Monday 19 May 2014

Divided Loyalties - Part 3

Last week I said I had one more set of projects to share using the cut-apart cards from Simple Stories - Homespun collection, and here they are!  

The sentiment on this piece really spoke to me as something we need to remember in this house.  I mounted it onto some pinky-red patterned paper from the collection and then onto one of the larger pieces in the cut-apart cards.  I used an old frame to show it off so that I can use it as a piece of home decor in our new house.  The photo was taken when I was on a retreat in the Cotswolds with some great girls - isn't the garden wonderful!?
I added a sticker to the top left corner directly on the frame for added interest.
 Then I added a branding strip and a couple of pieces of chipboard at the bottom right for balance.  I can't wait to get it on the wall in our new home.  Its such a great message.
Talking of our new home, sadly our vendors still haven't found anything they like so we are still waiting... rather impatiently.  While we were on the retreat, one of the girls gave us all a little gift bag and inside it was a small Moleskine, ideal for keeping in my handbag - thanks Mel!  Initially I had thought about making a mini book with book rings and adding in some note paper but this was perfect.  I needed something to keep with me for keeping track of everything regarding the house move and the Homespun collection has such a lot of lovely homely icons and sentiments that it was a great match.
 I embellished the front cover with one of the cards, a couple of brads from the collection and some chipboard.  I then embellished each section within the book using only stickers and papers because I didn't want to add too much bulk.
Each section has a side tab and the dividers are decorated front and back.  The tabs have been cut from two of the longer thin sections. Here I stitched around the house picture and I love the effect it gives.  I have kept the decor section larger than the others because I have lots of ideas for our new abode! ;-)
This telephone was a perfect match for the contacts page and all of the letter stickers are from the collection too.  I really love the border strip on the "Dates" page which I cut from one of the longer pieces.
 More stickers and stitching.  The kraft labels were a wonderful addition from another lady at the retreat - thanks Jaki!
 Some of the cards were perfect on their own and some needed another element or two or some washi tape.
 Yes, I have a section on Decluttering our current house and yes I have spelled declutter wrong here...
And finally the back few pages of homely comfort.  Some reminders of things to ask and things to remember to tell the new owners.
And the back cover with some chipboard.  I love the way you can see a sneak of the other bits and bobs inside.
So, I hope you've enjoyed this series of ideas for using pocket page collections outside of pocket dividers and I hope that you can see past the sections as they are and consider using them for other projects.  I've still got a fair bit of the collection left in some larger pieces so I can still have more fun with this pretty range.  If you are inspired by something you've seen in these posts then please do let me know in the comments and if you have made something please do share a link so we can have a look too!

With thanks to S J Crafts for supplying such a great collection.

Bye for now

Wednesday 14 May 2014


I'm late to the Wednesday party this week because I had a little accident in my craft room... I lean't over the side of my chair to get something from the floor and it tipped over.  I thought I had just hurt my hip where I landed but as yesterday went on I realised I had done something to my opposite shoulder blade.  I think its triggered an old pinched nerve but it means no crafting or training today :-(  

This was my desk as I left it yesterday afternoon.  The pile of Echo Park Off The Record in the middle is for some DT work - I just love the summery colours!  The Simple Stories pile at the back is for my One Little Word project and I'll be taking that to the crop on Saturday.  The Promarkers still need labeling and putting away and the pile of magazines on the left still need to be ripped up for my OLW project too.  But it all looks better than it did the hour before!
I needed to seriously sort some stuff out as you can see.  I still can't find my heat proof mat and my heat gun which I must have put away at some point getting ready for the house sale but it will turn up.
I was trying to find my mat to make some enamel dots from some beads that I liberated from my daughter's supply.  They need a bit of work but I am pleased that I can use some of them.  The ones that are more blobby than dotty can be used by the children - win win!!  That brown bead that hasn't flattened at all was an experiment - it was an Aqua bead and didn't change shape at all but it was blue to start of with!
Talking of my daughter... she made this yesterday...  It says...

To Mummy and her friends, Love Bella

Make your own design on any coloured piece of paper.  I maked this when I was 5.

Bless her!  Setting challenges already!

Bye for now

Friday 9 May 2014

Divided Loyalties - part 2

Following on from my previous Divided Loyalties post with S J Crafts, I have two more layouts to share with you today that use a collection intended for use in divided page protectors.  These collections are so versatile if you think of them as smaller pieces of paper rather than set sections that have to be used in certain pockets. The colours in the Simple Stories Homespun collection lend themselves to a wide range of subjects but there's a definite focus on home and family.  


This first layout featuring my two crazy children makes use of one of the beautiful full pages which has a bit of embellishment printed on it already.  It means that you don't have to do much more than add something between the two areas and you have a really quick layout.  I simply added some 6x4 cards in a messy stack so that unlike the previous post, I didn't have to do any creative patchwork to cover gaps and joins.  
I used one of the journalling cards as it was because the sentiment fitted well for my photo but it is very easy to cover them up if you like the writing area but the wording doesn't fit.  I added some brads and stickers from the collection and made my title with the chipboard and finished off with a few enamel dots.  Very quick and another memory captured.

This bright layout features my two great-nephews (which makes me feel exceptionally old...) having a bit of a smooch, or trying to!  Here again I've used a full sheet from the collection because the hearts fitted the theme but the bright colours stop it from being too feminine.  I've used one of the larger strips (4x12) to layer the photo and to act as the title piece by adding an ampersand and their initials from the sticker sheet.

The journalling appears on a 3x4 card and then I have matted the photo onto a 6x4 and then onto one of the larger pieces from the collection.  This black piece had an ideal border (which you could stitch) but I didn't need the sentiment underneath so it worked really well for this mat.
The cute flower is from the brad pack and I also added a couple of flowers from the chipboard set too. I backed one of the larger brads onto a pinked circle punched from a spare card that I knew I wouldn't use as it was.  I love adding things like this to a paperclip to make my own embellishments.
I finished off by adding some branding strips and off cuts from the journalling card to the top corner to balance the design and then added a heart sticker with pop dots alongside other stickers and chipboard pieces.
The end result is a fun layout about two cheeky boys who love being together.  And we still haven't used a divided page protector!

I still have 2 off the page projects using this collection to show you so check back soon for more ideas on using those collections intended for divided page protectors.

Bye for now

Wednesday 7 May 2014


If it wasn't for the plethora of sharp objects around me this morning then I think I would fall asleep on my desk!  Its been a busy week but today is a day for washing (boo!) and working on One Little Word (Yay!).  The gorgeous rainbow chevron paper is part of the Simple Stories Daily Grind collection that I'm using for this project which has been sadly neglected recently but I'm exciting about doing this month's painty prompts - stand well back, paint will be splashed about!  
On my desk this week there are also some new things - last year's Spring Summer Promarker pens (reduced to £10 for all 12 in Hobbycraft!!) and some things that came free with a magazine (the scrabble tiles, chalk speech bubbles, card pack).  Also these rather yummy bright pink bottle caps which I hope to make something out of very soon.
 One of the many reasons I am so behind with housework and am needing an art day is this....
A very long line of toy cars...  Over 2 kilometers actually we think.  The end result was smashing the World Record for the longest continuous line of toy cars which finished at 24,189 cars!  A team of staff and volunteers (including myself and Management and both children) laid them out all around the Beaulieu Motor Museum, twisting and turning around and about and doubling back, all around the inside and the outside and up and down the paths.

This was part of Bella's area - a line which had to be changed several times as the logistics of counting versus opening doors etc proved very tricky indeed...
 This was the area that I stewarded while the official count took place.  The line at the bottom of the picture went right across the walkway and the rules are that the line cannot be broken until the count has been completed.  Which took nearly two and a half hours.  While people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters were trying to get around!  But they did it!  All the cars will now be sold off to raise money for Naomi House Children's Hospice so I hope they get lots of lots of funds as a result.

My knees, feet, and hands are blistered from crawling and I have sunburned nose.  I'm just pleased it wasn't raining!  Oh and that car there... its a Gordon Bennett!  I couldn't help saying Gordon Bennett, what a lot of cars!  Well... it was a long day...
If you are a crafter of any sort and you'd like to share your work space or whatever you are working on this week with other kindred spirits then please do link up with Julia who is the host of this wonderful world wide snoop entitled What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Bye for now

Friday 2 May 2014

"Inspired by Sophie" - S J Crafts May Challenge

I'm really enjoying designing for Sarah's challenges at S J Crafts every month.  I love the way the challenges are changing each month because there is so much inspiration this way.  I also really love seeing how everyone else interprets the challenge too and I'm always amazed at how different our designs are.  

This month we've gone for a bingo card grid and the idea is that you can draw a line through any three elements to use - vertical, horizontal or diagonal but not going around corners.  You could take a chance and make a stab with a pin to start you off or choose something that tickles your fancy.

For my design this month, I went with the row across the middle.  Can you spot the three elements?

The layout is about my niece, who you may already know is also my Personal Trainer.  I can't really put into words what she has done for me recently but as I mentioned in a previous post, she has literally given me my life back.  As well as boosting my epically failing confidence and energy levels and dragging me out of the depression that had engulfed me.  Of course we have a long way to go but we know we are heading in the right direction.  She is definitely helping me live with my One Little Word (Heart).

I used papers from the Crate Paper Boyz Rule collection to bring out the orange of that scary looking gym equipment.  It goes really well with the slightly retro style (both the gym and the papers!)  Plus we have so many comedy moments together as we are both clumsy and a bit incident prone so the comic book bunting and stickers were a great match too.
 You can see all three elements from the bingo card here - the star printed vellum as part of the messy stack, the blue circular paperclip on the tag and the "Inspired" stamping.
And here again for another example - I'd accidentally torn the vellum so I made a feature of it, I stamped a notebook border near the tape and then added the orange star brad (given to me by a friend on the retreat the other week.)
So now its over to you!  Choose a line, any line, and see where it takes you.  Link up to the challenge on the S J Crafts blog sometime in the next month and you could be one of the featured projects!  We'd love to see what you are inspired to make.

Bye for now