10 Tree Decorations on the Tenth


For those of you that don’t know, Shimelle leads a ‘Ten Things on the Tenth’ extravaganza at http://www.shimelle.com/ each month. Here’s my contribution. As it is December, and I’m feeling very festive, I’ve decided to show you my favourite 10 decorations on our Christmas tree:

1. A deer that was always on the family tree when I was growing up. I’m not sure of it’s history – I’ll have to ask my mum, but I love it’s vintage look:

2. The same goes for this kitsch angel:
3. This cardboard stocking is one I made as a child (about 7 or 8 years old I think). It has a picture cut from an Argos catalogue showing what present I wanted most that year – a ‘Lite-Brite’ pegboard toy. I did not get this gift. I’m sure I got some lovely other presents, and I think one reason I like to put this on my tree each year is to remind myself that it does not matter that we won’t ever get everything we want for Christmas. I’m sure I was disappointed at the time that I didn’t get this toy, but in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter, I had love and a happy home and that’s what Christmas should really be about – and it’s something I’m trying to teach my daughter this year:
4. This little elf is one I made at 6th Form College (when I was 16). I studied Textiles A-Level, and we had a challenge for the first autumn term, to make a Christmas decoration from material. Everyone else made big items, but I hand stitched this elf with teeny tiny stitches. He’s about 7cm tall. I won the challenge because my teacher was so impressed that I could stitch so small (you unfortunately can’t see his cute gold boots in this photo!):
5. And along the elf theme, I made this elf lady (I think she might have been a fairy originally, but if so her wings were lost long ago!) when I was at University. We had a Christmas crafting session in our house, 5 of us making little bits and pieces, as we didn’t have enough of our own decorations yet to make the place feel like home:
6. Now for a few shop bought decorations. First up is this one with Aslan on. I absolutely love the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis, and when the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe movie came out I snapped up some Christmas decorations in the Disney Store, and this is my favourite from the set:

7. This one I like because I adore the colours. I also think it’s special because I bought it the Christmas before we had my daughter, when I also I bought a lot of other ‘grown up’ luxurious looking decorations as I was feeling like a proper adult. And then realised the very next year, when my daughter was already crawling around and grabbing at things, that I couldn’t put any of them up as they were all delicate glass! Apart from this one which is safe. So it’s my one really ‘posh’ decoration on the tree, for now at least!:
8. This one is simply because penguins make me laugh. And this bauble makes me smile every time I look at it:
9. I also like owls, a fact which my mum is well aware of and she buys me lots of cute owl-themed pressies (thanks mum – I love them!), this is one of her gifts to me:
10. And I’m going to finish with another handmade one. This one was made by my daughter last year at her nursery. I have made wall decorations and cards with her each year, but this was the first tree decoration she’d made and I hope it’s the first of many:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse at my Christmas tree decorations! I love having such a mix of old and new, handmade and shop bought. It’s nice to have bits of my history and personality all displayed each year. Do you have a favourite tree decoration?
Hope you’re all having a festive weekend. 🙂

Journal Your Christmas 1st – 3rd

Hello all,

Sorry there’s been a bit of a gap here again. I was ill last week, and the doctor said it hit me worse than it should because I was over-working myself and getting stressed. So I’ve been trying to take it easy this week. I’m not very good at relaxing, I like to be busy and multi-tasking all the time. This week I have actually sat and watched telly without blogging or crafting at the same time – shocker! Anyway, I think I’m now fully recovered and back on track.

Luckily I had prepared most of my Journal Your Christmas album before I was ill, so I’ve already been able to complete the first few entries. I haven’t done a title or manifesto page yet, I’m hoping to get them done tomorrow or Monday. But I have managed pages for the 1st through to today (the 3rd):

They’re quite simple, and not entirely co-ordinated. I’m trying not too worry about it too much – my aim for JYC this year is to get the story and photos down, (and use up a lot of old supplies), as I know I’ll treasure it even if the pages aren’t ‘perfect’ for my scrapping style. Then next year I can fuss over it more and get some new, more co-ordinated supplies to use!
I’m feeling in the festive spirit, as I had Christmas tunes on while I was putting these pages together, and I’m off out for a Christmas meal tonight with some friends. I’m looking forward to having a chance to chat, and let my hair down! Hope you are all having fun, festive weekends. x
Giveaways / Winners

Giveaway Winner!

Hello again!

Yep, two posts in one day, that doesn’t happen on here too often these days, does it? It’s getting quite late in the evening too, but I’ve just won a game of scrabble against my husband and my dad so I’m in a jolly mood!

Do you want to know who won my giveaway for this handmade smash-style book?:

I just put the numbers of comments into www.random.org, and it came up with number 1! Seriously, how often does that happen? The first comment was left by Sian, so congratulations Sian, this book will soon be on it’s way to you! (I already have your address I believe). I hope you enjoy the book and manage to get some use out of it.
I also thought I’d share a couple of photos I took yesterday. It was quite sunny, so as my Dad was here and able to drive me and the kids around (I have not yet learned how to drive!), he took us to Swanage for a walk on the beach:

It was lovely to get some sea air, I think I like the beach even more in the autumn than I do in the summer – it’s a lot less busy for one thing!
I should go and get some sleep now before baby wakes for his first night-time feed. How old do babies need to be before they start sleeping through the night? I’ve forgotten and I’d like to know when I might start getting a full night’s rest again! 

Scrapbook Layouts

slip-slide, a sketch challenge entry

Hello all.

First of all I want to say a big THANK-YOU! to everyone who commented on my last post. It really did cheer me up a lot to know that you enjoyed looking at my layouts. And thanks for the encouragement to keep going, on Friday I was a bit sulky and ready to shut my craft-room door for a while, but after reading all your kind comments I decided it would be better to just plunge straight back in with another project, and keep going as if nothing had happened to dent my confidence. It’s working so far, as I finished off the below layout and am halfway through creating a card. So thanks again for perking me up and keeping me crafting, you guys are amazing!

The layout I have just finished off is for a sketch challenge over at the My Mind’s Eye blog (the challenge ends today – nothing like a deadline to get me to finish something off!), to use this sketch by Anam Stubbington), and as it’s autumn, to include the colour brown:

Supplies: My Mind’s Eye: Lost&Found2 Rosy ‘Best of Friends’ Dotted Paper and 6×6 paper pad, 12 Days of Christmas ‘Deck the Halls’ Paper, Rosy ‘Ordinary’ Decorative Brads, ‘Everything’ Stamps and ‘Ordinary’ Label Stickers, 12 Days of Christmas Chipboard Accessories and Rhinestones, Lost&Found Union Square Glittered Alpha Sticker, My Little Shoebox Mini Alphabet Stickers ‘Cream’, brown thread, a brown Faber Castell pen for journaling, gold glitter, white acrylic paint, VersaMagic Jumbo Java Chalk Ink Pad, Mod Podge.

I used a piece of paper from the MME Rosy 6″ paper pad to make a paper pleat, by spritzing a 1.5″x6″ strip with water, pinching it gently together, and then flattening it out a little and shaping it how I wanted it to end up. I then left it to dry (can be sped up a bit with a heat gun). When dry I dipped the bottom edge into Mod Podge and then into gold glitter, and leaving to dry again (this didn’t take too long):

I made a journaling block by gutting a rectangle of the main green dotty paper before sticking anything else onto it, and turning the rectangle over to the ‘b’ side which has text printed on it. To create a space to journal on I painted a block of white acrylic paint, and to finish the block off I dipped it into Mod Podge and glitter the same way as I had with the paper pleat: 
Underneath the paper pleat, and under the embellishments in the top right corner, are pieces of light brown paper from the Rosy pad which I cut into semi-circles and then used scallop-edge scissors and my Cropodile Big Bite to make them look like doilies:
I love these banner-like alphas, they are a really fun finish to the page!
Now I’m off to cook steak for dinner – my Dad’s down for the weekend so he bought some for us. We’ve had a nice weekend so far, yesterday was nice and sunny. I’ll be back later with a couple of photos and to announce the winner of the smash-style book giveaway.
Thanks for reading! x

Scrapbook Layouts

Feeling a bit blue :-(

I know in the grand scheme of things this isn’t much to worry about, but it’s got me feeling down today so I thought I’d share. I’d entered some layouts into UK’s Scrapbook Magazine ‘Scrapbooker of the Year’ competition, and I received them back this morning with a polite note saying I wasn’t a winner this time. I’m kind of gutted as I put a lot of time and effort into the layouts, as well as typing up all the supplies and instructions, and I thought I stood a chance of a runner up place at least.

Oh well, at least I can share the layouts with you now! And I know that the important thing is that me and my family enjoy the layouts. It’s just that as well as enjoying the layouts for myself I like to know that other’s like them too – striving to improve my layouts is what I do to feel like I’m ‘myself’, as well as a mum and a housewife, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I’ll stop babbling and show you the pages. I hope you don’t mind me having this little rant on here! If you can spare a minute to leave me a comment, whether it’s layout love or constructive criticism, I’d really appreciate it 🙂

Layout 1: ‘Your 1st Trip to London’:

See the button and twine clasps? They both hide some 3D elements. If you’re a regular reader of my blog you might remember this 3D mini that I made about how much I wanted to make a trip to London. I thought because the mini was 3D my layout about the trip should be too:

I’m glad that my daughter loves looking at the layout too because of these fun elements!

Layout 2: Sweet Dreams:
Complete with lots of handmade embellishments including a rocket-ship made from corrugated cardboard, and a cloud cut from felt and blanket stitched around the edge:
And one of my crochet flowers and a fimo button:
Layout 3: Autumn:
Including some leaves hand-cut from felt and embroidered with veins, layered up with skeleton leaves:
Thanks for taking the time to have a look. If anyone wants any more info on supplies or techniques used on any of the pages just let me know.
I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I’ll be back at some point over the next couple of days to let you know who won the giveaway! x


Garlands Galore and Using Chipboard Uniquely

I’m back with a couple more cards following challenges as part of Shimelle’s Christmas crafting weekend. First up, the challenge to use a garland on a project:

I had so much fun using up scraps of Christmas paper to make the flags on the garland, that I also added a few to one of my JYC papers so it’s pre-embellished:
I also made a card following the inspiration of Leah Farquharson (cool name!). I chose to use the idea of taking a supply and using it in a different-than-expected way. I used some chipboard photo corners, sticking four together at a time into a square shape, and adding a bow on top to make Christmas presents:
I quite like the bright pink-green-brown colour combo on this one, I shall try to make some more cards with these papers.
I’ve got a few more things I want to make from the inspiration this weekend, including dates for my JYC album, and some gift tags for present wrapping. I’m loving getting some of these things out of the way early, I usually leave it all until December and then have a mad rush and don’t get it all done! Fingers crossed I’ll get everything done that I have planned this year. x
Get Crafting

My JYC album 2011

Last year I signed up to Journal Your Christmas, an online class with Shimelle Laine. I didn’t end up joining in with it last year, because I was pregnant and exhausted! But this year I’m already preparing my album, so I ought to be able to keep up with it. If you’re already prepping a JYC album then link it up to this challenge, as part of Shimelle’s Christmas crafting weekend.

I’m trying to just use up old Christmas supplies this year, as I had so many I thought I shouldn’t buy any more until I’d made a dent in them! So for my album I’m using this 8×8 scrapbook album by Trimcraft that I bought a few years ago:

And, inspired by Daphne’s LSNED album (here) I’m doing my pages as 8″ tall by 4″ wide. I just need to stitch up the middle of my page protectors. I’ve cut an array of patterned papers to this size:
So I’m all ready to slot them in! Next I’m going to make some numbers, and collect some stickers / chips / journal spots to match the various pages, and slot them into the right page protectors, so the pages should be nice and quick to make each day. I’m going to use my Ipod Touch to take photos for it like I did for my LSNED album, as it worked well for me.
I’ll be back with a couple of Christmas cards later. I’m glad to be getting the Christmas crafting started! x