About Me

The What I’m Working On Blog Hop!

Hello everyone!

Something slightly different for today. A couple of weeks ago the lovely Louise at Boys, Bugs and Beautiful Buttons took part in the ‘what I’m working on’ blog hop (HERE is her post), and she nominated me to take part. I was supposed to post last Monday but I was busy checking out all the entries and drawing winners from the Refresh Your Craft & Soul challenge entries, so I didn’t have time to get this finished!

I’m going to answer the four questions about what I’m working on / my creative style, then at the end I’ll nominate 3 more people to hopefully join in and post their answers next Monday!

Q1: What am I working on now?

Right now, this very morning, my table looks like this…

What I'm Working On Blog Hop

… because I spent yesterday afternoon making some birthday cards for a few friends birthdays that are coming up. I’ll show you them later this week when the recipients have opened them! I’ll spend some time today tidying away all this mess so I can work on another project… probably my layout for the August Scrap 365 Sketch – my July layout and process video went live HERE on Saturday, so now I need to work on the next one!

I’ve also been working on some more stencil designs for my Happy Scatter Etsy Shop. When I’m planning out the designs I don’t begin in a very organised way… here’s a glimpse of my initial ideas sketched out on an envelope:

What I'm Working On Blog Hop

They will look a bit more professional in the finished design!

Q2: How does my work differ from other’s of it’s kind?

Everyone has their own style that’s unique to them. I’d say you can spot my projects by something that’s colourful, playful, and sparkly – there’s always got to be some gems, sequins, or other sparkly thing scattered around my card or layout!

What I'm Working On Blog Hop

Q3: Why do I create what I do?

I’ve always wanted to keep a diary. I’ve tried several times in my life. I am useless at it! I write in in for a week or so then forget all about it. The only time I manage to keep it up is on a short holiday… but not when we went travelling for 6 months, I gave up then too. But scrapbooking works! That’s why I always have journaling on my pages, even just a couple of lines, because I want to be able to look back one day and remember how I felt or what was going on at that time in our lives. I hope as they get older my kids will like to look back on it too.

I also love it because of the creativity, which is probably why I’m able to keep up with it. I’ve been an artist / craftsperson of one kind or another all my life – my mum is a fine artist (as well as a clown!), so she taught me to experiment and make things. I call it my therapy, because crafting soothes my soul. If I haven’t crafted for a while you can tell because I get grumpy!

Here’s an acrylic painting I did years ago, before scrapbooking became my main creative outlet:

a breeze that brings promise

Q4: How does my creative process work?

That depends entirely on my mood! Sometimes I start with a sketch, sometimes with photos, sometimes with colour, sometimes with a deadline and a certain project in mind. I don’t usually plan it out to much before pulling out products, but I do tend to push things around quite a lot before sticking anything down.

I make a lot of mess for each project but always tidy it away before starting the next one – partly because it drives me crazy if I can’t find something I need to use as it’s under a big pile of stash, but also because I craft on our family dining table so I need to clear away for meals quite often. We do eat on our laps on the sofa when I’ve got a blog event approaching!

You can see some of my start-to-finish layout process videos on My You Tube Channel.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you’ve found it interesting reading my answers!

Now it’s time for me to nominate 3 bloggers who I’d like to see answer these questions…

1. Sarah at Time To… ~ she’s the owner of SJ Crafts and also a good friend who understand my paper obsession!

2. Jacky at Scrappy Jacky ~ I’ve been reading Jacky’s blog for years, I love her layered cards and seeing photos from her life!

3. Annie at Arty Farty Annie ~ Annie’s creative flair has always inspired me to play with my supplies more!

I don’t think any of them have participated in this expanding blog hop before. We’ll see if they are able to answer the questions too!

Bye for now, have a great week!

Jennifer x

About Me

My Belated Hen Party

I’ve been meaning to show you all some photos from my belated Hen Weekend that my best friend Rosie threw for me at the end of April. I explained in this post why I was having my Hen Weekend (bachelorette party) five years after getting married!

It was awesome fun, and wonderful to spend a weekend away being pampered, and chilling out with my friends and family.

We went to Oxford for the weekend, and on Friday night me, my friends Ali and Rosie, my Mum, and my sister Katy (she’s behind the camera in the first photo) all stayed at the YHA. We went out for dinner at Giraffe, and then played some card games in the hostel’s bar.

The next morning we moved our cars over to the hotel we’d be staying in on Saturday night, and then wandered into town – our first important stop was breakfast at this lovely cafe:

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Where we had some incredibly yummy sausage sandwiches!

Then we ambled around Oxford. I’d been to Oxford a couple of times briefly before, when Rosie used to live near the city, so I knew I wanted to just soak up some of the atmosphere from the grand old buildings:

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I had some challenges I had to complete too, one was to find things related to the book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, because C.S. Lewis lived here when he wrote it. It’s said this lamppost was the inspiration for the lamppost in Narnia:

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In the afternoon a few more of my friends, Tor, Wendy, and Lucy, arrived. We’d hired a private boat to go on a trip down the river, but when I first got on the boat I was a bit surprised…

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Because everyone was wearing masks with my husband’s face on!

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It was very funny and really strange to be surrounded by all those Alex’s!

The rest of the boat trip was delightful, we sipped Schloer, ate grapes, crisps and cakes, and I had another challenge to complete – everyone had to write sentences or words about what was going on, and then I had to put them all together as a poem:

Jennifer’s Adventures in Oxfordland:
Giggly girlies.
Sunshine warms our numb fingers,
relaxing Schloer and grapes,
ripples and riffles,
rainbow paperchains bouncing in the breeze.
 
BIG FAT SCARY SWANS
FROWN FACED LADY IN THE WATER
TRUMPET MAJOR
 
Calming reflections,
laughter, twinkly sunshine,
slate grey dappled water,
blossoms and fun.
Cheers!
 

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After the boat ride we went back to the hotel – The Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel. It’s a gorgeous hotel that felt like a bit of luxury, and we spent some time lazing about in the pool and jacuzzi, before getting all dressed up for our night out.

Hen Parties often have some kind of costume theme, but because mine was a belated celebration I didn’t want to go all-out costume. I decided it should be a masquerade theme, as I had a mask I bought in Venice years ago on a trip with Rosie, and I loved it and don’t get to wear it much. Plus then everyone could wear outfits they liked, and just add a mask to go with them.

I chose a maxi-dress to wear. Me, Rosie and Ali had been to a vintage warehouse the weekend before to choose outfits, and this maxi-dress was actually something Rosie had tried on and was debating buying. As she couldn’t make up her mind I asked if I could try it on, and I loved it so she let me get it instead – isn’t she nice?!

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Here we are at the restaraunt, a tapas bar called Kazbar. The service here was very slow, and they spilled food and drink on several of us – one of my friends got the treatment twice – ugh. But the food and cocktails were delicious, and I managed to avoid all the spillages!

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At one point I visited the ladies room and returned to the table to another surprise, this time my friends were all wearing Nathan Fillion masks. I have a bit of a crush on this actor, especially from when he played Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly:

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They made me laugh so much!

We went dancing at a club for a while too, but my feet were hurting a lot and we were all getting tired, so we went back to the hotel. We had a short pyjama party and then went to sleep so we’d have energy for another swim in the morning!

After a swim, breakfast, and checking out the next morning, we went to The Story Museum, where we’d hired a room to do scrapbooking:

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I took along lots of my supplies, and Rosie bought some extra paper, glue, and gems, so we had tons to play with. Everyone made a page about a part of the weekend. I haven’t stuck all the photos onto the pages yet as I printed them out later, so I won’t show them today. It was really fun to make a papery mess with my friends though, and I think they all enjoyed it even if they aren’t all usually crafty.

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That’s it. After scrapbooking a few friends had to leave straight away, and then the original five of us had lunch at a pub before heading home.

It was all very wonderful and I’m so grateful to Rosie for organising it all, she worked very hard for me to have an awesome time and I really appreciate it. I’m thankful to everyone else who came and shared the weekend too. Plus they had all made something for me as prizes for my challenges – I can’t find them all right now so I shall show you them another day when I show you the scrapbook pages. They are brilliant though!

Ah, looking back at all this makes me want to go again – are you allowed to have a second belated Hen Party?!

Bye for now, Jennifer x

About Me

Crafty Bloggers Unite!

On Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd March I went away for a crafty crop – my first crop ever! The room was filled with the nicest bunch of ladies you could hope to meet… in no particular order they were Lizzie, Alexa, K, Missus Wookie, Julie, Sandie, Jill, Jemma, Louise, Jacky, Fay, Kirsty, Alison, Ruth, Mel, and Me!
We’d hired out a Youth Hostel all to ourselves for the weekend, so we could make a nice mess of the long table… you can see a plate of homemade biscuits I took with me to share:

Our evening meals were cooked by the YHA staff, but we’d all taken food towards lunch and breakfasts… and we had tons! Here’s just a small amount of it:
There was plenty left for a midnight snack with a glass of red wine, while I played with a Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Stamp and some embossing powders that K lent to me:

One of my favourite items I made that weekend was a long-stitch handmade book. Lizzie taught a workshop on how to make one and I used some vintage fabric lined with scrapbook cardstock for my cover, and sketch paper for the pages:
I also managed a few layouts, a couple of cards, a fabric yo-yo, and 3 mini-books! They weren’t all finished by the end of the weekend, but I’ve been finishing up since I got home. You already saw one of them – my Counterfeit Kit layout for challenge 2. The rest will appear here over the next week-or-so!
Thanks very much to all the lovely ladies that I spent the weekend with. It was wonderful to meet so many people whose blogs I have read for a while, and cool to meet Louise and Jemma that I’m on Design Teams with! Special thanks to Fay, Lizzie, and Mel, who were sitting nearest to me when I arrived rather late on the Friday night (I got stuck in horrible traffic on the way there) – they chatted to me lots, making feel at home straight away!
I can’t wait to see everyone again at the next one! x

About Me

The Height of Summer…

… The lovely Julie Kirk has asked a question of the general blogosphere… how tall are we? 
It’s been interesting to see other people’s blog posts pop up – and learning how we all measure up against each other! To see more info on what inspired Julie’s question, check out her original post here, where you can also see how to join in. But you’ll have to be quick, as on Thursday Julie will be posting a height chart featuring us all!
I’ve been pondering on how to join in, but time has run out for any clever statistics or stories, and I haven’t even got any full length shots of all of us. I wanted to include the whole family’s heights, to record this summer, before the kids grow more (and hopefully long before me and hubby start to shrink?!). I noticed that I’d recently taken separate photos on different occasions of me, my daughter, and my son, with us looking away from the camera, and the sky behind us. I had to go back a few years to find a similar shot of hubby, as he always notices when I try to take this kind of shot of him, and pulls a face into the camera! I found one at last though.
Here’s our current heights:
Me ~ 5ft 4″ (though perhaps this hat makes me a little bit taller?):

Hubby ~ 6ft 4″ (I remember telling a friend I’d never date someone more than a few inches taller than me. Then I fell in love with a man a foot taller – I just about reach his shoulder. It was worth breaking my oath though!):
Little Miss ~ 3ft 5″ (I know her height because we measured her before we went to Disneyland Paris, and she was the exact height to be allowed on the Thunder Mountain roller coaster. She went on it – but she didn’t like it!):
Cheeky Boy ~ 2ft 7″ (I just measured him in his sleep – this is as accurate as I was able to get with a squirmy 1 year old!):
So that’s how we all stack up. Are you tall, short, or in-between? I think my height is about average, and I’ve never worried about it too much – though this might change if my children eventually surpass me. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though…
It doesn’t matter how tall you are – you can still reach to the sky! 
P.S. I’ll be back tomorrow or Thursday with a layout! x

About Me

Sneaks!

Right now, if everything is going to plan, I am on the Eurostar train, whizzing my way to Disneyland Paris.
Choo Choo!
So you don’t miss me too much (because of course you would!), I’ve scheduled this post to show you a couple of sneaks. The first is a very exciting FREE class to tell you about, created by the lovely Clair at Obstinate Pursuit. It’s called Stitching on Paper, it starts this Saturday (4th August) and it features lovely details including these:
This weekend you’ll see a couple of projects made by me as samples for the class. If you’ve ever been tempted to stitch on paper but you’re not sure where to start, or if you already love to do this but enjoy gathering inspiration, then DON’T MISS THIS CLASS!! More details can be seen on Clair’s blog here.
The second sneak is a photo of some journals I’ve been working on – one for me, and one each for my son, daughter, niece, and nephew, to take to Disneyland and fill with words, pictures, and memorabillia:
This photo was taken when they were still in progress! I’ve filled them with all different colours of paper, plus some activity sheets and stickers for the kids, and some mix and match album photo pockets to put photos in. I’ll show you some more details when we return and they’ve been put to use!
Happy Friday to you! x
About Me

Summer Fun!

Sorry I’ve been AWOL for over a week, things have been a little hectic here. Local readers will have guessed that one reason for this is that summer has finally arrived in England! Sunshine, wahoo! We have been out enjoying the weather…
… at Kingston Lacy, a local National Trust property with a huge manor house and extensive grounds, with games to play on the lawn, leafy woodlands to walk through, a community farm to visit, and interesting things to spot wherever you look. We went with my friend Rosie and had a fun time exploring all day long:

…we went to a friend’s summer party, where they had their large garden filled with bouncy castles, a ball pit, hook-a-duck, a tin can alley, face painting, home made cakes, a puppet show, and a tombola. They also had obstacle races for kids and grown ups, plus a visit from an ice cream van. It was a very fun day:

… we visited the beach with one of my daughter’s friends and her mum and baby brother. It was a very very hot day, I got a bit sunburnt on my back because I always coat the kids with lotion and forget to re-apply on myself. But we had a lovely picnic, played in the sea, and built castles, little miss loved being there with a friend to run around with, and my little man kept attempting handstands on the sand:

How alike to my daughter and her friend look here?
This week I was away working from Tuesday to Friday, at my last ever Creative Creatures course (I talked about the end of the business here). It was fun, though a bit sad thinking it was my last course! Rosie presented me with flowers and a card during the presentation to the parents before the kids went home. I’m going to really miss working with her!
When we got back on Friday I was exhausted, but I still managed to stay up and watch the Opening Ceremony, how could I not? Here was my favourite bit:
Photo Courtesy of Shimelle Laine at www.shimelle.com
Up until that point I’d been impressed with the scale but wondering what the point was – once I saw they were smelting the Olympic rings I was like ‘oh, cool!’ It was such an amazing event and it made me proud to be British! I shall be trying to watch some of the sporting events on TV, I especially want to show my daughter the artistic gymnastics as I think she’d like that!
Yesterday we spent the day out sales shopping. My mum had been down for the week to look after the kids, and she wanted to take us shopping for some clothes before she went home – because we’re off to Disneyland Paris with her and more of my family at the end of this week! She wanted to get us some holiday clothes which was very lovely of her. I can’t wait to go, I couldn’t get excited about it until a few days ago as we were waiting for our passports to arrive, but they’re all here now. Yay!
I hope you’re all having some nice days out and activities too! x
About Me

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today my baby boy turned 1. We didn’t do much, as hubby had to work. 
We opened presents in the morning before he left:

And then in the afternoon I took the kiddies to visit a friend, and we went for a slightly damp walk. Baby contemplated what it means to be one:
He hasn’t told me yet what he thinks of it, though he was quite smiley all day so I guess it’s okay! 
We’ll be going out tomorrow to celebrate a bit more, though I don’t know where, as the weather is so horrible. We’ll think of something!
Happy Birthday Baby Boy! x