Friday, 30 March 2012

A last minute card

So much for my scissor-break!  

On Thursday morning, L says to me "I'm a bit sad today because Miss L is leaving".  Miss L is a student teacher who has been working on placement in L's class for 6 weeks.  "When's that hun?" I ask.  "Today" he says.  Thanks L!  I had to get my skates on, despite my virus, because I also had to make an Easter Bonnet for the next day.  I grabbed my new favourite punch and some new papers that I have dying for an excuse to break open and set about a speedy card and book mark.

The Portobello Road collection is perfect for this coming Summer with the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics.  I'm tempted to hold a party just so that I can use this collection to make appropriate invites and cupcake decorations!  I used the coordinating stamps to make the little postcard greeting.

The bookmark didn't come out quite the way I wanted but that point I was already hyperventilating over the hat (more on that in another post) and I was wishing I had gone to the shop and bought a card and an Easter egg.

I'm happy that the children are on Spring break / Easter hols now as we could all do with a few slow days.  Not much chance of that for a few more days yet though as it is a certain young lady's 3rd birthday on Monday.  In an effort to help me, Management has bought a cake.  I am in pieces.  I have never bought a cake for any of the 7 birthdays my children have had so far.  They have always been baked and decorated with fondant in an age appropriate design by my own fair hands (with much mess, stress and swearing!)  Hey ho, its all downhill from here.  I did make her card though, I'll share that in my next post.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Having said I would take a scissor break, I am now on a rather enforced one thanks to the children giving me their virus - gah!

So here is the mess of a table complete with layouts that need filing, some that need finishing and lots of things that need putting away.  This includes my new favourite punch that involves bunting - squeal!!!!

That cute birthday card in the middle there, I bought it for someone without reading the message and it was completely inappropriate.  And yes I did buy the card and not make it because I... well I just didn't.

And how can you tell that I am not working at my desk at the moment?  Because there is no cup of tea of course!  I do have one but its right here next to me on the sofa where I am staying while I peruse some blogs from the WOYWW list over at Julia's.  Might see you there?

Bye for now,

Monday, 26 March 2012

Another Starting Point

Shimelle is back with her sketches and starting points and they do give me a wonderful place to start from.  Of course though, they are no guarantee of success though as you can see from the layout here.  I was at a crop on Saturday and it was the first time that I have felt like I didn't want to scrap, maybe because of the amount of work I did in the previous couple of weeks.  I had planned my pages before I went but even so I found myself floundering at every decision, cutting the wrong parts of papers, dropping things on the floor time after time, even kicking over a whole cup of precious tea.  I had such a headache by the afternoon that I called time slightly early, but not before I had attempted the current Starting Point.

I love the papers and the picture but the layout has no dimension, doesn't sit easily on the eye and is probably too chaotic.  Today I tried to fix it but quickly got to the point that I felt I was fighting a lost cause and I should just move on to something else (like planning a small young lady's 3rd birthday and trip to Peppa Pig World).  In the last few months I have been spending SO much time reading craft magazines and blogs, talking to other crafters, browsing in craft shops, watching craft on TV, decorating my craft room, and also lots of creating too, but I think I overdosed.  I think I need a few days away from my scissors - shock horror!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


I did it!  I finished the album and it is sat next to me waiting to be posted in the morning.  Its been a labour of love but I hope that it goes down well with the people who are giving it and to the person who is retiring.

I had so much planned for this week but both children have had a bit of a cold so my tip of a craft room will have to stay as such for a little while longer.

This was desk once I had finished the final page.  That gap in the middle there is where I was working on the pages so it doesn't count as clear space at all!  And just pretend you can't see that half eaten slice of cherry cake there... ahem...

I ran out of space and my plug sockets are in daft places so I tend to do my embossing on the floor.  I embossed a number of cogs / gears in a copper coloured powder to hopefully fit the theme of the car.

Oh my.  This is my die-cutting area which saw a fair bit of action of the past week.  All the teeny pieces from inside the gears and the left overs from the scraps are mixed up with dies and packaging and Cuttlebug plates so I need to be really careful when I clear this little lot up!  It looks a LOT worse in real life.

The result of all that hard work is a pile of 40 layouts ready for the chap with the fabulous purple 1974 MGB to fill up with photos, ephemera and journalling.  The top one there is the first page and they are all in the corduroy album and well protected now.

I'm cropping on Saturday so I need to get sorted quick smart with what I'm taking.  I can tell you that it will not involve grungy  MME papers, cog dies, the colour purple, a pie crust border punch or a double page layout.  I thank you.

Time to check out what's on everyone else's desk this week I think, and say hi to Julia while you are there won't you.

Bye for now

Friday, 16 March 2012

SJ Crafts Monthly Challenge - March/April

This month's challenge over at SJ Crafts is as easy as 1-2-3!  Upload your paper crafting project to the blog about anything inspired by 1-2-3 and you could win the chipboard set from the Echo Park "This and That" Collection.  Other entries are chosen as favourites on the blog too. 

My inspiration for this challenge came from this set of pictures of B's first picnic.  We did something called Baby Led Weaning with both children which basically involves not giving them pureed food as babies, just letting them play, lick, chew, spit out, possibly swallow, occasionally gag, on the same foods we eat as adults.  You can start once the baby is around 6 months and sitting up unaided and you can see here that Miss B is thoroughly enjoying her sandwich.  My Mother-in-law couldn't bear to watch the children stuffing handfuls of solid food into their faces and she was convinced they would choke or never learn to use a knife and fork.  My own mother thought we were torturing the children and would spoon feed them whenever we turned our backs.  Of course these days its much more common but people do still tend to hyperventilate when they see a baby squashing a whole roast potato into their face!

But oh my, check out that hair!  She had a stunning set of "Heathrow and Gatwicks" for a long time until the rest of her hair caught up!  She often looked like a cockerel and her mohawk was one even Puck from Glee would be proud of.

The added extra for this challenge is to use 3 of something.  As you can see, I used 3 photos (that's what I happened to have), 3 tags, and 3 patterned papers (the brown strip is the reverse of one of the others).  I love My Mind's Eye for their timeless quality and I find their collections so versatile but I particularly like the colours and easy to use designs in some of the older Quite Contrary line.

So, if you are looking for a challenge to enter (and one that has great prizes) and you can be inspired by something to do with 1-2-3, why not give it a go.  The closing date is 18th April at 1pm.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Okay so last week I said 143 and it was 144 - I admit, I'm a wrong un.  Today is definitely 145 though, isn't it?

So, this was my desk this afternoon...

The commission for the retirement album is well under way despite only really starting on Sunday.  The album itself arrived today so I've put in the 18 pages that I've completed in the last few days.  You can also see the remains of the papers and cardstock that I've used so far, some plans for further pages, the beginnings of some rosettes and of course, that all important cup of tea.

And just so you know its me, here are the spots!  You can see that I'm joining in with the Crafters Waltz (push to the back, squash to the left, squish to the right) and there are some more of the papers I'm using for the album there and some lovely bakers twine which arrived today.

But because I've been crafting for hours, I thought I would take another pic tonight to show the progress of another set of pages.  The album has lots of purple in it as the car that will be featured is a fantastic shade of purple but there are also lots of blues, reds and browns too.  The papers are all slightly grungy and masculine from a wonderful set from My Minds Eye.

By this time next Wednesday, the entire thing must be finished ready for posting first thing Thursday.  Its been incredibly interesting to do and I've learned a lot but heck my mind has been a whirl of decisions and planning and working out ways to get a few more minutes of work in.  I was even cutting and folding during B's ballet class and my Slimming World session!

I'll leave you with a very special layout (for SJ Crafts) about a subject close to my heart, in case you missed it the other day.  Its about our weekly jaunt around the desks with Julia which has become so much of my routine and I had all the photos on my hard drive so I felt compelled to record it!

Right, 20 more pages to go......

Bye for now

Friday, 9 March 2012

Love is like a butterfly.

My most recent DT package from SJ Crafts was a gorgeous set of Jenni Bowlin vellum butterflies.  They were just in time to feature on my Sister-in-law's special birthday card.  I layered them up on scalloped and embossed circles, inking the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  The butterflies have a wonderful dimension and the vellum allows the shapes and textures to show through.

 I used inspiration from Kirsty Wiseman for this card as I just love her style.

I used the remaining 2 pink butterflies on my layout about the fun of joining in with What's on Your Workspace Wednesday every week and the wonderful friends I have made.

The pops of dimension they give to the bunting really lift the layout and add something special to the pretty papers against the kraft cardstock.

I was also given a pack of blue butterflies and you know me, I like to show the flexibility of a product, so I tried something a bit different.  This is a heartfelt layout about that moment when you realise your children are growing up before your very eyes.

I was inspired by a layout I saw somewhere and it seems to have escaped my frantic Pinning but it was about letting your children fly.  The butterflies were perfect to signify how children grow and suddenly develop into something so much more wonderful than you thought possible.  But also that you can't hold onto them.

I really stepped out of my comfort zone here and I used bubble wrap with acrylic paint (you could use Jenni Bowlin's Dabbers), to stamp the background design.  I used a script stamp (you could use a stamp with any style of script design on) and stamped onto micropore tape from the chemist.

I echoed the vellum butterflies by using punched shapes as a mask (you could use this punch).  Again, the wonderful dimension these beauties supply adds just the right amount of lift for what I wanted.

Its quite a different style for me but it was great fun and its another important moment documented.  And there are butterflies.  Seriously, is there anyone who doesn't like butterflies?!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Hurrah!  I am back in my craft room, scrapping away.  I have a new desk but still no chair as yet.  The table that you saw in last weeks post was the one hiding underneath my spotty tablecloth and has gone to my Dad's.  It has been replaced by a pristine, height adjustable white one.

You can see the 2 layouts I am currently working on and my basket at the top right which houses the things I need all the time.

But wait, hang on.... where are the spots?

Ahhhh, here they are!  The tablecloth didn't work at all on the desk but I managed to mark the drawers within seconds of building them so it sits there now.

I intend to cut a piece to fit the desk top with no overhang, somehow.  I had wanted an L shaped affair but I suddenly realised that I wouldn't be able to have my spotty cloth and so after a mild panic in Ikea I completely changed my mind.  Management just raised his eyebrows when I said I had to be able to use my table cloth because otherwise no-one would recognise me!

I took away the large open shelving and replaced it with 2 bookcases.  It means I have room on the walls for a few bits that I am part way through.  The drawers need some embellishment but I'm happy with the colour, especially against the new colour on the walls.

So there is still work to be done but it will have to go on hold for a bit because I have been asked to create a scrapbook for someone as a retirement present.  I am literally sick with nerves but so happy that someone thought of me when the idea came up.   The deadline is soon though so I best crack on.

So what's on YOUR desk today?  Come on share it with us, don't let my tidy table put you off, it won't stay like that ;-)

Bye for now

Sunday, 4 March 2012

What did we do before Ikea?

There was once a time when I wouldn't go into Ikea.  We had a Victorian house with loads of original features and the modern Ikea style and cheap flat pack furniture just wasn't us.  Then we started a family and we saw that Ikea actually did furniture that wasn't all minimalist and modern clean lines and from our very first visit we were hooked.  We also, surprisingly, liked the quality.

Then we moved house to somewhere bigger and slightly more modern and by then we had 2 young children.  And they opened an Ikea store about 20 minutes from our new home.  Its probably the only shop that the children WANT to go to.  The cafe looks out over Southampton docks and so we see the huge cruise liners when they are in port.  L loves the creche but B is still too little, at least for the next few weeks.

When I started thinking about being able to have my own craft room, I knew where I would probably end up getting all the stuff from.  I have gradually been able to get the furniture that I wanted in there and also made better use of the stuff that I was using in there in the meantime.  This weekend I bought, and put together, the final pieces, including a large desk, and it really feels like it is coming together.  I've got a few bits to put on the walls as yet and I still haven't finished the pizza boxes so most of my papers are still in RUBs but I'm getting there and I am loving the way it is starting to look.  I can't wait to get back in there and really attack some projects that have been sitting in my "unfinished" basket for far too long.  I also need to prep for a retreat at the end of March.

I won't show pictures until Wednesday but I don't like having a photo-less post so I will leave you with a layout that I started in October and finally finished a couple of weeks ago!

This is one of the layouts that I started during the stash diving project in Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party class.  I got 11 layouts to the point where they had photos and the initial paper placement sorted.  They just needed titles, journalling and embellishment.

I used the camera stamp from Amy Tangerine again and finally got to use one of my buttons from an Australian pack from Hobbycraft.

Ayers Rock and The Olgas were such fantastic spiritual places and the photos don't do the area justice, especially when you consider that our standard film camera packed up a couple of days later, full of sand and condensation.  I think I still have a gazzillion photos of our Round The World Trip to scrap though!

Bye for now