Thursday, 29 March 2012

Total Papercraft Creativity Escape 23-25 March

Well now that I am no longer associated with a company which runs scrapbooking retreats, I am free to blog about the other retreats I go on, and I have just come back from one of the best and most fun filled retreats I have ever been on!

Last weekend - I packed my passport and craft stuff and headed over the Dartford Crossing into darkest Essex, to Karen's "Creativity Escape at Debden House in Epping Forest. Debden is a local authority run conference centre, and whilst its not the poshest venue I have ever been to for a scrapping weekend, the accommodation is clean and comfortable, the food is good and the crop room is a great size and well lit for crafters. I can honestly say that I had an absolutely wonderful time from the moment I arrived on Friday afternoon until the moment I drove away after a great roast lunch on Sunday.

We had a total of 5 masterclasses over the weekend, one project and four gorgeous (as always) layouts... and all the ladies who attended were an absolute hoot! We had two rookie scrappers with us, and by the end they were totally converted and already talking about coming back for the September retreat. I don't think I have laughed so much for a long time.... one reason being Jane Errington Taylor bursting into the "I love the way you mooooove!" advert every few minutes and Karen and her Essex ladies serenading us with "Everybody loves Amanda Lamb!" every now and again.... crazy and noisy and a real fun time!

Now - on to the projects  (all of the photos on here were taken by me but they are Karen's samples (I haven't finished mine yet - still got some bits n' bobs to come from eBay for the box)

Our first one on Friday evening was this gorgeous Tim Holtz box

Its one of the compendiums, but Karen very cleverly transformed the lid into another box and we hinged both pieces to make a "book" and spread the boxes between the two halves (some of the spaces are just that - spaces). The technique on this one was decoupaging with beeswax - and while it was errrrmmmmm interesting.... I think I'll stick to good ol' Mod Podge for future projects like this. we made our own tissue tape using stamps and masking tape and our kits contained lots of bits n' pieces to fill the boxes with.... the photo really doesn't do it justice - its one of those things you have to see in real life!

Now - remember i said there were 4 layouts? I love doing Karen's classes because her style is so different to my own clean and simple one. Normally when i try to load a page like this it ends up more shabby and sh1t than shabby chic...... so I love seeing my pics on pages like these!

ALL the pages were lovely but I think this is my favourite one - its so romantic with those gorgeous roses ..... and the rub ons ..... and the stamp..... all of these (bar the roses) are from the Kaisercraft "Sweet Nothings" range which came out in January - truly beautiful!

The next one featured the Tim Holtz glassine papers which we coloured, embossed and die cut to make flowers and leaves. The papers here were Simple Stories "Documented" dark brown/ black and cream (with just a touch of red!) and they are right up my street!

Next was this lovely page featuring Graphic 45 papers, and chipboard - this isn't a very good photo - but once i have decided which school photo I'm going to use on mine - I will take a better one...... this is what comes of trying to take photographs when you have consumed the majority of a winebox on Saturday night!

This was the last of the pages - and featured lots of messy preparation of the base page using  gesso and masks and shimmer sprays and distress stains.... generally everything to do with getting inky! 

And finally - one of me with our lovely hostess/ organiser/ designer/ all round Martha Stewart.

Thanks for a fabulous weekend Karen - I had a wonderful time and can't wait for the next one..... when is it going to be??

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Scrapping for ME!!

Well, yesterday I received a nice box of goodies from Merly Impressions - I had seen the new Layout Kits that Kaisercraft are now offering... and as I loved the brand new TigerLily range (pink/black/white/orange) I couldn't resist this one..... and a couple of the new Sir Tim Distress Markers in Picket Fence (the white one!) fell into the box too.... and what a coincidence.... I needed a white pen for the double layout!!!!!

Anyway - as I am a sailing widow this weekend... I settled down to make the pages this morning and as a couple of folk have asked to see them on Facebook, I thought I would blog them for everyone to see.

Now before I do.... let's get a few things off my chest from the last year or so.... firstly - these are MY Layouts - done for me - so I will scrap what I ruddy well want to, And if I want to scrap the same photo 10 different ways - I will (not that I have ever done that many though!)! Secondly, If I put a title on one of my pages, that title means something (usually a lot!) to me, and if I put a page up here (on MY blog!) to share, I have already censored it and I don't think that there is anything in either the page itself or the title that will offend anyone.

However, if anything on the pages I share does happen to offend you, sorry - but that is YOUR problem - not mine! That said - if you are offended in any way, please talk to me directly - and don't send anonymous messages via third parties. If you think it's that bad, talk to me yourself instead of upsetting me about a layout I loved - the person(s) concerned probably know what I am talking about!!

Aaaaaandddd Breathe!!!!!!

OK - on to the layouts I have just made. As I said - the kit was from Merly Impressions and this one was a huge £21... but I have 4 pages to show - and loads and loads of leftovers so with a couple of sheets of card as bases - there's probably enough left to make as many again - so I think its great value! All pages were designed by Melissa Kennedy, the owner of Kaiser... I think she's done a grand job!

The first single page (and yes - its using photos from my vow renewal again as are the other two pages as well so Pffftttt if you are bored with them I have over 300 photos of the event and I will get round to getting them ALL on pages in time - and i have around 250 to go!!) This one uses a lot of the elements from the sticker sheet - as well as from the big bag of "Collectibles" which contains flourishes, flowers, tags, journalling blocks, photo corners and words all matching the papers beautifully

The second single page moved on to the the rub ons and pearl swirls included in the kit - and whilst I've used all the pearl swirl and most of the rub ons - there is still LOADS left in the collectibles and patterned papers.

And finally to the double page which definitely takes me out of my single page single photo comfort zone.... here's a double with no less than SIX photos on it!! Oh and the Picket Fence marker was used for the snail trails of thebutterflies..... its a bit disconcerting as the ink for the white pen goes on clear - and takes a couple of seconds to dry white!!

Well after my lazy day so far - I had better go and get on with some housework before Rog and Katy get home from the Hamble.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

The End of an Era

The Tunbridge Wells Scrapaholix Club will meet for the last time on Wednesday 14th March 2012 at my home in Horsmonden, Kent from 7:30 onwards. Please ring on 07973 969153 if you need any details

As this meeting will close a chapter of my life, there will be no charge for the meeting, you will just need to pay for the club kit on the night. All past members are welcome to come along and join me for a glass of wine and some nibbles to mark the end of an era.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

#The party's over - it's time to call it a day!#

Well the title says it all really - after almost eight years with Scrapaholics/ Scrapaholix, the last two as co-owner, I have decided that it's time to call it a day and hand the reins back to Sarah.

As of the 1st April 2012, I will no longer have any connection to Scrapaholix, apart from maybe being a member of Lizzie's club in Tonbridge. If anyone has any queries about starting their own Scrapaholix club, wants a kit subscription, a grab box of past kits or details of upcoming retreats, please contact Sarah on

Its been a fun ride - but all things come to an end, and when you gotta go - you gotta go so this is my swansong.

So with that out of the way - I'm returning to being a hobby scrapper who dabbles in SU goodies on the side, so keep watching this blog and my SU one for what I get up to with my layouts!