May's Crop Class - Influenced by Katherine

This year, at my crop, I am trying to push myself and my ladies to try something different each month.  This month the class was heavily influenced by the lovely Katherine Sutton.

It used texture paste (home made using baby powder and boy did it smell good) and the papers were from Pebbles Inc's Simple Life range, which Katherine had used for a retreat class. I did find the texture paste made the paper buckle a bit so used good old red tape to attach it to my cardstock.

I cut a stencil for each person and we added the texture past to the top left and bottom right of one of the papers. I also cut a Polaroid frame for each of the kits - still loving my silhouette!

The second page had a little fussy cutting and some punching of flowers and leaves.  Both titles were made using a set of letter dies which when combined with each other make script writing - found in a bargain basket and I know will be used often.

I was really pleased with the resulting two pages and I think the ladies were too.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. We have been for a lovely walk this morning and my fitbit says I have done 8858 steps already!

2. Plotting and planning for a new venture - more details soon.

3. Our lovely girl is almost at the end of her degree - just the final push.

CSI - April Challenges

Hello, poor neglected little blog - how are you?  Not too lonely I hope!  Sorry for my absence, I hope you haven't missed me too much.

I have a couple of pages to share today that I made in response to the April CSI challenges.  The first one was this challenge

Major Case File No. 227

For this one I chose two photos of my beautiful Kiera.  Of late, I have become very aware that she is getting older and it tugs at my heart strings so much.  Out of all the dogs we have owned she has been the only one who prefers my company to anyone else's.

I mixed some yellow Infusions powder with modelling paste to make it pale yellow.  Cut a stencil on my Silhouette (yes I am still obsessed with using this little beauty) and stenciled paw prints onto the background paper.  

As usual, I then layered up lots of bits and bobs to complete my page, adding a photo of Kiera when she was just eight weeks old and one taken yesterday.

The second challenge is this one:-
I used a piece of white Stampin Up resist patterned paper and swiped a Tim Holtz ink pad (Broken China) over the surface to get the dark teal background.

I then cut a stencil with my silhouette (such a good way to use up all those sheets of strange coloured card that I seem to have accumulated) and used white modelling paste to make the Arabesque pattern across the centre of the page.

Finally, I added my photo and some fussy cut jars and die cuts.

Having, only just discovered the CSI challenge blog I am now hooked.  Why don't you pop over and see what the DT and the other participants have done with the two challenges above,  I guarantee you will be amazed!

Reasons to be Cheerful:

1.  We have had Gracia home for four days.
2.  Looking forward to a walk later today to see the bluebells.
3.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and all is well with the world.

Our Ronnie

This is a post mainly for me - I wanted to document my thoughts so that I can look back and they are not forgotten.

On Christmas Eve last year my brother (our Ronnie) was found in the road with extensive head injuries and was rushed to hospital.  He passed away on Boxing Day without gaining consciousness and we hope without feeling any pain.  

It was his funeral on Thursday and with the help of his friends, mainly Becky and Melvyn we gave him the send off he deserved.  The chapel of rest was full to bursting point and the eulogies, in the main, were funny, telling stories of his childhood and adulthood, there were tears but mainly there was laughter.  

Our sister Stacey told of how safe she felt when he was around and how much she loved and missed him. 

Simon, his friend, landlord and boss said that he was a decent, genuine guy and a real character and the he considered him to he a loyal friend.  He told of how Ron enjoyed a pint or two... or three or four or way more.  How he lived every day as if it was his last because sure as hell one day will be. How he burnt the candle at both ends and in the middle too.  

I told tales of our childhood and remembered the halcyon days when children were allowed to play out all day with just a jam sandwich and a bottle of water to keep them going.  How we had so much fun playing in the fields and woods surrounding our home.  How he could find mischief in anything and everything and how he was the first boy at our school to get a public caning. 

Becky had placed a packet of Morning Glory seeds on every seat to remember him by and at the pub later we were told the significance of this!  

The pub was also filled with his friends telling stories of how he would do anything for anyone, give help without asking for anything in return, how his generosity knew no bounds, arriving at the pub with fish and chips for everyone or giving his time to help those closest to him.  How he was always reliable always being where he said he would despite being up partying for most of the previous night. How much loved and respected he was by all. 

Maybe he knew what was to be because he had a big party, with a band, for his 64th birthday in November despite everyone saying he should wait until his 65th.  

He loved his motor bikes and it goes without saying that he would ride them faster than anyone else around him.  We thought that that would be how it would end but not so.

The service was taken by a humanist celebrant and we chose Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin for the music.  Kevin, the celebrant finished with the perfect poem

I soar away into speed's breeze
the engine's power between my knees
The throttle trembles in my hand
At my control, at my command!

In the droning rumble of the motor's spimd
my problems, troubles and cares are drowned.
Nothing keeps me from the sky,
And I can ride where eagles fly!

I dig my heals into the pegs,
tune every muscle 'till my legs
are synchronized with my machine,
to feel the curves and with it lean,

to live the thrills of sudden hills,
the heart-quickening panic of would-be spills.
Don't call me back to earth again
where I must walk like other men.

All is quiet now
The rush has gone
I've never traveled this far
Don't know where I'm going
or where all has gone
The sun is bright
and there's a cool breeze
I wouldn't mind if this ride .....
..... would last forever. 

So we said goodbye to Our Ronnie in the best way we could but remembering the huge hole he has left in our lives because his larger than life personality filled all our hearts at some point during his life. 

Christmas Isn't Over Until the Jam is Finished!

Yes I said that on Instagram last week as we had bought some delicious Tiptree Christmas Jam.  Nice and fruity with a hint of spice and so, so Christmassy.

So as the jam is coming to an end it's time to show you the layouts I made for ATDML in December.

Delivering Joy using Carta Bella Special Delivery and featuring my lovely Kiera.

Then I used Simple Stories Classic Christmas for the next two layouts. 

Joy - added some gold glitter paste to this one - love, love, love that medium not too messy but great results when used with a stencil. 

Finally I made this one from just one piece of paper which I cut up and reassembled onto my cardstock, added a selection of stickers from the Classic Christmas sticker pack and some green, gold and red sequins. 

I hope the week treats you kindly xxx

Reason to be cheerful:-

There is still some jam left in the jar so obviously I can continue to feel a little Christmassy each morning for a little while longer.

Carta Bella Christmas Delivery

Hello blog friends, I hope you had the happiest of Christmases and the merriest of New Years. 

As part of my ATDML DT I was given some Carta Bella Christmas Delivery papers.  I had been keen to make a surprise exploding box with a twist.  I don't know if you recall but I have made several exploding boxes with surprises in, over the past couple of years.

One for a class I taught at the Scrapmates Crop - similar to this one I made for the ATDML DT in December 2014

I also taught a version of this as a Mother's Day gift at my crop the same year.

My idea was to combine the above projects with a couple of projects I had made for the Silhouette UK Design Team 

Some mini mason jars decorated with vinyl cut outs of village scenes with a battery operated tea light inside and a pop up Christmas card that has a battery tea light behind the gingerbread house to illuminate the windows.   

So I set about combining these projects into one design.  If you would like to download the templates they can be found on the ATDML # create Facebook page under the File tab - you may have to join the group to access them if you are not already a member. 

This was the end result which I am rather pleased with, even if I say so myself.  A deceptively simple parcel that when you untie the ribbon contains a lovely little illuminated house inside!

Apologies for the photo heavy post, next time I will be more selective!

A Little Graphic 45 Love - August DT Projects

I am always worried when it is time to design with Graphic 45 as my ATDML DT kit.  I know that many of the ranges I would struggle with, know that there are designers on the team who absolutely love G45 and worry that I wont be able to come up with something that does the papers justice.

For the August DT I was given two G45 ranges to work with - Safari Adventure and Enchanted Forest.  I can only say that Jill must have really thought carefully about what to send me as I loved them both, especially the romantic Enchanted Forest.

So I set to work and first made an mini album for a friend (more details here) with the Enchanted Forest.

I then used the Safari Adventure to make some layouts - love the way this range looks so different when used on white cardstock.

and finally used the remains of the Enchanted Forest, along with some Project Life chalkboard stickers and cards, to make another layout.

More details of these projects can be seen here.

Reason to be Cheerful:-

That Jill takes so much care to choose kits for the DT making sure everyone gets supplies they love to work with.

Memorandum Monday 29/8/16 - Missing My Girl

Hello, hello lovely blog readers.  Today, I am joining in with Sian's Memorandum Monday - telling tales of what you learnt at the weekend.

What I learnt, is nothing new, something I knew would happen and the thing that it surprisingly constant.  What I learnt is that even though she has lived in Newcastle for the past 5 years after spending a fortnight together missing my girl is inevitable, hard and will always happen when she goes back.

The four of us, well five if you include Kiera and we always try to include Kiera, spent a week walking in the Lake District, earlier in the month.  We had such a fabulous time, the sun shone for all but one day and when I say shone it was sun hats and sun block hot.  We walked round lakes, climbed hills, fell over in the mud (in my case, much to the amusement of the others), swam in the becks (not in my case but the others did) and ate well, but sensibly.

Then Gracia caught the train home to us (not enough room in the car for us to bring her back) and spent another week here.  We went to London to chase dreams

to the zoo to find our favourite animals

went pig hunting in Ipswich 

and made a proper afternoon tea.  

Every day was filled with fun and laughter and now she has gone back our little house echos with emptiness.  

I am sure she will be back very soon and she starts on the final year of her medical degree tomorrow, almost there!  After that she has two years as a junior doctor in a hospital and three further years GP training but after this year we can close the bank of mum and dad as she will be earning.

Reason to be Cheerful:-

Missing my girl indicates that we have had a lovely time and are looking forward to next time she is home.  If I didn't miss her it would mean that I was glad she had returned to Newcastle!