Wednesday 31 January 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 452

Morning Everyone

It's time again to pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground for the weekly desk reveal that is WOYWW, although you could say I'm a week late. As I posted on Monday, the EM was in hospital last week so I was nowhere near my workdesk. Happily, he is much better today ... I can hear him across the landing crooning away to 'Some Enchanted Evening'!
Not only am I at my workdesk but I've made a start on a card, making use of some of the bits and bobs unearthed during the big sort out - which, I have to admit, is still a work in progress. So, on the desk you can see a few die sets ... the stitched square set on the left being the most recent one used, and a pot of Gentle Blends, Hot Magenta. That's my box of white scraps on the right. And then there's the pile of Big and Juicy pads. I was looking for the ink pad I used on the background of the card, didn't find it but did find these very neglected pads tucked away in one of the many drawers in my room. Sadly, another example of the 'must have/has been' items in my stash. No longer available but once popular. I think I might just see what I can do with them again.

One thing I did have plenty time for was to listen to audio books ... all that waiting about in hospital had to be filled somehow. I got through these three books.

Hidden Nature by Alys Fowler. Gardeners may know the writer from her appearances on Gardeners' World however, in this book, she tells of here experiences exploring Birmingham's canal network in an inflatable kayak  - quite an adventure and well worth reading about.

This one, A Seaside Practice, is a heartwarming tale of Dr Tom Smith's experiences as a GP in a little village just down the coast from where I live. Thoroughly enjoyable, it made me laugh out loud at times ... very embarrassing, I can tell you, when travelling on a bus!

The last one for the knitters among us. In The Yarn Whisperer: Reflections on a Life in Knitting, Clara Parkes ponders the roles knitting plays in her life. Lovely read - listen in my case. Perfect for the addicted knitter.

That's all from me today. I'm off to make a cuppa and a bit of lunch before settling down to check out what's on everyone's desks this week.

Have a lovely WOYWW and a wonderful week ahead.

Tuesday 30 January 2018

January Rudolph Day Cards

Morning Everyone,

If you've read my previous post you'll know why I'm so late posting these cards for January's Rudolph Day challenge over at Scrappy Mo's Rudolph Days Challenge. I know we are only allowed to submit one for Mo's challenge so it will be the first one but I'm adding two other cards to this post because I like them.

This first one was made using some pretty dies from The Works and stamps from the Winter Woodland stamp set that came with a Craft Beautiful magazine.

The toppers on these two cards are upcycled from cards received two Christmases ago - if I like something I keep it!

For this one I've used a selection of papers from the 6x6 paper Memory Box collection Spiceberry layered on some much treasured light green card - Di from Pixie's Crafty Workshop sent me many moons ago and believe me it's used sparingly.

This last one has such a fun topper - love Rudolph's nose. I think the background paper is from a very old Docrafts Papermania pack and the red card used for layering is from the scrap box mountain.

That's it for this month. The EM is recuperating nicely so all being well, I'll be posting earlier for the February challenge - maybe even on the 25th!

Monday 29 January 2018

Back Again - A Catch-Up

Afternoon Everyone,

Some of you might have noticed that there's not been much going on here for a week. My absence was not intended at all but my husband suddenly became ill in the early hours of last Monday and had to be admitted to hospital.
This was him an hour or so later - hooked up to every bit of machinery in a Resus cubicle. He was a very sick man indeed. From Resus he was transferred to the High Dependency Unit where he stayed a couple of days until he was well enough to be moved into a General Ward till he was allowed home on Friday.
But here he is today. Looking so much better (and half a stone lighter).

He had pancreatitis caused by gallstones causing excruciating pain. Further, the machinery revealed that there was something wrong with his heart. Several x-rays and scans later it was discovered he had a blockage in his heart. So he's not entirely out of the woods yet. He's to have an operation to remove his gallbladder first. In the meantime, his heart will be monitored regularly and it's very probable that he will eventually have to have a pacemaker fitted. For now, he's recuperating and taking things a bit more easy than he is used to - no exercise classes, no lifting heavy weights, no dashing about all over the place as is his norm, etc.

So there you have it. Even if I had felt like blogging, crafting, etc., and I certainly didn't, I was either at the hospital, or travelling back and forth to it, for the week. I've missed 'In A Vase On Monday', 'What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday', 'Friday Smiles', 'Rudolph Day' and goodness knows how much else so there's a lot to catch up with but my mojo has gone walkabout and it could be some time before it returns.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very healthy, happy week.

Take care.

Saturday 20 January 2018

Saturday Smiles - Grinning Kitten Card

Hello Everyone,

I recycled this image of a grinning kitten from a commercially produced card I received a couple of years ago. I'm a sucker for kittens anyway but this one really makes me smile. It's been teamed up with papers from a very old patterned paper pack and brown card that's so ancient I can't remember where it came from.

To make the card I did the following:

  • I cut a 12" sheet of brown cardstock in half and folded it to create a 6" square card base
  • one sheet of the patterned paper, from the 6x6 paper Memory Box collection Spiceberry, trimmed to 1/8" smaller than the card, was adhered to the card front
  • two scraps from the same paper pad was trimmed down and also adhered to the card front to create the panel behind the topper
  • the image of the grinning kitten was trimmed down and then I attached a small length of wine red ribbon on the bottom right corner. The faux bow was created by knotting a scrap round the ribbon. 

I will be submitting this card to the following challenge:

Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper January 2018 - A challenge that is always about using Patterned Papers

Like the last snippet card I made, link here,  this card is made from winter themed paper but I don't think it's obviously a Christmas one. It's a card, I think, that would suit any one of quite a few occasions and, for sure, the eventual recipient will be cheered up by that happy kitty.

Take care and have a great weekend.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 450

Evening Everyone,

Another Wednesday, another late WOYWW - I did start writing this early morning but several interruptions later and it's almost bedtime. Sigh! So I'll make this as quick as possible but it will be a fairly photo heavy post.

As you can see, the craftroom isn't such a shocker this week. The sorting out is not entirely finished yet but several black bags have made their way to the bin and it's looking much more manageable than it did. 
Even the desk is looking a tad more organised. A desk bathed in sunlight too. We've had the most amazing weather this last 24 hours - snow, hail, thunder, rain, wind, overcast then sunshine. That's Scottish weather for you!  I've been cleaning the stamp blocks, hence the varnish remover and the baby oil ... to help remove the sticky stuff used to aid grey rubber stamps stay put. The box you can just about see on the right is full of scraps, leftovers and snippets all destined to be changed, somehow, into cards. Like the ones already done in the box on the left. Under the stamp set is a pile of dies that were used in the making of a couple of those very cards. On top of the guillotine at the front is this beautiful Swap ATC made by a fellow WOYWWer, BJ.

Lovely, isn't it.

Seems I set our revered Head Desker, Julia, on a bit of a train of thought when I mentioned that whilst cleaning out stuff I'd come to the conclusion that what is a crafter's 'must have' one year eventually becomes a forgotten 'has been' tucked away on a shelf where it takes up valuable space. For Julia her Scor Pal was an example of a 'must have' but now a 'has been'. I have to admit that my Hougie Board would be a 'has been' if it wasn't for the fact that I dug it out to use again this week. 
No, I reserve that title for the above, my Grand Calibur. I bought this to use with over-sized embossing folders and large dies but I rarely find a use for either so this machine lies on the cutting station taking up valuable space. Should have listened to Julia ... she did warn me!!!

Two audio books listened to this week (this seems to be taking a regular weekly spot).

From the pen of Canadian blogger Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee offers 'observations, meditations, reflections and rants to soothe and delight the knitter's unraveled soul.' I first discovered the Yarn Harlot on a trip up the coast a couple of years when we stopped in a cafe/craft shop in a tiny village almost in the middle of nowhere. And glad I am too. I find her an entertaining writer.

This was supposed to be a bit of light listening during the festivities but it got sidelined by several other books. And it would have been the perfect seasonal tale with the theme being 'can knitwear mend a broken heart'. It's a bit of fun and I'm enjoying it - there's some very nice characters, Sybil, Hettie, Cher, Ruby, Marigold and Dr Darcy. And, of course, there's a dastardly nephew, a traitorous ex-boyfriend and a deceitful twin sister. All that with knitting too!

Well, that's me for the week. I hope you have a wonderful WOYWW and a happy crafty week ahead.

Monday 15 January 2018

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Beauties

Hello Everyone,

At this time of the year I never know whether I'm going to have anything to put In A Vase On Monday and there's been very little lately to share with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Just a few sad little primroses and these hellebores which haven't been looking their best either - the frosts have been so hard it made the flowers curl up and droop.
But over the last couple of days it's been blowing a gale, the temperature has climbed to an almost balmy 6°C, and now it's raining! The perfect refreshment for these charming winter beauties.
So I nipped out between showers and picked a bunch of Hellebores 'Christmas Carol' - such an inappropriate name for a hellebore that never flowers until January - and a couple of red stems of dogwood, Cornus 'Siberian Pearls'. For foliage there's a few stems of Osmanthus burkwoodii, Viburnum 'Eve Price' and variegated ivy, Helix 'Silver'
I did have to dry them of with paper towels before arranging/plonking them into the pink spotted Selkirk Glass vase - one of my many charity shop finds. The backdrop - just in case you are wondering - is the reverse side of my first quilt make.
Having told you that, I suppose I should show you the front which proved to be much to busy to be used for the backdrop.

If you're needing more winter pick-me-ups do pop over to Rambling in the Garden where Cathy's vase for today together with links to many more can be found. They are all sure to be much more professional looking than mine.

Sunday 14 January 2018

Sunday Snippet - Winter Boughs

Although I've submitted one card to Pixie's Snippets Playground already for this fortnight, and therefore cannot submit another, I decided to share another snippet make today.

The topper is a leftover scrap from some experimenting I did with embossing folders, moldable foam and distress inks a very long time ago - way back in February 2014, you can see the how-to post here. Two years is too long to remember everything I did at the time - heck, at my age I'm happy if I can remember what I did yesterday! - but I'll do my best.

To make this card I did the following:

  • I used one sheet of light aqua cardstock (Papermill Direct) and trimmed it to form a 5" square tent fold card base
  • For the topper I trimmed the leftover scrap of stamped and inked card to a usable size and matted it on to teal card to frame it. I think I may have used a mix of Evergreen Bough and Shaded Lilac distress inks for this piece and the embossing folder used is Sizzix Winter Botanicals.
  • Next, I trimmed more of the teal card and some silver embossed pattern card I found tucked away - I think it's very old Kanban - to fit the front of the card. 
  • Finally, aqua dew drops were glued to two corners and I decorated the leaves and flowers on the topper with Stickles Baby Blue - that doesn't show up well in the photo but it is there. 

I like that it's a winter theme but not necessarily a Christmas one - it's a card that would suit a winter birthday or it could fit a number of occasions - thanks, sympathy or even just a very nice notecard to send to someone.

I will be submitting this card to the following challenge:

Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper January 2018 - A challenge that is always about using Patterned Papers

I have decided that for the foreseeable future, all cards I'll be making and sharing will have a snippet or two, or three or four, in the design somewhere. The reason for this is that, during operation clear up,  I have unearthed a lifetime's worth of leftovers - okay I could be accused of exaggerating just a little - but it's easily ten years worth. It's too difficult to throw them away so I've set myself a target to use up the majority in the next few weeks. Only three made today and given that I'm easily distracted I could be some time!

Hope you have had a wonderful weekend.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 12 January 2018

Friday Smiles

Morning Fellow Smilers,

And because I've been missing for a wee while I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

There's been a lot of flu in the family recently and, because I've had pneumonia in the past, I'm banned from visiting them. Happily, I'm pleased to say they are all on the mend and I should be able to see them again soon. That does mean I have no photos of my dear ones this week so I'll share just a few taken in the garden and when we've been out an about instead.

These two photos were taken in Ayr's Carneigie Library.It's a beautiful old building and these windows are on the stairway to the Local History floor.  The central pane at the top says 'Let There Be Light - very apposite for such a wonderful place of learning. We'd gone there to search into the history of the area, and the house, we live in. We began by going back to the 13th century to discover, as suspected, that it was farmland with a mill. What was a surprise was that there had been a curling pond nearby proving it wasn't all work and no play even in the 13th century. There was also, very briefly, a priory for the Order of St Gilbert - an order founded in the village of Sempringham, Lincolnshire. Instigated by Walter Fitzalan II, First High Steward of Scotland, a few abbots came up, stayed for a while, and went back south again. No explanation but I do wonder if our climate was to blame. We'll never know as there doesn't seem to be any further details.

This is our little nursery box full of hellebores, primroses and snowdrops just waiting to be planted up in a more permanent home ... once the ground has defrosted!

Isn't this lovely? One of the ladies at the Cake and Crafting club I go to on Thursday afternoons made one for each member. She used up her scraps to make them. I just have to decide what I'm going to keep in it now.

Finally, some funnies prompted by all the scarves I knitted as Christmas presents last year.

Mine is European Worsted Yarn - what's yours?

For more smiley posts like this pop over to Annie's A Stitch In Time. And if you have had something to smile about this week then do share it ... it's nice to spread the joy.

In the meantime, I wish you a week that brings much to smile about.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 449

Morning Everyone,

Another Wednesday another WOYWW and, as you can see, the desk is a shocker today.
For reasons of transparency - now there's a trendy term for today - I'm sharing the messiest shot as I continue to work my way through the STUFF! Right now I'm clearing out the drawers that, up to now, I've been stashing holiday ephemera. Intended to include in scrap layouts one day. Well, I don't scrap enough layouts to justify keeping two drawers full of this stuff. I need the space. It's got to go. Or, at least, most of it has and the EM has found room in his writing desk for the teeny weeny amount of very important stuff we couldn't bear to part with entirely. It's been decisions, decisions, decisions for days. I'm exhausted!

It's not all been sort out stuff. I've managed to make a few cards - see previous two posts - and a little sewing project.

Found this little felt kit during the sort out. Sweet, isn't it. I can't remember where it came from but I suspect it was a freebie with a magazine bought eons ago. It took less than half an hour to make. Easily made whilst watching an episode of Little Women - thoroughly enjoyed the whole series.

This card was just a bit of craft therapy when I got too fed-up filling black bags. The sweet little mouse topper is recycled from a card received several years ago. I've teamed it up with scraps of leftover card. The butterfly (Dovecraft's mini die, Layering Butterfly) was cut from the centre of the green layer ... the wee mouse is now hiding where it came from. I also got to use one of the dies from a set from The Works - this one features a heart design.

This week's audio book is Simon Dawson's Pigs In Clover read by Ben Allen. I'm missing Monty Don's dulcet tones but this book is very funny and I'm thoroughly enjoying listening to it too.

Well, that's me for the week. I hope you have a wonderful WOYWW and a happy crafty week ahead.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Sunday Snippets - A Beery Male Card

Hello Fellow Snippeteers,

And welcome, too, to my new followers - hope you enjoy my crafty prattlings!

I'm still on 'clean up craftroom' duty but took a little time out to make this quick and simple to make card for my Grandson's birthday.
It's his 29th. I don't know how it's happened but the last 29 years have passed in a flash and he's gone from cute baby to a daddy himself in the blink of an eye. One of his passions is playing pool - I'm told he's not half bad at it too - and because that usually entails the partaking of a pint or two I thought this topper was quite appropriate.

Supplies used:

- a white A6 card blank from Docrafts Papermania
- snippets of Kraft and brown card trimmed to size for matting and layering
- Kanban male themed topper and greeting

I did say it was simple to make, didn't I?

It's a snippet card so I'm off to check in to Pixie's Snippet Playground and catch up with what Di and Parsnip are up to today.

Before I go, I'm sitting here looking at the most gorgeous golden/red sunset.
The real thing is so much better then this photo but it is the best I can do with the camera I have. Still, I hope it gives you some idea of just how lucky we are living on the west coast of Scotland ... we get the pick of the skies!  That's a telephone wire right in front of my window. Birds congregate there periodically during the day, twittering, tweeting, gossiping and bickering and I have a front row seat to it all. 

Right, that's it for today. I wish you all a very good evening, or morning, depending on where you are. 

Thursday 4 January 2018


If you've read yesterday's post you will know that I'm sorting through the contents of my craftroom. It's a great time waster but it's also a job that needs to be done. The bonus is that I'm finding all sorts that I'd forgotten about including this topper, already stamped and coloured, just crying out to be made into a card. It also gave me an opportunity to use a snippet, admittedly quite a sizable snippet, of green card so I'll be popping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground for the first time this year.

Supplies used:

- a white A6 card blank from Docrafts Papermania 
- the snippet of green textured cardstock, also from Docrafts Papermania
- water colour card, from a pad bought at my local craft shop (sadly now closed down), brand name now forgotten
- Penny Black's Keepsake stamp
- Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad
- pink water colour paint 
- Stickles Sprinkled Sugar for the centre of the flowers
- small yellow gems for the centre of the flowers - I didn't think the Stickles was sparkly enough - and pink ones for decoration. 

Ah well, better get back to my stuff sorting. I feel that as I unearth more forgotten treasure there will be a few more cards to share with you. Talk about getting back to normal with a bump. 

Happy Crafting

Wednesday 3 January 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 448

Happy New Year!

I hope the last week has been, if not a crafty one, an enjoyable one. Here in Scotland, because we have an additional Bank Holiday, it's only just back to work for many which makes it fitting that it is also the first WOYWW of the year too. Not that, as you can see, there's much going on the workdesk. .
I've been very lazy since Christmas Eve. Oh, I've sometimes wandered into the craftroom, done little and wandered out again. Too many distractions elsewhere and, as I've said many times, I'm very easily distracted. After the build up to Christmas, when I went into overdrive making cards and presents, the room was a mess ... a mahoosive and complete mess! And that's because, I've had to conclude, there's far too much stuff. Given that I've been blogging for over seven years and, more to the point I think, reading other folk's blogs a year or so longer I've accumulated a lot of stuff demonstrated by a lot of talented crafters. But, what is a crafter's 'must have' one year eventually becomes forgotten 'has been' tucked away on a shelf where it takes up valuable space. Oh, I've tidied up and tossed before but only taking a half-hearted approach to what can go and what should stay. Now it's different. This room isn't a Tardis. So time to be ruthless! Which is why there's the leftovers of a couple of Kanban cardmaking packs lying out. Bought when I thought that they were perfect for making cards, before I discovered the real joys of stamping and die-cutting ... you can see where this is going. Whatever made me think these were a good idea for someone who does not make cards to sell? I have a couple of quick cards to make but I think what's left will have to go. Also on view, because I'm so delighted with it, is a little set of drawers my daughter found for me for my sewing stuff. Love the Scandi decoration. As instructed, the drawers are full of sewing related bits and bobs and will in future be kept on the sewing table. 

One of two winter birthday cards made for December birthdays. I always feel for people with birthdays at this time of the year - they can be so overlooked/forgotten because of the festivities. The snowy scene was more than a little optimistic ... we've still not seen any snow here. A bit of frost, a storm or two (Dylan & Eleanor) but no snow! I'd be feeling so deprived if it wasn't that I know the EM truly hates the snow.

That's my desk for this week but before I go I thought I'd reveal something that could be called my guilty pleasure - well, one of them at least. I love listening to books while I'm up here in my eyrie and have quite a selection on CDs.  However, these can be very pricey - a lot more expensive than buying an actual book, so recently I bit the bullet and joined an online supplier where I'm able to download books much more inexpensively.  Seriously, my listening pleasure has doubled, trebled even. And, in fact, I've been tapping away at the keyboard to the dulcet tones of Monty Don as he reads Nigel: My Family And Other Dogs. It's been a particularly lovely way to start the year.

Hope your year has started equally well.

Take care and happy WOYWW.