About Me

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Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
I have been crafting since May 2008, when in desperation to find an unusual birthday card for my Mum, I gave up looking in the shops and decided to have a go at making my own. I soon realised that crafting is addictive and I haven't brought a card since. In 2011 I completed my certificate in papercrafting as a result of the work I did as part of the course I started entering challenges on line and in magazines. I applied for design teams and also started making samples for Ooh La La Creations for their shows on Create and Craft. I have now completed my Diploma in professional crafting and most recently been runner up in the Papercrafter of the Year 2013 a competition run by Papercraft essentials magazine, I don't have a particular style I like to use elements from lots of styles and techniques, although I do love all things vintage. In 2014 I started to move more towards scrapbooking to take care of the huge family archive of photographs that were stored in my attic. I have continued cardmaking and Scrapbooking through 2015 and 2016 but have also become interested in off the page projects. I hope to be able focus on these in the future.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

A Matter of Fate.

I hadn't intended leaving my visit to the Sgt Pepper Pop Up shop in Liverpool until the day before it was due to close but I will be forever grateful that I did.

My plans went awry on Thursday morning last week when my dad wasn't well and I couldn't get into town, so my lovely hubby agreed to drop me at the shop on a wet Saturday morning and drive round until I phoned him to say I was ready to leave when he would pick me up.

Of course the reason I wanted to go was to get a photograph of me with the Sgt Pepper set that had been created upstairs but what was intended to be a quick pop in for a couple of photos turned into something so much more.

 It was obvious that I would sidle into the set next to George whilst Paddy who runs the shop snapped this photograph.

I also took the chance to snap some close ups of the lovely flower displays. Made from foam flowers by a friend's sister, I was bowled over by how realistic they are the flowers really do look just like real roses and even touching them the petals have a similar texture to those of the real thing.

 Paddy then suggested that I have a picture taken holding the new version of 'I Me Mine' he has known me a long time and appreciates my inner George girl.
Whilst having the photos taken, we discussed the concert that had been performed at the Phil the night before. Including two of the original musicians from 'Within You Without You' performing on stage.

Having decided what I wanted to purchase I made my way downstairs to the till only to be stopped in my tracks at the sight of the aforementioned musicians in the shop.

Paddy suggested I accompany them back upstairs and one of the party with them recognised me from the concert the night before and very kindly arranged for me to have photographs with them.

 I started off by snapping this picture myself and then one of the group took over to allow me to be photographed with these two wonderfully gifted musicians. Both are very quietly spoken and such gentlemen. I felt totally humbled to be there talking to them and so very grateful I was able to thank them for both playing on Pepper and performing at the concert the night before.

The concert the previous night had referred to how chance had played a huge part in both the concert being performed and in George discovering Indian music in the first place. So it seemed wholly appropriate that chance had played a part in my being in the pop up shop at the right time on Saturday.

'With Our Love We Could Save The World'..........

.......so sang George Harrison on the hauntingly beautiful song 'Within You Without You', which I first heard fifty years ago on the first of June 1967, when my big brother flipped over his newly purchased Sgt Pepper Album and played side two of the record. I was four years old and had instantly fallen in love with the picture of George Harrison inside the gate-fold sleeve of the album. To me at the time it was 'the song with funny sounding instruments' I knew nothing of Indian music let alone the names of the instruments used.

Funnily enough even though Sgt Pepper started a love affair with The Beatles music in general and George's music in particular which still endures, it isn't my favourite Beatles Album, I prefer 'Revolver', so with the fiftieth anniversary of 'Pepper' looming I wasn't particularly excited by it, until I started seeing various events advertised to mark the Celebration. In the past couple of weeks I have been to several events some ticketed and some free and I am so glad I did, I have listened to the album with fresh ears, and appreciate even more why it was so groundbreaking back in 1967 and why it remains such a huge influence on many musicians today. I am not a musician, I can't carry a tune in a bucket, so I will apologise now to any of my musician friends reading this if I get any technical terms wrong, however what is not in doubt is the way the music makes me feel and I want to share that with anyone who cares to read this.

Back in March 2017 I received a brochure from the Liverpool Philharmonic, advertising their up coming programme, one concert stood out - 'George Harrison's Journey to Indian Music' so after a quick chat with hubby I purchased tickets for us both to attend. At around the same time the events for the 'Pepper at 50' celebration in Liverpool were announced, thirteen events one to represent each of the tracks on the album, included was 'Ragafest' at St George's Hall a free event lasting all day at the Hall plus four ticketed Indian Music recitals happening throughout the day. The recitals included food being served typical to the area of India the music at the recital represented so I booked for the concert, which typified Northern India, which is where George spent time studying with Ravi Shankar.

The concert at the Philharmonic was scheduled for Friday 9th June 2017 and was a joint enterprise between Liverpool University and the Phil, as it turned out it was a magical evening that left me incapable of uttering anything but 'Wow' and 'Fabulous' for a good hour afterwards.

On arriving at the Philharmonic, as we walked up the stairs to the auditorium we glimpsed a beautiful image of George as a seventeen year old in Hamburg projected on a screen above the stage. From a distance it looked like a photograph but as we came closer we realised it was a beautiful drawing by David Rainey.

There was a strict no photography rule in operation throughout the evening, so I have no photographs to share of the evening. We quickly settled in our seats and we were sat on the left side of the auditorium, because of the way the stage had been set for the concert this meant we had a prime view of the Indian musicians taking part. So we were able to see the amazing dexterity with which they played their various instruments.

The concert opened with a band formed by Liverpool based songwriter and multi instrumentalist Thomas McConnell (aka Tom Low), specifically for the concert. Thomas was co lead arranger and performer for the Within You Without You concert, along with Jasdeep Singh Degun.

As well as Thomas on lead guitar and vocals the band featured Adam Dixon on bass, James Madden on rhythm guitar and LIPA graduate Joe Warriner on drums. They got the night off to a rocking start with 'Help!', significant as it was whilst filming on the set of Help! that George came across Indian Instruments for the first time. Our narrator for the evening self professed life long Beatles fan and accomplished actor Gerrard Fletcher, explained that it was a journey that came about because of a series of chance encounters, at a time when George was looking for something more than the mania he found himself surrounded by. Followed by 'If I Needed Someone' and 'I Need You' the lights dimmed and the Indian musicians took to the stage. Lead by award - winning sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun, with Kirpal Singh Panesar, performing on dilruba, Gurdain Rayatt on tabla and percussionist Pirashanna Thevarajah,

Our journey continued with a Raga, the beautifully haunting sounds of the dilruba, joined by the sitar and punctuated by tabla and dohl with tambura and swarmandel underlining the whole piece. After what had been a stressful week I felt the music wash over me and fill me with a sense of peacefulness and calm and could understand why George always said that the music spoke to him and entered his heart'

We heard the story of David Crosby from the Byrds introducing George to the music of the great Ravi Shankar, and how George had purchased a sitar from Indiacraft and started to experiment with playing. It was that sitar that he would use on the opening bars of 'Norwegian Wood' and so we were treated to a beautiful arrangement of the song, played by both the Indian musicians and the western band.

A broken string during the recording sessions for 'Norwegian Wood' lead to George meeting the Angadi family, the first Indian people George had met despite his love of the music. The first half of the concert finished with renditions of 'Taxman' and 'Love You To'.

During the Interval, a small table appeared at the front of the stage and a set of tablas and a harmonium were placed on it.

Part two started with a short film featuring members of the Angadi family explaining how George became a regular visitor to their home to listen to performances by members of the Asian Music Circle. Explaining how George first met Ravi Shankar in their home and, how George would practise sitar asking if had 'got it right' when playing memorised strings of musical notes. The film also introduced us to the family of Mr Amritt Gajjar and Mr Purushottam Dattatraya Joshi (known as Anna Joshi) both now sadly passed. We were told how George had invited them to play on his new composition 'Within You Without You' and how recording took so long because of issues tuning the Indian instruments in the studio. Mr Joshi's son also showed us the copy of Sgt Pepper that George had sent his father and explained it was two years before they played the record because they did not own a record player until 1969.

As well as insightful interviews with the families they had been generous enough to share photographs of George in the recording studio during the Sgt Pepper Sessions and also during his visits to the home of Mr and Mrs Angadi. Mr Buddhadev Kansara and Mr Natvar Soni were also interviewed in the film, and they spoke about how they had been musicians on the original recording of 'Within You Without You'

The film finished to a huge round of applause and then Gerrard Fletcher introduced Mr Kansara and Mr Soni to the audience, They held us spellbound as they performed traditional Indian folk music on tabla and harmonium with Mr Soni adding beautiful vocals. It was a truly magical moment to be able to witness this performance by two men whose playing I had been so influenced by at the age of four even though until now they had never been named individually as being the players on the Pepper Album only ever being credited as 'musicians of The Asian Music Circle'.

There followed a short ceremony where they were decorated with flower garlands in acknowledgement of their musical careers to much applause from the audience.

The concert moved on to explore the influences of different sounds that the Beatles were creating in 1966 and 1967 with performances of both 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. Then the Indian musicians took over and we were treated to what can only be described as a duel between percussion and tabla fingers becoming a blur as the beat became faster, building in excitement until the final notes.

Of course the main focus of the concert was always going to be 'Within You Without You' and as all the musicians assembled on stage they were joined by the string section of The Northern College of Music. As anticipated a pure version of 'Within You Without You' followed with the melody played by the Indian musicians and a perfect vocal performance by Thomas McConnell. I felt so calm just allowing the music to wash over me but the best was yet to come. The vocal version that every Beatles fan would recognise segued perfectly into an instrumental version. The Indian musicians joined by Thomas on acoustic guitar, then by the string section, A quick change of guitar by Thomas to an electric guitar, and the music continued to soar around the Philharmonic Hall, washing over us all like waves at first lapping then crashing on the shore of some distant beach. A final change of guitar to a 12 string and the rest of the rock band joined in to bring the whole to resounding crescendo that left me breathless. As the last notes died away I looked at my husband and just said 'Wow' words to describe it were completely inadequate and that was the best I could muster in the moment. Then the audience were on their feet giving the musicians a standing ovation so well and truly deserved.

I had fully intended posting about the concert on my facebook page but I couldn't write anything that came close to describing the way I felt. It was a perfect celebration of  George's song and the beautiful programme that was produced for the concert will sit alongside my programme from 'The Concert for George'
for many years to come.

Sunday 1 January 2017

Hello everyone,
It has been a while since I blogged anything during the second half of 2016 I felt that my crafting mojo was slipping away and needed some new challenges. When I attended a Harry Potter event in August I made my own wand to take along and seeing some of the crafts there inspired me to take on making a full cosplay outfit for the next event it is still a work in progress but once finished it will be on display here. As a result of my husband telling our eldest grandson that I had made my own wand our little Slytherin decided that he would like one too. I decided that it would make a very special Christmas present to go with his Slytherin scarf from the Warner Brothers shop so I set about making one from him.

Having learnt by trial and error whilst making my own wand from a holly twig and paper clay I decided I needed something that was more robust and easier to model with. I chose to use Milliput a two part epoxy modelling medium.

I wanted to make it a bit special so I also bought a Papier Mache pencil box and a gauze bag everything else I had in the house from other projects, or in the case of the holly wood base for the wand in my garden.

I used a pencil sharpener to shape one end of the holly twig and let it dry out for a week before doing anything to it.

Once it was dry I used the Milli put mixed in accordance with the instructions and modelled the handle direct onto the twig. I used water to get a really smooth finish and took the milliput all the way down the twig and over the tip so it wasn't sharp.

Once it had dried I left it a couple of days sanded it painted it in various shades of brown acrylic and varnished it adding a green stone to the end.

The box I covered in some decopatch paper from my stash and lined it with a piece of satin from a fabric sample book.

Once all the glue was dry I added the metal corners and varnished it with deco art water based varnish.

I used the computer to make the label and aged it using distress ink nd gilding wax before adding it to the lid and covering it in another coat of varnish.

I printed the scroll giving the wand details and added my grandson's name explaining that the wand had chosen him on 25th December 2016. I also found a poster on Pinterest with all the wand movements and printed this off to fold in the box with the wand and scroll.

Finally I popped it in the bag and added the Wand chooses the Wizard tag.

I really had fun doing this project and Damien loved it when he opened his presents on Christmas morning.

I am entering this project into the following challenges.
http://lilpatchofcraftyfriends.blogspot.co.uk/  - Anything goes
http://craftyfriendschallengeblog.blogspot.co.uk/ - Anything goes
http://pdelinkyparty.blogspot.co.uk/ Anything goes
http://thatscraftychallenges.blogspot.co.uk/ - Anything goes

Monday 15 August 2016

Use 3 Embellishments at Ooh La La Creations

Hi All.

Firstly thank you for all the gorgeous cards and projects you entered in the last Ooh La La. To see if you made the top three pop over to the Ooh La La Creations Challenge blog. This time our theme is

'Use Three Embellishments' that can be 3 of the same type or three different ones.

I used the Shawn Jenkins Collection CD to make my card you can purchase your copy from Ooh La La Creations by clicking on the image below.

here is my card 

I used a plain matt gold card for the background and then mounted the papers on pink card and the topper on pink and gold. Layered them up added the sentiment and three pearls. 

Pop over to the challenge blog to see what the girls have come up with this week and don't forget to pop by the DT blogs and leave them some love.

Monday 1 August 2016

Ribbons and Bows at Ooh La La Creations

Firstly thanks for all your wonderful entries into the 'Add Some Texture' challenge last time. to see if you have made the top three check out the Ooh La La Creations Challenge blog

It is my turn to choose a challenge this time and I decided to go with...

 Ribbons and Bows.

I used the 'Yesterday's Memories CD you can purchase your copy in the online shop by clicking on the image below.

Here is the card I made using the Wedding day folder of  images and papers which I have adapted for a Wedding Anniversary.

I had some lovely deep pink ribbon with a sparkle in it and used this to wrap round a panel of the paler backing paper from the folder. I then mounted this onto gold card and added it to the top of the darker backing paper which had also been mounted on gold card and a piece off lace wrapped round it.

I was left with a tiny scrap of the sparkle ribbon and cut a v shaped tail to tuck under the topper with the seniment so that it was not wasted (I hate wasting crafting bits and bobs) added a deep burgundy organza bow and a few pearls to finish.

Be sure to pop over to the Ooh La La Challenge blog to see what the DT have come up with for this challenge. 

Monday 18 July 2016

Add some texture with Ooh La La Creations

Hi everyone and it looks as if summer may have started here at long last.

Thank you for all your things beginning with F for the last challenge there were some lovely entries. Pop over to Ooh La La Creations challenge blog to see if you made the top three.

This time our theme is .....

Add Some Texture

I used papers from 'Yesterday's Memories' for my creation and if you click on the image below it will take you to the Ooh La La Creations shop

I knew I wanted to use several different textures on the card, and as I was thinking what to do I also happened to take a delivery of flowers by post from a company called Bloom and Wild. On opening the box of flowers I first discovered the lovely textured golden ribbon, then I noticed that each of the delicate rose buds had been wrapped in net to stop them getting damaged, having finally lifted all the flowers out of the box I noticed that the lovely quote about flowers was printed on the inside of the box. At that point an idea started to form and so I took a picture of the flowers now arranged in a vase, on seeing the photograph on my computer screen I knew exactly the papers from The Yesterday's Memories CD which would work with the photograph.

I printed the picture of the flowers and I used My Craft Studio to overlay the quotation on one of the Ooh La La papers - this is a really subtle printed paper from the Wedding Day folder.  I also printed the basket weave paper from the Roses folder.

I matted and layered the panels of paper, photograph and quotation onto dark green paper and then a lovely matt gold card from my stash.

I added the gold textured ribbon around the centre panel and added a pink pom-pom trim to the top and bottom of the panel.

I cut the musical stave from the dark green backing card and added this before adding the quotation and the photograph.

I made a spray of rosebuds from some paper flowers in my stash and added little pieces cut from the protective netting. I added more texture with the metal leaf and butterfly embellishments and finished off with some flat backed pearls.

This was the first delivery from Bloom and Wild and I have a subscription for a delivery every month. I am looking forward to all the bits I can recycle as much as I am to the flowers. 

Monday 4 July 2016

Something beginning with F at Ooh La La creations.

Hello everyone, and thank you for all your good wishes with regards to my Dad over the past few weeks they helped enormously.

Last time Out we asked for Sun Sea and Sand and we certainly got it. looking through all the lovely entries certainly made the days seem brighter during the foul start we are having to the summer here in England.

To see if your card was chosen as one of the top three check out the Ooh La La Creations Blog .

This time our challenge is...
 'Something Beginning with F'.

I have to admit at first this one got me wondering then I hit on the idea of designing a father's Day Card with a fancy fold that featured flight as the subject.

I used the 'Boys to Men' CD for the image and the papers which I printed directly onto the card.

You can check out the range of Ooh La La Cd's available by going over to the shop

I used an image from the traditional decoupage section for the back piece of the pop up box and then cropped the large balloon and played around with the size and colours in My Craft Studio for the individual balloons. I cut the individual balloons out and mounted them on acetate strips cut from a plastic container that had once contained soft fruit (washed and dried of course).

I mounted these on the strips inside so that the balloons looked as if they were flying, and added a sentiment and a message on the back of the card.

I am happy to report that Dad really loved it, and that he had a very Happy Fathers' Day in his new home, and going to one of our favourite restaurants for lunch. I also took him some home baked goodies all his favourites from Mum's old recipe book as a gift.

Of course theer are lots of other things beginning with F and several of these feature in the other DT projects for this challenge so pop over to their blogs and leave them some love.