Friday, 28 December 2012


Whoa! Hold your horses....where did December go? Well I know that once I struggled to get to the end of term without dropping with exhaustion or catching one of the many bugs doing the rounds at school, it was then a whirlwind of Christmas preparations until I collapsed on the sofa Boxing day.

I've lots of crafty plans afoot and hope to get back into blogging in a big way in 2013. But let's end this year with a photo round up of Christmas....

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Days like these...

Days like today fill me with joy.  Enjoying the simple pleasures of having a rummage at the Vintage Emporium really does make my day.

 I did buy a few treasures some that I need to photograph and two that are presents so I can't show you just yet.

Before having a rummage we did a little shopping and it was feeling very festive and fun in the shopping centre...

What exactly do you call a crowd of Santa's?  I'm sure there must be a name for it.  A Ho Ho Ho of Santa's?  Who knows?  They were congregating for a race around the town.  The Rudolf race had already began (I think that was the children's race).  They did make me smile.

I'm hoping to get my Christmas jingle going this week, so much to little time.  Last week I was blighted with migraines and so it was a bit of a wash out for chores and festivities. I tell you, taking 27 children swimming especially when it is their last swimming lesson so they have a fun session with a migraine wasn't anything like fun for me:(  But I am feeling much better today.  I have even made some home made Baileys.  What's that?  You want the recipe?  

1 pint of single cream
1 can of condensed milk
10 to 14 tablespoons of whisky
10 teaspoons of Camp Coffee Essence

Add whisky and essence to taste, shake it all up in an empty bottle and drink:)

Keep in the fridge until finished (it won't take long to finish it as it is very moreish)

Right, must dash as I have made plans to get the Christmas Cards written tonight.  I will be back soon with some more Christmas recipes soon...

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Coasting along....

For some time I have had a few little 'house' jobs on my list of crafty things to do. One of them was to cover some tatty coasters. They are only cheap ones from Wilko so I wasn't too bothered of it went a bit wrong. 

Using Mod Podge I stuck on a couple of my current favourite scrapbook papers. Then I gave them a few of coats of Mod Podge to seal.

Voila.....from dated to modern in no time at all.... 

Sent from my iPod

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Rainy Weekends

So when it's wet and cold outside us crafters don't need much of an excuse to stay in, with the heating on with a large mug of tea and craft.

A few more Christmas cards made. Hubby colours them in with Promarkers and I design and assemble.

The Little Blue Shed Household can be pretty arty at times with the teen joining in with his college artwork too. Just unfortunate that art and craft materials seem to be littering nearly every room...sigh! Oh well, a creative mind and all that....

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Living Life

Living life? We certainly have been doing that over the last few weeks.  Two birthday celebrations, University open day visits, a school reunion and just a little bit of Christmas preparation.

The Christmas cards are under way...

A new project to start...

This is my Mum's sewing box that she has given to me in exchange for a desk. The desk has draws in that she is going to store her cotton reels etc in and her sewing machine on top.

 I am super excited to have her sewing box.  I can't remember a time that I haven't seen it sitting in the corner of her living room. It's been part of my childhood.  As I grew up she has made many a dress or a skirt for me. Taken up trousers or altered flat sheets into fitted.  She even made my wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses.

Yes, many memories.... but I have a few plans to update it, make it my own, a storage for my latest woolly/sewing project.  it can  now sit in my living room, ready to be opened on a cold winters evening.    

Sunday, 11 November 2012

My week in pictures

A busy, busy week again. So only photos to share. This week I have been...

• Taking a trip to London.
• Eating Sushi.
• Reading some crafty books.
• Having a birthday pint....or two.
• Visiting The local University.
• Buying a new tartan bag.
• Making more Christmas cards.

I'm hoping life will be a little slower next week and a little crafty time will be on the agenda:)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

First of many....

Only 99 to go...

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Shoe Shots

It doesn't matter how many crafty hobbies I try, I am always drawn back to Scrapbooking.  I just really miss it when I'm not creating a layout, or thinking up a story to tell.  

This week I was thinking about all the itouch photos I take.  I'm looking forward to updating to the new itouch generation 5 and the brilliant clear photos I will be able to take with the updated lens.  It's my main mode of photos at the moment.  I know the quality isn't so good with the one I have but the itouch is so convenient out and about and the apps to help enhance your images are fab.

Oops...forgot to rub out my pencil mark on the pink chevron.
So anyway....I was saying....I was thinking about all the random photos I take of my shoes.....I'm not sure why I take so many but it does seem to be an obsession.  Possibly it's because among with the 'eye shot', the 'shoe shot' sort of captures my personality through hats, shoes and eyes.  A million tales could be told through a pair of eyes...or a hat don't you think?

Denim, leggings and plimsolls feature strongly. 

Chevrons, stripes, arrows, hot pink and turquoise...what's not to love.
For example....Yes, I like shoes and hats....I think maybe you can tell that.  I don't wear heels as I fall over in them.  I'm just not made to walk dignified in sky high heels.  I'm clumsy, I'm a 'doer' (is that even a word?).  A pair of heels would just be dangerous and inappropriate for my lifestyle.  Hats! I like to be warm...I like wool....I like bright colours....My hair frizzes in damp weather.  Eyes....these eyes have seen a lot of sadness this year....I can also stop a naughty child in it's tracks by a raised eyebrow (in a 'really, should you be doing that' type of way).  Actually I can only do a two eyebrow attack, my friend at school can do the one eyebrow attack and it's a lot more scary.

I always forget how I love this Banana Frog alpha stamp....until the next time I use it.
Note to self...must stop wearing my black plimsolls (but they are so comfy) and practice my eyebrow raising:)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Splish, splosh, slash...

Just where does the weekend go?

My weekend consisted of washing, wallpaper/paint buying, a birthday tea with the family, housework, a pub lunch and the perusal of cycling safety equipment.

I suppose it is a varied list if not busy.

Although I did find some time to get into the craft room too. Finally, after many years of trying to get the teen to listen to my arty ideas (apparently I know nothing) he joined me to do a messy art journalling session.

Acrylic glaze, acrylic paint, texture paste and masking.
He is working hard to get an art portfolio ready for when he applies to university.  His current tutor advised having examples of mixed media or an array of media used.  So I suggested an art journalling journal.

Crackle glaze affect with tissue paper, stamping and cosmic shimmer inks.
It was so nice to work together, we painted, inked, sprayed, stamped, stuck and experimented with texture paste.

Distressing ink, sprays and stamps.
I tried to limit the damage in my craft room while trying not to be too anal about my craft equipment that was being discarded in dollops of paint and ink....I really did try.

Portrait of Rob....using everything in the craft room!
It's half term next week...hoorah! So I'm hoping to have another session with him soon but first I have to decorate a!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Cracking tags!

When I visited The Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show at the Ally Pally earlier this month, I saw a technique that I really wanted to try.

It was demonstrated on the Paper Artsy stall using their Crackle Glaze and Chalk Acrylics.  The fact that it looked so easy and quick was a bonus (I am known not to have a lot of patience).

Click photo to enlarge.
All you do it paint a tag with one of the Paper Artsy paints, let it dry (you can use a heat gun to speed this up).  Scrape a thin layer of Crackle Glaze over it all.  Dry by heating again.  Then paint on your contrasting top colour.  It immediately crackles and the bottom colour shows through.  

Next I stamped images with Archival Ink and added IndigoBlu Flitterglu and Mega-flake foil.

I love the results and it was super quick.

If you fancy having a go at this or would like to try other techniques have a look at the tutorials on the Paper Artsy Blog. There you will find lots of inspiration if you fancy getting a little messy with your paper.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Simple things...

I'm so sorry for my luck lustre blogging performance of late, life just seems so exhausting.  After weeks of juggling work, home duties and horrible, horrible sinus pain.

If it wasn't for the fact that on Thursday the craft club I was hosting was due to start, quite fankly I'm not sure I would of made it into work that day.

But it's amazing how a little bit of fun, sticking, cutting and glittering with a bunch of Year 2's can lift your spirits.  Especially when you have to test your wand and fairy hat out in the playground to see if they work.

I was turned into a horse, princess, troll, tree and a sticker! (wasn't sure how to act a sticker so gave up and turned the kids into frogs instead).

  I'm glad to say that the sinus pain has eased and I feel more 'normal' this week.  

I have been pottering around the craft room of late, mostly playing with new stuff using paint and crackle glaze.  So not much to show you all.  Except for this layout inspired by 'The Simple Things' magazine.

My 'simple things' include:

A mag and a brew.
Autumn leaves.
Dewy cobwebs.
A cycle ride.
Clean sheets.
A seat with a view.
Reading in bed.
Washing drying outside.
Baking a cake.
Laughing out loud. (to which I do have a bit of a guffaw type laugh)

It's good to remember the simple things in life, those little moments that give you pleasure, however small they may be.  

Monday, 8 October 2012

It would of looked normal if I had my wand with me...

Yep! It would of looked quite normal if I hadn't left my wand at school....

Well leaving my fairy crown on as I walked home from the infants craft club would of been a big faux par but with the least everyone would of known I was supposed to be a fairy and not a little odd:)

Don't you agree?

This little story was brought to you on behalf of Sian's Storytelling Sunday.

Come on, share your dressing up stories....

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Alice Rose

I have been playing with a Paper Artsy rose die cutter this week.      

I used a Graphic 45 pad of Halloween Alice scrapbook papers to make it.  The pattern is small enough to blend in but you can still see some characters. The edges of the petals and leaves are coloured using Distressing Inks and then a little smear of Rock Candy Distressing Stickles was dabbed over the the edges of the petals.

I not sure what I am going to do with it.  I quite fancy it as a brooch and although the paper is quite solid and strong I'm not sure it will withstand being worn.

That's all from me today as I'm feeling a little weary with a cold and sinus pain:(

Only four more weeks to half term....

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Ooh! Yes, it's definitely Autumn now.  How do I know this? Well....

I have managed to get the hubby to agree to having the heating on...but not on the timer yet:(

We have moved up a level of duvet tog rating:)

The familiar soreness of throat and ears tells me a cold is coming (I get one every September/October).

It's an effort to get out of bed in the morning.

I have an urge to cook huge vats of comforting hot casseroles.

The battle of the coat starts with the teen. (the one where he won't wear one even when it's raining...why?)

More craft time.

So while I am desperately sucking my way through packets of soothing throat sweets and swallowing the Vitamin C, I am dreaming of a few weeks ago of when the sun was still out (although there was enough of a nip in the air to remind you that summer was over)and the blackberries and autumn fruits where in abundance.

The punched edges idea I got from a layout by Tracee Povis, winner of the July Scrap365 sketch  Bits and bobs acquired from my box of 'useful stuff'.

The mosaic photo app is called 'My week in pictures' which I was able to send wireless to the printer for printing.....ooh, you should of seen my gleeful face when I found that worked.

Simple things...

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Love to thrift...

Another layout using up all my old bits and bobs.  I even used some free scrapbooking papers with this one.  The papers came in one of the card making magazine (which actually wasn't that good a magazine) but it did have some decent papers for a change, especially some 50's style print papers.  So I used the fruity design on here.  I though it went with the retro feel.

We have a lovely Vintage Emporium in the next town.  You could spend hours there often exclaiming   'My mum had one of them'....or....'Ooh, that's lovely'.  It's like a huge charity shop with little cubby holes rented out to private sellers. Quite often the pieces are over priced, sometimes the same item can be found on another stall cheaper but I suppose the value is in how much you really want it.  I have resisted many an item but the 70's style soup bowls I loved from the minute I saw them.  But there was only two.  I ummed and aahed for weeks but eventually I had to have them.  My soup now tastes so much nicer in them.

In waiting for the printer to be attached (and so the delay of printing the photos)I forgot that I was going to add a different photo other than the typewriter.  Never mind, it's an opportunity for another layout and story. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Oh my gosh...

Oh my gosh, just where is the time going?  I can see the end of September on the horizon already.  And as for this working lark, I'm not sure I like it.  I just haven't had any time to myself recently to play with paper.

Anyway.....after waiting for a new printer to be installed I was able to print a few photos and finish a couple of layouts.  

Our new printer gives the facility of writing on the photos so I typed PASSED repeatedly along one side of the photo.  I thought this was a great idea for us scrapbookers.  Apologies to those who are already in the know, I'm a bit behind the times you know as I have been on a stash and technology diet.  

Actually it's been great using up a lot of my scraps.  I'm determined to use up a lot of those older papers that maybe aren't in fashion any more.  Whenever I get new clothes, I take off the labels and save them along with any other interesting bits and bobs I find from magazines etc.  The 'Happy Virus' label was attached to a bag I bought from Artbox once. The 'Joy' bottle picture was from a 50's inspired advertising calender and one I also added a couple of my home made buttons. 

Yes, it was a joyous day in the 'The Little Blue Shed' household when Rob finally passed his Maths GCSE.  As you can see from the photo he does look rather pleased.

Btw, Robs hair has got to Yeti proportions now and I have demanded he gets it cut before he starts some work experience....I'm taking him to the hairdressers myself.  Oh, yes, of course I will have my camera ready though I'm not sure I can (or the hairdresser can) convince him to have more than a trim.  

I'll be back with more thrifty layouts soon...and maybe a less shaggy haired son?


Monday, 10 September 2012

This week....

Apart from going back to school and the usual daily chores, I haven't been up to much. You see I haven't had time recently to visit my craft room, finish my knitting or sew my patchwork hexagons because I have a new obsession......preserving.

It's the thrill of making something out of nothing. Blackberries in the hedgerows, a bag of windfall apples from a friend, a fruit and veg garden needing to be house sat, mums greenhouse tomatoes.....all free! Now I have instead, Blackberry and Apple conserve, Plum and Lime jam, Rhubarb, Pear and Ginger jam, Chinese Plum Sauce, Tomato and Roasted Pepper chutney and Spiced Plum and Apple chutney.

Come join the revolution, snub the supermarket Blackberries, laugh in the face of pre-packed apples, wave your wooden spoons in the air, rattle your preserving pans and shout YAY! for jam, chutneys, sauces, relish and pickles:)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Too cool for school..

Hello there! Welcome to another edition of Storytelling Sunday hosted by the wonderfully talented Sian.  You can find her residing at her blog 'High in the Sky'.

The theme is Back to School...

Like many, I have my rituals of getting ready for a new term of school.  Even though I left as a student a long time ago, now I work in education I still want to buy the new shoes, bag and new season clothing.

I'm a real Autumn baby, I love the rich earthy and jewel tones that we often associate with Autumn, the cooler weather and the wearing of  big fluffy woolly jumpers.

I'm afraid I am that person who delights in the ritual of putting away the summer clothes and re-arranging the wardrobe ready for tweed, wool and teal...

Anticipating the chilly mornings with my opaque tights at the ready, buffing up the boots and looking forward to a healthy cheek glow.

You see, having a typical Celtic appearance I just don't enjoy the hot summer days.  I can't sit outside without the fear of my skin frazzling like pork cracking!  I don't go anywhere without my factor 30. My hideous bunions protrude from sandals.  The sun gives me a headache and the grass and pollen the you can understand my relief when the days start to shorten and the dew turns to frost.

So with my school diary covered, my cardi at the ready, my school bag packed, I'll be skipping to school on Monday ready to brace myself with the sight of my colleagues desperately trying to eek out the summer months with their bare golden tanned arms. Painted toenails peeking out of their delicate sandals....moaning about how cold it is in the chilly classrooms whilst I quietly nod and agree feeling smug and warm wrapped in my new jewel layers.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Last Hurrah!

I'm counting down the days to the Autumn Term starting and going back to school:(  A new class teacher, classroom and year group for me.  A new college campus and modules for Rob.

  So with a few days to go I thought I would try and get some crafting projects that have been popping up and filling my head started.  Starting with some handmade cardboard buttons.  Very easy and they don't cost anything to make.

Ooh, lots of lovely buttons...
Using a die cutting machine, cut out the smallest three circles of a circle Nestabilities die from any old cardboard.  If it's quite thick you may have to hand cut the bottom layer of cardboard with scissors.  Then die cut the same size circles out of any scraps of patterned paper.  Stick on, punch two holes beside each other so it now resembles a button.  Coat with either Crackle Glaze or Glossy Accents.  I used crackle glaze and I may swipe some ink over them to highlight the cracks depending on the project I'm using them for.

A close up view and an excuse to show off my new nail polish....It came out more blue than the lilac I thought it would be.
I like them:)

I have also started knitting an autumnal coloured scarf, started a patchwork cushion and plan to make Blackberry and Apple Jam.

Nigel and I took a walk to check on our secret blackberry bushes (I could tell you where they are but then I would have to kill you, sorry!) Lucky for us Nigel had the foresight to take blackberrying Tupperware containers...just in case.  Wowza! Blackberries galore and loads to ripen too.  We may of *cough* scrumped an apple or two to go with them.  The apple trees are on a public footpath so I think we were safe from the farmers gun.

So much to do before Monday, I'd better get started on trying to finish a project or two.

P.S. I was tinkering with the blog backgrounds and layouts and I seem to have all the info stuck at the bottom of the blog.  So please ignore this until I can work out how to get it back to normal:)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Summers nearly over...

The summer holidays are drawing to a close and I feel that I need to catch up on a few bloggy things...

The craft room is sorted...

Look! It's tidy!

I have actually scrapped today...shock...horror...but the printer ink has run out:(

Never mind, I worked around it without the photos and hopefully will be able to share them with you soon.

In other news, Rob passed his long awaited Maths GCSE...what a relief, I was beginning to think he would be drawing his pension before he passed it.  Onward and upward to other things for him now...Behind him is his college grounds, beautiful isn't it?  His course is moving from the town centre location to the main more rural campus shown here.  It's a fantastic new block that the art and design department is moving to but I think he will miss his fast food and town centre lunchtime jaunts.

Ok, that's all for now, a few crafty things to show you next time hopefully.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


It's been a busy week again. We have taken advantage of the good weather by taking a few walks and trips out. We walked along one of our favourite spots along the canal at Ware. A beautiful walk where Nigel and I plan our retirement living on a Narrow Boat (although we have never had a boating holiday) Or dream of owning one of the canal side houses....sigh! We can but dream. Talking of dreams, the teen has been making plans and decisions regarding his future career....needless to say he has a plan A, B and C this time. I hope he can live his dreams too...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

...and there's more.

As you may be able to tell I'm really loving making these mini canvases at the moment.

Creating the backgrounds alone fill me with glee.

More butterflies but accompanied with birds this time.

Coloured with watercolour pencils and a little Stickles to add a touch of sparkle.

Here they are altogether.  In case your wondering they measure 3 x 3 inch square and are sold in a set of four in Poundland.

Do you remember me telling you about having the home office to myself now to use as a craft room?  I still haven't re-organised it but I have certainly spread myself about already.  I'm trying not to use both desks! I do intend on only having one as it will give me so much more space.

NB. The Electronic music CD and Real Ale Guide is NOT mine...

I may try and have a sort out today in there but it is going to be a big job, bookcases, books and desks need to be moved....
I'm not sure Nigel can cope with coming home from work to find his precious aircraft paraphernalia moved.

Second thoughts, maybe I should wait until the weekend... 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Mini marvels

Four finished mini canvases, another four slightly different ones on the go....