Sunday, 29 April 2007

2 Peas in a Pod!

Well its turned out to be quite a nice relaxed Sunday. Ed was a bit(!) hungover after his birthday celebrations last night so he got treated to bacon sandwiches and tea in bed this morning. We don't usually get to spend Sunday mornings together because he usually has band practice but he took the day off in honour of his birthday (and his bad head!). We went out for a meal at a pub by the canal. It was a really pretty location but not very warm - I don't know where yesterday's sunshine went. I am definitely feeling like booking a week on a canal boat in the Summer though, its so peaceful and thats just what you need after 7 weeks teaching!

When we got back I decided to finish off this layout, 2 peas in a pod. Its another for my growing up album and shows me and my sister in matching outfits hanging out in our old cot. I guess my sister was probably still sleeping in it at that point. The journalling is about all the cute little outfits our mum used to dress us in - either exactly the same or with different colour versions of the same outfit. I used my new Basic Grey Blush papers for this and discovered that one of them almost exactly matches the pattern on the padding of our old cot - how very co-ordinating of me! Other than that its pretty much stamping (using Autumn Leaves stamps) and painting. The title is handcut using scraps of the papers.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to take part in the Cyber Crop due to the birthday celebrations. I have however downloaded the class instructions so I might have a go at some of them later. I'll just have to wait for the next cyber crop now.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Day Trippers

Another post in the same day, am I overdoing it? Still, I wanted to share the layout I've just completed. Its called Day Trippers (yes, thank you to The Beatles for that title!) and is another one for my growing up album. Its all about how Mum and Dad used to take us out for the day whenever they had spare time - some of my loveliest memories as a kid are from days spent on the beach, especially at Littlehampton or Brighton. I think this one is from a day out in Winchester and it made me laugh because it shows me and my sister in the double buggy together - I had forgotton all about it. It was vital for when our little legs got too tired to walk though.
I have used Basic Grey LilyKate papers which I picked up at a crop the other night, and other than that its a mixture of paint, stitching, paper piercing and a few pearl brads and paper flowers. I'm quite into my wavy journalling at the moment - I originally wanted to write in white pen but it just didn't show up well enough so black it had to be!

Birthday Time

Its been a really busy few days round here. I went to a scrapbook class on Wednesday and then to a new crop which has just been set up on Thursday night. I was really lucky that it happened to be really near where I live so not too far to travel. It was great to meet some more people in the area who are mad about scrapbooking too as it often feels like Coventry is the forgotton city when it comes to scrapping - there are hardly any shops or crops here!

Yesterday it was my boyfriend's birthday and I wanted to make him a card (especially since I didn't get him a Valentines card, how bad a girlfriend am I?!). I've got to the point where I would rather not give a card at all if I haven't had a chance to make one - wierd I know. So on Thursday night I sat down for an hour or two after he had gone to bed and put together this scrapbook card commemorating his life at 27. Its quite a pared down design - just stamping from Autumn Leaves and Banana Frog and a few buttons. I would have sewed these on but by midnight on Thursday I could no longer see straight!

Yesterday we had family round to eat birthday cake which was fun too - though our lounge was rammed with everyone in it and the cats were a bit put out - they can manage a couple of extra people without getting stroppy but ten is just pushing it! I'm supposed to be taking part in the UKScrappers Cyber Crop this weekend but to be honest this may prove to be impossible as the weekend now looks pretty packed - typical! Still, it should be fun and hopefully I'll get some nice photos to scrap too.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007


Wow! I've been on a bit of a mad rampage with the credit card over the last couple of days (its a good thing my boyfriend doesn't read my blog isn't it?).
I've bought some lovely scrapping goodies which I saw and just had to have including these gorgeous ribbons from the American Crafts Uptown range which I found on Little Silver Hat. This is a site selling ribbons and braids and ric rac etc which I only just discovered but which I'm totally in love with already! They also do some really dinky (and sparkly!) little diamante ribbon slides which I may well buy in the near future too.

I treated myself to most of the papers from the Basic Grey Blush range. I had wanted to buy the complete set but it seemed to be sold out on all the sites I tried so had to buy individual sheets (it took quite a while filling up the online shopping cart for that one!). And I also picked up a few of the pages from the Scenic Route Laurel Range and SEI Such a Girl - I know these papers are quite randomly different but I like to have a real mix on my pages.

And I eventually decided to buy a set of Banana Frog rubber stamps. I absolutely love rubber stamping, especially with acrylic see through stamps which make the whole process really easy and I'm really pleased with some Autumn Leaves swirl stamps that I bought a few months ago. So I decided to go for the Fanciful set which contains some cute journalling blocks and some pretty corner art as well. I've totally got my eye on the Paisley set but will have to save up a little bit first (or at least pay off the credit card!).
I'm pretty excited as I'm taking part in a newbie circle journal on UKScrappers - my theme is going to be 'songs that define a moment'. Everybody will have to choose a song that has a special meaning and explain what memories it evokes. I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with. Got a little 7 Gypsies book to make it from - very cute!

Monday, 23 April 2007

Our Team Challenge

With my latest layout I decided to kill two birds with one stone and scrap a photo for my growing up album as well as completing the upcoming Chocolate Buttons team challenge for UKScrappers. The rules were it had to be blue (for bluebells), include ribbons (for the maypole), have rectangles on it (for the opening of Legoland) and also include a handmade tag.

This is what I came up with. Though I like working from sketches sometimes (though my layouts rarely end up looking like the original sketch) I'm not very good at challenges that restrict colours/materials etc. I'm a bit of a slave to the photo I'm working on at that moment and if it doesn't fit with the challenge, I'm not happy. So I'm glad this forced me to have a go. These pictures were perfect for the blue paper because they make the pink of my top stand out as well as picking out the blue in my eyes and the cord for the swing. This is the first time I've had a go at writing on a photo either - I've never been daring enough before in case I ruin it, but this worked really well against the dark background of the shot. The handmade tag is tucked behind the main photo. I stitched several bits of card together and wrote the first verse of Robert Louis Stevenson's 'The Swing' on it which was ideal for my layout. Looking at it now, I might add some thread to the buttons to finish it off, but I'll have to investigate how easy it will be to put holes through as the buttons are stuck on now.

I have been considering entering the Scrapbook Inspirations competition in the Best New Talent Category. I haven't been scrapping for long so I would fit into this category. I probably don't stand a chance of winning as I know the talent on UK Scrappers alone is outstanding, but sometimes you've just got to have a go and see what happens. I would definitely like to send a layout in for the Reader Gallery anyway so when I see a suitable topic that I have a decent layout on thats what I'll do.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Stressed out Saturday...

It was a bit of a manic morning this morning. We got woken up by the cats at 7.30am but I don't normally mind this if I know I can go back to sleep for an hour. Unfortunately, we had to get up and take Ed's car into the garage on the other side of the city - obviously he would need me to drive him back which meant I had to navigate the dreaded ring road!

The Coventry road system is not great at the best of times. I've lost count of the amount of times I've come to a big junction or one way system to find that the traffic lights are down and the roads are in utter chaos. Not to mention the road works on the A45 which seem to have been going on for a century at least. But I find the ring road mystifying. A road which insists that the cars wishing to get on the road should attempt to do this at exactly the same point as the cars wishing to get off the road feels like an accident waiting to happen for me. But unfortunately today it was unavoidable, so after four trips in one morning I was feeling pretty edgey to say the least.

Fortunately for me, when I got home I managed to de-stress for a few hours and finish this layout which I had begun about a week ago but struggled to complete. Its for my growing up album, this page commemorating the real mess I used to get into at dinner times. I love the sequence of photos showing the stages of devastation - the last one is a classic. Miss Mucky Pup 1983 was an obvious title! I experimented with a bit of paint to roughen up the look on this layout - not sure about it now but I do like the stitching.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Thank God its Friday!

Well its been a bit of a crazy first week. The pressure is getting to the Year 11 and 12 groups and I even had a student storm out of my lesson this afternoon. As usual, Year 7 have been the maddest though! Feeling pretty lethargic all round and I think its because of the great weather. Not that I'm complaining but all you want to do is lie on the lounger in the sun reading a book, not mark Year 8 assessments.

I have managed to find time to do a bit of crafting though. At a crop on Wednesday night I started a layout which I finished yesterday. Again its for my new growing up album and I'm still trying to find a place for all those garden pictures! This one is of me and my little sister digging up the flowerbeds with our miniature spades (and posing quite happily for the camera by the looks of it too!).

I used scraps of paper to draw and handcut lots of flowers to act as a border for the photo. The only other embellishments are small pieces of green and pink ricrac and a handcut title. The photo is not of excellent quality. When I found the photos in the cupboard at home they were getting a bit damp and some of them even had spots of rust on them! I've had to scan them in and reprint them. But hopefully the strong embellishments hide the faults in the photo and produce a fun layout.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Fun and Games at School

Well, after a glorious two weeks of basically doing exactly what I want it was back to work this morning. Getting up at 6.30 was such a shock to the system although it was a beautiful morning here. First day back was fairly eventful, the most surprising incident of the day was when a small quiet girl in one of my classes suddenly threw up violently while they were lining up to leave the room! Never realised I had that effect on my pupils! I thought I'd share this photo of my three little fluff-monsters (as they are known) who all piled themselves up to sleep on the window sill after their breakfast. I have to admit to being horribly jealous of them as I left the house!

Sunday, 15 April 2007

My Maze Book

Well, its the last day of the holidays. The last day of lying in, having time for myself and most importantly having time to scrap. I thought I would share the other project I completed this holiday, the maze book (or should I say books - I made two because I knew I wouldn't be able to part with it otherwise!) I completed for the Mad Hatters cybercrop on UKScrappers.

One of the pre-crop tasks you could take part in was the a-maze-ing swap, making a mini book to send to someone else in the swap and receiving one back in return. I've never taken part in a cybercrop before so quite looking forward to it, though its Ed's birthday that Friday so I may be able to take part in less than I'd like.

My maze books are on the theme of Alice in Wonderland and constructed from just one piece of 12 by 12 card - its a really clever design though I have to say I discovered that folding really isn't my forte! I used quotes printed on acetate and some original illustrations from the story and hid some tags in the little pockets created by the folds.

This isn't my usual style of scrapping - for one thing, I usually work in a much bigger format, almost always 12 by 12. I rarely print my journalling, preferring a handwritten look on most of my work. And there are no flowers or buttons to be seen, which are some of my favourite embellishments and found on most of my layouts (although there is plenty of ribbon, my other fave!).

So it was nice that the project gave me the opportunity to do something a bit different and also to finish something - these got done in the same time it normally takes me to complete a layout. I think I will definitely have a go at a few more mini books - I like the look of the Shimelle Laine Fiskars class and I still plan to make her 'I have something to confess' book too, though I know that class was ages ago now!

So there we are. And now I've got to go shopping for cat food and mark those pesky Year 12 exams that I've been carefully ignoring for so long!

Saturday, 14 April 2007

My Growing Up Album

I know its not common to blog twice in a day but hey, this is all a novelty to me, and when I go back to work in two days new posts will definitely be fewer and further between, if only because I won't have any time to do any scrapping to share. So I wanted to upload my latest layout which I completed today. Its for my new album, about my childhood and growing up. While going through all the photos at home for the Shimelle Laine class it brought back so many memories and there were so many gorgeous photos (well done Dad!) that this album seemed like the natural progression. There were hundreds of shots of us in the garden so this is the first page, a thankyou to mum and dad for giving us such a great space to run around in and enjoy our freedom. The album is based on the sketch challenge in the latest issue of Scrapbook Inspirations - I always enjoy looking at the different layouts the sketches produce and having a go myself. Sorry for the slightly wobbly photo - don't know why one side is straight and the other isn't!

What shall I be?

I recently signed up for an online class by Shimelle Laine. The class required us to be 'nostalgic' and think back to what we wanted to be when we grew up at different stages in our lives. Our first task was to produce a mini book written in the form of a children's story, complete with paper dollies to play the characters. I really enjoyed this project, especially since one of the things I had wanted to be when I grew up was a children's book writer! I am quite pleased with the finished result.
Here are the pages from it...

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...In this little book I will tell you the story of a little girl who just didn't know what to be when she grew up and how she came to be the person that she is today...

There was once a little girl who dreamed of being in a rock and roll band. She just loved to sing along to her daddy's records and learned all the words she could. One day, her daddy bought here a little guitar to learn to play. But it just didn't sound like the music on the records when she strummed the strings.

When the little girl got a little bit older, she found that she loved nothing better than drawing pictures of the world around her. She looked at the pictures in her favourite story books and decided she would create her own little characters to tell funny stories about. Maybe she would write books for other children when she grew up?

As the little girl got older still, she discovered that drawing and colouring was just one little way of getting all those pictures out of her head. She tried lots of new things like painting little books, sculpting great big dragons, knitting little dollies and taking lots of interesting photos. She thought she might like to be an artist when she grew up.

But when the little girl got even older and wasn't really much of a little girl at all anymore, she realised that finding out about people and places and the way the world worked was such an interesting thing to do. She wanted to talk about her ideas with anyone who would listen! Perhaps she should be a politician when she grew up?

When the little girl was definitely not a little girl any longer she knew that she had to go out into the big wide world and make her own way. She decided that she would try to teach other children about the things she had learned on her journey and help them to do the best they could on their own journey's through life...

But the girl knew that for her to be truly happy, she should always try to be as creative as she could be, because after all, life has no magic without a little imagination.

My first blog

It may not seem much, but this is pretty impressive for me. At 25 years old and after ages of umming and ahhing, my little brother finally persuaded me to set up my own blog. For a long time I can't say I ever felt the need for a blog. But after my scrapbooking hobby got WAY out of control and layouts etc are on my mind 24/7 I really felt the need to share some of that -spreading the love and all that! I plan to use my blog to record my daily ravings (and believe me, they really are ravings after an afternoon with Year Seven!), to share my scrapbooking ideas and layouts and perhaps a few of my other crafting attempts too. I may even share the history teacher's ancient art of staining pieces of history homework with teabags to get the authentic, crumpled and often slightly singed effect needed to win a coveted place on the classroom washing lines. Yes, I do have washing lines in my classroom. The walls just fill up far too quickly for my liking.