Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Hi Everyone,

It's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - time to pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground where we all get together to have nosey at each other's creative spaces.

This week, instead of taking a picture in the morning when my workdesk is (relatively) tidy, I thought I would take a photo when I've just finished a project and before I've tidied up ready for the next one - so I took this on Sunday evening ...

... just after I had trashed my whole workroom just to make one scrapbook page! And it gets worse if you look to the RH side ...

Monday, 28 July 2014

Take it Outside!

Hi Everyone,

One of the best things about the wonderful summer we're having this year is that we've been able to sit outside for an hour or two after work most days - catching the breeze, watching the wildlife, doing the crossword and enjoying a nice chilled glass of something before dinner ...

Here you can see some of the wildlife demonstrating the art of enjoying an ice cold limoncello (although trying to confuse matters by wearing his favourite Guinness shirt).

Somehow, routine tasks like prepping vegetables or mending seem less of a chore if you do them outside in the sunshine ...

... and our little garden table also makes a handy worktable for some al fresco crafting ...

This is a really cool idea I found whilst foraging on YouTube - it stops that annoying tangling thing that happens to your iPod earphones the second you put them down anywhere, and I think it looks really fun too. It's so easy to do and cost me nothing at all, because I used some embroidery threads given to me by my good friend Kate - they were leftovers from some of her beautiful cross stitch work. I used all the colours of the rainbow so it's hard to say how much it took altogether, but I guess about two skeins at the most.

You could have so much fun with this - so many colour combos, add glittery threads, try different textures like ribbon and string, work in some charms - I briefly considered using wool oddments to do the same thing with all the electrical cables in the house, but I think that may be going a step too far?!??

Anyway, if you fancy having a go at this really easy and there are loads of tutorials on YouTube - here's one

So, do like to take it outside?!

Thanks for coming over today, see you again soon :o)

Annie x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Look At You

Hi everyone,

I love the new Start to Finish Challenge over at the SJ Crafts blog - the idea is to Start with Sarah's basic layout, then Finish by adding photos and embellishments in whichever way takes your fancy.

This was Sarah's layout at the Start (click here to see how it ended up) ...

I decided to use mainly papers from the Crate Paper Boys Rule collection. Here's how I Started, following Sarah's layout fairly closely, but without actually measuring anything ...

This was a really liberating way to get started quickly, sticking the papers down without thinking about it too much. Three happy hours followed, adding layers and embellishments until I decided my page was Finished ...

I love this striking photo of my son, taken by his Dad during one of their camping trips. Richard was a curious, thoughtful little boy - he often had an unusual way of looking at things and making sense of the world and I think this picture shows that aspect of his character.

Here are some close-ups ...

Mixed Media Makeover - Here Come the Girls!

Hi Everyone,

The six weeks of Summer of Color 4 was another colourful rollercoaster full of fun and inspiration and it just flew by - I had a great time trying out all the delicious combinations the lovely Kristin came up with for us this year.

Each week we had two colours to conjure with, plus a "smudge, splash or pop" of an accent colour. It was a great opportunity to practice with different media and techniques in my art journal pages and I also enjoyed a new experiment - Snail Art!

Here is the final line-up of my Gorgeous Girls after their mixed media makeovers ...

From right to left we have ...
  • Week One was the delectable Doris de Vine, resplendent in Aqua and Yellow stripes, wearing her heart on her sleeve and a dash of Hot Pink lipstick.
  • Week Two was cool Coral Fandango, sporting a fun Teal and Coral outfit with White spots to match her eyes.
  • Week Three was the lovely Lottie Lush, looking slinky in spangled Lavender and Grey with a stripe of Plum.
  • Week Four was Rosie Bucket (pronounced boo-KAY if you please), showing off a fabulous floral number in Pink and Apple with a touch of Dark Green.
  • Week Five was Mee-Shell MaBelle, wearing a Royal Blue shell suit with a Red striped body and a touch of Light Blue twine tied in a jaunty bow.
  • Week Six was the beautiful Betty Blush, modelling the latest ombre style in Raspberry and Mandarin with Yellow highlights to bring out her eyes.
Aren't they glamourous?! But the girls have never forgotten their humble beginnings, and this week they were keen to go back to their roots ...

This is part of my little herb garden, where six empty shells were discovered just a few weeks ago. First, I had to rebuild them - I had the technology ...

Snake in the Grass!

Hi everyone,

We have many wildlife visitors to our garden and we love to watch them all - squirrels, bats, hedgehogs, foxes, frogs, toads, the occasional muntjac and all sorts of birds - but this is one we don't see so often ...

 ... a little grass snake, who clearly did not wish to star in my wildlife documentary!

ps we don't usually have piles of cushions all over the lawn - I was cleaning the sitting-room :o)

Annie x


Hi Everyone,

Yesterday was one of the hottest days in the hot, HOT summer we are having here in the UK this year - so why did I spend half of it slaving over a hot stove in our tiny kitchen???

Sounds crazy I know, but it's also been a good year for damsons and John picked loads of them from this tree which grows in the grounds around where we live - you can see the clusters of ripe fruit if you look closely. Now, there's something about a glut of fruit or vegetables which brings out the old-fashioned housewife in me ...

... so I dug out my trusty old cookery books for some recipes to preserve these delicious beauties so that we can enjoy them through the winter ...

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Live Wire!

Hi Everyone,

It's been a bit quiet on the scrapping front just lately, but I did finish the page I started at a Papermaze workshop last week, under the expert guidance of the lovely Lou Collins who showed us lots of clever techniques and ideas for creating interest and texture on the page without using any ready made embellishments at all - brilliant! :o)

Here's my page all done and dusted ...

... showing a picture of my younger son Tom taken over twenty years ago in Cornwall - probably somewhere like Trebah Garden, where this amazing plant used to grow. We used to call it "Giant Rhubarb" or "Donkey Rhubarb" but its real name is Gunnera and as you can see, it has these maHOOOSive leaves. When you're in amongst it, it feels like you've fallen into a set from "Land of the Giants"!

Of course, more is always more with me and less is hardly ever enough, so I just couldn't resist a bit of tweaking and titivating once I got my page home from the workshop, and once I got started, it was really dificult to stop! Here's how it started out ...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Hi Everyone,

It's been a very hectic few weeks one way or another, so I've missed a couple of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesdays and I see we're up to #268 - Blimey! Here's a picture of my chaotic workspace as it was first thing this morning ...

I've not been able to spend as much time as usual in here lately, but I'm hoping to catch up on a few things today - you can see I've not unpacked yet after the fab workshop with Lou Collins last Saturday. The page I made is on the RH side, waiting to be finished (I'm a very slow scrapper!) My scrap box is perched on the LH side, ready to dig out some papers for Sarah's "Start to Finish" challenge on the SJ Crafts blog. Looking more closely at my desk ...

... a couple of pages from my SOC4 project which I still need to finish and then I hope to create a cute little book with my new Bind It All which I haven't used yet. Behind that are some bags of Perler Beads which I bought from eBay, to have a go at homemade enamel dots - apparently these are the ones to use in order to avoid choking on noxious fumes!

But plonked down in the middle of it all is la piece de resistance ... my new Loom Band Boxed Set! wooHOO!!! my lovely DH brought this home for me - the set includes the loom, 1000 bands, a deluxe hooky tool, 30 S clips, six cute little charms and instruction booklet and he says it only cost him a fiver from the book club at work - what a bargain! I'd like to say that this is a gift for a little relation of ours, but no ... it's MINE, all mine!!! muahahahahaha :o)

So, what's on your workdesk today? Maybe something a little more grown up?! Pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to check out what's happening on other workdesks all over the world and link up to show us what you're up to today - see you there!

Annie x

Friday, 18 July 2014

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Hi everyone,

It has been a SCORCHER of a day here in Norfolk, and I was SO looking forward to getting home to sit in my favourite shady spot in the garden ...

... space to put my feet up, a leafy tree to filter the sunshine, windchimes to catch the breeze - what more could I possibly want? Oh yes ...

... a nicely icy G&T of course! BLISS :o)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A Perfect Day

Hi everyone,

Today my good friend Trina and I headed to Papermaze for a workshop with the talented Louise Collins. The sun was shining, we didn't get lost, and we spent several very happy hours scrapping, shopping and eating cake - what a perfect day!

I love Lou's work, so it was great to meet her in person today and pick up lots of brilliant tips, ideas and inspiration. As you can see, my page is not quite finished (I am always a slow scrapper!) - I didn't have any photos with me for a start, and anyway for me more is always more and less is never enough, so I probably won't be able to resist a few little tweaks and additions, but I was very happy with what I managed to achieve in a couple of hours ...

Louise showed us lots of clever techniques - we used some Tim Holtz dies to cut the clockface and cogs from vellum, used them as masks with Distress Inks to create a grungy background, then layered them over the top. We learned how to create perfect splats and dribbles with a Dylusions Ink Spray. Most fun of all were the stitched elements - brilliant! And not a ready-made embellishment to be seen!

Afterwards, we got to have a look around the shop, and with a 10% discount for attending the workshop, it would have been rude not to pick up a few bits ...

SOC4 Week Six - I Am Snailing!

Hi everyone,

It's the last week of Summer of Color 4 and I think Kristin saved the best for last ...

Raspberry and Tangerine with a smudge, splash or pop of Lemon - yummy! The challenge is to use this combo to create a project and then link up over at Twinkle Twinkle to share your inspiration and be in with a chance to win some gorgeous goodies. You can make anything you like and it's not too late to join in, so why not have a go yourself? Here's my art journal page ...

... spot the special guest! Please say hi to the beautiful Betty Blush, last but not least to get a mixed media makeover and join my line-up of lovelies ...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

SOC4 Week 5 - Mee-SHELL MaBelle!

Hi Everyone,

Well it's hard to believe that five weeks of Summer of Color 4 have flown by already ...

Kristin came up with another corker of a combination for us this week ... 

... Red and Royal Blue, with a smudge, splash or pop of Light Blue - hmmm, this really got my creative cogs turning! I thought of summery seasides, nautical scenes, patriotic parties and all sorts of other stuff, but in the end I was inspired by the beautiful summer nights we are enjoying here at the moment so I went with this ...

To produce this tiny piece of paper, I totally trashed my room again - here's what I used ...

Monday, 7 July 2014

The What I'm Working On Blog Hop!

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to a different sort of blog hop! A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Jennifer over at Jennifer Grace Creates took part in the "What I'm Working On" blog hop and was kind enough to nominate me to join in - check out her post here. I hope I will be forgiven for posting a week late - these last few weeks have been so hectic it's ridiculous!

So here goes - first I have four questions to answer, then I will nominate three people to take part in the blog hop ...

Q1 What am I working on now?

Scrapping has been the main focus of my arty-fartyness for some years now, but at the moment I'm trying to make time to experiment with other things. Right now, my head is full of Summer of Color 4. Every week, Kristin puts together a delicious combination of colours and we can create anything we like using those colours. My plan is to make a journal page for each week, along with a matching snail! Here is my Snail Trail so far ...

Another Big Idea at the moment is to get back into crochet. My son Tom is really good at crochet - in fact he's better than me now, which is really annoying! This was one of his first ever practice pieces ...

Anyway, we visited a wonderful little kinitting and crochet shop called Abstract in Walthamstow Village last week, where I bought these lovelies ...

Sunday, 6 July 2014

SOC4 Week Four - Catwalk Snails!

Hi Everyone,

Week Four of the Summer of Color 4 has flown by and yet again I am linking up my project at the eleventh hour!

Here's the delicious concoction which the lovely Kristin came up with for us this week ...

Pink and Apple Green, with a smudge, splash or pop of dark green ... and here's my page for this week, featuring a quote from Marie Curie ...

I drew the little girl first, then covered her with masking fluid before working on the background, using stencils and stamps to build up layers of colour and pattern with inks, mists, paints and gelatos. The floral pattern was torn from a napkin and adhered to the page with matt medium. 

Once the background was done, I removed the masking fluid and then coloured in the little girl with blendable pencils. Finally I wrote the quote with a Sakura Glaze pen in a dark green and filled in the loops with an acrylic paint pen. 

So here's all the stuff I used - but wait! Who's that glamourous girly gliding across my page??? Let's have a closer look ...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Oh Baby!

Hi everyone,

Here's the mood board for July over at the 1-2-3 Challenge Blog 

It's very simple - all you have to do is to create a scrapbook page using all three elements ...
  • Colour = Brights
  • Word = Awesome
  • Technique = Masks

... and then link up to the July Challenge post at 1-2-3 - see? Peasy! :o)

Here's mine ...

Another double selfie - they're becoming a bit of a tradition with us ...

It's a very very simple page, took about half an hour (and most of that was spent dithering) but I'm really happy with the end result, so it just goes to show what you can do in a hurry! 

Apart from the diecut flowers, the washi and the bright pink cardstock, all of my supplies came from SJ Crafts - if you haven't already heard, Sarah has decided to close the shop and have a big Closing Down Sale, so check it out and grab some bargains! 

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon - remember to go to 1-2-3 to see how the rest of the team have been inspired by this month's challenge.

Annie :o)xxx

Friday, 4 July 2014

End of an Era and New Beginnings

Hi everyone,

Sad news today on the SJ Crafts Blog - the lovely Sarah has decided that the time has come to close the shop, so SJ Crafts is closing down OH NO!!! Read all about it here on the SJ Crafts Blog

The good news is that this means there will be a Closing Down Sale - so pop over to the shop and check it out now to make sure you don't miss any bargains!

I've really enjoyed getting to know Sarah and all the ladies on the DT, so I'm hoping that we will all keep in touch. Sarah is planning to keep the challenge blog going, so watch this space!

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon

Annie :o)xxx


Hi Everyone,

Here's the "1 of 5" Challenge for July over at the SJ Crafts blog -

The idea is that you have to make a project using 
  • 1 of the 5 colours 
  • 1 of the 5 shapes
  • 1 of the 5 titles
Fun idea! Never tried this one before. Here's what I came up with ...

I decided to scrap this picture of my son Richard from 1982, when he was just learning to crawl and eager to explore the world around him. I have so many years' worth of photos to catch up on, but I now have a plan to speed things up by making a page like this with one or two focal pictures, then a Project Life-style layout to go with it, with more pics from the same time, as well as journaling and such. I have my shiny new Becky Higgins PL dies and page protectors to play with, so can't wait to have a go!)