Saturday, 28 February 2009

My trip down memory lane

Went over to mum and dads this morning for another 'pep them up' visit, whilst hubby went to sort out FIL (we are now calling ourselves Health Visitors!!!!) LOL! Had another trawl through some old photos, trying to inspire dad to do something as he is still very down. He seemed to enjoy it and even found an "Emergency rations" tin full of his photo's from the war when he was in Rhodesia training to be a pilot! He sat there for ages looking and reminiscing! We had a good laugh at some of the things he took and his annotations on the back! Think he enjoyed it! here is one of me, I think it's taken on Southport beach, but I'm not certain! If you can't see the sea, it's Southport! We used to holiday there as that is where my grandma lived. Big old Hillman car and very posh water carrier for washing the sand off my hands!!! Another one to scrap!!
I was writing some things down on the back of old photo's but putting the tiny ones on the PC just helps to see them better. I would like to take some scans and make albums, but again it is time!!! I took a photograph of the emergency rations tin and we had a good laugh as we could not get the lid off!! Dad said he would be dead before he could have used it!!!!It would be nice to make a mini book of these for him. Even found a photo of him flying! And his rather dashing RAF photo.
Also managed to take a photo of dads old camera. I remember taking my very first picture with this camera and until today I did not know he bought it when he lived in France! I knew it was a Kodak. I am going to use these on a layout maybe for Scrapbook Apprentice.
Also found some very old photographs from the turn of the century, of my Nana when she was a girl
and a photograph of the house where I was born! It looks very grand (wink, wink!)
Check out your old heritage photo's and get them annotated and scrapped! Just think what a help we are being to future generations. TFLx

Friday, 27 February 2009

Post 500!! Stamp storage

I just realised I am at post 500! How short a time it seems since I first started blogging and yet how much part of my life it has become!! I love it!! Whether anyone reads my daily drivel or not, I love doing it, so I will continue to do so for a while yet!!! As you know I am a fully paid up member of The Studio Calico kit club and I just adore there monthly kits - what else could get me out of bed at 5am?????? Nothing!!!!! Anyway, tomorrow is the big reveal for the new kit and I just love those American Crafts thicker shapes in fabric!!!!!! Check them out here! I am going to try and resist the add ons tomorrow as I have not started last months kit yet, but I may let my hand slip in the shop as they always have lovely extras to buy in there too. This months kit has another exclusive Studio Calico stamp in it and I had heard a few girls on the message board over there chatting about how they stored their clear stamps, to make sure they use them regularly. One of the DT showed how she stored them in a folder and I suddenly remembered I had the perfect one for the job! I once won an American Crafts binder on a RAK from one of the Studio Calico girls and had not used it, so this seemed perfect. I used one of the page protectors as a size guide and cut some leftover Bazzill card stock to the same size in various colours. I then ran these pieces through my Laminator so they became plastic coated and the clear stamps stick to them perfectly! At first I had thought of stamping the Bazzill with each stamp to show where it lived, but then when I did it they were all mirror imaged and it looked a mess, so I only did that on one page.
When you get a clear stamp, it usually comes with a printed acetate sheet showing the design. The girls over a t SC were saying they use this as a guide and position it on their layouts to decide where is the best place to locate their stamp!!! I had not thought of this before, I don't know why, but what a simple and great idea!!! I decided to keep these little guides handy, popping them in a page protector in front of the page with the stamp on! All organised!!! This also stops the stamps from sticking to the page in front!!!
I was so excited, I went ahead and added all my favourite clear stamps including my two exclusive SC fonts, they are now much more likely to get used!!!!
Anyway here is the finished article, just waiting to be decorated on the front, why not sort out your clear stamp storage, any A4 binder would do!!! If you have no access to a laminator (Aldi had them cheap this week!) then I think you can buy stamp storage cards ready covered. TFLxP.S. Set that alarm clock early!!!! But leave something for me!!!!
P.P.S. For the chance of a RAK of a tiny SC clear stamp saying "The weather outside" please leave a comment and celebrate my 500th post with me!! Somehow in my hurry I managed to buy two!!!!!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

This seasons fashion trends

Well, its 9.20 am and already I have been shopping for clothes and bought a few key pieces for this season's look! How you might ask?? Well, online of course!!!

I had an email from Debenhams with some video's of this seasons new trends and of course I was drawn in hook, line and sinker and just had to order a few tops!!! Check them out! I've gone for the 'Libertine' look myself! Jeans and casual tops have to be good for me as I spend a lot of time not at work!! I already had some blue denim trousers and my perilously high shoes from the sale, along with a navy short cardigan and a grey long cardigan and a couple of t-shirts in white and navy so I was half way there!

I know friends have asked me before, but what I do is look at trends in magazines/online, work out what I already have that is similar, buy a few extra key pieces from whichever shop you like, as they are all reflecting trends anyway and then when you lay them all out together, you can visualise several outfits, by mixing and matching them together. For example, I have a grey long cardigan and a blue short cardigan and a navy, white and shocking pink t-shirt, so any of those will mix and match with the jeans!! Throw in a couple of accessories like a fringed handbag and maybe a plaited brown belt (which came on my jeans!) and you have a little capsule wardrobe!
Make sure you hang them all side by side in your wardrobe too and then you see them all together when you are getting dressed! I group mine in colours!!

I used to be one of these people who buys one item of clothes at a time and had a wardrobe full of things that were nice, but never worked together. Now I do a splurge buy of several items all at once, that co-ordinate and then don't buy clothes for six months!! Spring and Autumn are my two buying times and that's it! It definitely is more economical and you look more "combinated" as Jonni used to say when he was little!

If we go away on a hot holiday, I rush out to Tesco or New look and grab some cheap t shirts, and swimwear (if I need any) and I am good to go at a very cheap price!

have you ever tried altering things? When Jonni was younger, he wanted some trendy designer look jeans, so we cut up some logos and pockets off clothes he had grown out of and stitched them onto a pair of cheap jeans. Voila! He had a pair of unique jeans that all his friends at dance class wanted to come round here and make their own version of!!! I heard on the TV the other day that dressmaking is back in a big way, so maybe we should think about it! I spent years making all my own clothes, right up until I had the boys, I did make some for them too! I even made my own wedding dress and five bridesmaids dresses, not surprising as I have a degree in Textiles, but even so, anyone can do it!!!

All the clothes that don't fit me anymore or have not been worn for age, have been sold on eBay to raise money for my new purchases and if things need to go to charity and they include one Marks and Spencer item, you can get a £5 voucher back from Oxfam shops to spend in M&S on your next purchase -that will buy you a new t-shirt in their outstanding value range!

So today's post was not about craft, but about fashion!!! Just hope it all fits when it arrives! If not, I just take it back to the shop!!! TFLx
P.S. I did once use the personal shopper at Debenhams and that was fab!!! I had a coffee whilst they went and chose things for you to try on! Great if you are fancying a new start or you have a wedding or something to go to! I did it after I had been ill and had lost my confidence! I book a free make up at the cosmetics counter that day too and it was a real boost! Just book well in advance! Next have a personal shopper too now I noticed in the Meadowhall store!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

All Square

How about this for a challenge? To scrap only using even numbers!!!

Normally we go by the rule of odds and always have everything in odd numbers and grouped in odd/offset ways and then here we are trying to scrap with a rule of 4. Everything had to be symmetrical on each half of the page and if you used anything, you had to use four of it!!!!

I found this most difficult!!! 4 buttons, 4 labels, four pins and four tags! I even tried to balance my title across the centre.
Have you tried scrapping with even numbers???
Just nipping off to the dentist!! Looking forward to a full days crafting tomorrow!! Well, apart from getting my hair cut!!! Must make a start with my Limeade and Bubblegum papers for Scrapbook Apprentice!!! TFLx

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Ribbon layout

Just found this layout from the cybercrop. This class was using lots of ribbons and I can't say I'm a fan of the finished effect, however I have thought about different ways to use ribbons, wrapping them around chipboard frames and sticking them to chipboard, pleating and stitching, so I suppose I have learned something. I like the mixture of rub ons and letters in the title too! I will definately do that again. TFLx

Monday, 23 February 2009

The big finish!

Warning! This is a picture heavy post!!!! Lol!!!
This was the last class I took during the Cybercrop and if it does not convince you to buy a BIA machine, then nothing will!!! It was a class designed by my team mate Voodoo Vixen on UKs, a member of the Zutter Sisters design team!!! I felt I had to do this class justice!!!
The mini book has various pages with surprise features. Annette designed two types of secret pages. Ones that have flaps that slide out of the side and one very clever one that opens in the centre!! I just got carried away and made up my own pages including mini envelopes and tags and a normal 6x4 envelope!!
I was trying to keep Annette's original "Oriental" colour scheme and feel to the book, so I put together some of my own stash which I felt reflected oriental colours. Pink, red and orange. These were a mixture of papers from my monthly kits including some Sassafrass and October afternoon. The stickers are Sassafrass too.
I added a few button embellishments and some ribbons on the spine and it is all set to fill!! This would make a great gift!
This is the page that slides open in the centre. It is very clever and does not come apart totally!! It's all in the construction!
This page slides out at the side. I inked the edges of all my papers to give it and old worn look. Used my favourite dark brown chalk eye ink pad!!
here is one of my page additions!!! There is an envelope flap and a strap across the front that things can be tucked under.
This is my other page that I added using two small wage envelopes and tags.
I tried to use all the scalloped edges from the Sassafrass papers as accents on most of my pages.

Two more of my pages of my own design, just with pockets for keeping hidden items. Used the scalloped edge paper again!
All in all, I am very pleased with it and even more proud that it won first prize!!! I won some rubber stamps from 3D Jean which i used on my Tim Holtz type tags last week!
Thanks again Annette for a great class. If you want to see more of her fab books, I suggest you check out her blog here. There is always a link on my sidebar as I check it often!!!! Scrap happens here!!! At the moment she is in Saudi and there is always something new to learn about other cultures!!! TFLx
P.S. Back to school tomorrow :(

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A bird in the hand.......

I can't believe I am publishing this photo of myself, dressed up for a fancy dress competition, when I was a child! This was another fabulous class from the UKs Cybercrop. Unusual for me, as it included using acrylic paint dabbers and printing with paint using bubble wrap! One thing I have learned from these classes is that it is good to experiment with different techniques! This class had lots for finishing touches, whereas I might have not gone that far, but I love the result!
I used my own stash and improvised for the embellishments I did not have. I made my own bling heart using a packet of Papermania gemstones. I love the rub ons from Basic Grey too, some over the photo and some under.
Today is the last day of the half term holiday and as usual I have left everything until the last minute. Today will be manic, trying to get my planning done and the ironing and the housework and the Sunday lunch. Never mind, I do have tomorrow as I only work part time ;)
My sum total of crafting for this week has been my Tim Holtz tags!!! Hubby being off too has meant I have been out and about more, which is not a bad thing! I now have a backlog of projects!!! And my new Scrapbook Apprentice goodies to think about!! Doodlebug heaven! Limeade and Bubblegum!!! Better go get that meat in the oven! Going to eat at lunch today as DS1 is at work at tea time!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Ready for rain

This is another layout, or should I say my interpretation, of a class from Cybercrop. The original class was called Spider's web, but as I had done a layout very similar for the previous months Scrapbook Apprentice challenge, I did not want to repeat myself. The purpose of the class was beading, so i used an old photo of myself and my sister to interpret the beading as rain. I had bought the basic Grey cupcake papers and the Noteworthy glitter clears, so I just used some of my white seed beads to add a raindrop feel to the layout. The chipboard letters were inked and then glossy accents used to give a "wet" look and some metal and epoxy stickers add extra shiny elements to the whole layout.
The colours are not brilliant as it was finished and photographed late at night!!!

I have since been and bought some new beading needles as I could not thread the beads easily using any of mine and I had to try each bead about 5 times before i found one that would slide over easily!!! Quite testing this layout!!!
Did not have much success in Hobbycraft yesterday. Got some glue sticks for my hot glue gun and some green raffia, beading needles and that was about it!!! had more success buying a couple of cardigans and two t shirts!!!
My Graphic 45 papers arrived this morning for my altered book project, when i get round to it!!! Struggling with a bit of a headache today and I have an ironing basket piled high!!!!!!! I spent ages de-scaling my iron the other day, so hopefully i can rip through the pile double quick!!!! or is that wishful thinking???? TFLx

Friday, 20 February 2009

Not enough hours in a day!!!!

I know I am on holiday this week, but there just are not enough hours in a day!!! Hubby is off work too, which has hampered my crafting hours (lol!) but still I have had some craft time!!!

I took delivery of my next parcel of Scrapbook Apprentice goodies and they are looking yummy! Lots of shocking pink and bright green and tons of ribbon!! The design challenge is ribbon this time so I have been busy jotting down ideas for my makes! One of the items can be of our own choice this time too so watch out for something altered!!! Thanks for those extra votes over on this months entries, I hope to still be there for next month and those Nonsense papers that were so scrummy!!

I have been dying to have a go at the altered book I saw in Paper craft Inspirations magazine. Jane did a fab book in there and I love her pop up layout in this month's Scrapbook Inspirations magazine!! Now can you see why there are not enough hours in a day???? So many projects I want to make and so little time!!!

Off out to "Meadowhell" for a days shopping with hubby and DS2 today. Hoping to pop into Hobbycraft for some Modge Podge on the way!!!

Mum and dad came for tea yesterday, dad is improving slowly but surely from his awful chest infection at Christmas. I was trying to get him started on his family tree a bit last night as this is something I want to pursue WHEN I HAVE TIME!!!! Mum has done her family tree, but we have not too much on my maiden name - hoping to find of course that I am ultimately related to Richard BRANSON!!!!!! There must be a link somewhere!!!! lol!!!!
Right, must nip off quick. Will leave you with yet another project from my Cybercrop files!!! As luck would have it, it is a layout using a photo of my dad and his brother! I just loved this watercolour class, it was just so different from my normal layouts and was great fun! i got the bug to be more experimental!! This is the class I bought my Tim Holtz mask for!!! i love the olde worlde feel to it even though it is quite modern looking and of course i love to add bits of old books!! I did not have all the requirements for this class so a lot is my own thing!!! TFLx

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Tim Holtz Stuff!!!!!!!

Having had my fingers and toes crossed that I won the Tim Holtz raffle at the demo - I didn't!!! :( Anyway I have finally had chance to play with some of the goodies I bought!! I bought three alcohol inks, some pearl mixative, some blending solution, felt ink applicator and glossy card, a couple of distress embossing powders and a distress ink pad in 'old paper', along with a set of four stamps of old postcard images and some 7 gypsies architecture rub ons.

What I decided to do was get together all the Tim Holtz/Ranger things that I already have and put them into one tray.
I had bought a Tim Holtz mask for the cybercrop and had some crackle paint and paint dabbers too, along with some Stickles and some perfect pearls mica powder. Once I put everything together, I was able to get started on some of his tag techniques from the twelve days of Christmas, just not with a Christmas theme!!!

What I had not realised until after his demo is that I needed the foam applicator tool too, so that was duly sent for this week and arrived yesterday morning!! The foam applicator is for the distress ink pads. The felt for the alcohol inks only.
In his demo he also used Glossy Accents as a glue and used some of his "fragments" of acrylic - I had some I have had ages from Joanna Sheen, so I have used those. The other thing you need, that I had already was a water mist spray bottle. He recommends you use Archival ink pads instead of Stazon for a permanent finish on glossy card, I also owned one of these, so I dug that one out too.
At the paper craft show in Hull the other week I bought a "Rub it - scrub it" stamp cleaning pad and it is fab! Quite cheap too!! A quick way to clean your stamps!! I don't normally bother much or just use baby wipes, but this is dead easy!!He used a craft mat from ranger for spreading his inks on, it was £15, so I thought I would try with a couple of non stick oven sheets from the pound shop!!
Ok all set to go! I can finally start playing!!! My first experiment was to mix alcohol inks on the craft mat with mixative and dip in my glossy card tag shapes that I have cut to shape. Stamp with archival ink and my new stamps I got as a prize for winning the mini book class at Cybercrop.

Not impressed with my first attempts!!! Not looking a bit like Tim's!!!!!
I decided to abandon the alcohol inks and try the distress inks!!! Much more success!!!

This one used a mask and a Maya mist paint spray with perfect pearls on top. This one had inks direct from the craft mat, spritzed and then a rub on on top.
The acrylic decoration has been done with alcohol inks then embossed on the back with copper embossing powder. This one was stamped and embossed in distress embossing powder then inked and aged. The tag was painted with crackle paint and rubbed with ink.
This one was inked direct from the craft mat and then a acrylic fragment was used as a decoration, glued to pattern paper with Glossy accents and the edges of the acrylic painted with a paint dabber.
This one was done on dark card. A stamp was clear embossed and then paint applied over the top and then wiped off to reveal the stamp as a resist image.
The next tag is inked using the foam applicator tool over a mask. It was then stamped over the top and stickles added to accent. A rub on and metal flowers add texture.
The next tag, I went back to the inks and the felt ink pad and the glossy paper. I did much better this time!! It's just a case of getting used to it!!! I need more colours! I had chosen two reds and a green they are all a bit too samey with my brown archival ink! Will have to wait a bit!!! Do more experimenting!!! At least I have lots of tags for my 52 Q&A now! TFLxP.S. an edge distressing tool is essential, I have a Heidi Swapp one that was free in my monthly kit but Tim does one too! Also do-crafts do a scratch tool that is retractable!! Adding that to my list!