Saturday, 31 August 2013


You can never take too many photos! Here is another one of our crafty weekend in Banbury - was that really only three weeks ago ........???
I thought this picture would be ideal for CSI Case File #87 and I've also used a sketch by Paula Ridley for Scrap 365 so I will be linking this up to the September challenge at Sketchbook365 as well.

The theme for August over at CSI has been travel and Debbi Tehrani, CSI Mastermind, has come up with yet another interesting Scene to be investigated for Case File #87, the last of this month.
Here it is (click on the image to enlarge so you can read it more easily)

From this inspiration image, Debbi takes the colour combination, ideas for design elements and prompts for journaling. 
CSI = Color, Stories, Inspiration

The idea is to solve the case by using these clues to create a scrapbook page - 

  • All five colours in the Scheme
  • At least two items of Evidence
  • At least one piece of Testimony
So here is my solution to this week's conundrum (click on the image to enlarge if you like)

  • The Scheme: all five colours are there, plus some touches of dark brown (you're allowed neutrals)
  • The Evidence: map print,stitching, word stickers, arrows.
  • The Testimony: I've written about a trip, dotted details and story here and there around the page and used the inspiration word "wander". 
Next to the photo I've written, "Our last day in Oxford. Em, Poll + Chel smiling for my camera, blissfully unaware that we were on borrowed time. This was about 11.30 am ..." 
The story continues on the folded tag which is tucked between the layers, "... we had left all our stuff back at our holiday flat, intending to finish all the food, drink + crafting projects that evening, then pack ready for the journey home next day. So we'd left stuff everywhere and gone off for a last wander around Oxford, had a lovely day ... until, at about 4.30, I noticed 10 missed calles on my phone. Turns out we should have left that morning, the cleaner had cleared all our things out + a hew batch of people had already gone in! So, fiver hours after this was taken, these same lovely ladies could be seen running back past this spot, hot and sweaty, heading for the station + trailed by me, adding further drama by having an asthma attack. I had left my inhalers at the flat too! Oh no!! But I was rescued by a kind stranger, we got all our stuff, everyone was so nice about it and we found a room at the Holiday Inn ... Phew!!!"

Oh! dear, what a palaver!!! It was awful at the time, but we can laugh about it now - just another holiday story which could have been much worse but for the kindness of strangers.

Here is my evidence under the magnifying glass - can you spot all my clues?

Thanks for visiting my blog - it's been a bit quiet the last couple of weeks because I can't settle for too long due to back problems - little and not too often seems to be the key. But I'll be fighting (or should that be scrapping?) fit again soon!

cheerio for now

annie :o)xxx

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Banbury 2013

"Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse.
With rings on her fingers
And bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes."

Case File #86 over at CSI this week is full of yummy icecream colours and the general theme for August is travel, so this was the perfect opportunity to scrap a picture of my recent stay in Banbury, Oxfordshire with my crafty mates Emma, Polly and Chel.

Here's the Case File (click on the image to enlarge it)

As always, CSI Mastermind Debbi Tehrani has found an intriguing Scene for investigation this week. From this image, she takes five colours for the Scheme, inspiration for design elements and ideas for journaling prompts.
CSI = color, stories, inspiration.

In order to solve the case, you must create a page using the following Clues

  • All five colours in the Scheme
  • At least two items of Evidence
  • At least one piece of Testimony

Here's my solution to Case #86 (click on the image to enlarge)

Now as you may know, I don't usually work well with pale and pretty colours, but for some reason I really got into them this time. But did I follow all the clues ............ ???

  • Scheme: all the colours are there, with a sprinkling of neutrals and some tiny pops of brighter orange and pink
  • Evidence: scallops; art medium (oil pastel); stripes; architectural accents (if you count the fence?!); speech bubble.
  • Testimony: inspiration words "sightsee", "go" and my journaling is handwritten. In the speech bubble I've written "Em, Poll, me + Chel NOT on a cock horse at Banbury Cross". There is also a numbered list journaling card tucked between the layers at the top with the chevrons pointing to it. This reads, "1. Shopping 2. Eating 3. Drinking 4. Crafting 5. More shopping 6. More eating 7. More drinking 8. Trying out the timer on Em's camera at Banbury Cross."

Here are some close-ups, so you can check for clues under the magnifying glass ...

Thanks for looking at my page - don't forget to check out the gallery at CSI for loads of gorgeous and inspiring ideas.
Have a lovely weekend :o)xxx

Windows, Doors and Portals

That's the theme over at Tag Tuesday this week. Such a fun idea with so many possiblilities and I can't wait to see what everyone has created.

Here's what I came up with ...

"Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible."

I love this part of the story, where reality has already started to blur into impossibility and amazing adventures are waiting for Alice in the bright Wonderland which she can glimpse through the tiny door.

Not too much waffle today as my blinkin' back is still giving me trouble so I can't sit for too long. Pop over to Tag Tuesday to see what everyone else has dreamed up and check out the new themes for September.

Thanks for visiting, come again soon! :o)

Friday, 23 August 2013

Beautiful Plumage!

Not much blogging going on this week as I've done me poor old back in again - it's fine as long as I don't sit, stand, lie, walk, bend, cough, laugh or sneeze!!! :o)

I've been dosing myself with all sorts and trying to keep mobile and do everything in small doses, so small projects like tags and ATCs are perfect for a bit of dabbling and tinkering that doesn't take too long.

These two are for the Frog Dog August challenge and I really enjoyed experimenting with just a few of the products from my first Frog Dog mixed media kit, as well as some stuff I already had.

The kit was packed full of gorgeous goodies (I joined mid-month, so this was the July kit) which I will be playing with a LOT - I'm new to the whole mixed media thing but it really calls to me ... so much to learn and so much inspiration out there.

This is what I used for the first ATC:

  • Two colours of Distress Paint (Antique Linen, Peeled Paint) from the kit dabbed on my craft mat, spritzed;
  • Eco ATC card swiped through to pick up the colours;
  • Texture built up with Crackle Texture Paste, some applied straight to the base with an old credit card and some through sequin waste to make the little stars;
  • Various colours of Distress Ink (Picked Raspberries, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Fired Earth) applied in layers to bring out the textures;
  • Claudine Hellmuth Studio matte multi medium from the kit used to adhere and seal the image cut from the ARTChixStudio ephemera sheet also from the kit;
  • Stampendous Fragments in sage sprinkled into the wet medium then sealed;
  • Dictionary definition of the word "fly", cut into strips, inked and applied with multi medium;
  • Cosmic Shimmer mica pigment powders dry brushed onto the still tacky medium;
  • Gilt cream in antique gold applied to edges with my little finger (very useful piece of equipment, I use it almost as much as my pokey tool!)

The second ATC was pretty much the same process, except this time I painted the blank card with gesso first and kept the background smoother. This time I used Pebeo imitation gold leaf flakes sprinkled into the wet medium, Black Soot Distress Ink to define the edges, the dictionary definition on this one is the word "flutter".

Here are a couple of bits and bobs I picked up in the local charity shop (thrift store) which I think are just BEGGING to be turned into something fabulous!

A sectioned hession (burlap) gift bag, a little toy made up of three hexagon blocks which are llinked together but turn independently; a hinged wooden wine bottle sized box with a metal clasp and rope handles; a book of thirty gorgeous Mucha print postcards - all for under a fiver! :o)

Well, I have a lot to learn, but it's gonna be so much fun - I have only used a tiny bit of my kit so far and the next one is on the way wooHOO! Check out the Frog Dog blog for lots of brilliant ideas.

Thanks for popping in - see you again soon :o)xxx

Friday, 16 August 2013

Remember Our Rose

Case File #85 over at CSI this week is a gorgeous concoction of colours and elements which straightaway made me think of my good friend Rose, as I know she would have loved the bright autumnal colours combined with a pop of turquoise and all the pretty trinkets.

Here's the Case File (click on the image to enlarge so you can read alll the clues)

Each week, CSI Mastermind Debbi Tehrani seeks out a new Scene to investigate. From this image she pulls colours, journaling prompts and ideas for design elements
(CSI = Color, Stories, Inspiration).

In order to solve the Case, you need to design a page which follows all the clues -

  • All five colours in the Scheme
  • At least two items of Evidence
  • At least one piece of Testimony

To help us do this, there is also a set of CSI Coordinates for every Case - this is a fantastic collection of images, journaling spots and patterned papers, designed by Michele Singh which CSI members can download and print off or use for digi pages - brilliant isn't it?!

Without further rambling, here's how I solved the case (click on the image to enlarge it)

So, have I followed all the clues?

  • The Scheme: all the colours are there, with a couple of touches of a brighter yellow and a paler turquoise (you're allowed neutrals and up to 10% accent colour)
  • The Evidence: tag; vellum; metal; buttons; frame; decorative borders.
  • The Testimony: I was going to do a numbered list of things I wanted to remember about Rose, who sadly passed away suddenly in 2009 after I'd moved away from Cornwall, but I quickly realised that five wouldn't be enough, so I settled for handwriting my journaling in continuous cursive all around the edge of the page. It reads as follows: "loved to look after people... creative soul ... always ready to laugh ... loved beautiful things like amber glass, baubles and jewellery ... compulsive squirrel ... fragile ... patient mentor ... hostess with the mostest ... great colleague ... wonderful friend ... devoted wife, mother and daughter ... ... may you RIP x Rose x"
I hope Rose would approve of my page - I think she'd like the jewelled frame and the little white bird (which was actually sold as a cupcake decoration) and I know she would have loved scrapping!

Here are some close-ups under the magnifying glass so you can check my evidence for yourself:

Thanks for looking at my page - check out the fabulous gallery over at CSI to see the many and varied takes on this week's Case File.

Cheerio for now, see you again soon :o)xxx

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

WOYWW #219

Hi everyone and a very happy What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - nip over to see Julia at Stamping Ground if you don't know what I'm on about - especially if, like me, you love to snout around other people's workrooms and rummage in other people's drawers ..... :o)

If you happened to see my WOYWW post for last week, you'll know that I was packing for a crafty weekend away in Banbury near Oxford with the girls (crafty as in cuttin and stickin of course, not crafty as in devious). We just got back yesterday evening, so there isn't much activity on my desk, but I have strewn it with all the goodies I brought home so you can see what I collected/bought/totted on our travels.

I love the yummy Cath Kidston fabric-covered buttons (when we spotted the shop in Oxford, we briefly considered just licking the window but in the end couldn't resist going in)
There's a pile of brochures, beer mats, postcards, tickets and so on, some of which will end up in my Smash Book, and a roll of beautiful wrapping paper with pictures of book shelves from the Bodleian Library shop. On the right you can see a gorgeous scarf handknitted for me by Polly - she made a different one for each of us - here's a close-up of mine so you can see the little sequins (of course I kept everyone's wrapping paper too) ...

If you look very closely, you can see a wonderful 12th scale mini book which Emma made me ...

It has a faux leather cover with a raised leaf pattern and she filled it with pictures to illustrate our stay ... here you can see wine and a pasty, because she brought pasties up from Cornwall for our supper.

In the centre of the picture is the beginnings of a needle felted heart which Michelle was helping me with - I never got to finish it because Disaster Struck on our last day, but I really enjoyed having a go

Amongst other things, you can also see some fab wooden buttons, a fat quarter of fabric printed with vintage adverts and some beautiful flowers from the Crafty Cow stall in Stratford Market.

We enjoyed Oxford so much that we went back for a second visit on Monday, saw the Magical Books Exhibition at the Bodleian, had a delicious lunch, wandered about ... and intended to spend our final evening finishing our projects, tidying up and packing. However, at about 4.30 I happened to notice TEN MISSED CALLS on my mobile!!! OMG! I never get that many calls PANIC!
To cut a long story short, it turned out that we should have vacated our rented flat that morning, new people were due at 4pm and the owner had been frantically trying to contact us all day since the cleaner went in that morning.
Our stuff was strewn EVERYWHERE and we had no idea what would happen if the new people had already moved in. We had to run for the next train back so we could get our stuff and then try to find alternative accomodation for the night.
So I thought I would make things even more interesting by having a FULL-ON ASTHMA ATTACK - thank goodness for the kindness of strangers - a lovely man on the station platform gave me his spare Ventolin inhaler (previously used, but I didn't care a bit by then).
Eventually we got to the flat, to find a Spanish couple and their daughters had moved in - they were also very kind and helped us find our stuff. Everything had been piled into the hall cupboard so we had to take it out on the landing and repack as best we could. We ended up in a Holiday Inn for the night and as far as we know, all we ended up losing was some shampoo ... and all the Tangles I had drawn over the weekend. Never mind, could have been so much worse.

When I got home my DH had put up bunting and left me a lovely card and a box of fudge :o)

All's well that ends well - we're still planning to go again next year :o)xxx
Don't forget to check out Stamping Ground - have a good old nosey around some much more productive and inspiring workdesks than mine! Cheerio for now.

Saturday, 10 August 2013


CSI Case File#84 was full of perfect colours and elements to scrap another picture of my good friend Maggie's wedding day.

Here's the Case File (click on the image to enlarge it so you can read the clues)

Each week, the wondrous Debbi Tehrani manages to find another intriguing Scene for us to investigate - from this image she pulls the five colours for the Scheme, as well as inspiration for design elements and storytelling to get your mojo going! In order to solve the case, you need to use the following clues to create a scrapbook page

  • All five colours in the Scheme
  • At least two items of Evidence
  • At least one piece of Testimony

As it is the second week in the month, we also have another brilliant sketch to follow from Emma Stafrace at PageDrafts. And as if all of that weren't enough, we also get a new set of CSI Coordinates for every Case File. These are printable images, accents, patterned papers and journalling spots which are created by designer Michele Singh and are free for CSI members to download - they're all archived on the CSI website so you can go back to them again and again - how cool is that?!

So, with no further ado, here's how I solved the case (click on the image to enlarge it)

Here you see, from L-R, Lisa, Maggie and me all looking very happy :o) I know weddings are always happy, but this was one of the happiest I've ever been to, full of tears and laughter - Graham the groom started first, closely followed by nearly everyone else in the room - it was beautiful!

So did I follow all the Clues???

The Scheme: all the colours are there, plus some neutrals
The Evidence: stripes; fabric; ribbon/twine/trim; circles; clock
The Testimony: I used striped paper as journaling lines, and I was thinking about how much I enjoyed time with Maggie during the preparations for the big day.
We had great fun doing all the girly stuff - shopping for shoes and accessories, getting makeovers, doing nails and face packs. It was so good to be able to share all the excitement and see Maggie looking so happy and beautiful on the day.

I'm filling up again just thinking about it! :o)

Anyway, here are some pictures under the magnifying glass so you can check my clues!

Thank you for checking out my page - remember to visit the gorgeous gallery at CSI to see how everyone else has solved the case -  it's always an inspiration!

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


In case you're sat there thinking "WOYWW???!!! What?!" in which case - where have you BEEN?! - it's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, which is our weekly opportunity to pop over to Julia's blog  Stamping Ground and have a snout around other people's workrooms all over the world. And of course link up our own as well - go on, make yourself a nice cuppa (or pour a nice glass of something depending on the time wherever you are) and have a little wander ....

No time to get stuck in to anything on my desk today .... BUT that's because I've been busy getting to go off on a crafty jaunt wooHOOO!!! Tomorrow I am off to Banbury - I shan't be riding a Cock Horse, I will be on the train, but I will be seeing some Fine Ladies :o)

Four of us have rented a house and the plan is FIVE WHOLE DAYS of cake-eating, wine-swilling, pasty-gobbling, tongue-wagging CRAFTY MAYHEM and we've been looking forward to it for such a long time.

So on my desk today is all the stuff I'm taking with me ...

Obviously I might need some other stuff too - pants and a toothbrush and some paracetamol - but this is the important stuff.

  • Top left is my new Pride and Joy - the iPad which I hope will enable me to keep up with stuff like WOYWW whilst I'm away (it's white and at the moment it has a denim screen saver which I think looks really cool with the woodgrain effect case - still can't manage to open it the right way up though)
  • There are three envelopes with little surprises I made for the girls and three shades of nail varnish (can't make up my mind, might have to wear all three).
  • You can also see on the right my Smash Book which I have only just started - thought I'd put this "scrapping on the go" malarkey to the test.
  • And peeking out from under that is a copy of SBM which I had a feature in so I can do a bit of show'n'tell (nice way of saying show off!)
  • I'm also taking my Zentangle kit, which is not a lot - some fineliner pens, a pencil and the little bundle of 3" square "tiles" you can see to the left of the picture below

  • I've cut them from some lovely smooth white card which I got from Stampin'Up! - seemed a shame to cut it up, but it needs to be really good card to draw the lines properly and enjoy the process.
  • On my iPad I have a pdf which I got when I subscribed to (see link on the right) - it's great because it has links to tutorials on all the tangles and once you have subscribed you get automatic links to any new ones (several every week). Hopefully this weekend will give me a chance to really get stuck in to some serious Tangling.
  • The last thing I'm taking which you can see on the right of the picture above, is a little collection of tools and stuff from Ten Second Studio, as one of the girls makes miniatures and asked if I knew a way to make tiny distressed metal book covers .... I've put in some recycled tomato puree tube as well as the pristine metal sheets as I think it will work just as well if not better and anyway I <3 recycling!

Thanks for looking at my deskful of promise this week - I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is up to whilst I'm on the train tomorrow - aaaaah the wonder of new technology ..... :o)

Annie xxx

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Wild Ones!

Great excitement over at CSI this month because we are joining with Scrap365 - one of my favourite scrapping magazines - genius idea!!!

Debbi has come up with an extra Case File especially for Scrap365 - here it is (click on the image to enlarge it so you can read the clues)

As you can see, it's travel-themed, just like all the other Case Files this month and the rules are exactly the same as always - details on my previous post, or just head over to CSI and see for yourself! Several of the CSI detectives made pages for the magazine feature and it looks fantastic.

So here's my solution (again, you can click on it to enlarge the picture)

The Scheme: all the colours are there, plus little pops of red
The Evidence: map print; stripes; metal; dashed lines; something transparent; photo corners; circles.
The Testimony: the journaling is written across a series of three labels, and inside the little booklet which I hope looks a bit like a document wallet, I have tucked some more photos and journaling - all about how much fun everyone had on our wedding day with these mad hatter photos and how my Dad and Mary really got into the spirit of it - their sense of humour really shines from these pictures. They wrote "The Wild Ones" on their chalkboard so I used that as my title - perfect!

Here are some close ups, so you can check my evidence under the magnifying lens!

Thanks very much for visiting my blog - come again soon!

Beautiful Benidorm!

This month over at CSI the theme is travel, so lots of opportunities to scrap some holiday photos - even some which may have been hanging around in a box for years!

Each week, the wonderful Debbi Tehrani finds a new Scene for us to investigate and from this image she pulls the colours for the Scheme and lots of inspiration for design elements and journaling. Here is Case File #83 (click on the image to enlarge so you can read the clues)

To solve the case, you have to make a page which uses -

  • all the colours in the Scheme
  • at least two pieces of Evidence
  • at least one piece of testimony

I decided to scrap a picture of my boys on holiday in Benidorm with their Dad back in the early 90's. Some of the bits and bobs on the page are real souvenirs (the menu, luggage tags, cards) and luckily happened to be in all the right colours! One of the many reasons I love scrapping is that it's a great way to keep all the stuff you collect, as well as the photos, and it really helps to tell the story.

Here's how I solved the Case -

The Scheme: all five colours are included, plus touches of black (which is allowed!)
The Evidence: (I included every item on the list!) stripes; labels; tags; travel accents; jewels; stamps; circles; punches; grid pattern; ledger pattern.
The Testimony: the details of their journey are documented over a series of labels and tags. There is also space for a personal letter inside the little envelope.

Here are some details under the magnifying glass, so you can check that I have followed all the clues properly!

Thanks for looking at my page - make sure you check out the gallery over at CSI to see how everyone else has solved this case.

Special Deliveries!!!

Ok so this week I have had two Very Exciting Deliveries from Far Away ... WooooHOOOOO!!!

The first was all the way from Australia - my gorgeous pack of Rainbow Ribbons from Scrapbook Fantasies

Alicia designed a pack especially for my blog giveaway to celebrate my new creative space - I asked for a rainbow and I was so delighted with what she put together I couldn't resist ordering an extra one just for me!

... aren't they beautiful? You can see all the colours of the rainbow, as well as blue skies, puffy white clouds, raindrops and a glint of gold. 
Alicia very kindly donated an extra pack so there were two winners - I hope they will love this assortment as much as I do - I counted 30 generous lengths of ribbons and trims BLIMEY!!! Check out their website for yourself here.

Frog Dog July Mixed Media Kit, free mini kit and some extras!

The second Exciting Delivery was from America - Frog Dog Studio - I checked out the website and blog because they were sponsoring CSI and Find Your Voice, and I was so impressed I ended up subscribing to the monthly mixed media kit.
The P&P is not too bad - flat rate $16 to UK, works out under £10 and if you order anything else from the online shop you don't pay any more for shipping. So of course it had to be done ......!
Here are some close-ups of the goodies ...

Alcohol Inks with applicator tool and glossy card pack
Tim Holtz hinges, tortillons

Maya Road memory box with coaster album
Ranger Crackle Accents, Tim Holtz Distress Paints
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium
ArtChix ephemera pack, washi tape

Pretty Little Studio ephemera pack, ArtChix microfiche strips
Artists' Tape, eco ATC blanks

Can't wait to have a play!!!
See you again soon :o)xxx