Saturday, 31 March 2012

March in Numbers

It's time to numerically re-cap the month again... if you want to find out more about this blogging phenomenon, started by Julie Kirk, then see more info on her blog here, or her post for this month here.

Sorry I've been absent for the last part of this month, but things have been busy here, as you shall discover! Here's my March in numbers:

£109 money spent on an eye test and new glasses at Specsavers. My eyes hadn't changed much, but my glasses were a few years old and a bit scratched. Plus this time I got sunglasses too which makes me happy!

The Secret Seven - the team name we chose when I went to a pub quiz with some friends. We came 3rd, which meant we got no prize, but were proud of ourselves anyway!

3.08hrs spent on a train to London to get to a Masonic Ladie's night - a big deal for my mum as she was the 'Lady' of the night, because my step-dad was president of the lodge for the year previously. There were 680 people there, enjoying comedy. dancing, and delicious food. We had a brilliant time, I drank way too much wine, and had fun partying with my siblings and folks!

Me, my sister, and my brother, all dressed up!

16th March - the date my first magazine feature (3 pages long) came out in Popular Crafts (see my previous post if you want to know more!)

4 years old - the age of my daughter now, after her birthday on the 19th. I 'interviewed' her and discovered she wants to be a 'real ballerina' when she grows up! We had a birthday tea that day with just us and my friend Rosie, and then the next morning 5 of her little friends came round for a party. There was a treasure hunt, pass-the-parcel, and of course - cake! I think my daughter loved every minute!

9.17am - the time of my practical driving test on the 22nd of March... and I passed, yay! I drove to Tescos that evening on my own to do a food shop - very glamorous!

Two games that I won, out of four games of scrabble, played when my dad was down last weekend. We always play scrabble in the evenings when he's down, but I'm not usually the weekend champion!

12 chipolatas, 6 sausages, 3 chicken breasts, and 4 homemade lamb and mint burgers, plus sweetcorn and veggie kebabs, cooked on our first barbeque of the year, when a couple of my friends came round for dinner and crafting. I can't believe we were cooking a barbeque in March - the weather has been amazing!

And finally... 16 degrees C - the temperature it got up to on Thursday, for the first time I took the kids to the beach by myself. It was very exciting, as the whole reason we moved to Dorset was for these lovely beaches, and I've not used them as much as I'd like because they're hard to get to on my own. Not now I can drive though! I'm looking forward to lots of days out this summer... that's assuming I can get petrol, something that's easier said than done here at the moment!

Phew, that was a lot of numbers, it's been a bit hectic! I forsee April being a bit busy too, with a dinner party, then my friend's 30th birthday weekend, plus another lovely visit from my sister. And I think I'm going to finally make it to Ally Pally for the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking show too. Fun things to come!

Bye for now, x

Friday, 16 March 2012

Popular Crafts Feature!

I'm back with the exciting news I mentioned yesterday... my first ever magazine feature goes on sale today, in Popular Crafts!

You can even see a little photo of my project on the front cover - the feature is a tutorial for how to create a 3D scrapbooking page, like my '1st Trip to London' layout which you may have spotted on a previous post here.

When I blogged about this layout before, I was saying how gutted I was that I hadn't got through in the Scrapbook Magazine's Scrapbooker of the Year competition. But when I blogged about the layouts I entered, it led to me being spotted by Popular Crafts and invited to feature (I'd replied to a tweet of theirs on Twitter and they popped by my blog to check it out). So anyone else who gets knocked back, I just have to say - don't give up!

Here's a little peek of the feature inside the mag, it's three pages long but I've just photographed the first two pages:

So if you'd like to know how to put a page like this together, then go and buy yourself a copy of Popular Crafts! You can learn more about the magazine and join in with all kinds of swaps and chats on their website

Thank you to everyone who commented on that previous post, with kind words to encourage me to keep going. I'm so grateful to you for reading and commenting, I love that blogging helps me interact with such lovely people!

I hope you all have a nice Friday night planned. I'm going out for a bit of driving practice later, as my practical test is fast approaching...


Thursday, 15 March 2012

SJ Crafts Challenge #3

It's time for a new challenge at the SJ Crafts blog... this month's theme is 1,2,3. Your project can be anything from a 1,2,3 list on a layout, to a first, second or third years child's birthday card. Whatever these numbers say to you! You can also use three of something (eg. brads) on your project. See the challenge post here for more ideas and all the rules - you could be in with a chance to win some Echo Park 'This and That' Chipboard if you enter the challenge by the 18th April!

I decided to do a layout about my daughter's love of counting, she really likes learning numbers, which I don't think she inherited from me!

I wanted the 1,2,3 to be a real feature of my layout, so I created a large cut-out of the numbers, to look a bit like it had been cut on a Silhouette die-cutting machine. I've been loving the look of these cut titles but can't afford the machine right now, so though this way of doing it is more time consuming, and less neat, it works for me right now!

The 1,2,3 template was made in Microsoft Publisher. I just made 3 seperate text boxes, typed a number into each (using Baskerville Old Face type, size 350), and moved them about until the numbers overlapped. I then printed it out and checked it was about the right size to fit onto a 12x12 layout:

I cut the numbers out and used pencil to draw around them onto the back of my patterned paper - making sure to flip the template so it would come out the right way around:

Then I cut it out with a craft knife, and mounted it onto my layout with 3D foam dots. It's nice and eye catching having such a large cut-out title! If you want to use my 1,2,3 template to make something for this challenge (or for anything else), then I've saved it as a word document for you to download here.

For more information on the products I used and to see other DT members take on this theme, don't forget to check out the challenge post here.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you something exciting! (Well, exciting for me!) Ta ta for now, x

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

MME Miss Caroline Trinket Box

Hello hello!

Just a quick one, as I have an awful lot of housework to do this evening. I hate housework. I guess I don't know anyone who does like it, except maybe my Mother In Law - she has no fingerprints left on her right hand because she's used bleach so much over her lifetime. They almost wouldn't let her into the USA when they randomly checked her for fingerprints!

I just wanted to pop by and let you know that another project of mine has gone live today on the SJ Crafts blog. It's a trinket box altered using MME Miss Caroline supplies, and would be a perfect Mother's Day Gift - I may even give this one to my fingerprintless MIL:

Pop over to the SJ Crafts Blog Here to see more details on how I put it together!

Thanks for looking, x

Saturday, 10 March 2012

10 things on the 10th - Layouts to Scraplift

It's time again for '10 things on the 10th', a monthly blog event led by Shimelle Laine. If you want to see her post for this month, plus links to everyone else's (and maybe add your own!) then go to her blog post here.

This time I thought I'd list some layouts I've pinned on Pinterest that I'd like to scraplift, or use for inspiration. I love browsing on Pinterest but hardly ever remember to go back and check it for ideas when I'm making stuff, I'd like that to change! So hopefully over the next month I'll manage to use at least one of these for some ideas.

I'd like to really make clear that NONE OF THESE LAYOUTS WERE MADE BY ME. If you'd like to 'pin' them for yourself then please follow the link (the title / name) to the original site and pin from there, to give the artist their full credit (and page-visits!). I hope you find see something that intrigues you...

1: 'Out Of This World' by Heather Nicole Hess:

I pinned this ages ago, and I love how brilliant and layered it is, even without a photo. Plus it looks fun. It would be good for some stories of my kids that I don't have pictures for.

I love the photos pegged to the string, and the fact that the title is peeking out from behind a corner. I have to try this!

So many stunning details on this one, I like the fact the image is in the top at the centre, and looks all tucked away into the flowers. I like the ripped paper at the base too.

I discovered this one on an American Crafts blog hop. The messy style is really cool, I like the inky/painty bits and the big leaves.

This is just so cute, I love the big title, the romantic picture, the colours and the clouds. Enough said.

The bright colours on this are amazing, the page totally grabs your attention! I like the grungy but pretty contrast too.

A bit of a clean page for me, but I love the posed photo and the mix of fonts making the whole page part of the story. It makes a statement!

This has a couple of techniques I already love to use, eg the distressing, lace, and ephemera (I possibly learnt all these from Sian in the first place!), but I also want to try some more bits from this pretty page. Especially the circles and butterflies haphazardly stitched down, and the title on a tag.

This is one of the projects that made me desperately want the Paper Heart collection by Crate Paper. I like how Amy's used lots of straight scraps, and I love that the 't' of 'heart' is negative space.

I like lots about this layout, especially the multicoloured stitched border, with the journaling written inside, and the contrast of inky black dots against the colourful flowers. And a super cute photo!

So there we go. I hope you found some inspiration amoungst these 10 layouts I'd like to scraplift! Which one would you choose to take an idea from?

I've discovered whilst doing this that some of my Pinterest links were wrong, so I've tidied them up. I need to check the rest of my pins too now - that will be a big task!

I hope eveyone's having a good weekend, x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Storytelling Sunday - Australia ~ Moments That Last

Hello, and welcome.

Every first Sunday of the month many bloggers join Sian at From High in the Sky, to tell tales and read stories. If you'd like to join in then see Storytelling Sunday here, and then dive into a world of enchanting, amusing, and intriguing tales.

As I mentioned in my Month in Numbers post for February, my sister was here for a long visit last month, after returning from her travels in Australia. She was inspired to go on the trip because I did, and she's wanted to ever since I told her of my adventures there, with my friend Mehalah. It's been a long time coming - my trip was 11 years ago when I was 18 (she's 9 years younger than me, so she went at age 20). And since my travels in Oz took place before I began scrapbooking, I thought I'd share a few of my memories today - the moments that have lasted in my mind.

1. The first time I saw an emu ~ my great aunt took us away for a couple of days, and when we arrived at the caravan park, we drove (slowly) past an emu, with me gawping up at this bird that was so much bigger than the car we were in. I snapped this one that was sitting down later. It made me feel small and young, and a little bit scared to be around such a big animal that I'd never seen before. Though these feeling were probably assisted by the fact that I'd not long got off my first ever aeroplane journey, to travel for the first time without parents or a school teacher!

2. Snorkelling at the great barrier reef ~ I had never been snorkelling before and I was immediately hooked by the beautiful underwater scenes. It's a kind of magic to see so many colours under the water. We had a short 'test' dive that day too which I did not enjoy, it made me feel panicked to have to think about my breathing. I'm on the right:

3. This pool ~ was at a hostel in Mission Beach, where we stayed for Christmas. It's memorable for me because I had such fun with new friends here. And the moment that has stuck with me was from swimming in it at 1.30am, under the stars, and one of my new friends teaching me how to find the Orion constellation. Whenever I see Orion now I think of that moment, when I was shown it on the other side of the world, by a friend who was from Canada. It symbolises for me the vastness of our Earth.

4. New friends ~ I made lots of great friends when travelling, a couple of whom I still talk to on Facebook. I loved it because until then I hadn't really met many people ouside of my little bubble of school friends. It was amazing to chat to so many people from different countries and of different ages. It definitely helped to bring me out of my shell.

5. Horse riding ~ Our only adventure away from the coast, we spent a few days on a cattle farm. We rode horses, rounded up the cattle, and learnt what life was like for the family there, away from the sunshine coast. Quieter, more basic, but still very stunning.

6. Fraser Island ~ Ah, Fraser Island. I saved the best until last. So many little stories could be told about our few days camping there, like how I lost my only shoes and had to walk with sarongs tied to my feet because the sand was so hot, or about having to take someone with a torch to watch your back if you needed to go 'use the bushes' in the night - otherwise a dingo might bite your bum. But the real thing about it all was the impact the place had on me - there was beauty at every turn. Even beauty from off this world - at night we'd sit and watch the amazing sunset, and then, when the stars came out, I could see more of them than I'd ever seen in my whole life, because there was no light pollution there. The view of the milky way blew me away. The awed feeling that I had in my heart that trip has always stayed with me, whenever I'm staring out of my windows at rainy buildings, I can shut my eyes and be back at that beach, with adventure at my fingertips:

There we go, my story of my travels in Australia. Thank you to Mehalah who's idea it was to go on the trip, and who was brilliant fun to travel with! 

Sorry this was such a long post, wth lots of little stories in one, thank you very much for reading if you've made it to here. I'm pleased to say my sister enjoyed her adventure just as much as I did. Obviously her trip was very different, but she has many magical moments to remember like I do. I'll definietly have to get this into a scrapbook!

Bye for now, x

Friday, 2 March 2012

Mother's Day Card


First of all - MUM, if you're reading this post, PLEASE STOP (!), or you'll see your card before you receive it!

Mother's Day is approaching here in the UK (it's on the 18th of March). As it's my daughter's birthday the day after, I thought I'd get my mother's day cards made now, so I don't forget them when I'm busy wrapping pass-the-parcel prizes or baking cakes for her party!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on the Crate Paper blog for these 'Paper Heart' goodies:

I was so excited, as I really wanted this collection but it seems to be hard to get hold of in the UK. I couldn't wait to start playing with it, so it was the perfect choice to make a card for my mum:

The colours in this collection are gorgeous, I love the contrasts of the corals and reds, against the turqoise and yellow. You might see a few more projects featuring this collection...!

If you want to be in with a chance of winning giveaways of Crate Paper goodies, I highly recommend keeping an eye on their blog, or following them on Twitter or Facebook if you use either of these. I found out about the giveaway via a tweet. I'm finding Twitter really useful for keeping me in the loop when I'm not able to go online for long. Also, if you are on Twitter, don't forget to follow me @_jennifergrace_ okay?!!

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