Friday, 28 December 2012

Silver Stars

Hi Everyone,

It's been a horrible day of incessant rain here ... the patio is flooded and the Boss is miserable because she can't get out into the garden. Truth is, she is a typical cat and won't go out while it is this wet!

I hope it is better wherever you are but, judging by what I'm seeing on the news programmes, I very much doubt it ... unless, of course, you are living in more tropical climes, and if you are, can you send us some more pleasant weather - pleeeeeze!!!

The only upside of all this yucky weather is that I've been back in the craft space. Admittedly all I've been doing is clearing up, but it's a start. So not much to share with you today ... just a few cards that I knocked up pretty quickly, in time for the last posting date before Christmas.

As you can see, they really were quick and simple - given the time constraints they had to be.

4" square white card bases
Star stamp from Anita's Magical Christmas stamp set - an oldie but a goodie!
Greeting stamp from a Molly Bloom's set that came free in a magazine
VersaMark ink pad
Silver embossing powder
Silver card candi

As the challenge is for 'Anything Goes' over at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #104, I thought I'd submit this little set.

I'm finding this last week a bit of a hiatus after the festivities, although here in Scotland we will soon be gearing up again for part 2, Hogmanay. Tradition had it that we womenfolk should be beavering away cleaning the house, and preparing the buffet, ready for the first footing that will ensure good luck will be with us for 2013.  

My grandmother maintained that the cleaning was to wash out the old year ready to welcome in the New Year.  She always made me laugh when she ceremonially washed her face just a couple of minutes before 'the bells' ... when the clock struck midnight and the start of a new year ... she couldn't see the new year in with a dirty face :))

And there was nothing half-hearted about the cleaning that both she and my mother did ... even the curtains were taken down, washed, ironed and put up again, all between Christmas and midnight December 31st.  Thinking back, I don't know how they did it with no automatic washing machines, tumble driers or any other of the mod cons we take for granted today. And, even more, how my mother found time to do it all is a mystery, especially as she was a nurse working night shift ... she must have been exhausted by the time the party started! 

And what a spread she put on too ... sandwiches, cheese and biscuits, pickles, nuts, shortbread, Dundee cake and black bun - a type of fruit cake covered with pastry which I'm sure I've never eaten at any other time of the year. The men were in charge of the refreshments ... namely, whisky, other spirits and beers - oh, and lemonade or cordials for the children, who were allowed just one wee drink to see in the new year and then off to bed :))

Ah well, enough of remembering good times past ... I'm off back to sorting out the clutter in the craft space :)

Take care everyone and happy crafting,

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Striped Crochet Scarf

Afternoon Folks

It's been a quiet day at casa Worthington ... we've just been pottering around the house, watching too much TV and finishing off the last of the turkey :) What I haven't been doing is spending time in the craft space ... my mojo has gone on holiday too.

However, I haven't been completely idle whilst watching TV. Rather than sit doing nothing, I've been busy with the crochet hook and produced this scarf for one of my grandsons.

All three of my grandsons are devoted fans of Celtic football team, hence the colours. It's made with a soft acrylic double-knitting yarn and was easy enough to crochet, with just a mix of chain and double crochet stitches, once the base length of chain was completed! I did find the black yarn the most difficult to work with but the lighter colours were fine.

I've now started another one for grandson no. 2 and, as I cannot possibly leave any one of them out, I'll be making one for the third too. Oh, and the EM has put in a request for one with stripes in two shades of blue and one yellow!

Hopefully, I'll find the urge to craft tomorrow, but first I'll have to clear the clutter off the desk ... it's become a dumping ground!

In the meantime, I think I'll do a bit of blog hopping and see what some of you have been up to today.

Some of you will have returned to work already and others will still be holidaying, but whatever you're doing and wherever you are, I hope you are all having an enjoyable time.

Take care and happy crafting,

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

WOYWW 186 - Boxing Day ...

... I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday, whatever you were doing and wherever you were.

I almost didn't post today but as this will be the last WOYWW of 2012 it seemed a shame to miss it. WOYWW is that Wednesday in every week when we, that is those of us either brave enough or daft enough (wear whichever hat you think suits) pop over to the fabulous Julia's blog, the Stamping Ground,  and post a photo of showing the state of their desk at that particular moment. Here's mine today.

There's not been a lot going on for a few days, not a lot at all. There is the start of a scrap page. Well, the photos are out and some papers are strewn about but that's about it. A new diary, some stamps and mini candi that were freebies with a crafting magazine, a pack of tissues that have a cute illustration of a cat on it ... as the EM said, they are too nice to use for the purpose intended :)) The little card with the robin sitting on top of a garden handle contains gift tokens - craft gift tokens, yeah!!! I feel a spendathon coming on :))

And, just because I like it, here's a rather blurry photo taken of the EM proving that you are never too old for toys :) Arihanna looks a bit bemused, don't you think?

We've had a lovely Christmas. Our celebration dinner went off without a hitch and was delicious. Yes, I can say, the day went well.

We are off out today, possibly tomorrow too, so I'll be slow to visit you ... what's new, I can hear some of you saying ... but I will be popping in whenever I can.

In the meantime, I wish you all a lovely day whatever you are doing, a great week, and a Happy WOYWW.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Foodie Friday - Farmhouse Sausage and Potato Supper

Hi Everyone,

I have a recipe to share today that is easy to put together, just a bit of chopping in the preparation, and can be left to cook itself whilst you relax with a glass of something refreshing. Posted by 1st Man on the Two Men and a Little Farm blog, it looked tasty and worth trying, and a supper dish that could make a very nice change from all those turkey dinners! The amount of ingredients 1st Man has listed is enough to serve four people - very hungry people, I'd say ... so I have adjusted the amounts to serve two.

Ingredients for my version - check out the Two Men's blog if you are feeding more than two.
  • 8oz sausage (your favourite), chopped - I used  bratwurst
  • 1lb 8oz potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces 
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped  - original recipe calls for a green pepper but I didn't have one in the fridge
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • In a large oven-proof dish or roasting tin, combine the sausage, potatoes, thyme and olive oil until well coated.
  • Add peppers, onions, parsley, salt and pepper and stir through again to ensure everything is well coated with the oil.
  • Place in oven, at 450 degrees, and roast, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are baked through and there's a nice golden colour on both the potatoes and sausage. 

Remove from the oven and serve. 

Delicious! Two Men suggest corn bread as an accompaniment ... crusty farmhouse bread would be equally good. This made a very substantial supper despite reducing the ingredients, in fact, we had quite a bit leftover ... and that was after the EM went back for seconds :))

We have a busy weekend ahead. We'll be out visiting lots of family, exchanging cards and presents, and no doubt drinking many cups of tea and eating more mince pies than is good for us. 

We'll be catching up with Arihanna who will be one year old on Christmas Eve. Apparently she is walking by hanging on to the furniture now and starting to get into a lot of mischief. Her granny, my sister Margaret, had to be taken to hospital this week after she fell and gashed her arm on her wheelchair ... Arihanna had removed a rubber cap from the brake and unfortunately that's what Margaret fell down on to ... the gash took eight stitches. 

I wonder what your weekend is going to be like ... are you going to be doing similar and visiting everyone, or will your family and friends be popping in to visit you. Whatever you're doing, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

Take care and enjoy yourself whatever you are doing.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

WOYWW #185 - It's beginning to look a lot ...

... like Christmas at Casa Worthington :)

Hello Everyone,

It's the last week of WOYWW before the big day and probably like most of you I'm still working through my to-do list. Happily, that list is a lot lighter than last week ... just a few items to tick ofF and I'll be ready for the festivities.

So not a workdesk shot for you today ... you really don't want to see the mess, honestly, you don't! It pains me to look at the dumping ground it has become so instead I'm treating you to a rare view of our dining table :) Covered in winter greenery, some artificial red flowers and berries, and jugs of 'flower arrangements'. Please don't judge these too harshly ... I'm totally untrained and tend to just stuff bits in until I think they look pretty!!!

Most of this came from the garden but we did go down to the woods today and brought back a few bits of holly.

Here's the EM doing his thing with the secateurs.

Sadly, despite there being plenty of holly bushes in the woodS, we couldn't find any with berries - the birds must have beaten us to it.

It was quite a mild day and very pleasant out ... love the smell of the woodland.

Our tree ... same one as last year but with new lights. The old ones died a death so the EM was sent out on a mission to bring back some new ones ... and he did well, these LED lights are really pretty. You can see one of my greenery 'arrangements' in the background there and the nutcracker I brought back from my sojourn in America for Christmas1995. It cost just a few dollars in a Wellesley store and it would never crack a nut but I am very fond of it still :)

And that's about it for this week. Anyone not familiar with the phenomenon that is WOYWW, it's the blog hop devised by inestimable Julia Dunnit which enables the nosy interested amongst us to go snooping around the desks of a ton of other like-minded folks. Pop along to Julia's blog, the Stamping Ground, and you to can join in the fun ... go on, give yourself a Christmas treat :)) I'll certainly be peeking at as many desks as I can throughout the day and probably over the days up to Christmas as I am able, that's when I'm not doing last minute stuff and visiting family.

Finally, especially for you all, here's my way of saying thank you to you for all the fun and friendship received throughout the year ... you brighten my days and I so appreciate each and everyone of you.

Here's wishing you all a ...


Monday, 17 December 2012

Peaches and Cream - Scrap Our Stash Challenge for December

Hi Everyone,

I was sorting through and reorganising my paper stash recently, and all the while thinking about this month's DT challenge, Circle Around, over on Scrap Our Stash ... the remit being to use circles in a layout, when I rediscovered this sheet of beautiful patterned paper from The ScrapCake, My Private Happiness - Happiness In The Air. 

It was one of those gorgeous designs that sung to me when I spotted it in the craft shop, had to have it, of course, and then, when I got it home, could never think of how to use it. However, the floral circles in the design were perfect for the challenge, and this photo of me ... of a much younger me, I hasten to add, taken some twenty-two years ago ... was just right too!

A saucer was just the perfect size to use as a template to cut round the photograph. All the materials for the three clusters came from my stash, only the title letters are new - I never seem to have suitable alpha sets when I want them.

I have to thank my lovely Canadian friend, Maureen, aka ScrappyMo, once again for the cream ribbon roses and the delicate white butterflies - a little pink tinting to the wings and some tiny white pearls and they were perfect.

I used scraps found in the snippet box to punch the tiny flowers and the scalloped shapes, and also to create the pennant for the words - does that qualify a scrap page for Pixie's Crafty Snippets #51 I wonder? Di, what do you think ... are scrap pages allowed in the playground?

Materials - as I remember them!
Patterned Paper: The ScrapCake, My Private Happiness - Happiness In The Air
Chipboard pieces from the Country Diary collection ... free with a crafting magazine
Dragonflies from Tilda Garden Party Collection
Alphas: My Little Shoe Box Sprinkle Glaze Stickers, Sunshine (peach) and Kiwi (lime green); American Crafts Thickers Flocked Letters, Emerald (cream)
Words from Tim Holtz Ideology Chitchat Verbiages
Ink: ColorBox Cat's Eye Chalk, Pink Pastel
Cream satin ribbon, pearl and gem flourish, green gems, pink and white pearls - all from stash

This page will probably end up in the Family History album to be seen by my great-grandchildren one day ... wonder what they will think of those huge padded shoulders!

It's not too bad a day here ... the EM described it as almost tropical!!! I hope it's as pleasant wherever you are and that your preparations for the festive season are going along nicely. Me, I'm still in the thick of it ... presents still to be wrapped, last minute cards to post off, etc., etc. Every year I think I won't be done on time and every year I am ... this year will probably be no different :))

Thanks for checking in and if you feel like popping over to the Scrap Our Stash blog to see how others have interpreted the Circle Around challenge, you'd be most welcome ... you could even have a go yourself :)

Take care everyone and keep crafting,

Friday, 14 December 2012

Altered Notebook

Evening folks,

I've had a very lazy day today ... a slow start and an even slower day. My get up and go has got up and gone!

However, I do have this little altered notebook to share with you. And it's one for Pixie's Crafty Snippets #50.  Di, you'll be relieved to learn that this is probably my last submission for this week ... it's too cold, wet and miserable for the playground :))

It's just one of those little memo pads that can be bought in packs from Tesco's - they're an inexpensive buy and the covers are easy to alter. The papers, Papermania A Silent Night, are from the snippet box, of course, and the embellishments came out of my bun tray. It takes the tiniest bits of ribbon and paper to fit across the width of the cover.

The topper is yet another from Cardmaker's Delights - this time the non-Christmassy image is of a perfume bottle - I love the roses. I think this will make a nice little stocking filler for one of my lovelies.

I'm hoping for a bright day, instead of this interminable rain that is our lot right now, some time soon so that I can go down to the woods ... with my secateurs ... looking for some evergreens to decorate the house. I love the scent of fresh green foliage at this time of the year - and it's festive looking too.

The EM has just announced that he is going up into the attic tomorrow and bringing down the tree and decs. At last!

Take care all and have a lovely weekend.

Happy crafting too,

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Compliments of the Season ...

... and Happy Holidays to you all too!

This is the last of the tags I've been making recently. Quick and easy and I've managed to use some more bits and bobs from the bun tray. I like the blue/brown colour mix - non-traditional but pretty all the same :) The Hero Arts, Wavy Stars, stamp used for the background is an oldie but a favourite, so nice to get it out again.

Quick and easy ... well, it has to be at this time of year, does it not?

Materials: a manila luggage label; Hero Arts stamp, Wavy Stars; VersaMark; Crystal embossing powder; Cardmaker's Delights topper; bronze glitter; blue buttons and embroidery silk; white bobble trim; brown pearls; blue/brown ribbon

Yesterday it was the opticians, today the dentist ... I don't think I stand much more excitement :))

Off to relax with a Alexander and Richard on the sofa now ... Pointless is one of my secret pleasures!!! Oops! Not so secret now :))

Hope you've all had a great day. Take care.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Wishes - another Christmas gift tag

Hi Everyone,

It's another cold and frosty day here in Ayr today - and it is treacherous underfoot too. The EM has had to dig out the bag of road salt, from last winter, to de-ice the steps at the front and back of the house. I hope you are enjoying warmer conditions where you are.

Unfortunately, I had to venture out to pick up my new glasses ... I'm now trying to get accustomed to them and find myself testing the lenses out constantly.  However, it's great to not have to take them off when I want to read the small print, which is what I was doing with my old ones :)

I've been making good use of my bun tray full of embellishments and made another gift tag.

Same size label as with the one I posted - scroll down to check it out - but this time no stamping. Instead, I covered the label with a couple of snippets of paper from last year, or perhaps it was the year before! More snippets used up means another trip to Di's and her Pixie's Crafty Snippets #50 this week :)

The topper is matted with a scrap of silver mirri card and then edged with crystal Stickles. I've also emphasised the letter C with the Stickles - you can see the effect more in the first photograph. Just a tiny length of cream lace and lots of  cream button twine have been used as embellishment.

Materials: a manila luggage label from WH Smith; scraps of A Silent Night paper from Papermania; scrap of silver mirri card; topper from Cardmaker's Delights; Crystal Stickles; cream cotton lace, cream button twine and narrow green satin ribbon from stash.

I'm off to do a bit more WOYWW blog-hopping until tea time and after that I plan is to spend an hour or two in the craft room this evening working on a scrap page. 

Thanks for popping in and do take care.

Happy Crafting,


Hi Everyone,

I'm back ... couldn't skip another week of WOYWW. I had withdrawal symptoms after missing last week but I was just too overwhelmed with stuff ... life and all that ... that I knew it wouldn't be fair to you all. This week promises to be much less frantic so, whilst I can't promise to visit each and every WOYWWer, I will pop over to as many as I can.

What's WOYWW - it's the week's biggest and most enjoyable blog hop arranged, as ever, by the wonderful Julia Dunnit over at the Stamping Ground. If you've never tried it, you don't know what you're missing :)

Here's my desk today ... well, actually, last thing last night, so trust me it hasn't changed at all.

I've been sifting through the photographs we had printed yesterday ... looking for a half-decent one of me, good enough to put in a scrap layout for a challenge. The choice is very thin :( I'm the one that's usually behind the camera!

The bun tray is an idea I've pinched from Shimmelle ... saw her using it in a couple of videos recently - click this link to view one. Having a small selection of tiny embellishments nice and handy saves an awful lot of clutter, not to mention the effort involved in getting up and down every time I need to find some buttons, brads, card candi, etc. It's also encouraged me to use some of those small lengths of leftover ribbon, lace and twine I've been saving forever. I'll simply replenish items as and when required. It has already proved very useful when making the gift tags that are piled on top of our address book ... another absolute essential at this time of the year.

That's it for today ... keeping it brief because none of us has time to read reams just now ... too many other things to do in the run up to Christmas. That being so, I hope you all take care, have a lovely WOYWW and a good week ahead.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Naughty or Nice - A Christmas Gift Tag

Afternoon Everyone,

I hope you are all well and keeping up with all the necessary preparations for the holiday season.

Yesterday, we went off to Tesco's to get some photographs printed. A simple enough exercise you  would think but, no! We only picked the machine that decided it was going on strike ... half way through the process. After endless head-scratching from a couple of Tesco's staff, the problem was eventually sorted and the photos appeared. Phew!!!

After all that excitement we trotted off up to the cafeteria for a recuperative cuppa and were entertained to find a chaffinch swooping up in the roof space. Apparently, it's not unusual for one to fly in through the front doors which are always open. Goodness knows what elf and safety would say about it but we were delighted :))

Home again and I decided to try, once again, using up some of the bits of leftover ribbon, lace and trimmings that have accumulated in the craft space by making a small gift tag.

There's nothing much to it. The label is just a bog-standard luggage label bought at WH Smith - this is a manila one. It's the largest size I could find in the shop, but is still nowhere near as big as those used by Tim Holtz, Hels, etc.

I did stamp it all over with red polka dots but once the topper was added hardly any can be seen. The topper is matted on to a snippet of the card I decorated with inks, stamping and mica powders - made like this:

Starting with A4 sheets of smooth white card, several ink pads in a variety of colours and several ink brushes, blend the inks in a fairly random fashion until happy with the result. For some reason my camera finds it hard to focus on the result, but hopefully you get the general idea.

The next stage is to stamp all over the card, for this I chose two leafy Penny Black stamps, then brush with various shades of mica. Now my camera does like this a lot better :) Here's a close-up of the detail.

Lovely, isn't it? 

Here's another shot of the tag taken from another angle - you can see the stamped polka dots on this one.

Materials: a manila label; stamp -  Stampin' Up's Dots, Dots, Dots; Tim Holtz Festive Berries distress ink; small piece of the hand decorated paper for matting; card topper from Cardmaker's Delights; iridescent glitter; gold Liquid Pearls; twine, cotton lace, gingham ribbon; red buttons & green gems from stash.

Using snippets means only one thing here in blogland ... a trip over to Pixie's Crafty Snippet Challenge #50 ... #50, another two weeks and it's Di's first snippet anniversary!!!

It took me a lot longer to locate the shots of the paper on my PC than I expected ... I had a senior moment and couldn't remember where I'd filed them :)

I'm off now to calm down with a bit of therapeutic crafting :))

Take care and remember to relax occasionally, if you can, during this busy period.

Oh, and Happy Crafting :) 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Getting in the Mood for Christmas

Hello Everyone,

Brrrrr, but it's cold up here! It had to be done ... so, finally, this morning I hauled out all my winter woolies, scarves, hats and gloves. Then, appropriately dressed, went out to the Christmas markets that were being held today - one in Ayr Central and the other down at the Burns Heritage Centre, Alloway.

First Ayr Central and, much to my surprise and delight, we bumped into this lovely couple ...

... guaranteed to get me into the spirit :))

Ayr was looking very festive.

Loved this very sparkly reindeer.

The EM's favourite coffee shop, Costa, is next door to the market so, of course, we had to stop for a quick one ...

... a skinny latte, my favourite :)

Then on down to Alloway, to Burns Cottage for the craft market ...

... forgot to take any photographs in the market but I did snap this little illustration built into the wall - it depicts the cottage in the background and a young lad, possibly Robert Burns himself, pushing a barrow full of newly dug peats home for the fire.

Finally, the NTS Burns Heritage Centre, to the Farmer's Market. I just had to bring you all this Christmas treat ...

... help yourself, there's more where these came from :))

Next to the cupcakes are packages of Scottish table ... a type of fudge, made with sweetened condensed milk, sugar and butter, which is absolutely delicious and sooooo bad for your teeth and your waistline! I decided to be good and forego the pleasure :(

All this got us into the swing of things so when we got home we settled down to watch a Christmas movie.

So, that was our day ... what about yours? Did you have a good day too? I certainly hope so.

I'm off now for a cuppa and, as I have not been in the craft room all day, I'm off to have a wee play before bedtime :)

Take care all.

Happy Crafting,

Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas Garland - a very quick make

Evening All,

Second time this evening ... it's great to be finding time to craft.

I've had the makings of this garland sitting on my desk for weeks ... months, actually!

I wrapped the base, a polystyrene ring bought from my favourite garden/craft centre, with red organza ribbon. The silk Christmas roses, bought in bunches, were in the reduced section so a bargain. A few clips with wire snips and I had enough leaf sprays and flowers to cover the ring. I've just pushed them in so hope they stay put - so far, so good. The gold baubles have just been folded - they come as a bauble on each end of a length of wire - and again just pushed into the base.

The ribbon was already in my stash - just waiting to be put to good use. I bought the gold/red patterned ribbon whilst on holiday in June on a visit to Shopkeeper Gal's shop with the girls from WOYWW. I couldn't resist the ribbon even though I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it back then :))

The whole thing cost less than £5 - a bargain, I think, and so pretty.

Materials: polystyrene ring base; bunch of large red silk Christmas roses; bunch of smaller white Christmas roses; red organza ribbon; gold satin-edged organza ribbon; red/gold patterned ribbon; gold baubles

Well, I think I could get another half hour crafting before bedtime - I hope to get a bit of scrapping done now :)

Take care all and have a great Saturday.

Happy crafting,

O Christmas Tree - a girlie Christmas card

Hi Everyone,

I've just realised how long it is since I last posted. No excuse ... I've just been soooo busy and time just seems to be running away from me. And, I don't think it's going to get much better over the next couple of weeks ... there seems to be so much to do and a neverending to-do list to work my way through. I didn't even find time to join in with WOYWW this week :(

However, I've just taken a quick hour in the craft space to make this little card. Hazel over at Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge #101, has asked for a girlie card this week so I found this cute image from LOTV and, after a rummage around in the snippets box, got to work.

Blue ... I rarely use blue in a project, which is probably why this topper from a pack of LOTV Cute Squares, Christmas Girls, was languishing in the box. Luckily, I found a snippet of blue tartan paper leftover, I think, from projects made two years ago, and a short length of ribbon that was just the right shade of blue.

Using a few snippets means I'll be popping over to Di's playground, that's Pixie's Crafty Workshop, and if I can stop drooling over her Black Forest Trifle, I'll submit this to her Crafty Snippet Challenge #49

Papermania Just To Say 5"x5" square embossed card base
LOTV Cute Squares, Christmas Girls
Blue Tartan patterned paper and silver mirri card from snippet box
Tim Holtz distress ink, Stormy Sky
Silver glitter glue and Crystal Stickles
Sentiment - Pink Petticoat, Traditional Christmas Greetings
Embellishments - navy satin ribbon, white ribbon, star chipboard shape, diamante gems - from stash

Right, I'd better get back to the craft room while there's a chance. Lots to do and so little time to do it in :)

I hope you are all well and not finding the run-up to the big day too stressful.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, take care, and happy crafting,

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sheep Dog Passenger - brother's birthday card

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well and have had a good weekend, leaving you ready for whatever Monday may bring.

As you can see I've had a makeover, or rather, my blog has been given a new winter look - I thought it was about time I got into the spirit of the season :) What do you think? Festive or what :))

I've also started to do a bit of bloggy housekeeping too - moving stuff around, deleting stuff and generally decluttering - a job that's long overdue. I've still a way to go yet but I'm hoping to have it looking much sleeker by 2013.

And here's the quick make I have to share with you.

It's the oldest of my two younger brothers 64th birthday this week. Douglas worked in agriculture for many years which makes it very easy to make a card for him. As long as it features something to do with farming or the countryside he is a happy man. So this topper, recycled from an old card, featuring a sheep dog and a Land Rover ticks all the boxes. We have both owned collie's in the past - in fact, Dougie bred and trained some great dogs ... collies, chocolate Labradors and terriers. At the same time as he was doing all this he also bred and showed Bantam hens, winning quite a few prizes with them, and he kept his own bees too.

The base is a foiled background card, Woodgrain, from Kanban, and the topper is matted on to a very colourful silver mirri card. The title and the greeting (inside) are also from Kanban and the card candi embellishments are Choc-a-Mocha coloured.

That's my lot for today. I'm off to bed so I'll wish you all a good night.

Take care and happy crafting,