Monday, 30 March 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book

Click on the picture above to find out more about The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my window... a roadside full of daffodills

I am thinking... about my DH's cousins who are in ill health

I am thankful for... my friends and family

From the kitchen... Mexican Chicken with avodaco, sour cream and coriander

I am wearing... cords and a wooly jumper - it's still quite chilly here

I am reading... The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel

I am hoping... my DS2 can find something he really wants to do

I am creating... I am creating a birthday book for my DS1 as he can't remember any of them!

I am hearing...the hum of the computers and the television

Around the house... some spring cleaning required, but it will have to wait.

One of my favorite things... hugs

A few plans for the rest of the week... work, work, work

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...We have daffodils planted up both sides of our farm road, it has been very windy so a lot of them have been blown over, they are the ones I pick to bring into the house.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Altered Tin

On Bubbly Funk Forum, Karen challenged us to alter a tin. I hadn't got round to doing anything about it because I was working on the 50 Treats book. But I had some of the Hippie Chick paper still lying around my craft desk (yes, lying around the guillotine, the floor, as well as the desk, ha ha) so I thought I'd use that to alter my tin. The tin itself originally held three little bottles of malt whisky and was a Christmas gift that my DH received, I rescued it from the bin as I thought it would be good to alter 'one day'. Not quite sure what I'm going to put in it, as it needs to be something pretty as you can see the contents through the acetate window. I was thinking perhaps some notelets and then it would be a nice gift for someone.

Fiskarettes - Vintage Challenge

Over on the Fiskarettes website, there is a 'Vintage' challenge and this is my entry for the challenge. I got this image from Izabella who has some lovely free vintage images. The paper is DCWV Gold Floral Luxury Print, rub on swirly thing is K&Co Wild Saffron, Beauty rub on is from Fancy Pants Designs. Flowers from stash.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Artarazzi Challenge 16

Here is the image that was given for the Artarazzi Challenge this week. When I looked at the rather spooky interpretation given by Indybev, I realised that the dancers reminded me of the ghosties and 'Cutty Sark' from the Poem Tam O'Shanter by Robert Burns. So here they are dancing with the 'deil' before Cutty Sark chases Tam on his mare, Meg pulling off her tail as they escape across a bridge - did you know that ghosts can't cross water? Robert Burns lived much of his adult life and died close to where I live. His poetry is incredible in it's observation of people and their very human failings. You can read more HERE

DCM - Bunnies & Chicks

Here is my DCM for this week. It is a bit of a digi-hybrid using papers and elements from the Sunshine Sweets collaboration kit that I gathered up last Easter! I also used Kathy Black's Sketch No. 5 from Kathy's Waffle Sketch File

Friday, 27 March 2009

Here is my Show and Tell for Friday 27th March. I can remember this chest from when I was a little girl. It belonged to my Grandpa and he kept his collection of silver spoons in it. I used to love taking them out and looking at them. I remember one of them had a handle in the shape of a rifle.
When my Gran died I asked to have this chest and I keep my jewellry in it. My dad inherited the spoons and many of them are solid silver and now they are kept in a safe not to be played with by anyone, seems a shame really. I'm sure this chest is not worth very much but it means a lot to me.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

50 Treats

It's my friend's 50th Birthday and rather than one big present she liked the idea of having 50 treats, although I don't think she really expected me to provide them all! This did prove rather more difficult to achieve than I thought it would be and I sought some help from my friends on the Bubbly Funk Forum - thanks girls! (Spot the grungy flower DiO!)
In the end I chose some different categories. In the Food section are promises to make muffins and cookies and also to cook a dinner for her to keep in the freezer for unexpected guests.
mmmm chocolate - we both love very dark chocolate and these little bars of Green and Blacks were perfect.
My friend is a librarian and also a real film buff, behind the vellum is a bookmark and the little card promises a visit to the cinema.
In the Card section there are promises to make Christmas cards and other cards of her choice.
I blagged some samples from various places for this little package of goodies.
Ah Fun Stuff, that is days out, cocktails at Harvey Nics, the one with the pawprint ribbon is my promise to dog sit at her home for a long weekend as she is planning to go and visit a friend in Switzerland sometime in May.
Yes, more chocolate - lets face it a girl can never have too much.
A few little garden treats including lunch at the garden centre and a plant of her choice, a promise to cut her lawn while I am dog sitting and a packet of salad leaves seeds.
A nice cup of tea, the white tea with pomegranate is fab, it was my last one too!
The fruit portion is a bit of a joke between us, as anything even vaguely fruity like a blueberry muffin is deemed to be our 'fruit portion'. These 'All Natural' fruit strings are pretty yummy.
I made her a glittery badge to wear.
and provided some Cath Kidson notepaper and envelopes for those thank you letters.
In the little pouch are a couple of photos, the Audrey Hepburn one and another one morphed into Alexandra Bastedo of 'Champions' fame.

Most of the papers are Hippie Chick but there are a few others in there too. I was going to use my bind-it-all but the whole thing is so thick that it would never have bound, so I ended up with book rings.

Although I took ages thinking about how I was going to make this project, I did most of it over a weekend and really enjoyed bringing it together.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Artarazzi Challenge 15

Here is my interpretation of the vintage image provided by Artarazzi for Challenge 15. Papers, elements and masks are by PTon Designs, Word Art by Bethany for ScrapOrchard.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

DCM - Woman

It's my friend's birthday soon and she is a big fan of Audrey Hepburn and in Breakfast at Tiffany's in particular, so I morphed her into Holly Golightly. This also fits very nicely with the Daring Card Makers dare 'Woman'.

The paper strip on the right of the card is a sticker from Adornit - Carolees Creations, the ribbons are from Craftyfairy.

Inchy by Inch - Yellow

I'm a bit later with my Inchy this week but here it is.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Show and Tell Friday

It's Show and Tell Friday again! This week I'd like to tell you about my DH's grandmother, who kept scrapbooks and in those scrapbooks were some real gems of Victorian/Edwardian cards. This was the most intricate and exquisite card of all, so I rescued it and framed. It hangs in the hall way in our house which is true to the period of the card.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Mother's Day Cards

The top one is for my mum and the bottom one for my MIL. The Poppy Stamp is the one I won in the Think Pink Auction and came from Gez. The Butterfly stamp is from the Tanda Stamp Oriental set. The lovely dragonflies came from Angelnorth in my Secret Santa advent on Bubbly Funk Forum.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Artarazzi Challenge 14 - Geisha

"The Challenge on Artarazzi this week is "Geisha", and the image for you to use is below(or above in my case). You can treat it in any way that you want."

I thought about the Geisha image and it brought to mind the tea ceremony, Japanese Gardens (if you look closely you will see the raked gravel) and the Willow Pattern. My design combines these images. I meant to post this last night but Blogger was playing up!

Receipt Book

I made this book for my son with my bind-it-all, it is based on a cybercrop travel document project designed by Di Oliver for the Bubbly Funk Think Pink sale. I made it using the BF January Kit Dream Street 'Simply Stated' papers.

The Chic Life - Food Challenge and Plum Traybake

This Week's Challenge Item (3/8 - 3/14) - Prunes:

According to Parker-Pope, from her article "The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating", "Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants. How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked."

According to Jonny Bowden in The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, "Prunes are high in fiber." "Prunes are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron." "Prunes boast more antioxidants than any other fruit" - more than twice that of blueberries! Not too shabby, eh?

I love prunes so I had no problem with this challenge. I've made this Braised Pork with Prunes before and it is really delicious and easy to make. However, I didn't use the wine suggested in the recipe (what a waste!) I had some cranberry juice in the fridge so used that instead, it tasted great. I also had some red cabbage in the fridge so baked that with apple and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, a little brown sugar and some cinnamon and cloves.

Braised Pork with Prunes LO - TGIF Kits by Pixelgeek Designs

Beth posted this recipe on Bubbly Funk Forum. As there was a special offer on fruit at Morrisons this week. I bought some plums so thought I'd give it a try. I replaced the ground hazelnuts with coconut and the hazelnut topping with pecans. I also used self-raising flour rather than plain to make a more 'cake-like' base. It was really lovely and the coconut worked well. Plum Traybake LO - Pineapple Plantation Designs (Shauna Burke-Smith) for Scraporchard

Plum Tray Bake (Beth from Bubbly Funk)

(Serves 8)

125g/4oz butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
275g/10oz soft brown sugar
3 medium eggs
110g/4oz plain flour (sifted)
125ml/4fl oz milk
50g/2oz ground hazelnuts (or use desiccated coconut)
6 small round plums (halved and stoned)
40g/1oz dried cranberries
40g/1oz toasted hazelnuts (chopped) OR pecan nuts


1. Preheat the oven to 160°c/140°c/Gas mark 2-3.
2. Grease a deep tin (35 x 23cm) and line with greaseproof paper.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl, then stir in the eggs, flour, milk and vanilla extract, along with the ground hazelnuts.
4. Spread the mixture into the baking tin. Place the plums on top and sprinkle with nuts and cranberries.
5. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, ensuring the tray-bake is cooked thoroughly. Leave to cool for 20 minutes.

DCM - Ready Steady Cook!

So, what's this week's dare all about?
Here in the UK there's a TV programme that's been going for years. A couple of viewers are invited to bring a bag of cookery ingredients to the studio and two top chefs have to make a meal using the contents of those bags - they don't know what will be in the bags beforehand.

So this dare is my take on that theme - I'll tell you the ingredients you have to use, then all you have to do is make the card.

Here are your ingredients:
3 different papers
At least one piece of chipboard
At least 1 button
At least 1 piece of ribbon
optional: 1 extra item/element of your choice

I used this dare to make my Mum's birthday card. It is really difficult when her birthday is so close to Mother's Day, so she gets two cards in quick succession!

I also used sketch No. 4 from Kathy's Waffle Sketch File, I've used this one before, but it works for so many different cards that I seem to be drawn back to it again and again.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Show and Tell Friday

This is my favourite mug, I think of it as my 'secret garden' mug. My SIL bought it for me when we went to visit a pottery festival last summer. I'm very much a follower of the 'Arts & Crafts Movement' way of thinking i.e. beautiful and useful!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Inchy by Inch - Birthday

It's birthday time over on Inchy by Inch. So here is my little birthday love inchy. The rainbow card doesn't show up too well in the photo and I used a papermania rub on for the parcel and text. I made drew the little heart with a Sakura glitter pen and then cut it out and stuck it on.

Monday, 9 March 2009

It's Monday, so it's The Simple Woman's Daybook

Today, Monday 9th March 2009

Outside my window...
sunshine and showers and a cold wind.

I am thinking... about my poor little cat who is staying overnight at the vets and will be having her tooth removed in the morning.

I am thankful for... the fact that I can afford to pay for my pet's verterinary care.

From the kitchen... I made some more of the oat and cinnamon pancakes yesterday, I think they were even better than last time.

I am wearing... well I was wearing brown trousers, teal polo neck sweater and my favourite cream/brown/teal jacket from 'East'. Changed when I got home into cords & a big wooly sweater because it is cold.

I am reading...Small Changes, Big Results

I am hoping... that some students turn up for the event I have organised for tomorrow.

I am creating... blog posts!

I am hearing... yep, he's playing the saxophone again lol

Around the house...Nice tidy craft area, still haven't made too much mess yet. New low energy bulb in the computer room - what a difference, this one gets light straight away, not five minutes after you switch it on.

One of my favorite things... coffee

A few plans for the rest of the week... Make birthday card for my Mum, hopefully pick up the cat from the vet surgery, visit to optician's on Saturday to pickup new contact lenses.

A picture thought I am sharing with you

200th Post Giveaway at Spun by Me

If you are into vintage stuff, you will love the posts on Spun by Me and you will certainly love the things that Marie is giving away to celebrate her 200th post.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

New Calves

Our new calves arrived this week. They are starting to settle in now although they are still making a lot of noise everytime we go out into the yard!
Here are three of the calves having a feed of hay.
Yes, a very 'des. res.' indeed. Lots of nice clean straw and a big light airy shed to live in, we do like to look after our livestock!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Artarazzi Challenge 13

This weeks challenge was to use the background provided. I used a couple of photographs of a tree and superimposed a spiral staircase on the right hand side. The vintage photo of the girl comes from an Art Creation Friday Challenge that I never got around to doing. I used a bubble brush from a set called Graphicalus found at Hawksmont Brushes, to create the bubbles. The font is Times New Roman Phonetics.

Chic Life - Sardine Challenge!

This Week's Challenge Item (3/1 - 3/7) - Sardines:

This week's challenge ingredient scares me the most from the original article that kicked off this challenge, "The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating". I'm not sure I've ever knowingly consumed sardines. I'm actually afraid to eat this ingredient, so it will be interesting to see if how I'm able to work it into any meals.

I had to rise to this challenge as I am really rather fond of sardines. Mainly because, when we were kids and we had been out all day on a Saturday, my mum used to make Sardines on toast and then Cinnamon sugar on toast for pud!

I found this recipe at for Sardine Hero's and made them for lunch today. I like to buy the Sardines in Brine as they have less calories than the ones in oil and I really don't like sardines in tomato sauce.

Sliced onions and green pepper sauted till soft.

Sub rolls toasted , then the mashed sardines piled on top.
Top that with the cooked peppers and onions and some sliced tomatoes.
A little sprinkling of grated cheese and back under the grill.
Then put the toasted top of the roll back on and press down, slice across and serve.
Jenny likes sardines too :)