Wednesday 30 December 2015

Pairs ~ The Circle of Life

Sharing a pair, with Helena, for the last time this year.

We lost a beloved family member, back in February.....

.....and welcomed this handsome little chap into the fold three days ago.

I've enjoyed looking at all the pairs of photos throughout 2015, despite being a somewhat sporadic joiner inner myself. Thank you Helena, for providing us with the idea and a place to share.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #340

Today's work space is the ironing board. Pressing some of my Christmas fabric for a couple of projects I have in mind. More about those on Friday. Hoping I haven't jinxed myself by saying that! The blog has had to take a back seat for a couple of weeks, while I've been driving 400 plus miles between Thursday and Monday, rescuing my boy from his hellish flat share to get some sleep.

I've got a couple of cards from last week's class to share.

Those lovely Wonderland trees again, along with a sprinkling of Falling Snow and my favourite Woodgrain background, finished off with a spindly word die cut.

Two of the same stamps used here, with a punched tag and a little bit of glitter. The first example may be a little more work than you want for a Christmas card, but not too bad if done in a batch. Although, unlike me, you've probably made all yours.

Linking up with Julia and the Deskers this early Wednesday morning, before heading out in the dark with my girl. I'll be looking forward to visiting with a nice hot cuppa on my return.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #338

On the kitchen table today, a few things ready to be traced and/or cut out. Some booties and a bib/apron for the new baby, due next month. My niece has chosen a grey and white colour scheme for her nursery and I thought these fabrics would fit.

I bought a copy of Love Sewing this month, because there was a pattern I wanted, and found it much improved. It's quite an expensive magazine at £5.99, but worth that just for the Megan Nielsen Kelly skirt (full size paper) pattern which was free inside and the cute red wool coat ornament from Posie Gets Cozy. There are lots of others, including dresses, children's clothes and festive makes.

I made this pair of cards for a class, back in October, but it was just too early to share them here. I cut the little houses on a hillside with an edgelit die, stamped a sentiment and added a punched glittery star. It doesn't get much simpler than that for mass production.

I liked the negative and, by cutting a full size mat in white, I realised I could make two cards with one cut. To finish off I embossed with falling snow and added the same sentiment as before. I do like making cards that require a lot more effort, just not at this time of year!

Linking up with Julia and the Deskers, after a missed week due to that pesky migraine. Hoping for some festive inspiration when I go visiting later. Happy Wednesday.

Monday 23 November 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Secret Santa Edition

It was a weekend that saw the weather change from damp, mild and autumnal to cold, crisp and wintry seemingly overnight. We woke on Saturday morning to the boiler running, as the heating came on for the first time since late March.

We drove to Devon so that I could go to my sewing group and The Mechanic and My Girl could go and visit our Uni Boy and do some Christmas shopping together.

We had all made pin cushions for the Secret Santa, which has become a tradition at our last meet of the year. I made one from a Kilner (Mason) jar. It was surprisingly easy to do. I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished article. I'll definitely be making a few more though. I received a beautiful Cathedral Window pin cushion in return. We sewed, chatted, laughed and ate a lot of cake. A much needed tonic.

We had a later start on Sunday and indulged in some big fat fluffy pancakes with lashings of maple syrup and freshly brewed coffee. Our day involved some pre-Christmas freshening up of a couple of neglected areas in the house and a tea time roast. It was good not to have anywhere to be.

Today you'll find me not long back from my monthly visit with the chiropractor and about to start on the dinner. I caught up with last night's episode of Homeland when I got up this morning and I thought I was confused last week! I'm sure all will become clear soon, won't it?

Giving a wave to Sian and the Mondayers. Have a great week everyone. Wrap up warm.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Silent Night

Wednesday began well, with a fun and festive card class in the morning. A lunch of leftovers, my favourite kind. Then, out of nowhere, came that little zig zagging patch of light, disrupting my vision. There was only one thing for it: take some medication and retreat to a darkened room for the rest of the day. Now comes the wrung out dish rag feeling. Fellow migraine sufferers will know what I'm talking about. A quiet one for me today.

In lieu of a "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" post, as it's now Thursday, I've got a pair of cards to share from that class yesterday.

Trees stamped at full strength, then stamped again without re-inking to give a paler impression. A sky full of embossed snow and a little touch of glitter.

A change of colour scheme and stamped snow flakes this time. What a great font that is.

Both easily mass produced, which is just what I need as we hurtle towards December.

How is your seasonal crafting coming along?

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Baby Shower Edition

It was a wet and windy, with a very dark beginning, kind of weekend.

It was a sewing hexies on the train, in the company of friendly strangers, kind of weekend.

It was a sitting in The Makery, with a group of women who will become the Great Grans, Great Aunties, Gran, Aunties and Mother of a new baby next month, kind of weekend.

It was a walking through Bath, in the rain, looking for love and light kind of weekend.

Waving to Sian, while watching the sun come up this Tuesday morning. Well it's still Monday somewhere, right?

Friday 13 November 2015

SIPIDI! ~ November Pins

This month it's all about getting ready to document December. I've got my Project Life cards in the pages, leaving some empty pockets. They won't necessarily stay where I have put them, once I start adding photos and stories. I think having them out of the box will make it much easier to see which ones I want to use each day.

I bought a plain kraft album and my pages are 6" x 8" with a variety of different sized pockets. The cards above show the main colours: Lost Lagoon, Mint Macaron, Real Red and Very Vanilla. I suspect kraft will make an appearance in there too.

I've picked out some matching card stock and a selection of stamps that will come in handy to make extra cards. I don't tend to buy a lot of embellishments, preferring to make my own, but I couldn't resist these reindeer paperclips. The stars are punched from Gold Glimmer Paper.

I started a December Daily/JYC board, with a few ideas for page layouts, inspiration for hand made cards/embellishments and some free printables in my colour scheme. I'll be adding to that throughout the month.

Image from And So I Don't Forget.....

I particularly like the vellum banners in the pocket above, which have been made with a cut file. I don't have any sort of electronic machine, but they've inspired me to make some stamped vellum banners that I can add over photos with dark/blank areas. I also like the inclusion of an event that was in the news, and on my mind, with my niece arriving in Sydney the day before the siege.

It was great to see some of you joining in last month. Thanks to Amanda and Karen for sharing your October project inspiration with us. If I've missed anyone please let me know and I'll add you to the SIPIDI! board.

PS More information about SIPIDI! can be found in this post.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #336

What's happening at the kitchen table today? Quite a bit, as it happens.

I've just finished kitting for a weekend workshop. A fairly new venture for me. I get quite a lot of enquiries from people who can't make it to my day time sessions, during the week, as they work full time. If they are willing to host, and have enough friends who are interested, then I take the class to them. It's a pretty good solution.

The cards you've seen before, if you visited last week. Here's a closer look at the gift box. I did a tutorial for it earlier this year, if you fancy making some. Very simple and you can get two from a sheet of A4 card. Patterned paper works well, as long as it's a decent weight, and saves on stamping, but that's my favourite part.

Time for a coffee and a Danish, while I visit Julia and The Deskers.

Monday 9 November 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Getting Ready Edition

It was one of those weekends where I look back on Monday and wonder exactly what I did for a large part of it. There was the usual round of Saturday morning chores. The Mechanic had the day off and we spent a chilled out afternoon catching up with some of the Doctor Who episodes we'd missed, while we were glued to the rugby on previous Saturday evenings.

Sunday morning started lazily with coffee and croissants. I like to jazz them up a bit, by cutting a couple of pockets, to slip some good plain chocolate into. I then warm them through in the oven for a few minutes to let it melt. So good.

After clearing away our roast lunch, I settled down in the cosy kitchen for a little crafting. Bonfire Night has been and gone and I feel ready to embrace some Christmas planning and preparation.

I've made it easy on myself this year, with a set of coordinating Project Life cards for my December Daily/Journal Your Christmas album. I might stand a better chance of getting it done during the month. I don't want it to feel like a chore, as the big day approaches, which is something that has happened in the past. I have card stock and ink in some matching colours and I can be more creative, if I want to, or keep it simple, as time allows.

Me on Monday? Continuing with the decluttering of the lounge. I've decided on a change round and want to get it done by the end of November, ready for some festive decorating next month. Waving to Sian and the other Mondayers and anyone else calling by today. It's always good to see you.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #335

November blogging has not quite gone to plan. My laptop died and Doug very kindly helped me restore it, while I was at the WOYWW Hallowe'en crop on Saturday. Since then I've been putting it back in order.

I do have a desk shot today though, hooray!

I taught a class earlier and this, the contents of the kitchen table, is the aftermath. Stamps and inks waiting to be put back whence they came.

We made four cards using the Wondrous Wreath stamps.

We started by learning how to stamp the wreath in three stages and cut it out with matching dies. Also how to deal with those tricky spindly word die cuts.

We then stepped it up a bit, by adding the wreath to a simple gatefold card.

Next, a change of colour scheme and some added bling.

Finally, a simple one layer card, once everyone was comfortable with the 3 step stamping.

Linking up with Julia and all the other lovely deskers out there. So good to see some of you at the weekend. It was such a great day. No photos from me, but there are plenty out there to see.

That's me off to collect my girl from the bus stop. I'll be round to visit this evening.

Saturday 31 October 2015

Pairs ~ Hallowe'en

I delved back through the archives to find a pair to share, for Helena's meme, today.


or treat?

Friday 30 October 2015

SIPIDI! ~ Round Up

We've had a very busy week around here, with both children at home. It's been a pleasure to spend time together, between the assignments they've had to complete. The kitchen table has seen a lot of action in the past few days.  It mostly looked like this.....

.....and not a sewing machine in sight. That's OK. I may not have made a great deal of progress on either of my sewing projects, but I do have something to share that made it off my Pinterest boards this month and onto our menu.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew from Deliciously Ella. A lovely hearty dish, which I have served with wholemeal rice on one occasion and quinoa on the other. Just right, now that the nights are drawing in. A welcome addition to my Meat Free Monday repertoire. I did a few things differently. You knew I was going say that, didn't you?

Steaming the sweet potato seemed a bit of a faff to me. Instead, I roasted it while I had something else in the oven. I only put in one aubergine, because that's what I happened to have on hand, and frozen (whole leaf) spinach in place of fresh. The amount of spice seemed a lot. I cut that down slightly and I didn't have any fresh coriander to garnish the dish.

The recipe is supposed to feed four. It filled a very large pan and there is no way I could have eaten a quarter of it. I would say at least six generous portions.

I've spotted one SIPIDI! post around blogland this month. Karen was inspired by some cards on her Pinterest boards and made a lovely selection, using one of my favourite stamp sets: Gorgeous Grunge.

Now over to you. If you joined in this month let me know in the comments and I'll add you to the SIPIDI! board.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #334

I have something super exciting to share with you all today. Well, it is to me!

When I was a little girl, my lovely Gran had a sewing machine just like this one. Sadly, when she passed away, in my mid twenties, my Granddad got rid of it, along with pretty much everything that belonged to her. I would have loved to have her machine, but this is the next best thing.

I've been keeping a look out for a while now. They come up on ebay fairly regularly, but it's a bit of a gamble when you can't try before you buy. I asked questions and not all sellers replied. I took that as a hint to avoid them! This one came from a sewing machine shop and has been fully serviced so I was happy to pay a little more for that peace of mind.

I'm familiarising myself with the instruction manual, before I start experimenting later today. I can't wait!

Linking up with Julia and the deskers and looking forward to seeing some of you, in person, on Saturday. I'll be bringing Lemon Drizzle.

Monday 26 October 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Spin Cycle edition

The weekend began with a 200 mile round trip, to bring my boy home for Reading Week. He worked hard to get his first big assignment finished, ready to submit by noon today, while I worked my way through his washing. It was a weekend of waiting for the spin cycle to finish and watching the rugby, all together in one place.

This afternoon found me kicking through the leaves, fresh from the chiropractor's manipulations. I decided that a monthly maintenance session will be better than waiting until I need a full service. I'm also on the hunt for a local pilates class. I loved the one I went to previously, but our teacher emigrated to Canada. How very inconsiderate of him.

Waving to Sian and wishing you all a great week ahead.

Friday 23 October 2015

SIPIDI! ~ Update

I realised this morning, that today is not the last Friday of the month at all. That would be next week. I said I'd be back with a progress report though, so here I am.

When I made my first Ginger skirt, I added a contrast waistband facing in a printed cotton. Mainly because I thought a double thickness of denim would feel bulky around my waist, but also.....polkadots. I didn't pay attention to the instructions (which are very comprehensive) because I thought I knew what I was doing.

Once I'd pressed the facing to the inside, I proceeded to catch it down by hand, in the same way I did with my Lonsdale dress. What I should have done is stitched in the ditch with the machine. I turned a 5 minute job into a very much longer one. Ah well, I love the nice neat finish on the inside.

I'm planning to make the pocket version with a soft non-stretch denim. I think the skirt has a 70s vibe to it and I'm hoping the fabric I've ordered will be just the shade of blue I associate with that era. I'll be adding a patterned facing again, but this time I'll follow the instructions and sew it down with the machine. I think having contrast stitching on the outside will be a nice feature on a denim skirt.

As for the cafetiere cosy, I have the fabric cut and ready to sew. I need to source some fusible fleece (although I may just use interfacing instead) then I can get started. I already have the Insul-Bright and didn't realise any other specialist supplies were required. Not paying attention to instructions? I'm sensing a theme.

That's my SIPIDI! How's yours going? Point me in the right direction, if you've blogged already, and I'll add you to the Pinterest board. Next week, when it really is the last Friday of the month, there will be another post with a Linky list and, if things go to plan, a finished project to share.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #333

The kitchen table is cleared, ready for dinner when we get back at 7pm. Nothing to see there, I'm afraid.

In lieu of a desk shot, here's one of the cards we made in class this morning. The rest were Christmas cards. I'm saving those to share once Hallowe'en has passed and I'm feeling a little more festive.

It's so dark here today, as you can probably tell from the photo. I should have taken some pictures yesterday when the sun was shining. How do you get sharply focussed shots on dull days? Any tips gratefully received.

I'll be back on Friday with my SIPIDI project progress. If all goes to plan, there will be a Linky List to share what you've been inspired by on Pinterest (or elsewhere) this month. Care to join me?

For today, I'm linking up with Julia and the deskers of the world.

Monday 19 October 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Stay at Home edition

It was a weekend mostly notable for what didn't happen. No home nation victories in the rugby and more importantly no 200 mile round trip to see our boy. He managed beautifully without us.

Friday saw the return of The Returned and a chance to catch our breath, after a busy few days of commuting. On Saturday there was a bit of card making, for a new arrival. Well, she's 10 days old now. You know how it is. Rugby of course, but we won't talk about that.

Sunday was a slow start with coffee and croissants, followed by washing, grass cutting (for the last time this year, I hope) and a lovely roast. My girl decided to try my way of eating the Yorkshire pudding and declared it delicious. The Mechanic remains unmoved.

More rugby. My boy watched the Ireland game in the city centre and rang me afterwards, hugely disappointed with the result. He had written the Scots off and didn't go back out for that match. I think that was the more exciting game. Those last few minutes were excruciating.

Today finds me quietly reflective. You may recall we lost my Father-in-law earlier this year and it would have been his birthday today. We'll be raising a glass to him this evening.

Joining with Sian and the growing band of Mondayers.

Friday 16 October 2015

Pairs ~ Road to Nowhere

I've talked quite a bit lately about my boy away at university. It's not the only change that's taken place around here. My girl started her Illustration course at college and that means she's swapped her ten minute walk for a forty minute bus ride. To catch that bus I have to drive her to another town, 17 miles away.

This is what a typical Wednesday looks like.....



I'm clocking up 70 miles a day and it really does feel like the road to nowhere sometimes. And yes, I have that song in my head now. Do you? You're welcome.

Linking up with Helena, before I get in my car again. It's a shorter college day and we should be home by 5.30. Thank goodness it's Friday. Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #332

The answer to that is nothing crafty, at the moment. My kitchen table task, for this afternoon, is filling a shoe box to wrap and send to my boy.

On the sewing front, I've started to gather supplies for this month's SIPIDI project. I need to find a contrast fabric to go with this one. I'm sure I have something suitable in my stash.

How cute is the selvedge on this Japanese print?

That's it from me. It's my girl's long day at college (I don't collect her until 6.30pm) which means I need to have dinner ready to go when I get back home. Better make a start then.

Linking up with Julia and the Deskers, this glorious Autumn afternoon.

Monday 12 October 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Same Old, Same Old edition

It was a weekend not unlike the two that went before. This time we visited our boy for the day on Saturday, rather than bringing him home, though. Hoping he'll manage without us next weekend. We'll see.

Getting back, tired and hungry, to a closed road (carnival night) we abandoned the car and walked home via the fish and chip shop. Thinking of our boy watching the rugby here, while we sat on the sofa to see England play.

On Sunday there was a roast to be cooked and a "New Baby" card to be made, for the newest arrival in our extended family. An episode of Beck to be watched, while The Mechanic and my girl were out. He hates subtitles but I like them. They make me stop completely and focus on the programme, rather than trying to get something else done at the same time!

Today found me and my girl on a coat buying expedition, to replace the one she left on the bus a couple of weeks ago. We've waited hopefully until now, but sadly whoever discovered it chose not to hand it in and the colder weather is on its way. It's a bonus to have days out together during the week now that she is at college.

Waving to Sian and that lovely bunch of Mondayers.

Friday 9 October 2015


I've been meaning to resurrect my SIPIDI! meme for the longest time. When the last week of the month approaches I think about it and then, without warning, we arrive in the next month while I wasn't looking! What to do about that?

I thought about it a bit more and decided to make SIPIDI! a two part affair. I'll post on the second Friday of the month with one or two (or more) things from my Pinterest boards that have inspired me. Then on the last Friday of the month, I'll post what (if anything) I've actually done about it.

Today's offerings are a Cafetiere Cosy from Very Berry Handmade, which I have in mind for a coffee loving friend, and a Ginger skirt hack from Colette. You might remember I made myself a denim Ginger earlier this year and I love the A line style. I've been planning to make another and pockets can only make it even better.

If you're new around here and have no idea what I'm talking about, then check out my original SIPIDI! post here. Both my pins for this month happen to be sewing related, but yours don't need to be. It might be a new recipe you've been meaning to try, a card design or scrap book page that's inspired you, or anything else at all. If you took the trouble to pin it, it must be worth a second look. Right?

Who's ready to See It, Pin It, Do It? Let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to follow your efforts. There'll be a new Pinterest board and I'll do my best to figure out adding a Linky List for the second blog post of the month. I'm looking forward to seeing what's inspired you this October.

PS Please don't feel you can't comment, if you don't want to take part. You might not be a Pinner, I realise that not everyone is. I'd still love to hear your thoughts.