Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Buttons and things...

Here's a little something I made for a friend for Christmas.  It's OK, she is 'crafty' herself and is a brilliant sewer, so did appreciate my efforts.  I accompanied the box with a little World War II 'Make Do and Mend' book that gave great ideas like.....Make new knickers out of your husbands shirts.....How to reinforce or repair your gussets (because these are the first to go apparently) and The importance of repairing the elastic in your undergarments straight away.  There did seem to be a bit of an obsession about your underwear. 

Inside the box (recycled from my hubby's childhood badge box)  I placed some of the handmade buttons on vintage button/elastic cards (a download from The Craft Stamper Magazine online blog) and a wheel of coloured tip pins.

Monday, 27 December 2010


On this day, two years ago I started this little old blog.  I was nervous about whether I could cope with the technology or if I would be able to make it interesting enough for anyone to read.  For a while I was basically talking to myself, then last Christmas I joined UK Scrappers as I needed something to keep me sane while recovering from an operation.  (I was under quarantine!!).  There I met some very friendly people, visited some UKS members blogs and joined a newbie blogger group. 

Then I began to get fellow bloggers/crafters/nice people leaving me friendly comments.  I made some online friends with some very talented people and even met a couple. 

This blog opened up the crafting world to me, made me believe in myself and gave me the motivation to keep crafting. 

So I just want to say thank you for each and every comment that has been left and for sharing my craft world with me. 

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Getting Sentimental

We will be having a quiet Christmas this year, just the three of us.  But quiet is good, a time to re-charge those batteries, chilling out playing some board games and generally doing as we please.  I do like a board game but nothing too long.  Rob likes Monopoly but after once playing for 5 hours, I lost the will to live (and the game).  Blokus is much more up my street, 20 mins max per game and I am crowned the Queen of Blokus.

Anyhow, back to the crafting......getting sentimental......that's all about the Christmas card I made for Nigel.  He rolled his eyes when he read it (but I know he loves it really).  Just a few carefully selected words can make a simple card and this card was really easy with this download from the Little Musings blog, a heart pin, a handmade cardboard button and some gingham ribbon.  I loves gingham!!! 

 I hope you like the chrissmassy photo shoot, that's my garden in the background, looking so much better covered in snow.  If you look closely you can even see my little blue shed.  Want to know the story about the little blue shed?  Then look at the first ever post back in 2008.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Now for something less Christmassy.

Right OK, that's it, my boredom threshold has burst.  Now for something less Christmassy........ buttons!  Handmade ones too.  As they are made out of cardboard you obviously can't use them on your clothing, but they are perfect for using on cards and paper projects.  You can use your scraps too, especially those favourite papers that you cannot even bare to throw away the last little piece.

I was inspired to have a go at making these by last months Craft Stamper magazine,  The large ones where made just by covering cardboard or chipboard with paper and then using a die-cutting die (nestabilities circles) to cut them out.  Then a single hole puncher for the holes.  Crackle glaze was added all over and then left to dry before lightly inking over the top. 

I then tried some shrink-plastic, cut using  a nestabilities die again, then spritzed with Cosmic Shimmer spays.  The Cosmic shimmer spray will not dry on the un-shrunk plastic but once heated the colour will intensify and set.  Before the plastic gets too cold, stamp with a patterned stamp of your choice inked with Stazon ink.  You can rub on Perfect Pearl powder at this stage.

The last type was made by sticking stamped dictionary paper with glossy accents to a clear button and then trimmed to fit.

I have some air-dry clay to try for the next batch, but already I have found uses for the buttons.

Friday, 17 December 2010


We have the coughs in our household at the moment.  It was started by Rob who unfortunately had his GCSE mock exams during the worst of it, then it was passed to Nige and now I managed to crawl into work and host children's Christmas parties is a miracle itself. But now I have just got home, school has finished, my slippers are on (with 3 pairs of socks as I get very cold feet), fleecy blanket tucked around legs and hubby is preparing lunch. 

So I am looking forward to catching up with you all, sharing some projects and reading some blogs.

Here's the projects I  made as my stint as a guest designer for the Chicken Soup blog.

I used Tim Holtz distress ink to stamp images for both projects and then brushed over perfect pearls powder.  This left a lovely bronze shimmery image.  On the card I also used a good measure of stickles and glimmer misted old sheet music as background paper.

Well, I'm off to have a play with something I created earlier.  But don't worry I shall be back to share soon.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Holly, Holly, Holly......

It's time for Christmas Club Story No3. 

Each year I make a christmas garland for the front door.  Each year we wander the local woods and hedgerows in our quest for holly with berries.  Each year we return back from long wintery walks from the woods to usually discover that there is no holly with berries this year and cut laurel and ivy instead from the playing field hedgerow (that is only around the corner from us).

Why do we do this every year?  It's tradition isn't it.  But this year.....

Look what I found.......


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

If you have read this blog before you will know that I am a fan of colour.....pastel..... whats that?  beige...blugh! and the dreaded magnolia (not in my house).  Now I am not saying that we should all have a riot of colour in our houses or about our person but for me, the brighter the better.

So when it came to making this Christmas Victorian Style Tag, I didn't want to use the typical creams, dark green or browns that you might first think of using.  Instead I chose to glimmer mist the tag with pink and teal sprays after stamping snowflakes with Versamark ink and then heat embossing with Holographic powder.  Then, on some scrap white paper I sprayed Cosmic Shimmers in blue and green.  I used this to cover the front of a Slide mount while dabbing Distress ink on the inside.  Gold Embossing powder was used to edge the mount.  An image of two children opening their presents from one of last years Christmas Cards was just what I was looking for the inside.  A slick of distress stickles and a couple of embellishments finished the Victorian look.

The ticket is a free down loadable print off which you can find here and the inspiration is from the Chicken Soup blog here.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Traditions.....What Christmas traditions do you have?  One of ours is making sure that my sons Ist Christmas bauble goes onto the Christmas tree each year.  I made it myself and now it is on it's 15th year.  It reminds me of when I was little and we had the same tradition, though not a bauble but a little silver bell that apparently was from my Nan's sisters wedding cake.  Why it ended on the tree I don't know, but sometimes traditions just happen, with no real reason.  But it is still a memory from my past, one that we follow and I hope my son will follow.

I used a great technique for my layout that helps you use up lots of those scraps we crafters seem to keep.  Just choose the colours and place random rectangles or squares of paper around your photo, layering as you go.  It works for me.  The main paper was from K&Co, though not very christmassy, the pattern seemed to fit.  As the subject was about baubles.....and they go on Christmas trees (stay with me here) I die-cut a couple of sissix trees and glittered them with stickles. 

So now the project fits Day 3 of the Chicken Soup Challenge and Sian's 'Christmas Club'.  Don't know about either projects?  Then hit the link buttons and find out what your missing. 

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Chicken Soup Anyone?

Brrrrrr!, it's far too cold to go out at the moment.  We only had a light covering of snow here but  those of you who are snowed in don't need an excuse to spent a cosy afternoon indoors crafting.  Need inspiration?  Then check out the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge at The Chicken Soup Blog.

Each day a new inspiration will be posted with ideas from the Chicken Soup designers.  You have until the 6th January to link up your crafty offerings to their blog.  There will be giveaways for the entries and post on your blog too and you may receive a random prize.  Guess what?  The news just gets better.  They will be featuring guest designers too.......and I'm one of them.......  WooHoo! 

So wrap up warm, crank up the heating, get a mug of hot chocolate ready and get over to The Chicken Soup blog now.......and get inspired.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Christmas Club......How did that happen?

We all have a favourite Christmas memory or story don't we?  Sian over on her blog 'High in the Sky' has been encouraging everyone to share theirs.  Sian has a friend who somehow encouraged her to dress as an Elf!  By Sian's description of her friend  I have one just like that as well!

Picture the scene.......'Can you help me put on a little Christmas magic show for my infant class' .......two weeks later after many hours of making props and practising our routine, there I am standing on stage, in front of the whole school (including the teachers), dressed as a fairy (Holly Berry) climbing into our handmade cardboard vanishing cabinet while Jackie (Mary Christmas), dressed as Mrs Christmas is about to magic me away.  I disappear (I can't tell you how as it's a secret) and our school caretaker appears in my place.  Ha! that even surprised the cynical Year 6's. 

 I managed to return to continue our show that included toy rabbits from hats, a teaching assistant choreographed dance and a 'I'm a teacher get me out of here' bush tucker trail (retrieving a plastic reindeer in a plate of jelly and cream  without using your hands, and donut on a string eating)


Jackie happened, that's what!

Now do you want to hear the story about the time we organised the 'Gunge the Teacher' at the summer fair and got a bit out of hand?.......or the time we were rap stars and I slipped and had to steady myself by grabbing the Headteachers leg?  But they aren't Christmas stories so you will have to wait for another time to hear them.

Sunday, 28 November 2010


I know, it's really not like me to be such a slacker on the blogging front.  But I have been helping my hoarding adorable in-laws to move from a 3 bedded house to a 2 bedded (small roomed) bungalow.  Hmmm, well shall we just say, I think that hubby now appreciates my 'chuck it out' tendencies.

So back to crafting......well I managed to make this 'Home is where the heart is' welcome tag for the new bungalow dwellers.  Just a little something to greet them to their new home.

I blended distress inks over the tag before stamping a swirl pattern and then brushing over bronze Perfect Pearls.  I then decorated it with various K & Co embellishments ( a birthday present from my lovely hubby)  and stamped butterflies. 

By the's official, the glittering season has started.  I glittered and glimmered my desk while getting a display ready.......but officially the season isn't in full swing until the children are allowed it and we will all sparkle and shimmer together.  It really is disconcerting when you look like you have been to a 70's disco while in the supermarket......though I would love to roller skate around Morrison's in a bright pink Afro, satin jumpsuit while Donner Summer 'Lost in Music' played.  Now that would be fun....

BTW, come back here on the 2nd of December for some exciting crafty news......

Friday, 12 November 2010

Gathering Dust

My craft stash has been gathering dust of late.  I have been so caught up in decorating bathrooms (wish me luck on the tile paint as that Avocado tiled wall really have to go) and going to post 16 education meetings that by the time I flop onto the sofa I really haven't had the urge to craft.  But I have been inspired by lots of felty offerings and Christmas makes on various blogs recently that I hopefully will make 'something' christmassy with felt this weekend.  Or maybe I might have to watch the paint dry......

Anyhow as the crafty offerings are not forthcoming on this blog recently I thought I would show a couple more cards that I made for the Breast Cancer Coffee Morning.  I am glad to say that a tidy sum of £45 was donated by staff at the school I work at for tea,cake and cards.

I am still loving the promarkers but found some LOLV angel stamps that I had stamped last year but not coloured or used and because I had used Stazon ink for these coloured them with coloured pencils and glitter Sakura pens. 

I used more traditional colours for the bear LOTV stamp and the swinging girl Penny Black stamp.  Both were coloured using Promarkers and a good measure of stickles were added.

Right, going off to try something creative with felt.....

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Me and You

It was my turn to choose a sketch for my team, Scraphappens, over on UKS this week.  Luckily I had just been viewing the Scrapbook and Cards e-mag where I had seen a wonderful double layout sketch designed by Becky Fleck.  Her work among with other designers can be seen on her scrapbooking sketch site, Pagemaps.

This sketch appealed to me as it was a good way of using up all those tiny pieces of paper we Scrapbookers can't bear to throw away but insist we may day.

I found some photos taken from your trip to the seaside in the summer of Rob in his 'model' pose, me and Rob together, deckchairs and beach huts.  As they were 'seaside' photos I wanted to go with a blue theme and so used a small patterned deep blue background paper by K&Co and a matching title and pre-cut boarders from the same range.  Then I was able to use up loads of  scraps I had been hanging onto either because I loved the pattern or felt it was too large to throw away.  I even managed to use up the teeniest blue spotted October Afternoon paper you may of spotted on my previous posts.

It was a bit daunting at first, using so many scraps made it difficult to 'lay out' the design but soon I was improvising like the best of them and created my 'own' version of the sketch.

So if you are like me and have stacks of 'teeny' scraps and feel like you are going to drown under the mountain of them all, have a go of piecing together your version.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Difficult Boys

It's always hard to buy or make cards for boys isn't it?  So when I saw these cute 'boy' stamps by Lilli of the Valley, I couldn't resist. 

I coloured both the stamps with Promarker pens and then used offcuts of the October Afternoon paper I had left over from a previous layout (see below).  I really enjoy stamping a few images up and then spending an evening in front of the TV colouring them in and I think my colouring skills are getting better too.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Live Bliss Happy Laugh

Over on UKS my team have organised a weekly scrap lift challenge.  So here is the first weeks challenge based on a sketch by Jana Eubank, her sketch blog is here.  Due to time restraints (dam you work) and still recovering from my trip (folding up my Baywatch swimsuit ready for next year Sandra), it has taken me all week.  I used some October Afternoon papers and journalling cards.  Also a K&Co decorative border for the title.  It features a photo of Rob being cuddled by his mum (yes in broad daylight) and the journalling tells of his fondness for cuddles.....but not in public.

Before I go I must show you something so kitch that I couldn't not buy it today.  I like kitch,  especially Christmas kitch.  Yay for Christmas doggie kitch tree decorations, wearing tutus, ruffs and fluff.

If you feel the urge to decorate your tree this year in kitch doggies, head down to Paperchase, they are selling 3 for 2 at the mo.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


I survived......and that's just the wetsuit!  Yeah I rocked the look, surfing the waves on the Devon coast, sleek, cool and hip.....*cough*.....ahem......well maybe in my fantasy world!

Anyhow back to reality.....washing, ironing and a little scrapping.  I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like this one.  I love the photo of Rob slurping his milkshake in an American Style Diner that we stopped for lunch in Gt Yarmouth.  I used Jenni Bowlan papers, polka dot felt, Thickers Alphas and American craft buttons stitched to the page. 

Just off to dream of hot instructors in wetsuits!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

I'm keeping my eye on you....

Tomorrow I will be up early and joining forty or so Year 6 children for a six hour drive to Devon.  Then spending the rest of the week surfing, kayaking, climbing, abseiling and jumping from great heights from wobbly telegraph poles.  It's going to be tiring and cold (especially while surfing in a wetsuit) but great fun.  So while I am away I am going to keep my eye on you lot.

See the eye on one of my Zenty Doodle ATC's?  Creepy eh?  But I kind of like it.  I hope who ever receives it in the UKS Zentangle ATC swap likes it too.  It is going to be fun to see all the different styles the ladies at UKS are going to come up with.  Although not on purpose I think mine have defiantly a bold graphic feel to them. 

So behave yourselves while I'm away and I will check in on my return just in case your worried that I may brake something on my adventures.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Getting Ahead

Well I am not usually this organised but here's my first Christmas cards for this year.  The cute stamp was by Penny Black, coloured using Promarkers.  I also used a couple of new dies by Marianne for the snowflakes and lace.  Although they cut perfectly on the Bigshot I found them difficult to get out of the die.  Also the embossing part did not emboss, maybe I need a tan mat?  Let me know if any of you have any ideas for these problems.  I used a Cosmo Cricket mini pad in the Mitten Weather range for the backgrounds. 

So three cards down, only forty or so to go!

Monday, 27 September 2010

This is the day.....

This is the day I shouldn't of tried to make this layout.  When the idea popped into my head to make a layout about a particularly disastrous day trip I thought what  a good story it would be to tell.

It all started when Nigel wanted to go to the British Museum to look at some Celtic Art that he had seen on a TV programme.  Now I could be here all day explaining the whole days events and no doubt you would get bored and fall asleep.  So here's the edited highlights:

  • Missed buses and trains
  • Rescheduled trains and underground routes due to maintenance work.
  • Evacuated from British Museum due to gas leak scare.
  • Took two hours to get home when usually it takes 20 minutes.
Yeah, and then it rained when we walked home as buses are non existent after six in the evening in our town and got drenched. 

And the layout.......I smudged ink (made a feature of it in the end), got glue stuck on Nigel's face(had visions of me squidging glue in his face when I wrote that but I meant on the photo), Got bits of fluff stuck on embossed letter so disguised it with more ink, had to trim the photo border (which I like to keep) as drew on it and it looked pants and generally I wasn't feeling the love from this layout.....still don't like it.  But it's still a good story.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

One Trillion Calories....

Although baking is a craft of sorts (stick with me here) I have never posted my baking efforts on my blog.  I love to bake....but hate cooking.  When you bake it's a special sweet treat, a naughty reward but when you cook it's usually a weekday chore.  Anyhow, anyone that knows me knows that my baking saviour is Mary Berry.  You young whippersnappers are probably asking 'who?'.  Yes, she has been around for years but Mary knows her onions (or the all in one method) when it comes to baking.

She has recently been staring as a judge on 'The Great British Bake Off' on BBC2 where some very talented amateur bakers have been baking delicious bread, cakes and pastries.  One lovely lady called Ruth, who came second overall has a mouth doolingly gorgeous blog called 'The Pink Whisk', where I acquired her recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.  They must have a trillion calories in,  but my word they are delicious.   My son Rob doesn't like peanut butter (strange child) so I made him some Vanilla Marshmallow cupcakes.   You will find the recipe in 'The Hummingbird Bakery' recipe book.  These contain enough sugar to send you hyper for a week but then as a teenager he sleeps far too much anyway. 

Monday, 20 September 2010

Henry, Elizabeth and a pile of scraps

Due to a clash of dates with my year 5 class trip to Hatfield House to meet Henry, even though he didn't live there, but Elizabeth I did....but the topic is all about the Tudors so i will forgive them for that...though I don't know if Elizabeth will show her face as well....anyway Breast Cancer coffee morning has been postponed to November.  This gives me time to make more cards to sell.

I'm trying to use up my mountain of scraps so I don't feel too guilty if  when I buy more card stock at  Alexander Palace this forthcoming weekend.  The trouble is that I would have to make hundreds of cards to even make a dent in the pile and I really hate to throw away the tiniest pieces (just in case).

Note to self......stop buying sets of papers, you get bored easily!

Sunday, 12 September 2010


When I first saw this photo I instantly fell in love with it.  I love how the sand draws you towards the three teens, galloping towards the sea, their arms embraced with the azure sky above, not a care in the world.   Their life ahead of them, waiting to spread their wings, new adventures await. 

I used some gorgeous My Minds Eye papers with Glimmer Misted splodges.  Inked, Crackle Glazed and Cosmic Shimmered butterflies flutter and fly.  The Journalling reads......'flutter your wings and fly far'.

Inspiration was found at the Chicken Soup site ( gives visual therapy to poorly mojo's) here.