Monday, 31 December 2012

Vintage Hollies

I spent hours yesterday tidying, sorting, even throwing out stuff in the craft room. Boy, that hurts to do!

During my rummaging round I came across a sheet of neglected and not my favourite Penny Black Stickeroos almost at the same time as some backing card which went with them so I made these:

 'Cos I struggle with vintage style cards I trotted into Len to show him and ask for an opinion - and they got his seal of approval. Ha, that could be 'cos it was almost time for dinner though :) And the light was dreadful when I took the piccies too.

I used:

- 4.75" x 4.75" square cream card stock

- backing card by Kan Ban called 'Painted Holly'

- Stickeroos from Penny Black's 'Vintage Hollies' sheet

- strips of deep red half inch diameter ribbon roses on a netting background

So, that's two cards ready for 2013 :)

I'm entering these into Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge where the theme is very open this week - either show a Christmas card you haven't previously shown on your blog or make a start on next year's.

The sorting and tidying still has some way to go here but at least everything I'd dumped on our bed has been properly put away. Somewhere to sleep is a great driver when sorting out!!

New Year's Eve already and I hope you have fun whatever you have planned. I find New Year a bit of a sad time and we always just spend it quietly - avec a glass or three of something though!

Sending you love and best wishes for a good year in 2013 with health and happiness. Forget the wealth - I know it helps but it's true that no amount of money can buy health and real happiness.

And oh my golly gosh, I just spotted that I'm almost up to 200 followers! Time for some candy I think :)

Di
x

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Pixie's Crafty Snippets - Week 53

First of all, my snippets card for this week:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- snippets of pink and blue paper, plus a mauve backing sheet

- stamped image is a Woodware stamp called 'Pram', paper pieced

- the bunting is also using a Woodware stamp set called 'Small Bunting', it comes with the letters already on the little pennants

- snippet of white and mauve bakers twine

- snippet of white organza ribbon which was lying here longing to be used up, bow threaded with iridescent cord also tied in a bow and a little teddy bear charm added

- three little flat backed pearls

I truly think the main backing paper would have looked tons better if I'd whipped out the sewing machine and stitched round the edge. New Year resolution coming up - use sewing machine more!

And, as I feared - no time to link to every super make brought to the Playground but the thumbnails on last week's Snippets posting do give you a quick idea of what was entered and despite it being such a busy time, there was still some fabulous crafting going on. I quite like having the thumbnails so I hope you agree that they're useful.

But, being such a chatterbox there are some things I'd like to point out :)

Firstly, Tamara from Slovenia is now joining in the fun - welcome! She makes super cards and you can use the translate button on her right hand bar to read more.

Our six-year old Playground mascot (Little Miss C aka The Pony Girl) linked two beautifully made cards this week - such a clever little crafter - well done Miss C!

Viv came to play for the second week running - I was away and missed her first card but Sarn did the honours and welcomed Viv with bootleg egg nog and mulled wine behind the treehouse. Yup, am still clearing up the empties - and just whose idea was it to try and bury them in the swamp huh?! Welcome Viv - it can only get better in the Playground, I hope!!

And, for the first week I can recall - our Patron and Founder Jules didn't link a snippets card, bwah!!!! However - there is something really exciting going on over at Jules' blog girls, if you aren't already aware. A super 'name those stamps' Christmas/New Year quiz with some amazing goodies to be won :) And this is where to go to join in
And, don't fret about not being the first to submit an entry as Jules is offering a second chance for an identical pile of goodies via a random draw, whoop, whoop!!

And if you do want to join in the Playground fun and frolics in any quiet moments you might find - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 5th January at noon, UK time and Mr Linky is below as usual.

Am also entering this card into Winter Wonderland's current challenge which is 'New Beginnings' - so not strictly a Christmas challenge for this week.

And remember that our Hazel is still running Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge..........ha, ha, plus Sarn will continue with Rudolph Day beginning on the 25th January  - so don't totally hide those Christmas crafting goodies away!

Hope you all have a fabulous New Year girls!

Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or absolutely anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace, wool and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting please. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Addicted to CAS - 'Sweet'

The current challenge over at Addicted to CAS is 'Sweet'. So, I chose a sweet/cute image with some sweet food:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square scalloped card by Craftwork Cards

- Warren image, already printed, from Craftwork Cards - coloured with Pro Markers and layered onto a round scalloped shape, die cut using a Nestie and pink card from the snippets folder

- sentiment is by Personal Impressions from their 'Keep Calm and' set. Perhaps 'Keep Calm and Eat Cake' would have been more appropriate but 'Bake Cakes' was the closest one in the set

Saturday today and I neeeeed to make my snippets card ready for tomorrow. Last minute as always :(

Di
x

Friday, 28 December 2012

Less is More - Drinks

The current challenge over at Less Is More is 'Drinks' and it runs for two weeks:
Ack, the light is really bad here today :(

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- a stamp, totally unbranded or named, and I masked off the funny little party 'tooter' and one of those blow out unfurling thingies as they sort of jarred with me. Tickled with Pro Markers, gold pen and some 'Crystal Ice' Stickles

- double embossed lines at the top and bottom of the card

- 'Britannia' numbers cut using a die from Joanna Sheen then coloured with the same green Pro Marker as the bottle of bubbly

That was the easy part - Santa brought me a Xyron machine and I couldn't wait to use it. Ha, only put the numbers in so that the sticky ended up on the front and not the back :( Back to the Cuttlebug to make a second set! Sigh, the instruction booklet, to be fair, wasn't very clear. That's my excuse anyhow......always put the right side up!

But, I wish you all a Happy 2013 - preferably not sticky :)

Di
x

Thursday, 27 December 2012

My five favourite Christmas cards challenge


The super-talented Debby is currently running a challenge over at her blog here:
I've known about 'favourites' challenges from previous years, but have always shied away - light, bushel and all that jazz. However, this year I'm joining in the fun and, in no particular order, these are my favourite five Christmas cards of 2012:
It was made for Mia and Livi with a lot of love and the posting is here.
Made for my step-mum - who apparently loved it almost as much as the flowers and a teddy bear from M&S which arrived on Christmas Eve (bless her). The posting is here.
This one is because of the simplicity and the posting is here. I so love the Memory Box die.
Possibly my very favourite of the year, all down to a gorgeous Penny Black stamp - the posting is here.
And finally this one as it reminds me of the fabulous time Len and I had with Kay in New Mexico. I bought the papers and ribbon whilst we raced round Hobby Lobby in Santa Fe like kids in a sweet shop. I sent it to Kay for Christmas (of course) and the blog posting is here. Just hoping she will find her way to come over to the UK to stay - you'd all adore her I know!

Why not join in, Debby has some super goodies - and her blog is always so inspirational, just hang onto your purse 'cos I've run away and bought a few things thanks to seeing them used on Debby's blog :)

Di
x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A very crafty move by Santa

I might have written that I'm an avid reader, and reading in bed is such a luxury before going to sleep.

However, unlike me, Len can't drop off to sleep in mid sentence - and any bedside light disturbs him to the point of 'cue a problem/grab a flight sleep mask from the drawer/ and so on' :(

But, this was from 'Santa Len' in my stocking yesterday:
It's a Kandle for my Kindle - yay!
My Kindle is the basic model and I don't have a fancy lit cover, both through choice, but I give 10 out of 10 to this inexpensive and totally fabby little gizmo which just clips onto the top edge of the Kindle and illuminates the whole screen without lighting up the bedroom. It'll also be great on long flights if you don't want to disturb fellow passengers by having the 'above the seat' light on.

Of course Santa also brought some great crafting goodies and what seems like loads of other gifts - but this little beauty is my very, very favourite pressie :)  

I'm really very easily pleased you might think - but peace reigned here as I read in bed until 2am this morning, bliss!!

We're off out for the day today - after a lovely day yesterday - I hope you all had a wonderful time too.

Di
x

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

WHY are you here?

Shouldn't you be lounging after lunch, opening parcels or even frantically chasing unpeeled sprouts around the kitchen?

Someone here was out of bed at 4:45 am to check if Santa had been - as a little boy, being very practical, he used to go to bed armed with a torch and a pair of scissors to open parcels. What is he like? I chased him back to bed for a few hours more sleep though - and confiscated his torch and scissors :)

Whatever, this is the Christmas card I made for Len:
It's a bit of a cheat really - one of those multi-layer ones which is really 3-D with loads of layers and gorgeous in real life but such a fiddle to make. Trust me, stamping from scratch would have been a walk in the park (or Playground).

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL DAY - MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thank you so much for all the love and support this past year, you bloggers are such a great crowd. OK, time to let someone loose with his scissors now :))

Di
x

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas everyone!

This is the tree I dragged into the Snippets Playground yesterday afternoon - yeah, right :)

But it does look such a jolly scene with which to wish everyone who calls in here a really wonderful Christmas. I hope you all have a lovely time - and that perhaps Santa picked up on any hints for crafting goodies. Ha, if he didn't then he might well be having egg and chips for Christmas lunch here (joke!!).

Love

Di
x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Pixie's Crafty Snippets - Week 52

Sorry for the delay in opening the Playground gates, I slept for nine hours without even stirring last night. Am now running round the Playground all bright-eyed and busy tailed, yay, before diving into some last minute preparations! Anyhow, here's my snippets card for this week:
It's been delivered to some good friends friends, Mum, Dad, two teenagers, two dogs and two cats - and the family surname is Robins (spelt with one 'b' too) so here are eight similar but slightly different robins :)

I used:

- 8" x 8" square card stock, covered with holly paper by Paper Studio from their 'Cozy Little Christmas' pad (bought in New Mexico at Hobby Lobby)

- eight little robins, stamped and coloured with Pro Markers onto snippets of cream card then punched out with my SU scalloped punch. I used the Woodware stamp set called 'Tweet Birds'

- sentiment is from Francois Read's Woodware Collection and is called 'Merry Christmas', I love the swirly effect of this stamp, stamped onto another snippet of cream card punched out with a SU punch and then a red punched shape using the same punch placed behind it at right angles

- little holly leaves stamped, coloured and snipped out from another snippet - with a couple of red pearls added for the berries

-  a snippet of gingham ribbon (also from Hobby Lobby) that matches the berries in the holly paper so well

Rather than spend any longer on this post, the Playground gates will be opened tout suit - there were so many lovely entries last week it would take me an age to go back through and pick one or two to spotlight. I think, depending on activity during the festivities, I might even round the year off with a proper roll call :) No promises though.

If the Playground is silent, swings creaking in any breeze, no squeals of laughter in the tree house, the donkey looking lonely - then I won't fret 'cos it would mean you're all partying too much to come and play - and I can feed the donkey and bring him indoors to watch Christmas Day Tee Vee with us.

Hope you all have a fabulous time girls!

Meanwhile, if you do want to join in the Playground fun and frolics in any quiet moments you might find - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 29th December at noon, UK time and Mr Linky is below as usual.

There's a little change to Mr Linky as well, I've upgraded the Playground to thumbnails when you link :)

Am also entering this card into Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas challenge which is 'Anything goes for Christmas'.

Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or absolutely anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace, wool and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting please. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Last minute panic Christmas tags

I opened a pack of lovely red and white Christmas wrapping paper here earlier yesterday afternoon - it included ribbon and bows but no gift tags :( And I had nothing in the Christmas ribbons, tags and bows box remotely near the red and white. Ack!

Thankfully, earlier in the week Sarn had been making some fabulous gift tags from snippets and I'd immediately been a greedy little pig and ordered the Cuttlebug die cutting/embossing folder she used - plus it had already arrived here, super fast delivery indeed. Do go and take a peek - there are some lovely tags to be seen over at Sarn's.

I whipped up five tags in double quick time, with still some spares to decorate if needed:
I used:

- plain white card

- Cuttlebug folder

- stamp by Forever Friends - its first outing to my shame

- Whispers pens 'cos Pro Markers would have bled through to the back, plus a 'tickle of Stickles' on the hats

- snippets of very narrow red ribbon

Thank you Sarn for galloping to the rescue, if I hadn't been a 'greedy little pig' then I'd have been a bit stumped!

Hope you're all practically organised - thankfully we 'sort of' are and my 'to do' list is now very short, phew! Don't you love the moment when you put your feet up and say 'If it isn't done then no matter - let Christmas begin. Pass the sherry bottle!'.

Di
x

Friday, 21 December 2012

Friday Feast - Chinese Spiced Pork Fillet

Anyone up for a rest over the holidays from turkey, ham and beef? This recipe is a tasty and very easy change:
Chinese Spiced Pork Fillet

Serves 2

500g lean pork fillet
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
50ml dry sherry
2 tablespoons lemon marmalade
50ml tomato passata (sieved tomatoes is the closest in the USA)
1 red chilli, finely chopped (I did use this, but you can omit it)
Half a teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
salt and freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees c, Gas Mark 6.

Trim away any fat from the pork and cut in half across the centre. Season well with salt and pepper on each side.

Pre-heat non-stick frying pan until hot. Carefully add the pork, turning quickly to seal all sides. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, place in a hot oven and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes.

Add the garlic to the pan and soften. Add the sherry and the remaining ingredients. Simmer gently until the pork is cooked.

Remove pork from oven and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing into medallions. Arrange on a serving place and pour the sauce over.

I guess you can serve this with rice, but I chose a baked potato each and fresh baby vegetables - yummy :)

Enjoy!

Di
x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Less Is More - Anniversary

This week's LIM challenge that I made this card is for is 'Anniversary':
Super fast card, in between washing, ironing and sorting out after the weekend away.

I used:

- 4.5" x 4,5" square white card stock

- a stamp bought in New Mexico, by Copper Leaf Creations called' Coyote Moon', chosen by Len - I do suspect he's a 'closet crafter' :) I used a new Memento ink pad called 'Elderberry', it's got that touch of very deep purple about it. The moon was coloured with a pale yellow Pro Marker

- sentiment also stamped in 'Elderberry' using a Penny Black 'Happy Anniversary' stamp that is dated 1997 so it was either a 'pre-loved' stamp I bought - or possibly from the wonderful 'give away your stash' table at the October WOYWW crop

- double embossed lines above and below the image

Funny, one layer cards used to terrify me but now I'm tending to go down that route for CAS/LIM cards. As I find the Pro Marker ink bleeds through the card I back the insides with plain white card, cut a fraction smaller than the card itself. That still means it's a one-layer card don't it? :)

Don't fret though, the layers and snippets will always be close to my heart.

I wish all the other bits and pieces left to do before the fat man in the red suit calls could be as fast - although thankfully I did tons ahead of our trip :) I so hope you're all getting there too - remember, if it ain't done then would it really spoil Christmas? I think not my lovely friends!

Off to bed now at 9pm on Wednesday, so, so tired, this should post at midnight and then I'll link to the LIM challenge in the morning.  Hope to check the Playground and then am off out for a girlie lunch :)

Di
x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

WOYWW 185

This time next week the fat man in the red suit will have been and gone so it didn't seem right to skip out of the fun on WOYWW yet again..............I need to nose around what's going on, despite some tail chasing. This is what my desk was like yesterday just after dark:
A couple of cards awaiting inserts, my LIM card for this week's challenge, letters to post, ripped out page from a craft magazine behind 'cos I love the birdie stamps and neeeeed them, a flyer from a local charity who takes donations of TVs and those flipping new ink pads still waiting for a home. So exciting, no? Sigh - it sure isn't but one thing is................

I WISH ALL YOU WOYWWers AND ANY OTHER WONDERFUL CRAFTING FRIENDS THE VERY BEST FOR A MARVELLOUS CHRISTMAS AND A FABULOUS 2013 :)

Yup, I shouted that - and to see what anyone else could be shouting, please hop over to Julia's here.

We were in Southern Germany and not at home enough to be aware of the dreadful tragedy unfolding in Connecticut - I've wept since we came home and realised the full extent of what happened and can only join in the thoughts and prayers of others for the families involved. For them, Christmas will never, ever, be the same as it was before.

Di
x

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I got something for the Playground!!

Ho, ho, ho - Santa has come a tad early to the Snippets Playground:

Yay! Our very own chestnut roasting stall complete with little steam engine, we only have the best for the Playground. I even kidnapped the guy to keep it going :)
One of the many towers in the town of Ravensburg in Germany over the weekend. The Summer view below, from Wikipedia, shows the town as a whole and it has over 10 different towers:

Our lovely little grand daughter Mia on a carousel at the Christmas market.

My guess is that there was about a foot of snow, but the pavements are all kept really clear so it wasn't an issue. Also, it was thawing rapidly by the time we returned home yesterday - but no doubt there will be more to come.

I need to find time to check out the Playground links as well as my favourite blogs - a whole four days without using the internet...........most peculiar :)

Di
x

Monday, 17 December 2012

Funny what you find...........

.....when tidying away Christmas card making bits - only one of the very first Christmas cards I ever made:
Oh dear, I truly did think this was very inspired at the time :( Just a plain red card, double black cats die cuts (sold by Dies to Die For back in the days when Kirsty Wiseman had Tracey's shop), acetate, dark blue backing paper covered with snowflake gauze-like fabric, a silver star and a Lakeland Limited sentiment plus a couple of red gems..........and the all-important window peel off. Trust me, they took ages to make, a lot of careful layering and cutting. The one I found the other day must have stayed home with me to be a sneaky reminder years down the line!

Flying home today - I hope the Playground is still in one piece!

Di
x

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Pixie's Crafty Snippets - Week 51

I'm not here - but the Snippets Playground gates are open again for another week and this is my really quick snippets card. Tidying the desk I found a die, some green and some red coloured card and a packet of little pearls - it almost fell together:
Yup, it's that adorable Memory Box die again - this time cut in green and then re-cut in red and the little poinsettia shaped flowers snipped off and glued on over the green ones. The jury is out here - much as I love the plain white tree I did on the dark blue sparkly background, this does come a very close second :)

I used:

- A6 white card stock

- a snippet of red backing card and a a snippet of white card, trimmed into oblongs

- snippets of green and red card and the Memory Box 'Flowering Christmas Tree' die

- self-adhesive little pearls

No sentiment, I think it speaks for itself.

And so, a quieter week in the Playground and all around really. I think there's a flurry of activity going on and minor panic setting in in some quarters, not least here as I knew we had to be as ready for the big man in the red suit as possible before nipping away for a weekend. But, we're almost there apart from some last minute fresh groceries and the usual present wrapping once we get home. Somehow we always leave present wrapping for one another until late - it's a tradition here that presents don't appear under the tree until Christmas Eve, phew, thank goodness for that at least!

One card that really jumped out at me this week - amongst all your lovely makes - was this one from Sally:
It uses the fabulous Woodware Tipsy Tree stamp that I know our Jules also uses brilliantly. Love the paper piecing and those little gems are a great finishing touch Sally!!

Mrs A is unwell, having done her back in playing at furniture removals, so it seems that Sarn has been feeding the donkey and plans for the Christmas Play are on hold :( As they say though, it's no show without Punch, so do get well soon Mrs A!

Meanwhile, if you want to join in the Playground fun and frolics to keep using up those snippets/scraps - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 22nd December at noon, UK time and Mr Linky is below as usual.

Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or absolutely anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace, wool and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting please. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Less is More too late

Ha, I found a card I'd been playing round with for last week's one layer Less Is More challenge, which was 'In a row' - I think it does probably still needs a sentiment and perhaps some nailheads, but here you go anyhow:
I've learned that Saturday is a very quiet day for blog visitors - so thought I'd sneak it in here when no-one is looking :)

I used:

- A6 white card stock

 - stamp by Santa Rosa, with no name. I've had it for ages and rarely use it as it's soooo fiddly to colour, yet without any colour it just doesn't look right somehow - stamped in 'Galaxy Gold' and coloured with Pro Markers

- double embossed lines above and below the image 

Almost time for the Playground gates to close :)

Di
x

Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday Feast - Red Stew

This is a dish which loves to be cooked long and slow - perfect to come home to if you've been out for a Winter walk:
I know, the casserole dish looks possibly not too appetising with the cooked on juices - but, hey, that's the sign of a long and slow cooking time :)

Red Stew

Serves four to six - I halved the amount and there was more than enough for two of us

3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
1kg (approx 2lb) chunks stewing beef
2 tablespoons flour
1 large glass red wine (in fact I didn't half this amount and probably sloshed more than a large glass in - you might know!)
2 tablespoons tomato puree or tomato ketchup
400g (14oz) tin whole tomatoes
300ml (10 fl oz.) stock, made with beef stock cube
Good pinch dried herbes de Provence (I did have these to hand but mixed herbs would be just as good)
2-3 red peppers quartered and de-seeded ( these are the bell peppers, not chillies)

Soften the onion and garlic (if used) in the hot oil. When softened remove them, then add the meat and cook, in batches, until browned.

Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and put aside.

Stir in the flour and make a roux, remembering to keep stirring, cook a minute until smooth then add the red wine, tomato puree or ketchup, then gradually add the stock and bring to the boil.

Add the rest of the ingredients: the tomatoes, red peppers, herbs and return the beef and onions to the pot. Season with ground black pepper (stock cubes can be salty), cover and cook for two to three hours at 170 degrees/325 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 3, until the meat is tender.

Serve with steamed or roasted root vegetables and creamy mash.

I reckon it would cook beautifully in a slow cooker of course.

This is truly yummy folks! Enjoy :)

I'm away on a long weekend's training course, aka a trip to Germany to see the little ones - gluhwein and bratwurst at the Christmas Markets stand by your beds and prepare for an invasion :))

The Snippets Playground will carry on as normal with a new Mr Linky on Sunday - hey, did I say Playground and 'normal' in the same sentence, never!! I've left Sarn in charge seeing as she's so respectable :)

Di
x

Thursday, 13 December 2012

And a second card for two special little ladies

When two little girls now split their time between their Mummy and their Daddy, it sort of makes sense to make sure they have a Christmas card in each of the two homes:
And it's another easel card and, as if I didn't have enough going on, I opted for an easel card :(
Sideways view.
And the base.

I used:

- 6" white square card stock

- the image is a stamp I've had and loved for ages - just having its first outing though as it's one of those stamp sets you just like to look at as there are so very many possibilities - it's a Whimsy stamp called 'Cool Ride' bought from the USA by post and cost me an arm and a leg at the time. As the girlies just love horses on carousels it should be perfect for them :) I inked the image using Memento 'Gray Flannel' and I adore this new ink pad for softer outlines, image coloured with Pro Markers in a rush so not much shading and tickled with 'Frosted Lace' Stickles (which glimmers like anything in real life!) with a few little pearls added

- all patterned backing papers are from the Wild Rose Studio ' Annabelle's Christmas' paper pack, love this pack!!

- used MS snowflake 'Aspen' PATP punch on white card to form the main backing

- plain red card - for outer and and inner squares and also another piece used for the MB 'Snowflake Corner' die, with a few pearls added

 - another strip of red card topped with backing paper from the same pack, sticky ribbon by Dovecraft from their 'Jolly Happy Christmas' pack - bought in New Mexico plus a button also bought in NM. The white organza ribbon came from the ribbon box

I feel like Superwoman with run-down batteries right now - off to bed!

Di
x

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

WOYWW 184

Oh dear, been missing in action again but this is the current mess anyhow - wanna see my undies drawer while you're here? Thought not:
Boring innit - told yah, the undies drawer would be more interesting!

We have - a list of last posting dates, Memory Box already cut dies, a label from a fabby jar of chutney which arrived from May yesterday (now searching for the elusive roll of bubble wrap here to reciprocate with some 'Pickled Lily'), a card box - assembled but card not yet made to fill it, rogue Pro Marker, couple of stamps, currency folder ready for another little trip away, rogue Nesties, bag of new ink pads, cute little penguin stamp and some new oval Nesties.

Ho, ho - I suggested that Santa might wanna pay for them and put them under the tree but he's already spent up apparently! The little dish contains 'holly confetti' which fell out of a card delivered by a neighbour the other day - so I scrabbled round picking it up from the kitchen floor, waste not, want not!

Ooooh, and just behind the glass cutting mat there are a couple of pink Christmas roses - one I sprayed with with Glimmer Mist and the other to the right with, wait for it, 'silver sparkle hairspray' - who remembers that stuff?

Couldn't shift it for weeks from the clothes and bathroom :( Only a total top to toe laundry and cleaning session worked - not to mention the immediate shower and hairwash before even daring to get into bed after a party. I know, talk about a step back in time - I found a can of gold and one of silver in a cupboard the other day - rather than just throw them out I tried the silver one on a Christmas rose........don't bother looking if you think you also have some of this stuff, the rose ended up looking a dirty light grey (albeit sparkly) colour.

The long white packet looking like a tube that should contain a specimen holder or summick is the pack that holds a spare long handled set of tweezers, currently downstairs having been used to unpick the knotted string on umpteen boxes of Christmas decorations.

That's me right now - trying to glide on the surface but paddling like crazy under the water line! Happy WOYWW, and do please go to see what Julia and others are up to this week.

Di
x

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Much more less than more

Well, in the midst of pandemonium here, I leapt out from underneath the boxes of Christmas decorations (which are thankfully all finished now) - and whipped up this:

I used:

- DL white card stock

- 'Jingle Bell Border' stamp which some kind person had put on the 'unwanted craft goodies' table at the WOYWW crop in October. What a super image - it stamped beautifully in gold and, given more time to play, would be fabulous heat embossed

- sentiment from the Personal Impressions 'Many Greetings' set

- double scored lines on all four sides

I'm entering this into this week's Less Is More challenge - which is a one layer week, 'in a row'.

It's like a skating rink outside this morning - go carefully if you're in the Playground!

Di
x

Monday, 10 December 2012

For two special little ladies

This was to have been my snippets card yesterday, but time ran out and I knew that I'd make some sort of huge boo-boo if I rushed it:

It has to be posted ASAP so I ran away from the boxes containing tree decorations for a while and finished it off :)

I used:

- A5 white card stock which comes with the edges touched with silver, I suspect these ones came from QVC ages ago but think that Hobbycraft stock them

- image by Belles 'n Whistles, designed by Elisabeth Bell - I adore so much of her work and this image reminds me so much of Mia and Livi. Stamped onto a snippet, coloured with Pro Markers then  a litte touch of Crystal Ice Stickles and an aurora borealis gem in the centre of the star

- all of the plain pink card came from the snippets folder - some behind the patterned paper, a scalloped square behind the image and a scalloped oval behind the sentiment

- the patterned paper is by Marianne Design from the 'Merry Little Christmas' paper pack

- dies used were a square scalloped Nestie, Spellbinders Fancy Tags Two, Memory Box 'Snowflake Corner' - plus SU's scalloped oval punch

- sentiment by Craftwork Cards

- ribbons from the ribbon box and the lace was a snippet

- the bow was threaded with iridescent cord and a sweet little parcel charm, the snowflake, which is much whiter in real life, is a sparkly button threaded with narrow pink organza ribbon

- snort, then I went mad with more aurora borealis gems - the little girlies do love anything sparkly and pink, so I was in my element :)


I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

In The Pink - Challenge #9 'Gonna be a pink Christmas' (right up my street of course)

My Time to Craft - Challenge 200 - Non Traditional Christmas Colours

EHA Challenge #32 - Christmas with a Twist - Non-traditional Christmas colours - this is a challenge I just found, to use Elisabeth Bell designs. It's an Australia based challenge and I'm in seventh heaven just looking through past DT work, they also sell Elisabeth Bell stamps, the one I used today came from the UK but I'll be checking Elphine House out as I can't always track down Elisabeth Bell stamps easily. Yay!

My work doing the Christmas decorations is almost finished but the in-house DIY chappie is lagging behind. I'm trusted with the indoor tree lights but (sigh) nothing else I can blow the house up with - believe me I have come very close in the past. Ha, I bet if I get his toolbox out, and start unrolling cable and lights for elsewhere, it just might do the trick!


Hope you all had a productive weekend, mine was a bit slower than hoped but my 'to-do' list is getting shorter  - which is more than can be said for Mr DIY here's list :(

Darnell hit the nail on the head, the 'whispering voice' saying this will all be ripped down in the blink of an eye could well mean the angel ends up on the dining room table and the Christmas runner ends up on the top of the tree - get thee behind me, oh bottle box of wine!! Thank you for chirping me up though Darnell :

Di
x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Pixie's Crafty Snippets - Week 50

Oh no! Am buried under boxes of Christmas decorations here and have absolutely no time at all to make a snippets card. I did start one but it's a special card and if I rush then it'll just be ruined, with luck it could be finished for tomorrow - in fact is has to be finished to be posted!

But, two little beauties have been linked this week and I thought you might like to see how our Amanda has totally cracked paper piecing:

Aren't they absolutely fabulous? To find out more do hop over to Amanda's blog - I think she surely is our star turn this week.

Talking of star turns, auditions will be held this week ready for the Christmas Snippets play - any bids anyone?

Sorry this is short and sweet, trust me - if I don't get a wriggle on then we truly could be clambering over boxes in the lounge for the next few days :(

If you want to join in the Playground fun and frolics to keep using up those snippets/scraps - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 15th December at noon, UK time. I'll be on teachers training (again!!) but just a short course this time. Mr Linky is below as usual.


Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or absolutely anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace, wool and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting please. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday Feast - Black Forest Trifle

'Tis almost the season of naughty desserts and everything else that goes with the Christmas and New Year festivities :) I've been slipping a bit on Friday Feasts so here's a really easy but very indulgent recipe by James Martin to make up for it a bit:
Black Forest Trifle

Serves 8

500ml tub ready-made chilled custard - look for one with real vanilla seeds
100g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
400g chocolate brownies - see my notes below
2 x 390g jars cherries in kirsch or similar - see my notes below
300g tub double cream
200ml tub crème fraîche
25g icing sugar
Grated chocolate, to decorate, and fresh cherries (optional)

Put the custard into a pan with the chocolate pieces. Gently heat, stirring,
until the chocolate has melted into the custard. Cover with cling film and
cool.

Arrange the brownies in the base of a trifle bowl. Drain the jars of cherries,
reserving the liquid, and scatter over the brownies. Drizzle over 100ml
reserved liquid. Spoon the cooled chocolate custard over and chill while
you make the topping.

Lightly whip the cream with the crème fraîche and icing sugar until soft
peaks form. Chill until ready to serve, then pile on top of the trifle and
decorate with grated chocolate and fresh cherries, if you like.

Things I do: the recipe truly is very rich and I think chocolate brownies could be too heavy so I substituted chocolate muffins, even a good old fashioned unadorned chocolate swiss roll would do the trick but you try finding one of those elusive creatures these days!

Also, jars of cherries in kirsch cost an arm and a leg - I bought just one jar plus a tin of black cherries, there was more than 100ml of (hic!) kirsch/cherry liquid in the one jar to use.

I bought the teeny little chocolate hearts, made by Silver Spoon and found in Sainsburys baking section - and added flaked toasted almonds along with some of the cherries in kirsch which I'd reserved

Finally, this was to take to friends so I used disposable dishes - the ingredients made two trifles as shown above so you do need a decent sized trifle dish.

As I said, it's a typical James Martin recipe so it's quite an indulgent dessert and I doubt if you could eat a lot of it - but for chocolate lovers it's truly yummy!

Hide the bathroom scales and enjoy!

Di
x

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A robin in a huff?

Remember I used some of the fat and cute little robin stamps the other day? Well, this card has the addition of a third image which tickles me pink:
A bit like a girlfriend in the huff and so her fella is offering his piece of holly to the opposition :)

I used:

- 7
.25" x 2.75" white card stock

- red snowflakes and ribbon backing card from QVC at some point


- Woodware stamp set called 'Tweet Birds', coloured with Pro Markers


- plain red card from the snippets folder


- sentiment by Craftwork Cards


- a couple of red gems as 'holly berries'


The postman brought two lovely packets yesterday, from Annie and Jo - one contained some adorable mice and the other a lovely Christmas angel (named Diane!) - similar meece and scrapbox dollies can be found in Annie and Jo's shop here. So beautifully made with such attention to detail - I'm tickled even pinker than I was with the robin image :)) If you're looking for Christmas makes then you wouldn't be disappointed I promise!

I'll try and post a piccie of them here but am typing this at 2:30 am and daren't disturb my in-house critic....as it is I have to try to wriggle into bed under the duvet very carefully and silently, and he always stirs and growls :(

Di
x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Christmas Pedal Power

I was given the SU 'Pedal Power' stamp set as a gift by a very dear blog buddy - and to my shame this is the first outing :
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card stock

- elements from SU's 'Pedal Power' stamp set - although to make it festive I just drew some holly in the front basket and added a few little pearls as berries. My guess is that the rider will have to ride along with the parcel stack perched on their head :)

- green snippet of card, die cut with oblong Nestie

- sentiment from the Woodware Clear Magic stamp set - 'Christmas Bubble Tree'

- a couple of embossed lines towards the top and bottom of the card - you can see them if you look closely, and you can also see that the white image card has been cut wonky :( My in-house critic noticed it right away so this card will be going to someone with myopia :)

I'm entering this into this week's Less Is More challenge - which is red and green. I got the red and green, and hopefully the LIM side of it - nil points for execution with the trimmer though, sigh :(

WOYWW today, but I'm missing in action I'm afraid - tail-chasing here and much as I love joining in there isn't enough time to play fair. Anyhow, due to the 'inability to find any space to work'........I tidied my desk up and it looks too good to be true. In fact, it's really rather boring :(

Di
x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

What? Not a Christmas card?

Too right!! I needed a change so made this:

I used:

- 5" x 7" white card stock

- stamped image by Personal Impressions - ref. P1431M, coloured with Pro Markers and trimmed round - ack, it took ages cutting round the frondy bits! Should have embossed the white card and then stamped onto it - but ain't hindsight 20/20 vision huh!? I got the stamp in a rummage box for £1 when out with the Two J's the other week......bargain!! :)

- embossing folder - Cuttlebug 'Swirls Frame' - if you hurry this is in the reduced section in Joanna Sheen's shop, along with the Poinsettia Frames folder I used recently

- melon pink card

- sentiment by Hero Arts from the 'Good Friends' set

- one single flat backed pearl in the centre of the flower on the hat

Spent hours yesterday trying to tidy up the craft room - was at the point of decamping to the dining room otherwise :( Still not finished but I can confirm that the desk is light oak in colour at least now - that was a surprise after so long!

Di
x

Monday, 3 December 2012

Tweet birds

Another Woodware set of stamps in use here today - it has eight birdies in mirrored poses, plus some optional holly sprigs. Great for super fast cards and such fun to use:
I used:

- 4.75" x 4.75" square card stock

- embossing folder called 'Holly with berries' by Cuttlebug. Just a case of carefully moving the folder and lining up the design to cover the whole front section. One thing, after embossing, the front section ends up a gnats whisker smaller on the side opening - easily rectified with a swift little trim of the back section

- Woodware stamp set called 'Tweet Birds', coloured with Pro Markers

- red card from the snippets folder

- a couple of red gems as 'holly berries'

Next year I think this cute set will be used in 'batch mode' - so quick and easy :)

Di
x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets - Week 49 - Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

Sigh, I know when I'm beaten - so, now that it's December you can let rip with the roast chestnuts, mulled wine, eggnog and decorations in the Playground. Just leave a quiet corner so I can lie down in the dark now and then :(

Edit - I just found this in my email from Mrs A - and you wonder why I'm rapidly turning into a white haired gibbering wreck:

Hi Miss,
Dun u worry bout nuffin. Everything is under control!!!!
The chooks are now on24/7 production to keep up the demand for the egg noggin that Mary H.  is distilling as we speak.
The Doc has pronounced the wiring is safe on the slow cooker so that is bubbling away merrily with the mulled wine.
The tree had nuffin to do with me so am keeping outta the way on that one.
The lights are nearly all up on the staging in the middle of the pond for the old foggies folks Christmas concert. The fact that the rest of the street is plunged into darkness is a slight miscaluation on how much juice  power  was needed for the opening show  number.
The sheep are under  a strick curfew though we might just need to borrow one or two for the finale.
Like I say dun u worry bout nuffin.
 
Oh dear :(

Anyhow, here's my snippets card and this Elzybells stamp has been sitting patiently on my desk, waiting to be used for the first time, and the other day I got the giggles looking at it and thinking of you little perishers forming a similar Christmas tree - each one fighting for a turn to be the star standing triumphantly on top :) I know, little things please little minds (and I do worry that it's really a mild form of hysteria here in between chasing round) but it was fun to colour in...... in between sniggering:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- Elzybells stamp called 'Penguin Tree', stamped onto a snippet of white card. It's one of the few stamps still stocked this Summer by a company in the Netherlands - coloured with Pro Markers

- red backing card from the snippets folder

- Christmas bunting paper from the 'Berry Merry' set - free in 2011 with Quick Cards Made Easy magazine

- sentiment from Personal Impressions 'Many Greetings' set by Kirsty Wiseman - lots of fun sentiments in this set :)

- three red pearls

I resisted the urge to add any schparkle, gloss or ribbon. Stuck the image on at an angle to show more of the backing paper, even though it went so much against my liking for things all lined up. Ha, and the reason the penguins have lime green feet and beaks is so they match the backing paper - and funnily enough the image that came with the stamp also used lime green, wonder what variety of penguin that is then :)

And here's a little hint girls - if, as I did here, you make a boo-boo with your Pro Marker colouring right at the very last minute do not panic. I ran round the craft room walls in dismay before a little light went on (and it wasn't me trampling across the light switch before some wag suggests that!). I practised on a piece of spare card  first - then with tongue between teeth set to on the little mistake on the image. No way was a blender pen going to sort out black - so, I carefully coloured over with a white Gelly Roll pen and let it dry before redoing the little area over the white ink. Ha, I bet your fingers are poised to spot the alteration - and in truth you can see it if you really press your nose against the screen and look hard enough. Bop!! I just punched your nose for being a real 'sticky beak', but it did save a total re-do of the image just cos of one little mistake :) I'd certainly do it again, being prone to last minute shakes when colouring.

Hmm, the expression 'sticky beak' came from the lovely Victoria who was always such fun in the Playground and her blog did make me laugh. I suspect that since returning to work she's really busy - but we miss you Victoria if you do happen to read this!!

Edit, before even posting - kinda spooky really, guess who popped up with a lovely card and super little video, Victoria - go here to see :)

Quite a few little folk scampering into the Playground this past week - and there are lots of lovely cards and other makes to be seen if you go to Mr Linky for last week which is here.

I won't always pick a 'show and tell' for the week - but Mrs A had sent me these images recently and isn't he just adorable? And now 'Pipkin' and more information about him can be seen on Mrs A's blog here.

Can you see just what he's working on in the second photo? So funny :) Maybe we should adopt him as our Playground Mascot - alongside the menagerie of ducks, chikkins and sheep........sheep? How did THEY turn up when my back was turned then?

Sorry this is hasty - I'm having a little break before returning to stuffing envelopes, they will all be done by later this afternoon though (Saturday) - phew! (Edit, all done now - yay!!)

If you want to join in the Playground fun and frolics to keep using up those snippets/scraps - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 8th December at noon, UK time. Mr Linky is below as usual.

Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or absolutely anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace, wool and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting please. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)