Monday, 19 February 2018

Stencilled stag

I'm sure you all know by now how much I love this stencil, I've used it so often. It makes such a tranquil Christmas scene which I think is perfect for a masculine card, especially when done using a dark background.

This time I used texture paste for the stencilling, sprinkling it with white glitter while still wet. The paste doesn't pick up a lot of glitter, just enough to give a gentle sparkle as the light changes. Some matting and layering and a stamped Altenew sentiment and the card was finished.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - anything goes (or green)
Crafty Creations Challenge - anything goes
Winter Wonderland - tribute to Eileen, anything Christmas goes  
The Holly and Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes

Sunday, 18 February 2018


I've used yellow and black snippets with the Dovecraft Bee Happy die set for this card, inlaying the yellow pieces into the black. I ran the whole thing through the Grand Calibur after adding all the die cuts, to give a more even finish and to help the Stick-It adhesive to stick firmly, as it can be a bit temperamental. It looked a bit bare at the top but I thought another bee would be overkill (plus I'd finished the last scrap of yellow), so I stencilled in a little patch of honeycomb instead.

I am sharing this with

CAS on Friday - Dies
Pixies Snippets Playground - Challenge 320
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Clean and Simple
AAA Cards - die cuts only (hope that bit of stencilling's OK!)

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

 - a birthday tea, that is!

This cute little chap is stamped using a set that was a magazine freebie last year - the sentiment came from the same set and I think the embossing folder I used came with it too. First I embossed the paw prints across the bottom of the card, then embossed a scrap of orange card with the tiger pattern, sponging a little black ink over the raised areas.
Then I coloured and fussy cut the tiger and added him to the "tiger skin" panel.
I am sharing this with
Addicted to Stamps and More - CAS 
Addicted to CAS - CAT  
A Bit More Time To Craft - anything goes 
Less is More - dry embossing  

Up, Up and Away at CD Sundays

It's new challenge day again at CD Sundays and our theme this fortnight is Up, Up and Away.

I've used an image and paper from a fairly old Joanna Sheen CD called Victorian Birthdays and made it into a masculine card with die cuts and Candi. The sentiment and banner dies are both from Dovecraft  - and since I inlaid the stars, I now have enough bits and pieces left to make the banners again but with the colours reversed.

I am sharing this with Watercooler Wednesday - Occasions

Saturday, 17 February 2018

A Brilliant Day of Baking

This week Mark and I went into London to the Bread Ahead Cookery School in Borough
Market  as I had won two places on the Complete Sourdough Workshop class which is held there.

Having stayed overnight in London the night before (and enjoyed a delicious Lebanese meal at one of Maroush's many restaurants on the Edgware Road) we reached the market area early and had a few minutes to wander round and whet our appetites by browsing around all the wonderful food stalls, then headed into the school to meet our instructor, Manuel and his assistant Fran, and our fellow students, who ranged from experienced bakers to absolute novices.

The day was well planned and thoroughly prepared for, so we accomplished lots and learned lots. The morning was spent learning about sourdough starters and starting to make our own, which we brought home to continue nurturing until it is ready to cook with, and then using some of the bakery's own starter to get our various bakes for the day started. We were taught lots about the background of the breads we made and the techniques we were  using and with the hands-on experience and expert tuition we learned far more than we could ever have done from books, television or You Tube.

Our first completed make was also our lunch - a pizza made with a sourdough base.

Probably the best pizza I've ever eaten - and the easiest I've ever made. We were even taught the shaping technique of slapping the dough from arm to arm.

The same basic dough was used for our next completed bake, a baguette.

This has the true baguette texture with a delicious crispy crust and lovely well risen crumb with large holes and a satisfying, slightly chewy texture. So much more like the baguettes we buy when we visit France than anything sold in local supermarkets!

Next we produced a very dark rye bread called Borodinsky, which contains caraway and coriander seeds and has an unusual cracked-flour effect crust.

As usual for a dark rye bread, this has a much denser texture and I can tell you, as I tried it today, is delicious with black cherry conserve for breakfast.

Next we made a Levain bread and were shown how to use a banneton to shape it and a razor blade to score the top - Mark and I made different designs.

And our final bake to be completed - although due to the number of steps in the making, it had been the first we started, was a No-Knead Fennel and Raisin bread, which again we shaped in a banneton and scored with a razor blade before cooking in its own steam in a dutch oven.

I think this is my favourite bread from the whole day. Apart from looking spectacular, the texture and flavour are wonderful. Fennel seeds and raisins aren't a combination I've ever thought of using but they are delicious together. We've just eaten some of this with cheese for lunch.

So we staggered back to the station under the weight of four delicious loaves each  - we've had to put some of it in the freezer as there is far too much for the two of us to eat before it goes stale - plus our recipe packs, our own sourdough starters, bags of rye flour and highly useful scraping tools.

As you can imagine, the smell of freshly baked bread filled the whole carriage on the train. We keep looking at our breads and thinking "Did we really make those?" - so much flavour and so much variety packed into six fascinating hours.

 If you would like to read about Mark's take on the day, and see his photos, you can read his own blog post here.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

L is For..... at Cardz 4 Guyz

Our new challenge is ready at Cardz 4 Guyz and this time we would like to see something beginning with the letter L on your card.

The paper and image I have used were printed out from a CD that was free with Making Cards magazine a while back - in fact Making Cards has really come up trumps for this as the sentiment is stamped with a stamp that came from there too.

I've kept it bold and bright, as befits a card for a boy, with the addition of nothing more than black spotty washi tape and black candi.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Hiding in the jungle

I'm sorry to be deluging you with posts today - I've had a busy few days of crafting and now I have a hectic week ahead and may not get chance to post at all. So I'm having a bit of a blitz today.

This is one of those cards that is just so much easier to make when you have a stamping platform!

First of all I put the CLOSED card in the Misti, using the Creative Corners to position the card, placed the animals ( a set that was a magazine freebie) where I wanted them to be peeping out, drew lightly around their heads to show where I wanted the apertures and closed the platform to pick the stamps up on the clear plate. Then I removed the card, leaving the corners in place to make sure I replaced it in exactly the same spot.

Next I stamped jungle leaves, from a couple of Uniko sets, all over the front of the card. Then I taped circle dies over the pencil markings, so that each head would appear to be peeping through a circle, and cut the apertures.

Now I returned the card to the Misti, positioning it inside the corners, but this time I opened out the card and turned the front panel to the back, so I was stamping on the inside. Then I inked the pre-positioned stamps and stamped the images. I coloured them in with watercolour markers rather than alcohol ones, so the ink wouldn't show on the back of the card, although I could have used the alcohol ones and covered the back panel with a spare piece of card - but I've only just thought of that. Although you can't see them on the photo, I stamped a few more bits inside - some grass for the giraffe  and tiger to stand on and a vine for the monkey to swing on,

Finally I turned the front panel back to the front and re-creased the fold.

Now, please don't point out to me that tigers and giraffes don't live on the same continent - I know that, and had intended using the lion and not the tiger, but he was facing the wrong way and looked all wrong!

I am sharing this with

Make My Monday - Going around in circles

Inkspirational - Aperture card