Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I made this card for a neighbour of my Mother's who fell and broke her hip recently. She's a very spritely lady who at 90 years of age lives alone, cares for a large garden and even does her own shopping, lugging a heavy shopping trolley home from the supermarket. So I do hope she is back on her feet soon and can remain independent.

The card is partly inspired by this BBC report - I wish I lived close enough to visit. The poppies reminded me of some photos my sister took when she was in Turkey a few years ago. I created a digital scrapbook page with them at the time. Sadly fields like this are very rare in the UK nowadays.
I love poppies of all shapes, colours and sizes but the poppies that arrive secretly and spring up in surprising places are a favourite. This pretty orange is one of those secret varieties and I love the way the petals fade to white and the centre and stamen are yellow rather than the usual black. Definitely a hybrid, but of what? However, I do have yellow Welsh Poppies and a pale orange stranger in the garden. Are those the "parents" I wonder. Anyway, I love it.Stamps: Papertrey (of course!) Botanical Silhouettes, Garden Variety
Also used: Papertrey Garden Variety die and Picket Fence die

Digital kits from 2Peas in a Bucket: Flower Patch by Rhonna Designs, Painted Block Mattes by MFD Designs

Saturday, 25 June 2011

And another one!

Told you I'd been crafty lately. Here's another project - a little gift for two special family visitors we had this week.

I'm sure you will have seen the fabulous new craft magazine Mollie Makes. Its just my sort of publication and there was so much inspiration in the first issue I didn't know what to make first. The second issue came out a few days ago and if possible it was better than the first! Anyway, enough of the promotion, I was just waiting for an excuse to make the crochet apple cosies featured on the cover of issue one and as our visitors are great travellers I thought they would be perfect little gifts.

They were quick and easy to make but there is one tip I can pass on if you are going to have a go - get your apples first to make sure you are making a cosy that will fit! I made the mistake of not doing that and ended up unravelling my first cosy and starting again with a larger hook as the apples I bought were too big!

And as the girls are great readers too I made some apple themed bookmarks to match using my bookmark die and an apple stamp set and die.

Stamps: PTI Fruit Fusion: Apple; Background Basics: Tintypes; All Booked Up; Tag-Its #2

Little Grey Rabbit's Birthday

Contrary to popular belief I have been getting crafty recently! I just haven't had time to blog!

I made this little rabbit brooch for a great niece's birthday. I love Alison Uttley's Little Grey Rabbit books and have a number of modern duplicate copies bought in charity shops that I don't mind cutting up. There are some lovely illustrations in Little Grey Rabbit's Birthday perfect for creating birthday cards. This one shows Little Grey Rabbit, Squirrel and Hare making their preparations for the birthday party. I stamped a background directly onto the card blank using Papertrey's Tag-Its #1 and #3 stamps and simply added the illustration. There was a perfect space in the picture for the Happy Birthday sentiment. A quick and easy card.

Ginger Melon's Etsy shop has some really cute patterns for dolls and animals and I couldn't resist the little animal brooches. However I wanted the little rabbit brooch to look like Little Grey Rabbit so I added a grey dress, blue apron and white collar and attached her to the front of the card. My gift was completed with an uncut copy of the story book.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Thank Yous and Blue Poppies

I've had occasion to make a few thank you cards this last week, the first is a thank you to the very kind gentleman who found my cat for me last week. Sausage is the last of my four cats to survive and is almost 19 years old. He has lost his sight over the last few months and is slowly adjusting to being blind. But last week he got himself lost. I searched for him for two days, from (very) early morning until darkness without success, I put up posters and posted notes through doors. I was starting to lose hope when the phone went at almost midnight on the third day and a voice said "I think I've just seen your cat from my window". And it was Sausage - wandering down the road not far from my house. I took my hero a home baked Bara Brith (a traditional Welsh fruit bread) yesterday. I wrapped it in parchment paper tied up with chocolate bakers twine and attached my small thank you note .

My second card was made for my Mum to send to a relative. I've used the beautiful Papertrey 2010 anniversary set I delightedly received from my PTI angel in Hawaii. I stamped the poppy silhouettes in Tumbled Glass Distress Ink to represent the gorgeous Himalayan Blue Poppy. I've tried growing them a few times in the garden but have only been successful once in 2009. It doesn't seem to like my soil - or perhaps its the climate - not much like that in the Himalayas I don't suppose!

There is a third thank you card but I can't post it yet as its on its way to somewhere tropical!

Stamps: All Papertrey Ink: On My Couch, On My Couch Additions, Pocket Silhouettes

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Elderflower Cordial 2011

I've just come in from the jungle that is my back garden (not my mother's garden which is the one I usually show on this blog) where I picked another bunch of elderflowers to make second brewing of my favourite elderflower cordial. I never seem to have enough cordial for the summer so this year I'm hoping to make as much as I can whilst the flowers last. As you can see from the photo of the flowers above, it was an absolutely glorious morning with an azure sky showing off the elderflowers to their best advantage.

Elderflower cordial really is the easiest summer drink to make. You can find the recipe here on my post last year. All you need are the flowers, a lemon, sugar, citric acid, and boiling water. It then makes itself over the next few days and all I need do is strain and bottle in something pretty.

And its ready to drink straight away and will keep for ages - if you can keep it!

I wanted to make some labels for my bottles - but what to use as an image? In the end I think I've managed to create an approximation of elderflowers with stamps from Darkroom Door's Wildflower set and Papertrey's Pondlife. I used Bundled Sage and Antique Linen Distress Inks, inking different parts of the flower stamps to give the effect of the flowerheads.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Happy Birthday Mum

Its Mum's 87th birthday today - we celebrated last week when it was half term and my sister was able to visit. I love this photo of Mum aged about 9 as on the back in her own best handwriting she has written "This is a picture of Gwenora Thomas" with her full address and "This is her at school."
And here she is at Knighton school in 1935. Mum's not in the best of health right now and I wonder how many of these little girls are around to recognise themselves in this photo. Mum always remembers the years she spent in Knighton, a small market town in mid-Wales, as the happiest of her childhood and often says how sad she and her mother were when they had to leave - my grandfather worked in a bank and in those days clerks were often moved from branch to branch.

And this is where they lived - Rhianfa - rented for £1 a week and home to Mum, her parents and Fluffy their little dog. Happy days long ago.

Friday, 3 June 2011

NF Macro Flowers #4 - Foxgloves

I missed out on Nature Footsteps Macro #3 last week as I just didn't get round to posting my flower photo in time. But it will keep for another day as now June has arrived my colour for #4 this week just has to be Pink. And what could be pinker than Foxgloves.

You have to be quick to snap a bee on Foxgloves - they are in and out of those flower fingers like nobody's business and its a case of guessing when that muffled buzzing means "I'm coming out backwards!" I must have taken about 20 photos trying to catch this busy bee.

The Foxgloves in my garden are at their very best right now and this little group have sown themselves in a perfect spot to catch the evening sun. I'm so lucky to have them as they are wild plants that arrived from who knows where a few years ago and have been seeding themselves here and there ever since. I wonder where they'll appear next year.

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Its Mum's birthday next week and I've been saving this image for her card. Its from one of my copyright-free books and as soon as I saw it I shouted "Its Us!" because it really does look like the artist has drawn me and my three sisters - a little enhanced and many years ago of course! I'd love to know whether it was for a book or just an illustration for a magazine. The only book I can think of is Little Women but they don't really look like Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy do they.

My new Papertrey stamps arrived yesterday - just in time for this card. I've used the new Garden Variety set for the border. And the lovely sentiment is from the 2010 Anniversary set which also arrived yesterday - aren't I lucky! They are both gorgeous sets.

And in case this image reminds you of your family too, I'm posting it below. I'd love to see if you use it in a project.
Click to enlarge then right click to save to your computer.


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