Scrapbook Tales

Hello…

The Crochet has taken a minor nose dive lately (not for long I dear say) as I have discovered scrapbooking!!

It started with a whim of desperation… what do I get Mum for her Birthday??? She has everything!!! When I was little I always made her presents and as I have grown up work and life have taken over and leave little time for making presents unless I plan months in advance. I have thought about scrapbooking for some time but have not found the motivation to start… So I sent a gazillion photos to Snapfish to be printed and had a root around online for inspiration. I was amazed at how popular scrapbooking is and how many different forms there are. Youtube was the best resource for me, Heidi Swapp and American crafter has a series of Youtube video detailing how to create interactive scrapbook pages.

So after watching countless videos, purchasing a post bound scrapbook from Hobbycraft and rooting around in my crafty stash cupboard (currently located in my side of the wardrobe) this is what I came up with…

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Page 1.
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Page 2.
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Page 3.
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Page 4.
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Page 5.
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I have had sooo much fun completing these pages!! I find that I am very slow especially the process of laying out the page before sticking everything down, I tend to really play about with the layout before making a final decision. All of my materials have been relatively cheap which means I’ve been able to add quite a few items to my growing stash. For the majority of the pages I have used Heidi Swapp’s interactive page technique (these photos do not really show the flap system… Page 1. gives you an idea). Here is a break down of the materials used for each page:

Page 1.

  • Dovecraft Basic’s paper range12x12 (The Range)
  • co-ordinating paper flowers (The Range)
  • buttons from my stash
  • adhesive gems (The Works)
  • chipboard letters (The Works)

Page 2.

  • Dovecraft Basic’s paper range12x12 (The Range)
  • co-ordinating paper flowers (The Range)
  • scraps of co-ordinating paper
  • buttons from my stash
  • adhesive gems (The Works)
  • selection of 1cm flower punches (The Works)
  • Fairy embellishment and butterfly stickers (£1 shop)

Page 3.

  • Dovecraft Basic’s paper range12x12 (The Range)
  • coordinating paper flowers (The Range)
  • foam flowers (£1 Shop)
  • large paper flower (The Works)
  • chipboard letters (The Works)

Page 4.

  • Whole page completed with a scrapbook kit from The Works.

Page 5.

  • Whole page completed with a scrapbook kit from The Works.

My plan is to keep adding pages to this book as additional presents, Christmas, Birthdays, Mothers Day etc. So far the pages feature Izzy heavily but since starting I take my camera everywhere in the hope that I might catch some happy memories to create a new page.

Have a great weekend : )

May Mail Review

Hello!!

How are you? May has been a busy month for me in terms of post. I joined Postcrossing and Postcircle back at the beginning of April and have since become obsessed. Both organisations provide me with the opportunity to indulge in letter/postcard writing, which is awesome!! I have found that both started off a tad slow.. within Postcircle I have so far only heard from 1 member of the group – Robyn and we have shared some wonderful letters. I plan on sending out a little letter to the other group members to see if I get a reply but they may well have very busy lives and not have the time to write – who knows? so I shall find out : )

Postcrossing was very slow to take off for me as my first postcard took a whopping 44 days to travel 1401 miles to Russia…

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but since it’s arrival I have been able to send out another 6 postcards  – YAY!!

1. Travelled 5208 miles to the USA in 9 days
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2. Travelled 574 miles to Germany in 6 days
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3. Travelled 1158 miles to Latvia in 9 days
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4. Travelled 6161 miles to Taiwan in 9 days
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5. This is still travelling to Russia, so far it has been 13 days – I love this postcard as it is exactly the view from the top of our garden : )
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6. This is still  travelling to Finland and has so far been 5 days
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I got quite giddy with excitement on Friday as I received my first Postcard!!! It travelled 5823 miles from China and took 13 Days. I am not sure where the photo on the card was taken and internet research is drawing up blanks. Do you recognise this place?? I would love to know where it is.

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I have really enjoyed sending out my letters and postcards throughout May and I am hopeful that June will just as exciting – if not more with lots of happy post popping through the door : )

Seeing Stars

Hello!!

I have been cutting it fine over the last 2 weeks, I made the decision to enter the Aberystwyth county show a few months back and have been researching and attempting to learn what it takes to make a winning entry. I had no idea how detailed the rules are and what a high standard of craftsmanship the judges expect. Well entries have to be submitted in writing by 10th June so I just made it in time. The sections I plan on entering are both in the Handicraft section 52. A Child’s Comfort Blanket – any Medium and 55. 3 Decorated Gift Tags. So far I’ve only managed to complete the blanket (the gift tags are currently taking over the bureau, floor around the bureau and window ledge) I am sorry in advance as this is a very photo heavy post – I’ve tried to document the blanket as it has grown.

Right-o… I’ve chosen to make a crochet blanket for section 52 – what a  surprise!! I’ve opted for a star pattern and used a rainbow colour scheme. I followed a Youtube tutorial from The Crochet Crowd and converted the stitches into UK terms. For my yarn I visited Shaws in Carmarthen a few months ago and picked up my materials. I have a love hate relationship with Marriner DK yarn – It is super duper cheap at £1.75 for 150g but it does occasionally differ in thickness and some colours look quite cheap (it is cheap so I guess you get what you pay for) but it washes really well and once blocked and the acrylic “wrecked” – weird term but that’s what it seems to be called – the finished item is lovely and soft.

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so without further ado here is the rainbow star blankets journey…

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Sorry that was a lot of photos. I am really pleased with the finished blanket, it is bigger then I anticipated as 1 series of colours did not seem enough. The blanket now measures 47″ from point to the incline opposite so it should enable a child to get cosy underneath. The technique for creating this blanket pattern is easier than I thought, the toughest part is the beginning 4 rounds and after that it is plain sailing. The show rules stipulate that the entry cannot be laundered so to block the blanket I have simply pinned it to the spare bedroom carpet to stretch out the curls.

As I was in a bit of a rush to get this project finished I tried to make the most of any down time that I had so the blanket and yarn came pretty much everywhere with me… I’ve been fortunate to have had great weather over the past 2 weeks so I got quite a few rows completed whilst on walks with Twm (and occasionally with Meg – Mr T’s parents dog)…

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At the beach…

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down by the river at Tan-Y-Bwlch…

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and whilst watching Mr. T play cricket.

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Poor Twm found the whole process rather tiring as it meant he had slightly longer walks then usual… I would often tell myself just one more point… ooo just one more row and 30 minutes would turn into 45 minutes in the blink of an eye.

I am starting to feel a little nervous about entering the show as it draws closer, I am insanely competitive and although I have told myself it’s my first year and I just want to get a feel for what the judges are expecting – part of me secretly wants a nice silky rosette. Well I had better go and get these gift tags sorted and get my living room back to normal : )

Have you entered a County Show??

Post!!

Yay!! Happy Mail… A familiar owl was peeping out of my letter box last week : ) A reply from Robyn… It has been very quiet in terms of post lately – evens bills which is a welcomed break. So I was particularly happy to receive another bulging envelope.

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I was very reserved with the chocolate consumption when reading my last letter (mostly because I was too engrossed to eat it) so there was most of the tasty Blood Orange chocolate left to enjoy with a cuppa for my latest happy post. So with the kettle boiling I dug out my secret bar of chocolate (hidden in my letter box – Mr T wont think to look in there) and snuggled down with Twm on the sofa to read.

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Robyn had spoilt me with 2 Freddo’s (I have happy childhood memories of this chocolate – inflation is a shocker as I am sure these were 10p not that long ago!!) I decided to save the treats to enjoy with my latest crochet antics and Emyr came home just in time to share 1 : )

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I absolutely love reading and writing letters, it is amazing how thought provoking and comforting they are. Getting to know someone simply through correspondence is completely different to having a conversation, it seems more intimate and the effort that goes into producing them is oddly gratifying – receiving a letter that someone has taken the time to sit down and write is awesome : ) Well in my Post Mad opinion!!

On a non-post related note I have embraced the warmer weather by planting some old wooden pots that Mr T and I brought at an antiques fair a few years ago. They had been gathering dust in storage and then the shed so with the weather drying up we decided to add a splash of colour to our rather plain front terrace.

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We gave them a good coat of varnish to help make them last once filled with compost and exposed to the elements – Twm supervised this stage from his cosy spot in one of the raised beds (currently full to the brim with weeds).

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I have opted for Lobelia’s and Begonias as they are super easy to grow with minimal effort and were the only container flowers that were not pink in B&Q. I also got to play with the staple gun!! I decided to staple cut down black bin liners to the inside of the pots to add some waterproofing. I cut a hole in the bottom for drainage and hey presto…

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I will have to wait a few more weeks to enjoy the fruits of an afternoons labour as the plants have yet to flower… but it is something to look forward to : )

Skimming Stones…

Hello… we have had some lovely beach weather this weekend, blue skies and warm spells. It has made all the difference as May so far has been particularly damp and dreary. To embrace the unexpected warm I decided to peek through my Simply Crochet Magazine stash and find something lovely to hook… I have a growing collection of beach pebbles forming on the window ledges of our house, both inside and out. Twm gets a walk most days to Tan-Y-Bwlch which is just 2 minute’s from home and most days I end up bringing back some form of beach item, pebbles, driftwood, natural sponge… Sooo when I came across the “Skimming Stones” pattern in issue 10 of Simply Crochet Magazine I had to give it ago.

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I was spoilt by a fellow Postcircler, Robyn who sent me these 2 chocolate bars in her last letter(I had one and Mr T had the other) so with some yummy fuel I delved into my yarn stash and set to work hooking up this pebble cosy…

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I used this dark teal Arran yarn of unknown origin, it is left over from Christmas 2013! The pattern calls for 15g and I had just under but it seemed to work just fine – For the next attempt I will defiantly use a thinner yarn to expose more of the pebble.

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The rounds are worked up very similarly to a Granny Square so super easy to do and with fast results. I actually managed to finish the pattern just in time for Twm’s afternoon walk so we took the cosy pebble with us to take some photos : )

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I was really pleased with how this Skimming Stone turned out. These would make lovely decorations or paper weights… I can see some Birthday and Christmas presents forming in the not too distant future.

Postcircling…

I have sent my 2nd Postcircle letter.  I made a bold decision during its drafting to make my own stationary!! Letter writing kits are surprisingly expensive and we don’t have a great deal of choice here in Aberystwyth. Also (as pointed out by Robyn) there are not enough sheets of paper in relation to envelopes. My draft was at 10 pages meaning I would have used up an average sized kit. So I delved through my stash (oooo more stash busting – Mr T will be pleased) and found some pretty blue handmade paper with a floral print design… I wrote my letter on cut down sheets of copier paper that I doodled on to add a bit of pizzazz and then mounted my letter onto the patterned paper – What do you think?.IMG_0225

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I had some patterned paper going spare so I turned to my trusty buddy Google and found a nifty idea to decorate a teabag envelope with Origami of all things! I’ll pop some folding instruction in another post. I punched out a circle of copier paper and stamped “Tea Time” to break up the mass of blue.

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There was however, a downside to my homemade stationary, the paper was quite thick and after 10 pages I was not able to enclose my letter, Photos, Tea and a bar of Dairy Milk in the fancy colourful envelopes I purchased from Amazon… I was a bit gutted for about 5 minutes until I spotted a few rolls of Washi tape and a glittery foam flower in my stash. I had to settle for a Kraft envelope but with a little imagination and glue I was happy enough to pop my letter in the post : )

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Right… I am off to finish hatching my latest crochet project!! I plan on entering the Sioe Aberystwyth a Sir Ceredigion 2015 (local county agrigultural show) they have a Handicraft section to enter… ooooo exciting : )

Solomon Beaded Bracelet

I have been feeling particularly girly this Bank Holiday – this is a rare phenomenon indeed!! I came across a nifty pattern on Youtube for making pretty Solomon beaded bracelets, Laura Eccleston the mastermind behind Happy Berry’s channel here gives easy to follow directions on how to create these sweet bracelets…

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This was my first attempt at jewellery making of any kind, I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. I have not quite finished as I think I’m going to add proper fastenings to make them a bit more robust – Just waiting for amazon to deliver some lobster clasps and jump rings : )

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I would recommend dropping by and having a go they are super easy and amazing for using up scraps. For mine I used Patons Smoothie DK in Pale Blue and Pink Mix, I had miniscule amounts left and I should be able to get a couple of bracelets out of my scraps. I have a small stash of glass beads which are much smaller then the pearl beads Laura uses in her tutorial but they worked well : ) and finally a 2.5mm hook…

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If you give them a go I would live to see how you get one… Happy Hooking : )

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