Wednesday, 3 October 2012

It's all about the abstract!

This month over at Unruly Paperarts we are playing with canvas and this theme fitted in nicely with the class I've been doing in September call Learn Something New.  I really recommend this class - you learn so much about yourself, amazing.

I decided to become (well, pretend to become) an abstract artist for the day as part of my New Skill Saturday and this fitted perfectly with my canvas theme for Unruly.

Here's a sneak peek:

Pop on over here to see the whoe piece and how I made it.

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Eeek, such a bad person

I completely forgot to blog about my article of Unruly Paperarts!

It was all about collage and I must say my fellow unrulies put me to shame which such beautiful artwork.  I chose to do a paint collage, but it's quite hard to see all of the different layers.

I'm pleased with how it turned out, but I'm not sure it's so much collage than art journal.  Maybe it can be both.... maybe I should be less critical!

Anyway, here is a sneaky peak.


Pop on over to here to see the full article.

Happy Crafting

Monday, 27 August 2012

Scrapagogo March 2012

It's hard to document a scrapbooking event as what do you photograph?  A load of layouts?  A photo of each individual teacher?

In order to document what a fun time I had I took a photo of my scrap buddies who were really friendly and good fun.  To represent them I just knew I had to use bright and breezy colours.

I used a Shimelle Laine idea for this.  Take one paper collection and cut it up before you start.  That bit was a tad scary as what if I cut it up and couldn't use it afterwards - what a waste of money....not to worry though.  It just works, but I did end up cutting up various bits more as I went.

I have pretty much used up the whole of this collection now, which is great as I'm often known not to use papers that are too pretty and this collection really did fall in this category.

I'd recommend this philosophy if you have lots to scrap and you want to get it done, rather than procrastinating... or is that just me?  There's not a lot of thinking needed after you have cut the papers and you can scrap simply unless you want to get more detailed adding ink, paint etc.

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A stitch in time....

... not so much a stitch in time, more a stitch in line.  Well I'm trying hard to sew in a straight line, but failing most of the time.  Apparently you can alter the pedal to your own need - mine needs to be seriously altered.  I think I'm too used to driving my car - fast - and no alternative!

This month Unruly Paperarts is all about journalling. I decided now that I am a dab hand at sewing I would create a scrap(fabric)book.  The photo's are from The Living Rainforest, near Hermitage in Berkshire.  A small but stunning place to visit.

Here's a sneak, but if you want to see more pop on over here.

Happy Crafting

Friday, 10 August 2012

To wash(i) or not to wash(i)

You may or may not be aware, but I have a hopeless addiction to pretty papers, stationery and washi tape.  It's sad but I have enough washi tape to last me way into the next decade - I really should use it to wrap presents, but that would involve being selfless and giving some away!

Sad as it may be I've even done a couple of layouts about my addiction - after all scrapbooking is all about documenting life!

Instead of doing a pretty, pretty page I thought I'd see what I could do with my sprays and paint.  I really wanted to some silver letters I have, but oddly I had run out of the letter "w" and "s".  I did have several of the letter "v" though with a little bit of imagination ...

This is the finished layout - a bit different but I really like it!

Hope you can smell the lavender in the background!!

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Singing the blues

I've been doing a Shimelle Laine class which is all about using up leftovers.  I'm not very good at following the brief - well I read them and then do my own thing - I think that's the point of online classes though.  You can use your own stash and take inspiration.

This class brief was fairly straight forward though  - to use the same colour for the whole layout.  I chose blue because I don't use it very often.

It's a pretty simple page, but sometimes the photo's need to speak for themselves.

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Taz List

Once a year I like to do a scrapbook page all about my little ginger monster's habits, nicknames and other little oddities.

This time I did it for the Unruly PaperArts blog which has a theme of journalling this month.  Pop on over to see lots of other interpretations of journalling.

I'll be showing a fabric page on 15 August so watch this space.

This page has been created using lots of scraps of paper so it's a great page for using up lots of odds and ends.  Even though I've used lots of different colours there is a common theme of circles to help it work.

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Summer Sun at last, sort of!

On the rare occasion that the sun shines here in the UK us Brits can be found outside having a BBQ - in fact even if the sun isn't shining we just throw on a jumper, put on the patio heater and have a BBQ anyway!  Sometimes we even have to take it to the extreme of having an indoor BBQ with a couple of poor unfortunates manning the BBQ with an umbrella!!  They usually have a beer in hand though so don't feel too sorry for them :)

I think I was a bit optimistic when I picked this up in the supermarket, but I saw these lovely citronella candles in terracotta plant pots (or should I say I smelt them first!)  They were a bit boring though so I decided to make them a little prettier with a lick of paint.

The pot was created for my contribution to Unruly Paperarts (UPA) July edition entitled Catch the waves (If like me you are in the UK, you might want to substitute wave with cold - it's probably more appropriate!)  Pop on over here to see some great art from my fellow contributors at UPA.

Here's the finished pot, but if you want to know how it was made read on :)

The pot was gesso'd first as I didn't want the terracotta colour to effect the paint colours.  Word of warning terracotta sucks up paint so slap it on and move it quick! I then painted the bottom yellow, the top blue and the middle by mixing the paint directly on the pot.  This gives a much more natural look to the sea.
The pot was finished off by stamping a number of Crafty Individual sea shells on tissue paper and glueing them to the pot.  Use plenty of glue as it's harder to disguise the edges on this type of surface.  I finished the pot off by sticking some sand and trim along the bottom.

Happy Crafting


Friday, 15 June 2012

All fired up

I've just been on a craft weekend - the final ArtsyCraft (sob sob!) and it's got me all fired up.  I'm loving working with texture at the moment, so when I saw some wire I just had to buy it and incorporate it in my scrapbook layout - you might think wire, what's new about that.  It wasn't exactly a small bit of wire - more like a wire gauze which measured about 10 inches by 3 inches!

I started my layout by sewing some paper onto my background with some lace like ribbon.  Then how to attach the wire without breaking my sewing machine needle - hand sewing, yuck yuck yuck!  This wire doesn't like to sit flat so attaching the photo was fun.

I won't go into everything on the layout but I tried to throw as much texture as possible on the layout without overcrowding it.  There's a bit of corrugated cardboard, ribbon, gemstones, foam letters, velum & of course the sewing and wire.

So if you fancy a challenge .... I'd love to see what you do.

Scraps left over from punching

Using up scraps of ribbon and stickers

I'm loving Maya Road birds - still!

Happy Crafting

Saturday, 9 June 2012

My Little House

I've got a pot of keys, which half the time I have to think hard before I remember what they are for.  I'm pretty sure I know what most of them do now, but I'm reluctant to throw anything away in case I suddenly find something that needs to be unlocked and discover I've not got a key!

Anyway enough of my drivel .... I picked up a little wooden house shaped key holder which I decided to decorate which texture paste.  Yep, I may have been using this rather a lot lately.  I just love it, can't help it - I think I might be addicted!

I thought I would use it through a mask this type to give the house a harlequin stucco effect. Once painted I thought it was looking a little dull so I brightened it up with some bright pink paper tiles on the roof.  As it's all about Britain this year I thought I should be patriotic and added a flag.

At this point you might be wondering how I'm going to hang the keys on my key holder as there appears to be a lack of hangy things - I wondered that too after I'd let the texture paste dry too - oops!  They are now attached to the back of the key holder.  Note to self: don't be so stupid next time!

When I find some appropriate photo's I thought I would add them to the windows and door, perhaps finishing with some glossy accents to protect them.

Happy Crafting

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Metal Art Part Deux

Oops, some time ago I tempted you with a sneak peek at some metal covers I was working on.  I finished them a while ago but forgot all about them.  I've ended up with two front covers though as I forgot to check where the holes were when I put the metal on the covers - oh well, just another excuse to purchase more!

The first cover is for my birthday book.  A one stop for all birthdays.  At the moment I have some on FB, some in my diary and some of the calendar - yep, disorganised! I stamped the word birthdays and then embossed it before using a mould for the metal plate effect.  After covering the edges with texture paste I painted it black.  Finally I highlighted it with graphite silver paint and inka gold.  It's hard to see from the photo but it's highlighted with pink and green to make it a little more girly!

And the second cover is going to be for something else! Perhaps for an inspiration book or a book of scrapbook sketches for when inspiration disappears. I love these moulds, especially the time mould.

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Post It!

I'm forever writing little notes for myself on post it notes and find them stuck to something all crumpled up in my bag, stuck on something else on my table or they are just lost  - somewhere never to be found again.

Solution: I've created myself a little memo holder where I can stick them!

I've used Paper Artsy paints which are my absolute favourite paints.  I love the fact that they are matt, in the majority, or you can make them matt by mixing them.  The stamps are Claudine Hellmuth.

Simple, but bright and cheery!

Happy Crafting

Friday, 1 June 2012

It's a spring thing

I love Spring!  Everything starts to come back to life, baby animals and birds appear, my little monster gets all playful and so do I!

Over at Unruly Paperarts the theme for June is Buds and Blossoms.  I've created a journal page for the theme, which normally I would scrawl all over.  This time though I wanted it to look clean and fresh so I used lots of different shades of yellow and orange and a ton of Gesso. 

The stamps used are a hero arts striped background stamp, London Market amusements stamp by Pink Paislee and a circle stamp from Claudine Hellmuth Studio line.

I couldn't resist adding the little birds which are from Maya Road.

Happy Crafting

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dreams of travel

To cheer myself up when it started to rain this afternoon I decided to get inky and painty.  I created a journal page all about places I want to go.  Some places I've already been, but love so much I'd happily go back again and again.  Some places have been on my to do list forever but I don't want to visit them on the cheap or for just two weeks.  There are times when you have to be patient and put off that dream destination until you can do it justice.  That's why I haven't been to Peru yet.

When I go to Peru I don't want to do the normal Inca Trail trekking up behind thousands of other people.  I want to go off the beaten track and finish off in the Amazon for a week.  Imagine the difference!

I started off layer lots of different coloured paints in blue, white and turquoise, then added a little collaging at the top and bottom of the page.  A few stamps and a lot more layers of paint later I decided it was time to write.  Not content with then I doodled over some of the stamping and attacked it with some pastels.  I love Derwent for this as they aren't as expensive as Pan Pastels.  This is my finished page:

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Proud owner of a Liebster award

My GoGo Getaway buddy Katie or Miss Excitable as she is affectionately known pop over to my blog to let me know she had awarded me with a Liebster award.  Thank you Katie.  Katie's blog is all about scrapping and her adventures with her fiancee (and yes, she is very excited about the wedding next year!)  She was a pleasure to have as one of my crop room buddies.

You can only receive a Liebster award if you have less than 200 followers.  I guess it's a great way to get lesser known blogs seen.  It's hard to get a following when you start and it can seem disheartening if you don't get many visitors to your blog.

So without further ado, please pop on over to see Katie here.

The nominees (and winners!) of my Liebster awards are:

  1. True Colours by Lucy Edmondson - Lucy creates some stunning and unusual pieces from altered bags to Wizard of Oz tin men.
  2. Emilie's Scrapbook by Emilie Chamel - Emilie is a scrapbooker at heart and she loves creating her own papers.
  3. Me and My Stamps by Samantha Read - Sam is addicted to Suzi Blu and I don't blame her!  Lovely art journal pages to see here.
  4. Dabblings by Marcia Beckett - such colourful art, this site always makes me smile. I'm sort of cheating her as when I started this post Marcia had less than 200 followers - she is at 201 now including me so please forgive me!
  5. Daniele O'Brien Designs - a great place for discovering zentangles, otherwise known as official doodles.  I've not been brave enough yet but it will be great for inspiration for my art journal.
So that's my awards, hope you enjoy them.  There are some many other blogs I would love to have nominated but they all have more than 200 visitors.

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Metal art

A flying visit from me today as I'm off to look at doors! Yesterday was all about tiles, today doors and maybe some paint. This girl really knows how to have fun, hey!

I thought I would show you the start of a birthday book I'm making. It's MDf which I'm covering with embossed metal and texture paste. It all looks a bit messy at the moment but when it's painted I'll show you the finished article. The back is going to be a mismatch of lots of different elements.

Here are a couple of photos taken on my iPhone.

Friday, 27 April 2012


When I was at primary school in Somerton, Somerset (that's just left of London to my US friends!!) the BBC came to our little town to film an adaptation of a WW1 story which they called The Monocled Mutineer. It was based on a real life story of an army desserter called Percy Toplis.

I don't remember much about the occasion as I was quite young, but I have some memories.  How accurate they are is anyone's guess!  I remember we could audition for walk on parts - I didn't.  I remember the square and surrounding area being turned into a French Town - since I've found out it was Etaples. I also remember we had to be very quiet going between classes on certain days as our school was very close to the filming and we didn't want to annoy the bods at the BBC!  Perhaps, that sentence wouldn't have been part of my vocabulary - cynism, I believe, is learnt a little later in life!

The best bit and the bit I always remember was that all of the buildings had a makeover or under depending on how you looked at it.  There were fake shop fronts, cobblestones and even straw scattered on the roads.  I would have been 11/12 at the time and I remember it being really strange walking back from school walking through modern day to a bygone era and back again in a matter of minutes.

Anyhow, I have rambled enough - the reason for the story was that on one of my trips round town with mum in tow and camera in hand I saw that the Globe had some sandbags outside.  That's what started this whole memory - isn't life strange and wonderful at the same time!  Until reading up on the film I didn't realise that is still has a sign saying "Telegraph" which is what it became for the film.

Even the war memorial had a makeover and became the town clock.  I guess they didn't want WW2 veterans being shown in a WW1 film!  The funniest thing of all, we all waited with baited breath for the film to be released - well the adults did - I was probably into something much more fascinating at that age.  I think everyone was keen to Somerton amortilised on film - apparently most of the filming ended up on the cutting room floor! 

10 minutes - 2 weeks of filming, not being aloud out at breaks and lunchtime to play, being sent home early one day (ok, that wasn't exactly a hardship!), having to be quite walking around and they thought us worthy of 10 flippin' minutes - hmmmph!

If you're still awake, this is another layout of my "Highlights of me" album putting this memory to paper.  Someone had better spend more than 10 minutes on me in the future I'm telling you!!!!

Whilst there is a little bit of journalling on the page most of it is hidden on the postcard jutting out of the top of the picture.

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 22 April 2012


I mentioned in a previous post that I was off to make some of that fancy paper .... I'm not great at using these papers in kits I get as they are often too pretty to cut up.  Instead I made it my mission to make some of my own.  Why?
  • because I thought it would be fun to try
  • because I won't mind cutting these pieces of paper/ card stock up
  • because I couldn't resist buying Pink Paislee's London Market vintage impressions stamps
I'm trying to be a thrifty crafter so because I didn't know if my designs would succeed I took one piece of paper and used the corners!  Each corner has a different range of colours used on it, but most use the same stamps.

Here are each of my designs:


If you fancy having a go at making your own papers leave me a link and let me know which of mine you prefer.  I'd love to see them.

Happy Crafting


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Highlights of me (full version)

Finally I have been able to get some reasonable pictures of my scrapbook pages!

I've been asked to show you the full version of the front page of my scrapbook which I'm dedicating to recording my life history - the small things, not I was born here, I lived here, I got married/divorced stuff.  Any of my ancestors can look that up in the County archives.

This book is going to be dedicated to all those silly memories that make life interesting.  I will include some of the boring stuff like how old I was when I was christened because that's really hard to determine.  I'm not sure if it's changed because I don't have children, but most of my ancestors worked the land.  This meant working every day, not 5 days a week like most of us!  It also meant that christenings were saved up and it wasn't unusual for 3 or 4 children to be christened at the same time, some as old as 10 or more.  Some vicars made notes in the margins showing ages, others didn't.  Back in the 1800's these were the only records, so it makes working out someones age really difficult!

Anyhow, that's enough of my rambling.  I confess to cheating on this page as I bought the butterfly embellishment!  I'm also addicted to brads so they will never disappear from my craft room!! No more purchasing of butterfly embellishments for me though - I have my trusty punch along with some dies.  I love my dies, but my cuttlebug isn't very portable - yes, I know it's designed to be portable, but this girl doesn't travel craft lightly as it is!

I wanted the page to look like a record book with things tucked into a sleeve.  I'm in love with the papers that are out at the moment, especially the distressed wood ones!  I also love stickers - did as a child and still do now.  There are some great sticker sheets out there at the moment and none of them have a peel off in sight (those that know me well know I have an aversion to peel offs, although I've found a use for them - that's for another day!)

Happy Crafting


Friday, 20 April 2012

Loving the outdoors

Don't know if I've mentioned it but I especially hate winter.  I find it increasingly hard to keep myself in a good mood and have to work extra hard at being level headed when we get into the depths of winter.  That's why I love spring so much - the sun really does have an uplifting effect on me.  In fact if I'm not careful I can become quite hyperactive!
This scrapbook page came about after going on a photography course at Purley on Thames.  It's a beautiful place to go and there's a house just down from the lock that is reputedly Toad Hall and the inspiration for The Wind in the Willows.  You don't need to be told that to realise it either, as you walk along the Thames you will be magically transported and will be looking out for Toad and his friends bobbing along on the river!

Here are a few close ups to show you the detail.  I've always believed that you should frame a photo (not necessarily by matting it!)  In this case I've led the viewer into the photo by having a butterfly perched at the top and its trail leading from the title.  I've also taken the title across the page and placed accents on the right leading back into the photo.  Even though the photo doesn't take up much of the page and is smaller than the journalling block this helps to make it the centre of attention.

I'm trying to use up lots of embellishments that I've bought over the years as I've realised that it's much nicer if you can make your own.  They will be guaranteed to go with papers you are using as you can choose papers from the same range, ink or paint them and stamp images on them. 

Having come back from Ally Pally I'm proud to have only bought ribbon embellishments - the best purchases I got were a template for various sizes of rounded tags and a butterfly punch. They just aren't going to go out of fashion and even if they did I love them! It's also worth remembering just because a brad comes complete with a tag attached or as part of a flower, it doesn't mean you can't take it apart and change it around. I'm often pulling things apart or changing a brad to suit the colour of my project.

Oh and for those that asked I'll post my completed "highlights of me" scrapbook page soon, I promise!  I'm off to play with some new stamps to create my own fancy paper!

Happy Crafting


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Highlights of me

The first sentence of this post started with "just a quick post from me" - mmm, thought I should change it given the essay I've written below.   The original post was to show you a quick sneak peek of what I'm working on and to dispel the myth that no post = no craft.  It doesn't, but sometimes I get carried away with the craft and forget the blog - before I know it I've given away what I've made and that's that.  My Unruly commitments are complete so I've been less inclined to pick up my camera.  Watch out for my scrapbook and art journal contributions coming in the late summer/ early autumn.

Anyhow, after all that the sneaky peek is not happening as Blogger doesn't want to upload it, so instead I'm showing you a peek of a scrapbook project I'm working on.  It's my version of "This is My Life", but Michael Aspel has nothing on my book (or won't have once it's finished!)

Somerton Market Cross
I grew up in a small town in South West England, complete with a market cross (as seen on the right), an old fashioned drinking trough for the passing horses (now a handy plant container!) and a town gaol (read as jail).  It was the capital of Wessex and home to a number of Kings in its time, but now it's just a sleepy ol' town.  All of the bunting, British flags and checked patterns about this year inpsired by the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics has really reminded me of home and what I did when I grew up. 
Silly things really, but things I wish I knew about my ancestors, the little every day things.  I want to write about the fact that I was in King Ina group at school and that I got a commendation for baking and making a gingerbread house complete with sweets.  These are the things you just can't find in the history books or in the county archives. 
I bet most of you didn't know that I once handed the Queen a bunch of flowers whilst mumbling into my boots (as my nan would say!) and whilst dressed in a brownie uniform!  I've always wondered if I should write to HTV West and see if they have a copy of the film in the archives (or perhaps it would be too embarrassing to watch - still it's part of my history and I would love to pass it down the generations!

I love photography, so I'm not very often in my photo's and I'm not sure I want or need to be for this project.  It's about me and my memories so I want to take photo's that enable me to write those memories.  Some photo's will be really random - a wall, me and my best mate used to sit on when we were growing up talking about anything and everything - our meeting place.  I might even be tempted to put in a dodgy photo or two in if I'm feeling brave and want people to know I wore reversible jumpers - it was the 80's and apparently I really liked dalmations! Some of you were around before then, so I can safely say you wore even dodgier stuff!

Enough of my ramblings, I hope I've inspired some of you to record your stories whether it's in a scrapbook, art journal or a diary.  I love to see what you do, so feel free to leave me a link back to your posting.

Happy Crafting


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Want to be unruly with me?

A new blog has appeared and it's going to be great (well it is already is, but I may be biased!).  Come over and take a look at Unruly Paperarts where you will find a brand new blogozine with an April theme of Ink Minx.

In April you will find articles on alcohol inks, paper batik, stippled backgrounds and much much more.

What's so great about this team?  I'm on it .... OK, maybe that's not the great bit .... I think it's because the team is made up of such an eclectic range of people.  There are altered artists, scrapbookers, art journallers, rubber stampers .... you name it we have it.

Each issue will have a theme and there will be articles throughout the month of the issue, each showing a different take on the theme. We hope you will be inspired and will join us on the blog or on Facebook to showcase your take on this month's theme.

Here's a sneak peak of my art for the month.  The full version is here

Come and be inspired!


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Taz Monster

You wouldn't believe this, but as I write this post the little ginger monster that lives in my house is curled up asleep on the rug looking as cute as he can possible look.  He's a cat by the way!  You wouldn't believe that he can be such a monster, but he can be.  We lost his brother last year and he gets lonely at times so I try to play with him as much as possible.  Maybe we will get him a friend or maybe I'll continue to play with him, who knows.  I quite enjoy playtime!

He can be very funny.  Tonight I found him keeping my dirty washing company before it went in the wash.  Apparently sitting on damp towels is all the rage at the moment.  He has these amazing doey eyes and much like a child he knows exactly how and when to use them.  Taz believes that kitchen visit  = breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or perhaps just snack time.  He's not even fat, how unfair is that!  Mind you, I'm not a regular tree climber and I don't tear up and down the garden at a  hundred miles an hour!

This page was inspired by a challenge on Scrapagogo created by Pam Thorburn.  The challenge was to use scraps of paper up.  I'm must admit to doing the bare minimum as I really wanted to get these photo's documented and my scrapping mojo was missing.

Happy Crafting

Monday, 12 March 2012

Mojo Demon - do you have one?

My mojo demon is really evil.  My bank manager hates it, I hate it and I bet you hate yours.  Why do I hate it so much? 

Not just because it stops me crafting, but it also makes me go craft shopping.  Not useful craft shopping where you know what you want, what you will use and how you will use it, but just shopping for stuff.  You know, stuff, the things you buy and that sit around for ages (weeks, months or years in some cases).  Stuff that you think looks great, but you forget how to use the moment you get it home or worse still stuff you didn't know how to use in the first place or are too scared to use.

I can't be the only one, can I?

I'm getting better at the too scared to use malarky.  These days I'm much braver and will play with just about anything.  It helps having lots of crafty friends that like to play.  We bounce off of each other whilst putting the world right.

I've been doing a craft cleanse which has involved taking stock of all that I own, all that I like and all that I don't like.  It's been hard work and I made such a mess in my craft room that it made me non crafty for a while.  I've decided to take a break from documenting for a while, but I've documented all of my paints, ink pads, embossing powders, chalks etc (you get the picture). I've used a small art journalling book so that I can take it with me to craft shows and avoid buying similar colour paints, inks and so on.  I think I must have 4 or 5 of the the same aqua as it's a colour I'm drawn too.  At least I know I don't have to buy any for a while (quite a while!)  Luckily I've documented most of my stamps as I bought them, but there are probably a dozen or so that haven't left the packages yet and still need to be done.

I'm determine ... either I find a way to use it or it's going to be sold on Ebay.  If it no longer inspires me it is going. That's if anyone will have it - I may not get much for the things I sell but anything is a contribution to my more sensible buying in the future. At the moment I've put stuff in a big box ready for me to go through at the end (one last chance before it goes!)

Sorry for the terrible photo's, but they give you the idea.

One thing I have realised is that often the best effects in art journalling are not from items designed for art journalling.  Kiddy craft items are great - the mojo demon stripped background was created from a rubber rolling pin created for rolling kids clay.  It creates great texture. 

Happy Crafting

Friday, 9 March 2012


I saw this image and thought of courage and bravery, so I created a page all about just that.  It's not just about be courageous and brave, but also about being honest with myself which itself takes courage.

These aren't necessarily things that I think I am or am not, but things I think I should be.  The circle stamp I used is ancient, beyond ancient ... a stamp I bought when I first started making cards.  It just shows that we should always consider using old stamps.  Cheap and cheerful I was about to throw it out until I realised it could have a different use.

Short and sweet tonight!

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Just a matter of confidence

Some of you that know me well will realise I've lost a bit of weight lately.  Currently just over 2 stone - scary!  For several years I've been hiding under loose tops, baggy cardigans and anything else that hid my stomach.  The only problem with this was that being big chested meant I was making myself look even bigger than I was - d'oh!

This was the page I started to use as an inspiration, but I got carried away and it's so pretty I can't bear to stick pictures over it or write on it.  Yep, I also have paper that is too pretty to cut - you do too, I know it! I'm not the only crafting magpie out there, in fact I'm sure that crafting and magpies are the perfect match (as long as there is more than one!)

I'm going to scan it to see if I can use it on cards or on a scrap layout.  Then maybe I'll stick something on top of it!

On with the story ... since losing the weight (and I haven't stopped yet) I realised I had to stop hiding my body and I had to start buying clothes that fitted properly.  I didn't do this for a while and I've been amazed by the compliments I've received since I started wearing fitted clothes - it's scary though.  My figure isn't perfect, I've still got weight to lose, but I should be proud of what I have managed.  It was hard work.  Baggy clothes are a shield in a way, so I decided to look out loads of images of women I thought looked confident and were what I wanted to aspire too.

I'm not about to become blonde, 10 years younger or get a different personality, but I am going to be more confident (even if sometimes that means faking it!)

This is my eventual page.  Based on similar colours, but I remembered that it was a journal page this time.

I once read somewhere that lines created with credit cards, room cards or whatever method you may use should be horizontal or vertical.  That's a bit like telling me not to go into that room or look in that cupboard.  This is art journalling, rules are meant to be broken.

The hearts were created by squeezing paint in a heart shape on the page, rolling a kitchen roll over it and using it to create more hearts across the page.  Eventually they'll get really faint.  I love this effect as you get the texture of whatever kitchen roll you are using.

If you fancy a challenge choose a motivational word, create a page to inspire you for the future and don't forget to tell me about it so that I can come and have a nosey.

Happy Crafting

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Art journal or scrapbook page?

Apparently there are no rules in art journalling, so on that basis my art journal is a mixture of lots of different things.
  • Some pages are all about motivating myself and persuading myself to do the right thing;
  • Some are me just playing around and one day they may become a "real" art journal page with writing and all;
  • Others are for purging my soul, if it's really personal I'll hide the journalling or make it impossible to read (not difficult!);
  • And, some pages have photo's on.  I've already scrapped the subject, but I adore the photo so use it in my art journal instead.  I don't have to say much about the subject then if I don't want to. 
Purists may want to keep art journalling separate to their scrapbook, but I love the fact that my journal is a bit of all sorts (and I use one, not one for each subject ... one).  I can look back at it and see what sort of mood I was in throughout the year, what I was thinking and what I was drawn to at that time.  Some days I want to be frivolous and not think about the difficult things, sometimes I want to scream into the page and other days I want to remember. 

One of my favourite pages probably isn't the best, but I found a photo which reminded me of travelling with my parents when I was younger.  The picture wasn't even of travelling, I think it was Moroccan, but it got me thinking about motorway travel of all things.  You don't have to use appropriate pictures, use what you are drawn to, use what reminds you of happy or sad times, use images that motivate you ... use anything you damn well want!  I do!!

Just a thought though, be careful if using images from magazines or newspapers.  My understanding is that if you alter it then you can get away with it, but how altered it has to be I don't know.

This page was taken in Bangkok, Thailand.  My favourite destination of all time.  I don't know what it is about Thailand but I feel so peaceful there, perhaps I was Thai in a previous life!

I don't want to be prescriptive on what I've done, how and with what as that's not the point of art journalling.  To me it's about playing.  If you want details please ask and I'll point you to the right manufacturer.  What I can tell you is there is probably PaperArtsy Al Fresco paint on it somewhere!  If this was on a Design Team post it would be a different matter as I'd be selling those stamps or images, but it's not so I can do what I want!!!

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Quick and dirty

Well maybe not dirty, but definitely quick.  This is my entry for Scrapagogo's Circle journal for January 2012.  I'm in art journal mode at the moment so my scrap booking is taking a bit of a beating.  January is never a good month as it's crazy busy at work so I get very little craft time and sometimes the mojo demon visits.  Very annoying when I eventually find time to craft - ggggrrrrhhh!

My scrapbook collection is getting a bit out of control so I've decided to be as unfrugal as possible on my layouts.  Instead of using papers and inks to follow the layout I was sent I decided to use as many brads as I could without ruining the effect.  Luckily for Emilie, she received the layout a while ago!

Not the best of photo's but hopefully you'll get the idea

Happy Crafting

Monday, 27 February 2012

Life, the universe and everything

Are you like me?  Do you ignore the post during the week? 

Actually that's not entirely true .... if it looks interesting I'll open it, but if its a bill it gets ignored. It's not like we don't all pay by direct debit these days so it's not like the bill won't get paid!

Whilst at a local craft fair I picked up an mdf letter rack as I've never found anything I liked.  When I started painting it all I knew was that it was going to have the following ingredients:
  1. Metal
  2. Embossing
  3. Viva inka gold and ferro
  4. A wooden heart I've been meaning to use for ages!
Not keen on watching paint dry I went a hopping whilst waiting and found two challenges to inspire me, Hel's Sunday Stamper with the theme "Life" this week and Simon Says Stamp and Show "Anything goes."  Pity the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge was last weeks!  Oh well, it still inspired me!

I hope I can get away with saying I've used stamping - I did, honest!  The word life was stamped on the metal and then embossed.  I then used a Tim Holtz embossing folder to create the distressed harlequins.  Once happy with the look I polly filled - it gets used more in my craft room than in DIY!

To hide the edges of the metal I used Viva ferro around the edges of the letter rack before painting everything black and wiping it back.  Then I got carried away with Viva metallic paint and inka gold in several colours.

The little wooden heart was treated in a similar way and stuck to the back of the letter rack.

I'd prefer to recycle items, but if you can't find the right thing I'd recommend the mdfman. If you fancy a challenge grab the above ingredients or create a list of your own and see what you can create.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of the Taz monster, currently in possession of one bald ear.  It's a good job it's warm at the moment and that he still looks as handsome as ever!

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Back on the right weight loss path

I gave myself a talking to at the beginning of February.  I couldn't get into the right frame of mind to stay on my weight loss path, instead I kept eating sweets, chocolate and other junk food.  It was great though ... I still lost weight .... why?

That's easy, I was only eating sweets, chocolate and crisps some days.  I'd balance it out by not having dinner.  Clever, hey?  NO!

I  still lost weight, fab?  Not really, I expect I was losing muscle, not fat.  If you ever get in that frame of mind or you're in it now STOP!  It might not be food that's your vice, it might be shopping, drinking, starting smoking again or some other negative thing.  The point is ... is this what you want to be doing?  do you feel guilty afterwards?  is there something you need to deal with?

Fancy a challenge?  Next time you want to eat crap, smoke a cigarette or whatever your vice is, grab your journal or a loose piece of card and a paint brush.  If your painting you can't be eating or smoking, well not easily!

I've used a couple of unusual items on these pages - Viva ferro paste and Viva inka gold.  The paste has been stamped into which has given great texture under the pictures which I've highlighted with inka gold. 

This is my first double page and I'm not sure I'll do another one.  I like the quickness of a single page and it doesn't feel repetitive.  There's nothing wrong with double pages, but I 'm a quick win person!

Happy Crafting

Kissed a frog

I'm experimenting with blogger on my phone today so this is going to be short and sweet!

I've wanted to scrap this photo of a frog for a while but didn't want it to be a nature based layout...

Happy crafting