Wednesday, 20 March 2019

A shaker card at Back to Basics

Earlier this week it was Mark's birthday. As you know, he is crazy about growing chillies, and I try to make chilli themed cards for him as often as possible. And since today's new challenge at Back to Basics is a shaker card, I thought why not a chilli themed one? So here is the card I made for him, and for our challenge.


First of all I stamped the chilli onto the topper card and onto a sheet of fun foam. Then I cut out the inside of the stamped image, lined it up over the stamped image on the foam and drew around the outside onto the foam. Then I cut the foam out a few mm inside  the line I'd drawn, and also cut the whole of the image out from the foam.

Next I did the rest of the stamping on the front of the card and used a red marker pen to fill in white bits and raw edges on the chilli, then backed the opening with acetate.

I stuck the foam onto a slightly smaller sheet of red card, then went on the hunt for shakey bits to add. My original plan had been to use chilli seeds, but all Mark's dozens of varieties of chilli seed are precious to him and he would notice them going missing, and there would be no point me buying a pack of seeds as he already has all the generally available ones so the leftover seeds would be wasted. So instead, I used some dried chilli flakes from the spice rack (and it's made me think - all kinds of spices and seeds would make a great shaker card. Wouldn't one filled with cloves smell wonderful?

Back to the card - I tipped my chilli flakes into the shape left when I stuck the foam to the red card, then carefully lined the front over it and stuck it in place before adding the whole thing to a card blank.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

RECIPE - Pasta with Gorgonzola and Walnuts


This is one of the easiest recipes EVER so I'm going to use a bit of space having a nice ramble about how it came about.

Last year, we went to Sardinia for a late summer holiday. It rained. And rained. And rained. This is the view from our hotel room:




However, one evening the sun came out and we decided to wander into the village to visit the "Festival of Love" we'd seen advertised. It turned out to be a line of stalls selling such romantic items as plant pots, tattoo removal and apricot jam, and that most romantic of all items, the vacuum cleaner.


So, that occupied us for a good five minutes and we decided we would make the most of the unaccustomed sunshine to sit outside a cafĂ© with a glass of wine. Along with the wine came a very generous helping of nuts, local breads and olives,  and we started to feel so relaxed and content that we ordered a second glass, and this time were brought a very generous selection of local charcuterie and cheeses.  By the time we'd demolished those, the evening diners were starting to arrive and the food they were ordering looked and smelled so good we decided to ask for the menu and make an evening of it.

That's where I spotted this dish and had to try it - local "trofie" pasta with Gorgonzola and Walnuts. When we got home I tried to recreate the dish and came up with this delicious recipe. I don't know whether it is exactly how the original was made, but we love it.

I use trofie pasta from an Italian deli, but any short pasta that would mop up the sauce such as spirals or penne would work beautifully.

To serve 2

150g pasta of your choice
100g Gorgonzola cheese, diced (look for the stronger, piccante, variety, not the milder dolce one)
75 g coarsely chopped walnuts
100ml double cream
1 tsp oil of your choice - I used light olive oil

Cook the pasta until al dente. In a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium to high heat and toss the walnuts in it, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted. Reduce the heat to low, add the cheese and cream and stir gently until the cheese is melted and blended with the cream. Serve with the pasta.

Yep, that's all there is to it - and it is delicious!



Dragonfly Get Well

Are you tired of seeing this dragonfly stamp yet? I don't think I will ever tire of it, and I'm still thinking up ways to use it. Today it is used on a Get Well card.


I made a brayered background using greens and blues,  then stamped and heat-embossed the image in black. Some layering, gems and a stamped sentiment to finish.

I am sharing this with

Allsorts Challenge - favourite stamp/image or die. My favourite stamp changes frequently but this is most definitely the current favourite!

Sweet Stampin - St Patrick's Day or use Green or anything goes 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

#6 Anything Goes at CD Sundays

Yes, we've now had SIX anything goes challenges in a row at CD Sundays - I hope you are enjoying the extra flexibility as much as the team are!  Of course, there's one thing we are totally Inflexible about, and that is our rule that a CD must be used somewhere on your work.

This time the CD that I have used is Joanna Sheen's "Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady". I don't think it is available now, but I believe Crafter's Companion produce one based on the same original artwork.





I made the base card from two square card blanks, sticking the right hand panel of one over the left hand panel of the other, to give a three-panelled card, then cutting off the tops of the end flaps diagonally from corner to corner. I added a pocket to the central panel and tucked in a tag made from one of the larger images on the sheet. This could be removed  in order to write a message on the back.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Kiss me quick!

I do love this goofy reindeer stamp - even if I did think at first that it was a cat! That little angel on his head really cracks me up.


I've made a one layer card, colouring the reindeer with pencils and adding a sprig of mistletoe and a snarky sentiment. I made a matching envelope too.



I've made this for
Christmas Kickstart - Moves with Hooves 
and with apologies to DottyJo, as I'm really busy at the moment and have to pack all my craft supplies away today *sob* to make room for lots of house guests over the comping couple of weeks, I'm also linking up to several other challenges:
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes
Christmas Crafts All Year Round - Under the Mistletoe
A Place to Start - single layer card with matching envelope
CAS Christmas - Deer

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

I won the battle of the baby wipes!

You may remember the saga of my attempt to use the "ghosting" technique using baby wipes - if not you can see it here.

Anyway, I thought later, perhaps I'd used too complicated a stencil and not enough colour, so I tried again using a simpler stencil and  a really thick layer of watercolour crayon. And even with my earth friendly wipes, it sort of worked.


I suppose if the  result was meant to be really clear and well defined it wouldn't be called ghosting would it?

I've added a flower, stamped using a very old Raindrops on Roses stamp and heat embossed.  I do love the regal effect of a purple and gold combo!

I am sharing this with

CAS on Friday - Embossing, dry or heat
CAS  Stencil - Ghosting

The places you'll go....

Oh the places you'll go!

All my grandchildren (and their Mummies) are Dr Seuss fans - in fact my older daughter had "The places you'll go" as a reading at her wedding! And the sentiment I've used on one of these cards always makes me think of that book.


I've used dies from a Spellbinders balloon set: not ties I use very often as they are so big and bold it's hard to combine them with anything else.


I made this card first - I die cut the balloon twice, once in red and once in white, and used the white one twice as a mask to blend blue ink over the base card, fading away towards the bottom. Then simply stamped a sentiment and added the red balloon.

I am sharing this with  Little Red Wagon - Boys to men 

Now I was left with a white balloon that had had two lots of blue ink sponged over it - AKA a blue balloon. So, thinking of those long distance balloon releases that used to be popular back in the days before we learned about protecting the environment (do you remember them? You added your name and address and there would be a prize for the one that travelled furthest. You dreamed of the tag being returned from somewhere exotic halfway round the world, only to see it get burst by a tree branch before it had reached the end of the street) I added  the "You're going places" sentiment and some fun background papers. I think this would make a great card for a child's first day at school or first overnight school trip.


I am sharing this with
Allsorts Challenge - For a Child
Crafty Calendar Challenge - For a child 

And finally the two cards together


Which of course is the whole reason these cards were made, and I am sharing at Twofers