Tuesday, 28 March 2017

In the Country at Cardz 4 Guyz

This week at Cardz 4 Guyz our theme is "In the country".

As well as the beautiful landscape, the walking and the wildlife, the countryside is popular with  the "huntin' shootin' and fishin' " types, and as I had recently won this cute little Crafty Sentiments Designs digi of a fishing beaver and not yet used it, I decided to go with fishing as my theme.

I've added some kingfisher themed papers - after all, they love fishing too - both from the design House Studios "Water's Edge" collection - one from a CD and one from a 6x6 stack, and coloured the image to match.

We'd  love to see your country themed cards - but don't forget, they MUST be suitable for a man or boy!

I am sharing this with Digi Choosday - Anything Goes

Monday, 27 March 2017

March Rudolph Day

OK, it's a bit late - after all, Rudolph Day is the 25th of the month, but over at Scrappymos we have until the very end of the month to share a Christmas make. I had a hectic weekend with the grandchildren staying, so this is the first chance I've had to make my card which means I've had to combine several challenges or I'll be all behind. (Well if you've been unlucky enough to meet me in person you'll know that I really AM all behind, apart from the parts that ware way out in front, if you get my drift).

For this card I used two Nestabilities dies to create a frame which I cut and then ran through a Darice snow drift embossing folder. I stamped the sentiment on the piece of card that came out from the centre - I was going to call it "waste" but it's the kind of thing that never gets wasted, so I couldn't really call it that could I? Then die cut the holly and ivy from snippets of card. I placed it towards the top left of the card to try to balance the "weight" of the foliage, but once it was all in place it still looked unbalanced, so I added some ruled borders and a blingy gemstone - after all, you can't have Christmas without a bit of bling, even when you're being CAS, can you?

As well as Rudolph Days I am sharing this with
Less is More - Use a Frame
Addicted to Stamps and More - CAS 
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Inspired by a song or Carol (The Holly and the Ivy)
AAA Cards - Diecuts

This Post has No Title

I simply couldn't think of a name for this post, partly because of the earworms of old Elton John songs that are buzzing around in my head after watching Gnomeo and Juliet with the grandchildren over the weekend. And one of those songs is called "This song has no title" so I'm trying to get it out of my system by naming a blog post after it. Clear? (Do I hear you say "As mud"?)

The stamps I used for this card are an old magazine freebie set. I made a background by brayering Kaleidacolor ink onto glossy card, then stamping the image with white ink and embossing it with white powder. Does anyone know why the embossing is patchy on one of the flowers? I tend to get that with very old or poor quality powders, but this is a fairly new, but not brand new, pot of a decent quality one and I've not had problems with it before. I'm puzzled.

The sentiment circle from the same stamp set was stamped on scrap card and cut out to attach to the background.

I am sharing this with
Fab'n'Funky - Flowers
Make my Monday - White Embossing
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Lets Go Green

Layer it up! - OLLCB challenge #225

It's new challenge day at Ooh La La Creations and today we would like you to Layer it Up. So let's see lots and lots of  lovely layers on your creations!

Of course, pyramage is ideal for this challenge, as it naturally has lots of layers, so I've used this beautiful off-centre pyramage design called Tulip Garden from the Shawn Jenkins CD - available here - for my DT card, along with two of the matching backing papers.

I love the fact that the design sheet includes not just the main pyramage, but also a smaller one to use as an embellishment. In the bottom left hand corner of the pyramage, there is a lovely sentiment about friendship. However I was planning to send this card to a family member and wanted to write something more suitable inside - so I die cut a butterfly to cover it up! I've added some liquid pearls to the butterfly's body.

I've just noticed that the pyramage on the main image lines up so well that in the photo you can't tell that it is there!

I am sharing this with
Alphabet Challenge - Anything with wings
Butterfly challenge - Repeat and/or Midnight sky    (the repeat butterfly pattern on the paper and of course the dark blue die cut butterfly)
Do-It All Kreatives - Spring

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Any Old Iron at CD Sundays

For our latest challenge at CD  Sundays, Jocelyn has chosen the theme Any Old Iron.

I've used a decoupage design from the CD  The Best of La Pashe 2012, showing an old chestnut seller with his iron stove. Do they still have chestnut  sellers in the winter? The last time I was one would have been in the late 1980s, he used to stand near the top of Tottenham Court Road in London but I've not been around that way for some years now. I've added a piece of musical background paper from the same CD, thinking of the old music hall song "Any old iron" and a die cut penny farthing bicycle for the chestnut seller to travel home on when he's sold all his wares. The vintage bicycle ribbon is a scrap from my stash and the text background paper from Craftwork Cards - it's replica pages from an old recipe book, although it probably pre-dates the image by about 150 years because it says things like "difh up the foup" and I think that died out long before Victorian times.

I am sharing this with
Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine Anything Goes

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Mothers' Day Tea

I've seen lots of suggestions and recipes for Mothers' Day breakfasts and lunches, but the day doesn't end at lunchtime? How about treating your Mum to a lovely afternoon tea, especially if your gift to her is a pretty china teacup and saucer, it would be a great chance for her to use it!

I have been sent a selection of  Castle MacLellan pates so that I can share with you some ideas for Mothers' Day, and I have chosen to make a very retro-style selection of elegant sandwiches, perfect for a traditional afternoon tea. And what's more, they are simple enough for even the youngest members of the family to get involved with the preparation.

For all of them, I've used thin sliced wholemeal bread, cut to shape and buttered then completed as in the instructions. Don't waste those bread trimmings, whizz them up in a blender to give breadcrumbs, handy to store in the freezer for topping gratins and savoury bakes!

Crab and asparagus rolls

You will also need a small jar of asparagus spears (the short white ones)
Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into squares, each side the length of an asparagus spear. Spread each slice of bread with Castle MacLellan Orkney Crab Terrine and place a spear of asparagus along one edge. Roll up tightly and press down on the seam to seal it closed.

Smoked salmon sandwiches

You will also need cucumber and low fat soft cheese.
Trim off the bread crusts. Peel a chunk of cucumber and cut into the thinnest possible slices. Spread half the slices of bread with low fat soft cheese and the other half with Castle MacLellan Smoked Salmon Pate. Arrange the cucumber on top of the soft cheese and top with the salmon pate covered sliced. Cut into dainty fingers.

Sweet and sour pate bites

You will also need pickled walnuts and green grapes.
Use a cookie cutter to cut the bread into bite-sized circles. Spread each with Castle MacLellan Chicken Liver Pate and top each with a slice of pickled walnut (if you can slice them more prettily than I did, so much the better!) and half of a sweet green grape.

Serve Mum a selection of these sandwiches on a pretty doiley with a pot of freshly brewed tea. For the complete afternoon tea experience, why not follow it with a selection of cakes, scones and even toasted crumpets? And as an extra special Mothers' Day finishing touch, end up with some fresh berries and cream - served with a glass of chilled prosecco with a fresh berry dropped into the bottom of the glass.

The saga of the Christmas Tree that didn't want to happen.

The basic idea this card is based on doesn't actually appear anywhere on this card. At the Make It show, I saw somebody die cutting shapes from Stick It double sided adhesive, peeling off one side and attaching it to card then peeling off the other side and foiling the resulting die-shaped adhesive layer.

A doddle, thought I. So I cut my Christmas tree, and went to remove it from the die, but the backing of the adhesive sheet came adrift and then the waste areas wouldn't come out and the tree got stuck to itself trying to prise it out of the die.

Next attempt - got it all out cleanly (eventually) and applied it to card, but as I tried to remove the second side of the backing sheet, most of the adhesive came away too. I know StickIt isn't a very strong adhesive so.....

Attempt three. I used an older piece of double sided adhesive sheet, I think it originally came in a pack of Sticky Dots back when QVC used to sell them. It held its shape beautifully and I manages to stick it all down on the card. Then the foil didn't stick to it properly and it came out looking patchy and ragged.

By this time I'd run out of small pieces of double sided adhesive and wasn't going to cut into a brand new sheet of StickIt for something that was so determined to fail, so I tried cutting the tree from a very glittery Cricut vinyl. I've cut many other dies successfully with it, but this little tree would NOT cut. I had several attempts. I added shims, I removed the protective coating from the vinyl, I put it four times through the Grand Calibur - Nothing worked.

It was either abandon my card or get back to basics, so I grabbed a piece of silver mirri and did what I jolly well ought to have done in the first place, just die cut it from that.

Are you still with me? I also cut this beautiful border, that I won over on Liz's blog, and backed that with silver mirri, and edged it with two ultra-blingy gem strips. It doesn't really show in the photo but there is an oval black stone in the middle of each oval (ish) space.

I put the two pieces on my card to position them, planning to have the black strip as a wide border along the edge and the tree topper upright beside it. But it just looked all wrong, just too disjointed. Everything had gone wrong with this card, so I decided to go and have a cup of tea and a think. And as I stood up, I knocked the whole blooming thing onto the floor!

This is how the topper and border landed and I suddenly realised the reason they had looked so disjointed was simply because they WERE disjointed. So I stuck it all together just how they had fallen, added a few crystal stars and went to lie down in a darkened room......

I am sharing this with
C.R.A.F.T - Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - No Patterned Paper
 Jingle Belles - Bling 
The Holly and the Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes