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!