Wednesday 28 August 2019

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 534

Morning Everyone,

It's another WOYWW and I have to say it feels that the week has more than whizzed by. I blame the bank holiday - even though officially in Scotland it wasn't a holiday, the EM and I decided we were not going to miss out. And shamelessly I admit, I'm using the holiday as an excuse for there being nothing to show on my desk today. 
So, I thought I'd show what goes on at the end of the desk instead. Besides the usual boxes of scrapbooking supplies teetering on the edge there's the trolley. What would I do without the trolley - it holds all the clutter that would have, in the past, found it's way on to the desk. As can be seen, the top tray holds all sorts of junk crafty items - mostly a variety of adhesives ... can't craft without them ... pots of scissors and paintbrushes, etc. - what I deem necessary tools of the trade.  Behind all that there's storage for yet more scrapbooking supplies and a couple of containers of stamps. The stamp situation is becoming outrageous - I feel a sort out and donate session coming on!
Here's another shot, on the other side of the craft room. Even more scrapbooking supplies - pretty patterned paper sorted, more or less, by colour, photo albums, the guillotine corner, and the ink pad collection in it's custom built (courtesy of the EM) storage.The little fabric basket at the front is full of our Rita's beautiful flowers. Looking quite organised but then, of course, tidying and organising is my favourite procraftination!

No book bit this week. I'm struggling to finish Kazuo Ishiguro's 'When We Were Orphans' at the moment. I don't know why because I really enjoyed his 'The Remains of the Day'. I'll persist. 

Instead, I have an ... And ...
Finally ...
Totally appropriate given what my photos have revealed today :)

That's it for this WOYWW. Until next week, I wish you all a wonderfully crafty week.

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Rudolph Day Challenge - August 2019 - Using Leftover Scraps

Hello Everyone,

I've been so busy making scrapbook pages for the MTS summer challenge that I almost missed Maureen's Rudolph Day Challenge for August. And I don't like to miss it - it's the best excuse to add to my little, but growing, pile of Christmas cards - so today had me delving into the box of scraps, leftovers and snippets and this is the card I made.
Not the best photo but I hope you can see that the sentiment is embossed in gold powder.
Here's a close-up which is a lot clearer. The stamp set is made up of the large 'It's Christmastime' with several smaller stamps that can be combined to create a variety of greetings - all very usable.
These scraps have been around for a year or two. I can't remember how I got the mottled finished on the red scrap. It looks as though I might have splattered it with a bleach/water solution to get that effect.
The painty scraps, die-cut to make the poinsettias, are the trimmings from a larger mixed media piece that was used for another card at some time.

I used:
Crafter's Companion 'It's Christmastime' stamp set
VersaMark ink pad
Red and Gold embossing powders
Spellbinders Poinsettia die set
Gold adhesive pearls

I'm also submitting this card to Hazel's CHNC challenge 452

Have a great Tuesday evening.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 533

Morning Everyone,

I'm early! Given my usual tardiness, I think that's worth noting. So another week has whizzed by. it's WOYWW day and my desk has a mess of this and that on it again - again.
The photo was taken an hour or so ago when the light wasn't as good as it is now (despite the weather forecast for torrential rain the sun is shining and all looks well in our part of the world) but I think you can see the mess clearly enough. There's a teetering pile of scrapbooky - is that even a word - stuff top right. I should move it before the sun does damage. Front right is my most recent scrap layout - I plan to file it in an album next time I go downstairs - that'll will be when I need refueling with tea. To the left of the teetering pile is a wee stack of stencilled pieces. Last week I was 'experimenting' with texture paste, paints and ink sprays, you can see them piled up on the left, for layouts so I scooped up and smooshed card scraps with the leftovers. There's also a pile of photos, behind the keyboard, printed late yesterday - the eagle-eyed will recognise that those on top are from this year's WOYWW crop. Some, all, hopefully, will be scrapped this week.

And just so you don't think those stenciled bits and bobs are wasted, here's a few cards I made with them this week. Oh, yes, it's not all scrapbooking!

The background for this one was made with Ranger's opaque matte texture paste that had two acrylic paints, Vicki Boutin's 'Blue Hawaiin' and 'Juicy Pear', and iridescent glitter paste, also Vicki Boutin, added. The stencil is an old one, That Special Touch 'Chevrons'. The topper is made with a fun stamp, 'Birthday To-Do List' from Crafter's Companion - found at The Range.

The background to this is simply sprayed with gold ink, Heidi Swapp's Color Shine. I believe this has been discontinued - shame, it's one of the best gold sprays I've found yet! The leaf, more of the texture paste tinted this time with just the 'Juicy Pear' paint, is from Dark Room Door's 'Carved Leaves' and the stamp, 'Get Well Soon' is another gin themed one from Crafter's Companion. Never let it be said I'm not up with current trends.

On this last one I've used more of the 'Carved Leaves' stencil. It's very simple but I do like those leaves as they are and without embellishment.

And now the book bit. This book is one I listened to quite some time ago but it's stayed with me - probably because I'm a sucker for any book that has a dog, or cat, in it. Kate Spicer's Lost Dog: A Love Story is about a rescue dog, a lurcher called Wolfy, her relationship with him, and the lengths she went to find him when he went missing while he was in the care of her brother. Reviews for this book are mixed. Kate Spicer is a journalist who knows how to tell a story but the prologue is perhaps just a bit too honest, describing as it does her cocaine-fuelled life-style, but there's no doubting her love for Wolfy and it's the search for him that held my interest to the end.

That's it for today. Until our next Whizzday, I wish you all a wonderfully crafty week

Monday 19 August 2019

In A Vase On Monday - Take Two

Hello Everyone,

Apparently in the UK it's still summer until the end of August. Not so here in Ayrshire where it's definitely more autumnal - lots of mists but little mellow fruitfulness - than summery. And that means that today's trip round the garden has also been less fruitful, but I did find a few late developers and even some that shouldn't be there at all.
The sweet peas,  Lathyrus odoratus 'America', still keep coming for now though hubby's Spencer's are all but finished - just one single white one left to pick.
I recently bought several pots of dahlias, going for a song, from a local store. The labels didn't specify the variety, just the colour, and I chose white, red and pinks. It was a happy coincidence that one pot contains flowers very similar in colour to the sweet peas.
To fill the vase I've added leftovers found around the garden. There's the last of the hybrid musk rosa 'Felicia', a spray of apricot buds from the climber, 'Susie' and a tiny red bloom from the miniature 'Ruby Rambler', pink loosestrife, lythrum salicifolia 'Robin' and some pink and white verbena. This last, shouldn't be here at all. It was planted out last year as summer bedding but somehow it survived the winter to bloom again.

Now, I think I should explain why I have entitled my arrangement 'Take Two'. It's because I had intended to share this vase instead.
'Take One' - a lovely bunch of sweet peas in my beautiful white Caithness glass vase. Sadly, minutes after placing the vase on this windowsill disaster struck and it crashed to the floor. Why? We've no idea. It's a mystery. Of course, the neck of the vase is damaged - I'm hoping to find someone who works with glass - perhaps all is not lost and it can be repaired.

Linking this post to Cathy's meme, In A Vase On Monday, on Rambling in the Garden and joining with many others who share whatever they have found to put in a vase this week. If you have filled a vase today, I'm sure you would be very welcome to join in too.

Sunday 18 August 2019

Christmas Card Club - Card 17/2019 - Patterned Papers

Hello and happy Sunday to you all.

It's another Christmas Card Club Challenge Sunday and it's the turn of  Margaret (aka: Granmargaret) to set the theme - to use two or more patterned papers on our cards. 

It's a while since I used any patterned paper at all, let alone two or more, but I'm always up for a challenge so here's what I came up with.
I had this very nice pack of 6x6 papers, 'Winter Wonder' that I'd picked up, fairly recently, at The Works that I liked very much but hardly used. The paper is a lovely thickness, 200gsm, the small patterns are perfect for card-making and I like the colour mix of teal, red, cream and white - it's different. It would have been great for our last theme of non-traditional colours had I thought of it at the time! 

- the base is a 5½" square, made from cream cardstock. I used three different papers for the topper, one for the base, one for the poinsettias and there's another, a narrow strip, that's just peaking out from under the flowers. 

- I used a very old set of Spellbinder dies to cut out the poinsettias, there's four layers altogether for each flower. All the edges of the papers were inked with a teal ink pad. 

- To make the greeting, I stamped and embossed the word 'Joy' from Die'sire's Sentimentals stamp set, on a scrap of cream cardstock using crimson red Heat It Up! embossing powder before cutting it out using yet another old Spellbinder die set - I think they are from the Shapeabilities range. 

 - the turquoise mat was cut using the largest die in the set and, again, I was able to use up a scrap of card. These small die sets are ideal for using up leftover scraps of card and paper. 

- I found three enamel dots in just the right shade of red for the flower centres and also a set of cream coloured ones for the corners. 

And because there's a couple of snippets/scraps been used I'm submitting this to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #359. I've not had anything to share in the playground for some time but, happily, today I have. 

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

Friday 16 August 2019

Friday Smiles

Hello and Happy Friday Everyone,

I have a confession to make. Even though I have had a very happy week, with lots to smile about, not least the get-together with Rita, RMG Creations, I've neglected to take photos. However, all is not lost. Cousins to the rescue. I can join in with Annie's Friday Smile after all.
My little cousin, actually my first cousin twice removed, Carly, started school on Wednesday and, as you can see, she's very proud of her first school uniform too. Butter wouldn't melt!
Minutes later and she was putting that uniform through it's paces.
Day 2, and she must have enjoyed Day 1 because she's back for more. Carly is Little Miss Personality so I think she is going to settle in well at school. Photos taken by proud mum, Tyler.

If, like me, you've had good reason to smile this week I hope you will join me over at Annie's A Stitch in Time for her cheery meme

Thursday 15 August 2019

Stenciling a Carved Flower (2)

Hello Everyone,

I'm going through an experimental phase, mainly because I have lots of old, and new, craft items, especially stencils, that really deserve more of my attention. Which is why I decided to try out one of the images on Darkroom Door's 'Carved Flowers' stencil, used once before on this card topper here, on a 12x12 scrap page.
I used a combination of pink, brown and green distress inks to colour the coneflower image using the photos for inspiration.
Because it is such a large stencil it was fairly easy to ink through it, using a combination of an Art Basics' dabbing brush and, what seems quite old fashioned now, Cut-N-Dry Stamp Pad Foam cut to size. I've had a couple of sheets for few years now and there's still plenty to keep me going for a few more yet. I have yet to succumb to the make-up style brushes that are taking the crafting world by storm at the moment.

I'm pleased with the result - it makes a striking page - and I'm feeling quite virtuous after using some forgotten items from my crafty stash.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 532

Good Morning Everyone

Whizzday's here again and I'm not ready for today's WOYWW. It's been a busy week, lots of birthdays to celebrate, family to visit and we're into the third week of the MTS challenge. With these challenges, as Julia, our Head Desker, mentioned in her post on Friday, layout output increases but sadly, so too does the mess on the desk. However ...
... I tidied up on Sunday, sorted through photos and papers, and got all my ducks in a row ready for a new week .Almost too nice to mess up again don't you think?
I needed a circle for the layout I'm currently working on so I took the opportunity to try out the circle cutter (bought ages ago and never tried out). It's much easier to use than I anticipated - I just had to remember where I stored the glass cutting mat! The resultant circle wasn't as thin as I wanted but die cutting with one of the nesting circle dies worked a treat.

Yesterday, Rita, RMG Creations, visited us and I just had to share this beautifully decorated goody bag she brought with her. We had a great day together - we had lots of catching up to do. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos, and me a scrapper!

No book bit today. It's not hat I haven't been listening to some good books but just that I haven't had time to prepare. Another week, perhaps. Instead I'll do a Shaz with an
... And

... Finally.

Monday 12 August 2019

In A Vase On Monday - Bold, Bright and Clashing

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday we had torrential rain, today we have the sunshine. It's the type of weather that means we have a lot of lush green growth in the garden, but it's ruined the roses and there are altogether fewer flowers to pick than a month ago.
 I did go looking for anything that was red and/or pink to fill this very colourful jug, a recent gift from my husband, but there were none - well, there was one very sad red rose, 'Faithful', and a spray of pink 'Felicia' most of which have balled because of the incessant rain. I then thought of confining my choice to all white so went off to cut what cosmos 'Cupcakes' and malva moschata 'Alba' had survived. Sadly, they too have suffered and there was nowhere near enough to do justice to the jug.
What there are though, are: oranges, crocosmia 'Okavango', agastache 'Apricot Sprite' and self-seeded marigolds calendulas; blue, centaura montana; purples, verbena bonariensis - both the self-seeded 'Lollipop' and our most recent acquisition, v. rigida; and there was even a few yellow roses, 'Amber Queen'. My husband loves bold, bright, clashing colours in the garden - the bigger and bolder the better, so I went with what we've got and picked the biggest, brightest, boldest, clashiest bunch of flowers I could find.
I'm happy to report that hubby is delighted.

Linking this post to Cathy's meme In A Vase On Monday on Rambling in the Garden and joining with many others who share whatever they have found to put in a vase this week. If you have filled a vase today I'm sure you would be very welcome to join in too.

Friday 9 August 2019

Friday Smiles

Happy Friday Everyone,

Today is a real red-letter day for me and I'm really delighted to share it with Annie, at a Stitch In Time, and her Friday Smilers. This day, fifty years ago, my beloved son, Alun, was born.

He has grown from this gorgeous bundle of fun ...

... to the fine young man he is today ...
Lucky me! It makes me smile just to recall what a good baby he was, what a cheeky, funny, and sometimes, naughty, wee boy he became and what a good son he has always been. Love him to bits.

That's all from me this week.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

What's On Your Workdesk - Week 531

Hello Everyone,

After taking an unscheduled break from this blog last week - due to nothing more than plain old exhaustion - over the weekend I've managed to get back into it again. This is good for me because I really didn't like missing WOYWW last week. Desk-snooping is addictive so a week without was very dull indeed. So to all you lovely desk snoopers, here's my desk as it looked this morning.
Not a mess. Really! Just busy. Over the last few days there's been lots of scrapbooking going on hence the piles of paper strips, tub of die-cuts, boxes of pretty patterned paper, and thats a folder of stencils teetering on the pile at the back. And, as you can see, I've been making more use of the Carved Flowers stencil mentioned in one of the weekend's post. It's the basis for a page featuring the photos just off to the left.

And harking back again to a previous post, here, I have a mini report on the Moxy glue stamp pad and a star shaped stamp the postie had just delivered.
In this photo the result does look good - better than it really is, as can be seen from these close-ups.
I'm afraid I found it a bit hit and miss. There's a lot of messing about spreading, as directed, the glue on the pad and, even following the instructions to the letter, stamp coverage was bad. I did use very fine glitter but still didn't always obtain a satisfactory finish. So, it's not for me. I did, however, make the best of a bad job and, after fussy cutting out the best impressions, created this card with one of the stars.

And talking of the postie, here's some happy mail received today.
After watching a great many, probably too many, YouTube demos, I decided I really needed, not just wanted but needed, a stamping platform. I daresay I'll be reporting on how I find this one in due course, but I'm hoping that my stamping will improve and there will be less stamping disasters to toss in the bin. The Plaid stamp is another to add to my growing collection from Darkroom Door. I've become a real fan of this Australian company's stamps and stencils so was pleased to discover a source here in Scotland - The Mad Scrapper.

And finally, the book bit. As you can imagine, I've listened to a lot of books recently, mostly whodunits, but this one stands out as very different from my usual holiday reading.
Kerry Hudson's 'Lowborn' is a very thought-provoking read. It's the author's exploration of where she came from, revisiting the towns she grew up in to try to discover what being poor really means in Britain today and whether anything has changed. I can't say I enjoyed this book, it's too unsettling in the way that it reminded me of the poverty my family experienced in post-war Britain, but I did enjoy reading how Kerry struggled out of poverty and how the life she has now is totally unrecognizable from her appalling beginnings.

Well, that's quite enough for today - Julia will be after me for such a long post.

Take care and have a great WOYWW.

Monday 5 August 2019

In A Vase On Monday - Mixed Blessings

Afternoon Everyone,

After a morning of rain, it's now stopped and the sun has finally made an appearance giving me the opportunity to pop out to find material for Cathy's In A Vase On Monday. Although it was a bit of a challenge finding material that wasn't ruined by the frequent drenchings they've had recently.
Slender pickings and mixed blessings. There isn't a lot of any one variety flowering today so I settled for a few blooms of anything and everything I could find. There's a few of hubby's sweet peas, he favours Spencers in mixed colours, and some of mine, the variety Lathyrus odoratus 'America'
This is the first year I've grown them but, as they are beautifully perfumed and the red/white flowers are very pretty, I think I'll grow them again next year. The crimson red berries are from Hypericum 'Magical Red Flame' - a wonderfully colourful shrub at this time of the year.
The cosmos, white 'Cupcake' and pink C. bipinnatus 'Dazzler' are just coming into flower - they have been so slow this year. Must be all that rain.
On the other hand,  the peachy orange Crocosmia 'Okavango' is doing better this year than any before. Gardening is full of surprises. Also in my bunch of mixed blessings are a few sprays of Verbena bonariensis - seeded from a small stemmed variety 'Lollipop' plant but now very much taller. Finally, there's also a few stems of purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria ‘Robin’ and white musk mallow, malva moschata 'Alba'.
Mixed blessings they may be and perhaps the various colours clash somewhat but they make a pretty and cheerful bunch. And my late mother's little white jug makes the perfect foil to such a busy arrangement.

Linking this post to Cathy's meme In A Vase On Monday on Rambling in the Garden and joining with many others who share whatever they have found to put in a vase this week. If you have filled a vase today I'm sure you would be very welcome to join in too.