Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fond Farewell

Well, a few weeks ago I played with my last ever Sarah's Cards kit :( There is one more left for subscribers to get creative with (the July kit), but the half of the DT that I'm on had our last kit assignment for June. It will be strange having no kit to play with anymore after three years of working on them! However, there are lots of exciting things ahead for the shop and I'm looking forward to continuing being part of the team bringing inspiration over on the shop blog. Fun times!!

The June kit is full of fab things to play with, and seemed jam-packed with embellishments, including some Dear Lizzy chipboard, a Hambly overlay, Bella Blvd flag pins and some SEI scalloped borders, and more. Here's the first page that I created with mine, my final Sarah's Card kit!

It features a pic of Mr T and his dad both snoozing in the sun in an identical pose! We were at our City's Olympic Torch celebration in a beautiful park, but obviously the excitement of awaiting the torch's monumental arrival was too much for this pair!

It's hard to make out in the picture above, but I stamped some "zzzzzzzzz's" gently rising from the cloud in a soft grey to reinforce the sleep theme.
 LOVE that music note chipboard banner!

I had a rare evening to myself last night whilst Mr T had a night out with the boys. My plan had consisted of this:
as well as allowing for a spot of catch-up tv and internet time. I ended up spotting some inspiring crochet and now have a hankering to get on with some of my (many) unfinished bits, but I have another creative project on the go too. Roll on the Summer, when I'm really hoping to get my teeth in to it and get going....... I also came across loads of things about vintage caravans.....a little piece of my heart feels like I really need one to do up and show some love to!

The white chocolate you can see was destined for these White Chocolate Lemon Truffles, but I got so caught up in reading (both blogs, and that book *snigger*) that I ran out of time. Fast forward to this morning, and the mixture is currently setting in the fridge and man it looks good! I found the recipe on Pinterest, and after well over a year of being a member I have finally succumbed to cooking a recipe I have seen on there. Having a feeling it wouldn't be good for my already crappy waistline, I have tried to ignore all delicious things pinned on there and keep my boards for creative/household/school inspiration, but I have a feeling that I'm now on the slippery slope!!!!

I'll let you know how the truffles turn out, I worried that the mixture had split last minute but I'm hoping I rescued it!! Pop back soon for the other two pages I made with the June kit xxx

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Vintage paper?!

It's that time of month where there's a new challenge going on over at Sarah's's another sketch this month, this time by DT newbie Tracie, and it's a fab one open to lots of interpretation! Be sure to follow the link for all the details and be in with a chance to nab yourself a £20 e-voucher for the shop and plenty of inspiration from the other girls!

Here's my take on Tracies' sketch:

See the lovely woodgrain backing paper's from a Cosmo Cricket's "Wanted" range - released in 2006! How's that for retro scrapping?! Positively vintage me thinks!

The square print is an Instagram shot from my mobile, and I'm finding them the perfect size for A4 layouts. For some tips on how to print them yourself at home, see my latest post on the Sarah's card blog here. I'm sure I'll blog the layouts themselves soon back here too though!

Thanks for the support re C25K!! I seem to be stuck on week 4 though!! I've been struggling with it for 2 weeks - although I completed it on the first run (must have been the novelty factor) I've struggled to do it all since, having to take a minute walk in the last five minute running section every time. We'd changed running location to this gorgeous lake:
however, in a bid to break this cycle I've got myself in we're going back to the old sports field where I last had "success" on our next run to see if that will hjelp make a change.

Have discovered that I absolutely LOVE running in the rain - to the point where if the sun is out of an afternoon (rare thing that though mind!!), I find myself willing it away in time for my run. Here is my secret weapon against the rain: my running hat! As long as the rain isn't in my eyes and wispy bits of fringe I'm fine, and the hat gives me that protection. I love you, running hat!

It was pretty bad on the last run though, despite the hat! Even the geese and ducks were a bit weary of taking a dip and were flocking on the grass at the side of the lake. Thank god, they didn't chase me!! Not that I'd give them much of a race at the snail-like speed I jog at mind!

Lot's of people are taking the C25k plunge - how's it going?!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

June already?!

I honestly and truly can't believe that it's June already!!! I feel like we've only just got over Christmas and here we are in the middle of the year.

It's kit time again this month for me on the Sarah's Cards DT, and as I was sat at my desk playing with all the pretty paper and bits (as many of you will know, after many years of being one of the UK's most loved scrapbooking kits, they are ending next month whilst the shop continues to go from strength to strength, so this is the last one for me to play with. And, I can promise it's a bloomin' good one!), I realised that I hadn't shared what I did with the April one yet! Doh. The April kit was lush too - the greys and turquoises of the Lilybee papers were so me right now.

Here are my three pages and the stories behind them:

Destination Unknown
For my 30th birthday, Mr T organised a surprise few days away together with one catch – I had to drive us there! I had no idea where the satnav was programmed for and our mysterious road trip was the perfect start to a lovely weekend.

I wanted to utilise lots of the gorgeous patterns in the kit without it becoming overwhelming, so decided to create a mosaic of hexagons floating from top to bottom. To do this, I simply printed a hexagon from the shapes menu in Word onto a piece of scrap card, cut it out and used it as a template to draw (and later cut out) hexagons from the papers.
Once I’d stuck my hexagons on to my background paper I gave the base page a unified feel by sprinkling it with turquoise mist. As I’d used lots of patterned papers and a montage of 4 photos on an A4 page, I went easy with embellishments so avoid the page becoming overcrowded. I simply handwrote my journaling, added the title with the alphas, used a sticker from each of the embellishment sheets and dotted a couple of the giant gem stones here and there.

When You Went Down To The Woods
I was rally lucky to have grown up in the former estate and woodland of an old mansion house, and the lakes and waterfalls that were within the site. It was a magical experience growing up having a forest, complete with foxes, badgers, owls and squirrels as your back garden. It's changed loads since then, but still holds a special place in the hearts of me and my sister, and we were very excited to take my five year old niece to “The Woods” for the first time over the Easter holidays. And she got it - the magic of the place; the adventure that could be had there. The fun, laughter and exploring that could be done in that valley. She felt it. Breathed it in. It was heart warming, and overwhelming and we had a fantastic afternoon together. When we came home, my niece burst into tears. We were worried she was hurt in some way, but her given reason was “I was just wishing that I could live down the woods like you did when you were little”. Priceless all around – had to be scrapped!!
As you can see, in the middle of all the excitement Little Miss Elle found plenty of time to be her usual poser self!

We took some pretty pictures during our woodland adventure, and this one one the three of us together was one I really wanted to scrap!                                                                                                     

To create my page I began by cutting the music paper to size and spritzing it with some white and grey mists. I cut long banner pieces from strips of the pattern papers, and to strengthen the family theme punched a heart shape from near the tail of each.
I finished my page by creating a small embellishment cluster in the bottom, which consisted of one of the die-cut shapes form the kit, and some various punched hearts using the papers.

Lush kit, loved playing with it!
Thanks as always for stopping by xxx

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My secret is out...

If you keep up with the Sarah's Cards blog (and if you scrapbook and don't, why not?!), you may have seen our latest sketch challenge and my take on it....a page that documents the fact that a few weeks ago I began to train to RUN!!
Mr T and I have began the Couch to 5k (C25k) training programme devised by the NHS. It's designed for complete beginners to build up the fitness and stamina to run 5k in 9 weeks. You download podcasts which you listen to during your training session, that tell you when to walk and when to run (or jog in my case!) and contain advice and encouragement along the way. And we are LOVING it! I was nervous to mention it before now as I thought there'd be no way I'd stick to it, but as I am now on week 4 I think it's safe to say I am hooked, and determined to be able to run for a continuous half hour by the end of the programme. I actually cried on my last session when at the end Laura (the podcast narrator) told me I now run more than I walk during each session!! It really is a fantastic scheme and if I can do it, anyone can give it a go......all the info you need is here including a link to the podcasts, an there is also a really fantastic and supportive forum here full of inspirational people, stories as well as a place to ask questions.

As you probably know, I've had a long running battle with my weight and running certainly does not come easily to me due to my size, so I am proud to say I have now ran for a grand total of 97 minutes over all my sessions so far ;)

I'm also really Proud of Mr T too, and totally thankful for him agreeing to do this with me. Come rain or shine, we go out there to run.

As for my LO for the sketch challenge, here are some closeups.......


My journalling was written at the end of my first week, when I was amazed that I'd managed the first week  even though I was terrified of failing, and enjoying it!!
So if you fancy a bit of a kick start to your scrapping, whilst being in with the chance of bagging yourself a £20 evoucher for the shop, check it out the May challenge right here :)

I haven't forgotten about the kit work either, be back soon......
Nat xxx

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Vanilla Sunshine.........

Mmmmmmmmm how delicious does that sound......Vanilla Sunshine? It conjures up images of warm, freshly baked cakes.......nom nom! In fact it's the name of paper manufacturer SEI's latest release that I got to play with for the Sarah's Cards blog!

A large focus of my post was how to use a square punch to create some of the popular scrapbooking trends - namely banners, bunting and chevrons....see the full tutorial here.....

My first page focused on the banner technique, and is about how I love rainy days.....just as well really at the moment eh with our current weather?!

 My second page looked at creating bunting and chevron mosaics....

And my final page showed how I used the cute little SEI fabric scraps to create customised tags - the tutorial for this one can be found here....

Thank you for the comments and pm's about the crochet heart garlands in my last post - if you can crochet give them a go!!

Be back soon with some kit work....

Nat xxx

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hooky Hearts and Doilies

Goodness, it's been an age since I blogged last (well, a month - but that's long enough!).

It's been a funny old month really - I caught a truly nasty bout of tonsilitis, even my GP was surprised by how bad it was. It took two weeks to shift even with antibiotics, and as a result Mr T and I had to miss out on a fun week in Somerset with both of our families as I was just too ill to go. The daily shift from bed down to the sofa was reall all I could manage! Still, all better now - and 10lb lighter for not being able to eat for over a week!

Haven't shared any hooky business in a while so thought I would today.

I found a cute little pattern for tiny hearts agess ago and (before Christmas - these pics have been patiently waiting to be blogged for a long time!) really enjoyed using it to whip up some garlands, although to keep with my style I chose to thread them onto twine rather than crochet a chain inbetween them.
Here they are strung along our Welsh dresser:

I also made a string in red as a little heart-felt present for a very good friend who got engaged (gosh this was September so it really was ages ago that I made these!):

Very cute and fun to do!

My latest project was a doily blanket - it is the first pattern I have ever purchased (see here for the details), so I was excited to get going on it. It only took a few evenings - athough, overly keen to get it finished last week, I managed to give myself some ort of extreme-crocheting injury on the last evening; my upper arm, elbow and shoulder were in agony and I needed to take pinkillers and a good lashing of deep heat before bed! Who knew this could be such a dangerous hobby?!

Anyway, I love the finished article - it's so delicate and pretty:
It's actually for the sofa (but that part of the living room looked too dark and untidy for a photo - shhhhhh!!), and it looks fab along the back. Very oldie worldie - love it!

Here's a close up of the leaf motif:
It was a fun and easy project - I kept expecting to go wrong but here it is, finished without and major frogging required! Yay!

I do believe the April Sarah's Cards kits are making it through the letterboxes os our subscribers, and what a gorgeous one this was to play with. Will be back soon to share what I made with it :)

Thanks as always for popping by xxx

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

His N Hers Hats

This gorgeous early spring weather is fantastic isn't it?

We took full advantage of it last weekend and spent an afternoon at Worm's Head on the Gower, lapping up the clean air, sunshine and a spot of light lunch in the pub overlooking the breathtaking sweep of  Rhossili bay.

Just two quick photos from my mobile; we took the proper camera too buy I've yet to upload them. It's lovely there though. The bizarre peninsula of rock that you can see in the first photo looks like a giant dragon raising his head from the water (although not in the angle in this pic!)....hence the name Worm's head......"wurm" is thought to be Viking for dragon.

This warm weather (let's hope it lasts!), is a million miles from the cold snap we were experiencing just a few weeks ago. I even purchased a woolly hat it was so cold, despite the fact I always look like an idiot in them!

I was inspired to scrap our hats when I noticed them lying together on the hall sideboard one evening. Both hats were remarkably similar to each other, yet still quite unique and very representative of mine and Mr T's personalities......the hats were a similar style; grey wool, with coloured icons in repeated rows around and around. But mine had pretty, girly flowers, whilst Mr T's had geeky Space Invaders all over. So very us, each of them! And so my journalling was born....
I put together the page for the Sarah's Cards Blog showcasing some lovely Crate and October Afternoon papers.

I needed a good, clear space for my journaling where it would be in focus, but didn't want to completely cover up any of those gorgeous patterns. So I cut a heart shape mask from some scrap paper and misted through it with white Mr Huey, before stitching lines for my writing straight across the heart.
And hey presto.....
I am loving the colour grey at the moment in my scrapbooking, so much so I've just bought a grey (or as near as) Mr Huey mist, and can't wait to get spritzing it all over my pages!!
Thanks for visiting as always! xxx