Month: July 2012

Bloom – biennials for next year

It’s all go go go at this time of year in the garden. Bloom 2012 may not be going so well but if I want Bloom 2013 to be a greater success I need to take action now.

For anyone not in the know a biennial plant is one you sow now, let grow for a few months then plant out into it flowering position in October-ish time where it over winters and flowers its heart out next spring-early summer.

When I see arrangements in books or magazines featuring biennials I think how lovely they look but shy away from that extra effort and planning. I have grown them in the past but usually I forget to sow the seed and miss the boat.

But not this year. I have sown Erysimum (wallflower), Dianthus barbatus, (Sweet William) and Lunaria (Honesty) so far and will sow some Digitalis (foxgloves) when I find a packet of seed I like.

Those pesky slugs have already been trying to thwart my plans, see how nibbled the leaves are?

I have cleared the green house of all the little devils and am carrying on regardless. I pricked out six trays of seedlings yesterday.

Positive thinking, positive action.

Weekly layout – week twenty eight

Welcome to week twenty eight of this weekly scrapbook series.

A photo of wonderful family this week. I thought it was a good time to use this great picture and tell one of those stories I was talking about, the ones I want to tell. The photo has nothing to do with the story, it’s just a good photo so I decided to use it here.

The colours in the picture are very vibrant so I couldn’t fight against those so went with them. I pulled a few patterned papers out. Turquoise, brown and white.

And a few embellishments.

The Dylusions ink seemed to make it onto the table again……

I had a great layout in mind that I saw here. Loved the days of the week on the left hand side. I played about in word trying to copy that idea but nothing looked right so I got on with placing the papers and photo. Went for a clean and graphic look this week.

I used a few pieces of brown cars to make file folders and added a tab to the top of it with the stickers.

Decided to jazz it up with a little ink.

I wanted to test the London Blue colour so I sprayed that on the center of the page where I knew it would get covered up if it wasn’t the right blue – which it wasn’t by the way.

Since my typed journal idea didn’t work I found some alphabets to use instead.

I put a few words directly onto the card and also filled in one of the file folders with my journalling using a white pen.

I drew a pencil line of the card so I could see where the card would be behind the paper but decided to keep writing and use it as a pull out tab. I edged the brown cards with dash lines in the white pen to add a little definition.

I added a title. Initially I left if off but felt that something was missing. You know me I’m a traditionalist. And finally a couple of gems, a strip of sequins and more stickers under the word element.

Really happy to have scrapped this story this week and love how it turned out.


Weekly Layout is a series of blog posts that I am doing every week in 2012. I am walking through the process of putting the page together with a bit of background to why I picked the design and embellishments for the page. I hope to develop my style and push myself by taking on this challenge. You can see previous weeks here.



I have been thinking about stories, in relation to my scrapbook pages, for a few weeks now. It all started when I took the 31 Things class as Big Picture Classes. Little sparks going off in the old brain pinging about making me think.

I know I said in my recent post that I hoped I was telling good stories. And that got me thinking even more.

Am I?Am I telling the stories I really want to tell? It is so easy to pull out a lovely photo and scrap it when there is no significant story to tell about that photo.

Sometimes I do hit upon a great tale.

Take last weeks weekly layout page. A wonderful photo of my Dad water skiing in Italy. It was blurry photo and old but the memory and the story behind that photograph was a great one and I was so pleased that I found that picture at that moment and decided to share it through the weekly layout. And now I have that story told and in my album.

Maybe it is time to put the pretty photos in the album or into project life and start writing the stories I want to tell and then match those to a few photos – photos that don’t have to be of the event or thing my story is about. 

I don’t think I will find it easy because if it was I’d be doing it already but it’s something I want to try.

So I shall.

Bloom – arrangement numer four


I picked this bunch of flowers yesterday.

And was chuntering to myself the whole time. It went a bit like this….

“I can’t even grow flowers…….slugs, grr. Well these sweet peas won’t even fill a vase. Slugs. Rain. Huh. This lot is a poor show. And all I’ll get by the looks of the salvia and cosmos. Next year…….”

It wasn’t an uplifting conversation going on in my head. More or less just focussing on my failure to grow a good crop of flowers.

Then I brought the bunch inside and pulled a vase from the cupboard and decided to just mix all I had in together. The sweet peas, ammi, sweet william and calendula. It breaks all the rules but who cares when you have a little vase of beautiful smelling flowers sitting on your coffee table?

Success or failure? Sometimes it’s a close call.

For the love of a terracotta plant pot

I have a small obsession.

I can’t resist photographing a stack of terracotta pots.


The above photo was from our trip to Harlow Carr last week. We went to Harlow Carr this time last year too and guess what I found in my photos?

Yep, the same terracotta pots.

And then a couple of weeks ago my Mum, Sister, niece and I went to Benningborough Hall near York. Guess what?

Weekly Layout – week twenty seven

Welcome to week twenty seven and off we go into the latter part of the year.

I went back in time about 30 years for this weeks photo.


My dear old Dad on water ski’s for the first and last time! The photo is blurry and wonderfully imperfect. That imperfection captures both the fact that I took this from the back of a boat and that technology had come a long way. I love that and wouldn’t want to make the shot perfect.

The blue life jacket spoke to me so I picked out a paper to match.

But I tried another favourite paper just in case.

I liked both but went with the blue stripe.

I bought a new stencil last week. I love it,

Along with the stencil I bought some ink.

Everyone seems to be talking about Dylusions so I got three little bottles – direct from Dy herself. Art from the Heart, her shop is in Harrogate so I popped over there for a shopping trip. When I got them home I played about with the stencil and cardstock and I created this background on some kraft card.

Getting used tp the stencil and ink takes a while and makes for good messy fun. On the top left I sprayed the ink through the stencil and then turned it over and pressed the negative image onto the card again. Like I say fun.

I pulled out a few other supplies to coordinate.

And then placed the photo onto the stripey paper and selected a more solid paper to matt them on. I placed the paper to the left where there wasn’t much inky pattern.

Tried the photo off to the left.

But prefered it central.

Can’t get enough of that stencil so I went to work on a tag. I sprayed the ink directly onto the paper first and let it dry then placed the stencil over and sprayed water through then blotted the water off. It removes some ink giving a subtle effect. I have seen this done quite a bit with various inks.

I placed the tag onto the layout put three square brads on the bottom edge and adhered part of the title. I really like the idea of tags but never make them work. This time I had the idea to use the tag as a base for the title, like another piece of paper.

Those alpha tiles made me smile when I spotted them in my stash as my Dad liked a game of scrabble.

A few more embellishments and a sub-title – the name of the lake we were on.

Just the journalling and a couple more elements –  the Tim Holtz metal tag and the little addition to the tag that was a rub on and my hand writing. And I also added a drawn border to the tag edge. 

And that was it finished. As usual I really like the results. I scrapped an old but good story and used two new products. I think they’ll be making numerous appearances and the weeks go by.


Weekly Layout is a series of blog posts that I am doing every week in 2012. I am walking through the process of putting the page together with a bit of background to why I picked the design and embellishments for the page. I hope to develop my style and push myself by taking on this challenge. You can see previous weeks here.

Weekly layout – thoughts at the six month stage

I began this weekly challenge half a year ago. Where has 2012 gone? I am both happy and surprised that I have managed to complete so many layouts because I set myself this goal. There is something about making a commitment even if its only to yourself. 

I was looking at all of the layouts and trying to establish a few things in my mind about my style? Or indeed do I have a style?

And do you know what conclusion I came to? I don’t. Or rather I do but it’s not one thing or another, it’s all things. I think that’s a cop out but really I cannot come up with what my style is from looking at these layouts.

  • I like clean and simple but I like paint splatters too.
  • I like photos straight but occasionally offset them.
  • Less is most definitely more. 
  • I like circles and anchoring border type strips across the page.
  • I use one photo but just as many times I use multiple photos.

I don’t blaze a trail of innovation I’m a normal regular scrapbooker and I hope I tell good stories and scrap real life photos that sometimes are awkward to fit onto a page but it’s better to roll with it that way than to force something and miss the overall feel of the story.

I’m going out a limb here and stating that you don’t have to have a style. You can struggle with every page you make, you can chop and change styles and go with the flow. And at the end if you love the page you made its all okay and worth the struggle and pondering.   

Here’s to another twenty-six weeks of scrapping goodness.

Inspiration – garden visits

Even if we come back a little green with envy its always good to visit gardens. After the envy fades we are left with a head full of ideas and possibilities.

This is just one of those little touches that make a garden.

Taken at Benningborough Hall.

Weekly layout – week twenty six

Welcome to week twenty-six. Technically its week twenty-five because I missed last week I don’t know if it was the photos or the week that I stumbled on but I just couldn’t bring inspiration to the fore.

I plugged away with the same photos I had picked last week though as it was a story I wanted to tell.

The photos are a collection of shots from our 2010 USA trip. They are just regular shots of the places we visited but together they show how packed in we made this trip and that was the story. I wanted the layout to be busy and jumbled to convey the hectic two weeks.

After trimming down the photos as much as I could I had to go with a two page layout. My go to colours seem to be blue and green at the moment so I pulled out some of those coloured papers and letter stickers.   

There is a stamp set that I have which contains a couple of arrows and other travel icons and yesterday I bought a wonderful new stamp set from 7 Gypsies that also had arrows in.

I decided to stamp directly onto the background. I’d had this idea last week and went with it. Something about the arrows made the layout have that ‘what’s next – onto the next thing’ feel.

I matted some of the photos and off set them. Something I never do – in fact it gives me a twitch! But as the angle looks all off balance it felt right for the mood I was creating.

I also added a few odd bits of papers at the top and bottom of each page. Going along with my theme I drew lines for short bursts of journalling. I also added the title and a few other embellishments on four of the photos.

I think it almost gets over the feel I was going for. Not my usual style but I love the stamped arrows.

I decided to add the ‘end here’ and a few gems to complete the layout.


Weekly Layout is a series of blog posts that I am doing every week in 2012. I am walking through the process of putting the page together with a bit of background to why I picked the design and embellishments for the page. I hope to develop my style and push myself by taking on this challenge. You can see previous weeks here.

Bloom – arrangement number three

I say arrangement but that’s a pretty loose definition of this little jug of roses.

My plan to grow lots of flowers this year is still going strong – even if the slugs and cold weather have other ideas – and the documenting of the success and failures of the plan is providing valuable information for next year.

And the other things that is coming out of this project is that there are quite a few flowers out in the garden that I might not usually think to cut for a vase in the house. But by making myself get outside and try to cut enough flowers for even the smallest of arrangement I am seeing flowers anew.  Regular old plants that are out there every year and can just as easily be cut for the house as those specifically grow for the purpose.

I don’t think I have ever cut roses before for an arrangement so the fact that this project made me do that is a good thing.