Monday 30 May 2022

In a Vase On Monday - Mrs Scott-Elliot

Good Morning,

We're up bright and early this morning, that's Silver and I. She's always an early riser - up with the dawn chorus - no chance, therefore, of a long lie these light mornings. So I thought I'd share what's in my vase today.

Aquilegia caerulea 'Mrs Scott-Elliot looking fabulous massed together in a vase. There are several different colour combinations in this variety but this one of orange and yellow is by far the most striking. 

The Denby vase was chosen for its colour too. Dark green decorated with a not too showy leaf pattern seemed just right to showcase these brilliant blooms. 

As has now become the norm, the vase is displayed on the kitchen windowsill, safely away from the paws of a very curious kitten. The window looks out onto Alan's blue painted shed, where he has his model railway set up, and our back garden. 

If you've filled a vase today and would like to share it, why not join Cathy over on Rambling In The Garden. Leave her a comment and she will be sure to check out your vase. There's a link to her In A Vase On Monday over in the left margin. 

Whatever you have to do and wherever you are, have a lovely day. 


Sunday 29 May 2022

My Garden Now - Aquilegia

Happy Sunday Everyone,

I thought, because it's such a beautiful day, I would share some of the many aquilegia that have self-seeded around my garden. 

Aquilegias are notoriously promiscuous and happily cross-pollinate whenever possible then self-seed wherever the wind takes them. I now have a stunning white flowering one down in the woodland area that I'm not responsible for. It is, nevertheless, very welcome. 

Looking at these two photos, it's just possible I'm well on my way to being the keeper of the country's largest collection of aquilegia! 

Seriously, I think the time has come to get out there and sort out some of the wildness before the weeds takeover completely. Maybe later! 

Have a fabulous day wherever you are. 

Bye for now,

Monday 23 May 2022

A Few Early Layouts - 1996-2007

Hello Everyone

I began making scrap pages 26 years ago during a year studying at a women's college in Massachusetts, USA. My fellow students were delighted to show me the albums they had brought with them. I was fascinated. And hooked. 

On discovering there was a shop nearby that sold scrapbooking supplies, I just had to visit it. I left the shop armed with a couple of books on the subject, several small scrap kits, a black inkpad and some rubber stamps. The kits contained just enough to make one page, two at most. I used an Anna Griffin kit as the basis of this wedding page. Looking back, I think the design, which required weaving strips of paper together, was a bit ambitious for a beginner. No surprise then that it took about two years to complete ... in my defence I should say it was a busy period in my life what with being in the last year at university and then first year in a new job. 

The materials available to us 20+ years ago were very different from those of today. And they were limited here in the UK. Looking back, 12x12 paper was scarce but it was possible to buy by mail order, and I did. I discovered through the internet Two Peas In A Bucket, a US shop now sadly closed, which became my go-to supplier in those early years. For embellishments we relied quite heavily on sewing haberdashery, e.g. buttons, lace, ribbons and fancy trims. I can see there was a  heavy reliance on paper flowers, hatpins and brads to decorate pages.

Prima flowers were a great standby embellishment. I've since learned that the rosebuds are too bulky for storing in albums ... most are squashed. If I were to make this page today, the top cluster would be placed over to the right rather than the left. This layout looks too one-sided for today. 

This page was made about 15 years ago (2007) and not much has changed from 1996. Prima flowers and ribbon still feature. Use of brads had evolved to be used to fix metal embellishments like the word 'giggle'. Googly eyes made a fun feature on the frog patterned paper ... there's still an almost full box tucked away in my stash to this day! 

All the titles were either computer generated or stamped and hand cut. I don't remember seeing sets of adhesive backed letters/numbers for sale and dies for crafters were possibly in their infancy back then. 

Clearly, scrapping materials have come a long way in the last decade or so. And because of this I've noticed a trend for scrappers to go back to their earlier pages, to criticise them, and plan to either create a new page or, worse still, throw them away altogether. 

What do you think? Would you change you're earliest pages? Me? Considering these pages just part of my scrapping story, even though I can see how old-fashioned they are, I've no intention of changing a thing today. 

Bye for now,


Friday 20 May 2022

Friday Smiles

Hello Friday Smilers

Joining in with Annie's weekly smile meme over on the A Stitch In Time

This last week has been a bit of a mixed bag, blighted by illness for the three of us on the one hand and, on the other hand, our garden has simply burst into flower and looks amazing. So, I'm sure you know what's coming - loads of photos. 

We had a new patio built just outside the kitchen door. to make it safer and easier for Alan to get access to his mobility scooter. 

My granddaughter's partner, Kyle, has done a great job in what was a very uneven surface. There's still some finishing off to do but first he had a wee accident to sort out which delayed the work.

Oops!!! Great-granddaughter Lacie stepped into her dad's beautifully smoothed cement work. It was getting late too so dad doesn't look at all happy. Much to my shame, I couldn't stop laughing. 

Later, after they had gone home, this happened. 
Silver left her mark too. We've decided to keep those paw prints for posterity. 

Before I move on to the garden, I just have to share these pics of our Callum. 

It was mad hair day at school and he opted for green ... I think he looks fabulous. 

And now a trip round our garden. 

I think that's enough for today. We have more changes planned for the garden, all intended to make it easier for me to manage in future. As it is now, it's very labour intensive and good gardeners are hard to find, so changes need to be made. We're very fortunate to have a handyman like Kyle in the family, able and willing to help with what needs to be done. 

I hope you've all had a lovely week with plenty to smile about.  And for more reasons to smile do pop over to Annie's and check out both her's and other Smilers posts. 

Bye for now

Thursday 19 May 2022

Christmas Card Club Challenge - Cards 17-20/2022 - Sentiment as the Main Focus

Hello Everyone,

Apologies for being late with my cards this week, especially as I got to choose the theme. I'd actually got my cards made in advance but, because I became ill, I hadn't managed to take photos. Yesterday, when I was feeling much better, I did set up the lightbox, still learning, and took the photos so here are the four cards I made. 

No. 17

No. 18

No. 19

No. 20

Each card base was made from cardstock that I've had in my stash for years, purchased from Create and Craft. 

The plaid patterned paper is from a Stampin' Up's Plaid Tidings 6x6 pad. 

The blue/white check patterned paper, labels and sentiment stickers from three scrapbook collections - Vicki Boutin's Warm Wishes, Carta Bella's Home For Christmas & Photoplay's Frostival.

Gems also from old stash. 

That's me for today. I hope you're having a lovely weekend. I hope also that 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 18 May 2022

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - The 13th Anniversary Week 676


On a never-to-be-forgotten Wednesday, 13 October 2010, I plucked up my courage and decided to join in with WOYWW for the first time. I'd been lurking for a few weeks, as you do, and thought it would be fun to 'meet' the many crafters already contributing to this weekly reveal of crafty desks. From that first week I was warmly welcomed by Julia on The Stamping Ground and many other Deskers too. It was such a vicarious treat. Over the years I really have made some wonderful friends through WOYWW, and it's been my pleasure to meet many for real too, for that I am eternally grateful for Julia's continuing to host WOYWW . Happy 13th Anniversary, Julia! 

Having said all that, there's not much going on my desk today. Just these albums. One of the scrappers on a Facebook group I'm involved with has asked us to show some of our earliest layouts, hence the albums. It's quite an eye-opener looking back at pages made 25+ years ago. So much has changed in that time. I will share a few photos in a post once I've got some photos to share. 
I can't not show Jan's fabulous ATC received yesterday morning. She sent it even though I doubted I'd be able to join in with the exchange. I was wise to doubt it too. I'm just beginning to feel almost human again after a week or so in bed, poorly with a bad chest and throat infection. 
And now, here's Silver. Of course. It wouldn't be a WOYWW post without her making an appearance and she's not one to miss a celebration!

Thank you for your support each week, your visits to this blog and for all the lovely comments you leave. They are very much appreciated, especially through the difficult times Alan and I have been experiencing since April 2020. Your kind thoughts have helped enormously, Long may WOYWW continue and many thanks again to our lovely host, Julia. 

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Scrapbook Layouts 2022 - Nos. 13-15

Hello Again,

Another Monday, another new week and I hope it finds you well and all ready to go after the weekend. 

Thought I'd drop by to share a few more pages out of the forty plus made so far this year.

13. 1910 Great-Great Uncles

This layout covers the tragic story of these two great-great uncles who died, in America, tragically young in an incident in a coal mine. This is another page from the family history album. 

14. Together
And here's another. This photo is of my paternal great-grandparents taken, I think, on their wedding day. It's a fairly typical studio portrait of the time - very stiff and formal. I never knew my great-grandfather, he died early of tuberculosis, but I did know my Portobello great-grandmother. The stunning flowers are from a Maggie Holmes Marigold ephemera pack by Crate Paper. 

15. Under the Old Pine Tree
And now for something completely different. This, a scraplift of a page by Karin Dahllof, is nothing like my usual style but I really love it. There's a mixed media background, a limited colour palette, and a selection of whimsical embellishments in the clusters and the smallest strip of patterned paper. 

I feel I'm getting over the dreaded lurgy and will be, I'm hoping, fighting fit again by the end of the week! 

Take care and stay safe. 


Saturday 14 May 2022

Scrapbook Layouts 2022 - No's.10-12

Hello Everyone,

Many thanks for checking out my posts. Any comments left are much appreciated. I hope you are all well and enjoying the weekend.

I'm still none too well - what the old advertisement for Aspro referred to as 'one degree under' - so it's another post from my sickbed. And that gives me the perfect opportunity to share a few more layouts made earlier this year. Might as well try to catch up. 

10 Urban Birds

It's not everywhere you will spot a swan walking along the pavement and crossing the bridge over the river! Both the gulls on our rooftops and the swan on the bridge are essentially waterbirds and yet here they are adapting to changes to their environment and becoming urbanised, even if not always welcome.

11 January Week 2

This layout is another faux project life one. Week two seems so very long ago now. 

12 Our Family History

This is the title page for the family history album. I did start this a few years ago using the Project Life journal cards and pocket style inserts, but I didn't enjoy that method of scrapping. As a result I've neglected this project. I'm a 12x12 page scrapper at heart. I'm grateful to Emma from Mind The Scrap for showing me an alternative way that's more my style. There's hope for this album yet!

That's all the layouts for today. I think three pages are quite enough. All the materials used were from my not inconsiderable stash - some new, most old. Any questions about this or anything at all to do with the layouts, I'll be happy to answer. 

Silver is here, on my bed, comforting me. It's amazing how our pets sense when we need a little extra attention. Of course, it could be that she enjoys the extra attention too. 

Take care and enjoy the weekend.


Friday 13 May 2022

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone,

It's been some time since I joined in with Annie's smiles post on Fridays. However, the long winter, which didn't bring much to make me smile, is over and spring is here bringing sunshine, well not today, and flowers. So I've looked through the photo album and thought I'd share my favourites from the last few weeks. 

A neighbour shared this long shot of Ayr's Flowerpot Lane. It's maintained by the residents and has become quite an attraction for locals and visitors to the town. 

There's a lot more colour in my own garden. Here's a few pics. 

Clematis Montana Alba

The clematis has grown over and through the dividing fence to flower much more prolifically on our neighbour's side. 
And it looks lovely with the Spanish Bluebells blooming below. 

It's also apple blossom time. 

Canary Bird Rosa is always the first rose to bloom in our garden and a very welcome sight it is too.
The cherry trees were magnificent this year. 
The petals have fallen now - it's like someone has strewn confetti on the garden path. 

As you can see it's all about the garden here. We're having a few changes made to the garden at the moment. Nothing major. Just a few raised beds and a paved patio to make it easier for me to care for and safer for Alan to get around. 

Of course the photo album would not be complete without a pic or two of this little one.

Silver loves the garden, especially if I'm out in it too. I think she would stay out all day as long as I was there to keep her company. 

And finally, these are not so much funny as they simply struck a chord when I spotted them online. 

And that is it for today. I should say this post was written from my bed. I have a nasty throat infection, temperature, etc., etc., making me tired from all the coughing. Of course, it won't last forever and I'm sure I'll be 'up and atom' in the next day or two. 

In the meantime, I hope you are all well and finding much to smile about. 

Take care.