Saturday 26 February 2011


Time for this weeks layout using sketch #8 at Get Your Sketch On.

I used photos from our holiday to Turkey in 2008. We spent a day at a water park, and as we got there first thing in the morning, all the big water slides were relatively quiet, and the guys got lots of chances to ride them before the crowds came in later. Also, Tom was lucky in that the life guards were lenient towards him, as he was under the miminum age, but Mark persuaded them that Tom was a good swimmer (which he is) and he got a couple of shots. Later on, different life guards refused him, but he was happy that he got a shot!
This particular slide was like a whirlpool, and as you came down, you shot round the drum before falling through a hole in the bottom. It looked a bit scary, but they still wanted to ride it. Aah, the adrenaline always wins...!!

I used papers from the Scenic Route Grafton collection, and did alot of distressing, and stitching (both real and faux). The title was cut with my Cricut and SCAL2, and it was during the cutting that I realised that I needed a new blade... But the "distressed" edges to the letters actually fit in well with the rest of the page... I now have a new blade, and a couple of new mats, so hopefully the machine will cut cleaner now ;)



Wednesday 23 February 2011

I left a little piece of my heart in Christchurch...

... and today that heart is breaking. The terrible devastation I see on the news after the earthquake this week, brings tears to my eyes and a heavy weight in my heart. We visited Christchurch briefly in July 2007, during our whistlestop tour of New Zealand. I fell in love at first sight. The buildings, the surroundings, and the people were just beautiful, welcoming, friendly.

I took many photos that day, and by making a scrapbook album of our visit, I was able to relive our time there. I took those scrapbooks down from the shelf yesterday, and once more I was transported back to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

The Chalice in Cathedral Square

Experiencing the storm room in the Antarctic Centre

Jemma and Tom outside the I-site in Cathedral Square

One thing I remember about our visit, was a slide show we saw at the Gondola. A little girl narrated the history of Christchurch and the Canterbury area. The European settlers arrived in the mid 1700s, arriving by boat, and having to endure very basic conditions both on the boats and when they first came to the settlements. from these first settlements, the city of Christchurch emerged, with it now being New Zealands second largest city.

Cantabrians are strong people, they are descended from pioneers, they have what it takes to rebuild their shattered city. They are proud of their heritage. I know they will do it, whatever Mother Nature has in store for them.

I always said if I won the lottery I would go back to New Zealand. I still want to. I want to go back to Christchurch, and see the garden city once more. I want to mourn their losses, and I want to be able to celebrate with them as they rebuild their city and rise from the rubble.

Christchurch, you will always have my heart.



Sunday 20 February 2011

Catching up...

No matter how hard I try, I always feel like I am always trying to catch up. Whether it's with work, or with sleep, or with the housework or just with life in general. I always have 2 "to do" lists - one with jobs that need doing like paying bills or things I need to get for the house, and one with crafty things to do. Can you guess which one always gets my attention....?

Anyway, I was putting away some layouts into their albums yesterday, after they had had their time on the "show off shelf" and I realised that I hadn't shared them here!

2 weeks ago,the Sassy Lil' Sketches forum had an online crop, called the Dotted with Love Crop. Forum members set challenges for us, and our Sketch Queen Cherie provided 2 gorgeous sketches for us as a challenge too. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to do all the challenges, but I did do 2 layouts with the sketches.

Here is the first sketch...

And this is my layout from it...

I used photos from Mark, Jemma and Dave's snowboarding trip to Cairngorm. They had a great day, and Dave took some great shots - with his phone no less. I loved that I could get 5 photos on this page, without it looking cluttered. I tilted the sketch a smidge, as it seemed to suit the photos. Dave has a habit of taking pics at a jaunty angle...
I used paper from the American Crafts Merrymint collection, and the title is cut from funky foam, using the Sizzlit Nouveau alphabet dies. I punched snowflakes in 2 different sizes, and then added some Stickles and a button. I finished it off with some doodled borders.

This was Cherie's second sketch...

And this is the layout I made with it...

Photos of Tom, on Findhorn beach, aged 4. He loves the beach, and can occupy himself for hours with just a bucket and spade - even now.
I used papers from the Fancy Pants "My Family" collection, and the scalloped border was done with my medium corner rounder. The buttons are from PaperMania, and I cut the title again using the Sizzlits Nouveau alphabet dies. A little more doodling with a white Signo pen finished this one off.

So on this weeks crafty to do list are a birthday card for my sister, and 4 different sketches that I want to make layouts from! I wonder if I will get it all done, or whether I will succumb to the ironing basket instead...

Have a great Sunday!



Friday 18 February 2011


TGIF!! This week seems to have whizzed by in a blur, what with work, extra training and juggling everything around it. But today I have a day off - a complete day off, no work for me tonight! So hoping to spend most of it in my little room with the happy green wall, and play with paper and glue!

Another week means another sketch over at Get Your Sketch On. I love these sketches, and it seems the feeling is mutual, as I was picked as a winner again for my layout using sketch #6. Thanks girls, it really is a lot of fun playing along with you each week!

I used some more 1970s photos on this layout. This is me (in the orange and brown dress) with my Gran and Grandad, and my baby brother Ewan (who turned 36 last week!) is the grumpy looking baby in the blue. I don't think he smiled as a baby, all the photos I have of him he always looks so serious! The photos were taken in the back garden of the house I grew up in. My parents don't live there anymore, and it is really strange going to visit them now, as I don't look at it as home. Funnily enough, a girl I went to school with bought my parents house, and I hope that her children will have as fond a memory of it as I do.

Onto the layout itself. Cardstock is Kraft Bazzill, and the patterned paper is Jillibean Soup, from the Pasta Fagioli collection. I thought it was a perfect match to the 70s colours. The title is done with Scenic Route chipboard letters, and the blue flowers are more haandmade ones, coloured with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink. The leaf sprig is a PaperTrey Ink stamp, stamped onto kraft card with Rich Cocoa Memento ink, and handcut out.

If you are on the look out for more sketches, don't forget to head across to the Sassy Lil' Sketches Layout and Card sketch blogs. There are 4 new sketches posted each month, on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th with prizes up for grabs from both paper and digital sponsors.

Hope you have a great weekend!



Monday 14 February 2011

Playing in the Sugar Bowl...

This week is the Mother-in-law's birthday, so as a dutiful daughter-in-law, I made her a card...

I was taken by the sketch and colour theme posted on the Sugar Bowl Challenge blog this week, and was inspired by Erika and Kiki's examples as I came up with this card.

Doilies seem to be the rage right now, and since I picked a couple of packets up at my "local shop for local people" aka The House of Sugar on Saturday, I thought I would use them!
The image is Fairy Tale, one of the Simply Sassy stamps, which I coloured in with ProMarkers. I covered the image in a 3D Clear Gloss, and when it was dry, I cracked the gloss and swiped some brown ink over it to make it look like an old tile.
The script paper is a Prima stamp, and the sentiment is from Personal Impressions. The lace and ribbon is from my ribbon box, and all the cardstock is Bazzill Basics.
This card also qualifies as one of my Card from Scraps, as the blue paper is an unknown scrap from my scraps folder.

The weekend has been full of work, sleepovers and a little bit of crafting. On Saturday, Jemma and I went to see our friend Erika demo-ing at our local craft shop, affectionately known as The House of Sugar (seeing as it is the home of Sugar Nellie stamps). Jemma stood the whole time next to the demo table, taking in everything that Erika did. Needless to say, when she got home, the craft box came out, and I now have various felt and paper flowers strewn about the house, all Stickled within an inch of their lives! Me, on the other hand did a bit of heckling with some of the girls from the Hopeman Crop - life would be boring without a bit of banter!
We did a little retail therapy, as it is rude not to, and I came out with some more Distress Inks, some Stickles and a couple of new rubber stamps. Jemma used some of her pocket money to buy some card toppers and a bottle of Stickles. So a pleasant afternoon was had by all!

Apart from making a birthday card, I have been working hard on my next DT sketch - it has been a challenge, but then that's part of why I wanted to be on a DT in the first place!
Talking of Sassy Lil' Sketches, the new sketches are up today on the layout and card blogs, and the girls have created some fabulous pages and cards! I can't wait to play with the layout sketch myself!!

So, all that is left is to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day, and I best get this card down to the Post Office.....



Tuesday 8 February 2011


Another great sketch this week over at Get Your Sketch On. And I knew exactly which photo I wanted to use, I just had to switch the sketch about a bit to make it fit... but that's all part of the fun of playing with sketches!

So this is the sketch... And this is my take on it...

I rotated the sketch to accomodate the portrait photograph. This is one of my favourite photos of Tom. It was taken in Grant Park, and he is looking at Mark, while Mark is trying to explain to him how to hang upside down from a climbing frame. I love the look on his face. It really gives me goosebumps, and makes my heart flutter just looking at it.

I used one sheet of BasicGrey paper on this page - a double sided sheet from the Nook & Pantry collection. I love using double sided papers! I cut the doilies out by hand, and halved them to make the edging. The foliage is a PaperTrey Ink stamp, that I stamped onto kraft card with brown Staz On ink and hand cut them out. The handmade flower is coloured with Walnut Stain distress ink, and the little bird is from Prima Marketing. I covered a small chipboard butterfly from Papermania with matching paper. The title uses American Craft chipboard Thickers.

Journalling and a bit of doodling finished it off!



Monday 7 February 2011

Sassy Lil' Sketches 7th Feb Reveal...

... so this is it, the time for my first DT reveal over at Sassy Lil' Sketches!

We have some fab sponsors this month - Expressions Vinyl and Lauretta's Digital Stamps - offering up some fantastic prizes, so please join in for a chance to win!

This is my layout using the sketch.

Photos of Tom taken at Pontins in Prestatyn in 2004. He really enjoyed the swings in the park there, and of course, it is 10 times better when Daddy is in charge of pushing!

I started off with everything being level and straight on the page, as anyone who knows me knows that I don't do wonky! I left the layout, not stuck down, on my desk. It was a bit of a mess on the desk, and I moved something which then moved the pieces on my layout. When I came back and saw the layout slightly off kilter, I thought that actually it looked better, and fitted in with the angles of the photos!

I used BasicGrey's Archaic range throughout - the little dino papers reminded me of Tom's shirt. The cardstock is Bazzill, as is the template I used to do the handstitching. I added a bit of machine stitching as well. And a teeny bit of Stickles. The title is cut out with the Cricut, and I added some Diamond Glaze to give them a shiny look. The border punch I used is from Martha Stewart.

Head over to the blog and see what the rest of the Design Team has been creating!

If you like card sketches too, the SLS team have created a brand new challenge blog - the Sassy Lil' Sketches Card blog - also with a brand new Design Team! Their sponsor for February is the fantastic Cosmo Cricket - so head over to check out the new sketches, and join in for a chance to win a prize!



Saturday 5 February 2011

SLS Jan 21st & Sassy doodling challenge

I'm finally caught up with the January sketches at Sassy Lil' Sketches. I combined the 21st Jan sketch with the doodling challenge that Pia set us on the forum.

Now, these photos aren't the blurriest (is that a word?) that I have ever taken, and boy, I am a master at all photos out of focus and blurred LOL. But they do represent to me a time when life was a blur to me. It was the last summer we spent in Gibraltar, and I had a very active toddler and a challenging 4 year old, who was desperate (and ready) to start school. Added to that, I was having trouble with migraines - I had 7 migraines in 10 days at one point - so the whole summer was just a blur to me.

I used papers from Fancy Pants "My Family" collection, and added some stitching using Bazzill In Stitchz templates. I punched out the flowers using retro flower punches, and the border strip was punched with a threading water punch. I added lots of doodling using my favourite white pen - a Signo uniball. I also doodled a border around the outside of the layout, using a Zig pen. I added a title using Heidi Grace chipboard letters.

Over at the Sassy Lil' Sketches Forum this weekend, we are having an online crop - the Dotted with Love Crop. There are some great challenges to join in with - and a couple of great sketches from Cherie. Feel free to pop along and have a look! Hope to see you there!



Friday 4 February 2011

Library of Memories

I started using the Library of Memories system in 2008, and here is how I started out. I love using this system to store my pages, I love mixing the different page sizes together, and also not having to fiddle about with those pesky posts in a postbound album! I must admit, that I haven't got the whole system sorted - my photos are sort of sorted, and I don't have any category drawers, but I am finding my photos manageable at the moment. I may try again to implement the whole system again in the future.

Today, I finally got round to decorating the albums - adding the labels and prettying them up a little! And I love how they look on my shelf!

I bottled out from putting photos on the labels, just deciding to put the category name on instead.

I love organisational things like this - I long for a super organised wardrobe, and tidy cupboards - but I am just too lazy to implement them! So I am really pleased that I eventually managed to sort the albums out, and I could now sit on the stairs and stare at them forever...



Wednesday 2 February 2011

SLS 28th Jan sketch & handmade flower challenge

I finally got round to doing a layout with the 28th Jan sketch over at Sassy Lil' Sketches.

I scrapped another heritage photo - this is my Mum and my Aunt Elaine, as children on holiday sometime in the 1950s. I'm thinking it is probably the late 50s. Pony and donkey rides were popular treats at seaside towns in the UK. I love how my Mum has hold of her little sister to make sure she doesn't fall off the pony. Quite poignant too, as the sisters don't really speak to each other anymore.

I used BasicGrey Recess on this layout, and some Bazzill kraft cardstock. The edges of the papers I distressed with a Close To My Heart distress tool. The border punch I used is from Martha Stewart. The trim is one I have had in my ribbon box for a while, I'm not sure where it came from. The title is done with American Crafts Thickers. The flower is handmade...

Over at the Sassy Lil' Sketches Forum, the DT have been setting some challenges for February. Missy is hosting a handmade flower challenge, and posted this great tutorial by Christina. So while waiting for the windscreen repair man this morning, I thought I would have a go at making one. I don't have any glimmer mists or any Distress Ink reinkers, which is what Christina used, but I do have a couple of Distress Ink Pads. So I used my Tattered Rose ink pad, and made this flower.

I cut the flower shapes on my Cricut, using the Accent Essentials cart. I added a flat back pearl in the middle.

Please feel free to head over to the forum, sign up and join in the fun!



Tuesday 1 February 2011

GYSO #5 - Catch me

Another great sketch at Get Your Sketch On, and I knew straight away what photos I wanted to use...

This is me. Yep. Honest. Me aged 1 and a bit. I found these photos in the box I got from my Gran. The photos were taken in her garden. Last time I visited (the day of her funeral 3 years ago) the garden looked exactly the same. The man in the background is my Grandad. I still miss him so much, even though it is 26 years since he passed. And those panda dungarees... well my younger brother also wore them as a toddler. Gotta love 70s fashion!

The photos are the originals. Yep, I know. But I have made digital copies. I was going to use the copies I printed out, but the colours didn't seem right for some reason, and I preferred the 1970s originals. I have used the minimum amount of adhesive on them just in case. The size of the photos were perfect for the sketch at 5" x 3". I used a threading water punch to punch a border out of cardstock to add to the top and bottom of the photo block.

I pretty much stuck with the sketch when it came to embellishments. I cut circles from felt using my Nestabilities and Cuttlebug. I added some stitching round the edges of the circles to add some interest, and used buttons to tie in with the colours in the photos. The buttons are all PaperMania. I added a few butterflies to compliment the garden theme. There were always lots of butterflies in my Gran's garden.

The background paper is actually a flocked overlay from Fancy Pants - I ordered the My Family kit, and was amazed with what was inside, and the flocked overlay just cried out to be used on this page. I thought it worked really well with the sketch. I adhered the overlay to a sheet of white Bazzill cardstock.

I used my favourite way to journal - strip journalling - and added a title cut from funky foam with my Cuttlebug and the Sizzlits Nouveau alphabet dies.

Journalling reads - You're no fun Grandad. I wanted you to chase me and catch me and lift me high into the air. But you are just happy to watch me finding my feet and running up and down the garden path.

Thanks to the GYSO team for another fantastic sketch!