Sunday, 30 September 2012


Due to the disappointing lack of sunshine this year, we've ended up with a glut of green tomatoes ...
... but always look on the bright side - this was an opportunity to make some Green Tomato Chutney from a lovely old recipe book I rescued from somewhere ...
... here's the recipe. I had to adapt quite a bit - John doesn't like dried fruit so the raisins were out, and I didn't have enough apples - but then I remembered we had a pineapple to use up (BOGOFF deal at the supermarket), so I put that in, added extra chilli, lime instead of lemon and some spices. Hopefully I've achieved a kind of spicy oriental twist on the original.
Several hours later, the whole house smelled of vinegar and spices and I had proudly produced these EIGHT jars of Green Tomato and Pineapple Chutney with Ginger and Chilli!
It was midnight by the time I'd got the jars filled and then I thought I really ought to try some to make sure it was ok - which meant I had to make cheese on toast to go with it (obviously) - a midnight feast YUM!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Easy like Sunday morning ...

Case File #38 over at CSI was full of inspiration as ever - have a look (click on the image to make it big enough to read)
As you can see, this month's Case Files include a sketch from OUAS which is great because I love working from sketches. Here is my solution to Case #38 - I thought the colours were purr-fectly suited to show off one of the many photos I took of my old mate Archie

I followed the Sketch and the Scheme
My Evidence: Birds - canoodling on the top right corner of the photo mount; Flowers - some handmade, some scrunched and coloured with Glimmer Mists, some fussy cut from pp, one chipboard coloured with Distress Stain in Picket Fence then finished with a button tied with twine, some tiny ones embellished with seed beads, and the big one is only slightly distressed and finished with a bottle top centre; Newsprint - stamped behind the photo; China - broken plate created by stamping onto card, cutting into shards, then coating with Glossy Accents; Misting - several shades applied through a flourish mask; Woodgrain - the brackets and flower centre were die cut from woodgrain pp.
My Testimony: I documented a pet - my best mate Archie.
In this close-up you can see the bottle top flower centre (squish the bottle top in the Cuttlebug, then add a 1" circle punch out of pp), and the broken plate effect created with a rubber stamped image which was cut up and coated with Glossy Accents.
The paper flower on the left was misted with two or three different colours, then scrunch-dried (like we used to do with our hair in the 80's! The other two were hand made by punching flower shapes, splitting the layers, misting them and then pinning them all together with a jewelled brad before scrunch-drying again.
Well I'm going to send this off to CSI now - have a look for yourself at all the amazing scrap art.
Cherry-ho for now

Annie x

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Time Flies for Tag Tuesday ...

... even though it is in fact Wednesday (not too bad for me actually!).
Anyway, the theme over at Tag Tuesday this week is "Clocks" - as usual, Carolyn provided lots of prompts to get us going and I just know that everyone will come up with some fabulous tags.
Here is mine (very appropriate theme as yet another day off comes to and end and I haven't done half the things I intended to do :o)
Although I have my beloved Pooter back this week (thanks again to Dr Chris who is my Hero), so I could have downloaded some vintage images to work with, I thought that I would see what I could do with what I already have.
This was all done with mists, home made masks, distress inks and some gorgeous Hampton Art rubber stamps of hot air balloons (I stamped them once onto the background, then again onto white card, then cut out the main part and stuck it over the stamped image so it would stand out better against the blues).
I'm off to post this on Tag Tuesday now and have a look at what everyone else has come up with.
BFN, TFL (see how I'm getting the hang of the Blogging lingo?! ;o) and the smiley winks?)
Annie x

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Here is how I solved Case #37 at CSI this week. The Scheme was really fun, with wine red and sky blue which really popped against the monochrome black/white/grey. This month all the Case Files include a Sketch and this one for lovely to work with.

This was the first one - a gorgeous picture of my little step-grandson Bailey on the day he graduated from kindergarten (how cute is that?!)
I had a lovely time with the background - misting through a gears template and then drawing around the shapes with a pen, splashing drops of pearlescent glue all over the place, dotting liquid pearls to make scrolls and then doodling around the edges just for fun because I was well into it by then - it will probably be one of those things that crops up a lot in my pages for a while now...
Here are some close ups
One of my pieces of Evidence to solve the Case was to use packaging - you can see a barcode from some rub-ons here, and the torn strip from a dvd envelope. The buttons were another piece.
Some more packaging here - a display card which the photo is mounted on and some blue tissue wrapping tucked in behind it. You can see how much I enjoyed the doodling too!
More buttons tied with twine and a Cuttlebug-squished bottle top with a rub-on b for Bailey.
The journalling is written as a diary entry on a tag tucked behind the photo, with a "pull me" arrow pointing to it.
And now here's my second go - a bit different - it shows my Great-Grandfather Archie walking out with his second wife Ida. The journalling is written over three random spaces on the page and tells about how he was a tailor and always like to be smartly turned out. It also hints that there are many more stories to be told ...
The background was fun to do - I used a piece of black net and pasted it to the page with gesso, allowing it to crinkle here and there and then drying it with a heat gun so that it melted slightly.
Enjoyed using my new picket fence die for the first time (of many!)
Here are some close ups
I used some vintage buttons from my button box (Evidence) and a black gem flourish I've been saving for something special for years. I'm still enjoying the Dymo and I love the way it contrasts against the vintage style bits as part of the title.
My other piece of Evidence is this little butterfly, which was die cut from an acetate blister pack and coloured with alcohol inks.
Now I'm off to CSI have a look at how everyone else has solved the case! Check it out - you'll be impressed and inspired I promise you :)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Harvest Festival!

Here are a couple more new stars in our garden this year
Firstly, I would like to introduce Madame Aubergine, in her luscious deep purple shiny coat, who put in a late appearance due to the lack of sunshine this year - hopefully she'll have time to come to her full potential before the frosts arrive!
Secondly, we have another late arrival (although to be fair we had no idea when to expect him really, if at all) the very handsome Globe Artichoke - never tried growing these before, but I have great hopes that when he grows up he will make an excellent Antipasti or a vehicle for some delicious Hollandaise Sauce ... mmmmmm.....
And finally, you will have to look carefully to spot this visitor who likes to sit in our strawberry patch (hopefully feasting on the slugs and snails who loiter there) - Mr Toad! (or is it frog, never very sure...?) The grass has gone over his eye so it's harder to pick  him out. You can click on the image to "biggen" it  (I do know that's not really a word but it should be!)
Ok that's it for now, have a lovely sunshiney day :)
Annie x

My Dirty Little Boy

This is my (very last minute) take on this month's Scrap 365 sketch challenge. The original sketch was from a design by Emma Stafrace, which was a beautiful clean, crisp, graphic-style layout. Somehow mine has ended up really grungy and dirty and perfectly suited to this series of photos of my cat (who used to go crazy for tobacco and loved to roll in the pile of old fags in the garden next door - he would come in looking like this and STINKING of fags but very smug)
This isn't a great picture, but you can just about make out the misting, masking and splattering in the background. The Tim Holtz Filmstrip die came in handy again and I enjoyed using some new washi tapes too. The black dots are holes punched with the Crop-a-Dile to allow the black underneath to show through, because I couldn't get my black ink spray to work!
On Emma's page she used a very clever "double-masking" technique, which I did have a go at but got in a bit of a mess. I will have another go as hers looked really good, but this time I ripped my page apart and started again - the circles you see here are cut from part of the background of the old one (waste not want not!)
Well I'm still not that happy with this, but I've promised myself to try and have a go at these challenges - the inspiration and the deadlines are good for my mojo, and I always learn something new, even if I'm not always entirely happy with the outcome! :)
Onwards and upwards!
Pop over to the Scrap 365 Sketchbook Blog to see what everyone else has done with Emma's sketch
Annie x

It's a Hoot at Tag Tuesday!

This week is all about Owls at Tag Tuesday - I was a bit stumped to start with, especially as I am still unable to print any images, so in the end I went back to my old favourite cuttin and stickin and did a bit of collage. Here is the result - a slightly squiffy-looking owl!
All the bits were cut from the fashion pages of a Sunday magazine - apart from that, all I used were some glue, foam tape, a plain tag and some garden twine - it only took about half and hour, but that was 30 minutes in cuttin and stickin heaven!
I wonder what my squiffy yet slightly pensive-looking friend is thinking about ...?
Cheerio for now - check out all the little owly works of art over at Tag Tuesday - it's always amazing to see what everyone's come up with.
A x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

CSI Case File#36

Hi everyone! Getting used to using my husband's pc whilst mine is still in Pooter Hospital under the care of Dr Chris ... I can't print anything and he doesn't have Microsoft Office, but he does have Picasa, which apparently is a freebie and I'm getting to like it so much I may have to get it myself...

Anyway, this week is Case File#36 over at CSI - here it is
As you can see, Debbi has added a new dimension to the challenge for this month - as well as using all five colours in The Scheme, at least two pieces of Evidence and one item of Testimony, we also have a sketch to follow in order to solve the case. CSI has joined forces with Once Upon A Sketch, so each week we'll get a new sketch as well as the usual colour prompts and ideas and the fab CSI Coordinates which are free printable words, images and backgrounds.
To be honest, I wasn't totally looking forward to working with these colours, but once I got going I really enjoyed myself - here is the result of my endeavours
I used all the colours in The Scheme and added accents of grey-blue (you're allowed up to 10% of an accent colour and any neutrals)
My Evidence: magic mesh in the background and layered on the banner; leaves cut from the CSI Coordinates and stamped on the background; misting; curved organic shapes cut from paper lace and accented with liquid pearls.
Here are a couple of close-ups
You can see here the banner which I made with scraps of patterned paper layered with Magic Mesh, adding eyelets to thread the string through. There is also one of my favourite home made embellishments - a bottle top squished in the Cuttlebug and decorated with a 1" circle and a flower sticker.
The little bird was cut from a scrap of pp and he's perched on a piece of the Paper Lace (which was originally a yukky peach colour but I've inked it and added Glimmer Mist). The title alphas were plain chipboard which I've painted dark brown, then added crackle medium followed by a coat of pale cream paint, and finally used Distress Ink to accentuate it further. The "torn notebook" effect on the edge wasn't done with a border punch as I don't have one - I used my Crop-a-Dile to punch a line of holes and then tore them away with my old friend Pokey Tool. The running stitch effect is done with a border punch though - I only bought it last week and I've used it on every layout since! I always do that with new things (I'll be able to look back and say, " aah yes, that was when I had just got my new border punch/Crop-a-Dile/Dymo machine ...)
Ok well that's it then - off to CSI now to upload my page and see what everyone else has been up to :)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Autumn Fruits and Berries

Here is my tag for Tag Tuesday this week - the theme was Autumn Fruits and Berries, but typical me I was inspired by Apple Pie! Had a bit of a struggle as my pooter is still in PC hospital so I am unable to print anything. Still I had fun - have a look at the beautiful little works of art over at Tag Tuesday
And please keep everything crossed that my little pc will pull through and be back home for next week thanks to our hero Dr Chris!
Annie xxx

Monday, 10 September 2012

12 Tags for 2012 - September

Well yet again, Tim Holtz came up with an inspirational tutorial for this month's tag and I thoroughly enjoyed making my version
As usual, I didn't have all the supplies Tim used, but it gave me an excuse to some 10 Second Studio metal sheets and tools that have been languishing in a drawer for months.
Tim uses Ranger metal tape and shows how to create fake rivets and so on using ordinary items like an old biro as tools, and then colouring the metal with alcohol inks.
I used a Bigz die to cut my butterfly, then shaped it and added a key coloured with alcohol inks. I found that red super sticky tape worked well on the metal and I think Glossy Accents would do the trick as well.
The typewriter is a little wooden embellishment from my Quirky Kit which I coloured with inks. I used two little rubber stamps I bought at a garage sale to make the torn strip and the message in the typewriter and used Distress Inks to age and grunge them.
I think this tag is one of my favourites and wouldn't itbe good to actually use it as a gift tag ... ? I'm thinking though that it would be fun to incorporate them all into that art journal I keep meaning to start on ...
Check out all the other amazing little works of art for 12 Tags of 2012 - you'll be inspired just like I was!

Annie x

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Roll Up! Roll Up!

It's Circus week over at Tag Tuesday and I've had a lovely time making my tag...

This lovely lady came from a paper doll image which I found on Graphics Fairy. After setting the scene by stamping the background with musical notes, adding butterfly scraps and dotting with liquid pearls in a naughty lipstick red, the lady was further adorned with lots of pretty knick-knacks. As she is so gorgeous I couldn't resist making a mini version of the paper doll as well, adding some die cut wings just for fun. Here she is in all her glory

Now I can't wait to see what everyone else at Tag Tuesday has come up with - go and see for yourself - ladies and gents, prepare to be amazed ...
Annie x

Saturday, 8 September 2012

No PC!!!

How FRUSTRATING!!! Just got back from a week in Ireland, fired up my PC, and it all went funny on me and then crashed...I am BEREFT! My son is going to try and give me some tech support over the phone tomorrow, but in the meantime I can't print anything, comment on other people's blogs or upload the projects I've completed for challenges - I've borrowed my husband's pooter to just check out my emails and stuff but it won't let me do much else...grrrr!
I am fighting the urge to fling myself on the floor and stamp my feet ....
Ok I'm going to see if I can actually post this now. See you soon .. I hope x

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Harvest Home

More babies from our vegetable patch - we're such proud parents ... and now we're going to eat them!

Why is the Sky Blue?

I've been getting ahead of myself with Case File #35 over at CSI  because we're off to Ireland for a week. Wahay!!!
Here's the Case File (click on it to make it easier to read)

Gorgeous colour scheme and some fantastic ideas as always. The free printable Coordinates which they provide for each case are brilliant.
Here's my solution - it's a dark little photo but I love Richard's serious little face. He was about three years old here, and continually asking questions (I've written some of the on the pull-out tag which you can see in the close-ups). It's amazing how spending time with small children can make you see the world in a whole new light...

No time for waffling today (you'll be relieved to know I'm sure!) but here are a few close-ups

Gorgeous Prima flower I've been "saving for something special", love the little wooden ducks, fussy cut flowers from the Coordinates, you can also see some of the fun I had with misters!

The eye is stamped onto a piece cut from a pp from my Quirky Kit, love the felt ric-rac, mini alphas also from my QK, words from the Co-ordinates, painty fun in the background!
I used the mask from my QK with paints and mists and then used it as a stamp with Distress Ink over the top, love my little bumble bee stamp.
Stickles and liquid pearls to titivate the fussy cut flowers from the Co-ordinates
cute fruity beads threaded onto a paper clip
and last but not least, some of Richard's random questions!
Ok that's it for now. Annie X