Sunday, 30 October 2011

Dream Valley DT

Hi, guys! It's time for another challenge at Dream Valley. There were lots of lovely entries for the Halloween Challenge last time, with spooky characters and spiders and bats and pumpkins!

This time the challenge is 'Anything Goes!' Make anything, not necessarily a card - go wherever your mojo takes you! Unfortunately we haven't heard from our sponsors, so the lovely Melly is giving a £10 voucher for either Crafty Emma's Store which is full of the most gorgeously tempting stuff; or for Saturated Canary's Etsy shop of digital images.

If you haven't yet come across Saturated Canary, do go and look! If you like the images Krista does for the Simply Sassy range for Sugar Nellie, you'll love these, too!

Okiedokie, cut the cackle, Mags, what about the card?

This is for my dad's birthday, which is today! We've just come back from Derby and a family lunch, which is why this post is so late!

The lovely image is LotV, of course. My Dad always likes to do the crossword, so the newspaper is ideal! The papers are Basic Grey Origins, and I distressed the edges - not with a posh distresser but with a set of very solid nail scissors designed for tough nails!!

I distressed round the image in Bundled Sage, and stickled all the edges. The LotV sentiment is also stickled. Gems from stash and a strip of paper ribbon from Wild Orchid Crafts, et voila! Fini! I'm glad to say he liked it!

I'm entering this into the Lili of the Valley Challenge which this week has a fabulous sketch.

I hope you'll troll over to Dream Vally, have a look at my teamies' great creations, and join in! Remember, Anything Goes!

Thanks for looking, and have a good week!

luv, Mags x

Speccies: Greens 175, 48, 42, 43; Browns: 104, 100, 92; Skin Tones: 142, 169, 196; Cool Grey CG1

Friday, 28 October 2011

Morning, all!

Isn't this a lovely image? She came from Dies to Die For along with a few other goodies I hope to play with soon! I love how Tracy at Dies to Die For signs each invoice, and includes lovely die-cuts! The service is so quick, too! Ordered Sunday, arrived Tuesday!

On to the deets! The papers are Pink Petticoat Wild Blossom (they were a magazine freebie but I also downloaded them). The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts. The sentiment is LotV, the ribbon is from stash. I used a Nellie Snellen punch for the leaves and a Martha Stewart punch for the scalloped border.

The layout is copied from a card by Jacqui Dennis which is shown on an advert for Flexmarkers in a magazine. Which is ironic, because I used Speccies for this! I can't find my list of what I used (I knew it was a mistake to tidy and chuck out all my bits of paper!) Sigh.

The card is a thank you to my neighbours, who gave me a box of fruit from their apple tree. The only stamp with an apple that I have is a Magnolia Tilda who looks like Snow ~White - but since her apple was poisoned Ididn't think it would be tactful to use her!!

If I may, can I remind you that there's one more day to enter Dream Valley Challenges with your Halloween cards? The next Challenge goes live on Sunday at noon. I'll be at my Dad's 92nd birthday lunch so my entry will be late, but do go across and see what's up on Sunday!!

Thanks for looking, and have a great weekend!

luv, Mags x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

It is a truth universally acknowledged...

... that a girl going to a Zombie Party must be in want of a Jane Austen dress.

Sorry I'm late, I've just spent over an hour photographing the bratette, because she didn't like most of the pictures!

The pattern is Simplicity - next time I'll buy size 14+! The fabric (which was lovely to sew) is sheeting: Saino's has brown kingsized sheets on offer for £6.50 and two were more than enough!

I did enjoy getting out my sewing machine!

Thanks for looking! I should be back to the old cardage tomorrow! Sleep well!

luv, Mags x

PS oh dear, in the corner you can see the wires from the playstation, laptop, tv, etc; and behind them is a collection of books. Sorry!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Two Nations Divided by a Common Dress Size.

I have been 'sew' busy making a Jane Austen dress for my daughter! But - oh, no! - there's a 2-inch gap at the back! Now, I know she's a size 12 (I'm not jealous, really!) and the pattern says it's Size 12, but I really think a Size 10 girl would have trouble with this one!

Maybe '12' in the US is '10' or '8' over here. What's annoying is I always cut a bit large, and stitch a bit narrow, to make sure there's enough 'give.' Never mind, I can patch it, but it's rather annoying! Hopefully it'll be done by tomorrow and I can post a piccy!

I hope you're all doing well!

luv, Mags x

Friday, 21 October 2011

What I'll be doing at half term

My daughter is going to a party next weekend. Today she presented me with a dress-pattern for a Jane Austen dress. 'Mum, can you make me this by next Saturday?'

I have found some brown sheets on offer in Sainsbury's (half price) and bought two. That should be enough fabric, and I have some left-over polyester, too, for the bodice lining.

THANK GOODNESS it's half-term! I'll have time to make the dress and, I hope, fit it on Sacha in the moments when she's at home between work at Waterstone's in Bishop's Stortford and sleeping over at her boyfriend's parents' house.

I'll post a photo of the finished article, if you like!

luv, Mags x

Edited to add: ARRRGGGHHHH! She's just told me she's going to be a ZOMBIE Jane Austen, and the dress is going to be sploshed with fake blood! AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Hi, guys! Isn't it cold? We've a frost forecast for tonight, and I have dug out the winter duvets!

I made a card with a Whiff of Joy springtime image that I bought last year - even if we're heading into winter we can make happy springtime cards, I think! The young man it's for likes a videogame that features big yellow birds (don't ask!) so I think he'll like the joke!

I apologise for the wonky, faded photo, I really don't like taking pictures indoors when there's no natural light!

I took my colours from the striped Nitwits paper (Canibefranktoo). The diamond paper is also Nitwits, but I forgot to write down which collection! The yellow ribbon is from stash. I stickled the girl's hairbands and also the centres of the flowers, and put Glossy Accents on the eggshells but otherwise left it plain.

The great sketch is from Sketch and Stash - everything is old except some of the Promarkers, which I picked up at Ally Pally.

I may be even more erratic than usual these next few days - the Olde Manne spilt beer on his laptop, and it's been taken away to Laptop Hospital, so he'll probably ask to borrow mine to play his computer game. Well, it keeps him happy! Me? I'll be tidying my Craft Cave. Again!

Have a good evening, everyone, and thanks for looking!

luv, Mags x

Promarkers: Sunflower (new!), Tulip Yellow, Buttercup; Blush, Sunkissed Pink (new!), Pastel Pink; Pastel Beige, Tan, Caramel; Lavender, Orchid; Apple (new!), Bright Green (new!), Burnt Orange

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Haaaalloweeeeen! Dt card for Dream Valley Challenges.

Sorry I'm late with my DT post this fortnight! It was the Sunday School Open Day this morning, which involved lots of real coffee and cakes, and a fair bit of shifting furniture! Who needs the gym when you can weight-lift tables and chairs, eh?

We had some gorgeous creations for the last Challenge - there are a lot of very talented crafters out there! This time the theme is 'Halloween' and we have the lovely Robyn's Fetish as our sponsor. There are 5 digital images up for grabs for one lucky person!

I didn't use a digi image, since I've run out of black ink on my printer, instead I used 'Halloween Birgitte' by C C Designs. She came from Funky Kits. Isn't she sweet? I love the little spider!

I made an oblong card, following the current sketch at Friday Sketch Challenge. The paper is Nitwits. The black fence is made with a Whiff of Joy die, and behind the flowers there's a Marianne swirl that's only just visible! The flowers are from stash, and I stickled veins on each petal. I also stickled the cobwebs on Birgitte's dress and hat and also her wings. The sentiment is computer-generated. (It was just after this that the ink ran out! Next time I'll do an image first!!)

I'm entering Friday Sketch Challenge

Have a look at the creations by the DT at Dream Valley, you're sure to be inspired! Then join in with the challenge - it doesn't have to be a card!! It would be great to see you there!

Thanks for looking, and have a great week!

luv, Mags x

Promarkers: Blush, Sunkissed Pink, Baby Pink; Apple, Grass, Bright Green; Buttercup, Tulip Yellow, Sunflower; Ice Grey 2 and 4

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Penny Black engagement card

Hi, guys! Just a quick post on a quick card made for the engagement of a couple of my daughter's friends.

The stamp is Penny Black, and I used scraps to paper-piece the image in pink and green. I used a Nestie Labels Three that I got at the Ally Pally. The paper ribbon is from stash (I think it was from Whiff of joy) and the rose is Wild Orchid.


I'm going to enter the lovely Jules's Snippets challenge, because althoug this only used smidgens of paper, it was still all from scraps!!

Thanks for looking!

luv, Mags x

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

LotV wedding card meets SSW

Hi, guys! Sorry I haven't been around a lot lately, I am having a Grand Tidy Up of the WHOLE HOUSE and it's taking forever! Honestly, the amount of JUNK one collects over 25 years is astonishing! Thank goodness I can listen to my iPod and dance around!

However, I've made time to make this card for my daughter's friend who's getting married next month. Her colour scheme is green, so I used papers from the DCWV 'Mariposa' stack, which are lovely!

The image is LotV, of course, coloured with Promarkers, and I stickled parts of her dress, and also around the edge of the image. I used a Martha Stewart Hearts punch as a background for the green ribbon (from Hobbycrafts). The flowers are Wild Orchid, mostly, and the leaves were cut with a Magnolia die.

Here's the inside, the wheel-shapes were cut with a MS Deep edger punch - an idea I got from a card by Bev Rochester on the Lili of the Valley 'Inspiration' section. I could spend hours browsing all the wonderful cards shown there by their exceptional DT!!

The sketch is another cracker from Sweet Sketch Wednesday whose challenge I'm entering.

Well, that's about it, I'm going to have to get back to the grindstone - next stop the kitchen cupboards! Wish me luck, chaps, I'm going in!

Thanks for looking!

luv, Mags x

Promarkers: Blush, Sunkissed Pink, Baby Pink; Cool Grey 3, 4, 5;Chestnut, Henna; Caramel, Cocoa, Burnt Sienna; Grass, Forest Green; Pink Carnation, Fuschia Pink; Pastel Beige

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Christmas Cat Candle

Beware, this is rather picture-heavy!!

At A Passion for Promarkers Challenge the theme is 'alter something that is not a square.'

Well, ever since seeing a tutorial by Jane Johnson on the Whiff of Joy inspirations blog last year for adding images to candles I've wanted to have a go and so I've altered a small candle.

The image is by Penny Black, I stamped it on tissue paper and coloured with my faithful Promarkers. The colours come out much more faded than on card.

Here's another section of the cat finding the hat.

When all was safely coloured in I trimmed round the tissue paper and wrapped it round the candle. It does seem to cling to the wax. Then I slowly and gently heated it with my heat tool holding it about 5 inches away, moving about all the time, until the wax softened. I had to smooth the edges down to make them blend. I kept gently heating until the tissue paper melded with the wax leaving the image.

I made the candle a decorated hat rather than apply decorations directly, because I think that's safer. I used a circle nestie to cut a LotV digi paper from last year for the top, then used a larger scalloped Nestie and cut between the scallops to make flaps which I folded in. A strip of paper stuck on with double sised tape made the side base. On top of that is a Nesties border die-cut (Floral Doily Accent).

The holly leaves are a Marianne die, coloured with Promarkers and Glossy Accented. The fabric flowers were white until I used Crimson Promarker on them, and I also edged the petals of the Wild Orchid Crafts rose with Crimson.

I'm entering Passion for Promarkers of course - I used the pens in quite a few different ways here!!

One Christmas present down, dozens and dozens more to go!

Thanks for looking!

luv, Mags x

Promarkers: Antique Pink, Caramel, Tan, Satin, Cocoa, Lipstick Red, Crimson

Sunday, 2 October 2011

'I've spent too much on stamps so you're having yummy lentil lasagne' a recipe.


200g (approx) red split lentils
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 can tomatoes
1 red pepper/pimiento
1 teaspoon mixed herbs or oregano (dried) or 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
No-need-to-presoak lasagne sheets (or you can blanch ordinary lasagne sheets in boiling water with 1 Tablespoon oil added for 4 minutes, but they stick together in a very annoying way so you have to peel them apart and spread them in 1 layer on a plate or a chopping board while you wait to use them)

Grated hard cheese - this is a good way to use dried-up Mousetrap cheese. Cheddar or Edam or any hard cheese will do.

For the bechamel sauce: 2 Tablespoons butter (approx) or oil
2 Tablespoons flour
about a pint of milk
grated cheese.

Make the bechamel first: melt the butter over a low heat, stir in the flour (you may need a bit more, you need enough to soak up the fat.) Off the heat, slowly add the milk, stirring. Put the pan on a medium heat and stir with a whisk until it thickens. It'll be a thinnish sauce, that's ok. Stir in half the cheese.

lentil sauce: cook shopped onion gently in some butter or oil. When it's soft add chopped pepper and herbs, stir until soft - about 3 - 5 minutes. Add lentils and tinned tomatoes and enough boiling water to come half an inch above the lentils. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Towards the end, stir quite a lot to stop it sticking. It may need up to 10 minutes more depending on the age of the lentils, because older ones take longer - you need to end up with a slightly sloppy sauce.

Layer lentils, lasagne, lentils, lasagne, bechamel in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with cheese. bake in a medium-fast oven (160 to 170 degrees Centigrade) for 20 or 30 minutes until the pasta is soft and the sauces bubbling. Serve with a green salad and vinaigrette (1 part vinegar, 3 parts oil.)

The lentil sauce makes a good soup, if the veg are chopped small (I add carrots, too). I serve it with bread, usually made in my breadmaker. My breadmaker is fantastic, it paid for itself in 8 months and my family's still dead impressed when I produce a real loaf!

Hope you've enjoyed this, thanks for reading!

luv, Mags x

Copyright Piracy

Every crafter should read this. No, not just every crafter but every writer or artist or reader. It's about what Copyright REALLY means.

I know that none of you would ever, ever upload someone else's images, or books, or other creations. Let alone try to sell them as your own work!!! But a few very stupid people do, and there's a very nasty word for it:


I'm posting links on Facebook and LiveJournal to this moving post, not because I think for one moment that anyone I know would do such a wicked thing, but because I believe that word should be spread that this dishonest behaviour is, simply, wrong.


Thanks very much for looking, m'dears!

luv, Mags xxxxx

Dream Valley Challenge 17 - monochrome.

Hi, guys! It's October already, and time for another Dream Valley Challenge. We had lots of great entries for our 'buttons' challenge - this week it's all about monochrome, so experiment with shades of one colour (except for skin and hair!) and see what you come up with!

Our lovely sponsor One Stop Card Crafts is offering the lucky winner a £10 voucher for their online store!

I made a Christmas card:

I used a scallopped Grand Nestie for the card base, and the next size down for the blue card, and a smaller plain circle for the paper.

The cute image is Lili of the Valley coloured in all the shades in the blue pack of Spectrum Noirs. I also used 99 (from the essentials set) and 133, 135 and 142 from the Skin Colours set.

I slathered glitter over the snow spatters and the ground and also on the snowflakes, which were cut with a Woodware punch. The paper is Nitwits 'Heavenly' collection, and the ribbon is from stash. The sentiment is also LotV.

I really like making these semi-circular cards, they're good for boys' cards because there isn't enough room for girlie flowers and lace!

Go over to Dream Valley and have a look at what the talented DT has done - it's amazing how many gorgeous variations there can be on one theme! We'd all be delighted if you could join in, too!

Have a great week, and thanks for looking!

luv, Mags x