Friday 29 November 2019

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone,

I hope you've all been having a good day. As some of you will know, it's my birthday today. I'm now 72 - an age that in earlier years I never envisaged reaching! But here I am and none the worse for it ... definitely something to smile about.

Here's more:

That's sunshine streaming through our bedroom window! It was -2 degrees this morning but it warmed up as the day progressed, +4 degrees, the sun came out and the sky was the bluest of blues. Now we have a red sky as the sunsets - absolutely perfect!

This is the most recent block made at the quilting class yesterday. The design is callled 'Monkey Wrench'!
Grandson, Callum, has been out and about enjoying early Christmas events. Here he is with Santa on his cheek.
And here he is again, with his lovely mum, Heather. They were in the shopping centre at East Kilbride where they went to see 'Frozen 2'.

And this made me laugh! My cousin, Jeff, was over at the Christmas Market in Bremen, Germany, this week when he discovered this 'interesting and different' entrance to a nightclub. Of course, he just had to get his girlfriend to take this photo!

Finally, here's a couple of yarn bombed Christmas trees.

I don't know where the first one was, but the second one was in Italy.

And how about this for a shopping trolley -
I so admire the dedication it must have taken to crochet all those squares.

That's my smiles for this week. I'm off now to link up with Annie, A Stitch In Time, and see what has had her smiling this week.

Take care, everyone, and have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday 27 November 2019

WOYWW - Week 547

Hi Everyone,

I'm late. I couldn't be later. To blame - it's the EM doing his Christmas shopping ... again! Why it has to be done on the same day as What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday is a mystery, but it does so here, at last, is what's on my desk.
There's a lot going on.
I have a new Mind The Scrap kit to play with and it strikes me that that 'Road Trip' paper is ideal to use with the photos of our first trip round the Highlands of Scotland. That was way back in 1995 - a lifetime ago.

I'm also debating with myself on whether to keep a record of Christmas in the small album I found in my stash. It's the ideal size. I've tried 12x12" Project Life style in previous years and always stalled but I did rather better in 2015 with the smaller size. It's full and almost finished!
And that's the reason for the two stamp sets that are out. They are new, of course. The Heidi Swapp alphabet, it came with the MTS kit, has both large and small letters - very useful. The Elle's Studio set - found at Hey Little Magpie - contains lots of Christmas related words, phrases and icons that are just right for using in the album. Especially, as I do not intend buying a Christmas collection this year but will use up what I have in my stash already. I suspect I have enough tucked away to last more than a few Christmases too.

And for the record, here's the layout that can be seen in it's part done state on last week's desk.
It wasn't until I came to file this page away yesterday that I discovered I'd already scrapped the photo - i.e. a blown up version - of Tuppence before. Forgetful or what!?!? The decorative trims top and bottom came from a page kit bought in America in 1996 - 23 years ago! They still looked as good as new too.

And now the book bit. This week it's 'The Break' by Marian Keyes.

There's not a lot I can say about this apart from it was disappointing. I downloaded the audio-book after seeing the author discussing her writing on The Big Scottish Book Club on BBC Scotland. She was entertaining but the book was rather less so.  It's the story of a relationship that was thought to be forever but hits trouble as the couple become middle-age, and one, the husband, decides to take a break and go backpacking around the world for six months leaving his wife to care for their blended, teenage, family. Sadly, I found the characters very difficult to like. It's also a very long read.

Okay, that's it from me this week. I'm off now to see what Julia and our fellow deskers have been showing us today.

Take care everyone and have a great week ahead.

Monday 25 November 2019

November's Rudolph Day - Special Delivery

Hello Everyone,

As I missed last month's Rudolph Day, over on A Scraps of Life, I was determined not to miss this month's too, especially because it's the last one for the year.
Once again the topper has been recycled from a card received on a previous Christmas ... could have been last year, could have been several Christmases ago. I've teamed it up with a leftover scrap of patterned paper and a piece of white embossed card - Hero Arts 'Dots'. It's a simple design with just a few dew drops and a bow of red and white twine to embellish it - perfect for a little child, I think.

I'm also submitting this card to Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge #465 where anything goes as long as it's Christmas.

That's it for Rudolph Day 2019. Looking forward to starting all over again in 2020.

Take care everyone,

Sunday 24 November 2019

Sunday Snippets - December Tag

Evening Everyone,

Two posts in one day!!! Just got to take the opportunity when I find I have the time! Especially as, today, I have a snippet make for Di's challenge - Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #366.
This tag was inspired by Karen Letchworth, of 'My Cup Runneth Over', currently guest designer on Pixie's Crafty Workshop. It's a lovely way of using up scraps of paper leftover from other projects.
Scraps like these leftover from two scrapbook pages I made recently. Of course, any scraps left over would be ideal for Karen's tag design.
In this photo you can see most of the other supplies used in the making of the tag. The sheet of month rub-ons I've had quite a few years and yet the December still worked a treat. The square shaped punch makes creating the fish tails on the pennants easier than other ways I battled with in the past. You can see how it's done on this previous post here.

This was a really fun little make and one that I intend to repeat every time I'm down to just a handful of scraps leftover from other bigger projects. Hope you've been as inspired by Karen as I have. She's a very talented crafter and her blog is full of inspiration, especially on how to use our leftover scraps and snippets.

Take care and have a great week ahead.

Christmas Card Club - Card 24/2019 - Forest Scene

Morning Everyone,

It's not like me, I know, but I'm actually early-ish with my offering for the Christmas Card Club today. The theme, Forest Scene (with lots of snow & glitter) was chosen this time by the lovely Kate, aka Culliesocks. 

And what could be more on theme than this topper which I've recycled/upcycled from a card received last Christmas. It's been layered on to a background made up from scraps of patterned paper left over from previous years. I have a ton of old papers just waiting to be used up. The snowflakes were punched, using an EK Success punch, from scraps of pale blue velum and an embossed paper - manufacturer long forgotten. It's not obvious in the photo but the topper got the Crystal Stickles treatment - lots of it - so looks very sparkly in real life. White enamel dots were the only other embellishment.

We are down to one last challenge for the Christmas Card Club this year. I still can hardly believe it - I'm definitely not feeling ready for Christmas yet. I hope you will pop over to see what my teammates have created for today'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 I will ever be.

Friday 22 November 2019

Friday Smiles

Afternoon Everyone,

Friday again and I'm sharing with Annie, A Stitch in Time, some of the what has made me smile this week. I haven't got a lot of photos - I keep forgetting to get my camera out when I'm out and about, especially when I'm with family ... they are too distracting!

Whenever we have a prescription to be filled at Morrisons chemist we always have to wait twenty minutes or so. To fill the time the EM treats us to something naughty with coffee. This week the something naughty was 'Unicorn Cake' - loved the rainbow colours. Himself opted for the doughnut with sprinkles - both were tasty.

As you probably know from last week's Friday Smiles post we've been doing out best to support our garden critters through the winter. Not surprisingly perhaps, our main concern is the hedgehog that was spotted snuffling around in the summer. We've provided housing in various places around the garden, though we're not sure he/she has taken up residence yet.
Food and water too. I even bought a new dish for winter. The EM has taken to going out at night, searching. He's been waving a torch around in the hope of catching our hedgie feeding - it's enough to frighten off any sane creature! So far, nothing!

Now he's in the man shed making one of these sheltered feeding stations as recommended on the Hedgehog Bottom site.  It's become a bit of an obsession!!

So that's what's making me smile this week. Apologies to those of you I didn't manage to visit last week - life, as it is prone to do, just got in the way!

I hope you've had a week full of reasons to smile, and if you have, do join in and share it with Annie at A Stitch In Time - the more the merrier.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

WOYWW - Week 546

Morning Everyone

Another week has whizzed by and here we are, it's Julia's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday again and I'm not ready! Indeed, I'm on my way out the door very shortly - a date with the EM to go Christmas shopping! I know! What is he thinking off - it's November!!!

Photo taken last night but this is my desk this morning. Admittedly I've shoved stuff to the back to make space for this keyboard making it even more of a hot mess! More scrapbooking - I'm on a roll - so what you see is the trolley of goodness (knows what) and the desk strewn with papers, packs of stickers, ephemera, etc., etc. Happily, it can all be tidied in a trice when I'm done.

Thought I'd share the layout that was in progress on my WOYWW desk last week.
I did a lot of fussy cutting round of the houses from a sheet of paper to create the 'town street' effect.

And what did I do with the leftovers? Make another page, of course.
This one is of my sister, Margaret. She's the middle of three girls. The one that was always smiling - a bit of a giggler too. And she's still smiling despite having MS. The colours in this layout suit her bubbly personality.

That's me for today. No book bit. I'm deep in a Marion Keyes book, 'The Break' but I'll save it till next week.

Take care everyone and keep warm, keep safe.

Monday 18 November 2019

Cold Hands, Warm Heart - A Snippet Card

Hello Everyone

I have a wee Christmas card to share with you and Di's challenge over at Pixie's Snippet Playground today.  It's been a while since I last participated but I've still been enjoying popping in whenever possible just to see what all you Snippeteers have been doing with your snippets.

All the cardstock used was leftovers from scrapbook pages and I dug out some very old tools too. The embossing folder is an old Cuttlebug one but so useful. Unfortunately, it's no longer available, that is, unless you want to pay an astronomical price!! Sadly, the same seems to be true of the Die'sire Snowflakes dies too. Happily, after checking online, it is still possible to find the Spiro Circle nesting die set, used to create the base layer of the topper, and the Snowman Embossing Die is also available and at a very much reduced price too.

That's it for me today. Take care everyone and, if you are in the frozen north as we are here, keep warm.

Friday 15 November 2019

Friday Smiles

Afternoon Everyone,

It's Friday and so I should have had this post done and linked to Annie's Friday Smile post earlier. And I would have done had I not got distracted with sorting out my wardrobe. Time to store summer clothes and replace them with the winter woolies. Bring on the snow ... I'm ready! It's been an uneventful week but no less smiley for all that.
The snow covered peaks on the Isle of Arran yesterday. A serenely beautiful sight, especially when seen from the mainland. It's one of the great privileges of living on the Ayrshire coast that we are able to enjoy views like this one.
Spotted outside Dobbies garden centre. I'm not sure what tree these three are but they look wonderful in their autumn glory.
The two pots I planted up with winter flowering plants on Wednesday. Under the plants are tulip bulbs which, hopefully, will prolong the colour well into spring. The large pot at the back is the EM's work - hiding under the gravel are daffodil and tulip bulbs too.
More of the EM's work. He shamelessly copied this idea from one of our WOYWW deskers. Lynn, One I Made Earlier - see the original post here. As we live near the coast the EM has given our wheelbarrow more of a seaside theme but otherwise it's a blatant copy!

And finally, a few Christmas funnies that reflect my feelings about the early onset of Christmas though clearly not everyone's judging by the number of seasonal ads already on TV now.

And last but not least:

That's it from me today. I hope you've had a week full of reasons to smile, and if you have, do join in and share it with Annie at A Stitch In Time - the more the merrier.

Have a wonderful weekend

Wednesday 13 November 2019

WOYWW Week 545

Morning WOYWWers and All,

It's another nice day in Ayr today - chilly but sunny. I'm feeling the urge to get out in the garden, but first it's time to join Julia for this week's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.
Not much to be seen - just the start of a layout using up leftovers from other pages. The photo is our first attempt to take a selfy of us together. We're still beginners but we're learning. The circle punches were used for the last page made, the ink pad ditto - scroll down to the previous post to see just  how. So nothing really exciting going on today.

And now, not a desk exactly. Not even the potting bench, but nearly. Garden goodies brought back from Dobbies on Monday. And the reason for the urge to get out into the garden. Those plants need to be potted up. Hopefully, they'll make a cheerful display to take us through the dark days of winter. 

And the book bit.
Joy Ellis, the author of this book, 'Their Lost Daughters' once owned a flower shop which doesn't strike me as likely source of the kind of gritty, and grim, crime thriller she now writes. This one is set in the Lincolnshire fens with girls bodies being found on an isolated beach and others just gone missing - everyone of them someone's daughter. It's the job of DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans to find what happened to them and chase down the perpetrators. It's a gripping story read superbly by Richard Armitage, he of The Hobbit and Spooks fame.

That's it from me today. Be sure to pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to visit so many more desks today.

I hope you are having a wonderful WOYWW and wish you a great week ahead.

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Loch Doon Castle - Recording Stories

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are having a good day. After yesterday's dreadful storm we have calm.

Here in Ayrshire we are very lucky to have lots of lovely places to visit - that is, when the weather is good. One of the best is Loch Doon, famous for it's ospreys, the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory and the ruins of this ancient castle.
The castle originally stood on an island in Loch Doon. It has quite a history having been attacked several times throughout it's history. Finally, after the attack by James V, the castle was abandoned and it remained largely intact until the nineteenth century when stone was stolen from the site to create a shooting lodge elsewhere. 
This is a representation of what it would have looked like on the island. Eventually, in the 1930s, the castle was taken down, stone by stone, and re-erected on its present spot by the side of the loch. 
This was necessary because a dam that was built for the hydro electric system raised the level of the water in the loch, threatening the walls of the castle. 

Here's a layout made with two photos taken in the ruins. The EM looks as though he fancies himself as the Laird of the Castle. However, lovely as the location is, it's perhaps a bit too remote for a couple of oldies such as us. Beautiful in summer, inaccessible in winter.  
We took our first walk along the road that winds round the loch in 2010 - about the time we relocated to Ayr - and, of course, couldn't resist having a look around the castle. The view from this window is spectacular. A roof, panes of glass and central heating - it would be the perfect room with a view.

The materials used in the layout are mostly scraps leftover from earlier Mind The Scrap kits. Thickers used for the title are American Crafts 'Wolf Pack'. 

That's it from me today. Thanks for popping in, take care and have a lovely evening.