Monday, 28 February 2011

Hugs & Kisses

I dont normally go for BOLD & IN-YOUR-FACE prints with scrapbooking, but when I was looking for paper to go with a few photos of Kai these ones seemed perfect

I wanted them to be fun, just like taking the photos were. To make the lips match the hearts I went around the edges with black pen, some with fineline, others with a thicker pen. I mounted the photos onto a pale peach to bring out the faces, and then onto black to make them stand out from the brightly coloured background.
"In your face MISSES!!!"

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Indian restaurant scrapbooking

We went out for a lovely Indian meal so when I scrapped about it I wanted the page to take on an almost stereotypical india feel to it. As my craft robo wont fit 12x12 paper :(  (manufacturers of cutting machines please take note, us crafters want reasonably priced machines that we can do our own designs on that can cut 12x12 sheets!!!!) I cut the "Onion domes" by hand to show the paper behind (part of the Once upon a time range) and added the photos. After adding the title (gold thickers that I'd edged with purple) the bottom seemed very bare so I stamped a few paisley shapes in gold.
I did my journalling in gold pen, & edged the shapes in it as well, free hand, as it was looking a tad bare.

Sorry for the blanked out faces but with respecting peoples privacy I always ask permission before showing people on my blog & am not always able to get these before posting.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Skinny Chocolate & Cranberry Muffins

The kids were asking for a pudding & I was after something sweet as well so, having found this recipe for Skinny Chocolate & Cranberry Muffins earlier I set them too work.

Zack weighed out the dry ingredients before Kai sieved them. While Kai was doing this Zack would then measure out the wet ingredients into another bowl. They swapped bowls again so Kai could stir the wet ingredients while Zack melted the chocolate. Zack gave the wet ingredients a final stir before slowly pouring them into the dry ingredients as Kai stirred. I finished off my putting them into the muffin cases and baking them.

This team work cooking worked very well with no arguements!! Very rare for my 2, theres normally at least the odd bit of moaning from them as Kai doesnt want to share as he's enjoying a particular job (well he is only 3) or Zack retaliates by winding him up (as most older siblings do).

The muffins can out looking & tasting divine - They are also fairly healthy, both by being low in fat & getting fruit into the kiddies :)

Friday, 25 February 2011

Rocking My World Friday

Its the holidays, yay! And though I havent had much of a lie in I havent had to rush around getting the kids ready either.

I managed to tighten the belts enough to pay all the bills this week after other halfs company changed the pay day from the 24th to the last day of the month. I dont think they realised how much hassle this would cause for Direct Debits, & bills in general, or maybe they just didnt care. You cant arrange a DD to come out on the last day of the month as that day alters from month to month, so the logical answer is to have them come out on the 1st ..... but even though this is only 4 days later (because we're in Feb) its a whole new month is bill terms & if we want to change the date then they all want paying on both the 24th & 1st -  stuff that, I'd prefer to have the money sitting in the bank for almost a whole month more making the balance look nice, lol.
I can totally understand why its so easy to go down the slippery slope of going into spiraling debt, and am so glad we've managed to escape that.

Being able to cook simple but sweet recipes is defiantely on a high with me this week. Instead of buying snacks I've looked at whats in the cupboards to see what we can make so its been a week of brown sugar meringues, chocolate crunchies and chocolate cranberry muffins (made by the kids)

Chatting to old friends. I have found on facebook a friend who I lost contact with when she moved to Wales 2 years ago, & we're chatting again like we always did (mainly moaning about our OHs as they are soooooo similar). Another friend text me out the blue, we havent seen each other for over a year but have arranged to meet up for a cuppa after the hols. Like any relationship, friendships take work & effort from both sides to remain strong,

I am very thankful for the capabilities & resources the internet gives me, it ALWAYS rocks my world. Its a way of finding out information, getting amazing deals, freebies & being able to talk to people I otherwise wouldnt know at all.

So whats been rocking your world this friday? Hows about letting us know & hoping over to Virginias blog to link up :)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Upcoming Review.....

Ooooooo, I am so excited as I've been asked to do my first review by CSN Stores, they sell everything from modern accessories to great cookware like Le Creuset. I have been drooling over some of the products they sell, such as this cake stand ...
It is sooooooo me, vintage, yet modern, & beautiful in black & white.
I may have to start having high-tea! Anyone for cucumber sandwichs... with the crusts off of course.

1st Snow

If I was to do this page again I would most certainly move the photos and ribbon down so the photos would take my attention more, & balance the page out more, but we live & learn :)
I kept to whites and silvers to give a frosty feel, and added the thicker shapes to give a feeling of movement & cold.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday

Heres my desk all nicely sorted ready for me to sit & do a bit of Scrapbooking. The cats are a bit of a pain as they think me sitting down to craft actually means its time for them to sit on everything or ask for a fuss.

At the front you can see my sketch pad where I design my layouts. From there I sort out the size of photos I need to print off, get them printed and cut out. I then dive into my paper pile and see what papers I can use.
For each pile of photos I have found bits & bobs out which may fit/ be used on the layout, this cuts down on the amount of time I need to keep getting up & look for things once I get started. At the back are the 3 albums I'm currently working on, at somepoint I will cover this with other material thats more me, but for now they keep my pages safe.
There are 5 layouts on the table here, ready to be getting on with.

30 mins later...

it all gets rather messy onceI've got started, lol.

Whats on your desk? Hows about sharing with us all, or just go have a nosey at others over at Stamping Ground (I'm number #82)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Halloween Scrap Page

I had an idea of the layout for this page, jotted it down, & looked through my paper collection. I found a sheet that would go but I wasnt totally happy with it, so I decided to sleep in the matter (not literally, though its an idea for the crumpled page look ;-)

In the morning my order from Creative Craft World arrived with the Haunted Collection pack - These papers ARE strockable, they have flocked images on which I didnt realise when I ordered them. & while looking through I quickly realised one of them was perfect for my layout!

I carefully used my craft knife to cut out part of the candlestick holder so I could slip the photo behind it.

I've some exciting Scrapbook news to share with you soon, so all you scrapbooking fiends after a bit of inspiration watch this space!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Rocking My World Friday

First & foremost I am rocking that today is the last day of this half term so I can hope for a lie in for the next week, note I say HOPE, that doesnt mean I will, especially as my 2 lads are wake up usually at 6 if not earlier.

This week I have received Nalini Singhs Guild Hunter Series which I won on the Gollancz Dark Fantasy Facebook page, 3 books containing Vampires & Angels, 2 of my all time favourite subjects, I cant wait to start reading them.

Kai has got through the past 2 weeks without getting chicken pox or Conjuctivitus which is rife at his pre-school at the moment, though I do realise Chicken Pox doesnt show for about 3 weeks. Today only about a 1/4 of his class came in, meaning they all had lots of fruit for their snack today as they didnt want it going off during the hols. Though I'd prefer Kai to get Chicken Pox at a young age neither my other half nor Zack have ever had it, they may be immune, but I'd rather they didnt get it at their ages.

Had a nice talk with my Mom over brecky at the pub yesterday .... its always amusing to reveal something naughty I got upto when I was 15 or something to her, very therapeutic, lol.
I also feel honoured that my MIL got in touch to ask for my help & advice on some family matters, makes me feel wise & appreciated :-)

& finally, my MIL, while sorting out her attic, finding a turtles bag with some of my other halfs stuff in it. So as not to pry she didnt open it but gave it to me. I of course immediately opened it :-D Inside among school work & books were some photos of my other half as a child. There was also some beautiful photos of him dressed up, about the age of 6, along with his parents in old fashioned clothes. The photos are sepia so as to look old fashioned. I shall be scanning them to not only scrap but also so my MIL can have a copy of them all.

I'm off to have a look at what other people have been upto this week, if you want a look you can visit Celtic House for the list of Participants. Before I go, I'd love to know, whats rocked your world this week?

Thursday, 17 February 2011


This page just wouldnt photo very well, but you get the jist of it. This is my newest niece Trinity, who my eldest wanted a cuddle with. As there wasnt much journalling & I felt the pictures pretty much spoke for themselves I decided on layering up the background, 1st a 12x12 sheet, & then a 10x10 sheet, making the blank surface less.

The 10x10 sheet is close to the colour of Trins suit without over powering it or making it the main feature. As Zack was also a main subject on the page I didnt want to make the page too girlie so avoided pinks, opting for more purpley colours & whites. The flowers in the corners are layered up flower shaped sequins & not only balance the page but also reflect the flowers to the right bottom of the page

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A snowy white page

I wanted the page to give the image of snow so kept colours to a minimum and added texture. A white brizzly background with a pearlescent white sheet I'd shaped and roughed up the edges on top.
Felt snow lace on top of that, along with material snowflakes and pearlescent flowers.

I mounted the photo onto white card that I'd again roughed up the edges on, & added the journalling onto a seperate piece. Finally I added the chipboard title "let it snow".

I think I managed to achieve a cold, frosty & purely snowy scrapbook page.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Christmas Eve Page

This page evolved from an idea that was totally different, I knew I wanted the photos laid out in a higgledy piggledy way, in a group, maybe in a circle, but I had originally envisaged lots of layers, cut out shapes, stockings etc.

I looked through my scrappy borders etc to find something to make the journalling stand out a bit from the rest so came across this frame, & then the oval "title" that went so nicely together, christmassy yet not in your face christmassy. While flicking through the 12x12s I came across this sheet & thought it would be a nice plain background to layer up on, & found a 6x6 that went with the colours & did my journalling,

I noticed that all the colours were kinda working at this stage, but the journalling & frame were too big to have away from the photos so I decided to put the photos around the frame.With a little bit of jiggling they fell into place. I looked at the page, ready to start thinking of shapes, images etc for the backgound ........and stopped. The page worked as it was, it just worked. No need for anymore adding to it.

Zack looked at it later on & said it was weird how no matter how he looked at it that his eyes were always drawn to the images & writing, & that it was my best page yet - compliment indeed from the 12 year old who not only works on the straight forward "It looks nice" but also on "Its aesthetically pleasing & works on many other levels due to...."

Sunday, 13 February 2011


A simple scrapbook page to show my lads hanging their new christmas baubles last year.
The background sheet of pine needles I thought I'd never use except maybe for a mounting photos on but I found it went great with this topic.
The photos are mounted on blue, I know a risky colour to go with the green but it brought out the colour of Zacks ornament so well. I then mounted onto white to help avoid clashes of colour & to bring out the white of Kai's ornament.

I put the journalling almost hidden away on one of the silver trees, it simply reads..
"Zack and Kai put their new ornaments on the tree, 2010"

I'll be doing a page with this theme on every year so I'm trying not to get too repetitive on my wording.
Nearly finished with last years christmas scrapping, as I've always just done random pages as they take my fancy it actually feels a little weird & yet also a feeling of accomplishment. Tomorrow you'll see my final 2010 christmas page which is christmas eve & the one Zack says is my best yet.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Homemade Eclairs / Profiteroles

One of my favourite puddings are Profiteroles and Eclairs, I count them as one as its only really the shape that alters them from the one to the other. They are sooooooooo simple to make but will impress your guests.
50g (2oz) butter or Marg
60g (2 1/2oz) plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 eggs, well beaten
150ml (1/4pt) water
125g (4oz) chocolate
a small carton whipping cream

  1. Grease a baking sheet and dampen it under a cold tap for a few seconds - place to one side until needed.
  2. Cut all the butter and heat it in a saucepan with the water. Sift the flour into a bowl.
  3. When the mixture in the saucepan begins to boil take it off the heat & tip in all the flour in one go.
  4. Beat the mixture until it is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan. This only takes a minute or two.
  5. Cool the mixture for 5mins then beat in the egg a bit at a time to make a thick, smooth, glossy paste
  6. Turn the oven on to 200C, 400F, gas Mark 6.
  7. Put teaspoons of pastry on the baking sheet and put in the oven. (for eclairs put the pastry into lines, you could even do this with an icing bag) After 10mins turn the temperature upto 220C, 425F, gas mark 7
  8. Bake for another 15-20mins, then peep into the oven. The buns should look puffy and golden brown.
  9. Put them onto a wire rack & prick a hole into the side of them to let out steam, otherwise they'll get soggy & collapse.
  10. Put the chocolate into a bowl. then gently heat this over a pan of water until the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth & scoop over the eclairs.
  11. When the eclairs have cooled make a larger hole in the side and fill with whipped cream - I find this easiest to do with a good quality icing bag with a nozzle on, that way you can just pop the nozzle inside & squeeze the cream in.
Tada, all done & ready to eat!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Rocking My World Friday

I thought I'd start making a note of all the positive things that happen on a weekly basis & what better way than to join in with "Rocking Your World Friday". When times are hard its best to concentrate on the brighter things, to remind us thats its not a dark hard world out there.

So first of all we had attended our termly parents meeting with Zacks tutor, which was MORE than positive. Hes doing really well with all his lessons, apart from PE, which when mentioned he told his tutor "well I cant be good at everything!". I've been telling him this ever since people have commented on his lack of sportyness & I am so glad hes taken it on board. He's obviously a teachers pet with his tutor as she gushes over him, lol, he's 1 of her 6 stars, all of which have already reached the level they should finish year 7 at & are even looking at GCSE level maths books :-O He's expected to leave the school with straight A's.
To add to this we received a letter saying Zacks been added to the gifted & talented list for both ICT (computing) & English.

Second on my list is my new table, which I'm sure your fed up of so I'll skip going on about it ;-) I will say though that not only is it making life easier for me tidying but its also bringing the family together.  Kai comes home from Pre-school & sits with me at the table to eat lunch, chat & then play. Zack gets home from school & immediately sits on one of the chairs to chat to me & flick through the scrapbook. Even my other half, Ryan, will sit & chat to me at the table while I cook dinner.

Its only been taking me a morning to get the house looking tidy & clean!!!! As we're not using the lounge so much its staying tidy so I only need to give it a quick tidy & clean, the same with our bedroom so the main clean up areas are kitchen, bathroom & lounge. I also do a different job each day such as clean the windows, wash all the floors etc.

I am totally rocking getting my scrapbooking mojo back, I have done **runs off to count** 10 layouts this week, 7 single pages & 3 doubles.

I am absolutely loving seeing so many blogs doing "pay it forward" & even more so using the logo I found for it, its lovely to think they are all part of my tree :)
Finally I am getting lots of inspiration from One World One Heart, my blog roll is getting longer as is my want-to-try list. It is well worth going to have a look.

So whats rocked your world lately?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

1st day at school

Over at the Creative Craft World blog theres a scrap challenge to show love & the following sketch.

Well I love my lads to bits & I think my scrapbooks show this so I had to do a page which featured them.

I have to admit that after the summer hols I also loved it when my 2 lovely lads when to school. Kai started Pre-school & Zack started secondary school. It was nice to have that short break to regain my sanity & they both needed that extra social interaction.

To make the page my own I tend to look at a sketch, figure out what I want to do & then wont look at the sketch again until the end, I find this helps retain the inspiration of the sketch while making the work my own.

I wanted the pages to be the same but to also resemble the difference in the types of schools, ages & personalities. On Kai's it has trains (one of his favourite toys), abc's, simple lettering and crayons, on Zacks theres more complex shaped letters, maths equipment (his strongest subject) and equations. The background paper is core coordinations which I used to create a blackboard look.  I put the date on the small blue books and after taking the photos wrote on the schools names up the side of the photos (for the safety of my children I did the photo before this, as well as smudging any clue to the schools they attend)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Now that I have a table to work on (YAY!) I thought I'd join in with Julia's Whats on your workdesk wednesday.
This is my workspace where I am sitting right now, please ignore the table cloth, its temporary until I get a new one but I want the table protected from all my ink, glue etc.
This piccy was taken just after Lunch, my youngest is enjoying sitting with me after nursery to eat our lunch which means I need to do a quick tidy to make space. It also allows me to put away any craft stuff I've finished with.

Lets see, highlights....

The plastic bag contains a feathered necklace I shall be altering for my MIL to turn it into a hairclip for her to wear to a wedding. The wooden cylinder with blue sequin flowers & green leaves is the start of a clock I'm making, its ready for spray painting but I need a free, dry day for this.

The fruit bowl & lanterns are standard items on the table for when its tidy (i.e craft free)

My staple craft items .... laptop, & external harddrive with photos on. Oh & ofc the glass of Pepsi to keep me going.
& finally....

My scrapbooking pile, a box of plain coloured 12x12s, some sheets & stickers I've chosen for the next layout, 6x6s for mounting photos, guillotine & glossy accents.

Thanks for dropping by, feel free to nosey around & ask questions :)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

New Table = Scrap Motivation

I am soooooo happy that I have a kitchen table to work on, it means I can get my scrapbook stuff out, or any other crafty items, without worrying about having to put it away so we can sit down & eat, or that the kids will knock a drink onto it etc. With this new found freedom I have been scrapping away happily

The journalling works as 2 seperate pages but the title and layout tie the 2 together. As I was mainly in the kitchen on christmas day I didnt get many photos but the internet & photos taken at a later date helped out.

I scuffed up the edges of the centre paper and inked them, this was to give a softer edge.
I have decided to try & start at the last photos of 2010 & work my way backwards ... as well as trying to keep upto date with any current piccies I take. Its a tall order but I can at least try.

On a different note my lounge is almost done, I need to sew the seat covers & a cover for the foot stool, as well as waiting for my curtains to arrive. I could do with some more large ornaments for the display cabinet, I'm thinking skulls, maybe a few gothical figurines or comic book ones, but these shall be collected in time (& when I have the money ;-) Soon as the majority is done I'll post piccies of before & after.


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