Monday 16 December 2013

Get the Sequins Out

How's your Christmas prep coming along ?  I have bought one or two things but saving my shopping to do when we go to Berlin. I hear there are a fair few Christmas markets over there!

So with no presents bought, I decided to prepare in advance and made some gift tags for the four of us.

I cut the tags from some 6x4 American Crafts Variety Pack in Pastel.  I removed 1 1/5" of the 4" width, leaving me with a tag approximately 2 1/5" x 6".  I added some Christmassy Washi Tape to the top before punching a large hole in the tag.

Next I added some stickers and Chipboard from Crate Paper Bundled Up Collection.  Lastly, not forgetting those sequins, I grabbed a few stars and glue them down with Diamond Glaze.  I added an alphabet Thickers to each tag so we can identify which presents belong to whom.

I love those Nut Crackers.  The tall one used to belong to A, it got returned to us when his parents had a clear out of A's stuff.  So he has been around a while.  He has moved a few housed with us.  Once house move, he came out of the box and was missing a foot.  This somehow miraculously, got reunited and reglued back on.  Next house move he lost an arm...many months later we located this too.  I am pleased to say, he is complete right now. I'll take better care next house move.

The yellow Nut Cracker was a gift from a German au-pair who lived with us about 10 years ago. He is still very much intact.  Perhaps we'll invest in another one when we are in Berlin ?

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Was This Not the Best Looking Cake ?

I am hosting the Sketch challenge at Sarah's Cards this month.  My sketch is simple so you don't have any excuse not to join me. 

This is what I've made.  In some ways, you could say I have an obsession with trying to get the Heston's or Delia's cake from Waitrose.  As I don't normally shop at Waitrose, I usually missed out.  Not last year. I happened to be in Waitrose Cafe for coffee morning with the other mummies. I managed to snap one up.

I have used products from Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party collection.Sooo pretty! Instead of patterned paper matting under the photo, I have used multiple copies of the same photo. I happened to have printed a few in mulitple sizes to see what would work better.  It turned out, all three sizes worked together. Here it is close up.

So, what do you think ? Was this not the best looking cake ? Whatever you think, you've got to play along at Sarah's Cards blog.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Christmas order, confirmed!

I did this LO for Scrap365.  Did you see it ?

The local farm shop has these turkeys out front as you drive in. When we first saw them this year, they reminded us to place our order. This was back in October.  A few weeks later, as they flocked up to the fence to look at us, ever curious, we thought their number have swelled.  But no, they have merely been fattened up.  No doubt by now, it being December, they would no longer be there in their enclosure...

I have added pretty feathers to the layout, entirely appropriate, I thought.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

The Swarm at Thorpe Park

We went to Thorpe Park a few weeks ago, when the weather was still nice and the sun was still high in the sky.  You needed that, if you were planning on riding the water rides. We got thoroughly soaked on Tidal Wave!

When we got to Thorpe Park, Hamish and I promptly joined the queue for The Swarm. It was a 20 minutes queue at that point. The 20 minutes turned into over an hour.  The queue management was the most shambolic of any rides we have been on. For a start, they had 2 rows of seats on the rides turned backward for extra thrill.  The queue for this was much shorter but when you get to the ride, you can go anywhere you want.  So our "going forward" queue was getting slower and slower. Then they decided to hook on another set of rides so they can have 2 going simultaneously.  That took some time, not sure why they didn't do it before they open.  Then the 2 simultaneous were ran more like one after the other.

Enough about the bad queue.  The ride was awesome.  It was very, very fast, very high, twist and turning that I have ever experienced. And over is less than a minute. The ride went very close to some buildings built as prop for the ride but unlike the dummies in the test runs, there were no close calls. We didn't lose limbs. It was extreme but it was very smooth. It was the best ride on a roller coaster for me, ever!

You want to see the layout as evidence, right ?

Monday 14 October 2013

Ferry to Yarmouth

I always get excited when I go on a ferry, even if it is just a short trip. I think this harks back to those frequent trips from Butterworth to Penang from my childhood. A ride on the ferry always felt like going over-seas!

We went to the IOW in the summer so I had to do a layout of the crossing.

I am loving the plastic stars from Studio Calico.  They will be sprinkling their ways into more layouts very soon!

This layout was done for Sarah's Cards October Sketch Challenge.  Why don't you join us for a chance to win some spending "money" on loads of lovely stash ?

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Jamie's Big Feastival in the Cotswold

We went to the Big Feastival at the end of the summer holidays. It was our first festival. The food aspect was the main draw. Did you notice that it is called Feast - ival rather than Fest-ival ?

Camping out in a field with other festival goers proved to be challenging in the evening especially with kids whining, "I am not comfortable" ( for god sake, check into a five star establishment! ) to "I need a wee" and their indulgent parents who thinks it is ok to shout out in the close quarters of tent living. Incidentally, the new born baby and his parents in next door tent hardly made a sound all weekend! So that was the low point. Even the porta-loos weren't bad.

So this is our field.  The tents were quite close, or so I thought until J pointed out that at the V, the tents are much closer. LOL

Checking out the grounds on Friday night, we caught a spectacular sun set over the arena.
Saturday morning and it's officially opened by Jamie Oliver and Alex James ( of Blur ).  The venue was on Alex James' farm.  He is now a farmer and he makes cheese.
Inspired by the Weber B-B-Q demo, we had to get the chimney starter.
The festival goers eating, drinking and enjoying the music.

Spotted, Jamie Oliver being photographed with a group of singers.

J claimed A's sunglasses as his own, trying out the PIMM's deckchairs.

This wheel turned out quite fast.  Wasn't expecting that.  What's more, because it was not busy we had many, many spins.  "When will it end", was constantly on my mind.

So I let the boys ride this one out.  Loved snapping away here!

And you know where this is going! I made a layout of our weekend.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Cake Rota

I made this layout last autumn. I have only just had it back from Scrap365 last week, I had forgotten all about it.
Now that a new school year has started, the cake rota is a favourite discussion in our house.  J said, "We are trying to get a cake rota started in all our classes". "How many cake rotas is that ?". Well, they have 2 teachers for each subjects so that's six in total. Not all the teachers are popular, so maybe he will end up with three.
"The trick is to be placed at the end of the rota", he said. "Then usually the rota petered out". "We had a really nice rainbow muffin today", he added. 
"I need to bring in some cakes next Tuesday", said H.  Not a rota, but a birthday cake for everyone in Greek, all six of them!
I have joint the cake rota at work too.  Someone brings in cakes or chocolate on Tuesday for our departmental meeting.  I have been sampling the cakes so I felt obliged to join in.  Not sure yet when I am up but these brownies might be making an appearance. Another option is raspberry slices. We will see.
ps: I cut out those chevrons by hand.

Monday 9 September 2013

Right Here...Summer Style with Layers

Hello Gorgeous.  How are you enjoying the UKS Blog Hop so far ?  You should have come from Cal but if you are lost, you can find all the links back on UKS.

Welcome to my blog. I am going to show you how I created a very layered layout. I hope it will inspire you to get creating now that the kids are back at school.

I don't usually have a lot of layers under my photos but on discovering a lot of journaling cards, I thought I had better put some of them to work.  Rather than haphazardly pushing cards and embellishments under, I decided to work at the layers methodically.  A bit too prescriptive ? Maybe!  For me, it helped to think of the layers like this.
I started by preparing my base cardstock. I removed approximately 1" from the white cardstock to end up with 11"x11".  I didn't cut it too straight before I framed it with 2 patterned papers. I am intending to machine sew around the edge but I won't do this till the end.
I added four journaling cards plus the red tag to lift a very neutral card a little.

Next I added two Fancy Pants stencil cards.  The cut out on the card provided me an opportunity to add another layer so underneath them went a piece of patterned paper and some stamps. Later on, you'll see why I used the stamps.

I added two photos to the mix.

This is followed by a framed photo in the middle.  The chipboard and a little bit of twine adds another layer.

Next I added three clusters of labels in a triangle formation - top right, bottom right and middle left. You probably already know about how a triangle is used in designing a LO so I will not bother you with a lecture today. 

I added a wood veneer shape on top of each cluster of labels and that's pretty much my photo area done.

I added a title at the bottom of the page. I seem to be doing a lot of titles at the bottom of the page right now. You are probably bored with that.   For this layout, moving to the bottom provided some clear space between two areas of clutter.  I went over the top with some stamps from October Afternoon.
That space in between provided the perfect area for my journaling. I also sew around the edges at this point.

There you go. The photos are from when we visited Mudeford, Dorset  This layout is called Right Here because you don't have to get on a plane to find some lovely place. Do those postage stamps make sense now ?

I hope you are inspired to try this yourself.  If you do, please post me a link.  I would love to see.

That's all from me.  Your next stop is Kathy on

Thursday 5 September 2013

Second Day of School Photos

Is first day of school photo a ritual in your household ?  It is in mine but I forgot yesterday morning. I don't even have the excuse of work because I didn't work yesterday.   So these are our Second Day of School photos.

J is in the Upper Sixth.  How did that happen ?

He came downstairs yesterday in a crumpled shirt.  When asked why he was not wearing one of the ironed shirts, his reply was, "This is more stylish".  LOL.  Stylish ?  It is just school uniform for heaven sake!

H joins Year 10 and starts on the thread mill of GCSE.  I guess Year 13 won't be too far off for him either. He was practising, "How much scowling can I get away with ?" in this photo.  He is usually a very cheerful person.

We usually have photos by the house number as it provides a height chart of some sort. ps; I think I can fit under it.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Returning to the World of Work!

I am pleased to share with you that I am going back to work next week. It is part-time maternity cover for a year. It is the biggest employer I have worked for so that is quite daunting. There has been a lot of paper work too.  I hope I can find my nearly 30 years old passport because they want to see my original "indefinite leave to remain" stamp.  Or I might not be going to that all day induction on Monday.

ps: I relented ( oh that was arm twistingly hard ) and bought some lovely new work dresses

Monday 12 August 2013

King of the Zipwire

The August challenge for Sarah's Cards has just gone up. Go check it out.

Here is what I made with Lou's sketch.

Here's a close up of the hanging title area. I managed to sneak in another home made badge.
My scribbles on the edges say, "As with all rides, you went for the perfect finish. You managed the running stop every time. Not as easy as it looked. Especially in the pouring rain." I wrote with a pencil because I like the informality but I wonder, will it rub off over time ?  What do you think ?  Archival quality or not ?

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Summer Camp

I was away in the Peaks for a week with "scouts" from school. I have enclosed scouts in "" which to me means we are not real scouts.  If we are not scouts, what are we?  Well, our group from school used to be scouts but two years ago the school decided to break away from the movement.  So whilst we do scouting type activities, we are not scouts.

I ordered sunshine and it was delivered. I wish I didn't. Walking many miles on the Pennine Way to Jacob's Ladder was not fun. But the boys encouraged me ( thank you Wolves ) and we made it.

When we finally got to Jacobs Ladder, it was nice to cool off in the river.


When we finally got to Upper Booth Farm where we were camping, we were issued with a 24 hour MOD ration pack. And we slept, sheltering under tarp. Damn those midges!

As an aside, thank you for all your warm wishes.  I know I am late announcing but I have been catching up on some sleep.  No excuse, I appreciate that. I did that draw thing where H picked a name out of a hat and the winner is CoventryAnn.  Ann, please contact me with your address.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Five Years of Blogging

It is five years since I started blogging. My first post went live on 7th July 2008. This is one of the first layouts I posted.

Here are a few layouts from those early blog posts.
J went to senior school.
Riding a wooden roller coaster at Efteling in Holland.
We went on Safari to Kenya.
I had small break after moving house but I can't believe I have continued posting. I was slow to the uptake of blogging to begin with because I wasn't sure I can keep it up...I am one of those who is afraid of long term commitment.
In the new house, I managed to bagsie myself a new scrap room.  This is what it looked like.  Nowadays it is not fit for company or photograph!
I used to like bright and busy.  Here are some layouts from that era.

Somewhere along the line, I went less-is-more.  Back in 2010 actually, with this post, "It started with this".

But from time to time, I can't resist filling the page up.

2013 Resolution for no new dresses is still adhered to. Go me!

The chickens are now doing something like 15-20 eggs a week.  Go hens...especially the white one that lays pretty much non-stop.

Have you done the Harry Potter Studio ?  That was fun.

Another class for UKS. 

Feeling blessed that we live in such a beautiful spot of the country.

Thank you to all my friends who continue to read and support my blog. I hope we can all stay in touch and being friends forever! As a show of my appreciation, I will send a small padded envelope filled with goodies to one of my reader who leaves a comment below. I will do a draw and publish the result on 15th July. See you then.