Friday, 24 August 2012

A (Small) Harvest Home

This week I've been busy gathering in my meagre harvest.  I didn't really get going in the garden this year and missed out on crops I usually enjoy growing - tomatoes, cucumber, beans, sweetcorn, etc.  But never mind - next year will be better.  However I've picked the soft fruit - cherries, plums, blackcurrants, and the first of the blackberries.  The apples are looking ok for September too.  Last year the pear tree did itself proud but this year there is no fruit at all!  Its a very ancient tree and I hope its not coming to the end of its life - we lost the other pear tree in the garden last year.

I managed to stop myself eating all the peas straight out of their pods - something I've been guilty of in the past - and have a bag of them in the freezer ready and waiting for Christmas Dinner.  The potatoes are stored away in their paper sack and the cherries have been stoned and are in the freezer too - I might turn some into jam as I'm on my last jar of 2011 jam.

Unfortunately the brambles have started invading the garden from the hedges as I haven't been cutting them back often enough.  But the bright side of this means there will be lots of blackberries.  I've turned the first berries into crumble puddings - my son's favourite, and there are still flowers on the bushes waiting for any passing insect to pollinate them.

So this is one harvest that is looking good - hmmmm...... apple and blackberry jam has been a favourite preserve in the past so I must look out the recipe - I just wish they weren't so THORNY!!!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

My Life in Photos - Make & Take 1

Can you believe I've never been to a Make & Take - until last night that is.  We made a decorated wooden heart garland, really enjoyed ourselves and it even converted my most uncrafty friend into a potential handmade gift giver.  Can't wait for next month - cupcake decorating.  Now that will be right out of my comfort zone!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Summer Holiday Mini

I made this mini-album for my sister recently.  For the first time she and her son spent the summer holiday in different countries - my sister here in Wales and her son in Turkey with family.  With the help of Facebook I secretly obtained some photos and created this pull-out accordion album in kraft cardstock - large photos of Turkey and small photos in die cut slide mounts of Wales.  Mini-albums are one of my most favourite things to make and I've done quite a few, but I got the idea for this one from Cristina during the July Papertrey Ink countdown.  Don't you just love that vintage camera stamp!  I think my sister liked it.

Thanks to Godelieve once again for the use of her excellent template.

Stamps: PTI Shutterbug Special, Darkroom Door Essentials: Photography, MFT Typewriter; Sizzlit Slide Mount die

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Fobbed Off

I'd been eagerly awaiting the publication of Eline Pellinkhof's first book in English - Stitch and Sew Home.  I'd even pre-ordered it earlier in the year as I wanted to have it in my hands at the first possible moment.  So you can imagine how delighted I was when it turned up on my doorstop almost a month early at the beginning of August. 

I discovered Eline's work last year and loved her style so much I ordered her Winter Huis book - published in Dutch - and had no problem reproducing the projects.  I was very tempted to order Eline's Huis too (the Dutch version of Stitch & Sew Home) but sat on my hands and awaited the English translation.

It really is a lovely book and Eline has a little preview video on her blog if you would like to have a look inside.  I've been making these little key fobs this week - there's one featured on the cover of the book.  They make perfect little "just because" gifts and you can make them as simple or decorative as you like.  Although its a bit more work, my favourite is the house design.  Its perfect for attaching to the spare house key.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Gracious Inspiration

Tomorrow sees the August release from Papertrey Ink and like lots of other fans I've been enjoying the showcase projects from Nichole Heady and her team.  This month I especially like one stamp set - Autumn Hills.  I'll definitely be adding it to my stamp library (with the help of my lovely shipping buddy Yuki!).  My favourite project from the whole release was this pretty card using the tree stamp from Autumn Hills and as I will have to wait another 3-4 weeks for my new stamps to arrive I wanted to try to reproduce the design with stamps I already have.

The pink card is almost a straight copy of Nichole's so I thought I'd try another and came up with this Autumny version using leaf stamps.  I never can resist picking up fallen Autumn leaves but of course they never stay as beautiful and bright as when you pick them up.  These leaves will stay just as they are!  I added embroidery thread to both cards for a bit of interest.

And thinking of Autumn and late Summer gardens, I have to share this photo of Plas Maelgwyn, a house in a quiet street close to the centre of Llandudno.  I must have passed this lovely building dozens of times over the years but not noticed it before.  I think it was the beautiful garden that caught my eye yesterday.  I have a patch of those wonderful tall yellow daisies in my own garden.  When I got home I looked the building up and found it on the British Listed Building website.  I knew it must be special and read the comments of two people who had wonderful memories of living in the house.  I tried to upload my photo without success so I thought I'd share it here instead and maybe one of those who lived there might find it one day. 

Stamp supplies: PTI Leaf Prints, Beautiful Butterflies, Mega Gracious Vases die collection; Lavinia Stamps Dandelions stamp set; Distress Inks

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Glad Impulse Buys

I'm often guilty of impulse buying - I find it almost impossible to go into our local Co-op and walk out with just the one item I went in for.  In fact I have on occasion walked out with a bag full of bargains - minus the one item I needed.  Near closing time the other night I just had to "rescue" two bunches of Gladioli at 75p each, even though I knew I didn't have anything suitable to display them in.  They stood in a bucket of water for a couple of days while I wondered what to do.  Then I saw these two rather colourful vases in our bargain basement store for only £1.99 each.  I wouldn't have bought them normally as they're not really my style, but they were perfect for the Gladies - oh dear, another impulse buy!

But I could almost hear the Gladies' sigh of relief when they were arranged in the vases and they opened their flowers almost immediately.  I had to pull off some of the lower blooms but they too soon opened themselves in small glasses on the mantlepiece.

I haven't made any cards recently so I thought I would try to reproduce my Gladies as I remembered I had bought Papertrey Ink's Mega Vase dies last month and one of them matched my new vases - and wasn't there a Gladioli stamp in the Year of Flowers set?  On this occasion I don't think I regret my impulse buys!

Stamps: PTI - Year of Flowers Collection, Background Basics: Tintypes, Distressed Stripes, Mat Stack 3 Collection
Dies: PTI - Mega Gracious Vases collection, Sending You collection

Friday, 10 August 2012

Empty Skies?

Is your sky empty today?  I suddenly thought yesterday evening that I hadn't heard the swifts all day and looking up realised they weren't there.  It had been a beautiful day - very warm, blue sky and puffy white clouds and they could just possibly be feeding so high we couldn't see or hear them - but no, there is no joyous screaming and swooping in evidence over the town this morning either and I have to conclude that once again this is the beginning of the end of summer.  As usual I have been trying to catch the birds' acrobatic antics on film all summer without success.  I took this photo last week and you might just be able to see the black specks flying over their nesting place - already preparing for their long and hazardous journey to Africa.

However it really didn't feel like the end of summer yesterday when we walked home through the field by the river - it seems like its only just begun this week!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

My Life in Photos - The Sugar Plum Tea Room

Homeward Bound's cafe opened earlier this year but I hadn't had the opportunity to visit - until yesterday that is.  My sister and I managed to persuade my Mum to come with us too.  She has been very unwell lately and this was almost her first outing for 3 or 4 months.  I do hope she enjoyed the visit as its a lovely place and is destined to become a favourite eatery as its just so pretty!  Take a look at their website and you may be tempted if you are ever in the area.  I'm very tempted by their first "make and take" evening at the end of the month - I just need to find somebody to come with me!  Any takers?

Friday, 3 August 2012


Oh dear, I'm three days late with my vintage children for August.  However this is the last one.  Yes, can you believe it!  All twelve images from my old picture book Children Month by Month have now been posted.  I hope someone somewhere will want to use them.  They'd make a sweet addition to a photo calendar or a scrapbook page and of course they can be used for personalised birthday cards for children or even "baby boomers" who may remember a 50s childhood.  And how about a set of 12 cards made as a gift.

I made three cards this morning with the images printed out on thin card.  Fairly simple affairs - which is how I like it.  Of course it all depends on your taste in cards but I was thinking just the other day while in WH Smiths, before I started making cards I was always drawn to something simple - just a beautiful painting, photograph or illustration and not much else.  I really can't be doing with fol-de-rols!

As in all other posts, you can right click on the image, open in a new tab, enlarge and save to your computer.  Looking back I see I haven't tagged the posts and I'll try to get that done tonight so you can find the images easily. 


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