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??