Monday, 5 December 2011

If I lived nearer…



If you live near Bath, pop along to the The Holborne Museum to see Bruce Munro’s Field of Light exhibit.  It looks and sounds fabulous, sadly it’s a long way from here.

Field of Light consists of over 5,000 bulbs of light planted in the grounds of the Museum and flowing into the Garden Cafe. Acrylic stems are topped by frosted spheres which are threaded with fibre optic cables and lit by a colour projector. The result is quite magical, as both colour and light flow through the bulbs to create a uniquely captivating experience.

Yep, I wish I lived nearer.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Hip Hip Horray!

card from  Print for  Love of Wood on Folksy.


Last year I was whisked off to New York and taken to Tiffany's on 5th Avenue for the big 40. 5 days in what has to be my second favourite city.  My favourite being York.  Such different places but both make me smile. Luckily we live close to York and I have a full weekend spending time with my lovely husband and kids. My week started with a bouquet of flowers being delivered to me every day.  Then a weekend where I spent a Friday with just the two of us, lunch at my favourite restaurant in York with a spot of Christmas shopping along Stoneygate (home to Kath Kidston, the Teddy bear shop, The White Stuff and numerous other places pulling at your purse strings). Then it’s family time with a trip to the cinema to see Arthur Christmas (the kids haven’t stopped asking to go and see it since they saw the trailer for it) and dinner in the form a of Chinese meal.  And finally, a trip to Whitby to take in the sea air – the cold biting air I might add and , more food, fish & chips.  I loved every minute of it.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

caught up in the hype…


Tim Holtz is fabulously creative and brings us humble folks in the crafting world, with the likes of Tonic, Ranger, Advantus & Stamper Anonymous, products that truly, I for one, would be lost with out.  I covert my scissors and oooh all those gorgeous distress products and idea-ology trinkets.  More recently I am in love with the District Market range…possibly because I’m a sucker for all things notebook and I was not disappointed when they turned up for the shop along with the burlap panels.

Now we’ve all see video footage of Tim at the shows with his trinket box full of idea-ology goodies and gone oooh with jealousy.  When I saw the new range of storage, and because I have access to these products because of the shop I ordered one, yep just one, of these Trinket cases.  It arrived this morning.



It’s my birthday next week,  but this was not a birthday present to myself. I genuinely wanted to know what they were like so I could decide if it was something I wanted to stock.

The trinket box was sent in the original box it was shipped in so when I realised I will admit to being a little excited and eager to open it, to take a peek at this prized possession.  What happened next surprised me.  You know when you get given a birthday present, and you know that your fabulous other half had provided someone with a list of idea’s at their request so they could get you something you really want, and you know each and every one of those idea’s was something you really wanted, then you open the present with them standing in front of you to find that they completely ignored the idea’s given to them but you still have to smile while you battle that sinking feeling.  That is how I felt this morning.


Now I knew it wasn’t going to be big, but I’m going to need a couple of these babies at least to house all my idea-ology bits and bobs. I ‘m also not enamoured with the quality of it either,  In the photo’s it looks quite good, nice solid handle, metal corners and latches, but the rest of it lets it down.  The faux leather trim, in my humble opinion it ain’t  all that when seen in real life.  the design frustrates me as the box opens out the opposite way to the way the trays open taking up, for me, much needed space on my desk to use it.  We don’t all have palatial studio’s to work in with huge expanses of worktop space.



The bottom tray is glued in place, as you would expect but, and yes I am being ultra picky now, the glue is all over the shop and not contained under the tray.  This isn’t ooze from using too much, this is brush strokes of glue. The tray are made from sturdy stuff, as is the box, but I am disappointed with the finish and with a retail price around the £30-£35 mark I’d expect something a little better, doubly so as it carries Tim’s name. This is of course just my opinion, and I dare say lots of you will be dismissive of it, and I’m probably missing a trick by making the decision not to stock them.  But there, you’ve now had my two-penn’orth, do with it as you will. I for one will continue to keep my trinkets in a RUB box with tray inserts.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

and the winner is……

lemon said...

thanks for the great techniques uks lemon

Congratulations!  One set of Claudine Hellmuth Mini Studio Paints is yours!





Tuesday, 1 November 2011

did you blog hop here?

If you are participating in the UKS blog hop, you may have come here from 3 Jolly Scrappers .  Hope you enjoyed their project and didn’t forget to post a comment so that you can be in with a chance to win one of the prizes on offer.

First up, if you are new to my blog, a bit fat welcome to you! I’m Vicki, owner of a sprinkle of imagination where we have a passion for memories and getting messy! Which brings me nicely to our project - an accordion art journal, although, you could use it as a mini book rather than an art journal if you preferred.

To complete the project you’ll need:

a sheet of grungeboard (you know you have some, we all got it when it came out and then said – “now what?”)

a sheet of watercolour paper – I’ve used Windsor & Newton Bockingford 14x10 inch – 300gsm.  The size is the most important part, any watercolour paper will do, or you could substitute with a heavy weight cardstock. Check places like The Range or The Works.

Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paints

Brushes and plastic palette knife

Ranger Craft Mat

Liquitex Acrylic Inks

Jenni Bowlin Paint Dabbers

Liquitex Gel Medium & Gesso

Stencil of choice

Waxed Thread and a charm

Stampotique stamps

and lastly – an old gift card.



Start by applying a thin coat of gesso to both sides of your watercolour paper and grunge board.  Using an old gift card will help you get a thin coat. Let it dry on one side before you do the other.


Once the gesso is dry, apply some gel medium through a stencil with a palette knife (easier to get the gel out of the pot that way as well) in patches to create some texture for your backgrounds.  I used the Crafters Worskhop small circle grid, a big favourite of mine at the moment.  You’ll notice that the dots left on one side were a bit black as lazy me hadn’t cleaned off the black paint from the last time I used it.  Again, you’ll need to let it dry before you do the second side.


 While you’re waiting for everything to dry, select the colours you want to use to create your backgrounds. Add a little water to a small amount of paint and create a colour wash over both sides of the water colour paper and the grungeboard.  You’ll notice that the dry gel medium will create a resist.  If you want the resist to stand out more, then you can dab the still wet paint off, or if it’s started to dry, use a baby wipe or a slightly damp cloth to lift the excess paint off.  Keep applying the paint until you are happy with what you have.  Tip – use complimentary colours to avoid a muddy outcome. 

IMG_0147  IMG_0148

The next later on the page is created by drawing circles with the Liquitex Acrylic Inks, if you are worried about getting round circles then you can always use one of the basic circle stencils as a guide to help you.  Acrylic Inks come in dropper bottles so I just used the dropper to draw with.

IMG_0150 IMG_0151

This is the point where the size of the watercolour paper is perfect for working with the grundgeboard. Fold the watercolour paper in half – lengthways, and then cut it in half.


Next, score and fold each half at 3 1/4 inch intervals.  You’ll have a small excess at the end, cut this off ONE of the lengths. The stick the two pieces together with gel medium, using one of the short lengths to overlap them. This will then make one long accordion piece.



I’ve cut window in some of my pages, so if you want to do the same, this is the time to do it as it’s easier than when it’s stuck on to the cover.


The grungeboard is to form the cover for your book.  Lay it down lengthways and find the centre, then mark half and score across the short side a half an inch either side, giving you a one inch wide spine for your book.


Before you adhere your pages into your book, using a 1/16th inch punch, punch two holes in the back cover for the wax thread to go through and create your closure.


I’ve used a 1 meter length of red waxed thread, may seem a lot, but it will wrap around your journal three times to make an attractive closure.  Wiggle the thread until you are happy it’s in the right place, then stick the last page of the accordion to the back cover with gel medium and let it dry.  You can then wrap the thread and decide where to add a charm.  To do this create a lose knot and add a charm to a jumping, thread through the know and tighten.


You’re now ready to decorate the book, adding photo’s, or in my case stamped images and some doodling ready to add your journalling.



Hope you’ve enjoyed the project and feel inspired to have a go!  If you do, please leave us a link so we can come and see your version.

Now a chance to win prizes!

If you’re a member on UKScrappers, and leave a comment on each blog TODAY you’ll be entered for a chance to win a prize, remembering to include your UKS ID so we know who you are.

Anyone posting a comment here will also be entered in with a chance to win a set of Claudine Hellmuth Mini Studio Paints and a winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday.


Next to visit is A Trip Down Memory Lane

If you get lost along the way you can go back to UKS and find the full list of blogs taking part here


Friday, 28 October 2011

i’m saying nowt else…


It’s the UKScrappers Sponsors Blog Hop on the 1st November.  Come and hop with us, there will be prizes along the way.  Further details will be announced on UKScrappers on the 31st October.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

sometimes we hide things

It’s not often, but when I get extremely angry I need to take it out on something, vent my frustrations.  Art journalling have saved my sanity on those occasions.  I can get down all the screaming thoughts and then, as I did on this page, cover them up.  
I opened my journal found a double page that already had a coat of gesso on it, and set about writing across it.  Seems I had a lot to say as I then turned t round and ranted back over the first layer! Eek.  I wanted some of that writing to show through on the final page so I used light layers of acrylic paint and simple shapes over it, and added dots with my favourite stencil.  I quite like the end result and I know how much better I felt for getting it all off my chest.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

artists in waiting…?

IMG_0128     IMG_0129 

As it’s half term here I have a bunch of plans for the kids this week to keep them occupied.  At the weekend I popped into The Works and picked up a bunch of canvasses – 4 5”x7” for £1.99!  Be rude not to really. 

In a bid to be a bit more relaxed about relaxed about it (I watch them like a hawk when they paint – I hate the mess…I know worlds most messy crafter!) I even let them loose with my supplies. Yep, out came the baskets of paint dabbers and the neocolour II crayons.  Guess what somebody wants for Christmas now.  Both of the kids loved the neocolours.


The plan is to hang them all up on a blank wall in the kitchen and start a canvas gallery of their work.  We have some from when they were really little in nice frames.  Jamie took his inspiration from the house and below, the garden.  Rosie is more abstract in her approach, but I love them all and we had a fabulous time.  Jamie has even declared he’d like to be an artist when he grows up…  ahhh, I can live in hope!


Sunday, 23 October 2011

simple sundays



fresh homemade bread to go with fresh homemade soup = aching arms from all that kneading and the morning in a kitchen full of fabulous smells.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011



I had a fabulous three days on a workshop with Dina Wakely. A truly talented lady if ever there was one!  Day one we painted birds, the backgrounds were meant to be full of art journal techniques to add some interest, but in all honesty when I painted my canvas I just loved it before I got to that part, so I stopped.


So here’s my practice piece with a single bird, and below the three birds again but with some extra elements in the background.


I’m thinking I may do another canvas as I enjoyed making these so much.  Maybe I should add some into my journals.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

wood mounted loveliness

6133p-lil-tataweas-wm  6134p-melas-wm  6137p-jammin's-wm
Oh heck, all plans have gone out of the window the last couple of days due to some new goodies arriving for the shop. First of all, after what feels like a very long wait, I am sooo pleased to be stocking Stampotique Originals.
7189p-Bundled-ups      8937p-Keepsake-kidss
9077p-Bird-Legss  9105p-Abbys-Hearts    9221p-skullboys-wm
When the delivery came, Jamie and I sat and unpacked it to check everything was there.  The best part – all the ooh’s and ahhh’s from both of us! He loved the designs and has declared when he grows up he’s going to buy one of all of them.  How brilliant is that?! 
Today saw the very long awaited arrival of the new distress stains, Claudine Hellmuth’s mini Studio kits, the new Perfect Pearl mists (ooooh – such amazing colours) and the kraft and black ATC’s, No. 5 and No. 8 tags from Rangers (No.8 being the larger size).  I’m working hard to get as many of these on the website as I can, but please be patient with me as I’m off on a three day workshop from tomorrow with the amazingly talented Dina Wakley.  Super cool stuff!  I loved the workshop I did with her earlier this year and ran for my credit card when I saw she was over again teaching. 
Right, kids to get into bed, quick tidy round and then back to uploading all these new goodies. And I mist remember to take my little pocket camera with me tomorrow.
Happy creating folks!

Monday, 10 October 2011

gotta love a bit of bingo!


I say that, last time I played bingo I must have been about 10 at the local working men’s club with my Nan.  Been a while then!  I do love Bingo Cards though, from the mini Jenni Bowlin ones to freebie ones like this one.  Feel free to download it, I found it here, on a lovely blog full of stuff to download.


Saturday, 8 October 2011

I’m at it again

yep, cries of abandoned blog!  Sorry about that, I just seem to be busy at the moment.  Not so busy there are not enough hours in the day, but busy enough to mean that the ole blog has been ever so slightly abandoned.  Because of that I have made the decision to “abandon blog” for the shop, and just use this blog.  So, for those of you not interested in what’s happening with the shop, I apologise.  My aim is not to turn this into a blog all about the shop, but I will announce special offers and share my general excitement of new stock (finally) arriving when it does.  I just figure it will be easier to manage from one blog, with all the Facebook updates as well.


So, it is my great pleasure to announce that we now have gift vouchers!  yay!  You can find all the info and how to buy and spend them here.  All I’m going to mention is that you don’t have to spend them in one go either, we’ll keep track of the balance for you until you’ve used them all up.

Ok, for now I need to be getting on with life and family stuff, then a huge pile of creative books to read, and a project or two to be getting on with. 

Have a fabulous weekend where ever you are!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Smash away your life


A couple of years ago I came across Ali Edwards Week in Your Life project and thought what a great idea, made easier if you prep in advance for it.  I don’t do the project the same time as Ali’s run’s.  To be honest I do when I remember and think that just maybe I can make the time for it.


So, today I’m starting this years week using a Smash book, and have spent the morning preparing a few pages with ink, paint and stamps and making some tags ready to pop in to it.  Lots to do yet, but I have somewhere to start for todays notes.


Now I just have to keep going!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


fossil handbag

Girls gotta have treats right? Now I just need brown boots…and brown shoes to go with it. Ho-hum.  Anyway – it was a bargain at 40% off rrp. I can justify it.  I can. Honest. No really, I can.  I wanted it. See, justified.

Monday, 5 September 2011



Another page from the journal I took away with me to mark my first experience of Florida rain. Like everything else in America it’s bigger and bolder than in the UK.  The first time I got very soggy shoes, the second time, I took them off and went barefoot, and it was lovely.

I’m not especially fond of the writing, but I sat with a pen and did it and then decided I should have done it differently.  I partly wished I’d taken some small letter stickers with me. Oh well hindsight and all that, again. Tough really, I used what I had and that was what fitted in my pencil case.