Sunday, 16 October 2011

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

 I know!  I know!  I promised not to lapse, but the Vodafone dongle thingy has been crap just lately and I get frustrated with waiting for a two bar signal to work in the centre of Birmingham.  We've had better signals in the middle of nowhere.

So, the leaves are falling in our pissoir (I know it's an ally way, but the local male population (and some of the girls) disagree and use it as a public convenience).   Autumn is on the way, though the weather has been rather lovely, lots of sunshine - though snow is promised for next week.

Rob has been setting up a shop using Frederick.  He is selling his photographs in card format or mounted onto board (website when I can find the card I have just misplaced).  He has very kindly let me show my cards too - but he is selling far more than me (about 50-1).

This morning, while David and I went to Stourbridge for their open day an American lady visited Frederick and told Rob that she read my blog.  I am so sorry I missed her.  Please come and visit when you are passing again - I don't get that many readers!)

Meanwhile, I have made only two cards in the last month.  This one - a birthday card - and a Christmas card which I'll show next time.

I Cuttlebugged some white card and matted it onto some red which had the bottom edge punched out.  Then I wrapped some black velvet ribbon and then some metallic type ribbon around this panel.  The metallic ribbon was a pain to stick down - even using glue dots didn't seem to work well.

The panel was then stuck down onto a white card blank using lots of double sided tape to keep the ribbon stuck in place.  The red "poppy" was originally a hair decoration from the £1 shop.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Gas Street Moorings

Customer Services?

I started swimming again two weeks ago and am absolutely knackered when I get back, so that's the excuse for not blogging this time.

Lots of things have been going on too, so I'll have to catch up.  Last weekend it was the LibDem Conference - the policemen are to protect us from a demonstration.  At one stage there were about 40 on or around the bridge.


 My first Christmas Cards.  As they were playing Carols in Harvey Nicks on Tuesday I think it's OK to show them.  They are for Richard, the engineer at Sherborne Wharf.  Not a very happy Elf.

I matted the photographs onto silver card, then onto patterned backing paper and then onto red card before sticking it onto the white card blank.  The only extra decoration was the snowflake punched from white card and a gold dot of glitter glue.  Of course the punch I had kept sticking and I had to buy a new one and could only get a larger size which is a bit too big for what I wanted.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

There is a boat under there somewhere!

The plan had been to set off to join Wildflower for a trip down the River Nene but stuff happens.

Firstly, David contracted an infection in the retina of his right eye and was seeing spots (he still is) and then there was the hole in the calorifier.

Of course, the 1 week wait for the new calorifier stretched to 2 and then it was the Bank Holiday etc, etc.  So we took the boat around to Sherborne last Tuesday for the new tank to be fitted.  This was surprisingly straightforward.  Then the water pump wasn't suitable, so we had to buy yet another one.

So, off we set back to the moorings.  There engine overheating alarm was going full time.  There were lots of boats around the Worcester Bar, so we had to go past the mooring and up to Salvage Turn to wind.  On the way back there was an explosion from the engine and boiling water and steam everywhere.  One of the hoses (new ones fitted in February for the Safety Check!) had burst.

So Richard was back on Wednesday to fix the new hose and yesterday we went for a trip around the bay (to The Vale and back via Sherborne Wharf) to check out the engine.  Fingers crossed, all seems well.

I've just had my first Christmas order!!!

When I get a card magazine I usually squirrel away any free gifts instead of using them up straight away.  Anyway, sorting out my stash before I went on holiday I came across a couple of pretty flower piramidges (is that the right word?).  I used sticky fixers to mount the pictures and matted the whole thing onto some silver card.  Then I just fixed it to a white card blank.  The mount was too big for the 6x4" card for any further decoration, so I just left it as it was.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

A sunny August Saturday in Gas Street.  The drinkers on the balcony are jeering at the drinkers on the towpath in the Tap and Spile.  There is a stag party waiting to join the party boat and another group waiting to join the other party boat.  Lots of noise (howler monkeys comes to mind) and eventually, someone will jump off the balcony into the canal.  What fun?

After arriving back from Spain almost the first thing I did was put the washing machine on.  Nothing unusual in that.  The next day the washing machine didn't sound right.  Then the water pump kept on working after the taps were turned off.  Then, while the water pump was working we could hear water running somewhere in the back, though on inspection it seemed to be coming from the hot water tank overflow into the canal.

A couple of days later we noticed we were listing rather alarmingly and then discovered about a foot of water in the bilges!!!

Water was pouring from the calorifier.  So it was a trip around to Sherborne Wharf, where Richard did a botch and tried to fill in the leak.  This didn't work.  Of course, you can't just buy a replacement calorifier - for some reason they don't make them like that any more.  So a new one had to be built.  Should have it in a week! 

Great!  No running water for a week.  Don't you just love boating?

A lovely atmospheric photo of a canal bridge in very early spring.  I matted it onto silver and white card.

The green panel was Cuttlelbugged and matted onto silver card as well and then fixed to the right hand side of a tent fold white card blank.  The photo was added and three black "pearls" were stuck down the right and side of the green panel.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

 I don't know, you miss a few days and it is really difficult to get back into the habit of blogging.  So sorry.  Though it is difficult if I don't have a photo to publish too.  Blogs are boring without pics, don't you think?

Anyway, we got back from Spain early August and missed all the fun on the moorings (yet again)!

There had been an auction for a mooring and the winner arrived, but soon started accusing other moorers of various misdemeanours and then began threatening to mutilate the males and stab one of the females.  Fortunately their contract for the mooring was not signed so they moved off.

The good news is that BBC Dave was the under bidder and he was offered the mooring.

On our big cruise in the Spring we managed to rub off the Mr on the bowflare.  Calum can be seen here painting the white bits

And Ana has just finished the signwriting.

So we are all shipshape again.

Well, almost, but that is another story.

Caroline and Curtis celebrated their second wedding anniversary in July.  This is the card I made.

  I Cuttlebugged a square piece of white card and stuck it onto some yellow card.  I wrapped several paper lace strips around and fixed it to the back and also some yellow paper string, fixing that at the back too.

A white Nestability heart was Cuttlebugged, then matted onto a yellow scalloped one and fixed to the side of the panel.  I stuck this panel onto a white, square card blank and then added to roses and leaves.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Aix en Provence, France

Here's a first! Posting from the iTouch in a hotel after a great meal in town. Can't upload pictures yet though.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

More Canals than Venice, More rubbish than Naples and now, more oil than Arabia.

A couple of weeks ago David applied to join the flotilla travelling down the Thames, through London, on the Queen's Jubilee next year.

Yesterday we got an email to say that we need to attend a rehearsal at the beginning of September.

The PLAN had been to travel down the Nene, Great Ouse and Cam this summer, but now we will have to cut it short and just do the Nene before travelling down to London.  Still it should be fun.

Great discussions.  We have a new moorer and they are discussing where she should moor her boat!  It was suggested that maybe she should put the boat in the gap between the boats!!!

Lilac card blank.  Green scalloped mat using Nestabilities.  Yellow circle embossed with Cuttlebug.  Decopaged pansies and a fluttery butterfly.

To finish, a large green gem.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Gas Street Basin, Birmingham

  Lots of fun on the moorings yesterday.  Another "marital" - although none of the parties is actually married!

An awful of shouting, screaming, crying, death threats and hiding in boats.  Never a dull moment in Gas Street Basin.
 One little niggle when we were "doing" the Droitwich Canals the other week. 

If I can see the next lock I usually walk to it.  In this case, I came to this wooden fence with a door.

This is the sign, which is quite acceptable.  The only trouble was

The padlock was on the INSIDE and the padlock used a different key.  NOT the BW Watermate key.

The lock cottage was totally encased with a wooden fence (those boaters might want to walk around the lock) and I had to walk down the lane past the cottage, over the canal bridge and down the other side to get to the lock.

BW don't give a s*** about boaters yet again.

The only access to the lock is on the left hand side from the bridge, through another gate (thankfully this one wasn't locked).

I made this card the other day for a lady who has just graduated.  The original card was by Carole'Anne Sluchinski and you can find her tutorials here and here.  I changed the shirt into a blouse and added some black buttons and a pearl necklace and the scarlet and silver were her university gown colours. 

On the sentiment I was asked to add two storks carrying babies and two wedding rings as Francis, the recipient, had got married and had both her sons while doing her Masters Degree.

I made another panel for the back (not shown) for the personal sentiments. 

On the whole, I was pretty impressed with what I had done and (mainly thanks to Carole'Anne for her great tutorials) so did the recipients.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Gas Street Moorings, Birmingham

Went to Stratford on Avon yesterday for a mooch and noticed this sign in the basin.  Only 185 locks to London?  Must count them some time.

We celebrated 12 years on the boat on the 13th.  How the time flies.  And how much we have learnt in that time.  We were waterways virgins when we set off, with just the 2 days of the Helmsman's Course under our belts. I would certainly recommend the course for newcommers (and some oldies!).

Here's to the next 12 years.

Also noticed the sign above this shop.  Looks like a sentiment for a card to me.

Had to make a card for a lady who loved shoes.  David found a reason (not that he usually needs one) to chat up a shop assistant in Selfridges and he managed to get a Jimmy Choo card which they put in the boxes with the shoes.  I matted it onto some silver card and stuck it to the front of a deep lilac card blank.

On the inside of the "topper" I added the words which I printed onto some light lilac card, added lots of glitter and stuck it down on the inside.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Gas Street Basin, Birmingham

 Didn't take any photos today, so here is one from the Droitwich gathering.

David was up at 0530 and we set off (well, David set off, I was still in bed).  Just after he started the heavens opened and it rained all the way back until we got out of the last (very wet inside) tunnel.

We were back on our moorings at 0915.  Don't let me do 42 locks in one day EVER AGAIN!

Another early card.  I stamped the card and coloured it in then matted it onto silver and black card.

I cut some blue paper with wavy scissors and stuck the panel onto the bottom half of a light blue card.  The topper was then fixed over the join.

The sentiment says "A little bird told me!" and I used it for a congratulations card for an expectant couple.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Hopwood, Worcester & Birmingham Canal

 Left at 0445 and began the 42 locks we did today.  Another lovely day for locking and most of the locks were for us.  Lots of boats coming down the locks, which was good for us.

The ants had been busy at this lock, lots of tiny little anthills.

We met one boat coming down and the bloke told David to pass his boat in the pound!  Not take it up onto the towpath then.

We managed the Tardebigge flight in 4 hours again it began to rain as we got to the penultimate lock.

But it was on, on!  We finally got here at 1345 and went straight to bed.  At 6 we tried to get a meal in The Crown but they don't do food Monday and Tuesday nights, so it was back to the boat and scallops and bead and butter.

While I was still working for Birmingham City Council I made a card for the guy who does the Christmas Lights.  I found some pictures of  street decorations, a Christmas tree and some lights and made a collage on a white card blank.  Then I printed out the electrician onto card and cut him out, adding him to the card with sticky fixers.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Oddingley, Worcester & Birmingham Canal

 Because of the electricity we decided to stay for another day, so I went off shopping, of course.

I got back to find David on the waterpoint chatting up these girls.

Suddenly we need to be in Birmingham for Thursday morning so we set off at 1145 and did the first 14 locks.  The weather has been hot and sunny.  Lovely.

As you go up the 3rd lock by the Comanderie these soldiers are peeping over the bridge.

A quick, easy and simple card.  I used a postcard, matted it onto silver card and then stuck it onto a 5x7" white card blank.

This card is for sale £2.00

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Worcester, Worcester & Birmingham Canal

 I managed to keep David in Droitwich until this morning and we slipped out at 0615.  Even so one boat had already passed us before then.

We set off down the Barge Canal - a bit boring and very like a river.  Most of the time we were in a channel with reeds on both sides blocking out any views.

About 4 locks from the end the canal became covered in duck weed and the smell!!

We passed this lovely lock weir on the way.

The River Severn was reached by 1000 and we set off downstream to Worcester, mooring up on the river.  But there was a ledge and the gunnels were just underneath it, then a speedboat went past and we started bobbing up and down so we left after 15 minutes and moved into Diglis Basin.

We managed to sneak into the disabled spot and got some electricity so I did three loads of washing and we got the ironing done too.

Another Forever Friends card.  I used a white card blank with the fold at the top.  I used some brown and pink card which came from a cake box!  I cut some pink card using a border punch and stuck it along the bottom of the card and stuck it all down onto the card.  Then I cut two scalloped ovals in white and pink and added that to the card with the decopaged bear on top.  Three glass jewels were then fixed to the top right hand corner.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Droitwich, Droitwich Barge Canal

I am still getting over all those locks, it was early to bed last night (7pm!).

The weather has been really lovely again.  Hot and sunny.  One of the churches rang the bells in the morning and there were lots of stalls and stuff to see and do.  The town is also holding a music festival and there was a farmers' market today.

We were even visited by Caroline and Curtis (a very rare occurrance - only the 2nd time this yeyar).  It was a lovely surprise and they stayed for most of the afternoon.

There have been people walking the towpath all day - hundreds of them.  The whole of Droitwich must have gone past in the last two day.

We got hit really badly by the trip boat this afternoon - scraped all down the side of the bottom of the boat.  We are leaving tomorrow to give it more room.

Some decopaged pansies.  I Cuttlebugged a yellow circle and diecut a green scalloped backing and stuck them all together and then onto a lilac card blank.

A green "gem" was stuck in the bottom right hand corner, and the butterfly in the top right hand corner.  The butterfly has wings which flutter.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Droitwich, Droitwich Barge Canal

 Yet another lovely day.  There have been masses of boats, canoes and this car going past all day.  We got bumped a few times.

The official opening was at about 2pm - lots of bigwigs and speeches.

Now it is all old news.  And the queue in the beer tent was horrendous.

For this card I sued a peel-off which I stuck onto some white card and then cut out.  Then I coloured it with water colours before sticking it onto some yellow and then white handmade paper with the edges frayed.

I wrapped some yellow ribbon around the bottom and tied it in a knot and added the bird panel to a yellow card blank.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Droitwich, Droitwich Barge Canal

Oops!!  Forgot to publish this one yesterday.  Didn't make it very far from the dry dock at Tardebigge.

 After I published yesterday we got a knock on the boat and Katheryn and John from Golden Cross was there, they were just coming down the locks, so I grabbed a windlass and helped her with the next three locks.  They were followed closely by Tony on Trent 6.  No sooner had they gone past that Graham came by on Collingwood with a group of schoolchildren.  What are the odds of three boats from Gas Street/Sherborne Wharf travelling in convoy quite independently?

We left again at 0515.  Lovely warm sunshine.  The Astwood  lock cottage looking beautiful and well kept.  BW should have sold all the cottages with a caveat to keep them nice and pretty.

We reached the junction at Hanbury at 0800 and there was nowhere to moor up, so we were cheeky and untied the chain across the entrance to the Droitwich Juncton Canal and moored up just on the other side.

The BW workers arrived about 1010 (supposed to be 0930) and also one man specifically to look after the family of grey wagtails that had made a nest just below the waterline of the pound (when the pound is full).

We were the second boat down that day.  The canal was very pretty, oxeye daisies all along the banks, the new staircase (which was a surprise) and then the low tunnel under the M5.

We had about 3" to spare.  Pretty scary.  Then the lock down into the River Salwarpe and then a sharpish left turn up to the Barge Canal.  The canal now goes through a lovely park area with three swing bridges.

There were lots of boats here already and we were moored up abreast to Cousin Bob.  There is just about room for boats to get past.

I think we around around mid-day, but there were so many people around that we knew and got chatting to that I forgot to check the time.

I found some grungy brown, stripy paper which I matted onto silver card and then onto a blue card blank.

The skateboarder, I think, started out as a sticker which I stuck onto some card and then cut out, fixing it to the card with sticky fixers.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Between Locks 25 and 26 Stoke Locks, Worcester and Birmingham Canal

 The view from Tardebigge top lock at 0530 this morning.

It was a lovely, sunny, warm morning and we set off with all the locks against us (of course!).  The smell of the honeysuckle and meadowsweet was heavenly and only the top gate paddles were heavy.

We met our only boat on the flight with about 10 locks to go.  The was an elderly gentleman on the back of the boat, who sat there the whole time that I helped lock the boat up.  When we got to the top, he said, "There, the lock's all set for you."  I knew it was, I'd b***** done half of it myself!  You have to smile.

We stopped opposite the Queen's Head at 0945 and had a rest and then a disappointing lunch in the pub.  Meanwhile the weather turned and it began to rain and got cold again.

As we were about to leave the pub, we noticed a couple of boats passing which had just come up the locks, so we set off  (in the drizzle) and did two locks until we saw the bit of piling just before lock 24 and here we stayed.

I made lots of these cards when I first started making them seriously.  I had a template for the bodice and cut this one out in thick, red handmade paper.  I added some broiderie anglaise around the top and some pearl strings along the bottom edge.

The skirt was made with a circle of lilac gauze which is folded into quarters and the top bit then gathered with some thread and stuck down at the back of the bodice.

The card blank is DL and white, and I covered the front with some torn holographic paper and then a panel of silver card.  The dress was stuck down with glue dots, some flower sequins were stuck onto the skirt and a branch of roses stuck across the front of the dress.

A peel-off Happy Birthday was stuck onto some silver card and added to the top right hand corner at a slight angle.

I really must make some more of these and see how much my techniques have changed.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Tardebigge Top Lock, Worcester and Birmingham Canal

 One of the two working boats that are usually moored by the Lower Bittell reservoir.  Just past it there are permanent moorings with lovely views both ways.  What it really needs is some visitor moorings too.

We set off at 0715, passing Beau (who is going to use our mooring while we are away) and had no trouble until we got to Wast Hill Tunnel.  We could see a light as we approached, so David waited for the boat to come through and off we set.  We could see several lights coming towards us, but as the tunnel is almost 1 1/2 miles long we couldn't wait.  We met the first hire boat and they panicked, the boat swung across the canal and we hit it!  The second boat stopped dead and we managed not to hit that one.  Then there were two more which we also managed not to hit.  We saw more boats in the tunnel than we saw on the move all the rest of the day.

We arrived at Tardebigge at 1130 and as it was so cold (it had been sweltering yesterday) we decided to stop above the top lock and not go onto the moorings below.

Late afternoon and the sun came out.  I went to bed at 9.30 with a glorious sunset over the vale towards Droitwich and the Malvern Hills

Three cards using the same photograph of white, wild roses.  I thought of this card because there are still some wild roses about today.

This one I matted onto white card, cut the edges with deckle edged scissors and then matted it onto yellow card and then onto a white card blank.  Simple

This one was matted onto yellow card and then silver card before being fixed to a yellow card blank.  Simple again!

Then on this one the photograph was matted onto yellow card and then silver card with the edges scalloped.  Then it was matted again onto green card and yellow card.

Some yellow ribbon was wrapped around the green panel and another piece of yellow ribbon was folded in half and fixed to the bottom ribbon with a green brad and the edges snipped at an angle.

The whole panel was then stuck down onto a white card blank.

Not quite so simple.