Friday 31 October 2014

Get A Hat Card for CHNC Challenge 200

Evening Everyone,

Didn't want to miss Hazel's challenges so made this quick and easy card featuring a little snowman/woman with a sweet little hat on ... appropriate or what :)
Most of the materials are from the Festive Flourishes Luxury Card Kit that came free with the current issue of Papercraft Inspirations magazine.

The card top was created to fit a 5" square Kraft card base as follows:

- Three squares, in decreasing sizes, were cut from blue pearlescent cardstock and three more, slightly smaller, from patterned card from the kit. These were then matted and layered together to form the base of the card top. 
- A narrow strip of card, the same pattern as used for the second layer, was cut and matted on to blue pearlescent card. It was cut in two and then placed as seen on top of the three layers. 
- The snowman topper was then adhered on top. 
- The greeting was matted on to a layer of the blue pearlescent card - to do this I traced around the greeting, with a pencil, on the back of the card before cutting it out slightly larger all round - I hope you see what I mean. Once that was done it was adhered to the front top left. 
- Two snowflakes, cut using an X-cut die from the blue pearlescent card and decorated with light blue sticky-backed pearls, embellish the front. And a few more of the blue pearls were added for extra embellishment.

That's me done cardmaking today ... just have to run over to the CHNC Challenge 200 and CHNC Challenge Extra toot sweet - don't want to miss the deadline and in any case I have a date with Lewis at 9 o' clock  - would hate to stand him up :)

I wish you all a very ghoulicious Halloween - all treats and no tricks of course.

Friday Smiles - Week 91

Morning Folks

Friday again! Where do the days go??? I seem to spend most of my time chasing my tail so it is just as well Annie's Friday Smiles gives me the opportunity to sit, take stock and decide what, of all the things that made me smile throughout the last seven days, to share with you today.
Not such a difficult decision after all. This is my daughter, Juli, showing her first big quilting project, a bed runner, and rightly proud of it she is too :) She bought the fabric at the Hobbycraft Fare in Glasgow last week so it has taken her just the seven days to get to this stage ... only a bit of hand-stitching of the edge binding to do and it's done!
All the patches were cut out by hand using a cardboard template and then machine stitched. To quilt it, Juli used the stitch-in-the-ditch method. I should have asked her how many squares there are but I was so busy admiring her work I forgot. Juli is a novice at the sewing machine so this is a major achievement indeed ... and definitely smile-worthy!

If you have something to smile about and you'd like to share it, do pop over to A Stitch In Time and link your post there. I'm sure Annie will be delighted to see you.

Wishing you a day with plenty to make you smile :)

Thursday 30 October 2014

Little White Dress - Amazing Papercrafting

Hello Everyone,

I trust this finds you well and having a good day.

Back in September a stroke of luck took me to the Mill on the Fleet, at Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries & Galloway, just in time to see Isabell Buenz's exhibition, Little White Dress.
Isabell is, like many of us, a papercrafter but with an approach that is certainly very different and possibly quite unique. She manipulates both handmade and industrially produced papers to create the most stunning pieces, including a collection of fairy tale dresses and accessories, such as the amazing shoe below, all made from delicate white tea-bag paper.
Her love of the structures and patterns in the natural environment has, she says, been the inspiration for this collection.

I didn't get the camera out and take any photos at the exhibition ... there was nobody to grant permission ... and, as it just happened to be the last day of the exhibit, there wasn't even a brochure or leaflet left to take away. However, I did speak to a very helpful lady in the gift shop who couldn't help me at the time but promised that she would contact the artist and see what could be done for me. She was true to her word too because just a few days ago I received a package of these images of some of the exhibits, together with a message from Isabell herself, for which I send my thanks.

I don't think my papercrafting will ever reach these heights but it was truly inspiring to see just what can be accomplished with some white paper, the know-how and a lot of imagination.

Thanks for dropping in ... I hope you are as impressed as I am with Isabell's work and maybe you, too, will find it inspirational.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 29 October 2014

WOYWW - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 282

Good Afternoon WOYWWers, Followers and Everyone Else,

I've been so busy I nearly forgot what day it is! And that just won't do!!! What I'm talking about is the weekly mega blog hop, What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, kindly arranged for us by our head desker, Julia, over at the Stamping Ground.

Without further delay here's what is on my desk today.
Not a lot really. With a poorly cat to care for - extra cuddling and stroking required while she has been recovering from the latest ear infection - there's been little time for crafting. Just a little set of toppers and card that came free with a magazine. I thought to use them up right away instead of just stashing in a drawer to be forgotten which is what I'd usually do ... there's a little pile of completed cards at the back, behind the scissors and punches, out and being used for this project. That roll of red stuff at the far right is sticky backed velvet paper ... out to remind to use it up too :) I have found some time to do a bit of crocheting in the evening, managing to finish the blue tea cosy you can see in the background. I liked the stitch pattern so much I've begun making a multi-coloured striped bed runner.
I did make a start using up what leftovers there was lying around but then decided I needed more colours. So here's what I brought back from a trip to town yesterday.Gorgeous colours.

I thought you might like to see the goodies bought at the Hobbycraft Fare at the SECC in Glasgow last Thursday.
Just a few fat quarters, a mix of plains and Christmas themed patterned ones. I couldn't resist the half metre of handbag patterned fabric - can think of one or two girls who would like something made from it :) The trim looked ideal for making bag straps so a few metres came home with me.
And finally, I just had to treat myself to a couple of new Lavinia Stamps.

Before I go, I'd like to apologise to those of you I didn't visit over this last week ... life just got in the way. This week promises to be easier ... even the sun is shining right now ... so I hope to do very much better!

I wish you all a great WOYWW and a good week ahead.

Happy Crafting,

Sunday 26 October 2014

Two Rudolph Day cards for Sunday Snippets

Afternoon Folks

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

I don't know about you but I feel well rested after the extra hour in bed this morning! Not only that, but it's filthy weather here, perfect for staying in and doing a spot of crafting :)

I have two cards for both Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 148 and the PENULTIMATE Rudolph Day Challenge over at Sarn's Stamping for Pleasure.
- For this first card I've used one of my watercolour pieces. Not that you can see much of it now that I've stamped trees in black Archival on it and then faux 'Frantaged' it with white and crystal embossing powders and blue glitter. It was matted on to white card found in the snippet mountain.
- The shiny blue card used for all the matting has been in the NBUS (Never Been Used Stuff) pile for simply ages. Much as I liked it, I could never find a project to use it on until now! 
- The greeting, from a Sheena Douglas Christmas stamp plate, is stamped on to a snippet of white card and the folder used for the white embossed layer is from the Twinkle set from Cuttlebug.
- I've used another piece of card from the NBUS pile to make the base of this card ... Darnell will be proud of me :) It's a lovely printed and embossed sheet from Kanban - I think it came with a stamp kit but can't be sure because it's been in my stash for so long. 
- The winter scene topper is the recycled top of a card received last year which has been trimmed, edges embossed with silver powder and glitter added here and there - hard to see in the photo but it's definitely there. 
- The matting layer was constructed from two sheets of DP from a Kaisercraft 6" Christmas paper pad that came free with a copy of Simply Cards & Papercraft. Again the edges have been edged with silver embossing powder.
- The poinsettias were cut out of yet another sheet or two of DP from the paper pad using a Spellbinders die set, edged with Black Soot distress ink and pinned together with black gem brads from stash.

I'm feeling quite virtuous now ... I've managed to use up snippets, goodies from the NBUS pile, and those ancient brads - I'm sure they have been in my stash for at least four years - while making of these cards. I wish, though, that I could say it's made a lot of difference to the amount of stuff here in the craft room but I'm afraid not ... must try harder!

I'm also going to submit the cards to Hazel's Christmas Extra Challenge for October where anything goes as long as it's Christmas themed.

Right, that's me done for now. It's been a busy few days for me. There was the craft show in Glasgow in Thursday, fun but exhausting, which meant Friday was a complete write-off ... it takes me 24 hours to recover! Then The Boss took ill late Friday afternoon which meant a visit to the vet on Saturday morning. Because she is so old I was fearing the worst so was mightily relieved to find what ailed her was treatable :)

After all that, I'm being taken out for tea today so must get a wriggle on or I'll be late.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday 22 October 2014

WOYWW - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 281

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I know, afternoon - almost evening! The morning has been taken up clearing up outside after Hurricane Gonzalo, or what was left of him, did his worst. Glad to report the sycamore survived the blast, minus a considerable number of leaves. Other more tender plants fared less well and may take some time to recover but that's another storm over so onto what's on my desk today.
Scrap layouts from a kit I 'shopped' for in my stash ... two double page spreads and four single pages just waiting for the finishing touches. I have only to add embellishments and the journaling to a few and that will be Shimelle's Return to the Collection class completed. The plan is to write about this some time soon. The tray balanced on a couple of boxes contains all that is left of the papers, and the boxes contain bits and bobs that might be useful for embellishing. There's glue setting on the card that's out to the top left ... one of my Rudolph Day makes this month. The other bits and pieces, including the cordless glue gun, are permanent fixtures ... though there position on the desk changes depending on what's being worked on at the time.

Surprisingly brief today ... Julia will be delighted :) Not surprisingly, I'm off to do a bit of blog hopping, over at the Stamping Ground for WOYWW, and will be trying to catch up with as many desks as I can manage before close of play today. Because I won't be here tomorrow. Nope, I'm off to Glasgow in the morning. To the Hobbycraft Fair at the SECC, my annual crafting date with my daughter ... will be toting my camera so a photo post should follow.

Wishing you a happy WOYWW and a great week ahead.

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Watercolour Poppy Tag

Afternoon Everyone,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying your day.

Here, the hatches are battened down and we are hunkering in just waiting out the storm. I can see the old sycamore from the window and it is being battered about really fiercely. So much so, I fear it may be just facing one gale too many this time. I hope it survives, not least because if it comes down it will be right on top of the EM's new shed!

So it's going to be a day of crafting for me or, more correctly, a day of tidying up in the craft room. There's so many odds and ends lying about, bits of my experiments, snippets of card, photos to be scanned, etc., etc., that I've decided it all has to be dealt with before I do anything else. Which brings me to this tag:
The grey textured base has been sitting in my 'to be used' box on my desk for, well, I can't remember how long. It could be as long as two years! It was part of an embossing experiment, you might have gathered by now that I like to experiment, a technique using leaves and flowers sandwiched in cardstock and put through the Cuttlebug. This resulted in some interesting textures, most of which I did put to good use at the time but I could never think what to do with this piece. I can't even remember what type of leaf this was but the card was white scrap which, after embossing, was inked with a grey ink pad, possibly Memento London Fog. 

Determined to use it in this tidy up and to try out my newest find, Poppy Field from Rubber Necker, a stamp designed to be used specifically with watercolours, or inks that can behave like watercolours, e.g. Ranger's distress inks. I've never tried this type of stamp out before so it was quite a revelation! The stamp comes in two parts, the first is for the flower part and the second is for the outline and stem part. There's a great set of YouTube demos on how to use these stamps - check out the Poppy Field one here. I used a selection of lavenders and mauves to colour the flowers, Ranger's Milled Lavender and Memento Elderberry, Lulu Lavender and Grape Jelly, and Archival Black for the stem section.
Once dry, I painted in some gold detail with Aquatint paint - better seen here in this photo. The sentiment, from the same stamp set, was stamped in Archival Black too. The butterfly was created using a snippet trimmed from the background, inked over with the Milled Lavender and Elderberry inks and inking the stamp, an IndigoBlu freebie, with the gold paint ... it's a thick paint so works quite well for stamping. Once dry it was cut out and attached to the tag which was then adhered to a base of mauve card - yet another scrap from the snippet mountain. Eyelash fibres and purple gems provided the finishing touch.

I'm submitting the tag to the following challenges:

Butterfly Challenge #16 - Butterfly with a Tag.

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 147 - anything as long as there's a snippet used somewhere

That's me done here for now but the storm is still raging outside. Despite that, the EM has ventured out, though only to the local shop in search of a newspaper. One of the plastic pails we use in the garden has blown into the long border, coming to rest under that sycamore tree ... it will stay there until I think it's safe to go out again!

I hope conditions are rather better where you are, but if not do take care and stay safe.
Whatever, I wish you, as usual, much Happy Crafting,

Sunday 19 October 2014

Experimenting with Watercolours - Sunday Snippets

Good Afternoon,

Actually, it's not really a good afternoon here ... it's windy and wet. Apparently it's only going to get worse because the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo is heading our way! That being so, you know where to find me, holed up in my craft room experimenting even more with watercolours. Which is what I've been doing whenever I had a spare moment recently and now I have a couple of finished cards to share with you.
This background for the topper on the first card was created with Aqua Tint brushed over white cardstock. I dampened the white card with water before brushing on the colour in a sweeping motion. I think you can see that I went back with more colour several times trying to get a sort of landscape effect. Once the ink dried, I splashed some water droplets over the surface - this has a 'bleaching' effect adding a bit more interest to the finished background.
The fabulous stamp used is a Penny Black slapstick cling called Dreamy. Forest green cardstock from Papermill Direct was used for the card base and the matting with a scrap of white (same source) for layering. The greeting, from Stampin' Up's Wetlands set, was stamped up with VersaFine Olympia Green.

The background for this second card was made by mopping up paints, leftover on the craft mat, from the first and then adding just a little sprinkling of Leaf Green Brusho crystals in the areas that were the dampest. The images, zen poppy pods from Lavinia Stamps stamped with Archival Black ink, have been painted with a combination of Aqua Tints and Brusho crystals in shades of red, yellow and green.

The topper is matted on to a snippet of red American Crafts cardstock and then layered on some of the green card leftover from the first card. No sentiment or greeting on this one ... that way it can be used as a notelet.

And as I've manage to incorporate a fair few snippets into these cards, I'm off to submit them to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 147.

Would you believe it, since I started to write up this post the sun has come out to play! It's still windy but so nice to see the sun again, however briefly :)

The EM put on his domestic god pinny this afternoon and has been baking up a storm, fruit scones and my favourite low-sugar fruit cake ... the aroma wafting through the house is simply gorgeous.

Just discovered that the Christmas Movie channel has returned ... it's only the middle of October and we haven't even had Halloween and Bonfire Night yet!!!

I hope you are well and having a wonderful weekend.

Happy Crafting,

PS: Have you seen that I'm celebrating with a giveaway ... do check out the sticky post at the top of this blog for details.

Friday 17 October 2014

Friday Smiles - Week 89

Afternoon Everyone,

Well, that's the house spotless ready for the weekend ... and I'm bushed! It's so exhausting doing the domestic goddess thing! Time for a bit of R&R and taking a moment or two to join in with Annie over at A Stitch In Time and share just a bit of what has made me smile this week. Warning: a photo heavy post follows.

An important piece of advice passed on to scrapbookers like myself goes along these lines: 'to be able to record memories, you must first live life'. Bearing these wise words in mind, the EM and I decided to take a day off on Tuesday and head down to one of our favourite places, Culzean Castle Country Estate. Here are just a few of my favourite photos from the day.

This is the entrance to the courtyard at Culzean Castle.
The EM taking a break up on the courtyard wall which looks down from the cliff top on to the Clyde Estuary ... I remember the first time I looked down at the water lapping below, some 40 years ago, I was so impressed with how clear and clean it was given that ships and boats tootle to and from the Glasgow ports all day long. That's the Isle of Arran just visible behind himself's head.
Not the castle, but what must be the grandest coach house and stables in the county. No longer used as such, instead some of it has been converted into holiday apartments, there's a gift shop and a coffee shop at the back.

We always walk through the gardens on our way back to the car park - here's a few photos taken there. I don't know how I've missed it till now but I spotted this Ginkgo Biloba, aka the Maidenhair Tree. If I was a tree-hugger, this is the one I'd choose to hug :)
These hydrangeas in their autumn colours, together with the stiff spike of acanthus, aka Bears Breeches, look perfect against the warm garden wall.

One of the huge heads in close-up - stunning!

Our walk back to the car took us by way of the secondhand book shop. We stopped to donate a few books and, of course, help funds by purchasing a couple more.
The trees are looking spectacular.
After all that walking it was time for a bowl of soup and a cuppa in the restaurant before making for home again. On the menu, carrot, honey and ginger soup ... warmed us up a treat.

It's safe to say, I've plenty of lovely memories of Tuesday to record in my scrap book now after following that sage advice about living life to record it :)

And finally, as our newsreaders used to say, some of you will have seen this already on Facebook but for those who have not here is my favourite funny of the week.

I can only imagine the patience it must have taken to get that little kitty to sit just so for the camera :)

I'll leave you with my hope that you have had a fabulous Friday and a wish that you will have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Winter Scene

Good Morning Folks,

I hope this finds you well.

I didn't have too much time for crafting yesterday so this is one I made several days ago and didn't get posted.
This is how it was made:

- the base is a 6" square Kraft card

- the topper was made from two cards recycled from last Christmas. I chopped up the one used for the background into three strips then adhered the two cream/gold decorated pieces to the front of the card. Next, to hide the join the gold embossed strip, originally a vertical edge to the card, was placed horizontally across the front.

- the second card had a very pretty winter scene which I cut out using a die from X-cut's Nesting Circles set. A snippet of gold card was die-cut to form the mat for the winter scene. Once they were glued together the inner circle was edged with Platinum Stickles. 

And that is it - as easy and as simple as that.

I'm submitting it to this week's challenge over at 

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for October: the challenge is always 'Always anything goes'

and also Pixie's Snippets Playground - where every snippet counts :)

Wishing you a wonderful day. I'm off to catch up on a bit of painting - with watercolours :)

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 15 October 2014

WOYWW - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 280

Good Morning Folks,

It is still morning here, but only just ... I still don't know where the time goes - really!!!

Anyway, on to the business of this fine, though fresh and definitely autumnal, morning. That is, to show for the delectation and delight of all WOYWWers everywhere what's on my workdesk this morning, which means checking in with Julia, our revered head desker, over at the Stamping Ground.
More new playthings - Aqua Tints. I've been testing them out since they were delivered last Saturday and generally having a lot of fun. So what you can see is lots of little bottles of watercolours and all the pipettes and brushes that come with them - very school science lab! At the back is a colour chart put together to remind me what's in those pots. To the left is a small selection of stamps pulled out because they might work well with the backgrounds made so far, and to the right is the lovely Penny Black stamp you can see stamped on to the green piece at the front. Up behind that is a couple of Clarity stamps already used on another background posted here earlier this week and beside these some tubs of Brushos ... it occurred to me that mixing them with Aqua Tints might create some interesting effects - see the blue piece on the right.

Basically that's it on my desk for today but I thought I'd also show you what's just to the left of it too.
This is the top tray of my trolley, close to hand and full of all things watercolour and ink related.

Before I go, I'd just like to mention that this is my 1001 post! And if you scroll up to the top of my blog you will see that I'm celebrating my 1000 post with a giveaway. I hope you will take part by leaving a comment there and so give yourself the possibility of winning.

I see it's lunchtime now ... that's the morning gone then ... so I'm off for a bite to eat but I will return with the intention of visiting as many WOYWW desks as possible.

In the meantime, I wish you a happy WOYWW day and a wonderful week ahead.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday 14 October 2014

In A Vase On Monday - and a wee garden update

Evening Everyone

I hope you've had a merry Monday. It's been a bit damp underfoot here ... my shoes got a tad muddy out in the garden today.  So it was a quick trot round, armed with camera, trug and secateurs, to see what is still flowering as we edge towards winter. More than I would expect at this time of year here in Scotland ... apart from the roses that just keep blooming, there are hollyhocks, malvas, nasturtiums and even some lingering snapdragons. I spotted a few penstemons quietly blooming in a corner of the long border where the petals on a pink aster are just about to burst open. Two new plants that have just gone in, Rudbeckia Little Gold Star and a mini purple aster - not a named variety - are putting on a good show too. Then there are the shrubs that shouldn't be flowering at all.
This escallonia doesn't seem to know that it is well past it's usual flowering period. We inherited it with the garden so I can only hazard a guess as to which variety it is, possibly E. rubra var. macrantha. And then there is this Spiraea.
Another inherited, and so nameless, plant which flowered earlier in the year then stopped and here it is putting on a lovely show again. Either it's because of our unusually hot summer or because of the drastic pruning job we did on them in the Spring that has tricked these shrubs into flowering again - whatever, the garden looks all the better for it.

Having said all that, it's time to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday, so here's today's vase.
Lots of little bits and bobs found on my saunter round the garden. Our one and only hydrangea flower. The poor plant lives in the shadow of an massive berberis and so isn't doing well at all ... I have it earmarked for a move to a better spot.
I've teamed this up with a few sprigs of feverfew (tanacetum parthenium), lavender - a so-called dwarf form that has grown so big it's going to have to be moved - salvia x sylvestris 'Rose Queen', salad burnet flower heads, pink dianthus grown from seed, and fluffy pennisetum heads.

They been arranged plonked into the egg jug that you may have seen before and placed on the stand in our newly painted hall. The colour doesn't show up too well in the photo but it is a light shade of green ...the name on the tin is Spring Sage ... it's lovely and fresh looking.

Today, I set myself the task of checking just what jobs are still needing to be done before the first frosts arrive ... and it seems there's rather too many. I don't know when I'm going to get it all done, especially as there is even less time to do it in ... shorter days and fewer hours of daylight to work in.

However, there is one job we have managed to get done recently that I thought I'd share with you now. The scruffy grass areas in the back garden have been a source of concern almost from the day we moved in eleven months ago but it wasn't until the end of September that we were able to do anything about it. With the help of our two youngest grandchildren we transformed that ...

... to this.

It doesn't look much right now but wildflower seeds, a mix of annual and perennial, have been sown in there so by next summer it should be a blaze of colour ... well, that's the plan anyway!
And, as you can see some of those seeds have germinated already. As long as the birds leave them alone and the cat takes her morning constitutional elsewhere this patch should be a thing of beauty next year.

I'll leave you with this shot taken from above. You can see my husband's mancave (the new shed) and my smaller sheds alongside on the gravel area, the rose bed, the long border, the other scruffy grassed area ... can't call it a lawn ... the scree garden with the bird bath at it's centre, and the woodland area beyond. Just peaking out at the side of the shed is the herb bed.