Wednesday, 28 September 2011


So... what's on yours?  Click here to see more lovely people sharing their desks headed up by the lovely Julia.

Here is my VERY messy desk this week.  Isn't it amazing that I can make such a mess with one card!  I was working on what I hope is a cheery card for a friend who has a very sick grandaughter.  I'm not really a card maker but I want to do a bit more of it as a way of using up scraps and the things I'm not using on layouts but also perhaps to make a little pin money (to put back into stash of course!)  It was really nice to play with the stamps, heat gun and embossing powders again but heck I need to clear up before I do anything else!

And here is the finished item. I used my new Tim Holtz Tattered Floral die on some plain cardstock that I had stamped with a Marion Emberson background stamp.  I met the lovely Marion at Ally Pally at the weekend and she is as wonderful in real life as she is on the telly with that fabulous laugh!

I embossed the edges of the orange handmade paper with gold powder and followed that through with a little bit just roughly on the edges of the flower.  I coated each layer with Glossy Accents and then finished off with a few pearly gems.

So, will it do, do you think?  I hope it at least brings a smile to her face and lets her know that I'm thinking of her.  I think I'll take a walk to drop it off to her as it is such gorgeous weather today.  I'm sure I was wearing a scarf in August and now I've had to get my flip flops out again!

Bye for now

Friday, 23 September 2011

A quick card

Goodness I'm a busy blogger this week!  I just have to post this up quickly before Management sees it.  We're off out tonight to a Michelin starred restaurant (we are avid foodies!) to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  We'll have been married 13 years on Sunday but I'm at Ally Pally then so tonight it is ;-)

I hope he likes it and that its not too girly.  I had the stuff out from MME Good Day Sunshine still and I liked the red and turquoise.  I thought it was a good use of the Love die-cut too.  I don't see why masculine cards should be depressing colours or full of grunge and I hope he agrees!  I was going to buy a card as he's not really a card person but this was so quick and I haven't made a card in a while.  I was inspired by a challenge from Kirsty Wiseman on the QVC Craft Group on Facebook to use 10 items - simples.  Other than the die-cut, the card was made from offcuts from my previous layout from where I had gutted my papers cos I'm so obsessed with getting the most from the papers!

And with that in mind, there are still a few hours left of the discount over at S J Crafts where the new Christmas line from MME has just come in.

"We are celebrating our new design team ~ Enter TEAM5 in the discount code box to receive 15% off your order.
Valid until 11pm Fri 23 Sept only!"

Now its time for me to get ready for a rare night out with my wonderful husband and then I can look forward to Ally Pally.  I hope you all have a great weekend.

Bye for now

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Another 7 days of LSNED

First of all I wanted to say thank you for all your lovely words about my new DT role with S J Crafts.  I'm really excited and also a little bit nervous about it but I really appreciated your comments.

*WARNING*  Shocking photo below!

8th - I like this.  (Obviously I'm not talking about the sunburned beetroot look on my face or the rather plump silhouette!)  There are just so many things I have learned in the last couple of weeks about exercise, being in the gym, and running.  Most of all I realised that I actually look forward to my runs.  This needs to be a layout for sure.

9th - Jalapenos Rock.  Although being on a diet means some things are for special occasions only, chillies can liven up many dishes with no calories.  I never used to like omelettes but with jalapanos in I absolutely love them.  I have taught myself to make them so they are light and fluffy and totally delicious with a salad. Chillies are my friend.

10th - B can make a smoothie. The kids had fun at the local agricultural show where one of the stands was about healthy eating and they were encouraged to make wraps and smoothies.  But it didn't mean she had to drink it.

11th - Raspberries are not blueberries.  After running out of blueberries, which I have EVERYDAY in my muesli, I was forced to try raspberries instead.  I love them in yoghurt but they did not work at all with my breakfast.  We must never run out of blueberries again.

12th - She loves corn-on-the-cob.  This is such a great time of year for produce and it looks like B is joining the rest of the family in loving sweetcorn.  Shame it has a rather unfortunate after effect though...

13th - It sort of works.  I've been promising myself one of these garlic crushers for a couple of years now since I first saw them at the local agricultural show.  It makes a paste out of the garlic and things like ginger but it also grates chocolate, nutmeg and nuts quite finely too.  The end bits are tricky though...

14th - I have a new flower.  I saw this flower on Kirsty Wiseman's blog and I love it even though it went a bit wrong.  I have lots of ribbon so I will definitely be using this technique again.  Sometimes doing it wrong can be the right thing.

So that's the first couple of weeks of September done and I am already planning a layout for all the fitness stuff I have learned.  I've got lots of journalling to fit on so while I'm on the treadmill doing my C25k, I'm also mentally working out how I can fit loads of writing on without it becoming a page full of text!  Hey, it makes the time pass and that's all good, yes?!  Crafting on the treadmill, is that extreme scrapping or what?!

Bye for now!


Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Well its been a wonderful week so far (see previous post about my new DT role for S J Crafts!) but I can hardly believe it is Wednesday already!

This was my desk last night while I was midway through Shimelle's Starting Point from the weekend.  We have my basket of LSNED bits that I have to sort out due to changing my mind, then a previous layout which needs filing, my iPad for inspiration, my hospital appointment letter for Friday (FINALLY might get my extra ribs sorted!), my cup of tea (I'm going decaff to try and help with sleeping), and then all across the bottom are the bits for the current project.

I did one Starting Point and I didn't like it, I don't know why, but I will post it up in the next few days and maybe you can help me work out why!  I much prefer my second version with the My Minds Eye Good Day Sunshine papers.  This was the Starting Point (which for those who don't know is the basis that we are given and then we expand things from there so a slightly different take on a sketch).

The photo was taken by L, my newly 5 year old boy took in the early summer.  We may have shady faces but we are in focus, smiling, looking at the camera and all the relevent bits are in it (i.e. no heads cut off!)  I love this photo because of the joy on our faces and because he wanted to take a picture of us having fun.

I took the photo this morning but I decided it looked too flat so I added the pleated ribbon for more texture.  I do have to get myself into some funny positions when the light is bad and its a rainy day like today and I wonder how many crafters have injured themselves in pursuit of a decent photo!

So what's on your workdesk today?  Go on share it!  You know you want to!  Take a look at Julia's blog if you want to know more and to see many other desks from across the world.

Bye for now

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

I'm excited to announce....

...that I have my very first DT role!

I will be designing for the newly opened S J Crafts which is a lovely on-line shop based in the Bournemouth area.  Sarah holds regular open days and crops so I hope to get down and meet her in person very soon.  In the meantime I can look forward to a parcel of goodies for my first assignment which I will obviously be sharing on here too.  I am really excited about this and I think it was fate that made our paths cross at just the right time.

Sarah has frequent special offers in the shop and P&P is free when you spend £15 (and who wouldn't want to spend £15 when she has such lovelies as this collection?)

Crate Paper ~ Random Collection ~ 6" X 6" Paper Pad
Crate Paper ~ Random Collection ~ Vintage (RD 971)
Crate Paper ~ Random Collection ~ Chipboard Accents (RD 981)

The other wonderful team members are:

I had actually guessed 3 of these but I'm not sure how!  They are blogs I have visited often and admired their work and I hope you will too.  I'm looking forward to seeing what we all come up with and I'm really excited to see an independent shop stocking lots of different product lines and I'm wondering what else will be coming to the shop soon.

I had such a great day yesterday and it started with Sarah's e-mail asking me to be on the team.  Then one of my layouts was used in one of Shimelle's prompts for LSNED.  Then a mum at school told me that I look slimmer everytime she sees me (that went down VERY well I can tell you!)  Then I lost 1.5lb at Slimming World and came home to a grocery delivery where we ended up with £5 of best ham for nothing.

This morning I went to the gym, as is my normal Tuesday routine, and I completed Day 1, Week 4 of C25k and I managed it okay!  I am feeling on top of the world right now and although I know I must be very careful with my moods, it finally feels like things are starting to fall into place.  I am even feeling brave enough to go to Alexandra Palace on my own on Sunday (please let me know if you will be there too!)

So I hope you will join me for a virtual cuppa, have a peruse of the shop blog and the other ladies blogs too, and say "chin chin" or "bottoms up" (or whatever it is you say where you are) in order to celebrate all that is good in the world.

Bye for now xx

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sketch of the Week 14th September

Just a flying visit to post up this fab sketch from Shimelle from last week.  

The colours are much better IRL but I really wanted to get the photo done and it was awful weather so I had to do it indoors which is not idea.  I decided against using MME again and went for Crate Paper's "Emma's Dresse Shop".   The butterflies are actually patterned and they are Jenni Bowlin.

That title is the thing that held me up for days.  I used some very thin pink and white polka dot letter stickers but they were a bit wishy washy.  I tried to outline them with my American Crafts brown pen but it is has never worked properly.  I swiped it across a Distress ink pad and that seemed to work but it looked crappy so I painted over the letters instead.  It still looked crappy so I put some crackle accent on top.  It still looks crappy but I gave up at that point!

I'm really pleased with this little cluster though.  I've been wanting to use this ballet ticket since I got it and it seemed like a good time to use the larger Emma's Shoppe sticker.  The ribbon flower is a new thing for me and it was something I picked up from Kirsty Wiseman.  Its one of those where you tack along one edge and then pull it tight.  It was a bit too long though and it ended up wrapping around on itself but I love it!

The beautiful cameo was stolen from another layout.  I am looking for something more masculine to replace it as it was a layout about Management.

Right, time to grab a spot of lunch (nothing too heavy as its Slimming World tonight!) and then I have to find out my programme for C25k tomorrow.  I'm now on Week 4!  Yikes!  More on that soon.

Bye for now xx

Sunday, 18 September 2011

LSNED so far

So I haven't ACTUALLY started making any pages for this yet and I was struggling with not being able to print photos at home.  In the end, I decided to use my album for next year instead and just blog the lessons.  There are a few lessons that I want to create layouts for because they were important to me etc so you will see some of them eventually!  In the meantime, here are all the lessons and photos for week 1.

1st - I need routine.  Even though I have really enjoyed the summer holidays, and I will miss L so much, I desperately need the structure of routine for my mental well being.  Idle time doesn't suit me.

2nd - Appreciate the true value. Because we get into Beaulieu free, I had never looked at the cost before.  For some reason I did this morning and saw that in peak season it is £17.70.  We go so often but we never take it for granted because we love it so much but I never realised what good value we were getting financially.  Of course its nothing to the value we get in so many other ways.

3rd - Check and double-check - Working out the title of a layout forced me to look closer at the pictures was I using and I realised they were from 2 different days out to the same place.  I need to be more careful.

4th - Be patient - It is a good idea to wait until the paint dries before you put layouts in page protectors.  Blotches are not so pretty.

5th - Stick to picnics - We usually take picnics to the zoo but as a treat for us last day before school we decided to eat in the cafe except there was no room.  We battled through the stiff doors with the tray and sat in the wind where the kids cried with cold and their chips blew on the floor.  We eventually got a table inside but B was over it by then and didn't want to eat or sit still and wasted most of her not-very-cheap dinner.  Next time sarnies rule.

6th - Some things will always be hard.  Dropping L off to school for the start of Year 1 made me a tad sniffy. I realised that this will happen each and every year because it will always be a marker of him growing up.  I need a dislike button for time passing.

7th - Recreate success.  At the crops I go to, each person has a chair by the side of them.  This keeps the utensil bags off the tables (in theory although not everyone abides by this.)  At home, mine sits on the corner of the table but I have to stand up to see into it.  It occured to me this week that I could pull that chair round to the side of me and set myself up like the crop situation.  My bag is now ideally placed for me to see into it and I have more space on my table but the chair is still available for L to join me.  Sometimes you have to remember that the wheel has already been invented.

So that was week 1 but here we are on the 18th already!  Seriously, I swear my life is on fast forward right now!  It will be Christmas before we know it... ;-)

Hope your weekend has been fabulous.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


I had a bit of an epiphany this week and it has made things much easier in my crafting space, (and given me another lesson for LSNED).  At the crop I go to, we have half a table each and then a chair at right angles to the chair we sit on.  The intention is that we put our utensil bag on this chair and it keeps the tables clearer.

At home though I keep my bag on the right hand corner of the table as you may have seen if you have visited me before.  But I am short and I can't actually see into it.  *Lightbulb moment*   I have a "guest" chair on the other side of the table (used to be for my friend and is now hardly used but needs to stay in case L crafts with me).  I have now moved that round so that it sits at my right hand side like it does at the crop.  I can see into it without standing up, I don't stab myself on my compass, and I have more space on my table.  Win win!  I can't believe I didn't think of this before but I was probably too busy making a mess :-)

This week I am working on another ballet themed layout with very similar colours and papers as the 8 photo extravaganza in the previous post.  It will be separated in the album by more ballet layouts but with very different papers so that there is variety but I had these to hand and they just work so well for this theme.

This layout also uses some of the same MME papers but hopefully looks quite different and appears in a totally different album as it was from Christmas last year.

I discovered at this Christmas party that B has a particular fondness for Wotsits and balloons!  I made some more music paper embellishments with the gorgeous MME brads.

The title lettering on the banner is from the MME die-cuts and "Party" is Woodware chipboard spritzed with grapefruit Radiant Rain glimmer mists.  These look SO much better IRL!

Feel free to check out other craft spaces in their various messy states over at Julia's blog, you'll be glad you did.

Bye for now xx

Monday, 12 September 2011

4x6 photo love for August

Good morning from a wet and windy south coast of England.  Let me tell you that I am NOT enjoying the school run at the moment!  We shortly have to go out in it again to take B to her first ballet lesson of the new term.  We are both excited about it although it is in a new place and I need to find the building and where to park in a special area etc and that always make me anxious.  She will need new ballet shoes as she has gone up 2 sizes and I really ought to sell her old one,s but I want to keep them as they are her first pair.

A couple of weeks ago I finally got the photos that I took at one of her previous classes.  I've pulled out all my favourite ones and I want to put those on layouts with only 1-3 photos.  I also had a little collection of 2nd best ones that I wanted to put on one layout that was about her class in general.

Cue Shimelle's amazing 4x6 Photo Love class at 2Peas.

Good grief, this was the trickiest one so far and it took me ages.  I had to walk away several times and come back with fresh eyes.  It is arranged over 3 page; one full page, and the back and front of a cut down page.  The tricky part was lining up the cut down page over the final full page so that it still looked pleasing to the eye and not obviously an extra page.

The papers are MME Lost and Found and I may just have gone a little OTT with the very special brads in the same range... ;-)  The title letters are The Girls Paperie.

This is the inside front page featuring a yummy bit of Dear Lizzy ribbon rose trim and some embellishments made from old music paper.

 And then the full page featuring a selection of general things I wanted to remember about the classes.  This is the bit I would rather do again as I should have butted the photos right up together and the embellishment cluster in the middle wouldn't have been needed and so wouldn't have divided the page so obviously.

A close up of the home-made embellishments, the Dear Lizzy aqua music print ribbon and one of the yummy brads.

This is how it looks in the page protectors which are sewn together.  Mine is just attached with DST at the moment but I will sew it next time I get the machine out.  It clearly makes them part of the same layout within the album.

I even threw on a resin flower and a few blingy bits too.

Tomorrow I will endeavour to do an update on my gym training and C25K programme as well as my lessons so far.  I will try.  I will try.....

Bye for now xx

Saturday, 10 September 2011

10 Things on the Tenth

This is my first time of joining in with Shimelle's 10 Things on the Tenth but it seemed a good time to share some stuff that has been growing on me over the months.  Its been that kind of season really... :-)

Every scrapper understands...

1) The shame of someone in the supermarket pointing out a letter sticker attached to your left breast.  (I did not do that.  It was not me.  Oh no.)

2) The fear of cutting in to a cherished piece of patterned paper, or even worse, the trauma of cutting into an okay piece of patterned paper and then turning it over only to find that it was the reverse of a cherished piece of patterned paper.  (I couldn't bring myself to use the "wrong" side so it found its way here instead.)

3) The aggravation of realising that you have started to stick down your title but you are missing a vital letter and they are super sticky and won’t come off, so you have to cut up another letter to fill in the gap. (That "r" is not really an "r")

4) The inability to say no to your favourite brands in the sales even though you already have enough stash to scrap a layout everyday for the next hundred years.  (Can. Not. Resist. My. Minds. Eye.)

5) The delight of finding something in the recycling bin that is just right to be made into an embellishment.  (Rock salt cannister that became a desk tidy and name badge for Scrap-a-Mia.)

6) The shock of finding that a small untrained “someone” has attempted to modify one of your finished layouts.  (Remarkably no small fingers or any other body parts were damaged during the modification of this layout.)

7) The frustration of waiting for a pizza box shaped parcel through the post.  (This particular parcel wasn't pizza box style in the end but the frustration was the same, especially when I thought it was my actual parcel that had been damaged / lost.)

8) The surprise of finding that the 5 minutes you said you would be in finishing this layout has actually turned into rather longer and it is now the early hours of the morning. (This layout took rather longer than the allotted 2 hours for the sketch challenge....)

9) The determination for people to wear suitable clothing so that it matches your intended paper choices.  (I swear this was an accidental wardrobe choice, but hey, it worked.)

10) The complete and utter delight in creating something magical from a simple photo, some paper and a glue stick, that helps us to unwind, to relish the big and the small, to remember the positives, to use those photos we take, and to tell our stories as only we can.  (Nuff said really.)

Or is it just me?

Well I hope you have a wonderful weekend and for those of you interested in the Rugby World Cup, I really hope you enjoy that too!  In the meantime, have a great time perusing other people's blogs to see what their ten things might be this month.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


How did it get around to Wednesday again so soon?

Well here is my table with an almost complete layout for Shimelle's 4x6 photo love class (with 8 photos!!!) which may or may not have some MME Lost and Found papers on it ;-)

I WILL be updating on LSNED in the next couple of days and also sharing photos of my re-organised workspace but I am waiting for semi-decent light to take pictures of the latter and waiting to get going on the former!

In the meantime, I can share a couple of the layouts that I completed on Saturday at the crop.

I used my Dear Lizzy papers!  And I cut them up!  I needed to have a little lay down after that... ;-)  I quite like the effect of the circley-flowery things on pop-dots to add a bit of texture.

This next layout will be featuring not once, but twice, in LSNED.  The photos were taken at Beaulieu and the children are sat in a car in one and on a truck shaped see-saw thingy in the other.  I've had the pictures out for a while waiting to scrap but I was trying to think of a suitable title when I suddenly realised that they are wearing different clothing!  I thought they were taken on the same day but it appears not - oops!  I made the journalling quite general then about how they can play together there so nicely when we are on our own.  Lesson for 3rd Sept - check the photos actually relate to what you think they do.     Ahem...

I broke into a new kit for this layout called Country Drive by Echo Park.  I love the bright summery colours and the stickers etc.

Initially I stuck the red check paper too far up and although in some lights you can't see it, there is a scuffy area where I pulled it off and moved it.  I added a bit of a green splatter to try and hide it but it didnt really work.  Anyway..  Pleased that I had completed another layout, I was eager to get it into my newly organised album.  Hence this not quite splatter effect...

Lesson for 4th September - Wait for the paint to dry before putting the layout in your album or you will get blotches where you intended pretty splatters to be.... * embarrassed cough*

What's on your desk this week?  Share your creative space on Julia's blog so we can come and have a nosey.

Bye for now xx

Friday, 2 September 2011

Preparing for LSNED

I can't believe it is September already.  Where did the summer holidays go?  Possibly they got washed away...  We went to the zoo last week and I wore a scarf.  A scarf I tell you, on the south coast of England, in the height of summer!

But alas, these lazy starts are soon to be a thing of the past once more as L goes into year 1.  I can scarcely believe that the time has gone so quickly through his first year and he is now about to enter his second year of actual school.  And of course if school is about to start then that must mean another presentation of Shimelle's Learn Something New Everyday.

I had an idea of how I was going to do it this year but then I totally changed my mind!  I thought that this September might be a time of real development for me and so I wanted to make more of it than just noting down a few things.  Also I was swayed by my new papers from 2 peas.  I bought the Pink Paislee Old School collection ready for more school layouts of L but in truth, aside from his first day etc, there are not going to be that many and also I will always want to buy new school themed bits as they come out!

I found some chipboard covers and used the Pink Paislee paper to cover the outsides.  I wanted to liven up the fairly dark colour scheme and discovered that many of the My Mind's Eye All About Boys papers go quite nicely too.  I used some of these papers for the insides of the covers and added some to my basket to make up the rest of the kit for the class.  I went through my scraps to add to the basket too and then I cut up 30 pages of cardstock for the page bases.  I intended to stick these back to back as I went along but I didn't want to do it before making the pages in case I wanted to use different colours or use things that would need to go through.  However, now I think I want to use the backs to do the journalling and just do a title on the front with the photo.

I made a total cock up of the back cover.  I made it match the front which meant that the multi coloured bit was on the wrong edge.  I couldn't have it like that, or the writing upside down, so I had to cut the edge off and stick it on the other side.  Luckily I noticed before I covered the inside so I was able to make it a bit more secure.  I hope!

Now it just remains for me to see what I will learn this September!

Bye for now xx