Friday, 25 January 2013

Most Angelic!


Well it is week 2 at the Swirldoos Design Team Challenge (yes - amazingly I managed to get through the first round!) 

The challenge this week is layering and whilst hunting for a photograph I found this one taken by my father in the mid 80s of my son (on the right) and his cousin, both aged around 7/8 years old.  It has always been a favourite photograph and I was really pleased about scrapping it, but of course I then had to go down the masculine route - no layering with flowers, lace, butterflies or fancy flourishes!

I am still working with the kit which came last week.  I added a few of my own papers and this lovely turqoise kraft core paper from the Nostalgic Collection.  It is No. 9 if anyone can tell me what colour that is - I have to keep buying another pad just to get another sheet!

I did a bit of wobbly (on purpose) stitching around the inner sheets, but unusually for me there is no inking in this piece at all.  So quite clean to put together.

I am having a few camera problems at the moment as my old point and click is sadly dying.  So the colours don't look so bright in the top photograph.  A new camera is on its way next week - I just hope I can cope with all the fancy menus!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and are enjoying some more settled weather. 

Thank you for looking x

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


I have never bought a scrapbook kit before, but when I saw the kit on offer this month at Craftz Boutique I just had to have it!  I mean I really need more papers ....... !

When it arrived, the colours were just soooooo wonderful I decided that this was for me and did this layout of an old photograph of me taken in 1975.    Hmmmm ...... not a great photograph but it was taken on a very special day and the big envelope holds the details.

The papers are from Basic Grey's Serenede and that wonderful flower is from a Bo Bunny set of earth flowers.  Needless to say it was taken to pieces, studied and stuck together again before being stuck on the layout! 
Those gorgeous leaves were also in the pack, along with some other wonderful bits and pieces that I would never have bought myself, but which I have really enjoyed working with (I did another layout with the papers today). 
I have also just got this Cheery Lynn doily die, which I think is going to be well used.
The colours fit in nicely with Case File No. 55 at CSI this week. I used flowers, leaves and tone on tone from the evidence and my envelope contains six prompts of why the day was so special. 
It is really worth visiting the Design Team Page HERE for some absolutely jaw dropping layouts. 
I must say it was really lovely not to have to go hawking through all my supplies to look for papers and embellishments.  I thoroughly enjoyed just scrapping the page. And, amazingly I decided not to be too precious about cutting into the papers - one of my new year resolutions!  I am not sure that I would get a kit every month, but I shall certainly keep a look out for what is coming up.  
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

String Flowers

Can I make a flower from string, was my first thought when I saw the current challenge at Anything But a Card.  Then I remembered  the woollen flowers I used to make with my Mum, twisting the wool around eight pins which Dad had nailed onto a piece of wood - if you are my age you will probably have had one too!  I remember also getting a swish yellow plastic one in the 70s as well.

I'll post some pics later in the post to show you how I did it, but here is my tag for the challenge (I have not made a tag in absolutely ages!). 

The challenge is to incorporate things that can be tied: twine, ribbon, thread, wire, rope, cording, trim, seam binding, etc.

I am in a bit of a tone on tone mood at the moment, which suited the colours of my twine.

So on the tag I have used:
: hemp for the flowers
: sailing twine for the   curls and button
: string on my spool
: paper string to make the small leaf heads
: a small piece of tape measure ribbon
: seam binding on the base of the tag and to adorn the top. 

I also made some leaves out of muslin died with Vintage Photo Distress Ink but watch when you dry them with a heat gun (they burn very easily!). I added a bit of lace and a handmade button, and some stitching.

The little pair of scissors were in my mother's sewing box.  They have been waiting nearly fifteen years to be used, but I am glad they have now found a home.  The gold was a bit bright so I covered them with gesso and then some ginger alcohol ink.

So to the flowers:

In order to create a little "loom" I cut two circles from card and stuck them together with a little bit of PVA glue.  Roughly divided it up into eight segments and pushed some pins in between the circles.  (I remembered using something similar at an SWRI workshop a couple of years ago!)

Then using the hemp I wound it around the top pin and then the bottom, then over to the next one on the right and then to the next on on the left.  I hope that makes sense!

Then when each pin had two petals I started doing a back stitch around the middle to secure the flower but also to separate the petals.

You can then remove the pins and your flower is "free".  I tied the hemp at the back, but use a bit of PVA as even using my best sailing knots it came undone very easily. 

And here are the two I made first from sailing twine.  They were a little big to put on the tag, so I made smaller ones from hemp.  The one on the right I used "backstitch" for the middle, and the one on the left I wove in and out, but I don't think it looks as neat as without an odd number of petals, you have to jump one now and then.

I hope this all makes sense!  Just email or leave a comment if you need help.  I hope you have a go!

Thanks for looking!  Oh and do pop over to the Anything But a Card Challenge page HERE, as there are some wonderful DT pieces - in particular a gorgeous necklace and an amazing bag and tag.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Make an Embellishment ..............

It is week 1 of the Swirlydoos Design Team Challenge.  I am certainly not in the running (so many talented folk at Swirlydoos), but I am playing along and this first week has been fabulous.

The challenge was to make an embellishment from a handcut die and use two mediums in its decoration.  Then to showcase it in a layout.

I cut a frame using the Tim Holtz Weathered Clock die from the back of an A4 pad.  I covered it twice with Gesso and then covered it with Rock Candy Distress Crackle. 
I find it alot easier to put this on with my fingers as you can then get good coverage and lots of cracks and there's no brush to clean!  I did the same with the flourish and decorated them with some handmade flowers die cut from cream card and sprayed with Glimmer Mists and edged with Vintage Photo DI.  The die cut heart was covered with Distress Crackle Paint.

The next thing was to find a photograph - and this lovely photo of my Nana, aged 19, just fitted perfectly.

I used a single piece of Pion Design papers (which I just adore!)and opened up the left hand side for some text paper and lace. 
I made some more flowers (I had a really lovely flower making day!) and kept the layout quite simple to show off the embellishment.
These flowers have been made using the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die and Donna Salazar's Rose Creations.  I just spritz them with water (for the cream one) or Glimmer Mist and then scrunch them up.  Once dry I opened them out with a bone folder and inked the edges with .  Using two petals I added the stamens and pinched the bottoms and glued into place.  A bit fiddly and messy, but I think they make a nice larger flower for a layout.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Rebel Stampers ATC Swap

Today I thought I would share a few ATCs I have made over the last three months for swaps for our little group Rebel Stampers.  This was for our second birthday swap.

We are only a small group (the residue of a now defunct ATC swap!) but we swap each month to a theme and also challenge each other to use the Craft Stamper freebie!

October's theme was "Soft" and the Craft Stamper freebie was this small postage stamp.

We make an ATC Christmas Card each year as our November swap.

The November Craft Stamper freebie. I used Kate Crane's "pearl powder" backgrounds from the magazine.

December's theme was Steampunk.

The December Craft Stamper freebie (snowflake).
We have some great themes for this coming year, which I am really looking forward to, so I'll try and post a bit more regularly.

Thanks for visiting and I hope it is not too cold with you - very cold and icy here. Our drive is like a skating ring!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

True friends are like butterflies ...........

True friends are like butterflies -
the beauty of their friendship
never dies .........
I have always loved this quote (not too sure where it is from, but it is in my little book) and it fits in well with a couple of challenges this week.   
This is a very colourful photograph of my four school friends taken during their visit to Shetland in May when we stayed at the Bressay Lighthouse. 
We had a cracker of a week of weather and this was taken outside at about 9 pm (see the blue sky!) after a reasonable amount of wine had been drunk and we all got a fit of the giggles at Cathy setting the photo up.  But it is one of my favourite photos of all of us!
I thought the colours would fit in well with the CSI Challenge this week but once I started I found it quite difficult!
We had the addition of a sketch this week too! 
For my evidence I used punched circles, tickets, polka dots, text pattern, music pattern and string.  I made my own polka dot paper using an embossing folder and used my only circle punch to make the banner, embellishments and rolled roses.   And for the testimony I hand wrote my journalling (the quote) on shrink plastic (I can live with my writing when shrunk!!).
The butterfly theme also fits in with the current challenge at Anything But A Card which is "Wings".  There are some super DT pieces and some amazing submissions.  What I love about this challenge is that it really is anything but a card and encourages lots of different types of art submissions.  Alot of inspiration and worth a visit.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you haven't got too much snow - just a sprinkling here and very icy - a bit like Narnia!
PS  The significance of "Play to Win" ..........  we played UNO every night and it got REALLY competitive!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Time to get embossing ..............

I was inspired by the very talented Julia (Julia's Stuff) to get my embossing folders out!  I have been intending to try embossing directly onto a card for ages, but have never got around to it.  Julia is Guest Designer at the Artful Times Challenge this month and I would really recommend having a look at her wonderful tag - so many amazing techniques and all beautifully put together, as she always does. 

This is my first entry in the Artful Times Challenge Blog - one I have always meant to take part in but never got around to!  

As it was also time for this month's Swirlydoos Round Robin Card Challenge I decided to use an embossing folder together with this month's twists of including a clock face and a clock hand in the card. 

I am in a bit of a pastel and white mood at the moment which is the complete opposite of the weather - wild, windy, dark and wet!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend wherever you are and thanks for looking in.


Thursday, 10 January 2013

A Quiet Moment ............

Lilac, light blue and light pink and lots of flowers.  How could I resist this week's CSI Challenge!

This lovely photograph is of my Aunt and Uncle enjoying a bit of peace during our son and daughter in law's wedding a couple of years ago. They found a lovely seat in an alcove in the castle gardens and my other Aunt snapped them looking so natural and relaxed. My Aunt's dress is just a perfect match for the CSI colours and she will love all the flowers - not sure that my farmer, ex rubgy playing Uncle will though!

More handmade flowers using the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die.  I have found that using my already crushed petals I can mould them into some interesting shapes.  I've now got a list of flowers waiting for tutorials!

I hadn't intended to put many flowers in this area, but unfortunately the red on the other side of the paper started to bleed through once I started using the watery glimmer mists.  So alot of "hiding" going on here!!

The challenge colours:


flowers, pleating, texture paste and fabric
inspiration words:  soft, lovely, quiet
I would really recommend a visit to the CSI Design Team layouts, they are absolutely stunning! and I am being inspired so much by their techniques and styles of layout. Click here and scroll down the page a bit: 
Thanks for visiting and I hope you are enjoying your week.

Monday, 7 January 2013

A Box of Dreams

I thought I would share one of my Christmas present makes today - a decorated hexagonal box for my friend Marion. 

I bought the paper mache box from Hobbycraft and it needed a good coat of gesso before I could start decorating it.  After the gesso dried I inked all the edges and corners with Vintage Photo Distress Inks and then set about cutting the papers. 
I used these gorgeous Pion Design Lilly of the Valley papers (Marion loves anything green!)  After carefully drawing out the correct size hexagon I realised that all six sides were unequal and therefore had to resort to drawing around the box and adjusting everything as best I could!
I had great fun decorating the top.  I used Distress Crackle Paint on the Tim Holtz Birdcage Die and made the white flower from handmade paper and a mixture of Donna Salazar flower dies. 
The green flower is from a Prima Woodland set which I have had for ages and didn't like.  I bunched a couple together and added a few stamens and glued it well and it kept it's shape.  I shall certainly be using these up now!
And the inside ...........

And a small card to go with it .....
She loved it!
And her hubby got a steampunk bookmark! This is the first time I have laminated a number of layers for a bookmark and it worked well, although I had to put it through the laminator a few times.
Thanks for visiting and I hope this first Monday back to normal after the Christmas and New Year break is not too difficult!  It really is great being retired!!!


Saturday, 5 January 2013

At the Helm

My husband Terry at his usual spot on the the helm on our boat Mrs Muir.  As soon as I saw the colours for this week's CSI Challenge I knew  I had to use this photograph even though the colours are more about Christmas!

As I am also in the "mood" for patterned paper I thought I would try something different and use gesso on a dark background paper.  I quite like it as it does set off the photograph and simple elements, although it is a bit nerve wracking as the paper really buckles before it dries. 

I really liked the scheme colours and have used just about all the items in the evidence panel:
  • twine/string
  • paint
  • kraft paper
  • newsprint paper
  • tags
  • burlap
  • eyelets
  • washers

And I managed to get away with the testimony challenge by journalling on my tag and tying it with twine! 

Thanks for looking and have a lovely weekend.

PS And not a flower in sight!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge

Yes the Ultimate Design Challenge ..................

..... the ultimate is winning $400 dollars worth of scrapping stash and becoming the next member of the Swirlydoos Design Team. 

For me it is taking part and stretching my techniques and design skills over the next six weeks.  It should be really fun and you don't have to be receiving the Swirlydoos Scrapbook kits - it is for anyone to join in!!  Woo hooo!!!

Here is the a link to the site and all the details:

Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge Scrapbook Contest

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!!

A very Happy New Year to you all and welcome to my first post of 2013 and what better way than to celebrate with a layout of my grandson who is 2 today!  Happy Birthday Callum - and what a lovely skype we had earlier. 

I hope you have all enjoyed the Hogmanay and New Year festivities.  I am not one to make resolutions but have a few "goals" I would like to achieve.  I hope you all achieve what you wish for x

For once we have an absolutely still day - NO WIND!! but it is very icy so we have decided to stay put and start the year doing the things we love.  So Terry is in the kitchen doing some leatherwork and I have been up in the craft room preparing this layout for Shetland Scrapbookers January meeting.  I draw the short straw on this one - we all felt a bit out of our comfort zone as the theme of the meeting is a layout using patterned paper as a background.  I hope everyone enjoys it!

A blurry photograph of Callum and his Mum, but it just shouts out buckets of love! 

Thanks for looking and have a lovely day x