Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Express your Selfie

During June I am taking part in a selfie challenge over on Instagram hosted by @expressyourselfy.
A challenge every day to pull something other than a silly pout (unless instructed to of course) - and here are a few of my crazy snaps so far.

It's all just for fun and after months of study, neglect of my blog and little crafting it is a good way to be daft and smile again.

Monday, 1 June 2015

JUNE already?!

JUNE means exams in just a couple of days and my birthday to round off the month. I've been a quiet blogger whilst I try to focus on my studies but hope to share much more after the end of this week.

As it's the start of a new month it means there's a new set of photography prompts over at Createdbyatdml.

Selfie on the 1st
Home sweet home
Black and white
Drink (cuppa/coffee/bubbles/cocktails)
Jewellery (photograph then scrapbook the story)

Hope you'll join in x

Monday, 4 May 2015

May DT Gallery - Designers choice for the ATDML DT

Been playing with more Blue Bay from Kaisercraft, well I was at the retreat last month whilst I tried to get a little ahead with my ATDML design team work to free up May for studying for two accountancy exams. This page also featured one of the cool Crate wooden hoops we had in Katherine's class, which one I had used once I had to buy some more!!

I used this one to draw attention to some of the clustered words I had used. More Kaisercraft Blue Bay goodies to follow later this month!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Proud as punch!

Could not be more proud of my boys today and admit to shedding a tear or two (wish their Grandma and Grandad could have seen them). Both boys achieved personal bests in the junior handicap race this month, Robert knocking a further 8 seconds off his time and on Jamie's third race he managed to knock off 53 seconds off his time to be most improved and win the monthly trophy. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

May Photography prompts

I can hardly believe May is here already, but it is and along with it another set of 5 photography prompts for the month over at A Trip Down Memory Lane blog.

Here is my selfie for the 1st May, a sleepy/studying Ann which is likely to be my look most of this month with exams looming early June.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Throwback Thursday

My maternal nan and I just a few months before she passed away. I miss chatting with my nan lots, she was so wise and always had time for tea and a chat and to work out with me whatever was on my mind. She would be proud of me continuing my studies I know so I post this Throwback Thursday post on the day of my second mock exam with fingers crossed she is watching over me.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

This time last week...

This time last week I was away the ATDML retreat (might have mentioned that!) at the beautiful Stoke-by-Nayland hotel.  I had a very productive weekend and shared several layouts on Facebook and on my Instagram page but here a a few more (and some you may have seen)

This was a double page layout taught by Katherine which I thoroughly enjoyed using Crate Paper Craft Market papers. Just love those wooden hoops!

This is my debut page of Jamie running, this layout undertaken as part of a challenge to use the colour block paper (that forms the background of this page) and of course I also did a running page of Robert too.

This next layout was my own version of Katherine's second layout on her second class where I stayed with a monochromatic page and didn't combine the pink and blue from this range as I wanted this page to sit alongside the first page from the class as my photos were from the same day.

Plenty of inking and spritz on this page which I loved, much texture!!

So there you go, plenty to share and with a virtual crop over on the ATDML blog today there is an abundance of inspiration available from me fellow designers - go check it out >>>

Friday, 17 April 2015

Missing Mum and getting through the firsts...

Today would have been my mums 67th birthday. It is our first birthday without her and I feel a little lost. I can't get to her resting place today to place flowers but I will go over the weekend, this is what I would have done if she were still here so I will not allow myself to feel guilty about this. I do wish I could talk to her, have a hug, just spend a while longer in her company but it was not to be .I always saw mum on or around her birthday and always tried to grab a photo with her if she'd allow (she hated having her photo taken).  We still have firsts to go through, first special days without her that are even harder to cope with than the regular days where your grief is manageable.

We got through the first mothers day without her though many, many tears were shed this day, and more recently the kids and I got through Easter with no Grandma to hide the eggs and arrange the Easter hunt for us, followed by a roast lamb dinner.  My sister and  I spent Easter Sunday together this year and made what I hope will be a new tradition with our children together, hunting for eggs in her garden.  We did also did Easter crafting which they all enjoyed and of course I have many photographs. This is one of my favourites of my Jamie and I used this on a sketch challenge last weekend whilst away the ATDML retreat.

I had made up several kits with photos thrown in for the weekend to make the most of my time and used one and the sketch to create this page.

A little masking and inking, some spritzing, paper layering, washi tape, chipboard hearts and a rub-on for the title.  I don't suppose they will continue to be as interested in crafting as they grow up and sports become a bigger focus for them both but I will enjoy it whilst I can. They love looking through their scrapbook albums and recalling memories from their past and having lost two grandparents in just 8 short weeks it is more important than ever for me to preserve these special moments for them.

Miss you mum, hope you have a G&T in heaven. I shall raise a glass to you tonight xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Away teaching for ATDML

Well I am back from a lovely weekend away scrapping with the ladies from A Trip Down Memory Lane retreat and boy was it productive. In addition to teaching my two classes (two layouts in each) and a make and take card I managed to complete 21 layouts, a birthday card and 6 bookmarks over the 3 days. It was then straight back to work and head down to study for my forthcoming exams so today is the first day I have allowed myself time to blog!

My first class of last weekend was using Crate Paper Confetti papers and we went old school with some gold embossing to compliment the gold elements in the papers. On the first page there was an interactive pocket which held a tag with some embossing and we also stamped and embossed at the bottom of the page of ticket and paper strips.

The second layout (also featuring my kitten Ronnie) featured a stamped and embossed title and made the most of the subtle journaling lines on the background paper.

I love that these papers already had inky splats and washi tape/masking tape patterns on them, made them really interesting to start with and great for layering up clusters of embellishments that incorporates these designs.

I then closed the weekend with the final class on the Sunday afternoon teaching with Fancy Pants True Friend papers (the colours of which I adore!!)

We made the most of the triangle patterned paper cutting them in half for this page and adding layered sequins on some for added interest.

The second page used a technique I saw on Pinterest to punch out circles and fold four edges in to make a dimensional square pattern. Great with punchy coloured double sided pattern papers!

Plenty more pages to share, several of which I uploaded to my Facebook page and Instagram last weekend but I will blog again with more soon.

In the meantime it is back to the study books for me until the weekend when hopefully I will be able to find some time to join in with the next best thing to a retreat with ATDML, that being an online virtual crop! Pop over to their blog to find out more.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

I'm supposed to be getting organised!

This time next week I will be away with the girls on the ATDML Spring 2015 scrapbooking retreat. I am teaching two classes and a make-and-take card and am all prepared with my instructions done. I have even decorated the planner I made last Autumn which holds the photos I need for the five classes I am taking along with details of my menu choice for the weekend and spare photographs for the challenges.

What I don't have yet is the photographs printed off to go in it, or indeed ANY photos printed off ready to take away and make the most of the weekend. This might have something to do with sorting through my papers first to decide what photographs I might want to print off to go with them, this so I can make up grab and go kits to start off a page (which is always finished off with something from the shop!). Problem with going through your papers and sorting out is you tend to get all motivated and creative and end up playing! Here is the result of my Thursday night playing when I should have been preparing!

I bought this gorgeous gloss frame from the Kaisercraft Blue Bay collection before I knew Denise would be teaching a class using this range next weekend (which I am on and very excited about!) I got a bit distress stain happy using  Weathered Wood and Tumbled glass shades of blue to colour the frame edges. I then added a grey stamped border around the outer edge of the inner frame, added a large photograph and finished off with elements from the embellishment pack and flowers and Sparklets. The joy of this paper is you can alter it is so many ways - or use as is, so I can't wait to have another go next weekend with it!

Now I really need to get myself organised and print off some photos to take away!!

Friday, 3 April 2015

My Furry Friend

I think my friends may be getting a little sick and tired of photos of my newest kitten Ronnie! At not quite 6 months old he isn't fully grown but he's not so tiny any more and still full of energy!  I can't help but take photos when he is sleeping because he always looks like he has a smile on his face due to his gorgeous markings!

Purrfect reason to buy some Kaisercraft Furry Friends papers to use to scrapbook this photo.  I used spray ink and distress stain splats first on my background cardstock which I trimmed to 11 1/2" & distressed the edges before adhering to a darker card.

I then cut a piece of the paw print paper 8 1/2" x 4", distressed the edges again and placed about 2" down. I added my photo (with sanded edges) to the left and two feathers (from craft pack not from a prize catch!) and then elements from another paper and some gems & sequins complete the page. There are a few elements from the All that Glitters embellishment pack thrown in here too as the gold in this collection matches really well.

Off to make some Easter gift boxes now, happy crafting!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Throwback Thursday with Tony Hart

1978 and this is me with artist Tony Hart. When I was seven I won an art competition the prize for which was £250 to spend on toys in Selfridges, London and afternoon tea with Tony Hart himself. I remember mum and I getting ready for this big adventure, she wore a faux fur coat and I had a new dress especially for the occasion. The train and visit to Selfridges was treat enough but I admit I was disappointed that Morph wasn't there!!

Another photograph that isn't that great a quality as it was taken from a newspaper article but I need to print it off and get this story in my scrapbook album of me.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Monday, 30 March 2015

March Photography prompts - how did you fair?

Hope you joined in with the March photography prompts with ATDML.
Here are my photos for the month

Selfie on the first - taken whilst out walking

 Something Green - Trees on a reflective day

And more green in my youngest running man in his first race

Look what I made - Kaisercraft gallery for ATDML

Fun & Laughter - the start of the Shaun in the City hunting in London

Time/Clocks - Time remembered at the RAF Bomber Command Memorial

Next challenge for April will be over on the Created by ATDML blog on Wednesday.  See you there?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Kaisercraft Design Team 2015 Entry

Given my love of virtually every paper collection that Kaisercraft have brought onto the Scrapbooking market recently I thought I may as well try out for their design team call for 2015-16. We are lucky in that we have a Kaisercraft specialist online shop here in the UK so it is nice and easy to get hold of the latest products to play with!!

To apply to be on the design team I have to create a blog post showcasing three projects I have recently designed using their products from the last 12 months. So here goes...

First up, a Layout, one I shared recently that I designed for my local crop in March. It uses papers from the All that Glitters collection including the gorgeous foiled butterfly paper. I love that this particular paper from the collection needs very little adding to it to make for a quick page. I cut out several of the butterflies from the foiled paper and added them to the page along with some gems for more sparkle to go with the lush flowers and golden aspects of the page.

Products Used:
All That Glitters - Shine P1774, Twinkle P1779, Golden Foiled Butterflies PS394

Second up is a Beyond the page project I designed using a Kaisercraft Beyond the Page tag calendar. We have a bit of a thing for perpetual calendars in our house with the kids particularly eager to be the one to keep them up to date - so this is one of three we now have! I used the lovely neutral toned colours of the Hello Today papers.  I particularly loved the "don't save some things for a special occasion, every day of your life is a special occasion" sticker which I used along the bottom (although I had to trim part of it to fit so it's a slightly abbreviated version). I used the Tiny Dots clear stamp to around the edge of the background and along the top and sides with some inking to highlight.  I also added a Wooden Flourish "today" at the top of my calendar, a couple of layered flowers from my stash with a sparklet in the centre (REALLY love these sparklets so they feature on some on the month tags too!

Products Used:
Beyond the page tag calendar SB2325 
Hello Today Collection Pack PK489 
Wooden Flourishes  Stationery FL568
Cameo Sparklets RS411
Tiny Dots Clear Stamp  CS151

Lastly I am sharing a card I created for a fellow feline loving friend of mine. We are both lovers of cats and convinced we would be mad crazy cat ladies if not for our husbands, so this "have a Purrrfect day" card was made for her using the latest Furry Friends collection combined with some of the Blue Bay collection. I don't tend to make what I would call flat cards very often and like mine to have some kind of interactive element or something unusual about them. This simple easel card looks like a normal card when the recipient receives it but is just that little bit more when opened.

Products Used:
Kaisercard - Coconut Weave, Bluebell Weave
Furry Friends - Four Legged P1785, Paw-fect P1784
Blue Bay - collectables  CT817

It was so hard to chose just three items to share so watch this space for more Kaisercraft layouts and projects as I have many more! Fingers crossed and good luck to all who are applying :)

Friday, 27 March 2015

Well I do like a challenge!

After a few months of not really putting myself first, or looking after myself much since losing mum I have decided I needed to kick myself up the behind! I lost over 3 stone 2 years ago, with regular gym days, I completed a swimathon of 100 lengths, and I walked 2 night-time marathons.  I was eating better and making sure I took care of myself, the person who is responsible for taking care of several others and usually put herself towards the bottom of the list! The weight has crept back on lately, not all of it, but a fair amount and it is not helping me fell like me.

Well it's time to climb back up the list, I have been back in the gym, I have been striving to achieve my 10,000 daily steps and I have signed up for a 15km night hike in May and another 5km Race for Life Pretty Muddy run in July (well I did enjoy last years!!). The local Mayors fun run will be early September (only a 3k or a 10k - yet to decide if I think running 10k is mad!!) and the Shine Marathon is the end of Sept which I am strongly thinking of doing again so I can focus my training during the summer.

And this is one of the photographs from last year that I have yet to scrapbook so it will be printed off soon and added to my take-away pile for the forthcoming A Trip Down Memory Lane retreat. I am teaching two classes (one Fancy Pants and one Crate Paper) and a make and take card.  I finished the last class this evening :) and am actually rather happy with it! Sneak peaks to follow next week and of course I will share the final creations after the event. In the meantime here is a layout of one of those two walking marathons I completed, just to remind myself I am awesome and I can do this!!