Monday 30 November 2015

In A Vase On Monday - Simply the Best

Here we are almost in December and I'm still cutting rosebuds from Simply the Best - the rose that just keeps giving.
There's three buds altogether in this arrangement. Here's two. There's raindrops on them because I ventured out just after it stopped raining. To collect the berries from the skimmia and cotoneaster I squelched across the lawn to the shrubbery ... we will have to do something to improve that lawn.
Just like last week I've included euonymus Emerald Gaiety and ivy, helix Silver together with a stem of euphorbia Ascot Rainbow. This is an interesting plant. According to the label it should have flowered around April/May time but it didn't. It should also be tinged with red and pink but it's not. As Nick Hamilton, son of Geoff, said in the newest issue of the Cottage Garden Society magazine, 'what an odd growing season' we've had this year!

Once again, I've taken inspiration from Cathy and used the white kitchen tiles as a backdrop for my vase this week. Here's the last photo taken after I'd returned the pots of kitchen utensils to their rightful place.

If you like my offering for Cathy's In A Vase on Monday and would like to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week do pop over to Rambling In The Garden. Feel free to join in too, sharing your own weekly vase with a link to Cathy’s blog.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Christmas Joy

Happy Sunday Everyone

What a day this has been - Team Great Britain has won the Davis Cup, it's my umpteenth birthday and here's a card I made for the last Rudolph Day Challenge of the year, Pixie's Sunday Snippets and Hazel's CHNC too. It's always something of a miracle if I make a card that fits with one challenge but I think three is virtually unheard of!

And it's no accident that it has a Scottish theme because it is intended for an elderly relative living in Australia - just a wee reminder of days gone by.

How it was made:

  • I started by creating a 5½" square card blank with Papermill Direct's Buff (Kraft) cardstock ... oriented to make a tent shaped card.
  • The front of the card blank was covered with red tartan patterned paper - a freebie from an issue of Scrapbook Magazine which has now, sadly, ceased to exist.
  • The stag, using Tattered Lace's Stag Head die, was cut twice, once from a snippet Mocha Brown cardstock and then from the leftover buff card.
  • To make the topper, the stag was mounted on a snippet of white card, then matted and layered on to an off cut of the tartan paper and another snippet of the brown card before attaching it, using dimensional adhesive, to the card front.
  • The computer generated greeting was given the same treatment as the topper.
  • I then wound buff coloured paper string (The Works) and bronze metalic cord round the top of the card, tied a bow and added a tiny gold coloured bell.
  • Finally, to finish it off some gold coloured pearly gems were added to the bottom left corner

This was a fast card to make ... it took longer to write up the above than it did to make it.

As well as entering it into the challenges already mentioned I'm also entering the card into Hazel's other challenge:

CHNC Challenge Extra for November 2015

Would you believe I started to write up this post hours ago?!?! There's been so many distractions today, but I've got to say it's been a very good day - one of the best :) I hope your day has been just as good.

Take care. I wish you a great week ahead.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 338

Hello Everyone,

And happy WOYWW day to you all.

Before I reveal the mess that is my desk this morning, I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent my daughter, Juli, their good wishes yesterday. For those who don't know, Juli had an operation to have a Cochlear implant fitted. The three hour long op was successful and Juli has bounced back very quickly ... a whole lot quicker than her poor mum did! It will be a few more weeks before the device is switched on but then I think the world of sound is going to be a revelation to her - not least because after 44 years of silence she is going to hear music! I really can't think of a better Christmas present for my daughter than that.

Now on to what you've come to see - the desk!
That is sunshine you see streaming through the window! Apologies for the glare on the packet of stamps but I didn't pull the blind down for the photo. After the dreadful weather we've suffered recently it would be a shame to shut out the sunshine. And what's on the desk today? Piles! I'm really good at creating piles - in fact, I'm an expert at it. The pile of card and paper at the front is concealing a card I'm working on - the design for which involved the leafy template, the stamps and the distress inks, another pile, you can see at the back. There's also yet another pile, this time of die-cut leaves - tucked inside a tin lid top left - I went mad with the die-cutting machine ... I'm sure they will all come in handy for future projects. Next to that is, you've guessed, another pile, this time photographs - the same pile that has been there for some weeks. Should do something with them really ... maybe tomorrow, or the next day - you get the idea. On top of the photographs are some cut out letters - more off later - and next to the distress inks is a cute little crocheted chick - was a UFO but now finished - yeah!
This is what's on the sewing table today ... the reason for those cut out letters mentioned above. Bunting I'm making for my little great-grandson, Brodie, three tomorrow. His unusual name means that finding anything personalised is not easy so I'm hoping he will enjoy seeing his name hanging up on his bedroom wall - that is, once he can read :)

Well, that's me this week. A wee bit longer than Julia recommends but hopefully you've managed to hang on in there and read this far - my thanks if you have :)

Have a great day, take care, and I wish you all a wonderful crafty week ahead.

Monday 23 November 2015

In A Vase On Monday - Enjoying the last Pink Blooms

Afternoon Everyone

I nipped out during a dryish spell today and picked what I could find that still had colour to create an arrangement for Cathy’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme at Rambling in the Garden.
Last Monday I was bemoaning the fact that there was not one pink flower to be seen in the garden and just a few days later there they were, a few pink blooms, the rose, Happy Retirement, and snapdragon, antirrhinum Tall Mixed. Of course, I just had to pick them for this week's vase, which has a very pretty relief pattern of pink and white flowers. I've had it so long, over twenty-five years, that I've forgotten where it came from!
This pretty rose was planted only this summer in the round bed in the front garden which is more sheltered, which may explain why it is still flowering. The red roses are a mix of Pride of England and Anniversary - another first year bloomer.
This peachy orange rose, Simply The Best, doesn't want to stop flowering this year, though I think the snow and ice forecast will soon put paid to that.
And hiding down at the end of the long border, I only just spotted, and snapped up, this one penstemon, Tubular Bells Wine Red, in flower. The foliage in this arrangement is euonymous Emerald Gaiety and a variegated ivy, helix Silver.
As usual, many thanks to our host, Cathy for encouraging us to forage from our gardens in order to create arrangements to enjoy in our homes - not just in summer but all year round. Do pop over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week and feel free too to join in, sharing your own weekly vase with a link to Cathy’s blog.

Friday 20 November 2015

Friday Smiles

Hi Everyone,

Late Friday but not too late to join in with Annie's Friday Smiles I hope. I hope you are all well and have had plenty to smile about this week. My week has not been bad at all ... well, apart from the abysmal weather which I won't dwell on ... with lots to gladden this old heart.
First up is my wee great-grandson, our very own Pudsey Bear.

Edit Note: It occurred to me after this post went live that not everyone would know about Pudsey Bear. He's the much loved mascot for the BBC's UK Charity, Children in Need.

And this is our Lacie fast asleep! Unusual though it sounds, it's fairly common in our family for our babies to sleep with their eyes open. I'm told I was an open-eyed sleeper too and my mother did find it quite unnerving at first, but she soon learned to tell the difference between me being awake or asleep.

And now, the funnies:

Don't you just love the expression on this cat's face?

If gardening is not your thing, just substitute your favourite form of crafting ...

... and just in case you are in any doubt of your crafting credentials, check the above - if you can tick of even one of these you are definitely a crafter. I confess that my ironing board is permanently set up but you are more likely to spot my everloving dashing away with the smoothing iron than you ever would yours truly!

Here's wishing you a very happy weekend.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Christmas 1947

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever thought what Christmas was like before you remember it? Well, perhaps because it's my birthday soon and I have no photos from way back then, I got to wondering what it must have been like in 1947 - the year I was born - so I did an online search and turned up a few surprises. The result is this layout showing the Coca Cola and Avon Christmas adverts for that year together with a copy of a very old photo of the house where my parents and I, their firstborn, lived at the time.
Who would have thought that some companies were putting out special Christmas adverts all those years ago.
In keeping with the subject, all the papers used in the layout are pretty old. Yeah! More old stash used up.

Materials used:

  • Papers: Bo-Bunny 'Noel Traditions' (2010); Echo Park 'Joy To The World' (2013); DCWV Holiday Speciality Diecut Stack (2009).
  • Alpha: Echo Park 'tis the season' (2013)
  • Title word - Christmas sticker - purchased some 15 years ago so make unknown
  • Snowman journalling card - don't remember the maker of this either!
  • Red paper string - The Works.

I love this layout because even though I couldn't possibly remember my first Christmas, after all I was only 27 days old, I have a better knowledge of what it was to be in England in winter 68 years ago. I do know the cottage, No. 2 Pear Tree Cottage, Marchwood, Hampshire, still exists, and, though we moved away many, many years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 18 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 337

Good morning folks, 

I hope you are well and having a good day. It's another Wednesday, the day for me to share a shot of my desk with Julia, and a whole of lot of other Deskers, for What's on Your Workdesk over at the Stamping Ground.
I've been busy over the last week ... made a few more Christmas cards and a couple of scrapbook pages - and yesterday, as you can see,  I moved on to making gifts. So stuff has been pushed to the left and right to create space for cutting out this little pyjama bear - isn't he cute? That's a little pile of fat quarters teetering on top of a heap of photos ... also Christmas related and waiting to be scrapped ... top left of the photo. There's a pot of pins huddled among ink pads ... which should be put away but I was in too much of hurry to do something as tidy as that! Almost hidden under the paper pattern is a pair of pinking shears that are too tight for me to handle. Instead, after years of neglect those scalloped edge scissors came in useful for cutting a decorative edge on felt.

Yet another storm has passed over this little corner of paradise and left torrential rain in its wake so I'm going nowhere, but spare a thought for my grandson, William, and his little family as they move house today. Moving house is stressful at the best of times but in weather like this it has got to be worse than dreadful. On the plus side, I'm sure they will be very happy in their lovely new home. 

That's it from me for today. Leave me a comment to let me know you've visited and I will do my utmost to return your visit as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, Happy WOYWW,

Monday 16 November 2015

In A Vase On Monday - Red Flames

Afternoon Everyone,

Monday again, the day that Cathy from Rambling In The Garden challenges us to join in with her by making up a vase with something lovely from our garden. I wasn't able to join her last week - Storm Abigail was doing her worst and wreaking havoc in the garden - and things are only a little better today. However, I braved the wind to discover what has been spared. Much to my surprise there are still a lot of rosebuds, no full blooms though.
Just two simple ingredients made it into my little white Caithness glass vase. The bud is from the lovely rose, Simply the Best ... the red bud will open to a wonderful orange/peach bloom.  I teamed it with the pretty crimson red berries of Hypericum Magical Red Flame - picked from a pot that is placed close to the kitchen door ... something to gladden the heart when it is much too cold to linger too long in the garden. 

Having just got over the trail of destruction left by Abigail, I'm told Storm Barney is on his way. I fear my poor garden is in for another blasting! 

Hope the weather is being kinder to you wherever you are.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Sunday Snippets - Winter Birthday

Hello Everyone,

Another Sunday and another Snippet Card to share over at Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 203. The materials strewn all over, and around, my workdesk at the moment are Christmas themed but it came to me that some of them could be put to a different use. This winter birthday card is the result.
Although the paper was included in a festive themed pack the colour and plaid pattern isn't obviously Christmassy and I'd say the same for the poinsettia topper.

How I made the card:

  • First, a white A6 card blank was covered with the patterned paper from Cosy Christmas from Quick Cards and then a ribbon strip from a sheet of Penny Black Stickeroos Winter Fantasy was added.
  • Next, the topper, from the same sheet of Stickeroos, was matted on to a snippet of smooth white cardstock and attached to the front of the card.
  • Birthday Wishes, from Sweet Roses Embossing Folder and Stamp Set, was stamped on to another snippet of white cardstock, using a Memento Love Letter ink pad, and matted on to yet another scrap of card, this time a co-ordinating shade of teal.
  • Papermania iridescent gems in shades of green and pink were sprinkled around two corners to finish the front.
  • Finally, leftover strips of the paper were used to decorate the inside and back of the card.

There we are! An easy birthday card quickly made on a dark and dismal Sunday afternoon. I think I've earned a lovely hot cup of tea now.

Edit Note: Once again, it has taken someone else, this time Sally H, to remind me that this card fits with Stamping Sensations challenge for Festive Flowers and Foliage  this month - thanks for that Sally H, so I'm submitting it as suggested:

Stamping Sensations November challenge

Take care everyone and Happy Crafting,


Saturday 14 November 2015

Cornwall - Happy Memories In The Making

Hello Everyone,

Before I go on with this post I'd like to just say to the people of Paris, and of France, mes pensées sont avec vous aujourd'hui - my thoughts are with all of you today. I am so shocked and saddened by last night's atrocities.

I've been in my crafty den for much of the week, taking sanctuary while Storm Abigail does her worst! Admittedly, I've made only two cards - no photos yet, the light has been dire, so will share them another time - but I have several scrap layout photos which I can share today.
Twenty years ago, long before I discovered scrapping, and not long after we met, the EM and I took our first holiday together. Needless to say, we took dozens of photos but they've been tucked away in a drawer ever since. The design for this layout is based on Shimelle's Sketch Twenty-Two from 2013 ... I flipped the sketch to accommodate the photo's portrait orientation. Sitting for this particular photo is almost obligatory when visiting Land's End!

As there are so many photos, I've put together two double-sided pocket pages.

I find Project Life photo pocket pages make such a difference the speed with which I am able to get a lot of photos into albums without having to create too many 12" x 12" pages. Don't get me wrong, I love creating lovely 12" x 12"  pages but if I were stick to just that size most of my mahoosive collection of photos would never make it into an album.
Wherever we go, I pick up leaflets and maps from the Tourist Information Centres, bring them home and then just store them away in a box. As they are so much part of our holiday memories thisI've long thought this is not the most ideal way of storing them. However,it occurred to me, a light bulb moment!, that I could create a pocket on the reverse of the 12 x 12 layout in which to store them. I'll be doing this on every holiday layout now.

Materials used:
Papers and Cut Apart Stickers - Echo Park Summer Bliss; Simple Stories Hello Baby; Carta Bella Hello Again
Alphas and Rub Ons - Kaisercraft, Ivory Sticker Sheet and Journey RubOns
Template - Kiwi Lane Sentiments
Enamels - Marianne Green & Orange pack

Take care everyone and stay safe,

Friday 13 November 2015

Friday Smiles

Good Afternoon Everyone

It's Friday afternoon and as usual I'm linking up at A Stitch in Time to join in with Annie and her Friday Smiles.

This week it was these this series of photos of my great-niece, Ariahanna, that had smiling this week. All dressed up for a wedding on Monday and looking lovely but just look at these photos her mum sent me. Clearly, posing for the camera is not Arihanna's favourite thing to do!

And now for a couple of photos I've discovered this week that made me smile ... 

My daughter brought this simple present wrapping idea to my notice ... no need for name tags with black and white photos of the person for whom the gift is intended!

And finally, if you haven't seen the Sainsbury's Christmas ad, Mog's Christmas Calamity, yet:

As a cat owner/lover, I so enjoyed this ... hope you do too :)

Have a very happy weekend,

Wednesday 11 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 336

Hello Everyone,

I'm late, I'm late for
A very important date.
I'm over-due, I'm in a rabbit stew.
Can't even say good-bye,
Hello, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.

Those words from Alice in Wonderland could have been written for me! One of these What's On Your Workdesk Wednesdays I will be early - I'm working on it. In the meantime, here's what my desk looked like this morning.
Nothing has changed since then - the same stuff is lying on it waiting for me to do something! Anything! The pile of paper scraps are the leftovers from a mahoosive scrapping session. I'm trying to persuade myself to be creative with the scraps instead of just dumping stashing them in the snippets drawer ... where's inspiration when it's needed?!?! Not that I've been entirely uncreative- heaven forbid! No, I've been frittering away time experimenting with embossed backgrounds, hence the two embossing powders, ink pads and brayer. The card lying on the kitten diary is the result. The cute kitten stamp set is out because I used the greeting on a card that can't be seen - it's also on top of the kitten diary. The scrap layouts and the cards will feature in future posts.


A few weeks ago - WOYWW Week 331 actually - this ribbon storage was a WIP waiting to be decorated. Finally it is done, decorated with patterned paper from Papermania's Vintage Notes pack. The delicate colours blend in very nicely in the newly decorated crafty den.

Off to have a vicarious hop round a few desks before dinner - it's my favourite, macaroni cheese, tonight :)

Have a great week.

Happy Crafting,

In Remembrance

In remembrance of all who gave their lives in conflict, 
including two great-uncles, 
James Vass, Leading Seaman, RN, 
killed in action at sea 14.4.1940  
Robert Douglas, Lance Corporal, Royal Scots, 
died in Hong Kong 11.8.1942

Monday 9 November 2015

In A vase On Monday - One I Made Earlier

Hello Everyone,

As it has been blowing a gale and raining cats and dogs over the last three days I've had no chance to nip out and pick some flowers for today's vase. Not that many flowers have survived anyway. That being so, I'm sharing a vase that was made earlier last week.
This arrangement is composed of four of the last rose buds, Simply The Best, L'Aimant and the unknown one that came with the garden.

There's also a few fuschia pink antirrhinums tucked in the front.
Sambucus Black Beauty makes a lovely contrast with the deep pinks and peaches.
Other foliage added - young eucalyptus and  ageratina altissima ‘chocolate’.

Hoping the weather is better for next Monday, though I think the pickings are going to be very slim by then. All the blooms on the Black Eyed Susan have gone but the asters, calendula, honeysuckle, corn marigolds and malva Mystic Merlin seem to be holding up despite the atrocious conditions out there.

Hope you are enjoyed rather better weather wherever you are.

Happy Gardening,