Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Inspired by the Something From Almost Nothing class and by an example in one of Clair's magazines (think it was Quick & Crafty?) I rustled up a quick card from patterned paper, ric-rac and some chipboard letters (which I coloured with an inkpad):

I rather love this design and will definitely replicate it with different colours and for different occasions :-) Meanwhile, a certain someone will be receiving this in the post soon! ;-)

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On March 22nd it rained. Oh, well!

I rediscovered a favourite treat that day - buttered malt loaf. Yum!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Tuesday Tutorial: Ribbon Toppers

Here's a card I made a few years back, for a magazine article:

(Apologies for dodgy photo. I've learnt a lot about photography since then...)

The basic idea is to make a card 'topper' using cardstock and ribbon scraps, and then mount it onto the base card together with any other embellishment you may want to add. In the example above I printed out the outline of the number '1' in a stencil font and hand-cut it but it also works with die-cuts or punches that leave enough empty space for the ribbons to show through, and have enough cardstock around the edge of the shape (does that make sense?!) For these next examples I've used the Crop It alphabet dies for the Big Shot:

(A card for a girl whose name begins with 'B' and who loves green)

(A Father's Day card for The Doctor)

And for the example in the step by steps, I just hand-cut a heart shape using a die-cut as a rough guide. So there are lots of different ways of getting the initial shape!

Take the cut-out piece you want to use, and a scrap of white card slightly smaller. Sort out some little pieces of ribbon in co-ordinating colours (a variety of different textures works best). Cover the scrap with ribbon, using double-sided tape to secure and leaving a small overlap at either side:

Then turn the piece over and use more double-sided tape to stick those ends down. Alternatively, I realised that I really liked the look of all the loose ends above, so you could just trim them neatly - or roughly - and leave them sticking out! Then turn the piece with the aperture over, and apply double-sided tape all around the cut-out:

Carefully line up the aperture over the ribbons till you like the look and then stick together. Finally, fix the topper to the front of your card blank! I usually use foam pads for extra dimension, but this time I just used double-sided tape as the sticky-outy ribbons added extra interest anyway:

And, of course, you can also add any greeting you like. After taking these pics I added a message to my card using white rub-ons, but as it's now too dark to get a decent photo of that here's the nearly-finished card again:

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A spot of lesson preparation on March 21st. I love using these teaching materials :-) The children are recruited by 'Maths Investigator' and have to help with various clues each week in order to solve the case! We get video messages from 'M' and it's a lot of fun :-)

On that day I snacked on a pomegranate flavour cereal bar - nice flavour, but I find this brand of cereal bar to be a bit hard for me.

Monday, 29 March 2010

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On March 20th I burnt my arm!! :-( I was cooking eggy bread for The Boy and his friend, and caught my arm on the edge of the pan :-( (You'll be pleased to hear that amputation was not required, though I do still have a mark!)

Luckily I managed not to burn myself on the toastie maker while making my own cheese toastie:

(Final) Fashion Forward: Stylish Sniffles

So sad :-( Fashion Forward has been a lot of fun, and I've really enjoyed seeing everyone else's finds - but today is the last time we'll see this as a regular feature. (I'm hoping for an occasional one-off edition, though!)

Having suffered from a cold lately, it seemed a good moment to share this stylish little beauty:

Yep, Emma Bridgewater tissues! Also available with hearts on, but I prefer the classic dotty design myself. I would (of course!) never dream of actually using them, but it's nice to have them in my bag for those moments when I need to sneeze stylishly. If that were ever possible. Ah, well....

Pop over to Clair's to see what everyone else has come up with for the final Fashion Forward (*sniff!* *sob!* Oh, if only I had some stylish tissues....!)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Friendship tin revisited

I thought you might like to see the finished tin :-) Thank you so much to everyone who shared lovely quotations with me; I trimmed lots of cards to size and decorated them very simply by adding a slightly smaller piece of patterned paper - with inked edges - to the front. Here are a few of them:

I then wrote a quotation on the back of each and tied the pack together with some co-ordinating ribbon:

Before placing the pack inside the tin:

And popping it in the post in time for my friend's birthday :-)

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Considering what a big part of my life blogging is now, I figured it was about time to include it in my Project 365! I tend to set up batches of autoposts, particularly for these 365 photos and for any regular 'features'; on March 19th I had a big catch-up setting nearly a week's worth of autoposts!

That night the recipe jar told us to try Moroccan Spiced Stewed Fish with couscous. It was lovely, but I'm not sure if it'll become a regular, so I won't put it on my recipe blog for now. (Loved the prawns though!)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Children's books!

I was convinced I'd already confessed how much I liked reading children's books, and shared this photo:

But I can't find a post about it anywhere, so I guess I imagined it? Anyway, I do love reading children's books... I finally turned the photo into a page for my I Have To Confess album:

I used pages from an old copy of Alice in Wonderland for the title, border, flower and leaves, crumpling each piece before die-cutting or punching or rolling or hand-cutting it. The library card was a free printable from Shimelle and the pocket from a free template by Creature Comforts. I plan to add the names of some of my favourite kid's authors to the library card next time I get my typewriter out!

I kind of wish I'd used some distress ink or something so the book pages stand out a bit more, but oh well...

Just to let you know...

...we have an extremely busy week planned now The Children have broken up from school so I may not get online much now till after Easter - in fact, I've decided to keep the computer switched OFF for a whole week - which means I shall get behind in the Something From Almost Nothing class, and I shall miss all your lovely blogs :-( But I'm looking forward to a big catch-up on both when life calms down again (assuming it does!!)

Meanwhile, I've set up lots of autoposts to share my Project 365 photos and some of the things I've been working on lately, so in that respect you may not notice anyway... ;-)

And for now, here is the finished front cover of my 'Once upon a time' mini-book:

...with many, many thanks to the lovely and fabby Clair who gave me the foam stickers! :-)

And for those of you who've asked to see a pic of me, how about this?

Me in lego bricks, courtesy of the kind and wonderful Jane! ;-)

OK, OK, I'm working on it!!

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Hooray!! On March 18th the daffodils finally started to bloom!

I also visited Clair on that day and we chatted (a lot) and crafted (a little), and ate bacon butties (yum, thanks Clair x) followed by lemon and ginger cookies which I'd made by adding the juice and grated rind of a lemon and some chopped ginger to this basic recipe. (I also added an extra couple of ounces of flour as the lemon juice made the dough quite wet.)

Friday, 26 March 2010

You can count on mathematicians

I *love* alpha stickers :-) And numbers, come to that! But don't you just find that you end up with leftovers? Which is why it's SUCH a fab thing that mix-and-match titles look so good!

This is another one for my I Have To Confess project. I'm a mathematician and proud of it! I love numbers. I love number patterns. I even love algebra. And I know the first 35 decimal places of pi...

I printed pi to 44 decimal places around the edge of the page to create a border, then used foam stamps to fill the middle section with numbers in lots of different colours (mostly using the second impression - ie, stamping onto scrap paper first to remove some of the ink and give a more subtle image). I love the way the texture of the card shows though :-) Then I found a mixture of stickers, including a few chipboard ones, and a couple of rub-ons, to spell out the title - I inked the chipboard first so it would all be black and would stand out well! I used numbers instead of letters whenever possible, to fit the theme. Very quick and easy, this one!

And because I've used up lots of alphas, I've also met the challenge in the latest Something From Almost Nothing prompt! *happy dance*

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On March 17th I visited the optician's. I hadn't been for about 4 years so wasn't much surprised to find that my prescription had changed - I quite enjoyed the opportunity to choose some new frames :-)

After a trip to Asda I had a snack of green olives and feta cheese:

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Weekly Wordle: 12 of 52

My favourite bit? 'Found little wanted hamster' :-) I hope you too 'followed story'? Quite why I wanted to 'video Clair's Stick' I have no idea... I see 'evening bag' is in there, just 'one Mel' (fortunately!), and 'always together' (aww.....) And 'back away'! But I'm so pleased that The Hamster took prominence here, as is only right and fitting :-)

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On March 16th I finally had that much-needed haircut. I could see again!!

And I had my usual skinny latte at the hairdresser's too:

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Once upon a time...

...there was a little girl called Mel. She loved to make things. She also loved to take part in classes run by Shimelle.

One day Shimelle sent out a prompt as part of the Something From Almost Nothing class. It was all about interesting ways of using page protectors. It got Mel thinking about a way of using up some spare 6x6" page protectors she'd found tucked away in a box. She'd also remembered an idea for a mini-book that she'd been meaning to create (probably originally inspired by Shimelle's When I Grow Up class which she'd bought a while back but not had the chance to work through yet!) She found some patterned papers from a couple of pads of Little Sizzles (from Sizzix), printed off some photos, found her scissors and some little punches, and set to work.

She sewed three page protectors up the middle to join them together and create six smaller pockets. She then cut six pieces of cardstock to size and decorated the front and back of each to make the covers and ten pages. She realised that what she really wanted to do with the front cover was add some foam letter stickers to spell 'Once upon a time', but as she didn't have any she left that for the time being and just added a background picture for now:

(When she has a chance to go shopping she will get those foam stickers and add them straight onto the front of the book, outside the page protector!)

For the inside pages she wanted to tell the story of all she'd dreamed of being 'when she grew up'.

She'd always wanted to be a teacher.

She'd hoped to find someone special, fall in love, and get married.

And she very much wanted to have children one day.

Mel was very blessed. When she did grow up (relatively speaking...) she found that all her dreams came true!

Wasn't that a happy ending? :-)

There was just one thing that bothered her a little.

How would The Doctor feel about his new body shape and dress sense?! ;-)