Friday, 31 January 2014

Rockin'Out of January

Has January come to an end already?

This week (thankfully) has well and truly gotten rid of that awful bug from last week.

The weather was totally erratic on Saturday
 and I loved seeing the comments on Facebook 
as the weather travelled from one UK part to the next.
Huge claps of thunder, 
massive lightning strikes 
and hail as I've never seen it before.

I spent the weekend, at home, with DD and DH, not doing much.
Just catching up, lazing around - love weekends like that when there's no running about to be done.
I sorted out a few weekends away, booked Premier Inns, Travelodges, theatre tickets.
I love planning - it's something I'm pretty good at!!!

Another 1.5lbs lost and gradually getting closer to that target weight which can't come soon enough.

A week or so before Christmas, I received a letter with a bit of disheartening news regarding our claim against the Etihad Stadium.
I put it to the back of my head for a little while but, recently, it's been keeping me awake at night.
You know when something just doesn't add up?
Well, this week, I re-read and re-read over and over again until I had that "lightbulb" moment so now I'm back in the zone again, fighting again for what we deserve.

That 2014 word "resolve" kicks in once again!!!

A parcel arrived on Tuesday addressed to DH - he told me it was a birthday present.
Birthday! But my birthday isn't until June! And he's NOT that organised.
Turns out he'd bought it for me "just because"
My fabulous new camera bag/day sack for our Summer adventures.

Another "happy" parcel arrived on the same day, a two month supply of
chocolate yumminess.

Thursday I made myself chuckle when I tried to return a pair of jeans to Tesco only to be told that they were from Asda - oops!!
And my yummy parcel from Jen arrived just in time to play at the Saturday crop.
Happy days.

Have you had a good week?
Fancy blogging about it?
Link up with Virginia over at Celtic House and tell us what is

Thursday, 30 January 2014

YOU or is it ME?

Recently I stumbled upon
and here is what they say about themselves...

"How many times do you include YOUrself in your layouts?
This challenge blog is all about YOU.
We challenge YOU to make it a goal to snap one picture a month with the ones YOU love and scrap about it!  It doesn't matter what you look like.  It's time to get out from behind the camera and start including YOUrself if those pictures!"
I can honestly say that I hardly ever include myself in layouts because either
a) there are no photos of me 
b) if there are, I don't like them!
So, in line with my One Little Word for 2014
I hereby

that I will join in with this challenge blog every month and scrap ME!
It just so happens that their current challenge is to scrap that
One Little Word (a la Ali Edwards)
that you chose for 2014 
 A big thank you to Amanda for the free 4x3 PL downloadables available HERE.

February 5th is the closing date.
Will you scrap your 2014 word along with a photo of YOU?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Do You Rotate?

The Studio Challenges, a Canadian British blog is hosting a sketch challenge
and with a lovely prize from
on offer, I thought I would take my chances and join in.

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had just the right photos.
Rotating the sketch 90 degrees clockwise was a must...

The feet belong to DD enjoying the Christmas Day bubble wrap!
There's still time to join in with this sketch challenge.
The closing date is February 2nd.

Before you go...
Do you always use the sketch as it is? Always rotate it?
Or something else?
I would love to hear how you choose to use a sketch.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Two in One!

Today I decided I would join in with two challenges.
I wouldn't normally combine two together but I loved the the
and also wanted to join in with Cal's Challenge over on her blog

So, does it fit the bill for both?
I hope so!!!

What Have I Done?

Always up for a bit of a challenge and with LOAD214 looming I was
very undecided as to whether to join.
At $50 there was no chance I was gong to join
BUT then...
I got an email through from my CKCB DTeamie, Lisa
offering a $19 discount.
Not sure if it's a bargain or if I've bitten off more than I can chew
however, it's done now and I'm in.

Will I enjoy it so much that I become hooked or give up halfway through?
Time will tell and you'll either be sick of seeing my daily productions or I'll be too knackered and won't be here at all!

So my countdown to Saturday begins, 
luckily it's crop day so at least I'll get the first one done.

Fancy joining me?

In the meantime, here is another layout created at the retreat last weekend.
My daughter was heavily engrossed in one of her Keri Smith books.
If you've never heard of them, check them out - there is so much fun to be had with
every single one of them.
Here, she had to make herself a disguise - she looked pretty good!
(The journalling is complete now - I promise!)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Rules are for Breaking

This is a layout from one of the retreat classes.
I'm not one for following "rules" as such and generally like to follow a class just for new ideas.
This class involved using inks and bandages and lots of glitter that (nearly two weeks later) my jeans are still sparkling despite going through two washes!!!
The idea was to ink the reverse of the transparency but, after covering myself in glitter I didn't quite fancy the ink so I left it clear.
A few of my table buddies wished they'd done the same!

I think a more "golden" glitter would have looked better but it was too late after I'd chucked it all on.
So, even though I didn't "use" the techniques, I did learn and locked them away for future use.

Have you been meaning to use a newly learned technique?
Leave me a comment and tell me what it is!!!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Do You Have....

... a photo (or two) that you like so much that you print and scrap them over and over again?

This is one of my favourites (already scrapped 3 times)
but I keep going.
Maybe I will get fed up with after a while 
just like when I put a kit together and eventually can take no more!!!

Unfortunately, until I do, you're just gonna' have to keep seeing it!

Thanks for dropping in today, I do love having you around.
Before you go...
How many times have you scrapped your favourite photo?

Saturday, 25 January 2014


With no scrapping done due to being in bed for a couple of days, 
thankfully have a backlog to share from the retreat last weekend.

This one I made for a sketch challenge over on a Facebook page I was recently invited to.

I had taken a whole bunch of papers in the same colours etc and was determined to use them up over the course of the few days however I still managed to bring some home as, after 6 layouts, my eyes got a bit fed up of the same colours and I just couldn't "do" anymore!

As you can see, I haven't done a whole load of journalling under the title - I did have all good intentions (honest)

Friday, 24 January 2014


(Please scroll down for the Counterfeit Kit Blog Hop)

So what can I look back on this week?
What has made me smile?

When I heard the words last Friday morning
"it's only a cyst"
you just can't imagine how much relief flooded my body.
I am so grateful for the lovely people who looked after me that morning and made me feel at ease throughout - they truly are wonderful.

So, with a clear head, my drive to Cardiff was a lot easier than expected
 and I had the most wonderful weekend laughing, crying, eating, drinking and scrapbooking 
with some very lovely ladies.
I made some great new friends and hope that our paths will cross again.

This little monkey goes everywhere with me when "she" doesn't and I certainly had two great night's sleep.
Before too long it was all over and my drive home was easy (if not boring).

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday found me in bed most of the time trying to shake off flu like symptoms that knocked me for six.
I am so very grateful that I have such a darling daughter, who took over in the mornings, before she went to school, to make sure the dog had been let out and fed so he wouldn't bother me for a few hours.

I can happily report that, today, I am back to "normal" and hoping to play catch up with everything I've neglected over the past few days.

So this week I am grateful for family, friends and health...
What has put a smile on your face this week?
If you fancy sharing, head over to Virginia's blog and link-up!



Hi and welcome to the 5th stop of the Counterfeit Kit Blog Hop.
I'm so glad that so many of you have joined in with us this month.
If you have hopped over to me from Katie then you're on the right track but if you've just stumbled into the middle of the hop then HERE is the beginning.

This year, the hop has changed slightly in that we can now choose any three of the set monthly challenges instead of being limited to the Challenge#1.

This month I have chosen to join in the blog hop with another Challenge#2 project.
Although I initially struggled with coming up with an idea for my assigned challenge, I eventually made a birthday card BUT I then decided to make a Birthday Tin for my daughter and couldn't resist joining in the hop with it.

This is how it started ...

and this is how it ended up...

Hidden inside was a little surprise!!!

If you've lost your way, the here is the full list...but if you haven't, it's now time to hop over to Cindy to see which challenge she has joined in with.
Thanks for stopping by today.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

So Much Time to Play!

Being away at a retreat certainly brings plenty of time to catch up with things that you want to play along with.
This is the January Sketch Challenge over at

I rotated the sketch a few times before deciding on how my layout would work. 
I knew which photo I wanted to work with and 
played around quite a lot before getting my ATG gun out!

I had taken a "Park Bench" kit with me that I found on my shelf and really wanted to kill it rather than bringing it all home again. As you will see over the coming days, a fair few layouts were achieved using the contents of that kit!

"50s Friendship Forged " tells the story of this photo...
 For many years I thought these girls were all friends and had known each other for years 
(it certainly looks like it, don't you think?)
but it turns out that my Mum (middle) was on a beach (probably Morecambe) 
when a local newspaper photographer asked if she would have her photo taken.
He was looking for a few young girls to walk along the beach and, as if by magic, that's what he got.

I would love to track these girls down - hmmm, now there's a thought!

(And, yes Mrs S, you're eyes are not seeing things, 
I have journalled, in my own handwriting, on the front of the page!!!)

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Life Paper Scrapbook Sketch Challenge

I love this sketch challenge set by Life, Paper, Scrapbook
so decided I would give it a go whilst away last weekend.

There's nothing better than sitting around chatting with a bunch of like-minded people and with nothing better to do or "Muuuum, what's for tea" the creativity started to flow.

I wasn't sure how this layout would turn out or even how I wanted it to turn out but I really do love how it evolved into something better than I expected.

 I have punched the stars out of the background paper and
backed with different paper from the collection to produce the grid from the sketch.
 DD took this selfie a couple of days after receiving this
camera for Christmas from Nanny & Gramps.
I wanted to document the fact she has started making the memories
by snapping away to heart's content

Monday, 20 January 2014


Why does a relaxing weekend of laughing, crying and scrapbooking make me feel so tired!?

I have had such a great weekend with a lovely bunch of girls, made some fabulous new friends and created 12 new layouts and one card.

Guess what I'm going to be boring you with for the next few days?

Remember THIS layout that I shared with you yesterday (a pre-retreat challenge), it won me a prize as did this one, a sketch challenge given to us when we arrived.

Thank you to all of you who voted for my layouts (not that you'll be reading my blog) I really was very chuffed at winning two out of three challenges.

Back soon...!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

I've Gone South

As I am only virtually here today,
 I thought I would share a layout I have done for the reason I'm not here.

I am currently in Cardiff enjoying myself with some lovely people at 
Scrappy Dayz Retreat.

One of the pre-retreat challenges was to create a layout using 5 different papers (not including card stock) AND paint.

My layout uses paper from the
 MME "Chalk Studio" Range
 provided by Jen at Wearcrafts for my DT work.
Originally I wasn't sure how I was going to use this
 "Frame It" 12x12 as I couldn't work out where my photos would go but then, as you can see, I decided to party cover up the chalked section and use the word I had set my layout around.
Can you see where I used my 5 different papers? And what about the paint?
 My gems are actually set into little blobs of white and black Puffy Paint!!!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Every Photo Tells a Story

For the month of February,
  are sponsoring the challenge over at Scrap365
I loved the sketch and jumped in straight away.

The hidden journalling relates the story of me wandering along the beach whilst staying beachfront just north of Daytona. DD and DH were engrossed in a game. These two bikes were propped up on the sands and just as I approached to snap my shot, the two owners (who had been playing in the sea) promptly returned to their possessions - I didn't look that dodgy did I?

All the papers and stickers on my layout are from the Cut & Paste Collection and are still available from 
If you join in and link up, you'll be in with a chance of winning some lovely stash from Jen.
What are you waiting for - good luck!!!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Rockin All the Way to Cardiff

Good morning/afternoon/evening!!
It's Friday again which can only mean it's
 with Virginia over at Celtic House

Today finds me on a journey down to Cardiff for a scrap happy weekend.
 I am sure I will have more to share on that next Friday!!

 Back to this week
and since I saw you last
I have rocked in another 2lb loss
and am now at Club 10!!!

Saturday was the dreaded dentist appointment to refill that empty hole in my tooth caused by eating that chocolate eclair - I am happy that I went and got it over with but was a nervous wreck on Saturday morning. It wasn't as bad as I'd expected, I think paying £49 for the privilege caused the most pain!

Sunday was spent just chillin' in my PJ's and not really doing much at all - love those kinda' days!
A phone call with Mum and Dad made me happy - they've been away for a week and I miss not being able to talk to them.

Monday - don't Mondays just come round too fast?
The usual Monday morning catch up cuppa with a friend always brings laughter
and I'm always grateful for that.
A blog revamp brought some good, constructive feedback from my lovely readers for which I was very grateful. I think we got there and I love the new look.
And yes, all that washi is mine (plus another 8 rolls I found later!)
 This is how it is usually stored...
on a trousers hanger that I found at a car boot for £1!

Tuesday - caught up with another friend over a cuppa. Had a lovely chat and catch up. We don't see each other very often but we love to gossip and put the world to rights when we do.
A bit of good news from DH brought smiles and relief too.

Wednesday - I has signed up to do a mystery shop - I haven't done one in ages and now I remember why! All the things you have to remember and all the specific questions that need to be asked - flippin'eck, I don't think I'll be another one! Oh well, made myself a tenner in the 20 minute process so I can't really complain.

Yesterday (Thursday) I packed up my cropping gear, weekend bag and a "naughty" bag
 before indulging in relaxation and retail therapy.
I had booked myself in for a stress free afternoon in the floatation tank followed by a lovely massage to prepare me for my trip to Cardiff. Well it will be hard work pushing all that paper around!
Being so close to Broughton Retail Park and not having to worry about getting home, I then whiled away a couple of hours wandering around the shops.

So, back to today and, by now I'm either getting ready, driving down the motorway or cropping in Cardiff
(if you're really late reading this - Happy Easter!)

A pretty good week all in all - what rocked your week?
Fancy sharing...?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

I Used a Stamp!!!!

It's already time for

Challenge #3: Stamping on Patterned Paper:
Stamp an image onto patterned paper and use it as a page element.

at the the Counterfeit Kit blog.

It was my daughter's 15th birthday at the beginning of the month so I decided that I would make her card as part of this challenge and I can tell you she absolutely loved it.

She nearly caught me photographing it a couple of days before her birthday and had a sneaky look on my blog to see if I'd blogged it!

Anyway, you'll see that the bottom half of the card has been stamped with a large background stamp. 
This wasn't part of my Counterfeit Kit and neither were the gems and lace but I do throw a few added extras in when necessary

What will you make as part of Challenge#3?
Will this be the challenge project that you use for the blog hop?
Remember, you can use any challenge to join in the blog hop and we would love you to take part, just email
by the 18th

Monday, 13 January 2014


As you may have noticed, my blog has been revamped.

I got fed up with the boring background so this morning I've been having a play.

I think I like it, but how is it to you the reader?
Background too bright? Does the photo need to be black and white?
Writing not bold enough?

Please let me know what you think as you are the lovely people who come back day after day to read it!

While you're deciding and hopefully giving me some feedback
I am off to retrieve the four rolls of washi that fell behind my cooker whilst taking the photo!!

What do you think?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

You may need sunglasses!

Over at Punky Scraps the inspiration/mood board for January is rather bright

don't you think?

I was slightly worried as I had absolutely nothing is my stash which contained such bright colours apart from a sticker sheet and some matching material brads.
However, luckily for me, I was able to use some of a friend's matching paint at my recent crop and sticking to usual white background I ended up with a layout that I really quite like
(even if I do need sunglasses to look at it)
I am off to a retreat soon and one of the pre-retreat challenges is to use ONLY pink, black, white, silver/grey so this one will be having a weekend holiday in Cardiff!!!

What bright colours will you be adding to your project?
Don't forget to link up and show us your stuff....

Is it a Jar, is it a Basket, is it a Vase?

When I saw my assigned  Counterfeit Kit challenge for this month 

Challenge #2: Container Challenge:  
Use a jar, basket, vase...some sort of container in a clever way on your project.

I was a little confused about what it meant and imagined all kinds of things...

a jar stuffed with scrapbook paper? a vase with paper flowers? or a basket made out of my lovely 12x12s? - why on earth would I want to do anything like that?

Then, in keeping with my 2014 word "resolve" I looked up to see who was having a birthday in the coming weeks and decided to take this opportunity to make a card

So, to answer my own question...
 Is it a Jar, is it a Basket, is it a Vase?
NO - it's a birthday card for my Mother-in-Law

 I simply printed a picture from Google Images for my jar and coloured it in using ProMarkers.

How will you interpret Challenge#2 and will you be joining in the blog hop on the 24th with your creation?
 by the 18th if you want to take part.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Not My Style BUT...

...I do love how this heritage page has turned out.

I find it quite interesting to see how differently I and others can scrap sometimes.
As you know, my backgrounds are 98% always white with quite a modern feel so when Jen sent me some "French Country" papers from the Graphic 45 range I was very unsure whether I would actually be able to use them.

I had this copied photo of my Mum as a baby which I had wanted to scrap for a while but all my modern papers with their chevrons and bright colours just didn't do it.
Although I have used modern items on my page, the layout still has a heritage feel to it.

Do you use papers that you wouldn't normally use?
Do you stick to buying the same things over and over because you're not sure how you would use something different?
Maybe this is the time to use something different - go on, challenge yourself!!!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Friday Rockin!

Have you joind in with Virginia's
It's a great way to look back at your week and celebrate the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives.

With Christmas out of the way, I am back on track and I lost the 1lb I put on over the festive period.

Saturday was Crop Day, I love a good crop and the girls were on form as usual.
I did feel bad about being out on my daughter's 15th birthday but I did get permission from said teenager.
She had some lovely gifts from friends and family and her best friend made her a cake too!!
Scary photo!
I bought DD a lottery ticket (amongst other things) for her birthday using significant "life" numbers.
She won £25!!!

Sunday -  a lazy day followed by the last night at the panto.
We had already been back in December but she wanted to go again so who was I to say no!!!???
Monday - a visit to the Orthodondist on her last day off school made DD happy as she doesn't need a brace. Treated her to a Costa and she relaxed in the bath for an hour.

Tuesday - Aaaaahhhhh, the house all to myself once again - it's amazing how much more can be achieved when it's just me and the dog. My desk is clear of ALL paperwork - a lovely feeling (until the next lot arrives)
Clear desk and empty "in tray"

Wednesday -  catch up with DH on all the things I can't talk to him about while he's "on shift" - I might as well talk to a brick wall as his brain switches off when he gets home from work.

Happy Post
I received a parcel in the post today from Gemma - took part in her PIF last year
Just look at what she made for me.
There's a little glass inside to put a tea light in too
Isn't it lovely?

Thursday - woke up to a happy email stating that two of my layouts will be published in the online magazine Life Paper Scrapbook at the end of the month - I'll shout a bit louder nearer the time so you can see for yourself ;)

Also this week, I plucked up the courage to make an appointment (there's no saying I'll go but I've made the first step!) to have my tooth refilled after the filling fell out on Christmas Day - no more toffees for me!

How has your week rocked? Why not share your highs?