Sunday, 26 December 2010

I'm back and I didn't even go yet...

Long story, we're supposed to travel last Thursday went to the airport but had to return home due to the weather. We're  hoping to travel on the 28th. In the meantime I am recovering from a flu and my son from an infection.

So we'll probably just vegetate and recover for these two days. And maybe scrapbook a little.

I got a nice "Christmas" pack  from Scrapbook Trends a few days ago. I had a couple of layouts published back in July and got then back along with some beautiful papers. It was a nice surprised as I hadn't seen the magazine yet.

This is one of the layouts that got published.

My son watched the Grufallo film again on Christmas eve. The film is as delightful as the book. Must get more Julia Donaldson books for him.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Playing with punches and July 2010

Sometime ago, I saw in a magazine a wall hanging resembling a giant chrysanthemum and got this idea of making a giant flower in a scrapbook page. So I got my circle punches to work. I folded all the circles in half, and printed concentric circles in a paper scrap to help me place the circles the way I wanted.

* Patterned paper: Studio Calico
* Letter stickers: Basic Grey

I am pretty behind in my Project 12 project - this is July. All the photos and journaling were printed in a single A4 page. The template is a freebie from Paislee Press. Templates are the digital equivalent of a sketch, a quick and easy way to put a layout together.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A Personalised Book

 This is an old project which I think I never shared.

When my daughter was in Junior Infants, her teacher gave to all the children in her class personalised books for Christmas. In each story, the main character had the child's name and somewhere in the story there were bits about them like their ages, best friends, etc.

The booklet was made of A4 pages folder in 4 and stapled together and had the name of a website on it, My daughter loved the book, and a year later, at Christmas time, we found the book and reread it. I got curious and went to the website. It has lots of Christmas related stuff, including personalised stories. To my delight, there were two more stories, and I decided to print one story for my daughter and another for my son.

There were two options on how to print the story too, one for a quick fold&staple A6 book and another option to print the story in A5 size in both sides of the paper. Which gave me the idea to try to make a properly bound book. I found a great tutorial and quickly made the two books. The one I am displaying is my daughter's - it is a bit worn out (being 3 years in a child's bookshelf), but not damaged otherwise.

Sadly the tutorial has been removed, there are other ones for single section bookbinding, but not as detailed  as the one I followed. Here's one.

For the cover I used corrugated cardboard covered in patterned paper. It is a Basic Grey pattern, given free with a scrapbook magazine and printed on a thinner, shinier paper then the usual one. That's the part that got worn out. The tutorial said to use fabric for the spine, but since I hadn't any in hand I used handmade paper instead. Handmade paper is both more maleable and stronger than ordinary paper so I figured out it would do. And it did, the spine is still in good condition.

The title page and the first chaper.

Have a go, it would made a great (and unexpensive) present for any child aged 6 or under.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Tons of beautiful drawings & sketches

Yes, I have been scrapbooking, but haven't taken any photos. Winter is like that, it is not 5:30pm yet, and it is pitch dark.

Never heard about it before, but there is something called sketchbook project, going for years. I read about in Geninne's Art Blog,  check the posted entries, so many amazing artist around the world are taking part/have taken part. Like mashaa, emilayusof, Haifa Malhas, Alinac.

Monday, 6 December 2010


I am pleased with this one, a bit time consuming, but it came out as I envisaged.  Another "inspired by" is LO, this time by a layout by Piradee Talvanna in Creating Keepsakes. She had punched out endless rows scalloped borders in craft paper in both ends of a double page layout. The result that was both understated and elegant. Not to mention stunning. I had done something like that before but she just put the whole concept in a new level.

I went with graduating the colours from blue to white.

* Punch: Xcut
* Stamps: Studio Calico
* Ink: Colorbox
* Embossing Powder: Stampendous
* Font: Underwood Champion

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Inspiration doesn't mean results

Lately I have been feeling like this - I felt  inspired, but when I sat down to make something, the results were pretty disappointing. To try to get out of this hole, I decided to change my usual way of doing things:

- I hardly ever scraplift, my inspiration comes either from the photos or what I around me, a dres, ads, interior design magazines, cd covers, etc. So now I'd try to see a layout that spoke to me and scraplift or use as a base for my own. (*)
- Limit my choices. Since I had just purchase a scrapbooking kit (November's Studio Calico kit), I'd try to use it to the max.

I am not so good with rules - I quickly go of on a tangent, but it did help me to have some guidelines, even if it was to break them.

This layout is a scraplift from one by Lisa Truesdell, as seen in the October issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.  I want to start submitting for publication and CK has a running call for layouts inspired by ones featured in their mag.

*patterned paper: Scenic Router (grid), My Mind's Eye
*small tag: Fontwerks
*Circle (behind photo): My Mind's Eye
*Letter Stickers: Making Memories (green), October Afternoon
*Punches: Martha Stewart (lace), Woodware (scalop circle and small circle),
*Flowers: Prima
*Stamp: Studio Calico
*Also:  Stickles, sequins, string and thread

It is a close scraplift, besides changing the design from 12x12 to 8.5x11, I didn't stray much from her design. But while hers is stunning, mine is average. Not horrible, but you would'nt pick this one up from a crowd, would you?

Analyzing it, I think I didn't nail the colours right, there's not enough contrast, there's not enough punch. I tried to use lilacs and purples and that never works for me. I wear these colours but have difficulty using them in scrapbook pages and would never thing of using them in the home.

A step in the right direction I think.

Friday, 19 November 2010

From Celtic Tiger to Celtic Meltdown

How did it happen?
Sorry for the OT title, but I can't help wondering.

Anyway, here's a suggestion of what to do in lean times.

My daughter got this blouse in Penneys.

It was marked €3, but at the cash desk we found out it had been reduced to €1.

I asked if she'd like if I added a few crochet flowers around the neckline. She said yes.

I'll try to take a photo of her with the blouse, it goes really well with her colouring.

Nice weekend!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Celebration blog hop

The Baker Dozen is celebrating its first birthday of being Shimelle Laine's Digital Creative Team with a blog hop.

Today I am celebrating my family - the family I grew up with and the family that my husband and I made.

* Digital Paper: Bazinga! kit by Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas in a Bucket
* Frame: Write it Down Prety Labels by Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas in a Bucket
* Title Letters: A New Leaf by Paislee Press and Audacious Designs
* Font: CK Ali's Hand Official

The next stop in the hop is Rani.

And here are all the Blog Hoppers:

Karen m.

Take a look their fabulous creations! 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Halloween - from 2008 to 2010

I am convinced that I have only 10% of the stash of an average scrapbooker/paper crafter. All my papers fit in a since shelf. Another shelf for my bigger embellishments, and a few shelves for bits and pieces - so what's on the rest of my lovely shiny white IKEA storage cabinets?

Magazines (tons of them!). Plus "things-that-could-be-useful-sometime-so-I-wont-get-rid-of-them".  So I hit on this brilliant idea: why not actually use these things instead of only storing them? I'm a genius, don't you think?

Like this 7 gypsies mini book that is probably 5 years old. Since I had previously made a mini with the Halloween photos up to 2007, this one starts where the other one stopped.

Very simple, most of the digital elements are from Karla Dudley's kit which I won in her blog.


For every year, I wrote a short journaling about the kids' costumes
the opposite side was looking bare so I added 4 tiny photos from the same year

Two photos of each  child per year, sometimes with word art or doodles

there's even a photo of the 4 of us, taken by a neighbour while we were trick or treating

*Digital elements: Swank Labels by Jennifer Pebbles @ Two Peas in a Bucket (frame), Paper Crave (bat image, not seen), Spook by Karla Dudley @ Design House Digital
*Mini Album: 7 Gypsies

Sunday, 24 October 2010

{No} Joy :-)

Like last year, I'll be giving a customised 2011 calendar to my immediate family this year. Since Photobox had a special offer until last Thursday, I was rushing trying to sort out the photos for the calendar. For December I wanted to have a photo of my two children with the Santa Hat.

That was the plan. I couldn't get a half decent photo of my son, on his own or with his sister. He'd make faces, cover his head with the hat, turn back, etc etc. So I gave up, and let my children take photos of each other and of me.

Digital layout
*Patterned paper: Delovely by Paislee Press @
*Frame: Pictures + Words by Paislee Press @
*Word Art: Penned Words::Christmas By Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas in a Bucket
*Font: 2 peas Sailboat @ Two Peas in a Bucket

"Trying to get a decent picture of
you for our 2011 calendar is no
fun, No good photos, only outtakes. But at lease we have
some laughs."

Did I get frustrated? Me? Nooo...


Saturday, 23 October 2010


I was taken when I saw Darcy Miller's scrapboxes in a article in Martha Stewart Living magazine. I'm sure I'd blogged about it.

With my craft space full of "things-I've-saved-in-the-hope-of-using-it-sometime", I decided it was time to start using or getting rid of them.

Of course, this little bike was way too cute to be thrown out:

If you ever go to Brazil, try to stop in the roadside cafes. Of course, there's a chance you get these yucky places with awful food and unhygienic toilets but mostly you get average to excellent food. As my Dad always say, stop where there's lots of trucks (lorries) - truck drivers know where to find the best roadside barbecue restaurants. But I am side tracking, what I mean to say is that the bigger ones, besides food, sells lots of magazines, newspapers, snacks, and an arrays of curiosities that ranges from bizarre to ugly, cute to amazing. Like this little bike, smaller than the palm of my hand, made of a single wire and bits of green and yellow plastic tubing - plus the Brazilian flag.

Inspired by Darcy Miller, who usually combines a photo with a matching souvenir, I use this photo of my son, taken Christmas Day 2008, on his new bike:

It is a recessed frame bought in IKEA - the glass on it I had broke sometime ago, but it didn't matter because I couldn't have used it anyway, as the bike was too wide to fit inside it.

One frame and one bike used. Now onto the other 100 frames and bits and pieces waiting to be used...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Always Lulu

* Patterned Paper: Scenic Route
* Ribbon: from a Studio Calico kit
* Journaling spot: Title and Journal Blocks by Ali Edwards @ Designer Digitals

This is another one that needs something. Sorry for the bad photo too.

Ah, yes, I have a tutorial for the pleated flowers in my other blog.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Halloween 2009

Made a digi LO using Karla Dudley's Spook kit.

I am not 100% happy with it, I feel it is missing something but every time I attempt to add another element, it feels wrong. So here it is, consider it finished.

* Postage Stamp Frames: Mailing Label Frames by Paislee Press @ Oscraps
* Everything else: Spook Kit by Karla Dudley @ Design House Digital

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Yippeee! Look at what I won!

I got this gorgeous Halloween digi kit from Karla Dudley in her new shop at Design House Digital. I am delighted, thank you Karla!

I don't have any excuse now, must scrap last Halloween before this year's arrives.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Day 1

My son's first day in school. I was a bit aprehensive as he is a bit clingy. If I tell you that he is 5 and so far, everytime we left him with a babysitter he cries a LOT, that will give you an idea. But I shouldn't have. He couldn't contain his excitement and as we waved goodbye in the classroom, he just smiled and wished us a good day at work (to Daddy) and a good day at home (to me).

I don't do much hidden journaling, but since I had a lot to say, I decide to hide the journaling to give a bit of space for patterned paper. I punched a couple of holes so that a few words could be seen and I didn't have to write "lift this".

*Patterned Paper: Studio Calico
*Transparency: Hambly Studios
*Title Letters: American Crafts
*Font: Little Days

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

June 2010

Finally got June 2010 summary done. Lots of things to report.  My son's birthday, Father's day, visit to EuroDisney, my daughter's finished junior school, and my son's last day in preschool.

I used Shimelle Top Ten Lists. What I like best about them, is that it uses different sizes and fonts, so you can get away using them, even if you only have 8 items in your list - just space them out and it won't be noticeable. Or more than 10.

The sketch is based on one of Becky Fleck's sketches for Project 12 at the Scrapbook and Cards Today.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Leaves in a card

Found this really cute leaf punch in Cara Craft Supplies and had to use it. It is smaller than I thought it would be but so cute.


Tuesday, 31 August 2010


The whole title should be Stop It! It is about my son's somewhat "destructive" tendencies.  Not done in malice, more like an irresistible impulse to poke, pull and push anything that is pokable, pullable or pushable if you get my meaning.

To be honest, his latest destruction - our TV -  is not typical, it was an  accident while playing the Wii, but coming after some other damages, like this laptop of mine that is missing the "esc" key, made me list some of his latest damages.

*Patterned Paper: Studio Calico (green) American Crafts(orange)
*Chipboard letters: Basic Grey
*Punch: Fiskars
*Font: Franklin Gothic Book
*Other: Buttons

Of course, the photo has nothing to do with it. I am usually somewhere when these things happen.  I need to install a cctv at home...

Friday, 27 August 2010


We went to Fota Wildlife Park while we were in Cork, and we really enjoyed being able to get close to the animals there. Weird to see Brazilian capiravas wandering in the fields in Ireland. Sadly some children (not  mine) chased them away before I could take a photo of them.

I love Shimelle's Ornate Frames and was wondering how to use them again when I got this idea of colouring them white. With a bit of drop shadow, they almost look like transparencies.

*Digital Papers: A Retro Summer by Leiko Beck Designs (plain), You are Here by Paislee Press and The Queen of Quirk (patterned)
*Digital Frames: Ornate Frames by Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas in a Bucket
*Alphas: Pink Polka Alphabet by Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas in a Bucket
*Thread: Yarn Swirls #3 by Katie Pertiet @ Designer Digitals (Scrapbook Inspirations Freebie)
*Font: 2Peas Sailboat @ Two Peas in a Bucket

Do you have an iPhone?

I don't, and I don't need one, since I am the most basic mobile phone user, I hardly ever use it to take photos.

But if I had an iPhone and the Hipstamatic app, I would use the camera all the time. There was an article (about bikes) in Martha Stewart's Living where all the photos were taken with it and I wasn't the only one that loved it, isn't this gorgeous?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Talking about layering...

Here's another attempt. I like this one better - one mistake I can see in my previous layout is that I didn't varied much the size of the elements, here I have used 3 flowers in different sizes and texture, but matching in colour. Works better. I think.

I have a box of photos are repeats or else, that never made into the album nor the scrapbook pages. This was one of them. My daughter when she was a toddler, she always loved bathtime.

The background paper is special to me. It is part of a block of papers that I won in a scrapbook competition in Cara Craft Supplies, back in 2005. I spent a whole month working on the layout. It stayed in my dining room table and every evening I'd take a look at it, shift a few elements add another one, until I was happy with it. I am  faster now. Not much, but a little bit more :-)

The doily was coloured with watered down mist, another technique from Celine's class, she used fabric but I didn't have anything suitable so I used paper. I still have one layout to finish from her classes.

*Paper: Papers of the World, Claire Fontaine
*Flowers: Scarlet Lime (fabric flower), Prima (green flower), Studio Calico (pink rose and leaves)
*Letter Stickers: October Afternoon
*Chipboard: Heidi Grace Designs
*Mist: Cosmic Shimmer
*Butterfly: LittleSnippets @ Etsy
*Others: lacy ribbon, jute, button, doily, mist

Thursday, 19 August 2010

May 2010

In general I like flat layouts, but sometimes I feel that I am constrained by my inability to layer and cluster elements together. I decided to practice a bit. This is my first not very sucessful attempt, I'll post my next one soon.

The background paper is a digital paper that I "distressed" using brushes and printed on white Bazzil.

*Digital Paper and Tag: A New Leaf by Paislee Press and Audacious Designs @ Oscraps
*Brushes: T9 Dirty Sprays from
*Flowes: Prima
*Flower Centres: SEI
Other: Organza Ribbon, Foam Letters


Last weekend we got a call from a friend - would the kids like to go for  a boat trip around Howth harbour? They said yes - my intention was to stay inland and take some photos, but I was told I could get much better photos from the boat. He was right.


On the way back, in the car, my husband stopped so that I could take some more photos, there was a light mist, giving the whole scene a washed out watercolour-like feel.  I played with some of the Pioneer Woman's actions for PSE, to make it look like an old photo.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Girls

In July I went with the children to a friend's place in Portugal - two mums and 4 children - the poor dads stayed back in Ireland working, though I claim that spending a week without children is a sort of holiday even if you have to go to the office 9-5 :-)

I made a quick digital layout, using Shimelle's newest kit, with a photo of one of the boys took of us:

*Digital Template: Instant Pretty Page Template by Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas in a Bucket
*Digital Papers and Embellishments: Bazinga! by Shimelle Laine@ Two Peas in a Bucket (damask paper), Delovely by Paislee Press @ Oscraps (everything else)
*Title: Wynken, Blynken and Nod by Katie Pertiet @ Designer Digitals

Thursday, 12 August 2010

A butterfly card

One of the beauties of digital kits is that you can change colours to suit your mood. The original butterfly in the Bazinga kit was blue, and I changed it to black and coloured it. The paper is also from the same kit - I love Bazinga.

The word art is from Nini, she has gorgeous word art kit downloadable from her blog. Thank you Nini!

*Paper and Butterfly: Bazinga! by Shimelle Laine at Two Peas in  a Bucket
*Word Art: Bits of Life by Suddenly Artistic
*Punch: XCut
*Also: clear gems.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Finally a card

I have been slow to craft and even slower to post since the summer holidays started.

Here's a layout I've done a few weeks ago. The layout is based on this layout/sketch from the Studio Calico blog.

* Letters: K&Co (wordgrain), Making Memories (small, black)
*Chipboard buttons:Jenni Bowlin
*Font: VT Portable Remington
*Roller Stamp: Glitz Designs

I am the sort of person who finds almost impossible to throw stuff out. It is mostly a curse, but sometimes it pays off - after I stuck the photo, title and buttons I felt something was missing in the background, but what could I do without having to rip the whole layout apart? Then I found this roller stamp which came in a kit, perfect to add a little more interest in this mostly white layout.

Celine used image transfer in one of her classes, which used a image printed with a laser printer. Since my printers are both inkjet, I had to adapt the technique. I printed the image in photo paper, applied a medium gel and transferred the pic to Bazzil cardstock. As you can see, it didn't work that well, there's a few annoying missing bits on my son's face. Later, Carrie explained to me where I went wrong. In fact she has a tutorial in her blog, so next time I'll know how to do it properly, thanks Carrie.

By the way, do you know to find something in a site using google? That's what I typed in google:

site: image transfer tutorial

The "site:" directive makes google look for the keywords only in the site you specified ;-)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Summer time and kids

Today we decided to go to Sealife in Bray. Just a - longish - trip y DART, 5 minutes walk and there we would be. I even had some Tesco tokens so the tickets wouldn't cost a cent.

There was only a little snag - my son wouldn't get inside. I tried everything, enticing "Don't you want to see Nemo?", begging "Please please", bribing "I buy you a ton of sweets", negociating "Look at the first 4 fishes and tell me if you like or not", lying "No, it is not dark in there, really". Nothing worked, he doesn't like dark places and that's it. We sat on the outside for about 30 minutes and he was going hysterical just at the idea (no, I wasn't dragging him or anything, just talking) and at the end we just had to give up. Luckily, there was also a fun fair there, but guess what, he wouldn't go in any rides either. But at least my daughter went in one and they got a teddy each in one of the stalls so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Adding this to the typical Irish weather - and this year hasn't been too bad - maybe it is better to stay at home. I found two fun projects this evening:

Balancing Butterflies, found in Childhood Magic, via Davinie Fiero's blog.

Marshmallow faces, in Color me Katie:

I am sure I saw some markers for colouring food somewhere - perhaps in Tesco's?!!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Workshop #8 - Without getting my hands dirty

Celine's workshop finished with the end of the World Cup but I am way behind. Workshop #8 had to do with using masks and mists. I am short on both, I only have one mist and not a single proper mask. Do I tried the technique using digital tools.

Playing with virtual paint is still fun, thanks to a great set of paint spray Photoshop brushes.

* Photo frame: Swank Labels by Jennifer Pebbles @ Two Peas in a Bucket
* Masks: Color by World by Rhonna Farrer @ Two Peas in a Bucket (floral), Elisa (moon and stars)
* Brushes: T9 Dirty Sprays by David Legget @* Title letters: Bazinga! by Shimelle Laine at Two Peas in  a Bucket

* Patterned Paper: You are Here by Paislee Press and The Queen of Quirk @ Oscraps (modified, barely seen)
*Font: Calibri

Friday, 16 July 2010

Ms Lazy bones

That's me. I came back from holidays feeling reenergized and ready to be creative. But somehow, I haven't done anything so far. Hopefully tomorrow... For the time being, I'll show you some of my favourite photos.

This is an oldish one, taken after the official communion photo. After my daughter came back from school, I managed to convince them to stand outside, against the house's outside wall for a photo shoot. A bit awkward, as the space is very narrow and I actually had to stand on my neighbour's front garden - but, hey, the light was good there.

My daughter persuaded his brother to smile and decided on the pose, she's the ideal photography helper - she's got much more imagination that I have.

Probably the only photo that makes me happy from our recent holiday. It turned out nice in b&w, even if the focus was in the top of the ring instead of his eyes.

One thing I would like to learn is how to find that perfect spot that has the perfect light, that makes everything, even the most ordinary thing look interesting. I know it won't be to everybody's taste (almost nobody's says you :-) ) but I like the one below.

To me, it is about the colours, the green, red and yellow and the tiny bit of blue in her nails. I love it!

This was taken in the DART. Actually the DART is a place for potencially good photos, after all there is shade inside a train and lots of light coming from all the windows. I am not mad about the green seat, but otherwise it beats any spot in my house in terms of light.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Photography and a new kit

I've posted this photo before, it was inspired by photographers like Andrea Joki and Stephanie Lynn. They posted in the IPL forum, showing that if you look around, you can find great spots in the most common places.

I use Shimelle's new kit, Bazinga! I admit I didn't know what bazinga meant, S-J, a fellow CT member, clarified: 

Bazinga - is a word you shout when you have pulled off something funny - or wild..
If you watch -The Big Bang Theory- comedy show - it is Sheldon Coopers catch phrase!

*Papers and Alpha: Bazinga! by Shimelle Laine at Two Peas in  a Bucket
*Journaling Tag: Travel Journal Worksheet by Shimelle Laine at Two Peas in  a Bucket
*Font: VT Portable Remington

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Workshop #4 - Masking tape

Yey, I got published here:

I got my copy in the post today, I was delighted to see my layout and more because it is full of inspirations, tons of layouts and inspirational ideas.

 I am a bit behind Celine's classes as I went away on holidays. I was half hoping to get two projects done yesterday, but only got one, 3 tries and a couple of cardstock papers on the bin, I came up with this:

*Patterned Paper: Studio Calico
*Chipboard: Sassafrass (5), American Crafts (brackets)
*Stamps: Studio Calico (big 5), others unknown
*Also: Masking tape, acrylic paint, ink

The photo is bad, and the design is only lacking something, but I really enjoyed the masking technique - Celine did that in the class in Dublin, this time she advised to paint over it. I went a step further and stamped on it too. Loved it, and will definitely try to do this again.