Tuesday, 24 January 2017

January 2017 Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop

Welcome to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop.

I'm kicking things off today and next up is the delightful Tina who always inspires with her kit creations.

Just as a reminder, here are the challenges that were up for grabs this month, although any creation with our kits was fair game for today's hop.
I decided to kill three birds with one stone and made a Simple Scrapper Creative Team February assignment page which features my January kit, Starman. The layout features a story inspired by a Simple Scrapper February Story Starter, "Celebrate" as well as a sketch from July 2014, both of which are available as part of the Simple Scrapper membership. But at the same time, it fulfils the Counterfeit Kit Challenge prompt for "Your Perfect Day". I love it when a plan comes together.

You might have seen on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog that we're changing things up as of next month, so this is the last member blog hop for the time being. But I'm SO happy that it's a great one today and am delighted to have so many joining us! So make sure you check out all the hoppers so you don't miss out on any of the fun.

Hop over to Tina now and here's the full list in case you get lost along the way!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

17 loves {January 2017}

Welcome to 2017 and to my continuing series which now moves on to {17 loves} for 2017.

For the last few years, I've been sharing my loves each month - a little bit of everything that has caught my eye or what's been enjoyed over the last month. So, a new year and new inspiration. I hope you will come back each month to see if there is anything in my list to inspire you. It would be so great to see you join in - why not share your own loves?

To see what's inspired me in the past, click to find all my {13 loves}my {14 loves}, my {15 loves}, my {16 loves} and now my 
{17 loves}.

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

This first month of the year is mostly about me and my Christmas travels but there's a hint of craft in there. I'm hoping that I'll have more "external" inspiration next month!


We do a family Secret Santa in my German family and each year I get creative making some tags for the presents. Over the years, they've got a bit more detailed and I try to make them early so that I'm not rushing. This year's featured the super cute Crate Paper mason jar embellishments filled with tiny elements - they looked great.


We had an alternative Christmas this year. We travelled around Germany and into the Czech Republic to Prague from 23rd December to 1st January. Christmas was all around us but we didn't celebrate it specifically. It was wonderfully relaxing and stress-free and we enjoyed every minute of it. Our first stop was Nürnberg with its famous Christkindlesmarkt which is the original Christmas market. It was very pretty and I'm really happy to have ticked this market off my list.


Next stop on Christmas Eve was Prague where we'd booked an apartment which proved a real find. A fabulously large living area with a lounging area, fully functioning modern kitchen (not that it got much use!) and a balcony with a great view over Wenceslas Square. It was cosy and relaxing and we loved our few days here.


You know how much I love astrology and star signs so I was delighted to see this beautiful astronomical clock which is the oldest in the world. I loved seeing that my own sign (and my ascending) was right there on the sun ecliptic.  I found myself drawn to this view each time we crossed the square.


We ventured up to the castle on Boxing Day and the sun came out to greet us. The view across the city was impressive even if the queues to get into the castle (hundreds of metres long!) prevented us from seeing inside. It was a lovely introduction to this beautiful city.


Next up was the German city of Leipzig and we worked our way around the main sights including the simply beautiful St Nikolas church with this stunning ceiling. I was rather taken by the detail but mostly by the wonderful colours and leafy column tops.


And then on to St Thomas church which is famous for the boys choir of St Thomas church. It is also well-known for being the church where Bach worked as musical director. 


Our last stop was the state capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwerin. The highlight is the stunning Schwerin Palace which is the home for the state government but is also open to the public for an insight into palace life. I love places like this and no photo can do it justice. But the sun shone down on us on this cold, cold date and sparkled off the gold features on the roof making a perfect day.


We enjoyed a delicious dinner on New Year's Eve and saw in the new year in a quiet way - hopefully setting up how we'd like to see 2017.


Tiffany always knows what to say.


I feel positive about what the new year will bring.


A new year and a new month means new kit inspiration over at The Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog. I went a little rogue to be honest with my kit, Starman. But I adore it, which of course is a nod to the anniversary of losing my hero David Bowie one year ago. This will be a stunning kit to use.


My word for the year is Shine. I made a page and will write up my journalling sometime in January to talk about how I wish to shine a little more in 2017 - it's about how I'd like to present myself a little more positively in the future.


I received this gorgeous gift in the post which brought a broad smile to my face. Perfectly me and  perfect to capture a few thoughts during the year. Thanks to my wonderful friend, Lynnette :-) 


I was sad on 10th January - the anniversary of David Bowie's death - and looked back at some of the layouts I've made about my love for him. I might need an album.


It's been cold which I love as it's a great excuse for a bubble bath. Our bath is a little long for this short girl but I love it all the same.


Me, at the beginning of the year. I have some big things to come in 2017 and I'm hoping to rise to the challenge.

Ilove you to share your own {17 loves} lists with me. You could link up in the comments below or set up your own series.

{17 loves} is a series that will feature on my blog each 17th of the month

Monday, 16 January 2017

16 loves {December 2016}

Welcome to the next in the series {16 loves} for 2016.

For the last few years, I've been sharing my loves each month - a little bit of everything that has caught my eye or been enjoyed over the last month. So, a new year and new inspiration. I hope you will come back each month to see if there is anything in my list to inspire you. 

To see what's inspired me in the past, click to find all my {13 loves}, my {14 loves}, my {15 loves} and my {16 loves}.

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

Obviously, this is late for the last {16 loves} of the year. But I thought it would be great to finish off the 2016 series so that tomorrow, I can kick off the new list for the new year!


 We had daily posts up at The Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog during December on the theme of A Counterfeit Kit Challenge Christmas Carol. I loved having a variety of ideas on the blog written by the wonderful Master Forger team. I'm behind on checking out all those yummy ideas but with the amount of Christmas paper and products I have, I'm determined to use some of that inspiration over the next few months.


Being a part of the Scrapabilly Advent Swap always puts me under pressure to up my game and produce pretty packages for everyone including elements that they can use for their December albums if they wanted. Overall, I was pleased with the outcome.


And this was my bounty that I took home with me at the end of the evening when we swapped all our gifts. It was so lovely to have a gorgeous little gift to open each day. Everything features on a scrapbook page that I made for Simple Scrapper for February so I'll be sharing that soon.


We enjoyed a Feuerzangenbowle (flaming mulled wine) with friends which is always cosy, delicious and a great sign of cooler days and longer nights.


I woke up on my birthday to blue skies. It certainly doesn't happen every year, but more often than in the past. My spirits were instantly lifted and I set out for an adventure filled day with a smile on my face.


I headed down to Cologne for some much-deserved me time which included a gazillion calories at Törtchen Törtchen - a wonderful patisserie. We'd seen it featured on TV and a birthday which was going to be spent alone seemed a perfect excuse to go and check it out. It tasted even better than it looks here.


I wandered around the Christmas market outside the Cologne Cathedral at the end of the day and, as always, marvelled at the beauty of this incredible place. I take photos every time I go and never get bored of this view.


Then started a period where we had three different visitors over the next three weekends - Christmas Markets were visited, I went back to Cologne twice, we ate a lot, chatted all the time and laughed till we cried. First up was my camera-shy mum but we wandered around Cologne and went on a mission to track down the Love Lock that the Chances had left on the Hohenzollernbrücke. And we found it which was such a thrill. 


I created an Advent candle decoration which ended up being my only Christmas decoration and enjoyed lighting the candles each weekend.


Another weekend, another trip over to Cologne to show my delightful scrappy friend Kathy the sights of the city and all of the pretty Christmas Markets. It was such lovely day and as the lights went down it just got prettier and prettier.


I took Kathy over to meet Sylvia and marvel at the Scrapabilly shop. I love being able to bring different corners of my life together. 



Having Kathy for a long weekend was a good excuse to check out some other markets which I've heard a lot about but never made it to. Raesfeld moated castle market was a success and I'm just so happy that we got the chance to hang out together and that I had the chance to show off my adopted homeland.


Somewhere just a few kilometres down the road, but where I'd never actually been, seemed the ideal place to just spend a few minutes watching the sun go down. A perfect end to a perfect day.


And then my bestie came along and we just enjoyed hanging out. We didn't really do much except catch up and even though we planned to get some photos, managed a big fail on that. We have a handful but as you can see, not the best. It doesn't matter, this sums up our friendship!


Love that Google had this beautiful Arctic banner on this day - it was animated and simply gorgeous. This made me smile.


And a favourite layout I made with the December Scrapabilly Kit des Monats featuring a birthday selfie. Always a good time for a little self-reflection. And, excuse me? Constellation paper??? It had my name all over it. I loved making this page. You might still be able to get your hands on one of these kits featuring Pink Paislee "Moonstruck" collection here. But if not, then you can get papers and embellishments in the collection at Scrapabilly here. I'm late sharing my December makes so I'll try to catch up on that soon

Ilove you to share your own {16 loves} lists with me. Why not link up in the comments below?

{16 loves} is a series that will feature on my blog each 16th of the month

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Counterfeit Kit Challenge January kit reveal blog hop

Wow, it's the new year already! Welcome back to another full year of crafting and creating and hopefully inspiring.

Today is 1st January and it's time for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge January kit reveal blog hop.

There might be a few changes here and there over at CKC over the next month or so, but we thought we'd keep things as they are for January just so that we can get back into the swing of it!

Hopefully you're here via the ever wonderful Leslie and her Blue Box full of goodies (we missed her and her box while she was moving at the end of last year!) and next up is the effervescent Lynnette and I'm excited to see how she kicks off her kit-styling year! Of course, you must make sure you drop by our lovely Guest Designer, Cindy this month too. She's a faithful follower and I'm delighted she agreed to join us here at the beginning of 2017. I'm also so happy to see Clair and Stephanie back in the fold after needing some time out over the last few months. Welcome back ladies (although Clair snuck back again at the end of the year :-) )

Master Forger Julene picked out this month's kit courtesy of the Australian online store Shop'n'Crop and features Kaisercrafts Ubud Dreams collection.

A simply gorgeous selection of typical Kaisercrafts designs and colours.

However.... I've a little secret!

I've gone rogue this month.

Yes, I was "inspired" by the original kit, very much so in fact, but the end result is about as far from the inspiration kit as I've ever gone!

First of all, let me introduce you to Starman.

I knew I was going to need to be a little extra creative here because I don't have enough much mint or navy items in my stash. So I started off with a list of what the inspiration kit included:

Colours: navy, mint, black, white, grey, aqua
Designs: woodgrain, doilies, outlines, doors, Moorish tile designs, small repeating patterns
Elements to the kit: papers, die cuts, mist, veneers - all from single collection, piece of hessian

I started pulling papers and suddenly my eye fell on this Moonlight collection from Kesi'Art which of course, I'd HAD to have. And I thought, "Why not?" I'd make up a kit using a whole collection of product which I'd bought because I love so much but hadn't made a single cut in so far. The colours of many of the papers were similar and look at all those gorgeous small repeating patterns. And lots of black and white and words and stars and constellations and a moon! Oh my!

So here are the papers that match - more or less - the original kit. I have a handful of others in shades of pink and mustard which might make an appearance as well as I start to use the kit up.

And then I included the stickers from the collection instead of the die-cuts, mists and veneers to match the inspiration kit and which will support the theme of the papers. Going along with the fact that I always need a lot of embellishments, I also included a flair, some star sequins, three washis and some silver thread. Perfect.

Cut apart pocket cards are also a good substitute for the die-cuts and bring in a playful element with some added colour.

Of course, I needed alphas so I just picked a handful which seemed to match the colours of the Moonlight collection.

And instead of the hessian, I added in some twine - natural and cream. You can also see a close-up of the gorgeous sticker sheet too here. I love that some of this is in French.

And the name? Well it had to be Starman with the night sky inspired papers but also the fact that it's now 12 months since my musical hero David Bowie died. He was the ultimate Starman so it only seemed appropriate. I can feel some more Bowie pages coming - in fact, I think they will turn into a Bowie scrapbook album when I think about how many pages I've made so far. I'm still suffering from sadness at this loss. Scrapping pages about him is helping me work through my teenage-feeling emotions.

Thanks for coming by today and I hope you are inspired to make up your own kits from stash that your bought because you love it as much as I love this stash!

Next up is Lynnette but here's the full list incase you get lost along the way.
If you'd like to join in, you can find information at the end of each CKC blog post about the Member blog hop. You can also link up your kits and creations at the Link-Up page on the blog.

See you there. 2017, here's to a great year of crafting!


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