Monday 31 December 2018

In A Vase On Monday - Marigolds on New Year's Eve!

Hello Everyone,

At this time each year I like to take a look round the garden for whatever flowers are in bloom and usually there's very little - a few bright and showy yellow primula, some hellebore's that made an early appearance and, of course, the tiny lemon coloured flowers of the winter jasmine - but this year there's a couple of surprises.
Pot Marigolds, Calendula, in December! One packet of seeds sown five years ago and they have self-seeded happily every year since, and we've been trying to eradicate most of them ever since too! Despite that, there's something very heartening about their ability to survive all the odds. Just as surprising is to see the little blue bells of  Campanula 'Filigree' newly in flower too. The label tells me that flowering time is summer. Of course, it is unseasonably warm - currently 11° Celsius - here on the south west coast of Scotland so not too surprising to see signs of early snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils, but marigolds and campanula!
I've teamed them up with Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, sadly not in flower, and plopped the lot in the bright orange jam jar brought back from Southport Flower Show aeons ago.

This is the last In A Vase On Monday for the year 2018 so I must just take this opportunity to thank Cathy for hosting her lovely meme and to everyone who visits my blog on Monday's and leaves an encouraging comment. My garden gives me immense pleasure and I'm so happy, with Cathy's help, to be able to share it with you all.

I wish you all happy gardening in 2019.

Post Christmas Blues

Hello Everyone,

It's not that I'm feeling post Christmas Blues. We've just booked an early summer break so quite the contrary. However, it occurred to me that now the Christmas festivities are over, and before the New Year fun begins, I should change this blog's header again. And I've gone for a wintry scene that is decidedly blue.
This time, instead of relying on Serif Craft Artist to do all the work, I made the background myself using a mix of inks, stamps, stencils and embossing powders.

Supplies used:
  • smooth white card trimmed to 8¼ x 3¼ inches
  • stencil - Imagination Craft's snowman scene - this is quite an old stencil which features snowflakes, a winter bare tree and a snowman which I omitted from the header.
  • VersaMark watermark stamp pad
  • embossing powders - Docraft's Seafoam White, Wow! Bark Regular and a set of Frantage Encrusted Enamels in Teal
  • ink pads - Memento's Espresso Truffle & Danube Blue
  • Denim Gentle Blend (Pinflair)
  • stamps: Winter Woodland - birds in branch; Forest Magic - rabbit; I cut a 'winter wonderland' stamp in two to use the word 'winter' on its own on the background
  • title was computer generated
In fact, I liked the finished background so much I thought it would make a great winter birthday card.
To make it, I simply created a base from smooth white card measuring 8½ x 4 inches, matted the header piece on to dark brown cardstock and added a birthday greeting, stamped in blue on white card and also matted on the same dark brown cardstock.

All that remains of 2018 is for me to say is that -

I wish you and yours 

Health, Wealth and Happiness in


Happy New Year !

Sunday 30 December 2018

Sunday Snippets & The Last of the Christmas Cards for 2018

Hello Everyone,

Well, that's Christmas 2018 over and done with and I hope that it was a good one for you. We enjoyed a quiet day together, cooking a very tasty lunch, exchanging presents, messaging/telephoning distant family and friends, and watching TV. A perfect day and, after the EM's most recent hospital episode, one for which I'm eternally grateful.

Needless to say there's been nothing done in the craft space for several days, but I do have a few last minute cards to share - the last for this year. Because it doesn't matter how organised I think I am, or how carefully I put together the list of cards to be made, there's always a few short. I try! Every year I try!

Anyway, here they are.
This is a real snippet make - definitely one for Pixie's Snippet Playground Challenge 342. The topper was made from a scrap of gold card embossed with a folder from the Winter Botanicals set by Sizzix and decorated with tiny green gems. It's backed on to a snippet of bright green card to create an insert for the dark green pre-cut card base. Gold sequins decorate two corners.

The next two were made from decoupage kits bought many moons ago - several years ago actually - from Docrafts Henbury Lane Poinsettia Collection Pack. 

It's amazing how much there is in one of these packs - and it's not finished yet! The gorgeous poinsettia patterned paper in the background was one I'd been treasuring but I finally let go. Well, it was just too perfect with those delightful toppers.

One of the reasons - goodness, the only reason - why I was making cards up to the last minute this year is because I left it too late to start! But all should be well for Christmas 2019 because I intend making at least one card a week from the first week in January. Not exactly a resolution, I don't make resolutions, more a challenge! I've done it in years past. I can do it again!

That's it for now. I'm off to give my desk a bit of a tidy up before starting on the next project.

Take care everyone and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Thursday 20 December 2018

Silver Leaves - A Snippet Card

Evening Everyone,

It's taken me all day but I've finally finished this card, the makings of which were on yesterday's desk post.
The topper is made entirely from snippets of card, including the beautiful piece embossed with silver leaves - making it perfect for Di's challenge 341 over on Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Supplies used:

  • a white card base measuring 5¼" square
  • Versamark Watermark stamp pad, silver embossing powder and a leaf stamp from Variostamp Leaves set by Folia Variostempel Blatter for the background
  • the embossing powder, scraps of white and black card, greeting stamp and dies from Sweet Sentiments set, a magazine freebie, and the square of embossed card for the topper

I'm sad because that's the last scrap of that silver embossed card. It's gorgeous and I have no idea where I got it from now so no chance of replacing it. Sigh.

Have an enjoyable evening.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 498

It's the last WOYWW before Christmas so greetings of the season to our 
Head Desker, Julia, and all you wonderful Deskers. 
I hope you have a very 
Merry Christmastime!!

Apologies for being sooooo late! It's been quite a week since my last post, too many interruptions, not least by my husband taking ill and having to be rushed into hospital at the weekend. Happily, he's home again and doing well. He's scheduled to have an operation in the new year so we are keeping our fingers crossed that he will remain well until then - we want to enjoy the holidays at home. 

Of course, you're here to see what's on my desk so here it is.

Christmas cards are all done and written up - most in the post too - so there's not much out on the desk. Apart from the box of Christmas stash, there's a stamp set and some supplies to make a winter birthday card - a belated one at that! And there's a digikit disk and a piece of stamped card that was the inspiration for my festive blog header. And that's it - I can feel myself winding down now. If I craft at all in the next week, it will be to make scrap layouts using some of that lovely stash in the box.

Finally, the book bit. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was stocking up on Christmas themed books to get me in the festive spirit. Here they are - so far I've only listened to the first one.

The Christmas Secret by Karen Swan. This is the one I've literally just finished listening too and thoroughly enjoyed it too. There's nothing quite like a good romance set on a beautiful Scottish island, with an intriguing secret thrown in for good measure too.

And in my library:

An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan. Another book set on a Scottish island - I need to go island hopping in the summer! Flora is pregnant by her ex-boss and doesn't know how to tell him.

One Day in December
by Josie Silver. There's no such things as love at first sight, life isn't like the movies, so thinks Laurie. But then one day, from a bus, she sees a man and she's instantly smitten ... but then the bus moves away. It's a year before she finally meets him but by then he's her best friend's boyfriend! 

And, for a bit of change from all things Christmas:

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. After reading a review of this I promised myself this book for Christmas. It's the story of a remarkable journey taken by the author and her husband of 32 years, Moth. Just days after they learn that Moth is terminally ill they lose both their home and their livelihood. 'With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.' Possibly not the cheeriest of reads but the twin themes of enjoying nature and overcoming adversity promise to make it a memorable one. 

I'll finish the way I began and wish you all a wonderful festive season. 

Wednesday 12 December 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 497

Hello Everyone,

Another Wednesday, another WOYWW - only one more to go before Christmas Day. And so my desk is a bit more messy than of late - I'm still making Christmas cards and any other form of crafting has just had to take a back seat.
And I've dug out a bundle of scraps leftover from previous Christmases. There's also a bunch of pre-made toppers - a gift from a friend - and scraps from inking/stamping sessions. And because they have been around too long already, and taking up too much space, it's time to use what I can and toss the rest. Time to get tough!

It's brief today. Julia will be pleased! And that's because I'm expecting a special little visitor this afternoon. He's mad keen on Paw Patrol so I'm off to make some PP decorated fairy cakes for the occasion. 

I hope you are all well and enjoying yourself whatever you're doing. I don't imagine you are baking fairy cakes but I hope it is still something fun. 

Have a wonderful week ahead. 

Monday 10 December 2018

In A Vase On Monday - Birthday Flowers

Afternoon Everyone ...

... and a happy Monday to you all too. My vase for Cathy's In A Vase On Monday meme today is a bit of a cheat.
Apart from the eucalyptus gunnii leaves, which were picked from fresh from the garden this morning, the flowers are leftovers from a birthday bouquet I received at the end of November. It was looking past it's best this morning with just a few blooms still looking fresh and worth saving.
This gerbera has a striking centre and I love the cheerful orange colour.
The yellow of the chrysanthemums is cheery too but out of a huge bouquet these two are the only survivors. Quite a surprise when they usually outlast just about everything else, including gerberas. The carnation was a deeper orange when new but it has since faded to a very pretty peach.

I hope Cathy will forgive that the flowers weren't picked from the garden. I think it was worth giving them a second, possibly brief, moment of glory.

Sunday 9 December 2018

Christmas Card Club Challenge - Cute

Afternoon Everyone,

Challenge 25 for the CCC has been set by Sylvie and the topic is 'Cute'. I have two cards that I think fit into that category today. 
First up is Santa looking very cute and cuddly.
And the second with it's three kings reminds me so much of a school Nativity many years ago, decades actually, when my son played Melchior. He made one of the cutest wise men I've ever seen. 

The toppers are from a Kanban card kit, appropriately called the 'Christmas Cuties Selection'. As they are fairly long I've used white scalloped edge bases measuring 8"x 4". The backing papers are from old stash - the red is 'Peppermint Twist' from We Are Memory Keepers and the blue is from Trimcraft's 'The Night Before Christmas' designer paper pack. The only embellishments are the green and gold card candy.

This is the CCC's final post of 2018 but we'll back again in 2019, on January 6th. This is a great way of getting your Christmas cards made throughout the year and thus avoiding the last minute panic that is so the norm as we hit December. If you are interested in joining us next year just contact Margaret, she will be happy, I'm sure, to give you the information required. 

Don't forget to check out the other member's cards today - just click on their names on my sidebar. 

Friday 7 December 2018

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone

This first week of December has been a busy and fun one despite our very changeable weather and we have had lots of smiles to share over at Annie's at A Stitch In Time.

On the first of the month we went along to a Christmas Fair at the Conservatory in Belleisle Park, organised by three students from the local secondary school who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.
The Conservatory has recently been restored and made a beautiful venue for the Christmas Fair. The girls choir from the school performed several of their favourite numbers. They have the voices of angels.

Monday we decided to take a trip up to Largs. It was a bright, sunny but bitterly cold day. The ferry was just coming in from Cumbrae when we arrived.
This is the Viking Boat at the Ferry Terminal. Largs celebrates it's associations with Vikings with a festival every year.

Spotted this sign and the gable end of the ice-cream shop and it did make us smile.

Finally, the trees and decorations are going up now. Here's Callum helping to hang the baubles on his tree.

Every year I treat our tree to a new bauble - this is the one I chose for 2018.

And had to get this shot of the EM struggling, as he does every year, to put up the bunting.

That's my smiles for the week. I'm off to the opticians soon so I'll catch up with your smiles later.

Hope you have a wonderful week with plenty to smile about too.

Thursday 6 December 2018

Boy's Birthday Card

Afternoon Folks

I hope you've had a lovely day. I'm not long home from the craft group - our last meeting of the year - a festive occasion with mince pies, chocolates, a lot of good chat - as well as some crafting, of course. It's getting to feel a lot like Christmas around here.

It was my wee great-grandson's birthday recently and, as he is obsessed with anything that has wheels on it, I made him this card.

It's another of my thrifty makes. The digger and road cones are from a pack of die-cuts found at The Works.

Other supplies used:

- white cardstock for the tent fold card base
- Kraft and dark brown cardstock
- Sizzix's Tim Holtz Alterations Steampunk embossing folder 
- X-Cut's Spiro Circle nesting die set
- Greeting stamp from The Best of Card Making Magic set
- VersaMark Watermark stamp pad
- white embossing powder

It was a quick last minute make - put together in minutes. Just as well, too. I've been so busy concentrating on making Christmas cards lately that I almost forgot the wee one's birthday. And it made a nice change to be doing something not Christmas related.

Enjoy your evening.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 496

Hello Everyone,

Another Wednesday, another WOYWW.  I hope you are all well and enjoying yourself whatever you're doing. It's back to normal for me this week ... late! And sorry Julia, it's another long and photo-heavy post.
Here's my desk. Still, as last week, tidy - the new trolley is still working its magic - but it's looking a lot like Christmas. Yep! I've finally pulled out everything Christmas related. Not that I intend to document the festivities daily, I just know I couldn't keep it up every day, but I am hoping to make a few 12x12 layouts throughout December.
This tray is full of bits and bobs left over from Christmases past. I hope, probably a vain hope, to use up as many as possible ... still aiming for thriftiness. Under the tray is another full of patterned paper from previous years too.
Then there's this container, also full of supplies, some old and some, I have to admit, new. With the best will in the world, even I can't resist all the new goodies on sale! Together these containers are what I'll be working with for the rest of the month, and probably well into the new year too ... all those winter photos to scrap.

As I've mentioned before I've been working through my pile of UFOs and making progress too.
This is the most recent - a cushion made from a patchwork square, one of three made originally for the craft group quilt. This one was not needed after all so lay in my UFO box waiting for inspiration. With the addition of strips of the same fabric as used for the butterflies for edging, quilting and backing I now have a very pretty little cushion cover.

The book bit and this week I thought I'd show you something different from the audio books I've been listening too - I'm still bingeing on crime thrillers which are not to everyone's taste. (I'm saving the Christmas themed reads mentioned last week for nearer the big day.) Instead, I thought, as Christmas is approaching and you may want to treat someone - yourself perhaps - you might like to see a few of my favourite crafty books. Not only do these books have instructions for beautiful projects but they are also great reads.

Kelly McCants' 'At Home with Modern June' is a joy. It's full of fun projects, great retro ideas and inspirational illustrations. And, as is explained in the foreword, it was inspired by the necessary makeover the author's home needed after Hurricane Irene felled a great oak onto the back of her home! 

'Sewing Happiness' by Sanae Ishida. When the author was 'diagnosed with a chronic illness and lost her corporate job, she thought her life was over. But these challenges ended up being the best thing that ever happened to her because they forced her to take stock of her life and focus on the important things, and enabled her to rediscover sewing - her true passion'. So, another inspiring read and for anyone interested in sashiko this would be a good one to start with.

Tiff Fussell & Rachelle Blondel's Granny Chic is perfect for those of us who, like me, enjoy a little trip down memory lane. This book contains instructions for 20 projects, from handmade notebooks, lace lampshades to aprons made from tea towels, all intended to bring some granny chic to your life. Some of the projects are crocheted or knitted, so it's not all sewing.

As usual, if you haven't participated in What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday before but fancy joining in the fun do pop over to the Stamping Ground where you can find all the information you need here. It's really too easy, post a photo of your desk, tidy or messy it doesn't matter, and add your link to all the others. It's fun, you'll see.