Friday, 19 September 2014

Silent Night

I'm back! I've been away for a few days for a wonderfully relaxing break in the Cotswolds, and to ease myself back into crafting mood I've used a selection of bits from my Christmas scraps box to put together a quick and easy card as a last-minute entry to Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge, which this week is #194 - Silent Night.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Savoury Bean Bake - a Random Recipe

This month's Random Recipes is a straightforward random book, random page challenge. And the book my random number took me to was the second recipe book I ever got, bought for me using Mum's cigarette coupons, back in 1969 - Cookery in Colour by Marguerite Patten. Little did Mum know she was starting me off on a habit for life - and I don't mean smoking. My house is gradually being taken over by recipe books!

I opened it at random (cheating really, I know the book so well that I knew I'd  be opening it somewhere in the vegetable section) and came to a page with 6 recipes on it. I could have happily, and nostalgically, made any of them (except perhaps the one whose ingredients were simply a tin of asparagus, a tin of condensed chicken soup and four boiled eggs - I do have standards, you know) but Savoury Bean Bake was one for which I already had all the ingredients to hand, so I chose that.

It is simply a mixture of tinned baked beans, fried onions, chopped boiled eggs and grated cheese, topped with more cheese and breadcrumbs and baked. Not the kind of thing I'd usually use a recipe for, more the kind of thing I'd make up as  I went along on a "using up odds and ends" day. But I'm a good girl, I follow the rules, so I assembled all the ingredients, including
2 tomatoes, skinned
Then I read the method. Those tomatoes, all skinned and slithery in my hands, were  not mentioned anywhere. They're there in the ingredients, but after that they are redundant. Should they be chopped and added to the beans? Sliced and  added as a separate layer? Baked as a side dish? Discarded completely? Oh, Ms Patten, I thought you were infallible! I've been using your book for 45 years, I'd never dream of using any other recipe for blancmange, flapjack or sage and onion stuffing, but this time you've really left me holding the tomatoes!

I took an executive decision to chop them and add them to the mixture, which by now was looking decidedly like sick.

It looked a bit better by the time it was in the gratin  dish:

And a LOT better by the time it came out of the oven.

Naturally I served it with chips and peas, as a tribute to my  Mum. When I was growing up, every meal was served with chips and peas with the exception of Sunday Roast, Christmas Dinner and that well known dish, A Salad. (And on those occasions Dad would complain "Where's the chips?"). Even "curry" (you know the dish,  minced beef, sultanas, apples and a pinch of stale curry powder) was served with rice, chips and peas.

The verdict? Fine, but not really the kind of meal Mark and I often eat nowadays. But on a nostalgic day that had seen me eat prawn cocktail, complete with shredded iceberg lettuce, for lunch, it slotted in very nicely. And next time  I'm clearing out the fridge I'll have another idea for using up odds and ends. But I won't bother with a recipe next time.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Happily Ever After

The current challenge at CD Sundays is Happily Ever After and this immediately made me think of our old friends The Wrinklies from La Pashe. This image is "2 Peas in an iPod" which I printed from the CD "The Wrinklies" but is also available as a single decoupage sheet or a download.

I lightly distressed the edges of the backing card and paper to give a "frayed sheets" feel to the card.

Indian Summer

Several years ago, while on holiday in the USA, I treated myself to a K&Co 12 x 12 pad that is so gorgeous I can hardly bear to cut into it. I get it out for a project and find myself just stroking the papers and putting it away again - the result being that hardly any of it has been used.

But the hot, hot HOT colours and the slightly Asian feel of the designs made it perfect for the Indian Summer challenge at Make My Monday.

The papers have so much going on in them that it seems a pity to obscure the designs with anything else, so I simply covered a card with the most suitable part of one sheet and then cut out images from the rest of the sheet and from scraps of a couple of the other sheets. And I still have plenty of the papers left to stroke!

I'm also joining in with Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge.

The Carol Singers


Here is yet another design from Joanna Sheen's Victorian Christmas Cards triple CD - it is turning out to have been a very worthwhile buy!

This time I printed out a sheet of toppers, one of which had a small amount of decoupage, and used them with papers from my stash. For the first card, I took inspiration from the sketch at Crafty Creations Challenges

I think I'd have liked more layers in the decoupage on the second card - next time I use it, I think I'll print it twice and cut extra layers from the second sheet.

I'm joining in with

Crafty Creations Challenges #271 - Sketch
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Do you hear what I hear?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

I'm dreaming of a Krafty Christmas

This card was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, but as usual when I follow any kind of inspiration, my finished result bears no resemblance to the original. However the idea that triggered it all off, a Christmas Tree made from a piece of fine corrugated card, is still the same.

The card is actually part of the packaging from a pretty gift box of jams - it's amazing what craft goodies you can  pick up from bits of packaging! The "bells" are little teardrop shaped self adhesive gems that were part of one of my first ever TV shopping craft purchases, so they must be about 15 years old.

I'm joining in with

Christmas Cards all Year Round - Keep it Krafty
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - September
The Kraft Journal Make it Monday - Anything Goes

Autumn Leaves

I love Autumn, and the colours and textures are wonderful craft inspiration! This simple, rather masculine card uses die cut leaves in three very different textures. Although the photo doesn't really show it, the top one is pearlescent, the middle one is coffee-grounds card and the bottom one a very high gloss metallic.

I'm playing along at:

CASology week 112 - Three
Cards4Guyz challenge 35 - Clean and Simple
Just Us Girls #257 - Word Week - Leaves
Curtain Call Challenge - Lovely Leaves