Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sunday Snippets

Afternoon Everyone,

Just taking a much needed break from clearing the craft room to share a trio of cards made for Pixie's Snippets Playground today.

All three were made from a Milton & Co Christmas paper stack. Even the little decoupaged toppers were made by fussy cutting the images from sheets in the paper stack. The sentiment is from a Lawn Fawn stamp set, Winter Fox. The circles were all cut from snippets of card - the colours picked out to match the papers.

Materials used:

  • Black 5" square base cards
  • Milton & Co Christmas paper stack
  • Lawn Fawn Winter Fox stamp set 
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad
  • Black, pink and green cardstock snippets and Spellbinders circle die set
  • Stickles - Crystal and Yellow
  • Glassy Accents for Milton's eyes and nose

That's three more cards to add to the box ... I'm not exactly caught up yet but I'm working on it. Got to go, tons to do but hope to pop in to the playground later to see what you've all been up to.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - Part 2

Hello Everyone

It's a wee while since I posted some of the photos collected on scavenger hunt (Part 1 is here) and yet I have been out and about clicking away and finding most of the items on Rinda's list. It's been an interesting challenge taking me places as I never been before ... some I'd planned to visit one day, others I didn't even know existed ... in hot pursuit of the next great photo opportunity. Here's a few I've crossed off the list.

#3 A person walking a dog.
This was a lucky find. We were enjoying a family day out in Eglinton Country Park, North Ayrshire, when I spotted this group of dog owners gathering together in the car park.

With few exceptions, the dogs were boxers.

#8 Someone "plugged in" to social media
This is Erin, sitting outside the restaurant in the Culzean Castle estate, totally absorbed listening to music on her mobile phone.

#14 A traffic signal
This traffic signal is one of the many directing the traffic round the notorious Whitletts Roundabout, Ayr, which has been branded one of the most dangerous in Scotland. The bewildering five exit junction has been the scene of 32 recorded accidents in the last two years, leaving 13 people injured.

#10. A college or university
The University of the West of Scotland which is situated beside the River Ayr here in the town of Ayr where I live. It's a new building in the most idyllic setting - students must enjoy the riverside walks just as much as I do.

#17 - At least two people wearing matching outfits or uniforms
Not exactly identical outfits but both men are wearing Fire Brigade uniforms - just from completely different time periods.

This was such a fun photo shoot too. These two guys were just full of good humour and enjoyed being the centre of attention, even if it was for just a little while. The occasion was a Morris Minor Rally at Culzean Castle in June this year.

The red vehicle in the background is this 1968 Morris Minor Pick Up fully restored to look like the 1952 Morris Motors Ltd Fire Brigade appliance which was the first-line fire appliance at the Morris Cowley Motor Works in Oxford, England.

That's the second five items found, so ten down, eleven still to record. As the closing date is 22 September, I plan to be back with the next five very soon.
The List for 2015.
1. A bouquet of flowers
2. An ornate door knocker
3. A person walking a dog (or other animal)
4. People playing a board game or card game
5. Architectural columns
6. A metal bridge
7. A turtle
8. Someone "plugged in" to social media
9. A tent
10. A college or university
11. A cellular tower or television satellite dish
12. A public restroom, bathroom, or toilet
13. A merry-go-round or carousel
14. A traffic signal
15. A flag pole with at least three flags on it
16. A panoramic view, taken while standing someplace high in the air
17. At least two people wearing matching outfits or uniforms
18. An overloaded truck, car, bicycle or other vehicle
19. A ticket booth
20. A natural body of water
21. A photograph of you with a sign reading "2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt". Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
And the possible substitutes for all but #21:
Alternative A: People eating outside
Alternative B: Someone holding an umbrella
Alternative C: A rocking chair

Please check out Rinda's blog here for links to others who are participating and see what they have found to date. And if you would like to join in, it's not too late as the challenge goes on until September 22.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 325

Good Afternoon and Happy WOYWW to you all,

This is probably going to be the briefest of brief WOYWW posts today because what's on my desk is not crafting.
Instead there's a box, one of many. The EM, aka The Handyman, is about to don his painter's overalls ready to decorate the craft room so he has decreed that everything has to be packed and cleared away in the next few days. As you can see, I'm hanging on to the tools and stash I can't possibly live without - to the absolute end!

Now, I'm going to slack off for a few hours and go check out as many of your desks over at Julia's Stamping Ground as I am able before I'm evicted!

Will I be back next week with an update? I hope so. In the meantime, I wish you all a very good week ahead.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

One Stamp Set, Four Christmas Cards

Evening Everyone,

It's almost the end of August and I have nowhere near enough Christmas cards made. In an attempt to remedy this sad, sad, situation I've made four - yes four - today, so in no particular order here they are.

I was inspired to try this technique after reading Heather Telford's post in Bits and Pieces, and create my own patterned paper by stamping a sheet of watercolour paper which I then cut up to create the four toppers. Of course, I didn't have the same materials as Heather but I found a poinsettia stamp in my stash that was similar to the one she used. All the stamping was done with a combination of distress markers and ink pads and then I used a paint brush and water to fill in the petals and leaves by drawing the ink from the outlines and then adding extra detail with the markers wherever it was needed. Once it was completely dry I added gold Liquid Pearl drops to the centres of the flowers. 

To make the cards, I created two card bases from dark green cardstock, one square and one A5 size, and found two ready-made ones in my stash, one square black and the other an A5 window style in white. Next I cut the stamped sheet into strips and squares to fit the various cards. Three toppers are matted on to gold card - from the snippet mountain - and all the greetings were die-cut from yet more snippets of gold card.

Materials used:
  • Cardstock - A4 sheet of white watercolour card, 2 A4 sheets of dark green card (Papermill Direct), snippets of gold card; black square card base; white window card base
  • Stamps - Papermania's First Noel set
  • Markers and Ink, Tim Holtz Aged Mahogany and Peeled Paint distress markers, Memento Cantaloupe and Pear Tart for the poinsettia, and Stormy Sky and Weathered Wood ink pads
  • Dies - all word dies from Tattered Lace mini die set
  • Gold Liquid Pearls

I'm submitting these cards to the following challenges:

The August Rudolph Days Challenge over at Mo's - anything goes as long as it's Christmas themed
Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge 243 - use gold
Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for August 2015 - also anything Christmas themed goes
Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 191 - more snippets used up

That's four more added to the my little stock of Christmas cards, just a few more and I'll be able to relax :)

Happy Rudolph Day,

Monday, 24 August 2015

In A Vase On Monday - After The Southport Flower Show

Hello Everyone

As you may have guessed from the title I've been to this year's Flower Show at Southport. We travelled down on Friday and went along to the show on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Returned to Scotland and home to find the garden looking a bit bashed about from the wind and rain so spent much of today deadheading and removing the worst of the damage. Only once that was done was I able to go foraging for today's vase allowing me to participate in Cathy's meme, In A Vase On Monday.
Before setting off for England on Friday I noticed that the recently planted floribunda rose Amber Queen had quite a few blooms on it, at last, and decided that if they had survived the weekend I'd cut a few for today's vase.

As luck would have it they had and, better still, the colour of this orange jam/jelly jar (bought from Jonathan Moseley's stall  ... florist to Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, and perhaps more famous for his stint on the Big Allotment Challenge) looked just right for yellow of the roses ...
... and the orange yellow of Crocosmia 'Okavango', in flower at last!
I wanted to keep the colour combination simple so just added a couple of sprays from the everlasting sweet pea, Lathyrus latifolius 'White Pearl' - a very appropriate name for the masses of glowing white flowers.
The unopened green buds of the sweet peas look good too so I added a few sprays and a couple of the delicate flower sprigs from celery leaf, also known as herb celery and a wild relative of the more commonly cultivated vegetable. The little bird that you can just about see peeking out from behind the vase is another purchase from Jonathan Moseley's stall.

I've put together a couple of collages of photos from the flower show that might be of interest to you ... click on the photos to see them enlarged. The first is from the cutting flower garden that has been developed by a local florist, Petal and Twig, together with members from the Flowers From The Farm, an organisation working to promote British flowers.
Lots of familiar flowers growing in the beds and a few new ones too, for example that lovely fluffy headed grass centre right. And I am now suffering from serious shed envy after spotting this little blue number :)
During a particularly heavy downpour I took refuge in a tent where, to my delight, Carol, of Carol's Garden, was giving a talk on flower arranging using the flowers we grow in our cutting patches. She reasons that with a little imagination and some ingenuity we can use 'what is in season and enjoy the variety this brings – no peonies at Christmas'. The lovely arrangements on display around the tent were the work of Jonathan Moseley - many of the flowers used came from the cutting garden outside.

Finally, I brought just two plants back ... very restrained of me!
Echinacea 'Tomato Soup' ... a hardy herbaceous perennial with the most unusual red cone flower and Hypericum 'Magical Red Flame', bought for the crimson red berries.

I could go on and show many more photographs but I think yet more restraint is called for. If you've read this far, many thanks. I wish you all a good week and happy gardening.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Friday Smiles

Hi Everyone

I hope you are all well and have had a good smiley week.

I'm thinking that many of you will have seen many little ones stepping off into the unknown this week as they started there first day at school. For me it was my little great-granddaughter, Rhian, not yet five years old, starting primary school on Tuesday this week.

Rhian looked very smart and immensely proud in her new uniform. She settled in very quickly and didn't look at all bothered that her mum would be leaving her there for part of the day. Turned out she thoroughly enjoyed the experience ... it was her mum who had a little moment seeing her wee girl looking so grown up.

Now, here's my joke for the week

The Sensitive Man

The room was full of pregnant women with their partners. The class was in full swing. The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly and was telling the men how to give the necessary assurance to their partners at this stage of the pregnancy.

She said, "Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier. Just take several stops and stay on a soft surface like grass or a path."

She looked at the men in the room, "And Gentlemen, remember you're in this together. It wouldn't hurt you to go walking with her."

The room suddenly got very quiet as the men absorbed this information. Then a man at the back of the room slowly raised his hand.

"Yes? asked the Instructor.

I was just wondering if it would be all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?

That's my smiles for the week. If you want to share something that made you smile then do pop along to Annie's at A Stitch In Time and join in the fun. 

Rightio, I'd better get a scoot on ... the EM is 'patiently' waiting for me so that we can get on the road. As we are away for the weekend, hope it's okay but it won't be possible for me to check out the smiley links until we return on Sunday, or maybe even Monday, depending on how tired I am when we get back.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

My Travel Notes - Birthday Card

Hello Everyone

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying whatever weather has been chucked at you, wherever you are. For the record it's dull and threatening rain here in Ayrshire. This has got to be the quickest post in history today - I have some packing to do! The card I'm sharing was made for my son, Alun, on his 46th birthday.

Like his sister's dream of owning a VW Campervan - see Sunday's Snippet post, Alun has his dreams and this plane is something like one of them. At the moment he flies a microlight but hopes to change it for something a bit more substantial ... his mum would be pleased with that too. Flying around in a flimsy looking machine that is powered by what sounds like a lawn mower engine doesn't fill me with confidence!

How I made it:
- I began by making the topper. The Molly Bloom image was stamped on to white watercolour paper using Stazon Jet Black Ink. Actually this was my second attempt - I really fluffed up the first by using the wrong ink pad! I then watercoloured it, using the illustration on the stamp packaging as a guide, with Spectrum Aqua markers.

- Next, I trimmed it down and matted it on to a layer of gold card and another of light turquoise - both pieces found in the snippet mountain. 

- The base, a 6" square Kraft one, was covered in a sheet taken from Papermania's All Aboard 6x6 paper pad. A band made from a scrap length of gold card and a strip trimmed from another sheet of patterned paper, edges inked with Vintage Photo distress ink, was then attached across the middle of the card.

- The words and tag were cut from another two sheets from the same paper pad, edges inked with the Vintage Photo, and adhered, sort of randomly, on the base paper. 

- The topper was then adhered to the card, slightly off-centre to allow the design on the paper to be seen.

- The final touches were to add the Dekromount die-cut word, son, coloured with one of the Aqua markers (Buttercup) already used in the colouring of the stamped image, and write 'Happy Birthday' with a Pigma Micron 03 black pen on the banner flying from the plane. 

I'm submitting this card to the following challenges:

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 190 - snippets of gold and light turquoise cardstock used.

Seize the Birthday - Anything that Flies!

Addicted to Stamps Challenge Blog - Challenge #158 - Holiday

And the reason why I'm packing ... I'm sure you're dying to know! I'm off to the Flower Show at Southport this weekend, by car not microlight!, and I'm so looking forward to it. I've got my fingers crossed that the showers forecast will skip the where we will be just for the day ... a little bit of sunshine would be good too but maybe that's asking for a bit too much :)

Of course, I wish fair weather for you wherever you are this weekend too :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 324

Hello Everyone,

Couldn't make this weekly desk fest last week ... instead, I accompanied my daughter to the Cochlear Implant Clinic for another appointment, the happy outcome you can read about in this earlier post here. However, there's no calls on my time today so I can join in the fun over at Julia's Stamping Ground.
My desk today. I've taken the photo from a slightly different angle and you get to see the containers of junk necessary crafting accessories usually cut out of any photo taken. The huge pile of boxes to the left is the result of a sort out of 12x12 papers ... I was looking for papers that I thought would be suitable for family history layouts because I really need to concentrate on collating all the information, photos and ephemera I have collected on my family. Next to that is another dumping catch-all box - this one contains leaflets and pamphlets collected on our various trips out over the summer. There's even a fir cone I picked up on a walk ... I blame my primary school teacher for my magpie habits ... it was her fault for encouraging me to bring stuff in for her 'nature' table :) Do they still have nature tables at school now, I wonder? On the craft mat is a stamp and a paper pad. I'm undecided what to make next, something quick with the cute characters or go for the stamp that will take a bit more time. Whatever, it has to be Christmas themed. Confession time. I've been pretty lax about making Christmas cards so far this year ... come to think of it I've been pretty lax all round, even being late for some birthdays ... so must do something about it or I'll find myself making cards in a total panic in the last week of December!!!

Rightio! That's what's on my desk today, now to find out what's on yours.

Happy WOYWW,

Monday, 17 August 2015

In A Vase On Monday - I Love Rock 'n' Roll

Hello Everyone,

It's Monday again and that's the day we get to join in with Cathy's meme, In A Vase On Monday. Admittedly it is late now but I've been out in the garden for hours working my way through a list of jobs that were long overdue. What's more, after the horrible weather we've had so far this summer, it was a real pleasure to get out there and actually enjoy just being in the garden again. And, of course, I found some time to cut the flowers for this week's vase while out there.
My first choice was this beautiful rose. Grandiflora Rose 'Rock 'n' Roll' is a striking striped rose of white, cream, red and cherry stripes and it's fragrant too. The name of the rose prompted me to take this book, A Photographic History by Nick Yapp, down from the shelf and open it out at a page of photos of rock idols of the fifties. I remember them so well.

I don't usually like big overblown roses but I do love 'Rock 'n' Roll' hence the title of this post.
To compliment the rose I added Achillea 'Cassis' - much more cherry coloured than it looks in the photo - dill, Anethum graveolens, and honeysuckle, Lonicera 'Gold Flame'. I did have my eye on a larger spray of honeysuckle but a big beautiful busy bee seemed to have a prior claim so I had to settle for this smaller one.

I also found some cherry coloured Lithrum 'Robin' that I thought would look good in  the vase and added a few poppy seed heads just because I like them.

Finally, I couldn't resist adding a couple of white Pelargoniums around the base of the arrangement just as a finishing touch.

If you liked my vases this week, you might like to pop over to Rambling In the Garden where you can see Cathy's vintage mood arrangement.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sunday Snippets - Campervan Birthday Card

Hello everyone

It's a brief, very brief visit this morning. As mentioned last night, we are taking a picnic and going on a wee trip out today.

However, in true Blue Peter fashion I have a card I made earlier to share with you and, as it used up quite a few snippets of cardstock in the making, I'll be popping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 190 with it.
As you can see, it's the card made for my daughter's birthday this year. Juli dreams of owning a VW campervan, an original 1960s one no less, so this Molly Bloom stamp is just perfect. It's coloured, not too well, with ProMarkers ... I couldn't get the shading on the red body parts right!

Materials used:

  • Molly Bloom Stamp of campervan
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad
  • Selection of ProMarker pens in shades of grey, red, yellow and black
  • Sheena Douglas greeting stamp and a tiny heart stamp inked in red for the label
  • Snippets of cardstock in charcoal grey, white and red
  • A4 sheet of white card, folded in half to create the base, and another of red textured card to create the first layer on the front.
  • Embossing folder - Textures Pebbles, Crafter's Companion - for the charcoal card layer
  • Word Daughter, DekroMounts from Aspire, coloured with red ProMarker
  • Red/white bakers twine and Tim Holtz tiny attacher to staple it in place on the label
  • Chipboard candy coloured with red ProMarker

Those little DekroMounts are really useful, especially if, like me, you don't have the appropriate word dies.

Now all that's left is for Juli to win the lottery, just enough to buy a campervan. There would be no stopping her ... she'd be off around the country, if not the world!!!

Right, time to make up the picnic before we set off ... we have perfect weather for a trip out :)

Wishing you all have a wonderful day.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Baby's Crocheted Lap Rug - Another WOYWW Catch-Up

Hello Everyone

I hope your weekend is going well so far. We've had a day of mixed weather, rain showers in the morning with sun in the afternoon. Hope it remains dry tomorrow as we are planning to picnic at one of the local beauty spots if it is.

Before anything else, I'd like to thank everyone who sent their good wishes to my daughter, Juli, who is soon to have a cochlear implant fitted. She sometimes reads my blog so may have seen your comments, but just in case she hasn't I will be sure to pass them on to her ... I'm certain she will be most appreciative.

Now on to the catch-up. If you caught this WOYWW post a few weeks back you might recall seeing this lap rug while it was still a work in progress.
The finished rug is crocheted using eight colours double knitting acrylic yarn in a chevron pattern I had never tried before. It wasn't as tricky as I expected and I soon picked up the pattern. The original design called for just three pastel shades but, as I wanted to use a bright and cheery combination ... babies love bright colours ... I modified the design to suit.
The rug was made just big enough to be used to cover my great-grandson to keep him cosy in his car seat. Here he is 'modelling' it for us ... sound asleep.

That's me done for the day. It's late ... well, late for me ... and I'm off to bed so I'll bid you goodnight and wish you a good day tomorrow.