Thursday, 30 April 2009

Is she real?

While my mum is visiting, old stories come to the surface again. Stories from when my brother and I were young. These stories sparked Rebecca to ask about stories when she was younger. One of those stories that really sticks in my and my mum's mind is the day Renee was born and the first time Rebecca met her.

Tuesday evening I went through the box of pictures, trying to find that particular photo that goes with the story. The picture was taken by David with the video camera. It's quite a poor quality, but this is exactly how she lay in her travel cot when Rebecca came home from school. It's a picture to treasure, as it turned out that the film that was in the camera at the time of Renee's birth was completely blank. Not a single photo came out. It had never happened to me before, but this was definitely the moment to decide to go digital to avoid this from happening again.

Long story short here's the lay-out (inspired by this lay-out by Ali Edwards):

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock | Pink Paislee die-cut stickers + chipboard letters + flower | Basic Grey patterned paper + rub-ons | Footlight font | DMC floss | McGill tag punch.
The journaling reads:
When we got home from the hospital we let you sleep in your travel cot which we put in your playpen. Around lunch time Ruben got home from nursery and peeked over the edge of the playpen to greet you. He asked us whether you were a boy or a girl, as he'd made it very clear to us during the pregnancy that he wanted to have a little baby brother. After we told him it was a girl, he started crying and said that it wasn't fair, because he'd asked for a baby brother. But shortly afterwards he said that he still loved you even if you weren't a boy. Nanny picked up Rebecca from school and brought her home. Rebecca went straight to the playpen as well. After looking at you silently for a minute while you were asleep, she reached out to you to pinch you and asked: Is she real?

Thank you stopping by and don't forget to leave a comment on this blog post if you would like to have a chance of winning those fantastic brushes by Ali Edwards.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Spring Clean Monday: Embellishments

I've got this real love-hate relationship with embellishments. I love all those little things, that put the finishing touches on cards and lay-outs, but they are a pain to store and sort. I'm slowly but surely working towards sorting everything by colour, but it's still very much a work in progress.

My flowers and buttons are stored in IKEA jars (like many of use I think), my tiny embellishments I've got sorted in bead boxes, which I purchased at John Lewis, but you can buy them on eBay as well. My alphabet stickers I've got stored in a very sturdy, perfectly sized box from Paperchase. I've got them sorted by colour as well. I do however still want to make separators, so it's easier to see the colours.

When we left Australia, my friend Beth gave me three gorgeous boxes, that were handcrafted. In those I store my bling, pearls, tags, notebooks, etc. They sit on the edge of my desk.

Here's a collage of everything:

Now that the house renovation is almost come to an end, I'm getting this urge to completely put my craft room upside down and have a serious clear-out. In that respect, I've got a question for you. Do you keep all your scrapbooking magazines, if you get any? I'm thinking about going through mine and taking out only what inspires me and put those in an inspiration binder. I'm curious to know how you organise them.

This is the end of my Spring Clean Mondays. I hope you've enjoyed it and that it might have inpsired you. If there is any tips or advise you can give me, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, 27 April 2009

And now... the Give Away

I just realised I put Give Away in the title of my previous post, but did not mention it. As we are celebrating today, I would like to give away a digital brush set by Ali Edwards that I accidentally purchased twice on Designer Digitals. Here's a preview of the brush set.

Leave a comment on this blog post and I will randomly pick a lucky winner next on Friday. Good luck!

A Milestone + Give away

Today my mum is celebrating her 65th birthday. It's nice that she's here with us to celebrate it, as I've only actually seen her on her birthday once in the past 10 years. This afternoon when the children come home from school we'll do a cake for her with of course 65 candles. I made this card for her:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock Lily White | SEI Patterned Paper + ribbon + chipboard shapes + die-cut Mimosa | Basic Grey chipboard numbers Porcelain | Martha Stewart border punch | Ali Edwards for Technique Tuesday clear stamp | Sharpie pen brown. 

The children each also made a card for her yesterday:

This is Rebecca's card:


and Renee's:

I'll also show you the inside of Renee's card, as she did some stamping and wrote her birthday wishes to oma in Dutch:

On another note: Remember when I posted the 6th picture in the 6th folder in my library? Those tiles that were cracked in the kitchen, for which we put in a claim. Last week we had to floor taken up and new tiles put in. This morning the tiler finished grouting. This is what it looks like now:

We haven't been granted our claim yet, as they needed to know whether the foundation was cracked as well. As it turns out it was, so we've taken photographic evidence in the hope that they will agree. Fingers crossed.

I'll be back a little later with my last Spring Clean Monday blog post. Enjoy your day!

Funny Rain

Last night David and I went back to Banstead Woods to take some pictures of the bluebells at sunset. We walked a bit further than we did earlier this week. It's amazing how many bluebells there are. Here's the result from last night:

When I checked the weather forecast last night for today, they said it was going to be cold and rainy. A day to spend indoors I thought. Nothing could have been further from the truth as it was a gorgeous day with 19 degrees Celsius. We basically spent the biggest part of the day outside. The kids had a great time playing outside in the garden and in the park.

I also took the opportunity to take some pictures of the children, so I could put them in a frame for my mum, who will be celebrating her 65th birthday tomorrow. It took some persuading to have them pose for me, so I photographed them all individually and didn't get to take any of the three of them together.

Just to show you how strong the sunshine was today, I took this fun picture of Renee on the swing.

Tomorrow I'll be back with the card I made for my mum. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Bluebell Woods + Wedding Bells

This morning after my mum and I dropped off the children at school we drove to Banstead Woods to find the Bluebells. I can tell you they didn't disappoint, but my photography failed miserably. Not until I got home and was looking at the pictures I realised what I should have done differently. Luckily the woods are nearby, so I think I will go back on another day.

Even though I wasn't too happy with the images, I don't want to withhold you from the amazing view of the purple carpet.

This variety of Bluebells is a lot smaller than the ones that bloom in our front garden.

I loved how the morning sun shone through these leaves.

Besides Bluebells, it's also wedding bells season again. Not in the sense of people getting married around me, but family and friends celebrating their anniversary. Today, David's eldest brother and his wife are celebrating their 9th anniversary. On the day they got married we were unable to attend, as we lived Oregon at the time and I'd given birth to Ruben just 4 weeks prior to the event. This is the card I made for them:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock kraft | SEI Patterned Paper | Making Memories Patterned Paper + Brads | ribbon unknown | Papertrey Ink clear stamps Damask Designs | VersaMark ink | StampWorld embossing powder Psychedelic| Rangers embossing powder Red | brad black unknown | Martha Stewart border punch Hearts.

That's all for today.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Bluebells + Blossom

Now that the children have gone back to school, the weather is beautiful. It always seems to be the case. My brother, Eric skyped me this afternoon and we were talking about photography. One of the things I want to photograph in the next couple of weeks is Bluebells. There seems to be a Bluebell forest nearby in Banstead. Our front garden already has some Bluebells in bloom.

This afternoon I went outside and took some pictures of them as well as the blossom that's in full bloom at the moment.

Tomorrow morning we're going to try and find Bluebell Forest, with the aim to create something like this.

I hope your weather is as gorgeous as this. Until next time.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Spring Clean Monday: Clear Stamps

Hello Monday! Ready for another Spring Clean Monday? Today I'll covering how I've stored most of my clear stamps. When we were in Australia, I'd planned to transfer all my clear stamps into CD jewel boxes. It didn't work out very well, as they didn't all fit very easily in one box and also they were very hard to peel off. Then I saw this and this and decided that was the way to go. 

Rather than using A4 size binders, I've used A5 ones. That way, I have one stamp set per page protector and it's a little bit easier to handle. Last week I decided that to cover them. I used the Dill Blossom papers from SEI, as I've had good intentions to use them a lot and still haven't. I still love the papers, and as I had enough sheets to cover all five albums, I thought why not.

I haven't labelled all the binders yet, but I've put all the sentiments sets together and all the swirl sets, etc. On the back on the cardstock of each set I've put a label with the information of the manufacturer and name. For the label on the cover I used Spellbinder Nestabilities Labels Four.

Hopefully this will give you some ideas as to how you can organise your clear stamps. Next week is my final Spring Clean Monday in which I'll cover my embellishments.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

8 + 65 = 2, right?

Today, 2 people are celebrating their birthday. First, my niece Lauren, who is turning 8 today. Congratulations, Lauren! I hope you'll have a great day. I made this card for her:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstcok Lily White | Sassafras Lass patterned paper + die cut | American Crafts Thickers Chit Chat | Fiskars border punch Uppercrest | ribbon Spotlight | buttons unknown 

The other person celebrating her birthday is my mum's best friend. They've been friends since birth and they were only born 11 days apart. Today she's celebrating her 65th birthday. I made this card for her:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock Lily White | Amy Butler (by K&Co.) patterned paper + die-cuts |  ribbon local haberdashery | rhinestones unknown | Martha Stewart border punch hearts | Fiskars border punch Uppercrest | Papertrey Ink clear stamp Birthday Basics | American Crafts Thickers | Martha Stewart punch leave | Staz'On ink Jet Black

To mark my mum's friendship with her, which has reached the milestone of 65 years, I've created this LO:

Here's close-up:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock Kraft + stitch template| ScrapWorks vinyl rub-ons | Making Memories patterned paper Paperie | American Crafts Thickers Rainboots (powder)  + chipboard frames | button unknown | DMC floss | Rangers Distress ink Linen | Martha Stewart border punch Embossed Scallop

That's all I've got to share for today. Thank you stopping by. Until next time.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Spring Clean Monday: Ribbons

It's already week two of Spring Clean Monday. This week it's ribbons. Let me start by saying that this was totally not my idea. I first saw this on Jane's blog. You can read her step-by-step instructions here. My eye fell on the the coloured coded ribbons, so I was very pleased to hear it's something you could make yourself. I've altered my tags a little. Here's what the end result looks like:

My strips are 1" wide and 4" long. That means you can get 36 tags out of a 12"x12" sheet of cardstock. For ribbons that are smaller than 3/4" wide I've used a ribbon punch by McGill to weave them through. For the wider ribbons I've done the same as Jane and just stuck them in between the tags with double-sided tape. The rings I've used are 2". The coat hook (from IKEA) is hanging on the back of the door in my craft room. The door is normally open, so they are conveniently tucked away, but always easy accessible. Before I changed my ribbons to this system, I used to have them in storage jars from IKEA, but I got really tired of having to tip out the whole jar to get to that one ribbon and them getting all tangled up and creased.

Hopefully you're all having a nice Easter weekend. Today the weather was finally somewhat warmer and sunnier. This afternoon we went for a nice walk into town. Next week I'll be back with my clear stamp organisation.

Sunday, 12 April 2009


Today for the first time in 3 years my mum has come over to visit us. Of course I have seen here in between, albeit only a handful of times and always on her soil. When we were residing in Australia, the journey was too much for her to deal with her fear of flying. Just a mere 45 minutes from Amsterdam to London is just about what she can handle. She'll be here for the next 5 weeks.

Since we moved back from Australia, last June, I have seen my mum twice, but she had not seen the children since January last year. The difference is big when you talk about a 10, 9 and 5 year old. Rebecca and Renee came with me to the airport this morning to pick her up. They were both delighted to see her.

During the past week Renee was counting down the days until she would come. It was so lovely to see her all over my mum. Wanting cuddles from her and Renee pulling out her favourite jigsaw puzzles for 'oma' (grandmother in Dutch) to help her make them. My mum also played Battleships with Ruben and Rebecca. It's great to see the connection with all of them, despite the fact they see her so little.

On Thursday night I created a LO using a digital page from Anna Aspnes. I was inspired by Ali's layout that was published in CK's May issue. Even though Ali's is all digital, I decided to make it a hybrid page.

Supplies: MultiFoto Single Layered Template No. 26 by Anna Aspnes from Designer Digitials | Bazzill Basics Cardstock Lily White | Cosmo Cricket patterned paper Girl Friday | Sassafras Lass patterned paper + die-cut stickers + alpha sticker | American Crafts Thickers Lullaby | Spellbinder Nestabilities pinking circles + circles | EK Success corner rounder | Avenir font (all items in bold were included in Studio Calico's March Garment District kit).

I wish everyone a wonderful Easter.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

A little bit of Girl Friday love

In Studio Calico's March kit, Garment District there were a lot of Cosmo Cricket Girl Friday goodies. The colours of the papers are so bright and colourful. A couple of weeks ago I made this LO:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock Lily White | Cosmo Cricket patterned paper + chipboard die cuts + ribbon Girl Friday | American Craft patterned paper + Thickers | Making Memories fuzzy brad Love Notes | Heidi Swapp damask sticker | Jenni Bowlin flower pearls  + rub-on | Fiskars border punch Apron Lace | Zig Marker pink | paper piercer (all items in bold were included in the kit).

Over on Valerie Salmon's Got Sketch? blog she is celebrating its 2 year anniversary this month. This week's challenge #2 is a card sketch. Last night I created this card along sketch #79:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock cream | Cosmo Cricket patterned paper Girl Friday | ribbon unknown | Papertrey Ink clear stamp Damask Designs | Staz'On ink Jet Black | American Crafts paper flower | Jenni Bowlin flower pearls | Fiskars border punch Apron Lace + Uppercrest | Spellbinder Nestabilities dies Circles (all items in bold are included in the kit).

With the grey weather that we're having today, this paper surely cheers you up.

Good Luck

Last week I was inspired by Ingrid's circular card that she created for Jillibean DT project. So a couple of days ago I dusted off the IBM laptop to be able to use my Silhouette with the Quickutz designs. I normally have it hooked up to my MAC and use Illustrator to cut words and fonts etc. I took David a couple of days to get it up and running again, but last night I was able to purchase some new designs.

Before I show you my card, have a look at this one... Did you look? Well this is what I made today:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock Lily White | Crate Paper Patterned Paper | ribbon local haberdashery | ZIG Marker brown | Heidi Swapp bling circles | Papertrey Ink clear stamp Mixed Messages | Spellbinder Nestabilities Small Scalloped Circles + Circles | Staz'On Ink Timber Brown | Silhouette Digital Craft Cutter | Silhouette Designs: butterfly + circles scallop.

Isn't that funny... We were definitely on the same page today. LOL! Thanks for the inspiration, Ingrid.

What's inpsired you lately? I would love to hear. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Caarvarks Challenge 'Fantasy'

When I first read about Caarvarks new 'Fantasy' themed challenge, I thought 'nah', not for me. However, in February Rebecca and I went to a Craft show in Farnborough and Rebecca wanted to buy a couple of cute fairy stamps. I couldn't tell you the make, but they are very cute. So, I decided to use one of those for the 'Fantasy' theme:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock Lily White | Imaginisce Patterned Paper | Ribbon unknown | Martha Stewart border punch Embossed Scallop | Papertrey Ink clear stamp Birthday Basics | Rhinestone stars Artoz | Staz'On ink Jet Black | Fairy clear stamp unknown | Button unknown | Spellbinder Nestabilities Scalloped Squares | ZIG Markers | EK Success colouring pencils | Tag newsagent | Woodware corner rounder | Doodlebug Designs glitter.

Perfect for a little girl.

Spring Clean Monday: Patterned Paper

As promised in my post last Friday, I'm going to cover how I've got my scrapbooking supplies organised every Monday for the next four weeks. By no means is this the best way, but it might spark something and give you ideas on how you want to organise your supplies. But you might already be ultra organised, so I'm open for your ideas as well.

You might remember a couple of weeks ago I asked whether or not to sort my patterned paper by colour? 84% of you thought I shouldn't. Guess what, I didn't. I left it sorted by manufacturer, in alphabetical order. I've got all my patterned papers in 10 trays.

To make it even easier to find my collections or manufacturer in one tray, I've done this:

I've sorted each manufacturer by collection and put them in a page protector. Rather than putting the name of the manufacturer or the name of the collection on a tab that I've added on the bottom of the page protector (as I tend to buy collection rather than the odd page), I've punched a tab out of one of the patterned papers that will recognise what collection it is. I've got a photographic memory, so one piece of paper is enough for me to know what papers are in that particular folder. This way I can slide out that collection, rather than having to take out all the papers in that tray and go through them. I needed to secure the tabs with a staple, as the double sided tape wasn't enough to hold it. Odd pages I've put in separately, without a page protector.

I've also got a few collection I haven't broken into yet. I have put these in page protectors, but have not tagged them yet.

Here are my October Afternoon papers:

And my Scenic Route papers:

The incentive to show you how I've got it sorted worked for me. Earlier this afternoon I went out to Staples to buy some more page protectors and I finished all my papers before dinner:

It feels good to have the taken care off. Next week, I'll show you my ribbon stash.

Tomorrow I'll be back with my take on the Caardvarks 'Fantasy' challenge. Sleep tight!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Lab Partner Winner

Good morning everyone. Just wanted to post the winner of 'Who Wants to be my Lab Partner?'

And the winner is:

The fifth person to leave a comment was:

Congratulations, Michelle. Please email me, so I can send you the free gift code. I'll be back later today with my first Spring Clean Monday.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Card Patterns #9 + RAK reminder

Because I was picked as card of the week for sketch #7 at Card Patterns, I got to be guest designer this week for sketch #9.

I must admit it wasn't the easiest sketch. I actually made two cards, and Rebecca chose her favourite, which is this one:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock Lily White | My Mind's Eye patterned paper + die cuts Grow | Basic Grey clear stamp | VersaColor ink Turquoise + Pinecone | Papertrey Ink clear stamp | Staz'On ink Jet Black | Kaisercraft pearls | Martha Stewart border punch Embossed Scallop | Martha Stewart punch Butterfly | Spellbinder Nestabilities Small Ovals + Small Scallop Ovals | Fancy Pants pin | ribbon local haberdashery.

Hop over to the Card Patterns blog to see the gorgeous creations from the design team and join us in creating a card along the sketch. You might be card of the week next, or you might win a fabulous prize, which is chosen randomly each week.

I also wanted to remind you of the chance of winning a free hybrid scrapbooking class with Jessica Sprague if you leave a comment on this post by Monday.

On the illness front. Ruben's much better. Not quite a 100% yet, but he didn't want to miss his own birthday party with his cousins today. Unfortunately at the end of today, Renee became the next victim of the bug and fell asleep in my arms on the sofa running a fever.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Sheetload and Cuttlebug: Be Inspired #25 Challenge

Hello Friday! Ruben's is still very ill. He's got full on flu, with high fever. On the positive, he started eating again today. Rebecca also had a slight temperature last night, so we took another day off school. Right now, it's Easter break until April 20th for Ruben and Rebecca. Renee will go back on the 22nd.

This afternoon I found some time to make my card for the Sheetload and Cuttlebug - Be Inspired #25 challenge. I turned the sketch landscape, rather than portrait. Here's how it turned out:

I used the Cuttlebug swirls embossing folder on the inside of the card:

Supplies: Sheetload Shortcuts clear card | Pebbles Inc. patterned pape + die cut So Tweet | buttons unknown | ribbon local haberdashery | Doodlebug Designs brad | Papertrey Ink clear stamp Birthday Basics | Staz'On ink Timber Brown | Woodware corner rounder

As of Monday I'll be doing a Spring Clean Monday. Mondays for me is always a day to get organised around the house and has spring has sprung upon us, I thought it would be nice to share how I've got my supplies organised (if you would see my room right now, you would laugh out loud because it's a mess!). By sharing it with you, it means I need to get it sorted, so it's a bit of an incentive for me as well.

On Monday I'll start with my patterned paper. The second week I'll show you my ribbon organisation. The third week I'll show you my clear stamps and the last week I'll show you how I've organised my embellishment. Ready for Spring Clean Monday? I'll see you then. For now have a nice weekend.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Kazan's Sketch 23

I've finally had some time to play along with 2S4Y this week. And Kazan's sketch as well. For some reason when I did play along, it was always Laura's sketch. Of course I didn't want Kazan to think I was being bias. I love both Laura's and Kazan's sketches just as much. So for Kazan's sketch 23 this week I created this:

Supplies: Shortcut Sheetloads clear card | Pepples Inc. patterned paper + die cuts Linnie Bell | Papertrey Ink clear stamp Heart Prints | button unknown | Staz'On ink Timber Brown | Bazzill Basics Cardstock brown | Fiskars border punch Upper Crest | Martha Stewart border punch Embossed Scallop | Spellbinder Nestabilities Ovals + Scalloped Ovals | Ribbon local haberdashery.

I'm planning to play along with this challenge too. I just need to find the time as I've got two sick children at home and one holiday maker. That's all of them!

This afternoon with the Spring sunshine in the garden, I had a little play with my 85mm lens, so I've updated my profile picture. Conclusion: My arms are way too short, LOL! (maybe I should have used my regular assistant this time as well).

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Scrapbook Alchemy Episode 1 + 2

Yesterday afternoon I finished Episode 1 of Jessica's Scrapbook Alchemy classes. Since I've done Jessica's digital scrapbooking classes before, it wasn't a real challenge, but I was always intrigued about the hybrid part, so that's why I purchased it. Here's how mine turned out:

Supplies: Bazzill Basics Cardstock black | Basic Grey patterned paper Mellow + Cupcake | Autumn Leaves journaling chipboard | Prima Marketing flowers | Spotlight buttons | Pink Paislee glitter | EK Success flower punch | Maya Road rub-on | Fancy Pants chipboard swirl | Making Memories paint.

I changed the colours because of the photos. I found it also very useful to use the colour wheel for this layout to find a third accent colour.

Jessica walks you through both the digital side and the hybrid side of it. Digitally you create a photo block, convert two pictures to black and white, add a title to your photo using two different fonts, add semi-transparent accents and learn how to add a border to your photo block.

I had so much fun making this layout, that I decided to purchase episode 2 as well. In fact, I've already finished that one as well.

Supplies: Bazill Basics Cardstock | Basic Grey patterned paper Urban Prairie | DMC Floss | Making Memories puffy alphabet letters.

This time I used the same patterned papers as Jessica, as they worked well with my photos too. I know Jessica prints her photos and journaling in this case on special Epson Matte Photo paper as she also has an Epson printer. I've tried this paper too, but as I've got a Canon printer, I'm not impressed with the quality. Instead, I printed the journaling on cardstock and printed the pictures on glossy photo paper. I then cut out the pictures and adhered it to the cardstock.

That's all for today. I'm off to make some lunch, as Renee (who's already on her Easter break) is complaining her tummy is rumbling.