Wednesday 29 May 2019

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 521

Hello Everyone

Looks like I'm in the competition to be the last Desker to make an appearance today - reason being that I have been so busy with my preparations for the 10th Anniversary Crop for What's On Your Workdesk on Saturday. I think I've thought of everything. I hope there's nothing I've forgotten. Too late if I have - I'm heading south to England tomorrow morning!
Of course, that means that my desk is as I want you to see it and not how it looked like half an hour ago. You can see I've received my PIF ATC already - thank you Kyla, it perfectly marks the event. You might spot three brand spanking new distress oxide ink pads - the temptation got too much for me. Not had time to play with them yet - it's a treat to look forward to. Also on my desk is a few of the ATCs I've made to celebrate WOYWW 10th Anniversary. There's half a dozen going spare so if anyone would like one let me know, email me with contact details, and I'll be happy to send one out to you.

Of necessity I'm keeping this brief but before I go I want to apologise to everyone who commented last week. Not only did I go MIA on Wednesday but for much of the rest of the week. Life got in the way - a catalogue of stuff that had to be attended to and so many claims on my time, etc., etc., etc. I had the best of intentions but I somehow never caught up. What am I saying? I'm still chasing my tail even now.

That said, I better go finish packing. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the crop on Saturday.

Take care everyone,

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Christmas Card Challenge - Card 11/2019 - Christmas Lights

Hello Everyone,

I didn't forget the Christmas Card Club challenge but I just couldn't find anything in my stash, be it stamp, die or paper, that I thought fit with this week's theme of Christmas Lights chosen by Margaret. Until today when I remembered the set of Sarntangles and the stamp I used recently for something else entirely different.

Perfect! Having decided on the stamp I then looked through all the 6x6 pads I have accumulated over the years - so many I have put a stop on buying any more until they are all used up - and chose a very pretty patterned paper for the background to the stamped topper.

Materials used:

- a white A6 (10.5 x 14.8cm) card base 
- patterned paper, Kate Knight Christmas Collection paper stack 
- cardstock - scraps of white (topper & greeting) and pink (matting)
- stamps - Sarntangles 'Imagine' set (topper) & Forest Magic (greeting)
- ink - Archival Ink Jet Black pad
- markers - Blossom, Pastel Green, Rose Pink and Blender ProMarkers
- tools - Stampin' Up's oval punches for greeting; Tonic guillotine & adhesives (glue tape runner & double sided foam tape)

As the colours in the patterned paper are non-traditional I did think there might be a problem finding just the right shades of marker pens to colour in the topper but luckily the right ones were there.

That's it for CCC today but I hope you will pop over to see what my teammates have created for Margaret's challenge today - you'll find a list of their names and links on my right sidebar - they are always so much more creative than mine
Take care everyone,

Saturday 25 May 2019

Rudolph Day Card for May - Little Robin

Happy Rudolph Day

And happy Saturday to you all. It's raining here so no gardening for me today. Instead, it's been the perfect day for staying in and making this month's Rudolph Day card for Maureen's challenge over on Scraps of Life by Scrappymo.
This entire card is made from snippets and leftovers - my self-imposed challenge for this year is to use up as many scraps as possible. A few weeks ago I test stamped the  robin on a branch on to a tiny off-cut of white cardstock but then it didn't get used. Now it's been water-coloured and cut out - painstakingly, I should add - and it's made a lovely little topper for this card. The greeting was cut twice from scraps of red card and layered up to create more dimension.

That's all from me today - short and sweet.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Friday 24 May 2019

Friday Smiles

Evening Everyone,

I've just spent two days planting out the many seedlings I raised from seed this year which is why I'm so late joining Annie with my Friday Smiles this week.

We're expecting a wet weekend and those seedlings needed a new home in the borders before the rain came.
These 'Apricot' foxgloves won't be in flower until next year but hopefully worth the wait. I've also planted up what seemed like hundreds of cosmos plants in various colours - white, pink and lemon. Looking forward to the flowers later in the summer.

Here's a few of the flowers blooming in my garden today.
The 'Tranquility' rose peaking through the black elder.
Gladiolus Byzantinus

As mentioned in the previous post, I spent Wednesday with these two lovely ladies.
Kate of I Love Socks and Cards, left, and Rita of RMG Creation, right, with me in the middle. We had a fabulous day of chat and craft - admittedly, more chat than craft. Rita is the perfect host and I thoroughly enjoyed my day with these two lovely ladies. 

So that's what made me smile this week. Do pop over to A Stitch in Time to see what's been making everyone else happy this week. 

Wednesday 22 May 2019

WOYWW Week 520 - Celebrating Ten Years

Morning Deskers & All

Congratulations to our Head Desker Julia for ten years of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday! I'm sure she did not foresee that with that first desk shot post all those years ago that ten years on she would still be inviting us to share our desks ... I know, not everyone crafts at a desk, one notable desker favours the floor ... and whatever crafting projects we're working on at the time. Who would have thought we'd all love the concept and join in as soon as we discovered the Stamping Ground - for me that was 2010! After all those years it's still one of the highlights of my week. And I have made so many lovely crafty friends, both virtually and in person, through WOYWW - all of us united by one clever lady's brilliant idea. So thank you Julia. May you and your brilliant idea continue for many years to come.

Here's my desk for this Wednesday.  I should say, in the interest of full transparency, this shot is from Tuesday evening (I have my reasons) and that really is the dying sun throwing a golden glow across the desk. As you can see I've been creating backgrounds with distress inks, Old Paper, Evergreen Bough and Black Soot. I was inspired after spotting Wanda Cullen's beautiful card with a background created with distress oxide inks. Because I haven't any oxide inks I thought I'd try with old-fashioned distress inks instead. The result, however, is very different - nowhere as smooth as I'd hoped for - even though ink brushes give a better finish than sponges. I may have to succumb to temptation and invest in a few oxide inks very soon.

Something else that's been on my desk this week.
 After finishing, at last, My First Quilt I can now reveal another first completed. My first pair of socks. And this involved another first - the Kitchener Stitch to finish off the toes. It would seem that the British Secretary of State for War, (WWI) H H Kitchener, was so concerned for the foot problems that uncomfortable sock seams caused soldiers in the trenches that he found, and issued through the Red Cross, a pattern for socks which included a seamless grafting technique - the 'Kitchener stitch'.

That's all I have to share this week. I'm skipping the book bit - no time.

The reason I hinted at for being so early this week, apart from the need to celebrate WOYWW's tenth anniversary, is that I going to be MIA for much of tomorrow. I'm off to spend the day with two lovely crafters, Rita of RMG Creations, who lives nearby, and Kate of I Love Socks and Cards who has come down from the Black Isle, in the Scottish Highlands, for a visit. I'm sure we are going to have a fun day of chat and crafting. Which means, of course, that I will be late to the party but promise to visit and comment just as soon as I am able.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful WOYWW and a fabulous week ahead.

Monday 20 May 2019

In A Vase On Monday - Three Clematis

Evening Everyone,

Today's been lovely here - warm and sunny. Perfect for enjoying the garden and right now it's time for the clematis to shine.
There are so many in bloom at this time that I just had to pick a few to plonk in a vase today. I'm not sure that they will last well once picked but nothing ventured, nothing gained. There's the pink and purple c. Nelly Moser, white c. Montana Grandiflora and one with unusual colouring that clearly wrongly labeled, c. Sunset, when bought.
I have searched and searched and still don't know what to call her.
Also in the vase is a couple of fronds of fennel and a few heads of viburnum - a shrub we inherited with the garden. I think it's reaching for the sky - it's approximately fifteen feet high so far. I'd prune it but the birds love it.

Here's a shot of the unknown clematis growing on the trellis that marks the entrance to the wooded area where the viburnum grows.
As you can see the colour changes as the flowers age.

That's my vase for today but to see more, better, arrangements, do pop over to Cathy's blog, Rambling in the Garden.

Saturday 18 May 2019

Sewing - My First Quilt Completed

Hello Everyone

I hope you are enjoying this Saturday. We've had rain over night - nice for the garden but not so good for us - and it's been overcast all day so what better excuse to catch up with housework. Only kidding!

I'm so pleased to be able to share this with you all. It's been an unfinished project for a very long time. I bought the kit, My First Quilt, a few years ago because I thought I'd try quilt-making again but it was three decades since my last quilting project and I got the collywobbles. The kit got stashed away, not entirely forgotten but definitely neglected. Then the opportunity to attend quilting classes came up and I didn't hesitate. Two quilts, and various smaller projects, later and I felt able to finally finish this quilt. It's not perfect but I love the colours and the patterns, especially the border, and I'm pretty pleased with it.
Pleased enough to label it with my name and date. Not the date it was finished but almost. The label had to be attached with the binding and that then required a lot of hand-stitching to the back  of the quilt - that took me several more days!

I should say that the label was made on my sewing machine which has built-in alphabet stitches.

Now, I should get back to the current project. On a day like today stamping and colouring is the only thing to do.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Friday 17 May 2019

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone

Friday again. Time to join in with Annie, A Stitch in Time, and celebrate a few of the things that had us smiling this week. It has been a lovely week - the weather has been beautiful these last few days, very hot and sunny. Which means we did get out and about again.

Saturday we had a trip to Loch Doon to check out the ospreys.

This is Angel. She's sitting on four eggs this year and together with her partner Frankie they are being well looked after.

This is the new viewing station with the scope, aimed of course directly at the nest. Needless to say we didn't see Frankie - he was probably fishing on the other side of the loch.

And how about this - give them a cosy viewing station and they will come ...
... but they still prefer the great outdoors!

Monday we visited our daughter who was childminding our Callum.

Like all the boys in the family, he has quite a collection of toy vehicles and he was happy to tell me what make and model they were too.

Even his slippers were cars from his favourite cartoon.

Last week the other Elizabeth, with Bleubeard of course, gave us a tour of her herb patch and I said that I would try to remember to share mine this week so here's a few photos.

This is the view of the herb patch from the kitchen door showing our clump of chives, sweet Cicely and the bay tree.

The view from the opposite direction showing the lemon balm, thyme and rosemary.

There are several varieties of mint, most growing in pots except for this common mint which we inherited when we moved in.

Apple mint.

Chocolate mint

Corsican mint. That's celery leaf in the two pots in front.

Other herbs growing elsewhere in the garden.

Two different fennels - bronze on the left ... not grown for their culinary attributes - I don't like the flavour ... but it looks very nice used in flower arranging.

Blue hyssop, not in flower yet, with ajuga which is in flower.

And not a herb at all but one of our beautiful clematis just about to burst into full bloom.

This is my view from the kitchen window at the moment, making washing the dishes a real pleasure!

And finally from the garden ...

... tools of the trade! I treated myself to new gloves recently - the old ones had served me well but were on their last legs, should that be fingers, and these new ones are fabulous, and purple - what more can a gardener ask for!!!. And the secateurs are wonderful - they were a birthday gift from our my very dear friend, Annie! They are perfect for my old arthritic hands.

And now, the funny ...

That's me done for today ... lots of photos making a long post but it makes a change from having very little to share. Thank goodness summer seems to be on it's way at last and we can get out, into the garden once more, and about on our trips both locally and further afield, with the promise of so much more to smile about.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Sunday 12 May 2019

Christmas Card Club - Card 10/2019 - Children at Christmas

Morning Everyone

It was Kate's turn to pick the theme for the Christmas card club this fortnight and she picked Children at Christmas. After yet another rummage through old stash I discovered a pack of unused Cute Squares from Lili of the Valley. The images in the set are of very pretty little 'Christmas Girls' - the one I've used for this challenge is my favourite and, as there was three copies left, I've used them all and made three cards - all slightly different.

For this version I've used a Gelli plate print background, trimmed and edged with red (Fired Brick) distress ink. The image and dark green cardstock mat were cut with dyes from a stitched square set from The Works. The poinsettia and the greeting were made from leftover scraps of the background and green cardstock using Spellbinders Poinsettia set and Tonic Studios Mini Moments Modern Merry Christmas.

The robin patterned paper for the background in this version is from 'Festive Frolics' by Papermania (more old stash) trimmed and matted on to a layer of dark green cardstock. The image is also matted onto the green card, as is the red ribbon which provides the greeting. The holly leaves were cut with a Tattered Lace mini die - I've used a red glass gem for embellishment.

And finally this version is made almost entirely from snippets of patterned paper and cardstock - the exceptions are the image and the Kraft card base. The patterned papers are scraps from a Holly Hobby patterned paper pack - a magazine freebie - and the star patterned  ribbon was just long enough to adhere to the card and have a bit left for the bow. The greeting is another Tattered Lace mini die. I cut it three times from snippets of red card and glued them together to give the greeting more dimension. 

I'm submitting the last card to Pixie's Snippets Playground Challenge #352 - Di's challenge is always for any subject as long as snippets are used so I hope she will forgive that it's yet another Christmas card. 

That's it for CCC today but I hope you will pop over to see what my teammates have created for Kate's challenge today - you'll find a list of their names and links on my right sidebar - they are always so much more creative than mine. 

Hope the weather has been kind to you and you're enjoying your weekend.

Friday 10 May 2019

Friday Smiles

Morning Everyone,

The weather hasn't been good - rainy, windy and cold - and we haven't been out much at all. I did go to a crop on Sunday but got so absorbed I forgot to take photos! But, there's been plenty to smile about so here's what I'm sharing with Annie over on A Stitch In Time Today.

Firstly, I loved these photos of the EM's great-niece, Kimberley, who is a very talented dancer. Here she is in rehearsals for KNT Dancework's 10th Anniversary show.

Kimberley (in white) with other members of her dance group
Up until a year ago Kimberley concentrated on Jazz/Modern dance but more recently she has been persuaded to study ballet too and, as you can see, is thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Next up is a shot of the EM caught in the kitchen. Baking a cake.
He makes exceedingly good cakes! Low sugar. lots of fruit, and very few calories!

Finally, just a few funnies that have made me chuckle this week.

Talking of rain ...

If I don't lie down, I craft - it's equally effective.

This last, from my 25 year old granddaughter, Jennifer!

That's it for this week. If the weather brightens up I hope to get out and about some and have a bit more to share next week ... if I remember to take photos, of course.

Have a wonderful weekend full of reasons to smile.