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Sunday, 28 February 2010


Wow - yes I was.  The first "Inspired" retreat ran at Crabwall Manor in Chester.  I won't comment on the non-scrapbooking element of the weekend, but there were classes by Emma Trout, Lida de Witte, Dina Wakley, Karen Burniston, and Lance Anderson.  Whilst I dipped in and out of the weekend according to energy levels, all of the classes were very different and incorporated a variety of products and techniques.  Lovely to go to bed and find small treats waiting! Great to catch up with some people that I haven't seen for ages, and brilliant to spend time with so many friendly and obliging people.  One or two sour notes of the weekend, but thanks to my fab friend Sue who looked after me through train transfers and stash storage - particularly for the lift to and fro the station, and to also sitting on my bulging overnight case!  Love to Lynn (I promise to get pics up asap!) and to new friends Lydia and Clare for their kindnesses and hysterical snippets of laughter throughout the classes!
I thought it was about time to get a decent photo of me, if that's possble, so I decided to book up for a photoshoot with Rachel Burgess - I think I will get 5 photos, but she took loads - from different angles, white or black background, head leaning on chair, etc .  Will share when they come!  :)
Photos of the event and hopefully finished projects to follow shortly ...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


Here's a handy link to the fabulous tutorial from Wendy Vecchi about how to make those superb dimensional roses that are all the rage at the moment.  I must also have a go at Sir Tim's beautiful rose encrusted tag here

You don't specifically need that punch - you can make roses equally well using a heart punch, using the same cut away technique sticking the hearts together.  I used my Quickutz heart die to make these roses on this birth card for my niece to intersperse between the two paper apricot roses I had left, and then added some paint to soften the colour and match in.  I used a lot of obligatory old stash on this card - that K & Co frame I've had in my supplies forever!  This card is a lot more girly than my usual style - still, I suppose it is fine, considering the subject.

I have been adding to a layout over the past few days,and really fancy making a big,blowsy rose out of fabric to go on it.  It will have to bubble on in my head for a couple of days, because at the moment, I am packing to go to a retreat.  Exciting stuff, though my crafting ability might be somewhat impaired! I will give an update as to progress next week.

Here's a link to some torn paper flowers from Gabrielle Pollacco:

And yet another link - this time to layered strip flowers which is a really pretty and very dimensional flower. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Alcohol Inks

Like most crafters, I have stacks of products and purchases that have sadly been under-utilised.  Something that definitely falls into this category is my alcohol inks.  The biggest use I had made of these little bottles of fabulous colour is to blend onto left over photo paper and use on my cards. 

I hate waste, and often find that you only use half a sheet of A4 photo paper for a project.  I have gotten into the habit lately of using the rest of the sheet and making backgrounds with the alcohol inks.  My preference is a combination of 3 inks so that the colours blend better together.  Some gold ink was also "smooshed" in for some shiny contrast. 

The swirl was a left over piece of flourish that I cut on the Cricut machine, and covered with a cheap glitter glue my friend gave me, which I am trying to use up.  The flourish ribbon is actually transparent plastic backed onto white card to give it some pop!

This card is probably more my natural style, I suppose - I cut the leaf from a template, and stamped over the top in blue chalk ink.  These more "arty" cards are reserved for crafty friends who appreciate the techniques and time taken.  My trusty scallop punches come into play once again, along with a few flowers and a prima leaf.  My next series of alcohol ink cards will be a symphony in blue, so when I can start crafting again, stay tuned  ...

Monday, 22 February 2010

Using up ribbon

Being in an enforced period of no crafting due to a recent shoulder operation, I am uploading bits and bobs here gradually.  I used up every single Christmas card from my stockpile last year, so hate being under pressure at the last minute, and prefer to make them as and when I feel it!

I am currently ALL about using the stash,baby, so this card was designed around the ribbon ... I thought it was reminiscent of abstract presents so went with the colour scheme.  I accessorised with copper peeloffs, a copper snowflake cut on the Quickutz, and some lovely sequins!  Black and copper have always done it for me.  Glue lines and weeny dots make sticking the sequins with a breeze. I LOVE that "A Rhonna Christmas" Stampology bird stamp by Autumn Leaves.  Haven't maximised it enough to date! 

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Christmas paper trims

What do you do with your bits and pieces? Even though I do my best to use them, I have accumulated so MUCH stuff ....

I probably made in excess of 300 cards last year. Most went to charity; some I sold, some I made for friends .....

My friend donated these Trimcraft Christmas border strips for the charity box.
Now - to get going and use them!

I make all my cards from scrapbooking scraps and bits and bobs, usually. Old, OLD papers, ribbon scraps, stamping ....

Here I added some DCWV stack, snowflake brads, and the lovely Autumn Leaves Stampology bird, and then the Craftwork Creations Christmas messages.

I use my scalloped circle punches a LOT for cards. Add some lace on the left, and some stamping on the right. I like added bling for Christmas cards - I stuck the gems on the left one using glossy accents and my trusty tweezers.

Add a bit of ribbon, or some angelina fibres! All from bits and bobs hanging around! I like how these turned out and the non traditional colours. Stay tuned for more paper trims throughout the year ...

Some tropical reptilian news....

Congratulations, to the new DT members. How exciting to be given a guest spot! I look forward to seeing the wonderful work posted on the Banana Frog blog this year. :)

Saturday, 20 February 2010


k.d. lang - what a delightful way to spend an enforced indolent afternoon -

reminiscent of lazy, mellifluous, sunny summer afternoons .... romantic retro westerns ... big clear summer skies ... two hearts swaying together on a dancefloor ...
beautifully rich, warm and authentic ....

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Friendship House

My friends have asked me a lot of questions about this project, which I did over two years ago for a Design Team assignment, and have just unearthed from the vaults of time. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the "before" but it was very different to this!

One day, when shopping in Oxfam (as you do) I came across this shabby and neglected house. It had red velvet lining and the wooden frame was very splintery and bashed about. I decided it had possibilities, and paid the princely sum of £1.99!

So - the hours of preparation began - sanding, painting and fixing. The most laborious part of the project was not only the painting, but also cutting the different patterned papers to size to ensure a good fit.

Papers are "All My Memories". Everything else was bits and pieces of stash collected over the years since I've started crafting.

I have a circle of very good crafty friends, all met through the early days of UK Scrappers (you can see some of their faces if you look closely!) We were getting together for a real life meet-up and doing a raffle for which we needed to bring prizes. The crop organiser ended up winning this house and she has it proudly displayed in her scrapping palace. Friendship, hey? It's the real deal.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Getting Organised

It's such a bane, isn't it? Trying to sort, store, cull ... whether in life or virtually. I said to the Dr today that my to-do list is just as long as when I'm working!

At least I've added my handmade cards to my Picasa web albums now - gradually getting there. Why don't you take a look? :)

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Man Flu

There is a genuine case of man flu in this house - but the whole house is infected! Having one of those days when everything is just .... blah .............

I will add to the gallery asap, but this blog is still definitely a work in progress ... :)

First Post!

After refusing to jump on the blogging bandwagon and resisting it for a good few years, I realised the futility of the struggle, and have finally given in!

It's taken a week to do some research by looking at other people's blogs and try to find information on line, but here we are - I am here to stay, and ready to share with the world - or whoever's interested enough to visit, in any case.

What an auspicious day for a first post - not only Valentine's Day, but my mother-in-law's birthday! That's why it is rather late for a very first post - still a challenge to get more organised in this life.

Here's a quick layout I did last night/this morning - I was a bit time poor, but really wanted to support a friend, by entering a competition she was running, so I decided to make a bit of an effort at the last minute!
I finally got around to using the Fancy Pants "Whirl" transparency from about 2007, not that I really care much about the age of my stash. I felt it didn't need much adding to it, but to remove some of that really linear quality, I used a shaped piece of cardstock as a template to alter the shape.I took this photo of my mum and niece in the pool on my recent trip to Australia for Christmas this year. It's photographed quite well, apart from the camera flare at the top of the page. I have been waiting to use this wired spotty glitter ribbon for ages now, and I think it works here. The quote and flower stickers are Cloud 9 and some Prima bling and I think the stamping with Hero Arts just finishes it off!

You'll have to give me an opinion on the title of my blog! I had no idea what I was trying to say (which, for those that know me, will say that's pretty usual). Stay tuned!