Friday 28 February 2020

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone,

Happy Friday. Despite the, mainly, atrocious weather I have had lots to smile about this past week so thought I'd join Annie with her Friday Smiles.

I really enjoyed a cuddle from Ebony on a recent visit to my daughter.
She's big, massive actually, but very affectionate and a complete softy.

I had a foot care appointment in town on Tuesday which necessitated another visit to the Book and Bun - it's tough but needs must. I spotted this lovely little quilt hanging on one of the walls.
It perfectly sums up what the cafe is all about.

Directly opposite the cafe is a newly opened alteration shop. Olga's Alterations. Olga, who has recently relocated from another part of town, has put together two striking window displays. Unfortunately, the reflection from across the street spoil these shots but I thought I'd share them anyway.

I loved the old sewing machines and the antique wedding dress is quite stunning too. The tailors' dress-form dressed in an outfit made from men's ties made me smile. Olga tells me she sourced everything in the windows from charity shops, including that wedding dress!

After we had our lunch at the cafe we decided to go down to the shore, The tide was in and it was wild there.

Bitterly cold too.

Seems like there's another storm on the way, Jorge. Like the everyone else in the UK, we are now heartily fed-up with these storms and hoping Jorge will be the last. Despite having plenty to occupy and entertain me, even I'm starting to suffer from too much indoors and not enough outdoors. Spring really can't come soon enough.

Almost forgot this:
Who's up for the challenge!

Take care and, for those of you in the flooded areas, stay safe.

Wednesday 26 February 2020

WOYWW - Week 560

Hello Everyone,

Wednesday again and, at last, I can report that it's a lovely day. There's fluffy white clouds in a blue, blue sky and the sun is shining. It's still chilly out there but it feels like spring in my craftroom and, given that it's Julia's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, here's what's on my desk today.
I admit I've tidied up after the cyber crop that took up much of my weekend. Working against the clock leads to nothing but chaos here in my room. The pile of empty Stampin' Up DVD boxes are a new acquisition, just delivered yesterday. I've been increasingly frustrated with my stamp organisation or, more correctly, lack of organisation - it had got well beyond useful. Spotting Sarah's beautifully organised stamp storage last week was just the inspiration I needed to do something about it. Time to get sorting - I just have to decide where to begin!

The layout is my interpretation of the fifth challenge from the weekend. Appropriately for today, the subject is WOYWW.
Crops 2017, 2018 & 2019 recorded with the group photos for each year. Those photos of so many happy, smiling ladies, are reminders of how much fun these get-togethers are.

I've been slowly sorting through stuff since the start of the year.
I've re-jigged the contents of this trolley and now I have all my packs of alphabets in the one, easy to access, place. They are filed, more or less, by colour - very helpful.
And now I have the mixed media/painty stuff on one shelf and markers and pens on another.  So much better than being spread about all over the place.

And finally - a few posters that have made me smile this week.

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 24 February 2020

Catch up after the MTS Cyber Crop

Happy Monday Everyone

Hope you are having a good day. It's not a bad day here. Dull and chilly but calm -  probably the proverbial calm before the next storm - expected any day now. Makes a nice change after what we've had to put up with over the weekend - hail, snow, torrential rain and gale force winds. Lucky for me then, that there was the Mind The Scrap cyber crop on Facebook to keep me indoors and busy over the weekend. Not that I managed every challenge - I am, without doubt, the slowest scrapper on earth - but here's the four pages I did make.

Challenge #1 - My Handmade Bags
This one gave me the opportunity to record a few of the many bags I've made since treating myself to a sewing machine about five years ago, and rediscovering the joys of making projects with pretty fabrics.

Challenge #2 - Deah Dudi
For this page I took a trip down memory lane with a very old photo of my children. I can hardly believe that it was taken 46 years ago. The page is about Alun's nicknames for his baby sister, Juli - Deah and Dudi. Coincidentally, her husband, who is profoundly deaf, calls her Dudi to this day.

Challenge #3 - Joyful
Memory lane was well trod this weekend. Going against the trend for outside shots, we had our official wedding photographs taken in a studio and, as you can see, this shot benefited from the camera's soft filter. It captures the happy occasion perfectly and is probably our favourite shot taken that day.

Challenge #4 - Tree Sculpture
The photos I've used here were taken on a day trip up the coast to Arrochar on the coast of Loch Long. We discovered this tree trunk chainsaw sculpture in the car park there - possibly the car park with the best view in the country.

That's it. Four pages in all. Not a lot considering some participants managed all 19 challenges, but I'm pleased with what I accomplished. It's the participating that makes it fun. The materials were, in the main, from MTS kits.

I'm on a roll now so I think I will keep going and see if I can complete all the challenges over the next few weeks. You never know, I might get them all done before the next cyber crop. Unlikely, but I'll be trying my slow best!

Take care everyone, and given the weather forecast for the UK, stay safe.

Wednesday 19 February 2020

WOYWW - Week 559

Hello Everyone,

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday seems to come round a day earlier every week. I spotted some of you in my feed yesterday. Well done to all the early deskers but I just can't keep up - I'm like the coo's tail - always behind!
Photo taken yesterday evening. The craftroom sorting is still ongoing and it's the turn of the enamel drops which, up till now, have been kept in an absolute guddle in a pretty, but pretty useless, tin. So, I've found a better box - once an office index box - and created dividers with tabs made with a die from Crafter's Companion's Die'sire Essentials 'Just the Ticket' set.
Another pic from yesterday. I used markers in the nearest shades to the colours of those delicious dots.
And here's what's on the desk this morning! All dots filed and looking tidy. It's good but I'm thinking it's needs a bit more thought. However, it will have to do for now because there's a lot more sorting to do. Sigh.
And then there's this. The recent storms and the continuing horrible weather has me wanting more cosy knitted hats. One of the ladies in my Thursday craft group gave me this mammoth ball of yarn she no longer loved. Happily, I do love it. It's a lovely shade of purple with the added interest from random flecks of colour too. It's nice and chunky too - so quick to knit up. The pattern is a very easy one I've knitted a few times now - it doesn't require a lot of concentration so perfect while TV viewing.

And finally today ...
The EM has been busy. Daughter Juli was looking for a spice rack, admired the one in our kitchen, mentioned how expensive the one's she's been looking at are. Et voila! One custom made spice shelf for the use of. Delighted daughter, happy dad!

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 17 February 2020

Christmas Card Club - Card 04/2020

Hello Everyone,

I completely forgot that it was time for another Christmas Card Club Sunday yesterday. I blame Storm Dennis, myself. He came in and created quite a stir these last few days. Yesterday was the first day that was dry enough for me to step outside my door, and even then it was too windy for anything more than a mad dash in and out again. Today is no better - worse, in fact! No matter. Back to CCC and the theme, chosen this time by Christine. is for either a Christmas Carol or Song.
Not sure this qualifies but the embossing folder (Darice) used does give it a music theme, of sorts.
The inside is decorated with an embossed topper (Cuttlebug's Cindy Loo folder) and several leftover scraps, all found in the snippet box.
I used several punches to decorate the card - X-Cut's scallop border punch and Woodware's tiny leaf and flower punches.

That's my very late submission for the CCC challenge today.. This one brings my total for the year, so far, to ten!

As I managed to use quite a useful number of snippets on this card, I'm also submitting it to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #371.

I hope you will pop over to see what my teammates have created this week. 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.

Wednesday 12 February 2020

WOYWW - Week 558

Hello Everyone,

Happy Wednesday - and it's snowing! It won't last and it isn't lying - well, not yet - but the soft white flakes fluttering down and melting on the craftroom window is lovely to watch. Which brings me back to why I'm here today. It's another What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday! Don't know what WOYWW is? It's my excuse to bare all, so to speak, by posting a pic of my desk - usually a sad mess - and talking about what I've been up to since last Wednesday, if anything at all. Feel free to join in over at the Stamping Ground - Julia would be happy to see you. 
So what's on my desk is a pile of scraps. I've been sorting out my boxes of festive themed stuff before it's moved off the desk and put away again for a few months. When I've decided I've squeezed as many cards, so far the count is only two, from those scraps I'll toss what's left. We are, after all, well into the middle of February so time for Christmas to be gone ... well, at least for now. There's a cyber crop coming up at the end of the month and I need to be prepared. 
Thought you might like to see the cushion I was working on last week. It's finished! There's a bit of quilting on the backing fabric - not a lot but enough to add interest.  
Here I am stitching the binding with the help of my new little helpers. The book lights are a very thoughtful gift from my daughter - the perfect aid for her old mother whose eyesight isn't what it used to be. 

Now, the book bit. Not an audiobook this week, instead it's a cookery book. 

Rukmini Iyer's The Green Roasting Tin, is a beautifully illustrated book of dishes that look delicious, tempting and simple to make. I bought it for inspiration when we, actually he - I've always preferred vegetarian meals to anything with meat in it - decided to eat more veg based meals. This is a great book to be using regularly. The recipes are so easy to make - just throw everything in the roasting tin and pop it in the oven to bake. The result is a tasty hot dinner made with very little effort. I'd say this is a book that I'll be using a lot. 

And finally ...

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.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

WOYWW - Week 557

Hello Everyone,

Wednesday again! Another What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday over at Julia's Stamping Ground! And I'm still not into full crafting mode but there's been some progress, I've been pottering about in the craft room and - surprise, surprise - the desk is no longer as clear as it was last week.
Nothing too exciting.  There's a clutter of bits and bobs, found in the wrong place, that need to be put away in the right place. There's stamps, both in the box and on the desk - the latter a Debbie Moore freebie that came with a magazine. I used the bee stamp in the set on the masterboard and the new blog header shared in my last post here. Since then, the masterboard has become the toppers on these cards.

There's been a bit of action at the sewing machine - not much, but still some.
The embroidered panel in the middle was a sort of sampler that I've been working on for far too long. Really, it was just an excuse to try out new stitches and remind myself of those I was taught at school. Once finished, I decided to make a small cushion. It will be a constant remind of the hours spent stitching.

And now the book bit:
Dr Richard Shepherd is the UK's top forensic pathologist, having performed over 20,000 postmortems. In his autobiography, Unnatural Causes, he remembers the most high profile cases he worked on during the course of his career - cases like the Hungerford Massacre, the death of Princess Diana, the Clapham Rail Disaster, the London bombings of 2005 - to name a few. It's a fascinating memoir, a record of a remarkable career and, despite the gory bits, I really enjoyed listening to Dr Shepherd tell his story - he has a good narrator's voice. 

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.

Sunday 2 February 2020

Spring and Summer Blog Header - One Sheet Wonder

Evening Everyone,

Now that we are into February I thought I should make a new header. One that was a whole lot more cheerful than the weather we are enduring at the moment. And, because it would have been a bit of a waste of time otherwise, I created this 'one sheet wonder'/masterboard that can be cut up and used as toppers for cards.
The base is an A4 sheet of white cardstock. I used a stack of stamps, old and new, from various sources - Altenew Modern Anemone; BoBunny Wall to Wall Textures; Stampin' Up Nature's Perfection; Art Journey Sweet Dreams and Debbi Moore Vintage Garden. The inks used were also a real mishmash too - Ranger Distress Oxide in Ripe Persimmon and Old Paper; Distress Ink in Dried Marigold and Crushed Olive; Adirondack in Sunshine Yellow, Peach Bellini and Stonewashed; Memento in Espresso Truffle, Pear Tart and Pistachio.

Love the bright colours, the flowers and the bees - everything I look forward to seeing again come the spring.

That's it from me today but I'll be back tomorrow with the cards made from the sheet.

Christmas Card Club - Cards 03/2020

Hello Everyone,

And happy Sunday to you all too. I'm happy to pleased to report that I'm feeling a bit perkier today and so more up to a bit of crafting. Perfect timing as it's time for another Christmas Card Club challenge. It's Sylvie's turn to chose the theme and she has asked for 'stars' on our cards.
So I've gone a bit overboard with the stars. Stars on stars on stars.
I started by creating a masterboard with a sheet of white card that already had a sprinkling of Infusions, Sleight Blue - a powder that works in the same way as Brushos. Just sprinkle and spritz with water. Then the sheet was covered using two different sized star stencils - the smaller is Dusty Attic Starry Night and the larger one is from in a Mind The Scrap mixed media kit - and two shades of blue ink - Adirondack Stonewashed and Memento Danube Blue. The sheet provides four card toppers when cut up and trimmed down to size.

The card bases, measuring 15x10cm, were made from two sheets of light blue cardstock, cut and folded in half.

The greetings were embossed with Moxy opaque Wave powder on to scraps of white card and cut out using either a star die, from Docrafts Nesting Star set, or an oblong die from a very, very old no-name set.

That's it from me for today's CCC challenge. This brings my total for this year to nine!

I'm also submitting the first of these cards to Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #370.

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.