Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Swap 2011

With other ladies at our Crop, I take part in an annual Advent Swap where we become a Secret Santa for another member and receive a parcel in return.  As tomorrow is 1st December, a meeting was convened last night to make the swaps and this was mine.

A gorgeous retro style pink and turquoise bag, tied with a gold bow and with a cornucopia of gorgeous turquoise, pink, gold and white wrapped parcels inside, all embellished with buttons and ribbon bows,

and the crowning glory - chocolate coins marking each day so I get a mouthful of yumminess every morning when I open my present - I cannot wait for tomorrow morning, it all looks amazing.  Thank you Secret Santa, who I believe is a closet Bingo Caller....

.... look at these coins, all marked up with bingo calls - such a fun way to do it.  Roll on tomorrow morning!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another layout...

This is probably the most labour intensive layout I have done for a long time - at least in terms of inking tiny butterflies!  It's also one of my favourites.

I love this mask, and was lent a gorgeous October Afternoon mist by my friend Sandra.  I wasn't sure where the layout was going until I really looked at the photo and realised that all the girls were in pink, like a little flock of butterflies - and there was my layout idea :)  Happy days, scraps used up, thanks to the loan of the Martha Stewart butterfly punch from my friend Wendy, the addition of a few pearls for bling, some ancient glittery alpha stickers (to fulfil my challenge of using old stash on as many layouts as possible) and a very new banner from the delicious MME Kraft Funday range.

It looks awfully wonky but I think that's the photograph!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Try Something New Every Week #13

As I have been going on retreat to Eastbourne with my cropping friends for seven years, I decided I needed an Eastbourne themed new thing this week.  There were lots of options but as our hotel looks out on the pier in one direction I thought the least I could do was go on it!  I like piers but November isn't always the best time to go especially when scrapping calls!

It was a beautiful day, I couldn't have had a nicer wander.  I went with four other ladies from the crop and we really enjoyed being outdoors in the sunshine.

Challenge: to walk to the end of the pier at Eastbourne! - tick :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More from the Retreat

At the risk of being boring, I'm going to upload a few more layouts to this entry.  I love retreats and being able to scrap for ages in the company of others with ideas bouncing from one person to another, shared tools and stash and input from others as to what might work well on a layout.

We had a lovely mystery kit of Lily Bee Harvest Market papers with some embellishments and were left to create something with it. We could add other stash but I chose not to add much, only some lettering, some stamping and machine stitching.  I had loads of fun making different stacked circles for my layout, onto Swiss Dot cardstock. I discovered that 12x12 paper didn't really work with the sewing machine! and this is my effort...  it didn't win - the winning entry was truly beautiful, and all the entries were amazing - I love how people get different things from exactly the same starting materials.  I am pleased with it though.

The above layout sees a return to the turquoise obsession I seem to have rather often - here paired with red and white and again starring the Cricut which cut me the beautiful mat and swirly bits.  I also had a play with the Viva decor pearl pens and though you can't see them on the photo above, they look brilliant in real life.

Papers were from Lily Bee Picket Fence and apart from the pearl pens, all I used was a bit of braid and some BG alphabets.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twisted Sketch #129

I had a hard think about this sketch, and decided to interpret it a little wider than I do sometimes, so we have a bold shape in a mirror image of the original, although not the shield shape in the sketch.  I have chosen to do a Lone Star 'quilt' shape, inspired by the colours of the photograph and by the current trend for quilting inspiration in scrapbooking (especially a LO by Briana Johnson - not on her blog except in sneak form for Shimelle's PPP class).  I decided to keep to the red white and blue colour scheme to focus complement the photo rather than swamp it with too many colours.

I added a very simple border, a plain title and a loop of ribbon (for this week's twist) attached with a brad, and left it at that, as I wanted to show off the stunning colours of the Acer tree against the sky at Winkworth Arboretum which I've had in my 'to do' pile for ages.

So perhaps a looser interpretation than I sometimes do, but I love white space sketches and this gave me the chance to play and try something different.  Do go over to Twisted Sketches and see all the lovely layouts made by this week's team - so many different takes, that's what I love about Sketches.

By the way, if you are a cardmaker there is a DT call over at Twisted Sketches - so hop on over there and see what they are asking for - I do love the fact that I work in a one week on - one week off team so I have plenty of time to work on the sketches and never feel pressured.

Materials Used:
Bazzill Basics Cardstock
Patterned paper from Paper Trunk, October Afternoon, FooFaLa, MME Front Porch, Basic Grey, 
Alphabet: Lily Bee
Ribbon from stash, Sakura Red Gel Pen. Brad - Making Memories
Border Punch - Woodware

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some Layouts from the Retreat

Following on from yesterday's post, I thought I'd share some of the fruits of my scrapping labours.  One of my aims was to use up some old stash on my layouts as well as newer purchases. On one I cracked open the fibres (yes! I was addicted like many others, and rak-ed many of my collection a couple of years ago, but I did keep the ones I thought I might use, and I do occasionally.  This was one opportunity to use them - autumn colours and a range of hills in the background just made me think I could use a few of my collection.

These photos were from our trip to Shropshire in October half term, when I took the family back to some of my old haunts. I loved these photos and have had the tree die cut on my windowsill for ages waiting for the perfect time to use it.  I soooo NEED a Cricut!!   The papers are from the Glitz Vintage Blue collection which I bought from Gottacraft.  I used two punches and a little leaf stamp to complete the layout.

I did another layout from the Vintage Blue collection during the weekend, in fact these two were the first ones I did.  This time it is the blue side of the papers!  They show off the black and white photos beautifully.  The old stash on this layout are the Heidi Swapp stars which are 'mistable' - she was so ahead of the trend!  I've had them for ages!  The chipboard is Crate Paper and I even hand sewed on it!

The need for a Cricut was exacerbated by the addition of the Paper Lace cartridge which has the most beautiful die cuts which can be extended to near 12 x 12 size - well 10 to 11" anyway!  I found the one for the layout below and as I've got a bit of a thing for interlocking circles I just had to cut it. I backed some of the loops with patterned paper, sanded the photo and added a title - so simple but I love it.  The photo of DS1 isn't your classic birthday cake photo, for one thing it's a really poor quality photo taken in the dark before I knew about ISO (lol) but the thing that made me want to scrap it  was the look on his face - sort of 'What IS this?" - although I think he might have been checking we had the right number of candles!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Cracking Retreat

We ladies of the North Cheam Crop (plus Lynn - our honorary member) made our annual pilgrimage to Eastbourne this weekend for a few days of fun, shopping and cropping - and what a lovely weekend we chose!
The weather was glorious so the sea views from the hotel offered a wonderful distraction from our scrapping if we so chose to look up.

I finished about 12 layouts (3 doubles), had a good play with mists, masks and pearl pens, participated in several challenges including a mystery kit and a moustache challenge (don't ask!) for which I received the most delectable prize :) (below), a Quiz and Bingo.

We had a super fun 50s night on Saturday, complete with glamorous dresses (many more than mine!) and cocktails and for some reason the hotel (which is famous for it's way-before-Christmas Turkey and Tinsel breaks) declared it was Christmas - but only for our table - other guests looked on in bemusement as a bunch of ladies dressed in 1950s costumes celebrated Christmas!  Hope we weren't too much for them, but we had so much fun  - I hadn't laughed so much in ages.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Try Something New Every Week #12

It's been scrapbooking techniques this week for my trying something new.  I have been experimenting with mists, stencils/masks and Viva Decor pearl pens this week in an attempt to create a class for our Crop Retreat at Eastbourne this weekend.  So excited about going, very nervous about the class but here are some sneaky peaks and the final versions will appear once I get home again.

I've made two - a minimalist one and a 'normal' one - they are fun to do but you need drying time so are things to do alongside other projects.  I have yet to add the final touches (after all, I need something to do while everyone else is misting!)

I'm so hoping that everyone will enjoy having a play at stencilling, masking and making faux pearl or jet swirls and can't wait to see all the different layouts that people make, as it's not a kit class so everyone will be using their own stash to create something using the new techniques.

Got masks - tick!,  and  pearl pens, applicator sponges, inkpads, mists - so all set!  Just need to pack my clothes for the Fabulous 50s evening. Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Try Something New Every Week - #11

Today I went to Sissinghurst NT Gardens  for a Lecture and Lunch - not something I usually do!  I was invited by a friend who is altogether more cultured and aware of such events than I am, and we had a really good time.  The weather was so grey and miserable that it was impossible to take any photos worth anything, so I lifted this from the National Trust for a little flavour of what it looks like in all it's glory.

Our speaker was Sarah Raven, of cookbook fame, whose recipes I have borrowed from a friend who has one of her lovely cookbooks, but she is very knowledgeable about much more than cookery and gave a great talk about Wild Flowers of Britain, which she has studied and photographed extensively for a massive tome that she has just published.  All very interesting and illustrated with some of said photos, it all reminded me of the Sunday walks we used to go on with my parents.  My Dad especially knows lots about birds and flowers etc and so provided lots of interesting things to see.

We had a lovely lunch, especially the dessert of chocolate and beetroot cake with delicious chocolate sauce and whipped cream - yum!

They even stopped the lecture for a two minute silence at 11 o'clock.

All in all, a very good new experience for me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cards from my Counterfeit Kit

Another couple of events not covered in my handmade card pile - a birthday card - need to remedy this soon, and a twentieth wedding anniversary card.  It worries me to think that we will have been married twenty years next year and I will be making plenty more of these in the year to come - getting old isn't coming easy to me!

I raided the stash from my Counterfeit Kit and came up with a couple of simple autumn inspired cards for these special friends.  The numbers are Chatterbox and have been in my stash for ages.  I wiped ink over them to tone down the orange and enhance the embossed swirls that are subtly on each piece.   The message stamps are from Waltzingmouse. The glaze on the anniversary cards doesn't show at all, but adds some nice texture and interest to the card. I also got to use my baby Stamping Up inkpads - so nice to have a new range to play with.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Twisted Sketch #127

This is my layout for Sketch # 127 over at Twisted Sketches .  It is a special LO for me as my lovely DS1 who is now 16 is not a fan of being photographed, but on this day in half term he was in a mellow mood and allowed me to snap several photos of him just being himself, climbing on stuff and generally making the most of his youthful energy.  It has a very autumnal feel to it, both the photos and the stash used.

I used my November Counterfeit Kit for this LO, and an idea from a prompt from Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party which I have been following, although the output from the prompts has been fairly feeble. This idea talked about Paper Stacking, which uses up lots of old papers by layering them up and was perfect for the sketch.

I also loved one of the papers on the current Studio Calico Handmade kit (which I currently don't sub to, much as I'd love to) - a light toned background with lots of leaves printed on it, and decided to make my own version.  The quote came from some Cosmo papers and DS definitely comes into this category (I would say that, I'm his mum!) and I cut up a sheet of glazed leaves for the border.

The Twist for this week's sketch is chipboard, and as luck would have it, I had chosen a chipboard alpha for my kit  and so used this for my title.  A couple of buttons and a swirl of baker's twine and my LO was finished.  Thanks for looking :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fireworks - with my SLR!

I've taken some stunning photos of fireworks (sorry that sounds really arrogant!) in the past using my point and shoot camera (see! no arrogance intended as it was all done by the camera!).

After last week's lesson on how to use my lovely SLR properly, I felt compelled to have a go at taking some firework photos of my own design.  This was much harder!  I took a load of photos, many were rubbish! but here are some of my better efforts.

I do love Fireworks and the Carshalton ones are some of the best around -  lucky us!

Monday, November 07, 2011

My Counterfeit Kit - November

Yay! ~the 5th November brought double fun this year - a new Counterfeit Kit challenge and fireworks to go to.

I haven't been a big fan of apricot, but last week I saw some delicious Authentique papers at my friend Sandra's from Gottacraft  which changed my mind quite a lot.  I had also cast an eye over the Fancy Pants range that inspires the Counterfeit Challenge and thought it was nice, so I set out to find anything in my stash that could replicate the kit.  I only got as far as paper and alphabets, and need to study the embellishment possibilities later, but this is my version:

A few shades of Bazzill, some leaf paper (DCWV?) from a crop friend and another bold glazed leaf paper from another crop friend (thanks Sandra and MA!) , some offcuts of Chatterbox (ancient!), Sassafras, October Afternoon, Cosmo Cricket and Fancy Pants - not a whole sheet between them - I really was digging!  Add some Mrs Grossman's copper scrap metal, a half sheet of boy themed Fancy Pants Stickers, a strip of corrugated card and some well used Basic Grey letters, some ultra narrow ricrac in apricot, dusty blue and beige and some grey baker's twine and that is my November kit.

As for the fireworks - with my photography course fresh in my mind, I tried to take some 'manual' photos of fireworks.  All will be revealed tomorrow :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Pogo photos

My lovely friend Jo of Buckingham's Palace fame lent me her pogo printer so I could print out the photos from my phone.  I have a very naff phone that doesn't take great photos but when I forget my camera (not often but sometimes at the most annoying times) I do take a few photos on the phone just for the memory.

Long ramble, sorry, but anyway I actually managed to conquer the technology and get some photos that I took of the butterflies at Wisley.  Using up more of my October Counterfeit Kit - guess that's the last layout from it - I counterfeited some tags using old Anna Griffin papers.  I also used up another sheet of AG pp - one of the first sets of papers I ever bought when I started scrapping in 2005. 

So the Counterfeit Kit has worked - I am three sheets of very old paper lighter!!  Embellishments from Making memories, Crate Paper and Anna Griffin, plus a shipping tag to journal on completed my lo.  Simple, blocky - back to my usual style, but given how poor my camera phone is, I'm really pleased with the Pogo - thanks Jo :)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Education on the South Bank - Try something new every week #10

Well, I did something very new this week - in two parts.  Ages ago I booked myself onto an introduction to photography course using Groupon.  Never done that before (or since!) but I got a bargain.

I went up to the South Bank on a chilly grey Sunday and I finally learned to use my SLR off Auto!  I mean, I have had a play occasionally and I did do a CJ course last Christmas, but I was so rushed by the season that I didn't take much in.  I've tried reading books but it doesn't stick in my head for two minutes.  Learning by doing is definitely my thing and I had lots of fun trying to make my camera do things my way!

Such a grey day wasn't exactly conducive to taking great pictures, so these are the highlights.

The good thing is that I can now remember what the letters on the dial are for, and I just need to practise - a lot!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A few cards

Although I always mean to have a stack of cards ready for every occasion, I never seem to have the ones I need at the time.  This week I have an engagement card, an 18th birthday card and a birthday card to do, so I sat down to the task this afternoon, and also finished off a batch of Christmas Cards which need to be signed by a load of people before sending, hence the early production (totally unlike me!).

No rocket science, but I did get the chance to use my new Stamping Up mini ink pads and my Blending Tool which hasn't had much use lately.  Also nice to recycle a Christmas stamp from back I don't know when and my grand clear up of stash at the weekend unearthed some perfect pearl type paints which I used to colour in the image.