Saturday, December 30, 2006


and getting not very far in the catch-up stakes..

A full house of visitors over New Year; Hubby's Ma arrived last night, my aunt, uncle and cousin arrive this afternoon, so I'll be back in a few of days with a proper message, the blog looks a bit sad and neglected at the moment, poor thing.

Friday's Daring Cardmakers weekly challenge was to make a Thank You card. The plan was to keep it simple and straightforward - I'm not sure the brief was followed quite to the letter though - check out the blog and see what you think....

Here's mine:
The card is mini DL size
The die cuts are the mini present QK ones cut in silver and red pearlescent card.
The 3 presents are mounted on an offcut of white hammer card and then on the same red pearlescent.
The greeting was printed on the pc and mounted on a scrap of the silver card, with a tab of red grosgrain ribbon and 3 red brads just to give a bit of "lift" to the whole thing.
I must say that the mini present die is one of my absolute favourite QK dies, I get so much use out of this one - probably more than any other in my collection, so if you've not already got this one, then add it to your "must buy" list - just in case you've got some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket - I do like to help, you know!
I'll be back asap with all the Christmas news and photos, and to let you know how I'm getting on with the New Arrival, I've even managed to get some more pages done for my aunt's scrapbook - just as well as I'm supposed to be giving it to them when we do Christmas Presents with them on New year's Day! In fact I need to go and finish a page now so that I can clear up and convert our study to a bedroom for my cousin before they arrive. See you all soon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Present

Look what that wonderful Father Christmas left under the tree with my name on it!

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's Dare Day Again

The Daring Cardmakers' latest dare is to make a Happy New Year Card using a list of "ingredients" to help get you started. In the midst of all the last minute Christmas panic it was actually quite nice to have sopmething a bit different to do, so please check out the blog here to see the cards the Team have come up with this time.
Here's my effort for this one, it was really difficult to get a decent photo of this one, sorry:

I used a card and papers from a recent Self-Addressed kit (can't remember if the card and paper were from the same kit though!). I used some matt gold card for the tags, to highlight the panel on the left hand side, and round the diecut wine bottle (a QK die). I thought the wavy cut away edge on the side of the card lent itself to having a diecut bottle placed at an angle over the edge, the numbers are supposed to be the bubbles, and yes I know it's not a champagne bottle but it's the best I could manage. The alphabet is QK Studio cut in black glitter card, my allotted 3 brads are star shaped and as I didn't have gold ones in the right size I coloured these with a gold Krylon pen, a bit of gold ribbon and it's done.

Please, if you find a spare minute in all the Christmas celebrations, or maybe need an excuse to lock yourself away for a few minutes P&Q - do have a go at our Dare, we'd love to add your blog to our links list.

Now, just in case I don't get back here before the big day:


Thursday, December 21, 2006


Sparked off by Janine's latest blog entry.

Today I am thankful

for my aunt and uncle's safe arrival here after a horrendously foggy drive from Northumberland yesterday

that I've heard from, and emailed friends I've not spoken to in a while because friends aren't so easy to come by and we should cherish those we have

that Paula reminded me that I'd forgotten to renew a couple of magazine subscriptions for my uncles and I've now been on the phone and got them sorted (thanks Paula!)

that the postie has just brought me a lovely box of goodies from Crafts U Love

that all my crafty orders are now done and I only have things for me to do!

that I've had an email from hubby this morning entitled "cards" and reading:
No don't panic - not another order, just letting you know that Shaun's GF received the Paris one today, and was "ecstatic"
- this one was the one I told you about, which had to have fireworks, Christmas, Paris, the Eiffel Tower and the greeting in Italian on it - so I'm pretty happy they both liked it even though I thought it was a mess!

There's more to be thankful for I know, but now I MUST wrap that huge big present for hubby!

Speak to you all soon

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Let's Play Tag

This week's Daring Cardmakers Little Extra is "make a Special Tag for a Special Present"

I've bought something for my hubby this Christmas which is in a huge box, so I decided to make a suitably large tag to adorn it! It's not often I think in sizes any bigger than a 14x14cm card - much bigger than that and I get the "oooer that's a lot of empty space" heebie jeebies, which is probably why my poor 8x8in scrapbook still only has 5 pages - yep the one that's going to be a Christmas present........

Well this tag is huge, and actually it wasn't so hard - probably because once I'd made the letters there wasn't much room left anyway!

I made the letters using the Greetings Card Factory program, making them just over 4cms tall and reversing them before I printed them out onto thin card - this way I could stick the letters onto the back of patterned paper and still see the lines for cutting them out. I used various different papers, and used up lots of scraps too. The edges are strips of BG Dasher papers. I added a few sequins, some of my cereal box chipboard presents, some glitter, ribbon and fibres. I'm really chuffed with this and it was actually fun to do.

Ah well, now, back to the baby album, the half-made birthday card and those two extra Christmas cards that have just been ordered this afternoon.......Oh woe is me

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chaos, Crafty and Otherwise

Well here's our tree, it's not a great photo but it's the best I can do for the moment.

We had a busy day yesterday. Hubby put up the new light in the dining room, hooks for the tie backs in our room and the dining room then we put the little tree up in there too so once the curtains arrive (hopefully tomorrow) it'll all be nice and festive and cosy in there ready for Christmas.

While we were doing the tree the new overhead lights flickered and went out.....replaced the bulb concerned and a few minuted later the same thing happened. So I had to retrieve the boxes from the bin (just trying to get some order, y'know...) and hubby had to take the fitment down and go off back to the shop for a replacement. He'd made an appointment to see another car (yes, it still goes on) but had to do the light first before it got dark. At the same time as this is going on, he's decided to sort out the understairs cupboard where he found some strange old pipework; long story short - cut and sealed off the pipes, dripped on the floor, put heater in there to dry out, house currently covered with wine racks and cases/boxes full of bottles waiting to go back in there - and visitors arriving to stay on Wednesday, Kathy stressed.

Ah yes, and Cuz rang to ask if it was ok to come over to bring presents in a bit. Hubby arrives home from test drive to say "I've just bought a car". Phew, at last, I think. Cus, Hubby and I decide pizza is a good call.

I made a load of tags yesterday, and started on the Baby's first Christmas card for an order. Today, I've finished that, and the 70th Birthday card, and made the Baby's First Birthday card too. Are you impressed? Still got the album to do though. Right, got another crafty project I must finished soon so I'm off back to my own desk.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tree Sup but has it shrunk?

We put the tree up last night and this afternoon we decorated it. We were a bit naughty and while we were out shopping today bought another set of lights. There are now 480 lights on the tree - is that excessive?

We used to live in a tiny flat and had a cute little tree, when we moved to our last house we bought this huge tree and the little one just stayed in the loft. Putting the tree up last night ready for our first Christmas in this house, suddenly it doesn't seem so huge anymore! It's not that it's small at the base, it's that whereas at the old (new) house the angel almost touched the ceiling this is an old house with high ceilings and the tree looks really short! No photos yet, but I'm sure the camera will come out tomorrow.

We did the last of the Christmas shopping today, there were only a few bits we needed for other people, so we had "seperate shops" - which is where we go to the same town then split up for a set length of time so we can prowl around looking for gifts and stocking filler stuff for each other. Quite a successful morning, I got some great stocking filler pressies - well I think they're great anyway! We called in at one of the DIY places on the way back and ended up buying a ceiling light thingie for the dining room, hopefully the new curtains will arrive in a couple of days so it'll be all posh for Christmas, though somehow I doubt we'll get the wall painted before the big day!

We went to the Wagon and Horses at Graveley for lunch - this used to be one of our regular Saturday lunch haunts but we've not been there of years. Not sure we'll put it back on the faves list. I'm sure my slice of chicken, ham and mushroom pie had been warmed in the microwave - YUK microwaved pastry - what a total no-no, the texture of soggy cardboard, appetising NOT! Hubby's spicy meatballs were better but they were mean with the tagliatelli.

On the way home Hubby remembered it's the archery club's fun shoot this evening and they have a bit of a buffet afterwards - he was supposed to take some sausage rolls......of course we're halfway home by the time he remembers this, so we dump the car at home and walk along into town. Good excuse to go to Patrick's cafe for coffee and cake though. And do a bit more shopping.....

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's all here in Black and White

Friday comes but once a week....

And here it is again, bringing a fab new Dare from the Daring Cardmakers. This week we'd like you to make a Christmas card using only Black and White - and just to make it easier, you're allowed to add a tiny splash of colour if you like.

The cards from the team are fantastic so do go and check out this week's DCM blog, hopefully you'll be inspired to have a go at this one - using the simple B&W theme made a really enjoyable change from all the usual Christmassy Colour Overload!
For my effort I used glitter card in black and white. The tree is a Quickutz die and the greeting is the QK Katie alphabet, Classic size.

The star beads are threaded and wound around with silver thread.

I'm still making Christmas cards (so much for having them all in the post on Dec 1st) This is the latest batch. Months ago I bought a pack of silver papers at one of those garden centres with a craft shop in it.
When I opened it I wasn't inspired, but the other day I thought I'd have a go at using them with the cereal-packet chipboard. I cut narrow strips of a few of the papers, stuck them along the card then cut wonky tree shapes (yep, again!) so that a bit of each paper is on each tree. I was really pleased with the result. Some fon't quite qualify for the DCM Dare but a couple just about scrape in there, I think!
I'm going to some more like this for the neighbours - I always end up leaving these till the last minute!
I must get on with some other orders today - A Baby's first Christmas card, then for just after Christmas a 70th birthday card, and a Baby's First Birthday, plus I have a baby album to decorate too.
So much for getting more pages done for my Aunt's scrapbook then....

Right, now I'm off out to pick up OH's car from the garage. See you all later

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Taking a Break

I'm waiting for the glitter glue to dry on the latest mad Christmas card order. Why can't people be happy with "Happy Christmas Ethelfreda" or whatever? Why does it need to have a juggling dog standing on two legs in a gondola while Spanish flamenco dancers do their stuff in the background, and of coursethe greeting is written in Greek and says something like "Happy Christmas Hunny Bunny from Your Ever Loving Pickled Onion"?

OK so it's not quite that bad, But you know - it's not easy to get a weird brief and give it all a Christmas look too, is it?
I'd only just got my head around "2 Christmas cards for some little Swedish nephew and niece please. And, Oh can they have a Bob the Builder theme please....?" when the latest request was made - hopefully I'll get a photo done and put it on here tomorrow - then you can say "phew! glad it wasn't me who was asked to do that"
Back to B the B. I decided to do both cards pretty much the same, apparently the little girl is a bit younger than the boy but wants everything he has, so if he likes B the B, then so does she, I reckoned this got me out of trying to come up with two different ideas. I'm quite chuffed with the result - mind you I think that's probably more to do with the relief at actually managing to do something that doesn't look a total mess!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Crispy Bacon

Two Mexicans are stuck in the desert, wandering aimlessly and close to death.
They are close to just lying down and waiting for the inevitable, when all of a sudden.......
"Hey Pepe, do you smell what I smell? Ees bacon I ahm sure of eet."

"Si, Luis eet smells like bacon to meee".

So, with renewed strength, they struggle up the next sand dune, and there, in the distance, is a tree loaded with bacon.
There's raw bacon, dripping with moisture … there's fried bacon, back bacon, double smoked bacon... every imaginable kind of cured pig meat.

"Pepe, Pepe, we ees saved! Eet EES a bacon tree!"

"Luis, are you sure ees not a meerage?; We ees in the Desert don't forget."

"Pepe when deed you ever hear of a meerage that smeell like bacon...ees no meerage, ees a bacon tree".

And with that ....Luis races toward the tree. He gets to within 5 metres, with Pepe following closely behind, when all of a sudden a machine gun opens up and Luis is cut down in his tracks.
It is clear he is mortally wounded but, true friend that he is, he manages to warn Pepe with his dying breath.
"Pepe...go back man, you was right...ees not a bacon tree."

"Luis Luis, mi amigo...what ees it?"

"Pepe...ees not a bacon tree...



… Eees a Ham Bush!"

Friday, December 08, 2006

Keryn's Dastardly Dare

It's that time of the week again - you know - the one that comes round really really quickly when you're paddling against the tide.... Yep it's the Daring Cardmakers latest dare, this time set by Keryn who sent me off in a right old panic with her Stamping with a Twist - I don't find "normal" stamping very easy, and to think of ways to stamp without stamps, well.........

My first thought was to head back to that old primary school stalwart of leaf printing, so it was out into the garden to pick leaves and see what resulted. The first couple were dreadful and went in the bin, but I was happier with the effect I got from a conifer leaf stamped in versamark and embossed with gold powder, it looked pretty when used on a red background. I did the baubles the same way, but I was rushing and I think I could come up with something better given more time.

Second idea was to use bubble wrap and a couple of different green cat's eye chalk inks. I quite like the effect printing with this, but the only thing I could think to do with the resulting paper was a variation on my "wonky tree" design - nice and easy, but maybe cheating a bit, what do you think? I made some bubble wrap paper in other colours too but I've not figured out what to do with it yeet!

Then yesterday right at the last minute I thought I'd have a go at decorating some vellum. I made some stamps with a couple of my dies and some funky foam, this one uses a Bosskutz Krazy Daisy die. The striped paper at the bottom used the same cats eye chalk inks as I used to stamp with, but just pulled down the paper to make the stripes. I added a bit of clear Stickles glitter glue on thestripes and the flowers just to add a bit of a lift. I cut the feature daisies from pearlescent and glittery card, and the centres for the vellum ones which are attached with matching brads. A length of Maya Road ribbon covers the join between the vellum and the stipey stuff.
Please check out the Daring Cardmakers blog for all the other fantastic non-stamps stamping cards, I think you'll be wowed at just how many different things we came up with to stamp with! We really do love to see your cards so please join in - leave a message to tell us where we can see your cards, or email them to Tracie at the address on the DCM blog and they'll be added to our lovely gallery.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Little Extra

This is my Little Extra card for this week's midweek Daring Cardmakers' challenge. It's another "2 birds/1 stone" card - always a good result, I think!

The challenge is a recipe this time and the ingredients list is 5 flowers, 3 patterned papers and 1 piece of ribbon.

So I used a shaped card and papers from an old
Self-Addressed Kit. Not sure whether this might be called cheating, but my 5 flowers were cut from one of my patterned papers - hopefully I can get away with that! I really like this group of papers, it's one of the monthly kits that I've used a few times, I love the cheerful summery colours.

I thought I'd also show you the card I made for the cybercrop that was held on the Scrapstars forum at the weekend. If you want to have a go, the instructions can be found there - I'd love to see what you come up with, so please, do have a go! Somewhere at the bottom of one of the piles on my desk I have a whole lot of toppers made using the same method, if I can find them, I'll do a photo later....

Rightio, I found the toppers and stuck them on, and then made another batch with different colours - so here's today's haul! woowoo........ Not a great photo but I'll do another one tomorrow when there's a bit of daylight.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Well, we flew off to the Isle of Man on Thursday, that had to be the dodgiest landing I've ever known. I've been on some flights with stomach churning turbulence, but somehow the landings have always been fine. The flight was fine so we didn't realise how windy it had become. I think the pilot really struggled to get the plane in on Thursday evening; we were wobbling all over the place all through the decent and I was begining to think he'd never manage to control the actual touchdown - must admit to saying a very rude word at one point.........but eventually we were down and safe and once the doors were openied we knew why there had been such a problem as the wind nearly blew us back up the steps.

The weather all weekend was foul, cold, wet and really windy pretty much all the time. Friday morning wasn't too bad though and we managed a walk with MIL around the harbour at Peel, sorry no photos as I didn't take my camera and hubby hasn't uploaded his yet. We also went to Tynwald Mills which is a sort of shopping complex near the ancient parliament site of (surprise surprise) Tynwald, site of the old IOM parliament - they've now retreated indoors, but every July their National Day is celebrated here with processions, Manx dancing (MiL does this, that's her on the linked photo with the blue waistcoat on) etc
More info here

"Tynwald Fair Day, held annually on old midsummer's day in July is the Isle of Man's national day and is the occasion of the Tynwald Midsummer Court. The Members of Tynwald - the Manx parliament - meet at St John's village in the west of the Island for the ceremony, a legal requirement established by the Island's ninth century rulers."

We were on a mission to find a birthday present for my brother without going into the main town of Douglas which is always heaving because there's nowhere else to shop really. There are other towns, but none have the big choice of shops that Douglas has unfortunately - so parking is a nightmare and best avoided. We were lucky though and got a nice top for Mike so I'm happy that I don't need to go out this week to look for something. Dropped MIL off back at home and went out to meet a friend of Hubby's for lunch whom he hasn't seen since university - he'd contacted OH through Friends Reunited and as we were going over it seemed a good chance to them to catch up again.
On Saturday we met another friend for lunch and then we were out in the evening as it was MILs birthday, along with SIL, BIL their 3 kids and the boyfriend of Eldest Niece, then back to MILs house for more wine, coffee, cake and of course, candles.
On Sunday the weather was still horrible so we just went out for a drive - we sat watching the sea coming right over the breakwater down at Laxey, then drove up to Ramsey where it didn't look so bad, then followed a bit of the TT course over the mountain (Snaefell), where the clouds were very low and the rain was really bad back to Onchan where MIL lives. It seems all we did was eat, because we had a big proper Sunday lunch - two of hubby's aunts came to share it with us which was nice, then it was pack the suitcase and head back to the airport. Which was where it all went wrong........

Only about 3 planes had actually made it in to Ronaldsway because of the bad weather, and so there were none to fly out! Loads of people were stranded, including us, great eh?! And of course there was no-one there to help. We were flying with Aer Arann and have to say we are not impressed with their customer care - actually there was none to be impressed with - not a single person in sight to ask for help or advice. In the end Hubby asked what to do at a different desk and managed to get us booked on the next plane which wasn't till Monday evening. You'd think when it all goes to pot like this the airlines would get someone out onto the floor of the check ins just to answer questions and take the flak, we all know that these things happen and can't be helped but travellers do need information and this shower just hid out of sight. Useless.

So we then had to ring MIL and tell her we were on our way back, book another day's car hire, and another day's parking at this end and contact work to tell them OH wouldn't be in on Monday. This all cost a fortune as he doesn't get paid if he's not there. So our little weekend away has ended up being a lot more expensive than we thought it would be....

But we're back now and all seems ok - I was a bit worried about what we'd come back to, this is an old house - but all seems ok - apart form a few pots over in the garden.

Now I have a huge list of things to do, so I should stop waffling and try and get something done, shouldn't I?

Hope you are all safe and sound, that your roof, sheds and greenhouses are all still in their correct places and no trees landed on your houses. I'm sick of this windy nasty weather now, so please can it stop?

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's Friday, so Sing!

Yes it's that time of the week again, the latest Daring Cardmakers challenge is out and Kel wants us all to make music.

The Dare this week is to make a card featuring a song title or lyrics. Sounds simple doesn't it? Well it wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be and I spent hours and hours at the weekend looking at website listing of songs, lyrics etc before finally the glimmer of an idea came to me.

Even then it seemed to take a while to come right and changed quite a bit (lots of card in the bin....) as I worked on it, but eventually I came up with this card using the song "When you wish upon a star" from the film Pinnochio, the lyrics were written by Ned Washington.

The blue and white card is from the Galaxy range from pda, it's a lovely card speckled with flecks of silver or gold. The words of the song were printed on the computer then I stamped and embossed a few stars around them. The first version of the card had stars all over the place but just looked messy! The layers of card are fixed with nailhead stars - they were originally brass, but I painted them with a silver Krylon pen.

I made the star embellishment myself using wire and silver and clear beads - it was quite easy really, after the star shape was formed I used the ends of the wire to twist around helping ot keep the shape and fill in the middle. The tails of the star are the rest of the wire beaded, then threaded through to the back of the blue card twisted and stuck down firmly. I added a couple of stitches through the card and around the points of the star - I always sew wire embellishments on rather than use glue as I feel it's a bit more secure.

So that's my effort, please go to the Daring Cardmakers blog to see all the other fantastic, clever and ingenious cards that have been produced this week, they're all fab and should inspire lots of you to come up with ideas of your onw - I can't wait to see the messages come pouring in saying "I've done my card, it's on my blog"