Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Amaryllis

A little thing comforts us because a little thing afflicts us.

I just had to share this lovely Amaryllis with you all. My DH gave it to me a few weeks ago - it was still in the box then. I planted it up and it has grown so fast and it is so beautiful! Yes, it is indeed the little things that bring us comfort.

So to all of you, followers, WOYWWers and readers, who are not well at this time, and there are quite a number I know from reading your blogs,  I'd like to wish you all a speedy  recovery. There is not ever a good time to be ill but Christmas is a particularly bad time in my book so I'm wishing you all good health for 2011.

Update on the imminent birth of my great-granddaughter - still no show. As Jenny's waters broke a couple of days ago she is to be admitted into the hospital today to be induced. So depending on how long she is in labour we should have a last day of the year baby or a first day of the year baby - whichever, we will be so glad to welcome this little baby into the world.

The already doting great-grandfather, aka DH, has been out shopping for her today and bought a couple of little Winnie the Pooh tops - for 6-9 months (so sensible as this baby already has enough clothes to fit out Mothercare!)

Will keep you informed but signing off for now.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

WOYWW - Week 82 - New Toys from Santa + Workspace Re-organisation

Good Afternoon to you all,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa was good to you. I can't believe it is a week since I last posted. The holiday has just gone by in a flash and to make matters worse my great-granddaughter, due on Christmas Eve, has not yet arrived. We are all on tenterhooks here.

Welcome also to my new followers, Debbi and Claudia Rosa. I hope to keep uploading posts that will be of interest to you.

Now, to What's on my Workdesk this Wednesday - not sure what this is about then please pop over to Julia's here and take a voyeuristic peek at many more workspaces :

It's my new Hougie Board - one of my crafty presents from Santa (aka DH). Other craft related goodies I found among the parcels were:

Not had time to play with them yet as I've spent the last 3 days having a massive re-organisation of my workspace. This was a job long overdue! The place was a mess and I was starting to get very frustrated with the muddle left from all the Christmas card making neglect. It's much better now, I know where everything is and I can see my where all my stamps are.

There's not a lot of the wooden-backed stamps but they were tucked away in a drawer, I couldn't see what I had, and I read somewhere that it is best to store them on end like this. Other stamps are stored in DVD or CD cases which I've started to label so I can see at a glance what each one contains.

Once again I have to apologise to those of you that I failed to visit last week, Christmas just got in the way - I promise to do better this week.

Now that I've sorted out my workspace I can get down to some serious crafting and playing with my new goodies. There are a ton of new techniques I am eager to have a bash at and share the results with you.

In the meantime, I hope that those of you who are still on holiday continue to have fun and those unfortunate enough to have returned to work, well, it's only a couple of days before the New Year and hopefully you'll be off again for the weekend, at least.

Here in Scotland the New Year celebrations can be somewhat protracted, going on for a few days. Although I feel it is nothing like the fun it was when we were all young and the extended family, with friends, got together  in each other's houses and partied a few days away! We used to travel from Edinburgh out to the suburbs, Musselburgh, Dalkeith, Danderhall, Old Craighall and Rosewell, all on the best bus service in the country, to make sure we'd wished everyone a Good New Year. Now we all live too far apart, Aberdeenshire, Stirlingshire, the Borders, London and even Australia, so we have to make do with a phone call. Changed days.

We're off to M&S this afternoon - some vouchers are burning a hole in DH's pocket. So glad the weather has improved.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

WOYWW - Week 81 - Seasons Greetings

to you all from all at

including our very cold  

snow snail

Yes, it's still freezing here, as elsewhere in the country and the snail mail is being delivered at a snail's pace - though bless Royal Mail for keeping at it and trying to make sure we get all our cards before the big day!

And speaking of cards guess what's on my desk today - yes, more Christmas cards. I needed some last minute cards to give/send in return for the unexpected - there's always some, is there not : (

These are 15 toppers I was working on last night. After adhering some really thin strips of paper with PVA glue - the usual tape runner was too wide unfortunately - I left these to dry overnight. I got the idea from watching a WhimsicalWendy demo on YouTube in which Wendy Naismith showed how she makes her Christmas cards in bulk. Of course, I did not have the Kraft card, the same design paper, the same edge puncher or even the same stamps but, hey ho, I thought I would improvise and give it a bash anyway. Here's two of my finished cards:

As you can see I used some green tree embossed card  as well as some buff coloured textured card from my stash (can't remember where I bought them from) for the base of the toppers. A rummage through my off-cuts produced enough paper and white card for the strips and the trees, so it proved a great way of using up those bits and bobs leftover from other projects. The greeting and the tree stamps were from the Christmas stamp set from Let's Get Crafting, Issue 26. Wendy makes her own stamps - how clever is that!!! You can see what the cards should look like at Wendy Naismith Designs.

And, guess what, they really are quick to make this way. And I found the whole exercise really enjoyable -  just at a time when I thought if I had to make another Christmas card I'd scream!

I very much doubt I will be posting again until after the big day unless some goodies, expected but delayed by 'adverse weather conditions', finally arrive so let me wish you all a very happy and joyful holiday weekend and that everything goes well for Christmas day itself - and that Santa is good to you, bringing lots of crafty goodies perhaps : )

For those of you who may be having to live without oil for your heating - I understand some people won't get their delivery until mid-February!!! - I hope you have found some way of keeping warm and that you are wrapping up well.

Seasons Greetings

Edited Note: How could I have forgotten this - for all those who have strayed on to this mad woman's blog and are wondering what she is on about please take a jog over to Julia's Stamping Ground and enjoy a blog hop through many more WOYWWers' workspaces.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Z is for Zero Degrees or Zipping Through the Snow

Good morning, on this cold and frosty one, to you all,

Yippee! The last card in the Alphabet series is done. Z proved to be, by far, the most difficult letter to design a card around. However, I had to design a card for our 11 year old grandson, Alun, who loves anything to do with speed -  in particular, Formula One racing cars. I couldn't fit racing cars into the Christmas/winter theme somehow but I discovered this racing tobogganer design in the My Craft Studio CD, The Finishing Line, and the idea for this card was born - Z for Zero Degrees or even Z for Zipping Through the Snow!

Materials used: My Craft Studio, The Finishing Line CD, Design 4; white cardstock for base; Gold mirror cardstock; blue pearlescent cardstock; glitter; embellishments - snowflakes; diamante stars, peel-off gold/silver stars.

I printed off the design sheet, re-jigged the background to make an insert large enough for the A5 sized card and using the digital punch created an area for the greeting which was inserted using the text feature. Otherwise, it was simply a case of cutting out, matting, glittering and embellishing.

I thought the greeting that comes on the design sheet most appropriate for the front of the card because one of Alun's favourite words is 'cool' - everything that he approves off is 'cool'.

That's it - the series is over at last. What should have taken only 26 days took far longer for me. I've discovered that I'm a lot slower than many cardmakers, that it takes a lot of time for me to think up a design, gather all the materials together and make the project. I'm never going to be able to whizz through a project but that's okay - I'm not really in a hurry.

Nevertheless, it was a great challenge which had me trying out lots of new equipment, techniques and crafty stuff which I will be able to use in future projects and I can't wait to try other new things in the coming year.

In the meantime, a planned visit to my daughter and her family has had to be postponed due to the snow - she lives further inland and it's worse where she is - so I'm going to amuse myself with a few last minute projects. There are a couple of ideas buzzing around in my head that I'd like to try out and I think, if I have to stay at home, I should seize the day.

DH is on his laptop doing a bit of research into the dates, times and costs for a trip on the Fort William to Mallaig steam train (the Hogwarts's Express I believe). It's one of the items on our 'bucket list', which we are progressively working our way through, and this one is going to be scheduled for late Spring/early Summer.

Hope you are all keeping as warm as you can and enjoying your day.

Bye for now,

Friday, 17 December 2010

Y for New Year - the Penultimate Card

Good Evening

This is probably going to be everyone's busiest weekend of the year - all the last minute shopping to be done, last minute cards to be posted and the present distribution started. For those of us past the first flush of youth, e.g. moi!, Christmas comes round quicker every year and, despite all the practice I've had, I'm still never organised enough! Ah well, as my DH says, it (Christmas) comes, and it goes : )

These are some voucher/money wallets/cards that I've made for three teenagers - my step-grandsons. They are young men really - two of them are at university. So I wanted to make something appropriate for that age group - grown up and not too fussy.

As luck would have it, I won some more candy  - I know, another win! - from Sasa at La-De-Dah and the New Year stamp set from Fiskars included (see picture below) was just the thing for this project. Sasa, or Sarah, makes the most awesomely beautiful art and her blog is well worth a visit for inspiration

Materials used for the cards: White base cardstock; gold embossed cardstock; design paper BoBunny Licorice Dot; Fiskars stamp set New Year; Penelope & Percy stamp;  gold embossing powder; Martha Stewart border punch; gold peel-off borders.

Lots of stamping and gold embossing with a bit of punch trim and gold embossed cardstock added. I struggled to get the numbers straight and didn't succeed but otherwise the result was not too bad. I put a pocket inside to include a voucher and, as time is not on my side now, left it at that this time.

I'm off to relax and watch a film with my DH. We both love films and have a fairly big collection of DVDs and old videos (we're replacing them slowly before they become completely redundant) and also subscribe to an online film club. I took several courses on film at university - how cool is that, being able to watch movies and call it studying : ) Last night we chilled out and watched the first of our collection of Christmas movies - The Holiday with Kate Winslett and Cameron Diaz and the gorgeous Jude Law! Tonight's offering is going to be a bit heavier I believe and nothing to do with Christmas, it's entitled The Brothers - I'll let you know what I think next post.

In the meantime I hope you are all relaxing, putting your feet up and, those of you who are still knee deep in white stuff, keeping warm.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 16 December 2010

X is for Xmas

Good evening everybody,

It's getting increasingly difficult to think of a theme for the letters of the alphabet so it's just as well that I'm almost finished this series of cards. After struggling to find a better alternative I ended up using the word Xmas even though I do not particularly like it - I much prefer the word Christmas. Apart from that little detail I enjoyed making this card - lovely papers, great templates for cutting out the shapes, some 'snowy' embossing, a bit of decoupage, and really cute die cuts.

Materials used: Henbury Lane Poinsettia pack; Gold embossed cardstock; Kiwi Lane tiny templates; Seafoam white embossing powder; iridescent glitter, heart shaped die cut; Sentiments 4 You digi greeting.
I cut the design papers using Kiwi Lane templates. I first discovered these when I was making 12" x 12" scrapbooking pages and just thought they were so clever. Since then they have designed teeny weeny templates for card-makers. For those who have never seen them before here is a photo of those I used on this project.

And here is a photo of the inside of the card which shows the effect you can achieve with them.

Apologies for the quality of the photographs - the light is soooo bad at this time of the year. The card is much prettier and the colours much more zingy in real life - a mix of coral, lime green, and gold.

I've been waiting in all day for a UPS delivery and so far it has not turned up. However, the last delivery I had from them was at about this time so it may come yet.

In the meantime I'm off for a restorative cuppa.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

WOYWW - Week 80 + the V & W cards in the Alphabet Series

Good Morning everyone,

Another What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday is here and once again I don't know where the week has gone. I did try to get round as many of you as possible this last week but, unfortunately, I didn't make it to all - this Christmas thing has just taken over my life completely! So apologies to those I missed and I will try to visit you all this week.

Not much to show morning - last night completed a card and tidied everything away ready for the next project. However, there is a couple of goodies from Sir Stampalot there- yeah, the postman got through : ) - the Christmas edition of the Magnolia magazine to browse through and draw inspiration from - a bit late for this season but, as I intend to get ahead of the game for next year and produce one Christmas card a week in 2011, it won't be wasted. And a Penny Black Stamp, Winter Bow - it's beautiful and I can't wait to do something with it!

I'm almost at the end of the Alphabet series now - just two more to do. I was almost stumped for what to do for V until I received the Hinny Bop CD, Santa's Christmas Treasures. I originally got this for the inserts - I'd admired them when I saw them on some cards of Ginny's - you can see an example here on her blog, AsIDoRodos. The contents are vintagy and from that the theme for the card emerged - V for Vintage Christmas:

Materials Used: papers & image from Santa's Christmas Treasures CD; gold and lilac cardstock for matting; paper lace borders by Siesta; purple Prima flowers; white rosebuds from Wild Orchid Crafts; lilac/silver ribbon; silver stickles; glittery brads; glitter; inside greeting copied from an old Christmas card!

And here's the insert I used:

The W card was much easier as I'd had the stamp and the idea for quite sometime - Walking in a Winter Wonderland. And, with my friend, Ruthie, in mind I knew I wanted to use her favourite colour combination - brown and turquoise - if at all possible.

Materials used: Salt coloured double Swiss dot cardstock for base and turquoise/brown satin ribbon from Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn; design paper from Paper Cellar; Ladybug Crafts Ink Nikki stamp coloured with Promarkers; Docrafts Winter Wonderland stamp; G Studio turquoise ink pad; iridescent glitter; inside stamp from Sentiments 4 You.
Love this stamp of Nikki, more running with her dog than walking but definitely enjoying the snow. Ruthie has a rather boisterous spaniel, Charlie, so this stamp is so apt. Charlie could not walk anywhere - he's got to run and jump!  
The ribbon was a find - perfect for this card . Hayley at Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn shares my enthusiasm for ribbon. She's also a talented designer and you can see some of her work on her blogspot here.  Apart from this I didn't use much in the way of embellishments - quite restrained for me. The Winter Wonderland stamp is not clear in the above photograph so here's a close up.

Of course I did decorated the inside as usual - loved that design paper from Paper Cellar. 

And after looking at all the above you want to know more of what WOYWW is all about, and go on the biggest blog hop ever to snoop on even more interesting crafty spaces and inspirational blogs, then please pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground and maybe even join in What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday. I'm sure you will be welcome.

I have another card to post, hopefully later today, if the light improves and I get some decent photographs - roll on the lighter days! In the meantime, I'm off for a cup of tea.

Bye for now,

Monday, 13 December 2010

U for Under the Mistletoe

Good Afternoon to you all,

Things are really hotting up now as we hurtle towards Christmas. I don't know about you but I'm never really fully prepared for the last two weeks before the 'big day'. I have tried everything to make it less stressful - for example, by buying all the presents throughout the year or by doing all my shopping online - but I still end up working myself into a frazzle in the last couple of weeks. Last year was the only time I didn't panic about Christmas but that was because I was in hospital and was so ill it all came and went in a bit of a blur!

Anyway, I'm still making cards. Today my DH only informs me that he has another 5 people to add to the list!!!! Apparently, today is the busiest in the year for Royal Mail as we are expected to post all the cards we wrote up yesterday. As they are already well behind - I know because several parcels expected at Casa Worthington have yet to arrive - I think they are going to have their worked cut out to catch up and keep up.

Here's my latest card featuring two cute mice, Marty and Matilda having a Xmas Kiss.

This time it's and easel card and here are the materials used:

White Swiss Dot card base from Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn; Navy cardstock from Generations (bought at local craft shop); Design paper from Paper Cellar; Digi image Marty & Matilda Xmas Kiss from Digi Stamp Boutique; Promarkers; Inkssentials white opaque pen from Windmill Craft Centre; Greeting stamp from Dovecraft, Studio G; Woodware heart punch; Snowflakes & charm from The Works; Ribbon and glitter from stash.

When I had almost finished I decided I wanted to add a charm but the ribbon was too low down to hang it from there. So I punched a heart from the pink patterned paper and backed it with the navy cardstock to make it sturdy enough to hang the charm from.

 I also punched a second heart for the base for balance.

Confession time - this card sort of evolved, starting off as just going to be a square card but then I decided I'd make an easel which presented me with a problem. You see, in an attempt to be frugal, help save the planet and recycle, I was using the back of an old birthday card as the base for the topper. However, it became clear that the writing on the back of the card would be visible on the top half of the easel card. The answer was to cover it with more of the designer paper. So much for being frugal : (

Must remember that next time I'm deciding on the style of card.

That's it for now and must get on with making those 5 cards DH is awaiting.

Take care all, try to find some 'me' time in all the frenetic activity and hopefully enjoy it all.

Bye for now

Saturday, 11 December 2010

T for Christmas Tree + A Baby Girl Card

Happy Saturday everyone,

And a warm welcome to my new followers, Stamponme, Alex, Jean, Angie and Crazycoops. Hopefully, you will enjoy popping in now and again to see what I've been up to.

Today I've got the next in the Alphabet series - T for Christmas Tree - and a card to welcome a baby girl into our neighbourhood.

Materials used: 3 design papers from Papermania's Festive Frolics pack; embossing folder of Christmas tree; white card; Perfect Pearls in Forever Green; die cut, sentiment and border from Papermania's Henbury Lane Poinsettia A4 pack; flat-backed pearls in green, gold and red.

I used an embossing folder that came free with a Creativity magazine. I embossed on to smooth white card, dabbed a Versamark pad over the top, then brushed the Perfect Pearls over that, sprayed it with hairspray to set and embellished with the pearls.

I mixed and matched the papers and finished off the topper with the border and the JOY sentiment. Inside and back got the Elizabeth treatment too.

The second card was a quick make for a neighbour's baby daughter who decided she couldn't wait for the ambulance and was born at home. 

Materials used: Pink Petticoat digi stamp 'Baby Buggy'; 'Congratulations' from SWALK Series 1; design paper from Papermania Summer Bloom pack; Magnolia lace trim; ribbon, and a corner rounder.

Love the Pink Petticoat digi stamps and this baby buggy is so cute with the little head just peeking out. It is also very quick and easy to colour which is a bonus when time is short. The checks and polka dots go together really well and I decided that this time, just for a change, I would round most of the corners.

I've had the ribbon for sometime - bought on impulse with the thought that it would come in useful some day!

I found an appropriate verse in the Judith Wibberley book - how did I ever do without it?

So there you are, two quite different cards which I really enjoyed making.

I don't know about you but I'm beginning to feel quite pressured now that Christmas is only 2 weeks away. I seem to have given myself a real task making cards for all the family. I did want to make some personal gifts too but time seems to be running away from me now. Note to self:  make  a  plan to spread it out over the 52 weeks and not cram it all into a few short months.

Ah well, onwards and upwards - a few more cards to make yet, but time for a cuppa first, I think.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

WOYWW - Week 79 + S for Snowkisses

Good afternoon fellow WOYWWers,

Well, it is still Wednesday but I'm running really late today. I don't think there will ever be any chance of me getting to be 'numero uno' on Julia's list. If you are wondering what this is all about, Julia is the organiser of What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday, an international desk hop you will find access to on her blog, Stamping Ground.

So here's what my desk looked like first thing this morning - just as it was last night when I called it a day. Yes, no little brownies came in during the night to work their magic and clear up.  There's some silver snowflake trim that I thought about using but decided against so really should be put away. Scattered around is the detritus that accumulates around me while I'm working. The bunch of stamps are there because I have plans to use them and the embellishment box is full of assorted Christmassy stuff - I'm keeping it separate from all the other embellishments just to save wasting time looking. Mostly, what's on the desk is the card I was working on, off and on, yesterday so you can see the topper sort of set out ready to stick down. Under the scissors is the card base and the insert ready to stick inside.

Here's the finished card.

The image is another Mo Manning digi , Kai in the Snow - love it - coloured with Promarkers as usual. When I saw the 'Snowflake Kisses' sentiment on Sentiments 4 You I immediately thought it would be great with this image.

I made the background by stamping a mix of snowflake stamps with Versamark and then brushed Forever Blue Perfect Pearls all over - another first for me. I altered the 'Snowflake' digi image from black to pink before printing out. There's not much more to it really, a square doily, some die cuts - snowflake, fir tree, snowman and a buckle all cut out of blue pearlescent paper - and some really pretty blue iridescent ribbon from my stash. The image and the die cuts got the glitter treatment.

I decided to make the card tent shaped like this:

Because I didn't use a design paper for this card I decided to print out a vellum insert using one of the Bearly Mine Design papers. I used the digital punch to cut out a square to write in and added some text saying 'Let it Snow'.

Oddly, although this card is intended for a baby girl, there's a lot of blue in it. I think too much pink just would not have looked so good.

A short weather report - still old snow lying and ice here which is affecting the M77 badly and stopping mail from getting through although DH is able to drive down to the supermarket. Which is just as well as we were getting very low on tea and I only function on tea : )

Off to get my next cuppa,


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

R is for Robin - the Christmas Robin

Good Afternoon,

Just a quick post today with the latest in the Alphabet series - the R card.

Materials used: Designer paper from stash (can't remember name); Christmas Robin digi stamp from the Digi Stamp Boutique; Christmas Joy Sentiment from Sentiments 4 You; Promarkers; lemon coloured card; red marker pen; red and green glitter; 1/2" & 3" circle punches; 1cm wide yellow polka dot satin ribbon; Anita's metallic floral trims in gold.

I punched the Christmas Robin image out using the 3" punch and then dozens (well, it seemed like it was dozens at the time) of 1/2" wide circles from the lemon coloured card.and then adhered the smaller circles around the larger circle. The finishing touch is the red faux stitching close to the edge of the 3" circle.

I did the same with the digital image I used for inside the card, but instead using a marker for the faux stitching I used a glue pen and red glitter.

Another quick and easy card to make using a really cute digital stamp, don't you just love the robin's little boots, and paper that picked up on the robin theme.

We've had no more snow in Ayr today although the snowfall of yesterday is still lying and has caused a fair bit of disruption. My mother saw days like these as an excuse to get the soup pot out; there was nothing better than arriving home from school to a steaming bowl of mum's homemade potato soup : ) Oh yes, we went to school no matter how bad the weather was- school closure's were rarer than hen's teeth in the fifties - and we had a great time throwing snowballs and creating lethal ice slides. No such thing as elf and safety then!

The postman did deliver this morning as usual but parcel deliveries from UPS have been delayed today so it could be that we won't receive anticipated packages for a day or so until the roads are cleared. Hey, ho, not much we can do about it but wait.

Back to my crafting as plenty still to do.

Bye for now