Monday, April 30, 2012

Try something new every week

The kids went away for the weekend and we were left in the very unusual position of having some time to ourselves.  As it was quite last minute we'd already made some plans (separately!) and we went ahead with those - but we managed a film together, dinner on Saturday night at home with candles, and Sunday lunch.

We went out to the Ramblers Rest which is a pub in an ancient Elizabethan dwelling for Sunday lunch.  DH realised that in its previous incarnation, he had been there before for his sister's 18th - many moons ago.
We ordered a roast lunch and enjoyed every bite.

Then we headed out into the woods to see the bluebells (again! for me). I had my camera with me and the sun was kind enough to come out.  It was such a treat to wander around with my lovely H, without any kids moaning about how pointless family walks are!  And it was a joy to welcome them home afterwards!  Besides, the rain had started by then!  We definitely had the best of the day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Twisted Sketch # 148

This week I decided to use this lovely perforated paper I found in a local scrapbook shop.  I've not seen it anywhere else, but it was just screaming out to be sewn on, so I did!  The original sketch is here

Materials Used:  Bazzill Basics Black Cardstock, Perforated Paper - LSS, Chipboard embellishments - Jenni Bowlin and Crate Paper, Alpha stickers - Scenic Route, Flowers - Prima, Clip - Basic Grey Oliver, Phrases - Authentique, Other: Pearls, Twine, Embroidery Silk.

I've been printing out slides that I've scanned from my parents' collection and this one is of me and my little sister, with my mum and grandparents at their house in Wales.  We had wonderful holidays here, near the seaside and I've made a 6x12 page to accompany it, full of journalled memories of our stay there, and using the offcuts from the perforated paper and coordinating embellishments so it all looks nice. The other thing that makes it special for me is that I used embroidery silks that belonged to my Granny on the layout.  The title is the name of the house.

Do head over to Twisted Sketches and see what the rest of the team have got up to with this sketch. Thanks for looking.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Finishing up!

I'm determined to finish up some of my unfinished layouts, and these came from 2009 and have just been waiting for some final touches.

I finally found the perfect embellishment with a set from Echo Park that I bought a week or two ago and voila! the layout is finished.

It fits in perfectly with the mini photo challenge from Counterfeit Kits - although obviously I didn't use my kit for it!  I do like using mini photos though, they allow you to tell the whole story on a single page.

The second layout took me ages.  I rarely stick to a single paper collection but the Basic Grey one (can't remember the name, but it was something natural) spoke to me in the context of the amazing ski jacket that Hannes had when he came to visit.  I faffed around with papers, sewed onto the layout and used my craft robo for the tiny beautiful letters.  I finally added a few embellishments some BG, and the old tag from my stash, and finished off with tiny pearls in a swirly shape.

I think it's finished now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finally some scrapping!

It's been a busy time lately and my scrapping has suffered.  I haven't managed to do much at all, so it was a welcome Saturday crop last week and I finally managed to do a couple of layouts.

The first is a counterfeit paper, based on the MME Miss Caroline Dolled Up paper.  I haven't quite got the density of butterflies, but I do love the mixture and tried to create a similar theme, using up my scraps as ever!  However many I seem to use, there are always more in the growing pile!  I made the paper before I decided on the photo, something I don't do too often. I am pleased with the result, although I would have liked to add a bit more journalling in retrospect but I couldn't bear to cover up all the butterflies!!

Second up is a paper I was almost about to pass on, until sheer serendipity intervened and I saw how it went with the wallpaper in the photo!  Sad reason maybe, but it did fit with my philosophy of using up my old stash, and I added a MME frame I've had for a while, a Crate border sticker, punched stars and some Fancy Pants banner strips, before deciding to accent with a little aqua.  The letters are Doodlebug (old) and foam Thickers.

Finally, Lorna (of My Little Blogette fame) was sitting next to me at the crop and was using Shimelle's starting point from a week ago and made such a lovely layout I felt compelled to this for my next layout.  I have wanted to scrap this photo for ever - it was taken nearly 20 years ago, long before I scrapbooked, and way before digital cameras and I am absurdly pleased with my one chance print.  I couldn't really get DH to skip down a meadow - Laura Ingalls style - more than once!!

I bought the gorgeous papers a couple of weeks ago from Gottacraft and was thrilled to have the chance for a real play.  Strangely, using a starting point made me dither much more than when a layout comes out of my head!  I couldn't decide on the placement of papers, but finally settled for this, although I think I may add a loop of twine to it at some point.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Shimelle Online...

I don't normally blog twice in a day but as I've completed another couple of layouts for the Shimelle Online challenge I thought I would update them as I'm busy tomorrow.

This challenge was to use one photo twice, and I was wandering around trying to work out if I actually had two photos the same when I spied these old passport photos that DH had injudiciously left lying around!  They have to be the most unflattering photos of his life!  Well, I couldn't resist them.

I had an old sheet of Bo Bunny stickers out with my rather newer Authentique Loyal papers, and I love this cardstock that came from an LSS and has a different texture to the usual brands.  I decided after experimenting that tone on tone lettering kept the title from being too dominant, then topped it up with Glitz, Jillibean Soup and MM letter stickers.  I sewed onto the embellishments and in the spirit of extreme thrift, cut out the outline left from a border sticker to use.  Authentique stickers and a couple of resin flowers.

Hope DH forgives me!

The second layout is for the Stamp Just Once challenge. I think this might count as overkill but it is only one set of stamps and they are severely under used for something so beautiful that I just had to have before I bought them!  No two photos, but it didn't really suit my plans to use two!

I have been playing with my watercolour paints, and created a sheet of random colour which I then overstamped with these Technique Tuesday stamps and Stazon ink. I then cut the petals out and arranged them in an exploding flower pattern.

I then inked and misted two lengths of Pink Paisley mistables scalloped calico and drew them into the flower centre. I cut a circle of felt (unseen) to raise the photo above the calico, and backed it with a doily.  A couple of rubons and letter stickers by Making Memories for the '15'.

This is way different to anything I've done before, and I've had a lovely time playing in a much more messy way than I'm used to, but ending up with a not messy layout.

Shimelle's Online Crop - more layouts

I took the chance to do a bit of scrapping this week and used two of Shimelle's online challenges from last weekend for inspiration.

The first is the four corners challenge here with a layout from Jen Gallagher to set the scene.  Having got a bit carried away finally scrapping a photo I have had close to my heart for ages, but not got round to scrapping, I realise that I have not really fulfilled the spirit of the challenge by putting my photo across the four corners - but hey! it's my layout.

Adding to the joy is the using up of old stash - I had these from my friend Debbie in an advent swap several years ago, and have now used them all up, bar 3 journalling cards.  She kindly added matching Bazzill so I didn't have to travel too far to match it up :)  I am chronically bad at using up journalling cards, although I buy plenty! so using 5 on a layout was a step out of my usual box!

The second challenge here  was to combine yellow and grey with another colour. I absolutely love grey but I'm not a big fan of yellow and have not used it too much in my scrapbooking, but have slowly come round to it with grey, as long as it's not too bright!  Being fairly conservative in my thinking, I shied away from my original thought to add a peachy orange to it, and settled for black!  It may not be very brave, but I do really like the layout.

I also managed to use old stash - the chipboard and the 7 Gypsies rubon have been in my stash for ages but jumped out at me when I was looking for embellishments.

I combined the old stash with my brand new Tim Holtz acetate film strip, a doily (yes I know I've come late to this trend, but thanks to daisychain888 on uks I have some pretty ones), and some washi tape - I'm faithfully following the crowd with this product, although I did meet someone this week who doesn't like it!

 I like using raw chipboard, but decorated one circle with baker's twine by MME.

Thanks for looking.

The beautiful bluebell woods of Banstead

I went for a walk with some girl friends yesterday morning, instead of our usual coffee to see one of the wonders of the natural world - a bluebell wood.

In the sunshine, nothing can beat the sheer beauty of the colour contrast between blue and the fresh green of the beech trees bursting into leaf, the delicate white of the blossom against the dull bark and the chilly sky.  I couldn't have been happier to be there.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Try Something new every week - Good Friday

We had a joyful reunion with friends from Cornwall, who we don't get to see very often on Good Friday.  The window of opportunity was small - we could only meet on that afternoon, but we were blessed with glorious weather - good enough for a picnic on the banks of the Wey and we did a lovely circular walk near Pyrford, across fields then along the canal and the river Wey.  Another thing that I've wanted to do for ages, and never got around to.  These photos are from my iPod touch - I'm enjoying playing with Instagram even though the camera isn't great.

It made me realise that Surrey is a lot more than just suburbs, it's easy to bomb around on the A3 or M25 and not get into the real countryside too often, but this was a walk I will definitely do again, there is something so relaxing about walking near water.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From my counterfeit kit

I bought a new hexagon mask at Alexandra Palace - hexagons being the thing atm!  I created this layout in the spirit of pink inspired by this month's kit.

I cut out the hexagons, having misted on the reverse, then backed them with assorted patterned papers.  I added punched borders, using contrasting shapes, then added some ribbon, a resin flower and a title using letter stickers (doodlebug I think, and Making Memories).

I would have loved to stitch around these, but that's way beyond my sewing capabilities.  Old stash used : the letter stickers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A couple of layouts...

I had a little jaunt up to Alexandra Palace this weekend to purchase some stash.  Very disappointed not to see too much from CHA, but instead I bought some basics which added to my supplies - dst, a heart punch, distress inks in three colours, some beautiful technique tuesday and kaisercraft stamps which I will use loads, and a few embellishments.

I also had the chance to do some scrapping this weekend, and picked up on a couple of Shimelle's cybercrop challenges.  The first challenge can be found here and involved taking inspiration from a pretty layout by Jaime Warren.  This is my take on it.

Materials Used: Papers and alphabet are MME, brads by Basic Grey (Oliver), Smash Tape by K&Co, rubber button from stash
ticket - Anna Griffin, buttons from stash.
For inspiration, I have used the basic placement - blocks at the top and bottom, a scattering of embellishments, side clusters and some paint splatters.  I was thrilled to find little creatures on the brads exactly matching the balloons,  I used up the rubber button which I have had forever, fulfilling my ongoing challenge to myself to use up old stash on every layout possible.

The second layout I did for a challenge was #3 Mixing Styles  and I went to visit Kinsey Wilson's blog - someone whose scrapping I adore.    There is always something inspiring on there and I took inspiration from this layout  and then combined it with Geralyn Sy's layout, (the third one in the post in particular) another person whose style I absolutely love.  I wanted to do messy, which I normally don't do, and I loved the diagonal direction of both layouts, so that's where I started.

I wanted to play with the masks I had bought at Alexandra Palace, so I inked through the brick mask, then stamped my new script stamp at either corner.  The hexagons were cut using a Quickutz die from my friend Sandra, and I used a doily, washi tape from Le Box Boutique, tiny Kaisercraft letters, Basic Grey letter stickers and an Ali Edwards stamp set.  It's different from my usual look, so thanks for the inspiration and the challenge to make me move away from my usual style.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Try something new every week....

I have been exceedingly remiss about posting my attempts to try new things each week, but the quest does go on.  As I'm so far behind, I'm only going to post highlights, but some of the more mundane things have involved recipes and crafts.

I have tried two new restaurants - Barcelona in the City - on a groupon deal - another first for eating out, and Hazar, a local Turkish restaurant which DS2 and I sampled when he had an inset day.

I've been up to London and visited the National Portrait Gallery - another first, done a little egg hunt and explored the alleyways of the City of London with my camera.

I've also been to a flower show at RHS Wisley - I never knew how serious flower growing can get, and I loved the pinkish daffodils.  I don't think anything I grow would qualify anytime soon, but it did make me take on board just how many wonderful varieties of each kind of flower there are and the range of colours.

Now the weather has got better, more of my activities will hopefully involve the outdoors and better photos!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Twisted Sketch #146

I had a ball with this layout, using the sketch #146 at Twisted Sketches this week.   I have realised that I am happiest when I am playing with scraps rather than whole bits of paper (background for layout excepted of course lol!)

Anyone who knows me in a scrapping sense will know that I am a hoarder extraordinaire when it comes to scraps and file them scrupulously for future use.  Recently, they have come into their own as I have been using them up!  A couple of layouts and the beginning of a project based on Ali Edwards' 'A Week in Life' - which I am going to do over 2 weeks in April to compare and contrast our lives in school holidays and school time.

But I digress...  my layout this week - ta da!

Another ancient photo, from life before kids on holiday in Cornwall.  I actually did the butterfly ring before I chose my photo and dithered for ages between several, finally settling on DH lounging around :)  The paper butterflies are a complete mixture of scraps from my hoard, and from those lying around on my desk.  From Studio Calico, Sassafras, Making Memories packaging, Crate and some bits I can't identify, inked and lightly stuck down with assorted gems and pearls.  I used several strips of washi tape, and made a flower using different crushed ribbons (given to me by my friend Claire) stuck onto a Gluber.  Letters are from Glitz I think.

The twist for this week was 'Brads' and this was my using up of old stash which I try to do on every layout - and I used tiny brads as corner embellishments.

Thanks for looking and please do visit Twisted Sketches and see what the other ladies have created this week.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ten on the tenth

I've really enjoyed seeing the spring come to life - the winter seemed very long this year, so some sunshine and blossom was a welcome change from the grey.

My ten celebrate spring flowers - some from the garden, others from a trip to Wisley recently.  Doesn't the sunshine make a difference to photos?

These lovely violets grow in the park near my house...

the blossom is in a local street....

and these are from the garden - I now also have tulips and forget-me-knots to enjoy.

So these are my ten - happy spring everyone.