Saturday, 31 July 2010

Blog award

Thank you Liz Crafty Educator for this blog award

The rules of the award are that I have to thank the person who gave it to me, tell you 7 things about myself and then pass the award onto five other bloggers.

I would like to pass this on to -

Sy at Karmacraft

Wendy at Scrapbooks and Cookbooks

Lisa at A Little of What You Fancy

Gemma at My Simple Life


Carin at Life, love and scrap

Right now the difficult bit telling you 7 things about myself, hmmmm lets see -

1.  I'm obsessed with the band Marillion - but hey you all knew that anyway LOL!!!

2.  I love marzipan and icing but hate fruit cake so always share wedding cake and christmas cake with my hubby - he gets the cake and I get the topping.

3.  My favourite thing to have for breakfast is cold rhubarb crumble with evaporated milk on.

4.  I can eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry's Baked Alaska icecream in one sitting

5.  I can't bear to throw out even the smallest scrap of card and patterned paper as I know that one day it will come in handy for something

6.  I'm an owl - I love to stay up until the wee hours and can't bear the thought of getting out of bed before 11am

7.  I'm a typical Virgo so on the plus side I am meticulous, reliable, practical and modest it also means that I fuss and worry too much, am overcritical and am a pain in the butt perfectionist.

Thank you Liz once again for the passing the award to me.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Penny Black Saturday Challenge Week 111

This week's challenge on Penny Black Saturday Challenge  is to make a Christmas card - so a nice easy one for me as I have been doing cards every month.

I have used Craft Creations paper and coloured the image using Derwent watercolour pencils.  The snowflakes have been punched with my new Martha Stewart punches which were an impulse buy from QVC last weekend.  The sentiment stamps are from HobbyArt.  Sadly the glittery pine branch does not show up in the scan.

Christmas in July Part 3

The last lot of Christmas cards for this month -

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cruising the Rhine

Well we have mixed reviews about our first river cruise on The Rhine.  The ship MPS Rotterdam was lovely and we had a nice spacious cabin.  The food was nice if you liked pork but there were was little other choice if you didn't like pork.  We were packed like sardines into the restaurant as they only did one sitting at meal times which meant you were continually having to ask people to get out of their seats to let you go to the buffet and then ask them to get up again so you could get back to your table with your food.  And one day I had a guy who was so sick of having to keep moving to let people through that he refused to move for me.  So mealtimes became something to dread.  The weather was lovely but rather too hot for us as some days it was nudging 40c, thank goodness there was air conditioning on the boat but it meant staying on the boat quite a bit as it wasn't always possible to find shade.  The optional excursions were very expensive so we limited how many  of those that we did and in a way we were glad that we did as the boat was often on the move whilst people were on shore tours and it would have meant missing parts of the Rhine.  It was lovely to see a proper working river - we were impressed by the amount of freight that travels up and down the Rhine - shame they can't use our rivers a bit more in the UK instead of packing everything onto the roads.  Due to the heat it was necessary to drink loads but the bottled water was very overpriced on the boat - it became a competition to try and find the cheapest water onshore.

But apart from the restaurant problems and having to pay over inflated prices for water and soft drinks we did have a relaxing time and I got loads of stitching done - hopefully very soon I will get them made into cards and will show you here.

As usual I didn't take many photographs, I always tend to get on and live the holiday and forget to record it to - but Dad and Richard were snapping away so at some point I will get my mitts on their photographs.  In the meantime here are some that I did take -

View from the ship -

Mum and Dad relaxing on the sundeck-

It must have been hot as I am wearing a skirt but of course I am sitting in the shade - no sunbathing for me!

Indonesian buffet night in the restaurant

Cuckoo clock at Tittesee in the Black Forest

Mum and Dad

Richard and I

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Christmas in July Part 2

And some more Christmas cards -

I can't remember what the teddy bear stamps are called - they were a free gift with a magazine and I no longer have the packet that they came in.

Thank you for looking and thank you for all the lovely comments - I do take the time to read them all.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Baby Dundee Cakes

At Christmas and birthdays I often like to give people a mini cake, it was Wendy from Scrapbooks and Cookbooks who suggested using tuna tins as a baking tin (something that she had tried and tested for mini Christmas cakes).  So after going on a tuna eating binge as I needed 10 baking tins I had my tins ready - please be assured that they were thoroughly scrubbed out and had even been given a spin in my sister's dishwasher to remove all fishy whiffs LOL.  Wendy also suggested using Lakeland's cake release to grease them with and I have found it excellent, the cakes are really easy to remove from the tins afterwards.

As well as making mini dundee cakes I also do victoria sponge cakes too - the cake from one tin can be sliced in half and makes a sweet little cake to surprise someone with on their birthday.

The uncooked cake 

Hmmm these look good enough to eat

Packaged up ready to gift

The stamp on the tag is one that I got from Stampin' Up in one of the mini catalogues - I have used it loads on edible gifts as it is ideal and makes a quick and easy gift tag.

I find that both the dundee cakes and victoria sponge cakes freeze well - so I make a batch of them and defrost them as I need them - that's if Richard doesn't pinch them from the freezer LOL!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Marillion Warm Up Gig

If we have made it back from Germany in time then tonight we should be here -

The Assembly Rooms, Leamington Spa to see Marillion do their warm up gig ready for the High Voltage festival where they will be headlining on the prog stage.

We didn't think that we could get to see Marillion this year as they are busy recording a new album, doing some European festivals and supporting Deep Purple on their tour of Germany later in the year.  So we were thrilled when they announced this one night only gig and to find that it fitted in nicely at the end of our holiday.

We are hoping for lots of old favourites on the set list tonight.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Christmas in July Part 1

At the beginning of the month I had time to get a few Christmas cards made, here is a small selection -

Sorry they are still all cutsie ones LOL - I have a load of stuff already stamped out but once I have used them all up I will switch to doing some traditional style cards.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Dan's Party

This layout is to go with the Pops & Me layout that I showed the other day - these were the other photos that I took that evening.  Again I have used Sarah's Cards June kit - Pebbles, Treehouse Collection

I used my small retro flower punch and the tiny flower punch to make the flowers, the foliage is a Nellie Snellen punch, the butterflies are a Martha Stewart punch.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Pops & Me

This is a shameless scraplift as I wasn't feeling very motivated at our July crop at Cardinal Colours.  I used Sarah's Cards June kit - Pebbles, Treehouse Collection and I scraplifted a layout from the design team booklet by Rachel Ward (the last one)

This is Dad and I at my nephew Dan's 18th birthday party.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Floral Punch Art

Last weekend I went to Cardinal Colours to a brilliant floral punch class run by Jane Gill.  We made some lovely flowers and it has given me so many ideas on how to use the punches that I already have and of course some new purchases happened to fall into my bag too!!

The flowers we made

My fave was the rose which we made from 10 hearts -

This lilly really tested me but it was worth the effort

And this is what I took home to add to my extensive punch collection

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Happy Wedding Anniversary

I can't believe that today is our 15th wedding anniversary and we will have been together 18 years and 5 days - where did all that time go and to quote Richard 'I would have got less time for murder' LOL - the old ones are the best!!  So this year it is crystal and I am not having much luck at convincing Richard that diamond is the new crystal!!

With any luck we will now be on the River Rhine and enjoying life aboard the MPS Rotterdam - hopefully we will be having something bubbly tonight.

This is the card that I have made for Richard

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Gran's Cookie Recipe

My gran was always baking and one of my favourite recipes was her cookie one - they are really easy to make and always a big favourite at craft days.

I made this little book a couple of years ago to keep the recipe safe -

The Recipe -

4 oz marg
3 oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon golden syrup
3 teaspoons boiling water
2 oz porridge oats
4 oz self raising flour
1/2 level teaspoon baking powder
few drops vanilla essence
optional - chopped glace cherries, dried fruit, dried cranberries, flaked almonds

Cream together the marg and sugar, then add the golden syrup and boiling water.

Work into the mixture the porridge oats, self raising flour and baking powder

Add a few drops of vanilla essence

Add any optional ingredients now if you want fruity or nutty cookies

Take a large teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball, place on a greased baking tray - continue until all the mixture has been used.  Do not place the cookie balls too close together as they do spread out.  Bake 180 C/350 F/Gas mark 3 for about 10 minutes until pale brown - they will still be soft but will quickly firm up on the outside as they cool.  Do not overbake as they will go solid and will only be suitable for dunking!!

I often double up the recipe to make a nice large batch.  The uncooked dough also freezes well so I often freeze half the dough so that when I am short on time for baking I can just grab some dough from the freezer.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Weekend in the North East

A couple of weeks ago we had a lovely weekend away in Sunderland.  The weather was glorious and I didn't need to wear any of the jumpers and fleeces that I had taken with me LOL!

On the Sunday we went to Raby Castle, near Castle Barnard.  The gardens were lovely and it was nice to just to chill out and enjoy the sunshine.

Auntie Audrey and I

Some views of the castle

Monday, 12 July 2010

Hooray today is Eclipse day!!!

This afternoon I get to go with my lovely niece to see this -

I hope it lives up to all the hype

We have two large bags of Minstrels to munch on but if it is anything like New Moon I will be glued to the screen and won't be able to eat a thing LOL!

Edited to add -

We loved it, yeah they didn't stick entirely to the book but I think it is the best adaptation so far and it is a good job I ate most of my Minstrels before the film because I was so engrossed in the film. 

Friday, 9 July 2010

Happy Birthday Gemma ~ hope it is fang-tastic!!

The twilight addicts social group on UKS is a very friendly group and we each take it in turns to be the birthday fairy and send a card to one of the group from everyone for their birthday.

I was birthday fairy to Gemma, so racked my brains as to what to do as I wanted to make my card on a twilight theme and then I found a wonderful Penny Black stamp called Feline Count - I think he is supposed to be used for Halloween cards - I never make those but thought he would be quite appropriate for a twilight birthday.

I hope Gemma likes it and has had a wonderful birthday.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Sarah's Cards Monthly Challenge

This month we had to do a sketch designed by Jen Naulls, you can find the challenge here-

I used Sarah's Cards April kit - GCD Ava

I took these photographs at Ny Alesund, Spitsbergen on our Arctic Circle cruise last year.  This abandoned train is alledged to be the most northerly rail relic in the world - well until last year, when I made Richard stand to the north of it, so now he is the most northerly rail relic in the world  (he is a signalman and a bit of a relic LOL!!).
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