Beady eyed

Hello Dare! I’m back.

I’ve been busy, you know. Shopping. All that surfing around Amazon takes time and effort …and money. So the piggy bank is empty and looking on the lean side now. BUT, I think I’ve pretty much nailed it. I’ve got nearly everything – just food and drink.

If me and Smithy are on our own this Crimble, Christmas dinner will be one big curry (home made and fresh) with naans (garlic and coriander), rice, poppodoms, samosas and  refreshingly chilled pear cider. This knocks Christmas Pudding off the top spot for me. The traditional turkey with roast everythings, yorkshire puds, sauces, gravies, stuffings and everything else – the ‘trimmings’ isn’t my thing. The Christmas adverts showing the table heaving with oozing puddings and dripping cranberries looks like an autopsy to me. They say ‘if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen’ I can’t, so I am!

This December is full of happy clappies for us. Christmas do’s, plays at the theatre, an evening of film and fun at the local cinema (ticket money going to charity), family over for weekend visits. Gorgeous things darling! I’ve printed off my December calendar page again just to make sure I’ve got everything in an at-a-glance format.

Oh Christmas Tree

The tree goes up on the first of December. We never get a real one  as Smithy has a severe allergy to pine needles – found that one out the hard way. The tree we have is a beauty though. Six foot tall with really thick, stiff, strong ‘bottle brush’ branches. Last year Gracie climbed up the bloody thing and sat in the branches so this year it’s going in the back room and I’ll try to keep the girls out of there.

Every year I make a few crafty decorations to hang up (Vicky in Cinncinnati inspired me to make my own). She had three large trees. One was decked with Star Trek bits – with LEDs and audio – ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ and ‘It’s lfe, Jim, but not as we know it’ etc. Geekily fab-u-lous!

Her second tree was covered with shop-bought poinsiettas with big pink satin bows.

The third, and my favourite, was the tree with her hand-crafted decorations. I fell in love with it. Gingham stars, tweed hearts, little cotton stockings… So here I am, a few years on, making lots of my own. The Christmas Samsara birds are a joy to make, scented with cinnamon and stitched with all manner of twinkly, glittery threads and beads. I’ve tried to get a good close-up to show you more detail:


Talking of my December calender page, here it is. I designed it in Illustrator and printed it out as a cutting file then made a giclee print of it along with the running rabbits. I shall be making my 2016 calender in the next few weeks and hoping for some mojo to come my way and inspire some new graphics.

Here is the owl, hand-cut missing its beak.

Like the journals? The covers are leather and embossed with gold foil. They were bought like that, I don’t have the equipment or the skills. Aren’t they beautiful? I don’t do them justice and scribble and jot randomly. They should have pages of beautiful sketches and gorgeous brush script words of inspiration. But they don’t. Just my scruffy scrawlings 😉

Roughly an A4 and an A5.

Brilliant find in Lidl – boxed set of Christmas washi tape. They have a dull gold lustre which is just perfect.

And, rushing to get these done in the next few days – advent jubbies. Six more to make – a set for Smithy and another for a friend. I have the numbers cut out ready to pop on to a dimentional so that won’t take too long. Just need to make a little hole to tie some glittery twine through so they can be hung up and they’re all done. They’re filled with foiled santas, snowmen, coins, balls and crinkly cellophane/foil wrapped pralines.

So all I have to do now, is twitch the curtains and wait for the Amazon deliveries to arrive, figuratively speaking, anyway.

Well, that lunch won’t make itself and if I don’t eat soon I might die of the hunger! Bye for now x x x

Christmas lights with free PS/PSE brush

Thought I’d show you the lantern now that the pillar candle has gone down a lot and lights up the globe better. There’s something so very relaxing and mesmerising about candle light. I enjoy curling up on the sofa with a hot drink  when I get in from the cold of an evening. It gives me some quiet time to reflect and decompress. I am reading a lot of Louise Hay, Florence Schinn and John Kehoe at the moment and this is a good time for following their advice and weeding out stray thoughts of negativity and replacing them with strong, healthy thoughts of  growth and positivity.

I went to the Citywest Convention Centre for the festival of Diwali, or Festival of Lights a little while ago. It’s a tremendously beautiful occasion celebrating the triumph of good over evil, the joy of life, light over darkness, and enlightenment, that is,  knowledge, over ignorance.  It was a glorious and uplifting event. This is my personal Diwali but on a MUCH smaller scale!

This week we see the passing of that eccentric old astronomer, Patrick Moore. My son developed an interest in astronomy thanks this this chap’s lifelong passion and his programme, The Sky at Night. And I’ve bought a telescope or two…

A great sadness in his life was that his fiance was killed during a bombing raid over England during WWII. He never got over her death and never married or had a romantic interest in anyone after she was killed. He NEVER forgave the Germans. That kind of bitterness is nothing but poison. You cannot drink from a poisoned chalice and expect it to injure anybody but yourself.

Still, crusty old so-and-so that he was, his mind was sharp and brilliant and he illuminated the minds of many more with his passion for the stars and planets. And, in my romantic notions, I hope he and his wartime sweetheart are together now. May old bitterness and blames be forgiven.

And today I read that Ravi Shankar has passed also. I have a CD of sitar music by Ravi Shanker that is truly lovely to have wafting around my home. And I didn’t guess for one second that Norah Jones is his daughter! I have a CD of hers also!

But so Atropos cuts the thread of life and hopefully releases our energies to an infinite life of joy. Bless them both, bless all.

Anyway, I must get on. Thought you might like a little freebie – a Photoshop ABR (PSE) brush to ‘stamp’ your winter projects with:

Click here for your free PS/PSE brush:

Winter wishes free Photoshop / PSE brush


Snowflake swing card

Just dressed up a file for Christmas. It’s a variation of the swingcard that I posted some time ago – see the link This one has a snowflake cut out and a good sparkling of sugar glitter. I embossed a circle of 80gsm (plain old copier paper!) to glue behind the snowflake aperture and it looks lovely.

I’ll be posting it for sale later on this evening but have some other stuff to finish off first. Until later then.

PS Hope you’re not badly affected by the rain. We’ve had some road closures locally but no houses have been flooded though there are warnings.

There. I tweaked and finessed the file and am very happy with the end result. The snowflake left behind on the carrier sheet can be used as a topper for other Christmas projects and has a pretty star cut out in the middle.

This is for sale at 3.00 euro and is for the card and the round star frame around the circular aperture only (no envelope).

Payment can be made through Paypal and you will receive the file in your e-mail address within 24 hours of the payment being received.

Snowflake Swing Card (Zipped file with GSD, SVG and DXF file formats)

Snowflake Swing Card SVG, DXF and GSD (€ [price])

Pop-Up Crimble Cottage

Was out shopping yesterday and heard a woman say ‘I don’t believe it! Christmas stuff in the shops already’! I believed it. Christmas has been in all the craft mags since early August. Normally, the intrusion of Christmas during the school holidays and early autumn is ignored, but the woman’s remark sparked off a thought.  When I got home, I checked my work-in-progress folders to see if there were any Christmassy files unfinished.  Yes there were, one being a sweet little pop-up crimble cottage card insert.  Got Illustrator launched and soon had it cut out and folded.

There are a couple of tweaks I want to make before I create the cut-outs to go over the icicles hanging either side off the roof, but they are minor. The pop-up cottage is one side of the card and the words ‘Merry Xmas’ are on the other. I think a sprinkle of glamour dust or spangly sugar snow and it will look very pretty.

I used a couple of brushes from the Photoshop Scandinavian brush set I made last year to dress it up for now:

Think I should be thinking about getting the cake made now…

Byeee for now!

If you haven’t got your tree up yet, here’s a couple for you!

A quick posting but a good one – freebies!   There are loads of stamps like the one above – text laid out in ‘shapes’ etc. This was designed in Illustrator then pasted into PS to convert into a digi brush.  If you like this one, download here:
Free Treetext Photoshop / PSE brush (ABR)

More fun with Photoshop  – I love the stuff that Abduzeebo does. I based this on a tutorial he has on his website: I included some lines using Blend Option Dissolve to add some more sparkle but the resolution here doesn’t do it justice!

I’ve also been designing a box in the shape of a Christmas tree. I saw one on the web somewhere and liked the idea and had a go at making one myself with Illustrator and my Pro. It’s free for you (go to the bottom) as an SVG and a GSD:

A few pictures to help you assemble it easily:

Happy Christmas!

Download here:
Free Christmas Tree Box

Got to dash.

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