Wednesday, 23 May 2012

WOYWW 155 + Starting Point

Well I hope the weather is as wonderful where you right now.  It is positively glorious here and I can only hope for such weather next week when we are on a farm in Devon!  I was able to photograph a stack of layouts in the garden which for me is by far the best place to get a decent shot.  I have one more to finish up (a little sewing perhaps) which you can see on the corner of my desk, but in the main I am still working on the Christmas stuff.

A different view for you this week (cos I was standing on the wonk!)

And yes I DO use all those different sized rolls of dots and tapes.  And no I am not usually able to open the doors onto the garden there because there is usually enough breeze to send things flying.

Some of the layouts I managed to photograph today were ones I completed on Saturday at the crop, including this Starting Point from Shimelle.  The papers are This and That Graceful by Echo Park and I ADORE them!

This was Bella's first time of having her toe's painted but it reminded me of all the reasons why I was so excited about having a little girl after having a boy.

And here she is, rocking the tutu and rugby shirt look after her ballet lesson.  This shirt is her first official England Rugby shirt - a present from our recent trip to Twickenham.

Just turned 3 and full of attitude!

Bye for now. xx

Monday, 21 May 2012

Something a bit different...

Here's another layout from the retreat weekend.  Its not my normal style at all but I really like it.  The photo was taken while we were getting ready for my wedding in September 1999.  The girl in the black dress is my step-niece and she was busy putting on her lipstick, watched VERY closely by my littlest bridesmaid, my youngest niece Charley.  She was totally absorbed in the magical thing that the big girl was doing and copied her mouth movements, completely unaware of what she was doing.  This little girl is about to have her own baby - how time flies!

I managed to use a really old and previously unloved patterened paper that I got in a lucky dip bag at some point.  I never thought I would use it as it is one of those pieces that has things already designed on it with very little scope for your own placement.  The colours were ideal for the picture though and it came together quite swiftly.  I curled the edges of the main patterned paper using the water and rolling method.

I used various punches and hand cut flowers to layer up into clusters and then added some bling for the centres and a couple of my precious resin flowers for dimension.

I think this is probably the oldest picture in my album now but goodness what a lot has happened since then!  I wonder what the next 14 years will bring?

Bye for now

Friday, 18 May 2012

My Buddy

The challenge this month over at S J Crafts is "About the Boy".  I had these pics in my pile watching to be scrapped and I remember thinking around the time they were taken (last May) that Louis and I had come a long way since our tricky beginnings together.  We love to spend time with just the two of us (pretty difficult!) but we have become friends who enjoy each other's company (most of the time!)

I used the awesome This and Echo Park "This and That-Charming" collection and some stunning new washi tape from Cosmo Cricket, but the added challenge was to use older stuff from your stash too.  The 3 pieces of chipboard are from an old mini album kit but the colours and style fitted really well.  The cardstock is pretty old from a bumper set and the gems are pretty old too!  I mixed white acrylic paint with some Glimmer Mist for a pop of colour and interest - lets not talk about how underused and unloved my mists are...

So now its over to you.  Something masculine or about boys / men and something older from your stash - easy peasy.  Upload it to S J Crafts blog by the middle of June and you could be in the draw for some mini ink pads.  Go.  Get busy!

Bye for now

The longest layout

I make no secret of the fact that I like to use sketches and scraplifts for my layouts.  It is supposed to make life easier but sometimes it can be just as tricky as designing something from scratch!  The layout below was inspired by Amy and I stuck very closely to the original but heck I made hard work of it!  It was my first layout of the retreat weekend and I think I worked on it ALL afternoon and evening!  I found the heart strings very fiddly, I couldn't get a random pattern on the papers for the hearts and pennants (some of you know that I don't really "do" random), I may also have said a rude word when I kept missing the right spacing on the border punch.  I got on rather better after a late dinner and got a second wind and could have kept going into the early hours!

I did however, manage to use some very old stash, in fact I don't think there is anything on the entire page purchased less than a year ago.  Certain items may actually be pre-2006!

I have yet to do the journalling, partly because it is from our first holiday with Louis (aged about 9 months) and I can't work out why it is the only photo I have of that time!  I was trying to get a "nice" photo while we were on the beach at Woolacombe but he was grumpy with teething, covered in baby Biscotti, and the wind was freezing and he just wanted to get in my face instead!  I do love the close up of his eyes though.

Even though it took an inordinate amount of time, especially considering I was scraplifting, I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I'm looking forward to making some more layouts that I love this weekend at the Artful Angels crop and then we are off on holiday next week - its all go go go here!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

WOYWW 154 and 'Cover to Cover'

Welcome to another Wednesday snoop of desks around the world with the Queen of the work spaces, Julia.

My desk looks very much the same as last week, being covered, as it was, in Christmas Journal detritus.

I was working on this album anyway but as it happens, a lot of the content of Shimelle's Cover to Cover class is very relevant and is helping me along the way.  Today's prompt deals with tackling the tricky issue of journalling and by some quirk of fate, this almost finished layout just needs journalling.  It will be tucked inside the little pocket there on the tag you can just see.  The picture is of my Dad, proudly wearing his poppy on Rememberance Sunday, which doesn't immediately make sense when you think that it is a Christmas album!  However, this page goes with 2 others showing everyone that had a stir of the Christmas pudding on our Stir-Up Sunday (which seems to differ in date depending on which source you use!) The journalling is a bit tricky for this particular photo as it is about my almost-step-mum Rosie who sadly passed away suddenly a month before the picture was taken.  I intend to record how I missed her particularly that day because she loved cooking and baking and she always accompanied my Dad to the local Rememberance Parade.  He had donned his suit and special rememberance tie but he just couldn't face it without her and came to see us instead.

You might wonder if it feels odd to be scrapping about Christmas in the middle of May but you know what? I was SOOO cold today, despite the warm sun, that I wore my gloves to do the school run!  The wind was wicked and I am led to believe that it will be minus 1 overnight with a damaging frost!  I hope that the green fingered among you don't lose any precious plants if the forecast proves to be correct.  I sincerely hope that we get "normal" May weather shortly as we are camping on a working dairy farm at the end of the month!

Care to share your desk?  Any state, we want to see, its nothing we haven't seen before... or is it....?!

Bye for now

Sunday, 13 May 2012

One from the weekend

I have a number of layouts to share from the Scrapbook Getaways retreat and I thought I would start with this simple one using October Afternoon's 5 and Dime collection.  There is no journalling because it is part of a series from a mini photo shoot I did at Beaulieu in September.  This particular photo was taken inside a grass hut in the Victorian gardens, hence the darkness, but the children loved it inside there and insisted on having their picture taken.  (Special thanks here to Jaki Morris who sent me that gorgeous twine which is a perfect thickness).

So, having said there is no journalling, and having explained it a bit, I now feel I need to add some journalling!  I think I will jot a little note opposite the lower pinwheels.  I think Shimelle's Cover to Cover class is rubbing off on me!  (More on that in a forthcoming post).

We were away this weekend at the Out-laws so they could look after the children while we went to watch a rugby match.  It was for Management's birthday, very late as we couldn't get to any other matches.  Sadly Northampton Saints lost in the final few minutes but we had great seats and could clearly see ourselves on the TV when we watched it back.  Management was also interviewed just before the match but we still don't know who it was for!  All this reminds me that I still haven't scrapped our rugby tour adventures from last year... another "gap" to add to add to the list (for those doing Cover to Cover)!

Bye for now

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Scrapbook Getaways Retreat

Goodness, where do I start?!  I had such a lovely weekend at the Scrapbook Getaways retreat and I came back refreshed and a little warm and fuzzy inside (as well as a little porkier... ahem...)

This was my first retreat with no classes because I've only even been to Scrap-a-Mia before.  I guessed it would be a bit like an extended version of the monthly Artful Angels crop I go to and luckily for me, this first one was close enough that I didn't have to stay overnight.  Paula and I arrived on Friday afternoon at 2pm and scrapped until about 11.30 that night.  After a bad night (couldn't switch off, shoulder ached, wind rattled), I didn't get there until about 9.30 Saturday morning but I kept going until about 11.00.  I had another really bad night that night too so I found myself back at my table by just after 8am and we were one of the last to leave at 5pm when it closed.  Phew!

Christine and the other regular retreaters (yes that is a word) were very welcoming and the hotel itself was surprisingly lovely (a new Holiday Inn).  The food was actually wonderful and as they are just down the road, I shall be taking hubs back for a House Burger!  We had unlimited tea and coffee all day, plenty of space on our tables and access to various tools and equipment etc.

This was our crop room.

There's Paula in the middle there, busy busy.

I love sitting next to Paula.  We do like a good chat but it never interferes with the job at hand and she never makes any comment when I talk to my supplies ;-)

That's me, trying to keep my mouth shut and not look gormless when I know a photo is being taken.

Most of the ladies there were scrapping chronologically and aiming to get as many photos completed as possible.  The lady opposite me made 52 pages, yes pages, not photos.  That was in direct contrast to how a tiny minority scrapped there, myself included.  I think I completed about 11 pages the entire weekend.  The difference in style meant that people were often popping over to have a look at our pages and it was lovely to receive some really wonderful comments.  People took photos, used our inspiration for their layouts, asked for help with various things, I showed some people how to make the rosettes - by the end of the weekend my confidence had had a huge boost!  Paula gave one lady some embroidery thread and it absolutely made the lady's day.  She had been putting off scrapping these particular photos but the addition of the right coloured thread mean't that they ended up being her favourite.  It was a really nice experience to be able to inspire other people, even though our style was VERY different to most of the scrappers.

On the final afternoon there was a layout competition which was voted by way of putting coins on the layout that you liked best.  Paula and I were tickled to come joint second!  What are the chances of that?!  I wanted to tweak my layout a bit more but I will share that next week.

 Sadly we had to go home at some point.  As I was still recovering from my op and struggling with my shoulder, Paula loaded up the trolley to take our stuff to the car.  This is both of our stuff but we did see people with one of these trolleys overloaded with just their own stuff!

It was a lovely weekend but it was gone in a flash.  Time sure does fly when you are having fun huh?!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Do not adjust your sets.  This desk may look small but it is perfectly formed and primed for action, but obviously not mine.  Bella decided that she didn't want to be outside with the boys doing "fixing" (we lost our gate and a jasmine tree in the recent winds) but she wanted to watch them.  I am hoping that this new addition will mean that she doesn't do her "snipping" all over the floor but it does somehow legitimise her spending time in MY room.  Hhhmmm... we will see how it goes.

Another new addition to my room is the rack with the pots on attached to the far wall.  I love them even though I have no idea what to put in them as they are too far away for me to reach from my desk.  I may put sewing bits in them as that is where I am situating my machine.  If it stays out I might use it more ;-)  There is more to go on this wall yet... watch that space.

And my usual desk of course.  Full of..... not piles this week, well not really, unless you count things placed coincidentally on top of other things.  I am trying to tie up my Journal Your Christmas project which has been outstanding for.. ahem... quite some time obviously.  I got so far with it though that I am determined to finish it and not have such a precious American Crafts D Ring Album sitting half empty on the shelf.

Just out of shot to the left is a box of balsam tissues.  Yes you guessed it, we didn't even make it to the end of the week before Louis got a cold (which he has now passed to us) and Bella got a sickness something (we are still waiting to see if it is a bug...)  But we will continue to fight, oh yes!  And I lost 2.5lbs at Slimming World this week so that's not too bad now is it? ;-)

Psst - don't forget to share your desk for WOYWW over at Julia's blog.

Bye for now

Friday, 4 May 2012

DT Projects - Childish Things

You know when you order some papers on-line and then you get them and you think "hhhmm... did I really order this?"  Maybe the size of the print or the colours are not quite what you imagined, or the papers are flimsier than you had hoped.  Well I was in the wonderful position of the exact opposite happening to me when I received my last DT parcel from S J Crafts.  When Sarah told me that she was sending the Fancy Pants "Childish Things" collection, I must admit that I was a little daunted by the array of colours and bold prints but she assured me that they looked much better in real life and they absolutely do.  I'm definitely more of a B side girl so I sorted the pile into patterns that I felt comfortable with.  

I immediately used one of the papers on Miss Bella's birthday card.  I love the fact that it is floral but bright and bold too.  

The pink on the bunting is the B side and the number 3 is from the letter stickers in the collection.

I really wanted to use some of the bolder paper that has a lovely whimsical feel so I partnered it with the plainer green B side, some border strips and a border sticker.  (Please excuse the glare, getting decent photos in this dull weather is proving to be a nightmare!)

I collaged a heart from the scraps and layered it on the blue journalling box.  I really like using collections which have these cut-apart pages as you always have borders and journalling areas that coordinate easily.

My favourite paper in the collection is the orange woodgrain and it went so wonderfully with the aqua polka dot and pale checked patterns.  I love that there are wonderfully bright patterns in this collection but also a gentler palette too.

I used inspiration from a Glitter Girl adventure to make my own pinwheels and these great double sided papers are ideal for this.  I got a bit brave and used my machine to stitch around all the edges for texture and  interest.

When I initially sorted my piles, I knew exactly which photo I was going to use for the bright multicoloured papers.  Louis won the football trophy at school and got to keep it over the Christmas holidays.  

Again I used my sewing machine to stitch down the chevrons that I made using this tutorial.  The letter stickers are a great size and include lots of numbers and punctuation too.

Overall I was really pleased with this collection in the end.  There is something  for everyone and for many occasions with the diverse palette and combination of bold and more subtle patterns.

Why not have a look at the full Childish Things collection over at S J Crafts.  Sarah has a great sale on at the moment and don't forget to check out the challenge too which is about favourites this month.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Piles.  Again.  This time though it is the aftermath from the retreat rather than the preparation.  I'm doing a seperate post on the retreat as there's far too much to talk about and show but suffice to say that we had a fab time.  I do seriously dislike the unpacking again though.

So top left are a couple of layouts that should have been filed but now need something resticking - oops.  Next two piles are page kits that I have broken into but not finished.  The RUB houses all the embellies that I took with me and need refiling - bleurgh!  My usual basket top right and then bottom right you can see the photo coasters that I won for 2nd place in the layout competition.  The owl is a brass rubbing that Miss Bella did at the Cotswold Wildlife Park - not bad for someone just turned three!  A few piles of tools and stickers to be put away - yawn, and then the last pile, bottom left, is a bunch of papers that I made a couple of "thank you" cards with.

Gah!  The worst part is that I know I need to clear up before I can do any more but for the rest of this week I am concentrating on sorting myself out.  I have procrastinated for too long about my lifestyle and the things I need to change.  My depression and my self-image are not going to change while I find reasons not to do the things I know I need to.  So this week I am planning meals, reading the Slimming World books again, finding exercise that I can still do even with my current shoulder issues, getting the house out of chaos and back into order, in short, getting myself out from under this blanket and getting my backside in gear.

I will of course be sticking to my Wednesday tradition of perusing Julia's blog to find out What's On Your Workspace Wednesday.  And following my recent tradition of sharing my newest projects, here is one of the "thank-you" cards I did over the weekend.  Yes I know I have done this type of card a few times now but I like it.  I did stitch the bunting this time though.

I've shown you mine, so now show me yours ;-)

Bye for now