Sunday, 11 December 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday. I just love the fairy lights - so beautiful! I was watching Kirstie's homemade Christmas this week and she said a Christmas tree should be like a scrapbook, full of collected items over the years. So as I was unpacking my favourites, I thought I'd share some with you!
Silver Christmas tree. This is a new ornament - each year my sister, who now lives in Essex, and I decorate Mum and Dad's tree together and take a portrait photo - it's a tradition Mum and Dad started when we were little and it's so special to be able to get together every year and speand the time together.

Father Christmas. This Father Christmas used to hang on Mum and Dad's tree when we were little and it was my favourite ornament. So Mum kindly gave him to me and now he hangs on our tree - always near the top.

Wooden heart - when we were little, I remember making sewn felt hearts to go on the tree with Mum. We sat down together us three girls and Mum showed us how to sew the edges and stuff the inside with wadding. Each one had a little sequin and ribbon sewn on and 20 years later they still come out and adorn Mum's tree. When we put it up next weekend, I'll try and take some photos so you can see. I'd love to be able to make some of my own for our tree.

This decoration was given to me last year by a girl in my class - it's a mini snow globe bauble, beautiful and I think it will be hangin on my tree for many years to come!

My favourite way to see the tree - lit up and sparkling. DO you have any special ornaments that always adorn your tree? I've made some thins year with the help of Dave. Will post the results soon!

Windsor photo spot

I absolutely love Windsor! Each time I go I feel inspired to take photos, especially along the river like this one:

The seagulls seemed happy enough to pose! But whilst shopping I also snapped this as the light was fading, taken along the high street looking down the hill - festive!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

My albums - mix and match

Over the last 3 years I have been using American Crafts 3 ring binders. In previous years I have chosen post bound albums, but these are not lasting well and it's a pain to add in pages. I love the way they look so neat on the shelf and it's easy to mark the year on.i chose to use thickers for the job.
This year I bought an unfinished album - with a chipboard cover and just a stripe of red fabric. I found some paper I loved but found rather over-powering to use on a layout and simply added some ribbon and number stickers. I think the result is rather good and certainly makes my album unique.

I always used to scrap in 12x12" pages but last year I stepped out of my comfort zone and experimented with different sized layouts. The American Crafts albums work well for this. I bought a selection of their page protectors all with 3 holes in so I can chop and change to fit my layout. The only thing I would say is you need to keep an eye on the sizes you use so that you don't have any gaps. I've become more relaxed about not having my layouts in perfect chronological order but filed in season roughly suits me.

I love the way that as you flick through the album you see glimpses of other layouts and I find it a more flexible way of scrapping. Some layouts just don't need a full 12x12" page/ My favourite is fast becoming 8.5x11" portrait (seen here the page on the left entitled 'Beauty on the Beach' .

I've also been experimenting with 6x12" layouts in both portrait and landscape. Here is another selection. I've scrapped in this mixed size for 2 years now and I'm not going back to just 12x12", but I would like to try an 8.5x11" album for a project. The name of the game is experimentation!

Little crafty touches

Around our home, I've been slowly adding little crafty touches:

Here's a multi frame filled with photos from a skating trip. I found these letters at a local garden centre - love them!

I bought some card 3D letters from Hobbycraft, painted them brown to match pur lounge and them covered the front with scrapbooking paper. They are next to another frame on the bookcase in the lounge. They go well with our colour scheme and I've had lots of people comment on them when they come round.

I love the fact that my hobby lends itself to personal touches around our house.

Advent calendars

Each year, my lovely scrapping friends and I embark on an advent swap. We set ourselves a budget of £15 - £20 and pick a name of someone who we are designing our advent calendar for. We then make/ buy 24 gifts to go into the calendar and present it in a way of our choice. This year I'm making for Claire whose scrapping style I love but we share the same likes for scrapping products.

Here are my efforts:

I keep a basket in my scrapping room that I add items to as and when I find them. I usually find myself going out at the end of November and buying the last 10 bits or so in one go.

I always lay out the gifts on the floor and decide which order I'm going to include to wrap the gifts in so that the recipient doesn't get stickers two days running.

This year I decided to spend more of my efforts on the gifts and less on the packaging. I know that Claire has limited space in her flat so I kept all the goodies in a Christmas gift bag and wrapped them in alternate coloured paper.

I hope she likes it! I love opening my calendar every day knowing that there will be new scrapping goodies each morning!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Feeling inspired!

This weekend was Cropfest Triple X (I can't quite believe we've done 30 of these!) I love spending time with creative friends who never fail to inspire me. Here are some of the layouts I created this weekend:

Long distance sister:
This was part of an 'overly embellished' challenge. i was wary of this challenge but I think the result is fine, and I know Mum would approve of all the sewing - related embellies!

Simple Pleasures:

I just LOVE this photo and have tried scrapping it before, but I just couldn't do it justice! The photo was taken lying down on the grass as the sun went down. I wanted to highlight the photo so I kept the colur scheme neutral whilst trying to pick up the colour in the bubble and the sunset.

This Year:

This photo is of my lovely sister and I at a family wedding. I've been spending more time with Becca this year and I've loved every minute of our 'girl time'. I wanted the layout to reflect the enthusiasm and energy we have, as well as complementing the photo.

Sketchy Thursday

I love looking at the sketches and inspiring layouts on Sketchy Thursdays so when Ruth bought a sketch to Cropfest this weekend, I thought I'd had a go. I really liked the sketch so I used it twice, in different orientations. Here's what I came up with:

Monday, 24 October 2011

Poem I like!

I came across this poem on another blog I read, and really liked it so I thought I'd share!

A teacher is not..
A miracle worker
A social worker
A full-time actor
The one with all the answers
The one who never goes wrong
A person with no feelings
A person with no past
A sage on a stage
A test passing superstar
A doormat to be walked over
A punchbag to be hit!
A teacher is..
A fellow learner
A mentor
A guide
One who hopes for you
Shares your dream
Believes in you
And smiles with you
An important part of your life
But not Superman!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Recent layouts

Some of the layouts I've created recently:

This Lady
a 6x12" page. I find these hard to do, to find the right balance but I loved this striped paper that creates sections so all I needed to do was add 2 wooden flower embellishments with buttons, a sticker title and journalling. Simple!
Beauty on the Beach
An 8.5 x 11" page. I love these pgotos of my sister taken on the beach along the Southbank. I was inspired by Claire's style - bright colours and no patterned paper (if you know me, you'll know that I use patterned paper on EVERY layout). I love my scalloped punch that creates this border. The butterflies are Making Memories.

Picture Perfect

I just love this photo taken at Windsor on a freezing cold day. I wanted to keep the photo central so added some cool blues and oranges to accent the colours in the photo. The title is stamped (and tiny!)

Monday, 29 August 2011


If you're anything like me, you miss UK scrapbooking magazines! Okay, there's still The Scrapbook Magazine, but I miss Scrapbook Inspirations and Scrapbook Trends.

So I've been blog hopping a lot to find new inspiration, new layouts, new ideas. And I stumbled across this site: Pinterest. It's like an online pinboard where you can bookmark ideas, layouts - and you can re-pin inspiration that people have already pinned, how cool is that?

Check out Ali Edwards' Pinterest boards - I find them really inspiring, must start my own Pinterest board! Why not take a trip across and check it out. Warning! Procrastination alert!

Friday, 26 August 2011

mini album - living with Coeliac Disease

Being a Coeliac is a big part of my life, it's the kind of thing you always have to be aware of. People often ask me about it - and I don't mind, but I thought that documenting my thoughts was a good record of a big part of me. This mini book was from Boots and holds 2.5 x 3" pages or photos. Here are the results:

The journalling reads:

This is me. I have Coeliac Disease. I am severely intolerant to wheat, gluten, rye, barley and oats. This means that today and everyday I have to follow a strict gluten free diet, avoiding all foods containiing these things, and also any food that could have been contaminated on a production line. This is harder than it looks. It's a daily battle. My biggest problem is cross-contamination. I'm one of the unlucky ones; for me the slightest bit of wheat/ gluten that gets into/ touches my food makes me ill - and quickly. I have to make sure no spoons/ knoves are used for normal and G/F foods, and I try not to show it but it's a huge worry! Warning signs: fatigue, pale/washed out, bloated tummy, severe cramp, introverted, upset. It helps to have understanding friends, to get G/F food on prescription, to do a lot of my own baking. The future: I'll always be Coeliac, hopefully new products will be out, with a greater understanding.

New scrapping space

This summer we repainted the spare room and I got a new desk for scrapping! It's from Ikea and it's 2m long, it's one of those where you can choose the options yourself - legs, shelves, storage etc. I chose a simple white worktop with metal legs and a desk shelf for storing the TV and computer equipment.

There is a small photo shelf which houses my 'One Little Word' reminder (taken from Ali Edwards' blog, a mini canvas I made with a 'V' on and 2 framed photos I love.

Under the desk I have 2 blue plastic drawer units that came from Macro originally, but they fit 12x12 paper in and I have supplies stored there, such as stamps, punches, adhesives etc.

And to the left of my desk is an Ikea Expedit unit which houses, albums, magazines, photos etc.

I love the fact that the area is organised and everything is accessible, yet mostly hidden from sight so it looks tidy! I've been working on a couple of projects lately - will post more soon!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Back on the blogging track

So I haven't blogged for a long, long time now, but after a scrapping weekend and lots of lovely comments, I've decided to re-start my regular blog!

This weekend was another Cropfest (XXVIII I think, I can't believe we've had so many!) There's really nothing like a weekend spent with incredibly inspiring ladies who scrapped the time away! We had an Alice in Wonderland theme this weekend, complete with afternoon tea party, film night and Alice in Wonderland challenges:

1. Queen of Hearts - scrap using hearts or a layout entitled 'I love...'

2. Caterpillar - Who are You? Create a layout about yourself (not as wasy as it sounds)

3. Scrap a Wonderland - interpret in your own way!

4. Card challenge - Claire's inspiration. Get a set of playing cards and number them 1 - 52. We used Elsie's Scrapbooking Challenges, with each card numbered to correspond with a challenge from the book. This created some pages we really wouldn't have created without prompting!

I always find the challenges inspiring at a crop, it helps to focus you in and create pages that perhaps you wouldn't have done without those prompts.

We also made the most of the light outside in the evening and snapped some lovely shots using bubbles!