Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Getting there

You know I have told you that we are re-decorating the dining room, well it is nearly done. Can you hear that audible sigh of relief. By comparison everything else now looks seriously dated and I don't have to be a fortune teller to see that there is a lot of painting, stripping and above all hard work required in the future.

I have tried very hard to find a picture of the dining room before we started the painting etc. As a scrapbooker you would think I would have at least one, but then you would be wrong. What the ... ? I mean really. So I dug out this rather old picture of Hailey (dressed up in some sort of outfit of course) where you can see the wallpaper and blue carpet in the background.

 ... and this is where we are today. What a difference hey. I am so loving that new floor! No more patterned wallpaper either - woohoo! Floor should be finished by this afternoon and then I can move furniture back and resume some semblance of a normal life.

To celebrate I shall bake some cheesecake.

Next week my Aunty Olive is turning 100. I mean who gets that old! She is sharp as a tack and apart from some aching bones, fit as a fiddle. Check out this old duck, here she was 98, doesn't she look amazing! The other old duck is my mum, and of course Simone. These women are a true inspiration to me. I have never ever in my whole life heard my Aunty Olive complain about anything. She just doesn't pollute herself with negative thoughts, and it shows! An inspiration.

I can't be in South Africa to celebrate with them, but I did make a card to send off. It is not earth shatteringly amazing, just nice and plain like I know my aunty Ollie would like. She has a thing for sweet peas, so I finally got to use my PTI sweet pea stamp.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

... and the winner is

Thank you all for you great comments! The winner of the blog hop was announced yesterday and details can be found on the Scrap365 blog. Karen - CONGRATULATIONS!

Head on over there too for details on the great subscription deal Traplet are currently offering - you don't want to miss this. Only £3 for the first 3 issues for all UK subscribers.

I am afraid though I have to post and dash as I am knee deep in paint at the moment. Oh how I wish I could say it is artist paint and that I am working on a canvas, but alas I am still painting walls, ceilings, skirtings and doorframes. It is like my worst nightmare come true. I am on my last 3 walls, thank goodness.

Once done I will share. Get this, the colour of my walls was inspired by scrapbook paper (the lovely Bliss collection by Crate). I wanted the exact taupe colour of one of the papers, so matched my swatches to it. I think I might frame some of the other papers in the collection too. I am not sure exactly how yet, maybe some sort of collage, but I love the colours of that collection and seeing as whatever I frame will now be a perfect match to my wall ... well why not. Instant art.

That reminds me .... long ago I made a huge scrapbook page for my wall. I am talking probably about 4 or so years ago. Here is a photo - it is old now, but you can get the jist.

With little Hailey, to give you an idea of size.

It is framed and hanging in my lounge. Now to make something new for my new dining room.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Scrap 365 - It's official

Hello ladies (and gents)

If you have joined me from Sian's blog for the Scrap365 blog hop, I bid you a very warm welcome. You will no doubt know all about the new and exciting news. If you are a regular reader of my blog (and I use the term rather loosely as my posts are all but regular, but you know what I mean) ... or just stumbled on here by chance, then let me tell you what is up!

Some very super exciting news! Traplet, the UK publishers and team behind the ever popular Craft Stamper magazine has been working very hard for the last few months to launch a brand new fantastic scrapbooking magazine. The magazine will be called Scrap365, and choc full of inspiring projects from a very diverse and talented bunch of designers (as you will no doubt have seen from the hop already). The first issue will be available on the 18th of November (so mark your calendars) and after that scheduled for every third Friday of the month.

Are you as excited as I am?

This is of course great news for us UK peeps, but if you live abroad you will be happy to know that you will also be able to get this magazine in digital format (and of course on subscription in many countries), so you do not have to live on our little island to share in the fun.

For those of you who are interested in who I am, I will share a little more detail about myself.

Some of you will know me from Craft Stamper magazine, I have been a regular contributor for three years now. I have in the past also contributed to several other UK cardmaking, scrapbooking and craft magazines and have also taught a few scrapping and cardmaking classes. I have to admit to not having scrapped as much as I would have liked to in the last few years, and I am very excited to be part of this team and to really get scrapping much more again.

My style is generally quite graphic, and I like a more ordered approach. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the arty, painty, ink splodgy layouts and art journals I see on blogs and in magazines, but when I try that it just ends up as a mess, so I tend to stick with the graphic. Actually, I wanted to be a graphic designer, but in the end I studied Interior Design and then worked as an office designer for many years. Now I stay at home with my two daughters (who you will no doubt see a lot of) and I pretend to my husband that I am very busy all day long as I much prefer playing with my crafty things and being here for my girls to real 9-5 office work.

Here is a recent layout of my oldest daughter Simone, totally enthralled by the tubs of blocks in the Lego shop.

I will also share a few older layouts with you that have not been on my blog (apologies to those who may have seen them before) as I unfortunately cannot share layouts published in Craft Stamper magazine. Hopefully this will give you an indication of my style.

And now, without further ado, on to the next fabulous designer in the hop. The very talented and all round great crafter Emy Buxton


If you missed the start of the hop and would like to go back, click here to go back to the Scrap 365 blog.

And last but not least, if you leave a comment here AND on every other blog in the hop as well as on the Scrap365 blog, you can win a year's subscription to Craft Stamper magaine and more than £20 worth of rubber stamps.

Happy hopping!

I have some exciting news

... but I cannot share it just yet.

Swing back here tonight at 6 o'Clock, British Summer time to see what it is. ;)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Not much crafting going on around here

We are still decorating. This is a long story and I shall not bore you with details. In a nutshell: We started pulling off the wallpaper in our dining room in March. Then my husband broke his foot really badly, was home in a cast for 6 weeks and all work stopped. When we did finally resume we decided to have the wall plastered, so we had to wait for that to cure, then we went on holiday .... blah blah blah.

We are now finally in the full swing of decorating, but the house is a tip ... really, it's a tip. According to my husband any decorating also requires the heating system to be upgraded, floorboards to be fixed, pipes to solder, all light fittings and switches to be changed, new door handles ... you name it. (He even bought special plastic paint so that we could spray the alarm box white again as it wasn't looking fresh enough for him). I have spoken about decorating before when we were doing my craft room and if you remember I mentioned how my hubby also does everything by the book, thus involving lots of prep work, primers, sanding etc. A very lengthy and time consuming business. In short, this is why my already lack of crafting time has been turned into almost non existant crafting time.

This is what I am doing.

My dining room and entrance has been stripped bare and painted (I am still painting the entrance, dining is now done - thank goodness). We are getting a new wooden floor (woohoo - I have nagged for that for years), new door handles, new lights, freshly plastered and painted walls ... just all nice and new. I would be more excited if it wasn't for all of the hard work.

Then I was asked by a friend if I would make her some cards for a few special birthdays. I need to watch more Oprah and work on my boundaries as I just cannot say no, and my response was "of course I can" even though I knew it would be push to fit in with my schedule at the moment.

To be honest I don't like making commissioned cards as I don't always think that what I like is what other people like and I don't want to disappoint them (the old people pleaser in me coming out). She looked through some of my previous cards and chose two designs that she liked, so these cards are very similar to ones I have done before, but I will still share them with you.

I love this design, it is the same as a card I made for my friend Kelly for her 40th, but this time I used the dress instead of a cake. Love how this turned out.

I coloured the dress (a Hero Arts stamp) with my markers and made the little wire hanger.

Then there was this one, I had a pretty specific brief with this regarding colours, text etc., so did what I thought my friend would like.

And lastly one for her mum. This is not my style at all, but as I was making it for an elderly lady I kept it a bit more traditional. Hopefully she liked it.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Frame it

I love picture frames - you can stick anything in a frame and it looks good, right. So I was in Tesco the other day and saw these little 3D frames. You know the ones, where the glass is set forward a little to accommodate dimensional objects. I ended up buying one, I was going to use it for a project and didn't in the end, so I went about scouting to find something to put in it. Found this old card I had made and put it in the frame for Simone (oldest daughter's) bedroom.

I love how a simple frame can just make anything look good - she loves it.

Hailey was very upset that she didn't get anything, so we went and bought a frame for her too and I told her she could make something for her bedroom too. She rummaged through my papers and chipboard collection and made a cute simple little picture.

Literally a piece of patterned paper with chipboard letters and that is it. So easy, but it looks pretty cute for a 9 year old's craftwork don't you think. Patterned paper is so cool.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Holidays are now all but forgotten

Hey ... hello!

I hope you are all well and have had a good summer holiday. It does seem like a distant memory now doesn't it. We went away to France again and did a lot of this ...

WEll, when in France you need to indulge in the local cuisine now don't you, and OMG is that Cote d'Or Almond chocolate delicious!

Then of course we had to do a bit of this

... to work off all those chocolate calories of course.

When that was done we could again just do some of this ...

... sitting on a bench in Evian overlooking Lake Geneva and knowing that we don't have to do anything at all but chill. Gosh how I love holiday!

We did get up close and personal with the animals in the Alps ...

These horses simply raoming free on the plateau half way up the mountain alongside cows, cows and more cows. Stunning, as long as you looked where you were stepping. What goes in the mouth has to come out the other end and all that!

And then, before we know it, the kids are back at school, the leaves are falling off the trees and I am sitting here boring you all with holiday photos.

Back to normal everyday life before you can say cow pat.

Okay, so the new Craft Stamper is out with a fabric special this month. I have yet to get my copy, but have seen that my denim stamped project is on the front.

I loved making that card, especially the little label. That 7 gypsies Numero stamp set is so cool don't you think. I love the "expensive" barcode stamp.

The actual jean fabric is stamped too, using a home made stamp none the less. Grab the mag to see how.

Keep well and speak soon. :)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Been a while

So it's been quite a while. My time has been taken up with things far too mundane to even mention, but I will share with you a card I made for this months Craft Stamper designer palette article. I used cool greys and ochre, a combination that is sophisticated and elegant. This card didn't make it into print so I can share it with you.

That lovely dotted flower stamp is from HeroArts and it is gorgeous. The script is Tim Holtz and the text from Stampin' Up!.

Have a good weekend.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Take a seat

Got myself this chair set from Hero Arts a little while ago

I like the big old comfy chair, and that chandelier kind of spoke to me as well. I was playing with my markers, coloured the chair and then ended up with this card. A bit more of a manly colour scheme, but boys need cards too don't they.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Ideas everywhere

On Monday I had to take my daughter to buy school shoes (at the last minute of course, as you do). My husband broke his foot a few weeks ago so walking around the shops is not really his thing at the moment. This meant of course that the girls and I could linger and browse to our hearts content on the way to Clarks.

As requested by Hailey we spent a fair amount of time in Next. I so love the little people clothes at Next. So many cute ideas, colours and inspiration for cards and layouts.

Wouldn't these flip flops make a really fab card - imagine little paper pieced shoes.

 ... or these. That vibrant green with the pink stripey shoe.

... and these cute little girls - they are adorable. Love those colours - little white faces girls on a Kraft coloured card blank, the pink cat, pink hair and the grey spotted bandana in the hair. I need a stamp set like this.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Spiffy Scooters

.... and my mission is nearly complete. I have bought four of Kim's stamp sets and last night I finally cracked open Spiffy Scooters. Three sets down and one to go.

I have to admit, I went through my stash the other day and wondered why I keep on buying more stamps. There is enough there to last me forever and it is impossible to use up all the cards I make. So what do I do with them?

Doing mag work is also a dilemma as I often buy sets for a specific project, only to use them once and then never again. So, I have decided there will be no more buying and putting in the drawer for later use, if I buy something it has to get used or I am not allowed to get any more. It is sad when you have to treat yourself like a child isn't it.

I am also LOVING this months PTI release, and my hubby is off to the States again in May, so if I want any of those I am going to have to get stamping!

That is why I was up at 1 o'clock yesterday morning wrestling with this card.

I really wanted a crisp white background, but once I had put the scooter on it there was just too much white. By then I had already stamped the sentiment and drawn the frame so I was going to have to commit. I had to sort out that chunk of white space in the left top corner and also balance out the red from the flames. Using the clouds in the stamp set was not going to work, too much white, so I drew a sun and coloured it in.

Then the sun looked TOO red to me, so I stamped it with the SU fine flourish background in white, just to tone it down a bit. I added a red seat and a red flag (originally brown seat and green flag) to offset all the red from the sun. I changed my mind a lot with this card, getting the balance right was tricky, but in the end I kinda like it.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Boob tubes

No bats today ... I think we will give the bats a rest and move onto boob tubes. This set is ... forgive the retro lingo .... groovy!

A perfect birthday card for dad using the old 70's television complete with a set of wire bunny ears. I also used the PTI newsprint background - such a fabulous and versatile background, one of my new favourites I think.

Still not bored with the twine either, I am just wrapping everything in the stuff - just as well too as I bought so much I can wrap forever and still not run out.

The punched heart is Stampin' Up! and the sentiment is computer generated, plain old Arial, with the "dad" stamped from the boob tubes set using SU Cherry Cobbler.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

More bats

Having a bat stamp means that at some point I am going to have to go with the daft old bat sentiment. My mum teaches fitness classes for senior citizens (and I guess she is not a spring chicken herself either ... even though she acts like a teenager most of the time) and they are all a bunch of nutters.

She has the greatest sense of humour and I just know she will love a card like this to give to her friends.

I computer generated the title and printed it straight onto the card blank. The border is a Kelly Panacci border stamped with VersaMark and of course more of that luscious twine. I also decided to give one bat a little text background so masked off the eyes and then stamped it with a PTI text stamp.

That is all then from this daft old bat!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Batty ...

I got my twine, I got my Paper Smooches Stamps and I made this:

One stamp in the set used, several more to go ... but the night is young :)

Friday, 1 April 2011

FREE Craft Stamper e-zine

Craft Stamper magazine is giving away a FREE e-zine of all the best projects of 2010, as voted for by the readers of the mag. It has 12 full step by step projectrs and will be available for download for 6 months. Free is always good isn't it, and there are some really great projects in there!
Go grab your copy now - click here.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Waltzing mouse and Craft Stamper magazine

Craft Stamper mag out on Friday again. I've received my issue already and it is a lovely one this month. Fab layout by Morag Cutts (I love her scrapbook pages), some great copic colouring tehniques for faces by Judy Laing, a cool new series on one layer cards by Joanne Wardle (I am watching this with anticipation ... love the simplicity of one layer cards) and lots of of other cool projects too.

For this issue I have done a project using Waltzing Mouse Tag and label stamps. Claire's stamps combine with nestabilities dies so that you can create your own labels ... now is that cool or what!

I kid you not when I say that I had been looking for stamps to go with my label dies for many years. Before nestabilities came out I tried to make my own label designs on the computer (inspired by the good old Making Memories labels) to go with my Sizzix dies. Lining them up properly to cut was near impossible and in the end I gave up. Then came cookie cutter dies and wham, lining up problem solved. Don't you just love all the gadgets the craft industry throws at us.

This label stamp is from the very vintage labels #2 and one of my favourites.

Here is also a tag that didn't make it into print. The scroll down the side is from Very Vintage #5 and the tag is from very vintage #1. The butterfly is a Martha Stewart punch (I have used that a lot before too, but still love it).

Then, if you are not a subscriber to Craft Stamper magazine but would like to take a peek at some of the favourite projects of 2010 (as voted for by the readers), they are launching a new FREE to download e-zine on the 1st of April. Drop back here on Friday for a link and some more details.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I was looking at the new critter stamps from Lawn Fawn today and that reminded me that I have loads and loads of dingbats that I bought ages ago and still really haven't played with properly. Love dingbats, and really don't use them often enough. Much cheaper than stamps too (not that I am dissing stamps ... just saying) and you can print them any size you want.

This cat is from the DB critter doodles set - cool isn't he. He was printed onto orange paper and then pieced, but next I want to try and print my dingbats onto smooth cardstock and then colour them with copics. Yeah!

A weird sentiment I'll give you that - but you never know when someone will look after your cat and then needs to be thanked with a handmade card. You just never know! Best to be prepared and all :)

Monday, 14 March 2011


Today and Friday I taught a class for some of the ladies who were at my Stampin' Up! party - most of them quite new to the world of stamping.

I think their heads were properly spinning by the time they left (sorry ladies - my enthusiasm knows no bounds) :).

I simply wanted to touch on most of the basics ... you know card blanks, different inks for different purposes, some basic techniques .... but really, it is impossible to take it all in, so all I did was bamboozle them with info, techniques etc. I do hope they recover from the ordeal.

In the end we made this card, using the SU sale-a-bration greeting and of course my much loved medallion background. I haven't used my medallion for at least 3 weeks and it was time. I will never tire of that stamp, never I tell you!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Way too easily tempted

There is something very wrong with me at the moment. I am by nature rather thrifty and although I do indulge in crafty purchases, I usually don't impulse buy.

But OMG - that premise has been thrown out the window the last week or so.

First off, hubby has gone to the States for business and that can only mean one thing - buying Papertrey Ink stamps, dies .... and the sorts.

Normally that would be enough to last me for a while - having had a shopping fix and all ... you would think wouldn't you.

But then I went and bought those Paper Smooches stamps I spoke about last week ... ka-ching

Not to mention the Stanpin' Up! stamps from my party the other week ... ka-ching

Then I saw a post on facebook by Annette about dies from dies to die for and bought a few of those .... ka-ching

And then this morning I decided to take a break from tidying and surf the web for a little, saw this card by Mary and suddenly I just HAD TO HAVE some Bakers twine, I mean had to have, like someone that has to have cocaine, that kind of had to have. Not just a little bit of twine either, I bought two full spools of 220 metres each from a great shop I found in the States with reasonable postage ..... and breathe.


What is wrong with me.

Shall I just erase my paypal account right now or what.


Then, as I am very much resisting getting off this chair and resuming my tidying, I started going through my computer folders and tidying up my images. I stumbled across these old cards I made way back for Simply Cards and papercraft magazine.

I have been so caught up with stamping recently I have completely forgotten how much I love dies and die cutting. I am SO going to make some cards with dies this week ... I am!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Do you like cute and quirky

I do....

...and I just found some really cute stamps designed by Kim Hughes for her new company called Paper Smooches. http://papersmooches.blogspot.com/ Check out those scooters ... so flipping cool.

Just bought myself these two sets.

And the best thing of all, the postage to the UK is only $3 for two stamp sets, and (as far as I know) below customs duty.

Nothing like a little stamp fix to start the morning hey.

As soon as I get my hands on these I shall make some cards.