Friday, 11 December 2015

Cuckfield Christmas Tree Festival - The Little Yellow Duck Project

Little Yellow Duck Project - Cuckfield Christmas Tree Festival 11th-13th December

Do visit this Festival in Sussex this weekend and take a duck from under "The Gift of Life" tree.

"The Little Yellow Duck Project is a global initiative highlighting the life-saving random acts of kindness of blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donation.  Whilst every random act of kindness has the ability to brighten someone's day, these donations have the ability to literally save or transform someone's entire life."

More can be found at their website here

The tree is decorated with card ducks with the website url on oneside and on the otherside is a quote from some of the comments left when ducks are registered on the map. There are also lots of little salt dough ducks painted yellow; these were made by my little grandchildren. My husband cut out four white polystyrene ducks and hung them and there are also some fluorescent ducks in pink and yellow telling people to take a duck from the boxes below. There are also  pink flourescent circles with the statistics about donations. I made a crochet "duck" angel for the top of the tree and bought some gold lights and gold lametta (gosh that lametta took me back to my childhood!!) I started off with the explanatory note beneath the tree but in the end moved it up onto the tree itself where it could be read more easily.

One third of the ducks are in boxes beneath the tree for visitors to take as a random act of kindness; made with love for the cause and for the recipient.  The ducks have been donated for this purpose from friends and fellow supporters around England and the boxes will be replenished throughout the event.

I have already handed out several ducks to people who were decorating their own trees. Hopefully the ducks will start to be registered and should soon appear on the map. I know I will be watching the map and ticking off any Cuckfield duck that appears (I have a list of all the duck names.)

 Do visit the tree, take a duck and register it on the map.  Linger a while on the website and read about the project.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Genealogy Do Over

You might well wonder what that is all about; to be honest, so do I.  I am slowly and methodically entering my data into Family Tree Maker and also trying to sort my paper files which are a jumble of jotted notes, copies of emails and online trees that might be useful at some point, odd jottings down from various parish registers at the East Sussex Record Office, old postcards or relevant places and so much more.

I found a blog that was encouraging people to do a "Do Over" with different topics each week for 13 weeks.  Aha....that sounds like a good plan because somehow I get started on the same one file and never get to the others.  That file is my Weston line as my mother, who is in her 90's, is still alive and she remembers more about her father as they lived in the same village.  Perhaps the Do Over will help me divide my time between my four ancestor lines and come up with a suitable paperwork system.

 It is already onto week 3 and I haven't finished week 1.  I think I will be joining quite a number of people in being a permanent student of Do Over.  They are very useful topics but it can take a long time to do them.  I am hoping to get a few gems throughout the cycle and put them into practice but the rest I will discard and maybe do another time or even not do at all.  At the moment I am trying to sort my paperwork in a logical order and also making sure that the information for every person in my Family Tree Maker file is correct but I think that is too big a goal and so am fine tuning the FTM work to do it generation by generation over all four ancestor lines.

There is a very help Do Over group on Facebook and people are coming up with great ideas and I have learned many things, including how to make custom I can mark up each individual that I have checked the correctness for data.

Yes, I have started with my grandfather, Frank Horace Weston.  I remember quite a bit about him and have family resource material as well as my mother's memories so it seemed the logical place to start.  I don't have anywhere near as much for my grandmother, Rose Ellen Clark, but that is to be expected as she didn't work after marriage and never served in the First World War.  I have yet to look for newspaper cuttings which I find very interesting for filling in details of the social history side of research.  Once I have done these two I will start on my father's parents.

Of prime importance at the moment is to find the elusive system for storing paper records of my closest family lines.  Whilst it is interesting to find more twigs and leaves on far flung branches I want to make sure I have paper copies of the closest family because nothing beats looking at paper and it is yet another back up method.

I am currently toying with the idea of having folders divided up into grandparent, great grandparents, g great grandparents etc and that means that each generation will double the number of family names inside the divider...hmmmmm will it work.  My great grandfather, Albert Weston married Annie Elizabeth Gadd so in the generation earlier I will have dividers for the Westons and the Gadds.  That generation of Westons married a Newick and Gadd married a Keeley.  In the next earlier gneration I will have dividers for Westons, Newicks, Gadds and Keeleys and so on down the generations.  The easiest way of thinking about it is as filing like a pedigree chart shows.  Unless, of course, I come up with a different system  LOL

Saturday, 18 July 2015

July swap parcels

Gutted!!!!  My friend's daughter kindly....or not so kindly, shared her chickenpox and so I have not been able to go over and craft with her this month.  I had to tackle the parcels all on my own with no little tweaks that I often do when meeting with Terri.  Get well soon Terri.

This is the card that I made from Pat's parcel using embossing.  I embossed the tag that I added to the paper from Pat's parcel and I used some of the included glitter strip to add to it.

This is the card that I made from Terri's parcel using a digital image.  I used ribbon and a paper from Terri's parcel; it is a really fresh light colour which I love.  I used a digital image from a previus swap parcel and then coloured some card candi to add to the corners.

And finally the card that I made from both parcels using all three techniques.  I paper pieced the owl with papers from both parcels and the striped paper was mine.  I embossed the backing paper which had come from Pat's parcel and then added a digital image of Happy Birthday to it.  I'm really quite pleased the result.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Rushing to share

Once again I have got behind in blogging the cards I have made this month.  There seems so much to do at the moment and not enough hours in the day.  I am working on a church kneeler, knitting for an imminent grandchild, making little yellow ducks for the Little Yellow Duck Project; volunteering in SCBU at the local hospital (which also involves creating the rota for 12 of us to do that in turns twice a week and going to my U3A family history group once a month.  Where is the time to actually do the Family History?

This months cardmaking parcels gave plenty of scope.  I enjoy trying to use a different technique for each parcel.

These cards were from Pat's parcel and I chose rubber stamping for the technique.  The first one is a stamp I bought ages ago and have never used.

And this card was for Pat's grandson, Eli.  I stamped the train for this one.

These three cards were from Terri's parcel and I chose diecutting  for the technique

My Christmas card for the month.

And finally my card using three techyniques and something from eachh parcel

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

May Swap Parcel (Terri)

The backing paper, image and fancy diecut came from Terri's parcel so it wasn't difficult to decide I would diecut for the technique for this parcel.  I found a snippet of card to put a scallopped circle behind the image and de cut a plain white circle to go behind the fancy diecut.

I loved the muted colours of the spotty backing paper which, sadly, was the only thing from the parcel for this card.  Still, rules is rules and it met the criteria.  I rummaged around in my stash and found this double sided spotty/olive green paper.  A snippet of what card for the greeting and for the two dots on the tag and job done!!  I am entering this over at the Playground.

May Swap parcel (Pat)

Our techniques challenges were: die cut, heat embossing and water colours.  I could have used both heat embossing and de cuts on both parcels but I dutifully chose a different one for each parcel but what I haven't done yet is my personal challenge of all three techniques on one card using bits from both parcels.  I will get there but whether I can incorporate my other challenge of a Christmas card from them as well .......we'll see.

Anyhow up .... here are the cards I made from Pat's parcel and I used the heat embossing for my technique.

The first one I just heat embossed the greeting. I found a small bit of toning paper in my stash for the greeting and the layer behind the image.  I am entering this over at the Playground

The second one I heat embossed the red background paper. This was my favourite card of all of them and it sold very quickly after church on Sunday too.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Run circles round music

I love a new idea I have on my newest Pinterest board (see previous post) and decided to theme the paper and an embossing folder.

I used some music paper I have had for a long time, together with some cream and dark brown from the stash box.  I cut circles from the music and stuck to the cream card before running it through the music embossing folder.  I then just layered up, together with a greeting, and mounted on the base card.

I am entering this in Pixie's Playground #174

Friday, 24 April 2015

Cards from scraps

I have been sorting through a lot of my stash and looking at the huge pile of offcuts of paper some of which is only large enough to mount greetings on.  Time to take control of the stash and use it. 

A friend pointed me in the direction of a relevant Pinterest board and so I have made my own and am using it's inspiration to make "stash cards".  You can find the board here .

These are two of the cards I made this week:

The ribbon, paper and greeting I have had for a long time but the card candi were part of a Christmas present.

I used up oddments of glitter strip that I have had for a couple of years for this one and then raided my stash of diecuts that I have been given in swap parcels over the years.  I just stamped an image and the greeting.  I am entering this card in Pixie's Crafty Workshop #173

Saturday, 18 April 2015

April Swap parcels

Its never easy to remember which cards came from which parcel when you leave it a month or so to blog them so I thought I would blog these cards that I made yesterday.

April is always our Christmas month so we didn't have any techniques, just the theme of Christmas.

These are the cards I made from Pat's parcel.  The first one I just added my own greeting.

These next two are a bit of a cheat but they met the brief that all cards must contain one piece from the swap parcel.  In this case, as you will see, I just cut the background paper and stuck it on the card, no more needed!!!

My next card is from Terri's parcel and I just embossed the backing paper and found my own greeting.

Finally, my combination card.  The snowflake came from Pat's parcel and the tag, greeting and backing paper came from Terri's.  I embossed the backing paper and added some Stickles glitter to it.

March card swap

Yes, I know it is April and I should have blogged these last week but life got somewhat busy doing needlecraft (but that is another story) and the hours slipped away . the March cards from Pat's parcels.  I chose embossing for this selection

I chose rubber stamping for Terri's parcel

And finally a card I created from both parcels using all three techniques because it also includes zentangle

Saturday, 28 February 2015

February's crafty swap - Terri's parcel + an extra

Having chosen matt and layering for Pat's parcel it left me a choice of peel offs or die cutting for Terri's.  I wanted to do something a litle more than just a nestie shape so rummaged through my dies to see what I could find; perhaps I could find one I didn't use too often. is my Nellie Snellen corner die (two parts)....and .... and...

So this is the card I made from Terri's parcel.

I ran the backing paper through my cuttlebug with one of my embossing folders and then cut four corners using the Nellie Snellen corner dies.  I used the tag and ribbon that was also in the parcel and just mounted a stamped image in the centre of it.

My second card was a Christmas card but I had to take a bit more licence with this.  We have said that the cards need to contain at least one item from the swap parcel and so this card just uses the dark blue paper from the parcel and the rest is from my stash.  I cut down an old Christmas card and added some Stickles to make it glittery.  I used a die cut nestie label and stamped the greeting before distressing round the edges.  Voila.

I am entering this card in CHNC challenge 218: cut it up

 Finally, my extra card for this month.  The card that uses all three techniques and something from both parcels.


From Pat's parcel:  Backing paper; the patterned paper, the shiny paper behind the butterfly.
From Terri's parcel:  the green paper and the butterfly peel off.

I just die cut the patterned paper and layered up with the green card.  I mounted the butterfly on the shiny lilac paper and layered it onto a bit of card from my stash.

Friday, 27 February 2015


It is lovely to see the catkins hanging from the trees, crocus in the garden and I have even seen some daffodils out in another garden.  Reminds me that spring will soon be here and with Spring will come Easter.  I decided I needed to set too and make some Easter cards ready for that sale at Church.

 I coloured the image using my Promarkers and then found an oddment of card from my stash to cut with my Cuttlebug to mount the image in.  I also use a small piece of it for behind the greeting that I stamped.

 I am entering this card in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Week 165

February's crafty swap - Pat's parcel

Gosh the weeks go round so quickly but not only that the weather doesn't help to keep your mind on which the month is.  We seem to be going from wintry showers and bitter chill to warm sunshine and spring before returning back to bitter chill.  Wish the weather would make it's mind up.  I suppose I shouldn't be too anxious for sprinn seeing as though we still have three weeks to wait....but it does seem a long time coming and waiting is so hard to do.

Back to the subject of the blog, though.  I have done a bit of card making this month; firstly our challenge parcels and then some Easter cards ready for a sale at church next month.

The challenge techniques this month were peel-offs, matt and layering and die cuts.  Yet again I wanted to try and get a Christmas card as well as another card out of each parcel and then to make a combined card from the contents of both parcels and using all three techniques.

I decided to do matt and layering with Pat's parcel and these are the two cards I made:

I loved the simplicity of this card and it is just great for a man.

My Christmas card used a recycled Christmas card for the image:

I am entering this card in CHNC challenge extra for February 2015

Friday, 6 February 2015

February's bitter chill

Although we haven't had much snow here (thank goodness) in sunny Sussex it really has been a bitterly cold wind that has been blowing for the last few days.  Signs of spring abound....don't have to pull the curtains as early in the afternoon, daffodils out in the garden opposite and crocus out in our garden, yay.

It was my Mother's 93rd birthday this week and so I rummaged through the snippets box and found the piece of patterned paper and then used some toning papers and card to make this birthday card for her.  I used my trusty Craft Robo to make it; I really should use it more often.

I am entering this card in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Challenge no 162

Friday, 30 January 2015

January swap parcel

We have a slight different twist to our parcels this year in that we are focusing on techniques rather than themes.  We also have a more limited range of supplies in our parcels but we do only have to use one item of patterned or plain paper/card or the image from the parcel if we get stuck and can add anything of our own to it.  Exciting times!!  I also have a personal challenge to try and make a Christmas card from each parcel.

The first challenge techniques were:  using a brayer, rubber stamping and punches.

I used punches for Pat's parcel:

This is the first card and I used a corner punch.  Everything except the greeting came from the parcel and I used Promarkers to colour the image.

I used a Martha Stewart corner punch on this card.  I recycled a Christmas card for this one and added my own greeting.  The to green papers came from the swap parcel.

I am entering this card in CHNC Challenge Extra for January 2015

I used rubber stamping for my technique for Terri's parcel:

This is one of my favourite cards from this months parcels.  Everything came from the swap parcel except the greeting.  I stamped the background paper with cogs/wheels.  I know who will be getting this for their birthday!!

I rummaged around in my stash of images and found this rubber stamped one that I had received in a swap many years ago on the Crafts By Carolyn forum  .  I felt it went well with the background paper from the parcel.  I just layered it up with some plain red paper from my oddment stash.  I am entering this one in Pixie's Playground Snippets challenge 161.

And finally ....... an off the cuff challenge between Terri and I ..... make a card using all three techniques!!  Here is my card

Everything except the white card I used for brayering and also the greeting came from the parcels.  I used then stamped the brayered card with two of my stamps and used Memento London Fog so that it was a more muted scene.  I used my corner rounder punch on the two layers.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Ducks again

I have been knitting or crochet little ducks for nine months now because I was touched by what The Little Yellow Duck Project was set up to do.  As the months have gone by I have left ducks in East and West Sussex, Kent, London, Somerset, and Washington State, USA.  I have also sent ducks to two other states in America and also to Hertfordshire.  It is quite a challenge to leave a duck and not be seen doing it.

I go to a knitting group in Cuckfield each week and we were featured in the Jan-Feb 2015 edition of Cuckfield Life.   Do download a pdf copy of the magazine to see all about the group on page 12.

I thought I ought to release some more ducks into Cuckfield to follow up on the article whilst it was still fresh in everybody's mind.  Today I released Gideon, Horace and Queenie.

A map of all the ducks that have been registered as found is here.  I was thrilled this evening to see that Gideon has already been logged as found (I walked past the tea rooms after knitting group and saw that he had disappeared)......  Great job Cuckfield Tea Rooms.  Now waiting to see whether Queenie that I left in the Queens Hall is found and logged and also whether Horace is found in the Church door handle.