Friday 31 August 2018

Friday Smiles

Morning Smilers

It's Annie's Smiley Day again - an opportunity to share some of what has brought us pleasure during the week. For us it's been a another busy week but I haven't been snapping away much with my camera. When I'm busy with family I often forget to take pictures.

Our niece, Louise, all the way from Aberdeen, visited us on Wednesday morning. She had an appointment at Ayr hospital so we took her there and back. It's a university hospital so very busy. We spent the time waiting for Louise in the little tea room beautifully ran by volunteers, as is the little well-stocked little shop nearby. We also took the opportunity to visit my sister Margaret who was in bed and feeling not so good. MS is a miserable condition but she always manages to look on the bright side and finds a lot to smile about too.

 At the weekend, we did pop down to Culzean to our favourite second-hand book shop - we had quite a pile of read books to offload but we really don't need much of an excuse to visit the estate. To our surprise we found that there was a 'Forces in the Field' event going on and this time I did remember to get my phone out. Here's a few pics from the day.

Living history re-enactments was part of the entertainment.

And this aircraft cockpit display - hubby checked the dimensions and reported back that the entrance was so small he'd never be able to get inside!

Not sure this was the sort of display I'd have around with so many children milling around. I was assured they were not loaded by what about those bayonets - they look pretty lethal to me!!!

This lady was weaving a bag from rags on a very primitive looking loom.
Birds of Prey were also there - kindly pitched away from all the noise of the military re-enactments. This eagle was alert but didn't look uneasy even though he was the centre of attention.

And finally, not a funny today but something really special.
Rose 'Eternity' is the name on the label but, after receiving it from our very own Annie and her husband when they visited us earlier this year, we've renamed it 'Annie's Rose'. Hubby took the time to count the blooms this morning and I think you, Annie, will be pleased to learn that there are seventeen on the bush. And it's showing no sign of giving up even though we are now moving into Autumn. Incidentally, the seat just behind the rose, fashioned from half an old round table, is now spoken of as 'Annie's seat'!

So that's it for today. Next Friday we will be on the way Wales for the WOYWW crop so I may not be able to post on this blog ... I've never tried blogging from my phone so really don't know if it's possible. What I will be able to do is post photos on Facebook and, as I have decided not to join in with 'Scroll Free September' this year, a noble idea I'm sure, my Friday Smiles will be there instead.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Summer Challenge Scrap Pages

Hello Everyone,

Today brings us to the end of another week of the Mind The Scrap Summer Challenge bringing the total of pages made to 39 ... that's over six weeks and it's a personal record. I've shared a few over the weeks but here's the pages from Week 3 only. I'll spare you the Weeks 4 & 5 for now!

My Girl

I had fun creating some of the colours of the rainbow, one of the requirements for the challenge that week, with Brusho powders for the background on this page. I also plucked up courage to use my machine to stitch a border all the way round the edge of the page. My machine and my nerves survived! The photo is an old one taken in 1975 of my lovely daughter, Juli. The army had arranged for us to fly over from Germany to London so that she could be seen by specialists to determine whether she had a hearing defect. In this photo she is proudly wearing her hearing aids for the first time. She took to them like a duck to water!

Summer Bliss
And talking about duck to water, it's Juli again, even younger this time. These photos were taken in 1972. It was a hot summer - all the summers in Germany were hot as I recall - and because she was too young to play in the paddling pool with her older brother we put her in this blow-up canoe and gave her a few inches of water to play in - she loved it.

I know we don't normally associate rainbow colours with Christmas but somehow this worked and I really enjoyed putting this page together. The photo was taken of one of the festive displays found in one of our local garden centres back in 2012.

This page was inspired by the lovely photos of my great-grandson, Callum, enjoying his first dip in the Mediterranean Sea. It's not too obvious but there's ink spatters in the background - I had fun with the yellow ink, Lemon Sherbet, from Jane Davenport - it's a beautiful sunny colour and just right for a beach themed page.

The last week, Week 6, of the challenge started this evening and my first job is to clear my desk of the detritus from the week just gone. A clear desk, a clear head.

I'm sure I'll be back with more pages to share before the challenge ends.

Have a lovely evening.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Sunday Snippet Card - Golden Leaves

Afternoon Everyone,

It's been a while since I popped over to the playground at Pixie's Crafty Workshop. I've been so busy with the summer scrapping challenge I've been participating in that there's been very little time for cardmaking, but here's one I made with a background made from leftover watercolour paint.
Rather than mop up the paint, such a waste, it was brushed on to a scrap of white card and put aside for later. Later usually takes months but on this occasion it only took a week or so - something of a record for me - before I decided to make this card with it.

Supplies used:
- one white 5¼" square card blank
- sheet of lavender patterned paper from a very old 6x6 pad - the Prima Londonderry Collection from 2011
- the scrap of white cardstock
- yellow paint mixed up from my Winsor & Newton set
- Penny Black Golden Leaves stamp 
- Personal Impressions Happy Birthday stamp
- Whispers Archival Rio Purple ink pad
-  three tiny lavender coloured enamel dots

It's a very simple design but I like it. That's one of my all-time favourite wood-mounted stamps and I really like the font used for the birthday greeting - it's not unlike my own handwriting.

I've just mopped more leftovers on a scrap of white card - this time it's blue ink - so I might just have to make another snippet card very soon.

Hope you are enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend and have a great evening.

Friday 24 August 2018

Friday Smiles

Hello Smilers & All

When thinking about joining Annie and her smiley meme today I wasn't sure I could find much to smile about this week. It was my cousin's funeral on Wednesday - that's the second death from lung cancer in the family this year - and my asthma has been troublesome limiting my 'get up and go'! However, when I checked back on my photos I did find that in the early part of the week there had been plenty to smile about. Here's a few snapshots from then.

Last Saturday we took a trip to the Maritime Museum in Irvine.

The entrance to the museum
The Joggling Press

Information about the Joggling Press

The museums gift shop and cafe

The view of the estuary from the gift shop
It wasn't the nicest of days, cloudy and very unpromising but it was nice to revisit the museum again. We didn't linger long but headed for Kilmarnock and one of my favourite shops, The Range.

Here we are in the cafe there, where not only did we enjoy a coffee and something wickedly calorific but my husband tried his hand with the camera on my smartphone. He's finally giving into pressure from family & friends and swapping his archaic mobile for something bang up to date so thought he should familiarise himself with all the lovely apps on mine first. He didn't do too badly either.
And, of course, I couldn't go to The Range without stocking up on a few necessities!

Other reasons to smile this week have been the 'back to school' shots the family have been sharing.

This adorable trio are Rhian, Brodie & Lacie, my granddaughter's children. Brodie's hair is quite something - apparently he wants a Mohican haircut but mum's not so keen. Lacie is not yet old enough for school but she starts nursery in a couple of weeks.

And here's Callum, my grandson's boy. At three years old he's off to nursery for the first time and looking very pleased about it too.

And almost finally,
My granddaughter, Shari, on the bus home from Glasgow after visiting Waterstones where she spent her birthday money on a couple of good reads. She's clearly inherited my love of books and the ability to read just about anywhere.

And finally,

This is me at my best.

This is me at my worst!

Keep well, take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday 22 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 481

Morning Everyone,

Sadly, I wasn't feeling too perky last week so missed my weekly fix of WOYWW. Not feeling much better today - had an asthma attack during the night and now feeling the aftermath - but I'm determined not to miss the vicarious pleasure of snooping round all your crafty desks. And for what it's worth here's mine as it is this morning.
Not much going on and apologies for the glare at the back. It's a dreich day, all cloud, drizzle and no sun, but the light's still reflecting of the stamp blocks in the glass dish and that pile of photos that have just arrived from FreePrints. I'm in the process of deleting the pics from my phone now that they've been transferred over to this computer. There's the usual box full of paper at the front there - all that changes are the contents as I work my way through it making pages. There's a couple of dishes full of embellishments and a jar of wood veneer at the back. Beyond that are a couple of items and I thought I'd share a couple of close-ups with you this week.
This pink basket contains all my off-cuts of paper - it's there because I'm trying to ensure the pile does not get out of proportion. I don't want to end up with yet another snippet mountain. In front is my rather scruffy heatproof mat - it's there because, well, because I haven't put it away after using it the other day.
And right at the back, behind a pile of rulers, is the tool tray. On it are two jars containing scissors, bone folders, an emery board, tweezers and my newest toys the embossing pens. That's besides my collection of tiny punches and the Tim Holtz tiny attacher - all useful for adding embellishment to a page.

And finally, the one book I've been listening to recently. Only one because I started a book I didn't like and so won't be finishing.

This book, The Mother by Jaime Raven, is a compelling listen. It's a gripping thriller and I couldn't put it down, so to speak. The main protagonist, Sarah, is both a detective and a single mother whose daughter is abducted 'as punishment' for what she did. Only Sarah doesn't know what she did that deserved the kidnapping of her child. What follows is the desperate hunt for her daughter. Truly edge of the seat stuff.

For the record, the one I gave up on:

I know, it's been hailed as a masterpiece of 'realistic fiction' but I really couldn't feel any empathy for the main character, Frank. I imagine he's the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film. I might go back and try again some time ... just not right now.

So that's me for this week. I'm looking forward to seeing what's on your desk this week.

In the meantime, have a great WOYWW and a fabulously crafty week ahead.

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Create Art Card - More Enamelled Letters

Evening Everyone,

Surprise, surprise! I've made a card. It's been a long time.

I'm so enjoying trying out this new to me technique for changing the colours and enamelling letters I thought I'd try them out on a card.
It's very much a scrap card. It's made from bits leftover from some of the layouts I've been working on recently. For example I made up far too much red paint for one page so I took a wide brush and brushed it in wide strokes on a scrap of watercolour paper with no idea of what it's future use could be. The black and white patterned paper used as a layer under the topper was another scrap looking for a home.

Supplies used:
- an A6 size blank white card base
- the scrap of watercolour paper
- the red Winsor & Newton paint
- Darkroom Door Collage 'Create Art'
- Archival black ink
- American Crafts Alphas Memo 'Newsprint' chipboard thickers
- a red Sharpie marker
- Stampendous Transparent embossing powder
- American Crafts Brush Tip embossing pen
- the scrap of black/white patterned paper from Craft Sensations Chalkboard Basics

This close up shows just how glossy the letters are after being enamelled.

Now I'm off to look at a sewing project now while I have a few minutes to spare.

Have a lovely evening and take care.

Monday 20 August 2018

Enamelling Letters - How I Did It

Hello Everyone,

I recently mentioned in a WOYWW post (Week 478) that I'd been shown a way to give old letters a new look ... you know the ones, bought on a whim but never been used! I should say that although it's new to me, I'm sure many of you have seen it/done it before. This is what the letters looked like after the makeover.
For the record, just in case, like me, you haven't tried it before, here's how it's done.

First, I chose a set of flocked letters that I didn't love - American Crafts Thickers Emerald - how inappropriate is that name! Look at them - they don't stick to the backing sheet anymore, in fact I don't think they ever did, and, in truth, there's never been any call for that colour in any of the scrapbook layouts I've made.
I picked out the letters for the title I wanted then did a colour tester on a letter 'z' - there's not much call for 'z's making them pretty disposable.
Next I coloured the letters using two Promarkers in the colours I wanted, Cardinal Red and Cobalt Blue.
This proved to be more tricky than I thought because of the flocking - I pressed too hard with the pen to begin with - something to bear in mind next time I do this.
The letters were left to dry before I covered them with embossing fluid using an American Crafts brush tip pen. These pens come in a pack of three, all with different tips - the others are broad tip and medium tip but I found the brush tip the best for this job.
The final stage is to cover them with clear embossing powder - I used Stamps Away powder but any clear EP will do - and use a heat tool to melt the powder. This is the really fiddly stage - I found I needed a pair of tweezers to stop the letters scooting all over the place.
Also, it took several reapplications of both the embossing fluid and the powder before I got the high gloss finish I was looking for but the end result is well worth the effort. One thing to note is that the affect of embossing was to deepen and enrich the two shades chosen as can be seen in this photo. This turned out to be a happy accident!
Here's the page with the finished title and as can be seen the colours are perfect.The photo was taken at the Artist Textiles Exhibition - Picasso to Warhol at New Lanark in April this year.

I was delighted with the result - I love the glossy finish - and changing the colour extended the use of letters I might have eventually consigned to the bin.

Take care and have a great day tomorrow.

Thursday 16 August 2018

Playing with Circles

Morning Everyone

Having missed What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday yesterday ... how could you, I hear you say!!! ... well, it was with difficulty but hopefully I will be back next week. ... I thought I'd share this scrap page that I had a lot of fun making.
I'd never have believed I could have so much fun cutting out circles of paper and arranging them just so on the page. There's a couple of lines of stitching down the centre - not to fix them in place but just for embellishment. I've been nervous of using my machine for sewing on paper - I worried about clogging up the works with paper dust but so far, so good. Admittedly, the needle will have to be kept solely for that purpose but otherwise I've overcome any reservations I once had. The colourful photo is of my youngest great-granddaughter, Lacie, surrounded by toys and totally absorbed in play.

My page was inspired by this layout from Pinterest.
The design is by Laura Maria Waugh who very kindly gave me permission to use it for the Mind The Scrap Summer Challenge.

That's it for today. I hope you are all well and having a lovely crafty time.