Thursday, 31 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee - 60 years

...... that's quite some record for our Queen, and I bet there have been quite a few times when she will have gritted her teeth and muttered "Keep Calm and Carry On":
So, to celebrate, I made this card above.

I used:

- 6" x 6" square cream card stock

- deep red Core'dinations card

- paper from the fabulous Docrafts Papermania 'Portobello Road' pack

- 'Keep Calm and Carry On' topper from Tracy over at Cardmakers Delights (thanks again for the chance to play with these Tracy :) I slightly trimmed the top and bottom of the topper to keep it more in balance with the layout

- stamped crown (in 'Paris Mist') using a freebie set called 'Cool Britannia' which came with this months Quick Cards Made Easy magazine

- peel off numbers '60' from my little hoard

- lots of diamantes on the crown

- Docrafts Papermania 'Portobello Road' buttons

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

Pan Pastel - Challenge 20, Diamond Jubilee

Glitter Geeks - Week 21 Diamond Jubilee

Joanna Sheen - Remember When (I do remember the Coronation and wearing a paper crown)

The Crafty Pad - Challenge 172 - Colours of Your Flag

The Stamp Man - Card for a Queen

I've read and re-read the rules for each challenge, so I hope I got it right. Phew, unlike me, five challenges at once, not sure I could do that party trick very often!

Di
x

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

WOYWW 156 - time to celebrate

Crumbs, three whole years of WOYWW, although I wasn't in at the start it's a super fun idea! Clever Julia!

Here's my desk today, as it was left yesterday afternoon:
Snort, the mess is still to the right out of shot, a bit less there but not much different and this is what I was playing with just before the wine waiter called me for a glass of wine and a sit out in the late afternoon warmth.

We have, usual mug of coffee to the left, ink pads and such to be put away, a couple of clean stamps also to put away, blank ATCs and envelopes to the back left, spare camera battery awaiting charge in front of those and the rest is card making Jubilee stuff I've been toying with. Totally love the Portobello Road papers and buttons! The little plastic box holds Union Flag pennants I've been snipping out of paper chain strips bought ages ago from Hobbycraft - just as well as I was in there yesterday and the place had been raided in readiness for this coming weekend! You can see the paper chain strips poking out of the basket in fact.

OK, I've been persuaded by my buddy Sarn to join in the ATC swop - so that's why there's some ATC stuff out in readiness. I know, should have made them earlier but until yesterday I truly wasn't going to join in as I've never made one before! I worked on them after the photos was taken - good fun too, I could be hooked now. Some extra ones are going to bloggy friends' :)


Right, too many words as always - so do hop over to Julia's here, go peek at some fun work spaces and remember to join in the ATC swop if you fancy it!

Di
x

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Christmas foliage and Rudolph Day

Whipped up a couple of Christmas cards here in the scorching heat, to enter into Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge (the theme is Christmas foliage) and of course Sarn's Rudolph Day Challenge. You have until 7pm on Friday 1st June to enter Sarn's challenge, and Hazel runs a new challenge each week.

I rootled round and found some ready made-up foiled pyramage (probably by Dufex and assembled ages ago) which it would be such a shame to waste, plus some metallic cards so these went together in next to no time before rushing back to sit in the freezer and cool down:

Crumbs, you can hardly see the layers in the photos unless you peer very closely, or click to enlarge.

Grinning here as these were the sort of Christmas cards I made almost at the start of my card making. They are both A6, ready embossed metallic cards. The gold card already has Happy Christmas in the design so I didn't add a sentiment. The silver one just had a silver lettering Craftwork Cards oval sentiment added, which had been layered onto pink pearlescent and muted silver plain and scalloped ovals respectively, punched with SU punches from little pieces found in the snippets folder.

Everything looks a bit wonky although it's straight in real life - think I need a new camera Len!!

More for the Christmas card box :)

Di
x

A Tuesday Tale - Spheksophobia

Ha, now there's a long word for starters - spheksophobia. It means, fear of these little perishers:
And if you combine the above with these jeans below - that's double-trouble:
I was reminded of today's tale by something Rach said on her blog about being terrified of wasps - ever since she was stung inside her ear, big ouch, poor kid. If you're reading this Rach you might want to run away now :)

Many years ago, when I was aged almost 16, a fashion trend for skinny jeans (known then as drainpipes) hit the streets. My parents wouldn't buy me any, so undeterred I set to and did some alterations of my own on the quiet. All you did was to made a double fold down the inside of each leg and stitched it tightly right down the seam - I did it all by hand too :(

During the Summer hols from school in Germany I went away with my parents to Switzerland camping and said 'skinny jeans' were secretly packed and produced with a flourish at the other end! Snort, oh the price of vanity :(

So, here we are, in a supermarket about halfway through the fortnight at the checkout, with me sporting these jeans, which were so tight they were almost impossible to get on and off. I'd sneakily packed no other trousers and jeans either so Mum had been forced to let me wear them. Suddenly, I felt a tickle on my right calf and idly scratched it - 'sting!'- OUCH, that hurt. So I rubbed the leg through said jeans and got another sting for my trouble, then another. By this time panic was setting in as I tried to pull up the leg of those wretched jeans - to no avail of course. Sting followed sting as I realised that little fella who had somehow crawled up inside the leg of 'oh so trendy but totally stupid' jeans meant business - we were standing at the checkout and a bag of sugar had spilled and a little wasp party was going on :(

In a state of panic, and unable to hoist the leg of tight jeans up, what was a girl to do? Yup, I unzipped them and whipped them down to my ankles whilst squealing like a stuck pig! Of course, this attracted attention from other shoppers and an assistant who rushed over, grabbed a bottle of vinegar from a shelf and tried to usher said squealing piglet into the manager's office.

Well, that was akin to running the marathon in a sack, I did try truly, but the little dance of 'bunny hop twice, jump up and down, then two shuffles, two more bunny hops and repeat again with jeans around the ankles' didn't get me far - I couldn't move really. As mayhem began to break out the manager himself appeared - a large chap with a handlebar moustache I seem to recall - from what I saw of him.

He took one look and then decided action was needed 'Right, vee sort zis out' he barked - and without any more ado grabbed me round the waist, tucked me under his arm and charged towards his office. Yeah, right - eyes popping like a frog and still squeaking in pain - there I was, with me rear end exposed (apart from a pair of briefs, thankfully) and jeans around me ankles, being carried like a rag doll to his office.

My parents, I swear to this day, were almost exploding with laughter - me, I was totally mortified. Copious amounts of vinegar later we were sent on our way with a very large bottle of vinegar and no supermarket bill to pay either, they waived the bill - I think to get rid of the teenage 'shuffle-hop and look at my bum' dancer!

I do remember lying on the back seat of Dad's car, whimpering and applying wads of vinegar soaked cotton wool to what turned out to be seven wasp stings all the way back to the campsite. And you know what? I distinctly heard my Dad say to my Mum, 'Such a shame it wasn't a full week's groceries darling'. What the heck was that all about then?!

No wonder I hate wasps with a vengeance, and I do sympathise Rach!

Di
x

Monday, 28 May 2012

Less Is More - Shaped Card

As soon as I saw this week's Less Is More challenge, to make a shaped card, I knew what shape I wanted to make at least - a tepee card, which is three sided. Thinking of what to add took more time and in the end I found some La Pashe flowers in the cupboard and made a chrysanthemum (yay, haven't had a long word for ages!) in bold bright orange. The flower and leaves took a lot longer to make than the card - lots of snipping and shaping:
However, it was great fun to make, I made a much more elaborate one a while ago which fastened with ribbon - here's a link to the tutorial I'd followed. And here's a link to the card I made almost a year ago now, which shows you it can be 'more is more' if you wish. But, this time, instead of tying the final side with ribbon as in the tutorial, I had a secret weapon to hand that I've wanted to use for ages:)
Totally brilliant invention, although not really cheap at £4.29 for 8 pairs I suppose. They're very slim too, here's a side view of one set holding the card as a tepee, just remember to fix one half of the pair and then place its partner on top, remove the sticky cover and fold the other part of the card over onto it - don't try and line them up by eye as I bet that wouldn't have much chance of being totally accurate:
I added a sentiment to one side, and the other side has the same punched shape left blank for any message:
Snigger, it looks 'wonky' but I promise it isn't :)

I used:

- 3 squares of 5.5" hammered white card and assembled as in the tutorial link above

- orange chrysanthemum and leaves by La Pashe, topped with a Josy Rose nail head

- sentiment stamped with stamp from SU's 'Sincere Salutations', in 'Pumpkin Pie', and punched using SU's fabulous 'Decorative Label punch, with some 'Wild Wasabi' run round the edge for definition, the matching, but blank, punched topper on the third side is also edged with 'Wild Wasabi'

- Papermania magnetic clasp

A red hot flower, for red hot weather - I'm off to sit in the freezer again!

Di
x

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge - 22

OK, first up my snippets card for the week. It started off when I was gazing in horror at the mess on my desk and spotted some narrow teal coloured ribbon, hastily snipped off a new holiday top where it was supposed to keep the top on a hanger. Don't know about you but those loops are great in the shop for doing their job but they irritate me so I always snip the little perishers off  before wearing a new top:) And then, my sad gaze landed on a little pile of butterflies and die cuts sent to me by Sarn shortly before holiday (thank you again hun!) - and pink and teal just seemed right together:
I used:

- 6" x 6" white petal-scallop edged card stock

- pink paper from the snippets folder, with a strip down the inside edge of the card so it shows when the card is closed

- teal card from the snippets folder, embossed with a folder ('Flutterby' made by Craft Concepts) that just 'happened' to fall into my basket whilst ordering mundane things like cello bags at Handy Hippo the other day - no idea how that happened

- Pink and white embossed butterflies from Sarn

- pink and white labels, also from Sarn, stamped using part of a SU 'Petit Pairs' sentiment set. The outside sentiment says {no matter what} and I also stamped its pair which says 'I'm here for you' down at the bottom right of the inside - in SU 'Tempting Turquoise', love these cute little sentiments

- teal ribbon, plus some pinks from the ribbon box

- pink and teal Josy Rose nail heads on the butterflies and down the petal edge (snigger, one isn't set perfectly - oops!)

Here's also a tip, which loads of you might already know anyhow. My first attempt to emboss the teal card ended in the bin as I'd forgotten the neat trick of not butting the card right up into the folding part of the folder - just keep it about an eighth to a quarter of an inch away, making sure you'll still get the full pattern embossed, otherwise you risk a bit of a crease length ways down the card.

OK, onto a shorter roll call this week, after last week's marathon.

Elizabeth shot into the playground first, just after midnight, still clutching her mug of cocoa plus this totally gorgeous vintage style tent card. Some fabulous features, including a wonderful purple rose, bakers twine, doily, purple bling, handmade hat pins - and such a clever tip. A really delicate touch is the way Elizabeth also used some rose organza trim - I have quite a bit of this too and wouldn't have thought of Elizabeth's tip which is to make the card to fit the organza rose trim, rather than snipping through whole or part roses. Great idea Elizabeth!

Not far behind, almost hanging onto Elizabeth's pigtails, was Bernie - with this super quilt card. It's really pretty and was inspired by Bernie's visit to a quilting exhibition, the use of embossing to give the effect of hand quilting is great - and I love the butterfly and bling as a finishing touch too Bernie. I also loved the account of your hike through the snow - we're never happy with the weather here in the UK I know, but I bet a few of us wouldn't mind a hike in the snow right now :) Next time, Bernie brought such a clever card for her husband to celebrate their wedding anniversary - I don't want to spoil it if you haven't seen it but, if you know anyone who plays cards, this is truly great and one to remember, go here to see. So, so clever!!

Irene was next with a delightful birthday card which you can see here. All in lovely fresh pink and white - featuring an adorable Penny Black hedgie, so cute! I do love how Irene combined the white embossed panel with the lovely background papers - perfect Irene.

An update on our Mrs Spike here, she's taken the 'hump' while we were away and couldn't put fresh hedgie food out for her - little ingrate!! No sightings since we returned. Mind you, we do have a pair of blue tits sitting on eggs in the nest box - taking turns I think, one seems to sit while the other one goes out hunting and returning at intervals to feed its partner. No little chirps from the box as yet though :(

Sandra H arrived next, with a really elegant Sympathy card - never the easiest to make and this one is just right. Lovely soft colours, a really simple image and the finishing touches of a flower, card candi and a beautiful scrolled sentiment do make this a very appropriate card for a sad occasion. It's absolutely perfect Sandra.

We had two visits from Sally this week, firstly with these adorable New Baby cards, also for last week's Less Is More Challenge. Both in blues but very different, one is very calm and serene and the other one is just so flippin' cute! I love both of them for different reasons - do go and see for yourself. Then, Sally hopped back in with a really great card for a little girl, it reminds me so much of of Mia and her baking exploits :) To see, go here - isn't the image adorable, and I love the papers Sally. Making a rosette for the first time is on my 'to do' list - great result. Err, am not so sure about space hoppers in the playground though :)

Jules was next, with a stunning snippets card, featuring a cat with the most unnerving stare (fab image though, despite the stare, which is really how cats do look at you) and some amazing backing papers - many with a 'kitty' theme. Oh my, I just took a closer look, and Jules usual little heart (there's always one to find, which is part of the fun) even has a cat's paw print on it - now that's just super clever Jules!! Sigh, what I'd give to have a good old rootle round Jules' craft room.

Then, Hazel popped in bringing a set of cards, all the same. They're Christmas cards and have such a lovely vintage image of a sledging boy and girl on them - great backing papers and the addition of some Christmas trees is a lovely finishing touch. Our Hazel has been very quiet this week - I'm typing this at noon on Saturday (I know, should be in the garden soaking up some Vitamin D) - and am hoping Hazel doesn't arrive this afternoon or evening wheeling a barrow full of cards, having been on holiday or something :)

Mary Mac never disappoints with her makes (none of you do in fact!) - and firstly this week she brought a darling little cupcake box which you can see here. At the same time, do look at the super easel card Mary made, further down the same posting - so pretty, I love the colours and it's one to stand out in a crowd for sure. Then, Mary returned with a 'snot title'.....................sorry, that truly was a typo but I'm laughing so hard here I decided to let you see the stoooopid mistakes I make whilst typing, of course it should be a 'snow title' :)) Anyhow, wipes eyes and carries on, it's really great and worth hopping here over to see - and do scroll down to see the squirrel in Mary's garden, priceless!!

Next was Brenda, with a fabulous card - made by recycling two Christmas cards so cleverly. Looking at the two cards Brenda started out with I'd have never though they could be 'cannibalised' and one perfect snippets card made - but it works fantastically well. Brenda even hand cut the snowflakes from one of the cards - dedication over and above the call of duty girl! But worth it for the great result.

Linby arrived next with this gorgeous Oriental Fairy card. All in the most beautiful colours and with a load of fans that I reckon the playmates would be fighting over. It's so hot today and I'd love the fling the windows wide open in here or bring one of the electric fans in - but, trust me, I'd be buried under all the stuff which would be whipped up in the air from one very cluttered desk :) I do love all things Oriental and the image and papers are perfect, and the 'fortune cookie' is a really inspired finishing touch Lynn!

We had three visits from Sam, which always worries me as I listen for revving go-karts etc. First time Sam brought two really beautiful Diamond Anniversary cards - which I know had caused her some angst in the making. They're both perfect though and you can see them here. It was made even more tricky as both cards were for the same couple so had to be different - I love the flowers and diamantes Sam, great cards! Next Sam brought this Christmas Album, such a fabulous idea and so well thought out and put together. It's totally amaaaazing! So much work and such a fabulous keepsake too. I think it's got to be the snippets playground star of the week, and hope you all agree when you go to take a peek. I did warn Sam to watch that no-one dribbles their ice cream onto it or leaves grubby paw prints :) Really super special make Sam! Lastly, Sam returned with not one, but six really delightful pop up cards - totally fabulous as well. Such a clever style of cards - there are blues, pinks and purples to be seen if you pop over and take a peek. I love them.

Karen brought a terrific 'harmonica' card - featuring snowmen - with her this week. It really made me smile, it's such a happy card and the harmonica effect is great. Love the carrot noses on the snowmen and the blue base is just perfect Karen - I think I can work out how the base was made so that's another one to try sometime soon. Not sure about any baby ducks in the duckpond Karen though :(

Next was Rach, with a RSVP card which you can see here. It's just perfect (designed for a chap) and as Rach says, it's quite self-explanatory when you hop over to see - but the letters are just fabulous, super colour combination and a brilliant way to use up snippets Rach. The suggestion of rounders in this heat went down like a lead balloon didn't it?! Ha, today's post says that Rach is off out with the family in their boat - so before ANYONE gets any fancy ideas about the duck pond, no, no and no again!!

Carol nipped in next with this really cute card. I'd never thought of cutting felt using Nesties, great idea Carol. Love those Raspberry Road papers, am sure I have some hidden away, or just buried, here - and the fairy perched on a strawberry is just perfect, especially with those backing papers - love it! Carol also had a card showcased on Joanna Sheen's blog this last week - and rightly so too - hop over here to see what I mean. Lovely isn't it?

Next was Sarn, with a beautiful Thank You card - absolutely stunning Sarn. Really fresh white and turquoise using SU products to their best. I love everything about it Sarn, and you even added ribbon :) Those flowers from the Everything Eleanor set are adorable - sigh, I feel another order coming on! I just pressed my nose against the screen here and if those flowers were hand cut I think you and Brenda should take the 'champion snippers trophy' for this week!

Mrs A bounced in waving a handful of fabulous bookmarks - almost too nice to use and risk losing! Do go and see such a great way to use up your snippets - I love all three bookmarks, and the use of lace is a clever touch but possibly the birdie one has the edge for me - but that's only personal opinion. I'd love any one of them - and they were made as a little extra for a tag swap so no doubt the recipients were delighted Mrs A!

And last, but by no means least was a new playmate - Lynn A. Welcome to the playground Lynn! Lynn brought a delightful card in all shades of lavender, in fact the flowers are lavender stems (one of my favourite fragrances) when you look closely - along with such a pretty butterfly, and a great layout. I spotted Lynn's blog when I was commenting on LIM cards and encouraged her to come and play so it would be really nice if you gals could hop over and say 'Hi'.

Mr Linky is below as usual. Hope you have a great week - the roll call will be done as usual next Sunday and please do remember to follow the conditions below.

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, 26 May 2012

Special Couple in Monochrome

Saturday's cards are always quickies as I tend to fiddle on more with a Snippets card at the end of each week ready to write the Snippets Playground roll call ready for Sunday - this card is no exception:
A quick rootle through the cupboards here revealed a whole load left from a Kan Ban kit all in white, black and silver. These cards almost fall together as the kits are so well worked out by Kan Ban (the kit came from QVC ages ago by the way).Not even a bit of ribbon needed.

I used:

- A4 white, black and silver card from the kit, scored, slightly trimmed and folded to make an A5 sized card

- pop-out die cut with the birdies on, I just added teensy little diamantes to their eyes

- an additional strip of silver and black card across, with the oval matching sentiment added to it

I hate to 'blow the teachers whistle' in the Snippets Playground and there's no way to say this other than to be quite direct, which goes against the grain for a softy like me :(

If your own blog posting doesn't have a link into the playground it truly isn't really fair to expect me to spend time adding you to the roll call - it's a two-way trip and also one of the very few playground rules. So, I'm really sorry but no link in your own post, no write-up in the roll call. Jumps back down from soap box and scurries off to tidy the skipping ropes :)

Oh dear, that's so not me, but it had to be said :(

Have a great weekend - and the roll call will be done today ready for a new week tomorrow. Oooer, it's already hot outside - move over in the paddling pool!

Di
x

Friday, 25 May 2012

Don't you DARE do anything on my head!

Snigger, sorry but that's exactly what I thought the snowman might be thinking right now :)

This card is for Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 73 where the theme this week is 'a touch of the blues' and also for my buddy Sandra's Rudolph Day Challenge, that runs for a week from the 25th of each month. I know, I know - who wants to make Christmas cards in this heat - but, I promise, both challenges are fun with prizes too and you'll be so much happier when Christmas begins to loom. Every card made now is one less to think about later on in the year:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- Kan Ban 'Crystal Star' backing card

- a snippet of dark blue glittered card behind the image

- pryramage snowman by GorJuss

- snowflake die cut with a Marianne die, glittered with Glamour Dust and then a diamante in the centre

- sentiment also from the GorJuss pyramage pack with a couple of little diamantes

- sparkly edged ribbon from the ribbon box - bought originally from Hobbycraft

Have a nice day, the weekend looms so let's hope this lovely weather lasts :) Whoop, whoop - if I'm quick I might be first to link into Rudolph Day over at Sarn's!!

Di
x

Friday Feast - Banana Bread


Banana Bread

For a 2lb loaf tin you need:

125g/40z softened butter plus extra for greasing (but see my notes below for a fat free option)
500g/1lb 2oz ripe bananas (unpeeled weight and it's about 3 average sized bananas)
grated flesh of 1 peeled eating apple (approx 100g/3.5 oz)
1 tbsp honey or Golden Syrup
2 tbsp rum (optional - I've never added this)
250g/9oz self-raising flour
1tsp mixed spice
125g/4oz golden caster sugar
125g/4oz walnut pieces, chopped
2 eggs (I generally use large as that's what we have in the house already)

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C, Gas Mark 3.

Mash the peeled bananas with the butter (the butter can be omitted, see my notes below). Add the apple, honey and rum (if using).

Sift together the flour and mixed spices, then mix in the sugar and walnuts and stir into the banana mix. Finally add the eggs one by one (I lightly beat them together first in a cup), and stir vigorously.

Pour the cake mixture into the greased tin (or use a loaf tin liner) and bake for 1hour 15 minutes before checking. If a skewer does not come out clean in the middle, return to the oven and check again every 10 minutes or so.

When the loaf is ready, rest it in the tin for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Things I do: Firstly, this is a great way to use over ripe bananas, in fact the recipe says they should be 'obscenely ripe' :) And secondly, ages ago I was making this and put the butter to soften in the microwave - only to discover that I'd totally forgotten to add it, after the loaf was merrily baking away. It's a different texture without butter, more like a tea loaf, but still yummy!

I know that Rach, over at Mike's Gal, recently published a banana loaf recipe. I was going to just scrap or delay this one, but being away means I have no others up my sleeve until I put my 'Delia Head' back on and go shopping for next week's meals.

It's not exactly the same recipe so maybe you can hop over to see Rach's recipe and pick which one you'd like to try? 

Di
x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Less is More - new baby

The current challenge over at Less is More - Week 68 is to make a card for a baby or child - I chose (well, not really chose you understand) a baby:
This truly is a 'Less is More' card and as time goes by I'm finding the challenge less frightening and more fun :)

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- image stamped onto white card stock using 'Baby's Pram' stamp by 'Funstamps' and using SU's 'Bashful Blue' ink pad

- Image matted onto a little square of SU 'Bashful Blue' card stock from the 'Subtles' range

- text stamped in 'Bashful Blue' using sentiments from SU's 'Petite Pairs' set, the text says 'Welcome baby - so glad you're here!' but it doesn't show up so well in the photo - the blue looks really pretty in real life

- two teensy little diamante hearts and one round diamante

I resisted the urge to do any colouring of the image as it seemed right as it was. It's a rubbish photo, trust me, everything was meticulously measured and properly placed, sigh :(

Di
x


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

WOYWW 155 - and a little trip down Memory Lane

I know most people have an old button tin - I'm a bit in love with mine:
Teddy originally had biscuits in and my wonderful (sadly late) cousin Alex bought him for me a lot of years ago. He knew I was dotty about all things Harrods - the biscuits were good too :)

This is a quick pic of the contents of Teddy's tummy taken quite a while ago when I was looking for a button to add to the card in progress beside it:
Oh my gosh - so many memories every time I tip it out for a rummage. I can see an old British penny (err, why?!), press studs (remember those, they came before velcro), an upside down old school hat badge (St. Trinians maybe) and those big bright orange buttons in the left side of the tin came from a Mary Quant trouser suit that I was so proud of.

Some day I'll find a photo of me wearing it (way back in the late 1960's) and give you a laugh. Sadly I didn't have the foresight to keep the trouser suit but at least I snipped the buttons off! It's pure coincidence that they're sitting on the top of the contents - I only just noticed that as I'm typing this and uploading photos, bit spooky really as Alex (who was very savvy about fashion) used to tell me not to throw clothes out from that era. Oops, way too late now.

Just back from hols so you can tell from the above I've been scrabbling for something to write about today - and the desk right now? Still an avalanche waiting to happen!

But, here's a photo depicting contentment and one very savvy young cat:
Lying just in the shade, on a fishermen's net at Estepona in Spain, probably having had fish for lunch! The chap sitting mending the net was only about 10 feet away and these little cats live wild in the rocks around the harbour, just scavenging for what scraps they can find or are given - so cute :)

Make sure you go and hop around to see what everyone else is up to over at Julia's. She writes a really pithy post each Wednesday before sending you off round the World to other desks - so please remember to leave a comment for Julia. She's waaaaay too polite to ask I know :)

Di
x

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A Tuesday Tale - The Day the Worm Turned

Apart from the potty bashing as a tot, I was quite a reserved kid - although being sent to boarding school did knock a lot of that out of me :) But, to this day, I can't abide bullies and unfairness.

Before I was despatched off to boarding school we lived in Singapore where for a time, at the age of 10, I was friendly with a girl who lived next door. She was quite small (doesn't poison come in small bottles?) and could swim like a fish - always beating me in competitions. She turned out to be a spiteful little minx so I began to avoid her. My Mum lost count of the times I came home in tears having been pinched, punched and scratched by one Naomi Cameron - yup, I'm gonna name and shame here. She was totally spoilt and could do absolutely no wrong in her parents eyes. Eventually, I was told by Mum and Dad that if I didn't stand up for myself against her I'd be in double trouble at home :( 'Great, a no-win situation here' I thought.

Needless to say, I was waylaid by Naomi a few days later - and this time she had a new tactic. Ever been lashed across the face by a plastic skipping rope? It hurts, BIG TIME. And that's when the worm turned - also BIG TIME. In the monsoon season we had a downpour most afternoons so I'd been sent off, on my way down to see Mary who recently died, carrying a bamboo and sort of 'oiled paper' umbrella like this one (the photo isn't me BTW, I had a short urchin hair cut and generally ran round in shorts and a top!):
Said umbrella was folded/rolled - and the next thing my Mum heard was the most almighty screaming from 'dear little Naomi'. When she rushed out to see what was going on, I'd seen RED and set about her with said umbrella after the face lashing. Both hands had firmly gripped the umbrella and I'd given her a really good hiding :)) Possibly if Mum hadn't rushed out I'd have carried on until the umbrella was totally wrecked :) Of course her Mum also raced out - but guess what, Nasty Naomi got another hiding because the huge weals across my face were pretty self-evident. Wow, a double triumph - finally punished by one of her parents.

The third triumph came a couple of weeks later. It was the school swimming gala and Naomi and I were through to the final race, with about four other 10 year-olds. To this day I really don't know where I found the determination, probably still seething about the lashing, but I swam my heart out, beat her and came first :) Mary and Ken were there with my parents and, along with a load of other parents and their offspring (that kid must have made some enemies), they were screaming and urging me on all the way.

What a sweet victory - and to this day I don't feel one iota of regret for being 'the worm that turned'. So, I can sometimes forget being 'Little Miss Sweetness and Light' and look a bit like this:
So, watch those skipping ropes in the playground girls :))

Di
x

Monday, 21 May 2012

Adore

Another Penny Black Stickeroo card today, super fast to make as well:
As you can guess, I'm still in love with Stickeroos, especially all the lovely floral ones - although the hedgie ones are quite adorable as well.

I used:

- 6" x 6" square cream linen card stock

- Perfect Plum SU card for the main backing and behind the Stickeroo - with the corners rounded on the image piece to match up with the rounded Stickeroo corners

- Stickeroo, both the main image and the butterfly are from the 'Romance of Flowers' set

- patterned paper, which already has the word 'Adore' printed on it came from my paper store, I know it's one that Dee sent but I can't find the name of the set, sorry

- card candi

Have a nice day!

Di
x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets Challenge 21

Whilst looking through some boxes of neglected craft goodies, wondering what I'd ever use and what could be given away or disposed of (shame on me!) I came across a packet of cute little baby prams, won as a prize from Mei Flowers a little while back - so cute, padded and in a knitted effect:
This card was fun to make, partly as I love pink of course, but also 'cos I seemed to find everything I wanted to use quite quickly :)

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- Certainly Celery card snippets from SU (gonna need to order more of this, I love the colour and it seems to go with so much - a real favourite) for the main backing, an oval scallop and a round one

- patterned papers from a Pink Petticoat free gift with Quick Cards Made Easy magazine ages ago, called 'Vintage Rose Collection', for the backing and also a plain oval scallop

- really tactile padded pink baby pram from Mei Flowers

- snippets of lace and pink ribbon, with 'It's a Girl' on it, from my stock of goodies

- buttons from the button box, with a little tie of white and pink bakers twine

- pink plastic dummy, tied with white and pink bakers twine

- sentiment stamp by LOTV, stamped using a SU 'Pretty in Pink' stampin' spot ink pad on a white snippet of card. Since buying a couple of sets of these ink pads I've never been stuck for a colour!

Now all I need is for someone to have a baby girl :) Any volunteers?

OK, so down to business and a mammoth roll call covering two whole weeks. I was in panic mode getting ready for hols last weekend but right now, sitting with a glass of wine on Friday trying to get ahead a bit (so pleeses excoose andy typoos), things are more relaxed.

Quick off the mark, and first into the playground was Bernie, with this really beautiful card - in purples and pink with luscious flowers, butterflies, ribbon and and lace. The inside is so beautifully finished as well - ready to take a gift card. It's absolutely beautiful Bernie, I love it and am rapidly adding purple to a close second behind my favourite pink :)

Elizabeth hopped in to play more than once - firstly with a truly stunning and vibrant 'poppies' card, also with flowers, ribbon and lace. It's part of what Elizabeth calls her Country Diary series - and Edith Holden was such a gifted artist I think she would have been delighted to see what fabulous cards have been created with her illustrations. 'Shabby chic' was next on Elizabeth's list and a real beauty as well - in all senses of the word. In fact, the image is reminiscent of Edith Holden herself, to me at least. Lace, ribbon, pearls and flowers are so Edwardian in style - super make! Next was a super Christmas card, also following Hazels' 'stripes' challenge - and another vintage look here, with the perfect amount of red to give that lift and splash of colour. Then, with a skip and a confession, we had another visit - the confession being that Elizabeth sent a 60th birthday card to her brother a year early :) But, I think he won in the end because he got two fabulous cards (one in 'steam punk' style which frankly terrifies me but one day I'll have a little go) and the other one this year saying 'Sixty at last' bearing bunting - lucky guy I think :)

Next was Irene, with one of her so understated but always elegant cards - pink and white (yay!) and just fabulous. Love the combination of the pink and white squares with the white embossed squares topped off with a cute little heart in the centre Irene. And 'Queen for a day' really sums it up - the pink and white papers are from a Dovecraft 'Back to Basics' paper pack - and one that I'd recommend to anyone, lots of really versatile small prints that are perfect to use as snippets.

Jules found time to hop into the playground (I wonder if she's Superwoman in diguise at times) and brought this super card to show. I was blown away by the super backing paper echoing the busy little bee image (go and see if you haven't already) and a great hint for colouring ribbons too. Jules' next card is here - and yet again, another fabulous make. In fact, two makes using different papers and the same stamp - amazing how a switch of blues and pinks can make such a difference! And, as I said, this was after a really full day's catching up of things - gotta check to see if there's a red and blue outfit underneath Jules play clothes next time she's on the swing girls!

Mrs A (aka Mischief) hopped in next with two really super boxes (sigh, the talents of you all make me feel pretty inadequate) - just perfect and made for a swop, two delighted recipients I expect as well! Some sad news during the week when Wrapper, Mrs A's beloved 'hat eating/wrecking' cat went to the Rainbow Bridge :( Love and hugs from all of us Mrs A - and if you insist then you can play with the pogo stick anytime! A really pretty tag, bearing the super hand made roses that Mrs A excels at, was next - for Mothers Day. Do take a peek here. Then, we had a return visit with such a pretty card - you can see it here - super use of snippets Mrs A and the wheelbarrow image is perfect. Stand by girls for a celebratory pogo around the playground - oops, sploosh...........oh dear, not again Mrs A?! :))

Karen arrived next with this gorgeous card, both for the playground and Hazel's 'stripes' Christmas card challenge - now closed though but there's another one to go for today girls, and remember it's Rudolph Day later on this week over at Sarn's as well. What a bright and cheerful card too Karen, torn vellum, in vibrant reds, yellows and oranges topped off with a super baubles stamp - embossed and with eyelets providing the perfect finishing touch. Gorgeous! Then another beauty, also for Hazel's challenge of using red and green last week, with some sweet little pegs, fibre and tags forming a Christmas washing line. A really clever idea Karen.

Right now I'm typing this sitting on the terrace in the Friday evening sun and I do wish you could see the antics here. Two little sparrows, much more strongly coloured than ours at home, are hopping round my feet looking for titbits - the two-legged mouse just had some crisps and I think he scattered some for the birdies! If I move I'll scare them away but would love to take a photo of them - perhaps if I leave the laptop they might start typing for me - err, or would that be 'tweeting' maybe? :)

And talking about birds, Mary Mac was next to visit with, sadly, two really elegant sympathy cards and a Field Trip round her local craft shop. C'mon girls, in a nice little line and follow the link to here. Fabulous shop there Mary - I for one am very envious. Then, later, Mary was back again with another sympathy card for a friend. It's lovely Mary - you can all see it here. Do go and look as the rest of Mary's post is absolutely amazing - all about the little jays that were born in her garden and their flying the nest. Some great photos to be seen.

Linby visited more than once over the past two weeks as well, the first time was with these super 'woven snippets' cards - great colour combinations and quite a labour of love I would think. Then, Linby brought such an elegant card, which you can see here - the lilac colours and butterflies are fabulous and a stunning result. There were some laughs as well, apparently Mrs A was upset because she wanted to spend her pennies in the Crafty Tuck Shop - my stern response was that there'd be detention if anyone was caught spending a penny in the tuck shop - they know where the little girls room is :)

Then Liz hopped in with a lovely card featuring a really delicate butterfly, die cut with a Marianne Creatable die - you can see it here, and oh dear, another one on my wish list! The spotty paper behind the butterfly is just right too Liz. Such a pretty card.

Hazel was fast and furious this week, with lots of visits. Firstly with these adorable decoupaged Christmas bears, then with some scripture cards which you can see here and here. Both lovely cards Hazel. Next came a terrific card for a man, always difficult for me to make and Hazel did a great job, followed by a bright and cheerful birthday card which you can see here. It sure is a 'happy' card! A delightful LOTV image featured on Hazel's next card, all in shades of lilac, then we had this card in such pretty shades of pink and green (love it!) and then a card using Kate Knight papers and toppers here. Kate Knight does have a way of combining really vibrant colours and her papers are very distinctive - these one used by Hazel were free with a magazine, I've got them at home too. Then, a total change to a very much more muted sympathy card - featuring lily of the valley flowers - really right for such a card. This was followed by a Christmas card for Hazel's own Christmas card challenge, where the theme was 'red and green', the candy cane cupcake looks good enough to eat for sure :) Next came a lovely set of baby cards, using some really fab papers, and with a quilted/patchwork look about them - followed by a Christmas card, cleverly using 25th December in the design. 

Rach hopped in next, with such a sunny card for the Less Is More challenge (to use yellow) - it's great Rach! The card has a double opening front and is beautifully co-ordinated - it reminded me that I've got some unused card blanks like that and must dig them out as a change of style. That's the joy of the playground, loads of inspiration from all your lovely makes girls!

Carol has been thinking ahead to Christmas, and brought this adorable card to show. The image is just super, such happy hugging 'snow people' (another one for the list I think!) and the combination of red, white, black and a touch of silver works perfectly. I did smile about the silver mesh, I've got some of that somewhere too and I love the way it's been used on your card Carol.

Mary H paid a couple of visits, firstly with a delightful card featuring a vase of flowers where the whole lot, tulips, leaves, vase, butterfly etc, had been either die cut or punched from snippets - great use of snippets Mary. This was followed by a really elegant Thank You card, another card with a lot of work in it. I especially love the embossed card base - get thee behind me oh wish list! Two super cards Mary.

Next was Sally with this lovely card. Love the image and how it's been coloured - goes so well with the backing papers. Sally was bemoaning that pearlescent card can be so hard to photograph, very true but perhaps - not as bad as mirri card though where I usually end up with me peering back :) And Sally was also looking for someone to play cats cradle with, and to share her cough candy :)


Heidi came to play, despite feeling really unwell, bringing some really pretty tags to show - I did grin as Sarn commented that she'd play with Heidi once she was out of quarantine :) Does anyone recall being taken to visit kids who had things like German measles in order to 'get it over with' as a child? My Mum never did that and anyhow I used to go down with most things without even trying :) Anyhow, the tags made great use of snippets, and by a whisker my favourite is the wedding one which has white heather on it - a really sweet touch. Heidi's next card is here - it's a really adorable 'Forever Friends' baby card. I'm really struggling here with the wifi (it's Saturday now by the way) it's fine for normal stuff but hopelessly slow when I'm trying to race from blog to blog - and your lovely owl on the branch is somehow really slowing things Heidi so forgive me if I can't say more about this super card. Len says our internet speed is 20 times faster at home, so you will, I hope, understand. But girls, do hop over for a peek as I was really taken with this card when I first saw it back at home.


Next came Lynne, with news of having a card published in Papercraft Inspirations magazine (along with Tara, which is a lovely coincidence - well done!), an update about little Ruby plus a really pretty card featuring beautiful purple orchids which you can see here. Then Lynne brought a fabulous card for a Mum, just perfect with some beautiful roses on and a finishing touch of ribbon - I love it. Finally, we had a super trio of cards, all using the same patterned snippets but in such different vibrant colours - gorgeous Lynne!

Helen flew in next with such a sweet Forever Friends card - those cute little bears are always so popular. Gorgeous flowers, ribbon and other super embellishments finish this card off beautifully Helen! And I'm impressed that you cleverly added the green beads to the pins rather than adding leaves - a neat twist! Ha, anyone who hasn't a clue what I'm on about - hop over and look at the flower on the bottom right of the card, the pins are there :) Then Helen had made a really clever Christmas card, it features a stocking but the little pom poms are such a lovely little touch too. It might be a 4" x 4" card Helen, but it sure will stand out in a crowd - great stuff.

Next was Laura, in between her studies, with this delightful card. It's a gorgeous image, lots of pinks - plus some very clever distressing with scissors. It worked brilliantly Laura, you certainly achieved the look very well. And the ice cream certainly looks good enough to eat :) Oh no, now I have a craving for an ice cream! I spotted chewing gum flavour ice cream over here in Spain the other day - I suspect they meant bubble gum flavour, but I opted for good old strawberry anyhow :)

'Me mate Sarn' was next - after being missing last time. I thought it was quiet in the playground :) And what gorgeous cards too (here) - both using a fabulous 'fern' stamp and yet with very different results. One has little snippets of ribbon threaded down one edge - really clever and I've actually got the original at home, it's even better in real life I promise you. The other card, also with the fern image, is also terrific Sarn - and I understand it went to a very good home :)

Next was Tammy, with this really fabulous card - loads of different snippets used and such cheerful colours Tammy. Of course there are some gorgeous buttons (Tammy is a button Queen) and I really would love to know how you make your 'fussy bows' Tammy. Do tell us how when you next make a card with one of those beauties please.

Karen T was next into the playground with such a cute Penny Black hedgie image on her card - and a question for us at the same time. The sentiment is vertical instead of horizontal - and Karen was wondering which would be best. I love it as it is but why not hop over here to see what you think. I love the backing paper by the way Karen, I just noticed the faux stitching effect!

Then along came Kath, fresh from a Caribbean cruise - firstly with this card, using a really great Penny Black flower stamp which is just perfect for the super paper piecing Kath did - great colours and the ribbon is a lovely finishing touch. Kath's next card is here, and if it doesn't make you burst out laughing then this playground lark isn't working :) It's just great Kath, and would make a super logo for us all to have - I need to delve round and see if I can set up a button on the sidebar for you to grab girls (if you wish), mind you, the snippets keys are also level pegging as a potential logo. Two great cards Kath - you certainly didn't leave your mojo on that cruise ship did you, but I won't forget that you rejected my offer to carry your suitcases for you :)

Sam was next with a fistful of fabulous pop up cards - never does things by halves does Sam. You can see them here, and they are all really gorgeous, loads of detail on them and it's very hard to say which one is my pick of the week (fortnight!). But, the one with the spectacular bunting on has the edge I think - why not go and make your own minds up? Super cards Sam!

Next was Judy, who has such an amusing blog - I always make sure I read the 'labels' at the end of her posts 'cos there are often some real gems to be found :) Anyhow, Judy's card is real bright and funky with a big, bold flower and flourish combining bright pink, yellowy orange and pale blue mainly on the card - and it works so well too! Great stuff Judy!

Brenda B paid us a couple of visits too - firstly with two beautiful cards, made with recent Less Is More challenges in mind. One is using three different stamps, and the card itself is a snippet so that's alright then :) And the second one, which sadly Brenda didn't finish in time for LIM, is yellow and black and a real stunner. I especially love the flower arrangement Brenda - a gorgeous finishing touch! On her next trip to the playground, Brenda brought this super card - made for a young man who'd be bound to think it was really 'cool'. I need to read how the fabulous background was made once I'm home and can have a play - it's really great Brenda, and the Saturated Canary image is totally perfect too.

Gilly found time to visit (not long until the wedding day now) and what a sweet card too, you can see it here - it's for a new baby, as well as the current Less Is More Challenge. Such a lovely row of romper suits (smiling here as I've been eyeing that up in the SU catalogue for a while) - and some brilliant paper piecing. Some of those pieces must have been really tiny Gilly? It's a perfect card!

Phew, that's the roll call done. As I've said, it's been a struggle with the slow internet connection here so I'm really ready for a glass of wine now. The sun is almost over the yard arm and I am writing this on Saturday, not first thing on Sunday morning :)

I know some of the spacing is a bit askew, even running preview is a slog, and I'm also hoping I covered all your entries girls. If I've missed anything please leave a comment and I'll amend the posting - I've counted and recounted several times but that glass of wine is beckoning to me right now :)

Mr Linky is below as usual. Hope you have a great week - the roll call will be done as usual next Sunday, with a much faster line speed thankfully :)

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, 19 May 2012

Early Snippets Playground closing today

Hi folks. Hope I don't catch anyone on the hop but I'm really struggling with the internet here - it's apparently 20 times slower than BT Infinity at home and it's been one heck of a struggle to write up the roll call. But, it's finished now - yippee - so rather than worry about adding in playmates later on I'm about to have a well earned glass of wine (or three, snort!) and put this little pink notebook/laptop as far away from me as possible :)

The gates will re-open at midnight as usual - and I'll be watching you all still remember:) If I hear one little rev of a go-kart then I'll know exactly who it is!!

Di
x

Not a storm in a teacup

...more like 'love in a teacup' which is another topper from the samples that Tracy of Cardmakers Delights sent me to play with:
I might have committed sacrilege here but, although I lost some of the beautiful top and bottom detail of the topper, with some careful measuring I chopped it to fit the Marianne die cut label - and I just love the result :)

Are we allowed to say we love something we make? What I really mean is that I've looked at some of the other toppers Tracy sent, and I might do this again as it does make a sweet frame without needing to add much else. The vintage image here was too lovely to drown in other details, even though the double layered bow is a tad on the large side - snigger, I got carried away and might reduce it at some point. Easy to do as I followed Jules' tip and secured the double layer of ribbon across the backing card before sticking it to the card itself, and the bow is just another double length of organza ribbon tied into a bow around the secured ribbon. Still with me?

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- plain pink card from the snippets folder used to layer a large square and also to cut the label using a Marianne Creatables Label die

- patterned backing paper from Dee - I've frantically tried to find the name of the set this lovely paper came from, if you're looking in Dee any ideas?

- topper from Cardmaker's Delight 'Kissing Teacup Fairies' set

- snippet of white organza ribbon and some white self-adhesive pearls to finish the label off

- a huge pink and white organza  'frou frou' of a bow

By the way, Tracy now has her own blog. We've all been in the position of just starting out on our blogging journey so it would be lovely if you hop over to say 'hello' or even just have a quick peek, there are quite a few cards to see made by other crafters using Tracy's different toppers.

Di
x

Friday, 18 May 2012

Friday Feast - Pork and apple pasties

Totally delicious recipe today - using minced pork for a change:
Pork and Apple Pasties

Makes 6

500g pack puff pastry
500g (1lb) good-quality minced pork
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large dessert apple or a small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
90g (3oz.) Cheddar, or your favourite cheese, cut into dice

To make the filling: Mix the pork, onion, apple, herbs and seasoning, and half the beaten egg in a large bowl

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry thinly and trim to a rectangle 54 x 36 cm (21 x 14 in). Cute (snigger Annie, deliberate mistake, I meant cut!) pastry into 6 equal squares (3 x 2) so that each square is 18cm/7in). Make them15cm (6 in) if you'd rather not roll out pastry to such a large piece. (I used ready rolled puff pastry sheets to take a short cut, lazy girl!)

Divide the filling between the squares, inserting cheese dice, leaving a thumb-width border of pastry. Brush borders with a little of the beaten egg. Pull the pastry corners up to meet in the centre and, using your thumb, press along the edges of the pastry to seal the joins and make square parcels. Put the parcels on to a large, heavy baking sheet, or two baking sheets, and brush with more egg to glaze them. Chill them while the oven heats up to hot. Gas Mark 7 or 220 degrees C.

Bake the pasties for 20 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to moderate, Gas Mark 4 or 180 degrees C and cook them for 10 minutes more, until they are puffed up and golden.

To freeze: cool, pack in poly bags or foil, seal, label and freeze. Use within 1 month. Loosen wrappings. Serve cold or reheat thoroughly and serve hot.


Note: Add a crushed garlic clove and a teaspoon of dried herbs instead of the fresh, or a generous dash of Worcestershire sauce to the filling, if you like.

Things I did: I didn't have fresh thyme so just used a teaspoon of dried. The recipe suggests serving these with salad, and I do think they would make good picnic food. As it was wet and miserable in deepest Hampshire when I made these I defaulted to Jersey Royals and fresh asparagus.

These really are mouthwateringly good, the addition of cheese is like the icing on a cake :)

Enjoy!

Di
x

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Red and green Christmas Card

The current challenge over at Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge is to use mainly 'red and green'. There might be a fair bit of cream here (although it looks white in the photo) - but the only other colours are red and green:
I used:

- 6" x 6" cream card stock

- red mirri card behind the image

- backing paper from the Marianne Design 'Merry Little Christmas' paper pack

- a piece of really wide red glittered organza ribbon, with the wire removed, backed with double sided adhesive film and then mounted onto red holographic shiny metallic paper, which also had a self adhesive backing (a right load of fiddling on for what was otherwise a quick and easy make)

- image cut from a 2011 Christmas card - it does look handmade and I spotted that it's from M&S's hand finished range, I also took note of who sent it so they don't get it back this coming Christmas :)

- dark green Josy Rose nail heads

Another one for the box, and it's less than 10 days until Rudolph Day as well - don't say you haven't had a bit of notice :)

Di
x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

WOYWW 154

What's on my work desk? Similar to last  (ie. an avalanche of dumped craft stuff just waiting to happen) but that's at home. Instead this is my current 'semi-abode' in a corner of the terrace here and I don't have one single piece of crafting stuff with me either.  Unless knitting wool and needles to catch up on the Fish and Chips babies' jumpers and hats counts - and to be honest, that's only for if the mood takes me:

I've just started reading 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' - so that will be given due attention, as well as a second reading of 'The Help' plus I have two other, unopened and unread books, bliss! The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a very funny book so far, and would imagine the film is the same - embarrassed Len by snorting out loud with laughter on the plane, several times :)

Forward planning means I should be hopping in every day as usual - not least to keep an eye on the Snippets Playground and write up the roll call for Sunday.

To see much more industrious hands at work, do hop over to Julia's and then onto desks etc. full of creativity!

Di
x

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Amazing what some British sun will do

We have a clematis blooming in the garden right now. I think I must have been pruning it back at the wrong time in previous years and it's been too wet to attack it yet - this is the result of neglect:
It's scrambling at least eighteen foot along a fence, beautiful too.
And this is a close-up - of course it's pink, grin :) What else would you expect?

Di
x

A Tuesday Tale - unexpected exercise

First of all, escalators and moving walkways and I do not get on together - I always hop on and off with a little leap - afraid they might gobble me up.
This image above is the stuff of nightmares for me!

Over the years I've had several incidents occur - the first was many, many years ago when I was on a course in London. Fresh and very green from 'the sticks', I went late night shopping with a friend, to Selfridges I think. We'd just stepped off an 'up' escalator when a very preoccupied lady jumped onto it, thinking it was going 'down'. Not so of course, and she was propelled off backwards with an enormous 'whoosh'. Beryl and I picked her up, picked up her scattered belongings, and replaced her hat (no kidding). We checked she was OK and went to walk away - and blow me, in her haste she only jumped onto it yet again so there was yet another 'whoosh'!! I almost cried laughing, thankfully she was fine but her dignity certainly was a bit bruised.

Another time just before Christmas, coming out of the underground one evening in Waterloo Station to get the mainline train home, another flipping fiasco. Two very respectable looking City gents up ahead had obviously been to a pre-Christmas celebration and one lost his balance at the same time dragging his pin-stripe suited pal down with him. Of course, this meant there was nowhere for us mugs behind to go so we had to keep on stepping down while the escalator kept going and Laurel and Hardy sorted themselves out :( Again, no-one was hurt.

The most recent time was one of those moving walkways in Heathrow Airport. I think someone up front had been partaking of some Dutch courage before boarding their flight. Wibble, wobble - oops, here's the end - wallop!  Just great - it was a long haul flight for us so we were a bit loaded, kind of like little pack horses. Have you ever tried jogging on the spot to make sure you didn't end up in the rapidly growing pile of travellers sprawled across the end of the moving walkway? In between hopping up and down on the spot I kept gasping 'For Pete's sake, someone hit the big red emergency stop button!'. Thankfully someone did that, and then they looked surprised when the flipping thing stopped!!

Len and I staggered off red-faced and panting for breath - but, to make matters worse, when we sat down eventually I reached for my bottle of fizzy water to have a gulp. And, whoosh - one fountain of very well-shaken water sprayed everyone within about 10 feet of us :(

Told you - the stuff of nightmares!

Di
x

Monday, 14 May 2012

'In The Garden' with Penny Black

This week's challenge over at Penny Black Saturday Challenge is 'In The Garden'.

With our nightly visits from Mrs Spike, and all the references to skipping ropes in the Snippets Playground, there was only one image for it:
I used:

- 4.75" x 4.75" square white card stock

- green card from the snippets folder

- backing papers from Wild Rose Studio's 'Annabelle's Meadow' paper pack

- Penny Black Stickeroo from the 'Bouncing with Joy' set

- Craftwork Cards sentiment popped on top of a green card oval (using SU punch)

- leaf and flowers punched from snippets of paper and card - they show up better in real life :(

- Josy Rose nail heads

Bless, I'll be looking for daisy chains in the garden now to check if Mrs Spike has been skipping during her nightly excursions :)

Di
x

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Pixie's Crafty Snippets - Let's Celebrate

Even though the roll call is being held over, so you have two weeks to play this time, I'd already made a snippets card in readiness and it's a bright and cheerful one, to try to dispel the gloomy weather here recently. But it's been sunshine all the way for the past couple of days so certainly reason to celebrate:
I was a bit like a kid in a sweet shop, playing with Stampin' Up goodies - it's punches right now on this card.

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- 'clouds' backing paper from the ' Let's Fly Away' paper stack, free with Quick Cards Made Easy

- pennants made using snippets of card and the Stampin' Up Petite Pennants Builder punch, with the top layers embossed using a free 'dots' embossing folder I've had for ages

- white and orange bakers twine (well hidden behind the scallops though)

- Craftwork Cards sentiment. layered onto plain and scalloped ovals, punched with SU oval punches

- Craftwork Cards candi - I obviously have way too much candi as I found the perfect matches without any trouble

I did want to add some lettering to the pennants, next time maybe though. These babies will be coming out to play a lot, especially with the Jubilee celebrations looming!

Just to say, I'll still be commenting on your snippets - and will have plenty of time for the roll call ready for next Sunday so feel free to add another one if you feel the urge :)

But perleeease, no Go-Karts and no diving competitions into the duck pond even though it's quite deep right now.

Oh dear, now I've got the giggles again, visions of Mrs A rigging up a little diving board and a row of you lined up complete with those awful rubber swimming hats some of us used to wear :) And don't get me started about droopy knitted swimming costumes!

Di
x

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Peach Crumble Cake and a top 5 over at Less Is More


Sorry, this is a day late and I hope it was worth waiting for, it's a cake which can also be a pudding. Serves 12 for a cake and 6 for a pudding:
Peach Crumble Cake

350g (12oz) self-raising flour
2 level tsp mixed spice
175g (6oz) butter, cut into pieces
150g (5oz) golden caster sugar
8 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
415g can peaches in syrup, drained
Icing sugar, for dusting

18 x 28cm (7 x 11in) tin, lined with baking parchment

Set the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Put the flour and spice into a food processor with the butter. Pulse to form crumbs.

Add the sugar and 3 tbsp of the buttermilk. Pulse to make a very coarse, clumpy crumble. Tip out into a bowl, then put two-thirds of the mixture back in the food processor and set aside the rest.

Add the remaining buttermilk and the vanilla extract to the mixture in the processor and blend to a smooth consistency. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top.

Arrange the drained peaches evenly over the cake mixture, then spoon on the reserved clumpy crumble, leaving some of the fruit uncovered.

Bake for 50 mins (see note below) or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake mixture comes out clean.

Cut into chunky slices and dust with icing sugar to serve

Things I do: 
Firstly, and most importantly, this is a Woman's Weekly recipe and I struggled with the timing given - and it seems I'm not alone, given comments on their website. The 20 minutes in the original recipe is certainly not long enough - it's more like 50 minutes, you just have to keep checking. I hate not being able to give precise timings but larger cakes do depend on the important skewer test. I hope this won't put you off trying as it's a really yummy cake - next time I'm going to make it as a dessert when friends come round. I reckon it can be made in advance and gently reheated when cut into portions in the microwave.
Do line your baking tin, even if it's non-stick - because it's a long quite flat bake it's tricky to handle when removing from the tin. I didn't bother dusting it with icing sugar BTW.
You can substitute any canned fruit you fancy, I've wondered about pineapple chunks, rhubarb (could be a bit too wet) or pears - but sliced peaches work perfectly and the two-legged mouse says he can't imagine other fruits so will I 'please not play around' with the recipe :)
Believe it or not, this is the first time I've ever used buttermilk - I had to search for it in the supermarket.......... it's where the fresh cream is on display :)
Enjoy!

Stop Press - OMGosh - I made the Less Is More Top 5 with this:

I'm truly 'pickled tink' as they say, thank you so much Chrissie and Mandi :)
Di
x