Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thank you Jo

Just got back from a week camping in Somerset and my prayers were answered indeed - it hardly rained and my new wellies are unworn and pristine!!

Have just received an award from Jo, my lovely crop friend over at Buckingham's Palace. I am very touched to receive this, and now have to share 7 things about me:

1) I was born within the sound of the Bow Bells.
2) My ancestry is a mixture of Welsh, Irish, English and a very small drop of Italian.
3) I love Middle Eastern food.
4) One day I would like to travel all the way down the west coast of the Americas, from Alaska to Chile
5) I hate anything flavoured with Cola
6) I am terrified of spiders and crawly things
7) My favourite song is Phatfish - There is a Day.

And passing the baton on - with a nod to Jo, and Sandra who was also nominated by Jo and whose blog I love, here are some of my favourite blogs:

Lynnda at ArtyScrappy, who I've followed through Twisted Sketches
Monica at Chasing Art

I don't know all these ladies, but I have received so much inspiration from their blogs, thank you one and all.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Explore Prompts 3 & 4 - and the self portrait!

Explore has demanded a lot more thinking than I had expected and in the middle of the chaos of the last week of term, DSs birthday and a host of other demands, I hadn't bargained on having to use my brain! But it has ticked away in the background and the above photos are the fruit of my labours.

Adventure, Maps and Perfection - quite a broad spectrum, but they made me remember happy travels, recalled my childhood love of maps and helped me to count my blessings - family, friends, the world around us, faith, and the satisfaction of having found my perfect hobbies.

The map flower was created as I had already seen these being made by my crop mate Yvette, for her daughter's wedding and had wanted to have a go. I hope to make it up to a bunch sometime or other! I also loved the Kerouac inspiration - one of my favourite books. The circles on the page for journalling were pure serendipity, and I managed a quick play with map bits (from an old travel book in the car) - just inked circles, a dabble with spirals and a flower made map bits.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

10 Days of Summer - the reveal

Check this out! how gorgeous and summery is this kit? How lucky am I?

All ten days' parcels are now opened, and this is the kit that I received. I love it! so many gorgeous patterns, loads of potential with bazzill backgrounds, and lots of yummy embellishments to play with - can't wait to start. Just need to find some 'pink' summery pictures to go with it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! - my 10 days of summer rocked!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A new challenge

Today I've started a new class - Shimelle's Explore class. I'm hoping that it will introduce some new ideas into my crafting and that I will be able to keep up with the prompts.

Today I have to take a self portrait - eek! That won't be appearing on here - I am definitely in the category of scrapping other people and not myself, but I will take the photo!

I also get to make a little minibook to work in - I love that, so I'm off to do that now.

ETA - I've done my book now - I enjoyed it very much, I used mainly cardstock and patterned paper from my extensive scraps box, a couple of book rings, an envelope in case I need to store anything while I'm going along, an ancient file folder because I fancied having a bit of shape, and some cutdown pages of this fabby notebook I found in TK Maxx a couple of weeks ago for £1.50.
I embellished the front, and wrote my Note to Self, the basis of which is:

a) I don't like taking or looking at photos of me;
b) I'm in quite a creative place right now;
c) I've been quite tied down for a while but things are changing a lot for me come September;
d) I took this class to learn something new.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bowtie Stickers

Despite my strict stash diet, I still can't resist looking around at what is coming out soon and my eye fell upon the new Nordic Holiday collection by Basic Grey. Like most of their collections, I don't actually want all the papers, but will invest in a few most probably. I loved the font for the alpha stickers, much less chunky than usual BG style and I also noticed that they had a new invention (at least to me!) - bowtie stickers.

Closer inspection shows that these are two strips of c/s trimmed into a bow at each end, a piece of fabric (or ribbon) gathered in, topped with a round piece of what appears to be c/s - a scalloped circle.

Of course, my cheapskate nature means that I had to try to make one! Using bits from my July Counterfeit Kit, I used an Echo Park pp base, a piece of ribbon, pulled in at the 'waist' with a piece of cotton, and a crate paper chipboard 'button' as a topper.

As I have already used it on a LO, I can only offer a cropped photo version of my effort, but you'll get the idea :)

I intend to have a session making more of my own versions, but you could use ribbon for the base layer as well, and buttons, badges or brads for the top - hoards of endless possibilities for the counterfeit scrapper!

Another LO done - Twisted Sketch #110

With the weather so grey and dull outside I wanted to do something bright, and adopted an unfamiliar colour palate of blue and orange today, inspired by the photos and the possibility of using up some of my Fancy Pants boy papers that have been sitting around for ages.

Today's sketch twist was ribbon, so I got out my ribbon box and layered it in a stripe across the LO, added another family patterned strip, and then used a final piece to make a loop for the hidden journalling tag.

It brought back such memories of the year 2000 and my pre-digital age when getting the right photo was just that much harder, but these came out beautifully. Then I was 9 months pregnant and struggling with the heat - today I'm really quite chilly and my DS is heading for high school - how time flies past.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From my Smash Book in June

I've found it a very satisfying pastime, keeping a Smash journal thingy for the summer. It is not up to date, but I have a calendar block which I am keeping updated with events, and adding things as I go. It is not in order but I find it more satisfying to add things to the page that sets them off best. I also am only printing off photos every so often so it has post it notes in it to remind me of future entries.

What would I change? - I need to tidy up my journalling - print off some of those nice printable blocks that people offer online, or use some stamps and have some to hand so it looks a bit neater. I also need to be more on the lookout for useable ephemera so I have nice things in my book, or maybe I just need a more exciting life!!

July is now under construction....

Is this finished?

From my Counterfeit kit, I produced this LO celebrating my husband's half century earlier this year. It is much more subtle and pale colourwise than my usual efforts and I keep looking at it, wondering if it needs something bold added to it to finish it off. Anyone with an idea would be welcome to comment please :)

Thank you Shimelle

Well, it took me a while (as you will see from the dates of the sketches) but as I have got into blog hopping I have had occasion to visit Shimelle's blog and been inspired by her work. These sketches took my fancy, and you might notice that my second LO has been inspired by both sketches.

Being committed to using up scraps, I loved the idea of using different pp in squares - and decided to use my inchie punch rather than a bigger one. I actually made up both borders prior to deciding what to do with the LO or selecting photos, but this sometimes works for me. When I saw the second sketch, I knew exactly what to do with it. I also got to use two of the spiral flowers I made a few weeks ago.

While the cogs turn far too slowly to join in the fun of the sketch challenge, I do like to use sketches to inspire my scrapping - so thank you Shimelle, (I belatedly) enjoyed this challenge.

Counterfeit Kit - July - a layout

I had a lot of fun playing with this kit. It was liberating not to have to look all through my stash for coordinating bits, and all I used was a border punch and a pen in addition to the kit bits.

I used a CS background, and a mix of BG and Sassafras pp, some 7 Gypsies gaffer tape, Crate Paper chipboard (from two different ranges) and glitter die cuts, a crochet flower, a felt flower augmented with a paper flower and a gem, some wooden buttons, a journalling block which might be MM, and a butterfly which definitely is :)

Another LO using the kit was blogged yesterday, and I've made two cards (already sent) so it has been put to good use, one LO is half done and I still have plenty left, so watch this space, I may even use it up!

Twisted Sketch #109

Using my July Counterfeit Kit, I was drawn to this sketch initially because of the bracket shape which I knew had been included in my kit. I knew it would be perfect with this photo and I wanted to use the red and green because the flower chipboard, which is also the 'Twist' from the sketch reminded me of all things Scandinavian - the theme behind this LO.

I only used things from the kit, and made my own little embellishments using matted cut outs of trees raised on 3d foam, with gems added for extra beautifulness!!

Great sketch, and I'm really pleased with my layout.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

How Exciting!

It was the North Cheam crop today, and I did 6 LOs - more of which later in the week when I get round to photographing them. It's always such fun at the crop, with Gaye's excellent poppy seed cake, lots of tea and plenty of conversation and laughter.

This time was made even better, seeing the photos from MAs baby shower being turned into a beautiful minibook in gorgeous bright Echo Park colours, and also because we swapped our offerings for the 10 days of Summer swap.

This all began because we were lamenting the long time until the next advent swap which we participate in with gusto, but it does take a lot of organising and investment, so an open 10 parcel page kit swap was decided upon. Mine has a lovely duck on the bag and is all wrapped in gold, and I will start opening tomorrow - I so love presents :)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Having a Smashing Time

Yay! found some funky magnetic bookmarks today in Smiths to use in my Smash book - they fit round a page and the magnet holds them together. They had lots to choose from, and I was a bit tempted by some cookery ones as I have the odd recipe in the smash book, but in the end I had to go for camper vans. Three are now in my smash book, with the others waiting to see if I have anything to match them!

I love my smash book as it gives me the chance to look for cool stationery products!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Counterfeit Kit - July Version

This is my first attempt at counterfeiting a kit - this is from Polka Dot Whimsy and is their July 2010 Kit called Cape Cod. Ok, I know it's not exactly similar but still....

I have taken inspiration from the wide range of colours (although mine are different), the shaped pp, the October afternoon stickers, a pile of flowers, some borders and a load of ribbon. I will have to look harder at some of the embellishments to see if I can counterfeit them better, but I'm inspired by my kit and hope to use it at the crop this weekend.

The best bit was that it was like 'shopping my stash'. There are some very old papers in there - Scenic Route, Wild Asparagus, then Crate Paper from a couple of years ago, and a couple of bits I bought recently. There is an MM die cut which came from a Christmas range. I have also added two or three half used alpha sets and hope to use them up for titles.

Now to find the photos to use with my brand new kit :)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Living by my motto

Happy 4th July!

In the home school, we have been amusing ourselves this morning by finding out more about 4th July and making flags to adorn the ice cream we have made for the celebration later at some friends' who conveniently have American friends staying - what better reason to hijack another country's celebrations as an excuse for a party!

Sadly, last week three of my friends lost their Mums. I didn't know any of these lovely ladies, but feel so sad for my friends who have lost a very special person in their lives and all the attendant responsibility and sadness that goes with arranging funerals etc. You are in my thoughts and prayers, ladies. I've been making sympathy cards to send.

I also have birthday cards to make by the bucketful. Anyone reading this blog over the past weeks will know that I am on a mission to use up some of my old stash rather than keep buying new things (partial success, partial failure!!). Given my pathological aversion to throwing any stash away - much to the horrified amusement of some of my crop mates - I have a whole box of letters taken from part-used alphabet stickers, chipboard etc etc.

There are only so many odd letter layout titles a girl wants to do so I hit on the idea of using some of the letters for birthday cards. I now have a dearth of ds and rs but I think I can live with that in the wider context of using up my extensive collection and there must be other good wishes I can send without those two letters!

These are my efforts...