Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Vintage Christmas

As you can see from my other posts today, I've had a bit of a break from making Christmas cards, but despite the heatwave I'm knuckling down to it again, with yet another card made with the Joanna Sheen papers from last year's Making Cards Christmas Special.

I thought in those days Santa was supposed to wear green, wasn't he? Or is the whole Coca Cola thing an urban myth?

I'm joining in with the challenge at Ooh La La Creations which this week is Vintage.

Bread Machine Juniper and Thyme bread

It's really too hot and muggy to spend long in the kitchen at the moment, but thanks to the breads machine I can have lovely fresh, summery tasting bread without spending hours mixing and kneading.  You could bake this in the bread machine instead of just mixing it in it, but I like the flatter, almost focaccia-like shape that finishing it in the oven produces - and I like the opportunity to top it with olive oil and salt.

You will need:

275 ml water
500g strong plain flour
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 sachet (about 1½ tsp) easy blend yeast
a large handful of fresh thyme, woody stalks removed and coarsely chopped
2 tbs juniper berries, coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle

plus olive oil and salt flakes to finish.

Place your ingredients in your bread machine in the order recommended for your machine - mine starts with the liquid and ends with the yeast, but they vary. Set it to the dough setting and start the machine, checking after 10 minutes or so to make sure the dough looks to be a good texture, and adding water or flour if needed.

Prepare a baking tin by lightly greasing it. The tin I used is approx. 25cm x 20cm and 5cm deep.

When the dough is ready, tip it into the prepared tin and punch it down with your knuckles, spreading it over the tin at the same time until it fills the tin roughly evenly, with lots of knuckle indentations on the top. Drizzle olive oil over the top, allowing a little to pool in the indentations, then sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Cover with oiled cling film and leave for about 45 minutes until risen and puffy.

Preheat the oven to 230C (fan 210C), 450F, gas mark 8. When the dough is ready and the oven hot, bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove from the tin and check for doneness - you should hear a hollow sound when you tap the bottom. If not done, place back in the oven without the tin for another 5 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack, brushing with a little more olive oil while still hot.

I'm joining in with Cooking With Herbs at Lavender and Lovage

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage
And #CookBlogShare at Supergoldenbakes

Suits you, sir!

This week at Cards 4 Guyz it's a sketch challenge using this great sketch which I think I'll find I revisit many times in the future.

I've used papers, buttons and decoupage from the Papermania "Heritage Press" collection to create my take on the sketch


Spots and stripes (and flowers and a butterfly!)

This butterfly card is made using papers and embellishments from the gorgeous Dovecraft "Curiosity Corner" collection - you may remember that earlier this year I won a bumper bundle of goodies from the range, and while the bundle is dwindling fast because I love it so much, there's still plenty to play with.

The butterfly itself is part of a selection of embellishments I bought from a jewellery making website - they often have beautiful metallic embellishments at much lower prices than similar things sold as card making supplies!

I'm joining in with The Butterfly Challenge - #11 Spots and Stripes

Singin' in the Rain

this week the theme at Less is More is Singin' in the Rain . This makes me very annoyed with myself, as only last week I saw a really lovely umbrella die that would have been perfect for the job, and I was extraordinarily noble and resisted temptation. The moral of this tale is - temptation is there for a purpose and needs to be listened to!

So I had to think of some other way to represent rain, and pair it with a die cut musical staff. I decided to use Glossy Accents to make a shower of rain drops. Glossy Accents bottles and I really do NOT get on with each other and my "raindrop" background caused a lot of grumpy language! And then of course being clear, it was hard to make the raindrops show up on the photo!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Too-whit too-whooooo

This week's photo at {PIN}spirational challenges is this beautiful wide-eyed owl

His huge eyes reminded me of the owl stamp that was free in the very last issue of Get Stamping magazine, so I whipped up this quick card using the stamp and picking up the colours of the photo with scraps from my stash

Sunday, 20 July 2014

At the beach

This week's challenge at Cards 4 Guyz is At The Beach. Very appropriate with the scorching hot weather we are having at the moment!

For this card I have used a decoupage sheet from the La Pashe CD "Something for everyone". The "underwater" background paper is from an Anna Griffin mat pad that I've had for years, and the sea urchin and cockle shell are cut from another page of the same pad.

I forgot to photograph the inside but I've decorated it to co-ordinate with the card front.