Monday, 23 January 2012

Just one sketch - The sketch!

Thank you to all who commented yesterday, it seems I also like to use blue a lot, who knew!! (well Nicky & Jem did obviously ;-) I think this may be because it's such an easy stereotypically boy colour.

Heres the sketch I came up with.....
You can see the horizontal line, the strong placement of the title, journalling & the photo. The layering of the stars, which could be paper, embellishments or a mixture of the 2. The layering of paper over the background creates a border effect. I shall keep in mind textures, pale background & blue.

So heres the first page I created from it....
Can you believe I didnt have any banana related craft stock!!! Thank goodness for fimo ... not sure how it'll last, especially on the "peeled" bananas but we shall see.
I started off looking for a yellow that would go with the banana in the image, but all my stock seemed to clash, then I found the sheet I used for the back ground (Alla-Prima collection "Aquarella"), and decided to match up the other colours with this instead as the pattern on the majority of the page seemed quite internal-banana-ish. As it happens I couldnt match the mustard/brownish yellows tones up, grrrr! so I inked over a fawn coloured sheet instead.

The ribbon matched the teal plants perfectly, and it all seemed to go very well with the photo, making the banana yellow really stand out. I finished off with the yellow title, the journalling done in brown, and finally the little doodle of the banana as I felt the space here made the page look unbalanced.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Just one sketch

I've dedicated this weekend to following Miss Smiths prompts from Just on Sketch.

So I have initially looked at my favourite pages....
Baby Blues
I like the simplicity of this page, the central photo with the space around it. I also like the pale back ground making the other colours stand out, and the border around the edge. I like how the title & journalling are as important if not more than important as the photo.

Rub a dub dub
On this page I like the pale background (ooo, maybe a theme here!), the left strip for the writing, and the movement in the splash. I like how theres plenty of space to write my journalling & its just as important as the photos

In this one I like the layers, and how the white words make a border (I seem to like borders then)

We have another pale background here & I like the horizontal lines. The story is yet again given as much significance on the page as the photos.

Every thing is fun with "U"
I like the texture on this page, the layering up on images, paint, letters etc.

Hide & sleep
On this page I yet again like how the title & journalling are as important, if not more than the rest of the page. I like the 3dness of the shirts, buttons etc & I like the layering. I like the initial straight lines which are then blurred slightly by the embellishments.

So, in summary, the things that usually make me like my pages style are.....

  • Pale background sheets
  • Borders
  • straights axis (predominantly horizontal)
  • a space for both journalling & title that make them clear and stand out.
  • texture & 3d
  • layers
Join me tomorrow as I look at making a sketch encompassing these ideas; until then, can you spot any other similarities in these layouts?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Party Crafts - Place names & a game

On monday Kai & I made place names on our family learning course, these also doubled up as counters for a game.

I coloured in my figure & he coloured in his, we then cut them out & stuck them to a lollipop stick. The lollipop stick was pushed into a bottle top full of plasticine. We could have used any shapes, and also added our names onto the image if we'd wanted, I think you can tel which ones mine & which ones Kai's though ;-)

The game was using the clock you can see in the background, its made from a disposable plate . The hands are a lollipop stick, cut in 2, and a hole punched in the ends for a brad to go through, the plate also has a hole in the centre for this as well. The plate then has the numbers put on & gems stuck on for decoration.

The aim of the game is to get to number 12 first. 3 dice are rolled, if one of them is a 1 you can move to number one, then its the next persons go. If you dont roll the number you need then again its the next persons go. If your on number 1 you'll then want to roll a 2, then, the next go, a 3 etc etc until someone reaches 12. For older children you can use sums, they must use at least 2 of the dice to make the number they need. For even older children/adults they must use all 3 dice to create a sum to make the number they need (very countdown).

Cant wait to find out what we'll be making next monday.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Rocking MY World Friday

Hi everyone, phew, what a week! By the end of Monday I already felt like it should be Thursday.

Monday morning I attended Party Crafts, a family learning course at my local primary school. It caught my eye in the weekly school newsletter purely because it said "crafts" so I though hey ho, push myself forward & go join. Its a 2hour session where we make things for parties, half way through our children (Kai in my case) get to come along and join in. I'll show you what we made this week tomorrow. Its a small group, no more than 14 adults can join due to space, safety etc, who seem nice, though there's a bit of a click at the moment due to some of them attending a different course last term together. There's even a woman who went to school with my brother & kind of remembered me (she initially asked if I'd lived near her as a child as she recognised me). **Its a small world after all** It was lovely to listen to adult chatter, to do something structured with Kai that I hadnt organised, & to feel a warm glow of pride afterwards that I'd managed to push myself into a situation I was certainly not comfortable with & had caused panic attacks the night before.

That afternoon I had a phone call off Zacks school, which started off with "he's ok but we think he needs a trip to A&E". One of his friends passed his bag to him by throwing it, the zip, or similar, had caught his cheek below his eye making a rather deep cut. Though it wasn't pouring with blood it wouldnt fully scab over so was weeping blood. It was also very swollen and a lovely shiner of a bruise developing underneath.
So why is this in my positives? Because my MIL was home & able to give us a lift, as well as offering support & being chatty. Because it only needed a couple of butterfly stitches (4 in total, but 2 were used to hold the initial 2 in place) and wasn't worse. And finally because there were barely anyone in front of us in the queue at A&E meaning we got home within 2 hours, as we were leaving the waiting room was suddenly very busy. I do wonder if this was because it was by then just after the kids had finished school & accidents were occuring on the way home or people were arriving with things that had happened at school that teachers hadnt thought needed an A&E visit but parents thought were.

Boots 75% off sale! woohoo!!! Wednesday morning I checked the boots website as I wasnt going shopping that day but knew the boots 75% off sale was due soon & didnt want to miss it. There was the "75% off instore only" sign, changed from the previous "50% off instore only". With a woop, a surge of adrenaline & excitement I quickly got dressed, & enthusiastically hurried Kai up so he'd be in school on time & at the front of the queue that always forms to get in through the reception class doors.
I bought £240 worth of stuff for £60. All of it presents which will be spread through out the year. It doesnt really alter my present budget, but means I can buy a much bigger present for so much less.

Weightloss - yesterday I was weighed & had lost a further 2lbs, yay! I'm not too impressed that I think this may be from my top half but a loss is a loss and I shall keep on going (excuse the pun ;-)

My blog followers - I get such great support & advice off my followers - you guys are GREAT!!!

Fancy putting fingers to keys & tapping out your weeks positives & then linking up for us to have a read? Then link up with the rest of us rockers over at Celtic House

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Halloween Scrapbook page in January

2 weeks into 2012 & I have finally had a moment to make a Scrapbook page. This ones been in the form of printed out photos, sheets of paper, stickers and a sketch for a couple of months

The images in the corner are all layered up, a mixture of stickers, die cut images and photos.

The journalling is on a tag, one on each page

I'm still considering ageing the title, browning it up a little so it blends in more.

Have you managed to do any crafting yet this year?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Look Lizzie, I did it, I did it!!!!
The front
Lizzie gave us a great lesson on book binding with Japanese side stitch when we met her in Coalport. Just before Christmas I gave myself a few hours off and decided to finish off the book I had started. Its not the neatest of books, but it taught me a few things and I'm sure my next go will look far better. What I was very happy about though was that it worked! Not only did I manage to bind my own book but it isnt falling apart, and is totally usable! I even scored the front cover so that it opens easier.
So what did I learn....

  • I need to pay a lot more attention to making the covers so that they are neat without the odd gluey finger print on them.
  • I need to buy a smaller needle, though mine worked the eye made the holes too large for the thread. This makes it look rather untidy.
  • That book binding is really fun & not only do I want to make more but I'd love to learn more techniques as well.
The back

Thank you Lizzie for giving me a new hobby (I'm sure Ryan (my other half) will be far less enthusiastic that I have another hobby to spend money on ;-)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Home made Baileys

One of the gifts we gave at Christmas was Home made Baileys
400g (1 tin) sweetened condensed milk
375ml (1 tin) carnation creamy evaporated milk
2tsp Vanilla extract
2tsp glycerine (optional but gives it a smoother feel)
1tbsp coffee granules mixed with 1tbsp off-the-boil hot water
Whisky (quantity to taste)

Mix everything together except the alcohol, add this a bit at a time, tasting as you go.
I added Tia Maria instead of Whisky as I prefer the taste.

As soon as I find the link I'll let you know which blog I got the design for the stickers from as they truely are beautiful and came in very handy over Christmas.

Mmmmmmm, homemade baileys really is delicious, though its not particularly good for your waistline :-)

Monday, 16 January 2012

PIFs in 2011

A long long time ago, in January 2011, I signed up for a Pay It Forward. I sent a lot of these out in December with a christmassy theme

 I made these lil robin hairclips out of felt, carefully sewing them together. The beaks cover the end of the clips
 Being late they were a bit of a pain to take photos of but heres one I made for myself.
I also made this Jack Skellington christmas ornament from felt for Carmen, I think he makes a lovely, cheerful Santa & I am so glad she liked him so much.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

12 goals for 2012

I've snagged this idea from Ruth, who snagged it off someone else ....

So here are my 12 goals for 2012 (along with a bit of waffling & explanation :-)
1. Lose weight.
My motivation is a photo my MIL took of me that I hate..
gah, cant believe I'm putting this up here, ah well, we'll call it extra motivation.
You can see my double chin, flabby arms, big thighs... I know an hour glass shape is meant to be sexy but when you have an  hour glass shape from the side view as well its not a good look.
My measurable target is either to fit into the red dress I wore when I got engaged, or lose a stone, maybe even both.

2. Exercise at least once a week.
My motivation is again, the picture above, toning up is needed, I also want to feel healthier & be able to do more
My measurable target is to do at least 20minutes of extra exercise a week, this will be counted as anything out of my normal routine that is physically exerting enough to bring on a sweat, raises heart rate & makes it hard to talk.

3. Get ebaying
My motivation is the items I can buy with the money raised, we need a new oven as mines wearing out, its Ryans big 30 this year & our 10 year anniversary, our garden fence also needs replacing ....... and of course there's always new craft products on the market and new things to try.
My measurable target is to have a new fence paid for out of ebay money.

4. Clear my roof
My motivation is my dislike of clutter, and the embarrassment of when people come into do maintenance or checks that its full **blush**
My measurable target is to have 1/4 of the roof clear by the end of the year, this does not include moving items around. Most of the stuff I hope to ebay off.

5. Finish Scrapbooking 2010
My motivation is that I started off so well last year doing this until about 1/2 way through the year, my memory is also awful so memories are slipping away so I want to get them recorded.
My measurable target is to have all 12 months of 2010 scrapped.

6. Scrapbook 2011
My motivation is similar to above, memories fading etc etc
My measurable target is to have all 12 months of 2011 scrapped .... this is a lot of scrapbooking!

7. Blogging
My motivation is my enjoyment of blogging, and even more so, my enjoyment of reading YOUR comments.
My measurable target is to have at least 1 blog post written per week, rain or shine, migraine or non, busy or  not I aim to have it done.

8. Out and about
My motivation is to stop my social anxiety affecting my life, it does rule it quite considerably & though I'm seeking help with it it primarily comes down to ME to fix it.
My measurable target is to join a club, catch a bus, a train, take the kids out to an event/activity with just me, and go somewhere I havent been to before.

9. Career
My motivation - Kai is now at school and  I'm in my 30's I not only need to think about what career path I want to take, how to get there and DO something about it, before I'm passed my prime.
My measurable target will be to research a career and make steps towards getting there.

10. Cards
My motivation is the mad rush I used to get into last year to get cards finished, this year I want to get ahead with them
My measurable target is to have cards ready at least a week before the upcoming birthday/event.

11. Extra income
My motivation is rarely having free spending money to treat us or get something we want.I'm going to do this by filling in surveys, using vouchers, cashback sites & entering competitions. Possibly even selling my own crafty makes.
My measurable target will be to raise £100 or equivalent in goods.

12. Debt free
My motivation is similar others I've mentioned to do with lack of cash.
My measurable target is to not be in our overdrafts, pay off our loan & have nothing on the catalogue.
So those are my 12 targets, I'll keep you up to date each month on how I'm getting along
What are your goals for 2012?
If you fancy joining in & blog your 12 goals for 2012 please leave a link in the comments so I can come have a nosey :-)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Rocking MY World Friday

Well hello there! I know, I know, I've been a tad absent this week, phew, its a busy ol' time of year, trying to get everything sorted and back on track after the end of year celebrations etc .... add in the odd stress head aka mind numbing migraines = K staying away from the lappy. But I'm back and better than ever .... well, one can always hope.

So, my positives, my first weigh in! I was weighed on the 5th Jan at 10st 3&1/2lb - lighter than I expected, I thought I would be over 10&1/2 stone. Today I weighed in at 10stone exactly, woohoo!! This was all from adding more fruit & veg into my diet & cutting out more of the carp (please not, that IS carp, NOT a typo for carbs). Next week I'll be adding a bit of Zumba-ing into the mix as well.

Cheap christmas decorations & shopping with my Mom - While putting the Christmas decorations away I'd first sit in the room I was about to de-xmas and see if we need anything added. While taking the decorations down I'd fix anything that needed fixing, and make a note of anything I couldn't fix. While out shopping I've been picking up replacement decorations dirt cheap. And shopping with my Mom means that if there's something a bit too pricey I can go "MmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmoOooooOoom" in that up & down way kiddies get :-) Sometimes, just sometimes it works, like yesterday when I got some stunning metal pressie-outline decorations, I'd need 2 packs but was only willing to pay the price of 1 pack, so my lovely Mom paid for them for me, yay!

Talking of kiddies, mine have settled back into school nicely after the hols ... I however am struggling with the early, fast paced mornings but I'm sure I'll be used it just in time for the next holidays.

Having a good general ingredients stock pile so that when Zack brings me a list of ingredients last night for a recipe he's making at school I have everything needed, woohoo!

Whats made your week that lil bit better? Join us over at Celtic House.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

365+1 - Day 2

So I'm already behind, but I've decided putting up the photo a day after the prompt will give me the WHOLE day to get a photo, & get it blogged :-)

Todays Prompt: New
As I put the Xmas decorations away I fix and alter the old to make them like New.

To join in or see others photos click on the camera piccy in the bar on the right.

Gift Money Wallets

I usually give my niece & nephews money at Christmas along with sweets to open. Though this part is a no brainer I put my thought behind how to present these gifts. This year I opted for wallet style cards to hold the money

The outside of the boys "wallets", I tried to make it look similar to the velcro ones they normally have.

A purse for Layla, a bit more colourful  and girlie. These were stuck to a wrapped roll of sweets
 The inside, side view. All made from a single 30cm x 10xm piece of card (so 3 made out of 1 sheet of 12"x12")
A slot made for the money to sit in, It stays in here quite nicely.

Instructions can be found on Craftdee Donnas blog HERE
The sticker on the inside was printed from a design by Mommy by Day ... Crafter by night blog HERE I hust digitally signed it from us :-)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

365+1 - Day 1

I'm joining in with Suzies 365+1 photos in 2012 .... sometimes I'll be going by her prompt & sometimes using a special photo taken on the day. I'll try & keep up blogging daily but if time prevents this may turn into a weekly summary.

I'm not the best photographer AT ALL so I'm hoping that this will improve my photography skills but mainly be a record of everyday life in 2012.

If anyone else wants to join in go look HERE

Todays prompt is CELEBRATE...
Part of our New Years celebration is to wash the previous year right out of our hair LITERALLY .... Kai is holding a little bath fizzer here which refused to totally disappear.

My Little Pony - A Biography

A pony sat upon its shelf, wrapped in its plastic & card container. It was warm, dry & usually an interesting place to sit, much more interesting than lying in her packaging in a pitch black, musty smelling box.
Though surrounded by other Ponies, each in their own packaging, she was very lonely.

One day a woman came in & picked her up, before taking her to the counter where she was placed inside the bag. She lay in the bag for who knows how long, it could have been hours, days or even weeks. There was no way of knowing, no way of tracking time passing by.

Suddenly the pony felt a jolt as she was lifted out of the bag & out of the packaging. Fresh air!! The air was warm & she could hear the laughter of children in another room. Adults were chatting away & there was the aroma of  freshly cooked food. The pony was gently placed down on her hoofs, the ground was sticky and soft, not particularly big & circular in shape. The pony stood very still, taking in her surroundings when suddenly the lady who had taken her from the shop stood behind the Pony & lifted the circular ground up with the pony still on it.

Through a door & into the hallway went the lady, still carrying the pony on her circular mound. As a second door opened the lady began to sing "Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you...", Others joined in the singing & the pony was placed on a table facing a little girl, still standing on her circular mound. The girl, with short brown curly hair gave a grin & blew towards the pony, it was then that the pony noticed that there were 2 candles either side of her which, by the spiral of smoke arising from them, had obviously just been blown out.

The pony was taken off her circular mound, which she could now see was a birthday cake, covered in butter icing, and taken to have her hoofs washed before being given to the little girl.

The pony was over joyed, here was a little girl who would play with her, & be her friend! Not only that but she would finally have a name, her own name, not Cherry Jubilee like all her identical sisters but one of her very own.
The little girl placed her down and ran off but another girl quickly grabbed her and helped the pony gallop around the room.

Later that day, when it had all quietened down & most people had left, the birthday girl picked the pony up again. She dressed her in a tennis outfit, brushed her hair & put a head band on her.
She then swapped it for a rain coat & hat.
Over the course of the next few days the pony found she had several new outfits - a bedtime outfit, complete with slippers & a roller skating outfit, which the wheels really turned so she could glide along.

The pony sporadically had her hair brushed & plaited, sporadically had her clothes changed, & sporadically played with in the bath along with another pony & a sea pony, but was never really played with. The little girl seemed happier drawing, gluing or playing lego than paying attention to a little pony.

As the little girl grew up the Pony was given to her younger sister, who played with her a little bit more before the pony was packed away in a box, along with barbies, doll furniture & lots of dolls clothes.
There the Little Pony lay, wondering if she'd ever see the light of day again, feel the small hands of a child, hear giggling laughter. Years went by, every now & then the Pony felt the box move. She would hope & hope that she was going to be taken out by a child, & at the same time dreaded it incase she was destined for the dustbin.

Even more years went by before she felt the box move again, she slid from side to side but thankfully the dolls clothes padded her from potential damage. Then the box was again still, she could see a chink of light from the gap in the box where the flaps of the lid didnt quite meet. Who knew where she was now.

A month went by before the box was opened, there stood a woman with green curly hair, it reminded her of her sister, clover. There was something familiar about this woman, something the pony half recognised. "Oh my gosh!!!" the woman said "its my old My Little Pony, ooooooooo, I have plans for her!!!"
"plans?" another voice asked before another female came into view, it was the woman who had bought the pony, older, yes, but definitely her.
"Yep, there are some amazing altered ponies out there, AMAZING, I've been wanting to give one a go at somepoint"
The pony wasnt sure she liked the sound of it, a make over would be lovely, she felt grubby having sat in a box for so long ...... but how far did this woman want to alter her look?
Into a handbag she went, along with a sea pony generically called Sea Winkle & her sister Bow-Tie

On a warm day the woman took her out of a bag & handed her, with the other Ponies, to a little boy who'd got a tub of bubbly water outside. The little boy carefully washed them, dried them & combed their hair. He then placed them on the outer ring of a trampoline.
The pony could see him at a little desk, drawing them.

As the woman came out the little boy showed her the picture & pointed at the pony saying "I'm calling that one Mario"
She had a name, a name of her own, not a name she would have guessed but it was hers.
The little boy often played with the ponies, galloping them over the hills of the sofa, across the grass of his bed and "Mario" was finally content, here was someone who played with her, someone who'd given her a new name, someone who was her friend.


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