Friday 30 March 2018

Friday Smile

Morning Smilers and All,

Joining in again with Annie's Friday Smiles over on A Stitch In Time. Although it's been a perfectly good week with it's fair share of happy moments I've only the one photo to share today.
My little great-grandson Callum out on the Arrochar trail and something has obviously caught his attention. It looks like mud to me but you can never tell what will fascinate a toddler.

Here's a couple of funnies that caught my eye.

I think the one explains the other at my age. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone. I'm off to visit my two brothers - haven't seen them for ages so it's going to be quite a catch-up.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Rudolph Day - March

Afternoon Everyone ...

Again! Two posts in one day. It's not like me but I just remembered in time that we are at the end of yet another month and I've almost missed Rudolph Day over at Scraps of Life by Scrappymo! So here's my card for March.
Being time short it had to be a quick make.

I used the following:

- a 6" square card base created from blue cardstock

- blue snowflake patterned paper from The Night Before Christmas 8"x 8" paper pack from Trimcraft, trimmed to 5¾" to for the background. That pad is old, 2015.

- three die-cuts figures from Docrafts Papermania Noel collection, old too, which I arranged on the card using glue gel and sticky fixers so that Santa is raised above the deer and snowman. This is a card with dimension.

- the greeting banner, also from the Noel collection, is attached to the card with sticky fixers.

- red enamel dots were used for embellishment.

As seems to becoming the norm, Rudolph Day sneaked up on me this month so only the one card but at least this one comes with an idea for a few more. The Noel die-cuts have been in my stash for several years. Much as I like them I could never think of a use for them until now, however, they clearly make perfect cards for children so I'll be making a few more for those lovely great-grandchildren of mine.

Thanks for popping in and happy Rudolph Day to you.

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 460

Afternoon WOYWWers, Friends, Followers and All,

It's Wednesday again and therefore WOYWW day too and I'm glad to report that my desk looks busy because, well, I have for a change been busy.
My mojo has well and truly returned and as you can see my one time clear desk has now got that cluttered look again. Seems I just can't help myself. That pile of pretty paper is waiting to be sorted through to create another scrap kit ready for the second part of Shimelle's class. I finally exhausted the first one - scroll down if you'd like to see all the layouts I made. The notebook is there to keep me right when choosing appropriate papers. There's a pile of photos I want to use next and another of cards made with the leftover scraps. That thing that looks like a tickling stick is my keyboard duster!

Here's close-ups of the cards.

I rooted around in my many boxes of stash and added two Kanban toppers, a couple of greetings, and several gems to the meagre pile of paper leftover scraps. I was also able to use what was left of the punched butterflies and die-cut circles and an aqua rose leftover from the last layout made.

Still enjoying audio books. I finally finished The Girl Who Played With Fire - a long and often grim read but it made compulsive listening - so I moved on to this classic, Animal Farm.

George Orwell's great socio-political allegory set on a farm is another grim read but Simon Callow is a superb narrator. I think this book is just as relevant today as it was when first published. Animals deciding to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours sounds like sense but, as with all great political plans, some animals take a bigger share of the rewards than others, and what should have been animal utopia turns out to be anything but.

Currently I'm listening too The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald.

I was drawn to this title because I've been a keeper of chickens in the past - admittedly, only half a dozen gorgeous pet hens - definitely not the small chicken farm Betty MacDonald writes about. First published in 1945, this book was a best seller worldwide . Some of it is dated and even a bit shocking in parts for our 21st century sensibilities - for example, her unpleasant attitude towards Native Americans is questionable by today's standards.

Finally, Easter is almost upon us so ...
... it's time to leave the dust bunnies be because ...
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 27 March 2018

Clear The Desk - Layout #6 - Mystery Solved

Evening Everyone,

This is the last layout from the first section of Shimelle's class, Clear the Desk.
By the time I got to this layout there wasn't too much left of the papers in the kit and I had to eke it out by adding a sheet of white cardstock for the background together with some toning scraps of card from the scrap mountain for the embellishments. I used several dies - a layered butterfly (Dovecraft), layering circles with heart detail and a delicate rose (The Works), and a fern leaf shape (Tattered Lace, Lavish Blooms Leaves) - to create embellishments. I also stamped the elegant lady (Crafty Individuals CI-323), watercoloured here with a combination of Vintage Photo distress ink and Mr Huey's mist in Heirloom Blue before cutting it out to use as the main embellishment. The tiny butterflies were punched out of card and patterned paper and the cameras were fussy cut from a Project Life Jade Edition card. The journaling is on a cut-apart from the Summer Garden collection of papers in the kit.

I found the photo in my late mother's photo collection and vaguely remembered her telling me that she'd forgotten who the subjects were but that she was sure the woman was a relative and that one of the girls was her sister, Minnie. Well, thank goodness for social media. I put a copy of the photo up on Facebook tagging my cousins here in the UK and in Australia. The photo was passed around and my aunt in Australia was able to solve the mystery, hence the page title. I'm delighted. I can now file this page in the Family History album knowing that I have a photo of my great-grandmother as a relatively young woman holding my uncle Billy and the older girl is my aunt Minnie, as mum thought. The real surprise is that the younger of the girls is in fact my mother - she'd obviously forgotten what she looked like as a toddler!

So that's the first section completed and it's now on to the second which I suspect is going to be just as much fun as the first. I'm so pleased that I've created six layouts in what is for me a short time. Now to find places for them in the relevant albums.

There was very little paper left over from the kit but I have managed to make three cards which I will share in my WOYWW post tomorrow.

Happy Crafting,

Monday 26 March 2018

Clear The Desk - Layout #5 - Knickerbocker Glory Days

Hello Everyone

Today's the day for the fifth layout made for Shimelle's Clear The Desk Class.
It's a return to a seaside themed layout featuring, as it does, two photos of scrumptious ice cream sundaes enjoyed, I hasten to add, on two separate occasions. The background paper is another B side, this time  Swimming Fish from Echo Park's Summer Party collection and one that I've been hoarding, and stroking, for a couple of years. However, it's was such an appropriate background for the two photos that I couldn't not use it. In the embellishment clusters the flowers and cameras were fussy cut from other papers in the kit - see here - I made up for the class. The title letters are from Snap Color Vibe Stickers Brights. I've used a mix of enamel dots and Nuvo Crystal Drops in pastel shades to reflect the colours in the ice creams.

The journaling, written in grey ink, tells how we began the tradition on a visit to Barmouth in Wales of always having just one Knickerbocker Glory ice cream whenever we were at the seaside. Now that we live in a seaside town we have had to re-write the tradition somewhat. Our 'glory days' are confined to holidays only!

Once again, I'm keeping the post simple but if you are interested in taking the class you can find the details over on Shimelle's website.

Layout #6 follows tomorrow.

Happy crafting to all.

In A Vase On Monday - Short But Sweet

Afternoon Everyone,

I've just spent a very happy hour or so pottering in the garden. The summer jasmine 'Beesianum'  was a bit unruly so it's now been clipped back and a clematis, I think this one is 'Barbara Dibley'  - already sending out fresh shoots - needed a tidy up too. I also sorted out some pots, swapping the winter for spring flowering ones. It's still chilly but it was pleasant working in the sunshine. As a treat I picked a bunch of miniature daffodils to put on my writing desk.
I can't be sure what varieties these short but sweet daffodils are - the labels have long gone - but I think these could be a mix of  'Tete-a-Tete' and 'Minnow'. They were both bought in pots in previous years and transplanted into the garden after they had finished flowering. There are now several clumps scattered around the borders and proved to be the only splash of colour during the unexpected cold snap we experienced recently. The two blue inkwell style vases, a charity shop find, are the perfect container for these tiny daffodils - guaranteed to cheer up any desk.
The pots of Pagoda Lilies, Erythronium, have shoots showing so I've replaced the hellebores that were going over. The blue flower is Iris reticulata 'Little Pixie'.

To see many more lovely floral displays pop over to Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts In A Vase On Monday.

Happy gardening to you all.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Clear The Desk - Layout #4 - Retiring

Afternoon Everyone

Here's the fourth layout from Shimelle's class, Clear The Desk.
For this page I used an over-sized photo. This was a bit more challenging but the background paper -  Simple Stories, Life Documented - helped a lot. The clusters are based on scraps of leftover paper and the black stars which were punched from a snippet of black cardstock. The camera was fussy cut from one of the patterned papers I chose for the kit. I used a Project Life card for the journaling spot. 

In 1998, just a few weeks before he retired, my husband's company sent us both on a course to prepare him for retirement. We were put up in a beautiful hotel, there was a four-poster bed in our room, and the content of the course was interesting. That's where I learned that our hair doesn't go grey as we get older, it goes lighter ... I've happily accepted that ever since. The photo shows everyone who attended the course. 

I should add that my husband was only retired for about six months! He was much too young to hang up his hat back then!

Yet again, I'm keeping the post simple but if you are interested in taking the class you can find the details over on Shimelle's website.

Although this is not a card, I'm submitting, because I've used quite a few scraps of paper and the snippets of black card, the layout to Di's snippet challenge at:

Pixie's Snippets Playground

Layout #5 follows later.

Happy crafting to all.

Saturday 24 March 2018

Clear The Desk - Layout #3 - Island Sky

Morning Everyone,

Another layout from Shimelle's class, Clear The Desk, today. I've got this page out of order so although this is the third posted it is, in fact, the second one I made. I obviously had a senior moment!
And that's not the only senior moment I've had recently. The white cardstock I've used for the background is actually short by an inch, it's 12"x 11" and I didn't even notice until I came to crop the photo. I must have cut the inch strip off for some other project and forgotten about it. I'll have to fix that sometime but I need to think about it first. I'm still using the same kit as for #1. The striped panel is the B side of a cut-apart from Echo Park's Summer Party collection giving, I think, quite a different, though still summery, feel to fit with the photograp. It's of my husband against the bluest of blue skies taken in June 1999 on the island of Jersey. It's framed with two layers of patterned paper in shades of aqua. The kites in the clusters were fussy cut from another of the Summer Party papers. Some of the shapes, circles and hearts, were punched out of the leftover scraps from layout #1. All the other embellishments and the title letters, with the exception of the enamel dots, are from the sticker sheets in the collection.

Again, I'm keeping the post simple but if you are interested in taking the class you can find the details over on Shimelle's website.

Layout #4 follows later.

Happy crafting to all.

Friday 23 March 2018

Friday Smiles

Hello Smilers

It's a wee while since I joined in with Annie's Friday Smile meme  - been poorly and not really had a lot to smile about - but things have been looking up again this week. The weather has improved ... well, if you consider rain an improvement from snow it has ... and there's signs of spring in the garden. I did have to wait for a shower to stop before I could go out and take these photos to share with you.
Celandines, azalea, crocus, cowslips, miniature daffodils, heather, dwarf iris and primroses.

A white hyacinth starting to come through.
Foliage of aquilegia peeping through.

And last but not least ...
A gorgeous white narcissus with a double frilly trumpet. These had been blown over by the wind earlier this week so I took the advice from Gardener's World this week and brought them indoors rather than leave them out to spoil.

So lots to smile about in my garden. Hope you've had as much to make you smile this week too.

Clear The Desk - Layout #2 - Nothing Like A Dame

Morning Everyone,

I'm back today with the second layout made from the kit I put together from stash for Shimelle's class - Clear The Desk.

It's a similar colour combination to yesterday's layout but uses different papers from the kit and a woodgrain pattern for the background. It's also an unusual combination of photo - a 4" square and a 6x4 portrait taken at the 2014 Scottish Air Show here in Ayr  - not one I'd normally attempt but I think it's worked out okay. Some of the embellishments - flowers and cameras - are fussy cuts. Instead of my usual enamel dots, I've sprinkled amber gems, red dew drops and blue Nuvo crystal drops around the embellishment clusters - I thought they more suited the panto dame's personality!

Again, I'm keeping the post simple but if you are interested in taking the class you can find the details over on Shimelle's website.

Layout #2 follows tomorrow.

Happy crafting to all.

Thursday 22 March 2018

Clear The Desk - Layout #1 - Day Trip Destination

Morning Everyone,

This is going to be a very quick post today - I'm off out to the craft club this afternoon.  As I mentioned in yesterday's WOYWW post I'm taking Shimelle's class, Clear The Desk, and this is the first layout made with it.
I've used a mix of old stash from Echo Park's Summer Bliss and Summer Party collections, Simple Stories Life Documented for this photo of a poster for Burntisland in Fife, Scotland, spotted recently in a Glasgow shop window which brought back a raft of childhood holiday memories.

Here's a photo of the supplies I pulled out for the first kit I've used for the class.
I'm having fun following Shimelle's suggestions and getting a heap of layouts done and a ton of stash used up too - which is, of course, the object of the class.

I'm keeping the post simple but if you are interested in taking the class you can find the details over on Shimelle's website.

Layout #2 follows tomorrow.

Happy crafting to all.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 459

Morning WOYWWers, Friends, Followers and All,

Many thanks for popping in, especially as recently I have been the world's worst blogger - it's a week since I posted! It's not that I've been doing nothing. I am, after all, retired, and as is often said by the retired, I'm so busy I don't know how I ever found time to go to work! Ah well, that's life! Now on to what I'm here for - to show you and Julia what's on my desk today.
Despite it being officially spring, we have rain and so the light isn't much better than it was last week. Call me mad but as well as the usual self-imposed tasks - e.g. finish all UFOs, create scrap kits from the paper stash mountain, etc. - I've enrolled on Shimelle's Clear the Desk course. It's not entirely mad or unrelated to the task list as can be seen from that pile of layouts (on the left of the desk). Not only has it got me crafting again but it's chipping away at that paper mountain and now I have five lovely layouts to show for it. The pile of maker's strips are testimony to that too. The box with the scraps - all that's left from the kit used - old black and white photo and the stamp set is for the sixth, and last layout from this kit.  That little basket sitting on top the guillotines contains what is left of the die-cuts and cut-aparts I've been using. All that stuff at the back is necessary tools of the trade and, just so I won't forget,  the current UFO - the unfinished Christmas album.

Not much to report on the book listening front. I finished The Lewis Man only yesterday so it's on to The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.

It's the sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so I'm expecting it to be just as good a read. Unfortunately, I've already read the follow up and third in the sequence, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. Hopefully, I've forgotten enough of the plot to stop me enjoying this one too.

Finally, apropos the first paragraph.

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.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 458

Wednesday! Already! Surely not!

The last week seems to have just passed in a bit of a blur and I don't know what I've been filling my time with ... not much, that's for sure. I can't say I've been crafting ... that would be a blatant lie! And it's not as though I've been spring cleaning either. So for the WOYWW record, after all that's what we're here for, here's what's on my desk today.
Apologies for the light - it's a grey day here and even the daylight bulb hasn't made much of a difference. Hopefully you can see that I've taken back my desk. The jigsaw is back in it's box. Not because we completed it - we didn't - but I just wanted my desk back. I'm now looking for one of those puzzle boards that will enable me to work on jigsaws but store it between times. Anyway, I digress! What's on my workdesk today is our Christmas scrapbook. It needs a bit more work on it before I can say it's done. It's my intention this year is to finished all my unfinished projects - of which there is more than a few - and this is just the third. The first and second, you may recall from last week's post. I can report today that two more albums are now full taking the total up to fourteen and still counting! Behind the scrapbook is a basket of various festive patterned paper packs, a box of paper punches and date stamps, the guillotine and one of those really useful boxes with 12x12 Christmas papers and embellishments. There's also a dish of bits and bobs, a tray of washi tape and a cup of much needed latte.
The postie delivered these little beauties this week. All the way from China, fifty sheets of enamel dots in a lovely variety of colours - ordered from Ali Express. With free shipping for UK customers the price worked out at just 71p a sheet - a bargain!

The only other job of note this week is one the EM and I did together.
Our huge collection of plant pots now disinfected and rinsed. It took the EM an entire morning to wash them out and then I sorted them into the different sizes before putting them back in storage until I get around to sowing some seeds ... just waiting for it to get a bit warmer outside.

Just two books listened to this week. Both fiction but they were too very different 'reads'.

The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman. It's a disturbing read but also a hopeful one and there are moments of real humour. The main character, Claire, like her late father, is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The memory book of the title is kept at the suggestion of her counsellor - something to pin her memories down while she still has them. A very good read even if the issue of Alzheimer's is an undeniably sad one.

The Lewis Man by Peter May. This is a story of the mystery surrounding an unidentified corpse recovered from a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis. Beautifully descriptive, the book is taking me around the islands of Lewis and Harris and giving me an insight into life of these islands in the past and present, as well as telling a riveting murder story. This is the second book of a trilogy and I have yet to read the first, The Black House, so it's now on my list of future reads.

Oh dear, there's the rain on again. Sigh. Hard to believe I got the washing hung out for the first time this year just two days ago. Roll on the better weather!

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.