Thursday 17 November 2011


Sunday was the local Hopeman crop, an enjoyable afternoon full of chat, laughs, tea, cakes and of course a wee bit of crafting!!!

I'd taken a couple of page kits, and managed to complete one layout (apart from title and journalling) and half finished a second layout.

This is the layout I almost completed at the crop, after I had added the title and journalling at home :)

I used a 8.5 x 11 horizontal PageMap from November 2011. The photo is of my Grandparents, taken whilst on holiday in Eastbourne around 1952.

The papers I used are from Pink Paislee. I love double sided papers! I had fun decorating the circles with punched butterflies and tiny flowers. I added a bit of handstitching to finish things off.



Monday 14 November 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 187 :: On a log

This week over at Nuts About Sketches, Shawn has created a beautiful one page sketch. Sometimes I just love to have a single photo on a page, especially when it is a favourite photo of mine. The sketch called for a 5 x 7 photo, but I just matted a 4 x 6 photo onto a piece of 5 x 7 cardstock ;)

The photo is one of my favourites of Tom and Jemma, and was actually taken with a wet film SLR camera. I would love a DSLR one day, although I know I cannot justify one right now, from both a financial and an ability perspective. From the roll of film I took, maybe 3 or 4 photos were any good LOL. Never mind. The "photo shoot" (in the loosest terms of the phrase) took place at Roseisle, in August 2006. My kids never stick to the paths, always ending up in the middle of the forest as they seek out things to climb on. This fallen tree didn't escape lightly LOL.

I used Bazzill Basics Kraft cardstock, and papers from American Crafts, Prima Marketing and My Mind's Eye. The title was made with raw chipboard alphas from PaperMania, which were inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink, and then covered in brown Stickles. The tiny alphas are from Making Memories.
The leaves were from my stash, and the butterflies were made using a Martha Stewart punch. I added some stitching, using a Bazzill InStitchz template, and a length of green rik rak finished it all off.

Please head over to the blog to see the other beautiful layouts from the rest of the Design team!



Wednesday 9 November 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 186 :: Special Day

This week, the sketch over at Nuts About Sketches was a fantastic 2 pager. As ever, Shawn manages to fit lots of photos on the sketch without it looking cluttered. I was drawn to using some old photos again this week - I am really going through a heritage phase just now!

These photos are of my Mum's Christening Day. I love all the photos of her with the close family - with her parents (my Nana and Papa), Little Gran (Great Grandma), Big Gran and Grandpa (my other Great Grandparents) and Auntie Nellie (sister of Little Gran).
The originals of these photos only measure 2.5 x 3.5, so when I scanned them in I decided to keep close to the original size, and just scale down the size of the layout instead. So this is an 8 x 8 double page spread :)
I used My Mind's Eye papers again - a bit of Lost and Found with a bit of Stella and Rose thrown in :) I used Martha Stewart punches for the butterflies and the border.  The letter stickers are PaperMania, and the gems are from Kaisercraft.

Head over to the blog to see what the rest of the girls have been creating!



Tuesday 8 November 2011

November PageMaps sample:: Walk

About a year ago, I put my name forward to Becky Fleck over at PageMaps to say that I would like to be considered to do a sample layout for the monthly newsletter and website. I didn't think anymore about it, until October when an email came from Becky asking if I was still interested in doing a layout, and it was for the November PageMaps reveal? Interested? Boy, was I ever!!! PageMaps has been my go to sketch site since forever LOL, and it was the first sketch site I ever found. It was a long time before I realised that there were other sketches out there, so Becky has been like a sketch Goddess to me for many years. To be asked was such a big thing for me!!

So after I had finished running roung the house like a mad woman, and stopped chanting OMG over and over again, I got down to the nitty gritty and made my page. And I must say, that I love this layout. Simple it may be, but oh my, I just love it! Thanks Becky, for your great sketch!

As you can see, I was given a 8.5 x 11 Map to work with. I just flipped the sketch, as the photos were placed on the left hand side of the sketch, and  I have a thing about people looking off the page...

The photos show my Mum (aged about 16 months) walking along a wall holding  my Great Grandfather's hand. This is the guest house they were staying at whilst on holiday in Eastbourne in 1949. I have a whole album of these kind of photos to work through, and I love seeing the family connections.

I used some of the beautiful My Mind's Eye papers from the Stella and Rose collection - I am loving this colour combination at the moment, especially on my heritage layouts. I made the rosette using an edging strip from one of the papers, and scored it at 0.5 cm intervals using my Hougie board. The title was done with American Crafts Lullaby foam Thickers - I coloured them using a ProMarker (Cool Grey 5) and then added Black Diamond Stickles on top to add some texture.

I'd also like to say a big thank you to Francine, for featuring me as Inspiration du Jour over at today!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today, I hope you enjoyed your visit :)



Thursday 6 October 2011

Sassy Send Off sketch :: Horsing Around

It was sadly announced last week, that Cherie and Katie were closing Sassy Lil' Sketches :(

As a farewell send off, the blog is revealing a sketch a day from 2nd to 9th October. This is my layout for sketch #5.

These are photographs from 1949. They show my Nana and a family friend Edith enjoying a pony ride at Yarmouth. This is the same Edith that ended up shoving confetti down the back of my wedding dress.... I love these photos, they both look like they are having so much fun!

I switched it up a bit, by doing a 8.5 x 11 page, and kept the photos as rectangles to keep the ratios looking right. I also only used 3 photos, replacing the 4th with patterned paper to hold my journalling.

I used Bazzill cardstock, and all the papers are from Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker. The border was done using a Martha Stewart border punch, and the banner was cut from the patterned paper.

There are Sassy Lil' Sketches E-books up for grabs as prizes this week - one for each of the sketches, so 8 in total! To be in with a chance, link up your layout or card using a sketch from this week onto the blog by 23rd October.

I'd just like to say thank you to Cherie and Katie, for giving me my first Design Team spot, and by providing me with so much inspiration and support during my time with them, and wish them all the best for the future.  I will miss Cherie's sketches, and the rest of the Sassy girls :(



Monday 26 September 2011

Nuts About Sketches Week 180 :: 1952

"One hundred and eiiiiiiiiiighty!!!!" LOL. I blame my Dad for this one, he made us endure the watching of darts games when we were kids. I can't see 180 without hearing Sid Waddell in my head...

So, over at Nuts About Sketches, this week is sketch 180, and it is a double page sketch. I took the right hand side of the sketch as my guide for today's page.

These are photos from an old album my Mum brought me from my Nana's house in the summer. The photos are of my Grandparents, and my Mum aged 4, on their holiday at Eastbourne in August 1952. These photos are gorgeous, and there are a few more like it in the album, including a beautiful one of my grandparents together. I don't know if they were taken by a photographer, or by my Great-grandfather, as my Papa's parents were also on holiday with them.
Another thing my Mum brought me was an album full of postcards that belonged to my Great Aunt Nellie. It seemed quite a tradition to send her a postcard, and she kept alot of them. I found a postcard sent from my grandparents to Auntie Nellie from this trip to Eastbourne, so I scanned in both sides and printed out copies to add to the layout. I love that I have my Nana's handwriting on postcards, and love reading them.

I used papers from My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose collection for the layout, adding a title using American Crafts Thickers, and some Prima flowers and buttons from my stash. I inked all the edges using a Colorbox chalk ink pad in Charcoal.

Please hop over to the blog to see what the rest of the DT have done with this weeks sketch!

Thanks for stopping by!!



Thursday 22 September 2011

Hi de Hi!!!

Ho de Ho!! I know this will stump many of my readers, but all will become clearer soon, I promise ;)

I realised that I didn't share the layout I used for the Nuts About Sketches DT call, using the sketch provided by Shawn.

These are photos are of my Gran and Grandad, at Butlin's Holiday Camp inthe 1950's.  Butlin's was the inspiration for the 1980's BBC sitcom "Hi De Hi" - hence the title. My Grandparents went there on holiday many times when my Dad and Aunt were children - to Skegness, Minehead and many of the other camps, most of which are no longer open. I think his experiences as a child made my Dad adamant that we were never going to Butlin's on holiday, but I think that is just because of the person he is.  In fact, the only time he took us to one, was on a day trip to Skegness for my birthday one year. My Grandparents were different animals - very sociable, and enjoyed going to the evening shows and doing the daft games. I would have loved to have gone with them, just once...

I used papers from W R Memory Keepers, and did quite a lot of handstitching! I love the summery colours of the papers, and having black and white photos means you don't have any clashing with the photos!



Wednesday 21 September 2011

Having a Ball

The first Sunday in September I went to our local crop. After having a summer break it was really good to see the crafty girls again, to sit, chat and eat cake and do the odd bit of crafting!! I decided that I wanted to scrap some photos from the Mess Summer Ball, and picked out one of Allison Davis's fab sketches from Sketch Support. This is Two Page sketch #17.

The Mess was dotted with lots of polystyrene props, which just screamed out for photo ops! And we actually took a camera with us for once. We have never taken a camera to a ball in the 20 years Mark has been in the RAF. Don't know why, it just never really occured to us! But it was the best idea we've had in a long time, as we got some great shots from the night.

I used Bazzill kraft cardstock for the base, and the papers are from My Mind's Eye Stella and Ruby collection. I actually bought the papers with these photos in mind, from my LSS! They matched my dress!!
Instead of the large star shape on the sketch I used a shaped paper, and substituted the smaller stars with circles. I handstitched through the circles to mimic the sketch. I cut some of the title from cardstock using the Sizzlit Nouveau alphabet dies, and the "BALL" is a BasicGrey raw chipboard alphabet that I painted with yellow paint, and then added Waterfall Stickles to them afterwards.

It's been a while since I have used one of Allison's sketches, and I forgot how easy they make putting a 2 page layout together. I love this layout, even with photos of me on it, and I know that I will keep going back to Sketch Support for more sketches!



Tuesday 20 September 2011

Sassy Lil' Sketches September week 3 :: Up, up and away

Tuesday in my house means grocery shopping day, although today it also means that it is time for a new sketch over at Sassy Lil' Sketches!

I will admit that I had a bit of a struggle with this sketch. I think it was something to do with the cloud shapes that Cherie had put into the top third of the sketch, and it threw me a bit! In the end I decided to substitute the clouds for some kites, and found some kite flying photos that I hadn't scrapped yet.

I swirled white and pale blue inks directly onto the kraft cardstock to make a sky, and handcut some kite shapes (picking out our coat colours) which I then adhered to the "sky" using foam pads. I added some handstitching for the tails. The rest of the layout was pretty straightforward after that :) The green paper was punched with a Martha Stewart edging punch, and the title was cut from funky foam using the Sizzlit Chunkadelic alphabet dies. I added my strip journalling to the top right hand corner, and added some more handstitching to finish it all off.

As usual, this month we have a couple of sponsors who are generously donating prizes. To be in with a chance, upload your layout using the sketch by the 5th October onto the blog :)

Our sponsors this month are:

Authentique Paper


Head over to the blog to see what the rest of the week 3 Sassies have done with the sketch, and check back on Saturday to see how the Switch it up gals have ...err...switched it up...



Monday 19 September 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 179 ::Confetti

Monday comes around so soon!! Time for another of Shawn's amazing sketches over at Nuts About Sketches! This week she has a great sketch to share!

This is a photo from my wedding, in 1994. I think this is only the second photo I have scrapped from that day, mainly because I do not like photos with me in them, and obviously quite a lot of my wedding photos have me in them...LOL. This was in my Gran's photograph box that I inherited when she died. I do actually like this photo, but more for the memories rather than the actual photo IYKWIM.
In the photo I look like someone has stuck a ferret down my back... but in fact, it was Auntie Edith shoving handfuls of confetti down the back of my dress! Edith was a bit of a mischief maker, someone who always had a twinkle in her eye. She wasn't an actual Aunt of mine, but a friend of my Nana and Papa - they met Edith and her husband Lawrence on holiday in Yarmouth in 1949 and became firm friends. My Mum used to visit Edith every week when we went to swimming club training, and she still writes to Rosemary, their daughter.
If I'd have known what she was going to do, I'd have tried to make it so she wasn't behind me... I left a trail of confetti everywhere I walked for the rest of the day, and still found it in my underwear that night!!!

I used My Mind's Eye papers on this page - nice glittery papers - and the cardstock is Bazzill Basics. I handcut out the leaves after stamping a PaperTrey Ink stamp onto cardstock with Crushed Olive Distress Ink. The flowers are Prima (I think) and the chipboard letters are Thickers from American Crafts.

Check out the blog to see what the rest of the design team did with the sketch!



Monday 5 September 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 177 :: Take a bow

This week is the first reveal from the new Design Team over at Nuts About Sketches,and I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful team! This week is a great one page sketch, designed as ever by Shawn.

These photos are of me and my Mum, taken on her birthday in 1973. I was 8 months old. Apparently her and my Dad decided that it would be funny to put a gift bow on my head.... And then took photographic evidence of my reaction...

I used scraps up to do this layout - the patterned paper is actually from a Christmas collection by Gin-X. The cardstock is from Bazzill basics. The flowers are all from Making Memories - Noteworthy. I took 3 of the tulle flowers in the pack and sewed them together to make a centre for the felt flowers. The leaf sprays are a PaperTrey Ink stamp, which were stamped onto American Craft cardstock, and then hand cut out. The title alphas are also American Crafts - Chipboard Thickers. I used ribbon, brads and buttons from my stash.

Please head over to the blog to see what the brand new Design Team have created using the sketch, you are definitely going to be inspired!!



Thursday 1 September 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 176 :: White water rafting

This week's sketch over at Nuts About Sketches is a great 2 pager. I love how Shawn manages to get so many photos onto her sketches!

These are photos taken on our white water rafting trip that we took in July. We went with G2, and Charlie and Sarah were great guides. They always take a waterproof camera with them, and emailed us the photos they took of our trip. They are a bit blurry and pixelated, but they still show what a great time we had.

I kept the colours simple with this, sticking to red, black and white and a kraft background. I swapped one of the photos out for journalling space. The title is cut from funky foam, using the Sizzlit Nouveau alphabet dies. I added a few clusters of buttons as embellishments.

Head over to the blog to see what the rest of the design team has done with the sketch!



Wednesday 31 August 2011

Sugar Bowl challenge 66

I used to make a lot of cards. A lot. Now, I don't make so many. But every now and again I get a card making itch that I just have to scratch. And I like to use a sketch for my cardmaking as well as my scrapbooking. The latest challenge over at the Sugar Bowl took my fancy. Marlena has done a great sketch, and the theme of "for the girls" fitted in  nicely as I wanted to make a card for my sister-in-law's birthday.

My sister-in-law has a thing for rabbits - they have several bunnies, as well as guinea pigs, in hutches in their back garden. I had exhausted my Little Cotton Rabbits stamps over previous years, so decided to invest in a new Sassy - Bad Hare Day.

I coloured her in with ProMarkers, and played with the new fine nib set I got last week. I am not the neatest when it comes to colouring in, so these fine nibs are just perfect for me especially when it comes to the more detailed images. I think I made her look a bit Amy Pond-ish LOL

The patterned papers are from the PaperMania "Summer Bloom" collection, and the cardstock is from Bazzill. The circle behind the image was embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder. The buttons are also from PaperMania, and the sentiment stamp is from Personal Impressions.



Monday 22 August 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 175 :: Kayak

Another new sketch designed by Shawn is up over at Nuts About Sketches. If you love circles, then you'll love this sketch!!

These photos were taken after a kayak activity at the watersports centre at Loch Insh. As we were all in kayaks, we couldn't take the camera with us to get photos. Afterwards, we walked past where the kayak were being stored on the lakeside, and I really liked how they looked on their rack. So I took what Mark calls an "arty shot". Then I got photos of everyone stood or sat by a kayak! So we got photos of us with kayaks after all!! And yes, there is one of me, and no I didn't want to use it...

The patterned paper is from WR Memory Keepers, and the little bow shaped patterns on the paper reminded me a bit of butterflies, so I cut out some from the leftover paper, added a tiny button in the centre, and added them as my embellishments. I added a sun to the top of the layout to continue the circle theme, and to pick out the lovely bright yellow kayak in the photo. I added some hand stitching for the rays, using DMC floss. I added a hand stitched border round the main photo as well. The title was cut from white funky foam, using the Sizzlits Chunkadelic alphabet dies. I added my journalling on strips of kraft cardtock, as per usual ;)

Head over to the blog to see what the rest of the Design Team have come up with using this really fun sketch!

And speaking of the Design Team, take a look here at the new Design Team for Nuts About Sketches that was announced last week - and I have been chosen to continue for another term!! I am thrilled to be able to continue working with Shawn and her fab sketches. It really is a lot of fun...


Well, the kids are back into the school routine. Jemma thoroughly enjoyed her first week at "big big school" - "awesome" was her reply of choice when asked about any aspect of her school day.... And long may that continue. Tom was glad to be back to school too, and he has fallen back in with his class mates and teacher (who he has had before) with ease. He loves school. Again, long may it continue....
I am back to work this week, so we shall see how the new work routine fits in with the school one.... Plus I am off to the Big Smoke at the end of the week, to check my wiring. So all in all, an interesting week...



Tuesday 16 August 2011

Sassy Lil' Sketches August week 3 :: Call me

It's my first reveal of the new term for me at Sassy Lil' Sketches, and I have moved!! Instead of being on the 7th of the month, I am now a week 3 Sassy, so my reveals are now the third Tuesday of every month!

This is my layout using the great sketch Cherie provided.

This photo of Jemma was taken on her 5th birthday, about a month after we had returned to the UK from our posting to Gibraltar. Sitting on the stairs was still a novelty for her - she had lived in a ground floor flat since the age of 10 months, so wasn't used to them at all. When the grandparents phoned to speak to her, she took the cordless phone and promptly sat on the stairs in this pose, as if she had always done it!!

I based my layout around a Fancy Pants acetate overlay I had - it fitted the sketch perfectly. Not one to make my life easy, I decided to stitch over some of the swirls on the overlay. I like how it turned out, plus the added bonus was that the stitching fixed the acetate on the cardstock, so I didn't have to find a way of hiding any adhesive! The patterned papers are also Fancy Pants.  I made a few handmade flowers,and added a few brads. I used a Martha Stewart border punch under the photo, and American Crafts glitter Thickers for the title. The ever present strip journalling finished the layout.

As always, there are a couple of sponsors offering prizes this month. To be in with a chance, link up your layout based on the week 3 sketch on the blog by the 5th September.

Our sponsors this month are.....
Our digital sponsor, Sassy Studio Designs

Our paper sponsor, Apron Strings Designs

Go and check out the blog to see what the rest of the week 3 Sassy girls have been creating, and be sure to check back on Saturday to see what the Switch it Up girls have done with the sketch! Not forgetting, a new card sketch is revealed on Thursday too!

Sassy Lil' Sketches also has released a sketch Ebook this week, head over here to find out more!



Monday 15 August 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 174:: I spy from the London Eye

Monday morning again, and time for another new sketch over at Nuts About Sketches!  This week Shawn has provided a fantastic 2 page sketch, and I had great fun with it!

These photos were taken in October 2010, on our trip to London. We had ridden the London Eye before, but it is always a great experience, especially when the visibility is as clear as the day we went. You could literally see for miles and miles. We had my brother-in-law with us as a guide (he lives in Central London) and he pointed out all the landmarks to us. We even managed to spy his apartment!

I used American Crafts travel themed papers throughout - I love that they have a sheet with a London Tube map on it, just perfect for my London pages! I made the scalloped edge to my cardstock using a corner rounder, and cut the title from black funky foam using the Sizzlit Chunkadelic alphabet dies. The ribbon is also American crafts, as is the badge embellishment. I also cut a ticket from white card using the Tim Holtz ticket strip die to add to the cluster. I finished it off with some strip journalling.

Head over to the blog for more inspiration from the rest of the Design Team!


Today is officially the last day of the school holidays, and the kids are spending it sailing in Findhorn Bay. All the uniforms are ready, shoes are shiny, bags are packed. Just need to make sure the alarms are set tonight so they get up in time!! I cannot believe the summer has gone so fast, only seems five minutes since they were finishing up for the summer....



Sunday 14 August 2011

Sassy Lil' Sketches Ebook

At Sassy Lil' Sketches, we are happy to announce the first Sassy Lil' Sketches Ebook has been released!

The Sassy Lil' Sketches Ebook features about 70 brand new sketches designed by Cherie Averill!

You'll find sketches for layouts with one, two, three & multiple photos! You'll even find double page sketches! Plus, sample layouts from talented designers that will spark your creativity!

Most of the sketches use standard photo sizes (4x6, 5x7, 8x10). To get extra mileage out of the sketches, switch it up! Use the sketches to create cards, double pagers, etc.! If you need ideas for "switching it up", check out the cards in the Sample Layouts section or stop by the Sassy Lil' Sketch blog on Saturdays.

The Sassy Lil' Sketches Ebook is available for online viewing or you can easily download and print it. It's your choice!

Visit to get the Sassy Lil' Sketches Ebook & get scrapping!

If you look closely on page 30, you may see a familiar name.... Yep, I was asked to do a sample layout for the Ebook! I've had a sneak peek of the book, and it looks fantastic! I cannot wait to use some of these new sketches!

So, go on, what are you waiting for....???



Monday 8 August 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 173 ::This girl

Another week over, and it's time for another new sketch over at Nuts About Sketches. I was really pleased with how this layout came together, and I think it is one of my favourite pages I've done this year!

 This photo of Jemma was taken in November 2007, so she would have been 8 years old. It doesn't seem 5 minutes ago, and hard to believe that she is younger in this photo than Tom is now. For the journalling I wrote a few bits about her that would have related to her at age 8. Alot of them still are relevant today LOL.

I tried to pick out the colours in the photo, and was very pleased with the result. The papers are from Sassafrass, and Prima Marketing. The doily (under the journalling) came from my local scrapbooking shop, and I inked it with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen. The cardstock is a mix of Bazzill and American Crafts. The title alphas are Scenic Route chipboard, and the buttons are all PaperMania. I edged the cardstock with some hand stitching, and kept the embellishments simple.

Head over to the blog to see what the rest of the girls have been doing with the sketch - I defy you not to be inspired!!

This week is the last full week of the school holidays and I've got the dreaded school shopping to do. On the list are new school shoes, school bags and new school stationary. I think the shoes are going to be the hard bit.... especially for Jemma... Picky 12 year old anyone???



Wednesday 3 August 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 172 :: Moving on

Shawn has designed another great 2 page sketch this week over at Nuts About Sketches, and I knew that I had to use the photos I took of my daughter's last day at Primary School.

There are a few "traditions" on the Primary 7's last day. The whole school come out about 15 minutes before the bell, and they march round the playground to the sound of bagpipe music. The P7's then go in the centre of the playground, and the school makes a circle around them. Then they all count down the last 10 seconds to the bell. The P7's tie their school ties to a signpost by the school gate. They usually come to school with silly hair and odd socks, and they all wear a shirt that they go round and get signatures on. Then after school, they go to the harbour and jump in the water. It was a fun last day, before the hard work begins at High School in August!

I used W R Memory Keepers  and Scenic Route papers on this layout, Bazzill cardstock and a felt alphabet from PaperMania for the title. I kept the embellishments simple (a strip of ribbon and some buttons) as the photos tell it all!!

Check over on the Nuts About Sketches blog to see how the rest of the Design Team interpreted the sketch. We'd love to see your take on it too, so link it up for us to see!!



Monday 25 July 2011

Nuts About Sketches Week 171 :: Al Fresco!

It's time for another new sketch over at Nuts About Sketches, and this week there is a great one page sketch designed by Shawn.

Living in the far North of Scotland means that al fresco dining is a bit of a novelty! The weather isn't always our friend, and when it is, we try to make the most of it. On a trip to Lossiemouth, we decided to use one of the outside tables at La Caverna. It overlooks the beach, and the views that day were more like the Mediterranean than Moray!! Tom also seemed to have a thing about the sachets of sauce on the table, and HP sauce managed to make it's way into at least 2 of the photos.... Talk about product placement...!!!

I flipped the sketch, to make it fit with my photos - I hate having people look off the page LOL. I finally managed to used up some very old Sassafrass paper (back when it was called Sassafrass Lass!) on this page, as it matched in with all the colours in the photos (my DH is very comfortable, by the way,  wearing a bright cerise pink t-shirt) and gave the page a nice summery feel. The flowers were cut from the Accent Essentials Cartridge on my Cricut, layered up and fastened with a jumbo brad. They remind me of the Livingstone daisies I have growing in my garden.

Head over to the blog and see what the rest of the Design Team has done, their work is fantastic!



Sunday 24 July 2011

Nuts About Sketches Week 170 :: Findhorn

Week 170 sketch over at Nuts About Sketches, and it's a great double page sketch. I loved this sketch - it uses mainly 4x6 photos (which I use alot) and particularly landscape 4x6 photos (which I tend to take alot of).

These photos are of Findhorn - a seaside village not far from my home. Until we moved to Hopeman, Findhorn was the closest beach to our house.  We spent a lot of time on the beach there, having a coffee at the cafe by the Marina, having a meal at one of the pubs, walking through the woods to the wind turbines, jumping off the sand dunes. There are lots of great memories around this village for our family. I wanted to do a sort of tribute to the village, so I looked out my favourite photos of Findhorn.

I used up some scraps of "seaside-y" colours, and kept the background nice and neutral with kraft cardstock. I stitched round the papers and title block with DMC thread to add some dimension. I wanted to keep the layout quite simple to show the photos, so I just used a couple of quotation stickers as the only embellishments.

It's been a while since I've done a double layout, but I think that I will be trying to do a few more!!



Wednesday 20 July 2011

Sassy Lil' Sketches DT

I am proud to announce that I have been chosen to stay on the Sassy Lil' Sketches DT for another term!!

Katie and Cherie have mixed it up a bit this time, with layout sketches being posted every Tuesday, card sketches posted every Thursday, and a brand new "Switch it Up" feature every Saturday!

I will be moving to Week 3, and joining a new group of gals, and I can't wait to start on the new sketches!!

Head over to the Sassy Lil' Sketches blog for the full announcement, and see who else made the team!

Thanks Katie and Cherie!

Sunday 17 July 2011

Nuts About Sketches week 169 :: Pickles

Another DT layout for Nuts About Sketches, this time using week 169's sketch.

I don't have many 5x7 photographs, but sometimes if I see a photo I really like when I am uploading to Photobox, I order a 5x7 copy of it. This is one of those photos. This is our cat, Pickles. She is a 4 year old moggy - and a very fluffy moggy at that. Over the years she has collected a few nicknames, so I wanted to record them.

I didn't want to go down the themed paper route for this layout - I don't actually have that much themed paper anyway - so I went down the white-on-white route. I made all the flowers myself using Natasha's flower turorials, and then handcut the leaf sprigs. The scalloped square was done using a Crafter's Workshop template - I handstitched the outline, and then cut round the stitching afterwards. I added half a doily, and cut the title from foam using my Sizzlit Nouveau alpha before adding some Frosted Lace Stickles to it.

My camera skills aren't that great, so the layout in real life doesn't look as washed out as my photo!



Nuts About Sketches week 168 :: Dad's Plane

I am doing a bit of a catch up today, with  DT layouts for the Nuts About Sketches sketch blog.

This is week 168's sketch, and it was a 2 pager, but I chose the right hand side of the sketch to do a single page layout. You can find the full sketch here.

These photos were taken at the Friends and Family Day at RAF Kinloss in 2006. The kids always wanted to go and have a look around the Nimrod - Dad's Plane. They liked to go and sit in his seat, look at all the kit he worked on, and even look at the toilet! Sitting in the pilot's seat wasn't as much fun, as that wasn't Dad's seat...  I enjoyed it too, as I could visualize when he was at work, what he was doing, where he was doing it etc.

The Nimrod Mk2 was a big part of our lives. Yes, it's interior may have been held together by bits of bodge tape, but it did it's job and it kept my husband safe for 15 years. Unfortunately, not everyone was as lucky as I was, and the loss of an aircraft over Afghanistan in 2007 started a chain of events that eventually led to the retirement of all the Mk2 aircraft. The proposed replacement aircraft - the MRA4 - was scrapped by the government in October 2010, leaving Mark with an uncertain future. It still is uncertain. All of the aircraft have been broken up, so all we are left with is photos and memories of this magnificent aircraft, and a keyring.  No, the Nimrod certainly wasn't a pretty thing, and it certainly wasn't a quiet thing either - but it still brought a lump to my throat to see it in the air, to hear the roar of the Spey engines, and to see and smell the huge amount of smoke it kicked out the back...!!! It has always been beautiful to me, and always will be.

We don't know if there will be another "Dad's Plane". I really hope there is, as for Mark to be able to go flying again would be great. He loved the flying aspect of his job, he joined the Air Force to fly and see the world. Yes, he has been lucky to do that, but flying a desk doesn't really have the same appeal somehow.



Thursday 7 July 2011

Sassy Lil' Sketches - July 7th sketch :: My boys

It's the 7th of the month, which means it's time for another sketch over at Sassy Lil' Sketches!!

As always, we have a couple of generous sponsors this month, who have given SLS some prizes to give away. To be in with a chance to win a prize, just play along with us this month - link up your layout using any of July's sketches on the main blog!

This month we are being sponsored by  

Now for my layout for this month....

Yes, these are my boys!!! Big and Little....LOL.  I took Cherie's sketch, and rotated it 90 degrees, and then adjusted the elements until it looked just right LOL. I love this photo of Mark and Tom, taken in the summer of 2004. They are sat on the roundabout at the park in Syston - the village where Mark grew up. It was pretty cool to see the kids playing on the park we played on as kids (Mark more than I, as I lived in the next village. But we did stop there sometimes on the way back from the Doctor's Surgery...)

I used a dinner plate as a template for the stitched circle, and scraps of Jillibean Soup and Fancy Pants papers. The spiral arrow is from Maya Road, and I coloured it in with a ProMarker before coating it in Glossy Accents to give it a shiny appearance. The other two chipboard elements are also from Maya Road, and I added Stickles to those after coloring them in with ProMarkers. The loopy cardstock border is from Bazzill Basics, as is the kraft cardstock. The title is a mix of American Crafts Thickers, and Scenic Route chipboard alphas. I Stickled the chipboard... I don't know what came over me that day, all this glitter on a boys page LOL.

Please head over to the blog to see what the other 7th Sassies have done with the sketch - lots of inspiration from the girls this month!



Thursday 30 June 2011

Teachers gifts

I can't believe it is that time of year already. So where has the year gone? It only seems 5 minutes since Tom decided that he was big enough to walk to school by himself, and that Jemma was looking forwards to her class residential trip to the Loch Insh Watersports Centre...  And now, she is ready to go up to the High School, and Tom is looking forward to starting Primary 5, in August.

Both the children have ended the year with different teachers to which they started. Tom's teacher had a fall in the autumn, and fractured her hip. Jemma's teacher gained a permanent position at another school (he was only a stand in teacher). But although they loved their original teachers, their replacements have been fantastic.

I made a card for Tom's teacher, to go along with her gift. I thought I would use my new Sizzlit Owl die. I asked Tom to find out what his teacher's favourite colours were, and he came home and told me "white". Seriously??? "Well, her car is white, and her phone is white...." OK, so I tried to work with that, and made a white-on-white card.

I used a Spellbinders Nestabilities scalloped square, and a Cuttlebug embossing folder to give some texture and dimension to the card. I used Papertrey Ink's "Take a Bough" stamp set, and some Colorbox chalk inks to give the owl a perch LOL. I even found a pair of googly eyes for the owl. The sentiment is from a Personal Impressions stamp set.

Jemma used my idea, and came up with her own card. She handcut the owl herself... I didn't get a photo before she had written it and stuck the envelope down, but I know her teacher will love it.

On to the gifts. I decided this year to have a go at making some jewellery. My local craft shop Papercrafts Boutique, has recently started stocking the most gorgeous beads and I was just dying to have a play. With a little help from my friend Christel, I managed to produce this...

Now this is actually the bracelet I made for myself, but it is identical to the one I made for Tom's teacher. I couldn't get white beads, so went for silver and turquoise instead. I made the same style of bracelet for Jemma's teacher, but in plum and dusky pink beads, as Jemma said that she would like those colours. Again, no photo of that one, as she was in such a rush to package it up for her teacher...

From the reaction of the Headmistress this morning when I popped into school (Tom forgot his dinner ticket in the excitement of taking in his gift!!) I think they went down very well....



Monday 27 June 2011

Nuts About Sketches - week 167 :: Sherpa

Today there is another new sketch up at Nuts About Sketches. I really enjoyed working with the sketch, and made more handmade flowers!

This is Jemma, doing what she usually does when she sees rocks and stuff - and that's climb all over them... These rocks are at Cove Bay, just round the coast from where we live. I think Jemma would make a good sherpa, as she is as sure footed as a mountain goat. Not like Tom, who Mark calls a mountain hedgehog.... It wouldn't surprise me if she went on to climb a mountain - and not just a small one either!

I used Spellbinder Nestabilities dies to cut the scalloped squares, and the patterned paper squares use American Crafts paper. I handcut branches and leaves from Bazzill card, using PaperTrey Ink stamps as templates, and made the flowers using Natasha's tutorials. The title uses Scenic Route chipboard alphabet letters.

Please head over to the NAS blog, and check out the work of the rest of the Design Team - they rock!!!!



Wednesday 22 June 2011

Design Team call at Sassy Lil' Sketches!

It is that time again!
We are looking for a few talented layout and card designers for Sassy Lil' Sketches and Sassy Lil' Card Sketches.

How to apply for our August '11 to January '12 Sassy Team

Please send an e-mail to with the following information by JULY 7th:

1) specify LAYOUT or CARD DT in e-mail subject line

2) your full name

3) your email address

4) your blog address (or online gallery if you do not have a blog)

5) a short bio

6) one layout or card (depending on which team in which you are applying) based

on any Sassy Lil' Sketch/Sassy Lil' Card Sketch on our blogs. Please include the date of the sketch you used.

7) one layout or card (depending on the team in which you are applying) that showcases your individual style.

We welcome international applicants.

Sassy Lil' Sketches expectations:

1) Layout Sassies: Create one layout a month based on a Sassy Lil' Sketch.

Card Sassies: Create two cards a month based on

Sassy Lil' Card Sketches.

2) Share your monthly Sassy Lil' Sketch creation(s) on your blog and any online galleries which will allow you to do so.

3) Join our Sassy Lil' Sketches Forum. While active participation is not a requirement, it is encouraged. The forum is how we will communicate with our Sassy DT.

A note from us:

Our sketches are designed by Cherie to be shared with the scrappy world. We maintain the two sketch blogs for fun and inspiration. At this time there is no compensation for our Sassy DT members except the pure joy in inspiring others to create. We hope you will apply to be one of our Sassies!

Thank you,

Cherie and Katie

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Nuts About Sketches - week 166 :: Ancient History

Shawn designed another great sketch over at Nuts About Sketches this week - a great 2 pager! I chose to do a single page layout, using the left hand side of the sketch.

I filled one of the photo spaces with patterned paper, and put the title there, and I used rectangles of cardstock in place of the smaller photos on the sketch and added my journalling to them.
These photos were taken at the Temple at Didyma in Turkey. I loved all the amazing stonework, the kids loved climbing the walls and jumping off them. We had a great day there, which surprised me as I thought the kids would get bored of all the history!!

I kept the layout simple, and used Bazzill swiss dots cardstock as the base of the page, adding scalloped borders from a plain Bazzill cardstock. The patterned paper is a scrap of Crate Paper, and I used the Sizzlit Nouveau alphabet dies for the title.
The handmade flower was made using a tutorial by Natasha Naranjo Aguirre that I found on her blog. I really recommend you have a look at her blog,  her work is beautiful, and she has lots of handmade flower tutorials!
I handcut a stamped leaf sprig as a finishing touch - the stamp is a PaperTrey Ink one.

The girls on the DT have once more excelled themselves - there are some great examples on the blog to look at this week!



Saturday 18 June 2011

Nuts About Sketches # 165 :: Singin' in the rain

I really don't know where the days go, and I know I am always saying that - but it's true!!

This is my layout for this weeks sketch over at Nuts About Sketches - #165

These photos were taken at DisneyLand Paris, in October 2006. We had to try out the umbrella - there was a button to push and water poured from the edges of the umbrella...

When I saw this weeks sketch, I knew these photos would be perfect for it. I mimicked the shop window in the photos for the background of the layout. And I only used cardstock to create this layout - no patterned paper at all! I made the umbrella embellishment by punching a circle from black cardstock and then using a slightly smaller circle punch, made the scalloped edge to make it look like an umbrella. I added some stitching and a tiny black pearl to finish it off. A smattering of buttons, a few circles of cardstock, some strip journalling and a title cut from foam finished the layout off. 

The DT girls have been busy once more,  and produced some great examples to inspire you! Head over to the blog and take a look!



Tuesday 7 June 2011

Sassy Lil' Sketches - June 7th sketch :: Flutterbys

It's reveal time for the 7th Sassies over at Sassy Lil' Sketches! I love the sketches that Cherie comes up for us each month, and this month is no exception!

Before I share my layout, I'd like to shout out to the wonderful sponsors we have for this month


Onto my layout for this month.

I have always loved Buddleias. As a child I can remember seeing my Gran's butterfly bush covered in an array of beautiful butterflies. Her Buddleia was lilac. The Buddleia I inherited in my garden is white, and the butterflies flock to it during August when it is in full bloom. I was really pleased with how my photos came out, the brilliant blue sky backdrop really make the photos pop!

To keep the focus on the photos, I decided to do a white-on-white layout. I have seen lots of cards done this way, and thought I would give it a try with a layout. I tried to make lots of different textures on the layout, and used 5 different Cuttlebug embossing folders to create the squares on the left hand side of the page. I used some doilies along the bottom, and a Martha Stewart border punch edges the journalling space. I used a free butterfly SVG file for the large butterfly, and a Martha Stewart butterfly punch for the smaller butterflies along the top. A loopy stitched border using a Bazzill In Stitchz stitching template mimics the butterflies fluttering flight path! I added some sparkle with Frosted Lace Stickles, and some flat backed diamantes. The title is done with American Crafts Glitter chipboard Thickers.

I was quite pleased with how this turned out, and I will certainly use the white-on-white approach again!

Please feel free to head over to the blog to see what the rest of the 7th Sassies have been creating!

To be in with a chance of winning a prize from our sponsors, link your layout to the blog before the 5th July!! I hope you will play along with us this month :)

And don't forget that the Sassy Lil' Card Sketches blog has a new sketch up today as well!



Monday 6 June 2011

Nuts About Sketches # 163 and 164...

I seem to have lost a week somewhere!!! Time is going by so fast these days, I cannot believe that it is June already. JUNE!!!! Only 4 more weeks left of school for the kids, but we have lots of activities planned for the holidays. Hopefully the weather will co-operate, and we can make the most of what will probably be our last summer in this area :(

Onto the layouts I have to share today. First off is a layout using Sketch #163 at Nuts About Sketches.

These are some of the first photos I took of our trip to New Zealand. This is Muriwai beach, north of Auckland. A black sand beach, with volcanic rocks to climb on. In the winter sun it looked a-maz-ing! The kids had a great time, burning off all the excess energy they had from a 26 hour flight, and I just enjoyed the sight of them being with their Dad again (Mark had been in NZ for 2 months prior to our visit). Living their whole lives next to the sea, the kids love exploring beaches - it never gets old to them. I only hope that we can continue our relationship with the coast at our next home - wherever that may be. I know that I shall be sad if I have to live inland - I think the water has always been in my blood, and a 5 minute walk along a beach always soothes a worried brow...

I took the chance to use up some of the Fancy Pants "My Family" scraps I have accumulated, and found that a Prima felt leaf sprig did a very good job of representing a fern - the national emblem of New Zealand ;) The title uses American Craft Thickers, and I used a Heidi Swapp stamp and a stamp from Greener Pastures as a kind of sub title.

Next up is the layout for today's reveal of Sketch #164. It is a double page sketch this week, but I did something a little different... It may look like a 12x12 double, but it is infact a 12x6 layout. I just reduced all the sizes on the sketch .

This layout leaves a lump in my throat. The photos bring tears to my eyes. These pictures are from the Freedom of Forres Parade on May 24th 2011. This is the last time that personnel from RAF Kinloss exercised their right to march through the town with rifles and bayonets. RAF Kinloss came into being in 1939, and has always had close links with the local community. The Strategic Defence Review in October 2010 signalled the closure of the base, when the Nimrod fleet was axed, and has caused a devastating effect to the whole area. With RAF Lossiemouth also in danger of closing, the whole of Moray is under threat - losing income and jobs from the bases, and also with families and personnel leaving - losing communities and the revenue they produce.  It seems like the area is just holding it's breath, to see if Lossie will be saved or not.
Forres did the guys and gals proud - the turnout was amazing. I took the kids out of school and we went to watch the parade - Mark was proudly marching, and had spent weeks practising his rifle drills. The town clapped and cheered the parade all the way up the High Street, up to Grant Park, where a couple of speeches took place before the parade disbanded.
Tom and I stood at one end of the parade when it stopped at Grant Park, but we couldn't see Mark as he was further down. I told Jemma to head down a bit, as she had her i-pod touch with her, and wanted to get a few photos and maybe a video of her Dad. Little did I know at that point that she had managed to find her way into the press enclosure... My own little Papparazzi LOL. She got great video footage of the guys doing their drills, and a photo of Mark stood to attention. She was a little bit inconspicuous, as she was wearing a bright orange coat! But I was proud of the images she captured that day. I wanted to use one of her shots on a layout, but the quality of her i-pod camera is not great, so I had to print them out quite small, which gave me the idea of shrinking the sketch to fit on a 12x6 page.

The star patterned paper is from Creative Imaginations, and I used Bazzill cardstock for the rest of the layout. I had to make sure there was a RAF roundel on there too - so I used a mixture of circle punches and Nestabilities to get the right look. I added a few tiny buttons and some flat backed pearls to finish off the page.

I will always have a soft spot for this base, this town, this area. It's where Mark has spent the majority of his 20 years in the RAF. Jemma was born here. So many memories have been made here. Nimrods were his livelihood - the aircraft he was trained to fly on, and without them, now he is left with skills and expertise that are no longer required. Fortunately for us, he knows his future is safe - many of his colleagues are facing redundancy, as the government demanded personnel cuts across the 3 forces. But with that safety is also uncertainty, as we don't know where he will be posted to next. It does mean that we will have to move from our house - which we only bought 2 years ago - and leave the area we have called home for the past 7 years. We know we have been spoilt, by not having to move about like many military families do, but we are ready for the next chapter of our lives, and the challenges that we will face. All I need to know now is where, and when.  Bring it on......



P.S. I'll be back tomorrow, with a layout for the 7th June reveal at Sassy Lil' Sketches ;)

Monday 23 May 2011

NAS # 162 - Painted

Monday has crept up on me again, and for once I am glad to see it! The past week I have been battling a cold which really knocked the stuffing out of me. I have been working all weekend, and tonight is my last shift until Thursday. So I am glad it is Monday!

Another reason to be glad it is Monday - a new sketch up at Nuts About Sketches

This is a photo of Jemma, after she had her face painted at 42 Sqn's 95th anniversary weekend in April. She has always enjoyed having her face painted. It was always a tiger she wanted when she was small, or a cat, but mostly a tiger. Now I sit and think that this could be the last time she will queue to have it done. She is 12. Soon she will be painting her face with make-up. My little girl is growing up.

I had a lot of fun making this page. I finally managed to get my hands on the Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers die this week, so I had a go at making some flowers.  I used Crate Paper throughout for this project. I love their papers! I rotated the sketch so I could use a portrait photo instead of the landscape that was on the sketch. 
I cut the title using SCAL2 - the first time I have used it for a title! I added a couple of Prima roses to the handmade ones, and handcut a couple of leaf sprigs out of paper I had stamped and embossed, using a Papertrey Ink stamp.

Please head across to the blog, and see what the rest of the design team have been creating!



Monday 16 May 2011

Nuts about Sketches 161 - Rotorua

Monday is here to greet us once more - I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by!

Time for another gorgeous sketch designed by Shawn Lahr at Nuts About Sketches. This week is a 2 pager, and I loved working with this one!

These are photos Mark took when he first visited Rotorua in New Zealand. We went back as a family a couple of months later. Mark visited a lot more of the geothermal sites in the city - there are puddles of bubbling mud and steam all over the place. Every so often a new one pops up, sometimes in the middle of a park or even in someones back yard! It truly is an amazing place to visit, even if it does smell like day old egg sandwiches... The sulphur smell is hard on the nose at first, but you soon get used to it!

I kept a pretty simple colour scheme on this layout - lots of kraft, with a touch of green. I used my fern stamp again, stamping with Verdigris Catseye ink onto kraft card, heat embossing with clear embossing powder, and then handcut the leaf shapes out. I made some flowers using 2 sizes of retro flower punch, some thin white card and Walnut Stain distress ink.

I added a metallic green brad as a centre. Here is a close up pic - I didn't realise I hadn't rotated it until after upload... oopsie!!!

The patterned paper is from K&Co. I cut the title from brown funky foam using my Sizzlits Chunkadelic alphabet dies.

Please head over to the Nuts About Sketches blog, for the sketch and to see what the rest of the Design Team have created this week!



Sunday 15 May 2011

A scrappy Sunday...

... to end a great weekend! Mark and I had a great night out at the wedding reception - catching up with friends, doing a spot of dancing on the dancefloor, and watching old friends relive days gone by. Add into that a stunning bride, some very cute bridesmaids and the sight of men in kilts, and it truly was the best night out we have had in a long time!

Today, Mark and Tom went to walk along part of the Dava Way, whilst Jemma was on day 2 of her camping/hiking adventure. And me, well today was local crop day, so I spent most of the day playing with pretty paper, drinking tea, chatting and eating cake. Bargain! Erika had set us a crop challenge, to make a scrapbook page using a sketch she chose from the May 2011 PageMaps. Not so much of a challenge for me as a scrapbooker, but we have a good number of cardmakers come to the crop, so it really was a challenge for some of them who had never done a page before. The pages were fantastic, everyone had there own take on the sketch.
This was my offering...

Tom, dressed up as Sully from Monsters, Inc. This was the first time he went trick or treating, and he was a big hit! Everyone commented on how cute he was, and he came home with a big haul of goodies!

I used just one piece of patterned paper and one sheet of cardstock to make this layout. The paper is Scenic Route - Metropolis Scrap Strip 3. I love the multi patterned papers. And they were perfect for this sketch. The bunting is Maya Road chipboard, painted with Making Memories paint, and topped with some patterned paper and epoxy stickers from Paperchase. I used a notebook paper border punch, and a stitching template from Bazzill, and finished off with the title made using Scenic Route chipboard letters.

This past week has been great fun for me - pampering and playing - although I have learned a few lessons along the way...

  • Next time you decide to have a spray tan, make sure you book it on your day off.... Going to work and continuing to turn a deeper shade of brown tends to freak out both customers and members of staff...
  • False nails do not help you when you are trying to take the backing off double sided tape. In fact they are a complete hinderance...
  • Make sure that the dress you wear next time you get a spray tan is not dry clean only...
  • Changing your shoes at the last possible moment was in fact the correct decision. Pretty shoes can also be pretty impractical...