Friday 24 May 2024

The Rainbow Challenge - For The Record

Hello Everyone,

After a very lengthy time of being unable to carry on with scrapbooking I decided this year that it would do me good to get back into it. First, I decided to record my story of this current year because it was clear it was going to be like no other in my life. To help me with this project I enrolled in Shimelle's excellent class, This Year's Story.  Since then I've been happily trying to catch up with recording 2024 month-by-month. I'm only up to February so far but the problem is that I'd taken very few photos in the first weeks and months of the year. So to fill the gaps I've found myself harking back to happier times. No bad thing. I'm enjoying it. 

This renewed enthusiasm pushed me on to do more so earlier in May, I decided that another challenge was just what I needed. Lisa Sikorski's Scrap-a-Sketch Rainbow Challenge, on Facebook, with it's seven colours and seven sketches was just the thing. A great way, incidentally, to use up leftover stash! For the record I'm listing all seven pages here though the first two have already been in two earlier posts. 

1) At The Family Send Off - the red and pink colour challenge.

2) Visiting Alfie - the blue challenge.

3) A Rare Treat - the purple challenge,

4) Wildflower Study - the green challenge.

5) Driftwood - the yellow and orange challenge.

6) Quality Time With Silver - the black and grey challenge.

7) Florence In Tuscany - the challenge to use all the colours of the rainbow.
I actually managed to complete the challenge successfully! I thoroughly enjoyed sharpening up my scrapbooking skills thanks to Shimelle's class and Lisa's challenge.

Now to catch up with my story album before the year gets much older.

Take care, everyone,

Wednesday 22 May 2024

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 781

Hello Everyone,

It's all change for WOYWW today. Julia has handed the baton over to Sarah at Sarah's Craft Shed after 15 years of keeping her wonderful blog hop going. I remember being delighted to discover WOYWW almost 14 years ago. It was a joy to 'meet' so many crafters, like myself, who were willing to show the spaces where they craft, be it on desks or floors, and all because Julia had the idea we could all get together virtually through her blog, the Stamping Ground. So it may be the end of an era with Julia retiring, not to mention her able assistant, Lunch Lady Jan, but I'm sure Sarah is a worthy successor. 

And this is what's on my desk today. I wasn't able to travel down this year to the 15th Anniversary Crop but Jo (aka Twiglet) and Annie (aka Wipso) sent me their ATCs so I don't feel completely left out. I've seen some of the photos taken at the crop and I can see it was great fun for everyone there. Maybe next year I'll make it. 

Over recent weeks, if nothing else, I've managed to revive my enthusiasm for scrapbooking. It's good. It's an improvement. Participating in the Scrap-a-Sketch Rainbow Challenge helped enormously. That's seven pages completed for seven colours! With renewed interest, I've not stopped. Here's two more made from the remnants of kits put together from stash before we moved house in 2022.

Crafting Keeps Me Sane
This page is about crafting being therapeutic for me. The crochet blanket is progressing slowly but it helped get me through the worst of winter weather.  I love the quilted knitting bag I made a few years ago at the quilting classes I attended in Prestwick. Sadly, the pandemic led to the closure of the classes. 
I don't often remember to take a photo of leftovers when a kit is done but there was so little left of this one that I just had to take a pic for the record. 

Zillenials Doing It Their Way
Another page that uses up the tail end of another homemade kit. The two photos show my grandchildren, Shari & Josh (hands and phone only) ordering our food online even though we were in the restaurant at the time. It's showing my age I know, but I was gobsmacked! When did that become a thing? Clearly, I need to get out more! Not my usual style of scrapping. It's inspired by one I watched Shimelle create in an old video of hers on YouTube. It was done from memory so probably not anything like the original at all, but the base is much the same and the mixing of many colours and use of many layers reflects Shimelle's very individual style. Much to my surprise, I like it!

Now, the cat bit:
Not Silver, as you might have thought, but her brother, Taz. If it wasn't for the black smudge on his nose, he'd be her double. Love the pose!

And finally, I'm even later than ever today but I have the best of reasons so no apologies. Shari brought my very grown up 12 year old great-granddaughter, Rhian, along to see me and we had a lovely time chatting over lattes and chocolate brownies. 

With that I'll finish here.

Take care, everyone,

Monday 20 May 2024

No Flowers In A Vase Today - Gardening Catch-Up Instead

Hello Everyone,

Unfortunately, there's nothing to cut in the garden and I've not been out foraging either. I've too busy with the Scrap-a-Sketch Rainbow Challenge, not to mention catching up on more domestic stuff that I won't bore you with. I have, however, been giving the front garden much consideration. 

What a mess! That's the result of almost two years of neglect. Time, methinks, to do something. It needs a makeover so I'm looking for a landscape gardener but that's proving to be not as easy as I hoped. In the meantime, I've moved the smaller of the overgrown weed-filled pots to the area I've designated the potting area in the back garden. The plan is to clean them out and repot any plants found worth saving. Any pots that are emptied completely will be cleaned up, filled with lovely new compost and sown with quick growing annuals such as:
All photos and seeds from the Higgeldy Garden.

Hoping for a bit of late summer colour. 

And finally,

However much I despair of my overgrown patch it's clearly providing Silver with the perfect hunting ground!

Thanks for following my blog, reading this post, and for sticking with me this far. I'm trying to post more regularly but it's been a rocky road for so long and I still have days that are a struggle. Listen to me! I don't want you to think that it's all bad. I'm slowly, but surely, adjusting to this new way of life. 

On that note, I'll sign off for today. 

Take care, everyone,

Monday 13 May 2024

In A Vase On Monday - From the Wild

Hello Everyone,

It's Monday again and I'm back with my offering for Cathy's In A Vase On Monday over on her blog, Rambling in the Garden.

This week it's another pretty bunch of wildflowers gathered on one of my tootles round the neighbourhood. There's red clover (Trifolium pratense), bigleaf periwinkle (Vinca Major), aquilegia, cow parsley (Anthricus sylvestris) and Hawthorn blossom (Crataegus mongyna). 

The little brown vase is a charity shop find. I've tried to make out the name of the pottery but so far none of my attempts to read it has helped. It's a mystery.
The froth of hawthorn blossom is a joy to see at this time of the year. Not that my mother, grannie and nana would approve of me bringing it inside the house. All three generations of women were incredibly superstitious! They considered it was certain to bring bad luck if it is brought into the house. It was believed to invite illness and death. 
Happily, I'm not a believer!
There's no association with the flowers and the wooden bobbins that I can think off. They just happened to be on the mantlepiece where I posed the vase for today's photos. They are a souvenir from a visit to New Lanark Mills - a very picturesque 18th century village popular with tourists to the area. 

As usual, I'll finish by saying that to see many more lovely arrangements, just click on the link to Cathy's blog, Rambling in the Garden.

Take care, everyone,

Friday 10 May 2024

This Week's Smiles - Week 373

Hello Everyone,

It's been forever since I shared a smiley post. Blame life - it got in the way! I've started going for walks again. Just short walks as I'm still feeling weak from my recent fight with horrid side affects from antibiotics. Me and antibiotics just don't agree. Anyway, today I went out early for a wee walk around the neighbourhood. and the blue, blue sky over Ardrossan had me smiling from ear to ear. 

As did the sight of these Welsh Poppies growing in someone's front garden. They're such a cheerful sight. 
When is a park not a park? When it's called the Holm Plantation. The plantation is very near the street where I live and it is lovely. There's a burn (stream) running through it and in early spring it's a mass of daffodils. Sadly, they've all gone over now. 
What it looked like in March. 
Discovered this blue plaque as I passed Ardrossan Academy. Edith MacArthur was a noted Scottish actress born here in Ardrossan in 1926. She had a long and varied acting career, appearing on stage, in film and in many very popular TV series. She is also credited with discovering David Tennant, he of Dr Who fame, when he was only ten years old!

And finally:
Silver, sitting on the compendium of games on the piano stool. I think I was being challenged to a game of draughts with her! There never was a piano but there was the keyboard - long gone but not forgotten.  I played the piano, Alan the keyboard, and very good he was too. 

That's it for today. A very quick and photo heavy post but hopefully you enjoyed the insight they give into what it's like living here in beautiful Ardrossan by the Sea. 

Take care, everyone,

Thursday 9 May 2024

Visiting Alfie - Rainbow Challenge No.2

Hello Everyone,

I'm back with the second layout for the Facebook challenge mentioned in yesterday's post. The colour to use for this layout was blue which I found more difficult than expected. I have lots of material in shades of aqua, turquoise and teal but very little in what I call real blue. So I scraped the bottom of the barrel for this one. 

I love the photo, dated 2019, of Alan feeding carrots to Alfie the donkey. One of last taken before he caught Covid and became to ill to drive. Alfie was living alone at the Ballantrae garden centre by then, his last companion had sadly died, so we visited him as often as we could back then. 

The challenge includes a sketch. I always find sketches inspirational even if I don't stick rigidly to them. This one included a heart shape which did prove a problem. I still haven't unpacked my large die-cutting machine - it's in the shed in one of the last boxes somewhere and, in all honesty, I'm in no hurry to tackle the unpacking just yet. There's too much stuff and nowhere to put it so it can stay in the shed for now.

Fortunately, already unpacked is this set of templates. It's ancient! It's what we scrappers used before dies and die-cutting machines became available. Yes, I've been scrapping that long. Twenty-eight years or so. The advances I've seen in papercrafting in that time is, well, amazing! The largest heart shape wasn't really big enough but I made it do. 

The papers used are from Heidi Swapp's 'Set Sail' collection except the floral one which is from Hobbycraft's 'British Garden' paper pad. Embellishment items for clusters from various sources, some old (e.g. 2017), some new. 

That's me done wittering tonight. I'm getting the 'time for bed' look from the resident furry nag. After all she has a 4am start in the morning!

Take care, everyone,


Wednesday 8 May 2024

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 779

Hello Everyone,

I'm determined to not only join in with WOYWW over on Julia's Stamping Ground this week, but to be bright and early too. It's time to get up, dress up and show up!

But before I get on to this week, let me show you last week's desk which never made it to WOYWW because there's a very important little person in residence. Our lovely Annie, Wipso on here, made this sweet little memory bear from Alan's favourite shirt. The tie, a reminder of his career in chemical research, is pretty special too. Thank you, Annie.

Now on to this week's desk. Photo taken yesterday.
I was putting a page together for a Facebook challenge. The first I've been up to participating in for a very long time. It's proving to be a great way of using up old stash and leftover scraps that I've been hanging on to for no better reason than I can't bear to throw any of it away! 

As can be seen, stickers I think I might include in the embellishment clusters get stuck temporarily to any available surface while I think about where and whether to use them. Not all got used on this layout. 
The finished layout is based on a photo taken of us 22 years ago, when my hair was still dark and Alan still had some! His big sister, Margaret, put on a get-together for the family to wish us good luck when we made the big move from England to Scotland. Margaret loved to entertain and she made the most amazingly tasty pink cake too. 
Silver is still a happy distraction in my life. Here she is cuddling up on my lap, preventing me from doing anything but enjoy the moment. 

And finally:
This is the message printed on the side of the box of tissues that's on my desk today. 
Sent to me on Facebook. So appropriate!

Wishing you all a very creative and wonderful week. 

Take care, everyone

Monday 6 May 2024

In A Vase on Monday - Bluebells and Granny's Bonnets

Hello everyone,

It's lovely to be able to join Cathy over at Rambling in the Garden with my offering for her meme, In A Vase On Monday, once more. 

Unlikely as it seems, I was able to pick this little bunch of bluebells, hyacinthoides hispanica, and granny's bonnets, aquilegia vulgaris, from the garden. My much neglected garden. I don't remember where I found the blue and white jug but they look just perfect in it.  

The aquilegia is a reminder of the garden we left behind. It's a self-seeded bonus that sneaked here in a pot. 
As is the blue bugleweed, ajuga geneversis, found hiding in another pot tucked away in a quiet corner. I had trouble remembering this plant's name, the label has long gone, so consulted PlantNet which soon identified it as one of the many ajugas that can be found growing in gardens around the UK. 
Beside the jug is my collection of small books about walking, flowers and birds. I've been a hill walker most of my life, but now I'm in my seventies I stick to shorter walks on flatter ground. And, for fun, I take the time to photograph the many wild plants and wildflowers spotted along the way. PlantNet comes in very useful for naming those I don't know so well. 

To see the many lovely arrangements of gardeners more dedicated than I have been this last year,  just click on the link to Cathy's blog, Rambling in the Garden.

Take care, everyone,

Sunday 5 May 2024

More Catching Up

 Hello Again Everyone,

No fainting, please! I'm excelling myself by blogging two days on the trot! 

The following are more photos taken during my walk down to the seafront yesterday. This time they are of the memorial to HMS Dasher. 

It's dedicated to the 379 men that perished when HMS Dasher, an Archer Class Aircraft Carrier, sank in the Firth of Clyde on 27th March 1943. 

It is also dedicated to the survivors who never forgot. There's a lot more information on Wikipedia for those interested.

I forgot to mention yesterday that it was (inter)National Scrapbooking Day. A day to celebrate this happy hobby of mine. Not that I have joined in with the many celebratory challenges. I'm taking my time getting back into a routine after so many months of no scrapping at all. However, I'm rediscovering the fun of playing with pretty patterned paper. It's my therapy!

Here's the last pages made.
One of the few double-page layouts I've made. Ever! I'm just not a double-page scrapper. 

I have quite a collection of photos of post office boxes, most of which I put on Instagram but rarely make a scrap page with them, but I think these four are quite special. Yarn bombing is guaranteed to cheer up any PO box.

And here's the last page made for this weekend.
This is my middle sister, Margaret, showing off her new hair colour. She may have MS, may be increasingly disabled, may be living in a care home, may have just turned 70, but she still loves life and  cares for her appearance. So when the hairdresser visits her in the home, Margaret is always up for something new. Pink hair! Why not?

And finally:

Silver's preferred mode of entry and exit now that the temperatures are rising. So much quicker than waiting for the in-house servant, i.e. me, to open the door whenever required.

Take care, everyone,

Saturday 4 May 2024

Saturday Catch Up

Hello Everyone,

It's been a good day. Not perfect. Too misty for that but it was dry and warm enough for a stroll along South Beach prom. Sadly, Arran was hidden by the mist. 

It was nice to see the gulls keeping each other company where the burn runs into the sea. Strictly speaking it's not the sea, it's an estuary but it's a big one. 

When the weather hasn't been so good I've been filling my time scrapping. Truth is, I'm desperately trying to catch up with all the many photos, possibly hundreds, waiting to be scrapped. An impossible task. But here's a few. 


I've listed all materials used on postings on Facebook and Instagram (#worthington_elizabeth) should anyone need more information, but feel free to email me with any queries too.

Scrapping isn't the only thing I've been catching up on. The housework was neglected while I was poorly recently so I've been working through my to-do list and another that lists jobs that supposedly take just 10 minutes. So yesterday my 10 minute job was to strip and change the bed. Hah! More like 20 minutes actually. Putting a cover on the duvet is never anything but a battle! And I've tried all the tricks and tips seen on YouTube. 

I'm leaving you with this shot of our beautiful south beach. 

Take care, everyone,