Friday, 27 September 2013

Scrap Happy Member pre-LOAD blog hop

Hi there for yet another blog hop this month.  This one is all about preparing yourself for a LayOutADay (LOAD) through the month of October. Now, if you aren't a member of the Scrap Happy Family, then this LOAD is not going to be available for you as it's just for members. :-( But really, take a moment to read my advice as much of it can be applied to any scrapping. If you want to achieve more in your scrapping output, whether you are doing it every day, or just once a month there is a lot you can do to help yourself. There are a few tips here in this post or link to the previous LOAD preparation posts (in the next but one paragraph) for plenty more ideas :-)

You should have reached me via Heather but if you are here directly, you might want to pop back to my very good blog friend, Lynette over here where today's blog hop kicks off.

Many, many moons ago when I was in the midst of successfully completing a layout every single day for a whole month, three or even four times a year, I put together a 10 point strategy for myself. You can find me blog hopping about that here, and here, and here. And honestly, that's all still true today. But I won't bore you today with the same old, same old. Read the older posts and just know that you can do it if you want to. Most of the time. When the stars are aligned! Ha ha! No really, I did about 12 or 13 full, 100% complete months. It can be done. There are a whole load of posts around LOAD here on my blog - check them out here.

Recently I've not managed it, but you know what? That's ok! Really. It's not a competition and there are NO scrapbooking police to make you do it "right".

This is my LOAD October 2012 wrap up page. Yes, sometimes, events takes over and you have to step away from the paper trimmer and go live your life a while. I was sad to have to miss some of LOAD but I wouldn't have missed being in the UK when my niece was born for all the pages in the world

This October, I have every intention of giving it another go. And as long as I'm still having fun, I will be creating each and every day.

So, what am I doing this time around to make it easier for me to succeed in my goal?

  1. Making a list of some stories to tell. In fact, I joined Karen Grunberg's class over at Big Picture Classes for this very reason. I've found recently that I'm short on stories and I'm hoping she will give me the techniques I need to capture my wish list. The class started yesterday and I'm excited to start.
  2. Stocking up on adhesive and trimmer blades. I use a Herma glue runner and I have LOTS of spares in the basket so I'm all set. And I will never get caught out on the blade thing again. I have about 4 spares! (more than once bitten, twice shy - in the middle of LOAD, this is NOT something you want to happen)
  3. Printing out some photos. Nothing specific. Just some random, general shots which could be useful. Most of the time, I print to order so to speak but I will try to get a print batch uploaded at a printing service just in case.
  4. Making sure I know what supplies I have. This might sound silly but I have bought a lot of new product recently and I think it's important to browse it again so I know what I have. I also have four Counterfeit Kit Challenge kits ready to be picked up and put to use. The combination of my self-made kits and LOAD is perfect and I turn to these kits more often than not during LOAD months. Try making some kits up for yourself out of your own stash - ready made, matched items are a sure win.
  5. Telling my man that I'll be somewhat busy on the scrapping front for the month. It's no problem for him but I think having the support of those around you is really important for the time you spend at your scrap table.
  6. Staying open minded. Sometimes the prompts jump out at me and I get straight to work on them. Sometimes they take some time Sometimes I go in a completely different direction. It doesn't mean I don't love the prompts (especially when Leslie and Lynette have a hand!), it's just me making it work for me.
This was my LOAD output in 2011! 

But I'll let you in on my TOP tip.

HAVE FUN! Remember that this is your hobby. You are doing this because you love the paper, the stories, the photos, the challenge, the community or the time alone. Probably, a bit of them all. But whatever the reason, you are doing this because you love it. If you are not having fun and loving the journey, take some time out - an evening, a week or just a few hours - and find something else to do for a while. If you miss it, it's time to jump back in and continue having fun! I scrap because I LOVE it. I want to have fun all the time. And LOAD is lots and lots and lots of fun! Some of my absolute favourite layouts evah have been created under the time pressure of LOAD. Love that!

I would encourage you all to make some time to visit the gallery and the discussion board. SO much going on and SO much inspiration. I just miss the days when I had enough time to check out each and every layout in the gallery. But if everyone spreads some love to 5 or 10 layouts a day, that's a whole LOT of love going around. You get as much out of LOAD as you put in.

This kind of end of month pile of happy, finished layouts makes me smile for days and days - just think of all those photos, memories and stories captured on one short month. Now that's what I call success!
One last thing to leave you with. Scrapbooking and communities such as Scrap Happy, LOAD or our own little corner of the net, Whimsical Musings, is the BEST place to meet wonderful, supportive, inspiring women who become real friends. I couldn't be happier to have met Lynette, Leslie, Danielle, Cathy (and everyone else out there I know!) and of course, my BFF Pam in this way. True friends. *sigh* :-)

Thanks for sticking around to the end of the post. Your next stop is Cathy (here) and if you get lost along the way, here's the full list of today's hoppers.










Tuesday, 24 September 2013

September Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop

Hi and welcome to this month's Counterfeit Kit Challenge member blog hop. Glad to see you here and hope you have enjoyed the hop so far.

If you have come here courtesy of Kate Blue, you are on the right track, but if you are here directly why not go back to the beginning of the hop at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog and check out all the hoppers today.

We were challenged (here) to undertake Project Complete! Either complete something incomplete or select a project you've always wanted to make and finish it!

Well, I'm working my way through my Whimsical Musings WM#100 prompts and had been considering what to do when I came across a layout idea and list that I had started waaaaay back maybe 4 or 5 years ago with the title "It's the little things". I was up to #77 and so the idea came to me to finish off the list to 100 and get the layout for Michelle's 100 Items prompt (WM#100-2). At the same time, I decided to start with the Citrus Lime Kit's sketch for WM#103 (here)

I wanted to keep the whole layout light and happy so my unfinished Counterfeit kit, Personality from June was perfect.

Obviously, a list of 100 items is quite long to I went with my standard option when I have a lot to say and made a layout 12x18 and added all the text on the extra 12x6 sheet. It took a bit of work to get the words to work around the paper that I carried over from the main part of the layout but managed it in the end.

June Counterfeit kit, Personality, lo#4

So, there you have it. Three challenges in one which makes me feel very good! Thanks for dropping by and don't forget to say hi and let me know you were here.

This is the end of today's hop, but here is the full list in case you got lost along the way and have missed out on some of the other hoppers:

Kate Blue
Lisa H

Sunday, 22 September 2013

13 loves {September}

My wonderful friend Pam is taking some time out at the moment. Time out from blogging, scrapping and craftiness. But I've decided that just because she's not continuing her {13 loves} series at the moment, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't either.

So, I missed a few months (my last one was June) because life's been somewhat chaotic, but I'm back for September and yes, it's a day late, but better late than never! I really enjoyed pulling together my list of {13 loves} for the first half of the year and I'm looking forward to getting to the end of the year with my shares.

So, here's what I'm loving right now


It's been a crazy busy time at home as well as work since the end of spring. Working long hours and receiving lots of visitors made for hectic if happy times and I pinned this to remind me of something that I often forget. Snoopy has been a love of mine since forever. He's a very smart little beagle.

Pinterest source (here)


We had a whole week of celebrations over at Whimsical Musings to celebrate our 100th prompt with 5 guest designers and lots of prizes. If you are looking for some inspiration, you can't go wrong by checking out the posts (here) and the Flickr Gallery (here). This community of scrappy ladies makes me very, very happy. I had a blast the whole week and the fun is set to continue for the next 100 prompts and beyond!

Image courtesty of


I found this image on Pinterest and just loved the combination of the blouse and pink sweater. If only I could carry this off! I would wear this for sure.

Pinterest source (here)


I have a new scrap crush. Ashli Oliver (check out her blog here). I discovered her through the "No More Floating Flair" series over at the A Flair for Buttons blog and I instantly fell in love with her wonderful style. I need to do this twine wrapped flair look here in this layout. I will be watching this girl for sure. Love, love, love!

Ashli Oliver at A Flair For Buttons 


I was very happy to get a visit from this young man in August (ok, so he brought the family along with him too!) and to discover how grown up he is. I was thrilled to force encourage him to allow me to take a photo of the two of us!


My favourite character in the Harry Potter books/films has always been Ron. This just made me smile. Love how Pinterest throws up these little happy gems. Now I want to track down all the films (I have them all somewhere in here) and watch a HP marathon!

Pinterest source (here)


As mentioned, my nephew was kind enough to bring along the rest of the family so this little angel was there too. She is adorable, gentle, clever, bright and just lovely. Another photo that made me happy.


Yet another Pinterest smile. If you have ever had a Boxer in the family, you will most certainly relate to this list. I sent it out to the whole family and one by one, they all wrote back to say, "Yes, yes, yes!"

Pinterest source (here)


I love this colour so much that as soon as I had purchased it for myself, I got a bottle for my sister. It's such a pretty pinky, brown, metallic colour. 

Essie Buy Me A Cameo (here)


After a particularly hard week at work, I was thrilled when my Amazon order arrived. I had missed the "David Bowie is..." exhibition at the Victoria & Albert in London but was determined to get the exhibition book (as well as a few other books that just fell into my basket). I have since found out that the collection will be touring and I fully intend to book a weekend in Paris 2015 to get to see it. This little gift to myself made it onto a page that very weekend. Love that kind of inspired scrapping.


If I could find some shoes like this, I would buy them in a second! Where to get them? No idea, but pretty isn't enough of a word to describe them. If anyone knows how to get hold of them, please, please let me know!

Pinterest source (here)


And of course, no family visit would be complete without the Diva in the family. We spent three days catching up on hugs, cuddles and kisses. Two nieces, one nephew and a slew of new photos - result.


This has actually been a motto in my life since I first left home at 18 - many, many years ago. So true. Something to remember.

Pinterest source (here)

Busy but happy days for me over the summer and so many things to love.

What's on your {13 loves} list today?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

A spurt of creativity

Three layouts this week? I have no idea how that happened but honestly, I managed three layouts this week.

I've shared one over at Whimsical Musings for the 100% prompt (see the post here) and I'm here to share the other two.

I've used my Counterfeit kits (Solitude and Escape) for all three layouts which is just the easiest way for me to scrap these days - grab a box, rummage round what's left, stick down some papers and sprinkle a few embellies. Done. So much easier than rummaging through ALL my stash. And it's time to finish off at least one or two of the four that are sitting on my shelf so that's an incentive too.

With the recent visits by friends and family, I am inspired by new photos and even though I didn't manage to get as many as I would have liked, there are many lovely shots that you are bound to see over and over.

So happy to have got selfies with each of the children so I kicked off by using pretty papers for the photos with the girls.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit Escape LO #5
I loved using all those project life type printed cards I included in this kit. It was so easy to pick out all the pretty colours and just pile them up. I twirled up the twine again around my enamel dots - such a pretty idea that I picked up recently from Ashli Oliver

And this softer layout was so easy to make with the items in my Solitude kit. I'm so surprised at the different effects I've got from this one. I think you'd never know that this layout is the same kit as my recent David Bowie layout (over at Whimsical Musings here). The layout here was completed without the photo and therefore, I was happy when I looked at it this morning and realised how perfect it was for Maddie's quieter character.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit Solitude LO #5

Do you ever make up layouts without a subject or photo in mind? It's very liberating to just create without an objective in mind. Although you do have to make sure your design has some spaces ready for photos and journalling or even a title. But if you are feeling a bit uninspired, I can recommend it as a starting point.

This kit is coming to an end now, which isn't a bad thing as September's kit is untouched :-)

Friday, 6 September 2013

Happy colours make happy layouts

I haven't been sharing much recently. I haven't really been creating much outside my DT kits but I did delve into one of my Counterfeit kits a few weeks ago and got scrapping.

My Escape kit (you can see it in full here) is full of gorgeous bright, summer colours that just seemed to call out for carefree pages.

I came across this adorable photo of my niece around her 3rd birthday (yikes, she is now over 9) and just knew that I should make a pretty backdrop for it. Isn't she the most gorgeous little thing? Not so little any more but still so gorgeous, he he :-)

I love making these types of layouts. Just a pretty photo and lots of lovely papers and products and no pressure to tell "the story". A few words to express how I feel about her and how much she means to me is all it takes.

I enjoyed fussy cutting all the elements out of the Simple Stories paper. Haven't done much of that recently.

And then, using the same kit I put this layout together

Messy and fun - lots of elements, inky splotches, bundles of thread and twine and plenty of layers.

I had to bit of repair work up there at the top with the title which is why the letters aren't quite as pristine as they could be but I think I saved it as much as I could!

There's a lot left in this happy kit so I really get to grips with working my way through it as well as the other three kits that are sitting there looking at me.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Grooving along

Yesterday I shared a few layouts from my Scrapabilly September kit (available here)

Here are the last two of my layouts (and I've just realised that in addition to the extras I listed in yesterday's post, I also added in a few sheets of white cardstock, some threads and twine and a few mini letters here or here):

So very happy to have some new photos of my two gorgeous nieces and my cool and growing-up-way-too-fast nephew from their recent visit so I decided to use one of them straight away. I de-saturated the photo so that it worked with the softer colours in the papers.

This might be my favourite of them all. Just a couple of photos from our recent trip to Holland and a few precious memories captured.

Can't wait for next month's kit :-)

In the meantime, I now have four Counterfeit Kit Challenge kits sitting on my shelf so I most certainly have enough to keep me going.

Talking of which, I'll be sharing a few I'd forgotten about later this week.


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