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 ;)