Saturday, 31 December 2011

Favourite layouts of 2011

Last year I did a review of my favourite 10 layouts of 2010 so I thought I would do the same this year now that its the eve of 2012. So, here they are:

1. Snow Day - I was able to incorporate Echo Park Journalling Cards in this layout I created for Scrapology. During the year Echo Park has firmly found its place in my list of favourite paper manufacturers.

2. c1915 - I rather surprised myself with this layout created for the March challenge on Scrapology. It was the first time I had scrapped a heritage layout and I was really pleased how the layout turned out, especially since I used very old supplies and handmade all the flowers.

3. Family - More Echo Park paper in this next layout. I love the photo and the bright zingy colours.

4. Sweet Child of Mine - I turned to my old favourite 'BasicGrey' for this layout of Lara. The photo were taken when she was really little and I just love the look on her face and the crochet flowers on the layout were gorgeous.

5. Flying Teddies - I rarely create layouts with card stock backgrounds but this year I have created quiet a few and actually like the look. More Echo Park papers on this layout - told you they were one of my favourites!

6. Ice Queen - Not an obvious choice of paper for this snow themed layout - BasicGrey's Offbeat. The colours in the papers matched the photos perfectly and were perfect. (Watch this space for another snow themed layout using those papers soon!)

7. Lets Go Fly a Kite - This year I became aware of Canadian Scrapper Stephanie Klauck and she inspired me to upgrade the software on my Craft Robo, get a new cutting blade for it and start using it again. This layout was inspired by one of Stephanie's layouts.

8. When Life Gives You Lemons - I think this layout is my absolute favourite layout I created this year. Inspired by Georgia K Keays and created for Scrapology I love the colour scheme and the doodling and was pleased to be able to use the crochet doilies bought on a greek island holiday many, many years ago.

9. Fishing With Dad - another Stephanie Klauck inspired layout using more Echo Park papers and a photo collage created in Picassa.

10. Flower Girl - This last layout was also created for Scrapology and I used some beautiful paper from Prima. The flowers were handmade as was the dress embelishment. I had an idea for making the dress in my head and managed to replicate it.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope 2012 is good for you and your families.

Lots more layouts (and cards) hopefully to come next year.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Introducing Millie

Yesterday we collected our new puppy 'Millie'. She was very timid last night when we got home but after a good nights sleep (no whining or crying) she has really come out of herself today and is a welcome addition to our family.

Millie is an 8 week old yellow Labrador and has the sweetest, gentlest temperament. So far she has shown no interest in our cat Tux and whilst Tux is obviously curious about this new bundle of fur that has suddenly appeared he seems quite happy too.

I've lost count of the number of times the family have told me that Millie will be a good subject for my scrapbook pages so I guess she may well appear on a page (or two) in the future. Watch this space LOL.

Saturday, 24 December 2011


Have a great Christmas Everyone.
I hope that it is happy, relaxing and peaceful and everything you wish for.

Christmas Eve Baking

On Christmas Eve Lara and I usually do some Christmas baking. This usually means making mince pies. So this afternoon out came the ingredients and mince pies were made.

By the time we had finished it was starting to get dark so the colours in this photo of the finished mince pies is a bit off - they weren't this dark, honest.

The homemade 'Jammie Dodgers' that we also made using a recipe from the Morrisons magazine were also not as dark as they look in this photo either. Don't you just hate trying to take photos indoors at this time of the year when the sun keeps disappearing???

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Handmade Christmas Cards From Friends

I have received some beautiful handmade Christmas Card from my crafty friends this year and they have pride of place on display in our living room.

Alison (Ali) sent me this lovely monochromatic card. I'm not sure what she used to give the snowy effect on the strip near the bottom of the page but it's really effective.

Anita sent me this cute snowman card - such a clever idea. Unless I'm mistaken the background paper is a piece of Scenic Route (Loooove Scenic Route and really wish it was still around)

Deirdre sent me this lovely rustic style card. Spookily when I opened the envelope having not looked at the postmark, recognised the handwriting or read the inside of the card I instinctively knew it was from Deirdre. Deirdre's stamping is amazing and so precise.

Jackie sent me this stamped snowman card. Love that sentiment!

Joan who runs the monthly crops I go to gave me this lovely little contemporary card. I think it may be made from Stamping Up supplies (although I may be wrong).

Linda sent me this Forever Friends decoupaged card. Impressed by Linda's decoupage. I always struggle cutting out the intricate bits of designs but Linda has done an excellent job with this card.

The other Linda gave me this pretty little card. I told her at our crop in November when she was making cards that I liked it - so at our December crop she gave it to me. LOL.

Lynn sent me this gorgeous turquoise card using a Lili of the Valley stamp. It is absolutely stunning in real life - so beautifully embellished. Lynn, your cards are always beautifully made and must take you ages.

Marian gave me this very sparkly stamped card. It is very glittery and perfectly purple.

Maria sent me this sweet little gingerbread man card and a tiny handmade felt gingerbread decoration to hang on my Christmas tree. It is so sweet and now hanging on the tree right at the front where everyone can see it.

And finally Sandra sent me this cute teddy card. The background has been embossed and then highlighted in gold.

Thank you everyone for my cards. If I haven't thanked you personally I apologise. I love them all and it's nice to have such thoughtful friends.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Wedding Accordian Album

In October we attended the wedding of my niece. I was a lovely day and I took lots and lots of photos. I decided that as an extra Christmas present I would make her a little accordion album using a few of the photos I had taken as well as a few taken by other guests. I gave her the album when the family got together this weekend for an early Christmas and to exchange presents so now I can post photos of the album here.

I made the album from 5 no. 5" x 7" white card blanks and also created a storage box from pearlescent card stock. I didn't have a template for the box and just made it using 2 no. 12" x 12" sheets of card stock.

Throughout the album I used K & Company Elegance papers and embelishments as well as some ribbon and scatter crystals saved from the actual wedding day, various self adhesive rhinestones (bling) and on the cover of the album I used some very glittery letters from American Crafts Thickers.

I used 6 no. 4" x 6" portrait format photos of the happy couple.

The layered flower accents had clear sparkly centres but I replaced them with some of the scatter crystals to match the teal colour scheme of the wedding.

I also used some heart pins in the album which I added some beads to. The pearl bead was originally part of one of the flower arrangements on the tables at the wedding reception.

The lovely Jill at Cardinal Colours kindly helped me to get the right colour Bazzill card stock (Blue Oasis) to mat the photos on. (Thanks Jill - what a star!)

On the reverse side of the album I used 5 no. 4" x 6" landscape format photos from the wedding day.

The Words used throughout the album were K & Company Elegance Wedding Embossed Stickers.

Instead of using complete Prima bling swirls and Heidi Swapp bling frames, I cut them up into smaller pieces to make them go further.

This was the reverse.

My niece was very pleased with the album which was nice as it's the first album/mini book I've ever made and I so wanted her to like it.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas Cards

This year I made a few handmade Christmas cards for my crafty friends.

The first batch I made were made using the 'Tiny Trees' digital stamp set from .

I printed the image onto some patterned paper which I mounted on a rectangular card blank and then embelished with self adhesive gems and machine stitched round the edge.

Next, I made a batch using my Craft Robo.

I cut the Christmas Blocks from bright Christmas coloured cardstock and then mounted on a square card bank. Then I made a pastel set using pastel pink and blue patterned paper and cardstock.

Finally I made a set again with the Craft Robo using some Scenic Route ledger paper and cardstoock. The bauble was embelished with a self adhesive gem and some bakers twine.

The cards have now been posted to all corners of the country with Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes to my crafty buddies.

Scrapology - December Card Challenge

This month on Scrapology Chrissy from Merly Impresssions is our card sponsor. She challenged the team (and readers also joining in) to create a card using the theme of 'Leaves, leaf shapes & leaf colours'.

It took quite a while for inspiration to strike, but finally one weekend I saw some sparkly leaves on Ebay and I came up with an idea.I think the leaves were intended to be used on floristry but thought one would looked lovely mounted on the front of a card.

I used some papers from Cosmo Cricket's 2007 Be Good Christmas collection to mat and layer and added some ribbon (saved from a toiletries set last Christmas) , some self adhesive pearls from The Hobby House and a peel off sticker. A very simple A5 size card but I quite like it and it's so sparkly in real life.

Please go over to Scrapology and look at the rest of the teams cards and have a go at making a card yourself using the theme of 'Leaves, leaf shapes & leaf colours'. You could win a lovely set of paper and embelishments from Kaisercraft's Cockadoodledoo range.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Book Review - The Magic of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

Fantastic Fiction Review: In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Luckily she has welcome distraction in the Christmas Pudding Circle, a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes -- as well as a rivalry with local cookery writer Nick over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show! Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy's Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!

This was the second of Trisha Ashley's 'Christmas' books that I read this winter and was expecting it to put me in the Christmas mood as her previous book, 'Twelve Days of Christmas' had. I was however rather disappointed. Only a small section of the book was set at Christmas and whilst Christmas preparations (making Christmas cakes, mince pies, the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play were mentioned throughout, the book didn't really live up to the promise of a good Christmas read and did not make me feel particularly Christmassy like her other book. Well written book but a bit of a let down.

Sunday, 11 December 2011


So, after posting three days of my Journal Your Christmas pages I am now 8 days behind and after suffering a minor injury yesterday whilst roller skating at my daughter's 9th birthday party which has resulted in what I hope is just temporary restricted use of my left wrist, I am going to have to throw in the towel and accept that this year there will be no Journal. It simply isn't going to happen. So gutted. I'm not a quitter and the 'don't give up' attitude is something I have always tried to instill into me children. But sometime time is against us and so I will call it a day on Journalling My Christmas this year and maybe try again in 2012.