Friday, 31 July 2015

Friday Smiles

Hmm, I scrabbling around for a smile this week.  It's not that there haven't been any, it is just that I haven't photographed any.  One of the things that is making me smile is butterflies outside my window.  I am logging them for The Butterfly Conservation with an app from irecord.  Mum snapped this yesterday...

I think it is a male gatekeeper.

Linking up at Annie's

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Right Now

I might be getting in to my stride with the July kit from Like For Ever...

Although looking at this now, perhaps it could use a title somewhere?

This is all about the background paper.  It had white triangles on it - how to use it without obliterating them? Well I cut templates of each one (of course they were all different sizes!) and stacked up transparent layers.  I attached them by running them through my sewing machine - just one line of stitching so I could bend up the edges for dimension.

I scattered some rub on triangles over the layout and added quite a lot of black ink.  Every time I thought I'd finished with the ink I went back and added a little bit more!

The thing I love most about this layout though are the juicy layers under the photo.  Tonnes of layers, all different colours and materials - plain vellum, plain tissue paper, patterned paper, patterned vellum, cardstock, tissue paper used to mop up inks, and finally a piece of stripy packaging.

Entering at Simon Says Stamp - no ordinary paper.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A little thing called happiness

Following on from yesterdays layout using strips from the doodled borders paper in my July Like For Ever kit, this layout uses the little bits that didn't make it on to the first page!

I played around with Shimmerz on the background, and added quite a lot of black ink splats.

The offcuts were matted on to vellum or tissue paper, and some carried the title and date.

I thought, even though the black is integral to the design, I had over done it, and lost the balance.  I felt it needed more white so I added a few messy tangles of white thread, and I think I pulled it back!

The rub ons I used for the title were lovely to use.  It's always a worry when you pull out the rub ons - will they work?  Will the crack and be patchy and ruin my layout?  Luckily these one were good.  Now to use up the rest of the packet before they go off!!

Monday, 27 July 2015


I've broken in to my Like For Ever kit for July.  My favourite sheet of paper from the kit is the doodled borders so that sheet is featured in the first two layouts.

The Like For Ever facebook group is such an inspiring place, this layout is based on a layout from Rebecca.

I decided to use different coloured threads for some added texture...

And I think I'll definitely be using more than one colour per layout in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Lovely 30

Oh Cocoa Vanilla, I really have a crush on you!!  (For those of you who don't know of Cocoa Vanilla, they are an independant Aussie company making gorgeous scrapbooking collections.)  Here I have used Cocoa Vanilla papers, sequins, enamel dots and flair, matched with a couple of alphas from my stash and a cut file from Just Nick.

I'm not sure why I love these papers so much.  It might be the colour palette, it might be the patterns, the fact that they are so versatile, I can't pinpoint one reason - I just adore them!

The type writer style writing is cut from a sheet of Maggie Holmes paper from a Like For Ever kit.

I layered the photos on some tissue paper and tucked some sequins underneath just peeping out.

And I popped up the 'subtitles' on some thin foam tape.  I love to do this when usng white on white as it gives lovely shadows.

So happy with this one!  And I will be doing my best not to hoard the rest of my Cocoa Vanilla supplies!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 25 July 2015


One of my favourite past times when 'I have enough energy to do something but not enough energy to actually do something'* is to watch other people make art in youtube videos.  Very occasionally I actually paint something based on what I watch.

Amongst my favourites to watch are The Frugal Crafter Lindsay Weirich.  This is based on one of her tutorials...

And this is using an alcohol hand sanitizer on wet watercolour inspired by Sumiyo Toribe.

I wish I did more painting!

Thanks for stopping by.

* I don't think anyone who has not experienced M.E/C.F.S will understand this!  It's a weird feeling!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

2 Hooray

There are epic levels of excitement here as it is nearly new kit time!  I'd better get a wriggle on and blog the remaining layouts from June's Like For Ever kit...

This page is a giant shaker pocket!  I used a white cardstock background and began my layering.  The papers and washi strips from the kit, with the number die cuts, completely overwhelmed my photo.  I started playing with an over and under concept - the photo of the second birthday, the number 2, and the balloons being on top of the vellum whilst the layers and other numbers remain under the vellum.

This softened the other colours allowing my photo an focal pieces to shine.

I added a little glossy accents to one of the balloons for extra pizazz!

I sewed round the edge of the vellum, about 5cm before my line of stitches joined up I unthreaded the machine, and carried on sewing.  This gave me the holes I needed to hand finish the sewing after I had put my sequins inside.  The sequins I chose were a mix from SpiegelMom Scraps and the Maggie Holmes set from a previous Like For Ever kit.

This turned out very differnt from how I had imagined it, but I will definitely be making this type of layout again.  I love the finished article!

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up to Simons Says - sequins.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


I keep an eye on the challenge themes at Quirky Crafts.  They are, as the name suggests, always a little quirky.  I get disillusioned with anything goes challenges - it's not a challenge!  I like the fact that you have to work a bit to join in at Quirky's.  This week the theme is all white.  Tricky, but very fun!

I used modelling paste through a stencil, then compared my Cosmic Shimmer mist and Shimmerz Inklingz.  (I've been attracted to Shimmerz but with the postage and the fact I already have some mists I haven't managed to justify buying.  But some how these little Inklingz pots made me buy them...)  Today was the first play with just one of the colours and compared to the Cosmic Shimmer it hits the mark.

The droplets are mist, the splatty splodges are Inklingz.   It looks better in real life than it does in the photos, it's much more shimmery.

I pulled out a few white layers - card, mulberry tissue, grosgrain and satin ribbon and a  die cut frame.

I finished off with some sequins, enamel dots and a wood heart painted white.  I gave it a coat of shimmer too.

Perhaps the best photo of the shimmer...  it really is shimmery!  The alphas are glittery white thickers - a favourite that are running low - the i is made from a j!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Happiest Creating

Hopefully you are back today having seen yesterdays step-by-step to making this background.  This is the finished layout...

 I pulled out the dry background and headed over to Like For Ever's Scrappy Challenge.  The starting point this fortnight is use materials beginning with your initials.  Excellent - Lace and Ribbon... but what about J?  Well I went for Juniper - the shade of Derwent Graphitint pencil I coloured my feathers and added to the background.  (You know me, using ribbon and lace was not a challenge at all!  I may come back to this challenge and push myself if time allows in the next couple of weeks!)

I pulled out some white papers, some organza swiss dots, a couple of grosgrain 3mm, some white lace, and a shade of purple lace that was as close a match to my juniper coloured pencil as possible.  All the lace and ribbon is, of course, from Crafty Ribbons.  I used a few simple paper layers and then tucked little pieces of lace and organza ribbon in between them.

Because my background has a layer of gesso the alphas were reluctant to stay stuck.  So I spun my chair around to face my sewing machine and ran a line of stitching through them.  Because I was having fun, and didn't want it to end, I added a few little runs of stitching through some of the heart stickers too.

Then I finished off with a bit of second generation stamping.  The ink at full strength was too much, so I stamped the freshly inked stamp on to a scrap first.  Then the second and third imprints of the stamp went directly on to the layout.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Step By Step

I'm going to start doing a few step by step walk throughs of how I create my projects.  For the first one I'm going to show you how I create a background for a scrapbook layout.

1. I started off knowing I want to use some holographic heart stickers.  They are pinks, purples and blues and these prompt me with the colours of inks I want to use.  I also add a neutral grey and my trusty clear gesso.

2. I know I am going to be using water and that my card is regular thick card - it will warp.  You could use watercolour paper if you wish.  To help combat the warp I spread the thinnest layer of clear gesso over my card.  I use a pallet knife to spread it as thin as possible - you really don't need much.

3. When the gesso is dry I start flicking my mists.  I tend to start with the neutral colour.

4. I spritz the ink droplets with some water to spread the colour and give a more painterly look.

5. I then took my lilac mist and blue mist and flicked on some colour.  As I had already spritzed with water I didn't need to add more, but if the inks stop flowing and merging on the paper you can spritz with water again.

6. My pink mist is quite bold so I put a few drops in a pipette with some water to dilute the ink so it doesn't stand out too much from the other colours.  (I find pink and red splatters can look a little blood like, so I try to avoid this!)

7. I flicked the diluted ink direct from the pipette and it gave me bigger blobs.  I didn't mind the size of the blobs but I did feel they were a little bit too bright.

8. To soften the pink I rolled some kitchen paper over the top to absorb the excess ink.

9. Repeat steps 3-8 adding another 4 layers of inks splats, again spritzing with water to get the inks to flow across the page.

10. When the last layers are completely dry I added some flicks of the neutral ink without spritzing with water.  These ink drops stay as defined drops instead of spreading out.

11. Add stickers as randomly as possible, keeping an eye on the balance.  You don't want too many pinks on one side, try to spread them evenly.  Also, keep a few stickers spare for using as finishing touches on your finished layout.

So that is my process of making a background.  Come back tomorrow to see the finished layout...

Let me know what you think, and ask any questions you may have - I love to hear from you!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Two For One Sunday!

As a Like For Ever subscriber perk there is a wonderful facebook members group.  Every other Sunday Nicola sets us a just for fun challenge.  The last one was based around some sketches with the added challenge of using at least one of each of the following patterns; plain, striped, dotty, floral and motif.

The first layout is very loosely based on the sketch...

The cut file is from Things That Shine, I had the settings wrong so it is a half cut!

My string of bunting is a little squashed up!  I quite like it though...

The second layout sticks to the sketch more exactly.

This is made from kit contents and stuff on my desk.  I also broke in to the mistable alphas that have sat in my stash for nearly a year.

 Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

This Is My Beauty Face / Ice Cream

A couple of layouts today...

This first one is using some goodies I was fortunate enough to win from Elle's Studio.  They took an age to get here, mainly because they weren't dispatched to begin with, but I have now got round to using them.  This is the first time I've used Elle's Studio products and they are a nice quality.

The journalling reads: The 'selfie mode' on my mobile phone camera is called Beauty Face.  Every time I switch this on (which isn't often) and read those two words it instantly makes me want to pull a face like this!

And I used my sewing machine a fair bit too.  There has been a lot of talk about 'your style' in scrapbooking circles.  I don't know that I have a style necessarily.  But perhaps if I do my style includes tying my sewing thread ends in to bows.

And this second layout is made with my June Like For Ever kit, plus a few bits from my stash. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 17 July 2015

L & B

I had to use the doily - I just had to!  It made it on to this layout channelling just the green and reds found in my Like For Ever kit for June.

I'm not going to lie, I struggle with ephemera packs.  All the happy-happy sayings are not my thing.  My life is OK, I'm not unhappy, but it is not a conventionally happy perfect life.  I always look for ways to use pieces in ways other than how they were intended...

Cutting this piece gave me a B for Bob and an L for Laura.  Perfect!

The L is in the left cluster.  I added a Things That Shine cut file and some enamel dots and hearts to the Like For Ever kit.

The B makes it in to the right hand cluster, along with a little bit of everything else that was included in the left hand cluster.

Thanks for stopping by!

Firday Smiles

I made it in to the garden at the beginning of the week - which is a smile in itself - and managed to capture this beauty...

And today includes Nephy Dude so there will be so many smiles I will lose count!
Linking up at Annie's

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


As part of the Crafty Ribbons Design Team we are asked to make samples using ribbon that are displayed on the exhibition stand.  Ali and Tony do some shows in France each year and I came up with the idea of making a French flag.  This will be used on the stand for the next shows in November.

I've done a little research on today's project before sharing on the Crafty Ribbons Inspiration blog - let me share it with you...
In France on the 14th July they celebrate their National Day - La FĂȘte nationale or Le quatorze juillet - the English speaking world (wrongly) call it Bastille Day.
Very thankful I looked that up before posting as I'd hate to offend!
In honour of '14th Juillet' I've made the Tricolore out of ribbon!

Tutorials are something I always think about after the event unfortunately, so I'll just talk you through the how-to's...

1.  First off get your measurements.  Flags tend to have a ratio - the tricolore is 2:3 - the Union Jack is 3:5.  When I had figured how large I was going I cut a piece of wide grosgrain twice the length plus a little bit for turning in.  This is what I attached the ribbons too and will be doubled over.

2.  I marked the sections of blue, white, red, fold, red, white and blue on to the wide grosgrain.

3.  Next pin strips of ribbon in the appropriate colour to the wide grosgrain until you get the desired effect.  This flag is quite a 'full' flag.  The next one I make I will try slightly less full, with fewer ribbon drops.  When I came to pieces that were not long enough I stitched a few together to make them a usable length.

4.  Using a sewing machine whizz a few lines of stitches to secure the drops in place.

5.  Fold the wide grosgrain on the fold point you marked earlier - right in the middle of the red sections.  Pin the wide grosgrain, and tuck the raw edges under, then sew along the top and the bottom edges.  This leaves you with a channel for a piece of dowelling to hang your flag on.  Alternatively you could add a couple of ties, made from ribbon of course, to tie your flag to whatever you are displaying it on.

I didn't have the best day for photographing and I'm sharing the out takes too.  It sure moves prettily in the wind!!

Of course all the ribbon is from Crafty Ribbons and available on their website.  Crafty Ribbons will also be at Craft Fairs in Scotland and England towards the end of this year, so I am working on a couple more flags too!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sharing at Inspire Me Mondays, Creativity Unleashed, Link Party Palooza, Anything But A Card, Make My Monday.

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