Thursday, 28 January 2010

Life Begins At......

Well, the day has finally arrived and passed by!!!!! I turned that funny age yesterday and although I've been dreading it for months, it came and went quietly really.

I was a very lucky girl and received lots of lovely presents. My dear hubby and daughter bought me a Slice and some cards to go with it, which I've been busy playing with. I also got some beautiful jewellery from my Sister and lots of other crafty bits and chocolate and some pennies to go shopping with so I feel very blessed.

The class I help out with on a Wednesday all came out and sang Happy Birthday which was wonderful but very embarrassing and one little boy summed it up when he said the best birthday present he said his Mum received was a big hug !!!! Well I got one of those too and I heartily agree with him!!

So, apologises for the lack of crafting this week, I'm sure you'll understand why. Normal service will resume shortly.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope your week is going well.

Monday, 25 January 2010


I fire up my computer on a cold, dark, damp January afternoon and log onto Blogland and the warmth that comes out of my screen from all you lovely Bloggers is amazing. I know I say it often but it doesn't matter how I feel when I arrive, I always leave with a big smile and thoughts of just how nice this crafting world is that I joined almost a year ago. I just wish I'd done it sooner.

The marmalade recipe for those of you who are interested, and I promise it's not complicated or hard is from Delia Smith and it works every time. This makes six 1lb jars.

2lb Seville oranges
4 pints of water
1 lemon
4lb caster sugar

-Put the water in a very large pan.

-Cut the oranges & lemon in half and squeeze, adding the juice to the water.

-Cut each orange into quarters and thinly slice the skins adding them to the water. Wrap any pith, pips and leftovers in a muslin bag, tie up with string and hang over the side of the pan to release the pectin from it.

-Simmer gently for 2 hours or until the skin is soft. Remove the muslin bag, leave to cool and then squeeze well over a basin to get all the goo out and add this to the pan stirring well. It will help in the setting.

-Add the sugar and heat gently until it is all dissolved. Check the back of your wooden spoon, there should be no grains visible.

-Put a saucer in your fridge/freezer.

-When the sugar is dissolved bring the mixture up to a rolling boil and time for 15 mins.

-When the time is up place a dribble on the cold plate and leave to cool slightly. If it wrinkles when you push it, it's ready. If not continue boiling and re test.

-Leave the marmalade to cool for 20 mins before pouring into sterilised jars. ( Sterilise by putting in a warm oven for 30 mins)


Now down to crafty matters.

I was visiting my blogging buddy Sarah recently, who is a dedicated Scrapper and creates beautiful work and she has done a layout which almost mirrors one I did a couple of years ago. We'd even used the same photo of ourselves reflected in a Christmas bauble. It struck me as strange how people who don't know one another, who have never met and who have completely different types of lives can create such similar pieces of craft!!

This is mine and it was done after a particularly difficult year and I just wanted to remind myself that even when times are tough, there are still plenty of things that can bring joy.

Apologies if I've waffled on a bit today. I'll end as I started as what I said at the beginning reflects perfectly with this layout. Check out Sarah if you've got a minute. Her blog is well worth a visit.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Monday has gone well.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

House Full Of Oranges

At last the sun has been shining today which made up for the awful wet, dark day we had yesterday although I'm not complaining, it was a perfect day for making marmalade, which is just what I did.

I don't know about you, but I love sharp, tangy marmalade on my toast, not sweet jammy stuff and I struggle to get really nice ones in the shops, so every January I try and stock up on Seville oranges to make my own.

The house was filled with a lovely orangey smell all day yesterday and I now have 8 jars stashed in the cupboard and a plastic container in the fridge as I ran out of jam jars!!! That should keep me going for awhile!!

Now I can get back to the important business of crafting again.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope your weekend is going well and as always, I must say a huge thank you for all the wonderful comments I get, you make my day and make me smile which is something I treasure.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Pink and Brown

I hope everyones week is going well so far. We've had a lovely day here today with some sunshine. Everyone seemed to have smiles on their faces. You could feel your spirits rising and I even thought about opening the windows, but the chill coming in soon put paid to that, I had to remind myself that, yes, it is still January, don't get too carried away!!

This weeks Allsorts challenge is pink and brown. I haven't attempted a colour challenge before and found it harder than I thought. The first attempt ended up in the bin so I resorted to doing a tag again. For some reason my brain struggles with cards!!!!

Apologies for the poor photo, it's difficult to find some good light in our house at the minute and this is much brighter than it looks.

The background is pink pearlescent Brilliance ink which had been spritzed with water on the craft mat and the tag pressed into it. The swirls are from my lovely QVC foam stamp set stamped in Vintage photo. The flower was a mixture of a Sissix daisy die and Kay Carley's funky flowers cut out in various shades of pink and brown and I coloured the brad with a sharpie marker to match. The swirl was traced from a Tim Holtz swirl onto card, cut out and inked.

Thank you for stopping by and Happy Crafting.

Monday, 18 January 2010


What a grey, damp, dismal Monday, but at least all the snow has gone and we can get about much easier now. Oh how I long for the Spring to arrive, I find these dark days a bit depressing.

Anyway, enough of me moaning, how was your weekend. Did you get lots of crafting done. Everyone seems busy with all the challenges, I must get back into those properly.

We had a lazy weekend, although I did get my floor washed for the first time in weeks. With all the wet and boots being piled up everywhere, there didn't seem much point before. My DH washed his car and I ventured into the greenhouse and was pleasantly surprised. There were a few casualties but most things seem to be fine. Nature can be very surprising.

I also finished my Garden Journal ready to be filled in throughout the year. Here is the front cover.

The swirls were from the lovely QVC foam set and I actually got round to making some paper roses. The paper was a bit thick so they are a bit clumsy but hopefully will stand up to being handled. I added some stickles to them.

The quote is one I've collected from somewhere over the years. I keep a book and write them down when I come across something I like, but am not so good at crediting them to someone!! The frames were cut from a Nesties Label and then cuttlebugged.

I made the copper corners by triple embossing with copper EP and pressing an uninked stamp in just to create a texture.The chip board letters were from Martha Stewart and were in the candy I won just before Christmas. These were also triple embossed, this time with Cosmic Shimmer Arctic Bay Lustre. My heat gun blew up just as I'd finished and unfortunately my resident electrician has condemned it!!!

And just to show I shall use it, here is the first page.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for all the wonderful comments you leave me, I really love reading them.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Getting Messy

How's your weekend going so far, good I hope. It's been wet and gloomy here and all the snow has finally gone in the valley although there's plenty still on the hills. It just looks very soggy and wet. I know, we're never pleased are we.

One of the things I wanted to do this year is make more practical things rather than just cards all the time that sit in boxes because I can't part with them, yes I know it's very silly, but I do get attached, that's why I prefer scrapbooking, I don't have to give those away!!

One of my blogging buddies Lesley has a lovely blog where she posts photos of her garden throughout the year, and layouts she has done and she is going to keep a journal with photos in instead this year. I loved that idea and thought I'd do the same. I always keep a note of what has done well in the garden and what I need to do but the idea of making a book and including photos really appealed.

I then saw the article in this months Craft Stamper about making a journal and hey presto I thought, that's perfect. I'll make my own.

With this is mind I spent a lovely morning yesterday playing with my glimmer mists and screens to make the covers and pages for my book. Here they all are drying on the kitchen surfaces while I had my lunch!!

It's coming together today so hopefully tomorrow, I'll be able to show you the finished article. I can't wait to get filling it in.

Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy your Sunday.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Tag It With Birds

How are you all doing in this icy weather. I hope there hasn't been any broken or damaged limbs. I don't know about the rest of the country but we couldn't step foot outside yesterday, even school was closed and that's unheard of. Every surface was just sheet ice and it stayed like that all day. We live on quite a steep hill and luckily one of our neighbours shouted a warning after they'd had to help numerous people after they'd fallen outside.

Being confined indoors was a perfect reason to craft so I got back into challenge mode and did my entry for Tuesday Taggers, which this week is a Bird Tag.

I used the free stamp from Craft Stamper this month and used colourbox chalk inks to colour the tag and stamp the bird. The swirls were from a foam set from QVC. I was quite dubious about the foam but they stamp really well and were incredibly good value for money.

Thanks for stopping by. I've heard it should be a balmy 6oC by Sunday, that sounds exciting, I may even be able to go and see what a mess my greenhouse is in, I've not been down there for weeks. It's probably just a mouldy mess-Lovely!!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Brenda's Blog Hop and Special One off Challenge

On the 1st February, our blogging buddy, Brenda, will be giving away some some serious candy in a special one off challenge. She is not saying what it is, just that it's a serious piece of equipment we'd all like to have in our craft rooms, sounds amazing.

She is also having a blog hop and will be giving away lots of prizes so have a nosey at her blog over the next few weeks for some sneaky peeks

She needs your help to spread the word so if you want to get involved here's what you need to do:

1) Give the challenge a plug on your own blog.

2) Add the logo above to your sidebar with a link back to Brenda's blog.

3) Leave Brenda a comment so that she can enter you into her prize draw.

Sounds like we're going to be having a lot of fun so please join in if you can.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Just Checkin' In

Hello out there in Blogland. I thought I had better just check in and say Hi.

I hope you are all staying warm and safe. Is this weather just getting colder and colder or is it me. I've now taken to wearing a big cardy over my sweater and two pairs of soaks and that's just in the house!!!!

The week has been taken up with staying warm and keeping everyone going. Walking to school has taken twice as long by the time we've put on all the paraphernalia and then trudged through inches of snow, the first few days were like an adventure but by the end of the week I just wanted to stay under the duvet. Still, we are very happy that school is open when so many are shut.

Hubby got to work after his day off on Tuesday but has had some interesting drives home, managing to navigate the ice on one road just before it was shut altogether.

Then to top everything, I got a phone call yesterday from my Mum saying she couldn't get her 18 month old boiler to work. It had been making a strange noise and then stopped. We made sure that she had her spare oil heaters where she needed them and the Gas Man came today, how's that for service in this weather, although she is classed as priority. Anyway, he had a look and said it had frozen up and soon got it all working again. Huge sigh of relief.

We've been out to the shops today to replenish the food stocks, first time in a week. The car parks were tricky to say the least. I'm glad I wasn't driving and then went for a look at the river which is nearly completely frozen. The last time I remember this happening I think was in 1981 so it doesn't happen very often. There were loads of people taking photos so here's one that I took.

There were lots of birds footprints all over the snow covered ice, I don't think they knew what to make of it. Don't they look like little arrows pointing off to somewhere interesting?

Well, thanks for stopping by and I hope to get back to crafting again very soon. I have loads of ideas flying round in my head and just need a bit of time to do some of it.

Keep Warm.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Journalling December

How is everyone on this cold Tuesday.

We are up to our armpits in snow again. I don't think I've seen so much in many years. We've had about 5 inches this morning. School was open which was impressive. It's the highest building in the town but the teachers all walk and so do most of the children. They were allowed some play out time before home time so didn't miss out on the fun.

My DH set off and got less than a mile in over an hour so turned round and came back but then couldn't get back up our hill again and had to leave his car and walk. I think he's enjoyed his unexpected day off though.

I've been busy trying to complete my JYC book so that I can play with all my new goodies and thought it was about time I showed you some of the pages. I won't bore you with them all but these are a selection of what I've done so far. There are family photos too but as they are all shy, I promised not to post those so these are the more general ones.

My book should really be Journal Your December because I like to journal all the things that we do in the build up to Christmas.

My first page was what I intended to do with my book which was to do less of a diary (I did that last year) and more what other people wanted to remember so the journal cards on each page open out and include comments from friends and family and then I've written about each day on the front.

I've used a digital scrap kit from 2 Peas In A Bucket so that the pages all had the same colours to try and keep them simple and uncluttered, although I do get carried away sometimes. The glitter snowflakes were a sissix die and the titles have all been stamped with stickles applied here and there. The dates were done on photoshop and matted with silver mirricard.

I like to include all the special food we have, like the special marzipan that has to go on the cake.

What the weather is like, which dominated later in the month!! Freya wrote on this card about how her class sorted all the cards that were posted in the school Christmas post box and delivered them to each class every morning.

The Arrival of the Christmas Tree and what new decoration was bought for it this year.

And of course the snow and the Christmas cake.

I made a book for the first time last year and wondered then whether it would be interesting to look back because the photos I took didn't seem to be so interesting at the time, just day to day things, but I got it out this year and re read it and really enjoyed looking back so I will perserve and get this year's finished. After all the weather has certainly been memorable.

Thank you for stopping by and keep warm and safe. If you haven't had the snow yet I'm sure it's on it's way.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Christmas Calanders

If you're still Blog Hopping from The Stampman please scroll down for all the details.

I hope your New Year has started well and you are keeping warm in this chilly weather. We're certainly having a proper winter this year aren't we. We had fresh snow on New Years Eve and again last night so haven't ventured far from the warm fire.

I like to make some handmade gifts each year for family and friends and this year did calenders so now they have been received I'll show you the results. The idea for them came from the very talented Michelle who makes lots of homemade gifts.

I lined each square with patterned paper and then embossed around each edge in either gold or silver EP. The calender page sentiment was from an Elusive Images theme plate and the opposite page contained a family photo.

The front covers were Starburst stained spritzed paper cut from various Nestabilities making a frame raised on foam pads and then the design on top. All the ladies got the flowers in various combinations. These were Dawn Bibby stamps embossed and cut out of various scraps of paper, finished with a brad and the men got the trees and sentiment from the EI Tall Trees theme plate.

I punched the holes with my crop o dile and fastened them together with organza ribbon so that they will stand open.

Thank you as always for stopping by and if you are back to work tomorrow I hope it's not too stressful. Wrap up warm.