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If you are here for a blog hop, you will find my hop posts as follows:

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Looking at Secondary Schools

Hello everyone. I'm a bit quiet on-line at the moment, as real life is very full. TJ is due to start Secondary School next September, and the process of school open evenings, visits, interviews with SENCOs (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators) or school nurses, selecting and applying for her school place has begun.

Friday, 12 September 2014


So what's all this fuss about Selfies I ask? Personally I'm not overly fond of the craze, although I do have a lot of cute "selfies" that we've found on our cameras over the years. You know what happens when a young child gets hold of your camera. It gets filled with photos of unusual photography objects from strange angles, peoples legs, and, of course, the selfies. What inspires them to turn the camera and take a photo of themselves?

I was assigned to the 2nd challenge at CKC this month, and it's all about Selfies. Before I get to my challenge layout, here's an extra that I couldn't resist scrapping, and yes she really did take that one upside down. I wonder if she was actually bent over, peering at the camera, rather than pointing it towards herself in that one.

Back to the challenge. The challenge is to take a selfie and scrapbook it. Now, we have absolutely thousands, and thousands, of unscrapped photos, and I have a little rule, not to take photos just to scrap them for a challenge, unless they tell a story I wanted to scrap anyway. With 4 photographers in the house, I don't need to take any of myself, they take plenty of me already. There is, however, a type of photo we are short on in our collection, and we try to get several a year whenever we manage it. Family photos are the ones I'm talking about, and so we come to the Group Selfie.

My camera has a timer that takes multiple shots, and Dainel's attaches to a little thing called a gorillapod. It's rather a useful little gadget, a bit like a tripod, except the legs are bendable and can be made to grip on tree branches, pushchair handles, and fences etc.

Supplies used:
  • Revelling by Kristen Rise (K Studio)
  • Plentiful from Shabby Princess
  • Vicki Robinsons's Music in Me
  • Claudi's 365 kit
  • Kristin Aagard's Woodland Autumn elements pack

Monday, 1 September 2014

Weekends, with the September CKC Blog.

A new month has arrived, and today is a busy one in our household getting ready for school term to start tomorrow. I'm going to miss having the children at home with me all day, after having them around me constantly for the past 6 weeks.

Today is also blog hop day, with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog, the challenge where we take inspiration from a kit club kit (usually sold out) and route around in our existing scrapbooking stash to create a kit of our own. As a digital scrapbooker, my stash never runs out, so I always have plenty to scrap with. Mixing and matching my stash means I never get bored with what I have either.

If you are hopping with us, you will have arrived from Lynnette's blog, and mine is the last stop this month. If you want to start at the beginning, you will find the full list on the CKC blog, here.

So what inspiration have I got from Scrapbook Circle's Island Paradise Kit? My theme of "weekends" comes from the word sticker about Saturday and Sunday. I'm also liking the turquoise and yellow with a splash of red.

Details close up from Island Paradise Kit by Scrapbook Circle  (sold out)
So for my stash shopping list:
  • Saturday & Sunday  - Claudi's 365 kit.
  • Alpha rectangles with different letter colours - Plentiful from Shabby Princess
  • Journal prompts for who, when, where etc. - Revelling by Kristen Rise (K Studio)
  • Turquoise & Yellow papers with a splash of red - Revelling by Kristen Rise and a plaid one from Plentiful from Shabby Princess
  • Music paper - note paper from Vicki Robinsons's Music in Me kit.
  • Extra bits, like frames and buttons, to help me scrap taken from Kristen's Revelling kit.
  • Fox - Kristin Aagard's Woodland Autumn elements pack.

I really liked the stuff in Kristen's Revelling kit, which is why I got it, but I've never succeeded in scrapping anything with it, as it was too bright and bold. I rather like the way it works mixed with those other pieces, and am looking forward to creating a few, family weekend pages this month. Who knows, you might see some more stuff from that kit mixed and matched later in the year.

Be blessed everyone, and have a happy creative September.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Tisha's Mixed Media Art - Red with Butterflies

I'm not getting many opportunities to paint or craft myself at the moment, but the children are keeping the creativity area busy between them.

Tisha wanted to paint a picture for her Aunt's birthday. We saw Aunty Debora yesterday, and she said she's going to put the painting in her bedroom.

And here's how it's done.

Collect together:

  • 4x6 canvas board
  • paint pallet
  • red, blue, and white paint
  • paint brushes
  • chipboard butterflies, flowers and dragonflies
  • blue feather
  • blue mini craft straws
  • PVA glue
  • Black marker pen
Mix the blue and white paint to make a lighter blue
Mix some of the light blue with red to make a purple

Paint the canvas red.
Blend a little of the purple and blue paint onto parts of the board using the same brush as used for the red paint.
Paint the chipboard shapes

Using various items from the recycling bin, make marks in blue and purple paint on the red board.
Paint details onto the chipboard shapes.

Using the PVA glue, stick the straws, feather and painted shapes to the board.
Once the glue is dry outline the shapes with the black marker pen.

Add a signature, and be proud of your masterpiece.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sid, the Spider Monkey.

We went to Dudley Zoo a few weeks ago, and Roo was so happy, he saw lots of monkeys, lemas, chimps and orangutans. He was especially fond of the spider monkeys, and was inspired to make himself a toy one.

Photo taken by TJ.
He used the No Sock, Sock Monkey downloadable pattern from Funky Friends Factory. His sensory processing disorder meant that he needed a little help, but he did really well, considering that he can't feel the needle properly. I went over the main construction seams to ensure the stuffing didn't come out.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014


This is Tisha with her new soft toy, called Honey.

She traced the pattern, hand stitched, and stuffed this all by herself, except for closing the hole at the end. The pattern used is the Kawaii Kuties - Easy BUNNY from Funky Friends Factory. It's a pdf downloadable pattern, and as you can see, easy to do.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Dr Tigger and the Tardis.

It's my nephew's birthday next week. Tisha made him a card this afternoon, and got really creative with her design. He's a big Dr Who fan, so Tisha wanted to do something with the Tardis on it. When we were looking for free colouring pages online, the search engine brought up one of Tigger dressed up as a Dr, in addition to the usual Dr Who themed stuff.

So here's Dr Tigger, and the Tardis.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wan' chink

The children are enjoying looking at photos of themselves as toddlers at the moment, and these are some of Roo. I'd saved his quote to make as the title -  Rooish for I want a drink.

It's my turn to do one of the example layouts for the 2nd August challenge at CKC. We have been challenges to use this sketch by October Afternoon. You can see more takes on the sketch and join in the fun, on the CKC blog

October Afternoon Sketch
I've flipped it for a landscape page.

Digital Scrapbooking items used are from Jan Hosford's Groovy Garden kit, and Puddle Jumpers by Sandrak Design's. Both old kits from my stash.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

More 50 Things

The children are determined to get through more items on their "50 Things to do outdoors before you are 11 3/4" with the National Trust this summer. Here's a few of the ones they've managed over the last 3 weeks.

Wave Jumping - and this little one announced that it's her favourite thing to do.
Holding a Scary Beast - when Tisha held her hands out and presented daddy with a jellyfish we decided that definitely counted. We tried to explain why picking a jellyfish up can be unwise, and she just said it was OK, because she wasn't touching the tentacles, it was upside down.

Walking barefoot on the beach
A bug hunt.
Setting up a snail race wasn't very successful, so will have to try that again.

Our first ever Geocatch, set up by the Pembrokeshire National Trust Team.
Making a Grass Trumpet

Wild art - making things from bits of grass and twigs etc when sat at the roadside, or cliff edge waiting for a hypo to fix.

Rock climbing. My younger two are definitely getting braver.
Rock Pooling

Catching Crabs.  We were given a tip by some very successful crabbers at the harbour. Put a little bit of week old, raw bacon on the end of a line and the crabs will be eager to be caught. They certainly did seem to like the bacon.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Hallelujah Hugs

We took some time out to travel at the end of July, and visited with some wonderful, old friends. It's been over 12 years since we saw each other, but we clicked straight away, like we've never been apart. Such is the depth of our relationship. It was the first time they met with our kids, and it was so very, very special.

I've scrapbooked one of the photos Daniel took of them both outside St David's Cathedral. This month's blog contest sketch, at PageMaps gave me my starting point for my layout arrangement.

I've used some of the items I pulled together for my August CKC scrapbooking, because, well, it's just so Meryl. The title of the layout, Hallelujah Hugs, is one of Meryl's favourite sayings, and I've put some of the other phrases I fondly remember around the edge of the layout.

Art Credits: Groovy Garden by Jan Hosford, and Good Enough by Red Ivy. The smily faces on the cloud paper are a dolls faces blog freebie by DeDe Smith.

Friday, 1 August 2014

CKC August Reveal - Perfect Smiles

We're two weeks into the school holidays now and have been having lots of fun together, so for my CKC scrapbooking this month I wanted to add a little bit of fun and charm. Our inspiration kit has a nice dash of both. If you are blog hopping with us today you will have arrived from Lesley, and know we are taking inspiration from Penny Arcade by Studio Calico.

Penny Arcade by Studio Calico.
Check out that cloud paper with the whimsical faces on, isn't it fabulous? That's where I started from to form my mix and match kit. My stash shopping list started out looking like this:
  • cloud paper
  • cloud pieces
  • smiley faces
I found a fabulous happy face button in Jan Hosford's Groovy Garden kit, and a freebie set of smiley faces by DeDe Smith. Red Ivy's It's Good Enough kit has a great cloudy paper, and the cloud and sunburst piece in Sandrak Design's Puddle Jumpers added a nice splash.

I routed around in those three kits and found some papers and elements that colour co-ordinated to provide some perfect smiles.

Now it's time to go down under and see what Julene has found in her paper crafting stash to scrap with this month.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Den Building

The National Trust have a challenge called 50 things to do outdoors before you are 11 3/4. One of the activities is to build a den. When we visited one of their properties yesterday, we found an area in the woods set up for the children to have a go at den building in.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

TJ's Lighthouse Idea

I can't show you the finished project yet, as the recipient of the gift hasn't been given it yet, but I just have to share with you this cool idea TJ had. One of her mixed media canvases is of a lighthouse scene. For the top of the lighthouse she got a piece of acetate from some packaging to make a 3D lighthouse top. How cool is that?

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mixed Media Sunflower

I've been teaching the children some mixed media art techniques over the last few weeks. They are creating master pieces to give their teachers and teaching assistants at the end of the school term. As part of the teaching process they watched sections of this detailed tutorial with me by Helen Allen.

I completed one of my own today using the same techniques on a 4 x 6 canvas board.

  • coat the canvas board in light olive acrylic paint
  • blend in some yellow and some olive to make the background less flat.
  • stamp leaves onto the background in Olive green
  • sponge dry yellow paint
  • Draw sunflower onto black & white printed paper
  • cut out pieces and glue to dry canvas
  • add a little water to the acrylic paints, and then paint the flower.
  • apply modelling paste to the centre of the flower and using the end of the paint brush make points in the paste
  • allow to dry, then paint the paste with burnt umber acrylic paint. 
  • once dry outline with ink pen (0.5)
  • add details using a finer ink pen (0.3)
  • shade using markers