Welcome to my creative online journal

Wednesday 30 June 2010

London Photos

I'm late tonight.  I've been to a friend's birthday barbeque and only just got back.  No time to do another craft today so can I show you some photos of our recent (October) trip to London?

I love London, as a tourist, not sure I could live there, but I love visiting and seeing the wonderful architecture and shops attractions.  I also love seeing american crafter Suze Weinberg's (of Meltpot fame) blog when she goes to London, she is so excited by it all and it shows in her pictures. 

I've only just discovered Picasa.  Isn't it great as a photo correcting tool?  Really dark pictures can be restored using just a few clicks of 'Add Light' - I can highly recommend it.  I also love its face recognition programme too, it's so clever. 

(Click to enlarge photos)

We even 'bumped' into Torville & Dean (my sons said who?) attending an Award Ceremony.  Here they are posing for the Press:
I was so nervous, I only got this out of focus pic!

See you tomorrow,

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Thank You Card

Tonight's craft is a Thank You card made with a decorative hole punch, patterned paper and a couple of embellishments:

To make this card I stuck patterned paper onto a card blank and used a scalloped circle to cut out the shape.  I then attached a text paragraph from a magazine onto the inside of the card.  Next I added the gold ribbon bow, the butterfly embellishment and the wording.

(Sorry for the quality of this photo)

I'm thinking I may use  a similar idea as one of my  End of Term Thank you Teacher's card...

I forgot to show you the bracelets I bought when we were camping:
Nice aren't they?  They were bought from the Campsite's Organic Food shop and were made in India.
(Smaller ones £3.50 each, Larger one £4.00! Bargains!)

See you tomorrow,

Monday 28 June 2010

Image Transfer

I decided to have another little go at magazine image transfer as my craft today.  I had a look on google and there is a little discussion about it on UKScrappers.

What I did was stick clear wide parcel tape (from Sainsbury's) onto the magazine picture and cut around the image loosely.
I then used a small ruler to burnish the tape onto the picture and then soaked the picture in water (do you like my banana bowl?)
After a little while I rubbed the back with my finger to remove the backing paper
But unfortunately a vital part of my image (the computer mouse) came away too so I will need to do some more research on this (I expect there will be some videos on youtube) or stick to other methods (such as the Cellulose Thinners transfer technique).  With this clear parcel tape method you are meant to be left with a transparent image of your original picture.  Hopefully it will work for me...next time!

See you tomorrow,

Sunday 27 June 2010


Phew! Hot, Hot, Hot! We have returned from our two and a half day's camping trip and what a scorching weekend we had!  Don't know why my Google weather page predicted rain?  Mystery to me.  Luckily we had prepared ourselves with gallons of suncream.  We had a great time except when two of our party, including my younger son, went missing for a short while.  Luckily they were found again, they had taken themselves off on a 'mini walk!'  :-O

The place we went to was a campsite attatched to an organic food shop and cafe (http://www.theorganicfarmshop.co.uk) near Cirencester in the Cotswolds.  It was a really lovely location, lovely scenery, woodlands to explore and an organic shop with cafe for food supplies.

We celebrated three people's birthday while we were there and each of them lit one of those floating night lanterns to let off into the night sky. 
It was a lovely thing to watch, although this isn't the most environmentally friendly things to do.  I always worry about where they will come down.

On the Saturday we went to a very busy place called the Cotswold Water Park.  That was fab:
My husband treated the boys to one of those dinghy things and they had a splashing time:
Throughout the weekend we enjoyed sitting around campfires and having barbeques - the kids loved poking at the fire with sticks (supervised of course) - photo of that not shown.
They also enjoyed 'dressing up' games with spare materials...:
(This is 'King' Ryan)
...and lots of water pistol fighting!

But no campfire would be complete without..
..scary stories around the campfire!

(Normal crafting will resume tomorrow)

Oh, and don't mention the football! :-(  We went to a pub on the way back to watch it.

See you tomorrow,

Thursday 24 June 2010

Dog Collar

Don't you just love it when your children come home from school saying they need such-and-such outfit for the school production TOMORROW!?   As you can guess, this is what happened to me today.  Our older son comes home and says that he is to be a 'bad punk-type RAT' in this year's school play of 'The Pied Piper of Hamlin' and in order to look punk-like he wants to wear a dog collar.  Well, our nearest pet shop is a fair way to get to when you haven't got a car so we went hunting for one nearer home.  There is a shoe repairer's nearby and they sell leathery laces and such like so I thought I'd ask in there.  Once the assistant had stopped sniggering about my request, he suggested some other places, neither of which had one.  So it was decided to make our own.  We couldn't get any thick leather so we made this out of a strip of velvet and studs fixed on to it with my old 'Gem Styler:'   

Punk or what?
(photo has a Picnik effect)

Here is what I used:
A Gem Styler (very easy, works like a hole punch - bought in the Woolworths sale!), velvet ribbon and studs, plus a couple of magnetic fasteners from Papermania.
Oops! We hadn't got any actual studs, so we had to use stars instead. 
(The newspaper, incidently, came from Dubai. I asked my husband to get me a collection of foreign newspapers for making crafty backgrounds).

On stage, and from a distance, no-one will ever know (well, apart from you lot :-)  ). Sshh, keep mum!


I won't be doing a post tomorrow or Saturday, we will be camping and I'm not organised enough to schedule posts.   But do have a great weekend and I should be back on Sunday evening, after THE football,


Wednesday 23 June 2010

Boy's Birthday Card

I have my husband back! Well kind of anyway! ;-0  He came back from China today but is off to an interview in Edinburgh tomorrow!  Not sure I want him to get a job there either, I mean its a lovely place and all but it is SO FAR from where we are right in the middle of England.  Yes, I know its not as far as China but it would still mean he would be working away and I (selfishly) want him back!  I, obviously, would prefer him to get something closer...

This weekend we are meant to be camping and unfortunately the weather is due to change to rain.  We will probably still make the best of it even if it does, we did two years ago when we went to The Gower in Wales and it bucketed it down. 

I've just done a quick digital card using Picnik tonight for one of my son's friends who will be 10 when we are camping. He loves cricket and football, unlike my two who can take it or leave it.

We had the England match on the TV this afternoon but only in the background to a home movie of our holiday that we were watching on YouTube.  (But yay! we won!)

Got to start thinking of packing soon,

See you tomorrow,

Tuesday 22 June 2010

90th Birthday Scrapbook Finished!

Phew!  I spent a couple of hours in the very early morning (the midnight bit) and ALL DAY today creating this special birthday scrapbook I started yesterday for my sons' great grandmother.  But I am pleased to say, I did it and it was well received too.

I've got loads of photos of it so hope you don't mind me showing you.  It's not like me to do this much crafting in one day, I almost had craft overload! 

You saw the cover yesterday, but here it is again, when its all finished:

I was wrong saying that bottom RH button is not very big, it IS big!  (This, incidently,  is a non-journalling type of album, just a 'simple' type made as a gift)

Here is one of those swing round pics.  I've never done one of these but see them on other people's blogs and always fancied doing one - Ta Da!:
The first couple of pages were of these images of my boys.  Yes, I know you've seen these particular pictures LOTS of times on this blog, but they are nice and clear for a scrapbook for someone 90 years young! :-)
I put script background paper on the chipboard shapes first and you may recognise those labels from a free download mentioned on a previous recent post.  The addition of old buttons completed the look.
For the next page (above), I covered the background with flourished patterned paper and then used stencils with a black pen for the inner shape and additional flourishes.  More buttons and a ribbon completed the effect.
This page I used the same stencil with a white pen and drew this new frame with rough lines.  I added flowers and buttons for the centres.
The next two pages. I used a boy themed script paper for the background and drew around the frame with a brown pen.  The one on the right has boy themed rub-on transfers of stones and insects.  I also added some Glossy Accents to them to make them 3d-ish.
Ahh, my mud pages! Rub-ons were added to paper and added to the page.  On the right, I used a freebie paper (in the collection with the owls) and shiny silver buttons in all the corners.
Same paper, different orientation. Addition of stickers and the Cuttlebug robots Ryan and I made recently.  I was going to put a red button or three on the LH page but ran out of time!  
Back page. I'd got the boys to write this out and stuck it onto some patterned paper. For that awww factor.

We went to a barbeque to celebrate her birthday, and here is the birthday girl herself  blowing out her candles:
Happy 90th Birthday Grandnan Swain!

See you tomorrow,

Monday 21 June 2010

Mini Scrapbook

After my unsuccessful attempt to make a scarf for my sons' great 'Grandnan' as they call her, I have decided to do her a mini scrapbook of her 'great grand boyz'. 

Here's the cover and I'll show you more as it progresses:
This angle makes the button bottom right look enormous, but its not in RL.

Don't the boys look as if butter wouldn't melt? lol.  This picture was taken at their Uncle's wedding in the Philippines two Christmasses ago - we were there for 3 weeks in baking hot sunshine during December.

I used a Papermania chipboard scrapbook as my base and have just stuck on bits of my stash.  The owl paper was a freebie from a recent cardmaking magazine. 
Not all the pictures will have them looking as angelic as this (actually no other pictures will they look like that! :-) , I've got some where they are all covered in mud and that will be going in soon....  (Must get on, I need to finish it for tomorrow! :-O !!)

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday 20 June 2010

Internet Freebies

I love the internet! There is so much out there. Stacks of fantastic art, craft, inspiration and ideas and not only that, there are a lot of kind people on the internet that distribute their fab creations for us to use on our own personal creations.

Whilst bloghopping the other day, a site (sorry, can't remember which one!) directed me to an american craft magazine site called 'creatingkeepsakes.com'.  I love these type of magazine sites that allow you to sample the magazine online and quite often there are back copies and other similar magazines to look at too. You even turn the pages on screen like a real magazine, they are so clever!

This particular site has a great free download section too of lots of gifts you can make.  I downloaded and printed this alphabet notebook cover and because I hadn't got a notebook the exact size I stuck it on to the front of  a larger notebook I had (or at least I will do so when I have laminated it):

It's going to be my book of fabulous internet craft shops, all indexed with notes.

I also downloaded these two iron-on transfer robots from that site to go onto tshirts for my boys:
(They came with the writing already reversed)

The actual address for the printable gifts to make is http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com/issues/101_Hip_Handmade_Gifts

* * *

I did go to the Peace Festival again today and wow, the weather was hot! But Doh! I forgot to take my camera with me, it was still attached to the computer from when I made yesterday's slideshow. Oops! Never mind, hopefully you will have got a flavour from my post yesterday. 

And I also hope you enjoyed your weekend,

See you tomorrow,

Saturday 19 June 2010

Father's Day and Peace Festival Pics

First of all:

Love from Nicky, Ryan & Joshua!
(and Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there)

As you can see, these are the individual letter boards that I constructed to make up the Father's Day Card I made for my husband's dad yesterday.  I made up the boards & then photographed them.  The photos were printed small and stuck onto the card. 

Next up,  I can show everybody this slideshow of a flavour of the Leamington Peace Festival that I went to today.  It's a festival that you don't camp at, you just go for the day (or both days of the weekend) and enjoy the good music (well, some of it is, today someone I heard was dreadful!), healthy food (mostly organic), shopping (a fair bit of hippy clothes, but they also have some arty bits and pieces) and you can find out about environmental issues from groups like Amnesty Int., Greenpeace, etc.

I only managed to get around a bit of the Festival because I was looking after my boys and they didn't want to go round! :-(

Update: Apologies but no slide show, it was created in Picnik

I will be back at the Festival tomorrow and will probably take more pics, its a very creative place with such a lot to see.  If you are able to go along, do pop in, its Free!  Also spot my altered shirt on this slideshow and see what I mean about the message across my chest! :-O  I have to admit, I did end up hiding it under a coat today, it was too cold for a sleeveless T.  Hopefully we will get to see more sunshine on Sunday. 

See you tomorrow,

Friday 18 June 2010

Last Bootcamp Day and Father's Day Card(s)

It's the end of the Creativity Bootcamp today and the theme was 'Smile'.  Here is mine:

I considered selecting a photo of one of my children smiling - especially when they were so young and cute, but I expect loads of people that are doing this Bootcamp have done that so I selected this one - of me!  

The reason I have chosen it is because its one of my favourite pictures of myself, I look so radiant and genuinely happy!  Believe it or not but I had just GIVEN BIRTH with my second child just before this picture was taken (by my husband).  

A nice end to a fun project.  I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me on my Bootcamp journey and I think I'll put a compilation mosaic on tomorow.   Not sure I'll get much crafting done though, I'm off to the Leamington Peace Festival.  Hope the weather improves.

Regarding my craft, I did two Father's Day Cards - well, one was a modification of the Picnik one I did yesterday:

I distressed it.  I just couldn't resist, it was too clean!

I also made another one for my Father-in-Law from my husband and I (if you are looking, dear husband, don't look at this yet, I've done a similar idea for yours!):
It's mini photos of 'Happy Father's Day Dad' made out of lego bricks, scrabble pieces, foam letters, letter jigsaw pieces (Sorry about the quality of this pic, can't take another one, its gone in the post 1st Class, hope it makes it in time!)

See you tomorrow,

Thursday 17 June 2010

Boot Camp Day 12 and Father's Day Card

When I started this Creativity Boot Camp I didn't think I would be keeping it up every day but I have to say it's been really useful to me to have a subject prompt for me to work on.  I will quite miss it when it finishes tomorrow.  I do feel that I 'cheated' a little bit, by sometimes using a photo taken previously, rather than on the day itself.  But I also feel that the photos I chose to use seemed so right to me for the theme.  Quite often I modified the picture too, adjusting them using my favourite photo editing programme, Picnik.

I actually took these tonight for today's prompt which was 'smooth':
This is an old Bakelite phone, which we have had in our possession for about 20 years, dating from the time when my husband and I were into green issues in a big way.
It needs a new cable (and a good old scrub!) but it still works.  The 'smooth' aspect was the casing which you can see is shiny & smooth and so is the dial, it has a 'smooth' rotating action, which is so satisfying to use.  My young son (aged 10) said he would prefer to use this type of phone than the modern sort!

I also took this one on the theme of 'smooth':
It is a photo of a glass sculpture that hangs in our kitchen window.

...And I've also made a last minute Father's Day Card for my Father-in-law using Picnik:
Hope those of you in the UK have been enjoying the lovely weather we are having at the moment,

See you tomorrow,
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