Sunday, 20 December 2009
And lo! I have return'd unto the land of Blog, fervently hoping that my trusty friends and followers have not deserted me, though I have let them down in a most unseemly fashion.
The truth of the matter is that I have been SOOOOOOOO busy that I haven't had time to do any blogging and EVEN WORSE - can you believe I haven't scrapped A SINGLE PHOTOGRAPH in the whole of 2009! - I've taken hundreds, I've got loads of fabulous stash just waiting to be used, but I haven't had a minute to scrap anything.
Set aside all the usual domestic drudgery and the added delights of being THE CHRISTMAS FAIRY, I set myself up for failure on the scrapping front with the mad idea of going into business for myself. What? Where did that spring from?
Well, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...
It all started with a quick romp round our local Accessorize with the BGF. We love their Christmas decorations (although none of them ever go with my silver-white-gold-crystal-the-more-bling-the-merrier theme). I happened to see a little hot pink owl with blingy eyes and felt flower embellishments on its tummy, well I'm sure you know that owls are all the rage at the moment, and I'm afraid that I am an advertising exec's dream customer and I was rather taken with said owl. I looked at the price £3.50 - not bad for Accessorize I thought. I was this close to making a purchase when I noticed that all the felt embellishments had been GLUED on. YEUK!
I'm sure you know that if you glue fabric, and felt in particular, it goes stiff and the glue leaves a dark coloured mark, well this is what had happened to my no longer so gorgeous owl. Pah I thought, I'm not buying that.
But the old mental wheels were whirling, cogs grinding, cobwebs twisting into disgusting grey candy floss - sorry getting carried away with my analogy... where was I... Oh yes owls - I could make one of those myself I thought, and it will be much nicer because it will all be hand sewn.
So, a quick trip to Hobbycraft (Opening soon in Stafford - Oh joy!) a few pieces of felt and a couple of hours or so later I had created my first felt owl and here it is.
As with all these things, it looks better in the flesh than in the photo - but you get the idea. That is one cute owl. So cute, I thought to myself that I bet if I made more I could sell them...
...and the idea kind of snowballed...
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Just to prove that I have had my paper and glue out here is the mini-book I created for my Big Sis' birthday back in October. I couldn't blog this any sooner as I had to wait for her to actually see it in the flesh and it has been waiting at Mum's (a halfway house for gifts not to be entrusted to Postman Pat) for a while.
You will know from my previous posts that so far I've done mini-books for The BGF and Mum so it was only natural that I should do one for my Big Sis. I toyed with themes, stitching (she's an avid (actually that word doesn't accurately describe it) cross stitcher (see her cross stitching blog here - just remember the back arrow to come back), birthdays, getting old (she is my Big Sister - I'll always be younger than her!!!) and finally decided on the pleasure and pain of sisterhood. A long trawl through the various quotation websites and I had ten quotes to put together in a book.
Mum had given me a stack of gorgeous My Mind's Eye "Bohemia" papers as a prezzie and I knew I wanted to use the pink and brown colourway to create a sophisticated look. What I discovered to my chagrin was that some 12x12 papers are not all that easy to use in a smaller format and it was far more difficult to put these pages together than the pages for The BGF's book which used 6x6 Smirk papers which are scaled to suit.
Anyway after many false starts and a serious case of misplaced mojo the book eventually came together and here it is...
Oh fiddle, the photo's I need are not on this machine hang on a minute....
... Sorry about that - here we go...
Remember you can click on the photos to enlarge them, just use the back arrow to come back to the blog.
The cover was painted with Acrylic, specially mixed to match the papers and then sponged with white and burnt umber to create the marbled effect. I haven't told the Mini Moonshines that I used their bath sponges - they washed out OK - they need never know!!!
The calendar stamp is by Imaginisce and is heat embossed to help it stand out against the mixed background.
The swirl is cut from Core'dinations cardstock using my trusty Craft-Robo.
The dark rose cardstock is again Core'dinations, embossed with the Cuttlebug Perfect Paisley embossing folder and then sanded back to reveal the core.
Do you remember me waxing lyrical about my Inkadinkado Bijoux Oiseaux stamps? Well here they are, stamped with pale rose pigment ink, heat embossed with Heat It Up Cranberry embossing powder and embellished with PaperMania Iridescent stones and a Hobbycraft feather. I'm really pleased with the result!
I may have mentioned that I'm not a big fan of peel-offs but these butterflies were perfect for this page. The stamps are from a gorgeous set I got in the sale at Waterstones, of all places, for a fabulous £3.00 instead of £18.00!!!
This is everyone's favourite quote and it was always going to be the last one in the book!
My sister loved her book and I know it wont be my last one - but I think I'll keep the next one for myself!
Thursday, 1 October 2009
I've been feeling really unsettled at home and little things around the house have been starting to get me down. Of course I blame it all on The BGF, as she has recently moved to a shiny new house where the shower doesn't leak, the carpets don't need cleaning and so on... A few of my other friends, girls who moved on to our estate at the same time as us and have children in the same classes at school have also moved away, leaving me feeling that everything is changing and OK, I admit it - I'M NOT GOOD AT CHANGE.
Anyway, a good while back we Moonshine's were returning from a visit to Cannock Chase through Brocton (a small village, the place to live in Stafford) and we drove past my dream home, Heather House. I told Mr M. that I wanted to live there, it was my perfect house, all gables and sticky-outy bits with a huge garden and gorgeous garden room. He laughed of course, as it wasn't on the market - yes, but if it ever was...
Well blow me if it hasn't been on the market this summer at a whopping £850 000, sadly way beyond our budget and my frequent prayers to ERNIE seem to be falling on deaf ears...
Oh but it's perfect; an older property, full of character, newly refurbished, 6 bedrooms - which would give me a dedicated craft room rather than using the spare room (which the neat freak in me wants to have as a nice bedroom not a work space), summer house, double garage, drive that will park a small fleet of cars, sorry I'm rambling... but completely out of our reach.
Then I saw in the paper another 6 bedroom, new build at only £650 000! Only! but you guessed it, still way too expensive and I can think of half a dozen reasons why it wouldn't really be suitable (I hate the black appliances in the kitchen for a start). So you can see where I'm going on this can't you, I'd become unhappy with what I've got and was hankering after things I could never have and of course, that way lies deep unhappiness...
So I had a big rethink about life, the universe and everything (well not quite everything, I didn't think much about quantum physics, still don't, to tell you the truth) but I came to the conclusion that you must be happy with what you've got, and if what you've got doesn't make you happy - change it. So that's what I'm in the process of doing.
One of the main things that has got me down ever since we moved in is our kitchen. There's just not enough storage, and the two biggest cupboards are those annoying corner cupboards where if you want anything out of the back of the cupboard you've got to empty the front out first and then contort yourself round a 90 degree bend whilst trying not to bang your head on the useless drawer above you. Aaargh! So I've gradually got more and more fed up and cooking has become more and more of a chore and I've got less and less pleasure from doing something which I used to love. So, after six years of putting up with this I've taken matters in hand and completely re-organised my kitchen and utility storage. All my food is now stored in a big larder cupboard in the utility room and all the gubbins that was in the larder is now in the useless cupboard in the kitchen. And BLIMEY do I wish I'd done it years ago! What a difference it has made. I can now get to all the food - even my baking ingredients, I can see what I've got at a glance, (You really DON'T need THAT many jars of sun dried tomatoes!) and best of all, I've even been inspired to bake again.
Actually I did have an ulterior motive for baking, my friend Tracy was coming round for coffee and relieving me of our now sadly vacant guinea pig hutch. (Just as well really as I was this close to buying a beautiful silvery-black Netherlands dwarf rabbit last week - Mr M. would have gone ballistic!) and she told me that if she was expected to do manual labour then she would want biscuits with her coffee (a subtle dig because when she came last time I hadn't got any). So I thought biscuits, I'll give you biscuits! Out came my Rachel Allen's Bake book (gorgeous!), on went the apron and an hour later I had two batches of cookies ready and waiting. The scrapbooker in me couldn't resist the opportunity to embellish the jars and take some pics which I will get round to scrapping...
The stem gingers are my favourite, buttery, melt in the mouth cookies with delicious, chewy nuggets of crystallised ginger Mmmmm! Mr. M has ordered some pistachio ones for next time - and the kids wont even try them - can you believe that?
I think the labels look very sweet and I've almost decided to make them for all my Kilner storage jars, but I'll laminate them for durability. That will be a lovely little project for a sleepless night, or when there's football on the telly!
Label X-Cut die
Stamp Papermania, Sweet Nothings
Ribbon from stash
Monday, 21 September 2009
I've been RUBBISH at blogging lately. On the one hand it's a GOOD THING as it means I must have been sleeping better. (You'll see that most of my posts, like this one, are knocked out in the wee smalls as chronic insomnia takes hold.) On the other it means I've had nothing going on that's inspired me to put fingers to keyboard. As I say, MUST TRY HARDER.
Just to update you with what has been going on...
Mr M's Mum is undergoing weekly chemo sessions, she's halfway through her six weeks of treatment and feeling pretty fed-up.
Moonshine Major is now a TEENAGER, his voice is breaking, his feet are enormous (no more "cheap" children's clothes, we're into men's shoes and shirts now) and he's only half an inch shorter than me.
Moonshine Minor is now into double digits and is in his FINAL YEAR in primary school. My babies are growing up far too quickly and although they are wonderful, great fun, good company and really very well behaved (all things considered!) I do miss their younger selves.
Mr M's company has won some work in Acklington, so he will be staying away from home more often than of late. This is a BAD THING, he hates it, but it does give me a chance to watch ridiculous girly TV without snorts of derision.
We have, at long last succumbed to the lure of Sky TV. Brought about by the demise of our Freeview box and subsequent loss of any watchable telly. This of course means that my choice of the aforementioned ridiculous girly TV has increased exponentially and I will be faced with the dilemma of which of my Style and Culture programmes to watch.
The BGF has moved house. She's still in Stafford but no longer "just round the corner", so I'm seeing a little less of her. This does have its benefits as it means I'm spending more time at home and am getting more jobs done around the house. The down side of which is that I seem to be doing less scrapping than ever.
Our next door neighbours, who moved in the week after we did, have decided to move on and their house is on the market. This is a BAD THING and I'm really sad to see them go as they have been both good neighbours and friends. They are also staying in Stafford and we have promised to keep in touch, but you know what it's like...
Our sort-of neighbours on the other side, in the bungalow, as we call it (they actually live on the street behind us, we're much higher up so the roof of their house is level with the ground floor of ours so looks like a bungalow from our garden) are also moving. This is a GOOD THING as they are NOISY neighbours - late night parties, loud music and don't get me started on the trampoline!!!!
I can't think of anything else off the top of my head so update over and back to the matter in hand - Scrapping.
In my last post I mentioned that I had a cunning plan to facilitate more (given the pathetic output from my scrapping room we can now take that to mean any) scrapbooking. Well this is my cunning plan, a plan so cunning I shall call it Mr. Fox... (thank you Blackadder - always one of my favourite lines.)
Sad lack of scrapping due to lack of printed photographs
Print off photos (Dur!)
Too many photos to print at home and my HP printer gives everyone nuked-on-a-sunbed skin tones
Solution (Code name Mr. Fox)
Sort out photos and upload them to Photobox to do the necessary, then look forward to the arrival of my package of pics which I can scrap as the mood, inspiration or insomnia takes me.
See what I mean, how cunning is that, faultless and foolproof. Now all I need to do is go through my 3000 photos on file and pick out the ones that I want... Ah Baldrick now I see the slight flaw in the plan...
Not to worry... I'll get round to it...
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Well - what a lot has been going on - but not much crafting I'm afraid! I REALLY MUST TRY HARDER. But I HAVE A PLAN. More of that another time.
Oh dear you can tell I haven't blogged in a while I appear to have developed typing dyslexia - thank goodness for spell checker because you wont know that I made FOUR typos in the last sentence!
Now where was I? Oh yes ... on holiday. We went en famile (that's The Moonshine Mob, my Ma and Pa, Big Sis and her Other Half) to a village near Liege in Belgium. Belgium? I hear you wonder, what on earth is there in Belgium? Well you sceptics I've got to tell you there is LOADS. What a fabulous, beautiful, clean, interesting, totally splendid country. And YES I would go back again like a shot! In fact Mr M and I quite fancy retiring there - we've seen a rather lovely chateau we quite fancy...
We stayed in a beautiful gite, a lovely barn conversion with 4 bedrooms, sitting room, big kitchen with v. large table, mezzanine play area for the kids - made good use of by Moonshine Minor who rediscovered his love of Brio, games room with full size table tennis AND a HUGE garden with CHICKENS!
And of course, where you find chickens you also find...
On the down side though - where you find chickens you will also find a cockerel. This one a very rare, but VERY LOUD and VERY EARLY RISING Klingon cockerel. (Poor Mr M, it woke him every morning at 4:05 - and if it wasn't the Klingon it was the cows, or the donkey, or the sheep, or the combine harvesters and we wont even mention the mozzies) I had the benefit of earplugs - (Mr M snores - A LOT) which kept out most of the agricultural soundtrack but sadly let through much of the snoring - work that one out!
See what I mean? They could be cousins!
As I said before the area we were staying was beautiful, fabulous scenery, gorgeous picturesque villages, chateaux by the bucketful and loads of places to go and things to see, although I've got to admit Mr M. and I were terribly lazy and didn't wander too far afield, preferring to kick back and relax at the gite and enjoy good books, fab weather and plenty of extreme ping-pong. (This entails using surrounding walls, floor, furniture etc to keep the rallies going at any cost!) Anyway we're going to go back again in 2010 so perhaps we'll be better at being tourists then...
I have great plans to put together a minibook and a couple of 12x12 pages to preserve the memories so I'll keep you posted and share some more pics then.
Friday, 24 July 2009
I'm staying tucked up inside though having already been soaked to the skin this morning during a spur of the moment trip to Cheadle (Staffs not Cheshire) to check out the goodies at Crafty Urchins. I'm afraid I couldn't resist the new-in Gem Stone Birds stamps by Inkadinkado (although I've got to say the french description "Bijoux Oiseaux" sounds much more romantic). The heavens opened as I was on the way back to the car, and of course I didn't have a coat or a brolly with me so I had a very damp and uncomfortable trip home in the car (I hope the seats dry out quickly, I had a very soggy bottom!)
I'm sorry I haven't blogged for ages but as I explained to my good friend Debs when she complained about it, my head hasn't been in a happy place lately and I haven't felt in the mood to put fingers to key board, so whilst I'm still basking in the slightly damp glow of a morning doing one of my favourite things (stash shopping) I'll post the pictures I promised of Mum's Special Birthday Surprise.
Mum, like me, is a big gardening fan and I decided to put together a book of gardening quotes for her birthday card this year. (Nothing to do with the fact that I LOVE doing mini books and was feeling at a bit of a loss after finishing the BGF's!)
I had picked up two scrapbooking kits in our local Home Bargains for almost nothing a few months ago and was itching to do something with them and this was ideal as the colour palettes worked well together. (I've had some mega buys in Home Bargains in the past you know, Fiskars border and circle punches for 99p. Yes girls 99p - can't leave 'em in the shop for that can you?
The book is a Papermania chipboard mini book and all the papers are from two Inspirations scrapbooking kits. I hope you like it. If you click on a photo it will open up full size in a new window, just remember to use your back arrow to get back to the blog.
This is the front cover, painted with acrylic and embellished with co-ordinating papers cut with QuickKutz Cookie Cutter Nesting Labels and a layered up bloom made up of a de-constructed gerbera, chipboard flower, Prima Crazy Daisy, American Crafts Greenhouse acrylic flower and a flower brad.
The close up shows the detail of the layered bloom and a charm which has been tied with embroidery floss to the book ring binding.
The main paper mat on this page was run through a Swiss Dot embossing folder to mirror the pre-embossed border sticker I cut up and used on the tag. I was pleased with the way the Fiskars Threading Water (scallop) border punch and Papermania scalloped border stamp worked together on this layout.
Two very subtle pages with minimal embellishment, just some Gisella Graham gingham ribbon, buttons from Dunelm Mill and a layered up bloom.
Close up showing layered bloom, tag and charms attached with DMC Desire Wire.
I love the Cuttlebug Birds and Swirls embossing on the following two pages and was lucky to find some co-ordinating Papermania spring time brads to complement the theme.
Do click on this photo to enlarge it if you want to see the detail. I wanted to show the double page spread so that you could see the landscape scene. The clouds, tree trunk and leaves are October Afternoon Home Sweet Home stamps whilst the blackbird is a See-D's Springtime Collection stamp that has been heat embossed. The ladybird is an E-Z rub-on by Royal & Langnickel. The tree was cut from green paper using scallop edge scissors and the cherries were cut from border stickers which came with the kit with a dot of Dimensional Magic to add gloss. Just remember the back arrow to return to the blog.
I love the lilac and green colour scheme on these pages and used the scallops again to keep continuity through the book.
A real splash of colour on these pages thanks to Prima Crazy Daisy flowers with contrasting eyelet centres.
Anita's Dimensions stickers really set off this last page, which is probably my favourite. I'm a real sucker for butterflies and butterflies with sticky-uppy wings what could be better?
I'm already planning my next mini-masterpiece which will no doubt feature my new Bijoux Oiseaux stamps. Watch this space...
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
I know it's a few days late but, I thought I'd share with you the Father's Day card I whipped up whilst waiting for The Gas Man NOT to arrive last Wednesday - don't get me started! I did one for Mr M from the boys and one for my Dad.
I'm really pleased with how it came out, masculine yet attractive, I think. The papers were from a TrimCraft Lads n Dads stack, the ribbon is Hobbycraft and the brads are probably Rayer, but as I decant all my brads in to divided storage boxes I can't say for sure.
I'm currently working on a top secret project for my Mum's birthday in July, I can't show you the progress as she is one of my followers and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I promise I'll post it after the 14th of July.
NEWSFLASH NEWSFLASH NEWSFLASH
Exciting news over on Maisie, Maisie Garden Crazy click here
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
12 x 12 pale pink cardstock scored, cut and folded to the template in June's Papercraft Inspirations magazine. Then a line of Hello Kitty (HK) shapes was punched out of the inside of card (punch from W H Smith) punched shapes retained for later.
Co-ordinating patterned paper triangle cut and adhered to front of card. All edges, inside and out, chalked with dark pink and shimmer pink chalks. Sticker adhered behind rear flap so that Kitty looks like she's peeping out from behind. Large HK sticker matted on dark pink cardstock and cut out.
Large HK stickers and two dark pink cardstock flowers, doodled with white ink, (for the sentiment) adhered inside.
To finish, a length of pink velvet ribbon, large matted Kitty sticker and additional stickers were adhered to the front of the card, those on the pocket carefully placed to be hidden behind the goodies to be inserted later. Additional Hello Kitty shapes were punched out of co-ordinating card for confetti.
Inside the finished card.
The finished card filled with Hello Kitty goodies.
And finally... the envelope
The card was made for The BGF's daughter who was 9 on Friday and IS the world's No.1 Hello Kitty fan. I made her a mermaid pocket card last year and The BGF happened to mention that her daughter had taken the card in to school the day before her birthday and was "just wondering" if I might be making a card again this year. I'm glad I didn't let her down! I'm also pleased to report that she loved the card and all the goodies and her mum didn't even mind the Hello Kitty confetti that showered all over the kitchen floor!
All in all a successful project and lovely to do something so girlie!