Friday, 30 November 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

This year I decided to take the plunge and signed up for Shimelle's "Journal your Christmas" class. This will be the first year that both the kids are old enough to be aware of what's going on, so I thought it was important to have a record of the season. If I was left to my own devices chances are I would occasionally remember to take photos and "mean" to write stuff down but I know I wouldn't get round to it and the photos would still be sitting in a folder on my harddrive this time next year. I'm hoping the daily prompts will compel me into actually getting something done. Time will tell.

I have made a start on the process. I decided on my album size (8x8 - on the basis of the "not too big:not too small" argument) and remembered that I had a post bound 8x8 album lurking on a shelf that I hadn't used - mainly because it wasn't particularly attractive (not to me anyway) as it had a hertiage-type themed cover, not something I would ever use (I must have bought it in the sale). It looked like this anyway. Sorry to anyone who has one - it's just not my bag, as it were.

As it turned out it was perfect for altering for this project, especially as I decided that I didn't want to go post bound (not least because whilst I had extra page protectors, the extension posts didn't fit - typical!) so I could add different sized pages and bulkier embellishments if I wanted.

I still wanted the padded look of the post bound album for the cover though. So, after some serious creative dismembering ;) I ended up with this:


To get to this point, I took the post bound album apart (including removing the metal posts), then I used my craft knife and metal ruler to trim off the extra parts (that make the spine). Then I covered the front and back covers with the Holiday Joy Red Swirl Paper (from Paper Adventures. I knew my Craft TV Weekly addiction would come in handy, thanks to Tricia Morris and her obsession with perfectly mitred corners the covered turned out looking great :)

I'd decided that I was going to go for a book ring binding on the album - but I did have a little trouble with punching the holes through the cover as it was so thick (Oh for a Crop-o-dile at that point in time!). Don't get me wrong, I love my Provocraft Silent Setter - mostly because it is, as the name suggests, silent, which is important in a household where most of your scrapping is done when the kids are in bed. The only really problem with it comes when you want to punch through anything more than a couple of sheets of cardstock, like, for example, a post bound album cover. To get through that you need to turn into Dr. David Banner on an off day (trust me, you wouldn't like him when he's angry ;)).
After my impression of the not-so-jolly green giant, and half way through the last of the holes (which happened to be one of the middle ones because I'd figured 3 rings was better than two) I realised that half my page protectors only had holes for two book rings - so I had to go through and punch all those out as well (although they didn't quite require hulk-type musles).

I lined the insides of the cover with black cardstock from the DCWV Christmas cardstock stack and then decorated the front, with the incredibly original title of "Christmas 2007" - but give me a break, I'd just almost burst a blood vessel putting holes in the damn thing! :)

This is the front cover embellishments close up:



The patterned cardstock strips are from the DCWV 8x8 Christmas stacker and inked with a Brilliance Brilliant White ink pad. The "Tis the Season" tag was made from a piece of mountboard. The edges were cut at an angle and inked in green, and then the front was covered with a piece of stamped, wet embossed, red cardstock. The "Jingle Bells" circle tag was punched out of green cardstock with a 2in scalloped punch, stamped with the Jingle Bells punch, coloured with red, green and white Gelly roll pens, and highlighted with Glossy Accents. The Stamps are from the Dovecraft Studio G Christmas range.

The title is hand cut from DCWV textured cardstock in "Kayleigh" font and covered with Glossy Accents. The year tag is a PM metal rimmed tag with Royal and Langsnickel "Devon" silver rub-ons. The ribbon is 1/4 grosgrain in red and green and the white swirl was handcut in DCWV cardstock using a chipboard swirl as a template (which came in the October Scrapping Angels kit).

I'm pretty happy with how it came out, all that's left to do now is fill it! I'm hoping to get a couple of "blank" 8x8 background pages done so I will have a couple on stand by for the days where I don't have time to start from scratch. Hopefully I can get round to that tonight - poorly munchkins permitting!.

Just waiting with baited breathe for the first prompt..... thank Goodness it's the 1st tomorrow. I'm WAY too impatient!


Thursday, 29 November 2007

If Rock n Roll is the Devil's music...........

...........then this is what the band are chowing down on in the Green room between sets ;)


I haven't baked for a good long while, so after a week of feeling crappy with a cold and a day of dealing with poorly munchkins, what better therapy than a good old cupcake baking session. Food for the soul, I say :)

The basis for these is this recipe for Devil's Food cupcakes from the It's an all in one cake recipe (so none of that pesky beating the sugar and butter and adding the eggs one at a time business), but that does make the cake pretty dense (as that glutton does it's thing after you've beaten the flour senseless for three minutes on a high whisk setting). The frosting is surprising light though so that kind of off sets the density of the cake.

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting and Fresh Raspberry.

For the cupcakes.

Check out the link above (because it's way too late, or am I way to lazy, to copy and paste them).

For the filling.

Usual deal, scoop out the top with a melon baller, add a teaspoon of seedless raspberry jam (I used the no bits one so there's no lumpy bits either) and replace the top.

For the frosting.

Put 500g of mascarpone cheese in a bowl.
Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
Add icing/confectioners sugar (I have no idea how much I put in exactly - a good 5/6 heaped tablespoons to start with and then adjust to taste after first whisking)
Whisk until stiff.

Ice the cupcakes with a pallet knife (or you could probably pipe it as the texture is okay, not too runny).

Add a fresh raspberry and some melted dark chocolate and dust with cocoa powder.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Nuff said.
I've been decidedly productive this evening. Not only have I made cupcakes but I've also finished my Christmas Journal album - unfortunately it was way to dark to photograph it well by the time I was done, so that'll have to wait until tomorrow (sorry Lou!).

On that note, I'll be off to my bed as I anticipate a broken night's sleep with two pukey babies to deal with. I just hope I don't catch it! I don't want to miss out on the Hotpots gig on Saturday night!


Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The 1950s called........ wants it's housewife back!

That's how it felt on Sunday anyway - church in the morning with Gracie (stop laughing, it's not that funny) then home to cook the Sunday roast. Add in a couple of loads of laundry, washing dishes by hand because the dishwasher's broke (trauma!), vacuuming the living room, rustling up a quick fancy dress costume for Gracie for a birthday, and a trip to the ILs and my 1950s montage was complete. At least I get to leave the house to go to work on Monday (for a rest! ;)).

I would be posting photos of my scrapbooking LOs - but to be completely honest, everything I've done this week has been totally pants - one was vaguely passable and has been consigned to the album for the time being, the other was stored in that round folder that lives under the desk - permenantly relegated to the great scrapping bin in the sky *SIGH*



Sunday, 11 November 2007

BIG photo!!

*Slapped wrists* for me. I've been slacking on the cookie blogging again.

I've been far too busy, turning that mini roll into a yule log ;) Yes, I've managed to get even more scrapbooking done. I think I've done more in the last month than I have in the last 8 months. It's great to be back into the habit again :)

Here's the latest one. It's was for one of the November classes on the Craft In Style forums which called for the use of a BIG photo (in this case 11x8ish). I love this photo of Kendo and the kids so it was great to scrap it in this size.


Excuse the photo - it's somewhat wonky, but I did take it at 10pm after spending all evening scrapping the damn thing ;)

That's it for now, short and sweet this evening - I've a TV date with three bonkers car drivers.... closely followed by two even more bonkers bikers. Gotta love BBC 2 on a Sunday :)


Monday, 5 November 2007

The Eggman and The Walrus – Koo Koo Kachoo

No, I haven’t been sniffing old newprint or anything. The Beatles lyrics really are relevant, honestly ;)

I’ve been meaning to scrap this photo of Ewan and Kendo for a while. It was taken when Ewan was going through his “Egg” shouting phase, and as that’s given rise to his nickname I though it deserved a LO.


The coloured border is handstitched with embroidery thread, and took bloody ages!!. There’s hidden journaling under the photo to explain the title (which, lets face it, definitely needs explaining!).


Just in case you've never had the pleasure (torture??) of hearing this track you can catch the Beatles and some Walrus action here (good old You Tube). This song definitely has the most bizarre lyrics in the history of pop. Amazing what the 60s and the resultant drug-strewn haze will do your record sales really. Here’s the lyrics, so you can see what I mean:

I Am the Walrus by The Beatles
I am he as you are he
as you are me
and we are all together
See how they run like
pigs from a gun
see how they fly
I'm crying
Sitting on a cornflake
Waiting for the van to come

Corporation T-shirt,
stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you've been a naughty boy
you let your face grow long

I am the eggman
they are the eggmen
I am the walrus
koo koo kachoo

Mr. city policeman sitting
pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like
Lucy in the sky
See how they run
I'm crying
I'm crying, I'm crying
Yellow matter custard
Dripping from a dead dog's eye
Crabalocker fishwife
Pornographic priestess
Boy, you've been a naughty girl
you let your knickers down

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
koo koo kachoo

Sitting in an English garden
waiting for the sun
If the sun don't come
you get a tan
from standing in the English rain

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
koo koo kachoo

Expert, texpert choking smokers
don't you think the
joker laughs at you
See how they smile
like pigs in a sty
See how they snide
I'm crying
Semolina pilchard
climbing up the Eiffel tower
Elementary penguin
singing Hare Krishna
Man, you should have
seen them kicking
Edgar Allan Poe

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
koo koo kachoo
koo koo kachoo
koo koo kachoo
koo koo kachoo koo
juba juba juba
juba juba juba
juba juba juba juba
juba juba

Okay, so the rainbow text wasn't completely necessary - but it looks nice, don't ya think? ;)


Friday, 2 November 2007

Confessions of an Addict

Okay. I have to confession to a previously secret addiction (the cat's out of the bag now, people are going to start talking, I have to tell!). So here it is.

I'm COMPLETELY addicted to Craft TV

Seriously, I can't stop watching the videos and itching to make the projects.

My particular crafttvweekly fix of choice is the stuff by Tricia Morris from Club Scrap. Honestly, the woman's so perky it's bordering on scary, but I just love her! It's like visual prozac ;) Who needs happy pills, a daily dose of Tricia waxing lyrical about all things scrapbooky will sort you right out I tell you.

I even love the dodgy game show style intro music to the scrapbook lounge which is guaranteed to stick in your head for days after you've heard it. For some reason it always makes me think of Leslie Crowther... come on down, the cardstock price is right ;)

You know the absolute worse thing though? Not only am I addicted, but now I've started dealing to my friends. I don't think Lou will ever be the same again. Sorry hun.

I've just finished one craft TV weekly project based on this Maze book (which I love making because they're really easy, but embellish up really well). I don't think I can share that one at the moment though because it's a gift and the recipient of said gift has been known to peruse the cookie blog on occasion.

The other one I've only just started today (bless the two hour Ewan nap!) but I'll post it when it's done (hopefully over the weekend, or tonight if I'm feeling productive.

That's all from me. My soul feels much lighter now I've confessed all ;)