Wednesday, 15 October 2014

14 loves {October 2014}

Welcome to the next in the series {14 loves} for 2014 based on the original concept by my beloved friend, Pam, back in January 2013. I enjoyed sharing my loves so much through the year that I decided I needed to continue through 2014. I hope you will come back each month to see if there is anything in my list to inspire you. You can find previous posts  {here}

I hope there's something in here to inspire you or maybe just make you smile.

Ok, so I missed a month. Well, not really missed a month as in the month steamrollered over me and I was pretty incapable of anything except packing and schlepping boxes, and camping out at the new place. That month will be filled in as I do try to select things that I have been loving from the 14th to the 14th. So the photos are there.... just not organised into a post.... yet.

So here's 14th September to 14th October! It's a more experience based list this month as there's not been much time for shopping or window shopping online.


Yes! It's really autumn now and I love it! Slightly wild, windy, wet weather swirling all those beautiful leaves around just make me happy.


Our new life in the city has really begun. Our balcony has a great view over the are designated as the "park" and I love watching the low autumn sun setting. Just behind that building you can see? Ikea! I can walk to Ikea which might prove a problem if the need for Swedish meatballs gets too much!


A lot of the advantages of our new home are focussed on the fact that everything is right there on our doorstep. Including plenty of good places to eat. One of our faves is Cha Cha which serves Thai food and a super green chicken curry which we can now get on foot "to go". Another danger point for our diet but delicious all the same!


And yet more food right round the corner is the American diner Star Diner. A great burger was had at the end of a long, physically tiring day and hit just the right point. We got to sit in the School Bus outside and I thought that was a lot of fun! (Are you seeing the food theme here??)


A Pinterest find, I need to find the time to have a go at scrap lifting this beautiful layout.

September brought a trip to the UK to celebrate some special birthdays. My baby sister and my baby, baby brother both had celebrations within the same week and we were thrilled to get the whole family in one photo. 


And a visit to my granny who is amazing at nearly 93. She wowed us with perfect memories of times 70 years ago as well as engagement in current news topics. Of course, she was delighted to see her favourite German!


This etsy find from Mei Origami was something I'd found some time ago and was happy to order it and find that it was even better than I thought it would be. The quality was amazing and she chose a wonderful book to use, called Angels, complete with pink inside cover paper. It was absolutely perfect and Mei's customer service was fabulous. I'll be ordering something from her again. Make sure you check her out for a special occasion - well worth it!


I managed to fit a lot in to a very short time and caught up with everyone I'd planned to and more which is always satisfying. A highlight was catching up with a good friend who works for the Bournville Estate - established by George Cadbury all those years ago. And of course, you KNOW that I just can't resist that Cadbury chocolate - I bring it back with me in huge quantities as they don't sell it here! Anyway, she was kind enough to take me to the holy grail of chocolate, the staff Cadbury shop! As a child, I was always so envious of my friends whose parents worked there and they were able to visit the shop and always had vast quantitates of scrummy brown gold at home! I was literally a child in a sweet shop and am now struggling not to scoff it all at once!


Many, many selfies with various goofy children were taken. This little one is growing way too fast and it's hard to believe she's almost two!


And while I was there, I received this wonderfully thoughtful care package from fellow Master Forger and LOADster, Lesley. What a lovely surprise and it was so kind of her to think of me. Very much needed at a time when I was feeling a little low. I wasn't able to make the journey north to meet her and Jemma but I've promised to make the time next time I'm over!


Round here we are ever so slightly addicted to hummus at the moment, having found that we both adore it and it can be made up in a matter of minutes. Not sure how delighted people are that we meet the following day, but garlic's healthy, right?!? So this recipe originally found on Pinterest piqued my interest straight away. I can feel roasted garlic in my near future!

Roasted garlic hummus from


Over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog, we have a Counterfeit Queen controlling things this month! Queen Laura is proving to be a very benevolent monarch and chose a wonderful kit to counterfeit (see my reveal post here)! Two of her challenge posts are already up (here and here) and there's one more to come. Why not come over and join us for this fun month? My October kit, Discover, has already produced 9 wonderful LOAD layouts and I've loved using this combination of products. A simply wonderful kit. 


We left our sweet baby apple tree behind in our last home but managed to harvest the grand total of 5 apples before we left! They were delicious and the few extras nabbed by the local birds were probably delicious too.

Id love you to share your own {14 loves} lists with me. Why not link up in the comments below?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Counterfeit Kit Challenge October kit reveal blog hop

Welcome to a rather neglected blog! I'm hoping to make improvements but I'm grateful that you keep coming back to visit me even if I'm not updating as often as I should.

Hopefully, you are here courtesy of Leslie's blog (here) where she will have delighted you with the contents of her blue box. If not, you must make sure to catch up on the full hop as this month, all our challenges have been set by our delightful October Counterfeit Kit Challenge Queen Laura (here), including the choice of kit! So hop back to the beginning of the hop (here) and settle back for some serious inspiration.

This month's kit, as mentioned above, was selected by Laura and is such a pretty selection of products by Hey Little Magpie. The link doesn't appear to be working any more but you can check out their site (here) and this is the kit we were given.

Now, as you might know (and be totally bored of by now!), I've been moving over September and don't have much of my stash available. So I had to be a bit more flexible in how I interpreted the kit so that I could actually select some items.

I looked at the kit and saw lashings of prettiness - softer colours, aquas and pinks, flowers, dots, bows, loopy words, die cuts, tape, stickers and frames. So that was my starting point and off I went down the prettiness road. I'm relieved to be able to present "Discover"!

I have very little paper unpacked so far, in fact just a small plastic container with some very favourite designs so that's what had to be enough. I started off with papers that roughly matched the idea of the papers of the original, and a few extras for good measure. I came up with a soft combination with a hint of gold, some stars for good measure and penty of pretty florals.  Most of the papers are, as always, double sided which will give me plenty of choice when it comes to using it up.

Quite a lot of tone on tone colours here but I think I'll still get a good amount of variety for layouts.

Then onto the embellies of which I was sorely reduced.

But there were still some scrummy bits and pieces available including this relatively new pack of Heidi Swapp words. Not quite the same pack as the original kit but certainly absolutely fine! I tracked down some die-cut frames as well as a couple of Maggie Holmes overlays and just because I can't resist a touch of gold right now, added in some glorious Martha Stewart gold leaves and some gold sequin ribbon.

I had the intention of starting Project Life on 1st September but so far have only managed to take the photos on an almost daily basis. So I included a handful of cards as a motivation to try to get started... who knows!

My back was against the wall time-wise and I didn't have anything bow related at all. But I always think that bows look like butterflies so a handful seemed a good alternative. I also added in a precious piece of Dear Lizzy butterfly vellum that I got in NYC. Let's see if I trust myself to cut it up.

Making sure I got more and more "pretty" into my kit, I included these super cute heart doilies, a handful of sequins (two sizes of gold, some aqua and some green) and then two alphabets for variety.

As always, I reserve the right to add things into my kit as I go through the month, especially as I will hopefully be unpacking the rest of my supplies and unearthing stuff I haven't seen for two months!

I now have 6 kits sitting on my shelf again - all rather neglected so LOAD is coming at JUST the right time! Today starts another crazy month of daily scrapping and you can bet that most of those layouts will be made using my rather wonderful Counterfeit kits. What would I do without them?!?

Thanks for sticking with me and I hope you have been inspired to take Queen Laura's selection and make your own box full of prettiness.

Now off you go to visit Lynette to ooo and aaah at her amazingly staged kit. Sure to please! And don't forget to let me know you were here. I love comments...

Here's the full list in case you get lost along the way.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Counterfeit Kit Challenge September member blog hop

Hello and welcome to another Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop.

I'm kicking off the hop this month so please pop back to the Counterfeit blog to see the full list of hoppers. When you're done here, you need to go and visit Tina (here) where she is sure to have something great to share!

We were challenged with three (for me) tough challenges this time around:
  1. Challenge #1 Challenge US! :Make up your own challenge for us 
  2. Challenge #2 Selfie Love : Scrap a selfie  
  3. Challenge #3 Mixed Media Embellies : Make some inky, painty, textured embellies
I scratched my head a bit and then jumped in to make up two layouts for the first two challenges. I'm really not much of a mixed media, get my hands dirty kind of person so I decided to leave that one for the more adventurous, and far more talented members on the team.

But making up my own challenge? Yep! Can do that.

I decided to challenge myself and therefore YOU to use a whole sheet of die-cut paper as the background to your layout. 

I often find these sheets tricky to use as I generally love them and don't want to cut them up or even cover up the detail very much! So, the challenge to use them as a background for the layout was the first step to keeping as much on show as possible and I usually use white cardstock these days, so all that colour was a second challenge! 

I had a beautiful piece of rainbow paper in my kit and knew that it would be perfect to back all those die-cut stars. I picked up that paper on my NYC trip so I knew that I wanted to really showcase it as much as possible. I think this did the trick. What do you think? This is also a special layout for me as it features me and my baby sister who is celebrating a special birthday this month. I will be writing a few happy memories of our time together.

I loved finding a way to incorporate those Silhouette shapes into the design and even as my title

While I was sat it, I decided to work directly on a second layout using the selfie challenge. You know that I take a lot of such photos so it was more of a matter of finding a reason to pick a particular one out for a creation. Looking through my pile of Instax prints, I selected one with nothing in particular to say and created a layout just about me. I'll be adding my journalling when I have a little time to breathe and consider what message I want to give myself.

I see that this isn't a perfect photo - bit dark and wrong tones. I'll have to practice  taking photos in different corners of our new flat to find the best light...

What a surprise! More gold...

Really enjoyed finding a way to use this gorgeous Scrapabilly exclusive flair button! A little German here and there goes a long way on my pages and reflects another side of me.

Even though I've only managed three layouts (so far) with my kit this month, I am very much in love with it and know that it will get much airtime next month during my third LOAD of the year starting October 1st! I can't wait as I'm hoping to be a bit more organised by then and might even have found my scrap supplies - LOL! But even if I haven't managed to get them all unpacked, I have a nice pile of Counterfeit Kit Challenge kits from the last few months that will most certainly make my chances for a successful month more likely.

Watch this space for more shares...

As mentioned at the beginning, next on the hop is Tina (here) and the full list of this month's bloggers can be found at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog (here). Happy hopping!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Fröhliche Freitag

Back again (if a few hours late) to share my second touch of gold for the Jingle Belles prompt this week. It's so wonderful to be guesting over at the Belles' blog. These girls are beyond inspirational so I'm honoured to be a part of it in a very small way.

I couldn't resist using my Cameo for this CAS card. Some Studio Calico vellum, a little gold foil card and a twist of Martha Stewart twine was all this needed.

I thought the vellum would add a little interest to the simple design. Love this paper and think I need some more!

The cuts from the Cameo are totally amazing. The detail of this wreath came out so well.

Of course, while I was making one, it made sense to make another one at the same time. I'm way behind on my card making and am hoping that this will help me out.

Thanks so much to Stephanie and Lauren over at Jingle Belles for inviting me to join in. I feel back in the spirit now and hope to get the card making up and running again as soon as my boxes get unpacked.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Counterfeit Kit Challenge September kit reveal blog hop

Welcome to September! I love this time of year so you can bet that I'm smiling right now! 

It's that time again... time to reveal the new Counterfeit Kit Challenge September kit. And I can tell you (again), that I'm ever so slightly in love with both the original and my counterfeit! Ok, you got me. Not ever so slightly, rather ever so much.

But I'm running away with myself. 

Hopefully, you've reached me from Susanne where I'm sure she has one awesome kit to share! If not, why not go back to the beginning of the hop at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog so that you don't miss out on anything. And make sure you stop by at our Guest Designer Tina's blog (here). We are excited to have her on the team this month and I know she is going to delight us with her creations.

This month, we were given a gorgeous kit from Scrapbook Circle (you can find the original kit here

I love the fact that it's a bit darker than some of the kits I've been using recently. The shades are a bit stronger and there are lots of different colour combinations in there. Of course, I changed it up a bit and gave it the Lisa stamp, creating something a bit more glittery than the original!

Here is Shimmer!

I didn't have anything from the inspiration kit so I had to think laterally, deciding to use with a sheet of bokeh teal-coloured vellum from Crate as my starting point, giving me that strong colour to build upon.

The original kit featured double sided papers but not all that many so I decided to match up both sides of them to give me many more papers in my kit and such a lot of choice! Some of the original papers are matched up more than once in my kit (such as the bokeh or map design) and I really tried to focus on those stronger teals and darker shades to give me something very different from my recent creations.

There are some very recent purchases as well as a few much older - use it or lose it - sheets.

Then came the embellies where I had to try to match up the basic type more than the exact items, having nothing that matched 100%.

I realised that the Scrapbook Circle kit had quite a few exclusives - words, labels, a stamp etc - so I picked out some bright MME labels and some SC veneer items featuring words and tabs.

The original kit doesn't feature die-cut cards or flair but as I don't have anything cork in my stash, I just decided to add in what I knew would work for me. I happen to love these Scrapabilly exclusives and am having quite some fun finding ways to pop a little German onto my pages!

The veneer tabs and word pieces work instead of the cork elements and I added in a set of Crate overlays to offer variety and some more gold (just in case I didn't have enough!).

There were clips in the original kit and I fished out a selection of very old items that will challenge me for sure. Let's see how I get on. I also included a few PL cards to substitute for the printables

I added in washi because I love it and well, I can add whatever I want! And several twines to match the yellow twine in the original. The sheet of alphas from Basic Grey feature a tile design that reminded me of the alpha tiles in the original. Not necessarily what I would normally use but I'll give it a try. I've also added in other alphas as I knew that I would need the choice.

I included a SC exclusive stamp set I had in my stash and embossing powder in the hope that this will remind me to use it. My stamps are always sadly neglected - mostly because I don't trust myself to use them on my pages. I usually manage to mess it up!

Some teal and gold glitter paper and my Cameo came up with good alternatives for the HS glitter stickers and I love the way they came out. These will really add something very special to my pages next month and let's face it, you know me and glitter! Of course, I had to include some gold doilies too. Just a must!

The original kit features some stamp type elements so I included the paper stamps from BG Hipster. I find them a bit tricky to use so again, challenging myself.

I'd added in a few items from the BG Hipster collection so I added in the brads too. The colours look like they will work with the redder papers.

And there you have it. Shimmer in all its shimmery glory. Not a lot like the original kit but you can see some basic similarities! And I love it which is most important. I know that I will be challenged by some of the papers and a few of the embellies but if they don't end up working, out they'll go! I've already made two pages for upcoming challenges using the kit and love how different they are to what I've been making recently.

If you've got this far then thanks! Make sure you leave me a comment and let me know how you'd use those tricky older clips!

Next on the hop is the ever inspirational Leslie and here's the full list in case you get lost along the way.

Guest Designer:  Tina:
Lisa H.:


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