Monday, 16 April 2012

House of Cards

That's what life feels like, at the moment. House hunting in a competitive market is an emotional business. As a result, I've not been blogging much, because I've not been crafting much.

It's frustrating when so many things come at once and you can't devote as much time to any of them as you would like to, or even give attention to all of them. Certain things get left on the kerb while we walk around property after property. It's not even like I'm in a creative rut. My mind is still sparking.

In the last few weeks, our boiler rusted its pipes open, flooding the boiler room. My craft room/study/our walk-in wardrobe/laundry room/etc is right next door to that. Before the men could work on replacing the boiler we had to move everything out, find somewhere for it all, and then we sat and waited for the job to be done. Which, of course, dragged on because one problem after another was found. "I can't craft like this!" I screamed, near to tearing my hair out. "And exactly when were you planning to?" mocked the calendar, while the clocks tickled quietly with laughter in the background.

But enough! I have business to do. A wedding invitation order is in progress, a baby/marriage/engagement/birthday order is in the wings, and an order for one of my colleagues has just been completed, turning this upside-down house momentarily into a house of cards.

Anyone got any advice for when it all just gets a bit too much? Breathe, right?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter Everyone!

I am sure there is plenty (read: too much) chocolate to go around, so to counterbalance I am making this light and fruity recipe for dessert (suggested to me by a colleague), and also produced some anti-choc cupcakes:

oops! I lied! there is chocolate on them :-)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Surprise Lift

A great challenge at XOXO this month – be inspired by the team being inspired by each other! We got to do what all of you challengers do each month: lift! But it was more: a 'surprise lift each other' challenge – which was a great opportunity for me to finally make something in the style of one of my scrap idols – Michelle. She has a very arty, graphic, laissez-faire style and has a great eye for photos and telling a story on a layout. It was a no-brainer that she would be my surprise lift.

Here is her page (from 2011):

courtesy of Michelle @

And here is my lift:

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Heavily influenced, I know. Very similar, I know. But Ioved this page so much for so long and just wanted one of my own. Do you ever get that about someone else’s work? For me it was this one’s great colour scheme, uplifting message, and rock n roll elements like the wings – all in all, it was perfect.

I took specific elements from Michelle’s page and adapted them, sometimes not very much, and sometimes quite a lot, to achieve my own page. I found some cloud paper (remnants from Echo Park’s Sweet Summertime collection) and used my Sass cloud stamps to both stamp and just get a good cloud shape to cut out of patterned paper. I chose some herringbone patterns too – from Crate’s Paper Heart collection, and a Cuttlebug embossing folder. The wings were actually a pair of earrings that were joke-given to me by my mum for my hen party as a nod to me saying how I didn’t want to see halos or angel wings or anything like that (things like this, and L-plates and tiaras, are quite typical British humiliate-the-bride-to-be things and since I was not the typical bride I did not want the typical stuff). I bent the backs flush with the page with a pair of pliers. I used a balloon stamp (Kaisercraft – Up, Up & Away) and also a balloon mask (Prima). For the positioning I pretty much stuck to Michelle’s, but changed the size and the number of photos, and the colour of the title.

And yes, I love it. I wish I’d come up with it myself! Thanks, Michelle – keep on churning out those beauties!

If that's not quite enough for you, there's also a challenge this month to design something for the XOXO webpages: a new site needs a new header, so submit your designs!