Scrapbook Layouts

Encouraging Quote – It Takes Courage

(This post is part of my Onwards and Upwards Blog Event)

This quote is helping me to stay focused on my progress this year:

‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.’ E. E. Cummings.

It Takes Courage layout by Jennifer Grace

I like this quote, because it’s not just about who you want to be, it’s also about who you are already.

It Takes Courage layout by Jennifer Grace

One of the things I’ve come to understand this year, is that to make progress I also have to accept my shortcomings or personality quirks, so that I can adapt my goals to fit around them, rather than always hoping I will miraculously overcome them. For example, believing that I will suddenly get better at housework will not help me progress, but admitting I need help with it, and drafting in some assistance gives me time to focus on other progress that is actually achievable!

It took courage to ask for that help, and to accept that I can’t do everything (I like to believe that I can), but now I’ve come to terms with it I’m feeling more at peace with myself.

It Takes Courage layout by Jennifer Grace

What quirks of your own do you think you ought to accept are part of your personality? How could you work around them rather than letting them hold you back? It’s your time to grow…

Be Inspired:

Write down some quirks of your own and ideas on how to adapt your goals around them

Create a project without worrying about it being perfect – I didn’t worry whether the title was straight, and it ended up a little wonky, but I had so much more fun creating it than I normally would!

Ask someone for help – with a goal or a project!

Remember that commenting on this post, and any other over this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

See you again at 9pm! x

Scrapbook Layouts

Coastal Cutie and Dandelions Dancing

Yay, a scrapbook page at last! I’ve been struggling to find my scrapping vibes, but hopefully this layout will help me ease back into it – after all I have a huge stack of photos to scrap before new baby arrives in July and I have another load of newborn pics to use as well!

This one uses photos from the beach last summer when my daughter had a very sweet swimming costume that I wish I could enlarge somehow, so she could keep wearing it (or, even better, I’d enlarge it enough for me to wear!) I took inspiration from the polka-dot straps on it to add a couple of home-made polka-dot elements to my page, that way I can also enter it into The Paper Variety challenge this week! Here’s the layout (click on the big photo to enlarge):

I was finishing this page off today, and it was cheering me up – the weather here has now turned grey and dismal and the rain is battering my window pane – it was nice to have these bright colours in front of me!

Speaking of bright colours, I also just finished off an art journal page. I created this page because of the Creative Wildfire book by L.K.Ludwig. I hired it out from the library months ago and keep renewing it because it’s so good (it’s going to have to go on my birthday wish list!). In the back of the book was a recycled, blank art journal for the purchaser to use – I felt a bit sorry for the empty pages, wondering if because it’s a library book it might never be used. I decided I couldn’t let that happen, so I wrote a note in the front suggesting that everyone who borrows the book could add to it, and then I created a page about dandelions:

My daughter keeps blowing the seeds off any dandelion clock she can find, she calls it a fairy flower because the seeds look like little fairies as they fly away. My dad moaned and said I shouldn’t let her blow them because she’s spreading weeds, but I can’t bear to stop her doing it because I think they’re pretty! And she loves it so. In fact, I think she was about to blow some dandelion seeds the other day, when I was tidying the living room and heard a loud crash from the garden where she was playing:

“Are you okay?” I shouted.
“Yeah…” she replied, in a thoughtful voice, “…but I think I’m maybe stuck.”

Hee hee! Of course, being a scrapbooker and a blogger, I couldn’t possibly help her out until I took a couple of photos! She was fine, although I can’t say the same for the dandelion clocks after I’d pulled her out!

See you again soon, xxx

Cardmaking, Kids Crafts

Things I’ve been making…

… some with help from a certain three-year-old!

I promised a post with a catch up of some of the things I’ve been creating the last couple of months. I haven’t, shock horror, made a single scrapbook page. The urge deserted me for a while, but I have one in my mind now that I just need to find time to put together! Instead I’ve been art journaling / card making along with other bits and pieces. Here’s a few things for you to see.

First up is an art journal spread I created about some of my pregnancy thoughts. I included a scan photo, and my daughter helped me out by printing a hand print onto the bottom right corner:

Then at the end of March it was my dad’s birthday, and we also sent cards to my mum for mother’s day at the beginning of April, so me and my daughter made these (see if you can guess which ones I made!):
For my dad:

For my mum:

At the beginning of April it was my friend Rosie’s birthday, I don’t have photos of the cards we made her, but I also made her this bib style necklace. It ended up a bit bigger than I intended because I kept finding more bits and pieces I wanted to add to it (the large buttons and flowers were made by me too):

And then, last Friday me and little miss sat down to an afternoon of creating. As it was Earth Day 2011 I set my daughter making this:

It sort of looks like the world! I know it’s not a very accurate depiction but hey, she’s three, and it was still useful, as it helped me to talk to her about countries and seas, etc.

While she was making that, and in between me having to wash blue paint off her fingers and glue from her hair, I was making this:

Nothing to do with Earth Day, but it was inspired by something I’d seen a couple of days before on Julie Kirk’s blog, about how to use stamps to make a cute photo-booth strip. You can see her post about it here, or the tutorial on how to make one is here on the ‘it’s a creative world’ blog, so check them out – Julie’s examples are so sweet and fun!

I don’t have a huge array of stamps with characters on, most of my stamps are twirly backgrounds or phrases, but I managed to find this frog and bird, who I think had a little romance going on in the photo-booth! It was fun to make but now I want more cute stamps to create with. I was thinking you could also use the same technique to create a simple comic strip, so I want to try that out too.

That’s all for now, but hopefully I’ll be back soon with a scrapbook page. Especially now my study is all tidied and organised since it was swapped around with my daughter’s room. She keeps telling everyone with pride how she’s now got the BIG bedroom. I sulk a little bit at having my stash depleted and squeezed into small spaces, but I know I’m lucky to have a separate room to work in at all, even if it’s a small one. Next year I’ll probably have to give this one up too, when the new baby (due in July) moves out of our room. Until then I’m going to try and appreciate having my own space! x


getting hooked on art journaling

The other day I mentioned that I’d been doing an art journal page. It was about how I’m looking forward to spring – I can’t wait for colour to creep back into England! Here’s the page:

Lots of layers of paint and stamping, with some paint detail on the face. I wanted to make her look like a nature spirit, and have her blending in a bit with the background:

I also used some fountain pen ink on the page when the paint was still a little damp, so the ink ran, like fresh spring shoots creeping up from the ground, all wet with dew:

After I’d done this page, I was trying to think how to do my next journal page. I have been using layers of painting and stamping, using the same kind of techniques, on all my pages so far. Then, when I popped into the local library, this book happened to be sitting on the just returned shelf:

It’s fabulous! It’s one of those creative books that makes you think ‘ooh, I want to try that, and that, and that’ every time you turn the page. It’s got all kinds of ideas tumbling around in my head. Here’s the first page I’ve completed since reading it, about how much I’d love a holiday:

My main aim for the page aesthetics was to cut bits from magazines and books, and stick them on without them looking out of place:

I love the plane stamp in the top right corner, I want to use this on a scrapbook page soon too:

I have about 5 pages in my head that I am looking forward to putting together already. It feels very therapeautic to do, because it lets out some thoughts and feelings, whilst also doing my most favourite hobby of playing with paints and papers!

What to you think? Do you do any art journaling, and if so, can you suggest any great books or websites for even more inspiration? Let me know. xxx

Kids Crafts

art journal page, a sweetie boot, & kids halloween, what a mix!

As promised, the first thing I have to show you is an art journal page (a double spread) that I made following week one’s lesson of Art, Heart and Healing:

The left page was therapeutic – writing down negative thoughts and then covering them with layer on layer of prettiness, finally adding a sentence of how to use those negative thoughts positively.

My negative thoughts were all about worrying that I’m not a good enough mum, wife, friend, artist etc, because I feel I try to do too much to make any of it perfect. I decided my negative thoughts are trying to tell me that if I want to try and balance these things, then I need to stop stressing about them all being faultless. It doesn’t matter if my daughter sometimes watches more TV than I’d like so that I can cook the dinner, and if I want to spend an evening watching telly with hubby then I shouldn’t stress about not getting an online challenge done that I’d wanted to do. This is a message that I knew already really, but hopefully having an art journal page to remind me will help me be strong about it:

The right hand page is sort of a self-portrait – one that doesn’t necessarily look like me, but is supposed to represent me. It must look like me a little bit, because when I showed it to my daughter she said ‘it’s mummy!’. Tam suggested we should take a word that sums up the positive move forward and write it on the portrait somewhere, so I chose ‘balance’ – you can just about see it between the collarbones:

I loved creating this page. The lesson was a video with Tam talking you though all the steps, and it gave me real confidence with shading and building up layers. It was also great to finally get use out of some watercolour pencils my mum bought me years ago (thanks mum!) but which had been sitting in the bottom of a cupboard. Now I want some more! If you’d like to give the class a go, you can still join up and see this lesson. The course is free, you just have to sign up to Tam’s ning site (also free). Go to

Next up tonight is an item inspired by the Paper Variety blog – their challenge this week is to create a project that incorperates candy or other sweet treats. So I made this:

My husband lived in Germany until he was 6 years old. He doesn’t remember huge amounts from living over there, just because he was quite young when the family moved back to England, but every December he reminisces about St. Nicholas Day on the 6th of December, when german children wake up to a boot stuffed with sweets, nuts or fruit. I’m not sure if this is a tradition in other countries too? I’d never heard of it before I met him anyway.
Every year I mean to make him a boot to stick some sweeties in (I certainly wouldn’t want to just put sweets in his smelly shoes!), and this Paper Variety challenge has given me the push to finally make one, after 10 years together!
I made it by sticking together some loo roll inner tubes onto a base cut from a cereal packet:
And then I used modge-podge to stick xmas papers and tissue papers all over it. I chose blue papers because that’s my hubby’s fave colour. I also stamped and stuck on the tag saying ‘St. Nick’s Day’ placing it so it looked a bit like a boot tongue. I used Copydex to glue silver laces on too:
Finally I used glamour dust to glitter the toe of the boot and the top rim:
Now I just have to try and remember to actually fill it with sweets and leave it for him to find on the morning of the 6th. I bet I’ll be posting on the 7th of Dec saying ‘arrgghh, I forgot!’. If you want to join in with the Paper Variety Challenge you can see it here.
Okay, a last couple of pics to show you (thank you if you’re still with me!). This morning I read the lovely Rachel’s latest blog post, with some kiddies halloween crafts she’d been making with her son. I was inspired, so today me and little miss have made these:

Fun eh? I think my daughter enjoyed making them, though she wasn’t too sure about painting her hand white until I did mine first. She has a bit of a fear of getting her hands sticky. I love the faces she’s created on the ghosts, especially the one with freaky green and brown pupils! Thank you Rachel for giving me the ideas!
Right, that really is it. Until tomorrow morning when I’ll be back with my recipe as part of the Let’s Eat Blog Hop. Sorry if you’re getting sick of me! xx