Thursday, 31 May 2012

Daisy Girl

Yet another page for my daughters scrapbook in this picture shes four, well I think she is I know it was her birthday. Trouble is she was always  so tall for her age and so grown up you know 4 going on 24. She was so fearless and determined nothing phased her and she was always prepared to give anything a go. She's still fearless, but age has taught her to temper it with a good deal of thought and good sense thank goodness. 

These pictures makes me smile because she's all dressed in her pretty party frock, and what she got on her feet? Skates.Today, now she's 19 it would undoubtedly be a fine pair of killer heels, but here its skates and she looks so cute.      

For this page I used the Papermania 12 x12 sheet which I then sponged over with white paint and spritzed in gold. I then added the cream lace around the boarder of the page and sewed this with the machine. 
I mounted the pictures on pale yellow card and then using scraps from my paper stash. I then placed the pictures side by side slightly off the centre of the page. 

I then created a three tiered title band for the base of the page which I placed again off set under the photos.  I added the title birthday girl in gold lettering.

I also die cut two circles from the same paper I had used for the title strip and created a journalling patch, which I placed in the top right hand corner of the page. .

Finally I added  several differing sized daisies with gold gems in the centre. I chose  daisies as they reflect the daisy pattern on the dress.

I'm going to hopefully enter this page into the CCW Scrapbook blog challenge.  Hopefully both they and Bryony will love it.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Cinema Visit

I love going to the Cinema but since my daughter has been away at University its been a problem finding someone to go with. My husband and son are definitely not the chick flick type, they go for the scary horror,war,science fiction blood and guts films which with a few exceptions I tend to stay away from. Trouble is with me is I see a scary film and  it plays on my mind giving me nightmares and such. I can even scare myself watching some TV programmes so there is no hope. 

However, this weekend I went to see The Avengers Assembled film with my husband, and I loved it  I know everyone has already seen it and I'm rather behind the times but who cares. We may have been the only two people in the cinema and my hubby may have already seen it at the IMAX but I don't care, what I  say is better late than never
The Avengers Assembled
Anyway I loved the film it was a great romping tale and what surprised me most of all is the fact that despite some potentially very big egos all the stars (who have films playing the characters they play in the Avengers) still managed to work as a team. I had thought one character would take the lead as it were, but no, everyone had their cameo  and  chance to be centre stage, then they backed off for the others.

I've got to say also that not only was it a good film the eye-candy wasn't bad either, just have a look below. Scarlett Johansson full credit to her,she came across very well and I do not normally think much of her. well now I have changed my mind

The gorgeous Chris Hemsworth
                                            and the others

 I expect you have all seen the film but for those of you who haven't go its great fun

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Name Change

Dear Fellow bloggers as you will note my name has changed to Dawn The Crafter I apparently had taken some one else trade marked name quite unintentionally I have therefore changed the Blog title not so interesting perhaps but I didn't want any trouble

Friday, 25 May 2012

In the Garden

The weather has come good at last and consequently the garden has begun to call to me. There is just so much to do, places to weed, things to plant and ideas that have been brewing since last summer to bring to fruition.

This week the work began first of all the vegetable plot had to be weeded and planted out. Sadly we live in an area with far too many cats (sorry all you cat lovers) and as we no longer have our dog Smudge the local cats seem to think our garden and particularly my vegetable plot is a litter tray. The job as you might imagine was not pleasant, plus it was damned hard work getting rid of the top soil and bringing some more clean soil. Next year I am covering the whole thing in the winter with plastic pretty or not. 

Well the plot is now dug and I have planted potatoes, which I had 'chitted up' from about March. I also sowed a whole block of spinach since the family loves it cooked and in salads. I have one remaining area for green beans but they are still starting in pots in the green n house. I have decided to keep things simple this year and not grow too many crops. Well we have a hose pipe ban and  the prospect of having to water by watering can is somewhat daunting. Last year I had salad crops in tubs and carrots, onions etc but this year I decided against it.

The picture below shows what the plot looks like at the moment rather barren but I'll keep you posted and you'll be amazed (hopefully)  by what a few weeks will do.
The white plastic will be in place until I plant out the beans
 I have also started my tomato and cucumber seeds, plus I bought three tomato plants from a charity event. I have also planted out my bean seeds which will finally end up in the garden plot Below you'll see the before pictures.

I'll keep you posted on how seeds etc develop. Here are some other shots of plants from the garden 

The Nelly Moser I planted two years ago is now growing in abundance over an old shed

The unnamed rose I won in a raffle last year is looking fabulous

I planted this tub last year having visited RHS Wisley  and seen some of the lovely tubs they had planted out. I liked them so much I tried one for myself using all the succulent type plants. I think they look fabulous like mini landscapes 
This is the one from Wisley
My attempt at the same thing
This weekend if the weather keeps nice I expect it will be lawn mowing. Plus I will also be trying to persuade my hubby that the decking I want and the enlarging of the garden borders is actually a good idea.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

More Pages

I have been working at producing more pages for my daughters 'This is Your Life' scrapbook and I thought you might be interested in another couple I have just completed. You will note I am not doing them in any particular order so  the pictures are of her at random ages. I am merely doing them as the pictures take my fancy I just hope when I finally assemble the book I don't find getting them in order tricky or find I have yawning gaps in the timeline.


This is a picture of Bryony in her Christening dress which my mum made for our of my wedding dress plus some additional lace. I think she looks adorable with her twinkling eyes and biting her lip. 


For this page I used stamps again as I did for the Scrapbook Sister challenge I did earlier. I had really enjoyed using the stamps so thought I'd give them another outing. I also did some machine stitching which is all rather new to me. 

The second page I did was using a picture of Bryony aged about three. In this picture she's with her pal of the time my Mums dog Chloe. Poor dog had been stung as a puppy by a bee or wasp and had subsequently lost all the fur from her muzzle. Bryony however adored her indeed I think this may well be when her love of animals began.  She's now studying Zoology at University 
Bryony and her pal Chloe

I hope you like the pages if you'd like more details of what products I used I'll be only too pleased to tell you via email.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Finished at Last ~ Almost

At last the bathroom is finished, well almost, just a few little touches to go, but in the essentials its done. So here it is.I  hope its not a disappointment to all you have nagged me about seeing the end results  

Remember it looked like this (above) and now it looks like this (below)

I am rather pleased. I just need a picture for the wall and a basket for the towels and some bits and pieces, but I like it, I think it cool and clean, without being too clinical 

Next project is the stairs and landings

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Environmental Awareness

I'm sorry folks but whilst I would not normally use my blog posts to moan today is an exception. Today whilst completing my daily three mile walk I was absolutely incensed to see a group of you boys walking towards out local skate board park dropping litter as they walked. It was dropping from their hands like confetti at a wedding and something inside me just saw red.

I amazed even myself by indignantly hailing them and demanding they retraced their steps and collected their litter and place it in the bin they had just walked past.They at first looked stunned and then one off them told me 'No' and started to walk off. I then snatched up one piece of the litter and handed it to the young man who had said no and looked him in the eye and said, " put it in the bin"  Surprising he did so and walked off muttering. 

The others also picked up the papers and placed them in the bin. However, even though they had picked up their own rubbish there  was still plenty of other rubbish laying around and I just felt so sad. 

I'm not going to go on about young people because they are no worse than older people. What saddens me is everyone wants somebody else to clear up after them. I think its time this attitude stopped, we have all got to start doing our bit, looking after our environment.  It need not be anything monumental,we can start small, simply don't drop litter, clear up the paths and verges in our street, and keep our gardens clear of wind blown rubbish. If we get started we can then take on bigger things like our parks and public places and communities in general. 

Sorry to have a rant but please lets  start looking after our environment.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

'This Is Your Life ~ Another Page

I have completed yet another page of my daughters 'This is your Life Book' and here it is. I have decided to use various blog challenge designs for this book with a few of my own thrown in . I am hopeful this will make  an interesting scrapbook for her whilst at the same time making me try some new ideas. We will see I hope you all like this page I am pleased with it and I hope my daughter will be too.

For this page I have used the May C is for Charm challenge set by the Scrapology blog team. They have some fab pages on their site, so whilst I might not win its great fun to give it a try. 

This was picture was taken of my daughter when she was about three (she 19 now) she was just so cute always into something, this picture shows her in one of her quieter moments yet she still looks ready to pounce. or leap into action.

For this page I used  a plain sheet of 12 x 12 lilac purple paper from my stash and I first created the borders at the top and bottom of the page. For the borders I used some metallic grey lace plus some white  broderie anglaise lace layered over each other. I then added a strip of stick on ribbon in purple. Over these I placed a layer of light purple raggedly torn card which I stitched over on the machine. Finally to complete the borders I added a length of white and purple patterned ribbon.

Once I had finished the borders I then mounted the photo on two sheets of purple paper, one checked one plain and placed this in the centre of the page.

Using my die cuts I cut out some patterned doyle shapes plus a circle using my spellbinder and sizzixs dies and I placed them to the left of the mounted photograph. In the centre circle I added some journalling and beneath it I placed a metal butterfly charm. 

At the top left and bottom right of the photo I added a collection of three dimensional card  stick on flowers in various shades of purple plus some rub on butterflies in similar tonal shades.

Finally I added the title 'Cheeky' and a small flourish at the top right of the photograph to finish the page.

Now All I have to do is enter the page into the Scrapology challenge.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Quiche, Flan, Savoury Tart

My family all love my quiches, but it has been pointed out to me, what I make is not strictly speaking a quiche.  I must acknowledge the truth, it is perhaps a little too full  of ingredients other than milk and eggs. It is therefore possibly better referred to as a savoury tart or flan. Well no matter what you call it it tastes great and I'm going to give you the low down on how to make it below


1 block of ready prepared short crust pastry
4 Large Eggs
1 courgette
1 cup of sweet corn
1 large onion
150g Lardons
100 g Chopped Lean Ham
1 Sweet Red Pepper
500-600ml Milk or cream 
150g Cheese (strong) 
5cm slice of Chorizo Sausage  


Pre-heat oven to 190C, 374F  gas mark 5, 170C

Roll out pastry 

The place pastry in a flan dish being careful not to cut pastry down to much on the sides/edges to allow for shrinkage when cooking. Spike the base of the pastry with a fork.  

Place tinfoil or baking paper inside flan dish and then add baking beads and bake  the pastry until it is almost cooked. This is called baking the pastry blind.this will take about 10 mins at most. Do not allow the pastry to over cook.  

Chop all the vegetables ingredients into small pieces. Stand to one side.

Place lardons  and chopped chorizo in frying pan and gently fry until golden brown.

Then add the vegetable ingredients. You may need to add a small amount of oil to  prevent sticking.O ften there is sufficient from the lardons and chorizo  so the addition of more oil is unnecessary.

Cook until all ingredients soft and the vegetables have taken on a little colour then add chopped ham and stir ingredients together. 

Add about one third of the cheese to this mix and then place all into the pastry flan.

Whisk eggs with milk or cream and then pour into the flan to ensure all ingredients are well covered. 

Add the remainder of the cheese onto the top of the flan,

Reduce heat of the oven to  180C/gas 4/ fan 160C and cook for 25-30 minutes or until lightly set.

The finished flan
I serve this with salad or chips well with anything the family fancies really. Its also great cold for buffet meals and picnics.

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Finished Articles

As you all know I have recently attended a two day felting course run by Paula Watkins and  the Community Partnership. The first day of the course was the 5th May and as I reported  in my post it was great. Well this weekend was the second day of the course and it was another truly fabulous day.

As I told you in my earlier post was first tried wet felting and made a flower brooch, beads and a picture panel. This time we did some more wet felting and made some rolled layered beads, another panel plus trying our hands at dry/needle felting. I must say I found both techniques equally interesting and also found combining the two methods made for some interesting results. You can see some of what I made below.

For the dry felting you use a felting needle, which is essentially a rather long sharp  barbed item together with a sponge which protects the needle form damage. Simply layer up the felt as one does for wet felting then rather than adding the water and soap liquid you use the needle to  pierce though the fibres . The barbs on the needle catch on the wool fibres and cause them to mat together

Individual felting needles
 You can also use a Clover felting needle and mat, this is essentially a multi- needled tool.See http://www.sewessential.co.uk/ or http://www.lainesworld.co.uk

The Clover tool and pad
 This method can be used to create large items of felt but is also a  very useful tool if you want to add detailed features to wet felted items. I used the needle felting  method to add greater texture and detail to both my panels. As you will also be able to see I also added stitching and bead work  

Last weekend panel completed 
A close up of the panel
My second panel of a cornfield with poppies 

A close up of the above panel. You can see here the needle felted red poppies and the silks which have been added.

 Whilst we were at the course on Saturday as I have already said we made some rolled beads. For this we used the wet felt method. We layered three different of brightly coloured wool as will be shown in the next pictures  
1st layer Note strands of wool are vertical placed on the sheet of bubble wrap  
2nd Layer. Note strands of wool are horizontal
3rd Layer Note strands of wool are vertical

 We then wetted the surface with a water and soap solution covered with a sheet of fine netting and then smoothly eased the fibres together with smooth stroking motions. When the fibres began to bind tether we then cut the panel of pre-felt we had created in half vertically. We then rolled these strips starting with the shortest end. It is important to make the first roll tight and then take care to roll until all the felt is used up. Do not worry if you get little uneven ends as these will be cut off at the end of the process. You can roll one half of the pre-felt so one colour forms the outer layer and the other half can be rolled so it has the other colour as the outer layer as can be seen below.

The pre-felt rolled in what can only be described as cigar shaped rolls
You then roll these cigar shapes gently to being with on  sheet of bubble wrap. You will feel the rolls gradually come together and you can then apply more pressure. It is important to do this gradually as you do not want the outer layers to complete the felting process before the inner layers. If this happens you will end up with a baggy bead which will not stay together

Once the felting process is complete, when the roll feels very firm. you can then wash the rolls in very hot water to remove the soap residue. The rolls can then be cut into slices to form the beads 

The felt when rolled up

The beads being cut
The final beads
Once the beads have been created all that is needed then is for them to dry out and be threaded.

I would highly recommend felting to anyone young or old. The equipment is fairly minimal and you do not have to be highly skilled to start out. Obviously as your skill at handling the materials improves the finished results will likewise improved.If you live in Hertfordshire area you can contact the following http://communitylearningpartnershipangels.blogspot.co.uk/

Here are a few pieces of work from the other people who were on the course. Take note no one had done felting before, but I think you'll agree the results are great.