Corfe Castle and Choo-Choo Trains

Hi, sorry I’ve been a bit absent from blogland again. Been busy with work, which then meant the housework piled up and had to be dealt with! Tonight I’ll catch you up on some photos of my daughter, and tomorrow I’ll post a few creative pics. I’ll leave my pocket-sized plans until Monday as I haven’t managed to tick many of the boxes yet!

Last week I took my little girl to Corfe Castle. It’s a fabulous ruined castle that stands at the top of a mound, which itself sits in a dip of the Purbeck hills. It’s just down the road for us, about 10mins away, so we go there quite often just to walk around the castle perimeter up to the village – it’s a pretty little track where you can spot birds and creepy crawlies, and if the stream is full enough you can play pooh sticks on the footbridge! My daughter loves it there, she especially likes peeping the castle through the car window on the road there, and then spotting it though the trees on the walk up.

(pooh sticks)

However, we rarely go into the castle grounds, as it’s national trust and we can’t afford to pay the entrance too often. Every now and then it’s a treat to go into the grounds, where she climbs the hillocks and rolls down them, walks up and down the many stairs, and we eat a picnic out on the lawn. It was even more of a treat last week because we took the bus there by ourselves (another expense I can’t afford too often – £5 return for a ten minute drive? seriously?) She sat very nicely on the bus and pointed at things out of the window – when the castle appeared she screamed excitedly: “THERE’S THE CASTLE – THERE IT IS!!!” making everyone on the bus chuckle!

We went in the visitor’s centre for a bit, because though it’s mostly beyond her at the moment I like her to get used to being in a museum/learning type environment – and they have cool magnetic wall puzzles she can play with!

Unfortunately, by the time we got up to the castle the wind had picked up and the sky had clouded over, and we had another dissapointment – the dragon had gone! My friends had taken my daughter to the castle a couple of weeks before, there had been a dragon built from withy sticks and things, and my daughter kept mentioning ‘the dragon at the castle’. So one of the reasons I wanted to take her was so I could see the dragon I’d heard so much about, but he’d been de-constructed (or he’d flown away!).

Because of the cooler weather we did quite a quick walk around, and we didn’t stay to eat our sandwiches like I’d planned. We still had fun though, including my daughter saying ‘pop,pop,pop’ on each step all the way down, because I made the mistake of saying it once at the top (I don’t know why?).

We came back to Wareham and ate our sandwiches by the river – feeding our crusts to the ducks afterwards!
So that was our big adventure recently. We’ve not been out much since, except to the library, because little girl has had a cold. We ventured into Poole today though – luckily my friend Rosie accompanied us as it made the train journey a lot more fun!

Did a bit of shopping and got very tired, was glad to get back home and chill out this evening!

I’ll be back tomorrow with some crafty stuff ~ see you then!



Getting my priorities right! (pocket-sized plans)

So, off my list of things to do last week, I managed to:

  • Update my blog header and background
  • Prep my scrap-stuff / desk for Shimelle’s crop party
  • Make my sister-in-law a birthday card

I did not manage to:

  • Clean out the cupboard under my sink
  • Vacuum pack our thick winter jumpers and put them in the loft

What does this say about me??

Actually, I’m really pleased that I put crafting above housework for once. I was determined to take part in Shimelle’s crop party as much as I possibly could, and with 3 cards and 5 layouts made in one weekend, and a fresh blog look, I think it paid off. Especially as I just found out I won a set of Banana Frog stamps for making this card (the winners were randomly chosen out of the entrants to each challenge). Yay! Can’t wait to receive them!

Now, I know I can’t ignore the housework all the time, or I’ll end up living in a pigsty, but I definitely want to prioritise crafting more often from now on. I feel more productive when I focus on ‘creating’ for a couple of days – things come together more easily, meaning I enjoy the process more. So thanks Shimelle for giving me that push to devote more time to it.

My pocket sized plans for this week are to:

  • Clean out the cupboard under my sink
  • Vacuum pack the winter jumpers
  • Create an online gallery with photobucket, so that my layout pics can be viewed at a better quality. I had to use photobucket this weekend to sort out the divider between my posts, and it forced me to start using the service, which I’d been a bit lazy trying to understand. I don’t know why I haven’t done it before. It looks easy enough really. We’ll see if I still think that next week!
  • Help my little girl to make a money box out of papermache

That will do for this week, as I’m working tomorrow and all weekend. But I shall try to squeeze in a layout or two if I can!

Today we made a magnetic fishing game, by punching eye holes in fish cut from thin plastic, putting paperclips through the holes, and then using a magnet tied with string to a short bamboo stick as a rod to catch them. They were ‘swimming’ in a large flat tuppaware box. I got the idea from a book called ‘Cool Spaces for Kids’ by Sam Scarborough (a book which is beautiful but makes me jealous that I don’t have a big garden or own my own house).

My daughter loved the game, though the magnet kept falling off the string (I had been too impatient to glue it) so mummy got bored of the game quite quickly, as I had to keep tying the magnet back on! (we had been playing dress-up too, which is why she’s wearing a very dashing flowery waistcoat):

I need to glue the magnet to the string so we can play it again, it will be a great game for in the paddling pool in the summer!

I’m off to catch up on reading other people’s blogs, instead of typing away at my own…


Scrapbook Layouts, Uncategorized

My five favourite layouts

Shimelle has asked: what are your 5 favourite layouts you’ve created? And why?
It was difficult to choose, and I’m sure my favourites change day by day, but here’s the ones I’ve picked for now:

– because it’s whimsical and romantic and just a bit silly: how I like to remember my wedding day!

– it was a struggle to get this layout looking right, and I really love it now it’s done. It fits the mood of the day really well, and I like the title which came to me in a burst of inspiration after being stuck for a while!

– this one is special to me at the moment because my sister is planning to go travelling for a year-and-a-half soon, and I don’t want her to go! I’m gonna miss her so much!

– this photo is the first pic we took of my daughter, so the photo is super special to me. And I like the layout because it’s probably my only one with a simple style and clean lines – the photo was so special to me that I didn’t want to overwhelm it with fuss and embellishments.

– this photo of my daughter really shows her fun loving personality, and every time I see this layout my heart bursts with love for her. It was emotional scrapping it because I was trying to put all my love into the page for her to understand how I feel about her when she’s old enough to appreciate it. My friend Rosie says she loves the fact her Dad sketched her when she was small because it shows he cared enough to spend that time and to really focus on her, I hope my scrapping will show the same to my little girl.


Scrapbook Layouts, Uncategorized

My little monster!

Loved this challenge from Shimelle: to create a project using SJ’s Little Musings. I love SJ’s blog, and I had downloaded a friday freebie of hers a while ago, printed the photos to scrap with it, and then never got round to it. It’s great to get a layout out of your head and onto paper!

The journalling reads:
My daughter gets into everything!!
She constantly suprises me with the things she does. She’s inventive and adventurous, with a cheeky smile!

I hope SJ doesn’t mind that I played around with her drawing, changing it from a little boy called Finn to look like my daughter instead. I also added a nose, because though I think all her musings are super cute, the fact they have no noses freaks me out a bit!

The monster stickers are papermania, I bought some cute robots at the same time which need a project. Can anyone think of a layout theme I can involve robot stickers in?!


Cardmaking, Uncategorized

hugs, cuddles, kisses

I’ve used a few stamps on this card: two Anita’s, one Kolette Hall, and one Studio G. I’m thinking the card might be for my hubby for our anniversary in May, or it might stay hidden until next valentines day (how’s that for forward crafting?!) I just hope he doesn’t suddenly start reading my blog and see it in the meantime!

I had a minor disaster with the hugs, cuddles, kisses stamp as it smudged all over the place, I had to turn over the piece of card to use the other side. Trouble was, the other side had a mark on it. So I punched some little hearts and used them to cover it up. Hey presto, problem solved!
I even stamped the sentiment inside, so this definitely fits into Shimelle’s challenge to use stamps on a project!
I’m getting sleepy now, won’t be able to do much more posting before bedtime!
Scrapbook Layouts, Uncategorized

Bokor Hill Station

Okay, I admit it, I got out the old heat gun to speed up my paint drying! I have always liked the effect of paint splatter on other peoples layouts, but never quite had the confidence to try it out on my pretty patterned papers. For this layout I had to give it a go though, and I love it. It just gives the page that extra depth. It also really adds to the rough, decaying look I was going for to match my story about this lonely town in Cambodia:

The journalling reads:
Bokor Hill Station, a remote town in SW Cambodia, was only properly inhabited for about 20 years. After that, wars meant it was mostly evacuated, and the Khmer Rouge used it for a stronghold from the 70’s to the 90’s.
Now it’s completely abandoned. When we visited it in 2006, people warned us it was spooky, but when we arrived there were clear blue skies and the place just seemed lonely and sad.
Then a ghostly mist rolled in. We were exploring the empty rooms of the main building, the Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino, and it felt like we had to be silent and respectful of this town’s unhappy history. When we glimpsed each other’s silhouettes through the gloom it gave us a shivery feeling.
I’ve just read online that they are beginning to redevelop this place. It would be strange to return and see it full of life.

I was really pleased to find this ‘Aged and Confused Vagabond’ ‘Green Bean’ Basic Grey paper in my stash. It’s perfect for echoing the peeling red paint on the buildings in the photos, and it’s got the distressed look. I worked this even more by distressing right around the 12×12 page and then inking it with a rusty colour pad. The other papers used are My Minds Eye ‘Wild Asparagus’ 6×6 papers, and the heart is a photo of some graffiti that was on the walls of one of the buildings.

So there we go, my entry for the scrapping with two 4×6 photos challenge. Though I think my photos ended up slightly smaller than 4×6 as they’d been printed with a border which I sliced off. Hope it still counts!


Cardmaking, Uncategorized

Special wishes scraps card

One of Shimelle’s challenges is to make something using only scraps from you recent projects. Even though I’ve been crafting lots this weekend I didn’t have a huge amount of scraps, as I’d been mainly using paper leftovers anyway! I did, of course, have a few though, so I managed to put together this A6 card:

Everything was scraps from stuff I’ve made this weekend, except for the sentiment, and the brads which were leftover odds, but from older projects.

The flowers were made following Clair’s tutorial over at Obstinate Pursuit, see her post about them here. It’s a great way to use up bits and pieces of paper!

I’m now just waiting for some paint to dry! It’s for my attempt at Shimelle’s challenge to scrap two 4×6 photos, so keep an eye out for my layout later today.