Wednesday, 17 May 2017

WOYWW 415

An extremely busy week and I’ve been out all day today, so only had time to snap a photo of my desk and get it on the computer, but I think 11.30 p.m. still qualifies to enter a Wednesday blog hop! Unfortunately I’m not going to have time to visit any desks, and it may be a while before any visitors to my blog get a reply, but I’ll do my best!

WOYWW 415 17-5-17

It’s not a very interesting desk this week, I’m afraid. On the left are the info sheets about the Infusions Mini-Album page order. Details here. To the right are the three bundles of pages which are now in order to make three separate books, which will be bound together into one cover. There’s still quite a bit to do on them as I have to make title pages for each section, and the tags to go into the loo roll centres. There are some reject pages on the far left of the picture – some of these are failures and others are ones I decided to omit from the album, which will go in my stash to be used for other projects.

Talking of which, a couple of days ago I used one to make a birthday card for my hubby, as it’s his birthday on Friday. Full details here.

17 Finished Card

Busy busy busy this week with something on all day most days! Yesterday and today I attended a Christian conference which ran all day, with evening sessions too. Quite brilliant and my head is still buzzing with it all. Plenty of new material to incorporate into my teaching sessions, and a lot to think about. Dashing home at tea time and getting a simple meal on, and then dashing out again!

Tomorrow we are off to the Devon County Show, which is one of my favourite days out in the whole year. It will be another long day, with a meal out at the end of it. We are more or less celebrating my hubby’s birthday tomorrow because I’m busy again on Friday with the Cancer Cakeathon meeting in the afternoon – our regular monthly get-together of friends who have met through our cancer. We sit about and chat and laugh and eat a lot of cake! I am quite relieved that my Bible study group has been cancelled in the evening because by then I shall need a long rest, I think! However, it’s not to be, because I’m singing at church this coming Sunday and the next, so have practising to do – having been busy with a lot of other things recently, my guitar playing needs brushing up a bit.

Health Update

On Sunday we went to the private hospital in Torquay which takes NHS overflow, for my CT scan to see if my hernia has returned. Details here. It was in the mobile scanning unit, which I’ve never been in before – I’ve had MRI scans in the past in the mobile unit but not a CT scan. It went smoothly and I was in and out pretty quickly – a lot more quickly than previous scans at Torbay Hospital where you are sitting around for hours! Not sure when I shall get the result but soon, I hope. It will confirm whether or not I require further surgery to do a more permanent repair on the hernia, to prevent any further obstructions.

On Monday we had to go to the GP’s surgery for a blood test in advance of my oncology appointment next week. Having had the cannula in the vein in my arm the day before, she went in slightly above, and because I’m on rivaroxaban (an anticoagulant) I’m a terrible little bleeder and I’ve now got a lovely red wheal on my arm! Pretty.

In the middle of all this busyness I was not best pleased when my hubby came home with a cold. I tried to keep away from him, but unfortunately I have caught it. Fortunately it’s not too bad and I’ve managed to keep going, but it’s inconvenient and a huge bore.

Kitty Health Update

Phoebe still up and down. She had a very subdued day a couple of days ago and didn’t eat, and was very clingy, but the next day she was better again and eating well. We continue to keep a close eye on her.

Same with Beatrice really – some days she walks as if drunk, and then the next day she’s rushing about like a crazy kitten! She’s no good at jumping up on things any more as she seems to have lost the spring in her back legs, and she falls off things. If she was a person, she’d probably have a granny frame by now.

They both seem contented enough and neither seems to be in pain, so we will keep them going as long as we can, our two old ladies!

Have a great week, everyone, and I’ll try and catch up with you later.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Infusions Mini-Album Organisation and Other Matters

I’ve got a very busy schedule this week, as I’m out all day today and tomorrow at a Christian gathering (not sure how else to describe it because I’ve no idea what’s going to happen and all I’ve been told is that it is going to be quite unlike anything I’ve attended before!), and we are off to the County Show on Thursday. Friday is always a pretty busy day for me, and this week we’ve got our monthly Cancer Cakeathon at the cancer support centre – this is an informal get-together where we sit around for a couple of hours chatting, laughing a lot, and eating loads of cake!! Can’t be bad. I am relieved that the Bible Study group on Friday night has had to be cancelled because by that time I expect I shall be fit for nothing!! It’s my hubby’s birthday on Friday but he’s not going to see much of me, I’m afraid. We’ll have to celebrate on another day. Also, yesterday we had to go to the GP’s surgery for me to have a blood test in advance of my oncology appointment on 25th May, and I had my CT scan on Sunday, too. Phew… I shall need a rest next week!

Anyway I thought I’d just post about the latest on the Infusions Mini-Album. I was getting completely bogged down with my scrappy notes on organising the pages and writing down what I did on each sample. This is how it ended up looking.

01 Original Instructions

The night before last I put it all on the computer in tabulated form, and this should be a lot easier to follow.

02 Typed Instructions

I’ve got room to make amendments if I need to. By the time I’ve finished, I expect this list will be ink-spattered and covered with glue and who knows what!

The pages are now all in order, and separated into the three books, and held together with elastic bands.

06 Pages for Three Books

I’ve still got to decide what extra pages to do for Book 2 which isn’t as thick as the others, but I shall do the title pages for each section and the tags first, so that I get a realistic idea of how thick everything is going to be.

I haven’t been able to do any more work on the album because yesterday I had to work on my hubby’ birthday card, if he was going to end up with anything on his birthday on Friday! Fortunately I had plenty of bits in my stash to assemble together. I think it’s a good idea when making anything, to make extra bits while you are doing it, and save them for projects like this – you never know when you’ve got to come up with something in a hurry. I’ve got quite a few card toppers now, and I should be able to rustle up something fairly quickly if it’s just a case of making a card base and adding a sentiment. My new stamp platform is going to make a big difference too.

I’m really keen to get the Infusions album finished quickly now, because my new Distress Oxide inks have been sitting on my desk for several weeks, still unopened! I am dying to play with those.

Kitties

Beatrice has on and off days with her legs. Today she’s been quite wobbly again, but on other days she rushes about with her tail in the air like a kitten. She’s not good at jumping up and usually fails in the attempt, resorting to climbing up with the aid of her claws as if our legs are tree trunks. Ouch. She will be 17 at the end of next month.

Phoebe is not doing so well now. Over the past couple of weeks she’s seemed OK, and has been very hungry, but still very thin. We think that she is unable to absorb much nourishment from what she’s eating. She has been looking after herself and her fur is soft and healthy, and she spends quite a bit of time (weather permitting) in the garden, coming in smelling of fresh air, and when it’s not so warm, lying in the sun indoors. Yesterday, however, she didn’t eat and seemed very listless. She is also quite clingy and wants to be with us as much as possible, and seems pretty subdued. We are keeping a very close eye on her and know that the day looms ever nearer when we are going to have to take her to the vet for the last time.

Pantry

I’m still waiting for the kitchen fitter and the carpenter to come and see me to discuss what I want, and how they are going to do it. They were supposed to come last Thursday but the kitchen fitter had forgotten all about it… I managed to get through to him today and he’s been trying to get in touch with the carpenter. I told him I’d be out all this week except Friday and asked if he could arrange to come then. I really want to get this work started because they will both be continuing to get booked up weeks ahead. I am coping OK in the tiny kitchen in the flat, but I can’t do any serious cooking because there’s so little space to put anything – it’s like being in a caravan or a boat! Still, I am very grateful that we’ve got that. I could move back into my big kitchen but there’s nowhere to store the food at the moment, and it would mean going between the kitchen and the flat all the time. Also, I can’t find half my stuff at the moment, and it’s very irritating when you’re at a critical moment, not to be able to lay your hand on something when you need it! I wasted about 10 minutes the other day in the middle of cooking a meal, because I couldn’t find the soy sauce. I am so looking forward to having my new pantry, and bringing all the stuff back in, and getting organised again. It will be like having a new kitchen all over again! In the meantime, I am very, very relieved and happy that the dry rot problem has been dealt with, at any rate.

I shall try and upload a WOYWW post on Wednesday but probably won’t be able to visit many desks.

How time marches on. All the primroses have finished in the garden, and the Clematis montana is losing its flowers fast. The spring seems such a short season. I don’t know where this year is going – we’re nearly half-way through already. I can’t believe it is two years ago this month that I started my chemo.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Infusions Birthday Card for my Hubby

Panic stations! Suddenly remembered I hadn’t made a card for my hubby’s birthday at the end of this week, and I’ve got a very busy week ahead. I thought I’d better get my skates on.

17 Finished Card

My Infusions mini-album, that I have been working on for the past few weeks, has generated quite a few reject pages, and some perfectly good ones which I decided on balance not to include. These are still hanging around on my workdesk and will eventually find their way into my stash for future use, and I chose one today that I thought might make a nice card – it was one of the ones I made with Polyfilla through my own brick stencil, as I only needed one for the album.

10 Red Stencil Sheets

I have a few tiny scraps left from my Infusions mask and spray 12 x 12 sheets that I made last year, most of which were used up on the Mamhead mini-album for the end-papers and cover. I have a few of the flowers and leaves left, and also a few of the Heartfelt Creations stamp/die cut combos I made some time ago, so rootling around in that little lot, I came up with enough materials to put together quite a nice card.

I began by looking out the pack of jute fibre I bought from Ebay ages ago. This is very fine and wasn’t quite what I wanted when it first arrived, but I thought with a bit of persuasion I could coil it up and make it do more what I wanted! Being a natural fibre, it absorbs ink pretty well, so I began by colouring a few strands, using Distress Stains in Walnut Stain and Vintage photo. I stuck the ends together with Scotch Quick Dry adhesive to make the whole thing a bit more manageable.

01 Colouring the Jute Fibre

Once they were coloured, I wrapped them around the handle of a fat paintbrush and spritzed them with water. I held them there for a few minutes and gently dried them with my heat gun – a bit like setting hair!

02 Wrapping Jute around Paintbrush Handle

When I pulled them off, they looked like this:

03 Jute Removed from Paintbrush Handle

I was quite pleased that they had held their shape so well. All that was required was to tease them out a bit, ready for use.

04 Jute Fibres Teased Out

I stuck the bundle onto the card with a little strip of masking tape.

05 Jute Taped to Card

I selected two of the Heartfelt Creations flowers which I’d already hand-embossed, and stuck them down onto the card with Pinflair gel glue, covering up the masking tape on the jute fibres.

06 Flowers Stuck to Card

I had cut a few leaf trails for the Mamhead album and I coloured these with two Distress stains, Forest Moss and Bundled Sage.

07 Colouring the Leaf Trails 1

08 Colouring the Leaf Trails 2

This gave a nice mottled effect which was a bit more natural-looking than a flat dark green.

09 The Leaf Trails Coloured

I ended up needing another of the large ones, but this didn’t take long to do afterwards.

Assembling the piece.

10 Leaf Trails Stuck to Card and Stickles on Flowers

I attached the leaf trails using soft matte gel medium, and added some Orange Peel Stickles (glitter glue) to the centres of the flowers. This was how it looked at this stage.

11 Completed Topper Drying

The Stickles and Pinflair glue take ages to dry, so I left the piece out overnight.

Next day it was dry, so I could complete the project. I folded a piece of white A4 card in half and inked the edges with Antique Linen Distress Ink – the white card was far too stark and bright. I found the last of some mottled brown card that I had in my stash which I’ve been anxious to use up, and cut it to size to mat and layer. The cut edges were very white so I inked those with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

12 Matting and Layering the Card Base

I also distressed the edges of the inside of the card with Antique Linen Distress Ink.

Time to use my wonderful new Tonic stamp platform for the sentiment inside! I tried it out the other day when I made my copper and sepia card. This time I used it side-to-side so I could put my card in. I did a few trial runs with scrap paper to make sure the stamps were correctly positioned.

13 Stamping Sentiment Inside

The materials for stamping the sentiment. I used the Stampin’ Up “Memorable Moments” stamp set which is useful because you can mix and match the stamps. I used Pumice Stone Distress Ink, and as this is fairly pale, I stamped it three times. One of the great things about the stamp platform is the ability to stamp again in exactly the same place – very useful if you get an incomplete impression first time. I’ve never been that great at stamping, and I’m so glad I bought this new gadget!

14 Stamps and Ink for Sentiment Inside

I thought the inside of the card looked a bit bare, so I got out my bricks stencil and taped it in place, and used an Inkylicious Ink Duster and Antique Linen Distress Ink to create a bit of interest.

15 Stencilling the Inside

The finished result. The brickwork nicely echoes the theme of the front of the card.

16 The Inside Stencilled

The finished card.

17 Finished Card

The little strips forming a partial frame were in the box of scraps left from the Infusions 12 x 12 pages and I thought I might as well use them up! There’s not much left of that paper now. The Happy Birthday sentiment was in my stash – I think it was part of a pack of odds and ends I received as a gift from a friend some time ago.

A detail shot of the topper. My hubby loves his garden so I hope he will like this floral card. I don’t think it’s too girlie!

18 Card Topper Detail

Phew! What a relief! Completed it in time!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

CT Scan–Has Miss Piggy Returned?

Following on from my appointment with the surgeon 2 1/2 weeks ago, I had my CT scan today, at Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay, to find out whether Miss Piggy, my hernia, has returned. This is a private hospital, but it takes NHS overflow for various procedures. Today the mobile CT scanning unit was in the car park and this is where we went.

The whole thing took a lot shorter time than the scans I’ve had at Torbay Hospital, where you are sitting around for ages, drinking and waiting your turn, and afterwards they like to keep you hanging around for a while longer before removing your cannula in case you exhibit any adverse symptoms from the X-ray dye. Today, though, we sat in the waiting room near the entrance to the hospital and were soon called, and they did the procedure straight away, inserting the cannula into my arm for the dye, and removing it immediately after the scan.

Mr. Pullan, my surgeon, had instructed me to perform the Valsalva manoeuvre in the scanner. Normally, you have to take in a breath and hold it while the scan takes place, but in order to make any hernia more obvious, I was instructed to exhale against my closed glottis in order to produce a strain on my abdomen.

I should have the result of the scan fairly soon – I was told that the report would be made pretty quickly, but there may be a delay in hearing from Mr. Pullan – I don’t know if they will phone, or whether they will call me in for another appointment.

I have been spending the past 2 1/2 weeks hoping the hernia has come back, so that they will go ahead and do the permanent repair in a controlled fashion, so that I am properly prepared and as fit as possible before the operation. The alternative is to wait for the sutured repair, done three months ago, to fail, and this could happen at any time, out of our control, and I am anxious to avoid the possibility of another obstruction, which would put me back in hospital requiring another emergency operation, again most likely performed by a general surgeon who is not qualified to insert the mesh around the stoma. He would again make a sutured repair, and we’d be back to square one again. There is a limited number of times the procedure can be done, and eventually the area would be so weakened that they’d have to relocate the stoma to the other side of my abdomen, which I am very anxious to avoid at all costs.

It’s a weird position to be in, hoping against hope for a hernia! Ah well, my life these days seems to consist of a series of weirdnesses, one way or another! We shall just have to wait and see what the scan reveals.

Infusions Mini-Album–Additional Pages

Sorting through my Infusions samples and trying to arrange the pages into a satisfactory order, I realised that I probably needed to add a few. I had decided that I had far too many to make a single book, and divided them into three separate books which will all be bound in the same larger cover, but it was really hard to get them all more or less the same thickness. Some of the pages are simply glued back-to-back, and others are glued either side of a flattened toilet roll centre – these will have a tag inserted, which in turn will make the pages thicker. The middle book is quite a bit thinner than the other two, so I thought the simplest solution would be to add a few more pages, especially if I could add elements to thicken them up a bit!

Also, I needed one or two extra pages to make the pairings work properly, especially as I have to incorporate pages with the title of the next section.

The first additional page was made by dabbing Versamark embossing ink onto the page through a stencil – in this case, I used a piece I’d cut with Sheba, my Cougar electronic cutting machine, ages ago, to file away with my sample pieces with the machine settings I’d need to use for that particular medium. This worked pretty well as a stencil, but I had to be careful with the centres of the spirals which tended to lift a bit. I think I may use this file to cut a stencil from some other material as it’s quite nice, and with care, works well.

98 Versamark through Stencil

After applying the Versamark, I sprinkled some Sunset Beach Infusions from set 1, quite liberally, over the stencil. I spritzed this very lightly, with a fine mist from some distance above, so that it wouldn’t get too wet and flow under the thin sections of the stencil. I held it down as much as possible with my fingers, in addition to taping both the page and the stencil to my craft sheet with masking tape. After spritzing, I left it for several minutes to activate.

99 Infusions onto Versamark throug Stencil

Here is the piece immediately after I carefully lifted the stencil away. You can see that the edges are sharply defined, and that it worked well.

100 Versamark through Stencil Immed After Lifting Stencil

After this I dried it with my heat gun, and brushed away any stray crystals that hadn’t activated.

101 Versamark through Stencil - Infusions Dried

The white background looked a bit stark, so I added some Distress Inks in Spiced Marmalade and Abandoned Coral, using an Inkylicious Ink Duster, and then some Vintage Photo to distress the edges of the sample, using a home-made ink blending pad. I used this particular colour scheme to pair it with another page.

102 Versamark through Stencil - DI Background

Here is the completed piece.

103 Versamark through Stencil Complete

To bulk up Book Two a bit, I did another page with some gesso, this time stamping into wet gesso. For this, I used some of the stamps from the Stampin’ Up “Mosaic Madness” set, sticking them all onto an acrylic block and stamping them all at once into the wet gesso. I was careful to clean them off immediately after doing this, because gesso dries very quickly and I didn’t want to ruin my stamps.

104 Stamping Gesso - Materials

I dried the sample with my heat gun and once I was satisfied it was dry enough, I sprinkled on some Violetta Infusions from set 2. I spritzed it until it was very wet, and almost immediately blotted it off with kitchen paper to create a pale background, with darker areas where the stamping was.

I spritzed it again, and tilted the card to move the Infusions around, making sure they pooled in the stamped areas, and then I added a very small amount of Infusions, and left this to stand, in order to activate them.

105 Stamping Gesso Complete

I realised that I hadn’t included my “mask and spray” technique, which I’d be sad to omit, since I think I invented this! I did it first with Dylusions spray inks, but thought it would also work with Infusions, which it did. I made two 12 x 12 sheets and I used nearly all of these when I bound my Mamhead mini-album at the beginning of this year, but I still had a few offcuts left, together with some flowers and leaves that had been used in the masking process, so I decided to use these in the Infusions mini-album.

This is a mock-up I’ve done to show some of the cut leaves and flowers laid onto a page made from the remaining leaf mask and spray offcuts.

106 Mask and Spray Mock-Up

Here are the four additional pages together.

107 Four New Pages

All the pages I’ve completed have been flattened under heavy books, and stacked together with elastic bands into their respective three volumes. I need to make a few more pages for Book Two, and then the next step will be to make the title pages for each section, and then start on the tags. Once this is done, and the tags are all inserted into the right pages, I will be able to make the binding, as I will know how thick each page will be. When the three small books are bound, I can begin on the large outer binding. Still a lot to do, but now that the page organisation is pretty much sorted, the end is in sight!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

WOYWW 414

I’ve managed to put in a bit of studio time this week, and have put together a few more pages for my Infusions samples mini-album. I’ve decided there are too many pages to bind into a normal book, so I’m planning on having three, arranged one above the other, in a single larger cover, which will deal with the problem of too much thickness, and also create a more interesting book.

Not a very interesting view of my desk this week but here it is. Sorted pages on the left. The bundle on the right are ready to be made up – I need to paint some more loo rolls with black gesso and then stick the samples on.

WOYWW 414 10-5-17

I also made a thank-you card this week, based on an idea I had for my Mamhead mini-album last year – tracing on parchment over a photo.

05 Finished Card with Sentiment

I did manage to complete another piece of embroidery.

16 Primary Colours on Striped Background

Pantry

Yesterday our neighbour blocked up the old defunct ventilator and installed a new one, ready for my new walk-in pantry.

04 Old Ventilator Bricked Up

Once this is dry, he will come back and plaster it, and fit the grille over the new ventilator.

Tomorrow evening the kitchen fitter and carpenter are coming round to have a look at the site for the new pantry, so we can discuss the way forward. Neither can start the work for a month or two so in the meantime I am continuing in Mum’s tiny kitchen in the flat.

Health Update

I didn’t make WOYWW last week because there was quite a lot on, and I had a hospital appointment on the Thursday before, and since then I’ve been very tired. I saw my surgeon, and he booked me in for a CT scan to see if the hernia had come back, as he said his examination was inconclusive, and he was a bit concerned about it. Full details here. He said that unless the hernia returns, I won’t be having an operation to do a more permanent repair, which I’m not too happy about, but we shall have to wait and see. At the weekend I got the appointment through for the scan, which is this coming Sunday at lunch time.

I still haven’t got my support pants for the hernia. I am really fed up with the whole situation. The stoma nurse is now aware of the situation and will be writing to the company, so I hope it gets sorted soon.

I seem to be taking a bit of a dip with my ME at the moment, with more than usual fatigue, brainfog and bad sleeping. It’s a bore, but nothing to be done except rest and hope it improves again soon. There has been rather a lot going on lately which probably accounts for it.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Ventilator for Walk-In Pantry

On Thursday evening, the kitchen fitter and the carpenter are coming to look at the site of our new walk-in pantry. They are both too busy to start the work immediately, but they said it would be good to look at it together so that we could discuss what was required, and what would be possible. The other day I spoke to Gary, our neighbour who recommended them and the damp proofing company, and he told me that the kitchen fitter would be able to source a slab of marble or equivalent for my pantry, which is good news.

Today Gary came round and installed the new ventilator. There was an old one higher up, but although the grilles for it were still there, on the inside and outside walls, the ventilator itself had been blocked up at some stage. Gary said the ventilation would be more effective at the bottom anyway, so he said he would install a new one there, and remove the grille from the existing one and block up the hole and plaster over it, so that the wall would be nice and smooth, ready for the shelves to be fitted.

01 Putting in New Ventilator

In this detail shot, you can see what a neat job he has done, and as he hadn’t yet fitted the grille to the outside, you can see the light coming in from outside.

02 Putting in New Ventilator Detail

All done, the outside grille installed, and the floor swept up (he is such a neat worker and always uses dust sheets), and once it is dry, he will fit the sliding cover for it.

03 Putting in New Ventilator - Drying

The whole of the recess, showing the upper ventilator having been bricked up.

04 Old Ventilator Bricked Up

Detail of the upper ventilator brickwork. Once this is dry, he will plaster over it.

05 Old Ventilator Bricked Up Detail

Outside, you can see the existing old metal grille at the top, and the new one at the bottom. He said he would leave the old grille because it won’t cause any problems.

06 Ventilators Outside

The grille for the new ventilator. Once it is dry, it will blend in pretty well.

07 New Ventilator Outside Detail

Gary told me that if you use a traditional air brick on the outside, it only lets in about 30-50 percent of the air, but this type of ventilator, which has sloping slats a bit like a Venetian blind, draws in 90 percent. The flow can be controlled from the inside by the sliding panel on the ventilator grille. We won’t want a roaring draught in the middle of winter!

This whole job may be taking a while to complete, but it is happening, gradually, step by step! Meanwhile, I am still managing pretty well in Mum’s tiny kitchen in the flat, as long as I keep on top of the washing up. If not, I soon get inundated and can’t move in there. My baking is on hold for the time being, and I’m not doing a lot of very complicated cooking. Fortunately the freezer is well stocked at the moment.

I’d hummed and ha’d about whether it was worth having a ventilator, but on balance I decided that no self-respecting walk-in pantry should be without one, and it would make it a much more effective cold storage space, and worth having done before the rest of the work was begun. He had the job done in no time. He will have the grille screwed on well before the main work on the pantry begins. We are so fortunate to have Gary living so close by as he can turn his hand to anything and is such a perfectionist! Also, he knows everybody worth knowing, and would never recommend a tradesman that he wasn’t prepared to use himself, or that hadn’t been tried and tested to his exacting standards. He does quite a bit of work for our other neighbours too, and is currently working on the garden wall for our next-door neighbour.

Hopefully I will have some more news after Thursday evening about what our new walk-in pantry will be like.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Copper and Sepia Thank You Card

This evening I made a thank you card for a friend. She had seen my Mamhead album and admired one of the sepia tracing pages, so I made her a card based on the same photo and the same technique.

05 Finished Card with Sentiment

The photo doesn’t really do it justice unfortunately.

Here is the original photo.

01 Original Photo

I printed out the photo to the size I wanted for the card, and laid some parchment paper over the top and taped it down. I traced some of the outlines using a sepia pen.

02 Tracing the Photo

I used copper Perfect Pearls from my Perfect Pearls palette to pick out some leaves and stems, with a fine watercolour brush.

03 Adding the Copper Perfect Pearls

I cut the two pieces of paper out with a craft knife, allowing a small amount extra of the parchment down the left side, which I folded under, and stuck to the back of the photo, so that the parchment tracing could be peeled back to reveal the photo, as I had done for the album – the album page was done in gold rather than copper.

21 Turning Back the Gold Overlay

This is a lovely technique because both layers enhance each other, and it makes the page (or card) interactive.

To finish the card I matted and layered the picture onto some copper metallic paper and some mottled brown paper from my stash, and mounted the whole thing onto a tent-folded piece of A5 pale yellow card.

04 Finished Card

I thought it needed something extra, so I found some silvery-grey “Thank You” sentiments in my stash box which I’d cut with my Cougar electronic cutting machine some time back – they tone really well with the parchment paper – and stuck them down using Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive, and outlined them with the sepia pen. Using a home-made ink blending tool, I also sponged on some Tea Dye distress ink around the edges because the card base was showing a bit, and this definitely improves the appearance.

05 Finished Card with Sentiment

I added a tiny spot of two-way glue pen onto the top right corner of the photo – if you apply this glue and allow it to dry, it becomes like the glue on post-it notes. I did this to keep the tracing in place and to stop it flopping forwards. It can be peeled back to reveal the photo, and then repositioned. It did occur to me later that it might have been more sensible to attach the parchment piece at the top rather than at the side but I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted and brainfogged lately so put it down to that!

Earlier today I continued to work on my Infusions album, sticking the samples onto the flattened toilet rolls – I didn’t bother to photograph this because it really wasn’t very interesting – just a rather tedious, messy job! You can see when I started this the other day. This is my least favourite part of making an album. I seem to be making an awful lot of pages and I think there are too many for a single album and I am thinking about binding two or three separate ones into one large cover, which could be quite intriguing.

The latest pages are now under a stack of heavy books to flatten them.

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