Friday 27 January 2012


Well both hubs and I were STARTING to improve a bit but today we have had my princess being sick so its possible that we have yet another bug in our midst.  Honestly its been one thing after another in the last few weeks.  I've spent a lot of time on the sofa though catching up on a few blogs and, to be honest, deleting a few from my Reader.  It was the only spot of decluttering I could manage this week and I am still going through them.  I'm taking off anyone who hasn't posted for ages, people that only do digi, or don't craft in my style at all.  A lot of the blogs are from classes where there was a cross over and we did a group subscription, like Blogging for Scrapbookers, and I just never had the time to go through them.

I did manage to make some progress on my Christmas Journal so I am about to order the photos for that and I did manage to finish the layout from the class the previous week.

The background was something I pulled from my "give it away" pile - oops! All of the strips were scraps.  It turned out better than I thought when I first starting laying it all down but I'm still not totally happy with the colour choices on the background and title though.  But on the positive, a few more memories are recorded, I've used some stash and in particular some scraps, and I'm forever learning about what I do and don't like.

And something I found while blog sorting, that I really really do like, is Nichol Maguoirk's blog.  She is a Garden Girl over at 2Peas and she does great videos and had a really fresh vibe and eclectic style.  I've spent some time Pinning her layouts and I have a stack of her videos to watch.  Which is great today because there is only so much Pingu a person can watch...  Here's to a great weekend for everyone.

Bye for now

Wednesday 25 January 2012


I almost didn't play today but Wednesday wouldn't be Wednesday without snooping around other people's desks now would it.  I don't think Julia realised what a monster she would be breeding when she first had the idea 138 weeks ago but I'm so glad she did and now having met her and Lunch Lady Jan, I am even more glad that she did - oh how we did chuckle and stroke many fabrics..  So I will shortly be going back to bed as I feel so absolutely lousy with a horrid sore throat and cold.  Wednesday is my day for WOYWW (obviously) but also my housework but I am banned from hoovering and ironing at the moment because of my shoulder (hurrah!) so if I get some energy later then I will spend some time in my craft room - it misses me, I know it.  It calls to me when I am at the gym or on the school run or just in another room helping someone with a puzzle or dressing a dolly or being made pretend cakes and cups of tea (oh how I wish I could have endless calorie free cake and tea!!)

Centre stage we have a half finished layout from the crop class last week.  As you can see, no strawberries.  I changed my mind at the last minute.  And then of course I paid the price because in my haste I didn't check the colours properly and I'm not sure it works.  The Christmas Journal at the back there - its this weekend or it gets filed away.  And then in the corner is Cath Kidston book "Sew!"  Meeting Jan last week rekindled my fabric love and she has inspired me to get my sewing machine out and have a play.  That's what I love about WOYWW, you might be inspired by a technique, a colour scheme, a piece of paper or fabric, a storage solution, or you might laugh at someone's teetering tottering piles, be awe inspired by someone's organised and tidy space, scream in horror or nod in agreement at un-cleaned stamps.  Whatever makes you go "ooh" you are sure to find something around these desks to put a little twinkle in your eye.  Tell me what you've found, what makes you have a snoop each week, what have you learned?  Don't keep it to yourself, share.  Because "Sharing is Caring".

And with that, dear people, I leave you.  I am taking Scrap365 and a cup of tea up to my bed.

Bye for now

Friday 20 January 2012

Pass The Page!

Fingers crossed that this works because this is a new thing for me to try.  Quite a few months ago, I volunteered to be part of a Pass The Page organised by Julie.  I sort of forgot about it for a while because I was one of the last ones in the list but then I received this gorgeous layout just before Christmas.  I would love to enlarge it but for some reason it gets very blurred even slightly bigger than it is but I'm sure you will head over and visit Jemma if you haven't already, and see it in its larger glory.

I took a lot of the inspiration from this layout because I loved so many parts of it.  I used similar colours, several small photos and the band across the middle design. 

The journalling reads "Little Alfred came into the world rather early at 26 weeks.  The only unit that could take them was in Portsmouth, 1.5 hrs from their home in Poole.  I was the closest of Anna's Open University friends so I called in to welcome him on behalf of all his "aunties".  I'm glad I was there for one of his first photos and to support Anna.  I'm also glad she had her Faith.  He is a miracle."

Alfred is now 9 months and he is once again poorly and causing concern but I am sure he will fight through again.  Anna's faith has helped her so much and I admire her strength and courage through this incredibly difficult journey, which is far from over.

And talking of journey's, the next stop on this hop is Deb.  Just in case you get lost or started here anyway, here is the list of all the people involved in the Pass The Page.  

There is a prize for one lucky commenter to be drawn next Friday.  So leave a comment on each of the pages and you could be in with a chance to win.  And don't forget to see my previous post about the challenge over at S J Crafts where there is another prize on offer.

I'm looking forward to seeing where the designs started and ended and I hope you enjoy looking at all the different layouts.  Its been great fun to be part of something longer term and with some old and new blog friends.  

Happy hopping!

Thursday 19 January 2012

Fancy a Challenge?

Every 3rd Thursday, Sarah will be hosting a new challenge over at S J Crafts.  The focus is on the everyday stuff and this month the theme is "Happy".  There will also be an idea for using something from your stash by way of a product or technique and this month the focus is to use a punch.  The DT will be showing a few examples and then you have 4 weeks--ish (check the deadline for each challenge) to upload your entry.  This month's prize is a £10 voucher for the shop including some items still in the sale.

When I heard about the challenge, it fitted perfectly with something I was about to make for Management.  He gave me such a wonderful day last Wednesday for my birthday treat but the best part was just being together without the stresses and rush of normal daily life.  I wanted to make him a card to say that spending time with him is what makes me tick, no matter how bad my mental state is!  

I love the cheery feel of the My Mind's Eye Fly A Kite range and I picked out the bright colours in the kite with some Glossy Accents for some dimension and interest.  I used my bracket punch, which is great for male cards, and of course I edged everything with Distress Inks.

He was pleasantly surprised to get a thank you card and said it wasn't needed.  I said it wasn't a thank you card, it was a "You Make Me So Happy" card, which is what I really wanted to express to him.  Because he does.  So much.  :-)

What makes you happy?  Please do share it with us on the S J Crafts blog.  I'll be back tomorrow with a blog hop and news of another prize - its all go here!

Bye for now

Wednesday 18 January 2012


A flying visit from me this morning as I am being "a lady what lunches" with some VIP guests.

I'm preparing for a crop class tomorrow night and faffing about changing my mind as usual.  I've gone with some pictures from the summer (I'm hoping the cheery pics will rub off on me!) and I knew immediately which papers to go to but I also knew that I had completed a layout many moons ago about the same thing with the same papers.  When I looked at it (that's the page that's open in the album there) I realised it was from 2008 and so it didn't matter how similar it was.  However the layout itself will be quite different and I've decided to go with kraft card as the background (when in doubt, use kraft...).  Paula who runs the class, has done a single page but I think I will do a mirror image as a double as I have a few pics from that day that I want to use.  I love spending time with crafty friends and we always turn out something individual to ourselves and use styles and ideas that we wouldn't normally use.

Something else which is something I wouldn't normally do, is a Pass the Page.  I can't for the life of me remember how I got involved in this thing in the first place but there are about 10 of us revealing our layouts in a blog hop on 20th and I found out yesterday that there are going to be some prizes.  I'm looking forward to the reveal on this one as the subject is my friend's little miracle baby.  I just need to take a better picture of the layout but of course now I want to do that, the weather has turned from f-f-f-freezing but sunny and clear to drizzly, grey and dark.  Pah!

What's on your workdesk today?  Is it tidy or messy?  Whatever it is, let us have a look see and link up to the lovely Julia (who just may be wearing a flower in her hair today).

Bye for now

Wednesday 11 January 2012


Good morning Wednesday!  Its a busy day for me today starting with some long awaited physio and them I'm off to the New Forest for a birthday massage, a special lunch and a trip to a new craft shop.  I was very lucky yesterday and among my birthday presents I got another set of Promarkers (if anyone has any to swap please let me know as I have a few doubles now), the special fine nibs for the pens, some Distress Inks, some good quality card for using with the pens and a Tim Holtz die.  

I had a bit of a clear up yesterday and as you can see I have had to put my Promarkers in a shoe box now.  I did put the rest of the coloured dots on the ends of my new ones which is the what was going on here when I took the photo.  I haven't yet put my new stuff away (it's hiding on the floor) but I really want to try and break the back of the Christmas Journal before I give up on it.  That's what's in all the stuff to the back of the desk and my current layout is just to the bottom left.  There are so many new classes and inspiration starting that I'm really keen to get on with so I think I will give it another couple of weeks and then draw a line under it.

Hopefully I will not be in too much pain after being pummelled by my rugby player physio and I can have a look around some of the desks later on.  Go and say hi to Julia if you want a nosy too or if you want to join in and share your creative space.

Bye for now

Tuesday 10 January 2012

10 Birthday Things on the Tenth

Happy Birthday to me!

I thought in celebration of my birthday, that I would share 10 wonderful presents that I have had in adulthood.

This little piece of beached glass in the middle of the photo, was given to me this morning by my wonderful boy.  He found it at the weekend when they went out for a walk while I did some spring cleaning and he knew I would love it and managed to keep it a secret.  He was so proud of his find as he knew I didn't have any in my collections of shells and stone.  I love it.

My locket and chain is one of my very favourite possessions.  My Dad came shopping with Management and I to look for something perfect for my 21st birthday many moons ago and one of them bought the locket and the other the chain.  There is disagreement about who bought which piece and I can't remember and I don't care, I just love it.  I wear it most days.

My passport.  Strange present you might think but it was one of the best birthdays ever.  Management wanted to give me an early birthday present, the evening before my birthday, to cheer me up after a pants day at work.  It was tiny and I duly opened what I thought would be a small in value present.  I was SO cross with him for ruining my birthday by giving me such a big present early!  Then he revealed that I wouldn't be going to work for the next 2 days as we would heading to Paris VERY early the next morning and coming back at the end of the weekend.  But there was more...  He had originally planned to take me to Paris to see France V England in the what was then, 5 Nations, but he hadn't received conformation of tickets (thousands apply and some people are lucky).  He booked this alternative trip for my birthday instead but then got conformation of tickets for the match so we went back to Paris 5 weeks later!

These Promarkers appeared in my previous post. They were the ones sent to me by a fellow QVC Craft Forum member and we had originally planned to swap something but she said she would give them to me as an early birthday present.  It never fails to amaze me, the kindness of the on-line community.

I received this cheque from my Mother-In-Law this morning.  Money is always nice obviously but you can see from the note that it is specifically for crafting supplies!  In the past she has given me tokens for Hobbycraft as it is the shop that she knows.  However, we were talking over Christmas about how I like to shop in various places on-line and from 2Peas in America etc and so she thought money would be better.  She telephoned just now to remind me NOT to spend it on the children or the house.

I love amber, it reminds me of tigers and matches my red hair.  These earrings are the first amber items Management ever bought me.

I was blown away when I got this ticket for Scrap-a-Mia in 2010.  Management had overheard a scrapping buddy and I talking about it and went off to find out more and bought it.  He was a bit worried as he didn't know anything about it or if I would like it etc but he chose so very very well and I had a total blast.  And again in 2011.  Really hoping they run it again this year too.

My cake stand is technically not a present from someone else but bought with birthday money so it counts right?  I love this style and it was just right for my craft room.  It houses my special ribbons and lace offcuts and washy tapes etc.  Shame about the shocking photo.

My favourite thing to make in my Kenwood is Delia Smith's Little Sticky Toffee puddings so I must really find some more low fat recipes to make.  I love baking but I love cake mix too.  Another shocking photo.

My Nikon was a present from Management with some Christmas money added in.  It is now 2 years old and I still don't know how to work it properly (clearly!) but it is on my list of things to do now that B has started pre-school (first morning today and she ran all the way there!)  I did an OU Digitial Photography course but didn't really make the most of it and I've forgotten it all so I will go back through it.  I love digital - the ability to get instant feedback on your shots is something I will never tire of.

And that blurry teal pattern there?  That is the most wonderful card made for me by Jaki - thank you Jaki!  I'm looking forward to a day of pampering tomorrow when Management is off and I'll be opening my presents when he gets home tonight so there is yet more of this birthday to come.

10 on the tenth is brought to you by Shimelle and this month she is sharing her fave layouts from 2011, which are all fabulous, obvs.

Bye for now

Sunday 8 January 2012

New stash... ahem..

A little bit here and a little bit there and it soon adds up right?  This little lot needs putting away at some point.

Because of Christmas preparations and working on my Christmas Journal, I haven't had a moment to put away anything new since mid November so I just stacked it up.  I'd been pretty good and hadn't bought anything new for a while.  Then October Afternoon went and had a Santa Sack Sale and I couldn't resist.  I was stung big time for the customs though due to being charged on the value ($100) and not on the sale price ($35) and for some reason it going through Royal Mail who charge an admin fee.  October Afternoon  were releasing these sacks each week but I wouldn't be going for the next sack after that... except... a friend I met on-line and have since met in real life a couple of times (waves to Jaki!) had a solution and so we both bought one of the later Santa sacks.

I had a back order of paper pads and bits and bobs from S J Crafts and that arrived a couple of weeks before Christmas and then another of my fave shops had a sale so I had a little purchase there too.  And then of course came Christmas.  My wonderful hubs bought me a grab box and various page protectors, several packs of buttons and a goody bag.

Then because I didn't get any Promarkers for Christmas, I went a little bit mad on them when I found them for half price!  And during my chats with the girls and boys on the Facebook QVC Craft forum, someone sent me a pack that they hadn't even opened and then Jaki and I swapped 3 that we had doubles of - result!  Finally, I think, there has been a craft clearance extravaganza on QVC which started at 12pm on 28th.  I couldn't sleep so I managed to get one of the TSVs (Today's Special Value) which had sold out by 9am.  It was a large stack of Bazzil Basics cardstock which worked out to about 25p a sheet even with the p&p.

I have spent the last two days cleaning other parts of the house and having another bit of a de-clutter and so my treat tomorrow will be having a really good look at everything as I put it away and have a bit of a tidy up in my craft room.  I ache like I have done a workout but I'm really hoping that I will keep on top of things now and that it will help me feel more in control.  That's the plan anyway ;-)

Bye for now

Thursday 5 January 2012

Random Kit Release

I was very lucky just before Christmas, to receive the new mini-kit from S J Crafts as my DT package. Initially it struck me as a fairly feminine kit and with the pinks and oranges (surely they shouldn't work together but they DO).  I knew it would be perfect for the millions of photos I took of B in the leaves at Staunton Country Park.  I spent ages directing the children around shouting "Smile!" and "Don't close your eyes!" while I tried to get the perfect shot of them gazing up into the falling leaves with wonder and joy... yeah right!  It was the first time we had been able to get these sorts of shots because up until then everywhere had been so wet that the leaves were just mush!  Actually, you could say the same thing now 3 months later...

I gutted the papers and cardstock to make the most of the kit (and because I can't bear "wasting" paper where it won't be seen).  I used the pink cardstock in the kit as one of the layers and included my own kraft card for the base to add something more neutral.  I distressed and inked the edges with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and layered up some of the stickers and flowers from the kit.  I used a few buttons and leaf shaped brads from my stash and some older letters by WRMK and Bella Boulevard.

So then, me being me, I wanted to see if I could flip the feminine idea a bit and show that the Portrait collection can be used for more masculine layouts too.  The denim paper jumped out at me (you know my love of Denim!) and I have so many photos that I knew I would be able to find something suitable where L was wearing jeans.  As it happened, I found some of him wearing an orange top which matched the off-cuts from the first layout.  

I used my pie-crust punch and added some raffia and another sprinkling of buttons (I am an addict...) and an American Crafts rub-on (which was awful to work with) and again I based it on some kraft cardstock.

I love the way this turned out - starting with essentially feminine collection and ending up with a layout perfect for a little boy and his Daddy out walking in the countryside.

So that's 2 layouts from a kit that is less than £5 and the best bit is that I still have some of the gorgeous rose print paper to make a lovely card with.  I'm thinking of a Thank You card for my Mother-In-Law for my perfect Christmas present - UGG earmuffs!  Photo to follow ;-)

Bye for now

Wednesday 4 January 2012


Happy New Year to all you WOYWW-ers!

I am back and blogging again and I will be visiting everyone I have missed so much over the festive season.  You'll find the list of sharers at Julia's Stamping Ground.

I have been working on a few things in the last couple of weeks including a Pass The Page for a blog hop which should go live around the end of the month, and also some DT work for S J Papercrafts (the new kit which is about to be released).  Also of course I have been busy working on my Christmas Journal.  I've done a few pages but I am actually enjoying doing it after the event with the benefit of hindsight.  I'm waiting for a couple of photos and then I can post them up.

I've got a lot to catch up on and today is the day I take back control because it the first day I have had without one or both of the children for about 5-6 weeks what with school holidays and all the poorliness that came before.  I am very grateful that we were pretty much bug free for Christmas itself even though we are all just a bit worn out still.  I will be making good use of my time putting away all my lovely stash that I got in various sales and for Christmas presents over the last 4 weeks or so.  I'll post up a picture when I've cleared some space.

One of my sale purchases was a splurge on Promarkers.  I have fallen in love with colouring again.  You can just see a Christmas picture peeking out in the bottom left corner but I think I need to look out for a non-Christmas grown-ups colouring book now ;-)

I hope the New Year is treating you well so far.

Bye for now