Wednesday 18 January 2012


Happy New Year everyone!  sorry it's belated but it has been that long since I have joined in.

Here is my desk this dark morning:

I haven't done any scrapping since my little flurry of activity doing 5 layouts in the style of the first 5 tags of Christmas.  Instead I have been getting on with my quilt (I am currently doing all the binding at the moment - very exciting) and also getting on with my art course.  I haven't been posting what I have been learning on that which I must remedy soon - yesterday I sat down and did a new colour wheel and the picture in the background is a practice of one that we started at the class last Friday and will be finishing this Friday.  The sewn organisers are there because I don't know where to put them - I have had them finished for ages but they have been in the back of a cupboard unused since then so I have got them out during my clearout to see if I can use them or I will sell them.  The packet of crisps is actually a pencil case!

These lovely new toys finally turned up last Friday:
Not had much chance to play though - I did a few background sheets at the crop on Sunday but that was all I managed and then I stamped on a few yesterday - will probably mount the finished pieces on birthday cards.

That's it at the moment - hope you all like the new tablecloth!  If you want to know why I am showing my desk to the world then pop over to Julias and see all the fun of showing your desk to the world!

Thanks for looking - Loving my watercolours from Solihull.

Sunday 8 January 2012

Christmas Layouts

A couple of weeks ago I decided I was giving up on scrapbooking for a while - I have loads of photos all printed out ready to scrap, loads of stash piling up and gathering dust but just no scrapbooking mojo.  So I had a clear out - I threw out inches of paper, I have bagged up even more inches of paper in the hopes of selling some at my next crop, I have thrown out old stash, I have organised old stash and given up two valuable storage box spaces to them - one with the intention of using the stuff in it in the immediate future and the other if it's not used in six months time (1st July) it's going in the bin no questions asked.  So after all that sorting and organising I suddenly got the urge to erm do some scrapbooking! 

I also had the idea that I could turn the 12 tag of Christmas into 12 layouts of Christmas, after all I can't be the only one who finds Christmas photos extremely hard to scrap.  Lets face it most of them are out of focus, blurred, have far too much clutter in the background, are full of garish and clashing colours (I could go on here...... but you get the picture).  So I dug out my pile of Christmas photos - all in all there are 66 of them (which doesn't include any from 2011 - that alone is enough to put you off isn't it! no wonder I have scrappers block here....), then I dug out some old Christmas papers and embellishments that I haven't thrown out yet!, sorted out a few printouts of some pagemaps and got to work.  Here are my results since last Sunday:

Layout 1 (based on tag 1)

am surprised I managed to carry on after this one - the big letters that don't fit on the tag are so out of my comfort zone, and I used the Santa and Reindeer mask on the top left when sticking down as I thought it looked bare there completely forgetting about the angel drying on the window sill that should have been there - but then I thought in for a penny in for a pound and used them both (because I had thrown out the rest of that Basic Grey yellow card and didn't have anymore (but since then I have found the said pile of Basic Grey old papers in a "safe" place! knew I wouldn't have thrown that out despite it being about 7 years old!) and as for the green embossed Love Elsie cardstock - what possessed me???  but all in all I have, after struggling past these little hurdles, ended up with a layout that although very plain I actually really like! Shame the picture is such poor quality (our carpet was a dusky pink and not black as it looks on the photo!) - still lovely memories are now captured forever and that's really what scrapbooking is all about isn't it!).

Layout 2 (based on tag 2)

This one I have used a whole sheet of kraft resist (I know!), managed to put a little reindeer in the corner and used up five different previously unused alphabets too!  The tag pulls out from behind the picture to read SANTA - forgot to do it for the purposes of this photo!  Again a fairly simple layout (although it took me hours!) but again I really like the result.

Layout 3 (based on tag 3)

Couldn't do this technique properly on Tag 3 as I didn't have the stamp or embossing folder but Ellie at the crop (** Hi Ellie! waving madly **) lent them to me at our December crop and I had a little play so it was nice to use it on this layout.  I also added some festive greenery in the corner - these are such a nice corner filler.  The tag has a lovely Stampin Up stamp on it but I made it without checking whether it fitted or not and when it came to it it was far too big on a plain layout so it had to be tucked out of sight!

Layout 4 (based on tag 4)

this is my favourite.  I couldn't do the tag to this one properly either as I didn't have the snowman die (do now though!) or the snowflakes but Bernice lent me these at the last crop too (** Hi Bernice! waving madly to you too!**) but I love this photo of the view out of my bedroom window and I really needed to use the Kaisercraft wooden lamppost that has been sitting in my stash since September (quite new really then!), the title was bigger than I wanted but such is life when using old stash!

Layout 5 (based on tag 5)

here I used the fragments from T!ms bonus tag rather than a background from the main tag and some lovely Magnolia papers.  I have been hoarding these for ages because they were just too nice to cut up (I am sure you all know what I mean!) - but now I have and on a double layout too! no stopping me was there.

However, I got half way through layout/tag 6 yesterday and decided I had had enough of "old" and whilst I still have some mojo left I would rather put it towards something I am going to enjoy making rather than carrying on with something that I probably won't (I have enjoyed making all of the above but know if I carry on I will get bored so it's time to move on).  So all Christmas stuff has now been put away and I have a tidy desk.  Maybe I will finish them in a few days time, maybe a few months but all I know is I have started and really enjoyed myself whilst I was making them too.  They may not be masterpieces or win any prizes but they are special memories that I have taken the time to capture, put on a fancy background and explain about them through journalling - either hidden or on the page.  The cloud has lifted.......

Thanks for looking - all seasoned out from Solihull.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

How disappointed am I????

Postman rang the doorbell about 8am this morning and I went running to the door, frantically undoing all the bolts and chains before he disappeared thinking we were still in bed, all the while thinking it must be my order from the Craft Obsessions sale and what a fabulous morning to receive it on as children are still off school so no school runs or afternoon clubs to worry about, it's pouring down with rain so they aren't going to want to go out so I can sit and play with my new toys - yippee!!!

So here was the parcel:

bit lighter than I thought and in an Amazon box but it had my name on it so it must be my order and anyway I am all for recycling cardboard so it doesn't matter what box it comes in, so - wait for it....... - I open the package (after having a quick chat to the postman who is looking after his grandsoon who is now 5 - gosh doesn't time fly I remember him being born!) only to find it contains this:

damn, had forgotten all about these ordered online last week.

Am now desperately trying to think of an excuse not to do the housework and start crafting instead.

Thanks for looking - now really having no excuse not to have clean a kitchen floor from Solihull.

Sunday 1 January 2012

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 12

and last but certainly not least:

 only T!m could manage to persuade me to get the iron out on New Year's Day!  Background is made exactly the same as T!ms apart from I don't have his tissue paper (are you all feeling a bit sorry for me now???) so I made my own.  I also don't have the Vintage Market alphabet but I do have Santa's Workshop one (yippee!) so I used that with glitter paper and black card.  I used the big Snowman (which I treated myself to after tag 4) rather than a little figure (mainly because I don't have one of those either but I was going to ask DS2 if I could borrow his Star Wars Wompa figure but then I thought he would only want it back and I would have to rip it off the tag so I used Snowy instead!).  He is made from grungepaper, Broken China ink, crackle glaze, with Vintage Photo and Snow Cap paint around the edge.  The Let It Snow is a stamp again by Anita and is on glossy card stock, inked with Broken China and stamped in Archival ink.  Tag finished with that fabulous tissue flower and a lovely button, two pieces of greenery from the Festive Greenery die and some tinsel.  I died some muslin with Broken China to finish it all off.  Am well pleased with this one! 

Now all tags are on my tree (apart from tag 8 which I put on my "Magic of HoLTz" layout because it would just look plain silly on the tree!):

along with lots of lovely pinecones!
tee hee!

I would just like to say a big thanks to T!m and all his BTS helpers for putting all this together and inspiring me to get creative through what has been quite a stressful month for me.

Thanks for looking - already ready for bed from Solihull

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 11

and here is tag 11:

Didn't think I would like this so much as I am really fussy about my colouring in and don't like going over lines and I knew I would using distress inks and blending foam but you know I am really, really pleased with this.  I used an old Santa stamp I have and coloured him with Black Soot and Barn Door.  The Happy Christmas is by Anita and is coloured with Evergreen Boughs - both are stuck on with 3d foam.  I put layers of fluffy fibres on the bottom to ground Santa and the background of the tag is done exactly the same as T!ms. 

I had such fun making the little holly and branch embellishments.  I have had a melt pot for years - bought it when I went to a class by Suze Weinberg - but imagine my horror when I plugged it in a few months ago and it was broken!  But I emailed Ranger and they replaced it for me so I have had my new one for about three months now but not had chance to play with it - so today I played!  Have made a lovely assortment of little reindeers, snowmen, flowers, cogs and houses to play with another time and I also made the holly and branches for this tag.  The branches are handcut and didn't look the best before I shrunk them but now that I have they look fabulous - these are inked with Bottle and Hazlenut alcohol inks.  Finished the tag off with some red and green twine.

Thanks for looking - been up for even more hours from Solihull.

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 10

Here is my next tag for the challenge:

I already had the fragments prepared for this one but it still took me ages to complete!  I stamped the music onto a cream tag and dried it with the heat gun.  Then I stamped out the holly in Peeled Paint and poured on embossing powder - I was expecting it to stick all over the tag and not just on the ink but how wrong I was!  Am very impressed with this technique too and will be using this a lot in the future too!

The whole background is made as on T!ms tag, the fragments are made using images from Crafty Individuals pictures I have left over from a class I did there last year (or was it the year before??).  The ribbon and brads are old stash.  I don't have the banner die (it's such a shame for me isn't it!) so I handcut a banner out and stamped it with the same music stamp - wish I had used a different colour on it now to make it stand out more but it still looks ok in real life (I know it looks the same on the picture but it is different - honest!).  The alphabet is again Once Upon A Time and painted with copper paint.  Finished the same as T!ms with tulle, pearls and tinsel.

Thanks for looking - still been up for hours from Solihull.

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 9

I saw T!ms post yesterday about been entered in a surprise draw if you entered all 12 tags and thought I would give it a miss as I had only completed 8.  But then when I woke up this morning at 5am and lay there thinking "but I have got tags 9 and 10 half done....." I just had to get up and finish them all off - 7 hours later here are the results:

I made a few of these backgrounds and used them on Christmas cards - wish I had used this one now and kept the red one (or remade the red one) as I think it would have stood out better - still I am pleased with the results.  I don't have the candlestick die - boo hoo - but I do have the lovely lamppost so I cut it down and made it into a Christmas lantern.  The letters PEACE are cut from Once Upon A Time alphabet and the swirl is one of T!ms too.

For the tag background I used copper embossing powder and Vintage Photo distress ink - love this double embossed effect and I will be using it a lot more in the future too!  The lantern is coloured with Black Soot distress stain with mustard seed card behind it.  The holly is cut from green cardstock but inked with Peeled Paint and finished off with seed beeds.  The swirl is coloured with Festive Berries and some bling stuck on.  The letters were cut from an old hymn book and covered with glossy accents.  The other large leaf is from the pinecone die and is coloured with Peeled Paint.

Thanks for looking - been up for hours from Solihull.