Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Learn Something New Every Day

I signed up for this class last year but due to life's twists and turns I never even read the prompts!  I still have them all saved (and possibly printed too) and one day I may go back and do them, but in the tradition of moving forward ... let's get ready for this year's 'Learn Something New Every Day' with Shimelle.  A bonus of signing up for this class is that you then get to do it each year for FREE!  Isn't that a great little bonus, it certainly brought a smile to my face :-)

I seem to have a little bit of difficulty completing online classes as I haven't finished one yet.  So yesterday I hopped on the class forum and had a look around.  There was a whole thread about people having made the base of each page in their album to help them get ahead and finish.  Sounds like a great idea to me, so today I racked my brain trying to come up with something that would suit me this time around and not take too much time.  Normally I would go with a mini album, but the more I thought about it, the more it wasn't working.  I love making mini albums but they are so hard to have on display.  The albums are on a shelf and easily accessible, but all of the mini albums are in a box in the cupboard.  However, I will NEVER finish this class if I make a 12x12 page for each day!  So I decided to give the idea some thought while I periodically looked at the next page on my Google reader list.

Which brought me to this page here at some point in time this morning.  I LOVE the idea of this calendar page.  What a great way to preserve a month or year in your life!  Further surfing and I ended up at Shimelle's latest post for 6x4 photo love.  I watched the video while I was eating lunch and that is when my prep for this class all came together.  Don't you love it when that happens!  I decided to use the divided grid idea from the calendar page and do a series of 12x12 pages for my album (and yes, I will probably sew them all together!)  There will be 6 pages in total as I plan on doing a title page explaining the class, with the following 5 pages divided into 6.  Here is the first page ready to go.
Made on Kraft card

I am using Kraft card for the base as I have never used it before.  Might as well try something new straight away :-)  I used some glimmer mist to divide the page and made the little number embellishments.  I have already got out some journalling stamps to make some fancy cards each day and I am ready to go.  Here is what the next double page looks like.  The last page is the same as this one.

It kind of reminds me of a bingo card LOL  Hopefully I have done enough prep to actually finish the class this time.  So far I am finding it very bland having used the kraft card, but I keep reminding myself that I can add colour each day.

It will be an interesting experiment.  I wonder if I am going to like it in the end?  I like journeys, and I am ready to begin this one tomorrow.  I hope the prompts come through earlier this time around.  I really want to complete each day on the day, and not a day behind.  So let the learning begin ...


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Birthday Waffles

This week's sketch over at Shimelle's was all about stacking layers, and maybe a bit of texture thrown in.  It completed this one quite quickly but just haven't had the time to upload it here! LOL  Here is the sketch.

As it was two smaller photos, I chose to use two from The Thinkers birthday that were taken on my iPhone.  They aren't great quality but that morning the camera battery was dead!  Here is my version of the sketch. (will have to see if I can get a better photo later)

Basic Grey 'Cupcake'
In our house you get to choose your meals on your birthday.  Breakfast is always interesting and is usually pancakes, waffles or a full cooked breakfast.  On his last birthday The Thinker wanted waffles, but only if he could help make them.  Everyone looks forward to birthday breakfasts as they are always yummy!

I had an idea for a mini album using old jeans many, many years ago and I kept this pair of The Thinkers jeans after he put a hole in them that wasn't repairable.  The jeans are still in my stash and I haven't had a chance to make the mini album yet.  As they were his favourite jeans when he was five, I thought it was a great time to use them (for this 12th birthday!!!) now as I doubt I will get around to the mini album.  So I layered squares, splattered mists, used more very old papers from my stash and the waffle layout was complete.  I hope you enjoyed the sketch this week.

Chipper :-)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Shock and disbelief!

I am shocked and have a certain amount of disbelief!  I won the 'Starting Point' challenge over at the amazing scrapbooking weekend that Shimelle ran online.  It made my night.  To be completely honest with you it has been a rough couple of months here.  I am guilty of not being thankful for what I have and struggling to come up with ways to keep what I had.  Maybe this is God's way of forcing me grow ... but I digress :-)

Here is the page I entered in the challenge.  It has become my second favourite page of the year and only lost top standing in my eyes when I made my page for the 'Bingo Card' challenge.

What a roller coaster day!!!  At least it is ending on a high :-)  The Thinker is very excited that we won with a page featuring him and his friend.  Thank you Shimelle for organising this weekend.  I was pushed to complete pages when it would have been easier to curl up in bed.  I tried things I would never have tried and have visited blogs of some very amazing and talented people.  I have even cried over a blog post or two.  I still plan on finishing these challenges as time allows.  If you didn't seize the opportunity to complete any of the challenges, perhaps you should head on over the do one anyway, just for yourself.

Thank you,

Monday, 22 August 2011

Another new project ...

I ran out of time.  I didn't get a chance to finish all of Shimelle's challenges, but I did my best :-)  I think I will continue doing them as time allows as I have really enjoyed them.  My page for the signature challenge is almost complete.  I was planning on finishing it tonight when The Princess announced that she wanted to learn to knit.  To fully understand you have to know the whole story.

When we lived in Ireland I had a stand at the Craft, Knit & Stitch show each year.  The last year I did the show our stand was opposite the 'Learn to Knit Lounge'.  The kids worked at the show with us on the Sunday.  The Princess was facsinated by the knitters but she was too shy to ask them how to do it.  One of the ladies gave her a bag with a ball of wool, knitting needles and an instruction sheet to take home.  And that is where her journey to learn to knit took a turn for the worst.

I must be the only person in the world whose Grandmother gave up teaching her to knit.  My squares always ended up as triangles and in the end my knitting would be ringing wet.  But that could have had something to do with the fact that we only ever gave knitting a go in the summer holidays!  I read the instructions, turned them upside down to see if they made more sense that way, and then set off to find someone to teach us.  Enter the very talented Joyce.  A beautiful lady whom the children adore.  We began lessons but after lesson two, we moved around the world and the knitting got resigned to a shelf in The Princess's room.  Until today that is ...

The dreaded bag was dragged out and she looked at me with hopeful eyes.  What was I to do?  Joyce never covered casting on in out fist lessons and the instructions looked like gobbledy-gook to me!  One of the few advantages of where we currently live is a speedy internet connection most of the time.  "Ah ha" I said, "Lets search YouTube!"  And to our amazement there were oodles of videos to learn how to knit.  We watched a few, got tangled in wool, tried again but she was determined to get it to work somehow.  Then we stumbled on this video.  I have no idea if it is even the right way to knit, but it works!!!!  We had so much fun casting on and then pulling it all off to try again and make sure it wasn't pure luck!  Then we watched video two and actually knitted (this was the bit I did know LOL).

The Princess is a perfectionist so she pulled it all off and started again three times before she actually started knitting rows.  She is making her doll a scarf.  It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.  Her knitting is safely installed next to her bed so that she can continue when she wakes up until it is time to get up.  Belle (her doll) is going to have the most perfect scarf in the world!

Enjoy your week :-)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Bingo Card Challenge

I am sure that you have realised by now that I didn't get to make a second layout on Thursday evening.  I was planing on it ... however, I fell asleep after I got home and slept right through till morning.  11 hours straight!!!!!  I knew I was tired, but that seems a bit ridiculus!!! (on a side note I did the same thing last night LOL).  So now there is no chance that I will finish all of the challenges in time, but I have completed more than half now so I am very happy.  Not too bad considering that I have worked for the past two weeks without a day off (one of the joys of being self employed LOL) and still have two more to go before I get a day to myself.

On to the challenge ... the bingo cards & butterflies challenge intrigued me.  I have seen so many layouts using bingo cards but I haven't ever used them myself.  Here is my version.  The title reads "LOOK" no hands ...

I think I have my confidence back as I love this one!  It was so much fun to make.  It is hard to tell in the photo but the background Bazzill has been sprayed and splattered (for some reason my internet is playing up and I can't get a good upload of the photo).  The stitching around the edge is a random looking pattern that I found on my machine.  It doesn't look anything like it is supposed to, but it was what I was looking for.  When I was sewing practice strips The Extrovert came in and wanted to know why I was sewing rows on a strap of paper :-)

I have a drawer in my caddy that holds all sorts of sea themed bits that I have been collecting for years.  That little draw got a work out for this layout.  I delved in and grabbed shells, starfish, metal plaques and the pearl strip.  I had great fun dyeing the muslin and building up the layers of scraps of embellishments.  I even had another chance to use the Glimmer Glaze I got for my birthday.  I painted the chipboard scalloped border in the left over paint that I mixed for the background. Then I stuck my finger in the glaze and randomly painted it.  Talk about being back in kindergarten!!!!

The photo is The Thinker at Discovery Cove.  While not technically the beach, they do try to make you feel like you are there.  As he wasn't a confident swimmer at the time, he is wearing a floatation vest.  It was great having all three kids in these for the day as it took a great deal of the stress out of swimming with them.  They even got to enjoy some snorkeling with fish as they floated on the top.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend,

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Chop Your Paper Challenge

This was one of the first challenges of the weekend but as it is something I do often it didn't leap out and grab me.  I frequently cut images out of the paper, especially swirls and flowers. So to challenge myself I found two sheets for cutting that only had borders and words (luckily they were double sided LOL) and went from there.  As a child I lived in Orlando, Florida for about a year.  While we were there mom took us to all the parks and sites.  I have lots of photos from Disney and Epcot (I was lucky enough to be there for the opening) as my Grandma came with us and she had a polaroid camera, but very few photos of any of our other activities.  However, I have one favourite photo of myself with my face painted like a clown at Circus World.  Sadly this park is no more, AND the photo is still packed and not accessible.  So I did the layout using just a piece of card as the photo place holder as I know exactly what the photo looks like and I can insert it later.  The piece of card helps me to picture where the photo is while I work.
Imaginisce 'Animal Crackers' collection
The hardest part was cutting out the banner from one of the border strips.  I used my Sizzix Eclips machine on this one to cut out the frames and the circle 'Ladies & Gentlemen'.  That machine cuts like a knife through butter.  It is a dream to use.  Added some inked edges and stapled on the little tickets I cut from another border strip and the layout is done.  SO much cheaper than buying all the embellishment packs, but it does take more time.

I couldn't find any lettering the right colour, so I added gold Smooch to some Thickers to make them work.  I tried both a brownish colour and the gold, and now I think I may have preferred it if I had gone ahead with the darker one.  This will be the first childhood photo of myself that I have scrapped to keep!  YEAH!!!!  The only other childhood photos of mine that I have scraped I gave away to grandparents as presents.  On the proviso that they willed them to me of course :-)

One layout done today and I am not even home yet.  This may be another two layout day!

Half Page Challenge

This challenged frightened the life out of me!  Scrap using only HALF the page!!!!!!!  I didn't think I could do it, so I didn't.  Until last night that is.  On Monday morning I went and looked at the pages other people had done for this one.  I don't remember any one in particular but I was amazed that none of them looked "empty", so I thought I would give it a go.  Originally I was going to use a busy page for the background to make it a feature of the design, but it wasn't happening for me.  As I wandered around the shop looking for inspiration, this UGLY paper jumped off the shelves and into my hands screaming "Please help me!".  It seems there were still lots of them left as no one was liking them.

(You may notice that I used the left over aqua/teal back on my 'Hot pink hoopla' page as it is a beautiful colour)  Then I was inspired.  The pattern in the center is quite pretty but it lacked colour, so I transported myself back to primary school and got out the gel pens.  I cut it just less than half and trimmed off the orange.  I then started colouring the flowers and some of the greenery.  It was such fun, time ran away with me (opps!).

So here is my completed page on a lighter pink background featuring The Princess as a very small girl at Easter.

Prima 'Paisley Road' collection
I really liked this one when I had finished it, even if it did take me longer to colour in the background than to assemble the rest of it LOL  I used glittery gel pens so it has lots of sparkle.  Added a few stickers and scraps of paper and ribbon.  The flourish is a new one by Dusty Attic which I cut a few bits off so that it didn't cover my beautiful colouring :-)  I sprayed it with Glimmer Mist Chalk 'hot chocolate' and it looks good enough to eat.  This weekend I am going to borrow a teeny tiny butterfly punch from a friend and add just a couple weeny butterflies to it, but all in all it is finished.

Two layouts completed in one night!  I think I should find more challenges to do, I seem to be getting lots done.  Perhaps that is because these challenges are not too specific.  They still leave lots to the imagination but give me some focus at the start.

I hope you are having a great week.  Mine seems to be improving day by day:-)

Hot Pink Hoopla Challenge

Yesterdays daily challenge over at Shimelle's was all about HOT PINK!!!  The accompanying video was very interesting and it is always amazing to see how someone else puts a page together, especially someone as talented as Shimelle.  So hot pink here we come ...

Paper is Prima 'Paisley Road'
This photo is from The Princess's 10th birthday party this year.  She chose to have a craft party and we decked out the class room at the shop and invited her friends to come for craft, pizza and a movie.  They all had a great time.  We took photos of them all when they arrived and printed them out while we all made a small heart shaped mini album.  Then they were able to stick in the photos and all sign each others books.

This was the only sheet of hot pink that I could find and as it is The Princess's favourite colour it was a natural choice for this photo.  I thought the aqua and orange (can't believe I am using ORANGE again!) livened things up a bit.  A pretty simple layout really.  The flowers were made using Tim Holtz tattered floral die and the die cut layers sprayed with water and scrunched.  When they are dry you then carefully unfold the layers and stick them on top of one another for a fun dimensional flower.  I had run out of the pink and aqua papers so I had to cut some layers from white and spray them pink.  My hands are still stained today!  Add a bit of ribbon, a few stickers and some sprays and I was done.

All in all this page was a bit of fun and came together quickly.  Which was a good thing as it was my second page for the night and it had already become Thursday when I finished and went to bed!  Two layouts in one night, I am amazed!  But feeling so inspired after this past weekend of challenges.  Thank you Shimelle.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Colour Story Challenge

When I read the criteria for this challenge I knew it was going to be just that ... a challenge!  I seem to have a love-hate relationship with red.  I love the colour but I can't wear it or I look like Rudolph, I always wanted to add red highlights to my hair but they turned orange.  Not a great track record is it?  For my thirteenth birthday all I wanted was a 50's style skirt with a ruffled petticoat (my friends never understood my facination!).  And so my mom made me one in red with white polka dots, but I had to wear it with a white shirt or I looked terrible.

And this brings me to the details of this challenge.  Create anything in white, red and aqua!!!!!  I love white, I love aqua, but the red has caused me no end of trouble tonight.  After searching for patterned paper in those colours for ages, I gave up.  So then I tried making a background by stamping and heat embossing with white on red card.  It looked very nice, but didn't suit the photo I was working with.  About 50 different options later I found something I liked.  This is another page for my family recipe album and has two recipes from my Great, Great Grandma.

Grandma Itter's Eggnog Recipe
I originally tried painting the background with Distress Ink 'Fired Brick', but it turned ORANGE on the white (a bit like my hair LOL).  Then I remembered that one of the kids had bought me Glimmer Mist 'Mels Diner' which is a beautiful shade of red with silver sparkle.  It looks lovely.  I used lots of my birthday presents in the end on this one.  The glimmer mist, Glimmer Glam on the teal flower, the Martha Stewart deep edge border, diamonte swirls, and the tiny silver butterfly.  I think I shall spend some of my birthday money on a daylight light bulb for my lamp.

I am pleased I finished this one and didn't let it beat me in the end.  As it is now the wee hours of Monday morning here I am headed to bed.  I will have to look at the rest of the challenges in the morning.

I hope you enjoyed the weekend of challenges as much as I did.  Now to try and finish them all during the week...


Sunday, 14 August 2011

My birthday present from The Princess

I have always encouraged my children to craft while at the same time being careful to not tell them what to do.  I will happily teach them how to use the products but I firmly believe that every person deserves to put their pages together themselves.  I was never very good at art while I was at school, but a critical comment from a teacher about a project that I was very proud of put me of continuing with art.  I dropped the subject as soon as it wasn't compulsory and picked up wood work :-)

Last week The Princess watched Shimelle's sketch of week video with me.  She enjoyed it and once she saw that I had made a layout based on the sketch, but that it wasn't a copy of it, she was hooked!  For my birthday today she presented to me a special wrapped present that was "fragile".  Here is what I received ...

A beautiful layout based on Shimelle's sketch.  She has even added the journaling block at the top left and has a diagonal line of "pretty" embellishments!  I am so proud of my pumpkin :-)  Love you xoxoxo

This will take pride of place in our album.  The photo is of The Princess, The Thinker, and Nephew1.

Now for my special birthday dinner of roast lamb and veg with Yorkshire puddings!!! YUM!  All cooked by The LOML and the kids.  Then more crafting.  What a glorious weekend.


P.S. I received LOTS of craft stuff for my birthday including more Glimmer Mist, Glimmer Glam, Martha Stewart punches and bits and bobs.  The kids sure know what I LOVE.  And I got the new Passion CD and some money to buy my own choice of books as the store had run out of the ones I suggested LOL

Add to the story challenge

Since we got a digital camera we seem to take oodles and oodles of photos.  I am sure you do too.  If I was to turn them all into "masterpieces" I would be here all day everyday and never be out there living life.  But I like to have ALL of the photos in my album because after all they each add something to the story.  So I have started using the American Crafts 10x12 divided page protectors.  They make adding more photos in both directions easy as they hold three landscape and two portrait photos on each side.

You may remember this layout here ..

Well we took so many photos from the rain forrest cafe that I have added them in a 10x12 protector in co-ordinating colours.  Most of them were poor quality photos as the restaurant was so dark.  You can just see the next page peeking out from the album.  (sorry but all natural light has gone now. I'm sure you know how it is ... rented house, power saving light bulbs! LOL)

The next page in the album was this one ...

So I added more photos and made this side in the same greens and browns.  The original two pages didn't really go together but now the whole thing flows.  I really like the way this has linked the two pages.  This side even features a flower stuck to the outside of the page protector along with a funny monkey sticker!

The next two pages in the album are also from the same place and I have written out the whole story in length and put it in a 6x12 protector.  But that story is just for us :-)  One more post for now on a different topic and then I am off to work on more challenges.


Starting point challenge

By the time the challenges started coming out on Friday it was already too late here and I was in bed.  It was lovely though to wake up to a whole list of challenges the next morning that I could mull over while at work :-)  The starting point challenge immediately called out my name as most of the time that is the part I agonise over for AGES!  Here was the start we were given and we could do it in any papers and colours that we wanted to.

I began with a photo of The Thinker with his best friend.  I was worried that he would find it hard to find another great friend after we moved half way around the world ... I shouldn't have worried as he is a great kid and people love him.  I used Basic Grey 'Granola' (more of my stash being used!) and felt so relaxed as I worked on this one as it literally all fell together.

I ink and distressed a piece of muslin in camo colours.  I had a chipboard bit of barbed wire which I embossed and added to it.  I even got to use my i-rock on this page on the dark metallic studs.  The letters are Petaloo 'Colour me Crazy Alphas' that start out white and are a great base for inking and spraying.  I used my new fav glimmer mist 'Bell Bottom Jeans' on these.

Of course the Cuttlebug came out to play and added the friend detailing at the top of the blue strip.  I then used another folder sideways and repeated that image three times along the rest of the blue.  It looks great inked with weathered wood.

Quick easy and satisfying!

P.S. I had to smudge the face of S as he is not my son :-)  You can't go around posting pictures of just anyone on the net!

Proud to be a scrapbooker

This weekend Shimelle is hosting a three day scapbooking challenge weekend to celebrate how proud we are to be scrapbookers.  And as you all know by now it is my birthday today **Yippee Happy Dance** and so I am spoiling myself by spending the spare minutes in my weekend crafting.  I am never going to keep up with all of them but at least I have a week to finish them all, so really it is a WEEK of challenges!  My goal this weekend is to get at least three completed.

The first challenge was this weeks sketch.  I liked the sketch but I found I had challenged myself with the photos I had chosen.  They are from a carnival/fair ride and full of bright colours.  Here is the sketch ...

And here is my version of the sketch ...

The colours in the photos were clashing terribly with any papers I looked at, so I decided to make my own using white as the base and the spraying with bright mists.  It started great, but then I realised that I forgot to lay on the rollercoaster mask, then the mists did a great big slodge on the page and my hands, and all in all it didn't go to plan.  Not surprising really as it very rarely does!  But it came together in the end and after looking at it all day I think I actually do like it, so it must have grown on me.

I made the rosettes with my score board and the wording sticking out from the bottom one is a VERY old ikande twist tie!  I am challenging myself to use up my old stuff.  I have discovered that if I take a few of them out of my stash and put them on my desk they get used ... amazing! LOL

This was lots of fun to make as I did it early in the morning while everyone else was sleeping .... ahhhhh!


P.S. The light was fading as I got to these photos, sorry.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Early birthday present

I am looking forward to a wonderful weekend (even if it features work every day!) after the great start today. The LOML took me out to Sebastian's for an early birthday lunch.  It is the only day we both have lunch free at the same time and that there is adequate coverage in the shop.  We enjoyed a beautiful 3 course lunch and I am still full now almost eight hours later!  My WW leader would say I wasn't listening to my hunger signals at lunch today LOL.  We shared some garlic bread and a seafood tasting plate for starter.  It had the most amazing tempura coated whiting I have ever tasted.  I then chose stuffed calamari and salad for my main, while The LOML decided on grilled barramundi with  chips and salad.  Hmmmmm ... it seems we only had seafood.  You can't have a birthday lunch without dessert, so I finished with apple pie and he had sticky date pudding.  A tremendously wonderful lunch out.  I was still so full when I got home that I went for a walk around the block to keep the blood flowing.  All I wanted to do was fall onto the bed and have a nap!  I felt the same way you do when you over indulge at Christmas :-)

Now my plan is to spend the weekend evenings crafting.  It was so nice of Shimelle to organise a weekend long craft session for us all, and doubly nice of her to do it on my birthday :-)  I am still waiting for the first challenge for Friday due to the time difference, this is one of those times it can be a slight pain.  Hopefully it is posted as I am typing this as it is starting to get late.  I don't have many photos available today, but I bought some new paper to try in the printer so I can print off some more for the weekend

I predict this is going to be a great weekend ...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Shimelle's Sketch of the Week

After not crafting for almost two weeks, I decided to use Shimelle's sketch this week to give me a kick start.  It was not a design I would typically use so it was an interesting process!  Here is the sketch ...

And here is my take on the sketch with a photo from Halloween all those years ago!

It is a very dark but very sparkly page!  The Thinker doesn't normally like dressing up, but the afternoon before his Scout Beaver Halloween party he went to play at a friends house, whose mother just happens to used to make costumes for a living, and the rest is history!  They all talked him into dressing up and this is the costume he came home with.  We had been trying to talk him into being a pirate for weeks and to convince him we made a treasure chest and a treasure map using coffee and burnt the edges.  He was one very cool pirate!

As I didn't have very many Halloween embellishments, I had to make everything myself and had a great time inking and painting.  Of course the Cuttlebug also make an appearance as I seem to have a collection of Halloween embossing folders.  To give the photos more hight I mounted them on a piece of chipboard.

The photo was taken in front of a bookcase full of DVD's so the background was very busy.  I know I could have edited the background before printing, but these photos were already printed.  Somewhere along the way I 'pinned' a picture of someone painting out the background and I decided to give it a try.  I like the final affect as it really makes The Thinker pop out of the page!

The black cat is a chipboard shape by The Dusty Attic that just adds a bit of fun.  When I had finished this page I was looking at the sketch again and I noticed that it was originally supposed to feature "something pretty" ... OPPS! Never mind, this is my "pretty" interpretation LOL

Happy crafting,

Monday, 8 August 2011

Poor neglected blog ...

My poor neglected blog!  It has been very chaotic around here for the past week and a bit as we were getting ready for a Craft Fair.  There is so much to do when you have a stand with a demonstration area attached.  So I though I would share some of the photos of the set up so that you could see what I have been doing.  As always, the only camera handy was on the iphone :-)

The big set up!

Ready to go!!!!

One end of the stand

And the other end of the stand

Demo area
It is always back breaking work for the two of us to set up the stand, but over the years we have gotten quite fast at it.  We had the whole stand set up in 3hrs :-)  It is very rewarding to see it finally ready to go!

Three days later and there isn't much left in the stand so breakdown only takes us an hour! LOL  And then we begin again unpacking back at the shop ... a never ending cycle.

I hope your past week has been as rewarding as mine.