A blog for cooking and crafts

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Camera ...... Action!

My DH took these pictures of Little Girl running around the garden, they were all so cute I couldn't pick which to use ...... so I used all of them! The collage function in Picasa is a great tool for using lots of photos. I printed the picture with a black background (trying not to wince at all the black ink I was just going to cut off and throw away!) and cut around the shape of the collage.

The rest of the page is very simple, a nice black paper from stash (might be Creative Imaginations) and the title is done with American Crafts Thickers.
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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Street Party

A bit of a red, white and blue post today! Little Girl celebrating the Royal Wedding with Grammy and Grandad. I even have a bit of journalling on this one - LG's Mum told me that the party was held in the same place as she herself had celebrated the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The papers are mostly from stash, though I had to buy a couple of extras at the retreat! I punched out scalloped squares to make a patchwork pattern, then added a ric-rac circle and some buttons. I had seen the Union Jack buttons in Duttons for Buttons at York when we had been on holiday and knew I would use them for this page LOL.

I usually print borderless photos, but these looked better with the white edge. The title is done with American Crafts Thickers, also bought at the retreat!
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The third class-based LO from the retreat :-) Very interesting to make this one - we had to cut flaps in the paper and fold back to reveal the pattern on the reverse side. I didn't do very well making the flowery embellishment from a strip folded round and round onto a giant glue dot, it's a little wonky but I have managed to tuck the worst side under the flap LOL.

Again I went away from the original design a bit - I put the scallop border at the top of the 'window', punched out circles and butterflies, then die-cut some swirls. The title is done with foam American Crafts Thickers. I used the twine from the kit to make a butterfly trail ending in two bows and a few pearls here and there to finish the whole thing off.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Little Buttercup

Another retreat class. I changed this one a bit too, in the original there was a hidden journalling envelope and only one photo, amongst other things LOL. Well, I don't do hidden journalling, once my pages are in the protector, that's it, they are never to be touched again! No interactive pages for me :-) And of course, since this is a Little Girl page, there is no journalling anyway, hidden or otherwise.......

Now I don't usually do torn paper either, but over the weekend I was tearing and inking like a maniac! I really like the way the torn/inked edges look on this page, will definitely do it again, along with the windmill - I foresee several of those finding their way into this LG album :-) I added the pearly butterfly swirl as it had been in my stash for ages and I really wanted to use it up - it does look good paired with the windmill.

I think this is my favourite class-based LO of the weekend :-)
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Sunday, 13 November 2011


Last weekend, I went to the Sarah's Cards retreat in Warrington. I was a bit nervous, both because of the long drive (five hours) and the fact that I didn't know anyone. No need to have worried though, everyone was very friendly and helpful! There were 6 classes all together - I didn't do the two Sunday ones as I wanted to leave for the five hour drive back straight after lunch, rather than at 4:30 after the last class, and the morning class would have taken too a long time to dry before being able to attempt to pack it up for transporting! So I got both the class kits and instructions to take home with me to do later.

I now can't for the life of me remember which class was whose, so a big thank you to all the teachers! I didn't produce an exact replica of any of the classes, but started off following the instructions, than wandering off on my own path LOL.

This class LO had us making flags and rosettes - there were two rosettes to make, but the process really made my hand hurt, so I just did the one....... it's not as perfect as it could have been, but it doesn't look too bad on the page.

Little Girl's mum had sent me a lot of pictures (after a gentle reminder!) and I now have enough material for about 24 pages. This one is LG and Big Sister enjoying a glass of milk.

Over the weekend I completed 9 LOs (minus journalling) and partially did two more, which were the class ones for which I didn't have any photos which matched the kits with me. I'm very pleased with my total!

And somehow..... I managed to also find the time .... to do a bit of shopping ...... well actually I made several trips up the hall to the shop, but I did at least stay within budget :-)

Thank you to Sarah, Lianne and the team for a great weekend :-)

Thursday, 13 October 2011


DS2's 19th birthday - homemade pizza and birthday cake :-) Karen reminded him to take the ribbon off the cake carefully so I could use it for scrapping, so he fiddled around for ages trying to get the knot undone but eventually had to cut the ribbon in two. Then he discovered that the ribbon wasn't tied under the cake at all, but just lifted straight off !!!!

Timepiece papers again and I took inspiration from the paper for the title, robo-cutting the Roman numerals XIX - took a lot of trial and error to find the right font, until Sy suggested Times New Roman! Duh! Journalling is on Safmat.
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Wednesday, 12 October 2011


It's rare that we get a visit from DS2 now he has moved away, so I seized this opportunity last year for some photos of my two boys. They co-operated willingly ..... for a while :-)

The papers are from my favourite "Timepiece" collection from Bo Bunny, just a simple arrangement of three x 6" sheets over one of the 12" ones. I used a couple of the sticker borders from the collection pack too, the scallop and the circle chain. The title and gears are robo-cut and I stamped a journalling box.
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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Spot the Difference

We seem to have taken a lot of pictures of DS1's hair in 2010! He went for a haircut and was quite happy to pose for before and after shots :-)

Quite plain and simple, this one, but I took a long time fidlding around getting everything how I wanted! The background paper is from Rayher, the stripey one is from stash - maybe K&Co? - the brown lattice paper is Prima. I robo-cut the title and numbers (font: Bendable) and used an inverted corner punch for the photos and mats.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Blond Moment & Simple Homemade magazine

Somehow a ray of sunshine managed to sneak in through the window while I was taking the photograph of this LO! This is the last photo of DS1 with blond hair - he changed it back to brown shortly afterwards, with some fetching red streaks :-)

The papers are from Rayher, I cut into them slighly to tuck the photo under the spiky circles. The small circles are chipboard covered with embossed metal. I die-cut the border and journalling box using Nesties and the title is robo-cut. Some lace, crystal flourishes, pearls and a little doodling were supposed to complete the page, but it needed a little something else, so I stamped some small flourishes which had come free with the copy of Simply Homemade magazine I had bought the day before.

The magazine itself was very good and I have got several ideas from it, but I have to say I was not too impressed with the stamps - they have almost no cling and fall off the backing sheet at the drop of a hat .... I have already lost one under my desk! I certainly wouldn't pay the £9.99 they are supposedly worth, according to the cover blurb!
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Friday, 30 September 2011

Can we build it?

My DH went up to visit his family and spent most of the weekend struggling to put up a gazebo - the instructions were less than adequate and they had to take apart and rebuild three times!

The green stripey paper is from stash, and shows up much better in real life than in this photo, just couldn't seem to take a decent pic. I stamped and embossed some flourishes in the corners and doodled some faux stitching between them to form a frame. Then I added some crystal swirls and punched out some leaves to finish off the corner.

The bunting was cut on the robo and attached to a thin strip of cardstock, with some ribbon at the top ...... this took ages as the ribbon refused to lie flat for sticking and kept curling up! I had originally planned to leave it at that, but it looked a little plain, so I punched out diamonds and stars, cut the diamonds in half to make triangles and stuck all those down. Then I decided the doodled frame needed a little more emphasis so I punched out more diamonds in pale yellowy green and dark green, stuck all those on then realised that the dark blue would look much better than dark green - so punched out yet more diamonds and put them over the green ones.....

The title is robo-cut, in both greens, then layered one on top of the other to give a shadowed effect. Journalling is on safmat, stuck to the pale green and die cut with a deckled edge Nestie.

I always find it difficult to scrap events at which I wasn't present, but I am quite pleased with the way this has turned out!
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Thursday, 29 September 2011

Beside the Seaside

This is the DLO for last year's Cardinal Retreat, completed at this year's one! I managed to get some nice shots of Eastbourne pier and seafront as well as the gang and our cropping space.

Paper, cardstock and ric-rac are all from stash. The journalling is on safmat and the title is robo-cut, using fonts Cairo and Santa's Big Secret, well fonts are not just for Christmas you know......... LOL.
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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Surprise Party

Another LO completed at the CC retreat! These are pictures of our friend's surprise 40th birthday party - they had come over from America to see friends and family and Harvey had organised a party for Mel, we had had to bite our tongues when she had popped round for a visit a few days previously!

The paper is from Prima (Moulin Rouge?), it had an image at the side which I wanted to cover, hence the scalloped edge side border - it looks quite plain in the photo, but it is Swiss Dot cardstock and looks better in real life! I cut strips to make a frame and the title is robo-cut using the font Hawaiian Punk. A few die cut flourishes and safmat journalling, then it was done.
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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Over the Rainbow

This is another LO completed at the retreat. White space on this one - something which I don't usually do!

The paper is from stash, I don't even remember buying it, so goodness know how old it is :-) I actually was hunting through the stash looking for a blue patterned paper but none seemed to go with the photo well, then I had a lightbulb moment and went for white - looks much much better! I robo-cut the letters in two different fonts, Cairo and Albemarle Swash. The pearl swirls are made from ZVA flourishes, cut about a bit to fit round the letters. And that's it, though it took a while to put it all together just right!

Nice and simple :-)
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Friday, 23 September 2011

Mighty Lemon Trees

This is DS1 holding the lemon tree he grew from a pip....... he has also grown an orange pip and next will be trying his hand at an olive stone .... my house will become a jungle....... LOL.

There are five different papers in here, all of them from old stash except the cream/red spot paper, which is fairly new and by Rayher. The ric-rac is from a RAK (Randon Act of Kindness)! I robo-cut the title and found four square brads for the corners - they were buried in a little box on my desk - really really must sort out my stuff!!!
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Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I can't believe I haven't blogged for 5 weeks! Talk about real life getting in the way :-( Mind you that slice of real life did include a great holiday week in York and the fabulous Cardinal Colours retreat in Eastbourne last weekend. Great classes and wonderful to see old and new faces. Many thanks go to Jill and her team for organising such an amazing event! I completed 10 LO's - including Anita's wonderful canvas class.

This is the LO I completed for this month's Scrapology challenge - the theme is embossing, so the night before (and the morning of) the retreat I was stamping and embossing like mad so I could take enough motifs for this page with me! The photo is of everything I bought at Ally Pally in September last year and I was determined to use one of the bought items in the LO, so decided on the spirograph stamps (Maya Road).

The strip down the left side is punched using an EK Success punch, which was then stamped and embossed with a 12" border stamp. Then I stamped/embossed loads of the spirograph circles in gold, nutmeg and pearl gold on different cardstocks - ivory, black and bronze. Lastly I stamped/embossed a journalling block. Then I stuffed them all into my bag and set off hoping I had made enough!

I had the black embossed strip (Morrocan screen embossing folder - cuttlebug?) left over from another project - actually it had been a practice piece, but had come out too well to throw away! I also had some metal left over from one of my Ikea mirror projects, which had been embossed using a tiny mesh embossing folder and then alcohol inked - there was just enough to make a mat for the title. The spirograph images were punched out using scalloped and plain circles and layered up in twos and threes - well the original sketch had flowers on it .... and you *know* I don't do flowers LOL. Oh and I inked the ivory cardstock images with some chalk ink to match the background better, they were a bit bright.

The background paper is from Black Market Paper, the plain yellowy torn-edged paper is *I think* Basic Grey and the Harlequin paper was bought on my very first trip to the US in 2004, so I have no idea what it is! I am not really into tearing paper, in fact I cringed as I did it and Karen swore she heard the paper scream! But actually..... I rather like the way it has come out. The title is done with American Crafts Thickers.

It took a while to get everything positioned how I wanted it, then of course I had to disassemble to stick it all down! This is my favourite Scrapology page so far, I love it :-)
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Friday, 12 August 2011

Snow berries

I started this LO at the crop last Sunday, but yesterday decided I didn't like what I had done so ripped off everything except the title (I was happy with that LOL) and started again ....... Luckily the repo Herma was still repo and the gems hadn't stuck very well so the paper was only slightly damaged and easily covered up! And no, I didn't think to take a "first attempt" photo .... sorry!

The paper is from Craft Creations, one of the Christmas range I bought last year. I had stamped directly onto the page on the first attempt, but it hadn't come out very well so I stamped and embossed (Marcasite embossing powder) onto some Bazzill Bling in Diamond and matted it onto Pomegranate, then covered up the mis-stamp! I hadn't actually expected the image to come out very well on the bazzill, usually the texture hinders stamping, but the result on the bling seems to be good .... will have to try some more of that.

The scallop lace borders are robo-cut (UKScrappers download) as is the title, using a font called Santa's Big Secret! I punched out some of the snowflakes (MS punch) and die-cut the rest (Marianne die). Then I took the big pearl and crystal swirl which had been just plonked down on the first attempt and cut it into pieces to go with the snowflakes.

I am really glad I re-did this one - it was a difficult decision to make, I had been really tempted to leave it how it was, no matter how bad ...... Really pleased with the result!
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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Scrapology August Challenge

This is my entry for the Scrapology August Challenge.

It was definitely challenging! I found the sketch hard to interpret, also my photo was 7x5 not 6x4 and I had to fit journalling in too! However as I worked through it, it came together quite well and I am really happy with it.

I used Bo Bunny Timepiece papers. The circle is done with some ric-rac I found in my ribbon box - I stuck it down first, to see how it would look, then had to keep lifting and repositioning it to put the patterned papers underneath! The cogs and gears are cut on the robo, using a UKScrappers download - I can't now remember whose, if anyone recognises it, could you let me know so I can give proper credit .... thank you. I also added some TH metal gears. For a bit of fun, I overstamped some of the cogs with a cogs stamp! The swirl is done with two different stamps (Dimension Fourth and Waltzing Mouse) and overlaid with a pearl flourish. The title is also robo-cut and I handwrote the journalling, then added a few pearls.

It's a lot simpler to type than it was to do!

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Christmas Tag Picture

This is the finished picture using the tags from the previous post. The background had been done for a while, but I had been putting off assembling it ...... in case it all went horribly wrong ...... LOL. But last weekend was craft weekend and Sy was here - she always makes me be brave so I got down to putting it all together!

The background is a Craft Creations paper, like the one on the tags but with Christmas words printed all over it. The squares are painted chipboard with an embossed and alcohol-inked metal square on top. I stamped and embossed two different flourishes and laid crystal swirls over the top. The frame was glimmer misted in reds/browns/bronze. And that's how it all stayed for weeks until last Saturday ......

The original plan was to position the two tags and then stamp the verse at the right hand side. After much tweaking of position (a smidge to the left, a twitch upwards, you know how it is!) I mounted the large tag on 2mm foam tape and the smaller on 1mm. Then I stamped and ...... DISASTER! The verse was just lost in the whole picture, you couldn't see it at all :-(

Lightbulb moment - I remembered I have a large tag punch, so I punched a piece of white paper to check it would cover the stamping, then stamped on and punched out the swirly paper, distress inked it as I had the others and inked the edges. Then I realised that I wanted it to lay flat, which it wouldn't do if I added an eyelet like the other tags. Sy suggested I use a pen to colour the edge of the eyelet hole - worked a treat!

I am dead chuffed with this - it might just stay out until Christmas now, I don't want to put it away! Oh and I asked DH what he thought and he said oh yes, it's very nice and then in a puzzled sort of way he said "But what's it for?" ...........

Men. Grrr.

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Christmas tags

I have been mulling over this idea for a long time - these two tags will form part of a bigger Christmas picture eventually!

I covered both tags with some Craft Creations Christmas paper, a mottled creamy colour with a darker cream swirl. Then I blended distress inks around the edges in Antique Linen and Tea Dye. The large tag was stamped with a Hero Arts flourish in Aged Mahogany and some Paperartsy cogs and gears in Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate. The smaller tag has a swirly background (think that is a Hero Arts one too!) and the cogs, using the same inks. I didn't want to cover the background when it was done!

The gears are die-cut with the Nestie sprocket set from gold mirri, which I smooshed over with a Versamark embossing pad and sprinkled embossing powder in copper, gold and black, then heated. Wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it seems to have worked pretty well. Although I am still finding areas of my desk which have a crunchy stray embossing powder layer!

The stamped images are matted onto Nestie label 18, run through an embossing folder after cutting. Father Christmas is from Stamps Away and the Partridge in a pear tree was bought in a sale last year - can't remember the brand now. It has unfortunately lost all 'cling' - I had to hold it in my fingers to ink it up and stamp it, it just wouldn't stick to the acrylic block! Took several attempts to get a good impression LOL. I then punched out the images with plain and scalloped oval punches. Ovals seem to work very well with this Nestie die, I will be using the combination again for cards, I think!

Then I added the crochet lace, the pearls and a Stampendous 'Merry Christmas' sentiment. I haven't really done tags before, but I love how these ones have turned out, so I might be doing some more!
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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Purple and White card

I bought these Go Kreate frilly square dies some time ago and this is the first time I have used them. I have to say, they didn't quite cut completely through, I had to take scissors to a couple of places. Next time, I will try an extra shim in the Big shot sandwich. The only other ones I have used from this range are the large plain and scalloped ovals and I had no problems with them.

The paper is from an old scrap pad I found while sorting stash and is matted onto some Bazzill Plum (sadly a discontinued colour). The punched strip is done with an EK Success border punch and I added some crochet lace to the unpunched edge. A flower - also found whilst stash-sorting! - and some pearls almost complete the card. Then I did the thing which terrifies me the most - stamping the sentiment directly on the card. I did have my tag dies ready in case I messed up the stamping and needed to do a cover up, but luckily it came out OK!
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Monday, 1 August 2011

Watch this space

We went to see our friends in their new house last Friday and came back with this table, which had been left by the previous occupants. I haven't painted up a piece of furniture for ages, so am really looking forward to doing this one ....... except ....... that ....... I don't have room for it, so will be giving it back to our friends once it is done! Nothing wrong with that, but when I asked what sort of look she would like, the reply was "a cream, distressed, crackled sort of thing". I don't really do distressed, so it will be an, erm, interesting venture out of my comfort zone!
First thing is, to get that awful sticky back plastic off the top.........
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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Embossed Gears card

Originally I had punched out the circle strips for the Pizza LO from yesterday's post, but they weren't quite the right colour, so I put them to one side for later use. I embossed some cardstock with a cogs and gears embossing folder (Cuttlebug?), matted it and added the circle strips. The sentiment tag and flourish are die-cut, sentiment to be added later - I may need a male 'Get well' card soon, if not then it'll be a stock birthday card.

This is a very plain and simple card, so much so that I am looking at it and wondering if it needs anything else - but I can't think what! Or should I just leave well enough alone?!
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Wednesday, 27 July 2011


In February 2010 we all went for pizza after a crop because we had some sort of special offer voucher - can't remember what it was now, but we made the most of it by ordering the largest size pizzas possible! We couldn't finish them all, so had to take some away with us :-)

The papers are from stash, in fact they came from a mixed bargain pack as I recall and I never thought I would use them.....! I punched out some strips with MS and EK border punches, die-cut some flourishes and robo cut the title. I found some orange brads, bought in a sale ages ago because they were a 'bargain', but I got them home and thought well why did I buy them, never going to use that colour! LOL.

Finally I added some crystal swirls, had to cut them up a bit to fit round the title, but I like the way they have come out. The journalling box is a nestie, either wonky rectangles or reverse wonky rectangles, I can never remember which is which LOL.

I have to say it looks much better IRL than the photo, I just couldn't seem to take a decent picture of it!
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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

First Christmas card

I know, I know - it's only July....... but we had a bit of a challenge going on, over on our forum. I challenged everyone to use a virgin stamp - one that had been bought (the longer ago the better!) but never used. I have quite a few stamps which fall into that catgory so it was a difficult choice :-) In the end I went for this Christmas holly frame, bought at Ally Pally in April from a bargain bin.

I stamped and embossed in gold, then distress inked the background with Antique Linen and Tea Dye. The leaves and berries were coloured with marvy pens. The sentiment may also be a virgin stamp - I can't remember whether I put it on any cards last year - it's stamped onto some swirly paper (Craft creations?), die-cut with nestie labels 4 and mounted onto a mat cut with the new labels 4 'small'. The whole thing was then matted onto some red card and attached to a pearlescent card blank. I kept it flat, no foam padded dimension, so it will post easily! A few pearls and a sentiment stamp to finish off.

I think I will be mkaing a few of these!
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Sunday, 24 July 2011


This is a picture of the chess set DH laser-cut as a present for a friend out of black and white acrylic. As usual with these things, it took far longer to design than to actually cut!
The page also took a lot longer than I thought it would - I had the idea about complete in my head, but I didn't realise just how long it takes to punch out 32 squares and stick them all down in a chessboard pattern! Then I added the gold frame, chess pieces, crochet lace, black ric rac and gold die-cut border. This was all done at the crop last month, but then I decided the pieces needed to be a different black and that I wanted a piece of black patterned paper at the side of the photo, so I took it home and added the black flocked paper and pearl swirl.
My robo then refused to cut the chess pieces and the (original) title because the carrier sheet had come to the end of its working life and I had to wait for a new one to arrive. Of course, once I had ordered it, I found the second of the pack of two I had previously bought......
Having cut the pieces and title in black, I realised that actually the black letters didn't look very good, so I looked through my stickers and found these American crafts thickers. Did I have all the letters I needed?? Of course not! I managed to find a supplier who still had stock and ordered a couple of packs.... then waited.... and waited..... They finally turned up a few days ago, but I had something on my desk I didn't want to move .....!
So finally, today I added the title, die-cut journalling box and two masks in black and white to represent the two opponents. I really like this black/ivory/gold combination :-)
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