Some of my lovely blog buddies

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

There's a wee nip in the air....


Happy Tuesday all, and brrrr..... are you feeling a bit of a chill where you are?  There's a smell of Autumn in the air which I love but it feels a bit too soon for it to arrive.  I do love this time of year because it gives me the chance to go foraging for 'Free Food'.  I seriously believe it is (wo)man's natural instinct to gather and preserve food for the winter months as soon as the temperature begins to drop.  This week I have gathered Blackberries and Cob nuts, along with Elderberries.  The blackberries, I have noticed, are not as good quality this year for some reason.  There have been a lot of grubs among them too which has been a bit off-putting.  But I have begun the process of preserving as for the first time ever I made Chilli Jam.  OMG, why have I never done this before?  I LOVE chilli jam with a nice chunk of cheddar cheese and freshly baked crusty bread - mmmmm comfort food at it's best.  So began the process.  I followed Nigella's recipe online and it was so unbelievably simple that I cursed myself for not having made it sooner.

I need to experiment with different chilli's now.  These were just standard red chilli's from Morrisons, but I think I need to seek out other types and see what happens.  Also this week I have made and bottled crystalised rose petals, and dried other rose petals (they shrink so much!!) for cake decoration.  I am also trying to get hold of some damsons, as I used to be pretty adept at making pickled damsons and I have a penchant to do it again.  I have also promised my boys that I will make my own tomato ketchup. Oh yes, I am looking forward to the autumn!

However, the coming of autumn does mean saying goodbye to the summer, and that's why there was a tinge of sadness in my heart as I made this piece for the current Midweek Magnolias challenge, which is to decorate a gift bag or box.  I chose to make a Pocketful of Memories of Summer 2014:

Friends/colleagues beware because I feel a few more of these coming on to give away as end of term gifts as they can be adapted for each season.  I created the pocket not really knowing where I was going with this.  I knew I wanted to not do a standard bag or box, but certainly something that held a gift.  After a rummage through my box of images that I've coloured up but not used yet, the idea suddenly came to me.  I made the entire project using my Silhouette (my BFF!!).  Once the pocket had been created and decorated I had the idea to make a tag saying "A souvenir of my holiday" but as we haven't been away this summer it seemed a little sad.  However, it has been an eventful summer and I suddenly hit upon the idea of creating journal cards so I could remember the details of my summer and smile about them once the frost begins to fall!

Here is the project in it's entirety - I think it's really cute and I'm going to go and make a couple of Christmas one's now!  My frugality has extended to Christmas cards and I have gotten into the habit of buying mine in the post-Christmas sales, so there will be very few handmade cards from me, but I do intend to make as many gifts myself as possible.

I am sharing this also with Stamp and Create with Magnolia for their For a Teacher challenge as a copy of this and future ones will be given to my colleagues at school.

Enjoy the rest of the week and thank you for stopping by! xxx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A birthday card

Just a quick pop in here to share my card with you for the Less is More challenge which this month was a colour themed challenge.
I actually stumbled upon this blog by accident on my travels yesterday while I was looking for a 'proper' challenge, and not just a theme.  These are not colours that I would normally work with - I would go so far as to say probably never work with, so for me this was a 'proper' challenge.  I had to make a card for a friend's birthday so I chose this challenge as my inspiration.  Here is the card:
Clean and simple is also something that I tend to struggle with and as much as I love it when others do it, that huge white area is screaming to me "FILL ME!!"  It's possible my friend will never receive this card in it's current state! LOL!

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy the sunshine! :o) xx

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Post Early for Christmas!

Well lookie here, 2 cards for one challenge - there's a first for me!  I am just loving the summer holidays, even though I'm not going to get away this year (violins out!!).  Any day now I am going to start doing what I'm meant to be doing - having a clearout and makeover and NOT sit with paper, glue and scissors!!  I have been feeling a little Christmassy this last few days though.  It always happens to me during the summer holidays, I get the urge to start Christmas Crafting.  So I've chosen Midweek Magnolias Easel Card theme again to get me in the mood.  I saw a card in cyberland that had used some of a Nitwitville collection and immediately this idea sprang to mind
The card in my head was just chocca with embellishments though, but once I'd begun assembling, I found it didn't really need anything more than the gorgeous pieces that came with the digi kit!  And Edwin sporting his parcel was just the most perfect thing to take to my Post Office!
You can't really tell from my photography, but the ground that Edwin is walking on is actually a photograph of real footprints in the snow.  I used one that I'd taken along the footpath that runs alongside my house and cropped it down to size.  The sign above the door did say Nitwitville Post Office and I wasn't too keen on that, so I made my own.  Unfortunately, the glossy accents I used hadn't quite set when I began pressing out the seams and posing it, hence the bleurgh! in the middle of the word! T'uh!!!

That's me done for today.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great week! xx

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Time for tea...


I soooo love the summer.  This year it is especially gorgeous because, unlike last summer, I have a garden that I have been able to sit out in and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine we've been having.  I have planted new roses and a grape vine, and I've enjoyed a bumper crop of raspberries and blackcurrants this year.

My favourite thing though has been sitting out in the garden early in the morning enjoying my breakfast and cup(s) of tea in the warmth of the sun, listening to the bees buzzing and frogs croaking while the pungent aroma of honesuckle has wafted all around my garden.  Heaven!

All this has inspired the card that I have made for the current Midweek Magnolia challenge, who's theme is Easel Cards.  
I also want to share this card with Totally Tilda challenges who have an Anything Goes theme, so I hope they like it!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Hope you have a good week. :o) xx

Thursday, 29 May 2014

I'm back!

Blimey, it's a while since I was last here!  So long in fact that I had forgotten my password and had to reset the whole thing!  And now that I'm here, I'm trying to remember how to post something on blogger!!!

I haven't been idle - I have been playing around with many different crafts, mainly baking, but recently have rediscovered papercrafting thanks to my lovely boys buying me a Silhouette Portrait machine for Mothers Day.  I just love it so much and it's re-awoken my lust for cutting and sticking!

Despite many attempts at getting my pencils out and playing with my Maggies again, I have finally managed to do it.  I'm suffering with a lousy, stinking cold at the moment and feeling sorry for myself, I tucked myself up on the settee last night and began colouring.  I created this card which I am sharing with two Magnolia challenge blogs.  First up is my lovely 'old' buddies at Midweek Magnolias who's theme is Shaped Cards only,  and also with a brand new Magnolia blog Magnolia Forever who's theme is Anything Goes.

The card shape is one that I created using my Silhouette studio, as is the frame and bow.  The roses were printed onto Core'dinations and "fussy cut" (I need to work out how to do this on my Silhouette!!). I used my old favourite Faber Castell pencils to colour Tilda, but I need to get practising again I think!

I hope you like my card, and I would like to say Thank you for stopping by.  See you soon!
Editing Slightly here - Thank you Sue  for pointing me in the direction of Diva's by Design.  I am going to share my card with them also!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Back on Blogger


Wow!!  It's quite a while since I was last here - where does the time go?   Well I haven't been lazing around, that's for sure.  I've only been and gotten myself a brand new passion - biscuit decorating!  I've always loved to bake but mainly it's been cakes that have emerged from my oven.  However, after accidentally tripping into a couple of amazingly gorgeous biscuiteer's websites, I found myself hankering to have a bash myself.

My new passion has taken off with great gusto.  My stamps, papers and pencils have, for the time being, been boxed up and stashed out of sight while I concentrate on my new craft.  It all began with these baubles which I made Christmas 2012

I remember feeling rather proud of them at the time, but then I discovered websites like Sweet Ambs and Sugarbelles, and I wanted to take it up a notch.  In October I studied a video, took a deep breath and immersed myself in a bucket-load of royal icing, a batch of freshly-baked teapot biscuits and I locked the kitchen door while I produced these:

I felt pretty chuffed with myself, I can tell you, so off I went again to create another variety

However, these were nothing at all like the biscuits I had in my head.  Nevertheless, I showed them off on my FB page and my lovely friend Teresa commented "Tilda Cookies" and that was it - a new idea was borne.

I went away, created several more biscuits (mainly for Christmas) and I thought and thought about how I was going to do this.  Then I discovered the art of creating royal icing transfers, so with several tiny paper cones and lots of icing, I created my very first Transfer biscuit!  It was a little over-ambitious for a first time, but I feel so proud at having been able to use my beautiful Tilda Celebrates Summer stamp.
This has got me all excited now as it's given me a chance to give my old stamps a new lease of life.  It's not without it's problems though, but I was completely aware of them as I went along and know exactly what to do to put it right next time.

I want to show this off at the Magnolias Down Under challenge blog for their Summer Delights theme, and the Time for a Magnolia Challenge blog, who's current theme is to create a project using Tilda with something on her head or in her hair.

I am going to try and be a better blogger in 2014, and I will definitely be back with more Tilda biscuits.  Thank you for stopping by, I hope you're leaving with a smile :o) xxx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The candle burned out long before the legend ever did.....


Happy Wednesday peeps!  Here I am once again with some of my crafty offerings - sadly minus a Papermill DT badge, but hey-ho! Onwards and upwards.......

It's been quite a roller coaster couple of weeks here. Following a steady deterioration of health and  old age, my dear old Mom-in-law sadly passed and last week we said goodbye to her in a beautiful family ceremony that she would have thoroughly approved of and enjoyed.  It was also the day that we met our gorgeous new great-nephew, Jerry, for the first time which sent my maternal hormones racing!  What an absolute darling he is, and I could have snuck him in my handbag and brought him home with me!

This week I have been baking once again.  This time I have been salivating over some of the most delicious iced cookies (although we call them biscuits here!) and have been desperate to try my hand at them.  However, having never done any 'proper' icing before I was a bit tentative.  My friend next door gave me a tutorial on how to make icing bags with parchment paper (I know, pretty basic but I just wasn't getting it!!).  So armed with my newfound skill I spent Friday night knocking them out like I was on piecework!    Saturday morning came and I baked my first batch of biscuits.  Typical me, didn't bother following a recipe so had to guess at the oven temperature and time.  I think I overbaked them by about 10 minutes because the almost black bricks that came out of the oven indicated that I needed to make some adjustments.  So I turned the oven down slightly and baked them for much less time.  This time I only overbaked them by about 3-4 minutes.  But they were OK enough to start icing.  EEEEEK!!  Virgin territory.  I made a batch of royal icing, split it into 4 different bowls and coloured each bowl a different colour and set to work.  Here's what I came up with:
 
I have truly not been this excited about something for such a long time!  I couldn't believe that I'D made these!!!  Of course the boys wanted to tuck in immediately, but I made them wait until they were completely dried and set so that they would taste better (plus I just wanted to keep gazing at them!! LOL!!!)
 
So now I'm chomping at the bit, desperate for a bit more 'Me' time so that I can have another bash at another lot.
 
I've also managed to get a little papercrafting done since I last blogged.  This adorable little caravan is something that I created for a lovely lady that I work with:



and then last night, at the 11th hour, I finally got to put the finishing touches to my card for this week's Midweek Magnolias theme which is Song Birds.  I had a rummage through my stamps to see if anything sprung up and as soon as I saw this stamp, I began singing Candle in the Wind, so I used this sweet Tilda to make this card, and I sang the song over and over while I was colouring her with my pencils!

OK, that's my lot for today.  I'm off to gather inspiration for my next batch of cookies (or biscuits!)  Please pay a visit to Midweek Magnolias where you will see the most amazingly delightful samples that our wonderful DT have created for your inspiration.

I'm showing off my card in the Time for a Magnolia challenge this week too.  They have a Bingo board, and I opted for the bottom line, Flowers, White and a Tag.  Also I am sharing with Marvellous Magnolias as they have a Christmas theme.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week. :o) xx

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