Thursday, 29 September 2011


I know that I talk about the wonder of the blogosphere more than often but there's hardly a day goes by that something sweet doesn't come my way because of it.

Whether it's a sweet email photo from my adorable Whimsical Musings friend Pam, the wonderful gifts I've received (as in this giveaway post - still open - here), plain outright lovely comments on blog posts, new ideas for new things to try, right through to kind blog awards.

Today I've been tagged by the idea generous, Stamping Guru Deb who has inspired me to stop being afraid of card making and stamping and whose blog is full of fun photos, gorgeous cards and stunning crafts - go check her out, you won't be disappointed! :-)

I have to tell you ten things about myself... tricky as I've told you all so much already.
  1. I hate shopping - no really! Unless it's scrapbooking stuff or shoes/handbags that I don't "need"!
  2. I've always loved to take photos but am happy to say that I've improved my ability a gazillion percent over the last few years - when I look back at old photos they are awful!
  3. I'm about to embark on my 4th daily layout challenge of the year (eek!).
  4. I'm in love with Canada and am still living on the memories of our Yukon adventure 4 years ago - but you might know that already :-)
  5. I'm a BasicGrey-aholic - but you probably also know that already :-)
  6. I can't live without "importing" tea (just plain old builders' tea) and chocolate (Cadbury's) from England.
  7. I have a huge schoolgirl crush on Taylor Lautner - go team Jacob.
  8. As of right now, I've received an incredible 1,400 comments on the 386 posts I've posted so far on my blog.
  9. I am considering learning to crochet after seeing Deb's incredible creations and wanting a piece of the action. In fact, I stumbled across this blog today with an amazing free class on offer in October to learn the basics of crochet and am really considering joining in! What do you think?
  10. I'm a Scorpio - need I say more?!?
And therefore, I tag my Whisical Musings partner, Pam. She's cute, she's quirky, she's very creative, she's a lot of fun and she makes me smile! Go on over and say hello! Tell her I sent you...

And just because Deb was kind enough to compliment my photos and because I agree with my friend Sarah that all blog posts should have a photo, I'll leave you with a couple of my favourite Autumn pictures of recent years (from our previously mentioned Yukon adventure).

Just a reminder: Don't forget to go over to my "Delightful" post (link here) and leave me a comment for the chance to win a small giveaway. I'm celebrating 5 years of blogging and want to share the love!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Here Comes Suzy Snowflake...

... Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Dressed in a snow-white gown
Tap, tap, tappin' at your windowpane
To tell you she's in town.

or Jingle Belles #39!

This week's challenge was suggested by Marie Bingeman while she was considering the colder weather that is bound to come our way sooner rather than later. Her thoughts turned to the Rosemary Clooney classic, Suzy Snowflake and decided that we needed to suggest this as our inspiration.

I love this sweet little song and include it in my Christmas listening along with all the other Rat Pack and swing classics - but not until November 1st! If you don't know this somewhat lesser known jingle and you like all those smooth tunes from the 50s and 60s, do check it out. It's such a sweetie.

We could use the inspiration in anyway we liked and I decided to go for cooler colours, something vintage and of course a sprinkle of snowflakes.

This one is really not perfect - all a bit wonky to be honest - but it didn't really take much time and I desperately wanted to join in this week after missing the last prompt! So I'm calling it done and adding it to the pile.

Have we inspired you to get going with your cards yet? The clock is ticking..... not long now!

Why not go over to Jingle Belles and look at the gallery - there's an incredible number of entries this week and so many gorgeous, gorgeous cards to be inspired by. Go on, you know you want to!

Don't forget to go over to my "Delightful" post (link here) and leave me a comment for the chance to win a small giveaway. I'm celebrating 5 years of blogging and want to share the love!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Hi and welcome to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog Hop!

It's so lovely to be here and I have to admit to being a bit nervous as this is the first CKC blog hop I've been involved in and you know the talent out there can be a little intimidating!

I'm the first stop on the hop (yet something else to be a little daunted by!) and next up is the ├╝ber-talented Melissa so make sure you pop over there as well as all the other Forgers on the hop - there's a whole lot of inspiration out there.

This month's challenge for the blog hop was to use a stamping technique for your project and this one was really a bit nerve-wracking for me. But my trusty Stamping Guru Deb advised I check out You Tube or just the internet in general and gave me a whole list of ideas as well. Ideas galore and certainly several of them have been squirreled away for the future.

After a little looking around, I settled on Jennifer Maguire's "Smooching" technique.

Her video (check it out here) was excellent and described how she starts off with a standard stamped image and then "kisses" the stamp onto a background stamp which removes some of the ink from the stamp. The "smooching" comes from the kissing technique but you just slightly move the stamp a little to sort of push the ink which makes the background texture more pronounced. The video makes it much clearer than this rather doubtful explanation!

To make this a bit clearer, let me share some photos.

I decided to use a Christmas bauble stamp as it had a nice flat surface and I've used black ink to show you the technique and difference between the methods.

This is the stamp just as it comes.

This is the background stamp I used for the kissing and smooching. I used Libby's  Stampin' Up "Sanded" stamp which is unfortunately now discontinued :-( 

This is the effect after "kissing" the image with the background stamp - you can see how the ink has been lifted by the rough lines of "Sanded"
And this is the effect after I "smooched" the bauble stamp on top of the "Sanded" stamp. You can see how much more pronounced the lifted lines are.

After practicing the technique in black ink for the photos, I moved onto this pale pink ink but the smooching effect can still be seen. I decided to stamp a whole sheet of the images so that I was flexible about what to do with them when it came to my layout.

Now that I had my stamped elements, I had the idea to cut them out to use as a banner - you know how I love banners! I knew I had another challenge on my hands as I had used a Christmas image for my stamp but was going to be using my Departing Summer CKC kit!

Selecting the Sketch Support sketch I'd printed out last month to use but hadn't got around to yet (single page sketch #8), I just got to work! I used my pink paper along with the music paper and added in some bling and the silver letters to make it a bit Christmassy. I even found a use for a few of my photo corners, the old journalling spots and the green paper trims!

If you've made it to the end of this mega-post, then congratulations!

Please leave me a comment to let me know you were here before heading over to Melissa and then onto the rest of the hoppers!

And don't forget to check out the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Sponsor for this month:

The prize:  a stamp set of your choice from her online store!

How to get it:  comment on the CKC blog hop post (on their site) on the 28th....and if you are participating in the blog hop you get an extra chance to win!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The infamously titled "Pre-Informal October LOAD Blog Hop"

Welcome to the "Pre-Informal October LOAD Blog Hop"!

I'm so thrilled to see you here, whether you are a fellow Scrap Happy member, a LOADster or one of my regular blog friends. Please DO leave me a comment to let me know you were here.

I have the honour of kicking off this hop so when you are finished, head over to Katherine at Looking 4 Inspiration for the next batch of fun!

First of all, we should maybe explain our over complicated name. Normally, Lain organises three LOADs a year - Feb, May and Oct - but she's been busy doing a marathon (a layout a day for 26 days) over at BPC and didn't feel she was able to hold the usual LOAD in October. That made us LOAD addicts a bit sad and it was suggested that those of us who are members of Lain's Scrap Happy group (if you haven't joined yet, what are you waiting for?) would organise our own daily challenge over in our Scrap Happy Flickr group. Once the idea of the "informal" LOAD took hold, the idea of a blog hop was sure to follow. And here we are.

This is my pile of 2010 LOAD layouts - makes me smile every time I see it!

So, today I'd like to repeat, cut and paste and generally offer some of the advice and suggestions I've put forward before for making a layout every single day for a month. I've taken my post from earlier and updated it so hopefully there is something for everyone even if you think it looks familiar! 

For those of you who are new to the idea of LOAD, it can be done. Many of us have several LOADs under our belt with 100% layout completion! And boy, do we feel good at the end of the month.

But at the same time, it's not essential to commit to a layout a day - some members just join in the fun when they can and find that they get a lot more done than they normally would and that makes them feel good too. The key is to do what you can. And my number one tip is to keep it fun. As soon as it's just a slog, that should be a sign to give it a break and maybe try something non-scrappy for a day or two. Life gets in the way, kids need feeding and houses need to be kept. It's no pressure.

Saying that, I've continued to have fun now for 6 LOADs (plus another informal one - Pam and I did one through July as well - yes, we are mad!) and have completed more than 200 layouts just in those months. Again, that makes me very happy! This will be my fourth LOAD this year and even when it feels like it's taking too much time, or I feel a bit uninspired at the start of the day, I always feel good when I've taken the time to create and have uploaded my finished page to Flickr and have taken the time to see what my fellow LOADsters have created! And I feel even better when I look at my pile of creations.

My February 2011 pile *happy dance*

Even if you are not participating in LOAD, I am sure you can find something here that might help you speed up your process or even something to inspire you to join in next time. I use these techniques pretty much every time I create. I am a very slow scrapper but I still manage to make dozens of pages most months.

And more scrumptiousness from May 2011

Back in February 2010, being the control freak I am, I came up with a 10 point "strategy" for how I was going to get through the month. I have to say, that this has become somewhat of a strategy for my scrap time in general and is how I approach most of my creating. 

There's not a lot of changes since I posted this list both here and here but I'd like to share it again and there are a few changes since I first wrote it. 
  1. Perfection is over-rated: I'm not the first to state this (Lain reminds us again and again), but it's so true. If you are doing work for a design team or a magazine, then it might be appropriate to get things just right - I check spelling, straighten things up, write and rewrite my journalling until it's just so. But the layouts for LOAD or in fact, just for me? They very often contain a mistake or ten! Over inked? Not quite straight? Colours not perfectly matched? Glue showing? Embellies not optimally placed? No problem, move on!
  2. Preparation: I don't mean that I have page kits ready to go - this is absolutely NOT my way of working (although I know this approach is perfect for many). But each day I think about what I might scrap. What picture I might use. What I have to say that day. If I have a bit of free time (I travel on public transport and so have a lot of time to kill!), I might even write my journalling out to a story that has come to mind. And I have a pile of photos - good, bad and a lot in between - on my table, and my storage binders to hand. Often, I just have a bit of a rummage, see what catches my eye and am off. This month, we have all clubbed together to come up with daily prompts which will be interesting to see the mix of ideas and inspiration, and in the past I have used the prompts as a jumping off point for my layout. But if the prompt doesn't resonate with me, I will either just store the idea for another day or ignore it and do my own thing.
  3. Glue & Go: I learned this on my Heidi Swapp class in 2007. Yes, I move things around a bit before I decide on position, but I'm talking 2 or 3 minutes, not all evening. Then, it's Glue & Go. And live with the result. And love the result!
  4. Handwritten journalling: In the past, I've avoided the printed & have hand-written almost all my journalling when time is short. No, I don't particularly like my handwriting. But it's mine and there's not a lot to be done. Hand-writing is quick, easy and I don't need 16 attempts at getting it just so. If the hand-writing goes a bit skew-whiff, I accept it. It's typical Lisa to have a few mistakes in there after all. Saying that, I love strip journalling and with practice this can be done quickly and easily on the computer. But I'm not hooked on only having printed journalling. It's probably a 60% hand written ratio for me.
  5. Sketches: I have Page Maps 1 & 2 books and I love them. I use them all the time. I don't consider it cheating and uninspired. I make the sketch my own and think of it as a motivator. There are a million and one sources online for sketches including Page Maps itself where you can find all the archives as well as the new month, and a new resource I came across last month, Sketch Support, which also breaks their sketches down into one or two pagers as well as cards. 
  6. Clear space: I tidy up my scrapping space after each project. Completely. And for those of you who know me, you'll appreciate this is difficult and unnatural for me. I'm so untidy by nature! But I put every scrap, pen, glue stick, ruler or ink-pad etc back where they belong - even if I take it back out again after 2 minutes. Clear space = clear mind. Now, if I could only apply that to the rest of my life...
  7. Be part of the LOAD/Scrap Happy community: The community in our LOAD Flickr group is wonderful and this time around it will be all about the Scrap Happy community. I make sure I make the most of it. I spend (way too much) time in the gallery getting inspired and commenting on layouts. I know how thrilled I am when I get supportive positive feedback on my uploads and so I try to pass on the love. Even if you just look at the last 5 or 10 uploads before yours in the gallery, you will be amazed at the talent and creativity out there - I make sure that I "favourite" those that I really love and am inspired by so that I can go back to them again and again. Scraplifting is the highest form of flattery after all! And the message board is great too. I go in and read the latest and use it for tips and tricks or generally connecting with my fellow LOADsters. It's a great resource.  I have made some wonderful scrapping friends over the last year through LOAD and BPC and this is really special.
  8. Use that stash: I see this as an opportunity to use up papers and products that have been lying around a long time but that I still love. Often I just grab a background cardstock and my mixed paper organiser along with my box of scraps and fish around until I have 3 or 4 papers I like. This is not the time to be precious. I will not be buying any new stash at all for this month but I have a partially used up Counterfeit Kit from August to finish and there will be my October kit too to make up and use. Making up your own kits (CKC is a wonderful resource for this) can make your own products feel like new as you combine them in new ways. Make sure you can see the products that are inspiring you at the moment or that you want to use up - if you have them in view, they are more likely to be used up. And think about the excuse you will have to go out and stock up again when you have finished as you will have used up SO much of your stock!
  9. Quick techniques: I try to return techniques such as border punches, inking the edges or distressing which give good results with minimum effort and time. Although I might do a bit of stamping you won't find a lot of that on my pages - it's too hit and miss, and very time-consuming for me. Not to mention the fact that the ink ends up in places it really doesn't belong... several ruined tops later...
  10. Have FUN: I remind myself that this is supposed to be FUN! No pressure. If I decide on the 15th that I'm not having fun, I'll simply stop. I can't imagine that happening, but this is a hobby and nothing to be taken too seriously. Life gets in the way sometimes and if that happens, then I will not stress about it, I will just do what I can. I make sure I'm enjoying the process. I might experiment. I mix it up. One day, it might be more complicated, the next a bit simpler. Layered and distressed one day, clear lines a la Zielske the next. I will use different products, different photos, different colours. More or less journalling. 4x6 photos one day and then chopped up or tiny photos the next. I play! But I'll be telling stories, using up product, preserving memories, remembering happy times. And that IS fun!

A more colourful pile than usual from our informal LOAD in July 2011 - must have been Pam's influence! ;-)

So, take a deep breath, clear off your scrap space, print off your photos, stock up on your adhesives, collect your supplies so that they are near to hand and enjoy the ride! 

The next stop for you will be Katherine at her blog here and the whole list of bloghop participants is...

Lisa (you are here!)

Have fun and thanks so much for dropping by - make sure you let me know you were here!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Having more fun with stamps

My DT month with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge and the stamping theme has been rather eye opening for me. I always shy away from stamping because I'm not really so good at it and I always think it takes a lot of time to get everything out and then cleaned and put away. But that's just not true. It's just a matter of making the time and one thing that I found useful was to use the stamps on a couple of items at the same time before putting everything away.

Challenge #3 on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge site is to use stamps to create an embellishment.

I decided to make a tag that I could then use on a layout. We had done some of these in a class over at BPC with Nic Howard and I had loved them as add-ons to layouts. They take a little time, but I made three at the same time (though not deliberately - let's say that there was a steep learning curve!).

I took photos of all stages of all three tags but I'll just share the last and most successful one!

1. I started off with a plain shipping tag from my September Notes kit.

2. Then I used white acrylic paint with a Heidi Swapp corner flourish stamp.

3. I covered the whole tag with Pretty In Pink from Stampin' Up using my Tim Holtz distress ink applicator. You can see that the colour was subtle but that some of the paint picked up the ink.

4. Learning from the first tag, I then stamped a BG word stamp using StazOn black ink in the middle of the tag - the word didn't take very well to either a pre-embossed image or to the painted area.

5. Using the Martha Stewart butterfly stamp again (in love!) I stamped and then clear embossed the butterfly.

6. Now I moved onto two shades of darker ink, using Worn Lipstick Distress Ink around the edges and a little towards the middle and then just the edges using Close To Cocoa from Stampin' Up. I've learnt that you have to start with your palest colour and then work up to the darker one in just the areas you want. The kraft tag obviously affects the intensity of the colours and it would be great to try this out on a cream or even white tag. I just didn't have any.

7. I added a little extra embellishment to the tag in the form of some pearls (from August's kit) and a flower as well as a ribbon tie and then did something similar with the first two tags I'd made which hadn't turned out exactly how I'd wanted.

I'll be using one tag on a layout using Departing Summer (I'll be sure to post it when it's done), one will go into a little gift box for someone special and the other will be ready for when I need a little extra on a layout. It's always great to have things ready made for such occasions.

Two more things to remind you about.

1. This month's sponsor over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge is Master Forger Sherri who will be giving away a set of her stamps from her etsy shop ( All you have to do to have a chance to win is to participate in the Counterfeit Blog Hop next Wednesday (28th) or comment on either of the blog hops - Master Forger Hop on Tuesday 27th or the Counterfeiters on Wednesday 28th.

2. Go over to this post of mine (here) and leave me a comment to be in the drawing for a small prize. I'm celebrating 5 years of blogging and I'm thanking all my blog readers for coming here and being a part of my scrapbooking life. The draw will stay open to the end of the month!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Mail Art Exchange

Remember the gorgeous prize I won from Ginger's blog, The Spice of Life? With the wonderful stamps and mail art goodies?

Well, after receiving such delightful happy mail, I had to sign up for the Mail Art Exchange that she's organisied, didn't I?!?

This was definitely out of the box for me and I was really nervous to "do it right". But Ginger reassured me that everything would be ok and that I just need to create something that would be fun to receive through the letterbox.

Ginger set the theme of "Earth" for the exchange which could be interpreted in so many ways - colours, geography, green recycling etc - and I think I included a bit of each!

I am just posting a couple of sneak peeks here and fingers crossed that my mail reaches Texas in one piece!

I used each of the items in my prize - the stamps, the pen, the smiley face stamp and the envelopes. It was fun to work it all in and to work out when to stop!

Now I just have to get to the post office and send it on its way. The process was a lot of fun and I will definitely join in again.

What's the last new thing you tried out?

And finally, just a reminder to head over to this post (here) and leave me a comment to be entered into my celebratory draw. I'll pull a name at the end of the month! Good luck!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Counterfeit Challenge #1

When I was first asked to be GD over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge I was a little nervous to find out that the theme of the month would be stamping! I'm not known for my stamping skills and the first thing I did was to sent stamping guru Deb an email to ask her for some ideas!

She was really helpful and so reassuring that I soon felt lots better and ready to face up to my stamping fears! And you know what? I've had a lot of fun these last couple of days playing around and trying out some techniques.

It helps that I won a gorgeous set of butterfly stamps from the very generous Ginger and was immediately inspired to get them out and use them. And here's the thing.... they are so lovely and turned out so well, that I'm wondering if it's all down to the stamps you use? I don't know much about that but I have to say that these Martha Stewart stamps are simply gorgeous and the detail seems to come out so well.

Ok, so I'm waffling - just for a change :-)

Challenge #1 is all about stamping backgrounds. Either a scrapbook background or a card.

I decided to go large and opt for the 12x12 but wanted to do something that wouldn't overpower the layout itself. When flipping through my papers my eye fell on a piece which had same colour glossy images across it and I got the idea to use stamp my butterflies all over the cardstock and then clear emboss them. Subtle, pretty, and very effective. I decided on a pink based layout (bet that surprised you!) and the butterflies were perfect as a random image all over the cardstock.

Then the layout was easy. I decided to give the September Page Maps sketch a second go (1st version here) and stayed quite true to the orientation and design. I kept as much of the background cardstock showing as possible and ended up embossing a few more butterflies and cutting them out to use as embellishments too. The tone on tone effect, along with the limited splashes of colour is a nice combination.

One of the things I love the most about this sketch is the row of photos - you know how I love the multi-photo layout - and when I looked at all that pink, I thought of my (somewhat Diva-ish according to her mum) niece! Photos spanning the years. Perfect.

Layout #2 for Counterfeit Kit Challenge, Departing Summer kit

 Everything on the layout, except for the title Thickers, came from my two kits Departing Summer and September Notes and again, I'm always impressed at how, with the right mix of papers, it's possible to make really boyish layouts as well as pretty, feminine ones from the same kit. If anything was guaranteed to free me from the fear of stamping, this layout was it! I love how it turned out and will be more willing to pick up the acrylic block again soon!

Don't forget that the sponsor for this month's Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog hop is Master Forger, Sherri Thompson who will be sending out a set of stamps from her etsy shop All you have to do to be entered for the prize is to join in the blog hop or comment on the blog hop entries (27th and 28th September) - it's that easy!

Be sure to share your creative backgrounds with us over at the Counterfeit site.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Deck the Halls

Over at Jingle Belles this week, we are shuffling the deck to make our Christmas Cards.

Sue Colotti (Random On Purpose) set us the challenge of using cards on our cards! Now, we're not talking poker here, Sue thought that might not really sum up the spirit of Christmas, but rather Artist Trading Cards for or on our cards. In fact, to make things easier for someone like me, she gave us four options;

make a freestanding (2.5 x 3.5") xmas-themed Artist Trading Card
add an ATC-sized element to your holiday card
incorporate a playing card into your design
use a recycled xmas card (or an element from
one!) on your (newly made) holiday card!

I love them even more when they make it easy for me!

First of all, I considered trying to do something with all those Heidi Swapp over-sized playing cards I have stocked up but in the end went with the trusty scrap box instead.

I made up an ATC of cardstock and then mounted a cut-out from a gorgeous Paperchase Christmas card I had in my stash - it's square and the cost of posting square cards here in Germany means it's a total no-go so I have to find other uses for them! I wrapped some white twine around and popped a tiny felt snowflake underneath. I then punched out some teeny tiny glitter stars to scatter across it.

I mounted this onto the background paper and also cut the sentiment from the Paperchase card to add. 

So, two out of four on the list of requirements: an ATC sized element, and a recycled Christmas card.

I like the simplicity of what I came up with here. And another card in the box. 

Don't forget to enter my anniversary giveaway on this blog post (here) for a chance to win a little something. I'm celebrating 5 years of blogging this month and want to share the love I feel in the blogosphere! 

Monday, 12 September 2011

9 happy memories

I adore making elaborate layouts full of layers, distressing, clusters and just a couple of photos. All artistic and time consuming. These are my most favourite types to spend time on and the end results never fail to please me.

But sometimes, I get the need to make something a bit simpler and to use loads of photos all at once. And the end results never fail to please me too!

I decided I wanted to attack the fabric Love Elsie paper I had in my Departing Summer kit as well as to use up several of the paper trims that are so ancient that no two strips are the same colour. But what to do with them?

Then I thought about the Heidi Swapp journalling spots I'd included that feature days of the week and I thought that would be a fun easy way to write some notes about photos that span a few days - of a trip for example. Grabbing my storage binder that was closest to hand, I found the dozens and dozens of photos from the 2008 trip of the Chances to Germany and the layout came together.

I added in a second sheet of blue cardstock so that I could do a double spread and got to work chopping up the papers - the single sheet of Chatterbox was cut in half and both parts used, and the fabric paper was cut into strips and edged with pinking shears just to add some detail, using up half the sheet which in itself felt like an achievement. The paper strips were next. I found a couple that were almost the same shade of faded and two others that I glimmer misted on top and then a last two which I glimmer misted on the back. You'd never know that these trims were originally pea green. Layering everything up gave me a base for my photos.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge layout #2 using Departing Summer kit
I managed to fit on 9 in total, all of which started off as standard 4x6 prints and I cut them all down to 4x4. The journalling spots helped to tell a brief story about each of the three days (will definitely be doing that again) and I even decided to use two of the photo corners to pick up a bit more of the pink from the spots. The biggest problem I have with these types of layouts is the lack of embellishment so I was determined to find a little corner for something and the die cuts seemed ideal, glimmer misted to match the other blue tones, scattered across the two pages.

 I left one of the blocks empty to fill with some sort of embellishment but when I saw the bling frame in my kit (another item I'd never had an idea about how to use) I knew it would be perfect there and the idea of filling it with the title came to mind. (I added in the smaller alphas from my stash.)

Sometimes, these older products just need a different thought process to make them "work" for you.

Don't forget to enter my anniversary giveaway by commenting on this comment (here) - it's open until the end of the month but there's no time like the present to enter!

Saturday, 10 September 2011


Scrapbooking has had several unexpected side-effects, all of which are wonderful - time for me, therapy, artistic outlet etc - but the best part of all is the friends I have made, friendships I've strengthened or relationships I've rediscovered. We may be different characters, or live in different parts of the world, or have different lifestyles but our love for this hobby has brought us together.

You all know who you are ;-)

Sisters, friends from the Bromsgrove crop, my BPC buddies, fellow LOADsters, Forgers from the Counterfeit site, card-making Belles, my very own "Whimsical Muse", blogosphere friends or friends from my life before scrapbooking. This is such a wonderful side effect of it all and I'd just like to say how lovely it is to have you all in my life - whether that be my real life or my virtual one. :-)

I value these friendships that I have made, kept or rediscovered over the last years.

And when you have creative friends, that means that they are creative in everything they do. And that equals creative gifts.

So, as part of this friendship appreciation, I'd just like to say another huge thank you to two special people who surprised and delighted me with their kind, thoughtful, unexpected gifts earlier this year.

Both of them are in pride on place in my scrap room, where I seem to spend so many hours these days, right alongside some very special items and of course this gorgeous frame from a very special friend (and sister!) .

First, I was delighted and surprised as well as a bit overwhelmed to receive a second simply gorgeous piece of canvas art in the post from my very special blog friend Junelle all the way from Utah. Her signature sheep with the heart nose had won my heart from the first time I saw one and now I had one of my own. I was moved at her thoughtfulness.

And then my (through scrapping) rediscovered school friend Sarah gave me the most sweet thoughtful present of a mound of Cadbury's chocolate ;-) when I last saw her as well as a sweet and pretty "She Art" canvas which I simply adore. The quote is perfect and one for me to remember. When I read it, I try to remember to smile more for the rest of the day. The pink and the blue with the map background is so me!

Anyway, I just felt the need to share the luck and good fortune I have with my friends.

And just to spread the love a little, I'm using this post to announce a giveaway. It's 5 years this month since I started the blog - well the first real post anyway - and I think this is something to celebrate. 

So help me celebrate and leave me a comment here on this post. I'll leave the draw open until the end of the month and then draw a name at random for a little prize!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Whimsy meets Counterfeit

Pam and I are still managing our weekly challenges which ensures that we get at least one layout done each week and that makes us both happy! We might ease off for October as we are both participating in a daily challenge (again!) and it might be a bit too much to try to do both - we'll have to see.

But anyway, last week Pam sent me the most gorgeous picture from Anthropologie for us to take inspiration from. I've heard and seen so much about this wonderful shop while online that I was thrilled to bits to find out that they now have a couple of stores in London and offer a Europe online shop. So, when I win the lottery, I'll be able to order myself some scrumptious goodies. I really recommend checking out the shop - such beautiful clothes and so well photographed. *sigh* ;-)

This is the inspiration photo.

Whimsical Musings Weekly Challenge #5 Inspiration from Anthropologie

I thought about all sorts of different ideas for this one. Using the same photo several times with different photo effects on them, different coloured vellums, just multiple black and white copies of the same photo with one in colour, using strips of paper instead of photos but in the end, decided to just use up some of the photos I have but mute them down with standard vellum, leaving one on the top.

I like the result although I'm not sure about the bottom cluster. Pam has suggested I move it up to the bottom join between the main photo and the one of the left of it and I think that might work better. In the meantime, here is the layout as it is right now.

Whimsical Musings weekly challenge #5
This week, I am ahead of the game! I set us a sketch challenge using a current Page Maps sketch. I thought it was so pretty with the little doily cluster, the multiple photos and the tags/tickets.

Sketch courtesy of Page Maps September 2011 - Whimsical Musings Weekly Challenge #6
I also wanted to make my first Departing Summer (Counterfeit Kit) layout so I combined both the Whimsical Musings weekly challenge and my kit. Strike!

In the end it turned out unpretty and hopefully, a bit boyish instead of the pretty girlie layout I'd had in mind when I first saw the sketch!

Whimsical Musings Weekly challenge #6 and layout #1 for my September Counterfeit Kit "Departing Summer"
Everything is from the kit except a handful of my never-ending brad collection which I thought would be fun to just scatter, and the twine which is a "free" product for me. I used the packaging from my Prima flowers for the journalling block and am pleased with how it fits right in.

I love the sketch so much that I think I am going to try it again using some of the more feminine bits from the kit.

Don't you just love using sketches?

Watch this space for a celebration coming up soon, and more from my Departing Summer kit using stamping techniques. What me? And stamping? Why, yes! I'm giving it a go!


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