Friday 30 January 2015

Friday Smiles

Hi Everyone,

It's Friday and I have three photos that made me smile this week to share with you and Annie at a Stitch In Time.

First up is this photo of Burns Cottage, home of Scotland's Bard, Rabbie Burns, all wrapped up to celebrate Burns Night on 25th January.
As every year, we celebrated with a traditional Burns Supper - mashed potatoes and neeps (swede) and haggis - delicious :)
Next - a BOGOFF from mother nature herself - two oranges for the price of one ... unpeeled by my bloggy friend, Sarah - The Handmade Card Blog.  Incidentally, Sarah will be demonstrating for IndigoBlu in the Craft Centre at Cardwell Garden Centre tomorrow, Saturday, 31st January - more details on her blog. It was Sarah, four or more years ago, who persuaded me to start my own blog so, as you can imagine, I'm really looking forward to meeting her, in the flesh, at last :)
And finally, spotted this on FaceBook and thought the crocheters out there would appreciate the sentiment :)

Although the weather isn't too good here, I know a great many of you are suffering far worse - much snow and a freezing wind chill factor according to the reports - so I hope the above has made you smile even if for only a moment.

Take care, stay warm and stay safe,

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Rainbow Meringue Cushion

Afternoon Folks

I hope this finds you well and keeping warm - unless, of course, you're in a hot part of the world. Here in south-west Scotland it's perishing though nowhere near as extreme as it is in Massachusetts, US. I've seen the news and we're told the snow is at least 2 feet deep - that's a lot of snow so if you are over there do stay cosily indoors until the roads are clear.
If you've been popping in over the last week or so you won't be surprised that I'm still harking back to last year for today's share. Another cushion, no. 7, but a different shape ... a small narrow rectangle - chosen especially for my sister, Margaret. As Margaret has MS and therefore spends a lot of time in her wheelchair I thought this would be the ideal cushion to pop behind her back, or even her head if she wants to have a wee snooze.
It took fabric from three fat quarters to make the cover. My favourite is the blue fabric with the rainbow meringue print - reminds me of the time we had tea in Aunt Betty's, Harrogate. I've added some snippets of various trims that I found tucked away in my stash for added interest, including a white bobble trim - everybody seems to love the bobbles - and a very pretty blue rosebud trim :)
There was a tiny strip of the print left over which I used to trim the envelope back.

That's it for today - short and sweet :) Because I used those snippets of trim, I'll submit this cushion to Pixie's Snippet Playground.

I spent a few hours playing with watercolours yesterday evening, whilst watching TV. I now have a wee stack of interesting background pieces created with watercolour washes and Brushos and some stamped images watercoloured and ready to use on various projects - though I'm not too sure when I'll get round to making them up. Anyway, something to look forward to using some time soon.

Thanks for taking the time to drop by.

Happy Crafting,

Monday 26 January 2015

In A Vase On Monday - Berries in a Little Brown Vase

Afternoon to you all again,

Twice in one day! It's a very long time since I joined in Cathy's In A Vase on Monday meme. I'm so glad to be able to join in again though there's not a lot to be had in our very wet garden ... we've had a lot of heavy rain and storms over the last few weeks.
After yesterday's trip out - mentioned in the preceding post - I took the opportunity to nip out into the back garden to do a bit of foraging in the shrubbery. There are no flowers to be seen, not even a snowdrop, but plenty of greenery and a few clusters of berries. I started with the cotoneaster berries for some colour then added some twigs from one of the glossy leaved escallonias. There wasn't enough out back so a tour round the front garden was called for.
There I found the buddleia was just coming in to leaf, so much I'm sure it won't miss the three little bits I pinched. The sarcococca  in a pot by the front door is just coming into bud so I snipped from that too - maybe the tiny wee buds will open in the warmth indoors. Finally, we have a couple of little fir trees that are always happy to oblige me. I think they may have started out a good many years ago as Christmas trees which were planted out after the festivities were over - now they grow one on either side of the driveway gate and look just perfect there.
The first two photos were taken in the kitchen against the white tiling because that room is the brightest at this time of the year but the last is a shot of where the vase is now. I've had this little brown vase for many years but this is the first time it's been used! It's usually tucked away in a corner cupboard as is the much treasured little pottery mushroom house - my son made it at school when he was a teenager. The black laquered box, another treasure, contains a set of matching coasters ... a gift from a Japanese professor when he visited the university department where I worked for a number of years.

I did hope to find one plant in flower on my trip around the back garden but sadly I was to be very disappointed. I was looking for the white hellebore I moved from a pot to the woodland area at he bottom of the garden.
It looked very promising on Christmas Day when I took this photo - some nice fat buds were popping through then - but yesterday it looked even smaller and very unpromising. I'm now regretting taking it out of the tub where it was so obviously well settled and happy.

I seem to have hit this week running - two posts in one day - will I be able to keep it up I wonder. If I do, I hope to catch up with all the others who enjoy putting a vase together for Mondays over the next day or two.

Take care all and stay safe, stay warm.

Rudolph Day - January 2015

Afternoon Folks

After a weekend of doing nothing much at all I think it's time I did some more catching up. Yesterday was the 25th, and that means Rudolph Day over at Scraps of Life by ScrappyMo. You may recall that our lovely Sarn stepped down from presenting Rudolph Day at the end of last year and we now have the equally lovely Mo to encourage us to create Christmas cards right through the year. Do check out her blog for details of how you can play along each month together with inspiration from Mo and her Design Team.
Once again I have a card, actually a batch of cards, made in the run up to last Christmas that until now I haven't managed to post. The design is based on one designed by Heather Telford at Bits & Pieces. I've long been a great admirer of Heather's work so when I saw this card just thought it was a perfect design to CASE. Needless to say, I didn't have the same supplies as Heather so I substituted with what I had in my stash.

The topper which was very simply made has a tree and star embossed in white on to a blue watercoloured sky -  the original had a die-cut tree and star. The tent shaped base card had a half circle punch out of each side of the front (I used Stamping Up's word label punch) before narrow blue ribbon was wrapped round it - it's fastened at the front under the topper. Heather used embroidery thread instead of ribbon.
To get the half circles in exactly the right place I used a piece of card as a template - you can see the card, with my various attempts to get it just right, in the photo above.
Here's a shot of the entire batch set out on the EM's pool table - the largest surface I could find :) I don't really like making the same card over and over again, easily bored, but as the watercoloured skies are all a little different I quite enjoyed making these.

As well as Rudolph Day, I'm submitting this card to the following:

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 161- all the toppers were made from snippets of white card trimmed down to size. Not one to miss an opportunity to see his big brother, Parsnip, Snippety Bailey is skipping over to the playground too :)
Hazel's CHNC Challenge 213 - Joy to the world
CHNC Extra Challenge for January 2015 - where anything goes as long as it's Christmas themed

Many thanks to you all and to all the lovely comments received. I say it often, but it's worth reiterating, your support is very much appreciated. Without hearing from you I'd think I was just be chatting to myself :)

Finally, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that Monday hasn't been so bad thus far. The EM took me for a trip out yesterday to cheer me up some. I hadn't been out anywhere for so long, in fact, since I came out of hospital, I was beginning to feel a bit fed up so he took me to the book shop at Culzean. I had a lovely browse round and came away a few pounds lighter, several books heavier and feeling a lot perkier :)

Take care all.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 23 January 2015

Friday Smile

Afternoon folks

Just this one cartoon for Annie's Friday Smile this week but it did make me smile :)
I haven't reached this stage yet but when/if I do I'll be removing those stray eyebrows :)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. If you're down south keep warm and stay safe.


Wednesday 21 January 2015

Upcycled Christmas Card

Evening Everyone,

I've made my first card of the year! I'm quite chuffed with myself for getting down to a bit of crafting at last :) Once you've seen it you will think this was a quick and easy card to make! Not so, it took me the better part of a day to make?!?!  I've never been the fastest of crafters but that's just plain ridiculous!!!!

Over at CHNC Challenge 212 Hazel is asking that we upcycle, recycle, re-purpose or use something free so I've recycled a card received this Christmas. I liked this cute image of hedgehogs in a car spilling over with gifts, especially as it is decidedly glittery.
To make it I did the following:

 - first I folded an A4 sheet of Papermania textured cardstock in a light grey shade to create an A5 tent shape card base.

- then I trimmed both the left side of the insert, the red piece, and the image from the front of the card I was recycling to fit on to the front of the card base. 

- the greeting was computer generated and printed on to white cardstock, trimmed and edged with a grey Promarker - Ice Grey 1 - to create faux matting.

- the inside is decorated with a leftover strip of the red and an image trimmed from the insert too.

You'll notice that it's a fairly flat card. I've set a target to make as many embellishment light cards as possible after almost mortgaging my soul to Royal Mail to send out our 2014 Christmas cards. I'll be saving the pretty ribbons, charms and gems for cards that will be delivered by hand. Unless, of course, RM drops the cost of postage ... no, I don't think that's very likely either!

I'm also submitting this card to Hazel's other challenge - CHNC challenge extra for January 2015 

I'm off now to concentrate on finishing some scrap layouts started about two months ago. That's another target for this year - create more scrap layouts. It's not as though I don't have plenty of pretty patterned paper just crying out to be used.

Hope you are all having a good week so far. Many thanks to everyone who takes the time to visit and maybe leave a comment ... all very much appreciated.

Take care.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday 20 January 2015

A Handbag Bag

Afternoon Everyone,

Still not got back into actually doing anything crafty so I'm sharing yet another item made before Christmas which I didn't get round to posting in December.
This was made for my niece Louise using the fabulous fabric bought at the Hobbycraft Show in Glasgow in October. I thought the handbag print would appeal to her ... to an oldie like me it seemed young and trendy :)

The shape is simple - a tote with a divided pocket on the front trimmed with black bias binding and extra wide cream ric rac.
I added a layer of wadding (batting) between the fabric and the cream lining to make the bag sturdier. The straps were made from a webbing also bought at the show.

The instructions for the bag were taken from Half Yard Heaven by Debbie Shore.

Materials used:

Printed fabric
Cream cotton for lining
Black bias binding
Wide cream ric rac
Webbing for straps
Matching sewing thread
Sewing machine

The finished bag measures approximately 16" x 14".

With some of the leftover fabric I made a matching mobile phone case ... much too large!

It was all guess work so I'll know to make the next one a lot smaller.

Another brief post from me. Hope you don't mind me sharing stuff I made last month but didn't have time to post until now.

Wishing you all well.

Happy Crafting,

Sunday 18 January 2015

Sunday Snippets - those Field Poppies again

Evening Everyone,

Just a quick post for Di's Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 160 as I'm still supposed to be taking it easy ... but it's so difficult not to come out to play :) However, I will keep it brief and hope you won't mind.The two cards I have to share were made long before Christmas but I was so busy I never did find time to post them then.
This card used up some Gelli plate print I had leftover, scraps of silver mirror card and a snippet of pink card for matting and layering.
The poppies on card this were stamped on to scraps of white card, using various shades of blue and green watercolour paint - just experimenting with colour really - and then matted on to snippets of aqua cardstock.

And that's it for this evening. I'll do my best to take a peek at all your snippet makes over the week but apologise in advance if I don't get round you all ... it's 'baby steps' for me at the moment.

Hope you have all had an enjoyable weekend and that the coming week is a good one.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 16 January 2015

Friday Smiles ...

... and I'm back with quite a few reasons to smile!

As some of you may know I've been in hospital with pneumonia. Thanks to my GP, together with the paramedic, doctors and nurses in The Ayr Hospital, I'm well on the way to a full recovery ... thank goodness for the NHS - reason no. 1 to smile.
Reason no. 2 is all the kind thoughts and get well wishes that have come my way ... I'm sure they all helped, and continue to help, me in my recovery so many thanks to everyone who took the time to think of me.
A special thanks must go to Di, of Pixie's Snippet Playground, who sent this gorgeous spring arrangement. How cheering are these? Apparently Parsnip the Snippet Bear had a hand in choosing them and sent his wee brother along to cheer me up too.
He's adorable :) He came with a name, Bailey, but I'm renaming him Snippety Bailey ... I think it suits him perfectly.
Needless to say, I really missed The Boss during the 9 days I was in hospital and I know she missed me too. The EM tells me she would wander round the house searching and calling for me. So reason no.3 is seeing her curled up on my desk ... keeping it warm for the day I'm fit enough to get down to some crafting again :)

And finally, not everyones idea of something to smile about but ...
... our first snowfall. The EM hates it but I love watching the snow fall covering the garden and making everything look so pristine. Needless to say, I'm not so keen to be out in it :)

I hope you have had as much to smile about this week ... if you have do share it with Annie at a Stitch In Time, and everyone else who joins in with her Share a Smile ...

Wishing you all a very enjoyable weekend.