Welcome to my blog. Please let me know that you have visited by commenting on the post(s) you have read so i can visit your blog in return.

If you are here for a blog hop, you will find my hop posts as follows:

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hallstadt, Austria

On the 8th, this month, instead of a listing of tutorials, the team at the CKC blog each chose a sketch to inspire us all with. As two pagers are a part of my style, I submitted this two pager sketch by Becky Fleck of Pagemaps.

I had chance to finish my layout yesterday while the children played Lego. Hallstadt was really beautiful built on the edge of the mountain lake. Original access was by boat only until a road was built in the 1890s. Hallstadt's location and wealth in it's heyday were from it's underground salt lake and it had the first ever salt mines.

Supplies used from my April mix and match kit for CKC.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Tisha's Stick and Doodle Journal

The school holidays have begun and Tisha left more scraps of paper around this morning with writing and doodling on. I decided it was time she had a journal now, so it's all kept together. She can keep her work then, and review or show it off whenever she likes too.

We had a look at the videos for Smash and La De Dah journals together, and she was very enthusiastic, wanting to go straight out and buy one. I have an old 6x6 Papermainia chipboard ring album kit that I've never used, and suggested that she make her very own journal for doodling, writing and sticking in.

She had great fun putting the kit together and making the journal. She's called it "Happy Life - Spring".

Here's a closer look at the pages and contents of her kit box.

this image can be seen larger by clicking on it.
It's our wedding anniversary and her birthday this month, so she's added a few themed wordpieces for using on her pages about those days.

The little one is happily finishing off her first page in her journal as I type.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Mondsee Layout (Austria)

Challenge 1 this month at the CKC blog is to create a layout inspired by the layout of one of the team member's blogs. There's lots of lovely blog designs, and I chose Lisa's.

I was inspired by the clean row of photos with the blog details underneath. I also added flowers as her pictures are all of flowers. Here's the result using some photos from Mondsee in Austria.

Supplies used.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

CKC April Reveal - Lakeside Holiday

Hello world, and hello April. My children are so excited that April is here. The little one has her birthday later this month, and there's a two week school holiday coming up. TJ is playing in her chamber orchestra at a big music conference in Birmingham to demonstrate how the In Harmony primary school teaching project using the Venezuela's El Sistema works. She's opening the piece with a flute solo, we are so proud of her.  April also holds our Wedding Anniversary. What good things have you got lined up for April?

Let's start with our Monthly Blog Hop shall we?

If you are already blog hopping with the CKC team you will have come from the lovely Jemma's blog. We have a prize to be won this month for guessing in our "April Fools" game. I'll tell you more about that at the end of this post. We're also hopping in a different order this month and I have the honour of being the grand finale.

We're going with blues and greens this month, putting together a kit from our existing unused stash inspired by one of last month's CASEfile challenges at Color Stories Inspiration.

The idea of CASEfile challenges is to use all the colours, at least one inspiration from the Testimony list to help with the journaling, and at least two items from the Evidence list for creating the layout. If you are a member of their free Forum you can also get a free printable "forensics kit" to help you out with scrapbooking supplies.

The first testimony item is to journal about a dream vacation (holiday in English). As a child I always dreamed of visiting Austria. We included the Slazburg region of Austria in our European tour in 2000. I still have a fair number of unscrapped Austrian photos of pretty houses, lakes and a lakeside town.

Silvia Romeo's Floratta kit matches the colour swatch beautifully if I remove the orange, so I'm using that as my base kit. It contains lots of gorgeous flowers, but they are a bit too large for my theme and the inspiration photo. So I rummaged in my stash for some smaller, more delicate flowers. Oh my, do you think having over 1000 flowers in my stash is too many?

Looking at the evidence as my stash shopping list, I have flowers, frames, buttons and a ruffled ricrak. There's always plenty more buttons to be found (got more buttons than flowers) so added I more of those and some sheer buttons too. A piece of Vellum journaling paper from one of Cilenia Curtis's old kits and some wooden frames complete the list.  I've also found some bird images and a boat to add some themeing.

I'll make my own floral patterns using Vicki Robinson's Floral Art Journaling Brushes (you can use them a bit like digital stamps).

Click on image to see it better
So now for our April Fools Game. We are each telling you three things about ourselves, but one of them is false. To play along, post a comment below telling me which of my statements you think is false, you don't have to guess correctly. Every guess, on every team members blog, counts as an entry to the prize draw. So without further ado, we all know that I have far too many scrapbooking and crafting supplies. What else do I have far too many of?

  • too many pairs of socks
  • too many pairs of shoes
  • too many hair accessories.
Let me know which one you think I don't really have too many of, and if you havn't done yet already, hop along with us and post your guesses for the rest of the team. The hop started with this month's guest, Maggie.  (Closing date for the prize draw is the 16th April)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Muddy Walk Layout

I havn't done much scrapbooking this year so far. Some of my paper scrapbooking friends belong to monthly kit clubs and eagerly await the month parcel arriving at the  door to see what surprise goodies they have to play with and try out that month. My equivalent of that is the monthly Color Play at Scrap Art Studio that comes out on the 3rd Friday of every month. I get them all.

Although this month I nearly didn't pick them all up. They're rather a bit brighter than I would normally use. But maybe, working with something different for me might be what I need to kick start that flagging mojo. You can check out Color Play 19 here.

I downloaded and unpacked, and those Wellington boots in Elysah's Singing in the Rain kit are so cute. We've had a lot of rain this winter, a lot. I wondered around the blog challenges and guess what! the colours are a perfect match for the Archiscraps challenge. They are paired up with Color Stories Inspirations this month, and here's the challenge.

Taking inspiration from the word "walk" in the testimony box and Elysah's cute wellies I found some photos of the children on a very very wet and muddy afternoon walk. To help with the layout arrangement I stretched this week's Sketchabilities sketch to rectangle.

I journalled on one of the CP19 Journal Cards in the collection by T for Me Designs.

"Don’t forget the wellies when you got out for a walk, yes it’s been raining. Well actually it’s been raining a lot recently with much of the Country under floods. So the favourite afternoon woodland walk is wet. Like very wet, and very muddy. And for my girls, wet and muddy is an invitation to have lots of fun. Tisha got stuck in the mud at one point though. Daddy to the rescue, and he even managed to recover the wellies too."

The background paper, transfers and embellishments are all from Elysah's Singing in the Rain kit for the CP19 collection.

One of the things I love about digital scrapbooking is I can play around with the same layout and customise it to each child. So this layout has been redone with the journaling tweaked, and the smaller photo switched.

Different background paper, also from Elysah's kit. I adjusted the colour using the edit tools to increase the blue hew to suit the CSI challenge brief.
This time the background paper is from Aria's kit called Sunshine that is also part of the Color Play 19 Collection

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Diabetes UK Family Support Weekends

It's a hard road to walk looking after children with diabetes and support is essential. Diabetes UK run family support weekends designed to give support to parents, educate and equip parents and teens, and give children a fun time with other people like themselves. They even include special sessions for siblings.

We've attended two of these support weekends, one after each of the children was diagnosed. It was so valuable and I would strongly recommend it to any family in a similar situation.

There are currently spaces for both of the April family support weekends, you can find out more on the Diabetes UK website. Don't miss out on this fabulous opportunity if you haven't been on one of these weekends yet already.

The April dates and locations are:

  • Ashford, 4-6th April
  • Telford, 25th-27th April.
What happens on the weekend?
  • On the Friday evening we meet the staff and the children have some time with their groups
  • On Saturday the children go for an outing and then have a party in the evening. The parents have small group sessions and there's opportunity for counselling and mutual support. In the evening the parents get a date night in the restaurant.
  • Sunday is more small groups with the children having fun with their groups too.
There are diabetes nurses, doctors and dietitians available for small group talks and for asking your own questions. If you need help during the night they are there to help. You get to meet adults with type 1 diabetes and you can ask them about what it's like. The children are all looked after by diabetes professionals and volunteers who either have children with diabetes or have diabetes themselves.

You get to stay in a fabulous hotel. We went to the Telford one a few years ago and they provided an excellent gluten free menu for us.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Tiaras and Tamborines

Hello world, I hope my blog readers had a good weekend. We had a quiet family celebration at home for Purim. Well, I say quiet. The children can make a heck of a lot of noise. Daniel made chocolate cake, and I made sweets using nut butter and dates.

Sweets Recipe:

  • Put 200g dates, 170g of cashew nut butter, and 30g cashew nuts in a food processor.
  • Whizz until the mixture forms a dough.
  • Put some desiccated coconut on a small plate
  • form small balls of dough and roll in the coconut
  • place balls into sweet cases and leave in fridge to set.
  • Serve chilled.

Sunday we had lots of "party foods" spread through the day, and the girls and I donned tiaras.

this one's mine.
It's traditional to dress as princesses and queens, princes and kings. My son wears shirts so often, that he hadn't got a clue what to do with the buttons. When was the last time he wore that?

As the children are a little older now, I read the full story of Esther to them instead of a summary. They had shakers and tambourines to make lots of noise with when it was time to "blot out the name of Haman". That's part of the fun, whenever the name of the bad guy is mentioned you make as much noise as possible so the name can't be heard.

It was a fun day and Tisha enjoyed telling her class all about it yesterday.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Experiments in Image Transfer

I love trying new things, and my latest experiments are with image transfer. I want to be able to transfer images from magazines and photos etc directly onto the background paper for my art journals.

In her video, Melanie Matthews makes it look really easy.
  • coat the area of page where image is to go with Fluid Matt Medium
This journal page is made from watercolour paper
and coloured with blue watercolour washes, and white gesso.
The image is from a diabetes research magazine.
  • place the magazine image face down into the medium
  • smooth across with hands
  • leave for a couple of minutes
  • gently peal the magazine scrap leaving the image behind
  • after about 30 seconds gently rub off the remaining paper from the magazine with your finger.

I really like the way it looks, and am going to do some more practising. Would be nice to see how I can incorporate this into some of my mixed media art too.

Note - this technique will reverse the image, so that the left of the image will be to the right of the image after transfer.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

New Pump

TJ's been using insulin pump therapy for over 4 years now, and Pinkee has gone out of warranty. So the NHS have paid for a new one for her. It doesn't have a name yet, but here it is.

Roo's got a 2 year wait for a new pump, so he got a new skin for Mr Blue instead.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

CKC Challenge 1 - Use Water Colours

The first challenge at CKC this month is to use water colours. Most of my art experimenting recently has been with acrylics, but it's been good to rediscover water colours again. Here's some new pages in my ABC mini art journal.

The simmer in the paint doesn't show in the photo, but it's really pretty.
  • Mix child's silver pearised paint with water to make a watercolour wash for the page base.
  • Add a little violet watercolour paint to the pot and mix into to make a pearised purple and coat a doily with it.
  • Die cut a flower shape from a chocolate wrapper
  • rub-on butterfly into the diecut
  • coat the die-cut shape with home-made mod-podge.
  • sticky gel letters for the page title.

  • Watercolour wash background with lilac and phthalo blue
  • Sponge phthalo blue paint through a homemade stencil (see stencil making tutorial here). As the paint is watery the stencil image "bleeds" to create a soft pattern.
  • Once dry stick an old paper doll dress to the background and coat with glitter paint.
  • Add gems and a word sticker to finish the page.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Victorian Inspired Board Game

TJ's class topic this term is the Victorians. They have lots of interesting, creative homework projects that involve making or writing something after a little research. Last week she had to make a board game. So we had a look at Victorian board games together. The Victorians liked to make them a bit educational with maps or history themes in the background etc.

This one themed on the history of bicycles was the inspiration for her game.
The theme she chose was cameras. There is a camera place in our local Victorian museum that she's seen before and she used her memory of that visit for her project, together with Vicki Robinson Designs' Vintage Camera Brushes.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Mark Making

In yesterday's post I mentioned that I was routing around in the recycling etc to find somethings I could make marks with that would be similar to the parts of the Well Rounded stencil from The Crafter's Workshop.

So what did I find? Some plastic pots for making circles, and some drinking straws for little circles. I've bunched some straws together, that I cut in half first, with an elastic band to make multiple circles at once. Of course, lets not forget the bubble wrap. I've got a lot of that, but finding some that the children hadn't popped already was the tricky part. The bottom right image makes me think of corrugated card-board. I'll have to keep my eyes open for when some of that becomes available.

So out with some paint to test it out.

Not bad, I think I'll have some fun playing with those.

What do you lying around that you can use for mark making in your journals, craft projects and scrapbooking pages?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

March CKC Reveal with Project Art.

This month the CKC have picked the February kits from Cocoa Daisy to choose from for our inspiration. One of the things I love about Cocoa Daisy is they have Project Art kits for art journalling etc as well as scrapbooking kits, and I still have some empty pages in my ABC journal to complete. So this month, instead of putting a digital scrapbooking kit together I've routed through my art supplies and other stuff to counterfeit the February Project Art Kit.

Feb Project Art Kit at Cocoa Daisy - Sold Out.
What's on the stash shopping list?
Set of 6 Twinkling H2O's shimmering watercolors in Pearlesque 
Tisha was given a set of paints for her birthday last year that included some pearlised and glitter paints. I may try mixing them with my standard watercolours to increase the colour range. Yes, it's OK for me to use them, we share, actually the children use my stuff more often than their own anyway.

Ranger Glossy Accents
According to my fellow Master Forgers this stuff can be used to stick thick/bulky/heavy items, and give a glossy sheen. In mixed media art we use Matt Medium as a collage glue, and home made Mod Podge can give a glossy sheen (tutorial for DIY mod podge). So those will do instead.

small white doilies
Got plenty of those.

vintage playing cards
well, they are not exactly vintage, but I do have some flash cards that came free with a parenting magazine when TJ was a tot sitting in my "for altering" box.

vintage book paper 
when he was sorting through stuff after Christmas, Daniel found an old Russian grammar text book from 1961, that I'll go reclaim from the recycling box.

et voilĂ :

As an addon, Cocoa Daisy picked the Well Rounded stencil from The Crafter's Workshop. I've got quite a few of their stencils, but not this one. Looking at it I think I have a fair number of things around the house and in the recycling box that I can use to make similar marks on my pages. I'll share the details tomorrow (see next post).

If you are blog hopping you will have arrived from our Guest Designer, Elaine's blog. Your next stop is with our ever inspiring Jemma at Just Jimjams. Have fun and be blessed everyone.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

It's Not Real

I remember when I was a teenager and many of the other girls and boys wanted to look like the poster models and film stars. But no-one looked like them, they had expert make-up artists, and lighting teams, expert photographers using perspective etc etc,

Now? Now it's even worse! The use of photoshop and other digital editing tools can change a person so completely that the poster model and pop-star are totally unreal.

If you know a young person with image issues that are caused by this media illusion here are a couple of u-tube videos I'd recommend you show them.

Here Boggie sits for a music video and we watch as her video editor transforms her into her media image.

A group of ladies get transformed into Cover Models using Photoshop.