Tuesday, July 31

Posh Picnic

We had some summer weather!  I got the paddling pool out quick and have some lovely photos to scrap with all the beachy, summery lines I've been buying.  Now though, summer's over with and we are back to rain and digging out the duvet.  So to cheer us up, here is a little love note from Tilda, to invite you to join her for a posh picnic.
I said on my video that I wanted to try combining this little basket from the July Scrapagogo kit with Magnolia images and, as the theme this week at Just Magnolia is 'In the country', I thought it must be picnic time.  I've gone for extreme masking to make this little scene using Noble Tilda, a Magnolia tree, and Papermania bench with champagne bottle.  I was looking for demo ideas for my next video and I think masking needs to go on the list.
I've coloured everything with Copics and added a little Bisque Liquid Pearls for sparkle and dimension.
The note card is made from the appropriately named Websters Pages Sunday Picnic collection in the Poppy Fields design, that came in the Scrapagogo kit. I've cut it right from the bottom of the page to include the branding strip so that it looks like layering.  The little love note in the corner is a printed digi from Elle's Studio with a little glossy accents added to the heart.

Challenges:
Just Magnolia #167 - In the country
Oldie But A Goodie - Summer inspiration, champagne cocktail anyone?  All of the stamps apart from the picnic basket are over 6 months old.
Totally Tilda - Summer Fun
Ladybug Crafts Ink - Summer Fun
Try It On Tuesday - Anything goes

** Kate ** 

Saturday, July 28

Hey Girl!

Simon says Stamp and Show are looking for feminine inspired projects this week and I thought I would make a necklace using a new Vintaj pendant I bought.  The pendant is of a woman reclining on the moon and that reminded me of my magnolia moon stamp and I decided to make a card to go with the necklace.
The images are Sweet moon and Tilda as a star from the Sweet Crazy Love collection.  I've coloured them with Copics and added a little Stardust Stickles for sparkle.  The paper for the background is from Websters Hollywood Vogue 6x6 pad.
There is a star bead and charm to match the necklace tied on with some Lawn Fawn twine and little glittered Studio Calico wooden stars to finish things off.
The necklace centres around the moon charm from Vintaj, which reminded me a little of Kirks Folly.  Vintaj, if you haven't seen it before, is a range of alterable metal pieces for jewellery making, not cheap, but very pretty with an art nouveau feel.
I've sanded some of the black finish off of the moon and polished it to show sliver highlights and then I added a bit of Rock Candy Distress Stickles.  The star beads are from MeiFlower and the star charms are from Cuddly Buddly.  Here's a close-up of the finished necklace.     
Challenges:
Simon Stays Stamp and Show - Hey girl
Magnolia Stamp Lovers - Tilda only
Simon Says - Anything goes
Crafts and Me #94 - Anything goes

I'm sitting here a bit bleary eyed having stayed up late to watch the wonderful opening ceremony of the London Olympics.  Really enjoyed it, Small-n-Grubby just about made it to the end as well but the others fell asleep!

** Kate ** 

Wednesday, July 25

WOYWW and a video

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for WOYWW, where workdesks across the world are displayed for your delectation.  On my workdesk yesterday was the new Scrapagogo kit for July and on a whim I decided to video it instead of taking a photograph.  I've been thinking about trying my hand at craft videos and thought I would try one out to see how it looked and sounded.  Well, it looks a bit shaky and I tend to repeat myself a bit, but the set up seems ok.  It is a first attempt, so please be gentle with me!!!
Realised when I looked back over it that I didn't say the Websters Pages were from the Sunday Picnic collection, just had a total mental block at that point, ha, ha.  If you're wondering why my nails match the paper, SMO's aunt has sent me a lovely scarf the same colour and I'd just painted them to match that, so I haven't totally taken leave of my senses!
Now that my 1st video is done, the ice is broken, and I'll have a try at a technique one next.  Let's face it, it can't get any worse?!?!  


Also on my desk is a little treat I've been resisting for a while, but finally succumbed to.
Long plates for my BigKick and a rosette die to test out.  I couldn't resist them in the end and buying the slim version rather than the Bigz XL made it less of an outlay.  Now I'm all primed and ready for when Tim's new snowflake rosette becomes available.  Catch it on this Scrap Time video if you haven't seen one before.

** Kate **

Tuesday, July 24

Glitter Girl and the case of the Scenic Solution

When I saw Glitter Girls adventure #29 I was quite excited, this was a problem I'd been having for some time.  I'm drawn to these sort of scenic scrapbook papers that look almost like they are ready to be framed as they are.  I buy them, often in the sale bin, and then they sit in my supplies for ever.  Well, no more, I loved Glitter Girls strategies for handling them and what's more I knew immediately which paper I was going to tackle 1st.  Now I believe that it is a testament to my creative chaos that I was able to put my hand upon said sheet of paper immediately (I had to move 2 boxes and a stack of books first, but I knew exactly where it was!)
(I've blanked out some of the personal details.)  The papers are Love Birds from Fancy Pants.  I wrestled with my conscience for a bit about using the back of one sheet.  This was the front.
Really pretty, but the pinks didn't sit with the autumnal colours in my plan and the back did, so it became my outer frame.  The rest of the papers (with the addition of some plain red and brown card) are all from the strips cut away to turn the main paper into a 10x10 square.  Here's how it originally looked back in October 2011 when I was quizing people at the Pretty Paper Party about what could be done with it.
As these were the only 2 pages I had from the collection (bought from the good old sale bin),   I didn't have anything to match them and I still wanted to keep things quite simple in view of the busy papers.  In the end I punched some hearts to match the ones printed on the paper and added some punched yellow butterflies.  Like Glitter Girl, I turned to my stock of Sassafras letters for the title.
It's turned out OK and I won't shy away again next time I find one of these really patterned papers in my hands.

** Kate **

Monday, July 23

And Now For Something Completely Different

A little later blogging this morning as I have been doing battle with Blogger.  I use Friends Connect to follow all the challenge blogs and keep up to date with product blogs and of course friends, but since the non-blogger side was discontinued on 1 March 2012 I haven't been able to manage my viewing.  Yet again I am at the dreaded maximum of 300 and can add no more.  Until such time as something gets sorted I am switching to Google Reader to keep track of blogland, but it's taking time to get to grips with the quickest way to use it.  In the meantime I still see new candy and challenges stipulating that you must be a follower, well that's just not possible for me now, or for a great many others judging by the Blogger Forums. I hope that we can find another way to publicly monitor blog readership and I will blog about anything I find, hope you'll let me know if you see a new trend emerging.


Onto crafting matters and I have a neglected layout to share with you.  I had organised and planned all the pieces and just needed to ink the edges before I assembled it and have only just finished it off.  It's based on Shimelle's 'And now for something completely different' for June over at UK Scrappers.
All the pieces are from the Scrapagogo June kit which include Amy Tangerine Sketchbook papers and Thickers as well as exclusive hybrid images and a cute little camera stamp.
I'm glad I used the kit for this so that I just had hints of pink and the green letters to pull out the colour from the baby chair, otherwise it would have been tempting to go down a really PINK route and I don't think it would have worked so well.

** Kate **

Saturday, July 21

Christmas In July

Whilst I was experimenting with the water stamping (see yesterday's post) I inked a background with the gorgeous Shaded Lilac ink and on a whim I splattered it with water instead of stamping.  Straight away it made me think of a beautiful snowy evening and so I turned the experiment into a Christmas card.
The pine tree is a Serendipity stamp and the words are from a Papermania set.  There was a little too much water in a blob at the top so I punched it out and layered it up with the background card.
I think I will have to play with this colour and Christmas again, perhaps with a masked off moon or spritzing/flicking with a watery pearl colour.

Challenges:
Cards For Men #15 - Christmas In July
Christmas Cards #33 - (optional theme)
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas #82 - Monochrome

** Kate **

Friday, July 20

Camp Scrap

I've hardly had time to play along with any of the great ideas over at May Flaum's blog for Camp Scrap, but I have a notebook full of things to try and there's still a week to go before camp ends!!

Last night I awarded myself some play time and got to grips with Stamping with Water.  I also got out the spring and summer Distress ink collections to give them a whirl.
The water stamping has a quite subtle effect, this one was with one of Tim Holtz big damask stamps, which I then decided to turn into a little scene.  The water effect is a bit clearer in close-up.
In the set of stamps there is also a wood grain effect and I thought I would try that one as well.  First off I hadn't cleaned it properly last time out, so happy accident #1, I got a bit of brown ink added to my water.
I've added some PaperArtsy text in the same colour Distress ink as the background and then stamped some Pink Paislee images on top of that.  I think this one might make a nice notebook cover.  I spritzed a little more water on this time which resulted in a good effect and a 2nd happy accident.................
It's a good idea to have a supply of white paper ready when you do this technique so that you can stamp out the wet stamp after it has been pressed onto the Distress Ink.  The result was happy accident #2 and my favourite card of the day.
I've decorated the card with Lawn Fawn Stamps and a little off cut of Bright Side paper.  For the mail box I've inked white card with Barn Door Distress Ink before stamping and cutting the image out.
I'm a little bit in love with Lawn Fawn at the minute and, seeing all the new products at CHA, I don't think  that's going to end any time soon.

Challenges (for the Lawn Fawn card):
Lawnscaping #38 - Photo inspiration
The Stamp Man - Anything goes

** Kate **

Thursday, July 19

PaperArtsy canvas

I've seen a couple of crafty challenges this month related to crafting styles and so I thought it would be a good time to share this canvas that I have been working on.
Anyone who has looked at my decluttering or WOYWW posts will know that I don't shy away from mess and so, unsurprisingly I am quite at home with inks, paints, mists and pastes!  If I have some free time with a bit of work top cleared, then I like to experiment and let my creativity out.  (If there's no worktop clear than I am just as happy getting down to some serious colouring with stamped images, but that's another story.) 
I've used so much (too much?) on this canvas that I don't think I could possibly list all of the supplies.  There is some 7 Gypsies tissue with keys on at the bottom somewhere under many layers of Claudine Hellmuth paint.  All the stamps are from PaperArtsy.  Some are stamped directly onto the canvas and others, like the text and the clock/sun, are stamped onto plain tissue paper first and then glued on.  The houses are stamped onto GCD Studios papers and then paper pieced together.
There is some modelling paste for texture. The clouds were made by punching the shapes from card using a Fiskars punch and then using the negative that was left as a stencil.  There's also a bit of stencilling through a Crafters Workshop chicken wire stencil, to ring the changes from getting the sequin waste out all the time.
A bit of tissue tape to finish everything off, you have to, don't you?  Well I can't help myself and so I did.

Challenges:
My Mojo Monthly - Your style
Sir Stampalot - What's your crafty passion
Deep Ocean #30 - Fantasy world
Creative Inspirations #172 - Altered/anything but a card

** Kate ** 

Wednesday, July 18

WOYWW and the Jedi invasion

Would you believe it, it was actually sunny yesterday.  For a short while in the afternoon, and I don't just mean it stopped raining for a bit, I mean there was actual proper, warm, wear your sunglasses, take off your coat, take off your jumper, sunshine.  Off I went into the garden and what would you know, the minute there's a bit of sun and the place is overrun by Jedi.
As for my WOYWW workspace, there's been no progress on the corner with the paper and tools in, but there has been a little, and I do mean little, progress in the stamping corner.
The before picture is below, it's a bit like one of those very hard spot the difference puzzles, because there isn't much to see!  Thunderbird 3 has been mended and the lunch bag put away.  There's been some general tidying and regrouping of things, but the stamps still need a good sort out.
Not sure if we will see that elusive sun again today, but hoping you can see it where ever you are.

** Kate **   

Tuesday, July 17

Teacher's Gifts

Branston Pickle leaves nursery/pre-school for the last time this week!!  Can't believe it, really, I can't.  I've been busy making some little gifts for his 'teachers' as he calls them (many of whom worked with both my older children when they were at the same setting).
I've cut the shrink plastic, rounded the corners and punched a whole in each piece using the size of hole punch you would use to put paper into a file, it shrinks to just the right size for jewellery findings.
Then I've stamped the Peanuts images and letters using Brilliance ink which just about stays where you put it whilst you blast the piece with a heat gun.
All of the rest of the supplies are out of my jewellery stash which has grown to the point where it now all lives in a big blue Personal Impressions bag on wheels!

Challenges:
Simon Says Stamp And Show - Anything goes
One Stitch At A Time - Anything goes
Truly Madly Crafty - Animals

** Kate **

Monday, July 16

By The Cute And Girly - Mid-July

Will someone please do something about this weather?  It can't be mid July, surely it's September and Christmas is just around the corner?

Well, I am reliably informed that it really is mid-July, so I will cease moaning and get on with blogging my 2nd By The Cute And Girly project for this month.  Our theme is 'A day at.....................' with the blank left to be filled in with anything you fancy.  I've chosen 'A day at the seaside' and used Magnolia's Pearl Tilda to stamp my card.
She is coloured with Copics and decorated with a bit of Waterfall Stickles and Bisque Liquid Pearls.
For the card background I've used the new Salty Ocean Distress Ink which has been sponged on and then stamped over with images from Craft Stamper magazine in the same colour.  The little sticker at the bottom is from Crate Paper.

Hop over to the By The Cute And Girly challenge blog to see all the DT's mid-month makes and join us for a chance to win some great prizes.

I'm entering my card for the following challenges:
Just Magnolia #165 - Bingo - lilac, glitter, pearls/bling  
Let's Ink It Up #25 - All girl
Deep Ocean #29 - Sea of love

** Kate **

Decluttering - week #1 summary

I think the stresses of the decluttering got to me at the weekend and I felt distinctly below par.  I continued with my 15 to 20 minutes here and there and little spaces are starting to appear.  With just a week to go before the 'summer' holidays begin I will continue to pick away at it like an annoying scab!  I need to get back to crafting too, so a 6 week balancing act coming up!!

** Kate **  

Friday, July 13

Decluttering - Day #5

It's Friday and after 4 days of decluttering I still can't bear to photograph anything.  I thought I would list my achievements as a way to show that something has happened, even though some of the rooms still look worse than when I started.

Living room:
- Sofa turned around and new throw ordered
- Television moved into new position
- Shoe store converted to side table
- Shoes tidied and reduced to fit into hall shoe store
- Toys sorted and some put back upstairs, other photographed ready to sell

Kitchen:
-'Office' box next to computer sorted and ready to be replaced with I don't quite know what

Loft:
- Cleared of old boxes
- All stored clothes brought down to be rehoused
- Toddler toys photographed and ready to sell/donate
- China brought down, some boxed properly and put back up
- 3 boxes for boot sale labelled and put back up

Bedroom:
No progress here and there are now boxes of clothes, china and toys added to the mess waiting to be sorted out

3 bags taken to the charity shop, 2 bin liners out for rubbish - that doesn't sound like enough to me!

Feeling very tired and can't see a great deal of free time coming up today or over the weekend.  In order to prevent things from slipping further I will look for 15 and 20 minute jobs that I can list and completed whenever the time allows.

** Kate **

Thursday, July 12

Decluttering - day #'4

Not so great on the progress yesterday as we turned our attention to all things Olympics.  There was a fun run at school for the little ones, but as the rain was torrential it turned into a parade once around the school field with flags.  Then we took Branston Pickle back home for a hot chocolate and a warm up.

Then in the afternoon the real event.
This is Lee Steggles a local power lifter, I remember seeing her in the pages of the local paper as I was growing up.  There were pictures from events she competed at and then at the end of year sports awards she  often seemed to be a lone female face.  I got taken to a similar awards once, by a previous boyfriend.  The only women there were 'other halves' and the entertainment was an awful 'blue' comedian whose act consisted of being as crude as possible and the male section of the audience thought he was genius, bleurgh.
So well done to Lee for carrying the baton for local women then as she did now.

I picked the spot where we stood, at the end of the road where I grew up and on the edge of a roundabout, couldn't see why anyone other than a few locals would want to stand there.  Here we are waiting and waiting (about three quarters of an hour in the end).
Small-n-Grubby thought it was hysterical taking a shot of us with the flag in our faces.
It started to get very busy and we were totally unaware that we had chosen to stand at the baton change over until a mini bus pulled up and the next runner, Ben Walton got out.  We were suddenly swamped by crowds and you can just see the two torches.
History in the making and now back to the decluttering!!

** Kate **

Wednesday, July 11

WOYWW and Decluttering!

It's Wednesday and day 3 of my decluttering quest.  Today I am combining with WOYWW, so 1st a little re-cap.

Here is the craft section of the before pictures (full post and pictures here).
 Things have really got bad, and it's not just about craft.  There are piles of junk everywhere, well just piling up really!  So I am tackling everything intensively for a week, with breakfast updates here at my blog.  After this week it will be back to a bit each day, but I find that hard because clearing up the new mess the family makes each day can take up all of my allotted time, hence no real progress.  Mess begets mess, once there is a clear space it will be much easier for everyone to see that items have been put down and left inappropriately. 

Yesterday, with the living room half done I reported my brave stupid decision to move on to the loft.  As I suspected, this had the effect of one step forward and two steps back, but it had to be done whilst I had a man about the house to give me a hand (SMO has taken the week off to get the whole decluttering extravaganza off the ground).  Where there were spaces in the living room there are now new piles of things from the loft which I need to photograph and try to sell/give away.  All of this means I still haven't taken another picture of the room

The plan for today then, press on with the living room blitz and make it somewhere relaxing for us, with space for little people to play (provided they put toys away after them), and somewhere welcoming for family and friends.

** Kate **

Tuesday, July 10

Decluttering!

Today's sub-title is "They do say it gets worse before it gets better, don't they???"

Breakfast time on day 2 and I can report that we definitely started yesterday putting in a combined effort of around 10 to 12 hours.  I didn't feel well at the start and sat on the sofa thinking I couldn't do it feeling cramps in my stomach, but I felt better as the day went on.  The living room seemed like the place to start, one end of it has been completely re-organised but the other end is now just piles of stuff.  I think this is progress?!?!  I don't have the heart to share it I will wait for the big reveal later in the week. I ordered a new throw for the sofa yesterday as it is currently covered with our bedspread (owing to an accident some time ago with the previous cover!)  Took a while to find something big enough and washable at the right price.  It's kind of a golden colour which wouldn't have been my 1st choice, but when I showed SMO he thought it would go well with the room, so who knows!
Making a brave move today with our plans.  SMO is not around much tomorrow and I can do a lot of the remaining work on the living room on my own (with the help of the Branston Pickle!)  We are going to leave it all in chaos and move on to the loft.  That scares me a little as I panic that the living room will now remain like it is, especially if something prevents me from tackling it on Wednesday.  Things need putting up in the loft and other things need to come out for use by growing boys or to go to a boot sale/charity. I can't do the loft on my own and today is our greatest length of time without Branston, so it make sense, scary sense!

I will report back with pictures ready for WOYWW tomorrow.  I also have some secret crafting planned as I always watch Holby City on a Tuesday evening and I have a scrapbook page to finish while I watch.

** Kate **

Monday, July 9

Clutter!!!

I've watched those extreme decluttering programmes on tv and felt a little knot in the pit of my stomach.  I can see how it happens and as I look around my home I can see the initial stages of a clutter nightmare.

It's time to lay my soul bare (well a little bit of it anyway) and share my clutter ahead of a week of intensive work between SMO and I.  My 1st step into self-help for a clutter nutter is sharing it and admitting it is there.

Here we go, photos taken this weekend (note how much of the clutter is craft related, eeek!):

The kitchen counter where fruit fights to survive amongst  the inks and stamps.
The computer table that has slipped and spread all along one wall of the kitchen.
The living room with children looking suitably pitiful (actually, they are saying "What ya doing?")
The craft corner of the bedroom. A bit blurred, I think I had the shakes by now!
The end of the bed where things the children throw at me and say they don't need any more go to die!
I needed some fortification to help me with the start of all this.  If you are one of my slimming club friends LOOK AWAY NOW!!!
The children asked to make these in the oven for a Saturday night treat and it would have been rude not to have one.

That's my breakfast update complete.  I plan to update during breakfast tomorrow with progress made.  Feel free to leave comments and spur me on/criticise my slovenliness.  Wish me luck.

** Kate **