Sunday 30 September 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets Challenge 40 & roll call

Quite a busy week in the Playground I see, despite the need for wellies, waterproofs and such - rain didn't stop play here then!

This is my snippets card:
I had such fun making this, using ideas from September's Quick Cards Made Easy magazine. The teabag folding was very therapeutic, a great way to use up snippets and also easy once you got going. I was at a friend's on Friday afternoon doing my 'IT support' bit (I fixed it but don't know how, which is disconcerting to say the least) and, despite her initial scepticism, after showing her how to make a rosette she was fired with enthusiasm as well :) 

I used:

- 6" x 6" square cream card stock, in a tent fold

- Wild Rose Studio's 'Butterfly Garden' paper pack for the backing paper

- dress form stamp from Lawn Fawn's 'Sew Lovely' stamp set

- sentiment from LOTV's 'General Greetings - small' set, stamped in Memento black ink

- snippets of more Wild Rose Studio's 'Butterfly Garden' papers (left over from previous makes) to paper piece the dress bodice and then make the skirt and rosette. I used a one and three eighths size SU circular punch, smaller than the two inches punch used in the QCME projects but more in balance with the smaller dress form - snigger, and I don't think I have a two inch punch anyhow :) A bit more fiddly perhaps, but as I said, such good fun. Ideal for taking a whole load of punched circles, some brads and a glue pen in a small poly box when travelling maybe?

- a Fizzy Moon brad from the 'flowers' pack

So, that's my snippets offering, onto the roll call now.

I laughed at our first playmate this week, it was Jules and she was missing anyone to play on the see saw with her. Now, that brought back a memory, as an only child I often had to make my own entertainment - and believe me there's nothing much sadder than a little girl perched on one end of a see saw hopping up and down like a demented frog trying to play on her own :( Anyhow, Jules brought a brilliant Penny Black make to show - gotta love that duck perched on the top of all those parcels - and of course the lovely backing papers, bunting and stitching. So pleased you still find time to come and play Jules and I love the tale about you almost saying 'Dun you worry about nuffin'' to a client!

It's true, sometimes this Playground really gets to me too - I read on one blog yesterday about having a little bonfire in the Playground and leapt straight in and commented back 'NOT under the tree house' - the lines between the Playground and 'real' life are becoming blurred at times :)

Next was Elizabeth, with a total of four visits this week. On one of them she said she was waiting for some paint to dry and Dumber here asked her to send hubby down here when he'd finished the decorating. How silly of me - it was paint splattering techniques on paper that Elizabeth was trying out :( For her first card, Elizabeth brought a really pretty pink teacup card, made by recycling a birthday card and isn't it gorgeous? Love the satin bow as a finishing touch too. Then, there was this utterly stunning 'fishy themed' card - which blew me away with all the gorgeous detail. It isn't entered into any other challenges but I bet it would have been a winner Elizabeth, every time I look at it there's more to see. Next was a delightful card, in pinks and mauves mostly, so pretty - and I do agree with the idea of rounding the corners of the main backing paper to those lovely rosebuds to link into the scalloped card. Hark at me, what would I know anyhow :( And finally, a card featuring a cat in a bag - how adorable :) I think the image is so cute, the double bow is brilliant (despite your misgivings Elizabeth) and the tassel is a super finishing touch. I have a few of these somewhere too - thanks for a great idea!

Kate M was next to come and play, and it was her very first time in the Playground. Welcome Kate, I see that a few of you already hopped over to say Hello. If not, then this is the super Kraft Christmas bag that Kate made. Isn't it fabulous? I love the Christmas Tree so cleverly made out of scalloped circles topped with little punched shapes - it's brilliant Kate. Hope you come back to play regularly with us with more fabulous makes.

Our Sam has been busy this week - we had four visits from her too. First was to show a totally gorgeous Birthday Card, which I know is absolutely beautiful in real life 'cos it was waiting here when we arrived back from holiday. Of course I love the pink and so many super touches - the fibre instead of ribbon is great and a card I'll treasure! Then, Sam brought a Rudolph Day card to show - and what a fun image too. Sam won the stamp last month and made a brilliant card using it! This was followed by what I'm pretty sure is a card using a Kenny K image for a young lady - and I already commented that Sam has such a great ability to go from one style of crafting to another. Love it Sam! Finally, we had a super Christmas card featuring a pair of lovely plump robins - gorgeous colours there Sam and perfect embellishments.

Mary Mac paid us two visits this week, firstly with two cards, using a Spellbinders 'Cut and Tuck' die and  Martha Stewart punch to brilliant effect. One card is yellow and the other blue - and how different they look Mary. Gorgeous! On her second visit to play, Mary brought a truly lovely Christmas Card - I love the traditional Father Christmas image Mary, and the stamp, glue and glitter technique works brilliantly. To check out how it's done, go and see what Mary made and then follow her link to another blog which shows you how. I agree it would mean a lot of cleaning of stamps as you go Mary, but so, so worth it!

Next was Mags, with an adorable LOTV image on a card for a chap, young or older - it's perfect! It's been some while since you came to play Mags and it's great to see you venturing back again. I love the card you brought - beautifully coloured image and the layout/backing papers and twine are lovely together. The gems look like bubbles :) Hope to see you more often, I see a few playmates already called by to say Hello.

Maureen (aka ScrappyMo) came by this week - bringing a poinsettia card with a difference - think pearlescent shades of ivory, taupe and Kraft card! The sparkle just adds that extra something I agree - although I love both the before and after :) Right girlies. Maureen (Mo) is heading into hospital for an op. on her back this week - so I hope you'll all join in sending our love and get well soon wishes. Hope the op. does the trick and that once recovered you'll be pain free and able to fly round on the carousel without a care in the world!

We had a visit from Shaz in Oz too this week, again after a little absence. I think news of the tree house is spreading :) Shaz brought us such a beautiful 'scenic Christmas card' - using brayering (ack, that's my Achilles heel), delightful shades of purple and blue, with the moon shining through conifers - a truly perfect winter scene. I love it Shaz and so good to see you playing along, come back soon - and please bring some sunshine with you :)

Sandra H was next, also with a Christmas Card (there's no hiding I'm afraid, even the shops are getting their Christmas goodies out already) - it's so cute Sandra, such a happy teddy image and the monochrome is just perfect too. A bit of sparkle and the lovely leafy swirl plus the corner flourish are beautiful finishing touches - a card anyone would love to receive!

Next was Lindsey, with this elegant, clean and simple card - just some lovely yellow backing papers, carefully positioned and a single butterfly. A perfect Less is More design Lindsey and really eye catching too. The addition of two diamantes just adds that finishing touch - really beautiful result!

Jackie hopped by, after a little absence, and she brought two Christmas cards and a brilliant 'Rule Britannia' notebook to show. Fabulous use of snippets Jackie - love them all but the notebook is my favourite. How lucky to have so many super Britannia scraps to use up. Err, correction here - as I write the roll call I'm hopping to and fro when I write about each entry and in fact now I can't choose between those lovely Kan Ban Christmas cards and the notebook! Len always says that I'm someone who used to be indecisive but am now not so sure :(

Hazel has been having a tough time lately, both in herself not feeling well and also concerns over her Mum. I hope things are settling down for you now Hazel. We had three cards this week - the first one is here, the next one is here and the third one is here. The style of all three is very similar - but the end results just have to be seen. They're all 'concertina cards' but so different - birdhouses in pink,  dressmaking forms in shades of pink and raspberry and blue butterflies. Lots of lovely detail and definitely some food for thought as a card design to try out Hazel. Thank you for showing us these beauties!

Next to play was Lynn A with a super Christmas card. Gorgeous colours Lynn and I love the colours you used, along with stitching round the edge as well! Do please go and see if you haven't done so already - a few of you make cards with a sentiment/wording as a focus and this works so well. I need to get away from thinking I always need an image maybe :(

Bonnie was next, bringing the most breathtaking Autumn tree on a card. It's fabulous and those of us who've called by have raved about the main image of the tree and how beautifully its been coloured in the richest shades of reds, oranges and browns. The addition of just two strips of toning paper and a 'thinking of you' sentiment are the perfect finishing touches Bonnie - it's gorgeous!

Then Mary H hopped by to play - now I don't think she literally hopped in as I think the op. was a total success and she's well on the way to recovery now from what I can gather. Great news! Mary brought us this little beauty - it really made me smile as I love this 'guitar playing hedgy' image (once used it on a Birthday or Valentines Day card for Len as he plays guitar) - Mary coloured it beautifully and I love the darker papers used! Gorgeous Mary :)

Laura was next - with news that she's on the final run to buying her first home with Sean. It's a nerve-wracking time, and all our fingers are crossed for you Laura. Laura brought this delightful Birthday Card to show - pink (yay!) and a Forever Friends image too. It's great Laura and good luck with selling cards at work - I'm sure you'll sell loads of your lovely creations. Be sure to keep the money to one side to feed you craft supplies :)

And last, but never least, was Sarn - and what a busy week it's been for her. Rudolph Day this month has gone ballistic - loads of entries and there's still time for you to join in as the challenge doesn't close until 7pm GMT on Tuesday 2nd October. You know it makes sense, plus there's a super stamp set to be won :) Enough of the plug - send your cheque to me at the usual address Sarn ;) So, this is Sarn's fabulous snippets card for this week - it's a fabby z-fold card. I know, it was sort of new to me, particularly with the wonderful band to hold it closed. Just love the colours you used Sarn, papers are fab - and I neeeeeeed to know what colour the plain rich purpley blue is please. I bet it's SU - I love it!

Tell you what girls, you could make some fabulous Christmas cards in this style! My guess is that the starting point is a card base made from a 12" sheet cut into four 12" x 3" strips for the main cards and then the bottom 12" x 3" strip used to die cut the scalloped circles Sarn? That's the extent of my butterfly brain here - sitting sketching how to cut to make the most of a 12 " square sheet of card - no wonder my Saturday roll call takes so long :)

Edit: In case you don't spot it, Sarn has kindly commented about the z-fold card measurements : The Z-Fold card is 3" x 9" scored from the left at 1.5", 3", 6" and 7.5". Wrap was 1.5" x 7". The wrap is 7" long so you can overlap it to stick. Used Nesties for the circles on the wrap. Thanks Sarn!!

So, that's the roll call for this week girlies - I hope I covered everything - if not please let me know. I'm gonna get my trimmer out and have a play with Z cards here - err, no I'm not. There's another pile of ironing leering at me from the utility room :(

If you wanna join in the Playground and keep using up those snippets - the Playground is open all week and will close on Saturday 6th October at noon, UK time. See you there - I'll try my best to do a roll call but am out a lot next weekend so can't promise.

Mr Linky is below as usual. 


The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting will mean that you'll be included in the Weekly Roll Call. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday 29 September 2012

And a third one for Rudolph Day

A super-fast card, Saturday is a busy day with the Playground roll call so I try to keep Fridays a bit clear here:
Once again, I got patterned papers and Stickeroos out to see what would go together - like I've said before, it still amazes me, almost as if Penny Black are in cahoots with paper manufacturers :)

I used:

- A6 white card stock

- another Stickeroo from the Penny Black 'Together in Christmas' sheet

- backing paper from Echo Park's 'Season's Greetings' paper pack

- a snippet of SU's 'Certainly Celery' card

- sentiment by Craftwork Cards, backed with a little oval of 'Certainly Celery' card

- ribbon from the Christmas ribbon box, rescued from a gift last year then lovingly ironed and tucked away - waste not want not :)

This is my this third and final entry for this month into Sarn's wonderful Rudolph Day challenge - why not join in if you haven't done so already, you still have until Tuesday evening (7pm GMT).

That's my offering for today - it's the Snippets Playground roll call tomorrow, and I had such fun making my snippets card for this week, I'm now hooked but you'll have to wait and see what I'm jabbering on about :) 

Have a super weekend, whatever you have planned!


Friday 28 September 2012

Friday Feast - Beef and spinach calzones

I can almost hear some folk running away with cries of 'Ack!' at the thought of spinach - bit like Marmite, you love it or you hate it :( I reckon you could just leave the spinach out though.

Annie reminded me today that it's a while since I posted a recipe on here - I blame holiday and other things getting in the way - but this recipe has been waiting to be written up for a few weeks now. To see Annie's yummy risotto recipe for today - hop over here.

I happen to know that someone very close to this blog is lucky enough to have her lovely hubby make home made pizza most Friday evenings as a start to the weekend - how fab. is that then?! I adore pizza too, although, given a choice when we go to a Pizzeria I often plump for calzone. Think I must be a pasty girl at heart :) This is the first time I've tried making these at home - and they were a great success with my 'in-house food critic'.

Beef and spinach calzones:
Without kneeling on the floor it was hard to photograph the filling, sorry :)

Serves 4 (with leftovers)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
500g pack beef lean steak mince
250g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
50g toasted pine nuts (a quick toasting in a small dry frying pan works fine if they aren't already toasted)
250ml passata
1 tablespoon tomato purée
100g bag young leaf spinach
150g Italian mozzarella ball
2 x 145g packs pizza base mix
1 medium egg, beaten, for brushing
40g bag wild rocket, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion for 1 minute, then add the mince and cook for a further 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes, adding the pine nuts for the final 2 minutes. Add the passata and tomato purée and simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced to a thick sauce. Season with freshly ground black pepper, then stir through the spinach and set aside to cool. Drain the mozzarella ball, tear into pieces and stir into the cooled mince.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC, fan 180ºC, gas 6. Lightly oil a baking tray. Make up the pizza base mix according to pack instructions. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then knead each into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into circles, each measuring about 18cm in diameter.

Using just half of the mince mixture (see tip on what to do with the rest), spoon a quarter of it into the middle of each circle. Brush the edges of the dough with a little water, fold over to form a crescent and crimp the edges together with your fingers to seal.

Brush the tops of the calzones with the beaten egg, then bake for 20 minutes, until golden and heated through. Serve with the rocket salad on the side.
  You only need half the mince filling for this recipe. Let the rest cool completely and keep in the fridge to have as a pasta sauce for lunch the next day. Or, buy an extra 2 packs of pizza dough mix and make another 4 calzones. Freeze uncooked. Cook from frozen at 200ºC, fan 180ºC, gas 6 for 30-40 minutes, until piping hot.

I made two large calzones - which disappeared in the blink of an eye. Mind you, we couldn't move afterwards! The other half of the filling is frozen on its own for another time.

Things I would do: I think the filling could have done with an extra bit of passata adding towards the end of cooking time, it's a balance between it not running all over the place when you make up the calzones and being moist enough. But, they were truly delicious.



Playing with bargains

I picked up quite a few bargains whilst on hols, and amongst them were some Kay and Co, patterned and slightly sparkled acetate sheets and some sparkled and stitched adornments:
Man, what fun and games here to attach the acetate, the prospect of a bargain overruled common sense and I forgot how tricky fixing acetate can be - ha, hence the bargain perhaps!

In the end I opted for using some of an A4 double sided sticky sheet to fix the acetate to a piece of cream card - but even that took a couple of goes - waaaaay too easy to get air bubbles between the acetate and the sticky unless you go very slowly and smooth it as you work from one end. So one wrecked acetate sheet right away :(

However, I think the result is quite cheerful - sort of Summer flowers in Autumn colours.

I used

- 7" x 5" cream card stock

- Kay and Co. acetate sheet mounted onto cream card from the snippets folder and a couple of embellishments - I do like the teeny bee, buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz :)

- terracotta-ish Core'dinations card as a backing, with one end punched using a lacy Martha Stewart punch

- a snippet of green grosgrain ribbon

I would say 'simples' if it hadn't taken so long to sort the acetate out!


Thursday 27 September 2012

Would a piece of holly suffice as my Christmas gift to you darling?

That's what flew through my mind when I'd finished making this card:
It's the thought that counts after all :)

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- Penny Black Stickeroo from the 'Together In Christmas' set

- backing paper from a ''Tis The Season' pack, free with Quick Cards Made Easy magazine

- a snippet of Certainly Celery SU card to back the image, and sticky pads to adhere it to the card itself

- ribbons from the ribbon box

One thing that constantly surprises me, and it isn't as if I have as many patterned backing papers as most, there's always one to go with a Stickeroo - so long as I have the time to rootle through.

This is my second entry for Sarn's Rudolph Day challenge - a lovely set of stamps to be won and I'm trying hard!

I'd also like to enter this into Winter Wonderland's current challenge which is 'To The One I Love'.

And, St. Luke's current challenge which is 'Couples'.

I do hope Mrs Penguin is grateful and doesn't tell Mr Penguin to stick it where the sun don't shine - ouch! Wash my mouth out with soap - bad, bad girl saying things like that :(


Tuesday 25 September 2012

A Tuesday Tale - never trust paper knickers

I was reminded of this incident when some wag suggested that I ought to have taken disposable paper knickers/panties etc. on holiday to leave more room for crafting goodies on the way home:
Many years ago, along with another couple, a boyfriend and I went on our first holiday abroad together, to the exotic climes of Majorca :) As you did back then, I shared with Doris and he shared with his pal.

Doris was born middle aged I'm sure and was sooooo organised it was unbelievable. Her meticulous packing was a sight to behold, although she did make me laugh when she ran out of the bathroom exclaiming there was a 'foot bath' (aka bidet) in there!

She had taken a load of paper knickers with her to last the duration of the holiday - they were very new-fangled way back then. All was well until the day we went off on a boat trip in the height of the July heat. I could tell she was a bit non-plussed as the day wore on but 'nuffin'' was said until we all arrived back at the hotel - hot, tired and sweaty.

Back in our room she shot into the bathroom - this was followed by a shriek and she reappeared  waving three bits of circular elastic. The paper part of the knickers had totally dissolved in the sweaty heat leaving her with just elastic round her waist and the tops of her legs - goodness knows where the dissolved paper went to though. All we could imagine, in between rolling on the floor screaming with laughter, was that she been walking round at the end of the trip leaving trails of white confetti behind her :)

My Rudolph Day card is below - all six of them.


Rudolph Day - September 25th 2012

Yikes, only three months to Christmas - so this month's Rudolph Day over at Sarn's panicked galvanised me into a swift batch card making session - made six of these, all the same:
I used:

- A6 white card stock

-  dark blue backing card

- image stamp called 'Travelling Far' by Stampendous and sentiment stamp by Personal Impressions from the 'Many Greetings' set - both stamped using Memento 'Paris Dusk'

These cards will be ideal for friends and family who will appreciate the real message of Christmas, which often gets lost in the Christmas commercialism and general frenzy. I kept them simple, partly to whip up some quickly, and also not to detract from what I think is a lovely image.

Why not join in? You know it makes sense, and Sarn has a lovely stamp set as this month's prize.

I'm also entering this into Craft Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge as well where the theme this week is 'Nativity' - to use an image or words which reflect the real meaning of Christmas.

And also this month's Going Buggy challenge, run by the very amusing Enfys, where the theme is non-traditional Christmas colours ie. not red and green.

Monday 24 September 2012

Made in double quick time

On Thursday I worked through quite a few household chores and then late afternoon sat down to have a little play in the craft room. For some reason, my hand strayed to the 'birthday book' and yikes - it was Len's great-nephew's Birthday the following day! Talk about a flurry of activity - a card made in double quick time so I could race out and post it:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square Kraft card stock

- LOTV 'Cute Square', layered onto a snippet of red paper with all corners rounded

- 'denim' backing card by Joanna Sheen, from the 'Haberdashery' pack, which also included the pocket, sentiment and 'buttons'

- the number 7 from a little batch of die cuts sent to me a while back by Sarn - these are lifesavers!

Then I jumped into my little car and managed to catch the last post in time - close call though!


Sunday 23 September 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets Challenge 39 & roll call

At last, time to write a roll call this week after being 'missing in action' for a while. But first, my snippets card for the week:
Believe me, this sort of scene does actually happen in Albuquerque, New Mexico - sadly it's not until October so we missed it this time around:

Here's the real thing - I just bet it's an amazing sight:
Hundreds of hot air balloons all ascending into the beautiful blue skies of NM - fabulous!

Anyhow, back to the card.

I used:

- white DL card stock

- image stamped onto a white snippet of card and coloured using Pro Markers. The stamp is by Stamp A Mania and called 'Balloons Framed', the very first stamp I pounced on in Guadalupe Stamps in Santa Fe. I stamped twice and layered up the yellows and purples balloon with sticky pads for 'some perspective', grin

- a snippet of orange Core'dinations card, punched using MS PATP set called 'Double Loops' - I thought they looked a little like balloons :)  - and I also punched the front corners of the card, 'just because'

- sentiment printed directly onto the card by computer

And onto this week's roll call now.

First in this week was Sandra H, with a really elegant black and white card - also for Less Is More. And what a perfect example of LIM it is too Sandra. Love the image you stamped, onto white crackle card (I just found a pack of that here and it's fabulous in real life I know) - the touch of sparkle in the black ribbon compliments it beautifully too. A real example of LIM at its best.

Then Linby followed bringing cupcakes to the playground, and using a super MFT stamp set, beautifully coloured  - with a baking theme. I could almost see the little noses in the playground wrinkling at the smell of cooking :) I do love a lot of the MFT stamp sets Linby, they're simple and yet so effective. I love those like you used, no heads to worry over and perfect for colouring or paper piecing. For anyone interested, this is where I generally buy mine from: Dies to Die for

Laura was next with an adorable card for a baby boy, all in lovely blues.  Those of you who hopped over all loved it - the paper piecing of the 'all-in-one' using the same paper as the background works perfectly Laura :) And, why wasn't I surprised to learn that Laura's Mum is also a nursing professional - hence the number of gorgeous baby cards that Laura makes.

Amanda came to play twice this week - the first time was to bring this wonderful card dubbed 'Monkey DIY'. And it's really great - I did get a cold shiver 'cos it reminded me that there was mayhem going on in the playground as the tree house was being built :( But, how clever is the choice of backing papers? Brilliant! And next was an equally clever card for a new driver. Lovely backing papers again Amanda and an adorable digital image - plus the car is pink, sigh :)

Next to play was Sarn, on a real roll in her drive to 'use it up' and I suspect there's a lot more to come too Sarn? Fabulous 'Warren' image with such perfectly made to match papers, card candi and the final touch of a gorgeous Memory Box die cut. Just perfick indeed. Err, now, about that chikkin' coop you're leading the team on? Do we sell the eggs at the Playground gate along with the veggies we'll be growing?

Humpfhh, I happen to know that Sarn was at Ally Pally (craft event) yesterday so I suspect that the chikkin' coop might have to wait as she 'clucks' over her new purchases :) Hope you had fun!

Bless her, Jules still tries to make time to join in each week unless she's totally swamped with wedding orders and such. Have you seen this month's Quick Cards Made Easy magazine girls, Jules seems to be a regular contributor now, yay! So, Jules brought us a wonderfully cheerful 'flower card' using snippets this week. Wow, I love it Jules - and the stitching is brilliant, even round the flower stem too - I'm skulking away here, that's really so inspired!

I was going to say that if I see Jules in a corner of the Playground signing autographs then I hope she isn't charging :) That's due to a little scheming Fagin entrepreneur at boarding school in the Beatles early days of fame. She'd been at an airport in Germany, spotted them and scampered over to get their autographs on the back of an envelope. The little monkey then charged us about one Deutschmark a time to actually hold the autographed envelope that they'd also touched! What was so dumb was that we queued up to take our turn as well - plus our weekly pocket money was only about a couple of DMs at most!!

Tammy came to play three times this week - as always her cards are absolutely beautiful with daring, yet so right, colour combinations. This is the first one, just LOVE the bright pinks and greens and it's so pretty Tammy. The next card is  another fabulous mix of colours and papers, with a very modern take on an acorn as the centre image, a lovely double bow and bunting - go and see if you haven't already done so girls. And finally, we have a perfect Autumn/Fall card using orange, red and cream - love those pumpkins and all the other fabulous detail Tammy!

Then Bernie hopped in with something totally different - never seen these little beauties before. I do have lots of those little flickering tea lights around the house (since I almost set the lounge on fire someone here is very wary of me and naked flames) - but would never in a million years have thought to make them into the most adorable little cakes, with the flickering flame as the centre piece. Do go and take a look if you haven't already - and I so hope they sell well at your craft fayre(s) Bernie. If they don't, I'd be amazed!

Next was Victoria, getting back into the swing of work and school routines - we miss you honey but it's great that you came to the Playground to show us this brilliant card. I love the simplicity of the trees on a hill and the fresh greens too. Such a shame that SU have retired a few sets lately, thankfully I didn't totally miss out although Up, Up and Away was still on my Wish List :( Perhaps that's what drove me to buy the stamp I used on today's snippets card!? Hope you find time to come and play again soon Victoria!

Bonnie came to play twice this week, and the first time was to bring this 'not too scarey spider' card to show. I think she's rather sweet Bonnie, and a perfect take on the 'use an oval' Less Is More Challenge too. Love the way the web is embossed and the green paper snippets are just perfect! Next was a fabulous row of bright and cheerful banners on this card - isn't it lovely? Super colours Bonnie and perfect for the Paper Players challenge, as well as using up some snippets. I did laugh, Bonnie referred to 'the ladies in the playground' so I just had to comment like this: D'you really think the playmates are ladies though?! Hmmm, I reserve judgement having seen them waving hammers and saws lately. Am sure I even heard one of them wolf whistling at the boy next door!!

Next to play was Rach,  with a great 'starry card' - super SU stamps used plus hand cut stars, some made out of coffee cup holders (grin, I brought a load of those back from hols). Great card Rach, the glitter is a great finishing touch and your Dan really is a star for having his table to raise funds for the RNLI. As we all said, he mustn't be downhearted - every little bit does help and here's to better sales next time!

Darnell arrived next, with a fabulously elegant 'white on white' Christmas card. It works so well, using different embossing folders and an adorable white organza bow as a finishing touch - simply beautiful Darnell! Darnell's post was also as interesting as usual, with some very true observations about crafting bloggers being a great bunch of people. I think we're all blessed to 'know one another' through blogging and long may it continue :)

Maureen (aka ScrappyMo) was our next visitor - with this fantastic 'card for a guy'. Wow, it really sums up a sea scene perfectly Mo and there's a lot of detail to be checked out too - it's just great, love the netting and the little anchor as finishing touches. You must go and see girls, you'll smell the sea air I'm sure - be sure to take your egg sandwiches and bottles of pop ready for the seaside :)

Then last, but by no means least, Mary Mac came to play - and what a stunner of a card she brought too. It totally sums up Fall, or Autumn as we call it in the UK - such  glorious Autumn colours do make you want to put your wellies on and go out kicking through the leaves :) Super papers, lettering, leaves and even a hand made charm - just perfect Mary!

Our Hazel hasn't been to play at all this week, she's not been feeling 100% so we hope you feel better really soon Hazel!

So, that's this week's roll call - thank you for being so patient while I was off on 'Teacher Training'. Now all that remains is for me to say if you wanna join in the Playground and keep using up those snippets - the Playground is open all week and will close on Saturday 29th September at noon, UK time. See you there - I'll be waving a paint chart and fabric samples for the interior 'decor' of the tree house :)

Oh, and remember that from the 25th of this week it's also Rudolph Day over at Sarn's, there's a lovely stamp set to be won and if you're clever then you can always use some snippets on a Christmas card and combine the two!
Mr Linky is below as usual.


The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting will mean that you'll be included in the Weekly Roll Call. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday 22 September 2012

A little bit of pink - yay!

A quick and easy card - as always on a Saturday 'cos I plan to be writing up the Playground roll call this weekend:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square Kraft card stock

- backing paper from My Mind's Eye 'Blush' paper pack, lugged back from hols

- Penny Black Stickeroos from the 'April In Paris' sheet

- lovely bright pink organza ribbon, also lugged back from hols, snort, which I just spotted was made in Taiwan err, me loves big bows :)

Done and dusted, now let me at that roll call!


Friday 21 September 2012

RIP Scooter

A lovely friend, Helena, has just lost her cat - Scooter by name and he was heading for 20 years old. Like all of us would be, she's pretty devastated and I made this to send:
I used:

- A6 white linen card stock

- SU's 'Simply Soft' stamp set - coloured onto the stamps with Whispers pens

- SU's sentiment stamp from the 'Sincere Salutations' set - again using a Whispers pen. I might be wrong but have a feeling this set is being retired, yet it's one I turn to time and again and am sure it will be missed :(

- teeny little punched butterflies, from a snippet, topped with peach coloured pearls

It's true what they say, our pets take a little piece of our hearts with them when they go to the Rainbow Bridge :(  RIP Scooter.


Thursday 20 September 2012

Christmas stockings

When I got back from holiday, there was a little packet of either punched or die cut cuties to play with waiting here for me from Sam. Thank you honey!

Some were darling little Christmas stockings, so I had a quick play:

Just a slight difference between the two cards, I dropped one of the tiny contrasting 'spots' on the floor here and no way could I find it again so had to assemble the second four stockings and use little peel off gold stars instead.

I used:

- 7.25" x 2.75" white card stock

- pink backing paper the Marianne Design 'Merry Little Christmas' paper pack

- fine gold cord - dragged all the way back from Hobby Lobby in Santa Fe

- those cute little stockings, love the curly toes :) popped on with sticky pads

- greetings strip from my goodies, am almost sure it came from Hobbycraft

Another two for the box. Not long until September's Rudolph Day now girls!


Wednesday 19 September 2012

WOYWW - 172

A load of new goodies from holidays this week that I promised to show, littering the desk but kinda sorted into boxes so they can be kept handy for a first use rather than being put away:
A selection of individual A4 papers, an A4 Christmas paper pad by The Paper Studio, two MME 6 x 6 paper packs - oh, and a New Mexico 'Peel and Stick decal - to be used on a layout. Aaah, and my WOYWW badge still waiting to be pinned back onto my doggie screen duster:)
All sorts of goodies - ribbons, buttons, some yummy baby coloured braid with little pom poms, lace butterflies, embellishments etc. Ha, and I became a kleptomaniac picking up coffee cup wraps to die cut :)
Err, 15 wooden stamps (a lot are specific to New Mexico), a cling stamp and I think three (or is it four) clear sets of stamps.
My mostest, cheapest bargain - found for me by Kay in a bargain bin in Hobby Lobby - yup, a seriously cute House Mouse stamp at $3.59, which is about £2.20, whoopee! I can live with the wrinkle across the coloured image on the back of the stamp for sure :)
Possibly my most favourite purchase - from Guadalupe Fun Stamps in Santa Fe - love these birdies. I lay awake for ages one night worrying there might be none left before we trotted back the following day, greedy little pig that I am! We even raced back again on our last day for a final look/buy!

To my disgust I found I still had a few kilos of luggage weight to spare, but in truth there wasn't a square inch of space to put anything else in - mental note, bigger case next time! 

We had a fabulous time, as I went on posted about last week, meeting with Kay of Whimsy Girl's Blog on three different days and having such fun. Our last meeting a week ago today was also my birthday and we went out for a lovely meal. And someone (thank you Kay!) had arranged for a dessert with a candle in plus a serenade for the Birthday Girl - who also had to wear a mahoosive Mexican hat during the ceremony :) Trust me, those hats are really heavy too - I felt a bit like a baby before it has learned to hold its head up properly:

Back down to earth now though with a bump - but it was all huge fun! Of course there were teary eyes when we had to finally say goodbye - although I'm sure we'll meet again pretty soon.

For more fun and frolics, do hop over to Julia's where you can see what she's been up to and then onwards to see a wide variety of desks, floors, dining tables and such where folk do their crafting and allow you to snoop (or, as Victoria would say, be a sticky beak) each Wednesday.


Tuesday 18 September 2012

A Tuesday Tale - an innocent at work

I've written before about things that happened when I worked on Saturday afternoons in our local charity shop (aka thrift store). But, this one probably totally takes the biscuit!
I really enjoyed working on the till and truly thought I was 'Little Miss Helpful', you got to know regular customers really well - or so I thought :(

I'd imagine just why they were buying stuff from us, older ladies buying wool then sitting comfortably knitting in the evenings, children playing with pre-loved toys, folk enjoying a jigsaw, young girls showing off their clothing bargains......and so it went on.

One guy, quiet and very innocuous, used to nip in quite often late on a Saturday afternoon to look for bargains. 'Ah, how sweet' I thought, 'buying clothes for his housebound Mum'. Then he began asking Little Miss Helpful's advice. Would this top go with that skirt and so on - and I realised that it was in fact a housebound partner/wife he was buying for. After all, I couldn't see his elderly Mum wearing a chiffon top and a mini-skirt. I even advised him on some makeup for her - we were allowed to sell sealed and unused toiletries and makeup BTW.

Then, one Saturday he whizzed in just before closing time and quietly asked if he could buy a wedding dress, reduced to £25. 'Fine' said Little Miss Helpful here and scurried off to get Rita, our manageress, as the rail was very high and we needed steps to reach up to remove wedding and evening gowns. Rita grabbed the steps and when I pointed out who the customer was whispered something to me about him working with radios before going to the front of the shop to lift down said wedding dress.

I took a few steps to follow her and a big light bulb suddenly went on in this stooopid little head.What she'd actually said was 'He's our local tranny' - and in my day a 'tranny' was short for transistor radio. Ha, not so at all - it's now short for transvestite innit :(

Rita, seeing the light finally dawn on Little Miss Helpful, said 'Can you tidy up the bric-a-brac Di, while I serve'. She could see the bright red face and bulging eyes on yours truly, who was likely to burst into hysterics at any moment. So, I hopped around behind the tall bric-a-brac shelves - tidying and peeking at the same time - whilst a huge pair of donkey's ears grew outta the top of my head :( And when Rita threw in a veil for free I almost wet myself on the spot!

Thankfully, Mr Tranny paid up sharpish then disappeared and the shop was closed for the day. At that point, the girls in the back of the shop all raced out hooting with laughter at 'Donkey' here - they'd been watching over the previous months (yup, it had been months) and marvelling at the innocence. One of them howled 'You didn't even flicker or begin to twig the other week when he came in and bought those ladies size 8 patent leather red high heels,  you Dumbo!'

The embarrassment at my own stupidity was a source of much amusement for some time afterwards I can tell you.

That evening, when I was relating the tale to Len over a much-needed glass of vino in the garden he quietly observed that I really shouldn't be let out to play without supervision :(

Let me also say, it's each to their own, I have no problems with what folk do (so long as it isn't hurtful or criminal) some of my best friends are either gay or transsexual....... my only problem is that I truly had absolutely no idea so for long!


Kite flying

A quick card today, lots of washing and ironing still leering at me accusingly here :( But, I just had to dig into some of my new goodies and have a quick play:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- 'clouds' backing paper from the 'Let's Fly Away' pack which originally came as a freebie with Quick Cards Made Easy magazine

- kites from Michaels store by Martha Stewart (more about them below)

- LOTV sentiment stamp from their 'General Greetings - small' set

- card candi

So, the kites, if you look closely they'd be easy peasy to make yourself. Coloured paper, some bakers twine/cord or very narrow ribbon, paper bows and snipped up cocktail sticks. A great way to use up snippets - just don't tell Martha I suggested it :)

And of course, you can make your own 'clouds' background easily by following how I made these ones a while back.

Go on, I dare you to make one for the snippets playground - we could have our own kite-flying competition, snigger :)

I hope to find time to write a Tuesday Tale later on - trust me, it's a real 'lulu' as well  - I've been saving it as I just know you're going to think I'm totally stoopid!


Sunday 16 September 2012

Less Is More - an oval

This week's challenge over at Less Is More is to use an oval on your card. I made this whilst still in a haze of jet lag after New Mexico, and having fun meeting Kay, but also itching to just sit and play after almost two weeks without any 'hands on' crafting:
Totally quick and easy - and obviously influenced by all the beautiful turquoise and sort of 'honeycomb' colours we saw whilst away - the vibrant colours and light in NM are just fabulous:)

I used:

- 2.75" x 4.75" white card stock (ie, a small DL card)

- Craftwork Cards oval image, coloured with Pro Markers

- Craftwork Cards scalloped oval

- stamped 'Elzybells' sentiment using 'Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad

- a couple of embossed lines down either side of the card

All done - off to bed now.............and the main oval is a deffo bit off-centre to the scalloped one I'm afraid. But a blind cowboy on a galloping horse probably wouldn't really notice, or even care :)  ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,,,,,,,,zonk!


Saturday 15 September 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets Challenge 38

Oh WOW, I can't begin to say how impressed I've been with the progress on the tree house and your self-sufficiency whilst I was away - and the antics have been such fun too :) And the choice of chikkin' coop is just perfect - thanks to Sarn for running the poll to choose the design :)

So, in recognition of the fact that I hear the swings have been wrecked by a runaway digger-dumper truck, driven by one who has a 'hooter horn' and directed by a few other scallywags but mentioning no names, this is being shipped from Taos over the coming weeks:
It's currently in 'Kit Carson's Park' in Taos, but he died a looooong time ago so my guess is he wouldn't miss it. I squealed in delight when I saw it - and Len walked away shaking his head in despair/disbelief after I explained how perfect it would be for the Playground and how I really desperately neeeeded to stand on tippy toes right there and then to take a photo over the fencing.

Of course I have to work out the logistics of shipping - DHL took one look and said 'Dun you worry about nuffin'' - which of course scared the pants off worries me a bit, I've heard that expression way too often lately from the playground 'workforce' :(

If you wanna join in the Playground and keep using up those snippets - the Playground is open all week and will close on Saturday 22nd September at noon, UK time. I'll be settled back home and hope to manage a roll call. I thank you most kindly for your patience :)
Mr Linky is below as usual.

Di - and a little 'I'm baaaaack' hug to you all.......whilst tottering round here feeling like 'a limp dishcloth with jet lag' - not a pretty sight.

The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting will mean that you'll be included in the Weekly Roll Call. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

House Mouse 'Fun and Games'

Whoop, whoop, I'm Guest Designer over at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 90 this week. And when this posts automatically, if Mr Blogger behaves, we hopefully will be winging our way back home over the Atlantic:
At last Brenda, a 'stamped and coloured by hand House Mouse image' :)

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card stock

- House Mouse stamp ' Leaf-ing The Tree Farm' (HMJR1070) - shame on me, I've had this since forever and never used it - the date of release is 2006 :(

- snowflakes backing card by KanBan

- I trimmed the image by hand and then mounted it, with the sentiment, using sticky pads onto more of the KanBan backing card. This design already had a little white hill printed on it, so I covered the whole piece with double sided sticky film and sprinkled with the glitter I bought from Art of Craft (sorry, no name on the pot). The sparkled card was then mounted onto another piece of card covered with red holographic sticky stuff - note the use of technical terms here :)

- sentiment is a Whimsy Stamps one from their 'Winter Notables 1 Sentiments- set - some fabulous sentiments in the set. You can also buy a die to cut them but to be honest I splashed out on a die with another of their sets and found that just trimming by hand works best for me. I used SU's 'Real Red' ink pad.

- the snowflake was already made and glittered last Christmas, so I just stuck a clear brad and surround into it before adding it as a final touch.

Phew, this card took me forever to make, I had two failed attempts at making it  just before holiday - my in-house critic almost didn't get to go on holiday when I threatened him with violence. But, he was, as always, quite right, I hope :(

Thank you Hazel for giving me such a lovely theme to work with - and for the chance to be a GD too :)

Normal service will be resumed ASAP, once we recover from jet-lag and I fight my way through the laundry to the craft room. I missed playing in there!


Friday 14 September 2012

Sending hugs

I'd forgotten this card was all ready photographed to send you greetings from afar. Snort, we'll be almost finished packing to come home when this publishes:
I used:

-  card and white ready embossed shape are both by Craftwork Cards

- backing paper from the Prima 'Annalee' pack

- decoupaged topper is one I found just before hols in a box of made up decoupage, done ages ago

- sentiment is a Craftwork Cards one mounted onto a snippet of pink card, punched out using SU's plain oval punch

Excuse me if I keep this brief, need to go and do some serious jumping up and down on my suitcase here to close it :(

Edit: SUCCESS!! Case closed and still well under the allowance according to our travel scales - how did that happen then?!


Thursday 13 September 2012

Snippets Playground - anyone for driving lessons?

I took this piccie when we went to Taos the other day and thought it would be great for driving lessons in the playground. Of course it will have the engine removed so you'll just have to sit in it, peer over or through the steering wheel and go 'Vroom, vroom':
And perhaps a pink re-spray?

Edit: I'm over-ruled and totally agree that the blue is best.............err, maybe with pink seat covers???


Wednesday 12 September 2012


I don't have a desk as such to show this week, and I know a few of you have already seen the photo of the lovely Kay and I wearing our WOYWW buttons/badges - UK meets New Mexico........scroll down to see it:)

But I truly thought you might really, really, like to see this, desk or no desk here in NM:
A breathtaking necklace gift from Kay - isn't it fabulous, and isn't she clever?! The teeniest seed beads make up the traditional image, and it isn't made on a loom either, so the work is much trickier - plus there's a New Mexico coin in the pocket of the amulet. I know, a pocket even, so the back is all beaded as well! Believe me, I've looked at more jewellery shops here this past week than you could shake a stick at - and absolutely nowhere have I seen anything like this. If bribed I'll bring it along to the October crop - £1 a peek and £5 to handle it :)) It's absolutely stunning and I'll always treasure it - along with some great memories of the hoots of laughter, fun and hugs we've shared.

For those of you who haven't already seen - here we are, bonded like glue within half an hour of meeting:
Kay and I had 'met online' prior to her joining WOYWW (snort, I pushed her a little into joining in) - but, this photo truly sums up the fabulous thing that Julia started - WOYWW - Julia, you rock :))

All I can say is - if any of you/us get the chance to meet up - this is proof that there's a massive bond amongst WOYWWers.

On a sad note, sigh, today (12th September) it's our last meeting with Kay :( All good things come to an end, but we'll be back and I know for sure that Kay will be welcomed with open arms in the UK to come and play, by both Len and I as 'major hosts' and lots of other bloggers.


Tuesday 11 September 2012

Northwards to Taos

Today we set out and drove up to Taos, a lovely town. A bit like Santa Fe, centred round a main Plaza but on a much smaller scale. We mooched round at a leisurely pace looking round galleries and lovely shops - as well as visiting the Kit Carson museum, which is in the house where he lived for many years. I then dragged Len round looking for the location of Kit Carson's grave - and we found it eventually.

Here are some photos of the day:
On the road to Taos, this is North of Santa Fe, towards where Kay lives - and the scenery is amazing.
The courtyard at Kit Carson's house - the round oven was used to do most of the cooking in hot weather. And before anyone asks, nope - we aren't having one in the playground!
On the way back we stopped and sat at a lovely viewpoint, that's the Rio Grande which the road runs alongside for miles on end. I was quite happy sitting on a rock looking at the scenery until Len wickedly remarked that we were in 'rattlesnake territory' - I was back in the car before you could say 'knife'!
The rock formation to the left of the picture is known as Camel Rock, just like a camel sitting down :)

I'll skip Tuesdays Tale for this week -but it's a good 'un when I do get round to it.


Monday 10 September 2012

Well, you did ask

Nope Jules, sadly I don't have any video of trips to craft stores although the lovely Kay did take these photo on Saturday at the fabulous 'Guadalupe's' stamp store we visited in downtown Santa Fe. Someone has her hands full of stamps, this was before I was given a basket to help with the goodies - and Len has that sort of 'condemned man' smile:
And here we are, back outside - mission accomplished :)
But you know what, I think Len might be a 'closet crafter' - not one peep of protest from him, even when we went to Michael's just the two of us yesterday. I'm gonna have to watch him :)

It's quite early here, bright and sunny yet again, we only had one cooler day so far and that was when these piccies were taken - even then it brightened up and became much warmer in the afternoon. So it's breakfast and then off to explore Taos today. 


Sunday 9 September 2012

Pixies Crafty Snippets Challenge 37 and a roll over

Hi there y'all :) I sort of know that you already know that this week has been busy so, as I feared, the playground roll call is being re-opened but with no roll call. I'm so sorry but Hobby Lobby was calling and I'm almost on my knees - I reckon that the lovely Kay would have staggered into bed almost as soon as she got home this evening.

We met at The Plaza in Santa Fe this morning and the Fiesta was going on which was such fun. We mooched and shopped for ages, then ate, then mooched and shopped - oh boy, you really would love the Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps Store, Lee is a great lady with immense patience. I'll give links to UK stockists once I get to use the stamps that I, ahem, really had to have once I use them at home. Then we relaxed in a book store with iced teas (terribly civilised), then went to Hobby Lobby (aka Aladdins cave)..........err, for several hours. We were almost thrown out with the rubbish and Michaels is yet to be visited :))

This could be me on the way home:
Anyhow, my little villains playmates - how goes it? I've had waaay too many comments and emails saying 'don't worry about nuffin'' for me not to worry. Sarn, Sam and Co. are plotting the chikken coop, folk are running round with pink hard hats, wearing dungarees, waving strimmers and carrying hammers ............ and you say 'don't worry about nuffin''?!?!?!?! AND, Sarn is carrying out a poll for the best loved design for the chikken coop even :)

If you wanna join in the Playground and keep using those snippets - the playground is open all week and will close on Saturday 15th September at noon, UK time. I'll still be watching from afar of course. I have to say now that we arrive back in the UK on 15th in the morning so there'll not be a roll call once again next week ( you just can't get the staff nowadays) - but you know what, I think you gals are surviving just fine without me. Just so long as I get to choose the painting and curtains inside the playhouse :)

Mr Linky is below as usual.


The only conditions to playing nicely in the Snippet Playground are that your card (or anything else you wish to bring here to show) must be made by using up snippets (card, paper, lace and ribbon are all fine), and a link back to here in your own blog posting will mean that you'll be included in the Weekly Roll Call. Oh, and no nipping or hair pulling of course :)

Saturday 8 September 2012

A magical day in 'The Land of Enchantment'

I've really debated about writing this post as I hate to bang on about our holiday so much. Especially as it's looking unlikely I'll find time to write a roll call yet again this week.

If you get bored, or think it's just too much, then please feel free to run away until I'm back down to earth and crafting again. I wasn't feeling good enough to make and schedule a load of makes beforehand as most of you know - but, I have a special piccie for you:
Yup folks, I finally got to meet Kay,(left and me right)! And what a truly lovely lady she is, like all of you super bloggers - so easy to connect with and I think (hope) we hit it off right away and had a great time. Len took the photo as we sat down to lunch at a terrific restaurant  for lunch - and, please note, those are our WOYWW badges being proudly displayed Julia, if you hop in here.

Those are Prickly Pear 'thingy wotsit drinks' - delicious and very pink :)

I can't hang around girls, I need to hop over to reception and print those dang shopping coupons/vouchers for tomorrow as we're meeting Kay again to go exploring locally followed by craft shopping.

So - I'm still wondering how the Playground tree house is coming along. Sigh, I don't suppose any of you are any good at mixing up adobe walls mix - it would keep us warm in the Winter!


Thursday 6 September 2012

Oh ye of little faith..............

.......I did laugh at the thought I'd been taking photos of postcards, so to prove I'm really where I say I am:
Ready to hit the open road this morning, am amazed at how tiny those covered wagons are and full of horror admiration for the early pioneers :) Where did they store all their crafting goodies for example. I think Len's camera time is still set to UK time though.

Boy, it's hot - but I'll soldier on, in the interests of the fact that I just signed up to Michaels and Hobby Lobby for money off coupons, thanks for the tipoff ScrappyMo!! Both are within easy reach of where we're staying, whoop, whoop! Alex, the lovely receptionist here, has marked them on a local map for me :)

Plus, and it's a really big plus, tomorrow we're meeting Kay. I have my WOYWW badge with me but have a sneaky feeling that 'the Englishman/woman abroad' will stick out like a sore thumb anyhow!