Wednesday 31 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 491

Hello Everyone,

Happy last day of October - so sad to see the best month of Autumn gone. I hope you are enjoying the same weather we are here - typically autumnal, chilly, blue sky and a low sun - making it another perfect day for joining in over at Julia's What's On Your Desk - where there will be, as usual, a lot more interesting desks on view then this one of mine.
I found it difficult to get a good shot this morning despite that low sun, and it hasn't improved much even yet, but I hope you can still see the mess on my desk well enough. That teetering pile is of paper, stamps and some speciality glittery sticky-backed film which I've been cutting out for snowflakes. I'd forgotten I had it but after watching this Jennifer McGuires video - prompted by Shaz's seriously distracting WOYWW post last week that ended with me viewing several more of Jennifer's very instructional videos -  I remembered I had just the right supply for glittery snowflakes. I got the two cards at the back made - well almost two, the pink one needs a greeting attached. That's the snowflake dies I used in front, just waiting to be put back in their packaging. On the far left is a Lonely Planet note book and behind it a book on bullet journaling - more later.
Here's the completed card. The glittery sticky-backed film was attached to some thin cardstock to make it easier to die cut but it took several passes through my machine to cut it well enough, even after adding a couple of pieces of card as a shim. I also used wax paper in the die - that did make it easier to release the snowflake. These thin dies aren't always the easiest to cut with.

Now to the book bit. One I have read, the other I've listened to. Both are about Bullet Journaling, or BuJo as it seems to be known as in the crafting world.

First up is the book I read,  'How to Bullet Plan: A Practical Guide' by Rachel Wilkerson Miller.  I've always, from as far back as I can remember kept a diary and/or a journal and also more recently a planner and a 'to-do' list. Not to mention even more recently the various digital systems I've tried out - never successful because I prefer the act of putting pen to paper! The idea of single notebook in which to write it all down appeals. However, it all seems a bit complicated and I'm thinking that there must be an easier way. I'd like to say this book makes it so, Ms Miller writes in a very readable way, taking the reader through various processes to create a journal as simple or as elaborate as wished, but when finished reading I wasn't still sure it was for me.

Which is why I got this audio book.

 'The Bullet Journal Method' by Ryder Carroll. It seems that Mr Carroll is, in fact, the creator of bullet journaling. His personal story, and why he came to develop this organisational system, is interesting. Like me, he has tried everything to get organised - countless apps, systems, planners, you name it. Nothing really worked for him. Until, that is, he created  his own simple system that required only pen and paper, which, like me, he found much more to his liking. 'He shared his method with a few friends, and before long he had a worldwide viral movement. Hundreds of thousands of Bullet Journal fans now spread the word ...'. (Quote from Amazon.) A comprehensive PDF file comes with the audiobook - it's 62 pages long and I'm still reading my way through it.

I'm still trying to work out how to adapt the system to my needs. I'm retired and I'm no longer juggling the demands of family and work, so much of what both authors describe does not apply to me. My life seems so much simpler in comparison until I think about what I need to do and, indeed, what I want to do. I still have appointments, a wish list, a to-do list, and a diary to keep so I'm hoping I can devise something very uncomplicated - it has to be uncomplicated to make the effort worthwhile - by taking ideas from both these books.  I'll give it a try and I'll let you know how I get on.

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.

In the meantime, have a very happy WOYWW and a great week ahead.

Saturday 27 October 2018

New Look Header - New Look Me

Hello Everyone,

I have a new hairdo.
I've had the same style since a few years ago when I had the 'big cut' - in fact, about 4 years ago when, due to arthritis, my waist-length hair had become too difficult to care for.
I'm thrilled with the new me. The EM gave it his thumbs-up too.

One change can often lead to another and my new hairdo certainly has. My blog header hadn't had a makeover in too long. I'd simply forgotten it. I opened up my much neglected Serif Craft Artist and set to work. The result is the new header above. Hope you like.

The sun is out and the sky is blue, though it is a tad chilly - a perfect autumn day. It's pulling me outdoors - got to enjoy it while we can, we have a long winter ahead.

Take care and enjoy your weekend.

Friday 26 October 2018

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone,

Friday - definitely the best day of the week. Made even better when we can join Annie, A Stitch In Time, with a mini review of what has made me smile this week.

We had a visit from our great-grandchildren on Sunday. We were celebrating this little one's third birthday.
We all had a laugh at how she used her for to spear her cake. 

Her mum and big sister soon showed her the right way to eat cake 

While her brother demonstrated how to do the splits. Rather than sit on the sidelines watching his sister,  he decided he'd like to join her in cheerleader classes. It wasn't long before he discovered this surprising talent. 

I have an update on the work we've been doing in the garden.

Job finished and this bed is looking so much better - and so much easier to look after. 

While we were tidying up I spotted this pot with a hellebore already in flower so I decided to bring it out and place it on the red bark where it can be seen. I did laugh when I spotted the 'frog' eyeing up a snail shell ... shame the snail has long gone.

And I just have to share the little green birch beech which I discovered and brought back from a garden centre situated on the edge of Loch Ness many years ago.
Not green at all at this time of the year - stunningly golden instead. Guaranteed to make me smile.

Spotted at the local supermarket.
I'm not fond of pumpkin, soup or pie, and don't make lanterns out of them but I do enjoy seeing them massed in a huge pile like this.

And finally,
October is almost over but I so agree with Anne of Green Gables - just as Autumn is my favourite season, October is my favourite month. 

As you can see, it's been another week with a lot to smile about. To see many more reasons to smile do pop over to Annie's, at A Stitch In Time.

Thursday 25 October 2018

Rudolph Day - October

Hello Everyone,

Goodness! Here we are at the penultimate Rudolph Day! So many cards to make and so few weeks to make them in. I've been so slow to work on Christmas cards this year that Maureen, Scraps of Life by Scrappymo, will no doubt be surprised to see me rising to her challenge for the second month in a row. In fact, I've made a determined effort to create a few recently so have this one to share today.

I've had this stamp, 'The Wonder of It All' by Crafts And Me, for a year or two but never used it. The thought of colouring it seemed beyond my capabilities - I'm very much an amateur. However, it seemed such a shame so I considered just stamping the image and leaving it just as it is. As you can see, that's not what happened. Instead, putting on my big girl's pants I stamped it on watercolour paper and following the example on the packaging, and using Winsor & Newton paints did my best to colour the image.

Once I thought I'd done all I could it was matted on to a layer of red card. I cut a tent shaped card base from the same watercolour card and stamped the greeting with Memento Rhubarb Stalk ink.

Once the image was adhered to the card base I decorated it with Crystal Stickles. The centre of the flowers are decorated with gold BoBunny Double Dot. Finally, I tied some red raffia in a bow at the top of the card.

Have a great Rudolph Day.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 490

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are having a lovely day. Here in Ayrshire the temperature has dropped like a stone and the sky is cloudy and grey, making it another perfect day for the participation in the vicarious pleasures of Julia's What's On Your Desk - where there are bound to be a lot more interesting desks on view then this one of mine.
Yes, not a lot to see really. The little pile of patterned papers is all that's left from a weekend of cyber cropping. Not that I completed many pages, four to be precise, but that was only because we had the happy distraction of a visit from three of our lovely great-grandchildren. On top of the paper there's a pile of photos that I may scrap some time soon. At the back is a heap of recently finished Christmas cards waiting to be addressed ... that should be soon too but I'll probably put that task off for as long as possible. The notebook beside them was discovered when I was going through a shelf of books ... part of a process of weeding out my extensive book collection. I'm at the stage in life where I need far fewer possessions cluttering up my home! The notebook, handmade and brought back from a holiday in Amalfi, contains print-outs of cards that inspired about 7/8 years ago. They do look a bit dated today but the ideas are still good so I'll be keeping the notebook a bit longer. Finally, that's my 'things to-do today' book lying off to the left. As you can see it's empty but not because I've no tasks to do. Quite the reverse! I'm sure I can think of plenty to do. I just need to write the tasks I want/need to do down and get on with it ... just as soon as I've had another cuppa. 

Before I go, I thought I'd show this beautiful crochet doily.
Not my own work - well, not entirely my work. It was an unfinished object (UFO) found in the home of a Thursday craft club member's late mother-in-law. Knowing that I crocheted, she asked if I would complete the doily for her and, of course, I was only too happy to help. It was lovely to work on and I'm pleased it looked not half bad once I'd finished with it. 

No book review this week. I'm still listening to the same book as last week, the one about Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine ... it's a huge book and I've had less opportunity than usual to listen so I still have quite a few chapters to get through. 

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.

In the meantime, have a very happy WOYWW and a great week ahead.

Monday 22 October 2018

In A Vase On Monday - A Jug of Autumn Sunshine

Hello Everyone

Monday again and time to share with you and Cathy on Rambling in the Garden what's in my vase today.
A stroll round the garden looking for suitable material for today's arrangement I couldn't help noticing the nasturtiums, looking like a ray of sunshine on a dull day. They have been late in flowering this year due, I believe, to either the late and freezing winter weather in March or the hotter than usual summer we've had. They usually self-seed, from the original climbing variety 'Tropical Mix', and flower in profusion but not so this year. I'm not sure whether this is due to the aforesaid weather conditions or whether it is just a natural decline to be expected when left to seed themselves.
The foliage I've added is from Ageratina altissima 'Chocolate', also known as snakeroot, though I don't know why. Grown more for its purple stems and dark brown leaves than the tiny insignificant looking white flowers ... insignificant they may be but bees and butterflies love them. I've also added three sprigs of rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, from the herb patch - the aromatic leaves removed from the lower stems will be used to flavour a casserole later.

I didn't have to debate too long on which receptacle was the most appropriate. The colours on this English pottery jug, one of my charity shop finds, mirrored the oranges, browns and greens perfectly.

Too late, I realise that I forgot to name the asters that featured in my vase last week. They are Aster Novae-Angliae 'Andenken an Alma Potschke' ... a long name for such a tiny flower!

So that's my vase this week - a bright and cheerful jug of autumn cheer. If you have enjoyed this post, and would like to see what others have in their vases today, do please pop over to Rambling in the Garden where you'll find plenty links to many more beautiful arrangements.

Sunday 21 October 2018

Scrappy Sunday - Cards from Embossed Panels

Hello Again,

I've been searching through a box of leftover scraps with the idea of finding something suitable to make Christmas cards with. I'd forgotten these that I'd embossed some time ago - perfect!

They were very quick and easy cards to make. All I did was choose some Christmassy patterned papers, adhere them them to the card base, wrap matching ribbon/twine around the panels and then attach them, using foam tape for added dimension, and that was it. Simples!

Supplies used:

  • white A6 card blanks from Docraft's Papermania range
  • patterned paper from a couple of very old pads - Memory Box & BoBunny's Silver & Gold Collection - and a new one from The Works, the Winter Wonder paper pad
  • leftover scraps of white card embossed with the following: Winter Botanicals by Sizzix; Snowflake Swirl from Darice; Merry Christmas from Crafts-Too
  • ribbons and twine from stash ... the twine was found in a local garden centre

A quick Google search showed that the Darice folder is still available at Buddly Crafts and the Crafts-Too folder is on the Maddy Lisa Crafts site but there's no listing for the two older paper pads and the Sizzix folder than I can find.

It's quite some time since I joined in with Hazel's CHNC challenge - well, I haven't been making Christmas cards until recently - but I noticed that for this week, Challenge 408, not only does anything go as long as it's Christmas but the optional theme is for a sentiment to be the focal point ... the third card fits the bill perfectly.

After today starting badly, rain, rain and more rain, it has dried up and the sun has come out ... typically Scottish weather!

It's back to the MTS Cyber Crop for me now. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

MTS Cyber Crop - Rock-Climbing & Abseiling In The Lake District

Morning Everyone,

Happy Sunday to you all. Not a nice day here - the rain is coming down like it's not going to stop. A good day to spend in the craft room, I think. And I'm here to share the third layout from the MTS Cyber Crop. 
In this one I've told the story of my disastrous initiation into the sport of rock climbing whilst on 'Adventure Training' on Helvellyn in the Lake District way back in 1966. My army boots were too big - they were issued with the instruction to wear an extra pair of socks! It was inevitable that something would go wrong. I got my foot stuck in a crevice on the rock face - farcical really but completely unnerving - and had to be rescued by the Sergeant leading our little troop - a very handsome but tough task master. I recovered and went on to climb a few more rocks and discovered how exhilarating it is to abseil down a rock face. Sadly, I have no photographic evidence of this time in my life so I've borrowed an appropriate photo from the Internet. Shame I didn't have those shoes at the time. 

The layout is very simple starting with a black cardstock base, some Ranger's textured paste and a Prima stencil. The photo is matted and layered on to leftover scraps of patterned paper. The alphas used for the title are from old stash and the embellishments are a mixed lot from various sources. I used white Sakura Gelly Roll pen for the journaling.

That's it for now. Will be back later with the next challenge page. 

Saturday 20 October 2018

MTS Cyber Crop Page - Cheddar Gorge

Afternoon Everyone

Well, I'm struggling to keep up but here's page #2.

Cheddar Gorge
Many, many decades ago, 1967 to be precise, I, and a bunch of army mates, visited the Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. We were stationed in Wilton, near Salisbury, then - quite a way from Somerset but distance was no object for the army. We all piled into a 3-ton truck and off we went - it was the only way to travel! It was a fun trek, amazing place and never forgotten.

Again, most of the supplies used are from the October kit from Mind The Scrap but I did use leftover scraps for the matting and layering of the photo. The leaf printed vellum is very old from a Nancy Watt collection, 'Owls and Swirls'.   I used the packaging technique and Heidi Swapp Colour Shine in Patina and a Vicki Boutin stencil with Ranger's Opaque Matte textured paste on the background. The alphas are also old - a mix of Pebbles ABC stickers and Kaisercraft letters. The two stamps used are from Kaisercraft too - the Polaroid set - stamped with Memento Dew Drop Pistachio.

Right, better get on with challenge #3. Will be back later.

MTS Cyber Crop Page - Love You All

Good Morning Everyone,

This weekend I'm participating in Mind The Scrap's Cyber Crop. Throughout this time we are being challenged to make as many layouts as we can based on various challenges. So far I'm straggling along behind everyone but that's okay - I can live with that. Anyway, I thought I'd post each page aas soon as they are done and not wait to do them all in one huge post. Otherwise, they may never be posted. Here's the first.

Love You All
And, of course, being a proud great-gran it had to of these four cherubs that made my first page. I have six grandchildren and, so far, two of them have added to the next generation. Great-grandchildren have got to be the best reward for living a long life!

Supplies used:

  • a sketch from Creative Scrappers Creating With Sketches book
  • all papers from Mind the Scrap's October Kit - base is from Heidi Swapp's Emerson Lane Collection, 'Details'; layering & matting is from One Canoe Two Golden Rod collection 'Meadow Floral' and Pink Paislee's Paige Evans 'Whimsical 22'
  • title alphas - Gold Imprint thickers from American Crafts
  • embellishments - 'Along the Way' die-cuts and Amy Tangerine Sticker Book, all from American Crafts
  • journaling - Sakura's Pigma Micron 08 archival pen

That's it for now. Will be back later with the second layout.

Friday 19 October 2018

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone,

Friday - possibly the best day of the week. Made even better when we can join Annie, A Stitch In Time, with a mini review of what has made us smile this week.

First up are these lovely snaps of my daughter and son-in-law.

As the EM was just out of hospital, and we hadn't had time to stock up beforehand, they very kindly took us shopping on Saturday. Of course, we had to stop at the supermarket for a coffee and I can't remember what was said but it really amused them both.

Next - today's little star!
Lacie, my youngest great-granddaughter, is three today. She is a spirited wee thing who makes me laugh. For the size of her she's such a bossy boots and has everyone wrapped round her little finger!

I had a stroll round the garden today and thought I'd show you the change that is being made to the wildflower bed.
It's not finished yet but, as you can see, most of the plants have been replaced with weed suppressant and red bark. As we are getting older we are finding weeding and tending everything just a bit too much so we decided this bed had to go ... it was the most labour intensive of all our beds. It's not finished but as the EM is out of commission for the time being it will have to wait.

Finally, here's a selection of the roses and other flowers still in bloom around the rest of the garden at the moment.

This is only a small selection - I would bore you silly if I showed you all of them. I don't think they know it's October yet.

As you can see, I've had quite a lot to smile about but to see many more reasons to smile pop over to Annie's, at A Stitch In Time.

Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday 17 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 489

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are having a lovely day. Here the sun is shining and the day looks promising but that isn't stopping me from participating, bearing all, in Julia's What's On Your Desk. Actually, for reasons mentioned in previous posts so I won't bore you with repetition, not much has changed in the last couple of weeks so here it is in all it's messy glory.
Mainly it's covered in piles of festive stamps and packs of patterned paper. I'd like to say I've made a ton of cards but, truth time, I haven't. I've just been plugging away whenever I found the odd moment. Without the EM to take up the slack, domestic duties have had to take precedence. Not that I'm complaining - it is what it is!
However! I have managed a bit more knitting - something to do in the evening, on the sofa, in front of the TV. My very first sock, ever, is coming along very nicely indeed and I've just started to turn the heel. I have high hopes of finishing the pair before 2019.

Finally, here's the book bit.

Just the one today - Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. This biography of the founder of computer science is a huge listen - almost 31 hours - so I assume that it's a long read too. A heavy one too - the maths is incredibly detailed! However, I have to say it is a fascinating account of an extraordinary mind and life. Given my background in military communications and computer operation it's just my cup of tea, but it may not be for everyone. Turing developed his revolutionary concept, as early as 1936, of a universal machine and this led eventually to the foundation for the modern computer - the very technology we bloggers rely on today. And his role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers at Bletchley Park during World War II is also fascinating. I'm still listening, I did say it's a long book, so haven't yet reached the part where he is  persecuted by the establishment for his homosexuality and, as a result, his sad ending ...

As I mentioned earlier, I've been working on cards recently and scrapbooking has been neglected but that's about to change. I have, a tad impulsively, signed up for the Mind The Scrap cyber crop taking place this weekend - yes, the whole weekend! It promises to be intense but fun. I'm looking forward it.

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.

In the meantime, have a very happy WOYWW and a great week ahead.

Tuesday 16 October 2018

The Two Pages Made at the Scrap Dollies Crop

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all having a good day. Weather here is abysmal so taking refuge in the craft room. Such a change from yesterday when the sun was shining making the bus journey to our health centre a pleasure. The EM was seen by the practice nurse who checked him over and said the wound was healing nicely. So everything is hunky-dory, thank goodness.

On to the layouts I'm sharing today. A couple of weeks ago, on 7th of the month, I went along to an all-day crop ran by Scrap Dollies in the church hall in little town of Stewarton in East Ayrshire, which is not too far from home for me. It was good fun and I'm getting to know the lovely ladies who came along - many travelling from much further afield than I do. As usual, I took several of my homemade kits with me but despite beavering away most of the day I still managed to make only two pages. I've said it before but I'll say it again, I'm the slowest scrapper on the planet! 

Here's the first of the pages.

I find working from sketches very helpful so took along Kristine Davidson's Creative Scrappers Creating with Sketches book - I think I might have mentioned it in a previous post. Both pages are based on sketches I particularly like and have used a couple of times before. The photos were taken at my son-in-law's 50th birthday in 2014. My daughter arranged it as a joint celebration as they also celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary that year too. The party was a great success with people coming from all over the country for the occasion. I was able to use leftover scraps of patterned paper together with some very old embellishments for this layout. The camera and crosses did come from American Crafts' One Canoe Two sticker book.

The second of the pages could not be more different.

Four Generations
This is one for my family history album. The photo. c 1920, is of four generations of women from the paternal side of my family -  my grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother with the youngest at the time when the photo was taken, my Auntie Irene - the lady responsible for my second name! They all look so serious waiting for the photographer to do his stuff. Most of the patterned paper is from a project life collection, Rain by Becky Higgins, bought solely with the family history album in mind - the colours and patterns are good with older photos. Everything else is from stash and the circles were punched from matching PL cards.  
There's a pocket on the back of the page which contains this card which has more information about everyone in the photo. 

So there we are, just two pages to show for a whole day of scrapping. Not a lot, but I'm so pleased to have a few more photos scrapped and tucked away in the relevant albums. There's a cyber crop coming up at the weekend, hosted by Emma at Mind The Scrap, that I'm planning to participate in - hopefully making many more pages. In the meantime, I'm still making Christmas cards, some of which I plan to share soon.

Take care and happy crafting,