Sunday, 29 December 2013


...A new(ish) member of the family! Drum roll please... put your paws up for my sister's amazingly beautiful, couthie and totally huggable Rosie The Greyhound! Yay!


     Rosie is a two year old rescued greyhound from the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary and was adopted by Kags in October there. Being a rescued dog it's not been all plain sailing as she has settled in. For a start she struggled with the stairs up to the flat my sister lives in. Also she has a sneaky streak which sees her helping herself to all sorts of things that are not good for her - namely a massive box of Heroes (part of Millie's birthday present!) and a whole bag of cinnamon nuts and raisins from Kags handbag. Both of these thieving episodes have ended in a hasty trip to the vet as chocolate and raisins are very toxic to dogs. I knew chocolate was but had no idea eating raisins can be fatal! Eeek! So, it's been a big learning curve for both sister and dog and Kags now has to store things not for Rosie away really high up or in a closed room/cupboard that she can't get to.  Amusingly, she can open parcels delivered by the postie and has opened one that was a new coat for her which she cleverly placed beside her other coats... yes, I say other coats plural as she is the best dressed pooch this side of town! Greyhounds need to keep warm but she honestly has more coats than me! Rosie's history is unknown, so who knows what kind of life she had before she was rescued. I for one certainly would not begrudge her a few coats... Kags has even started knitting jumpers for her and this Christmas she went for walkies round the streets of Dundee in a beautiful Santa red and white one! Bless! So my crafting duties for next year might entail (see what I did there!) some doggy craftyness. I have already made Rosie a swanky collar tassle  - a traditional decoration from when greyhounds were favoured by Royalty and other posh folks. I think these would sell well at a Greyhound fundraiser as well as cards and other papery goodies.
   So, now that's everyone formally introduced! I hope you've enjoyed meeting Rosie and wish her all the best for a lifelong bond and amazing friendship with Kaggy!

Here they are - Little and Large. How did Gypsy get so old and short?

Lots of love for a Magnificent Happy New Year to all of you catching up with me here at my blog!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Dough Tags! Twice!

As previously mentioned...
So, yep, I had a crack at making some cornflour dough to make some tags/decorations and as usual in my life anything to do with following a recipe almost always ends up in either a large scale disaster or a smaller scale catastrophe... this trial was no exception! Haha! To start off with, this extremely simple one step, one pot recipe turned into a a major panic-driven two pot escapade when I inadvertently managed to confuse baking soda with baking powder and ended up with a seething, bubbling, mass on a scale with Vesuvius erupting - the overspill of which had to be poured into another large pot which meant I had to look after/cook two at the same time. Eeek!  The recipe didn't give any warning to expect this! I'd followed the very simple, in fact I would say foolproof instructions to add baking soda to cornflour and water only to discover at my peril that baking soda and baking powder are NOT THE SAME THING! Now can I say in my defence I am Scottish and here we have Baking Powder or Bicarbonate of Soda to choose from when baking and so I just assumed that the Baking Soda referred to in the American recipe would be known as Baking Powder here. WRONG! Lol! Fortunately after quite a bit of boiling and stirring two pots at once, I ended up with a very similar sparkly dough that rolled out well that achieved the same results - it just didn't look quite as snowy white and dried a bit coarser looking. Oh, and for goodness sake it made squillions of tags in fact way too many which is why Millie ended up with a load of them to sell at the School Fair.  Not one to be put off by such experiences - hey I take mini disasters in my stride - I decided to give the whole thing another whirl and try making them properly using THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS and a bit less of them. Result! This turned out exactly the way it was intended to! Yippee! Lovely and sparkly, snowy white, smooth dough albeit a bit harder to roll out and softer to work. This time I got a more manageable amount to work with and so in future will stick with my own proportions of ingredients.
Here's my recipe...
1 cup of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup of cornflour
1/2 cold water
Heat together on cooker, stirring till it boils.
The mixture will thicken so keep stirring and it will turn into a dough (hopefully, hahaha!)
Let this cool and then you can roll it out. I used some festive cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. You can also use stamps to add a bit of texture - fabric doilies rolled over the dough add a lovely texture and glitter can be added in there too, but I wanted mine mainly plain so I could stamp names on them once dry.  Mine dried in a couple of days as the room they were in was nice and warm - we had the coal fire on and I positioned them nearby to dry slowly but gently. I'm sure they would be fine by a radiator or something similar, just make sure they don't dry too quickly or they might crack.
Here's a couple of piccies of the results and how they look stamped both as a texture and stamped with ink. I've used mine as little tags on my wrapped up parcels but they would look lovely as pretty, rustic decorations hung on a Christmas tree too...
Why not have a try at making them - after all, I make all the mistakes so you don't have to...heehee! That should be my mission statement in life!!!
The top samples are the wrong ones made with baking soda and the bottom row samples are the bicarb soda ones!

You can see that these ones don't take the stamping quite so well as they have a courser texture. They definitely have a pretty sparkle but have an off white colour to them!

This is a sample made with the right ingredients and as you can see it embosses really well with a stamp. As the tags dry the embossing deepens and sharpens up. These ones are beautifully snowy white but aren't quite as sparkly the baking powder ones.

Here they embellishing some parcels.

Here they are stamped...

...and they can be written on too as they are nice and smooth!
I hope the recipients like 'em!
Have a lovely Merry Christmas everyone - I know you will all be very busy in these last days leading up to the big day so thankyou very much for taking the time to visit me here! I appreciate it so much!
Best wishes,

Saturday, 14 December 2013

So, here's what we've been doing...

Hiya all my crafty friends,
   Christmas is fast approaching and all the girls here have been busy, busy, making lots of fun bits and pieces for Santa's arrival. We've fimoed and cornflour doughed and made a couple of mini loo roll albums - tonight we will be attempting yummy dog biscuits! I'm hoping my (probably pathetic) attempts at doggy treats will be acceptable and that the family pooches shouldn't be too bothered that I'm no Mary Berry when it comes to homemade bakes...
   So, Millie did very well at the school Xmas Craft Fair with her Fimo earrings/badges and managed another sellout! This time we were quite festive with our makes and did some cute polar bears and penguins as well as the old standards - xmas puddings and trees etc and raised nearly £150 in sales! Just when I thought it was safe to put the Fimo back in the cupboard, little Sadie said she wanted to make some bear magnets for all her friends at school for xmas presents! Eeek! I managed to persuade her that she should really only give to her very best friends and so got away with making only four more - phew! Honestly I'm seeing Fimo in my sleep! Still that's it all done now and we can have a wee break.
There's some gingerbread men hiding in there somewhere!

Four little friends for four of Sadie's little friends!

I kept thinking of Feathers McGraw while I was making these!

These little bears were made with transparent Fimo which makes them look like they're made of icing!

Now that they are all gone I can't wait to get my table cleaned up and get back to some proper scrapbooking. What have you all been making for Xmas?
Pop by again soon!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Tidy up time...

Hello everyone, hope you are well!
I've recently been up to my armpits in craft stash except that's not as exciting as it sounds. Basically, I've been having a good old clear out! I've been whittling away, thinning out all the stash I've accumulated over the last 7 years and I have got to a place where I'm quite happy with what I'm letting go now. I did think about asking the girls to take what they wanted before it all goes off to a good home (I've not actually worked out yet who's it's going to!) but I thought knowing my bunch they'll end up wanting the whole lot and I'll end up not being any better off for space! I admit it saddens me to see stuff I bought going unused tho' it's mostly stuff I've bought when I first started exploring scrapbooking. You know the kind of stuff I mean, stickers and rub-ons etc, stuff that seemed like a good buy at the time as they were in the bargain bin or sale. But I never did get a handle on making good use of these things. The stickers always looked a bit "stuck on for the sake of using them" and I never really got good results with rub-ons at all - usually ending with a total disaster and having to find a way of covering them up. Lol! Those were the days! How we have grown. Scrapbooking has changed such a lot since I started out. There seems to be two very different camps to be in these days. One is where you throw all sorts of textures and mediums at a bit of 12x12 cardstock showcasing just one photo and at the opposite end of the scale there is the Project Life kind of style where its just a matter of throwing some photos in pockets with a token bit of journalling and that's you done! Personally, I like to explore what happens somewhere between the two as both have their merits and advantages. Talking of scrapbooking - I really haven't done much of any crafting of late. Don't know what's up with me these days I just seem to be busier with the girls who obviously are going to bed a bit later as they get older and I think I feel less inclined to get crafting after the bedtime rush is over. I've tried doing bits and pieces while they're up and about but I'm afraid I'm one of those types that finds it hard to concentrate when there's noise and distraction around me. My craft area is actually a corner of the family room and although there's plenty space to work, peace and quiet is scarce! So, I guess I have failed miserably in my attempts to make enough minibooks, cards etc for a little craft sale of my own this year but well, there's always next year. I wonder if you are all busy making your Christmas cards, I should have been but I went and promised Millie I would help her start making her Xmas Fimo jewellery this weekend. Her school Craft Fair is at the beginning of Dec so we really do have to get cracking with it.  She wants to make Xmas Puds, Trees, Candy Canes and Gingerbreadmen. Guess who's heading on over to youtube for some inspiration...
Happy crafting everyone
PS. if you could telepathically send me some motivation that would be very much appreciated!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Here's a couple of Xmas mini books...

Hello everyone!
   I've been busy making a couple of mini books for Christmas to either sell or give as presents. The cute Santa one was made using a Tim Holtz edge die, covered in Sparky and Marie PP's by Dovecraft. I got these in last year's Hobbycraft sale - I love the bright colours in this collection. They give a kitsch twist to Christmas! The stamps used on both projects were sold with Get Stamping magazine. As usual the mini's have been constructed using recycled cereal boxes and corrugated cardboard packaging. The"Joy" Xmas tree mini was something I wanted to try out for a while - I love shaped mini's. At first I was going to make it a bit more tree shaped - you know, with sticky-out branches etc, but there was no way I could work that in with using the Bind-it-all so I went for a more simplified, triangular shape. The "Joy" title was cut out with the Silhouette (I know, get me!) I've got to do a bit more embellishing inside this one, so it's not quite complete yet - I've kinda run out of steam with it but hey, sometimes that happens. No problem - it'll get done when inspiration strikes.

   Can you believe it's holiday time for the kids again. Here in Bonnie Dundee we are halfway through a two week Autumn break (didn't they just go back to school?). I'm having a week off from work next week to entertain the troops and I have made a vow to myself to have a real good clean out of my Craft Stash while I'm at it. It's not something I'm looking forward to doing as I hate that the mess has to get an awful lot worse whilst you're sorting through things before it gets better, but, unfortunately it just has to be done. Besides, who knows what treasures I might unearth! I have a pile of clear boxes I'm waiting to arrive from ebay which I'm gonna use for all my scraps of cardstock/paper and embellishments - I hope to achieve a more streamlined system of finding things. Yeah, right! :-)
    However you're spending your time, I hope you can manage to squeeze in a bit of crafting! It's good for you!
Love (with crafty sprinklings),

Friday, 27 September 2013

Oooh, I've taken the plunge...

...and finally bought myself a Silhouette Portrait! It's so good and I really love that you can design your own stuff and cut that as well as buying files from the Silhouette studio, also it cuts any fonts you have already on your computer! She's more my thing than the Cricut, but that's not to say that the Cricut is rubbish. Just horses for courses and all that...
  Here's a new 12x12 with my first ever cuts from her —

Cute paper bows!

   So, I downloaded the lovely frame for the photo plus a template to make up the paper bows. The bows are a really handy one to have in my library as I seem to be using these quite a bit of late but I designed the balloon with wording and the main Cookies title too. It was quite easy once I worked out how to format the files for importing into the Silhouette Studio programme. The software is definitely a bit more in depth than the Cricut but that suits me as I like to do my own design thing!
There's actually quite a bit going on with this LO. It took a while to put together as I was getting to know my new gadget and swithered with various elements, but then it suddenly came together. There's a bit of border punching going on with the pink at the top and bottom with sections of paper doily tucked in behind. The teeny bunting at the top right corner is made from twine and washi tape. Cute!
  On a different topic — today was Coffee Morning day up at the girl's school and Millie managed a sell out with her Fimo jewellery! Well done babe! You worked really hard! I believe the headmistress has already asked if she could kindly do some more for the Christmas Fayre and the wee rascal, excitedly wants to start on them NOW! Eeek! Mummy needs a bit of time out from Fimo though, and is experiencing mild paper stroking withdrawal! Besides I really have to get on with some of my own Xmas projects. I've seen an interesting technique though for baking soda dough which I'm sure we can utilise for the school Christmas Fayre projects and my own ideas for tags and decorations. Hmmm...
Anyways, thanks for checking in. Have a creative weekend!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Fimo jewellery... made by Millie! (with a wee help from Mum!) I'm really hoping that she gets them sold as she's worked really hard - they've turned out lovely, if I do say so myself, plus it's for a very good cause (Macmillan Coffee Morning)! There's hotdogs, cupcakes, doughnuts, fondant fancies, dolly mixtures and liquorice allsorts to choose from in an array of different forms be it earrings, rings, badges or fridge magnets so all tastes are catered for.

 Yummy doughnuts!

 Hot dogs! Get yer hot dogs!

Honestly, making these took me back 25 years to when I used to make/sell them for xmas. It was a great way of supplementing my income back in the day which really came in handy for doing the Christmas shopping. I used to sit for hours each night rolling and modelling  -  Fimo Soft is a much easier clay for this which wasn't around then, but hey, it kept me out of mischief! There's a lot more Fimo jewellery out there nowadays just look at etsy and these kind of places - some of it so detailed too. All sorts of moulds are available also which must make life a bit easier when putting them together but Millie's ones are properly handmade! Fingers crossed she gets them sold!

Packaging them all up, ready for taking to school later.

Thanks again for coming by and looking!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Hello! Remember me?

...well, it has kinda been a while since I posted anything. Anyway, how are you all doing out there in Craftland. Me, well, I've just been busy doing other stuff, lots of miscellaneous stuff,  mostly on the domestic homefront, what with the summer holidays etc. There's not been an awful lot of papercrafting going on but I have been helping my Other Half decorate a bedroom and the kitchen amongst other housey type things. We are all well Chez Strachan and getting back in to the old routine now that the girls have settled back in at school. That has got to be the quickest summer ever (do I say that every year?) and I'm wondering if all the good weather had anything to do with that perception. The girls played out a lot and time just seemed to tick by in a flash (instead of us all moping about getting on each others nerves because it rained and we had to stay indoors)... aahh summer sunshine bliss - all but a fading memory now. So, autumn is definitely just round the corner, don't know about you but I can smell it in the air and lo and behold it was almost dark by 8pm last night, so I think it's about time we had a nice little crafty catch-up. This here piccie is my latest 12x12 that I did just last weekend. The papers are from a K&Co Bloomscape pad which I've had for ages but only just got round to using them (my bad!). They have to be the most floral, colourful ones I have tried so far and I think they are beautiful but quite tricky to work with as so many have very busy bold prints. But you know me - I do like a challenge and I was quite happy with how it turned out as it's quite dimensional too. I tried incorporating a bit of stamping just using a black inkpad and it seems to balance/quieten the full on colourful craziness a bit...

Here are a couple of close ups of the details

Those butterflies are from an Anna Griffin kit I bought last year and compliment the big roses of the print. I made/printed some red and white paper for the border and a paper bow. (I love making these!) And of course those are Tim Holtz diecut rosettes there as well. As usual there's quite a bit going on but sometimes you have to indulge yourself I think! I hope you like it.
Stay tuned! Millie has a Macmillan coffee morning/craft/bake sale coming up at school and we have been beavering away together making some goodies for that so the next post will be showing off some attempts at Fimo jewellery!
Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Messy Gene...

These photo's are from Sadie's second birthday I think... just as the truth was dawning on us that Sadie had definitely inherited Daddy's messy gene! Now I know that all children are messy but, this little tyke takes it to a whole new level - especially when it comes to eating! You should see the crumbs she leaves wherever she goes too!!!! Can I just mention that 5 years on from here, she is still as bad and everytime I take a piccie of her I feel compelled to digitally remove all the dirt and food off her face. I'm in a constant dilemma "To Photoshop or not to Photoshop". However I feel I would be misrepresenting the truth (i.e. lying!!!) if my kids appeared to be immaculate every time a camera was pointed in their general direction - lol! But, hey kids are messy - that's just what they do. No point fighting it! Might as well make a point of scrapping it! This LO was made mainly with American Crafts Dear Lizzy Neapolitan again - did I mention I got a brilliant bargain by getting a 12x12 pad in TKMaxx for only £7.99 - amazing as I'm sure they retail for about £19.99 usually! Love a bargain so I do!!! The little deer and yellow bow were cut with the Cricut Mini when I borrowed it from work. Also I downloaded some AC digital elements that match the paper and used them on this too. Downloads are great as you can print them out whatever size you need 'em over and over again.
The bunting was cut out from a 12x12 sheet which was a total faff but necessary as it really "festives" up the page. The bee is from a stamp that was part of the project pack in Ruby Loves Issue 1 which I coloured up with pencils. I hope you like how it came together - thanks as always for popping by my wee blog!
Keep on crafting!

Sunday, 30 June 2013


...a different kind of post this time. Getting creative in the kitchen! Now I don't pretend to be any great cook - but what I do, I do well, without too many disasters - unless there's baking involved then I can get a bit forgetful or distracted. To me baking is more like science - it's a bit more exact and a lot less forgiving! Anyhoo when it comes to rustling up a quick tea for the family, meatballs are a bit of a winner. I always make plenty and keep some aside for after in case anyone wants a cheeky wee meatball sandwich later on! Just remember to put them somewhere the cats can't get to 'em them otherwise there'll be no extras for later ( ...the voice of experience...). These meatballs are made with a packet of beef mince, some crushed up crackers or breadstix - it just depends on what's in the cupboard, always lots of garlic powder, salt and ground pepper and an egg. I usually go for the garlic powder instead of fresh as I don't like coming across really chunky garlicky bits when I'm eating them. I find garlic powder flavours them a bit more uniformly. Maybe I just need a new garlic press... Sometimes I use lots of chopped fresh herbs, sometimes I use freshly ground cumin and crushed chillies - sometimes I use all these things at once, it just depends whether the kids are having them too as my girls haven't got the taste for anything too spicy yet! So once the ingredients are all in the bowl I like to get stuck into the mixture with my (clean) hands and kinda knead everything together into one giant meatball. Once this is done, I let the mix chill out in the fridge for half an hour to let the bread/cracker crumbs settle in and the flavours blend together. Once out of the fridge I shape them into little balls and brown them in a frying pan. No need for any oil they give up plenty of their own. Once they have been browned I take them out and finish cooking them in a large pot which contains a carton of passata. Keep the heat quite low and simmer for maybe 20 mins with the lid on the pot to keep the passata nice and juicy. Serve on a bed of spaghetti and get stuck in! Salad on the side and a nice glass of red is always nice addition which makes it a bit posher for the grown ups too! The girls love a bit of finely grated cheese on theirs too - that's their version of a less smelly, kid friendly, parmesan! So, there you have it! Dining Chez Strachan! It might not be the finest of dining but it's fresh and good for you!
Bon Appetit mes amis!
These babies are going in the frying pan!

Come and get it!!! (as long as you're not veggie! Soz!)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Summer dress days...

...nothing beats a bit of gingham for freshening up a sticky summer's day (yeah, I know - we only get just the one!) and blue gingham is part of Sadie's school uniform which she's only too happy to wear as soon as the sun peeps out from behind a cloud! I just love these cute little dresses but sadly, for myself, at 48 I'll have to settle for wearing my gingham shirts instead as a whole gingham ensemble is maybe a bit too much in the style stakes at my age!!! Anyhoo, the PP's used on this LO are from Papermania Happy Days and American Crafts Neapolitan. I've used a Tim Holtz die for the edge of the blue honeycomb and the chevron paper. The title has been stamped with some ancient Li'l Davis foam stamps, a Versafine Watermark inkpad and sponged over with PanPastels (oooh I love using these!). I'm sure any pastels/chalks would do much the same thing tho if you don't have any PanPastels. The blue flowers and leaves are stamps from issue one of a magazine called Get Stamping which I bought 'cos it had a really cute fox stamp as part of the gift too. I've made a few cards with the fox - it's really cute! Might even put a few up here! I'm gonna try and make the most of squeezing in a bit of crafting while I can in the next two weeks as The Girls come off school for the summer at the end of June, so I can't see myself indulging too much while they're mooching about. If we get a nice sunny summer here, it will be a miracle. Still, fingers and toes are crossed!
Thanks for stopping by and having a look!
Happy crafting everyone!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Cat journaling cards....

...Hot off the Mac and ready to put into a scrapbook soon...
We do have a lot of piccies of our pets  - they're such a big part of our lives in this family. This is a sample of some digital 3x4 journaling cards I quickly put together. Time is in short supply here more than ever and I can really see the point of those Project Life page protectors:- to quickly get some of those photos safely all together in a place where they can be admired! I'm really enjoying a bit of digital work putting these together and finding out how to make patterns in Adobe Illustrator. Every day is a school day as they say!
   Talking of school, I'm just finishing off a 12x12 LO of Sadie in her school summer dress at the moment (a traditional paper n glue one!) which I'll hopefully get uploaded tomoz. Sorry this is a short post but it's been a busy day. The sun came out so we had to make the most of it by gardening and taking the girls out so we're all a bit done in but in a lovely tingly sunkissed way.  It doesn't happen as much as we would like here in Dundee so when we do see the legendary Firey Ball In The Sky we totally make the most of it! Hopefully it might make another appearance tomorrow. Yay! Sunshine Rocks!
Hope the sun is shining on you too!
Love Jak

Friday, 31 May 2013

Journaling cards

Hello everyone!
Here's a little project I've been working on which was part of a little journaling set I made for my crafty friend Elaine's birthday. I knew she really liked the Project Life goodies so I got her some PL pocket pages and embarked on making some journaling cards to fill them with. This is a sample of some of the boy cards I made. There is also a set of girly ones and another of more general ones too. You know I've been thinking about an etsy shop to sell this kind of digital stuff. What do you think?  I'll post a pic or two of the other ones later.
    Now I have to dash off to the girls school summer fare - just hope the rain stays off as it's not looking too promising...The girls have been looking forward to it all week and sadly it looks as though the weather is going to let us down. Off to the school gym hall it is then!
Love Jak

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Millie's First Day at School...

...I know this should have been done a long time ago and it's a bit back to front in as much as Sadie, my youngest's was actually made before Millie's, who started school back in 2007 but hey, there are no rules in scrapbooking that say everything has to be scrapped in order (are they?). The fact that Millie did not have her own minibook to mark the occasion of her starting school was only brought to my attention one rainy afternoon when the girls were having a look (and a giggle) through all the little minis I've made so far. Millie immediately wondered where hers was and do you know this, I was horrified to realise that that one had definitely passed me by. Although I 'd made a couple of 12x12s to mark the occasion I felt it was only fair that she had one made specially for her. So here it is! I made it kinda matching her sister's as I liked how that one had turned out. Next thing I'll probably be asked is "why did she get that on hers and I didn't" etc. etc. Honestly, if there is anything to even remotely squabble about... Bless 'em - they're getting to that age now when you can't do right for doing wrong! I remember those days from my own childhood when whoever complained the loudest got their way first just to keep the peace.Yes Kaggy, that was you actually (heehee!) Anyhoo, while the Cricut was here I managed to cut out a few bits and pieces and I've put them to good use in this mini. I really like the yellow mum and daughter embellishment I put together for the front. As I've said before - I think I really want one of these now, but I'm gonna check out the Silhouette to see what their artwork is like first.
Hope you like my mini, thankyou for stopping by!
Love Jak

Thursday, 23 May 2013

A new toy on loan....

Much excitement (along with collective squeaking!!!) to be had in the Ruby Loves office last week when this arrived in the post... Yay a Cricut Mini - for an office try-out! Well we obviously couldn't wait to get the box open and give it a whirl! Only drawback is that the company I work for are mega security conscious (naturally) and our firewall wouldn't let us download the Cricut software needed to get it all up and running/cutting. Collective boohoo! Only way round it all is to have a designated Cricut Use Only PC/MAC that we can use with wifi internet access. Now as with all big companies this sort of thing does take a while to sort out so, in a spontaneous but professional random act of kindness moment, I thought it would be nice and team spirited of me to volunteer to bring the little beauty home to see how it all works! Heehee! So, here it is in all it's glory! Once the software was downloaded and installed (with really only minimal faffing involved) it was just a case of having a wee look round to see what was free to use from the Cricut Craft Room. The machine cuts like a dream and the sticky mat was great too - not too sticky but plenty of use in it I would say. So, I've cut out a few bits and pieces in the name of research and it's fair to say it is the simplest of machines to use - worth considering if you're looking to invest in a digital diecutter. The only drawback for me, apart from having to return it to the office, is that you can't cut out your own creations - they all have to be bought and downloaded from the Cricut Craft Room, unless that is you have some Cricut cartridges already 'cos you can use those with it. So yep - I'll give it 4 out of 5!

...diecutting strictly in the name of research of course...
  Unfortunately,  I feel a digital diecutter is an absolute necessity in my life now...
Happy crafting folks - will be back again soon with some creative craftiness!

Monday, 22 April 2013

2 Princesses layout ...

... and I'll be the first to admit that I was feeling inspired by the Ruby Loves door hanger when I started this one. I'd been drooling over some Pip Studios goodies and it definitely influenced the colours and busyness of this LO... You know it's so true that visuals sink in to your subconscious and seep out later, sometimes without you even realising it. Anyhoo I've used all sorts here - there's a Martha Stewart border punch happening, Papermania patterned cardstock, some embossed/glitter Mod Podged chipboard, there's even some Cath Kidston stationery that has been cut up (the big roses!), oh and a recent acquirement - Tulip Beads In A Bottle. See the little 3d gold pearly dots around the outside edges that's them! They are fun to use but they look all pointy when you first apply them -like they might not be right, however they kinda calm down a lot once they set and dry.

What have you been influenced/inspired by lately that you've found coming through in your creative projects, I'd love to hear!
Keep Crafting everyone

PS - forgot to mention that I've just tried out pastel chalks with VersaMark stamping. That's it on the green leaf border. I'd defo try some more of that - it was cool!
Have fun!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sadie's birthday cake...

Good morning everyone, hope you are well!
This week has gone by in a whirl - my youngest daughter turned 7 on Friday, so this week has been spent shopping for gifts, sorting out a cake and planning parties. Yes, parties - two of them. This sounds more impressive than it was because one was a little tea party with nibbles and cake at home and the other was in a place called Pirate's Island - they do the catering and the kids get to go crazy on the play equipment and play party games for 2 hours. However, you do have to provide your own cake and booty bags. So,  I got a big cake from Asda, one of those ones that they print a photo onto, but they didn't want to print it for me because they felt there was some copyright issues regarding the image. Hmmm, Ok... disappointing, but then I found a great place online that you send whatever image you want and they print it on to a sheet of very, very thin icing. (Now, I'll bet they get some very interesting images to work with LOL!) Yay, it came back in plenty of time and it looked amazing! So, all I really had to do was stick it onto the cake and throw some decorations at it! I was quite anxious about getting the icing stuck down 'cos its kind of a one shot only moment - the icing is really thin and you can't pull it off again if it's not straight. And if you use too much water to stick it, well, the icing just melts... We made some My Little Pony cake toppers for it and a little string of bunting for good measure. Sadie's little face was a picture when she saw it. She still loves My Little Pony and just about every gift she received was something pony related. In true MLP fashion, Sadie said it was her "Best Birthday Ever"!
   Here's the cake 5 minutes before it got demolished by hungry seven-year-olds! Happy Birthday SadieBelle!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Best Friends Forever!

Hello everyone! How was your Easter? Cold? Me too! Did you get any crafting done? No, I didn't do as much as I intended either, ah well... I have a few things I must get done this week though. Sadie is 7 on her birthday this coming weekend and I have a party to organise and some crafty bits and pieces to do too - namely bunting and cake toppers so that's my plan for this week. These will no doubt have a My Little Pony theme running through them as she is still quite obsessed. (How cute!) There's a few Ruby related projects to sort out too. Meanwhile here's a quick 12 x 12 to share. I think the colours suggest I'm looking forward to sunnier days and a bit of warmth but, who isn't. I've used an assortment of crafting goodies including Papermania  journaling cards and stamps (tickets in bottom left hand corner), Cath Kidston Washi tape and Smash tape too. The Kraft cardstock background is by My Mind's Eye - I'm seriously loving that 12x12 pad and the title is die cut using a Tim Holtz alpha.  Hope you like it!  There's another 12x12 on my table nearing completion but I feel I haven't thrown enough at it yet (I'm going with the old saying here that more is more with this one ) - check back later this week when hopefully I will have it finished!
Hope you are all well and keeping creative, whether you're making stuff or soaking up lots of inspiration on Pinterest go with the flow, it's so good for you, you know!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

In celebration of...

...the launch of Ruby Loves!  A gorgeous girly door plaque!

I made this for the new Ruby Loves magazine! Normally I never mix business with pleasure here on my blog, but fate has made these paths cross and kind of become one for the moment. As you may have noticed, according to my profile I am actually a magazine/graphic designer to trade and for quite sometime I have been beavering away at work with my colleagues, helping to make this project become real and yay - we launched nationally on Wed 27th March there. It's been a busy old time preparing crafty bits and pieces at home and inventing a style/identity for Ruby at work, but one thing I know is that creativity encourages more creativity and sometimes when you're on a roll, the inspiration just flows. So, she's out there as of now and she is a thing of beauty (well, I think she is and I hope you agree)! Her mission is to get everyone crafting, baking, being creative - especially mums with young daughters like myself, spending time together, not only making and sharing crafty goodies but memories too.
Here's a link to the website - you could pop by for a nosey to see what Ruby Loves. This post isn't meant to be an ad - just sharing the joy of crafting!
Ruby Loves
I hope you'll love Ruby too!
Happy crafting every one!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A 12 x12 of Mog...

...the beautiful little Princess Snow Tiger at large in the garden. Awww, she looks so kittenish and skinny - she'd only just started going outside and was still to reveal her murderous, dark side -  a wild animal waiting to pounce when the time is right... It was about this time that she brought home a "present" every time she went out. Seriously, there wasn't a mouse left in the street at one point. However, she's calmed down a lot since she was neutered, thank goodness!
Anyhoo I thought I'd try another loose style of LO again and yet again it was finished pretty quickly. I think these one photo layouts are definitely a lot easier to do than 2 or 3 photo types as there's a bit more breathing space around everything which helps guide the eye to the focal point - the photo. I've used all sorts of odds and ends again and yep - more washi tape sticking things down. The photo of it isn't that great as the bird and butterfly Anna Griffin stamps are a lot clearer in real life but hey, it gives you a flavour. I'm enjoying the zingy colours that are in here - the pinks, cyans and different greens are cheery and just the thing to remind us that spring is very hopefully round the corner soon. All this snow and coldness is just too much now and I long for a bit of sunshine and a cuppa out in the garden. Must get some photo's of Pablo and Rocky when they start their adventures soon too!
Have lots of crafting fun everyone!