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 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!