Friday 31 July 2015

Friday Smile ... Week 130

Morning Everyone,

It's been a very mixed week personally, some good, some bad - mostly bad, so it's something of a relief to get to Friday and look back on what actually made me smile for Annie's happy meme over at A Stitch In Time. And it wasn't so difficult after all.
First up is this collage of photos showing this adorable twosome, my great-grandchildren, having a great time making their own sand art - with a lot of help from their papa and gran, SIL and DD. Rhian looks very proud of the little figure she has drawn and Brodie was fascinated to see his name written in the sand.

Next up are these strawberries growing in a hanging basket. There was only a few but they were deliciously sweet - better than any shop bought strawberries.

And who wouldn't smile at the sight of this bright and cheerfully rose aptly named Rock and Roll. The name brings to mind my fifties childhood when rock and roll took the country by storm. I have wonderful memories of my teenage relatives, of which there was quite a number, rolling back the carpet in my grandparents living room, putting Elvis Presley's Hound Dog on the wind up record player and showing a 5 year old me how to jive and rock and roll. Wonderful memories and all sparked by such a fun flower :)

Finally, my joke of the day ... another episode from Donald.

Donald decided he was not feeling too well so he took himself off in the old LandRover to see Dr McPherson, the local Medical Practitioner.

McPherson asked him what was wrong and then interrogated Donald on his lifestyle.

'How much exercise do you take each day?' enquired of McPherson.

'I'm on the hill from dawn to dusk!' replied Donald proudly.

'How many cigarettes do you smoke each day?' asked McPherson.

'None, Doctor! I have smoked a pipe all my life!' replied Donald.

'Now Donald', says McPherson, 'How many units of alcohol do you drink each week?'

Donald thought very carefully about this, and having got the answer firmly in his mind after counting all his fingers, asked McPherson:

'How many bottles in a unit, Doctor?'

Hope that tickled you :)

So not such a bad week after all. It's a certainty that the little ones in the family will always make me smile just as my garden is also a great source of pleasure.

Have a smiley weekend,

Wednesday 29 July 2015

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 321

Hello Everyone,

I've been a really bad desker, and blogger, recently and for that I apologise. There's just been such a lot going on with family and friends which has kept me from participating and, truth to tell, my desk has been in such a state of chaos you really wouldn't have wanted to see it.
However, I've got myself organised again and so, whilst not much is going on, it is looking a lot tidier today. And, yes, that is sunlight you see coming from the direction of the window - such a nice change. I'm finally getting around to doing something with that flower photo I printed off a few weeks ago. It's still in the planning stage but I'm getting there. The diary, right back, is there just because I like the kitten on the front. The picture top centre is from one of our local newspapers and is of my grandson, his partner and their baby ... I need to put it in the family history album. The pile of photos, to the right, are there to be scrapped ... could be while yet. And that is about it ... everything else you've probably seen before.

Edit Note: Having been asked the question I thought I'd better explain why a photo of my grandson, his partner and their newborn son, my great grandson, appeared in the local paper ... it is that our local papers publish photos of all newborns in the area ... a lovely thing to do.

Our head desker, Julia, she of the Stamping Ground, has a wrist injury, is in a splint, and yet has still managed to type! How dedicated is that!?!? I hope, Julia, that you recover very quickly. In the meantime, feel free to 'whine' as much as you like :)

Right, I'm off to do a bit of desk hopping before the dinner gong sounds.

I wish you all a great week and happy crafting.

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Jam Jar Wraps

Hello Everyone

Just a very quick post today because I'm heading off out in an hour or so to visit me niece, Louise. She was rushed into hospital yesterday seriously ill with a bad reaction to an antibiotic and is now recovering in the High Dependency Unit. So please forgive how brief this post is.

I made these two jar wraps a while back. They were made with scraps of fabric, snippets of ribbon and lace, and beads.

The colour of the  fabric used for this one is actually a shade of grey, the flower is a pale shade of lemon, and white lace.

This one is made with a scrap of white on white patterned fabric, hessian, cream cotton lace, that beautiful rose ribbon, and strips of beading ... glued on with fabric glue.

And that's it for today. Thanks for popping in.

Must rush.

Happy Crafting,

Monday 27 July 2015

In A Vase On Monday - Stately Lilies

We continue to have the most dismal weather here in not so sunny Ayrshire. In fact I gave up waiting for a dry spell today ... it wasn't going to happen ... dawned a raincoat and nipped out to collect a few stems of my favourite lilies to put in a vase so that I could join in with Cathy's very popular meme - In A Vase On Monday. Look closely and you can see raindrops glistening on the petals.

I've had these stunning dark red lilies growing in a large pot for several years now. I've long forgotten their name but I believe they are an Asiatic variety. Some years they have bloomed better than others - this year is a very good year ... they must like the rain. There's three stems in the vase.
I've added one stem of this pretty pale pink Lily Elodie to the, for the want of a better term, 'arrangement' ... I think you probably know by now that I don't arrange, I plonk! Unlike the nameless red lily, Elodie is new to me and this is the first year of flowering. I was tempted by the description that she is pollen free. Ideal for cutting but, on reflection, not much good for insects.  

I've added just a few stems Ammi, two varieties, Majus and Visnaga, to the vase ... it was too wet to go looking for anything else that might be suitable.

Here's the vase on top of the stove, which we refuse to use even though the temperature has dropped down so far that our central heating boiler has turned itself on and we've donned fleeces to keep warm. I can't recall a Scottish summer being this cold since 1985. 

Happily, the flowers don't seem to notice the cold and our garden couldn't be more colourful. Our patch of annuals is particularly floriferous at the moment and looks lovely when the sun shines ... however brief that is.

 Happy Gardening,

Saturday 25 July 2015

Just Saying Hello

Morning Everyone,

Just a quick visit to let you know that I'm still in the land of the living. I've just had to take a week off because life has just been so busy with family and friends that there's been no time left to blog, let alone craft. In fact, I only just found a minute or two a couple of days ago, as we left on yet another trip out, to take a few snaps of our cherries before the starlings finished them off!

We are off out again today, to see our oldest grandson, and tomorrow we are hoping to watch our youngest play football, weather permitting. After that, I'm hoping that I can get back into the craft room and back to blogging again ... well, that's what I'm hoping for - fingers crossed :)

In the meantime, hope you are all well and that your weekend is an enjoyable one.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

In A Vase On Monday - Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

Hello Everyone,

We have had the most dismal weather these last few days, rain, rain and yet more rain. In fact, just as I ventured out into the garden to cut some flowers for today's vase so that I could join in with Cathy's meme, the heavens opened, again! Then, as it was our wedding anniversary, my day got so busy I didn't have time to do much more than take a few photos before dashing out the door.
Because it was such an auspicious occasion the first rose that was a must today was The Anniversary Rose - it's the one in the bud vase. It's one of the three new roses planted in the bed we created recently to celebrate the occasion.
The Anniversary Rose

There is only one bloom at the moment and it's looking a bit bedraggled but still beautiful for all that.

Here's a few close ups of the roses in the bowl.

Arthur Bell

Carefree Days





A bud from Rock and Roll

Happy Retirement with Felicia and Elina

Elina, again, with an inherited peachy/coral coloured rose with no name.

The bowl of roses seen from above - so beautiful.

Despite the dismal weather it is proving to be a very good year for roses.

Happy Gardening,

Sunday 19 July 2015

Sunday Snippets - Butterfly Touch

Afternoon Folks,

I see the sun is struggling through at last but it's been a fairly overcast day up to now so I hope you've had it much better wherever you are today. In fact, I hope you've had a wonderful weekend! We've had a quiet one as a planned outing for today has been postponed until Tuesday ... hoping for better weather. In the meantime, I've been sorting through stuff in my craft room and organising myself ... it's a tough job but someone has to do it!!!

I don't think it is too difficult to see where the snippets are on this layout ... a ton of butterflies. The idea for the butterflies came from the page title which, in turn, came from story captured in the photograph. I thought the story is just so charming that I had to create a page to record it.

The hands in the photo belong to two little cousins, two year old Brodie and baby Callum, born just a few days before the photo was taken. Little Brodie was so excited to meet his new baby cousin and even more excited when he was allowed to hold him for a few minutes. It was love at first cuddle! However, he was really disappointed when he had to give up baby Callum. That was when he started to stroke Callum's hand, oh so gently.

He really didn't want to let go!

Butterflies ... all 26 of them. To make them, I raided the scrap box, picked out all the butterfly dies I own, and went for it with the die-cutting machine.

Materials used:

  • patterned paper: a sheet of 12"x12" red chevron pattern, Docrafts Papercraft Happy Days, for base; a sheet of 12"x12" check patterned paper, American Crafts Play Cat's Cradle Truly Inspiring, for first layer; scraps of patterned paper for photo layers.
  • ink spatters: Brusho Brilliant Red crystal powder, Mister Huey's Heirloom Blue colour mist and Cosmic Shimmer Mist Rich Gold.
  • title: Kaisercraft Happy Snaps Alpha and Basic Grey Fresh Cut sticker sheets.
  • embellishments: Kaisercraft Happy Snaps Alpha and Simple Stories So Fancy Fundamentals stickers sheets, Fun Fare by Heltz Cuppleditch enamel dots and embroidered brad from Docrafts Papermania Happy Days 
  • butterflies: a variety of snippets of patterned paper and cardstock 
  • dies: X-cut Butterfly set, Spellbinders Sapphire Basic Set A; Tattered Lace Mini Die set; C'Art Us Butterfly set 
  • adhesives: glue tape and glue gel

As it is Sunday and as I've used a ton of patterned paper and cardstock snippets and scraps on this layout I'm submitting this to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 186.

Right! I'm off to do a bit of blog-hopping and then it will be back to the tidying and organising.

Happy Crafting,

Thursday 16 July 2015

Siblings Having Fun With a Selfy

Evening Everyone,

I've been scrap booking more than card making recently because I've had a lot of interesting photos which I thought just had to be scrapped - not all taken by me for a change. For example, the photo used on this page.
My two youngest grandchildren were amusing themselves with taking selfy shots on their mobile phones. This one they converted to black and white and posted it on Facebook for the family to see. I just loved it - they look so happy together and having fun.

It's a simple layout with the photo matted and layered on to scraps of left over patterned paper which was then adhered to the base sheet, Glitz Color Me Happy Stripe. I chose this sheet with a subtle grey/white trellis pattern because I thought it would make a good background for the photo. And, bonus, it already had, in the bottom left corner, those very useful journaling prompts.

It made for the easiest journaling I've ever done.  The title was made up from three different alpha sets - Jillibean Soup Alphabeans Blended Black, Docrafts Forever Friends Cosy Christmas Stickers and a tiny red/white set I found in my stash - maker unknown.


The camera embellishment is from Simple Stories So Fancy Sticker sheet and those in the clusters are made up of stickers from Kaisercraft Photo Friendly Happy Snaps Sticker sheet. I wanted to repeat the chevron motif that was already on the base sheet so punched a border using a Stampin' Up border punch and a snippet of black cardstock. The waste this created was chevron shaped, exactly right for the page. I finished with a sprinkling of gold sequins (from Paper Cellar) and one red enamel dot popped on the camera motif just above the title.

Yeah! No new stash was used in the making of this page :) Once again, I've been able to 'shop' from my stash, use up a few fairly large scraps of leftover patterned paper - love it when I can do that - and a few snippets of black cardstock. And because of that I'm submitting this page to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 185 where anything goes as long as snippets are used somewhere in the making.

As mentioned earlier, I haven't made any cards recently but, as there are a few occasions coming up soon, I'll have to set to and get down to it or else I'll be forced to actually go to the card shop and, I'm whispering this, buy some!!!

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 15 July 2015

WOYWW - Week 319

Hello Everyone,

As many of you will already know, our friend, Eliza, Queenartoypia, passed away quite suddenly a week ago. She will be much missed by the crafting community and I personally will miss our exchanges concerning our cats, Yoda and Bonnie. My thoughts go out to her best friend, DeDe and her family.

My desk this week.

Not much progress again this week. Despite the rain we've been out and about on our little summer trips - Sunday to Portpatrick and Monday to a garden centre at Ballantrae - so there has been precious little crafting time. And the writer's cramp I get now and again has been particularly troublesome so the crochet has come to a standstill, for now! I'm sure a few days rest and I'll be able to take up my hook again. So what you see on my desk today, in front, is a scrap page in process, the photo has a lovely story behind it which just has to be scrapped, and a photo taken of a beautiful Crazy Daisy and sweet peas from my garden that I'm thinking will make a lovely card topper. At the back a couple of paper punches and a pack of pens - the black one is used frequently for journaling on scrap pages. Off to the right, on top of both guillotines, are some Molly Bloom stamps I plan to use on some cards for some upcoming birthdays.

So there you are. Nothing very interesting really. I think the summer weeks give temporary pause to crafting as we find reason to leave our craft rooms and get out more, hopefully in to the sunshine. And today, here in South Ayrshire, we have sunshine - a rarity indeed. So it will be a quick lunch and then out into the garden to do a spot of deadheading and dealing with any damage caused by the recent downpours.

Last week Lisca in her comment asked that I show some photos of my garden and as I always aim to please here are a few shots taken recently.
The Lavender bed with the Cistus in full bloom. In the forefront is a red Astilbe just coming into flower.
This is a part view of a patch sown with a mix of annuals. There's all sorts in there, a variety of poppies, borage, fennel, cornflowers, corncockles, but the most dominant are the pot marigolds.
Borage with malvas and escallonia in the background.
Taken a few weeks ago this is the view from the shed, looking down towards the Lavender bed and on into the wooded area.
Finally, the new bed in the front garden which was cut out of the lawn - it's backed by some old shrubs inherited with the garden.

Hope you enjoyed these photos, Lisca. There's so much more of the garden than this but I need to get out with the camera and take some more up-to-date shots ... to be shown next week, perhaps :)

Wishing you all a good week ahead.

Monday 13 July 2015

In A Vase On Monday - Casualties of the Rain

Evening Everyone,

It rained all day today - I thought it would never stop long enough to gather in some flowers so that I could join in with Cathy's In A Vase On Monday. However it stopped around teatime, the sun came out and after an hour or so I thought it was safe to go out to look for what needed to be cut once the rain had done it's worst.
First to be rescued was a few Shasta daisies, Leucanthemum 'Crazy Daisy' - the petals of the double-white daisy already look pretty casual without the damage from battering the rain adding to it's shaggy look. Planted last summer, they have really repaid my patience this year. Each plant has bulked out nicely and is covered in blooms.
This Hollyhock Mallow, Malva 'Mystic Merlin', had started to collapse - it grows so tall - so I lightened it's load a little by cutting a spray of the top of the stem. These were grown from seed last year (free with Amateur Gardening, I think). It's a hardy perennial that's a great doer, flowering all the way through summer and well into late autumn in a variety of shades of purple, pink and blue - this one is a very pretty two tone pink which contrasts very prettily with the green of the Lady's Mantle, Alchemilla mollis. 
Then it was on to the sweet peas, Spencer's mixed - the first picking of the year. The lovely sugared almond shades were the perfect accompaniment to the daisies.

I found the pretty blue jug in a charity shop discovered on a recent trip to Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute. It's a piece of Portobello Pottery and, as I have family connections with Portobello, I simply couldn't resist bringing it home.

There's a few vases dotted around the house at the moment, all filled with casualties of the horrible weather we've been having recently so I thought I'd show you just one other. This spray of rosebuds was found broken of from our newly planted Hot Chocolate floribunda rose bush after a particularly heavy downpour so I brought it in and popped in this little owl jug. The blooms open from a smoky orange to a warm mocha brown - really unusual - and it also has a lovely scent.
If you liked my vases this week, you might like to pop over to Rambling In the Garden where you can catch Cathy's arrangement of bright and sunshiny sunflowers.