A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


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Scrapping with layers #1

I’m still enjoying doing scrapbooking classes as well as scraplifting whenever I see something that I love. At the moment I’m taking a break from Baltic scrapping to do some of Shimelle’s ‘layer on layer on layer’ class. Layering is one of the things that I struggle with but I’m hoping to get to grips with it and do layouts that I’m happy with.

I’ve already done a couple of the prompts and shared the layouts in other posts, but I’m cracking on and working my way through the class now and am really loving it.

I bought some of the Midnight range by Cocoa Vanilla as it’s so gorgeous. I started playing with it as soon as it was delivered and did this layout of Rosie for prompt #03. Note that the date is on it. I’ve recently been sorting out all my albums, as the layouts were ordered by type rather than date, (don’t ask, it made sense at the time). I wanted to put them in ring binder albums, instead of the post bound that I used when I first scrapped, and order them chronologically.

This is when I realised that I quite often didn’t put a date, or even a location. I have layouts that I have no idea when or where the photo was taken, mostly because I scrapped a lot of photos of flowers and didn’t see the relevance, presumably. I do now though!

I’ve got all but a few sorted now, thanks to having photos going back years on DVDs, which have now been transferred to my computer. I’m definitely going to be more aware of including information on layouts, even if it’s only written on the back.

Anyway, back to the layouts…

Prompt #04 was all about using paper stacks. I managed to use loads of really old papers for this, and before I started scrapping, I took the time to sort out all my paper scraps into a drawer so they were easier to rummage through. Before they were with the collection they belonged to so were all over the place.Prompt #05 was about repetition. I don’t love this layout but I’m happy with the technique used.Prompt #06 was about using stickers. I’m quite happy with this one and again, I enjoyed using the technique. Prompt #07 was using die cuts. I love this layout and will be using my die cuts a lot more now. Prompt #08 was stamping, which is something that I rarely do on layouts. That’s a shame as I have loads of stamps, so I was chuffed to bits to have a prompt on stamping. This is one of my favourite photos of Rosie and I love the way the layout turned out. I’ll be doing this again! Prompt #09 is where I ran into a snag. It was using doilies and I don’t have any, nor do I want to get any. I improvised and cut a piece from a sheet of lace cardstock so this turned out quite differently to the prompt but I still found it useful. There are about 30 prompts to work through so I’m going to carry on with them for a while longer before going back to the Baltic albums. I’m really enjoying doing this class!

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SAL – Cappuccino #01

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I’ve started a new project. Apologies for the length of this post, Apparently I had a lot to say LOL.

I said at the start of the year that I wanted to complete five cross stitch projects this year, and I specified which ones they would be. So far I’m doing quite well. I made a spreadsheet to work out how many updates I’d need for each piece and I’m actually a bit ahead of schedule. So, instead of taking it easier, I thought I’d add another project to the list. Of course I did 🙄

You see one night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I had a brainwave. As I’m prone to forgetting things, especially night-time ideas, I made a quick sketch before going to sleep. The next day, I rummaged in my To Be Finished box to see if the idea was feasible.

Would you like to see my To Be Finished box? (Frodo did.)It has a lid, to keep all the stitched projects clean (in case anyone was worried), and it lives on the Cross Stitch bookshelf. It has inside it all the projects that are stitched but need to be framed or finished off in some way. As you can see, I’m much better at getting the stitching done than I am the framing.

The box has some lovely projects in it, such as these. And all of these. And these, which are what prompted my night-time sketching session. I’d remembered that I have one left to do in the Coffee Trio. They’re gorgeous little projects, that come complete with silk threads which are lovely to stitch with. They’re by one of my favourite designers, Little House Needleworks. They’re fairly small and after the success of framing Snowflake Serenade with that pretty fabric, it occurred to me that I could quite easily do these all in one frame, one below the other, which is what I sketched. *I may regret saying ‘easily’*

And, in order to do that, I need to stitch the third one – Cappuccino. (It is on the same fabric as the other two, but the lighting clearly wasn’t the same for both pics.) So, that’s why a sixth project was added to my To Do List and I’m hoping, really hoping that it doesn’t stop me from finishing the others as the last one is the largest one of the six.

The fabric is a lovely permin linen. It’s 32 count, so finer than my usual 28 count, and is quite slubby and uneven. I can cope with slubby and I can even still cope with 32 count (although it’s maybe best to use up all of my finer fabric before my eyes get any older), but 32 count AND slubby is a bit too likely to cause mistakes. So, I’ve used some stuff that’s a bit like fishing line and marked out the grid. The grid lines were checked for accuracy about a dozen times so now it’s much easier to make sure everything is stitched in the right place. It’s really speeded up my stitching actually so I’m thinking it was definitely worth the time it took.

This is how far I’ve got with it. That’s almost half way, so a bit more than I’d hoped for. The silks are lovely to use. Much nicer than the ones used on Aconites. They don’t snag or fray and just glide through the fabric. I love the overdyed effect too! Aren’t the purples pretty?! The only thing that I don’t love is working with one strand of thread. No loop starts, so more ends to sew in.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, GunSueConstanze, ChristinaKathyMargaret,
CindyHelenLindaHeidi, JackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherine,
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.


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The big knit

I’ve made another thirty hats for the Innocent Smoothies Big Knit, taking my total up to one hundred!

I’ve been concentrating on using up odd part-balls of yarn left over from blanket making so the latest batch look a bit samey.

The first ten are elephants again. I made mostly two-tone ones this time.

The next ten are a mix of different pompom hats. And so are the next ten, still using up oddments. I love that variegated yarn for making pompoms. It brightens up the more boring colour hats very nicely indeed.

So, I said I wanted to do 100 hats and I’ve got there. I’ve still got time to do more though so the aim now is to finish using all the oddments and then see how much of that pretty Poundland yarn I can get through before the deadline.


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Baltic scrapping #09

This is the final batch from our fantastic day exploring in Tallin, Estonia.

City walls, where we saw towers, walls and pretty gardens. The incredibly beautiful Alexander Nevsky cathedral. Toompea Castle, where we saw a pink castle, a tall tower and more lovely gardens. The Dome church, which was another beautiful building. The Patkuli viewing platform. Another viewing point – Kohtuotsa. And finally, for Tallin, Viru Gate. There’s lots of journalling on this one as it describes the last bit of our Estonian adventure plus what we got up to once back on board our ship. That’s day five scrapped and the first of four albums finished. There are almost fifty layouts in there and it’s very full! Album two was supposed to have thirty-five page protectors in there but I’ve condensed a couple of sections down to get it to thirty. I’m hoping that as some are divided page protectors with just photos in, which will be less bulky than layouts, that they’ll fit.

I’m going to take a wee break from Baltic scrapping before starting album two as I’ve got a couple of Shimelle classes to do and lots of photos of cats etc that are waiting to be scrapped.


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SAL – You can touch the dust #01

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

Before we get onto the new project though, look what else I’ve been doing! I finished off Snowflake Serenade. Usually I just bung them in the ‘Waiting for framing’ box once they’re stitched, but I found some pretty fabric at Secret Garden Quilting and managed to use it, instead of adding it to the fabric collection LOL

Look, it’s hanging up and everything!

I put some more poles up in my craft room as they worked so nicely for the Cottage of the month series. I think Snowflake looks rather nice there and I have room for several more on the poles. There’s an incentive to get the sewing machine out!

So, on to the newest project. This is another small one and is by Lizzie*Kate. I’ve had it in my stash for ages. I think I bought it on one of my stash shopping trips in Orlando a few years ago. It caught my eye and I ‘needed’ it LOL I bought the yummy overdyed threads at the same time as the chart and had put a lovely fabric with it so it was ready to go. The fabric is 28 count Cashel linen in vintage dune. It’s two-tone and looks like it would if someone spilt coffee on it, but in a nice way.

I started in the middle and worked my way up to the top. I was going to stop there but I was really enjoying it so sort of, ummm, finished it…

Cute, isn’t it. I’m way, way ahead of schedule now. I may sneak an extra project into my plans for this year, and I do have something in mind.

Ooh, and I found some lovely fabric in my stash that’ll be great for framing this. The two greens in the fabric match the threads perfectly. Maybe I’ll get that done before the next update and have it hanging up with Snowflake.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, GunSueConstanzeDebbierose,
ChristinaKathyMargaret, CindyHelenLindaHeidi,
JackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherine, Deborah, Connie, 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.


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The big knit

I’ve been very busy with my little hats recently. I’m getting quite fast at making simple bobble hats and have been mostly concentrating on those. I’ve used some lovely yarn from the pound shop. It was on offer at three for £2 so I ended up buying six balls. There’s a sparkly white one, a pastel variegated and a slightly brighter one. There’s also a very bright variegated one with a short colour-change that makes great bobbles.

I made a couple of creatures. I made them up as I went along so we’re calling them fantasy creatures as they don’t resemble anything real.

I made a couple more sun hats.

Most of these are one of the pretty variegated yarns. It makes lovely striped hats without having to change yarns. The other is the brighter one.

This is mostly the more pastel variegated yarn. I used the sparkly white one for the bobbles and I think they look pretty.

That’s another twenty for the collection taking my total up to seventy. I should have no problem getting to one hundred at this rate.

I’ve been back to the Pound shop since making these to get more yarn as I’d run out of two of the variegated ones. I got a nice dusty pink and a sparkly purple one too.

I also found another variegated one at a different pound shop, which I haven’t photographed but you’ll see made up very soon.


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Baltic scrapping #08

Six more layouts, all from our day in Tallin, Estonia. We had a brilliant time there and really loved exploring the old city.

The intro page, which follows the same format as the others. The photo was taken in one of the lovely gardens that we came across.

This one is about docking and how we sat in Islands, eating our breakfast, as Tallin came into view during the sail in. We had an amazing view of the Old City from the ship. Like the paper? I bought a couple more collections of travel-themed papers. This one is lush and is Simple Vintage Traveller by Simple Stories. I love everything about it and am loving using it.

Once off the ship, we did a guided walk from a book that I’d bought before our departure. It took us to loads of interesting places, with information about everywhere we went. We started off at Fat Margaret Tower, which is this layout. The next layout is about Pikk Street. On Pikk Street we went into the KGB cells. I’m not sure the phrase embellishments are entirely suitable for there but I didn’t have much else that’d fit. Finally for this post is a layout about the Town Hall Square and the bit of shopping that we did there. I’ve got a few more layouts from Tallin, but I’ll save them for another day.