31 Dec 2011

TOP THREE OF 2011...

So for the first time this year I am ill. It started day after boxing day and I just thought that I was sea sick as we were on the ferry, but now I'm bunged up and having a duvet day so thought I'd do a 2011 roundup - as is popular in blogland!

Top three layouts I made...

1) Santa Cruz in the sunshine - I love the colour, the paint splatters, the mosaic effect and the memories of a great day out.

2) Baby You're a Firework - great memories of a cracking New Year spent with my family. Great pics with some cool camera effects with the sparklers, bunting was very on trend for 2011 and I like the mix of colours and papers.

3) If the dress fits - my wedding layouts are always going to be favs of mine and this one was extra special as I was craving this overlay for a whole year or so till I found it in Santa Monica. Love the pink and the small little details.

Most popular posts...

1) The one about the zulus (I think this has more to do with people googling zulus than my amazing pics but oh well!)

2) Comic relief with my Where's Wally costume and a wedding layout

3) Frost Yourself - about lovely cupcakes at the Iron Cupcake contest and some Christmas scrapping

Fav scrapping techniques of 2011...

1) Bunting and banners - using number 2 mostly. Can be seen here, here and here.

2) Bakers twine - wrapped round everything!

3) Instax pics - see this post!

Best recipes tried from Pinterest...

1) Life changing mac 'n' cheese - we have made this sooo many times as a last minute supper and its always well recieved. I just love it!

2) Aubergine Parmigana - we love this meal and also have it often. Its so garlicy, cheesy and good!

3) Butternut squash macaroni - are you seeing a pattern emerge? Now butternut squash takes some chopping but its so worth it for this dish!

Best three cupcakes I made...

1) Gimme smore - my personal favs, these were seriously delish!

2) Star crossed lovers - these were placed second in IC. Malteaser cakes and malt frosting.

3) Last but not least - a real fail safe - peanut butter frosting and chocolate sponge. 

Thanks to all my amazing followers - especially those who leave me lots of blog love (Gems, Tamara, Louise and Julie) Happy 2011! Hope you all have a safe and fun evening tonight!
I am thinking what turn to take for 2012 and my blog.
Do you want to see more scrapping? Some tutorials? Thrifting and thrifty tips for crafts and fashion? Baking? Cupcakes? Let me know...
I am considering a project a day but don't know if this is too much of an undertaking?!

Love and hugs and border punches,

Mel xxx

26 Dec 2011

Having ourselves a merry little Christmas!

In Brugges...

How did you spend yours?

22 Dec 2011

O Christmas tree and intstax your house...

So we are off to Brugges in a few hours and I am procrastinating packing - what a loathsome task!
I have just loaded my ipod up with a Christmas album, plenty of Glee and Rebecca Ferguson's new album ready for the road trip.
I had my hair done (again) yesterday and have the bottom half with blonde highlights and the top still dark with a few round the fringe - I quite like it and may actually stick with this style now.
I have got lots of scrapping to share with you, but I will just leave you with this Christmas layout. I used a prompt from ARTastic which was to use a tree, snowman and the word Christmas in you title, plus a wintery painting for inspiration.
I chose to scrap our first Christmas tree in 2009, the pic is a bit blurry but I am pleased with the layout.

Don't you love that lightbulb parcel tape? It's from Paris!

My other tip is what to do with your instax mini pics - if you don't already own one get it! It's always a crowd pleaser and people laugh at the retroness of it all but you get instant pics and could take a shot and scrap it in one day. So here's our home decor idea...

Although I love it - they're snapshots of our Christmas so far. I also think I would like to scrap these pics - so where is the happy medium?? I can't pass up good scrap fodder! Perhaps I should have taken two of each!
Happy Christmas Eve eve!! xxx

20 Dec 2011

A glowing report...

Day four of the Christmas holidays and I am holed up in my craft room (where else!) with some hot chocolate and am trawling blogs to look for exciting challenges. I have actually made a Christmas layout (shock horror!) of our first Christmas tree in 2009. The photo is really blurry, which is why I didn't scrap it before but I think its a moment that needs documenting (especially since we didn't bother to get a tree this year! Since we're spending Christmas in Brugges) I will post that last.

For now I am posting this little gem...

I tried a few new techniques like painting and glossy accenting chipboard letters and using a tempera background for a mask and journalling. My journalling is a poem of sorts expressing our feelings at the end of our amazing day at Universal Studios. We loved that place. I am glad I went with Mara and Arne as I was determined to go to Six Flags, but Universal is so much more LA! 
The title came from the fact we seem to be rather dewy - I think its from the water rides like the Jurassic Park, but it was rather warm so it could be...

I am linking up with Scrap our Stash anything goes challenge.

Also totally loving Glee does Adele and James Vincent McMorrow's Higher Love and Someone like you. Check them out on youtube - great scrapping music!

18 Dec 2011

No strings attached?

I hope you're not rolling your eyes at ANOTHER California layout.
In L.A we too an open bus tour and my sister was very excited to spot the scene from the movie No String's Attached. We hadn't seen it, but obliged in recreating the pose from the film. I called this page Movie Magic in an ode to Hollywood being the place where movies come alive.
I dug out an old star stamp and enjoyed using this technique again.
I also like the monochrome title and how the white thickers stand out against the background due to their sparkle.

We saw Friends with Benefits whilst in America and we LOVED it. I have always been interested in whether or not girls and boys can be just good friends and I would conclude that they cannot. I know whenever I had a close guy friend one of us always liked the other at one stage or another.
What do you think bloggers? Can men and women truely be just good friends?

17 Dec 2011

My bargain dress...

I searched high and low for a dress for our summer wedding in California.
Online, in shops and all to no avail.
I wanted it to be bright, summery and cool but with sleeves.
A big ask on the British high street.
I was watching some on ebay and got outbid on one and then it showed other bids ending soon.
This floral number caught my eye and it was on 99p with a minute to go.
So I won it.
I got loads of compliments at the wedding and always felt smug about my little bargain.

Don't you love red and yellow as a colour combo?

13 Dec 2011

Ain't no sunshine...

As the blustery storms descend it's nice to think back to our sunny October half term. Happy times in London.
I made this a double as I had so many good pics of all our adventures.
I used an old Shimmelle sketch as I feel that a double needs some structure.
By doodling round the edges it brings it all together.
What do you think?
Off to do some Christmas baking.

11 Dec 2011

Ten things I want for Christmas...

Santa baby,
I've been such a good girl.
Please may I have one of each of these...

A vintage Christmas jumper

White glimmer mist for Christmas layouts
Funky headphones

Massage for a hot stone massage
Purple Kitchen aid - hello!

Maroon skinnies
Been sucked in by the ad campaign for the new Nikon 1 and it's pink!

Cosy owl pj's
Need I say more...?
What is on your wish list?
Linking up with Shimelle's ten on the tenth (I'm always late for the party!)

10 Dec 2011

I wish it could be Christmas every day?

I took on the Studio's lastest challenge of using Christmas papers to scrap everyday, non-Christmassy things. I have chosen to scrap some pics from our summer holiday at Santa Monica Pier.
We were suffering with jet lag and so woke ridiculously early and went for a wonder.
We found the bench from the movie Forest Gump.
And the rest as they say is history.

The pictures a bit wonky.
Happy holidays! As the Americans say!

GIrls night out...

I wanted this page to be clashy and trashy.
We had girls night at Pizza Express, making the most of their two for one Orange Wednesday offer.
Such a bargain.
We had a fab night with lots of gossiping and giggling, but the highlight (for me!) was using my instax mini.
I won it on ebay last year and haven't used it that much.
I forgot how cool it is.
I let all the girls go home with a little snapshot of our night.

I had been dying to use a little washing line with bakers twine ever since I pinned it here.
I am pleased with the result, I didn't have mini pegs so I used buttons and pritt pads.
The tags are both from items of clothing - I love my magpie moments.
What do you think? Too much clashing or just right?

7 Dec 2011

Slow dancing in a burning room...

Title is inspired by Grease 2, which I am ashamed to say is my guilty pleasure!
Layering is the main technique here.

Showcases the blonde/ginger look I had during October half term. Wasn't intentional. The blonde was, but not the ginger.
We have a benchmark inspection on Friday and I have been selected for a two hour observation with my sixth form. Bad times and lots of planning ahead.

5 Dec 2011

The boat that rocks...

So turns out people weren't exaggerating when they said you had to book months in advance for Alcatraz. So my sister and I had a girly day together in San Fran and after shopping and posh lunch at Zuni we went for a boat tour which was advertised as a rocking tour with pumping rock music etc.
It was a good half hour and quite amusing. So even though the before pic isn't very flattering I decided to scrap it as a before and after layout. I used plenty of misting, tags and scraps from previous page.
This layout shows GIRL POWER as we were rocking out on a girly day out.

What does girl power mean to you? Other than platform trainers and THAT union jack mini dress!

4 Dec 2011

Storytelling Sunday: The one with the llamas and the wimpy husband!

Firstly it is important to note that although I am quite adventurous and love a challenge, I am NOT an animal lover.
In fact I am a bit *scared* of most animals, especially dogs.
So when I saw the llamas at this little county fair in Southern California, on our recent trip, I was hesitant.
However it was a good photo op.
So I paid the lady a dollar to take a few shots and my husband took a few shots for me.
Then I thought it would be nice to return the favour and asked him to pose with the lama.
My regular followers will know he is a reluctant model at the best of times...
So he starts freaking out and refusing point blank to go anywhere near this creature.
I wanted reasons - after all a dollar is a dollar.
He was muttering about them biting to which the burly lady says in a brash American accent,
"He has never bitten a tourist, thank-you very much."
She seemed a bit offended at the lurid accusation.
However he topped it off by saying there was no way he was going near a llama as they spit.
By this stage SHE was spitting and very shortly repeated the previous statement about how her llamas so not spit at tourists.
We stood for a while, me brandishing the camera ready to take a shot, but he never went anywhere near it.
I tried to take a picture of him shaking his head and looking very annoyed, but I missed it!
So my sister obliged and posed for me - just so that I had enough shots for the layout.
I wanted to play with some paint and I wanted to capture the story in a layout.
So my title is - "So I married a fraidy cat!"
I feel it is fitting for the occasion.

Linking up to Sian's storytelling Sunday.
Anyone else scared of llamas?

1 Dec 2011

Things I'm loving on Thursday...

Looking forward to making some of these this weekend -yum! Let the Christmas baking commence...
 Last night we had girls night at the super cute Pizza Express in Ilkley. It used to be the old train station and so the building has a bit of character.
 Ever awkward I asked for the four seasons pizza to be 'three seasons' without the anchovies and capers! The girls said it was typical Mel!
 I suddenly found this old cutie sitting sadly in its box, I have only used it once since I got it on ebay. So we had fun taking some snaps and then arguing over who got the pics with our eyes open and us smiling nicely! I have just ordered some more films to snap some quick pics over Christmas - you could scrap the pic you took all on the same day!
 I am lusting after a camera die cut, I love when Shimelle uses it on all her travel scrapping and so would love one of these babies.
 Tonight after school I had a hot date of hot choc with my man. We don't often do this - we are usually just boring and go straight home after school so it was exciting and nice to just chat and enjoy one anothers company rather than wasting the afternoon away on the laptop (as I am now!!) Salts diner in Saltaire is such a fab little place and I love, love, love their home shop and want one of everything!

Above is our fabric advent calendar that we got at said home shop for a bargain price since it was already the 1st December! We are going to take it in turns of getting a little treat every other day - love it.

Linking up to the ever great Paisley Jade...
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