Saturday, 22 November 2014

CAS(E) this Sketch 101 Card

Hi there lovelies

I've made a card for the latest CAS(E) this Sketch! Challenge. I know! Where would I be if it wasn't for the gift of these online challenges? Without them, I just sit at my desk, awash with possibilities and making nothing. I've certainly learnt that creatively, I like to have restrictions. It gives me a jumping off point. Whether it's a colour palette, a theme or a sketch, I like that little push it gives.

Back to CTS, the sketch this time around, looks like this...

And I came up with this...

Clean & simple and it makes me happy!

In the meantime, the festive season will soon be upon us and much as I'm loathe to have to think of it yet, I need to start planning. Each year, I design my own cards and print them out. With that in mind, I've been coming up with some yuletide images. Hopefully I'll have them finished by the time of my next post and I'll share what I've come up with.

Enjoy your weekend

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A Birthday Card for the Graphically Inclined

Hi There Lovelies

Let's not waffle today. I made a card. Here it is...

It's graphic, it's blue, it's pink!!! It's going to be noticed.

You can throw away all your other cards, they will pale by comparison and quite simply aren't worthy. Just keep this one displayed on your shelf and admire!

Don't cha just love a bit of arrogance on a Sunday morning? lol

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A Card & A Trip to London

Hello again my lovelies

I've blown the dust off my inks recently and started to re-educate myself on how to stamp. Or rather, how to stamp successfully. I'd all but forgotten that there was a knack to it. Mind you, I recently flicked through a craft magazine and all the projects had appalling stamped images. Lots of missing patches of ink. I don't rate myself as being that proficient at it but a blindfolded chimp could do better than this mag's contributions. No wonder the publishing industry is having problems. I am subscribed to blogs which showcase crafters who are so brilliant, it makes me want to weep into my stash. And I can get that humiliation for free. I foolishly paid cold hard cash to see badly executed stamping.

Oops, slap hand and remind myself not to be such a grumpy sod - It's like that old joke goes - you know the one - "Oh you have a blog? And what do you complain about?"

So why don't I zip it shut and show you the card I made and let you all rain down a thousand judgements upon me instead lol

Since my last post, I've been out and about meeting friends and strangers and pretty much enjoying the aspect of being busy and doing nothing.

In the spirit of this year's "word"  - Adventure - I took a trip to London to meet up with my talented artist friend  - Richard Pettitt (Quick promotion! If you're looking for a beautiful Christmas Gift for someone and they have a pet - dog or cat - send Richard a photo and have him produce a gorgeous drawing from it - his website's here! - he did my cat a while back and it's stunning).

Anyway, when I met up with him - I dragged him off to the 02 to have him (and myself) strapped into a harness (which was as tight around the crotch as you could imagine, before ascending the outside of the dome on a rubber treadway.

Here we both are on the viewing platform at the top where we were treated to a 360 degree view of London.

Once we descended, we hopped off to the Tower of London to take a quick look at the ceramic poppies - not that we could see many as there was a hee-yooge crowd obstructing the view.

I think that, as I type, they are now being removed. So I was pleased to have seen them whilst they were still installed. I can't add anything to what has already been said by everyone else who has seen them. They were, as my American chums would say, awesome!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Birthday Card for the Out of Practise

Hello My Lovelies

I have rather fallen out of the practise with crafting recently (& blogging, to be honest). I made a couple of cards the other day and only one is acceptable enough to show. And that's only just scraping by.

Plus either my eyesight is bad or the photo I took isn't as sharp as it could be

Shows what happens when you go rusty

Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween from a Scary Day Challenge

Hello Lovelies

Away from the world of craft, I take part in a small business forum and we have all been given a Scary Day challenge to be completed on Halloween. Mine was to come up with vectors suitable for this funtastically spooky day.

And here's what I have come up with.

Three terrifying Jack O'Lanterns.

And just to play, I cobbled together a digital card to celebrate this most hallowed of eves.

I will, of course, be hiding under the bedsheets until the morning!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Making Cards & Chutneys

Hello my lovely friends

I pulled out all my stash today, full of ideas for making a card. It was going to be something with bells, whistles and extra special icing on top. I was going to stretch taut every creative sinew I have.


I fell in love with a much simpler design.

It all started with great intentions. I took some wood veneer and die cut it using a Chat Bubble shape and then a Heart. I backed the result with a small piece of red card. All well and good. So I rifled through my cardstock and selected a pale blue number to trim and fold. I laid my chat bubble on top to stimulate ideas for what to do next.

And guess what? I fell at the first hurdle cos I loved it and I couldn't add anything else. I tried, but all my efforts detracted from the strong design already there.

I gave in. This was the card and how it was going to be. It was finished, whether I accepted it or not.

In other news. That mush which has been boiling away in the kitchen has just been jarred.

All our Mostarda Di Vencentino requires now are the labels. They've been ordered and are in the postal system winging their way to us. I'll design the labels on computer once I know their size, print them out and that's our quinces ready to give away.

Is it just me or does Autumn make you feel more creative and productive?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Scrapping and not Scrapping

Hello my lovelies

It's a bit of a hodge podge of stuff to share today. First of all, if you follow me on Facebook you'll have already seen a photo of me that even I will concede, never thought would happen. Me scrapping. No not scrapbooking scrapping. Proper scrapping scrapping.

Yes that's me and my personal boxing coach and fitness instructor. Once a month, Nick & I don gloves and learn how to box and exercise. The very first time Dave instructed me to hit his pads, he barely could tell. A housefly, punching out of a wet paper bag, had more force behind it. Nowadays, I'm not the next Rocky but I can confidently land a punch.

As for the other kind of scrapping. The crafty type. Well scrapbooking is dying and breathing its last gasps. One day, it may have a retro appeal again. Look at baking and knitting these days. But we take more photos as a digital nation and scrapbooking can't keep up. Something new came along a few years ago and has taken its place.

Yes friends, I too have given up scrapbooking and taken up Pocket Pages.

And yes I know that a lot of scrapbookers make creative pages out of the pocket set up. But it has always felt to me like the emperor's new clothes. To me it's a photo album, not too dissimilar to the kind my parents kept.

As you can see, my preference is to take a monthly approach to my album and add photos which help trigger memories of what Nick & I got up to. There are no stories. I'm not interested in telling stories in my album. It's an aide memoire, a brief overview. We'll look over it in months and years to come and it'll trigger the memories we have no matter how faded or incorrect they may be.

So yes I've kissed goodbye to scrapping and embraced keeping a photo album.

Finally, T'is the Season, not be harvest. It's Autumn!

Finally, we have harvested our Spaghetti squashes. I really only thought we'd have a handful. We ended up with 23 and they're all whoppers. The reason we grew spaghetti squashes was because I have seen lots of tempting recipes but you simply can't buy them in the UK. The only way to get our hands on them is to buy seeds and put the ol' green fingers to work.

And that's not all we've harvested this week.

Our Quince tree has produced a bountiful supply of fruit this year. The above is just a fraction of the pickings. At the moment there are two large pans on the kitchen hob with boiling quince mush in them. The problem with quince is the lack of variety in what you can do with them. So for the umpteenth year running, Nick is making Mostardo Vincentina, a sort of chutney. It's utterly delish and good job too as there are jars and jars of it in our cellar. A lot of them Nick gives away as gifts. Friends and family come back for more, that and his homemade sloe gin.

So yes, this week has felt particularly like Autumn has arrived. Are you harvesting at the moment too? Or are you reaching to the back of your cupboards for an out-of-date tin of fruit to gift to your local harvest festival?