It’s Tine for Gardening

I feel very thankful that during our self isolation I have a large garden I can escape to. I’m upping veggie production this year, and garden without chemicals. I actually enjoy weeding and find it rather relaxing. I get a sense of satisfaction when a bed looks all neat and tidy!

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The layout was inspired by this free Cricut title. Because of the lockdown Cricut have made over thousand images free in design studio which is a generous gesture to us scrapbookers!

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I doodled the border around the page and then coloured it with a sparkly bronze Sakura gel pen. I die cut lots of little vegetables in white card using a Marianne die, and then coloured them before gluing them around the border. The terracotta pot is made with a lawn fawn die. I have added shading with distress ink.

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I have used a Creative Expressions stencil to add some background pattern. I like this one with a combination of dots and a grid, and reach for it often.

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This scroll that I have used for my journaling was a bargain Crafters Companion stamp and die set that I purchased when out with my crafting friends. It’s part of a Christmas collection but perfect for adding as a journaling tag!

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My husband and myself built our vegetable garden early last year. Our house faces south and the front garden is quite large. This lawn was the site of a swing, slide and climbing frame when our daughters were young. We have a hedge at the front and my dad fitted a five bar gate so it was a secure area for them to play.

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I have four raised beds on the lawn area, each one is four foot by eight foot. One of the beds is dedicated to soft fruit and we have built a netted cage to stop our local wood pigeons from eating the fruit! Nearer the house we have two more large raised beds and out of site in the photo a couple of smaller beds only half as high.

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Having removed a couple of dead trees last year I have made four more beds down the side of the drive. The border is five foot deep so they are actually a good size for crop growing. My two compost bins yield some very good compost!

Tucked away in the corner with a gate to the back garden is a “working” area with my potting shed, and a couple of mini greenhouses which I use for hardening off my little plants.

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When we had to replace our water tank I kept the old one. Its first crop was potatoes but its now a permanent bed for mint. The bed will be shaded by my neighbours beautiful buddleia shrub later in the season so mint will thrive in its shade.  I only have two types, spearmint and basil mint, but would like a variegated mint later on when this virus is beaten and I can go to the garden centre again.

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I have a potting bench and potting area inside the potting shed. It looks out over the garden so is a lovely place to sow my seeds or prick out seedlings.

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I germinate my seeds in two electric propagators (one was my dads) inside. I have a large conservatory so it gets plenty of light.

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I’m trying to grow a wide variety of vegetables, but avoid the gluts I had last year. Succession sowing is a skill I hope to master this year!

Our local wood pigeons also enjoy my garden so Paul has constructed a simple deterrent over my garlic.  Last years crop was brilliant. I have two plaits of garlic bulbs hanging in my garage and haven’t had to buy any at the shops since growing my own. It looks like this years crop is also going to do well.

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Having a personal allotment in the front garden is unusual, but as it faces south and is “wasted” land otherwise, it made sense to grow my vegetables there. Several of my neighbours are also growing in their front gardens too!

Snowy Walks

I made only one new years resolution this year, and that was to start my 8×8 layouts for the families 2021 calendars early. No excuse this year with the lock down.

This is for January 2021 and features my youngest daughter out for a walk with her boyfriend along the river right near her home. Such a beautiful place.

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To create the circle I used just one scribbled circle stamp and my wreath builder tool.

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I used some small snowflake stamps and blue ink to create the outside pattern. I then added tiny small dots with promarkers to build up the pattern.

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The River Ericht runs through Blairgowrie in Perthshire where my daughter lives. Ten miles south it joins the River Isla, and then on to the River Tay.

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The fast running river used to support several textiles mills along its banks. Now home to trout and salmon and beautiful river side walks. I think the snow gives the area a truly magical quality.

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One layout completed, so only eleven more to go for this calendar!

Sparkly Unicorn Card

My daughter asked me yesterday if I could make a card featuring a unicorn with lots of sparkle for her friend, so I have made another pop up box card which must be my favourite design judging by the times I make one.

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I started with a piece of shiny blue/white A4 card and some A4 patterned glitter paper. The unicorn is a stamp from the Creative Stamping magazine Enchantment collection.

20200329_114035 I find it easier to add the patterned pieces before gluing the box together.

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Once glued together with the centre strips in place its ready to decorate.

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The rainbow was die cut three times. I glued layers 1 and 2 together and snipped the top layer apart. After colouring with promarkers I glued them back in place.

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This is the Creative Expressions die set I used for the rainbow:

20200329_164813The unicorn was stamped with black memento ink and then coloured with the same blue, indigo and purple promarkers used for the rainbow before cutting out. I added shadowing with a pale grey promarker.20200329_142142I coloured white card with the same colours of promarkers before die cutting the greeting and name. I have added lots of die cut clouds to create a scene.

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The finished card folds flat to post and I have added a panel on the back for a personal greeting.

20200329_154938I added some stickles glitter glue for even more sparkle plus a few sparkly star gems as a finishing touch.20200329_154925

Exploring Montevideo

Paul and myself enjoyed a quiet afternoon meandering the market, backstreets and along the river of Uruguay’s capital city. I have added lots of photos from our walk after describing the layout!

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It was really warm so I had changed into a loose silk dress.  I have picked the colours of the layout from the colours of the dress. I have used scraps of purple and lilac patterned papers to back this beautiful free cut file designed by Paige Evans. I find it very relaxing backing cut files and as we are in self isolation I have lots of time!20200320_112937Journaling has been added on strips of card and I have added a sprinkling of pearls20200320_112934In the layout I’m pictured standing outside the Mercado del Puerto which is an area at the old port with numerous steak houses.  Paul’s standing outside the entrance in the photo below.

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It was interesting to wander around inside and see the large fires cooking the meat.

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Montevideo is situated on the Rio de la Plata, a huge stretch of water that divides Uruguay from Argentina. Geographers are divided as to whether it is classed as a river, estuary, gulf or marginal sea. Riodelaplatabasinmap

We walked along a very wide (and windy) promenade and it was impossible to see across to the other side.20200218_144314(1)

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The Rio de la Plata is usually considered a river and at 220km/140 miles wide is the widest river on the planet. Montevideo is seen at the mouth of the river to the left, and our next destination, Buenos Aires is inland on the right side of the river.  (Thank you to Wikipedia for this stunning ariel photograph)

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The river is brown because of sediments that are being carried down from the rain forest via the Parana and Uruguay rivers. This fresh (brown) water turns blue as it meets the salt water of the South Atlantic Ocean. The exact position varies according to wind and currents. We enjoyed watching all the birds on the shore line but the river is also home to a variety of turtles and a rare dolphin.

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DSCN4029 (2)We had some great ariel views of the river ourselves when we flew from Buenos Aries to the Iguazu Falls. We took off from Buenos Aries domestic airport seen in the photo below:20200219_114829

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The city, like most we saw in South America, is full of statues and monuments. Some old, some new.

It certainly makes a walk interesting because you never know what you will see next and often random objects just turn up!

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Charles Darwin explored the Rio de la Plata area for a year and stayed in Montevideo for ten weeks in 1833. He later wrote about this journey in “The Voyage of the Beagle”

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I was intrigued to see lots of “junk modelling” characters, which were very cleverly constructed.

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The old town has lots of art deco buildings, colonial homes and impressive landmarks like the towering Palacio Salvo.

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The modern part of the city had a variety of shops. Some selling the traditional Mate equipment for preparation of the tea that you see everyone sipping. I did try a sip in Argentina. It was very, very bitter.

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Loved this ice lolly shop decoration, and the lady in front of me really was wearing a pair of those platforms that I can remember wearing in my late teens!

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Finally, this shop name made us all laugh!

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Travel

No travel for any of us in the foreseeable future so I thought I would share another layout created for my South American album. We travelled Peru Rail from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes, the small town at the base of the Machu Picchu mountain.

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The large cut file used for the title dominates the page. I’ve backed it with patterned papers and tucked some stamped ticket style embellishments behind.

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Journaling pulls out from behind the photo. I used a piece of yellow ombré paper for my background and then doodled the border to mimic railway tracks.

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Our glass roofed carriage gave us great views of the changing scenery as we dropped three thousand feet in altitude! Although not luxurious like the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer that we travelled with only 20 months ago, it was comfortable enough. IMG-20200222-WA0462(1)On the train we were grouped in fours with a table between us. Dawn and Graham were sat just across the carriage. 20200203_090814

Opposite us were Bob and Estella who we would get to know, and make friends with, as our journey progressed. The journey took 90 minutes with the train slowly snaking its way along side the rushing Urubamba river and stunning scenerey.

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Taking the train is an interesting journey and a much easier way of travelling to see Machu Picchu!

All Dressed Up

I rarely have the opportunity to dress up and wear an evening gown so the formal nights on board the cruise ship were the perfect opportunity. I certainly won’t need to get dressed up in the next few months!20200308_082401I bought my evening dress when out shopping with my sister in law Jane, and love it, although I did have to take it up by 6cm. I’m tall so it was obviously made for a giant!

I have used a free Rose with Chicken Wire Circle cut file for my background and added distress ink splatters behind the flower.20200308_082438The title is a Cricut cut, and the corner flower detail above the photo is made with a Wild Rose Studio die, the Olivette Corner. I must use this more as it is very pretty.20200308_082411I have added a small amount of journaling on strips below the focal photo.20200308_082422

We enjoyed all three formal nights whilst away, shared with Dawn & Graham, and our new friends, Bob & Estella.

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Happy Mothering Sunday

We should have been together today to celebrate Mothers Day. But following the guidelines is much more important at this time. So this year we will chat on the phone and plan something nice for when we all get through this current situation and are together again.

20200319_090219I have made my mum a folding accordion style card decorated with flowers and butterflies.

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The card base was made from Creative Expressions Foundations card in the colour custard, using  Karen Burniston’s Oval Landscape Accordion 1108 die set.20200319_090225It is simply decorated on the front and folds flat to fit in the envelope.20200319_090104There is plenty of room on the back for a personal greeting.20200319_090204

Happy Mother’s Day to my extra special mum. And also to all the other mums, young and old,  who try to do their best for their families throughout the year.