Tuesday, 12 August 2014

S J Crafts August Challenge - a Teal Album

You know when you get an idea in your head and it is such a great idea that you just HAVE to do it?  But then you realise the logistics of completing the task in time alongside other last minute projects, and of course normal daily life, are not actually that favourable... but you decide to do it anyway?  Yep, that happened here!  I wanted to make something special for Louis's teacher because she really "got him" and he has really blossomed in her care.  I wanted to say a bigger thank you to her than my normal end of year projects so I decided to make her an album that she could use for her honeymoon photos and ephemera, or even her favourite moments from her wedding, which I knew to have a teal colour scheme.  Sarah's S J Crafts challenge for August was to make something holiday / travel related and to use something old and something new.  So with a week to go before the end of term I set about it..... ahem.....

I used an Ikea album with a snowflake on the front but I don't think its obviously a Christmas album.  I added some bling and ribbon and a butterfly because I used butterflies through the album too.  The chipboard butterfly shape that I used here is about 4 years old... gulp!
I secured some ribbon inside the covers concealed by patterned paper in order to hold the book closed.
Management pointed out that she might not know what to do with the book so I added this little note into a pocket for the inside front cover.  Basically it says "This book is for YOUR story" and explains that she should cover up / tear out anything she wants to so that they can display and record their memories in any way they would like to remember their special time.  Apparently this made the teacher cry because she was so touched!
I wanted something really special for the first page so I used the last scrap of my precious rose ribbon which was a perfect match for her teal colour scheme.
I used papers from the last 5 years and from various manufacturers and collections - it felt good to make a dent in my stash!  Very old alongside very new here!
I tried to echo the papers across each double page and used similar styles throughout the album for continuity as well as using similar gems and shapes and the butterfly motif.
I also added some Project Life cards for a bit of variety and to give her somewhere to add her journalling. These are the newest things that I used because I treated myself to the Jade kit a few weeks ago.   Please excuse the blob on the camera lens - it is not something on the book!!
I also created a few pages without patterned paper, just by stamping all over the page to give her lots of room to add her own touches and photos etc.
These stamps are all from Hero Arts - Stamp Your Story and are a perfect choice for layering and repeating.  I made sure to spread these pages throughout the album for variety.
Here is another "something new" from the S J Crafts Challenge - a new stencil!  The spotty one is new (a couple of days!) and the floral one is old (about 3 years and never been out of the packet...)
The pages in this album are approx 9x9 which is an awkward size when you are trying to do double pages with one piece of 12x12!  This page design using thirds worked really well to get the most out of the papers.
I also spread some bunting throughout the album.  I think it's a really pretty addition especially when it's popped up with foam tape for dimension.
I love this printed leaf effect stamp from the Hero Arts set.
I made a couple of pages with pockets for more journalling / additional photos / leaflets and memorabilia etc.  You can also see the border punch that I used throughout the album for continuity.
For this page I used Distress Ink (Broken China) dabbed through a doily and then used the doily on the facing page.  The book is pre-bound so you don't get a second chance to get things right but it is probably my least favourite layout.
Here is an example of the "thirds" page design flipped on its side.  I think this teal paper from LilyBee's Memorandum is my favourite pattern in the entire album.
This is the centre of the album using up lots of scraps for the banner across the top.  The envelopes can be used for holding whatever, but they also create another pocket behind them too.
When I've done photo-less albums before, I've put in blank photo mounts for people to add their standard sized photos in specific places.  These days though with the ability to take photos on phones, create collages and crop and play around more, there needs to be more flexibility with photo sizes.
With that in mind, I deliberately kept this album free of specific photo spots so that they can add in whatever they want, wherever they want - it is their album for their story after all.
More banners and butterflies and doilies.
More pockets using some PL cards, that border punch, some grey spotted washi tape to reinforce the edges.  Those spiral paper clips were a random purchase from a supermarket!  It's worth keeping your eyes open in all sorts of places for fab touches these days.
Another sponged page and another envelope for bits and bobs.
More bunting - perfect for any sort of celebration I think!
I inked all the edges with the Broken China Distress Ink and I love the way it brings all the pieces together.
It also helps to link the stamped pages to the ones that used patterned papers by adding another element of continuity.
I love these little fold over cards from Project Life - not something I would use on one of my normal pages probably but they are ideal here.
I would love to see this book when it is finished and full of special moments.  I really hope they enjoy looking back on it in years to come and also enjoy the process of creating a memory book of their own special story.
Finally the back pages with a spot for summing up and another little envelope full of labels and cards for them to add in her own time when and where she / they like.
So now its over to you to make something holiday or travel related for the challenge at S J Crafts!  Because it is the summer holidays you have until September 6th to enter your project.

I'm just back from holidays myself and looking forward to getting some of our wonderful memories scrapped.  I shall be around to lots of blogs to say hi again really soon.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


I said a couple of weeks ago that you should never apologise for the mess on your desk - its an artistic space and the left over chaos is evidence of enjoying the creative process.  It is art sediment.  Having said that, I am a little bit in a state of hiding my face about my studio this week because it is chaos rather than just piles.  In my defence I was making several things for teachers for the end of term and I got very carried away with one of them...

Lets take a tour shall we?  The big black box and assorted jewelry items strewn about is waiting to be put away after I finished several bag charms for teacher presents (you can see those further down the post).  Most of the pink stuff was used for the cards on the corner of the desk there (also further down this post).  The Mod Podge and teal and turquoise items scattered about were for the thing that I got carried away on - which I will be sharing in a post in a few days (but you can see a sneak of at the end of this post).  In fact you might not be able to see the teal stuff but it is there, underneath a load of other stuff!
All the embellishments that I hadn't "filed" after the last tidying session is still in my "needs putting away" corner and has been joined by everything that I initially got out for my teal project and then discarded in the second flick through - does anyone else do that?  Pull loads of stuff out and then go through it again to pare it down once you've explored all your options?
And here we have proof that all this detritus did end up in something less abstract than a pile of assorted colour schemes!  Three bag charms for teachers and teaching assistants.
Batch cards - 2 for teachers...
... and 4 for teaching assistants.
And this little sneak of the teal project for a very special teacher.
This time next week I will hopefully be sitting by a pool in Spain so no What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday from me for a couple of weeks.  Now if someone could just pop in and tidy up my studio while I'm gone that would lovely.  Thanks awfully.

Bye for now

Monday, 21 July 2014

Princess - an oldie!

I've been trawling through my archives trying to find some of the layouts that I haven't shared and I came across this one.  I'm currently sat in a play centre watching Miss Bella charging around with her friends celebrating the end of her year in Reception.  Its gone so fast and so has the time since she tried on this princess dress for the first time.  She's not a particularly girly girl but these photos enabled me to embrace some pink and glittery goodness anyway!
The layout is several years old now and uses papers from My Mind's Eye when they first started this particular style of Lost and Found collections.
I must have got them in a sale because I bought the brads and other bits too and I don't usually pay full price for things like that!  I also remember having very sparkly fingers after making and handling this layout and then transferring it onto my face causing people to wonder if I was crying!  How does glitter manage to make it look like you have tears in your eyes!?  And how on earth does time go so fast when you are watching little people grow up?!  Answers on a post card please.  (Gosh, when was the last time you heard that too!?)

Bye for now

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


My desk actually looks fairly tidy this week after last week's clear up.  There are a couple of things on the go but you might first notice that there is no cup of tea.  I'm detoxing ready for my holiday and I'm desperate for proper food and a cuppa but I have to be strict until the holiday.  Its no good spending all this time in the gym and then not following up with healthy eating.  The detox will help me lose a bit of weight and hopefully feel a bit more refreshed and healthier.  And less time cooking and eating means more crafting time!
I had a little shopping outing with Sarah and purchased some embossing pastes and a couple more masks and had a little play.  I used white on the white cardstock on the box (which you obviously cant see at this point but hopefully it will add a little something to the layout), and then I mixed some paste up with some mist and used the chevron mask on another sheet.  I have no idea where I'm going to go with it yet but I enjoyed playing.

The cork baking tray was a previous make that needed repairing after being dropped from its hook.  The stuff in the black box is for some forthcoming projects so watch this space!

Well that's all for this What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - you can join in too, its easy, just head over to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Bye for now!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Gym Buddies

I was back at the gym today for the first time in 10 days and let me tell it felt like a lot longer away!  I've had to rest for a week because of some problems with my knees (which I've had since 18) and then this weekend I got my first proper migraine and I was flat out for a few days (hence missing WOYWW).  The issues with my knees haven't gone away so we are having to tweak what I'm doing but I hope to get some answers soon.  Luckily I have my trainer on hand to advise me :-)

Other than when my nieces were babies, I've not had the pleasure of their company very much and one of them now lives a few hours away so it is really precious to be able to spend time with my eldest niece.  This layout is about our new relationship as friends as well as auntie / niece, and about the laughs and trials and tribulations we have together.  
Hhhmmm, still not quite got the camera sorted but I am on to it ;-)  Most of the supplies were from Echo Park's mini theme Brothers which just fitted colour and style wise.  The cork heart from... erm... somewhere, acts as a mat for the Amy Tan Thickers and the badges are from October Afternoon's Sasparilla.
I finished off with a few cheap and cheerful sticky stars and some very old star brads to complement the stars in the papers and then added a couple of bits of washi tape and called it done.
I do have another gym layout using the same colours but its a bit of a story and I need to put my big girl pants on before I feel ready to share it.  Maybe next week...

Bye for now

Friday, 4 July 2014

S J Crafts July Challenge

This month's challenge from S J Crafts involved selecting three things from a list of possibles - a colour, a symbol and a title.  One of the possible titles was "Summer Days" so I included that in my title about a really mad summer day last year when we saw Big Foot and met Jaws from the Bond films.

I'm still having trouble with getting blurry bits on my photos and I'm hoping that now I'm home from Wales that it was a temporary thing but we shall see!

I used an arrow which was one of the options but a star or sun shape was another option and I think the cogs and gears in the layout fit that shape rather well too.  I couldn't resist using All About A Boy collection from Echo Park because the gears and the colours were such a great match.  I chose red as the colour from the list of options so I used red Bazzil as the background.

I'd forgotten how much I loved this collection with all the vivid colours and some of the wording fitting my theme perfectly too.  Obviously I have more than this one photo of the event so I'll probably use it again soon!
There's some big news about S J Crafts on the blog today so you can read it and see more about the challenge here.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


When I take  my weekly photo for WOYWW I realise how much or how little I've been in my studio.  A few days on a bit of a scrapping frenzy last week and my room is a tip - I blame Shimelle and her weekend of inspiration.  In the end I started rolling over stuff that I had piled on the floor (lots more out of shot on the floor too) and I needed some space to start some fresh thinking.
Its a bit of a shocker even for me but I make no apologies.  I traveled around a few desks last week and so many people were sorry for their mess.  Don't be sorry people!  We are creative and busy and happy in our art and of course we make a mess and things get moved around but it is OUR space and OUR art!
Now it looks more like this.  The pile on the floor is "to be sorted", the pile at the back is scraps that need filing and the pile of cardstock on the left is erm... a pile of cardstock that needs putting away.  When I have a lot of stuff to put away (again there is more out of shot) I tend to make piles like this so I only have to go to the place where I keep the cardstock once and the scraps pile once, etc.  I end up with a big tray of embellishments to sort out too and I am dreading this.  I seriously need to pare back my stash and that is going to be on the list once I have tidied up a great deal.
This week I have also been sorting Lego into colours ready for some drawers to be labelled.  Sounds very OCD doesn't it?  I'm a big Lego fan and we have lots of different sets and these days they have lots of very unusual shaped pieces and so finding them is easier if things are in colours.  And I like doing mindless tasks like breaking apart and sorting small bricks :-)

So that's me for the week, how about you?  Sharing is caring so don't forget to link your creative space to this wonderful blog hop at Julia's Stamping Ground.

Bye for now