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Sunday, 30 December 2007

Another One For Di.

So I was meant to be working on a new LO today & it just wouldn't come together. It's all Di Hickman's fault - here's why: Di's latest sketch (December #4) is sooooo fabulous that every time I try to make something another card idea pops into my head. So I made this one to get it out of my system! LOL. The rub-on greeting (on the bottom piece of tape measure) reads 'Party Time'.
Papers: Creative Imaginations; Chipboard Clock: Heidi Swapp; Ribbons, Rubons, Chipboard Arrow, yellow card blank & tape measure all from my stash.
Happily, I was then able to at least make a start on my LO - won't be able to share it for a week tho'.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Is This A Winning Card???

OOoops! Being as Di Hickman has publicly confirmed that I did indeed enter her Card Sketch Team call - I thought I may as well share it all with you - bit of a risk if I don't make the cut tho'. This was the second card from this sketch - you can see the first one here.
Anyway, my dear friend Bina has finally had a beautiful baby girl of her very own: Li'l Lola. I'm sure she wouldn't mind me saying that it has been a long & painful journey but soooo worth the heartache along the way.
Anyone that knows Bina will understand that this had to be the pinkest & sugariest of all li'l pink cards! LOL. And in true Di fashion - it's all scraps.

So that just leaves the following questions:
Is this the sort of card that will win me a place on Di's sketch team? and ...
How long do I have to stalk her blog & my e-mail to get an answer to the first question??

So c'mon Di - put this wannabe sketch team member out of her misery! LOL

Wednesday, 26 December 2007


I just got a spot as featured Blog of the Day over at QKD Bloggers - Check it out here!!
The new challenge at Journaling Junkie went up on Monday - you have until Saturday to join in & have your chance to win a li'l prize. It's got a Christmassy theme, so why not pop on over and have a go.
I'm off to spend some quality time in my scrap space now - will share later! LOL.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Festivities are well underway in the 'Crafty Moments' household, so I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for visiting my blog this past year & leaving a li'l love here and there. I love reading all your comments & keeping in touch with my crafty friends worldwide. I hope you'll all carry on popping in during 2008 - now I've closed the B&M store I'll have much more time for creating & blogging - so there'll be much more from me in the next 12 months!
I'll be posting a couple of things over the holidays (hint: look out for a new regular post starting new year's day!)
All that's left to say is: Have a fabulous Christmas however you choose to celebrate & a peaceful, creative, crafty new year!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

The Bonus Card!

I made a li'l card with Di's bonus sketch last Saturday. It's not my entry for the DT call, altho' obviously I'll be submitting for that, but my card for this week's Design Challenge at Crop 'Til You Drop. With the DT being on their annual break, there'll be a lot more from me over there this next couple of weeks.
All the papers are from the HOTP classic cardmakers pack, as is the ribbon. I used a chipboard key from Fancy Pants Biggest Board 'Dreamer'. For the keyhole, I drew around a chipboard keyhole from the same set, cut it from black glimmer & mounted it on a circle punched with the Marvy Mega Scalloped Circle. The sentiment was added using Queen & Co lower case clear alpha stamps.
Should have my take on this week's sketch (December #3) up tomorrow!

Oh! & I've finally got the webshop back up & running - new stuff going on over there every day so go take a lookie!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Finally I'm Back Online!!

Wow! I've had sooooo many hassles getting online this week - but I'm finally back & managing to catch up on some of the stuff I should have been doing.

First up: The winner of my li'l RAK was comment #22 - ALIX. A fabby li'l prize is on its way to you - have a fabulous Christmas!!
As always, I used the Random Number Generator to pick a winner - Thank you to everyone who popped by & left a comment - I hope you'll all pop by again soon x

I've also managed to send this month's newsletter - if you've not yet signed up yet, you can do so here.
AND I've updated all the challenge entries for our weekly challenges - join in the fun here - the prizes are great!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Stampy Scrapping

The Monday Challenge at Sisterhood of Scrap this week is to create a layout with a stamped title. The sisters don't mind if the layouts you use are old or new, so even if you don't have the time during the week to create a new page, why not revisit an old one that fits the bill. This page is months old but I really love the papers (making memories) as they are much brighter than the stuff I'd usually choose. The stamps are by A Muse, stamped & handcut from co ordinating pink paper. So that covers Arty Girlz 'handcut' challenge too!

My layout for the Journaling Junkie challenge #2 was posted today, along with Anam Stubbington's - check them out here & maybe have a go yourself - very therapeutic this one!

Scrappy Holidays!

This is the layout I would have posted yesterday - if the light was good for photographs! Still not a great photo as there's a slight reflection to the bottom of the overlay! So anyway, I used Vanessa Collant's Saturday Sketch from Sisterhood of Scrap - the deal at the mo is enter a layout from any previous sketch to be in with a chance of winning the monthly prize. All supplies are from the November HOTP Personal Shopper Kit (if you live in the UK and want one, I have a couple left & you can e-mail to order while the webshop is down). It's also the LO I'd have submitted for Arty Girlz 'Christmas' challenge - so maybe I'll pop over there even tho the deadline has passed.
You can't tell too well from the photo but there's a fair amount of dimension to this page. I've used a 12x12 overlay (from the kit) & the embellies are both under & on to of that. The overlay is only attached top & bottom of the title banner so you can get into the journaling (in the file folder, middle right)

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Heads Up!

Just a couple of li'l announcements to keep you going 'til this evening!
  • Still time for the RAK: all the deets are here & you have until tomorrow (wednesday) morning at 7 am GMT to get your comment posted.
  • There's a fab challenge over at Journaling Junkie this week, set by the one & only Allyson Bright Myer (author of the idiots guides to scrapbooking & altered art) & a li'l prize donated by the lady herself.
  • We are busy planning the kick off events at My Creative Classroom for the January launch. The only way to qualify for the free classes is to sign up for the newsletter (it's free to register) so do it now!! There'll be lots of challenges, classes & loads more - you are not gonna want to miss this!
  • Make sure you sign up for my newsletter here. The physical store will be closing at the end of this month (webstore will be retained) & the newsletter contains info about all the special offers, new stock, freebies, online & local classes as well as li'l bits I come across while on my blog-hopping travels. It's a great way to stay ahead of the game! The webstore is currently undergoing maintenance but it'll be back in a week or two more.
  • The weekly challenge over on Blog 'Til You Drop, the store's blog & home to my DT needs more entries! I give a prize worth around £20 every month for the best entry over all the weekly challenges. So if you enter every week, that's around four chances to win each month! New challenges are set every Saturday at 6 pm - you have until then to get the previous week's entry e-mailed to me.

That's it 'til tonight, so watch this space for a couple of LOs later on.

Three Steps To {Scrapping} Heaven.

Actually there are thirteen steps leading to my scrapping heaven - but where would we be without artistic licence?? So these four li'l pics represent the entire size of my scraproom & considering it's quite 'compact', I like it sooooo much more than the huge space I had at the store. I've sent bags & bags of stuff down to Fish's playgroup (they think it's Christmas - oh wait! it is!! LOL) but still have tons left. Most of what I've got rid of is stuff I haven't touched in at least 3 years. Sequins, stickers, toppers, holographic paper etc.
Anyway, I digress! The first pic is the entrance to the walk in cupboard. I took off the door (& by me, I mean DH), which gave me an extra couple of feet wall space. The shelves were already in the cupboard - it was a dumping ground for all sorts of stuff: inflatable matresses, spare crash helmets, fencing garb (!) & that all has new homes now. The key to a small space is plenty of storage ... and labels. I mostly know where everything is but you don't want to be spending half your crafting time searching in identical boxes for the elusive must have item to finish a project!
Photo 2 shows the back of the wardrobes that form a false 'wall' separating my scrap space from my bedroom. I tell ya - this whole thing has been done in minimum time with the tiniest budget. In time, I'll be hanging extra wall pockets or something here (possibly some 12x12 paper racks from the store when it closes) but it needs to be lightweight. There's no lighting at this end of the room, so I'm finally using my big daylight lamp. First time really in about 3 years - they cost looooads now but I got mine for around £20 on offer back then. There's a whole bunch of storage boxes (including my Stanley tool box collection) along this wall but they had to be quite slimline as I sit with my back to this bit.
The two freestanding bookshelves have been liberated from the store already. Happily, I had just the right number of shelves to house all my brads, buttons, ribbons etc. I have a whole bunch of those lidded stacking boxes. There are 7 stacked in the corner, 7 more under the table and 5 in the cupboard (said I have alot of stash!) I have 6 that are full of alterables - I needed two for mini books alone! LOL
The last picture shows my table (not overly tidy!) The pink & blue mini dump bins on the table are a godsend. Great for throwing in all the bits I'm using for a project, bits & pieces that are yet to find a home & the couple of bits that I don't have sufficient of to need a home. I'll have to clear these out regularly but that's gotta be a good thing to help keep me organised. Believe it or not, there's still quite a lot of space to store more stash - which is just as well as I've still loads in DS1's room, stashed under his bed! Not to mention the stuff on the shelves in the lounge & under the kitchen table! The before pics are here if you want to compare.
I have a load more piccies showing the deets of my storage solutions so I'm gonna set up an album on my gallery. As I said before, it's all been done on a tiny budget: much of the storage I had already, utilised from other areas (some of these boxes were baby layette boxes in their formative years!) or are bargain finds from the local £1 store. There's recycling a-plenty going on here too!
I didn't feel the need to redecorate my space - stark walls are fine for me - I only have to look at all those jars of yummy ribbons & buttons to be inspired!
Don't forget the RAK posted here - you have until Wednesday morning to enter and win some yummy stash from me!
I'll post a link to the gallery when I'm finished there!

More Challenges = More Christmas Cards!

Another couple of quick cards to share & yet more stash used up! The first is my take on Di's Dec #1 sketch - you have until Wednesday if you want to play along. I used some scraps from the November Personal Shopper kit for this one (I have a LO to share tomorrow!) I added a li'l bit of fluid chalk ink to the poinsettia - it seemed a bit stark against the vibrant papers. The greeting is a HOTP embossed sentiment (from a non-Christmas pack!)
I think the sketch for this second card is quite similar to the first but the card turned out quite different. This one is from
Sketch This! Cards #34. Again, it's all scraps. The papers & sticker are from DCWV (last year's), the ribbon was a magazine freebie & the li'l ribbon rose came from the centre of a chiffon bow buried in my stash! The best bit of sorting out my new scrap space is that I've come across sooooooo many things I'd completely forgotten about.
Both cards also qualify for Arty Girlz Christmas themed challenge. I'd planned on submitting a LO for that but the photo was too dark - I'll try again when the light is better in the morning!

In my next post, I'm gonna share some pics of my scrap space. They were quite difficult to take as it's such a small area - but I think they give a sense of how much I have crammed in there! LOL.
Don't forget to enter your name for my RAK. Draw takes place Wednesday. Follow this link for all the deets!

Monday, 10 December 2007

Playing Catch Up Again!

Hmmmm. More Christmas cards - this time I've used the sketches from Sisterhood of Scrap posted a couple of weeks back. Great sketches & they make quick & easy cards - just what I need just now!
The front card also covers the current challenge over at Blog 'Til You Drop - the theme is 'wish'.
So my wish isn't for myself but for all the blog-hoppers that come visit me here. I wish you all happy holidays & an inspiring & creative New Year. I hope you'll all continue to come by in 2008!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Santa Lives In The US ...

& her name is Jane!! Check out this fab bunch of goodies that Auntie Jane (EJ in the US) brought me back from the US: Lace cardstock - oh wow! I'm not sure this is available over here yet - soooooo yummy! LOL. Hambly heavyweight overlay - so I can make my very first clear album - WOOT!! The cutest li'l sticky notes - 1 pad says 'Crop 'til you drop' - how cool is that? A post it named after my very own shop! LOL (OK, I know it's probably a coincidence ... or is it???) Some back issue mags - luuurve the occasional US scrapping mag BUT THAT'S NOT THE BEST BIT - a couple of Donna Downey's books - one dedicated and signed by the great lady herself!! AND a copy of the effer dares book - signed by Kristina Contes!! Am I the luckiest lady in the world or what?

Thanks Jane - luv ya loads!!

Monday, 3 December 2007

I'm Celebrating a Bi-centenery!!

First bit of exciting news!! The last post was my 200th to this blog & I'm gonna celebrate by giving out a little RAK or two - it's open to anyone, anywhere in the world!
Rather than just leaving a comment, I'd like you to answer the following question:
If you had £200 (or USD, or whatever currency your country uses) that MUST be spent on craft goodies - what would you buy & why.
Pop me a li'l comment on this post and I'll pick a random winner at 7 am (GMT) on Wednesday 12th December (that's 200 hours by my calculations! LOL) I'll post the winner sometime on the Wednesday night. Good luck!!

Could This Be A Scrapping Heaven?

This little area is the front of our bedroom. We divided it off with wardrobes when Fish was very little to give him a 'room of his own' of sorts. He moved into a proper room on the other side of the landing over a year ago and since then it has been a general dumping ground for stuff that should either be given a proper home or thrown out. The first piccie shows the view through the entrance next to the wardrobes. I wanted to take pictures while it was still a tip (but have to admit I had already cleared out must of the real rubbish - this is just the clutter that's left!)
The second picture was taken standing at the far end (shown on the left of the first pic). As you can see there's a li'l cupboard at the end - it measures just 3'4" x 2'7". We took the door off already to create extra space & so I can see what's there. The main room measures 6'5" x 11'1". If you know me well, you might be wondering how I'm gonna fit my vast amounts of stash into such a tiny space and still have space to work in there!!
This third & final piccie shows a bit of clutter and two of the 5 drawer units that I'm confident will fit in this tiny space. An estate agent might describe it as compact! LOL.
The odd few boxes, drawers etc are scrapping stuff that I pulled out from our lounge. Currently, we've got most of my stash - all the essentials over from the store - it took 3 loads in my mum's car! LOL. I still have some sorting out to do (tonight) & more stuff to move out from DS1's room. I reckon I'll have the after photos for you tomorrow (& proof that it all fits!!) it's gotta be soon as I'm having serious crafting withdrawal - sorting out all that fabulous stash & having NO time to use it!!
Would love to hear what you think - could this be a scrapping heaven? pop me a comment & let me know!

Nearly Forgot This One!

So a while ago I posted about this calendar that I'd bought in the local £1 store & I know a few of you were wondering how I was gonna make it look fabby. Well here is the finished piece - I used the cropadile to punch the holes for the book rings & matted the cropped calendar pages on to A4 textured cardstock. The letters are die cut from scraps of the patterned papers & I doodled around the edges of the letters and the holes. Easy Peasy - and the papers/cardstock are all at least 1 year old (some much more)! LOL.
Supplies: papers, ribbons & blooms - Daisy D's; Cardstock - DCWV.

It's gonna be a mega blogging night tonight - Auntie Jane has been to visit: she's better than santa cuz she brings extra special scrapping goodies! LOL. I'll also be showing the 'before' photos of my new scrapping space (prepare to be shocked!!) & I have an exciting announcement or two to make ;o)

Check back later!!

Friday, 30 November 2007

It's About ... Celebration

Here's the latest layout for our Personal Shopper Kit class tonight - there's nothing like leaving it to the last minute! LOL. It also happens to satisfy a challenge or two!
First up, Looby's challenge to have a celebration theme - the photos here are of a leaver's day assembly at Fish's playgroup for the kids off to 'big school' (taken back in June) - I reckon that's a celebration. Of course, as this kit is chock full of yummy crimbo papers and embellies, a quick switch to a christmas pic & it's a different kind of celebration!
Next, the sketch is by the fabulous Wendy Rago, for this week's Pencil Lines challenge (sketch #60). It is also a DT sample for this Saturday's challenge over at Journaling Junkie - but I'm not letting on what the actual challenge is! You'll have to visit the journaling junkie blog on Saturday to find out! LOL

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Gotta Love Winter Swirls

I've been playing with the fabby new HOTP Winter Swirls stamps - sooooo versatile. The first layout is based on Di's November sketch. I've used the Bo Bunny 'Jack Frost' papers (so more Christmas papers for non-Christmas layouts!) & the background is this one by MAMBI. The stamps are really easy to mix together - you can just stamp a bunch of them overlapping each other & they look fabulous - no real skill required! I've actually used seven of the ten stamps included in the pack. And in the UK, if you buy them here, you get a fabby project sheet full of great ideas from the HOTP designers!
The second layout, featuring yet more photos of my gorgeous baby boy, uses the stamps on the oversized photo mat. I've also stamped a spare piece of the plain cardstock and die cut the letters from it. I've just got one of these gorgeous new tool bags (at 40% off!), which come filled with fabby tools - & the trimmer is PINK!!! - anyway, the point is that it comes with a fastenater. I hadn't bothered getting one as, well - it's a stapler! LOL Anyway, turns out that you can get tons of different bars for it - and obviously they're alterable (what isn't?). I've just used a plain one (at the top & the bottom of the strip), which come with it but I'm gonna be getting loooooads more!!
Papers are American Crafts; poinsettia from the poundshop bargains a couple of weeks back; HOTP Big Brad & rub on.

Oooooh! Only three more posts 'til blog candy!!

One More For Di's Sketch

As promised in the last post, here's a little piccie of another card I made with Di's Nov #3 sketch. This one is a birthday card for the fabulous looby, my buddy & fellow DT member for Crop 'Til You Drop. Following Di's campaign to use up those scraps, this card uses up some old Daisy D's papers (no idea of the names but they were a CHA 2005 release!). This also satisfies Di's 'use buttons' challenge and my passion for ink (I'm always in an inking phase! LOL). I moved the greeting, a rub on from a magazine freebie, to the top left - flowers and buttons are also Daisy D's - and there's an A Muse Twinkles micro dot gem in the flower centre.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Christmas is for Children

So today I had a bunch of kids in to make Christmas cards - such fun! I made up a few samples (pictured top) so that they could copy if they wanted to & also had a big box of stash for them to have a play & make their own designs up - once in a while, you gotta encourage a bit of free thinking, right?
I find it much harder designing cards for the little ones to make. There's so much more to consider and I end up using lots of materials that I'd usually avoid - think sequins, epoxy stickers and printed greetings (still not a peel off in sight! LOL). The other thing is I'm a bit of a fan of the little touches that make a card 'pop' so keeping it simple means no ink, penwork, minimal layers - nightmare!
Anyway, Di comes to the rescue (again!!) & the bottom two piccies show a couple of designs made from this week's sketch (Nov. #3) - I have to say that even without the ink & the fabulous,
intricately patterned papers that I would have chosen (see the next post, coming up soon for an example!) this sketch does make great cards!
For the finale, we made a 'something special' concertina card (my sample is at the back in the top piccie). I'd made and folded the base cards in advance and pre-cut some papers, so all they had to do was stick & decorate. The youngest children were 6 but still managed to make some pretty impressive cards!
There's nothing better than having the little ones pitching in with Christmas preparations. My little lad is 3 1/2 and this will be the second year he has made all the cards for his little friends. My top tip? Let them make their cards, their way. Provide a bunch of pre-folded card bases (4"x4" is good for the li'l ones) and stickers or stamps. Don't worry about symmetry, colour etc., you can save your artistic flair for your creations - just let them have fun!

Monday, 26 November 2007

I'm a Junkie!

A journaling junkie, that is! LOL. Journaling Junkie is a fabby new challenge blog that focuses on, well, journaling (the clue was right there in the title! LOL). There are eight of us on the new DT, including the fabulous Anam Stubbington - I sooooo lurrve her stuff. Anyway, go check out the new team here. Ha! so exciting!
Will have stuff to share later today - lots of stuff. But right now I have to go clear my craft space ready for the big move!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Sisters Scrap

I've been hanging on to this layout for a couple of weeks - it's the sample layout I did for this week's Monday challenge over at the Sisterhood of Scrap blog (in my role as Sister of the Week!) Most of the bits come from last month's Personal Shopper kit, with the exception of the chipboard & the Junkitz Double Playz (which have sat in my stash untouched for about 3 years! Lol). For the chipboard, I colour washed the letters with some thinned down acrylic paint & just inked the right hand side of each one with a red chalk ink pad once dry. The effect is rather fabulous - lots of texture from the chipboard itself & the ink touching the edges like the sunset on the horizon. Hope you like it!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

More Work In Progress

It's soooo cold down at the shop right now that I can't settle to craft for too long. Happily, I'm expecting to move into my new playspace in the next week or so, which is much warmer (& it's at home, so I'll be able to craft in Pjs - Bliss!!) Until then, I'm working at a slower pace than usual so I thought I'd share a couple of bits that I'm currently working on.
First: remember this calendar? The top photo shows the board as it is now. There's still lots to do with it until it's finally finished tho'. All supplies, including the ribbon & flowers are by Daisy Ds but they are a mix from several, mostly old ranges. I keep all my old papers organised by colour rather than manufacturer - these happen to mix really well together.
The second photo is of a layout that I should have finished today. I got distracted by the yummy new HOTP Winter Swirls stamps & didn't get it finished. Of the 10 stamps in the set, I have so far used 7 on this page. The title & journaling, plus a few accents, still need to be added but I thought I better get it on to give tomorrow night's class an idea of what we'll be doing! LOL. Maybe I'll get a full post on tomorrow night!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Yay! Toot Toot for me!

I have been sitting on a secret again (I'm soooooo not good with secrets! LOL) Remember the 7 challenge layout I made a week or two ago? Well it got me this!

AND I get to keep this fabulous blinkie - forever - so much better than a Blue Peter badge (do they still have those?)

Fabulous huh?

Made loads today but nothing I can share. I'll be back tomorrow with something tho'.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Lovin' Di (& Daisy D's!)

So Di promised me that this week's sketch is great for quick cards - and she was right! another 10 minute card - which is just what you need for Christmas, right? I've used yet more scraps from the Paisley Sugarplum kit; the image is a die cut tag (trimmed & matted); sentiment & holly are rub ons - all from Daisy D's.
So there it is! On time (early, in fact!!) The sentiment doesn't show up so well in the photograph, it says 'Wish'.

The second card I made for Di's October #5 sketch challenge but I didn't get around to blogging it in time (are you seeing a pattern here yet!)It's just a couple of paper scraps from the Snowflakes & Holly kit& a cardstock sticker - Daisy D's again. I've sanded the paper edges & inked everything up. Really quick & easy! LOL.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Still In The Red!

I actually made this layout before the card I posted yesterday - the card was made from the scraps. It's another multi-challenge layout, based on Valerie Salmon's latest sketch; the 'love your body' prompt from All About Eve & Sisterhood of Scrap's '50 words of journaling' challenge.

The journaling reads: This body is almost forty years old and has been through six pregnancies. It has been sizes 10 to 20 and everything in between. It has a crooked smile and a nose that's a little too big. This body is mine and it fits me perfectly. I love the skin I'm in.

The papers are from HOTP & Bo Bunny's Homespun Holidays - so it's another non-Christmas layout using Christmas papers! I used EK success retro flower punches to make the flowers, doodled the edges with a black vellum writer & a white sharpie. the flower centres are red buttons & twinkle gems. I don't have any journaling stamps (yet!) so I made the dotted lines with a white sharpie & a ruler & stamped brackets from the HOTP Thinga-ma-jigs clear stamp set - I think it's pretty cool! LOL.

Cards coming next!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

I'm Late, I'm Late ...

I'm starting to feel like the mad march hare (checking fob watch & scurrying around muttering 'I'm late' over & over! LOL). I made this card using Di Hickman's November #1 sketch - I love it soooo much and it's probably the quickest card I've ever made. But I didn't get it blogged in time and November #2 is up already! I have no idea where the time goes! LOL. The papers are Bo Bunny Homespun Holiday (cuz these papers, like puppies, are not just for Christmas!) & HOTP, stamped stitches, Bazzill Blossom, HOTP Great Big Brad & Rub On. No kidding, it took maybe 15 minutes to make. So I'm gonna hook it up to Di's blog anyway & maybe do the next one earlier (it's sooooo pretty!)

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Blog Quiz

Di Hickman published this little quiz on her blog yesterday, so I thought I'd join in too!
*What is your ideal atmosphere to scrapbook in?
I am fortunate to have the biggest classroom above the store & I scrap there in the same amount of space that 8 students use. There's a store room that joins it & I keep all my stash there. The amount of light is amazing so I only use artificial lighting at night.
* What inspires you to scrapbook? (a color, a photo, certain paper, particular people or subjects, books...)
I'm gonna be predictable and say all of the above. I have to scrapbook for classes anyway (it's a tough job but someone has to do it! LOL) but I find the more I do, the more inspiration I have to do more.
* Where do you go to seek creative inspiration (websites, magazines, etc..)
My DT always inspire me, so does Di Hickman. I blog-hop a bit too & visit challenge sites - checking out the blogs of other challenge participants always throws up something inspirational - there's a lot of talent out there. Manufacturer websites are great too!
* How do you keep track of the pages or projects you want to copy? (I hate spending an hour flipping through a magazine trying to find that picture I saw 2 months ago that now I want to copy.)
I don't scraplift - apart from once, when I based a layout on one of Kirsty Wiseman's. But that was over a year ago now. I do keep a selection of A4 ring binders with altered projects etc and techniques that I want to try. I do tend to find though, that if I don't do it straight away (within a week or so) then I've forgotten about it and moved on to the next thing. The binders are one of the things likely to go in my current clean up!
* What do you do to jumpstart your creativity when you've got scrapper's block?
I do quite a lot of online challenges but that can be a double edged sword. I use a lot of sketches in challenges, so coming up with my own designs is sometimes hard. Also, you have to be careful what you use the sketches for. Some designers don't allow theirs to be used for magazine, class or DT work - others, like Di, do so long as the proper credit is given.
So when I'm stuck, I might turn to one of Di's sketches but I'll often just take a bunch of stash & play. The secret is to give yourself permission to create something really awful - you can always bin it & no-one need know! LOL. I tend to find if you work through it like that, the end results are not as bad as you think & you do get inspired to do something else. The biggest obstacle to scrappers block (or any block - I used to suffer terribly from writer's block!) is sitting thinking about what you're gonna do - you have to just get on with it, have a play & wait for it to pass - & it will pass, I promise!!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Daring Card Making Once More!

I haven't taken part in the Daring Card Makers challenges for a little while - they are great challenges but somehow the deadlines come & go too quickly! I'm still playing with different shapes & folds - anything other than the straightforward landscape/portrait card blank (& yes, I use mostly pre-folded blanks rather than cutting my own!)
For this one, the card front is folded back, so that half the front & the inside are decorated. DCM's challenge is to use corrugated card - the die cut stocking is cut from the mini corrugated, coloured craft card & the white is simply trimmed & stuck over the top of the red. It is then mounted on the front with foam tape so that it hangs over the folded edge. The papers are DCWV - all the other bits were scraps from my stash.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Made It - (Just!!)

Cutting it really fine this time! LOL. There are 20 minutes to go 'til the deadline for the Texas Hold 'Em challenges over at Sisterhood of Scrap I'm playing for fun more than prizes at this point - the best hand I could muster was two pairs - a bit lame but soooo fun! All I was missing was the Thursday challenge, a layout using red or black & 4 lines of journaling - this one fits the bill and I finished it in under two hours - which is a bit unusual for me!
But this is more than a one-challenge layout, oh yes indeed!! I have fitted in all 3 Sisterhood of Scrap challenges - the Monday challenge (use 10 pieces of chipboard); Saturday's sketch & the Texas Hold 'Em challenge! AND, it also works for Arty Girlz 'bling' challenge; Shary's 'buttons, bows & brads' challenge; GPP Street Team's 'Muse' & MagikDiva's 'Use a Word'. It would also have qualified for the OLW challenge but I'm about 36 hours too late! Never mind, it'll have to be a seven challenge layout! LOL.
Here's how:
  1. Thursday challenge - as explained!
  2. Sister's Monday Challenge: 10 pieces of chipboard. I could have just used a longer title (10 letters) but that seemed a bit obvious, so I raided my stash & I used a mix by heidi swap, karen foster, TLC, & a few die cut bits. The clock is a piece cut from a whole one, inked red and a black hand (seperate piece) inked black & stuck on top. There are two arrows - both inked & written on, three alpha charms - I inked the white one & doodled on all three. The title is mounted on a chipboard tag, covered with co-ordinating paper & the black circle is mounted & painted with black acrylic (I found that in my stash left over from a previous project), the last piece is the heart buckle - die cut, covered with mulberry paper & inked black & red. I hope they like it - I REALLY want to be their sister! LOL
  3. Sister's Saturday sketch - self explanatory - the examples on their site are for cards but I like it for a LO.
  4. Arty Girlz - use bling. It might be subtle bling - but it's there nonetheless. 2 sizes of red twinkle gems (I use these soooo much cuz they are self adhesive!) on the clock hand & the curved arrow - plus the two brads securing the initials at the top - red metallic - I count that as bling!!
  5. Shary, from my own DT, set this week's challenge to use at least one button, brad & bow - brads as mentioned above, square buttons on the flower to the bottom left and a larger one at the end of the curved arrow. I have a faux bow (hope that counts) tied through the hole in the chipboard alpha charm that's the first letter of my title.
  6. GPP's Street Team Crusade #14 - what or who inspires you? this didn't have to be a piece of artwork - it could have been a regular blog post - but my little man inspires me every day & that has to be worth a layout!
  7. MagickDiva's use a word - my word is 'delight'. Fish (DS4) delights in everything he does, all the time, every day. That is why he is my constant source of inspiration & that is why I delight in him!

Hope you like it!!

Photo Friday!

This is another challenge post for Texas Hold 'Em over at Sisterhood Of Scrap.
I had hoped to get a photo of the Heron that sits on the roof of the house opposite mine - but Fish (DS4) kept squealing and scaring it away! So that story will have to wait for another day!
I took this photo about 6 weeks ago. DH was working nights and there was just me & Fish at home when I noticed this most fantastic sunset. So we grabbed the camera & rushed outside to get a photo. My camera is a dead basic 'point & shoot' job - cost about £30, so it's nothing flash & has no functions to speak of. And I'm no photographer - just a point & click snapper! LOL. Neither do I have anything but the most basic photo editing software - I can crop photos & pick a size to print - but that's it.
You know what? I like it like that! It does mean that when I take the occasional fabulous shot, I appreciate it all the more. And I love to scrap bad photos - there's a down to earth 'real' quality that I love about them! LOL.
Anyway, I digress! I took the photo, showed it to Fish on the PC - and then scrapped it in the same week, which almost never happens! The spooky thing is that a friend came into my store & recognised that sunset - they had taken a photo too!

Gotta go to the store now to do Thursday's layout challenge - and get it posted today, so I'll definitely be back later! LOL

Playing Catch Up!

I did sooo well having the first challenge for Texas Hold 'Em done on the day - but I've not completed any of the others (& I need those cards! LOL). So today is catch up day!

First up: my fave tip. Ooooh! this is sooo hard! You kinda assume that everybody knows the same stuff you do, so what to put?
My Tip is TEA BAGS!! A definite must for every crafter! LOL. Not only can you drink tea, but a solution of cold tea is great for ageing ribbon & lace. You can also rub them directly on to papers for some fab ageing effects - just make sure they aren't too wet if you don't want the paper to wrinkle.

Next: My top blog links. Limiting this to 3 is kinda tough too - but these are the places I visit most (other than Sisterhood of Scrap - y'all have that bookmarked, right?)

Di Hickman - I love her blog & there's plenty of challenges & inspiration there. She's an expat - so I like to see how she's doing across the pond. Weekly card sketches & a monthly scrap sketch - & free digi downloads if that's your thing!

Pam Sandy - a fellow tutor at My Creative Classroom. She has some amazing stuff on her blog & has links etc for free places on her acrylic ornament album online class & a free wall hanging class. There's a great ribbon RAK too, if you get over there quick! I love Sandy - she's a fun & supportive buddy - soooo lucky to know her!
You'll want to sign up for the MCC newsletter too - there'll be a whole bunch of new free classes during our official launch week in January 2008 (not long to go now!)

Not sure whether this is cheating - but I reckon you'll want to check out Blog 'Til You Drop too! This is my store blog, where my DT hang out & issue a fabulous challenge every Saturday. We have a monthly prize too & our challenges are open to all crafters. The DT post new projects every day, so there's always some new & fabulous inspiration there!

OK, so that's two of the challenges sorted - 3 done, 2 more to go!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

More Paisley Sugarplum

I'm still playin' with my new Daisy D's stash & lovin' the Paisley Sugarplum page kit! I had planned to take a break from traditional Christmas colours this year and go for something really funky but I just love these papers soooo much. I've got a bit bored the last few days with traditional card shapes, so I've been playing with a few different styles. The first is an accordian card & is really easy to make from 2 standard tall card blanks cut in half & re-assembled (or you could cut your own from cardstock - I didn't, I'm lazy! LOL). Once assembled, I've cut panels from 3 papers, inked them up & embellished with the tags, stickers & rubs that are supplied in the page kit. Plenty of ink from an almost dry ink pad - lovely, soft, sooty effects there. I've also added a few flowers from this pack.
The second card stands up as shown in the photo - but folds flat for posting. Papers, rubs & tags as for the accordian card but with one of these bargain poinsettias & a button from this pack.
Look out for news of some free online classes coming in the next day or so!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Batman Returns!

This is one of today's little makes. I'm actually doing it all a new way round for me at the moment. I have this new pile of yummy Daisy D's stash that I want to use, so I've printed a bunch of photos that will go with & then as I work my way through challenges, projects etc I just pick a bunch from the box & off I go! LOL.
This layout is for Texas Hold 'Em, which I'm playing over at Sisterhood of Scrap all week (& there's even more yummy Daisy D's to win there!). It's a new challenge every day to get extra cards to make your winning poker hand - so fun!Today's challenge was to use a two word title & a round embellie! Had I thought, I could have got an extra 2 bits of chipboard on there & completed the Monday challenge too! but no matter - I have managed to fit in another challenge or two.
Anyway, the papers are from the Sugarplum Paisley collection, which although Christmas themed are mostly just Christmas colours - so great for all those pics of my little angel! I've also used flowers, rubs & a button from other Daisy D's packs. On top of that, there's a whole bunch of buttons from my stash, micro dot twinkle gems & I made my own glitter chipboard by die cutting letters & dipping in ultra fine glitter (which I'm still dusting off my jeans! LOL.) The 'bling' satisfies the challenge at How Much Is Too Much - but I need to join Two Peas first (& I'm tired, so it'll have to wait 'til tomorrow!) & the number (top right) qualifies for MagickDiva's Thursday challenge. I've used a date stamp vertically on the #1 to give the full date - I don't use it often: it's one of those old fashioned things like they used to use in libraries - one of my 'pound shop' finds from last year!

Monday, 5 November 2007

Here It Is - As Promised!

I had sooooo much fun creating this! The coat hooks that I showed here are now a fabby plaque for hanging up Christmas stockings (we took the fireplace out last year!) I've used the fabby Sugarplum Paisley page kit, fabric flowers, rub ons and buttons, all by Daisy D's. See that large poinsettia? It's one of the ones that I was talking about here - & the lace is the odd scrap I mentioned here.
Anyway, all the papers were inked up with plenty of black ink - this is the one I prefer - I covered the whole thing with green paisley & then attached the strip of snowman paper - I tore the edges so that the white core was not visible. The lace is threaded with a strip of plaid paper & attached with DST - I trimmed a 'v' over each screw hole so the lace didn't snag when re-attaching the pegs. I've sandwiched a small flower between each peg & the board & then added small poinsettia & snowflake rub ons to the top of each one. The tag cluster is a large chipboard tag (I die cut my own) decorated with papers and rubs, the ampersand is a cardstock sticker (I doodled the edges to look like stitching and the other tags are from the die cut sheet. I journaled 'Dear Santa please stop here, I've been very good this year, love from Auryn' over 2 tags ('Santa' is a rub on), threaded with a thin plaid paper strip and then attached through the bottom hole in the ampersand. A tiny strip of the lace is knotted through the tag hole & then the tag cluster is attached between the first and second pegs. Finally, the poinsettia is attached in position.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

I made a couple of cards from the scraps left over from my altered projects - there's still loads left for other projects tho'. Both cards qualify for the current Caardvarks challenge, (arrrgh! missed it! The next challenge is up already!! LOL) which was to use die cuts - the little sentiment blocks are die cut tags, so I guess that counts. There's nothing difficult here, just basic cutting/tearing, layering & lots of inking.

The second card is similar to the first in design, just a bit more advanced. It also qualifies for the Arty Girlz challenge to use just 3 colours (that was really hard!!). It's mostly red & green but there's a bit of blue in there if you look closely! The papers are stitched together (wobbly stitching as always but I'm getting better! LOL). I love this snowman paper sooo much that I didn't want to cover it up - all the detail focuses on the tag to the left. This started as a manilla tag, which was trimmed and then covered with scraps of three papers. The die cut tag was stuck to the centre strip & then the ribbon, folded flowers and buttons (threaded with thin paper 'stitches') were layered at the top and bottom - everything is inked black and I've used a pad that is almost dry to sponge extra ink all around the tag edges - that gives a really soft effect. I keep two basic black pads: one is for stamping so needs to stay 'juicy'; the other I leave until it's too dry to use before re-inking. With the exception of a couple of ribbon scraps, all the goodies are Daisy D's.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Can You Tell What It Is Yet?

It's been a little while since I've altered anything so I thought I'd make a start with this coat rack I picked up in my local 99p store. So far I've painted the pegs and edges with Santa Red acrylic paint (it was purple) but I'm not saying what it's gonna be!! So you'll have to come back tomorrow (I think it will be finished by then!) to find out what it is.

Favourite Photo

I scrapped this today - no sketches, no challenges in mind, not for a class - just me & a pile of yummy Daisy D's new stash. I used 'Favourite Photo' page kit; 'Brighten My Day' buttons, ribbons, fabric flowers; 'Reflection' chipboard titles plus a lot of handcutting, a black pen & a dark brown ink pad.
My mum took this photo of Auryn & the boy next door a few weeks ago - such a lovely shot that I've been dying to scrap it for days!! I like to use a lot of embellishments on my personal stuff (can't do it for classes where budget comes into play!) and I find the easiest way to do that is to add lots of layers - like the flowers on the chipboard letters and the bits that overlap the photo. You can get lots on like that without it looking too cluttered. Hope you like it.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Ooops! Late Again!

Despite having a whole month to do it, I still managed to miss the deadline for Di Hickman's monthly sketch - sorry Di! Will try harder! LOL. It's not that it wasn't finished but more a case of I've not had time to breathe let alone blog in the last few days. I'm actually gonna be teaching this layout in our HOTP Personal Shopper class tonight - so fun. Each month I create two layouts from the current kit & all the local subscribers come along & have a couple of workshops - This kit is the October 2007 one, exclusive in the UK through my store.
So here's the story: In the hundred years or so that I've been scrapping, I've never done a layout of me & my four boys - and mostly there are no photos of us all together, save for the odd group photo at weddings etc., (and they always have loooooads of other people in them too). So I picked my fave photo of each of my lads & one of the few photos of me as an adult (there are few photos of me - full stop!) This is the result.
You may notice that me & my lads all tend to prefer darker colours, black mostly, which is great for putting this page together - it makes it so much easier to pick your background colours. I love these autumn shades & the blocks, stripes & jade give it a sense of fun I think. It did go against the grain a bit cutting strips for the woven background (I'd usually use scraps!) but I wanted to have a bit of fun with layering - both the papers and the embellies. The felt flowers are from a strip of Queen & Co. Felt Fusion, which cuts apart beautifully. I've used a strip to underline my title & individual flowers as accents. If you click on the picture you can get a better look at the two embellie accents: the layered flower at the bottom & the sticker embellie in the top right. I don't often use stickers but they were in the kit, Daisy D's ones (to die for) - so what the hey! LOL
I also got to play with my newest acquisition - white Sharpies! This is simply the best white pen I have come across - fabulous for journaling & stays soooo white - I guess I'm gonna be using it alot! LOL. Can't imagine how I managed so long without one.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Gotta Love The 99p Store!

Ok, so I'm meant to be organising the stash I already have rather than accumulating more. I can justify storage solutions - hey! I can justify anything! LOL. Today's finds were this cheap & nasty looking calendar - & that shine is from the cover - not a cellophane wrapper; an MDF wine bottle shaped plaque (says its the ideal gift for wine connosieurs - I'm not convinced tho'); and a bunch of 'silk' poinsettias.
The calendar is already in pieces & I broke a paper piercer prising the resin mouldings off the plaque (a class one rather than my personal one). The finished versions will be posted here within the month - I have soooo many projects to do right now!
The poinsettias were a real find. 99p bought me 16 each of 3.5" and 4" blooms - and I hadn't even noticed the foliage, which turned out to be 18 clusters of 3 holly leaves. I couldn't pass that up! I've also picked up a couple of other alterables in the past few weeks so you can expect a lot of posts from me throughout November (where did the year go????)
So I'm off to the shop now for another night of serious crafting - how lucky am I???

And There's More ...

Here, as promised, is a pic of my fabby shelving solution! This piece of slatboard was already fitted when I moved into the shop. It's in the main 'classroom' next to the door into my store room (there's no stock in there - just more of my stash!) I had some pieces of plywood that I'd had cut to adapt a bookshelf for displaying rubber stamps at the consumer show last month (Ally Pally). We ran out of time, so the unit wasn't built in time but I kept the wood just in case.
Anyway, I've used some spare slatwall hooks to prop the shelves up but they actually slide into the grooves in the board - so they are really quite sturdy. Being plywood, they aren't suitable for a lot of weight - but those cardboard boxes (labelled!) house my blossoms, feathers, raffia, skeleton leaves, small chipboard shapes, gems, fibres (for now) & odd bits & pieces that only take up one small box! There's plenty of space for more stuff as I get it sorted out.
I caved in and bought another jar for my lace - I seem to have quite alot of white, which I rarely use - so I might need to break out the walnut crystals (or tea/coffee!) & dye some. I've just got the most fabulous vintagey Christmas papers (more about them soon!) & have a million ideas for how some aged vintage lace might fit in! There's a little bit of floral lace in just the right colours too (yay!)
Still adding to the ribbon jars - there seems to be no end to the bits I'm finding. LOL

Monday, 29 October 2007

Work In Progress

My craft room (like the rest of my life) is a bit of a mess right now. I have soooo much space, yet I can't find a thing. Just recently it's been getting me down. Crafting hasn't been too pleasurable as I spend so much time trying to find stuff that I kinda lose the will to do it - so I guess it must be time to get organised! LOL. I can't claim any credit for most of these ideas - nor can I give credit as I've been bloghopping a lot recently & have no idea which bits I saw where. There are two huge windows in my craft room, which is actually the entire floor above the store. We do use the space for classes but the rest of the time it's all mine! Not only do they let in loads of light but they have really deep window sills. I'm gradually getting my button collection sorted into colours and into these coffee jars - but I don't drink coffee & my son doesn't like this brand - so any donations would be gratefully received - I need about 10 more of these jars!
I should have been crafting today but I have just found these jars in our local 99p store - I think they are meant for pasta or cookies but mine hold ribbon - lots of ribbon! The jars are huge - about 12" tall with plenty of room to get your hand in and rummage - like I said, that's a lot of ribbon!! I took the idea of having colour 'themes' from HOTP. So I too have Icy Rainbow, Jewel Tones, Earth Tones, Classic & Citrus. I've also added Brights & Metallics - & a smaller coffee jar for sentiment ribbons. I still need a method of storing lace & fibres (I'm thinking more of these jars for the lace) but the ribbons are more or less done. Nina is going to help me make a start on organising my papers tomorrow - and I'll pop back to show you my cool shelving solution!

Still Loving Cosmo Cricket!