Sunday, 18 September 2011

Book Review - The Sweetest Thing by Cathy Woodman

Fantastic Fiction Review: If only everything in life was as simple as baking a cake...Jennie Copeland thought she knew the recipe for a happy life: marriage to her university sweetheart, a nice house in the suburbs and three beautiful children. But when her husband leaves her, she is forced to find a different recipe. And she thinks she's found just what she needs: a ramshackle house on the outskirts of the beautiful Talyton St George, a new cake-baking business, a dog, a horse, chickens...But life in the country is not quite as idyllic as she'd hoped, and Jennie can't help wondering whether neighbouring farmer Guy Barnes was right when he told her she wouldn't last the year. Or perhaps the problem is that she's missing one vital ingredient to make her new life a success. Could Guy be the person to provide it?

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was the first Cathy Woodman book I've read and I really liked her style of writing. Right from the start I liked the main Character, Jennie and was willing her to succeed in her new life in the country. Cathy Woodman's descriptions of Jennie's new cottage and life in the country were well written and really enjoyable to read.

I loved that the title of each chapter was the name of a cake mentioned in the chapter and the descriptions of Jennie's cake baking were delicious.

Thoroughly enjoyable read and kept me turning the pages late into the night.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Scrapology - September Card Challenge

This month Sue from Craftwork Cards has set the monthly Card Challenge on Scrapology and wants us to make cards with BUNTING on them.

For my card I chose to use papers and die cut bunting from Craftwork Cards Sweet Meadow collection, a cute die cut pre coloured image from their Warren collection and a foiled birthday sentiment.

The scalloped circles used to mat the image and the sentiment were cut on the Craft Robo and I hand drew stitching round the edges to match the Sweet Meadow Paper. I also drew stitching on the bunting which I hung from the top of the card. Pink flowers from Hobbycraft were added to the bunting to add some dimension.

Do pop over to Scrapology to see the rest of the design team's cards and don't forget if you create a card yourself incorporating bunting you could be a winner. The Closing date for entries is the 15th October and full details can be found on the Scrapology blog.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Nichol Magouirk - From Start to Finish video

This week I thought I would have another go at one of Nichol Magouirk's 'From Start to Finish' classes from Two Peas in a Bucket. The class I chose was from 16th February.

I used the Echo Park Life is Good collection. I also used American Craft Thickers, some text cut from a sheet of Scenic Route paper and also a sheet of Scenic Route Ledger paper. I changed the design slightly by adding a title rather than the tags which Nichol suggested.

The photos are some of my favourite photos of the children with their cousin. They were taken in the garden by my sister-in-law a few years ago.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Back to School

The school holidays are over and the children are all now back at school.

Lara went back yesterday and is at the same school but now in year 4 with a new teacher. We have a three tier school system here and so this will be her last year at this school. Next year she will be off to the Middle School which means her catching the school bus to a nearby town.

Steven started at the Upper School (Community College) in a nearby village today in year 9. He's quite pleased that after wearing a shirt and tie for the past 9 years of his schooling his new school uniform consists of polo shirts and sweatshirts. His uniform is black whereas previously it's always been red.

Christopher also returned to the upper sixth today. He and Steven are now at the same school. No photos of Christopher though - I did unsuccessfully suggest taking some!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Lets Go Fly A Kite

Today I went to my monthly crop at Stamp Addicts. I worked on three layouts but as two of them are design team projects I can only show you one.

Recently I came across the blog of Candian scrapper Stephanie Klauck. Stephanie is on design teams from Jillybean Soup and Elle's Studio. I just LOVE how she incorporates so many photos on her layouts and am inspired by her clean style of scrapping. I decided to create a layout in her style and came up with 'Lets Go Fly A Kite'

I used patterned papers from My Minds Eye (clouds) , Simple Stories (green spot, stripe and red) and Scenic Route (ledger). I also used a few buttons and some bakers twine.

The title was cut on my Craft Robo which since I recently downloaded (rather belatedly) the Silhouette software for it and bought a new blade is cutting so well and I can now see me using it much more.

I think this style of layout is the way to go if I want to incorporate lots of photos from a specific event or day out

Friday, 2 September 2011

Scrapology September Layout Challenge - E is for Embossing

Over on Scrapology this month the team choose to scrap lift a layout from one of my all time favourite scrapbookers - Kelly Goree. I have been a huge fan of Kelly's work ever since I started scrapbooking and find her work so inspirational.

The technique for this month is Embossing - dry embossing, wet embossing and any other type of embossing you can think of.

I choose to use a sheet of Core Impressions BasicGrey Ornate 12" x 12" card stock as a background for my layout. The cardstock is embossed with a BasicGrey design and sanded to make the image more distinct. The patterned paper and border sticker are from BasicGrey's Olivia collection. The chipboard flowers were from a Little Leaves Cardmaking Kit, lace from The Hobby House, gems from an old bracelet and the concertina flowers were made from scraps of Olivia patterned paper.

The little girl in my layout is me. The photo was taken either at Christmas or on my birthday when I was given a huge doll. She was almost as tall as I was. I can still picture the doll - short blond curly hair, peachy coloured dress and eyes that closed when she was laid down. She was made from really hard plastic (not at all cuddly) and I used to play 'tea parties' with her. I also remember the little chair I was sitting on in the photo. You can't see it well but if it's the one I think it is, the back was a furry black and white panda face.

Here is this months sketch based on the original layout ..............

........... and Kelly's gorgeous original layout.

Do pop over to Scrapology to see all the design team layouts and play along too. You could have a chance of winning a beautiful tamps set and ink pad donated by Jill of Cardinal Colours.

Fifth Day of the Sixth Week of the School Summer Holidays - Paper Bead Bracelet

Today we turned to Lara's Klutz Paper Beads book which one of her friends gave her one year for her birthday. She had made beads from it before and was, I think, a little disappointed that I hadn't anything 'new' for her to make today but I was short of time to supervise craft time today and thought it was something she could do without any adult help.

The Book came with precut strips of patterned paper, glue, elastic and a tool for winding the paper into beads.

Some of the beads drying.

Finished bracelet.

Fourth Day of the Sixth Week of the School Summer Holidays - Beaded T-Shirt Bracelet

As promised here is the second canvas Lara created on Wednesday.

Yesterday Lara made Beaded T-Shirt Bracelets. The idea came from the This Mama Makes Stuff blog.

She used an old white t-shirt, some pony beads and a crochet hook.

I cut 1" strips of fabric parallel to the bottom of the shirt.

Lara then threaded 14 pony beads onto the fabric strip.

She then crocheted a series of chain stitches incorporating a bead into each chain. Instructions for this can be found here. Lara had never crocheted before but found this quite easy to do.

When she had crocheted all the beads she finished off, tied the ends together around her wrist and snipped off the loose ends. The end result a funky bracelet.

She enjoyed making it so much that she went on to make LOTS more. Here are three of the finished bracelets.