Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Letraset Aquamarkers

As many of you know, I'm lucky enough to be a freelance demonstrator for Letraset. (Lucky mare or what?! LOL).

I recently made a few cards using their Aquamarker pens and want to share the results with you here.  The stamp is from the designer John Byars for DoCrafts.  Papers  are all from my scrap paper stacks and all embellishments are from my stash.

I used different colourways for each of the little boys in my images and for the bubbles I applied some Glossy Accents to give the bubbles a bit of shine and depth.

You can click on the images to get a more detailed look at the colouring/watercolouring techniques I've used.

I've applied the base colour to these dungarees from the pen using a damp paint brush pen and then used the same colour pen directly onto the image to add a more defined, darker/shadow area, which I then blended in to prevent too much of a harsh line.

Again I've used the same technique used on this card as the one above.

I applied my colour to the dungarees on this card with a damp paint brush.  By using this method, you get a much more subtle effect.  More akin to traditionally watercolouring an image.  I then applied another layer of the same colour to darken the shadow areas.

For this next card, I applied the colour to the card and then, using the blender pen 'washed' the colour into the image.  This gives a much more intense colour.

Using the black Aquamarker which I have diluted right down, I created a shadowed area at his feet.

I hope to get a YouTube video made in the next couple of weeks to show you how to use the Letraset Aquamarkers using the techniques above.  I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Hodgson's Barn plus 4 girls

I had a wonderful long weekend away at the beginning of the month in a beautiful part of Yorkshire with 3 lovely ladies; Kirsty Wiseman, Roz Carter & Janet Bower.

Apart from chilling out BIG stylie, watching DVDs, chatting, laughing, crafting we had our very own Come Dine With Me experience.

First up was Roz with Breakfast at Tiffany's:

Bucks Fizz to start

Muffins with smoked salmon and dill.  The other girls had a wonderful poached egg and hollandaise sauce with theirs, but as I can't eat egg, this was my 2nd course & delish it was too!

Followed by waffles, served with maple syrup and creme fraiche.  With a wonderful cup of tea, served in china cups and saucers.

Kirsty wasn't hung over; she was being all Audrey Hepburn and wearing her shades indoors

This is a picture you'll never see again; me with out make up or eve lipstick (one for the diary!!!)

We wore pearls around our necks.

Oh, how very rude Mrs Wiseman!!! LOL

Janet; at least you posed for me nicely and it's a lovely pic of you too. x

I prepared a picnic for my dining experience;

Pink plates, cups and napkins.  Pink lemonade.  Little triangular cut sandwiches.  Nuts, nibbles, biscuits and crisps.

Followed by pink and white marshmallows, pink Smarties, pink butterfly candles and home made raspberry & chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting and fondant butterflies.

It's a wonderful setting for the converted barn that we hired; in the Yorkshire Moors with a gorgeous view and, as you can see, an eery full moon shining through the skeleton tree into the living room! Schpooky!

Kirsty had us go all mexican for her experience.  But first she drew us each a hat and we had to decorate them in a Mexicano theme.

Roz chose to stitch hers with dangly bits, while looking all moody and butch in her 'tash!

Janet went a little bit camp and premature with her Sombrero (look carefully for a surprise!)

Kirsty wasn't exactly butch with her colour theme either, but she did show us her amazing pair of guns! HAHA!

Me?!! OMG !!! I drew a rather large cactus but my Mexicano has a bit of a problem methinks and was rudely making suggestions to the camera :-o

Sol with lime - only for the hard amongst us!

Or those who like to lick limes...?!

ATG Guns at the ready - gonna shoot my tape all over you if you come any nearer!!!

Cheers Amigo - we scared them off with our sharp rootin' tootin' shootin'!

But when Camp Amigo makes another appearance with the pink ATG gun; the others go all butch and macho and show off their muscles!

Kirsty served us wonderful chicken fajitas, guacamole, refried beans - and a whole Mexicano kit and kaboodle of lush foodiness.

Unfortunately I can't find the pics of Janet's Dining Experience - dunno where they've gone to?!?!?!?!  Kirsty and I decorated ourselves a Fez, though I had to write on mine what it was just incase anyone was wondering what that large red squareish thing with a plume of black was on my head.

But she cooked the most amazing Lamb tagine with giant Moroccan cous cous.  Served with olives (yeuch!) flatbreads, hummus, mixed nuts, orange & lemon sliced served up with some tasty minted green tea.

Our winner by a unanimous 3 to 1 vote was...... JANETTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!  Though she is yet to share the lamb tagine recipe with us all as we ALL wanted to cook it ourselves ;-)

All in all this is what I thought of my weekend away with the girls...

Loved my relaxing few days in Yorkshire.  It's a long drive but so very worth the miles.

Missed the family and was very glad to be home safely again on Monday afternoon to pick my poppet up from school.  Now... back to my diet (I NEVER eat as much in a week as I did in those 3 days away!)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Freycob's Food - Sausage Casserole

I've just blogged a recipe for Sausage Casserole over on my food blog.

If you decide to have a go at making this yourself, please remember to let me know what you think of it.


Sausage Casserole

Who buys packet casserole mix? WHY do you buy packet casserole mixes? Do you know just how EASY it is to make your own; do you KNOW what is in it (no preservatives, copious amounts of salt or 'E' numbers) No? Then let me show you.

Simply take (remember it's cooking not baking so it's not a precise science; add or take away ingredients that you do or don't like, even alter the proportions to suit your taste).

1 HEAPED tbs (20ml) plain flour
1 HEAPED tbs (20ml) tomato puree
1 HEAPED tbs (20ml) wholegrain mustard
2tsp (10ml) mixed herbs
1 400g chopped tomatoes
1 pint (570mls) Beef/Chicken stock.
1 pack of your favourite sausages (I use Lincolnshire)
1 medium swede, diced.
3 medium carrots, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium parsnips, diced
1 red pepper, diced

Oven temperature from 150°C to 180°C depending on how quickly you want it to cook. I normally do mine on 150°C for a few hours. Alternatively, why not put it all into your slow cooker and come home to the amazing smell of your home cooked fayre?

1. In a large casserole dish, put your flour, tomato puree, mustard, herbs and chopped tomatoes.

2. Add the stock and mix thoroughly.

3. Add the chopped vegetables and stir through.

4. Add the sausages (I don't bother to brown mine as it's a slow cooked recipe). You MAY need to add some more water at this stage. You want it to submerge the majority of your veg but not all.

5. Place in the oven and ignore for the next couple of hours or so.

6. Remove, stir through and serve with buttery mashed potatoes and some lovely Savoy cabbage.

Perfect for a cold Autumn or Winter's evening.

Now you've seen just how EASY it is to make your own casserole sauce, why not have a go for yourself? Come back and tell me how you got on!


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Hobbycraft show at the NEC

I've been priming my pens and getting my samples ready for my Letraset demonstration at the NEC on Saturday 5th November.

You can find me demonstrating their new Flexmarkers on the Craft At Home stand. Please pop by and say hello if you're going. I'll be wearing my name badge so you'll know it's me!

Hopefully see you there.


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