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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Happy 50th anniversary Mum and Dad!

My lovely Mum and Dad celebrated their 50th year of marriage on 27th April, 2013 and were surrounded by friends and family (though sadly not us!) to celebrate this wonderful occasion. 

A friend had set us a challenge to use this card as inspiration which she found via Pinterest, done by Nataliya Serova.  I loved it and wanted to make one much closer to this, but then I started pulling out bits of stash. 

I had set aside a box of patterned paper which I was set to give away or sell, when I came across the Fancy Pants paper.  The front was a bit floral for my taste, but the back was a lovely subtle green, so that became my card background, which I further altered with Distress Inks and some overstamping. 

The brown vine over the top was originally white, but I stamped on it with a tiny Christmas vine stamp and outlined all the borders with a terracotta Promarker.  It had been sitting unloved in a box for several years, and as I couldn't immediately identify a scrapbook layout for it, it was going on this card!
I think the card ended up rather jungle like and busy and not at all how I envisioned, but it was a very successful project in stash busting! 

Patterned Paper:  Fancy Pants
Mists:  Maya Road Gold Metallic, Copper Metallic, Cosmic Shimmer Rich Gold
Promarker: Terracotta
Bling: Papermania Sunshine Adhesive Stones
Inks:  Brilliance Pigment Ink Galaxy Gold, Tea Dye, Peeled Paint, Old Paper, Scattered Straw
Stamps:  PSX "Antique Letter", Anita's  "Happy Anniversary", Paperartsy - "Ephemera Plate 2", Stamp It Australia "Swirl Background"
Embossing Powder:  Funstamps
Sizzix Framelits: Tickets
MIY Gold Outline Paisley Stickers

I found a verse on the internet which I adapted to suit and inserted it into the card:

Mum and Dad,
For 50 years, you’ve been the ones
Who showed us how to live.
Your marriage demonstrates it best,
How to love and how to give.
Together you have been as one
Through times of trial and times of fun,
50 years as man and wife,
You’ve built a home, a love, a life.
You always had a helping hand,
A smile and a dose of cheer;
Your selfless, sweet devotion
Kept us sheltered, year by year.
We hope you’ll be blessed in the times ahead
And that your love will always be
As strong as on the day you wed,
With a bond as strong as solid gold.
Adapted from Joanna Fuchs
Thinking of my lovely Mum and Dad - congratulations on your fantastic achievement, and I hope to see you really soon.  xxx

Monday, 22 April 2013

My twins at 21 months

A progress report!

It has been a little time since I have documented your progress - time has not been on our side, and circumstances have gotten in the way. 

You are both firmly rooted in toddlerhood and are keen to assert your independence, particularly when it comes to feeding yourself with a spoon. 

Your language skills have really progressed and you are speaking quite a few recognisable words - "banana, apple, Daddy, Mum".  Henry, yesterday you said "I love puppy" and Lewis you distinctly said "Makka Pakka" from "In the Night Garden".  Lewis, I love how "peekaboo" becomes "bubbaboo"! Cheese = "chee" and you are both now saying "yumm yummm"!

Henry, you love to help me to do chores, and you will pick up the dust pan and brush and sweep around the room. 

Henry, you are trying to dress yourself - particularly trying to put your socks on, and your coat.  You love to dress up, and play games like peekaboo with any scarfs, coats, or clothes within your grasp. 

Lewis, when you are called, you go into the corner of a room and lie face down with your hands covering your eyes, thinking we can't see you - it is so cute! You are going through a bit of a shy, more clingy phase - hopefully that will end soon.

Henry, you particularly love books and don't understand why you are not allowed to hold the library books that we have borrowed.  When you learn how to hold them and turn the pages without breaking the spines or ripping the pages, then I will trust you to flip through the pages on your own. 

You both get very easily frustrated when you don't get your own way immediately and are not above throwing yourselves on your backs!  I am having to wrestle you both sometimes and it is very tiring.

On a really positive note - Daddy remembered which song was playing on the radio when you were born - and it really couldn't have been more appropriate!  The song is "Only Yesterday" by the Carpenters - how amazingly fitting the lyrics are:

After long enough of being alone
Everyone must face their share of loneliness
In my own time nobody knew
The pain I was goin' through
And waitin' was all my heart could do

Hope was all I had until you came
Maybe you can't see how much you mean to me
You were the dawn breaking the night
The promise of morning light
Filing the world surrounding me

When I hold you

 (*) Baby, Baby
Feels like maybe things will be all right
Baby, Baby
Your love's made me
Free as a song singin' forever

(**) Only yesterday when I was sad
And I was lonely
You showed me the way to leave
The past and all it's tears behind me

Tomorrow may be even brighter than today
Since I threw my sadness away
Only Yesterday
Couldn't sum it up more perfectly than that, really!  Love you both always.  Mummy.  xxx

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

April Scrapology Card Challenge - Bling it Up!

Firstly - a big thank you to everyone who took part in the recent UK Scrappers Spring Blog Hop!  I was overwhelmed with the amount of comments and their generosity.  Jo Pink won the prize of the Hexagon Framelits, and they are now winging their way to her - I hope she enjoys them!

Our Scrapology card challenge went live on the same day, but I thought I would post a couple of days late so that the furore could die down a bit. 

This month, our lovely design team member, Sue Jones set the challenge of making a card with ba ba bling!  Take a look at what the team devised:

And here is mine.  (A friend would tell me off for beginning a sentence with "and" .... you know who you are!  :D)

I had great fun with this!  I started out by punching out scraps of black and white patterned paper (Teresa Collins Damask) from my left over scrapbooking kit from Emma Trout's classes she taught at the Inspired retreat in 2010.  It makes a huge amount of sense to me to use the leftovers from one thing straight after for a different project - trouble is, I usually flibberty-gibbert around and otherwise get a bit bored.  I then hid the strip at the top with a bit of black ribbon stuck on the top. 
The black, white and aqua doodly edge (Prima Retro) was also from the kit.  The die cut label is actually one of my best loved and most used stamps from Basic Grey and I cut around the edge.  I die cut the "Happy Birthday" with my newish Elizabeth Craft die - it is fabulous and I can see that this die will more than pay for itself in terms of usage.  I had already cut out the white leaf from my layout and if I hadn't used it here, it would have gone in the bin. 
In my tidying and de-stashing exercise for emigrating, I recently put away the scraps from a very old layout and the black swirl bling was left-over from that project.  It was destiny! Two tiny aqua flowers with more black gems stuck in the middle emphasise the swirl nicely. 
To hide the bottom join in the patterned paper, I used part of an aqua Doodlebug Paper Frill. The top daisy strip is also an aqua paper frill - I just ran over it with my black Promarker because this had escaped from the packet and was determined it wasn't going back in! 
I was blinging everything in sight by this stage so the black daisies were the next target with small blue gems. 
Patterned Papers:   Teresa Collins (Damask) "Stationery"
                               Teresa Collins (Documented) "Measured"
                                Prima Marketing (Blooming Retro) "Cotton Clouds"
Bazzill cardstock: white, DCVW Christmas Stack  aqua
Thin black ribbon
1 Small and 1 medium aqua flower
Black and white dotty flower
MM Aqua velvet brad which was slightly the wrong colour but I couldn't be bothered to change it as I liked it!
Doodlebug Paper Frills
Various Gems
Elizabeth Crafts "Happy Birthday" die
Creative Memories Square Punch
Art Institute wet glue
Hope you join in with the challenge and get blinging! :D

Monday, 15 April 2013

UKS Spring Blog Hop - Mixed Media Butterfly and Altered Picture Frame

Hello everyone and welcome to the UK Scrappers Spring Blog Hop. 

If you lose your way, or have dropped in on me directly and want to follow the hop, you can see the full list with all the links here . UKS are also offering a prize to a randomly chosen person who comments on all the blogs, so check the thread for details.

I am very pleased to be participating, because it will be a fond and fitting farewell from me as I will be shortly emigrating to Australia, taking very precious memories of the many friends I have made through UKS and our wonderful craft. 

My project is this mixed media Butterfly within an altered photo frame.  I wanted to give you an example of the types of project you can achieve from items that you probably already have in your home.  No need to go to any extra expense - just devote some time and some crafty elbow grease!  :)

As we are currently trying to sell our house, I realised when looking around that the walls were a bit bare. Time was not on my side due to an imminent viewing in a few days, and I only had a very limited amount of time to devote to a project. 
I am also trying to destash and declutter, so have been going through and rationalise my supplies. I came across this butterfly made from acrylic packaging for an exhibit that I created some years ago that never made it to its proposed destination so I decided to repurpose it to a picture instead. 
Painting the Photo Frame

Step One -
Start with a frame.  Here's one I've had hanging around the house for many years. 
I wanted to coordinate with my bedroom scheme, which is maroon and grey/silver. I decided to go with a mid grey for the frame, so gathered my supplies for that:

I keep an old icecream tub in my paint drawer which comes in very handy for painterly projects. I just wash it out after each project and store it away for the next one.  I used a large foam brush to paint the frame which I think is much better than normal brushes as it doesn't leave brush marks.

I have a large supply of Jo Sonja acrylic paints and mediums and find these are of great quality. I added a small amount of black paint to the white to make a shade of grey that I liked. Flow Medium is used to thin the paint and make it "flow" better onto the project surface.

I only had to wait a matter of minutes before adding another coat. Three coats did the trick!
Step Two -
The Altered Butterfly

I found some acrylic packaging of a good weight and freehand cut a butterfly. If I'd have known then how it would be finally used, I would have made the butterfly smaller, so as to be more in proportion to the size of the frame.

I pounced alcohol inks around the butterfly until I was pleased with the finish. From memory, I used a combination of Wild Plum, Caramel and Rust for the background. I cut some spots from an old stamp catalogue, choosing images which I wanted to represent the symbolism of the project. I made up a saying, and then cut out appropriate words from magazines. I adhered some heart sequins down the spine of the butterfly, and then grunged and shabbied everything up with a magenta coloured crayon. I stuck two purple sequins on the antennae and then outlined everything with Gun Metal stickles - more of a distress product than a stickles one, because it is more suitable for a grungy mixed media project as it doesn't have the sparkle.

Step Three
The Butterfly Background:
I used a white sheet of paper that comes within some of the page protectors and cut it down to the size of the slip of branding paper in the frame. 
With a second sheet of paper, I traced around the butterfly and cut out a slightly bigger shape as a mask, as I thought I would like a halo effect around it as a contrast.
I thought there was no point in inking behind the butterfly, and also felt that it would appear lighter with a white background.  So I adhered the mask to the white background with some Herma repo and started to ink the background.  I found the ink went onto the paper more smoothly with a cosmetic sponge, and started with the Antique Linen colour closest to the butterfly, which replicated the colours within the butterfly. 

I then inked Spun Sugar just around the butterfly edge for some contrast. 
Then I went to work on top with a large script stamp, using the Pumice Stone distress ink.  The next stage was to stamp off (ie stamp a first image onto some scrap paper, and use the second stamping on the background) other butterfly images onto the background. 
I found some butterfly rub-ons in my stash, which I added, and then later covered over as I didn't like their colour - I felt it was too strong on the really subtle background.  That is why this background differs to the final look of the project.  Don't be afraid to go back and "fix" what you don't like! I punched out some other butterflies and coloured them in with the same combination of distress inks. 

 So here again is the finished item, made with no extra expense or purchase -


See - no sign of any rub-on butterflies! I just covered them up with stamped images to blend in with the background. 

Altered Frame:
Jo Sonja Acrylic Titanium White, Carbon Black, Flow Medium
Foam Brush
Acrylic Butterfly:
Recycled Acrylic packaging
Cut out words from magazines
Alcohol inks:- Wld Plum, Rust,  Caramel
Stickles - Gunmetal
Purple sequins
Heart Sequins
Old book pages (I used a stamp catalogue)
Butterfly Background:
White paper
Ranger Distress Inks: Spun Sugar, Milled Lavender, Antique Linen, Pumice Stone, Seedless Preserves
Stamps: Prima clear script, PSX Butterfly
Punches:  Martha Stewart Butterfly trio
 If I had realised that this project would have ended up in a frame, then as I said earlier, I would have made the butterfly smaller.  It was serendipitous that it tied in with the colour scheme of my bedroom, otherwise I would have had to start from scratch with a different project. 
For a change to win this lovely set of Hexagon Framelits, please leave a comment below by the end of the hop, (ie by midnight today) and tell me what kind of similar project you've done around the home (a link to an image would be good), or how this post would inspire you to create a DIY home decor project?
Why don't you go onto the the next UKS Blog stop, Beautifullily?  Happy hopping!  :D

Friday, 12 April 2013

March Sketchy Scrappers Layout - The Childminder Christmas Party

Well - only a couple of weeks late, but that is pretty good going for me at the moment!  Lisa set this month's challenge to use the sketch below:

and really I defy anyone to see the sketch in my layout!  :lol: I started with photos I had on my desk of the boys at their Childminder's Toddler Group Christmas Party, and I was sick of them gathering dust until I decided what to do with them.  They really weren't the best photos - Henry looks like he had a cold, and Lewis had previously gashed his eye on a plastic chair.  Still, they show the placements the boys made (with a lot of assistance, I am sure!) at the toddler group, and the effort the childminders went to with Christmassy paper plates and decorations, and sandwiches cut into festive shapes.  So for those reasons, I decided that the memory was definitely worth preserving. 

I was originally going to scrap Easter, but that will now have to wait for another layout! I am determined to use up some more snowy stash, as there won't be much use for it in Australia - not in Queensland, anyway.  Though with things moving so slowly, we might be here at Christmas this rate - no offence, but I sincerely hope not to go through another winter in the UK! 
I've used scraps from my Christmas box, which is some of my oldest stash - I think the red and white patterned paper came from a Hot Off the Press book, and the coloured rectangles were from a 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock embossed in white, with Christmassy designs all over.  I shall have to get making Christmas cards from the remainder!
I altered the snowflakes by changing their aqua colour to royal blue using a Promarker, and coloured in the embossed designs with my Promarkers so that the design stood out. 
I am also trying to use up some incomplete alphas, so I have mixed and matched various brands to make the title.  I cut the tail off the "q's" to make the "a's" in the Papermania foam set, and turned the other "q" into the "h"!
Not a great layout but it is bright and colourful, but another one for the album and it does see more Christmassy supplies used and out of the box. 
Patterned paper by Hot Off the Press, "Snowflake" paper by "Paper Pizzazz" - 1998!
Embossed white Christmas cardstock - unknown
Bazzill red cardstock
Cricut blue cardstock
Snowflakes - Sticko
Alphas - K and Company Handmade Embossed Stickers, Kaisercraft Mini Alpha,    
               Papermania Foam Alpha Minis