Thursday, 31 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playgrounds Weeks 208/209 Celebration - Prize H

I just had to sneak in another Penny Black prize, before the last prize appears tomorrow! Luckily I did this and wrote most of this post the other day and this is my snippets card - I love this cheeky chappy:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blank

- snippets of SU's 'Real Red' card stock for the backing and also to back the image

- a snippet of white card stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the Penny Black 'Monkey in our Tree' stamp - which always makes me smile. Coloured using Pro markers

- die cut the image using a die from the Spellbinders Nestabilities set called 'Wonky Rectangles' and then hand cut the red backing layer by drawing round the same die and hand cutting it for a narrower border than using the next die up in size

- the patterned backing paper is a snippet from LOTV's 'Classic Christmas' paper pad

- the sentiment was stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Personal Impressions 'Many Greetings' set then punched out using the SU 'Word Wo indow' punch and layered onto a SU 'Modern Label' - punched from a snippet of SU's 'Real Red'

- final touch, Inklylicious 'Fluffy Puffy Stuff' on the monkey's hat/pompom and tickles of clear Wink of Stella on top of that and also on the baubles

Once again, the jury is out over the 'Fluffy Puffy Stuff'. This is the third brand of heat activated stuff I've tried and to be honest none of them really float my boat. Mind you, one of the previous brands went light brown (like a meringue) on a previous card - at least this one stays white :)

These are today's prizes:
It's a Penny Black 'Monkey in our Tree' stamp as well as  a set of Spellbinders 'Wonky Rectangles' Nestabilities dies.

As usual, just add a comment underneath this post if you'd like to be in the draw for today's prize - or even for just part of the prize goodies (the stamp or the set of dies) same as I used, just say so in your comment. I can split them if you wish although it's one whole prize if that's what you'd like.

At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session using Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE - so you do have to have entered at least one snippets make to be in with a chance :) Maximum of three entries please.

Just one more prize to play for now - that will be on here tomorrow. It's not mahooosive, but I think it's very elegant :)

I've been thinking that return to the 'normal' one prize per week will seem a bit tame after the past couple of weeks - but needs must. I do know this, the Playground is such fun, I'm sure you will still play along. I do see how you visit one another and it gives me the 'warm fuzzies' to know that, somehow, we have such a happy little band :)

Mind you, I did notice that the Nativity Play went off like a damp squib - or was I too spaced out on meds at the time? Maybe we can fix up an Easter Egg hunt next - I bagsie wear the big floppy ears and whiskers, if Parsnip will show me where he hid them last time I dressed him up in them :)

Hope you have a lovely New Year's Eve, whatever your plans may be. Ours will be quiet and that's just how we like it!
Di
x

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playgrounds Weeks 208/209 Celebration - Prize G

Today this is the snippets card I made. It was made a while back so it has appeared on my blog previously as am still taking things fairly easy here:

I used:

- 4" x 6" Kraft card blank

- robin and holly stamps from the Woodware 'Tweet Birds' set (in fact these little guys could be coloured differently to make little blue tits or such), stamped onto a snippet of white card and coloured with Pro Markers

- then cut with a die from the Spellbinders 'Resplendent Rectangles' set and a little red gem added as the holly berry

- sentiment was stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' using a stamp from the Personal Impressions 'Many Greetings' set

- the background papers are snippets from LOTV's 'Classic Christmas' paper pad

I wonder how many of you have noticed that LOTV have very few different paper pads in their online shop now? They were down to just 10 different ones when I last peeked. They've moved to smaller premises and closed their lovely shop. Also my impression, from a newsletter, is that they will be concentrating on stamps and some of the peripheral supplies will no longer be sold. I suspect that this is almost certainly the paper pads - these are showing as limited stocks right now. Such a shame as I loved their papers, and do wonder what else might follow in the reduction of their ranges - so this could be last chance saloon ladies! :(

And this is today's prize:
It's the stamp set I used on my snippets card - a Woodware 'Tweet Birds' stamp set with nine little birdies for you to play with, plus a couple of sentiments and two holly sprigs. The birds are about 1.25" in size - would be cute for paper piecing too :) Most importantly, I have three sets of these stamps to give away. 


As usual, just add a comment underneath this post if you'd like to be in the draw for today's prize of the 'Tweet Birds' stamp sets. At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session using Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE - so you do have to have entered at least one snippets make to be in with a chance :) Maximum of three entries please.

Di
x

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground Weeks 208/209 Celebration - Prize F

We're still rolling along with the celebrations in the Snippets Playground!

Here's my snippets card for today:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- a snippet of SU's 'Real Red' card stock - this is one colour that I bought up in quantity as it's such a Christmassy red - trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front and glued in place

- a snippet of white card stock, embossed using the Sheena Douglass 5" x 7"  'Christmas Greetings' embossing folder and trimmed slightly smaller than the red backing before being glued onto the card front

- next I dug out some little snippets of green card plus more SU 'Real Red' to die cut the stockings - using the Crafter's Companion 'Christmas Stocking' die set. I love that this little set even comes with the extra dies for the heels and toes!

- assembled the stockings and then just popped them onto the card front using thin sticky pads

These little stockings would look great suspended from a twine 'washing line' with little pegs - but, I was still taking it very easy and went for a card that would just quickly showcase the prize(s) on offer today - which are:
A Sheena Douglass 'Christmas Greetings' embossing folder - a generous 5" x 7" in size
and a Crafter's Companion Die'Sire 'Christmas Stocking' die set.

Please just add a comment underneath this post if you'd like to be in the draw for this particular prize - which is all one prize unless you'd only like to be in the draw for either the embossing folder or the die set - in which case just say so and I'll do a second draw for the other part of the prize if you win. But, as usual, both items do make up one single prize unless you say otherwise.

At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session for all the prizes using the one Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE - so you do need to have entered at least one snippets make over on that post to be in with a chance :) Maximum of three entries please.

And there's still more prizes to come so keep on checking!

Di
x

Monday, 28 December 2015

Have you lost a few followers?

If so, read on.

In a nutshell, Blogger have (as we suspected) been tinkering with the Followers service.

Quote from a post on 'The Real Blogger Status' dated Monday December 21st:

During the past weekend, Blogger started the process of simplifying Following. This involves removing non Google accounts and profiles from Following.
As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.


This is the link to the blog, explaining in more detail

Hope this enlightens those of you who've been wondering!

Di
x

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playgrounds Weeks 208/209 Celebration - Prize E

Hi there! Well, it's a whole week since the Weeks 208/209 Celebration Giveaway started off, and we still have almost a whole week left to run. Loads of you have been visiting to add your snippets makes and also to say yes please to the prizes offered so far.

Some of you have already entered three times but I propose to keep the limit at a maximum of three entries to make it fairer for peeps who might not have much free time to craft over the Holidays.

I think this is one of my favourite snippets cards of the fortnight - I really love the stamp, as well as the stitched dies:
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank - needed to be a bigger card as the stamp/image is a good size and I also didn't want to swamp the amusing backing paper too much

- snippets of pale blue card, one as a backing layer just slightly smaller than the card blank

- a piece of blue patterned paper from the LOTV 'Twas the Night' paper pad

- the fabulous image, if you like 'cute' of course, is Penny Black's 'Xmas Crafts' and was stamped onto a snippet of white card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink then coloured with Pro markers

- die cut the image using a die from the Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set, and popped it onto a larger layer of pale blue card - also die cut using the same set of dies then glued the image layer in place on the card front

- die cut two snowflakes from snippets of mauve and pale blue card using the Whimsy 'Layered Snowflakes' die set, tickled them with clear Wink of Stella and then stuck them in place on one corner of the image rectangle

- last touch, a pale blue pearl in the centre of the snowflake

Sorry the photo is rubbish - at last am able to sit in the craft room, just for very short periods, and actually do a tiny bit of crafting! I can't tell you just how wonderful that feels - but, I can't control the weather and lighting so this card had to be photographed using my desk top daylight lamp :(

These are today's prizes:

Not only is it the Penny Black 'Xmas Crafts' stamp on offer, it's also a set of Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' dies.

As usual, just add a comment underneath this post if you'd like to be in the draw for today's prize - or even for just part of the prize goodies (the stamp or the set of dies) same as I used, just say so in your comment. I can split them if you wish although it's one whole prize if that's what you'd like.

At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session using Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE - so you do have to have entered at least one snippets make to be in with a chance :) Maximum of three entries please.

Hope you've all had a happy and peaceful Christmas and that Santa was good to you. Parsnip snuck downstairs in the middle of Christmas Night and totally gorged himself on a big tub of Quality Street chocolates - oh boy, he was moaning and groaning for England all yesterday :)

Di
x

Friday, 25 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playgrounds Weeks 208/209 Celebration - Prize D

First of all, a MASSIVE Merry Christmas to you all. I hope that Santa has been kind to you - and even more, Parsnip and I wish you a day filled with peace and happiness.

For some of us today will be tinged with sadness, 2015 has been a year to forget in lots of ways :( BUT, as a little Playground community I do know that we care very deeply about one another - and that 'virtual' hugs will be spreading all over the World between us.

Time for another 'Snippets Playground Celebration' prize - and this is my snippets card:
I used:

- 6" x 4" white card blank

- a  snippet of silver holographic card, slightly smaller than the card front, glued in place

- a snippet of white card, embossed using the Darice 'Snowflake Swirl' embossing folder then trimmed to just a bit smaller than the silver layer and glued in place on top of the silver card

- another little snippet of silver holographic card plus a snippet of matt deep red mirri card, die cut using dies from the gorgeous Creative Expressions Sue Wilson 'Festive Collection Joy' die set. These were backed with 'Stick-It' adhesive film and I also embossed the red JOY letters using a Cuttlebug 'Dots' folder before adding the swirly and plain die cuts to the card front

- small snippet of silver holographic card, die cut using the Memory Box 'Lindeman Snowflake' die

- popped the centre cut out back into the middle of the snowflake and topped it with a red sparkly gem

I think these two (three in fact) dies really do work well together and may well do a bit of a batch run of them at some point. Must confess that the red letters JOY came out from the die looking a little bit 'embossed' and I wasn't overly keen on the look as it wasn't really very even or distinct - which is why I ran them through the Cuttlebug again using a 'dots' embossing folder. My guess is that I should have left the letters in the dies and then run them through using the tan mat - but I was working on very limited time :)

Oh, and of course you can add the flourished JOY either on top or underneath the solid letters, it looks really good either way! Possibly best on top to show off the pretty swirls - with hindsight being 20/20 vision needless to say! You can see how pretty they are in the photo below.

These are the names of the prizes today - a Creative Expressions Sue Wilson 'Festive Collection Joy' die set and a Memory Box 'Lindeman Snowflake' die.

So girls, the drill (as usual this time round) is to add a comment underneath this post if you'd like to be in the draw for this prize - or even for just part of the prize goodies I used today, just say so in your comment - I can split them if you wish although it's one whole prize if that's what you'd like).

At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session using Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE - so you do have to have entered at least one snippets make to be in with a chance :) Maximum of three entries please.

Enjoy your day - then it's only 365 days to go until the next time round! :)

Di
x

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas - one and all!

She did it again! Got me trussed up like a Christmas turkey in a silly Santa suit:
 
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS
AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
WITH LOTS OF LOVE
FROM DI AND PARSNIP
XXXX

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground Weeks 208/209 Celebration - Prize C

Time for another 'Snippets Playground Celebration' prize - and this is my snippets card. It's another bit of a cheat as this card was originally made back in November 2013 and here it is again - shame on me though, I haven't used the stamp since then:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- Woodware 'Tipsy Tree' stamp, the trunk was coloured with a Pro Marker and the rest paper pieced using snippets of different papers from Wild Rose Studio's 'Wintry Christmas' Paper pack then it was mounted onto a snippet of plain turquoise card

- another snippet of plain turquoise card, topped with pink spotty backing paper and a snippet band across the centre from the same patterned paper pack

- sentiment was stamped directly onto the finished image using a stamp from the 'Tipsy Tree' set plus Memento 'Elderberry' ink pad

- white Josy Rose nail heads to finish off

And here's today's prize - as if you can't guess - and there's just the one of these to be won. Look though, you get three sizes of trees and also some great sentiments (which I've used with other images on totally different cards) - oh and you get robins, stars and such:
It's a Woodware 'Tipsy Tree' stamp set, same as the one I used. The drill as usual is to add a comment underneath this post if you'd like to be in the draw for this particular prize. I've seen this stamp used in lots of different ways and can't understand why I haven't made more use of mine!

Now, this is important girls, I possibly didn't make is clear enough but of course you can leap in throughout the whole giveaway and say 'yes please' to as many prizes as you like .... even if you haven't already made and entered your snippets make into Mr Linky at that point in time.

Your 'yes please' will certainly be in the pot when it comes to the grand draw, so long as you've entered into Mr Linky by then. At the end of this I'll be using Mr Linky as the focus for the random choices so please feel free to squeal with delight at as many prizes as you wish and say some 'yes pleases' on the way through the festive season - just remember to add at least one snippets make into Mr Linky to be in with a chance.

As already said, at the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session for all the prizes using Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE - so you do need to have entered at least one snippets make over on that post to be in with a chance - think I hammered that one home enough huh? :) Still a maximum of three entries please.

Di
x

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground Weeks 208/209 Celebration - Prize B (more than one to be won!)


Time for another 'Snippets Playground Celebration' prize - and this is my snippets card. It's a bit of a cheat to be honest as I made this card way back in August 2013! I had wanted to re-do it for today's post but wherever possible am trying to keep away from spending time at the craft desk - so here it is again:

I used:

- 7" x 5" white card stock

- Woodware 'Christmas Date' stamp, red, green and gold Pro Markers

- little tickles of Stickles 'Crystal Ice' on the background snowflakes

- red 'dewdrops' on the holly berries.

- then I stamped the 25 part of the image again, onto a snippet of double sided sticky sheet and then carefully cut out the numbers stuck them onto the card, peeled the front of the sticky off and then covered with 'Gold' Glamour Dust and whisked off the excess with a big soft makeup brush

I do keep even the smallest snippets of double sided sticky/adhesive sheet - they always come in handy sooner or later :)

Not surprisingly, this is today's prize, which is one of my all-time favourite Christmas stamps:


It's the Woodware 'Christmas Date' stamp. The drill is to add a comment underneath this post if you'd like to be in the draw for this particular prize, and it gets better - I actually have SIX of these to give away! I might be wrong here but I just felt that this truly was a stamp that many of you would love to own. If not then I got it VERY wrong! It'sreally striking without too much work/colouring - and won't date (snigger, date, geddit?!) - so I do hope it'll be a popular prize, great for quick and very effective Christmas cards I think.

I have to say that there are only two prizes where I have multiples to give away over the next week and a half and this is one of them - but there are some really lovely prizes coming along! 

At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session for all the prizes using the one Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE - so you do need to have entered at least one snippets make over on that post to be in with a chance :) Maximum of three entries please.

Di
x

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Weeks 208 and 209 and Prize A

Hi there and a warm welcome to the Snippets Playground. Little Parsnip is behind the bike shed dishing out mince pies, cookies, egg nog and mulled wine! I decided that if you can't beat 'em you may as well join 'em and have appointed Parsnip as our Christmas Waiter for the week. Do please help yourself - and do please also let me know if you notice him disappearing into the bushes for a secret swig now and then!

I ventured to the craft room (literally for less than an hour whilst Len was out at archery) to make this snippets card:

I used:

- white Centura pearlescent card stock, scored, cut and folded into a 4" x 6" card blank

- a layer of dark blue 'snowflake patterned' backing card from the snippets I keep in the Christmas card and paper box

- a snippet of white Centura pearlescent card, die cut using a Memory Box 'Curved Merry Christmas' die then trimmed to size and added onto the snowflake layer

- the little penguin was stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from a Jane's Doodles set called 'Winter Wishes'. He was coloured using Whispers markers and trimmed up to the edge of the outline before I added a paper pieced scarf (used a little snippet of almost plain red paper from the LOTV 'Classic Christmas' paper pad)

- at that point I thought the dark blue showing behind the die cut word Christmas was a bit dull so I die cut the word again using a snippet of SU 'Real Red' card and popped it in place - ah, much brighter :)

- added three red gems in the bottom left hand corner and a smaller gem as the dot above the letter 'i'

- finally out came the clear Wink of Stella brush pen to cover the penguin's scarf and also the red die cut 'Christmas' word - I took a risk doing the word after it was in situ but thankfully didn't wobble over the edges, phew
 
The die I used is yet another variation on a few other Memory Box dies, and what I really love is that it has the lovely curve which is just right for sitting a little Christmas animal or snowman in.

Let's move straight onto the weekly picks etc. as there are a few different things happening in the Playground over the coming two weeks and I need to explain what'll be going on - a lot of information to take in so hope you think it's gonna be fun!

This amazing scene created by Pat totally bowled me over! And those of you who also visited for a closer look thought exactly the same. The detail is just amazing and this is worthy of being framed (as Bonnie suggested!). Just wonderful!

LOVE this card, made by Brenda. Super paper piecing and the dimension is gorgeous. The background was created using the 'acrylic block, inked with water based ink and then spritzed before stamping' technique - something I'd forgotten all about, so one to try again here!


Gosh, I seem to be on a roll picking blues this week! Lynn (Linby) brought this really beautiful card to share with us - loads of snippets used and I really love the idea of the image in a bauble. Draws the eye beautifully as a stunning focal point.

Bit of a gasp here when I saw this amazing tag, made by Diane H. It's just perfect in every single detail - and it's silver so I did move slightly away from the blues :) I would just LOVE to find this tag, complete with the darling jingle bells, on a parcel from Santa.

Oooops, blue again! I love this wall hanging made by Ileana - if you look closely you'll see that there are loads of wonderful little snippets in this gorgeous creation. I love it!

And blue again, but I just HAD to show you this really clever make, brought to share with us by Liz. Isn't the snowman terrific?! A really great way to use up snippets, and if you hop over to Liz's blog post you'll find really good instructions and measurements telling you how to make this 'happy chappy' :)

And, there's absolutely NO way this wouldn't be a pick for this week - made by Jane J. I totally adore this wonderful card and, not only did Jane share it with us in the Playground, but it's in print in the latest edition of 'Craft Stamper' magazine. Wahoo - go Jane! I can see Parsnip offering to be your agent at this rate :)

So girls, that's my picks for this week - as always so hard to choose and so many wonderful ideas. My advice is to try and find time to visit as many playmates as possible and see for yourself just how clever they all are!

And, we have one new playmate this week:
Michelle (Lancaster) of 'Laughing Ducks' - what a great name for a blog! - brought us this really lovely Christmas card. A wonderful and beautifully coloured image Michelle plus I love all the pretty blue LOTV snippets you used. Great result!

Hope you come back to play again soon :)

Let's do the prize draw now for the Penny Black 'Caroling duck' wood mounted stamp plus a Die-namics MFT 'JOY photo card frame' die - and our winner is:
Wahoo - and very well done Mrs. A! I was really surprised when I checked back in my little black book and found it was Week 143 when you last had a win, 14 months ago - so this was well due! And, I just know that daft duck stamp is absolutely right up your street/duck pond :)

I also know where you live (of course!) and will post the stamp and Joy frame die to you ASAP. It all depends on whether Len will be near a post box this coming week in the run-up to Christmas.

Right, so this is what's going to be going on with the Snippets Playground over the festivities. Some of you already know that I had such fun plans for the Playground over this coming fortnight, before I was struck down in my tracks, sigh. Not only is it Christmas and New Year (aka Holidays) - it's also a whole four years since I took over the Playground, so time to celebrate big time!

Having thought it through, whilst lying here hoping for some meds to finally work, I decided that things will go ahead almost as planned as my hands and brain are still in good working order - so far at least! The exception is that I'm not going to list all the prizes here just yet and very possibly won't be able to make a fresh card to showcase each prize - you heard right there - I did say each prize, there are a LOT of them ....... and this is how it will work.

Firstly, the Playground Mr Linky which is below will run for two weeks and closing time will be 11am on Saturday 2nd January and this post is where to add any entries - with a maximum of three entries - over the fortnight. We've done this before and it eases the load on me and also gives you two weeks to play (if you want to of course!) as no doubt the run up to Christmas plus the Christmas and New Year festivities themselves will be busy for you. Some of you will be busier than others I know, and for those of you who do find some quiet time to craft it's a chance for you to play along for some rather nice prizes too. It also means I can clear the Playground toy box out of Christmas themed (and maybe some other) prizes - the lid won't even close right now :)

So that I don't swamp and confuse you with a load of prizes to choose from in this post, I'll be posting at intervals over the coming couple of weeks and adding more prizes of varying sizes into the pot as we progress through the holiday. To be honest, I'm still planning how to fit them all in as well :)

If you see a prize you'd like to be in the 'pot' for then please leave a 'Yes please' (or similar) comment in the same post where I show you the prize. For me, that's going to be a lot less confusing than me having lots of little lists here and there - especially as there are so many prizes coming up!  It will mean that if you would like to be in with a chance of every prize, then you need to comment on each one as it comes up - and please don't leave it right until the end and nip through all the prize posts adding 'Yes please' to each in one fell swoop. Remember, they will show up serially on my dashboard if you do that so I will notice and wouldn't feel that it's in the true spirit of the Playground. So, if you want to play then do try to pop in over the festivities to see what's on offer :)

Edit: Also, just saying here 'count me in for all prizes that are offered' doesn't count I'm afraid and will mean you don't go into the draw at all - other people are taking the time and trouble to check out the individual posts and prizes and leave comments so it wouldn't be fair to them.  

As I already said, there will only be the one Mr Linky for all entries - which is at the end of this post of course. I'll remind you where to go to link each time I post a new prize on the blog. Also, I'll run the prize draw using this Mr Linky as a basis for the random number generator and will then look at the relevant post to find out who said yes to the particular prize I'm running the random generator for. As there will be a good few prizes (for example, I have six of one particular prize which will appear in one post - got a bit carried away there!) - I think the odds of winning something could be in your favour! Plus, the prizes aren't 'First, Second, Third' etc - some are higher in value than others for sure though - so if your name pops out again you could very well end up winning more than one prize.

I hope this is clear girls? Remember, my Christmas is going to be very different this year and I'm pacing things as best I can. This is the best solution I can think of and with luck and fair play it could work out fine!

Let's start with today's prize, which is:

A Memory Box 'Curved Merry Christmas' die and a Lawn Fawn 'Happy Holidays' stamp set. The penguin is similar, albeit a tad smaller, to the one I used today.

I hope I've explained how the coming two weeks will work in the Playground? Please just say if it's left you confused.

The Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 2nd January 2106. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

Maximum of three entries and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prizes. Remember, there's the prize today and others will appear over the next two weeks so keep your eyes peeled.

Do say in this post if you only want one or other part of the prize today (the stamp or the die) but both are up for grabs as one prize of course and will only be split if the first name out only wants one or other of the items, in which case I'll do a second draw for the other part of the prize. And please also remember to link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :) 

Latest in the 'foot saga' - finished the latest course of steroids and from Friday the doc now has me on a pretty high dose of NSAIDS to continue the inflammation reduction, plus painkillers still - and also pills to protect the stomach 'cos of being on anti-inflammatories for a few weeks now (not that I was having problems).

On Friday night at long last (after weeks!) I had a full and almost pain free night's sleep (10pm to 7am) - something tells me I needed a really long sleep there! :) Fingers are firmly crossed for increasing mobility (whilst being sensible) in the run up to Christmas. Almost scared to say too much too soon so let's just leave it there. 

Edit: I waited until Hettie (Sam) had confirmed that I could say here that, very sadly, her lovely Mum passed away on Friday. I know that you'll all want to join in with sending Sam your love and thoughts at such a sad time.

Di
x

Friday, 18 December 2015

A repeat of a previous Friday Feast - Ham in Coca-Cola

This is a recipe I published here almost four years ago. At the time it seemed such a simple thing to be able to cook this - right now it's a bit like a big mountain to climb - but if at all possible I WILL be cooking this over the festivities!

In this recipe 'the flavour of of the sweet, spiky drink infuses the ham with spirit of barbecue without being in any way overpowering' - and it also tenderises the ham amazingly well. Just think about cleaning pennies in a glass of the stuff!

I confess that, the first time I cooked this, I did so wondering if I was about to ruin a perfectly decent ham - but I think that Nigella Lawson (who incidentally now drives me crazy four years down the line - she's so affected and OTT it's untrue!) did come up trumps and I've used this way of cooking ham ever since!


I was speaking to Len's sister-in-law yesterday afternoon and conversation got round to Nigella. That gal (SIL) has the perfect solution - she apparently watches Nigella's cookery programmes with the sound muted and the sub-titles across the bottom of the screen - nice one Maureen! Anyhow, here's the recipe folks - and I do know that some of you already saw this four years ago:

Ham in Coca-Cola 
Not a 'food magazine quality' photo! Normally I did try to set a nicer scene but there was a lot going on when I carved this - you'll see the outside of the ham and the goldy brown imparted by the Coca-Cola on the back half of the plate where I've turned the ham cut face down to prevent it from drying out.

2kg mild-cure gammon
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2-litre bottle of Coca-Cola - it must be normal and NOT Diet Coca-Cola

Mild-cure gammon doesn't need soaking, but if you know that you're dealing with a salty piece, then put it in a pan covered with cold water, bring to the boil, then tip into a colander in the sink and start from here; otherwise, put the gammon in a pan, skin-side down if it fits like that, add the onion, then pour over the Coke. I use a large stainless steel stockpot for this.

Bring to the boil, reduce to a good simmer, put the lid on, though not tightly, and cook for approximately 2½ hours. If your joint is larger or smaller, work out timing by reckoning on an hour per kilo. But do take into account that if the gammon's been in the fridge right up to the moment you cook it, you will have to give it a good 15 minutes or so extra so that the inside is properly cooked.

I don't go to the time and trouble of glazing the ham (it never lasts long enough here), neither does Nigella most of the time. There are lots of different ways to do this of course, but this ham stands proudly on its own without any more fiddling around.

Just remember that it MUST be the non-diet Coca-Cola. And, you will use all of a 2 litre bottle for a 2kg piece of ham. Not even enough will be left to pour yourself a nice vodka and coke :)

I'm hoping to be able to get to Sainsbury's to choose a ham joint (don't trust on line shopping THAT much!) and pick  up a 2 litre bottle of Coca Cola some time over the festivities. A little goal to aim for :) If I don't manage then I hope you'll think about trying this for yourselves anyhow! :)

Enjoy!


Di
x

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A Tuesday Tale

Way back when, before the Playground really took off, I used to write little tales from my past on Tuesdays - and recipes on Fridays or Saturdays (known as Friday Feast or Saturday Supper depending on the day I published the recipe).

I was thinking about fish and chips yesterday, triggered by a funny and very apt comment made by Brenda of Floral Fantasies. I subsequently hopped back in here to peek at an old Tuesday Tale, written in February 2012. Almost four years ago now and few of you sweeties did see the post, but many of you didn't so here it is again. Whilst laid up I might even have time to dig back in the memories for some new ones!

A Tuesday Tale - pick where you eat your fish and chips with care 

I had a really fun work pal called Joy (still great mates) - we worked together for a few years and oddly enough got into a few scrapes - our boss called us the Terrible Twosome and I do think we managed to age him by about 20 years :)
Our work meant travelling a fair bit and more than once we visited our Northern offices as  the Terrible Twosome with glee. Both having Northern roots it was one of the more fun trips on our schedule - err, usually.

On this particular dark evening we'd left the Carlisle office and were driving back
to our hotel when we spied a good ole Northern fish and chip shop. It was emanating (big word!) the most wonderful smells and so we stopped and joined the queue. Hotel food did become quite tiring and this promised to be a yummy meal.

The food came in boxes like those above and we selected our own personal treat - a polystyrene pot of curry sauce for Joy (What?! That was a new one on me.) and a large soft roll for your truly. I'm afraid to confess that I just love a chip butty :)

We hopped back into Joy's car and then parked, almost straight over the road, in a very quiet little car park in a disused retail park. Windows down to prevent the lingering smell of vinegar and curry sauce we began to tuck in. Bliss - and then Joy hissed at me 'Don't look too pointedly Di, but can you see what going on over there?'.

I'd been really pre-occupied making my chip butty, head down and carefully lining up the chips like little soldiers (chip OCD?), and had only partly noticed the only other cars which had arrived in the car park. So, I took a look and replied 'Really parked close together aren't they - they'd never be able to open their doors to get out' and then 'Oooh, look Joy, how friendly - they're passing packs of  cigarettes around from car to car through the windows', before returning to carefully assembling layer two of chips in said chip butty. How stupid slow dumb naive can you get!! :(

Next thing I knew, Joy had quietly raised the car windows - then she made her move. 'Look Dumbo' she hissed (there was a lot of hissing going on here I noticed) - 'those aren't packets of cigarettes. And we could be thought to be a drugs surveillance team if they take notice'.

Slowly, the asses ears sprouted from my head and preoccupation with a neatly made chip butty was swiftly replaced by absolute terror. 'Hold onto your hat Di - we're out of here' was the next utterance from Joy, followed by her box of fish and chips landing on my lap and the pot of curry sauce being thrust into my hand.  And with that, she started the engine and we screeched out of the car park.

It was like a scene from something like Cagney and Lacey or maybe Thelma and Louise. Only, I just bet that Louise wasn't whimpering 'I want my Mummy. I don't want to be shot. I didn't see anything, honestly' repeatedly whilst looking like an Indian goddess with each hand raised on either side, one clutching a chip butty and the other one holding a lidless pot of curry sauce as we hurtled along. There were a few mini-roundabouts on the route too and believe me, that was tricky stuff! Threats from Joy that she'd personally shoot me if I spilt the curry sauce all over the car weren't helping either :(

As it happens, we weren't followed, we did survive unscathed and hid the car round the back of the hotel where we half heartedly finished off the fish and chip supper. The following day, back at the Carlisle office, we discovered that sure enough - where we'd parked was a 'known' local hangout for drug dealers. Ha, known perhaps - but not if you're a couple of innocent visitors trying to have a quiet supper!

Di
x

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 207


What a week this has been! Rehearsals for the Nativity Play, Parsnip getting sozzled on rum soaked raisins and me unable to do much except to listen in despair and very occasionally gawp at the total mess in the Playground. It looks as if there's been a full-scale battle out there!

Crafting has been out of the question as all I can do right now is try to organise Christmas, with Len's help, from bed. To be honest, it's been a real eyeopener just how much you can do on line - and my 'in-house critic' and all round 'good egg' now knows how to decorate the Christmas tree and also operate the washing machine - yay! :)

Thank you so much for your well wishes - if they had the power I'm sure I'd be running round the Playground, climbing trees and skipping with the best of you :)

Home visit from our new GP yesterday, who did lift me a bit from the depths of despair by promising that this will be resolved and am back on the meds that worked best (I was walking without aids, driving a bit and certainly doing some cooking, ironing and even a bit of crafting) - before the 'rebound flare up' and just hoping for improvement in time for Christmas. The craft room has just been abandoned for now - sheesh, just had to go online and order some money holders for little rellies. Lesson there, make 'em early in future!

But, the Playground continues as normally as possible (whatever that might be!) and luckily I'd already made my snippets card for today, as well as used a favourite Christmas stamp that always makes me chuckle. It's a Penny Black one and the expression on the duck's face has been captured so well in just a few strokes of a pen by the stamp designer - I love how they can do that:
I used:

- 7" x 5" white card blank

- snippet of SU 'Real Red' card stock, trimmed slightly smaller for the first layer

- patterned paper, trimmed slightly smaller again, from a Trimcraft paper pad called 'The Night Before Christmas' - free with Quick Cards Made Easy magazine not that long ago

- the image was stamped onto a snippet of white card approximately 6" x 5" (deliberately larger than the frame I used in the next step) using Memento Tuxedo Black' ink and Penny Black's 'Caroling duck' wood mounted stamp, then coloured with Pro markers

- the frame was die cut using another snippet of SU 'Real Red' card stock and the Die-namics MFT 'JOY photo card frame' which had been on my wish list for at least two years (see, I can wait!)

- layered the red frame onto the image using red line tape leaving a white border all round and then carefully trimmed all four sidesright along the red edge using a Woodware trimmer before running a red Whispers marker around the outer edge so that no white edge from the image layer shows when the card is looked at sideways

- added holly leaves and berries using snippets of green and 'Real Red' card - plus two die sets. The larger holly leaves were cut using Dee's Distinctively 'Wreath Builder' dies and the smaller leaves plus the berries were die cut using the Poppy Stamps 'Stitched Holly Leaves and Berries' set (a recent gift from a lovely friend, thank you again!)

- lastly I tickled the fur and bobble on Mr Duck's hat with a clear Wink of Stella pen, added some 'falling snow' using 'White Opal' liquid pearls and popped a little bit of Stickles 'Frosted Lace' where Mr Duck is stood standing quacking his little heart out :)

Gosh it's a while since I entered into any challenges so this card is for:

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge 'anything goes so long as it's Christmas' 

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for December 'anything goes, Christmas of course'

Penny Black and More Challenge - December - 'Anything Goes with a stamp'

I was lucky enough to win some fabulous ribbons over there last month, from 'Crafty Ribbons'. They arrived the other day, a beautiful selection, and are patiently waiting on my desk for me to have a play - thank you Brenda!

Penny Black Saturday Challenge - December - 'Christmas/Holidays'

Let's move straight onto the weekly picks:

These lovely cards were made by Janis - she who always makes me giggle :) I love the richness and such fabulous use of lots of snippets. And a great tip, if you have glued your panels together and they look a bit rumpled, run them through your embossing machine (Janis used an embossing folder but I've read elsewhere this past week that someone did similar without a folder) to even them out. Tee, hee - of course you must do this when any glue has dried properly, and needless to say before adding embellishments and such.

I picked this card by Kathy K because I totally adore the wonderfully shiny gold on her beautifully designed card. And, Kathy gives a lovely explanation of how you too can achieve the same effect so do hop over to find out more.

This is such a lovely tag, made by April. Of course, I adore pink, which goes so beautifully with the taupe - and the reindeer, lovely pink snowflakes plus the beautiful taupe bow are gorgeous!

Gold is really doing it for me this week - I really love this Christmas card made by Jane J - wonderful vintage look I think and plenty of snippets used. Oh, and Jane started off with a masterboard - which is so popular on quite a few blogs right now.

I do so love the clean and fresh elegance of this snippets card, made by Janice. I really do like the colour, leaves and little flowers plus the heart edged border across the card - everything about it is lovely.


Isn't this card just terrific - and so clever? Carol L made it for her grand daughter and I'm thinking that perhaps, even without a template to use, with planning and care this would be fabulous to CASE! It's a tent style card so the 'belt' runs along the top fold. And such a great idea to add the little size tag (yes, the recipient was 10 years old on her Birthday)!

And last but certainly not least, our little friend Lucy made this wonderful Christmas card and brought it to the Playground to show us. I just adore the whole card, image. colours and sensational colouring, the die cuts, lace and flowers - all so beautifully thought out and made by Lucy, who many of you will know struggles every single day with severe ME. And I do mean severe.

So, I was totally thrilled to pieces when my copy of 'Quick Cards Made Easy' magazine arrived through the post with the results of 'Cardmaker of the Year' - and Lucy triumphed in third place! Yay! What an achievement Lucy - you little star! I feel a bit like a proud Mama Hen here :) Our little chick has done brilliantly :)

I hear tell that Lucy will have signed a batch of her coloured images and Parsnip will be selling them behind the bike shed (to raise funds for his secret supply of choklit no doubt!) just before the Nativity Play commences later this month. Sigh, always a chancer is that little white furry rascal!

Drum roll for this week's winner of the Penny Black 'Santa's hat' wood mounted stamp and a Sheena Douglass 'Frosty Ice Border' embossing folder - who is:
Oh well done Pat! I'm really pleased for you, especially as you're such a regular playmate and always have lots of hints and tips in your posts. I do have your address here from a previous win and will get Len to post off your prize as soon as possible.

Thankfully I ordered a good few high value and normal stamps on line, plus airmail stickers and customs labels - so if Len digs out the padded envelopes, postal scales etc. and rummages in the toy box for me I ought to be able to sweetheart him into popping the backlog of prizes into the post box at our local Sainsbury's when he's next in the vicinity :) I'm sure he'd do that, not least because the thought of a Post Office at this time of the year brings him out in hives. That's my plan anyhow! Edit on Tuesday: All posted now, yay!

Time now for the prize(s) for this coming week - and you'll have to trust me that they're waiting in the toybox as I picked up these images from the internet - the toy box is tucked away in a corner of the craft room that I can't get to right now:
 

Die-namics Joy Photo Card Frame
It's your very own Penny Black 'Caroling duck' wood mounted stamp plus a Die-namics MFT 'JOY photo card frame' die  :)

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 19th December. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

Maximum of three entries and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Do say if you only want one or other part of the prize (the stamp or the die) but both are up for grabs as one prize of course and will only be split if the first name out only wants one or other of the items, in which case I'll do a second draw for the other part of the prize. And please also remember to link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :) 

Di
x