Friday, 24 March 2017

Friday Smiles

Evening All,

It's quite a wee while since I joined in with Annie's Friday Smile meme - a month actually! I don't know where the time has flown - well, I do but won't dwell on it - however it's nice to be back with plenty to smile about.

First up, this little chap.
My great-grandson Callum, 21 months, popped in, accompanied by his dad of course, for lunch on Wednesday. He's very picky with his food, I almost was at a loss on what to feed him as he passed up on buttered bread fingers, chopped egg, tomato, etc. etc., but I discovered he'll eat scrambled eggs and crisps. A very strange combination - he loves crisps! He loved playing with the doll's house you can just about see in the background so I think one may be on his birthday wishlist now.

Next up, this big chap.
My grandson Josh. He's just moved into a modern town apartment, on his own after years of sharing with a friend, and today I got to visit for the first time. As you can see he's mightily pleased with his new home - this photo was taken in the second bedroom which he has fitted up as the snooker room much to his grandad's delight.
This is the view he has from his lounge, St Joseph's Church - a lovely old red sandstone building.

And as if that wasn't enough the postman delivered two items that also had me smiling. The first was this.
I've been struggling to work on this embroidery on a round hoop so I've treated myself to this square snap frame which is just the ticket.

And the second is this book.
Obviously I bought this book for it's contents but what I didn't realise is that it is actually covered in printed fabric. I keep stroking it ... the fabricaholics among you will understand!

So that's just some of what made me smile this week. If you would like to see more then do pop over to Annie's blog, A Stitch In Time, where you will find links to other's smiley posts every Friday.

Take care and have a lovely weekend. Oh, and for those of us in the UK, don't forget that the clocks go forward one hour on Sunday.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Week 407

Morning to you all,

Firstly, I'd like to begin by apologising to you all for not commenting on Week 405. I suddenly became ill that afternoon, after eating a mushroom omelette for lunch, and it took six days to recover. Just in time for jury service last week, meaning that I couldn't participate in Julia's What's On Your Desk Wednesday then either. However, fingers crossed, normal service is now resumed. Desk snooping here I come. It's so nice to be back!

So here's my desk this week.
To the left - a finished card sitting on top of a the stamp set I've been using these last couple of days. To the right - a pile of card scraps, And centre - work in progress. Rudolph Day is coming up so I'm aiming to make a suitable card or two before the day. Besides, I'm way behind with my goal to make a minimum of one C-card a week this year already so I've quite a bit of catching up to do. The basket at the back is full of festive paper packs - see how hard I'm trying not to say the actual word for that time of the year. I know it's too soon for some of you :) The pile back left is made up of various stamp sets. In the same way as I'm methodically reading through a list of books - another one of my goals - I'm also making my way through a list of stamps beginning with that pile, otherwise they linger in a drawer unused which is ridiculous. I like them, therefore I should use them!  Also out are stamp blocks, and empty plastic pot used as water container for colouring, ink pads, a tin of Windsor & Newton watercolour paints, spritzers, gold Cosmic Shimmer, a pack of enamel dots and a tub of card candy - all of which have been used on recent projects. Oh, and those trays off to the back left are just full of junk I should sort out - and I will, one day!

Here's the finished card you can see top of the pile on the left.
I know it looks like it's black and white in the photo but actually it's brown and white. The ink used to stamp the image, from Hobby Art's March Hares set, was Memento Rich Cocoa, the cardstock used for matting and layering is dark chocolate and even the enamel dots are a very dark brown. The only black used was the ink ribbon on the typewriter that I used to type up the greeting.

I am expecting a special little visitor, my great-grandson, today. He and his dad are dropping in for lunch before going off to soft play for the afternoon. Should be fun - he's toddling now and into everything. For the rest of the day I'm on WOYWW snooping duty :)

Hope you all have a wonderful WOYWW and a great week ahead.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Tuesday's Card - A March Morning


I've been playing with stamps, inks and sprays to make another card using the March Hare set from Hobby Arts.

Unfortunately, it proved to be a difficult card to photograph and although this one is the best of a bad bunch it doesn't show the depth of the colours that can be seen in real life.

Here's a close-up that is a bit better.
Here's how it was made:

  1. a smooth white A4 (8.27 × 11.69 inches) sheet of cardstock was cut in two halves and then one half was folded to make the card base.
  2. the card front was sprayed with gold Cosmic Shimmer. To do this the fully opened card was taped to the craft mat and the back covered to prevent the gold spray getting anywhere but the front. It was then put aside to dry. Note: I should have kept it taped down to prevent the cardstock buckling as it did - I think you can just detect that in the photograph. 
  3. the topper was made using a scrap of watercolour card which was lightly spritzed with water, then the images of grasses - from Hobby Art's March Hares - were stamped using distress inks - Squeezed Lemonade, Scattered Straw, Crushed Olive and Shabby Shutters - and then it was given another light spritz of water to encourage the ink to bleed then left to dry.
  4. once dry, more stamping was done using VersaFine Vintage Sepia first and then Olympia Green - again it was left to dry before the next step which was to spray a little yellow colour, created by mixing Mustard Seed from a re-inker with some water in a spritzer. This spraying was concentrated n the centre. Next a light flicking and spritzing of the gold Cosmic Shimmer was applied and left to dry before stamping the greeting, borrowed from Sarntangles stamp set, using Memento Rich Cocoa ink pad.
  5. finally, the topper was matted and layered on to scraps of dark yellow and kraft cardstock and then adhered with sticky fixers to the front of the card.

A technique described by Jaine Drake, found in an old issue of Craft Stamper, provided the inspiration for this topper. She, in turn, was inspired by the effect of the sun on her herb garden.

It's a fun technique and well worth having a bash at so I hope I've explained it clearly enough for anyone who would like to give it a try.

Happy Crafting,

Monday, 20 March 2017

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Bits & Bobs - plus a garden update

Hello Everyone,

Today is the first day of spring and so to celebrate I have a vase of seasonal bits and bobs  for Cathy's In A Vase.
A wander round the garden today was very cheering. Not only was there green shoots popping up all over the place, all promising lots of colour to come, but also quite a few spring flowers - among them cowslips (primula veris), lungwort (pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign'), helleborus niger 'Christmas Carol' - ready to be picked and popped in a vase.
Cowslips - Primula veris
Helleborus niger 'Christmas Carol' and lungwort, Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign'
I added, just because I couldn't resist it, the acid green foliage of an alpine aquilegia, not in flower just yet but it won't be long now.

For me this combination of blue and yellow just says springtime even though, dotted around the garden, there are just a few other colours, mainly from the old wallflowers that have been producing a bloom or two since January but are now really getting going. Here's a few shots of what I spotted during my wander.
And here's the lungwort and cowslips before picking. According to the label for this lungwort is also known as "Blue Cowslip".
I couldn't resist taking a photograph of some of the flower buds that are popping up - here's a couple.
Clematis 'Broughton Bride'
And there's no forgetting the many daffodils that are still brightening up my days.

The windblown flowers are cut to fill even more vases with their golden loveliness.

Cathy is celebrating five years of blogging at Rambling In The Garden so do pop over to see the fabulous vase, hand painted by her daughter, saved for this very occasion.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday Snippet Card - March Hares

Hi Everyone,

And a very happy Sunday to you too. After almost two weeks of not being able to do much in the way of crafting it gives me great pleasure to tell you that my mojo returned yesterday - yay!
The first card I made has a topper with a lovely image of family of hares - very seasonal.

Here's how it was made:

  1. I started with the topper, stamping the image from the March Hares set (Hobby Arts) on to a scrap of smooth white cardstock, using a Versafine ink pad, Olympia Green.
  2. It was then coloured with Windsor & Newton watercolours mixed to create browns, greens, blues and yellow.
  3. Once dry the greeting was stamped on the topper, again with the Olympia Green ink, which was then matted on to some dark green cardstock, another scrap.
  4. To a cream card base measuring 4½" I glued yellow polka dotted patterned paper, Summer Textures 6"x 6" paper pad, trimmed to leave a very narrow margin of the cream base showing. Leftover patterned paper was used to decorate inside and back of the card.
  5. Finally, the topper was fixed with sticky pads, to create some dimension, to the front of the card. 

The March Hares stamp set has a nice selection in it, including another larger hare image and several wild flower and grass stamps - all very easy to colour and usable at this time of the year. In fact, I'm now working on a second card using the flowers and grasses ... hope I'll be able to share it soon as my crafting life get's back to normal.

Having used two snippets of cardstock on this card I'm submitting it for our Head Snippeteer Di's consideration at Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Take care and happy crafting,

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Jury Service - The Last Day

Hi Everyone,

Well yes, after all that turning up bright and breezy and hanging around for hours and hours, my number wasn't drawn after all. In the end some forty plus of us were dismissed leaving fifteen 'good people and true' to do their duty.

Despite the seeming waste of time I admit to finding it an interesting experience and one I'm glad to have participated in, if only up to a certain point. It was a pleasure to see the inside of the beautiful 19th C building with it's ornate cornices, round arched niches and timber paneled doors. The staff did their best to keep us informed and even tried to lighten the boredom with the occasional joke. Saying all that, I hope that it will be quite some time before I'm called for jury service, if ever again ... there's no upper age limit in Scotland so I'm not holding my breath!!!

Now that's over and done with normal crafting will be resumed ... I just have to find my mojo. It'll be around here somewhere, no doubt buried under the stuff that has piled up on my desk.

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Jury Service - Day Two

Hi Everyone,

Day One of Jury Service was a bit of a disappointment. We hung around waiting for hours only to find we were not required because the accused person changed their plea to 'guilty'. So I'm back again this morning. What will today bring, I wonder.

Have a great day,

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Back with an update

Hi Everyone,

Many thanks for the lovely get well messages received. I'm happy to report that I've been recovering quite nicely since Monday and today I'm feeling quite perky.

However, there will be no getting back to the craft room just yet.
As is the way of things, I've been called for jury duty at out local Sheriff Court. Although I've received the citation letter in the past this is the first time my number has come up - which, apparently, is still no guarantee that I'll serve on the jury ... that's dependent on a whole lot of other things!!!

One way or another, it's going to be a whole new experience!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A Quick Note from One Sick Old Woman

Morning Folks

This is just the quickest of notes to let you all know that I've been down with yet another dreaded lurgy! It begun on Wednesday afternoon and didn't let up until this morning. I've lost half a stone and it's left me week as a kitten.
I'll be back - just not today.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Week 405

Hello Deskers, Followers and All,

Welcome to my new follower - Valerija - it's lovely to see you here.

It's yet another Wednesday, another WOYWW over at Julia's Stamping Ground, and so another excuse to reveal all! 

So what's on my desk today. Well, not a lot really so I'll share with you new goodies brought back from the craft shows, Hobbycrafts, Scottish Quilting and The Stitching & Sewing Shows, at the SECC, Glasgow, on Friday.

Lots of lovely fabric and fat quarters - these were found in in the Stitching & Sewing Show - all earmarked for particular projects.
These, on the other hand, were an impulse buy. I spotted the beautiful panel when buying the green fabric you can see at the back of the photo above. It just spoke to me! And as the seller was cutting it off I noticed that the pink fabric on a nearby bolt was the perfect match. Serendipity!
Lastly, the only papercrafting goodies - a tiny alphabet stamp set and a couple of glue tapes - vital for papercrafting of any kind. Read on to see why I picked up so few papercrafting goodies.

The postie has been busy!
I have fellow bloggers, BJ, BJCraftCorner, and Shaz, Silverwolf Cards, to thank for the purchase of these goodies. I'm looking forward to inking up those fabulous Hobby Art stamp sets - the March Hares were spotted on Shaz's blog and whilst online my hand slipped and added the set of Season verses to the basket. What can you do when that happens? And there was no resisting the set of Sizzix Alphabet dies spotted on BJ's blog, so useful for scrapbooking, and then there was the Shaz's post about the so inexpensive Chinese dies - my resistance hit an all-time low!

Finally, here's the knitted sweater I've made for my little great-granddaughter. It's not perfect but then I'm very out of practice and had forgotten how loosely I knit. Still practice makes perfect. 
I added a few little embroidered daisies because it looked a bit plain when finished.

As well as being WOYWW day it's also International Women's Day and the theme for 2017 is 'Be Bold For Change', so here's to a bold and changing, for the good of course, world for all women everywhere, and then, perhaps, it would be women's day every day. 

Happy WOYWW and have a wonderful week.

Monday, 6 March 2017

In A Vase On Monday - Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
                                                                                      Jenny Joseph, 'Warning'

The inspiration for this week's In A Vase On Monday was sparked by spotting this brilliant combination of purple crocus and the bright red foliage on our photinia Christmas Berry, photinia x fraseri Red Robin.
Red and purple are not colours I would ordinarily plant together, never mind wear, but on a dull day like today this combination is guaranteed to lift the spirits. It also reminded me so much of both Jenny Joseph's ode to nonconformity and my late mother - this was one of her favourite poems. Not that she could ever be accused of nonconformity but she did wear purple and red together - just not a red hat. The hat is mine!
Moments after bringing the crocus indoors they were fully opened like this. They are displayed in a tiny gold decorated jug that is part of a very elegant coffee service which was given to me by a dear friend when she left Scotland a few years ago to live in America.

Last week's daffodils have gone over but, because we have so many still in bud I'm able to replace them and so the display goes on, at least for another week or so. The temperature is rising here in Ayr and we've seen quite a bit of the old sun over the last week but today has been colder than yesterday and rain is forecast for the coming week so whether I'll be able to do much gardening is questionable. We shall see.

Enjoy your gardening week.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sunday Snippets - Get Well Card

Afternoon Everyone

It's late afternoon too. I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. It's been a gorgeously sunny day in Ayr today, the temperature was a positively balmy 56°F (13°C), tempting us outdoors with a visit to the local garden centre. Which explains why I've only just got to posting my Sunday Snippet for our lovely Di at Pixie's Snippets Playground. I'm sharing a card I made and posted mid February - I'm assuming that the recipient has received it by now - although with Royal Mail you can never be too sure of anything!
This is the last of the cards I made when I challenged myself to use leftovers from a scrapbook layout - details posted here.

Supplies used:

  • white card base measuring 4"x 5¾"
  • pink Project Life card used as base layer
  • pink/white patterned paper from My Mind's Eye Lime Twist Collection 
  • topper - cherry blossom die-cut from Tilda Garden Paper Pad
  • snippet of black cardstock trimmed to mat the cherry blossom die-cut
  • ink pad - Ink It Up gold metallic
  • stamp - leaf from Floral Blooms set (came free with a magazine) - difficult to see in the photo but gold leaves are stamped all over the topper
  • sentiment - die-cut words, Get Well Soon,  and the pink butterfly were a gift from a friend
  • glitter glue - Yellow and Black Diamond Stickles

Ah! The sun has gone now and I can feel the chill of the night starting to creep in. Never mind, tomorrow might bring the sun again.

Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Work In Progress

Evening Everyone,

It's a quick post tonight.

I've just spent the last two days working on my patchworking homework in preparation for this morning's class. Tomorrow I'm meeting up with my daughter in Glasgow and we're off to the craft shows, there's three altogether - Hobbycrafts, Scottish Quilting and The Stitching & Sewing Show,  at the Exhibition Centre. All this gadding about is why I didn't join in with What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday this week - no time to snoop and leave comments.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you the work in progress instead.
Still two borders to add yet before the wadding and backing can be added to this topper. And I'm hoping to find just the right fabric for the backing at the sewing show tomorrow.

I have a list so all being well I'll be back to share my haul from the show on Saturday.

Take care everyone,

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February Giveaway Winner

Hello Everyone,

Many thanks to those who said they would like to be in with a chance to win the giveaway. Only six of you put your name forward so it didn't take long to write up your names and put them in the pot for the draw which was carried out, with all due ceremony, by the EM.

And the winner is ...

Congratulations Tina. Please contact me by email,, with your full postal address so that I can get the giveaway off to you as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Sorry you couldn't all be winners but I'm planning another giveaway in a couple of weeks time so do look out for details then - it could be your chance to win then.