Wednesday, 30 October 2013

2013 Autumn Retreat

I've just returned from a fantastic weekend at the ATDML Autumn Retreat in Suffolk.  There were lots of classes and challenges, with some make and takes too as well as chatting, chocolate and good food.  For anyone that hasn't been here are a couple of shots of just a little bit of the cropping space we have....yes mine is the messy desk!

Beautiful views and the shop just a couple of steps away filled with lovely goodies.  Mel and Jill put on a large number of challenges which anyone can have a go at over the weekend, so I wanted to share the winners and their fantastic creations with you.

First up is Tina Kelson, winner of the card challenge...not only is it beautiful on the outside, but inside there is room for a picture and little pockets.

Next the altered art challenge...this started as 2 cones and Sarah Hunter created a Father Christmas puppet which makes a gorgeous jingling bell noise as you move it and all the bottle caps knock each other.

The Mystery Kit challenge which contained some of Simple Stories baby steps range and Denise Bird not only had some gorgeous baby shots, but made a little baby grow washing line and flap to show another photo.

And Vicky Freeman with a beautiful layered page, I love the kraft and stripes together, and a gorgeous photo for the number 1's challenge so the title is 'I will always love you'.

Tracy Annuziato won the bingo challenge with a very elegant page with lots of distressed and layered squares.

Ann Freeman won the sketch challenge with this fun page about her daughter and beautiful Simple Stories Say Cheese.

And finally the one that escaped my photography...Jo Launchbury won the project life challenge with her first go at a project life page.

Well done everyone.  

Jill came to visit us all a couple of times and is looking great after her hip operation.  If you haven't seen the shop website - the weekend storm brought down one of the trees cutting off power to the shop chalets, but even with no power they are still packing orders and hopefully the power will be sorted out soon.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Preparing for a retreat

This time next week the shop and many customers will be scrapping up a storm in Stoke-by-Nayland as we gather for the second retreat of 2013.  I have been busy preparing my two classes, my make and take, writing up instructions and photographing items and as always I suddenly arrive close to the event and realise I have prepared very little for myself.

So I thought I would do a quick blog post on preparing for an ATDML retreat. Nothing clever about this but it might serve as a reminder to some so in simple bullet point format here we go

  1. Photos for your classes, extras for challenges
  2. Basic tool kit (scissors/trimmer/glue/foam pads/journalling pen)
  3. Fave die cuts (the Sizzix machine will be there) and punches
  4. Inks/paints/sprays and fave stamps
  5. Baby wipes (if you've plenty of #3)
  6. Blank kits made up with papers/card/embellies/photos for quick pages
  7. Few sketches/scraplift images to kickstart mojo if needed
  8. Cash/Cheque book for shop (remember no card machine!)
  9. Overnight bad/washbag/change of clothes (always last min)
  10. Snacks/nibbles/tipples
  11. Raffle prize donations
  12. Anything else you are bringing for someone else!
Am sure there are many more things, though given how little time I have left to prepare I'm hoping not too many more.

What item do you take to a retreat or crop that you cannot live without?

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

October Photography Challenge

I love this time of year Autumn, and this month in particular.  There are so many beautiful colours to be seen outside and whilst it is sad to bid farewell to the summer I do love fluffy socks, comfortable boots, cocoa and steaming hot soup!.  I find myself taking more photos of things that please me and remind me of this season, almost as many as I do in the Summer and with a phone that has a pretty nifty camera on it as well it is not hard to snap away more frequently. I know I might be in the minority here and as the nights draw in sooner and the days get shorter it can be hard, as scrapbookers, to find ourselves taking as many photographs. So I thought, what about a little challenge to take us through to the end of the month?

OCTOBER Fortnight Photography Scavenger Hunt

  1. Time (to represent clocks changing at the end of the month)
  2. Pumpkins
  3. Autumn Leaves
  4. Weather (good or bad, blue skies or wet shoes!)
  5. Winter Warmer
  6. Something Scary
  7. A Treat :)
So from now until October 31st lets see if you can collect the 7 items on the list above this month. How creative can you get? Will it take you out and about more often or at least make you appreciate the vibrancy of the season.

Leave a comment with a link to your images if you feel like sharing. I will be joining you so lets see what we can photograph for the remainder of the month! Who knows, if this proves popular maybe we can make it a monthly challenge! Enjoy!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Soap & Glory

Now, as you know, I like to record the everyday.  When Gracia came home for the summer she had an array of Soap and Glory products.  They seemed to take over our bathroom and at first I didn't pay them much attention. BUT one day I read the fabulous names the company gives their products, my favourite being 'Scrub Your Nose In It', and knew that this was something I had to scrap.

As luck would have it Jill and Mel had sent me some beautiful Teresa Collins Family Stories  and Memorabilia papers to work with and the colours went perfectly with the photos.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Say Cheese!

Known to be a bit of a fan of Simple Stories I was drawn to the Say Cheese collection and it's fun colours.  Last weekend I taught a couple of layouts using these papers for Karen's Eclectic Keepsakes crop in Marks Tey near Colchester.  We made the most of the 12" strips paper which has so many cool elements and layered them on the great patterned basic papers that come with this collection.

Say Cheese - 2 x 12 & 4 x 12 Border & Title Strip Elements Say Cheese - Blue Dots / Stripe

Whilst the range is marketed as a Disney theme there are plenty of aspects which can be used for other pages as shown on my second layout but my first page I went with the magic theme and scrapped our summer visit to Harry Potter world - at the time the kids BEST DAY EVER!

My second page has no magic nor Disney them but rather photos of the boys at the end of the last day of school when their much awaiting and eagerly anticipated summer holidays were to begin. The Bingo card paper has many generic cards which can be used with an array of pages, and of course I have plenty left for another layout or this space!

For those attending the forthcoming ATDML retreat Mel is teaching her Sunday class with this paper collection too! 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Welcome to Spooktacular October

Boo! Hello October... you sure creeped up on us!
It has been a while since I have done a blog post for ATDML - crazy work schedule to balance with home life and an injured left hand that has been in a cast for the last 7 weeks has meant very little crafty time for me.  Nevertheless the ATDML design team pizza box arrived on my doorstep (before hand injury I may add) and it contained some spooky Graphic 45 papers including this one from the Steampunk Spells collection.

With Halloween falling in half term this year my children had asked if we could have a spooky party with a few of their friends so I started looking for decoration ideas. A quick trip to our nearby 99p store had me armed with a halloween toot including a plastic skeleton just the right size to fit Mr Seymour Bones head from the paper above.

I had a wooden plaque from my last visit to the Ally Pally Stamp & Scrapbooking show that I knew would work for my spooky sign. Time to dig out the paints and crackle accents, add a few sharpie drawn webs and a handle from the bones necklace the plastic skeleton was hanging from originally and voila - a spooky sign for our front door inside the porch which will feature cobwebs and of course a pumpkin or two!

I love the teal and orange combined in this paper collection and hope you feel inspired to create something spooky this month!
Ann x

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Trends on Tuesday - Pocket Pages

I have dabbled with the idea of project life and pocket pages for a little while, but not really having the commitment to log things every at first I thought, well maybe just do monthly pages and have finally landed on a combination that I really enjoy.  Mel touched on this in an earlier post and spurred me on to give this way of scrapping a try.  I love making single pages about particular things, but then I often have lots of photos from an occasion that then don't really see the light of day.  Creating a page with both a single traditional page, teamed up with a pocket page means I get to use both the individual photo I love and then all the other memories from the event.

For my pages I used Graphic 45s French Country collection - having the pocket pages meant I could just use a photo of food for the main page, layering up and fussy cutting the papers.  I then loaded my pockets with most of the other photos from the event - these photos don't have to all be perfect but they capture what was going on and then you have loads of space for all that journalling too.