Friday, 29 November 2013

Hey Handsome ... look at you!

For this week's Case File over at CSI I've scrapped a picture of my paternal Grandfather - a very handsome chap and a complete mystery to me.

I can't believe we're on Case File #100!!! It's quite an unusual colour combination which I thought would be perfect for this wonderful vintage black and white photograph.

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

CSI Mastermind Debbi Tehrani has come up with a very stylish and elegant Scene for us to investigate. From this image, she takes inspiration for design elements, techniques, journaling prompts and colour scheme.
To solve the case, you have to create a scrapbook page following all of these clues:
  • All 5 colours in the Scheme
  • At least 2 pieces of Evidence
  • At least 1 piece of Testimony
Here is my solution (click on the image to enlarge it so you can check that I followed all the clues)

I used a brilliant sketch by Emy Buxton for the Scrap365 Dec/Jan 2013 issue - I love the way it uses the frames as a design element. I kept the page relatively plain and simple with very few embellishments, because I wanted the picture and the words to speak for themselves.

The plain white frame on the LH side was given a more vintage feel by stamping a script pattern with Jet Black Archival Ink by Ranger, then colouring with Distress Ink in Scattered Straw. Then I did the edges of the page to match, finishing with a line of hand stitching with a yellow embroidery silk.

Very little patterned paper was used - it was just scraps and snippets, a piece of border from a free gift on a magazine, washi tape and the frames which were left over from Quirky Kits.

So, did I follow all the clues???
  • The Scheme: all the colours are there
  • The Evidence: stripes; frames; borders
  • The Testimony: oh NO!!! this is really bad - I got so carried away with telling my story that I completely forgot about the journaling prompts in the Case File! I guess you could argue that the journaling spot next to the photo has a doodled border around it, which would just about fulfill the brief - PHEW!!
The Story ... 

My paternal Grandfather abandoned his young family when my Dad was only about four years old. He dipped in and out of their lives occasionally for a few years, then disappeared altogether. They had no idea why or where he went and life was very difficult for my Grandmother left alone with two young children.
Granny eventually went on to find a new love and enjoyed many happy years with her second husband. My Grandfather was not heard of again until my Dad was a Grandfather himself. It turned out he had made a new life in Australia and many years later, when he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, he decided to make contact with his children. Sadly, by the time my Dad got to Australia, his father had begun to lose his mind, so many questions had to remained unasked and many things unsaid...
To me, my Grandfather looks like a troubled young man in this photo - I can't help wondering what he was thinking when it was taken.

I've printed out my journaling and cut it into strips - I wanted to use a typewriter font so it would look like an old-fashioned telegram, but although I found the perfect font online, I couldn't work out how to use it - very frustrating.

Oh dear! A rather serious and sombre post today - but I have a much more cheerful one ready for the big CSI/Scrap365 reveal on Sunday!

:o) thanks for looking and see you again soon xxx

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Funky Farm ...

... Scrapbook Barn! I just got my first delivery from Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn and I am over the moon pleased with it - here's a picture ...

O  M  G!!! I even love the gorgeous sparkly tissue it was wrapped in! This is the September Kit. I chose this one because I love the vibrant colours and chalkboard elements.

Funky Farm kits are a bit different from other kits I've had because you don't have to sign up for one each month - you choose a kit you fancy whenever you like, then you can choose the basic"Bronze"  kit or you can go for the "Silver", "Gold", "Platinum" etc. to add more goodies and get more discount ... so it would have been rude not to go for the Platinum Plus, right?!

Honestly, I have so many goodies in my workroom waiting to be played with - it's just a shame that the Elaaaaaaastic Day and the Time Machine I ordered haven't arrived yet!

See you again soon :o)

Black and White

Hi everyone,

I love Tag Tuesday, but I've been a rubbish Tagger just lately, because there has just been so much else going on. However, I've given myself a stern talking to and have vowed that henceforth I shall pull my inky finger out and get on with it!

So without further waffle, here is my tag for this week, on the theme of "Black and White" ...

... which started out as a collage of images stamped in black ink stamped onto white card, but this did not go well, so I decided to cover it up with loads of black and white pretties. I had a good rummage in my scraps drawer for oddments of ribbons and trims, which were adhered to the tag to create a background ...

... then I created a cluster of flowers and feathers using the amazing Golden Heavy Gel Medium (which I would hate to be without now that I have discovered it) and finished off with a butterfly sticker and some paper charms dangling from the bottom.

There are some really brilliant takes on the theme over at Tag Tuesday - check it out!
Next week the theme is "Angels" ... already have some ideas for that one!

Thanks for popping in, cheerio for now :o)xxx

Monday, 25 November 2013

Huge Giveaway!! Big Big BIG!!!

Check out this amazing giveaway over at Keren Tamir's blog

Keren is a very talented lady, as you probably already know because you will have seen her work all over the place!  Anyway, she's had a fabulous year - all her scrappy dreams have come true and it's so sweet of her to want to share her happiness with us all by offering not just one, not two, not even three ... but four prizes!!!

This one is my favourite ...

... but I'd climb over hot coals for any of them. Is it really bad if you actually dribble whilst looking at scrapping goodies .... ???

Check it out - you have to be in it to win it as I always say! :o)xxx

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Let It Snow!

Here's a page a made a couple of years ago, probably before I was blogging - I came across it today and thought it seemed kind of topical, as there has been so much talk this week about bracing ourselves for the worst winter since 1947 and three solid months of snow ... which is pretty unusual around these parts!

This picture of my eldest son, Richard, was taken about 30 years ago, during the winter of 1984. At the time, we lived in Cornwall, where snow was such a rare phenomenon that Richard wasn't to see snow like this again for years!

Now that I live in Norfolk, I'm used to much harder winters and snow is no big deal here. This is the scene from our front door one day last winter ...

Brrrrrrr....... pretty though, isn't it?!
Cheerio for now :o)xxx

Cool Cats

Another inspiring challenge this month over at the 123 Challenge Blog.

I love the whole idea of this challenge - each month, you're given a colour, a word and a technique and you have to include all three in a scrapbook page - simple but brilliant!

Here's my page (you can click on the image to enlarge it if you like) ...

You can see I've used the colour teal - combined with shades of orange, one of my favourite combinations - lots of stamping in the background and the word "Cool" is in my title and the journalling which is written all around the edge of the page.

Here's a closer look ...

I love this picture of my crazy old cat Archie (on the inside) and Gary the cat who lived next door. They were studiously ignoring each other, avoiding eye contact and trying to look cool. This was a Mexican stand-off situation which happened regularly, where neither of them could lose face by leaving, but neither was quite up to a fight either. Sometimes it would go on for hours until one of their humans decided to intervene.

Apart from the sheet of white cardstock I started with, all the other papers were bits and bobs from my scrap drawer - you can see a few snippets of Amy Tangerine in there, which fits in well with my doodling an dthe black stamping.
The title is made from Tim Holtz Idea-ology Alpha Parts, which I've painted with Distress Paint then coloured with Salty Ocean Distress Ink.
The frame came in a FrogDog kit and is from My Clever Creations and I painted it with Distress Paint in Picket Fence and coloured with Distress Stain in Dried Marigold.
The little laser-cut fish was picked up loose from a box in a craft shop for 50p, there's no brand name on it, this was also coloured with Distress Inks in Rusty Hinge and Salty Ocean.
The flower was from a Papermania pack and I've added some vintage buttons and a pearl.

Before placing the strips of paper scraps on the page, I created a bit of interest in the background by randomly stamping with Jet Black Archival Ink by Ranger and more of the Salty Ocean DI, using the stamps without a block to achieve a less uniform effect. The stamps I used were:

Embossing Paste was applied through a stencil for extra texture here and there and the washi tape adds a little pop of colour. The drips and splashes were made with Cosmic Shimmer Mists in Mango Blaze and Egyptian Blue and outlined with black pen.

I love these little stamps with different words on a wheel - this one is from 7 Gypsies. The lines were stamped with corrugated card from a coffee cup holder.

Well, that's about it, but would you like to know what happened next?

Gary suddenly noticed I was there, remembered a previous engagement and made off, so poor old Archie was finally able to get off his high horse ... bless!

Thanks for popping in - see you again soon!

Annie :o)xxx

When You Grow Up ...

... What Will You Be?

Case File #99 over at CSI this week is an unusual combination of bright yet gentle colours which reminds me of late summer as it begins to transform into early autumn - picture green leaves just beginning to turn colour, set against a cool blue sky - aaaah, the changing seasons always have me waxing lyrical!

Anyway ... here's the Case File (click on the image to enlarge it so you can read the Clues)

Every week, CSI Mastermind Debbi Tehrani uncovers a new Scene for us to investigate. From this inspiration image, she takes five colours, ideas for design elements/techniques and prompts for journalling. CSI = Color, Stories, Inspiration.

To solve the Case, you need to create a scrapbook page using all the clues:

  • All five colours in the Scheme
  • At least 2 pieces of Evidence
  • At least one item of Testimony

Here's how I did it ( you can click on the image to enlarge it and check that I followed all the clues) ...

As soon as I saw the butterflies in the Evidence list, I knew this was going to be a page about my lovely niece, Georgia, who has always loved butterflies (and even has a butterfly tattoo!)
In this picture taken many years ago, probably around the time her little brother Joe came along, she is nursing her baby doll and wearing a rather pensive expression which makes me wonder what she was thinking about.

So, did I follow all the clues?

  • Scheme: the colours are all there
  • Evidence: butterflies (of course); floral and striped patterns; six of something (butterflies, including Georgia herself).
  • Testimony: this was going to be written in the series of little green frames, but there just wasn't enough room and I like the look of them as they were, so I've written it on the back of the page ...

"Georgia, you were such a sweet little girl - affectionate, fun, full of smiles, always ready to dance and sing, happy to share and naturally taking care of anyone small or vulnerable.
You have grown into a beautiful woman, both inside and out, you have created a wonderful little family of your own, you have an incredible singing voice, you're caring, sharing and fun to be around - you can do anything you want to do and I am very proud of you. Love Auntie Annie :o) xxx "

Thanks for visiting my blog - check out all the wonderful pages in the gallery at CSI for inspiration and why not have a go at solving this Case File yourself?

See you again soon :o) xxx

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Childhood Memory Box

This was a little project I put together back in the summer, playing with some of my FrogDog goodies.

The whole mixed media/altered art thing is very new to me so I have a lot to learn, but the learning process is so much fun and there's loads of inspiration out there - a little wander through Blogland or a flick through YouTube will always get my mojo going.

Here I was experimenting with different ways to give an aged look. I've started with a Maya Road bare chipboard box, covered it with scraps of paper (Stampin' Up!), then decorated it with vintage images cut from ephemera sheets. I've added plain chipboard numbers, then applied gesso, crackle medium, Distress Paints and Distress Inks to make them look worn and shabby.

Inside the box are hidden a tiny matchbox and a little book made from Maya Road plain chipboard coasters. These have been decorated in the same way as the box. I plan to use this box to store snippets of memories and ephemera from when my children were small.

I even have a snippet of hair, a couple of baby teeth and a tiny note from the Tooth Fairy - so they will all go in here. One more picture ...

Maybe I should do another one for when they were a bit older - it would have to be decorated with Sonic the Hedgehog, Mutant Ninja Hero Turtles, He Man ... maybe not quite so cute!

Thanks for looking, see you again soon :o)xxx

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Fungi Foray

Last year, we had a wonderful day out in Thetford Forest in Norfolk, foraging for fungi amongst the fallen autumn leaves, under the expert guidance of Jonathan Revett. Here is a picture of Yours Truly, looking very proud of my Fungi Finds!

Foraging for wild food in the woods and hedgerows is something we did quite a bit of when I was a kid. When we moved from inner city London to live on a smallholding in a Devon village, one of the many things we learned to do was to gather all kinds of "free food" to supplement what we produced from the smallholding. We would be sent off to gather nettles, elderflowers, wild garlic, mushrooms, herbs, berries and nuts and Mum would turn these into wine, jams, pies, soups, pickles and herbal remedies.

Some experiments didn't go so well - like the snails and the acorn coffee - but you have to try these things and my Mum was amazingly resourceful!

I am so pleased that there seems to be a growing interest in reviving these lost skills and I have a lot of respect for people like Jonathan who are happy to share their knowledge and experience.

Two different challenges inspired this page.
Firstly, the SSQ19 "Nature" Soul Quest at Soul Scrappers hosted by Libby. All you have to do is sign up when the Soul Quest is first posted each month, the DT member who is hosting the challenge sends you a fun packet of embellies in the post - free! - wooHOO! The challenge is to use the inspiration, ideas and embellies provided to create a page or other project. And you don't know what will be in the pack until it arrives - very exciting!
It was so fun to get a little envelope full of goodies all the way from Australia and I managed to use every single one of them on this page! Here's a close-up of some of them ...

I cut out the stamped leaves from the pack, added some more cut from a LunaGirl collage sheet and layered these with the fabric leaves from the pack. The spiral rose and the fringed flower were made from some fabric pieces in the pack. There were also some punched dragonflies and flowers, which I've layered for added dimension. The stamped and cut out trees and bird, the burlap, the strips of ribbon, paper, embossed card, word label and tag shape you can see layered in the background all came from the pack. I used Distress Inks in autumnal colours to help pull everything together.

This page was also inspired by the November challenge over at Scrapology where we are scraplifting a gorgeous page by Michelle Logan. Here is the sketch we're using, inspired by Michelle's layout - this is the fully layered template version created by Karen at Scrapdolly ....

The challenge this month is to use this sketch and some chipboard - as you can see, I've used a BoBunny chipboard flourish from my FrogDog kit, an ancient chipboard circle I've had so long I can't remember where it came from, and a little chippie centre for my vellum flowers.
Check out all the details over at the Scrapology blog  "C is for Chipboard"  - as always, there's a brilliant prize to be won, so why not give it a go? You have until 5th December - ages!

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

Friday, 15 November 2013

Leila with Love

Case File 98 over at CSI this week is full of pretty colours and lots of fun ideas - perfect chance to scrap another snap of my gorgeous little Great-Niece Leila.

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

... CSI Mastermind Debbi Tehrani finds a new Scene for us to investigate every week. From this, she creates an intriguing Case for us to solve, taking colours from the image as well as inspiration for design elements, techniques and journaling prompts.

The idea is to create a scrapbook page using all these clues -

  • All five colours from the Scheme
  • At least two items from Evidence
  • At least one item from Testimony

Here is how I solved the case ...

... I've used a sketch by Yana Smakula for Scrap365 - I'm going to link this up with the Sketchbook365 November Sketch Challenge as well.

So, did I use all the clues? You can click on the image to scrutinise it if you wish!
  • Scheme: colours are all there
  • Evidence: stripes; polka dots; book page print; ribbon; frame; labels.
  • Testimony: my journaling is in the form of a bedtime story and reads, "Once upon a time, there was a happy little girl called Leila who would laugh and sing and dance all day long ..." (I may do some more writing about Lovely Leila on the back of the page)

Thanks for popping in - come again soon - and make sure you have a wander around the CSI Gallery to see all the amazing pages inspired by this Case File!

Annie :o)xxx

Thursday, 14 November 2013


I couldn't resist this fun challenge from Karen over at Lunagirl - "Secrets and Hidden Things" - it was the perfect excuse to make another page in my altered book ...

A gorgeous collage sheet from LunaGirl called Grandma's Attic was used to create this little piece of pointless whimsy hidden inside the book ...

... with a lot of good old-fashioned cutting and sticking and layering up with foam tape to create a 3D effect which you can't really see in this picture - let's try another angle ...

... and a close-up ...

... may be worth clicking on the picture to enlarge it ... but anyway, lots of fun - thanks for the inspiration Karen! I'm off to link this up at LunaGirl now and see what everyone else has come up with :o)xxx

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Yummy Candy ... ScrapFriends! Check this out - you have to be in it to win it!

Amy Tangerine - Sketchbook - Daybook Stitched Chapter;
Crate Paper - Peppermint - Buttons;
Hello Dreams - Badge Buttons;
Basic Grey - Serenade - Mixed Brads;
Basic Grey - Lucille - Mixed Brads;
Basic Grey - Serenade - Flags and Banners;
Basic Grey - Lucille - Embroidered Tags;
Heidi Swapp - Sugar Chic - Stix;
Cosmo Cricket - Wood Charms - Snowflakes;
Studio Calico - Chevron Mask;
Teresa Collins - Memorabilia - Sequins;
Teresa Collins - Santa's List - Sequins.

WooHOO! I'm off to enter right now! :o)xxx

Monday, 11 November 2013

And the winner is .......

I thoroughly enjoyed the Frosty Festivities over at Jennifer Grace Creates at the weekend - hope you did too.

At one point I was Extreme Blog Hopping - whilst hurtling through the night in torrential rain, because I just didn't want to miss anything! There were so many creative ideas  to check out, giveaways and challenges all over the place - Big Fun - thanks Jennifer!

It was also very exciting to see that 45 lovely people from all over the world would like to win my Winter Sparkles kit ...

... and make their own version of this little tag book ...

I couldn't wait to see who the winner would be. Plan A was to do Pooter Wizardry and use some kind of Random Number Generator spell, but after a long day at the grindstone I just couldn't get my tiny brain around it, so I decided to ditch the hocus pocus and opt for a low tech solution ... I wrote all 45 names on pieces of paper ...

... folded them up ...

 put them in a suitable receptacle ...

 and asked an innocent bystander (my DH) to pick a winner ...

... Congratulations Kelly Jean! I have a pizza box full of goodies ready to wing its way across the Atlantic to you - I will be in touch by email in the next couple of days to get your snail mail address ... and I won't forget to diecut the letters S-N-O-W as requested :o)

Why not have a go at making your own tag book even if you didn't win the kit - it's a good way to use up all those bits and bobs. Click on the Winter Sparkles tab at the top of the page for lots of tips and ideas.
I would love to see what you create - don't forget to link up your projects by using the Inlinkz widget at the bottom of the original Winter Sparkles post.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment - I enjoyed reading every single one :o)xxx

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Funny Face

It's Case File #97 over at CSI this week - yet again CSI mastermind Debbi Tehrani has found a perfect Scene for us to investigate. From this image, Debbi has taken the five colours for the Scheme and inspiration for design elements, techniques and journaling. As the second Case File of the month, it also includes a fab sketch from Emma Stafrace at Page Drafts.
Here's the Case File (click on the image to enlarge it)

The idea is to solve the Case by following all these clues to make a scrapbook page -

  • All five colours in the Scheme
  • At least two pieces of Evidence
  • At least one item of Testimony
  • The Sketch

You can also download the CSI Coordinates - a set of printable words, images and patterned papers especially designed for each Case by the wonderful Michele Singh.

Here's  how I solved the case -

Look at this cute picture of my little cousin Josh (not so little now) - isn't he a sweetie?!

  • The Sketch: ALWAYS love Em's sketches!
  • The Scheme: All the colours are there.
  • The Evidence: Patterned background; wood; frame; chevron pattern; transparent accent;something shiny.
  • The Testimony: I journaled over three spots and used the IW "bright".

Here is a close-up so you can check that I followed the clues!

I love the little photo viewer disc which came in a FrogDog kit and I was well chuffed with the idea of dipping a wooden takeaway spoon in embossing paste to look like icecream!

Check out the gorgeous gallery over at CSI to see how everyone else has solved this case - it's always such an inspiration to see so many different interpretations by so many clever scrappers.

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

Friday, 8 November 2013

Winter Sparkles!

WooHOO! I'm very excited to be part of Jennifer's Frosty Festivities 2013 Blog Hop - it promises to be a weekend full of fun, inspiration and PRIZES!!!

You probably arrived here via Jennifer Grace Creates - if not, you should pop back there right now and start from the beginning, because if you comment on all the blogs on the hop and then go back and let Jennifer know you've been all the way around, you'll be in with a chance to win this brilliant prize ...

Simple Stories December Documented and Elle's Studio Noel items, worth over £28! 

Jennifer challenged us to create a Christmas or Winter themed project and I know how much she loves a bit of sparkle, so here is my Winter Sparkles Tag Book ...

... and the chance to win this kit to make your own version! I raided my stash and pulled out two identical piles of stuff, one for me and one for the lucky winner, so this includes everything I used to make my book, plus a few extras which I didn't get around to using! I will also die cut your choice of up to four letters or numbers from glitter board to go with the kit - mine says "LOVE" but other ideas are NOEL XMAS BABY STAR 2013 YOU ...

... even if you don't win the prize, you wouldn't need to buy anything especially to make this project - it's a good opportunity to use up some old stash, leftovers and recycled items and turn them into something fabulous!

Here are a couple of close-ups of the inside, just waiting for the photos to go in ...

If you would like to make one of these little books yourself and you need some ideas to get you started, details of what I used, or some tips on making gorgeous embellishments out of scraps - click on the "Winter Sparkles" tab at the top of the page to see how I made mine.

I'm planning to send my tag book to my sister for her birthday in December, filled with pictures of her grandchildren - what will you do with yours? Please use the link tool at the bottom of this post to show-n-tell about your tag book - I'd really love to see what you create.

For a chance to win the tag book kit, leave a comment on this post telling me which four letters or numbers you would like included if you win, then continue following the blog hop, leave a comment on every post and and end up back at Jennifer's for a chance to win the main prize.

Your next stop on the blog hop is Clair - if you get lost along the way, just pop back to Jennifer for a list of all the blogs on the hop.

Most importantly, have fun!!!

Annie :o)xxx

PS I forgot to say - I will be closing the draw and picking the lucky winner at 11pm GMT this evening the 11th November ... EXCITED!!! :o)