Friday, 27 April 2012

S J Crafts Challenge - Favourites

There is a new challenge up on the S J Crafts blog and this months theme is "Favourites".  There is endlesss scope for this challenge - colours, places, products, people, you name it, you can make a project with it.

For my "Pretty As A Picture" layout, I chose a piece of patterned paper from my favourite manufacturer, October Afternoon.  I've been hoarding it for a while, wanting to use it but not sure how.  I also used my new favourite bunting punch.  A few people have asked me about this punch - its called "small pennant" and its made by E K Success (so a solid product) for Stampin Up.  I do know a couple of Stampin Up Consultants if you want to get your hands on one.  

Some other favourites include the pink paper which is some sort of Papermania effort I think, Jenni Bowlin butterflies and the pink and green combination.

The photos were taken on a rare sunny September day last year in one of our favourite places, Beaulieu.  I don't think it is Managent's favourite place as he is there every day for work but we are very lucky to be able to visit him any time we like and wander in the grounds.

I've just spent the last couple of minutes wiping a finger mark off my computer screen but now I can see that it is actually on the photo!  I do apologise.  Poor Bella having a moment of fame marred by one of my oily hand prints!

So, if you think you can create a paper project for the challenge involving something that is your favourite, then make sure you link up to the challenge at S J Crafts and you could be in with a chance of a prize too.  The closing date is 16th May at 1pm.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Piles.  That's what I have on my desk today.  I am busy preparing for a retreat at the weekend so I am part way through making plenty of page kits to keep me going for two and half days - huzzah!  I've selected my photos and papers and I am now adding some embellishments.  I am really looking forward to a couple of days of crafting with like minded people, especially after my op last week.  I thought it would be a quick recovery but I was wrong.  Nearly a week later and I am still feeling groggy so I may yet find that when I open my bag on Friday afternoon that I have packed nothing that matches and forgotten my adhesives and scissors!

Last week though I did manage to do something incredible.  I got around to every single desk on the WOYWW list and I read and commented on every single one.  177 desks and it took me till Saturday in between sleeping and eating.  Seriously, I don't know how people manage to do it very often at all, let alone every week.  Sadly I only managed to achieve about 70 comments myself and a few of these are not WOYWW-ers but that's not why I did it, I just wondered if I could do it, how long it would take, and also, what sorts of comments other people make when they visit lots and lots of desks.  It was a very interesting experiment but sadly something that I will rarely have time for.  Julia - keeper of the list of desks, I applaud you for taking such an interest in every desk.  

I did manage to squeeze in another of Shimelle's challenges after the weekend deadline.  This was for Challenge 8 - Use a Stamp for the first time.  The stamp I used is actually a picture of a hammock and it is clearer in real life.  I heat embossed it onto vellum, a new favourite technique!

Poor Miss Bella gets so tired after her ballet class.  Its hard to believe that this little cutie is causing us such problems with her stubborness and fiery temper right now (my Mum would make some comment here about not knowing where she gets that from and looking me straight in the eye...)

I'd better get on with my packing really hadn't I?

Bye for now

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Being challenged.

I'm feeling rather challenged at the moment, both physically and mentally!  Thank you to all the people who sent good wishes after my op.  It went okay but boy did I hurt afterwards!  I am rather bruised and still very woozy so I only managed to stay at my crop for a couple of hours yesterday.  I wouldn't have gone at all if I hadn't been so looking forward to meeting Sarah but she was so lovely that it made it worthwhile.

I half started some layouts and managed to finish a few today.  I think planning to finish all of the challenges for Shimelle's on-line crop was a little optimistic after my hospital stay but here are the ones I managed complete.

Challenge 10 - 2 Photos on a bold background.  Are those apples bold enough for ya?!

I used Crate Paper - Farmhouse for these cute pics of my boy at just a year old.

Challenge 11 - Use 2 contrasting patterns for the background.  Leaves and rulers again from the Farmhouse Collection.

I managed to use some older American Crafts rub-ons here too.  They were perfect for this story about the little house that my Dad got for 2 year old Louis.  They were so proud of their building skills!  Originally the house had belonged to my almost-step-mum's grandchildren but they had outgrown it.  My Dad loved being able to rescue something and provide a wonderful present to his precious only grandson.

Challenge 9 - Take your pick.  Choose any previous challenge and consider it reopened.  I chose the Glitter Girl adventure about scraps.  The main bulk of the page used Rocket Age by October Afternoon but the layers of stars are all scraps from my box.  I think Louis was about 18 months old in this crazy photo which ended up on a mouse mat for a present for Daddy.  A mouse mat???  What a short lived invention that was...

Challenge 14 - Four Sections.  Using inspiration from Jen Gallacher, make 4 separate sections come together for one page.  I love Jen's work and I really admired so many of the elements in her original layout when I saw it a few weeks back.  I took many of those ideas for my Summertime layout featuring Bella and Management wandering off to the rock pools.  

I particularly liked the white embossing on vellum on Jen's layout so I tried it on mine with some flip flops.  I also embossed the title and in both cases this was the first inking for these stamps!

I used Cosmo Cricket's Salt Air and added a few older bits and bobs like shells.  

Challenge 12 - One photo twice.  I chose the only photo I had where I had printed 2 versions.  One of a gajillion ballet photos - Miss Bella gazing in wonder at her ballet teacher's beautifully pointed toes.  There's no title or journalling here because it is part of a series of pages, and to be honest I was in a rush and losing the power to sit up straight!

More Crate Paper Farmhouse, some very old bling that I've been meaning to use for ages and some ballet shoe ribbon that I bought years ago.

I think I might just squeeze in one more before the deadline but then I have to start prepping for next weekend.  3 days of scrapping at a local retreat and I have no idea what to take!  I also have to get better and get the house straight before then and try and get back to some sort of normality.  Hhhmmm, normality... what's that then? ;-)

Bye for now

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Good morning Wednesday - gosh its a wet and blustery one!

I have an in-betweeny desk this week.  You know that odd and very brief phase where you have just tidied up after one session and are about to embark on another so it looks temporarily tidy-ish.  This is the layout I have just finished for one of the challenges from Shimelle's On-line crop weekend.  This one was to use 3 different manufacturers.  I was part way through a DT layout involving Childish Things by Fancy Pants and I wanted to use a piece of denim but it got lost in the wash.  I had October Afternoon's Rocket Age out which went well and then I pulled some pieces out of Echo Park's A Boys Life so all in all it turned out okay and I never did find the denim!

The piles you can see are my preparations for a crop on Saturday.  I am very much hoping to make good headway with some more of the challenges from the weekend.

I am also really excited to be meeting Sarah from S J Papercrafts for the first time as she is bringing her shop to the crop.  It will be lovely to finally meet my DT "boss" in person!  I will probably have to buy lots of things too.... ;-)

Thank you for all your messages last week hoping that we all stay well.  Unfortunately we haven't and young Bella has a slight cold but it has really affected her breathing.  Rather selfishly, I really hope she stays well enough to go to nursery as I have to go into hospital for an operation myself today too (no more babies for us and now no surrogates either).  I won't get around many desks today but I must admit that I was rather grateful for a late Wednesday op.  It means that I can spend some of my recovery time being a nosy parker in my pyjamas, snooping at everyone's desks in the next couple of days.  Thanks to Julia for hosting what has become such a wonderful Wednesday routine.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


I'm back!

Is it safe to open the door?  I'm not sure yet!  Aside from a couple of weeks over Christmas (thankfully), we have been plagued by one virus after another since the end of November.  I am unable to see where one finished and the next one started, or which ones were just people being overtired, stroppy or not eating.  The winter bug fest may not be over yet, we will have to wait and see, but for today I THINK all four of us are okay.

Unless that is, you count my desk.  My poor desk is not okay.  It is a mess.  It is suffering badly from post-viral mojo syndrome, otherwise known as designus interruptus.

Don't let that clear space on the cutting mat fool you.  This is where I moved the current DT project that I had just finished.  Despite the wonderful papers, the layouts have taken me days and days.  Just after the photo was taken I started on the third one.  I decided to make some chevron paper and spent ages measuring and cutting and folding.... only to tear the paper.  After a shocker of a day with the children, it was the last thing I needed and I walked out of the craft room and slammed the door behind me.  I shall go back to it with fresh eyes and a little more patience tomorrow.   I have to.  My new credit card is buried under there somewhere.

Between the virus(es) and the Easter holidays and a certain little girl's 3rd birthday, things have been pretty hectic here.  I was too ill to go out on her birthday but we made it to Milestone's Museum and the Lego Mania Tour over the weekend.  Look at them... butter wouldn't melt huh?

Maybe I shouldn't over do it though?  Maybe I should sit under my blanket on the sofa a little while longer.  I could peruse a few desks from across the globe while I am here - I really missed WOYWW last week!  I'll tidy up tomorrow.  Maybe.

Bye for now