31 Aug 2012

Canadian Dessert Bar

So visas and Canadian embassy willing my little sister and her husband, Byron, are off to Canada for a year to study. She is a little bit obsessed with dessert bars and so I decided to make a Canadian themed one for a leaving pressie for them.
Here I am with the finished table:

Don't you love these straws? They were perfect for the red and white theme and I am sure they have plenty of a&w in Canada - even though it is American!
The rocky road bars made by my other sister - Mara.
The above are maple syrup cookies - recipe found here.
Above are my cake pops, which I am featuring for United Cakes of America the series over on Cupcake Crazy Gem's blog.  What could be more American? Even the name is difficult to say without an accent! I used the method from Elsie's blog - I love her 'how to' as it features step-by-step photos and I am a visual learner. The only difference was that I used shop brought brownies and mushed them up with a cup of marshmallow fluff and then froze them. I used milk chocolate to dip them and them a variety of different coloured and shaped sprinkles.
Gem's showed me a good technique of using a large glass to dip them and to sprinkle the sprinkles instead of dunking as I sometimes do.
So if any of you have been baking up anything featuring American ingredients or that would be classed as an American bake then you can link up to Gem's blog.
In the meantime I have just brought the ingredients for Lorraine Pascale's cookies and cream brownies and so will feature them soon...I feel like I haven't blogged any baking for a while. Truth is I've had a summer off from baking and have been much more into scrapbooking. Apparantly we've been trying to be more healthy...

Layout love linky!

I found Soaphouse mama's blog through Shimelle on twitter and I love her crazy, messy and eclectic style. I also love that at the end of the month she does a linky to share pages you haven't blogged about yet cos this month with all the school holidays time I have scrapped a lot and not blogged a lot of it - as I prefer the scrapping part! Plus I've had a lot of great programmes to catch up on like 2 Broke Girls and New Girl!

So here are some layouts I've created this month:
  1. A layout about the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. Have any of you ever been there? It's a very random tourist spot and I couldn't tell if it was a con or not. I used the 'free' bumper sticker for the title and also heat embossed the top part.
2) A layout about the huge portions in a restaurant in Orange County. Can you believe the size of this tower of nachos?

3) A layout about the after party at the wedding we attended.

4) A layout about the delicious meal we ate at Zuni in San Francisco. I used my trustee fiskars to create this border along the bottom.
They are all layouts from last summer's road trip around California and are all 12 by 12 which may shock my followers due to my new aversion to a smaller scrapping size.
Linking up to Soaphouse mama

30 Aug 2012

You might need somebody too...

Above is the proof that I still do scrap 12 by 12. My California 2011 album and my wedding album are still in 12 by 12 and so when I want a challenge (as I now find it!) I pull out one of the pics I haven't scrapped yet and give it a go.
I used a Shimelle sketch as her sketches really fit with my way of scrapping - lots of clashing prints and lots of little bits and bobs and border stickers and washi tape.
I called this layout 'Adopted Parents' as this couple from church were like our Leeds parents when we first got together and they mean a lot to us as couple.
I liked that the layout had lots of space for journalling as I wanted to explain the connection:
A close-up of the title work and the picture.
I was really pleased with this layout and it was great to use up lots of little bits and pieces and try out some of new washi tapes too.
I have a few more 12 by 12 layouts to share with you soon - so look out for them!
Inspired by Shimelle's July Glitter Girl video and sketch

28 Aug 2012

I just called to say...

Just popping in to let my readers know a few things...

1) Not wanting to leave you on a limb we will get to those much anticipated a-level results. The. Best. Ever.
2 - a*s
5 - a grades
6- b grades
2 - c grades
2 - d grades

I was so pleased for all of them as most had at least achieved their target grade - whilst some had exceeded it and we've never achieved a* in English Literature a-level before.

2) Just got back a blissful and swelteringly hot week in Barcelona. I will drip feed you my pics via layouts and posts so as not to overwhelm you. Plus I am at my parents and don't have my laptop etc so I will leave you with one of my favourite things about our trip - The Magic Fountains. A free light and fountain show set to music. It was gorgeous!

15 Aug 2012

Ode to my students...

Tomorrow is a-level results. Eek!
I am very excited to see how well my Year 13's have done as they were my most motivated, enthusiastic and hard working class I've ever had in my six years of teaching.
Some of them I have taught for four years and they were really on board with the way I teach.
We were studying Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and we did a court case in character and costumes and it was hilarious!
They made learning journals (which my colleagues said was my way of getting scrapbooking nito the curriculum!) with magazine montages, time lines, comic strips and anything creative to help them revise the characters and themes.
The module was called 'elements of the gothic' and so at Christmas we decided to have a gothic secret santa - we picked a name out of the hat and then had to spend a pound on a gothic themed gift for that person. Everyone did really well and some of them made cupcakes and homemade fudge.
So here is a layout using MME papers:

Don't you love that title with the post-it notes and paper clip - I thought that using office supplies would tie in with the theme of school.
They are the sweetest class and I am wishing them good luck for tomorrow - but they all worked hard and deserve to do so well. I will miss them all when they go to university in September!

11 Aug 2012

Romance in Budapest!

Just popping in to share two layouts created with leftover scraps from a bigger project (I promise I still do scrapbook 12 by 12 and have two really great wedding layouts to share soon and a double trouble two pages using a Shimelle sketch - so many layouts still to blog!)
I didn't think too much about it just layered it on and used up some scraps - I thought that the negatives from the Martha Stewart butterfly punch made a nice embellishment. The title comes from a song my sisters and I loved off the Dawson's Creek soundtrack. Any other Dawson's geeks out there? It makes me cringe to watch it now, but I had a real thing for Pacey back in the day...must be all those daddy issues!

 Both of these layouts contain pictures taken in Budapest using the self-timer. It's no secret that The Belgian has bouts of camera shyness and hates to ask other people to take our picture - but he can sometimes be persuaded to have some self-timer fun.

 We are off on a mini break to the Lake District for two nights and are very excited as we're not doing a big holiday this summer and he's going back to the motherland in a week and I am off to Barcelona with my sister Tamara. But we didn't want the summer holidays to go by without some 'just us' time and so it'll be really nice.
What are YOUR plans this summer? I know for my American bloggy friends you're back to school already and probably thinking about Halloween as the next 'holiday'...

9 Aug 2012

Step-by-step tutorial for making a canvas...

Have you seen those cute canvas' on pinterest with quotations to put up in your hallway?
I was forever pinning them and eyeballing them in shops - but they always seemed too pricey for what they were.
My solution?
Make some myself and here they are...

If you want to see my step-by-step tutorial - check it out here. I am doing another guest post over at Sumo's sweet stuff blog....yep now I have time in the summer I am sharing the love - or 'pimping myself out' as i have heard it referred too. Ohh err!

8 Aug 2012

Simply loving London in 2012...

Although Yorkshire now feels like my home - London will always hold a special place in my heart.
Growing up in Hertfordshire London was only every thirty minutes away by train and slightly longer by car. Some of my childhood memories are of playing on the animal statues in Brent Cross shopping centre, doing the Selfidges run, falling in love with the giant teddies and the kiddie Land Rovers in Harrods toy department and watching street entertainers in Covent Garden. I have created two layouts paying homage to the city that I love.

First a photo collage to show some of the fun we had in London last week for the games.
1) Indulging at the All Star Lanes in Holborn - check out my review here
2) We got the golden *ahem pink* tickets to Handball - more about it here
3) Delicious Mexican street food at Wahaca on Southbank
4) The Belgian having to pedal to turn the fountains on
5) The big swing ride on the Southbank
6) Us on the swing ride
7) Deep fried oreos at Camden Market - so calorific but soooo good!
8) Frozen Yogurt in Harrods
9) Reuniting with my little sis before she jets off to Canada

And now for the scrapping - a homage to the street entertainers in Covent Garden. A great chance to rest your weary feet after a busy shopping day and have a laugh at the same time. I used mainly the Cupcake range by Basic Grey.

The second layout is of the Jubilee so I stamped the title - God Save the Queen. I used the Portobello Road stickers of the Union Jack and some Lilybee Victoria Park range papers. I used Jen's video tutorial from Two Peas as a sketch for this blog as I was attracted to the washi tape strips across the topand the use of buttons for dimension.

P.S I am being guest featured on a *gulp* fashion and lifestyle blog today. Check out Jacy's blog it has some great stories about inspirational women! Go and check it out!

6 Aug 2012

Messy Mondays: Finger painting on pages

Ready for more techniques with paint?

So in the last month I have shared tips for misting with you, using stamps with paint, creating borders with paint and stamps and lastly creating your own backing paper with paint and stamps.

Today I bring you a technique which you probably learnt when you were about three - finger painting! Although I used different sized pencils to create the spots - the little rubber on the end of the pencil works particularly well for this.

This layout is all about our trip to Universal Studios and uses a few pics which I wouldn't have scrapped on their own. I also stamped the title down the side and used Amy Tangerine's stamps to create the journalling spot and then decided that I preferred to leave it blank as an embellishment.

I also tried a technique that I have seen on pinterest and other crafty blogs recently which is wrapping chipboard circles in washi tape to use as an embellishment.

I used one of the Sunday Sketches over at Studio Calico and instead of the confetti or misting I decided to try out this polka dot technique. It worked best with these acrylic paints as I tried it this week with water based poster paints and it was too watery and diluted to create the same impact.

What trends are you loving at the moment?

P.S Later on this week I will be guest posting on Sumo's Sweet Stuff blog sharing how to create a cute canvas for your wall

3 Aug 2012

Olympic challenge: Black and Blue Club Bruges

Lots of my favourite crafty bogs have challenges linking to sports and the the Olympics and SJ Crafts was no exception. I have plenty of Olympic pics to scrap but haven't had time yet, but before I left I made this layout which I had wanted to make for a while.
My husband (aka The Belgian) is obsessed with his home team Club Bruges and so every trip to visit his family has to coincide with a match. I was a little surprised when we spent boxing day at a match as usually my family spend the day together - but he doesn't want to miss a moment!
The team kit is black and blue - hence the title. I used lots of coordinating authentique papers.

 Thrifty tip: I used up a few different coloured thickers and letter stickers to make this title. I included the ticket as well - something that I always keep and then forget to include in the layout. I put pearls onto the polka dot pattern of the backing paper so that it would have more dimension and bling.
I created lots of layers with washi tape and leftover bits of cardstock. The bottom layer with the scalloped edge is from packaging for letter stickers. A true scrapper should never throw anything pretty away!

What are your thrifty tips for scrapbooking?

2 Aug 2012

London 2012...

So similarly to the Royal Wedding last year - I thought I wouldn't be excited but then fever hit and I got swept up in it all! Last Friday night I watched the opening ceremony on a big screen in Millenium Square in Leeds and it was the BEST way to watch it as the atmosphere was electric and you really felt as though you were part of something. The picture was taken on my phone and is a bit funny - but it proves we were there...waving our flags...

So then we headed to London as we had tickets for the Hand Ball in the Copper Box in the Olympic Park. Here is the strange statue - which I think looks like a ride at Alton Towers.

 Some views from inside the park - I particularly liked the RUN letters and how they glittered in the sun. I also liked the marbled astro turf and felt i needed to picture my feet - as you do! It was bright sunshine when we first arrived and then the heavens opened when the game ended and we got soaked and left the park earlier than we would have liked!
 Inside the 'Copper Box' for the handball. The court was gorgeous - a bright blue and really vibrant arena with all the coloured seats. It may look empty but we just took all Boris' advice nad arrived really early - it did fill up and was probably 80% full. There was lots of groups of kids on foreign exchanges and after the first game and the big bag of half time Cadbury's buttons they seemed more interested in their ds', ipads and other hand held devices. Oh the youth of today!

 The first game was between Argentina and Iceland and it was pretty evenly matched goal for goal and boy do they score some goals - the end score was something like 24 - 28. It was a realy entertaining and fast paced and furious game. Lots of body checking and dodging and running - they kept switching players every few goals and I think they needed the rest!

The second game was more entertaining because the Croatians were massives, like over 6 foot every single one of them, and the South Koreans were tiny and so they got pretty thrashed. This action shot shows their desperate attempts to block a goal!

This shot shows the wall of defense they created which was near impossible for the Koreans to penetrate - they tried going through the legs after a while!

After the first ten minutes and a very steady lead in goals already from the Croatians the Koreans called a team talk time out. It showed that the coach was already pretty scared for this game and it was after this talk that they started shooting between the legs as they clearly realised that they couldn't jump as high as them!

And a parting shot of the stadium (taken before the match luckily - I think I've learnt that in England when the sky is blue don't wait to take you shot!)

So I'm glad that the Belgian was keen from the start and bid for so many tickets so that we got to be a part of London 2012. If you don't have tickets you should still come to London and soak up some of the atmosphere - there are loads of community free events going on at Southbank, Hyde Park and all around so get involved - the transport really isn't an issue!

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