Thursday, 22 June 2017

Vintage Haberdashery

When I saw this morning that the new challenge at Cardz 4 Galz is  Sew and Sew,  rather unusually for me I knew exactly what I wanted to make and had to set to work straight away.

I dug out cardstock, a topper and sentiment from an old Hunkydory kit and added a die cut dress form that was sent to me by a friend and lots of haberdashery style embellishments from my stash. A bit of distressing and a bit of inking was all I needed to add.

The butterflies on the topper, along with the buttons and bow, also mean it fits the Bingo part of the theme at The Butterfly Challenge, so I'm dropping in over there too.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Stars at Cardz 4 Guyz

Today out new theme at Cardz 4 Guyz is Stars.

I've had a lot of fun creating my starry card!

I wanted to get the effect of a starry sky, so I smooshed distress ink onto acetate and rubbed my card in it, then when the card was dry, sprinkled with darker blue brushos and spritzed with water. Because I'm impatient, I  them heat dried it before applying the waste from a sheet of peel-off stars to use as a stencil and sponged grey ink through it. However maybe the heat made parts of the peel off stick more firmly than usual, because as I tried to peel it away some broke off and was stuck hard to the background. I went to get my pokey tool to pick it off with, but then thought actually it looked rather good, so I left it in place. 

I stamped the words "Rock star" (from a Studio G mini set) over the background and then made the embellishment by stamping the star circle, which I think was a Craft Stamper freebie, onto gold mirri with black Stazon and finished it with a blue gem. I had planned to put it in the centre of the blue panel, but the gold peel off waste meant that it looked better up in the corner to balance the gold at the bottom. Finally I stamped the musical stars border, I'm afraid this is a set I've had so long I can't remember the make.

I'm sharing this with
Glitter'n'Sparkle - Fathers day/masculine
Loves to Craft - Anything Goes
Mix it Up - Anything goes/Stamping  

Monday, 19 June 2017

Summertime at Ooh La La Creations

It's time for our new challenge at Ooh La La Creations and this time our theme is Summertime.

I've used an image and papers from the Paula Oakley Collection, available here , and made a large 20cm square card with them.

I wanted that central square to fit exactly when placed from corner to corner, and was up to my ears in glue when I realised I couldn't work out the size in my head, so I think Mark was a bit surprised that although I was sitting crafting I had an urgent need for him to find the square root of 200 for me! (For future reference, it's 14.14 and a square with edges that length in cm will perfectly fit diagonally onto a 20cm square card)

If you look carefully the main image has a tiny white line around it between the picture and the turquoise edge, and I wanted to replicate that, but my white gel pen didn't show up very well on some of the papers so I went for contrast and used a black fine liner instead, then distressed the edges of each piece.

Finally I added Candi to the corners, picking up the cool blue and aqua shades.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Fridge Raider

I love this sweet stamp of a cat stealing the milk - it's an unmounted stamp that was a gift from a friend when I first started stamping, about 20 years ago, and I don't think it was new at the time, so goodness knows how old it really is!

I've coloured the kitten with Promarkers and cut it out with the Gummiapan stitched Ovals dies. The hearts, too, are cut with a Gummiapan die, and the sentiment is a Dylusions one.

For the background I stamped various "catty" bits all over some kraft, and then tried to bleach the colour out from the cats' eyes, however the bleach didn't really take on the kraft so it's left them with a slightly ghostly effect - fine for a background but I'm glad I didn't use it for a main image!

I'm getting naughty (or at least my bad kitten is) with the ladies at Naughty or Nice where it's an anything goes challenge this month,  and also playing along at Little Red Wagon where the theme is Dogs or Cats?

Sun, Sand or Sea at CD Sundays

It is Wynn's turn to choose the challenge at CD Sundays today, and the theme she has chosen is Sun or Sand or Sea.

I've used an image and papers from the lovely Creative Crafting World CD "Through the Year With Seraphina" and as I know Wynn loves fancy folds, I had a go at making a twisted gatefold card.

I used instructions from the May issue of Quick Cards Made Easy - it's a lot easier than it looks!

I would like to share this with
A Bit More Time to Craft - Anything Goes
Make My Monday - At the Beach

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Quirky Crafts - mid month inspiration

It's time for our mid month update at Quirky Crafts - have you joined in yet? Our theme is Things with Wings and there are prizes to be won!

For this card I have used Winter Bird trio from Bugaboo Stamps and some retro styled paper from a pad called Contemporary Christmas - I can't see a brand name on it.

I coloured the image with Promarkers, and a few touches of stickles, and cut it with Gummiapan Stitched Ovals dies.

I love the finished card, in fact I like it so much I'm tempted to make a "batch bake" to boost the Christmas card box - after all, we're almost half way to Christmas now!

I am sharing this with
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - June
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - June  
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Christmas
Digi Chooseday - Anything Goes

Friday, 16 June 2017

Resist embossing

I don't know why I don't do resist embossing more often, I do love the result it gives!

The stamp I used is a very, very old unmounted red rubber stamp from a set created by Trish Bayley about 20 years ago. Does anyone remember Trish? Back before the days of the internet, she used to run a postal crafting club. I wonder if she is still around, perhaps now blogging or designing for one of the craft businesses? Anyway, the reason I chose it is because this month's challenge at Stamping Sensations is to use your favourite stamp. Now I've been stamping for many years and have a huge collection of much loved stamps that I turn to again and again, so it is very hard to say which is my favourite, but this is one of the most-used stamps in my collection so it's definitely up there in the top few! I love the almost photographic amount of detail it includes.

I stamped and embossed it with Versamark and clear ep, then sponged over with distress inks.

The background is embossed with a Crafters Companion folder.

I am sharing this with
Stamping Sensations - Your Favourite Stamp
The Flower Challenge - Anything Goes

AAA Cards - Resist Technique

Buzz buzz buzz

I've been having a play with adding drops of concentrated liquid watercolour to various products to give them colour, or change their existing colour.

For this card, I added a single drop of yellow to a spatulaful of Ranger Opaque Matte Texture Paste in a paint palette and used a cocktail stick to blend the colour. Then I applied it to the card through a honeycomb patterned mask.

The bee is an old Raindrops on Roses stamp, heat embossed, coloured with Promarkers and fussy cut. I finished the wings with Stickles and the  eyes with Glossy Accents. The sentiment is from Clearly Besotted.

I am sharing this with

CAS Mix Up - Stamping, Embossing paste, heat embossing, fussy cutting and glitter
Sparkles Monthly - Embossing - heat or dry
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - Anything Goes

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Springtime Snippets

I seem to have lots of pastel coloured printed papers among my snippets at the moment - odd as I'm not much of a "pretty pastels" type, but I suppose that's why the papers end up hanging around once I've cut into them. However I can always use a selection of them up in Pixie's Snippets Playground!

Anyway, it means I had a good selection to use for this card.

I took a 15cm square card and cut across it about a third of the way down, then punched both cut edges using an Anna Griffin border punch. Then I cut a 15cm wide panel of white card, deep enough to fill in the newly created gap and cover the open areas of punchwork, and covered it with 3cm wide strips from 5 different snippets. I stamped the sentiment on the lower panel of the card, then reassembled the card front by sticking the punched borders down over the snippet-covered panel.

Vintage bicycle

When I use this stamp, or my penny-farthing die,  non-British friends often ask me why I refer to it as a penny-farthing. Well, in the UK we always call this style of bicycle by that name, because in old money such as was used in Victorian times, the penny was a very large coin and the farthing, worth a quarter of a penny, was a very small one. So the bicycle looked like a penny and a farthing, side by side.

For this card, I cut the cream background panel and embossed with an Mbossabilities reversible folder (sorry, can't remember the name)  over just the top half. I lightly inked the embossed area and edges with Aged Mahogany DI which is a lovely deep red.  I used Versafine ink in a matching deep red shade for the stamping, then layered with deep red card (it looks black on the photo, I always seem to make dark colours look black when I photograph them) and some newsprint effect paper. I had prepared some matching die cut cogs to embellish it with, but when I arranged them on the card to gauge the best position, I decided it actually looked better without - somehow the embossing gives it an unusual sort-of-CAS-Vintage look that doesn't respond well to further embellishment.

I am sharing this with:
Always Fun Challenges - male or dad
Sweet Stampin - Monochrome
Crafty Gals Corner - Vintage
Cuttlebugmania  -  Fathers day
Craft Rocket - for the men/boys
Fab n Funky - Vintage 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A sympathy card

I got home from holiday to the sad news that the husband of an old friend had passed away, so I needed to make a quick sympathy card in order to get it in the post as soon as possible.

I stamped the fern - an old Artylicious stamp (I can't remember the age but it's many years since they closed down) - in purple and then repeated the stamping without inking, to give a subtle shadow. The sympathy stamp is an Anna Griffin one from about 15 years ago and the butterfly is from a set I won recently at the Butterfly Challenge.

A little layering and my card was ready to post.

I am sharing this with
Butterfly challenge - Bingo and/or Heather colour (I hope to join in a second time with the Bingo theme)
CAS on Sunday - Use repetition image
Retro Rubber - Anything Goes
Addicted to Stamps and More - Anything Goes

I'm back!

Have you missed me? Well, maybe not as I left quite a few scheduled posts for while I was away, but Mark and I have just got back from a wonderful holiday in Portugal. We stayed in the town of Tavira, on the eastern edge of the Algarve, a beautiful, tranquil historic town completely different from the sun-and-sand resorts further along the coast. Our hotel was a converted monastery, the Pousada do Convento da Graca where breakfast was served in the beautiful cloisters

The town was full of beautiful buildings - I think my crafting is going to be influenced by the tiled walls and shabby chic doors with peeling paint and beautifully tended metalwork. You can read more about our trip and see some of Mark's stunning photos over on his blog.

Anyway, we're home, the laundry mountain is dwindling and I'm able to start crafting again. I've eased myself back into it with a very clean and simple card using a set of NBUS Anita's stamps that I was given a while ago. I made a one layer card, stamped in Versafine and coloured with markers, with ruled lined to emphasise the cherry border and make it look as if it is another layer, and glossy accents to highlight the cherries.

I am sharing this with

Less is More - one layer, Sweet Things

Creative with stamps - Fruit  

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - D is for Drunk

It's time for our latest challenge at The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, and  it's a theme very dear to the heats of all the Sistahs - D is for Drunk.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Doesn't Edna make a classy drunk? Unlike the gentleman in my image, printed from the CD "The Wine Buffs" by Katy Sue designs/

The image, sentiment and papers are all from the CD and I've added some wine-red ribbons. I chose the stitched ovals  and wood effect paper for the die cutting because it reminded me of the huge wooden barrels that wine is matured in.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Something Blue for Fathers Day at Cardz 4 Guyz

Here in the UK, Fathers Day is on June 18th  this year, so our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz is "Something Blue for Fathers Day".

I'm not a fan of making Fathers Day cards, since my own father passed away 17 years ago,  but I've made a very simple one to share with you.

The central panel is made with a set of Studio G sentiment stamps and a Kaleidacolor pad. I added two pockets - after all, what dad doesn't have to constantly dip into his pockets where his offspring are concerned? - made using some peel offs from a very old set I got from QVC many years ago. A bit of layering and some silver Candi because it is reminiscent of jeans rivets to go with the jeans pockets. Job done!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Pearls at Ooh La La Creations

Our new challenge is just going live at Ooh la la Creations and this time the theme is pearls.

I decided to make a tag instead of a card, for a change.

The image and papers are from the CD Yesterday's Memories, which you can buy here, on a large kraft tag and I have added some replica cigarette cards and embellishments from my stash. The filigree embellishment is one I have had for years, but you can get hold of very similar ones on the Ooh La La website

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Things With Wings at Quirky Crafts

Today is the start of our June challenge at Quirky Crafts, and this time it is my turn to choose the theme,  so I have chosen Quirky Things With Wings.

Our sponsors this time are Limited Runs and Bugaboo, and for my card today I have used Limited Runs image Dragonfly #1 which is a very quirky dragonfly!

I've teamed it with a selection of papers from an old K & Company stack, coloured it to co-ordinate and given it a die cut mat, then added a stamped sentiment and some dragonfly brads from my stash.

Shabby Chic at CD Sundays

Today the theme at CD Sundays is Shabby Chic.

When I think Shabby Chic, I think Debbi Moore, and today I've used the Shabby Chic Paris Bookazine CD, one of my favourites.

I had a lovely time making this! First I covered my card with one of the background papers then sanded all the edges to distress them. Then I stamped the Paris scene from the Tim Holtz Skylines set onto another of the background papers. That, the two poster style toppers and the border are all cut from sheets from the CD and distressed with a V-shaped distressing tool. The pink rose scrap is from yet another of the background papers, roughly torn to shape. I fussy cut the roses from one of the design sheets and added a die cut bicycle and a penny farthing button, then finished off with a handful of pearls.

I got a bit carried away with the printing and printed out far more than I needed, including a few sheets I didn't cut into, so watch out for more Parisian fun coming along on here soon!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Non-traditional colours at Sparkles Christmas

It's time for our new challenge at Sparkles Christmas and today we would like you to use non-traditional Christmas Colours.

Now Black is definitely not a Christmas colour, but teamed with Silver I think it looks very stylish, and I've used elements from old Kanban and Hunkydory kits to make a gatefold card using these colours.

I had also intended to cover the insides of the two gatefold panels with the black and silver paper, but then I realised it would leave nowhere for the sender to write!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Guinea Fowl with Pearl Barley risotto and balsamic mayonnaise.

This dish was partly inspired by a delicious meal we had earlier this year at Denbie's Wine Estate near Dorking, and partly by the latest book I've lifted out for my "Power of three" series, Skye Gingell's My Favourite Ingredients (the dishes I've bookmarked to try from it will need to wait until after our holiday, so I'll be back with them another time)

When I was flicking through the book, I was surprised to see mayonnaise served with guinea fowl, but I made my own version of a balsamic mayo and it worked beautifully with it. Mark had been served pearl barley risotto with guinea fowl at Denbie's. I combined the two ideas.

for the mayonnaise (made in a blender/food processor)

1 egg
generous pinch of salt
about 100-150ml light olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Put the whole egg and salt into the small goblet of your blender and set to medium speed. Blend until well beaten then very slowly drizzle in the oil through the hole in the top of the blender until you get a very thick emulsion. You will find that the more oil you add, the thicker it gets, which to me seems counterintuitive but who cares as long as it works?

When you are happy with the consistency, add the vinegar and mustard and blend at high speed until fully incorporated.

Chill until ready to serve.

Note that I have used a whole egg rather than just a yolk. I find this makes a very slightly lighter mayonnaise, ideal when it is to be served with a rich dish like this, and also helps to prevent the mixture from curdling.

This makes quite a lot, but it will keep for a few days covered in the fridge and is delicious for dunking chips in!

for the guinea fowl

1 guinea fowl, cut into 4 joints
splash of oil and a small knob of butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 tbs dry sherry
2 bayleaves
a few spoonfuls of stock - I used a rich veal stock because that's what I had on hand.

Set the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Heat the oil and butter in a large lidded ovenproof pan and fry the guinea fowl portions,skin side down to start with, for about 4 minutes on each side until the skin is golden. Set the pieces aside and add the onion to the pan, and fry until soft. Tip in the sherry, and when the bubbling subsides, add the bay leaves and a little stock, just enough to make sure the base of the pan is covered.

Return the guinea fowl to the pan, breast side up, cover and place in the oven. Cook for around 50 minutes, checking from time to time to make sure there is still a little liquid in the pan.

for the "risotto"  - this is a lot easier than a traditional risotto as you can add all the liquid at once. Of course you can add other ingredients, just as you would with a normal risotto, but I wanted just the simple nutty barley flavour to go with the richness of the guinea fowl and mayonnaise.

1 mug full of pearl barley
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbs light olive oil
1 can button mushrooms
twice the volume of barley in hot stock - I used rich veal stock

Canned mushrooms? Yes, I know - the reason was that I forgot to buy fresh ones and happened to have a can we'd brought home from France, and they were so good that I've decided they should be a feature of this dish.

Heat the oil in a lidded pan and fry the onion gently until soft. Tip in the barley and fry for a further 1-2 minutes, then add the stock and mushrooms and bring to the boil. Cover and cook on a very low heat for around 40 minutes until the barley is tender and all the liquid absorbed.

Season at the end of cooking to avoid toughening the barley.

To serve - place some of the barley on a plate, top with a portion of guinea fowl and spoon over any remaining juice from the pan. Serve the mayonnaise on the side. I added some lightly cooked spring greens.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

SOSS challenge #85 - Beach

It's new challenge day at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers and today Edna's theme for us is Beach.

Image may contain: 1 person, ocean, text and outdoor

I've used a Gruffies stamp to create a beach scene, and added a sentiment I generated on the computer.

I added photo corners to the image to make it look like a holiday snap, but then wondered what to use for a background. I really wanted it to look like real sand. Paper..... sand...... SANDPAPER! Yep, I raided the tool box and found a sheet of unused medium grade sandpaper. It was even worse than glitter card to stick the pieces down on though, I ended up using industrial quantities of Pinflair glue after experimenting with every other adhesive in my (extensive) repertoire. So I don't think sandpaper is going to become a regular feature on my cards, I can't afford that much glue.

Now let's see your beach themed makes, the snarkier the better, and pop over to the Sisterhood to share your makes and give the sistahs some crafty love.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Rudolph Day - May

It's the 25th of the month and that means it's Rudolph Day, when we have the chance to share a Christmas Card (and possibly win a prize) over at Scrappy Mo's.

I've been playing with my Cookie Cutter Christmas stamps and punch again.

Actually the background is one that's been hanging around unused for several months. I made it for another project, and had been intending to use the faux letterpress technique but something went wrong - perhaps I used the wrong kind of ink, I can't recall what exactly I did but it produced a rather pretty background that was all wrong for the project I wanted it for. However, these cute little Eskimos seem happy enough with it, especially now I've blinged it up with a few gems.

As well as the Rudolph Days Challenge I am sharing this with
Addicted to stamps and more - Holiday
Watercooler Wednesday - Christmas

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Curiosity Corner revisited

You may remember that a few years ago I was lucky enough to win the entire Dovecraft Curiosity Corner range when it was first released. I've used up many of the elements but still revisit the items I have left from time to time, and today I set myself the challenge of using them in a very CAS manner. Not a style I would normally associate with the range but it gave me a chance to use some of the smaller snippets of paper I have left.

I've seen umpteen cards of this general style on Pinterest and have had it on my "get round to it" list for a long time. Once I've pinned this, there will be umpteen-and-one...

The butterfly is cut with the old Cuttlebug die, still one of my favourites, and the sentiment comes from Uniko's Flower Power #2 set.

I am sharing this with
The Paper Players - CAS Butterflies
Allsorts - Happy Birthday

A Triple Panel Card

Yesterday the new issue of Quick Cards Made Easy pinged its way into my iPad, and I browsed through it last night and had to use one of the ideas as soon as I got up this morning! It's for a card fold they call a "triple panel card" - although to me that suggests a normal tri-fold card, this is more of a reverse gate fold with an extra fold each side. It's a fold I've often tried to work out for myself, but without a set of suggested measurements I've ended up wasting rather a lot of card. This one worked perfectly first time.

The samples in the magazine are all very feminine but I decided to give my first attempt a much more masculine feel, with a vintage newsprint paper and lots of die cut cogs, and a main image of a penny-farthing bicycle.

I stamped the image and sentiment using a set of steampunk/vintage stamps that Mark bought me a few years ago (sorry, I can't remember the name of the set or manufacturer) then cut and embossed them with a Nesties labels die and, with the image still in the die, sponged all over with Walnut Stain DI, sponging more heavily towards the edges. I wanted to add a brown mat, but I'd cut the image with the largest die from the set, so I created another larger layer by drawing around the outside of the die onto the back of the brown card and cutting it out.

I would like to share this with
Sweet Stampin' - Things that go round (cogs and cycle wheels)
Dies R Us - Shaped cards
Cut it Up - Fun folds
The Male Room - Die Cuts 
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Power of Three #2 - Family Food

I wasn't  sure whether to post today (apart from a scheduled DT post of course) as I was feeling so upset by the events in Manchester. But then, if you change things in any way, the terrorists have won, haven't they, so, shoulders squared, I'm posting anyway. I hope none of my blogging friends and their families were involved. I know that some of my non-blogging friends and their children were, but thankfully they are all safe but very shaken.

Last week I decided to get together all the recipe books that I've never used and cook three recipes from them, one  book at a time, then decide whether they should stay or go. Unfortunately this time I've only cooked one recipe from this book for a couple of reasons which will become clear if you read on.

Today's book is Peter Sidwell's Simply Good Family Food, and I found it incredibly difficult to choose three recipes to cook. For the most part that is because the book simply isn't aimed at experienced cooks like me, it's targeted at parents of young families who may, before the children came along, have lived off ready meals and takeaways and have now decided the time has come to eat "real" food.
This means that many of the dishes in it are familiar ones that I would cook without a recipe - toad in the hole, venison casserole, mussels in beer, melon and mint salad, pumpkin soup, carrot salad....  And also, being aimed at families and with the idea of baking with the kids,  there are lots of cake and biscuit recipes that aren't of much interest to me as a diabetic.
That meant I had a real struggle to find three recipes that I wanted to try, but today I had three bookmarks in place and decided to try the first of them, the only one that really attracted me, Savoury Walnut Shortbread which is on page 103 of the book.
I found the carefully weighed ingredients which included butter, flour, grated parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts, gave me a dough that was far too soft and sticky to handle, so had to add a fair bit of extra flour. The illustration in the book shows quite thin biscuits, yet the instructions said to cut slices 1-2 cm thick ..... 2 cm? That's almost an INCH! These biscuits are meant for serving with cheese -  just imagine trying to get your choppers round a biscuit an inch thick with a chunk of Cheddar on top of it! So I cut them to 1cm, and they still looked too thick to eat with cheese, so I used the prongs of a fork to flatten them and add texture to the surface.
The recipe said to cook for 12 minutes at Gas mark 3, 160C, 325 F - that's a pretty low temperature for baking, and by the end of it even my much-thinner-than-suggested biscuits were nowhere near cooked. In the end it took around 40 minutes to cook them.
They look pretty golden and appetising now, don't they? They are delicious too, with a lovely light, crumbly texture, although despite having lots of toasted walnuts in them there's no walnut flavour at all!

So my overall opinion of the biscuits is "Nice biscuits, shame about the instructions". That means that I really don't fancy trying any of the other recipes in the book so in this case I'm stopping at one and popping the book on the charity shop pile in the hope it will find a home where it is more suited to the occupants!

Your favourite colour combo at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for this week's challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz, and we would like you to use your favourite colour combo. That is, your favourite colour combo for masculine cards - it might be a bit of a challenge making a male card if your favourite combo is shades of pink!

My favourite combo is copper and green. Whenever I am trying out a new medium, ink, paint or colouring tool, the first ones I buy are always copper and green, because then I know I will be able to use them with other things I have at home. I'm still having my "Celtic knotwork revival" campaign, so here is today's card.

The large motif is stencilled using Starlight Metallic Paints from Imagination Crafts. The text panel is stamped using a very old background stamp - I can't remember where I got it - stamped with Versamark ink then brushed with mica pigment powders in copper and green. I tore the edges then smeared glue here and there over the torn areas and applied copper foil.

The background is a sheet of printed paper from my stash - I think it was included in a gift from a craft club many years ago.

I am sharing this with
A Bit More Time To Craft - Anything Goes
Mix it Up - Anything Goes (omitting the optional twist of embossing)
Use Your Stuff - Bohemian Rhapsody

Monday, 22 May 2017

Food and Drink at Ooh La La Creations

Today it's my turn to choose the theme for the challenge at Ooh La La Creations and  I've chosen Food and Drink, so I'd like to see either or both on your work.

I've used a pyramage and backing paper from the CD Yesterday's memories, which is an absolute treasure trove of all things vintage, and is available here.

The embellishments are vinyl peel off stickers from a very old Hot Off The Press kit, stuck on to white card and coloured in to match the image. Although they look almost black on the photo, they are actually a rich chocolatey brown - perfect for the chocolate biscuits our youngster is probably baking!

I am sharing this with Always Fun Challenges - Anything Goes

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Quirky Challenge Mid Month inspiration

We're halfway through this month's challenge at Quirky Crafts, so I'm back to bring you my mid-month inspiration card. Our theme is still "Going for a song" so we want to see something inspired by music, and our sponsors are Ike's Art and Delicious Doodles.

I have used the same Ike's Art image, Windmill, as I did in the original challenge post, but this  time the tune that inspired me is "Tulips from Amsterdam". I blew the image  right up before printing and then fussy cut to leave just the tulips, which I then coloured with Promarkers to match some of the beautiful tulips we had in the garden this year.

Butterflies and Roses

For this card, I've used a paper and die cut decoupage that I think was free with docrafts magazine a year or two ago.

I'm not thrilled with die cut decoupage (which is why it's been hanging around unused) because it never seems to be cut right to the edges and yet  it's almost impossible to trim without spoiling it. I find cutting fiddly decoupage from scratch a lot easier! I did start trying to trim this one but gave up halfway round the first leaf.

I've added a couple of butterflies cut with Spellbinders dies.

I am playing along with the Butterfly Challenge - L for Layers and/or Cream

Never eat yellow snow!

"Never eat yellow snow" - a very wise piece of advice and one that sprang to mind when I saw the new challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown, which is the rather unusual Christmas colour combo of Kraft, gold and yellow. So naturally I had to include yellow snow on my card!

I CASed the layout of this card from one I found in Pinterest when I was searching for inspiration and ideas for using the Stampin Up Cookie Cutter Christmas set. That card was very clean and simple though, whereas mine is packed with colour, texture and bling!

The yellow snow itself is embossed with a Darice folder and the gold layer with a magazine freebie folder. The corrugated Kraft is a snippet of packaging from an olive oil bottle. I've added gold ribbon, die cut pine sprigs and droplet stickers that came in a kit many, many years ago.

I am sharing this with

Christmas Card Throwdown - Kraft, yellow and gold
Holly and Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Candy Cane or Anything Goes
Cardz 4 Galz - Texture
C.R.A.F.T. - Christmas  

Seeing Stars

When I decided to make this card, it triggered off a major search. You see the gold embossed star I wanted to use is one I made with my old Sizzix machine - it must be at least 10 years since I got rid of it, and when I moved on to a Cuttlebug and then Grand Calibur, I found that most of my Sizzix kit wasn't compatible with them. But I knew I still had the star somewhere and had to run out all my stash - it ended up being the very bottom item in the very last box I searched!

I added some starry paper from my snippets box and a star sentiment stamped with a Debbi Moore stamp and edged everything in black to give a very CAS masculine result.

I am sharing this with
The Male Room - Stars
Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine Anything Goes 

Say it With Flowers at CD Sundays

Today at CD Sundays our theme is "Say it with Flowers".

Don't forget that if you play along with our CD Sunday challenges, you MUST include something from a CD. It might be a backing paper, an image or even a tiny embellishment, as long as you tell us what it is and which CD it came from. And it must be from a CD currently in your possession.

The CD I have used has been in my possession for a very long time. I can't remember whether it was a Create and Craft freebie or a challenge win, I've had it for so long. It's a my Craft Studio CD called Click, print, Go! Flawless Florals and Sentiment Toppers and it is a huge and very feminine collection of toppers, sentiments and backing papers.

The topper, sentiment and backing paper are all from the CD. I've given it a vintage look with ribbon, lace, pearls, a doiley and some paper flowers that are actually printed with manuscript.

I am sharing this with Crafty Gals Corner - Add Flowers

Thursday, 18 May 2017

In the pink

A very quick and CAS card from me today.

I dug out this old, old Cuttlebug embossing folder - I think it came with a set of sentiment dies - and added a sentiment stamped onto parchment with Stazon and held in place by two metallic pink dragonfly brads. Job done.

I am sharing this with

Use Your Stuff - metallics  (I hope two brads count as enough metal!)
Addicted to CAS - Pink 
Always Fun - Dry embossing
AAA Cards - Embossing


The Power of Three #1 - Curry Nation

I am a recipe book junkie. I simply can't resist a new cookbook - I have several hundred of them. In fact if I were to use all the recipes I have around the house in books and magazines (let's just forget about the humungous number available online) at the rate of one a day, it would probably take me several thousand years to use them up.

And these books take up space - all the bookshelves in my study are full, with books piled on top and on the floor (OK, not all the books in the study are cookbooks - only about 60% of them), they are crammed into the cupboard under the kitchen sink, my bedside cupboard is full of them and there are probably as many again in the loft.

It's time for action! I'm pretty strict with fiction - once I've read a book (Mark, too, if it's something he would like) then off it goes, passed on to friends, family or a charity shop. But I find it hard to part with a cookbook, even one I've never used.

So I have a plan. I know I have favourite books I turn to time and time again. They have earned their place on my shelves and they are keepers. The rest - well, one by one, I plan to take one I've not cooked from before, make three recipes from it and then decide whether it's a keeper or time to say goodbye.

The first one (because it was on the floor and I stubbed my toe on it) for trial by tastebuds is Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation.

Now,  we both love curries and I have a LOT of curry recipes, yet I seem to turn to the same few time and time again, so this time I decided to try some dishes that were completely new to me. I put together a menu of dished that probably wouldn't be served together - the chaat, in particular, is more of a snack or street food item, but they sounded good together to me!

The menu was

Chana Aloo Chaat (page 14) - Spicy chickpeas, potatoes and beans in a tamarind sauce. I left out the potatoes, so it should really be called Chana Chaat, because I was using potatoes in another dish. This was delicious, easy and could be prepared in advance. I had no chaat masala but there was  a  very good recipe for it in the book.

Chilli Champ (page 28) - Chilli lamb chops, marinated overnight in spices then baked in the oven. These were amazing - I used ordinary supermarket lamb chops and they came out really tender, juicy, succulent and packed with flavour.

Aloo Gobi (page 108) - Cauliflower with potatoes. The recipe suggests deep frying the potatoes and cauliflower before finishing them in the spicy sauce, but I decided to parboil them instead because I was worried that the meal would be too fatty when I served this with the lamb chops. It was a really delicious dish and the potatoes made a very pleasant change from rice with the curry. I was particularly impressed with the addition of the cauliflower leaves and stalks to the sauce, making this a very low-waste dish and adding extra flavour and texture.

Not the most carefully styled of photos, because I only thought about writing all this down just as I was about to tuck in!

Of course I can't share the actual recipes, as they are copyright, but take it from me if you, too, have this book on your shelf, these three dishes are very much worth trying, and if you're thinking about buying a copy, I heartily recommend it.

The meal was a brilliant kitchen clearer too,  as I had half a tin each of chickpeas and red kidney beans in the fridge along with a couple of tomatoes and a third of a cauli that was looking rather tired, and the veg rack contained a red onion that was starting to sprout and a couple of potatoes in the same condition. And it also used a fair number of last year's chillis from the freezer, that all need to be finished before this year's are ready, and gave me something to do with that part-jar of amchoor that was lurking at the back of the cupboard.

I'll be back soon with another Power of Three post, but for now I'm going to pop over to Madhouse Family Reviews and join in the monthly Kitchen Clearout link-up.