Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday Smile

Morning Everyone,

Weatherwise it is not such a good one today and given all the bad news there's about at the moment you'd think there would be nothing much to share with Annie, at A Stitch In Time, today. Annie, of course, rarely fails to find a lot to smile about. And here's what's given me reason to smile this week.

First up is this cutie:
Like an awful lot of folk, I'd been riveted to the webcam set up at the Adventure Park, Harpursville, New York, waiting for April the giraffe to give birth. She went well over her due date and life being what it is I went off to do other things, as you do, so needless to say, I missed it! By the time I caught up he'd finally arrived and isn't he a beauty. I think April and dad, Oliver did well.


Next up we had an engagement:
This was a big surprise. My grandson, William, asked his lovely partner, Heather to marry him - and she said yes. Don't they look so happy too. We are all delighted for them.


And here's Callum, William and Heather's son, up a tree and looking mighty pleased with himself  too.


And with his gran on a trip to Eglinton Country Park.


Finally, I've been out in the garden a lot of late. There's so much to do at this time of the year.

We've had this trough for many years. It was planted up with phlox but last year the plant's weren't doing so well so the decision was made to clear it out and start again. Here it is newly planted up with violets, primroses, campanula, veronica, saxifrage, pinks and just showing through the foliage of Persian Pearl tulips. I'm loving how pretty it all looks.

Hope you've all had as much to smile about this week and that the weekend will prove to be full of smiles for you too.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Giveaway - Spectrum Aqua CD-ROM

Evening Everyone

I'm still sorting through my stash - decluttering the craft room - and today it was the turn of my collection of craft CD-ROMs, DVDs etc. So now I have a few to give away starting with this one - Spectrum Aqua from Crafters' Companion. The disc contains Leann Chivers' video tutorials showing how to colour using Spectrum Aqua water-based markers with hints, tips and inspiration.  It's a very comprehensive disc covering, for example, creating a customised background, stamping effects with markers, white outline stamping images, creating Bokeh effects and mixing your own custom colours from a palette.

If any of you are interested in this CD-ROM then leave a comment below. 

I'd appreciate it if you are a follower of my blog.
This is optional but it would be nice if you could add the first photo to your own blog sidebar with a link back to my blog - just to get the word around!

I'll make the draw on 26th April so if you are interested then do get your comment in before 10pm Tuesday 25th April. 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

What's On Your Workdesk - Wednesday 411

Morning Everyone,

This is going to be a briefish WOYWW post today - that's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday brought to us by the inestimable treasure that is our Head Desker Julia over at the Stamping Ground. Julia loves brief posts.

But first I must apologise for my lack of commenting last week ... the holidays got in the way! Is it just me - oh, I hope I'm not the only one - who forgets to factor in all the extra visits to and from family? I got to the end of what seemed a very long and hectic weekend happy from seeing my nearest and dearest but absolutely exhausted too. Hope you enjoyed the holiday as much as I did.

Now on to what's on my desk today.
Photographs. Old photographs. I've caught the decluttering bug. Actually, I'm feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that's in my craft room. It's just too much. Especially photographs. You really don't want to see the collection the EM and I have amassed over the seventy or so decades we've been on this planet. When I think of scrapbooking them - well, it's just makes me feel faint. There aren't enough hours in the day and I need my sleep - I'd be cranky without it! There's just no possibility of me scrapping the vast majority of them and, in truth, I really don't want to. But I can sort them into albums and when we're gone the kids can inherit ... they'll love that!!! So, as you can see, I've made a start by culling anything that is a waste of space, i.e. shots that are blurry, too bright or too dark, etc., - in short, the lemons. Those that remain are all going into labeled photo albums and shelved. That way, when I'm looking for a particular photo I should be able to locate it in no time - well, that's what I'm hoping anyway.

So that's my desk today. I'm off now for a snoop at the desks linked over at Julia's.

Happy WOYWW and have a wonderful week ahead.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter

Hi Everyone,



I hope you are enjoying this Bank Holiday weekend as much as I am, despite the awful weather. Only one chocolate egg this year but it's enough ... and I'm still sure to have put on pounds by the time Tuesday comes.

On that note, I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Be back soon.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Friday Smile

Morning Everyone,

I hope you've all had a wonderful week full of smiles and happy moments. Just like mine. And if you have then perhaps, like me, you will share some of your happy memories with Annie over at A Stitch In Time

However, it's going to be a quick one from me today because we're off out to visit our friends in Dumfries & Galloway. We're leaving in a few minutes and we don't expect to be back until late. 

No photos today, just a funny - one I think says it all :)


There's been no time for dusting in this house this week. Shame! :)

And because I'm not going to be  here today it will be tomorrow before I'll be visiting and commenting.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very happy day and a wonderful holiday weekend.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What's On Your Workdesk - Wednesday 410

Good Morning!

It's Wednesday and that means I'm joining our WOYWW Head Desker Julia over at the Stamping Ground and, like so many of our fellow deskers, showing what's on my workdesk this morning.
A wider view this week. There's not been much change in the last seven days. The embossing/die-cutting machine is smaller. Off to the left side, out of shot, is the basket of leftover card scraps and centre back is the new box of embossed scraps - last week's job done! That box is three pieces lighter now that I've made a few cards - as can be seen on yesterday's post. I know, it's obvious, all I've accomplished so far is to shift a mountain of cardstock to another, albeit embossed and therefore a more usable mountain ... anyway, that's what I'm telling myself. There's still an awful lot of scraps left in the basket which explains the contents of the other box at the back. Part of my die collection - mainly small ones that will go through the Sapphire. Those scraps are now being turned into die-cut embellishments. Well, that's the grand plan but examination of the wee black basket shows I've not made much headway. I'm far too easily distracted! The stamps, enamel dots and card blanks were used in the making of the aforementioned cards. Far back left are boxes of scrap supplies and far right are the trays of disgrace, the dumping ground for all sorts of bits and bobs - I will clear them out one day, just not today!
Here's a close up showing my total dedication to the task. I now have well-developed upper right arm muscles!
The leftover scraps of card. Wish I'd taken a before shot but I think you can assess just how big the stash mountain was from these two photos.

So that's my desk today. Will it have changed much next week? I'm making no promises - it's Easter and I could be distracted. It certainly won't change much today because I'm going to be desk hopping and commenting as much as possible. I did try last week but Blogger was having a tantrum and not letting me leave comments!!! Happily, it seems to have sorted itself out now -  of course toes and fingers are crossed as I type this.

Have a happy day and a wonderful holiday weekend,

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Snippet Cards - Tulips

Hi Everyone,

I hope you've had a lovely Tuesday. After a warm and sunny weekend it has turned very chilly here in Ayrshire. I think the wind must be coming directly from the North Pole! Hopefully it's temporary but it has put a stop to the gardening for now. Still, it has given me time to catch up on the much neglected housework, and when I'd done as much of that as I could bear I beat a retreat to the craft room to finish of the dry embossing project I've been working on since last Wednesday.
Instead of having a basket of cardstock scraps I now have a box of embossed scraps all waiting to be used on cards and/or scrapbook pages.

I created the following three cards all featuring toppers made with a lovely tulip design,





Supplies used:

  • card base - A6 white card from The Range
  • cardstock - smooth blue, textured cream and satin finish pink, all from my stash of scraps 
  • embossing folder - Darice Spring Tulips
  • stamps -  Sincere Sentiments which came free with an issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft. 
  • inks - Memento Danube Blue, Versacolor 54 Brown, Stazon Jet Black. 
  • enamel dots - blue,from Docrafts Denim Blue, cream from Simple Stories The Story of Us, pink from Echo Park Petticoats & Pinstripes.

As can be seen, the design is pretty simple. Just a white card base, the embossed panel, a stamped greeting and enamel dots for embellishment, but that's three more cards tucked away to be used when needed.

I think the tulips are perfect for this time of the year, just when my garden is full of them.

It's late so I'll wish you a very goodnight and a happy day tomorrow.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Saturday Smiles - Should have been Friday Smiles

Hi Everyone,

After having trouble staying online for any length of time earlier in the week this was followed by not being able to access blogger. Not only could I not post anything from this blog but I couldn't view other folks' blogs too. Sooooo frustrating! Then suddenly all is okay once more and I'm a happy little poster again - I can join in, rather belatedly, Annie's meme Friday Smiles over at A Stitch In Time and share with you what has made me smile this week.

First up is this:
Our new car - that is, new to us. We were sad to say goodbye to our old car but she was fourteen years old and had just had her day. This one is only four years old, automatic, with the roomiest boot (trunk) ever, an engine that positively purrs, and what I like to call the right shade of black - not metallic anything, just plain old shiny black.
Cars, and the colours available, have come a long way since Mr Ford's day but black remains my preferred choice.

This is making me smile too:
My little nursery by the kitchen door. Full of plants just waiting to be planted up - I just have to find suitable spots in the garden for them.

And to finish:



Although these are aimed at the sewers/sewists among us a small change in the wording and they could apply to any obsessive devoted crafter.

Hope you are having a wonderfully smiley weekend.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A Snippet Card - Sugar Skulls

Hello Everyone,

This should have been a Sunday Snippet post for Pixie's Snippets Playground, Di's very popular challenge, but the weather was much too good to keep me indoors at the weekend, especially when the garden is needing a lot of attention right now. Anyway, here's the card at last.
The skull panel started off life as something quite different. It was a bookmark enclosed with a book from the Book Depository, One of a series of bookmarks designed by the Book Depository's fans this one was created by Eduardo Taborn Espejel of Mexico. Curious about the origins of these skulls I did a bit of online research and discovered that in Mexico they are called Calavera de Azucar (Sugar Skulls). They are associated with the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) and are said to represent the departed. So much so, they are painted and decorated and the names of the ancestor is added to the forehead of the skull and then they are placed on the gravestone to encourage the departed loved one to appear on the Day of the Dead. Fascinating! And I know one young woman who will really appreciate Mr Espejel's artwork.

Here's a couple of photos of the supplies and tools used to make the card:
The bookmark and a selection of black, red and white card scraps.
I used the Poppy Promarker to colour in the flowers on the skulls and I coloured the stamp, a freebie that came with an issue of Craft Stamper some time ago, with the Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad and Memento marker Lady Bug. It was stamped on to a snippet of white card before matting it on to a snippet of black card. The Martha Stewart border punch, an oldie but a goodie, was used to create a border down one side of the black card. After colouring the bookmark was trimmed to size and matted on to the strip of red and black card, also trimmed to size, before adhering it to the front of a standard A6 white card base.

I've been to the craft club this afternoon and completed another row of embroidery in the sampler I'm working on at the moment. I also signed up for another quilting class starting in September - I'm just a glutton for punishment :)

Have a lovely evening.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW Week 409

Hi Everyone,

Late again for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday over at Julia's Stamping Ground! Our Internet was iffy earlier, it kept going off and on - such a pain! We also needed to switch everything off while an electrician fitted a new alarm - not such a pain. He did a really neat job. All this meant I had to find something else to do - i.e. apart from housework - and I did.
Embossing with the Grand Calibur. Repetitive but fun. This job has been on my to-do list for way too long so I decided this morning was the perfect opportunity to get out the basket of card scraps, my stash of underused embossing folders and the equally underused GC. It's not riveting stuff but that box of embossed cardstock should come in very useful for cardmaking. I think I might move on to die-cutting next.


I've made a wee bit of progress on the embroidery project. That's triple blanket stitch I'm working on at the moment.

And that is all I have to report this week.

Hope you've had a very happy WOYWW and here's to a great crafty week ahead.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

In A Vase On Monday on Tuesday - More Tulips

Afternoon Everyone,

I've had a few days away from my desk, taking advantage of the wonderful weather we've been having to potter about in the garden - cutting back and pruning, planting out new plants, and just generally tidying up. Not to mention the time taken just sitting, looking and taking in all the new growth the warmer days have brought with them.
The tulips are doing so well this year I didn't mind cutting a few more for the vase this week. That would have been the one for Cathy's meme  In A Vase On Monday if I hadn't run out of time yesterday so it has to be a Tuesday vase instead.

The three pink tulips are an old favourite 'Angelique'. They've been in the same pot - keeping a clematis, C 'Princess Diana', company - for three years now which could be the reason they are so tiny. I think the time has come to rescue and replant them.
The name of this mauve tulip is a mystery. Looking back to a post dated 20th April 2015 I'm reminded that my husband sneaked these into a bag of 'Angelique' and 'Sunlover' bulbs before they were planted into the pot. The foliage, Dryopteris atrata 'Buckler' and Polystichum braunii 'Braun's Holly Fern', was cut from the new fernery which is coming along very nicely.
This dwarf daffodil, Narcissus 'Minnow', with it's flat pale yellow petals and deeper yellow cup looks very pretty growing in a pot.


Now it's confession time. In last week's In A Vase On Monday I named the tulip buds used in the vase as 'Sunlover'.
Wrong! I've no idea what they are called, planted by my husband and so not labeled, but it is definitely not 'Sunlover'. In fact, there are clearly two different varieties, one peach, the other orange.
This is 'Sunlover'. Totally different. And as they are a late blooming tulip they might feature in another vase later in the month.

Garden update.

I know I usually show a few close-ups of plants from the garden but today I thought I'd share a couple of long shots so you can see the mess that is our garden - there's still such a lot of weeding and tidying to do!
Back garden - the herb patch and long border. The woodland is through the rose arch at the bottom of the garden.

Front garden - circular bed. The newly trimmed buddleja is down in the wild corner by the Rowan tree.

There's more but I think this post is quite long enough. If you're still with me this far you deserve a medal!

Since the weekend the temperature has taken a dip - quite a shock after the t-shirt weather we've been enjoying. While it was so nice we took the opportunity to prune the old buddleja davidii right back and plant up two new clematis, purple C 'Dorothy Walton' and pale pink 'Hagley Hybrid', as well as potting up more pansies and bellis. There's a few outstanding jobs to do and after a trip to the local supermarket today we now have another new clematis, this time the white C 'Gillian Blades', winter windflower, anenome blanda, in shades of blue and an alpine wallflower, erysimum 'Bowels Mauve, to find a home for and plant out.

Happy gardening folks,

Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday Smiles

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have all had a lovely week with plenty to smile about. As usual I'm joining Annie over at A Stitch In Time with a Friday Smile or two, though I nearly didn't as I thought I'd shared all the things that made me smile already. Or so I thought! But, sharing photos on Facebook probably doesn't count so here's a few shots from Sunday trip out to the RSPB Visitor Centre  and Castle Semple Lochwinnoch.
Our first stop - the RSPB Visitor Centre where we enjoyed the picnic we took with us. I left wishing I was a kid again so I could go pond dipping - it looked like lots of fun.

This pussy willow just made me smile - those furry catkins are always a welcome sight.
The loch at Castle Semple. The birds are so well fed it has made them almost tame.
This swan seemed to recognise the person who was feeding him.
A rare photo of the two of us together. A lovely young woman, who was just passing as I was taking a pic of himself, kindly offered to take this shot with the yachts on the loch behind us.

Something else that I've been enjoying is this embroidery. There's no pattern to it, just rows of stitch combinations found in a book, Hand-Stitched Crazy Patchwork by Hazel Blomkamp, giving me the chance to learn new stitches and re-learn the ones that were taught at school more than sixty years ago. Notice - the rows are not particularly straight - I do try, even to drawing lines on the fabric with a ruler!

And finally, having overindulged due to a Mother's Day box of my favourite chocolates, this funny was so reassuring.

Wishing you all a very happy weekend and a wonderful week ahead.