Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The forth instalment of the scrapbook series (extra kit)

This is where it can get expensive.  There is a never ending supply or papers, stamps (my addiction at the moment), embellishments or equipment that you could easily fall in love with and just NEED to get.


I think stamps are my all time favourite purchase at the moment.  So far the best place I have found is the sweet stamp shop.  You may remember I said I had been looking at this site but when the second instalment had gone up I hadn't placed an order.  Well I can now tell you that I have placed an order and I love them even more now.  There is just so much you can do with the stamps.  I am now waiting on my second delivery from them arriving.
Tonight I made these bookmarks using the stamps.  I also used a cutting machine.

Cutting machines

Again there is a large selection of these.  You can go for a handheld die cutter or one that works with your pc.  I used to have the Bigshot Sizzix machine which works with various plates, dies and is operated by a handle.  I really liked it but I found the dies could be a bit pricy and I struggled to find exactly what I was looking for.  I did some research and decided to buy the Cricut explore air.  It works by either pulling images off the huge library on the website or you can create your own.  You can literally cut anything.  Take my bookmarks for example.  I used the stamps on paper and took a photo of them.  I then went to photoshop and cleaned them up a bit.  Then i uploaded them to the cricut design space and used the print and cut feature.  You can make anything with it.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The third instalment of the scrapbook series. (Kit subscription)

There are so many scrapbook kits available out there.  Not only scrapbook kits but planner kits, project life kits and sticker kits.  I have only received the likeforever kit so far but I have signed up to citrus twist and the planner society.  I will post about the others once I have received them.

There are lots of other kits and if you want to watch lots of kit reviews then pop over to YouTube and watch Zoes videos.  She is systematically ordering all the kits she can and is reviewing them.   

This is a UK based kit.  If you go into a UK scrapbook page and ask about subscription kits you will hear a loud cry of LIKEFOREVER.  The kit is put together by Nicola.  She puts so much thought and work into making sure here kits are fantastic.  This months kit was amazing.  There are a limited number left so if you want one then you better be quick.  The kit is called Acorn Avenue.  You can see a list of everything that is included on the site and above.

There is also a great little community on the subscribers page on facebook.  Nicola is very much involved on a daily basis with the other members sharing layouts, setting challenges and generally posting advice and suggestions.

The kit costs £27.45 plus postage.  You can buy addons which will be bundled with your kit and you receive a 10% discount as a subscriber.  

Are there any kits you love or would recommend?  I am always up for some temptation!!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The second instalment of the scrapbook series (favourite shops)

There are so many awesome shops out there but I have a few that I love.  Don't be put off by international shipping because sometimes it is so worth it.  The longest I have had to wait for a delivery is 9 days which is pretty good given the amount you get for your money.
Hey little magpie

Whats not to love about this awesome shop.  It has pretty much everything you need.  I could spend a small fortune here (actually I think I have).  I bought most of my basics here.  They have a large selection of albums, page protectors, papers, cards and lots and lots of things to make it look awesome.
Customer service is also fantastic.  The lovely ladies from HLM are very quick at replying to you and will do whatever they can to help.  You can find them on Facebook but beware they will enable the hell out of you.  Last time I placed an order I called them up and asked if they could charge me £10 extra and just put random stuff into my order.  I loved getting stuff that I normally wouldn't have chosen myself and they were more than happy to do it.
Delivery, again its fantastic.  I tend to spend over £50 which gets me free delivery but even if you don't qualify for free delivery its not expensive.  If you spent less than £25 then its £2.95 and less that £50 will cost you £3.95. I have found that my delivery arrives the day after I order which is great for impatient people like myself.  They also offer international delivery.


Ok its not top of my list but it is good if your a student due to the 10 % discount.  There is also a 15% off offer when you sign up to their craft club.  Combine this with quidco where you get 6% cashback and it makes it worth it.  I bought my cricut machine along with project life items which saved me a lot and I earned cashback too.

Do you like stamps? I love them.  I would much rather buy stamps than stickers (i love stickers too) because obviously you can use them over and over again.  I have only just discovered this shop and at the moment I haven't placed an order but trust me that will be changing.  These stamps are so damn cute.  I want them all.  No really I plan on ordering pretty much all of them because shipping is $15 (not too bad really) and I would prefer to pay it once.  As soon as the shop restocks the couple of stamps that are out of stock I will be placing my order.  I cannot wait.

Another great site but also from the US.  I am pretty careful about what I order from here.  I normally set myself a shipping limit (normally $18.84) and I add as much as I can without increasing the shipping.  You would be surprised at how much you can manage to get.  Obviously you need to work out whether it is worth paying the international shipping but when I bought my MAMBI planner plus lots of stickers and other bits it definitely was.  For the planner alone it was worth it.  

Next week I will talk about some kit clubs i've either signed up to or plan to.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The first instalment of the scrapbook series (basic supplies)

What are your must haves to get started?


Firstly you need to decide which way you want to go.  I didn't realise just what a huge thing scrapbooking actually was.  Youtube, pintrest and facebook are great places to look and see what you like.  Decide if you want full 12x12 pages or if you prefer pocket layouts.  Here is more of the 12x12 style.  Thank you to Kirsteen for allowing me to use her layouts.  I think you will agree they are lovely.  I tend to use lots of photos so personally the pocket layout suits me best here is a selection of some of my layouts.
(Kirsteens 12x12)

(Project Life by myself)


Once you have decided your layout style then its time to get started.  You need to find your album.  I love the D ring albums because of how easy they are to add to but there are other options out there. Im afraid I cant give much information about the full 12x12 layouts as I used Project Life.  I do think the basics would be pretty similar though.


You will want to keep your layouts safe so its good to invest in page protectors.  You can get 12x12 plastic pockets or you can get pockets that fit 3x4 and 6x4 cards or photos in.  There are more options too so you just need to get what suits you.


Ok these aren't an essential for some but for me they are.  I love them and I have started to design and print my own.


Next step would be deciding if you will print your photos yourself or if you plan to go to a photo kiosk or go online.  Personally I print all my own photos because i'm impatient and when I decide i can scrap then I want to have everything available.  It also means if i mess up I can just reprint what I want.  Don't get me wrong this can end up expensive but I recently signed up to HP instant ink which has made it so much cheaper.


I recommend getting a decent paper cutter and a pair of scissors.  There is so much out there but it is down to preference.  I use the fiskars surecut and I love it.


Now to make it look pretty.  This is my favourite part.  You can use anything you can find.  I love washi tape, stickers and enamel dots.  Now this part is completely up to you,  I love a bit of embellishing, but you don't need to do anything.  If you want to have just your photos then that is great too.

That is the best thing about scrapbooking.  You decide what you want to do and how you want it to look.  You can get so bogged down in looking at other peoples albums that you lose your own inspiration.

Now for some tips
  1. Don't go out and buy everything you see (even if it is on offer).  Plan how you want it to look and buy what you need.
  2. Don't compare your layout to anybody else.  That is their style.  Find yours.
  3. Don't feel like you need to use every single photo you take or even print.  I quite often print lots then discard the ones I don't feel fit (another perk of printing my own).
  4. Mess around and find out what you like best.  
  5. You can always redo a page (as long as you don't use 1 of a kind photos) so don't stress too much.  Its meant to be enjoyable.
  6. Step away if its not working for you.  You can always come back when you are feeling more creative.

There are a number of different places you can get your supplies and I have added a list below of those I have used and recommend.  Next week there will be a full on post about the various shops, what I find them best for an other general info that I think you may find useful.

Hey little magpie

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Scrapbooking, planning and all things paper.

I have a new addiction.  I love all things paper and stationary.  As I have written about before I started a scrapbook at the beginning of the year.  I love that I have a way to document my memories with my family.  I love looking back at my layouts with the kids and them telling me what they loved about the days etc.

However, this has lead me into the addictive world of paper craft.  I could spend hours and hours watching you tube videos and looking at all the different craft items I could buy.  I discovered project life process videos then I found people talking about the MAMBI (Me and my big ideas) happy planner.  I needed that in my life.

Anyway the plan is that I will do a number of posts all about the different sites I love, the people I follow on youtube the kits I subscribe to and my favourite supplies.

I will be starting this series of posts on Tuesday and hope to do 1 a week so watch out for them.  If there is anything in particular you want to see then feel free to contact me and I will do my best.  I also intend to do a free giveaway once a month so stay tuned for those too.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Lets make it physical!!

We take so many picture and post statuses about our day on facebook but we don't seem to keep actual physical copies of our memories.  I cant remember the amount of times i've seen people complain that their memory card has died and wiped everything or their computer has crashed.  How often do you see posts on facebook saying somebody has lost their phone and they don't care about the phone but all their pictures are on it.  I think we should all print our photos, even if you just keep them in a drawer.  They will be there if you ever want to look at them.

I decided to start a photo album so I started looking online for a nice one that I could use.  Then it got me thinking about the photo albums I used to look through when I was young.  I was always asking who so and so was and where was it and what were they doing.  That is when I thought I would start a scrapbook.  That way I can journal details about the photos and I could spend time trying to make it nice.  I haven't been doing it for long so don't have huge amounts of scrapbooking stuff but I am slowly building up a little selection.

Here is how I got started.  I worked out which style I liked by watching lots and lots of you tube videos.  I ended up choosing project life because I loved the cards and the simplicity of it.  I found the most amazing website called hey little magpie which has so much paper craft and scrap booking stuff.  I have already spent a small fortune there.  That is where I got my album.  I found the D-ring album to be the best option and I went for the 12x12 size.  Then you choose your pockets.  I have a selection of the different types.  Once you have your album and pockets then the rest it up to you.  Do you want it only photos or do you want to journal as we as have your pictures?  How much embellishing do you want to add?  The sky is the limit.  I am still trying to work out my own personal style but as I go I am learning more about what I like and that the different spreads require different styles.

I will be doing a "look at the scrapbooking collection" post very soon and will post the different tools I have built up over the time I have been doing it.  If there is anything in particular you would like to see then leave me a comment and I will do my best.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

My sanity savers

Firstly let me apologise for my absence.  I have had a lot of things going on and I have been finding ways to deal with them.  That is what led me to writing this post.

I don't want to go into too much detail about my "issues" however it is not something I try to hide and if you would like to know more then just post in the comments section.

I suffer from anxiety and depression and sometimes it feels like everything gets very heavy and just getting up in the morning is difficult.  Obviously when you have young children lying in bed and waiting for the day to end and the feelings to stop is not an option so I needed to come up with coping strategies.  So here is what works for me.

  1. Talking to Kenny.  This is a completely new experience for me.  I have always kept how I am feeling to myself because I didn't want people to think I was weak.  I had never had anybody that I felt comfortable sharing my darkest thoughts with (and they can be very dark and scary).  He has a way to make me feel like I can get past it.  He also kicked my ass into going to see my doctor.  This leads onto.......
  2. Going to the doctor and admitting I need help.  I have never allowed myself to take medication.  I felt that I wanted to be fixed rather than medicate the problem.  That's not how it works.  Sometimes you really do need the extra help that medication gives you.  It can take a few attempts to get the right medication for you.
  3. Hobbies.   I have found that doing cross stitch helps me to calm my mind and relax.  Colouring in is also really relaxing.
  4. Get out the house.  Having time to sit and think is not good for me.  I need to keep moving and busy otherwise I fall deeper and deeper then its much harder to get out.  Sometimes I need to force myself to get out and do something, even if its just take the kids to the park or go to the shop.
  5. Finally I believe in the fake it till you make it mantra.  I don't mean pretend everything is OK and hope it all goes away.  I mean try and act like you would on a good day.  Try and find something to smile about and try and enjoy at least one thing.  Trust me I know how difficult it can be but if you make yourself enjoy something other things tend to follow.
I would like to point out that I am NOT AN EXPERT.  I am just telling you what works for me.

See something pretty can come out of something dark and scary