Friday, 29 April 2011


So many people comment on how alike my granddaughter and I are... maybe it's because she loves to mimic me? My daughter Katie took this photograph of her daughter and me and we just couldn't help ourselves...
I used the TeaHouse Collection again - but chose papers without cupcakes on this time. The green paper is the leftover from a previous layout (Cupcakes Are NOT For Sharing) and all the other papers used were scraps too - I'm trying to be thrifty *lol* The title is made with "Bang! Zoom!" sizzix die cut lettering, and the tiny flower brads for the centres of the paper flowers were a crafty bargain kept in my stash drawer. I used some X-Cut punches to make the little flowers - but they had to be plain and quite flat to fit in with this layout, so once again I didn't use the flowers I had made over the past few days!
The birds and the birdhouse are stamps from the Papermania "Tweet" 5"x7" clear stamp set (PMA 9074003) - I stamped them onto scraps of the TeaHouse papers with a Prussian Blue ink and just cut them out. One bird is stuck flat, whilst the other is stuck down using foam squares. The birdhouse is also stuck down using the foam squares... and if you look closely, you'll see that the birdhouse door opens up (not that it does much good - it was just a detail I wanted to add).
This layout used so much embroidery thread! I sewed around the aperture on the top layer of cardstock... and then just went mad with pale blue, green, pink and also a darker pink. I did all the stitching first... and then covered a lot of it with the embellishments! The bunting is cut out of scraps, and sewn onto the layout with embroidery thread. I also inked the edges of each bunting flag with the prussian blue ink to make it match in with the rest of the layout, and also to make it stand out a bit more. A blue pen was used to trace around the title lettering to make that stand out too. That's about it... I guess I did go overboard with the stitching details... but it was fun seeing how many different stitches and techniques I could use. I'll always love doing the shabby-chic flowery layouts... but sometimes it just doesn't fit the photograph I want to use - so I'm quite getting used to this 'new' style for me - and it does fit in nicely next to the 'normal' style I use when in the same scrapbook.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Flowery Fun... again

These roses and flowers appeared on my 'WOYWW' post, as I made them on Wednesday and couldn't be bothered to put them away! I seem to have a terrible habit lately, of making paper flowers with no layout to place them on - bit of a waste really!
These roses are absolutely gorgeous in real life - the photo does them no justice at all... a bit fiddly to make, but well worth it I think. I made them using a new set of dies I bought from the Pickwells Craft Club on Tuesday night... Spellbinders roses. I'm loving these! I'll certainly be making a LOT more of these roses ~ even though the amount of cosmic shimmers I use and spray around the dining room is horrendous! lol
I put pearls in the middle of the flowers - but they're not stuck down yet... I haven't decided what I'm going to put in the middle. Maybe I'll leave it with nothing until I use them, and then match up with whatever layout they happen to end up on. The smaller flowers are more peony-like than roses... a lot easier to do than the bigger roses.

Flowery Fun

I just love making paper flowers - especially when I can spray my cosmic shimmers with abandon! Well, that's what hubby says I do - apparently there are traces of pearly, shimmery spray on the dining table, chairs, chair cushions, floor (it's wood and can be cleaned.... where's the problem? lol), door, door handle, his newspapers, coffee cups.... and other various items that have passed through the dining room whilst I'm using it as a scrap-haven.
These were simple flowers made in my usual style, but using green inks and mostly sage-green and brown papers. I did use a dark burgundy paper on two of the flowers, as I liked the contrast...
Now I have to complete a layout that matches them.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


I really don't know if I'm doing this right - but thought I'd try and have a go at WOYWW
So... it's Wednesday... and here's what's on my workdesk:
A plastic box full of 6x6 papers that I use to make paper flowers. more paper hidden under my new Spellbinders dies (Rose Creations, S5-050), and the flowers I made with them today. A 'Really Useful Box' with sizzix adapters in it - and of course, my sidekick. Cosmic Shimmers in Angel Mist  - though this one is in another bottle, not the original - because I decided that when the nozzle clogged, I could take it apart and ment it. Yes, I COULD take it apart... but when it came to putting it together again I wasn't so clever.  Other Cosmic Shimmers are: Pearl Mist (VERY pearly... who'd have guessed *lol*), Bronze Blush, Plum Twist, and Candy Pink. There's also a bottle that contains a mix of water and gum arabic (which I use to stiffen paper flowers). Ummm.... what else? A small pack of brads and Creativity Magazine (which I was reading earlier).... oh, and a pokey-tool (I have no idea what these are really called!).
Quite a boring workdesk really... and only tidy (-ish) because I was reading (although I'm obviously in a lazy mood, because I haven't put anything away yet!). I don't actually have a dedicated craft room (boo-hoo... feel sorry for me), so use the dining room instead - and boy, do I make a mess!

Make Do And Mend

A few days ago I looked after BOTH my beautiful grandchildren for three days - I'm shattered! lol
Alistair is growing so fast - none of his babygrows fit properly... so I did what my Nan did before me - 'make do and mend' - I cut the feet off - of the babygrow, not my grandson. Alistair loved being in the garden (under the shade of a Lilac tree) with the sun shining. Lily kept checking him when he was sat in his pram, often commenting on his "nakey feet".
I seem to be going Do-Crafts crazy at the moment - I have such a lot of 'stuff' from Do-Crafts, and I'm trying to see if I can use the papers and embellishments in a style more suited to me. I've had a go at the less-fussy style (which I've really loved trying), and now I've tried making these modern-feel papers fit in with my distressed, shabby style with layered flowers and stitching. I used two Distress Inks with this project - Broken China and Wild Honey, and Tim Holtz came into play with the title too - it's the "Once Upon A Time" die cut letter strip (sizzix # 656916). My mum had a hand in this layout too - all the little 'frills' are tatting lace flowers, which my mum makes (these are her 'tries' - when she practises a new tatting loop - or when she has a little thread left over and she wants to use it up).
So here's the Do-Crafts run-down...
I started with a Creative Papercraft Kit - Baby Boy (PMA107109) and used only these papers. I liked the mix of blue with a very yellowy-orange ... it was a colour combination I hadn't thought of using, and yet I really liked the way it all went together.
The flowers all started off as simple, plain blue paper shapes from several Papermania collection: Capsule Collection ~ Blueberry Pie (PMA 3681106), and just the blue flowers from both the Henbury Lane (PMA 3621200) and Summer Bloom (PMA 3621101) petal pouches. I sprayed each petal layer with a water and gum arabic solution, then left them to dry off quite a lot. I did my usual petal twisting, and heat set each one with a heat gun. Then it was just a matter off deciding which ones to layer with which (took me quite a while - I am SO indecisive!). I brushed each finished flower quite heavily with Wild Honey distress ink - which I though matched the papers really well. I think one or two of the largest flowers are Prima E Line Mixed Vintage (item # 300258) - once again, just a couple of blue ones. The buttons are just a few chosen from  the PaperMania button collection in yellow (PMA 7162).
My Martha Stewart punch was used for just one edge along the matting and layering of the photograph - I quite liked the idea of just this one side being punched. The layers are stitched to each other and to the background paper using bright blue and yellow embroidery threads. I stitched a lot around the page - it was just too bare for me, and I thought it needed 'something'. I also stitched around Alistairs feet on the photograph to highlight his cut-up babygrow. 
Well, that's all there is for this layout... I now have a whole day to look through the photographs of my beautiful Lily and decide which ones I'm going to scrapbook... this could take a while! lol

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Alistair Got Giggles

When my daughter and son-in-law finally got to go on their honeymoon cruise, I looked after my youngest grandchild, Alistair, for a few days. He tired me out, but it was wonderful having him stay with us. He said "Ga Ga" every time his granddad walked into the room, and had giggles every time I said to him "Goo goo, gee gee, GA GA!". I managed to capture a laugh with my camera... and I just had to scrapbook it.  He was just nine and a half weeks old - such a character!
The main background paper is from a "Hot Off The Press" SaraPapers book, but all the other paper used is from PaperMania - a capsule collection (think it's "Heather"), and my favourite ~ Henbury Lane. A lot of the buttons are also PaperMania, and the lettering is from their Retro Collection (Forever Friends "The Good Life"). All the circles were cut out or drawn using the X-Cut shape cutter system - I use this so much these days, I think I'd be lost without it! Even the butterflies are cut out from the Henbury Lane papers... and the paper left over after cutting out the butterflies, I used to die-cut the little bird. Oh, and I also used PaperMania adhesive pearls in white just to finish off and add a little more detail.
I had wanted to use the paper flowers I made yesterday - but they were just too fussy, so I made some more that were plainer and more simple, using the PaperMania papers.
Of course there is stitching again - and so much of it this time ~ the stitching took longer than the rest of the layout all together! Part of this was also due to me wanting to sew on each and every button. Apart from the sewing, this would have been a really quick layout to create.
I chose the purple and blue colours, and I'm hoping that the purple background (which also has a pale blue smattered through it, as well as all the wording) doesn't appear too pink-ish looking. I used blue thread that matched the papers, but chose a much darker purple embroidery thread to use as I thought it would be less 'girly' and suit the layout better.
Well, there he is... my amazing youngest grandchild. Isn't he just the most adorable baby ever...? Of course, I would say that... I'm biased :)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ever Had One Of Those Days...?

This is the strangled sound my neighbours can hear this evening, coming from my house. I really have had "one of those days" - well, evenings, to be precise.
I had a chipboard birdcage, and I've been meaning to put it together and decorate it for quite some time now. I gesso'd it a few weeks ago - made it look sort of shabby-chic - and I couldn't wait to make it look extra pretty. Out came the gcd collection "Paris Nights", and I chose a french-themed advertisment-like paper to cover the roof - inside AND out too. I made little paper roses from the collection papers, and even went out to the garden to pick a few little branches from one of my Lilac trees to decorate this birdcage.
I had almost finished it, when I decided to take a few photographs of it (in the kitchen because the light is best in there) - like a work in progress.... and then it happened... 
I dropped it in the kitchen sink.
A sink full of used washing up water.
I was quick... but not even Scotch Quick Dry Glue can cope with a quick dip in warm soapy water (especially when the glue hasn't had a chance to dry properly).
All my hard work.... wasted.
The centres keep falling out of the roses, the bird inside the cage has straggly feathers (and I spent ages glueing them on!), and the chipboard has distorted and is somewhat falling apart.
I think the air turned a little blue in the kitchen...
I was so frustrated and angry at myself... so I decided to finish the darn thing anyway!
I don't think my sniffles and tears helped as I tried to stick on pearls and brads *lol*
If it dries out well, and is salvagable, I may add to it in the future - I'll just make sure that if I photograph it in the kitchen, the sink is emptied first *lol*
I was thinking maybe a few bright olive-green accents ... flowers and chipboard pieces ... just to make it a bit brighter (though it won't match the colour scheme in my front room then).
Or maybe I'll just add a few more neutral-coloured embellishments...?
Of course, it may just fall apart and I'll not have to make any decisions about it at all *lol*


I do have several photographs that I desperately want to scrapbook, but my mojo is somewhat deflated right now... so, instead, I decided to use up the last few scraps of paper I had put by to make some paper flowers. I only had a few bits of paper left over... but enough to make 5 flowers in all...
I always spray the 'raw' petals with a mixture of water and gum arabic (usually found in the watercolour/acrylic painting section of your local hobby/craft shop). After drying them a little, I manipulate or scrunch the petals, and then heat set them with my heat gun. The added gum makes the petals harden a little bit, and the finished flowers keep their shape beautifully.
The blue ones I spritzed with some cosmic shimmer, and the reverse of the red ones are daubed with a water and re-inker mix (tattered rose).

Friday, 15 April 2011

A Love That's Lasted

My wonderful parents have recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary (26th March, 2011), and when I found a photograph of them when they had first started dating, I knew it would be the perfect centrepiece for a layout titled "A Love That's Lasted". 
Such a beautiful couple - and they still are! I absolutely adore my Mum and Dad ... they have been the perfect parents, grandparents... and have shown me how a marriage can work and last (I've now been married almost 17 years). I really can't say just how much these two are loved and admired, respected and adored - not just by me but everyone who knows them.
Okay, okay... I'll try and stop tearing up here and get on with explaining how I created the layout...
Of course I used my hand-made flowers - I wanted a rustic, almost shabby-chic sort of look, with lots of little buttons and sewing. I also used some inexpensive foam lettering that I inked with a sage green ink and then stamped over the top with a sepia inked Tim Holtz stamp from the "Love" collection (it's not easy to see, but I liked the effect).
The "Anita's" holographic butterflies were used, but (as always) I cut off the surround, as I prefer the look of these embellishments without the holographic bit. The buttons are so cute - hearts and cupids - and I bought these from Hobbycraft a while ago.
One other detail I added was to "rough-up" some of the edging of the background paper - scrunching it up quite a bit and glue-ing it in place. The space left was backed with the same paper as I used to back the photograph - it's a "My Minds Eye" collection piece. I'm not too sure where the main patterned paper came from - it has a lovely linen-look, and is double-sided with plain green and red polka dots on the reverse.
I stitched around the photograph, and also tied some of the embroidery thread around the "LOVE" lettering.
I like that if I scrunch up my eyes and peer at the layout, the flowers form a heart shape...
but most of all I love that these two people are my fantastic Mum and Dad!

Monday, 11 April 2011


My granddaughter Lily is a little live wire - running around all the time - and she loves being on the trampoline in the garden. She'd asked for her sweeties, and against all advice from her Nonna, decided that she could jump up and down with the little plastic bottle of sherbert in her hand. That day, I think more sherbert landed on the trampoline than in Lilys' mouth. It was when she suddenly stopped jumping, sat down with a bounce, and peered into the bottle... wondering where the sherbert had all gone... that I snapped the most adorable photograph of her concentrating so hard to look deep into the bottle to see if there was any sherbert left.
I used Papermania "Summer Bloom" papers for this layout, and lots of handmade flowers. The ribbon was leftover from a giftbox at Christmas - I just added some paper ribbon over the top for a flowery addition. Distress Ink was a must for this layout - Lipstick, to match in with the bright pinks of the papers. I used my La Blanche stamp for the swirls ( I LOVE that stamp!), and mixed pink and green papermania inks for the wording stamp ("Live Laugh Love").
The jewelled brads used were leftovers from another Papermania set I had used - the Teahouse (cupcakes) brads... and  I also used pearl brads in pink and ivory that I had in my stash drawer - also PaperMania.
You can't see it clearly at all, but the butterflies I cut out from the papers are highlighjted with Ranger Stickles ("Crystal"), and I used a LOT of "Candy Pink" Cosmic Shimmer Mist too - on the smaller flowers, butterflies... and wherever else it happened to get onto :)
I decided to do my journalling directly onto the layout this time (rather than write all the details on the back), and I used green pen, and also green stitching to compliment the layout... can't have a layout without stitching now, can I?!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Cupcakes Are NOT For Sharing...

I can't remember when the photograph for this layout was taken - certainly more than eight years ago. Naomi had espied my homemade chocolate cakes, and as a special treat for all the children, they were allowed one each. The cakes didn't last long at all.
The papers are all from DoCrafts "Tea House" Collection - perfect for this project! Many of the embellishments are also from this collection - though the "Sweet" wording was found in the discount basket at Pickwells. The layout is basically a scraplift from one of Dawn Inskip's designs... "Cheesy".
Dawn does digital layouts, and to look at her creations is to almost feel them - although digital they look amazingly tactile. I am quite in awe of her talent. Though I have no idea how to digi-scrapbook, I do like to see if I can loosely fit her designs into a normal 12x12 layout... and this is one attempt. I'll not put Dawns layout here to compare... hers wins hands down!
I had finished the layout, but felt something was missing. I just had to find a place for stitching on the layout - my papers feel naked without a bit of thread.
A few punched flowers and a bit of ribbon, and it was all finished!
Quickest layout I've ever done.