Welcome to my blog - a place where I chat about my hobbies, craft projects, interests and, just occasionally, a bit about trips out and places visited. Hope you enjoy the chat enough to come back another time.
These are a few of the people and things that have made Christmas happy for the EM & I this year.
Another year almost gone and, with the exception of this last month, it's been a good one. December, never my favourite month, has been filled with tragedy for several family members and so I, for one, am happy to see it out. And with the help of Storm Dylan it's going out like a lion. Still no hoped for snow, instead we have had winds of 85 mph whipping around the house most of the morning. The wind has died down now so hopefully the first day of 2018 will be ushered in like a lamb and January will be a better month for us all - maybe bringing me that much wanted snowfall. I can but dream!
Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra
I'll leave you with this photo of the AFO greeting us at the local Tesco supermarket yesterday and just say that I wish you, and yours, the very best for 2018.
I really meant to post this yesterday, the last WOYWW of the year 2017, but events conspired to keep me from my computer. Not that there was much on my desk to share.
There's been no crafting since Christmas Eve so I thought I'd take a close up of some of the tools I keep at the back of my desk - just a bit more interesting than the sight of a boringly empty desk. The box of punches has got me wondering if they are as popular as they used to be. Now that we have an almost endless choice of dies to cut a huge variety of shapes, it's just possible punches are redundant.
Disappointingly, we didn't have a white Christmas. Every year I hope and every year I'm disappointed. Even when it seems to be snowing everywhere else in the UK there's not so much as a flake landing here. However, I did wake up to a winter wonderland yesterday - a very frosty one so I dashed outside, camera at the ready, to capture the nearest thing to snow I've seen this year. Here's a few pics.
Gorgeous! But the sun soon came out and the frost was all gone within hours.
So that's it for this year. Next week it will be the first WOYWW of 2018 and maybe we'll have had some snow by then ... it's forecast but I'm not holding my breath.
In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best that life can bring you over the year to come.
Ah, the last WOYWW before Christmas and it's a super busy time for me and, no doubt, for you all too. So, such as it is, here's my desk today.
For much of the week it's been the present wrapping station hence the Sellotape dispenser and dish of labels. It will stay there for the time being, there's still some last minute wrapping to do. Every year I vow to be more organised and every year I fail ... miserably. There's a reason, too, for the fabric, old jeans and alphabet templates ...
Zipper bag made from old denim jeans decorated with an appliqued letter - the initial of the recipient. I've filled this one with toiletries.
I've also been busy batch-making cards.
I think it is safe to show these today as I believe they should have been received by now. These were for the UKPC craft group swap for Christmas - the theme being animals/birds at Christmas. They involved lots of stamping, die-cutting and gluing and it was the nearest I've ever come to a production line!
That's me done for this week. It just leaves me to wish you all a wonderful holiday whatever you are doing and however you celebrate. No doubt there will be lots of messy desks and happy photos to see next Wednesday.
Here we are heading towards Christmas - fast! And, I don't know about you, but I'm feeling just a tad stressed. So much to do and so little time left. I expect Julia, our Head Desker, over at The Stamping Ground is rather more organised than this poor WOYWWer.
It's not as though I haven't been busy. I have. Honestly! But I'm still paddling like mad to get everything done before Christmas. So here's what's on my desk today.
Yep! I'm still making cards. What you can see is the result of me playing with an idea for a Christmas card. It hasn't worked out quite how I wanted it to so it's back to the drawing board.
Other projects I've been working on:
From the sewing machine. This little toilet bag was a tricky wee make and I admit I'm not entirely happy with it, but I'm looking on it as a learning experience.
This lovely bowl of labels were cut from leftover scraps of card in a variety of colours. The die used is from Xcut's Mini Bunting.
The labels were for this pile of books for my great-grandchildren. They have one for each day of the week leading up to the big day. For the first time there was two piles to label this year - that's a lot of labels.
More knitting of asymmetrical scarves. Numbers five and six. Number five, the cream/gold sequined one at the back, is finished and number six is nearly there. I'm loving the fluffy white yarn which has a sprinkling of the tiniest silver sequins through it.
That's what I've been up to this week and what I'm working on today. The weather here is frightful, we're having sleet and rain by turns, so so what better excuse to stay warm and cosy indoors, hot chocolate at the ready, and check out what you have on your workdesk today.
Friday again, and after spending the morning tidying my really, really messy craftroom, I'm ready to join in with Annie, A Stitch In Time, and share what's made me smile this week. And there's been a lot!
This was today's dawn.
It was freezing but I couldn't resist going out, in my PJs, and taking a photo of those fabulous pink clouds. They look like candyfloss.
I just had to show these photos my great-granddaughter, little Lacie, playing peek-a-boo with her mum, Jenny.
That chuckle is guaranteed to make us all smile. And she's wearing the little sweater I knitted for her second birthday ... though it's clearly too big!
Here's another great-grandchild, Callum, having a chat with Santa.
He hasn't been too keen to meet Father Christmas in the past but this time he surprised everyone and seemed very much at ease with him.
These two books are a late birthday present from my lovely daughter, Juli. She hasn't been too well over the last few weeks ... a bad attack of sinusitis which, so far, has refused to respond to antibiotics.
Because of that, she wasn't able to visit me on my birthday so, a few days later when she was feeling a bit better we visited her and these were waiting for me. She says they will keep me busy - I'm sure she's right at that!
And talking about keeping busy, here's some happy mail that arrived yesterday.
Having taken up knitting again, I now can't get enough of the beautiful yarns that are available at the moment. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a one trick pony and only knitting the same pattern over and over again ... the one for the asymmetric scarf I modelled in this previous Friday Smile.
And finally, this week's funnies.
Given what I've just admitted above this one seemed very appropriate.
And this one too.
Right, I'm off to do a bit of knitting whilst watching Tipping Point - I'm addicted to both :)
I'm not being the most productive card maker at the moment but I somehow found time today to make this easy peasy card using two dies from a lovely Christmas Scene die set which came free with a magazine - title totally forgotten - some aqua and white card rescued from the snippet basket.
A tiny shape from the waste from the die, coloured yellow, was used to create the star on top of the tree.
After an absence of several weeks I'm skipping back to the playground at Pixie's Snippets Playground to catch up on what everyone, including Parsnip, has been up to recently. It's nice to be back.
We're into December and here I am posting a November card. Typical of me! As my gran would say, 'like the coo's tail, always behind'. Anyway this was the card I made for the UKPC November Swap - the theme was not, as you might think, 'November' but the number 'Three' and this is my interpretation. There's three base layers, three leaves on a topper made up of three colours.
- a white A6 card blank from Docrafts Papermania with matching envelope
- dark brown card - recycled from a photo folder making use of the scalloped edge already there for layering. Leftovers were used for the base of the topper and the leaves
- grey card - recycled packaging- embossed with a Darice folder, Fall Leaf Background
- scraps of Black Magic Core'dinations Spell Caster trimmed into strips to create the coloured background on the topper
- the leaves were cut using Tattered Lace dies, Lavish Blooms Leaves, from leftover brown card and a piece of white card I'd sprayed with Cosmic Shimmer Rich Gold
- November word cut and layered from one colour of Core'dinations card and the dark brown card using Tim Holtz Calendar Words from Sizzix
- greeting 'For You' from Winter Wonderland stamp set stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink
- a scrap of natural raffia for bow
I'm pretty pleased that I managed to use some of the Core'dinations card - it's been sitting in my stash for a very long time, forgotten and unused. That's such a shame because it's lovely card. I chose to use the reverse rather than the front as intended because I thought the autumnal shades were just right for this card.
Time to concentrate on Christmas cards now. Only 23 days to go. And, as I've not made as many this year as in previous years, I have a bit of catching up to do.
I trust you have had a good week with plenty to smile about and share with Annie over at A Stitch In Time. This has been a special week and, apart from feeling sooooooo much older, I've had a great time celebrating. So much so, I forgot to get my camera out most of the time so there's very few photos to share but here's the best of what there is.
Daybreak over Ayr on my birthday. A really bonnie dawn.
Snow-topped mountains on the Isle of Arran. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy this view on the trip to the Cake and Crafting Group meeting in Prestwick.
And just in case we are in any doubt that Christmas is on the way here's Dobbies Garden Centre decked up like a Christmas tree. This is what it looked like yesterday evening when we were at a special 'shopping event' to get the whole Christmas ball rolling. There was supper, live music and, of course, lots of lovely festive goodies to buy. You can guess that more than a few fell into my shopping basket - the 20% discount helped!
And to round of a particularly memorable week some happy mail arrived today.
Very special thanks to my very special friend, Annie. What can I say, your gorgeous dumfings will be treasured forever and the beautiful patchwork covered notebook will make the perfect journal for 2018 - if I can stop stroking it long enough to write anything in it!
This has got to be the fastest post ever because I have only a few minutes to spare. It's been a bit of a whirlwind day because, as many of you will know, it's my birthday, and there's been a lot of celebrating going on. But I just had to participate, however late, with Julia's WOYWW, over at The Stamping Ground, so that I could thank everyone who has sent birthday wishes. They've turned what could have been the most depressing day - 70 seems so ancient - into a not so bad after all.
So it won't take too much guessing to work out what was on my desk today.
These are the beautiful handmade cards I've received from some very talented crafters - many of whose desks frequently appear on WOYWW.
Not from a crafter but stunning nonetheless so I thought I'd share them with everyone.
Aren't they gorgeous? They're from my son, his wife and daughter. They know me so well because down the side of the box they arrived in was a little surprise.
Belgian chocs. A lovely treat for someone who really shouldn't!
That's me for today. I said it would be quick. The day is running out fast so I'll be along tomorrow to check your desks and leave as many comments as I can.
In the meantime, hope you've had a very happy WOYWW and I wish you all a very good week ahead.
One of the gateways to the path that goes along the riverside in town is edged on one side with a very old winter jasmine, jasminum nudiflorum. Passing yesterday I spotted it was in full flower so, just as soon as we returned home, I rushed down to the bottom of the long border to see how our own, much younger, jasmine was doing.
It wasn't exactly covered in flowers, only the one fully opened, but there along the stems was tiny yellow tipped buds ... the promise of more to come. Maybe I should have waited a bit longer but I always look forward to bringing this bit of winter cheer indoors so I clipped just a few snippets and, because they were short, the only 'vase' suitable was this tiny green snail jug.
To encourage the stems to stay upright, I had to put some glass pebbles in the base of the jug - that did the trick. I have great hopes that these stems will last until the end of the week - possibly longer.
I did intend joining in with Cathy's In a Vase on Monday last week but a family crisis prevented it so here's a few photos of the vase that didn't make it.
It's a tied posy made up of a mix of the expected and the unexpected for this time of the year. The unexpected - red 'Faithful', peach 'Simply the Best' and lilac 'Violet Cloud' rosebuds, white self-seeded miniature antirrhinums, deep pink escallonia rubra blossoms and even one last white sweet pea still in flower in November. The expected - rose hips, berries of skimmia, sprigs of viburnum 'Eve Price' and a few bits of osmanthus x burkwoodii for foliage.
The little posy has lasted very well and this despite the very necessary central heating. The temperature plummeted to zero degrees during last week and we've had our first snowfall of the year already. This bad weather means that I haven't been spending much time in the garden - it's time to concentrate on indoor gardening up here in Ayrshire.