Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Variety is the spice of life...

The new challenge is now up at Scrapschemes. This time we had to lift a lovely page by Holly.
I of course grabbed my November Studio Calico kit and created a fun autumnal page with some added lashings of Sassafras for added cute-value!
One of the things I love about Scrapshemes is that it's a different sort of challenge each time... I'd get a bit bored with the same old idea every week... it's nice to have a bit of variety in your life!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting sketchy...

There's a sketch challenge over at the this challenge blog - and her's my take on it... sketches are great for cards (as well as scrapbook pages of course!) as you can mess with it to your hearts content to get something totally original. At first glance the sketch was a bit linear for me to use 'as is', but if you bring in your own style it soon becomes your own. I simply can't have anything floating on it's own so by skewing a few elements i've made it more pleasing to my eye!
So the moral of the story is.... (if you haven't dropped off yet!) don't dismiss something out of hand just because it isn't 'you'... there's always a way round it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

50mm is plenty...

Most digiSLR users will admit it's nice to have a big ol' bag of lenses to play around with, but sometimes if you take more than a couple out on a jaunt you'll end up with either a headache or backache... a headache from the fuss of changing them over or picking the best one for the job, or backache from lugging them around all day... Sometimes it pays to do yourself (and your chiropractor!) a favour and limit yourself to just one... So on Sunday I set out with just my Canon 50mm f1.8 (and my external flash for a bit of fill...) on my camera.
This lens is a total gem... it's pin sharp (especially when you stop it down a little bit), it's light and small in size so you can leave your huge camera bag at home! It's massive maximum aperture (f1.8) is perfect for dull winter days (yes... it's officially over!) when you'd give your right arm for a bit of decent light! Plus it's only about £70! (or you could get the f1.4 for 3 times the price!) Bear in mind thought that the f1.8 does feel a bit plasticy (if you've got some quality glass you'll be forgiven for wondering if it's a toy) and the AF is as noisy as hell! But if you can forgive that you'll be rewarded with a new best friend!
This lens is of course a prime lens (ie - a fixed focal length, you'll need to use the manual zoom.. aka your feet!) and what I love most about it is that you really have to think about compostition and framing rather than rely on a handy zoom!
All that being said it works just as well for frenzied action shots like these... where framing is sometimes more down to luck that judgement!!

Sassafras Land...

I'm finding the November kit perfect for a few fun Autumny (it's a word!!) pages - including these one of Martha not loving munching on some Pumpkin. I honestly think Sassafras can do no wrong as i've bunged loads on here! (I've just realised i've totally missed a dot off the 'I' on this one!)
Here's the little flower embellishment up close - I have to admit this is more a chance to show off how wicked my macro lens is!!! I can heartily recommend the Canon 100mm!
I'll hopefully be back later with a little challenge card for your viewing pleasure!

I managed to get out and about in a tiny window of sunshine opportunity to take a few more potential Christmas card pictures... neither the hat or antlers went terribly well last week... but i think i've got a winner now!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Famous smells.... in a good way!

I love it when you are browsing your old photos on your hard-drive and come across a really cute one that you missed scrapping at the time - i guess when you have a puppy, pretty much everything gets missed!
This page (which is all November Studio Calico) features baby Martha helping to sort our paper recycling into the special bag... I think the term 'help' is relative...

Today saw the wonderful experience of new carpet! It's one of those iconic yummy smells, along with new car, baking bread and dog conditioner (you had to be there!) and I can't stop wandering around in bare feet over it! Of course it's not one of those fancy shag-pile affairs... by necessity it has to be hard wearing, easy clean and a fetching beigy-brown tone to disguise dusty doggy footprints between vacuums! But it's a great finish and I love the warm colour and the open and spacious look it's given the room! The girls love it too!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tell their story too...

The new Challenge at A True Friend is now live and it's all about the stories of our pets - My page features baby Lola and tells how it only took about ten minutes for Sandie to teach her to bark on command... told you she's a bad influence!!
For this page I've used some scrummy Sassafras along with my new Ali Edwards, Technique Tuesday stamps.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Paper clouds make me happy...

While i'm not what you'd call a fan of the real thing (unless they are those gorgeous fluffy white ones with a cerulean blue sky), the paper variety makes me so much happier. Lots of brands have some lovely cloudy offerings at the moment, this scrummy paper is October Afternoon - Weathervane and of course the stickers are Sassafras.
Another thing that always makes me happy is BasicGrey (Offbeat rules!) so i'm sure I can be excused for combining it with a Forever Friends bear! This is for a challenge that you can check out here...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Have I mentioned I love Studio Calico??

And so the wonderfulness that is the November Kit of Studio Calico begins... this was the first page I created and I couldn't resist using the cute Prima packaging that came with the gorgeous Map flowers. The page features my favourite Auntie having a cuddle with Martha! My girls aren't really allowed on the furniture.. I guess she's a bad influence!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seven little things...

The lovely Emma has tagged me to list 7 random facts about myself... most of what I ramble on about is pretty random,  but i'll give it a go!

1. I've never seen Titanic - and have no desire to! Leonardo DiCaprio makes me a little nauseous!
2. When I was a child I used to have a dream about a Giant Caterpillar chasing me... and the only way to be safe from it was to make sure you had your coat buttoned all the way up! Clearly I've been scarred for life!
3. I have the Irish bloke (Sean!) on my Sat-nav... he's soothing!
4. Chris Packham once picked my dog as the second one he'd most like to take home at a fun dog show. - I've never forgiven him!
5. 'My' Karaoke song is Paint it Black by The Stones.
6. I quote Monty Python almost daily.
7. I'm proud to be a geek... i love a bit of Sci-fi and i'm not afraid to admit a fan-girl crush on Joe Flanigan! Swoon!

And to finish i get to tag 7 more people! I pick... Emma, Jo, Laurie, Laura, Paula, Beckie and Clare!

Just checking in!

Just to prove I am alive (and that I do get to see daylight at least once a week!) here's a shot of a very happy girl doing what she loves most!
Had a little recce about the local stores today for a few props for a very special photo shoot... I'm hoping for a bit of light to get it sorted - however you might have to wait till an important day in December to see the results!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Be SIlly...

The new scheme is up over at Scrap Schemes and here's my page for it...  I've used some of the lovely, lovely Offbeat BasicGrey along with this scrummy Crate Paper die-cut scallop circle and some Love Elsie bits.

The pictures are of Martha as a 'tiny' puppy - she was only 11 weeks old in these shots! She's still such a snuggly bear and will still quite happily climb on your lap for a big hug! You can tell she was a winter puppy - I think I kept my coat on almost 24/7 in case of needing to rush outdoors QUICKLY for house training duties!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm very, very glad to report that i'm typing this entry on my laptop!! Hurrah for ebay and a replacement power adaptor! Twenty odd quid later and i'm back online!
I've made another cute little card using a friendly Forever Friends stamp... for a little blog that you can find here... I've used some really cute papers from the Papermania Secret Garden collection - i just love those little clouds!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's a Hard Life...

I think i've scrapped this pic before, but it's so cute I couldn't resist it again! I've teamed it up with some of my favourite pages of the moment - BasicGrey Offbeat and Rose Moka. I'm also on a bit of a stash-busting kick to use a few of my mountain of flowers! I really love layering them along with papers and other embellishments so I hope you don't get bored with flowery layouts for a while!
I know a few of the girls are suffering a few sleepless nights at the moment (nothing earth-shattering in the greater scheme of things but enough to play on your mind) so wanted to give a big shout out to you all! You know who you are!! It's great to bond in the face of adversity though!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hopefully not terminal.....

Well my laptop is currently in Intensive care, i'm hoping it's just the power supply but until Mr Dell pulls his finger out we won't know!!! If you need me urgently..... call me!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Some friendly altering...

The new challenge has just gone live over at A True Friend - and it's a bit of a different one this time - this time we want to see your pet related Altered Art. I had a dig around and found this dirty and dusty old dog hook that looked in dire need of some TLC!
First I added some tasteful yellow/orange paint around the edges and on the knobs (stop sniggering!) and then added lashings of my favourite BasicGrey Ambrosia paper with a light covering of glitter glue.

Do pop over and check out the rest of the projects from the team. They rock!

Thursday, November 06, 2008


O........M.......G...... I adore everything Studio Calico - they truly are the most FANTASTIC kits (don't get me started on another kit club that are a whole lot less amazing!) and I always rush over to the site for sneaks and to the blog when it pops up on my blog feed.... but i've just had the biggest shock! Some of my little ol' pages featuring on there!!!! Thanks sooooo much Janine! You made my day!

Little Pumpkin Pie

One of Martha's standard nicknames is Pumpkin Pie (she even answers to it!) so a choice of costume was actually an easy one! I grabbed a cheapy costume from Asda and amended it slightly to fit her (she isn't quite the same size as a 4 year old child!!). More Doodlebug on this page (and lots of it!) they do themes so very well... perfect little capsule collections of seasonal goodies...

And as we're talking costumes I wanted to FINALLY announce the lucky recipient of the BasicGrey album.... And it goes to......... Laura! Send me your addy and i'll get it in t'post for you!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Leaning Tower...

Found this big ol' pile of books on Design Sponge... why is it that in this picture it's a design element, but when everyone else does it (and by this, I mean me!) it's a mess!
Love that chair and cushion as well!


I love doing Halloween pages -  it's the perfect opportunity to throw lots of cute and kitsch product onto your page and to hell with the consequences! I adore the skullie paper from Doodlebug - i think a whole pack wouldn't be excessive! Surely I could wallpaper with it!?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Be honest...

The general merriment and pumpkin carving of Halloween is great fun, but if you're a scrapbooker (and you're honest) lots of it is just a good excuse to take cute pics so you can scrap them later... so Sunday morning rolled around after the torrential rain of Saturday, and I was finally able to get outside with the pumpkins and Martha and snap a couple of perfect pumpkin pics! Looks out for these on a page near you soon!

Friends Forever...

If you are a fan of the cute and cuddly I'm sure you can't have missed the new range of Forever Friends products. Who could resist a cute little bear? So to celebrate a few FFF's (Forever Friends Fans) have created a fun challenge blog to share their ideas for these fun stamps. The first challenge went live today and I'm going to be playing along!

The first challenge was love - here's my card. I've given mine a bit of the BasicGrey treatment, using papers from the Eva collection - perfect for this theme!
Here's another created using BasicGrey Urban Prairie -  I hope you'll agree that it really sets the little guy off!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween in Pictures...

Halloween means junk food overload so to kick things off I treated the fun guys and girls at work to a few seasonal goodies including a pretty amazing cake! We were very good and waited till our mid-morning tea break, but we had been eyeing it up for about 3 hours!!

The sugar rush clearly had the expected result.... it's one of those 'You don't have to be bad to work here, but it helps' moments!
After work we enjoyed some rare Autumn sun (as it went down though!!) So in my own little version of AutumnWatch, I bring you... Autumn colour in the New Forest...
A Fallow stag...
And a VERY friendly New Forest pony - he tried to eat my coat while I took the tree pic!
Back at home the Halloween festivities just had to start! I had actually made some Halloween cards, but forgot to photograph before giving away! Decorations first... pumpkin garlands...
...ghosty tea light holder...
...and actual Pumpkins...
Next refreshments... as well as classic Halloween fare, we had mini cakes with teeny clones on top...
A delicious spiders web cake...
... and scary juices in scientific flasks!!
Martha preferred a more substantial snack... and gnawed on a severed limb!!!
Of course dressing up was compulsory, and the most photogenic was Martha... my little pumpkin!
Happy Halloween for yesterday everyone!