Monday, 31 August 2009

Christmas Has Begun!

Well, I made my first lot of Christmas cards today. A wee set of vintage-style mini cards and a box to keep them in:

For the cards I used "Victoriana" vintage diecuts from Anita's and a selection of pps from Daisy and Dandelion's Christmas Collection A Winter's Tale, some gold ribbon and shimmery dot peel-offs. The box was made from a template found here. The box lid was decorated using reindeer Elements from Papermania. Can't quite remember what pack the pp is from.

Had rather a pleasant weekend, seeing my Parents and then my friend A on Saturday, and a very enjoyable day yesterday, visiting a word-of-mouth place called Jupiter Artland, which is quite intriguing. Unfortunately we didn't have time to do more than have cappuccinos and yummy banana muffins at the outdoor cafe (getting eaten alive by midges in the process), and now the place is closed until next May, but I would definately like to go back after that, with my camera! We then took a nice walk around Harlaw Reservoir, before the rain came on with a vengeance.

In the evening we chowed down on spicy noodles at Wagamamas and stuffed ourselves silly. My mouth felt like the inside of a volcano as I ate, but I deeply enjoyed my deep-fried tofu dish - it was worth the pain!

Day off today, unusually, but my hours are going haywire for the next week or three. Didn't make as many cards as I would have liked but I did come up with this for my "Feline Frolics" set:

The image is from a fab set of clear stamps by Penny Black, called Purrfect Day - they're just so CUTE! Used my new Dovecraft brush markers to colour it in. I look forward to doing more from this set.

I would have made some Pumpkin and Aubergine cards too, but would you believe, the set looks so pretty in it's packaging I'm reluctant to open it! I need to be strong...MUST...BE...STRONG!!!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Ups and Downs

It's been a funny mixture of emotions this week and as a result I'm feeling a wee bit drained today. Himself has been off-colour for a few days so I've been worried about that, my noisy neighbours' flat is up for letting which means they're hopefully going, so that caused me some ecstacy until I thought about who might move in next, and there are a few busy weeks at work coming up because K is off on holiday for about a millennium (3 weeks). I will miss her :o(

On the up-side, look what arrived in the shop yesterday - SQUEAL!!!!!

K and I could hardly contain ourselves when we saw them and I was actually prepared to commit violence to get my mitts on one! I'm sure you can't possibly imagine why I am so keen on this range (ahem).

There has not been much creativity going down but I have been selling a few items in my shop so I will need to restock fairly soonish. Here is the latest addition to my Manly Mixture card set:

Sorry the photo's a bit dark; the weather has turned distinctly autumny of late. The stamp set is from a Clear Choice set called Journey (oddly enough). The pp is from the PM Signature Regency range.

In baking news I made some Rocky Road for my colleagues but I could tell from their barely-contained grimaces that I'd had yet another failure. Hardly surprising really, when they looked like this:

Yes I know they resemble something out of a cats' litter tray - I tried my best!!

Finally I am trying not to feel too stupid after an incident at 2.30am this morning when I awoke in a panic, thinking that Ben had eaten one of my anti-neighbour-ear-plug-devices!! Frantically I searched the bed, thinking all the time of the laughter that would echo around the vets' waiting room when I told them of my plight - so the relief was overwhelming when the earplug was located under my pillow. Phew!!! Such things could only happen to me!!!

Monday, 24 August 2009

For Sale - One Mojo - Hardly Used!

Oh dear, I really, really don't know what's happened to my mojo this last week. I've barely made a card and I've had a crisis of confidence about my Recycle and Reuse class. These are the cards I've prepared so far:

The point is to include a recylced element on each card; this one uses a page out of an old recipe book and the corrugated card from a Starbucks cup wrap thing to make the cupcake and the pp is from DCWV's Green Stack, which is 70% recylced paper.

More corrugated card on this one, plus another old book cut up and more Green pp. After coming up with these I wasn't very sure where else to take the idea. Various acquaintences have been turning themselves into alcoholics in order to get me enough beer bottle tops to use on another card, but so far nothing's quite come together. I will have another "stab" at it soon,
and if the Mojo doesn't come up trumps then, I'll be swapping it for another one!!

The shop held a demo day on Saturday, with the staff doing all the demos themselves. Well, I chickened out of that part (shame on me!) but I quite enjoyed bustling about serving customers and got quite a buzz out of the fact it was so successfully busy. Other shops were looking enviously at the crowds in ours, wondering what all the fuss was about!

Yesterday was luncheon at Himself's family home and his mum had laid on a "special" veggie quiche just for me, which was very kind (and also extremely delicious). I also held a VCB and felt a bit maternal again. Oh dear.

Finally in the latest instalment of the Doggy friend has been working very hard and found someone who is keen to rehome him. However, it now seems apparent he might have underlying health problems that might not be sortable :o( Life seems very unfair sometimes, it would be nice if there could have been a happy ending for this one. Will need to keep everything crossed.

Well, that's it for now. I'd better go and try to raise my mojo from the dead - if not, it's curtains!!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Animal Rescue

Whew! It's been a busy few days here at Mushroom Towers! A late night was had on Saturday, when we went out for a meal to celebrate Himself's birthday. I had an extremely tasty veggie dish at the restaurant; it was an okra (I wasn't entirely sure what this was at first, but wasn't put off when told it was long, green and slightly hairy!) masala and there were so many delicious, spicy flavours mingling, it was like an explosion in my mouth. I really should be a food critic, I think I would excel at that.
After the meal we went back to H's friends', where we played "Triv" (Trivial Pursuit, to those not in the know), and H and I won fair and square, unlike the other team who - gasp! horror! - CHEATED!!! They placed an extra piece of pie in their, er, pie holder, right in front of our eyes and we didn't realise until they confessed at the end. We were speechless with horror. Who could stoop that low, eh??
Most of Sunday was spent stressing about a stray dog that was wandering around outside the flats where I live. I phoned various animal "welfare" organisations and no one seemed willing to help as it was the weekend. I couldn't bear the thought of him (an old black lab) spending a night out in the open, but I couldn't take him in because of the cats. It fair brought a tear to my eye, I tell you!
Eventually, my animal-lover-extraordinaire friend A, and a neighbour stepped in and the dog (a real old sweetie) was given a home for the night. He is now, apparently, residing in the Dog and Cat Home in Edinburgh, awaiting claim. We are racking our brains to think of someone who might be able to give him a home, should his owner not appear. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
In between all this animal-related emotional trauma, Himself and I took a trip into Edinburgh's Royal Mile, to soak up some of the Festival Fringe atmos. I used to live in that historic thoroughfare so it was a real trip down memory lane, seeing all my childhood haunts again, sniff.
The High Street was mobbed with tourists and all the street performances were encircled by tall people. I should write an alternative guide to the festival, entitled "How to Enjoy the Festival Fringe From The Perspective of a Small Person Who Can Only See The Tops of People's Heads". There were some truly "alternative" acts going on, which Himself and I were obviously too uncultured to understand. But it was quite enjoyable being a part of it for a short while at least.
I have a day off today and I've been trying to create for my "Recycle and Reuse" class all morning. Nothing much to show for it yet, but it has inspired me to do my own bit of altering - a pencil holder from the Pound Shop - from this:

To this:

I could definately grow to love this altering lark!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Scraps Aplenty

At work it seems that I'm developing a reputation for being a scrap collector. If anyone goes to chuck out a miniscule paper fragment after they've finished a card, I'm there to rescue it! So now everyone knows to pass their scraps in my direction and I've got quite a nice little collection forming! It will probably take me a million years to use them all, but, hey, waste not, want not, eh?
I've been quite busy doing admin with my shop and developing a couple of class projects, so all I have to show today is Himself's birthday card:

I've done my usual with peel-offs, backing them onto card and cutting them out, and, you've guessed it - scraps! It was one of three golf cards he received, so not an entirely original concept
but he liked it anyway, so yay!

Back soon; hopefully a bit more to show for myself next time!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Back To The Day Job

Well, that's my staycation well and truly over and now I'm back to work. But I enjoyed the break, met up with a few good friends, did some crafting and shop-organising and the weather stayed decent. The main bad point was Corrie's illness, but thankfully, she seems to have made a good recovery and she behaved nicely for the vet even though he had to prod her in some rather personal places! Her recovery even extended to "helping" me when I washed and sorted the jewellery left to me by Grannie:

HOW can that be comfortable??

Good news is that my Etsy shop has received it's first sales!! Many thanks, peeps, hope you enjoy your purchases!! I've been making one or two new products to go in the shop, including Post-it Note Holders:

and Treat Bag Toppers:

The Sweet Treat Stack was the inspiration for the toppers, quite refreshing and summery.

And the first day back at work hasn't been too bad either. My classes have a few places booked up already - eek! Better get working on those samples!

Meantime, here's a keyring I bought from the Cat's Protection stall at the weekend - quite apt for me I would say!

That's all for now folks!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Quick Visit

Last night I made a box for my Garden Gang notecards:

Cute, eh? (I found the tutorial for making the box here)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Lady of Leisure

Well, it's been a busy week so far. Hardly any time for crafting, but it's been nice, catching up with friends and family and being a lady of leisure. The only downer has been a sick cat, which required a vet trip yesterday, and she's still not quite right yet, so I'm hoping that won't develop into anything more worrying :o(

On Tuesday I took my parents to Craigie's as they hadn't been before, and we tucked into hearty breakfasts (my dad and I chose the veggie version of course, my mum did the carnivorous one) and then embarked on a trek into the woods, which turned into a much lengthier walk than we'd anticipated. Dad and I both had our cameras (he was analogue, I was digital) and there were times when we were both snapping away, which had mum rolling her eyes heavenward I'm sure. But there were some interesting photo opportunites including a collection of ruined farm dwellings which had been entirely taken over by nature:

And some tiny mushrooms sprouting from a log (or they may have been toadstools; I wasn't about to sample one to find out:

The fields were ripe with berries for picking:

Then, our legs a wee bit tired, we returned to the cafe for coffee and sweet delicacies on the verandah. Nice!

Yesterday I went for a spell of crafting at V's house. She'd laid on a fab lunch of salad with avocado (I now realise I like this, I wasn't sure before!) and grilled halloumi and it was VERY tasty! Sadly my mojo had deserted me when it came to actually crafting, but it was great to see what she'd been up to and to have lots of crafty chat. Thanks, V!

Going to list a couple of things in the shop day, one being this set of simple notecards:

I made them last night from some Doodlebug stickers I've had for ages. I think I might try and make some kind of "tote" for them to be presented in, then they'd make a nice gift, I think. Wish I could have taken better pics though :o(

That's me for now, going to try and find my mojo!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Lots of Photos! (And Overuse of the Word Cute!)

I'm cheating a little today as I haven't made any new cards over the weekend (slap wrists!) but instead, here are a couple of older creations I'm thinking of putting into my shop:

I'll need to take better photos if I'm going to try and sell these! But I really like this set of stamps from Woodware, coloured in with Twinkling H2o's. The other option is to make simpler versions, for my "Manly Mixture" card set. Hmm...

The reason for the lack of new crafting is that we spent the weekend having a couple of walks. The first was an evening viaduct stroll:

Aforesaid "viaduct" or "aqueduct", I'm not sure which!

A nice covered bridge

At the top.

Cornfields as the sun was going down.

Arty cornfield close-up shot by Himself.

Then we had a canal walk after lunch on Sunday:

All very nice, and decent weather too.

And today I'm on holiday - yay! Spent this morning crafting with my young niece who has just had an op and is recuperating at home. I nattered with my sis-in-law and we had pancakes and maple syrup for brunch. Yums!

It was also the first time I'd made the acquaintence of their new puppy, Cara, who is just the epitome of cuteness:

Did someone say cute?

I think the word "cute"was mentioned!

Oh yes, I'm definately cute!

Blimey! This cuteness lark is tiring!

Are those plantpots huge or am I just small and cute? (Clue: it's the latter)

After this overload of cuteness it was time for a spot of light retail therapy and now I'm home and just about to indulge in some tortellini pasta washed down with a glass of pear cider. Ah, this is the life!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Come Back Toby!!

I shouldn't be writing this now. I should be doing housework. Bleh. But who wants to stick to a routine when they're officially ON HOLIDAY!!! Yay! I'm off for the next week! It's going to be a staycation but hopefully it will allow me to meet for lots of coffees with friends and have extra crafting time. Fingers crossed, anyway.
Bit of a stressy time for my work friend K just now. One of her cats went missing on Wednesday and of course she's been worried sick. He's only a year old and a real cutie :o( Last night K, T and I went out in the rain to put leaflets through doors in the surrounding area, hoping that someone, somewhere, would have seen him. And someone had! So K raced to the area late last night and actually spotted him herself! Only problem is, he won't come to her, which is very frustrating. She will have been out since the crack of dawn this morning, trying to entice him back. These cats! They cause us so much angst! My cats are kept indoors for the very reason that I dread them disappearing :o(

In card news, I made this one for my wee niece who is recovering from an operation:

A nice personage kindly gave me a whole load of stamped Penny Black images from their vast collection (I still owe them a bottle of wine in return!) so, although this isn't really my style, I gave it a go and was quite pleased with the result.

In a blatant copying of someone else's work (sorry, J!), I made these cards from bits and bobs left over from a class:

The pp's are, I think, from the Papermania Signature Regency Hill collection and the shapes are cut from the Cricut Accent Essentials cartridge. I love the style of these, so this is a homage to J!

Finally, I had a thrillation this week when Skechers had a halfprice sale for centre staff. K and I went racing up there instantaneously and I picked out these babies:

I haven't worn them in yet, but I have looked at them a lot. Corrie, meanwhile, has been trying to squeeze herself, unsuccessfully, into the box:

Corrie writes: "Bah!"

Now I really must get on with the boring cleaning stuff and then, hopefully, my holiday can begin!