Friday, 28 December 2012

A Cupcake...

I have to admit, I do better with paper than I do with the edible versions!! LOL
This is for son and heir, indirectly, that is.  He is off to a friends wedding tomorrow and he decided that as the couple have been together since University days and have already bought their home that it was going to be difficult to get them a gift that don't already have and opted for a gift card.  I thought I would make a faux cupcake to hold the said gift card to make it look a little more like an actual gift!!
There is enough bling on this thing to sink the proverbial battleship... pearls, glitter, stick pins, and little diamonds laden the 'icing'... just hope it doesn't clash with her wedding colours because, of course, dear son had no clue as to what they might be!!
Now I need to make a card to go with it... that should prove interesting!! ;)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

WOYWW 26th December 2012

This is my work desk this morning... and it really hasn't changed much for quite a while!  On the desk are a couple of Christmas presents that require tweaking... yep, I know it was yesterday but I ran of steam!!
On the floor next to my desk is this... and it drives me insane but I can't find a spot to put any of it so it sits there... making me feel bad!!
and I had to add this one... I have my 25 year old son home... which is lovely as we haven't had a Christmas together since 2007!! This is his zone... remotes, chocolates, biscuits... yep, he is happy!!
Chris and I spent our first Christmas apart this year, he is in Brisbane enjoying 28 degree C and I am here at home in Scotland.  As soon as I have tidied Christmas away for this year I will begin packing for Australia.  Just the thought of it gives me heeby jeebies... but pack I will!!
It was such a lovely morning yesterday that Christopher and I went out for a drive with camera in hand, we took the little back roads at the back of the village we live in and reaquainted ourselves with the beautiful countryside.
I love the fields with the tractor tracks...
The bare trees along the edge of the roads..
Little ponds with lush grass...
and the little ruined barns...
and the white horse on Mormond Hill, the only carved white horse in Scotland.  It always makes me smile as I am originally from the south of England and there are white chalk carvings all over the southern counties and I move up here and on my doorstep is.... yep, a white horse.  This one is not chalk but local white quartz and has been here since the mid 1800s.

Don't forget to go over to Julia's for the complete list of desk displayers!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all a fabulous New Year!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas is nearly here...

I think I am ready... I actually like it when it gets this close because anything I haven't done, isn't going to get done!!  The pressure is off and I can sit back a little and just enjoy it!!

Yesterday I baked gingerbread cookies!!  I have a teensy confession, I have never baked Christmas cookies before.  I know, it is a shock, I am obviously such a domestic goddess that it is incomprehensible to think that I haven't done so before but at the ripe old age of fifty mumble mumble 6 I decided it was time to do so!
I must have missed the memo that this was a bonding exercise with your kids, mixing and weighing and baking and decorating... but it's not too late and I have Christopher here for Christmas for the first time in 5 years, so bake I did!
So when I saw this cookie cutter online I had to have it... I mean, this cookie cutter was made with me in mind!! This is the photo supplied with the cutter....
and this is my version.... ok, ok, it doesn't look exactly like it should but Christopher ate it and said it was 'cool'!!
So I got carried away with my success and proceeded to bake a tray of discombobulated gingerbread men... they are cute cookie cutters with bites taken out of them...
Well, why would I want to make little Christmas trees and stars when I could have fun like this!!
So the stockings are hung and the table is laid...
the tree is up and the presents are wrapped...
and Tom-Tom wore his reindeer ears for at least 30 seconds whilst wrapped in my pink blanket...
and Pandy was having none of it so I had to improvise...

So all is left to do is to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday 180

I'm back!!  I would have been back last week but half an hour before I was to sit and write the WOYWW post my hard drive died.  I really thought that the universe was scheming to keep me away... and I didn't have my back-up external drive plugged in so lost everything from the point of leaving Canada. Poop. :(  Luckily Chris got me a new one ordered and has spent days putting my pc back to some usable state.
So this is my desk this morning.... see?  Nothing!!  I guess people who might visit would expect to see something but you have no idea how hard I worked get the desk to this point. LOL
I'll even give you a stepped back shot... and if you think that is a mess, really you should have seen it when it had the contents of five boxes spread all over it!!
Then we pan right and you can see my 'pooter and piles of 'stuff'... yeah, I'm still working on an acceptable solution to the fitting a litre into a pint pot!!
and this is a pan left through the archway into the sun lounge and the remaining boxes to be unpacked and sorted... yep, could take a while but I am getting there!!
So now you have seen my space, pop over to our leader of the desk nosey, Julia, and have a look though some of the lovely spaces of other mad peeps!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

"The Egg and Bacon Thing"

You know how we all one meal from childhood that takes you back in time?  This is Chris'... he has mentioned it many times over the years and always describes it as the 'egg and bacon thing'.  Well, when we went South at the end of September we dropped in on Chris' sister and she gave me the recipe for the 'egg and bacon thing'!!  (a recipe without quantities and no visual aid as to what it should end up looking like)!!

But... we had the recipe and we had Chris' memories so giving it a go seemed to be the next sensible step.

The Egg and Bacon Thing
Casserole dish
Butter dish well
a layer of breadcrumbs
a layer of minced bacon
a layer of eggs (raw, just drop them in)
a layer of tomatoes
another layer of breadcrumbs
top with a couple of knobs of butter
cook in oven at 180c - until egg yokes are hard and bacon is cooked.

OK... now I did have a mincer to do the bacon but after checking the contents of my cupboards and not finding it... I sort of figured out that the last time I saw it was in South Africa prior to 2006.  I have no idea where it went and it could possibly be in some of the boxes yet unpacked from that particular trip and not feeling inclined to compound my unpacking and packing situation we opted to buy a new one!! ;)  Chris ordered a nice smart electric version and it arrived yesterday morning.  
When I inquired into the timing of the recipe he mentioned that his Mum always cooked it in a Pyrex see thru casserole dish so you could tell when it was cooked... and yes, I am sure I had a set of those too... but they aren't in this kitchen so we went and bought one!!  (this recipe just cost me £40 and I have no idea if I am even going to like it and I am now thinking that £40 would get me a nice restaurant meal)!!
So I started grating a couple of slices of bread to make the breadcrumbs... and very soon realised that life is too short to grate bread and used my hands instead..
Chris played with the shiny new electric toy of a mincer and made a packet of bacon vanish in seconds and we were ready to go...
layer of breadcrumbs (3 slices of bread)
layer of bacon (1 800 gram pack)
dropped raw eggs (5 eggs)
sliced tomatoes (2 tomatoes)
and the rest of breadcrumbs on top.
Bake in centre of oven for 35 -40 minutes or until your egg yolks are firm

and Chris says it tastes just like his Mum made!! :)

Oh, and I liked it too!  I would have it with a side salad but Chris said it needed potatoes... potatoes in the form of chips!! LOL

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cybercrop Class with extra mini

The Secret Diary of a Well-Travelled Lady
UKScrappers are having a cybercrop and I was asked to do a tutorial so surprise, surprise, I chose to make a minibook.... and I had a couple of those matchboxes sitting there so made this.  Now don't laugh, but I actually shipped those matchboxes from Canada to Scotland and if you had seen the look on the face of the guy that was packing the scraproom when he pointed out that I wouldn't be allowed to pack matches... when I promptly emptied the contents into the bin and told him I only wanted the actual matchboxes anyway!!
Inside one of the matchboxes is a smaller mini and the instructions for making it are:
You will need:

2 chipboard covers 4" x 2 1/4"
8 pages 3 3/4" x 4 1/4" of single sided patterned paper
Offcuts for the tags
Ribbon, buttons, flowers etc for decorating.
Cover the fronts and backs of your chipboard covers.  Sand the edges and then ink them.
Fold the cut pages in half and put double sided tape at the top and bottom on each back. 

The centres need to free of tape so that you can put tags into the pockets that are formed when you attach the pages to each other.
Attach each of the pages to the next one so that you end up with double thickness pages except for the first and the last... these will be attached to the inside of the front cover and back cover.
Make small tags and decorate them.
I used my circle punch and cut little semi circles on the pages to make inserting the tags easier.
Decorate your pages and front cover with ribbons etc.
Insert your little mini into the matchbox of your larger version.
Your done!! 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

MIA... and I'm off to visit the wizard.... the wonderful...

I think this post should get award or something... because it is the longest period of time between posts ever on my blog!   Its not like I didn't have anything to say, or pics to show, though they wouldn't be anything crafty as I haven't done anything crafty in quite some time!
Coming home has been a pretty stressful time, very busy with trying to get the house and garden back into shape after being neglected for a couple of years and visiting family we haven't been able to see for too many years and the boxes... yes, the boxes.... they haunt my sleep and drain all joy from my waking hours.  They have also given me physical pain!  I popped a rib and pulled a chest muscle so bad each breath was agony.
If I had blogged I would have been miserable... and if you think this post is miserable... let me tell you I am trying to be as upbeat as I can!! ;)
This is Chris' son James and me holding baby Caitlyn who was born while we were in Calgary, she is such a cutie and didn't mind playing pass the parcel with people she had never met!
and Libby who we haven't seen for 4 years... yep, she has suddenly become a young lady!
This is Chris and his eldest son, Glyn... wouldn't be able to disown each other,would they?
The boxes are much reduced in number but there are still far too many of them waiting to be unpacked and now we have our new assignment..................
Brisbane in Australia
and I need to start to packing again.... which is proving to be a major challenge because I now have boxes to unpack and boxes to go... and the temptation is to lie on the floor like a two year old and flail my arms and legs around.... just that I don't have enough floor space to do it!! ;)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

WOYWW 12th September 2012

The Vixen is back in her lair!!  Some people may recognise the wall in my lounge as the photo at the top of my blog... and perhaps not have realised that it is one of my home.... but it is and I am back in it!! I know, it's not everyones' idea of home decor but I love it... visitors either step back in horror and remember a previous appointment or they are fascinated there is no happy medium!!
TomTom and Pandy survived their journey and have explored the house... every inch of it!  They both love the sun lounge which is connected to the scraproom, it has windows on all sides so they can look out on the garden and its sunny so they sleep the day away in the warm rays of the sun.
But... it is WOYWW and you are here to see my desk.... 
it's behind that lot.... LOL!!  Yes, I think I made one or two trips to Michaels that I didn't need to!!  The really annoying part is that I have boxes in all the rooms and really have to unpack and put everything away in those before I start on the scraproom... 
Some folk may recall the library table and chairs I bought when I was in Canada... happily I can report that it survived the journey and is now at the end of my kitchen and looking good!!
and the daybed from the States and trunk is now in my spare bedroom!!
So I am getting sorted... slowly... it took two days to go through the accumulated mail of two years!
I may be sporadic and slow in visiting but I will take a break from cardboard boxes and come and visit!!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Counting down the days...

Four more days to do and then it's going home time!!  Yesterday was get the cats claws cut day... yes, it was pretty traumatic.  TomTom totally behaved himself and let the vet trim his claws and do his check up without any bother but.... Pandora didn't.  LOL  The vet was super impressed with her ability to climb straight up the walls and bounce around the room like the demonic kitty she can be.... ;)  In the end they caught her in a box and gassed her... poor Pandy!!  But she got her nails trimmed and passed her medical so they are both good to go for their flights next week.
This is them in their carriers prior to going to the vet... look at that little face asking what the heck was going on!!
I did get some bad news yesterday about their flight... it seems that British Airways, in their infinite wisdom, expect animals to be at the cargo warehouse FOUR HOURS prior to their flight, so they can't get on the flight we booked and planned and will have to overnight in Heathrow and get a plane up to Aberdeen the next morning.  Now how can that be pet friendly and caring?  I expect more from a nation of animal lovers... 4 hours?  Why would anyone want to force little animals to be shut up without food in a carrier any longer than absolutely necessary?  So a flight that takes 1 and half hours becomes some mega trip of stress... and this is after they just spent 11 hours on a flight from Calgary to Heathrow and three hours getting their paperwork and chips checked.  Pffft to BA and their thoughtless cruelty.  I did ask if they would be allowed to jump the queue and get seen quickly because they have an onward flight (and being that their trip is costing me $3500.00 I figured they should get some benefits other than being shut in a cargo hold of a plane) but they said no.  I am not impressed.... :(  So with us not being able to fly with them (because BA were $2000.00 more expensive than KLM for our business class tickets) and now this... I will be just glad to get home and then fetch them.

Pandy isn't one for playing nice when the camera comes out... she's a bit like a toddler that has to walk up close to the lens and stare inside... so when she is in the mood, it's fun to get some good pics of her!!
I had stripped the bed and carefully placed the duvet on the floor in the corner (ok... I threw the duvet in the corner) and the next thing I notice is a little miss looking very royal and comfy...
then she found the bathroom mirror... 
and a new friend to play with...

who was quite the copy cat!

and posed nicely for the camera...

but kept checking up on the new friend...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

And it was a mini book today!

I am actually liking this living across the road from the scrap shop... popped in there today to do a mini book class and don't laugh... out of all the mini books I have made, I have never done one using paper bags!!  I know, how this oversight could possibly have happened is a complete mystery to me too!!
This is the front 'cover'... which is a paper bag, it was fun, quick and turned out cute!!
First set of pages
Second set of pages with pockets and tags
and the larger tags that go inside the paper bag pages...
Ideal for a quick present!!
On the way back from the scrap shop I have to cross Macleod Trail. That is a test of the nerves let me tell you, I always cross on the lights as its a highway with two sets of 4 lanes of traffic and someone in their wisdom thinks you can get across 8 lanes in about 23 seconds... the red hand turns to the little walking man and you start crossing the first four lanes and then the red hand starts flashing at you again which makes you put on a burst of speed for the next four lanes!!  
There is a short cut to my apartment block which saves you walking all the way around the mall of shops, it is tree lined on one side and has the back of the take away shops on the other...(and honestly, if you ever visited the back of take aways you might think again about visiting the fronts)  this afternoon I headed toward the short cut, following a young woman.  She glanced nervously over her shoulder and picked up speed... so I walked a bit faster too... she glanced back again and picked her pace up a notch... I looked back and could see nothing but also proceeded to pick up my pace.... I blame my son... visions of zombies in my brain.... the woman was now in a full trot and I was wondering if my little legs would last and then I turned into the cut for the apartment block.... I haven't a cookin clue what was chasing us but it sure scared the bejeebers out of me!! ;)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A card...

Today I woke up to sunshine and there was a class at the scrap shop to make a card... fine, that will do nicely, at least I am making something!!  I also learned a cool resist technique with PVA glue which I will definitely use again.
I am going back on Saturday for another class... it keeps me out of mischief and the expensive nail salons!! ;)
A few people have asked if the two cats have to do quarantine when they go home to the UK.  Luckily for them, no.  In January of this year the UK changed its rules and now if you have up to date and rabies vaccinations on them they can get in without any problem.  There is still a boatload of forms and stuff so I would always use a pet relocation company, because they do it all the time and know what boxes to tick and forms to have ready.  I would hate to overlook something and the two cats be refused entry or put in quarantine because their paperwork is not right!! :(  
The cats were supposed to be on the same flight as us but it didn't work out that way... so they leave the same day but on Air Canada to Heathrow and we leave on KLM via Amsterdam.  We will be home before them so can get their beds and litter tray ready and then drive back to the airport to pick them up in the evening.  Then they can start investigating home... we have had them 3 years but they haven't actually ever seen our home in Scotland because they flew straight from Saudi Arabia to Canada.  I am sure they will love it.... ok, maybe not the rain... or the wind... but I am sure they will love it!! LOL

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I got Mail!!!

I went downstairs to the foyer this morning and checked the mailbox and I had a parcel!!!
with fabulous US stamps on it... and not one of them is franked... so maybe Elizabeth wants me to send them back to her instead of using them in my scrapping?  LOL  
Inside Elizabeth has sent me some of her lovely hand  made papers and the most stunning collection of her rusted linens... 
They are wonderful... I have wanted some of these for so long and lovely Elizabeth has given me an amazing assortment to play with, thank you, I will have great fun finding ways to incorporate them into a journal or mini book!
I have been apartment living for 3 weeks now and two left to go before I fly home to Scotland on 29th August... I have to admit I started to get a bit antsy with not having anything to play with and then realised that Scrapbookers Paradise is over the road from the apartment block!!  wooo hooo!  I know, a very dangerous situation given that I have only suitcase space but yesterday I took a walk over to partake of one of their tag classes...
This is the tag I made... it was great to get inky and have a play!!  I think I will pop over to the card class tomorrow... it should ward off any stir craziness!!
and this is what I look up and see when I go to make a cup of tea... yes, Tom-Tom is also a little stir crazy and has taken to the top kitchen cabinets in an effort to find an exit route I may have overlooked... ;)