Tuesday, 29 April 2014

{Inter}-National Scrapbooking Day Is Coming!

Scrapbooking as we know it developed in the United States and this Saturday is "National Scrapbooking Day" ... except that the celebration has spread and spread thanks to the web ... and I'll be celebrating it too.

Especially as the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog is hosting a 2 day extravaganza of colourful inspiration (with prizes). 

Will you join me?  This weekend:  May 3rd & 4th.  It starts at 8am MST (which is 4pm BST for my UK readers) over at the CKCB.

Monday, 28 April 2014

April's Books - Time Travel

Margaret Atwood's "Oryx & Crake" Last month I grabbed a trio of books from the "new" shelf in my local library and reviewed the first two here.  The final book was "Oryx & Crake" by Margaret Atwood where she gives us a view into an all too possible dystopian future: scientists engineering new species of animal, new sources of food, new cures for diseases, new diseases needing cures ... society is divided into the haves who can afford the latest, greatest therapies and eat real food and the have-nots who die young on rations of genetically engineered look-a-like consumables.  Except that society has gone - wiped out by an unexplained catastrophe, leaving just one lone survivor living near a group of grass-eating humanoids.  The novel gradually reveals some of what has happened in fascinating flashbacks but, told from just one viewpoint, there is a lot left unexplained.  The ending left me spluttering in indignation until I realised that this book is the first of a parallel trilogy!  Far from "new", it was originally published in 2003 and the companion books are already available.  The question is ... do I care what happened?

Andrea Levy's "Small Island"To compensate for a bleak future, my next choice was a glimpse of the past.  Andrea Levy's "Small Island" describes the experiences of four characters before, during and after WWII.  There's Hortense and Gilbert from Jamaica and Queenie and Bernard from England whose lives are intertwined more than they know.  Both Hortense and Gilbert had a rude awakening when they came to England and the unequal relationship of Jamaica and the Mother Country is well described.  Thankfully, attitudes to colour have changed a lot in the last 60 years, but it was interesting to read about how things were in Jamaica, England and in the US military training bases where the Jamaican volunteers received basic training.

Nigel Farndale's "The Blasphemer""The Blasphemer" by Nigel Farndale was my Book Club's March pick.  Even further back in time to WW1, but with several parallel stories linking generations of soldiers and exploring the meaning of courage and cowardice.  In the present day, a scientist struggles to make sense of his survival after the crash of a seaplane whilst in the past, his great grandfather faces the firing squad just days before the end of hostilities.  I enjoyed the discussions of faith vs. science and there was enough happening to keep me turning the pages, but parts of the book didn't work for me at all.  Too many characters that weren't fleshed out enough perhaps?  Opinions were mixed at our meeting too: not a resounding success as a book choice, but a lively discussion instead which is always a good thing!

Daniel Mason's "The Piano Tuner" was passed on to me by a fellow Bookclub member (we often recycle our books around the group in parallel to the monthly choice). Again it was set in the past: colonial Burma this time with a short period of smog-laden London before hitting the steaming, sultry jungles of the far East.  This book was certainly atmospheric; I got the sense of impending doom, the oppressive climate, the encroaching jungle and the confusion of political games and double dealing were all well described.  What I didn't find was any empathy with a single character or a true understanding of what actually happened in the story.  This book has had some great reviews but I don't understand why.  It's actually stopped me from starting a new book as I'm trying to claw back the time I wasted reading it! 

Do you ever read a book that stops you from wanting to pick up another for a while?  For good reasons ... or bad?

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #17

I'm not sure who gets the most fun out of Easter around here. For a while it was the kids with Easter Egg anticipation.  There were hunts in the garden when the weather was fine, around the house when it was wet, and far too much chocolate for healthy teeth and calm behaviour.  With teenage hormones, there was a waning of enthusiasm from some quarters ... it wasn't cool to join in with parentally organised activities ...
However I love devising the clues and hiding of eggs filled with treats, so I tried not to let the reducing numbers of children at home stop me from keeping the traditional hunt going.  It fell a little flat in 2013 with just Child No.3 to cater for.
Luckily we had some company this year and she found it much more fun to have No.1 Son and his girlfriend searching, very enthusiastically, alongside her.   

Much more fun for me too, because I was able to watch three happy faces in the sunshine and got a scrapbook-worthy photo from Helena's ZIZO meme - I wonder if there are other eggs to see this week?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Home Sweet Home

Welcome to the start of April's Members' Blog Hop from the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog .  I chose the third challenge this month to use a BIG title on my layout.

Forgive the pun, but I couldn't resist it for these snaps of where I used to live in Sweden ... we did a little trip down two memory lanes during our Scandinavian tour last summer.  I'd never lived in a flat before but both were rather comfy, warm (triple-glazed against the Swedish winters) and not too high (no lifts)!  I've added arrows and addresses since photographing the page.

Jimjams - Layout - Home Swede Home

I used up the blue patterned paper from my April Counterfeit Kit with frame & border stamps to create larger frames for my photos. The title is made from Sizzlits Boys Will Be Boys dies and Scenic Route chipboard alphas; I've added a flair badge made by Lesley and some SC veneer stars.

I wonder which of this month's challenges will feature on the next stop on the hop: Tina's blog.

If you get lost whilst hopping the full order is published on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today.

P.S. There's still time to have a go with the S J Crafts April Challenge and be in with a chance of a prize ... check it out ... plus the winner & favourites from March's challenge has just been announced here!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sea Monsters

No.1 Son returned home from a 2007 school trip to New Zealand having spent the last of his spending money getting a final souvenir.  I scrapped this page straight away thinking that perhaps it would be a short-term fad (like the use of fibres in scrapping)!

Jimjams - Layout - Dreads

His style has evolved as his hair has grown - the dreads were far from a 10 minute wonder - and  I can no longer imagine him going back to "normal".  The downside has been that he's reluctant to swim as it now takes forever to dry out again.  Therefore it was especially important for me to scrap these underwater shots from his recent holiday in Thailand. 

Jimjams - Layout - Sea Monsters

Jimjams - layout detail - scissor distressed edges
Supplies for the modern page are all from my April Counterfeit Kit; I struggled to get enough 'e's from the already part-used stickers and had to adapt with a couple of inverted '3's - I really wish that sticker manufacturers would take account of the frequency of letters when producing alphabets.  'E', 's' and 't' would feature a lot more prominently if I were in charge!

Chevrons seem to be everywhere at the moment.  I wonder what scrapping trend will be popular in another seven years time.  Any thoughts?  It might even be fibres!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #16

A first for us ... taking a teen out for some driving practice.  Insurance for learner drivers was totally unaffordable when No.1 & No.2 Sons were at home, but we've discovered we can buy it monthly for Child No.3 (although the excess, if she does do some damage, is a massive £250).

Jimjams - ZIZO 16 Learner Driver
I have a few more grey hairs after the first session ... hopefully we'll both relax after another trip or two.

Joining in with Helena's ZIZO ... pop over to see what others are snapping this week ...

Friday, 18 April 2014

No {More} Fooling

Those of you that dropped by for the CKCB Kit Reveal at the beginning of the month - on April Fool's Day - may remember that we Master Forgers also presented 3 "facts" about ourselves, leaving you to guess which one was fictitious.  Many thanks for guessing if you played along ... several answers made me smile.

My 3 "facts" were:
  1. I had to have rabies injections (in my stomach) following a dog bite in Indonesia when I was 4 years old.  The surgeon was annoyed at being called in off the golf course to come and stitch my right hand back together!
    Totally true ... and I still have the scars to prove it!

  2. During the final year of my degree I computer-animated a short film featuring Heinz Baked Beans ... the programme was stored on punched cards  and the computer was housed in an air-conditioned room as big as our house.
    Also true ... I am old enough (or should that be that I started computer programming young enough) to have used, not only punched cards, but paper tape! The animation was very basic - just line drawings - and the film lasted less than a minute.

    Jimjams - Collage - University memorabilia
    Memorabilia from 1977 and 1980
  3. Hubby and I got to know each other during Ice Skating Lessons in Holland - when he tried to  show me how to do a Back Outside Mohawk - and failed!
    Which leaves this one as the "porky pie" ... we did meet in Holland but it was ballroom dancing lessons that brought us together when we discovered that we had excess left feet in common :-D
The other falsehoods have been revealed over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today ...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Matchstick Museum

Jimjams - Layout detail - layered sticker - for SJ Crafts
Hubby had a must-do on our Scandinavian road trip last year and I had a must-see: I wanted to visit the match museum in Jönköping! Not that I'm an arsonist with a fascination for matches, you understand.  No!  The one thing that I could remember learning about Sweden in school Geography lessons was that matches were manufactured in Jönköping.  Only I pronounced it "John-coping" in those days because I didn't speak any Swedish; nowadays I know that it's pronounced "Yearn-shurping".  I spotted the name when planning our route between Malmö and Västerås and when I saw that there was now a match museum instead of a factory it seemed an ideal place to break our journey.

I have a thing for mechanised processes and was fascinated by the match dipping, drying and boxing machines that were on display.  These particular machines were a mixed blessing for the locals; they reduced the risk of Phossy-jaw for the workers, but they also took away people's jobs and caused hardship.

Jimjams - Layout LHS - Jönköping Match Museum - for SJ Crafts

Hubby and I spent a good while there enjoying the displays and videos (thankfully in English as my translating skills are beyond rusty), admiring the myriad matchbox designs and making our own match packages from paper (and in true scrapbooker fashion I've included the packaging stamp on the page).  

Jimjams - Layout RHS - Jönköping Match Museum - for SJ Crafts

The sculpture was part of an art exhibition ... there was a film clip of a replica (or the original) burning to nothing.  After giving up on a Google search, I've just found out the name of the artist via Facebook (!) - Jill Lindström - the full video is here.  It takes 4 minutes for the statue to collapse and 10 to burn out!

Jimjams - Layout - Jönköping Match Museum - for SJ Crafts

I've used the Teresa Collins' My Name Is Collection along with some grey cardstock, fabric Thickers and made a little dent in my collection of brads!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #15

Well we certainly did have a lovely time.
On our day trip.
To Bangor.

Jimjams - ZIZO 15 Bangor
Despite the lack of sunshine.
And the not-open-as-the-season-hasn't-started-yet tea-room at the end of the pier.
Good job we had 20p for the telescope.

Joining in with Helena's ZIZO ... pop over to check whether others had better weather this week.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


Time for another scrapbook page made with the lovely Teresa Collins "Hello My Name Is" Collection. For this one I used the March sketch inspiration from UKScrappers along with a photo of Child No.3 and her fellow G&T artists in Tuscany last year

Jimjams - Layout - Young Artists In Tuscany 2013 - for S J Crafts

Part of their pre-trip preparation was to make Renaissance-painting-inspired outfits and one of the highlights of their week was when everyone dressed up for a photo shoot in the Tuscan castle they were staying in.  I've added some gems, veneer stars and used Man O Man Sizzlits for my title.

You can read how I started using this collection here on the S J Crafts Blog (and while you're there why not check out their April Challenge ... there's a prize!).

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Killer Surfing with Kaisercraft

Here's another page for our Disney 2004 album made from supplies in my April Counterfeit Kit.  This month the Master Forgers at the CKCB are picking sketches for inspiration and after much internet surfing (!), I chose the first Saturday Sketch from Kaisercraft's lovely blog.

It's been a while since I played along over at Kaisercraft but I thought that this sketch would combine perfectly with a rather tricky Heidi Swapp patterned paper in my kit.
Using a craft knife, I cut along the swirls on the patterned paper and, having mounted my photo onto a rectangle of scrap white card, I slotted it underneath them.  Fussy cutting is not my forte but I love the effect.

Rather than follow the sketch strictly with layers of paper under my faux Polaroid, I used vellum frames, highlighted with white and teal doodling.  My kit's organza ribbon softened the patterned paper's horizontal divide.

The trouble with scrapping photos from so long ago, is that I don't have anything special to add by way of journalling.  The kids were happy to pose together for once and that was it.  Nothing else to say!  So I got creative with a date stamp instead; even that didn't go back as far as 2004, so I stamped "15 APR" and then added "04" as best I could.

I'm also linking up with Frosted Designs' Transparency Challenge ... I think vellum, organza and my ancient, glittery, domed stickers fit the bill don't you?

There are lots more sketches to choose from over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today - which one will you pick?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #14

It's been three creative, chatty, cheery, cake and chocolate filled years since I got together with a few scrapbook pals to revive our crop, relocating it to my village hall.  Three years of cementing friendships and forming new ones, oh and making a scrapbook page or three along the way :-D

Today we had three sorts of home-made cake: Lemon Drizzle, Coffee and Orange Cream Cupcakes:

Jimjams - ZIZO 14 Crop
Twelve croppers thought they were delicious ... the eight ladies that were missing, certainly missed out!

Joining in with Helena's ZIZO ... pop over to check out other #14 zooms .

Friday, 4 April 2014

Seven Steps for S J Crafts

I have a post over at S J Crafts today showing you my Seven Step Process for cutting into a collection; specifically what I did with the Teresa Collins' My Name Is Collection.

Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - S J Crafts

Going from this ...
... to this!
Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - S J Crafts

And I've made a start on my Project 12 album for 2014 plus another couple of pages with this superbly versatile collection since I wrote the post!  Back soon to share :-D

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Wrong Runes

This month's challenge over at S J Crafts is a mood board.  It got me scrapping in 3 columns using bright spring colours and helped me complete another page for our Scandinavian holiday album from the left-overs of my January Counterfeit Kit.

I was showing Hubby the wonderful ancient site of Anundshög, just outside Västerås where I was convinced that I'd had a photograph taken 30 years earlier.  We wanted to reproduce the picture and I duly posed next to the wonderfully carved rune stone.

However, when I got home and compared the photos, I realised that the stone must have been somewhere else entirely.  Either that or it had grown in the intervening three decades!

Short rune-stone, fat thighs, grumpy face!
Last month Annie was offering a prize for one lucky challenge joiner-inner - the winner is will be announced  over at S J Crafts here along with some featured pages.

There's a prize for joining in with April's challenge too.  What inspiration will you take from the mood board?

ETA: This layout was part of my style-scraplift with Karen - she's now been prompted to blog her style-scraplift of it!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April's Identikit

Welcome to the April Counterfeit Kit Blog Hop - if you arrived here from Julene via our guest designer Maggie, then you'll know that we're shaking things up this month by creating from a different perspective: using Case File #112 from the Colour Stories Inspiration Blog to form Counterfeit Kits Identikits!

April Counterfeit Kit Inspiration - CSI Case File #112

The Scheme: I started looking through my papers to see what might match the colours and found a two tone green chevron and some small green florals along with a pastel blue sheet and some scraps of cream, blue & white swirly paper.  Matching mini-alphas should help me with the clues!

Jimjams - Counterfeit Kit - April 2014

The Evidence: Sheer ribbons, a little yellow vellum and some transparent crystal stickers add to the picture along with some flocked puffy alphas and toning buttons.  Frames are provided by a selection of stamps and wooden and paper blooms support the case.

Jimjams - Counterfeit Kit - reverse papers - April 2014

MME So Sophie Family Ties Giving Floral (brown/teal floral reverse)
Teal/green swirly paper & Green dotty paper (both manufacturer unknown)
Basic Grey Cupcake Kazoo Blue
1/4 sheet Bo Bunny Flutter Butter honey (cream white swirl reverse)
1/2 sheet Simply Sweet (green pattern reverse), 1/4 sheet Get in Line (striped reverse) from MME
Heidi Swapp carefree - sky school stripe (blue ledger reverse)
1/2 sheet Bo Bunny Flutter Butter breeze (floral/swirl reverse)
K & Co Wild Saffron blue swirl
MME Stella Rose Mabel Love Letters (green floral reverse)
1/3 sheet Basic Grey Cupcake Crepe Paper
1/4 sheet Basic Grey Colour Me Silly Create
Yellow vellum
MLS Butter alphas
White alphas
Lily Bee Design green blue black alphas (Victoria Park)
White & Blue Puffy alphas
Fancy Pants Beach Babe white alphas
Pink Paislee Portfolio Ephemera die cuts
Ancient blue & Green clear sparkly domed stickers
Various flowers, buttons, organza ribbons & ricrac from my stash
A selection of frame stamps from Prima, Artemio and "a.n.other" ;-D

Jimjams - Counterfeit Kit detail - April 2014

There's still some Case File Testimony for use during the month ... which should help me solve the huge pile of photos that I still have to scrap!

Just one more thing before you follow the trail over to Angela ... it won't have escaped your notice that today is All Fools' Day and we decided to see if you could spot some foolish fakery as you collect the evidence from the Master Forgers.  So here are 3 "facts" about me, but one of them is pure fantasy ... can you guess which one?
  1. I had to have rabies injections (in my stomach) following a dog bite in Indonesia when I was 4 years old.  The surgeon was annoyed at being called in off the golf course to come and stitch my right hand back together!

  2. During the final year of my degree I computer-animated a short film featuring Heinz Baked Beans ... the programme was stored on punched cards  and the computer was housed in an air-conditioned room as big as our house.

  3. Hubby and I got to know each other during Ice Skating Lessons in Holland - when he tried to  show me how to do a Back Outside Mohawk - and failed!
Post your answer in the comments of this post before April 16th to be in with a random chance of winning a prize - to be announced on April 18th over on the CKCB.