Wednesday 31 October 2012

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #178

It’s pouring with rain and blowing a gale, but the kitchen window is wide open so we don’t choke to death on fixative fumes! I’m sure it used to smell of pear drops. The table has been taken over by my son, while he works on some pieces for his GCSE sketchbook.


They seemed appropriate for this Halloween desk sharing and it seemed only fair that I should show you something of his after sharing one of my daughter’s creations on Monday. Old fashioned paper and pencil for him rather than a fancy graphics tablet.

You may notice that my fruit bowl is missing. I thought it sensible to remove it while we sprayed noxious chemicals around the place!

Happy Halloween to you all.

P.S. See yesterday’s post, if you might be interested in learning, along with me, how to make a patchwork block using the English paper piecing method.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Teal Flower Garden Block

I hadn’t planned to post today so forgive me if this is just a stream of consciousness.

Ever since I read about Jo’s idea to make a quilt, I’ve been mulling it over and trying to decide what kind of block to make. It must measure 6” x 6” and include some of this Moda Vintage Modern fabric. Teal is the colour that represents ovarian cancer.

I was browsing through Google Reader, on my phone this afternoon, while waiting for the fairy cakes my daughter had made to bake. I read Deb’s post which got me thinking about the quilt again and then this post showing some cute little hexagons.

I had already been considering hand stitching and that decided me. I contacted Hadley, to ask if she had any advice on paper piecing hexies and she kindly replied with lots of helpful tips. I may have ordered a book as well.

Deb had said that her Mom loved daisies. I thought about the design on a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt and decided that would be the basis of my block. My colour scheme will be teal/blue, white, yellow and grey.

I’ve picked out some possible fabrics, which I think will work well together and go with the Moda fabric. I’ll wait to receive the piece from Jo before I make my final decision. I’m really excited about getting started with this project now.

My tentative plan is to post every Tuesday with the progress I have made and share my processes, along with links to anything I’ve found helpful. Anyone fancy joining me in a sort of mini quilt-a-long?

Monday 29 October 2012

Hello Monday, Hello Half term

Ella chibi thingy because Charley is too sad

Hello creativity….my girl will be busy drawing lots of her chibi characters.

Hello patience….I’ll be sharing my laptop with her while she does it!

Hello experimenting….with transfer paper, to put these designs onto T-shirts.

Hello confidence….in my card making abilities, after being a Favo{u}rite of the Week on Split Coast Stampers.

Hello relaxation….time spent together to recharge, after a busy half term at school.

Is it a week off for the children where you live, or have you just gone back like some of my friends in other parts of the UK?

Saturday 27 October 2012

Stampin’ Up Saturday ~ Mixed Bunch Bag

I held my second paper craft class on Wednesday and this is what we made.


A set of mini cards using Mixed Bunch stamps and the matching Blossom punch….


….and a holder to keep them in cut with the Labels framelits dies.


A colour combination of Calypso Coral, Pool Party and a splash of Lucky Limeade. I think it would make a sweet gift. I’m happy to post a tutorial, if anyone is interested.

If you would like more information on the products used, or a catalogue sent to you, please contact me at angelfishcrafts{at}gmail{dot}com

PS For those wanting to know, the tin on my table on Wednesday says, ‘Chocolate is my weakness’ and the lime green design is not printed on fabric, but a bag for life.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #177

It’s looking much the same as last week around here, with the kitchen table piled up with everything I took to class this morning. Although I took this when I got home.


A few changes: my platypus key ring, a tin to return to my lovely cake baking friend and right in the middle, the project we made today. More on that this Saturday.

Keeping it brief as per Julia’s instructions. I’ll be round to visit tomorrow.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

When the Torch Came to Town

I like the idea of Wordless Wednesday, but I (almost) always blog the contents of my desk on that day.


Here’s a photo for today with (almost) no words.

Monday 22 October 2012

Hello Monday….

Hello routines….being altered to fit my new commitments.

Hello punching….a whole host of shapes to assemble into tags.

Hello renewal….of friendships that began over 40 years ago.

Hello appointments….for bloods, ears, eyes and new meds.

Hello countdown….to half term, which we are all looking forward to.

Sunday 21 October 2012

A Little Reminder

You may remember that during Blogtoberfest last year, I pledged to send a piece of mail every week for a year. For the most part I did that. A few weeks I missed and made up for it, by sending two or more during another week.

52 Weeks of Mail began its second year on the 8th of October and I’m joining in again. How about you?

Saturday 20 October 2012

Stampin’ Up Saturday ~ {Almost} Monochrome

A simple card from me today, for some very old family friends, who are celebrating fifty years of marriage this weekend. It’s going to be a great party!


I’ve embossed the background with the Lacy Brocade folder and mounted it on the same Very Vanilla cardstock. I like this tone on tone effect for simple cards.

I stamped the sentiment panel using Memorable Moments, which is brilliant for customising both anniversary and birthday cards.

To finish it off I cut Brushed Gold with the Label Framelits to back the stamped panel, added some pearls and mounted with foam pads to lift it from the background.

If you need any extra information you can find me at angelfishcrafts{at}gmail{dot}com

Short and sweet today, because I’m off on a five hour road trip with my Mum and Brother to deliver this card in person. Can’t wait to see them. It’s been a while.

Friday 19 October 2012

Friday Finds ~ Recipe Binder

Following on from last week’s batch cooking post, here are some handy printable pages, to record all your recipes, ready to put into a binder.

These are from Wild Olive where you can find all manner of printables, including these cute thread bobbins….

….and this design to print on sticky notes.

Go check out her blog, it’s well worth a browse.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a very quick Stampin’ Up Saturday.

Thursday 18 October 2012

I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

So said my daughter before she left for school this morning and I aim to please.


Per person you will need:

  • a nice plump chicken breast
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Rub the paprika over the chicken and wrap with bacon rashers, place in an oiled baking tin and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in the oven at 180 for approx. 25 minutes.


I served the chicken with roasted new potatoes. Cut in half, toss in olive oil and place flat side down in a griddle pan. Cook for about 5 minutes.


Place in a roasting tin, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and put in the oven with the chicken. By griddling first they take the same time to cook.

Add some seasonal veg to complete the meal.

My recipe is adapted from this one. When I tried it, I found that the chicken strips  were cooked through before the bacon had crisped up so I leave mine whole. I also changed the spice and use less sugar and oil.

PS I know the bacon doesn’t look very crispy in the picture, but that’s because I photographed them half way through cooking. I tend to forget when I’m dishing up!

Wednesday 17 October 2012

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday ~ 176

I didn’t work at my own desk today. This was what my kitchen table looked like this morning, before I packed everything into the car.


I went to the local Arts Centre and taught my first ever paper craft class. We made two different card designs and two gift boxes, in different colours, to match them.


My sweet girl made this cute Good Luck card for me, before she went off to school…


…and my lovely friend brought this delicious cake along for us to share.


I got to bring the leftover portion home. All in all a very good day.

To see what everyone else has been up to head over to Julia’s place.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

A Friendship Quilt Across the Miles

Jo from Curly Scrapbooker has had a wonderful idea to celebrate the life of Deb’s Mom Marti, who lost her fight with ovarian cancer last week.

I will be joining her and many other blog friends around the world, to create a beautiful quilt for Deb. If you are thinking of making a block for this lovely project then you might find some of my posts from earlier this year helpful.

Every Friday throughout February I posted a variety of quilting links. This one in particular, which has links to five of my favourite block tutorials, may be useful.

Thankyou Jo, I’m really looking forward to making something so meaningful.

Monday 15 October 2012

Hello Monday, Hello Blue Skies….

….a welcome sight after the torrential downpours last week.


Hello resolution….long overdue, for an incident at school that should have been handled far better than it was.

Hello new recipes….to get me out of my cooking rut.

Hello ruthlessness….the clutter must go and it isn’t happening fast enough.

Hello nervous excitement….for my first card making class on Wednesday.

What’s happening in your corner of the world this week?

Sunday 14 October 2012

Stampin’ Up Sunday ~ Monochrome

The scripty background stamp I used last week was popular with a lot of my commenters, so I thought I’d ink it up again for today’s thankyou card.


I went monochrome, which is not something I do very often, but I like the effect here. With a different sentiment, I think this would make a lovely sympathy card.

  • Everything Eleanor stamp set
  • En Francais background stamp
  • Curly Cute sentiment stamp set
  • Naturals Ivory cardstock
  • Crumb Cake ink
  • Soft Suede ink

If you’d like more information on any of the products, you can find me at angelfishcrafts{at}gmail{dot}com

On my to do list this week I have a 50th anniversary card and a birthday card for my father in law. I hope to be sharing those next Saturday.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Truncating and Scraping

I hadn’t heard of either of these terms until this morning, when I was doing a bit of research into something that I have noticed becoming more common recently. Quite a few blogs that I follow no longer show the full post in Google Reader. I must admit I find this quite irritating. I have always assumed that it is done to make you click through to their blog, but it would seem that is not necessarily the case.

Apparently there are people out there who will steal your blog content and post it as their own. I don’t mean the odd stolen image or a project copied and posted without proper credit. I’m talking about whole pages reposted without the owner’s knowledge. This article from Between Naps on the Porch explains it all much better than I could and has lots of useful links.

Apologies if you are visiting for Stampin’ Up Saturday. I’ve had a slight technical hitch, otherwise known as a lost card reader. I’m hoping to be here with Stampin’ Up Sunday instead this week.


It seems strange to post without a photo so, although it has absolutely nothing to do with the subject, here’s what I’ll be cooking for breakfast tomorrow.

Friday 12 October 2012

Friday Finds ~ Batch Cooking

It’s that time of year when I like to feed my family on casseroles and other such warming fare. I came across this system back in the summer at Ring Around The Rosies and it lends itself perfectly to that style of cooking. I’m going to give it a go next week and I thought you might like it too.

  • Plan your meals for the week ahead
  • Buy everything you need
  • Prepare the ingredients
  • Place in freezer bags
  • Seal and Label
  • Freeze

All your meals for a week could be prepared in a morning, or a selection of meals ready and waiting in the freezer for your busiest days. The post includes several recipes. Just remove the bags required from the freezer in the evening and empty into the slow cooker (crockpot) the following morning. How simple is that?

Because I am at home most days and have the time to cook from scratch, I have never invested in a slow cooker. Any recommendations?

Thursday 11 October 2012

Because I am a girl

Today is the first ever International Day of the Girl.


Here is my girl daydreaming in the sunshine…..


…..and dressed for her first day at secondary school.

Not all girls are so lucky.

‘Globally, one in three girls is denied a secondary education by the daily realities of poverty, discrimination and violence. Every day, young girls are forced into marriage, isolated from their friends and subjected to abuse.

Yet, with education, skills and support, girls can choose their own future and be a force for change. Plan’s 75 years of experience has shown us that educated girls are likely to be healthier, to earn more, and to marry and have children later. An educated girl is more likely to reinvest her knowledge and income into her family and community.’

You can help. Join the Plan to help millions more girls complete their education.

Take a minute of your time today to sign this petition to prevent girls from being forgotten. If you’re a scrapbooker, then perhaps you’d like to sign up for one of Shimelle’s classes, or gift one to a friend if you’ve taken them all already. 100% of the class fees for today’s registrations will be donated to Plan’s Girls’ Fund.

Please help if you can. Don’t all girls deserve the chances that our own have?

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Simple Sausage Casserole

Another favourite in our house and so easy to make.


Sausage casserole

one large onion, sliced

one tin chopped tomatoes

one tin baked beans

1-2 tbsp worcester sauce

8 sausages

Fry the onion until soft and golden brown.

Add the tomatoes and allow to bubble for a few minutes.

Stir in the baked beans and worcester sauce.

Simmer gently for 20 minutes while you cook the sausages.

Cut the sausages into pieces and add to the tomato sauce.

Simple. I prefer to cook the sausages separately, because it cuts down on the fat content. I serve with either jacket potatoes and broccoli or (as tonight) creamy mash and tenderheart cabbage.

A friend mentioned on Facebook that she was having Parsnip, apple and chilli soup for her lunch and I asked for a recipe. She had bought it from a local sandwich shop so I am going to have a go at making my own. Back to the chopping board for me.

Monday 8 October 2012

Damp in Derbyshire

I had a post all prepared for the August Month in Numbers and when my laptop went down I never got to hit publish. I also took part in Rinda’s Photo Scavenger Hunt during the Summer and missed the deadline for that for the same reason.

I’m sharing a few photos from each today.


Seven nights spent sleeping under the stars in a cosy yurt…..


…..with these guys/gals for neighbours.


Enjoying beautiful houses like those at Biddulph Grange Garden…..


…..and Lyme Park.


Making the most of the sunshine…..


…..and laughing off the rain (on Alexa’s bridge).


Exploring deep underground…..


…..and high on hilltops.


Stopping to smell the roses…..


…..and being grateful for that woodburner!

Thankyou Derbyshire for a wonderful week, despite all the weather threw at us.

Sunday 7 October 2012

Storytelling Sunday ~ Here Come the Girls

It’s the first Sunday of the month and time to share our memories/stories. Sian suggested a theme of Let’s Dress Up! for this month which gave me plenty of choice.


Dressing up was something I did a lot of during my student days and usually in the fine company of these two gorgeous girls. Wednesday was college night at Sam’s, the local nightclub, which usually involved some theme or other and we were only too happy to oblige.

I think on this occasion it was punks and rockers. The black was not a problem as, along with purple, it was the mainstay of my wardrobe at the time. The make up would have been borrowed, because I never wore it and still don’t very often. The photo was taken in the kitchen of of our student house.


Here we are again, almost 23 years on, outside the (now closed) nightclub. We stopped an old chap on his way to the pub and he eventually (after many patient explanations) managed to snap this for us. We’ve switched positions and I’m on the left here, instead of in the middle as above and purple still features in my wardrobe.

For more words and pictures head over to From High in the Sky.

Saturday 6 October 2012

Stampin’ Up Saturday ~ Beautiful Wings

It’s no secret that I have a bit of a thing for butterflies on my cards. The Beautiful Wings Embosslit die from Stampin’ Up cuts and embosses in one simple step and gives you five butterflies in varying sizes. Perfect for card making and scrapbooking.


Here I’ve used the two plain butterflies as a finishing touch on a ‘Just Because’ card, which has a Mixed Bunch flower stamp as its focal point. The background is stamped with the lovely script of En Francais.


This birthday card uses the largest butterfly on a background embossed with the Lacy Brocade folder. I also used a stamp from Everything Eleanor to frame the butterfly and stop it from ‘floating’ on the background.


Finally the spotted and striped butterflies were just what I needed to add to this simple card for my inlaws, who down sized recently. I kept the same colour scheme of Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzazz and Blushing Bride throughout.

Our brand new catalogue launched earlier this week and it can be viewed online here. If you would like a paper copy or are interested in any of the products I used here then you can contact me at angelfishcrafts{at}gmail{dot}com. I’d love to hear from you.

Friday 5 October 2012

Friday Finds ~ Little Owls

Owls seem to be everywhere at the moment. Here are a couple of my favourites.

A sweet little hair slide from Ysolda…..

…..adapted from this gorgeous knitting pattern by Kate Davies Designs.

I’ll be back tomorrow to share the three cards that were in progress, on the kitchen table, on Wednesday. Hope to see you then.

Thursday 4 October 2012

A Thought for Thursday

Part two of an occasional series.


Never try to multi task while you have a Distress Inkpad in your hand.

Part one can be found here.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #174

It’s been a while since I took part in this. My kitchen table has been busy, but I’ve been without a laptop and although I’m sure it’s possible to blog from my phone I have absolutely no idea how!


I’ve been working on a few cards this afternoon and I’ll be sharing them on Saturday. The black and orange tag in the box is something I made last week for a swap. Here’s a closer look. I love a bit of heat embossing, still seems like magic to me.


That’s it from me. Head on over to Julia’s place for more arty crafty work spaces.