Thursday, 29 April 2010

Home Is Where The Heart Is.

After buying this shrine like frame I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Eventually I painted guesso all over , spritzed glimmer mist here and there, sanded, painted then crackle glazed it. Well that was the frame done but what to put inside?

For some while I have had in my head an idea of grouping a few handcrafted bits and bobs together on my recently decorated hall wall, the one that should of been duck egg blue but looks more pale blue (bah those paint charts). So I created a 'Home Is Where The Heart Is' design using my scrapbooking supplies. I wanted a shabby chic/sampler look and think the ribbon flower helped to achieve this.

Now the only problem is trying to hang it up on our rock hard walls! Hubby did try to bang in a picture nail but they just bend and then fall out so off to buy some special hard wall hooks, not pretty...but functional.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Happiness is....

Happiness is....meeting up with your cyber scrapping buddy and then get them well and truly lost in London. We both joined UKS around about the same time and forged a friendship based on us both being technically challenged and sarcastic wit! No really, it was based on Ally being a lovely person, being kind enough to chat to me on UKS and laughing at my jokes!

Anyway back to the story behind the LO. Ally was very kind to meet me at Kings Cross as I am not very good at deciphering the tube maps and so I was under the impression she was good at map reading and general directions etc......well after visiting Blade Rubber Stamps (where we were given a local map) we walked to Covent Garden and stopped for lunch and a small beer. I wanted to show Ally a few shops I knew of like Cyber Candy (a brilliant sweet shop that has sweets from around the world) and Artbox (a stationary shop with a cutie Japanese style) Except I wasn't sure how to get to them but knew the street names. This is when Ally realised she had left the map in the pub! Well half a dozen phone calls to Hubby and lots of " I think I recognise this place " we did eventually find them. Credit to Ally she didn't complain as we trooped up and down the streets and then retraced our steps (though we were talking alot so weren't always paying attention to where we were going). I think she forgave me when we found a delicious Italian style ice-cream shop that we wouldn't of found otherwise. We had a lot of laughs that day and only just remembered to get a photo of ourselves together before leaving.

With the help of Shimelles scraplift challenge here and Kirstys tutorial for flowers here I made this pretty coloured layout using Bo Bunny papers. Instead of crepe paper for the flower I used twisted ribbon instead and was pleased with the resulting gingham flower.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Manic Smiling

So this was pretty much my look today, first day back to school after the Easter Holidays. A mountain of laminating, photocopying and resource searching....all before 9.30! Hence the manic smile! I went up in the world last September and was given the heady heights of Year 5 to TA for which mean going up and down two flights of stairs to the photocopier, laminater or anywhere really. The smile is starting to wain now!

I made these ATCs with the same technique as the 'S** The Housework' ones. Rather than Smile I had wanted to write 'Smile if you have farted'. I know, I know, working with children hasn't helped my sense of humour....but it would make me smile when the person who reads it smiles. But left it at just 'Smile'. (But in my mind I say.....if you have farted!)

Friday, 16 April 2010

S** The Housework!

These three little retro ladies have a message for you all......that's right let the dust settle, the cobwebs hang, the washing basket overflow.....instead craft.

To create them I tried a few new techniques out. First I swirled three of Tim Holtz distress inks onto a non-stick baking sheet and spritzed with water. I then swished over some plain scrap card and dried it with my heat gun. I then stamped a swirl pattern using a bleach. Pour a small amount of thin bleach into a flat container and then layer a few sheets of paper towel over it, to suck up the excess bleach. Dip your stamp into it and then stamp randomly over the card. The bleach will immediately fade the ink where you have stamped. You can then either leave to dry or heat with a heat gun. Cut out ATC sized cards. I then cut out the pictures from an old calender and stuck them down using Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium Matte Gel. Wow this stuff is fantastic, it was thin enough to paint onto the back of the pictures but stuck them down quickly and firmly. Then you can use it as a waterproof sealer. I love the matte finish and it was dry within minutes. Finally i added the dynamo message.

I for one will be heeding the message.......until the teen asks if there are any clean pants!

Thursday, 15 April 2010


This is what made me smile today, a Kreativ Blogger award from fellow UKS blogger Thank you Winnie! Now I need to pass it on to some fellow bloggers and then list seven crafty facts about me.

1.Although I still make cards, my true love is Scrapbooking. It means I can be creative, tell stories and take photos.
2. My mum is trained as a seamstress but I did not gain the sewing gene. I cannot sew neat, invisable stitches but I can sew simple embroidery stitches on embellishments and small projects.
3. As a Teaching Assistant at a primary school I have lots of opportunities to introduce the younger generation to my crafty obsession of Scrapbooking. Last year two Year 4 classes made layouts titled 'It's Good To Be Me' as part of their health and well being fortnight.
4. Each year I hold a Breast Cancer coffee morning at school for the staff and sell handmade cards along with their favourite cakes. (top cake.....Coffee and Walnut)
5. I joined UKS in December when I was recovering from a sinus operation. Wished I had joined years ago as I have made loads of fab crafty friends.
6. Over the years I have tried many crafts including Cross Stitch, Knitting, Crochet, Cardmaking and Glass Painting.
7. I am just finishing my first paid work for a Scrapbook Album.....I hope they like it!
So there you go, seven crafty things about me I hope you didn't know already. Now I need to pass the award on to other inspiring crafty bloggers. (Ally), (Sian), (Kit),

Monday, 12 April 2010

Colouring in for Adults!

I have always enjoyed colouring in with felt tips, choosing the colours, carefully not going over the lines, blending all the hard edges together. I once worked in a sales office for a design and exhibition company. It was a boring admin office job consisting of filing, inputting orders, ordering couriers and the occasional sales call from our reps. But what I really wanted to do was to be in the drawing office, where they still hand coloured designs for our customers using the thick, juicy pens. The perfect way of colouring, long straight lines, no white edges, no overlapping. But alas I didn't have the qualifications, I had never been to art college or even taken up Technical Drawing ( I nearly did but chose Home Economics, to which I never learned more than I had picked up from my own mum anyway). But if I mentioned to anyone that I liked to colour in things, that I thought it was therapeutic, strange looks passed my way. Colouring in? Wasn't that what children did?
So after hurrying home yesterday with two sets of Promarker pens in my hot little mitts brought from The Big Scrapbooking and Stamp Show at the Ally Pally yesterday, I dived straight in and had a play. I am pretty pleased at my first attempts using a couple of new stamps from 'The Whiff of Joy' and 'Stamposaurus' ranges. I know there is still a lot for me to learn, but I think I am addicted.
Promarkers......Colouring for adults without the strange looks.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Bloom and Grow

I don't know where the years have gone but Robert will be 15 very shortly. We have been in the difficult teen years for some time now, the main bug bear being schoolwork. Now he is a bright boy, though a mind like a sieve and his head in the clouds but he is a typical boy (I have researched this by asking friends and colleagues of those who have teen boys the homework habits of such species and it is a resounding conclusion that he is typical of that genre) in that he will do the least schoolwork/homework/revision that is possible without getting a detention/telling off/concerned phone calls home.

His dad and I have been banging on about the importance of his final years in school/impending exams/future prospects without success for the past year. But finally the light bulb has been turned on and Robert has decided that it really is a good idea to start revising early for his module exams in May and June.

When I saw this photo of Robert on a recent walk he looked so vulnerable wandering alone and reminded me that although he is not yet 15 he has grown up a lot in past year, making important decisions about his future and with this his confidence in himself has grown too. So a layout was in order using the Anna Griffin papers and embellishments that go so well with the colours of nature. I also used some buff luggage labels, spritzed with Tattered Angels Glimmer mist for the hidden journalling and title mat.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Spring has Sprung!

So it seems that spring has finally sprung (do you remember that two weekends ago we had some sunshine). Yep that was it. Well as the sun was out and it was slightly warm that Sunday the three of us went for a little ramble around our local woods.

I have a soft spot for these woods because as a child (many years ago) I explored them with my friends, building dams in the stream and making dens in the undergrowth. My mum never worried that I was in the woods unable to contact me (mobiles had not been invented) but knew I would return at the end of the day ready for my tea. Unlike Sians memories of her childhood my memories where always of long sunny days.

So getting back to our walk, it was the first walk of the spring and we were lucky to see Muntjack deer, an animal I never new existed here, nervously nibbling the bushes and grass. The rare breed black sheep were grazing in the nearby fields and the birds sung their spring songs.

I consider myself very lucky to to be born and bred on the edge of a town in a beautiful part of Hertfordshire where the countryside, woods and farmland is literaly on my doorstep. The woods aren't of outstanding beauty, sometimes people have dropped litter, but nothing beats a spring stroll with my family, birds singing, the sky blue overhead, memories of childhood rekindled.