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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tea Bag Folded Cross

Teabag Folding is a great technique and can be used to make a fabulous cross shape for Easter, Baptism and Sympathy Cards.

Here are the main steps to making a cross using teabag folding. You will need 5 teabag folding tiles (I'm using tiles from the It's A New Day Teabag Folding Kit by Toucan Scraps)
1. Fold the teabag folding tile in half along the diagonal

2. open out and turn over
3. fold the points that are not on the fold line in to the middle to meet on the foldline

4. repeat steps 1 - 3 for the other 4 tiles

5. arrange the shapes as shown below

6. stick to your project using double sided tape or stick glue etc.

Dandelion Clock

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on Cilenia Curtis's latests kit and add-ons early.  They are so much fun. I love the Dandelion Clock theme flowing through it and the wonderful neutral colour scheme. I was inspired to scrap these photos from a few years ago. My son tried very hard to blow the seeds from the flower head like his big sister, but just didn't have enough puff. So he just proudly carried his new discovery instead.

I used Shades of Blue kit by Cilenia Curtis (the Free Daily Download from 31st march - 13th April) and her Shades of Blue Elements Addon (currently at 30% off). Check out her store here to get the free kit (a few pieces at a time each  day) and bag some bargains in her sale this fortnight.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Friday Already

Is it Friday already? The School holidays are almost here.

Today I NEED to
  • prepare Roo's visual timetable ready for adding activities etc to it with him.
  • remember to check the emergency insulin in the school fridge to make sure it will still be in code the end of next term. If not bring it home to replace.
  • remember to collect all of the diabetes equipment and supplies from school. (I need to do maintenance and replacements etc during the holidays.)
  • take the pushchair with me when I collect the kids from school to help carry all that stuff.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Roller Coaster

Tisha wanted me to play duplo with her this morning and absolutely needed a roller coaster. Here's what I came up with using the materials I had available. She loves it.

Jo at C.R.A.F.T. says that you can enter their challenge using any materials, it's not just for paper crafts. And this week they are looking for projects with wheels.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Colour Class Week 1

I'm taking Cilenia Curtis's fabulous Colour Confidence Class, it started on Monday and is still open for new registrations. She's a brilliant teacher, and I'd really recommend it (find out more here).

It's a 3 week class, and this is one of my colour collecting assignments for the first week.

Monday, 26 March 2012

70th Birthday Card

Daniel's Uncle will be 70 at the weekend and I made this card for him. Yes, it's been a little whole since I did much card making.

I used my Numbers Album from the Tell My Story Collection to create the base of the card and added a stamped image from Gina K Designs. There is a tutorial on how to make a card like this on the Toucan Scraps Tutorials Blog (here).

Colouring a Daffodil -Step by Step

This is a step by step colouring tutorial for a daffodil that I wrote for another site last year, and am now free to share it with you all today.

The Daffodil is a digital stamp by Toucan Scraps.

I have used Tria Markers from Letraset, these are alcohol based markers. Colour numbers Y418, O929, O949, 0567, 0346.

1. Coat the petal in a very pale yellowy offwhite [Y418]

2. Whist still wet, go over the top in the areas you want shaded in a slightly darker colour [0929]

3. Add a little pale orange [0949] to the places where the petal tucks behind another or the trumpet.

4. Go over the top of the entire petal again with the lightest colour [Y418] to blend. Repeat with all petals.

5. Allow to dry

6. Coat the entire trumpet with the palest orange [0929]

7. Whilst still wet colour the trumpet with the next orange [O949] leaving only the bits you want to be highlights.

8. Use a bright orange [O567] to colour the main areas of the trumpet

9. Go over the top of the entire petal again with the lightest orange [O929] to blend.
10. Allow to dry
11. Colour the stamens [O346]

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Wild Garlic Guacamole

TJ stuffed her pocket apron with wild garlic on our walk yesterday and Daniel used some of it to make a delicious guacamole.

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 whole, organic, unwaxed lemon
  • 2 bunches of fresh wild garlic leaves
  • 1 sweet red pepper (stalk and seeds removed)
  • Blend the avocados and the whole lemon in a blender (we use an OmniBlend)
  • Add the wild garlic leaves
  • Add the pepper, but only process it lightly so that the pepper forms small red pieces inside the green mixture. This add some texture and colour to the dish.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Spring Woodlands

The delicate aroma of garlic continued to get stronger as the children ran along the board walk with small patches of the wide green leaves becoming stretches of foliage covering the woodland floor. TJ started picking leaves and filling the pockets in her apron with enthusiastic support from her brother, while the little one merrily stuffed the fresh greens into her mouth, the first of the season.

Wild Garlic seems to thrive in the woodland areas and surrounding footpaths near the old forge waterways. Once the centre of the industrial revolution they now make for a lovely leisurely afternoon walk. Old trees stand over the foot paths with tiny buds of green emerging from their branches. To the left the ducks swim in the low waters, unusually low for this time of the year. We had a dry winter.

The coats and jumpers we were still wearing a few days ago have been left in the boot of the car along with the empty boxes from our picnic lunch. It's warm enough for short sleeves and soaking up some sun. We walked hand in hand, sneaking in a few kisses while the children ran on ahead excitedly up all the steps. Up, up out of the gorge to the fields and the final stage of our circular walk back to the centre of what used to be a small industrial town. Now it's a tourist attraction in the suburbs, and a conservation area. A breath of fresh air breaking through the high stressed pace of modern life.

The Dreaded Clock Change

It's that time again, the twice annual clock change is happening this weekend and I dread it. This is more than just an inconvenience it's a life threatening event.

Both TJ and Roo wear insulin pumps to manage type 1 diabetes. Their pumps are programed by the hour. They are drip fed insulin all day and night at pre-programed rates. These rates change depending on their needs. Background (basal) insulin needs are determined by many many different factors including activity levels, routines and growth hormones. Here is an example of how the basal rates are programmed over a 24hr period.

When we move the clocks forward (or back) by an hour this causes me a huge problem, and puts them in danger. Put simply, there will be times when they have far too much insulin and other times when they don't have enough.

Some things, like the activity levels and routines will change straight away to match the new time settings. Others, for example the overnight growth hormones, take longer to get used to the new routine. From past experience it takes TJ upto 1 week for her body to fully adjust. That's one week of continuously being on high alert. And now I have two of them to manage through this.

Do you dread the clock change, or is it just an inconvenience?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Follow Your Art - Serenity

Are you doing Cilenia's Free Follow Your Art Workshop this year? The current topic is Serenity. When I was thinking about this word I recalled the following scripture:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14 v 27

I used Cilenia's Serenity Follow Your Art Kit.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


I've taken some time out today to de-stress with some digital art journaling. I deliberately did something totally unrelated to the diabetes mess we are in the middle of yet again (Roo was off school this morning, and I was up most of the night, with dangerous blood sugar un-control)

I started with the word Springtime and played with it a bit, thinking about what I like about spring; and what it says about me and to me at this time. The bird and squirrel are my own drawings. The rest is from the March Serenity Follow Your Art Kits.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Altered Journal Using Mixed Media

Hello everyone, I hope you hare having a great creative start to the week. Mixed Media is a fabulous mish-mash of lots of different craft and art materials and techniques, and it can even include digital. It's loads of fun and I have to be careful if the kids are around or they take over. I used Mixed Media to cover journal recently, and I'm going to walk you through what I did to create the front cover.

  • A Large Spiral Bound Note Book
  • Water Colour Paper, Brush and Paints
  • Doily
  • Butterfly Rubber Stamp and Alcohol Based Markers (Tria by Letraset)
  • Tissue Paper
  • Glue
  • Thin Black Cardstock (or thick paper)
  • Glitter Yarn and Thin Ribbon
  • Out Loud Digital Scrapbooking Kit by Angie Young
  • White Card Stock for Printer
  • Scissors
  • Curved Edges on Fiskars Shape Templates
  • Wooden Embellishment
The Painting Bit

Taking two tubes of watercolour paints I put some in a pallet and added water to make a wash. Then starting from the top of a sheet of water colour paper I painted a blue wash, and from the bottom a yellow one. The meet in the middle and merge slightly. I made the top and bottom darker by over painting.

After the paint dried I cut the paper to size to fit the front of my journal.
Then I placed a doily in the top right corner.

Taking paint directly from the blue watercolour tube I dabbed it around the corner of the doily to make a pattern.

I repeated this in the bottom left using the yellow paint.

When the paint brush overlapped the blue section on the doily it mixed to make a green. I finished the paint left on the brush to print a circular design in green using the centre of the doily.

Adding water to the brush I painted a wash across the remaining white area of the doily to finish colouring it.

The Butterfly Tag

This was the digital part of my artwork. I put the blue journal tag from Angie's kit in my software and placed the red butterfly on top. Then I copied the butterfly in the space next to it. I printed the images onto white card-stock.

I cut out the tag ignoring the butterfly wings and cutting straight across them. Then I cut the wings from the second butterfly image.

I stuck the wings on to the tag directly above the printed butterfly image ensuring there was no glue on the wing tips. After the glue dried I used a pencil to curl the wing tips.

Putting it all Together

I inked up a butterfly rubber stamp with Tria Markers and printed a row of butterflies along the left hand side of the paper.

The Fiskars shape templates come with curved edges. I pressed the edge down on top of some tissue paper and tore the tissue paper along the shaped edge.

I layered up tissue paper and the doily along the left edge of the painted paper

I mounted the artwork on black card-stock. Using a black Tria Marker I inked up the edges and sprial bound edge of the front cover. The Cover was then stuck down using double sided sticky tape before adding the tag and a wooden embellishment.

As a finishing touch I tied some ribbon and glitter threads to the top 5 spirals.

This journal was so much fun to make, and I decorated some of the inside pages too (see previous tutorial). Have fun decorating your own note books and journals, and don't forget that I love to see anything you make inspired by or following instructions from this tutorials blog.

Health Writer's Workshop

I've been invited to take part in a writer's workshop for April. The idea is to follow a set of daily prompts or writing style assignments to develop and practice writing. The writing topic is "My Health Focus" and is intended to be creative and flexible. Personally I find visual expression much easier than the written word so doing this workshop will be good for my creative development.

However the stress of having to post an assignment everyday will not be any good to my personal health. So my promise to myself and you is that I won't let the workshop add pressure to my already high stress life. I have no intention of pushing myself to do all 30 days. If I manage half of them I will be very impressed with my achievement, if less then I will still have had some fun and tried something new.

If you want to join in, then you can find out more information on the WEGO Health blog.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Pocket Apron

TJ was in a creative mood again today and I showed her how to make her very own Pocket Apron - her first. She did such a brilliant job and is so proud of it.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Petition to Raise Awareness & Save Lives

TJ was only 2 1/2 years old when she developed Type 1 Diabetes. Neither ourselves nor the health practitioners working with us knew the signs. Her behaviour and illness was explained away as lots of different things. She was close to death when she was rushed to hospital on diagnosis day. Unfortunately some children who don't make it to the hospital on time.

These deaths/near escapes can be prevented in the UK by adding the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes to the Red Book issued to all new parents. This provides parents, their health visitors and other professionals with vital information to get early diagnosis of this life threatening condition,

Please help us to get this vital information included by signing this government e-petition. The odds of developing diabetes in under 5s is 5 times higher than meningitis, which is already included in the red book. If we get 100 000 signatures then the UK Government will be obliged to debate the issue in Parliament.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Under the Weather

I've got tonsillitis and feeling rather rough, so you won't be seeing me about much.

I have a 2 part tutorial I was originally going to share this week. Part 2 was already complete but part 1 is still a page full of photos without any text. So I've decided to rename the completed second part and posted it up today as a stand alone tutorial. The other one will wait until I'm well. (Toucan Scraps Tutorials)

Blessings all, from Angela.

Digital Transfers

I love altering notebooks and art pads to create personalised journals. As well as the covers it's nice to decorate some of the inside pages too. For this journal I wanted to put some digital brushwork on the pages, but I can't put them through the printer. So I created some digtial transfers to use instead.

What I Used

* A pack of iron transfer sheets for light T-shirts at our Ryman Stationers Shop.
* Digital Image and Word Art Brushes by Angie Young from her Out Loud Bundle.
* A note book
* An Iron
* Cotton Cloth

How to make digital transfers

* Set-up a page in the software the size of the transfer sheets you will be using (A4 for me)
* Layout the digtial images and wordart on the page leaving space between each "transfer" for cutting out etc.

* Group all the images together (or merge the layers if using Photoshop or similar)
* Flip it round so you get a mirror image.

* Print
* Leave it to dry thoughly for at least an hour

Applying the digital transfers to a journal page.

* Cut around each transfer

NOTE If you haven't ironed on paper before, get a scrap piece of paper. Iron it with a medium hot dry iron (switch the steam off) and check for paper crumpling or discolouring. If the paper is still the same, try slightly hotter. You want to have the iron as hot as you can without it distorting or discolouring the paper.

* get your iron ready
* place some cotton cloth beneath the page you are putting the transfer onto
* put the transfer on the page, printed side down.
* iron firmly, moving the iron slowly for a few seconds.
* allow to cool completely then peal off the transfer paper

Have fun.

Saturday, 10 March 2012


This month's topic for Cilenia Curtis's Follow Your Art Workshop is Balance.

I drew the balance and weights for this art journal page myself, the rest is from the March Follow Your Art Kits by Cilenia Curtis, Angie Young and Aria.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

WOYWW and House News

Wow, it's been a busy week. Last Monday we got an offer on our house and we are selling to them. We've been awaiting this day for 5 years. The current property market is such that you can't make an offer until you've received one. So we are now looking at houses for ourselves. I'm hoping one of the ones we see tomorrow or Sunday is the right one.

Diabetes Management has been horrendous with both TJ and Roo contracting viruses, and we are not out of the water yet. But I shan't bore you with the details,

It's What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday, and that's what my desk looked like this afternoon. I'm altering that journal at the moment with digi and mixed media. Here's a close-up so you can see the butterfly tag I made using Angie Young's Out Loud kit and other items I've got ready for the front cover. I've used some of the wordart that comes with Angie's kit it to make transfers to decorate the inside pages with.

I'm taking some step by step photography to share as tutorials over the next few weeks. This is likely to be the last "big" craft project on this desk in this room as I'm going to be busy with the house move paper work etc....

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Get Under Control

It's been a tough week on the diabetes front. Both kids contracted a virus that has been messing their blood sugars etc up badly. Roo fasted for 2 days causing massive hypos that lasted for hours. Now he's eating again the days are spent super high (TJ too) and then crashing hypo over night. I'm exhausted and I've run out of March's supply of test strips already. Will need to call the Dr tomorrow and ask for more.

Here's some art therapy, you can't hear me shouting in frustration.

Clicking on the image takes you to the larger version in the gallery as usual complete with art credits.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Regaining Balance

Yesterday I read a really tragic story in an on-line newspaper. An English boy died from diabetes due to failure to receive insulin from his insulin pump. Both TJ and Roo use insulin pump therapy to treat their diabetes.

Art therapy and art journaling are two of the ways I regain equilibrium and balance in my life. This is an art journaling page I've just completed in response to my feelings and thoughts over this sad news.

I used the new Follow Your Art March 2012 kits by Aria, Angie Young and Cilenia Curtis.

Clicking on the image will take you to a version in my Living With Diabetes Gallery where you can read the journaling too if you wish.