lock after we had closed the top gate and moved off. Considering the queues, things would go a lot quicker if everyone came out of their boats and helped.

Rant over for today.

The original plan was to stop off by the Wedgewood
Factory, but we were there far too early, so came on to Westport Lake so we will be ready for the tunnel tomorrow morning - though the number of boats that have gone past us since it closed means we will be queueing yet again. Hey Ho!

There was an artist's boat. Willowmoor
by the museum at Stoke and another "artwork" outside the BW Yard. This one has benefited from time in the cut.

The gate paddles were just as stiff as when we last came through (there must be a reason why gates and paddle gear get worse the closer you get to a workshop) - so with having to help the single-hander in front I did most of the locks twice today. And I can now feel it!

And so as they say. Now for something completely different. I just love pansies. These have been decoupaged before being stuck to a white, Cuttlebugged oval, a dark lilac oval and a scalloped, white oval (Nestibillities). I tied two strips of ribbon into knots and fixed the ends at the back of the front of the card and then added the topper, finishing off with three little lilac pearl dots.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Stone, Trent and Mersey Canal

Tixall Wide as we left this morning and the start of a lovely, sunny day.

We got in an early start again and got as far as Aston Lock before joining our first queue at 0930.

Consequently we were in Stone just after 1000 and a boat pulled out of the moorings to come down the lock - so we swapped places.

The new marina being built just below Aston Lock is enormous. There was a lot of plant and David fell in love with a dinky little dumper truck and nearly abandoned ship to play with it!

I got a phonecall this evening from someone who wanted a card for his girlfriend by Saturday. I had to explain that we were away on the boat and I couldn't guarantee that he would get it in time. Quite honestly, I am too knackered to think up anything tonight, but I do feel bad. Perhaps I should have made the effort.

I have been trying to make cards to send to our troops in Afghanistan for them to buy to send to their friends and relatives back home. I make up a parcel of about 10-12 cards and send them to a lady in Plymouth and she sends then on. This is one of them. A real cheepskate one really. The butterfly paper was free with a magazine! Still, I quite like it. The large butterfly topper is slightly 3D and has a couple of gems on the back wings to make it sparkle and it is finished off with a peel-off sentiment.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Tixall Wide, Staffordshire and Worcester Canal

Another dead lock cottage? The doors were all locked and padlocked and there is no sign of the little old lady that used to live there.

The canal has been surprisingly busy considering the kids should all be back at school now. We did our usual and left at 0630, arriving at Tixall Wide by 0945. All day boats have been speeding past us - and I mean speeding. There was the occasional considerate boater who slowed. Do you not have to slow down past moored boats in Tixall Wide?

Also, there were lots of ignorant, rude people about on the boats, looking straight ahead and not acknowledging anyone while they sped off.

I walked into Great Heywood for the Post Office and there were queues of boats for the lock and the water point. Then I walked back to the farm shop by the bridge and spent a fortune on cakes, jams and goodies in general.

Then, around 1815 this evening, a hire boater arrived and wanted to moor in the only space left between us and the boat in front. There was not quite enough room, so we went out to move our boat back a bit. The man on the hire boat went to ask the people on the other boat (not a hire boat, of course) if he could move a bit too. He was told that it was 6.30, he was having his tea and he'd sorted out the satellite dish and he wasn't moving! Hope he needs some help some day. Hope he doesn't get it.

I made this card for a competition but didn't get it finished in time to catch the post. It is a square one for a change. Don't normally make them as they don't fit in my storage box or display rack.

Anyway, I put some patterned pink card at the back and a piece of Cuttlebugged pink card across the bottom. I added some lace paper using my new Martha Stewart punch across the bottom of the pink card and then cut out a circle and scalloped circle with Nestabillities. I stamped the girl several times onto watercolour paper and once onto some shiny pink paper. I coloured in the images with watercolours and cut bits out to decoupage the image, finally paper-piecing the pink onto the umbrella, coat and wellingtons. I put glitter onto the puddle and the raindrops.

Finally I added the flower and some foliage fixed with a pink pearl brad.

For my newest trick - decorating the inside of the card.

I cut out another white circle and pink scalloped circle and stuck it into the card. Then I stamped the wellies and umbrella, painted them and cut them out before adding them to the finished card.

AND FOR YOUR DELIGHT - this card is now for sale in my MisiMe shop! See the button on the top left column.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Penkridge, Staffordshire and Worcester Canal

I wouldn't have liked to have been on the boat when it hit this lock gate. The dent in the walkway was at least 4" deep!

We set off around 0730 and had a lovely run up to Gailey. Saw a Kingfisher (only the 2nd this year I think). Went past Bendigedig at Gailey and managed to slip into the open lock as another boat was finishing off at the water point.

Penkridge was quiet, never seen so many vacant visitor moorings. So we stopped to get some supplies and have lunch. Lots of shops have gone since we last visited - including the lovely craft shop. Boo hoo! But the Co-op was still going strong and the lovely little vegetable and fruit shop on the main road and the bread and cake shop opposite.

We couldn't get any telly on the mooring, so decided to move on a bit and stopped by Bridge 88. It is a bit close to the motorway, but it's not too obtrusive.

It has been a lovely warm day, and the Met Office is threatening more this week. Can't wait!

This card is for Ponytail Pete's 82 year old brother. The backing paper are maps of France and Spain taken from an old atlas. I cut off about 2" from the right hand side of the front of the card (I'd needed it for another card and it was the right colour!!) The maps were then mounted on onto silver card. One was fixed to the front and the second was butted up to the edge of the back of the card.

It is not very clear in the picture, but the motorbike is an old one and it is decoupaged. I stuck it down so that the front wheel rests on the bottom of the card, but it also sticks out to the right over the edge of the front of the card.

The sentiment topper was added to the top and a Happy Birthday peel-off was stuck underneath.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Coven Heath

Things that are not what they seem. The picture is of a bull rush root - it just looks like a great big locust floating in the lock.

Finally, we've got away! On Tuesday we set off at 0900 and got as far as the Soho Loop before we had to return to Gas Street with water pouring from the engine again. Sandy was still away at the IWA Festival and we had to ask around to find someone else to look at it.

So on Saturday, with a new cap thingy we set off again at 0630 - but only got as far as the junction with the Old Line before having to return with the same problem.

Finally, with some new hose and a new cap, this time with the rubber gasket that it needed we set off this morning at 0515!! Determined to get away. Who needs a boatyard anyway?

David let me lie-in when we set off and it was magical with all the lights reflecting through the portholes. I had my very own disco ball light show.

Because we are almost a week late in setting off we decided when we got to Wolverhampton that we would continue down the locks all in one day (a first for us). As we came out of the tunnel there was a boat just setting off from the water point, going in our direction and as we got to the locks there was yet another boat in the lock, also going down. So David had a quick 40 winks for an hour to let the boats get out of the way. Meanwhile 2 boats came up the locks - so we thought we would have most of them for us. Wrong! Though we never saw the boats in front we only got 3 locks that were for us until we met another boat coming up, then another 3 locks for us. As we got towards the bottom there were 4 boats coming up - so the last bit was easy.

We moored up on the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal at the first available bit of piling. A bit close to the motorway - but not as noisy as Gas Street last night and after a quick, late lunch spent the rest of the afternoon asleep.

When we were returning on our second abortive trip out a man on a hire boat stopped us as he wanted an anniversary card for their friends on the boat behind them. I asked if he wanted me to make one and he said that he didn't have time. So he bought two cards (he liked them both). We moored up the boat and he turned up again. He was taking on water in Holliday Wharf, and could I make him a card after all?. I had 1/2 hour while the watering went on.

This is what I came up with. A large white card. I Cuttlebugged the hearts onto white card and matted it onto some silver card. I wrapped a scrap of silver organdie ribbon around, tied in a knot and fixed at the back. This panel was then stuck to the card. I made their names and the sentiment using peel-offs (it was a quick card after all!) which I matted onto silver card and stuck down with sticky fixers. To finish off I found this lovely silvery handmade paper flower which I've had for ages and wanted to use up.