Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Walking the Regent's Canal

I went out with DS and a good friend today for a rescheduled walk from Camden Lock to Paddington via Little Venice along the Regent's Canal. The day was gloriously warm and sunny and the walk was as lovely as I had hoped. We saw exotic birds as we walked past the zoo, admired the house boats with all their little adornments, gardens and sun traps, we saw ducks and moorhens and a good sprinkling of very nice houses.

We followed this up with lunch in Sheldon Square - duck with salad and lentils - yum! and a wander down to Paddington - as you come under the West Way the whole landscape changes and you feel as if you have changed cities - that's the wonder of London - things change so quickly from district to district.

We ended up on South Molton street having a delicious ice cream, and I found a gorgeous material and trimmings shop called macculloch-wallis which I will have to revisit soon. I did manage a little purchase of trimmings though!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Glorious Wildlife

With DH having a new camera with a great 12 x optical zoom, taking photos has once more become a pleasure and we made the most of it, taking endless pictures of the wildlife that came up to our door at Elveden.

I will definitely be scrapping some of these photos, well at least a selected few, but for now I'm just enjoying looking at them. They may not be the big 5, but up close and personal they are so interesting and beautiful.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baby Shower

I had an awesome afternoon with my crop friends yesterday, with a baby shower for one of them - our 3rd crop baby!! We all took presents and were treated to an amazing array of delicious cakes and tea - yum! The rooms were beautifully decorated with streams of pompoms, babygro and normal bunting and even a door decoration.

We decorated onesies (or babygros as they are known on this side of the Atlantic) - tradition which MA has introduced to us - and all made a different design for Baby Bunting as he or she is known affectionately. Mine is the star and stripes one on the left (above)

We played some very silly games, the sock game in miniature with baby accessories and tried to drain 4oz of squash from a baby bottle - almost impossible - how do they do it? We also did the guess the distance round the bump - as ever my guess was way too big - keep forgetting not all babies were as big as mine!

A really nice ending to a manically busy week - thank you ladies!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I really liked the look of Jillibeans Bean Blossoms, and dug out my fibre collection (much neglected as you can imaging) to have a play. With two sizes of round punch to cut scraps of cardstock for the background, a pritt stick and a button for the centre, they are a simple, highly satisfying, quick and cheap alternative, and can be made in whatever colour you want. Not to mention the fact that the real thing, gorgeous though they are, cost £3.99 for 3. Cheapskate? Definitely, sometimes!!


I'm supposed to be on a stash diet, and I've been trying really hard and quite successfully to use up my stash, particularly those sheets of must-have pp which trill their siren call to you in the shop but then I don't know what to do with.

Anyway, I decided to invest in a little pick-me-up stash parcel, nothing extravagant mind you, of the oh so tempting LYB Sweet Summertime. I had a reason: I have plans for at least two LOs, possible even 3, which in my mind was justification enough to purchase - so I did!!

It arrived! It is beautiful, but I only purchased 2 sheets of pp (using the logic that I'm trying not to accumulate pp!) - why why why?? Having seen it, I 'need' at least a couple more, if only because the reverse of one I have to use is just gorgeous, so I should have got 2!! The chipboard, stickers and journalling tags will definitely be used up, as they are just cute, but I NEED MORE PP. But I cannot possibly justify paying the postage for just 2 sheets of pp, so now I'm sitting on my hands, trying to ward off the temptation of buying!!

Have I learned my lesson? Oh yes, either don't buy, or think more carefully and buy at least 4 pps in a collection!! I'm going away now, before I go shopping!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finishing Layouts

I am a great sinner when it comes to unfinished LOs - time and time again I leave a crop with several to finish, having lost the inspiration, forgotten the relevant stash, or needing to journal and I have a pizza box sitting looking reproachful at me of all the LOs I have never finished over my 6 years of scrapbooking!! Every so often I feel guilty and try to finish off a handful, but on the whole they are a lost cause.

You can imagine how pleased I am to blog the LO which I began a few weeks ago and took to the crop on Saturday and FINISHED, without it being consigned to the dreaded pizza box!!

Also been inspired to try an embellishment cluster, after the Crafty Templates course. I still find it hard but I'm persevering.

PS. I've been hovering round the WOYWWW world for a while, and finally decided to join in, only to realise that my workdesk is folded up in the car!! DS had a party at the weekend at a friends' house and it had to double as a buffet! So there is absolutely nothing on my workdesk this Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Twisted Sketches at the Crop


I used this week's Twisted Sketch as an inspiration for a couple of my LOs at the North Cheam Crop last Saturday. In line with my mission to use up old stash, I brought the remains of some kits or collections, and some old photos - some 20 years old - help!! I managed 4 altogether, including a double LO and made a sizeable hole in the stash pile I had taken - mission accomplished :) - terrible photos though!!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A new summer Smash Book

Having been inspired by the ladies on UKS to create a smash book that will reflect life for a period, rather than be used as an ongoing inspiration book, I couldn't decide how to do it. It needs to be small, so I can carry it around, so I dug around in my stash supplies and came across a blank 7 gypsies mini book that was perfect except for the number of pages on offer.

Having committed on another UKS thread to use up my stash, and another to actually finish my projects, I decided to be focused :) Using up a Crate paper kit from Gottacraft from ages ago, another one of Glitz Design, which I'd used for 1 LO and then put aside and some odd sheets of Cosmo Cricket Girl Friday which I'd been tempted by but never got around to using, I made some extra pages, covered the outside and then came the challenge of pamphlet stitching the pages into the book.

Not hard in the diagram, but then I realised that as I had double the number of sheets I needed to make the holes big enough to hold double the number of stitches - cue hammer and eyelet punch as my Cropadile won't reach the middle!! Do I need a Big Bite?

Finally managed to get all the stitches tight enough and the book looked great. Inspired by Mary Anne's pictures of a hairband loop closure, I had a go.

Tips for doing this:

1. If you want to hold a pen, then make the cover big enough compared with inside sheets -(did not apply for my project)

2. Check that your hairband will thread through a small hole, if not make it bigger, but still use a small hole linking with the big hole that the eyelet is set in.

Finally, I opted for a button closure, and punched holes in the front cover and sewed it on tightly so my loop can go over it.

et voila! I'm pleased with my efforts. I'll see how it goes and how it could be improved as I use it.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Thank goodness for Broadway Bargains!

My DD had a project to do on the 1920s for the holidays, and got well engrossed in the fashion and music of the era, and opted to do a poster board to show off her work. Of course, we needed fringes and beads and pearl strings to m
ake it look authentic, and not far away is the perfect venue for such things - Broadway Bargains - a very old fashioned treasure trove of all things needlework. Run by some vague old ladies with a loathing of mobile phones - you should hear the tut if your phone goes off! - it sells ribbons, braid, buttons and a host of other must have items for crafters. We duly invested and she finished her project - without any nagging from me - amazing!

Without much time as it's half term in the house, and revision time for my eldest DS, I had a quick play yesterday, motivated by the online class I've signed up for:
Crafty Templates Take 10 Embellishments It all looks rather good, although much more sewing than I ever normally do, so I made do with sorting out my flower box and creating the following embellishment, intended to go into an embellishment group once I've looked better at the class. I signed up with the idea that I could use up some of my stash in a more creative way - here's hoping :)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

My Smash Book

I had a load of fun making my own Smash book, based on the K&Co idea but using up old stash which I probably wouldn't have used otherwise. Also used up rubons and stickers, and borrowed a BIA to get it looking professional. Used a Gottacraft crop kit for the cover papers, added some chipboard butterflies and it's now in use.

I'm not going to scrapbook in it. I'm going to use it as a gathering point for ideas, quotes, inspirations, ephemera and so on - and when it gets full, I can make another one.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

An Awesome Bank Holiday Weekend

We had a staycation at the weekend - really because we wimped out of camping, but what a good decision that was!

Saturday was spent in London, at the Natural History Museum, wandering around and dodging Barcelona fans heading for Wembley, which pleased DS2 immensely. We then went to a local gastro pub for dinner - yum!

Sunday was spent discovering a new corner of the Kent coast and despite a strong wind we had a brilliant time in brilliant sunshine. Birchington is a good beach to visit - sand, shallow water, some windsurfers and kite surfers to look at, beach huts and a shop that does tea, ice cream and chips. We headed home for fajitas and a rest.

Monday dawned beautiful but with the threat of poor weather heading in from the west, so we went to Chartwell, enjoyed the house and grounds, some tree climbing and a picnic, and only got hit by raindrops when we were nearly home. It didn't do much for the bbq, but we still had it - only indoors except for the hardy cooks.