Wednesday, 2 December 2009

My Tesco calendar

So I tried, I really did, but in the end I couldn't resist and ended up buying two Tesco Advent calenders to alter. It's my first go at an altered project but I'm really pleased with it and glad I've done the first one. It was a bit of a learning curve and there are things I'll do/try differently next time.

This was the calender as I bought it. As you can see, the colours are a bit garish and not particularly Christmassy.

My first job was to repaint most of it. I used a dulux tester pot called 'Redcurrant glory' to redo the red and found this was a really good match so I only had to paint the Santa. A couple of coats and he was gone.

I then used a pale green to redo the roof and half of the drawers (I did the remaining drawers in red). I painted them inside and out even though the originals were only painted on the front.

I then used the patterned paper from my stash to recover the drawers by tracing around the drawers and cutting slightly inside the line. I used an emery board to distress the edges. Next time I might not leave a slight edge of paint and instead paper straight to the edges. I also found cutting around the finger holes quite difficult but someone suggested (after I'd done it!) that a 3/4" circle punch does a great job. If only I'd thought about that! I'd like to use a wider range of papers next time too but I was only working with what I had. I glued the papers on using a mix of 2/3 PVA to 1/3 water.
Anyway, I then found some cute puffy stickers in WHSmiths reduced to a bargain of £1.24 and they matched the papers perfectly with Christmas trees, snowflakes and snowmen. I added those to some of the drawers along with some glittery numbers (a mix of small and large sizes and positioned randomly on the drawers). I added some ric rac to the roof along with some pale green bling gems. I also painted a reindeer decoration that I picked up from Tesco (10 for £1) with gold acrylic paint and a splash of glitter and then stuck that to the chimney.

The finished calender!

TFL! x

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

I've been messing around with some layout challenges for various blogs this week and it's been really useful especially as I'm trying to get my May holiday album finished before this baby arrives and takes over!
This was my LO for Shimelle's Scrap Like You Mean It challenge wk 47 (scrap with trees and leaves). It also fitted the brief for Sarah's cards layout challenge (yep, I'm multitasking as always!):

and this was the opposite LO to met the criteria for the Indigo Mill blog challenge:
I've also used up almost the last of the September kit I had making this:

And then I quickly did this one this afternoon. This was one of my favourite shots from holiday when I was practicing with my new DSLR and playing with composition:

On a positive, my November kit arrived today from Sarahs cards and it's lush! I sooooo can't wait to play with it and already have the ideal photos in mind. If only I had more time.....

TFL. x

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Scrapped out? A post Cyber Crop blog!

Thought I should do a post CyberCrop update now that the madness of last weekend is starting to subside. It was my first CC and I don't think I've ever scrapped so hard (or so much!) and had so much fun in the process. This is what I got up to:
On the Friday night I went to my normal crop with Jo and Kim at 3jollyscrappers and Jo, Jo M and myself were the only 3 who were CCing so we looked like complete loonies around the laptop waiting for all our challenges! This was my first LO based on the theme of travel and using the sketch provided in the challenge as a basis:

Then it was time for the first class where I used the sewing machine to make this:
I then managed to make a start on the third class before leaving for the night although I had to finish it the next morning. Lots of sewing of ribbons and bright colours on this which is probably why I love it so much. Definitely techniques to repeat here: The next day involved a few more challenges and classes. I got a bit behind at this point as I went off to another crop which had a completely unconnected class going on so I couldn't catch up til I got home. Anyway Saturday LO's included:
  • Scrapping an achievement with sewing included somewhere (Is getting pregnant an achievement? I don't know but it'll do!)

  • Shimelle's class with multiple photos hidden behind the main one:

I got a bit distracted by X factor by this point so the rest of the challenges were put on my list for Sunday.

Sunday morning I did another class (Traciedoodles) which was fab and is probably my favourite LO/class of the weekend. All that cutting and doodling was definitely worth it:

Good witch/Bad witch Challenge aka a LO showing your good and bad sides. Perfect for pictures my brother and I as babies:I was starting to flag by this point but desperate to not let my team down and get as many points as I could hence the following LO's aren't my best but meet the criteria needed to gain points.

Courage (well I'd need courage to admit to these fashion disasters!):

Make a border and journalling mat and use it on the 'Take me home' challenge:
I think I'd gained about 4050 points by this point and was pretty much done for (as was Kev who wanted the dining table back!)

My Pre Crop Challenge based on home was this:

I was also pleased to come second on the mystery Kit challenge with this entry of items. I loved the minibook as I've never made one from scratch before and from a single sheet of cardstock too- bargain!:

Close up's of the MK:

Anyway, I had a fab weekend, am pleased with (most) of the LO's I made and can't wait for the next CC!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

This handmade malarky isn't as simple as it looks!

When I thought about myself as a parent I could always see myself doing lots of crafty type activities with my children and the reality is proving no different. I love making personal crafty type items with my son Jack for things like Christmas. In the past years we've sent photo cards, foot prints and hand prints turned into holly leaves with thumb prints as berries as cards for thank you's and Christmas cards. As he's a young 2, I needed to find a simple activity for our cards this year so I decided that we'd make some handprint Santas. I've been collecting all the items we need over the past few weeks and feeling organised I thought I'd make a start on them.

Unfortunately, as ever with a 2 year old, things are never that simple. Firstly, it took a fair bit of encouragement (and mum leading by example!) before he'd stick his hand into the paint. Once he'd done it once we were away but then trying to get him to just put his hand down once on the card was impossible and he wanted to pat the paper repeatedly instead. I managed just 2 decent handprints- think I may have to rethink my plans this year! Sticky shapes stuck onto a Christmas tree outline perhaps? lol.

Just in case we didn't have enough handmade stuff under our belts, we made some Pudsey cookies for the coffee morning I was doing today. I delegated the job of cookie decoration to my mum as there is only so much I can handle in one day! lol. This is their creation:

Yummy, huh?

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Just a quickie update from me today to show my mascot for the CC made on Tuesdays challenge:
Also, my scrummy pot of Gold arrived yesterday from Aurora and it's lovely. I was honestly like a scrapper in a ribbon shop when I opened it! lol. Even the packaging is gorgeous. Anyway, it's full of yummy stash from paper and brad flowers to brightly coloured dotty ribbons and eyelets. Definitely lots of fun to be had with it so watch this space- I can already see the ribbons being used on Ifa's 'Over the Rainbow' UKS class.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

I heart my MK!

I started playing with my MK last night and I'm truly hooked. Admittedly, there are certain items I either don't like or don't know how I'll use them yet but I guess that's part of the challenge! I've started on one 'project' and kept saying to myself , "I'll go to bed after I've done this" only to find myself carrying on! I'm really getting into the limitations of the challenge too and not throwing away anything just in case! lol. We're away at a wedding this weekend so I'll be desperate to get back so that I can continue to play.

I'm also keen to see what other challenges the UKS cyber crop team have for us over the week. Roll on to next Friday and let the fun and games begin!

Friday, 6 November 2009

A little bit of what you fancy does you good

I thought I'd blog some cards that I've made recently. I'm far from being a cardmaker and TBH it's not something that i've ever been that interested in but given that I have loads of leftover stash, I figured I could try my hand at making some and see what happens. Anyway, my BIL and SIL moved house today so I used some leftover papers from my Pre cyber crop challenge to make them this:
I was quite pleased with it although I realise it was quite a simple card. They recieved it this morning too which was a bonus for them and hopefully something nice for them to have at their new home.

I've also been shamelessly stealing ideas from other bloggers for my Christmas cards. My favourite blog at the moment is It's all Fiddle Fart which is full of fabby ideas. I honestly wish I could do what she does, as well as she does. I saw her idea for Early Learning Centre christmas baubles cards and figured that even a newbie like me could do that so I did! My attempts are here:

I've also had another play with the October kit from Sarahs Cards today and came up with this:

I bought the ribbon and flower embellishments from the market yesterday with this kit in mind. I think the flowers were only £1.20 for 5 which is a bargain in my books and they look uber cute! the stall is definitely somewhere I'll have a nose around again. I only had a few papers left to choose from as I've earmarked some papers for another LO. It came together quite quickly although a palaver then started when I wanted to do the title. When I looked through the letters I had every title I came up with had a least one letter missing- I'd used the d already so anything involving dance/dancing/dancer was out. After a while I ended up sticking my letters to a plain piece of paper using removable tape like this:
It was then much easier to see what I had to make a title with.
Anyway, I then did the journalling on the journalling card only to become distracted and write the wrong thing. The other cards didn't look right and in the end, despite not really liking the transfers as they're too Americany for me, I discovered I could hide my mistake behind a bit of rub on, so I did! That'll teach me for discarding stash too quickly!

Anyway, my Cyber crop Mystery Kit finally arrived today so I think I shall go and stroke that for a while and maybe start to have a play!
TFL. xx

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Some October kit layouts

I thought I'd be brave and share some of my recent LO's although those on UKS may have seen them already. These are all using the October kit from Sarah's cards. I'm really pleased with them as I wouldn't have chosen those papers normally plus I think my scrapbook style is really changing and developing for the better. I'd love to post a picture of my first ever Scrapbook LO but given it was done at a Creative Memories party you can probably imagine what it looks like. Let's put it this way: yes, the photos are in 'interesting shapes' and there is definitely a border strip and triangle used somewhere! lol.

My first go at distressing papers:

Thanks to all of you who posted comments last night. Like I said on UKS, this is definitely a work in progress and so I shall be playing with backgrounds and font colours over the next few days and weeks til I can find something that works. Any hints or tips would be gratefully received.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

My first post!

Ok, so I have a blog. I keep reading other peoples blogs and get really inspired so thought that I'd set one up myself. Now if only I knew what to do now? Expect this blog to change loads as I work out how to actually use one!!