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I've been off work this week, so have been trying to keep myself busy. Had a free birthday meal at Frankie and Benny's courtesy of their birthday meal voucher, got a bunch of presents, spent Sunday in Plymouth with the family (more on that later) and also went to the Eden Project for the first time in over fifteen years.

I'm gonna miss those next week....

I have been making things too. I made a bunch of bookmarks, with either a book or a bulb charm on them, for The Ghost Lights promotion.

Here is a select few, as an example of what they look like.

I bought a few things from Tando Creative, so decided to make something this week. I started with an arch, added a prima heart and flame, and coated it all in white gesso. I then painted the heart with copper paint and covered it with clear crackle texture paste. I stamped a script stamp on the arch, then waited for it all to dry. Once dry I painted the heart with black gesso, wiping it back while it was still wet so that the only black was that settled in the cracks. I painted a little of the flames with gold and bronze paint, to give it some more dimension. I then used a combination of Lindy's sprays and distress crayons on the arch itself, building up the colours until I was happy with the result. Some of the darker sprays went onto the flame but it actually worked well. I cut out a sentiment in white and black card, painting the white with the copper paint and setting it on the black as a silhouette. I cut some foliage out of black card, and some flowers out of white card which I sprayed with Lindy's sprays.

I've also been working on my cross stitch. I've finished about half of the back stitch now, then will need to do the French knots. I was hoping to finish it in February, but no such luck.

Trapped in a locked room,
solving puzzles, finding clues,
but can we escape?

Short answer? Yes, albeit it a little out of the time range and with a few hints. This was this week's task; an Escape Room. I chose the one in Plymouth, as it was the closest. It's just off Union Street, and has four rooms; Germ, Bizarro, HMP Clink, and Rescue Cid. I retrospect I wish I had chosen Germ, as this is the 'intro' room but I thought we would be able to do the Bizarro one with no problems. More fool me! Personally I think that there were probably too many people in our team; they recommend four but that would have meant leaving people out. Anyway, first impressions were that it seems a little slapdash, but to be fair to them they have only just moved into the new premises. I just think that it could do with a bit more atmosphere. The guys in charge of it are friendly, asking about us, why we had decided to do it etc, but I think they got the idea straightaway that we had no clue what we were doing. Anyway, they took us to the room, gave us a timer, and locked us in.

I can't really go into details because it will spoil the game should you want to do it yourself. Suffice it to say, I got frustrated more than once, particularly when they decided to phone us to point out that I had solved a puzzle wrong. I understand why they did it; we did have a time limit after all, but all it did was make me think they were laughing at how stupid I was not being able to solve something that they themselves devised. (it was a simple mistake, and I quickly solved the harder version of it ironically) I wholeheartedly attribute this to my low self esteem. I have been feeling like my intelligence is diminishing lately, like my brain has become a colander and what was left of me is seeping out of the holes.

I will say that this is a fun, and very different thing to do on a day out, and the rest of the group, particularly the males, loved it and are already thinking of returning to do another game. Whether I will or not remains to be seen; it's something that I have now done, and I have a bunch of other quests to fulfil before the week is out.

Next week I give something up for the week. Can I live without it?



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....and I've run out of heart related puns....

First off, as always, the decluttering. All funkos this week (and next actually) They've gone to my brother.

Even my cute little Sauron!

Onto the makes. Haven't had a chance to make any jewellery yet and the stitch is not yet finished (on the final page now, which has the most french knots on) but I have made another heart.

I started by cutting two hearts out of some Tim Holtz paper. With the first I sprayed with green and brown Lindy's sprays, and glued it to the wooden heart. With the second I cut with a mixed media thinlit die on one side. It didn't work completely so I cut a bit away. I used texture paste with a brick stencil, then sprayed it with blue Lindy's sprays, adding a couple of drops of alcohol ink on certain bricks to darken it. 

I love Lindy's sprays - they call them magical for a reason!

I die cut loads of gears, painting them silver before attaching them to the heart. I added a couple of pieces of ephemera, a clock, and a wing I've had in…