Tuesday, 10 December 2013

ten minute tuesdays

the run up to Christmas… ahhh.


Once again this week has been a little devoid of anything crafty creative, but I did spend the weekend either clothes shopping (seems little miss has outgrown last years winter wardrobe! I never gave her permission to do that!), practising yoga or cooking.  Actually quite a nice weekend. Especially when I made those beauties in the picture above.  Dulce De Leche Buscuits from a recipe by Gordan Ramsey.  Now they are a ten minute wonder. Seriously – TEN MINUTES. Ok, maybe 12 minutes. They do not take that long to eat though!

Monday was more shopping and a mountain of orders to process. But I’m up to date now. Yay!


I’m also busy planning next year. I don’t mean January, but way beyond that. Way way beyond. I’ve decided I wanted to try something new so I’ve signed up to take part in Ali Edward’s One Little Word. It starts on the first of January and all I need to do is come up with a word between now and then. I’m pleased to say I can already tick that task off my list. I’ve even talked my choice through with hubby to explain why I’ve chosen it. I think I even shocked myself with my justification. Main thing is, right now it sits with me.  I’m sorry to say I’m not revealing it just yet on my blog. I don’t know yet how this all works, but I will share some of my efforts with you as I go through 2014.  If you are interested and, like me, haven’t done it before you can find more info over on Ali’s blog. She has a $5 discount if you sign up before the end of the month.

I have a couple of other online classes I have my eye on as well for next year once I have carved some time out for them. Proper inky painty creative type classes. I doubt that that will be this side of Easter though. eek..

Well, this is a scheduled post, so I should off enjoying the delights of York in the run up to Christmas. I’ll have my sharpest elbows on though, don’t you worry!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

ten minute tuesday…

hello and welcome to you.

How’s the Christmas preparations going then?  Mine…erm, well the kids have presents and if they can get their rooms tidy between now and then, they may even get them. Couple of family presents have been tucked away but I have yet to start on hubby’s presents. What am I doing instead…. having a crafty clear out! Yay. 

clear out

This is the first fat cropper hopper that hit the recycling bin.  I had three like this in the end, and another one stuffed full of papers to move to new homes.  Some of which have already been re-homed. It’s not that I want to get rid of any of them, but I have to be honest about how much scrapping I’ve done the last couple of years, and how much space it all takes up that I want back.  Well, a girl needs to store her project life goodies somewhere…

In amongst all the clearing out I’ve found stuff I had forgotten I’d got. Inevitable really. I’ve chopped some up to make some project life style cards. I’ve been sat in front of the TV with my trimmer and corner punch.

PL 1

Yesterday I spent some time clearing out my mountain of embellishment boxes, swapped some trays around and made myself a box full of goodies ready to grab when working on my albums.

PL 2

The tray isn’t full yet, and there is a second one underneath so fill up with more “stuff” but I love my sequin corner. I’ve gathered up all the tubes I have.

PL 3 

I have also taken over half the dining room table as I have been working on my project life albums.  I’m mainly working on August at the moment.

PL 5

One of our trips was to Buckingham Palace, where you are not allowed to take photo’s inside, but I did, after some searching, find a pack of postcards in the gift shop.  Now chopped up and inserted into the pockets of my pages.


A quick pop to Edinburgh of the day where Instagram featured quite a bit so I’ve used those photo’s for this page.


Next to work on is our trip to Crete. This is as far as I have got as I don’t have any photo’s printed off as yet.  But, I sat at the table with the kids while they were having dinner and made my small title card for the page. A perfect 10 minutes of creativity.   I keep popping back to the pages. I’m even working on last week.  Photo’s courtesy of the Polaroid camera my lovely hubby got me for my birthday. Best part is you can print from an SD card (not tried it yet, but I have high hopes!)


So, wow, looks like a productive flash back of ten minute pops.  Shame I have the best part of a year to catch up on! LOL.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

ten minute tuesdays……

is all out of creativity. again.

Last week was just hectic with work. The weekend was spent, mainly, in the car. Firstly a drive to Newcastle to see the utterly awesome Stereophonics, and back again. Then to following morning a drive to the other side of the country to pick up the kids form the Grandparents, where they stayed so we could go and see the utterly awesome Stereophonics.

Have I mentioned they were UTTERLY AWESOME!

Monday was new stock sorting day with the arrival of Daily Grind, then my youngest was sent home sick from school. Ping back to pick up the eldest.  Today, she’s still quite unwell, bless her, and needs lots of Mummy cuddles, interrupted by a dozen boxes stuffed full of scrapbook albums arriving. So, I just haven’t managed to get my creativity on again this week.   Next week is my birthday so we will see what happens, maybe I’ll get to visit someone else's creativity for a day.



Thursday, 14 November 2013

Carta Bella Giveaway!

Hello there.

Yesterday we took delivery of Carta Bella’s new Homemade With Love collection…

I love it.  It’s a fabulous collection, but it makes me want to bake, or just skip straight to eat cake. In fact, I love this collection so much we’re having a giveaway on our facebook page!

All you need to do is check out the collection, leave a comment on facebook and share the post to be in with a chance of winning a set of the papers from the collection.


Friday, 8 November 2013

challenge reminders!

You have this weekend to get your entries ready for the first " a sprinkle of colour" challenge. 
 Entries need to be in by midnight Tuesday - the 12th. 

It's also the halfway point for the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It challenge which we are sponsoring. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

ten minute tuesday…

well, here we are again, half term. It makes me feel a little crazy but it only seems two minutes since the kids went back to school after the summer break. I seriously hope that we don’t fast forward quite as quickly to Christmas. 

Yesterday I snatched ten minutes in my art journal.  I had some Montana Acrylic Markers sitting on my desk so did some journal spilling and had a quick doodle over the top.  Also on my desk was a roll of Glitz washi tape so I added some of that. Why not eh?! The colours cheered me up as I’m currently drowning in paperwork. I’ve also been doing some secret squirrel work again so I wanted to create a quick page that was nothing like what I’ve been working on.



I even started a second page, but at the moment it looks like someone has puked yellow paint all over it so it may need more working on before it’s shared. If at all.


That’s it from me today.  Fingers crossed I may get something else done but for now I need to persuade, in my best Mum tone, that it’s about time PJ’s weren’t ruling the day.  Tin hat on… I’m going in!

Friday, 18 October 2013

two quick things from the shop....

hello there. I know there has been a lack of posting this week but I'm up to my eyeballs in shop stuff and apart from squeezing in a cheeky ten minutes with my colouring pencils (as a means to bring down the stress levels) not a lot else has been going on.

However.... from the shop, two news worthy moments.

We've launched a new monthly challenge whose home is on the blog (under a new tab). Each month we'll have a colour palette with five fabulous colours. This months colours are taken from a very nice looking cake!  To enter you simply have to create something using at least three of those colours. You may also use black and white.

Once done, post your entry on your blog and link it up to us. A winner will then be chosen by the design team and a prize, a £10.00 voucher for the shop, will be awarded.

You can find all the details here.

The second bit of shop news is a SALE!!!

I've reduced a selection of Tim Holtz Stamp Sets and his Wood Mounted stamps while stocks last. We won't be restocking the selected items so grab them while you can. There's a good mix of designs in the sale and lots of seasonal ones - perfect if you're about to make your Christmas cards!

You can find all the sale items listed here.

Well, that's it from me for now. No rest for the wicked...and me!
Have a fabulous and creative weekend. I think I'll be making pumpkin soup! Yum.


Friday, 11 October 2013

how about a chance to win….

CSblogchall general

We’re proud sponsors of Craft Stampers Make It, Take It Challenge Five which has just gone live. 

If you enter, and it’s a great challenge, you get the chance to win a £10.00 voucher from us to spend on whatever you like, but the winner also gets to see their work in print! How cool is that?! Well, I think it’s quite cool.

Anyway, pop on over and check it out. You have until the midnight Friday 6th December to enter. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

happy mail…

this morning the post came with a THUD.

As I walked to the front door I thought – oh goodie, my new diary has come early. Wrong! Something even better…


Look.. I got a copy of Everything Is Connected by Keri Smith to review. Yay.  Who cares if it’s wet and windy out, I have a little ray of sunshine to browse and then a review to write for Waterstones. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

ten minute tuesday…

it's still a little crazy around here. Mostly I've been doing secret squirrel stuff and getting creatively frustrated with myself. Given myself a few stern tellings off, or bollockings as I like to call them. Creativity and I are not getting along so well at the moment. Hopefully we’ll be friends again soon.

When I get like that, and I know I'm doing it, I just have to take a step back, or two, maybe even three and do something else. As a completely disorganised person my best cure is organising myself so while I was at it I wanted to share this little treasure with you. 

My project life notebook.

OK, I know that like a lot of you I can be known to erm, collect notebooks, BUT Noooo - I don't do the whole multicoloured by a fancy filofax thing, or have folders with PL layouts sketched out. That is just overkill – to me.  Might be your thing but I just want to keep daily notes.   Quick simple note or quotes from the day. Some days I have nothing to say at all! Imagine that…
Its B6 sized (125mm x 175mm) so perfect for shoving in your bag if you travel. It has 17 weeks of, well, weeks in it so no big bulky diary to carry with you. Perfect travelling companion if you ask me. Another of the things I love about it is it’s dateless. As you can see I only really decided that if I was ever going to complete ANY project life pages I needed to keep notes, so this one was started in August.  You can also get a little cover to slot it in to if you so wish and you could use one side to collect all your bits and bots.
 Inside 3
I am so impressed with it that I have just ordered a larger diary from the same range for work. And I’d like a huge pile of the note pads too if I’m honest.

If you like the look of it, it’s by Katy & June and I got mine here from Bureau Direct. I so so LURVE that store.  Great clear website, and waaay too much stationery goodness to be tempted into buying.  Sign up to their email and you get 10% off the first week of the month. If you love stationery as I do, getting the emails is not a chore.

Right, that’s it for me. I’ve had more deliveries today that I haven’t even opened yet. No rest for the wicked eh – or me!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

words that speak to me...

I'm putting a positive foot forward this week..... a to do list as long as a long thing needs to be cleared. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

ten minute tuesday..

life is quite hectic at the moment. My beloved hubby had emergency surgery at the start of last week and things have been upside down ever since. I’ve needed to temporarily close the store so that I can be his home nurse and look after him since being discharged. The house doesn’t look like a bomb has gone off, it looks more like a bombing raid has been through. We’re all exhausted, but getting through it and he’s slowly on the mend.

When we went to the hospital I had to quickly grab a bag and stuff things in it to amuse the kids. My little lady, who is an avid drawer, didn’t know where her sketch book was, so I quickly grabbed a small one for her. She didn’t use it and it ended up being my note book for a massive list of things I needed to do for hubby before he went for his surgery. I should have known what the rest of the week would be like from that point…

Anyway, at the weekend, I sat down with it and started to doodle, and I now have a bunch of pages started. I’m thinking I’ll keep it as a doodle journal. I found it really relaxing. Everyone was in bed fast asleep and I just sat in the peace and quite with a black pen and my book. 


a bird in amongst some grasses


a few leaves with some ‘flowers which I’ve now started to colour in.


I’ve split one page in to 7 parts to do a doodle a day. This is Saturday’s doodle (you might guess…)


and finally I created a “frames” page. Each frame to be filled with a little something. So far, girls, grasses and mushrooms mainly.  Oh and while I was sitting wondering what to do in one of the frames I thought I’d have a go at drawing a feather. I’m quite pleased with it. I don’t think I’ve drawn one before.  That page may become a feather page as I try different ways to draw them.

That’s my short and sweet creative burst for this week. If nothing else I may sit down each evening and if my eyes stay open long enough add to my doodles.

Thanks for stopping by, and please do share your ten minute creative bursts with me.


Friday, 20 September 2013

that cake…

I never did come back and share my piñata cake creation.. oops. Having said that if you are “my friend” on FB or follow my instagram feed then you will have seen the progression!
The finished article, complete with slightly wonky rainbow. It was soooo hard getting them all lined up. It was the first time I have even made a cake covered like this, never mind a piñata cake! I know if I did it again how I’d do it better, but what mattered most was that my boy loved it. Even more when he I made him cut it open, with him eyeing me suspiciously (he had no clue) and a flood of skittles tumbled out. Each slice, and it lasted four of us nearly two weeks, came with a bobble of cloud. There was no way the kids weren’t going to eat the clouds. I think a few may even have been surreptitiously removed……

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

ten minute tuesday…

hello and welcome.
Today’s post is a nice one for me. You may remember one of my previous ten minute posts where I created some simple project life cards I was making. Well that led to me being asked to create some for Scrap365 who had an upcoming edition which was a project life special. That edition, the Oct/Nov 2013 issue, is now out, on sale, in the real world. And my cards are in it!
(we’ve also got a giveaway in this issue for two of the new Glitz collections)
Back to Project Life cards. I thoroughly loved making these cards. Nice and clean, which if you ever saw my desk you would NOT think that they had come from me!
I made a couple of extra cards that I didn’t send off and they are now in my PL album.
I found it really therapeutic hunting through my stamps to make these. A great relaxing way to spend ten minutes escaping the chaos. Now I must go face the chaos.

Friday, 13 September 2013

words that speak to me...

 two for this week, as always found on my other home - pinterest.

don't we all have day's where this rings true! I get so ratty when I get that look shot at me to sensor what's falling out of my mouth...

...and every week this one applies! 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

ten minute tuesday...

hello, I'm back for ten minute tuesdays...finally. It's been a hectic summer but now the kids are back in school things are slowly starting to return to normal. I'm enjoying peaceful days but oh boy - where'd the sun go?!

Anyhoo - creative talk now. Project Life more specifically.

Just before we took our summer holiday I ordered 154 photo's from Photobox. Lots of them were Instagram shots which I ordered on 4"x6", making them 4"x4". Honestly though - what a pain going through and clicking "shrink to fit" on every single one.  For some reason that was the only way I could get it to do it. Ugh.

So, here I am with 154 photo's, destined for my Project Life album. Ha - lots of gaps to fill in too as this is from March to July. Eeek. so where did I start....by buying a new printer! LOL.

I've quickly come to the conclusion that if I'm going to record our lives again, I need a printer.
We used to have a fabulous printer, but it died a death and we replaced it with an amazing printer - but it's an office one, and in all honesty, printing photo's on it really isn't the best. They are ok, but not what I want.

Enter a Canaon Selphy C900.

Wireless. Yeah right. Not in our house.

We work for ourselves, and have a lot of security set up on our network and clearly this little baby doesn't like hanging around for you to type in very long passwords...  Oh the joys. So, I've just plugged it in to my laptop. I'm not upset about it.

So far I love it! But. Warnings.....  

I usually print onto matte paper. The selphy packs are gloss and they are waterproof prints.Great if you have a coffee spill, not so great for my pens. My regular pens don't adhere to them, even my micron pens. Arrgh! I have several sharpies, one has worked. A regular old sharpie with an extra fine tip at one end.  If you don't write on photo's then it won't be an issue for you.

Second issue was Instagram photos. Although the Selphy comes with print size options, and a custom option. It didn't really do for Instagram. I want to be able to print them at various sizes, from 4" to 2".

Back to the drawing board then. Noooooooooo.....

I have had a couple of apps suggested to me to get over this. While they may work for other people I don't want to fiddling about on a tiny phone screen with an app. My eye sight isn't what it used to be you know... LOL. And, more importantly I just don't have the patience. But I do have PSE7. yay. Problem solved!

I do find PSE a bit of a faff most of the time, but this was quick and painless.  I back up all my Instagram and camera shots on our network as a matter of course, so they are all there ready for me to print.

HOW TO.....

  • open your instagram image in PSE and select "image" "resize" . I then select the size in inches. As you can see from above image 4", 3.75", 3" and 2" sizes. 
  • Do this for all the images you want to print - especially important for the smaller sizes so you have them all selected at once to fit on the sheet. 
  • Select "File" "Print multiple images", with PSE7 a new window opens. 
  • For multiple images on one sheet make sure you select "contact sheet" print type (dropdown 2)
  • Set the number of columns - two should be enough for images 3" and smaller.

There we have it - all ready to print out my Instagram images ready to use.
Project Life album under way.
 I'm not putting myself under pressure to catch up with everything for it. I'll start with the big events and days out and gradually fill in inbetween, but from this week I can start recording things weekly (ish).

Where does the ten minutes come in? errm, well now I have the printing issue out of the way, I can spend ten minutes writing up the cards for the album in my "war on the photo mound".

Please do share with me what you have been up to in your bid to catch up and/or get creative ten minutes at a time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 2 September 2013

summertime photography scavenger hunt…

I’ve revisited the list this morning and realised I haven't really casually come across many items on the list. Still got a couple of weeks to find some more, now that the kids are about to go back to school and the daily grind kicks back in… ahem, we shall see what happens. Maybe I should carry the list – revise with it to help me remember! Maybe it will turn in to an Autumn scavenger hunt list..

So, from our trip to Crete I present…
Item No 5 “a sunset”
We drove for an hour and a half along some stomach churning roads – think lorries, narrow, sheer drops…on our side, to get these.  We sat in a lovely taverna on the beach and watched the sun go down. I have a few shots of it slowly going down. After a day on the beach it was a lovely end to the day.

Not quite Item No. 11: An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc
I say not quite because we haven’t been near a zoo, aquarium, nature reserve or an etc for this one. So this is one of the critter that shared the pool at our villa with us.
This is where I really regretted not taking my DSLR with me, just my compact. Crawling round on my knees trying to get as close as possible with the sun shining in my eyes for hours!
How’s your scavenger hunt going?  Don’t forget to pop across to see Rinda’s blog and add yourself to the list.  She has some fabulous photo’s from the list.
Tatty bye for now then!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

design team call…..


We're looking for a scrapbooker and 2014 Guest Designers!

Entry deadline 30th September 2013.

We have an opening for a scrapbooker on the creative design team! So if you are a scrapbooker, maybe you also dabble with project life/ pocket style scrapbooking, have lots of tips and idea's to share read on!

Ideally you should be based from within the EU, and would commit to an initial six month term.

In return you get free goodies and a discount on your purchases!

We’re also looking for Guest Designers who can commit do joining our team for a month at some point during 2014.

If you’re not familiar with the store go take a look, we have everything from scrapbook papers to jewellery making supplies and lots of art supplies. These are the products you would be working with as a member of our design team.

Have a read through the requirements and the benefits (here) and get in touch with us by the 30th September 2013 if you are interested.

Don’t be shy! If you have any questions then email us at dt@asprinkleofimagination.com

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

oops – nearly wet myself!

hello all!

apologies for the radio silence. Well, I say that, but I’ve been taking a summer break with my family and the run up to it was majorly hectic. Loads of days out with trips to Harry Potter Studio’s, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh as well as all making sure everyone had enough knickers to go in the suitcase for our trip to Crete. 

Anyway, in amongst all of that I have had a huge order of photo not appear in the post… not too pleased about that, but I have been assured a second batch will be printed and sent out to me. I hate the thought of someone else getting their sticky mitts on my images so here’s hoping they’ve just gone via New York rather than heading to York.

While we were away we received a delivery of the new Darkroom Door stamps… oh be still my beating heart. Look how adorable these new stamps are…


These Carved Birds, designed by Godelieve Tijskens (aka stampingmathilda) are my absolute favourite.


I also LOVE the new Quote Stamps. I haven’t tried yet, but I’m thinking what cool project life cards these stamps would make (IF I ever get my blooming photo’s!)

For now though I’d better back to the post holiday washing….boo hiss… I was just so excited about the new stamps I needed to share. I’ll save the gorgeous boxes of more new Prima stash for another day!

Thanks for stopping by and “listening” to my excitement!