Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Please don't panic.  That cup is not empty, the tea is just below the rim so all is good in the world :-)  

There is a thank you card made using some pink Papermania papers and that basket of flowers, and that's about all here really.  My study books are still there and I am mid-flow with my next assignment involving my travels, so not much time for paper creations at the moment.  I did manage to finish up 3-4 layouts from my pile of 19 almost-done's while Miss Bella and I were crafting together on Monday but the light is so poor at the moment that I daren't try and photograph them!  Will Spring ever really come or are we destined for a lifetime of Winter I wonder?

This is the finished card which looks better in real life without flash glare or dramatic colouring from tungsten lighting!

Much crafting is going on in the kitchen however, as it is the time of the Easter Bonnet Parade at school.  For the last 2 years we have taken pictures of this event in the sunshine under the blossom tree but I fear that this year it may be an inside job.  Management had offered to do the job this year but when scissors came to paper he backed out leaving with me 48 hours to create something for Louis.  We perused Pinterest and came up with a farm scene affair but the base layer wouldn't stick to the straw hat.  We ended up having to make the base hat and then sticking stuff on.  

We're getting there with me supervising and Louis doing and Bella sticking random bits to random bits.

Cotton wool sheep on the top and more daffodils to cover the dodgy bits and it should be okay.  The most important thing is that it fits his large oblong head without the need for a long length of ribbon to keep it in place!

So what fun are you having on your workdesk this week?  Let us have a look because sharing is caring and everyone is more than welcome over at our wonderful host, Julia's blog.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Good morning Wednesday!  Well who can tell what the weather will do today?  Yesterday we had 4 seasons in one day with tremendous rain and hail and then snow and then sunshine!  I hope its a bit warmer anyway as I really need to get to my desk.  I managed to tidy up after the VERY last minute birthday album which was handed over less embellished that I would like but now its time for the next batch of projects.  I've almost finished a layout from my pile of 19-to-be-completed - you can see that on the left there, its one of Shimelle's 4x6 photo love layouts.  The pile of fabric in the middle is the beginnings of some girly bits for my utility room, (no, not THAT sort of girly bits, you know curtains that don't actually pull and a cushion for a chair we haven't bought yet...  )

The red book is my Creative Writing coursebook and I do really need to get cracking with that because the next assignment is due soon.  The green leaflet on top is for our local leisure centre as I've been trying to fit in some more classes seeing as I love the Body Combat one so much - go me!

I've been meaning to share some new additions to my craft space for a while, so here they are.  This pretty heart shaped bowl from Ikea is perfect for paperclips on my desk.  (Don't panic that there is no tea here as I just went in to take the picture).

This stunning bowl was recently given to me by my Dad.  Apparently it is real gold around the top and it used to belong to my Grandmother and possibly be older than that.  I have no idea why it has been held onto when anything else has long gone but its perfect for my washi tapes and it goes perfectly in my pink and aqua room.

It lives on what looks like a dresser but is actually an old nappy changing station and a door-less bathroom cabinet - both from Ikea, as are the pots underneath the bump cast.  I'm still undecided about what to do with the cast but as I've said before it is safer up on the wall while I think about it and I kinda like it just as it is.  I certainly won't be embellishing it too much I don't think.

So what have you got on the go this week?  Why not share your projects or your space at WOYWW with crafters worldwide - its fun!

Bye for now

Saturday, 16 March 2013

First Car (Scoot)

Happy weekend to you all!  Here are the final 2 projects that I made for S J Crafts using the wonderful Echo Park Scoot collection.  

First up, a quick card using some of the fab stickers from the sticker element sheet.  There are lots of little trains and diggers etc that are great for making little scenes on birthday cards for boys and the B side papers are prefect for backgrounds.  I was really inspired by Jen Gallacher's Scoot card here.

A few pop dots for dimension and the job is a good'un.

My final layout has been my favourite of the whole series and one of my very favourites from the entire weekend too. 

I tend to rush past papers that have specific areas printed on them for scenes but this one was quite subtle and therefore really easy to use.  As soon as I saw the little motifs at the top of the page, I knew they would look wonderful highlighted with some stitching - one of my new favourite techniques.

It really brings them to life and makes them pop off the page without distracting from the rest of the layout which I kept to the bottom.  I cut some polaroid frames on my Silhouette but they are easy to recreate with a ruler and a craft knife.  I used some of the border stickers and element stickers plus a ribbon and a few buttons and charms from my stash to finish off.  There is only one other piece of patterned paper here and that was from a branding strip!

I have really really enjoyed using this fun and colourful collection.  Today with the rain hammering down and showing no signs of stopping, I might just take a look at all my layouts again to bring some sunshine into my day!  I hope you enjoyed them too.

Bye for now

Thursday, 14 March 2013

I won a prize!!! (Scoot)

I have 3 more projects to share with you using the wonderful Scoot collection from Echo Park.  Just as I was about to embark on my S J Crafts DT work with this collection, Echo Park themselves announced a competition for projects involving Scoot so this gave me extra incentive (not that I needed one as the papers are so great!)  I submitted 3 projects and I was one of the 3 lucky ones to be chosen to win one of their other collections!  I am over the moon, especially as its the first time I've ever submitted anything like this.

Here is one of the projects I sent in - a double pager about a Lego exhibition at a local museum.

I die cut the chevron background on my Silhouette and continued the papers across both pages for continuity.  These types of background mean you can show case lots of the patterns in the paper pack and are ideal for leftovers, scraps and also my favourite 6x6 pages.

I love the little paperclips in the shape of people that I used from my stash here.  They represent both of the children working together to make this mosaic tile that formed part of a larger picture.

I've saved my favourite project to show you tomorrow but if you want to see it right now with a card I made too, then please do pop over to the S J Crafts blog and read more about the collection there.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Good morning, good yawning!  Plenty going on in this here house today for today's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

My desk - I'm making an album for my sort of brother-in-law's 60th birthday on Saturday, just decided on it - no pressure then.  Don't worry that there's no cup of tea here, I wasn't working here last.

This is the pile of pages so far for this album.

This is the finished pebble picture from last week, just waiting to go up on the wall.  The hot glue worked a treat as long as I worked quickly enough that the glue didn't cool even slightly.

Another work-in-progress.  This is a canvas that I'm gradually building up the layers on and will eventually become a lost sock department.  I've got some little heart shaped pegs and any time there is a sock left over in the wash it will go on the board until the other turns up.  Just an excuse to make a cute project for my new utility room really ;-)

And here is where I've spent much of today, at the kitchen table with my girl doing our colouring.  We're really working on fine motor skills with both children at the moment in order to help their handwriting without them practising their letters ;-)  Please note, the full cup of tea - phew!

 Both children are desperate to get their hands on my promarkers but NOBODY touches my pens...  I can understand them wanting to use them though, they flow so well.  *sigh

Bye for now

Sunday, 10 March 2013

You Are My Sunshine (Scoot)

Ready for something girly?  Oh go on then.  Several of the girls on the retreat with me last weekend couldn't believe that I had made this with the same Echo Park Scoot collection from S J Crafts that all the others came from.  It honestly did and it just shows that with careful coordination you can use most collections for most things.

Bella is wearing orange and aqua in the picture so I picked up those colours in the collection using a couple of the B sides.  Using kraft card stock helps to ground the colour scheme and then I added pops of colour with the stunning American Crafts ribbon rose and some embroidery floss.  Its wonderful to be able to use my threads on layouts and feel like I'm getting something out of my years of cross stitching   Although as a slight aside, Louis is enjoying stitching with felt at the moment and today he convinced me to buy him a £1.29 cross stitch set for him to try so I could well be back into it before long!

This fabulous heart background is a freebie from Daniela Dobson (thanks Daniela!) and I used the reverse side as a mask for some light misting with Mister Huey's first for a subtle background.

I die cut the title on my Silhouette too and I really like the subtlety of the kraft against the orange although I have gone around all of the die cuts with a white gel pen.  Some charms, buttons, pearl brads and pretty stick pins and the end result is something far more feminine that would be immediately obvious from such a colourful boy themed collection.

You can expect to see more of these wonderful die cut backgrounds here as I got a bit carried away with them but I do love them and the different effects they can give.

So that's layout number 3 and I'll be sharing yet more in the next few days.

Bye for now

Saturday, 9 March 2013

From the other side of the World (Scoot)

How about something a bit different?  Baby photos scrapped on black!  I love how these Echo Park - Scoot papers pop against the black, just like they do on the mat.  

The beautiful mat in the photo was sent to us from a great aunt in New Zealand.  We've never met her but she has done a quilt each for the children and one for both of them.  This one for Louis arrived in time for his birth with a special place to record his details - its gorgeous!

I die cut the title on my Silhouette and made a messy stack out of left overs from the other projects.  I adore that harlequin paper.

I journalled around the edge in white gel pen, a technique I've been meaning to do on black for some time.  I added some little red cross stitches for a bit of extra dimension and a reference to the hard work Aunty Iris put into this wonderful keepsake.

If you want to see more lovely things from this kit then head over to S J Crafts blog and I'll be back in a short while with a much more girly layout.

Bye for now

Thursday, 7 March 2013

That's How He Rolls (Scoot)

While we were away I had a great opportunity to play with the new Echo Park Papers collection called Scoot which is available at S J Crafts.  It is aimed primarily at little boys but I ended up with a variety of projects which I'll be sharing over the next week (or you can see more of them sooner at the S J Crafts blog).

This first one uses both sides of the same paper which I mounted on a piece of cardstock that I didn't need (awful colour / damaged / whatever).  It gives everything stability and still maintains the 12x12 size.

I was really lucky to catch Louis's first roll over just before 4 months because I was trying to take a picture of him wearing a fireman's outfit, hence the fire engines in the papers being perfect here.  You can see how much more generic some of the B sides are with this ruled lines paper.

I used stickers from the collection with a few on pop dots for dimension and then added a few bits from my stash here and there.

This little guy is currently busy designing his own Lego world and eating us out of house and home.  I can hardly believe it's the same little chap in these photos.  At the time we had a 3 storey house and the only computer was in the top room so I used to lay him on the floor up there with a few toys while I tried to get 20 minutes of chat with my Open University friends.  Now of course I have a lap top and I am on it for long stretches at a time while I study / write / catch up with friends / blog / blog hop / scan Pinterest / make pretty things on my Silhouette / crop photos / check out Slimming World recipes / etc.  I wonder how I could cope now if I could only spend 2 x 20 minute bursts on the computer at the top of the house!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing something I created on black so please do come back and have a look at the rest of the projects over the next few days.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Good morning, good yawning!  I'm still very tired after my retreat at the weekend but we had such a fab time (more on that later!)  I tried to do the pebble pictures that I talked about last week and that's what you can see on progress in my utility room here.  

The random paints and putty etc are from the current DIY projects and the bottles of liquid are actually washing liquids for the laundry!  

So using the glue gun... its messy and fun and the black heavy stones stuck well.  The heart shaped picture of little stones that I did first are to go in an 8x8 box frame.  When I stood it up to show my boy, several of them fell off.  Clearly I haven't done these ones right so its back to the glue gun for me but first I need to kick some backside in my Body Combat class.

Don't forget to join in with the desk share over at Julia's for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Bye for now

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Pick Your Precious

This year, Sian's Story Telling Sundays is taking the form of "Pick You Precious".  This is my first story of the year so I had to think hard about what my first "precious" would be.  These items would be the things that we might rush to save from a fire and I think that my instinct would be to grab my lap top!  It contains my photos, my coursework, my friends, my life!  I can find all those things elsewhere in the house of course but if the house went then I would definitely want my lap top to be saved.

But that's a bit naff really isn't it?

So I had another think.  Maybe I would go room by room and find something in each place that ideally I would love to save above almost everything else.  Yes, that's it, I decided.  But where to start?

Well, after all the small scale upheaval over the last few months, I thought I might as well start in the bathroom which is finished aside from my pebble pictures.   I know, I know, you are wondering what on earth I might want to save from our bathroom.  Well have a look-see here at my little display of bits and bobs.

So many little bits and so many memories attached.  The vase is filled with shiny pebbles from an old arrangement of some sort, then a layer of shells from various beaches including Newport in Pembrokeshire and Lee-On-Solent in Hampshire.  The next layer is driftwood lovingly collected by the children from Newport, then a few tiny bits of sponge from Kos, then black slate from Newport, lovely shells from all over and topped with a lobster claw from a meal in Newport.

Further along you can see an arrangement on the window ledge and this little grouping is like a potted history of our lives together.

The brown shell and the corals were from Fiji which was one of the stops on our Round The World trip.  We were young and married but otherwise free to travel and explore and talk about what the future might bring.

The large sponge is from Kos like the little bits in the vase.  That was our last foreign holiday before we had the children and it was a last minute thing as it was just after we lost our first baby.  Some Greek women helped me to perform a ritual around an allegedly sacred fountain to ensure save passage for our next babies and we visited the Asklepieion, the healing temple of Hippocrates, to feel the power of the great doctors, basically anything to help us move towards our dreams of a family - dreams which had seemed so easy and straightforward from a bar in Cambodia.

The driftwood from the beach at our family holiday home in Wales was again collected by the children.  That beach has been such a constant through most of our lives together.  We visited Wales as our first weekend away together and so we were really happy when the In-Laws bought the cottage a few years later.  It was where we decided to go backpacking, where we decided to change careers, where I did lots of my study for my first degree, where we planned for the future and where we ran to when it all collapsed and where we've taken our children every year since they were born.

The fossils came from our most recent family holiday, from a beach that was new to the 4 of us, that we explored together, the 4 of us.  We've had our ups and downs when it has come to the challenge of parenting but I'm really proud of where we are right now.

Bye for now