Sunday 28 December 2014

Sunday Snippets - The One After Christmas

Evening Everyone,

I hope you are all recovering from the excesses of the holidays and are now looking forward to some New Year celebrations - yet more excesses! We've had a wonderful time ... a quiet Christmas day followed by a very busy and happy Boxing Day with family and friends ... and it looks as though there's enough food in stock to keep us going right up to Easter :)

All this excitement means I haven't been crafting at all so here's something I put together quickly before Christmas whilst wrapping some presents and looking for a way to present them.
I discovered the plain white bags on a recent trip to The Range. They are perfect for decorating.
A snippet of trim, a greeting and a decoupaged topper from an old Papermania kit, from a couple of years ago, was all that was needed to prettify each bag.
Hopefully you can see the effect of the layers of decoupage in this close up.
This old kit somehow still keeps giving even if it is a couple of years old and must be one of the prettiest I've ever seen ... I think it was called Henbury Lane Poinsettia. I've only used a small amount of trim on the bags but every bit counts in the fight to keep the snippet mountain under check and it does mean I can pop over to Pixies Snippets Playground again. I wonder if there is snow there yet and are the ducks skating on a frozen pond!

However, I won't be making any snowmen or going skating either :( I have a rotten cold. Worse still, it looks as though the EM has caught it from me ... never let it be said that I don't like to share! Hopefully we will both be right for January 1st ... it would be nice to start the year as we plan to go on ... germ free :)

I promise not to share my cold with you though ... take care and keep well.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 24 December 2014

WOYWW - Week 290 - The Christmas One

No desk today, just this digi card made especially for you. 
I would just like to say:







Monday 22 December 2014

In A Vase On Monday

Afternoon Everyone,

Here we are at the last In A Vase Monday post before Christmas and I haven't actually got a vase of anything to show today. Seriously, it's far too rainy to venture out into the garden even though I can see there is plenty of material out there. There are a number of evergreens and lots of berries just perfect for arrangements ... all that's needed is a dry day. One is promised for tomorrow - too late! Instead I'll show you our 2014 Amaryllis.
Is there any bulb more perfect at this time of year? I love huge trumpet shaped flowers, the vibrancy of the colour and the gorgeous petals that are just like velvet.

Perhaps I should explain the patterned paper bag you can see there ... it's something I made to cover the tops of the cane supports. My resident handyman, for reasons of Elf & Safety, covered the tops of the two canes with some sponge held on with silver gaffer tape!! His main concern was that our great-grandchildren might injure themselves on them ... the canes are, after all, just about the height of an unwary toddler's eyes. But silver gaffer tape, though beloved of handymen the world over, has to be one of my pet hates, hence the pretty paper covers.
Hidden at the back is a second bud just about to open out.  I've only just noticed that there is a vase in this shot ... it contains three red Pelargonium flower heads cut from the two plants that I have on the kitchen windowsill. I was taking cuttings from them and it seemed a shame to toss the flowers so they've been saved. As they are bright red they look like part of the festive decorations :) You can also see better the red gingham ribbon used to tie those little paper bags to the canes.
In this shot you can spot the Pelargoniums just above the Amaryllis and there's even a glimpse our tree. My two favourite colours at any time of the year are red and green so, as you can imagine, I'm in my element right now. Makes me wish it was Christmas all year round :)

And that is my vase for this week. All that's left for me to do is thank Cathy, once again, for hosting this weekly challenge and to wish all my fellow in-a-vase-on-Mondayers a wonderful and fun time during the upcoming festivities.

Happy Holidays,

Sunday 21 December 2014

Snippet Sunday - Weeks 156-157

Hello Everyone,

It's celebration time over at Pixie's Snippets Playground ... it's three years since our wonderful playmate Di picked up the snippets mantle from the equally wonderful playmate Jules. I couldn't possibly miss such an auspicious occasion, that's for sure.
Coincidentally I've chosen a reindeer for today's offering ... I really had no idea Di was going to feature a card with a deer too :) Anyway, this reindeer, Reindeer with Antlers, is a digital image that I printed off some time ago - probably 2011 because that's when I downloaded it from the Scrapbook Sisters! I found it in a box of stuff during the recent clear out and reorganisation of the craft room ... all it needed was a bit of colouring with Promarkers - just a couple of shades of light brown and holly red.

After colouring, it was put through the die-cutting machine with the second largest size in the Spellbinders Labels Twenty-Five set. A faux die was made by tracing round the outside edge of the same label die on to a snippet of brown card and cutting the shape out by hand. Then a snippet of red card was cut with the largest size label and all three were put together to create the topper. The final touch was to add a touch of glitter ... it wouldn't be Christmas without glitter :) *

To make the card, the topper was adhered to a white scalloped edge card base. The greeting was added beneath the topper and some coppery coloured card candy added as the only embellishment. Really, nothing to it - an easy card to make with the added bonus that a couple of card snippets have been used up :)

Needless to say, I'm still working my way through a pre-Christmas to-do list as long as my arm and perhaps you are too ... it's such a busy time of the year. Although we are having a quiet Christmas Day, just the two of us, oh, and The Boss, of course she'll be looking for her festive dinner too, Boxing Day is going to be busy because we are having family and friends round in the afternoon. Should be hectic but fun :)

I hope the next few days go well for you and that by the time the big day comes you can ease off and take a bit of time out and enjoy yourself.

In the meantime, just in case we don't cross paths before, take care, stay warm and I wish you all a wonderfully fun festive season.

Happy Holidays,
* Did you see the BBC News report on the problems caused by glitter from Christmas cards. Apparently all that glitter is not gold to Royal Mail ... instead it's threatening to clog up the Royal Mail's sorting machines. Fortunately Henry, the vacuum cleaner, is on hand to keep the machines working and the mail flowing ... what a relief :)

Friday 19 December 2014

Friday Smile Week 98 - That’s Christmas To Me

A fellow scrapper, Shimelle, she of Glitter Girl fame, sent out this link this morning saying that she thought many scrapbookers would appreciate it. I listened to it this afternoon and thought you don't have to be a scrapbooker to appreciate it ... it's lovely and certainly made me smile. I've been humming the tune ever since hearing it and now have an earworm that may take weeks to go away :)

This is the last Friday Smile post until next year so may I wish you all the best of Christmases and a wonderfully happy festive season whatever you are doing.  And many thanks to Annie for hosting this weekly opportunity to share a smile - long may it continue because life always feels better when you're smiling :)

Christmas hugs and xx to you all,

Wednesday 17 December 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Week 289

Afternoon Everyone,

Yes, afternoon again .. I always intend to post earlier for WOYWW but usually fail miserably :( Anyhoo, I've made it to the best blog hop on the net and here's my desk today.
Is that not a thing of beauty? A clean, clear and pristine desk ... to be enjoyed while you can because you can be sure it will soon be covered in stuff again pretty soon. As you can tell, I've had a clear up. I've tossed a lot of accumulated bits and bobs that were simply never going to be used and so made space for the stuff I do use.
It's not that I haven't been crafting ... well, actually it is. I've not been too well recently, trying to shake of an infection that didn't want to leave, but last night I had the first good sleep in I don't know how long and this morning woke feeling so much better so let the Christmas celebrations begin :) And talking of Christmas here's a pile of tags, presently tucked away in the blue box you can see on the desk, I made with some of the goodies I unearthed from the bowels of the craft room during that sort out.
Just the kind of project that helps clear up loads of bits and bobs. I've made so many they will do next Christmas too :)
And following on from last week's WOYWW, here's cushion #6 completed. Now that I'm feeling better I'll be back in the sewing corner to make a few more. I might even get around to making a couple of festive ones for me!!!

Once again, many thanks for all your comments and get well wishes recently ... they are all very much appreciated.

Happy WOYWW day to you all.

Monday 15 December 2014

Sunday Snippets on Monday - Yellow Poppies

Evening Everyone

Welcome! I trust this finds you all well and that Monday has been a good day for you.

I have another watercolour and snippet make for Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 155 and it's those Rubber Necker Field Poppies again ... can you tell I just love these stamps?
I just love how every impression looks so different depending on the unpredictability of the watercolour paints/inks and whatever combination of colours used. I've added a few gold sequins for a touch of sparkle. The stamped image and the piece of yellow Gelli print have been matted and layered on to snippets of grey card.
The yellow base card came from an inexpensive mixed colour pack found in The Works a very long time ago - the inside is white. The finishing touches were the orange card candy and the pre-printed gold embossed greeting.

I did intend posting this yesterday but somehow never got around to it ... not feeling 100% at the moment so not ticking much off my seemingly neverending to-do list ... sigh!

On a much brighter note, my aunt Jean and cousin Lorraine are flying over from Australia for the Christmas holiday and I'm so looking forward to seeing them. It's been 40 years since they were last here in Scotland so there's a lot of catching up to do :)

Thanks for popping in. I wish you an enjoyable evening and a good day tomorrow.

Happy Crafting,

Saturday 13 December 2014

Snowman Soup 2014

Evening Everyone,

This weekend is probably a busy one for you ... at this time of the year is it ever anything else? ... but I hope it's also proving to be enjoyable.

I've been busy putting together the little bags of Snowman Soup again, and I've actually managed to complete this little task earlier this year. Last year I didn't get them done until 22nd December!
I've used almost the same content mix but as I couldn't find any bags of pink/white mini marshmallows I substituted with all white. Last year I used a PDF label that was downloadable free from Love The Day , this year I decided to create my own using Serif Craft Artist.
The digital kit used is Peppermint from Crate Paper.
A little poem with instructions on what to do with the contents are on the back.

Many thanks to those who visit and leave such lovely comments. I apologise for not getting around to as many of you as I would like but I have yet another infection so I've been taking antibiotics and resting as much as possible. Not only do I want to be well for Christmas but also I simply have to be fit for next Saturday ... it's little Arihanna's third birthday party :)

Right, time for a cuppa and then the rest of the evening I'll be relaxing in front of the TV ... there's a Meryl Streep film, Hope Springs, that I plan to watch ... if I don't fall asleep first :)

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 12 December 2014

Friday Smile - Week 97

Evening Everyone

It's Friday, and I'm late again ... nothing unusual about that, I hear you say ... but it wouldn't be Friday if I didn't join in with Annie, over at A Stitch In Time, and share a couple of things that made me smile this week. Starting with this:

Three hundred hours! So we have still a bit of time until the big day. You'd think so wouldn't you? But look what I found in my local supermarket today:
Cadbury's Creme Eggs!!! A ginormous stand full of them, I kid you not! Time was that they would at least wait until December 26th before they put them on display to tempt cremeggaholics like myself :)

Now, a wee joke for to start the weekend:

A poor guy walks up to the rich guy's house. He's down on his luck and needs some money. He rings the doorbell.

"Hi there, I'm down on my luck, need some money, and I was wondering if you have any work I could do for you?"

The rich Guy decides to give him a break, and says:

"Sure, my porch needs painting. I'll pay you 50 pounds to do it for me."

"Sure thing, Mister, I'll get started right away!"

Time passes, until...

"Hey Mister, I'm all done painting!"
"Well, here's your 50 pounds"

"Thanks, and by the way ...





... it's a Ferrari, not a Porsche."

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,

Thursday 11 December 2014

Cloudy Day - Appliqued Tote

Evening Everyone,

Well, another day of horribleness has just about gone and it's looking as though there's going to be no let up from the storm for some time yet. We've had the lot: gales, lightening, sleet, hailstones and a deluge so far, everything, in fact, but the snow that has been forecast. It's only a matter of time!!!

So it doesn't take more than one guess to know where I've been for much of the day. That's right, in the craft room, in the sewing corner, stitching away and this is the result ... quite appropriate considering the weather :)
The idea for the applique I first discovered on Pinterest when I was looking for some inspiration for decorating tote bags. That took me to Retro Mama's super blog and that's where I discovered the pattern to make a tote from scratch here. There's a link to the templates for the cloud and raindrops included with the instructions. Having already purchased the plain tote from an Amazon supplier.  All I had to do was open up the sides of the bag using a quick unpick/seam ripper ... this was fiddly and took a wee while to do - so much for being quick. Tip and note to self: a faster way would be to simply cut the side seams off. This would reduce the finished width of the tote but would be so much quicker than unpicking.
My less than perfect applique clouds and raindrops. I traced the templates on to iron-on fusible web which I then ironed it on to the fabric before cutting out the shapes. Once that was done it was just a case of removing the paper backing and ironing the shapes on to the front of the tote. I finished off by satin stitching around the edges of the shapes ... much fiddlier than it sounds, and I see one of the raindrops is less than straight too :) These raindrops use the tiniest scrap of fabric. Snippets, in fact, so I'll be popping over to Pixie's playground and linking this over there.
To finish I stitched up the sides again, first with a straight stitch and then with a close zigzag stitch to stop the fabric from fraying.

Right, time for a cuppa ... just in time to watch the second part of the Lost Honour Christopher Jefferies.

Hope you are having a lovely evening.

Happy Crafting

Wednesday 10 December 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Wk 288

Afternoon Everyone ...

... and a very happy WOYWW to you. I should have been here earlier but there's a storm raging outside and despite battening down the hatches, etc., we couldn't prevent an interruption in our telephone service, TV and broadband too, hence the delay. Now the rain has stopped, the wind has died down, the sun is shining and we are back online - yeah! So, finally to the point of this post - my desk:
This is the photo I took Tuesday evening. Yet another right old guddle! That's cushion #6 being planned out but there's a whole lot of stuff cluttering the work surface and just getting in the way. It was bothering me so much that this morning I decided to clear it off.
Better! There's still painting  and cutting equipment plus various adhesives stashed at the back but there's a whole lot more space for me to spread fabrics on while I plan the cushion cover.
And just in case you are wondering what that roll of white stuff is balancing in the empty coffee jar - it's the iron-on fusible web I used for the applique on cushion #5. And for the eagle-eyed, that's today's episode of Bargain hunt on TV and next to that is a late birthday gift - a teal coloured Grand Calibur. Haven't had much time time to put it into action, just a quick test run to check it was in full working order, but I have high hopes of giving it a fuller work out after Christmas is over :)
And because I mentioned it above, here's a glimpse of cushion # 5. I plan to post a bit more on it later.

In the time it has taken to write up this post the sun has gone and the rain and wind are back again. This storm is coming over from the Atlantic Ocean and it is wild ... I see the BBC are calling it a 'weather bomb' - whatever next!

Clearly, I won't be going shopping today and a proposed trip to the PO in town has had to be postponed. No, I'll be staying in and, as long as we are online, I will be popping in to see as many WOYWW desks as possible.

Before I go I'd like to thank everyone who left greetings for my birthday recently - every one was much appreciated.

Do take care and enjoy the rest of your day.

Monday 8 December 2014

In A Vase On Monday - Berry Beautiful

Evening Everyone,

After a very busy day out and about I had just about enough daylight to nip into the garden and collect these bright berries for In a Vase on Monday, the weekly challenge from Cathy over at Rambling in the Garden.
I did no more than stuff a few sprigs from the skimmia  into a white jug, tucked a couple of twigs from one of my husband's recently planted holly bushes - ilex Golden King - before deciding it was done :)
Despite it's name this holly is female and though it's early days it should eventually bear berries too, especially as it's one of two planted at the same time - the other being a male specimen, of course.
I've placed the jug on the plant stand in the hall to provide a bright and cheery welcome for visitors now that winter is very definitely here ... brrr! We found the plant stand in the loft just after we moved in, forgotten and unloved. It's probably been up there for a couple of decades. I have plans to give it a makeover some day but in the meantime I give it TLC with regular waxing. The trees, lights and decorations are all up and I think the little red pillar box ornament, one of my favourites, looks just right with the jug of berries.

Once again, many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who with this challenge is responsible for encouraging me to bring a little of the garden inside each week to enjoy!

Happy Gardening,

Sunday 7 December 2014

Sunday Snippets

Afternoon Folks

I hope this finds you well and having a super Sunday. I've no idea where the time is going but, right now, it's flying ... so much to do and so little time ... so I'm here with a couple of very quick shares for Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 154 before I get on with all the other Christmas preparations that need my attention right now!
Over the last couple of weeks there seems to have been an awful lot of birthdays cards required for family and friends. This one is for a friend who is a very keen gardener. I won't be listing all the materials used but it's basically a black base to which I've added one of my Gelli prints, a Kanban topper with an apt image and sentiment, a die-cut wheelbarrow (Impression Obsessions) cut from a snippet of silver mirror card, card candy and, of course, a greeting.
This card was made for someone who loves her shoes and handbags. For this one I used a die-cut swing card base and covered it with some leftover wrapping paper that had the most perfect images. The topper, made from the tag that came with the wrapping paper, is matted on to a snippet of silver mirror board. Apologies for the quality of the photo ... I tried several shots but this is the best I could do :(
This shot of the back is much clearer and shows off that pretty paper better too.

There's a few more birthday cards to make for this month and two for the beginning of January. It's just as well I have a good stock of Christmas cards already made ... can you imagine the panic I'd be in otherwise? It doesn't bear thinking about! Hope your holiday preparations are going well and you are not getting too stressed because of it all.

Before I go, and forget, a warm welcome to my newest follower/enabler - that's you, GranMargaret :) Thanks for being there.

Right, that's it for now! Apologies for the rush.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 5 December 2014

Friday Smiles - Week 96

Afternoon Everyone,

It's Friday, and I'm late again, but I just have to join in with Annie, over at A Stitch In Time, and share a couple of things that made me smile this week. There's been some sadness which I won't dwell on here, there's also been a lot to smile about as yet more birthday cards and a couple of birthday presents arrived. It could be said that one of the downsides of having a birthday so close to December is that cards and presents get caught up in the Christmas mail rush - how inappropriate is that term, more apt would be mail slowdown - but the way I see it I get to keep celebrating long after the actual day :) Even Google wished me a Happy Birthday!
This is the nearest I get to birthday cake now that I'm so old I have to eat less sugary goodies, so thank you for that Google :)

Then there's the unseasonably warm weather we've been enjoying. It meant that my birthday treat was a walk in my favourite place, Culzean Country Estate. We walked all the way from the car park to the Swan Pond and back, believe me, that's a very long walk - here's a few photos taken there.

I think this may be mum, dad and youngsters, more correctly cob, pen and cygnets, down on the pond. Don't they look beautiful when the fluff up their wings like that ... Swan Lake for real :)
A duck gathering at what must be their preferred diving off point. As we approached most went off for a swim ...
... except for this little one. He/she was going nowhere no matter who was behind with a camera :)
Nothing says winter better than an evergreen with bright red berries. I was so determined to photo these that ...
... I got soaked on the wet, wet grass underneath that shrub. All in the day's work for an intrepid photographer :)

I didn't expect to be taking these two pics in my garden in winter.

Taken in my garden only this afternoon and proof positive that we've enjoyed the warmest summer/autumn, probably ever, here in Ayrshire this year. This foxglove, digitalis Dalmatian Cream, was only planted out towards the end of summer, and as it is a biennial, and a spring flowering one at that, should not be doing this right now :)

And finally ... 

... for those who haven't seen this already. Says it all really :)

If you have something to smile about too 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 week with plenty to make you smile :)