Friday, 30 June 2017

Poke Ball Birthday Card

I'm sharing another card today, a birthday card based on this month's sketch at Stick It Down. I've been fairly liberal with my interpretation of the sketch, seeing it as one large image (not necessarily a cake) in the middle of the card.

I chose a Poke Ball for my Pokémon-mad son's birthday card, finding a drawing online that I could break down and cut with my Silhouette. 

I made my first paper-pieced card a couple of weeks ago and learnt two lessons from that one - to ink the edges of each piece, and to add some depth to the design by painting or inking the card background.

I used a Heidi Swapp mask with yellow ink for a starry background and added ink spatters before positioning my Poke Ball. The Ball is layered on an additional circle of cardstock which helps to add just a little more depth to the card.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt - London Finds

This summer I'm taking part in the new Photography Scavenger Hunt being run by Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards. I rarely start serious hunting before school finishes for the summer (19 July this year) but a business meeting in London earlier this month gave me an opportunity to pick off a couple.

Number 13 on the list is a dome, so that meant St Paul's Cathedral for me. My meeting was in Fitzrovia, I visited a couple of shops in Tottenham Court Road and then headed for Blade Rubber Stamps near the British Museum. My route took me through Bedford Square where I hit gold with a plethora of plaques (no. 21 on the list) on the buildings there. There was at least one more, obscured by scaffolding on a building undergoing renovations:

Moving on via Holborn, and heading towards St Paul's, I spotted an alternative dome atop the Central Criminal Court aka the Old Bailey.

And finally, I hit my target for the day - St Paul's Cathedral - one of the largest domes in the world.

Mission accomplished, but I kept my eyes open as I made my way to my 'home' railway station, and I spotted this building in Cannon Street, perfect for No. 17 on the list - circles or crosses in architecture; I found crosses:

One month gone, and I've found three of twenty-five items. It's a slow start, but we'll be entering the holiday season soon. The hunt runs until 30th September so there's plenty of time for you to join in too; the full list can be found at Patio Postcards.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Capital Ring 4 - West Norwood to Wimbledon Park

The Capital Ring is a 78 mile orbital walk through London's suburbs. The official guide divides it into 15 sections, but I'm trying to do it in a few less.

Last time out I'd reached West Norwood, halfway through section 4, and I returned there at the end of May.

I picked up the route at a road called Biggin Hill, nothing to do with the airport, and passed by the Biggin Wood allotments

pausing to admire the view over Croydon to the south.  

I left the road to enter Biggin Wood, seeing my first Capital Ring fingerpost of the day. Twenty miles done since I started at Woolwich; I'll pass over Tooting Bec Common later today and through Richmond Park next time out.

I followed a tarmac path through the wood, part of the ancient Great North Wood which used to cover a much larger area,

and all too soon I emerged back on to suburban streets, pounding the pavements as far as Norwood Grove, a park surrounding a manor house. 

The house was built in the 1840s by Arthur Anderson, joint founder of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company. 

Later on it was home to a Mr & Mrs Nettlefold, whose children erected one of the strangest blue plaques that I have ever seen.

Norwood Grove was bought by Croydon Council in 1926, and opened to the public by the then Prince of Wales. There are two options for passing through on the Capital Ring; being without a dog I was able to walk through the formal gardens near the house, 

then past the orangery (which appeared to be being used as part of a children's nursery), down the main drive and out past the lodge or gatehouse at the end.

I crossed the invisible boundary into the London Borough of Lambeth and onto Streatham Common. This includes The Rookery, a hidden garden on the site of the guesthouse where Queen Victoria used to stay while taking the waters at Streatham Spa. 

On a sunny day in half-term, the upper terrace was busy with families and their picnics, but I had most of the gardens to myself as I wandered round.

From there, it was out onto the common proper, a large expanse of grass with a scattering of trees, and rather dull to be honest.

From the common, I walked along Streatham High Road (which claims to be the longest high street in the UK) and paused for lunch by the war memorials - one for the military and one for civilians.

I crossed over the High Road and headed down Lewin Road to a junction by a railway bridge where Section 4 of the Capital Ring ends and Section 5 begins. It seems like an odd place and I don't see why the powers-that-be didn't choose the High Road (with its buses and train station) instead.

However, my walk didn't end here as I was intending to get to the end of Section 5 today. It looked to be a tedious section on paper with the opening paragraph of the guide containing a couple of ominous phrases - "much of this section is beside roads" and "the walk is entirely level on tarmac paths or pavements" - but it had to be done.

I followed the railway line for a while, and then crossed under it and followed it back again, wondering why the route didn't just use the footbridge. Then came one of the few sights on this section of the walk - the Victorian Streatham Pumping Station, emblazoned with the name of the Southwark & Vauxhall Water Company.

More street-plodding beside another branch of the railway brought me to Tooting Bec Common, though the Ring doesn't go near the famous lido. It doesn't go near the lake either, but I diverted to take a look.

Crossing Bedford Hill, I moved on into the northern part of the common, reminiscent of the Streatham earlier on,

then returned to walking the streets, passing round Du Cane Court on Balham High Road. This building is an Art Deco apartment block, the largest privately-owned block in Europe with 676 apartments and was used as a filming location for Poirot.

A few more roads, and then more green at Wandsworth Common, though not particularly exciting green.

The path hugs the railway, to the extent of passing through the ticket office of Wandsworth Common station, even though there is what looks to be a perfectly good parallel path tens of metres away. Across a couple of roads next, and then into the next part of the Common, still following the railway despite another parallel path, but this time with good reason as I passed by the wildlife ponds (which I'd have missed by following the other path).

Leaving the Common behind me, I returned to the streets with Wandsworth Prison ahead of me. 

Into the final stretch now, and I headed into Wandsworth Cemetery (on the alternative route for those without pushchairs or wheelchairs) with a fascinating mix of old graves and new ones.

I was also touched by a group of Australian war graves from the First World War in one section of the cemetery. Trying to find out a little more about them, it seems that these were soldiers who died at the 3rd London General Hospital in Wandsworth.

Time for another wiggle through the streets, crossing over the River Wandle encased in a concrete channel at this point.

A brief saunter through Durnsford Road Recreational Ground wasn't even worth a photo before I emerged again close to Wimbledon Mosque, which was founded in 1976.

A couple more turns and I reached my destination - Wimbledon Park station - and took just two trains home (rather better than the three trains and a bus that started my day).

I'm happy to say that the next section looks a lot more interesting. It's a seven mile stretch from Wimbledon to Richmond that takes in Wimbledon Common (including its windmill), Richmond Park and a stretch of the River Thames. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Fathers' Day Card

Fathers' Day is celebrated at different times around the world, but it's mid-June here in the UK so I used sketch #99 from Sketch-n-Scrap for my card.

I picked a set of old papers that came with a magazine, added a Bazzill 'half the edge' border and and cut the word DAD on my Silhouette.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

30 Days of Scrapbooking Photos: Days 11-20

This month Shimelle has been hosting a 30 Day Scrapbooking Photo Challenge with daily prompts and stories on Instagram and Facebook. I haven't been playing along daily, but I shared my answers to the first 10 prompts last week, and I have the next ten for you today.

11. A Purchase I Can't Explain
Fiskars Texture Plates - Actually I can explain them, but I should never have bought them. They came with a small tool to work over the surface and emboss a design into your paper or cardstock, but I've rarely used them. I lusted after them for ages in my local WHSmith, and only bought them when they were drastically reduced, but it was a misplaced purchase. 

12. Something That Always Inspires Me
I make a lot of pages in response to sketch challenges on either Sketch-n-Scrap or Stuck?! Sketches, and if I'm stuck for ideas I normally turn to these sites first.

13. Storing My Albums
My completed albums are on the shelves of a console table in the lounge. The cream and brown ones are annual albums, cream from earlier years and brown from more recent years; the green albums are from Norwegian cruise holidays, black is Harry Potter and the blue is my Olympic and Paralympic album. I also have a shelf in my study/craft room for albums in progress plus two more cruise albums that I need to go through and add the finishing touches.

14. A Special Title
I wasn't sure what to pick for this; I normally use a mix of Thickers and smaller letter stickers for my titles but they don't seem to be particularly special. Scrolling through my pages for titles that stand out or are a bit different, I was drawn to a few where I've layered one part of the title over another. This one was cut on my Silhouette, but I've also layered two sizes of sticker in the past. 

15. Changes in Style
My first album was for a cruise we took in 2008; the pages were mostly cardstock with a few dark patterned papers and the occasional Jolee's sticker for embellishment while my titles and journalling were almost all computer-printed. These days it's mostly patterned paper in lighter colours, there are more embellishments available, my titles are either made from letter stickers or cut on my Silhouette and I journal by hand. These four-photo pages were made in 2008/9, 2013 and 2017 and show changes in my style over that time:

16. What I Need Before I Start
Just the obvious really - photos and patterned paper, plus a plan. I generally choose embellishments as I go along, and pick letter stickers for my title near the end.

17. My Camera
I don't stay completely up-to-date with my tech, and both my phone and my camera are hand-me-downs from my husband (who does regularly update his). My camera is a Olympus SZ-30MR and I use it for almost all my photography; my phone, a Samsung of some sort, is really just an emergency back-up for when I either don't have my camera with me or its battery expires unexpectedly.

18. A Favourite Technique
I'm never sure what to say for this, but I do like a stitched circle on my page and I chose a machine-stitched one for an NSD blog hop on favourite techniques. Nothing has really changed since then, so I'll pick it again (and re-share my page from that day).

19. A Page With a Punch
I have a drawer full of punches and use them often (unlike those stamps from prompt 4); my favourites are a postage stamp border punch from Fiskars and a 1" scalloped circle punch from Woodware. However I'm going back to 2012 and a page from a class Shimelle ran called & Now for Something Completely Different. This made a feature of several overlapping rows of punched cardstock; I use a bracket punch for my strips and they fitted together to make a pretty lozenge pattern.

20. Something With Circles
I have two circle cutters, a Fiskars shape cutter which works with a set of circle templates and a Kreaxions circle cutter. The Fiskars templates come in 15 fixed sizes from 1" through to 8.25"; the Kreaxions cutter is totally flexible (up to 10") but it works like a pair of compasses with a blade instead of a pencil' this leaves a small hole in the middle of the circle so it can't be used on photos. I used both on this page - Fiskars for the photos and Kreaxions for the mats.

I'll be back next week with the final 10 prompts; in the meantime, Shimelle is posting daily in the Scrapbook Like a Superhero Facebook group, and also on Instagram.