Monday, 30 January 2017


Hi everyone,

My second journal page inspired by week 4 of Wanderlust 2017 - no lessons this week, but lots of activities to get us thinking and feeling creative.

For this challenge, we had to choose three colours from our surroundings as our palette (along with black, white and grey if we liked) and use them to create a journal page telling our January story.

Here's mine, inspired by a corner of my garden which I've been wanting to capture for ages ...

I love all the textures of the flaking layers of paint on the old door, set into the warm terracotta brickwork with moss and lichen growing on it and I really enjoyed playing with different media to try and capture this ...

For me, January is about everything being dormant, but all the potential is there, in the cold earth, waiting for the spring sunshine to burst into life. The door symbolises new possibilities waiting to be unlocked and discovered.

You can probably tell that this challenge really got me thinking :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx

What Dreams May Come

Hi Bloggy Friends,

Wanderlust 2017 week 4 and we have a rest from lessons so we can play with some of the techniques we've learned so far, and join in with some of the fun activities which Kasia and Jamie have devised for us.

First, I decided to have a go at the Wanderlust Book challenge (though I'm not going to work in a separate book so I just found an empty page in my art journal). The challenge for this month is to complete the phrase "I'm ready for ...." and I had intended to finish it with "... new growth" which works on several levels for me in January. However, as the page developed, the phrase, "What Dreams May Come" popped into my head and wouldn't go away, so I wrote that directly onto the picture with a pencil ...

I may go in and work on this some more, but for the moment, I decided to call it a day and move on to something else. It's getting easier to just play in my art journal and not get hung up on the outcome. AND it's getting easier to paint layers over the top of what I've already done ... in fact, now I'm talking about it, I'm itching to go and do just that :o)

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon!

Annie xxx

Friday, 27 January 2017

Teeny-Weeny Kitchen

Hello Everyone,

Look what I made woooHOOOO ...

How cute is that?! Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved miniature things. My friend Trina and I were reminiscing today about those amazing Blue Peter projects we made when we were kids - a hairdressing salon for Sindy out of a cardboard box; a camping kit for Action Man; and who can forget Tracey Island?! Wonderful what you can do with yoghurt pots, toilet rolls and sticky-backed plastic. I used to say that when I grew up I wanted to be the Blue Peter lady who designed all the projects (I would still love to have that job).

When I spotted these little room box kits on AliExpress I couldn't resist trying them out, and now I just can't stop!! The kits come in a little box which contains everything you need to make the room, even the lighting. You can also get them from BangGood. Here's mine all lit up at night ...

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

What we see depends mainly on what we look for ....

Hello my arty-farty friends out there,

Hope you're all having a brilliant week and squeezing in some creative time!

For week 3 of Wanderlust, we had a lesson with the wonderful Wilna Furstenburg. It is so inspiring to watch Wilna work and I could listen to her all day.

Here's how my journal page turned out ...

... I kind of want to go in and add some darkness and depth, but talked myself out of it. The colours make my heart happy and I love the quote by John Lubbock ...

“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”

Wilna showed us how to make an inky sketch with a paintbrush ...

... then add colour with acrylic inks and paints ...

... allowing some drippage (which I got a bit carried away with as I was enjoying it!). She had the brilliant idea of scanning her work at various stages, to be printed out and used to create futher journal pages. Genius!! 

Normally I don't enjoy painting flowers, but I really enjoyed this lesson :o) 

Thanks for checking out my blog today, see you again soon. 

Annie xxx

WOYWW #399

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Peeps,

Hopefully I will schedule this to post at a sensible time this week, so that my mate Zsuzsa from Inky Dinky Doodle will be able to find it and link up for me over at Julia's Stamping Ground and then I'll catch up later when I'm home from work. Everyone's welcome, so why join in and show us What's On Your Workdesk this Wednesday?! Or just pop in and have a nosey at what everyone else has been up to this week :o)

Here's mine, taken earlier today whilst I was working on this week's Wanderlust lesson ...

.... it's finished now, so I will post pics in a separate post tomorrow. For anyone who was interested to see the end result of the miniature room box I was working on, here it is ...

Again, will post more pics in a separate post. This one was taken in my actual kitchen, which is small, but not THAT small!! These kits from China really are brilliant, this one only cost me about a tenner and included everything I needed, except I did use different adhesives to the one supplied.

Well I'm off to bed now, see you all at Julia's tomorrow :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

WOYWW #398

Good Morning Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Mates,

I shall be busy at work by the time you read this tomorrow morning, so I am scheduling it today and banking on the lovely Zsuzsa from InkyDinkyDoodle to link me up - so I'll pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground and catch up with everyone over the next couple of days when I'm home. Thanks Zsuzsa :o)

So without further waffle, here's my desk today ...

Still pretty organised for me - after spending most of Boxing Day cleaning and tidying in here, I have promised myself to tidy between projects from now on. It has been lovely to be able to enjoy coming in here again I must say!

Here's a closer look at some of the stuff you can see on there ...

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Finding Magic - Wanderlust Week 2

Hi Everyone,

For week two of Wanderlust 2017 we had a lesson with the wonderful Mary Wangerin, who encouraged us to let go and enjoy ourselves, without worrying about the outcome. She showed us how to build up layers of colour, pattern and texture, enjoying each stage of the process but not getting too attached to a particular part, then creating a focal point and adding a quote.

Here's how mine turned out ...

Monday, 16 January 2017

CSI Case File 222 - #Fabulous!!

Hi Everyone,

CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration is celebrating its 5th birthday this month, so the lovely Debbi Tehrani has asked retired CSI Detectives to come back and have a go at cracking a couple of cases and I'm very glad she did too, as it's woken up my scrappy mojo!!

The Major Case File is open all month - so you have plenty of time to solve it and maybe win one of the fab prizes on offer. There is also this mid-month challenge, which is open until 31st Jan - pop over to CSI to check out all the inspiration. Here's the gorgeously glamourous Case File #222 ...

To solve the case, you have to use all the colours in the Scheme, plus at least three clues from the Evidence list and at least one from the Testimony list. Here's how I cracked it ...

The Scheme: yep, used all five colours plus some neutral wood.
The Evidence: floral pattern; snowflakes, stars; jewels,pearls; ribbon; flowers; stamping; glitter.
The Testimony: I added jewls to my stamped journaling spot and was inspired by the IW "friends, fashion, lovely" to use these brilliant photo booth pics. 

I have enjoyed being back at CSI again - if you've never been there you should definitely check it out and have a go at cracking one of the Case Files, they really are so inspiring. Show us how you solved the case by linking up on the blog, or there is a CSI Face Book page.

Thanks for visiting my blog today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

WOYWW #397

Hello everyone,

I'll be beavering away at the office by the time you see this, but I'll be back later. Hopefully my mate Zsuzsa from Inky Dinky Doodle will do the honours and link this up for me over at the lovely Julia's Stamping Ground and I'll be back later to join the party and check out what's been happening on everyone else's desks this week.

So here's mine ...

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

DIY Planner Diary Inserts

Hi everyone,

I just started using a planner last year and found it's a very useful and pretty way of keeping track of my doings. Many of the DIY inserts I made last year can be used again (at least until I feel inspired to make new ones), but I needed new diary pages.

Now, I could have ordered a pack pretty cheaply online and had it delivered tomorrow, but why do that, when I have a paper mountain to use up, as well as a punch which is designed to make the two groups of three holes needed to fit my planner???

So, I decided to DIY them, whilst binge-watching Being Human. It's all drawn freehand and deliberately wonky so it was easy to do. It took me two or three hours and I goofed a couple of times when I lost concentration during the exciting bits, but I got there in the end and I'm very happy with the outcome. Here's a peek ...

Nothing fancy, and the paper's a bit thin (I just used cheap copy paper) but it does the job, and I will decorate it as I go along with stickers, masking tape and suchlike.

Now I just need to sit and fill in all the lovely stuff I have planned for this year ...

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Monday, 9 January 2017

Go Go Getaway!!

Hi Everyone,

One of the Big Arty-FartyAdventures I am looking forward to Big Time this year is the Go Go Getaway weekend in March - a whole weekendful of scrapping, eating and generally having fun with my lovely friend Trina and lots of other crafty peeps at a nice hotel in Herts. Can't WAIT, it's going to be amazing!!!

The GoGo girls are going to be posting regular challenges on the FaceBook page, with a chance to win fab prizes - seems like a good way to flex my scrapping muscles and get warmed up for the retreat in March.

This month there's a sketch challenge. Here's the sketch ...

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... and here's my take on it, with a photo of my boys when they were little, around 1987 ...

I really can't believe that was THIRTY years ago!!!!

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

Annie xxx

My Playbox Annual Journal

Hi everyone,

Last summer, I found a lovely old children's annual in a National Trust second-hand book shop. It only cost me £1.50 and I thought it could be upcycled into something fabulous, but I wasn't sure what at the time. It wasn't in great condition, but had obviously been well-loved by Peter, the little boy who was given it by his Aunty Margaret back in 1950.

Having enjoyed my first go at coptic binding for my Life Book 2016, I wanted to make my own journal for Wander Lust 2017, so I was looking about for something to use for the covers - bingo!!
I love the colours, the charming illustrations, and the perfect title :o)

Here's my finished journal, all ready to fill with arty-farty adventures ...

I stacked a couple of buttons and stuck them on with Glossy Accents to make a closure. Here's a better look at the binding ...

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Hello Wander Lust!!

Hi everyone,

The year ahead is full of arty-farty promise and I can't wait to get started. One thing I have been hugely looking forward to is Wander Lust 2017, and I was not to be disappointed when the first video lessons with Kasia and Jamie were released on Friday.

First, Jamie talked us through all the supplies we'll be using throughout this year of online classes, with lots of practical tips and advice. Then, Kasia showed us how to make our first art journal page, focusing on a statement of our intent for this year. Here's mine ...

Kasia used acrylic paint mixed with gel medium and collaged images printed from the internet, stamping her statement onto the background with black ink. She encouraged us to be inspired by, but not to copy, her piece - to put our own spin on the lesson, by using our own ideas, supplies and favourite colours.

I definitely went my own way, going off on a couple of unexpected tangents inspired by the images I used - the wonderful Alice illustrations by John Tenniel and a photo of trees which I found on Pexels, a great site full of free-to-use images.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

WOYWW #396 - Looking Forward

Hello Fellow Deskers and Blogland Friends,

Happy First WOYWW of 2017!! If you've no idea what I'm on about, pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to find out all about it and join in the snooping fun.

I've been almost completely AWOL for weeks - sorry I never even got back to visit after my last WOYWW post, it felt like my life was in total chaos. It wasn't just the whole Christmas malarkey, but lots of stuff going on which I won't bore you with ... but I'm back, this is a time for looking forward, and I feel sure that this is going to be a wonderful year.

It got off to a good start when I spent several hours on Boxing Day tidying my crafty room. It was in a shameful state, to the point where I couldn't even get in the door and had started throwing stuff in without even looking. Ick. Made me feel quite miserable so I was avoiding it altogether. The Boxing Day Blitz was not fun, but it was SO worth it.

Here's my desk now, all ready to go (complete with two Quirky Kits in Waiting) ...

This year promises to be full of creative adventures - Wander Lust starts in a few days, GoGo Getaway scrapping retreat in late March, Mixology mixed media workshop in April, Stampin' Up! card making classes with a local demonstrator, plus our regular crafty days at a nearby pub. AND I got some new crafty toys for Christmas and found a whole lot of stuff I'd forgotten I had.

So I'm raring to go - what's everyone else got planned for this year? Pop over to Julia's to link up and show us What's On Your Workdesk :o)

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon.

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Remember - Happy 5th Birthday CSI!!

Hi Everyone,

CSI (Color Stories Inspiration), one of my favourite scrapping challenge sites, has its 5th birthday this month. Debbi Tehrani, creator of CSI, has invited Retired CSI Detectives to help celebrate by making a page or two for January and I was thrilled to be asked - especially as I have promised myself I will get back to some scrapping this year, so it's perfect timing!!

Here is the beautiful Case File #221

As it's the first Case File of the month, it includes a sketch by the talented Em Stafrace from The Nifty Pixel

In order to solve the case, you must use: the sketch; all five colours in the Scheme; at least 3 clues from the Evidence; at least 1 clue from the Testimony. Here's how I cracked it ...

So, what clues did I use??
Sketch: check
Scheme: predominantly watermelon pink, with pale yellow/ivory, dk choc brown and touches of apple green and turquoise. The neutrals are allowed as extra. 
Evidence: tiny dots, string, stamped word, enamel dot, leaves.
Testimony: This is a picture of my niece when she was a little girl. I've described her personality in the form of a recipe. I've also mixed handwriting fonts with letter stickers in my title and subtitle and taken the words life and sweet as inspiration. My journaling reads as follows:

"Take a bowl full of beans, add sweetness, sprinkle with hundreds and thousands of questions, throw in a stubborn streak, temper with affection and season to taste with laughter and fun, add a dash of devillment and garnish with plain weirdness. Marinate in a mixture of joy and adversity and leave to develop for several years and you will have a young woman to be proud of."

Well, this has really got my scrapping mojo going again - I'm going to start on the next one now!! 

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

Annie xxx