A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books



Last weekend there was a cybercrop at Peartree Cutfiles. I’ve got a few of Marie’s cutfiles in my stash and really needed a kickstart with my scrapping as so far I’d only done two layouts this year. There were four challenges but you could enter each one as many times as you liked. Every layout had to include a Peartree Cutfiles cutfile.

The first challenge was a moodboard, which included hearts, colourful flowers and a cat. I was well away there. I have plenty of cat photos so did two for that challenge.

This one uses a Vicki Boutin background. I’ve got a whole pad of them and I really need to start using them as they’re gorgeous. I added some Cocoa Vanilla Sunkissed as I thought the colours were a really good match for the background. The photo is Rosie snoozing next to me on the bed. The bedside lamp throws a soft light onto her face when she lies there so I’ve got loads of similar photos.

The other one I did for the moodboard challenge is a simpler one, just taking the cat bit from the moodboard. I just love this cutfile. The next challenge was to use ‘pears’ of things on the layout. So, two patterned papers, two photos, two embellishments and two small things. I used Vicki Boutin’s Wildflower and Honey, which is one of my all time favourite collections and I love how this turned out. Challenge three was a shape challenge, with the shape being flowers. I had a couple of floral cutfiles so used those. The first one was so fiddly to back, even though it looks quite a simple one. I do enjoy backing cutfiles though, so not a problem. It’s quite relaxing to do. I used Pink Paislee Again and Again for that one. That’s another of my favourite collections.

Finally, I did this one. I used another Vicki Boutin background, again with Cocoa Vanilla Sunkissed. I was going to add some embellishment clusters, but after staring at it for twenty minutes, I decided it was fine as it was and called it finished.



SAL – No stitching, but a bit of scrapbooking

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I haven’t managed a single stitch in the past three weeks. I’ll leave the pic of where I was up to, as a reminder of what I’m working on, and hopefully there’ll be some progress in three weeks time. Would  you like to see what I have been doing? Last weekend it was International scrapbook day and I spent three days doing lots of challenges and prompts all themed to The Movies. The weekend was run by Cal from The Scraplab and was lots of fun. I managed ten layouts and have a few more to do.

This is my favourite from the event. The challenge was to use a sketch and theme it to flowers. I used some photos from one of the Disney holidays. I’m sorry that there wasn’t any stitching for you to see this time, but I’m sure my friends on the other SAL blogs have lots of stitchy progress so do take a look.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, Gun, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, CindyHeidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, DeborahMary Margaret, ReneeCarmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie

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.


September challenge – week 4

So, the September challenge at Scraptastic inspiration was to do at least two layouts per week using the various prompts. There was a prompt for each day and I thought why not do EVERY prompt and do one layout each day of the month. Amazingly enough I managed to keep up and did every prompt. Thank you to JuXcreates for the prompts.

22. An old photo with frames. I dug out some old plain chipboard frames, painted them and stamped on a couple of them. I have a lot of plain chipboard so this prompt was handy to get me using some. 23. Cut file. Photo is from Disney 2010. There are several pics from that Halloween party to be scrapped so I didn’t need to add any journalling etc to this one.
24. Hand stitching. I had the background ready done as I’d been playing with my new stencils so I just added photos and used an old Bazzill template for the stitched flower. I have loads of colours of threads, thanks to the cross stitching, so found five different shades to use. 25. Ribbon. I was really lacking inspiration for this, which is worrying as I have so much ribbon from when I used it a lot. Must find new ways to use it. 26. Paper weaving. I had fun with this and used up lots of paper scraps. 27. Bling and dots. That blingy stuff is over a decade old. I loved it when I bought it and then never used it. I quite like it on this layout.28. Washi tape (no patt paper). I really wanted to add some patterned paper to this, but I do quite like the effect of all the washi tape.

Plus the last couple of days of September.

29. Tags. This used up almost all the last of the Basic Grey Oh Baby! papers and tags. I loved when BG included tags with each collection pack. 30. Stamps. This is all Wildflower and Honey. I think it’s my favourite collection at the moment, especially the stamp and die set. The background is another one that I made before when I was playing with stencils.
And that’s the lot. I’m so chuffed that I managed to keep up with doing one layout per day for September. I also joined another FB group for making mini books and have almost completed my first one.

I’ve been struggling a lot with mental health over the past few months and crafting has been one of the things to really help. Crafting doesn’t judge. It just is and it gives me something to focus on. Also, crafting people, whether via blogs, or in FB groups do tend to be kind and supportive and encouraging, whether they know you or not. A little kindness goes a very long way when you’re feeling down.

Thanks for letting me share x



Baltic scrapping #11

I’ve been really getting a crack on with the Baltic album and have several more layouts completed. The next three are from our adventure on the St. Petersburg metro. It was a brilliant experience and fun to scrap.

I have quite a lot of travel-themed scrapbooking collections and a couple of them had metro embellishments, which I’ve been carefully hoarding ready for these layouts. I love it when a plan comes together 🙂

First then is the metro station we started at. Next is the platform and the long, long escalator, and journalling about the experience in general. Last is the station we ended up at. From the Metro, we made our way to The Hermitage State Museum. I had hundreds of photos from here and it was so hard to narrow it down. In the end, I did three fairly general layouts and used divided page protectors for more photos and journalling.

I started with a layout describing our journey to and into The Hermitage and first sight of the entrance hall. Next I journalled about some of the paintings that we saw, with photos of my favourites. Shame I had to take an angled photo of the Da Vinci, but it was behind glass so I was trying to avoid reflections.

Next are the divided page protectors. And finally, one talking about the other artwork we saw there, especially the sculptures, and how awestruck I was by how close I was standing to the Michelangelo. I’m still trying to keep these layouts fairly plain and as flat as possible so that they will all fit into their albums. If I start layering up too much, or using chipboard stickers on too many of them, I’ll end up having to get another album. Once I’ve finished, I might do a few ‘highlights’ layouts for my 2018 album, where I can play with them a bit more.


September challenge – week 3

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 still doubting my sanity with that but am also still keeping up with the scrapping. (not with the uploading though…)

15. Hand made title. It’s a long time since I hand cut a title and I’m very out of practise so don’t look too closely. 16. Embossing. I heat embossed the butterflies and dug out an embossing folder to use on some of the patt paper. The flowers and leaves are stamped and coloured with watercolours, then cut out.17. 3 pic layout. An easy prompt. I just had to decide which photos. 18. Buttons. My best attempt so far at a watercolour background, more stamped flowers and a trio of buttons. 19. Punches. I don’t have many punches so chose my largest square punch and did another grid layout. I’m quite getting into these at the moment. 20. In the style of a newspaper. This prompt really had me stumped. In the end I used a newspaper template in Pages, added a photo and put it onto some patterned paper. It’s not what I’d call scrapbooking to be honest, but it gave me a chance to tell the story of the day we adopted Rosie. 21. Tissue paper. I could only find one lot of tissue paper in the house and that was white with silver snowflakes on it. I used it to back the snow cut file and put it with a photo of Rosie in the snow a couple of years ago. The tissue is really pretty but you can’t see the snowflakes in the photo.



September challenge – week 2

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 still doubting my sanity with that but am also still keeping up.

These are the layouts from week 2.

8. Shaker pocket – I haven’t done one of these for a very long time and probably made harder work of it than I needed to. In hindsight, it could have done with more sequins but it’s so well sealed that there’s no way I’m opening it up to add more LOL 9. Paper folding. I’m not sure if I’ve ever done this on a layout before so I found some instructions online to do a simple envelope and used that. I quite like the effect but it’s very bulky. (although not as much as the shaker pocket!) 10. Use a large shape. I’ve had a small stash of pre-cut shapes for a while so fished one out to use. 11. Autumn. Those photos from Westonbirt Arboretum last year are coming in handy for these challenges.

12. Fussy cutting. We had new garden furniture in spring and the cats seem to like it a lot. Frodo was straight on there and made himself comfy. The butterflies and hearts are fussy cut.13. Birthday. I’ve been meaning to scrap these photos for months. Frodo looks so cute in his teepee. 14. Pets. I had plenty of photos for this challenge so picked an early one of Sammie.


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 🙂


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 🙂


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.