Saturday, 31 October 2015


And the final layout for this month, this is one of my favourite layouts, using a technique I saw on UK Scrappers last year, making little tiny cards and creating a layout.  the photo is the three of us once again at Chatsworth perfecting the family selfie! 

Roll on tomorrow for many reasons including a new counterfeit kit! 

Friday, 30 October 2015


Almost finished sharing my counterfeit kit layouts for October, can anyone believe it's almost November?  

This layout used a background paper that I never thought I'd use, which is always a positive, I also punched some stitching holes in circles on the layout. 

Photo taken in front of another sculpture at Chatsworth's Beyond Limits exhibition, with me and said 15 year old, have I mentioned how much I've missed him?

Next up that difficult ledger paper that you sometimes get in packs, I love the look of it, but I seriously struggle to use it.  

I split it up with an orange square, some dark green stitching and some punched leaves. 

The photo is one taken at Chatsworth in that golden hour of light that you get - the colours were beautiful. 

The title is another one of those hand made embellishments that I got from a Secret Santa, I knew I'd find the ideal layout to use it on! 


Well despite best efforts to get this to post whilst I was away it wasn't having any of it. So I'm priming a post for the Friday after as it were. Let's see what has been 

for the last couple of weeks.  Well last week we escaped for a week in a cottage near Durham.  We had a very very busy week but it was lovely.  

First day when we were away we went to Gibside, a National Trust property well known for it's gardens. 

I loved this on the way in

There were some fabulous colours to enjoy

We even managed a selfie

Some beautiful flowers

And the ruined house itself.  

The view the following morning was breathtaking with the mist sitting in the base of the valley. 

We ventured to Woodhorn Museum which was one of my 'must sees' for the week, to see Cascade, part of the touring Poppies, we've already been lucky enough to see Wave at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but I also wanted to see Cascade.  We weren't disappointed the Poppies looked amazing and we were able to get quite close to the display.  The display is actually taller than the original cascading window on which it is based.  It's only there until early November when it transfers to Liverpool. 

 We got chatting to a security guard at Woodhorn, who mentioned the sea sculpture at Newbiggin by the Sea, which was only a couple of miles from Woodhorn, so we went for a look.  The sculpture is part of the sea defence.

And they are quite a way out - you can just about make out the white stilts below and whilst the couple look 'normal' in size, they were three or four times larger than normal humans.

They produced a 'normal' sized version called Land Couple which can be seen on the main parade in the little town.

Then we ventured to Northumberlandia (another must see), can you see the lady laid down, isn't she amazing.  We had a fabulous time walking along the paths, the site is next to the biggest open cast mine in the country, which produces enough coal to provide 35% of our electricity, which is a worrying prospect when you think about how few mines there are left in the country now and how reliant we obviously still are on fossil fuels.

Then to finish the day off, we dashed over to Belsay Castle and Gardens, it really is an amazing site and the main reason to visit is the fabulous quarry garden.

The castle is lovely too but I didn't venture up to the top of the tower (although hubby did).

We also photographed some crazy plants - apparently this is American poke weed or something like that, it looks like purple corn on the cob, but is very poisonous to humans, we also got to smell the Candyfloss tree - which smells - well amazing!

Autumn colours - October is my favourite colour!

A day trip to Beamish as well.

Hubby got to tick off the Temple of Mithras from his bucket list, although he was a tad disappointed with it.

We got to see Vindolanda - which is a fabulous site to look around with some amazing finds in display in their museum.

The selection of found Roman leather footwear for a starter

We ventured to see George Stephenson's birthplace, which although looks like a house is actually just a room as that is where his family lived.

We also popped to Prudhoe Castle (although we discovered we'd been there before).

We ventured to Cherryburn another National Trust place and got to see the Salmon jumping up the river at Hexham.

So we had a fabulous week overall.  

We have been missing said 15 year old, we came home and have been busy on the house but are planning on Friday being a work free day - all day long.  

Said 15 year old will be back on Sunday - I cannot wait - it will be almost 3 weeks since we've seen him.

I hope you've had a brilliant week took, if you fancy joining in then pop a post together, come back and link up and we shall come and visit. 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Counterfeit kit layouts 15 and 16

Officially running out of days to share these, two more layouts from me.  

Using a sketch which I now can't find to share the source as it were.  It was nice being able to use some of the background paper though, I've had it a while. 

Photo of said 15 year old getting a little too comfortable checking out motor bikes for my liking! 

And then this layout, I was surprised that I managed to use that background paper at all as it's so busy, it has the word 'amazing' in the middle of it, which I decided to use as a title. 

The photo is the arrowed heart created by the Red Arrows. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


Good morning, I'm running out of October to share these at the moment! 

First up a layout using a wide photo I had printed.  The photo is of Conway from the top of one of the towers on Conway Castle, I've just noticed that I really shouldn't have added the A to this layout as Conway is actually spelt Conwy - but it's done now.  However, I will hunt it down and alter it accordingly in due course. 

Border punches and embroidery! 

Photo taken using my phone, another Chatsworth Sculpture at their Beyond Limits Exhibition.  The rust was really vivid with the evening sunset (hence the title).  A little addition of embroidery and it was done. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Well I'm being very slow at sharing these layouts, at this rate we'll be on to the next month and I won't have shown all the ones I made.

This one is using a sketch challenge from it was a fab challenge and I loved playing with my hexagon dies to create the layout.  Photo taken at Chatsworth of said 15 year old in one of the coin chairs.

I quite like the next layout although it's not my normal 'style' if I'm honest.  The sculpture is part of the Beyond Limits sculptures at Chatsworth which I think finish shortly (or may have already finished).  I loved the shot through the sculpture, one of me and the other of the house. 

The title was a homemade embellishment that I received in a Secret Santa a year or two ago and I love it, I knew I'd find the perfect layout to pop it on one day. 

Friday, 23 October 2015


Morning all tis Friday and I'm preparing this in advance, so no idea what this post will actually look like if I'm honest.

We are escaping this week for a break and will be back home today, we are heading up to the Durham area of the country, so hoping for a good week weather wise, to enjoy some Autumn sunshine and colours if at all possible.

Some time for just us, to take a break and breath a little, we seem to have been running full tilt for quite some time now if I'm brutally honest.  We also thought we'd make the most of it whilst said 15 year old is away as well.

In case I don't get chance to pop back into this post and add to it as the week progresses then I'll prime Mr Linky in advance, although there really is only me and Kate doing this these days - hey ho!

If you do fancy joining in then pop a post together and come back and link up so we can come and visit.

Friday, 16 October 2015


Morning all, tis Friday so can only mean one thing

Apologies for this arriving a little late today, the week has been something of a blur.  So without further ado.  Well last weekend was relatively calm and quiet.  Said 15 year old was gearing up for his expedition to Lesotho so there were final purchases and checks to make, so we decided to take it easy for a change.  No dashing out anywhere, no venturing far and wide.

We did however have a lovely meal out on Saturday to say Bon Voyage to said 15 year old, we had a lovely couple of hours chatting and eating and talking about his trip.  Sunday we popped to visit my Mum who was trying to integrate two cats as her ex-next door neighbour needed to rehome a kitten that she was allergic to.  Said 15 year old was most intrigued by this ball of fun, who being a kitten was literally into everything.

You'll be pleased to know that the resident cat has tolerated the new kitten enough for him to become a new member of the family and he's been renamed from the mouse like name of Jerry to Murphy which is a lot more apt.

Then we were on countdown (literally) to the send off.  Tuesday arrived all too soon for me and we were soon swapping bags, loading them on the coach and waving them off.  Gulp.  Surreal doesn't come close.

I'd also like to thank the WW girls for their support this week and for my another friend who I used to work with, checking on me and making sure I'm OK - you've all been stars!

As parents we then spent an inordinate amount of time watching the flight through an app.  By the time we woke on Wednesday morning, they had landed in Dubai and reboarded and then by the end of the afternoon on Wednesday the flight had landed in Cape Town.  I hadn't realised just how stressed I was, so it was an utter delight to relax knowing that they had arrived safely, well their flight had.  We then got a text from school confirming the same - phew!

Last night we got a further text, saying they had a great day at the Cape of Good Hope paddling with the penguins, today they will start to make the trek up towards Lesotho.  There will be almost a further 26 hours of travelling done before they end up back at the airport in a few weeks, but thankfully the journey has been broken up into easily manageable chunks as it were!

And finally last night, we went to see Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch, streamed live by NTLive to the local cinema.  It was quite honest amazing, I would have loved to have seen it live just for the stage set alone if I'm honest.  The energy and the honesty in the play was impressive.  Mr Cumberbatch stood out and showed why we love him so dearly as an actor!  The actress who took on the part of Ophelia (who I've often thought from previous Hamlets we have seen, doesn't stand out in the play), was head and shoulders above all other versions of Hamlet that I've seen.  She literally made me cry.  If you get to see it live all I can say is - you lucky things.  If you got to see it streamed - wasn't it amazing and if you didn't get to see it then I can highly recommend an encore performance as it was breathtaking!

I apologise for the utter lack of photographs this week blame it on the travel nerves, I promise normal service shall resume soon.  As a result of the lack of photos I'll share a couple of crafting layouts - hope you don't mind

First up a layout documenting the different chairs in the 'Take a Seat' exhibition at Chatsworth this year.

Then another layout documenting the final planet cake picture we took on completion of the science homework.

And then me and hubby at the Charity ball earlier in the year.  You'll be pleased to know that the group managed to raise more than £50K in the last two years of fundraising for said 15 year old expedition!

And there we have it lovely people, my linky is here if you fancy joining in.

Thursday, 15 October 2015


Morning lovely people on with the counterfeit kit this morning. 

I really liked the composition on this one, I love a decent border on a layout and the mix of relatively traditional style prints together really seemed to work. 

I've bought myself a leaf punch recently so it seemed a prime layout to us it.  The photo is of a sculpture that we saw at Chatsworth this year.  It is a Bonsai that would appear to have been sprayed gold.  I quite liked it but I think I prefer the living kind if you know what I mean.

And then one of me and said 15 year old heading up to the sensory garden.  We were just wandering along, when we stopped suddenly because we realised hubby was photo taking - we did ask him for a bit of notice next time! 

I've still got more layouts from my kit to share, happy Thursday everyone! 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Counterfeit kit layouts 7 and 8 - We Were Two and had but one heart... and Charming

Carrying on with my counterfeit kit, first up a layout using phone photos from Chatsworth, we had a lovely evening exploring the gardens in that beautiful light that you get early evening.  Even managed a selfie! 

Next up my amazing 15 year old - looking far too old for my liking.  Again taken when we were exploring Chatsworth's gardens.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


I was asked recently why I particularly like the Counterfeit kits and it's down to the fact that I get to blend manufacturers.  It's always easy to buy a paper stack and make layouts as they are obviously designed to 'go together' but often you end up with sheets that at first glance you just don't think you'll use.  But with a kit you soon find you are blending all sorts of makes and papers and it's a great way to 'use up' papers that have sat dormant for a while.  This months kit is no different. 

So here is my 'time' layout documenting two sculptures from Chatsworth's Beyond Limits this year.  I love the head, book tree one with the roots from the tree intertwining the book and head - genius! 

Next up one of my favourite layouts from this month, I would never have put a pale grey with those colours, but how well do they work.  The photo is a panoramic shot taken on Seahouses beach of the coastline including the beautiful Bamburgh Castle (used in the new Macbeth film) to the left.  

Monday, 12 October 2015


So my next two layouts on the Counterfeit Kit this month, first up this one of me and said 15 year old taken sat on the Grand Cascade at Chatsworth (as it was dry).  I enjoyed playing with the heavy mix of flowered papers in my kit, something that I don't often get to play with.

Adding a little washi tape, some stitching and some raised foam hearts it was job done. 

On this second layout I used the 'offcut' from the hexagon die cut, on top of a plain piece of cardstock.  I rounded the corners on my photo and matted onto grey paper.  

The photo was taken by said 15 year old from a high view point looking down at me and his Dad as we wandered around the Beyond Limits sculptures. 

I'll be sharing more layouts over coming days - hope you have a Happy Monday everyone! 

Sunday, 11 October 2015


Well it has been a while since I've joined in with creating a kit but with over 700 photos arriving recently it seemed a great way to get the mojo running. 

First up the first (of what will be many) photos from our visit to Harry Potter World in London earlier in the year, documenting the scene inside Malfoy Manor. 

Next up I have a shaped piece of paper that I often use as a stencil it always starts a layout off well. I added other paper elements some hand stitching and punched hearts raised on foam dots. 

The photo was taken when attending the theatre recently we had a great afternoon and I managed to capture it with a great photo opportunity, neither hubby nor said 15 year old were aware of the giant poster behind them! 

So I'm off with the first two layouts from my kit! 

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Alice in Wonderland - a Fabulous Collaboration

A while ago you may you remember that I was part of the Collaborart group and we created some amazing work together, collaboratively, it was the brain child of Sarah and after the initial flourish fell into sporadic postings.  Sarah took the difficult decision of mothballing the outfit as an interim measure until recently, when she asked those of us still in contact through facebook to do another project as a one off.  

We had a discussion about what we could do and I put forward the idea of a Tunnel book, so we were split into two groups and asked to get outselves a children's board book, cut the 'tunnel' through the book, do our first page and send through the group.

Mine has recently returned and I'm so pleased with it that I decided it warranted a full blog post. 

My subject - Alice in Wonderland - not a very original idea as Alice in Wonderland and tunnel books are a well known mixture, but it is one of my favourites - so I couldn't resist! Here is my book in it's entirety! 

It's taken a little time to complete as the final page (the lock key) and the back page which had the invite and pink but that was all needed some final work. 

I complete the lock page yesterday and the final additions to the back page this morning. 

Just to give you a feel for the other books I was involved in - these are my additions to the other books

The first to pass through my hands was one based on Edgar Allen Poe - I was overwhelmed by how gorgeous it was before I added to it

The page on the right is mine

 And the other side of the page, before I sent it on it's merry way.

The next one was Arabian Nights, my is the 'peeping' female with all the fringing.  I loved seeing how the tunnel was filling up as it were. 

 And here is my double page as it left my hands

The final book to cross my path was a Terry Pratchett inspired book.  I was so pleased as there were two Terry Pratchett books going around the other group. 

 The book already had several pages done but there were still a few to go, I asked the recipient if she wanted me to finish it off (meaning more than 1 double page as it were) and she said if I had the time feel free - so here are the remaining pages in the book created by yours truly! 

And a close up of Detritus as I loved him so much!