Thursday, 27 February 2014

Thursday Thoughts

A quick post to share a card made for Unscripted Sketches current challenge.  I chose stamps from my favourite Uniko Studio selection and crafted happily yesterday evening.

I used a large flower in place of the circle on the sketch, then stamped it again in a darker shade and cut out the middle section to place for the smaller circle. Both the flower and the centre are mounted onto foam squares.  I did think originally that the leaves might be good for the horizontal rectangle, but decided on a stamped one instead. I embossed my background square, added some gems and I was done.  Hope you like it, I think the flower stamp is gorgeous.


Stamps: Uniko Studio, Background Builderes SQUARED, Beautiful Blooms 1
Inks: Memento, rose bud, lilac posies, pear tart, Paris dusk
Embossing: Cuttlebug, swiss dots
Embellishments: adhesive gems

Thanks for dropping by today. 


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wednesday (Very Excited) Words

If you follow my blog you'll know I love patchwork  - and possibly quilting too!  In an effort to improve my quilting I signed up for a couple of workshops at  The quilting is still a work in progress, but what I'm really really excited about is discovering a monthly block club run by Amy Gibson, one of their tutors.

I was so impressed by her workshop on Craftsy that I popped over to her blog -  And this was where I read about her sugar block club.  Each month a pattern for a block is emailed to you with a shopping list and instructions - very clear and easy to follow - about how to put the block together.  Then at the end of the year all the blocks are made into a quilt.

In addition to the block instructions you also get a yummy dessert recipe and a personal challenge based around one word. This so appealed to me that  I signed up immediately. And almost immediately the first two projects arrived in my inbox.  Then followed an impatient wait until I could get my hands on some fabric. I bought three fat quarter bundles from ebay and the background fabrics from my favourite shop - Stitchcraft Studio - and then I was off and running.

Here are my fabric choices:

So here are my first two blocks. Can't wait to see what the next block looks like and I'm counting down the days until 1st March when the next project will arrive.

January - Intention

February - Mercy

Thanks for dropping by today. Hoping this may have inspired you to join in, would be good to see some names I recognise over at the club's flickr group.


Monday, 24 February 2014

Monday Moment 1

A new week and the chance to enter some new challenges. I'm excited to have made the top three at Unscripted Sketches last week.  Thank you so much for picking my card!

First up today is a card for CAS(E) this sketch.  I pretty much did a literal interpretation of this sketch as I used some stamps that I bought a while ago and had forgotten about until this jogged my memory.

It's been a while since I've stamped and coloured an image and I really enjoyed giving my promarkers some love.


Stamps: Penny Black, a bunch
Ink: Memento, tuxedo black
Promarkers: tulip yellow, crimson, marsh green cool grey 1, 4 & 5
Embellishments: gems from my stash

Monday Moments 2

My other share for today is a card I'm entering for two challenges. The layout is from Freshly Made Sketches and the colours from Color Throwdown.

I used the masking tape technique, first mentioned here, for the vertical blocks and then stamped the dandelions on top. I couldn't match the soft sky colour from my usual Memento inks so had to get a bit inventive and used just one strip from a Kaleidoscope ink pad.  The ribbon is my match for very vanilla, but has photographed a bit darker than it looks in real life.


Stamps: Lavinia, dandelions; Clearly Besotted sentiment
Inks: Memento, pistachio, naurical blue; kaleidoscope, caribbean sea
Embellishment: ribbon from my stash 

Thanks for dropping by today.


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Saturday Scribbles

Another trawl back through my photos for today's scrapbook page.  When I started scrapping I made a heritage type album and did a double page about each of my boys, vowing it was just not possible to back track through their childhood and make individual albums.  Well I've sort of changed my mind, not about individual albums, but I can now see it's possible to scrap at least some of the better photos and at the moment these pages all live in an album labelled 'before 2000'. I'm thinking at some point this might need to be split into two albums, but for now it's ok.

So today's page was inspired by The Memory Nest's February Colour Challenge.  The photo I used just sort of jumped out at me because of the colours - such a lovely combo from the challenge that set off my photo so well.  I've even managed to use one of the phrases as a title - I think being the youngest of three boys led to a lot of being passionate and fearless!

I added the little journalling blocks as my memories are a bit random, but tell the story of this holiday. I flicked some inks and added buttons - becoming a bit of a thing at the moment - to link up the different parts of the page. Then I couldn't resist adding a little patch of the papers on the right hand side, a sort of echo the rest of the page.

Please excuse the crooked look of some of the elements, they're not in real life, it just seems to happen when I take and crop photos.


 Paper: AC, kraft card stock + scraps from my stash
Alpha: October Afternoon, mini market
Stamp: Collage Press, official record
Inks: Memento, rich cocoa; Mister Huey's Color Mists,plum thumb & opaque white
Embellishments: buttons from my stash

Thanks for dropping by today.  Have a great weekend!


Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday Focus

Just a quick post today to share my newest craft - crochet.  Although I've knitted all my life I've never learnt how to crochet. So believing firmly in lifelong learning and you're never too old etc I set about teaching myself to crochet.

I found these amazing blog posts, here and here to inspire me, got out an old crochet hook and leftover wool, tuned in to youtube and produced this:

On the strength of this tiny sample I ordered supplies and started to make my basket.  It was a bit of a learning curve and at one point I lost stitches, but embracing 'accept imperfections' I carried on and got more fluent and tidy.

Now I'm really pleased with myself and keep looking at my basket and thinking 'I made that!'  And the colours are just so me!

Pattern: link here
Cotton: Lily Cotton, Sugar & Cream colour  - Fruit Punch

So now I need a new crochet project to keep my fingers busy.  I'm scouring the internet for ideas and will keep you posted.

Thanks for dropping by today.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tuesday Talk - Unscripted & Less is More

Can't believe I've actually managed to combine two challenges at long last.  So I've used the layout from Unscripted Sketches and the theme from Less is More and some of my brand new Uniko Studio stamps.

The theme at Less is More this week is masculine, so right up my street usefulness wise although I do find these cards the most challenging. The sketch gave me plenty of opportunity to use the new squared background builders and indulge my love of using buttons.  My youngest son thinks this is really strange and asked why I'd put buttons on his birthday card in that tone of voice that just oozes you're really weird.  But I love them and say boo to him!


Less is More
This week our theme is one for the chaps!
SO we'd like to see a 
Any aged chap will do as long as the card is for the male gender!
Stamps: Uniko Studio, Background Builders SQUARED, All Occasion Sentiments #2
Inks: Memento, Danube blue, pear tart
Embellishments: buttons 

Tuesday Talk - Sketch Saturday

Next up today I want to go back to my primary craft love of scrapbooking. I'm continuing my delve into the past and have made a page about the birth of my youngest son - him who thinks buttons are mad!

I saw the sketch at Sketch Saturday and knew immediately it was perfect for this page.  There is more journalling than appears on the page, but I didn't want to spoil the balance so I've tucked it behind in the page protector. It basically says I came home to find everyone ill - this is a recurring theme for me as it also happened after the birth of my second son. It also flags up that, despite their illness, he was pounced upon by his two brothers and that pretty much sums up his early years - guarded and cossetted and given rough and tumble love.

Paper: Collage Press, Grayson Hall collection; Hambly, screen print little circles; scraps from ep
Alphas: AC thickers, subway
Embellishments: heart cut from a die, twine & button

Hope you noticed the button! Thanks for dropping by today.


Monday, 17 February 2014

Monday Moments

Just had to make a card for Clearly Besotted's Challenge.  Love, love, love their stamps!

This month it's a colour challenge and the inspiration photo is from Design Seeds.  I discovered Design Seeds just the other week and and whiled away a good chunk of time looking, copying and printing some of their wonderful colour combinations.

But back to my card.  There were so many colours - although there is no obligation to use them all - I thought long and hard and stared at my collection of Clearly Besotted stamps for quite a while before deciding that maybe a banner might fit the bill.  So I stamped a card, but wasn't that pleased with the result, so I stamped the flags again, cut them out and mounted them onto foam before adding on top of the original banner.

I quite liked this effect, but then spotted my glossy accents on the shelf and decided to make the flags even more 3D with this. A few sequins and a sentiment and I was satisfied and the card was good to go.


Stamps: Clearly Besotted, Say It In Style, Geometric Style
Inks: Memento, rich cocoa, lady bug, rhubarb stalk, pear tart, bahama blue, summer sky
Embellishments: sequins

Thanks for dropping by today.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Slot - ColourQ Challenge

Hey! So my new Uniko Studio stamps have arrived and I've already had a little play.  Today's share is three cards I made with them.

First up is my entry for ColourQ - lovely, lovely colours this week.  I used the new gift stamp as a flower pot, strange I know, but that's just what I saw when I opened the box!


Stamps: Uniko Studio, A Gift For You, Background Builders SQUARED, Flower Power #3
Inks: Memento, Lady Bug; Adirondack, sail boat blue, pool; Versa Color, 20 turquoise
Embellishments: Adhesive pearls, buttons & twine

Sunday Slot - Color Throwdown Challenge

Next up is a card using the explosion stamp. I'm really excited about this stamp. I have plans to use it in my scrapbooking as well as all the male family cards I need to make each year.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to me that the first card I made with it was not really male themed at all. I was itching to get out my boy colours, but decided to go with the pink palette from Color Throwdown and bide my time.


Stamps: Unikos Studio, Explosion, All Occasion Sentiments #2, Flower Power #3
Inks: Memento, London fog, rose bud, angel pink, lady bug
Embellishments: nailheads, ribbon

Sunday Slot - CASology

My final share today was made with the CASology theme BOLD in mind.  So I let myself loose with the explosion stamp and boy colours! Yay!

This was really fun to make and I picked a really bold colour combo to match this really bold stamp. I stamped the yellow explosion and trimmed it right down to its inner lines and mounted it on foam squares to give even more impact.  I think I also had my oldest grandson in mind as orange is his favourite colour and I know there'll be an occasion to send him this as he's so sporty.  I love this card!


Stamps: Uniko Studio, Explosion, All Occasion Sentiments #1
Inks: Memento, danube blue, bahama blue, tangelo, dandelion
Embellishments: buttons

Well that's all from me, I feel I've had a productive weekendThanks so much for dropping by today.


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thursday Thoughts

When I was looking through my photos for the ten on the tenth I realised I'd never scrapped the photo of William's first encounter with snow. So needing no more excuse I spent a happy time using the sketch from Unscripted Sketches to rectify this.

It was such a simple sketch and an absolute gift for this page as I wanted the photograph to grab your attention without any distractions. A super innocent tender moment that needed a simple uncluttered layout. I absolutely adore this photo and can't stop looking at it - this page really sums up all my feelings about scrapbooking and is the reason why I love it so much.


Paper: Tim Holtz; ep, winter park; My Mind's Eye, the sweetest thing
Ink: Ranger distress ink, weathered wood 
Punch: snowflake
Embellishments: Adhesive pearls

Thanks for dropping by today.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wednesday Words

Time for a card today.  Seems ages since I made and shared a card, but I couldn't resist the CAS(E) this sketch challenge this week.

I'd been playing around with patterned paper and layering for my One Little Word album, so it seemed a natural step to apply this technique for this card.  Out came my Uniko Studio dies and a favourite colour combo of mine at the moment - red, turquoise and mustardy yellow.  I quickly layered up the flower shape, but then felt the background white needed a little something to make it stand out.  So I popped it through my swiss dots embossing folder and inked round the edges. Finally I added a button threaded with twine, embossed a line under the sentiment and I was done. A super easy, super quick, but striking card.

Paper: My Mind's Eye, Miss Caroline dilly dally
Stamp: Uniko Studio, Flower Power #2
Die: Uniko Studio, Graphic Flowers Time
Ink: Memento, bahama blue
Embossing: Cuttlebug, swiss dots

Thanks for dropping by today.


Monday, 10 February 2014

Monday 10 on the 10th Moments

First up I have to celebrate one of my scrapbook pages being featured over at The Memory Nest and another one at Unscripted Sketches. How amazing is that! Always a thrill when this happens and I'm absolutely delighted.

So on to today's main share, my February 10th ten things list. This month I went with 'Things I see when I think of Winter'.

1. Snow - well it just had to be!  But specifically I remember William's first experience of snow. He was about 17 months old and the look on his face as he tried to work out why he was sinking into the ground was just priceless.  I didn't catch that on camera, but I did get a tender moment of him with Leo when he was thinking about touching snow for the first time.

2. Frozen water - this is my bird bath, but when it's on the ground I still can't resist stamping and breaking it up.

3. Minus degree temperatures - not had many of those so far this winter. Love the cool, freshness the frost gives to the grass.

4. Frost patters on glass - I'm old enough to remember how Jack Frost used to draw these patterns especially for me on my bedroom windows when I was little. There was no heating of any kind in my bedroom way back then, unles you count a hot water bottle of course.

5. Cobwebs showcased by frost.

6. Bare branches against the sky - I really lucked out with this shot capturing birds resting a while.

7.  Robins - we have a pair of robins that visit our garden several times a day throughout the year, but I always associate them with winter.

8. Berries - echoing the red of the robin's breast berries always add a splash of brightness to add a spike of cheer.

9. The fireplace - particularly when it's decorated for Christmas and is a real one!  Not mine sadly, but one of my sons. So I get all the fun without any of the hard work.

10. Hands warming round a mug of something hot - soup is a healthy choice, but hot chocolate an indulgence. If you look closely you will see my flaking nails, another thing I see a lot of during the winter months.

Well that's my list completed. I wonder what things pop into your head when you think of Winter?  Maybe you will leave a comment to let me know.

Thanks for dropping by today, hope it's not too cold or wet or windy or hot where you are.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday Scrapbooking

Just a very late and quick post to share the two pages I've made today.  I love following TheMemory Nest's blog and try to enter their challenges as much as possible.  So when I saw this layout challenge I knew I'd want to give it a go. It's a bit different to my usual style and took me a while to decide which photos to use.  But then the decoration of my very badly cracked walls seemed to present the perfect subject for this photo booth strip theme.


Paper: AC, kraft cardstock; My Mind's Eye paper scraps
Stamps: Kaisercraft, grid; Technique Tuesday, life in pictures by Ali Edwards
Alphas: Large alpha from my stash; October Afternoon, mini market
Ink: Mister huey's Color Mists, sunshine, opaque white, dark calico
Embellishments: circle punches & buttons

Inspired by this page's multiple photos I then branched off into circles and made this page about my garden in January.  I added some stitching to ground the circles and a few random circle stickers that were left over from alpha sheets.  I'm really pleased with how the photos look cut into circles - all the less interesting bits got chopped off!

Thanks for looking at my blog, hope you found it interesting.


Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday Focus

Today my focus is on one of my favourite stamp collections from Uniko Studio.  I may have said this before, but it's been such a revelation for me it's worth saying again, finding stamps like these has completely changed how I make cards.  I used to buy a stamp, use it to make a card and then put it away and forget about it.  Now I get the same stamps out over and over and make loads of cards that are all completely different - the stamps are just that versatile.

First up is my entry for their current layout challenge.  At first I thought about snowflakes falling or maybe hearts with Valentine's day coming up, but finally I decided to turn the sketch upside down and make a bright summery card to counteract all the grey skies and rain we've been having recently.

I placed my sentiment where the circle would have been and with a healthy dose of pink, some purple and yellow, a little pricking and loads of adhesive pearls my card was complete.


Stamps:  Uniko Studio, All Occasion Sentiments #1, Flower Power #1 & #2, Natures Treasures 1
Inks: Versa Color, 12 Marigold, 17 Violet, 34 Orchid, 42 Lime
Embellishments: Adhesive pearls and spotty card

My other share today is a Valentine themed card I made a while ago when I first received these new stamps. No prizes for guessing the colour I used - well maybe you would assume red, but my blog is a big clue!  

I wanted to string the hearts together to look like a hanging mobile, that was easy enough, but it took many practice attempts to get the bow looking at all decent. Maybe I should buy Beverley's bow stamp! 

A couple of accent strips and some gems and I was pleased with how this turned out. Such brilliant stamps it's hard to go wrong!

Stamps: Uniko Studio, Always & Forever, Flower Power #3
Ink: Memento, grape jelly
Embellishments: adhesive gems 

Thanks for dropping by today.


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Thursday Evening Thoughts

A bit of a late post today, but I wanted to share this page and get it entered into sketch saturday's challenge before I filed it away into my album.

I've wanted to do a page with the journalling contained in an envelope ever since I saw Kirsty Smith's pages here and here.  The journalling for this photo is not particularly private just a bit lengthy, but it is an important story and I wanted to do it justice.

It tells the story of our mishap with a fancy camera, basically it was bought for the occasion and we didn't know how to load the film properly. Subsequently we lost of all our hospital and first week photos. You can imagine how thrilled we were to receive three photos taken by another set of new parents who, thank goodness, did know how to use their camera!

So the journalling and the other two photos are tucked into the envelope, but within easy reach if anyone wants to look further. As you can see I stuck pretty close to the sketch apart from rotating it and popping it in the corner of a 12 x 12 page.


Paper: Bo Bunny, Doubledot designs; Scraps from ep
Ink: Mr Huey's Color Mists, dark calico, sunshine, opaque white
Alphas: Webster's story tellers; Simple Stories ahndmade holiday
Embellishments: buttons & twine from my stash

Thanks for dropping by, have a great evening.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday Unscripted Layout

Hey!  Welcome to my blog and a scrapbook page to share today for a first time ever challenge for me at Sketch it Saturday - Unscripted Sketches.  I heard about this challenge from Kimberly, my first ever follower, as she'd noticed I enjoy making pages and thought it might be up my street. Kimberly is an avid card maker and occasional scrapbooker and she blogs just about every day here, well worth a look, loads of inspiration.

I decided to make my page about the latest addition to my family - Andrew & Vic's new canine friend.  They've always had some sort of pet, a rabbit and a few rats, but really wanted, but didn't have the space for, a dog.  So now completely settled into their new house the time was right and they researched the breed that would suit them best.  They came up with the idea of a retired greyhound, had their house checked out for suitability and hey presto within two days had found their ideal friend.

So on Saturday I went over to meet Murray for the first time and was very quickly charmed by him.  He's huge, but docile, obedient and contented.  So here he is:


I kept pretty true to the sketch, just shrinking it down a little to suit my current style.  I added sprinkles of ink to help the flow and some buttons to add dimension and frame the key elements of my page. 

Paper: Bo Bunny Doubledot designs & scraps from ep
Alphas: ep mini alpha & Websters Little Story Tellers
Inks: Mr Huey's Color Mists, dark calico, plum thumb, opaque white
Embellishments: Hemp twine & buttons from my stash

Thanks for dropping by today and be sure to check out Kimberly's blog.