Monday, 29 October 2007

Lots of scrapping...

...but none to share yet, unfortunately. I have a few projects which I've made for the Papermaze blog which I will be able to share in a couple of weeks time, and this evening I finished off my special layout which was part of my prize for winning BOB in Scrapbook Inspirations. Its a 'me' page and I totally love it - I had been planning the layout before deciding to use it for the magazine because I loved the photo of me and now its all come together I'm really happy that it turned out almost exactly as I saw it in my head. I hope the readers of SI love it too!
Have a few CJs in the pipeline, another layout for Papermaze's November blog and I think I have some Creative Team stash on the way from Rebecca too, so I've got lots of stuff planned for the next few weeks. God knows when I'm going to get the chance to play with my gorgeous new Back Porch Memories kit - this is a kit from the USA which is lovely - so many papers which I have never seen before, and lovely embellishments to go with them. And yet all they have done so far is sit in the box! Shame on me...

Saturday, 27 October 2007

I think I'm in love!

I just can't get enough of these gorgeous new papers which are coming soon to Rebecca's Scrapbooking Stash - they are just so beautiful! They are called Kaiser Scrapbook Papers which I have never heard of before (I think they might be Australian) but the designs run that balance between colourful and fresh and funky vintage and just totally inspire me. There aren't many ranges of papers that I see which I love straight away like that. Here are just a few of my faves:

And here is a link to the shop where you can see more of this gorgeous eye candy.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

A grey day in Brighton

We woke up to a gloomy Thursday, but neither me nor my parents wanted to stay in the house so we decided to go down to Brighton for the afternoon to take a walk and get some fresh air. Brighton has always been one of our favourite places for a day out - so easy to get to but a real seaside feel, and since I was a little girl we have been regular visitors. In fact, even though I now live in Coventry I probably still visit Brighton just as regularly as I used to as a Londoner - I find living in the Midlands very difficult for its lack of a local coastline, and its probably one of the things I miss the most.
Despite the weather, I wanted to take some good shots of Brighton in the winter time - its never quiet but there weren't the crowds you associate with Summer sunshine and I was able to get some very different shots to usual. Here are just a few - I sometimes think that the seaside in winter is even more beautiful than the summer.
The icon of British seaside resorts - the beach huts:
The terribly sad, skeletal remains of the West pier:

A line of sail boats by the promenade:I just couldn't resist this little fella, sitting all alone on the groyne:Lots of inspiration for a good 'seaside in winter' layout!

I'm hoping to go and see my grandad tomorrow, he is still very poorly so it will probably only be a short visit but I want to and give him a big hug while I get the chance.

Just a quick congratulations to Anna who won second prize in the Scrapbook Magazine's scraplift challenge - well done girl! x

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A realisation

So I've been working on a page for the Papermaze blog (not going to be up till November but got to be prepared!) - I'm working on cat pages using some funky SEI papers. And I've realised that my current scrapping style just does not transfer very well to 8.5x11. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the page. I just think I haven't really learned the art of scaling everything down so that it doesn't look too big for the page. It is definitely a different animal to the 12x12 which is what I feel most at home with. On 12x12, there is all that wonderful space to be filled with whatever I like - mulititudes of photos, loads of embellishements, tons of journalling, great BIG titles. With 8.5x11 its more of a 'less is more' design - try to load it up or go big and it just doesn't look right. But I'm not going to give up - one thing I DO love about 8.5x11 is how quickly the pages come together - I got one done in a couple of hours without having to think about it too much, and I could definitely get used to that! So another learning curve begins...

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Stylish Girls

I FINALLY managed to complete the layout that was causing me so much trouble the other day - God knows why it was so difficult, but I stayed up last night and it eventually clicked into place. The layout, Stylish Girls, is about my friends Mags and Suzanne on a recent night out - I thought these photos of them were gorgeous and just had to be scrapped.

The papers are by Gin-X from the August Sarah's Cards kit, and I made my own paper too by scanning the pages from my copy of Wuthering Heights (I love the idea of using torn book paper, but unfortunately I can't actually bring myself to tear up a book, its like sacrilege). The hearts are part stamped (using Autumn Leaves stamps), and partly chipboard using a Cuttlebug die. The bits of lace and ric rac are from my Little Silver Hat subscription kit.

The journalling reads:
A night to dress up, have fun, and be ourselves without the men!

A night to share our secrets and enjoy a bit of 'us' time.

A night to boost a lovely girl's battered self esteem.

A night to enjoy our friendship.

I am really pleased with the page now it is finally done, though its a bit delicate and I think I will have to come up with a way of gluing some of the bits down a bit more securely!

I am certainly enjoying my half term holidays - Ed is off today and tomorrow too which is great (though we did spend part of the morning arguing over new baths, designs of tiles and underfloor heating!). I'm off to visit mum and dad for the rest of the week, so no scrapping time but it will be great to catch up with my family again.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Always Remember to Laugh!

This is a layout used on the Papermaze blog for an article on focal points - my brief was to create a layout that showed how to have a focal point on a multi-photo page.

I do really love this layout, I'm not sure why but I think its something to do with the colours. The papers are gorgeous Scenic Route Sumner (another stunning range by this amazing scrapbook manufacturer) and the photos just really make me smile - everyone pulling faces and having fun at our friend Rich's birthday. There is a bit of everything on there - embroidery, buttons, stickers, stamping and handcutting. A bit of a mish-mash but I love it all the same!

Best of British!

So yes, I can finally share the news that I was one of the winners of Best of British New Talent - it was announced in this months Scrapbook Inspirations magazine and I had been desperately waiting for my sub copy to arrived to check it was really in there. There isn't too much about the competition in there this time - there was a bit of a rush just getting our photos to the magazine on time for this month, but I have sent off some of my winning layouts to be photographed so there will be more about the winners in a later issue.
We found out about the results so late that I had totally given up hope of winning - I had imagined that they would want our layouts to feature and there wouldn't have been time to send those. So when I got a phonecall from Rosie Waddicor after a long day at work whilst waiting for at the hospital for an appointment I'm afraid I was a bit glass half empty and thought it was something to do with the first layout I had ever sent in for the Reader's Gallery (for the Jan issue I think) - I imagined it had been crushed in the post or something similar. So poor Rosie was a bit suprised by the downhearted way I answered the phone! Suffice to say I was thrilled by the news - I had had a really bad day and that definitely turned it round for me! I've had loads of lovely prizes, not sure where I'm going to put half of them, and its really given me a boost about my work - I have now been submitting for the Reader's Gallery regularly, and have taken on more Design Team work too. In fact, Scrap Paper Scissors (the Papermaze blog) have got a profile of me today - lots of random facts you may never have wanted to know, as well as some information about the way I scrap. Please forgive the appalling pictures of my scrapping space, those who read this blog regularly will know I don't really have one, and I didn't fancy taking pictures of the floor where I scrap!
I will share the layout created for Papermaze recently on this blog later - its one of my faves of the moment, I just love the colours.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Serious Scrapper's Block...

I'm trying to put together a layout about some of my friends, I know what photos I want to include and the general colours/papers for the layout but for some reason its just really not coming together! This rarely happens to me (I can only think of another two occassions) so its ultra-frustrating. Normally I just plug away until the layout is done and though they won't be favourites they at least break me through the barrier. So I'm determined to get it done tonight, just to prove to myself that I can do it! If I do manage to complete it, I will share the very annoying layout tomorrow...

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

My cats

You may have already spotted these layouts that I did about my cats for the Rebecca's Scrapbooking Stash Creative Team but as I never gave them official mention on here I thought I would share them now.

The first is about the littlest fluff monster Elmo - she is such a cuddly and soft-hearted cat - in fact she is sat on my lap as I type this! She gets into all kind of wierd and wonderful positions when she is sleeping and one day I decided to stage a mini photo shoot while she was totally sparko on Ed's lap. The papers are by Dream Street (sold on Rebecca's website).

The second page, aptly title Three, is about all three of the monsters. I again used Dream Street Delight papers which I handcut to create the delicate swirls on the layout. The title is Dream Street chipboard and the brads and buttons are from my own extensive collection (apart from the gorgeous Dovecraft ones which are also from Rebecca's). The layout is about how glad I am that our cats have always gotten along - they never fight each other and I love that they keep each other company when we are at work. The photo was taken early one morning when I was about to leave for work - I was so jealous of them piled up there together enjoying the Spring sunshine!

Sunday, 14 October 2007


As promised, I managed to put together a layout this weekend which wasn't for any Design Teams, which means I get to post it here first! Its called Remember, and showcases a photo of Ed waiting to play the Last Post (which he does all round Coventry during November). The photo was actually taken by a local newspaper photographer and Ed's mum sent off for it because she liked it so much.
I used the August Sarah's cards kit which contains papers by Gin-X. I made the poppy and curled the petals round a pencil to make it stand out. I decided to use gold embossed stamping because I wanted to draw out the beautiful gold engravings on the wall behind Ed. I decided to use two verses of the poem by John Macrae rather than doing my own journalling - I think it says it all.

I do like the finished piece although something about it bothers me - I wanted to use a handwritten font but perhaps the Capital R is a bit too big and makes the top of the page a little sparse. (The colours are a little better in real life so the gold shows up more). However Ed who is the star of the layout likes it so that is the main thing!

I will be sharing some of my Design Team layouts tomorrow so pop back then if you want to take a look.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

New Do!

After all the stress and worrying of the last week I was pleasantly surprised to realise that my hair appointment was booked for this weekend. Now, I hadn't had my hair done since before my holiday to Italy in July because of various other commitments which kept getting in the way so it was looking pretty heavy and flat. So I asked Colin, my hairstylist, for something a bit different to normal and he gave me this fab new do! I was so pleased that when I got back I begged Ed to take some photos for me to scrap - he did a David Bailey and took loads (some of which were deleted instantly for being far too hideous for innocent people to see!) and here are some of the best for your viewing pleasure :)

The sexy close up....
A very 'me' expression on my face here...

The shot from above...Ed tryin out a funky camera angle...The 'I think I've had enough now' look...Thanks Colin, I love my new look!

I'm hoping to get some more scrapping done tonight as of course, England are playing rugby and Ed has invited his Dad round to watch. Now football I just about get - I was brought up going to my brother's many Sunday football matches and it can even get exciting. But rugby, I'm afraid not. Maybe I came to it too late - I never attempted to watch it till I was with Ed. But it just makes no sense to me - the brawling, the blood, the blatant attempts to hurt each other - and its a gentleman's game don't you know? Well, I used to work at a bar where there was a regular Rugby lads drinking circle and there was definitely nothing gentlemanly about them! So I have yet to be convinced...

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Back to work...

So being back at work was ok, the kids were really good bless em and all my colleagues really supportive. I had a bit of a near tears moment in the morning when I was explaining what had happened but after that I got busy and got back into the swing of things.
I have SO much to do - loads of housework unfortunately, layouts to post, school books to mark and DT work to do. I have completed a few projects recently which I can't wait to share but they have to go up on the Papermaze blog first. I may however be able to officially share the layouts I did for Rebecca's Scrapbooking Stash with you soon - you may already have seen them but will be good to get them on my blog too. At the weekend I may even try to scrap something that isn't intended for a DT - that way I get to show it to you first!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

It went well!

Grandad came through his op ok, he is now VERY tired (understandably so!) but it went well and now we just need to make sure his recovery is as quick as possible so he can return home. I can't wait for half term now so that I can go and visit him again - the rest of my family went this evening but obviously that is not an option for me in Coventry. Thankyou to Helen and Wendy for the comments, it means a lot to feel you have support x x x


Its been a really worrying couple of days for me which really put some stuff into perspective. My Grandad, who is nearly 92, had to have an operation today to try to remove a blockage in an artery in his leg and put a new plastic artery in. I found out on Monday evening and made the decision to go down to Chichester hospital yesterday to visit him before the op. I'm so glad I did, our family were left with a lot of regrets over my Nan's death 7 years ago (mainly due to very poor hospital communications) and I didn't want to feel the same way again. It did mean missing a couple of days off work, but as a friend of mine put it, some things are more important. And family are definitely more important to me. My Grandad is a wonderful man, caring, gentle and loving. He kept crying when he saw us all and I got lots of cuddles and held his hand. So whatever happens I know that I have spent a little time with him. I should be hearing how the operation went in the next couple of minutes.
So its been a very emotional and shattering couple of days, I've spent a large amount of it driving up and down the country and the rest feeling tearful and weepy. But I'm staying positive about it, and have to get back to normal for work tomorrow. Please keep your fingers crossed for him!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

My new Circle Journal

This is my new CJ - its called a month in the year because I want each person to document the month that they have the CJ - sights, sounds, events, the way it makes them feel etc. My pages are September and I'm going to finish those off today but all the other pages are done and here they are - The front cover:The rules page and an explanation of the theme for my CJ:A poem by Sara Coleridge about how each month brings different things to our lives:My sign in pages and a page to finish off the CJ:

As I said yesterday, I followed the same format as my first CJ, mainly due to time constraints as its difficult to come up with a new idea quickly but I really like the effect and I think its different enough in style and colour from the original to avoid being too samey. It will be great to see what people come up with for each of the months, I'm really looking forward to getting my September pages done now.

I may even try to finish off the pages for my Learn Something New Every Day journal - it kind of stopped about a week before the end because of crazy business at work but I really want to complete it properly. I have lessons for most of the days I missed so its just a case of getting them down on paper now.

I'm suffering from a bit of a mega hangover today - I drank far too much wine last night but had a fantastic evening with my friends. God bless Nurofen!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Finally its the weekend!

I really seem to be craving my weekends at the moment - work is incredibly busy and therefore tiring - I rarely find time to eat my lunch these days! This is why I'm really glad I scrap - I have something which I can do for an hour or two in the evening that lets me switch off completely. And believe me, as a teacher thats hard to do as the job never really ends.
I'm finding the postal strike a bit of a pain at the moment - not that I'm against the postal workers making a stand as very few people bother to do that these days and it was annoying to find our local Post Office had shut down. However, it does mean that the little book I'd bought to make a CJ probably won't arrive till Weds if I'm lucky. And seeing as the first swap was meant to be next Thursday this will be a bit of a problem :/. I'll have to see what the other girls say but I may have to drop out of this one :(
I did however manage to make a CJ for another class that I go to (I think EVERYONE is making CJs at the moment - god knows how I'm going to keep up!) and I'm quite pleased with the results. As I had about two evenings to make that one too I decided to follow the formula of my last CJ, but alter the colours and papers. I will take some pictures of it in a bit and upload it to share.
I did manage to receive some lovely goodies in the post from Vanessa at Papermaze - gorgeous papers for my contribution to the Design Blog (if you haven't had a look yet, make sure you do, its fab). I have some SEI and American Crafts to work with so if you like those ranges make sure you check out the blog in November.
This evening I'm off with the girls for a meal out (as all our men are out on a band job - you might remember the marching band that Ed is involved with). We are going to a fabby restaurant in Coventry called Flamingos - its like a modern Indian restaurant which blows the normal curry houses out of the water with its food - its SOOO good! So looking forward to that, and hope to take some good girlie pics too :)

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


This is the layout that I finished the other day. Now that it is more or less winter there is hardly any light in the evenings which makes it horribly difficult to photograph pages nicely, but this is the best of a bad bunch.
The layout is about the outfits we wore to a friends wedding earlier in the year. I'm not normally one for weddings - I feel a bit in awe of all the formalities and overdressed in all the wedding finery you have to wear. But for this wedding I decided to buy this pink frock - it wasn't at all expensive, but it made me feel a million dollars, which is the main thing. I decided to document this feeling and used the Scenic Route Laurel papers in my latest Sarah's Cards kit - picking out the pink in my outfit and the black and white in my friends with the gorgeous patterned papers. I decided to go for a bit of a twenties feel with the title and journalling tags. The main embellishments are borders made with buttons and some stamping using Autumn Leaves flourishes stamps. I quite like the layout, even though it took me ages to finish it, though I might try to scrap the main picture again as I really like it.

I'm still in a bit of a bad mood - I really took it out on my year nine's this afternoon - they were my only class who didn't behave perfectly today so they really took the brunt of my need to shout! I feel really bad about it now - it never helps things much, even though they had been naughty - but I have spoken to each of the kids and hopefully we can start afresh tomorrow. Roll on weekend now, I don't think I've ever needed it so much!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

A bit of a tantrum...

I have serious doubts about my sanity at the moment. I was so exhausted after work and shopping at Somerfield when I got in this evening that I decided to flake out on the sofa with a glass of Diet Coke (I hardly get to drink anything all day so I was really thirsty). And me being the clumsy beggar that I am, dropped the glass and covered myself and the leather sofa in Diet Coke! And what did I do to resolve the situation? Did I go and get a cloth and repair the damage? Nope, I stood in the centre of the room and yelled at the top of my lungs! A proper good scream. Sometimes life really gets me that way. A real waste of time and all, but it made me feel better for a minute anyway.
I don't seem to be getting anywhere near the normal amount of scrapping done either - its not like I've got loads of DT work to do or anything, but normally I will be working on something for at least a half hour each night. Not so this week. I think I really need a break from work. Big time.
I did manage to finish a layout last night however - its been sitting on the floor unfinished for ages, but too dark to photograph now so I will do that tomorrow. In the meantime, I think I need to where is that bottle of wine!

Monday, 1 October 2007

A new blog...

Here is the link to the brand new Papermaze blog! Its home to challenges and inspiration, as well as regular competitions so check it out:
There will be new posts several times a week too so make sure you add it to your favourites. In the next few weeks you'll get to see a profile of the Design Team members including some very random facts about me which I emailed to Wendy yesterday! Hope you enjoy x

Design Team News!

So, I can finally let you know who I will be designing for! Its an online shop called Papermaze which I have used for some time - its got a great range of reasonably priced stash and is particularly good for Autumn Leaves stamps and Scenic Route products. There will be lots of projects and design tips each month - I will post soon with the link so you can check it out. I'm very excited about joining the design team - I think it will stretch me creatively quite a lot. More news later this month...
In other news, I had a fabby time in Brighton with my friends and have loads of photos for future scrapbook pages too! I feel like I really recharged my batteries which is definitely what I needed. Off to finish a layout now, but then my attention must really turn to new CJs...