Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This Must Be Magic

So, how was it for you? If you took part in the UKS Harry Potter Cyber Crop, then I hope you had as much fun as I did! It was my very first Cyber Crop and I know it won't be the last - I absolutely loved it! I was very lucky to have such an understanding family - D was on nights, so in bed during the day and out in the evening, but he cooked my my meals (he knew I would have neglected to eat otherwise) and made me copious amounts of tea to keep me going. Mom said she wouldn't ring unless I rang her so as not to disturb me and also lent me her fabby camera to take photos of my work over the weekend. Some inconsiderate b****rds decided to steal my Dad's car on Friday night, yet he was more worried about me missing a class than giving him a lift to pick up the hire car. At this point, I should really just do this: *BIG WAVE!!!!* to my parents, who are now avid readers of this here blog (yep, I finally told them!).

And so, now I'm going to bore you with what I did over the weekend. All the classes can still be found and downloaded on UKS...

This was where I lived from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening! I moved lots of my stash downstairs so I could be near the PC, printers and Craft Robo, as well as the telly! Not that I watched much in the end... It all looks quite tidy here.

The LO on the right was the first class that I did and I think is my favourite LO of the crop. I used Doodlebug paper and Kissy Fit sequins, plus some grosgrain ribbon. The title and the frames were cut on the Craft Robo. The journalling reads: "September 2nd 2005. I married my best friend. Magical doesn't even come close."
This LO is for the 'Notions and Potions' class and was all about using stamps on acetate to make a frame for your photograph. I wasn't going to do this one, but had some spare time, so dug out some stamps that had come free with a magazine and this was the result. The journalling reads: "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are". (ee cummings).

This one was for a challenge entitled 'Marauder's Map'. The challenge was posted at midnight and I was a bit too tired to work on it then, so I went to bed. Of course, I lay awake thinking of possible layouts and wasn't able to sleep for ages. I then got up at 6.45 and got straight to work! I'd wanted to scrap this picture of D on Waikiki Beach for ages, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it.

This fabby concertina-type card on the left was for the 'Diagon Alley' class and was one of my favourites of the crop. I used piccies of my parents, brother and me and will, at some point, journal a piece about each on the reverse. I used Crate Papers (ouch!! Killed me to use it!) and lovely ribbons, plus a few Primas and a clip with a teeny heart charm. I can see me making lots of these in future and they'd make great Christmas cards.

The next LO was for a challenge to scrap your hopes for the future. I love this photo of D and me - we are oblivious to the camera and so totally having fun, and that's how I want it to be always for us. I scrapped on 8x8 and used some HOTP Sara papers and some Doodlebug All Mixed Up rub ons, as well as cutting the arrow and parts of the title with the Robo. (See how I get value for money out of it?!)

This LO was for 'It's Magic' and the class was to get us doodling some accents such as the quotation marks. I'm not totally happy with this one, as I think it needs some journalling, but I'm not sure if it will look right in the space that's left in the bottom left corner. I like the design of the LO though and may well use it again sometime.

The next LO was another class that I wasn't going to do - until I saw it. This was for Shimelle's 'Magic in the Middle' class and was all about not being afraid of leaving 'white space' on your layouts. Now, this is something I'm quite fond of anyway, so when I saw the class, I knew I wanted to have a go. I scrapped on 8x8 and used Rob & Bob Studio 'Scribble Floral' paper, an Angel Kiss bloom and a teeny bit of Basic Grey 'Gypsy' paper. The colour hasn't come out very well in the photo, but it's so striking in real life.

This next one is my least favourite of the bunch and I'm not sure I even should show it here! It was for the 'Wishes' class and the aim was to print a frame onto a transparency. There's too much empty space on here and it either needs some journalling or should have been done on 8x8 and not 12x12, but hey, you live and learn!

I really like this one! This was for the 'Bewitched' class, which was a sketch. I stuck quite closely to the original sketch, but it was a great opportunity to use this photo of my beloved Athens Crocs that was screaming to be scrapped. I used Paper Loft Flip Flops papers (how apt!) and some freebie ribbon, as well as a Crocs leaflet I picked up with a view to using it on a LO someday. There's a hidden panel under the photo with "10 Reasons You Gotta Have 'Em!"

Nearly there! This one was for the 'Herbology' class, which encouraged us to do some paper layering. I couldn't find a really big floral paper, so I used this instead and scrapped on 8x8. The photo is my lovely Mommy, cos I think she is 'Blooming Lovely'.

This little tag book was constructed at 7.30 am on Sunday morning, as my attempt at 'The Burrow' challenge - to create a LO or mini book about what you love about your home. I used tags cut from a Sizzix die and decorated with some All My Memories papers that were sanded and inked. I printed out various 'home' quotes and added some Primas and ribbons to finish it off. Not bad for a quicky, eh?

This was the last LO I completed and was for the 'Magic Mirrors' challenge, which was about distressing. As this is already one of my 'must do' techniques, I had to have a go at the challenge. I chose a photo of my Great Nan with her great grandchildren and mounted it on more Basic Grey Gypsy papers which had been torn and inked. I added a clip and some ribbon, plus a few Primas and brads and a title cut with the Robo.

And, last, but certainly not least, is my flip book for the 'Spellbound Smiles' class from Tracey at Little Cottage Crafts
This was another class I wasn't going to do, mainly because I didn't get the kit for it beforehand, but, once I learnt that I could make my own flip book from a sheet of 12x12 cardstock, I thought I'd give it a go.

I used K&Co 'Studio K' papers and lots of photos of J to make the facets of the book. Accents were done with stickers, brads and phrases either printed or stamped onto matching cardstock. I think I'm going to give this to J's Mom for Christmas. I really enjoyed making this and am so glad I had a go at the class.

So, there you have it! I have been so busy, but I still can't believe how much I enjoyed myself just sitting in the same chair on my own all weekend! Although, I wasn't really alone - around 1000 other UK Scrappers were around to keep each other company; well done to everyone who took part and especially those who won prizes, even if the wrong house won in the end! Here's looking forward to the next one...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

All Night Long

Wooo! Half way through the UKS Harry Potter themed Cyber Crop. It's my first ever crop, cyber or otherwise and I'm thoroughly enjoying it! I have never scrapped so much in my life. At this point, I have done 6 layouts and a few little challenges and there's still loads of classes and challenges to go. There's steam coming from the Craft Robo and the battery's almost gone in the camera (upload as you go, upload as you go...), My bum is actually numb from sitting on this computer chair all day (and night and day - must remember to go to bed at some point...)! Here's a couple of piccies of what I've been up to so far...

I'm sure there'll be lots more to show off once it's all over on Sunday evening. For anyone who hasn't taken part in something like this before, try it - you might just like it!

Friday, November 24, 2006

It's So Easy

...Or so I thought! This week's Dare is provided by Jo and it's all about the doodles! Now, I've done a bit of doodling on layouts, but I'm not very good, so was panicking slightly, but here are my attempts for this week.

This one is really simple. The greeting was printed using 'Eight Fifteen' font and mounted onto some pink Bazzill cardstock. The flowers were punched using various punches and a Quickutz die. I used a Kandi Kane to put a bit of bling in the flower centres and then, of course the most important part was some swirly -whirly doodling to link the flowers.

The card on the right used baby blue Bazzill (sorry, I can't remember the proper names!) for the base, with inked edges and some hand-drawn lines doodled around the edge. I used Doodlebug Whimsical Winter paper (inked) layered on the base card, then some darker blue Bazzill (er, inked!) on top of that. I used a couple of the Whimsical Winter cardstock stickers and dotted around these, then hand-wrote 'Christmas!'.

Thanks to Jo for a great Dare this week. I've enjoyed doodling and plan to use it more, but it's not as easy as it first seems. I guess the thing to do is relax and let it come naturally and not to worry if it goes wrong. There are some amazing examples by the other girls on the blog, so I hope we've inspired you to have a try if it's not something you've done before?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Somebody's Watching Me

Who reads your blog? Do your family and 'real life' friends read, or is it something you keep for your cyber world? As far as I'm aware, none of my friends in the 'real' world know I blog and I certainly haven't told my family, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately.

I'm really proud of the work we've been doing on Daring Cardmakers (we hit number 4 on the Crafty Blogs list today!!) and I'd like to be able to share it with my Mom, my best mate, whoever, but so far I haven't told a soul. I'm really scared of them discovering my blog through the link on the site - am I daft? I don't have a lot to hide, but I guess I can be more open on my blog than I may be in reality, purely because it's more anonymous and it's easier for me to write down my feelings than to express them verbally. I know I have met some of you in the flesh, and, to be honest, some of you know me better than my 'real life' friends, but it's still so easy to hide behind the pc.

So, please let me know your thoughts on this. Shall I tell everyone and risk my blogging style changing, or shall I carry on as I am? It's getting harder and harder not to mention recently!

P.S. Does anyone else find it funny that the spellchecker doesn't recognise the word 'blog'?

Monday, November 20, 2006


Wooohoooo! I got a new car yesterday! It's not new new - in fact, it's only a couple of years newer than my last one, but at least it stands a chance of passing the MOT first time - I hope. I did so love my Clio, and it was so hard to let her go, but the problem with her was that she failed for the last three years on the same thing, so there was every chance the same thing would happen again in March. The chap next door to my parents was looking to sell his wife's Fiesta, as she doesn't use it now, so my lovely Daddy wondered if I would be interested. Er, hello!! So, with (a lot) of financial help from my Dad, I am now the proud owner of Felicity Fiesta. My poor Clio is now sitting on my Grandad's drive, waiting for my Dad to clean her up and sell her on. I did have an emotional moment or two when I drove her for the last time, until I remembered that it's just a car - a heap of metal and mechanics and there's really no reason for unnecessary emotion!

I've got the week off work as I had holiday to use up (hence this weekday blogging madness!), so I'm planning on getting busy in my craft room and making lots of Christmas cards, as well as doing various challenges and other stuff. So, today I was very busy... Watching Strictly Come Dancing and Lost that I had taped over the weekend. Hmmm, not very crafty. However, I did manage to complete a layout that covered two challenges (check me!!).

The LO is based on the Pencil Lines sketch for this week and also the Weekly Challenge on UKS
It finally gave me the opportunity to scrap those fab photos of the boys when they ate the sour sweets, and there is some journalling hidden inside the yellow gatefold mentioning this. I'm quite proud of the title - I wrote it all myself - no printers or anyfink! Papers are, of course, Paper Loft Flip Flops. Now, just 50-odd Christmas cards and a couple of Dare cards to make for Friday's challenge and I can relax....

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Man Made

Here it is, my effort for this week's Dare. Debbie dared us to make a card using some ribbon - oh joy! One of my favourite things! But no - that wouldn't be much of a challenge, would it? No, we had to make a card featuring ribbon for a male type person... Well, seeing as my darling D hits the big Four-Oh next month (eeek!), I thought I would have a go at making a card for him. I used my precious Crate Papers for the brown background, which was inked with Tim Holtz distress ink in Walnut and mounted onto green Bazzill cardstock, and used the reverse of the brown Crate for the little stripy square - also inked (duh - of course!) The ribbons are Making Memories and the circles and stickers are from the Lisa Bearnson kit that was a TSV on QVC a while back. There are some stunning examples from the other gals on the blog, so please take a peep if you haven't already!

Other exciting news - our lovely Jo is up for Cardmaker of the Year in 'Simply Cards and Papercraft Magazine' and her cards always leave me with my jaw hanging open (and anyone that has read about my jaw will know that that's not an easy or pain-free thing to do!!). Please vote for her here so she can win goodies to make more stunning cards with!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What About Me

I did this layout last night for the weekly challenge over on UKS and I'm really pleased with it. Not only did I think up the design all by myself, no help from sketches, books or anyfink, it's a page that can go in my (eventual) Book of Me. Lots of scrappers don't scrap themselves - whether they don't like to, are afraid to or for other reasons, but, d'ya know what? I love it. I like to scrap what I know, and, after a bumpy few years, I think I know myself pretty well now. I feel quite sad that D doesn't really have a record of his parents and now they're gone it's too late to ask them to recount their stories. I want to talk to my parents and grandparents, but there just never seems to be time, or I don't know how to go about it. If I scrap myself, as well as those around me, then there will always be some sort of record for my children and their children to look at.

Have you seen the mini midweek challenge on the Dares? There will be a few of these from time to time and they're great for kick-starting the inspiration. Why not kill two birds with one stone and use the recipe to make your main challenge card? Here's the one I've done so far...

I'm fed up with having to take pictures of my work at night - they look better in the daylight, honest! Can you tell I am loving my new Basic Grey Gypsy papers?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Way We Talk

Dare 4 is up! This week, Tracie challenged us to come up with cards featuring different languages. Some of the others were really swotty and used ideas such as British Sign Language, Geek Speak and the language of flowers. However, I'm a literal kind of girl and just went for some bog-standard translation type stuff!

This card uses one of my favourite colour combinations of red, black and white. Paper is DCWV, torn at the edges and layered on black cardstock. Red heart cut from textured card, lightly sanded and edges inked with black Stazon. All of the 'I Love You' phrases are done with the Dymo Jr and the red ones have some tiny white gel pen 'stitches' around them.

The second card is another fave - I love using really bright colours. Background paper is Colour My World Cupcakes 'Jelly Spots' (from my NEC stash!), inked around the edges with a pink Cats Eyes ink. The tags are cut out of some DCWV mat stack card. Doodlebug 'All Mixed Up' rub-ons provide the phrases and a co-ordinating prima flower with white brad and some hot pink grosgrain and a staple finish them off.

I really enjoyed this week's dare, so please have a go and see what you can come up with. Also, keep your eyes peeled (eeeuw!) as we might just have some more mini midweek mayhem planned on the blog!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just Like Paradise

Thanks for asking after me. I still have the lurgy and I'm thoroughly bored of it now. Most of the staff and lots of the children at work have it too, so we all sound really healthy! Still, I couldn't let a little thing like a nasty coldy-virus stop me from shop, shop, shopping at the NEC this morning!

I usually go with my parents - Dad tootles off to the Art Materials bit while Mom and I don our protective body armour and delve into the scrum that is Hobbycrafts. However, they are on their holibobs this year, so I had to go it alone. I thought it might be a tad quieter on the first day, so I turned up nice and early in order to have a gentle meander round the hall. Hmmm, it was great - for about 20 minutes, then the hordes arrived!! Geez, what is it about crazed crafters at these shows? Anyone would think they'd been told they had 5 minutes to buy as much as they can before the world puts up the closed sign...
I really missed having Mom with me. Mainly because she is the little angel that sits on my shoulder and says things like, "Are you sure you need the same paper in three different colours?" and suchlike. I managed to spend an absolute fortune (well, for me, anyway) and I now feel rather guilty and everso slightly sick - Christmas is approaching and I've just spent J's present... I'll tell D that he won't need to buy me anything this year - I've already got mine. Oops. So, for anyone interested, here's what I bought...

  • Becky Higgins book - 'The Creative Companion'
  • Doodlebug Design papers - Lipstick Dotted Line, Love Letter, Loopy Love Hearts, Boldly Blue Stripe, Pastel Confetti (x3), Whimsical Winter Asterisks
  • Whimsical Winter cardstock stickers
  • All Mixed Up rub-ons
  • Crate Paper - Stork, Girly Girl, Tricycle and some matching ribbons
  • Colour My World Cupcakes papers - Jelly Spots, Mini Fancies, Hundreds and Thousands, Jelly Diamonds
  • 3 Bugs In a Rug - Rhapsody-Jubilation paper
  • Blonde Moments papers - one set each of Sugar Dumpling, Suet Pudding and Spring Fling
  • Basic Grey - Gypsy 6x6 pad
  • Bazzil cardstock - 20 sheets of various colours
  • Colourbox Q cats eyes inks
  • Simply Cards and Papercrafts magazine
  • And a partridge in a pear tree...

Phew!! All of that was achieved in approximately an hour and a half. Well, probably less, actually. I absolutely hate crowds in a situation like that, so I have to get out as soon as I'm ready or I'll have a panic attack. I escaped to the Crafts for Christmas hall and bought some yummy Tomato and basil cheese - mmmmm!

So, it's all over for another few months. I keep telling myself I won't go, that I have enough stash already etc, etc, but I just can't help myself. We're a bit deprived of decent bricks and mortar shops round our way, so it's just lovely to be able to see, stroke and smell all the pretties in such close proximity. Even if you do have someone's elbow up your other nostril while you're doing it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Want a New Drug

Eurgh! I have the most awful, yucky cold going. My head is surely stuffed with several rolls of cotton wool, I look like Rudolph and I'm cold, or hot, or cold... I've been taking some supposedly strong cold and flu remedy, but it doesn't appear to have any fight in it, as I'm getting worse and not better. Any recommendations?

I hope you are impressed at my dedication to you though? I've dragged myself from my sick bed to post details of the cards I've made for this week's exciting Dare. This week, Kathy B has challenged us to create cards featuring sewing, be it machine or hand stitched. Now, being completely useless with a sewing machine, hand stitching it is for me.

Iiiiin one...

Background paper is from the Paperloft Flip Flops range - I love love love the bright colours in these papers! The edges have been inked (duh!). The flowers were cut on the Craft Robo and the edges of these inked too. I used some black cross stitch thread to do running stitch around the petals. In the centre of the flowers there are some matching colour seed beads, covered with some Anita's 3D Gloss.

Iiiiiiin two...

This one also features Flip Flops paper, cut into strips and backed on pink paper. I then used different coloured threads to do the stitching around the edges of the panels. The greeting was printed on the pc, but I can't remember the font!

And Bully's special priiiiize....

It's a Chr****** card!! I don't usually make these until about, ooh, 24th December, so you're honoured. Papers are DCWV Chr****** Stack, tree is a sizzix die which has been inked and dotted with sparkly red Stickles. I used read thread for the stitching.

That's all for this week, unless I get a sudden burst of creativity, but I think I might just crawl back to bed and stay there for a week. Check out the Dare and the other girls' blogs - some awesome work going on this week!