Sunday, 27 November 2011

Home-Made with the CKCB

Welcome to November's Counterfeit Kit Challenge Master Forger Blog Hop With A Twist: we're joined this month by members of Scraptastic who are sponsoring the hopping!  Leave a comment or take part in one of our two monthly hops to be in with a chance of a prize!  You may have joined me from Helen's blog in which case you are on track, but if not then you may want to pop back here to start at the beginning and see all the wonderful home-decor projects that have been created from this month's Counterfeit Kits.

I was so tempted to do something Christmassy as I have several projects in the pipeline, but I thought you might have overdosed by now ... plus the colours in my November kit didn't lend themselves to the forthcoming festivities at all!

Colourful Original by Maxine
I spotted the clear instructions for this button and bloom bouquet over at Truly Madly Crafty's Blog although mine is much smaller than theirs as I was using scraps of paper from my kit (2½"-3" squares rather than 4").   The Basic Grey paper wasn't double-sided so I daubed over the back with some toning ink.  I think I'll add to my bouquet whenever I have toning scraps.

Check out the tutorial - no special dies are required, though a pair of Tim Holtz super scissors came in very handy for cutting through 8 layers of paper!

Now please hop over to Jen who has also made something lovely for you ...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Teeny Tiny Envelope Mini

As promised here is are the instructions to my Teeny Tiny Envelope Mini ... a project I made for the Green Buttons Retreat back in September.  It's cheap as chips to make using money envelopes, scraps of paper and card, but showcasing dozens of small photos or quotes.

Get Set
Prototype #1 with no cover
Prototype #2 with a protective cover
Musical Mini Book - more photos here
The instructions can be viewed, printed and downloaded from here.  Have fun with it and please link back to this post so that I can see what you've created!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Xmas Preparations

A few days ago I posted that I had things to prepare before Christmas ... shopping, cards, puddings ...
but there was another thing that I had to get done before December started:  my prep for my third year of Journal Your Christmas!

I was lucky enough to win a prize from the Kaisercraft blog earlier this year and what better stash to use for a December journal than their Silly Season Range?!  A lovely mix of red, white, green and pink papers with matching rub-ons, die-cuts, gems as well as stamps and journalling tags.

This year I decided to base my album on tags and wanted to use manilla envelopes to make pockets behind the pages from the pad of paper.  I thought it was 6"x6" but after a page or two of preparation when nothing quite worked I realised that the pad is actually 6½" square (!)  That's a new one on me!

For each page of the album I sealed two envelopes and sliced ⅛" off one short end to open up each envelope again.  I layered the envelopes onto the back of one piece of patterned paper and covered them with a second sheet.  Semi-circles cut out with a 2" punch give me access to the pockets:

By varying the placement of the envelopes I have varied where the pockets appear - left, middle or right along the top of the page, or top, middle or bottom of the side.

I have joined the pages together with strips of white card punched with my X-cut border punch ... I think I may yet have to sew the spine to the cover if the pages start to sag ... I'll have to see what happens once all the tags are in place, let alone photos, journalling spots and embellies!

If I was starting this project from scratch (don't you just love hindsight!) I'd have prepared the spine before sticking each pair of patterned pages together - no border punching would have been necessary as the edges would have been concealed.

As you can see, I'm not done yet - and the cover needs to be made too.  I'm going to a Blogger's Retreat next weekend ... meeting several fellow bloggers, including, Mel, Julie, Alexa and Lizzie for the very first time ... so I'm hoping to put the finishing touches to this then. 

In the meantime, here's a sneaky peek at some more Christmas preparation I've been doing!

ETA - revealed here!

P.S. That's ATDML's  Thirsty Thursday K for Kaisercraft, JYC Kit and manilla Kraft all sorted!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Musical Mini-Book

A little while ago I attended a scrapbooking retreat with my UKS house-mates (the Green Buttons) down near Birmingham and had a fabulous time.  There was plenty of chocolate, chat and creativity as well as a few challenges and some classes.  I prepared a class too, which I called my "Teeny Tiny Envelope Album".  It was made from those tiny kraft money envelopes you can buy for wage slips or lunch money or whatever, but can just as easily be made with larger envelopes too!

Here are some of the albums completed that weekend - each made unique thanks to different patterned papers, photos, ribbons and embellishments.  I made one that weekend too ... using my September Counterfeit Kit ... to record No.3 Child's school music trip to Normandy this summer.

The letters on the front cover have been heat embossed with PSE's "Woven Tapestry" - a lovely textural finish.  Inside the cover there is a concertina of six money envelopes, each containing a tag.

The way that it's folded you can "read" it like a book and then turn it around to "read" the other side.

There's plenty of room for lots of small photos and even more space for journalling or extra photos on the tags!  Just as well because her camera had about 100 photos from the 4 days!  I managed to include 19 in her mini-book.

This would also make a handy little "brag" book for inside a handbag - it measures around 4½" x 3" and the photos are all nicely protected by the cover.
And I'm still playing along with ATDML's Thirsty Thursdays - so this will be for I for Interactive (and inked?).  I'll be back this weekend with K for Kit, Kraft & Kaisercraft as I'm just about ready to share my JYC prep!

ETA: Instructions can be found here!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Sometimes there just isn't a photo to go with a story is there? Perhaps the camera was forgotten.  Or maybe nobody would cooperate.  Or perhaps you were just too caught up in the moment to remember to snap something.
I certainly found myself  caught up in the moment back in April when we had just arrived in Barcelona for a few days celebration of our Silver Wedding Anniversary with the offspring and No.1 Son's girlfriend in tow.  As usual everyone had left the organising to yours truly ... and I had researched things to do, places to go and methods of transport so that we could pack in lots of fun stuff like a bike tour, a visit to the famous market, etc, etc.

We had a wonderful time ... BUT ... it all went very wrong, right at the beginning!  The downloaded instructions for getting to the hotel from the airport didn't quite match up to the map at the back of the charity shop guide book to Barcelona and neither of these matched up to reality.  Child No.3, the only one who was studying GCSE Spanish and could say more than "Dos Cervezas por favor", decided that she was unable to read or speak Catalan and consequently clammed up.  We watched in horror as famous landmarks receded from view through the train windows and there were fewer and fewer fellow passengers to ask for directions, let alone passengers likely to be able to speak English!  We managed in the end though - I am not averse to collaring complete strangers in a foreign land and am pretty fluent in "Point".

This page was done for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog's Tag Challenge this month ... having no photos, but still in possession of a walking map of Barcelona,  I decided to punch out some tag shapes from significant sections and use the page I'd started from this month's Counterfeit Kit here.  Like the stamping?  LOL! I've used a cross-head screw to fit in with a (forthcoming) challenge over at UKS!  And this page will do nicely for ATDML's Thirsty Thursday Challenge with J for Journalling and Journey featuring rather heavily - I love a good multi-purpose page :D

What do you do when there's no photo for a story you want to scrap with?

Friday, 11 November 2011


Remebrance Sunday 2008
Today is special - it's Remembrance Day here in the UK - we hold a two minute silence at 11:00 to remember the men and women who have died in the service of their country.
In the last couple of weeks many people have been wearing poppies sold by the Royal British Legion - they are celebrating their 90th year of helping with the welfare and support of injured troops and their dependants.
Many other Commonwealth countries will be remembering their fallen today.
I'll be at work at 11:00 and hope that we'll be able to ignore the phones and observe the silence there and to reflect on the bravery shown and the sacrifices made by so very many people.

Today I have also been invited by Beverly to take part in another sort of celebration of the date (a palindromic occurrence that hasn't happened for 100 years (the date not the invitation!)).  She asked us to share 11 photos, 11 things to do before the end of the year and 11 things that we've read/seen/experienced during 2011.

2012 Collage - Jimjams
11 Photos from 2011 - more or less one a month
Ranging from a Mother's day text to a  rooftop sculpture in Italy,
from 100 years of theatre  to our first home-grown peas!

As for good intentions ... they mostly revolve around Christmas: make more than two Christmas cards, post our Christmas cards in plenty of time, make some frozen Christmas pudding, make an early start on Christmas shopping (please stop feeling smug if you've already done all of yours - I call Christmas shopping in November very early!), clean the oven in advance (I don't want guests to see the state it's normally in) and invite family to spend some festive days with us.  The non-Christmassy ones are as follows ... plant some more peas and onions for next spring, tidy up the rest of the garden, de-clutter the downstairs rooms, finish off the year's bookkeeping and get myself organised for a Blogger's retreat at the end of the month!

The 11 things that have happened during 2011 ... well I blogged about quite a lot of stuff:

Pop over to Beverly's at BE Glorious to see what other "elevens" have been shared and perhaps share your own too!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Ten on the Tenth: Books

Have you heard about World Book Night?  It's a bit of a grand name for something that took place in March of this year and was held only in Britain and Ireland. A million books were given away by 20,000 "givers" - and one "giver" attends my reading group so I received a book first hand. I then spotted that some of my blogging buddies were also "givers" and I received another book by blog giveaway (which was then passed on here).

The second World Book Night will be more worthy of the name as it will include readers in the USA and possibly other countries as well.  It's scheduled for April 23rd 2012 - UNESCO's International Day of the Book and Shakespeare's birthday - Happy Birthday Will!  The U.S. selection has yet to be finalised, but the applications to be a U.K. "giver" and hand out 24 of next year's 500,000 books are being taken now.  I've applied.  It got me thinking about which books I'd recommend:

My all time favourite book has to be "The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.  I'm hoping that it might be "my" book if I'm selected as a "giver".  It is intricate and interesting and funny and incredibly sad.  It follows Henry and Clare as they meet, fall in love, marry and try for a family ... complicated by the fact that Henry has a genetic disorder that sends him back and forth within his own time-line so that sometimes he's old in the time of his youth and at others he experiences events in his future.  It's a book that makes you think between chapters!

My second choice from the World Book Night list for 2012 is "Room" by Emma Donoghue.  This is an amazing book, inspired by real events, and narrated by a small boy, Jack, who has never known anywhere except one 11 foot square Room.  He sleeps in Wardrobe, eats at Table and has only Ma for company.  Heartbreaking, inspiring, deeply affecting!

I had to pick a third choice book in my application but haven't actually read it (yet) so can't personally recommend it LOL! However here are a few of my other personal favourites (in no particular order) from the World Book Night Long List:

"The Handmaid's Tale"
by Margaret Atwood
"We Need To Talk About Kevin"
by Lionel Shriver
"Cloud Atlas"
by David Mitchell

"One Day"
by David Nicholls
"To Kill A Mockingbird"
by Harper Lee
"Never Let Me Go"
by Kazuo Ishiguro

"The Kite Runner"
by Khaled Hosseini
"The Curious Incident
of the Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
Looking at my selection there isn't a great deal of comedy here although I do enjoy funny books too - perhaps that's a topic for another day?
Are you applying to be a World Book Night "giver"?  Do you like similar books to me?

For more Ten on the Tenth bloggers please pop over to Shimelle's blog here.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Cutting up my Counterfeit Kit

Welcome fellow counterfeiters (and everyone else that reads here - do leave a comment and I'll come and say "Hello" back) and my apologies for the slight delay in posting the details of my kit.  It was ready, it was documented, it was actually being used ... but yesterday was Storytelling Sunday as well and I haven't yet figured out how to post about two different topics on the same day and keep them separate.
"Technologically challenged" it says over there in the side-bar → → →
which is embarrassing for a Computer Science graduate, but it's true.

Anyway back to the Counterfeiting in November: this month we have  Scraptastic Club  to thank for the kitS-to-copy.  I fell in love with the rich warm colours of the Home Sweet Home Kit (apart from the pink that is!) and set about my stash to see what I had.
As you will see I went for browns, creams and oranges with touches of teal.   I didn't have any tiny houses (I wouldn't use them if I did) and pulled some buttons instead.  I'll make my own paper rosettes as required and will be trying out my brand-new Sew Easy with some brilliant birthday hemp threads from Hilary (which are a perfect match for the original kit, even including some pink). The glittery red alphas of the original have been replaced by glitzy blue ones, but just in case I struggle with them, I've thrown in some all-purpose brown ones too.

Paper (whole sheets unless otherwise stated):
Citrus Flourish from Scrapworks' Canvas Collection (double-sided)
Checked Out and Playful from My Mind's Eye's Ooh La La collection (both double-sided)
Daisy D's Boston Damask
Scrapbook Walls Pool Tiles Vellum (½ sheet)
Fusion Tangerine and Archaic Fossil by Basic Grey
Daisy D's Holly in Winter Blue
Dream Street Papers {Miss}fit Tough  (double-sided)
K& Co's Folded Wood Tape Measure
Primrose Damask by Bo Bunny &  brown swirly embossed Bazzill (some circular off-cuts)

The reverse sides plus
some Teresa Collins Chic Bébé Boy Ledger paper
Daisy D’s Top 10 Random Lists cardstock die-cuts
MM's Flea Market Distressed Foil Aplha Stickers
Sei Poppy Alphabet Stickers
Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type alphas
A selection of buttons from my stash
Hemptique Spring Crafter's Cord
Jenni Bowlin Journalling Spots
Home-made Bingo Cards

Then there was the Add-on Kit to counterfeit: with chipboard shapes, a selection of ribbons, lace and ric-rac and some matching Ooh La La border die-cuts:

If you think my counterfeiting is starting to look familiar then well spotted: there is quite a lot of left over stash from my September kit (papers, ribbons, scraps, alphas, buttons) and I've added more papers from the same Ooh La La Collection that I used then.

There you have it ... but wait, can you put up with a little more?  I've used it already!  Several of my blog buddies have been cutting up paper as directed by Shimelle in her Pretty Paper Party.  Before they've even chosen their photos. Eeek!!! The idea is that having cut it up you will actually use it.  So that's what I did first thing at my Saturday crop.

And here is the first page I made - about our visit to Warkworth Dunes (I told you about that one Sunday in October) using the one sheet of patterned paper I didn't cut up ... plus one that I did along with a Pagemaps sketch.

Those glitzy alphas weren't too scary after all ... especially with a little added blue ink to take some of the shine off them!  But the brown mini alphas were too strong for the page so I improvised by stamping with a Studio G mini-alpha set and cutting the letters out to make my own "stickers".  Am I a Master Forger or what?!

Keen to carry on, I started playing around with some of those cut up papers and I rather quickly produced this ... unfinished page!  You'll have to pop back later in the month to see how it turned out!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Dental Drama

Do you hate going to the dentist?
Most of us don't like it much do we?
We have twice yearly check-ups plus the occasional visit for emergency treatment thanks to a lost filling, a chipped tooth or an abscess.  Luckily neither I nor any of my family are afraid to go - it's just a chore that has to be done!

However I can remember one occasion, many, many, many years ago, when I was extremely reluctant to attend my 6-monthly check-up, despite the fact that I'd be missing some school.
It was the missing school bit that was upsetting me.  Now don't get me wrong - I was a good student during the week but I was even better at relaxing at the weekends.  It's just that the Primary School that I was at had got an attendance reward scheme.  So it was worth being there. As long as it was every day! 

At the end of each term there was a final assembly when, if you had been there every single day of the term, your name was read out and you were presented with a selection box of sweets.  This was a really big deal!  Sweets were special!!  And if you attended every single morning and afternoon of the whole year you were given a GIANT selection box of sweets!

Now I had already managed to claim both the Autumn and Spring prizes ... and this dental appointment was putting the ultimate prize at risk!  Naturally enough, this cut no mustard with my mother and I was collected one afternoon around an hour before the end of school.

By the time the end of year assembly arrived I had come to terms with the fact that an hour off school had saved my teeth twice over.  So you can imagine my surprise and glee to hear my name read out as one of the pupils who had been marked present in the register at the beginning of each summer morning and afternoon ... and then imagine my utter, utter joy at hearing my name read out again to take delivery of that GIANT selection box ... as well!!!  More sweets than I had ever had in my possession in one go in my life!

Source (as I have not one photo of either a selection box or me in this school's uniform)
I can't imagine today's schoolchildren caring enough about a selection box of sweets to ensure that they attend every day of school.  It can't have been an incentive because as soon as you'd had one day off with a cold - you might as well stay off for a week afterwards!  It wasn't that great for your teeth either really was it?!

Today's post was brought to you as part of Sian's Storytelling Sundays - pop over there to share your own and read lots more.

P.S. If you've dropped by to see more details of my Counterfeit Kit for November it isn't here yet (sorry) ... but will be up on the blog tomorrow. I was busy cutting it all up yesterday and have already made a page with it by way of compensation ;o)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Fruits of My Labours

A little while ago I shared the fruits of our Silver Wedding Anniversary August Bank Holiday planting.  You may recall that there wasn't a great deal that was edible other than the lettuces and tiny tomatoes.  Well we are still enjoying lots of great salads (remarkably slug free still) and although we are down to the last half dozen teeny, tiny tomatoes, there are still plenty of (not so) Little Gems and a few Lollo Rossos in the pipeline ... well a plastic cloche actually!

I decided to play safe with the majority of the remaining lettuces in case the frosts appear.  Next year I must remember to leave enough space between rows to accommodate the cloche as several lettuces were a bit squashed when it was deployed!  I must also remember to plant fewer seeds at once as there are only so many salads you can eat in October/November.

Meanwhile the pea flowers have produced lots of pods ... I'm wondering just how long to leave these before trying to eat some peas - they are just tiny bumps at the moment, barely visible through the pods.

Today we harvested the first three raspberries (one each) ... delicious!  There are still flowers being pollinated and loads of raspberries ripening very slowly on the canes ... who'd have thought we'd finally be eating them in November!

And finally I also pulled up the first half-decent carrot.  It was remarkably straight (the hours spent extracting builders' rubble from the soil seems to have paid off) although still pretty small  - a bite each and it was gone!
I did wash it first ;o)
P.S. That finger is for scale, I'm sure you can tell which one is the carrot!