27 September 2011

Some PTW news and another Christmas card ............

I was gobsmacked and chuffed to bits when I was invited to join the Papertake Weekly Design Team recently - thank you ladies - I am so looking forward to making all those projects and progressing and improving my papercrafting skills! (and of course, best of all, I can be like Andrea now and say 'oh sorry, can't help with the ironing/shopping/housework etc today  -  I've got to finish my project for PTW lol .....)

The card above is my first project and I used a LOTV stamp coloured with copics (I will try and remember to write down the numbers from now on lol).  I made a flower arrangement using leaves punched from green card with my Martha Stewart leaf and branch punches.  Following a tip from Bev, I decanted my glue into a small screw top jar and use the handle of a crochet hook, (how naughty am I?) and I feel much more in control of the sticky stuff!.  The snowflake was punched from white card and I added glue and glitter plus a stick on gem in the middle.

White 16mm Grosgrain Ribbon; 12mm White Cotton Lace;  13mm and 30mm White Mulberry Roses; White Mini Rosebuds; 15mm White/White Pretty Blossoms;  Image and Sentiment  Stamps are from LOTV
(Mulberry flowers, lace and ribbons are all from the Ribbon Girl)

The card was finished off with Stardust stickles and I can't remember where the papers were from, sorry

Hope you go and visit the Papertake Weekly Challenge Blog and I'm looking forward to seeing all of the entries from the sketch this coming week!
Mary x

25 September 2011

New Jingle all the Way Challenge .......

Over at The Ribbon Girl Blog we have a new monthly challenge which will begin on 25th of every month and inspire you to get all your crafting organised for Christmas.

It certainly got me in the mood for making Christmas cards and here is one I made yesterday and which I will enter into the Lili of the Valley Challenge 'aqua, white and glitter'

A Christmas card in aqua and white - the background paper was plain white card stamped with a Papertrey Ink snowflake stamp using hawaian shore ink to match the copics I used to colour in the gorgeous Lili of the Valley image.
I cut the circle and the scallop mat with a nestabilities die and I added some 22mm guipure lace.  The sentiment stamp was also from Papertrey Ink.  Plenty of stardust stickles were added to the wings, snowflakes and the scarf to make them stand out.

I used 30mm, 25mm and 13mm white mulberry roses plus mini rosebuds which also got a dusting of Stardust Stickles, then Berisford 25mm peacock blue satin ribbon plus a snowflake charm tied on with aqua Bakers Divine Twine which completed the card.  Roses, buds, ribbon, lace, twine and charm are all from Ribbon Girl.
Don't forget that the Ribbon Girl monthly colour challenge still has another week to run, so if you haven't entered yet, there's still time and I can't wait to see your Christmas projects - cards, knits, sewing, crochet, felt, anything you fancy - and of course if you use ribbons, buttons, lace or bling on it, then so much the better!

19 September 2011

Red Poppy Birthday Card ....

I have often admired this lovely poppy stamp on Kath's blog and she kindly gave me the name of it and whereto buy one (Delicate Blossoms by Hero Arts which I bought from the Glitter Pot - I was really pleased  with it and coloured it with Copics.  I mounted the stamped area onto black card with a strip of black and white spotted paper behind it, plus some gorgeous red ruffle edge sheer ribbon from Ribbon Girl.
The sentiment is from Pink Petticoat and was printed onto Safmat then adhered to card.
I finished the card with stardut stickles on topof the black flower centres - I will enter this card into the challenge 'anything but square' at Totally Gorjuss

18 September 2011

Cute LOTV boy putting up his Christmas Tree ......

I coloured in this cute LOTV boy putting up his Christmas tree at the Middlesbrough crop a week past Saturday, but only made it into a card this afternoon.  I used Papermania and Echo park papers, plus a doohicky die swirl (my favourite) 

I added a 30mm white rose, 13mm whitee roses, white pretty blossoms, some shiny red berries (all from Ribbon Girl) holly leaves from WOrchid.

Lastly I added a sumptuous bow made from 38mm red faux silk - feels and looks gorgeous!, with a large clear acrylic round button and a christmas tree charm tied to the button with dark green button twine - again, all from Ribbon Girl.

I will enter this into the LOTV challenge 'red, green, white' and also into Lets Craft and Create
and now I'm off to watch Downton Abbey!!

Colour Challenge No 11 at the Ribbon Girl Blog .....

There's a new challenge over at the Ribbon Girl blog - the theme is browns and greens and this is my DT card.  Please check out the other projects made by the mega talented Design Team - this month we are joined by our new teamie Tab and we welcome back our lovely Guest Designer Jane.

I used a Molly Blooms stamp (available from our friend Jean) and coloured Maid Molly with prisma pencils.  The frame is craft card cut with a nestabilies die and I used 25mm cream satin ribbon for the bow.  I finished my card with 30mm, 25mm and 13mm roses and pretty blossoms, all from Ribbon Girl.

The prize is a Limited Edition Halloween Mini Ribbon Kit

a £5 voucher to spend in the Ribbon Girl online store

and a £10 voucher kindly provided by the lovely Laila and Lisa of Lili of the Valley to spend in their online store - and they've just introduced their new Christmas collection so you will be spoiled for choice!!

16 September 2011

Gardening God's Way .......

Our good friend Joe popped this through our letterbox this afternoon - I thought it was so nice that I would like to share it with you just in case you hadn't read it before.


Plant three rows of peas:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul

Plant four rows of squash
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce:
Lettuce be faitful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be obedient
Lettuce really love one another

It would be no garden without turnips:
Turnip for meetings
Turnip for service
Turnip to help one another

Water free with patience and cultivate with love
There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow

To conclude, we must have thyme:
Thyme for God
Thyme for study
Thyme for prayer

14 September 2011

Spicy Red Tomato and Fruit Chutney ..............

The recipe for spicy red tomato and fruit chutney is:
1.5kgs of ripe red tomatoes
250g onion
250g cooking apples
200g sultanas
100g ripe plums
100g chopped dried dates
750g white or brown sugar
425mls white or brown vinegar
1 level tablespoon of salt
1.5 level teaspoons of ground black pepper
1 rounded teaspoon of ground ginger
1.5 rounded teaspoons of allspice
2 or 3 large cloves of garlic
0.5 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
or more if you like it hot hot hot!!

Place the tomatoes in two large bowls and pour boiling water over them and leave for 5 to 10 minutes.  Carefully drain off the hot water then stab each tomato with a very sharp little knife and peel off the skin - a messy job but worth it for a nicer texture of chutney.

I used the mincer on my Kenwood Chef to prepare everything so it was quick and easy but if you like to chop, just finely chop all of the fruit and veg - if you have just decorated your kitchen, use a knife and chop - I managed to add red splodge marks to everything within reach but still quicker than chopping by hand lol
When everything has been chopped or minced into the pan, you can add the spices

then the sugar and vinegar

when everything is in your largest pan place on a medium heat until it begins to boil, turn down to a reasonable simmer and stir often so it doesn't stick.

After a couple of hours (may take longer) the chutney will have thickened to jam consistency and the colour will change to a dark brown (the wider the pan the quicker it will be ready, so if you have a preserving pan use it)

While the chutney is cooking, wash the jars (I filled 12 of the small 8oz jars from The Jam Jar Company) rinse well and place in the oven to dry/sterilise - at least 15 minutes at 250deg.  Turn off the oven and leave them to keep warm, meanwhile, place the clean lids into a large bowl and pour over boiling water.  Leave for 10 minutes and extract with tongs upside down onto clean kitchen paper to drain.  Dry with more clean kitchen paper and leave on a clean cloth.
I always ladel the chutney from the big pan into a Pyrex jug so it is easier to pour, and I always use a jam funnel which helps to avoid splashing with near boiling chutney, because it will burn you!

Top up the jars to almost the top, then place a wax disc on top of the chutney (the wax melts to help form an airtight seal) then carefully screw on the clean lid - use a cloth as the jar will be very very hot.  When the jars have cooled slightly, tighten up the lids once more
When the jars have cooled label them now if you wish or wait until you want to decorate as a special gift for someone, and place them in a cool cupboard for at least two weeks, preferably a bit longer, so the flavours mature  -  this home made chutney makes a really nice gift for your friends and family.  ps  I hope I haven't missed anything out - please tell me if I have, as I would hate anyone to go to the trouble of making it only to find it doesn't turn out well!!
Mary x

5 September 2011

A Happy Bearthday Card ....

I made this boy birthday card is for the Lili of the Valley challenge sketch here - I coloured the very cute bears with prisma pencils.  The green button, apple green divine twine, celery green twill stripe ribbon and black dewdrops are all from the Ribbon Girl - I had to restrain myself from adding piles and piles of flowers lol and instead went for a strip of paper lace which I made with a Martha Stewart punch - several attempts were needed before I got a perfect piece and the floor was littered with the punched scraps!!

And don't forget ladies, Lili of the Valley are launching another set of Christmas stamps tonight 5th September at midnight .... don't miss it!
Mary G x

3 September 2011

Tilda brings some sunshine to a rainy Saturday afternoon .......................

It was such a rainy Saturday afternoon that I used sunshine colours for this card.  Tilda holding a gift has been coloured with Prisma pencils and blended with Sansodor using paper stumps.  I added stardust stickles to her hat, dress and most of the mulberry flowers.

I found it a bit difficult to get the colour just right on her face using Prisma pencils, but will keep practicing.  The background papers were from an October Afternoon pack and I actually sat at the sewing machine and stitched around all the edges - just shows what good progress I am making with my hip replacement!
I used Copics pens to add just the right shade of golden yellow to these Mulberry flowers (30mm rose, 10mm semi open rosebuds, white pretty blossoms - the white gyp is from Wild Orchid -  then I added some gorgeous cream traditional fan pattern Cluny Lace and 15mm Berisford golden yellow double faced satin ribbon. (Mulberry Roses, Rosebuds, Pretty Blossoms, lace and ribbon are all from Ribbon Girl)

This card is for Just Magnolia & hAnglar & sTanglar Challenge - Anything Goes (I didn't make use of the option to use circles on this card)

Mary G x

1 September 2011

Molly Bloom is in the pink .................

This is a 60th birthday card for my friend Catharine.  The actual card was cut with a Go Create die as was the background paper which is from an October Afternoon pad.

I used 'Molly  Sitting' (rubber stamps are now available from our friend Jean at  3D Jean  which I coloured in with prisma pencils blended with Sansador - I normally use copics - but I quite enjoyed using Andrea's new pencils, similar to using watercolour pencils. 
 I added 7mm fuschia satin and 12mm white cotton lace, plus 30mm pink/white roses, 10mm rosebuds and 15mm pink/white pretty blossoms, all from Ribbon Girl.  I watched Bev's video on how to fix flowers and have decanted my crafters pick glue into a small screw top jar - much easier to get some out with a pokey tool than try to squeeze it out of the tube.  The green leaves were punched with my Martha Stewart punches.