Saturday 29 August 2009

It's ATC time again ...

... very soon. The ATC swap for month August is almost complete. All people who signed up for the swap have sent their cards and at the beginning of coming week the swap will take place. The scheme was: Summer Treats. Here are my treats:

I am really looking forward to see which ones I get in return. And, of course, as next month is approaching fast, the next ATC challenge is just around the corner. Maybe you would like to take part? It is really good fun and quite exciting because you never know what you will get in return. It is also inspirational as there are as many styles as there are people and there is so much to learn. If you feel tempted just go to: Addicted to ATCs. You will find all information you need on the page.
Have a nice long Bankholiday weekend, Petra.

Monday 24 August 2009

Summer harvest

It is summer time. Warm and sunny. The bees in the garden are extremely busy collecting the pollen from various flowers. And the wasps are very busy to eat my apples and plums! Luckily there is enough for all of us.

Last weekend and almost every evening last week I picked plums and either froze them or made 'Pflaumenmus'. This is quite German/Czech:

Plum Jam (Pflaumenmus)

This is a Czech recipe for all those who find normal plum jam too sweet.

Czech in the sense that it originates from the German settlers in Bohemia.

(C. Dannemann)

The plums are cut into pieces, spiced with cinnamon, gloves and anis. If the plums are very sweet (not this year though), I don't use any sugar. Then it is possible to eat it as jam but also with cheese. The mixture needs to simmer on the oven for 4 to 6 hours depending on the amount until it is very very thick. I then fill it into jars and close them immediately with twist-off lids.
The result is absolutely yummy .......... :-) Petra.

Victoria plums ----------- Plum jam on pancakes

Wednesday 19 August 2009

ATC & Swap

This is so dangerous! What started as a 'well, let's just do it once for fun' has very quickly become something like an addiction: ATCs. They are sooooooo easy to make, sooooooo much fun and the leftovers from the card making sessions find a brilliant use. It was Jane who mentioned it first. And my first swap was with Craft Ambrosia. Very soon Jane and myself looked for further swaps. And it didn't take very long when the idea was born to organize our own. And this is what we did: Addicted to ATCs, a monthly swap where everybody taking part creates three ATCs related to a specific theme. July was the first swap month, topic: About Me. It was VERY exciting especially when we received the first ATCs.
My contribution:

Probably my most favourite hobby (some call it my obsession): baking. I would not need to do anything else - maybe apart from cards and ATCs .......

gardening bug: I love gardening, flowers, vegetables, fruits, all garden life. I just enjoy being outside, see it grow - unforutnately sometimes not - and harvest. At certain moments in the garden I feel the world is mine :-)

Peter and his beloved old Mini: this is an on-going project to be enjoyed for the years to come.

In return I received three other ATCs which are so nice:

This month's swap is: Summer Treats. If you would like to take part, just visit our blog and follow the signs. My input for August? Well, I cannot tell you yet - maybe next month ....

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Colouring of stamped images

Having started cardmaking only at the beginning of this year my learning curve has been quite a steep one. My colleague Jane started with me but her cards are so professional. It feels like her being the master and I am the apprentice!
At the moment I use pencils, inks and markers a lot when making a card to learn how to use them in the best way. Colouring is one of my favourite processes but at the same time one of the most difficult ones. It already starts with the choice of pencils and markers: Koh-i-noors, watercolour pensils, colour pencils, pro-markers, ... The list seems to be endless.
To see how different pensils and techniques work I stamped three times the same image and coloured it using three different types of pencils/techniques:




The easiest part was choosing the stamps. I used the 'Teddies surprise' clear stamps from Elzybells. Elzybells stamps are excellent especially for a novice stamper like me as they are so clear and nicely cut. They always give a clean image and the motivs are really cute and appealing.
The paper I stamped on was a little bit rough and uneven. The first image was just coloured with Koh-i-noors. Number 2 was coloured with Koh-i-noors again but blended with OMS. And for the third image I combined 'normal' colouring pencils and OMS - which in the end I liked best.
Finally the image ended up as card topper for a baby welcome card

So much to learn and so little time ... Petra.

Sunday 9 August 2009


I love summer, sitting in the garden reading, having a sundae and just enjoy some lazy relaxed hours. But .... having a garden which is half pleasure half productive, there is always something to do. Vegetables and fruits are ripening and harvest time seems to approach very fast: plums, apples, blackberries and the first peaches. Yes, we had peaches. I still cannot quire believe it as these were the very first ever peaches we got from our little peach tree.

I planted the tree last year in autumn. And now we had already some fruits. The fruits were yellow-red, the flesh inside a delicious soft yellow. The peaches were so ripe that the skin came off as soon as I touched it. The juice ran down my fingers and it was just absolutely delicious, sweet and refreshing. It tasted truly of summer.

After the fresh fruits it was time for some food-naughtiness: rocky road bars. I had found a recipe and wanted to try it. Naturally it turned into something slightly different as I had not all ingredients mentioned in the recipe at hand. And I have the habit to twist and tweak cake recipes anyway till they are not recognisable anymore. The aim is always to have a cake or bisquits where you do not only want to eat one piece but two or three or .........
It did not quite work with the rocky road bars, that's why I call them 'rocky path cakes' - they still need some tweaking. Here is the first attempt:

Anyone who would like to guess what is in the cakes? Well, definitely lots and lots of chocolate! Just the right start into a new week.

Thursday 6 August 2009

My first ever blog

This is my first ever blog. It is scary but at the same time quite exciting. Scary because I am not so sure how to organize the blog (colours, text, etc), where to start and how to fill it with all the bits and pieces I would like to share and because it also means quite a bit of a commitment to keep it up-to-date regularly.
But I must admit I enjoyed playing with all the features and I am excited about all the possibilities such a blog offers - not at least to use it as showcase for my own work while at the same time to see it as possibility to communicate with others.

I work full-time, so the time I can do some crafting is unfortunately rather limited. But I try to do my best to share the free-time between various pastimes: cardmaking, sewing, crochet, gardening, photography and, my absolute favourite one, baking.

Lately I concentrated more on making cards as for the cakes I always need some friendly people who are willing to eat my creations - and in summer a lot of friends and colleagues are on holidays :-) I am a novice cardmaker, learning a lot every time I make a card and still trying to find my own style.

A birthday card for a dear friend - a mix of stamped sentiments, buttons, yarn and paper flowers.

The first card I used my sewing machine on paper finding myself absolutely surprised how well it works!

The Swiss Dot Embossing folder from Cuttlebug is just marvellous, the first time I used it and I love it.


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