Saturday, 16 February 2019

Green and blue dragonflies

Yes, it's that Woodware dragonfly stamp again! I'm starting to realise it is much more versatile than I first thought - although it's so beautiful I'd have loved it even if I hadn't found it to be so versatile.

This time I have used a brayer and a Kaleidacolour pad to ink up the image. To complement it, I sponged some of the colours from the pad over the inside of an embossing folder before dry embossing white card.

I am sharing this with The Butterfly Challenge where my choices are Apple Green and Anything (dry embossing). I'm pretty certain Mrs A once told me that dragonflies can count as butterflies for her lovely challenge!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Wild Animals at Cardz 4 Guyz

Over at Cardz 4 Guyz, our new challenge has just started and our theme this time is Wild Animals.

The ribbon, from my stash, was the starting point for this - I think it's lovely for on a card for a little boy. I've used a very old Woodware stamp set, I think I bought it to make my granddaughter's first birthday card and she'll be 10 in the spring - for the image, sentiment, bananas and some of the leaves, a woodware punch for the other leaves, and lots and lots of bits from my snippets box for the punching and all the layers.

I am sharing this with
2 Crafty Critter Crazies
Crafty Calendar - add texture and ribbon

Monday, 11 February 2019

Seeing stars

The latest challenge at Twofers, where we are asked to make two different cards using one stamp, die or stencil, is Stars.

I decided to use a star stamp that was part of a recent magazine set.

A cute Christmas card and a distressed romance card - how different can you get? I am sharing this duo at
Twofers - Stars

Now for a closer look at the cards separately:

Here I have stamped and embossed the stars in gold, along with a line of Christmas trees. I might have chosen silver instead  of gold but for some reason my silver ink pad and embossing powder have started refusing to speak to each other although they both speak to everything else. Temperamental little things!

I stamped Rudolph and the sentiment on a scrap of white card and cut the top into a hill shape so that the tree line ran atop the hill, Rudolph is coloured with Promarkers and his very VERY shiny nose is courtesy of a liberal dose of Glossy Accents.

I am sharing this card with
Christmas Crafts All Year Round - Carols and Songs (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer of course!)
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Cute 

Recently I've seen several cards on Pinterest that have been stamped in brown on wood-grain paper, and thought how much they remind me of poker-work  - the art done by scorching the design onto wood with the tip of a very hot stylus - that was popular in the 1970s. I thought that it would be a super technique for a masculine card.

I wanted to make my masculine card romantic, avoiding the mushy hearts and flowers stuff so popular at this time of year, and what could be more romantic than Paris under a starlit sky?  I used a Tim Holtz Cityscapes stamp - I think these lend themselves beautifully to DL shaped cards - and a scrap of woodgrain paper left over from another project. It doesn't quite have the poker-work effect I was hoping for - I think the stamp is too detailed for that - but I like it anyway!

I am sharing this with

Just us Girls - Wood 

The Male Room - Love Your Men

Spotlight dragonflies

A few days ago I posted about having fallen into the Big Stamp Trap with this beautiful Woodware dragonfly stamp. It's such a beautiful stamp though, I can't bear to think of it hardly ever being used, so I'm challenging myself to see just how many different cards I can make with it.

This time I have stamped it twice, once onto white card and the other onto purple paper, and die cut two circles from the purple image, using then to "spotlight" the dragonflies.
The base card is stamped with postmark and text elements from the wonderful stamp set in the current issue of Creative Stamping. The dragonfly from the same set is stamped in purple ink and embossed with clear powder. I also used the purple pad around the edge of both card and topper and again, heat embossed them with clear powder.

I am sharing this with

Inkspirational - Text  (and no, I didn't intentionally choose the colours to match the graphic!)

Country View Challenges - Black and white plus 1

Sunday, 10 February 2019

RECIPE - Barley Beef Stew

Now and then I get an urge to use pearl barley - maybe in a lamb and vegetable stew, a hearty soup or a barley "risotto" (have you tried that? it's delicious with richly flavoured poultry like guinea fowl). And then the pack gets pushed to the back of the cupboard, only to either break open and spill all over everything or lurk until it's so far past it's use by date that it would need to cook for months to be soft enough to eat.

Luckily I rediscovered my latest pack just a couple of weeks before it was due to go out of date, so I decided to try something different with it. Further rummaging brought out the tail ends of a jar of redcurrant jelly and one of Dijon mustard.

I also had some  home made chicken stock in the fridge (but if you are using bought stock, use beef stock!) and the remains of a bag of parsley.

Barley Beef Stew - serves 2

350g diced stewing beef
300ml stock
1 level tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fat for browning - I used lard but oil or butter would work just as well
1 rounded tablespoon pearl barley
1 level tablespoon plain flour
1 level tablespoon redcurrant jelly
dash of gravy browning (optional)
chopped parsley to finish

Set the oven to 150C (130 fan) 300F gas mark 2
Place the beef in a bowl and stir in the mustard to coat evenly.

Heat the fat in a flameproof casserole and tip in the onions and meat - unlike a normal stew, you can tip all the meat in at once: although some of the juices will run out to form the gravy, the mustard will help to hold in the flavour. Toss together over heat until the onions have softened slightly and the meat has changed colour - it won't go a dark brown as it would for a traditional casserole, you just don't want any red showing.

Remove from the heat and dust in the flour, mixing well, then stir in the stock. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then add the pearl barley and redcurrant jelly, mix well and taste for seasoning. If it looks a little pale because of the unusual way of starting the beef off (and, in my case, because of the stock being chicken rather than beef), a few drops of gravy browning will sort that out.

Cover and place in the oven for around 2 hours, until the beef is tender and the barley almost falling-apart tender - it makes the gravy rich and unctuous and the pieces of barley give a lovely nutty bite to it.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with mashed potatoes to soak up the lovely juices and a leafy green vegetable like sprouts or cabbage.

I am sharing this with Kitchen Clearout at Madhouse Family Reviews

Glasgow Roses

The other day I saw some lovely Charles Rennie Mackintosh style illustrations and it made me realise it is FAR too long since I played with any of my Glasgow Rose stamps, so I decided to put that right.

The ovals and squares are die cut, the corners fussy cut, and I've used Promarkers for all of the colouring.

I an sharing this with
Addicted to Stamps and More - Make Your Mark

Saturday, 9 February 2019

In the spotlight

For this card I used some of the stamps that came with a recent issue of Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine. First I made the spotlight - I used the waste card from die cutting a circle, cut it in half then stuck the two halves together to form a "pointy oval" shape wide enough for the woman to stand in, then I used this as a mask to sponge on yellow ink.

I removed the mask and then masked off diagonal lines from the points of the shape to the edge of the card, and sponged in the same yellow ink but much more lightly.

After removing all masks I stamped the woman and stars then used a little of the same blue ink and a coarse sponge to very lightly sponge in a few speckles of blue around her legs to create an impression of movement.

Finally the sentiment - it is a Dylusions on the that reads "Be bold or italic, never regular" but I masked off the rest of the words while inking the stamp, then removed the mask and simply stamped "Be Bold" - after all, it takes a lot of boldness to step up there into the spotlight!

I am sharing this with

AAA Cards - One layer (couldn't work the optional twist of Love into this one!)

Less is More - Navy and Yellow

A Place to start (a new-to-me challenge) - Use an inspirational die or stamp