Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Wren and Rascal, Axe Valley Farm

If you are ever in Dorset and find yourself with a spare afternoon I can heartily recommend a visit to Axe Valley Bird and Animal Park, Axminster, Dorset.  Buy the book they are selling and learn how the place came to life - it's a great story.  It grew from nothing with love and affection from people who really care about animals and birds. 

Wren and Rascal existed before THE meerkats and simples!  They were abandoned and bought up on an Aga in the home of the owners of the park.  I stood watching these little guys for about half an hour trying to remember to take photo's, but more often than not just watching them.  Adorable!

There are 6 photo's on this layout

Four hidden behind the front ones and with room for journalling
Isn't it great when you find something stunning to photograph.


Thursday, 24 November 2011


Except apparently I do.  I'm still not going to get into the whole steam punk stamp thing as I just don't get them but I do love the dirty effect as I call it.

At Artsy Craft this year the Sunday project was all about steam punk and I was dreading it.  Just shows what great teacher's Lin and Leandra are, as I was won over by the paint technique and making things all dirty.

I felt like I was recreating a part of my dad's workshop and it reminded me of helping him stock take, the smells and the oil over the floor!

Here's some pictures of what I created alongside a close up of the paint effect.

oops the right hand side wasn't suppose to be hovering, but it became unstuck
and I wasn't concentrating when I stuck it back on!

A close up of the paint work - I love this effect!

My little bottle cap clock
 Surprisingly fun to do and I would definitely use the techniques again but I'm still not sure if steam punk is for me.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A little bird told me.....

.... there was a bigger and scarier looking bird around the corner.  I like to think he was looking after his Mrs!  This is my first successful photo through a cage - normally I can't get the focus to ignore the metal.  I'm still not sure how it works but the photo looks stunning without the cage - modest (?!)

I've kept the layout quite simple as the paper is very busy and the photo needs to be centre piece.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Books, books. books

and not an altered one in sight!

I've been struggling to find time to spend time in my craft room without feeling guilty about housework, ironing and those other boring tasks.  Solution:  book classes and once they're paid for you have to go (and if you aren't in the house you can't see the chores need doing!!)

What is it they say about buses? When one comes they all come at once, well in October I had Artsy Craft, followed by a weekend of two classes at LB Crafts with Lin Brown.  My last class in her little shop, but she has promised to keep on teaching and I've been doing my best to persuade her that the Craft Barn would be a lovely place to start!

I'm always looking for interesting ideas for displaying my photo's and in this class we made three little books which would be perfect for a photo story.  The first little book was a fairly standard book held together with a ring clasp, the second a house shaped book and the third little book reminds me of children's picture books (without the chew marks!)  The best bit about the last book is that when you look at it you wouldn't realise it was so simple (well I didn't anyway!)  The book on the right in the picture below is covered in crumpled foil and then coloured with alcohol inks.  A great technique but the colours I used are a bit bright!

A menage of books

Close of up the simplest book, but it works perfectly
Close up of the house shaped book

Can't wait to create some of these books to use for my scrap booking and I loved it so much I might start making them for friends.  They might need to be a bit bigger though!  I'm addicted to 4x6 photo's.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tracing my ancestors

I've been tracing my family tree for a few years now with the help of my Aunties.  When I first started tracing my family I was under the impression that we were from the West Country and a lot of us are.  What I didn't realise when I moved to Reading was that I was moving closer to the birth place of my grandfather and his family in Oxfordshire. 

Going further back to my Great Grandfather twice removed I discovered he ran the Swan Inn at Bampton, Oxfordshire.  I decided that whilst I was up in Oxfordshire I should take myself on a family history tour to find the Swan and have a swift half where my ancestors had trodden.  Well, maybe a coke, as I'm not a beer or lager girl and I'd be driving!  Unfortunately like a lot of village pubs it's become a house, but the placque was still there so I took a sneaky photo or two (the owners weren't in, I did knock first!!)

Shimelle Laine has made me fall in love with ways of using one scrapbook layout with a number of photos on through her Two Peas in a Bucket class.  I find it a personal challenge to see if I can work out a different way of getting as many photo's on as possible.  So far I'm up to 8, but I'll show you that one another day.  This one has four photos on it and a journal spot. 

The Swan Inn, an ancestral home

More photo's of the gorgeous stream

Hidden journalling

Rub ons used to add extra dimension
 I love this layout, mostly as it's about my family and where we've come from.  It's just a pity I couldn't drink in my ancestor's pub!


Friday, 11 November 2011

Artsycraft Oct 2011

It's that time of year again when I buy myself a birthday treat of a weekend of craft.  I love going to Artsycraft playing with paint and metal. It's about the only time when I can dedicate some serious time to being creative.

This time there were only about 20 people so it was quiet, but still just as great.  We did two projects, the first a bird box which I did in purple which included lots of metal work and the second was a steampunk project.  That's for another day when I've finished it!

Here are the finished birdhouse.

Front: distressed metal work

Back: Faux panels

Sides: moulds + metal

Close up of front

Yummy flowers with even yummier material buttons