Thursday, 30 April 2009


In my obsessive accumulating of stash I have built up quite a large collection of digital scrapbooking kits, which, up to now, I've used only as printed elements in hybrid scrapping.

(Hybrid scrapping is effectively scrapping with paper in the traditional fashion but printing off digital elements, such as journaling blocks, patterned paper, embellishments, lettering etc, downloaded to your PC as digital scrapbooking kits from the interweb, then cutting them out and incorporating them in to your paper layout, even typing up and printing out your journaling or titles is a basic form of hybrid scrapping)

I've been playing around in Photoshop Elements for ages trying to get to the bottom of digital scrapping but I'm completely useless at it. None of my layers do what I want them to do and at the moment I haven't got the patience (or time) to sit down and really get my head round it. But... I wanted to make a cover sheet for a plastic display book in which I keep copies of the scrapbooking sketches I've collected. I wanted it to be - well - decorative and "scrappy" but it had to be 2D to fit in the plastic wallet (and the bookcase) so digital scrapping seemed a good option, and here it is...

The kit I used was Amy Teets "Sun Porch" a digital freebie from the brilliant Shabby Princess but I admit I cheated and created this by the power of text boxes in Microsoft Word! It only took an hour or so to do and I'm really pleased with the result.

The other thing I've been tinkering with this week is handmade blooms. Thanks to Sue at Paper Paradise and Tracey at Running with Scissors I can now make gorgeous cabbage roses. I say gorgeous, Sue & Tracey's are gorgeous - mine is kind of Happy Shopper, but it was only a dry run to get the hang of the technique before committing any decent paper to the project. Here's mine, but do click on the links above to see what they should look like!

I've also had a go at making fabric yo-yos. Moonshine Minor was so intrigued that he asked if he could have a go at making one. This is him mid sew...

and here are our first ever fabric yo-yos, made using some of the fabric scraps I picked up at the weekend for 50p and topped off with buttons "from stash".

I'm going to have a go at making a felt car embellishment tomorrow (maybe) I'll let you know how I get on.

And now for something completely different...

Zero and Eight walking down the street. Zero says to Eight, "What's with the belt?"

Monday, 27 April 2009


What a nightmare! I've just spent the last hour married to Alan Titchmarsh trying to decide whether or not to plant any more euphorbias in our garden, then, mid argument I fell over (or was I pushed?), started rolling down the sides of a deep landfill tip and woke up trying not to "fall" out of bed. Not very happy about the cricked neck - nor the un-intended bigamy to be honest - but especially not happy about now being WIDE AWAKE when what I really need to be is FAST ASLEEP.

We've had a bit of a crazy long weekend, Mr M and I have been back to Welsh Wales to visit Mr M's Mum who has been in hospital for a rather nasty operation. We were lucky enough to have great weather again and enjoyed our drive down, stopping off at Symmonds Yat for a cream tea on the way. This was the view from our table...

... just beautiful.

We made some more progress with the garden and now only have one more area to tackle before hopefully it will be fairly maintenance free.

Grandma Wales (Mrs M's Mum) managed to make a remarkable recovery from her surgery and was allowed to come out of hospital on Friday, so we picked her up and took her on to Mr M's sister's in West Wales where she is going to convalesce. This meant that we could take the scenic route home on Saturday, and, after popping in to visit again for lunch, we drove home through the Brecon Beacons (hilly side, not mountains) with a quick detour to watch the fantastic spectacle at the Red Kite feeding station at Llanddeusant. Unfortunately our little compact Fugipix wasn't up to the job of taking decent closeups of the Kites (Mr M's favourite birds) but this shot at least gives you an idea of the number of birds there were. We were forced to take this photo from a nearby road as a quick tot up of our available cash finances gave us £3.10 - not enough for us both to pay the £3 entrance fee!

We then ambled our way northeastwards through the Wells (Llandridnod, Builth etc) stopping off for a lovely cup of tea and Welsh Cake at Erwood Station a local craft center where I picked up some fabric scraps which I aim to use in my scrapping. Artist Amanda Skipsey sells her lively contemporary landscapes through the Gallery there, and if the colours had been right for Moonshine Manor I would have persuaded Mr M to invest, as it is we bought a coaster for my craft room and a card with Red Kites on as fab souvenirs of our lovely weekend. Having set off at 9.15 we eventually reached home at 7.30 completing a 600 mile round trip. As you can imagine we were both feeling rather done in and hence the reason for feeling particularly dis-chuffed with A.T. about invading my sleep.

Going back to bed now.

Oh - in case you were wondering - euphorbia issue - not resolved.

Monday, 20 April 2009


I thought it might be fun to show you how I put together my latest layout (LO), "Love that smile" which is part of my on-going project to scrap some of the hundreds of baby photos I have of the boys. This is one of Moonshine Major at about 7 months old - I remember that the denim dungarees he is wearing were one of my favourite outfits so they will probably appear in more than one LO!

So here goes, a whistle stop tour of a very simple 12x12 page...

Step 1

Choose the photo(s). I have used the original 36mm print in this LO, against all advice in the books which say NEVER use your original photo in case it gets damaged. I have taken the precaution of scanning it in so I can reprint it if necessary and I feel that the whole point of scrapbooking is to get some of our photos out of the drawer and into the album!

Step 2 (optional)

Choose a sketch to work from (this is my first LO from a sketch, rather than a scraplift or from scratch and I was amazed by how much quicker the whole process was)

The sketch I used was Karen Day's Sketch #70 over at MojoHolder you can see it here

Step 3

Select background cardstock, co-ordinating patterned papers and embellishments. I like to find all the bits and bobs that I might like to use before I get started - although inevitably I'll end up going back to the stash for that extra something...

Step 4

Trim patterned papers to size for photo mats and layers, I find a paper trimmer ideal for this as it gives a good straight edge without those annoying scissor "blips".

Step 5

Use a corner rounder punch to round the corners on one patterned paper block, a per sketch. I also rounded the corresponding corners on the background cardstock. Then ink the papers by running an ink pad gently along all the edges (this helps to define all the layers - sorry no photo -not enough hands!)

Step 6

Position photo mats and photos to get a feel for the remaining space and proportions for embellishments

Step 7

Prepare titles. I used a Dymo label maker to print LOVE THAT and cut SMILE from navy felt with my Sizzix Sidekick.

Step 8

Select and position embellishments

Step 9

When you're happy with everything fix all the elements to the page.

And there you have it - simple as that!


Cardstock PaperMania

Patterned Paper Basic Grey - Boxer, Long Underwear & Low Rise & Boxer element stickers

Proverb K & CO Proverbs to go

Rub-ons Doodlebug - Simply Sweet

Brads PaperMania

Twill tape, felt & heart button from stash

Lettering die cut with Sizzix Sidekick using Cuttlekids Tadpole dies and DYMO label maker

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Crikey it's been ages since I last blogged! Sorry to all who have dropped in to find nothing new and a big THANK YOU to all of you for leaving lovely comments for me - they are all very much appreciated!

We've had a very busy weekend, making the most of the beautiful BANK HOLIDAY (can you believe it?) weather. The Moonshines de-camped to Welsh Wales; the Senior Ms to wave a Ground Force-esque wand over Mr M's Mum's garden, which has become too much for her to manage over the last year or so, and the Junior Ms travelling onward to stay with their Cuz and provide much needed relief from an unexpected invasion of visiting Germans - don't ask - long story.

Thanks to the fab weather we've managed to weed, plant and mulch the front garden and one huge bed in the back garden - not bad going for three half days - even if I do say it myself. Needless to say I'm now pretty knackered and have aches and pains in places where aches and pains didn't aught to be.

Mr M, of course, has managed to pick up a rather fetching tan; whilst I spent most of the weekend with my backside uppermost (no comments about an unexpected eclipse on The Mumbles please!), bent double weeding, I now have an OH SO ATTRACTIVE lobster red stripe just above my waist band - I tell you there is no justice in this world, Mr M (and Moonshine Major for that matter) only have to look at a picture of the sun and they have a beautiful golden tan - whilst I have my winter look (blue/white) and summer look (red) - actually that's quite patriotic now I come to think about it... not attractive - but patriotic.

You'll be pleased to know that I managed to finish my Aaargh layout the night before we left, it's not much different from the two other versions but just in case you're interested...


Cardstock Core'Dinations

Texture Plate Fiskars

Lettering cut with Craft Robo

Lettering Adhesive Xyron X-150

Brads PaperMania

Simple, low budget but quite effective - I hope.

I hope you and yours have had a happy Easter and have managed not to over indulge on the old hot cross buns (I'm not saying anything about Easter Eggs you'll notice, as in my world it is simply NOT POSSIBLE to over indulge in chocolate). I'm hoping to get some more scrapping done tomorrow, although I can put off THE WEEKLY SHOP no longer - or we will be having fresh air omelette (or possibly Easter Eggs) for dinner.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Woo hoo - at last I've done some scrapping. It's been a creative desert here since I finished The BGF's mini book. I haven't started any new layouts recently, I will admit I've had this one on my pile of almost but not quite finished layouts (LO) for many moons but it is now complete and destined for the album.

The title is "M- on Love" and the journaling reads "I love you more than anyone could ever love anyone... I store it in my cheeks".

Sorry about the obscuring - can't think of a better way without making M- look V FREAKY

Moonshine Minor comes out with some wonderful off-the-wall statements and I had to scrap this one to preserve the memory, I will always look back on it and smile. The topic also gave me the perfect opportunity to do a loved-up LO, something for which, living at Testosterone Towers, I can't see many opportunities. I didn't want to make it too girlie but I think using one of Basic Grey's Blush papers as the background, and using both pink and brown embellishments gives it something of a masculine feel. You probably can't tell too well in the photo but I've used some of my deconstructed artificial blooms to make the main embellishment, bottom right.

The pink swirls and scalloped shapes were cut using my Craft Robo (I luuurve my Craft Robo prrr prrr - thanks Mum & Dad - BRILLIANT prezzie!) The swirls are courtesy of Mary Powell at Mamawslegacy and come as a set of 5 different resizeable swirls in GSD format - fab!

In true scrapper fashion, and 'cause I'm a helpful kind of a gal here is the inevitable list of


Patterned paper Basic Grey - Blush range Girlfriend & crush, Two Scoops range Cupid's Arrow

Cardstock Core'Dinations

Chipboard Letters Basic Grey (Un-dressed) - Bon Bon

Letter stickers Making Memories - tiny alphas - brown ledger & mixed ledger, Mini Shimmer Alpha - Pink Metro

Flourishes Funky foam die cut with Sizzix Sidekick and Sizzlits Decorative Accents die

Brads PaperMania

Rub-Ons Basic Grey - Wholy Cow (white); (Trimcraft) Laura Ashley Velvets - Connemara Filigree

Blooms deconstructed from artificial flowers

Inks Ink It Up(Chocolate brown); ColorBox fluid chalk Cats Eyes (Maroon)

Pens Whispers; Inkssentials (opaque white)

Wooden Heart, ribbon, sticker, metal flourish from stash

Distressing tools Basic Grey precision file set

I seem to have London Bus Blogging Syndrome - no Blog for ages and then (you guessed it) two come along at once! Got to go now but I do hope you like the layout.

TOP TIP Invest in a pair of cotton gloves (I bought mine from Boots) to save leaving unsightly fingerprints when handling your photos.


What can I say? John Lewis' - total waste of time - even the scones were stale. NOT a good start to the day. Not a red thingy (any colour of red) to be seen - except for an acrylic salad bowl in the picnic section, a kettle and a colander - nice, but not what I wanted. Even the VERY expensive thingies were either green or aubergine. We did spend AN AWFULLY LONG TIME weighing up the potential of a foot tall, silver wire sample bottle but decided that no, we REALLY did want something RED.

How difficult does it have to be!!!!

Mind you - it took me five years to find just the right cushions (you guessed it - John Lewis' -RED).

So a little dispirited, having bought nothing, (it is unheard of for the Moonshines to leave JL's without having made a significant contribution to their fiscal well being) we got back into the Moon Mobile and set off for home. With plenty of time on our hands we decided to avoid the motorway and head back cross country via Knutsford which Mr M recalled had some interesting boutique potential.

Cripes, it certainly has some residential potential! WOW I've NEVER seen such enormous houses/palaces. "Crikey!", said I, "I could have a whole craft WING, let alone a room!"

Oooh imagine that, dedicated spaces for scrapping or sewing - a walk-in stash wardrobe... can you see it too?

After a quick pit stop at the Penny Farthing Museum (the hottest latte I've ever tried to drink!) we wandered round Knutsford, and yes there are some beautiful shops selling beautiful things (THE perfect evening bag to go with a recently purchased posh frock - but even though the sun was shining Mr M did not feel minded to part with the £200 necessary to secure its sparkly gorgeousness), but not a red thingy to be seen.

So, I'm afraid the Hunt for Red Accessory continues... as does the search for the perfect evening bag - actually I'm not terribly confident about finding either anytime soon.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


This week Mr M and I are supposed to be having a romantic sojourn a deux in Venice - but, for the second year running, for one reason or another, we haven't got round to it. NEXT year we are DEFINITELY going to Venice, in the spring, to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

So this week, we are holidaying chez nous. The Minors are still at school (Mr M has to take his annual leave entitlement by the end of the week) so we are having some lovely grown up days out, doing what WE like without our grumpy moaning minnies turning us in to a family more dysfunctional than The Simpsons.

So far we have spent happy days at Bridgemere Garden Centre and at Trentham Gardens with a fabulous three course lunch at their Italian restaurant, Terrazzo Del Giardino - not quite Venice but mmmmm deliziosa.

Later today we're off to John Lewis in Cheadle, our favourite haunt for interior decor. I'm looking for a statement piece of something in red to go on our rather large coffee table in the living room. It has to be a particular shade of dark red, not crimson, not carmine, not maroon, not any colour I can find a name for but red with a hint of - well - black, I suppose.

I thought I'd cracked it a few weeks ago on a trip to the shopping metropolis that is Telford with The BGF, strolling past Debenhams window I saw a thing of great beauty which was:
  • big (necessary)
  • red (essential)
  • modern (desirable)
  • reasonably priced (surprising)

It was a John Rocha enamelled bowl - actually - they say a picture is worth a thousand words ...

"I've got to buy that - it's perfect". Thankfully, The BGF and I are like minded when it comes to retail therapy, the more - the happier, so we did a sharp about face and headed down to the home department. Of course we got side tracked by their gorgeous cupcake range ...

Good enough to eat eh? It's not airtight so useless for cookies, I'm thinking storage for ribbon, flock, blooms... sidetracked by cupcakes - again (oh so easily done!)

Anyway, on closer inspection, although absolutely gorgeous and perfect in every other way it was too - well - orangey, more scarlet, or vermilion, or tomato and not the very particular shade I can't find a name for but I'm definitely after. So I'm hoping that John Lewis has got a reddish/blackish/biggish/modernish thing that we'll both agree on.

I'll keep you posted (groan - no pun intended).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...