Sunday, 29 April 2012

Pages and Pages and Pages

Whilst my daughter was home from University over Easter we were looking at some photos on her laptop. We had been trying to find some shot for her Grandmother that either she or I had taken over the summer holidays last year. Sadly we couldn't find it.

However, whilst trolling through loads of shots we came across some pictures taken at Wisely Gardens.  I was really surprised as they were pictures I had taken. "Where", I said, "did you get these pictures from". It transpired I had down loaded them to her laptop whilst we had been out for some reason but  then had forgotten to downloaded them again to our home computer.

Well having discovered my mistake I got them printed off and the other day managed to make up the missing scrapbook pages.

I thought you might like to have a look at the pages. I must say I rather like them. I found it particularity rewarding sitting  making them up with the rain belting down outside. The fact that they look all bright and sunny made me feel quite cheery, they reminded me summers on its way. Well I  hope it is.    

This shot was taken in the apple orchard in the kitchen garden

For the above page I used a basic Stampin Up Wasabi green 12x12 card on to which I placed a DCWV die cut border. The borders are actually from the Holiday Specialty Die Cut stack but I think they are all fairly versatile, well so long as you stay away from the snowflake ones. (ha! ha!) 

In the centre of the border area I placed a scalloped edge square of card which I had distressed using the Tim Holtz distress ink Forest Moss. I also used the same distress ink around another die cut piece of card I had from the DCWV stack  and I placed this  behind the photos at an angle.

To add colour I  added some small tonal strips of patterned paper to the left of the photos and to the right some adhesive sentiments. Finally I added some flowers I had cut out of a wallpaper sample and some lettering for a title.          

For the next page I used a grey green back ground sheet onto which I mounted a sheet of Stampin up paper which I had cut out in a scalloped shape. I used a little distress ink as I had used in the previous page to soften the edges of the paper. I mounted the photos on a contrasting piece of darker grey green card. I also used some scraps of paper from my stash including some Tim Holtz paper. to add colour and dimension to the page before adding the photo. 

To decorate/embellish the page I used so stick on flowers and sentiments plus some pieces of die cut green paper which I had used when trying out one of my memory box dies the other day. I always try to make use of all my bits and pieces I do so hate waste.  To finish the page I simply added the title.   
In the green house a curtain  of Passion Flowers

This picture below was taken in the same place as the above photo and it shows the lovely Passion flowers awful shame I chose to poke my nose through the foliage. For this page I again made use of numerous scraps of paper, ribbon, flowers, buttons  and die cut swirls I had cut out some time ago for another project.Considering its merely from scraps I rather like the end result.

I tried to get the same tone for the flower embellishments as the Passion Flower

Outside the Main doors of the R.H.S offices

For this page I used a 12x12 sheet of DCWV Neutrals textured card stock . I then used various odds and ends of card I had in my stash plus some border strips from K& Co which I had bought some time ago for an earlier project. 

I mounted the picture it self on a piece of brown wrapping paper which had originally been wrapped around some tulips I bought my mother from Sainsbury's. I know that might sound odd but it attracted my attention because  it had words inked all over it about flowers and abundant blooms and fragrant flowers.I thought was so appropriate for this project. As I had torn the paper I then distressed it with some Tim Holtz inks 

I mounted the photos at a slight angle on the main sheet and then added a stick on stencil strip of twining leaves along side it on the left. To add more dimension I twisted and plaited some raffia strips which I placed alongside the photo. To finish I used some butterflies and a title.  

I hope you like these few pages and they may help you remember in this horrid weather that summer is around the corner

Thursday, 26 April 2012


I have been trying to get myself up to date and sorted out with regard to my scrapbooking, card making and sewing jobs, but life keeps getting in the way ha! ha! Yesterday I did, however, manage to get a scrapbook page done. 
Hopefully, this will also be my entry into this months Scrapology Blog Challenge. http://scrapology-adventuresinscrapbooking.blogspot.co.uk/

The sketch given was a follows:
 Now see below how I have interpreted the sketch.

This photo was taken at the R.H.S gardens at Wisley, one of my favourite places to visit. In this photo my daughter is peering through a hole in the fence around the vegetable and fruit gardens. I like the way the circle of the doily links to the circular shape created by the hole in the hedging fence.

To create this page I used lots of paper scraps plus a couple of pieces of  ribbon and and assortment of paper flowers and ink coloured gems. 

A close up of the flowers

The page title
I am rather pleased with the end result. I like the simplicity and the colours lets see what they think at Scrapology.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Pages Using Kits

I have just recently used the last few pages of the scrapbook kit I got a while ago. You may remember I did a posy about it some time back . Well here are the other three pages the kit made up. I am still not sold on kits but they all look okay. May add some more stuff later,Sorry photos could be better but have lent my white box to a friend so we have a little glare problem here

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cards for the Boys

I make loads of cards of feminine and genderless cards, but when it comes to cards for men and boys I always feel a bit out of my depth. I have seen some great cards on others blog peoples blogs. For example you should take a look at http://craftietimes.blogspot.co.uk/ which has some fabulous cards (don't I wish I'd made them) and http://oakfieldcrafts.blogspot.co.uk/  this had a great post on cards for men.

Whilst I was at Farnborough Craft Fair back in February I bought some Lili of the Valley die cut card toppers. See http://www.liliofthevalley.co.uk/  I bought various ones as they had a deal of £10 for 11 or was it 12 sheets and one lot were 'Take it Easy' with a series of young boys featuring in the images. So I thought I'd start with these images and make a few young boy cards and then branch out later. 

I'd appreciate some honest feed back as to what everyone thinks of them. I am reasonably please but still think they are a bit on the cute side to be truly masculine. What does everyone else think??   



 Your comments would be appreciated don't be too cruel but definitely be honest.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Tree Felling

Finally today the guys came to cut down/trim the trees in and around our garden. I had hoped they could have come earlier in the year but they had so much work to do it was not possible.

The delay though rather put a spanner in the works. Unfortunately because the seasons have gotten a little out of whack and  the birds had already begun nesting and laying eggs.it wasn't possible to trim the main trees at the bottom of the garden, blooming pigeons. Never mind, they have at least trimmed back the other trees that were in need of attention. This will allow more light to get through to  my vegetable plot and hopefully increase veg yields. Well, we can only hope.  I do, however, I guess have to plant some veg. I have been waiting for my potatoes to chit, but they are being very slow this year. Hopefully they'll be planted next week. 


 Can you spot the difference? I cannot get over how lush and green the garden looks in these pictures. The trees in the top picture on the right are the ones which are housing the pigeons will keep you posted if we have babies and might show a shot later when they are cut down. Well if anyone's interested ha! ha!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sausage and Onion Plait

Yesterday on special request from my hubby and son I made a a super (if I do say myself) Sausage and Onion Plait. Its easy to make and can be eaten hot or cold. If you like to try it the recipe is as follows.


1 pack frozen puff pastry
500g sausage meat or skinned sausages
1/2 packet of sage and onion stuffing
1 sweet red pepper
1 large onion
1 leek
1 tsp parsley
2 tsp Italian herbs
milk to glaze

Prepare onion pepper and leek then chop finely or place in blender. I'm an awful cheat I like to use the blender as it makes for a finer chopped set of ingredients, which then mix better with the sausage meat.

Place these ingredients into a bowl then add the 1/2 packet of sage and onion stuffing plus two tablespoon of warm water and mix thoroughly. 

Add the parsley and Italian herbs

Add the sausage meat or as I did this time used sausages which I skinned before adding to the vegetable ingredients.Make sure you mix these ingredients together well.

Now roll out pastry into a rectangular shape. I use prepared pastry as I do not see the point of fussing making it anymore. I, however, do draw the line at pre-rolled that's just one step too far.  

When rolled out place the meat ingredients onto the pastry in the centre 1/3rd as shown below. Make sure the edges of the pastry will be wide enough to fold over the meat portion. 

Then using a sharp knife cut the pastry remaining each side into horizontal strips as shown below.

Then starting at one end of the pastry fold pastry strips from side then the other over the meat filling ensuring ends of pastry are pressed down and secured. Continue until all the strips are used. This will create a plait effect 

I always think it looks like an Egyptian mummy 

Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to rest.

Pre-heat oven to 200o C,  400oF or Gas mark 6

After 10 minutes remove from fridge and brush with milk or egg wash if you prefer and then place in oven for 40 minutes approx until golden brown.

All golden brown and yummy
Eat hot fresh out of the oven or cold for a buffet it tastes equally nice.My hubby has always loved this as a picnic item.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Work in Progress

Today I have been sanding down woodwork in my bathroom, yes its still progressing slowly. Thankfully I had only the door and frame plus some skirting board to do. I so hate sanding mind you I also hate gloss painting and I have that still to come.

We have chosen our wall paint, finally. Well, we simply could not agree I wanted light and breezy and my hubby wanted dark and intense. Men never know whats best when it comes to colour, well my hubby doesn't. Even his own clothes seem to be a bit of a mystery to him. When he's working out what trousers shirt and jacket go together hes is forever putting the weirdest things together and having to go back to change. Mind you I am possibly being totally unfair to say men in general because even my son (and he shares same genes as his Dad) has a good sense of colour. So my apologies if Ive offended any one.

Anyway back to the bathroom. Its going well and looking good cannot wait to finish it all and then you can see some pictures 

Here are some bathrooms I rather like, the question is what will mine turn out to look like?  

Will keep you posted

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Cards and Die Cuts

Whilst I was away at Easter I visited my all time favourite craft shop. Its called Sew Simple and its at Tavereham Garden Centre.It has everything, well a bit of everything crafty. I go there to get paper, wools, fabric, ribbons and more. I like it because they always have something a bit different and they also have a great loyalty scheme which means every now and then I get an  extra £10 to spend. I know its not a free gift because to get it you have to have spent money, but it does feel like an added bonus. You can also visit Sew Simple online, so why not give it a look?  

Anyway, whilst I was there this time, I got several sheets of scrapbook paper, which you'll probably see in later posts, and several new die cuts which I have only just had time to try out.

Three of the dies I purchased
They are all from the new Xcut range from Docraft. I am  particularly fond of the squiggly one it gives such an interesting twist to the basic rectangular shape. What I also liked was they came with a magnetic sheet for storage which is fabulous. All I can say is, "Come on Spellbinders get with it, lets see some of your Nestibilities come with a similar sheet, rather then the silly sticky stuff you presently use"

Anyway I decided to try some of the scalloped rectangles to make up some cards, which you can see below.


As you may spot no dies used here

I also used this opportunity to try out a technique Shelia from our crafting group introduced us all to last Tuesday. We used chalk based ink pads and scrunched up cling film to create sponge effect backgrounds. I think its a lovely technique and so simple, just scrunch up a piece of cling film and then using the light colours first sponge ink in short patting type moves  over the paper/card surface. Gradually build up your colours to create the effect you want. I used different purple tones  as well as greens and reds.

A close up so you can see the sponge effect and the gems on the Alium head
After I made the backgrounds above I then used a an Alium Clarity Stamp to give a central image. I then mounted the card onto paper from my paper stock and embellished the image with gems. I finally added a sentiment to complete the cards.  

I like the die cuts and the sponge effect so I think both will probably feature again in my card making and scrapbooking.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Yum! Yum! Chelsea Bun

My hubby has been nagging me about making some Chelsea Buns. Not  because he is a Chelsea supporter. But, because of a rash statement that I made better Chelsea buns than you could buy in the shops. I know its so bad to brag, especially if later you  are expected to prove it. 

Well today we were in Waitrose and he saw a recipe for said buns in a recipe book and started on about, "When are you ever going to make those Chelsea Buns you were bragging about?" So feeling under pressure I agreed to do it today. If you'd like to give it a go here is the recipe.


1tsp Dried Yeast
100ml warm milk
280 g Strong White Bread Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
45g Butter
1 Egg
115 g Mixed Fruit
60g Dark Brown Sugar
1tsp mixed Spice
1 tbsp(approx)Clear Honey


Mix yeast with milk stir then leave for 5 minutes so it froths up.

Mix flour salt and sugar together and then add 15g of butter.

Rub butter into the flour.

Pour in the egg followed by the milk yeast mix.

Mix all these ingredients together to form a dough.

Work the dough kneading it for about 5 minutes. I used the dough hook with my mixer I find this gives a much better knead then I can do by hand.

Place dough into a bowl cover it with cling film and place in a warm place.Allow approx 1 hour for the dough to rest and rise. At end of this period it should be about twice its original size.

Grease a 23cm (9") baking tin. I didn't have a tin quite the right size but they worked out okay. 

After 1 hour turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead and then roll out to create a 23x 30cm rectangle.

Melt the leftover butter and then spread it across the dough rectangle leaving a small edge along the long side un-buttered. 

Mix fruit, brown sugar and mixed spice together then spread this over the dough surface.
Fruit Cherries apricots and raisins 

Add mixed spice
Spread fruit sugar and spices over the dough
Once the dough is covered roll it gently starting with the longest edge.

Make sure the fruit remains inside as you roll. Seal end with milk or water.

Cut the roll of dough you have created into 9 equal pieces and then arrange in your baking tin. I cut mine into more pieces as I had a slightly larger tin which I wanted to fill.

Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour or until they have doubled in size.
Bake in an oven 190oC, 375oF or Gas Mark 5 for about 30 minutes.

When cooked brush with honey and cool on cooling rack. You can also dust with icing sugar if you wish 

Enjoy when they are hot. Will keep for about 3 days in an airtight box

  They look yummy but they taste even better.