Monday 29 September 2014

In A Vase On Monday - Mallows and Lollipops

Hello Everyone,

It's almost the end of September, normally the time of year when most flowers have gone over and the garden is beginning to look less colourful, but not this year.
Instead, I was completely spoiled for choice for today's vase. There is so much still in flower that I had to be very selective. The roses and the pinks are busily on their third flush ... so tempting. They look so good I decided to leave them where they are for now ... just a beautiful reminder that summer is not quite over yet.

However, I have had my eye on the mallows - malva sylvestris 'Mystic Merlin' - for some time, thinking I should maybe pick them while they are still looking good. Grown from seed, they have been good doers though they can be a bit unruly at times and, on occasion, have had to have the chop to stop them flopping all over paths and lawn. Despite this drastic treatment they very good naturedly recover quickly and continue to flower their socks off.
verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop', lithrum, 'Robin',
malva sylvestris, 'Mystic Merlin
Looking round for more flowers in pink/purple shades to add to the mallows I spotted the verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop' in the round bed. It's coming to the end of it's flowering but there was still a few stems just right for cutting. The last few sprigs of lithrum, 'Robin', some deep pink antirrihums and a cutting of mixed sweet peas helped fill out the vase. The flowers of moss curled parsley, petroselinum crispum, it's been left to bolt a bit, provided an extra touch of greenery to the vase.

This Tain Pottery vase made the perfect container for my very pink and purple bunch of flowers. Another of my charity shop discoveries! I love the very Scottish design depicting wildflowers native to Scotland ... foxgloves, thistles, and harebells. The surprise is the wee bee just by a harebell.  

Once again, many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this wee challenge, In a Vase on Monday, and for encouraging me to bring a little of the garden inside each week to enjoy! 

I hope you have had a lovely day and that tomorrow will be wonderful too.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Sunday Snippets

Evening Everyone,

I hope you are well and have had a wonderful weekend.

Our weekend has been most enjoyable. Yesterday my son-in-law, Graeme,  had his 50th birthday and my daughter, Juli, arranged a surprise party for him. Fifty people, family, friends and a few surprise guests, were invited and we were all sworn to secrecy! It was a wonderful party, Graeme had a ball and I'm absolutely certain he will never forget it. Here's a photo of the cake ...
... that's a copy of the first car he owned and loved. There's been many more cars since but not one of them has ever replaced it in his affections :)

And today, just to make the weekend perfect, my son and his family, who had driven down for the party, popped in to visit before they made their way back to the north of Scotland. All-in-all, a wonderful weekend :)

But now, Sunday is almost over and  it would be a shame to let it go without popping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground - it's week 144 - with a couple of small snippet makes.
A tiny card with a twinchie topper. All the materials used, apart from the base and the twinchie, are from the snippets pile.
A close up of the twinchie which was stamped and embossed in gold before being coloured with watercolour paints.
A gift tag made with a leftover topper and snippets of card, paper and twine.

As it is still Sunday, I'm claiming Jules Law; that is, it's okay to be lazy today and not list the materials used, however, if there is anything you would like information on do ask, I'll do my best to answer any questions. By the way, if you haven't seen Jules photo of a Glasswing Butterfly already then I can only urge you to go look ... it's absolutely stunning!

Thanks for visiting and thanks too for any comments that are left ... it's always good to hear from you.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 26 September 2014

Friday Smiles

Morning Everyone,

Hope this finds you well and looking forward to the weekend. The forecast is for a good day Saturday but rain ++ on Sunday so I think I'll be making the proverbial hay tomorrow while the sun shines :) On to what is making me smile this week. First this photograph.
It's of our 15 year old grandson, Alun, and I love it. He hates wearing his blazer but doesn't he look smart in school uniform! Doesn't he scrub up well? :)

Next I have this wee story for you.

Donald Beag's Wedding

Donald Beag* and Aggie, who had been courting for 3 years, were sitting in the pub one day watching live curling on TV. Without taking an eye of the telly, Donald asks Aggie to marry him.

"Och Donald, can ye no be a bit more romantic?" asks Aggie, as she reluctantly accepted the proposal.

Thinking that Donald hadn't taken any notice of her comment the wedding went ahead without a hint of romance.

After the wedding, upon approaching their small cottage, Donald picked Aggie up and he gallantly carried her over the threshold.

"Oh Donald, Donald," she gushed, "I never knew ye could be so romantic!"

"Well, pet, ah thought ah wid just give ye a wee lift tae your work!"

*Beag is Gaelic for wee

Right, I'm off to 'tae ma work' too. I hope you have a lovely day whatever you're doing and that you find plenty to smile about. And just in case you need a bit of a lift do check out Annie's Friday Smile post over at A Stitch In Time - there's always plenty there to bring a smile.

Two Cards for Rudolph Day

Evening Everyone,

No posts for days and then two in one day ... I'm nothing if not unpredictable :) It's Rudolph Day and I couldn't miss that, now could I?
Two festive cards made in record time. I tipped out the contents of the card scraps drawer and selected a good sized piece of dark brown for the star covered card and some card that was an experiment in sponging ink and stamping for the one with the penguin on it. I've been looking for an excuse to break open the pack of Sizzix Hero Arts Christmas Words and Dots embossing folders recently won in the draw over at Pixie's Snippets Playground ... this was it :)
I made the base of this card with a printed cardstock from Kanban, Kraft Stars. The white embossed panel has been inked with metallic ink, Docrafts Ink It Up Gold, before fixing it to the dark brown card. The embellishments are gold edged satin ribbon and gold glittery stars, Studio Calico stickers.
For this card I've used an A6 white card base, topped it with the white Christmas Dots embossed card matted on to a piece of the inked and stamped experiment. The penguin is recycled, fussy cut from the front of a card received last Christmas. Some white glitter glue has provided a bit of bling on each of the embossed dots. The greeting is computer generated.

I'm entering both cards in to the following challenges:

Stamping For Pleasure's Rudolph Day - September 2014 ... two cards as requested, Sarn :)
Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 143 ... the snippets are the brown and the the inked and stamped experiment used for matting
CHNC Challenge 195: 20 minutes or less ... both cards were made in less than 20 minutes once I'd got all the materials together
and not forgetting:

I don't want to start a panic but did you know there is only 91 days to Christmas? That's just 13 weeks altogether ... in fact, only 2 more Rudolph Days. Time, for those who haven't already done so, to think seriously about making Christmas cards. I certainly have a bit of catching up to do to avoid a last minute rush!  

Take care and thanks for popping in.

Happy Crafting,

Thursday 25 September 2014

So Many Books - A Snippet Make

Good Morning Everyone,

I can't believe it is so long since I last posted and I've missed Annie's Friday Smiles, Di's Sunday Snippets, Cathy's In A Vase on Monday and Julia's WOYWW to name just a few of the my favourite things ... sounds like a cue for a song :)

I feel such a slacker but there's good reason for my absence, nothing craft related but other stuff that has kept me away from the craft room and, as it's in the same room, from my computer too.  I hope to be able to tell you about some of what has been going on over the next few days but in the meantime I have this bookmark made from snippets to show you.
After making the EM's birthday card there was a couple of strips of the Brusho background left over. Really too good to toss but not enough to make another card. After much deliberation, rumination and cogitation, not to mention a fair bit of head scratching, I got the idea to make a bookmark. It's quite big, measuring 8½" x 3½" (21x8.5cm) - the perfect size for using with larger books and hard to lose too. I'm forever losing bookmarks, often creating a house-wide search!!!

To make the bookmark, I tore round the strip of background paper and adhered it to the black base. The stamp is an old one (NBUS) from Stamptivity ... so old I believe the company is no longer around. It was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black and coloured with a mix of Sharpies and ProMarkers then cut out and adhered to a black mat. The sentiment, found on Pinterest, is made up from letters from Jillibean Soup Alphabeans, Newberg Navy. The silk tassel is from a pack of mixed colours that I was sure I found at Joanna Sheen's but, if I did, they don't seem to be available there now.

So there it is, my Sunday Snippets ... just a few days late ... for Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 143.

Now, at the top of this post I hinted that I might be able to share some of the stuff that has been occupying - to the exclusion of crafting - of late. Well, here's just one of the them.
Yes, the EM's birthday present finally arrived yesterday ... yippee! We had begun to give up hope. Only a week late and after Argos had changed the delivery date several times. Flat pack of course, so we spent a fair few hours putting it together and positioning it just right in the Snooker Room ... was the spare room, now his happy place! Our grandson's are going to be delighted too ... I can foresee more frequent visits from them :)

Many thanks for popping in. I hope you are well and having a good week.

Until next time, happy crafting,

Saturday 20 September 2014

Woodland Fox ... and other animals

Morning Everyone,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the weekend.

I planned another post yesterday but somehow never found the opportunity to sit down and write ... too busy making a start on tidying the garden before winter sets in. I have, however, made some time this morning between housework and gardenwork to show you this little cushion (pillow) cover I made for a friend's birthday.
I found the fabric, trim, the backing fabric and cushion pad at Dunelm Mill. The pattern is called Woodland Fox but, as you can see, it has owls, snails and hedgehogs in it too. The gold trim and the backing fabric, a lovely plain cotton in cream that matched the pattern well, were found in the remnant basket - I love to have a nosy through remnants just in case there's a bargain to be had :)   All it took to make the cover was one 16" square of the patterned fabric for the top and two pieces of the plain cotton 11" by 16" for the backing plus a 16" length of trim.
This was sewn on using the zipper foot on the machine to get as close to the centre cord as possible ... hope you can see better what I'm referring to in this enlargement.  I forgot to take a photo of the back but it's a simple envelope style, though I did finish of the seam on the opening with the herringbone embroidery stitch that's on my machine just to give the back a decorative touch. The cushion pad measures 15½" square and the finished cover is 15" square ... I like the overstuffed look.

Because I liked it so much, who could resist those cute little animals, there's enough of the fabric to make a couple more projects. All I need now is to find some time to get sewing.

It won't be today because I have a ton of things to do, including planting up some bare-rooted wallflower plants ... that's a job that can't wait!

Thanks for popping in and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Happy Crafting,

Thursday 18 September 2014

Referendum Day - Scotland Decides

Evening Everyone,

It's an historic day here in Scotland and, of course, I've been down to the polling station and cast my vote.
It wouldn't be Scotland if we didn't have someone in a kilt to greet us.

For those that don't know, everyone here in the Scotland has been asked to decide whether Scotland should be become an independent country or not. A momentous decision to make.

All we have to do now is wait on tenterhooks to hear the result!

Wednesday 17 September 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW 276

Afternoon Everyone,

I can't believe it's taken me all morning to get to this point ... where do the hours go??? And I so didn't want to miss out on the fun of WOYWW ... and it is fun catching up with what other Deskers are doing each week. This is all thanks to our Head Desk Keeper, Julia over at the Stamping Ground. Haven't join in, would like to joined in yet, then hop on over to Julia's and let us see what's on your desk too - you'll be made very welcome I'm sure.
Here's what's on mine this morning - a right old mess of cardstock - being inspected by The Boss. And judging from her expression she's not impressed, not one bit. That empty space on the right is where she dozes while I busy myself in crafty ways. The card is there because I haven't cleared up after making the EM's birthday card on Monday, posted here - one of three I had to make for birthdays that were all on the same day ... yesterday! The jar of water and the brush are also still there from Monday, after I had my first experience with Brushos ... brilliant fun! Ditto the sellotape dispenser, the glue tape, the tube of glue gel, and the scissors. Time to tidy up!

But before I do, I'm off to have a little late lunch, and after which I plan to hop over to Julia's and check out what's on other folk's desks  ... I'm expecting to find them much tidier and far more organised than mine, that's for sure :)

In the meantime, I wish you a great day and a wonderful week.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Hot Shot Card

Evening Everyone,

Today has been a day of celebration for us. It's my husband, the EM's 76th birthday and our friend Margaret's 73rd ... the perfect reason for us all to get together for a day of fun, laughter and food :) Indeed, we enjoyed ourselves so much the day just flew by.

So card #3 is the one I made for himself ... and here it is.
It's really quite a simple design relying on lots of matting and layering in silver, black, green and red cardstock. The pool themed toppers are from a Kanban sheet, Happy Hour. I did take the opportunity to have a play with some Brusho crystals to create the background ... I think I might have overcooked it a little but I love the way the powders react to water. I only sprinkled two of the colours, Brilliant Red and Leaf Green, on to wet watercolour paper and was stunned at the colourful result ... especially as they made the perfect background for the toppers. Can't wait now to experiment with more colours :)
The inside - there was one small topper left to decorate the inside.

You might have guessed from the card that the EM likes a game of pool. And as our grandsons also like a game I decided that a pool table would make the perfect birthday gift. As we were going to be out all day today, I arranged for it to be delivered tomorrow but a message from the supplier tells me that it won't be delivered until 23rd now ... so disappointing :( Finger's crossed it will be safely delivered next week as arranged.

I'm submitting this card to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 142 ... the snippets are green and red cardstock used in the matting.

I hope you had as good a day as we have had.  Thanks for dropping by.

Happy Crafting 

Monday 15 September 2014

In a Vase on Monday - Red and Green

Good Afternoon

It is time again to join in with Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday ... the goal of the challenge is to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s own garden. After missing it last week - too ill to even think about it then - I couldn't wait to participate today.  

In fact, while I was going round the garden with my camera yesterday, I couldn't help but notice my husband's bonnie red roses. The bush has had a few weeks of resting after its early summer flowering and now it has started blooming again, and I'd say it's even better than before. 
Hubby is notorious for losing the labels for his plants so, after some research on-line, my best guess is it is a hybrid tea rose called 'Pride of England'. Whatever its name, the large velvety red blooms are stunning and I just had to claim three for my vase this week!
Something else that caught my eye was the two mature Sorbus (Rowan/Mountain Ash) trees resplendent in their autumn finery, great bunches of bright red berries ... I couldn't resist them so added a couple of stems to the roses.
Close to the sorbus is a Skimmia Japonica, also covered in pretty ripening berries - a perfect addition to the mix. Once I chosen the roses and the berries, I decided to stick with the red and green colour combination - my two favourite colours - and added lots of green foliage ... Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', catmint (Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant') from the long border and dill and salad burnet - which is just coming into flower - from the herb bed.
Just a clear glass vase was used this week but I've filled it with black glass pebbles. Two reasons: I like the contrast of the black with the reds and greens and, still trying to improve my flower plonking skills, the pebbles hold the stems steady making it easier for me to 'arrange' the display :)

Once again, many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting this challenge ... it's fun and I'm enjoying the experience.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Peony Bouquet Card - Old Fashioned Decoupage for Sunday Snippets

Evening All,

Oh dear, the weekend's nearly over ... I hope it's been wonderful for you. I'm back with card #2 of the three I need to make before the 16th. This time it's one with floral decoupage that was cut from this Anna Griffin paper.
I've had 4 sheets of this gorgeous paper for several years. There's no name on the back for this design and even after a lengthy online search I'm none the wiser. When paper's that old, it's not even on Ms Griffin's website, it is time to put it to good use.
So, I fussy cut out the central bouquet on one sheet, and then cut out individual flower heads on another to create the decoupage. 

To make the background I started with a pre-made die-cut card base (from Creative Crafting World) and using an ink duster, I inked the front with Tim Holtz Stormy Sky distress ink. I then stamped randomly with two stamps, a small leaf stamp (from the much used IndigoBlu stamp set that came free with a magazine) in Brushed Corduroy, and Hero Arts 'Flowers Are Poetry' stamp in Stormy Sky. The next step was to stencil butterflies in Weathered Wood over the front using a Prima Elementals stencil. That done I then decided to edge the card with gilding flakes, Sunshine from Crafty Notions. This was prompted by watching Sarah, on UStream, edging the front of the lovely 80th Birthday Wishes Book she made yesterday - it reminded me that I had gilding flakes tucked away and not being used!
Once all that was done, I attached the decoupaged spray to the front. The greeting was made by stamping the greeting with Crafty Notions craft adhesive on to a snippet of white card and finishing with gilding flakes. The matting for the greeting is another snippet of white card and covered with gilding flakes. Both the greeting and the matting were created using Stampin' Up punches. 
I'm submitting this card to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 142 ... it's only two teeny-weeny snippets but every little bit helps keep the snippet mountain in check :)

Only one more card to do, the most important one of the three ... it's the EM's birthday ... and I still haven't a clue what I'm going to make yet! 

Better go and think about it :)

Wishing you a lovely evening whatever you are doing.

Happy Crafting,

Saturday 13 September 2014

Quick Photo Card - Culzean Castle

Evening Everyone,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the weekend. We're having an Indian Summer here, and lovely it is too ... long may it last :)

After a prolonged period of just not getting my crafting head on, I've suddenly realised that I have three birthdays coming up on the 16th ... yes, three all on the same day! So I've knuckled down and made a start with the cardmaking. First up is one for my lovely uncle Emrys, it's his 83rd birthday.
It couldn't have been simpler to make this card. I take a great many photos on our trips out, always with the intention of doing something with them that is, rather than leaving them tucked away on my PC. So, finally, I printed off this photo of Culzean Castle, it's one that I took last September so I thought it appropriate for this particular card. I've kept it very simple - maybe too simple - but hopefully uncle will like it. The photo is matted on to white, blue and black cardstock to frame it. A birthday greeting is stamped inside - forgot to take a photo of that.

Right, better get on with card #2.

Hope you have a super Sunday.

Happy Crafting

Wednesday 10 September 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW 275

Evening Everyone,

I know, disgracefully late, but considering I wasn't too sure whether I would be able join in this week, I'm pretty chuffed to be here and revealing what's on my poor neglected desk today. After all, the week isn't the same without my WOYWW fix. It's gonna be brief  ... there really isn't much to show.
After taking ill last WOYWW day, just when I was having so much fun hopping from desk to desk, I'm now under strict orders to take things a bit easier ... surely that just means less housework and more crafting ... so I've pulled out the family history records. It's seriously time to sort it all out and into the album I've set up, Project Life style, starting with everything I have on my late father. I've found some Sally Butler scrapbook design papers that are ideal for collating details and I've even devised my own check sheet to keep me straight. I suspect the book could be so out of date that it is going to be only very limited help to me in my research but I've pulled it off the shelf anyway.

I said there wasn't much to look at! Although I find genealogy an endlessly fascinating subject,  I have to admit that from a crafting perspective the paperwork isn't all that interesting to look at, yet!

Don't know what WOYWW is all about, pop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground where you can find out all the info and loads of links to many more desks. Me, I'm now going to begin checking out desks. As I'm told I need to pace myself, listen to my body, etc., etc., etc., I hope you will forgive me if it takes the better part of the week to do all that hopping :)

In the meantime, I hope you have a great week.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Priscilla Penguin - Amigurumi Crochet

Hello Everyone

I hope this finds you well.

Thank you to everyone who sent get well wishes ... they clearly worked because I'm back. Still not totally over the lurgy, feeling weak and easily tired, but certainly tons better than I've been over this last week. Thank goodness The Boss was able to take over ... she's very good at snuggling up and offering comfort :)
You may recall seeing a partly completed Amigurumi penguin on my desk a couple of weeks ago - if not, it's in this post here. That was Pablo, my first attempt to crochet a penguin. I did complete him and sent him on his way up north to my lovely ADIL (Almost Daughter-in-Law) but unfortunately I forgot to take photographs. So, there was nothing for it, I just had to make another. Cute, huh?
Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Priscilla is crocheted in double knitting yarn, size 4 (UK) crochet hook (size 6 USA), only one stitch used, double crochet (single crochet USA), and filled with toy stuffing. She stands 4" high (10.16cm) and has a 9½" (24.13cm) waist measurement.
The pattern I used, free from Lion Brand, suggested attaching toy eyes, but for safety I decided to embroider the black eye centres using a blanket stitch. I've also added a loop to the top of her head, not included in the pattern, so she can be hung up. If you have never tried crocheting but would like to, Amigurumi might be a great place to start - there really is nothing complicated about them and they are so quick to make.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, all you need are scraps of leftover yarn. The tiniest snippet of yellow makes the penguin's feet and beak which is why I'm submitting her to Pixie's Snippets Playground - #141. It's something a bit different but I hope the snippeteers like it :)

Hopefully, I'll make more of an appearance over the next few days and get back to normal next week.

In the meantime, thanks for looking in.

Happy crafting,

Friday 5 September 2014

A Message from the Silverscrapper

Morning Everyone,

The Boss here! Just thought I'd let you know why there's not been a lot of action in the craft room over the last few days. Our head crafter, Elizabeth, has come down with some dreaded lurgy preventing her from having fun. Worry not though, I'm taking great care of her and she should be back after a bit of a paws  ... well, just as soon as she is feeling in the pink again.

In the meantime, she tells me to wish you a wonderful weekend.

Happy Crafting,
Meow for now,

Wednesday 3 September 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW 274

Good Morning Deskers and Fellow Bloggers,

It's Wednesday and so time for a bit of vicarious pleasure by virtue of Julia's seriously successful weekly blog hop, What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. In fact it's WOYWW Week 274 already! So without much further ado I'll show you mine, you show me yours :)
Much the same muddle as usual, all that changes are the items I manage to accumulate around me. Centre stage today is that box of plant labels ... my garden in an empty ice-cream carton :) While I was sorting through them yesterday, looking for the names of the flowers I'd picked and plonked in a vase  ... there's absolutely no hope of me remembering the names ... it finally occurred to me that I am going to have to organise them into some sort of notebook/album and thus make this, now weekly, task easier! To the left, a couple of items the postie delivered, the latest edition of Craft Stamper and some twinchies/twinchie stamps from Ali Reeve that proved irresistible - you see, no will power! Further to the left, the scrapbooking kit ... another page done but still working my way through it. To the right, the most recent snippet card completed ... it's still lying there on top of its leftovers - yet more snippets!!! Behind that another decoupaged rose on top of a couple of gelli plate prints and cardstock ... I have a plan ... and yet another empty ice-cream carton, this one holding more gelli plate prints ... more plans!!! At the back, if you've been here on previous Wednesdays you've seen it all before ... except the trellis punch, out because it was used for that snippet card.

Usually this is where I sign off but I thought I'd show you two more photos.
First - the sewing desk ... it's a while since I showed it. That's a tablecloth in the making ... I just have to seam around the edges and that's it done. Beneath that is a pair of trousers waiting to be taken in at the waist - yippee :) The floral thingy at the back is a tiny ironing pad ... it's a twofer ...the other side is a cutting board.
And finally this! Another corner of the craft room. That's The Boss claiming a bit of 'me, me, me' time while I was watching some scrapbook process demos on YouTube yesterday evening ... you can just see the fading light beyond the sycamore tree through the window.

And that really is it for this week. It's 7.30 in the morning here and I've not had my breakfast yet, or a cuppa even. So I'm away to put the kettle on but I will be back later to check out as many WOYWW desks and deskers as I can manage today.

In the meantime, have a fabulous day and Happy Crafting,