Friday, 29 January 2010

Never happier.......

... than when he is in France! (My dad that is!) As a life long language teacher, even at 85, he is never happier than when he is in France. This photo was taken last summer when my parents visited my sister in the south of France. They look so happy. The layout did not need much at all, the background paper is great as it is, but I just added texture with a chipboard tag, some 'apron lace' punched paper and a couple of travel stamps.
Yesterday I took delivery of a superb fat book , made by my 'do craft' friends to aid my recovery from my operation. I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all those who contributed and for the time they took completing their individual pages, to Margaret for the original idea to do one and Alyson for compiling the pages and creating the cover. Never underestimate the power of small individual acts like this that combine to make a huge difference. I have completed some before, but know I am a few behind so I will be sure to catch up now (Maria and Val to name but two!) Thanks once again for your kindness. You can see the finished book here. (The weather has been too dark here today to photograph it!) TFLx

Thursday, 28 January 2010

That sunshine feeling!

So, I have dug out my Studio Calico July kit and have started to scrap some photo's from last summer, to give me a sunnier disposition!
This photo is from the south of France last year when DS2 went with his grandparents to visit my sister. She likes to purchase her fruit and veg in little roadside farm shops and they often have a field of flowers where you go cut your own blooms. I thought this paper was perfect so I hand cut around the flowers! To add dimension (you know me!) I used three sizes of Woodware scallop punch to punch out some 3D flowers. Then I ran them through my Sizzix boutique machine in the Swiss Dots folder, then I inked them lightly using my brown chalk eye ink pad and mounted them using large 3D foam pads. A few adhesive gems and a butterfly punched out of a sheet of Hambly acetate held in place with a Maya Road trinket pin and we are just about there.
(Sorry about the reflection of the flash on the glossy photo, no decent light for ages!) TFlx
Feeling just soooooooooo tired at the moment. I wonder if I am anaemic after this operation? You would think they might have told me if I was!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The rest of the banner

I think my recent operation has robbed me of what little memory I had! I had got so wrapped up in my little craft video clips that I forgot to blog the first three pennants of my inspire banner! The first pennant has some stamping with Stazon on an acrylic butterfly by Maya Road. This pennant was to remind me of all the wonderful Studio Calico stamps I have and to remember to use them! The apron lace punch echoes the chipboard and the yellow paper is stuck on with 3D foam pads to give depth. Not forgetting the self adhesive gems!
This next pennant had the little 'yo yo of paper' embellishment I demonstrated on my craft video the other day. It was to make me think about texture. I curled a Sassafrass paper Whimsie around a pokey tool to add dimension to the flower and made another by gathering antique lace into a rosette. The Hambly rub on lace was to remind me that you can add texture by fooling the eye too! Also, don't forget your buttons!

This third pennant was my tribute to Tim Holtz! I used a mask and some distress ink on the background paper, then added some stamps and an ideology tag. The two stamps mean something too, one to remind me to get out there and do things and the balloon to remind me that the sky is the limit!

All the banner is joined together with some of my favourite Cath Kidston ribbon.

Here's hoping that when I look at this banner it will inspire me to use techniques that I have forgotten about! TFLx

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I've struggled and struggled... get this layout together, it has been on my desk over a week, but the mojo just disappeared until today. This is my fourth if not fifth attempt at this layout, using some of the memorabilia from my very first race meeting last summer. There was just so much I wanted to put on this page and yet I did not feel I wanted to make it a double layout. I decided to use the memorabilia as background patterned paper and once I did that it seemed to work. Small amounts of two contrasting papers, just give it a lift. Somehow it was a mental block I just had to overcome, maybe it was trying to fit three pictures on a page, I don't know, but somehow, once I got this completed, I was able to scrap two more layouts from last summer too. Phew! I feel exhausted! I have used one of my Suffolk paper puff embellishments with a stitched brad through the middle on here too to add texture. Need to go for a lie down now! TFLx

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Suffolk Puff Paper flower Tutorial Part 2

Part two of how to make a gathered paper flower embellishment. Click on the title above to link to the video clip. TFLx

Suffolk Puff Paper flower Tutorial Part 1

Watch how to make a gathered paper flower embellishment, as I used on my Inspire banner. Click on the title to go straight to the video clip. This tutorial is in two parts. TFLx

Thursday, 21 January 2010

More pennants

The light has been so poor that all my photo's have needed flash recently, anyway, you will be able to see the details even if the colours are a little confused!
This pennant has a handmade flower on it, made from some pages of a vintage dictionary. I have made flowers similar to this before, but this is slightly different. I used a plain circle punch and punched loads of circles and then clipped all around the edge, through all the layers, using my heavy duty snippers. (I have a pair of Fiskars that cut wire and everything and I have had them for year, not sure they still do them, but they are useful. Their short stubby blades cut through chipboard, wire and lots of layers of paper with ease.) Put a large brad through the middle, using a Cropodile, then start rotating the layers and scrunching the edges. I had to have an element of vintage on here!!
The chipboard elements are sprayed with a mixture of Maya Mists just like the the background or the scallop pennants. The technique I discovered here, I think is my favourite. I had a packet of Sassafras Paper Whimsies in an SC kit, but I thought they were too flat and was struggling to use them. On this pennant I had decided to create texture using my embossing machine and had just embossed the yellow paper with the large dots Sissix texture folder when I hit upon the idea to emboss the flower. As the large dots were out of scale for the flower, I decided on the small Swiss Dots folder. I placed the flower inside and whizzed it through. When it came out, I loved the texture, but it was not obvious, so I decided to swipe my trusty dark brown chalk eye ink pad over the top to just highlight the dots. The flower still lacked dimension, so I snipped each petal further in with my scissors, almost to the centre, which meant I could curve the sides down to give each petal some depth. I love this effect and will definitely be doing this again!
This pennant I wanted to add fabric, to reflect my love of sewing. The fabric is some vintage 1950's fabric and I ripped a small strip, so that I would get those lovely frayed edges to add texture. The strip was slightly larger at one end than the other. Starting at the wide end I placed it under the sewing machine and randomly pleated the fabric as I went along (I plan to do a little video clip on this sometime soon, I use it a lot!) Just keep your fingers out of the way of the needle! Once the strip was pleated, I used a hand needle and thread to stitch some large running stitches along the lower edge, so I could pull the strip up into a circle. I overlapped the ends and fastened the thread securely. I threaded some Bakers Twine through an oversize button to make the centre. I threaded some wire through the holes to create a stem and turn the button into a brad and then threaded the stem of the brad through the centre of the fabric flower to cover the hole in the middle. The wire stems give you more to anchor the embellishment with to make the silicone even more secure.
More wire for the body of the butterfly. Take a length of florist fine wire and wrap the middle over a 'pokey tool' and then twist. Thread on a few tiny buttons using the wire to sew with, to make the antenna, wrap each wire separately around the 'pokey tool' in a spiral effect. TFLx

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

"Inspire" banner

I have finished my inspire banner today. I have strung it together, but need to wait for hubby to put it up for me! I have tried to make each pennant unique with different techniques. I will describe some of the techniques I discovered in detail over the next few days, but love how it turned out.
This one has a cluster of hyacinth flowers punched with a Martha Stewart punch and then a few dew drops added.This one has a tag made using some embellishments including some vintage beads threaded on wire and twisted (I remember my mum wearing these beads in the 60's.) Bakers Twine - another of my favourites, features on this tag too.
I have a couple of new techniques to share that I experimented with, but I'll post those tomorrow! TFLx

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I'm in big trouble!!!!

I love this and this and this and this.............

Como Cricket Material Girl and Garden Variety.
Lots in the 7 Gypsies catalogue including Venice, Binderie book Covers, journal pages, epehmera cards, paper bags, tags and envelopes, receipt holder, letterblock tray and petit carnet with half the stationery section!
Jenni Bowlin Homespun collection,
Maya Road minis, envelopes and coasters,
Pink Paislee 365 degrees,
Tim Holtz Ranger distress ink new colours and alterations dies for Sizzix,
Studio Calico Anthologie paper collection, including these cards!!!!!!!!
Jillibean Soup Old World Cabbage Soup
Crate Paper Brook collection
Graphic 45 On The Boardwalk as well as A Proper Gentleman
Sassafrass Cherry Delicious

Anymore CHA Winter 2010 releases and I will be filing for bankruptcy!! 'Vintage' is back with avengence! It's all just my style!! Lol! (Well I have to admit I have just chosen my favourites!! Lol! How about you?

Monday, 18 January 2010

I've been in the craft room!

Yes, you have not misread it! I have been in the craft room!
When I knew I was going into hospital for my operation and would have a lot of week recovery, I decided to get a few projects in to have to hand. This was a project kit from Scrap-a-go-go I think, that I bought second hand on UKs Marketplace. I have, of course added a few extras of my own and it will eventually be a banner for the craft room saying "Inspire" to go with my carved wooden word "create" that ds2 bought me for Christmas.
So far I have sprayed the scalloped pages of the Maya Road album ( the easiest thing I find with fiddly pieces!) with Maya Mist in Cream, Lime and hyacinth, mixed on each. I added a few more Cosmo Cricket Earth Love papers to the two that came with it and some trims to decorate the edges of the plain pieces of chipboard. Some papers I have stuck on flat and some I have used the apron lace punch and stuck them on with 3D tape, all to add a variety of dimension and texture. Not bad for my first craft session. Tomorrow I can decorate them all! TFLx

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A little beauty!

My desktop is quite old and I am hanging on to it as I am a Windows XP girl, but I have been having a few problems recently with infamous blue screen and began to wonder whether this could be the beginning of the end! So I have invested in an external hard drive and hope that by transferring a lot of the bulk on to it, it may give my PC a whole new lease of life! I have always backed up my photo's to disc and my work stuff to a pen drive (I was caught out once before you see!) But this time I decided I needed to back up the lot. In about 40 mins last night, (I just set it going and walked away!) it was all safely transferred to this little beauty and now I can go ahead and do a disk clean up and defrag and my PC should be a whole lot quicker too! TFLx

Friday, 15 January 2010

Tim Holtz distress ink

I do apologise for yesterday's post, but I just felt the need to vent!(No pun intended!!) I can't believe I was willing to share those details with all and sundry, never mind, today is another day on and another day further away from my surgery so things can only improve!

Yesterday, when I had a brief foray into the craft room to make those thank you cards I shared with you yesterday, I found this layout sitting on my desk that I had made the night before I went into hospital and completely forgotten about. You will remember I was lucky enough to spend a day with Kirsty Wiseman last summer, when she came to see me whilst staying with her mum in Brid. She arrived with a cute gift for Barney, took some lovely photo's of Jonni and me with Barney, and we shared scones with jam and cream and laughed all afternoon! I also managed to get Jonni to photo us together using my camera, a photo that has been waiting since then to be scrapped!

I am steadily trying to build up a collection of a few distress inks and this one I used here was fired brick with a foam applicator and a non stick sheet (not the real one yet but I am saving up for it!) I had this cute crown mask from Heidi Swapp and felt it would be perfect and gave me the title.

When I first returned to crafting a few years ago when I was ill, Kirsty was the one who I was inspired by to give scrap booking a go and she in turn led me to Studio Calico (for which I am very grateful!) She was also instrumental in helping me get out of the house when I was beginning to recover and had felt a little trapped, by encouraging me to meet her at the Northern Papercrafts exhibition in Harrogate for a coffee!

A lovely memory to treasure and a fab photo!

I thought I might craft today, but was too tired to try. Maybe tomorrow. TFLx

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Global Warning!!!!!

When inspiration strikes at 3 in the morning,
This poem should be read with a Government Health Warning!!!
(Fortunately my humour vein seems to have surfaced!!!)

I've seen all the films that they've shown to the masses,

About harmful effects of the worst greenhouse gases,

It has never affected me, until now-

I am producing the methane of a large Fresian cow!!

I've produce enough methane to fill a balloon,

I'm getting so tired, I hope it ends soon!

The pain that it causes, as it moves around,

Is worse than the "op" itself, so I have found!

If I was a horse, they'd stab me with a knife,

To deflate the intestine and thus save my life!

If a pin should go close to my stomach inflated,

I'll fizz off in a flash, like a balloon that's deflated!

Please don't come near me with a naked flame,

I'm sure I'll combust, and that would be a shame!

So if you've had the same problem - 'post operative wind,'

And you can shed light on how it can be binned,

I'd love to know how to reduce "Swelly Belly"

So I can relax, craft, read and watch telly!

Just crafted two appropriate thank you cards, I need to write today! TFLx

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Looking on the bright side

Well, yesterday goes straight in at number two, in my "Top five worst days since my operation," the night after my op holding the number one slot, since I wanted to die!!
Interesting things I have noticed so far;
My eyesight has gone rubbish since the operation - can't read anything without glasses
Parachute pants at least two sizes too large are must
There is no limit to how much gas the body can absorb during an operation (don't come near me with a pin, I may fizz off into the distance like a burst balloon!)
Anti-embolism stockings are not a good look (and very hot too!)
You don't realise how many muscles are involved in just standing up and sitting down
So far, I have done one jigsaw and read three chick lit novels!! This time last week I was under general anaesthetic having the op, so I suppose it is not bad considering! Barney can't understand why he is not allowed to sit on my knee and wonders why that pillow is getting all the hugs!
Good news yesterday, my Studio Calico January kit arrived. That has to go down as world record time!!! The down side was having to get hubby to unpack it with me as I am not allowed to lift! Eyebrows were raised!! I did say what a bargain all the papers I had bought in the sale were 50% off!!
The snow has almost all gone now. Hubby was able to take DS1 back to Uni on Sunday. I may be able to venture for a walk outside at some point. It is very hard to have a ten minute walk in the house!
Photo is of some fabulous flowers I was given, aren't they just gorgeous??? There has to be an upside of the situation! TFLx

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Scrapbooker of the year prize...

missing in transit! Yep! I think good old Royal Mail have lost my runner up prize of £180 of stash!!! Hubby was visiting me in hospital and they left a red card to say there was a parcel at the depot to collect. When he went yesterday to get it, they cannot find one for me!!! As this is the only thing I am expecting, I am thinking it could be the prize, but am not certain, I dare not think about it!! I am going all hot and cold and could do without the worry of missing stash right now! I feel another poem coming on if they are withholding stash from me again, remember last time????? They are supposed to be ringing back later, I will update you on progress!

I just hope it is not that parcel, anything else but that!!! TFLx

P.S. Off to have a rest. Had me first post-operative shower this morning and I am tired out! This is my first major operation (Hysterectomy) so it is taking some getting used to being looked after. No bending is the tricky bit!! (Well she told me no ski position!!!) It is amazing how often you pull on those tummy muscles without realising you are!!

UPDATE: Fortunately the missing parcel is not missing at all, it was the Sarah's cards order that they decided to leave with a neighbour instead! Why didn't they put another crad through saying left with a neighbour????? Well at least i still have my prize stash to look forward to!!! Phew!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Home on the range!

I am back home from hospital, almost in one piece but I am not convinced! It will take some getting over, now for the rest and relaxation! Hope to feel brighter tomorrow after a good night's sleep! TFLx

One for luck!

This post is just in case I am not back from hospital until Friday! Lol! This is one of those photo's I have scrapped before, in fact it was one of the first pictures I scrapped and when I look back, it is too simple and no journaling!! I had a fear of it back then! This will go in my book of me, as I am sure my ability to write fun poem stems back to the Cat In The Hat books my mum used to read me when I was a child! I love rhyme! We had to go to Zeuss Landing in Florida just for me, not the kids!! Lol!
Used my distress inks on this one and also made a little tab of medal ribbons using Cosmo ribbons wrapped around chipboard. More stitching through the Jillybean Soup corrugated alpha. TFLx

Thursday, 7 January 2010

No title!

This does not often happen to me, but so far I have not come up with a title for this layout! I know where it will go though, across the top of the picture!
When DS1 was little I did have an interest in photography and bought a black and white film for my camera (no digital or photo editing programmes back then! Did not even own a computer! Wow!) Out of the 36 photo's this was the one I liked the best and it has been on the mantlepiece ever since! He looks so angelic, sitting in our bed, but in fact we did not have a full night's sleep for four years after he was born! We sometimes used to wake up and he was there between us and we did not know when he had arrived in the night! Lol! The day we moved house, he started sleeping all night and that is what made me begin to wonder about Feng Shui! Used my new EK success border punch on the edge of the paper here. Any title ideas anyone??TFLx

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Family Seat

When we whizz up and down the A1 to Tyneside, we pass the sign for Gatenby (our family name) but never before have we stopped. This was a classic photo opportunity! There is nothing there by the way, just a farm and a couple of houses but it gave us a laugh to pose by the sign!
I got creative with my Woodware punches on this layout, using the Studio Calico Woodgrain paper background over a dark coloured card stock. I also used the SC stamp to highlight the journaling! I really enjoyed doing this layout! So much so, I ordered more of this paper! I am laughing at the fact the flash reflection has obscured my face on the photo!!! TFLx

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

All systems go!

So my operation is on and I am going in today, so the next few posts will be scheduled and I hope to return early next week (if not before) for some live posting! Good job I did all those layouts on Sunday!
This layout is a photo of me and the boys to show how tall they are now, in fact DS2 is even taller as this was taken in July!
I used my Studio Calico Yearbook kit and really enjoyed it for all the layouts! Still some left! I did some Maya Mist on the corner and doodled an outline as well as machine stitching through the chipboard alphas in the title! This was something I saw at SC and thought I would give it a go. I must admit I expected it to be tougher than it was,but it was fine! I hand cut that washing line from a sheet of Cosmo Boyfriend paper, then added Baker's Twine. My jounaling is hidden in the May Road Kraft envelope. TFLx

Monday, 4 January 2010

I Love October Afternoon!

I have known this for a while and am completely frustrated that there is no October Afternoon blinkie out there to add to my blog, I have had to add my own little banner in the side bar, but I needed to declare my love for these papers! Not only is the quality superb, but also their retro feel fits me like a glove! I know it is not everyone's taste, but I love it! Here is my latest offering using Report Card and Farm Fresh papers. Little bits of Cosmo and Sassafrass too! I think this is why I love Studio Calico so much, they mix up these makes to bring the best of all, then add in a sprinkle of their own magic with a stamp like that alphabet handwriting stamp! You see? I am smitten! A sprinkling of bakers twine is also another joy!
This layout is a picture of DS1 in Year 4. It is one of my all time favourite pictures, taken when he had just joined a new school after we had moved house to North Yorkshire. I like it so much I used it on his 18th Birthday Invitation last year! (Much to his embarrassment! I keep telling him that's what parents are for, to embarrass you!)
The journaling is hidden on the Star Student journal card. I added some machine stitching and a few gems to complete the look. TFLx

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A productive Day- 6 layouts!

I thought I had better justify my title as a "Scrapbooker of the Year 2009 runner up", by doing some Scrapbooking! 6 layouts today to be precise! This layout, I took the background paper and just ran with it! It had fake stitching on and loose threads printed on the background, so I cut out the centre and turned it over, then machine embroidered here and there leaving loose ends, so it is difficult to tell which is fake stitching and which is real. I carried on the confusion, by tearing strips of fabric and stitching them to the fake fabric, along with ribbon! Neat hey? I quite like the overall effect!
More tomorrow, including more techniques and details! I had such a great time! TFLx.

10 reasons you know it's New Year

1. The house looks bigger now you took down the tree and decorations ( but just noticed the party popper streamers on the central light fitting!) and the vacumn cleaner is full of pine needles!
2. There are piles of presents on the stairs to find new homes for
3. You are moving the Christmas cake from place to place to find a home for it for the next three months
4. You are relieved it's all over
5. You are debating whether to join Weight watchers or Slimming World
6. There is a pile of chocolates and sweets on the dresser stalking you
7. There is a sudden urgency to recycle the glass, so you don't feel so bad about the quantity you have emptied!
8. The wheelie bin is overflowing because the council decided to miss a week's collection in the week when you have more trash than ever!
9. You long for a take away as you are fed up of lots of big meals and buffet fodder!
10. You have already written the date wrong three times because of the year!!!
A full day crafting ahead! Will update you later! The boys are off to watch football, I have a day of freedom! Well half a day now I have been on here for ages! TFLx

Friday, 1 January 2010

A Happy New Year & a double layout!

We did not get to bed until 2.30am, as we had friends around last night, so I had a slow start to the morning today! Been over to mum and dad's for Roast Beef lunch and then on to FIL to see the relatives before they head back to Germany. We almost got caught napping by the snow that breezed in unexpectedly heavy, but fortunately we have been able to make it home in one piece! No snow at all here when we got back! Going to get a bath and get my PJ's on to watch Marple later and maybe have a snack or two if I can fit anything else in! Lol!
I finally did some scrapping a couple of nights ago, so here is a double layout (don't do those often!) about DS1 at Uni. "A whole new world" I don't know what made me grab the wire I had taken off a calendar I was putting in the recycling bin, and make the word University out of it, but I quite like it! More Maya Mist on this one, using a chipboard leftover from my favourite Basic Great alpha set. Worked quite well I thought! The Studio Calico map paper inspired the title. Hidden journaling in the Kraft envelope underneath. The clear butterfly has been stamped with Archival Ink using some tiny alpha stamps.