Wednesday, 23 May 2018

RECIPE - Roast Tomato Salad

Apparently this week is British Tomato Week - if you grow your own tomatoes this might be puzzling, as your plants are probably still just a few inches high and months away from fruiting, but the commercial hothouses are way ahead of domestic gardens and we are already seeing British tomatoes in the shops.

I find even the best bought tomatoes have a lot less flavour than home grown, unless you are lucky enough to be able to buy never-refrigerated ones straight from the producer, but roasting them seems to reawaken the flavour that refrigeration put to sleep.

A word of caution - this recipe creates a lot of smoke! I seriously thought my oven was on fire at one point. Definitely not one to make the day after cleaning the oven!

To roast your tomatoes:
Pre-heat oven to 220 C (200 fan), 425 F, gas mark 7.
Take your tomatoes - I used 4 fairly large ones - quarter them and lay them, skin side down and not touching each other, on an oven tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper, sea salt flakes and a generous sprinkling of dried oregano.
Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 140 C (120 fan), 275 F, gas mark 1 and cook until softened and shrunken but not collapsing - 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your tomatoes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then remove to a serving plate.
Now you can add other ingredients - I scattered them with Kalamata olives and flaked Parmesan but other cheeses such as mozzarella, torn into shreds, and crumbled feta are equally delicious. A few slices of red onion and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar would be lovely too, or maybe some slices of Parma ham.
The tomatoes have a lovely rich, smokey sweetness that goes beautifully with summer dishes of all kinds.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Privacy Policy - PLEASE READ

On May 25th, the new GDPR rules come into effect which mean that everyone has to be even more careful about how we use and handle our own and our associates' data. Because many of you, not only within Europe where the new rules have been established, but all over the world, come to visit my blog, read it, comment on it and follow it, I have added a page detailing my privacy policy and how your data is handled.  Please check this page now  - this is particularly important if you follow by email  because (as far as I know!) pages aren't included in the emails that are sent out.

It will remain on the pages tabs at the top of my blog.

Many thanks to Marianne of Marianne's Craft Room who has very kindly said that we may use her own privacy policy as a guideline for what to include - I would have been lost without it!

Science Fiction or Steampunk at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's new challenge day at Cardz 4 Guyz and this time our theme is Science Fiction,  or if you don't fancy that, Steampunk. And of course you could combine the two - there is some great sci-fi themed steampunky stuff out there if you are lucky to own any of it!

Having barely recovered from the recent Steampunk challenge over at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, I'm all steampunked out at the moment so I decided to stick to science fiction, and to make it sweet for a change as I'm sure you are all getting tired of me heaving out the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy every time anything at all space-y comes along.

I've used decoupage, a background and a border printed out from the Rachel Anne Miller Collection  CD, and added die cut stars and a planet.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Birthday Bear

For this card I have used a sweet little bear and sentiment from a stamp set that came free with Making Cards magazine about a year ago.

I used masking to position the balloons and bunting and then coloured him in with Promarkers, then added die cut panels and candi.

I am sharing this with

Sweet Stampin - Bunnies or Bears
Just us Girls - Aqua, Navy and Grey

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Dashing through the stars

Red and brown is a slightly unusual colour combo for a Christmas card but thanks to a lovely Tonic Studios paper pad it's one I come back to time and time again.

As for that Gummiapan reindeer stamp, it's a real favourite and looks wonderful stamped in a deep red. I really ought to get the matching die, it's pretty easy to fussy cut but a die would give a neater finish.

I decorated the card with some jute mesh - this was a right bar steward to stick down! It was so twisted and distorted it wouldn't lie flat enough to stay on the paper for long enough to stick. In the end I had to pipe dots of Glossy Accents here and there all over, hold it down with removable sticky tape and then weigh it down with acrylic blocks before it would stick.

Over the top of that I added some self-adhesive felt snowflake border and on top of that some twine. A simple stamped sentiment finishes it off - and now I've blown up the photo I can see that I'm going to have to go and remove that and put it back straight!

I am sharing this with

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Stars
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything goes (or candy canes)
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Christmas
Jingle Belles - ribbon (or twine or ric rac or braid or...)

Dashing dolphins

Here is another card made using the stamps and dies from this month's issue of Papercraft Essentials.

The seascape, dolphins and sentiment are stamped using the set, and the dolphins cut out with the matching dies. The background is made with scallop shell stamps from Rubber dance and a shell border stamp which is a very old unmounted one.

I am sharing this with

Little Red Wagon - Waterworlds
Addicted to stamps and more - Make your Mark
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Sea Shells
Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine

The Roaring Twenties

This week's challenge at Fab'n'Funky is Retro Chic, and what could be more fitting than this super 1920s fashion stamp which I think came from the monthly stamp club that Dimension 4th ran some years ago.

It's the perfect stamp for paper piecing, so that's what I did with the dresses. colouring in the accessories to match. I gave it a "tailoring" theme by using pinking shears on the paper offcuts and background paper and adding a selection of buttons.

Just look at those prices! For those of you too young to remember pre-decimal currency, 1/- was 5p, 2/- was 10p, 2/6 was 12½p and 7/6 was 37½p - so a glamorous dress in the 1920s cost about half of what a small chocolate bar does now!

I am sharing this with
Fab'n'Funky - Retro Chic
Cardz 4 Galz - all dressed up
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper challenge - May
Crafty Sentiments - Pastel Colours