Oh my! Talk about a dreadful pun!

Big thanks to Claire and Tracie for inviting me along to the Exhall (Coventry) crop. I had a really great welcome from everyone there - and I am telling myself it wasn't ALL due to the provision of chocolate cake!

The two layouts (and bonus card) I taught featured bold and fun patterned papers from the Crate Paper Seasons collection.

Flowers from the Same Garden was a bit fiddly and time consuming, but fun too! Playing with mists (simply sprayed the background) and cutting out the bold flowered patterned paper to create photo frames.

The larger one is embellished with bobble trim sewn around for added detail and dimension.

Lucky Bunny was a bit easier and focussed on using shapes and embellishing using a variety of textures, including die cut felt, embossed acetate and shrink plastic coloured with alcohol inks. The journal block was created by drawing around a Nestabilities label, adding loops to the points, cutting out and double doodling for a whimsical effect.

The kit was generous enough to leave plenty for a bonus card project. The centre of the flower was created by covering a circle of cardstock with double sided tape, stitching the end of a 12" piece of ribbon to the centre, twisting, sticking and stitching into place in a spiral shape. Easy and effective, perfect combination really!

Such excitement ... off to crop tomorrow!

It has been MONTHS since I have gone to crop anywhere. Quite a while ago I was asked to teach at the Exhall Coventry crop and the date has finally come around.

I've nicked the sneak peek collage put together by Claire (Weetabix on UKS) - the kit has been sponsored by Sarah's Cards and is the wonderfully bold and vibrant Seasons range from Crate Paper.

I'm teaching two layouts and have done a bonus card with the left-overs. Special thanks go to A Trip Down Memory Lane and Sir Stampalot too for getting extra bits to me in time for the weekend.

I'm really excited about meeting the people down there (and a little bit nervous too, but that's a good thing, right?) Am hoping the lure of my special chocolate cake will soften them up nicely :) Saying that, off to do the baking right now.

For the love of cards

I do make them, you know, sometimes. Usually I get a blood rush to the head and do a lot (usually when it's the 2peas challenge week), but mainly I'm a 'make 'em when they're needed' kind of card maker.

This pretty, girly card, was for Mia's birthday. The image is from Wild Rose Studio. It's packaged as a Christmas stamp, but some pretty colours and bling to cover the snowflakes and it's just purrfect (sorry!) for a girly girl birthday. I coloured the cat grey to match the balls of fluff we have at home.

Patterned papers are predominantly Making Memories (I absolutely adored the Noteworthy range and have quite a few papers from that stockpiled) and look, that purple paper is some VERY old Chatterbox. So very pretty. I absolutely adored that range and, yes, there is quite a bit of that in my stash too!

I used Nestabilities (scalloped and plain rectangle), Fiskars Apron Lace punch, Sizzix flower die (cut out a felt flower) and a circle punch (to create the shrink plastic button stamped with Love words). The sentiment is from a beautiful set from Hero Arts and the image is coloured with Distress Inks. I need more practice, but I do like the water colour effect of working with these.

I've discovered a wonderful site, The Daily Dare, which lists LOTS of challenges (just perfect for kick starting the crafting gears) and this card happens to meet quite a few this week:

ABC Challenge - S is for Sparkle
All That Scraps - Sewing
Creative Belli Blog - Die cut shapes CBC89
Fab 'n' Funky - Get it all out (neglected stash!)
A Spoon full of Sugar - birthday
Creative Card Crew - birthday
Scrap Creations - 3 different embellishments
The Crafty Pad - stitching
Allsorts - stitching
Split Coast Stampers Ways to Use it Challenge WT267 - Mixing patterns

And now ... digital delights

I'm a dreadful procrastinator. Always have been. With life stuff as well as scrapping. Those last minute 'nerves' always seem to get me fired up though.

It was Mia's 9th birthday last week. She had been so excited (even more so because she was getting some long awaited bunnies for her birthday).

We had a lovely little party planned, just my two girls and four of Mia's friends. Off bowling followed by McDonalds, ice-cream, jelly and cake at home followed by a treasure hunt in the garden.

The year Mia was born it was Easter weekend on her birth day, so even though the dates for Easter do change year to year, we usually celebrate with an Easter themed party for Mia. It's great to just buy an Easter egg for the party 'bags'. And, of course, the egg hunt always goes down a treat!

Anyhow, back to the procrastinating ... as ever I had left it to the last minute to get things ready. To speed the process up a bit, I decided to 'do digi' and, to honour the arrival of Mia's own little Easter Bunnies, I trawled the net and found a wonderful digital kit called Honey Bunny by Dani Mogstad at Sweet Shoppe Designs. I used this super cute kit to design and decorate the party/treasure hunt bags, prize tickets and cake boxes.

The cake boxes were made from a variety of patterned papers and cut using a great design, made bigger to fit the bigger wodge of chocolatey birthday cake, from a free template by Marie H over at UK Scrappers (if you have a need for GSD files and you aren't already registered with the Craft Robo template section over at UK Scrappers, it is well worth the effort as there are some fabulously talented people who share their goodies and knowledge there).

Some of the prizes didn't fit into the eggs, so I made tickets to fold and put in them instead. And Mia won a large Easter egg at the Easter fair a couple of weeks ago. Since she doesn't eat chocolate, she offered it up as a special prize at her party. She had a tub of Pringles in lieu :)

And finally, a picture of Mia blowing out the candles on her birthday cake (based on the one I made last year which she specially requested again this year).

For years I have cheated and bought novelty chocolate shapes from Thorntons to decorate the birthday cakes and also they will ice the little plaques with your own message too. Easy peasy! And that chocolate cake recipe is just wonderful. Also easy peasy. And easy peasy to make gluten free too!