Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Woo Hoo and welcome to New Years Eve

Morning all,
You ready for a party tonight? Not sure what we're likely to be doing - we stopped going out on New Years Eve when we had our dog and she was so terrified of fireworks and now we no longer have Poppy we've simply never gone back to it ....... though things change here at the Purple Palace at the drop of a hat these days!

Yesterday I received a bumper crop of packages from Royal Mail and ParcelForce - been on-line doing some shopping since Christmas and have started my 2014 birthday shopping - I've one birthday coming up in the not too distant future so I set about wrapping it yesterday evening - must think of a co-ordinating card to accompany it ....

Materials used:
  • Burgundy tissue paper and tape
  • A4 White card cut lengthwise to a strip about 1½" wide (it wasn't QUITE long enough so ....)
  • White card offcut die cut in to fancy book plate
  • Die cut stamped with Kaisercraft distress image using Memento London fog
  • Inkadinkado alphabet used to spell the recipients name stamped using Brilliance crimson copper
  • The strip was also stamped with the Kaisercraft distress image but using the Brilliance crimson copper and also a Kaisercraft alphabet image using Memento London fog
Makes an ordinary looking gift a little more special, don't you think?
And, finally, I would like to wish you all a great New Years Eve and HAPPY NEW YEAR - see you in 2014, let's hope it will be a good one for us all and thank you for your continued support and friendship here in blogland!!!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Morning and welcome to Monday

Sad to say that a number of my readers will be returning to work and, with those who've already returned to work, it's beginning to look like it's "back to normal" (whatever THAT is).  I was particularly glad, however, not to have to get up and go to work yesterday with a thick white frost covering the cars - hubby's almost black car looked entirely white yesterday - brrrr. I hear that we still haven't seen the last of the bad weather either so, do take care if you have to travel. Here's hoping your work day will go smoothly for you all.
Me? I treated myself to a Sunday in the warm watching movies recorded over Christmas and crafting ..... I notched up "High Society" before moving on to episode one of "Death comes to Pemberley" - P.D. James sequel to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", first episode makes me think they've done well though, of course, the characters don't look like those imagined in my head for all these years! And what did I make whilst watching? ........ check it out, I am LOVING the sparkle medium my Secret Santa sent me for Christmas.
My card

And a peek at both the inside and the envelope!
Materials used:
  • 5" x 7" white, 300 gsm, scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • Off cuts of card in lilac, lavender and white (no new sheets were harmed in the making of this card - don't you just LOVE using up snippets?)
  • I used low tack tape to attach my TCW stencil to the white card offcut before applying Imagination Crafts Sparkle Medium in soft purple. I also sprinkled a light dusting of Sparkle 'n Sprinkle's "Impulsive Purple" glitter to give some contrast - it was then set aside to dry for an hour before matting on to lavender card.
  • Imagine That sentiment stamped on to lilac snippet using Memento grape jelly ink, cropped close and then mounted on to an off cut (of an offcut!) of lavender card. I matted this on to my card/image panel using 1" wide foam tape
As you can see I carried my design across to the inside of the card and to the front and rear of the envelope though I DID use a Paper Artsy stamp (which I stamped off once) and Memento grape jelly ink rather than the stencil, thinking the sparkle medium might upset the postal system!!!!
As the above card uses a number of snippets I'll be entering this over at Pixies Snippets Playground.
My pal, Debbie, is back from her amazing vacation to Peru today and I'm hoping that the weather will not interfere with her travel plane. Once she's caught up with her jet lag, we hope she will share her experience and photographs with us. Weather shouldn't have been TOO much warmer at the higher altitude she's been at so the chill here shouldn't be too much of a shock (though the ferocity of the wind and the rain might be), we did nip to her house and turn the heating up for her, in readiness for her return.
Have a great week and Happy New Year


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday and only a few more sleeps till 2014!!!

Morning all
I have a card to share with you today, the idea for which I freely admit to having lifted from the blog of a dedicated (and talented) CAS blogger, Susan Raihala, I hope she will forgive me plagiarising her design and giving my own twist. I hope you will follow the link and check out her blog - you'll see what I mean ... obviously, I couldn't (and didn't want to) copy her design exactly but as soon as I saw her fab design a particular stamp came to mind - check out my take, below.
Materials used:
  • 15cm square white, 300 gsm, scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • 13½cm square lavender card
  • 13cm square white card (x 2, let's not forget the matching insert)
  • Visible Image feather stamped using Memento grape jelly ink
  • Visible Image ink blot and Imagine That sentiment stamped using Versafine onyx black ink
Being somewhat obsessive with certain images and thinking how lovely the above feather image was .... I just couldn't stop at ONE card now, could I?

Materials used:
  • 5" x 7" white, 300 gsm , scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • Kaisercraft distress image stamped using Brilliance orchid ink
  • Kaisercraft alphabet image stamped off with Brilliance purple ink (thus creating a soft border backround for my focal image)
  • Visible Image feather image stamped using Memento rosebud ink
  • Imagine That sentiment stamped using Versafine onyx black ink
  • Stardust stickles traced down the "quill" of the feather

As usual, the design got carried across the inside of the card and the front/rear of the envelope. I've recently made quite a few anniversary cards but started to write some of the ones early in 2014 - imagine my surprise when I realised I'm about half a dozen short - be warned, you may yet see more!

Happy Sunday peeps, the weather is set to be vile again in many parts of the country so whatever you are up to today then do take care. We woke up to  a REALLY hard frost this morning - in fact, it ALMOST looks like snow ...



Saturday, 28 December 2013

The last Saturday in 2013

So ....... that was Christmas then!! I do hope that Santa was kind to you all. I know he was very kind to me and I'm grateful to everyone who gave me a gift, I was really spoiled this year.
Some gifts will keep on giving and some are finite, one gift I received (my Surrogate Secret Santa) was a meal for two which we'll book in the New Year.
Whilst I was browsing in M&S shortly before Christmas I availed myself of some of their 3 for 2 gift ideas and bought some games for Boxing Day and a little stocking filler for my plane crazy hubby - his was the free one so it didn't blow my budget ...... some assembly required - but he loved it, took him back to his childhood too, being MECCANO!! It was really quite a good buy and it came with the necessary for assembly - kept him amused for ages!, and now? It sits atop his computer - reSULT!
I FINALLY made it to my craft table AND I got to break the seal on some new stash too - perfick!!

Materials used:
  • 15cm square white, 300 gsm, scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • C6 Purple card and matching sized envelope
  • Off cuts of white card which "just so happened" to be almost perfectly sized for the above projects - how cool was that?
  • Imagination Crafts "Sparkle medium" in soft purple and a spatula
  • Brass, steel and plastic stencils
  • Low tack tape to hold stencils in place
  • Paper towel - for emergency clean up!
  • Lilac and grey pearl card, for matting and layering
  • The inside and envelope featured a Penny Black wood mounted sentiment stamped using more new stash - the stazon Violet ink pad

What fabulous sparkle? I DO hope that Imagination have a January sale .....

And, whilst I was at it, I made the card in to a second entry for the challenge over at Simply Less Is More. Their challenge was to pick a previous theme (but be sure and mention which) well, it was a no brainer for me ..... mine's WEEK #49 "Predominantly Purple"!!!

Materials used:
  • 15cm square white, 300 gsm, scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • Soft Purple sparkle medium and spatula (see above project photo)
  • TCW stencil
  • Low tack tape
  • Splat images by Visible Image and Inkylicious stamped in Brilliance purple and Violet stazon
  • JOFY set #14 image and sentiment, both stamped using Versafine onyx black ink
  • Stardust stickles dabbed on to design elements before sprinkling with Sparkle 'n Sprinkle glitters in Impulsive Purple and Mystical Mauve

Have a great Saturday

Friday, 27 December 2013

Hi Peeps - time for the LAST Friday Funny of 2013


How are you all bearing up under all the festivity?

Yesterday saw us celebrating our second Christmas and our second visit from Santa (aka Harry, surrogate grandson!) and, once again, we ate and drank too much though it WAS stretched out over seven hours and several silly games and lots of chat. We all drew Secret Santa names a couple of months ago and yesterday we got to find out who got what!! I drew my neighbour, Dawn and hubby drew surrogate S-i-L, Chris - we hope they liked their gift, they seemed to...

We certainly liked our gifts, hubby got a selection of cooking bits and bobs and I got two cans of Budweiser and a meal out at a BYO restaurant - hence the two beers. And it certainly looked like everyone was having a good time too, thanks for your hospitality surrogates!! Can't wait till next year!

Needless to say, with all that has been going on I have found NO TIME for crafting, hence no project to share with you all despite this being a photo heavy post. I hope you will forgive me ..... I have new stash and am desperate to use some of it so ....... there should (all being well) be some craft project/s to share tomorrow.

And now for the last Friday Funny of 2013, this week from Pat (thanks Pat). Since it IS the last of 2013 I thought I would post "cracker joke" humour from Tommy Cooper!!! ENJOY! I'll be making the draw, thanks to Mr Random generator thingy and will post the winners name with the FIRST Friday Funny of 2014. Thanks for providing me with the funny's everyone that submitted one and KEEP 'EM COMING in 2014!

A  mate of mine recently admitted to being addicted to brake fluid.
When I quizzed him on it, he reckoned he could stop any time . . .

I was at a cashpoint yesterday when a little old lady asked if I could check her balance. 
Not  being one to disappoint I gave her a big push and she fell over.

My son's been asking me for a pet spider for his birthday, so I went to our local pet shop and they were £70!!! Blow that, I thought, I can get one cheaper off the web.

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, ‘I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.’  So I  bought her some scales.

I start a new job in Seoul next week. I  thought it was a good Korea move.

I got some new aftershave today that smells like breadcrumbs... The  birds love it!

I was driving this morning when I saw an RAC van parked up. The driver was sobbing uncontrollably and looked very miserable. I thought to myself t
hat  guy’s heading for a breakdown’.

As Basil Brush would say "Boom Boom"!!!!

Have a great Friday and a fab weekend

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Thursday and there's still more Christmas mayhem to come!

Happy Boxing Day my fellow Brits .... to anyone else - happy December 26th!
Before the frenetic activity that IS Christmas began I made time for a little crafting ....

And a close up to show the glittery twinkle!
Materials used:
  • Tall narrow card and matching sized envelope
  • Craft Stamper freebie stamped three times (once on to a post it, cut out and used as a mask) using Adirondack cranberry and Memento rosebud ink
  • Imagine That sentiment stamped using Memento rosebud ink
  • Stardust stickles used to twinkle up the outline of the whole heart
As usual, my design carries across the inside and the front and rear of the envelope too and I GUARANTEE this will NOT need a "large" stamped envelope!! Don'cha just LURVE CAS!?!?!

When Craftbubble (original incarnation) was running we used to host a Secret Santa each year and I organised this years - I have to say that I felt I did really well with my Secret Santa partner as her gift to me was simply terrific and the wrapping/tag/matching card was simply fabulous too

Bet you're all dead envious. The strange thing is that I had been umming and ahhing about the Sparkle Medium since seeing it at the Newbury show in July but could not make up my mind which of the fabulous colours to go for - problem solved and it looks like PURPLE!!! WTG Santa and THANK YOU SO VERY (very) MUCH - I LOVE my gift.

Wanna see some more of the pix from yesterday?

What the best dressed bottle is wearing these days!!! Cheers!

Present frenzy - didn't we do well?

Ready for dinner - see the table runner my pal Wynneth made for us?
The tree decoration was a Christmas gift from my brother and S-I-L

And here was my Christmas dinner - you're right - I DIDN'T finish it!

It's Secret Santa with the surrogate family this evening - watch out for more pix later in the week then!

I can only hope that your Christmas Day was as good as ours ....... Doctor Who too - really enjoyed that but still got Downton to watch.

Happy Thursday

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

For those of you on the internet today .....

Wishing you all the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Today being Christmas Eve, I'd like to take this opportunity ....

to wish all of my family, friends, followers and occasional readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year. I know many of you will be off-line and spending your time with your family tomorrow so ..... Thank you all for your support and comments through 2013 and I hope to see you all during 2014 too. I thought I would post this today as it is only ONE MORE SLEEP (and, yes, Lesley - this time I'm SURE) till the big day - anything not purchased now is not GOING to get purchased whether it be food, decorations or gifts! Hubby went to Sainsburys at 06:00 on Monday morning, to avoid both the rush AND the rain - given that the forecast was for high winds and lashing down rain from 08:00 on the 23rd till more or less Christmas Day!! FAB! Guess this means no white Christmas again and I'll just have to watch the movie .... AGAIN!
I sent out over 70 handmade Christmas cards so, if yours didn't arrive then it's probably in transit someplace! If you mailed one to me then, THANK YOU so much, your thoughts are always appreciated and more so at Christmas.

However, there is ALWAYS at least one person you omit from your list and (isn't it always the way?) their timely reminder comes to you - the day AFTER the last posting day for delivery in time for Christmas. The dilemma is .... do you tough it out? Do you pretend you mailed one (secure in the knowledge it will never arrive) or do you 'fess up and send a New Year card? Well here's my option ...

Materials used:
  • White C6, 300 gsm scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • White card offcuts
  • Red and black card offcuts
  • Plain and scalloped dies
  • Little Yellow Bicycle "banner" image stamped on to White card using Adirondack red pepper ink and cut out
  • Verses Rubber Stamps wood mounted "Happy New Year" image stamped centrally in the banner shape using Versafine onyx black ink
  • Penny Black wreath image stamped on to the plain circular white card panel using Versafine vintage sepia
  • Stardust stickles used to highlight the stars and ribbon on the wreath

My husband is a superstar, I don't tell him anywhere near often enough so, if you are reading this honey - you're a star! Why particularly? Well, in addition to doing the last fresh veg/fruit/meat and dairy Christmas shop he also decided to make our Christmas cake today. CHRISTMAS CAKE I h ear you cry - "far too late" ...... let me explain, we don't eat fruit cake much so our Christmas cake is actually a Bailey's chocolate cake (very similar to a sachertorte) with a chocolate ganache decoration .... an idea passed to me by my crafting buddy Katie. Well, just LOOK at how well it turned out - thanks hubby and thanks Katie too

The naked cake, cooling

All ganached and nowhere to go!!!

So, I'll leave you all to your Christmas, however you plan to spend it and since we live in a technological age here is my technology based greeting! Have a good one!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunday and only FOUR more sleeps! ... make that THREE

Morning readers
Well, we're now down to only FOUR (oopsie ... THREE - thanks for that Lesley) sleeps, it will be the fresh veg/fruit/dairy shop for us tomorrow but ... today? That's a lazy and sociable day! Especially as we were out to dinner last evening. Hubby very kindly volunteered to drive so ..... we went to Thatcham to visit friends and then the six of us went out to dinner at one of their local Chinese restaurants, the Szechuan, we usually order the set meal for FIVE!, and it's always plenty! Yesterday we ordered the meal for four and it was still plenty!

Got pals visiting this afternoon - breaking their homeward journey south. And then this evening another pal popping in. How I love Christmas, it's such a great excuse to get together with friends! Seasons Greetings to all of our friends this Christmas.
And the challenge over at Simply Less Is More this week is to use a previous challenge - with the stipulation you MUST mention which you chose!! I used Sketch 6 because I LOVED IT!!! Thanks ladies, this sketch has gotten me out of many a hole and, sad to say, I found absolutely perfect for sympathy cards too - not too fussy. In fact I had to deploy one of those sketch/sympathy cards only this week - regular readers will have noticed that I haven't visited my pal Dorothy lately without mention of her not being any too well and, sadly, she passed away this past week. My sympathies go out to her family and other friends, we'll miss you Dorothy. Anyhoo, I have had to send out too many of these cards recently and my stock has been depleted so ...... 

Materials used:
  • 5" x 7" white, 300 gsm, scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • Off cuts of card in white, grey and black. The black and grey panels edged across the bottom using a punch from a Martha Stewart PATP set
  • Hero Arts "old French script" image stamped on to the white card panel using Memento London fog ink
  • Imagination Crafts thistle image stamped over the French script using Versafine onyx black ink
  • Hero Arts sentiment stamped directly on to the base card using Memento tuxedo black ink

In case you don't recall Sketch #6 ...
Now, this is a great sketch and I have used it since it appeared as a LIM challenge and will no doubt use it again. There was another challenge I LOVED and which my fellow LIM-ettes gave me the additional challenge of an entry per day - can anyone recall what that might have been? I MAY just have to have another go at that one this week too!!! AND as it uses snippets, it's another entry over at Pixies snippets playground too!!!

Have a fab Sunday

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Saturday chatter and it's another challenge day

Welcome to Saturday and another challenge day for me on the crafting front. I've a list of "preferred" challenges (mine anyway) in the side bar of my blog just in case you fancy having a go ....
After our really early start yesterday (taking a pal to the airport for 04:00!!!) I wasn't sure how I would feel about crafting. It was nearly 4PM before I got round to it too!
Managed to get another couple of cards done for my Anniversary batch - I've now got four finished and another one to complete. It's very gratifying using offcuts of card to mount my JOFY images on too - HUZZAH!
Materials used:
  • 2 x 15cm square white, 300 gsm scallop edged cards and matching sized envelopes
  • Offcuts of card in white, red and black
  • JOFY image stamped on to white card, coloured with alcohol markers and cut out.
  • Glossy Accents applied to the heart and set aside to dry (the other one of the pair has far more air bubbles in as the bottle was running out .... hence why the rest of the batch used stickles!)
  • Imagine That sentiment stamped directly on to the base card using Versafine onyx black ink
As usual, my design got carried through the insert and the front and back of my envelopes
Since I used quite a lot of snippets (off cuts) for the above cards AND because Di over at Pixies Snippets Playground has extended her challenge, I'm going to be entering my cards there too.

Of course, by now, our pal should be safely installed at her hotel and concentrating on having a great time. And, talking of hotels .... I've booked my hotel for the weekend of CRAFTATHON 2014 - it's official - I'M GOING!!! Just gotta hope some other crafting pals will too! I've a separate page on this blog for Craftathon and I hope you will be keeping an eye on it too.....
Have a great Saturday and a an even better weekend .... got Christmas get together's planned? Don't forget there are only FOUR more sleeps till Santa!!! For those of you with young children then you might want to check out (if you haven't already) this link to the NORAD Santa tracker - you can watch Santa's progress on Christmas Eve!!! 

Friday, 20 December 2013

The weekend starts here .... with the Friday Funny!

Hard to imagine that we're here at Friday December 20th - you KNOW how many sleeps that leaves us? FIVE .... just FIVE people ..... to those of you with Christmas present shopping and/or wrapping to do (this includes my hubby) you'd probably best get on with it  - quick before it's too late!

Wednesday evening saw me out to dinner again, it was supposed to be a Christmas get together with two friends I've known since primary school, however, circumstances dictated that only one friend could make it. To the other one, hope your mum will soon be feeling better. In her absence we enjoyed a very pleasant evening and natter - hey, the food was pretty good too!!! We pushed the boat out and both went for the fillet steak option and (after a suitable wait) a scrumptiously decadent dessert too. Sadly, the weather was FILTHY and we were both a little wet when we arrived but dried out over dinner! This may, of course, have had a little to do with the length of wait and the scrumptious dessert too.

Last night my hubby was deployed assembling a play "kitchen" for Zac (the surrogate grandson). Surrogate daughter #2 brought "the kit" round flat pack and it took the two of them (she was handing the panels) about an hour to put together but it looks great and we're pretty sure he will love it! Why a play kitchen? Well, his dad's a head chef so that may go some way to explaining it!

This morning saw us getting up at stupid o'clock (03:00 actually) to take a pal to the airport, fortunately, she was ready for us when we arrived to collect her!! Imagine if we'd woken her up by our arrival - ooops!!! She's off to Peru for Christmas and will be at Machu Picchu on Christmas Day - WOW!, breathtaking - hope she brings back lots of photos.

I've FINALLY managed to stop myself making Christmas cards, though who knows how long that will last, and am busily batch making anniversary cards instead - obsessive? much? These are the only ones of the batch that I've finished - I've changed the large-ish sentiment to a Stampers Anonymous one instead - will have to wait and see how the rest of the batch proceed until I see which one you lot like best!!

Materials used:
  • 12½cm square white, 300 gsm, scallop edged card and matching sized envelope
  • JOFY image stamped on to white card using Memento tuxedo black ink
  • Alcohol markers to colour
  • Stardust stickles to highlight .... I DID start to use Glossy Accents but ran out after two - the rest are glittery and .... I think I PREFER the glitter if I'm honest.
  • Off cuts of black card for matting
  • Imagine That sentiment stamped directly on to the base card using Versafine onyx black ink

As usual, my design is carried across the insert and the front and rear of my envelope for both

Materials used:
  • As above but the sentiment changed to Stampers Anonymous and a white banner bottomed border cut from white card and coloured using an Alcohol marker. The JOFY design was also matted on to an offcut of BLUE card instead of black as I had enough for only four stamped image borders from black ...

Yesterday saw me at the hairdressers, for my pre Christmas primp - wanna see?

I'm not great with "selfies"!!!

Yep,  here comes another rubbish selfie!! .. but you get the idea

And a closer view, taken in sunlight!!! YEE HAA!

And now for the Seasonal Friday Funny, courtesy of my pal, Sandra - so you can blame her!!!! ENJOY
Worth waiting for the punch line!.....
A little story to start your Christmas season in the right spirit….
When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a glass of cider and a shot of rum.

When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the rum.

In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then, the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Not a lot of people know this…
Have a fab Friday and a great weekend everyone, last one before Christmas!