Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Work In Progress

The weather is getting colder and damper and I can definitely tell I am back on my winter schedule.  My 'winter schedule' is nothing exciting, it mainly revolves around eating soup from one of the local bakeries for my lunch and spending my evenings attempting to knit.

I am by no means an experienced knitter, but I try.  Last year I managed a hat and this year I have decided on big chunky scarves.  The idea is that I will knit some as Christmas presents, but I need to do a prototype first (quality control and all that).  Last week I made a start and here's a quick pic of the prototype in progress:

The pattern is a free download from Ravelry and the finished product should look a little something like this.

I will still be card making over the winter but I sometimes find it hard work in the evenings with the lack of  light.   Knitting is something I can do curled up on the sofa with the TV on.  Choice of viewing for knitting will most probably be Mad Men on DVD.   I was a latecomer to the MM phenomenon but now I am obsessed!  I'll also be throwing in a bit of Strictly Come Dancing for good measure.  (As you can imagine Mr Crafty Blogger is delighted "that thing" starts again this week!)


Ruthie x

Sunday, 26 September 2010

It Worked!

Last night the christmas cake (from my last post) finally emerged from it's Jack Daniels sauna and here it is:

(not the best pic as it was taken last night in my kitchen so no natural light whatsoever)

It's a little lighter coloured than I expected but I think that's because there's no treacle in the recipe.  I am used to the ones my mum makes which I seem to recall use treacle.

Now I just need to wait until Christmas to see how it tastes!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday,

Ruthie x

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A Hallowe'en Challenge Card

I've recently started following the Ribbon Girl blog and they have recently launched their first challenge:

I'm probably a little bit predictable with this one, but I opted for a Hallowe'en theme:

Halloween Card

Halloween Card

Ingredients: Vintage canned pumpkin label from the Graphics fairy, Basic Grey paper, Nellie Snellen frame die, hand cut pumpkin, ribbon from local market, pen stitching, studio G alphabet stamps.

In addition to finishing this card today, I also had a very productive morning and made my first ever Christmas cake!  It's currently what can only be described as sweating in tin foil and Jack Daniels but here's a few shots of the work in progress from this morning:

Getting to grips with the recipe (from Feast by Nigella Lawson):

Well on the way:

Mmmm, ready for the tin (I love raw cake mix!)

Ready for the oven:
I have to say I wasn't convinced with the instruction to put a large collar of brown paper around the tin, I was sure it would set on fire in the oven.  Thankfully it didn't.

After I had finished scraping the bowl I offered Mr Crafty Blogger the chance to 'lick the bowl'.  His reply was "err no, it's got raw egg in it hasn't it?".    I was very surprised at his response, particularly as he was brought up in NW England during the 1970s where 'bowl licking' was practically a sport and one which most children could reach an olympic standard at!  He then proceeded to ask if I had eaten any of the mixture.  My reply "of course"!

Due to my cake mix eating activities this may be my last blog post (or so Mr Crafty Blogger intimated), if not I'll be back soon with a pic of the finished cake.  I can't post one now as the recipe instructs you to soak it with more booze and wrap in foil to cool, which is what it's currently doing.

Thanks for looking,

Ruthie x

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Butterflies and Bunting

I've just come back from a week's holiday to hideous weather up here in NW England and so all I want to do is hole myself up in my craft room and play.

With this in mind, this morning I went on the hunt for a challenge to inspire me and this week's challenge on Daring Card Makers fit the bill perfectly:

This week it's me (Kathy) here to set the new dare and I'd like you to

Come Fly With Me

My theme is All Up in the Air, really ;-) - I'd like to see the main elements of your card being things that fly, flutter, hover or waft about "up there" in the sky.

The hideous weather I've come back from holiday to has made me crave sunny days and afternoon tea parties with bunting flapping in the wind and butterflies hovering over head.  So this is what I came up with:
Bunting and Butterflies Birthday Card
It's a card for a friend whose birthday is not until late October, by which time I think we will all be craving sunny days and blue skies!

Ingredients: Papers October Afternoon (Fly a Kite range - even that fits the dare!), Quickutz alphabet dies, Cuttlebug cake die, Nellie Snellen frame die, American Crafts ribbon, pen stitching, garden twine from Wilko, punched butterflies.

Just a note on the 'stitching'.  One of the comments on my last post asked if it was real stitching on my cards.  It isn't!  After thinking I had broken my sewing machine the only time I tried to stitch a card I always stick with my pen stitching method: piercing the card/paper with a map pin and then drawing in the 'thread' with a fineliner pen.  (It's much less stressful.)

As I said at the start of this post I've just come back from holiday and I can say there where we were there was no shortage of sunny days and blue skies as Mr Crafty Blogger and I spent a fantastic week on the beautiful Greek island of Santorini.  I don't want to bore you all with the hundreds of pics I took so here's a storyboard of just a few of them:

Santorini, September 2010
(storyboard created using a template from Coffee Shop)

We stopped at THIS fantastic hotel in the capital Fira (or Thira).  Not only were the facilities excellent we also had amazing views of the Caldera (volcano) and the sunsets which Santorini is famous for.  (I took the photo on the top right of the storyboard from our balcony!)

Although we stopped in Fira, we managed to get around the island very easily by bus, including a  number of trips to the beautiful (and very photogenic) village of Oia which is where three of the storyboard photos were taken.

I promised not to bore you with the photos, but before I sign-off I just want to share one of my favourite shots from the week:
Hotel Pool
If you are interested I have put a few more shots on my Flickr.

Thanks for looking,

Ruthie x

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A Nice Surprise

I popped over to Lisa Craft Fairy's blog this morning to check out this week's die cut challenge and was very surprised and delighted to learn my card from last week was awarded card of the week.  If you read this Lisa, thank you,  I'm glad you liked the card.

Anyway on to this week's challenge which Lisa has set which is to make a card featuring a scalloped square die cut. I wanted to do a card using the scalloped square as a frame but  I don't have any large Nestabilities square dies or punches.  As a substitute I modified a Nellie Snellen rectangle into a square and came up with this:

Ingredients:  Nellen Snellen die, Cuttlebug cake die and embossing folder, My Minds Eye papers, Nestabilities oval dies, Quickutz number dies, ribbons and pins from stash and finally pen stitching.

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday and so I had to venture into my least favourite card making genre: Men's cards!

Thankfully The Graphics Fairy came up trumps with a suitable image and here's the finished card:

I added 'Dad' to the Graphics Fairy image in Photoshop and printed it onto some canvas printer paper to give it a more vintage feel.

The other ingredients: October afternoon papers, Sizzix tag die stamped with a Papermania stamp, circle clip from stash, inking and pen stitching.

Thanks for looking.

Ruthie x

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

A New Challenge

Lisa (Crafty Fairy) has launched a new challenge over on her blog.

Welcome to Shape of the Week Sunday!
I decided to set a Die Cutting based challenge on my blog every week, as there does not seem to be many die cutting challenges about so i thought this may inspire people!!

So my challenge to you is to make a card using a die of a scalloped circle - there are tons out there and i think it is a popular die!!

This challenge gave me the kick up the bum I need on Bank Holiday Monday to make my Mum's birthday card:

Ingredients:  Scalloped circle dies (large one is Nestabilities and small  one under the button is a Cuttlebug die), October Afternoon papers, Cuttlebug butterfly die, home-made journalling spot (made in Photoshop), Cuttlebug letters dies, mini bulldog clip from Paperchase, button from stash, pen stitching.

After I finished the card on Monday we headed out to Morecambe for a walk along the prom and to make most of the unusually nice weather.  It was also a good opportunity for me to practice my photography. Here's a shot I took when we walked down the Stone Jetty looking back towards the Midland Hotel:

Of course a trip to Morecambe wouldn't be complete for me without my favourite ice-cream treat, a Snowball Topper.  Although this has featured on my blog before I still had to take a photo of the 2010 version!
While I was queueing for my ice cream I managed to get another shot of the fabulously retro Sunset Ices ice-cream van:
(The composition isn't brilliant on this one, but I was limited as I was in the queue!)

Thanks for looking,
Ruthie x