Sunday, 31 January 2016

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt

We've finished the first month of the year, and the second month of the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt kindly hosted by Eileen (In My Playroom) and Joy (Daisy Row), so it's time to check in and share our finds.

There are 21 items to be found, plus three alternatives that can be substituted if necessary. I'd found seven, plus one of the substitutes, when we last compared our progress at the end of December; you can see those here is you wish.

This month I've added five more, plus another of the alternative items:

2. Tinsel (just before I packed our Christmas decorations away).

11. My favourite pudding (Chocolate tart with satsuma jelly and praline ice cream. Not exactly a favourite, but it was a lovely end to a Christmas meal.)

13. Street Art (found under a bridge over the River Lea ).

17. A Ladder (another find from my Lea Valley Walk).

18. An arrow (found the same day by one of the moorings).

Alt B. An Animal Statue (a fun bull, found outside a restaurant that is opening soon).

That puts me on 12 of 21 plus two of the three alternatives. The ones that I still need to find are a robin, a snowman, a windy day, a fancy button, afternoon tea, candle light, a fountain, cutlery, my own handwriting and perhaps a shopping basket. 

The button, tea, candles, cutlery and shopping basket shouldn't be particularly difficult really, but I need a little help from the weather for the windy day and the snowman. The robin's going to need a little luck, and I may need to take a special trip to a fountain in March unless I find one on my travels next month. That just leaves my handwriting (which can't be substituted) and I will save that for the final link-up.

The Scavenger Hunt runs until the end of winter on 21st March, so there's still plenty of time for you to join us too. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Show Time

It's been a while since I made any pages from our cruise to Canada last summer. I need to get back to it, and I picked this month's single page sketch from Stick It Down for a set of photos from the evening shows onboard.

The sketch was originally from Page Maps and it's sized at 8.5x11; I scrap in 12x12 so I had sufficient space for six photos, especially as mine are square. I cut the brackets at the top and bottom of the page on my Silhouette Portrait, and moved the title and journalling across to the right.

Cardstock - Colorset
Paper - Heidi Swapp No Limits
Letters - American Crafts
Gems - Mark Richards
Ink & Mist - Docrafts

Silhouette Portrait

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Queen & Adam Lambert

A year ago, we saw Queen and Adam Lambert live at the O2, one of the best evenings of my life. I took a LOT of photos and although they vary widely in quality there were certainly enough good ones for a double page. I'm not keen on making double pages though, so I've been looking/waiting for a suitable sketch.

This month's double page sketch from Stick It Down (originally published at Page Maps) was almost perfect, with a good combination of landscape and portrait photos in different sizes, though I did move the title and squeeze in a few more photos.

It's hard to see the pattern on the grey paper, but it's a musical note print that I spotted in my nearest scrapbook store (which was closing down) last June and earmarked for this page. I downloaded the word 'Queen' in the correct font and cut it on my Portrait, adding in '& Adam Lambert' in a script font. I also designed and cut the border of stars from white cardstock and then painted them all with mist. It's a plainer page than many that I make, but I really wanted the photographs to be the most important things on the page.

Speaking of photos, I had a few more that I also wanted to include, so I made a 6x12 divided page that will sit between the two halves of the double page. I repeated the title in the first pocket, because it's on the right-hand side of my double page, and will not actually be seen when you are looking at the left-hand side and the front of the insert in the album. These are the six cards that I made; they will sit back-to-back in the two sides of the divided page.

Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - Crate Paper Random, My Little Shoebox Picture Perfect
Vellum Note - Quirky Kits
Stars - Papermania
Ink & Mist - Docrafts


Silhouette Portrait

Monday, 25 January 2016

Little Artists

I recently won a gift voucher for The Cut Shoppe and I've been playing with my new cut files. One of my favourites is the Little Letters background file, and I did a trial cut on plain white card while playing with the settings on my Silhouette portrait. Once I'd cut it though, I decided to go ahead and use it on a page. The alphabet theme made me think of a school page, but then I remembered an old photo of my son and my nephew colouring, which I thought would work well with it.

I'd done most of the page before last Wednesday, and was pondering the embellishment when Glitter Girl posted her latest adventure - No. 125: Sticker Surplus. I was thinking about one small cluster, just overlapping the top right of the photo, but it was making the page unbalanced. Having watched Glitter Girl, I tried to follow her guidelines and decided to place two clusters in opposite corners. There's a diagonal line from one through the title to the other and they 'enclose' both the photo and the alphabet cut, which had begun to look a little separate from the rest of the page.

Paper - Authentique Natural, My Mind's Eye Now & Then (6x6)
Letters - American Crafts, My Mind's Eye
Word Stickers - My Mind's Eye
Labels - Printable from Sarah's Cards Ltd
Pearls - Mark Richards
Washi Tape - Unknown
Ink - Docrafts

Silhouette Portrait

Little Letters Cut File from The Cut Shoppe

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Play Hard

I've been trying to only make pages for either my Canadian Cruise album or my 2015 album, but sometimes inspiration strikes and it has to be heeded. 

I was looking through my stash when I flipped past an old sticker sheet from Basic Grey's Archaic collection. Nothing unusual in that; I know it's in there, I have the remains of the 6x6 paper pad and I always pull out the stickers with the paper. But this time I was struck by its age, and the fact that I haven't used any of the stickers in ages. I decided to turn things around and try to use up the remaining pieces on one page.

One of the stickers looked suitable for a title - Play Hard - and another had the quote 'It is a happy talent to know how to play' so I looked for photo(s) of my son or nephew when they were younger. I soon hit on one of my nephew playing in the park, where happily his shirt is a great match for the colours of the Archaic papers.

I started laying out the various stickers around the photo and came to the conclusion that I needed a strong shape to contain them all. I used a template and distress ink to make a circle and layered my photo with a few paper scraps, one of the border stickers (cut in three) and my two word stickers. I placed a few stickers on the circle, tucked one in my layers and used up the photo corners, but adding more pieces just looked wrong whatever I did, so I stopped here:

I still have two more 12" border stickers, some small squares, a frame, two photo turns and various arrows, so the page certainly didn't kill off the sticker sheet. However I am one step further towards eliminating it from my stash. I still have some paper too; perhaps one more page will do it?

Cardstock - My Mind's Eye Funday
Paper - Basic Grey Archaic 6x6 Pad
Stickers - Basic Grey Archaic
Brads - Bazzill
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Mister Huey's

Heidi Swapp Circle Mega Mask
Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch

Thursday, 21 January 2016


Back in 2014 my husband went to see Caro Emerald at the O2 (First Gig); when he found out that she was playing locally last year he bought a VIP package - front row seat, back-stage pass and a photo with the star herself, which obviously I had to scrap.

My page is a scraplift from Pol Prince; we are both part of the For The Love of Pretty Paper group on Facebook, and she guested for one of my scraplift challenges last year.

I'm also linking up with The Studio Challenges, whose most recent challenge is to use a patterned paper background.

Paper - Pink Paislee Bella Rouge, My Mind's Eye Chalk Studio 2 plus Scraps
Letters - American Crafts, Jillibean Soup
Year Sticker - Elle's Studio
Acetate Stars - Heidi Swapp
Washi Tape - Tesco, Papermania
Gems - Papermania, ZVA Creative
Epoxy Circles - Ebay
Ink - Docrafts

Big Shot & X-Cut Tag Die
X-Cut Small Circle Punch
Crayola Butterfly Punch

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A Year of Wild Camps

My husband spends his spare weekends hillwalking and last year he set himself the challenge of at least one wild camp each month. I don't make scrapbook pages for all his walks, but this did seem to be an achievement worth documenting. I picked one photo from each month for a 12-photo page; they're all phone photos and proportioned at 16:9 so they fitted best as four rows of three.

The background's an ancient paper, pre-dating branding strips; I picked the red to match its leaf pattern and then the other papers were all from the same collection.

Paper - Unknown Background, Simple Stories Awesome
Letters - American Crafts, Glitz Designs
Label - 7Gypsies?
Tag - Jillibean Soup
Brad - Papermania
Ink - Ranger

Woodware Scalloped Circle Punch

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Lea Valley Walk - Limehouse Basin to Tottenham Locks

Having laid out my walking plans for the year, I've realised that the Lea Valley Walk and the Capital Ring are going to take me around seventeen days, or one walk every three weeks, so I needed to get started.

I'm doing the Lea Valley Walk first, which (as the name suggests) mostly follows the River Lea. However the lower reaches of the Lea run through industrial estates without riverside access so the first part of my walk follows the Limehouse Cut (a canal) instead.

I started out from the Limehouse Lock, the entrance from the River Thames, 

headed around the Limehouse Basin

and started to follow the Limehouse Cut.

It looks fairly tranquil, but the Docklands Light Railway runs over the blue bridge and the A13 Commercial Road goes across the second bridge above.

However the traffic noise wasn't too intrusive, and I wandered along past various industrial buildings as far as the Blackwall Tunnel Approach, where a floating tow-path runs under the roads.

On the other side, the Limehouse Cut joins up with the River Lea and Bow Creek at Bow Locks. 

Beyond the locks, the path runs between the River Lea and Bow Creek, one on each side (a stretch that I walked previously when I did The Line last autumn) and runs up to Three Mills, a group of former water mills.

Wandering along, I crossed the river a couple of times as the path tried to decide which bank to follow. 

It settled down as we approached the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and I nipped up onto the Greenway to take another look at the Olympic Stadium 

and the Orbit.

Back to the path, and to Old Ford Lock, where the waterway splits. 

The River Lea itself runs through the Olympic Park, but the path follows the River Lee Navigation instead, a canal running along the perimeter of the park, and past the back of the Copper Box Arena.

I've also seen this stretch be referred to as the Hackney Navigation Canal or the Hackney Cut,

and it runs alongside Hackney Marshes, which seem to be more football pitch than marsh. I saw this sculpture near one of the bridges, but there's no information about it nearby.

The canal and river rejoin at Lea Bridge, and then I re-entered suburbia, albeit briefly.

This narrow boat, painted with what I believe to be 'dazzle camouflage' caught my eye, 

and it was nice to see another one actually using the waterway, only the third craft that I'd seen on the move.

Crossing over again, I followed the path between the river and Walthamstow Marshes, which appeared to be much wilder than Hackney Marshes had been.

Another bridge put me back on the west bank, and I passed Lee Valley Marina, with its maze of brightly coloured narrowboats,

and headed ever onwards, on rather puddley paths now, 

towards my destination of Tottenham Locks.

I'd walked about six miles, which is a little beyond my comfortable limit, and I still had a bit further to my station and two trains home.

Next time I'll be aiming to get to the edge of London; Waltham Cross lies just over the border in Hertfordshire and outside the M25, but it's seven miles from Tottenham. Luckily the railway runs parallel to the river so I'll have several options for bailing out early if required - Enfield Lock looks like a likely candidate. 

Friday, 15 January 2016

Lyme Park

I'm filling in another gap in my 2015 album today, with a quartet of photos from Lyme Park in Cheshire. I wanted to print the photos large enough to be able to see the details, so they take up a lot of the page. I cut the title on my Silhouette Portrait - no more scrabbling around for letters in the right colour, size and font.

Paper - We R Memory Keepers Free Spirit
Cards - We R Memory Keepers Indian Summer
Wood Veneers - Studio Calico
Word Stickers - My Mind's Eye The Sweetest Thing
Enamel Dots - Trimcraft
Ink - Ranger

Silhouette Portrait Electronic Cutting Machine

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Recycling my Christmas Cards

Every year I save all Christmas cards that we receive, intending to use the 'good' parts for new cards. Weeks or months pass by, then I sort through them and throw some away, keeping only the cards that have bits suitable for re-using. More time passes, I decide that I probably won't get round to making the new cards, and then I throw them all away.

This year I made the decision to break the habit, to sort out the cards as soon as I took them down in January and to make new ones straight away. Therefore it was rather disheartening to find that there was only one card that had a panel or motif that I wanted to re-use - a gold glittery reindeer die-cut with a big red ribbon bow.

I picked Card Sketch #66 from Sketch-n-Scrap for my new card, planning to use my reindeer in the place of the snowman. I replaced its original red bow with a smaller cream one and decided to use an ancient scrap of snow mesh over navy card for my background. Then I found that the only navy card blank that I had was square, and this lead to a re-design, moving the banner across to the opposite side of the card. I dug out a scrap of glitter paper that was the same gold as the reindeer, and punched three stars to finish off my simple card.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Line

My husband gave me a home-made gift certificate for Christmas entitling me to "A super duper paper shapes cutting machine thingy", otherwise known as a Silhouette Portrait. This is the baby brother of the Cameo, the only differences that I can see are the cutting width (only 8" rather than 12") and the price (about £125 versus £255).

One of the first things that I cut is the logo from The Line, a modern sculpture walk that I did last October and blogged about here. I downloaded the logo from their website, imported it into the Silhouette software and resized it to make it a major element of my page.

I had eight photos of the sculptures, which I spit into two groups, north and south of the Thames. I layered them with vellum and a floral paper but I didn't want the page to get too fussy with lots of different patterns.

Cardstock - My Mind's Eye Kraft Fun-Day, DCWV Neutral Stack
Paper - K&Company, Dovecraft Eastern Promise, Basic Grey, October Afternoon
Vellum - Doodlebug
Letters - My Mind's Eye Necessities
Chipboard - My Mind's Eye Market Street
Wood Veneer - Studio Calico
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Docrafts

Silhouette Portrait
Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Walking in 2016

This time last year I started walking the Jubilee Greenway, a 60km (37.5 mile) circular walk around London (marked in purple on the map below). All went well at first and I'd walked six of nine sections, and explored both the Olympic Park and Greenwich Park, by mid-March. Then I started experiencing a problem with my right foot, and was only able to walk one section per month from April to June, but I did finish that walk in June. Unfortunately I didn't do much else, I just added The Line in October.

Image from

Back in March, when I had been making good progress with the Jubilee Greenway, I had begun thinking about my next walk, and decided to do the Capital Ring (marked in yellow on the map). It's another circular walk around London but it's further out from the centre and therefore longer - a total of 78 miles (or 126km). 

Also, while I was walking The Line, I found waymarkers for the Lea Valley Walk (pink on the map), a walk that I knew of but hadn't previously considered doing myself. The whole thing is 53 miles long and runs from Luton in Bedfordshire to the Thames at Limehouse; however, the London stretch is a more manageable 13.5 miles from Waltham Abbey to Limehouse.

I had been planning to tackle the Capital Ring next, but a lot of it runs through woodland and green spaces so it could be rather muddy at this time of year. The Lea Valley Walk follows the River Lea and I know that the first part at least is on tow-paths which should be easy walking. Therefore I've decided to start with the Lea Valley Walk and I'm going to do it 'backwards', starting at Limehouse for two reasons. Firstly, this is the end nearest me and I know where the walk starts; secondly, if I am enjoying it I can continue with the walk past Waltham Abbey, though probably not as far as Luton!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Corner Brook

I'll probably be flitting back and forth between my 2015 album and my Cruise album for the next few posts, depending which challenges I can fit to which photos.

Today is a Canadian page, made with the aid of Sketch #96 from Sketch-n-Scrap. The pair of large photos on the sketch made it perfect for an introductory page, and our next port of call was Corner Brook in Newfoundland. I'm making one of these pages for each place we visited in order to divide up the album into sections. 

The top photo is the town as we arrived, and the bottom one is the view from Crow Hill, on the edge of the city.

I'm using the same 'Entry Date' stamp on each of these pages; here it's among a row of dials cut from one of the papers. I added brads to the row of dials, the last five silver brads in the packet, as I try to use up some older embellishments. 

Paper - Heidi Swapp No Limits, Graphic 45 Artisan Style, Colorbok Travel
Letters - American Crafts
Brads - Papermania
Ink & Mist - Docrafts
Gems - ZVA Creative

Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch
Fiskars Shape Cutter & Circles Template
Stampendous 'Travel Words' Stamp
Amy Tangerine Camera Stamp

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A Gallery Without Walls

I'm filling in another gap in my 2015 album today. Back in June we attended a family wedding in Folkestone, and the following morning we had a walk along the seafront. I'd picked up a leaflet about the various artworks that are on display in the town, and my page title comes from the subtitle on that leaflet.

I chose six 3x4 photos for my page, which I knew would cover half the area, but once they were printed it seemed like a lot more. I shuffled and reshuffled them until I had an arrangement that I was happy with. There wasn't much space left for layering and I didn't want to clutter the layout, so I laid the photos directly on the background. The stripy paper is from the same collection and I picked my embellishments to match the stripes, much simpler now that I have sorted most of my embellishments by colour. Indeed, I would probably not have used the chipboard circles otherwise.

Paper - We R Memory Keepers Indian Summer
Letters - American Crafts, Basic Grey
Arrow Die Cut - atd
Chipboard - American Crafts
Enamel Dots - Doodlebug
Gems - ZVA Creative
Ink - Ranger


Big Shot & Poppystamps Small Leafy Sprig Die
Craft Creatives Flower Punch

Sunday, 3 January 2016

A Night in Slug Meadow

It's become a tradition around here that my husband takes our son camping on the weekend of our daughter's birthday party. She chose a theme park trip instead of a party this year, but tradition cannot easily be overthrown and the boys set off for a night on the North Downs in Kent.

I used the December Week 4 sketch from Let's Get Sketchy for my page, but not the Christmas-sy mood board which accompanied it.

I did originally stamp on the background cardstock, but I miscalculated the positioning and it is completely covered by my paper layers. I could have re-done it, but I preferred the page without it.

Looking at the sketch again now, I forgot the stitching that I had intended to do in the top corner. I think I'll go back and add that to my page before I put it away.

Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper - Simple Stories Awesome
Letters - American Crafts, Jenni Bowlin
Enamel Dots - Trimcraft
Ink - Docrafts
Mist - Mister Huey's

Fiskars Shape Cutter & Circles Template
Woodware Postage Stamp Punch
Heidi Swapp Ticket Stamp

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year, New Organisation

The company that I work for closes down completely over Christmas and New Year, so I've had some very welcome time at home this week. One of the things that I have done is to tidy up the detritus on my craft desk; it rarely actually looks like this:

I have also decided to reorganise some of my embellishments by colour. It's something that I've been thinking about for a while, and I'm hoping that I will use more pieces this way. The drawers on the left are now all colour-themed: red & pink; orange & yellow; green & aqua; blue & purple; black, grey, white & silver; brown & gold. 

I haven't switched everything over; I think that I will leave my flowers and buttons alone, but I will probably add other things to the drawers as I go along.

If you are interested, the drawers on the right have multi-coloured items, themed items, small tools, plain chipboard, journalling cards and rub-on lettering.