Thursday, 17 July 2014

Happy Birthday Card

Good morning. I'm back with a quick birthday card. One to add to my stock pile for when my calendar flashes up a friend's birthday and it's too late to knock one up (why iCal is your default set at one day????? Dozy numpties like me need at least a week's warning)

Mind you, with the bright, cheerful colours going on here, I'd happily pop this card in the post and address it to myself just so that I can see it brighten up my own mantelpiece.

Right I'm off to go and enjoy some of that lovely, if somewhat rare, sunshine today

Monday, 14 July 2014

Digging It: Kohlrabi from Garden to Plate

We've had a lovely weekend entertaining a guest. One of Nick's closest and dearest friends. Whilst the pair of them went off on excursions together, I relaxed at home and made headway with a couple of DIY projects (which I will share when complete). Yes, my normally pristine hands have been sanding, priming and painting. On top of that, my nails have had further insult to injury by being plunged into dirt to harvest these lovelies

Our Kohlrabis were now all grown to the size of tennis balls and in need of harvesting. As you can see, we produced two varieties, purple and green. And because we planted the seedlings all at the same time rather than staggering them, we now have all twenty to eat up in the coming couple of weeks.

Good job I've found plenty of interesting recipes. The first of which we trialled on Saturday. Kohlrabi Fritters.

After peeling and grating them, they are drained of their moisture before adding to a mix of egg and breadcrumbs, plus a few chilli flakes. They are rolled into balls as you can see here

Flattened in a frying pan of hot oil, using a spatula

And voila, delicious, if ever so slightly naughty, fritters. And yes, it's like you've heard from everyone else who's grown their own produce. They do indeed taste better when you've gone from garden to plate. It's the smug self satisfaction that you've successfully grown and harvested organic vegetables and not killed them off or had them snacked upon by slugs and snails first.

Previous to these, my only other gardening success had been growing salad cress in an empty egg shell, decorated and filled with cotton wool. I was about six or seven. Is this a sign that I'm now well into my middle age? :D

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Love You Card

I'm back with another card. Told you the muse was upon me. I'm not even supposed to be making cards at the moment. I have another project or two I should be finishing off first. Oh well, I go where the muse takes me.

It's mainly a die job. I used Lil Inkers stitched rectangles to cut out the multi colour cards. I stuck these down onto a scrap of card and ran the whole thing through a large square Lil Inker's die. I backed onto black card which was run through the largest stitched square die and backed the whole lot onto red cardstock using foam mount. I stamped the sentiment and backed onto more black card which I die cut using Spellbinders scalloped square.

Now if this doesn't brighten up someone's shelf and add a touch of fabulousness, I don't know what will!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Happy Birthday Card

I have a card to share today. I'm still exploring a graphic lead style which incorporates plenty of colour. I can't begin to tell you how joyful crafting has suddenly become.  I even started to introduce colour into my art at the last few classes I attended. The positive emotional effects of colour has really opened my eyes.

Anyway, enough musings. Here's my card

I die cut the triangles out of a rainbow pad of dotted paper and adhered to a piece of card. I trimmed it down and stuck onto the card's base. I added a couple of strips of washi tape to the top and bottom. I then die cut the banner and stamped the sentiment onto it.

Can't wait to sit in my craft room again and make something else. If your mojo has flatlined recently, I encourage you to try lots of bold colour! It may work for you too. I now have a sketchbook full of ideas at the moment lol.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Weekend Wrap

Another weekend been and gone. No Go Karting this time, thankfully. Also no visitors staying. We had family last weekend and for the next, we have an old friend of Nick's. This, however, was a weekend in the middle spent just to ourselves.

So whilst everyone else in the UK entertained themselves with Wimbledon, World Cup, or Tour de France, we spent a mostly sport-free day (however, Sunday was Silverstone's 50th anniversary of holding the F1 - which Nick sat & watched - yawn - cars!!!)

Instead, we took advantage of the sunny weather and summery season to visit a cottage garden we had failed until now, to grace with our presence, The Bluebell Cottage Gardens.

 As we turned into the car park, there was only one car in the parking area and it was leaving. How could this be possible? On a sunny day? In Summer? At the weekend? At Midday? It should be heaving. But what it did mean was that for a wonderful hour, we had the garden to ourselves.

It would be impossible to try and evoke how tranquil the whole setting was. Everything out in bloom, at it's best and attracting butterflies, damselflies and one tabby cat. Sat by the pond, I couldn't have wished for a more perfect surrounding.

Back home, our own garden is in bloom and a couple of new ventures are beginning to bear the fruit of our labours (and when I say our, I mean Nick's). The yellow flower which has popped out this weekend, is from our crop of Spaghetti Squashes,  which were grown from seed earlier this year, transferred to the garden in June and are now flourishing. Later in the year, I'm hoping to have a batch of these rather unique gourds to eat. There are loads of recipes around suggesting them as an alternative to pasta but here in the UK, you can not buy them in the shops. The only way to try them, other than going abroad, is to grow your own.

The other new crop are Kohl Rabis. We've never grown them before and they are now ready for plucking. We have quite a number of them, all the size of tennis balls, to be eaten. They are perfect in salads and I believe some people eat them just like apples. Super healthy too. Hark at me, blogging about health food!!!! Must be sun stroke!

This is more like it don't you think? Sunday was market day and we popped along to a favourite stall and filled a large, bright pink, box with scrumptious Macarons. Salted caramel, Strawberries & Cream, Violet, Lavender and Raspberry are just some of the mouth watering flavours we treated ourselves too.

Who needs sport? I can find much better ways to spend a weekend :D

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Thanks for Everything Card

Hello once more Dear Ones

I put aside some time last night to just play around and guess what? Yes, I made another card. Again, it's bright and colourful. And it proved not to be as easy as I first hoped it might be to piece together. However, having tried it, the next time, I'll go about it differently.

It began life as a Lil Inker Die  - Pieced Chevrons. Now I have to admit to being a tad wasteful and actually cutting out from eight sheets of card, full size. I realise now in hindsight that I should have cut out thin strips and laid them over the die instead. Just wide enough to cut one line of chevrons.

How do I know this? Well although the pieces all look the same shape and size, they aren't. The card doesn't stand up to scrutiny as the pieces didn't always fit back in perfectly.

Well, you live and learn. I have a few more of these background dies to play with, so I could do with fine tuning how I go about using them.

But before I pick up a sheet of card again, I really need to finish off a project I'm currently working on (or should that be playing?), involving wool. And no it isn't knitting. :D

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Quick & Colourful plus a Little Adventure

Just a quick post today - no bells and whistles, showing a card I made whilst the web was down temporarily this morning (something to do with BT Broadband)

I sponged two colours of Distress Ink onto watercolour paper, Picked Raspberry (which I always read as Pickled Raspberry) and Salty Ocean. I used a stitched Lil Inkers Die to cut it out. I then used another die to cut out the sentiment in yellow card. I backed it all onto a glittery green base and stuck the whole lot onto red card.

Oh, I almost forgot. Though I'm not posting about it as regularly, I'm still incorporating Adventure into my life and yesterday I attended something for the first time which Nick had arranged. It's an adventure I would never dream of doing - Go Karting! At an indoor centre in Manchester called Karting 2000.

(Not a photo we took. It's from their website)

Up front I'll say I'm happy to have tried it once but it really, REALLY wasn't my thing. Nick had a great time, which makes me more than happy enough to have attended. But I am not the most ambitious person when it comes to speed. I even have little old ladies overtake me on the motorway.

For 15-20 minutes, I stayed in the left hand side, pootling along at the slowest speed possible, cringing whenever I hit a tight bend. Everyone else happily squealed their tyres, threw themselves round the course and overtook me, many, many times. Oh and the noise! Those karts don't half make a racket. I was relieved when the chequered flag was waved to indicate the end. I am so glad there weren't any photos taken of me in shabby overalls, complete with a hair net and racing helmet, gagging on the taste of petrol that seemed to be permanently in my mouth.

If I hadn't come across exactly as a petrol-head to Nick before, then I think it sunk in afterwards. Boxing, I can do. Boys' toys, I don't. My normally pristine palms, had blisters. I was in danger of developing callouses!!! I couldn't wait to go home, run a bath, add lots of smelly salts and wash any evidence away that I had been near oil and grease.

Today, inking up a card in bright colours, I feel more at home.