Paper Teapot challenge – a recipe

The Paper Teapot has a great facebook group that I’ve been lucky enough to join around two or three months ago. They have monthly challenges and I’ve managed to pull something together for both June and July challenges so far. And I’m loving the results! July had the a recipe challenge which I entered a layout in quite quickly. I didn’t share it here as the pic involved my big boy and I just didn’t want to blank out his face yet again. So, I had it in my head that I would just repeat the challenge for a page featuring me…. and then the bonus was that the onwer of Paper Teapot decided that we could enter a second time…. win!!

The recipe (by Michelle Henderson):

I will give you the ingredients and a written recipe, just follow the instructions if possible (but don’t worry if you don’t have the products, you can improvise!), there’s no right or wrong, just have fun with it! Measurements are all in inches.

Ingredients (for a 12×12 page)…

  • 1 full piece of cardstock
  • Stencil
  • Paste or gel
  • Gelato, paint or ink
  • Doily or similar
  • Paper 7 co-ordinating pieces (you can use the same paper twice) 6.5×6.5, 5×5, 7.5×1.5, 8×1.5, .75×9.5, .75×3, 11x.5
  • Photo (of course!) 4×4
  • Washi
  • Diecuts x 2 or other embellishments
  • Chipboard
  • Thread


  • Place stencil on left half of your cardstock and cover with paste or gel.
  • Once dry, choose a colour to randomly cover the same area.
  • Cut papers to size. Place large square one centrally on the page, and the second square one about .75 from the bottom left corner of the first.
  • Place 2 strips of paper vertically over large square, and 3 strips horizontally.
  • Adhere doily on top of paper stack, then photo on top of doily.
  • Place die cut or embellishment to bottom left of stack, and another to the bottom right.
  • Layer your chipboard with the left hand embellishment.
  • Tear a 3in strip of washi in half and lay along base of layout approx. 1.5 inches from the bottom right corner. Use this as the base of your title. Tuck the other half of the washi along one of the paper strips to the left of you photo. Use the same or other washi to lay a couple of strips
  • horizontally to the right of your photo.
  • Scrunch a little thread and tuck under your embellishments and photo.
  • Add stickers and/or enamel dots here and there.
  • Edge by sewing, doodling, inking or stamping.

My result

Paperteapot - July16 #2

I’m really happy this turned out – although …. in my head I thought it would be a lot pinker based on the Studio Calico Printshop paper I had as my jumping off point. Instead, the teals and yellows that I am using so frequently at the moment definitely feature!!


I am also loving the Nuvo drops – creating as many enamel dots as I please!!





I’d really love it if you decide to follow the recipe if you would link your examples in below!

Happy scrapping!!

Southern Girls challenge #138 – Floral frenzy

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[I have no idea why this post didn’t show last week on time – it all looks ok behind the scenes – but I’ve just noticed it never appeared! eek!! There is still a week left before the challenge closes – so be sure to link up your creation for the challenge!]

Team Lou is up again with a challenge at Southern Girls. This time it’s all about the flowers – flower frenzy and flower power everywhere!

It’s not often I get a chance to play with flowers on my pages – but I do love to do it when I get the chance!

140 - flowers


The story behind the shirts is that my eldest spotted a facebook promo – and it’s something that I would never normally connect with. But he was dead keen, so I decided to go for it. When his hoody arrived, the plan was to put it aside for his birthday a couple of months later. Hubby spotted it, and decided HE thought they were great – and we should all get a shirt. I wasn’t convinced that the campaign for getting them printed would still be there – but it was! So, a top ordered for the other three 0f us – plus a tee for two of hubby’s brothers. We decided to give our boy his shirt early, as one of hubby’s brothers was about to move out of town and we wanted to give him his shirt…. End result – all recipients LOVED the shirts!

As for my page – I thought I was finished when I posted this page. And then I received my order of Nuvo drops. And promptly decided that the flowers would look great with something in the middle. And they did! If you haven’t tried these glossy drops yet – go for it…. think enamel dots for ever!

Hope you’ve been able to get some crafting in – and do be sure to join in our challenge over at Southern Girls…. cards, scrapbook pages, off the page…. if it’s paper craft – we love to see your creations!

Team Lou Jpeg (1)

We are family

Today I needed to come home after a couple of hours at work. Primarily it was to be here for my boy who is feeling a bit off colour, but honestly, I have also been feeling sub-par. So, after a meeting I had to attend for a couple of hours, I packed up and headed back home. The sun was out, and it was so nice to relax with my boy, see that he was feeling a bit brighter, and generally just be here. Surfing around (as you do!) a scrapbooking friend posted a sketch I really liked – and her layout using the sketch. I got a bit itchy for pretty paper, and there was a challenge in the Paper Teapot Facebook group that I really wanted to play with. From there… I just had to pull some pretty paper!!

The Paper Teapot challenge was to use: fringing, gold, pastels, wood grain and butterflies.

Paper teapot June challenge

The photo is from Christmas Eve last year where my visiting brother and I went to the airport to collect my Dad who was flying in. While there, we realised my nephew, who was heading back to his home town for Christmas in the morning, was still in town. With that, we called and made sure he was home, swung by his place in the city, and we had a quick wee catch-up. It was especially nice as my nephew is my sister’s boy, and it kind of felt like my whole family was somehow at my place for Christmas this time. Short and very sweet – but still! (By the way, he ALWAYS seems to have photos with closed eyes… is there a name for that??!)

You might spot this layout is missing the butterflies for the challenge…. ahem. I picked this up while I was loading the page to the group, and have fixed it…. there are now wee pink butterflies near each of the stars on the page. Journalling is also done. The gold is a little hard to see. It’s the title thickers, shine mist and the striped washi. Mission: accomplished! The exciting thing is that I’ve been able to enter my first challenge with The Paper Teapot – yay!

Here’s a couple of close-ups for you to enjoy the detail….

16-06-16 - detail a

16-06-16 - detail b

Southern Girls Challenge #136 – For the kids!

I’m up on Southern Girls again with the latest challenge from Team Lou. This time it’s all “for the kids”.

With two “screenagers” – and boys at that! – it’s often a challenge in its own right getting photos – let alone scrapping ones!! But I am “The Most Annoying Mother in the Whole World” and I take what I can, AND ensure I get a few pages of their activities scrapped just for them. Pages like this will end up in an album for them. One that I hope they will take with them in time, and show their own families! Which is why I enjoy putting together pages which look similar year on year. And rugby in this house has been a fixture on Saturday mornings for nigh on ten (TEN!!) years!

This one features number 1 boy, who is now playing in the Under 65kg team for his school for the second year. It’s a new team, so they are beginning to work together quite nicely. And there is something really special about watching a group of young men really trying to do their best for their fellow team members and themselves.

So this layout is for my boy…..

138 - for the kids - layout

This layout is using almost all paper – there’s a teeny bit of washi, and a few puffy spots and stars for embellishment… but for the most part, this is a pretty simple layout. Most papers have come from old Studio Calico kits from 2011-12 era, and the 12×12 piece is the only recent piece from Shimelle’s Star Shine collection.

Here’s a couple of close-ups on some of the detail:

9 jun detail b

9 jun detail c

And after cutting into my papers, I had a few scraps. Well, truthfully, more than a few scraps. Some were larger, and I’ve put them back into storage to use again another day. But some were smaller and realistically, I know I’m not going to use them. So I did something I swear is a great idea – but rarely actually do – creating a card! It’s been quite some time since I have actually put together a card!!

138 - for the kids - card

The floral is actually the “A-side” of the newsprint / text paper I used on the layout! Boy layout – girl card.

Pretty sure that covers the brief of “for the kids”!

Make sure you head over to Southern Girls to check out the rest of Team Lou’s DT examples. It’s card maker heaven!!

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Another mini album project still on the go…. December Daily

So a while back, I shared some of the early pages I was working on to complete my December Daily album. This is a mini album capturing stories about our December – for us, that is the school wind down, prepping for Christmas and prepping for our summer.

Truthfully, I haven’t really done much more on it as I keep up with the 2016 edition of Project Life, catch up the 2015 edition (using the recently released PL app on my phone), create my 12×12 pages – and most recently, get the photos and stories together for Week in the Life.

Oh, and ensure the family is fed, have clean clothes to wear, work a nearly full-time job and occasionally clean the house!!

I had a day off work yesterday (the youngest needed a day off school) so I made the most of it and began working on the photos I wanted to lead each day in my Week in the Life project. Having organised those, I didn’t want to continue…. I still want to let some of the format percolate for a little longer. But I did still want to stay working on some craft. On my desk, waiting for me to come back to it is my little Daily December album.

And seeing photoshop was already open, well, it seemed unkind to not work on those photos.  I have a wonderful new printer for home printing photos as well (thanks to my beloved HP 7150 going kaput the other day, I now have a Canon Pixma).

Here are a couple of the photos I got printed and into the album….

DD 1 - Railway 6x4
Wellington Railway Station – all dressed up for Christmas


DD 2 - no santa
An empty Santa chair – the screenagers refuse point blank to indulge their mother


DD 6 - wreath 4x4
Our wreath gets pride of place at the entrance to the new house


Still a while before I get this album done and dusted…. but it is coming together! Be sure to link me up with some of your unfinished or work in progress projects (that way, I won’t feel so alone!! LOL)

Week in the life – starting the album

The last seven days I’ve taken photos, jotted notes – all in the hopes of actually completing a memory keeping project I’ve wanted to take part in for several years. Previously, I’ve started off by taking photos here and there…. and fairly quickly run out of steam. This year, with my “renew” lens on, one of the things I’ve really been working on is dealing with the memory keeping projects I’ve been wanting to do. So this year, I planned to take part in the full Ali Edwards experience, bought the kit, dipped into the WITL facebook group, and let the family know that this week would see cameras pointed regularly.

From a photo taking perspective, it’s been great – I’ve taken photos every day – right through the seven days. Today is the last day of the photos being a focus. From here on in, it’s about reviewing the photos, and bringing the stories that go with the photos together. A number of the participants, including several friends also doing the project, complete a blog each night and start to bring photos and stories together on their blog. My family has asked me to limit the times they appear in my social media, so with that in mind, I chose not to blog throughout the event. Instead, I took a few notes here and there…. and some of the photos were taken during specific activities, so overall, the project should still hang together.

One thing that will prevent it is my well known tendency for procrastination – something I am incredibly awesome and skilled at! It would be all too easy for the photos I’ve taken to stay on my hard drive – or in the cloud, and never be printed. I am one of a number of people that take a LOT of photos. I do my best to get some of them printed and into an album with a few words. I want to be more focussed in my intent on this specific project – it was a good week to capture our stories, as it is a mix of the routine and some event based stuff. The overall aim is to capture a detailed look of what our life looks like now…. and see what it looks like at some future point in time. With that in mind, I really want to ensure that I complete this week and have it documented in an album. So, what better way than to spend tonight looking at a few photos and getting started!

Monday intro

I was thrilled to be up with the curtains open and spot the end of a pretty sunrise. Definitely a great way to herald a grand start!

Wish me luck getting to the end of a fully completed project!

Southern Girls Challenge #134 – Anything Goes!

Southern Girls is up with another Challenge – and this week Team Lou are out there with Anything Goes!

I have to confess – sometimes when you can do anything you like – I find it the hardest thing of all to come up with an idea! I started with a photo of my son’s last day of cricket back in March. I had it printed as one I knew I wanted to do a 12×12 layout with. Even though you can’t actually see either his or his bestie’s faces! It was about capturing the ritual that they have developed when out on the wicket together. So I had that.

But what to do with it??

I didn’t want to go theme-y. For a start, I’m still trying to locate specific supplies since our move – like the sheet of cricket themes stickers I know I have! And I didn’t want to use the club colour – white (of course – it is cricket!!) and navy. There will be a ton of those club type pages when I’m done! Then I remembered an app that Shimelle Laine (aka Glitter Girl) showed in one of her videos: Adobe Capture. You hold your phone over the photo, and it picks out colours in that photo into a scheme. It keeps going until you tap the screen so you can get a variety of colours…. depending on where the colour spots are that are being picked up by the app. It’s really clever in that it puts a bunch of colours together that you wouldn’t automatically pick!



The colours look a little different here than they did on my phone – there it looked, navy, olive, yellow, tan and brick red. So I went looking through my papers, and pulled sheets that roughly matched those colours…. and ended up with this lot.

134 paper


That gave me my starting point, and once I’d worked out where I wanted to have the photo itself sit, it was a matter of cutting and sticking. And misting. And finding cool embellishments to go with it all.

You might laugh – I was going to use green letters for my title. And then I looked again – the blue in the chevron paper didn’t really show as much as I wanted… so I decided to mist some chipboard thickers I had with a pattern – which I knew would resist the colour I was applying. Great idea! Even better was that I decided to do the misting outside! Five small squirts when waaaaay further than I anticipated!



Yeah…. that packaging is now in the rubbish!!

Luckily, I put it no where near the actual page I was working on… and here it is…

134 - anything goes

We’d love to see your entry – remember that just one entry per person, and your entry can be entered into no more than 10 challenges in total.

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:

136 - detail 2

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!