Friday, 30 November 2012

Glitzy Deck the Halls

This card was so fast I almost wet met myself coming back:
I used:

- A6 white card stock

- Crafts Too embossing folder called 'Swirl Frame' - perfect for Christmas cards as it has some little stars in the design

- sentiment from a 'Personal Impressions set called 'Many Greetings', designed by Kirsty Wiseman

- schparkly holly embellishments from a Paper Studio pack, bought in Hobby Lobby whilst shopping with the lovely Kay in New Mexico in September - it seems a lifetime ago but only yesterday if that makes sense :(

This card is for the current Less Is More challenge which is 'Glamour and Glitz' - it's got the glitz for sure! But I fiddled with the self adhesive embellishments for a while, I really wanted them in a line but it just didn't look right as they aren't equally sided. Hint, if playing round for placement of self-adhesive embellishments, it's useful to use a piece of acetate as I do so you can sit it over a card to see what the end result will look like without actually sticking onto the card - OCD at work again!

Snort, we could do with an OCD house cleaning fairy here right now - the dining room is piled high with school newsletter stuff, envelopes and umpteen boxes of printed newsletters that I collected today, all glaring at me and saying 'Just get ON with it woman' :(

Di
x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A special card for a special person...

...this is one for my step-mum. As some of you know, she lives in a really good care home so I wanted a card that was special, quite tactile and with lots of little extra touches. As she's always been an avid one for watching and feeding the birds this image was a good starting point - she lives on the ground floor and her room has a lot of bushes outside the window so she can still enjoy their antics. Ha, and she squirrels bread away at meal times to feed them :)
I made an easel card which will sit nicely in her lovely room on her coffee table, beside her favourite armchair.
Sideways view - and I'll be adding one of the little 'easel card instruction stickers' which I posted about here. If anyone would like a copy of the file just drop me an email to di_wray@hotmail.com.
The sweet little Christmas tree charm got all shy - it's there hiding behind the silver cord. Many thanks to Jules for letting me in on how to add charms nicely to a bow ................ just thread a bodkin with the cord and wiggle it through the knot in the bow, easy, once you've been told the secret!
And the card will prop up behind this little raised band of card and paper, with brads added just in case my step-mum has difficulty standing the card up. I totally love the little robin brad - it's fabric covered and embroidered, just adorable.

I used:

- 6" x 6" white scalloped card stock from Craftwork Cards

- image (already coloured!) and papers from Wild Rose Studio's 'Annabelle's Christmas' paper pack

- ruby red backing card from the snippets folder

- ruby red organza ribbon from the ribbon box

- a little silver Christmas tree charm and silver cord

- snowflake die cut and glittered, with a glittered white brad in the centre - just hold the brad in looooong tweezers, heat with a heat gun and dunk straight into glitter, I use an unlabelled pot bought from Art of Craft

- brads, the ruby red jewel ones are made by 'Lush' and the robin one came from Papermania's  Henbury Lane 'Poinsettia Embroidered brads' pack

- sentiment from Woodware's 'Christmas Ribbon Tree' set, layered onto ruby red card

- stickles on the ground and little falling snowflakes, although they don't show up in the photo very well

- Josy Rose silver round and heart shaped nail heads

I'd like to enter this card into the following fabby challenges:

St. Luke's Hospice - the theme is 'Traditional Christmas'. It's very sad that this is their last challenge, and I'd like to thank Tara and the DT for such a fun and worthwhile challenge - we'll miss you!

Sarn's Rudolph Day Challenge - where you can win a super wax seal set this month, courtesy of Sam - this is my third and final entry for this month. Still time to enter girls :)

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - where the theme is a card for 'someone special'

and last, but not least, Hiding in my Craft Room (HIMCR) - where the theme is 'Christmas'. This challenge is new to me but it looks like good fun!

Still up to my eyes here doing the old school newsletters :(

Di
x

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

WOYWW 182

Been missing in action, simply 'cos I didn't have enough time to hop around other WOYWW desks and I like to play fair.

And am not even showing the whole pigsty desk here today - but a little something else. There are lots of lovely money/cheque/gift card holders being made right now - some with a lot of work in them, for example, Lynn made a lovely and quite unusual one for the snippets Playground the other week and also linked to a great tutorial. Speed is the name of the game here right now though, so this is a really quick and easy one I made earlier:
First, find a pre-printed topper or image and a toning/complimenting sheet of A4 patterned card. Measure so that the topper and anything else you want to add will fit nicely onto a portion of the sheet of card when it's folded and trim off the excess from the top or bottom then trim down the length of the piece of card at the width you want leaving about two and a half inches uncut. A little bit of measuring here! Then trim at right angles up to the decided width of your card, the photo illustrates it better than I'm explaining it:). I did do the bits of the final cuts with sharp scissors BTW. Round the corner of what will be the 'flap' and then score the piece of card as shown above - across the main fold and down the fold line for the flap.
Grab strong double sided tape and run it along the bottom edge of the flap.

Peel off the backing from the tape, fold over the flap to what will be the inside of the card and stick it down. I added a stamped sentiment by LOTV which was punched using SU's scalloped oval punch. You could decorate the inside of the thing too - but when time is at a premium I'm just leaving them blank for a little handwritten message - besides which the families will already have a 'proper' Christmas card from us as well.
And this is one all finished, just with a My Paper Stash 'Winter Wishes' topper and a strip of self adhesive paper lace made by Woodware down one edge. Lift up the front and the little pocket and contents will be revealed inside, with a hand written message such as 'Go SHOP!'.

Of course you can make sideways or tent style opening ones (such as A6, DL etc. just to suit the size and shape of topper you intend to use on the front) - and don't fret over folding the money or cheque, the betting is that it will be folded at some point by the recipient anyhow :)

One super fast and easy money wallet - which leaves more time to hop around WOYWW over at Julia's - so why are you hanging around here then? The mulled wine isn't heating in the Snippets Playground yet and the tree wasn't up with lethally and dangerously wired lights last time I dared to peek so go on, shoo!!

Happy WOYWW :)

Di
x

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sympathy card and a Tuesday Tale

You know that feeling when you open a Christmas card and your heart sinks? That happened to me last week when we received a card from a friend I haven't seen in a lot of years, although we still exchange cards and our news at Christmas. Her husband sadly died in August so I made this to send with a little note inside:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card stock

- deep lavender backing paper from the snippets folder, punched round using a Martha Stewart 'Punch Around the Page' set

- sentiment by SU, from the 'Sincere Salutations' set, stamped in Pearlescent Lavender and punched out using one of my favourite SU punches

- flowers bought in New Mexico, made by Martha Stewart - called 'Hydrangea' - they come already to use in sets of three flowers for corners with the little pearls already added

- teeny self-adhesive pearls in the other two corners

The tale begins when Elisma (isn't that a pretty name) and I met at work. She got me involved with a local charity raising funds for a CARE village in Ponteland where I lived - the village is still going strong housing 42 adult residents with learning disabilities (mostly Downs). We ran Summer garden parties, themed dinner dances and lots of other events over the years - raising an amazing amount of money to fund the village and even build new cottages.

We also discovered a love of 'playing at shops' - raided our lofts and set ourselves up doing car boot sales. This was followed by us trolling round local jumble sales and auctions so we could 'up cycle' things such as glassware, jewellery and so on. We did have a lot of fun and the sun always seemed to shine whenever we did our monthly boot sales.

Sadly, Elisma and her husband Malcolm moved away down to Lowestoft but not before her very dry husband caught me out good an' proper. I rang their house to check up on something (probably when to meet for a car boot or jumble sale) - the phone was picked up and when I asked for Elisma the solemn answer from a chap was 'Sorry, there's no one here right now'. And, to my eternal shame, I squeaked 'OK, I'll try later' - and hung up!!! I then wandered away from the phone, the light finally dawned and a huge pair of asses ears sprouted from my head...............of course, when I rang straight back, Malcolm could hardly speak for laughing and neither could I. What a wag and very much missed by my friend and no doubt many other people.

Di
x

Monday, 26 November 2012

Patch Tree

Woodware have quite a few 'patchwork' stamps out right now, and this is one of my favourites:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- Woodware stamp from the set called 'Patch Tree' - it also comes with a couple of sentiments

- papers from the Fizzy Moon 'Festive Fun' pack

- sticky ribbon to match, from a Fizzy Moon 'Festive Fun' pack

- sentiment by Craftwork Cards, mounted onto an oval snippet of leftover paper

- Josy Rose nail heads, silver star on the top of the tree and silver heart on the tub

So that's gonna be my second entry into Sarn's Rudolph Day challenge :)

And, it also qualifies for  A Gem of a Challenge, which is 'paper piecing'

Di
x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets - Week 48

As usual, here's my snippets card for this week:
I've longed for this Memory Box 'Flowering Christmas Tree' die for ages and it certainly didn't disappoint. The card stock popped out of the die easily (I used a pokey tool through the holes at the back of the die first which seemed to make the little bitty bits come away so much easier than I'd expected).

I used:

- A6 white card stock

- snippet of white card to die cut the tree, then just added a few little pearls

- snippet of white card embossed with a Crafts-Too embossing folder called 'Scrollwork Frame'

- snippet of midnight blue  sparkly card and a snippet of matt silver card

- sticky pads to adhere the centre panel to the scrollwork background for some dimension

No roll call this week of course but those of you who came to play have made some fabulous cards and other goodies such as a calendar, a little coffin and a Christmas wreath. To go to look if you haven't already done so - this is the link to last week's challenge and Mr Linky here.

And, the winner of the Sheena Douglass 'Mistletoe' stamp set is Hettie, aka Sam! I'm sure it will be well loved and used by Sam who really was keen to win and entered three times this week, thereby increasing the odds of course, although the draw is always random outta my sun hat so it truly was fate.

Which brings me onto something else concerning Sam - it's your week girl!!! I thought that sometimes there would be a little showcase spot on here when something truly wonderful shouldn't be missed. So, if you only look at one snippets entry this week, but it would be great if you find time to see them all of course - please make sure it's this fabulous wreath made by Sam - totally stunning!!! It really is breathtakingly beautiful - here's a peek:
You can see lots more detail over at Sam's blog.

So, what's gone on this week in the Playground - it's been quieter (which worries me as am sure there's plotting going on), and last I hear there was a proposal for a flipping chestnut brazier to be installed along with a secret stash of mulled wine! Too much whispering and quiet scurrying going on for my liking :(

Remember, it's Rudolph Day again this coming week over at Sarn's - and Hazel's latest challenge is to 'make a Christmas card for someone special'. A very true observation that we often leave those special cards right until the last minute so why not combine both challenges?

If you want to join in the Playground and keep using up those snippets - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 1st December at noon, UK time. Mr Linky is below as usual.

Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting will mean that you'll be included in the Weekly Roll Call. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Picklin' Pixie at work - again!

As part of my pickling frenzy I made jars of pickled onions too - once again, they are hidden from the 'Two-legged Mouse' until Christmas!
Grandma's Pickled Onions

1⁄2 cup sea salt
2.25 L water
11⁄2 kg unpeeled very small onions or shallots
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cups malt or apple cider vinegar (I used malt vinegar)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon mixed or green peppercorns
1⁄2 teaspoon whole allspice (couldn't find this so I just mixed a pinch of ground allspice in with the spices)
4 bay leaves, crumbled
12 whole cloves
3 small chopped and deseeded chillies

In a mixing bowl, dissolve 1⁄4 cup sea salt in 1.15 L water. Add the onions and weigh them down gently with a plate that fits inside the bowl. They must be kept submerged.

Stand for 8 to 12 hours.

Drain and peel onions, and return them to the bowl.

Make a new brine with another batch of salt and water, pour it over the onions, and weigh them down gently again.

Stand for 2 days - ha, ha - the onions, not you of course :).

In a non-reactive saucepan, bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil. Cool.

Drain and rinse the onions twice.

Mix all picking spices together and 1⁄2 fill preserving jars with onions.

Divide 1⁄2 the spices on top of onions.

Fill jars to top with remaining onions and place remaining spices on top.

Fill each jar of onions with the cooled, sweetened vinegar, ensuring that onions are completely covered.

Cover the jar with a non-reactive cap, preferably all plastic or glass.

Keep the jars in a cool place for at least 1 month before eating the onions.

Recipe notes:
They will apparently keep for at least 6 months, if you can resist them for that long!
I think you could also use pre-mixed pickling spices, Schwartz do them, but I opted for the hard way :) I tasted the vinegar and don't think these onions will be over sweet - which was my concern. Obviously you can just multiply up the quantities - I think I tripled it and got 4 x  2lb jars and 3 x 1lb jars if that helps you to work out final numbers of jars you're likely to end up with.

If you make these soon they will still be ready in time to have with all that cold turkey, ham and other such Christmas Fare. I enjoy that more than the full roast dinner on Christmas Day to be honest - probably as it's much more relaxed.

Oooer, I had a fabulous day with Julia and Jan yesterday - those girls know how to shop so of course I had to join in otherwise it would have been very rude of me :) I felt quite flat when I got back home, sigh.

Di
x

Friday, 23 November 2012

Gingerbread anyone?

Sam sent me some cute little gingerbread people a little while ago - whilst thinking about this card I couldn't find them and thought they'd run away! Too late I found the packet under my glass mat - it had quietly hidden itself away :) But, in their absence I used some little embellishments brought home from New Mexico in September - I didn't declare that I had six little people in my suitcase though - so I made three cards all the same:

I used:

- 6" x 6" square cream card stock

- backing paper from the 'Cosy Christmas' freebie with Quick Cards Made Easy - some time ago I think

- die cut heart in cream card, matted onto a scalloped heart die cut from a snippet of dusky pink card

- sentiment stamped in 'Vintage Sepia' using the LOTV sentiments set called 'Christmas Grungy Messages'. I love these stamps with their slightly smudged vintage feel and they'll be sitting on my desk as a reminder to use them while I make the last of the Christmas cards here

- the adorable little gingerbread man and lady - and I used Sam's great tip to add faux stitching and the little heart (I used a Sakura Gelly Roll pen rather than the Sharpie pen that Sam used 'cos that's the best I had, testing it first on the back, and it worked great and dried permanently). Out came the glue gun to stick them on firmly - no chance of these little folk doing a bunk :)

- double sided  dusky pink and brown ribbon from the ribbon box

I counted up today and have enough Christmas cards made and the inserts are almost all added too - yay!! Mind you, they have to be written yet although I do cheat and keep a 'Christmas address labels file' bang up to date which speeds things up immensely. 

I'm also entering this into the current Winter Wonderland challenge, which is 'Food Glorious Food' not that I ever feel up to eating gingerbread people, where do you begin - the head, an arm, a leg? :(

Friday already, today I should be missing in action - out playing with Julia and Jan, with a trip to ShopKeeper Gal's new shop thrown in for luck. Bound to be a good laugh so I'm hopping up and down like a demented happy bunny!

Di
x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Twinkled star Christmas card

It's another one using the Marianne Design Christmas Creatables die set I bought last year called 'Star and Bauble' and this, already die cut and glittered star, was also in the little box I'd forgotten about:
I used:

- 7" x 5" white card stock, slightly trimmed so that the matting would have the same sized border all around

- a Crafts-Too embossing folder called 'Scrollwork Frame'

- a snippet of red mirri card as backing

- the silver sparkled star was given the double sided Woodware sticky film treatment (Handy Hippo stock it in the UK), backed then trimmed round before sprinkling Crystal Glamour Dust over. Again, as with the gold bauble the other day, the effect is lovely - almost like sparkly gauze - and then I just peeled the backing off to fix it to the embossed background

- a little red organza bow

- a very old sentiment by Kan Ban

- a few little crystal gems here and there 

Things are busier than ever here, it's time for the old school newsletter (600+) to be printed, enveloped, labelled, stamped and sent out. I'm hoping we manage to find another volunteer to take it over - after five years of doing the soul-destroying mahoosive job every four months or so, I'm ready for someone else to take a turn - but it's unlikely we'll find anyone daft enough...........sigh :( 

Di
x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Deck the halls...

I got this stamp a good while ago, another one having its first outing:
And, I found the little jewelled Christmas tree lights sticker set in my box of goodies from New Mexico - hidden away and almost forgotten, bad girl :(

I used:

- A6 white card stock

- backing paper from Wild Rose Studio's 'Annabelle's Christmas paper pack' - I love this set of papers

- image by Stampendous, called 'Fluffles Garland', coloured with Pro Markers, a little bit of 'Star Dust' Stickles on the baubles and layered onto a snippet of red card

- Christmas tree lights sticker set came from HobbyLobby

No WOYWW for me today as I don't have time to play fair and do much blog hopping, but hope you have fun!

As the stamp is well over 6 months old I'm entering this into Crafty Hazelnut's current Christmas Challenge.

Di
x

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Future of the Snippets Playground and a little something you might like

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who commented and even sent emails about the future of the Playground. A few sniffles here and I was very touched by your concern and understanding that it was all becoming a marathon. So, the decision is that we go for Option B - we have a weekly Mr. Linky and I do a very quick post, new Mr Linky and snippets card each Sunday. Obviously I'll try to perhaps point out some tips, hints, news (aka shenanigans!!) and such that I pick up when going round snippets entries - but hopping around blogs is up to you, by using the previous week's Mr Linky. Yay! I think it could work girls - already this week we have nine entries as I'm typing this. And here's another snippets card:
I used:

- A6 white card stock

- two snippets of silver backing card

- a snippet of white card, run through the Cuttlebug with a Cuttlebug 'Swiss Dots' embossing folder. In order to get the length I didn't run the card right through, just to about an inch of the end of the folder - then turned the folder round making sure the embossed dots on the card lined up with the folder and embossed the remainder of the card

- a snippet of white card, stamped using a Sheena Douglas set called 'A Little Bit Festive - Mistletoe', coloured with Pro Markers. The bow was stamped and coloured separately, coloured with Pro Markers, cut out, curved a little bit around a Pro Marker barrel and then attached with snippets of sticky pad

- sentiment, also from the set, was stamped using SU's 'Rose Red' stampin' spot

You like?

If so, this set below is to be won 'cos it fell into my shopping basket when I bought the one I used above:
To be 'in it to win it', just link up to a snippets 'make' of some sort this week and I'll draw  a winner on Saturday after the Playground closes. You can add more than one 'make' if you wish, the more the merrier, but there's a maximum of three chances per person.

Oh, if you already have the set or just don't fancy it (although even the little border would be fun to use in scrap booking I should imagine) - please leave a little comment to say so and I won't include you.

Let's see how it goes huh?

Again, you're all little stars - I thank you!!

Di
x

Monday, 19 November 2012

A Christmas bauble

I bought a lovely Marianne Design Christmas Creatables die set last year called 'Star and Bauble'. I cut a few out, glittered them, popped them in a little box - and promptly forgot all about them until last week:

I used:

- 7" x 5" white card stock, slightly trimmed so that the matting would have the same sized border all around

- a Crafts-Too embossing folder called 'Poinsettia Frame'

- a snippet of smooth yet really sparkly gold self adhesive film, stuck onto card before being trimmed for the oblong backing - didn't trust myself to cut it and stick it straight onto the card stock :)

- the gold sparkled bauble then came out of the box and I pondered how it could be properly fixed to the card front as it's all like fine wire. Aha, out came the double sided Woodware sticky film (Handy Hippo stock it in the UK) and I backed the bauble with it and trimmed round before sprinkling gold Glamour Dust over. The effect is lovely - almost like gold gauze - and then I just peeled the backing off and hey presto, a secure fix!

- a little gold bow was then made using a fork as a 'bow maker'. Here's the link to show how it's done

- sentiment from Craftwork Cards

- a few little gold gems here and there in the centres of the poinsettias - which are super but the embossing doesn't show up too well :(

Sooo funny though, ever since last Christmas I've thought one of our 'everyday' forks was missing - snigger, when making the little gold bow, I realised that said fork had found it's way into the craft room in September 2011 and never been returned - slap my wrists :)

The idea to back the bauble came from another blog I love to visit, I think someone was given some die cuts and then backed them with mirri card which is also a lovely effect. Sorry, I've searched and can't recall where I saw the idea but 'thank you' as that triggered my 'bauble tweaking'.........am I allowed to say that?!

There are a couple of challenges I'd like to enter this for:

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - 'use something more than six months old' - that bauble qualifies for sure

Winter Wonderland -  'oh baubles'

That's my offering for today - and yes, I did get glitter all over the place, messy pup!

Di
x

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets - Week 47

Well, after the bonfire debacle, things seem to have settled down in the Playground - and I'm 'assured' that the bushes will grow back again :(

This is my Snippets offering for this week and it's also for a super new challenge called Addicted to CAS:
I fell in love with this stamp over at Elizabeth's a long while ago and it's taken me until now to try it out :(

I used:

- A6 white card stock

- a snippet of white card to stamp on and a snippet of red 'satin' effect card as a backing. If anyone knows where on earth I got this from I'd love to know - it's the very last of what I had and the satin effect is beautiful

- Penny Black stamp called 'berry red, snow white'. The reason I'd been a bit scared to try the stamp out was that the bush in the foreground needed to be black and the fence behind grey - but, me gritted me little teef and used Memento' London Fog' for the fence and then 'Tuxedo Black' for the bush, all in one go and carefully using teardrop shaped stamps. Then the berries were twinkled up with red Stickles - I'm too heavy handed to risk working straight from the bottle so I always squeeze a little bit onto a scrap of paper or summick and work with a very fine stiff brush

- after the red Stickles dried thoroughly I just used a Quickie fine glue pen and sprinkled Glamour Dust over to add some snowy effects

- the sentiment was stamped using Funstamps 'Small Merry Christmas'

My next try will be to mask off a moon and do a dusk background :)

So, who came to play? Sorry, it's a bit of a quick fly through this week - I just remembered I'm out most of Sunday so have a lot of other things to do on Saturday afternoon after I write this.

First into the Playground was Mags, bringing a really pretty 'Flowers for you' card - such a sweet image Mags and that bunch of flowers is almost as big as the adorable little elephant :) Something about elephants always makes me go 'aaaaah'.

Next to play was Brenda, and her first 'show and tell' was this fabulous Christmas card, using the cutest snowman stamp - a Penny Black of course. Love the corner die you used Brenda, sigh, of course I just had to go and buy one so I blame you if it's bread and jam next week here! And then, this one really blew my socks off - a big double wow from me! It's a House Mouse card cum gift bag and is really so gorgeous - Brenda kindly told us exactly how she made it - I love it, so, so clever! Do make sure you take a peek - there's real inspiration there, so beautifully made.

Jules was next, flying in to play in between all her other commitments. And what a pretty card indeed, yay, pink too! I adore the image and as always everything goes together so, so well. What I'd give to have a good rummage round your craft room Jules - and to have just a fraction of your fabulous ideas.

Hettie (aka Sam) came to play three times this week - having recovered from hiding with the chooks while the Playground firework display got out of hand and her baked potato in the bonfire was ruined.....I found it whilst clearing up the mayhem. First Sam brought us a gorgeous Christmas card, so beautiful and bravely using gilding flakes on the background - like Sam, I've sneezed when using those flakes and haven't ventured near them since! Next was a little beading project that Sam had finished after the WOYWW crop a few weeks ago, the snippets were some beads of her own - and of course, snippets can be anything crafty, not just paper and card. It's gorgeous! And finally, Sam brought us a really stunning tag - so much detail, it's beautiful Sam!

Mo (Maureen) is back in action now and playing catch-up with her Christmas cards. We had three visits and the first one was to show us such a cute Penny Black Penguins card, complete with the same corner die as Brenda is using - that's one fabulous card Mo, tons of lovely detail too. Next was one of my favourite Penny Black images, Overdressed Duck, strutting its stuff on another gorgeous card - and those delightful corner dies got in on the show again too!  Finally, take a look at this - a really jolly snowman card - lots of lovely touches and a great tip which is, you can give your snowflakes a haircut! By that, if you want a slightly smaller version of a snowflake, punched or even die cut, some of them do lend themselves to a few little snips to reduce the diameter - one I'll be bearing in mind 'cos I played for ages with a slightly too large snowflake here yesterday and this would have been an ideal solution.

Aha, and then we had Little Miss Mischief arrive for a play - that title is shared between a few of you, but this week it goes to Sarn. 'Someone' had to 'snitch' on her for what I'm sure would have been the beginnings of a 'conker cracking' league!! Conkers is banned due to Elf and Safety - not that anyone takes a bit of notice, sigh :(
Anyhow, Sarn's card this week made me burst out laughing, what a fabulous 'peek-a-boo' image, and such a lovely card Sarn. A lovely combination of colours and papers too!

Vicky was next, and she too is siding with the little rioters I see (I do read all your comments to one another on your blogs) - this is the bright and zingy card Vicky brought, isn't it fabulous? And, just now I really sat and read the backing paper Vicky and it was a walk down Memory Lane - I wonder how many of you remember the old mechanical typewriters where the ribbon was a double band of black and red? I do!

We had two visits from Irene this week and the first was to bring some of my favouite Penny Black snowmen stickeroos, made into delightful cards. Love the mix of pink and blue backing papers Irene and also the way you added the sentiment on the last card, very clever! Next we had some beautiful crochet wrist warmers and two beanie hats - my favourite is the hat with the pearl button centre Irene. Ideal for when patrolling the Playground in the cold watching out for hidden conkers on strings!

Laura nipped in to play next, with a brilliant card for someone young - a really traditional Santa possibly writing his 'to-do' list, something I bet a lot of us are beginning to do! It's super Laura and so traditional - sure to be loved by the little recipient :)

Lynn A was next, with a card and a money/gift voucher holder to show us. Love the card Lynn but the money holder and the link you so kindly added is something I think we could all learn from! I'm just starting to think about making five holders for cheques this coming Christmas so thank you loads for the link - and for showing us your lovely makes too!

Then Bonnie arrived, with the first of two visits. First with this fantastic Thanksgiving card - love those colours together and such a great design too! The leaves and banners work brilliantly Bonnie. And, later in the week Bonnie hopped back with two versions of another great Christmas card - more inspiration here girls - I love them both Bonnie and the lattice embossing folder is a favourite of mine.

Mrs A came to play twice this week - firstly with such a pretty pink card - love the butterfly and flower, and a very clever touch to leave some dangly threads from the stitching too Mrs A. Next was such a sweet and simple card, with just one of Mrs A's brilliant roses - absolutely perfectly matched to the backing paper, what a find! Extra points for all the pink Mrs A - and Len wants to know when you're gonna replace the can of green spray paint you 'acquired' from our shed to cover up the scorched branches on the Playground bushes please?

Next to play was Sandra H, with a fabulous calendar - really clever idea and I love the vintage colours you used Sandra. And you're gonna make 10 of those? Eek, I can see a little production line being set up in your craft room :) But I bet the lucky people you make them for will be delighted!

Mary Mac hopped in next, with three cards in one go - all of them fabulous. I love the layered idea you used on the first two Mary - I can see a few of us copying that idea for a truly stunning result! The wrapped ribbon and a single flower works so well. I bet most of us have a box of single flowers we'd love to use up with this clever design. And the third card is also great, more layers and that single button is a perfect finishing touch.

We also had two visits from Amanda this week, firstly with this really elegant 'Art Deco' style card - I absolutely love it, and so clever to use the leftover punched squares as a finishing touch Amanda! And then we had some adorable Gingerbread Houses, as gift boxes for some little scented candles - another really inspired idea Amanda and I bet the recipients will be well lit up with these! 

Shaz from Oz came to play next, with such a pretty card. Beautiful embossing Shaz and the floral image is gorgeous, so beautifully coloured. If you haven't already been to peek - do go now and make sure you scroll down the posting to see the most amazing Rainbow Lorikeet having a bath and looking very much like a technicolour sodden sponge with wings :)

Carys came next to join in the Playground, to be honest (as our next to youngest playmate) she seems much more mature than some I could mention......me included :)  And Carys brought us a fantastic Wedding card with a real twist. It's wonderful Carys - do hop over girls and see the clever cutting on the rose heads - very Charles Rennie Mackintosh don't you think?

Professing her innocence in the 'bonfire debacle' much to vehemently for my liking was Darnell, with this card which I guarantee will make you laugh. Some very clever alterations there Darnell - he sure doesn't seem to know which way to turn :) Oh, and Darnell also kindly pointed the way to a new challenge called Addicted to CAS which you might want to go and check out - it looks like fun and their first challenge has just opened with the theme of snow, so my snippets card above is my entry!!

Next was Elizabeth - and her 'show and tell' for this week was such a beautiful Winter Tag. Gorgeous colours and the deer is really elegant - love the little pom pom braid border too Elizabeth! The stamped lace border and Washi tape are both perfect additions too.

And, squeaking in at the last minute came Hazel - after a hectic week making 300 Christmas cards for an order. Crumbs, I needed to lie down just reading that! Hazel's card is to kick start the latest Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - which is to 'use something more than six months old'. Hazel's card is absolutely beautiful, I love the deer especially - and I just bet all of you have goodies that are over six months old to use up :)

So, another roll call done girls! Thank you all for playing so nicely this week (and always really).

Now, I'd better give a little 'heads up' about changes afoot. As many of you know, the roll call takes an age to do - I do love doing it but often find it's hard to make enough time in the week. There are two options - or maybe three I suppose.

Option A is that someone else takes over the Playground at the end of this year and also takes on the roll call - and I step down.

Option B is that I continue - there will be a new Mr Linky each week, my own snippets card and a possible very quick and general round-up of events but no long list of links and individual comments. They take me about three to four hours or more (truly!). I've tried beginning the roll call during the week but that means I don't have the full picture and often end up going backwards and forwards. You do mostly hop around one another's blogs from Mr Linky anyway during the week so I think that could work - with occasional treats thrown in.

And, Option C of course is that we close the Playground altogether - which would be a real shame :(

My preference is Option B as I've already put some feelers out for a new 'Miss' and (quite sensibly really) people have realised it's a big commitment! So, do feel able to say what you think girls - we'd still have the same silly goings on under Option B - and, as I said, these would be generally covered in a weekly post each Sunday with a new Mr Linky but without all the individual linking and coverage of your lovely makes. That saddens me but I do have another project here waiting on the sidelines - if I ever get the time that is!

I already know that this coming week is very busy here and I have an even busier weekend next week so there will be no roll call next week. BUT, during the week I'll be doing a little post showing something small but nice you could win if you do join in with a Snippets make this week.

If you want to join in the Playground and keep using up those snippets - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 24th November at noon, UK time. Mr Linky is below as usual.

Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting will mean that you'll be included in the Weekly Roll Call. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

The Picklin' Pixie at work

Some of you will have gathered I had a sudden burst of 'Domestic Goddessitis' a couple of weeks ago - and had a go at making pickles after a lapse of over 20 years at least. The first thing I made was piccalilli, so run away now if you don't like it - although you could be nice and stay just to see how OCD I am about the packaging of things.

Len hopes it isn't a case of 'presentation is all' - in fact he snaffled a taste of a little bit left over after I'd finished sealing the jars and even then, unmatured, it got the big thumbs up :) Ha, yesterday I caught him hovering in the cool garage by the shelves the pickle jars are stored on - asking plaintively if they're nearly ready to eat!! Sigh, I'm gonna have to keep counting them.
Sweet, Crunchy Piccalilli

The recipe says: this tastes a hundred times better than anything you could buy in the shops. Amazingly it tastes pretty good as soon as it's cooled, but ideally it should be left for at least a month to allow the flavours to develop. We've opened jars after 6 months and they are even better! Ginger makes this quite fiery, you might want to adjust the quantity to suit your own taste (I did reduce the amount!). Vegetables can be varied according to personal preference; red peppers and sweetcorn are suggestions.

Ingredients

Makes: 8 (12 oz) jars - I got 7 x 1lb jars out of the quantity

1 large cauliflower, broken into 1cm florets
3 medium onions, 1cm dice
3 large carrots, quartered lengthways then .5cm slices
1 cucumber, peeled and de-seeded, 1 cm dice
200g fine beans, sliced
100g salt
75g plain flour
13g mild curry powder
13g turmeric
40g mustard powder
26g ground ginger - I used 16g which was plenty I'm sure!
565g sugar
1 litre white (distilled) malt vinegar 
Prep: 1 hour | Cook: 30 mins | Extra time: 1 day, marinating

Friday, 16 November 2012

Ho, ho, ho!

Not a very original title I know - it's my second attempt at 'a card for a boy or a man' for Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge:
I used:

- A6 rib textured card stock, with bottom corners rounded

- sparkly image recycled from one of last year's Christmas cards - we came back from holiday on Tuesday to find the first one for this year had already arrived, help!

- sentiment printed off and then covered with double sided sticky film before adding a sprinkling of Glamour Dust

- a strip of felt snowflakes (sent to me by a lovely fellow blogger), I liked the fact that they're the same shape as the ones on the image

- silver Josy Rose nail heads in the centres of the 'snowflakes' and along the bottom left corner

Funny old afternoon here, I was cutting out circles of fabric to cover the pickle jars after the marathon pickling session a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly totally mislaid my specs - house turned upside down while I hunted high and low - then realised they were pushed up on top of my head :( Sigh, trying to do too much at once.

Di
x

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Leaping deer

Over at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge the theme is a Christmas card for a man or a boy. I think this qualifies:
I used:

- A6 off-white hammered card stock

- green papers from the snippets folder

- Penny Black Stickeroo from the 'Joy' sheet

- Craftwork Cards sentiment, layered onto an oval of the green paper

- copper coloured Josy Rose nail heads

Quick and easy, and another one for the card box :)

Needless to say, my in-house critic doesn't think it's masculine enough - we spent ages discussing whether it was a male or female deer :( I might just link anyhow and have another try later in the week  - after I mop the blood up from where someone was walloped with my trimmer!!

Di
x

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

WOYWW - 180

Not much to see on my work desk this week - apart from a load of detritus shoved to the side. But, I did just this minute unpack this from my suitcase - innit cute:
It's a bracelet, made up of little painted 'jingle bells' threaded onto elastic. I spotted it on Sunday in a local Spanish market and could see potential if I took the scissors to the elastic - just one snip and there's be a load of brightly coloured bells for Christmas card embellishments :) Bit different to the gold and silver ones I already have - at 3 Euros it truly was a snip - and not something to wear as it is unless you want to be heard coming from a long way off!

To see what's going on in the world of sensible (and not so sensible) crafters - hop over to Julia's here. I'll be following just as soon as the last of holiday stuff is either put away or into the laundry.

Di
x

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Par Avion

Or, Air Mail :) And that's hopefully us later today - flying back to the UK. I made this little Christmas card just before we left home:
I used:

- 4.75" x 4.75" square white card stock

- Penny Black's 'Par Avion' stamp, coloured with Pro Markers and then cut with a Sizzix die

- holly backing paper from the snippets folder

- sentiment by Craftwork Cards, layered onto an oval snippet of red card

- little piece of red ribbon from the ribbon box

A really quick offering today. The sun is shining brightly, we've just been for a long walk and 'the barman' is offering me a glass of wine here :) All is well with the world once again!

While we were out I took a few piccies:

This one is looking back across the Marina from the harbour wall - snort, to prove there's actually a blue and almost cloudless sky here right now :) The waves were lashing right over the harbour walls the other day so to go for a stroll round there today was a treat.
And, we also came across this little cutie - I didn't dare get too close as they're very shy little feral cats here and run away at the drop of a hat. In fact, he/she was there for well over an hour just dozing and soaking up the sunshine, curled up in a net from one of the trawlers. It obviously knows where it's well off and a lot of the cats here live off the bits of fish still caught in nets when they're set out to dry.

The wanderer returns - and, like a lot of people after a holiday, it's gonna be nice sleeping in my own bed tonight :)

Di
x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets - Week 46

Today is always a day tinged with sadness - in the UK it's Remembrance Day, when we remember those who made the the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives so that we might live free from oppression and war. Both of my parents had relatives with Forces connections and my Dad was in the Army for many years. My step-mum always has a poppy tucked into Dad's last photo in uniform, taken before he retired and as I'm not at home to call her today I sent this instead:
I used:

- A6 white card stock

- Penny Black's stamp called 'Poppy Poem', stamped onto a snippet of white card and coloured with Pro Markers

- red card backing from the snippets folder

- sentiment by LOTV

So, let's see what's been going on in the Playground now - from what I've heard there was a bonfire party there during the week which only ended up with the arrival of our local fire brigade! I turn my back for five minutes and mayhem breaks out :( Let me go blog hopping to catch up on what happened - it's bright here on the terrace so I hope you'll excuse a quick scamper and also forgive me if I miss any details as images aren't showing up too well in this bright light. But, I sure ain't gonna go and sit indoors right now - not after all the rain we had when we first arrived!

First last week to come and play was Elizabeth with a fabulous vintage look to her card, love the butterfly and organza ribbon as finishing touches Elizabeth. And, on a second visit we had this absolutely divine 30's styled card - love the soft colours and the ribbon and rose are beautiful - and pink too :)

Next was Jules, bringing such a pretty Christmas card, with the cutest little mouse image - and of course all the lovely finishing touches we know Jules always adds. Err, but I am a little disappointed in Jules - I had her down as being a responsible adult as previous Snippets Playground 'Miss' - and to my horror she's now blowing up Mrs A's bloomers with abandon! :(

Then Kath came along, with this super Christmas card. Love the silhouette image Kath and it's a perfect result too. The pink backing card is great - Jules said it 's great as well and just shows you don't need a specific to Christmas paper or card for it to work wonderfully well.

Hazel had a busy week with nine visits to us - which I'll rattle through faster than usual. First was a lovely gingerbread men easel card, then this card featuring a saucy image rescued from a bought birthday card, and next a fabulous pink card featuring the same butterfly ribbon I have at home. Such a good idea to run it through your Xyron Hazel - I have one of those machines on my list for Santa this year :) All too often I die cut a really intricate die before thinking to back it with double sided adhesive sheet and am hoping a Xyron would come to the rescue. Another pink card followed, this time using a MS punch to such good effect, followed by a card using a drawing done by a very talented friend and then a really seasonal harvest fruit card. After that, Hazel brought us a great silhouette card (and I agree she is rather like Mary Poppins Hazel), another card featuring a hand drawn bird and finally a card to kick start this week's challenge which Hazel runs - a card for a man or boy, with such a fun snowman image :)

Sandra H was next to come and play - with a gorgeous baby card, made especially to celebrate the arrival of her new grand son Nathan (his photo is there too for you to see). Lovely card Sandra - and an even lovelier brother for little Tayla :)

Sam hopped in twice this week - first with such a great album, made for her Hubby. Fantastic Sam and those photos of amazing Gipsy vehicles have been done proud by you. And what did I just find over at Sam's in the comments - only this The coast is clear so we can have some fun in the playground. The rockets are stored behind the bike shed and the petrol in the duck pad. Told Miss not to worry about nuffin.!!!! Left by a certain Mrs A the very day my back was turned!.....I despair :( Next on Sam's 'show and tell' agenda were two lovely Thank You cards - both lovely Sam!

The plot began to thicken when we had a lovely newcomer join us this week, Marianne, and the girls were leaving excited comments about the forthcoming bonfire and such. Anyhow, Marianne brought us a whole load of gorgeous cards made using snippets (about 20 in total!) - I love all of them but my very favourite (if I had to pick) is the one with a wreath of Autumn leaves on. Hope you come back to play regularly Marianne :)

Next was Sarn and she brought us one of my favourite Get Well cards, using a LOTV bunny image and some lovely orange colours to cheer anyone up. If you look closely, even the medicine bottle has orange carrots on :) So sweet Sarn - and I have noticed that you were left a comment by Rach basically saying the party could begin as the coast was clear!!

As proof that there were shenanigans here's an excerpt from an email I got the other day:

I mean, what woz we supposed to do? Hettie (aka Sam) wasn't keen on the idea of a Bonfire Party in the first place, due to 'elf n safety or summink. So she INSISTED on doing a Fire Drill first. 

So there we were, all lined up to test out the fire stinguishers . . . and let me tell you it wasn't easy . . . I mean some of the stinguishers were TALLER than the peeps wielding them (mentioning no names) . . . and so we practiced a bit and discovered the joys of foam. So . . . okay . . . we MAY have had a teensy weensy little foam party first.

Then of course, we had to light the bonfire in order to dry us all out. And it's not true that we had an effigy of someone called Dave - although I heard somebody mention "Prime Minster" if that means anyfing to you?

Anyhoo, I'm sure it was only a few sparks . . . but was enuf to do damage as already outlined in Mrs A's email. Corse, we rushed to use stinguishers, but for some reason they had stopped working (we MAY have used up all the foam beforehand). So Fire Brigade had to be called. But, like Mrs A says, 'Dun u worry bout nuffin'  as it's all been cleared up now, and the sheep have been returned. I mean WHO said THEY could join in anyway???

All will be tickety boo by the time you return.
Dun u worry!

This cheered me up immensely needless to say - more so as we'd been fighting a flood here.........inside the apartment!! Long story but imagine some Spanish Mr Fixit guy going up onto the flat roof to clear a blocked drainpipe that runs right through everyone's kitchen wall cavity and splitting it in the process. So a roof's worth of water gushed everywhere - it was even pouring out of the kitchen electrical sockets at one point. And until it was repaired, every time it rained it was buckets and mops to the ready :( No wonder I'm delighted to see the sun shining!

Tammy was next to come and play - with this fabulous Happy Harvest card - lots of layers, including doilies, patterned papers, twine, and decorative tape - and all in such bright and cheerful colours - I love it Tammy! And I hope you didn't fall for Sarn's request to rush over to the playground with more sparklers :(

Next was Bonnie with a Christmas card to make you sigh with envy - it's so elegantly made, champagne and gold make such fabulous partners and the bauble and bow are truly stunning. Great that your Christmas cards are all made Bonnie - and your observation about there being mischief afoot whenever I'm away was so very true!

Leading directly on from that statement - Mrs. A was next to arrive. Quite apart from a can of petrol, boxes of matches, sparklers and a megaphone to direct operations she brought us some big bloomers to show! Jules apparently blew them up for a closer look :( And they're absolutely gorgeous - made for Fluff's craft room and what a gorgeous splash of colour they'll add. Can you believe it, the centres have over 100 teeny little handmade flowers in each - I adore them Mrs. A!

Lynn A was next to visit - with a beautiful card - crisp white and mauves. It's lovely Lynn, I'm working in sunshine on my little pink laptop here so it's hard to really check out detail but I'm almost sure that's a little key you used down the butterfly's body - such a clever idea! Do go and see for yourselves girls, it's an idea to remember!

We had two visits from Mary H this week - firstly with one of Penny Black's amazing ducks as the centrepiece on a lovely Christmas card, one of my favourite stamps there Mary and I love the papers you used too. And then Mary returned with  an adorable 'Carolling Duck' image, this time on a gate fold card - another stunner! Penny Black do the most clever Christmas stamps and these two are among my own very favourites too Mary :)
Amanda also came to play twice this week, her second card is gorgeous, really perfect for a girl and I love the blues. Did laugh about resisting cutting into a fresh sheet of card Amanda - know how you feel! And then, before that (I got mixed up with the order of postings), Amanda had brought us a terrific Birthday card - it's gorgeous in itself but do go and see the amazing colouring, isn't that hair great?! Love it Amanda!!

Next to play was Vicky, with a lovely card using some brilliant over stamping - do go and see what I mean. Vicky always uses SU products so well - and always seems to have me adding to my wish list! And not only that - would YOU go to the Post Office and stand in a queue acknowledging Vicky as a friend when you read her post and hear what she announced?! I did laugh I'm afraid Vicky :)

Then Jackie came to play, with lots of lovely gift tags and a super robot card (love the layout and those buttons are a super touch) - you can see them here. Good to see you back playing Jackie - trust me, nowt would scare me right now after the bonfire bedlam in the playground last week and the in-house flood here!

Irene was next, with one of her really elegant cards - made for a Wedding Anniversary. It's really gorgeous Irene, I love the edge punch you used and the beautiful flower and fronds are just perfect! As well as the delightful card, there are some terrific photos to be seen in the same post.

Next was Bernie, and it's been a while since she played. Bernie brought a few fabulous cards to show - all to say a thank you to US Veterans and also their Marine Corps. That sort of links in with how I began typing this and showing my own snippets card what seems like hours ago! Great to see you again Bernie - you missed some real playground antics, but at least it meant you escaped detention :)

Then Mary Mac called in to say 'Hi' with a lovely Christmas card featuring mail boxes and Winter birds. Fabulous colouring there Mary and I adore the sumptuous bow! I do love the Red Cardinals that feature on American Christmas cards - that's not to say I don't love our plump little British robin of course :)

So, that's the roll call done. Time here (late Saturday afternoon) to marinade some chicken for Mediterranean Chicken Pilaff for dinner - the recipe is here.

If you want to join in the Playground and keep using up those snippets - the Playground is open all of this coming week but it will close on Saturday 17th November at noon, UK time. Mr Linky is below as usual. 

Di
x 

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting will mean that you'll be included in the Weekly Roll Call. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Spring Woodland Card

Here's another card piccie that was lurking on the old SD card:
I used:

- a QVC kit, designed by Dawn Bibby, called Spring Woodland. I love all the designs in this kit and still have loads left to play with. They're all colour co-ordinated and with some cute images and matching card stock

- I made this using my old favourite, an easel style, and it was really just a matter of putting things together and adding some bling. Simples!!
 

We have sunshine in Spain today - yippee :) I'm off to take a peek at the Playground now - rumours of a fire reached me :(

Di
x

Friday, 9 November 2012

And I forgot the 'rule of threes'

I made this card a long while ago when I first set out on my blogging journey, for Len's sister-in-law:
I used:

- A5 cream linen card stock

- distressed the background using Tim Holtz distress ink pads in Milled Lavender and Bundled Sage but they just look washed out in the above piccie! As I'm hopeless at drawing straight lines I did the outline stitching (with a 'Puce' Aqua Marker) round the edge using Paper Pizazz's Easy Stitches template. For me this works but the stitches on this A4 template are quite large (you do get quite a variety though). I hadn't even considered doing 'real stitching' back then :)

-  stamped the dressmakers dummy in Versamark Vintage Sepia - the stamp set is a Paper Girl Clear stamp set called the 'Girls Paperie'

- paper pieced the body of the dummy using some pink and cream patterned paper and also cut out flowers from the same paper plus some toning cream paper with the Cuttlebug 'Flowers' die. Almost the very first die set I bought. I then crumpled each layer of the flowers and layered them together with pearl brads. And that's where I forgot the 'rule of threes' and shoved four flowers onto the card - that really grated when I found this photo on an old SD card last week :( The leaves were punched from sage green card using Martha Stewart's 'Frond' punch

- the tape measure (it's 6" long) also comes in the stamp set so I stamped this onto the pink and cream paper, trimmed it and then joined it into a circle before attaching a couple of teeny sage green buttons with some pink embroidery cotton. I found it easier and less bulky to literally sew the buttons to the tape measure rather than stick them on

- the Happy Birthday tag was made using the last scrap of pink and cream paper and a stamp from Elzybells Mini Tag set and Penny Black's Happy Birthday stamp

- then, the finishing touches were just where I felt it looked a bit 'bare' so a few teensy pearls round the dummy's neck, a little pink bow on the tag and then a piece of sage green satin ribbon tied down the left hand side of the card

Anyhow, Maureen liked it despite me breaking rules - but I still wish I'd stuck to three flowers :(

The rain has stopped here - yay! 

Di
x