Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A year in photographs

As mentioned previously we have had quite a busy year - so without further ado,  my 2013 in photographs . This list is made possible by the use throughout the year of a photo app called My 365 on my android phone. So these aren't fab photos - but capture everyday and fab moments. I was lucky enough to be bought a new compact camera by hubby for Christmas so whilst I will keep up My 365 in 2014 - I will also have better photos from my camera, and finally this is by no means exhaustive list but represents the highlights of 2013

JAN -  A 40th birthday for hubby (and our weekend away to New York) and Matt Cardle meet up

FEB - Jamie turned 6 and we spent quality time with good friends

MAR - World book day, Marathon training and Ellie meets Lewis Watson

APR - A crafty weekend away, Excitement on the Thames and the boys start cricket

MAY -  Matt Cardle at Union Chapel and I walk my 2nd Marathon

JUN - Surgery for hubby, GCSE Art Exhibition & Prom for Ellie, Cub Camp for Rob

JUL - Sports days, Summer Holidays begin, Olympic Anniversary Games

AUG - Gromit trail in Bristol, Harry Potter World, Stonehenge with Friends, My injury :(

SEPT - Town Show success, Rob turns 9, Jamie becomes a Beaver Scout, 80s night

OCT - Conkering, Another crafty weekend away, Halloween

NOV - Home comforts, Children in Need, Ellie turns 17

DEC - Adventures of Timmy the Elf, Wet Wet Wet concert, Christmas!

Hope you've enjoyed my year in review. In 2014 I am going to continue with my 365 photos but also scrap along the year in a Project Life style album. This was I can put my year of photos into one album and cope with the numerous shots of the same event I tend to take!!

Wising you all a very happy new year - see you on the other side!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Time for a revival

Well I knew that I had been busy in 2013 - particularly after the moonwalk marathon I walked in April when work got crazy busy right through into the summer, but I hadn't realised that I had not blogged for that long. I have been asked recently by two or three people why I don't blog any more and if I am starting up again and I thought, you know what, I think I will.

So, not so much of a resolution as such, but I will plan on blogging more often, I would say at least once a week but hopefully more. Indeed I am thinking of many things I can share and can feel a list coming on - and if you know me, you'll know I love a list!  

So first up a layout I created for the 1st day of Christmas challenge over at Created-by-ATDML. As today is only the 4th day of Christmas there are several days of inspiration posted by the team with many more to come.

The layout features a cute bow design that Katherine Sutton taught at the Autumn ATDML retreat, instructions on how to make it are featured on the blog post at Created-by-ATDML.

Off to make that list now of blog ideas I have. Back very soon, indeed this year with a round up or two.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Walk the Walk - not long now

Under three weeks to go until I tackle my second walking marathon, still 26.2 miles, 42km raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer. I am doing a cake sale at work to raise funds next week, having a "buy a mile" event at my local slimming world group and hoping to receive a few sponsors too!

It has been a lot of training, indeed this weekend the longest preparatory walk of 35k is due (I blistered last year at this stage!) but at least the weather has perked up a little and no matter how uncomfortable, tiring or difficult the training gets I know it is nothing compared to what sufferers and their families endure at the hands of the cruel disease that is Cancer.

Every penny counts and so if you are so inclined I would be thrilled to receive your support for this worthy cause. Either pop some cash my way when you next see me & leave your details on my sponsorship form, or pop on line to the just giving page set up for my pal and I who are joint fundraising together as so many people know us both - Team Annielene. Thanks you, and wish me luck!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Second ATDML Class

Oops, just realised I didn't share my second class layouts from the ATDML retreat.

Using Basic Grey Hey you papers I designed two layouts from the kit with a stamping/misting background that made the most of 6x6 papers and featured a rather yummy alphabet and stickers too! My first page was more grungy stamping in dark brown ink and bubblewrap and held two photos of my youngest and his March 2013 red nose day antics!

My second page using the same paper collection had a more subtle feel to it with softer misting, stamping and paint elements on a photo where the 6x6 paper joins are hidden.. giving the illusion the papers run behind the photo.

A jam packed inset day.

Last Monday my boys had an extra (inset) day off school at the end of the Easter Holidays and we decided to meet up with friends in London using Tesco clubcard vouchers for a fun day out.
First we caught the train (an adventure in itself if you ask a 6 year old!) up to Westminster for our speed boat ride down the Thames. So much fun, especially when the Bond 007 music was played and we sped up. Youngest claimed it was "epic" and whilst Rob enjoyed it he urged me to hold on tight more than once!!

After the Rib ride we grabbed lunch and jumped back on the tube for London Zoo where we spent a pleasant afternoon with NO crowds enjoying enjoying ourselves & learning plenty.  We saw the snake cage from the original Harry Potter movie, the Komodo dragon Raja from the latest Bond film Skyfall and an entire cage of "King Julians!" not to mention the "smile and wave boys" penguins from the film Madagasca. (obviously it helps if you have seen this film to appreciate the great amusement we had at this stage!)

When the zoo closed at half five we met up with hubby in Leicester square, enjoyed TGI ribs (yum!) and eventually made our way back home after over 12k of walking around on a rather nice day. PLenty of photos, now just to find the time between work and walking to scrap them!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sticking the boot in!

Today was another crafty day following an entire weekend away last weekend indulging in my favourite hobby. For a change up, and because I knew I'd have taught the weekend before we had a guest designer this month and Kirsty taught the class with the Simple Stories Urban Traveler papers I had sourced from Mel & Jill at ATDML.  I was thrilled when she demonstrated that the class involved inking up the sole of her young son's wellington boot with Tim Holtz Distress Stains to make a muddy footprint on the background of the page!! Combined with ink splatters and some subtle spraying and the added photo/paper section I was thrilled with my completed layout. Of course I wasn't smart enough to have photographed it in daylight and if I take it now the light will fail me and not show the true colours and effect achieved on the page so this will have to be something I do in coming days.

Off to make tea now, then maybe a little more creating before an early night as I am walking to Ally Pally tomorrow for the craft show/marathon training. The event is just 4 weeks away and I am a little behind on walking training even if my overall fitness level has improved. I even managed to get through an entire spinning class this week! get me!

Friday, 12 April 2013

ATDML Retreat - My First class

This time last week I was away with at the ATDML scrapbooking retreat where I has already taught my first class of the weekend - two layouts using Simple Stories 24/Seven papers.  The first page was based on this paper and the ever popular hexagons that we see so often on pages these days.

As part of this class we also made the twine/cork button flowers which I also taught as a quick make and take on the Sunday.

My second page using the same 24/Seven paper collection was based on this paper from Simple Stories Vintage Bliss collection. I loved the layout of  the page elements and wanted to create it with 24/seven colours and a little more dimension.

Using this paper as a guideline for a layout design I created this page perfect to house photos of my family of five but you could use the design as a multi-photo page of a single event or similar shots of one person too, perhaps pulling a range of quirky faces?! 

Both pages also feature a couple of other papers from this collection and the rather lovely chipboard stickers too which can be found HERE in the ATDML shop. Back again over the weekend with my other class pages.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

If it's not the cats it's the kids!!

Not content for the cats to steal the limelight when I am trying to photograph a layout my kids are now getting in on the act - or rather my youngest is. Check out these cheeky snaps while I am trying to photograph one of my class layouts for this weekends ATDML retreat! He is too funny! Needs a haircut though! Must book that for next week lol!

 Less than 24 hours until I teach this class - exciting! One of two layouts using Simple Stories 24/Seven (which I ADORE!!) and my other class is Basic Grey Hey You where I showcase two layouts from the same paper range - one masculine, grungy and messy and another softer toned yet still inky page. Will of course share the pages next week or who knows, they may appear on the Created by ATDML blog over the weekend. Tune in and find out!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

March ATDML Gallery


New York, New York, so good they named it twice they say and featured heavily in my March Design Team gallery layouts for A Trip Down Memory Lane. Papers were by Glitz and I thought the dotty print of the paper above reminded me a little of snow and whilst it was clear in New York whilst we were visiting the UK saw plenty! I kept the page pretty basic as I liked the paper so much but still managed to squeeze multiple photos and plenty of journalling on.
Another layout for the gallery also using Glitz tells the story of the Freeman restaurant in New York, one of the main reasons we chose this city to celebrate Mat's 40th in January. Why would we not want to go there when it shared our name?!
This one used up a few buttons and flowers I had sitting in a "use it or lose it" pot on my craft desk and I think add a pop of colour to this neutral coloured page. The tag has journalling on which lifts out of the pocket that came in a Studio Calico kit. 
The gallery isn't up in the website yet but we are all busy preparing for a weekend of indulgent creative this coming Friday and everyone is busy finishing off instructions, packing kits and making sure all runs smoothly. Am sure all will be revealed shortly!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The Big Egg Hunt Covent Garden

30th Big Egg Hunt
Nice way to spend the Saturday of Easter weekend mooching around Covent Garden with my boys seeking the hundred or so giant Easter eggs hidden there as part of the charity fundraising big egg hunt. Sponsored by Lindt we even got a mini golden bunny each to munch on whilst we ticked off each egg as we found it. Jamie loved the Julia Donaldon "A Squash and a Squeeze" egg having been learning all about the author at school. Both boys were thrilled to find the Adventure time Finn & Jake egg too and I loved a neat brick built home egg. Shame the weather wasn't a tad warmer as it was rather chilly making it hard on little fingers to turn the book pages with much needed gloves on!
Great day all the same and plenty of new photos too ready for scrapping at the weekend!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Filing Layouts

2013-03-19 10.59.29

As part of my preparing for a forthcoming scrapbooking weekend I noticed I had several piles of layouts around my scrappy room all waiting to be filed. I also had a number of random albums where I had slotted layouts in to keep them protected but with no thought to the theme or order but rather as and when they had been created led to where they were filed. I ordered a couple of new albums, some additional page protectors and decided I was once and for all going to file all my hard work.

BOY DID IT TAKE SOME TIME!! I now however have all the kids albums up to date (they have one each) and family albums for general pages stretching from 2009-10 to date. One album left to file away is my "me" album where I have pages about scrapping, training for marathons, concerts, days out and travels. I may have to put a little more thought into splitting this out further, but I now need yet more page protectors before I can do anything else - oh and maybe a few more empty albums and the kids ones are now all full!! Does fell much better having sorted it all out though and my hard work is now safely behind page protectors and I have a list of "gaps" where I need to print off some pictures and fill a few holes! Good job I have a retreat coming up eh?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Superhero party invites

Occasionally, having made the odd bespoke card for friends and colleagues, I am asked to make something a little different. Recently a request came in for 40 birthday party invitations for a Heroes and Villains party. I had a browse around the internet to gather some ideas where I could incorporate using my New York Skyline stamp and whilst leaning towards a comic themed design. A browse on eBay too and I found some "POW" and "THWACK" stickers which gave me a colour theme to join up with the my ideas.. and here is what I eventually came up with.
2013-03-22 15.39.14
Obviously the rest of the party details are contained inside with a RSVP to a Special Agent mum who was rather pleased when I sent her a sneak peak of the design. Now if only my printer hadn't run out of ink this evening I would have them all complete but alas the final part will now have to wait until tomorrow. I am rather pleased with how they have come out, even if I did underestimate how long they would take to make!! Never mind - one satisfied customer and a few more spends for the forthcoming ATDML retreat.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Sneak Peak of March ATDML gallery

Coming soon to ATDML is the March Gallery featuring design team creations using a mix of papers from GLITZ. Quite possibly I may have a layout or two about New York in there!! Here are a couple of sneak peaks...




Not long now until the Spring 2013 ATDML retreat either, just two weeks away this weekend coming and am teaching two classes this time again, one with Simple Stories 24/Seven and the second with Basic Grey papers...cannot wait to share them with you!!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

February ScrapMates

It seems like ages ago but what with one thing and another I haven't shared the two layouts I taught at my crop last month. Photos fresh off the press from my January trip to New York this is the first layout from that trip and using the lovely Crate Paper Fourteen range.


The papers are a typically valentine range so suitable for scrapping in February I thought, but my class was about showcasing how you can take a theme paper collection and make it work with a variety of photos. We got busy with some misting, made clever use of 6x6 papers to hide the joins beneath the photo and added heart embellishments cut from the papers.


The second layout used the remainder of the kit for a page focusing on blocks of patterned paper overlaying each other, very much in a Shimelle style. This time I chose a photo of my youngest and I, his nickname being Mr Squishy because he is so squishable and huggable!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mothers Day

Didn't get to see my mum today but caught up with her and dad last night for dinner with my hubby and the boys. Gave her an orchid and a handmade card (one of 13 that I have made this week due to popular demand for orders from colleagues after having seen one I had made for a friend).


Thought we were due for an updated photo too as the last one of us together was taken in 2010 when I weighed over 3 stone heavier! 

Hope no matter what you have planned for today, be it with your mum, with fond thoughts of her, or being spoilt as a mum yourself, well I hope it brings a smile to your face. I know my kids have certainly brought a smile to mine.