Hi hi!

I’m pinching Julia’s first line from last week – “I’ve taken the photograph from a different angle this week, and in bright broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon.” I couldn’t portray the mess without widening the shot to be honest, and this only gives you a glimpse of the floor and the right hand desk with my tea on it (it’s not as precariously balanced as it looks, honestly). 

This is a case of “too many things at once-itis”.

I did a little count up and I have 12 different collections on my desk and on the floor behind the pink stool. Some are well used bags, some are layout kits containing a couple of sheets of paper and a set of stickers, some are papers only, but some are paper pads in 2 sizes plus stickers and die cuts. It’s making my left eye twitch.

Lets move around the photo left to right –

Pink ’emergency overflow stool’ with my foam sheets on it, duck egg blue trollies in the background as normal, pink drawer (removed from drawer unit… twitch) containing colour sorted enamel dots, that’s balanced on a pile of bags of assorted collections, actually I think my small trimmer might be under there too. The pile next to it, with the half complete butterfly layout on top is the ‘to be completed’ pile of layouts from the classes this weekend. The rest of the kit is in the white stadium box at the back of the desk with more parts of layouts. The page on the stand is the one I blogged yesterday and there are 4 more behind that ready to go. Front and right is my current project, an interactive page for my final article for The Artistry blog. I’m trying really hard to use Magical Forest and Fresh Bouquet from Crate Paper (that look VERY similar) but honestly, I’m struggling. I was still in my “buy all the things” phase (which ended shortly after that), and I thought the rainbows would be great for Covid scrapping but of course since then, every collection has a rainbow element and this one didn’t have much at all! And I’m not keen on the rest of it! ARGH!

This was my desk last Thursday before I started ‘all the things’.

I definitely work better with my desk like this. If I let go of the reigns a bit I end up trying to do 8 challenges and 8 classes plus 8 additional inspiration examples plus writing an article! It’s an ADHD thing. My husband is always saying to me – do one thing. He’s right, of course, especially for us neurodivergent types, but let’s not tell him.

Finally, last week’s Throwback Thursday and another in the “not like” pile. Again with the stamping… I was also trying to use some Project Life cards that had the same colours as my 6×6 pad and I’m just not used to seeing rounded corners everywhere. I haven’t mounted my photo on anything, because we didn’t then, and so that seems odd to my eye too. It’s funny how I look back on my older layouts and some seem to have aged better than others in terms of how styles have changed.

So that’s me, unusually messy and I will be clearing it up before I do my rounds today. If you want to join in with the weekly snoop you’ll be very welcome, whatever your craft. Link up with Julia at the Stamping Ground and we’ll pop over to see you.

In the meantime, stay safe and keep smiling x

Hi hi!

What a busy but lovely few days I’ve had at the virtual Go Go retreat. With all the challenges in the week leading up to this weekend and obviously all of the classes themselves, I’ve got a lot of creating done and still got a lot of lovely layouts to finish (and start in some cases!) I wasn’t feeling the best at the weekend so I carried on with some challenges mostly. This one was for the ‘wet mixed media’ prompt.

I was planning to use a dry brush with acrylic paint or a smooshed background of Distress Oxides but I rushing to get things completed so tried something new. I’ve had some of my spray inks for years and years and some of them don’t work as sprays anymore and some are just too sparkly so I need to find new things to do with them. This gorgeous yellow was a Mya Mist that hasn’t been opened in 10 years. I painted with it straight from the bottle, onto Marshmallow Bazzil cardstock.

I’m trying to use up some collections, especially ones where I only have scraps left and Cocoa Vanilla’s You Rock collection is one of those. Most of what I have left is just strips and a few little bits from a cut apart sheet. I couldn’t really cut the photos down so I went looking in the Scrap Squad group for some inspiration that incorporated the strips and 2 decent sized photos.

I didn’t have much of the darker blue left in the collection but I wanted to pull out that colour from the photos and from the star paper. You know I like me a border and to give me more of the darker blue I distressed the edges of the cardstock taking just a very tiny amount off to reveal the blue cardstock underneath. I seem to be distressing the edges of everything at the moment but I added a couple of staples to highlight the edges even more.

After adding in some of the die cut pieces, I still wanted to add more stuff so I searched my ‘tiny bits’ box for some puffy stickers and enamel shapes. All in all it’s a real stash buster using some old photos and old supplies. The newest item is the blue cardstock which is about 18 months old. This makes me happy. The planet needs us to use up what we have. I could still scrap every photo from the last 10 years without purchasing anything else (except maybe some mixed media cardstock) but, ya know, baby steps 🙂

Stay safe and keep smiling x

Hi hi!

Today I’m taking part in what should have been a lovely weekend away at a retreat with the Go Go team but of course, now has to be single file in the comfort of your own home. We’ve all got “tables” which have been converted into rooms on Messenger (like Zoom), and our kits & instructions were sent out well in advance and the lovely teachers are on hand throughout the weekend if we need them. Still very lovely and much needed, even if things are a bit different. One thing that is the same though is the plethora of inspiration in the form of pre-retreat challenges.

There was a really pretty moodboard inspiration which is what I started with – don’t ask me how I ended up here! There was a garden gate and some rain clouds and lots of blues and greens in it too, honestly! With the normal monthly cyber crop last week, we could double up the challenges and this one was actually a scrap lift set by Bramble Fox. I made a bit of a cock up and totally forgot to post it in time for the Bramble Fox draw!

You can see what the page is about. Rain and floods. It looks like there is a burst pipe but when we get lots of intense rain that’s just what happens to that particular drain that happens to be outside our house. Yay… Eventually the water gets so high that it goes over the bump in the pavement and cascades down our drive (we live on a slope) and floods our garage. Yay… Always fun when the kids are trying to get to school – it had gone down a lot at this point!

The original layout was a grid of 8 (I think) small square photos with the larger one off to the side so I took the opportunity to cut down some larger photos instead. This could actually work well when you have landscape and portrait images that you want to use on the same page.

And yes, the title is supposed to be higgledy piggledy – I hope it’s obvious and that it doesn’t just look like I’ve been at the cooking sherry…

I’m still loving the Cocoa Vanilla Boys Rule collection and I finally managed to use one of the frames that I struggle with (is it just me?). I popped it up onto foam and this gave me a good spot to sneak the notepad style Perspextive. I’ve actually kept the top white film layer on this piece to keep it slightly matt in finish which I think works better in a slightly grungy layout with the more distressed look to the papers. Is that controversial?

Stay safe and keep smiling x

A flying visit for What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday from me this week, all for good crafty reasons. You can see the fall out from part of this in my desk photo this week.

Hmmm… messy but oh so pretty! I’m creating a mini book about the work we did on our ‘victory garden’ last year. I bought Paige Evans Bloom Street when it came out last year specifically for this project. I got 10 papers I think, plus the ephemera, the flowers, the cardstock stickers and the sticker book. When I break, I break hard! You can see the 2 sets of flowers in my bon bon dish as well as the Bramble Fox embellishments that went so perfectly with it. There are flowers, butterflies, wellies, watering cans and umbrellas. It makes me smile just to look through them! I happy to be watching a Paige Evans video too but there’s not connection, just serendipity!

In amongst this I’m also getting ready for a cyber retreat with Go Go Getaway this week – squeeee!!!

Obviously I’d prefer to be there on site but I’m still excited about it. I opened my box to take out the paperwork but aside from snapping this pic I haven’t looked any further. Obviously I’ve seen the classes so I know the kit is beautiful and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in but I need to finish the book first and I’m hoping I might have time for some pre-retreat challenges too. Then I’ll clear the decks and indulge in some paper stroking and sniffing. Or is that just me? I have snacks, alcohol free wine, the rest of the family are cooking and keeping house and I shall scrap, chat and scrap some more. Huzzah!

Last week’s Throwback Thursday. This is one of only 2 layouts from my YMCA weekend several years ago. I was trying a new style with adding some stamping to my layouts. I’m not going to continue with it!

For those “at” Shaz’s funeral Friday, wasn’t the music amazing? I thought Doug and the family did a great job and the setting was lovely. The thing that stuck with me was the sentence “I hope you have as much joy in the next life as you brought to others in this” (I hope I’ve got that right!) A perfect send off. Blessings to you Shaz x

So that’s me for this week. If you’d like to join in with our weekly desk hop, everyone is welcome whatever your craft, you can find all the details at Julia’s blog, The Stamping Ground.

As always, stay safe and keep smiling x

Hi hi!

You know I love a challenge and you also know how much I’ve enjoyed joining in with the monthly Go Go cyber crops on Facebook. This week has been bookended by Go Go events with a total of, I think, 15 challenges altogether!

Last Saturday there was the normal monthly cyber crop with an extra challenge from Bramble Fox, and this coming weekend is a cyber retreat! Of course it would be awesome to be there in person and it’s the second one I’ve personally missed out on thanks to Covid but we’ve been sent out lovely kits and instructions and they’ve set some awesome challenges so it’s all good. This is the first of the challenges I’ve managed to do and it was a colour palette with quite pastel-ish Spring colours.

I had my bag of Pebbles Girl Squad out already and the two pieces with the faces on were left over from another similar layout so it came together quite quickly. The colours went really well with my photos of Miss B at her last sport’s day (although we didn’t know it would be the last one at the time!) I hadn’t really had the opportunity to use the paper with the faces on as it’s a bit niche for me but I it made me think of cheering crods at sports day. Hmmm…. crowds… remember those?!

To bring out the colours in the challenge more, I backed the photos onto yellow and popped them up on foam before added them both to a multi coloured stripe. The collection is full of fun phrases that perfectly fitted the theme here so I took the opportunity to use some appropriate die-cuts, stickers and cut aparts.

I needed some more “stuff” so I raided my tiny pieces box and pulled out some more flowers and a few small puffy stickers to finish it off. Every time I dip into this box it feels good! All that colour sorting was worth it. Just don’t mentioned the time I dropped it, fully sorted, onto a hardwood floor…

Stay safe and keep smiling x

Hi hi!

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE a Christmas film, the cheesier the better. The snow, the laughter, the happiness, the pretty villages, the excitement – it’s all wonderful escapism and a true sign for me of Christmas coming.

For the last few years I’ve been keeping a list of the films, which I usually have on in the background while doing other things. When Paige Evans released this Charlie Brown cut file last December I knew it would be perfect to use to capture this story instead of a photo. Yes I said that. INSTEAD of a photo. This is a photo-less page. There are no photos on this layout. A scrapbook page… with no photos… Yikes!

I normally cut everything on white but thanks to a lady in the Paige Evans Facebook group I cut it in black because it’s a cartoon & contrasts better with the snow and with Snoopy.

With a cut file that has lots of elements, it’s a good idea to think about which order you are backfilling the pieces in. Doing the things in the foreground first (plus the snow on the roof) meant that I could use one big piece to do the kennel rather than trying to work around the tiny lights etc. Designs like this are a great way to use up scraps!

I was so happy with how he came out! For most of the film that this scene is taken from (A Charlie Brown Christmas from 1965!!) Charlie wears a red coat but I wanted to use his back up coat in green to contrast with the red of the kennel.

My initial intention was to print a list to go down the side of the page but his poor little Christmas tree got in the way so I had to snip the film titles up, lay them on double sided sticky tape, snip them again, lay them on patterned paper (to match the border and the lonely bauble) and snip again. This made my left eye twitch… but it meant I could scatter them around the layout without interfering with the tree. If I had planned it earlier I would have worked out that there wasn’t enough room and cut Charlie a bit smaller…

I definitely watched more than these named films last year but my record is 47 the Christmas I had my leg in plaster. Nobody else in the house shares my appreciation of a Hallmark film so they really are my guilty pleasure!

I popped the cut file and the title onto foam and added a Bramble Fox clapper board embellishment to finish off.

No photos, and no enamel dots. Who even am I?! Yes, it looks a bit like a school wall display but I really enjoyed the non-photo challenge and it definitely tells the story in my album, which is what it’s all about.

Stay safe and keep smiling x

Hi hi!

I recently did a couple of pocket pages for my sadly neglected Lanzarote albums and it prompted me to do a quick 12×12 page to get a few more photos into their rightful place.

One of the quickest ways for me to scrap is to create a strip of photos, especially if I have a lot of 6×4 photos to use. You can obviously change the configuration to do 2 portraits down the page or 3 landscapes down the page or 2 landscapes across the page, but the proportions are all similar. You have a strip of photos and then a strip either side where you can add your papers and embellishments.

I really wanted to use the floral paper but I couldn’t mount the photos onto white because the Simple Stories papers are not quite as white as cardstock and it jars my eyes. Instead I found a narrow strip of yellow in the stash I’ve been using for these albums and cut it in half to go either side of the photos for some contrast. I also wanted to use a piece of the soda pops paper because we were at a vin-yard and it was about as close as I was going to get to the theme!

There’s not a lot of room to play with when you fill a whole strip with photos so it cuts down a lot of the decision making and faffing. I did still faff, not going to lie, but less than normal anyway. I added my title and a couple of embellishments and the page was done. The little fan was the perfect die cut for this story where we finally found out why we could see crescents of stones on all the hills as we drove around – wind breaks! Lanzarote is a windy island so the curved walls help protect the grape vines. There you go – every day is a school day.

Stay safe and keep smiling x

Hi hi!

I’ve been really brave this week. No, I haven’t had my Covid jab or been to the dentist, I just got my art supplies out! I’ve been wanting to experiment with mixed media a lot more recently so I rolled out my art-cart and got ready to make a lot of mess! This is where I ended up with one of the layouts.

My intention was to use Dylusions paints to match with the colours on the black floral piece from Pebbles Girl Squad – I’ve got loads of scraps of this to use up! I used a dry brushing technique and although I love how they turned out, they were just too bold for my liking – I like bright colours but I was not brave enough (yet) to work with those backgrounds. I put them to one side and got my Distress Inks out instead.

I taped down my Bazzil Marshmallow cardstock to help it stay flat and then swatched my different inks on an off cut of the same cardstock to make sure the colours stayed as I planned. Then I swiped the inks on acetate and used a water brush to mix and apply them to the cardstock in a patchwork fashion. When it was dry I added a subtle script stencil with texture paste because I really wanted the colours to sing.

I knew I was using the black floral so added the black border (I have loads of them saved from previous die cuts) to frame the design. And also because I had to trim the cardstock where I’d lost the top layer pulling the tape off too quickly… I never learn…

I layered my photo onto several patterned papers including the orangey colour that I matches with the paint to pull out the red in the photo.

Once I’d built up my central area I started to add the flowers to the sort of upside down shelf. These were all bits left over from die-cuts that hadn’t cut through properly and I love the way they pop against the coloured background without having to back fill them! I created my 3 clusters using a face die cut next to the journalling, the bike in the bottom right and the little Bramble Fox lock in the top left. My girl had her birthday suddenly cancelled last year due to the lockdown so it was the perfect embellishment for this layout about her friend cycling past to drop off a card and present.

Finally I added a few gems to my clusters the Bramble Fox “This matters” title. I love how it turned out and I’m really glad that I embraced getting messy. Definitely something I want to do more of. How about you?

Stay safe and keep smiling x