Friday, 26 July 2013

A medical bulletin

This is Mark (Jane's husband) writing. Just wanted to let you know that Jane will not be publishing any blogposts for the time being, since she is in hospital with a severe case of gastritis. We hope that her stay in hospital will be brief, but you know how it is with hospitals....

"Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible", as they say!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Teaching your grandmother to......

..... make cards!

My 4 year old granddaughter is already a keen crafter, and the other day when I let her loose with my craft supplies, she created this mixture of stamping and glitter (I had to help out with some of the writing!)

She made the glittery streaks by rolling a tape pen down the page then sprinkling glitter over. I don't know whether she thought it up herself or learned it at nursery, but it immediately sprang to mind when I saw this week's challenge at ATCAS - #18 Glitter
I've even copied her colour scheme, so my granddaughter really has been teaching her grandmother to make cards!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Christmas in July

Christmas in July - that's the theme at CD Sundays this week, and it was lovely to think about snow in this sweltering heat (how many years is it since we've been able to use the phrase "sweltering heat" here in the UK?)

I've just got another CD in the Wine Buffs series from Katy Sue designs, this time the double CD "The Christmas Spirit".  One CD is themed around people, parties and booze, and the other around Santa and his reindeer and for this card I used the second one.

The outside of the card is quite simple

But the inside is a fun pop up  - I think those reindeer must have given in to the beer and mince pies! (Beer? I thought Santa drank sherry!)

As usual, my rubbish photography doesn't do the pop up effect justice, I can't seem to get anything in three dimensions to show up well!

Spotty Butterfly

I've had a pack of butterfly shaped cards in my stash for years. They seemed like a good idea at the time..... but I've never been able to think of anything to do with them. So when I read that this week's Less is More challenge is a one layer card that hadn't to be square or rectangular, I thought they would be perfect.

But I still couldn't think of anything to do! Eventually I decided to stamp one with spots  of different shapes and styles. To avoid placing errors, I used acrylic stamps, placing them face down on the card, and moved them around until they were where I wanted, then put the stamping block down over the whole arrangement to pick them up in situ.

The result - well, as so often happens when I make a one layer card, it leaves me with a feeling that is isn't quite there. Raising the centres of the spots or inking the edges of the card might help, but then it would be neither one layer nor CAS. I think I've learned a lot in the last year or so, since I started joining in these challenges, but I still have a long way to go!

I'm submitting this to

Less is More week 128 - one layer

Addicted to Stamps and More  53 - colours

and as everything I used was at least a year old, and the card MUCH older than that, Use it Tuesdays 59 - Birthdays  

Thursday, 11 July 2013

CD Sundays - Hats

This week's challenge at CD Sundays is "Quite Simply - Hats"

Well, I didn't have anything with JUST hats on it, but I have a CD called "Victorian Ladies" - which I won in a blog challenge, I think it was on the CD Sundays blog - where hats are a major feature of the outfits in several of the images. The CD doesn't have a brand name, but the copyright belongs to a company called JVA which I'm not familiar with. The combination of images and backgrounds is rather "Joanna Sheen-ish" so I decided to do something "rather Joanna Sheen-ish" with the image. But instead of using the whole design for decoupage, I used just the hat, inorder to emphasise  it.

Incidentally that's my first-ever coiled paper rose, and it will probably be my last! I half-cheated and used a sheet of die cuts I bought in a sale, and had to turn the house upside down looking for my quilling tool, which I'd last seen when I lent it to my daughter almost 20 years ago. Luckily half her craft stuff is still here waiting for her to make space for it, but it's so long since I used it I was all fingers and thumbs, and as  you can see I got glue everywhere. It's the kind that dries clear, but I was too impatient to take the photo so the rose has a big white blob in it!

Shades of Grey

Sorry to disappoint you, but this is nothing to do with *that* book (have you read it by the way? I've not, but I did try to read one in the same genre and got bored after a few pages. I wonder what the ladies at the charity shop thought of it when it went there?). I do have some rubberstamps that would fit that kind of theme, thanks to the X-rated section of Viva Las Vegas stamps, but I don't think anything made with them will ever appear on here!

Anyway, things have been rather quiet on Onions and Paper for several weeks now due to my travels, which are set to continue on and off until the middle of September, so I'm not able to join in many challenges for the time being. But I've managed to squeeze in a little precious crafting time this week so here is my card for the Less is More challenge 127- Shades of Grey

The text and the flowers I overstamped it with are in  Stampin' Up Basic Grey - it's my lousy photography  that makes them look black! And the image is layered on to a piece of mottled grey metallic card that was part of the first kit I ever bought, about 15 years ago, and has been lying untouched ever since! I used Promarkers to colour the gems.

Friday, 5 July 2013

It's only asparagus with a poached egg on top......

... or is it?

This month for Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen Dom challenged us to count 30 books along our shelves and cook from the 30th book, opening it either at a random page or page 30.

The 30th book along my top shelf turned out to be "maze - the cookbook" by Jason Atherton and I opened it at page 30 to see  a photo of..... a load of empty eggshells. But the photo next to it looked reasonable enough - just asparagus with a poached egg on top.

So I turned to the recipe - asparagus with quail's eggs and pink grapefruit hollandaise. Which is how I ended  up starting to cook at 7am for an 8pm meal.

Maybe in Maze they keep barrel-loads of clarified butter, pink grapefruit reduction, candied grapefruit peel and hollandaise reduction to hand, but I happened  to be right out of all of those and had to make them all from scratch. Careless of me to run out, I know, but it's been a busy few weeks.

Anyway, several hours and two dishwasher loads later, I had everything ready for the main event - making the hollandaise and cooking the asparagus and poached eggs. I'd never poached quails' eggs before and hadn't realised that just a few seconds makes the difference between cooked and overcooked, so the eggs  were rather overdone for Mark, but I can't cope with a yolk that's even slightly runny, so they were perfect for me. The finished dish did look gorgeous though!

I'll stop the photos here, with the sauce in the jug on the side, because when spooned on to the plate the pink lumps of grapefruit in it made it look rather like vomit - it tasted good though, although the vinegar reduction was rather strong when combined with the acid from the grapefruit. But that could have been my fault for not adding the optional sugar to the sauce.

Our overall verdict - it was delicious, and I'll make it again, but next time a much simpler version.  Just asparagus with a poached egg on top and some chopped grapefruit stirred through a little bought hollandaise. The whole meal would be ready in 10 minutes.