Friday, 17 May 2019

Lost for words

Another page in my AJ, made with collaged Tomoe River paper, acrylic inks, acrylic paints and Prismacolour pencils ...


Really enjoyed playing with Tomoe River paper for the first time - it takes wet media beautifully but it's so thin and very smooth. It's really meant for pen and ink I believe, but I haven't tried that yet.

The girl in the boat was drawn separately on a scrap of watercolour paper, coloured in, cut out and applied to the page along with torn pieces of collage paper ...


Trouble is, I can't decide whether it needs some words and what the words would be - any ideas??


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Showing my Buttocks!!

Had a go at weaving willow over the Easter weekend with expert tuition from the lovely Emma of Willow Phoenix at Alby Crafts here in Norfolk UK. After a few happy hours sitting in the sunshine with some of my favourite crafting companions, we all had sore thumbs and aching arms, but also the satisfaction of producing something beautiful and useful to take home.

Here's mine (which is genuinely called a "buttocks basket") ...



Although my buttocks are not especially well-formed, I think you can see where it gets its name :o)


We used two different kinds of willow. They were both quite green and they were not stripped of the bark, so there was a lot of variation in the colours, which I loved.


In this one, you can see why my DH said it reminded him of the knickers we used to put over babies' nappies!

This is definitely something I would love to do more of when I have time. Three of my friends made beautiful berry baskets and another made a gorgeous lantern. I also love the idea of creating living willow structures for the garden - another one to add to my list for when I retire :o)

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Blind Selfies with Sketchbook Revival

I recently joined up for Sketchbook Revival 2019, a free online workshop hosted by Karen Abend. For the very first session, Kooje Koene showed us how to create a self portrait, without lifting the pen or looking at the paper.

This was great fun, so I tried it a few times - here are a couple of the more successful attempts ...



Neither of them look like me, but I do like the sketchy quality and I think maybe they've caught a bit of my personality :o)

What do you think?


WOYWW #519

Hello Fellow Deskers,

Sorry I've been AWOL for so long I can't even remember how many weeks, but I'm looking forward to catching up with some of you over the next couple of days. I know there's a big WOYWW 10th Anniversary celebration coming up - I SO wish I could make it and meet you all in person, but I will have to content myself with watching from the wings.

The sun's been shining today, so I've been crafting in the garden - my current obsession is turning old T-shirts into rag rugs ...


Those balls of "yarn" were made from T-shirts I had for years, worn them to the point where it would have been embarrassing to take them to the charity shop, but this way I get to turn them into something useful AND I'm not really letting these old friends go :o)

I'll be back after work to link up over at Julia's and have a snout around to see what everyone else has been up to this week - see you there!

Love Annie xxx

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

GoGo Getaway Fancy Folds

Really enjoyed the "Fancy Folds" GoGo Dayaway at St. Albans last weekend. Gorgeous kits and goodies, lots of techniques and tips from Niki and Kirei AND we came home loaded with leftovers. There was also CAKE - perfect :o)

All of the pages involved some kind of paper-folding technique. As always, I'm not the fastest scrapper on the block, so I had lots of finishing-off to do. Here are my completed pages ...

Folding circles into squares
Cut file with folded-back hearts

Hearts folded into flowers
Pleated paper rosette
Add caption

Origami stars
Folded squares with contrast centres
And last but not least, a heart-shaped squash book made from a cut file, with added flaps to give lots of space for photos ...




And I still have enough love to make some "extra inspiration" pages - brilliant! :o)


CSI Case File #281

Hello everyone,

It's a lovely sunshiney day here in Norfolk UK, really lifts the spirits :o)

I've just realised that I forgot to post my page for Case File #281 when the May Case Files went live over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration. So without further procrastination, here's the inspiration -



If you head over to the reveal post, you'll find lots of clues to help you, or you can just pull your own inspiration from the Scene. I usually choose to follow the clues, because that's how I roll.

So here's my page ...


It was a very easy page to make, as I used a cut file from my Quirky Kit, used the heart to frame this picture of my DH and filled the other letters with scraps of paper, then just added some embellishments and finally wrote my story around the edges of the page.

  • Scheme: all the colours are there.
  • Evidence: plain white background, woodgrain, winged things, frames and potted plant.
  • Testimony: my journaling tells how I love to go away on crafty adventures, but I also love to come home to my DH. He is always so pleased to see me and on this particular day he'd made a chicken casserole to welcome me home - he NEVER cooks, so this was a big deal, and it was DELISH!!

Why not have a go at this challenge yourself? There are some fabulous prizes up for grabs and you have until the end of the month to enter by sharing your page on the CSI facebook page. There are two other May Case Files to choose from and tomorrow there will be another reveal with more inspiration from the DT.

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

Love Annie xxx

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Wanderlust Week 12 and Free Collage Papers

Hi there,

I'm still loving Wanderlust 2019, dipping in and out of the lessons as time allows and the fancy takes me. Last month, the theme was "Rivers" and each teacher interpreted this in a very different way. For Week 12, Kasia inspired us to make a little concertina-type booklet made up of a variety of materials and then just let go and play with lots of different media to add texture and colour.

This was huge fun and I carried on tinkering with it over several days -  it was a great opportunity to try out loads of different media and see how they work together. Mine ended up grungier than I intended. It's difficult to get a picture because of the format, but this gives you some idea ...


Kasia encouraged us not to get too attached, as the idea is to use prompts to continue working on this project, so much of what we've already done will now be covered up. She suggested scanning the pages at this stage and printing off the images to use as collage papers, so I gave it a go and I was way more chuffed with the collage papers than the actual project :o)

My printer was running out of ink, so part way through the images went all purply-blue, which I thought looked really cool ...


Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon! 

Love Annie xxx

Sunday, 7 April 2019

March ScrawlrBox - Colouring In!

Hi there bloggy peeps,

I just finished making this card, using some of the goodies from the March ScrawlrBox ...


The March box was full of fun stuff to play with as always - here's a quick peek ..

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

WOYWW #513 - Trash Dolls

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Peeps,

It's Wednesday, time to link up over at Julia's Stamping Ground forWhat's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

I've been having a fine old time on mine, using up recycled boxes and tubes and lots of hoarded bits and bobs to make .... TRASH DOLLS ...


There are a few more half finished waiting to join them ...


I've also finished crocheting a whole ball of wool into forget-me-nots to go to the hospital, where they will become part of a community artwork to help raise dementia awareness ...


That's it for now, time to pop over to Julia's blog to link up and see what everyone else has been up to - Zsuzsa if you've linked me up already, thank you very much my friend :o)

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon.

Love Annie xxx

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

CSI #278 - Ally Pally

Hi there bloggy peeps,

There are three new Case Files for April over at CSI - you have until the end of the month to submit your entries and there are loads of prizes to be won.

Here's Case File #278 -


You can either draw your own inspiration from the Scene, or if you go to the reveal post over at the CSI blog, you'll find lots of clues to help you and you can check out all the DT pages. 

Here's how I cracked this case -


This page is all about a very happy day at Ally Pally with my friend Trina - here we're taking a break to refuel and showing off some of the goodies we treated ourselves to :o)

I followed the traditional clues, because that's what I love to do -
  • Scheme: all the colours are there, plus a couple extras sprinkled in.
  • Evidence: solid cardstock, sunglasses, google eyes, clouds.
  • Testimony: I was going to do a bullet-pointed list, but it all got too busy so I wrote it around the edges of the page instead.

It was fun piling on all the stickers, diecuts and fussy-cut pieces - inspired by the Scene and also all the fun things we bought that day :o) 

Check out the CSI Facebook page for new inspiration and ideas every day.

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon! 

Love Annie xxx


Saturday, 16 March 2019

Wanderlust Week 11 - Going with the Flow

Hello everyone,

I have enjoyed and learned from every single lesson on Wanderlust 2019 so far, but with some lessons you just can't wait to get started and Week 11 with Laly Mille was one of those.

The new lesson videos are released on Friday mornings and I always look forward to watching them, but it usually takes me several days or even weeks to get around to trying them. However, this time I watched the lesson on Friday morning and finished my page on Friday afternoon - a record for me!

Here's how it turned out ...


Laly encouraged us to "go with the flow" and made it feel really easy to let go and enjoy building layer upon layer of colour and texture using many different types of media. I particularly enjoyed creating the pebbles by tearing collage papers ...


Laly gessoed over her pebbles to knock them back a bit, but I loved them so much that I just couldn't cover them up!

Scraps of paper and cheesecloth were added to the horizon line and we added paints, inks and gesso to bring out the texture ...


After pretty much slavishly following Laly's tutorial, I decided to add my own little touch and used snippets of gelli printed deli paper to make little fish ...


Check out Laly's website, I see that she is offering some free tutorials which I can't wait to have a look at :o)

Thanks for visiting today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Friday, 15 March 2019

CSI Case File # 276 - Hey Beautiful!

Hello my friends,

The mid-month reveal has just gone up over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration - check it out for all the details and loads of inspiration. There are three Case Files to solve each month and you have until Sunday 31st of March to submit your entries and be in with a chance of winning one of the fab prizes.

Here is Case File #276, full of colour and fun elements ...


You can either pull your own inspiration from the Scene, or you can scroll to the bottom of the reveal post to find all the traditional clues. Keep an eye on the FaceBook page for daily ideas and inspiration.

Here's how I solved this case, using the traditional clues because that's what I enjoy doing ...


  • Scheme: most of the colours are there, but I substituted black for the navy and threw in some pink.
  • Evidence: hearts, clouds, sun, string, die cuts.
  • Testimony: inspiration words spirit, fashionable, adorable - my brief journalling is handwritten around the edge of the page. 

I thought this bright, colourful photo of my step-granddaughter Macy striking a cute pose in the paddling pool was perfect for this Case File, and I tried to capture a sense of fun and playfulness. 

The background effect was created with gouache paint splodged and splattered onto Bazzill marshmallow cardstock to give an impression of watery splashes fading into sky, then I tucked in some die cut clouds and sunshine. The "Beautiful" was a cut file which was included in my Quirky Kit last month and I just backed it with pp various scraps. The "hey" was handwritten in marker pen and carefully cut out with a craft knife. As I was in a "cussy-futting" mood, I cut a whole lot of flowers out as well to cluster by the picture and dot around the page. 

You can probably tell that I had a lot of fun with this one. Why not have a go yourself - interpret the Case File any way you like to create a scrapbook page, take a photo and upload it on the CSI community page on FB to be in with a chance to win one of the prizes - you have until Sunday 31st March :o)

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

Love Annie xxx

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

WOYWW #510 - Lost Weeks and Forget-me-Nots.

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Friends,

It's Wednesday, time to show us all What's On Your Workdesk - pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to link up and see what everyone else has been up to this week.

Well, it's been a funny old week ... in fact it's all a bit of a blur now. It was my birthday last Thursday and I was spoiled rotten with lovely cards and presents from friends and family, but unfortunately I had also been given a really nasty virus infection - the gift that keeps on giving! :o)

I am on the mend now, but it really knocked me for six, so I've been signed off for a few more days to rest up and get properly back up on my feet. Last week I didn't feel like doing much at all, but I did manage some sofa crafting and got started on some crocheted forget-me-nots ...


The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, where I work, is asking for people to knit or crochet forget-me-nots. These will become part of a community art project which will go on display in May to raise dementia awareness. I believe similar things are happening in other areas of the country, but here's a link if you would like to find out more about the NNUH project.

Mine are crocheted, it's a really easy pattern - after the first couple you don't even need to look at the pattern any more. You can see that I've braided the long ends of some of the flowers to make them into bookmarks. They also suggest turning them into things like brooches and hairlclips. I can't wait to see what they look like en masse as part of the community art work.

Here's a quick peek at my lovely birthday pressies ...

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Week Seven Wanderlust 2019 - Lost for Words!

Hello my friends in Blogland,

I'm still hopping backwards and forwards with Wanderlust, trying to finish up last month's lessons on the theme of "Faces" before I start on this month's theme, "Rivers". As always, I'm loving and learning from every lesson.

For Week Seven, Marieke Blokland showed us how to doodle faces and then expand on these to create a mixed media art journal page. Here's my AJ page so far ...


I still want to add some wordage, but can't decide what to say just yet, so I'm going to leave it there for now.

It was fun doodling lots of different faces and definitely resulted in a different style to my usual faces which is brilliant. Here are some of my doodles, just scribbled in Inktense pencil which I then "activated" with a water brush to add shadow ...


Thanks for stopping by today, have a peaceful and creative week, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Friday, 1 March 2019

CSI #275 - Love this!

HI everyone,

The March Case Files have been released over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration. There are three altogether, you can do any or all of them, and you have a whole month to submit your entries via the CSI Facebook group to be in with a chance of winning one of the fabulous prizes on offer.

Here's Case File #275 -

No photo description available.

You can choose to draw your own inspiration from the Scene, or you can follow the clues which Debbi has found to inspire us. Scroll to the bottom of the reveal post on the CSI blog to see all the DT pages and find all the clues, or go to the Facebook group, where you'll find an individual album for each Case File - this is where you'll find all the clues and it's also the place to share your finished page.

Here's how I solved Case File #275 -


The handpainted style and zingy colours in the Scene really appealed to me and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to scrap a funny story. I tried to capture the feel of a strip cartoon, inspired by the frames and the words in the Case File.  

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

WOYWW #508

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Friends,

I've missed a few weeks of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - life getting in the way again :o) but I'm back! Join us over at lovely Julia's Stamping Ground and show the world what you've been up to in your creative space this week.

Most of my crafting at the moment is being done at the dining table in between Other Stuff, so I'll show you that, as it's more interest than my actual Workdesk ...


I've been totally obsessed with rolling old newspapers into tubes. There are some wonderfully inspiring tutorials on YouTube showing you how to weave these into baskets - you can see my very first attempts here.


I have a LOT of practising to do before mine look anything like the amazing ones I've seen on YouTube, but even these first efforts are actually useful containers for my craft room.

The colours you see here are just as I found them in the newspapers - you can roll towards the unprinted edge to get plain greyish-white and you quickly learn how to roll in the right direction to make use of any colourful parts in the paper - I found that there are a lot of blues and rusty colours (the old teal-and-orange trick in action I suspect). You can also colour the tubes in various ways before rolling, or paint the baskets when they're finished, and apply various decorative finishes - for example napkin decoupage works well.

The best thing about it though is that all you need is old papers, a kitchen knife, a skewer and some glue - plus something like varnish to finish them. And lots of patience :o)

I'll be at work when this posts itself. If I'm lucky and she's not given up on me, my lovely friend Zsuzsa will link up for me, but otherwise I'll do it when I get home from work this evening. Looking forward to a catch-up snooping session later, see what everyone else has been doing this week.

Thanks for visiting me today, see you at Julia's!

Love Annie xxx

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Wanderlust 2019 Week Five - Backwards and Forwards

Hello Everyone,

I'm loving Wanderlust 2019, enjoying all the different teachers with their varied styles and approaches and learning different techniques and ideas with every lesson.

This month, the theme is "Faces". For some reason I jumped in and did Week Six with Marjie Kemper straight away (see the post immediately before this one if you're interested), then went back to Week Five with Kasia Avery. I will come back to this again but here's how it looks now ...


Kasia showed us how to start by sticking down a face cut from a magazine, then painting over the top. Here's mine before I started painting the face ...


After a coat of clear gesso, I worked with gouache, mixing all the colours from a very limited palette, which is something I need to practice more. I love gouache, to me it has the translucency of watercolours combined with the body and vibrancy of acrylics. I did use some white acrylic as well, then did the lettering with paint pens.

The dark outline around the figure was water-soluble Inktense pencil - as soon as I did that I regretted it, because it made it look "stuck-on" again. Might try and get rid of that when I come back to it.

Meanwhile, I jumped forward again to make a start on Week Seven with Marieke Blokland, who showed us how to create easy doodled faces. Here are my funny faces ...


I decided to use Ink Black Inktense pencil - I love how it's SO black, and then you can just use a water brush to give some shading. Now I'm planning to spend a happy afternoon turning one or two of these into a double AJ spread.

WAtch this space :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Friday, 15 February 2019

Wanderlust 2019 Week Six

Hello Everyone,

I've been catching up on my Wanderlust 2019 pages. Week Six was a lesson with Marjie Kemper which was lots of fun, really encouraging me to get out a few supplies I had not used in ages and just enjoy the process. At first it felt like I was just making a very colourful mess, but I was happy with the page that eventually emerged ...


I enjoyed using sprays and then stencilling with inks in the same colours to create layers and I loved how the sprays worked over stencilled texture paste. Marjie's idea to use tags to create little pockets to hold secret messages was really cool. I didn't have a glamourous face stencil or stamp, so I used this skull, as a reminder that life is not a dress rehearsal :o)

The next day at work, my hands were still black and blue with ink, but it was SO worth it!!

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon.

Love Annie xxx



GoGo Weekend is GoneGone!!

Hello Bloggy Friends,

You know how it is when you're looking forward to something for SO long and then it whizzes by and in the blink of an eye it's all over? That happened to me last weekend when my good friend Trina and I went off on a GoGoGetaway - two whole days of scrapbooking classes just flashed past.

As always, we came home with loads of goodies and kit leftovers and mine are still unpacked - here they are sitting on my workdesk ...


We got to take the handy carry case home with all our kit leftovers and UFOs inside, as well as the very very cute bamboo reusable coffee cup which I love, and some chocolates for doing the feedback form. I was also very lucky to win the challenge - the prize was a pack of Lawn Fawn goodies which are spread over the top of the storage case in the photo.

The challenge was to make a page inspired by a sketch - I made mine a week ahead but forgot to bring it with me, so had to ask DH to take a photo and send it to me so that I could show the GoGo - so I felt double-lucky when my name was pulled out of the bag.

Here's my page, showing some photos taken at our wedding reception, when all the guests were copying little Bailey's dance moves - he was so chuffed, it was brilliant :o)


Well, thanks for visiting my blog today, I hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend whatever you're doing and wherever you're doing it. See you again soon!

Love Annie xxx

Saturday, 2 February 2019

CSI Case File #272 - Big Smile Say G!N

HI everyone,

The February Case Files have been released over at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration - you can find all the details and check out pages made by the CSI detectives and guest designers over at the CSI blog, plus daily inspiration and ideas on the CSI Facebook page.

There are LOADS of fab prizes to be won, three different Case Files to choose from and you have until the end of the month, so why not give it go? You can now enter by sharing your pages on the CSI Facebook group so it's easy for everyone to join in.

Here's Case File #272 ...


You can either draw your own inspiration from the image, or you can follow the traditional clues which you can find if you scroll to the bottom of the February Case Files blog post. I always enjoy following the clues so that's how I solved this case ...


Image may contain: 2 people, including Annie Claxton, people smiling

I love this happy photo of me and my mate Maggie taken in Cornwall in around 2007. We were gin connoisseurs long before it became fashionable as it is today :o)

Here are the clues I followed:
Scheme: all the colours are there, but I chose brighter shades of green and red.
Evidence: dots, border, leaves, birds, string, wood.
Testimony: I had intended to make a tiny book for my journaling, but I forgot!!

So that's mine, looking forward to seeing how you solve this month's Case Files :o)

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon.

Love Annie xxx

Friday, 1 February 2019

Wanderlust 2019 Week Four - "Think"

Hello everyone,

I can't believe it's Friday again, a new Wanderlust lesson just came out - better quickly post a pic of my effort for last week, when Kasia showed us how to start with a collage and then add a soft cloudy effect with acrylic paint to create a backdrop for our chosen word of the year.

It was so much fun making the clouds that I got a bit carried away and covered up most of my background papers, but you can still see the focal images which came from the gorgeous printable ephemera collection put togetherby Eliza Trojanowska for Wanderlust 2019.

Anyway, here's my effort, featuring my word for this year ...


The scribbled text reads, "What do you really want? What do you really need? What will the consequences be?" which is my mantra for 2019.

Thanks for stopping by today, see you again soon!

Love Annie xxx