Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions!

Happy New Year!

Did anyone see where this year went?  And in particular this December?  I wish the first 24 days of December went by so quickly as a child!  It is the last night of the year and I can honestly say this has been one of the most frenetic and topsy turvy years of my life.  Christmas was wonderful but difficult too with various family issues, some old and some new.  In the main though, both of the children and also myself were thoroughly spoiled.  We ate so much and I put on more weight that I knew was physically possible in one week and we just spent time as a family which was wonderful.  Management had to work a few days and is working tomorrow as he doesn't drink so he always does the New Year's Day shift.  We'll be heading over to have lunch with him and get some much needed fresh air, even if it is raining!  I swear I could be abducted by aliens, dropped back to earth and have absolutely no idea which time of the year it is - it seems to have been mild and wet for the entire year.

Getting some fresh air is one of my main resolutions for the coming year.  I have many plans, some big and some small, but there are a lot of things that need to change.  Like many people, the New Year will see me getting back to my Slimming World plan (I've still been going to the weigh ins), heading back to the gym (with my new kit, water bottle and my new iPhone!!) and generally looking after myself a bit more.  B starts pre-school next week so it will be a little extra breathing time for me to achieve some of the things I plan to.  I would really like to be able to run outside and one of my aims for the year is to do the 5km Eastleigh Park Run.

As well as looking after myself physically, of course I need to REALLY look after myself mentally.  I have really struggled over Christmas, possible virally induced, probably exacerbated by too much of the wrong food etc but I am hopeful that a return to normal routine will help.

I read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project over the Summer and so much of a struck a cord with me so I will be revisiting that book and using some of the advice to see if I can have me my very own happiness project.  I know crafting will be right up there of course and I have great plans to finish off some half completed projects.  I've done more scrapbooking in the last year than in the whole time since I started (I started collecting bits and being interested about 6 years ago but only actually started in earnest about 3 years ago).  Both Management and I also want to find some time for reading though too.  We used to devour books and we've both been given some new ones for Christmas but its finding the time.  I am going to try getting up earlier in the mornings as I only doze once the children are up anyway.  Who knows, it might even help me sleep!

Well that's an awful lot of changes for one person and I won't pretend it will be easy or that I will get all of it done but if I make an effort, that will be a start.

So raise a glass with me to toast the New Year, the year of the Olympics and the Golden Jubilee, and most importantly, the year when I achieve at least some of my goals.  What are your resolutions or do you not make them?  What would you like to achieve this year?  If you fancy some company on the journey, let me know.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

WOYWW 133 - A cold space

Despite my best intentions, I have not managed to blog at all since the last WOYWW.  With bugs and busyness abounding, I have merely shuffled a few papers on my desk and made mess all over the house.  I haven't felt festive or felt like I could concentrate for long so really haven't felt like tackling my Christmas Journal (JYC) asit has become a bit out of hand.  It needs a good concentrated session to get it in some sort of order.  I did want to put something on the inside front cover though and it was bare so I decided to paint it.  4 coats later and it is still streaky but most of it will be covered by the journalling anyway.

It would have been finished earlier but I do my painting in my children's art room which despite having a radiator in it, is always really cold.  I need to spend some time there today to have a good sort out and get some Christmas crafting ready for them - I feel a need to let them loose with glitter and glue.  We have so much stuff available for them but it never feels like the right time or a good enough reason to use it all.  Well hang it all I say, what better reason is there than enjoying art and experimenting?  I must stop needing a "good" reason to use these special stickers or that special paper, much like I do with my own stuff.  I don't want the children to be put off art because of some externally suggested rules, like I was at school.  Of course by this time next week, I may have gone slightly insane with the overuse of foam shapes, an excess of PVA, and glitter in my knickers.

Of course there is no better time to glitter than right now, the final Wednesday before Christmas.  I am oh so ready for it, aside from a certain coca-cola situation which I will reveal next week.  And on that note, I must share this fabulous bunting that was very kindly sent to me by the lovely Lunch Lady Jan a few weeks ago.  I have put it up in the hallway where it can be seen by everyone who visits, even if I don't let them in ;-)  Thank you Jan for your kindness and for your most excellent advice.

The gorgeous heart shaped wreath is scented with cinnamon and orange and was an early present from my MIL - she knows me so well!

I'm off to Julia's for a mince pie and a tot of something festive.  Why don't you join us?

In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Huzzah!  I have my space back!  Yes indeedy, there may be the odd present or three to titivate but I can craft at my table once more.  I am about a gazillion days behind with JYC but I have some pages part prepped, some designs in my notebook, some photos ready to go, its just all in bits and pieces and so this is the main detritus on my desk this week.  I am ever hopeful that I will get some time in the next few days as my wonderful MIL is visiting and in the time honoured tradition of Grandma-ness means that the children may just be entertained for a bit!

Well I would get some things done, except that a week and half after my boy first got sick, he is off school again today.  He seems to have a bug for about 5 hours and then be right as rain for 3-4 days and then have it again.  I had so much planned for today including nails being done for a big night out, cleaning the house from top and bottom in readiness for MIL's visit, and of course a lovely peruse around lots of other desks.  But now I seem to have the bug too and so it will be snuggling on the sofa with my boy watching CBeebies and me on the laptop.  Oh well, hopefully it will be all over before Christmas.

I'm off to Julia's blog now to see who is joining us for WOYWW, being careful not to pass the bug on of course!

Bye for now

Monday, 12 December 2011

Paper presents

I've been working on a couple of gifts for L's teacher and teaching assistants.  I wanted to give them something personal and a bit different to the chocolates, smellies and wine that school staff get inundated with at Christmas (not that this is a bad thing though!)  I had a few of the bare boxes from Papermania and some cheap notebooks from the supermarket to cover and then I decided to make a nail file cover to match too (this can be a bookmark as well).  I used some of the wonderful K & Co Abrianna papers that I won in a giveaway over at S J Papercrafts and the matching dimensional stickers.  I'm not 100% happy with the way they have come out as there are untidy areas but I hope they will like them and appreciate the handmade-ness (and that IS a word, cos I said so ;-))

I did emboss the white card for the nail file in the set above but I found that the bumpy surface reduced the stickability (that's another word that definitely IS a word, or if not, it so should be).

They are all slightly different  but the basic design is the same.  I used both sides of the papers together and used a co-ordinating ribbon around the lid of the box as well as on the other bits.  In the photo below you can just see the pattern I used around the box which was a doily punch with the waste part reversed and used around the top edge.  I truly love this punch and the pretty bit of waste it gives and I like using them together, partly because I like to stretch my supplies and it gives 2 matching pretty designs for the price of one.

They took a lot longer than I anticipated so I hope they appreciate that they are made with love even if they are not perfect!

Bye for now.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Journal your Christmas 1 - Manifesto

Journal Your Christmas traditionally begins with setting your manifesto for the season.  It helps to cement what your aims are for doing the project and is a gentle nudge towards remembering the importance of the season.  I think I need a manifesto for the year! 

I used the manifesto from Shimelle as she always puts thing so well but I added the tag for my own journalling too.  I'm thinking that there will be a lot of pockets for journalling this year!  I basically wrote a note to myself about not stressing over the little things that are only important to ME.  I get grumpy trying to do everything the way I want it but failing which then impacts on other people.  I need to plan my time wisely and remember why I'm trying to do all this - its to make people happy after all!  I still need to add my tiny numbers onto the tree but I can't lay my hands on the sticker sheet right now - typical!  I added one of the rosette embellishments that I pre-made and added the Joy charm as it sums up, for me, what the whole season should be about.

I'm still behind of course, but getting that one day under my belt has made me feel a bit better and reminded me to do the fun stuff too :-)

How about you?  I love hearing about people's different Christmas preparations and it is part of why I love JYC so much because you really do get a worldwide perspective.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

WOYWW 131 - no space!

Last week I shared my normal crafting table, covered in Christmas presents about to be wrapped, and the arm of my chair.  This week, it is just the table and it is STILL covered in stuff to be wrapped.  Seriously I don't mind it but I wish I could just pull down another table on top so I can carry on crafting for a bit!  I am going to finish it all tonight, absolutely, because I am now 7 days behind on Journal Your Christmas and I HATE that.  It is supposed to be about finding little slots of time to relish the season and that is what I should be doing.  Instead I have been mopping up sick (my little man), distributing inhalers (my baby girl), attending solicitors appointments (my Dad and the probate saga), soothing worries (my brother), soothing worries (my niece but not in relation to her Father), and spending a LOT of wasted time at the parcel depot.  I made 4 attempts, the final one took 45 minutes and I refused to leave without my precious parcel.  It was a Santa Sack from October Afternoon and it was worth the wait.  You can just see some of the fabulous contents on the table there, calling my name, saying use me now!

Of course, while I was out getting that parcel, my Christmas present to myself another pizza box, choc full of sale stuff) was attempting to be delivered so guess where I am going on the way home from the school run later.... *sigh* I hate wasting time more than anything, especially when I hear of people for whom time has run out suddenly, like dear Sarah Lawrence, a fellow blogger and crafter, who never got to share all her many ideas and skills as she wanted.  I feel proud to be part of the blogging community with the kindness and compassion and the sharing of ideas that goes on around the world and I love being part of WOYWW.  Why don't you join in too?  Share your space, wherever it may be, whatever it is that you do, and link up with other like minded people on Julia's Blog.

17 sleeps till Christmas... how are your preparations coming along?

Bye for now

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

WOYWW 130 - one and half spaces...

Yes that's right, one and half spaces to share today.  My normal crafting area, my wonderful pink craft room, is currently a haven of Christmas organisation.  I have separate piles for each person so that I can decide if I am finished buying for them and then wrap with coordinated papers.  Anal?  Yes!  But it helps me to sort out whose present is whose when there are piles of gifts under the tree.  And for the record, aside from a bike, I am done with buying.  Of course there will be other little things for stockings sneaking into my bags (after being paid for obvsiously!) when I can't resist but the trauma of "must buy" has gone for the year.  Huzzah!  I want to get everything wrapped as soon as possible because I am anal like that but also because I want my room back.

In the meantime, I am trying to prepare as much as possible for Journal Your Christmas and I have almost finished my date tags.  I just have 40 buttons to thread and stick on so that is what I am doing.  On the sofa.

 And yes, for the record, that is a precarious place to keep a jar of buttons.  And yes, for the record, I did spill said jar of buttons down the side of the sofa.  I had nightmares last night about lost precious buttons languishing among the fluff and hairbands in the dark depths of the sofa lining.  *shudder*.

And with that dear WOYWW-ers, I bid you farewell as I have a little chap here to entertain for the day due to the strikes.  We've got lots planned as we rarely have more than 5 minutes alone together so we shall make the most of it, but I will be around the desks later.  Stop by Julia's blog for the worldwide list of desks to snoop at.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


A bit of this, a bit of that, that's my desk at the moment.  After a couple of weeks of solicitors and meeting lovely crafty friends in Ikea, I haven't joined in for a while.  My crafting has slipped a bit too because I just want to wrap myself in blankets and sleep right now!

I am about to clear the decks to do the wrapping.  I shall put on a silly hat and some Christmas music, light some festive smelling candles (whilst not leaving them unattended / going out to collect L from school / go to bed, as I have 3 times in the past week...)

Before I can start, there are bits of JYC which I need to sort and pack into my bag for the final crop of the year on Saturday, bits of the 11 layouts from the Stash Dive, and bits of Christmas planning, and I think I spied some bits of someone small's crafting there too.  Then there is a tie that needs stitching and some photos to be copied for my dear Dad.

I've just had my nails done (my new treat to myself for my weight loss) so I can't possible do anything other than a bit of blog hopping for a while.  You'll fine the list of desks to visit on Julia's blog and while you are there, why not upload and share yours?

Bye for now

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Squeezing in some challenges

I'm back on the Christmas theme again - yay!  Two more challenges from Shimelle's Christmas Crafting weekend.  I made this tag for a special present for DH.  It just became a lot bigger a present than I thought as it clashes with something else so he'd better darn well appreciate it!  The snowflake has silver / grey Stickles on it but you can't really see on the photo despite my best attempts to introduce some light into the proceedings ;-)

I also prepped another page for my JYC using the inspiration of "cutting the paper".  I love these baubles on the icy blue MME paper and there are 3 pages for each design.  I had enough to cut some out and decoupage them to make a really clean looking page which just needs a photo and a date at some point in December.

My next project is to get on with some wrapping now before November comes to an end and I miss my self imposed deadline.  I've got 2 more cakes to make and I'm thinking of making my Dad a little hamper of goodies now that he is having to tighten his belt a bit.  Hhhmmm... next year I will start even earlier I think!

Bye for now xx

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A story that was missing

I have some photos in my drawer to scrap that are just there because I like the picture.  Others, like this one, are there for the story.  Its not the clearest picture in the world as I had left the camera in the car overnight and it was taking a while to adjust to the warmer air in the house.  And there is no camera in the world that can make a child pose the way you want and stay like that until you are ready for them to move!

It was one of those moments when everything comes together.  A "peak experience" for the psychologists among you.  It was the sort of moment I had dreamed of when I thought about becoming a mum.  My Dad had bought B this little cradle and she had a new dolly from her Nanny.  Watching her putting her new baby into the crib and carefully putting the blanket over her and rocking her to sleep, made my heart burst.  How do little ladies know how to do this?  She was totally absorbed and looking so pretty in her little dress.  Its a simple thing really, watching a little girl playing, but it is moments like these that pull me back from the brink sometimes and make it all worthwhile.  These are the moments I live for.  These are the moments I need to craft about.  It is my therapy.

It makes me so excited about this coming Christmas too.  We went into town today to watch the lights being switched on.  They were both really excited to see Father Christmas and he was a pretty good one too.  L whispered to me that he knew that he was the really real one, you know, the ACTUAL one.  I cherish these moments and wonder how long it will be before they don't believe?  There is such a small window when you have more than one child, or all of the children understanding about Christmas and yet still believing in it too.  We are in this window this Christmas and I intend to make the most of it.

This layout was brought to you by the Christmas Crafting Weekend with Shimelle.

What Christmassy things are you up to this weekend?  Enjoy them, whatever they may be :-)

Bye for now

Friday, 18 November 2011

Creative Stash Diving - Layout 1

A little break from the Christmas themed stuff here...

This is the first of the 11 layouts that I made from the creative stash diving prompt in Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party.  It is my beautiful girl on the beach in Pembrokeshire having a wonderful time just chilling and pottering about.  She loved just watching all the activity and the dogs and the boats etc.

I had to use a rock in the garden to hold the pages down while I photographed them.  Its definitely getting harder to find a decent slot in the day to get good light.

I added some shell buttons and some normal buttons but looking at it now I think I want to snip the threads a bit shorter.  I tried to leave them but its just not me!  I love the colours and the papers but I'm not sure about the whole thing overall.

It was definitely the embellishment bit that I struggled with here and I think it will be the same on some of the others.  Its been really interesting to scrap in this crazy way as it challenges you in various ways but also teaches you a lot about how you normally scrap and which bits you struggle with and take up your time!

I'm stuck on the sofa with a poorly girl today - just a cough / cold but it affects her breathing a fair bit.  Seeing these photos though she is now upset that she can't go to the beach!  That's my girl ;-)

Bye for now

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A garland title

Why is it that it is always the things that you think will be simple that end up causing problems?  I wanted to keep my album front for JYC pretty simple this year and I used Shimelle's Christmas garland challenge as inspiration.  I wanted to use a page from the MME collection that I'm using for the album to cover the chipboard portion of the cover and I decided to do a bit of misting on it.  Epic fail.  I misted over a chipboard Christmas tree but the colour was all kinds of wrong.  I tried using another colour but you couldn't see it at all.  So I tried adding a splatter of white paint to look like snow but it just looked a mess.  I started again.  This time I cut the paper slightly too small.  Second epic fail.  Third time lucky?  Not quite but it will have to do!  The paper was slightly too short again due to a mistake lining up a straight edge.... and then when I placed the washi tape on, I managed to lay it on at an angle and unlike other washi tapes, this one wasn't coming off again :-(

So this is it.  I love the paper and I love the brown glitter Thickers but as for the whole thing, well I'm not that taken with it to be honest but it is what it is.  I do also love the little reindeer and of course the Jenni Bowlin stick pins :-)

So that's my background pages done and my front cover done.  I'll probably just paint the insides and the back but I'll leave it till the end so I can see if there is any paper left over!  I need to think about my dates next and any pockets I want to make but I also need to wrap a few presents too.  Do you know that Christmas Day is actually on the same date each year?  I know!  Crazy huh?!  And yet we still rush around and leave things too late...

Bye for now xx

Monday, 14 November 2011

Pockets of love

One of the challenges from Shimelle's Christmas Weekend, was to make something involving pockets that you can use on your pages, or wherever, for extra journalling or photos etc.  I decided to make a couple of matching pockets out of this gorgeous vellum.  It fell into my basket when I was buying the dye for my curtains in my craft room - oops!

I still have my children's letters to Father Christmas from last year but they didn't quite make it onto a page yet so this year I thought these pockets would be a good way of keeping them in my JYC.  I love the way they turned out so much that I will definitely be using them in other ways.  I might even make a large one for the reverse side of each page for my journalling and that way I can keep my writing out of sight!  I'm also going to be making some skinny versions of these to pop a nail buffer inside for a little extra gift at Christmas.

I'm now 2 cakes out of 4 down and the pudding is made, just needs steaming.  I'm getting there!

Bye for now xx

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Holidays are coming....

Tee hee!  The Coca-Cola advert has been spotted so it is officially time to start Christmas preparations.  I have bought the vast majority of my presents and I am ready with sellotape and gift tags galore.  I've made one Christmas cake, I'm soaking the fruit for another, and today is our Stir-up Sunday so I am making the puddings.

But if that wasn't enough, Shimelle is having a Christmas Crafting Weekend over on her blog and so I am beginning to get my Journal Your Christmas album together.  I've gone for the 8.5 x 11 American Crafts Modern album but I've actually put in normal A4 page protectors.  I've got a stack of A4 card serving no real purpose and an empty 8.5x11 album.  I didn't like having a separate album for the different size with my everyday layouts in so they are now in the 12x12 albums chronologically and I like the mix of pages in there now.  So it was a win win.  I decided to keep the stuff from last year separate and caved in a bought some new papers for this year.  I went with a collection from last year, My Mind's Eye I Believe and got a stack of 54 sheets which I think will be enough ;-)  So I've used some A4 card in red and white (I didn't have any of the right greens / aquas... typical!) and then chopped some patterned paper for the other pages.

I'm doing my journalling on the back of each page but I'm still thinking about how to make that look wonderful.  Today I'm hoping to get some of the date tags done as I really like what I did last year and am going to attempt something similar.  Its all go go go !!!

So, how are your preparations coming along?  Or are you like my good husband who believes that Christmas starts on 24th December?  Whatever your preference, have a wonderful Sunday.

Bye for now xx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

WOYWW 126 - New Craft Room!!!

Good morning Wednesday, that fabulous day of the week when we get to share our workspaces across the globe.  Julia holds the keys to all the desks so grab a cuppa and have a peruse.

You know those days where you think "It would be really good if we could move that bit of furniture there" and the next thing you know, you have moved every piece of furniture in your house and been to IKEA or whatever your store of choice is, several times?  We had one of those days Sunday, and this was the result....

(I'm part way through completing those 11 layouts!) But wait!  Are there things missing from my desk?  Why yes, I do believe there is.  But where have they gone?  All around the room in my new furniture!  Hurrah!  Some of you might remember that I was deliberating over changing the cabinets in my room because although I loved them, they were just not doing the job I needed them to do.  We managed to get them into our lounge in the end which was where I had always wanted them to go and yet never thought it would work.  It has been a total win win situation with the lounge looking far more homely and finished (we've been in this house nearly 2 1/2 years...) and we have managed to keep hold of our precious Jali cabinets which hold so many memories for us.  Then of course there was the new Expedit which I have coveted for some time.  Management said we should block off one of the 2 doors to the cupboard so I could have a bigger Expedit.  It makes me slightly nervous because it means I have to keep that cupboard tidy enough to be able to get to the other end!

The only problem is that I wanted to keep my papers and cardstock in the Expedit but the RUBs and Cropper Hoppers are slightly too big.  I am going to try and use a pizza box cut down into a Cropper Hopper shape but we shall see how things go.

I pinched the draws out of the spare room - top drawer = printer stuff and photos, middle = punches, bottom = die cutting stuff.  The pin board needs to go up but I'm not sure where yet.

I moved the shelving that was behind me so now this is where my paper lives and my new set of boxes from Ikea which also need painting.  Room for lots of pretties here which is great as I never had anywhere to display anything.

And this is the whole room.  I have to say that that sun streaming in is a VERY rare thing and it happens now because of the change in the clocks and will be gone in about half an hour but I'll take it while I can!

So it is very much a work in progress as it still needs painting and I think I need to live in it a while to see if I like where things are but for now I love it!

Bye for now

Sunday, 30 October 2011

...and breathe....

Well I did it.  I can't say it was easy but it was brilliant once I got into it.  What am I talking about?  Stash Diving of course!  If you want to know how to pick the right papers etc then you'll have to sign up for the Pretty Paper Party class over at Shimelle's.  I can honestly say that its the best class I've done of hers (and I've done a few!) and part of what I love is that her classes are always available once you've signed up so you never have to feel behind or worry about not having time etc.

So for the stash diving experiment, we had to take a pile of carefully selected papers and some matching cardstock and chop them up.  Okaaaayyy..... But back up a second, did we miss a step here?  What about choosing the photos or thinking about the page design?  Nope, none of that, no sirree.  Just chop up the papers.  Here is my pile (and those in the know will see I made a mistake by choosing some cream based and some white based but I think I made them work in the end...)

I almost hyperventilated when I started because this concept is alien to me but I trust Shimelle with anything that involves paper and if she told me to set fire to my stash I would.  So I ended up with about 7 pages from the Echo Park Country Drive collection, an odd My Minds Eye, an October Afternoon Boarding Pass and a Jillibean Soup.  I did pick out about 8 pieces of cardstock but I had to add to that a bit in the end.

I cut all the pages except one pattern that I was happy to use as a background and only had one serious wobble which was right at the beginning with my first 4 chops into that stripy paper which I chopped the wrong way!  I almost cried at that point but I turned the paper over and it was orange dots so no big problem except that I had intended to have some 12 inch strips of stripes so I had to do some careful patching.

By the time I left, so within about 5 hours, I had chosen my papers and cardstock, chopped them all, had a few cups of tea to steady my nerves, stuck all the pieces down onto various layouts, chosen photos from a large stack, and stuck them on.  I ended up with 10 single page layouts and a double.  Oh my word, yes!  I just need to "titivate" as Paula (who runs the crop) said and that is easiest to do at home with all my many ribbons and buttons and stickers and what nots.  Its truly a great way to scrap, especially if you are away from home because you don't need to take loads of stuff.  It has been a revelation.  Shimelle, I salute you!

Sadly I couldn't stay till the end because we were dashing out to the Beaulieu fireworks which always has a Halloween theme.  They were totally amazing as always and photos never do fireworks justice but I can't resist sharing these with you.


It was a little bit drizzly but we didn't mind.  Despite our best intentions to get out today, we seem to all want to stay in the warm and dry!  Suits me, I have 11 layouts to finish ;-)

Bye for now

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Good morning Wednesday and all it brings.  Goodness I think I have been AWOL in life a bit recently but now I feel I am getting back to normality again.  Except for this picture of my desk...

As you can see it is rather empty.  Despite finishing a couple of layouts last week, I have since tidied up a bit and not quite started again yet.  I have a crop on Saturday though so I had best get a wriggle on.  I'm thinking of doing the Creative Stash Diving Technique from Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party class... wish me luck!

In the meantime I shall leave you with the layout I created from the first prompt about using strips of paper.

We were lucky enough to get a ride on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Beaulieu and L even got to wear the actual hat worn by Professor Potts in the film!

I cheated a bit because I made some of the white based patterns into cream based patterns by smudging them with Vintage Photo and I did break into a whole sheet of that gorgeous woodgrain but its about using up the papers right?  And I do like it :-)

So now, please do share your desks and check out the other like-minded individuals at Julia's blog.  I'll be perusing other desks later on but at the moment we are without heating and hot water so I will be keeping warm by doing some housework - gah!

Bye for now

Monday, 24 October 2011

4x6 photo love for September

Looking at this little box makes me very thankful that I have never tried to scrapbook chronologically!  This is the pile of photos from our Round The World Trip that DIDN'T make the albums and it only seems to include half the trip as we can't find anything pre Singapore.  Imagine if we had taken digital photos!

Oddly enough, Singapore was where my hand fell when I dived in to grab 9 photos for September's 4x6 photo love with Shimelle.  We were only there for a few days and I'd obviously already taken some out for the proper albums at the time.  Taking out the ones I would never use (but cannot bear to just throw away!) that left me with just about enough for this layout.  Yes, that's right, 9 photos on one single page layout.

We'd been travelling for nearly 6 months already by the time we reached Singapore but we had booked ourselves into Raffles for Valentine's Day before we left back in the September.  We'd tried to get in before when we were on our honeymoon several years previously but had been told about a lengthy waiting list and we really didn't want to miss out a second time.  It was fabulous!  We had a Singapore Sling despite a hatred of gin (but that's another story) and had a wonderful posh buffet in the Tiffin Room which dates back to the 1800's.  If you think the photo of Raffles looks a little odd, you would be right.  We had bought a new camera just the day before and a new wide angle lens which apparently makes things circular if you zoom too far out!  But of course we didn't know that until we had that first film developed a week or so later...

8 of the photos go back to back on 2 inserts inside a transparent pocket so there are 2 of Raffles and 4 of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations.  Talk about a riot of colour and an assault on the senses, it was phenomenal. 

The other 2 photos are of a river taxi (which we couldn't afford) and the Battle Bunker where Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in WW2.  We had already been to Chiangi prison and seen where the prisoners of war had been kept and we both agreed that we would never hesitate to take our children out of school to travel for a while because you just can't beat this sort of history lesson.

I'm enjoying dipping into this box now and then but I really would like to scrap the photos from the "proper" albums as they were the better ones of course.  But there is only so much time in the day sadly.  Oh if only time could stand once in a while eh?!

Bye for now

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Is it Summer or Christmas?

I did say that I got a bit carried about with my DT kit and once I had completed 2 Christmassy layouts, I couldn't help but see if I could manage a summer one too.  The MME 12 Days of Christmas papers are really versatile because the B sides are more geometric.  I picked out the turquoise parts to match up with B's little outfit and her bucket and the red to match up with her spade.  

I even managed to use some more of the chipboard by selecting one of the frames to split in half to balance the design.  I used some flowers, brads and stickers etc from my stash to pull the sea-side theme together.

I rounded the corners of the square scraps to soften the look a bit and inked the edges as I normally do with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I used a variety of letters for the title which is still uncomfortable for me to do but I'm getting there!

B really did like sitting in the sand and wiggling her feet but it caused a bit of a problem when she kept sucking her thumb!  I miss the beach so much right now especially on glorious sunny but cold Autumn days like today!

I'm hoping to get some time on Shimelle's new class over the weekend but its very inspiring so far!  I hope your weekend shapes up nicely too.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Look at my clean desk!  Woo hoo!  I'm just finishing a little inspiration book (using some prompts from one of Shimelle's classes) and then my space will be just ripe for starting something new.

It was the funeral yesterday (of my almost-step-mum for those who don't know) and I am just not in the mood for housework, so n'yer!  Instead I shall crack on with the prompts from Shimelle's current class Pretty Paper Party which is shaping up to be brilliant and just what I needed to use up some of my vast amounts of PP.

I did actually use a piece of PP yesterday that I put in my "try and get rid of this" box.  I needed something to put some cupcakes on and hit on the idea of using a peice of 12x12 attached to a piece of 12 x12 cardboard.  It looked like a glossy cake board with beautiful roses on.  And to top that, I carried them all in one of my pizza boxes which turned out to be the perfect depth for these particular cakes.  I love using my papercrafts stuff for other things - it feels like I'm getting something free ;-)

I haven't forgotten to show you my lovely bunting from Lunch Lady Jan but it took me ages to photograph it this morning as I tried to hang it somewhere outside that wasn't wet with frost!  And then I lost my photos :-(  I shall try again for next week because it really is beautiful.

But now I shall leave you with a sneak of my final DT project and dash off to peruse some other work desks.  Come over to Julia's blog with me and have a look around

Bye for now.

Monday, 17 October 2011

DT layouts

When I opened my DT package from Sarah at S J Crafts, I was really happy to see the new MME 12 Days of Christmas range in there.  I tend to scrap about a year behind so it was ideal for the photos from last Christmas because by the time I have had them developed I am sick of Christmas colours!

I started with this one as the striped "Wrap it up" paper just cried out to be used as a background.  That's part of the reason that I love MME as the quality makes them ideal for this.  However, being a bit anal about my papers, I had to gut it so I could use that precious square for something else ;-)  (On that subject, Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party starts today - perfect for paper addicts like myself, how about you?)

I love these photos of B investigating the Christmas tree.  They are a bit blurred but that's because she was so busy!  I don't mind using imperfect pictures when the imperfections are part of the story - the story is what its about for me.

Because the photos were so fun, I really wanted to bling it up and make is sparkly and bright so I used some old glittery stickers as well as the gems from the kit.  But I didn't stop there, oh no.  I used Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles on the fabulous chipboard.  This comes in a whole 12x12 sheet with enough images for plenty of layouts and cards too.

I used a bit of October Afternoon for the journalling as it had some of the same colours in.  The modern colours in the MME line are a bit out of the norm for me as I normally stick to very traditional colours and patterns for the festive season.  It was great to break out of my mould here and especially because it meant I could use pink and red together which was perfect for a little girl wearing a pink dress.

For my second layout I used a black and white photo as I wanted the variety between the two pages.  I hoped to create something a bit more sophisticated for my ancient cat so I wanted to keep the lines cleaner than the previous layout.

I wasn't sure about this line of papers at first but I'm so pleased with how they've worked.  There are so many colours in them that it is easy to pick out different ones to suit and get many looks from the same papers.  And how lush is that bobble trim?!

I used some more of the chipboard here and popped out the middle of the frame to make a journalling spot.  I love these chipboard sets as although they are self-adhesive, you can pop out the individual elements and move them around without them sticking in the wrong place.  And trust me, they are VERY sticky once you take the film off so there is no change of repositioning!

I used a scrap of the "All The Trimmings" paper to make a rosette to add dimension.  I didn't use this side of the paper elsewhere on this layout but the colours are there so it works okay and its a great way to use up scraps.

But it seems that I got a bit carried away...  As well as these 2 layouts, and the snowy one on the previous post, I made ANOTHER layout with a summer theme.  But I'll save that for another post ;-)

Bye for now