Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Remember...the blood swept lands and sea of red

Last Thursday I enjoyed a wonderful and memorable day in London with my dear Mum. We met at Harrods (more on that another post) and after lunch we took the tube to Tower Hill as we wanted to see the poppies which are multiplying by the thousands in the moat of the Tower of London. For those of you who may not be aware of this incredible venture, it is to remember the 888,246 British lives lost in the First World War, as this year is the centenary of the start of the Great War. The idea was devised by the British Legion and 888,246 ceramic poppies are being made and will have been planted in the moat of The Tower by this Remembrance Day, 11th November. If you follow the link here you can read the details. I have bought one of the ceramic poppies myself and it will be delivered to my home when the display is taken down in the middle of November. If you would also like to buy a piece of history you can purchase them here. The aim is the raise millions of pounds for charity. It is such a worthy cause.

I have not been up to the Tower of London since I was a little girl and I was delighted to see how much the area has been tidied up. There has obviously been a lot of money spent and the visitor area and surrounds are really vibrant. There were a lot of people around that afternoon as the Queen chose to visit that morning.
This was the sight as we approached from the exit of the tube.

We were blown away by the sight of  poppies. It really is a sea of red and quite extraordinary. It is not yet finished, there are still thousands more to plant. I love that  the Tower which dates from 1080 sits amongst some of our most modern London buildings, including The Shard, which you can see above.

 What a sobering though that every single poppy represents one British soldier who was killed during this terrible war. 

 Below is my Mum contemplating the scene.

We walked all around the Tower and also along the river.

We also spotted this character wandering among the poppies
 How cool to see one of the Tower ravens out for a stroll

and here are the hand made ceramic poppies in close up.

Mum and I  then sat down at  Costa to chat over coffee before we headed home and we had a very interesting conversation.

My Mum's Mum, my Nan (sadly I did not know her as I was only 5 months old when she died) was married at 18 to her sweetheart. He went off to war and was killed just 6 months later. Yes she was a widow at just 18. Both young victims of the horror of war.

Years later my Nan met my Grandad, married and had 3 children, 2 daughters and a son. My Mum is the eldest. Mum recently showed me this lovely photo of my Granddad. He also served in the First World War but thank goodness came home alive.
This is my Grandad in the uniform of the Woolwich Military Hospital where he was sent to recover from a badly injured leg after being kicked by a gun-carriage horse. He joined the Royal Horse Artillery as he worked with horses all his teenage life. After his recovery he was sent back and found in the battle of the Somme as a leading gunner.

As we both sipped our coffee I pondered one very sobering thought. Had my Nan's first husband returned alive from the war my Nan would never had met and married my Grandad and none of us would ever have been born. No Mum, no Me, no daughter, no son or Daisy.......what a sobering thought. Life really does move in so many different directions, the only thing that is certain is change.

So although one of those poppies sadly represents someone from our family, there is always hope too as my Grandad did return...and the rest of course is history.

I was so inspired by our visit and the stories of my family that I  knew I had to make a Moment for Jane's Journal and that it should feature my darling granddad.

I wanted the background to show the colours of the moat at the Tower of London. I used my Dylusions sprays first. The red for the poppies

and the green for the grass.
I added some stamping, using some floral stamps. I really liked the slightly ghostly effect they gave.

I also added some script with my Visible Image Bronte script stamp and red archival ink
and some partial stamping with green archival ink
I wanted to use my Grandad's photo so I altered a Tim Holtz card frame. First I stamped it with my Bronte script and coloured it with DIs. I added some crackle paint and left it to dry.
I loved this vintage effect.
I scanned the photo of my grandad and played with sizes.

I also wanted a raven or 2 to feature so I added clear embossing to a die cut to make it shine like the coat of the raven we saw.
I also made a few other embellishments and then it was time to put my Moment together............................
and here it is.
 and a few close ups

I think this Tim Holtz stamp is so appropriate
How history changed my own life.

If you get a chance to visit the Poppies at the Tower please do, It is a very humbling experience but I also found it also gives hope. I remembered my dear Granddad and how he not only lived through but survived the war. He was such a major part of my childhood and I spent many happy days with him as we lived in his house.  He really was my friend as well as a dear grandparent. He passed away when I was 13 and my memories of this very special man are of love and laughter. I hope he is smiling down at my Moment and that the little raven I added made him chuckle.

I would like to enter my Moment into the following challenges;

Cheery Lynn vintage
Pile it on Cheerful/uplifting message
Allsorts embossing my large raven has been embossed with clear embossing powder
Divas by Design texture
The Artistic Stamper memories
Simon Says Stamp Monday anything goes
Whimsy Stamps anything goes
Country View  sparkle and shine
Loves Rubberstamps warm colours
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Craft Hoarders anonymous  Layers

We must remember all those who died in that dreadful First World War, 100 years ago. Such a waste of precious lives. Over the years thousands of our British soldiers have fought and sadly too often sacrificed their lives to give us the freedom we have in this world.

Here's to the memories of all those fallen men including my Nan's first husband, Frank. My Mum's middle name is Francis, yes spelt the male way, in memory of him. What a lovely gesture from my Nan and Grandad to keep his name alive.

 However I also so grateful to have such fond memories of one of the survivors of the horrors of war, my darling Grandad: Ernest John Carpenter. And most ironically his great-great-granddaughter Daisy Jane was actually born on Remembrance day last year, 11.11.13. Now that really does bring joy and hope to life doesn't it.
 This is his legacy..................my darling granddaughter Daisy Jane who is 1 very soon, magical isn't it.

 I'm sure my Grandad must be smiling somewhere.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 17 October 2014

Week 3 of The Funkie Junkie's 12 tags of Christmas, Jane's Journal style.

Here we are at week 3 of Linda's great challenge.Everyone is welcome to join in with the fun which closes on 21st December by which time you need to have submitted all 12 creations using Linda's tags for inspiration. The full rules are over on her blog here . Linda offers 3 very generous prizes of gift vouchers to spend in her terrific on line shop, The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Do have a look at the link here .

This week's Tag #3 can be seen here

For my card version this week I was inspired by Linda's lovely creamy/antique background colour and her use of snowflakes. I love snowflakes both real and on cards so I decided to find lots of way of using different textures for snowflakes on my creation.

First I made a Distress Ink blended background using some Antique Linen, Scattered Straw and Wild Honey inks
 Next I used my Imagination Crafts snowflake stencil and using Picket Fence Distress stain inked through.
 I loved this cool effect
 Next I used my Crafty Individuals' Santa stamp and stamped on top using Sepia Archival ink.
I also die cut some snowflakes and then added some distress glitter in a contrasting colour.
 I added some Pumice Stone ink around the edges.
I also die cut my new Cheery Lynn Icing border die.

It was then time to put on my creative hat....and here is my finished card creation.

and a couple of close ups, I really like the effect of the stencilling
And I used my Lili of the Valley sentiments, I love this set. You can also see that I added a little embossing glitter around the edge of my card too.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

The Funkie Junkie 12 tags of Christmas week 3
Little Claire's Christmas
Crafty Individuals Halloween madness or Christmas frenzy
Imagination Crafts anything goes
The Artistic Stamper memories I think this reminds me of past Christmas Eves when I looked to the sky and longed to see Santa and for it to snow ;0)
Country View Crafts Sparkle and Shine
Christmas cards all year round embellish it
Christmas at sweet stampin' snowflakes
Deep ocean Christmas in October
Fashionable stamping  anything goes
Simon Says Stamp Monday O is for O is for the O in snOwflakes
Divas by Design texture

We are off to Southampton tomorrow to see Daisy and the family for the day. The weather here in the South is looking positively balmy. It's gorgeous this afternoon. It may reach 20c tomorrow...woot woot and if it does we may go for a walk in the New Forest which is stunning at this time of the year. I also enjoyed a wonderful day in London with my Mum yesterday, we saw the poppies at the Tower of London, what a sight ;0) Photos and a post to follow soon once I have made a Moment of the day as I came home full of inspiration.

Enjoy your weekend, sending out warmth your way if you need it.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A sprinkle of autumn magic

Unlike the dire weather we experienced yesterday the weekend was another filled with cooler weather but some lovely sunny moments. The mornings are becoming quite nippy though and the darkness comes earlier every night. It really is the time of the year where there are changes happening everywhere. I had a little clear up in the gardens and was surprised to find that most of my pots are still flowering really well.
There are some gorgeous colours all around me and my dahlia is still showing off in all its glory.
My geranium in the  hanging basket is boasting with soft rich pinky purple flowers.
 The leaves of my azalea look as though the edges have been painted with purple. Is there a garden fairy out there doing this?
And my acers are turning fiery red.
 I still have fuchsias in flower, lush cream and purple.
Other  leaves I see on my travels are turning shades of gold.
And there is still glorious colour in the country side
We enjoyed an lovely autumn walk in the woods with our darling son and Bear on Sunday. The leaves are just beginning to fall, adding to the thick carpet there. The woods are such a magical place to wander and for Bear there are so many smells to sniff. It was a perfect afternoon.

 Autumn is such a ripe, rich season before Mother Nature starts putting everything to bed ready for its winter sleep. It's nearly time to start finding the mittens and scarves and snuggling down indoors in the evenings.

I was inspired by magic of all these colours to make the 3rd of my 4 Halloween tags. First I made my inky background. I used a mixture of Distress inks which I blended and then added some flicks of water to. I then used my Tim Holtz Gothic stencil and inked through some Dusty Concord DI.

I also decided that a little magic was needed as my focal so I stamped one of my Lavinia Fairy's  as the focal. I made a frame for her which I coloured with browns and purple DIs and I added some crackle paint too.
I also die cut different  leaves which I also coloured with blended DIs .

 and this is my tag I made.

I would like to enter my tag into the following challenges;

Lavinia autumn colours
Pan Pastel UK autumn
Flonzcraft colour challenge I chose purple, black, orange and green!
Emerald Faeries things with wings
Country View sparkle and shine
Die cut Divas spring or autumn
Stamping sensations warm autumn colours
Stamp and Create fall/autumn
Anything but a card spring or autumn
Simon Says Stamp "O"is for My O is for October and all the rich magical colours
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Crafting Musketeers autumn colours 

Enjoy this very magical time of the year and if you are in the South of England remember that brolly ;0) And one last thing...this is my 400th post...wow how did that happen. Thanks everyone for your kind visits, I really love to see you here.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x