Monday, 30 April 2018

Killing my Counterfeit Kit - Almost!!

Hi everyone,

It's the last day of April, so there will be a new inspiration kit up on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog tomorrow. I've really enjoyed being a Guest Designer and I've made a special effort to use up as much as possible of my kit, which I called Spring is in the Air.

Here's my last page, not quite finished, alongside the remains of my kit ...

Thanks again to Master Forger Tina for inviting me, it's been a blast - if you haven't tried making a Counterfeit Kit before, check it out, it's such a great way to get you looking at that stash in a whole new way and enjoying using it all up! Can't wait to see what's in store for May :o)

It occurred to me that I've been a Guest Forger and a CSI Detective at the same time this month - sounds like I'm some kind of double agent or something hehehe.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Killing my Counterfeit Kit

Hi there my Friends in Blogland,

I've been on a mission to use up my April Counterfeit Kit before the end of the month, which is .... tomorrow ... eeek!!

One great way to use up loads of patterned paper and embellishments is to make mini books, so that's what I decided to do. Here are the FIVE little books I finished this weekend ...

These all have loads of space for small photos, notes and mementoes. I think they'll make nice little gifts for friends and family - and they used up LOADS of stuff from my kit.

The two in front are "meandering albums" made from one sheet of 12"x12" double-sided patterned paper. They're very easy and quick to make - you'll find loads of videos on YouTube showing you how - and each has seven pockets for tags.

At the back, you can see three "trifold shutter albums", which are full of interactive elements, and space for pictures and mementoes.

I watched Paige Evans making one of these cute little albums which she calls a Mini Album Card using a clever cut file she designed for the Silhouette store, which cuts the whole base from one sheet of cardstock, so all you have to do is fold it and decorate it. I couldn't resist having a look at the Silhouette Store out of curiosity, even though I don't have a Cameo - there are loads of fantastic cut files on there, I especially loved the 3D ones.

However, I don't have a Silhouette Cameo or other cutting gizmo, so I kind of cobbled it together myself, shamelessly pinching some of Paige's ideas, and putting my own twist on it. It was a bit of a faff and would have been much easier if I could have used a cut file, but I enjoyed the challenge and made two more.

If you fancy having a go at making a trifold shutter album by hand, Helen Griffin has a great tutorial on her You Tube channel, where she explains how to make something very similar.

So, I reckon I can get one more page out of my kit, which would only leave a few odds and ends to rejoin Stash Mountain. If I have time tomorrow after work I will do it before the month is out! Watch this space ...

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

Love Annie xxx

It's Cake o'Clock

Hello Bloggy Friends,

Today I've been busy using up my April Counterfeit Kit and I'm very nearly there - I think by tomorrow I'll have just a few bits and bobs left.

Here's a page I made this afternoon - very quickly, because the design was already there on the patterned paper ...

Mind you, as this page is all about my BFF Trina and I enjoying ourselves at a GoGo Dayaway called "Stitched Happy", I am itching to go back in and add some stitched details to this gorgeous paper, one of the techniques we learned at the GoGo event - so it's not really quite finished :o)

I also mixed in some really elderly stickers and and assorted alphas from my stash - so good to enjoy using up all this stuff!!

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Hey You - GoGoGetaway April Challenge

Hi Guys,

The challenge for April over at GoGoGetaway is to be inspired by the word ...


I decided to throw together an abundance of washi and watercolour to make a very colourful page featuring my lovely step-granddaughter Macy carefully holding her new little brother Finley ...

I also used some of my abundance of eyelets and a few items from my current Counterfeit Kit "Spring is in the Air". Here are some close-ups ...

Thanks to Claire from Scrappy Nerd UK for sharing lots of creative ideas for using washi tape - she has made a whole series of videos on her You Tube Channel. The great thing is that making this page has made me fall back in love with my eyelets and Cropadile and washi tapes.

Thanks for checking out my blog today. Why not enter the GoGoGetaway challenge yourself? You have until the end of the month - share your page on the FB page and you'll be entered in the Prize Draw :o)

See you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Counterfeit Kit Challenge #2 - Spring is in the Air

HI everyone,

I've been enjoying playing along with CKC as a Guest Designer for April and today I have a page to show you which I made for Challenge #2.

Our inspiration kit was this one from Button Farm - I loved all the fresh bright colours and watercolour elements. Click here to see my version, and there's a video tutorial showing how I made my Forgeries on the Fourth, playing with my Distress Oxide Inks to create watercolour effect embellishments.

Here's Challenge #2 - As Fresh as Springtime - What is Spring like where you live? Do you do anything special in the Spring that you don’t do throughout the other seasons of the year? Is Spring special to you in any way?. Make a Spring-themed project (layout, card, pocket page, etc.)

One of the things we love about spring is waiting for all the colourful bulbs to start flowering, it's a sign that warmer, longer, brighter days are on the way and the sight of a mass of cheerful daffodils never fails to make us smile. My husband took this photo in the grounds around our home last year.

I typed the word "SPRING" in a font called "Showcard Gothic" into a Word doc, changed the orientation to landscape and cranked up the size of the letters so that they filled two A4 sheets and printed them off to use as templates to cut my photo and some patterened papers from my kit.

The butterflies were punched from paper coloured with Distress Oxides, the wooden birds were coloured in the same way, the flowers and the lace trim were from the sticker sheet in my kit and the final touch was stitched detail around the large letters and through the gold alphas at the bottom, then the whole thing is mounted on another sheet of patterned paper from my kit.

Thanks for visiting my blog today, pop over to the CKC blog for more inspiration!

Love Annie xxx

Monday, 16 April 2018


Hi Guys,

When my BFF Trina and I heard about the GoGo Dayaway event in July called "Collections and Confections", using Prima Confections Pastel Dreams Watercolours, we really REALLY wanted to go, as we both had Prima Watercolour sets we hadn't used yet. Unfortunately, it clashed with other things, so we couldn't go ... and we decided to have our own mini workshop at home, for just the two of us. We called it our Watercolour Weekend and we had a brilliant time making pretty messes :o)

I did a lot of experimenting beforehand, trawling the internet for different ways to use watercoour paints - there is so much inspiration out there! Finally, I came up with six pages we could make, using our watercolours and NO patterned papers whatsoever.

Here's one of the pages, using heat embossing as a resist technique and then applying watercolour paints to create an ombre effect ...

I love this beautiful photo of my niece Bex and her daughter Kerrilouise looking totally gorgeous.

The feathers were stamped with clear ink or mixed media paper, then covered with white embossing powder and heat set. Then I used a wide brush to apply watercolour paint in pink, purple and blue. I added the same colours to some more mixed media paper, tearing pieces to build the background layers. I cut a 3" x 4" piece, masked off an area for wordage with washi tape, added colour and once it was dry, doodled the word and borders. A fan brush helped to add perfect splatters and the final touch was the Thickers foam alphas and heart and the little tab to balance the composition.

Thanks for visiting me today. I'll be sharing more of the pages we made over the next few days, so I hope to see you again soon :o)

Love Annie

Sunday, 15 April 2018

CSI Case File #252 - Hey Whatever

Hi Guys,

It's the 15th of the month, so it's time to reveal another Case File from CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration. Super Sleuth Debbi Tehrani has found another interesting Scene for us to investigate ...

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I love the zingy yellows against the black, white and grey, and there are loads of details we can pull out to inspire us. Check the CSI blog for the full Case File - you can choose to follow all the clues, or just take your own inspiration from the image to create your scrapbook page.

Here's how I solved this case ...

All the colours in the Scheme are here; from the Evidence list you can see stripes, text pattern, circles, heart and frames; from the Testimony list, I plan to write my journaling inside that top frame, but I need to check a couple of details first!

The home decor theme made me think of fabric and paint swatches as I was creating my page. No patterned papers were used in this layout, instead I enjoyed playing with my watercolour paints, mixing all the colours from one yellow with black, white and grey, and using various resist techniques to make interesting patterns. The same paints were used to dye the cheesecloth and colour the wood veneer pieces. Here's a picture I took during the process ...

Why not have a go at cracking this Case File yourself? You have until the end of April, and as always there are loads of fabulous prizes to be won :o)

Thanks for visiting my blog today, hope to see you again very soon!

Love Annie xxx

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Easter Bonnet - April Counterfeit Kit Challenge #2

Hi Everyone,

I'm really enjoying being Guest Designer over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge for April. Our inspiration kit for this month is this one from Button Farm and I loved all the bright, fresh colours and watercolour effects. Check out my version, which I called "Spring is in the Air". I also made a YT video tutorial about my Forgeries on the Fourth if you're interested to see how I made them.

Today is the 12th, so it's time to reveal the first challenge for the month, set for us by Master Forger Tina -
Challenge # 1 Easter - Easter is a big deal at our house with yearly Easter Egg hunts for the grandkids :) so lots of fun memories to scrap. Make a Easter-themed project (layout, card, pocket page, etc.)
Here's my take on this challenge ...

For us, the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend is when we drive up to Lincoln to visit John's Mum, the lovely Vivienne, shown here modelling an Easter bonnet made by one of the children who visited the home where she lives. We only get to see Viv two or three times a year, so it's always a very special day and I love this smiley picture of her :o)

I included my Distress Oxide Inks in my kit, because the colours were perfect and because I wanted to make myself use them more. For this page, I've used no patterned papers at all, but I've used the Distress Oxides to create the butterflies, the wreath, the splattered background and the PL card, and also to customise some alphas to coordinate with my layout.

Thanks for popping in today, check out the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog for lots of inspiration throughout the month and I'll see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Altered Book with Andy Skinner

Hi everyone,

My friend Trina and I recently went to a Tando Creative workshop and had the most brilliant time. We had a whole day with the lovely Di Oliver (the DO in Tando) on the Saturday, a mini workshop with the talented Hannah Oxberry on Saturday evening, and finally the whole of Sunday with the inspirational Andy Skinner.

They are all wonderful mixed media artists, we enjoyed every class and learned such a lot from them. As always, I am a slowpoke and still haven't finished the box we made with Di, or the little book we made with Hannah, but I did manage complete the altered sketchbook we did with Andy and i was just SO thrilled with it ...

We started with a plain black hardbacked book, which we coated with gesso, then we added greyboard pieces from Tando as in the picture below ...

Then came layer upon layer of various media to create a beautiful distressed effect with faux rust, chipped edges and cracked paint. There was a scary moment when we were all in love with our projects and Andy made us cover the whole thing with Paynes Grey paint EEEEEEKKK but we trusted him and sure enough the paint wiped away to reveal the final result, with just enough dark paint remaining in all the nooks and crannies to bring out all that lovely detail.

Brilliant fun, amazing what you can do with greyboard pieces when you know how :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Forgeries on the Fourth - April Counterfeit Kit

Hello Everyone,

It's the 4th of the month, so it's time to reveal the "forgeries" I made for my April Counterfeit Kit, which I called "Spring is in the Air". Click here to see a video about how I made these ...

The inspiration kit from Button Farm had lots of die-cut elements such as tags, speech bubbles, banners and butterflies...

I loved the fresh, fruity colour scheme and the hand-painted look of some of the papers and cut-aparts, with semi-translucent colours overlapping each other ...

My kit included several Distress Oxide Inks, and I decided that this was the perfect time to use them.

The colours I used were: Cracked Pistachio, Fossilized Amber, Worn Lipstick, Abandoned Coral, and Seedless Preserves. I love how these inks layer over each other and react with water to create such beautiful effects. 

I hope you like my "Forgeries" and enjoy watch my little video. What would you counterfeit from this kit? :o)

Thanks for stopping by today, see you again soon! 

Love Annie xxx

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Message to My Self

Hi Everyone,

Inspired by a lesson with the love Kasia for Wanderlust 2018, I took a photo of myself in the wee small hours of one sleepless night last week and had a go at a self portrait. Kasia encouraged us to write a positive message to ourselves in our hair - so I gave myself crazy wild hair and wrote my message in pink paint pen ...

It was a strange experience, as my drawing seemed to morph through various members of my family - my uncle, my mother, my father, both my sons, back to my uncle again and finally it felt like me. It was a battle which I had to walk away from a few times before I was happy with it, but I'm glad I didn't give up. 

My message to my self is "You are beautiful on the inside" (so don't worry about the funny-looking, baggy old face you wear on the outside) :o)xxx

Thanks for visiting my blog today, see you again soon! 

Love Annie xxx

Staying Cool

Hi everyone,

The monthly challenge over on the GoGoGetaway blog for March was to scraplift this lovely fun page designed by Terri ...

Terri Morris GoGo Getaway March 2018 Challenge

For my page, I changed things up a little bit - only using two photos and starting with plain white paper, but I took the idea of mounting the pictures on tags over to the left over a painty background, adding clustered embellies around them, with a subtitle top left and the main title bottom right ...

My watercolour paint set was used to create the painty background and freehand the word "Cool", which I cut out and doodled around. The tags and flowers were handcut from paper scraps and I mounted the whole thing on a black/white patterned paper to frame it. 

Check out the GoGo blog and Facebook page, you'll find loads of inspiration there and each time you enter the monthly challenge, you'll be entered in the Prize Draw. 

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon! 

Love Annie xxx

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Let's Go Fly a Kite - CSI Case File #251

Hi everyone,

Today is the 1st of April, so it's time for the first Case File of the month over at CSI: Color,Stories, Inspiration. This month, we have a gorgeous, whimsical image to inspire us ...

In order to solve this Case, you can either draw your own inspiration from the Scene, or go to the CSI blog and scroll to the bottom of the reveal to find lots of clues to help you. You will also find some amazing inspiration from the CSI Detectives and all our Guest Designers for this month.

Here's how I solved the case ...

I don't have any llamas in my stash, but I loved the whimsical, hand-painted feel of the inspiration image, so I wanted to capture that in this page featuring my little step-grandson Finley.

I used all the colours in the Scheme; several pieces of Evidence (included solid background, clouds, flowers and stamps; from the Testimony list, I chose to write my journaling directly on the page. 

The only piece of patterned paper I've used here is the little kite, which was cut from a piece of the Crate Paper Carousel collection by Maggie Holmes. The background was washed with watercolour paint; the flowers were stamped in black, coloured with watercolour paint and fussy-cut; the grass was hand-cut from a leftover scrap of watercolour-painted paper. I used dies to cut the clouds and the fence, and of course I fussy-cut Finley from a slightly boring background so I could add him into this whimsical world :o)

Why not have a go at cracking this case yourself?! You have until the end of April, and there are lots of fab prizes to be won. Pop over to the CSI blog or find us on Facebook, for lots of inspiration. 

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon.

Love Annie xxx

Spring is in the Air - my April Counterfeit Kit

Hello everyone,

Welcome to my stop on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog Hop. Hopefully you've arrived here from the CKC blog and your next stop will be Margie. Scroll to the bottom for a full list.

I was very excited when Tina Campbell, one of the Master Forgers over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog, invited me to be a Guest Designer for April :o)

CKC is a fabulous challenge - it really gets you thinking outside of the box and looking at your crafty stash with new eyes. There is always lots of inspiration on the blog, with challenges throughout the month and a link-up so you can share your projects.

The inspiration kit for this month is the Button Farm "Everyday Documented Page Kit" ...

I loved the fresh, juicy colours in the kit and the hand-painted look of some of the papers and embellies. With all the flowers, fruit and butterflies it reminded me of spring (which is just arriving here in the UK), so I've called my version "Spring is in the Air" ...

It's a mixture of old, new and home-made and it's full of stuff I love, so I'm really looking forward to creating some projects with it. 

Let's have a closer look at the details and how I put the kit together. I started with almost my entire collection of Distress Oxide Inks, partly because they happened to be the kinds of colours I wanted to pick up from the inspiration kit, and partly because I really want to start using them more ...

I found some coordination plain cardstocks to get me started, then added in a good old mixture of different patterned papers ...