Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Afternoon Tea

This afternoon, we invited our friends over for afternoon tea which we had outside in the garden. This morning, I baked a batch of carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting, and Alex baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Both went down very well!!!

The only crafting I am managing to do at the moment is my cross stitching, and it is coming on quite well -

(well done Alma for guessing what it is!)

The reason for my lack of crafting is "Glee"!!! Having Alex at home with me permanently means that she doesn't want me disappearing off into my Crafty Corner for hours on end. Add to that, her friend has lent her the box set of the first series of "Glee" and she wanted company to watch them ... we are currently on episode 10 of 13. Tomorrow Alex should hear if she got the job that she had an interview for last weekend ..... (!)

Carole x

Monday, 28 June 2010

New Dies

I wanted to have a little go with my new dies - on the edge Tim Holtz one and a little ebay purchase of the Quickutz Daisy, so I came up with these cards, again using up some of my purple/lilac papers (notice how I've done it again, only this time three cards of a very similar nature because I had to cut out three layers of petals for the daisy out of my Core'dinations card!!!)

Carole x

p.s. Dinner party went really well :o) Duck was delicious and the pudding was to die for - both definitely recipes to keep and do again! Thought you might like to see the table - sadly however, the lanterns were less than impressive. This was the first time we had used them, and we followed the instructions and left them in the sunshine all day to charge up the solar panel, then hung them in the umbrellas. Three didn't work at all, two only dimly but one red one was quite bright (not enough to divert the planes landing at Hurn airport but fairly bright none the less!)

As predicted, I forgot to take photos of the food. I got the starter then forgot the rest - D'oh!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Creative in the kitchen

Today I have been creative in a different way - in the kitchen! We have our lovely friends Natalie and Steve coming over for dinner tonight, so I have chosen three totally new dishes to try out! Scary! We go to each other's homes for dinner every other month or so, and so all my trusted dinner party recipes have long since been used! Natalie and Steve are also real foodies so the pressure is on!

Tonight (Matthew!!!) I am cooking

* Asparagus and crab salad
* Roasted duck breast with plum sauce on creamed potatoes with buttered spinach, and
* Chocolate mousse cake with poached whisky pears and ginger mascarpone

I am all prepared as much as I can be, so fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan. Since it is so warm, we are planning to eat outside - I have bought citronella tealights and will put loads out round the table in jam jars, and we have hung little chinese lanterns under the umbrella for extra ambience.

I will try and remember to take photos, but might well forget in the heat of the moment!

Didn't get much stitching done last night - too much talking about crafting instead! However, the little that I did do will probably give away what it is! I'm loving your guesses!

Carole x

Friday, 25 June 2010

Cards for Girls and Boys

Sadly, I don't have any more cross stitch to show you - and tease you with! - as I haven't managed to do any more since my last post. I can't believe that none of you have guessed what it is yet - I thought you would easily guess it (but then I suppose I have got the chart in front of me!!!)

So, the other day I made these two cards (I told you I couldn't just make one didn't I?!) using a sizzix die that I bought on Boxing Day and that I hadn't yet played with.

Then it occured to me that the design would also be perfect for a male birthday/greeting card - and let's be honest about how we all struggle with those(!) - if only I used blue/more masculine papers. So that's what I did! And it is! The die itself is a little fiddly to disassemble and then reassemble, so I just stuck it all down onto card then cut them out again, but I think the effort is worthwhile.

Alex had a great day today! She loved the new sixth form so fingers crossed that she gets the grades to get in there, and when we got home there was a message inviting her for an interview at the Restaurant in Moors Valley Country Park - tomorrow!

Carole x

Thursday, 24 June 2010

More Birdies

Here are another couple of birdie cards that I made yesterday. Is it only me or do you all feel the need to make at least two cards when you find a design that you are happy with? (I realise that it could be just me!) I am also trying to use up colours that I might not normally - I'm loving my Core'dinations card pack in Nostalgia for example but there are colours in there that I'm not so keen on - like the orange and the purples/lilacs (hence the colour of the bird cage yesterday). Maybe I need to find some papers that I like that feature those colours to coordinate with the colours I'm not so keen on - hmmmm.

A couple of you have also asked about the new cross stitch project that I have now started, so here it is so far:

[in best Rolf Harris voice] Can you tell what it is yet?!!! It is going to be a lot harder than my Dog Lessons due to the subtle colour variations, and I think that I might change the pattern a bit, but hopefully it will turn out OK.

Alex finished her GCSEs this morning, so has now officially finished school (scary thought - my baby is growing up!) and she has eleven weeks before starting her new sixth form. Tomorrow she has to go into the new school for a Sixth Form Induction day, and she is waiting to hear from our local Forestry Commission Country Park where she has applied for a part time job, so fingers crossed for both of these please!

Hope you have had a lovely day!

Carole x

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Belated Birthday Gift

Guess what I got as a belated birthday gift? Yep, the new Tim Holtz bird cage die!!! How exciting! Just had to have a little play this afternoon, and I love, love, love it! I also got a couple of the edge ones but haven't opened them yet and am still hoping for the floral one when it is back in stock! Can see me using this cage die rather a lot ...

Also been enjoying the weather by staying inside in the cool and looking out! My morning dog walk has been lovely the past few days, although I can't get late for any reason or it will be too hot for Ollie who suffers in the heat and puffs his way round the forest even when we choose the shadiest paths to walk along.

I didn't get my cross stitch project started last night although I did get everything ready to do so this evening - the aida fabric is cut ready and all the colours are sorted out - just need to thread the needle and make the first stitch!

Hope you have had a lovely day too.

Carole x

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Flower Power

I made this first card about a week ago, and was really pleased with it (so was Alex, she wants me to give it to her as her birthday card in August!)

Then I had another little play and made some more along the same lines but with the Papermania capsule collection in purple. I quite like them, but not as much as the pink!

Might have to have another go with another colour, it's funny how different the same card turns out with different colours/papers!

Hope you have managed to stay cool today - what a beautiful day it's been.

Hoping to start a new cross stitch this evening - however it's the starting that I find the most difficult! Once I have made the first stitch then I'm off, it's just getting to that point!

Carole x

Monday, 21 June 2010

Show and Tell

Now that all of these projects have been received, I can share them all with you!

You may remember that a little while ago, I got a bit addicted to making tags! The card I made for my Dad for Father's Day followed on from that! He can always remove the tag and use it as a bookmark (especially since his Father's day gift from us was the latest Lee Child book!)

While I'm on the subject of Father's Day, I also wanted to show you the card that Alex made for her Dad because I think it's fab! It was inspired by a project in Papercraft Inspirations a while ago.

We went to visit my Mum and Dad in their new home for the first time this weekend - we had to wait for a break in Alex's exams before we could drag her away from her books for a whole day! We gave them one of the bird houses and one of the bee houses as a housewarming gift (the varnishing worked out well, but doesn't photograph well!) We also took a batch of these delicious lemon cupcakes from my lovely book:

I can also show you the ATC that I made for Valerie for the June swap with the theme "If I were an animal, what would I be?" Valerie and I were both amazed at how quickly it arrived in Germany, posted on the Friday morning, with Valerie on Monday! Must be a record!

I have been crafting this afternoon, but since I probably won't get to craft tomorrow will save those for another post! Tomorrow is Alex's penultimate GCSE exam and I have to fetch her from school, walk the dogs and also will have a pile of the dreaded i word to tackle. Oh well, that's life!

Hope you have managed some crafting today too!

Carole x

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Nearing Completion ...

I am now nearing completion of this exclusive development, and as such have sub contracted out some of the finishing stages! Alex has taken on one of the residences and has done a fabulous job with it. Final stage tomorrow of applying the varnish to make them weather tight (just hope that nothing goes wrong with that!)

Here is Alex's gorgeous bird house! Unlike me who fiddled around placing bits of paper on one bird house then when I was pleased with it, did the other two similarly, she did hers completely differently to mine, and I love it! I think it's much better than mine (and so did her brother who picked it out as his favourite!)

Here are two of mine in close up:

I am particularly pleased with how this little "bee-jou" residence has turned out! I wasn't sure how I would go about decorating it, but as I tackled it after the bird houses, it just kind of happened! Hope the solitary bee will like it, bless.

Will let you know how the varnishing works out!

Carole x

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Phase Two Complete.

Phase Two of the exclusive luxury development is now complete! These new homes enjoy lovely leafy surroundings and will shortly be available for residents!

In between walking the dogs, food shopping and driving to Wimborne to collect Alex after her revision session, I have managed to paint two coats on both the houses and the roofs! They are drying nicely and should be ready for embellishments tomorrow!

They remind me of little beach huts in this picture!

Alma, I'm betting that I am guessing correctly which one might just be your favourite ....!

Carole x

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Property Development ...

Coming soon, exclusive one bedroom apartments suitable for young families, beautifully situated in leafy surroundings ...

My latest craft projects! I found these delightful little bird and bee boxes for a snip, and thought I would have a go at altering/improving them! So, today was phase one of the property development when I painted on an undercoat (it's useful having just done our kitchen and therefore having things like undercoat available!)

Hopefully tomorrow I might get to paint them in their final colours, and then I'm planning on decorating/embellishing them, and finishing them all off with a coat or two of varnish.

I'll let you know how I get on! Hopefully a bit better than I did with the Estate Agent speak!!!

Carole x

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Men Cards :(

Is it just me, or are men's cards sooooooo much harder to make than women's? When I have a list of crafty things to do, I tend to leave these until the end because they are just so hard! However, over the past couple of days, I have made two.

This one is for our friend Ian who is having a surprise 50th birthday party at the beginning of July (hope he doesn't stumble across my blog by accident or it won't be much of a surprise!!!!)

The second one is for my brother who delights in being 4 years younger than me and always buys me rude birthday cards (don't you love little brothers?) I decided to prepare him for his big birthday in two years time when he will once again receive birthday cards with numbers!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

Carole x

Friday, 11 June 2010

Cards for Little Boys

I am delighted to report that I have managed a little crafting today! This was alongside walking the dogs and driving Alex to school at lunchtime for her Graphics GCSE. Alex officially started her study leave today, so no school other than the last three exams (my crafting may suffer with this change of circumstance!)

It is my youngest nephew Otto's christening in July, and following a little ebay purchase of another die, I knew exactly what I wanted to do on his card. My OH has been asked to be Otto's godfather which he was delighted to accept and then I pointed out that the christening is to take place on the same day as the World Cup Final! Goodness knows what will happen if by some miracle England make it to the final!!!

Whilst all those appropriate papers were out, it made sense to me to also make a first birthday card for a friend's little boy Ben.

Hope you have managed to craft today too!

Carole x

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Dog Lessons for People - finished!

First of all, thank you to everyone who left a lovely comment about my new kitchen! I'm so glad that you like it.

After a minor set back when I ran out of dark blue thread, my "Dog Lessons for People" (by Lizzie Kate) is finally finished. It has now had a good old iron (sorry for swearing!) and is ready for framing! I thought I would show it to you now as if I have to have it professionally framed (instead of being able to buy a ready made frame) then I've got to save up and it could take a while!

I also have a dilemma. I came across this little charm that I bought on my last trip to the US in my sewing stash and wondered about sewing it onto the sampler somewhere as it is rather cute. But where? I'm thinking that maybe by the kennel would be good, but then again does it really need it? Not sure. Any suggestions gratefully received!

Since we are on the subject of dogs, now might be a good time to show you my new die (although some of you may have spied it over on my "cyber friend" (!) SusieJ's blog here ). I'm loving it - nearly as much as my "funky chicken"!!!

I made a couple of dog house tags, one for Sue and her dog Max, and another for myself and my cocker spaniel Tilly (sorry Ollie, but the die just doesn't look like a Spinone!):

and another couple of tags when I was just playing around with my new toy!:

Carole x

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

When you're ready ... open your eyes!!!

As many of you have sympathised with me as my kitchen was being "remodelled", I thought you might like to see the finished result. It isn't a new kitchen, there was nothing wrong with our old kitchen, it just wasn't to my taste. So, we got a carpenter to modify the existing doors, we replaced the tiles, replastered the walls needing it and painted everything in sight! We kept the worktops and all the appliances but still it feels like a completely new kitchen. I am delighted with how it has all turned out, and don't think that I would love it any more even if it was brand new. Thanks to my lovely hubby for all his hard work xxx

Here is the obligatory "before" shot (don't you just love the yellow?!):

and now for the ta daaaah!!!

I am very lucky to have an old fashioned larder, and that has also been repainted and sorted (and had a lucky charity shop find of a new larger wine rack to replace the two unmatched ones that we had previously):

and here is the new oak windowsill that caused so many problems, but is fab now it is in!

I have done some crafting today, but since this post is quite long, I will save those pics for tomorrow! I have also finished my cross stitch, but that is in the ironing pile so will take a photo once it is all smoothed out!

Carole x