Wednesday 31 July 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #217

Hello from a rather damp Dorset today. The school holidays are a week old now and we have been enjoying glorious sunshine for the most part. The change in the weather gives us a chance to spend some time indoors being creative.


My girl chose textiles as one of her design taster subjects last year. She went in full of enthusiasm and came out feeling very frustrated. I’m aiming to redress the balance over the next few weeks. We started with a headband cut from an old dress.


She did a great job of sewing the slightly curved seams and turning it inside out. When it came to adding the elastic we didn’t have the right width (isn’t that always the way!) so we moved onto a bit of hand sewing. She drew out a pattern onto card, before cutting the felt. Anyone recognise the Studio Ghibli character?


I made the most of having the sewing machine out, to sew up the pieces of my purse. Just the scary gluing part to do now. More on this project another day.

I’m off to Julia’s Place to link up and see what everyone has been doing this week. Care to join us?

Sunday 28 July 2013

A Mixed Bag

I taught my last class of the Summer term last week and we made a little treat box, which I shared a sneak peek of on Wednesday.


It’s a very simple box, scored and folded from a rectangle, with a few bits cut away to form the tabs and lid. Covered with a doily and fastened with a piece of bakers twine, held in place by a cluster of stamped and punched embellishments.


Sticking with that colour scheme we tried our hand at Triple Stamping. The card looks complicated, but it really isn’t. Cutting the cardstock mats is a bit time consuming, but once that is done, the whole thing comes together very easily.


Rather than everyone having to queue up, to use the same stamps, I cut kits in two different colour schemes and everyone got to make both over the course of the class. It was a lot of cutting for me, but well worth the end results for everyone.

This is a great design/technique if you are a beginner stamper with only a couple of stamps and ink colours. I’ve used two (from the same set) in both these examples, but it could be done with just one stamp, if that’s what you happen to have on hand. It would look very striking in black and white. Why not give it a go.

Friday 26 July 2013

Friday Finds ~ Summer Scavenger Hunt 2013 #5

I’ve been looking up at the sky…..


…..a lot…..


in the hope of spotting just the right cloud formation.


Of course, it appears when you least expect it and by the time you’ve dashed for your camera, that amazing dragon is already drifting away. Better luck next time!

Find the whole Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list over at Rinda’s place. There’s still plenty of time to join in. If you’re already playing along already, have you spotted that perfect cloud yet?

Tuesday 23 July 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #216

Last class of the Summer term this morning. We’re trying triple stamping this week. I cut everything in advance so that we can concentrate on the technique in hand. Each card has five layers of white and coloured mats. That’s a lot of cutting!


As well as the cards, we’ll be making a favour/treat box. I think it’s a good basic skill to have and can be adapted to fit whatever you’re giving. Want a little peek?


Sneaks of the two cards can be found on my Facebook page Angelfish Crafts. If you’re in the North Dorset (or South West Wiltshire) area and fancy joining me for some paper crafting fun, you’d be most welcome. Classes start again in Mere on September 10th and in Shaftesbury on September 25th. I’d love to see you there.

Now run on over to Julia’s place to see what everyone else has been up to this week and I’ll see you when I get back this afternoon.

Friday 19 July 2013

Friday Finds ~ Summer Scavenger Hunt 2013 #4

Today I have a couple more shots taken on our recent visit to Stourhead.


Ariadne in the grotto. ‘Nymph of the grot, these sacred springs I keep, and to the murmur of these waters sleep. Ah, spare my slumbers, gently tread the cave, and drink in silence or in silence lave.’


A mallard beside the lake. Contenders for somebody or something taking a nap.

Short and sweet this week. There has not been much getting out and about, with the pollen levels being so very high at the moment. In the house, with the windows shut, is the best place for my boy right now. I’m hoping for a trip out next week.

Have a lovely weekend, whatever you are doing.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #215

I should probably rename these weekly sneaks at my work space. “What’s on your kitchen table Tuesday?” Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though.


This is what was happening yesterday morning. I need a bunch of Thank you cards, so I’m taking one of the designs from last week’s class and running with it.


Embossing, stamping, die-cutting, paper piercing, inked edges. It’s all there. A touch of kraft and that script stamp. They get in everywhere. Originally, I just had the three colours in mind, but when I put it together it was lacking something, in my eyes. I added that tiny flower in blue instead of cream or kraft and it works for me.

The card I was fiddling with last week got finished in time. I know there’s not much time for clicking on links on Wednesdays, but if you’re so inclined, it’s here.

I’m joining Julia and all the other deskers today. How about you?

Monday 15 July 2013

Salad Days and Curry Nights

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be stood over the stove for too long on hot evenings. When we have a run of good weather, that can pose a problem. There is only so much salad I can serve up, before I have a mutiny on my hands! This curry from The Hairy Dieters book is lovely and fresh and cooks very quickly.


I’ve adapted it to feed 4 people. They are generous portions so it would feed 2 adults and 3 children. In the book the sauce is thickened with cornflour, but I prefer not to.

Coconut Prawn Curry

4 tbsp medium curry paste

2 tbsp cold water

1 large onion, very finely sliced

1 orange & 1 yellow pepper

2 tbsp mango chutney

500g vine ripened tomatoes

400ml tin half fat coconut milk

300g cooked king prawns

200g baby spinach leaves

Put the curry paste in a large pan and mix in the water. Gently soften the onion for 5 minutes, then add the peppers (chopped in large chunks) for a few more minutes.

Add the tomatoes (cut into 6-8 wedges) mango chutney and stir in the coconut milk. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.*

Add the prawns and baby spinach. Continue to simmer gently for another 5 minutes.

I serve with basmati rice and sometimes forget to put it on soon enough. The curry is done in just under 20 minutes. Perfect for these sunny days we’re having.

I spent the morning trainer shopping, with a boy who has suddenly become very fussy about his footwear. Time for an ice cold drink and a catch up with The White Queen, before I get too far behind. Anyone else watching?

*If you want to thicken the sauce add your cornflour paste at this point.





Saturday 13 July 2013

Grab Your Greetings

What a glorious day it has been, here in Dorset. Too nice to be crafting inside so I’m recycling some previously made projects, to show you a few different cards using the same set of sentiment stamps.

P1020852First up, the card that I was part way through making, when I shared my work space earlier in the week. Several layers to this one, with punched flowers and embossing.


Something much simpler, for when you are in a hurry.


There are quite a few stamps in the set that work well for this style of card . Repeating a motif and then putting the sentiment in the last empty square.

A simple card for the December production line. Note my avoidance of the ‘C’ word! A good set of sentiment stamps is a must for any card maker I think.

I’ll be back on Monday with a recipe for a simple curry. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday 12 July 2013

Friday Finds ~ Summer Scavenger Hunt 2013 #3

There was only ever one item on the list that would feature today.




17. Candles

Happy Birthday to my boy. Sixteen today. Where did those years go?

Find the complete Scavenger Hunt list on Rinda’s blog.

PS I realised too late that my camera was still set to macro!

Wednesday 10 July 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #214

This was the state of play yesterday afternoon. Putting together the last of my samples for this morning’s class.


At this point I was deciding which other colours to use.


I went for yellow behind the frame and ivory for the card blank.

Very quick from me today. I’ve got to load the car and then I’ll be off. Head on over to Julia’s place and see what everyone else has been up to this week.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Storytelling Sunday 3 ~ The Matchbox

It’s the first Sunday of the month and that can only mean one thing. In Sian’s own words:

Storytelling Sunday Three? There is no excuse for not joining in with this one! Everyone can do it. Pick Your Precious is about celebrating the little things you love: those souvenirs, bits and pieces, things from your past you can't bear to throw out. You know, the special little something you have tucked away in a drawer or up on a shelf? Or the thing you love most in a room? Or the object you would save if you knew you had to leave the country? Your favourite things.

Sian had suggested a theme of travel for July, but, for me, the first week in July is all about Wimbledon and the Gold Hill fair. I’ve used both of these as a subject for Storytelling Sunday before. What else? The School Summer Fete and something that came to mind, while taking part in The Great Big Swap of Small Things.


I was fairly sure I still had this prize winning matchbox tucked away somewhere. Thankfully it didn’t take long to find, in our incredibly hot attic, this afternoon. Carefully labelled by my 8 year old hand and filled with a multitude of very small things indeed. The competition being who could fit the most items inside the box.


The accompanying list has long since disappeared, but I know there were 100 items on it. That was my aim, when I started to fill it. My Dad said I’d never do it, so of course that made me all the more determined. Each one had to be different.

The largest things include a patch, from my puncture repair kit, and a raffle ticket. Among the smallest are a seed bead and a tiny button from Action Girl’s clothes. There are pieces of elastic, lace, fabric, tissue, cellophane and thread. A pin, needle, popper, hook and eye, staple and paper clip.

The dust cap from my bike tyre and an apple pip. Sindy’s fork and a piece from an Airfix kit. I wonder if my brother missed that last one? A spare brush from one of our Scalextric cars and a strip of ammunition from my cap gun. As I put them all back in the box, they conjured up many memories from my childhood.

When I first looked at the photo, I noticed the ivory coloured thing nestling in the middle and for one horrible moment I thought it was a tooth. It’s not. I can no longer recall what my prize was, but more than likely a book token, probably for the princely some of a pound. I would have been delighted with that.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and commenting on the other 26 stories (so far) between games in this afternoon’s epic Wimbledon final. The perfect way to ease the tension. Find them all over at Sian’s place From High in the Sky.

PS If you’re one of the winners from my giveaway, please could you let me have your address and colour choices as soon as possible. Thank you.

Friday 5 July 2013

Friday Finds ~ Summer Scavenger Hunt 2013 #2

I took a trip to Shaftesbury, this afternoon, with a couple of items on the list in mind.

P10208143. City Hall, Capitol, or other similar civic building

Their town hall is rather prettier than ours and there was a craft fair on. With stalls outside as well as in, although I’m not counting it as my open air market.


2. Theatre for performing arts

I teach my paper crafting class, in an upstairs room, at this lovely little arts centre. The Summer show is Dad’s Army, directed by my old infant teacher.


18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop

Not my most local cafe, but one I visit occasionally to meet a good friend. My claim to fame is meeting Angellica Bell, in the doorway, when she was filming here for the One Show last year.


This could be a contender for something out of place, or an unintentionally funny sign. Having a sign pointing to the German municipality of Lindlar, in the middle of a Dorset town seems slightly out of place, unless you know they are twinned.


15. A fire truck or police car

I had a lucky break and spotted a policeman parking his car, while manoeuvring my own. I whipped out my camera, while it was unoccupied. It is now an offence (since 2009) to take a photograph of a police officer on duty so I thought I’d best be quick.

That’s it for this week. I will probably capture another cafe, closer to home, and I have something in mind for the funny sign. These will be the final shots for numbers 2, 3 and 15 I imagine. That’s another 3 off the list. It’s going well so far.

Hope to see you again tomorrow evening for Stampin’ Up Saturday. If journalling (never sure if that should be one ‘l’ or two!) or ‘Smashing’ is your thing, then you might want to stop by for a special offer on some lovely new products. Just sayin’.

Thursday 4 July 2013

My Month in Numbers ~ June 2013

I didn’t do much counting in April and May, but June proved to be a very good month for numbers so I’m joining in again. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then go check out Julie’s blog, where you’ll find all the information you need.

It began on the very first day of the month, when I drove 45 miles to meet up with a group of 17 lovely ladies (and a couple of chaps) in Burbage. The drive was a bit nerve wracking, with an intermittent fault light flashing at me. I’d stopped to check the manual, before I was too far from home, and rung The Mechanic. His response? Just keep driving and if you break down, call the AA. Thanks then!

I made it there in one piece, if a little frazzled. I had a brilliant day with wonderful company and the most amazing lunch laid on by Jan. They don’t call her Lunch Lady for nothing. It was fun matching people up with their blogs and deciding if their real life personality matched how they came across on line. I don’t know about you (if you’ve ever met any blog friends) but it’s all about the voices for me. So often people sound totally unexpected and I always ‘hear’ blog posts in their owner’s accents for ever afterwards.


As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend, there was more to come. The following day I drove (5 miles) to Shaftesbury, to meet up with these 6 lovely boys. We met for coffee in King Alfred’s Kitchen, a favourite hang out when we were sixth formers. Back in the day, they’d have spare tea bags in their pockets and ask for an extra jug of hot water, to eke out the stay as long as possible!


We spent almost 7 hours together and the conversation and laughter flowed, with barely a pause. The casual observer would never have guessed that it had been 26 years since we were last all together. We’ll not leave it so long next time.


There were 13 days between my boy’s last exam and the end of the month and we went out on 2 mini expeditions. One of them took us to Stourhead, which we are extremely lucky to have virtually on our doorstep. We spent 2 hours there and I took 59 photos. 5 of them featured in my Scavenger Hunt round up on Friday.


These 3 little ducks dashed out from the undergrowth and crossed our path as we walked past.


We spied this group of Canada Geese, but all attempts to count them failed and even with a photograph in front of me I’m still not sure. I’ll leave it to you to decide.


I taught my card class on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. We made 5 cards and a Post-It note holder between the 2 classes and I now have a total of 8 lovely ladies who come along each week. Next Wednesday we are moving into a bigger room, because we have outgrown our current home.

This may seem like a bit of a random selection, but I did have a vague idea of a theme in mind when I chose them. You may remember, way back at the beginning of February, I posted about my word for the year and haven’t mentioned it since. These numbers are a good illustration, I think, of how I have been connecting and reconnecting with people in my every day life.

The final batch of numbers for this month are all related to my blog, another great way of connecting. I managed 13 posts, a record number compared to other months this year. I gained 7 new followers, having been stuck at 122 for an age. A warm welcome to you all. I reached my 300th post and had a little giveaway, inspired by Sian’s Great Big Swap of Little Things and the 3 winners are:

  • Twinkle Star
  • Scrappy Jacky
  • Ladykis

If you are a winner, please could you get in touch, with your address and a preferred colour scheme eg bright, neutral, subtle. Thank you.

My email is angelfishcrafts{at}gmail{dot}com.

We’re planning on another little foray tomorrow, to tick off a few more items on the Scavenger Hunt list. I hope to share them in the evening. See you then.

PS My blog visiting/commenting has ground to a halt this week. I’m mourning the loss of Google Reader and not really feeling the love for Bloglovin’. What are you using now and are you happy with it? I think I need an alternative. Something more like Google Reader, if such a thing exists. All suggestions gratefully received.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #213

It’s been a very trying couple of days around here, for reasons that I won’t even begin to bore you with. I don’t usually say sorry for not blogging, as I firmly believe that we all should do so without obligation. However, I really must apologise to everyone who entered my giveaway. I will have my glamorous assistant draw the names, out of whatever handy receptacle I happen upon, when she comes home from school. That’s the boring bit out of the way. Now for the workspace.
There’s no crafting happening at the kitchen table right now, but there might be later.
Yesterday brought something even more exciting to my door. A lovely little package all the way from Arizona. Deb had posted about a chocolate cake that her Mom used to make and shared the recipe with her readers. One of the ingredients is not widely available (if at all) in the UK and she kindly offered to post out a packet to two commenters. I was delighted to be one of the recipients.
It’s the Fourth of July tomorrow and that seems like a pretty good day to make this all American cake. It’s also the day that my son was due, sixteen years ago. However, he made us wait another week, in the July heat (yes, we had some that year), before he put in an appearance. I’ll let you know how it goes Deb.
That’s what is in my workspace today. Are you sharing yours? If you’ve been under a rock for the last four years, then pop over to Julia’s place to see what it’s all about.
I aim to be back tomorrow with the winners’ names and maybe even some numbers.