29 May 2011


I played with some delicious sketches this week, and this is one of the layouts I finished today:

I used the May sketch from Purple Pumpkin ~ which I flipped and rotated like this:

... to fit my layout like this:

Click to enlarge (I just noticed how fuzzy my pic looks - might have to re-photograph this in better light)

And of course, a little close-up of the gorgeous Purple Pumpkin goodies I used on the layout:

I chose the colour scheme for the Scrap Boutique May Stylist Challenge - using autumn colours of brown, cream, green and orange.  I used:  Papers from Kaisercraft 'Elegant' range, Cosmo Cricket 'Garden Variety', Scenic Route paper (fussy-cut leaves), Cosmo Cricket 'Tiny Type' alpha stickers, October Afternoon 'Fly a Kite' label sticker, ribbon from a RAK.

I really love mixing older papers with new embellishments!  I'm also entering this layout over at Paper Crafting Journey for the Anything Goes/Favourites challenge - featuring another favourite technique (fussy-cutting) and my new favourite embellishments (Purple Pumpkin).

27 May 2011

Scrapping with Melissa

This week I visited my friend Melissa - it has been way too long since we last caught up in person and I had an amazing time chatting and scrapping at her place.  Spending time with Mel is good for the soul, and I haven't been so productive in months - I finished off three layouts, a card and an OTP, and started two other layouts which I later finished at home.  Some of them I've already shared this week and the remaining two I'm sharing now:

The layout is based on the May sketch at Get Picky ~

I used: Prima 'Fairy Flora' papers, October Afternoon 'Fly a Kite' label stickers, American Crafts glitter Thickers, striped ribbon (received in a prize pack from The Ribbon Girl). The felt stars and the copper coloured pearls were from Melissa's stash, and I also used her new EK Success 'Binding Edge' punch. THANK YOU!

The paper is quite busy and you can't see the detail in the photograph, so here are a few little detail shots:

I'm also entering my layout at:
# Paper Crafting Journey ~ Anything goes / favourites
Lots of favourites here - papers (Prima), alphas (Thickers), technique (doodling around edges of papers and elements)

The card was made with just a few bits and pieces left over from other projects, together with a few more of Mel's pearls:

I'm entering my card at:
# Artastic Challenge ~ Mother's Day card
# Party Time Tuesdays ~ Animal themed
# Creative Card Crew ~ Anything goes

26 May 2011

Artist jar

Thank you to the lovely participants who visited my blog and left comments during the week for the C.R.A.F.T. Challenge 2nd anniversary blog hop.  One commenter will receive THREE digitals of their choice from my wonderful sponsor, Some Odd Girl.     At the cut-off time of 8pm GMT, there were 28 comments. I placed the names in a basket and drew out one random winner...

who wrote (in Comment #24) that her favourite Some Odd Girl image is
Love Letter Kaylee.
 Dora's challenge entry at the CRAFT Challenge blog was #117.

Please email Jo at craftchallenge@yahoo.co.uk to claim your prize - include "Blog Hop Winner - Karen's blog" in the subject line

Our challenge this week is 'Alter/Recycle' - alter something, or include a recycled element your project.

I was inspired by this item from Paula Art:

Our wonderful sponsor this week is Meljen's Designs, and I have also used her image, "Artist Mug" in my project. I've recycled a coffee jar, and a large sheet of Jasmine's old 'marble painting' artwork from preschool:

This is the underneath - not a very exciting view - but it shows how the paper edges were folded under the jar and covered up with a punched circle:

What I did:
1> Remove the lid and label from a coffee jar
2> Wrap a sheet of artwork around the jar and secure with double-sided tape.
3> Print the image onto another piece of artwork and mount onto a tag.  Ink the edges.
5> Tie a ribbon around the neck of the covered jar and attach the tag with a bow.
6> Use the jar for paintbrushes or other art tools

I'm entering my project at:
# Etsy Inspired ~ Paula Art
# Polka Doodles ~ Anything but a card
# Really Reasonable Ribbon ~ Anything Goes 
# Challenge Up Your Life ~ Recycling

I'm submitting my 'tip' at:
# Top Tip Tuesday ~ Children's artwork is wonderful to use on all sorts of projects!  I ran a piece of painted paper though the printer and it worked perfectly as a background for the image.

EDITED 4/6/11:
I was a winner at Etsy Inspired for this creation - and I won a lovely digital prize from Shery K Designs.

24 May 2011

Outdoor fun

The next best thing to enjoying the outdoors is scrapping about it to capture the memories. On the weekend I did a little of both! I was busy (outdoors!) with the family and didn't get to join in all the challenges at the Scrap Boutique cybercrop, but I couldn't resist doing just one! Christine challenged us to scrap a favourite outdoor activity:

I based my layout on the May sketch from Scrap Lounge and used some upholstery fabric samples to add texture to the background. It's kind of hard to see in this photograph, but in real life the gold stars on the organza ribbon look really striking. I wouldn't have considered using that ribbon if it weren't for The Paper Variety challenge this week to use stars.

The matted-with-white title technique is stolen from inspired by Leah L'Orange, who does wonderful matting of alphabets on her creations, and it's a technique I find really works for me too.

I used: Kaisercraft scalloped paper; Cosmo Cricket paper; Collage Press alphabet stickers, Green Tara lace

23 May 2011

Mother's Day layouts

** Warning - marathon post **

It's Monday ~ Design Dollies Day ~ and time to share the May Trifecta:

The Trifecta requires a project based on each of the three previous themes for the month - the colours (pink, dark blue, white and chocolate brown), the elements (creative folds) and sketch. The other Dollies have created some fabulous works of art which can be found HERE.

The folded dahlias were inspired by Helen Croft's tutorials here and here. I've used folded dahlias on cards before but this is the first time I've used them on a layout:

I used: All older stash items! Papers from Bo Bunny and Arctic Frog, Bella flocked alpha stickers, Making Memories 'Paperie Poolside' journalling page

This layout is also for:
# Scrap Lounge ~ handmade flowers
# Papertake Weekly ~ 'Bloom and grow'
# ABC Challenge ~ Unusual folds

My friend Tam set the monthly challenge at Scrap Boutique - she wants to see layouts about mothers - so I couldn't resist scrapping another photograph from Mother's Day this year. The reason I love this photo is because it's so unusual to get a picture of me and my mum and my daughter all together. I think this year was my most memorable Mother's Day ever because of the beautiful day we spent together.

A little detail shot of the gorgeous Lime Tree Creations crochet'd embies, and the quote I found by Marge Piercy:

I also used: Cosmo Cricket 'Nutmeg' and Gin-X papers, Prima 'Got' flowers (really old stash!), Kaisercraft rhinestones, Cats Life Press journalling stamp, Fiskars scallop circle punch, and some cute tickets which were a RAK from my friend Melissa. (Thank you!)

This layout is for:
# TAAFOMFT ~ Fave photo
# Lime Tree Creations ~ Girls

And yet another Mother's Day layout - this one with a photograph of my Mum and my daughter:

I used: Cosmo Cricket paper; vintage sheet music; the lace was a RAK from a kind friend; orange woven ribbon came in a multi-pack from Spotlight; CTMH sticker; Kaisercraft pearls.

This layout is for:
# Artastic ~ May challenge ~ picture inspiration, lace, something orange
# Really Reasonable Ribbon ~ Anything goes

19 May 2011

C.R.A.F.T. Challenge 2nd anniversary blog hop!

Welcome to C.R.A.F.T. Challenge 2nd anniversary blog hop!

This week at CRAFT Challenge we are celebrating our 2nd Blogaversary in style. Our challenge this week is Happy Birthday! (to us). To celebrate we are having a Blogaversary Blog Hop with wonderful sponsors and prizes on the way. To be in with a chance of winning these prizes, leave a comment on each of our blogs, and a winner will be chosen randomly at each stop.

Don't forget to collect a "secret code word" on each stop as well! After you have collected all these words, form a sentence with them and enter your sentence in a comment at CRAFT Challenge.

If you arrived here from Jo's blog you're on the right track. If you've arrived here directly from another link (** waving HELLO to my friends and regular visitors **) you can still join in by starting at CRAFT Challenge.

I'm thrilled to announce that my sponsor for the blog hop is Some Odd Girl, and I was so excited to create my birthday card with "Tiny Bubbles Tia" - isn't she just the cutest?

I used:
Echo Park 'For the Record' papers, American Crafts paper for base, scraps of Junkitz and 3 Bugs in a Rug papers, Green Tara flower, Doodlebug button, DMC embroidery thread, AdornIt alphabet stickers, unknown bubbles stickers.

Kristy is offering a choice of THREE DIGITAL IMAGES for one lucky winner at this stop. This is what you need to go into the draw:

* Enter your birthday themed project at this week's C.R.A.F.T. Challenge; and
* Comment on my post with the name of your favourite Some Odd Girl image

The winner will be drawn on Wednesday and I will check to see that both conditions have been met.

We also have a major sponsor for the blog hop game this week. Robyn's Fetish is offering a generous prize pack for one overall winner who guesses the correct phrase. Robyn was kind enough to provide her image "A Little Birdie Told Me" for me to create the next card:

I used:
Little Yellow Bicycle papers, AdornIt alphabet stickers, Bazzill cardstock, Carl 'mini daisy' punch, Kaisercraft rhinestones

I'm entering this card at:
# Stamp Something ~ Anything Goes
# Corrosive ~ Birthdays

Finally... Are you looking for the code word for the secret phrase??
My word is: in
Your next stop is Kerry. Have fun!

17 May 2011

Happy mail

I've been on a SUPER tight budget for the past 12 months or so, and have been buying very little 'new stuff' for myself. I'm very blessed to receive new products to work with for some of my design team work but it's SO EXCITING to receive special surprises in the mail!!

This week's mail brought huge smiles.

The first to arrive was a fun international post package from the UK ~ my prize for winning a challenge at Ribbon Girls:

Next, this is what Becci sent me for her April Lime Tree Creations giveaway:

16 May 2011

Sketch time

This week at Design Dollies I'm hosting the Sketch Challenge ~ a little nerve-wracking for me because our Dollie sketch queen Kristy has set the bar so high and I'm still a novice! Here's my sketch:

Here's my sample project ~ yet another little layout for my birthday album:

Sticking with a sketchy theme today, here's one more layout for my birthday album:

# Artful Delight ~ May Sketch #1
# Get Creative ~ Age last birthday
# Crafty Creations ~ Anything goes
# Creative Inspiration ~ Glitzy and bling
I used: Smooch Spritz mist and M&MBI 'Martini Glass' rhinestones

12 May 2011

Lost in space...

** This is a re-post - sometime over the weekend, Blogger deleted my original post along with the lovely comments **

I must admit I struggled with this week's C.R.A.F.T. Challenge. The theme is 'Aliens/Space' and I had a hard time coming up with a project idea. I finally decided on a birthday card for my nephew, who turns 5 in a few months. I don't have much need to create for young boys so this one really pushed my boundaries:

What I did:
1> Paper pieced the Digital Delights image
2> Cut the 'face' out from the helmet and added a picture of my nephew instead
3> Adhered the image to the starry background
4> Added a number and some ribbon
5> Matted the paper onto cardstock and adhered to card base
5> Added some doodled line borders

This card is also for:
# Secret Crafter ~ Dust off your stash
~ Alison Ellis Designs patterned paper, circa 2007
~ Autumn Leaves/Rhonna Farrer 'Scribbles' ribbon

09 May 2011

Loving Echo Park...

I have a huge stash of Echo Park papers, from the earliest collections to one of the most recent. And instead of hoarding it, I really do need to get in and just use it!!

This is my contribution for the Design Dollies Elements Challenge this week. The theme is 'creative folds' ~ I added a row of pleated paper. Pleating is one of my favourite things to do with offcut strips of patterned paper. The photograph on the layout is a little blurry because I took it at the New Year's Eve celebrations; I had my camera set up for the fireworks and not for portraits. But despite the fuzziness I still love it and the special memories of that night.

I used: a sketch from Artful Delight, and everything is from Echo Park except for the alphas (Basic Grey 'Origins') and the rhinestones (Studio 18). I cut the artisan shape using a Teresa Collins chipboard book cover as a template.

I'm also entering my layout at:
# Papertake Weekly ~ Anything Goes
# Charisma Cardz ~ No cards allowed
# Paper Crafting Journey ~ Bling

I also made a quick card: with some leftovers:

This one is for:
# Paper Wings ~ National Scrapbooking Day
# One Stop Craft ~ Birthdays
# Sentimental Sundays ~ Anything Goes

07 May 2011

Scrapping Everyday Miracles

My Dollie-friend Nicole is launching a new challenge blog soon, called Scrapping Everyday Miracles... HERE are the details. She's also hosting a fun giveaway as part of the launch:

Pop over and join in the fun :)

06 May 2011

How to shine (Part 1)

I don't write much personal stuff on my blog.  But to understand the next project, it's probably useful to know that my 10 year old daughter lives life on the autism spectrum. Some days she is extremely rigid in her routine daily activities - fixated and inflexible.  Some days she is easily distracted and overwhelmed - with not a clue what to do next.  Mornings are a stressful time of day.  After positive steps forward in some areas this year, and regression in others, we decided we would try out some new checklists.

This is the first one, which is A4 size and designed to be clipped on a clipboard or just pegged to the fridge:

I used very few materials for this project:  The cardboard is a heavy piece of backing board that came with my photographic paper.  The fonts are freebies from the web - 'Block Letters Tryout' and 'Quick End Jerk'.  The patterned paper is from a very old Christmas range by Alison Ellis Designs.  The foam alphas are American Crafts Thickers.  The image is "Star Bright Tia" from Some Odd Girl.  I made the ribbon stars to mimic the asterisks on the paper:

I've had this on my 'to do' list for months and I've been procrastinating.  The following challenges gave me a push in the right direction:

# Charisma Cardz ~ No cards allowed
# My Partner in Crafting Crime ~ Incorporate numbers
# Show Us Your Stuff ~ Ribbon
# Paper Sundaes ~ Favourite hair colours
I coloured the image in PhotoShop.  The hexidecimal codes for the colours of her hair are: #ddba68, #debb69, #fad680, #fad67e, #cea646, #cda746

EDITED 23/5/11: Selected as "Most Wanted" at My Partner in Crafting Crime!
Thank you xx

05 May 2011

CRAFTing with a sketch

At CRAFT Challenge this week, it was fun to work with another sketch by my design team-mate, Kevin.  I used the 'Camping Tween' image from our sponsor, Digis with Attitude, and I made a tag:

I used: Cosmo Cricket 'Nutmeg' and K&Co 'Jubilee' papers, Carl mini daisy punch, Cosmo Cricket 'Tiny Type' alphabet stickers, mini ric-rac, Kaisercraft rhinestones.

I'm entering my tag at the following challenges:
# Pear Tree Designs ~ Free for all
# One Stop Craft ~ In stitches

04 May 2011


I was a little bit surprised to have a layout published in the latest edition of Scrapbooking Memories (Volume 13 No 6).

I hardly submit anything because I don't buy any magazines anymore.  I'd forgotten about that particular layout, to be honest. The layout in question was 'tentatively accepted' for publication in early 2009! I posted it off, received my layout back, filled in all the requested paperwork and sent that off... and then... nothing. I heard that it can take a while, but two years?? So yeah, it was a surprise.

Only two small errors too. They spelled my name wrong, and they added 'SBM Newbie' (this is not my first pub with SBM). Oh well...

02 May 2011

A little bit pink

Where has this year gone?  First Monday of May is here already... and in my little corner of the world it's a Labour Day holiday. 

It's also Design Dollies time, and this week the colour challenge is to use any three from ~ chocolate brown, white, mid-pink, dark blue.  Here's my card:

I'm entering my card at:
# Paper Variety ~ Polka dots
I used: Spotty paper (from Dream Street 'Baylee's Garden') for the piggies, and 'Spots and Dots' Cuttlebug embossing folder for the background.
# Dream Valley ~ Flowers
I used: Green Tara flowers and handmade rolled roses
# Party Time Tuesdays ~ Anything goes

I also used:  Bazzill cardstock, Spellbinders scalloped circle dies, Colorbox 'Dark Brown' fluid chalk inkpad, unknown ribbon, image from The Stamping Boutique.

01 May 2011

Like a princess

The J-girl experienced a touch of royal wedding fever and made her own princess crown:

Jasmine is entering her creation at:

# Paper Play ~ Use an item not intended for crafting
The crown was made from a paper plate.
# Emerald Faerie ~ Anything goes
# Paper Crafting Journey ~ Bling
# Quirky Crafts ~ A Right Royal Affair 
Red and blue painted diecut shapes, white ribbon