Southern Girls Challenge # 132: Patterned Paper

Honestly, it’s like the team thought this challenge up for me – I have SO MUCH PATTERNED PAPER! I do best to “shop my stash” – because, as my husband keeps saying, I have enough to stock a small shop!! But every now and again, I get tempted by new designs – or bargains!!

This challenge sees me using reasonably recent papers, as it was the bargain element that sucked me right in!! I haven’t subscribed to Studio Calico for nearly three years, but they had a great bargain last month, and even with the lousy exchange rate and postage, it was actually worth while. Yeah, the sale was THAT good!! So this challenge uses a selection of goodies that come from a mix of kits I got in this shipment: Brimfield, Wink Wink, LOL, and maybe another one.

I started off with the photo I wanted to work with. I tend to start with photos always and then find papers that work with the photo. By work with the photo, I don’t always mean the colour – something that feels right to me – evokes the emotion, or feeling, or reflects the time the photo was taken.

Because my photo was taken while we were on a break over the long weekend, and the boys were basically spending the hot summery days in the pool, I wanted the blues of the water, and warm yellows or oranges to remind me of the hot summer we had.

And so – these papers were selected:

132 paper stack


From there, I decide what my background is. Sometimes, I’ll use plain cardstock and do something with it like mist, or stamps, or texture paste. However, this time, I was going to the blue cross-hatched paper – and because it is quite a busy pattern, I decided to just ignore my mists and inks!

I tend to use the rule of thirds most often – placing items on one of the imaginary lines running up or across the page, kind of like a noughts and crosses board. And depending on how many photos I use, there’s a strip usually cut around 3.5 inches – or thereabouts. This time, I knew I wanted to use the star printed overlay – so cut that a bit wider than the first strip. From there, I start putting paper and the photo together in a bit of a plan…..

136 - paper first


Nothing is stuck down yet – and just as well, as there was something about this grouping that just didn’t sit right. I think it was the fact the frame I wanted to use pulled everything slightly more right, and competed a little with the vertical, grounding strip I wanted to use on the left. That was easily enough fixed…….

132 - paper done

Ahh! This looks better to my eye – more balances. All I’ve done is shift the horizontal elements slightly more left. And this is good, as I knew where I wanted to place my title, and knew I had enough room for a journalling spot. Here’s a tip – see that yellow paper with the white + symbol? That isn’t actually wider than the six inches of the photo – it was actually a piece only about 3.5 inches wide – a bit of an offcut of the tapestry paper (the yellow + is the reverse). So all I’ve done is line it up on either side of the photo to make it look like it is one strip. And it means I have used the entire strip I’d cut from the 12×12 sheet.

So now I’ve reached this point, I stick things down. I have to admit something else – I’m stingy with the adhesive!! I tend to place just enough to keep the layers stuck! The bonus of this – it also lets me slip things underneath layers I’ve already got in place.

The final product:

132 - Patterned Paper

And some detail:

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Paper detail 1


So there you go. Using patterned paper really is so much fun! Hope you like this – and join in with the Southern Girls Challenge that is up on the blog. We’d love to see how you use your patterned paper.

Happy crafting!



Decorating for Easter

A few years back, I made my friends laugh whenever they visited: it was well into the New Year and I hadn’t taken my Christmas Tree down. And when I say well into the New Year – I’m talking end of Feb, beginning of March!! The Christmas decorations themselves had been removed and packed away in good time – but for one reason and another, the tree itself was still up! So I made up reasons to decorate it – first there was Waitangi Day – so little flags went on. Then Easter was approaching, and for the first time, I bought some cheap hanging eggs and made my first ever Easter Tree!!

I’m pretty sure I got it decorated for all sorts of things including my birthday, and Queen’s birthday – and it came down just before July…. and solely because my mother was coming to visit. I could handle the laughs and jokes and decorative suggestions from all my friends – but mum channels nana and there is no way that tree should have still been up after January !!!

Ever since then, I’ve been looking out for Easter specific decorations so I can legitimately decorate for Easter. I have a gorgeous bunny family I was able to pick up from Kirkcaldies over the last few years (sadly, the landmark Wellington department store is closed permanently, and the Easter store is no more). And those eggs I bought for the first time? I hung those on our lavender bush by our front door.

But this year …..thanks to Instagram, I spotted something I just knew I could create using the post as a template! Another NZ blogger had created it and it was featured on the Spotlight feed. An Easter wreath! Yes!! {And if you know the blogger that created the original that I’ve copied from, please let me know so I can credit properly!!}

Our local spotty store wasn’t stocked with the same items as the original – so I had fun creating a look with some floral elements that I love – in this case, magnolia branches and roses.

Easter detail 1


This wreath is definitely something that will be used year after year. I used Mono Tombow glue (the green bottle) and found the glue has held the elements really well. You’ll see the glue was still drying when I took these photos!! I’ve also discovered the styrofoam rings are fabulous to dress up!! The supply of painted eggs is enormous – I’ve only used a very small amount from the bag!! I’m guessing I will be hunting in Pinterest to see what else I can do with the rest of the bag!!

Easter decorations


What other seasons or holidays do you like decorating your home for? Do let me know – I’d love to see some of your examples!

Southern Girls Challenge 130: Nature

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This challenge is all about Nature. Having been on holiday in a couple of gorgeous spots of New Zealand in the first couple of months, I actually have quite a few nature based photos to choose from: gorgeous beaches, amazing Kauris, fun in the Marlborough Sounds just to name a few. One of the best things about New Zealand? It’s true – we are spoiled for amazingly beautiful scenery! I chose to use photos of the Mr’s first experience of fishing from a boat. Unbelievably, it is the first time as a family that we have been able to join my sister and her husband in their get-a-way location in the Marlborough Sounds, and they were able to take us out on their boat. The boys were thrilled with their successes in catching fish – although regulations meant that they all needed to be returned due to size. So it was cafe fish’n’chips for us!!


130 - NatureNote: faces covered to allow privacy:)

For this layout, the photos started the page – and I was lucky enough to pull out an old Studio Calico kit that I hadn’t actually split out. The background paper with the blue skies and the clouds reinforced how we started out in slightly cloudy weather, and finished in glorious blue skies and sunshine…. the sunscreen was reapplied often!

I’ve been enjoying just going to my stash of older products lately – I think the only items on this page that are recent are the photos and the little good times label from last month’s Elle’s Studio kit!

Here are a couple of close ups:

128 Nature - detail

I just love how the big boy declared himself the “Master Fisher” – pointing out to us all that he caught HIS fish unassisted (and yeah, there’s an additional U in the location that shouldn’t be there… shhh!)

128 Nature detail

I also love using the Freckled Fawn puffy emoticons!

Come on over to the Southern Girls blog to see the rest of the inspiration Team Lou girls have put up for you – and do be sure to link up your Nature entry!


Circle Journal journeys

Circle journal title detail


A group of good friends, who all happen to be scrapbookers, are due to meet tomorrow. Seven of us will be handing over a journal that we have begun. We’ll receive them back in about seven months. I’m really looking forward to participating in a circle journal again – the last one I did would have to have been something like eight, possibly nine, years ago. The ones back then were swapped with people I “knew” via the scrapbook forums, and mostly people I have never actually met in real life. The circle journals were always fun to get back – and a few of the people I met through those online forums are now very good friends in real life. And that was how I chose my theme for this new circle journal….”Who are we?”

The people involved in this circle journal swap are people that have known for up to around nine years ago – I know I met the founder of our wee scrapping group during the days of the Scrapbook Essentials forum, so going back to around 2007, possibly 2006! And I thought it was about time that I got to know some of these girls a bit more – get the dirt on them and their lives a bit more…. chatting over lunch, dinner, coffee, wine or even in the middle of a windy Wellington street is all good – but I decided I wanted to get some of it recorded in pretty paper and glue!

So, I’ve managed to set up my album – although, for those that know me, you just KNOW that I still have some bits to finish. I mean, it’s due tomorrow so I have tonight to complete fully…..! It has all the elements done – bar my journalling…. so I better get on to that fairly quick smart!!

And I thought I’d share a few sneak peeks of the pages I’ve completed so far before I hand it on to the next member of our circle. Hope you enjoy!

CJ page 1 detail

It is indeed, Good to Have a Hobby!

Page 1 detail

I’ve started printing some pictures at home. Normally I’m a 100% matte photo fan – but when I need a print in a hurry, I’m pretty thrilled with the quality of the prints I’m getting from my HP7510  – an older model, but still a goodie! I just have to remember to handle the prints more carefully to avoid my finger prints finding their way all over the photo!!

Well, best get back to my scrappy homework…. I do want to watch the Hurricanes V Highlanders tonight as well, so I better get on with things!

Let me know what your crafty plans for the weekend are.


Southern Girls Challenge #128: Sparkle

Hello everyone! Well, I got a bit lost in transmission – between the last hurrah of my annual leave from work and technical issues with my beloved HP, I think it’s been a couple of weeks. However, I’m back and hopefully you’ll like my contribution to Challenge # 128 “Sparkle”.

As soon as I saw that was the prompt, I knew I was going to use some sparkly, glittery thickers that I have a nice wee supply of. I love those thickers!!

The layout I have for you today isn’t quite what I intended…. printing from my phone and a lack of editing capability meant that I used a completely different photo to the one I intended….but I’m still pretty happy with this result.

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This layout captures the relationship between our wee nephew, visiting for the first time over Christmas, and our dog. We were a tad anxious about Angus knocking over G and his sister. The little guy seemed pretty much at home with Angus – and even managed to rename him for the duration of his visit!

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As well as the SPARKLE from the thickers, I also popped on some sparkly gems….

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…and some sparkly arrows!

I hope you enjoy this layout – and join in with our Challenge over on Southern Girls.


Papers used:

  • Basic Grey – Little Black Dress, Classy chic
  • American Crafts – Nightfall, October night
  • American Crafts – Peachy Keen, gee whiz
  • Studio Calico – Central park
  • Crate Paper – Peppermint Collection, Ski lodge


  • Amy Tangerine thickers, Scene in silver
  • Amy Tangerine Remarks stickers, Good Times
  • Freckled Fawn: glitter arrow
  • Queen and Co: glitter gems
  • Crate paper: stickers, toy box collection
  • We R Memory Keepers: ephemera bits, Hello Darling
  • Snap: stickers, Dog
  • Dear Lizzy: letter stickers

Cool for the Summer

blog - detail - 28 jan 2016

We’ve be spoiled here in Wellington with a great summer so far. It’s been H.O.T and sunny. And then just to top it off the week before hubby and I go back to work, when we took a week to travel to Whangarei and explore Northland – we got a different kind of summer. One where it’s hot over night, and never seems to stop. This seriously is my kind of weather!

While we based ourselves in Whangarei, we intended to travel around and explore various parts of Northland. It is such a beautiful region of New Zealand, and I have never been there before, I really enjoyed getting to some places. And of course, it made me want to go back and get to other places!

One day trip we did was to Russell, and then over to Waitangi. Both felt familiar and new all at once. And we fell in love.


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On the way up to Russell, we did a wee detour into Kawakawa, and took a visit to the Hundertwasser Toilets. My youngest was perplexed by the fact there were so many people openly carrying cameras inside this public toilet! His mother was among the many!!

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Having enjoyed a paddle in the water, a yummy and relaxed lunch, and a spot of checking out the waterside shops, we then headed over to Waitangi Treaty grounds. This was a simpler and quieter space – and just over the water from the cruise ship you can see in the first photo. I’ve always wanted to visit Waitangi – and having stood on the spot where the treaty was signed, and stepped inside the meeting house, I know Waitangi Day will have a deeper meaning for us now.

Hubby and I got a quick snap as we walked back to the car. The whole concept of selfies – especially those taken by parental units! – is something that generally elicits groans from the boys. But sometimes, you just have to do it even if there is a groaning and impatient teen audience!! And this snap really records how relaxed hubby and I were feeling while in this fabulous spot. I definitely wanted to get a page scrapped using very rare photos of both hubby and I!!

blog - 28 jan 2016


One of the things I really enjoyed about creating this particular layout is the fact I dug into my stash and found these papers in a very old Studio Calico kit. Gosh I miss having a box of happy mail show up every month!! But truthfully, I have ….ahem… many kits and other supplies to rediscover! I was super thrilled to have this photo print really well from my printer here at home. I do prefer the matte look to photos – don’t look too closely at this print as you may see the fingerprints I left! Ha! However, as my local favourite photo printer no longer exists, it’s really good to know I can print some photos at home and be happy to have them in my albums.

Design notes:

There’s a couple of things I like about this layout.

I like that the red of hubby’s shirt is allowed to be the pop of colour – and is reinforced with the red in the patterned paper and the heart. That pop is supported by a colour palette of neutrals: grey, cream and a pale beige. That palette along with the pale teal I used as a contrast speaks of washed out, sun bleached summer days to me!

I also like how there is a vertical line created from the journalling tag, through hubby in the photo and down to the embellishment cluster and spots of mist. That line was more accidental than planned – but I’m pretty happy with that wee accident!

Thanks for popping by – I really appreciate it.


Southern Girls Challenge 126: Anything goes

Oh how I love a challenge along the lines of “Anything Goes”! Or do I….??

A free hand to do whatever I please? It could so go badly in no time flat! Luckily, the start of the year has brought a small amount of mojo. Thanks Santa! So challenge number 126 at Southern Girls Challenge happens to be my very first contribution for the Design Team.

Jan 2016

I’m a scrapbooker mainly, and my first scrappy love is 12×12 layouts. I combine these right alongside my Project Life (PL) albums. For “anything goes”, I thought I’d offer an example of a 12×12 to get things started.

One of the things I love about taking my kids to Saturday sports are the traditions that we create around them. In winter, it usually involves making sure we drop by the Golden Arches in time to collect a hash brown for the player, and a coffee for mum! The hexagon background has been created using a mix of stamped hexagons and hexagons punched from patterned paper. Super simple to do, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to put together. Which is good when you are just back from vacation, and back to your day job after a month of annual leave…. Ahhh, Summer time!! (Confession: my boy does have a face – I’ve just hidden it as he has moved into that phase where I’m not allowed to take photos that often – and if I do, sharing online comes with promises of privacy!)

So my first contribution to the Southern Girls is short and sweet. But you know there will be lots of other goodness being shared on the blog. Go check out what the other girls on Team Lou have produced – and make sure you link up your entry into the challenge.

Thanks for swinging by my little world:)

December memories: album progress



Another Ali Edwards perennial project: December Daily. I mentioned back in December that I was embarking on another album – largely as a result of getting to celebrate Christmas 2015 in our new home.

I have to tell you – 2015 as a year was a tad stressful. Don’t let anyone tell you building a new home, selling your old one, and then actually moving into the new home is a piece of cake. Seriously. And then add into the mix the bright idea of inviting as many of your extended family members as are available to join you in your first ever Christmas in the new place!!

Stressful? Yeah, a wee bit. It involved paving the outdoor area right up to the arrival of the first visitor! Well, that was for hubby. For me, it may have involved less labourious tasks such as deciding to use new recipes. For everything.

Anyway, it gave me the chance to document our slightly crazy first-christmas-in-the-new-house experience.

I’d already decided that I wasn’t going to keep up with the pulling together of the album while the experiences were being experienced. I may be crazy – but I’m not that mad! Huh!! Photos were taken, notes were made, fun was had in December, and then once January hit, the paper, alphas, glue and scissors were pulled out.

Here’s a look at a few of the pages so far.


The boys are now “too big” for Santa photos. Sigh!!


Finding homes for our decorations is a new activity.


Along with photos and stories, there’s also a place for purely fun elements.

I’m hoping to wrap up this project shortly so will be back to share a few more glimpses of the final album.

One Little Word for 2016: Renew

OLW - renew

Anyone else out there working on a One Little Word project this year?

Those familiar with Ali Edwards will know that at the beginning of each year, Ali chooses a word that resonates with her and then explores what that means as the year unfolds. This is instead of making a myriad of resolutions that tend to get largely placed to one side by 2 January!

I took the class back in 2011 when she first launched the concept as a class on the old Big Picture Classes site (man, I miss that platform!). I’ve not taken up the class at any point since then as it was clear that the prompts were largely the same, but presented differently. I have however continued to hold a word close over the course of 12 months in the years since I took that class. Words like focus, nurture – words that were what I needed to hold to in that year.

I didn’t really do this last year. But on 1 January, I was surprised that a word was forming in my head – and doing so rather loudly.


There is an opportunity for us to renew ourselves. There’s an opportunity for us to leave the past behind and present something different for the future.
Jay Weatherill

Possibly as a result of feeling like there are many new beginnings now that we are in our new home. Possibly as a result of thinking of relationships and friendships that I want to make sure remain important to me. Possibly for more reasons that I know of at the moment. But that word feels like a good word for 2016. So that seems like a good thought to work with.

And for the first time in ages, it feels like something to work with in a scrappy way. So I’ve decided to take the class notes from 2011 and work with them again. There is a 2016 workshop that can be done with Ali at the helm again. But for me, I think I’ll be working within the format of my Project Life Album. This means inserting different sized pages right there inside the month I’m working on, along with my PL pockets and my 12×12 pages.

If you are also taking part in the One Little Word (OLW) concept or class for 2016, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know your word in the comments below – and be sure to leave me links to how you are documenting it.

Happy crafting,


Introducing a new watermark

KN - Blog watermark - black

I’m hoping that you will soon be seeing a lot more of this wee watermark. It tool me a while to create it (even though it looks crazy simple!) but in doing do, I’ve managed to learn a whole new trick: placing text on a path!

Why is this so exciting? Well, way back when, in Photoshop Elements 6 (when it was the latest and greatest shiny version of PSE), creating on a path just couldn’t be done. Fast forward too many years to count, I’m using PSE 12 (although I think version 14 has now been released!!) and I spotted reference to creating text on a path…. that is – making my text run along in a circular line. Too good to be true – but true story it is!!

I had a devil of a time getting my bottom line – the one letting you know where to find my blog – reading correctly. At first typing, it was upside down. If I rotated, the letters were all back to front. If I flipped it, the whole image went wonky and my name would go upside down…. What to do….??

Google my friends, Google.

I found this very simple and easy to follow YouTube tutorial. Oh. My. Goodness. Choirs of Angels may have sung!!

I really recommend you taking a look if you are also of a mind to be creating text to flow around your shapes. Because, who doesn’t want to do that now?! Thank me in chocolates later *insert winky face*

And on that happy note, thanks for popping by. I hope that your 2016 has begun well, and something crafty is in your future.