Sunday, 28 December 2014

Return of the monthly photography prompts

Pleased to introduce to you the return of the monthly photography prompts in 2015
On the first of each month we will post 5 photography prompts for that month. You can join in sharing your photos if you like or just use for your own creative process. Many of us will be doing a variety of challenges and may even have signed up to some of these as resolutions but that's not what this is about. They are there to prompt you to take photos you may not ordinarily take and to add interest and variety.

See you back on the first with January's prompts.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

On the 12th Day of Christmas..

Well folks, we're nearly there and if you're anything like me you're in the midst of last minute panic preparations...wrapping, cooking, tidying and of course crafting...yes usually at this stage I am still making gifts manically. Some sewn gifts and some paper crafted especially calendars...ok so I'm not sharing my calendars with you (since they're not done yet!) but instead I'm sharing a Christmas canvas which could be a gift for someone. I made this about 10 days ago when the snow was falling outside (and I was full of cold). The papers are from this month's DT kit Simple Stories DIY Christmas and the canvas was inspired by one I saw when I visited Absolutely Everything in USA in October. I believe Tim Holtz now sells hessian or burlap covered frames - I made this one simply by gluing hessian onto a 6" canvas...

After I covered the canvas I applied red acrylic paint round the edges of the frame and then distressed by applying walnut stain distress ink. I then topped the edges of the frame with white acrylic paint and I stencilled on the 25 with the white paint. I die cut the white paper snowflakes at the bottom with a Memory Box die and glued them directly to the hessian.

I covered pieces of 'stampboard' with the Simple Stories papers and distressed them with a nail file before gluing to the canvas. I then added different items to each panel.

Three little wooden 'moose' I bought in USA...
A  die cut poinsettia (Spellbinders die) with a dymo tape title, Martha Stewart punched fronds...

A Tim Holtz bell & holly distressed with white paint...
A Martha Stewart punched snowflake...
And my favourite...a pair of ice skates cut with the Carta Bella die and with added laces and glittered blades...
I finished off with more punched snowflakes, holly leaves, Martha Stewart fronds, silver Rockabye Thickers and a cluster of miniature pine cones and berries.
I added bakers twine with silver bells to hang up the canvas...

Whatever today's blog finds you doing - I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!
Jane xoxo

Sunday, 21 December 2014

On the 11th day of Christmas

Hello, Happy Christmas - only 4 sleeps - the excitement is building in my house!  Here are a couple of Christmas pages, the same basic plan but with different papers, so you can see the slightly different look.  The first page is made with Teresa Collins' Tinsel and Company which has some beautiful foiled gold in it - I cut it into strips and added some snowflakes too.  The photo mount is Simple Stories Handmade Holiday- just to add bit more colour and then little Hobby House snowflakes.  The beautiful golden lace is by Websters.

So a lot brighter and lots of triangles - the papers are Simple Stories DIY Christmas and some Handmade Holiday, I added lots of embellishments around the photo from my Christmas box so they are a mix of manufacturers - and then the poinsettia by prima.

I want to wish you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year.


Friday, 19 December 2014

On The 10th Day of Christmas

Welcome to the 10th Day of Christmas with the ATDML Design Team!

In my last post I wrote about my concerns about how productive I actually am when it comes to seasonal photos! I buy the stash, I take the photos but all to often the process stops there! Another of my bad habits is starting layouts and never finishing them, especially when it comes to scrapping at a crop.

Last year I taught a class at Ann's Christmas crop and I made a start on a snow layout (well actually I completed one and started a second) True to form I left the second half done because I knew I had some more embellishments at home which I wanted to add... Fast forward a FULL TWELVE MONTHS and that layout was still in my part finished pile!

So as part of my efforts to vanquish the Ghost of Christmas Past I dug it out, added some stickers, some bling and some pearls added some journaling and a bit more bling and finally it was done!

I used the lovely "Winter Wishes" collection from Echo Park - it may be a year old but it is still gorgeous :)

This was my last slot in the Christmas build up so I wanted to wish all our customers and blog readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Be sure to stop by the ATDML store for some bargains in the sales after Christmas!!!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

On the 9th Day of Christmas ....

I give to you
Two Christmas layouts
One is using the fabulous Graphic 45 'Twas the Night Before Christmas collection
As always they have come up with a beautiful versatile selection of papers.
I love all the little cute elements like the little mouse and the rocking horse and the children creeping downstairs to peep. Lots of  lovely fussy cutting!  I taught this  at Ann's Enfield Christmas crop at the weekend
Secondly here is another Christmas layout using the very lovely Websters Pages All That Glitters papers.
The tree is cut out and layered on to the page with some other elements layered onto it, you can't see very well but there is quite a bit of glitter on it too on the snowflakes and trees.
Are we all feeling festive now and rushing around ?
Check in for another Christmas post on the 19th when the lovely Mel will be with you .

Monday, 15 December 2014

On the 8th Day of Christmas ..............................

I give you a Christmas present! (with apologies for the bad light photographs)

I taught a variation of this exploding box at Ann's Enfield crop on Saturday and this one was made as a 'prototype' to make sure it worked ok. 

I used the remaining bits and pieces of Websters Pages that Jill and Mel sent me to work with in December.  I cut all the elements out on my Silhouette (can you tell I love that little machine).

Once it was finished decided it needed something extra to make it special and so added the little Christmas tree complete with bling 'lights'.

If you have a Silhouette and would like the cutting files for the box I can email them to you along with a link to the files ( which you will have to buy for the store) for the tree and bow.

Denise will be back on the 17th with the 9th Day of Christmas - I can't wait!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

NYNY - October & November

Well, I can't believe that we are almost finished with this project.  Only December to go and that will be the little book finished.

In October I decided to go solo on the train to Shropshire.  Until I got a car when Gracia was three months old, I used to train to Mum & Dad's with her and wasn't at all phased as I was used to commuting to London on the train before and during my pregnancy.   I have to confess that it is 21 years since I last got the train to Mum's and nearly 30 years since I visited her without either David or Gracia.  So a daunting prospect but it all went smoothly and I am feeling confident enough to have planned a train trip to Newcastle in the new year!

Since starting my new job in September I have learnt so many new things from installing  computers to operating the sound and lighting systems for shows/plays and concerts at the school.  But my most favourite thing so far is learning how to use the recording studio - the school has a professional level one and it is such a fantastic resource.  I love setting up the mikes etc for the students and then recording their pieces.  I especially love the look on their faces when I play back the stunning pieces they have played because most of them genuinely don't realise how good they are.  My next challenge (on Wednesday) is to record the Christmas Concert and then make CD's to sell - yet another skill I have to learn and I am loving it.

I will be back in January with my December page - see you then.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

On the 7th day of Christmas...

...As Christmas approaches I seem to spend a lot of time looking for recipes for those dishes that I only seem to make at Christmas - I either can't remember which cook book they were in (and I have a LOT of cook books!) or I found a recipe on the Internet and can't find the site again...or...more often I wrote down the recipe on a scrap of paper and now can't find it. So, unlike my Design Team colleagues, rather than keep a December daily journal (where do they find the time!?) it is my plan to collect and record some of those vital recipes ready for future years.

This month's DT gallery papers included some Simple Stories Christmas papers (DIY Christmas) - I also added some Cozy Christmas papers, a ready made kraft circular accordion book, silver Rockabye Thickers and some organza ribbon to make this Christmas Recipe album...


I have created pockets on each page and my plan is to put each of the recipes onto tags - but if I am too busy at the time I can just tuck a scrap of paper into the pocket until I have time to write it out neatly or print it out. My plan eventually is to laminate each tag so that they are wipe clean!

My first recipe was for Iced Cinnamon rolls - here is the recipe in case you want to take a break from crafting and do some baking instead...

Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup melted butter
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
4 cups plain flour

1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
½ cup chopped pecans

Water icing made from icing sugar and water.

Stir the yeast into the warm milk then add sugar, melted butter and eggs.
Stir together then add to salt and flour and mix into a dough.
Knead for 5 – 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Return to bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour.
Meanwhile mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and pecans together to make a paste.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle then spread the cinnamon sugar paste over the dough.
Roll up from along the long side of the rectangle then cut into 1” slices.
Put the rolls onto a baking tin and then allow to rise again for 20 – 30 minutes.
Bake the rolls in a moderate oven until golden.
Allow to cool before drizzling with thick water icing.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

On the 6th Day of Christmas

Today I bring you three layouts created using my December DT kit.  All using Christmas paper but none of the layouts are Christmas themed.  I love green and red together and so really like to use ranges intended for Christmas projects for other things.

Feeling Merry & Bright - using Simple Stories DIY Christmas. Can't go wrong with cream black red and green - in my opinion!

 He Likes It Really - I cut out the white and black spotted hearts on my Silhouette and also cut out the hearts on the red cardstock and backed them with the green and cream spotted paper.  I sewed round the edge of the page and attached the black and cream hearts by sewing them too.  The 3D red heart was made from some of the cut out card hearts.  Again I used  Simple Stories DIY Christmas

 You Sparkle - for this page I spattered some gold glimmer mist onto black cardstock and cut my title, using my Silhouette, from a piece of vellum.  I couldn't decide whether to use the cut out title or the piece of vellum it had been cut from for my title and decided that I really wanted to use both.  I added some stickers and some sequins and finished my subtitle off with a few letter stickers.  The vellum, word and phrase stickers and paper that I mounted my photo on are all from the Webster's Pages, Gingerbread Village range.

I will be back on the 14th with another Christmas project but in the meantime I can't wait to see what Jane has to offer for her 7th Day of Christmas post!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

On the 5th Day of Christmas...

Another day of festive fun with your design team - I hope you have enjoyed what we have been sharing with you so far. Along with Denise and Katherine I too have been playing along with December Daily and am doing a couple of days at a time so I am not constantly printing!

In true keeping with the 5th Day of Christmas and "Five goooooold rings" (admit it you sang that didn't you?!) I have featured a fair amount of GOLD in my album and I wanted to replicate the large gold letters that came with the official Ali Edwards December Daily kit.

I found some shiny gold cardstock locally (I think Bazill make it) and wanted to make the most of it so it would stretch through my album. I did this by first cutting it into 3" lengths. I then knew each letter or number I made with it would be 3" tall so fit nicely in the 3x4 pockets I have within my album. I trimmed down my first piece to just 2 1/2" tall so I could add the red letters to make a Jingle all the Way card and each letter started out 1" wide. I then cut them by eye but you could always use a cricut or silhouette or print off on a printer and cut around to use as templates.

Here's how my large gold letters fit on the whole page for the 6th of December. A few more pages from my December Daily album below.

As you can see I am mixing up page protectors with full pages and the gorgeous shaped pages from Simple Stories Cozy Christmas which can be found here in the shop.  Hope you are enjoying the season and from me have a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

On the 4th Day of Christmas...

On the 4th Day of Christmas...

...I am haunted by the ghost of Christmas past!

I love Christmas, I love Christmas scrapbook products but I always feel that I have not scrapped the season well.

I decided that for todays post I was going to dig out a photo from a previous Christmas and scrap it. I have (as always) indulged in some of my favourite papers from this years Christmas ranges. I have a nice selection of Websters All That Glitters and Kaisercraft Basecoat Christmas and I used the latter for my page.

I really like the appearance of texture on the Kaisercraft pages and the wood planks and hessian \ burlap textures really made me smile. Once I had made the page the top right seemed a little empty so I used some of the round stickers along with some punched circles to create a little group of baubles to add interest to that top corner.

After I scrapped this page I decided to check back and see if I am *really* as bad as I think I am at getting Christmas photos scrapped. On reflection it seems that although ghost of Christmas past was paying me a visit I do have quite a few Christmas layouts of years gone by! Here are a few of my favourites:

Perhaps now the ghost of Christmas present will come to visit and remind me that I am TOTALLY not ready for this years festivities!

Friday, 5 December 2014

On the 3rd day of Christmas

This year I am trying to keep up with my December Daily album, and prepping it beforehand has been a massive help - just putting the base papers in and it makes you think about what you want to use, so you it seems to take less time putting it all together.

This is my front cover page using layers of washi tape and then a doily and wood veneer frame - the papers are all part of the Teresa Collins Tinsel and Company pack - and there are 3 papers which have been foiled, this being one of them.

The reverse of the foiled paper has a lovely triangle pattern to it, and I used some gesso and then another foiled paper  (and calendar from one of last years TC collections)

My first pocket page - I made the little number one pocket and just had papers slipped in ready to decorate and add photos to, so it came together really quickly.

and here is what they look like together.

I haven't got much planned, so each day I am just seeing what the story is and what happens, obviously photo'ing our Elf's antics too!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

On the 2nd Day of Christmas

Good morning all. I decided this year to really make an effort to do a December Daily/Journal my Christmas type project. I started the book back in November using some fab Simple Stories supplies from the shop. These are custom made and really make the job easy to have your base pages ready to go They are also great if you want to make a start and haven't got hours to spend !
The album I have also came with some Project Life type pages for slotting your photos and journaling cards in-perfect!
Here's the front cover - again using supplies from the shop. Webster's All That Glitters which I loved but sadly for some odd reason they have discontinued it. I think there may be a few left in the shop
I actually had something quite exciting going on over the past two days, a very different start to December for me. I was doing some telly shows on Create and Craft and met a couple of friends up there which was lovely. Normally I don't have much to report at the beginning of  December but this was definitely something to record to look back on in the future !

As you can see the Simple Stories cards and stickers are perfect for this project and has made it easy for me - I'm really enjoying this so far.
Is anyone else doing December Daily or Journalling their Christmas ?
Check back on the 5th for more festive sharing from Katherine.