Saturday, 31 December 2011

Even more journal, days 9 - 12 Dec

I have just re-done this page as the previous version really jarred, I'm much happier with it now.

We had some friends round to supper on the 10th and it was very nice so I journalled it here:

Shimelle urges us to remember Christmas disasters, so I philosophised a bit about why really quite little things seem so much more disastrous at Christmas:

Running a bit late on cards this year, even though I'd made them all in January, due to dithering about the photo update we send:

Friday, 30 December 2011

More Christmas Journal...

I did a lot of my shopping on the internet this year, and felt I had to send those responsible a little thank you! 

I had a super evening with my girls, having their christmas haircuts and generally larking about, so I sent them a postcard to say thank you.

Although they've grown out of the nativity plays, I felt suddenly nostalgic for the ole' nativity play, and I'd found an old cd of one of their performances.  I've now rubbed the pencil marks out, by the way!

Now then, I have a glorious secret that I can't even tell you about yet, dear blog-reader, but I wanted to remember loving having it over this christmas, so I wrote a little postcard to-whom-it-may-concern!

Christmas Journal #2...

My daughters have made me a personal advent calendar this year with gifts and chocolate, so I included day one's note and journalled on the back of the note to put in the pocket about how sweet they are!

 My craft space is also the spare room and it gets into the most awful mess at Christmas...

My cotton reel ran out this day and I realised that between us my daughter and I have used 1km of thread since the spring when I bought it!

I remember when my brother woke me and my parents at 5:35 one Christmas morning, thinking it was 7:25 so I've done a postcard to him in the pocket, with a photo of the two of us when we were little:

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

My Christmas Journal 2011...

... is progressing!  I thought you might like to look at the first section.  It's called "Hot Chocolate", named after the range of paper I used, because I thought it also fitted what I want out of my journal, so I explain on the cover why:


I always start my journal on advent sunday which fell early this year, and always do something a bit religious.  This time I took a line from a carol that we sang that day in church:

I made a pocket for all our christmas present lists, in the hope that I'd get going early buying presents.  (It sort-of worked!)


I often remember the day's events in my christmas journal and this was an important and sad day that I wanted to commemorate.

Shimelle encourages her "posse" to consider the weather, and here in Surrey it has been so mild, so I decided to illustrate this with a fuschia that's still hanging on in our garden.  I especially like this page, I think it's partly the way it gets you humming that song, that's it's a nice colourful photo, and it's also "lift the flap" !

I'll be back with some more pages tomorrow...

Monday, 26 December 2011

Would you call this Georgian?...

...the fabrics are from the American Civil war but I guess the same styles were going on in England as well?

I finished this one on holiday last week.  It's made with a moda jelly roll called "Hope", backed with my favourite fabric from the same range, and bound with a fabric from another of the moda civil war ranges.  The wadding is a very lightweight fleece.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas...

...lovely reader!  I have been very quiet as we've been away on holiday, but now I'm back and have several projects to show you.  But not tonight, it's too late.  So in the meantime, I hope you have a brilliant Christmas and look out for lots of new projects in the new year!

Helen xxx

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Gareth Malone will you marry me?...

..if I and you weren't married to other people already, and I were not far too old for you!

What a difference this man has made to so many people, I have enjoyed watching all his shows, and if you haven't seen the current "Military Wives" series, I recommend it to you, whatever you feel about going to war.  This is their live performance at this year's remembrance day service and this is the single they're going to release on 19th December, "Wherever you are".  I so hope it's number one, something rich in meaning for a change.  Remember these women are not professional singers, just a choir that sings with heart.

I am working on a christmas journal entry about this, I want to try to find a poppy to go on it to, and when the CD arrives I'll slip it into the pocket too.  I will show you when I finish it!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Green is the colour...

...of the week over at less is more.   Here's my entry; why don't you have a go too? 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Some birthdays coming up in December...

... so I have had fun making these two pretty pretty cards using the paper set Cheerful Treat (only available to hostesses and ridiculously good value at £8 hostess pounds!).

 I couldn't resist using the button papers from the old oh sew suite as the hot pink (melon mambo) coordinates so well.   And I love that birthday sentiment (from the hostess "happiest birthday wishes")

Thursday, 1 December 2011

It's a special birthday ...

...for my friend Rita tomorrow and a bunch of us went out for the day recently to celebrate.  As a mum of five, she doesn't get a whole day off very often, and I thought she might like a memento of it so for her birthday I have done a mini scrapbook page instead of a card; hope she likes it!

Monday, 28 November 2011

In loving memory...

...of Jo Rohrer, well-known and very well-loved lampworker, who died this month, after several battles with cancer over 25 years.  A wonderful lady and an inspiration both personal and creative to me and many others.  RIP Jo x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

How Christmassy is this...

...little bauble? And how easy! Here it is:

It's just about 20 1/4"x 3" strips, with holes punched in both ends (I used the smaller hole in my cropadile) and joined with two rather beautiful antique brads, then fanned out.  This was not my own idea, I found it at this blog.  Well worth a look and some very good instructions for this project too.   Lots of creative potential for this project, go on run with it!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


... Stampin Up have done it again.  You are going to love the new Salebration products AND the SU Spring Mini Catalogue. I have just seen the preview of these new products and they are FAB!  Can't say anything else, it's a secret, but I will be letting you see stuff as soon as I get my hands on it, I promise.  Subscribe or become a follower of this blog to make sure you get to see the new products soon as....

Penguins are so cute...

...and my local "cards for good causes" sale has hardly any this year.  So I decided to make this little card:

I used the scallop circle die with my BigShot to cut the igloo from a piece of folded cardstock, embossed it with the polka dot folder to suggest snow, and cut the door and speech bubble with the oval punch.  The penguin is made with the owl punch. Hope you like it.

Monday, 21 November 2011

You know I said I needed Christmas greeting stamps...

...well, I got loads from StampinUp - 16 to be exact - and I only paid £8.50.  How did I achieve this?  I cut up the Christmas jumbo roller stamp, Oh Yes!  It's not that I don't like the roller, but it's just brilliant for on the front AND inside the card.  Here it is, gently peeled off the jumbo wheel:

I started cutting it up before I remembered to take a photo, oops.  Some of the words are very close together, so if you do do this, try to use some good small, sharp scissors.  Samples coming up soon!

Jolly Jingles 120864 £8.50

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Been busy, busy, busy ...

...this week:  my daughter organised a fashion show at her school this week, my mum visited, all the usual stuff, plus getting ready for Friday/Saturday's Open Studio at my house.  Thank you so much to all who came to say hi and also to those who were kind enough to buy something.  As usual I LOVED having you call by, doing glass bead-making demos, taster sessions, and catching up with your news. 

Joe and Tessa were great colleagues and I think a good and successful time was had by all.  Just in case any of my family are reading my blog, "you were brilliant with all the disruption and thank you too".

There was lots of interest this weekend in the Christmas Journal workshop that I will be running starting THIS TUESDAY, and I understand that there is a feature on the Christmas Journal by Shimelle in this month's Mollie Makes magazine - I will be back with news as soon as I get my hands on one tomorrow.  If you want to know more about creating your own Christmas Journal, get in touch on 01737 762078, and if you decide to come one or more (only £8 per session), I promise you will not regret it - you will end up with something precious and totally unique to you, whatever you decide to make.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Christmas journal workshop...

...In a fire, after making sure my family is ok, I'd rescue my journals!  There is something so special about this unique record of my family, thoughts, events and feelings.  And favourite of all are my Christmas journals.  Lots of people have admired them and expressed a desire to make one for themselves, but I can tell it is a daunting prospect for many.  So...  I have decided to run a christmas journal workshop over the next four Tuesday evenings (22nd & 29th November, 5th & 12th December).  The sessions will include, in roughly this order depending on what people what to achieve:

Preparation:  Deciding on a format, getting a foundation ready, planning, putting a kit together

Getting Started: First steps into journalling, using photos, gathering your thoughts, creating foundation pages, cover and introduction page

Moving Forward: Getting some daily pages under your belt, thinking about style, using photos, additional ideas for pages

Keeping going, considering conclusions.

The workshop will be at my house, 64 Fengates Road, Redhill from 7:30 till 9:30, cost £8 per session, and will include light refreshments; you're also welcome to bring a bottle!  You will have full use of all my non-consumables like stamps and die cutters, and I will help you to chose a small kit of basics (like glue etc) and of course, paper, which I can supply if you like either direct or through Stampin Up.  If you order more than £30 of Stampin up goodies, that session will be free!  The evenings will be very informal and I'll be sharing all my christmas journal and crafting know-how and supporting you to learn new skills and create heirloom journal pages that you and your  family will love forever.

Spaces are limited so get in touch as soon as you can; I hope to hear from you soon (tel 01737 762078).

Monday, 14 November 2011

You're invited to my open studio...

...this Friday 18th November (from 5 till 8 pm) and Saturday 19th November (from 10 till 5pm).

There will  be three rooms full of craft and christmas loveliness all made by our own fair hands including

TiaraTiara (that's me!) : Glass bead making in progress, jewellery, silver clay, cards, papercraft kits and quilting items for sale

Leaded Line (that's Joe): Stunning stained glass creations including lampshades, mirrors and christmas tree decorations.

Colours and Textures (that's Tessa): Beautiful painted silk including pictures, scarves and pendants.

Perfectly priced for christmas gifts or treating yourself, at my home
64 Fengates Road, Redhill

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pockets in my christmas journal...

...are an essential part of the design this year.  About every other page is going to have a pocket for a postcard.  My plan is to do my journalling, wherever I can anyway, as a postcard to a named someone.   I have tested this plan by making a page  which is a postcard from me to Santa telling him what I would like, and then I just slipped the postcard into the pocket.  Well, plans often evolve, so if the postcard idea gets a bit awkward I will just snip off the pockets, as they are only folded.  The other side of the postcard below is an off cut of the paper collection I'm using, but I guess it could also be a photo.

I am using the postcard and franking stamps from my Stampin  Up set  "Winter Post" which also includes a stunning snowflake and four other very versatile stamps.  I embossed the snowflake in silver on Thursday having never used it before, during a christmas packaging demo at a workshop and I couldn't believe how beautifully it came out!

My Christmas journal will definitely have a date on every page because...

1) it speeds up making a page because you can do it in advance, and can get away with not much more than the date, a photo and some words, if you're in a hurry

2) it helps me mark pages that I want to fill in later

3) it adds a kind of coherence to the whole thing, but I like how you can still vary each date a little

4) I really wanted to use my new stampin up ornament bauble punch and tim holtz alphabet

5) I have never used luggage labels before and I want to use them on this project

And that's why I was knee-deep in paper yesterday deciding what to do.

This is how I intend to use the plain date tag (the right-hand page is a sort of practice page to make sure it works and help me get going on christmas lists nice and early! Left hand page is just a draft) :

And this is the more ornate label tag for the non-pocket pages:

I expect the various tags to look different, but the same tag base and the same bauble.

You can order the Bauble punch from me if you like! It costs £15.50 + postage, but you can collect locally for free.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

There's a Christmas crafting bonanza...

...going on at Shimelle's blog this weekend!  She's hosting a preparation session for her fabulous "Journal your Christmas" class.   There's blog candy of all sorts, masses of christmas crafting ideas and fun challenges.  One of today's challenges is to upload a christmas paper project you made earlier, so here's mine, a tag garland inspired by Shimelle's blog last year.  Sorry that the photo's a bit cluttered, hope you can see it ok.  I used fancy pants' "Christmas Magic" range.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The oldest filofax in town?...

...I love my filofax, and I've had it about 15 years (none of that iphoney stuff for me).  The problem was, it was a very boring black colour.  So I decided to cover it with a piece of StampinUp's designer paper.  It's turned out great, very "orla kiely", and I tied it with some narrow grosgrain ribbon to finish. 

I'm considering more embellishment, what would you add?

If you'd like some paper to cover your filofax or any other important book, check out the website (link in the sidebar), and get in touch! 01737 762078.

Cheerful treat DSP - £8 for 12 double-sided sheets

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Finished the quilt at last...

... and very pleased with it!  It's the same jelly roll as the last one, but quilted and bound in blue, it gives it a completely different look.

I hand quilted it using anchor embroidery thread and really big running stitch in a sort of wave-y pattern which ended up looking a bit like an hour glass.  For my next quilt (am  I really saying this?) I am going to invest in a walking foot and quilt by machine.

Friday, 4 November 2011

A Christmas card from left over paper...

...I have been making a little christmass-y book out of scallopped circles and I couldn't bear to throw the left over squares away.  Yesterday I thought again of the LiM "stars" challenge this week, and came up with this simple card which uses the beautiful "Dasher" stamp.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Hallowe'en a bit early...

... a couple of pics from my sister in law's hallowe'en party:

The hostess with the mostest:

and your friendly neighbourhood fortune teller (me) (complete with enhanced  wrinkles I may add, although I'm sorry to say that they have only been slightly exaggerated at this stage as most of my makeup seems to have worn off)

Less is more

I made this christmas star for the less is more challenge using the large medallion stamp and lovely gold embossing, then using the pattern as a guide to cut a star.  The card is made by folding the navy paper then running through the bigshot with the "topnote" die, making sure the edge of the fold doesn't touch the edge of the die.  Now that I've done this design, it's a very quick one to reproduce!  I realised I don't have any SU Christmas messages, best have a look in the catalogue smartish before it's too late!  Hope you like it.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Hallowe'en shadow box...

...was not my own idea, I got it from shimelle, but I feel I've made it my own with Stampin Up "Frightful Sight" papers and punches and some found bits and pieces.

I used the owl punch to make the ghost, the devil and the hanging bat (spotted here) and the witch was an inspired combination of all these punches: owl, pennant, ornament, scallop circle, word (also copied from someone who had copied from someone else, you know the story...)  I'm especially pleased to use the Bacardi bottle top that I've had for ages after picking it up on a walk, and the little glass pumpkin that I made with my glass torch.  The trusty signo gel pen was used to draw the white spider web on acetate.

Hope you like it; do please post a link to your hallowe'en creations!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hallowe'en is coming... I turned my mind to ghoulish things.  SU has a great hallowe'en paper series with really neat iconic designs but we haven't got long to use it this season.  I'm going to have jelly beans in my basket by the door this year and was wondering what I could do that wasn't a) expensive and b) time consuming.  And "VoilĂ "  I have found it.

I used my pillow-box die with the bigshot to create cute little boxes out of plain/patterned paper ( you can get at least 4 out of a 12x12 sheet) and the leftovers to trim the boxes.  Because the paper's double sided you get loads of options.  Then I used the owl builder punch to make some little ghosties (just cut off the feet, it doesn't hurt them I promise) to hide the join in the wrap- around paper.  They each took about 5 minutes to make, were easy peasy and cost very little.  The only challenge now is getting the jelly beans into the boxes without eating them!

I've entered these for the inspiring Simply Stampin' Challenge blog.

Deck the halls...

...oh, I'm sorry, really, but we paper crafters have to get going with Christmas earlier than most, and I have got all these lovely new papers to be playing with!  Plus I was inspired by margaret's post (again) to create this really quick pre-breakfast card.

I used 3 designs from "Mocha Morning" Speciality designer paper from my new catalogue sample pack, and the ornament cutter which has got to be worth its weight for christmas crafting (more of this ridiculously useful crafting item soon).  The baubles are flocked paper for a bit of extra texture, and the strips of paper are both shimmery gold.  Yum.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Look what I got yesterday...

... I bought a full set of the SU! 2011-12 designer paper collection, just look at this:
That's 14 collections, 6 pieces of 6x6 in each set, by my calculations that adds up to a staggering 86 pieces of beautiful paper, nearly all double sided*. I had a terrible job photographing them because there are SO MANY, this was the only photo that didn't have my feet in it as well!
Would you like a set too?  It would  cost £145.50 to buy a full collection of this year's papers, but you can have a piece of every one to experiment and create with for only £18!  Or you can own a half page of each (6"x12") for the special price of £35, or a whole page of each for £69!  Once I have 8 paper shares, then I can order them and send them out to you.  This offer is unlikely to be repeated, so get in touch as soon as you can to let me know of your interest.  In the meantime, I'm off to play....

Happy Sunday, thanks for looking.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Hurray for my Big Shot...

...I blogged before about using a big shot die to make a stamp using funky foam, and I've always regretted that the foam is too thick to go into SU's lovely punches so that I can make stamps out of them too.  But today I found a way!  I just ran it through the bigshot with a die in it turned the wrong way round, and added a few sheets of paper as a shim, just to give the foam a bit of a squeeze.  The funky foam became JUST thin enough that I could fold it in a piece of thin computer paper and slide it carefully into the die.  So now I have a stamp made from my bird and owl builder punches.  Here's the bird punch and a quick test:
They are quite thin, so I am going to repeat the process and then stick the two pieces together for a thicker stamp.

If you want a Big Shot (and who wouldn't, really) but you're worried about the cost, here's a solution.  Have a hostess party at your house and invite lots of your crafty friends.  If they and you spend a total of only £300 or more, you'll be entitled to a Big Shot (or any other product) for HALF PRICE= £44 which is a brilliant bargain however you look at it, and ALSO £50 of hostess pounds to spend on any goodies in the catalogue but including exclusive access to the advantageously priced hostess products.  Christmas is a great time for crafting, so why not organise a christmas crafting party with me today!

Getting in the mood for Christmas crafting yet?....

...I'm nearly there, if you watch this is might help:

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The most beautiful birthday card ...

... came through my letterbox today.  It is from Justine, who recruited me to Stampin'Up, and it's reminded me how truly delightful it is to get a hand-made card... but not any old handmade card, or a "hand-finished" one that was still made in China, no!  This is a queen amongst birthday cards, with generous and beautiful embellishments and care and time and flair.  I love it, thanks Justine!