Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting today, I hope you will stay a while. Slide shows are at the bottom of this page.


Friday, 26 December 2014

Choo choo - BANG!

I made this card for my eldest, his birthday is just before Christmas and he was in bed ill with the flu on the day.
He didn't get this until today when visiting for Christmas. I used Stampendous Tim Holtz cling rubber stamps, not used these before, I stamped the train and tracks on kraft card in brown Memento ink, then added white highlights with my Sharpie white paint marker and added a bit of green with a Prismacolor pencil. Son is stamped with a clear stamp from a Papermania Set and Happy Birthday to You is die cut with an IO set. The three panels are cut with Spellbinders 5"x7" card maker die set. I added square antique brass brads to each corner. 

Oh and Christmas day - just as we were preparing the food to cook our dinner - the cooker blew up! Well the electric part of it, the gas hob still worked but required matches to light. So we had roast potatoes and parsnips cooked in the Actifry in three lots, veg in the steamer, and the boys went round to Richard's house with the meat (apart from the beef which I had cooked for a couple of hours before the cooker went "BANG") and stuffing and cooked it there, then brought it back. We had 10 people to dinner, and the table all set up.
We went through a few options for cooking, including the barbeque before doing what we did in the end! It was all a bit exciting really, and everyone enjoyed their dinner even if some of it wasn't as hot as it could be - and it was really healthy!

This card has chuffed its way into the following challenges:
Papertake Weekly - take your pick - one for the boys (Tues)
Simon says stamp - Wednesday challenges, anything goes.
Paula Holifield - anything goes except Christmas (Dec)
Less is More - family (Sat 3rd Jan)
Stampotique - anything goes (Jan 5th)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas to you!

Well here it is, Christmas day and all of the fuss will soon be over. We are ready, just about. The dogs are bathed, the bathrooms cleaned and the towels washed, the rest of the house is clean, the beds are made. Shopping is as done as it will be, presents wrapped and labelled, I just have one box to decorate, a special box for a special boy. It will contain some second hand Thomas the Tank Engine track and a Sordor mine and is an extra present that will live here for when Kenny visits.
I think most of the presents under our tree are for Kenny, and Richard has added his presents, they are not all ours. Awaiting our visitors to open them.

This card is made from a Unity stamped snow peeps image that I stamped and coloured, with Promakers, last year and a Spellbinders die cut frame that I made when I got this die, they seemed perfect together. The paper is a freebie from a magazine. The sentiment came with the snow angel, and for this frame I attempted to add white through the die with my Sharpie white paint marker. This was the second attempt, the first was far messier. I think this will be a card for next year. The ribbon is from Crafty Ribbons, and I added snowflake eyelets to the corners to let the lime green card show through.

I have entered the following challenges:
I love Promarkers - anything goes (Jan 6th)
Creative Card Crew - anything goes (Jan 6th)

This is Kenny's card, he loves any sort of vehicle so Santa in his snowmobile by Dustin Pike seems like a good choice. I coloured the image with Promarkers, the paper is Papermania/Docrafts, the ribbon is from Crafty Ribbons.

Inside the card.

I have entered this card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp - Wednesday challenges, anything goes - Docraft paper.

I needed a couple of gift card holders and made them with perlescent card and the WR Memory Keepers envelope tool, which made the perfect size holders. I added a couple of images I had stamped and coloured with Promarkers last year. The geese are a Little Claire stamp, and the sheep is a Penny Black stamp.

I haven't decorated the back.

I have entered the following challenges:
Allsorts - last minute gifts (Sat 3rd Jan)

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

WOYWW #290 Christmas Eve

Happy WOYWW peeps who love to peep! I have been slightly bemused by the embedded word verification thing that has appeared in comments on blogger, and worked out that we all have it. I can't find out if I have it myself, but I guess I must do. However I chanced upon a comment saying that if the blogger has verification turned off, as I do, you can ignore it and just post your comment! I tried that on a blog just now and it is true, you can ignore it and the comment will post anyway!

On Sunday we visited Tyntesfield House in North Bristol, which is a National Trust property. Although I was already panicking about getting everything done for Christmas I really wanted to go and see it all decorated up.
The following photos were taken in very dark rooms, and no flash is allowed so the quality isn't the best.

See what I mean? All of the volunteers were dressed in Victorian costumes.

The thing that was really missing for me here was a roaring fire, I guess it damages the artifacts too much! A fake fire would have been good though and it was pretty cold.


Must have had camera shake here.

This one has logs, someone find a match!








This lady came out well, and she is so smiley!

There were stockings on all the bedroom doors, fake presents lol!

This lady told us she didn't look authentic!


In the chapel.








Here is the desk, not a lot has changed from last week, except there is a Christmas card in progress on it, probably will be for next year now. It is using the stamped and coloured images I did last year, and this one is a Unity stamp. Still not fixed that handle, hopefully I will when I stop panicking about Christmas. The card standing up has a pretty die cut snowflake panel, the die is Spellbinders and is my newest die. I cut it using the eBosser, which was hard work as I had to cut it, then take the die cut and die and turn it 4 times, and send it through about 6 times before it cut all over, then emboss it. I hope the Cheery Lyn machine will do it better than that when I fix the handle.

I have made a list of things that I needed to do yesterday and today, and although I didn't stop all day  yesterday I was only able to cross off one thing, the rest I had forgotten to add to the list! Yes I am panicking, but it will all be over in a couple of days and if it didn't get done there is nothing I can do about it.
I have to bath the dogs, clean the bathrooms, wash the towels, clean the kitchen, finish addressing the cards, make 3 birthday cards, and make tags to go on the presents - they are all wrapped just about but no tags on any of them! Lets hope I get it right!

Jumper is finished! Ready for Christmas, do I look like a Teletubbie then?

Sorry about fixed grin! This really sparkles, not sure you can tell but it has sequins all the way through it.
I just have to decide on my next crochet project now, do I fix that cardigan that has a pattern full of errors, the whole back is wrong and needs redoing, or do I start the jacket for my grandson, or another one of these in different yarn? Decisions, decisions! This is lovely and warm by the way, it contains some wool.

A funny thing happened last week, we had a hand delivered card addressed to Viv, well it looked like it could be our surname, how rude to address a card to a surname! I opened it, and it was to Viv and Ralph from something that looked vaguely like Barbara, or Braba 2, the writing wasn't great.
We don't know anyone called Viv, Ralph, or Barbara and it was not any of our neighbours so I thought I would put out an enquiry on facebook, on the local town for sale groups. Bit of a long shot, but Viv and Ralph's daughter saw it, told me where they lived (someone had clearly turned off too soon, it was the next road), and I popped the card round the next day! By then the sender had realised what she did and told Viv, who thought her friend had sent me, the daughter hadn't mentioned it. Happy Ending!

I have just found out that Alfie dog is so deaf he can't hear the Christmas singing toys! He used to hear them in any room in the house and rush to that room to kill the thing singing, and if he couldn't get to it he would grab the nearest garment, soft toy or cushion and savage that to death! I tried a singing dog, and then a singing reindeer right in front of him today, he just sniffed at it in a disinterested fashion!

Spagetti Squash update:

This was my sauce in progress, mushrooms, shallots, courgettes and tomatoes, in a ceramic non stick pan with nearly zero oil, and I have been very happy with the results each time as well as the ease of cleaning it afterwards.

I did take a photo of the whole baked squash (thank you Sandy for telling me how to cook it) but managed to accidentally delete it so here it is split open, it is some kind of crazy vegetable I think, how can it end up in strands like it does?
 When I first started eating it I started to asphixiate because I didn't take out the horrid netty bit that the seeds were in (other squashes are easier, you can see the bit that needs to come out and it doesn't blend in with the bit you do want to eat), only the seeds. It seems you shouldn't eat that nasty stuff, and I was gagging on it, not able to swallow or breathe, but eventually managed to get it back up (sorry for the detail). I was on my own as well, it was very scary and put me off the squash slightly but...
here it is mixed with the sauce....

....this was how much I had left, I felt obliged to eat it, this is an organic squash after all, and it took me from Thursday to Monday to finish it. Shaun wouldn't try it but I sneaked some into some noodles I cooked with left over chicken curry, and he liked it!

To join in the biggest desk hop on Wednesdays, hop on over to The Stamping Ground where Julia Dunnit will explain it all.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Nearly Christmas, don't panic!

I am panicking as usual, cards not ready to give or post, shopping to do, labels for presents, wrap some presents, and it will all be over in a few days time!

I have cards to write and I know I need more, so here is the first one. Marshmallow Snowman from Meljen's Designs (on offer at $2 right now), coloured with Promarkers and Graphit's, and die cut with Spellbinders rectangle. The very pretty paper is by My Mind's Eye called Winter Wonderland, and I just had to turn the corner down, and secure it with a Papermania brad, so the other pretty polka dot side of this double sided paper showed up too. The stack came free with a magazine, gifts have got so much better.
Ribbon from Crafty Ribbons. The small stamped greeting in the corner reads Warm Winter Wishes and is from a Marianne set.

I have entered this card in the following challenges:
Tuesday Throwdown - #225 Christmas
Pile it on - anything goes/Christmas (Dec)
Winter Wonderland - fussy and fancy (Jan 2nd)
Chocolate Coffee and Cards - Christmas (any of the cards here) (Fri 26th)
Graphit's Markers - festive greetings (Jan 1st)
Pink Gems - Anything Christmas (Jan 3rd)



A batch of quick-ish cards, I had the Hero Arts reindeer, trees and snowflakes stamped, heat embossed and die cut for ages (sadly the snowflake dies have gone missing from the set so I will need to hunt for them and hope they are still in the room and not the trash). So all I had to do was stamp and emboss the background also with a Hero Arts and Sizzix collaboration set, and I used tri-coloured Brilliance ink in pink, blue and purple.

I added the embossed panel to a panel of pink metallic card cut with a Spellbinders card creator die, added some Let it Snow ribbon from Crafty Ribbons, and adhered it to a purple metallic card blank.

A leaping reindeer on this one, and more trees and snowflakes. This ribbon is Papermania.

I have entered these cards in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp - Winter (Wed)
Stamping Sensations - Winter Wonderland (Dec)
Die Cut Divas - snow/Christmas (Dec)
Rubber Dance - colour pallette (Dec)
That's Crafty - anything goes (5th Jan)
My time to craft - Christmas trees (3rd Jan)
Incy Wincy - anything goes (5th Jan)
Creative Card Crew - anything goes (Tues 6th Jan)
Pan Pastels - last minute Christmas (11th Jan)

This is a Spyder Lyn image (and is just 99p), I had them coloured (with Promakers) and die cut already (with a Spellbinders deckled long rectangle die) so simply had to add them to a card blank and add a bit of Crafty Ribbon ribbon.

I made three, and each image was coloured differently and one was a smaller size. I did wonder if I should add something else but these went off in the post today so it is too late now!

I have entered this card in the following challenges:
Papertake Weekly - the last Christmas card (Tues)
Cards Galore - anything goes (Dec)
I love Promarkers - #250 anything goes (6th Jan)


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

WOYWW #289

It's official desk nosy day today, just about still Wednesday! This is not on my desk but I was so amazed by the size of it compared to the butternut squash. It came in my veg box this week, with some free mistletoe as well, and it is a spagetti squash. I just need to work out what to do with it! The striped squash is now a year old, I wonder if it is still edible?

On my desk yesterday, I treated myself to a whole set of new crochet hooks by Knit Pro, loads of people swear by them and I thought they might be easier on the hand than the straight ones.
Also sitting there is a set of stamps I won from Visible Image, part of their new release - I'm so lucky at the moment (well in some ways)! Still not had a go at fixing the handle on the die cutter.

What should be on my desk is last minute Christmas cards, I still have loads to make, not even started the labels or list or writing any yet!

This is my crochet jumper WIP which has grown a lot since last week. I know hooks can vary but I couldn't resist trying out one of my new hooks on the last sleeve, bad idea, I only did a couple of rows but it was a lot smaller than the first sleeve so I abandoned that idea (and began to wonder if my purchase was such a good idea) and went back to the vintage plastic hook I was using. You can't really see it here but the yarn is full of pink sequins so has a sparkle that will be good for Christmas (if I don't look like a mad teletubbie).

On the plus side, I told you I was going for a big declutter of craft stuff at any price. Well I put it all on ebay, some bundled, all at low starting prices and the majority of it sold. Most of it went for the lowest price or not a lot more except for one alphabet die set which went for far more than I expected. Now I have a bit more space and thinking about what else I can get rid of!

Edited to say: I forgot to mention that instead of taking the faulty washing machine to the tip I put it on eBay, I have seen parts for it go for silly money and figured someone might buy it to sell the parts. It did sell, for £29, so that can go towards the cost of the new one, and it was a nice man who wanted to repair his Sister's machine!

Also we went to Bath in order to spend a £5 Debenham's voucher that they sent me, which had to be redeemed by Christmas Eve. As well as petrol, it cost £3.10 for parking, but I spent that £5 - on a salt and pepper mill tray to catch the bits. Shaun decided he wanted something in M&S and wanted to get the Oxfam voucher that you get for donating M&S clothes. There was a pair of my too big M&S linen trousers in there, we stopped by the local Oxfam only to find they were closed for a few hours, so set off on a route march to try and find a shop in Bath. Mission accomplished we headed back down Milsom Street to spend the vouchers. He bought socks, I bought some thermal leggings and some PJs, I don't normally wear PJs but wanted to try them, I normally wear a nightshirt/nightdress alone. Getting older and feeling the cold I guess.

If you want to go desk hopping or find out all about it, head on over to The Stamping Ground where Julia will explain all!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Reminder to Quirky Shake it up.

This week I made the Mitten Shaker card from The Cutting Cafe, and decided that it would be best mounted on a larger card because it didn't stand up alone, I am much happier with my efforts this week. I decorated the mitten border with snowflakes from Fun with Frosty the Snowman, and the background with Christmas Banners colored. I added micro beads and sequins once more.
This is an 8"x8" card, and I used Bo Bunny and My Mind's Eye papers that were as close to the colour scheme as I could get them, with the grey provided by the dull silver card and stitching.
I got the machine out as you can see and stitched round all pieces, the mitten is in a pocket.
Christmas ribbon is from Crafty Ribbons, and looks a bit crooked, I think the pocket must be a little crooked!
I added some snowy buttons and jingle bells, and the mitten cuff is flocked with Polar White Flower Soft.

Side view of the card.

Inside the card.

Here is the mitten removed from the pocket ready to hang on the tree. I wanted the card to look nice still.


 Close ups of the mitten.


 Inside the mitten I used the offcut from the middle of the mitten outline. Waste not, want not....


Here is the mitten hanging up by the ribbon, but not on my tree which isn't up yet.

Why don't you hop on over to Quirky Crafts Challenge blog to see what the talented team have done, and to play along.

You have until Saturday 20th Dec midday to enter.

I have entered the following challenges:

Christmas Cards Challenge - Christmas (Thurs)
Cute Card Thursdays - bells or bows
Daring Card Makers - Shake it off (Thurs)
Glitter and Sparkle - glitter and sparkle (Sun)
Coffee, chocolate and cards - Christmas (Fri 27th)
Fussy and Fancy - snowflakes and ribbon (Jan 8th)
Crafty Card Makers - Christmas (Jan 12)
Creative Fingers - #60 anything goes