Scrapbook Layouts

Scrap Retreat and Some Girly Layouts!

On the 14th – 17th November I was very lucky – I got to spend the weekend away at a scrap retreat with a few friends (a couple of long time friends – Sarah and Lisa-Jane – and lots of new ones)!

There were ten of us scrapping away in part of this beautiful barn:

Scrap Retreat

There was a swimming pool and a hot tub, beautiful views, and even a few friendly cows at the farm nearby:

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I didn’t take many photos. I didn’t take any process photos of the pages I made at all … because after the business of preparing for FF2014, I was just enjoying just scrapping and chatting for fun, and not worrying about anything too much!

I can share the finished pages with you though. Today I’m going to show you a few girly pages, then I’ll be back tomorrow with the more general pages!

Crafting Cousins:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

This page shows photos of my daughter and my niece getting crafty! They made Olympic torches and beaded bracelets together at a craft fair in 2012. It was so cute watching them concentrating together!

I’ve been saving the diagonal striped paper on the background to use with these photos, as the colours were so perfect:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

This ‘we are so good together’ journal card seemed fitting, and the sparkly bow added a lovely bit of girly glamour:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

I’ve been trying to think of more interesting ways to place my titles, instead of just straight every time, so I followed the diagonal pattern for this one:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

Reaching New Heights:

Reaching New Heights Layout by Jennifer Grace

This photo is of my daughter and a couple of friends, who climbed up a tall ‘treehouse’ in the woods one day, then they couldn’t get down. I had to lift them down, which was really hard as they were up above my head height!

I found an apt ‘up up and away’ stamp, a ‘fly’ wood veneer, and a piece of patterned paper with a tightrope walker, to enhance the theme:

Reaching New Heights Layout by Jennifer Grace

The page design was largely inspired by a Stamping Up hexagon punch that someone had brought to the retreat, which I really wanted to try out! I punched lots of hexagons from floral and geometric papers, and put together a pattern, sticking most of them on flat, but some with foam dots to keep it interesting:

Reaching New Heights Layout by Jennifer Grace

Wow Amazingly Adorable:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

This photo is of the same niece that’s in the first layout, but obviously she was a bit younger here! This picture was taken at mine & hubby’s wedding in 2008, when she was a bridesmaid for us. She had a fairy dress as her bridesmaid’s dress, and it had little lights on the front… we waited until she was all dressed up before showing her the lights for the first time. This was her face when she saw them twinkling!

It was one of those moments I will remember forever, and I’ve kept the photo for a long time as I wanted to make a layout which would do it justice!

I used lots of butterflies around the page as they echoed the wings on her fairy dress:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

This vellum journal spot was delicate and fluttery:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

I stamped a piece of pink paper with a circular stamp and green ink, then layered some embossing paste stars on top, to add to the background:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

This page also uses my secret santa gift I got at the retreat – we all wrapped up a £10 scrappy gift to give to someone else. I received flowers, the corrugated alphas, a MME 6×6 pad, and some gems! All were put to good use!

What do you think? All suitably girly? The pages I have to share tomorrow have barely any pink on them!

Bye for now,

Jennifer x


Storytelling Sunday – Starting School

I know it isn’t Sunday, but I wanted to wait until my daughter started school to share my story this month. So I’m joining in now with the lovely bloggers that have shared stories at Sian’s blog – you can see her post for September here
Waiting until the end of the week meant that I could show you these photos of Little Miss, posing for a photo shoot before she went to school on her first day yesterday. I have a lot more photos from the shoot – she loves to pose right now – as long as I let her take some silly photos as well as the smiley ones:

She had a great first day. Her biggest worry before school was how she was going to play with her two best friends both at the same time – she knew one from nursery, and one from play-group, but they both started school with her. I explained that they could all play together, but she said “but who gets to be in the middle?” I think there’s been enough other friends around that it hasn’t been too much of a problem so far! 
She was certainly a lot more confident than I was on my first day…
I was clasping on to my mum’s hand as she led me in to the classroom, which seemed so big, but crowded because of all the children inside. Most were milling around an art table. My mum pulled me over and talked to another little girl, called Stephanie. She had bunches (two pigtails) in her hair – I only had one ponytail. I wanted bunches.

“Time for me to go now” said mum, and I started to cry, begging her not to leave. She stayed as long as she could, but the teacher must have ushered her out. I noticed. I waited. When the teacher’s back was turned, I ran.

Out of the classroom, out of the school building, everything blurry through my teary eyes. There were no mums left around, as far as I can remember. I didn’t care, I just wanted to get home to my mum. I ran out of the big school gates, and halfway down the road (on the pavement), and finally caught up with mum, grabbing onto her skirt and bursting into tears all over again.

You can imagine that mum hugged me and told me off, then marched me back into school, and gave the teacher a piece of her mind for letting a four year old run out of the school on her own. I don’t remember, all I recall is desperately not wanting to be there, and wishing mum would take me home. I sulked most of that day. 

But Stephanie was nice to me. As were others. And eventually I settled in. I never ran out of school again, though sometimes I wanted to – my school years were not always enjoyable. Like the day when I wet my knickers and had to wear a pair of BOYS ghost-buster pants all day long. I hated that! But I loved bits too, especially the actual lessons – I loved to learn. And though I don’t have a photo from my first day at school, I have lots of others, and I’m very smiley in them:
Sian has mentioned a couple of times that my daughter’s smile is the same as mine, but I’d never really seen it until I found this photo of me!
I hope that Little Miss continues to enjoy school, and always has the problem of too many friends! x

April in Numbers

Welcome back to another month measured in factual figures! If you’d like to see who started this brilliant blogging idea, then see Julie Kirk’s information on her blog here, or her post for this month here.

My April in numbers:

6 different dinosaur craft items made with my daughter at the local library craft day. Here’s my favourite – a dinosaur theatre:

£8.50 paid to get into Corfe Castle (a National Trust property) on a day out with my daughter. My friend Rosie offered to look after my baby for the day, so that me and little miss could have some quality time together. So, despite the drizzle, we went on an adventure to find treasure and save animals (all pretend!). It was great fun, and my daughter was very happy, until about two minutes after this picture was taken – when she fell into the river! It was shallow, and after a few tears she was fine and going over the stepping stones again:

1pm – the time for an Easter-Egg hunt at the house of one of my daughter’s friends. They had great fun running around the garden, but even more fun eating all the treats:

5 T-Shirts spray painted, ripped, and safety-pinned, to turn five crazy girlies into a punk girl band for the day. It was all for my friend Rosie’s 30th birthday treat (to see our music video see my earlier post here):

50 nail polishes produced for a sleepover the same weekend. All these nail polishes belonged to one girl. I was quite impressed, but she did admit she bought a few of them over fifteen years ago!:

£2.10 paid for car parking at Swanage – a significant number because I drove my sister and kiddies there, and went to a different car park to start with because it was easier to park in (I only passed my driving test last month). But when I saw the price to park there I decided to be brave, and park in the smaller, cheaper car park! It was fine, I should have more confidence in my parking skills. We had a lovely time on the beach, though the wind was a bit chilly:

280 acres of Country Park to explore at Durlston in Swanage – we had a nice long walk along the cliffs. I love going to this country park, as there’s a lighthouse and a castle to see, old quarry caves which were used for smuggling too, wildlife and wildflowers, plus a good sea breeze to blow all your troubles away:

2000 volunteers donated knitted and crocheted items to a Blooming Marvellous garden display which was also at Durlston when we visited. My favourite bit was this pond, complete with newts, frogs, and a garden gnome (for more photos of the garden see their blog here):

2 very sleepy kiddies when we got back home:
And finally, 5 layouts completed for Shimelle’s online crop. You can see more about the layouts here, here, here, here and here, if you missed them before!:
Thanks for looking. I had a fabulous April and I hope you did too! 
Now for May, which will include a trip to visit my mum and family in Kent, my Grandparents in Suffolk, and a Gig in Reading. Plus, of course, more scrapbooking and silliness!
Bye for now x

My month in numbers: July

Hello. How have you all been? Sorry I’ve not been around much, I’m dropping in on your blogs whenever I get a chance!

We’ve been getting along fine, baby boy is quite well behaved, and already sleeps a lot at night. Still settling into things though, especially now hubby has gone back to work, and my mum and step-dad who came to visit have both returned home – it’s going to be interesting trying to cope on my own when hubby is at work!

I wanted to share you a few more photos, and decided to do so by joining in with Julie Kirk’s ‘My month in numbers’ which is a regular blog post for her throughout the year – see her latest here.

My month in numbers goes like this:

2 = the number of children I now have. Still seems a bit surreal!:

14 = the number of photos of my daughter NOT looking at the camera before I got this photo, when we went to feed the ducks. She was too busy running around and getting her socks and shoes wet in the river!:

46, 47, and 48 = the numbers of our ‘ducks’ in the rubber duck race our town has as part of carnival week. We didn’t win even though we were at the riverside, cheering our ducks on in the rain:

15 = the number of buttons my daughter chose to put on the ‘thank you’ card she made for the staff at her pre-school, to give to them on the last day of term:

8 = the 8th and final instalment of the Harry Potter films. Me and hubby went to see it with our good friends Rosie and David – we have seen almost all the Harry Potter films at the cinema with them. We went to see the first one with them in Rosie and I’s first year of university. It felt like the end of an era going to see the last one, so to commemorate the evening me and Rosie went in costume, wearing cloaks and taking a chopstick each as wands! It was fun. The boys pretended they didn’t know us though! 
(P.S. the film was awesome by the way):
7 = the number of slices of bread I buttered for a picnic on the beach with my mum and step-dad:

1 = 1 well used picnic blanket now being used as a comfy bed on the beach for the newest member of the family:

30 = the factor of sun-cream we put on, only for the sun to disappear five minutes later:

3 = 3 lovely hours spent with my Nan and Grampa when they came to Bournemouth for the day on a coach trip. We ate fish and chips and then sat on the beach. It was great for them to meet baby boy, and spend some time with little miss:

A Gazillion = the number of cuddles I’ve had with baby, each one super lovely!:

I have a couple of crafting projects in progress, so I should return soon with some to show you! x


10 things my daughter says a lot!

See Shimelle’s blog here if you want to see why I’m listing 10 things!

Here’s 10 of my daughter’s phrases which are well used at the moment:

1. “Scrubbly” – as in, ‘it’s all lovely and scrubbly’, or ‘that’s too scrubbly’ – I think it’s her word to use when she doesn’t have a word that fits!

2. “The naughty crocodile did it” – she won’t admit to being the culprit at the moment. This last week she has cut off a bit of her hair, and spilled a drink of apple juice all over the coffee table, but it wasn’t her – it was the naughty crocodile.

3. “Smile at me mummy” – when she knows she’s being annoying she gives me a very cute, smug smile, and gets upset if I don’t smile back.

4. “Just pause it, I need to talk to you” If we ask her to be quiet when something good is on the telly. Of course, we can’t talk during her programmes!

5. “Just a little bit more playing” or “play with me a little bit mummy?” – kind of irresistible, even when we’re late getting ready to go out.

6. “I’m not a girl, I’m a pussycat” – or a tiger/lion/doggie – there’s been a lot of crawling around on the floor lately, even in the library.

7. “I’m good at winning aren’t I mummy?” – we’ve been playing a lot of ‘snap’ with Disney princess cards. She’s surprisingly good at it. Or I’m just really bad at it!

8. “I need a huggle” – I really don’t want to correct this one, I love it that she’s put the words ‘hug’ and ‘cuddle’ together! She pronounces most words really well so I’m letting a couple of wrong ones slip through for now as they’re just too cute! Another one is ‘forgetti’ instead of ‘spaghetti’!

9. “I’m going to be bigger soon” or “I’m going to be four soon” – her birthday isn’t until March. Why do they start wanting to grow up so young?

10. “Love you mummy / daddy” – Ok, I know this one isn’t funny, but it’s my favourite thing she says, for obvious reasons!

Do you know any kids with cute phrases? x

Scrapbook Layouts

One little monkey…

… jumping on the bed!

My second layout using my counterfeit kit, and using a sketch from a Two Peas in a Bucket NSD challenge (link to the challenge is here).

The sketch:

My layout (click to enlarge):

I loved being able to pull most of the bits for this from my kit, it made it all come together so quickly! I added the orange circle of paper, and printed the little monkey from clipart. The title is from a song my daughter sings at playgroup about monkeys jumping on the bed, luckily my daughter has not yet bumped her head like the naughty monkeys do in the song! I added some paint (the white circle and the swirl) and then doodled on top. I hope the page reflects the fun and energy in the photos.
I had been waiting to scrap these photos for a while, I like it when I catch my daughter playing something by herself. The other day I managed to get this picture of her:

These ‘My Little Ponies’ were mine when I was a little girl, I kept them all this time hoping I’d have a daughter. This is the first time I’ve caught her playing with them by herself, she said they were all reading the magazine. It was so sweet! Now I can’t wait to scrap this photo! x

Scrapbook Layouts

she (really) loves sweetcorn!

My second post of the day, and it’s another layout! That’s got to be a record for me lately, my scrapping mojo is definitely coming back in full swing!

The lovely Shimelle ( has been posting challenges all day for National Scrapbooking Day. You can join in with them until 15th May, so go take a peek and see if you want to participate!

This layout is for the challenge to ‘use a border between two photos’ (you can go straight to that challenge here). I’m hoping I won’t be disqualified for also adding a button border beneath the left photo – the main border is still between the two pics! (click photo to make it larger):

I was quite pleased how quickly this page came together, layering the border between the pics meant the page had instant focus and I just had to build around it. I had to squeeze my title on because the letters I wanted to use for the word sweetcorn were quite wide, but now I really like how it looks with the letters overlapping!

I wanted something in the top right corner of the LO, but I didn’t have any ready made embellies that I liked. So I hand drew a cloud onto yellow dotty paper, and then drew a little hot air balloon onto white card and coloured it in. I stuck the balloon onto the page with 3D dots to add a bit of dimension, and then managed to find a little cloud button that I could tuck underneath it:

I might have to join in another challenge or two while the scrapping frenzy is still with me! 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

Get Crafting

Family trip to London

Those of you who read my blog regularly might remember that back in October I made this 3D mini-book about how much I wanted to go to London for a short break:

We got to go at the end of March for 3 nights. We booked into a Travelodge, getting a good deal on an advance booking. We had booked to stay at the new Ealing hotel, due to open at the beginning of March, but they put back the opening – so they transferred us to London Southwark Travelodge for no extra cost. We were lucky – this one was much more central!

It also had a convenience store right next door, so we were able to pop and buy milk each morning to eat cereals in our room with the plastic bowls and spoons we’d taken – saved us some money!

Our first day we spent at London Zoo (ZSL), as we had a voucher for 2for1 entry because we travelled into London by train. I was excited to take my daughter there as she hadn’t been to a zoo yet, but though she enjoyed certain animals (especially the tigers) she did spend a lot of the day chasing around the pigeons and asking to go in the playpark! Oh well, she had a good time I think!

Butterfly landed on hubby in this one:

The next day we went to do some sightseeing. First we went to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace, but it was super busy so we couldn’t see much. After that we went to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey (from the outside – we couldn’t afford to go in!)

And we had a yummy lunch in a Yates restaurant. We saved money on lunches and dinners for the week by getting hold of a TasteCard free trial – it’s a card that allows you to get 50% off food or 2for1 meals in loads of different restaurants. You have to pay if you want to have the card for a year, but the month free trial was perfect for us for now! We also converted some Tesco clubcard vouchers (supermarket reward scheme) into restaurant vouchers so we used those for a couple of meals too.

And that afternoon we went to Hamleys toy store and spent almost two hours watching all the demos and playing with the toys!

We also had a short wander in Covent Garden – but by that time we were all getting very tired! (We were back in our hotel room by 8pm each night – utterly exhausted!)

The next day we spent all day at the Natural History Museum which was fantastic. None of us had ever been there, so me and hubby enjoyed it as much as little madam! She especially loved the dinosaurs, she kept asking to go back and see the roaring T-Rex again!

This was in another tastecard restaurant, GBK, where my daughter had her first strawberry milkshake – she was very excited about it:

And finally the train journey home. We kept little one amused on the train with a sticker book and some sweeties. Otherwise she just want to run up and down the aisles!

It was a lovely, though very tiring, trip. I don’t think we shall be going to London again for quite a while though so I enjoyed it! And I kept a diary for my daughter, sticking in bits of memorabilia and leaving space for photos, and she did a few drawings and stuck her stickers in too. So even when the memory fades she’ll always have a record of it.

Sorry this was such a long post – though I assure you I could have added a lot more photos! I will make sure my next post is full of some crafty items I promise! x


how time flies…

I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post, 2011 seems to be going by in a flash! I’ve been busy visiting people, having people to visit us, going away for a few days to London (yay!), arranging my daughter’s 3rd birthday party, and re-organising the house. Oh, all at the same time as being pregnant of course! I’m tired a lot of the time right now!

Anyway, here’s some snaps from the last two months. I’ll do a separate post with pics from our London trip, and another to show a few bits and pieces I’ve been creating, though there hasn’t been too much of that with everything else I’ve had to get done!

I’ll start with a few pics from the week I went to visit my mum, step-dad and sister up in Kent, at the end of February. We went to the farm:


And played some games! (This is my teddy bear. He’s called Spencer):

Then on the 19th of March it was my daughter’s 3rd Birthday. Unfortunately I was working that day, but my sister was down for a week long visit, so her and my husband gave the little princess all the attention she deserved:

This is the same day, at a veg plot we’ve recently acquired as part of a free local scheme to get parents gardening with their kids. It’s a lovely community place to go and my daughter loves planting seeds and watering, it’s great for us as we only have a small patio/courtyard style garden so it’s nice to go and play in the mud:

And it also helps that the play park is right next door!:

We had her birthday party in a chuch hall the weekend after, with 12 of her friends coming for princess games and a clown show. My mum is a clown (you can see her website here if you’re intrigued), so she had offered long ago to do a show at little one’s 3rd birthday! My daughter loved it!

And my mother-in-law made this fantastic princess castle cake:

Isn’t it just what every little girl dreams of? Aren’t I lucky with my parents? I hope they realise how much I appreciated all their help! (And my sister’s help too, her and my mum helped me make paper chains and paper bunting, we put all the party bags and pass-the-parcel together, and mum even made the big castle picture that’s behind her and my daughter in the above pic. I have the best family ever!)

Okay, that’s probably enough for one post. I’ve already sorted out the London photos so hopefully it won’t take me too long to post them. I hope everyone out there in blogland is doing okay, I have some major catching up to do on my blog-reader. And I’m going away again tonight for a week, back to my mum’s – as my sister is leaving to go travelling for a year on Monday so we’re going to say ‘bon voyage’!

Bye for now, x