Saturday, 27 May 2017

SOSS challenge #85 - Beach

It's new challenge day at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers and today Edna's theme for us is Beach.

Image may contain: 1 person, ocean, text and outdoor

I've used a Gruffies stamp to create a beach scene, and added a sentiment I generated on the computer.

I added photo corners to the image to make it look like a holiday snap, but then wondered what to use for a background. I really wanted it to look like real sand. Paper..... sand...... SANDPAPER! Yep, I raided the tool box and found a sheet of unused medium grade sandpaper. It was even worse than glitter card to stick the pieces down on though, I ended up using industrial quantities of Pinflair glue after experimenting with every other adhesive in my (extensive) repertoire. So I don't think sandpaper is going to become a regular feature on my cards, I can't afford that much glue.

Now let's see your beach themed makes, the snarkier the better, and pop over to the Sisterhood to share your makes and give the sistahs some crafty love.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Rudolph Day - May

It's the 25th of the month and that means it's Rudolph Day, when we have the chance to share a Christmas Card (and possibly win a prize) over at Scrappy Mo's.

I've been playing with my Cookie Cutter Christmas stamps and punch again.

Actually the background is one that's been hanging around unused for several months. I made it for another project, and had been intending to use the faux letterpress technique but something went wrong - perhaps I used the wrong kind of ink, I can't recall what exactly I did but it produced a rather pretty background that was all wrong for the project I wanted it for. However, these cute little Eskimos seem happy enough with it, especially now I've blinged it up with a few gems.

As well as the Rudolph Days Challenge I am sharing this with
Addicted to stamps and more - Holiday
Watercooler Wednesday - Christmas

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Curiosity Corner revisited

You may remember that a few years ago I was lucky enough to win the entire Dovecraft Curiosity Corner range when it was first released. I've used up many of the elements but still revisit the items I have left from time to time, and today I set myself the challenge of using them in a very CAS manner. Not a style I would normally associate with the range but it gave me a chance to use some of the smaller snippets of paper I have left.

I've seen umpteen cards of this general style on Pinterest and have had it on my "get round to it" list for a long time. Once I've pinned this, there will be umpteen-and-one...

The butterfly is cut with the old Cuttlebug die, still one of my favourites, and the sentiment comes from Uniko's Flower Power #2 set.

I am sharing this with
The Paper Players - CAS Butterflies
Allsorts - Happy Birthday

A Triple Panel Card

Yesterday the new issue of Quick Cards Made Easy pinged its way into my iPad, and I browsed through it last night and had to use one of the ideas as soon as I got up this morning! It's for a card fold they call a "triple panel card" - although to me that suggests a normal tri-fold card, this is more of a reverse gate fold with an extra fold each side. It's a fold I've often tried to work out for myself, but without a set of suggested measurements I've ended up wasting rather a lot of card. This one worked perfectly first time.

The samples in the magazine are all very feminine but I decided to give my first attempt a much more masculine feel, with a vintage newsprint paper and lots of die cut cogs, and a main image of a penny-farthing bicycle.

I stamped the image and sentiment using a set of steampunk/vintage stamps that Mark bought me a few years ago (sorry, I can't remember the name of the set or manufacturer) then cut and embossed them with a Nesties labels die and, with the image still in the die, sponged all over with Walnut Stain DI, sponging more heavily towards the edges. I wanted to add a brown mat, but I'd cut the image with the largest die from the set, so I created another larger layer by drawing around the outside of the die onto the back of the brown card and cutting it out.

I would like to share this with
Sweet Stampin' - Things that go round (cogs and cycle wheels)
Dies R Us - Shaped cards
Cut it Up - Fun folds
The Male Room - Die Cuts 
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Power of Three #2 - Family Food

I wasn't  sure whether to post today (apart from a scheduled DT post of course) as I was feeling so upset by the events in Manchester. But then, if you change things in any way, the terrorists have won, haven't they, so, shoulders squared, I'm posting anyway. I hope none of my blogging friends and their families were involved. I know that some of my non-blogging friends and their children were, but thankfully they are all safe but very shaken.

Last week I decided to get together all the recipe books that I've never used and cook three recipes from them, one  book at a time, then decide whether they should stay or go. Unfortunately this time I've only cooked one recipe from this book for a couple of reasons which will become clear if you read on.

Today's book is Peter Sidwell's Simply Good Family Food, and I found it incredibly difficult to choose three recipes to cook. For the most part that is because the book simply isn't aimed at experienced cooks like me, it's targeted at parents of young families who may, before the children came along, have lived off ready meals and takeaways and have now decided the time has come to eat "real" food.
This means that many of the dishes in it are familiar ones that I would cook without a recipe - toad in the hole, venison casserole, mussels in beer, melon and mint salad, pumpkin soup, carrot salad....  And also, being aimed at families and with the idea of baking with the kids,  there are lots of cake and biscuit recipes that aren't of much interest to me as a diabetic.
That meant I had a real struggle to find three recipes that I wanted to try, but today I had three bookmarks in place and decided to try the first of them, the only one that really attracted me, Savoury Walnut Shortbread which is on page 103 of the book.
I found the carefully weighed ingredients which included butter, flour, grated parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts, gave me a dough that was far too soft and sticky to handle, so had to add a fair bit of extra flour. The illustration in the book shows quite thin biscuits, yet the instructions said to cut slices 1-2 cm thick ..... 2 cm? That's almost an INCH! These biscuits are meant for serving with cheese -  just imagine trying to get your choppers round a biscuit an inch thick with a chunk of Cheddar on top of it! So I cut them to 1cm, and they still looked too thick to eat with cheese, so I used the prongs of a fork to flatten them and add texture to the surface.
The recipe said to cook for 12 minutes at Gas mark 3, 160C, 325 F - that's a pretty low temperature for baking, and by the end of it even my much-thinner-than-suggested biscuits were nowhere near cooked. In the end it took around 40 minutes to cook them.
They look pretty golden and appetising now, don't they? They are delicious too, with a lovely light, crumbly texture, although despite having lots of toasted walnuts in them there's no walnut flavour at all!

So my overall opinion of the biscuits is "Nice biscuits, shame about the instructions". That means that I really don't fancy trying any of the other recipes in the book so in this case I'm stopping at one and popping the book on the charity shop pile in the hope it will find a home where it is more suited to the occupants!

Your favourite colour combo at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for this week's challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz, and we would like you to use your favourite colour combo. That is, your favourite colour combo for masculine cards - it might be a bit of a challenge making a male card if your favourite combo is shades of pink!

My favourite combo is copper and green. Whenever I am trying out a new medium, ink, paint or colouring tool, the first ones I buy are always copper and green, because then I know I will be able to use them with other things I have at home. I'm still having my "Celtic knotwork revival" campaign, so here is today's card.

The large motif is stencilled using Starlight Metallic Paints from Imagination Crafts. The text panel is stamped using a very old background stamp - I can't remember where I got it - stamped with Versamark ink then brushed with mica pigment powders in copper and green. I tore the edges then smeared glue here and there over the torn areas and applied copper foil.

The background is a sheet of printed paper from my stash - I think it was included in a gift from a craft club many years ago.

I am sharing this with
A Bit More Time To Craft - Anything Goes
Mix it Up - Anything Goes (omitting the optional twist of embossing)
Use Your Stuff - Bohemian Rhapsody

Monday, 22 May 2017

Food and Drink at Ooh La La Creations

Today it's my turn to choose the theme for the challenge at Ooh La La Creations and  I've chosen Food and Drink, so I'd like to see either or both on your work.

I've used a pyramage and backing paper from the CD Yesterday's memories, which is an absolute treasure trove of all things vintage, and is available here.

The embellishments are vinyl peel off stickers from a very old Hot Off The Press kit, stuck on to white card and coloured in to match the image. Although they look almost black on the photo, they are actually a rich chocolatey brown - perfect for the chocolate biscuits our youngster is probably baking!

I am sharing this with Always Fun Challenges - Anything Goes