Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday's Smiles

Evening Everyone,

I'm late joining in Annie's Friday Smiles this week ... I don't know where the day has gone! Well, I do but more of that later. However, I do have plenty to smile about so here I go.

Reason to Smile No. 1
Annie has selected my Friday Smile from last week with the cute little kitty pic for a special mention. Thank you Annie, that's so nice of you. Despite the trauma, I really am doing fine - the bruises are disappearing and things are being put to rights in the garden.

Reason to Smile No. 2
And the explanation of where some of the day has gone!
This is not an old dressing table, with mirror removed. No, no, not at all! This is my new sewing table. Or it will be once it's been rubbed down and got a couple of coats of cream paint and it's going to look something like this.
At a fraction of the price. This new table is going for a penny short of £300 (US$464) pounds over on Sewing Online, my old table was a charity shop find costing £20 (US$31)! Big difference!!! Even when the cost of the paint is factored in it will still be a bargain :)
For many years I had a sewing cabinet just like this one. Bought in the 1970s, it was made of teak. When my first husband and I split up 24 years ago it was one of the items left behind. I missed it for a while but then I stopped sewing so in time it didn't matter. Anyway, I never liked the shelf on the bottom ... it stopped me from pulling my chair close to the desk. In contrast, my new find is going to be absolutely perfect once it's been spruced up :))

And finally, reason to Smile No. 3

Two late bloomers in the garden ... a purple clematis and pink perennial sweetpeas. Survivors of the fire :)

So what have you had to smile about this week. If you haven't already joined in with Annie's smile, it's not too late, so do join if if you have a mind to.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend with lots to smile about.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Off To Bed Before Santa Comes - card for CHNC

Afternoon Everyone,

Just a quick and easy card to share with you today. Another one with a recycled card topper and using up a tiny smidgeon from the stash mountain. I thought the little characters looked so cute in their little nighties and bedcaps - off to bed to wait in eager anticipation for Santa :)
All I had to do to make this card was fussy cut the little topper, and layer it on to some gold textured paper (origin unknown) and the Mary Kilvert designed red/white check paper which came free with a magazine – details long forgotten. The base card is tiny too, just 4” square. The finishing touch is some red gems and gold scalloped peel-offs dug out of the stash. I bought peel-offs at the beginning of this cardmaking adventure thinking they were a necessity – how wrong was I, I rarely use them.
Inside I’ve just popped a free digi greeting stamp from Bizzy Bec’s blog, printed out in red. 

I'm submitting it to the usual challenges:
Hazel's, at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 139, - the challenge for this week is for a ‘Cute’ card.

Hazel's other challenge - CHNC Challenge Extra for August - where, as always, the challenge is for anything as long as it's Christmas.

And, of course, Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground Week87 ... the gold textured paper is the snippet here.

Still busy making patchwork, but hoping to find time to make another card later ... my Christmas card count is nowhere near the number needed come the day. But first I have to visit the library, I have books due back today. I'll be rooting around the craft section again ... wonder what gem I'll unearth today :)

Hope you are all having a good day, hopefully a warm and dry one, wherever you are.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


Wednesday again ... where does the week go. And the month too ... August is almost over, sigh!

Never mind, there's always plenty to look forward to and that definitely includes What's On Your Desk. So without further prevarication, here's mine.
Photo taken late Tuesday evening, just before going off to bed. It's alright, looking a lot tidier than last week. That's because I cleared it so that I could get the sewing machine out. So, what can be seen ... fabric left over from the cushion cover I made for my niece (you can see the finished project in the previous post), a pile of lilac/grey/white patterned fat quarters and some gorgeous plain purple fabric - I'm brewing another cushion cover, this time for my DIL who has a birthday coming up. There's also a couple of books which I've been studying, the two tins I keep sewing bits and bobs in, some lace and zips, my ancient pin cushion, scissors, tape measure, snips, corner turning implement ... all almost antique too.  There's even some scraps of black fabric - leftovers. And yet all quite tidy ... for me :)

But the most exciting items on the desk this week are the two MDF door hangers made by no less a personage than the EM! I mentioned the possibility of allocating some of my hard-earned pension for the purchasing of a few. He scrutinised the online illustration for a nanosecond. I can do that he says and then he disappeared into his manshed. Out came the Black & Decker stuff, power tool, jigsaw, workmate, and dust mask ... the man has more toys than I have!!! An hour or so later and he was as good as his word ... he's made two lovely door hangers, with a few more to come. I think there is no end to this man's talents :)

Still not sure what WOYWW is about? Take a hop over to Julia's place, the Stamping Ground, where all is revealed ... all our crafty desks, tables, cupboards, floors too, and even, just last week, the top of someone's washing machine. Do join in, it's fun and you'll almost certainly make a lot of new crafting buddies. That's everything from cardmaking, scrapping, painting, mixed media artistry, jewellery making, knitting, sewing and anything else craft-related you care to think off ... it's a huge learning experience and totally addictive :)

Gosh, I've wittered on a bit too much this week ... I promise, Julia, that I will try for more brevity next week.

Take care and happy WOYWW to you all.

Can a girl ever have too many shoes ...

... my niece says that's not possible :)

Evening Everyone,

I said I might be back to show my latest patchwork project if it was deemed it good enough. Well, it got the mark of approval from the recipient ... I made it for Louise, my niece ... she loved it.
I was hoping it would appeal to her 'shop 'til you drop' philosophy, and it did :)

It's Made from 9 x 5" squares in red/black/white patterned cottons, black edging strips are 2" wide and the red spot corner squares are 2" square. The back is in envelope style in red. Most of the fabric, already cut into fat quarters, had the selvedge removed when I bought which means I can't give any clues to the manufacturer(s). That is, all except the fabulous shoe pattern which I bought of the bolt, so I can tell you that it is a screen print from Robert Kaufman called Dress Up.
I drew the layout out to scale first before cutting out the pieces. I'm still at the re-learning (I've forgotten more than I remember) and experimenting stage and I think I'd make the squares smaller and the edging strips wider next time. It's all trial and error at the moment.

Right, that's me for today. I'm off to watch the latest New Tricks ... Nicholas Lyndhurst is joining the cast and I can't wait to see what he makes of a role in what is not a comedy. I have a feeling he will still make me chuckle :)

Hope you are all having a lovely evening, and are too busy enjoying yourself to find time to be blog hopping :))

A Bunch of Love - with a Gelli plate print layer

Morning Everyone

I meant to share this card yesterday but I was just 'sew' busy in the craftroom ... working on some patchwork. Anyway here it is now - a card for my niece's 29th birthday.
I've used a square scalloped card base and softened the white by inking the edges with Tim Holt DI Spun Sugar. The layers are chocolate brown and kraft ... I'm not a pink kind of 'girl' but I do like it combined with shades of brown. The pink print was one of the many samples I made when I had a session with the Gelli plate and brayer. This piece was made with white card, Boldmore Rose acrylic paint (very inexpensive from The Works in Ayr) and That Special Touch Fretwork mask ... proving to myself that you can go pretty and pink with Gelli plate printing.

The topper is a Penny Black Stickeroo, from the A Bunch of Love sheet, adhered to white card which was then sponged with the Spun Sugar ink. The two-tone pink grosgrain ribbon (American Crafts) was wrapped around the three base layers and then I offset the topper to leave visible as much of the pink print as possible. A greeting (with Wild Rose Studio Everyday Greetings and Archival Jet Black ink pad) and some adhesive flat-backed pink gems finish the front.
And the tiny slivers cut from the print have been used to decorate the inside and back - as per usual :)

I plan to skip over and submit this to Pixies Crafty Snippets Playground - Week 87 - the snippet is the white card used for the PB Stickeroo ... it's not much but every little bit helps :))

It's going to be a lovely day here because not only is the sun shining but also the birthday girl herself is going to be dropping in to see us.

I hope to return later to share the patchwork I've been working on - that's if it looks good enough to share with you all.

In the meantime, I hope you are all having a lovely day too.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Rudolph Day Card in Purple and Green

Evening Everyone,

I said I'd be back with a card for Rudolph Day ...

... and here it is. This is one for Sarn's Rudolph Day challenge for August ... with only 3 more Rudolph Days to go to Christmas, and nowhere near enough cards made, this is one challenge I cannot afford to miss.

I know it's a pretty unusual colour combination for Christmas, and I don't really know why I chose to team the ivy stamped topper with the purple card but I think it works, especially with the lovely 'tartan' ribbon I found in my collection.

Not much to it really, just quick and simple - the only thing that took any time was colouring in the ivy with an olive green Promarker. This is a digital stamp from The Scrapbook Sisters Digital Stamps - bought and printed out way back in July 2011 and only now being coloured ... shameful! I was able, by using MS Publisher, to create a frame with the ivy corner, leaving an area in the centre for the greeting stamp - from the much used Magical Christmas Stamp Set by Anita's. Crystal Stickles has been added to the stars around the greeting, shame it hasn't shown up in the photo. I did try taking the shot from various angles and still no twinkle :(

The topper is matted on to purple card which has a textured pattern to it ... bought from Create & Craft a couple of years ago too ... more of the forgotten and neglected stash!!!

The ribbon wasn't forgotten though, I was just waiting for just the right project to adorn ... read that it's so pretty I couldn't bear to parted with it :)
Inside and on the back I've stamped a spray of ivy, in Archival Jet Black,  using one of the very first stamps I ever bought, in 1996 - a wood mount by Petaluma ... it cost $5.99 (£3.85).

That's my crafting done for the day. I wonder what tomorrow will bring ... I haven't decided yet :)

I'm off to catch the new drama beginning at 9pm, What Remains. If the trailer is anything to go by it should be intriguing.

Whatever you are doing this evening I hope it's enjoyable.

Sunday Snippets

Happy Sunday Everyone,

It's a lovely sunny morning here in Ayr ... that will be because it isn't a Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland! If it was it would be tipping it down which, I believe, it is doing in the south of England. For everyone down there I hope the rain isn't ruining your holiday completely.

A bit of a different snippets post today. Just because it's Sunday and because I challenged myself to do this little exercise, and because I remembered to take the photos!

The challenge was, one, to make a one card, a baby card, using some of that massive pile of stash on my desk and, two, to immediately make another from the leftovers. Here's a shot of all the materials and equipment used.
And here's the first card ... made for this month's UKPC swap. The remit was for a baby card so I decided to stick to a fairly neutral colour choice, yellow. Admittedly a fairly vibrant shade of yellow but, frankly, I don't do yellow. It's just not my colour, not lemon, primrose, sunshine ... whatever shade it is, it's not for me ... so any papers and card that are included in any pack tends to get shoved to the bottom of the stack and forgotten. Anyway, I digress, I decided on yellow and white for this card.
I began by stamping two different sized flower heads (from Dawn Bibby's Flowers and Leaf stamp set) in shades of Frost White (Colorbox), Dried Marigold and Scattered Straw (Tim Holtz DIs) on the yellow card which was then cut to fit the white square card base I'd chosen.

The rocking horse (Hobbycraft) was stamped on to the smaller of two white pearlescent nesties (a gift from my crafting friend Cass, who, incidentally, has been creating stunning encaustic art work recently) and for the yellow layer I did my usual trick of tracing round the smaller of the two nesties and then cutting it out leaving a small margin all the way round.  A large faux pearl (Habico) in each corner finishes the front off.
Strips of the stamped card decorate the inside and back.
For the second card I've embossed the front of a standard A6 white card base (Cuttlebug's Kassie's Brocade) - a tricky process but a pretty result so worth the extra fiddling about :) A strip of leftover card has been matted on to a snippet of brown card and adhered to the left side of the front. The greeting was stamped on to yellow card, punched out with the smaller of the SU oval punches and then matted on to brown card - using the larger scalloped oval punch. For the floral embellishment the two sizes of flowers were stamped in Dried Marigold on to the last of the yellow card, cut out, edges inked with more of the DI, and layered together with glue gel. The flower on the greeting is made from two of the small sized flowers glued together. All the flowers have been finished off with one of the smaller pearls in the centre.

Finally, I even managed to squeeze two flowers from the remaining snippets to decorate the inside and back.

That done, I'm popping over to Di's at Pixies Crafty Snippets Playground - Week 87 to submit the snippet card and to see what all the other snippeteers have been up too. 

And, as it's Rudolph Day, I'll be back later with my offering for this month.

In the meantime, I hope you are all have a terrific day and a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

A Trip to the Sewing Shop

Evening Everyone,

No project to share with you today ... been too busy and just don't know where the time went but I did have to pop into town to buy some fabric for another cushion cover I'm planning to make ... I think I'm becoming the cushion cover queen :) The shop always has something eye-catching in the window.
This time it was those two huge pink moustaches shaped cushions. The starfish shaped one is fab too. I just love this shop and always end up buying more than I intended ... today was no exception :)

Here's a selection of the photos I took on my way back to the car from the shop.
On the New Bridge that crosses the River Ayr, looking down the estuary and over the Firth of Clyde to the mountains on the Isle of Arran beyond.
The old church that stands on the corner where the bridge ends. When I moved to the town around eight years ago I think this was in use as a theatre but now it is abandoned and left to crumble with plants growing out of the recesses ... so sad.
Looking up river this time, towards the old fifteenth century bridge, still in use for pedestrian traffic today. You can tell, can't you, from the autumnal colours in the shrubbery that summer is coming to an end.
Facing this way, the bridge leads out of Ayr towards Prestwick. The imposing red sandstone building you can see is the Carnegie Library, our public lending library. So named because in 1890 Mr Carnegie offered the then library committee £10,000 to build a new library with the proviso that the town adopt the Public Libraries Act. Lucky for me they agreed because it's one of my favourite haunts.
And here's a close up of the nearby flower bed - giant French marigolds and wine coloured coleus dominate ... very eye-catching.

I better get a wriggle on ... Saturday night is movie night at Casa Worthington. Showing tonight is a real oldie, Mrs Miniver, made in 1942 and starring Greer Garson and Walter Pigeon. It's years since I last watched this film ... I remember it as idealized and sentimental, and perhaps somewhat contrived but with the great propaganda value which Winston Churchill was moved to comment 'was worth a dozen battleships'. I think it's going to be a hoot :)

I hope that whatever you are doing you are all having a great weekend too.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Friday Smile ... Week 32

Hi Everyone,

Just realised that it's Friday and time to join in with Annie's smile post over on A Stitch In Time.

As many of you will know I've had a week of mixed fortunes but I've still got something to smile about. The EM was sent this great pic and he kindly passed it on to cheer me up ...
... he knows I'm a sucker for baby animals ... I've not missed one episode of Nature's Newborns over the last few weeks :))

Hope you have all had much to smile about this week ... I'm off now to see others' smiles.

Red Snowflake - another card with no sentiment

Evening Everyone

Just a quick and easy card to share with you this evening. Another one with a recycled card topper - I loved this photograph of a gold and sparkly tree ornament as soon as I took it out of the envelope when I received it last year.
All I had to do to make this card was trim the topper, ink the edges with Tim Holtz Festive Berries distress ink, and layer it on to red mirror card before attaching it to the white scalloped edged card base. The finishing touch is the green satin ribbon bow - from one of the bargain reels I picked up for a song at the local car boot sale.

The inside and back are decorated with snowflakes that were applied using a template - maker and source unknown - and the Festive Berries ink. 

I'm submitting it to the usual challenges:

Hazel's, at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 138, - no sentiment again

Hazel's other challenge - CHNC Challenge Extra for August - where, as always, the challenge is for anything as long as it's Christmas.

And, of course, Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground Week 86 ... the red mirror card is the snippet here.

And that is it - another fairly slim card which shouldn't incur the massive and damaging costs my cards usually attract at the Post Office :)

We took the opportunity during a dry spell to get out and make a few changes at the top of the garden. We removed the charred flower bed, put down gravel, providing a new, and hopefully safer, storage place for the new wheelie bins. Now we just have to wait for the insurance company to give the go ahead for the rest of the work to be done. It started raining just as we finished ... wasn't that lucky :))

I hope you are all well and have had a lovely Friday. 

Thanks for popping in, take care and happy crafting, 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Winter Botanicals in Silver ... no sentiment

Evening Everyone,

At last, I've been back in the craft room and making a start on tackling that pile of A4 card and paper that's teetering on the edge of my desk. And to start with, as Hazel, over at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 138, has asked for no sentiment this week, this what I've come up with.
Is there anything more difficult to photograph than mirror card?!?! 

This is really a case of using up stash. Everything that has gone into making it has been tucked away and forgotten for one reason or another. For example, the pale aqua base card came from a pack of mixed coloured cards bought cheaply from a high street shop way back when I first began to think about making cards ... trouble was, when I got them home and opened the pack I found they were badly scored and folded. However, with a bit of judicious pruning, this one is now squared up perfectly.

The patterned paper, part of a Christmas gift from a crafting buddy, has been stowed away just waiting for the perfect project .... in other words, I didn't really want to part with it because I like it so much! But that's just selfish and the time has come to share :) The black card? Well, it's recycled and the topper is from testing out the embossing folder when it was new ... that will be last year some time then :) Even the ribbons and the gems have been around as long as Methuselah!
  • pale aqua square base card 
  • Jennifer Ellory design paper
  • black card
  • silver mirror card
  • Sizzix Winter Botanicals embossing folder
  • Anita's red, turquoise and green gems
  • red grosgrain ribbon and narrow silver edged black ribbon
And this week I will remember to submit to Hazel's other challenge - CHNC Challenge Extra for August - where, as always, the challenge is for anything as long as it's Christmas.

And, of course, I'm hopping and skipping along to Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground Week 86 ... the snippets are the black and the silver card used for the topper. There's a new kid in the playground, Parsnip's the name, that I'm keen to meet :)

Ah, it's good to be back and crafting again :)

Take care everyone and happy crafting,

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Hello Everyone,

Wednesday again, and as I haven't posted anything since Saturday ... been too busy dealing with the aftermath of the fire ... I thought I'd try to get back into the swing of things and show you what is really on my desk today.
Just a bit cluttered and definitely not my usual tidy self :( I've been pulling out all sorts of bits and pieces in an attempt to use stash up ... that's the unused, forgotten and neglected stuff that deserves better treatment than that. On the craft mat is the makings of a card ... just at the decision stage :)
To the right are baskets and boxes of stamps, embossing folders, and other assorted goodies. The two boxes balanced on top of a red box at the back contain my ProMarker collection - the red box contains some embossing folders. There's various dishes containing ribbons, lace, gems and some ancient sequins. Sequins seem to be making a bit of a comeback in the scrapbooking world ... good news for me then :)
Teetering on the right edge of the desk is a massive multi-coloured pile of various pieces of A4 (i.e. 8.3 x 11.7 inches) card and paper. I rarely use this size of card, preferring 12 x 12 ordinarily, but there are some lovely colours, textures, patterns, etc. in that pile, all just crying out to be used so I'm on a mission to work my way through as much as possible over the next few weeks.

For anyone who is still in the dark as to what WOYWW is about, and wondering why I'd be revealing this oh so very cluttered desk of mine, do click the link or head over to Julia's blog, the Stamping Ground, where all is made clear.

That's my lot for today but before I go, I'd just like to say a very big thank you to everyone, and there was a lot of you, who left kind messages after reading my last post. The EM and I have been dealing with all the jobs that have to be done following such a disaster, and picking up the pieces, and clearing up the mess. Today, I had the sad job of cutting back some of our precious plants, and pulling up those too damaged to revive - and planning some remodelling of that part of the garden with a view to making it safer from vandals and arsonists. The bruises from the fall are many and very colourful ... that will teach me to be more careful :))

I'm back in the craft room again so normal service should be resumed.

I wish you all a very happy Wednesday and happy crafting,