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

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Baby its cold outside...

There is definitely a distinct nip in the air first thing in the morning and as the evening draws in.  I wonder if we will get the snow that they suggested a few weeks ago, you know back when it was suddenly baking hot again?  It made me think back to March 2008 when L was not quite 2 years old.  On the Saturday we got the garden furniture out because it was lovely and warm and we sat there drinking tea in our te-shirts.  The next morning the boys woke me up early because it had snowed over night and they couldn't wait to show me.  My poor little man had a tummy ache but he still made a huge snowman with Daddy and then walked up the lane to the fields near where we lived until a couple of years ago.  Its a wonderful rural area with hills perfect for sliding down on a plastic bag (if you are caught unawares and don't have a sledge!)

I used the sketch from the wonderful Kirsty Wiseman's Wednesday Night Crop from erm.. Thursday!  Kirsty has been chaotically busy recently with her work on QVC etc and I've really missed her Wednesday night madness.  She crops live on Ustream and there is usually an appearance from Eddie the dog at some point.  The rest of us chat and scrap along or just chat!

The papers are My Mind's Eye, 12 Days of Christmas with their fab modern colours.  I sprayed the background with red Mister Huey over one of the punched snowflakes and  I love the effect it gave - I will definitely do this again.  The whole thing was sprayed with Marshmallow Glimmer Mist which gives a soft sheen to everything but is barely visible.  I was brave and didn't ink the edges of everything with Vintage Photo as I normally do.  But don't worry, I haven't lost the plot!  I used Broken China instead ;-)

I jazzed up some of those ultra cheap foam letter stickers and I'm thinking about a little trip to see if I can get some more as I'm so pleased with how they turn out.  You have to forgive me the clich├ęd title as it is my first child related snowy layout!

I punched 2 snowflakes for each spot because I wanted some depth so the second layer is vellum which goes through much easier.  Its a lovely punch but very troublesome...

So tell me, are you stockpiling salt?  Have you bought a snow shovel?  Or do you think the anticipated snow will be more like very cold rain instead?  We live on a STEEP incline so we are thinking of investing in snow chains just to get us out onto the main road!

Bye for now

Friday, 14 October 2011

Time for ice-cream!

Its hot.  Its cold.  Its hot again.  Now it's cold.  What on earth is going on with this weather?!  I seem to be in keeping with the current climate though as in the last week I have scrapped 3 winter layouts and 2 summer ones!  Several of them were part of my S J Crafts DT submission which I will be sharing after the weekend.  I hadn't put away the scraps though and so I used them on a couple of other layouts including this one for Shimelle's Starting Point last week.  I've had these 3 photos in a poly bag ready to scrap for some time but just couldn't get the placement right.  We don't have many properly sunny days when we are on holiday in Wales but this one just about counted and so we all celebrated with ice-cream.  I had a Cornetto (how sophisticated), L had a push up Calippo thingy, and B had something chocolatey and messy and not at all sophisticated!

The new green paper from the DT kit (MME 12-days-of-christmas) was edged with one of my go-to punches, the Fiskars Apron Lace border punch.  The rest is all older stash from here and there including some AC Dear Lizzy paper and ribbon, Papermania buttons and brads and a bingo ticket from the pound shop.  It was good to use up some older stuff and I don't feel too bad about buying new stash if I can mix it up and use up some older stuff too.

After a lovely sunny day here it has started to get quite cold this evening and looking at these photos is making me want to pull a blanket around myself!  I hope the weather is to your liking, wherever you are.

Bye for now xx

Saturday, 8 October 2011

A Halloween layout

Firstly, have a look over there to the right.  See that new badge there?  I am very proud of my first design team logo!  My kit came yesterday and I dived straight in, in a mixture of fear and excitement!  I'll be sharing my DT layouts in a few days.

Now, do you know, I don't think I've ever done a Halloween layout before!  I bought a lot of themed stuff in the 2Peas sale last year but here in good old Blighty we don't seem to celebrate with quite the same vigour as our American friends.  Shame really as I love the colours!

I used Shimelle's Starting Point from last Saturday to get me started but I found the busy papers quite tricky to work with.  I broke open my Tim Holtz embossing folder which helped to give the eye somewhere to rest.

L is supposed to be a scary Vampire and B is a cat but they look so cute, hence the title.

The papers and letters etc came from a set by We R Memory Keepers and I have rather a lot left but it was fun to break the open.

See those little green hearts there on the wording strip?  I think they were one of the first things I bought when I was interested in scrapbooking but didn't actually do any, about 4 years ago!  I've actually been scrapbooking about 2 years now but I have stash that is MUCH older!  Hopefully I'll use some more of that up with Shimelle's new class that starts soon that I signed up for yesterday.  Look out for the announcement on her website soon.

Bye for now xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Firstly I wanted to say thank you so much for all the kind messages regarding the sudden death of my Step-Mum (in all but a marriage licence!).  We only got the results of the post mortem so everything is still quite difficult because we all feel like we are in the middle of something bad happening instead of moving on from something, if that makes sense.  It appears that she fell and the resulting head injury was the cause however we will never know why she fell as aside from the head trauma she was apparently very well.  She may have just fainted as she didn't break her fall in anyway so wouldn't have been concious when she went down.  It was a totally freak accident and I know she will be thinking "Well how blooming daft!"

Anyway, onto brighter things!  Here is my desk today.

Art sediment from the following 2 layouts really and the beginnings of another.  You can also see there, just at the top right of the layout, something which looks a little Christmassy.  I must say a humungous THANK YOU to Lunch Lady Jan for sending this adorable Christmas bunting which I will photograph properly when I get better light.  It is wonderful and it will look great hung around the walls and add instant festive cheer.  I never expected a total stranger really, to send me such a lovely gift, just because I made her laugh last week with the titles of her blog posts - go and check it out today to see what we were laughing about!

And these are the layouts which caused the mess above.

This one using Shimelle's Sketch of the Week from a couple of weeks ago and using some Cosmo Cricket Joy Ride.  (Apologies for the reflection in the photo)
See the tongue sticking out there?  Its a family thing.  We can't concentrate or steer if we don't have our tongue out.  My tongue is often out when I craft...  It was out especially when I tried to do the inky dots which went wrong (again!) and I spilled some on my page so I will not be trying it again EVER!

And this one using Shimelle's Starting Point from the weekend.  Its a bit minimal for me but I kind of like it.

I added the stars down the opposite side to the sketch as I didn't intend to use them but then changed my mind when I decided I desperately needed more texture.

So do you want to join in?  Want to upload a picture or just take a sneak at other people's?  Either way, visit Julia and see the many other lovely desks on offer today.

Bye for now xx

Saturday, 1 October 2011

A very sad lesson

I have 2 more weeks of LSNED to catch up on but I'm not sure when that will be at the moment.  On Thursday, my lesson was that I learn't that my Dad's partner had died very suddenly.  Everything has been up in the air since then while we wait to find out exactly what happened etc.  They had lived together for the last 15-16 years I think and my dad is 76 in a couple of weeks, so I'm obviously very worried about how he will cope as she did absolutely everything for him.  It brought home to me how quickly life can change and how we really must make the most of what we have.  It seems so wrong to be so sad when the weather is so wonderful.  She loved to be out in the sun so I know that she will be really cross about missing this unusually warm weather.

I'm finding that I am itching to scrap while I digest this shocking change in our lives so I will be back very soon I'm sure.

Bye for now