Thursday, 31 March 2016

Altered Notebook

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to win a prize from Michelle at Scrapthology for entering her 'Turn of the Century' sketch challenge. One of the items was a set of chipboard letters; there is one of each letter and they're 2.5" high so I earmarked them for cards rather than scrapbook page titles.

The next day I opened one of my notebooks upside down and at the back for the umpteenth time, because the front and back are identically plain.

I immediately decided to decorate the front of my notebook, and to use the 'A' from my prize alphabet set. I used some tissue paper for its translucency, and layered a couple of washi tapes over it. Michelle also sent me a small silver frame and a tiny shoe which I tied to the spiral binding with a tassel from my stash. I filled the frame with a scrap of the printed tissue paper and an owl sticker; the leaves on the front of the notebook came from the same sticker sheet.

I don't think I'll be opening this book at the back again!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Birthday Card

It's my Dad's birthday in a few days, so I have a new card to share with you. I based it on this month's card sketch at Stick It Down.

I die-cut my hexagons with my Big Shot using the smallest die I have, and placed them closer together than in the sketch, running them off the top and bottom of the card. It's looking a little 'flat' but everything else that I tried to add just looked wrong, so I stopped here.

Sunday, 27 March 2016


For this week's challenge, Shimelle challenged us to scrap a black and white photo, and the Scrap Like You Mean It prompt at UKScrappers was to scrap an old photo, so I'm going back to the 1940s for this page.

My father has been researching our family history, and found that his cousin had an old newspaper cutting from World War II. There's no headline on it so I don't know whether it's part of a general round-up of forces news or it was an article specifically about our family. The narrative starts "Three sons and a son-in-law of Mr & Mrs Potts ..." and goes on to say where each of them was serving at the time. My grandad is the young soldier on the left.

Obviously I only have a scan of the cutting, not the original, so I printed it on thin cardstock as I didn't want the shiny finish of photo paper. 

I used the mid-month sketch from Stuck?! Sketches for my page, stamping circles with a lid and adding buttons to the circles.

Cardstock - DCWV
Paper - Basic Grey Wisteria, My Mind's Eye Follow Your Heart, Bo Bunny Double Dot
Letters - American Crafts
Word Stickers - Tim Holtz Idea-Ology
Buttons & Tag - from Stash
Ink - Memento, Ranger

X-Cut Scalloped Border Punch

Friday, 25 March 2016

City Centre Landmarks

It's been a while since I joined in with the challenges at Scrap Our Stash. They changed format at the start of the year, and I haven't been able to fit the new challenges to the pages that I am making for my cruise album. However their latest Sketch+3 Challenge was perfect for me. 

The '+3' part is to use items from three lists alongside the sketch. These have been alphabetical so far, they've reached GHI and I've picked Graphic 45, Heidi Swapp and Ink. I've been mostly using Heidi Swapp's No Limits collection for this album, together with Graphic 45's Artisan Style in 6x6 and several other random papers that fit the colour palette. I've inked the edges of all my papers, inked the wood veneer triangles, and used ink again to stamp on the page.

As the title says, it's a few of the landmarks in the centre of Belfast - St Anne's Cathedral, the Albert Memorial Clock, City Hall and Buoys Park. My photos were different shapes and sizes, so I arranged them in a collage and filled the gaps with paper and stamping. 

Cardstock - COlorset
Paper - Heidi Swapp No Limits, Graphic 45 Artisan Style, Fancy Pants Country Boutique
Letters - Pink Paislee Memorandum, American Crafts Shimelle
Wood Veneer - Heidi Swapp
Ink & Mist - Docrafts
Enamel Dot - Trimcraft

Big Shot & X-Cut Ticket Stubs Die
Hobbycraft Star Punch
Stampendous 'Travel Words' Stamp
Papermania 'All Aboard' Postmark Stamp

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt

They think it's all over ... it is now.

Spring is (officially) here and so the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt has come to an end.

Back in December, Eileen and Joy posted a list of 21 items to be found and photographed by 21st March and I've done my best to track them all down (with a little interpretation here and there).

By the end of February I had found 14 of the 21 items, I neglected the hunt for most of March and then had a final run around with just days to go but I did find all 21 items.

My previous scavenger hunts posts were:
December - 7 + 1 alternative
January - 5 + 1 alternative
February - 2 

My final seven finds are:

5. A Snowman - A mug that I was given for Christmas one year. It's a little awkward to drink from so it lives on my bookshelf all year round.

10. A Windy Day - I'll admit that this one was staged, but it's a reconstruction of something that did genuinely happen in the storms of autumn 2014.

11. A Fancy Button (or two)

14. Afternoon Tea - I prefer coffee, in my favourite mug, with a home-made biscuit.

15. Candle Light

20. Cutlery - My spoon and pusher from when I was small.

21. My Handwriting - The scavenger hunt list, ready for my December mini-album (if I ever get round to making it).

So that's it, all done! 

Thanks to Eileen and Joy for organising it, and to Rinda who runs the summer hunt which inspired this one. It won't be long before that one comes round again. Until then I'm off to check out how well my fellow hunters did via the final link-up on Eileen's blog.

Monday, 21 March 2016

A Millennium Milestone & A Giveaway

My one thousandth post!

I started blogging in February 2011, but at that time I posted sporadically, and only when I wanted to link a page to a challenge site.

Now I share all my papercrafting, accounts of the long distance paths I walk and the two photography scavenger hunts that I do each year. Since January 2015 that's been a post here every other day, even when I've been on holiday.

I'm celebrating with a giveaway, but first I'd like to know more about you.

According to the gadget in my side bar, I have 21 direct followers but I know that other people do follow me via other gadgets and widgets. I'm a curious soul and I'd like to know who follows me, how and why, so I've created a quick questionnaire. I'll put the names of all that enter into a hat and draw a winner for the giveaway at the beginning of April.

Please be assured that I'm not collecting any information that will identify you, and that the only purpose of this questionnaire is to satisfy my own curiosity. I will probably share the results here, but only in the broadest sense (e.g. my average reader is ...).

Since I can't identify you from the survey itself, please also leave a comment to let me know you've done it, and to enter the giveaway.

Create your own user feedback survey

If you can't see the survey embedded here, please click here instead to complete it on an external site (Survey Monkey).

The survey will close in seven days time, Monday 28 March; the giveaway winner will be announced on Monday 4 April.

Saturday, 19 March 2016


After a diversion through Shimelle's challenges and a belated Capital Ring post, I'm back to my 2015 Cruise album today. Four days after leaving Red Bay in Canada we arrived back in the UK; our final port of call was Belfast. We only had an afternoon there, which really wasn't long enough to see everything the city has to offer.

I'm starting with an arrival/introduction page for Belfast; I've done one for each place we visited and they will divide up the album into sections. I used a sketch from ScrapMuch? which I flipped horizontally because the views in my photos are that way round in real life. The photos were taken from the ship looking across to the Harland & Wolff shipyard and the Titanic Belfast building.

Cardstock - Colorset, DCWV
Paper - Heidi Swapp No Limits
Letters - American Crafts
Washi Tape - October Afternoon
Enamel Dots - Papermania, Echo Park
Ink & Mist - Docrafts

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

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Capital Ring 1 - Woolwich to Falconwood

Image from
At the beginning of the year, I set out my plans for walking two long-distance walks in and around London this year - the 13.5 mile Lea Valley Walk (marked in pink on the map) and the 78 mile Capital Ring (marked in yellow).

I've completed the London section of the Lea Valley Walk now and I'm pondering a 14ish mile extension to Hertford, but I haven't made a final decision about that yet.

In the meantime, I started on the Capital Ring a few weeks ago. This circular walk starts at Woolwich and finishes at North Woolwich on opposite banks of the Thames; the two are linked by the Woolwich Free Ferry and the Woolwich Tunnel. I live north of the river and I used the tunnel when I walked the Jubilee Greenway last year, so this time I picked the ferry for my crossing.

There are actually two of them, the James Newman and the Ernest Bevin, and it's a busy service taking vehicles between the North Circular and the South Circular. However (judging from my single crossing) it would appear that not many foot passengers use the ferry since there were only two of us in a space that would easily have held 100 or more. I had a free choice of seat and positioned myself where I could see out through one of the openings.

Having disembarked, I headed west, towards London; the first part of the Capital Ring shares its route with both the Thames Path and the Jubilee Greenway. I passed the old Woolwich Dockyard, with a couple of cannons marking the old battery.

The Dockyard's been replaced by housing, but the Superintendent's House remains, now a community centre.

I turned inland before reaching the Thames Barrier (built to protect London from flooding)

and split off from both the Thames Path and the Jubilee Greenway to enter Maryon Park, joining the Green Chain Walk (marked in green on the map above) instead. The Green Chain is a network of paths that link parks and woodlands in south east London, and that's what I'd be doing today.

Maryon Park first, where I climbed 115 steps up a hill

without even the reward of a good view from the top. I crossed over the road into Maryon Wilson Park and descended past the animals in the children's zoo.

I followed the path through the park, 

and then on into Charlton Park, with Charlton House (ex-home of the Maryon Wilson family and now another community centre).

Much of the park has been turned over to football pitches, and the same was true for Hornfair Park which I passed through next. Local schoolchildren were using them for their PE lesson, so I didn't take photos there.

A bit of road walking brought me to the open space of Woolwich Common, with views of a Victorian water tower which has been converted to flats.

Heading over the common, the grass/mud path briefly became a concrete path, 

and went back to mud once I turned right towards Shooters Hill.

Over another road, onto Eltham Common and into a series of woods, parts of which date back 8000 years to the last ice age. First up was Castle Wood, and another climb 

which brought me out by Severndroog Castle.

This triangular folly was built as a memorial to Commodore Sir William James who'd suppressed piracy in India while employed by the East India Company. There's a tearoom here, and I think you can climb the tower, but not if you visit on a Tuesday in winter.

Having climbed up the hill, I had to go down again, through the formal rose gardens of Castlewood House.

I followed the path through Jack Wood and emerged near the former gardens of Jackwood House.

Both Castlewood House and Jackwood House were demolished in the 1920s, with their land being bought by the London County Council and added to the existing public open space.

Another short stretch of woodland path brought me to Oxleas Meadows; the grass covers an underground reservoir used by Thames Water. 

According to the sign-post, I'd walked 4.75 miles so far, and I had 1.5 to go. Eltham Palace is 3.25 miles (on the next walk) and Richmond Bridge is 30 miles away (sometime in the summer).

I followed another muddy path downhill through Oxleas Wood. There's clay in the mud there, and for the first time I began to fear slipping over as the clay sucked at my feet and provided no grip whatsoever. Things were no better at the bottom of the hill; the narrow muddy path turned into a wide muddy path and I picked my way through the undergrowth just off the path as an alternative.

Oxleas Wood becomes Shepherdleas Wood (and part of Eltham Park North), and the path took a circuitous route to pass the Long Pond, which used to be a boating lake. 

Finally I arrived at the A2, a dual carriageway that cuts Eltham Park in two. Next time I'll be crossing over the footbridge to continue my journey, but today I was heading for Falconwood station and the trains home.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Daddy's Girl

I'm still doing Shimelle's challenges from her Online Scrapbooking Weekend, despite the fact that the link-up deadline has passed. Her sixth challenge was to create a page inspired by a wall of frames.

I was very much product-led on this page. I don't have or use many frames, but I received a pretty pink one in a RAK some time ago, so I decided to base my page around that. I also dug out a packet of kraft polaroid frames that I hadn't used. They were purchased on-line and were much smaller than I'd imagined when I received them.

Starting from the pink frame, I wanted a 'little girl' photo for the page. Failing to find one of my daughter, I went back to my own childhood and a photo of me and my dad from the summer that I was born. We're in the garden so I picked green to go with the pink. 

The papers came mostly from a 6x6 pad which had a sheet that was the same colour pink as the frame; I also pulled in a floral print that would tie the green and pink together.

Paper - Dream Street Papers Gracie, We R Memory Keepers Love Notes 6x6, K&Co Paper Doll
Letters - American Crafts
Frames - Crate Paper Maggie Holmes, Studio Calico
Ink - Docrafts

Craft Creatives Butterfly Punch

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Always Be You

I'm ticking off another two of Shimelle's challenges from her Online Scrapbooking Weekend with this page. Her second challenge was to create something of value to us, and the ninth was to craft with the first Shimelle collection from American Crafts.

Most of the pages that I make are of the places we go and the things we do. Pages about the people in my life are much rarer, but far more valuable long term. My daughter recently changed her Facebook profile picture and as soon as I saw it I knew that I wanted to scrapbook it. It's her photo and there's no story to it but I journalled about her plans for the future and I repeated the last three words of the journalling as my title.

Paper, Stickers & Rub-Ons - American Crafts Shimelle
Letters - Freckled Fawn
Ink - Docrafts

Friday, 11 March 2016

What's Cooking

Shimelle published ten different challenges during her Online Scrapbooking Weekend, and I'd like to do all ten even if I have to combine a few to get through them.

Her third challenge was to make a page with colour blocking, and was illustrated with an example from Cheryl at Scrapstorian as well as one from Shimelle. I took my inspiration directly from Cheryl's page, and copied her template of blocks. I used a grid paper to plan my squares and rectangles before cutting each one out and backing the holes with paper from a 6x6 pad. 

I doodled an outline around each box to soften all the straight lines, and to distract from a couple of places where my cutting went slightly wrong. I journalled and embellished on the largest rectangle, and used Thickers for my title so that it would stand out from the busy background.

The photo is from 1999, so it's an old one, which qualifies this page for Shimelle's next challenge too - scrapbook an older photo. There's a tiny piece from Shimelle's first American Crafts collection on there too, but I have another page coming up for that challenge.

Paper - Crate Paper Random, My Mind's Eye Now & Then
Letters - American Crafts
Sticker - My Mind's Eye Now & Then
Rub-On - American Crafts Shimelle
Enamel Dot - Doodlebug
Sequins - My Little Studio
Washi Tape - Unknown

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Enjoy Every Moment

I have a run of posts scheduled with pages from Shimelle's Online Scrapbooking Weekend, but I'm squeezing in an extra post today because this page goes with the one I posted yesterday even though I made them days apart.

When I made the last page, with six selfies from a Scouting challenge, I also had three other team photos that weren't selfies. I'd considered using them too, but the two sets of pictures didn't combine well, so I put these to one side possible for a second page.

Roll forward a couple of days and Shimelle posted her normal weekly challenge; this time it's to scrap three photos on one page. Dead simple, and I had three photos ready and waiting. However a second 12x12 page didn't feel right; I'd told the story on the first page and these were just supporting pictures so I decided on a 6x12 page instead.

This brought to mind Shimelle's final challenge from last weekend. It was an odd one, and rather interesting. She asked us to create a challenge for her, and our challenge is to pick one of those suggestions and follow it for our own page. I'm going with Gemma's suggestion to use a non-standard page size (not 12x12 square and not a pocket page).

Finally, here are the two pages together:

Paper & Stickers - Echo Park Note to Self
Pearls - Scrapberry's Vintage Circus
Ink - Ranger

American Crafts Notebook Border Punch

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

A Challenging Day

Last weekend Shimelle Laine hosted an online scrapbooking weekend, with ten challenges that will remain open until the end of next Sunday. The first one was a recap of the five weekly challenges that she has posted so far this year: scrap a selfie; use hearts; mix old and new; make a monochromatic page; or be inspired by maps and globes. I've actually done all five already, so I'm choosing to repeat the selfie challenge; this also ties with a recent prompt in the Scrap Like You Mean It forum on UKScrappers - to scrap a funny face.

My daughter's an Explorer Scout and each year the district organises a District Commissioner's Challenge. This year it took place in London; they had a list of questions to answer, and each answer had to be illustrated with a team photo at the appropriate landmark. Luckily for me, my daughter was nominated to take the photos so I had easy access to them for this page.

I picked six photos and started my page with Sketch 100 from Sketch-n-Scrap, which I rotated to accommodate a column of photos. I had a reasonable amount of journalling to include so the right hand side of my page ended up veering away from the top part of the sketch.

Cardstock - Bazill, Papermania
Paper - Echo Park Note to Self, Echo Park This & That
Letters/Stickers - Echo Park Note to Self
Pearls - Scrapberry's Vintage Circus
Ink - Ranger
Mist - Mister Huey's

Big Shot & Little B Arrows Dies
Hobbycraft Film Reel Stamp
Scrapberry's 'Around the World' Stamp Set
Amy Tangerine Camera Stamp

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Islands

I'm a follower of Michelle at Scrapthology, where she posts a scrapbook sketch each Sunday. She published Sketch 100 recently and she's celebrating her century with a prize - just create a page from any of her 100 sketches and link up to her blog by next Monday to enter.

I picked Sketch 66 from last summer and played with the dimensions to suit two landscape photos of the islands in Red Bay, the final Canadian stop of our cruise last summer.

I've been working on grey cardstock for all the pages in this album and I didn't want a large block of colour in the middle of the page, so I pulled in a grey script paper which is almost the same colour. It's not on any of my other pages yet, but I will try to include the remaining pieces somewhere in the album for continuity.

Cardstock - Colorset
Paper - Heidi Swapp No Limits, Bazzill Basics, Graphic 45 Artisan Style
Letters - American Crafts
Enamel Dots - Doodlebug, Echo Park
Washi Tape - Unknown
Ink & Mist - Docrafts

Big Shot & X-Cut Ticket Stubs Die
Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch
Woodware Scalloped Cirlce Punch

Saturday, 5 March 2016


Shimelle's latest weekly challenge is to be inspired by maps and globes, whether that is a travel page or something more metaphorical. I'm still scrapping our Canadian cruise last summer, so I'm taking the literal approach with this page. When I collected together the supplies for my album I included a strip of globe paper, but I've only used it on one or two pages so far.

As we were leaving Red Bay, the captain announced that we would follow the coast and "try" to find some icebergs, despite the fact that they are tracked by satellite, so he knew exactly where to go. 

I had a variety of photos in different proportions and orientations; I wanted a more free-flowing design rather than a grid so I scraplifted my Fuschalseerundreg page from Austria. I matted all my photos to get some colour on the page and embellished with globes and enamel dots.

Cardstock - Colorset, Bazzill
Paper - Heidi Swapp No Limits, Graphic 45 Artisan Style, Echo Park This & That
Letters - American Crafts
Washi Tape - Tesco
Enamel Dots - Doodlebug, Papermania, Echo Park
Ink - Docrafts

Woodware 1" Square Punch
Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Around the Bay

The bay in my title is Red Bay, the name of both the village we visited in Labrador and the bay where it is situated. The buildings in the village are strung out along the shore, and we walked about half way round. I picked three photos for my page, two of the village and one of the church.

This led to me tackling the third prompt from the Scrap Like You Mean It series at UKScrappers - "Scrap with Three" - and I decided to see how many trios I could incorporate into my page.

I'm also linking with Rochelle Spears; her part of the Scrappy Friends trio of challenges for March is a 'This or That' challenge - to use either chevrons or polka dots (but not both). 

It's a simple layout, and one that I've used before in various guises, but it's so useful that I know I will use it again.

Cardstock - Colorset
Paper - Heidi Swapp No Limits, Graphic 45 Artisan Style, Pink Paislee Memorandum
Card - Project Life Sweet Edition
Letters - American Crafts
Wood Veneer - Studio Calico
Brads - My Mind's Eye

Fiskars Postage Stamp Border Punch