Wednesday 29 February 2012
Helena - there are only 36 sets of white toppers for stamping and colouring her own images, and the scalloped backings to go with them., but they took a little while and kept me out of mischief. The card backed envelope to post them off in is at the back of the desk, usual cup of coffee plus a duster brush I've promised to someone. Kinda orderly isn't it? OK, take a breath and eyes smartly to the right:
To see what everyone else has on their desk, dining room table, floor, bed, kitchen worktops, ironing board etc. - just hop over to Julia's who hosts our weekly snoop on What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday! I promise that you'll see loads more mess there and on other blogs than I can show you - but it's all 'fun mess' and really worth a nose. And the ladders have claimed a victim over at Julia's too!
Tuesday 28 February 2012
On this particular dark evening we'd left the Carlisle office and were driving back to our hotel when we spied a good ole Northern fish and chip shop. It was emanating (big word!) the most wonderful smells and so we stopped and joined the queue. Hotel food did become quite tiring and this promised to be a yummy meal.
The food came in boxes like those above and we selected our own personal treat - a polystyrene pot of curry sauce for Joy (What?! That was a new one on me.) and a large soft roll for your truly. I'm afraid to confess that I just love a chip butty :)
We hopped back into Joy's car and then parked, almost straight over the road, in a very quiet little car park in a disused retail park. Windows down to prevent the lingering smell of vinegar and curry sauce we began to tuck in. Bliss - and then Joy hissed at me 'Don't look too pointedly Di, but can you see what going on over there?'.
I'd been really pre-occupied making my chip butty, head down and carefully lining up the chips like little soldiers (chip OCD?), and had only partly noticed the only other cars which had arrived in the car park. So, I took a look and replied 'Really parked close together aren't they - they'd never be able to open their doors to get out' and then 'Oooh, look Joy, how friendly - they're passing packs of cigarettes around from car to car through the windows', before returning to carefully assembling layer two of chips in said chip butty. How
Next thing I knew, Joy had quietly raised the car windows - then she made her move. 'Look Dumbo' she hissed (there was a lot of hissing going on here I noticed) - 'those aren't packets of cigarettes. And we could be thought to be a drugs surveillance team if they take notice'.
Slowly, the asses ears sprouted from my head and preoccupation with a neatly made chip butty was swiftly replaced by absolute terror. 'Hold onto your hat Di - we're out of here' was the next utterance from Joy, followed by her box of fish and chips landing on my lap and the pot of curry sauce being thrust into my hand. And with that, she started the engine and we screeched out of the car park.
It was like a scene from something like Cagney and Lacey or maybe Thelma and Louise. Only, I just bet that Louise wasn't whimpering 'I want my Mummy. I don't want to be shot. I didn't see anything, honestly' repeatedly whilst looking like an Indian goddess with each hand raised on either side, one clutching a chip butty and the other one holding a lidless pot of curry sauce as we hurtled along. There were a few mini-roundabouts on the route too and believe me, that was tricky stuff! Threats from Joy that she'd personally shoot me if I spilt the curry sauce all over the car weren't helping either :(
As it happens, we weren't followed, we did survive unscathed and hid the car round the back of the hotel where we half heartedly finished off the fish and chip supper. The following day, back at the Carlisle office, we discovered that sure enough - where we'd parked was a known local hangout for drug dealers. Ha, known perhaps - but not if you're a couple of innocent visitors trying to have a quiet supper!
Monday 27 February 2012
I nipped round with it but just popped it through the door and ran away - it needed a box so maybe they thought it was a Luke-sized pizza coming through the letter box :))
Sunday 26 February 2012
Yikes, the playground got off to a flying start this week - Brenda hopped in during the wee small hours.
It sounds quite crazy I know, but I can vividly imagine the little pigtails flying when playmates rush into the playground and I hate the gap and silence when the gates are closed so I can finish off the roll call.
Anyhow, here's my snippets make for this week - wow, number 9 already!
So, that did use up a few snippets at least - amazing when you have enough of them to be able to co-ordinate how often they come to the rescue.
OK, roll call time!
Brenda whipped in like a greyhound chasing a rabbit as soon as the gates opened on Sunday with this terrific 60th Birthday card. Bless, it was a last minute make for a 60th birthday she's known about for ages (how often do we all do that huh) - and Brenda had to fling her knitting to one side to race off and make it. A stunner too and one to really make you smile - just think Terrible Twos Tantrums, better still, hop over and see for yourself.
Not long after that, Linby hopped in clutching a really 'lovely in lilacs' monochromatic card - it's so pretty, a lovely Tiddlyinks Parisian lady against a perfect background. Every element goes so well together on this card Linby - to see it if you haven't already hopped over for a peek during the week go here, and be prepared to be tres impressed :) I love it!
Irene brought the sweetest LOTV card with her, made for her sister-in-law - the colours are so soft and delicate, blue and brown teamed up perfectly! The addition of little pearls to the necklace is a lovely touch - to see what I mean, hop over here to have a little peek. Gorgeous isn't it?
Next in was the gentle soul Sandra H - we've never met but I always envisage her as being very caring and quite quiet. I could be totally wrong though because just take a peek at the funky card she brought to show us Whoop, whoop - go Sandra, really bright and I think very different, love it loads! Great colours and I just love the spare set of shoes :) Do go and check it out if you already haven't - and get those glasses, plus the hairdo :)
Hazel's first card of the week is here and it's a real Christmas cracker - err, a Christmas pudding actually:) One of the sweetest images for a Christmas card and the delicious backing papers go perfectly too - and I wouldn't mind a scrabble through Hazel's Christmas snippets! Next was this card - what a cheeky chappie the reindeer is too. Then we have some inchies - using a heart stamp that I just know Jules will sigh over :) Does anyone know the name of the stamp as Hazel doesn't? On Wednesday Hazel had used some stickers on this really elegant card - and again is unsure of who makes them - any ideas?Also on Wednesday, Hazel hopped back for another go on the slide and brought a really eye catching 'black, white and a touch of yellow' card to show us - it's here. A great combination of papers and stamps too! I did laugh at this next card - it truly made me think of you all - err, anyone wearing blue bloomers out there? To see what I mean - go here as it's such a fun card! Then on Thursday, Hazel nipped in with this bright and cheerful Christmas card - all in reds and with a Tilda image cleverly given a Santa hat, complete with pom pom :)
Next into the playground was Shazza with a lovely card which you can see here. It's all flowers and such a pretty make - love the stamping on the background too! Do go and take a peek, Shazza is on a roll with her recycling and constantly surprises me - a real knack of using recycled goodies without them looking like a couple of dogs have been fighting over them, as is normally the case if I try that!
Sarn, who is Shazza's sister, arrived next - complaining that she'd only been beaten in the race to the playground 'cos she stopped to tie her shoelace! :) But, the two gorgeous cards that Sarn brought were well worth waiting for too - both 4" square ones and really fresh and clean looking. I did tease Sarn about the 'arty' flowers in front of the cards too :) I can't choose a favourite - can you?
Next to dash in was Gilly, fresh from making her wedding invitations - don't forget we want to see them Gilly so when they've been sent out, if you post a photo etc. on your blog, which I'll know about from following you it will be linked into the Playground. Anyhow, Gilly brought with her a really super card, using ribbon in such a clever way - to see go here. Very clever isn't it, and such great colours.
Liz's first card used paper piecing - yay! I love that technique and this card is really pretty in pink - always the way to my heart :) Ha, it could even be one of you little scamps waiting patiently for a go on the swings! Liz's next card is here and in total contrast - black and white used in a stunning way. Brilliant result Liz!
Next was Elizabeth with pink (more squeaks of happiness here) - beautifully married up with black and following the theme of 'shopping in Paris'. Do go and sigh over the gorgeous dress that the very chic shopper is wearing - in fact everything about this lovely card - here. The background papers are just perfect and pull it all together so well Elizabeth! Next time, Elizabeth brought another really beautiful card with her - to see it go here. I love the way Elizabeth started off with an aperture card which already had a little floral design printed on it - they were ideal for mounting cross stitch in and I'm sure there are still some lurking here. Taking that and building a gorgeous creation so that it flows seamlessly into the centre of the aperture and also to the far corner is really clever - plus Elizabeth used gilding flakes, which add a fabulous finishing touch. Then Elizabeth hopped back in with a really cute image of a puppy on a rather chic card - monochromatic and really one to stand out in a crowd - such lovely little puppy paw prints too - go here to see, I love it!
Karen was next with a real stunner - using vellum to make butterflies and they really do look ready to fly off the card, fabulous vibrant turquoise and gorgeous embossing too Karen. To see what I mean, hop over and see for yourselves - there's a lot of work and detail to be seen - I really love the result, I'd be very proud of my efforts if I was Karen!
We then had a visit from Jules - big cheer! She was such a happy bunny, having found a terrific bargain of a Sizzix die she'd been
Carol popped in next with this lovely Christmas card. What a stroke of genius too, using an image on the bauble Carol, it's a really super result - very soft scene and really cleverly done. I didn't even know you could get Nesties dies in bauble shapes! Then, later in the week Carol hopped back with this beauty. At the same time, checking whether the patio heaters had been installed in the playground :) It's another Christmas card, with all the things I love, lace, ribbon, punched edging and such a lovely image - do go and see, super!
Our Laura was next to come for a whizz round the playground, bringing this card - isn't it just great. Really fresh and so eye catching - the combination of white, black, grey and honey colours do go together so well - and the images are gorgeous. After time away on a placement it's great to see Laura back in the fold with us :)
I spotted the next card on Judy's WOYWW blog posting and persuaded her to bring it along to show you - but it comes with a health warning. Before you hop over here and take a peek, you'll have to pass through Judy's living room - which is the most amazing Aladdin's cave of crafting stash I've ever set eyes on! Once you finish gasping and reach the card, it's really pretty and the colour combination is perfect - and only made by Judy because the cat refused to do it! Who else would hop into the playground exclaiming 'You have POGO STICKS now? I'm going to break my fool neck.' :)
Tammy arrived next with this really cheerful card - I think we're all into butterflies at the moment - and I love the way that Tammy even used the punched heart leftovers. Definitely waste not want not - and so effective too. Love the sunny colours, it reminds me that perhaps we'll have a Summer yet. If you need a little bit of sunshine go and take a peek.
Our next visitor was Jackie with a lovely 'pretty in pink' card - using one of my all time favourite Penny Black stamps. To check it out, go here. Don't you just love the little mouse standing on tippy toes to blow out the candle? The papers and sentiments are all Craftwork cards ones and they go together so well Jackie! And, I think you did a pretty good job making and decorating that birthday cake too.
Maggie brought a little satchel full of seven Christmas cards to the playground in one go - dual purpose as they are also for Rudolph Day, which is run by Sarn. I'll mention Rudolph Day again further down, but what a great selection of cards Maggie brought with her. Decoupage, a waterfall card (mine always work like they have arthritic joints Maggie!), Crafters Companion, Thomas Kinkade - they're all here, and they're all gorgeous too. Do go and see for yourself - and thanks Maggie for bringing them in one go :)
Next in was Lyn, with a card made in a style totally suited to using up your teensy little snippets - a nine square card, topped off with darling little punched flowers which you can see here. It's gorgeous Lyn, and the faux stitching round the edge is a great finishing touch - and, belated birthday wishes from your playmates too. Good job we didn't know earlier - you might have been subject to 'the bumps' - do kids still do that now I wonder? Or has 'Elf and Safety' put a stop to it?
Aw, after a little absence, Sam (Hettie) flew in on Friday evening clutching a selection of cards too - all in one go as well. Phew, a real variety of work here - take a peek as there's a lot to see. Birthday cards plus one Anniversary card so there's a lot to look at - all done beautifully of course. If I really had to pick a favourite, it would be the one with chickens on - but there's a lot to choose from so perhaps you should go and decide!
So, that's the roll call for this week girls. Mr Linky is below and the gates will be open as normal this week, closing at midnight on Saturday. Hope to see you coming into the playground for a quick spin on the roundabout maybe?
To those of you who posted a few snippets all together, thank you, it makes the linking much less arduous. I don't want to put people off though, so if you need to enter challenges during the week and the card is also made from snippets then please carry on. Or maybe you just want to post snippets cards one at a time - I'll keep trundling on and will shout if it becomes too much, the main thing is not to have rules if we can help it - apart from no pinching or hair pulling :)
Don't forget, yesterday was Rudolph Day - each 25th of the month Sarn hosts Rudolph Day in a bid to help you to make a few Christmas cards during the year. There are no limitations on what you make - any shape, colour, style is fine - and you still have almost a week to enter! And, you can be like Maggie - use up some snippets at the same time and make a card to link into here and Sarn's blog. We don't mind at all - we're here for the fun first and foremost :)
Finally - Sam suggested a button for the sidebar that you can pick up for your blogs if you like. Great idea, and I have the image of the playground keys from the lovely Jules - only, I can't find out how to do the button :( Can anyone link me to some decent instructions in 'idiot' language please? I can happily fiddle with HTML but just can't find a good starting point :(
Saturday 25 February 2012
Told you it was a quick one!
Friday 24 February 2012
To be honest, liver is not the top of my 'last dinner before execution' meal list either - but, somehow, this does work really well. It's much more reliable than using even the best fillet steak - and a whole load cheaper too!
Lambs Liver Stroganoff
Serves 2 good helpings
1 large knob of butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
450g lambs liver, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
225-300g button mushrooms
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300ml sour cream
Melt butter in a pan, add onion and fry over gentle heat until soft.
Add the liver and fry for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the cream.
Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in the cream, return pan to a low heat and warm through.
Taste and adjust seasoning and serve on a bed of rice.
I got this recipe from my friend and ex-work colleague, Joy, years ago and it's been a favourite ever since - once I worked out that the original had a typo of 4450g of liver in it!! :) She's as scatter brained as me and is currently hopping round on one leg having just had mahoosive surgery on the toes of one foot, mostly to correct arthritic problems. We spoke this morning and the conversation ranged from the problems of managing the loo, to her husband wanting to take her out for some fresh air in a wheelchair. We did have a good laugh when we decided that dark glasses and a big floppy hat would be the attire of the day...in the wheelchair, not on the loo!! :)
She 'played hookey' and whizzed round a few times to visit from the office after my 'Metal Mickey' hip op. a few years ago - talk about a couple of kids! So, my turn for revenge, ssshh, and the camera - I'm off to see her this coming week bearing books, lunch and hopefully a whole load of laughs. Err, and some dry spray hair freshener - OMG, showering to wash your hair sat on a garden plastic seat whilst keeping one leg out of the way of water and propped up on another garden seat can't be much fun. I don't dare even tell you about the 'good friends' conversation we had today about the loo acrobatics! Bless! That's reminded me of some of our escapades travelling round the UK on business - for Tuesday Tales though :)
Err, if you are bored Joy, and do peek in here as you sometimes do - get well soon chick and I'll be there to help to cause mayhem ASAP xxx :)
Thursday 23 February 2012
It took minutes to make and days to decide on! I think it would possibly be suitable as a sympathy card - the sentiment seems appropriate too, 'If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies'.
Wednesday 22 February 2012
Here's what I was up to yesterday afternoon - it looks just the same right now too:
water based markers, watercolour pencils, watercolour paints, chalks, embossing powders, dye pads, and pigment pads. The blender never has to be replaced, it is easily refillable and the nibs are replaceable. But most important the Dove Blending Fluid will make your work Permanent when it is allowed to dry'. I lifted those words from the Dove website :)
This tutorial is brilliant too - so if you have any chalks languishing in your stash, take a peek and be inspired - I was! I don't say that chalks will replace your other colouring mediums, I love my Pro Markers too much, and need lots more practise, but they sure are fun to use this way. The soft results are great, I have yet to try really strong colours though.
Just thought I'd share and maybe help you to spend some money! Tee, hee!!
Right, time now to hop over to Julia's here to see if the garden fork is still stuck in the ground outside her craft room window and to
Tuesday 21 February 2012
We had a guy, shifty in the extreme, who used to frequent the shop. I coined the name 'Nick' for him and a little press of the panic button underneath the shop counter would alert the backroom helpers that Nick was in the shop. We knew fine well that he was pocketing stuff - silly little things such as small ornaments, the odd book, DVD, little model cars and so on but, despite the scamper of a few watchful helpers into the shop when he arrived, we could never catch him red handed. In some ways I wonder if it was just the challenge of not being caught but perhaps not. Believe me though, he made Paul Daniels look like an amateur.
One Saturday, as we were clearing up after the shop doors had closed - we found something a bit like these, tucked underneath the shoe rack.....gross!!
Our little manageress, called Rita, was livid and almost sure who the culprit was. She took the offending trainers and left them in her little 'office' at the back of the shop to await her chance.
Ha, it didn't take long - on the Monday afternoon, Nick sauntered into the shop where Rita spotted him and sweetly said 'Ah, I have something for you in my office, would you like to follow me'. OMGosh - like a lamb to the slaughter Nick looked trustingly at Rita and followed. Apparently his eyes were popping as he walked through the 'inner sanctum' and saw the piles of goodies waiting to be put out for sale. Then he stood obediently in front of Rita once they reached her office - goodness knows what he was thinking, he sure was totally oblivious to what was coming!
At that point Rita roared 'Get those off!' - believe me she was a feisty character :) For a split second it seems that Nick could have fleetingly thought that all his birthdays had come at once - but then the offending trainers were thrust at him by Rita and he knew he'd been 'busted'. Gawping like a goldfish he swiftly changed into his old trainers and scarpered with Rita's 'total ban on ever entering this shop again' ringing in his ears.
But this is the part that might have you wondering - how had Rita known that it was Nick? Err, he'd only pinched a pair of shoes that would stand out in a crowd at the best of times, unless you were Al Capone - shiny brown patent leather with white detailed punching on them (all that was missing was a pair of spats)......and yup, he'd returned to the scene of the crime in his usual scruffy jeans and baseball cap wearing the wretched things!
Have a nice day!
Monday 20 February 2012
Sunday 19 February 2012
First of all, my snippets card for the week, I just love paper piecing and this stamp really lends itself to it:
- a couple of Josy Rose nail heads to finish off. I was originally going to put ribbon down the left hand spine but decided not to in the end as I felt it was going to just be too much - that meant I moved the vertical strip of rose patterned paper to the left (the one I also paper pieced the roses with) and, as the sentiment was already stamped (duh!) there was a little gap to be filled :)
Jackie shot in like a little rocket, almost as soon as the playground gates opened, waving such a gorgeous wedding card which you can see here. It features the lovely 'I do' LOTV Wedding couple, flowers and all things deliciously 'wedding-like' - fabulous! Later on, Jackie returned with this beauty - a Valentine's Day card to beat most. Totally adorable and very elegant at the same time - go and have a peek to see what I mean. Later on again, Jackie returned with a Flippin' Men card - totally different to the first two cards and perfect for the football loving men in your lives. Great cards Jackie!
Carol's card this week was a lovely Christmas card - with the theme of snowflakes. Quite apt given the weather we had a week ago - the blue and silver worked a treat and the card was round and beautifully die cut, go here to see for yourselves.
Next in, still on Sunday, was Sarn 'hopping in' with a great Easter card - featuring a LOTV image of a bunny on a pogo stick. It's really lovely and so beautifully coloured too - to see it go here. I have this stamp too and after seeing Sarn's success I might quietly forget it :) Eileen has suggested that Sarn is ready to move onto Pan Pastels - I totally agree, and it reminded me of a load of neglected chalks I have here so watch this space, but do 'hop' over to see Sarn's card for yourself.
As always, Irene's card here is so elegant is almost hurts - I adore it. The combination of white, navy and just a touch of amber makes for a totally beautiful card - do go and take a peek if you haven't already, there's some inspiration there for sure.
Jules brought us two cards at once this week. The first one in vibrant pink and grey and the second one is such a beautiful Christmas card - both really gorgeous and of course perfectly made as always - to see both of them, go here, although I guess lots of us follow Jules blog avidly and you could well have visited already...but another little look wouldn't hurt :)
Next to visit was Lyn with this lovely little card. I've hopped back as I'm writing this up and from the comments it's amazing how many of us have some of those Flower Fairy tags that Lyn used - to see how well they work do hop over if you haven't already done so. They go so well with the BP, lace and hearts that Lyn used. Then, you could be scrabbling through your stash in search of those tags which were a freebie with a magazine quite a while ago. Visions here of you hopping up from the computer and diving into your stash right away :)
Our Princess Judy returned to the fold this week with a great use of snippets - her posting is here, the terrific snippets and 'just perfect for Valentine's Day' card is the third one down but do take time to check out the others, and also to read Judy's words. She totally cracks me up - even in adversity, her wry humour was never far from the surface.
Shazza was next in for a go on the swings - clutching this gorgeous little make, all in pink and white and also perfect for Valentine's Day. As Shazza said, this really was a true snippets card - loads of goodies were used up here, but done perfectly as well. Brilliant! Plus, Shazza and Sarn haven't yet ganged up as the Terrible Twosome (sisters) to cause mayhem in the playground.......yet!!
Hmm, no sign of Brenda this week - but, I think she's a bit busy admiring the amazing socks she just finished knitting :)
After Shazza, Linby arrived with a card made in a collage effect, I thought it super to be able to pull so many snippets elements together and produce something that works so well, ribbons included - to see what I mean, go here. It's good to see snippets of ribbon being used too. I have a really weird knack of being able to cut a length of ribbon to almost the precise length just by guess work so I rarely have ribbon snippets. Shame really as there are loads of uses for them - maybe I should attack my ribbons box like Edward Scissor Hands and see what flies out :))
I must digress quickly here - on Friday Jules posted something that really made me laugh - she secretes her ribbons in a bedroom drawer as 'overspill' and she's been rumbled by her husband, who sounds a jolly good sport about it anyhow! I was still chuckling about it when I hopped into bed and Len asked what was amusing me, so 'big mouth' here told him. Yesterday morning, as I was in the shower, I could hear every drawer in our bedroom being stealthily opened and checked for intruding stash :)) Nothing was found - but Len didn't think to check the drawers under the bed did he, snort, snort!!
OK, back to the roll call.
Andria arrived next with 'two for the price of one' - a matching card and sweetie bag, so adorable too! To check them out go here, beautifully coloured and the peach tones and turquoise go together perfectly. I bet there was one happy young lady on Valentine's Day - really lovely Andria.
Next was our birthday girl, Tammy, it was her birthday on Valentine's Day. Belated birthday wishes from your playmates Tammy! She brought this really bright and cheerful card - red and turquoise proving how well they can work together. Check out the icing on the cake too - that embossing worked a treat. Hope you had a great day Tammy!
Hazel was following a sketch with her first card of the week - and she did it brilliantly. The papers are great and just see the adorable PB image - here. Hazel's next card is all hot pink, black and white and those colours go together so perfectly too. I'm seeing more and more of this combination and have yet to see them not working together. Go and check out Hazel's great card for yourself here. Then Hazel hopped back with this lovely Christmas card, using snippets of course but also for her own Christmas Card Challenge which is currently 'Create a Scene'. Hazel's next card will make you hungry I think - lovely cupcakes using brown and pink papers and KanBan cupcake stamps (another set I think I have languishing here that haven't been used for a while). Plus another one using the same stamp set and papers here. The pink and brown works so well together Hazel! And finally a real sweetie here - perfect for a bridesmaid or flower girl, using a Fleur Anya stamp and lots of pretty pink. Whoops, not quite finally - Hazel whipped in just before the gates closed with a lovely card here - all in blues with some lovely pearls. Super backing paper too.
What a gorgeous card Sandra H brought along to the playground this week - it's here - the most adorable baby card using decoupage. I bet the recipients would have been over the moon with this card Sandra - love the baby sleeping on the cloud too :) The sentiment is lovely 'A Baby is a bit of Stardust blown from the hand of God' - I'd probably have been tempted to add the words 'especially when fast asleep' :) Just beautiful!
Sam posted her offering, all the way from Prague! She was having a romantic break there but didn't forget us - her gorgeous card is here (a Valentine for hubby) plus some great photos of Praha too. Nowt like rubbing it in Sam :) Back to the card, a load of thought had gone into making this as it was themed on Praha - aww, you little romantic Sam!!
Next was Liz with a really cute Christmas card - using a LOTV stamp. Perfectly matched to the papers too - you can see it here. Then Liz popped back with this lovely card - like her, I adore Bo Bunny papers :) Liz used such soft colours and made a perfect background for a ready made distress tag from a swop. Marvellous Liz!!
I hadn't seen Yogi in the playground ever before (although she's a regular on WOYWW), perhaps she played when Jules ran the challenge? Anyhow, she hopped in with a really delicious card this week - it's so cheerful and truly good enough to eat too - you can see it here and judge for yourself. Oh boy, now I have a craving for cherries Yogi!!
Sally H then brought a really beautiful card with everything so perfectly done and balanced - making for a truly chic result. And of course, using snippets in pink, white and black - to see what you think go here - I think it's absolutely elegant, great card Sally! The main image is by Inklicious and it's a real beauty too.
Next was Elizabeth with two lovely cards - and I do think her second one has the current record for being the smallest one in the playground :) To see them both, hop over here - the first one was for Hazel's previous Christmas card challenge with the theme of angels, beautiful, with a lovely pearl swirl! The second one is the tiny, but perfect, one that I referred to just now - and Elizabeth is on a roll using up her stash right now too. It's fascinating to see what you're all using up at the moment!
And last, but by no means least, Maggie arrived with these six gorgeous cards. Maggie is finishing off lots of half done projects as well as really putting her Silhouette through its paces - especially with some really stunning photographs. Ha, I struggle taking a photo of a card to post on here, let alone anything anywhere near good enough to actually make into a card :( Do go and take a peek - every one is really super. All fantastic cards Maggie and good that you got to the playground in time - I'll wash all the swings and tidy the skipping ropes, if you lock the gates when we leave :)
I did close the gates at quarter to midnight so I could finish this roll call off and post it before going to bed - a fresh week begins now. Mr Linky is below as usual - but there's a shorter time this week for entries. I have to drive up to beyond Oxford next Sunday for the day leaving here really early, at the crack of sparrows in fact, and will have to finish the roll call off on Saturday afternoon and schedule the post. So, Mr Linky will close at noon UK time on Saturday. I don't expect this to happen very often but now and then life gets in the way and I'd rather post the roll call as normal on a Sunday.
Thanks so much for joining in and hope to see you again this week!
Saturday 18 February 2012
Thai Market Pork or Chicken Curry
500g lean tender pork fillet or skinless chicken breast
6 shallots peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
800ml coconut milk (note, this is 2 cans)
4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp caster sugar
about 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice or to taste
Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Whizz or pound the shallots to a rough paste with1 tbsp of the fish sauce.
In a wok or deep frying pan, heat 125ml of the coconut milk over a medium high heat, add the red curry paste and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the paste begins to brown.
Add the shallot mixture and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk and 400 ml water (NB - see my note below), bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half or thickened slightly.
Add the meat to the reduced red curry liquid, stir in the remaining1 tbsp fish sauce and the caster sugar and cook for several minutes until the meat is tender and cooked through when tested.
Adjust the flavour with the fresh lime juice.
Serve with rice or noodles.
Things I would do: I have a small Kenwood blitzer so that was great for the shallots, but you could just chop them quite finely I'm sure. The recipe almost tripped me up when it asked for 2 cans of coconut milk but I did have spares here. But, I absolutely would NOT add any water to this recipe when I cook it again - I'd watch it very closely and add water if needed but certainly I wouldn't do it straight off. I wouldn't use creamed coconut as that could be too thick or could burn - coconut milk all the way for this one.
I used pork fillet for a change as I usually opt for chicken in curries - it was totally gorgeous, despite quite a liquid sauce, and the two-legged mouse (aka Len) made sure there was only some excess sauce left at the end - and not much of that either. Did he drink it I wonder?
Hope you have a super weekend - snippets roll call tomorrow so fingers will be flying over the keyboard here today :)
Friday 17 February 2012
But, I finished the Ruby Wedding card:
Despite having some lovely deep red paper embossed with red hearts, it was all gonna be just too, too much so instead - when I make the box later today - I'll line the base with some of the hearts paper. This card is going to Belgium so there'll be a little scramble here to make the box, finish off the inside with an insert and then whizz out to the post office this afternoon.
So - what did I use? Or would it be easier to tell you what I didn't use! A lot of the stuff I had scattered all over the desk in readiness on Wednesday ended up being returned into the stash boxes, honestly :)
The place was like a bomb site when it was finally finished!
I'd like to enter this into the current challenge over at That Craft Place, which is 'Love is all around'.
Also, St. Luke's Hospice current challenge, which is 'Love and Lace'.
Thursday 16 February 2012
A quick make - which is more than can be said for the other project :)
Wednesday 15 February 2012
Yikes, the school reunion committee have asked me to make a Ruby Wedding Anniversary card. The couple that it's for met at our school and married not that long after leaving - and they're still blissfully happy all these years later. Oh, I do love happy endings :)
I've made a few very special Anniversary, Birthday and Wedding cards for the reunion committee to send in the past - when it's being sent with the best wishes of over 600 members they do like 'big and elaborate'. In case you're wondering, the Wedding card was for a widow and a widower who are in their 80's and met up again after about 50 years. Love blossomed and they too are blissfully wed - that was a real tear jerker I can tell you :)
So, on the desk we have backing papers, roses, lace, dies, ribbon, embossing folders and some sketches. Plus, and you can't see this, in front of the desk we have a very nervous crafter about to embark on slicing into those totally gorgeous embossed papers ........ and possibly make a right pigs ear of things! Less is More just isn't on the job sheet so there's gonna be a lot of head scratching going on to make it 'more' without it being 'tacky' :(
Happy WOYWW - remember, to see what everyone else is up to (it's bound to be a lot less stressed) - hop over to our Queen of WOYWW, Julia, and take a peek at who else has linked in today! Happy hopping :)
Tuesday 14 February 2012
So, outside the back of the shop, we had a mahoosive skip and anything that we couldn't clean, fix or recycle had to be ditched.
But, one of our 'ladies' trotted out with a load of stuff and threw it into the skip - an action which was followed by a loud yell of indignation. When she looked closer there was only a guy, inside the skip, who had the cheek to shout 'Watch it, I'm busy in here!!'. As fast as she'd been loading the skip he'd been ferreting out stuff and passing it to his mate who was calmly loading up a supermarket trolley 'borrowed' from Asda just nearby.
His mate 'legged it' and he scrambled up out of the skip, before being chased down the street by an irate band of volunteers waving an assortment of brooms and shouting at him and his 'mate' to hop it.
That was the tip of the iceberg - much worse tricks were employed by the local lowlife, to be saved for another day I think - but, later that evening I did wonder if he realised that he was lucky it was only a couple of disgusting old cushions that clocked him on the head - it could have been a bucket load of broken crockery or a three-legged chair!
Of course, the Pro Markers bled through but I just cut another piece of white card, a smidgen smaller than the front of the card and stuck that on the inside (a tip from Sarn ages ago).
And bless, while I was out, Len snuck out and a dozen long stemmed red roses were waiting for me when I got home. Aaaaw!
While I'm at it I'd like to add this into Penny Black's Saturday Challenge Week 188 which is (appropriately) 'Love and Kisses'.
I'll be back later with a Tuesday Tale if possible :)
Monday 13 February 2012
I'm entering this into the Less Is More - Week 54 Challenge - One Layer and Stripes.
Short and sweet from me today after yesterday's version of War and Peace:)
Sunday 12 February 2012
My snippets card for today is a little pink, to say the least:
However, a tutorial popped up on Penni's blog Lazy Cats Cards, which was very helpful - and I also looked at Jak Heath's tutorial here. Between the two I managed - yay!
I have to say that mouthless girlies aren't a favourite of mine, although Gorjuss girls (also mouthless) seem fine. Weird :) However, I did buy this stamp, just because she was sitting and seemed fine for the technique.
Enough about that and on with the roll call for the past week - and what a week!
As soon as the gates opened, almost within minutes Mary shot in with this absolutely beautiful card. It was made as a thank you for someone who helped Mary out with a replacement part for her trimmer - I bet she was delighted to receive such a pretty thank you - lovely papers and the most gorgeous flower! And, at the bottom of Mary's post you'll see a couple of Christmas cards, also using snippets. These are also great and Mary is on a quest to see if she can find any more of the papers she used - if you can help please do leave Mary a comment, they're Bo Bunny Christmas papers from 2010. I've searched online over in the UK and can't find any stockists who still have them :(
Next in, with two offerings in quick succession, was Jackie - her first card is a 21st card that's perfect in funky blues for a chap and her next card is a black and white 60th Birthday card here - they're both terrific Jackie! Later in the week, Jackie popped back with a totally different card, all pink and feminine - following a brilliant sketch too, go here to see and to check out the gorgeous butterfly, plus some really yummy snippets. I did intend to follow that sketch but time got in the way this week.
Then Brenda arrived with her Less Is More Aqua card - so lovely too! And of course, being Brenda, she's added a touch of red to 'make it pop' - and it worked really well. We had some more visits as the week progressed - with this great Christmas card - we did ascertain that the image is an Elzybells one and the papers are lovely Brenda! Then how about this next one for a card to make you go 'Aaaah' - so, so sweet. House Meece certainly have a lot going for them and I think Brenda possibly has a whole load of HM stamps, lucky girl! Beautifully done too.
Jules brought two cards with her - despite being so busy it's great to see Jules still finding time to play. And wow, as always, absolutely gorgeous cards - yikes, writing this and linking up I've spotted that one card uses pink gingham paper like mine does today. Don't tell me that I'm now being subliminally hypnotised into digging into my stash for gingham! The flower stamp is absolutely beautiful - I'm quite glad that Jules doesn't list what she uses on her snippets cards as I seem to be forever adding things I see on Jules' blog to my wish list!! Jules' other card is sure to make you smile - the sweetest penguin on a Christmas card - perfectly matched/complimenting colours and papers of course. Ha, ha - I also peeked at the other comments left on Jules' snippets posting - and I see that Brenda has been telling tales to our Patron and Founder about me :)
Then Elizabeth brought this really great layout - look who's in the middle one of the three photos :) Fabulous papers and the poinsettia is a perfect finishing touch for a Hogmonay/New Year layout (I think that's still being debated, huh Elizabeth?). I did laugh, Elizabeth had been watching Barbara Grey doing demos on Create and Craft TV - so had I down here. I think I shocked Elizabeth by admitting it was the first time I'd seen Barbara Grey - but it won't be the last as she's great fun and a very talented lady. You might like to know that neither of us spent any money - although both of us were tempted, ha, ha - Elizabeth says she sat on her hands!! :)
Linby brought two cards with her which you can see here. Both using tags but very different - the first is all pinks and love and the second one is greens. Both are beautiful makes and super use of snippets of course - do check out the cute little Westie on one of the cards :)) Linby says she got one of the tags as a freebie - brilliant find girl!!
A very happy Sylvia-Anne hopped in next with this lovely and very 'classy' card. She was almost already flying at 30,000 feet, doing last minute preparations for a much needed holiday. As she says, why do we need what seems like 3 million T-shirts for holidays? :) But, she'd made time to make a snippets card which will inspire you for sure - do hop over and check out those flowers and buttons - brilliant! Let's hope you're having a great time Sylvia.
Still on last Sunday (it was a busy day on the swings in here!) , Robin had tried to sneak in with a card but the playground gates were closed. She must have literally hit on the half hour maximum that the gates were closed 'cos I was frantically typing as the gates closed and posted the roll call very soon after before going to bed. Sorry Robin! Anyhow, undeterred, she scampered back with two terrific cards using SU's 'Sprinkled Expressions' stamps - both very effective indeed - you can see them here. And, it confirmed that my choice of this stamp set as a giveaway in SU's current Salebration sale is right - now all I need to do is whittle all the other things I'd like down to a manageable list.
Banners and bunting are very 'on trend' (oooer, get me!!) right now - and Liz came up trumps with some cute labels to make a very clever card with the theme of 'Love' - which you can see here. As I commented at the time, super use of snippets and it almost looks as if some of the punched out hearts floated up and landed on the top corners. Check it out if you haven't already had a peek :)
We did have another late visit from Liz, but a very welcome one, in the shape a card in pink and white, which as she rightly says is so very popular right now. This one, go here, is a six way one which I think you'll love!
Hazel was in and out of the playground like a little whirlwind this week with a load of offerings to show - at one point I was getting a bit dizzy :) Lots of cleverly recycled Christmas cards - firstly, how about this robin, followed by another one featuring music here , a Christmas Dove one here , a beautiful sepia scene here, a jolly Father Christmas here and a beautiful recycled die cut Christmas tree here. I think all of these followed sketches which gave such an added dimension to Hazel's work, phew - all brilliant! Then this next card followed - made primarily for a challenge in which you had to echo a photo - I thought this was simply perfect! And, as I type, finally a lovely gold card with an angel here to set the scene for Hazel's own challenge CHNC........nope, I was wrong, so funny, another little visit from Hazel as I'm typing this just popped up :) with another gold angel card. So far I think Hazel holds the playground record for submissions this week - the least I can do is to make a card for her challenge, which is to use an angel or a fairy on a Christmas card.
Something struck me whilst perusing all of Hazel's Christmas card offcuts - I forgot to take ours to recycling and they're still here :) Mind you, no way would any hand crafted ones we were sent be pulled apart!
Irene arrived next with such a fresh and crisp card in white and lilac, which you can see here. As always, so beautifully designed and put together, Irene used a SU stamp set perfectly for her card. To see what she made, hop over and have a little peek - check out the flower too. This stamp set is firmly on my list for the SU Salebration! Irene came back later in the week with another fresh and crisp card here - stunningly simple and so, so effective. In fact, it wouldn't have been whipped up in no time when you look at all the elements but the overall affect looks very simple and classy to me.
Next into the playground was Gilly, who made the fabulous rose I pointed you all to last week - you did go and peek I hope. Anyhow, Gilly had some other flowers she wanted to use up and I'm sure you'll love this card. Not only is it absolutely lovely, but what a great idea to use a card divided into four squares with three elements plus a sentiment. To see what I mean do hop over - and check that rose out too - it's further down the posting that this link will take you too!
Beryl came along next with this card - do take a look - it's totally elegant! Really eye catching the way the red just pops and see how the sentiment background picks up the flesh colours too. Quite funny how a few people said that the shoes are gorgeous and then went on to sadly comment that they can't wear shoes with heels like that now. I'm with them on that one too :( Being 'vertically challenged' I used to love my high heels!
A sad tale on this next entry - Karen was snowed in and had to miss The Creative Stitches and Hobby Craft Show due to last weekend's big dump of snow :( But, she made a lovely Christmas card using scraps of material which you can check out here. Snippets can include ribbon and material of course - not just card and paper, we have few rules here, except for no pinching and pulling of hair! While you're there - you'll see some wonderful photos of her little 18 month old grandson playing in the snow for the first time. I think that probably easily made up for the disappointment Karen :)
Sandra H arrived next and I got a bit confused, she added two links but one was already covered last week (29th January) - and I've had a good search but can only find one card referring to Challenge Number 6 - ie. this last week's. It's a little cracker too (love the eyes!) - made for a first day at school and you can see it here. It's lovely and my heart went out to the little recipient as it was also her birthday the same day! Let's hope she quickly made some nice playmates like we have here in our little playground :)
This next card was brought by Lyn - see, I said that bunting is 'on trend'!! Super card and a terrific way to use up snippets. The addition of a beautiful butterfly was a lovely finishing touch - plus Lyn used some ribbon that used to be the hanging straps on a top, clever! I know that some of you have been to have a peek but it would be really nice if you have the time to hop over and say 'hello' to Lyn. Encouragement means so much, especially as you're starting out in the blogging community.
Carol had made such a super card, which you can see here. Her snippets are gorgeous, much better than most of my 'proper papers' :( And the LOTV image is a great favourite too. Every little touch on this card is just so lovely - lots of inspiration and the co-ordination is just perfect. Go and see for yourselves!
Our next playmate was Tammy - with a very welcome sight, a card for a man! I always struggle with cards for chaps, maybe lots of us do, but just go and see here how to do it right! It's an 80th birthday card and, as Tammy says, a real classic. The background is pure inspiration and such a clever play on classic! Brilliant!!
And now, a little drum roll please as I'd like you to look at a card - yup, an image partway down the roll call I know but this blew my little socks right off:
here's the link to her blog - please go and check her wardrobe cards out too, amazing! Welcome to the snippets playground Carys - you're off to a flying start I hope :)
Andria hopped in next with this stepper card that truly rocks, in all ways! Another one for the chaps too and a real stunner. Customised right down to the name of the band her nephew plays in and, as I commented at the time, (no pun intended) it's sure to be a mahoosive hit! You can almost hear those drums too :) Absolutely great.
A really beautiful card was next, brought along by Lynne on her first visit to the playground since Jules stepped down - take a look here to see what I mean. No image needed at all, such a clever combination of papers, ribbon, trim and a sentiment really makes for a card to stand out in a crowd.It's really pretty and very Summery - just what we need to remind us that temperatures should rise sometime! Lovely card Lynne.
Maggie must have been feeling the cold when she popped into the playground - she suggested that we ought to play hopscotch :) She had three cards with her - the first two are decoupaged photographs, something I would never have thought of doing but so effective. The third card was made using a couple of heart shaped punches to make the flowers (a few of us have been at that lately!) and they are stunning. To check them all out, and the interesting post that Maggie wrote - go here.
As I said to Maggie when I commented, hopscotch could well be on the 'cards' - if only so that we hop up and down to keep warm! It's soooo cold here today (Saturday at the moment). As a kid I remember my Mum playing a game with me if we were waiting for a bus in the freezing cold - she used to chant 'Jump, jump, sugar lump' time after time and yours truly used to hop up and down in time to her chanting. It's only in recent years I've realised that it was her way of keeping me warm, occupied and probably to stop me whining :)
Right, I digressed there, sorry and back to the roll call.
Craftilicious flew in next - literally as she was hanging onto a couple of kites! Another one of Jule's' previous playmates so welcome back! Get a load of this bright and breezy (ha, ha) card here. Paper piecing used so beautifully and a really happy and cheerful card Craftylicious. Plus, the sentiment is perfect!
Sandy arrived next from Oz. and her card is just perfect for a teenage girl - go and see what I mean here. Get that 'Egg Chair' and I bet loads of you with families can relate to this fabulous card :) plus the inside is also decorated perfectly. Great work Sandy - it's got to be a real hit for the lucky recipient.
Oh no - there could a trouble brewing - we now have two sisters in the playground! I'm waiting for Sarn (where ARE you this week?!) but meanwhile Shazza arrived for her very first visit with a lovely card here using a stamp set that I love to pieces called 'Faith In Nature', plus a stamp from another set that I crave. Beautifully stamped and coloured too - that pear is so gorgeous, my eyes went bright green :) Hope to see you back Shazza, but no ganging up with your sis., else I'll separate you!
Ha, ha - I just knew it, Sarn whipped in at the last minute with a little beauty of a card - here. Do go and see, it's a gorgeous die cut 'birdie' as the main feature and the most delicate colours you could wish for. Like me, I think Sarn squirrels freebies away and her sentiment if perfect. OK, so you can join your sis. on the see-saw - but just behave, perleeeeease! It's early Saturday evening as I'm typing - I wonder how many others will squeak into the playground for a last whirl?
And, the very last playmate to make it into the snippets playground was Hettie (aka Sam) with these adorable baby cards. Both very similar with bootees and hearts, but there are differences if you look closely - Sam always manages to make cards etc. with a vintage look and a lot of style. My attempts have just ended up looking like a real mess :( So glad you made it into the playground Sam!
I don't want to curtail what's written here but, now and then, it might be easier for me to have a give away and write less - then again, we don't want 'Everyone and their Auntie' hopping into OUR playground to try out the swings and enter just for a little prize so for now we'll see how things develop :) What do you think - it's your playground?!?!
Phew, and double phew - the roll call is all done for this week. I hope you stuck with it (trust me, it took forever to write and link this marathon, so I hope I covered you all OK - shout if I didn't perleease) and I also hope that you manage, or already have managed, to hop over to see the truly inspirational work on your playmates' blogs (I do feel very privileged to see your lovely work linked in) - and that you'll join in again this coming week.
Have a great week, stay warm and safe - Mr Linky is below as usual.
Saturday 11 February 2012
Still stamping and indexing - but, the Snippets Playground roll call will be ready ASAP tomorrow. There's gonna be some fingers flying over the keyboard here for sure :)
Have a great weekend!