Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Trio of Christmas Cats

I have gone quite behind again with the 52 cards challenge, but I am away on a crafting weekend with a bunch of friends very soon so I am hoping to get caught back up again.

Week 4's theme was to use a paper pad, so here are the cards that I made for the Christmas challenge.  I have no idea who the paper is by as they are quite old and I have lost the front cover but it might be Trimcraft or Dovecraft.

The stamp is Penny Black from T for transparent set 'Joy to the World'.  The corner punch is EK Success and the sentiments are all Personal Impressions

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Going Buggy tutorial and giveaway

Enfys on the Going Buggy blog has a lovely tutorial today on using flexmarkers to colour sky.  She also has a giveaway for some skintone flexmarkers as well.  Enfys is on the design team for Letraset so has some great tutorials on her blog.

One of Enfys' lovely cards -

Sunday, 24 February 2013

5 out of 7 ain't bad

The challenge this month at Scrapology is T for texture paste and this is the lovely sketch that we had to use

As many of you know I am not really into messy crafting - I can just about tolerate a bit of ripping and tearing but getting very inky and messy is something that the mere thought of brings me out in hives LOL!!  I don't own any texture paste (no surprise there!!) so thought I wouldn't be doing this month's challenge but Anita aka The Inky Blossom offered to give me some, so I really had to have a stab at it - didn't I??

I swirled some pink acrylic paint into the texture paste and used a Mr Huey hexagon mask.  It took quite a while to dry properly and made the paper dreadfully buckled afterwards, even after weighting it down with heavy books didn't seem to cure the buckles.  Mr P wanted to know why I have started using concrete for my scrapbooking LOL!!!

I am sure once it has been in my album for a while it will flatten itself out.  And this is how it all turned out -

I dug out some pretty old stash for this layout, the shimmery dark pink cardstock is Papermania and the vellum butterflies are cut from a Papermania sheet.  The patterned paper at the bottom is a scrap I had left over from one of Anita's lovely classes - I think it is MME 'Follow Your Heart'.  The little words are from a sheet of Prima used in last month's class (sorry I haven't got round to blogging that one yet).

I really struggled with a title for this one - I didn't want to just call it 'The Nieces and Nephews' and the best I could come up with was 'The Littlies' so I called on Mr P's help!!  His first title was a bit long winded and it went something like 'Do you know how many hours it took us to get all these children in this shot and then we only ended up with 5 out of the 7 of them'.  Ding!!!  Lightbulb moment!!  Thank you Mr P!!!

Other supplies -

AC Dear Lizzy Foam Thickers
Die-namics swirl die
Cheery Lynn butterfly die
Prima e bling pink pearls
Distress Ink - Tattered Rose
Doiley - Sarah's Cards

I now need a good lie down in a darkened room after all that messiness LOL!!  There is still time to take part in this month's challenge as the closing date is the 5th March.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Dundee Cake

Not a lot of time for crafting at the moment as I am really busy doing lots of baking for a weekend away with a load of crafting friends and then a weekend in The Netherlands at the Marillion convention.  One of my favourite cakes to take away is a Dundee cake as it keeps really well in the freezer and it travels well - it is also Mr P's favourite cake.

The recipe I use is one that I cut out of Prima magazine many years ago and have just slightly tweaked it by the addition of dried cranberries and soaking the fruit in whisky.

3oz, each of currant, raisins, sultanas and dried cranberries, add 2 oz of candied peel and soak in whisky overnight - I generally add a generous glug of blended whisky (or cooking whisky as Mr P calls it LOL!!)

Next day - preheat oven to 240 C and line an 8" round tin with greaseproof paper.

Cream together 6 oz butter and 6 oz caster sugar, until they are light and fluffy.

Slowly add 4 beaten eggs with 2 oz ground almonds - I always add a large spoonful of the almonds and one egg at a time.  Mix well.

Then add 10 oz plain flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder and mix well.

Add the dried fruit and peel mixture and mix well.

Put the mixture in the greased/lined tin and smooth top, decorate the top with blanched whole almonds.

Put in the centre of the oven and reduce the heat immediately to 160 C - bake for 1 1/2  - 2 hours.  After first 40 minutes of cooking, cover the top of the cake with foil to prevent burning and continue to cook.  Test the cake is done by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake - it will come out clean when cooked.  Remove from cake tin and cool on a wire rack.

I also make a mini version of this cake to give as gifts.

My friend Wendy gave me a tip about using empty tuna cans as mini cake tins (don't worry they were thoroughly washed out and went for a spin in a dishwasher too, to get rid of any trace of fish).  If you line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper and coat the sides of the tins with Cake Release, the cakes come out really easily.  You can get 9 mini cakes from the recipe and they take about an hour to cook - I usually cover them with foil after the first 30 minutes.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Pretty Paper Party (Prompt 3) - Part 5

And here are the final two layouts (for the moment) from the chopped up kit.

The Group Shot

I used this sketch by Shimelle and cut out lots of the frames from one of the patterned paper sheets.   And yes it is that butterfly punch again!!  Some group photos from my sister's 40th birthday party - the photographer managed to get most people together for a big group shot before we had the food.


Well you can tell I am doing a journalling course at the moment - another page with plenty of words.  Documenting a very lovely day spent in Fowey on our Round the UK cruise in 2007.  I have used my favourite Thickers for the title and coloured them in with a red promarker to match the layout.  I will be very upset when I run out of these Thickers as they are plain chipboard and are great to use with pens or paints to customise to exactly match the layout - no worries at the moment as I recently managed to get another 3 packets!!

I am currently working on another layout from the kit (but won't be able to share it until March as it is for a sketch group challenge.  I reckon I will be able to get another layout from the leftovers so I will be back in a couple of weeks to share the final layouts and see just how many layouts I did manage to get from one kit!!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Pretty Paper Party (Prompt 3) - Part 4

And some more layouts made with the paper that I chopped up here.

bLOOming lovely

 Another page where I have tried to include lots of journalling. On our Lancaster canal trip in 2011 we stopped off at a garden centre that had been recommended to us at Barton Grange.  We didn't know what we were going to find there but we had been told that we must go and take a peek at the gent's toilets.  These beautiful floral urinals were what were in the toilets LOL - I am sure my Dad is a closet scrapbooker as he straight away started taking photographs even though men were still in there using the facilities.

Mine's a Pint

 Mum and Richard demonstrating how to pull pints in the replica pub at the Arnhem Open Air Museum.

I used my new Stampin' Up butterfly punch on both layouts - can you tell that I got this for Christmas and it is my fave punch at the moment!!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day Mr P!!!!!

As always I have made a card for Mr P.  This year I used a digi-stamp from Digistamp Boutique called Louie Love.

I coloured the image with Promarkers and the tickets are stamps and punch from Stampin' Up.  The 'I love you' sentiment is by Penny Black.  The lovely heart paper is from Craft Creations and the heart gemstones are Papermania.

I am entering this card into the Crafty Creations Challenges weekly challenge which this week is Love and/or Hearts

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pretty Paper Party (Prompt 3) - Part 3

And some more layouts that were made from this chopped up kit.

This one was for the UKS sketch group that I belong to - originally the sketch was set by Gemma for December but as we were so busy with Christmas preparations it was decided to extend the sketch to January so that everyone would have a chance to do it.

And this is the layout that I loosely based on the sketch

I am currently doing a journalling class - Telling Tales and am trying to journal more on my layouts apart from the obvious who, where and when.  These photographs were taken last year on our visit with my parents to our friends in Nijmegen and on Queen's Day (which is why Mum is wearing orange garlands) we went to the outdoor museum at Arnhem (a bit like our Beamish but with lots of windmills).  Exploring some period houses we found this mangle in one of the outhouses, which brought back some painful memories for me.  So rather than go for the obvious journalling about 'this is my mum and she is demonstrating how a mangle works as she use to use one for our washing when we were children', I journalled about the title and why I give mangles a wide berth.  The journalling reads -

I can remember the mangle we use to have when we lived in Winchcombe Road.  Of course even though I was told not to touch it, I still had to put my fingers in - ouch!!!!!!!  I only did that the once LOL!!!!

 The butterfly punch is from Martha Stewart and the I used a scalloped sheet of Bazill as a template for my handstitching around the edges.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Pretty Paper Party (Prompt 3) - Part 2

Using the kit that I had cut up in this blog post, I continued making layouts and I used this sketch from My Creative Sketches

And made this layout with a photograph of my middle sister and her two daughters taken at my youngest sister's 40th birthday party, March 2010.

I used foam thickers for the title and handstitched the square with embroidery floss.  The red stars are self adhesive ones that came in a cardmaking kit.

This layout is of photos from our last day at Champneys last year - we usually spend that day being very sad as we never want to leave but we also find time to take photographs with our friends who we meet up with each year there.

The large flower in the kit was layered so I split it into three and added large pearls to the centres and I used a Martha Stewart butterfly punch.  The little flowers are chipboard, coloured with a promarker and then coated with pink Stickles.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Pretty Paper Party - (Prompt 3) - Part 1

I am hoping this year to actually get on and finish Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party - I started it last year and so far have manged Prompt One and Prompt Two.  So the most logical place to start was with Prompt 3!!!

Prompt 3 involves putting a kit together either from your own stash or a bought one and using the whole kit to make a big pile of pages.  I have been wanting to do this for sometime now as it so different from the way that I usually work.  In this class Shimelle actually made her pages before even knowing what photographs she was going to use on them.  She also sent a link to a video from another class where she chopped up all the papers into different sized strips and boxes before making any pages.  So I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it and the result is that I have 7 layouts and 1 double page layout made so far, layout no 8 is about to be started and I am sure there will still be enough left for layout no 9!!

So I started with an untouched kit from Sarah's Cards - Cosmo Cricket 'Tea for Two'.  This kit also contained a sheet of Bingo Cards Paper from Simple Stories with a co-ordinating sticker/alpha sheet, some Basic Grey and Crate stickers, a large paper flower, some MME paperclips, a crystal leaf flourish and a couple of Pink Paislee shipping tags .  I added in a sheet of Prima Reflections 'Shalimar' and as well as using the 10 sheets of Bazill cardstock that was in the kit, I added in some Kraft cardstock.



The first thing was to decide which if any of the patterned papers could be left as whole sheets and which ones had elements that could be cut out for embellishing and those were then put to one side.  Then it was time to get trimmer happy and cut all the rest of the papers into various sized boxes and strips - this took a big leap of faith as at this stage I had no idea what photos I was going to use.

Shimelle's advice was to make a double layout first (if you wanted to do one) whilst you had plenty of large pieces of paper.  So that is exactly what I did and I scraplifted the example given in the class video.

I used some photographs from last summer's trip to Champneys of my friend Carol and I relaxing on the patio outside our room and in the grounds.

I used a Stampin' Up butterfly punch and some adhesive gemstones to make embellishments and some pink Cosmo Cricket pink woodgrain chipboard alphabets for the title.

I will share some more layouts made for this prompt in some other blogposts.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

9 on the 9th - some of my favourite non-papercrafts blogs

I'm a day early for Shimelle's 10 on the 10th blog post so only going to do a list of 9 things.

This month I thought I would share links to some other blogs that I like to look at that are not papercrafting blogs.

1.  The 'Love What You Wear' Project

A friend of mine is joining in with this where you pledge not to buy any new clothes for a year, instead you repair, refashion or make from scratch your own clothes.  I would love to join but I am so hopeless with making clothes.  I can do very basic repairs and simple alterations but that is about it - I remember the trauma of taking a whole year at school to make an apron and then another year to make one skirt.  But I am enjoying following what others are doing and I love seeing some of the refashions that people are doing with charity shop finds.  I am hoping that I might be able to get the confidence to make something quite basic for myself.

2.  My Make and Do Mend Year

I found Jen's blog via The 'Love What You Wear' Project.  Jen is going one step further and is trying not to buy anything new for a year - lots of enjoyable posts on green living, upcycling, repurposing, crafting and recipes.

3.  A Year Without Supermarkets

I found Team Pugh via Jen's blog and I now look forward to their daily blog posts on how they are managing with giving up shopping in supermarkets for a year.   As well as updates on how they are coping, they also share recipes and other interesting tit-bits about their lives.

4.  Mum's Monkey

A daily blog post about the adventures and musings of Mum's Monkey, Darrell and Nigel.  A visit to this blog never fails to put a smile on my face for the day.

5.  The Small Things Blog

Lots of lovely hair and make up tutorials, plus articles on clothes, fashion and home decor.  Kate's hair tutorials are all on YouTube and really easy to follow.

6.  The Pink Whisk

This is my favourite cookery blog - Ruth Clemens was the runner up in the first ever Great British Bake Off in 2010.  Her blog is packed full of lots of lovely recipes - each one accompanied by great step by step instructions plus photographs. 

7.  Charity Shop Chic

Lots of lovely ideas on how to refashion clothes to make lovely new outfits

8.  Wacky Laki

Lots of great nail art ideas and some good tutorial and nail care tips

9.  One Good Thing

Lots of recipes, household tips and homemade stuff

So there are some of the other blogs that I like to visit - have you any favourite blogs that you would like to share?

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Purple/Lime/Silver - Scrapology January Card Challenge

The January card challenge on the Scrapology blog is a colour wheel challenge and to use the colours Purple/Lime/Silver.

Not a colour scheme that I would usually choose but I must say that having used it I do rather like it.  I used a LOTV stamp which is fast becoming one of my most used stamps.

I coloured the image with Promarkers and lightly glittered her wings with Diamond Stickles.

The sentiments are Personal Impressions and LOTV.  I cut the image out using a deckle edge rectangle Nestability die and the scalloped circle is a Woodware punch.

The silver leaves are a Cheery Lynn die and the flowers were punched with an EK Success punch.  The flat backed gems are from Tripppleo7, I have recently found them via Facebook and I can see myself placing quite a few orders with them, they do a huge range of colours and sizes including pearls.

Thank you Scrapology for a lovely challenge and if you fancy taking part, there is still time as it doesn't close until 15th January.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Happy Birthday Dear Dad!!!!!

It is my wonderful Dad's birthday today and this is the card that I have made for him using one of my new Penny Black stamps.

I managed to ink the stamp leaving the number plate blank as that reads UK2012 and I handwrote with a black fine writer UR GR8.  The papers and cardstock are all from Stampin' Up and the leftovers in a class kit.  The sentiment is from Cuddly Buddly and the stars were punched with a Woodware punch.

I coloured the image with Promarkers.

I will be seeing him this evening - I do hope he likes his card.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

My month in numbers - January (with a little bit of December thrown in too!!)

I missed contributing last month to Julie Kirk's My Month in Numbers as we didn't get back from our Christmas cruise till the 5th January and I came back with the lurgiest lurgy I have ever had which stuck with me for 30 days.  I am over the worst of it now, though I still feel pretty rotten by evening time most days, but I am now back in blogland and virtually the land of the living.

The most important number to share as always is how many days left to the Marillion convention in The Netherlands next month - so exciting that there are now only 30 days left!!!

Well despite going down with the lurgy at the end of our cruise we still had the most amazing holiday and the most relaxing Christmas ever.  As I can't separate out the numbers for the cruise I am going to do a joint Dec/Jan blog post about them.

Our cruise took us from Portsmouth, down to Tangiers, round the Canaries, up to Madeira and then home via Lisbon - a round trip of 3869 nautical miles. After 4 at sea days Christmas Eve was spent in a hot and sunny Tangiers, we did a trip to the artist community at Asilah and Mr P did very well with his wheelchair driving (we have a points system where he loses points for bad driving like hitting people's ankles, bumping me into things and bad kerb negotiation).  Despite there being no dropped pavements anywhere and the highest kerbs to the pavements I have ever seen, he managed to lose 0 points!!!!!  I think he was showing off to all the naysayers who had said that we wouldn't manage with the wheelchair.

That evening we had the most wonderful carol service on board and then midnight mass, followed by a very relaxing Christmas Day at sea.  Christmas Day evening was a formal night and a chance to have some nice photographs taken.  We posed nicely for the first 2 photographs and then the photographer asked us to look lovingly at each other - oh dear, big mistake!!!!!  After about 5 minutes of us collapsing into a fit of giggles and 10 failed photographs, he managed to get this one of us.

 Boxing Day we arrived at our first Canaries stop - Arrecife, Lanzarote and we visited a different island for the next 5 days.  My favourite island was Tenerife - it was my turn to select which shore tour to do and I chose to go to Loro Parque.  The dolphin and orca shows were spectacular and I loved the penguins too.

Our final island stop was the beautiful island of Madeira on New Year's Eve - we went on a lovely full day tour to Porto Moniz and we then enjoyed an evening of entertainment in the countdown to the end of the year.  We had a big deck party on the rear deck whilst waiting for the famous Funchal fireworks - we were not disappointed by them!!

Earlier that evening 8 ships and smaller boats took part in a Last Sunset of 2012 ship's horn symphony.  It lasted for 8 minutes and one of the bizarrest things I have ever heard - we sat out on our balcony for it and it was deafening!!

Well it was the best ever New Year's Eve celebrations that I have ever had - the champagne flowed freely - I lost count after glass no 6 and it was such fun to dance the night away whilst Boudicca slowly moved away from Madeira and out to open sea.

We then headed back for home via Lisbon, so another 4 more days at sea. 

Some more numbers from our cruise -

The ship was full with 900 passengers (its maximum capacity) and 355 crew members.  According to the galley records 2,060 kg beef, 2,504 kg poultry, 2,316 kg pork, 590 kg lamb and 3,192 kg fish were consumed during the 16 days plus 9.34 tonnes of vegetables and 3,635 kg of potatoes.  Interesting that there are no figures for the number of bottles of wine and champagne drunk for that period!!

Right I am off to check out what numbers everyone else has posted - if you fancy joining in you can find out how right here

Monday, 4 February 2013

Clean and Simple - Frogs and Christmas!!

The theme for week 2 of the 52 cards challenge is Clean and Simple.

I don't find these cards easy to make and have found the easiest thing to do is to stamp directly onto the card and make it a one layer card.

I'm on a mission this year to use stamps that I haven't got inky yet or have rarely used.  I got this sweet frog from Penny Black end of last year so it was my first choice for this card.  The sentiment is also from Penny Black and I coloured the images with Promarkers.

I then made two cards for the Christmas challenge using another Penny Black stamp from T for Transparent set 'Christmas Friends'.

I added a little bit of Icicle Stickles for a bit of sparkle.
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