Monday, 30 May 2011

Last week...

Well last week was a long, tiring week for me.  Not only was I still recovering from last weeks Year 5 'showbuild' event (where professional actor/dance/script writers come into school and produce a show from scratch from the Year 5's ideas, and support staff make all the scenery and props) but I had a cycling course to run and a leaving party to attend. 

No, this isn't my bike but the only way you can change the gears for a child on their bike is to ride it yourself.......and it adds a comedy moment for them too.  Boy, I look pretty tired don't I, plus it wasn't helped by a wine induced headache from the leaving party the night before.  Reemel, if you read this, we will will miss you so much.....and your rolly eyes!

Not my best side obviously!.......Reemel and Jackie look so much more sophisticated than me.  I just look a bit demented...

  Not much crafting this end but as it's half term this week I am hoping for some R 'n' R with my crafty stash sometime soon.

Btw,  just so you know I am not ignoring you all, I am still having problems with blogger not allowing me to post comments on other blogs.  I'm hoping it will be sorted out soon.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Double Trouble

Well hello there on this fine glorious day.  Not glorious where you are?  Never mind, according to the weather man we are certain to have some rain down here in the south tomorrow.  I thought it was too good to be true as I am outside instructing two courses of cycling this week.  One course down another starts could be a very wet one if the children forget their raincoats.  As it is for the younger children this week and held off- road on the playground it shouldn't be too bad as we can dart into the school if it gets too heavy.  

 My foray into the woods to take the bluebell photo sounded like a very serene moment but later on my friend (and colleague) Jackie and I had a little photo shoot.  It was my idea to have a very demure photo taken while sitting on a fallen trunk.....meanwhile my friend acquaintance decided to capture my unladylike way of trying to climb onto the tree.  It's darn hard on the old bottom that bark.

The photo's were too good not to scrap and a reminder of all the adventures Jackie seems to get me involved in.  (OK, I know this was my idea but still...)

A double layout was required for the full effect of my climbing technique and a welcome return of some of favourite scrapbooking elements....corrugated card, string, brown parcel paper and Cosmic Shimmer sprays.  The Simple Circle Flowers came into their own too.  I hadn't thought of 'Double Trouble' as a title until I wrote this post but 'Do what you love' fitted the bill well.

Crossing my fingers we don't get too wet tomorrow....just so i don't have to deal with wet, miserable children. 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Beauty is nature.

You may of guessed by now that I am a nature loving kinda girl so when the seasons change I like nothing better than to have a ramble down to our local woodland to take some photo's of the beauty that they hold.

These woods hold memories of my childhood.  I helped my dad collect leaf mould for his garden and my mum and I used to collect chestnuts from the woodland floor.

The bluebells were early this year but the carpet of blue was just as beautiful. The dappled sunlight highlighting their beauty. 

The town in which I live has changed immensely over the years but it has still kept it's 'Garden City' ethos.  The woodland is a narrow strip of ancient trees where squirrels scurry and skip at your arrival.  The quietness of the woods is interspersed with a jays distinctive calls and the snapping of twigs underfoot.  Farmland and a community park edge the sides and eventually it leads to a woodland house with clucking chickens.  An Aerodrome is nearby, hence the Pillbox covered in vegetation, a relic of the second world war and our close proximity to London.

I used Websters papers, sprinkled with  butterflies, handmade tulle roses, glossy accent dew drops and a glimmer of Cosmic Shimmer spray.

Need a little inspiration to kick start you into next week then check out the recipe at the Chicken Soup blog this's all gone Cath Kidson.

Here's my interpretation, what will yours be?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Simple Circle Flowers


  • Cut a variety of fabric and cardboard circles.
  • Stick them together, alternating the fabric circles with the cardboard circles.
  • Top with a button.
As I said simples.....

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Kickin Back

What do you like to do in your free time?  How do you relax?  If your a crafter like me then one of your answers is probably indulging in your crafts.

Apart from crafting I like nothing better than a country ramble.  The peace and quiet, fresh air and enough exercise to help you sleep soundly.  Just as well the other two like walking too as we have just booked to go to the mountains in Slovenia again.  It's a wonderfull area for walking (we may even get Robert on the chairlift this year).  The food is a mixture of Slovenian, Italian and Austrian as the borders are very near to our resort, you can even cross the three borders in one days walk.....I think we will try it this year.

Anyhow.....walking, fresh air......teenagers.  Not really a good mix.  Rob does like our holidays (as long as a cool drink and a cake is at our destination) but I would have as a guess that he would prefer to surf the net or play computer games (if he had a choice) So this leads me to the next layout.  Chilling out Robert style.  Sprawled on his bed, watching You Tube and eating Jelly Beans.  I love how I have captured his wonderfull smile while laughing at probably something us parents would only tut and roll our eyes at.

I followed another Shimelle sketch, again using October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket papers.  My layouts have been lacking in embellishments recently (because I refuse to pay out for pre-made flowers and the such that look easy enough to make).  So I made my own embellishments using Nestabilities circle dies to cut card and felt into discs.  I then layered them up and topped with a sequin star.  I found some turquoise netting in my material scrap box (where old clothing goes to be recycled into something if not fantastic then useable) and cut this into strips to stick ruffles around the edge to form a rosette.

The rosettes really seem to make a difference and add depth to the page.  They are a good alternative to flowers so good for a male layout.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Tatty blue flowers

Want another idea to make free flower embellishments out of scraps?  Of course you do!

Start off with some scraps of netting and roughly cut out various sized circles.

Layer the circles up, smallest on top.  Push a brad though the middle of the circles.  Then tatty up the edges by pulling at the threads.

Scrunch up the netting between your fingers.  The more scrunched up the better.

Squidge the edges onto an ink pad.

Voila! Tatty net flowers.

I prefer the one on the left.  This one is a bit tattier as I melted it over a flame like the roses.  It left a few burnt bits but I cut these off.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Tight wad.

OK, who's up for a bit of recycling and saving money.....I said I was a tight wad didn't I?

Ta Da!  Super pretty flowers made out of material scraps.  Today I am going to show you how to make the scrumptious (Prima type) red roses.  There are probably loads of tutorials out there to show this but this is the way I did it:

You will need:

  • Something circular to draw around
  • Tulle or taffeta type material scraps
  • Some brads
  • Stickles
  • A candle
  • Tweezers
  • A pen

Right here we go.....

Draw around your your circle with the material folded over a few times (this saves you cutting out each one individually). I used a white pen (so I could see it in this case).  Use a variety of sizes, two of each of five different sizes will do.  Then cut them out. 

Now the fun bit for anyone who has pyromaniac tendencies.  With tweezers melt the edges of the circle over a candle flame.  Be careful not to get too near and turn the circle quickly or you may get a more shriveled look than you wanted.  You can always go round again if you haven't quite got the desired look.

When you are happy with your circles, use a brad to fix them together.  Placing the smallest on the top and the largest last.

OK, it looks like a rose now but we are not finished yet.  With a tube of stickles (I used Stardust), go around the edges with the glitter glue.  Just dab it randomly, don't worry about covering every piece.

Now you have a pretty rose embellishment.

This was my first go at making these but it was very easy and I think they look fantastic.  I really enjoyed making them and knowing they were not costing me anything felt so good. 

I will be back soon to show you the other flowers photographed at the top of the page.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Grow Tall

Back to the bright colours today with a layout showing a family photo taken on Robert's 16th Birthday.  Robert is growing like wildfire at the moment  and has overtaken me and is about the same height as Nigel now.  Not that the photo shows this.  Yes he looks taller than me but the path slopes down and I am in the ditch so I look like a midget next to him.  Nigel is standing on the higher piece of path.  All is explained on the hidden journaling tag.

I scrap lifted the layout from Shimelles version here.  I used an assortment of October Afternoon, Cosmo Cricket and Kraft paper with a Websters Pages journaling card stuck onto a plain white envelope.  You can see how I made the handcrafted button here.

I always find great inspiration from a sketch and invariably they turn out quite different from the original.  I don't have as many clusters of embellishments as Shimelle does but added an extra date card, tag and envelope.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Plain and Simple

A rarity for me, a project using pastel colours and no patterns.  Don't worry I have plenty of projects that are mega colourful and packed with pattern to share with you all soon.

 This weeks recipe on the Chicken Soup blog inspired me to make this subtle wedding card.  I embossed white and blue card with tiny dots.  The image is from the Lilly of the Valley range and as usual coloured with Promarkers.  I then threaded blue ribbon through embossed paper lace.  Need inspiration for a project this weekend? Then go and take a peek at the other designers work for  this weeks recipe.

Right, I'm having a quiet day in today to get some crafting done as the teen is out on his first train ride with his friends.  He is not going too far but I know the day will be filled with game/comic book/music stores, all you can eat Chinese lunch and possibly the Cinema.  A belated birthday treat.

Although it is showery today I need to wear my those layouts are bright!

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Crumbs!, what great comments from you all about the cupcakes.  I have to say that I wasn't convinced the 99 cone ones would come out anything remotely like the photo but they did and tasted quite delicious.  It was a little strange eating something that looked like ice-cream but tasted of vanilla cupcake.  Eyes and brain not engaging moment.  The 99 cone cupcakes were super easy to make.  I found the recipe in this book.......

I loved baking before I entered the world of cupcakes but was more familiar with the 'all in one' recipes by Mary Berry (one of the judges on The Great British Bake Off).  One of the things I have always found difficult is cake decorating.  Too clumsy to make delicate sugar paste flowers and impatient to make the perfect icing bag out of greaseproof paper.  I have tried but I always ended up in a mess....butter cream squirting out of the top of the bag and oozing between the nozzle and end of the bag.  Until I found these.....

What a fantastic idea, so easy, no mess and good results.  The only drawback is they are quite small and so need filling up regularly.  The hole to fill up is small too.  So I am on a lookout for something larger.  These ones I found in John Lewis.

Did you notice that my last post was a non crafty one (if you don't include baking as a craft) or maybe I mean a non paper crafty one.  My first post without a craft reference since I have been blogging.  But I figure that I have got to know some of my readers pretty well over the past two years and maybe I should share some more of me and my daily life with you.  Do you want that?  Or is crafting what you want to see?  Let me know, then I won't bore you with cakes, teenage tantrums and the like again.

OK, back to the cake eating......If I finish them in one go do all the calories count I wonder? Also aren't raspberries one of your five a day?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Champagne and Cupcakes

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate a birthday than champagne and cupcakes. 

Raspberry and White Chocolate, Devils Food and Vanilla 99 cones......yes that's right, cupcakes made to look like a 99 cone.

Delicious they were too (the sponge cake is cooked actually inside the cones and then iced when cooled).......want to see more?

These raspberry ones had whole raspberries in the sponge and a well of white chocolate and cream in the centre.


Finally chocolaty Devils Food cupcakes.

We had a few casualties on the way in when a couple of cones decided to throw themselves off the stand.

But we followed the 10 second rule and rearranged them for scrapbooking photo opportunities.

So to those who haven't had chance to try them you can try some cyber cake today....sent with my love.x