Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Despite the mess here today there is actually a system in place and much upheaval has been gone through.  The drawers to the left are now tidy and the top drawer has all my photos IN ORDER!  Well until my next order of 288 come in the next couple of days... 
The papers etc spread out out at the front are what I'm working on for my current DT projects which I will be squirreling away on this weekend as we are off to a scrapbooking retreat in a barn with the Artful Angels! We had a lovely time last year at the same place and I think it is just what I need to get myself sorted and recharge my batteries.
I've shuffled the shelves a little and put my bots and bobs back on my desk after a mammoth bout of filing.  I now have 2 cake stands on my desk - the pink glass one was from my very good friend for my 40th last month (is it really only last month?!)  The wire one holds all my JYC bits so that I can just pick the whole thing up and move it away while I work on something else.

Last week I had some happy mail from the lovely Lunch Lady Jan in the form of a quilt and pillow for Miss Bella's babies.  She was over the moon with it and went all dreamy and quiet but not to worry, it was a temporary thing and she is back to her chatty self again and enjoys reading to her babies in their new bedding.  Thanks Jan!
So what have you got to show us this week?  Link up with Julia at Stamping Ground because sharing is caring ;-)

Bye for now

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Another one from the Greece collection for you today - this one is about the little village of Mandraki on the island of Nisyros.  This is where you dock into when you visit the volcano on the island and it is so typically Greece!  Lots of white box houses edged with blue and narrow steep paths - perfect for bimbling about.  Which we did.
This was another layout from Shimelle's Return to the Collection class and it is definitely one of my favourites from this series.  I added some cream coloured card to mat the photos and back the circles behind the gorgeous floral paper.  The card has a slight corrugation which adds to the texture a bit and the colour picks up on the cream in the background print.
I also added some Papermania travel related washi tape to the Echo Park collection that I used throughout this series.

Oh how I am yearning to bimble around sun bleached buildings right now!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Happy Wednesday!  Its very strange here this Wednesday because of course I usually have the house to myself.  However, it's half term here and we also have Management at home after having a muscle spasm in his back on Monday!  At the time he couldn't even get to the loo but now he can walk slowly up and down the stairs so he should be back to work by Thursday, albeit very gingerly.

The children were desperate to scrap today and who am I to stop them.  I moved us all into the kitchen for a bit more room but as you can see I have ended up perched just on the corner.  Check out Louis's tongue poking into his cheek in concentration!  As I clicked the shutter he asked "I expect I had my tongue out didn't I?"  Management was heard to mutter "well you are your mother's son...."!!
About 2 minutes after this photo was taken there was a big argument over one piece of paper that they both wanted to use and then they both started fussing about not having just the right photograph and I knew it was time to put it all away for another day.  I dunno, these creative types and their fickle moods... ahem...
 You are used to seeing an overhead shot from me so I thought I'd better to keep to the norm even if it's not my normal space.  I'm creating a DT challenge with the gorgeous papers from Crate Paper The Pier from S J Crafts.

Last week I promised Miss Bella that I would show her work on the blog and here she is proudly sharing it.
So what are you up to?  Show us your desk, do, because sharing is caring.  Link up over at Julia's Stamping Ground.

Bye for now

Monday, 17 February 2014

Water Boy

Here's one from the archives for you!  You can tell that I even photographed a while back because there was sun light on that there slate paving.  These days it is a much darker shade of grey and constantly wet!
This layout was completed at Scrap-a-Mia with the lovely Kirsty Wiseman and involves flaps!  You are welcome :-)

I had a range of photos with me with no specific plan but actually the papers that Kirsty had chosen worked really well with a random set of pictures that I ended up putting together about Louis's love of water.His first swimming lesson on the left and dancing with his shadow on the beach on the right.  He was 4 months old and 3 years old respectively.
And then nearly 4 in the final flap playing with the fountains at the local lido.  Isn't that turquoise just perfect! The papers have areas that are embossed with gold and other areas that are flocked.  We did enjoy a few moments of just stroking these papers as I seem to recall.  I was really new to scrapbooking then but I immediately felt a friendship to Kirsty because of this one fact alone!
 I'd read a few of her blog posts since I knew that I would be taking her class so I knew a little bit about her style and her daughter with gorgeous curly hair who seemed different to other children.  I had horrific PMT at the time of the class and she opened by explaining that this layout would leave space for lots of journalling if we wanted it.  She didn't normally journal much but in the case of her example layout she'd had plenty to say about a particularly special friendship that her daughter had.
I learned that Ellie had various special needs with no clear diagnosis and that "normal" friendships were something very rare for her.  Kirsty was visibly choked at recalling these special photos and I had to leave the class to go and have a good blub in the toilets.  Every day is out of the ordinary for parents like Kirsty and yet I had 2 healthy "normal" (I hate that word) children and yet I struggled with the most mundane of things.  At the time I didn't know just how much scrapbooking would help me deal with these feelings or that 4 years later I would be STILL be dealing with them.
I think I'll come back to this topic, it needs to be opened up.  That was going to be what this blog was all about but I found that I just didn't want to harp on about it.  That's not reaching out to people in the same boat though and that's not helping anyone.  I don't want my blog to become a sad place but I do want to hold my hand out to other people who might be helped by crafting.

I'm happy to say that in just a few weeks I will be saying hello to Kirsty again in real life for a girly weekend with other crafters.  THAT sort of thing really helps :-))

Bye for now

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Among The Ruins

A couple of Wednesdays ago when I shared my desk for our normal weekly round up...
I was explaining how the Shimelle class had encouraged me to use more paints and stamps etc on my layouts and how it had gone wrong because I hadn't put the lines in the right place.  It might not be the way I intended it to be but I do like how it finished up.
A standard 12x12 with a facing split page protector to add to the other layouts of our Kos holiday.  I haven't done the journalling on these pages yet because I'm still trying to find out the name of the place we visited!  It was somewhere in Kos town I think and it overlooked the sea so it was in a great position.  Management and I love pottering about in ruins and old buildings and I'm glad to say that it looks like the children are taking after us with our love of dilapidated historical sites.  Of course, neither of them were born at the time of this particular holiday and indeed there is a bit of a story as to how we ended up taking this last minute trip but that's for another layout. 
Either side of the yellow strip you can see the white acrylic paint that I dragged with the edge of a stamping block.  Top left and sort of bottom right is where I stamped over the dry paint... except that you can't really see the bottom right because I stamped too far up.
These pictures are just shy of the standard 6x4 that everything is now which mean't that I had to mount them on plain cardstock to fit the pockets.  I think it helps here though because it ties the colour scheme in and helps to visually separate the photos from each other.
We have friends who live in Greece and right now they are having jolly nice weather for the time of year thank you very much.  They are ex-pats and so they are really appreciating the sun while their former home has sandbags on the door steps. *sigh*
I think that floral paper has to be my favourite of the whole Echo Park For The Record 2 and I think it really helped to use this collection all in one go too.  I would definitely recommend doing that with any collection pack, especially if you are the type to admire them in their packaging!  I've got some lovely kits coming up in my DT assignments for S J Crafts because she's just had lots of lovely goodies delivered!  I love collections!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


Its Wednesday, so its WOYWW, so let's get straight down to business - no time to shilly shally.  I have officially finished all of the layouts I can possibly get from the collection I've been working on through Shimelle's class.  The one you can see on the desk is the penultimate layout.  I just about have enough scraps left to eek out a Valentine card for Management - ssshh don't tell him, just between us 'kay?
I was enjoying a little play (hence the full cuppa) Tuesday afternoon when I took this during a brief moment of sunshine - hurrah!  I really feel for anyone experiencing floods etc right now - it is truly awful.  There can't be much more water left in the sky to fall can there?!

Last week I mentioned that I was heroically trying to log all my layouts / blogged projects / photos etc and part of that is filing this pile of layouts!  You can see the spotty tablecloth that I used to have on my desk which some of you might remember.  You can also see why I choose to use Taffy pink albums by American Crafts :-)
Its been a creative hive of activity here at Crazy Towers.  Miss Bella wanted a friend to come over to make a Facebook page!  Kinda cute that she got it mixed up but she did actually mean a scrapbook page obviously. I knew I would have to tackle the children's art room in order for this to take place - gulp!

Being by the back door means all manner of outside items get left here.  It leads through to the utility so it bugs me that it is so messy.
There was nothing else for it.  It had to be done.  I put some funky music on, grabbed another cuppa and set to it.  I'm pretty pleased with the results but I just need to keep on top of it!
The insect home you can see on the windowsill there is patiently awaiting our baby stick insects to be big enough not to be able to squeeze through the holes!  We have 6 so far of just under an inch long.
The trolley on the left is what I sort the washing into, nothing to do with crafts at all.  The basket on top is full of Slimming World magazines that I need to sort through and pull out the recipes.  The shelves there are also the place where I keep my vases etc.

Our little guest took to scrapbooking like a duck to water and was overheard to say "I love your house.. I really love doing this!"  Also Louis finished a lovely page which I promised I would show on the blog very soon and said he had forgotten how much he enjoyed scrapbooking!  This all made my heart literally sing!  I find it hard to have little friends to tea but it is part of my One Little Word progress and I have to say that it was lovely to see the three of them sat there singing along to the radio and cutting and sticking while I pottered about at the stove.

Anyway, enough about the crafting going on here, what's going on where you are?  Pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to link up with other desks around the world.

Bye for now

Friday, 7 February 2014

Hello Sailor

It's a corny title, yes?  We finally had a little bit of sun here at Crazy Towers so I finally managed to photograph the projects that I've completed so far from Shimelle's class - Return to the Collection.  This is the layout from video 2 but still using photos from Kos and Echo Park's For The Record 2.
These photos were taken on a boat trip while we were in Kos which involved fishing and a brief stop at a cute beach for lunch.
This was a great push for me to have a go at stamping and then half covering it up to add dimension with layers.  I'm definitely going to try this again.  

There are lots more to come but for now I must prepare to go to the Strictly Come Dancing live tour!!  So excited!!!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


I know it looks a mess but I promise you that I know exactly where everything is and there is actually an order to proceedings... sort of...

No seriously, its a hive of creativity at the moment, so much so that I am in danger of utilising every room in the house for something.  Lets begin with the desk seeing as that is what What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday is all about. Feel free to share your desk too over at Julia's Stamping Ground.

I was encouraged to get a bit painty with this layout (from Shimelle's new class) using white acrylic paint and Glimmer Mist on an acrylic block.  The idea is that the gap and the beginnings of the paint are covered with another piece of paper and you just see the edges of the paint as an extra layer.  However, it went a bit wrong after this.  I had pencilled in where the lines of the paper were going to go but still managed to stamp in the wrong place.  This meant I had to move the paper and so one of the pencil lines was visible.  Why did I not just rub it out I hear you cry?!  Well that will be because the painty / misty layer was protecting it... Ahem...
Its almost finished now so I'll be back in a couple of days to share that.  I'm still using Echo Park's For The Record 2 for some Greek photos and still loving it.

I've also been really OCD this week and I've been sorting out all the photos and putting them all in order. This means I can go through my albums on the computer and work out which ones I haven't printed.  I seem to have very few photos from 2007-8 so there are plenty more to come I'm sure!
I don't think I'm going to run out of photos to scrap any time soon!

As part of this big sort out I've had to work out which layouts / stories are in my albums and which ones have been blogged.  You might be seeing some very old layouts here as a result!  This particular layout started life as an 8x8 but I couldn't make it work so I added a few layers and put it onto a 12x12 instead.
 I think I made this in about 2011 not long after I had started scrapping (2010) and it remains one of my favourites, especially from my early years.
It was the first time I had tried doing my own thing with layering and clustering embellishments so I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.
Obviously there are things I would do differently now but isn't there always?

Time for a cuppa and a scoot around the desks.  I have a LOT of blog reading to catch up on!

Bye for now

Monday, 3 February 2014

S J Crafts - February Challenge

I'm so happy!  Sarah has decided to start a monthly challenge on the S J Crafts blog and the first one is a sketch and I hope you'll join in too.  I love using sketches - they are a great way to push yourself into trying a different style than you normally favour.  We'll be picking a few of our favourites to 

This month's sketch came from Jennifer (who is also now on the sketch DT for Scrap365 mag!) and we have quite different styles so it was great to try and create something from one of her layouts.  I used some left over pieces from Echo Park's This and That Graceful collection which was one of the first things I ever bought from S J Crafts.  I'm down to the final bits and bobs so this was a great sketch to use them up on.  I've made SO many layouts with these collection packs and loved every one of them - they really work out great value for money.

I was very brave and used Jennifer's style as inspiration to add some droplets of Mr Huey's mist and scatter my embellishments around a bit.

I love these photos that I snapped at a baby shower nearly 18 months ago.  I sneaked some shots of my nieces and their cousins eating cake which kept making them squeal "Oh no!  Aunty LJ!"  The incoming baby was blue flavoured and the blue icing matches so well with the aqua in the collection.  I love it when that happens ;-)

Why not pop over to the blog and see what the other designers have made using the same sketch.  Maybe you'll be inspired to have a go yourself?

Bye for now