Archive for May, 2011
For some people, the thought of scrapbooking scares them stupid. And the idea of filling a 12×12 page is too much to even contemplate. This is a really simple example to show you that even a very basic layout isn’t hard. Having scrapped for a number of years now and done lots of different types of page, my favourite is the simple and pared back one. You can introduce just ‘snippets’ of colour and use whatever bits of stash you have lying around. Some people will quote various ‘rules’ at you, and yes there are some design rules that can be of help, but honestly, the best way to get going is just to jump. Both feet. Straight in at the deep end.. you may well surprise yourself. I’ve included lots of little shots of the different elements. Thinking of it as a large card is a good place to start for some. Getting the elements you want to include on the page and then just movin’em on round the page until you’re happy is another good idea. I love using stitching and fabric and lots of different textures- but wanted to showcase just a couple of things; some chipboard letters, a few diecut stickers and some rub-ons. Truly, I bet if most of you hunted through your stash of craft gear, you’d probably have most of these things;
This first pic shows a couple of the stickers and the rub-ons. It’s fun to put rub-ons straight onto photo’s. It makes the whole thing a little more cohesive. The stickers are from the Nursery Suite die-cut stickers and are great for cards or scrapbooks.
The title is using the On Board Alphabet Soup set of letters. There’s 3 12×12 chipboard sheets with 3 different alphabets for £8.50. You get a least 2 full alphabets with extra letters for each type of alphabet. I’ve simply painted on the Frost White shimmer paint to give a bit of colour without dominating the page as the photo is quite brightly coloured.
All my pages contain ‘journalling’ of some sort. Sometimes I’ll hide it behind a flap or pocket, but I’ve kept the page simple, so just written straight onto the whisper white textured cardstock. Don’t stress about your handwriting- these scrapbooks should hang around for a while after I’m gone and I guess it’s nice for your kids or relatives to have a sample of how you wrote!!
I’ll make this a quick post. It’s half term and I’m a little time-poor !! Yesterday was a fun day with Steve’s parents and all of us together. A rainy blowy morning on Crosby beach was full of laughter- mostly at Anthony Gormley’s 100 iron statues on the beach- all in different places, some partly submerged, some in the water but all modelled on the sculptor himself. A certain lack of clothing made the kids quite surprised. Coupled with some sinking sand, a partly submerged shoe with a hopping teenager and the mass of beautifully patterned but scary looking jellyfish made for a pretty entertaining morning. We descended on a brilliant playground nearby and then dried ourselves off in a rather beautiful beachside cafe for lunch. You could tell that most beach-headed folk didn’t end up in that place as the floor was scrupulously clean everywhere else and around where we sat were give-away little piles of sand that had fallen off our shoes as they dried!
The afternoon was spent in a National Trust Squirrel Reserve. You’d think that it wouldn’t be a stretch too far to actually see a squirrel, nor indeed assume that they lived there. We didn’t see one furry rodent the entire time. We looked for glimpses of red but the nearest we came to it was Will’s head of hair which from a distance could be mistaken for a bushy tail!! They had truly squirreled themselves away. We heard snippets of a conversation to do with a disease – but I’m not sure whether that was the squirrels they were talking about. I know they’re an endangered species, but didn’t realise they had to be hidden too!! Had we not got in free thanks to our recently purchased National trust membership, I’d have definately been asking for a refund! Bank Holiday evening was spent in the company of a pseudo-evil cartoon character with a giant blue head. I think Dreamworks lost the plot a little with ‘Megamind’ but it kept everyone entertained, which after a long and tiring day, was a small accomplishment in itself!
See you sometime during this weeks’ entertaining! x
Project recipe: Whisper white cardstock. Paper and stickers from Nursery Suite. Clip from Clips Assortment. Frost white shimmer paint. On Board Alphabet soup. Planter Box Rub-ons. All supplies Stampin’Up!
Ever tried to buy a card for a man recently? You’re hardly spoilt for choice! This card was one we sent to a friend who is majorly into coffee and I think it just about passes as a blokes card! The image is from the ‘A Slice of Life’ hostess set from the Mini Catalogue and I’ve tried to make them all into coffees! Steve did take one look and ask why there was a cigarette sticking out of the middle coffee!! Honestly! One of the kids thought there was an icecream in the middle; I give up! On closer inspection you’ll see that I’ve cut sections of each receptacle out and placed acetate stamped with the same image and then placed different ‘coffee’ coloured designer paper from the Botanical Gazette collection behind the acetate. What you can’t probably make out is that the ‘froth’ and parts of the cups are touched up with some shimmer paint. Just a touch- wouldnt want to make them too girly now would we?!
Do you like the slightly distressed stamping? I would normally have chucked away (or turned the card over) with not perfect images due to uneven inking, but I liked it that way, so it stayed; unrejected! The bottom section is embossed using the Square Lattice folder (which is a great one for bloke cards) and finished off with a knot- definately not a bow!!
So far- this week has been very bitty- lots of little jobs to do. I guess I must have been mentally in a hurry as I literally jumped up into my car (tall car, short person..even with heels!) and didn’t duck. I walloped the top of head as I scraped it, and sat in my front seat a little dazed for 5 minutes. I didn’t realise the top of your head could be quite that sensitive!
Clearing out has continued a-pace. You realise how much stuff you were hanging onto ‘in case’, and now it’s gone.
Hoping it stays that way.
Guessing its not gonna.
I am loving thinking logically (a rare occurence) and trying to create systems. Thanks to a rather smart filing tray for 99p, I have a proper place that I now need to train all the kids to use. Letters or invites= on the top shelf. Stampin’Up! order forms on the next one. 3rd shelf down is my ‘non kids in-tray’ and the 4th level is currently housing a collection of Spiderman card making stuff for Will. It had to go there. There was nowhere else. Sadly, this ‘space’ that I’ve created is attracting other peoples’ ‘stuff’ and I’m having to chase people from depositing their junk on my nicely cleaned surfaces liked a slightly demented scarecrow in a field of just sown corn. Anyone would think they’d nowhere else to put their things. What this organisation has done is opened my eyes to the fact there is a large (and growing) pile of ironing now obstructing my efforts to be ‘sleek and slimlined’. There are 2 solutions. Neither of which seem attractive.
1. Bin the lot
2. Iron it all.
What is a girl to do?!
See you after I’ve tidied some more xx
Card recipe; Cardstock- Early espresso, whisper white and Rich Razzleberry. Early espresso and black Stazon ink. Chocolate chip ribbon. Window sheets (acetate) Botanical Gazette designer papers. Stamp sets- A Slice of Life and ‘Afterthoughts’. Square Lattice embossing folder. shimmer paint
Here’s a combination of sets to make a card that shows you what you could get for holding a workshop- or call ‘em parties; they’re fun either way! The ‘Lucky You’ sentiment is part of one of the hostess sets (Afterthoughts) you can earn for free, and you could quite possibly choose the Baby Blossoms set (the roses) as part of the free spends too. Lots of people are too worried they don’t know enough crafters to hold a party. Well, let me say, they don’t have be enormous events nor do they have to be crammed full of crafters. It helps if people don’t actually hate the sight of patterned paper and are happy to give something a go. I never do anything that a complete beginner couldn’t cope with and have converted several die-hard ‘non-crafters’ to make and actually enjoy doing something creative. With money a little tight for lots but people still wanting to get together and have a cheap night in- go find some friends and neighbours and I’ll gladly come to your house (or your mates!) and show you just what everyone loves about Stampin’Up! parties! Book an evening with me before the lure of mindless banal TV takes you over!!
This week is busy with Stampin’Up! events so I was trying to get myself a little more organised so that the process of finding the simplest thing doesn’t take forever. I decided to get a ribbon dispenser which was crazily good value and sort the ribbons out from the tangled web that they had become. I don’t have a cream and lovely vintage room to match but we’re slowly starting to make progress. We? Who am I trying to kid- it’s all me doing the tidying and I’m still not done. I can only show you one corner as the rest is entirely too shameful! Being tidy just makes me happy. Unfortunately I’m rarely happy on that particular account but I live in hope! Maybe I might get to show you the rest- but tis’ unlikely any time soon!
Before I leave I’ll tell you of the latest stuff that’s been going on. I don’t pride myself on being a fantastic driver- but I guess I try to be a careful one. Last week an almost amusing situation occurred; here’s the synopsis;
Driving home… see a cyclist in middle lane.. middle lane?..I hang back a little. Cyclist appears very close to articulated lorry… on closer inspection- cylist is HOLDING onto the back of the lorry… lorry and nutter on the back both travelling at 40mph…approaching traffic lights…lorry brakes…cyclist does not… rider and bike fly (yes, fly) across the front of my car… cyclist somersaults onto embankment.. rider and cycle part company… cycle and cyclist thud at high speed into a large oak tree… I brake to check he’s ok..(thinking ambulance may just be needed).. cylcist staggers to feet…bike is mashed…I drive away incredibly thankful that I was no closer to crazy cyclist..
Cyclists- please wear a hat and refrain from hitching a ride with one hand on the back of large lorry..Please!
See you soon….. xx
PS- Will saw an advert for Pirates of The Carribean- the kids had been talking about it. Look Mum, he pipes up ‘It’s Pirates of the CarrotsBeans’!!!!
Card recipe- Baby Blossoms, Hostess set, sweet Stitches designer paper. Swirl Sizzlits die. Peach Parfait ribbon. Corner rounder. Peach Parfait, Melon Mambo, and Wild Wasabi cardstock
I should really be calling this a ‘Technique Tuesday’ post, but someone’s already beaten me to that description so it’s something new for some of you, and maybe a reminder of a technique for others! It’s called faux-mosaic because close-up it does look as if there’s a flat mosaic and is a fabulous way of using up old leftover bits of the rubber that you discard when you’ve mounted your stamps. Using your left-over rubber, cut into small triangles and squares and stick onto the acrylic block in a random but close knit pattern= think crazy paving meets mosaic! Stamp with Versamark onto card (that you’ve already decorated with an image- I’d stamped and coloured the bird ) and add clear embossing powder. Rub coloured ink over the embossed bits and then buff off the excess with a paper towel. I’ll be demoing this technique next week at a stamp club but if you fancy learning get in touch and I’d happily show you too!
This pic shows the mosaic part in greater detail. I love the birdy. I know there’s no such colour configuration in the bird world, but I like it and it was what I had to hand colour-wise; so there!
I’m at present fending off Will whilst I type. He’s talking to me, asking whether a lip salve is ‘importink’ (important) or not. Apparently he loves me, but I’m a scallywag. Fair enough. What is clear, is that I’m grumpy. Yesterday the previous week caught up with me (include a whole smorgasbord of late nights) and I was not a happy bunny. To be fair, I didn’t actually get cross with anyone, just felt like not being happy and very nearly sulked. I did tell my friends at school that I was being grumpy and one of them said she felt the same. I climbed back in the car (yes, I do climb, I’m short, wearing high-heeled boots and the Landrover is not at pavement level) and decided to take myself in hand. Being grumpy was simply indulging myself and if I was not going to remain this way for the whole of the day, I had to go and do something. I visited a couple of people with some things I had for them and immediately felt a whole heap better. Solace and narkiness probably results in an even greater level of grumpability! By 10:00am I was indeed smiling and feeling more thankful. I was very ably helped along with a piece of millionaires shortbread at a friends ( just what mates are for!) and after running around trying to clear up the house,do the school run, get tea ready, buy a mountain of sweets, drinks and biscuits for the babysitter, feed kids and said babysitter, pop kids to bed and run out for a friends birthday meal,- I was ready to sit down at that point. Had a fantastic meal at Spires (bottom of Penny Lane) and alas I had no room for dessert (not really an acceptable way to finish a meal!!).
Now I’m doing more clearing up in preparation for a play date at ours after school run. Tonights meal request is pizza and when my son has his friend over tomorrow, he’s asked for Fish Pie. Fish Pie?! I know? Kids eh. He’ll be asking for a roast dinner next.
I need to run and hide from the monster, apparently. He’s taking over our house and Will is rescuing me. Wish someone would rescue me from the pile of ironing that keeps eyeballing me!
Cardstock- Old Olive, Early Espress
Designer Paper- Botanical Gazette.
Stamp sets- Nature Walk and Just Believe (friend stamp)
Other supplies; Button from neutrals collection. Seam binding ribbon. Linen thread. Basic Black ink. peach parfait and bashful blue marker pen. Versamark ink and clear embossing powder. White signo gel pen.
Time for a change. Instead of washing windows, I’m decorating them! Ok, not full size ones, and indeed not the sort (which in our house at least) that are peppered with lots of tiny fingerprints and the odd pursed lip imprint too! These are small bevelled windowpanes in 3 different sizes. This one is the largest and they’re just fun to mess with. With acetate and acrylic being ‘up there’ on my all time favourite mediums list, I had surprisingly not bothered with them. Using my Stazon and shimmer paint and if you want to know how I did it, book a workshop and I’ll demonstrate away all you like! It’s unusual and makes people pick it up and peer at it close up- the images are in fact 3D as the next few piccies will attempt to show. The stamp set is our new and ever-so-lovely ‘Slice of Life’ Hostess set from the Mini and is exclusively for those that host workshops or fancy a blow-out and order goods of £150 or more and then you get a set of 6 woodmount or clear mount stamps and £15 of free goodies from either of our two current catalogues. You can of course choose several ther Hostess options, but this is using just one of them. You can see the frame in a little more detail, and see on the next one how the colour and the image are actually separate layers!
This week has been a really busy one; still playing catch-up, coffees (!), Birthday of one of my littlies and also a date in my calendar that’s always a toughie but needs a little time to digest and gather my thoughts. Many of you will know we lost one of our children- well it was 5 years this week that she went to Heaven and it has been really strange this year as it seems such a long time ago. If you kinda blink (mentally speaking ), you can imagine for a moment that it was all a bad dream. I think as time passes, it must feel increasingly like that. We still miss Natalie incredibly but take our comfort in our certain hope of Heaven and knowing that she’s completely safe & waiting for the day when God takes us home to be with her too. This year will be remembered as a positive day (and trust me, there have been some humdingers of disastrous Anniversary days!). I don’t do going to her grave anymore. I hate thinking about her death and that’s what the gravestone tells me about. Instead I prefer to remember her as she is now, and be thankful.
I was incredibly thankful for a lovely day spent with different friends, our kids, one large curry feast and some Mars Bar Cheesecake! Not all at once, I hasten to add! We talked about her, the kids recalled their favourite memories and we thanked God for His gift of her in the first place, and remembered how much we’ve learned since then. As we ate in an Indian restaurant (on full view, with lots of people watching our antics!), I looked around at this table-full of kids, all so different, all with their strengths and weaknesses and all responsible for the regular exhaustion I feel (!) and my heart swelled with thankfulness that we have been given such precious gifts care for. If you know me at all, you’ll know parenting doesn’t come easily to me nor do I think I’ve done a good job, but, you know; I’m thankful.
I should be.
I will force myself to be on days when it doesn’t come naturally.
I hope you can be too.
Here’s the favourite pillow box of the Launch evening. I have to admit, its mine too. Even my eldest thought it was ‘ok’ which is high praise from her indeed! I was trying to experiment with different types of material. I guess I’ll be planning more experimenting. If I could add a strong enought interfacing, I think fabric would be beautiful- watch and see what I come up with!
Some of the girls thought it might have been complicated or lengthy- but it was quite a quick ‘stamp and plonk’ using black Stazon which is necessary for stamping on acetate. The thick Window sheet from Stampin’Up! was what I used. You need a slightly more substantial weight to hold something inside and this Thick window sheet is perfect. As the sheets are 12×12 they’re perfect for those of you who have Cricuts too. I added the translucent blue glitter from our Cosmo collection which includes 5 different colours and its really ultrafine. At £14.50 its great value as they last for ages! The colour was perfect for making it look just like wings. Here’s a closer one. I hardly want to fill it and spoil the effect!
I really have enjoyed some of the conversations with the kids lately. For all of the hard work (and hormones!) that goes with 5 children, there are some really funny times too! The other day. Will walked into the room wearing a large circle around him; far larger than himself. It was in fact, a folded up pop-up tunnel and he hung it around our neck. ‘Look Mum’, he announced, ‘I’m a doughnut!’ This is the same child who, half an hour after breakfast is asking whether its dinner time! He’s definately going to be a fireman when grows older. I asked him ‘what do fireman actually do?’. ’Save people’, he replied. ‘Save them from what?’ I queried. ‘Oh, save them from Africa’ he stated. ‘Africa?’ I asked. He laughed and looked me’ Oh, no, I meant houses!’ I helped this morning by being his personal sellotape holder. He found some Mickey Mouse wrapping paper and wanted to wrap a present for his sister. He wasn’t really interested in what he could give her, he was just enjoying the process and was so excited about the idea of giving itself. There’s lessons in there for all of us I’m sure!! You have to wonder what goes on in their heads and my hubby helpfully reminds me that I am very fortunate to be at home sharing in these little moments. I am, truly. The trick is trying to remember that when all gets a bit too hard work and you wonder quite exactly what you are doing!
Should go, I have some books to read to Will. I can almost feel time running away with itself!
Box recipe; Pllow box die. Stamp set-Natures Walk. Marina Mist and black ribbon. Linen twine and button from Neutrals button pack. Stazon black ink and Thick window sheets (acetate). Cosmo glitter.