Wednesday 30 March 2016

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Week 356

Hello WOYWWers and All,

Another Wednesday and another excuse to hop over to the Stamping Ground to join in with Julia's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. I would have been here earlier but my computer went on a go slow ... probably an update or something similar going on!

Some of you asked for it so here's my desk at its messiest worst! Bits and bobs galore! Rudolph Day got me dragging out all sorts of stash and it's still there. Centre stage - a pile of inky, painty experiments; to the left - a box of various toppers, under the paper pack, snippets of which were used on the decorated gift bag you can see in my last post, and beyond that yet another pile, paper bags and card blanks ... all needing to be used or tossed.  At the back - a box containing embellishments and journal cards, a tray of handy stuff, a pile of stamps, and boxes of pens, tools, ink pads, punches and stamping blocks. Everything needed for a happy crafter. Everything but the kitchen sink :)

I'd clear it all up but I think there's another card or two in there somewhere :)

Happy WOYWW,

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Snippet Make - Decorated Gift Bag

Hello Everyone

I hope you have enjoyed the holiday weekend. It's been a quiet one for us, but nice too, and I did find time for a little bit of papercrafting. After making a card from scraps for Rudolph Day I decided to keep going but this time decorate a gift bag with snippets for Di's challenge over Pixie's Snippets Playground. It's too long since I last joined in.
As you can see, all I've done is take some leftover bits of patterned paper and added some bits and bobs from stash to pretty up the gift bag.

Materials used:
- Kraft gift bag - origin unknown
- Snippets from Trimcraft's The Night Before Christmas 8x8 paper pack, trimmed to create the layout
- topper from a pack of Cute Squares Christmas Girls by LOTV matted on to green cardstock
- White & green cardstock trimmed and edges scalloped with an X-Cut border punch to form two layers which were covered with a Christmas tree printed ribbon from Crafty Ribbons
- green card candy (from Vintage Berries mix) and a white ribbon bow for embellishment. 

This huge selection of bows were a Christmas gift, chosen by little Arihanna because she thought Auntie would like them ... she's not wrong, I love them!

The bits and bobs are still out on my desk so I may keep on going just to see how many snippets and stash I use up ... that is, before I get distracted yet again :)

Happy Crafting,

Monday 28 March 2016

In A Vase On Monday

Hello Everyone,

As the weather wasn't too bad today ... well, there were a few showers but mostly it was dry and the sun did pop out for an hour or so too ... I got out into the garden with my pruning shears to do a bit of tidying up. When done, I rescued some of the material I'd cut down for today's 'arrangements' for Cathy's In A Vase On Monday, and once again there's two vases instead of one ... I couldn't decide which I liked best!
We've still got plenty of daffodils in bloom but some creature (snails, slugs?) is making a feast of those planted down in the woodland area. I found several with the petals nibbled away completely so I took pity on the few left untouched and cut them down.
My favourites, out of the bag of 100 bulbs my husband planted last autumn, has been the white ones,so pure and elegant,  and this is the last one. Until next year! It's now in a milk bottle with a few daffodil leaves and prunings from a honeysuckle  ...
... and barberry (berberis).  The barberry thorns are vicious but the birds love it so it stays.
I teamed the yellow daffodils in the orange jar with some sprigs of Spiraea japonica Goldflame. In Spring the young foliage of this shrub is like burnished bronze, and it is quite irresistible, as is the lime green of the shoot of the columbine (aquilegia) popped in the front of the jar.

Happy Gardening,

Saturday 26 March 2016

Cardmaking - Rudolph Day Card for March

Hello Everyone,

Once again it's time for Scrappy Mo's Rudolph Day Challenge for March. This is a fun challenge that will be open to enter until the end of eachmonth. This is my entry for this month:
I have to admit this was a pretty simple card to make. The topper with the watercolour stroke design was from an experimental session from some time back. I was trying to imitate the effect of some stamps I spotted that were very popular at the time, but instead of a stamp I used a brush and watercolours. Once it had dried I just put away in a box full of all sorts of similar bits and bobs, stuff that I might find a use for one day. Today was it's day!

Materials use:

- a 5" square black card base
- the watercolour topper made from a scrap of white card painted with wide strokes of Spectrum Noir Aquatint Inks in red, blue and a lime/yellow shade, trimmed down to fit the front of the card
- a scrap of red linen texture printed card trimmed to create a mat for the topper
- dimensional adhesive tape to fix the topper in place
- Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad
- Penny Black Wonder Collection Stamps for tree and sentiment
- Docrafts Papermania Yellow Neon Gems 

I'm also submitting the card to the following two challenges: 

CHNC Week 274 -  use a sentiment
CHNC Extra for March 2016 - always anything as long as its Christmas

Well, it's a wee while since I participated in a challenge and here I am submitting to three in one day - wonders will never cease!

Happy Crafting,

Thursday 24 March 2016

Sewing - Crazy Patchwork Needlecase

Hi Everyone,

I have a really quick share today.
I've been working on this needlecase for some time. The cover is crazy patchwork sewn with hand embroidery. The cover is made from patches from a variety of ditsy printed cotton fabric and embroidery stitches - chain stitch, cross stitch, herringbone, lazy daisies, etc. I used two colours of DMC floss in shades of wine and pink.
Instead of cutting the felt inner with pinking shears, I machined a pretty scalloped stitch down the edges, using a pink rayon thread (40wt Wonderfil),  and trimmed the excess fabric away. Another decorative stitch was used to sew the felt inner to the cotton lining. 
The ribbon tie was machine stitched to the centre of the cover.  
The ribbon tie was also machine stitched to the centre of the patchwork cover. To finish the needlecase I sewed the lining to the cover.

The cover took the longest to make - all that hand stitching - but once that was done it just took minutes to complete. I'm planning to make a few more but I won't be doing hand embroidery - giving my hands a rest - instead I'll use some of the many decorative stitches on my sewing machine. In the meantime, this one will take pride of place in my embroidery box.

Take care and stay safe everyone.

And Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 23 March 2016

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Week 355

Morning Fellow Deskers & Bloggers,

Wednesday again and time to join in with WOYWW over at Julia's Stamping Ground. I'll keep this as brief as possible.
It's the long view today - thought it would make a change. Confession time, this is the after shot! The before shot revealed just how messy and cluttered my desk was. I should show you the before shot but I deleted because I was so ashamed. Lots of messy clutter has been removed and the punches that were scattered over the desk have been tidied into a tray. Now everything has a place and is in it's place ... if only I could keep it like that. Of course, my wee crafting companion features large on my desk - I'd miss her if she wasn't there.
This is one of my UFO's. I'm trying to be disciplined, a hopeless objective I fear, and finish projects started before moving on to new ones. Though I'm not sure why this particular layout got sidelined because it's a fun one - I love this photo of my granddaughter having a wonderful time on the slide. The letters for the title were coloured with a Sharpie from that box lying at the back. There's a pile of stickers and a sheet of alphas that might also be used in the layout. Those stamps at the back might prove useful too.

So that's my desk this morning. Now, once I've seen to whatever it is that The Boss is meowing for, I'll be popping over to Julia's to check out what's on her desk, and as many other links as I can.

In the meantime, I wish you a great WOYWW.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Scrapbook Layout - Like Father, Like Son

Afternoon All,

I trust you are well and enjoying your day. It's a dull one here today. Definitely not a day for the garden! Instead, I'm sharing this layout of my grandson, William, and great-grandson, Callum - photos taken when they were much about the same age - just 26 years apart.
I thought I should record the similarity between them because there was, as is usual in a family, a lot of discussion as to who baby Callum most looked like. Of course, as is the way of babies, he has changed and looks less like his dad now.

I'm still using up as much old stash as I can so on this layout there's a real mix of supplies from American Crafts, Cosmo Cricket, Papermania, Dear Lizzy, Jillibean Soup, Echo Park, Webster's Pages, & Simple Stories on this layout. 

The star patterned sheet is American Crafts Flutterbys Paper Garlands which has been in my stash for at least a couple of years. It is intended that the garland is pulled apart and lengths of it used as embellishment on layouts but I could never bring myself to do that.  However, a chance comment from a fellow blogger, Kelly, when it featured on this recent WOYWW post, made me realise that I didn't need to - I could use it just as it is. 

The layout is based on Sketch 47 from Shimelle's Sketch of the Week series. Sometimes I like to use a sketch just to get me started because they aren't prescriptive in the way a photo of a layout can be. They are also versatile; you can flip them to get quite a different look, which is what I did with this one.

Many thanks to everyone who visits and leaves a comment. My hands are still giving me trouble so apologies for not always responding. It's taken me over an hour to put together this post - you wouldn't believe I once made my living by being something of an expert at speed typing!

Take care and Happy Crafting,

Monday 21 March 2016

In A Vase On Monday - Celandines and Crocus

Hello Everyone,

It's officially Spring, at last, and that's making looking for material for Mondays, and Cathy's In A Vase On Monday, much easier. A trip round the garden is now a real pleasure as I spot one plant after another coming into leaf or flower  - promises of gorgeousness to come.
There are also delightful patches of bright colour like the lovely clump of Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) spotted almost hidden away at the foot of the flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) and purple crocus.
Here the celandines are teamed up with tiny Tete-a-Tete daffodils and two white Jeanne d'Arc crocus. I did think about adding the purple crocus to the mix but decided that the colour wouldn't look so good in the brightly decorated little French pot I'd decided on for this arrangement.
Instead, I rooted out this teeny weeny thistle shaped jug for it's amber colour and stuffed it full with the lovely crocus. The variety is unknown as they were already here in the garden when we moved in.
This is our clump of celandines. Belonging to the buttercup (Ranunculus) family, they are more commonly seen flowering in woodlands, hedgerows, graveyards and parks. Everything I've read suggests that they can create a thick carpet of gold but not in my garden. This clump is all we have but I have high hopes that if I leave it alone it will, in time, spread to make that golden carpet for me.

Happy Gardening,

Friday 18 March 2016

Friday Smiles

Evening Everyone,

Time to join in with Annie, A Stitch In Time, with a little bit of what has made me smile this week.

It's been a week to celebrate for my sister, Margaret, because she finally moved into her very own home on Monday after a year of living in a home for the disabled.
Here she is tucking into an afternoon treat while we visited on Wednesday. The new build bungalow is just perfect for her needs. It has extra wide doors, lots of turning space for her wheelchair in all rooms, wall plugs and light switches at just the right height, a specially adapted toilet and wet room and, best of all, a sink that can be raised or lowered depending on who is doing the washing up :)  We spent a couple of happy hours chatting while unpacking and putting away her clothes so that her carer will find it easier to dress her in the mornings.

An extra bonus, as if the new house wasn't enough, is that Margaret now lives just a three doors away from this little fellow.
My great-grandson, Callum was out in the sunshine watching his dad, William, tinker with his car. All my grandsons are huge Formula 1 fans so it's no surprise that the little one is already 'driving' around in his very own racing car!

So that's my good reasons to smile this week. Hope you've had good reason to smile too. If not, I hope this little ditty does. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that we might have been put on this earth simply to wage war against dust for as long as we live.
Maybe it's not too late for me to take note :)

Have a wonderful, though perhaps not dust-free, weekend.

Thursday 17 March 2016

Scrap Page Layouts - Suki

Hello Everyone,

I have a 12" x 12" and two pocket pages layouts to share with you this evening. They are of photos of our gorgeous tortoiseshell kitty, Suki, which will be included in the Cats Album as featured in this earlier post.
Like our current feline resident, Bonnie, Suki liked nothing better than to be outdoors in the garden.
So much so, that the EM created a little personalised house for her. From there she surveyed her little world - she much preferred a bit of bird watching to bird killing!
She was also a real sun worshipper and if she could get stretched out in the greenhouse all the better. I have so many photos of her, and I was loath to leave any out, so I filled both sides of the pocket page.
Sadly, Suki's long gone but she was such a lovely, gentle, well-behaved kitty she is still missed to this day.

With the exception of the enamel dots, from ScrapBerry's This Summer set, used for embellishment, all supplies are from Meow by Alisha Gordon Kit, Echo Park.

As you might have guessed there's been a lot of cats owned me throughout my life and I'm hoping to fill the album with photos of them all. 

Wishing you a wonderful evening.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Week 354

Afternoon Deskers and All,

This is going to be a super quick WOYWW post today - Julia will be pleased, I'm sure! - because I'm off to visit my sister, Margaret, in her new home. She has been living in a home for disabled people since last year but she was moved on Monday into a brand spanking new bungalow which has been adapted to her needs ... she has MS and is in a wheelchair ... and I can't wait to see it. Anyway, you came to see what's on my desk so here it is.
It makes a change for there to be anything on my desk lately while I've not been feeling up to it. But, I have given myself a stern talking to ... not that I always listen to myself ... but this time it worked and has spurred me into some action. I've pulled out some photographs and papers to make a couple of layouts with ... it's a start. Top right of the photo you can see a piece of crazy quilting I was working on until my fingers got too painful to continue. It's going to be a needlecase when done. Oh, and that is sunlight you can spot too. We've been having the most wonderful spring weather these last few days - fairly lifts the spirits :)

So that's what's on my desk today. I'll be back later, when I get home from Margaret's, to take a look at what's on yours.

In the meantime, Happy Crafting,

Monday 14 March 2016

In a Vase On Monday - The Colours of Spring

Evening Everyone,

We've had a gorgeous day here, sunny and warm, perfect for pottering around the garden, which is exactly what I've been doing. Still tidying and tweaking ready for next month when I expect there will be even more blooms to enjoy. And just before I called it a day I remembered to look for something to pop in a vase for Cathy's In A Vase On Monday.
There's still plenty of daffodils and crocus in bloom and I could have picked them but I've been picking them for several weeks so was looking for something a bit different. Fortunately, these blue Primula growing in a shady part of the garden caught my eye earlier ... perfect.
Up until now I've not been a big fan of tall Primula, preferring the dainty lemon flowers of our native primroses. The bright reds and yellows don't appeal to me, though my husband loves them. But, surprisingly, this blue and yellow combination is an exception, the colours just say 'Spring' to me, and the yellow eye with it's tiny touches of white is simply lovely.

The little Victoria Jane vase, with it's pretty blue and white flower decoration, is usually sitting on the bathroom windowsill. However, today I decided it would be perfect for these blue flowers. I've no idea exactly how old it is but it's been in my husband's family for more than 30 years.

We weren't the only ones enjoying the sunshine today. Here's The Boss taking in a few rays. It's now 8 years since we adopted her, making her somewhere around 17 years old, maybe older. An old lady she may be, and not keeping very well, but she's still up to climbing 7 feet onto her favourite perch.

To see much more artistic floral arrangements, definitely more artistic than my plonked effort, pop over to Rambling In The Garden. There you will not only see what Cathy has found to grace a vase in her garden, but links to many others. And if you fancy joining in I'm sure you will be welcomed there too.

Happy Gardening,

Sunday 13 March 2016

Spring Flowers in the Garden

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have had a great weekend and a lovely Sunday.

If you've read my previous post - and thank you to all who left such kind comments - you will know that there's not much crafting being done at the moment, but I did spend some time yesterday sorting out my family history scrapbook album. There's so much material - birth, marriage and death certificates, census reports and just a few photographs - that I'm going to have to split it into more than one album before I'm done. It's not at the stage that I can share but I will just as soon as it is.

Instead, as it's been quite a nice day here and I enjoyed a wee stroll round the garden taking some photos, I thought I'd share a few today.
Each year I buy a pot of these tiny daffodils, these are Tete-a-Tete, and keep them in a box which sits just by the back door ... I do like to have something pretty and cheerful to greet us as there ... and when they've done flowering I transplant them in a border. These ones are from 2014 and 2015,  as you can see they've done really well.
This is the plant box as it is now. As well as the usual pots of bulbs - snowdrops, bluebells, and, of course, daffodils - all gone over now, there are some hellebores, pinks and a variety of herbs. The herbs and pinks are for the little herbary we've designed based on an idea from Geoff Hamilton.
All I have to do is fill the pots with compost and it will be ready.

It's so uplifting to see all the Spring flowers ... here's a few more.
Primula 'Wanda'

Crocus - unknown variety

Viburnum 'Eve Price'

Red Wallflower

Sarcococca 'Winter Gem'
Sarcococca is also known as Sweet Box and for good reason. The flowers may be tiny but they certainly pack a perfumed punch. 

Hope you all enjoyed these photos as much as I do. 

Take care and have a great week.