Tuesday, 23 April 2013

First Year of Beekeeping

We are beekeepers. I might have mentioned that before.

We picked up our first Nuc ( short for Nucleus ) of bees around this time last year. Since then, one hive has become two.  Whilst Hive number two is prosperous and industrious, Hive number one has never quite taken off, besieged by leadership problems; Queen Bee the first, in her introduction cage, dropped to the bottom of the hive and got killed by a cold spell, Queen Bee the second was successfully introduced but after a few weeks, disappeared, we think accidentally squished by the bee keepers and now in the reign of Queen Bee the third who hasn't laid a single egg, the population is understandably declining.  What do we do ? We've ordered Queen Bee the fourth. I am expecting the post any minute now.

We love watching the bees returning to their hives, especially when they return with pollen.  Both A & I have spent time in front of the hives trying to photograph them. Our photos are not great because the camera is behind a mesh fencing...we ought to find a "better for photographs" site for the bees but we cannot move them further than three foot.

Here's one layout I made with one of those photos, published recently in Scrap365. Those yellow/orange balls attached to the back legs of the bees are full pollen sacs. That is a good indication that the Queen Bee is producing...you guessed it, from Hive number two.

Bee keeping was something A & I have thought of doing for a few years. Glad we finally took the plunge. Are you thinking of picking up something new ?  I wonder, what is stopping you ?

Monday, 15 April 2013

So Very Lovely...an adventure in quilling.

Hello Lovelies. Welcome to UK Scrappers Spring BlogHop. You may have arrived here from Hysteri-Cal. If you haven't and are wondering what the Blog Hop is about, or if you lose your way, you can start here, right at the beginning. 

Today I am going to share with you a layout incorporating some quilling. I have seen some amazing quilling on the internet. I think quilling works best using solid colours and with larger volume. I am not sure I have the patience to take on some of them so this is my version, using scrapbook patterned paper.

I did a rolled up Sizzix paper flower for my class at The Retreat last month.  One of the problem with rolling up the flower is in trying to keep the roll tight. I have often suggested using the pointy end of a pencil because  the tapered end keeps a tight bottom and slightly more open top....just like the centre of a flower.

One of my lovely student showed me a quilling tool. It was just perfect for the job. It has a small pointed end wtih a slit to hook the end of the paper in. Wasn't that clever.  Not having done quilling before, I was well impressed.

I decided to make my own quilling tool. I used a long bamboo skewers...you know, the one you use for satay and kebab. Using a craft knife, I make a small slit at the flat end of the skewer.  Neat or what ?

I cut out 0.5cm strips of patterned paper using knife and ruler. The reason mine is 0.5cm is because my ruler is marked at 1/2 cm interval.  Normally quilling papers come in 1/8" which is close to 0.5 cm. Either would be perfect for the job.

I rolled them up so.

I bunched up the rolled up paper to make a scroll.  I glued them together where they intersect the best that I can.

I added a thin strip of non-slip matting across the page. I wrapped up the wire from the little roses around some of the white Thickers letters. 

Next I added my paper scroll and photo.

Followed by my journalling and a few other finishing touches.

This is my finished layout, with a few nude Thickers cloud and rolled up paper on the edge. To balance out the large scroll, I also added a smaller one to the right.

I made this layout to record my gratefulness of having my boys and dearest A with me. They definitely make my world lovely. And what's more lovely stand in for "my world" than a river scene down the Cam? What makes your own world lovely ? I would love to know.

If you are visiting my blog as part of UKS blog hop, your next destination is Jimjams.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Ready Set Go...racing Road R4GE buggies

My boys spent a day driving "road rage buggies" last autumn. Naturally, I volunteered to sit it out and be photographer. We had a lovely sunny day ( and therefore dusty ) for it. 

I have been saving the Amy Tangerine sticker, "Ready Set Go" for this layout forever. Did you notice some cloud Thickers up top ? In the past, I have never been happy when I have coloured them so I decided to go nude.  I debated between putting them against the cloud photo or the white background.  What do you think ? Not so noticeable against the white cardstock but I love the subtle effect. My layouts appear to be getting cleaner and cleaner every day!

This layout was done for Sarah's Cards Sketch Challenge.  Why don't you join us for a chance to win a voucher to spend in store ?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hello Sunshine

Where have you gone to ?

Last week, I did this layout, lamenting the continuous cold weather we were having. They predicted snow at Easter, we only had a smattering.  Then, as soon as people went back to work after the long weekend, we had the most glorious sun shiny day. Then another but not today.  We are back to the poor attempt at snow!  As consolation, the bad weather keeps me indoors and more than likely, some craftiness. Here's a closer look at the sun....