Monday, 30 September 2013

Ticket to Ride

I was so taken with the inspiration image for this week's Case File #91 over at CSI - it's really whimsical and quirky and right up my street :o) - you can click on the image to enlarge it.

CSI Mastermind Debbi Tehrani comes up with a new Scene (inspiration image) for us to investigate every single week - I don't know how she does it! From this image she takes inspiration for colours, design elements and journaling.
In order to solve the case, you need to make a scrapbook page using all these clues ...

  • All 5 colours in the Scheme
  • At least 2 items of Evidence
  • At least 1 piece of Testimony

Here's how I solved the Case this week (you can click on the image to enlarge it) ...

  • The Scheme: all the colours are included, as well as neutrals and a couple of tiny splashes of brighter green and deeper yellow.
  • The Evidence: wet medium; stripes; border punch; tearing; thought bubbles.
  • The Testimony: My journaling is written inside thought bubbles and I used the inspiration word ENJOY ... "Having fun driving ... all by myself in my blue police car." 

I just love the excited look on Richard's face as he is about to set off in his roundabout car - priceless!

Thanks for looking at my page - now take a stroll through the CSI gallery to see how all the other CSI Detectives solved this case in so many different ways.

Annie xxx

Tag like an Egyptian!

This week at Tag Tuesday the theme was Egypt - such a HUGE scope that I couldn't decide which idea to go with, but in the end I chose to play with hieroglyphics ...

After consulting with Professor Google, I had a go at some real hieroglyphs and developed a real respect for those scribes in Ancient Egypt! All I can say is thank goodness I didn't have to carve them in stone. Hopefully I haven't written "I'm a steaming cowpat" ...

Vulture - mouth - loaf - two reeds  ... ARTY
Horned viper - vulture - mouth - two reeds ... FARTY
Vulture - water - two reeds ... ANNIE
Loaf - vulture - pedestal ... TAG

Then I added a few of my own - can you spot the tools of a tagger's trade?

The eye was drawn freehand with PVA glue, then once it had dried to the tacky stage I covered it with gold leaf flakes. After brushing off the excess and giving the whole thing a good burnishing I was quite chuffed with the result.

I finished the tag with a simple piece of string, but I wish I'd thought of using torn strips of muslin like one of the other Tuesday Taggers, because that looked really cool .... check out all the other fabulous takes on this theme over at Tag Tuesday :o)xxx

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Cute as a Button

Here's a gorgeous picture of my little grand niece Leila - soooooo cute!

The layout was inspired by a challenge from Liz Hocking at Soul Scrappers to create a page using packing materials - right up my alley!!!

Here are some of the bits and bobs I used ....

Front cover of a patterned paper pad, Starbucks coffee cup holder, various tags (including one made of grungeboard which came with a pack of grungeboard numbers), tissue paper, hanging display cards.
The base was a sheet of bright pink cardstock, to which I added layers of gesso and tissue paper.
From my stash - assorted inks,paints and multi medium matte, polka dot flower, vintage buttons, stamps, masks, Viva paper pens, butterfly punch, Dymo labeller.

Thanks for coming, see you again soon ! :o)xxx


I'm such a berk - after scrabbling to finish my FrogDog September challenge just in time for the deadline, I went to upload it only to realise that the deadline was in fact yesterday doh!

But never mind, I had a lovely time playing with neon colours in my art journal anyway ...

The neon Smiley sticker has been lurking in my drawers for years, so it was great to finally put it to good use. Just realised looking at this picture that I forgot to use the gorgeously bright neon hole reinforcers which were also inmyt FrogDog kit ....

I loved the neon pink ink and the contrast of neon colours against black and I really enjoyed using the Viva Paper Pens (I used the fine nib on the black one to do the writing and I think I will be using this a LOT).

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

Monday, 23 September 2013

Roll up! Roll up! It's the CSI Design Team Call!!!

WooHOOOO!!! If you've ever fancied being part of this really fun and friendly design team, now's your chance!

Check out the details here - there's still time, s why not give it a go? :o)

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Game Boys!

Case File #90 over at CSI is all cool, retro, nerdy - perfect for a picture of my son Tom and his mate Rowan doing what they did best 15 years ago - playing computer games with the curtains drawn to shut out the daylight :o)

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

Got to be quick today, but just briefly in case you haven't come across CSI before, the idea is to solve the case by creating a scrapbook page using all 5 colours in the scheme, at least two items from the evidence list and one from the testimony list.

Here's how I did it (again you can click on the image to enlarge it) ...

I used a brilliant sketch by Ali Parriss for Scrap365 - it was in the PDQ gallery and it really was PDQ - this page was done and dusted in well under an hour.

So did I follow all the clues?

  • The Scheme: all the colours are there
  • The Evidence: stripes; tie something swhite space; two different alphabets; polka dots; something transparent; something that once was trendy but not any more.
  • The Testimony: on the back of the page I wrote about the friendship between Tom and Rowan, which started in college and lasted through thick and thin - these days, Rowan is a DJ, happily married with a couple of wonderful kids of his own and Tom is living in London working as a Web Developer - their lives are very different but they are still great friends.
Before I go - did you know that there is a DT call at CSI?

You still have time - go for it!

Thanks for popping by, see you again soon :o)xxx

Ally Pally!

Today I went off for a jolly with my scrappy mate Trina to the Big Stamp & Scrapbooking Show at Alexandra Palace - we had a fab time and brought one or two little treats home with us ....

Here's my haul ...

I had two things in mind - chicken wire and flowers! I found three kinds of chicken wire ...

A 12x12 mask from
A die from
A stamp from

And after scouring the whole place for reasonably priced flowers I found these ...

... from priced very reasonably from 90p - £1.50 a spray.

Here's Trina's haul ...

... top RHS you can see a sheet of acetate butterflies just begging to be coloured with alcohol inks or sharpies and cut out to flutter across a scrapbook page ...

After a couple of hours' serious shopping, we stopped for a break ...

... also we had to eat the picnic to make space in the trolley for more shopping!

... please note the black coffee I was drinking - this cancels out all the calories in the bread, butter, houmous, chotch egg, ham and cheese of course :o)

What a fabulous day - and we didn't even get lost - thanks Trina xxx

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Flights of Fancy

Hi there everyone,

This week I've been dabbling with mixed media goodies from my FrogDog kits and using gorgeous images from Lunagirl.

The current challenge at Lunagirl is "Belly Dancers" and Karen has put a selection of collage sheets which fit the theme on sale - I treated myself to two sheets of beautiful belly dancers AND one with all different kinds of wings. Well, they're very reasonable, especially at the sale prices, and the brilliant thing is that you can use them over and over again - so it would be rude not to, right?!

Now, please bear in mind that I'm still very much a novice with this whole mixed media thing, so these didn't come out quite as I planned, but it's all part of the learning process so I'm going to share the (slightly disappointing) results anyway ..... can you tell that I'm stalling ...?! :o)

I turned this horrible piece of rubbish which someone chucked in our garden bin ...

... into this whimsical piece of ... erm ... nonsense ......

First I covered the tin with some FabScraps paper, then set about it with gesso and Distress Ink and Paint in Picked Raspberry. Chalk ink softened the mini alphas. Claudine Hellmuth Multi Medium (must get more, I love this stuff) did a fabulous job of collaging the images and the Stampendous Fragments in Hot Blue. Inside the tin ...

I used more FabScraps paper to line the tin and fussy cut some flowers. I enjoyed using the bright pink Viva paper Pen from my kit, which I've used around the letter stickers - when it dries it stays wet-look and has a three dimensional quality which I love.
Close-up of the lovely lady from Lunagirl ...

Her wings were cut from a butterfly charm from my kit and coloured with Distress Paints and Sharpies. The chain came from a broken necklace and the jewelled frame is gem tape from the kit. I made a tulle rose and added sticky gems and liberal amounts of Glitter Paste and Stickles which look lovely but don't really show here.
It was fun but I have a lot to learn!

The theme over at Tag Tuesday this week is "Wings", so I made this as well ...

Another beautiful lady from Lunagirl gets a set of pink wings. Dylusions ink sprays were used to colour oddments of lace and ribbon and the flower cluster was put together with Golden Heavy Gel Medium, which is another new favourite.

Well, I'm off to have a lovely day with the KIng's Head Crafters, then out for dinner this evening, then off on a jolly to the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show at Ally Pally tomorrow with my mate Trina - need to get my Huge Trolley and a Huge Picnic ready ... see you soon!

Annie :o)xxx

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sweet Smile

Hi everyone,
This week I have found another new place to play the 123 Challenge Blog. It's a really fun and simple concept - you are given a colour, a word and a technique and all you have to do is include all three of these criteria in a scrapbook page. Here is this week's -


And without further ado, here is my page -

Another cute little picture of one of my great-nieces, Kerrilouise, from about 6 years ago. She looks just like her Nanny looked at the same age, very sweet, so perfect for this theme :o)

It was lots of fun splashing and stamping around to create a mixed media background on the plain white cardstock. I tried out some of the pens and inks from my latest FrogDog parcel, as well as gesso, crackle paste and some spray/inky stuff I mixed up myself and can't remember what I put in it!

Couple of close-ups -

  • Butterflies fussy cut from a Grace Taylor patterned paper pad
  • Flowers from 13Arts, Crafty Cow and local Pound Shop
  • I like to doodle around some of the ink splats and edges with a fineliner pen

  • Patterned papers and arrows cut from magazine freebies
  • Papermania doily - one torn into three pieces to make the most of it!
  • File Tab punch from Stampin'Up!
  • Bead trimming, buttons and washi tape from my stash
  • Alphas and polaroid frame were from my last Quirky Kit
  • Maya Road Singleton stamp set - three sizes of houndstooth check pattern
I had a lovely time with this - why don't you have a go too? You have until 30th September - plenty of time! Check out the inspiration here

Thanks for visiting, seeya soon :o)xxx

Saturday, 14 September 2013

B is for Bootiful

The colours in Case File #89 over at CSI this week are bright but soft shades of peachy orange, buttery yellow, seafoam, celery and teal - a beautiful combination which I probably wouldn't have thought of, but really enjoyed working with.

I also experimented with some of the goodies in my August Mixed Media Kit from FrogDog, got very messy, learned some stuff, covered up some booboos, carried on regardless and had a great time!
Firstly, here's the Case File (click on the image to enlarge it) ...

CSI Mastermind Debbi Tehrani has found another interesting Scene for us to look into this week. From this image, Debbi takes the colours, as well as inspiration for design elements and journaling promptsCSI = Color, Stories, Inspiration.
In order to solve the case, you need to create a scrapbook page including all five colours in the scheme, at least two items from the evidence list and at least one from the testimony list.

Every week, there is also a new set of CSI Coordinates specially designed for us by the talented Michele Singh - these are printable images, words, journaling spots and patterned papers which CSI members can download for free - pretty cool!

As you can see, because this is the second week of the month, we also have a sketch by the fabulous Emma Stafrace at Page Drafts. I thought this one would be ideal for a handful of tiny sweet photos of my great-niece Kerrilouise when she and her Mum came to stay with me for a while back in 2007.

So here's how I solved Case File #89 (click on the image to enlarge it) ...

B is for Bootiful
You can see how much I enjoyed a bit of mixed media playtime here - I started with one of the sheets of FabScraps paper from my FrogDog August add-on kit. It already had some lovely background splashes, but I added a lot of ink splats, gesso and misting, then started building layers ...
  • Texture paste through a sequin waste stencil
  • Scraps of the sequin waste itself
  • Torn and inked paper
  • Gauze coloured with Dylusions ink spray
  • Pieces of Letraset rub-on lettering (so old it won't rub on any more but too good to waste!)
  • Glitter Paste through a circles stencil
  • Doiley scraps coloured with inks
  • Masking tape
Close-up of glitter paste - wonderful stuff!
Once I was happy with the background (or once I could stop myself tinkering with it!) I built up my layout using the sketch as a guide.
  • The pictures were mounted on contrasting paper with distressed edges.
  • Pretty word stickers, polaroid frame, mesh ribbon and a coil of knitting wool tied in a bow were tucked behind and around them to add interest. 
  • I made a couple of tulle roses and clustered them together with flowers from my stash, adding some adhesive gems and pearls and Glitter Paste for a bit of bling. 
  • Orange Inka Gold gave me a lovely soft sheen of colour all around the edges of the page.
  • The letter "B" was hand cut then distressed and added with pop-dots for dimension.
  • The "bootiful" was a happy accident - created by sticking down fabric letter stickers, drawing around them, deciding I didn't like them, peeling them off and filling in the outlines with white marker pen.

So, did I follow all the clues?

  • The Sketch: brilliant sketch to work with, just changed up a couple of things.
  • The Scheme: all the colours are there, with some deeper orange as an accent colour plus black/white.
  • The Evidence: polka dots (flower, buttons, paper); alphabet as part of my design (the large B, the Letraset); two different alphabets (actually several).
  • The Testimony: I used the alphabet as a jump-off point for my journaling, which reads as follows;
"B is for ... Bottle, Bean Bag, Blanket, Bubbles, Bath in the sink ... bootiful. Kerrilouise staying with Great Aunt Auntie 2007 Norwich."

Check out the amazing work in the Gallery at CSI to see how everyone has solved this case.

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

Home Again, Home Again, Clippity-CLOG!

It's hard to believe that we were away for less than a week (two days in Bruges, three in Amsterdam) because we squeezed so much into the time that it just kind of streeeeeeeeetched .... so much to see and do - and eat and drink!

Here is a tasteful little gift I treated myself to, some lovely squishily-soft cuddly clogs ...

... and the reason why one of them is empty in this picture ...

... oh dear! What a berk - on the last evening I managed to twist my ankle, which is now swelling nicely and developing a beautiful blue blush. Contrary to what you may be thinking, this was not due to any kind of drunken antics, but to a combination of cobbled streets, high heels and the fact that I was already walking in a slightly peculiar fashion due to my dodgy back - I'm now shuffling about like Quasimodo's slightly younger and less attractive sister ... tsk

Still, it was well worth it - we had such a wonderful few days and I have LOADS of photos and stuff to Smash and Scrap (what violent-sounding words for such a gentle hobby).

NB special mention to the expertly-applied and very fetching elastic bandage, thanks to My Hero, who went off before breakfast to find a chemist in Amsterdam and then put his ex-First-Aider hat on so that I would be more comfortable for the flight home.

I've also just noticed for the first time that my socks have "R" and "L" on them (?!) and that this is my left foot - oh dear oh dear.

Never mind :o)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

In Bruges!!!

Not much arty farty action going on his week, because we're away on holiday with our good friends Trina and Chris. I've managed to take some pics with my iPad, tinker with them on my shiny new Snapspeed app and now I will attempt a continental blog post with the free blogger app which hopefully will make it all easy-easy.

So, here is our beautiful room in Guesthouse Abiente in Bruges ...

Close up of that lovely welcome basket ...

And the view from our window ...

John unpacking (luckily we're both as OCD as each other and everything is unpacked and put in its place within thirty minutes of checking in)

Here's the sitting room we shared with Chris and Trina ...

We felt at home straightaway and fell in love with this beautiful city and its friendly people. We're now in  Amsterdam for three more days - SO much to see, and a huge pile of stuff to cram into my Smash book when I get home :o)

See you back in Blighty! Xxx

Friday, 6 September 2013

Once Upon a Time ...

... there was a tiny little boy called Tom. Many years ago, when he was only two months old, I took these pictures of him. I love them, because they really show his sweet nature. It's hard to believe that Tom will be 30 years old this October, but when I look at him now, I still see that cute little face ...

Case File #88 over at CSI this week has a real retro feel to it, so I thought it would be perfect to scrap these photos. Here's the Case File (click on the image to enlarge it)

Debbi Tehrani, CSI Mastermind, has found another intriguing Scene for us to investigate this week - from this inspiration image Debbi draws the colours, ideas for design elements and prompts for journaling.
CSI = Color, Stories, Inspiration!

In order to solve the Case, you need to create a scrapbook page using the following clues ...
  • Use all five colours in the Scheme
  • Use at least two items of Evidence
  • Use at least one piece of Testimony
There is also a new set of CSI Coordinates for each Case File - these are printable images, words, journaling spots and patterned papers designed by the fabulous Michele Singh, which CSI members can download for free. Is that brilliant or wot?!

So here's how I solved this case (click on the image to enlarge it) ...

The Scheme: I used all the colours.
Evidence: ledger paper; clock; stars; map; pen; book pages; frames.
Testimony: I made a little book to hold my journaling and entitled it "Tiny Tom 1983".

The pages inside read, "Tom, I have watched you grow, from the little scrap you see here into the amazing young man that you have become. You've been through so much to get to this point and I am so proud of the kind of person you are and of what you have achieved, but when I look at you, I still see this cute little face - you will always be my little Tom. I love you. Mum x <3 x"

So, did I follow all the clues? Well, most of the evidence is in this one close-up ...

Ledger Paper - for the background
Clock - a Tando Creative Chipboard shape which I coloured with various Distress Inks.
Stars - there are three star stickers dotted about the page, because Tom's a star.
Map - as luck would have it, this pp is printed with a map of the London area where Tom lives now.
Pen - black and white pens were used to create the faux stitching around the edge of the page.
Book Pages - the book cover and pages behind the photo were cut from one 12"x12" sheet.
Frames - the photos were double-mounted to frame them.

And last, but not least, here is a picture of my little boy as he is today - see? He hasn't changed a bit!

Happy Early Birthday Tom Layte! Love from Mum xxx

Super Speedy Matchbook Mini Album

Hi everyone,
This brilliant idea came from Jules at Paperhaus (they're celebrating the new Fall issue AND their first anniversary this week with lots of blog hops and giveaways - if you haven't already been you should check it out).

Jules' tutorial is really clear - these can be made in minutes using scraps and leftovers. Easy but FABulous! Here's "one I made earlier" using some of my FrogDog goodies and a few bits and bobs from my stash ...

The marbled background was made with alcohol inks and Ranger glossy cardstock and the butterfly was a Stampin'Up! stamp which I cut out and enhanced with Stickles.
Here's the back, which shows the alcohol ink effect a bit better ...

Such a pretty effect, I could play with it for hours - but this is meant to be a quick project!
Let's open it up and have a peek inside ...

The cardstock and patterned paper were from my offcuts drawer. The images and lettering were cut from an ArtChix ephemera sheet. The album opens out like this ...

I added some gesso and bits of washi tape for interest and left it blank, for my sister to add pictures of her gorgeous grandchildren to keep in her handbag (or even pocket).

There are so many possibilities for this - wedding favours/bridesmaids' gifts, friendship albums for little girls' party favours - and I'm thinking I might do some to pop in with Christmas cards for my crafty mates as a souvenir of our trip to Banbury last month.

Thanks again Jules!

Annie :o)xxx

Thursday, 5 September 2013

FrogDog Delivery!

wooHOO!!! Postie Nick just brought me my second ever Frog Dog parcel and it's stuffed full of FABulous :o)

Who would believe so many goodies could fit into these two unassuming-looking bags?!

I've been wanting to experiment more with mixed media for ages, so I decided to treat myself to a monthly Mixed Media Kit from Frog Dog and so far I'm thrilled to bits with them - Tina pulls together a fantastic collection of products and goodies to play with and the FrogDog Blog provides plenty of inspiration to get your mojo going.

Here's my main August Mixed Media Kit ...

There's an ephemera sheet, some vintage pages and cards, lots of  lovely patterned and inked wooden nautical shapes, beautiful buttons, gorgeous metal butterflies, quirky wooden windows, pretty rose trim, damask stencil, eco ATC shapes, 3D glitter paste, Inka Gold.
Check out the FrogDog Shop for full details.

Then I decided tha,t since you don't pay extra postage if you add to your monthly kit, it would be rude not to order the August Add-on Kit ...

TEN sheets of double-sided 12"x12" papers (2 of each design so you don't get that awful 'which side to use?' dilemma), gorgeous gem tape, lolly sticks, turquoise metallic mist, Inka Orange, washi tape, chipboard shapes, doilies, burlap flowers, alpha stickers, pretty tulle, microfiche strip.

That was going to be it, until Tina put some stuff on sale and I just couldn't resist adding a Mini Kit ...

It included a HUGE wodge of ephemera and journaling cards, a triangles stencil, three colours of Distress paint, a Twinkling H2O, a mini canvas and a pot of Crackle Accents. Oh, and I may have just added some cute wooden octupi and another pack of eco ATCs ...

Here's the entire haul, just waiting to be played with ...

I know it looks a lot, and ok it IS a lot! but I've just checked an online dollars-to-pounds conversion widget and in fact I only spent about £55 - £57 on all of this, including postage, so I think it's a bargain - I will have SO much fun with it and hopefully I will learn a lot as well.

The September kit looks amazing - all neon bright and shiny new - totally different feel to this one, which is exactly what you want, something different every time.

Thanks for popping in today, come again soon.

Annie :o)xxx