Friday, 30 July 2010

Sea Puppy!

Alex came home from nursery yesterday with a little dark grey stone which was about 1cmx1.5cm in size. He introduced it to me saying ‘This is Sea Puppy, it has a smiley face and a waggy tail’. He held onto ‘Sea Puppy’ all evening and chatted to it and played with it. At bed time we had to find a safe place for her to sleep – I found an empty matchbox which did the trick. Today Sea Puppy had the name ‘Lizzie’ and she was apparently upset and crying so Alex sang her a song to cheer her up. Here he is holding the Sea Puppy (can you see it!). Don’t you just love the imaginations of kids.

Crafting wise I made this card for a work colleague who has recently got married (she is still on honeymoon) following this week PTW sketch. The card therefore fits with the theme of love and marriage and weddings from Creative Craft and Pollycraft, the Simon Says stamp theme of ‘spots’ and the recipe challenge of one ribbon, two designer papers and three embellishments (paper flowers, brad and punched leaves) from Penny’s challenge. Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Sing it Mummy!

Alex is still going through a phase of wanting a song for everything and the cry of ‘Sing Sally mummy’ or ‘Sing Mater Mummy’ can be heard frequently. What this means is that he wants me to make up a song about a particular toy car which is hilarious as it stretches my powers of imagination and inventiveness on a minute by minute basis. He loves it though and can be heard singing his version of my made up songs long after I have sung and forgotten them!

As it is Wednesday I thought I would show you my workspace as part of WOYWW - it is still looking reasonably tidy after my massive clean up last week. The papers and cut outs are all from Crate paper and were used on my most recent layout (see below). You can also see my circle cutter (very useful) and a notebook in which I write details about the photos for scrapbooking, and the latest challenges etc. Last week I was asked about my tea drinking habits due to most photographs having at least one large mug of tea on them. The truth is I love tea, but can’t stand drinking it cold so I start crafting with a large mug of boiling hot tea, then get absorbed in crafting and forget about it until later by which time I have only drunk half of it and have to throw the rest away because it is cold. This happens nearly every day! The tea in this photo was boiling hot having only just being made…what are the chances of me finishing it before it goes cold?
My crafting projects for this week have both been scrapbook pages. This first one is titled ‘Petrol head’ and uses Basic Grey papers and follows this weeks Sketch Thursday sketch. It also fits with the scrap and stamp ‘buttons’ theme and with practical scrappers challenge to use at least 7 different things on your layout (two different papers, acrylic paint, metal letters, car stamp, stickers, brads, and a doodled border – I think that makes at least 7!). The journaling reads ‘Alex, as the ultimate vehicle nut and petrol head, absolutely loved the time we spent at Bakewell’s Showground Spectacular with al the lorries, differs, tractors etc, especially when he was allowed to sit at the steering wheels. 2nd May 2010’.
The other scrapbook page follows this weeks Pencil Lines sketch, and the theme of ‘shapes’ for Lots to do (circles and rectangles are featured on this page), and Crafty Cardmakers ‘orange, stickers and animal’ (I used a bird) theme. The page also fits with this weeks Scrap it with a song as the song this week was ‘Over the Rainbow’ and I chose to use the phrase ‘beyond the rain’ in my title which was ‘Look beyond the rain & have fun’. The papers are all from Crate paper the journaling reads ‘Despite getting soaking wet Alex was very happy playing in Endcliffe Park, especially on the bouncy slide. 13th Feb 2010’.
That’s all from me for now. Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Great weekend

We have had a lovely time this weekend. Yesterday morning was full of the usual, cleaning, shopping, tidying, cooking etc and then in the afternoon I took Alex to the swimming pool for the first time ever.  We went to Hillsborough Leisure Centre which has a wonderful sloping beach, a small 'rock pool', a wave machine, a large open water slide and a pirate ship with a slide.  Once I convinced Alex that little boys only wore shorts and arm bands and that he didn't need a swimming costume like Mummy's he loved it.  We even went down the large water slide together with him going completely underwater and coming up again spluttering with a huge grin on his face and a yell of 'I was being a submarine Mummy, let's do it again!'. It was a complete success and we will definately be going back.
Today my brother, Andrew, came to spend the day with us which was lovely.  Alex was so excited to see him and had to show him everything, so for ages there were cries of 'Uncle Andrew, look at this' or 'look what I got Uncle Andrew!'. 
After Alex's nap we went out to Endcliffe park to the play ground and then back through the woods via the duckpond for a lovely long walk.
It was so special to see Andy again as I don't get to spend much time with him these days.
Crafting wise I have only had time to make one card this weekend, which is for my Uncle who has just come out of hospital having suffered a ruptured appendix.  It followed the Friday sketchers sketch, the theme of 'Blue, cream and one other' (green) from Paper play, the 'blue, sparkle and embossing' theme from Stamp n Doodle, the 'flowery theme' from Stamp something and the 'use two of something' (two flower sets) from Stamp simply.  That is all from me. Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Funny boy!

Alex is so funny at the moment…he is really into making up stories about his different cars and keeps asking me to sing a song specifically for each one, which he then repeats and incorporates into his little stories. The only trouble is I can’t remember exactly what song I made up for each one and he gets cross if they are not the same each time!

Crafting wise I made this scrapbook layout following this weeks Unscripted sketch. The title is Splash and the page uses papers by Fancy Pants and Basic Gray. I made my own splatter embellishments. The journaling reads ‘Alex invested a great game of dropping stones into water. The bigger the stone, the bigger the splash and the louder the squeal of laughter. 16th April 2010’. The page fits with the crazy challenge of ‘boys will be boys’, the MTTC ‘checks’ challenge (the photos are mounted on checked paper) and crafty creations ‘happy or sweet’ challenge. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Wednesday again!

I can’t believe it is Wednesday already and time for another WOYWW. My desk is actually pretty tidy as I had a complete tidy up session on Monday because I couldn’t stand the mess any more! I needed to create some more space for actual crafting. As you can see this was pretty successful and my desk only has a few things on it from my latest projects, although I still haven’t found a home for my new punches. Needless to say there is a cold mug of tea (I don’t function without tea!) among the other things.

I even got round to sorting out the shelves…these are actually book shelves with fiction and encyclopaedias on them, for the most part hidden behind my crafting things (yes I am taking over the whole of the study!). The stripy folders contain ATCs and inchies from the swaps I have been involved in over the past few years.  The bottle on the bottom shelf is waiting to have the label soaked off so I can use it on a scrapbook page, the box next to it is for altering and the toilet roll is for use as tissues as I still have an annoying cold!
The other shelves are much the same as usual with as much stuff crammed onto them as possible! I have a mixture of little items in jewellery/bead boxes and various Tupperware containers full of acrylic paints, glues, glitters, angel hairs and other assorted bits and pieces. I can't claim that these are tidy, but at least I am able to find most things!
Crafting wise I made this layout using some photos from my childhood. It follows this weeks sketch by Anna on Pencil Lines, the theme of cats or dogs from CCC, the challenge to use scrap that is more than a year old from Practical scrappers (I was given these papers in June 2009!), the cute challenge from PTW and the song L-O-V-E from Scrap it with a song. The page is entitled ‘Puppy Love’ and the journaling reads ‘It was love at first sight for me when I first met Tor. He was so adorable so although he was the family dog I trained him and thought of him as mine. June 1986’.
I also made this very quick and simple card for a friend who has just moved house, which follows the theme of ‘distressing’ from Stamp & Doodle as I used sandpaper on the embossed elements. Thanks for looking and commenting. Have a great rest of the week.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Big Boy Bed!

Alex's big excitement is the fact that he now has a big boy bed, which just squeezes into his tiny bedroom.  He is so pleased with it, climbing in and out and enjoying the novelty of lots of space.  It is great to see him so happy with it...he especially likes the Disney Cars douvet cover and pillowcase, although he refuses to sleep under the douvet, prefering to sleep lying on top of it!  Funny boy! All we need now is a Cars poster for the wall and he will be in seventh heaven!
I am trying to get us to do some things as a family over the summer despite Tim's illness so this weekend we went on a little trip out to Bolsover Castle where Alex had a great time running round and exploring,
fighting with the little foam swords that we bought and generally enjoying himself.  It was lovely to see him so happily exploring.
I just loved the architecture and the views.  You can really see why they built the castle at this location.
I have had a scrapbooking weekend as well which has been nice.  The first layout followed Pencil Lines sketch 195, which I thought was quite fun and different.  I used Crate paper, K&Co papers and Doodlebug Alphabet stickers.  The title of the page is 'Concentrate' and the journalling, which is in a speach bubble, reads 'Quiet! I 'm reading the newspaper (well, looking at the pictures of cars really!)'.
The next layout followed the clean and simple sketch from No time to stamp and fits with Crazy 4 Challenges 'buttons' and Lots to do 'stitching' challenges.  The title of the page is '2 Cheeky boys' and the journalling reads 'Alex and Andreas had fun playing on the 'pirate ship' swing and in the igloo tent on a sunny, but freezing cold afternoon in early March, 2010'.
Finally I made this layout which follows this weeks ScrapFIT challenge which is to scraplift a design from their DT.  This layout is a scraplift from LJ's We Rock layout, albeit changed in terms of some of the colours etc.  This layout fits with  Pollycraft's bold and bright theme and also uses a digital stamp (Live Music) and so fits with the Stamp something theme.The title of the page is 'Grin' and the journalling reads 'Alex, Sam & Tom playing Granny's guitar. March 2010'. I can't take credit for this photo as it is one of Jenny's, but I have to say it is one of the nicest of the three cousins together. As usual, I would love to know what you all think.  Have a great week ahead.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Lightning McQueen!

Alex has developed an obsession with Lightening McQueen from the Disney Cars movie.  He absolutely loves everything about him and especially likes the scene from the movie where Lightning McQueen helps someone else across the finish line rather than winning himself. He is very sweet with it. After he has been put to bed in the evenings we can hear him singing 'Lightning McQueen, Racing Machine' at the top of his voice. Gotta love that kid! I am still not 100%, but am considerably better than I was with a normal temperature again so thank you to everyone who sent well wishes.  Here's hoping that a gentle weekend will help me fully recover.
Crafting wise I have made this scrapbook layout based on this weeks unscripted sketch using Crate papers.  I have adapted it slightly, but you can still see the sketch there.  This page also fits with the Creative Inspirations theme of 'let's get physical' as the page is entitled 'Running makes you thirsty' and the journalling reads 'I'm not sure what game the boys were playing, or indeed if all 3 were playing the same game, but they had a lot of fun running round & round the patio! 27th March 2010'.
This next page followed this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch and the start me up challenge of 3 groups of 3 (3 photos, 3 vehicle stickers, 3 brads). The page uses Cosmo Cricket papers and is entitled 'Toys'. The journalling reads 'Alex is a true 'petrol head' with a passion for anything with wheels ~ he can happily spend ages playing with a garage, road board or train set. March 2010'.
Finally I made these 3 inchies for a monochrome swap that is running on CM&PC forum at the moment.  I have to say that I found monochrome on this scale a real challenge, but I guess that is the whole point of it! One of these fits with the MTTC 'butterfly bliss' challenge. That is all from me apart from to say 'Have a great weekend everyone'.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Why is it that I am only ever ill at really inconvenient times?  I have come down with nasty flue like symptoms (high temperature, aching joints, freezing one moment, boiling the next etc) and have had the day spent in bed.  It would be on the day that Alex's 'big boy bed' arrived so I wasn't able to build it for him before his bed time. So annoying.  I really hope that I am better tomorrow. As it is Wednesday today I have posted these pictures of my rather messy work desk as part of WOYWW.  This is my desk after completing a scrapbook page. The papers and stickers are mostly Basic Grey Archaic and you can see my craft knife, PVA glue, pritt stick etc, and of course, the inevitable cup of tea.  It is rare to see my desk without tea on it LOL!
Towards the back of the desk you can see some ink pads, stickers, a punch and embossing tool that haven't been put away from a previous crafting project.
Only my shelves have the vague semblance of tidiness today and there are still things on there which need properly putting away...maybe one day LOL!!
Crafting wise I have spent much of the past few days making this box (this is the top) and the card inside. It is for one of the ladies at work who is leaving at the end of the month.I kept the box simple and elegant.
This is the handbag card that goes inside it. I didn't follow any template prefering to make it up myself and I have to say it was a real challenge to get it to stand up (I promise you that it does!). I stamped the background with inkadinkado stamps and distress ink and used flowers and brads with pink embroidery thread to make a clasp for the bag. As I have never made anything like this before I would love to know what you think.
I also made this scrapbook page following this weeks Practical Scrappers sketch and it fits with their embossing challenge (I embossed the stars with swiss dots). I had fun splodging paint all over the background of the page and the papers I used are all from the Basic Grey Archaic range.  The title of the page is from this weeks song at Scrap it with a song; 'So happy together' and the journalling reads 'Alex and Daniel are always so happy to see each other and play together, especially with trucks, diggers, tractors etc in Grandma's huge garden. They did get somewhat soaked from lying on the damp lawn and splashing in puddles. 3rd April 2010'. This page also fits with the sketches {by Tamara} challenge which was to use staples, stars and rub-ons on a layout.  I have never used staples in my crafting before but I do like the effect so will have to remember this for future layouts. Finally as the two boys were playing in the garden this fits with PTW's 'in the garden' challenge.  That is all for now. Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Summer weekend

I do so love an English summer's weekend, especially when it is sunny.  Yesterday we played in the garden all morning and then went over to Stannington where they had a carnival/fair.  Alex had a wonderful time, being given a ginger bread man, and being allowed to sit in various vehicles including a fire engine, an army jeep
and on a 'Topper' boat, which he pretended to steer using the tiller and rudder.
He also had his first ever donkey ride which, after a hesitant start, he loved!  All in all our little 'fair venture' was a success.
Today we went over to the Rivelin valley playground where he climbed around happily before going to the paddling pools.  A good splash in the water was followed by another run round the playground to warm him up before coming home.  All in all it has been a lovely weekend. It is a shame I have to go back to work tomorrow!
I have also had some time to craft making this wedding card as a request from work colleagues.  This follows Lyn's sketch from Quirky Crafts and as it has the circle in the centre also fits with the 'circles' theme from Meljen's.  The stamp was a freebie from Papercraft Inspirations - I originally used a different central image, but it didn't work or look very good so I covered it up with this one - LOL!
This scrapbook layout follows the sketch from Sketches {by Tamara} and fits with the Start me up challenge of a masculine layout with a flower (last week's challenge - I have only just discovered this challenge site!).  This layout features Tim and Alex and is entitled 'Dodgem Cars'.  The journalling reads 'Tim took Alex on his first ever dodgem car ride at Bakewell's May Day Showground Spectacular. Alex loved driving the car, although his steering was more than a little erratic.  It was a good time all round. 2nd May 2010'.
Finally I used the Sketchy Thursday sketch to create this layout (slightly adapted for 4 photos). The layout is entitled 'A knight in shining armour' and the journalling reads 'Alex loved being able to join in the games of Kinghts in Medieval Castles that was played at Lydgate park on 24th April 2010. He was in his element running round with other children waving a sword and pretending to fight'. I don't know who the stamp is by as I was given it in a stamp swap, but it was just so appropriate for this layout that I couldn't resist using it.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 9 July 2010


Alex is being so funny at the moment regailing us with stories and scenarios that he is making up.  My favourite from this week is this: We were driving home in the car and he was holding his little bear (named Grizzly bear) very carefully. He told us that 'Grizzly bear is a dangerous remote control'. When asked what the bear was a remote control for he said 'to make sure the car doesn't crash while we are driving home'.  When we arrived home he again told us that 'Grizzly bear is a dangerous remote control', but when asked whether it was still a remote control for the car he said 'No! Grizzly bear is a dangerous remote control for the house', so when I asked whether Grizzly bear could make the house fly like a rocket, he looked at me as though I had gone mad and said very crossly 'No! He is a dangerous remote control to make the house stay in the hole'.  Don't you just love it!
Crafting wise I haven't done a lot over the past couple of days (partly because I have been reading an addictive book!), but I have made these trading cards for a swap that is running on CM&PC forum.  The theme of the swap is 'Once upon a time', so I decided to make a little scene on each ATC using some chipboard houses that I would never usually use (they came free with a magazine), some Disney Princess stickers, tapestry and Lavinia stamps, distress and versacolour inks.  These ATCs actually fit with several challenges as follows: Crazy challenge 'up in the air' - the birds are flying in the air; Creative Craft 'summer lovin' & CCT 'summer' - these are very summery scenes to my mind with the yellow sun in the corner; Creative Inspirations 'on the move' - a lot of the ladies are riding their horses and are therefore on the move!; Penny's challenge '7 of something' - each of these trading cards has 7 flowers stamped onto it; Pile it on 'favourite things' - at the moment my distress inks are definitely among my favourite crafting items.  That is all for now folks!  I hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I can't believe it is Wednesday already, and time for another WOYWW!  My desk is actually looking relatively tidy today as I put most of the mess away yesterday evening.  On my desk you can see my colouring pencils in a broken mug, my latest 'summer' themed ATC peeking out from under some cardboard which I need to send my broken mobile phone back to the manufacturers (don't look too closely as the ATC is for a competition being run on CMPC), some punched out fern shapes (thank you Lyn!), some inchies and ATCs I have received from recent swaps, an invitation to my nephew's Christening (another card I need to make LOL!), some punches, free papers and other sundries. 
At the back of my desk in my so called tidy trays you can actually see the card I made with last weeks ink background experiments using the distress inks.  This should have been put with the other completed cards, but hasn't yet been filed! 
Crafting wise I have had a busy week.  I played with a new technique of sanding down a dry embossed image that was made on coredinations cardstock. It was great fun to do and actually looks quite effective.  This card will be entered for the 'ruby' challenge on DCM and the die cuts challenge on creative card crew.
This scrapbook layout follows the Sketchy Thursday sketch (adapted for a single page), the Practical scrappers 'cartoons' theme, and the CCC 'sports' theme (assuming that walking counts as a sport!). The title is 'Mudwalk' and the page uses Basic Gray papers and Making Memories cardstock.  The journalling reads 'Alex and Daniel enjoyed their mud walk across the fields at Grandma's - running from one sticky patch of mud to the next with great glee! 4th April 2010'.
This weeks challenge at Scrap it with a song was America the beautiful which was a real challenge for an English girl!  I decided to go with the phrase 'Oh beautiful' and the general theme of beautiful countryside for this challenge by scrapbooking my photos of the January snows in Sheffield this year.  The title of the page is 'Oh beautiful winter wonderland' and I used the journalling inspiration from Unscripted sketches to create my journalling which reads ' I just love the way that the sparkling white snow contrasts with the deep brick red of the buildings, the dark brown of the tree trunks and branches and the brilliant blue skies.  It really was a beautiful winter wonderland. Jan 2010'.  Not sure how much more crafting I will manage to do this week as I have a grant application which has to be submitted by Friday.  Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Emotional few days

Friday saw me travelling from Sheffield to Taunton (and back) to attend the funeral of a dear family friend, Robin Bush.  Robin was a larger than life character in more ways than one and I was very honoured to be able to call him a friend.  The service was beautiful with his brother-in-law John giving the Eulogy, his daughter Catherine doing the Bible reading, his sister-in-law Linda singing Dido's lament, and his wife Hilary reading one of the amusing historical stories that he had unearthed in the records office (I don't know how she managed it).
The service really was a wonderful celebration of his life with Opera overtures being played before the service (he had sung over 25 different opera roles) and the coffin being carried out to the Overture of Yeoman of the Guard by Gilbert and Sullivan (he played numerous parts in different musicals and operettas as well).  It was a very emotional and exhausting day but I am so glad I went to help in giving him the send off he deserved. For an obituary of his professional life see The Telegraph, although this doesn't recount even half of what he achieved. Indeed, it is clear that he achieved more in his lifetime than most people would achieved in 3. For me he was a dear friend who was the life and soul of the party and who could always put a smile on my face. Robin, we love you and will miss you dearly.
On Saturday I took Alex to go and meet up with his cousin Daniel at Stowe Landscape Gardens. 
The boys had a wonderful time exploring different parts of the gardens.
I had to agree that it was very exciting to see so many wonderful and different monuments appearing from behind different trees. 
We then had a lovely picnic under a tree near the ornamental lake before walking back round
via this swan and her cygnets
to the cafe where I couldn't resist taking this photo of all the boys (including my brother!). It was lovely to see them all so although I was exhausted after driving there and back I was glad that we went.  Today has been a much needed gentle day at home with our usual trip to the park in the afternoon.  The perfect end to an emotional few days.
Crafting wise I made this card which fits with the Crafty Cardmakers 'inky fingers' challenge as the entire background was originally white card that I went over with two different shades of distress inks, then stamped with one blue (swirls) and with a darker brown shade for the sea shell corners.  The stamped image in the centre is again on a distressed ink background.  As sand castles are for me a very summery thing to make this card fits with the Kaboodle Doodles and Ooh La La 'summer' themes.
I also made this scrapbook layout following this weeks Unscripted Sketch.  The papers are cosmo cricket (background) and Basic grey.  I used some Kanban stamps as well.  The title of the page is 'too cold' and the journalling reads 'It was a bright sunshiney day in Spring when Alex decided that he wanted to paddle in the stream. however, after only a few seconds he decided it was too cold. 111th April 2010'.  This page therefore fits with this weeks Scrap it with a song challenge, as well as the SCSC 'water' and Simon Says Stamp 'checks' challenges. I hope you all have a great week.