Thursday, 20 December 2012

Bean Bag

Isn't this adorable? My little girl designed and made her own bean bag yesterday. She decided to decorate it with a Little Owl called Plop, who they have been reading about in school. She filled her bean bag with some out of date rice I keep for such things and also a handful of lavender so that when you throw and catch the beanbag, the smell is delightful. This was also her first experience of using the sewing machine with my help.

(The old singer is great for learning on. You can go at your own pace and not risk sewing your fingers as much as on an electric machine.)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

My first interlined curtain

I finished the door curtain at last. I still have another one to make the same. It seems to have made a difference to the warmth of the room.

The fabric is a heavy chenille and when I took the fabric roll out my store cupboard where it had been for a few years,  it was much nicer than I remembered, so that was a bonus.  It was mostly sewn by hand and with the weight of the fabric plus the interlining, it kept me really cosy whilst I was sewing it on my lap.

I might try making a throw backed with some interlining once I have finished the other curtain.

Excuse the mess either side of the curtain. This is my utility room and currently has piles of ironing waiting to be done plus other works in progress.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Hello Old Friend!

Hello old friend. It's been a while. Around 30 years. You're ageing better than me, that's for sure!
Now does your machinery all still work? Can I remember how to thread your needle and wind on the bobbin? Let's see...

Why, yes I can!  It all came back to me in an instant...easier than riding a bicycle.
What a beautiful whirring sound you make...I'd forgotten how much I loved it.
It brought a tear to my eye. Now what shall I sew for a first little project?
A pin cushion with a picture of one of your old buddies. Perfect.

Next task...a door curtain...a little more of a challenge perhaps.  Never done interlining before...first time for everything!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Printer saga...

You'd think buying a laser printer couldn't possibly be such a hard task wouldn't you? But when you want that printer for specific purposes and it has to meet certain requirements it's quite frankly a pain in the butt!  I'm not usually very wordy here, 'cos I know that very wordy blogs make me go cross-eyed, so I apologise for the following rant!

I currently own an old HP workhorse of a printer which does what I need except it is not a USB connected printer and I have no printer port on our current PC. It is currently taking up the whole counter in the Utility room right now where it is plugged into our old PC which takes around 15 minutes to decide to turn on. Not the ideal situation.

We use our laser printer firstly as a regular printer - for the song sheets for church on a Sunday when my husband and myself are on the music. I also use a laser printer for transferring images to fabric using Citrasolv, and for transferring images to polymer clay.

You'd think that retailers would be able to give you sample printouts from a variety of printer models, but this is not the case. I finally found one company who were able to send me some samples. I requested samples from a few entry level machines and the sample they sent from the Xerox Phaser worked brilliantly -so I thought. So I ordered the machine only to find out after that the sample they sent me was from a High end Xerox machine and not the Phaser I was interested in. I set up the printer, found a spot for it near the computer, very excitedly printed out my test sheet. Applied the Citrasov, did the usual burnishing, slowly peeled back the paper to reveal underneath...absolutely nothing! It did not transfer one little bit! Completely useless to me! Very frustrating!  It is now all packed up in it's box waiting to be picked up and returned for a refund.

I have been in touch with HP and  Epson and nobody could send me any sample printouts. Brother were the most helpful, very helpful in fact, but the printout didn't work so that was a shame. I am waiting to hear back from Dell. They couldn't send me a sample but yesterday when I chatted with an agent I was told that I could order the printer and if it didn't suit could send it back at no cost to myself. Today when I chatted with them, I was told there would probably be a charge. So you can see my frustration...please if anyone has recently bought a laser printer and you know it works with Citrasolv, then can you tell me what model it is.
Thanks :-)

OK, I'm done!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Time for a spot of sewing...

This is my prototype for a new little pocket watch pin cushion. It turned out pretty cute though I say so myself! I'm going to make a few more of these for my Etsy shop.

It's quite snowy here in the Highlands just now so I am staying in and trying to keep warm.  I've got a new printer to set up today...I've just got to work out how on earth I am going to fit it in the computer area.

I'm posting over at Blog Tonic today too with this card...
I hope you are having a nice day wherever you are!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Daisy Dies Giveaway

These daisy Dies from Tonic Studios are gorgeous. They are the perfect finishing touch for your cardmaking or scrapbooking project. They are compatible with most leading Die-Cut systems (additional spacer plates acrylic mats or shims may be required. ) 
Here's a card I made that has been embellished with one of these Die cuts.

The lovely people at Tonic have provided me with a couple of extras, so now I am able to offer these to one of  you...

...if you would like to get your inky paws on these two little beauties, this is what you need to do.

If you are a follower, then please leave a comment on this post letting me know what kind of craft product you spend the most money on, and you will be entered into the draw.

If you would like a second entry, then post about the Giveaway on your blog and let me know where and you will get a second entry.

If you would like a third entry, become a follower of Studio Gilead, my page on Facebook and let me know in a comment here.

The winner has been chosen, using The winner is Nannapat! 
Congratulations ! But seeing as how there was only 4 of you that wanted new dies, I have a little treat for all of you. So please get in touch and let me have your addresses. Thanks.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Better than flowers

I'd been moaning about how my drawing pens had dried up  - I haven't used them in a while but have been starting to draw again. My sweet husband voluntarily went to the craft store on his way home from work and chose me a set of 5 pens!
If he had brought me a huge bunch of flowers I would not have been as delighted as I am with these - I LOVE getting new pens ! My husband knows me well!
I better do some drawing now!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Leaves, leaves and more leaves

The crisp, crunchy autumn leaves are very pretty, but they are also a lot of work. If we don't get them all off the driveway, they soon become a slippy, slimy mess.
When the wind blows, it's like a leaf blizzard around here!

I've had a bad neck and shoulder for a wee while now so have not been able to help out with the garden tidying, instead I've been thinking of theraputic sea air and  creating some shell Digi stamps.

Here's a card I made with some of them.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A gift returned

I made this butterfly cushion a couple of years ago for a dear friend. Sadly she has since had to move down to near her daughter's home in England and stay in Residential care.

There are only so many things you can take with you to these care homes and she had a  huge lot of stuff -  on top of that I am not even sure she would remember that I made it for her now, so I was around at her house on Saturday to pick up a few things from her daughter who has had to clear the house which has now been sold.

She thought I should have the cushion back. It was a sad thing to have to look around the house without my friend there, but I shall have happy memories of when I gave her this cushion. She wouldn't let anyone sit leaning on it  in case they crushed it, and she had it perched up on top of the back of a chair in pride of place. I shall miss my friend. She really loved butterflies - (hence the cushion.)

I drew the butterfly freehand with a Pitt artist pen onto a scrap of white vintage cotton sheet and then bordered it with some scraps of fabric I had been given by my sister-in -law. The tassels were made from cotton string and wooden beads.
(Perhaps I'll give you a little easy tassel tutorial sometime...)

On another's a birthday card for a friend who doesn't read this blog
(I hope)
more details over at Blog Tonic

Friday, 9 November 2012

Bundt tin success

I was delighted that I managed to get my almond cake out our new Bundt tin in one piece. This is my first attempt. (I won't mention any names, but someone in this household has tried a couple times and they both broke - although they did taste delicious)   Mine turned out looking really nice (and the icing has been mixed with Amaretto liquor! ) Proof is in the eating though - I'll let you know!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A Frosty Day

photo by Naomi Smith
It's  been a beautiful crisp, frosty day here in the Highlands.
I've made a huge pot of butternut squash soup, some bread and butter pudding and a little sketchbook to add to my Etsy shop.
available here
Methinks it's one of those evenings for huddling around the log fire !

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bloom - a little key-ring

Just added to my Etsy shop....a little hand-made key-ring.

I'm busy as ever just now, but glad to have made a start on some little sewing projects. Little Owl brooches coming soon.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Revenge of the man card

My husband teases me that even my so called "man cards" look a bit girly, so I was determined to make a  "man card" with not so much as a hint of femininity... least until you turn over the card !
Hee, hee!

If you want more details on how I made this card check out Blog Tonic today.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Vintage Style card

I've used some of my favourite vintage dictionary pages for one of my more recent cards. If you want to find out more details, I'm posting this over at Blog Tonic today.

The weather outside is wild, wet and windy. I'll be staying inside today trying to keep warm!

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Butterfly Whisperer

As soon as the sun comes out to play, the Peacock butterflies literally swarm on our Buddleia bush. My little girl can spend hours watching them and coaxing them onto her hands. She is a regular little butterfly whisperer.
She is very gentle with them and enjoys the tickly feeling of having them alight on her hands.

In fact she has said, "It just isn't a proper garden without a Buddleia" 
I tend to agree !

Thursday, 20 September 2012


I just heard that we have the plot of land subject to our getting Planning permission. That may take some time to obtain, but there is no rush!
Now we can think about the design of our new home! Exciting stuff!

Waiting part anyway

Hi! Well, it seems it was not in God's plan for us to sell our home right now.
The couple that had made the offer withdrew it with no explanation.
Perhaps they felt their budget was going to be overstretched, or they couldn't get a mortgage, who knows - God knows !
We were disappointed at first, but I trust in God because He knows what's best.
Back to trying to keep the place tidy and show-home like.

We are also awaiting news on whether or not we are getting a plot of land that we will eventually be able to build our own home on, (once we sell this place).

I'll let you know what happens with that one.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


We have had our house on the market for about a year now, but the company we were with didn't really reach the local market at all, so about 2 weeks ago we went with another company. Since then we have had lots of viewings and so far, one offer. It is not a firm offer as yet and so now we wait. There are also other things going on around here too that involve a bit of waiting, and patience, so it is an interesting time right now. Sometimes to keep me from sitting on top of the telephone I go make a few cards. Here's one I made yesterday....

I have used one of the lovely Rudbeckia clear stamps from Tonic's Pick of the Bunch range. I have stamped it twice and layered it up with foam pads for a 3d decoupage look. The centre of the flower I blobbed some tacky glue on and used these little microbeads I've had in my stash for ages. I never really knew quite what to do with them, but I think they are absolutely perfect for the centre of a flower don't you? The textured card strip along the centre is done with the Swiss Dots embossing folder that came with my new Cuttlebug.

I have created a couple of digistamps for you to use in your cards

Here they are....

...just right click to save them to your computer and you can use them in your favourite Desktop Publishing software. They are in PNG format. 

Enjoy!  And let me know if you used them, I'd love to see your cards.

Monday, 27 August 2012's salty!

Every once in a while I get the urge to poison my family  try out something new.
This time the NEW thing was samphire. A salty plant that grows on the seashore. I made a barley stew with red onions home-grown courgettes and cashew nuts and it was served with samphire and mozzarella. Let's just say it filled a hole, but I won't be buying it again in a hurry. It was all a bit weird. That salty crunch ....I don't think the texture of barley really helped with the whole experience. I'm sure Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's samphire creations taste delicious but I have to say, so far, I am not a fan.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

My little munchkin

Here's my little flower just before heading off to school. She has a very wobbly tooth right now,  I think it will be coming out very soon!  I guess this will be her "gap year!"

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Routine has returned

Hello! Things are getting back to routine around here.
My little girl went back to school yesterday, ( Scotland goes back earlier than England), so I have finally managed a little card-making time. Just the Tonic!

I have been wanting to get my watercolours out for a long, long while now and get back to painting, so I thought the perfect introduction to using my brush again would be to colour some of Tonic Studio's lovely pick of the bunch stamps. It felt so good to be using my paints again - very therapeutic.

This is the first card I have done for a while. I have used some flowers from the Chrysanthemum set. Then I have cut them out with decoupage scissors and raised them on the card using foam squares from Scrapbook adhesives by 3L.

If you haven't tried watercolour, you should give it a go. Just don't skimp on getting a decent brush. If you are unsure about drawing your own images, using stamps is a great way to get a feel for painting.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Finally made something

Well, strictly speaking I didn't just make it,  I only finally got around to finishing this brooch that has sat in pieces in a box since last year waiting for me to get around to it. It is for a friend, so I hope she likes it.
It is hand drawn on a scrap of vintage linen and then bonded to two layers of felt. The body is copper wire and seed beads.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Still busy...

a picture of one of my neighbours

Hello, and thanks for visiting today. Life is still pretty busy here and I am aware I haven't blogged much lately. Hopefully when the school holidays are over I will get back to routine. My fingers are eager to get some crafting and artwork done but every time I plan to get busy, something else comes up. Never mind, it is good to have my husband, son and little girl home for the holidays. My little girl is actually missing school, but then she is only 6.

Hope that you are having some decent weather where you are. Have a wonderful day.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Stamp Storage Idea

I have quite a few rubber stamps and clear stamps, and I must confess, they are all in a drawer in a great big muddle. When I received my beautiful new Tonic Studios stamps designed by Ruth Hamilton, I knew they deserved a better storage solution  to keep them organised and in tip top condition. Here is my solution...

What you will need...

An A4 Ring binder - I got mine at Tesco for about 57p !
Some poly pockets - get good quality ones as it will make cutting them to size much easier.
Double sided sticky tape
PVA Glue
Fabric for the cover.
Inkpad suitable for using on Fabric.
Quality Coloured pencils or acrylic paints.
Paper or card for covering the inside
Optional - elastic, hole punch, eyelets and eyelet setting tool.

Measure the size of the stamp sheet and allow extra for when the folder is closed.
For this Tonic Studios range a good size for the side of the cover (not including the spine) is  14.5cm by 23.5cm.
Cut out with a craft knife and metal ruler. Don't forget to protect your work surface with a cutting mat.
My folder was bright blue and I was a bit worried it would shine through the fabric, so I covered it with a white printer paper first. I use PVA glue thinned down with a little water.

I used some curtain lining cotton fabric and cut a piece about an inch extra all round bigger than the folder. I used the lovely Fuschia and Lily stamps to stamp all over the fabric and then coloured in using my Karisma pencils - which are the same as Prismacolours. You could use watered down acrylic paints or fabric paints for this.

I then pasted glue all over the front of the folder and adhered my fabric. It is best to let it dry before moving on to the next stage. Here you see I am brushing the corners of the fabric with glue and then letting them dry. This is to prevent fraying when I snip the fabric off.
Snip off the corners but leave a few millimetres so there is enough to cover the corner of the folder neatly. Glue it all down and wait for it to dry.

Once it was dry I punched the back of the folder 1inch in from the corners and inserted some elastic which is then held in place with eyelets. This will be to hold the folder closed.

To cover all the raw edges on the inside, I stamped this gorgeous bee stamp from the Lily set ( I love bees) on some lilac card and stuck it down. Next time I do this, I might try and work around the ring mechanism in a different way.

The Poly pockets were cut to a centimetre wider than I needed so I could then snip 1cm of the width of the top layer, fold it over and stick it with double sided sticky tape. Now I can just slide out the stamps I need, use them, and pop them back in again easily.
 I don't know why it never occurred to me to chop down an A4 Ring Binder before, but just imagine the possibilities. You can make a customised folder to suit your needs. Easy peasy - and cheap too.
Aren't these new stamps so pretty?