Sunday, 21 August 2011

Shimelle's Scrapping Weekend - Hot Pink Hoopla Challenge

Well, I have had a crazy-busy week.  I completed two urgent commission books and am working on a third book (two down, five to go....).  However, somewhere I managed to squish in some scrapping and enter some of Shimelle's challenges.  I helped that last Sunday was Scrap Club day, so I got a good start there.  I worked on this page, for the "Signature Accent Challenge" and this for the "Colour Story Challenge", then I found this page from May and wrote a secret journalling card, to tuck away in the space I had left for it (but never filled!), to enter the "Add to the Story Challenge".

So, feeling very pleased with myself, I posted my three pages.  And have had some very nice comments - thanks everyone!

Then Shimelle posted some video tutorials, with pages she had made.  There's a beautiful page with a Bingo Card and Butterflies, a new Sketch of the Week  and a gorgeous page with a hot pink background, loads of embellishments, happy colours, bling and plenty of zing too! 

Shimelle's Hot Pink Hoopla Challenge was to make a page that's Inspired By her hot pink page, in some way or other. 

Well, this is my page and I'll explain my "inspiration" below:

I loved the idea of scrapping bright colours.  I used to stick to fairly pastel, soft colours for my page backgrounds, but recently I have made pages with very bright colours, including the backgrounds. 

I scrap for relaxation and enjoyment and don't really follow anyone's "rules" or suggestions much, but I do often get some inspiration from other scrappers - especially Shimelle, whose bright, happy and fun-filled pages are always so varied and exciting, even while they all seem to retain a "very Shimelle style". 

I did make a "hot pink" page, back in March, to celebrate the fabulous creatures made by my students, on my first Sock Creature course (see it here).  So I thought it would be great to make another. 

I got out my scrappy supplies and a pack of photos I wanted to scrap.  I found these photos and really wanted to use them.  However, it was clear that hot pink would not work with these pictures.

But red? Red might just work... the carpet had a red background, which shows up in both pictures and gives them a lot of warmth.  So I found a sheet of lovely bright red cardstock. 

Of course, there was then the question of the "other colours" to use.... And there, in my pile of scrappy stuff, were more aqua and white pieces, left from when I made my page for the Colour Story challenge.  Well, it would've been rude not to use them up.

So, I did!  And then started adding the "Bling":
I made the flower embellishment, from two hand-cut paper flowers, a fab little floral rub-on from Sassafrass Lass and a good old red brad (and not forgetting the inked edges!).  The painted butterfly was from a necklace I found in town last year.  I bought it because I wanted to use the butterflies for scrapping embellishments, so I pulled it apart and put the butterflies in a jar.  I've used one or two before now; this time I put pearly vellum behind the wings, so it would show through the holes, then I added some Stickles, for extra zingy blingy-ness.  I love the result and it looks very pretty on this page.
This chipboard sticker is from the "White Out" collection, by We Are Memory Keepers.  I received a packet of these in the fabulous prize, that I won from a giveaway by the lovely Susanne.  A funny thing though, was a mistake in the wording; it read "too sweet to possibly to forget"... which obviously doesn't quite make sense.  So I wasn't sure about using it.  Til I remembered my butterfly punch, that cuts lovely mini butterflies... So, one cut-out, blinged-up butterfly, strategically placed over the offending error... Who would know, if I hadn't told you?

And finally, one of my "signature" things... I wanted some appropriate lettering.  Played about with various options from my stash, but nothing quite worked.  In the end, I used white Thickers (Jewellery Box), plus the white rub-ons, which are from Maya Road (and which I have had about a century and never used!!). 
I inked the edges of the Thickers and stuck them down.  They were white, with red-inked edges... bleah.... I used the ink-pad to make a nice red dabbed effect.  Nice... but not quite right...
Stickles?  No...
Then I remembered my New Glitter.  I went to a "Stampin' Up Party" at a friend's house, just at the end of July and bought a couple of great label punches, plus a pot of very fine glitter, with a kind-of diamondy shimmer.  I also bought a glue pen, with a broad fibre tip, which is great for just stroking on and whizzing the glitter over.  You can also heat the glitter with a heat-gun, to use it like embossing powder.  I've tried it both "cold" and "hot" and it looks really nice both ways. 
So, there it is - glue pen, plus lovely glitter, equals blinged-up letters.  Just right for my page!

And the inspiration?  The bright colours, the bling, the stickers/ embellishments dotted around the page... The sheer feeling of fun!  And all of that seemed to really suit these gorgeous photos of my wonderful little Great Niece, playing happily at her Christening Day Party!

Hope you like it too!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Shimelle's Scrapping Weekend - Signature Accent Challenge

This weekend, Shimelle held a great Scrapbooking Challenge Weekend at her blog!

I decided to make the best of a day's scrapping at Scrap Club and I made / completed several pages (on Sunday and since), as part of the challenges.

A slightly loose connection, since I am not certain that I have one "signature accent" as such...  However, this page has four of the things I have been using most on my layouts in the past few months - circles mounted onto scalloped circles, something fancy done with ribbons, inked edges (on everything!) and hand-embellished/ hand-made lettering. 
The lettering is something I have always done - If I can't find some letters I like for my titles, I either embellish plain ones, or just cut out some from paper that I do like! 

I like ribbons and have fun fiddling with them in lots of ways - flowers, bows, double-layered strips with a slider decoration... and the technique on this page, made by cutting slots with a great little edge punch that I was given, then threading a narrow ribbon through, to make a decorative edging. I've used it several times and I love the effect.  It even looked good in black, just here!

And the scalloped circles are something I've had fun with several times.  I used them on the page about my Present from Deb (though to be fair, she made these as labels for the various sweeties etc in the parcel!); I made my own hand-printed lino-cut embellishments for this page... I just like sticking circles on my layouts!

And I've discovered that inking the edge of a photo, matt or other element for a page, really makes it stand out and gives it a "finished" look.  The edges of photos are often very white and they show up against the paper when you matt them; inked in a matching or contrasting colour, the photo suddenly "pops" on the page and somehow stands out much better. It just looks more complete somehow.  I like it anyway and use it A Lot.

So, this page has all four of those things - I think it therefore qualifies as a "Signature" layout for me; I hope you agree!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Shimelle's Scrapping Weekend - Colour Story Challenge

This is the second Challenge that I tried, from Shimelle's great Weekend of Scrapbooking! 

The Colour Story Challenge was to create a page using only Red, White and Aqua.

A sea-side theme seemed just right for this colour palette.  I had these two smallish photos of Wells-Next-the-Sea, in North Norfolk, which I had been wanting to scrap for a while. 

This American Crafts paper, with the white dotted lines seemed just right for the photos and the piece of checked/gingham-style paper that I found (in a pad of A5 papers from Papermania) also seemed to have the right feel for my theme. 

I wanted to try a page on a white background, since this is something I don't usually do and have been thinking of trying for a while (I think I have only ever made one other page with a white background).
So, that was my aqua and white...

The photo at the bottom has a few touches of red, so it was really just right for this challenge.  I used a red strip cut from a sheet of Cosmo Cricket paper (back of Odds & Ends - Spare Change), which is fab for this layout. The "journalling label" is cut from the same sheet. 
The lovely little white bunting flags came from my stash - they might be by Bazzill, but I'm not sure - and I just added some aqua and red inks to spiff them up. The white cardstock is Bazzill Basics, by the way.

I cut the title letters by hand and used my mini-letter stamps for the words on the inked-up bunting string. 

I haven't put any journalling on this page.  Not sure if I actually want to - the title pretty much says it all; however I have left a pocket behind the checked paper panel, ready for a journalling card, if I think of something extra to say (see the little tag of paper, waiting for the journalling card?)
I will add the date I made the page though (better do it now, before I forget again!).
I did actually consider adding this to a different challenge - the "From the Heart" challenge, as the title is just right... But the page was really made for the White, Red & Aqua theme, so there we are!

See also This Post below, for another challenge I tried!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Shimelle's Scrapping Weekend - Add to the Story Challenge

Some of you may just have noticed a leeeeetle bit of fun going on, over at the fab Shimelle's blog?  
For those who have been sleeping too much since last Friday, Shimelle was hosting an Online Scrapbooking Weekend, with lots of Challenges, Tutorials, Sketches, Layouts.. oh, just fun really!

So, I thought I would have a go at some of the challenges, seeing as it was our Scrap Club weekend and I needed a break from all the book-binding and laundry!!

This is a page I made in June (using the prize kit that I also used for this layout), about a lovely afternoon out, that we shared with my niece and the little ones (blogged about here)

As well as the journalling on the left-hand side, there is now some "hidden" journalling, which I added after reading Shimelle's post for the "Add to the Story Challenge".  I had left a "pocket" behind the photo, where I thought I might add some notes... But then I didn't know what to write, as it was about feelings... you know, the things we tend to ignore and try not to journal about, in case anyone reads it...  

So, I got brave, found a matching journalling card and wrote down my secret message

Which, of course, I will not show you... because it is secret!

But please take the evidence of the journalling card, complete with matching inked edging, peeping out of the pocket, as proof that I did join in the challenge?  You will, won't you - 'cos you know I don't fib?

It was really nice to get the courage to do this.. I am grateful to Shimelle for the challenge.

And now I'm going to publish my post and put the link on Shimelle's Challenge Post - see you there!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Holiday Highlights

Hello all! I have not been "here" for two weeks...  Just very busy and also we squashed in a week away in the Wye Valley.

I have had a stack of book orders to deal with - and I still have seven in the pipeline!  Making books for custom orders, along with preparation for our holiday kept me quiet beforehand and books, more books, laundry piles and housework have kept me pretty busy since our return!

Frankly, I think I need a holiday to recover.... lucky that we have another few days away towards the end of the month - we're off to our favourite seaside haunt, to stay at the youth hostel for a few days.  If the current pace keeps up, I will soooo need that break!

However, the holiday last week was very nice and I'm glad we went.  We were so lucky with the weather too - the general fly in the UK holiday ointment - as we had dry weather all week, except for Thursday morning.  We even had quite a bit of sunshine - we seem to have chosen one of the best weeks of summer, weather-wise!  Here, in the Eastern part of England, it actually got pretty hot (for UK), reaching 28-29 celsius, but in Herefordshire and Eastern Wales, it only got up to about 25 degrees, which was easier to cope with - especially as there was always a light breeze to freshen everything up!

We stayed at Symonds Yat West, a small village that's popular for water-sports, as the river Wye at this point has just the right depth, width etc for canoeing, kyaking and other river-sports.  There are even some rapids downstream, which more experienced people can use. 

We had a little bungalow for the week:

There was a nice little front garden shared between the row of bungalows.  Each had its own table and chairs, with plenty of room to sit and enjoy the view.

Our view from the front garden - a nice meadow and the hills 
The meadow - the river is beyond that line of trees at the bottom of the field. 
We had regular visits from various sorts of wildlife, especially birds.  This was a juvenile green woodpecker.
A nice place to sit in the evening, with a glass of wine, watching the swallows flying lower, to catch insects for their supper (they're so quick, it's hard to photograph them at all - this was my best shot!)
You could walk along the riverside in both directions.
At the local inn, there is a cable-pulled ferry, which takes you from the West side of Symonds Yat, across to Symonds Yat East. 
A walk in the other direction takes you to the village, where there is a camping and caravan site, a garden centre and various nice things, such as this cafe, a crazy golf game,
a butterfly zoo,
and a PuzzleMaze.
Once you've reached the centre of the maze, you can walk through to a maze museum and climb up to a viewing platform, where you can call helpful and encouraging things to your friends and relatives, who are still wandering around inside the maze (or you can put them off and send them the wrong way, if you're rotten like that!).

So we had enough locally to keep us busy.  We paid a visit to Ross on Wye, which was a few miles up the road, where we did some shopping and had a nice wander along the riverside.  It's a pretty little town - worth a visit if you're in the area.

We also went here:
This is Clearwell Caves, an ancient iron mine, which is still mined today, for Ochre, that is used for paint pigments.  It was fun to explore the old mines and caves.  This pool was actually created by the miners, long ago, to collect water for them to drink while they were working. There are quite a few pools throughout the mines. 

On the same day as Clearwell, we also visited the wonderful Tanglewood, which is nearby.  It's a unique ancient woodland, full of ravines, rocks, paths on all sorts of levels, lots of places to explore and get lost in.  We had our picnic lunch there, sitting amongst all the weirdness...  They also have a garden there, with animals, a maze and playground and a cafe/shop, so we had lots to look at (though we're all a bit too old for the playground these days...).

That was another nice day out.

* * *
However, the real highlights of our holiday were the two Visits we paid to People!

Wednesday 3rd August -  Wells, Cathedral City, Somerset

We drove to Wells for the day on the Wednesday, to meet a very special person who, I will add, we had Never Met Before! 


Well, I had sort-of met her before... In fact, we have known each other for about over a year-and-a-half now... Thanks to good old Shimelle and her Blogging for Scrapbookers course....

Of course, many of my blog readers also know this person and you probably read all about it a week ago, when she posted on her own blog!

Woo-hoo! It's Jo from Curlyscrapbooker!

We all met up at the car park (not very fancy, but easiest), then went to Jo's favourite cafe for some lunch.  If you think I look a bit hot and bothered in this photo, it's cos I'd just driven 85 miles and needed lunch and a cool drink!!
We had a lovely lunch, with lots of chat and laughter.
A certain Boy had hot chocolate, despite its being the hottest day of the holiday (around 27 degrees I think!).  He did enjoy it though - it came in that nice little pot, along with his own dish of marshmallows, to add as he pleased.

Once lunch was over, the boys went off to do their own thing and me & Jo went wandering around Wells, nattering our heads off and exploring some of Jo's favourite places.
The city centre, with all the quaint shops and old buildings.
This gateway leads to the gardens round the Bishop's Palace.
The Palace has a walled garden, with a moat round it.  A nice place to take a stroll, under the cool trees.  Jo bought me an iced-lolly (I'm not allowed ice-cream), which was very welcome on a hot day.
We walked round the back of the gardens - where there was a lovely view of the Cathedral.
The Wonderful Jo herself. 
You know, I was sooo pleased to meet her at last! We did have a lovely afternoon. 
After exploring the little streets around the town centre and walking round the market, we came into the large area at the front of the Cathedral.  It is a lovely building.  No time to explore inside, unfortunately, but I will be back again and plan to spend a couple of hours there.

After all that, we needed another drink, of course... so off to find a cafe and have a rest.  Unfortunately we ran out of time after that, and had to go and meet up with the boys again.   Still, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.  I will definitely make plans to go back - besides, Jo wants a book-binding lesson!

Thursday 4th August - Tintern Parva, Gwent

We paid a special visit to Tintern, to see my favourite cousin, Terry-Ann and her husband.

We had a lovely lunch with them, then relaxed at their nice little cottage.   They've been there about 20 years now and have made it so lovely.  As we hadn't been there for quite some time, the various "new" changes gave us plenty to discuss!  We also hopped over the garden wall, to have a stroll in the village playing fields (and playground) that is next door. 

Me and my very special Cousin Terry!
Tintern is a lovely place to live.  This is the view from the bedroom window!

So, overall we had a really nice week away.  It was good to go away from everything for a while and have a change of scenery and a few adventures.

Hope you enjoyed my story - it was a rather long post, so I'm impressed if you made it through to the end!


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