Monday, 28 February 2011

Life is Different

Welcome to my first ever Blog Hop post!  It's part of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog's February Blog Hop.  If you've joined me from Marianne then you're on track :D

I love using sketches as a starting point for my scrapping.  I have two or three favourite sketch sites in my sidebar which I regularly use to kick-start a page.  By the time I've flipped it and changed the number of photos or added a subtitle there might not be much similarity between my page and the original drawing, but that's the creative part!

This month I've been using my home-made Counterfeit Kit (see the full contents here) and this page is no exception PLUS it's been made using a sketch provided by the creators of the original kit-to-copy Scraps of Darkness.

After making eight pages from the kit I am beginning to run out of papers and card so I have gutted the brown cardstock twice to make the base, the circle and one of the photo mats.  I also snipped one of the Daisy D's die-cut journalling blocks in two to fit behind my photo- taken on a recent holiday on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt.

As I have very little bling, I have had a go at making swirly bits with Khaki green Pébéo gloss 3D paint.  I'm not 100% happy with the lines - you need a really steady hand - but the dots are fine.  My flowers are home-made too - from meltable organza and angel hair paper with bead centres, and the leaves are from a de-constructed artificial anemone!

I have loved scrapping with a kit this month and it's helped me get scrapping rather than repeatedly searching through my papers and embellies for the "right" item.  I still have a box of decent scraps and plenty of embellishments and may yet manage some cards if I can find some more creative time!  Here's a little collage of all my CK creations for February:

Thanks for stopping by - do please leave a comment to mark your visit before hopping onwards to Denise - have fun!

Sunday, 27 February 2011


Here's my final page made with my February Counterfeit Kit for their mini-challenge - Putting Pen to Paper and scrapping without a photo: an entry for my Book Of Me which is added to very intermittently.  I used a sketch from ATDML:

Not necessarily my top 8 tracks, and certainly not in order of merit, but they are (in my opinion at least) 8 top tracks.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Octopus Garden

Did I mention that I like sketches?  When I saw Sketchy Thursday's offering this week I knew I had to use it - and so I have stayed up very late tonight to get this page finished before the deadline!  Naturally I changed a few things and of course I used some more stash from my home-made Counterfeit Kit (contents here).

I've inked and covered some extra bare chip alphas from my stash for the title, but the tiny alpha stickers are from my kit.  There are no apostrophes in the set so I went with "I like to be" rather than "I'd like to be" - I'm a proper punctuation kinda girl!

Photos courtesy of my fellow holidaymakers - thank you
 The "waves" are cut with a Sizzlit decorative border die and I used a template to place Liquid Pearls in a fancy shape across the page.  Don't tell, but part of the photo positioning was determined by a smudge of the thumb!

Well, I cut into the final sheet of paper from my Counterfeit Kit tonight - it is now officially a pizza box full of scraps!. I reckon there's one more page in it before the card-making begins!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Saturday Sneak Peeks

I've been busy with my February Counterfeit Kit again.  Unfortunately, I can only share one of the three projects I've produced.  One project is a page for a Chinese Whisper challenge over on UKScrappers (I received a page by e-mail, I scraplifted it and passed it on to the next person in the chain) so has to be kept secret until the chain of scraplifting is complete.  The two frame stamps in the kit have been put to good use on this page.

One project is a page for Sarah's Cards Blog (I won a prize there in January and part of the payback is producing a page for the March challenge).  For some reason, despite having constructed a generous kit, I cannot get out of the habit of gutting everything.  I shall have a pizza box full of off-cuts at this rate.  For both of these pages I've used Sizzlit dies for my titles - does anyone ever have enough title alphas in a kit?

The one thing I can reveal is my January spread for this year's Project 12 album: more gutting in evidence plus the use of the reverse of the manufacturer's strip.  Parsimonious?  Moi?  I've added some inks, bare chipboard alphas/numbers from my stash and used a fancy trimmer blade; everything else is from the kit.

I decided not to follow the provided Pagemaps sketches this year and try out A4 pages for a change. I'm planning for each month to have a similar collage page and journalling page, depending on what we do. 

So that brings my tally of pages from this wonderful kit to 6 pages and there are still loads of papers and embellishments left (not to mention all the offcuts from the gutting!).  My next project is a sketch challenge from the CKCB itself here.  Watch this space!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lucky for me!

I was running late, as usual, today when there was a knock on my door.  The postman.  With two pizza boxes!  My favourite kind of post :D  Lucky for me I hadn't already left.

One pizza box was expected: I'd just spent a £10 e-voucher at A Trip Down Memory Lane, my recent prize from their blog - but they get 10/10 for speedy delivery all the same.  Thank you Mel & Jill ♥

The other pizza box was slightly more of a surprise, in that I won a prize over at Sketchy Thursdays - a kit from Coodinate Collections, and was beginning to wonder where it had got to.

I was even more surprised to open up the box and find this - what a fabulous extra touch Jamie - I certainly will!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Counterfeiting Pages

Here are the first two pages made with my Counterfeit Kit for February.  It was strange not rooting through my supplies of paper, card, alphas etc to make a page and just opening my CKCB pizza box instead.  Faster for scrapping though :D

I was using a sketch from the Monthly Challenge on UKS which also required the use of fibres - luckily that was exactly what was in my kit!  I have used a Martha Stewart border punch and some Round-a-Bout Sizzlit dies for the border and title respectively which were not in the kit, along with eyelets, inks and a journalling pen from my own supplies.

On a roll, I completed a second page yesterday - this time using my, much neglected, Poemstones from 2006!!!

Again I was taking inspiration from a challenge from UKS (with a Pagemaps sketch) and the only non-CKCB items that I used were a couple of border punches, inks, a tiny bracket stamp and threads.  As all the cousins are eating donuts in the photo, I was originally going to title the page "The Munch Bunch" as suggested by a crop friend Sue, but as I wasn't comfortable with that title wiping out all the "H"s from my sticker set, I adapted it.

The loopy border was yellow (it's the reverse of the blue ogee paper you can see), but it was much too bright so needed dabbing with black ink to tone it down.

So there you have it - I've made a start with the kit and got over my fear of cutting into the pages and using up bits of the kit - worrying in case the page around the corner needs this piece of paper or that alpha sticker or those buttons!  It won't (and even if it does, I'll find a way around it won't I?!).  After all the whole point about the CKCB is make do and mend!!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

What's black and white and red all over?

Nope, not a newspaper, it's this month's kit-to-copy from the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog.  The challenge from the ladies at the CKCB is simple: using your own personal Mount Stashmore, put together a box of goodies based on the featured monthly kit.  Fill in any gaps with substitutions, something home made or the odd purchase.  Then use it!

"The Telltale Heart"
What a great way to make room in your scrapping space without making room in your purse!  I've been itching to join in with the second ever Counterfeit Kit since the beginning of the month, but the kit to be copied isn't announced until the 5th!

This month the kit is from Scraps of Darkness and, being close to Valentine's, the kit is full of lush double-sided papers, with lots of hearts, flowers and bling and set against bold, black extras. There are also separate cardstock, embellishment and colouring add-ons. 
Now I'm just not a hearts and flowers sort of girl, and I don't have a lot of red papers, so I had to change direction in terms of colour.  I tried to stay true to the ornate damask patterns and started filling a pizza box with bits and pieces from deeeeep in my cupboards and drawers:  the poemstones have been languishing for over 5 years and may finally see some use!

Never having subscribed to a monthly kit, I'm not sure what quantities are normal - I guess it depends upon what you pay - but this kit had 9 double-sided papers and 10 sheets of cardstock!  I didn't go quite that far, but have included the following:

Cardstock: 1½ Bazzill Blue Calypso, 2 Bazzill Curry Spice, 2 beige, 2 green, 2 Coredinations brown

1 Ottoman, 1⅔ Feuillage, ⅔ Chinoiserie Baroque (all daisy d’s)
1 double-sided Crate Paper Ripple (green ogees on the other side)
1 Bagatelle Toile, 2 Loden (all daisy d’s)
1 turquoise iris patterned paper
1 double-sided Basic Grey Hercules (multi-striped on the other side)
1 orange hand-made sheet
1 green textured sheet

1 pack CI Poemstones (unopened since 2006!),
½ pack MM velvet brads,
1 pack daisy d’s diecuts
Home-made organza flower
Pearl swirl
Small green flowers
Large flowers (soon to be deconstructed)
Selection of buttons
1 pack Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type alphas
⅔ pack Sticker Studio alphas
Chip frame
Brown swirly organza ribbon
Multi-coloured knotty fibre
Prima frame stamp
3 home-made journalling spots
5 Jilly Bean Soup journalling sprouts

I don't have very much bling, but the great thing about the CKCB girls is that they want us to make do and mend, supplying links to all sorts of tutorials for reproducing various kit items.  Last month there was a tutorial or two on making paper notions and stamping doilies; this month we've been treated to how-to posts about faux-metal frames and pearl flourishes using dimensional paints.  Somewhere I have a hat pin to decorate and I'm looking for a suitable Bingo card to print out too.

In the spirit of a quality kit, allow me to present my add-on extras (at NO extra cost!) set against the reverse sides of those two sheets of double-sided papers:

MM Funky chocolate clear alphas
Prima frame stamp
Bazzill Bling Blooms
AC Tie rack ribbon
Ranger Gold Pearl Liquid Pearls
Pébéo Cinnamon & Khaki gloss and gold cerne relief dimensional paints
Bo Bunny Bohemian Borders rub-ons
Impex Bubbles frames

And there you have it - a pizza a box full to bursting with goodies and a crop happening this Saturday - what fun!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Doggy Dilemma

This time last year my Mum got herself a new puppy - a cute, blacker than black, Cockerpoo (or Spoodle if you prefer the Australian version).

She was nigh on impossible to photograph unless asleep and even then she was so black that my camera couldn't capture her soft curly fur.  As she's got older some brown has crept in amongst the black but she hasn't got any easier to capture on film because she is so bouncy, so fast and so keen to play.  I tried to get some first "anniversary" shots of her last week and not a single one is really worthy of the mantelpiece!  In the end I decided to make a page with the photos anyway - after all they still show that she is bouncy, fast and keen to play :D

I used this week's sketch (#2.03) from Sketchy Thursdays.  I'm not sure I will ever do a seed bead border again - it took forever despite having pre-made the holes with my sewing machine.  Good to use up some patterned paper scraps though.

In the mean time, all hints and tips for photographing mad, bouncy, black dogs gratefully received.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Shake A Leg!

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means that it’s time to join in with Storytelling Sundays again.  I decided that I would try and stay seasonal with the stories as long as I can.  My story last month was Christmassy; this month’s will be wintery.

Are you sitting comfortably?  ... Then I'll begin.

When I was small my family’s idea of a holiday was to go somewhere HOT!  We would baste ourselves on the beach, hang out by the pool and get a flavour of the foreignness of whatever country had the best package deal.

So it was a real eye-opener to go on a ski trip in 1981 and be surrounded by snow, be active all day and not bother with anything about the country apart from the colour of the slopes, the number of lifts and the price of a glass of mulled wine!  Completely hooked, I spent the next few years having snow (!) much fun.

However, this all came to a sudden and humiliating halt in 1988 when I fell over during the lets-divide-the-students-into-ability-groups trials for the ski class I’d signed up for.  The slope was barely off the horizontal, so I quickly got up and carried on skiing, hoping the instructor hadn’t noticed.  But something wasn’t right.  One leg wobbled too much when it was uphill and taking the strain.  Strange. 

While I waited for the ski class to re-group I tried to work out what was going on, discovered that my knee had gained a whole new way of bending … sideways … and promptly fainted! 

So that was the end of that.  No more ski class; no more holiday.  First there was a bumpy ride, head-first, down the mountain on a stretcher to the surgery, where the doctor confirmed that I’d snapped my cruciate ligament.  Followed by a couple of days stuck in the apartment while my repatriation was arranged.  Finally, an operation to staple the ligament back in place left me in plaster for months.

“Where are the photos?” you ask. Ha - I wasn’t a scrapbooker back then, so it wouldn’t have occurred to me to make a record of any of this.  I did find this photo of the rather snazzy tailor made brace I had to wear while my muscles recovered.  Shame that whoever took the photo didn’t spot that I was wearing the lampshade as a hat!

Me in a Leg Brace

Do you want more stories?  Head over to Sian's Storytelling Sundays to see who else is joining in this month.

ETA: I am touched at how many of you have winced at the telling of this tale, so I'd like to reassure you that I only suffered a couple of seconds pain on that mountain!  Seriously! Once the ligament had snapped, there was nothing to hurt.  I suffered a lot more at the hands of my physiotherapist, but that was much, much later!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Egyptian Art

I did a page a few days ago about the wonderful layered sand art that I saw on my recent holiday in Egypt.  This week's page for The Studio Sketch Challenge is also about art that I saw there ... the art of towel folding.  It is many, many years since I holidayed in a hotel (self-catering is easier with a family of fussy eaters) and so I was quite enchanted by the towel sculptures that greeted me each afternoon.  Wonderful.

I've used two sheets of cardstock (the red one was gutted of course, which allowed me to mat the photos), a strip of Daisy D's Cherry Tomato paper, some buttons, Candy Cane Stickles, and some lovely red velvet "paper" to cut flowers and Sizzlit Broadway Melody alphas from.  I've actually reversed the letter "A" as it fitted better with the rest of the letters that way around.  The large flower is based on a tutorial I saw over at Scrap a Little. So simple to do: just five punched circles.  I can see a lot more of these appearing on a page near you soon.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Any excuse to eat well in this house ... so tonight it was crispy fried duck, chicken and cashew nuts and for the first time ever, fortune cookies.

I snapped mine open and read "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."  Not quite the fortune-telling that I had been expecting ... then Hubby read his out: "Luck is a dividend of sweat.  The more you sweat, the luckier you get".
"Ooh, You should be very lucky then." says I.  No.3 Child and I found it hysterical even if he didn't!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

All Squared Away!

Feelings always run high when something comes to an end ... reaching the bottom shirt in the ironing basket (relief), watching the credits roll after Mama Mia (glee), swallowing the final chocolate in the box (guilt), casting off the last row of stitches (pride), storing the BBQ at the back of the shed (sadness), completing a scrapbooking project (satisfaction) ...

So last night I was super satisfied when I completed the introductory page for my Project 12 album for 2010.  The album is filled with double page spreads, one for each month, but that left a single space at the front of the album.  The January challenge over at Sarah's Cards was to do some sort of Year in Review or Highlight(s) of the Year page and this fitted perfectly.

I also managed to score some "points" over at UKS in line with this week's challenge as I used a sketch, ribbon, 10 buttons, re-cycled cardboard packaging, and doodled on my page.  Papers are from an old Basic Grey 8"x8" Sublime pad, borders are done using my Martha Stewart wide punch and 2010 is cut using Sizzlits Round-a-bout dies.