Friday, 31 October 2014

Celebrating 1000 Posts with a Giveaway

Morning to all Followers, Friends and Readers ...

... of this Blog,

This is the one thousandth post I've put up on my blog ... that's 1000 posts! Truly an unbelievable number which I certainly could not envisage when I started out almost 4 years ago, on 28th September 2010. I've no idea how many words that amounts to or even the number of photos published ... whatever, it's a huge amount and  I can't tell you what fun it has been and no doubt will continue to be :)

Many of you have been here almost from the word go so to celebrate this momentous occasion and to thank you for all your visits and comments over the last four years I'm offering a wee giveaway.
It's a gift voucher for £30 from The Craft Barn. I've chosen to give away a gift voucher so that the winner can choose whatever takes their fancy from the huge range of products available at The Craft Barn - there's sure to be something to please most crafters. Edit Note #1: I chose The Craft Barn because they will ship internationally.

However, if the winner is a sewer, knitter, crocheter or gardener and would prefer it, I have an alternative in mind ...
... an Amazon gift voucher. I know from personal experience that there is a very wide variety of sewing, knitting and crocheting items available on Amazon, not to mention a huge selection of books on just about any handicraft and gardening you would care to mention.

So, what do you have to do to win? Simply be a reader of this blog and leave a comment on this post. Hopefully, if I can work out how, I'll make this a sticky post and you have until the end of this month, 31 October to add your comment. I will then collate them all in the old-fashioned but tried and true method of putting them all in a hat and ask the EM to do the honours :) The winner's name will be published as soon as possible after that date.

Many thanks in advance for your participation.

Edited Note #2: Sandy at the Craft Barn has very kindly donated a £10 voucher for me to giveaway, how lovely is that! This means that I will now be making a second draw and the EM will be working overtime :) 

Good Luck!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Experimenting with Watercolours - Sunday Snippets

Good Afternoon,

Actually, it's not really a good afternoon here ... it's windy and wet. Apparently it's only going to get worse because the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo is heading our way! That being so, you know where to find me, holed up in my craft room experimenting even more with watercolours. Which is what I've been doing whenever I had a spare moment recently and now I have a couple of finished cards to share with you.
This background for the topper on the first card was created with Aqua Tint brushed over white cardstock. I dampened the white card with water before brushing on the colour in a sweeping motion. I think you can see that I went back with more colour several times trying to get a sort of landscape effect. Once the ink dried, I splashed some water droplets over the surface - this has a 'bleaching' effect adding a bit more interest to the finished background.
The fabulous stamp used is a Penny Black slapstick cling called Dreamy. Forest green cardstock from Papermill Direct was used for the card base and the matting with a scrap of white (same source) for layering. The greeting, from Stampin' Up's Wetlands set, was stamped up with VersaFine Olympia Green.

The background for this second card was made by mopping up paints, leftover on the craft mat, from the first and then adding just a little sprinkling of Leaf Green Brusho crystals in the areas that were the dampest. The images, zen poppy pods from Lavinia Stamps stamped with Archival Black ink, have been painted with a combination of Aqua Tints and Brusho crystals in shades of red, yellow and green.

The topper is matted on to a snippet of red American Crafts cardstock and then layered on some of the green card leftover from the first card. No sentiment or greeting on this one ... that way it can be used as a notelet.

And as I've manage to incorporate a fair few snippets into these cards, I'm off to submit them to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 147.

Would you believe it, since I started to write up this post the sun has come out to play! It's still windy but so nice to see the sun again, however briefly :)

The EM put on his domestic god pinny this afternoon and has been baking up a storm, fruit scones and my favourite low-sugar fruit cake ... the aroma wafting through the house is simply gorgeous.

Just discovered that the Christmas Movie channel has returned ... it's only the middle of October and we haven't even had Halloween and Bonfire Night yet!!!

I hope you are well and having a wonderful weekend.

Happy Crafting,

PS: Have you seen that I'm celebrating with a giveaway ... do check out the sticky post at the top of this blog for details.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Smiles - Week 89

Afternoon Everyone,

Well, that's the house spotless ready for the weekend ... and I'm bushed! It's so exhausting doing the domestic goddess thing! Time for a bit of R&R and taking a moment or two to join in with Annie over at A Stitch In Time and share just a bit of what has made me smile this week. Warning: a photo heavy post follows.

An important piece of advice passed on to scrapbookers like myself goes along these lines: 'to be able to record memories, you must first live life'. Bearing these wise words in mind, the EM and I decided to take a day off on Tuesday and head down to one of our favourite places, Culzean Castle Country Estate. Here are just a few of my favourite photos from the day.

This is the entrance to the courtyard at Culzean Castle.
The EM taking a break up on the courtyard wall which looks down from the cliff top on to the Clyde Estuary ... I remember the first time I looked down at the water lapping below, some 40 years ago, I was so impressed with how clear and clean it was given that ships and boats tootle to and from the Glasgow ports all day long. That's the Isle of Arran just visible behind himself's head.
Not the castle, but what must be the grandest coach house and stables in the county. No longer used as such, instead some of it has been converted into holiday apartments, there's a gift shop and a coffee shop at the back.

We always walk through the gardens on our way back to the car park - here's a few photos taken there. I don't know how I've missed it till now but I spotted this Ginkgo Biloba, aka the Maidenhair Tree. If I was a tree-hugger, this is the one I'd choose to hug :)
These hydrangeas in their autumn colours, together with the stiff spike of acanthus, aka Bears Breeches, look perfect against the warm garden wall.

One of the huge heads in close-up - stunning!

Our walk back to the car took us by way of the secondhand book shop. We stopped to donate a few books and, of course, help funds by purchasing a couple more.
The trees are looking spectacular.
After all that walking it was time for a bowl of soup and a cuppa in the restaurant before making for home again. On the menu, carrot, honey and ginger soup ... warmed us up a treat.

It's safe to say, I've plenty of lovely memories of Tuesday to record in my scrap book now after following that sage advice about living life to record it :)

And finally, as our newsreaders used to say, some of you will have seen this already on Facebook but for those who have not here is my favourite funny of the week.

I can only imagine the patience it must have taken to get that little kitty to sit just so for the camera :)

I'll leave you with my hope that you have had a fabulous Friday and a wish that you will have a wonderful weekend.