Friday, 27 September 2013

A Perfect Summer - Final part!

This week my baby girl went full time at infant school.  I guess we are really into the Autumn term now and Summer is indeed behind us.  I hope you have a lot of wonderful memories to scrap from this summer and you'd be hard pressed to find a more fabulous kit to do it with then Echo Park's A Perfect Summer available from S J Crafts.  This is the third in a series of posts using this colourful collection and you can see the previous posts here -Part 1 and Part 2.

I had already made 6 layouts from this collection for those 2 posts but I knew there was a lot more I could get out of it.  Without deliberately scrimping on papers I wondered just how many layouts I could achieve.  

Obviously I was out of full sheets by this time but just by adding the kraft cardstock background and a few gems, this page didn't really need much more.  

 How perfectly cute are the little bunting stickers here?

"This is a great day to remember" was a perfect title as well as providing a little bit of space for the story.  I was inspired by a Glitter Girl post on using border strips for the middle section so I used some papers and some border strips from the sticker sheet.

I've used pinwheels again here because they are such a neat and economical way to add interest and texture.  It doesn't matter that I have used them on other layouts in this series because this page is actually the first of many pages from this year's holiday in Newport, Pembrokeshire.  We go so often that the memories tend to blur into each other but on this day we went somewhere different - Newquay in Ceredigion.  We did a boat trip involving some lobster pots and so got to handle some really great creatures.

So that was numbers 7 and 8, plus I made 2 cards (that I couldn't photograph due to a poorly camera), but could I really get another layout out of the leftover bits?  Even though I had used so many of the papers already including some as whole sheets?  Of course I could!

The "One Fine Day" sticker made for a perfect title here because it was the only time we got to go strawberry picking last year with the awful weather.  Bless his heart, my Dad managed to get Louis a ride on a tractor there because he knows all the old farmers who work in the fields there.  At nearly 80 years old and suffering with Parkisons, my Dad still works full time on a farm even now.

The banner idea along the bottom might look a bit like another layout I shared recently and it was created in much the same way.  Here though I kept the branding strips to use too and I flicked up the ends to recreate the movement of the windy weather last year.

So that's it!  9 layouts and 2 cards out of one collection pack!  I think that's pretty good going and I wasn't really eking it out either!  And this is what I have left...

It was a wonderful collection to work with and I think, great value too.  It makes it so much easier to use a collection where everything is already coordinated.  

Do you like using collection packs?  Have you managed to get more out of a set like this?  I'd love to see what you've made using kits like this so please do leave a comment linking up if you have and we can come over and take a look.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Welcome Wednesday wanderers!  I hope the weather is pleasant where you are.  

Things have been very busy here with Miss Bella starting in full time school and lots and lots of creative things going on.  

Back last week I mentioned that I had treated myself to some new Promarkers from a recommendation on this very blog hop.  They arrived the next morning but sadly a couple of the pens had been overfilled due to a new distribution centre being used.  This resulted in flooding and spilling and staining to my desk.  Thankfully both Joanna Sheen and ColART who supply them have been brilliant and I am expecting replacements and "other goodies" in the post any day.

This week I have been using my Promarkers to colour this little card for Management for our crystal wedding anniversary (15 years).

I also made this pretty bag charm for a friend for her 40th birthday.  She loves bumble bees so I added one for each of her 3 babies, a little friend to represent me, and lots of other things that are important to her or just look purdy.

We've also been busy this week hatching out this little fellow.  A caterpillar landed on Management's shirt when he was in the garden and so our intrepid little David Ballamy wannabe immediately put it inside his insect jar along with some leaves for him to eat.  When we saw that a pupae was forming, Louis put him in the butterfly tent.  Then it went black.  And we waited.  And waited.  Nothing was happening and I was about to admit defeat and get rid of it but the next morning this wonderful little Herald moth had hatched out.  Isn't he beautiful!?

So what have you been up to this week?  Got anything creative to share or just a pile of stuff that needs putting away?  Whatever you've been doing, sharing is caring, so don't forget to link up with the rest of the What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? brigade at Julia's blog.

Bye for now

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Perfect Summer - Part 2

A couple of weeks back I gave you a few sneaks of some layouts I had made for S J Crafts using the colourful Echo Park Perfect Summer collection.  Here are those layouts in full.

I loved this fishy paper but it was still subtle enough not to detract from the photos.

I added some pop dotted stickers from the collection and some gems to look like bubbles.

I also fell in love with this pink woodgrain paper and I knew I wanted to use it as a whole piece.  It was perfect to go with the cherry print paper which led me to the photos of the Easter bonnet parade at Louis's school.

A few rub ons (really really old ones...) and a charm and that was about it!  I love how different it looks to the first layout even though it all came from the same collection

The following layout is going to go next to the one above in my album but its not strictly a double page.  I just wanted somewhere to keep the rest of the photos for that day which were not very good but held a lot of memories.

I was inspired by a Shimelle layout from her 4x6 photo love series and its a great one to bear in mind when you just can't face pages of dodgy photos ;-)

This last one (for today!) is one of my favourites from this collection.  Again I knew I wanted to use the sunburst paper as a whole page and just focus the design in the bottom corner.  The colourful papers in this collection are a great match for Bella's wet suit and collection of beach toys.

Again I used the stickers to full effect here and layered some of them up on pop dots.

I wanted to highlight the sun rays a bit more so I added some stitching which gives the layout more interest and texture.

This made a total of 6 layouts and I still had a good few bits left over.  Check back in a few days to see what else I made.

Bye for now

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Eyes Have It

During my recent sort out of un-blogged layouts, I came across this one.  I spent today with these beautiful twins (and their wonderful Mummy and ultra cute little brother) and it reminded me to share it.  

It seems like only yesterday that their Mummy and I got changed in the toilets at school and headed off to a Run DMC and Public Enemy concert.  I often wonder what we would have thought if we could have seen ourselves 25 years later.  We're all grown up and married with a gaggle of children, living in piles of Lego and Barbie dolls and spending our daylight hours pushing swings in the park instead of loitering there after dark with a load of other moody teenagers.  

I know that when we look at lovely pictures of our gorgeous little people, we definitely count ourselves very lucky indeed.  These two have the most adorable eyes for a start.

I used the wonderful Echo Park This and That "Charming" collection with one sheet as the background and then a few scraps to make the circle border.  A few bits from the sticker sheet and the chipboard sheet and it all came together really quickly without overpowering the striking images.

I wouldn't want to go back to my teens for all the tea in China and I know if I could have seen into the future that I would have been greatly relieved to have turned out fairly normally!  I must get around to scrapping some of these ponderings one day...  What do you think your 15 year old self would think of your life now?

Bye for now

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


My desk has been a hive of activity this week and it feels good!  I went to a crop on Saturday and worked on my Devon 2012 album notching up another few back to back pages.  On Monday I was all geared up to receive some Christmassy stash for 6 on 6th but it hasn't arrived (as of Tuesday night) so I seized the Christmas spirit anyway and started creating a Festive Planner.  I've made covers and dividers and I am just computing the inside pages so that I can make a start on organising this busy occasion.  With November set aside for NaNoWriMo and my OCD side telling me I have to be ready before December, this means I need to have all my Christmas presents bought and wrapped before the end of October!

I'm using the last few precious pages of My Mind's Eye "I Believe" from my Christmas Journal a couple of years ago.  My intention is that my planner can be refilled each year so I wanted to use really special papers on it that I will always love.  You can see some of the things I have been using to make it in the RUB at the top right.

I've set it aside for the moment while I work on a card for one of Louis's classmates.  I'm really enjoying playing with my Promarkers again and thanks to you lovely lot (and in particular Kate) I managed to purchase a few more (including the limited Edition Autumn and Winter collection) and they are on their way as we speak.  I hope the cheeky birthday chappy likes his cheeky monkey card.

Well that's all from me on this wet and windy "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday".  Don't forget to share your workspace too - because sharing is caring.

Bye for now

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Making the good from the bad

Do you ever have one of those kits that is so easy to use and so beautiful that you want to use every last scrap?  I was like that with Echo Park's This and That - Graceful collection.  I think I still have a few larger pieces left but I definitely made this layout with the intention of using up lots of little bits.

This picture of Bella was taken by one of the nursery staff who was hoping to turn professional as a photographer...  We paid a very very small fee for the CD of images upfront and we were really hopeful of a few nice shots.  At the time she was 3 years old, full of confidence and well used to being photographed so as long as the semi-pro photographer achieved the right lighting we would be onto a winner.  Ahem...

Cue incredibly bad lighting and lots of distracting elements despite a plain white backdrop!  This was seriously the best of the bunch with deep shadows on one side and slightly jaundiced tinge to her face.
Not quite the portraits we were hoping for but it is a reminder of her time at nursery.  We took her out of nursery shortly afterwards (not because of the rubbish photos!) because we much preferred the environment of the preschool for her and the nursery seemed to change staff every week and always have children in tears!

So at the end of the day it is a layout about disappointing circumstances and a place we weren't keen on and it is all made from scraps.  But its a memory recorded using beautiful papers and a picture of a very smiley girl so its all good :-)

Bye for now

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Get set for a shocking pictre of my desk.  Not because it is messy, oh no, it is not for a change, but because I am still desperately waiting a replacement for my poorly camera lens.  Still stuck on full zoom and making life very difficult  to take pictures of anything bigger than 6 inches.  I took these shots by balancing the camera on my head to give it some stability and stop some of the blur (not wholly successful as you can see...) because of the DARKNESS so early in the day already!

I had a major tidy up on Saturday and put away loads and loads of things that were scattered across the floor and every other conceivable surface.  I thought it would help my extremely fragile mental health but I ended up spending all of Sunday in bed almost catatonic.  Actually getting on with some crafting has helped me though and I am gradually pulling out of it again. I think I was just exhausted by the constant battle against depression to be honest and all the things I have to do just to keep my head above water with it.

Anyhoo, this was part of my therapy...

....Stamping and colouring some Christmassy images for the 6 on the 6th series at S J Crafts.

Might have to have a little outing to get some more Promarkers this week.  I feel the need for some seasonal colours.  What colours wouldn't you be without at Christmas?

Of course I am sharing my studio / craft space / workroom / whatever as part of What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday and you can join in easily too.  Might see you there :-)

Bye for now

Monday, 9 September 2013

6 on the 6th (or the 9th..)

I might be catching up with my projects but things like cameras breaking and printers breaking and my head breaking are preventing me from feeling totally on top of things.  

I did manage to complete another set of 6 Christmas cards for the S J Crafts series (see the new button in the sidebar) which is now offering a lovely box of stash for one lucky participant.  Here is the photo of my six...

Yes.. I know... shocking.  I was standing up and holding the camera up over my head but this was the best I could do.  I took dozens of shots of them standing on the desk but that wasn't any better.  My new lens is going to cost me at least £80 and will be a few days before it arrives so this is it for now I'm afraid.

All 6 cards are the same design and the only difference is the background paper and the colour of the brads.  There are 2 with white based paper, 2 with green based and 2 with a metallic version of the green based.

I stamped and embossed the reindeer and mounted it onto some tartan type paper.  I still love watching the powder melt!

I cut 6 banners on my Silhouette and added them onto the background using foam pads.  I edged everything with Black Soot Distress Ink.

Each one has a brad from some very old stash and some Christmassy gold ribbon.

They didn't really turn out the way I had them in my head but I now have 12 cards ready to go and I have been using up some old stash along the way!  Everyone's a winner.

Bye for now

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Echo Park - Perfect Summer part 2

Back last week I showed a couple of sneaks of layouts I had made using the Echo Park Perfect Summer collection.  Here are those 2 layouts in full.

This first one details the character of Bella and how wise and wily she can be when she uses her personality.  I absolutely adored that air balloon paper.

I also really loved this wave patterned paper and the colours in the collection were perfect for Bella's dress in these pictures.  The postcard in the cut-apart sheet provides a great place for journalling with another one standing in for a title.

 The colours in this collection are so wonderfully bright that I couldn't stop using it and I wondered just how much I would be able to get out of it.  Check out the S J Crafts blog to see what other layouts I made, and I am still going!

Something very pink!

Everything went swimmingly on this layout.

Pockets of fun.

My favourite - stitching some sunshine.

Don't forget also that there is the 6 on the 6th series running on the blog there giving you lots of inspiration for Christmas cards.  There is also a prize available for people who link up their own Christmassy creations.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


It's a very special Wednesday here at Crazy Towers.  Today Louis started Junior School and Bella started Infant school.  I count myself very lucky that they were both beside themselves with excitement about going back to school, especially when lots of other parents were dealing with tears.  Louis almost didn't make it this morning as we were in A&E late last night getting his ankle X-rayed because he jumped out of a 10ft tree house last week!  

Bella was very excited about her plimsoll bag that I commissioned from the lovely Lunch Lady Jan.  She loves it and there were certainly no others anything like it on the many pegs this morning - thank you Jan!

If you are thinking that my pictures are a bit off this morning, you'd be right.  My camera is bust.  This is the best shot I could get of my desk with the rotator ring sticking the zoom on maximum.  I've still got a few bits of the Echo Park collection to use up and I hope to really get back on the crafting wagon as Bella goes full time in a few weeks.

I had a day earlier in the week with just Louis and we made this house out of a pop out kit.  As he was finishing up he said "I sort of used the instructions but I'm afraid I had to take some creative liberties!"  I was in hysterics but oh so proud of him too.  Its a phrase from Calvin and Hobbes apparently about homework but I was happy to hear my boy using such a perfect phrase about his crafting.

 Hmmm, perhaps a little blurry there.  Not sure when I can get my camera fixed either.  Too many things to do and not much time to do it!  You know how it is.

Time to head on over to Julia's and find the rest of the creative desks from around the world.  See you there!

Bye for now

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Storytelling Sunday (Pick Your Precious) - A Talisman

Today is the first Sunday of September and that means that it is time for another Story Telling Sunday with Sian at High In The Sky.  Sian suggested the idea of something we think about when we are far from home, a talisman or a lucky charm for this months' theme, but it's not something I really have.  It made me wonder what I think about to give me courage when I am nervous about something.  And then I promptly forgot about it.

A few days later I was trying to muster the energy to go for a run when I was already feeling sore from a Combat class the day before.  Management pulled a phrase out of the archives to give me a boost... "You can do it Duffy Moon, just puff your cheeks out and blow!"

You might wonder what on earth he was talking about and the first time I heard him say this, oooh about 20 years ago, I wondered too.  It turns out that way back when he was young he had seen a film about a boy called Duffy Moon.  Whenever he was nervous about something, Duffy used to say to himself "You can do it Duffy Moon, just puff your cheeks out and blow!"  In the last 20 years, when we've had to go through hard times, Management has reminded me to puff my cheeks out.  Sometimes he has sent me a text with it on, sometimes he has just puffed his own cheeks out to remind me.

A couple of years ago I tried to find the film but it doesn't appear to exist anywhere.  The closest thing I could find was this book, which I bought from an American E-Bay seller in fairly poor condition for more than I would usually spend on a book!  We have yet to read it but I hope to get to the bottom of the mystery of just who Duffy Moon was and why he had to puff his cheeks out and blow.  I have just started to be able to carve out some reading time in my day so I have put it by my bedside to finally get around to it.  

I had forgotten all about this book until now so as always with Story Telling Sunday I note down another little random tale in our lives but it always brings about so much more than just that.  And for this Sian, I thank you!

Bye for now