Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Greetings from Anglesey

This is the view from the kitchen window of our cottage. Pretty perfect! We're perched on a hill and we've got ducks, ponies and sheep in the field behind us. It's a lovely break from the normal day-to-day grind of daily life, albeit not particularly relaxing with a one year old. Back home on Friday!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My favourite layout

One of the good things about being a 'new' blogger is being able to revisit 'old' projects for your posts. And that is what I'm doing today! I've just returned from a three-day training course (hopefully you'll be hearing more about this later) and on Friday we leave for a week-long family trip to Anglesey, so my life recently has been all about the wash, prep, clean, pack etc involved with travel. So, instead of no post at all, I wanted to show you one of my favourite projects from a few years ago. This layout featured in Scrapbook Magazine, and I picked it because it reflects everything that I'm about as a crafter.
I love colour and texture, and you really can tell from this layout! I used coloured foam for the main part of the title, adding white letter stickers to the foam then cutting around them into squares. You may also be able to see the red paint I dry-brushed onto the backing paper. Dry-brushing with paint is one of my favourite techniques, and if my most recent layout (currently still in construction) is anything to go by, it's something I've still not grown out of!
I also love stamping onto ribbon, especially the luscious canvas-effect ribbon used here! I've read that natural fabrics like this are a big trend right now, and it's definitely a technique I'll be returning to in the future. Another huge thing for me when it comes to scrapbooking is multiple photographs. Given the choice, I will always try to squeeze as many photos onto a layout as I can - I really think it improves a layout hugely. Of course this isn't always possible, and sometimes a particular photograph demands centre stage, but multiple-photo layouts are just so much more FUN, don't you think?! That's it from me for today, but I'll be back later in the week with a brand-new project, promise!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Mum's the word

As Mother's Day is in just a few weeks, I thought I'd share the one and only card I made for the whole of my maternity leave last year - a Mother's Day card! I don't know why I couldn't face crafting for all that time. I think it's because cardmaking was my day job and I didn't want to think about it while I was on leave looking after a newborn. I guess I didn't feel ready to even think about going back to work. But when Mother's Day came around, I found some girly stamps and papers in my stash (which happened to be the My Mind's Eye Follow Your Heart Be Happy collection), and made something especially for my mum. I remember really enjoying making it - Stanley lay on his play mat next to me while I crafted away, it was a lovely afternoon. And it reminded me of how much I missed it. This year will be very different... and I have no idea what I'm making yet... best get my thinking cap on!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Homemade play dough

While running my messy play classes last year, I made some non-toxic play dough for the babies to feel and squeeze between their fingers. It's such a lovely medium for them to explore and experiment with, and they certainly had fun! I used a realtively easy no-cook recipe from The Imagination Tree and the play dough turned out perfectly. It took a little bit of kneading and I found it quite difficult to get a deep, even colour - it's actually supposed to be blue, rather than the washed out teal I was left with! I've since later seen in the comments of the blog that adding food colouring to the water is a way to prevent this. However, once you've finished, it really is a lovely soft and glossy play dough to work with. Even better, it's lasted a while stored away in an air-tight container. So, it was on a wet, dreary day a few weeks ago (when I'd lost my car/house keys so we couldn't go out!) that I thought I would re-introduce Stanley to the delights of play dough.
He'd first encountered it at messy play but was less than a year old at the time. Now, at nearly 16 months, I wanted to see how he would react to the material. Yes, he put it in his mouth (which is why I'm so glad it's technically edible!) but soon learned that's not actually what it's for. I gave him some plastic heart-shaped cookie cutters and away he went, moulding the dough with his fingers, cutting it into heart shapes and rolling the dough into tubes. He also rather enjoyed filling the largest cookie cutters with the dough, which was great fun!
The dough really had kept well (there were a few crusty-edged bits which we threw away, but the rest was fine) and it was even suitable to be played with again, a few weeks later. I can't wait to make another batch in some funky colours!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

No crafting today...

...we've been off feeding the animals! Today was a beautiful spring day in our corner of the world, so we headed out to a local farm and petting zoo. Stanley absolutely loved it!
It's been a bit quiet on the blog these last few weeks, as I've been busy behind the scenes with magazine commissions... all will be revealed soon ;) But I'm all finished now so you'll be hearing more from me next week!
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