Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Penny Black Poinsettias

I've been itching to try out the new Derwent watercolour pencils and waterbrushes I brought back from our trip to the Lake District this summer but, what with one thing and another, it's taken me until now to find the time.

To make the topper, poinsettias were stamped randomly over the piece of white card to create the background then they were coloured using red, green and yellow pencils and a waterbrush. When dry, it  was glued to a layer of red card which was then attached to the front of the card blank.

On a snippet of white card a single poinsettia was stamped which, when dry, was fussy cut before being stuck, with glue gel, to the central poinsettia on the background. To add a bit of sparkle yellow Stickles was added to the flower centres. To finish, a greeting was stamped in black on yet another snippet of white card before it was punched out in an oval shape. To give the greeting more definition the red pencil run round the edge before adhering it to the right hand corner of the card front.

Supplies used:

- a white A6 card blank from Docrafts Papermania with matching envelope
- red and white cardstock for the topper and greeting
- stanp set - Penny Black Wonder Collection
- ink - Memento Tuxedo Black 
- Derwent Academy watercolour pencils - Red, Dark Green and Cadmium Yellow
- a No.2 Derwent Waterbrush
- adhesives - Pinflair Glue Gel & a double sided tape pen
- yellow Stickles glitter glue
- punch - Stampin' Up oval label

I enjoyed the watercolouring so much I decorated the envelope to match.

It's been a while but at last I have a snippet card to submit to Pixie's Snippet's Playground.

Happy Crafting

Monday, 16 October 2017

In A Vase On Monday - October's Unexpected Delights

Today's In A Vase On Monday, for Cathy's meme on Rambling In The Garden, is full of unexpected delights - that is unexpected for the month of October!
After waiting all summer and finally giving up on dahlia 'Moulin Rouge' suddenly there it was this morning, just one stunning bloom. Not looking exactly as depicted on the packaging - the image had a white petaled centre with a 'skirt' of bright red - it's still a striking combination of orange and creamy white petals.
Yet more surprises were in the sudden appearance of blooms on the rosa 'Canary Bird', the yellow rose with the most attractive foliage, and astrantia 'Buckland', both flourishing I suppose because of the warmer than normal temperatures we've been enjoying lately. And geum Mrs Bradshaw, despite having the September chop, continues to produce her cheery orange flowers.


Other roses continue to bloom too, for example, creamy 'Elina' and 'Simply the Best' which is a wonderful burnt orange colour, perfect for this little arrangement. And next to 'Simply the Best' is my favourite white rose, 'Tranquility'. There hasn't been a single bloom for a month or two but suddenly there was this lone and lovely flower, just like 'Canary Bird'.

The white jug, inherited from my mother, though nothing special is really useful. Most flowers look good in it.

With a storm forecast, the downgraded hurricane Ophelia, I had, for once, no qualms about cutting everything that was still in flower this morning. The chances of them surviving the ferocious winds that are now howling through the garden are few. Better that they are in plonked in vases around the house than out there taking a battering. I've even stripped the sweet peas - they are now filling the hall with their wonderful perfume. Much nicer than being blown to bits.

For more, and better, arrangements do check out Rambling in the Garden.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

WOYWW Week 436

Hello Everyone,

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday again and once more I'm wondering where the last seven days have gone.
And, in truth, not much has changed on my desk since last week. Out of shot, on the right, is all the stuff I took to the crop still waiting to be put back. The only bit of creativity I've had time to do is a some colouring though this did mean I got to try out the Derwent watercolour pencils and water brushes, brought back from our trip to the Lake District, at last. And very nice they are too. I do, however, have a seriously good reason for any lack of crafting.

Meet Molly, my new crafting companion. As you can see, she's made herself very much at home already - and she only moved in on Friday! I should say, she's not normally so restful but she's tired out after this afternoon's walk. It won't be long before she's awake again and demanding cuddles and play.



She's certainly keeping us on our toes and life won't be quite the same ever again. We are still getting used to her routine - and the complete disruption to ours - but already she's wound us both round her little paws.

That's me done for this week. Short and sweet - just as Julia likes our posts.

Wishing you all a very happy WOYWW and a great week to come.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Friday Smiles

Friday's a happy day. It's where the weekend starts and where, for many, the working week ends and, happiest of all, it's the day we exchange smiles with Annie at A Stitch In Time who always seems to have plenty to smile about.

Last Saturday we had a wonderful smiley time at the WOYWW crop - see Wednesday's post for all the pics - but all good things have to end sometime and so it did for us. We took the slow road home, quite literally as our SatNav only wanted to take us through Liverpool so we had to turn back towards Chester to reach the M6, taking two days to get here. And sad though it was to leave all my lovely friends, old and new, in Wales it was good to be going home too. It's great to go away, but it's just as nice to come home again. Here's some photos showing the stand out points in our homeward trip.
The sight of this mountain always signals that we're nearing the Lake District. It was a damp day but it still looked good to me.


Then we drove through this gorgeous rainbow! It was just the most delightful welcome to the North of England and cheered me up immensely.
We kept hitting rain and it was blowing a gale by the time we reached The Shap Summit, signalling that we were now pretty high. Though, as we were on the northbound side of the motorway, not quite as high as we would be were we southbound. For some reason the road is split there and the southbound road is definitely higher at that point.

Soon we were past Carlisle and this very welcome signpost appeared - we were back in the old country and almost home.
Finally, not the best photo ever, but I thought you might like to see our hitchhiker. This little guy hitched a lift with us all the way from Wales. Hope he is enjoying his sojourn in Bonnie Scotland.

Now for this week's funnies. I thought the first was appropriate as I'm making ratatouille today,
And this last because, after last weekend's day of sheer indulgence (check out the pic of table just groaning with goodies in Wednesday's post to see what I'm talking about) I'm on a diet and it's testing my culinary skills somewhat.

So that's some of what made me smile this week. Hope you've found lots to make you happy too.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

WOYWW Week 435

My desk today!

What you see on it, that is apart from the permanent residents at the back, is what was the contents of the tote I optimistically, and somewhat naively as it turned out, took down to Wales for the WOYWW Crop. I thought I'd get a few Christmas cards done. I thought six hours is a goodly amount of crafting time - surely! Ha! There was lots of chatting, tea, cake, chatting, tea, lunch, chatting, tea, cake - and precious little crafting going on. And talking about tea, cake and lunch, many thanks to Margaret, Glitter and Glue, for making us so welcome and putting on such a lovely spread - it was all scrumptious and too tempting!

We had a marvellous day at Llandudno, (photos at the end of this post) met up with old friends and made some new ones too. The EM thoroughly enjoyed the day too.
Here's a few of the goodies from the 'Take Me Away' table. Christmas paper and stamps - I couldn't resist!! The cutest Scottie dog key ring was made by Annie (Wipso), the fabulous cat decorated pebble was from Jan (LLJ) and a beautifully covered notebook was my raffle prize (sorry, I never did find out who it was made by but it's fabulous and I love it).
ATCs were exchanged plus a super tag with images of geese on it from Sarah (The Craft Shed). From top left to bottom right are the ATCs from Dolores, Margaret, Christine, Neet, and Anne.
I wasn't being entirely truthful when I said I did no crafting all day. I did, after instruction from Annie, try a bit of 'dumfing' and this it the result ... it's a bit naive but maybe I could improve with practice.

And finally, as promised, here are a few photos taken on the day.
Julia doing her welcome speech - teetering on a chair!
Jan and Julia

Annie showing Jan & Julia how to 'dumf' 

Christine and Sarah on the left and Eva and Anne on the right

Julia's mum's stamps on the 'Take Me Away' table on the left
 and the superb lunch supplied by Margaret on the right


WOYWWers busy crafting/chatting in the hall


Julia and me enjoying a wee chat

As seen on many a WOYWWer's blog this week,
 the group photo for WOYWW Crop 2017.
A lengthy post this week but that was to be expected after the crop. Many thanks to everyone - it was a wonderful day. Would love to do it all over again.

Like Julia, my desk has post crop blues and it would seem I left my mojo down in Wales. If spotted, kindly return it to Scotland - I need it back here 'toot sweet'!

In the meantime, I wish you all a a wonderful WOYWW and a great week ahead.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

WOYWW - Week 434

Good Morning Everyone ...

... on this the last What's On Your Desk Wednesday before The Crop on Saturday. We start out trip to Wales tomorrow morning, breaking for an overnight stop at Lancaster on the way. Which is why there's nothing creative on my desk this morning - zilch, nada, nowt, not a thing!

So boring!

That being so, I thought I'd show you something much more entertaining.
Spotted yesterday when we left the Book And Bun, where we had lunch with our friends. This is Highland Cow McCoo, the very colourful creation of artist Steven Brown, in his recently opened shop - he calls it his flagship store so clearly has plans to expand - in Newmarket Street, Ayr. Steven is famous for his fabulous paintings of McCoos and McZoos which seem to be finding their way into everything from posters to calenders and cushions to mugs, though I've yet to see a multi-coloured coo chomping on a thistle in any of the fields nearby. 

Now how brief was that - just like Head Desker Julia likes it - and so rarely gets from me!

Looking forward to meeting everyone on Saturday.

Wishing you all a very happy WOYWW.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Butterflies and Roses - A Card for Nothing

Morning Everyone,

Apart from the white card base this card has cost me nothing to make. The topper is recycled from a birthday card received, oh maybe two or three years ago ... I find it nearly impossible to throw pretty cards away! I carefully trimmed round the image with scissors and then matted it on to a scrap of leftover orange card. The background paper is also leftover from quite a few years ago and the butterflies were die cut from the last snippets of the orange card.

As it's all old stash I couldn't possibly list the supplies used, though I do think the orange card is textured and  from Docrafts Papermania - it's one of my favourite brands of cardstock. And the butterflies were cut with the XCut Dinky Die that I've been using a lot recently.

Short and sweet today. I have a hair appointment early morning and then DH & I are spending the day with friends. The sky is blue and the sun is already shining so it looks like it's going to be the perfect autumn day.

I hope you all have a lovely day too.

Monday, 25 September 2017

In A Vase On Monday - Summer's End

It's a wee while since I joined Cathy for In a Vase On Monday over at Rambling In The Garden. Summer holidays, trips out and life in general got in the way. Not that it's been a particularly good summer for the garden - too much rain and not enough sunshine so it seems summer's end came early.
Today's vase is a plonked arrangement of possibly the last of the roses and sweet peas. I keep thinking that I've picked the last but, no, they just keep coming. However, frost has been forecast so I'm enjoying them while I can. Along with the sweet peas there are several cream roses, Elina, and a pink one - the last from the climber with no name. There's also a few roses from our newest climber, Susie (Harwhistle) which is, at present, smothered in golden blooms together with a couple of stems of centaura montana and dianthus (pinched from my husband's pot).
There's a bit of blue hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) tucked in here and there - here it is keeping a stem of red Faithful roses company.
and a there's a tiny Violet Cloud (Harquick) shrublet rose peaking out too.

Whilst I haven't been posting photos of vases on a Monday I have still been filling the house with flowers. I did, however, take photos of the vases so I thought I'd share a few with you here today.



As you can see the rain didn't ruin everything. The sweet peas are still going strong, as are some of the roses, but frost is forecast and sadly that will bring an end to them. In the meantime, I'll continue to bring them indoors and enjoy their wonderful perfume.

We've struggled to keep up with the garden during the summer and only partly because of holidays and trips away. The truth is, and I don't mind admitting it, that we are getting old; my husband Alan is 79 and troubled with arthritic knees, and in a few weeks I'll be 70 and simply not as able as I once was. Because of this we did have a couple of guys in to help with the hedge trimming and pruning. They also removed a very old, and ugly, fir tree that was growing too close to a beautiful rowan (Sorbus aucuparia). It was doing some damage so it had to go to save the rowan. That sorted out we've been able to catch up with most of the easier gardening jobs before winter sets in.

I'm off to Wales for the weekend which probably means I won't have time to fill a vase for Monday next. We'll be into October by the following week and I wonder what the garden will be offering up then - possibly not sweet peas.

In the meantime, I wish you all happy gardening,

Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone,

It's been another busy week with plenty to smile about and share with Annie at A Stitch In Time, not least a visit from these two handsome chappies on Wednesday.
It's nearly impossible to get my great-grandson, Callum, to stay still long enough for a photo shot. A typical two-year old, he is constantly on the move, and into everything too.
These two blurry photos show just what an active little chap he is. For some reason he loved the mat at the back door so had a wee dance on it and then he very helpfully mopped the kitchen floor. There's never a dull moment with Callum around, although I admit this great-gran was shattered by the end of the afternoon!
His dad, William, sporting a very fetching beard. I still find it hard to believe my grandson is old enough to grow a beard let alone a dad. Where do the years go. Sigh.

Final photo for this week, a shot taken by DH of sunrise over Ayr this morning.
Stunning.

And now the funny for the week.



Given that I'm a great-gran four times over - at the time of posting - the sentiment on this  mug appealed to me.












Hope you have a wonderful weekend which brings plenty to smile about.