Archive for November, 2009
My sick car is mended (hurrah)! This week has ended on a high. Yesterday I spent a few hours preparing food as we had some friends over. I took a risk and tried a new recipe from Nigella’s ‘Feast’ book. It was a Tunisian meatball dish and apart from a dodgy sweded (thanks Sainsburys!) we had a great time. My friend lent me her Mums tagine and it worked out well (genuine thanks Nigella!).
I also achieved something I’ve wanted to do for years; recreate a dessert that a coffee shop I used to work at in Colchester called ‘Poppy’s’ used to sell. It is a layered meringue with a lemon curd and cream filling. I didnt quite get it exactly right but it all got eaten!!
I’ve got a Stampin’Up! party tonight . The hostess is a lovely girl from my childrens school and it should be a great night. We’re doing simple Christmas cards and it’ll be great to have a chilled evening after a hectic week. The piccy is of a covered chocolate bar as a prize for the evening. I just love the ribbon. I could tie it on everything! The cute ladybird and ‘be happy’ is from a hostess set called Darling Dots, that my friend may well get tonight. I’m happy to take party bookings over the phone, so dont hesistate to give me a ring!
I’m also planning a series of craft classes in the New Year. A couple of people have asked about them, so I’ll take the plunge and get organised.They’ll be in Liverpool and as soon as I’ve sorted the schedule, I’ll let you all know! Talking about new things I have had some projects featured in Crafts Beautiful in their Christmas special and I’ve got more coming up in the January and February issue. Its very exciting and I love a good challenge so its right up my street!
Well, I’d better make tracks! Thanks for looking!
Recipe, Cardstock on the tag- Real red and So Saffron.
So Saffron ribbon, Versamark and clear embossing powder (all from Stampin’Up!)
Textured cardstock and patterned paper from my stash!
I finally got to play a little yesterday- what with all this rain and feeling a little under the weather myself, I got out my inks and sponges. I thought I’d share the subsequent result and give a quick idea of how to do it. I discovered that the Whisper White cardstock is pretty good for getting effects- even when you’re trying to get subtle ones.
What you’ll need-
Old Olive, Ballet Blue and Whisper White cardstock
Leaf (from Darling Dots) & Sentiment (from Wow Flowers)
Taffeta ribbon, Mellow moss, Bashful Blue and Always Artichoke ink . Sponges and scrap paper.
White and clear embossing powder.
Draw a curve on some scrap paper which is the same width as your cardstock (mines about A5 size), and cut along the line but leaving one end attached.
Get a sponge- you can get specialist foam on handles for the job but a cheap pack of make-up sponges does the job. When preparing to sponge the ink, don’t hold it like the pic on the left or you’ll end up with hard edges – you need to fold the sponge like in the right hand pic so the surface is rounded.
Pick up a small amount of ink and starting from just off the edge of the cardstock, using a circular motion, rub towards the cardstock and gradually onto it. This way, it creates a softer effect. If the colour isnt strong enough, you can always keep adding but once the ink is on too strong- you can’t remove it! Before you start doing this- put the mask you’ve made with the scrap paper on top of the cardstock.
Fold the mask to the side so the top is isolated and you are going to be sponging beneath the curve to create the grassy hill. Using mellow moss, use a circular motion- its not a precise science and don’t be afraid to experiment before you start. Don’t completely fill the space with colour as the white helps give contrast and texture. The picture on the right shows the finished effect.
Fold the mask the other way, so that the sponged grass is covered and then do the ‘sky’ using the same motion; starting from just off the edge of the cardstock and circling onto it using the Bashful Blue ink.
The pic on the right shows the finished sponging. Some of it will be covered by cardstock but try to keep the bottom free from ink as it looks better with a clean white edge on the bottom of the card!
Using the leaf (which makes a really cute tree!) Stamp with Always Artichoke ink. If you are really quick with the clear embossing powder, you can heat emboss them to get the beautiful shiny effect. I arranged them as on the right and put one on 3D foam to give dimension.
All you need to do now is emboss the sentiment using white embossing powder on a piece of Old Olive cardstock the same width as the cardstock. Add a knotted piece of grey taffeta ribbon and attach the piece to a folded blank using Ballet Blue cardstock. Easy Peasy ! Even my hubby liked this one- which is saying something!!
Oh, and the silver linings- well I’ve been ill a couple of times this month- which apart from being yucky and inconvenient means that I’ve lost a good deal of weight! A stone plus some!! Thats great and means I can approach the coming month with a little less caution (yipppeeee!-Green and Blacks, here I come!!). The other silver lining is about being grateful and having a day or two rest from the school run. The Landrover is broke- sick, poorly and feeling very sorry for itself. It’s still languishing in the Landrover garage as I write which makes ferrying our 5 children to school somewhat complicated when our other car cannot fit them all in!! BUT, I can’t do the school run therefore, and so with some help from friends and family I’ve got to stay at home with Will. For those of you that do the school run day in and day out, you’ll be with me in appreciating a break (albeit small!) from it. I’m grateful for having a car that usually works and I’m also grateful for silver linings- but sometimes you just have to look that little bit harder to find them!
See you soon- keep getting messy ! xxx
Card recipe- as above. All supplies from Stampin’Up!- Go on, call me- you know you’d like to have to a go at this!!
Other colours are calling me-am loving the real red and so saffron combo at the moment. I’ve been playing with the Darling Dots hostess set and really am taken with it. I’ll post some little tags I’ve been making soon. I have my littliests birthday on Thursday but its going to start on Wednesday and finish Saturday!- how’s that for a celebration!! I’m not doing anything big- just a family tea- but the excitement of the other 4 brothers and sisters will be quite enough!! The kids wanted me to bake a Peppa and George Pig cake buuut I’m not sure he’ll appreciate it. So I’ll be doing a Baker tradition and making what is lovingly known as a ‘Bogtrotter’ cake. Remember Matilda by Roald Dahl? Cast your minds eye back to the scene with Bruce Bogtrotter and Mrs Trunchbull. She makes him eat a gi-enormous chocolate cake baked with blood and sweat as a punishment for stealing some of her cake. Ok, we left out the blood and sweat and aimed for a big cake with chocolate sweets and glitter!! You can’t see the glitter but you get the picture!! Another family tradition that we get requests for on a regular basis!!
PS- just realised- there’s reindeer poop on the chocolate cake- euugghhh!
Reindeer poop recipe; Cardstock, whisper white, old olive, close to cocoa and real red.
Stamp set, Season of Joy (snowflake). Quickutz diecut reindeer.
Thanks for stopping by! xx
I’m sorry- I know you’re probably wondering how one girl can make sooo much Christmas stuff. BUT we are sort of getting ready (ermm-said hesitantly!!) and isn’t this fabulous worldwide web about sharing ideas?!!
I’d mentioned a little while back about preparing for an event where people were going to pool ideas and resources for cutting down the cost of Christmas and making it more meaningful. I had to do a table based around packaging gifts! So much fun and it got me thinking about why I give certain kinds of gifts and it really should be a token of your love and friendship not an concerted effort to impress them! So as you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m making a fair deal of stuff!
Surprisingly my kids want me to make lots of them for their friends. I say it with a slightly incredulous expression simply because normally they want to send keyrings or lip gloss etc!! I reckon the whole handmade thing is starting to capture their imagination a little and plus, they are pretty unique gifts and were a real talking point at the event on Thursday. These little shiny wrapped tokens are a little gift of table name cards. It’s the sort of thing I’m thinking about a week before Christmas so thats one step ahead of the game!!
I love the faux stitched look- so with my white pen and a bit of diecutting,- a simple but striking name holder. Just need to get my calligraphy pens out to complete them. While we’re talking about ideas- I had an email recently from a lovely person wondering if she could use a card for a workshop she was doing. Stampin’Up! have a great phrase called ‘CASEing’,- Copy And Share Everything! There are really not that many truly original ideas and we all get inspired by others, so you’re welcome to any of these ideas- just please don’t claim them entirely as your own!!!!
I’m just contacting all my lovely customers with a great idea called A Wish List. I know most of you will be familiar with it. Despite me talking about cutting dwn the cost of Christmas, we were also thinking about the cost of unwanted presents- it was something staggering into the £billions. For many of us crafters, we love craft goodies for presents but sometimes family and friends aren’t really sure what our tastes are?!! So- if you, or family and friends want to contact me – I can store a personal wish list for you and people wanting to buy pressies for you, can get in touch and pick something off your list. I can be paid by cheque or Paypal and can send the gift straight out to the family member and friend. Sounds good?- get in touch (0151 2289946 or email@example.com)!! I have a bit of a beginners stampin’ Up! target to reach, so any orders would be very welcome!!!!
I’ll have Reindeer Poop coming up on a future post- so those of you with a nervous disposition- be ready!! I’m doing some fun crafting tonight- have a magazine project to get finished. Aaaahh- deadlines!!!
Thanks for looking and happy creating xx
Recipe, Real Red and Glorious Green cardstock. (diecut with Quickutz holly die). holly leaves edged with Handsome Hunter ink. (all Stampin’Up!)
Sentiment Stamp from Season Of Joy. (stamped with Basic Black). Leaves edged with white Signo Gel Pel (from SU). Patterned paper cut with stampin’Up! scalloped punch and berries decorated with some tiny gems from my stash!
I like friendly! Friendly everything; shop assistants, teachers, car drivers. The world is so much better when people take the time to be friendly! I rather like this friendly reindeer too – mainly because of his googly eyes, but his antlers are rather splendid don’t you reckon?
I know, You’ve spotted it too. Her and her swirl stamp again (oops). You have to give it some credit though. I’ve never used one stamp in sooo many different ways. I just thought it would make nice antlers, so forgive me!! This stamp is very popular though; so popular that one of my friends bought the whole stamps set JUST to get that stamp. It does include some other really beautiful ones too!!
This is the topper on some reindeer food. There are so many variations out there- but I think I’ve found my favourite so far and here are the words for those of you that want them;
While you are fast asleep Christmas Eve night,
Your magic dust will sparkle in the moonlight.
This will help guide Santa’s way
bringing gifts from his sleigh!
I’m supposed to be cooking tea now. I think its supposed to be paella, but Steve is much better at paella than I am and I’m not sure he’ll think my version is passable. Oh well, I just might have to wait for him to cook his superior version (he he he!). The prawns and chicken will just have to wait patiently in the fridge til he arrives. He’s sounding like Santa now!!
Happy Monday, and happy crafting!xx
Recipe. (apart from the magic reindeer food!)
Cardstock, whisper white, real red, old olive and close to cocoa. Season of Joy stamp set. Certainly celery ribbon. All from Stampin’Up!
Beads and bell from my stash!!
Today I wanted to scrapbook using just SU products. I nearly made it- I just didnt quite manage it. If I had a few more products or some great Alphabet stamps I’d have done it!
Weird, though,- you wouldn’t normally catch me talking about chips. I’m not a chip fan really. Not because they are unhealthy (which they are) but because I used to work in a chippy when I was doing my A levels. It was a job share with my brother but boy, did it put me off chips for life!! The clothes I wore in the shop had to be stored in the garage because they stank so badly!
The photo is bad- apologies. The lighting was chronic. Hopefully better sunshine service will be resumed tomorrow. See the little crocheted flower- its so cute and they’re called Fleurettes. They come in 3 different sizes and the great thing is, you can change their colour using ink (the reinkers are perfect for this). I didn’t want to change the colour, I just jazzed it up a little using a square rhinestone brad. I do like a simple style when scrapping, but the little bits of Designer Series Paper in Kaleidoscope are good for bringing colour to small bits of the page without dominating it.
I loved the fact that I’d got a big white space because of the paper bag and hey presto- a ready made journalling spot! I’m now planning a tag making night to decorate all these goodies I’ve been making. It was chutney and parkin making day yesterday. I’m now a chutney fan. Its a cranberry and apple one by Nigella and I’m not sure there’s gonna be much left to give away by the time its graced my sandwiches a couple of lunchtimes!
Well, I’d better be off- I have a chunky chilli to make and some shopping to do. It’s bacon butties and hot chocolate for after the fireworks (long family tradition) although if it continues tipping it down like this, it might be a complete washout. We’ll be doing a movie night instead as a Plan B. Either way, its going to be a great night! Happy Bonfire Night everyone!! and thanks for stopping by ! xx
Recipe. All supplies by Stampin’ Up! (except for orange Doodlebug stickers)
Kaleidoscope DSP, Old Olive cardstock. Brown stitched grosgrain ribbon and pumpkin grosgrain ribbon. Fleurettes, Rhinestone Brads.
PS- in case you’re wondering what ‘parkin’ is- its a Yorkshire cake, traditionally eaten at Bonfire Night. Its a slightly spicey, gingered, syrupily sticky gorgeous cake thats gets stickier by the day (assuming you have any left!!)- recipe available if you email me!!
I would never have guessed that making Chilli Oil would turn out to be so complicated!! My hubby, Steve and my brother and my brother-in-law are all chilli adorers so I thought it would be a good idea to get cracking and make some for pressies. I had heard that all you need to do is pop some in a jar of oil and voila- chilli oil. Wrong, wrong, wrong!! Fortunately I like to double check things and its a good job I did, or my family might have been getting botulism as well as their Christmas presents.
Now, how do you find a decent recipe when there’s so many to choose from? And could I find any dried chillies in my local supermarket? Nope. So more internet research and I find that I should dry my own. After carefully slicing 12 chillies and after even more carefully washing my hands (!) I have a little tray of cherry red beauties slowly drying in my oven. It is gorgeous seeing the colour change from fiery red through to a crimson and hopefully ending in a dark deep red.
I even took a picture of them- or no-one will believe I’ve done it!-
It was at the point of starting to make the labels where I wondered if it would not have been simpler just to go to Next or Lakeland and buy 3 bottles of the stuff. But the recycler inside of me said, ‘no’- I am using up three very nice drink bottles we had on Saturday.
So – they’re still drying. Giving out quite a heady aroma. Lets hope they’re done before the school run! Talking of school runs, tonights is gonna be a long one. 1 school to pick up one child. To another school to pick up 2 more. Then back to the original school to pick up my little boy who is sooo excited as he’s doing a football club today! He has been so excited. We had to buy shin pads and footie socks (both too big) and some really lovely football trainers. Somebody pointed out that
they were going to get really filthy and they should be black. I said I’d wash them as many times as necessary. They were a real bargain and he is ecstatic that he can join in. That’s the good side of sport. Playing because you love it- not because you think you’re good, but because its fun. I suppose crafting is like that- doing it because you love it, not because someone else appreciates it!
I know, You’ve seen it..the bottle is empty. Only because you’ve not imagined the beautiful amber, reddish oil that will soon grace its inside. I’m still waiting for the drying process to finish. I’m really inspired now; I want to do chutneys and vanilla sugar and….
Watch this space!
Thanks for visiting today! xx
Card recipe. Kraft card, Real Red and Old Olive cardstock. Designer paper (retired, but the new Jackpot DSP would be perfect!!)- all from Stampin’Up !
Garden twine (I love this stuff at the moment- its going on everything!!)