30 December 2010

A Card & A Giveaway!!!

Still bashing away at the quick and easy cards......and using up no end of stuff in the process. I feel quite satisfied when I throw empty packets!!!

I have a bag of large brads that are surplus to requirements so if anyone would like them just leave me a comment here and I'll draw a name on Monday.
There are brads with slots in for tying ribbon through, shaped brads with patterns and plain round with patterns.

I am taking a night off tonight to watch a film with DD who has had to stay home from work. She caught the dreaded stomach bug and had to be sent home in the early hours of this morning.
After that I had best get some sleep as Ruby will be here for the day tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

29 December 2010

It May Be Winter Outside!!!

 Yes it may be cold and foggy outside but here inside ManicTowers today I have been as snug as a bug. First thing I finished off the card up yonder. Another quick and simple card made using an envelope punch, a multi flower punch and some scraps of paper out of my box.
Once that was done I did this.................
Oh it was so relaxing. I started off with the fruitcake and while that was baking I made a batch of pastry for the lemon meringue pie plus some extra for a tray of mince pies. Once that was all done I started on a roast dinner to warm Mr Manic when he got in from work. One could be forgiven for thinking that I keep him half starved judging by the look on his face when he saw what I had been up to all!!!

DD has asked me to have a browse around some online shops and make a wish list for my isn't until April but she says she wants to make a start picking up bits for me from next pay day and I can't think of a better way to spend an hour seeing as I have been on me poor feet nearly all day.
It's her birthday on Monday and I ordered her pressie today which should be delivered tomorrow. Once upon a time we didn't have another birthday until mine but now we have Ruby who will be one in February. I just can't believe it......gawd I sound like a female Victor!!!
Anyhoo....I shall go and do some browsing as instructed and I'll see you tomorrow.
Thanks for your vist.

28 December 2010

Simply Simple!!!

Another filthy, foggy day today so I have stayed where it was warm and made some more cards.
I don't know about you but my brain is getting twizzled with all the new dies that are out there now. Anyway I think the lace border is a Marianne die. The scalloped circle is definitely a Nestie and the circle over it is Quickutz.
As for the papers........I haven't a clue. They have been in my stash for ages but have no makers name on the back.
Just a quick matting and layering job with a bit of bling in the form of Papermania glittery self adhesive dots.

Poor Mr Manic has been off work today with a very badly upset stomach. Ooooh he was poorly when he came home last night and obviously with him now working in the food industry it would not have been right for him to go in spreading his germs. All better now though so it must have been one of those twenty four hour bugs.
I had planned to bake today but put that off until tomorrow as I didn't want to disturb Mr M while he was snoozing this morning.
DD is at work tonight so I am off to hog the tv and watch a film.
Thanks for your visit.

27 December 2010

A Bit Of This & That!!!

It's been a filthy day weatherwise today and I was so glad that I didn't have to go out anywhere.
This morning we had snow for an hour or so and then it turned to rain for the rest of the day. Everywhere looks very sad and soggy. To cheer us all up I made a lovely warming chicken and vegetable soup with the inevitable cheese scones. My lot won't eat bread with soup since I started making those.
Once I had got cleaned up and laid the fire the rest of the day was free for me to do as I pleased so I hotfooted it upstairs and sorted out my paper offcuts box and did some diecutting for a while then made some cards.
So todays card is more Basic Grey and the card has been cut with my Go Kreate die. Heart is Cuttlebug cut from chipboard and glittered using A4 double sided adhesive sheet and loose glitter.
Just very simple but I need to make a lot of cards at the moment.
No Ruby until Friday so I should have a good crafting week this week and will maybe get to play with some of my new things.
DD really spoiled me and did me bag full of gifts. There were stamps, a die, a Big and Juicy inkpad, flowers, Tim Holtz embellishments, an embossing folder, a holly mask which I had fallen in love with at the garden centre craft shop and loads more.....enough to keep me out of mischief for a week!!!
Right...well I am off for a bit of a browse before I snuggle down to sleep.
Thanks for dropping by.

Well...That's That Then!!!

I know we say it every year but.......blimey all that hard work and then it's gone in a flash.
We had a fantastic afternoon on Christmas day with our house full of guests. There was Mr Manic and myself, DD and her boyfriend, DDIL, DS and Ruby and DDIL's Mum, Stepdad, sister and her partner. Lots of laughter and merriment and hopefully the start of a combined family tradition.
This is one of the winter warmers I made to pop in with everyone's gifts. I drew heavily on inspiration from the fabulous Helen over at Fiddle Fart. They went down very well.
.......and here is a card I made yesterday. Very simple and using some of my Basic Grey stash which I want to wade through and get rid of now. The stamped image is Magenta. The last few weeks have been so 'full on' that it was lovely to have a nice relaxing day.I tidied away all of the wrapping paper that had taken over the workroom and just sat peacefully and quietly stamping....utter bliss.

The picture is taken with my new digital camera which Santa delivered along with lots of crafting goodies and Sanctuary smellies.
Miss Doodle was thoroughly spoiled and although she had had a very busy day she was still in a lovely mood when she got to us. I really had expected her to be crotchety but no she was smiley and chatty until nearly 8pm when she went to sleep like a little angel.

I hope you all had the Christmas that you hoped for.
Thanks for stopping by.

25 December 2010

Merry, Merry Merry!!!

Merry Christmas
To everyone who visits
with love

23 December 2010

The Smell Of Christmas!!!

My kitchen has smelled like a proper Christmas heaven today with gingerbread men and snowflake cookies baking, a ham simmering on the hob and then baked with a coating of marmalade in the oven......and a naughty treat of sausages for tea. Absolute bliss!!!
I made some tiny gingerbread men and Christmas tree cookies for Ruby and she loved the one I gave her......chomping away at it with her one tooth that came through!!!
I'm just about dead on my feet after a very hectic day but now have to go and wrap pressies and make up some winter warmer packs to give to our guests on Saturday.
We have the new car at last and I think we are just about done with shopping apart from picking up the cockerel and beef from the butcher and a few last minute fresh food items from Tesco. DDIL and Miss Doodle will here for the day tomorrow and DD is taking them up to the garden centre for an hour to see the baby reindeer and have a coffee so that the head cook and bottle washer (that'll be me!!!) can have some peace and quiet before she goes completely mental.
Much as I am looking forward to our guests I think Boxing Day will be very welcome with just Mr Manic, DD and myself. We shall eat leftovers from Christmas Day for our meals and have our roast beef on Monday I think so that I get a day off from the cooking and baking. With a bit of luck I shall get time to play with my new crafting goodies........well if Santa brings me some.....ha ha ha!!!
Rightio.........wrapping here I come.
Thanks for dropping by.

22 December 2010

Sod's Law!!!

I might have known that something would be thrown at me seeing as how I was planning on going out shopping for the day today.....and it was. We awoke to heavy snow this morning but decided we would get out to the main roads and see what they were like and turn back if we thought it wasn't sensible to carry on. Luckily it wasn't too bad and we hit Westfields in Derby just as the shops were about to open, downed a quick Starbucks and then raided the shops. Big presents had been reserved at the Argos nearer home so we left Derby by 11am and headed there to pick them up. Got sidetracked by a new bargain store that had opened next door to Argos where we picked up some useful things and I earmarked a new rug for the lounge which I am hoping Mr Manic will get on Friday........I had run out of money by then.
DD treated me to lunch at Frankie and Bennys which was gorgeous but the restaurant was bloody freezing and full of screeching kids so all I wanted was to get home, get the fire lit and make a cup of tea.
I've been in about an hour now and am still cold so I think I will stick the oven on and do some baking.
Tara for now

20 December 2010

Busy Bee!!!

Manic Towers has been a hive of activity what with Miss Doodle in residence and all the baking I have been doing to prepare for our influx of visitors on Saturday.
Today I have made a ginormous chocolate and lime cheesecake using Nigella's Bourbon biscuit base from her Grasshopper Pie then Mascarpone with fresh limes for the filling. It smells divine. This evening I will be assembling some mini pizza bites on french stick slices to freeze and then cook on the day ETA at 5:50pm....actually now I won't be as Mr Manic has waded into the french stick to have with his tea!*)^%**!!! I also used up some leftover mashed potato from yesterday and made a couple of cheese, potato and onion flans so that's tonights tea sorted. It's so unlike me to be so organised it's scaring!!!
Ruby was a bit unsettled last night after just having returned from a weekend in London so I didn't get time upstairs as I'd hoped.
Another busy day tomorrow with Mr Manic starting his new job, the new car to be picked up, more baking to be done and gifts to wrap.........oh my days........I shall be glad when the day is here and no mistake.
Hope you are all having fun with your preparations too.
Thanks for dropping by.

19 December 2010

It's A Lovely Day Today!!!

We have a little bit of winter sun this morning which is making the small amount of snow we have glisten and sparkle. So pretty. Tis rather chilly though so luckily I shall be nice and snug in the kitchen making things to go in the freezer for next weekend and finishing off the casserole I started yesterday for today's lunch.
Yesterday I had some time up in my room but did mostly prep work so no finished cards to show. They will get finished if I manage to squeeze an hour up there today before Miss Doodle arrives for the night.
Last night we went out late to Tesco (10pm) and got pretty much everything off my shopping list apart from a couple of things. It wasn't something I would do regularly but it was great not to have to fight for the last lettuce or!!!
Anyway, Mr Manic needs my services as an Argos catalogue looker upper and reservation clerk so I had best get off before he sacks me.
Thanks for your visit.

18 December 2010

Eight More Sleeps!!!

This is the card I managed to get made yesterday but couldn't take a picture of. The picture is still not brilliant but it's better than it was before.
Stamps used are Inkadinkado and the papers are Basic Grey.
I have done this style of card before using different papers but I do love this colourway....even though it's!!!
For the butterfly I have stamped in Versamark onto a piece of the pink distressed paper and embossed using a clear powder. Then I have rubbed over it with a darker red die ink which has coloured the non embossed areas. This has then been embellished with Stickles Stardust.
I have since done another card the same but left off the glitter and I must admit I like it much better than with.

Well tomorrow the Christmas clean up starts 'big time'. Every corner of Manic Towers will be getting an extra special scrub up ready for the visitors on the 25th. I will be sensible and spread it out over a couple or so days though.
Mr Manic had to go out and get another car today as he will have to be at work for 6am when he starts on Tuesday and when DD is at work she doesn't arrive home until after 7am. With only one car and no early morning bus service it would have been a bit of problem.
We started off the morning with a couple of quite violent hail storms and then had snow for a couple of hours which has settled but is not very deep. There is going to be more here tomorrow according to the forecast.

I'm off to phone DD now for a chat as I have hardly seen her all day.
Thanks for your visit.

16 December 2010

Manic The Scrubber!!!

Eeeeeh by's been a tad cold here today. I have kept warm though by.......chasing around after Miss Doodle who was in very cheeky mode today.....and scrubbing out kitchen drawers. I hate to think when was the last time I did that job.....they were disgusting.
It's a good job hubby wasn't there to see some of the stuff I chucked out. He's a bit of a hoarder when it comes to things like the key things that come with flat pack furniture and the odd spare screws, plus he cuts plugs off anything that is being thrown out. Well they have all gone now. I bet he won't even notice and I ain't saying!!!
We had some snow earlier in the day but it hasn't settled as it had been raining before but just now I am not bothered. If it could hold off until after my shopping trip on Wednesday and then it can lay all it!!!
I did manage to make a card today but couldn't get a decent picture of it to post so will have to try again tomorrow....if it gets light at all. It's been very dark all day today.
Well I am off to make my shopping lists. One for the buffet I am doing on Christmas day and one for gift shopping. Hubby and I are off to Tesco late on Saturday night to get everything but the fresh stuff which we'll get later in the week.
Thanks for your visit.

15 December 2010

A Final Christmas Card!!!

Tonight's card is the last one for this year and is made with some old favourites and a new toy that will definitely become a favourite.
Old Faves are the poinsettia stamp (Stampendous) and the holly stamp (Magenta). I'm also quite fond of the Fiskars brayer with patterned rollers and have brayered the backgrounds with Versamark for a subtle watermarked effect. Colouring is done with watercolour paints which I very rarely use and then the berries and the poinsettia flower have been given a coat of Distress Clear Crackle which doesn't show too well in the picture.
The card base has been cut with my new toy......a Go Kreate die (the largest of a set of three). This card is pretty thick and it cut through it like butter so I am very impressed.

Today has been really nice. I went into town with Mr Manic this morning as he had to go for an interview. I hung around town until he came to meet me afterwards and we did a little bit of Christmas shopping before he took me for lunch. As we ate out I didn't have to cook tonight so got the chance to go upstairs and do some stamping until Apprentice time. Oh thank goodness Stuart Baggs has gone....he has been driving me nuts every week.
I nearly forgot to say that Mr Manic got the job he went for and goes for an induction tomorrow for four hours and then starts next week.....yay!!! The only downside for me is that for all our married life he has been at home for two weeks over Christmas from three days before Christmas Eve until just after DD's birthday in the new year and it has always been my most favourite time of the year. This year he will have just three days off. I know how lucky we are that he has got this job and how lucky we have been for him to have that amount of time off every year.....I'll miss him though.

Anyway....I am off for a soak in the bath and a read while I am there and then off to bed as we have Ruby Doodle tomorrow so I need to get my strength up. This will be the first day without a pair of helping hands so I guess I will be spending most of the day on the floor entertaining her royal!!!

Bye for now and thanks for visiting.

13 December 2010

How Pink Can You Go?!!!

Well on this occasion.....very pink and very happy to do so.
Image. papers and alphabet are from the Hot Pink collection at The Clipart Fairy
I added lots of glitter.....Stardust Stickles, punched snowflakes and a fluffy pom pom.

Had to leave Miss Doodle with DD for an hour today while I went to the hospital to get squished. Came back and she had a new trick of holding hands with DD and pulling herself up onto her feet. Honestly you turn your back for five minutes. Last week she was wiggling across the floor like a little worm, this week she can crawl and pull herself up. I am just captivated by every little thing she does.

Went down to do the first check on the card stand at the new shop on Friday and it's looking promising from the first couple of weeks sales. I put some new cards in and now need to get seriously making so that I can replace the Christmas cards with everyday stock just after Christmas.

The cupcake tower was a huge hit at the birthday party on Saturday which was a relief.....well you're never quite sure when you're doing it for someone you don't really know.

I am so happy that Matt won The X Factor and I loved the single he is releasing so that is on my shopping list. This one has been one of the best of the lot I think.

Well....that's it from me for today. I need to get an early night tonight as I could hardly drag myself out of bed this morning after too many late nights.

Thanks for dropping by.

12 December 2010

Crotchety Doodle!!!'s another Graphics 45 card tonight from the batch I made the other day.
Yesterday was just so busy as I ended up making the cupcake tower instead of doing it Friday because I went down with a bad headache. I made and decorated 60 cupcakes and a large chocolate fudge cake in five hours and just finished about half an hour before Miss Doodle was dropped off.
HRH was in a very bad mood today.....mainly I think because she got woken from her nap when she was taken out of the car seat. She didn't stay overnight because her daddy was able to collect her.
All in all I was on my feet for ten hours today and they sure are letting me know about it. So I am off to put them up and am hoping for a lie in this morning.
Bye for now...and thanks for visiting.

10 December 2010

All Change!!!

Yay........I stamped. Very simple but at least it is stamping. Plus I used my H20's for colouring which I haven't done for a long time.
When Ruby is really happy she gives a great big grin and goes 'Eeeeeeeee'..........and that's just how I feel after a stamping!!!

Well it's all change here around Manic Towers. The view on my blog header is now no longer deep and crisp and even. It's more brown and soggy looking and the photo I took of the two birch trees......well I am so glad I took that as today one of them has been felled by what has to be the most incompetent tree surgeon in the history of tree surgery. He only went and felled it onto a neighbour's car didn't he? It's made quite a mess I can tell you. Apparently he was heard to say 'How the 'rude expletive' did that happen? Mr Manic was beside himself when he heard that. Not funny for the car owner obviously.

I now have to go and have a mega baking session as I have had an order for a fortieth birthday cupcake tower from one of DDIL's friends for tomorrow. Chocolate cupcakes with a large chocolate fudge cake for the top and DD wants a tray of cupcakes to take to her boyfriends tomorrow night. Oh well at least I will be warm while I am doing that.
DDIL is picking the tower up tomorrow afternoon and dropping Miss Doodle off here for the night. I've missed my kisses and cuddles today so I'm looking forward to that.
They liked the house when they went to see it yesterday and there were going to be discussions of the financial kind before a decision is made. I am keeping everything crossed that they take it.

Have a great weekend.
Thanks for dropping by.

08 December 2010

Paying For It!!!

Baby cards made with the lovely Clipart Fairy images. These are 6x6 cards so the baby is quite big....perfect for sewing on buttons and bows. For the card edge I traced around a freebie card Edger onto the back of some paper, cut it out and stuck it onto the front of the card and then trimmed up the side of it to remove part of the card blank.

I am paying in spades this evening for my play session with Ruby today which involved me crawling around and laying on the floor so that she could use me as a climbing frame. Very unseemly activities for a 53 year old with not very good knees but boy was it good fun. Ruby had a ball and spent the afternoon giggling while grandma spent it groaning. Ah well nothing a hot bath won't cure.

Thanks for your visit today.

07 December 2010

Winter Witterings!!!

Another couple of cards made with leftover bits from my Graphic 45 collections. Just small 5x5's.
This beautiful sight is what I can see from my front window. They are silver birch trees and they look just like they are draped in lace.
The house you can see in between the two trees with the white door is the very first house Mr Manic and I bought in 1982. To the left of it and forward is another row of very similar houses and DS and DDIL are going to view one of them on Thursday with a view to renting it. I am so excited. Here we are about halfway between where they live now and where DDIL works so she has a half hour or so journey here on the mornings I have Ruby and then another half hour after she has dropped her off then the same in the evening so it would be much better if they get the house. DS has a really rubbish shift rota but he works near here so it would be better for him too.
The photo I am using for my blog header is the view from my workroom and is beautiful whatever the season.

Tomorrow Ruby may be leaving early so I will have a whole afternoon and all the following day to myself and I am going to stamp 'til my fingers bleed. I'm fed up of paper collection projects now but it's all I have time for most evenings. I've bored you to death I shall go and finish my very naughty mug of Ovaltine and then I am going to watch a film until bedtime.

Bye for now and thanks for your visit.

06 December 2010

Oooooh It's Cold!!!

Just a very simple card tonight using Clipart Fairy papers and a Sizzix bauble die touched up with a bit of Stardust Stickles. This one was for an order and very much to the taste of the lady who placed it.

It's been a bit chilly around Manic Towers today but the views across the fields very beautiful with the frost......until the fog came down that is. After that I couldn't even see the bottom of the garden.

Had a fab day with Ruby today. She's been a proper Chatty Cathy. I wish I knew what she was sounds so interesting.
I spent most of the day cooking a warming soup with cheese scone tray bake to go with it and a date and walnut sponge for pudding. From the amount of washing up I think I must have used every pot and pan in the!!!

Last night I curled up on the sofa and watched The Holiday with Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. Love that film. Tonight it is Love Actually. My treat to myself for being on my feet all day.

Keep warm.
Thanks for dropping by.

05 December 2010

Where Did The Weekend Go?!!!

Well that's the weekend nearly over. Mine has all revolved around HRH Princess Doodle who has been an absolute angel. You won't believe it but at lunch today we discovered that she loves brussel sprouts and ate five of them......whole. Apparently they were yom, yom ,!!! She has just gone home for the night and will be back tomorrow morning bright and early.
Not a cat in hells chance of getting any crafting done while she is in residence so I am posting another card made with the Graphic 45 papers.

I was so pleased that Stacey won I'm A Celebrity. All I need now is for Matt to win X Factor and I shall be a happy bunny.

I am shattered now so I think I'll go and have a soak in the bath before X Factor and then chill out for the rest of the night.

Thanks for dropping by.

04 December 2010

Nice....But Not Cute!!!

I've been busy today wading through my stash of Graphic 45 papers, image sheets and tags to try and use some of them up as it is an embarrassingly large stash. Here's one of the cards I made. I apologise for the still wet Glossy Accents. The sentiment is one of those awful really shiny peeloffs but it has been toned down with a black StazOn ink pad.

Not left the house for about a week so I was going a bit stir crazy and got DD to nip me up to the garden centre today. Was a bit naughty and treated myself to a set of Nestabilities and a couple of stamp sets. The main roads were fine but the lane up to the garden centre was a bit scary to say the least. It was lovely to get out in the fresh air....however brief it was.

Later today we will be collecting Princess Doodle who is coming to stay for the night. Mummy and Daddy are having a night at a hotel which they had vouchers for. So perfect as it is their one month anniversary.

We've just had another couple of hours of snow so it's looking nice and clean outside. I don't like it when it gets churned up by peoples feet and doggie looks!!!

Well I am off to do a bit of online Christmas shopping.
Thanks for dropping by.

02 December 2010

Snow And Babies!!!

Well here's what I have been up to for the last few days. I've got babies coming out of my!!!
Papers and images are from The Clipart Fairy and I love them.
As you know....I am not a huge fan of making baby and kids cards but since discovering The Clipart Fairy downloads.......and spending much more than I should have have become a pleasure to make. Before I would struggle with papers because I don't buy pastels much and now I have hundreds of them to choose from without taking up any space in my paper storage.......fabulous.
This is the gorgeous view from my workroom window today. It snowed all day up to about 4pm so on top of what we already had it is now quite deep.
I have been sitting with my back to the window so that I wouldn't just sit staring at it. There's something so soothing about watching snow.
It's seemed a lot colder today but despite that I had a bit of a fancy for ham and salad for tea. I was getting a bit fed up of stews and casseroles that stick to your ribs.

No Miss Doodle today as her mummy had to take a snow day from work. I have missed her.

Right....I am off to make a few more cards until it's time for I'm A Celebrity. I've really enjoyed this one and I am rooting for Stacey.

Thanks for your visit.