Jun 21, 2013

CSI # 75 : Today I was so . . .

. . . .   Proud!  Yes indeed I was. Today (well 5th June actually!) I was extremely proud to watch all 3 of our kids head out the door to the school bus on the first day of their exams. For Joe this was his final time at school before heading off to Uni in September and for the twins it was their first taste of State Exams as they sat their Junior Certificate Qualifications.

I used the the CSI CaseFile #75 which included using a door element on your page.  Ummm, not too sure about that but then I remembered the Prima doors that came in a My Creative Scrapbook kit a long time ago which I had put to one side as I was not too sure on how to incorporate it onto one of pages.  As the kids were standing at our front door I thought this could actually work. The door to their future . . lol  


I decided to use the door accent to hold my journaling (apologies for the fuzzy pic  . . .  my precious DSLR is broken so this was taken with a very shaky hand and my phone!)

Stop by CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration to see how everyone else solved Case #75!

Jun 20, 2013

The Cross Bearer . . .

This is my layout for the weekly challenge on UKS this week.  These photo’s are really precious to me – here’s the story behind them:

We live not far from Malin Head, Co Donegal. Its a beautiful place to visit, it’s so peaceful up there and the views across the Atlantic are  stunning. On a good day you can spot dolphins and basking sharks too. We go up there a lot for walks along the cliff tops. A long the clifftop pathway there sits a cross. It’s been there forever (according to the older locals) and has had visitors from all over the world. It’s an old wooden cross that sits wedged in a pile of stone. In April 2012 we had storms like we had never seen before here, the wind and rain was fierce!  Lots of damage was done to builds and tress and we lost power a few times. Once these storms past the weather went back to the usual bright but breezy and occasionally wet  April days. It was one one of these days that we headed up to Malin Head for our walk and to take some family photo’s in readiness for a scrapping retreat I was going on. When we got up there we noticed that the cross was gone!  We were all sad to see it missing and set about having a look round to see if it was lying somewhere abouts. Tony spotted the cross way down the cliff edge sitting near the water!!  He was so pleased he spotted it, and he took it upon himself to climb down and retrieve it. I was so proud of him but worried at the same time, those cliffs are dangerous. His Dad went with him all the way down and guided him back up carrying the cross. He was so proud walking along with it propped up on his shoulder. He put it back in its resting place with a great big grin on his face. Mission accomplished!


After a fair break from scrapping I'm really enjoying getting back into it. I’ve changed up my style a bit, introduced some new techniques / styles that I have been inspired by via Pinterest and also tried to incorporate a wee bit of the art journaling style too in particular hand writing my journaling straight onto my pages, something I hardly ever did before.

Jun 3, 2013

Gotta love Facebook!

We all love Facebook right ?  I certainly do although if you looked at my ‘wall’ you would probably think I hadn’t even been on there for months. I don’t post to my wall much and I don’t update my status . . .  BUT I’m on there everyday. I use it mainly to socialise within Groups that I am in and to spy on our kids.

Last Friday the kids broke up for the Summer (here in Ireland the Summer holidays run from the end of May until the start of September!  Crazy . . . unless your a kid then I suppose it’s pretty awesome) so as you can imagine there were a fair few photo’s popping up on the Facebook pages of the kids celebrating the end of term. I was really pleased to see this photo of Amy pop up – I love it! She had a really tough day emotionally as she had to say goodbye to some friends and teachers as she moves on to the next chapter in her school life. One of her friends snapped this with their mobile phone and I just love the expression on her face and new immediately that I had to print it out and get it onto a scrapbook page.

I used this week’s case file from CSI which gave me the colour scheme of lemon, pinks, green and black. The background paper is by Lemon Owl and already had a lot of arty texture to it which I just enhanced with some stamping and acrylic paint.
I was torn about how to do the journaling and finally went with hand written.  Since I started doing art journaling I have gotten used to just going with the free flow handwriting, it was something I was uncomfortable with before because I thought my writing was a bit messy but I’ve learnt to embrace it.

The look of art journal meets traditional scrapbook is something Im really liking. Best of both worlds eh!

Check out the other entries on this case file here – CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration

Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 2, 2013

Still Learning!

I thought I would share the next few pages of the Journal Soup class by Kate Crane that I am taking part in on 21 Secrets. Ooh there is so much to learn!  I’m loving it.  Playing with glue, paper, paint and crayons is making me feel like I a child again back at school creating art ‘just because’.

I have already made a few decisions about the mediums I prefer, the style I like and the things I shall be avoiding. Drawing is definitely on the ‘avoiding’ list!  I loved creating the background on the angel image and then it all went wrong when I started to draw the angel. I stuck with it  though and decided to journal about how drawing is not for me. I’ll keep the piece in my soup box as a reminder that I should avoiding free-hand drawing. If you look close enough you will see that I tried to paint over the terrible eyes and nose I drew on the face but as the paint dried it became visible!  Oh well, just another reminder of how not to do it . .lol


The piece in the bottom right corner was fun to do too. It involved using lots of different techniques including making my own stamps (Im in love with Speedy Carve Foam) I didn’t use a quote or journal on this piece, instead just keeping it as a visual reminder of the techniques Kate used in the class.

My box is starting to look very colourful!  I’ll keep at it until the box is overflowing. Did I mention already that I’m loving this art journaling business ? 

Thanks for stopping by

Jun 1, 2013

Something a little different . . .

This weeks challenge on UKScrappers was to use the sketch provided, blue (and / or pink) and stamps or punches. I wanted to play along as my scrapping had come to a complete standstill and I am pushing myself to get going again. I decided to try something a little different and had a go at creating a background. I used some water colour paints to create the splashes of blue taking inspiration from the pattern on Joe’s shorts. I doodled a pattern with a black liner pen again inspired by the pattern on the shorts. It’s clean and simple and Im really pleased with the finished page.


Here’s a closer look at those shorts! 


I like the way the page come together and I will definitely be using some different techniques on my layouts in the future. Maybe that’s why things came to a halt, everything got so ‘boring’ or ‘samey’ – time for a change up I think. There is so much inspiration out there that I need to tap into!

Thanks for stopping by.


May 31, 2013

The Outdoors Type

I have a layout to share with you today – it’s been a while!  I just haven’t had the urge to scrapbook but the other day I was surfing the web for inspiration and landed up at the CSI website and their latest challenge appealed to me. I had the perfect photo to go with their colour combination just waiting to be scrapped, it’s a picture of Joe from 2009 during a rock climb at Malin Head


The little bird sitting on top of the flags was from the free digital elements I downloaded from the CSI site.

Thanks for stopping by!

May 30, 2013

Self Expression

I’ve been playing about in my art journal. I love the fact that I can sit quietly (or not so quietly if I fancy the music on) and just play with paints, pencils, crayons and whatever else I fancy and really lose myself. My mood has been a bit low of late, blame it on the weather or hormones or both so I have not been the most chatty person to be around but sitting with my art journal has been great therapy for me. I feel calm and peaceful just playing away.
For this page I started out with the image which is from Crow About Studios. She’s funky and I love her orange hair.  I took colour inspiration from the orange, red and yellow in the image and I also tried the image transfer technique using gel medium. It’s the first time I’ve done that and I really like how it turned out.

Thanks for stopping by!

May 29, 2013

Biscuits Quilts

Well, they are not just Biscuit’s quilt’biscuit-blankiess, they belong to all the cats but you try telling Biscuit that!

I thought it was time I got out  the sewing machine and made up the kitty quilts I had planned months ago(OK, over a year ago *sigh*). I’m not a machinist! I’m scared of the sewing machine, I admit it. I always think I am going to stitch through my fingers . . .lol   or  worse. My machine is the basic model from Dunelm (cost about £65) its does what it says on the tin so to speak. I only bought it to stitch onto my scrapbook layouts so it doesn’t need to be any fancy.

I was actually quite pleased with myself as over the course of the afternoon I managed to make 6 quilts for the kitty’s and two larger quilts for the Shih Tzu’s bunk bed. 

I snapped these photo’s with my phone so they are a little fuzzy but I couldn’t resist capturing Biscuit's funny behaviour on camera. She was the only kitty in the house (all the others were in the kitty room / cat enclosure for safety – I had the machine out after all!) and boy did she think these quilt’s were all her’s. She watched my every move and no sooner than a quilt hit the floor she was on it. By the time I had finished she was bundled up with them all. Just look her little paw over the white quilt – ‘they are mine, all mine’

I survived a session with the sewing machine and lived to tell the tale!  Who knows, I may have to play with it some more.

May 22, 2013

We have a winner!!

randomSo many visitors for the Blog Hop over the past 2 days . . . .  it went really well and there were fabulous posts all the way along the hop. 

There were a total of 22 comments on my post as of midnight last night which was the closing time for my little prize give away.  Not including Suzy and Julie left me with 20 entries to the draw for the prize for leaving me a comment.

So, here we go . . . . .   I used the random.org selector who chose the winner as no 12 Sue Jones!

I’ll be in touch for your details Sue so I can get your prize in the post.

May 20, 2013

It’s A Blog Hop!!

Welcome to our blog hop!  If you have arrived directly here and were not aware of the blog hop, jump back to the start at Suzy’s Blog - Sea Glass & Sand and join in the fun. There are prizes!!

If you have arrived from the lovely Julie’s blog – Notes on Paper  then you are on track!

Suzy has organised this blog hop to mark the launch of her new jazzy blog. I’ve been helping her re-design the look of her blog to better reflect her and her favourite things and to incorporate her fab art journaling work. What do you think to her new look ?  Fab isn’t it, if I say so myself. I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination but I can find my way around PSE and the geek in me loves to dabble in a little bit of HTML / CSS.

So onto my project for the blog hop. I wanted to share this project with you, it’s something that I have been wanting to do for a while and have thought about loads of different ways / formats for doing it but never really settled on one final idea until I came across a second hand photo album in a local charity shop. The minute I saw it I had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments. I snapped it up at a bargain price of 20p!

It obviously once belonged to a set of 3 (or maybe more) judging by the ‘three’ printed on the cover, but that was not a problem as the cover was going to be completely hidden.

Here are the materials I started off with: the second hand photo album and various papers from Echo Park’s The Apothecary Collection. Yes, they are Halloween papers but my album is not Halloween themed. The colours on these papers just happen to fit my theme perfectly . . . . all will become clear.


Firstly I covered the back and front covers with some of the paper which I inked with Walnut Stain & Spiced Marmalade Distress Inks to give it a more aged feel. I covered the spine with a coordinating piece again inked with the Distress Inks. To add interest to the spine and to give the illusion that my internal pages were ‘tied in’ I used some twine and wrapped it around the album and tied off in a knot.image-2

I added some more layers of patterned paper with some pearls and a decorative pin. The metal trim corners add texture and the paw print stamp in the centre of the heart completes the look. Any idea’s on the theme of the album yet? (If your a regular visitor to my blog I'm sure you will have guessed already . . lol)image-5

And here is the finished altered album. The heart shape with the paw print tells you the title of the album without using words.

Paw Prints On My Heart


So why the Halloween papers ? Well the browns, oranges and blacks just happen to be the perfect colours to coordinate with all of our cats and dogs.  Im using this album to record each and every one of the furry family members who share our home. Everyone has a double page with a photo on the left and a record card on the right where I have recorded a little bit of information such as name, D.O.B. etc and a few details about their individual characters. Here is Murphy’s entry:



And just a few of the other furry family members:

BeeGee, Baily, Lincoln and Sookie


Now for those of you who don’t know me I’m sure your wondering how many more furry members can there be in that book ?  Well, at present the book holds 25 entries and yes there are spare pages in there  - just in case!! Our home is somewhat of a kitty and canine haven / sanctuary. We have 16 rescued cats and kittens and 9 dogs (5 chocolate labs, 3 Shih Tzu’s and a very senior Yorkie). I do plan on doing another album to hold the photo’s and memories of those who have crossed The Rainbow Bridge so that they are forever recorded too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed watching the transformation of an old unwanted photo album . . .  it’s amazing what a bit of pretty paper can do. The album will now sit with pride of place on my mini album display shelf for all to see. Who knows, I may even carry it around in my handbag to show off to people when they ask about my furry babies.

Before you head off on to the next stop on the hop please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by. I will chose at random one lucky reader to receive a prize from me. (entries to the draw will close at midnight on Tuesday 21st May)

Your next stop is Claire’s Blog  – The Crafty Alchemist


May 12, 2013

Pool Party

It’s been weeks since I managed any scrapping so it felt good to finally be able to have the time, and more importantly the urge to do a layout. I love the weekly challenges on UKScrappers, they are a fun way to get the creativity going. This weeks challenge involved a sketch which is always a great starting point for me.

Here’s the layout I produced. It’s one of my older photo’s of the kids enjoying a pool party in our garden in the summer of 2004. It would be quite funny to watch them try to fit in that pool today . . lol  


I’m pleased with the finished result and more pleased that I actually felt like scrapping again. I was beginning to get a little worried when the urge just wasn’t there!  It’s strange when we love doing something so much and then we just ‘switch off’ of it for a while. Anyhow, it seems as though normal service has resumed!

May 6, 2013

The beginning of a new journey . . . .

. . . .   and it all starts right here.

I haven’t blogged in months. Why ?  I’ve had nothing to write about. Nothing worth sharing.

Thats all about to change as I set out on a new journey, taking my first steps on a new path.  Art Journaling. I’ve tried it once before as I was always inspired by the projects I saw but for one reason or another I could never really get the hang of it. At a recent retreat my dear friend Suzy showed me some tips and techniques that she has picked up. She started her journey a few months back and has really embraced it.  She also made me this:


I was tearful and so very touched when she gave me this, it means a lot to me especially at a time when I was feeling so very down after the sudden loss of one of my precious cats, Lola. Pink is my favourite colour and Lola was a white cat. It’s precious isn’t it ?

I mentioned to Suzy that I would like to have another go a doing an art journal and she immediately produced an empty journal and some paints and said ‘there you go, get started’.

This is the page I did at the retreat:


So when I got home I immediately set about looking up art journaling blogs, You Tube videos etc, I have definitely caught the bug!

From Kate Crane’s blog The Kathryn Wheel I found 21 Secrets. Just what I need right now. Heaps of classes, teachers with different styles and loads of inspiration. So I signed up and jumped straight in. The classes are self-paced and you can do them in any order you choose so Im starting off with Kate Cranes class, Journal Soup.

These are my first 2 pages from the class.



The idea of the loose leaf pages is to store them all in a box (which Im in the process of making and decorating) with each page using a different technique and / or style. Im loving the fact that there are so many different style to use and there is no wrong or right to this, it just ‘is’, its what you want to do, how you want to do it.

Page 3 is in progress . . . . .  my journey has begun!