Saturday, 31 May 2014

NO he is not a happy bunny

Hi everyone,

Case File #125 over at CSI is another inspiring mix of colours, design ideas and journaling prompts to get yer mojo moving. Here it is ...

CSI Mastermind, the lovely Debbi Tehrani, finds a new Scene for us to investigate every week. This image gives us the colour combo, ideas for embellies/materials/techniques to try, and inspiration to tell our stories. CSI = Color, Stories, Inspiration. In order to solve the case, all you need to do is follow these clues to make a scrapbook page ...
  • Use all five colours in the Scheme
  • Use at least two items from Evidence
  • Use at least one item from Testimony
And do you know what I've just this moment realised? As I worked on my page, somehow I completely forgot about the Testimony - so in fact I have failed to solve this case ... 

I thought it all through before I started - chose the picture I wanted to scrap, thought about the story I wanted to tell, chose appropriate embellies to ensure that I had the Evidence covered. The colours were perfect for this photo and my intention was to punctuate the journaling with tiny buttons. I honestly can't believe that I've only just realised my mistake! Never mind - what a doofer! 

I can't claim credit for the design either - I used this sketch based on the artwork of Ulrika Wandler for the June challenge over at Scrap365 ...

What a wonderful sketch, which I will definitely use again - thanks Ulrika! There's a fabulous prize for this challenge too, sponsored by 13Arts - so why not give it a go yourself? Check out this post for details and DT inspiration.

So, apart from the epic fail on the journaling, did I follow all the clues???

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Experimenting with Tim Holtz!

Hi everyone,

Check out my post over at the SJ Crafts blog today, where I've been trying some fun layering techniques with Tim Holtz products, to create this colourful collection of PL cards and embellies for my scrapbook pages ...

I used Tim Holtz Layering Stencils Dot Fade and Splatters, Distress Inks, Distress Paints, Remnant Rubs Botanical and Life Quotes, Ranger Archival Ink and a selection of background stamps. Starting with plain white card, I then moved on to experiment with plain canvas fabric, wood, metal and acrylic - those Remnant Rubs will stick to anything! 

I love these vibrant colours and I think it's really cool that these were all made with scraps of card and fabric and bits from my junk drawers. Pop over to my post on SJ Crafts for all the details and tomorrow there will be another post from Louise with even more ideas using fab TH products.

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

Annie x

WOYWW #260 - 5th Birthday Party!

WooHOO! It's WOYWW's 5th Birthday today and we're doing an ATC swap to celebrate :o) If you haven't a clue what I'm on about, you should really pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to check it out - you're missing all the fun!

Thanks to Nikki C for the fab WOYWW birthday button
WOYWW lets you have a snout around all kinds of workdesks all over the world - they may be organised or messy, pretty or businesslike, productive or "resting", but each one is unique and full of character and creativity. It's fascinating to see what everyone has been doing and have a virtual rummage through their stash - and it's fun to show the world what you've been up to as well.

Without further waffle, here's mine this morning ...

... not much going on yet, but plenty of potential! On the left is my newly-organised store of scraps - I've promised myself to use them up, so they've been sorted into colours and now live in this box next to my desk, ready to be raided. So, the plan is that every time I start a new project, I will go through this box first to see what I can use up. It's working well so far - the box you see on my desk contains the kit I've been putting together ready for Refresh Your Craft & Soul (a free blog event over at Jennifer Grace Creates) and I haven't put any new patterned papers in there at all ... yet :o)

To the right of the pizza box are the two ATCs I managed to make - I know some people have made loads and are swapping all over the place and I wish I had done that, but I just didn't get started in time. I have the one for whoever turns out to be my swap partner when I link up over at Julia's place and the spare one is going to Helen - I love watching Helen's videos on YouTube, she's a very creative lady, so it will be very exciting to get one of her ATCs in the post!

Now I just need to find out what you're supposed to put on the back of ATCs ... hmmm, I think Mary Anne put some free printables on her blog which would be perfect :o)

Thanks for coming over today - Happy Birthday WOYWWers everywhere, and big thank you to Julia for bringing us all together!

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Ready for Anything!

Hi everyone,

It's only a couple of weeks now until Refresh Your Craft & Soul over at Jennifer Grace Creates. This free blog event kicks off at 4pm on Friday 6th June and promises to be a weekend filled with crafty inspiration, challenges, prizes and giveaways. I don't want to miss any of it and I plan to have a go at ALL the challenges, so I decided to go through my stash now - this way I won't have to waste time dithering later (it's amazing how long you can spend rummaging through your drawers isn't it?!)

As I have made a promise to myself to Conquer Scrap Mountain this summer, I started with my newly-organised scraps first. Jennifer suggested picking out refreshing blues, uplifting oranges and crisp whites ...

I've always loved blue and orange together - I will add some plain white cardstock as I need it. Next step was to add an assortment of die cuts, rainy elements, seaside embellies and other oddments ...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Conquering Scrap Mountain - Step One - Taming the Beast!

Hi everyone,

We've been having some glorious weather here in Norfolk, so last weekend I decided to make the most of it and do a bit of artyfarty outside in the sunshine. On the table is my huge bag of paper scraps and a little bag of essentials ...

I have made a promise to myself that I will conquer Scrap Mountain this summer.

Step one - organise!

My plan was to sort all the papers into colour families - trim the useful pieces to neaten them up and punch the smaller bits into shapes ready to use on my projects.

This really was a massive bag of scraps - I could hardly lift it! Three hours, two coffees and one G&T later, I had tamed the beast ...

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Happy Post!

Hi everyone,

There was a very exciting package waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday - a gorgeous pile of goodies all the way from the lovely Helen Tilbury in South Africa ...

... wooHOOOO!!! Thanks Helen! :o) Lots of luvverly stuff, including all kinds of things I've never seen over here before. I won a giveaway on Helen's blog Scrap Addict - you should check it out, it's just full of ideas and inspiration. Helen also runs the fab challenge site Scrap Around the World - check out their Epic Anniversary Event celebrating a whole year of challenges!

Here's a better look at some of my giveaway goodies ...

Jus' Chillin!

Hello Everyone,

It was a very unusual Case File over at CSI this week - quite a tricksy colour scheme for me, but lots of cool ideas for design elements (click on the image to enlarge it so you can read them) ...

To crack the case, you have to use all five colours in the Scheme, at least two items from Evidence and at least one from Testimony to create a scrapbook page.

This time, I decided to start with the Testimony before I even chose my photo - I checked out the Paper Wishes link and found a journaling prompt about what friendship means to you. I was inspired to dig out a photo taken during a visit to my dear friends, Maggie and Graham, in 2011, when I took my then fiance, John, down to Cornwall to meet them.

I also used a sketch by the amazing Lizzy Hill which you can see in the current issue of Scrap 365!

Here's my page - the photo shows Maggie, me and John, but you can also see Graham's shadow holding the camera in the bottom LH corner of the photo ...

Lizzy's sketch was brilliant to work with, right up my alley - but did I follow all the clues???

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

WOYWW #259

Hi everyone,

It's only one week now until the WOYWW 5th Birthday ATC swap - how exciting! Who will I get? Who will get me???? Will Nick the Postie get fed up with me pouncing on him (not literally obviously) ???!?!?!

If you're reading this and thinking to yourself, "What on EARTH is she on about?!" check it out over at Julia's Stamping Ground, where you can have a good old virtual rummage through other crafty peeps' workdesks and show us what's happening on yours - it's brilliant fun seeing what everyone else is up to, fascinating to see all the different kinds of creative spaces, and reassuring to know that at least some of them are as messy as mine, or even worse!! hehehe - go on, you know you want to :o)

So, without further waffle, here's mine as it stands this morning ...

Plonked down right in the middle of the mess from my last project (which I can't show yet because it was for the next Case File over at CSI and the big reveal isn't until Friday evening) is my latest toy - a previously-loved Zutter Bind It All wooHOOO! I've wanted one for ages, so I was well chuffed to "win" this one on eBay (sounds like a prize when they call it "winning" doesn't it?) Can't WAIT to play with this - and it will help in my quest to use up my scraps too ....

To complete the virtual tour of my workdesk, going left to right - you can see the usual pile of crafty mags, with the latest issue of Scrap 365 open where I've been scraplifting a page made by the lovely Lizzy Hill. Ahem ... don't want to show off (yes I do hehee!) but I also have a page in there this month, my first time in Scrap 365, very exciting! You can also see that I am still unable to throw toilet rolls away, and if you look very closely, you should be able to make out a little pile of them clamped together to flatten them out before I make them into a mini book.

The rest of it is just mess, which I need to tidy before I start making a new mess - so I'm off to do that now and I'll be back later for a nice cup of coffee and a browse over at Julia's - see you there!

Annie :o)xxx

Summer of Color 4 is coming soon ...

Hey everyone,

Another fun and free summer happening is coming up soon - Summer of Color 4 starts on 2nd June. Check it out over at Twinkle, Twinkle to see what the amazing Kristin has come up with to inspire us this year!

I had so much fun with SOC last year and the year before - six weeks of crazy colour prompts and prizes too! I can't wait to go again! 

Hope to see you there

Annie :o)xxx

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Refresh Your Craft & Soul

Hey everyone,

Guess what?! There's a fun blog event called Refresh Your Craft & Soul coming up over at Jennifer Grace Creates on 6th - 8th June - put it in your diaries!

Jennifer's blog events are always brilliant - she puts such a lot of work into making them packed full of fun and inspiration, with posts all weekend about all kinds of crafts, with plenty of tips, tutorials, challenges and PRIZES TO BE WON!!! Here's a little peek at some of them ...

The weekend kicks off on Friday 6th at 4pm BST and I'm very excited that I'm going to be one of the stops on the Blog Hop at 6pm - I'll be sharing a refreshingly-themed project with you and offering a little prize of my own. The event continues through the weekend until 10pm Sunday, but you'll have until the Monday to enter the giveaways and the following Sunday to enter the prize challenges - AND they're all open to our INTERNATIONAL scrappy friends!!!

In fact, you can enter the first giveaway RIGHT NOW - just pop over to the announcement post at Jennifer Grace Creates, where you will find all the details, some beautiful free printables and several ways to win this gorgeous 7 Dots collection kit ...

Giveaway of 7 Dots Studio Illumination Collection Kit

So what are you waiting for? Go for it! And I'll see you at Jennifer's on the 6th June :o)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Feed the Family

Hi everyone,

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend wherever you are - it's certainly been a glorious weekend here. It's that wonderful time of the year when new life is bursting out all over the place - we've had the most amazing weather so far, the garden is full of promise and the birds and bees are busy doing what they always do ...

Clematis under my workroom window
This is the beautiful clematis which grows over our front door and under my workroom window. Tucked away inside its leafy depths is a blackbirds' nest and we've been watching with great interest as the parents come and go several times an hour with worms for their noisy brood. It sounds as though they have three or four greedy babies in there and Mum and Dad will be run ragged by the time those kids leave home!

This view has hardly changed since this picture was taken -
no crinolines now though!

Saturday, 10 May 2014


Hi everyone,

I just found out that there's a special offer on over at SJ Crafts this weekend - check it out!

Photo: This weekend (Now until 10am on Monday 12 May)FREE P & P on orders of £15 or more!!No Code necessary, visit the website and pop £15 or more of goodies in your basket and the website will automatically remove the P & P charge! Enjoy!

See you there!

Annie :o)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Boy + Bike = Happy!

Hi Everyone,

I'm still catching up on the fun challenges from the Wonderful World of Color event on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog last weekend - it really was a feast of ideas and inspiration and loads of prizes to be won as well. Challenge #2 by Jemma challenged was to use black/white/grey and shades of just one colour to create a project.

I decided to combine this with a sketch by Marsha Valk for the Scrap365 May challenge (quick quick you still have time, there's a fanTAStic Prima Prize to be won) ...

I rotated the sketch clockwise by 90 degrees ...

The photo shows my eldest son with his beloved bike back in the 1980's. I've framed my grey background with red cardstock, then added shades of red with washi tape, a diecut shape and travel-themed stickers by Papermania. The chalkboard-style piece from the MME Chalk Studio 2 collection makes a striking focal point and some splatters of Mister Huey in red and white create a diagonal line across the page to add some fun and movement to the layout. The white words you can see top left and bottom right are Simple Stories DIY clear stickers.

Then I decided to make another page about the same day in 1988 ...

All the pp are from the Crate Paper DIY Shop collection. This time I've used a neutral woodgrain pp, but the only splash of colour (apart from the photo) is red. I used an eclectic assortment of alphas to create a long title running down the length of the page. As for the previous page, I used a piece cut from a sheet of pp from the MME Chalk Studio 2 collection to create a focal point and built my title around it. The rest of the title is made up of an eclectic assortment of alphas. I liked the idea of turning the "e"s so they would resemble revolving wheels.

You still have a couple of days to enter the Scrap365 May challenge for the chance to win that fabulous Prima prize, and you have until the 16th May to link up to the Counterfeit Kit challenge. Go for it!!!

Thanks for coming over, see you again soon

Annie :o)xxx

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Come On! Let's Go!

Hi everyone,

To celebrate National Scrapbooking Day on Saturday, the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog hosted an event called Wonderful World of Color - there were loads of fun and inspiring posts and challenges throughout the weekend, and lots of fab prizes to be won!

This post by Jennifer Grace was all about using colour to set the mood of your scrapbook page - it really got me thinking. Jennifer's challenge was to choose a photo and then think carefully about the mood you want to set when you're choosing the colours to use on your page.

Here's my page, featuring a picture of my younger son on a day out with his Dad back in 1987 ...

Inspired by Jennifer's post, I thought very carefully when choosing which colours to use for this page. The blue/grey/black colours in the photo would be ok, but they wouldn't do anything to convey the sense of excitement and adventure which I wanted to show, so I added a splash of vibrant orange. I think this colour contrasts well with the blue and helps to bring energy and movement to the page.

I started with white Bazzill cardstock (my favourite starting point at the moment) and framed it with a sheet of pp from the My Mind's Eye "Find Your Wings & Fly" collection. Splashes of orange ink, sprinkled stars and mixed alphas travelling across the page also help to convey a feeling of excitement and movement.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

It's Our Time

There's a new challenge for May over at the 1-2-3 Challenge Blog

The idea is to use all three elements in a scrapbook page - this month, the colour is green, the word is time and the technique is journaling.

I decided to combine the green with pink and scrap another one of our wedding photos (coming up to three years old now!) ...

This photo was taken as we were being "papped" by all our friends and relations just after the ceremony and before we went off for our wedding picnic - at this point we were feeling relieved, relaxed, happy and excited and I love how that all shows in this picture!

Monday, 5 May 2014

My Personal Rainbow

Hi everyone,

I've been missing all kinds of fun which has been going on over the weekend to celebrate (Inter) National Scrapbooking Day - I wasn't able to play along yesterday, but I've thoroughly enjoyed playing a bit of catch-up this afternoon :o)

Over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog they've been hosting a huge event called Wonderful World of Color, with loads of inspirational posts, challenges and fabulous prizes to be won. Check it out - you have until the 16th to link up your entries and be in with a chance of winning.

The very first post inspired me to make a rainbow banner for my workroom ...

The challenge was to make a banner using at least five colours and a mixture of words/letters and graphics such as diecuts. I decided to use a rainbow of colours (although I merged blue and indigo together - call it artistic license!). Each pennant is decorated with a diecut flower, a stamped butterfly and one diecut letter - together they spell the word "C-R-E-A-T-E".

Here are some close-ups ...

This was a great project for using up lots of scraps of patterned paper and offcuts of ribbons and trims. I started with six blank chipboard pennants and one of my three scrap drawers ...

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Made It!

Hi Everyone,

It's Saturday, so my week of Living Below the Line is over, thank goodness, but let's remember that for 1.2 billion people around the world it's not over - they are living in extreme poverty every day of their lives. My chosen charity, Action Aid, is working to help them find a way out and I'm so pleased to have had the opportunity to do my little bit to raise awareness and much-needed funding.

Thanks so much to everyone who offered encouragement and made donations throughout this week. In total I've raised a massive £300 which is Brilliant! 

This whole experience really got me thinking about how it must feel to live below the line all the time and to be powerless to change it - it made me more appreciative of the life I have. I'm proud of myself for having made it all the way through the week - until 00:20 this morning to be precise!

At midnight last night, I prepared the little feast I'd been promising myself during the week ...

... the coffee (decaff) came first - ooooooooh - then TWO slices of cheese on toast with a sprinkle of Worcester Sauce, some pickled beetroot and cherry tomatoes - mmmmmmmmmm - accompanied by a glass of chilled Sauv Blanc - aaaaaaaaaaah - and finally the bar of chocolate given to me by two of my colleagues as a contribution to my midnight feast - yummmmmmmmy! After a week of eating mainly rice and lentils and drinking only water, this was nectar from the gods!

I photographed it next to my pooter in the hope that you would be able to see the time at the bottom right corner, to prove I waited until after midnight!  Here's a close-up .....

Friday, 2 May 2014

Last Supper

Hi everyone,

It's my last day of Living Below the Line YAY!! Here's what I have left of my rations for the week ...

It doesn't look a lot, but I don't care, because I'm holding out for my midnight feast! In fact, I may not even bother to cook this pasta - I may just make myself wait a bit longer ... a bit of deferred gratification makes everything extra tasty :o)

I've just taken a delicious pizza out of the oven for my husband's dinner and resisted the temptation to stick my face its bubbling golden cheesey topping .... to make things worse, he's having a nice chilled glass of Sauv Blanc with it. Also, some time this evening, I need to do my online shopping order so that it will be delivered in time to cook dinner for some friends we've invited over tomorrow, which means I also need to check out recipes for Sticky Toffee Pudding - see? I obviously enjoy tormenting myself!

But let's not lose sight of the important thing here - the reason why I did this thing. Here's an excerpt from an email I received today from one of the organisers -

"You've put yourself in someone else's shoes. You've sacrificed 5 whole days to shine a light on the 1.2 billion people who lack the simple choices and opportunities that we have.
You've raised £260 for ActionAid. That's huge. That money will go a long way to create opportunities and lift entire communities out of poverty."

That says it all really. I'm so glad I did this - it's made me think about what it must feel like to live below the line all the time, to have no choice and no hope; it's made me really appreciate what I usually take for granted; and it's given me the opportunity to help change things for the better. £260! Not bad huh?!

It's not too late if you would like to know more or make a donation - just click here
If you would like to see how my week went, click on the Live Below the Line tab at the top of the page.

Thanks for stopping by - pop back later to check out my midnight feast! :o)

Bingo - New House!

Hi everyone,
Have you seen the May challenge over at the SJ Crafts blog yet? It's such a fun idea - you just choose any row on this grid (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) ...

... and create a project using the items in all three squares. This time, I chose the bottom horizontal row and used mixed alphas, torn paper and a bow and I made a scrapbook page featuring a photo of my little boys back in 1984 when we had just moved house ...

The patterned papers, stickers and diecuts are all from thewonderful DIY Shop collection by Crate Paper - other than that all I used was some twine, a little ink, various alphas and that gorgeous sunflower (unfortunately can't remember where I got those cos I would like some more!) ...

Bingo Challenge!

Hi Everyone,

There's a new challenge for May over at SJ Crafts and it is such a fun idea. Here it is ...

Each square in the grid has a different technique, product or design element in it - the challenge is to pick a row of three (vertical, horizontal or diagonal) and include all three items in your project - fun!!! :o)

I went for the middle vertical row and used torn paper, metal (staples) and a border punch. Here's what I came up with ...

I love this picture of my Uncle Ian, he has such a look of quiet contentment and little Josh looks like he's about to have a nap with his Grandad!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

One More Day to Go ...

Hi everyone,

Well, I can't tell how relieved I will be to reach the end of my five days Living Below the Line. Here's what I have left to see me through tomorrow ...

The plan is to take most of it to work, saving the pasta, the onion and the egg for my supper - I'll stir the egg into the hot pasta and add chopped dry-fried onions and herbs from the garden. Maybe weird, maybe nice ... the carrot will probably get a reprieve - at the moment I don't care if I never eat another carrot!

Then I may stay up for a midnight feast - I have this vision of a steaming coffee, a bubbling slice of cheese on toast with cherry tomatoes and pickled beetroot on the side, followed by a large glass of chilled white wine and a chocolate chaser! What would you miss the most that you usually take for granted?

Well, my mind is as sharp as mashed potato this evening (funny how food metaphors kept popping up today) so I'm off for an early night with my Kindle OOOOH nearly forgot to tell you the total so far


How amazing is that?! I'm been bowled over by all the kind words and generous donations so thanks again to everyone. Click here to find out what it's all about and click on the Live Below the Line tab at the top of the page to follow my progress through the week.

See you again tomorrow for the Last Supper and Final Total ... and maybe a pic of my midnight feast! :o)