A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


September challenge – week 1

So, the September challenge at Scraptastic inspiration is to do at least two layouts per week using the various prompts. There is a prompt for each day and I thought why not do EVERY prompt and do one layout each day of the month. I’m not sure what possessed me to think that, but so far, so good.

These are the first week’s layouts, and yes, I did need to Google ‘bubble wrap technique’ as I’d never heard of it LOL

1st – shades of one colour. Love that Paige Evans cut file. Background is a really, really old sheet of Club Scrap.

2nd – at least five layers. More really old Club Scrap for the background. I’m getting through it gradually. 3rd – Summer. Another Paige Evans cut file. It was just too perfect not to use for this prompt. 4th – Watercolours. I’m experimenting with a bit of mixed media at the moment, having found a wee stash of Twinkling H2Os that I didn’t know I had. I’m making more of a mess than anything at the moment but I’m hoping that I’ll improve with practise. The butterflies and hearts are die cut from a thicker application of the watercolours and came out brilliantly. I’m trying to look at those and not the background LOL 5th – Bubble wrap technique. This ended up really subtle but I quite like it. Maybe something I’ll try again. 6th – Design your own sketch and make it. I had fun doing this, especially designing the sketch. I made the cut file myself too.  7th – At least three wooden items. I used a Paige Evans cut file for this with the lovely Again and Again range. I just had to use that fox die-cut!

Credit for cut files:
Paige Evans Flower border
Paige Evans Summer
Paige Evans Geometric shape



Scrapping challenges

A few of the scrappy FaceBook groups that I’m in have challenges and I’ve been trying to join in with some. These are a few of the resulting layouts.
This was done for a Hey Little Magpie challenge to use frames on a layout.  I used the lovely Cocoa Vanilla Midnight collection. It’s so pretty and it had frames in the embellishment pack!

One of the challenges in the Scraptastic Inspiration group recently was Chinese whispers. It took place over six weeks and was great fun. Each of us in our groups of six did a layout from a sketch chosen from Pinterest. All the sketches and layouts were secret until the end. Our layouts were messaged to the next person in line for them to scraplift, before sending their version on to the next person the following week. At the end, we revealed all the layouts to see how they progressed from the original sketch.

This is the layout that I did from a sketch. I rather like it. The next five are my scraplifts of the layouts that were passed to me. I recently bought a lovely stamp set with all cat-related phrases and pictures. I’ve used them on a couple of the layouts above. I’m quite taken with them 🙂

Also in Scraptastic inspiration we get sketch challenges. These are three of the layouts from those.

This one is very simple just using some pretty papers and a bit of ribbon. I love those photos of Rosie. This one was way out of my comfort zone. The sketch looked as if it had a watercolored background but that sounded scary so I used inks through a stencil and some stamping. The journalling round the outside had me worried as I don’t like my handwriting but I figured out how to use the Silhouette to do that and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I used the Silhouette for the title too. This one just uses some pretty paper and a few embellishments. Title done with the Silhouette. We’ve taken to calling Frodo our House Lion and he looked as if he was in the jungle the way he was sitting in the grasses, so that decided the title 🙂


SAL – Ice cream sundae #02

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I have a finish.

This is where it was last time.And this is the finished piece at 5″ x 11.5″. Isn’t it yummy. I may have had an ice cream or two in the past few weeks, although I’m still fancying that sundae at the top.

I’ve had a rummage in my finished projects box and found a couple of friends for Sundae. I’m thinking that if I’m going to fabric-frame this one, then I may as well do the others. (I currently have eight projects pressed and waiting to be framed so I wouldn’t hold your breath on that 🙄 ) Sigh. Now I fancy a mug of coffee with a slice of pie.

Right, before I go and raid the kitchen, I’ll tell you that I’ve started gridding my next project and can’t wait to start stitching it. It’s going to be a real hoot! More details in three weeks 🙂

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, GunSueConstanze, ChristinaKathyMargaret,
CindyHelenLindaHeidi, JackieSunnyHayleyMegan,
Deborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.


A scrapping weekend

Last weekend I took part in a cyber crop. Over the two days there were eight challenges in all and I’m chuffed to bits that I completed all of them. I like all of the layouts that I did but a couple I really love. I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone and had a really good time.

The first challenge was to do a mosaic on a layout using a specified colour palette. I had the idea of printing a photo really large and using it to make the mosaic but was struggling with finding something in the right colours. Then I thought of our trip to Westonbirt last year and found a couple of photos where the colours matched beautifully. I’m really happy with how this turned out. Challenge 2 was to use five items from a list. One of the options was sewing. I decided to use the sewing machine for that and thought I might do a fancy stitch instead of just straight stitch. I was so excited when I saw that my machine can do hearts – another of the items. This did necessitate a foot change though, leading to another discovery – I have a monogram foot. Who knew?! LOL Challenge 3 was shabby chic, which is something that I struggle with. I’d got some different bits of lace left from making fat-bottomed bags a couple of years ago, and found a few other bits and bobs. I printed off an old photo and I guess the result is vaguely shabby chic. Challenge 4 was using fussy cutting to frame a photo. After a good rummage through my patterned papers for something with flowers on, it became apparent that I don’t buy many florals. I did find two sheets of a very old Christmas paper though and spent ages cutting out poinsettias. I’m sure I had blisters afterwards but it let me scrap this photo of Sammie, looking less than impressed with her hat 😉 Challenge 5 was to use a provided Paige Evans cut file, although an alternative was provided for those who couldn’t use it. The layout had to be craft themed so I took some pics of my craft room and used those. I’m really chuffed with it. Challenge 6 was to use a sketch and a pastel palette with the word Candy or Sweet in the title. After a rummage through my photos, I found a couple of pics of Rosie that went with the colours of the paper collection that I used – Basic Grey Two Scoops.Challenge 7 was another sketch and with a summer theme. Also, you had to pick items from a list. One of the items was bunting, which I loved doing. Challenge 8 had me stumped. It was just to do a layout in the style of Picasso. I spent some time looking at different Picasso styles and then found a cut file that looked sort of cubist-inspired so went with that. I was trying to find a photo to use when Stephen suggested using one of a car he had a few years ago. It was a Picasso, which I used to call Pablo LOL
I just need to add the dates that we had the car to finish it. I was happy to find something to do for the challenge as I was determined to finish it. The cyber crop was good fun and there was lots of chatting and encouragement. Julie did a brilliant job of organising everything and thinking up the challenges. I’m really glad I decided to join in.

Also, there were some prizes and I’m chuffed to bits that I won ten Paige Evans cut files. So brilliant as she’s my favourite cut file designer 🙂


It’s so weird crocheting big things!

I got so used to making those little hats that all my crochet WIPs feel enormous. I’ve got three things on the go at the moment, and by ‘on the go’ I mean that I started them and abandoned them for other projects.

I’ve got lots of lovely things planned to crochet but I intend to finish these three items first and now that I’ve said it here, I’ll have to do it LOL

The oldest of the three is a ripple blanket designed by Lucy. I made a decent enough start on it but put it away for the summer as it was too hot on my legs. Yeah, and that decision had nothing to do with wanting to start a CAL…

This is what it looked like last time I saw it in April 2016.
After finishing the two CAL blankets and a temperature blanket, which slipped in there somehow, I started a new blanket instead of going back to the ripple. The new one is gorgeous and completely seduced me so I make no apologies for it.

I was getting on quite well with it but found it was too large and needed too much concentration to take along to Craft Club at work, so I started a smaller project and never went back to Arizona.

This is what Arizona looked like when it was abandoned in May 2018. I really do want to get back to it as I was loving learning all the different techniques and stitches. The colour scheme is so striking too.

First though, I’m going to finish the smaller project that Arizona was abandoned for. I’d decided that I really needed a poncho to wear around the house in the winter. I dislike wearing anything too bulky or close-fitting and a poncho is easy to fling off while still being cosy. I had a pattern and a huge stash of the perfect aran yarn, due to going a bit mad in Aldi whenever they have craft stuff in. It’s a simple granny stitch so is great for doing while chatting or watching TV.

This is what it looks like at the moment.

Once it’s long enough, it’s supposed to have a fringe but I’m thinking about going wild and putting pompoms on the bottom instead. Any thoughts? Too tempting for the kitties perhaps? LOL


Baltic scrapping #10

I’ve started on album two of our Baltic Cruise adventure and this one will be all Russia. We did so much over the two days there that it’s going to fill a whole album!

First off is the intro page. The photo is of me standing by the River Neva. It was such a glorious day and I loved our tour so much. I’m getting all nostalgic just looking at it.

I had a couple of banknotes left so as they were only worth a couple of pounds, I included them on the layout. I had a lot to say on the next layout. I wanted to describe the immigration process and why we were so early. I used a photo of our tour bus with it. I really want to get as many details of not just what we saw and did, but how we felt. I want to be able to look back on these albums in future years and be transported back to our brilliant holiday. The next two layouts are about our first stop in St. Petersburg. We had ten minutes to see the Sphinx by the Neva River. The first layout has journalling about travelling to the river and what we did there. The second one has details of the Sphinx. I lifted the text straight from the official St. Petersburg website and used a shaped journalling box to signify that it’s factual rather than descriptive. I’ll probably use the same format through the whole album. Can you believe those things are three and a half thousand years old?!

The next three layouts are at our second stop of the day. It’s the Neva River again, and this time it’s to see the Rostral columns.

First the obligatory tourist photo with Stephen posing with a column. Next is one with a bit of info about the columns. And finally one showing the view from that area. We could see a couple of the places on our itinerary, which was quite exciting.


SAL – Ice cream sundae #01

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I have a new start.

This is a design by Country Cottage Needleworks. I’ve done a couple of the other ‘menu’ designs by CCN and they’re great fun to stitch, and fairly quick too. So far I’ve done Coffee menu and Pie menu. I may add Cake menu to my stash at some point as I think they’ll look lovely on the wall all together.

I’m using a lovely fabric. It’s 28ct cashel linen in light mocha. It feels really nice and is easy to stitch on.

As I mentioned last time, I’ve marked the squares out for ease of counting, and I’m finding it really useful again. I’m hoping to finish this in two updates and I’ve made a good start on it. I’m exactly halfway down it so I’m bang on schedule.It’s making me hungry for ice cream while I’m stitching it. I could just fancy that banana split. Wonder if I’ll manage to finish this without succumbing to temptation LOL

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, GunSueConstanze, ChristinaKathyMargaret,
CindyHelenLindaHeidi, JackieSunnyHayleyMegan,
Deborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.